This book explores the shift from colonial rule to independence in India and Pakistan, with the aim of unravelling the explicit meaning and relevance of 'independence' for the new citizens of India and Pakistan during the two decades post 1947. While the study of postcolonial South Asia has blossomed in recent years, this volume addresses a number of imbalances in this dynamic and highly popular field. Firstly, the histories of India and Pakistan after 1947 have been conceived separately, with many scholars assuming that the two states developed along divergent paths after independence. Thus, the dominant historical paradigm has been to examine either India or Pakistan in relative isolation from one another. Viewing the two states in the same frame not only allows the contributors of this volume to explore common themes, but also facilitates an exploration of the powerful continuities between the pre- and post-independence periods.