Two children photographed in front of a wall from an MP's tour of India and Pakistan in the 1950s


Journeys to Independence: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Monday 18 September to Friday 15 December 2017 in LSE Library Gallery.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the independence of India from British rule and the birth of West and East Pakistan. Nearly 25 years later, East Pakistan would become Bangladesh. Partition divided British India along religious lines, leading to one of the largest and most violent mass migrations in human history. 

A group of people including Mirabehn leaning against a pillar
From left: Agnes Maude Royden with Sarojini Naidu, Mirabehn, and Aruna Asaf Ali in India c. 1934

Journeys to Independence: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh draws on the archives of LSE Library, giving a British perspective on the Indian subcontinent during the 20th century. It includes material related to the Civil Disobedience Movement, British women campaigning in India for birth control, and the founding of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Also on display are archives demonstrating LSE’s historic relationship with the region, including LSE alumnus and champion of Dalit rights Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Exhibition curator Daniel Payne (@politicscurator) said:

It’s been a great opportunity to curate this exhibition in partnership with the LSE South Asia Centre. The Library has a fantastic range of material on this subject – my favourite is probably an item from Mirabehn (or “Madeline Slade”). You’ll have to come and see this exhibition to find out why!

Tours are available on request. Email us to arrange a tour.


Can’t make it to the exhibition? Listen to this 20 minute podcast discussing some of the documents on display with Daniel Payne, Sue Donnelly, and Sonali Campion.

The front cover of the first Pakistani constitution 1956
The front cover of the first constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1956

To find out more about our collections on this theme, take a look at our collections highlights page, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


Public Events

Peter Shore talking with the first president of Bangladesh
Peter Shore (Labour MP) with the founding leader of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 1973


Opening times and visiting

From 18 September 2017:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am – 7pm

  • Saturday and Sunday: 11am –  6pm

The Gallery and exhibition are small enough to get around over a lunchtime, so why not make a visit?


Find us

LSE Library, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD

View on Google Maps.

For further information, contact the exhibition curator on marking your email for the attention of Daniel Payne.