Rediscovering Jinnah

We have discussed partition of India far too many times on PTH but old habits die hard (Partition was the most frequently discussed topic in the real PakTeaHouse as well).  This is another article on Jinnah published by Dawn, we are reproducing here for discussion.  While Faruqui is on the money about Jinnah’s secularism,   his over all analysis is as usual quite weak – which is nothing new for those of us who have followed his articles in Daily Times and Dawn. For example,  Life Magazine’s coverage has been discussed on several occasions on this website.  Similarly the words he uses – ethnicity, religion etc – are terms Faruqui is incapable of fully understanding. 1971 cannot be termed as a war between ethnicity and religion,  as much as the failure of constitutional accomodation.  Nationalism is the ideology of the other and there is not much to choose between X, Y and Z kinds of nationalism.  Nationalisms can be abated by constitutional accomodation.   By Faruqui’s logic 1947 should be seen as a victory of religion over ethnicity – but what ethnicity?   Had both Jinnah and Nehru lived to see 1971,  they would have viewed it similarly – with alarm and regret- Nehru might have seen his own shadow in the policies of West Pakistani elite when it rejected Awami League’s perfectly reasonable six points much in the same way Nehru had refused to accept Muslim League’s mandate as the sole representative party of the Muslims of South Asia.  Jinnah might have been horrified to see Bhutto employing some of his own arguments perversely to deny Mujeeb ur Rahman’s majority party the chance to form the government.   Just as Jinnah and Nehru were part Hamilton part Jefferson, both Bhutto and Mujeeb were each part Jinnah part Nehru.  Hence the second partition in 25 years. History is an argument without an end, because on a long enough time line all survival rate falls to zero. Have a look -Yasser Latif Hamdani

By Ahmad Faruqui

Jinnah remains shrouded in mystery, hagiographed in Pakistan and demonised in India. Born just 19 years after the end of the Mughal Empire in 1857, he studied law in Britain. Within a few years of returning to India, he had emerged as one of its most successful barristers. But politics was to be his true calling. With his entirely secular upbringing and thoroughly British outlook on life, it was no surprise that he soon became, in Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s words, “an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity”. Never known to be a religious man, let alone an advocate of a theocratic state, Jinnah went on to establish Pakistan. Jinnah had envisaged that Pakistan would be a homeland for the Muslims of India. In less than seven years after his death, his successors had declared it to be an Islamic Republic.

This would have been anathema to Jinnah who admired Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the apostle of secularism in Turkey. Jinnah thought poorly of pan-Islamism, calling it an exploded bogey. Much of this is well known. Indeed, major academic libraries throughout the world have devoted entire sections to the partition of India and to Jinnah’s role in that cataclysmic event. What continues to be debated is the rush to partition, its necessity to begin with, and its failure to restore harmony to Hindu-Muslim ties. Seeking to answer these intractable questions, the Indian statesman Jaswant Singh has now put on the historian’s hat in his book, Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence. A former stalwart of the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Singh was at various times India’s face to the world as either its finance or external affairs minister.

In Pakistan, Singh’s book has been seen as a vindication of Jinnah’s policies and a condemnation of Nehru’s. Indeed, there is much language in the book that is critical of Nehru. He faults Nehru and other congressional leaders for lacking realism and having no foresight, purpose or will.

While Singh admires Jinnah the man, he finds much to critique in Jinnah’s politics. Jinnah’s two-nation theory comes across as “an error of profound and telling dimensions” and explains why Jinnah “got the land but failed to create a state and failed decisively in creating a nation”. In Singh’s narrative, when it became clear to Jinnah that the major political party of the time, the Indian National Congress, was not going to accommodate the Muslim viewpoint, he began arguing for separate electoral representation for the Muslims.

At some point, this demand progressed into a call for a separate state. But Singh argues that Jinnah may have propounded his theory of nationhood simply as a negotiating ploy. Until very late in the game, he may have been thinking of Pakistan in metaphorical, not literal terms. Singh says that a man of the world such as Jinnah could not have been oblivious to the fact that there are many states which encompass multiple nationalities. Why then did he push forward with Pakistan? And why did he accept the ‘moth-eaten’ state that Mountbatten handed him? Did he not know that partition would unleash genocide, mass migration and untold suffering on millions? And how could he allow such a state to come into being without even knowing its precise boundaries? As Singh reminds us, the Radcliffe Commission awards were not released until three days after partition.

Singh reminds us that one of three Muslims chose to stay in India and asks whether that had bothered the Quaid. He wonders whether the Quaid saw the inconsistency in using the two-nation theory to create Pakistan and then famously putting it to bed in his Aug 11, 1947 speech. Earlier, at a press meet on Nov 14, 1946, Singh reminds us that Jinnah posed a question: once partition had separated the two warring communities, what reason would there be for the two nations to quarrel? Jinnah predicted, “The two states … will be friends and will go to each other’s rescue in case of danger and will be able to say ‘hands off’ to other nations. We shall then have a Munroe Doctrine more solid than in America … I am not fighting for Muslims, believe me, when I demand Pakistan.”

Within months of independence, war broke out in Kashmir. In doing its cover story on Jinnah, Life magazine (Jan 5, 1948) found him a distraught man who was quick to add that the war was none of his doing. Life reported that as Pakistan struggled for survival amidst religious warfare and economic chaos, Jinnah remained in “absolute seclusion”, emerging only occasionally to denounce the Hindu. The war did not end until a UN ceasefire was imposed on Jan 1, 1949, almost four months after Jinnah’s death.

 Two major wars and some minor ones would follow in the years to come. Would Jinnah have regarded the unending war between Pakistan and India a repudiation of the logic of partition? We will never know. Nehru lived long enough to tell an interviewer in 1960 that he and other Congress leaders had accepted partition because “We were tired men and we were getting on in years too. Few of us could stand the prospect of going to prison again.” He added, “None of us guessed how much the killings and the crisis in Kashmir would embitter relations.” Both Jinnah and Nehru were long gone by the time ethnicity trumped religion in 1971.

Undoubtedly, Nehru and Jinnah who agreed on just about nothing would have felt differently about the partition of Pakistan. Singh has posed some very deep and difficult questions. While one may disagree with his answers, one has to commend him for undertaking the journey. For revisiting history with an open mind, the BJP expelled Singh from the party. Earlier, it had forced L.K. Advani to resign from its presidency simply for visiting the Quaid’s mausoleum and saying that the Quaid was a secular man. If the BJP could be so bigoted towards its own leaders, one can only imagine how it would treat those who live as a permanent minority in India. It was precisely that fear of Hindu dominance which had driven the Quaid to ask for partition.

Was that the right decision? While appraising the conflicting views of French scholars about Napoleon, the Dutch scholar Pieter Geyl noted that “history is an argument without end”. That comment applies a fortiori to the momentous events that shook British India in 1947.

Courtesy Dawn

45 Comments

Filed under India, Jinnah, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, Partition

45 responses to “Rediscovering Jinnah

  1. Majumdar

    I guess we have discussed this so many times that there is nothing much to add. A few points though:

    1. 1971 was not the victory of ethnicity over religion or any repudiation of the TNT. If that was the case, WB wud have clamoured to join BD or BD wud have clamoured to join fellow Bengalis in India. Neither happened.

    2. There was no “shadow of Nehru over 1971”. There was simply no equivalence between 1946-47 and 1970-71. INC accepted the fact that the Muslim majority in NW/NE India didn’t want to be a part of India under INC’s terms and conditions and let them go (however with rather bad grace on INC’s part). Pak Army, PPP and possibly West Pak Awaam didnt accord the same right to Bengalis in 1971.

    (One may of course argue that had the Brits not a bigger bamboo than INC, INC wud have done the same in 1947 but we cant speculate on such hypothetical scenario)

    Regards

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    1 Agreed.

    2. When I mentioned Shadow of Nehru… I meant that in 1946 Nehru could have worked out a loose federation with Jinnah, as Bhutto/Yahya could have worked out a similar federation with Mujeeb.
    The fear and the impulse were similar. Both Bhutto and Nehru were “quasi-socialists” who wanted centralized power for their agendas… The major point of departure ofcourse was that in 1947, Jinnah was from the minority …. and Mujeeb in 1971 was in the majority…

    Btw… I saw this very interesting interview of Abdul Hafeez Peerzada, the father of Pakistan’s constitution, taken by Najam Sethi. The old foggy said … that Bhutto’s PPP was a secular quasi socialist party…

    This prompted Sethi to cross examine him with the Ahmadiyya amendment. The old foggy replied “that was political compromise… there would have been bloodshed”.

    Absolute nonsense. Khawaja Nazimuddin’s Muslim League government claimed to be neither ideologically “quasi-socialist” nor “secular” but Nazimuddin refused to accept Mullah demands against Ahmadis in 1953.

    The PPP is a funny party.

  3. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw… another old PPP foggy … Mubashir Hassan said- about the same issue-: “well that is how politics is… we might cut off your head even if you are our friends”….

  4. Majumdar

    1971 basically represents what happens when democracy is not allowed. Inspite of its difficult geography and ethnicity, Pakistan wud have lasted as a nation, had democratic processes allowed bonds to form between diverse people who had already banded to form a nation under at least one common principle (a Muslim identity). In the absence of democracy the Muslim identity was not strong enough to bind the two Pakistans.

    Regards

  5. B. Civilian

    @majumdar

    the similarity is between bhutto and nehru, not yahya and nehru. and it’s only a similarity.

  6. B. Civilian

    “In Singh’s narrative, when it became clear to Jinnah that the major political party of the time, the Indian National Congress, was not going to accommodate the Muslim viewpoint, he began arguing for separate electoral representation for the Muslims.”

    how accurate is that, historically?

  7. Majumdar

    Civvie mian,

    It is quite possible (although we can’t be sure) that ZAB was fully supportive Yahya’s decision. In fact his idhar hum udhar tum kind of stuff prolly strengthened Yahya’s hand.

    Having said that I dont know much of Pak’s policy of that time. It wud be quite interesting if HP saeen who knows much more about Pak politics and possibly may have interacted with the dramatis personae of that era cud shed some light on the matter.

    Regards

  8. Milind Kher

    As I understand, the original plan was to have Pakistan, Usmanistan (Hyderabad state) and Bangistan (Bangladesh and Greater Assam).

    While Usmanistan was not workable, Bangistan and Pakistan too had a different culture and mindset, the common thread of Islam notwithstanding. Therefore, it was unlikely that Pakistan and Bangladesh would have stayed together in the long run, more so in view of what the Pakistan army did in Bangladesh.

    This is how I understand it.

  9. sun

    discussed really.. with whom….

    why not post the conclusion for lesser mortals

  10. Milind Kher

    Here is the essence of it:

    On 22 March 1940, one day before the Lahore Resolution was moved at the Muslim League session, and when the session had already begun its deliberations, the Supreme Council of the Pakistan National Movement assembled in Karachi. Rehmat Ali’s address to the Council was later published as a pamphlet by the movement, with the title of The Millat of Islam and the Menace of ‘Indianism’. The pamphlet bears no date, but the covering letter with which it was circulated has ‘August 15, 1941’. Bengal, with its hinterland of Assam, was to the Muslims the ‘Bang-i-Islam’. Like Pakistan, it, too, had a Muslim majority. Usmanistan (Hyderabad, Deccan) was a princely state, not a part of British India. Yet it was ‘a part of our patrimony’, and its future was inseparably bound up with that of the millat. Pakistan, a Muslim Bengal and a sovereign Hyderabad would form three independent Muslim nations in South Asia. Chaudhry Rahmat Ali would not only create the three independent states of Pakistan, Bangistan, and Usmanistan but would also have seven Muslim Nations settled in the Hindu region in their own territory which would be proportionate to their population and all these would constitute the Pak Commonwealth. Chaudhry Rehmat Ali called for the integration of Muslims into ten countries, Pakistan, Bangistan, Osmanistan, Siddiqistan, Faruqistan, Haideristan, Muistan, Maplistan, Saristan, Nasarastan and then to be coordinated into a Pak Commonwealth of Nations.

  11. B. Civilian

    majumdar

    yahya could perhaps be compared with mountbatten, i guess… just to make the contrasts and similarities clearer.

    yahya and bhutto were in agreement, quite independently of each other. had they happened not be in agreement, any yahya could have done to any bhutto what zia did to bhutto later.

  12. hoss

    This note is mostly about Yasser “preface” and not the article itself.

    Yasser has correctly identified 1971 as the failure of the constitutional accommodation. As we look at the situation on ground we find that Pakistan had NO constitution at that time and the 1970 elections were held to resolve the constitution issue first. It was an election for the constitution making body, not for the transfer of power body. The AL proposed constitution based on its six points and the Army and Bhutto were not willing to give up powers that center enjoyed to the provinces via the six points. Regrettably, that issue still haunts Pakistan. Without surrendering powers to the provinces, democracy has no chance to survive or even practiced in Pakistan.

    The comparison or the similarities between the two stalwarts of Indian independence struggle with Jefferson and Hamilton is not accurate. I am sure when Yasser has time he would explain that in an article for us to discuss that but in this article’s context I will just try and deal with Jinnah and Nehru positions on the issue.

    Let me say this upfront: had Jinnah been alive in 1971, he would have stood with Bhutto and Yahya against the Bengalis. Where would have Nehru stood on this issue is not as tricky as it appears. Nehru was a centrist like Jinnah and Bhutto but the difference was that he understood the importance of democratic discourse and would not have allied with the army on the issue. As I look at it today, I would say Nehru would not have taken sides in the conflict and would have watched this from the outside his sympathies with Bengalis but ideologically, with the forces that favored center over yielding powers to the provinces.

    Not to say that Jinnah was any less democratic but whatever we can gather from his politics before and after the partition, we can safely assume that his natural tendency would have been to protect the center rather than decentralize the state. In other words Nehru would have most likely accepted the inevitable and Jinnah would have fought it.
    I see that people might find some ambiguity here but that ambiguity is the result of wading in to a difficult situation. (We are not referring to Nehru as PM of India here. As PM his role would have been similar to that of Mrs. Gandhi.)

    Let me illustrate this here: Notwithstanding what JS wrote in his book and how we interpreter Nehru’s about face on CMP, Nehru understood or was convinced to understand that Pakistan, at that point in history, was as some say, inevitable. Enough forces had gathered at that time to strongly suggest that there was no stopping Pakistan demand.

    The Congress had enough muscle and political goodwill among Muslims of the central India to deal with them or the Aligargh graduates or the salariat class by many means but the Congress or the Indian state did not have enough political strength to deal with the separation demands in Sindh, Punjab, Bengal and NWFP, and even Kashmir. Had the Congress taken the stand to refuse Pakistan, the British in reality had no choice but to leave the country with the Congress to deal with the situation after the independence. India would have, right after the independence, been dealing with the major insurgencies in all Muslim majority provinces. The creation of Pakistan transferred those future insurgencies to the new Pakistan state and as we see now within 24 years Bengal separated from Pakistan. We have major movements in Baluchistan, Sindh, and the NWFP and FATA is in the grips of a violent semi-political, semi-criminal movement for separation. India has not been able to resolve the Kashmir separation issue.

    In fact the creation of Pakistan delayed the inevitable separation of Bengal by at least 15 years. The language protest in Bengal in 1948-49 was the first sign of the things to come in Bengal.

    Getting back to what Yasser said. 1971 was not an issue of just majority vs. the minority. It was primarily an issue of powers that center wanted to retain but one province that incidentally also had numerical majority was not willing to concede. So if we were to compare Jinnah and Bhutto positions at that point alone, as I have written above, Jinnah would have stood on Bhutto’s side. You see had it been just a majority or minority issue the center in West Pakistan would have found enough turncoats in the AL to reduce the AL majority in to a minority and would have delayed the outcome but that would not have solved the power sharing issue. That just would have meant delaying the unavoidable by some more months or maybe years. The center in Pakistan decided to deal with the issue and not let it linger on to paralyze the state for other five or six years.

    I will post about the Qadiani issue in a bit too.

  13. Karaya

    Hoss,

    Had the Congress taken the stand to refuse Pakistan, the British in reality had no choice but to leave the country with the Congress to deal with the situation after the independence.

    That’s a very interesting postulate.

    A very common perception is that the Brits just would not hand over power to the Congress and go off because they had a “strong sense of justice”. Maybe we should be praising the Congresses\’ sense of justice (and commonsense) instead.

  14. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Uncle hoss,

    Given Jinnah’s role in the central legislature of India, there isn’t even a ghost of a chance that Jinnah would have stood with Bhutto and Yahya, let alone the army.
    Nehru’s insistence on retaining section 93 and Jinnah’s omission of the same – his use of 51(5) notwithstanding- shows that by natural tendency Jinnah tilted towards federalism.

    My part jefferson part hamilton comment requires study of the political lives and ideals of four leaders in detail which you uncle ji are not inclined to do. It holds the key to why you are not going to see things from my perspective.
    The bottom line is that Bhutto ultimately played Nehru in 1971 and the one nation myth broke in 1971 as it did in 1947.

    Multicultural societies need consociationalist solutions within the framework of the constitution. 6 points were ideal …just as CMP was ideal. Neither partition of India nor partition of Pakistan were inevitable. These were results of “quasi socialist” aspirations of Nehru and Bhutto as much as Jinnah and Mujeeb’s advocacy of separatist nationalism.

  15. hoss

    I am not trying to hog this thread; I am just trying to create a context for Yasser to see the Ahmedi situation with a better perspective rather than just a pseudo socialist and pseudo Islamist PM Comparison. I have on another thread traced the origin of the Ahmedi issue to the politics before the partition. To begin with, this issue really was the conflict between the North East Punjab Muslim Zamindars and the emerging Muslim middle class or the salariat class which happened to be mostly Ahmedi. Ahmedi enjoyed as good relations with the British as the Zamindars did but in jobs by both education and British patronage the Ahmedi were ahead. While the Ahmedis were at the forefront of the Pakistan movement in Punjab, the Isamists and the Zamindars(until mid 40s) were not really in favor of Pakistan. Jinnah absolutely loved the Ahmedi support and he was their main protector in Pakistan. Some of it can also be attributed to his being from a minority sect too.

    Jinnah left power in the hands of two groups: The salariat class in Karachi and the Zamindars in Punjab. The Karachi Salariat class was in competition with the Ahmedi for jobs and the Zamindars in Punjab had some old scores to settle. After the partition tons of East Punjabis also settled in and around Lahore and finally Lahore became the center of the Anti-Ahmedi movement. Both movements (1953 and 1973-74) against the Ahmedi had roots in Lahore and that city was the hub of all anti-Ahmedi activity.

    Since 1951 or after the murder of Liaquat Pakistan was in the grip of major power struggle between groups in Punjab and Karachi. In most like scenario, Punjab Chief Minister Daultana and Iskandar Mirza were behind the 1953 Anti Ahmedi agitation supported by all the Islamist parties that had supported the Punjabi Zamindars before the partition. The JI was a new entrant but over the years JI (mudoodi) had built a following based on his anti-Ahmedi rhetoric. Apparently the reason Khawaj Nazimuddin did not concede to demands of the anti Ahmedi protestors was that he saw that as part of the Karachi-Punjab power struggle.

    And he was right. People often think that the first coup in Pakistan was in 1958. That is far from the reality. The first successful coup in Pakistan was right after the Anti-Ahmedi movement when Nazimuddin was overthrown and Mohd Ali Bogra was made the PM. Iskandar Mirza was the Sectary of Defense (not minister) and Gen. Ayub confidant. He with strong support from Ayub, was behind that coup. He became the Governor of East Pakistan and arrested Mujib Ur Rehman and other leaders in East Pakistan.

    Don’t believe me…I am in possession of US ambassador’s confidential communication to State Department and what I wrote above is merely paraphrasing of what the Ambassador’s analysis was. He called the change from Nazimuddin to Bogra as a coup by Iskandar and Ayub and also termed that as a military coup in Pakistan. (The document was obtained via FOI act request from the US state department.) If Yasser is interested I can email him a copy.

    So that was the backdrop of the Ahmedi problem. When Bhutto was confronted with this situation he looked at it as Nazimuddin looked at it: a political issue… repeat a political issue and not a religious issue. Bhutto was active in politics in 1953 and knew exactly what happened to Nazim uddin. He saw the anti Ahmedi movement as anti Bhutto movement. Incidentally, right after the movement but before the constitutional amendment there was an attempted coup in Pakistan by the Islamist officers. Gen. Tikka Khan saved Bhutto but that was the warning for Bhutto. So Bhutto instead of the Nazimuddin route, decided to end the off again and on again Ahmedi issue and settle it forever so it is no more with the Islamists and other groups who were out to destroy his government. He was also afraid that he would lose political support in Lahore on this issue.

    Bhutto miscalculated or I would say made the biggest mistake when he tried to appease the Islamists within and outside the army. His promotion of Zia ulhaq was also an attempt to appease the Islamists in Pakistan….how that backfired is now history.

  16. hoss

    Yasser,
    There has to be some relevancy when you compare two politicians or two political situations. Based on your own Majority-Minority dichotomy, Nehru in 1947 represented the majority while Bhutto in 1971 represented the minority so how they were same is beyond me. Now to the one nation issue, where did you see Bhutto basing his support of Yahya Khan on one nation theory?

    The conflict was all about sharing powers. The Bengalis were denied their due share in power before 1971 and they were not ready to concede on this issue again. The center represented by Yahya and supported by Bhutto was not ready to relinquish those powers. With both sides taking uncompromising stands the ingredient of reaching an agreed to formula for sharing power were not there.

    I have said this before and let me say this again. While the army did not see any chance of sharing powers with the AL, the AL did not also see any chance of working with the Army. Bhutto at that point had a very limited role. For more enlightened political analyst it was clear from the day (1966) the six points were announced by Mujib that six points were like the 1940 resolution. It was a declaration for independence without saying it in as many words. No state that believed fervently in centralized power would have accepted that. Similarly the Congress had no way of accepting the 1940 resolution because it was in effect a declaration for independence.

    Since the organs of power the army, the judiciary and the assembly were located in the West Pakistan, the establishment in Pakistan, like the leadership of the Congress party in 1940, saw the six points as proposal for independence.

    You may claim that Jinnah was a federalist. He might be, but just ask yourself: would Jinnah have accepted the Six Point formula as the bases of power sharing between the five provinces and the center? Once part of the constitution the six points would have applied on all provinces and not just Bengal. Bhutto was no stupid he knew exactly what six points meant.

    Jinnah’s political plank was the 1940 resolution but during the movement he barely referred to 1940 resolution and after the partition, he never did. Let us not also forget that the Muslim League amended the 1940 resolution in a closed session in 1946 to change the “states” to just “state”. That was not a huge symbol of Jinnah federalism.

  17. hoss

    Karaya,

    If Indians have this perception that the British had a strong sense of Justice-and I hope this is not tongue in cheek- then I am afraid, Indians live a dream world that did not exist. Or at least did not exist in India under British.

    I hope you don’t equate their brutal 200 years occupation of India to their sense of justice too.

    The fact of the matter is that had the Indian Congress wanted, it could have forced the British to leave India without partition. Congress had the ability to paralyze the country any time after 1945 and paralyze it for indefinite period of time.

    I have read some Indians claim that Jinnah forced Pakistan by his direct action day call. That is pure garbage. The ML could muster support in some cities in India and the direct action day was observed a just a few cities. In one city (Calcutta) it was sabotaged by the Congress and in Bihar the day was turned in to a slaughter fest by the congress despite no activity from the ML and in most other places, Muslim league could not gather enough people to warrant a response from congress.

    The Muslim league strength was in the Muslim majority provinces and those provinces had mostly small towns and therefore had no major impact on street politics.

    The Brits by 1945 were living on a dole by the US. India had stopped making money for the British after the opium trade with China ended in 1919. After that India was a net burden on British financially. They held on to the power because they just had no clue who should they give power to. They offered dominion status to India in the 1930s. Congress refused it under some nonsensical influence. During the second WW they only had Indian army to rely on to fight their wars in Europe, Asia and Africa.

    British survived because of perhaps Indian magnanimity.

  18. Gorki

    “I hope you don’t equate their brutal 200 years occupation of India to their sense of justice too.”

    Depends on who or what you compare it with.

    Compared to today’s standards, the British rule in India was openly racist and even despotic; yet compared to everything that ever existed before (The Mughals, Marathas, Sikhs, Guptas, Mauryas etc.) it was a relatively benign and enlightened rule.
    After the post WWII demise of racism, the remaining British colonial rule became even more benign, even desirable.
    It is not an accident that current and recent British colonies such as Honkong, Falklands and Gibralter etc., are fiercely pro-British.

    “During the WW II they only had Indian army to rely on to fight their wars in Europe, Asia and Africa…”

    A minor correction; during WW II 2.5 million men of the Indian army fought in Asia and Africa but hardly anyone served not in Europe.

    Regards.

  19. vajra

    @Gorki

    Significant elements fought in Italy; Italy’s Europe, innit?

  20. Bloody Civilian

    Gorki

    it reminds me of adnan syed’s latest article here at PTH, from a few days ago, where he mentined the two essentials for a fair and just society – rule of law and democracy. the british did give india rule of law. arbitray power is worse than orderly, absolute power.

    i hope no one sees this as an argument against bad democracy…. which is cerainly better than no democracy. but even when people had no concept of democracy, they knew that they cannot live without law. and the british were stricklers for the law, rules and procedures.

  21. Gorki

    hoss, Vajra:

    I stand corrected.😉
    I was thinking in terms of the French sector, where the Indian army had fought strength in WWI, but had only contributed some mules in WWII to the ill fated BEF before it withdrew from France at Dunkirk.

    Indian soldiers indeed fought in Italy too as a part of the 8th Army along with the famed 5th US Army.

    @BC: Thanks for your comments.

    On a lighter note, I once read the following on a teenager’s T shirt once:
    Heaven is …
    Where the police are British,
    The cooks are Italian,
    The mechanics are German,
    The lovers are French and
    It’s all organized by the Swiss.

    Hell is …
    Where the police are German,
    The cooks are British,
    The Mechanics are French,
    The lovers are Swiss and
    It’s all organized by the Italians.😉

    Regards.

  22. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear uncle,
    I mention the main difference but the real issue was domination v. Political space. Mujeeb’s majority made Bhutto’s position doubly unfair and Mujeeb’s task easier than Jinnah’s. The similarity lies in denying a confederal/loose federal alliance.

    There is no question that Jinnah would have liked his creation to stay united …but the same Jinnah had in 1947 given his go ahead to an independent united Bengal which Nehru had vetoed.

    Btw Bangladesh courts two days ago ruled that the name “islam” cannot be used in a party name …which means Jamaat e Islami will have to change its name there. I have a few rhyming suggestions🙂.

    On the issue of Ahmadis, I agree with that analysis. Ahmadi issue was allowed to escalate in 1953 to bring down Nazimuddin. They tried the same thing in 1974 and destroyed Pakistan’s basic fabric. I wrote an article detailing the military establishment’s role leading to Lahore martial law in 1953.

  23. hoss

    “they knew that they cannot live without law. and the british were stricklers for the law, rules and procedures.”

    Huh! English might have been in England but never in India. The court system they set up in India was corrupt to the core and still is. The police system they established was corrupt to the core and still is. The bureaucracy they set up was corrupt to the core and still is. Is there any institution the British set up in India that was not corrupt?

    For the best part of the 200 years the British directly controlled the system and willfully kept it corrupt. Was there ever a British official prosecuted in India for corruption? Yeah, they might have prosecuted a few natives for corruption but never any British.

    British rule of law, what a joke!

  24. yasserlatifhamdani

    I think we are confusing things here… there was an idea of British rule of law and sense of justice… but British colonial rule rarely lived upto it in its entirety.

    It goes without saying that British rule was better than anything that existed previously… and it was British rule that ushered in a new era in the subcontinent.

    The thing with Britain is that sheer necessity moulded a democratic system over the ages which is better than – I submit head and shoulders above – anything else… British by nature are conservative and un-revolutionary… change in British society is gradual not overnight…

    A historian writing in a distant age… will look back at British colonial rule as a remarkable achievement which played a great role in ushering in the idea of modern government in large tracts of the world… transcending race, religion and geography.

  25. Majumdar

    Vajra da,

    Significant elements fought in Italy; Italy’s Europe, innit?

    They did fight in Italy. And incidentally about three years back I had the privilege to meet a 90 year old gentleman who had served both at El Alamein and in Italy. It was sometime late in October, if I am not mistaken almost the same time as the former battle.

    Yasser,

    but the same Jinnah had in 1947 given his go ahead to an independent united Bengal which Nehru had vetoed.

    His detractors wud argue that he had given his go ahead to an independent United Bengal because in his own words Bengal minus Calcutta wud be a “rural slum”.

    HP saeen,

    Your argument that INC let Pakistan go becuase it had little support in Muslim majority provinces and had no stomach to fight a prolonged insurgency post independence is basically a correct interpretation. Incidentally this conclusion was arrived at long before June 1947, as the Rajaji formula and (Patel supporter) VP Menon’s letter (in spring 1946) attest.

    Thanks for your detailed responses on this thread, btw.

    Regards

  26. hoss

    “It goes without saying that British rule was better than anything that existed previously…”

    Can any one prove it?
    When British came the Indian systems were crumbling. For the first 75 years British relied on the old system until I think 1820s. The reforms resulted in the duplicating the British system and the corruption peaked under the British.

    The Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms set up some political systems 1919 but the Rowlatt Acts of 1919 placed restriction on movement and press. Before that the Dalhousie reforms in 1948 caused the mutiny.

    jstor.org/pss/4372887
    “This article forms the introductory part of a broader study which deals with British attitudes towards India of the first half of the nineteenth century and their reflection in the major works of Anglo-Indian fiction of the period. While all these attitudes were but different expressions of the ideology of the empire, it is interesting to note that as we move into the nineteenth century, India, Britain’s largest colony, became the battleground of several conflicting ideologies which had grown in the course of the Industrial Revolution and which in many senses overlapped. The strength and practicability of thought-trends like Utilitarianism and Evangelicalism were tried out on Indian soil but not without resistance from those who held that the imposition of Western morals and institutions could be of little benefit to India. This article tries to discuss in brief the emergence of these attitudes in the early part of the nineteenth century.”

  27. hoss

    “In 1835, Thomas Macaulay articulated the goals of British colonial imperialism most succinctly: “We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect.” As the architect of Colonial Britain’s Educational Policy in India, Thomas Macaulay was to set the tone for what educated Indians were going to learn about themselves, their civilization, and their view of Britain and the world around them. An arch-racist, Thomas Macaulay had nothing but scornful disdain for Indian history and civilization. In his infamous minute of 1835, he wrote that he had “never found one among them (speaking of Orientalists, an opposing political faction) who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”. “It is, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England”.

    Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, (Kenya, Decolonising the Mind), displaying anger toward the isolationist feelings colonial education causes, asserted that the process “…annihilates a peoples belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves”.

    Strong traces of such thinking continue to infect young Indians, especially those that migrate to the West. Elements of such mental insecurity and alienation also had an impact on the consciousness of the British-educated Indians who participated in the freedom struggle.

  28. Majumdar

    The Britishers were here to run an empire and make money, not do samaj sewa. What Macaulay did was not unqiue I am sure all colonial powers had Macaulays in each of their colonies. And each was convinced about the superiority of his own culture. Sadly, they may have been right as well. There were 150 million Indians-Hindoos and Muslims- in India in 1857, and yet a few hundred, a few thousand goras at most conquered the whole country. There was must have been something seriously wrong with India and something seriouly right with Britain to allow that to happen.

    You have yourself alluded that Indian systems were in complete mess and there was no knowing whether a healthy system cud have been created again covering the whole of the subcontinent.

    The Britishers did inflict a huge price on India for 1757-1947 yet they did give the two successor states enuff to build on (India/Hindoos more so than Pak/Muslims) in 1947. Both sets of ruling classes failed their people while people in several other erstwhile colonised nations did much better. Both nations cud have done much better than they have – and if I understand correct Pak in the late 1960s was close to taking off in the East Asia mode unfortunatley 1965 happened and that was it.

    Regards

  29. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Hoss uncle,

    Some truths are self evident…

    What Macaulay said was on the money.

  30. Majumdar

    HP saeen wrote:

    Strong traces of such thinking continue to infect young Indians

    YLH wrote:

    What Macaulay said was on the money.

    YLH is an Indian hiding under a Paki nic (gasp)

    Regards

  31. vajra

    @Majumdar
    @Hoss

    On Macaulay, we have to distinguish between his outlook and world-view on the one hand, and his policy on the other hand. The need he faced was to create an educational system which would be far-flung, uniform in scope and capability, produce comparable product, in terms of graduating students, and achieve specific goals of learning and ability. In order to do so, he could have ‘reverted’ to the Madrasah system and modified it, he could have ‘reverted’ to the gurukul system and modified it, or he could have picked up the systems that were coming into use in his own homeland and adapted it for use in Indian conditions.

    Under the circumstances, instead of taking up the Utopian strategy of building around the Madrasah or the Gurukul, neither of which would have accepted Science and the Scientific Method given their religious and parochial antecedents, he wisely chose to adapt his own system to Indian conditions. I deplore his racist and colonial attitudes towards native systems of learning, but there was really no alternative to the steps he took, at the time that he took them.

    If anything, I believe that the right-wing regressive movements in politics, both in India and in Pakistan, indicate that the Macaulayite educational system did not penetrate far enough into either side of the Radcliffe Line to retard the spread of fundamentalism – a fundamentalism destined to make the restoration of democracy. Macaulay didn’t do enough.

    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

  32. yasserlatifhamdani

    The best example of such misguided anti-Macaulayism which left-leaning populists seem to indulge in in the subcontinent is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s nationalization of missionary schools in Pakistan …

  33. Majumdar

    Vajra,

    the Madrasah or the Gurukul, neither of which would have accepted Science and the Scientific Method given their religious and parochial antecedents

    This part is indisputable, the existing school systems were certainly dead opposed to any kind of scientific methods.

    indicate that the Macaulayite educational system did not penetrate far enough into either side of the Radcliffe Line to retard the spread of fundamentalism

    I am afraid this is more disputable. Dr. Pravin Togadia is a product of the Macaulayite educational system and I presume many of his Muslim counterparts too are.

    Regards

  34. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    The best example of such misguided anti-Macaulayism which left-leaning populists seem to indulge in in the subcontinent is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s nationalization of missionary schools in Pakistan …

    In India governments have often tried to interfere in the management of private schools, although outright nationalisation has never been attempted. Especially in the case of missionary schools becuase apart from everything else they enjoy constitutional protection, besides harassing missionary schools was considered to be un-secular.

    Interestingly, in the past commies and also the socialists- Laloo, Mulayam types and Hindutva types as well- often railed against private education and threatened to ban English medium schools (but quite naturally sending their own kids to the best English mediun schools) and in some cases even implemented it. But now both the importance of good schooling as well as learning English is so well entrenched with folks that few politicians- whether of the left, pinko or Hindutva varities- any more try such stuff.

    In Masadi sb’s words, all Indians have become genuinely become peon of the west types.

    Regards

  35. yasserlatifhamdani

    I must point out ofcourse that when Madrassahs first started in Islamic history… especially under the great genius Nizam ul Mulk, they were remarkably modern for their age… Quran and Hadith were complemented with rhetoric, logic, reasoning, philosophy, readings from Aristotle, Socrates… and of mathematics and basic medicine.

    The Madrassah currcula today retain some of these… the Madrassahs do have a classical syllabus which most of us only saw in College.

    The problem with the Madrassah was an inability of those running this system to adapt to the modern age. With time… Madrassahs should have inducted modern science, modern philosophy etc… had that been allowed Madrassahs would have followed an evolutionary course like that of their western counterparts… the Church schools… and become institutions of secular learning.

    When Macaulay wrote… he was right about what he said… because Muslim and Hindu systems of education had not moved beyond the middle ages.

  36. yasserlatifhamdani

    “In Masadi sb’s words, all Indians have become genuinely become peon of the west types”

    Ah good ol’ Masadi. The truth is that this self styled professor of Punjab University would probably not be hired a peon in the corporate sector of Pakistan…

    So forget him. Uncle Hoss has inflated him unnecessarily…

  37. yasserlatifhamdani

    btw… somebody recently forwarded to me a comment from Masadi in 2009… on Chowk

    Posted by supermasadi on Tuesday August 18, 2009 02:40 pm
    YLH is the Mir Jaffer behind this US attempt to silence Masadi

    I find this a very interesting claim. Not only am I unaware of any US attempts to silence Masadi, I am not sure why I would be interested in silencing him.

    Majumdar mian, can you inquire as to why I was accused of conspiring with the US to silence Masadi?

  38. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    To tell you the truth, Masadi has often been banned more often from chowk than he deserves to be. The abuses and insults he metes out is often far less severe than by some other serial offender. And some of his articles make far more sense than some of the stuff that gets published on FP.

    Masadi has long suspected you, Mohd Gill and Khalid Sohail of being the axis behind his victimisation, although I have tried hard to convince him otherwise.

    Regards

  39. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    In my opinion no reasonable or sane person can consider a delusional little bigot like Masadi (read his responses on Qutabshahi’s “Paper Tiger”) sensible.

    I am surprised he is still obsessed with me enough to accuse me of “conspiring” with the US to “censor” him. I know he loves Bhutto … but he really reminds me of a modern day Ahmad Raza Kasuri type character.

    Masadi is a thoroughly unprincipled, crooked human being… but I think we have already wasted far too much time discussing Masadi. So this is it from me on the topic.

  40. AZW

    This discussion has veered towards British Rule in India, Brown Sahib mentality and the demonized Lord McCauley who invariably jumps in the fray whenever these issues are raised.

    Then we see comments by Hoss such as “Strong traces of such thinking continue to infect young Indians, especially those that migrate to the West. Elements of such mental insecurity and alienation also had an impact on the consciousness of the British-educated Indians who participated in the freedom struggle”.

    I have seen this line of reasoning predominantly by the religious right wing in Pakistan, and the right wing RSS types in India. Both look for their own gloried past, and lament the British rule and its evils that arrived in India a few hundred years back.

    There are seldom any similarities in the gloried pasts of the right wing in Pakistan and in India. In Pakistan we are supposedly shamed into believing that either we are the descendents of valiant Muslim civilization that ruled from India to Spain at varying times in history. I am sure we are the spiritual descendents, because genetically it is hard to believe that majority of Pakistanis is not descended from the Hindus, or the Indian local inhabitants.

    And ah the damned British, what were they doing in India? It was none of their business ruling us. But then, our glorified ancestors had no business ruling Iran, Africa, Spain, or hold on, India. So why do humans go in and colonize other countries. Surely greed plays its part; India was a resource rich country, and the John Company was massively profitable even before they started arming themselves to protect their business interests, which quickly morphed into the mercantile organization to become the most well armed army in the 18th century India.

    Yet, as we look back into the 18th century India, it comes out as a dark and violent country. Where poverty runs abound, lawlessness is the law of the land as small states secede from the centralized Mughal authority. If Delhi is any example, in a period of less than 20 years, the capital was sacked twice. In 1739, Nadir Shah’s army massacred 20 to 30 thousand inhabitants in one day. So merciless was the killings that the Mughal King had to personally beg to the Iranian King for mercy for his subjects (and Muhammad Shah was by no means a people’s king). Maratha uprising resulted in another invader coming to India. Ahmad Shah Abdali had singlehandedly sacked Lahore, Amritsar, Delhi, Agra, Mathura and Vrndavana by 1758. Thousands of innocent dwellers of these cities were put to the sword, as Abdali’s forces looted the homes, treasury and went back with boy slaves and trophy women.

    I do not agree that British had moral right to take over India. They were foreigners and their principle motivation to govern India was greed. But India was a free for all land, where central authority was nonexistent, and every state was either seceding, or being gifted away in pursuit of central authority trying to hold on to power. Greed was a motivation not solely confined to the British. History is hardly a principled and structured flow of events. It is more akin to events following a random Brownian motion pattern, where short term decisions shape the history.

    Eye witness accounts of those times were given by three noted Urdu poets of the 18th century. These were Mirza Rafi Sauda, Mir Taqi Mir and Nazir Akbarabadi. Their long poems are called Shehr Ashob (destruction of a city), and make a haunting read of those times. Sauda (d 1781) writes:

    Pray tell me: Are they selling jobs
    In the market place of Delhi-town?
    The barons bold are lying low,
    Their lands are gone, the rebels rule
    The mighty lord of two and twenty realms of India
    Hath not even the fief of K’ol (modern Aligarh)
    All nobles, grandees, feudal chiefs
    Have pawned their swords at bania shops
    And roam the earth with begging bowls
    A thousand homes are dark as no lamps burn
    Owls hoot
    Where once they sang
    Hindola Rag in summertime;
    Who blasted this Eden, no one knows
    And if I get some peace of mind
    I shall sit down and weep so much
    The citizens of Delhi town
    Would drain their homes o’ flood of my tears
    Sauda, be still, it breaks my heart
    There is such grief and pain to bear
    Weep no more, poor woeful man
    The times are bad, and we better keep our quiet

    (translated by Qurratul-ain-Haider)

  41. AZW

    Lord McCauley belonged to that era of British that what William Dalrymple calls in sheer disappointment the supremacist British class that replaced the inclusive White Mughals of the 18th century.

    Some of the quotes of McCauley have been outright fabrication, with blame for the fabrication assigned widely to RSS. The quote “Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage ” is widely discredited now (http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/hinduism/macaulay.html).

    Yet the more interesting is the quote that “single shelf of good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”.
    Problem is, he was essentially correct. Apart from poetry, India was not producing worth anything in the few centuries prior. McCauley himself acknowledged the superiority of Persian and Urdu poetry, but then posed a question that if British are to rule India and impart the modern education, how would they go about doing that. His famous (and often derided words) that British must form a class of persons, Indian in color but English in taste sounds quite distasteful. Yet he was referring to his (rightful) conclusion that using Arabic, Sanskrit, or Persian to impart modern education was futile. He cited own Western precedent that the available knowledge before was in Roman and Greek. Yet Europeans did not confine themselves to romantic Anglo-Saxon poetry and Norman-French romances. Greek and Roman were for McCauley’s ancestors the equivalent to English for Native Indians.

    It is easy to cast a scornful shame, and remind Indians of their long lost glory, and to exhort them to condemn British invaders without any respect to the turbulent history of the times, then to patiently acknowledge that despite McCauley’s condescending attitude, he put in place the very system that spawned the great Indian Freedom movement. Surely it was not perfect, and it was primarily a system borne out of necessity than an absolutely charming ideal, but then nothing in the latest Indian history suggests that a charming ideal was put to work in Sub Continent for past many century. India remains a good example of the random Brownian chain of events, transpiring to form the pages of modern Indian history.

    P.S. You can ready all of McCauley’s speech about Education and British Empire here at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1833macaulay-india.html. It promises to be an entertaining read.

  42. vajra

    @Majumdar

    Dada, your ambiguous response to my comment refers.

    indicate that the Macaulayite educational system did not penetrate far enough into either side of the Radcliffe Line to retard the spread of fundamentalism

    I am afraid this is more disputable. Dr. Pravin Togadia is a product of the Macaulayite educational system and I presume many of his Muslim counterparts too are.

    Not necessarily. On another, private forum, Silk List, I had argued that with the going of the British and the assignment of Education to the States List, there have been several effects to be observed.

    First, increasing numbers have been brought into the ranks of the literate and the educated outside the Macaulayite system, as alternative methods of education covered larger numbers of people. If you take the products of the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic system, they were certainly not undiluted Macaulayites. However, even further away are a group of institutions that completely reject any virtue in Western education whatsoever and have brought increasing numbers into the citizenry.

    Second, the Macaulayite system itself has been corrupted and converted into a caricature of its own self through the medium of professional education substituting for university education. The third tier of the Macaulayite system was university education. Regular university education was well-rounded and did require a certain amount of broad learning, outside one’s own area of specialisation; excessive specialisation, at an excessively early stage, was not encouraged.

    Further, even when the Macaulayite system taught professionals – lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants – it did so after a thorough foundation in the general arts or sciences had been laid.

    In Calcutta University, the one of which I can speak with a little knowledge, there were specialised law courses which followed only on qualification with a prior bachelor’s degree. Current practice is to allow legal training straightaway after secondary schooling, thereby breeding a race of legal practitioners with none of the peripheral knowledge and the ‘universal’ education that a University of the original type sought to impart.

    Exactly similarly, we train doctors – and cancer surgeons, like the unspeakable one you had the supreme bad taste to name – engineers and now, managers direct after schooling.

    I believe that this has resulted in producing a rich, high-salaried educated and literate class, that must be defined as middle-class due to its satisfying every material or educational or professional criterion, and that has no background, none whatsoever, in the humanities.

    If you want a facile explanation for the huge torrent of Internet-ready bigots available in India, this is it: the IITs and after them, the fully-paid up bucket shops have produced a breed of neo-literates who have no background but their course materials, no literature but the Hanuman Chalisa, no history but the outpourings of the Shakha Prachalak.

    And that is what we have in terms of your example, not a failure of the Macaulayite system, but the uruk hai that its perverted imitations produced.

    With apologies to Gorki and Bloody Civilian, the exceptions that prove the rule.

  43. hoss

    What does it mean that McCauley belonged to another era? So does his education system. He set up a system that still exists and still produces the same mindset he so eloquently described as his mission statements. Some posts on this thread bear witness to that. The system was bad to start with it is not that Indians or Pakistanis have made it worst. During the Raj, the system was restricted to a few; the only thing that has changed is that the same system is expanded beyond its original scope of creating a few servants for the British Raj. It is now churning out more of the same in larger qualities because of the expanded need of the system for more servants.

    Where does left or right come in when you see McCauley writings on the subject? How would you deduce his words since you are neither on the left nor on the right? The quotes are taken from his writings and if you see any distortion present some thing that show it. Empty rhetoric don’t mean much.

    On the plus side I do accept that you can’t run a country in today’s world without having a good understanding of the western thoughts on many subjects. So it is not a question of my supporting the maddrassa or pathshala education. But the British did not set out to start an education system to give Indians the ability to self-govern. The bonus side was the after effect of the system that even British did not anticipate when they set that up and had no control over. The British set up a railroad system for their benefit but eventually it became beneficial for the general masses.

    There are many instances of unintended benefits in the history. The Persian architect enhanced the desire to have fully constructed houses in India on a large scale. Did the Persian rulers think of that effect when they went on a building spree in India? The other unintended benefit was the building boom attracted rural folks for the construction jobs and some big cities developed in India. Thus reducing the burden on the rural agriculture economy and expanded home industries by handymen in the cities.

    One more nonsensical thing I hear from some folks is that British were better among the worst lot. (A Brit said that and some folks repeat that as a word of wisdom. Even my Grandfather used to say that.) Is it because they killed less people than the French or the Dutch? Not true at all. They did not kill many in the wars because there was hardly any resistance but they used other methods for genocides and sure enough they turned UP in to a slaughterhouse after 1857.

    Who can forget perpetual Bengal hunger throughout the British rule in India? More people died during those famines than the Dutch, French, and Portuguese combined ever killed in Africa and Asia. For every small or large insurgency the British answer was more killing and more brutal killing. Throughout the British rule, India suffered from continuous malnutrition not only in the poor classes but the sections of middle class suffered from that too.

    All through their rule over India, the British exercised extreme media control. No print word was allowed that even mildly disparaged the British and the British rule. The system created a few somewhat educated but ill-informed and uninformed folks and I see a bunch of them so eloquently showing their ill informed views on a subject they were never allowed to learn anywhere in the British India and still refuse to learn after the British left a couple of generations ago.

    The British rule appears benign because of the extreme media control they exercised and very few armed insurgencies during the period they governed. It was not because the Brits were nice folks, it was mostly because the Indian social fabric was so badly damaged after the Mughal decline that there was no way to develop a popular armed resistance against the British.

    Other colonialists faced popular and armed resistance everywhere they went. They had to fight their way and consequently killed more in wars.

  44. Karaya

    Hoss,

    Thanks for your answer.

    Other colonialists faced popular and armed resistance everywhere they went.

    But the moot question would be: “Why did the Brits face so little armed resistance?”

    Vajrada,

    Excellent post on January 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm.

    Btw, how was “the Macaulayite educational system” different from the educational system prevalent in Britain at the time?

    Also, IMO, this system is failing today is because Indians have failed in adapting this system to our requirements, something we can’t blame the British for.

    Firstly, we haven’t changed our Universities a bit. For example, we still don’t have a semester system and our students have almost no system of electives.

    Secondly, almost all our post-high school education is in English—an absolute farce which, by default, restricts opportunities to only a fraction of India’s population.

  45. rex minor

    So much has been commented on this article that there is no more room to speculate or state the facts as they occurred. Most people become clever after the event and when things do not develope as envisaged. But let me try to add some info;

    . Prior to the refrendum for partition the minister appointed by the Brits. in a self rule Govt. was an Hindu gentleman. The people noticed that the morning news in urdu language were gradually being replaced by the use of hindi words, which the muslims living in the NWFP could not understand. This was one of the major contributing factor to make the majority of muslims in NWFP to support mr Jinnah’s muslim league instead of the popular congress party. The fear of Hindu Culture being imposed on the muslim population had already been publicised by the muslim league before this event.
    . Now let me tell you as a side issue about the ruling elites of these two great nations, who are still at loggers head with each other. In view of the continued disturbances in Karachi city, the military ruler of Pakistan suddenly decided to move Pakistan’s Capital to New Delhi, not very far from the Lahore city. The question was raised about the fuel supplies for the military vehicles and tanks.
    This was not seen as a problem for the Govt. but for the oil company Burmah Shell.
    The enquiry was duly made with Burmah Shell, who forwarded this request to their head office which happened to be in India. The Indian Govt. became aware of the info. from the oil company, and ordered the Company mangement not to respond to the request but to develope a detailed supply plans to support the Indian Army advance towards Lahore.

    I am not sure if the two countries are still involved in planning their assault on each other’s territory. But one thing is certain, the generals involved on both sides of the border were promptly rebuked by their superiors and are no longer with us.
    To conclude, the General on the Pakistan side later became the military ruler of the country and promptly lost the east wing of the country. Most probably he had not arranged the oil supplies for his troops. In order not to upset the readers, I can assure every one that mistakes of this nature are usual in most world armies.

    Please let us not make heroes of the Politicians and the Generals who have left us. You people are far more intelligent and visionary than those who have left us and your grand children would simply regard most of you as amateuers. Happy new year to you all.
    Regards,