Freedom and Partition offers a reconstruction of four momentous days which shaped the lives of millions of people in the Indian subcontinent: 14–17 August 1947. Based on primary archival material, newspaper reports, oral histories and private papers of leaders, it looks at how the outgoing British officials worked with the leaders of the Congress and the Muslim League to plan the ceremonies that would marking the birth of India and Pakistan. In doing so, this book offers a ringside view of events in New Delhi and Karachi. Moving away from official ceremonies, Freedom and Partition uses a ‘slice of life’ approach to see how ordinary people in cities and towns looked at the approaching moment, capturing the sense of trepidation and insecurity felt by minority communities in Bengal, Punjab, Sindh and across much of north India. This volume provides vignettes of Gandhi’s peace mission for the safety and security of the minorities in Calcutta and recounts how the euphoria of freedom came to be overshadowed by the Radcliffe Award of 17 August 1947. Finally, it examines how popular meanings and memories of 14–15 August 1947 have changed over the decades, as shown by shifts in narratives which have marked the 25th, 50th and the 75th anniversaries of Independence and Partition.