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Colonial History of India
We salute these heroes who never cared about their lives when our motherland reqired it.Our heart get filled with pride when we see their fearlessness and their unselfish attitude.thanks ami for bringing it to readers.

But it is so sad how they were betrayed by connivers of british rule,references are so clear to have any one in any doubt,even today no one is allowed to openly discuss their double role play and a mythical aura is created around them.
<b>Ruling caste: "Madhav Deshpandes", Gungadins and the proud polishers of the crown jewel of the British empire </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Books of The Times | 'The Ruling Caste'
In the Victorian Raj, Some Took Their Gin With Integrity
Published: February 17, 2006

In the palmy days when the sun never set on the British Empire, India was, in Disraeli's famous phrase, the jewel in the crown. Its vast territory, encompassing modern India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh, was home to more than 300 million people, speaking hundreds of languages and dialects, divided by caste and religion and separated into a profusion of princely states. What they all had in common, in the Victorian era, was Britain, their imperial ruler. And Britain, in practice, meant the Indian Civil Service, the 800 or so government employees who kept the jewel polished.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE RULING CASTE
Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj
By David Gilmour
Illustrated. 381 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $27.

In "The Ruling Caste," David Gilmour takes a close look at this band of emissaries and the administrative machinery that made it possible for so few to rule so many. It is, in a way, a spinoff, or a series of outtakes, from "Curzon," his biography of India's most famous viceroy. It is also his opportunity to challenge the picture of the British administrators in India as the boorish, gin-swilling clubmen described by E. M. Forster in "A Passage to India."

<b>Mr. Gilmour concedes that the British ruled by force, not consent. </b>At the same time, the civilians, as members of the Indian Civil Service were known, took a high-minded view of their mission. The duty of the British was, they believed, to rule firmly but fairly, to improve living conditions wherever they were posted and to maintain high standards of integrity. It is a measure of their success that both India and Pakistan adopted the British model for their own civil services after independence. The fact of British rule was an abomination, in other words, but the organizational structure was beyond criticism.

Service in India, despite hardships, offered young men the prospect of adventure, a generous salary and pension and the chance, while still in their 20's, to govern large chunks of territory and change the lives of untold thousands of Indians. Indian service was part job, part calling, and it seemed to act as a magnet for certain families. Some sent their sons in generational waves. The Stracheys, for example, sent 13 family members from four generations.

Until the mid-19th century, civil servants were trained, if that's the word, at Haileybury College, which was created in the early 1800's to ensure that recruits, selected by the directors of the East India Company, knew at least something about the country they were preparing to rule. A nepotistic old-boy's network quickly developed. Some graduates were outstanding, but others resembled the indolent, curry-loving Jos Sedley in "Vanity Fair."

<b>In 1853, open examinations produced a new breed, the "competition wallahs." Mostly middle class, and often the sons of clergymen, they resembled the Peace Corps volunteers of the 1960's, afire with a sense of imperial mission</b>, further heated, toward the end of the century, by the works of Rudyard Kipling. "They liked the thought of riding around the countryside dispensing justice under a banyan tree," Mr. Gilmour writes.

But where? The top-scoring candidates opted for Bengal, the Punjab or the Northwestern Provinces, the fast track for ambitious civil servants. Low scorers wound up in backwaters like Madras or Bombay. Wherever the competition wallahs went, they encountered the contempt of the old Haileybury crowd. Even one of their own, Lepel Griffin, complained, "They neither ride, nor shoot, nor dance nor play cricket, and prefer the companionship of their books to the attraction of Indian society."

Freshmen civilians, known as griffins, usually aspired to be one of the 240 district officers, the princelings of the Indian Civil Service. Justice under the banyan tree was just part of the job description. In his districts, with an average area of 4,430 square miles and a population of perhaps a million, a district officer combined the functions of judge, tax assessor, census taker, police chief, game warden, public-works czar, diplomat and social director. He was expected to be incorruptible, impartial and incapable of accepting an "illegal gratification."

The challenges facing the district officers provide some of Mr. Gilmour's most entertaining pages. The government took a tolerant view of local customs. One raja, for example, was allowed to take a new wife each year at an annual festival, but another, who wanted to carry on the family tradition of human sacrifice for his coronation, required discreet intervention. The district officer persuaded him to pretend to kill the victim, who then pretended to die.

The niceties of social protocol in Victorian India could be alarmingly complex, for both ruler and ruled. Indian maharajas jealously guarded their privileges. One of the most effective methods of bringing a troublesome ally into line was to reduce the number of guns firing a salute. The British, for their part, lived according to "The Warrant of Precedence," a government publication that assigned rank with extraordinary precision. A civilian in India for 18 years had equal status with a lieutenant colonel, for example, but was 18 places above a major or a civilian who had been in the country for only 12 years.

Mr. Gilmour is a stylish and engaging writer, but about half of "The Ruling Caste" delves into matters of interest only to a specialist, like the difference between privilege leave, special leave, leave on medical certificate and furlough. Entire chapters, for the general reader, descend into a bureaucratic morass, enlivened here and there by a bright anecdote. The intricate machinery of government has its fascinations, but the pace picks up when Mr. Gilmour turns to the Kiplingesque tales of shrewd civilians waging diplomatic war with profligate, sometimes insane, Indian potentates or roaming the wild frontier in the name of British civilization.

Some left behind canals and railroads. Others wrote treatises on Indian poetry or religion. Mr. Gilmour does make the case that the civilians, however tarnished their cause in modern eyes, deserve better than they get in "A Passage to India."

<!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Oct 31 2003, 12:33 AM-->QUOTE(acharya @ Oct 31 2003, 12:33 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->3 Million Dead in Artificial Famine in Bengal
By Sutapas

shown in the 1997 Channel 4 Secret History programme The Forgotten Famine.

The people who made that documantry are out of business. channel 4 does not plan to broadcast this documantry again. and they don't plan to make it availaible on dvd/vhs either. but here it is.
(the files won't stay on this link for long so anyone intersted after that, u know what to do. For those in US. I could mail a CD)


<b>3 Million Dead in Artificial Famine in Bengal</b>
By Sutapas

People in story: Mr Surendra Nath Bhattacharya
Location of story: Calcutta India
Unit name: Royal Indian Navy
Background to story: Royal Navy

Both my late father (then in his early twenties) and my mother (then a child) recall vividly one thing from the 1939-45 war into which India was dragged by the British. It was the flood of starving refugees pouring into Calcutta (which until 1911 had been capital of British India) from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) due to the artificial famine created by the British which we now know killed 3 million people. What was different from earlier influxes of refugees was the sheer desperation of these starving people, they did not beg for rice but for fanna, the wastewater from the ricepan! This memory was etched indelibly into both of my parents' minds and I heard stories from my uncles and others about it such as the story of the father who bought a Jackfruit with his last few "pennies" to give to his children before sneaking off to abandon them to death.
Amartya Sen (Master of Trinity College Cambridge) also remembers this episode from his childhood and says it was responsible for his decision to study economics and the cause of famines. The 1942-43 Bengal Famine occurred in spite of a good harvest in Bengal and surplus grain stocks in other parts of India. The British exported the grain, pushing up prices and leaving the peasantry to starve. A British policy of destroying boats in case the Japanese invaded stopped villagers travelling to trade for food exacerbating things. The British lied about their policies claiming that grain was not being exported and massively downsizing the death toll, pretending that there was no famine. It was only when the British owned Statesman newspaper broke the silence that they had to acknowledge it and Lord Wavell was brought in to do something. He started bringing in surplus grain from other parts of India but this was, at first just piled up in the Botanical Gardens in Calcutta and not distributed to the starving. Indian protesters piled up dead bodies of refugees outside the gardens.
Later the British tried to suppress the facts about this British-inflicted holocaust in India, occurring simultaneously with the German-inflicted genocide in Europe, as shown in the 1997 Channel 4 Secret History programme The Forgotten Famine.
Indeed, this was not the first British-inflicted famine holocaust in British-ruled India. In 1901, The Lancet estimated conservatively that 19 million Indians had died in Western India during the drought famine of the 1890s. The death toll was so high because of the British policy of refusal to intervene and implement famine relief (unlike the anti-profiteering measures etc. taken by the Mughals and Marathas during famines) as detailed by American historian Mike Davis in his Late Victorian Holocausts. Similarly in the 1870s some 17 million or so Indians dies in the Deccan and South India due to the "let them starve" policies encouraged by Lord Lytton and other British rulers. Indeed, whilst millions starved in 1876, the British held the biggest feast in human history in Delhi, the Delhi Durbar to celebrate Victoria becoming Empress, feeding 70,000 Britishers and Indian princelings for a week. In 1901 when people called for famine relief, the London government urged Delhi to contribute to the Boer war instead of famine relief but had no objection to the huge expense of the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta.
Thus it comes as little surprise that Hitler's favourite film was The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and that he wrote in Mein Kampf that Ukraine should be Germany's "India". The policies of racially motivated colonial exploitation which were taken to the extreme by the Nazis were in part inspired by the policies of the British in India as witnessed by my parents a few years before the British left. Indeed, soon after the British conquest of Bengal in 1757, British policies led to the Great Bengal Famine of 1770 where, in certain regions up to a third of the population died. India has not suffered from a serious famine since the British left!
<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Feb 20 2006, 08:26 AM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Feb 20 2006, 08:26 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-acharya+Oct 31 2003, 12:33 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(acharya @ Oct 31 2003, 12:33 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->3 Million Dead in Artificial Famine in Bengal
By Sutapas

shown in the 1997 Channel 4 Secret History programme The Forgotten Famine.

The people who made that documantry are out of business. channel 4 does not plan to broadcast this documantry again. and they don't plan to make it availaible on dvd/vhs either. but here it is.
(the files won't stay on this link for long so anyone intersted after that, u know what to do)


Thanks a lot. just did download and watched half of it.
Everyone should watch this movie.
From Deccan Herald, 3 March, 2006
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Book on Indian Spy Princess launched 

London, PTI:

A new book has been launched on the life of “Spy Princess” Noor Inayat Khan, the first female radio operator of Indian origin to work for Britain during World War II who was shot dead by Germany’s Nazi forces.

A new book has been launched on the life of “Spy Princess” <b>Noor Inayat Khan</b>, the first female radio operator of Indian origin to work for Britain during World War II who was shot dead by Germany’s Nazi forces.

Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu, the London-based correspondent for the Ananda Bazar Patrika, was launched here on Wednesday by Indian High Commissioner Kamalesh Sharma.

<b>Mr Sharma said the contribution of Indians to Britain during the war was unparalleled, noting that more than two million Indians had fought during the World War II on behalf of Britain and their sacrifices were being recognised now. </b>The launch was attended by Ian Jack, writer and Editor of Granta and NRI industrialist Sir Gulam Noon.

The story of Noor, a descendent of Tipu Sultan, has been described as one of the most inspirational stories of World War II. The book traces the travails of the young woman who joined Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), a secret organisation dedicated to acts of sabotage and terrorism across Europe.

<b>In the summer of 1943, the 29-year-old spy found herself virtually in charge of Resistance communications in the Paris area as the German secret police Gestapo arrested cell after cell around her. </b>

Noor, daughter of a famous Sufi musician and an Indianised American mother, was remembered by all as a “dreamy” sensitive child.

The book presents a graphic account of her life till September 13, 1944, when she was shot dead by German forces at Dachau. She was 30. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I read about her in high school in Classic Illustrated. her code name was Madeline. She got the George Cross for her bravery. She was very Indic.

Link with her picture: Inayat Khan Noor

Unmasking Jinnah’s Communalism: Sieving Facts from Fiction
By Dr. Vijay Rana

How can Jinnah, the lifelong campaigner for separate communal electorate, the advocate of two-nations theory, the opponent of 'Hindu Tyranny' and the initiator of India’s first mass violence campaign, the Direct Action Day, be described as a secular leader? Dr Vijay Rana tells you the true story of Jinnah, what many eminent historians and leading editors have assiduously tried to hide from you.

Even if the Aryans come out of their graves to tell us about their place of origin, some of our historians will refuse to listen to them. Blinded by their own ideologies, both the leftists and rightist historians have a long history of disputing the simplest facts such as the grass was green or sky was blue. Now Advani, though unwittingly, has given us an opportunity to debate the question that has haunted India since its partition in 1947. Was Muhammad Ali Jinnah a secular leader or a Muslim communalist?

In the last few days we have seen a blatant parody of facts and unashamed distortion of truth, that the most effective protagonist of Two-Nations Theory was a secular leader. Partition didn’t happen a thousand years ago. The eyewitnesses are around. Publications, audios and video films of Jinnah’s speeches are available. Yet India’s leading politicians, historians, journalists and commentators are engaged in a free for all history.

Some have accused Gandhi of introducing communalism in Indian politics. Others have blamed Nehru for wrecking the Cabinet Mission plan for a united India. They have argued that Jinnha was only responding to Hindu communalists of the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha, thus accepting Jinnahs’s logic of an oppressive Hindu raj determined to ‘annihilation’ the Muslims and their culture in a free India. Others have come to the conclusion had the Congress accepted Jinnah’s demand of separate communal electorates and his sole right to represent Muslims, India could have been saved from the partition. They have been in effect arguing in favour of an internal communal separation of Hindus and Muslims in the independent India.

How interesting? Had we accepted Jinnah’s demands and saved India from partition imagine what kind of India we would have been living in? Muslims only voting for Muslim candidates and Hindus voting for only Hindus. And Congress or any other party could not have a Muslim minister because in Jinnah’s India only Muslim League could have appointed Muslim ministers.

Yet many of India’s secular stalwarts are not prepared to call Jinnah a communal leader. In a recent television programme India’s two leading historians made astonishing assertions. Presenter Karan Thaper asked a simple question, “was Jinnah communal?” Professor Mushirul Haq, the Vice Chancellor of Jamil Milia University, Delhi would only go as far as calling Jinnah ‘a Muslim sectarian’. Whereas the veteran historian Prof Bimal Prasad would only describe Jinnah as ‘a Muslim nationalist’. Both of them, despite being repeatedly questioned, refused to call Jinnah a communal leader.

The scholarly lawyer AG Noorani writing in the Frontline, went a step further arguing that Jinnah was ‘truly a great man. His political record from 1906 to 1939 reveals a spirit of conciliation and statesmanship, which Congress leaders did not reciprocate.’ ‘Indians must begin to acknowledge, advised Noorani, ‘his greatness and the grave injustice the Congress leaders did to him.’ In this article, Noorani conveniently skipped any mention of Jinnah’s words or actions relating to his most active years, 1940-47. Because it was during these years Jinnah was hawking his favoured theory that ‘Hindus and Muslims are two nations and they cannot exist together’.

But the most ingenious distortion of history came from the Indian media’s darling, the British author Patrick French. He wrote in the Outlook that ‘Gandhi was a wily politician and Jinnah remained a secularist till his death.’ He argued that partition occurred because the Congress refused to accept Jinnah’s ‘justifiable demands’.

Then Ayasha Jalal, the Pakistani professor of history at the Tufts University, USA, wrote in the Outlook: ‘It was the Congress backed by the extreme right wing Hindu Mahasabha which plumped for a partition of the two main Muslim-majority provinces of India, the Punjab and Bengal, opposed by Jinnah and the League.’

Prof. Jalal must be at the forefront of the ‘Fictional school of History’. Imagine Nehru and Patel working in harmony with Hindu Mahasabha to achieve partition. Can you really believe it? Perhaps the Outlook can.

Interestingly, none of these protectors of Jinnah’s secularism mentioned, for once, Jinnah’s call for Direct Action on 16 August 1946 that unleashed an unprecedented wave of communal killings in the human history.

There is a mountain of evidence, surprisingly invisible to these eminent historians, proving that Jinnah began his political career as a secular leader but as the years passed by he was increasingly obsessed by and progressively dedicated to communal politics.

Whereas Gandhi lived and died for communal harmony, mutual tolerance, non-violence and peaceful resolution of disputes, Jinnah, always scornful of Gandhi, thrived on Hindu-Muslim strife, subscribing to the historically mislaid fear of the Hindu tyranny over Muslims in an independent India, a theory originally propounded by Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan as early as in 1888.

Jinnah’s conversion from a secularist to communalist was quick and continuous. After finishing his studies in England, Jinnah returned to India in 1896. In December 1906, he joined the Congress party as the personal secretary of the party president Dadabhai Naoroji.

He believed in the national unity and vigorously opposed the Muslim League demand of separate Muslim electorate as divisive, soon winning praise from poetess Sarojini Naidu as ‘the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’. Ironically, four years later in 1910, it was under this system of separate electorate, where only Muslims could vote for a Muslim candidate, that Jinnah was elected to the central legislative assembly as a Muslim member. This was the first step he unwittingly took on the long road to communalism.

Jinnah’s belief in Congress secularism soon began to waver. In 1913, he joined the Muslim League. A glance at the speeches, pamphlets and propaganda would reveal that the League leadership was avowedly communal, staunchly anti-Congress and openly anti-Hindu. Have a look at the speech of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, one of the founders of the Muslim League: ‘God forbid, if the British rule disappeared from India, Hindus will lord over it, and we will be in the constant danger of our life, property and honour.’ The question must be asked what was our ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity doing in the company of these rabid communalists. Within seven years of his entry into politics, a secular Jinnah has become, as Prof Bipin Chandra puts it, ‘a communal nationalist’.

Yet not all was lost. Despite sharing Muslim League’s communalist ideology and following it’s separate electorate agenda, Jinnah still talked about Hindu-Muslim unity. He was one of the driving forces behind the Congress-League pact of 1916.

But we must also look at the price our ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity was demanding. Jinnah was able to persuade the Congress party, now led by Tilak, to accept separate communal electorate and also a provision of communal reservations in the legislature.

Pakistani sources (Story of Pakistan) describe Lucknow Pact as a major milestone on the road to Pakistan. ‘As Congress agreed to separate electorates, it in fact agreed to consider the Muslims as a separate nation. They thus accepted the concept of the Two-Nation Theory.’

Later in 1936, Jinnah himself cited Lucknow Pact as the Congress admission of Hindu-Muslim separation: “When the Hindus accepted a separate identity for the Muslims through the Lucknow Pact in 1916, how can they now object to Pakistan?”

Interestingly, most of our history books still tell us that Lucknow Pact was a major triumph of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Many of our historians could be found blaming Gandhi for introducing communalism in the Indian national movement. In 1920, Gandhi made one more attempt for Hindu-Muslim unity by supporting the Muslim demand of retaining the pre-war status of the Ottoman Caliph. Jinnah opposed this Khilafat movement. His opposition was primarily focused on Gandhi, whom he considered a pseudo-religious upstart.

When Gandhi launched non-cooperation movement in 1920, Jinnah walked out of the Congress party, telling his friend, journalist Durga Das that in Gandhi’s Congress there was no place for him as ‘Gandhi worships cow and I eat it’, a argument he later repeated in his public speeches.

Despite clear and unequivocal communal rhetoric he was still given the benefit of doubt. He had transformed ‘from a nationalist into communal nationalist and then into liberal communalist,’ wrote Prof. Vipin Chandra. Whatever the fudging one thing was clear that by 1920 his belief in secularism, as preached by the Congress, had completely evaporated.

For next ten years as the President of the Muslim League Jinnah dedicated himself to strengthen the League, a party that claimed the exclusive right to represent the Muslims of India. In 1929, Jinnah came up with another plan demanding 33 percent representation for Muslims in the federal and provincial assemblies and ministries. A community could, Jinnah proposed, abandon its right of separate electorate if it wished. The plan was rejected by the Congress.

Between 1931-35 Jinnah left Indian politics and decided to set up his legal practice in London. But then in 1935 he moved back to Bombay. In the 1937 elections the Muslim League performed poorly, only getting 4.6 percent of the Muslim votes, whereas the Congress was able to form governments in seven of the eleven British Indian provinces. In 1939, when the Congress ministries resigned protesting against the British decision to push India in the War, Jinnah, by now a fierce opponent of the Congress rule, asked Muslim to observe a nationwide ‘Day of Deliverance’.

Another powerful influence that inspired Jinnha’s communal politics was poet Iqbal, the author of Tatana-e-Hindi - ‘Saare Jahan se Achcha Hindustan hamaara.’ Iqbal, another ex-ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, in his later years dreaded the prospects of democracy in India. Like Jinnah, he too believed that Muslims must be rescued from the imminent Hindu domination. Later, he wrote Tarana-e-Milli, anthem for the Muslim community, invoking the memories of Muslims conquerors of India.

He wrote eight letters to Jinnah telling him that he was the ‘only Muslim in India’ who could ‘safely guide the community through the storm’. He advised Jinnah to turn the League ‘into a body representing the Muslim masses’ and to demand the creation of ‘a free Muslim state or states’. Iqbal died shortly after writing these letters in 1937.

If Iqbal was the Mazini of Pakistan, laying the intellectual and ideological foundations, Jinnah took upon the role of Garibaldi, to execute that vision by all possible means with complete disregard to consequences, moral and human. As the Pakistani Prof. Akbar Ahmed writes: ‘Until now, Jinnah had spoken of separate electorates, minority representation and constitutional safeguards. Now he would use Islamic symbolism to represent Pakistan. The moon of Pakistan is rising, he would say. He would choose the crescent for the flag of Pakistan. Something had clearly changed in the way Jinnah was looking at the world.’

Over the years a great myth had been created that Jinnah really didn’t ask for Pakistan. That the word ‘Pakistan’ does not figure in the famous 1940 Lahore resolution.

But let’s look at the speech Jinnah made accompanying the resolution. He traced the history of ‘mutually separate’ cultural and religious traditions of Hindus and Muslims. ‘The cow that Hindus worship, Jinnah says, Muslims eat, the villains that Hindus malign, Muslims idolize and so on … The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, literatures,’ Jinnah concluded. (Akbar Ahmed)

During the 1940s his tone, language and argument, while opposing Gandhi, Congress and Hindus, was brimming with hate and even abuse. His speeches were remarkably similar to the speeches of Hindu fundamentalists like Savarkar and Golwalkar. If Jinnah’s Islam was in danger of Hindu raj, so was Golwalkar’s Hindutva in danger of Islam. The only difference was that Jinnah drew crowds much bigger than Golwalkar or Savarkar ever did. A rational historical assessment would suggest that Golwalkar and Sarvarkar, despite substantial potential to vitiate the communal relations, always remained on the margins of Hindu society, but Jinnah, to the great anguish of leaders like Maulana Azad, was successfully poisioning the Muslim minds, openly provoking them for communal bloodshed.

In March 1940, Jinnah in a speech at Aligarh Muslim University accused Gandhi ‘to subjugate and vassalize the Muslims under a Hindu Raj’. Similarly, in a scathing attack on Gandhi, the RSS chief MS Golwalkar said: “Those who declare ‘no Swaraj without Hindu-Muslim unity’ have thus perpetrated the greatest treason on our society.’

While Golwalkar blamed Gandhi for asking ‘Hindus to submit meekly to the vandalism and atrocities of the Muslims’, Jinnah in his presidential address to the League, in April 1941, said, in a united India ‘Muslims will be absolutely wiped out of existence.’ He said Pakistan was essential ‘to save Islam from complete annihilation in this country.’ During the 1946 elections, he often described Congress as ‘caste Hindu Fascist Congress’.

In March 1944, addressing the students of the Ailgarh Muslim University Jinnah declared: <span style='color:red'>“Pakistan was born when the first Muslim landed in India in 712 A. D.” He asked the students to be prepared to shed their blood, if necessary, for achieving Pakistan. </span>This was an ominous pre-warning to what he was going to do next, to launch a murderous campaign to achieve Pakistan.

While preparing for ‘shedding the blood’ Jinnah was still officially negotiating with the Congress. Though the British pretended to be the honest brokers, every time they put forward a proposal for India’s independence, Jinnah’s goal of Pakistan looked increasingly probable.

In the August offer of 1939, the British came up with the idea of ‘communal veto’. They resolved not to leave India unless the minorities approved of any future constitutional arrangement. So Indian freedom was now subjected to Jinnah’s endorsement.

The 1942 Cripps proposals offered ‘provincial option’, allowing provinces to opt out of the future Indian federation. That’s what exactly Jinnah was fighting for, the Muslim provinces’ right to opt out of India.

In the 1945 Simla Conference, Jinnah fought for Hindu-Muslim parity in any future government. He also insisted that in any interim government all the Muslim ministers would have to be nominated by the League. He was in effect asking Congress to renounce its national and secular character and reduce itself merely to be a Hindu party.

In 1946, the British government sent a mission of three cabinet ministers for a final rapprochement between the Congress and the League. The Cabinet Mission plan provided for a loose center controlling only defense, foreign affairs and communications. Provinces were to be divided in three groups. Group A comprised of Hindu majority provinces of UP, Bihar, CP, Orissa, Madras and Bombay. Group B included the Muslim majority Punjab, Sind and NWFP and Group C consisted of the Muslim majority Bengal and Assam. The provinces were allowed to opt out of these groups after the first election.

The Congress accepted the plan and so did the League. Many believed, and some still rather deludingly believe, that Jinnah had thus abandoned the idea of Pakistan. But let’s not fool ourselves and have a look at the League’s acceptance document drafted by Jinnah. The League had accepted the plan with its own spin, ‘inasmuch as the basis of and the foundation of Pakistan are inherent in the Mission’s plan by virtue of the compulsory grouping.’

Even this acceptance was hastily withdrawn after Nehru pointed out that it would be the newly formed constituent assembly that would finally decide the composition of provincial groups.

In his autobiography ‘India Wins Freedom’ Maulana Azad blamed Nehru for wrecking this final bid to save India from partition. It’s sad that Azad, the greatest Indian Muslim who fought against the communalism of the League, who devoted his life to the creation of a secular and democratic India and who often suffered Jinnah’s humiliating jibes as ‘the Congress show-boy’, did a great disservice to the understanding of the partition.

The theory of ‘bargaining counter’ is supported by many, from Azad to the Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal and the eminent jurist M. C. Chagla, who wrote in his autobiography, ‘Roses in December’: “To him (Jinnah) it was more of a bargaining counter, and if we had bargained properly, he would have given up the idea of Pakistan and accepted a united India.”<b>

If we go by this thesis of Jinnah’s demand of Pakistan just being a bargaining counter, than one must ask why Jinnah was provoking his own people to fight for Pakistan. Why was he frightening millions of Muslims of the impending specter of Hindu tyranny? If the bargaining counter theory is to be believed then Jinnah comes out as a diabolical figure fooling his own community and building up false hopes.</b> He was provoking Muslims to ‘shed blood’ at one hand and negotiating power sharing deals with the Hindu leaders on the other hand.

In August 1946, Jinnah breached another boundary of sober and sensible politics. The one time advocate of constitutional propriety now espoused violence and even terror.

How would the defenders of Jinnah’s secularism support his call for Direct Action: ‘This day we bid good-bye to constitutional methods,” he declared. “ We have forged a pistol and we are prepared to use it,” he declared.

On 16 August 1946, the frenzied League mobs rampaged Hindu neighbourhoods in Calcutta. Hindu communal groups retaliated with equal brutality. Ten thousand innocent lives were lost in just five days in the Great Calcutta Killings. Quickly the fires of communal hatred spread from Bengal to Punjab consuming millions of lives. They burnt until Jinnah got his precious ‘Muslim homeland’.

As soon as he became Governor-General, Jinnah in a dramatic u-turn advised Muslims in Pakistan to live peacefully with their Hindu neighbours. His followers wondered if it was not possible for them to live with Hindus in India, how could they live with Hindus in Pakistan. They refused to listen to him. <span style='color:red'>When Pakistan was born in August 1947, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians formed 26 percent of its population. Today less then three percent of them are left in Pakistan.</span>

This is not ancient history buried under the multiple layers of unexcavated earth. Any historian, true to his/her profession, with elementary knowledge of Jinnah’s beliefs, actions and legacy could easily conclude that he used and abused Muslim faith and consciousness for his political ends. For a historian such a man cannot be secular. Flight of imagination is the exclusive preserve of fiction writers.

Journalist and broadcaster Vijay Rana, after doing his D Phil on India’s transfer of power from Allahabad University, moved on to the BBC in London in the early eighties. He now edits www.historytalking.com, a web-radio dedicated to South Asian oral history and heritage. Email: editor@historytalking.com

Drain of Wealth during British Raj

By: B Shantanu
Outlook Mar 06, 2006 Opinion

<b>Secular Myopia</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The backwardness and abysmal poverty of the Muslim community in India is a symbol both of the decline of its own leadership, and of the bankruptcy of the exploitative vote-bank politics of 'secular' formations.</b>
K.P.S. GILL</b>

The Indian politician, it appears, is entirely uneducable, incapable of learning from history. Today, virtually all the parties in India are divided into two broad camps - the 'communal' and the 'secular'. The former category, including virtually all minority community political parties - such as the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the Akali Dal, and the constituent groups within the 'Sangh Parivar' - are explicitly communal in their orientation, seeking a crystallisation of their own identity through a polarisation against others.

But the 'secular' parties are, in fact, anything but that; they practice an insidious and opportunistic '<b>reverse communalism</b>' that has historically done incalculable harm to the nation, and continues to undermine India's progress, security and stability.

An interesting manifestation was the anti-Bush demonstrations orchestrated during the American President's brief visit. The most vociferous protests among the 'secular' parties came from the Left formations, particularly the CPI(M) - a coalition partner in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government. They have, of course, the right to protest and to project their perspectives - <b>though the incontinence of language and the crudity of attacks launched by some very senior leaders is poor testimony to their cause and their conviction.</b>

What is significant, however, is that, <b>despite the extraordinary 'cooperation' of the media </b>- specially the proliferating television news channels, who held tiny crowds of a few dozen, and occasionally of a couple of hundred in very tight frames, helping substitute an artificial frenzy for numbers - <b>it was clear that the 'secular' protestors had rather poor support.</b>

Failing to mobilise adequate support from their own ideological fraternity, the CPI-M had no compunctions in falling back on the stratagem of a 'multi-party' demonstration that relied overwhelmingly on the capacities for communal mobilisation of the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, and it was only through the efforts of the latter that the substantial gathering at the Ramlila grounds at Delhi could be cobbled together.

A look at the various photographs and video images in the media demonstrates that the crowd at the Ramlila grounds was overwhelmingly Muslim - with hardly a peppering of 'secular' protestors. Much of the ire of the communally mobilised protestors was directed against the 'Danish cartoons' and other issues somewhat distanced from the context of President Bush's visit to India.

<b>Critically, however, when 'secular' parties hitch their wagon to communal mass mobilisation on emotive sectarian issues and an 'Islamic' anti-Bush platform, they participate in a dangerous and subversive trend, contributing directly to the greater radicalisation of sections of the Muslim community, and enlarging the centrality, within the national political space, of communal formations such as the Jamiat. </b>This is not the first time that the Communists have made an ideologically irreconcilable compromise with communal forces, as their (and the Congress's) extended partnership with the IUML in Kerala demonstrates.

<b>The conduct of the top leadership of the ruling Congress in the run-up to state assembly election in Assam is another case in point, and will have disastrous consequences for the security and stability,</b> not only of this state, but also for the wider Northeast, where illegal Bangaldeshi migrants are continuously expanding their presence.

The pronouncements on bringing amendments to the Foreigners' Act to 'protect' the Muslims - including the very large number of illegal aliens in the state who have acquired voting rights and are courted by the Congress as a vote-bank - fall into the same category of misconceived communal manipulation with disastrous long-term consequences. Once again, the Congress is being misled by immediate electoral calculations to act directly against the national interest.

In Uttar Pradesh, we see a d<b>eafening silence among the 'secular parties' </b>on the issue of the 'reward' of Rs 51 crore announced by a Minister for anyone who 'brings him the head' of the Danish cartoonists who had dared to caricature the Prophet. Interestingly, while 'secular' parties invent convoluted justifications for the failure to implement the country's law for this act of incitement to crime, and <b>while some of the Minister's coreligionists flock to congratulate him for his 'courageous' defence of Islam</b>, the Organisation of Islamic Countries has seen fit to condemn all such 'fatwas' and announcements calling for the death of the Danish cartoonists as 'un-Islamic'.

The fact is, all major 'secular' parties in India have had the consolidation of the 'Muslim vote-bank' as one of the crucial elements of their political and electoral agenda, and <b>they have tended to believe that supporting the extremist - rather than the moderate - Muslim stance is more productive in delivering the 'Muslim vote'. </b>The 'Hindu vote' is believed to be split across the various national and regional formations along caste, language and parochial lines, as well as between the 'secular' and 'communal' camps. It has, consequently, been accepted - outside the Sangh Parivar - that communal mass mobilisation of Hindus is either not possible, given the fragmented nature of the community, or that it is, in some sense, not politically desirable.

Despite overwhelming evidence that the Muslims are also an enormously diversified community across regions and classes in India, the same considerations have not guided perspectives on the country's principal minority. Interestingly, communal Hindu formations are also increasingly vulnerable to this intellectual blindness - witness, for instance, Mr LK Advani's and, more recently, Mr Jaswant Singh's pronouncements on Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

This blindness has afflicted Indian politics for decades, and the affliction has extended to some of the nation's greatest leaders. Gandhi, the Mahatma on so much else, was utterly wrong in his orientation to the Muslims and this was abundantly clear even in his first major and disastrous intervention in the country's politics, the Khilafat Movement.

The then famous Ali Brothers, who are now entirely forgotten by all but a few historians specialising in the period, with whom Gandhi formed a partnership of dishonour to lead the Movement, <b>openly stated that a Muslim thief was better than Gandhi</b>, simply because he was Muslim; Gandhi swallowed the insult in silence.When there were rumours that the Afghans could invade India, one of the brothers, Mohammad Ali, declared: "If the Afghans invaded India to wage holy war, the Indian Mohammadans are not only bound to join them but also to fight the Hindus if they refuse to cooperate with them." <b>Gandhi had no comment on this. Worse, Gandhi,</b> the apostle of ahimsa, <b>repeatedly justified Muslim violence</b>.

In the wake of the collapse of the Khilafat movement, the Moplah Rebellion broke out in Kerala, with Muslim mobs inflicting untold savagery and rapine on Hindus. Gandhi first denied these atrocities and later, confronted with incontrovertible evidence, described the Moplahs as "god fearing" people and declared that they "are fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner they consider as religious".

It is these double standards that created India's eventual partition. Regrettably, they survived that catastrophe, and continue to dominate India's 'secular' polity even today. There is, in fact, a comprehensive failure among the Indian political classes - across ideological and partisan boundaries - to understand the minority psyche.

The backwardness and abysmal poverty of the Muslim community in India even 58 years after Independence is a symbol both of the decline of its own leadership, and of the bankruptcy of the exploitative vote-bank politics of secular formations. You cannot fill people's stomachs with religion and silence their real needs - health, education, productive capacities and skills - with dogma. This, tragically, remains the unqualified agenda and objective of India's political leadership.

But the tokenism of 'representation' in the Army and government services and the <b>continuous manipulation of communal sentiments </b>will go no way in correcting these distortions. The solution lies in non-discriminatory efforts for the development of all the poor in India, and that includes the country's minorities.

K.P.S. Gill is former director-general of police, Punjab. He is also Publisher, SAIR and President, Institute for Conflict Management. This article was first published in The Pioneer.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
xpost from Dravidianist movement thread..

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Mar 22 2006, 10:52 AM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Mar 22 2006, 10:52 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The boy who gives a truer picture of 'Periyar'

I recently interviewed M Venkatesan, a 'Dalit', whose family has been living in a slum area called Hanumanthapuram in Triplicane during the last 25 years. I am specifically mentioning the fact that he belongs to the Dalit community only to take the wind from the sails of self-styled, castiest and communalist Dravidian leaders who often pride themselves as saviours, champions, protectors and upholders of the backward and suppressed communities in Tamilnadu under the political umbrella of 'self-respect' and 'social justice'. Venkatesan is a bright, hardworking and precocious young man who has taken his MA in Philosophy from Vivekananda College, Chennai. He told me that when he joined the Vivekananda College, he had to face a barrage of difficult and unanswerable questions from his fellow students on the so-called 'revolutionary and unprecedented' contribution of 'Periyar E V Ramasamy Naicker' to the emancipation and liberation of the oppressed and suppressed communities in Tamilnadu. Finding himself in a state of siege, Venkatesan, being a Dalit himself, took the initiative of researching into almost all the publications brought out by 'Periyar Suyamariyadai Prachara Nilayam' and also into the writings of Periyar's contemporaries like Annadurai, M P Sivagnanam, comrade Jeevanandam, KAP Viswanathan, etc. Not being totally satisfied he went through all the magazines and journals like 'Viduthalai', 'Kudiyarasu', 'Dravida Naadu', 'Dravidan' etc, relating to the period during which Periyar lived in order to ascertain the truth and also to get hold of solid and irrefutable facts.

As a great believer in Hinduism and Hindu philosophy, his sensitive soul was tortured by the baseless attacks of Periyar on Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I would like to quote his own words in this context: 'I could not help viewing Periyar's uncivilised and barbarous attacks upon my chosen Gods and Goddesses and my own Hindu faith as wanton attacks on my dear and sacred mother who begot me. My search into the works of Periyar and my extensive reading of all his articles gave a rude cultural shock to me. I was greatly dismayed by the hellish hatred of Periyar towards my faith and towards my chosen Gods and Goddesses'.

Hatred of Brahmins and hatred of Hindu Gods, these according to Venkatesan were the only pith and pin of Periyar's public life.
According to Venkatesan, Periyar was a man of virulent contradictions, inexplicable incongruities and inchoate insensitivities. As he very much wanted these facts to be made known to the public he has written a book in Tamil entitled 'E V Ramasamy Naickarin Marupakkam' (The other side of E V Ramasamy Naickar).

During the course of my interview, he told me with an anguished feeling that if only people cared to read my book on 'E V Ramasamy Naickar', then they will clearly understand how some sections of people in Tamilnadu, behaving like heads of cattle, were brainwashed into the hero-worship of E V Ramasamy Naickar, completely ignoring the inherent and fundamental contradictions in his self-proclaimed ideologies founded only on communal hatred of Brahmins and atheistic hatred of Hindu Gods. Venkatesan's view is that Periyar wrongly thought that when he attacked Brahmins, he was attacking Hinduism and when he attacked Hinduism, he was attacking Brahmins. At the same time, the comedy is that Periyar had very warm feelings towards the Gods of Islam and Christianity. 'I am really ashamed of those people who have veneration for E V Ramasamy Naickar and his perverse philosophy of selective hatred of men and things. I am no less rational or serious than him when I say this', observed Venkatesan.

Venkatesan emphatically declared that Periyar did nothing for the emancipation of the oppressed and suppressed dalits. On the contrary he was inimical towards all the dalits whom he treated with utmost contempt. His contempt for the dalits (90 per cent) was only exceeded by his hatred for the Brahmins (100 per cent). To quote from Venkatesan's book: Periyar said: 'The attempt to promote 'temple entry' and 'abolition of untouchability' by the Congress leaders should not result in the tragedy of people belonging to the backward classes getting reduced to the level of scheduled castes. Instead of attempting to raise the status of Scheduled Castes (Parayans), an attempt should not be made to reduce the status of backward Class (Sudrans) by relegating them to the levels of Scheduled Castes. On no account should the existing status of Sudrans be reduced to the level of Parayans'. Venkatesan says in his book that Periyar's contempt if not hatred for the dalits was shown in another context by his flash
observation: 'One of the main reasons why there is an upward trend in the prices of clothes and textiles is that women belonging to the Scheduled Castes (Parachies) have started wearing blouses these days. The reason for growing unemployment in society is on account of increasing number of people belonging to Scheduled Castes (Parayans) taking to school education and higher education'. Venkatesan concludes that Periyar was a sworn enemy of dalits, their education, emancipation, growth and development. 'As a dalit I have come to this definite conclusion based upon Periyar's golden thoughts, observations and averments on my dalit community', says Venkatesan.

Even a cursory reading of Venkatesan's book will show how Periyar, who was always concerned with the self-respect of the Dravidian race, and more particularly the Tamil race, upheld the glory, the greatness and the grandeur of the Tamil language for over 70 years through his historic and time-defying observations and writings which will ring across centuries. Here are a few pearls from 'Periyarana' cited by Venkatesan in his book:

'For more than 40 years, I have been describing Tamil as a barbarous language (Kattumirandi Mozhi) used only by barbarians. When Brahmins and the Brahmin-dominated government wanted to make Hindi a State language, I started, to a very limited extent, advocating the promotion of Tamil language only to oppose the imposition of Hindi language. The only language that ought to replace Tamil is English. What is not there in English which can be found in Tamil Language?'

Periyar's patriotism and love for our nation are brought out in his own statement: 'Though I might have blocked the exit of the Englishmen from India, though I might have betrayed in a treasonable manner the cause of India's freedom, I have not been a party to the installation of sinners from the Brahmin community with its fall out effects of domination of people from Northern India backed by the lust for money power, paraphernalia of public offices and self-interest'.

I have quoted only very very sparingly from the book authoured by Venkatesan. In order to fully understand the truth-defying greatness of 'Periyar' and Periyarism in proper perspective, one has to read this book from end to end with great care and caution, inspired by the shadow ideals of 'self-respect' and 'rationalism'.

I view Venkatesan as a symbol of a new awakening among the youth in Tamilnadu. I am quite impressed by his zest for learning, thoroughness in his approach to academic research and above all his fearless gentlemanliness deriving its unassailable strength from his passion for truth and justice. Venkatesan lamented: 'The trouble with Tamilnadu is that prejudice often scores a victory over principle. Prejudice, which sees what it pleases, cannot see what is plain. I only wanted to pursue plain truth and nothing else'.

I was reading the history of Vijayanagara and noticed that the colonial interlude started during a period of weakness of the Vijayanagara empire. Typically we are told that Vasco Da Gama made landfall and the Zamorin agreed to trade with him. The Vijayanagara Empire were the overlords of the region. However at that time the Vijayanagara king was a weakling and thus the colonial period started. Its another matter that the later Vijayanagara Kings traded Horses and Cannon with the Portugese.

The ancient temple of Sri Ranganatha Swami stands on the island named after it - Seringapatam, in the River Cauvery, 9 miles North of Mysore, and 75 miles South West of Bangalore. It became the capital of Mysore in 1610, when Raja Wadiyar achieved supremacy over Tirmula Rajal, the last of the Vijayanagara Viceroys. After four effective rulers, there followed a succession of weaker, puppet kings, whose power was gradually eroded by their diwans (Chief Ministers). In 1761 a Muslim became diwan - and thus virtual ruler of the state. His name was Haidar Ali.

When the Vijaynagar Empire declined Raja Wadiyar took over a weak kingdom in Mysore. </i>

Tipu succeeded his father as ruler of Mysore. Like Haidar, Tipu was a Muslim, but he pursued a secular policy in Mysore, and was ever-ready to deploy all available skills - hence his appointment of a Hindu, Purniya, as his Chief Minister. Tipu also presented significant gifts to Hindu temples, including three inscribed silver vessels to temple at Seringapatam; a long emerald necklace and a jade lingam to the Srikanteshvara Temple, Nanjangud, and a silver palanquin and a pair of silver chowries to the Sri Sarada Devi Temple, Sringeri and two kettle drums to the Narasimha Swamy Temple, Melukote.


Main Menu : 5.0 India Introduction

5.1 Sketch Of The Environs Of Seringapatam

5.2 Map Of The Dominions Of The Late Tippoo Sultaun

5.3 Interior View of Tipu's Palace, Bangalore

5.4 Tipu's Summer Palace, Bangalore

5.5 St. Mark's Church, Bangalore

5.6 NW Front of Government House, Calcutta, c1855

5.7 Monument Commemorating The Birthplace Of Tipu Sultan, At Devanahalli

5.8 The Council House, Fort St.George, Madras

5.9 Tombs of Scotsmen at The Cathedral Church Of St.George, Madras

5.10 Surf Breaking At Marina Beach, Madras

5.11 Wellington Lodge, Mysore

5.12 Nandidrug

5.13 The Field Of The Battle Of Pollilur

5.14 The Breach At Seringapatam: Seen From The South West, Across The River Cauvery

5.15 Seringapatam Formal Garden, Darya Daulat Palace In The Persian Style

5.16 Tipu's Darya Daulat Palace, Seringapatam

5.17 Pigeoncote At Tipu's Darya Daulat Palace, Seringapatam

5.18 Flagstaff Cavalier, Seringapatam

5.19 The Mausoleum of Tipu Sultan At Gumbaz, Seringapatam

5.20 Mausoleum of Tipu Sultan at Gumbaz, Seringapatam, c.1860

5.21 The Sri Ranganatha Swami Temple, Seringapatam

5.22 The Jumma Masjid, Seringapatam

5.23 The Jumma Masjid, Seringapatam, c.1860

5.24 The Dungeons, Seringapatam

5.25 Ramparts Of Seringapatam

5.26 View From The Outer Ditch Towards The Breach, Seringapatam

5.27 East View of Seringapatam, c1800

5.28 The Water gate, Seringapatam

For over two hundred years, the exotic products and lucrative trade in spices and textiles had attracted the European powers to India. By the 18th century, the major players were Britain and France, although Clive's victories at Plassey in 1757 and Wandiwash in 1760 had crushed any realistic aspirations of French supremacy in India. In south India, rival powers took advantage of the disintegration of the Mughal Empire to extend their own territories: - to the east, Nawab Mohammad Ali of the Carnatic; in the centre, Haidar Ali, ruler of Mysore; northwards, the Nizam's Dominions, ruled from Hyderabad; and the powerful threat of the great Mahratta empire, stretching towards Delhi.

Until Pitt's India Act of 1784 centralized control under a single Government appointment at the capital, Calcutta, British policy in India was determined by the East India Company's officials in the three Presidencies of Madras, Bengal and Bombay. Mysore was initially regarded as a useful buffer between Madras and the Mahrattas, but Haidar Ali, an officer with the Mysore army, gradually rose to power, overthrew the ancient Hindu dynasty of Mysore, and challenged the British in two Mysore Wars. Both he, and his son, Tipu Sultan, who continued this campaign, welcomed the French as their allies. Increasingly, military strategy in India was determined by politics in Europe - despite the immense distances separating governments from their servants in India. Two Scottish regiments were specifically raised for the Mysore Wars.

In the fourth and final Mysore War, the British attacked the island capital of Mysore, Seringapatam, on the River Cauvery. Tipu, the fearless 'Tiger of Mysore' was killed on 4th May 1799, and British power was confirmed in Mysore. Two hundred years later, Tipu's name has not been forgotten in Scotland, where the 'Tiger and the Thistle' were jointly celebrated in the National Galleries of Scotland bi-centennial exhibition.

The Future of The Great Game: Sir Olaf Caroe, India's Independence, and the Defense of Asia by Peter John Brobst; The University of Akron Press, Akron, Ohio; pages 199, $39.95.

SOME time ago I asked Caroe's `Brains Trust' to produce a comparison between India and China as future Great Powers, e.g. in material resources, man power, political stability, organisation. They produced an interesting paper which I read today. The general conclusion was that there was not much in it, but that China was tougher and had been through the fire both of internal revolution and of external invasion, while India had not and was softer." Lord Wavell, the Viceroy, wrote this comment in his Journal on September 18, 1944, when India was under British rule and the Second World War had not ended. (Wavell: The Viceroy's Journal edited by Penderel Moon; page 90).

No Indian politician, academic or journalist thought of the prospect which exercised a foreigner who knew that the Raj would have to end not long after the war came to a close. Wavell was referring to Sir Olaf Caroe, ICS (Indian Civil Service), who was Secretary in the External Affairs Department. It sired the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Olaf Caroe belonged to a distinguished band of Foreign Secretaries who thought afar and left a legacy. Unlike Mortimer Durand and Henry McMahon, his impact was not in the realm of action but in the realm of strategic thinking. He was one of the most cerebral of them. He influenced and helped K.M. Panikkar, K.P.S. Menon and A.S.B. Shah. He read classics at Oxford and served in the Army during the First World War. His forte was geopolitics. He divided the world into "Seven Theatres of Power". The Gulf was an area of particular concern. He learned Urdu, was fluent in Pashto, studied the Akbarnamah and preferred the ICS to the British Foreign Office. In 1923, he joined the Indian Political Service; served as Foreign Secretary (1939-45) and as Governor of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) from March 1946 to June 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru hounded him out of this office after a sustained campaign of vilification. Since Caroe was opposed to the establishment of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah refused to recall him to that post after Partition and appointed George Cunningham, instead.

In retirement, Caroe joined the influential Round Table group, contributed to its journal and to the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society. He wrote three influential books - Wells of Power (on security in the Gulf), The Pathans (a classic), and Soviet Empire (on Stalin's policies in Central Asia).

The Department of External Affairs then administered British protectorates in the Gulf, including Kuwait, Bahrain and the Trucial States. Until 1937, Aden was governed from Bombay. The External Affairs Department manned consulates in China, Central Asia and West Asia.

Caroe has been greatly misunderstood and his influence was vastly exaggerated. His futurology reflected a paternalistic romanticism. But there was a kernel of sound sense in his assessments, which have stood the test of time. He dared to think and thought creatively, though he was alarmist at times. Nehru's main concern vis-à-vis China was preservation of the McMahon Line. He was dimly aware, if at all, of the Aksai Chin till late in the day. As far back as on November 20, 1950, he said: "Our maps show that the McMahon Line is our boundary and that is our boundary, map or no map... and we will not let anybody come across that boundary."

No official did more to fortify India's case on the Line than Caroe did as Deputy Secretary. London had refrained from publishing the Shimla Convention of 1914 and the India-Tibet exchange of notes on the Line that year in order to give China time to come around. Caroe realised that this created uncertainty. He got published these documents and a map which showed the Line as the boundary. He wrote to R.A. Butler, Under Secretary at the India Office on March 4, 1937, warning him that the consequences of "our failure to publish the 1914 agreement with Tibet" enabled China's cartographers to absorb chunks of Indian territory in that sector. One finds, again and again, British officials in India remonstrating with London when Indian interests were neglected in framing imperial policy.

All this was known. What Prof. Peter John Brobst of the University of Ohio at Athens, Ohio, has done is to delve into the archives in the British Library in London and present instructive chunks from the treasure trove, which reveal the range and depth of Caroe's thought and that of his colleagues in what Wavell called his "Brains Trust". Brobst's comments, for the most part, are apt. The sole blemish is the author's projection of the Great Game, of which Kipling wrote in Kim, to the present day and an obsession with it that drives him mercilessly to irritate the reader with constant and irrelevant references to "the Great Game". This is a truly path-breaking and invaluable work. Not surprisingly, no Indian scholar has cared to explore this path.

Contrary to an Indian myth, India's "partition represented the failure and not the fulfilment of imperial design. Pakistan as the keystone of an Islamic alliance was a rationalisation of partition, not a motive. Indeed Caroe's geopolitical thinking weighed heavily against such a step. Supposedly one of its primary architects, Caroe in fact endorsed the creation of an independent Pakistan only in the difficult last resort, offering compelling evidence of the instinctive aversion that officials of the Raj generally felt toward partition."

As far back as June 28, 1935, when he was Deputy Secretary, Caroe wrote to the Secretary of State for India about "the new political forces... at work in Eastern and Central Asia". He was appalled at the "typical British and British Indian apathy" towards issues of security. In 1942, he set up the "Viceroy's Study Group". In a major paper dated April 26, 1942, he wrote that "<span style='color:red'>a realisation is needed in the highest places that India cannot build a constitution unless the frontiers are held and the ring fence in some manner kept standing". It was entitled "Whither India's Foreign Policy".</span> Two others he wrote bear mention. They are "Some Constitutional Reflections on the Landward Security of the India of the Future" (August 18, 1944) and "The Essential Interests of the British Commonwealth in the Persian Gulf and its Coastal States, with special reference to India" (1944). The Planning Division of the MEA set up in 1966 has been a joke from the inception.

In 1942, Caroe noted that intelligence assessors at the Foreign Office had "with a few exceptions in relation to Japan, been able to give little thought or study to the problems of Asia and none at all to India". India apart, he said, "the countries on the Indian Periphery all the way from the Middle East to Malaya are conspicuous by their absence". As a result, Caroe had "been considering means whereby we in India might be able to do something to fill this lacuna".


Jawaharlal Nehru with Olaf Caroe, then Governor of North West Frontier Province, in Peshawar on October 31, 1946.

Lord Linlithgow was Viceroy then. Even this wooden man felt the need for "some reflection to be undertaken", an exercise which India's leaders and diplomats find irksome and unnecessary. Prof. Brobst rises to the challenge of analysing the material. Archival discoveries supplement his own able research. Unlike some, he does not simply dish out the discovered documents, prefacing them with a perfunctory introduction.

The study group comprised senior officers from both the ICS and the Indian Army. General Sir Alan Hartley, Deputy Commander in Chief of the Indian Army; Major-General Walter Cawthorn, Director of Military Intelligence; Sir Theodore Gregory, an economist; and Sir Everlyn Wrench, in the Finance Department. Sir Maurice Gwyer, C. J. of the Federal Court and one of the principal draftsmen of the 1935 India Act, participated actively. So did Peter Fleming, Ian Fleming's older brother who had travelled extensively in Chinese Central Asia in the 1930s and had come to India in 1942 to organise strategic deception operations. Among the founding members was H.V. Hodson, Constitutional Adviser to the Government of India, who became Editor of The Sunday Times.

Two members especially influenced the agenda of the group. One was Guy Wint, an established expert on the history and politics of Asia. During the war, Wint was officially attached to Britain's Ministry of Information. Another key figure in the study group was Lieutenant-General Sir Francis Tuker, who joined in 1944. In 1946 and 1947, Tuker was GOC-in-C, Eastern Command.

Members presented papers to the study group anonymously, although Caroe kept a master list of the authors that he eventually sent to the India Office. Copies of papers were sent to the Viceroy and the C-in-C. The group met in the homes of members. Minutes of discussions were carefully maintained.

When Caroe emphasised to a colleague in London, on September 13, 1945, the "concept of India and [the] centre of [an] Asiatic System" he articulated a concept which lay at the core of Nehru's vision. "In the modern world it is inevitable for India to be the centre of affairs of Asia." Caroe wrote on August 18, 1944: "All who look forward to the emergence of India as a Great Power must assume and work for her unity." He was a true friend of India whom Nehru woefully wronged.

Caroe told the Study Group in 1941: "It was clear that with India on the threshold of greater industrialisation and increasing world importance, wider and fuller education was necessary on technological grounds to meet the rising demands for labour capable of efficient work with modern machinery in all forms." Use of Indian languages would help to improve the situation. He argued that the dominance enjoyed by English as the language of instruction had historically "acted as a deterrent to students and has thus restricted the spread of education", adding that "in India the second language had not to be acquired as we learn French to widen our outlook and open new doors, but as a medium of actual instruction in, e.g. mathematics". Caroe worried that the effect was "to render higher education unassimilable [sic] save for the ablest of all, and thereby to destroy the basis of all sound education". <b>The use of English had provided a unifying force among India's elite, but like Tuker, Caroe recognised that defence had to be placed on a more popular footing. No longer, he warned, would it suffice to draw India's leadership "solely from the wealthy classes or from those who can afford to pay university fees".</b>

Second to Caroe, if that, was Tuker's strong emphasis of India's importance in the future. He wanted to publicise the<span style='color:blue'> "certainty that India would be the centre of (the Indian Ocean) region". Tuker noted an Indian trait before it surfaced after Independence. It was in a paper entitled "Defence and National Efficiency" (1945). It was ignorance married to chauvinism.</span>

Brobst does justice to archival material because his research in published matter is excellent. One dreads the prospect of an academic adventurer proceeding to London to publish the papers with an ignorant and chauvinistic Introduction. Incidentally, besides the papers, the minutes of discussion in the Viceroy's Study Group are also available in that library.

On January 7, 1943, the Group contemplated "a high-class magazine" on defence "appealing to the Indian intelligentsia". It would present "articles on all current important world problems in a way calculated to stimulate thought and encourage ideas which could be contrasted or compared with the affairs on which Indians now concentrate their whole attention".

Sir Maurice Gwyer contributed a paper on "Post-War Security in the Indian Ocean" in May 1944, in which he warned against trying to influence Indian thinking on security lest it be misconstrued "as an ingenious device of imperialism to reimpose control".

The author records in detail Caroe's interaction with and help to Panikkar, K.P.S. Menon and A.S.B. Shah. They shared a passion for strategic literacy. Neglect of India's external relations by British as well as Indian leaders depressed Caroe.

Brobst takes the reader through Caroe's theories on "India's Outer Ring", the Buffer System, much of which became irrelevant after Independence. Guy Wint was much more realistic than Caroe. Advances in military technology and the rise in air power had undermined the traditional role of the buffer states. He wrote on June 7, 1943, a paper entitled "Some Problems of India's Security", in which he pointed out that just "as Louis XIV, when his grandson ascended the throne of Spain, remarked that the Pyranees had ceased to exist, so today have the Hindu Kush virtually ceased".

Caroe's concern with the Soviet Union and China's "expansionism" is well known. But then, Nehru himself voiced the same apprehension in an interview to C.L. Sulzberger of The New York Times reported in The Times of India (April 27, 1950). "More and more" the Soviet Union was following a "nationalistic expansionist policy". The author perceptively notes: "Historians point out that the views represented by Caroe and Wint tended to embed a fossilised Russophobia and to reflect a blinkered ideology of anticommunism. In hindsight, British fears between late 1939 and early 1941 that the Soviets would attack Southwest Asia and perhaps even India itself were exaggerated. British suspicions about the Nazi-Soviet Pacts as an inducement to Soviet expansion at the expense of the British Empire slighted the intricacies of Soviet policy. Such criticism, however, can itself be carried too far. British thinking was complex and far from a knee-jerk response."

Nor has China proved revanchist as Caroe feared. It settled border disputes efficiently and fairly. India remains the sole exception for reasons Indians are not prepared to recognise. Interest in Tibet's autonomy was understandable, but there was scant interest in China's perceptions. Eventually, Caroe's "Inner Ring" (Balochistan, Nepal and the Naga Hills) proved as obsolete as the Outer Ring.

It is unfortunate that Nehru fell out with this dedicated official. He formed the Interim Government on September 2, 1946. Only a month later he began itching for a tour of the tribal areas in the NWFP. He went there against the advice of Gandhi, Patel, Azad, Wavell and Caroe. The four-day trip in October was a disaster. Predictably, the reception was hostile. We have a fair and objective account of the entire episode in Parshottam Mehra's excellent work The North-West Frontier Drama 1945-1947: A Reassessment (Manohar; 1998). It is based on extensive research in British archives and lives up to the high standards of Prof. Mehra's research. Far from conspiring against Nehru, Caroe asked Mountbatten to persuade Jinnah to instruct his followers not to hold demonstrations against Nehru. The Deputy Commissioner, Mardan, C.G.S. Curtis saved Nehru's life. Nehru, sporting his half-baked Marxism, talked of "class conflict" and abused the tribal leaders ("pensioners"). He went there for partisan ends, impetuously enough, and conducted himself arrogantly. Caroe was made a scapegoat for Nehru's follies. Since Nehru was "indispensable" to Mountbatten's success, Caroe had to go. In 1963, Nehru invited him as a state guest to help co-ordinate work for the Tibetan refugees.

India's High Commissioner in London, B.K. Nehru, wrote a note of thanks to Caroe on February 1, 1975, for his support to India's absorption of Sikkim within the Union of India.

Brobst fully demolishes the myth which Selig S. Harrison and Chester Bowles fostered that the United States arms aid to Pakistan was inspired by Caroe's Wells of Power. Caroe's visit to the U.S. State Department in May 1952 left him feeling insulted.

In retirement, Caroe received attention and respect given to few. He foresaw a lot, misunderstood a lot. Brobst makes the perfect comment on his contribution when he writes that "a combination of anachronism and prescience... . characterised so much of his thinking".

Fundamentally, Nehru's world view clashed with Caroe's. Fundamentally, Nehru was right on non-alignment. It is true, of course, that he had in 1948-49 sought an alliance with the U.S. and was rebuffed. Non-alignment is, however, a non. It no more indicates how a country pursues its interests than calling a person non-married indicates how he or she pursues happiness.

K.P.S. Menon wrote in his autobiography Many Worlds (1965; page 271): "A Foreign Office is essentially a custodian of precedents. We had no precedents to fall back upon, because India had no foreign policy of her own until she became independent." He was grossly unjust to the Foreign Secretaries who preceded him - like Caroe. The National Archives of India refute him. A Foreign Office is no mere "custodian of precedents" either.

What he added reveals a lot; everything, in fact: "Our policy therefore necessarily rested on the intuition of one man, who was Foreign Minister - Jawaharlal Nehru. Fortunately, his intuition was based on knowledge... " The first part was, tragically, all too right. The second was preposterously wrong.

Nehru had, broadly, two aims in sight - promoting India globally and checking Pakistan, especially on Kashmir. In March 1947, he wrote a memo on Germany's reunification. He dictated - rather tried to - terms to the U.S. on a peace treaty with Japan. Nehru stipulated cancellation of the U.S.' alliance with Japan and surrender of its bases.

His note to Vallabhbhai Patel on November 8, 1950, said: "The fact remains that our major possible enemy [sic] is Pakistan. This has compelled us to think of our defence mainly in terms of Pakistan's aggression. If we begin to think of, and prepare for, China's aggression [in Tibet] in the same way, we would weaken considerably on the Pakistan side" (Sardar Patel's Correspondence; Volume 10; page 344). Nehru's use of the word `enemy' betrayed an outlook he tried to conceal.

Eventually, he lost the friendship of both and drove the two into an embrace in 1963. How? The reason is not addressed at all. The stark truth was that temperamentally Nehru was a unilateralist. His note to Sheikh Abdullah on August 26, 1952, spelt out this line. In Delhi Pakistan's Prime Minister Mohammed Ali was reminded that "in the balance, the Indian army was stronger than the Pakistan army and we would win in the end" (Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru; Volume 28, page 249). To the world he would counsel against a talking from a position of strength: "It is the approach which uses the words: `Let us have a tough policy, let us speak from strength.'"
If vis-à-vis Pakistan he banked on superior armed power, vis-à-vis China he unilaterally altered "all our old maps dealing with this frontier" which would then be treated as a "firm and definite one which is not open to discussion with anybody" (July 1, 1954; SWJN, Vol. 26, page 482). That spelt a deadlock. Here China was the more powerful adversary. But, then, Nehru was unaware of even the concept of limited war and imagined that any armed conflict with China would lead to a world war.</b>

Even on international issues Nehru was a unilateralist; flouting international law and morality he asserted an exclusive right to the upper riparian (India) to deal with the waters as it pleased. This was said in regard to the Farakka Project on March 12, 1960 (Sharing the Ganges; Ben Crow & Ors; page 64). It was unilateralism rampant, throughout.

The country has paid a heavy price in its foreign and domestic policies for practising the personality cult and neglecting professionalism. The Caroes had a lot to teach us.

meanwhile it seems a bit of post colonial guilt has set in amongst the poms.

I think they are only pandering to the islamics. It serves both the muslims and the west to equate "third world angst" or anti-colonialism with "muslim rebellion or aspirations". muslims become champions of the colonized dispossesed while the west gets to tar the indegenes as muslim material. south asian identity as originally constructed by state department is part of the same strategy. Meanwhile the very real distinction between pagan and abrahamic gets submerged.
Meanwhile the very real distinction between pagan and abrahamic gets submerged.

This may be the real objective.
In the subcontinent they may want to make the image of Muslims as the dominant group.
a relevant quotation - i could not find a better thread to stick it in.

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

- Samuel P. Huntington

Excellent quote.


The British Loan-What It Means to Us (radio broadcast), January 1946.

The devastation of World War II forced the British to seek a loan of
$3.8 billion from the United States in 1945 to rebuild their industries
and make the transition to a peacetime economy. In return, the British
agreed to remove all trade barriers that had protected their empire. In
a discussion broadcast in January 1945, Secretary of the Treasury Fred
M. Vinson and Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson argued that the
loan was necessary to create greater world prosperity and provide markets
for American trade. They cited the importance of the United States'
previous trade relations with the United Kingdom, and the advantages that
the loan would provide for American business interests. The agreement
was characterized as a mutually beneficial one in which the terms of the
loan had been set to make repayment possible, thereby avoiding the
disastrous defaults that had following the extension of loans after World
War I. Without the loan, Acheson and Vinson suggested, Britain would
find itself embattled economically, and the world would once again
confront the specter of war triggered by unfree economic competition.

January 12, 1946
The British Loan What It Means to Us




Secretary of the Treasury


Acting Secretary of State


Director, NBC University of the Air

ANNOUNCER: Here are Headlines From Washington:

Secretary of the Treasury Vinson Says British Loan Agreement Will Bring
Increased Trade and Prosperity; Adds That Alternative to Loan Is
Division 'of World Into Viciously Competing Economic Blocs, With Resulting
Danger to World Peace.

Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson. Says Three Quarters of Future
World Trade WillBe Carried On in Dollars and Pounds Sterling; Claims
Provisions of British Loan Essential To Free World Trade From Excessive

This is the fifth in a group of State Department programs broadcast by
the NBC University Of the Air as part of a larger series entitled "Our
Foreign Policy" This time the Secretary of the Treasury, Fred M.
Vinson, and the Acting Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, will discuss "The
British Loan". Sterling Fisher, Director of the NBC University of the
Air, will serve as chairman of discussion. Mr. Fisher--

FISHER: The proposed loan to Great Britain has been the subject of
lively discussion since its terms were announced last month. Many questions
have raised by the press and public about the loan, and it has seemed
to us that they deserve frank answers. Secretary Vinson, I'd like to ask
you, as one of the Americans who negotiated the agreement, to describe
briefly the proposed terms of the loan itself, so that we may know
whereof we speak.

VINSON: The outlines of the agreement are simple, Mr. Fisher. We agree
to advance a line of credit of $3,750,000,000 to Great Britain to buy
the goods she needs from abroad to help maintain her economy while she
gets back on her feet. Payments of principal and interest - the interest
rate is 2 percent - start in 1951 and continue for 50 years, until the
loan is paid up, The British, for their part, agree to remove many of
the discriminatory exchange and import restrictions which now exist.
Without the loan it would be impossible for them to do this. The net
results will be of tremendous value to us and to the whole world, in terms
of increased trade and prosperity.

FISHER: Now, Mr. Acheson, I know you have taken a special interest in
our economic policy, first as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic
Affairs and more recently as Under Secretary of State. What do you say
on the British loan?

ACHESON: The loan will make it possible for the United Kingdom to get
back to a peacetime economy and join us in developing an ever-increasing
volume of world trade which both of us need and the whole world needs.

FISHER: I have here what is perhaps the finest collection of tough
questions about the loan that has yet been made up. I'll start off with
some of the milder ones and work up to the meaner ones later. Secretary
Vinson, we might start with the question of whether Great Britain really
needs a loan the size of this one.: Some people are already saying, you
know, that we are being taken for a ride by the wily British.

VINSON: The debate in the British Parliament does not support this
conclusion. But there is always someone who is ready to assume that we,
will get the worst of everything. The fact is, we went into the subject of
Britain's economic condition very thoroughly, and here's where we came
out - or the next few years Britain will be short several billion
dollars which she needs to buy essential imports. In other words, in order
to maintain their economy even at an. austere level, in the next few
years, the, British will. have to, pay out that much more abroad than they
take in from. abroad. It is to our interest and the interest of
everyone else in the world that Britain be able to get back on her feet. Hence
the importance of the loan

FISHER: Why do the British find themselves in, such an unfavorable
spot? Haven't they looked after British interests pretty well, even during
the war?

VINSON: No - the war and war production have always come first. So many
British industries have been making, war Materials that now they have
very few civilian goods to export. But oven, though their exports are
low, the British must, import huge quantities of food and raw materials
in order to live. On top of all this, they have been, forced to sell
about four and a half billion dollars, in foreign investments to keep the
war going. That cut their income, further. <span style='color:red'>And although we supplied. a
lot of Britain's war needs through lend-lease, she will be in debt at
the end of this year to the tune of about 14 billion dollars to her
Dominions, India, and other countries. </span>She has to export goods not only to
pay for her imports but also to pay off part of that debt. And she is
not yet, able to produce many goods for export. So you can see what she
is up against.,

ACHESON: We have to remember that Great Britain has been at War for
six. years. Before the War, Britain was one of the world's greatest
trading nations One fifth of all the world's commerce moved in and out of,
her ports. During the war she poured everything she had into the
prosecution of the war. She had to do this; she was right upon the edge of the
battle, and her existence depended on it. At the end of the war, she
found herself with only one third of her pre-war trade For a nation that
has to bring in huge amounts of goods to live, that could only mean
disaster, unless something were done about it

FISHER: What Would, have happened, Mr. Vinson if the loan negotiations
had fallen through?

VINSON: The British could have existed by cutting their imports and
their living standards. 'They would have cut their purchases from the
United States, and other countries, to the very bone. This the would have
had. to do indefinitely and it would have meant very bad business for
us. Before the war, almost one, sixth of our exports went to the United
Kingdom alone to say nothing of the Dominions. In fact, we sold the
British much more than we bought from them. We want to revive and increase
that trade. But that isn't all. I'd like to point out that we're
dealing here with a problem of vast dimensions. Before the war there, were
two, great currencies in international trade the dollar and the pound
sterling. In 1938 half of the world's trade was done in these two

ACHESON: And we could add that, now that Germany and Japan are pretty,
well out of the picture, something like three, quarters of the world's
trade will be carried on, in pounds and dollars So it's not only our
trade with Britain or her trade with us that is involved here.

VINSON: If both the dollar and the pound are strong, it will mean that
trade everywhere will be free of excessive restrictions. The level of
trade. for virtually the whole world depends on the eliminated of
restrictions on the dollar and the pound. That's a main reason why the
proposed British loan is important.

FISHER: Mr. Acheson what Specific advantages will we reap from the
proposed loan? Just what do the British undertake to. do to open world,

ACHESON: First, as soon as Congress approves the credit, the British
are required to put an end to exchange controls on day-to-day business
transactions with, Americans. It will mean, that an American manufacturer
who, has sold goods to Great Britain will be able to collect his
proceeds in dollars.

FISHER: And after that?

ACHESON: Second, at the end of one year, it is required that exchange
controls be ended throughout the whole sterling area.

FISHER: Will, you explain just. what the sterling area is, Mr. Acheson,
before we go any further?

ACHESON: The sterling area is the area where the British pound sterling
is Most extensively used for international transactions, It takes in
the British Empire and all the Dominions, except Canada and Newfoundland,
and it includes India, Egypt, Iraq, and Iceland. But I should add that
under the terms. of the, agreement, at the end of a year no
restrictions will be imposed by the British on day-to-day transactions in any part
of the world.

FISHER: What about British import restrictions on American goods, Mr.
Vinson? How long will they be continued?

VINSON: They'll be, very much lightened by the end of 1946, Mr. Fisher,
because by that date the British will have removed all discriminatory
restrictions. Of course, they will keep some controls over the kinds of
goods their people buy. They'll have to, because they won't have
foreign money enough to go around. But if they decide to spend so much on
tobacco, or stockings, or machine tools, American firms will be able to
compete freely for the business. There will be no more discriminatory
quotas applied against the United States.

FISHER: And about imperial preference, Mr. Acheson - the system whereby
Britain gives tariff preference to British Empire goods as compared to
American goods.

ACHESON: The British have agreed to support the American proposals to
reduce and eventually eliminate these special privileges. In some ways,
the joint American and British statement on commercial policy is the
most important part of the agreement. The United States has made certain
proposals for consideration by a United Nations trade conference, which
we expect will be held late next summer. The British have joined us in
these proposals for tariff reductions and an end to ham?pering
restrictions of all sorts.

FISHER: Now, Mr. Acheson, what bearing does Britain's war record have
on the loan?

ACHESON: Mr. Fisher, all of us have great admiration for the British
and we think they did ,a great job in the war. We have great sympathy for
what they have suffered. But that has nothing to do with this loan.
This loan is not a pension for a worthy war partner. It's not a handout.
It's not a question of relief, of bundles for :Britain. This loan looks
to the future, not to the past. It does the things that are necessary
to keep the kind of world we want. We're willing to bet three and
three-quarters billion dollars that we and the British can make it work. It's
a case of opening up the trade of the world, so that money will be good
anywhere in trade. The things the British have agreed with us to do
will go a long way toward accomplishing that - toward making it possible
for our people to go out and do business freely anywhere in the world.
That's the kind of world we want to live in.

FISHER The advantages do add up to quite a lot. But there, is some
criticism of the actual terms of the loan that I think you ought to deal
with. For example, the interest rate. Mr. Vinson, isn't 2 percent a
pretty low rate of interest?

VINSON: I would say it's a very reasonable rate. When the British first
came here to negotiate, they would have liked an outright grant We soon
convinced them this was impossible. Their next preference was for a
loan free of interest. This was also out of the question. The interest
rate we finally agreed on was what we could reasonably expect them to pay.

FISHER: But isn't there some provision, Mr. Vinson, for omitting the
interest payments under certain conditions?

VINSON: Yes - but Britain must always meet the payments on the
principal. However, in any year where the present and prospective conditions of
international exchange are bad, and Britain's gold and other reserves
are low, and where her income from foreign transactions falls below a
certain standard, the United States will waive the interest. if in any
year in the future conditions are so bad it would be better for us and
for Britain to have the interest waived than to have Britain default on
the entire credit, as she might otherwise have to.

ACHESON: And remember this too: If interest payments on the loan are
waived by the United States, then Great Britain must have her other
creditors waive interest payments on their loans to her.

FISHER: Are the interest payments just postponed, Mr. Vinson?

VINSON: No, they'll be written off the books.

ACHESON: If all the interest payments are met, Britain will eventually
pay us back $2,200,000,000 more than the credit we're advancing. That's
a very considerable sum.

FISHER: Contrary to what some people say, then, Mr. Acheson, it's
strictly a business arrangement.

ACHESON: I think it's wrong to think of the loan simply as a business
arrangement. We're not in this to make money out of Britain. We made
what everybody thought was a "businesslike arrangement" after the last
war. Foreign governments floated loans, with engraved bonds and all the
trimmings, including much higher rates of interest than we're asking the
British to pay now. But after the last war the foreign governments
found it impossible to repay those loans, And why? Because we tried to
collect payments and interest on our loans, while at the same time we
refused to let our debtors sell us goods to get the, dollars they needed to
pay off these debts to us.

VINSON: This time, we are making the loan on terms we believe will
make; repayment possible. We have a foreign economic policy now which we
believe will permit other nations to trade with us and increase the total
World trade. In, fact, we are working hard to establish. a system which
will cause trade to expand so much that the British will find, it easy
to repay us.

ACHESON: As the Secretary has Said, we don't intend to repeat the
history of the World War I loans.

FISHER: But, Air. Acheson, Can we be sure that the British won't
default on this. loan?

ACHESON: Of course, we take some chance. There's always some risk
involved in making loans But the total context of the agreement makes it
possible for them to pay this time. We know they expect to and we believe
they will.

FISHER Then there's the matter of the lend-lease settlement. Mr.
Acheson, what about that? Isn't it a, pretty generous settlement

ACHESON: No, I think it's a fair settlement. most of the lend-lease
material we sent to Britain has been used, up against the common enemy.
We've written that off. We didn't charge the British for the bombs the
RAF dropped on Berlin and they didn't charge us airmail for delivery. The
remainder - war materials of various sorts - would be worth very little
to us, if we chose to haul them home. We agreed that $650,000,000 was a
fair price for the supplies that remained, after taking into account
the reverse lend-lease which the British furnished to us and which was
not consumed during the war. This, time we have looked at the entire war
account and struck a balance, so that what the British will pay us will
completely clean up all of the mutual claims between our two countries
arising out of the war.

FISHER: Now for some of the tougher questions. There have been a number
of comments on the loan to this effect: Why didn't we get more of a
quid pro quo from the British? They have certain territories in this
hemisphere, for example, where we need permanent bases. What about that, Mr.

ACHESON: The proposed loan, Mr. Fisher, is a financial and economic,
agreement between two great nations. We did not attempt to use the
leverage of the loan to obtain territorial concessions. To demand such
concessions as part of the loan agreement would have., been like saying to
Britain, "Sure we'll help you get, back on feet but not unless you hand
over some of your territory, and do things our way from now on" You can
imagine, how any self respecting nation would react to that. They would
have felt we were taking advantage of their necessities to drive a
sharp bargain in a totally different field. No, the proposed loan is an
economic question. It is as essential to the foreign economic policy of
the United States as it is to the future economic prosperity of Great
Britain. It's a mutual arrangement for mutual benefits, arrived at out of
mutual necessity. And if a lot of extraneous non-economic matters had
been injected into the discussion it's doubtful whether an agreement
could ever have been. reached.

FISHER: But, Mr. Acheson, do the same considerations apply to such
matters as communications and civil aviation?

ACHESON: Yes, I think they do. We have already worked out a very good
agreement with the British on communications. That was done at the
recent Bermuda Telecommunications Conference. And for civil aviation, we
expect to settle our differences in that field around a conference table,

FISHER Now, here's a basic question, Mr, Vinson: Can we afford this.
credit of $3,750,000,000 to Great Britain? Where is the, money coming

VINSON Well, at the end I of the war we were spending 250 million
dollars a day, for war purposes. The British, credit over and. above
lend?-lease settlement is equal to What we spent in 15' is equal to what we
spent in 15 days on the war. Once Congress has, approved it, the credit
will come out of the United States Treasury, from time to time, as
Britain requires funds., It will increase our debt by a little more than one
percent, it's true. This credit is an investment, not an expenditure.
We will get it back with interest. And in view of what's at stake - a
healthy Britain and a healthy World trade - I don't think we can afford
not to make the loan.

FISHER: Another question that is commonly asked, Mr. Vinson, is whether
we won't be setting a precedent for loans to other countries if. this
is credit is advanced to Britain. I understand that when all bids are
in, we may be faced with for loans totaling 20 billion dollars from our
various allies.

VINSON: Mr. Fisher, no other nation plays the part in world trade that
Britain plays. She is in a special position in this respect - it is
inconceivable that world trade could be restored and expanded unless the
British are willing and able to join in the effort. In regard to the
figure of 20 billion dollars which you mentioned, I would like to point
out that these large figures are just somebody's guess on the total
applications, and it is far too. high at that. The Government, of course, is
not lending any such large sums. The Government is going to be very
careful in considering foreign loan applications.

FISHER: Then there's this question, Mr. Vinson, and it's also a very
common one: In helping Britain to get back on her feet, won't we be
financing our competitor? Won't this endanger American trade, in the long

VINSON: That notion is based on a fallacy - the mistaken idea that
there is only so much trade to be had - the idea that foreign trade is like
a melon, and if someone else gets a big slice you get a smaller one, in
direct proportion. That's simply not true. As trade increases, there is
more for everybody. And the principal purpose of this loan is to
increase international trade generally.

ACHESON: It isn't competitive trade that we fear, it's discriminatory
trade - trade hampered by high tariffs, exchange restrictions, quotas
and so on. The British loan enables us to move away from these devices,
which limit our ability to sell abroad.

VINSON: And let's not forget the fact that Britain is normally our best
overseas customer. She can buy more abroad only if she is prosperous,
and if she sells more abroad. To restore British trade is the first and
most important move toward restoring normal American peacetime foreign
trade. Britain won't be a good customer of ours until she's back on her
feet. And we need her trade.

FISHER: Another interesting question, Mr. Acheson, is this one: In
making this loan to the Labor government of Great Britain won't we be
"financing Socialism"?

ACHESON: No, we will not be "financing Socialism". When the British
Government takes over any British private industry it makes payment in
British Government bonds, and, when interest and principal on the bonds
fall due it pays them in pounds sterling. It gets the pounds sterling by
taxing the British people or by borrowing from them or from British
banks. It doesn't need to come to us for its own currency. The loan we are
making is in dollars. The British Government needs dollars not to
finance expenditures in Britain but to finance purchases in other countries
and especially in this country. The loan will very greatly help the
British people to finance what they need to buy abroad. It has nothing
whatever to do with what their Government decides to buy at home.

FiSHER: Now we come to one of the toughest questions of all. It's a
fairly technical one, but I'll try to state it simply. We're facing a,
danger of inflation here at home. We don't have enough goods to meet our
own demands. If you suddenly hand Great Britain three and three-quarters
billion dollars in purchasing power to buy goods over here, won't that
be an added pressure for inflation? Mr. Vinson, that's one for you to
answer, if you can.

VINSON: Well, Mr. Fisher, if you suddenly dumped three or four billion
dollars in purchasing power on the American market, it might well be an
added force for inflation. But that won't happen. The credit will be
spread over a period of several years, and so it probably won't add more
than one or two percent to purchasing power at any one time. And
another thing - the British won't be buying automobiles and refrigerators and
other things for which demand is greatest here in the United States.
The things they'll be buying from us will be raw materials, machinery,
and things, that we can spare, for the most part. Finally, let me say
this: If we get dangerous inflation, it won't be because of the British
loan. The causes will be a lot nearer home than that. It will be because
we have f ailed to get our peacetime, production rolling soon enough;
or it will be because controls are lifted too soon. These are the real
danger points not the British loan.

FiSHER: I have one more question, Mr. Acheson. In her present
condition, is Britain a good investment?

ACHESON: We think she is. All Britain needs is a chance to come back
economically. If we don't give her that chance, then we might as, well
say good-by to our aim of a world with an expanding trade and rising
standards of living. Just consider the alternative, and you'll see that
we've got to help the British to recover.

FISHER: What is the alternative?

ACHESON: The alternative is that we do not get the commercial
arrangements which are necessary for the survival of our free industrial system.
The alternative is the division of the world into warring economic

FISHER: Do you agree with that dire prediction Mr. Vinson?

VINSON: Yes, Dean is absolutely right. The alternative to helping the
British is to face an extension and tightening up of the whole series of
trade and exchange controls that have been put in effect during the
war. The world would soon be divided into a few relatively closed economic
regions. That would mean restricted trade, lower living standards,
bitter rivalry, and stored-up hatred for the United States as the richest
nation in the world. That would be a dangerous course to take, I'm
confident that we'll have sense enough to choose the other way.

FISHER: To summarize what you've said, then, the proposed British loan
is an essential step toward the expanding world trade that we need if
we are to remain prosperous. Its terms offer great advantages to both
parties., It's a loan, not a gift, and the total credit we shall advance
will be very small compared to the benefits we shall receive. The
alternative to the loan would be a reversion to destructive economic
nationalism such as we had in the period between the last two wars.

VINSON: If there's time, Mr. Fisher, I'd. like to quote a few sentences
from a newspaper editorial I have here.

FISHER: Go, right ahead, Mr. Secretary.

VINSON: It's from the Arkansas Democrat, and I think it puts, the whole
thing in perspective as well as anything I've seen. Here's what it

" . . . Without this credit Britain would have to embark on a fight for
world trade by every device she could invent . . . "

We would have to battle that set-up, with its wealth of raw materials
and it's manufacturing skills, for trade in South America and every
out?lying corner of, the world.

"It would be sheet stupidity to force such a course on, Britain. The
cost to us in trade would eventually be far greater than the amount of
the loan, even if it's never repaid.

"More than that, Britain must be, Strong if there is to be a balanced
world, with any prospect for peace. She is our natural ally, and a
feeble, impoverished Britain . . . would weaken our own position.

"This loan isn't an act of charity. It's just good sense." So says the
Arkansas Democrat, and I agree.

FISHER: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Vinson and Mr. Acheson, for
answering our questions on the British loan.

ANNOUNCER: That was Sterling Fisher, Director of the NBC University of
the Air. He has been interviewing Secretary of the Treasury Fred M.
Vinson and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson. The discusson was
adapted for radio by Salden Menefee.

Released to the press Jan. 12. Separate prints of this broadcast are
available from the Department of State. For text of the financial
agreement, see Bulletin of Dec. 9, 1945, p. 907.

Did British ever paid to India?

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