There was not a family in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh who was unaffected by the partition of 1947 – an event which passed its 70th anniversary in August 2017. Coming as it did after the euphoria of independence and the struggles of many men and women in the 1930s and 40s, partition was a bitter blow to widespread dreams of unity and has left a mixed legacy. 70 years on, many people still living remember the tumultuous times following partition, when India was plunged into near Civil War. This year, we have celebrated the positive aspects of independence for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, alongside other postcolonial countries. Partition holds lessons from history that should never be forgotten, but from the perspective of 2017, we feel there is cause for optimism about how each of these countries has charted a unique course under challenging economic and political conditions.