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Colonial History of India
Letters in pioneer..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Who brought Partition
Mr Irshad Alam’s missive, “Symbol of integrity” (October 9), was a rejoinder to my letter, “Factually in the dark” (October 1). The letter is both surprising and intriguing. I only said that the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS had no role to play in the entire drama of Partition enacted by the trio of Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi and the British. If Mr Alam considers it a praise of the RSS and Savarkar then he is obviously hallucinating. In fact, all three considered these organisations non-entities. My letter was devoted to demolish, point by point, the false assertions made by Mr Jamal Ansari in his article, “Bargain for Partition” (September 7). Mr Ansari had claimed that Jinnah’s demand for Pakistan came as a reaction to the rising tide of Hindu revivalism. Mr Alam, however, has made no comments on the facts I supplied in my letter. I am grateful to him because his letter will prompt readers to go back to mine. I recommend all baiters of the RSS to read the anti-Hindu remarks of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. The following is the reply made by Sir Syed in regard to Hindu-Muslim relations in a conversation with then British commissioner of Benaras as he recounted it to his biographer Hali, “I replied I was convinced that the two communities (Hindus and Muslims) were incapable of putting their heart and soul into anything requiring mutual effort and even though the opposition was not yet as serious as it might be, I thought that would increase. I assured him that anyone who lived long enough would see the truth of my prediction...” (Hali’s Hayat-e-Javed, translated by KH Qadiri and David Matthews,1979, page 199, Idarah-e-adabiyat-e-Delhi, Qasimjan Street, Delhi). Muslim separatism was carried further in the 20th century by the AMU and the Muslim League. The British pitted these organisations against the Hindu Congress. Lord Minto instigated the Muslim elite to form the Muslim League in 1906. Within three years of its formation, Muslims were granted separate electorate status. The foundation stone for Pakistan was laid. Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha emerged much later. They did protest, but their agitation was ineffectual before the Congress, League and British. The three were makers of India’s destiny who brought about Partition.
Roopa Kaushal
Hauz Khas, New Delhi<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Who is Roopa Kaushal. If possible can we get the articles she mentions in her letter ?
Question for guroos,

This is probably a question for the "colonial history" thread and i will move the question there eventually. Question is - before 1857 was there any other place where a revolution of the scale of 1857 ? Internationally ? Or was 1857 the first big challenge for the colonial powers ?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->before 1857 was there any other place where a revolution of the scale of 1857 ?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Dec 4 2004, 08:58 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Dec 4 2004, 08:58 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->before 1857 was there any other place where a revolution of the scale of 1857 ?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
USA <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Mudy, gora v/s gora doesnt count.. <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The reason I ask is whether the colonial masters played the same tricks on those natives or not - and if so with what result ?
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Dec 4 2004, 10:57 PM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Dec 4 2004, 10:57 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Dec 4 2004, 08:58 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mudy @ Dec 4 2004, 08:58 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->before 1857 was there any other place where a revolution of the scale of 1857 ?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
USA <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Mudy, gora v/s gora doesnt count.. <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->

The reason I ask is whether the colonial masters played the same tricks on those natives or not - and if so with what result ? <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Spain in Cuba in 1500s.. Native Indians were decimated and the leader killed (stake)
Long term impact of Colonialism in India
The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in
South India, 1720-1800

by Dr. Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston College

In a challenge to the widespread belief that poverty and poor living
standards have been characteristic of India for centuries, Dr.
Prasannan Parthasarathi demonstrates that, until the late eighteenth
century, <b>laboring groups in South India were in a powerful position,
receiving incomes well above subsistence. </b>It was with the rise of
colonial rule that the decline in their economic fortunes was initiated.

Prof. Parthasarathi suggests that 'there is compelling evidence that
South Indian labourers had higher earnings than their British
counterparts in the eighteenth century and lived lives of greater
security.' <b>Even outcaste agricultural labourers in Madras earned more
in real terms than English farm laborers, he further suggests.</b>
Complete essay at:

Also by Dr. Parthasarathi:

The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in
South India 1720–1800

This book argues that, during the seventeenth and first half of the
eighteenth centuries, weavers in south India were relatively well off
compared to their European counterparts, as also were agricultural
laborers. However, during the last fifty years of the eighteenth
century (the late precolonial period), the power of the English East
India Company state greatly increased, enabling it to control these
producers with increasing effectiveness, limit their mobility, and
curtail their earnings. The outcome of this application of state power
was a decline in weaver wages and well being that preceded by several
decades the negative competitive impact of British industrialization
and full colonial rule. Consequently, argues Prasannan Parthasarathi,
contrary to recent revisionist interpretations of British colonial
rule that see it as rooted in indigenous forms, there was a dramatic
break between indigenous rule associated with "notions of just
rulership and a moral polity" (p. 130) and the company colonial state
that implemented European-style policies to discipline and fix labor.
From Statesman, 7 Dec., 2004 in Prespective section. Tribute to Revolutionary Bagha Jatin Mukherjee.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Spiritual roots of terrorism

On his 125th birth anniversary, Bagha Jatin is remembered by historians not just for his terrorist  activities and qualities of leadership but also for what he learnt from Vivekananda and Aurobindo.

A thesis on Bagha Jatin reminded a French historian of a Verdi opera. For MN Roy, the Battle of Balasore was an epic, with the drama woven around the character and personality of the man. Satyajit Ray even thought of a documentary on the legendary Bagha Jatin, born Jatindranath Mukherjee on 7 December 1879.
In September 1923, Bagha Jatin’s sister Vinodebala’s notes helped Prafulla Sarkar, Amarendra Chatterjee, Upendranath Banerjee and Jadugopal Mukherjee write the proscribed Biplaber Bali (Offering to Revolution). A new daily, the Swadesh, appeared. Deshabandhu contemplated founding a memorial. Bhagat Singh wrote about Jatin in Punjabi. Although several books existed since 1947, none seemed adequate. Interviewing his contemporaries and consulting Indian archives, Bhupendrakumar Datta, Jatin’s follower, passed the data to a young scholar, expecting satisfactory results. <b>Enriched by European and American archives, 50 years of research supplies the groundwork. It is time now to determine Bagha Jatin’s significance.</b>

A fiery and charitable widow who admired Bankim and Vidyabhushan, Mother Sharat-Shashi – the greatest influence on Jatin – had died of contagion while nursing a cholera patient. Vivekananda taught Jatin how indispensable India’s political freedom was for the spiritual deliverance of mankind: “Prepare patriots with iron muscles and nerves of steel, subliming the libido in dedication to the Motherland.” Jatin “owed his pre-eminent position not only to his quality of leadership but in great measure to his being a Brahmachari”, according to a historian. To his followers, Jatin personified the Gita: equanimity generating the conviction that nothing was impossible.
<b>Jatin decided to win over Indian soldiers with patriotism while concentrating on a two-pronged programme. </b>The first was social service with Nivedita in the late 1890s and, later, raising volunteers, nursing condemned patients, attending fairs and pilgrimages (the Ardhodaya, Dakshineswar celebrations) and organising flood relief. The second was studying the Gita, Bankim and Vidyabhushan, discussions with guest scholars and staging patriotic plays. A gifted actor, Jatin utilised the urban stage and rural operas (jatra and charan) for propaganda. <b>The earliest known attempts in Bengal to promote political objectives began around 1900 and flourished particularly at Kushtia under Jatin Mukherjee. </b>

After meeting Aurobindo and JN Banerji (Niralamba Swami) in 1903, Jatin and his followers threw in their lot. Jatin was Aurobindo’s “direct contact”, forming societies in the districts and backing the Jugantar group. <b>Hemendraprasad Ghose – Aurobindo’s cousin and member of the Deoghar centre – held that with individual martyrdom, guerrilla and mass movement, Jatin controlled the extremists for over 10 years. Disapproving centralisation and untimely terrorism, he developed a loose confederation of regional groups. </b>

In 1908, there was massive detention and the demoralising Alipore case. The government banned associations and increased repressive measures. Jatin directed militants towards rural centres. Justice Saradacharan obtained from Daniel Hamilton land in the Sunderbans for agriculture, cottage industries and social service; Jatin trained boys in shooting before enacting an attempt to kill the Governor of Bengal on 7 November 1908, shoot dead the police inspector who had arrested Prafulla Chaki (9 November 1908), murder the public prosecutor (10 February 1909) and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (24 January 1910). The next day, the Viceroy announced, “A spirit hitherto unknown to India has come into existence... lawlessness which seeks to subvert British rule”. Arrested on 27 January 1910 along with 46 major suspects, Jatin and the co-accused were released on 21 February 1911. <b>Singling out Jatin as “the real criminal”, Lord Hardinge regretted the dismantling of the Jat Regiment: </b>“Nothing could be worse… than the condition of Bengal… There’s practically no government.”
Since 1906, Jatin’s emissaries abroad received higher education, technical and military training while stirring sympathy for India’s freedom. Taraknath Das was in this aspect, exemplary. Aided by Guran Ditt Kumar, his endeavour in Canada and California motivated compatriots. From prison, Jatin perceived an imminent war in Europe.
Released, Jatin suspended his involvement in so-called terrorism. The German Crown Prince in Kolkata assured him an arms supply. Leaving Kolkata in the care of Atulkrishna Ghosh, he expedited the districts organisation. Watching Jatin reuniting extremists during the 1913 flood relief, Rasbehari Bose found in in him “a real leader” capable of hatching a rising. Uttar Pradesh and Punjab intensified collaboration with Bengal. Sending an emmisary with news of German assistance, Jatin informed Bose about the pistols stolen from British importers (26 August 1914). Witnessing the Gadhar volunteers’ impatience, they chose 21 February for the rising from Bengal to Peshawar, involving various regiments.
Jatin introduced “a new feature in revolutionary crime” to collect money: holding up automobile taxi-cabs. Intercepting a Chartered Bank van, militants escaped with the booty (12 February 1915). To minimise Bose’s failure, he extorted a huge sum from a rice merchant (22 February 1915). Surprised during a secret meeting, his men shot dead a spy (24 February 1915). A police inspector who was following an absconding revolutionary was killed (28 February 1915).
<b>The entire international chain was masterminded by Jatin, claims Bhupati Majumdar. </b>In March 1915, Jiten Lahiri returned from Berlin with a plea to contact the German Consul at Batavia for arms delivery. Despatching Naren Bhattacharya immediately, Jatin left for Balasore to receive the shipment. <b>Following Jatin’s plans of a pincer operation, the Berlin Committee left to raise an army and cross the North-west Frontier. In Bangkok, the Gadhar men would await Naren’s arrival from Batavia, train another army and march through Burma, while the rising flared from Peshawar to Kolkata.</b>With four associates by his side, Jatin fought against a detachment of military police on 9 September 1915 and died while opening the path for the mass movement.
<b>Amales Tripathi noticed the added dimensions revealed by the Howrah Case proceedings: acquire arms locally and abroad, raise a guerrilla unit and create a rising with Indian soldiers. </b>Jatin Mukherjee’s action helped improve (especially economically) the people’s status. He wanted a socialist republic.
Consulting chapters on makers of modern India, Le Roy Ladurie – father of the New Wave in History – found in Jatin Mukherjee’s life “the first chapter with a great impression of modernity”. It reminded him of Bolshevik organisations. Knowing Plekhanov’s influence on Marxism, MN Roy, on meeting Lenin, revealed the similarity between the Russian populist-cum-socialist revolutionaries and Jatin’s men: practice of terrorism, encouraging young men to return to the village and temporarily denouncing capitalism, a Western vice, though Lenin held it to be inevitable as a social revolutionary force.

(The author is a retired Paris-based academic.)

So Bagha Jatin's work laid the first foundations for the Indian National Army in WWII? He seems to have a clear cut vision on armed insurrection to achieve Independence in WWI itself. Wonder if he had any connections to the 1857 movement? I mean inspiration or near relatives involved in the war. Also this is first time I am hearing about the Jat regiment being disbanded.
From Asian Age...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Urdu or déjà vu?
- By Balbir K. Punj

The news that Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSOM) at IIT-Kharagpur has expanded its infrastructure and is increasing its student’s intake from 90 to 120 in 2005 and 150 thereafter (Vinod Gupta School to expand capacity, Business Standard, November 27) and that it’s offering a tailor-made dual degree programme combining engineering and management (IIT plans to roll out two-in-one courses, The Telegraph, November 27) bear a curious contrast with the passage of a Bill by the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on November 30 for the establishment of the Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar University (MMAJU) for Urdu, Persian and Arabic at Rampur.

VGSOM was founded by a US-resident IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, Vinod Gupta, at his alma mater with an initial donation of $2 million to which he has added $8 million more in the last one decade. Hailing from a small village (also called Rampur) near Saharanpur, this IIT-Kharagpur graduate reached the United States in 1967. He currently heads his database company based in Omaha (Nebraska), InfoUSA, that employs 2,000 people and earns a revenue of $300 million per year. He is one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party fund and is a close friend of former US President Bill Clinton. In spite of being one of the richest Indians in the US, he has not forgotten his village where he has established the Ram Rati Gupta Women’s Polytechnic, in memory of his mother. On April 8, 2001, Bill Clinton during his second visit to India, inaugurated the Hillary Rodham Clinton Centre for Multimedia technology in the polytechnic (Clinton revisited the institute during his third visit in November, 2003).

Rampur, the village off Saharanpur, and Rampur, the town near Moradabad (a distance of around 100 kilometres) despite being homonymous, are not the same places, geographically or temperamentally. Despite being in the same state, they reflect, thanks to the "secularists," two different states of mind. One is a village polytechnic established with private funds to make girls self-reliant in the 21st century, another is a "hallowed" university to be built with "secular" patronage to take the Muslim mind from the 18th century to backwards.

But in an age where even engineers and commercial pilots are finding it difficult to get employment (the engineer parents of India’s child genius Shubham Prakhar from Muzaffarpur, Bihar are unemployed) can Mulayam Singh Yadav ameliorate the situation of Muslims with a university exclusively devoted to Urdu, Arabic and Persian? Remember, learning English is an anathema to him. He publicly criticised governor T.V. Rajeshwar who in his Independence Day speech had exhorted students to learn English for its practical utility.

For Mulayam Singh Yadav, MMAJU is not really an educational project, it is a political project aimed at cultivating the Muslim vote bank. The Congress and the BJP both staged a walkout in protest when the Bill was being passed. But while the BJP was against the project, the Congress was merely against the appointment of urban minister Azam Khan as its pro-chancellor for life. Essentially, there is no difference between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party on this issue. The dispute is only over which "secularist" will control the levers of this proposed academy.

I am not speaking about the literary merits or religio-cultural sanctity of these languages, but about their viability in the 21st century. Muammar El Gaddafi is free to think that "they speak Arabic in Paradise." But why a university devoted exclusively to these languages, when they are already offered by many other universities in UP in particular and India in general? Think of the subsidy — enormous salary for faculty members, a colossal waste of paper and stationery, churning out hundreds of graduates, post-graduates, research scholars who are not only unemployed but also unemployable except in mosques, which must also proliferate to keep abreast of "qualified" graduates.

I am against this Urdu university because I feel it is an instrument to cocoon the Muslim mind further. Discontent amongst Muslims is only going to increase by this act of electoral appeasement. Certainly no product of this university can expect to find an employment in any industrial or commercial activity in post-liberation India. Market forces will not allow Arabic, Persian and Urdu to survive in India, and the "secularists" would not let them die — what a predicament!

The religio-political dimension of teaching these languages can’t be overlooked. The "secularists" and Muslim scholars might want us to believe that these languages are congenitally "secular" (whereas Sanskrit is programmed to churn out RSS men), but our historic experience is quite different.<span style='color:blue'> To begin with, let’s take the case of the most refined and most elitist Persian. Persian (though 40 million people use it in Iran) was the Latin of India in the Muslim period. "Pade Farsi beche tel (Study Persian and then sell oil for livelihood)" became a popular joke in the 19th century because there was little "market value" left in it as Mughal power began to decline. This "market value" of Persian was actually an artefact of political power. Persian was the language of government and administration in the Mughal era, and all public services were the monopoly of the Muslims, mostly of foreign descent, except at the lowest levels where some Hindus were also allowed to serve, on learning Persian.

The French traveller of the medieval era, Francois Bernier observes, "It must not, however, be inferred that offices of trust and dignity are exclusively held by those of the Mogol race, or that they alone obtain rank in the army. These situations are filled indifferently by them and strangers from all countries; the greater part by Persians, some by Arabs, and other by Turks. To be considered a Mogol, it is enough if a foreigner have (sic) a white face and profess (sic) Mahometanism; in contradistinction to the Christians of Europe, who are Firanguis, and Indous (Hindus), whose complexion is brown, and who are Gentiles." (Travels in the Mogul Empire, AD 1656-1668, page 3)

Hindus and native Muslims had to depend upon scribes knowing Persian, whenever and wherever they came into contact with the administrative machinery. Of course, given the predominance of Persian, many Hindus, especially Kayasths and Kashmiri Pandits, had not only mastered it but also contributed to its literature, for example, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Dwarka Prasad "Ufuq," Munshi Hargopal (Mirza Ghalib’s chief disciple). In 1837, the British replaced Persian with English from the higher echelons of the administration and with Urdu in the lower levels. Overnight, this artificial premium on Persian collapsed. However, Urdu continued as a vestige at the lower level of administration, unwilling to yield an inch to Hindi.</span>

Mulayam Singh, who is an English-baiter and a Hindi-zealot, seems uninformed that the Persian-Urdu politics tried to thwart Hindi which was actually rescued in the British era. And the case of UP (United Province in the British era, Uttar Pradesh in independent India) is most symbolic because it is the cultural heartland of both Islam in India and Hinduism. With its Dar-ul-Uloom at Deoband, Dar-ul-Uloom Nadwatul Ulama at Lucknow, and Aligarh Muslim University at Aligarh, UP has been the epicentre of Muslim politics in India.

<span style='color:blue'>In Bihar and the Central Provinces (Madhya Pradesh) the British replaced Urdu with Hindi in 1872 and 1881 respectively. The majority of the people spoke Hindi in each of these states and one-sixth of the people, mostly Muslims, could claim Urdu as their own language. In UP, the majority, now free from Muslim rule, demanded the same. But it met with rough weather under the influence of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s Aligarh lobby which, ironically, was patronised by the British themselves. It was in 1894 when Antony MacDonnell became the lieutenant governor, that he prudently kept Urdu as the official language but placed Devnagari script at par with the Persian script, and knowledge of both scripts was made compulsory for all those who aspired for government services at certain levels where English was not essential.

This act of the parity of scripts was too much for the Urduwallas (who in independent India claim to be the sole custodian of "secularism") and they raised the bogey that their "sublime language" Urdu (actually born in Army cantonments) has been brought down to the level of "Hindi gandi" (noxious Hindi)! They pointed that Hindus "all these years" (i.e. under Muslim rule) were learning Urdu. And Urdu, next to Arabic and Persian, was the language of Islamic "religion and culture."</span>

But the pragmatic reason behind this veneer of "religion and culture" peeped out soon. "Prosperous and wily" Hindus, they said, had many avenues of employment, but the "poor and simple" Muslims were solely dependent on government patronage. With a slight change of script (pun intended) the story is being repeated again. Hindus have shown initiative towards IITs and polytechnics while Muslims are sought to be patronised by the "secularists" for Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Unlike during the Mughal rule, Hindus have little stake and less interest in learning these languages and master their scripts. These languages will not solve the basic problems of Muslims but provide them with an alibi for agitation. <b>The campus of the proposed MMAJU can only be expected to become a "<span style='font-size:25pt;line-height:100%'>sovereign Muslim intellectual territory" like say the JNU is for Marxists, at the cost of the public exchequer.

The university being named after Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), who hailed from a courtier family of Rampur and spearheaded the Khilafat Movement, is suggestive. He said, "I belong to two circles of equal size, but which are not concentric. One is India, and the other is the Muslim world… We as Indian Muslims belong to these two circles, each of more than 300 millions, and we can leave neither." Mohammed Ali, on his premature death, was buried in Jerusalem, as per his wishes.</b></span> Babasaheb Ambedkar has pointed out this incident as an indicator of pan-Islamism. But whatever it might be, teaching Arabic, Persian and Urdu will also find themselves caught between two non-concentric circles — India and the Muslim world, the "glorious past" and the 21st century, cultural ties and market forces.

Neglect of Netaji irksome: Biswas

Satarupa Bhattacharjya/ New Delhi

AS All-India Forward Bloc general secretary Debrabata Biwas settled down for a glance of the day's newspapers in his office last Thursday, he was "disturbed" to find Congress Party members greeting president Sonia Gandhi on her birthday through full-page advertorials.

Although Mr Biswas said, that he was "not surprised by the practices of the parties in power," he later told "The Pioneer" that such events only heightened his frustrations, rendering him restless.

For his party, the issue at hand was the birth anniversary of once Congress president and later Forward Bloc founder Netaji Subash Chandra Bose to be celebrated on January 23 next year.

While it would be Netaji's 108th birth anniversary next month, Mr Biwas would also have completed two decades of struggle against the "indifference of the Congress Party" towards Netaji.

"For twenty years I have been fighting to get a plot of land for the Netaji Foundation in Delhi. Land here has been allotted to all and sundry, but in this case, successive Congress governments did nothing," he said.

"Where is the nation headed for, if one of its tallest leaders can't get the respect he deserves?" asked Mr Biswas. This question continued to haunt several generations of Indians who have been uneasy over Netaji's mysterious disappearance and failure of many fact-finding commissions, assembled and then dismantled.

And, the Forward Bloc's fight is not just about a plot of land. With Netaji's birth anniversary fast approaching, the party would make a fresh attempt to get Netaji his rightful place in history books.

Mr Biswas said, "While Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh had begun changing school curriculum (history text books), he could have introduced a detailed account on Netaji and the history of the Indian National Army (INA) to say the least. How many children or even adults know that Netaji was the first national leader to have initiated the concept of the Planning Commission as early as 1938"

The Left leader's anger was not just directed at the Congress, he was unsparing of his CPM comrade, fellow Bengali and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

"At a gathering, Mr Bhattacharjee had fleetingly referred to Netaji as a patriot. We have arrived at a time when Netaji is being just called a patriot," he added.

Irrespective of how the Centre reacts to the Forward Bloc's demands, Mr Biswas and his cadre were determined to "rebuild India in Netaji's way."

The party would organise rallies for the youth and women from January 23 to January 27, 2005, during which participants would be urged to shed a drop of blood each to demonstrate their movement towards a "new India."

As president of the Congress Party, Netaji had addressed the Haripura Congress session in 1938 where he had said, "I have no doubt that our principal national problems relating to poverty eradication, illiteracy, disease and scientific production and distribution, can be effectively tackled only along socialist lines."

This would form the platform for the Forward Bloc's "rebuild India" movement.
Pioneer, Agenda section 19 Dec., 2004.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Gunpowder lies cold

Pulicat's excellent shipping facilities enabled the Dutch to keep their hold over east Asia, finds S Anvar

Appearances can be deceptive. Not just with people, even with places. When the long, winding road that branches off from National Highway 5 comes to an abrupt end, just before a waterfront, in what looks like a main bazaar that also doubles up as a noisy, crowded fish market, one needs to be reassured that this is the historic Pulicat.

<b>Also known as Pazhaverkadu (the old jungle of mimosa trees), it was once a thriving port, over which centuries ago, many European colonial powers fought bitter battles.</b> If you expect to breathe history upon arrival, the stench of the fish and complete chaos, typical of an Indian fish market, is what you get.

Pulicat is located about 55 km from Chennai. However, having "been there and done that" before, we knew history sleeps in the side roads. Facing the waterfront and a few paces into the road on the left is the Dutch Cemetery, the most visible remains of the colonial past, that also hold some clue to the gory and glorious times.

It was on March 20, 1602, that representatives of the provinces of the Dutch Republic granted the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) a monopoly on the trade in the East Indies. Its purpose was not only trade, the company also had to fight the enemies of the Republic and prevent other European nations from entering the lucrative East India trade.

<b>Vegetable-dyed cottons from Pulicat and its hinterland, a business still remembered in a name that lingers on, Palayakat lungis, was what brought the Dutch to the Coromandel coast, to Pulicat in particular. The Dutch built a fort here in 1609 and named it Fort Gelderia, after Gelderland, one of the states of Holland.

Apart from trading in textiles, the easy availability of good quality saltpetre enabled them to start manufacturing gunpowder. This was a vital commodity in the highly turbulent 17th century, when large ships roamed the seas armed to the teeth and the Dutch had to use brute force to establish their hegemony throughout east Asia. Pulicat was strategically located for the distribution of gunpowder as its excellent shipping facilities enabled the Dutch to keep most of the VOC's major establishments in the East well-stocked. </b>

<b>Pulicat remained the chief Dutch settlement in India till 1781 when the British took over. Restored to the Dutch in 1785, it was seized by the British again in 1795, then handed back once more in 1818 before it was finally ceded to the British in 1825. </b>Though nothing is left of the fort, barring some traces of the foundation, thankfully the tomb of Abraham Mendis inside the Dutch cemetery has an engraving of Fort Gelderia on its tombstone. In the centre of the engraving, Fort Gelderia is surrounded by a moat filled with lotuses and fish, with slanted roofed houses in the west.

As we tiptoed across the cemetery, the ASI caretaker showed us another tombstone with a church and a tree engraved on it. Hoping to discover more such, we gentle-footed from one tomb to another, tombs built underneath domed canopies and obelisks over 40 feet high. After a futile search and no further help from the caretaker, we decided to continue our search to the other side of the road, across the market.

<b>On the other side of the market place, there are streets with dilapidated masonry houses, occupied by ethnic Arabian Muslims. A few families are still left over and they possess a document with them in Arwi or Arabic Tamil (Tamil written in Arabic character), which says that they were banished from Mecca for refusing to pay tributes to a new calif, Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf. And so they were escorted out of the land in four ships, one of which landed in Cholamandal (meaning the land ruled by the Tamil kings, Cholas). Over a period of time they spread out and settled in Pulicat. Early in the 17th century, when a Dutch ship ran aground on the Pulicat shores, these Muslims offered food and help to the Dutch. Locals struck a trade partnership with the foreigners, to procure and supply local merchandise for the Dutch to trade with the East Indies. Mustafa Maricair, one of the Muslims, made a fortune out of dealing with the Dutch, notes the document.</b>

It definitely seems to have been a mutually beneficial relationship. Two mosques in this area built in stone, in Dravidian architecture, are around 300 years old, corresponding to the Dutch era. The houses in which these Muslims reside are two-storeyed, some have a distinct European style with pillared fronts and high roofs. We went into one such house, almost in ruins with an old man and his sister being the sole occupants. Inside the house were neatly stacked, huge, glazed Chinese jars. Though the locals claimed they were meant for storing rain water, we wondered whether these were the Burmese martaban jars the Dutch used to store gunpowder. As we paused, our local guide from the mosque, who read out the Arwi document, whispered to us that sometime back a Dutch tourist armed with maps, pointed to this house, recognising it to be the one in which his forefathers had lived. He was willing to give a crore, but it was refused, said the man. Looking at the completely ruined state, we could hardly believe it. But who knows, what is a crore to a man who doesn't require it. The old man, who could easily be mistaken for an Arab, refused to be photographed, saying his wife had just passed away and he was in mourning. To him the ruins probably still held memories of his wife and forefathers.

A few other houses had the same glazed jars and wooden pillars with intricate designs carved on them, a reminder of the good old times. Today Pulicat is a sleepy village drawing the local tourist crowd, which is more attracted by the lake that runs miles to the north and south. Thankfully the ASI takes care of the cemetery, which seems to attract an occasional foreign tourist who has chosen to travel off the beaten track. As we headed back to Chennai, we suddenly realised that the stench in the market had hardly bothered us. Was it because of the hot sun or our engrossing time travel? Pulicat would never be a sleepy village to me again, appearances can be very deceptive.

Copyright: Alliance Darpan, inflight magazine of Alliance Air. Also available on all Indian Airlines flights
Been reading a book - excerpts so far from the book


From the book ARAVINDA DARSHANAM (Telugu)

by K.Taara Nath
We must really be thankful to the Westwern Indologists and Sanskrit scholars, for their dedicated efforts in exposing Indian cultural and religious achievements to the West. Inthe process they took the aid of advances in other fileds, and all in a manner, that will be understood and admired by their people. It need not be expected to be other-wise.

That, therefore, need not prevent us from examining, if it is for earning fame and wealth, or pure intellectual exercise and thrill, or if any other motivations.

So the motivations as given by these scholars are collected and quoted.
---- Max Muellar, edited Sacred Books Of The East, regarded as admirer of Sanskrit

1. <b>" The ancient reigion of India is doomed and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?</b>
2. "<b>A large number of Vedic hymns are childish in the extreme, low, commonplace---</b>
3. "A writer like Dr. Spiegal ( who had suggested that , Genesis--creation--- mentioned in the Bible might have been taken from Iranians.) should know that he can expect no mercy; nay, he should himself wish for no mercy, but invite the heaviest artillery against the floating battery which he has launched in the troubled waters of Biblical criticism.

Lt. Col. Boden who served in the Indian army in bombay, in 1807 wrote a will, that after his death his wealth be used for creating a chair in Oxford University. Accordingly, Pof. Horace Heman Wilson ( WHO HAD TRANSLATED Rigveda in 1832) became the first occupant. He wrote book "The Reigious and Philosophical systems of the Hindus" to be elegible for the 200 pound reward, for the best and most effective condemnation of Hindu religion and religious practices, instituted by John Muir.So to be able to do it , and effectively , first, he had to understand it, before condemning.

After Wilson, Sir Monier Williams became the Boden Professor, and was instrumental in publishing the first Sankrit English dictionary. The aim of this publication is clearly mentioned in the first printed edition.

"--- I must draw attention to the fact that I am only the second occupant of the Boden Chair, and that its founder, Colonel Boden, stated most explicitly in his will dated August 15th, 1811, that the special object of his munificent bequest was to <b>promote the translation of Scriptures into Sanskrit; so as to enable his countrymen to proceed in the conversion of the natives of India to the Christian religion."</b>

Monier Wiliams continues, " When the walls of the mighty fortress of Brahminism are encircled, undermined, and finally stormed by the soldiers of the Cross, the victory of Christianity must be be signal and complete."

The credit of deciding the Indian Chronology by the study of anguage , goes to Max Mueller. His was the first attempt, and done in the spirit of an experiment--in a peremptory manner-(in his own words it was nothing more than an experiment).

<b>The speculative experiment is ike this. They are sure of Alexander's brush with India (which, again was held as the period of Maurya Chandraguptha, whereas it was the period of Guptha Chandraguptha, a difference of nearly thousand years). And from it the time of the Buddha, which was 500 B.C. All the Vedic literature; Vedas (Sukthas), Braahmanaas, Aranyakas, Upanishads; were prior to Buddha- it is conceded. The experimental, irresponsible speculation, allowed Max Mueller to alow 200 years each, for each stage and fix 600 to 12oo B.C. as the age of the Vedas. Why, 200 years? </b>

Bible gives 4004B.C. as the age of the earth, (its creation by God). " History seems to teach the whole human race, required gradual education before, it could be admitted to the truths of Christanity.------Buddhism and all other ancient reigions of the world, may have but served to prepare the way of Christ, by helping by their own errors to strngthen and deepen the ineradicable yearning of the human heart after the truth of God."

Winternitz critic of Max Mueller suggests 1000 years for each stage, instead of 200 years, in the same casual way, Even he thinks, the Vedic hymns do not rise to the exalted flights and deep fervour of, say, the reigious poetry of the Hebrews. (Jews)

Rudolph Roth, the author of Sanskrit-German Dictionary declares, that, with the help of science of comparative anguages, he can give the meaning of vedas, even better than the Niruktha of Yaska. The American Indologist, William Whitney concurs. Prof. Goldstucker, severely criticises the Roth dictionary, and is, in turn, abused by Weber. Goldstucker, gets offended by this. He enumerates the obvious deficiencies of many Western Indologists. "It will, of course, be my duty to show at the earliest opportunity, that Dr. Bothlingk is incapable of understanding of even easy rules of Panini ( the author of Ashtaadyayi- the sutras of Vyakarana, one of the six Vedangas required to be studied for proper understanding of the Vedas), much less of Katyaayana (author of vaarthika-a commentary on Ashtaadyaayi), and still less capable of understanding of classical texts. The errors in his dictionary are so numerous ---they exercise a miscievous influence on the study of Sanskrit Philology."

"When I see that, that the most distinguished and the most learned Hindu scholars and divines- the most valuable and sometimes the only source of all our knowledge about Ancient India are scorned in theory, mutilated in print, and as a consequence set aside in the interpretration of Vedic texts---- when a CLIQUE of Sanskritists of this descriptioin vapours about giving us the sense of the Vedas, as it existed at the commencement of Hindu antiquity--- when I consider that this method of studying Sanskrit philology is pursued by those whose words apparently derive weight and influence from the professional position they hold----then I hold that it would be want of courage and a deriliction of duty, if I did not make a stand against these Saturnalia of Sanskrit philology."
India -1700-1792
<img src='http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/shepherd/india_shepherd_1923.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
"Austenizing" of British Atrocities in India
I was just watching Shayam Benegal's discovery of India on Zee TV and there was this episode on Tipu Sultan. In which Tipu Sultan mentions that Cornwallis is furious with him because Tipu had sent 3 ships to help George Washington during the American revolution.Which helped the revolutionary forces to defeat Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown.
Can anyone confirm this,I tried google but couldnt get any reference to support this.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->3 ships to help George Washington <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Bollywood/Nehru story,He could have sent to help France, but there is no evidence.
First Indians on US soils were farmers. We would have heard somewhere about support to US, there is no memorial in US and neither gloating articles on support to American freedom struggle by Indian media.
Who is this dude ?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Gunter Grass wonders about Netaji
- By Sanjoy Bhadra

Kolkata, Jan. 28: In what may trigger a major controversy, Nobel laureate Gunter Grass on Friday wondered aloud why West Bengal regarded Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as a hero given that he was associated with the Nazis and Japanese military dictators during World War II.

Grass, who since his first novel The Tin Drum (1959) virtually became the literary spokesman of the generation which grew up in Nazi-era Germany, found it a "terrible metaphor."

"Bose went to Germany and sought Hitler’s help to form his force. He travelled in a German submarine to keep away from the Allied forces. Bose also sought the help of the Japanese, but no one seems to be critical of him. On the contrary, he is held in high esteem in Bengal," the celebrated author said.

Grass, who had last visited Kolkata in 1986, said he had always been puzzled by why Netaji was hero-worshipped in Bengal. "Given his association with the Nazis and the Japanese, why people in Bengal admire Bose instead of being critical about him beats me," he said.

Grass, who is aware of the Gandhi-Bose divide in pre-Independent India, said that in his opinion Mahatma Gandhi "was a greater leader, and more successful." Grass was speaking at an informal meeting with contemporary Bengali writers, including Nilanjan Chattopadhyay, Bhagirat Mishra and Atun Bandopadhyay, at the Kolkata Book Fair.

During his last visit in 1986-87, Grass had stayed for nearly six months in the city, a visit which had resulted in his controversial book Show Your Tongue, in which he had depicted Kolkata in a very poor light. But this has apparently not led to any great animosity against Grass in the city, which has again welcomed the author with open arms on his current visit.

Although he is greatly admired by the city’s literati, his uncomplimentary views about Netaji, an icon to most Bengalis, did not go unchallenged. A popular Bengali novelist argued that Netaji had become a folk hero to Bengalis. "We regard him as a highly courageous adventurer who dedicated his life to ridding the country of foreign rule," he said.

Retorted Grass: "Even Robinson Crusoe was my childhood hero." The differences in opinion did not, however, spoil the atmosphere of bonhomie. Another Bengali writer said that "Netaji was rather a rare character in Bengal’s history." Grass chose not to reply, but simply smiled. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Crash that killed Netaji never took place: Taiwan
A book review on declin eof British Military power in India fro the Telegraph, 18 Feb. 2005.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->HOW TABLES GOT TURNED 
<b>There is a consensus among practitioners of British history that Britain was on the path of terminal decline after 1900. In order to explain the descent of the British Empire from a global power to that of a secondary one, a host of economic, social and cultural factors have been cited by various scholars. </b>Anirudh Deshpande analyses the limits of British India’s military strategy in the age of decline and its effect on the disintegration of the colonial state. His book is actually a revised version of his doctoral thesis.

<b>Deshpande claims that the roots of British imperial decline could be traced back to the late 19th century.</b> World War I exposed to the world the myth of British power. Brian Bond has shown how the economic decline of Britain reduced its military power in the continent. <b>Deshpande says that the raj’s armed forces remained backward because Delhi could not get any financial support from London. Though 35 per cent of the raj’s revenue was consumed by the armed forces, the military budget was still inadequate for capital investment. </b>

<b>Besides inadequate capital investment, the armed forces also suffered from a shortage of officers.</b> In the inter-war period, young Britons were not willing to join the army. And racism and insecurity prevented the British government from allowing a large number of Indians into the commissioned ranks.

The Indian army remained a regiment-centric and frontier-oriented force during World War II. <b>Deshpande asserts that the raj had to recruit the urban “non-martial” classes under the pressures of war. However, the failure of the colonial state to address their economic grievances resulted in discontent in the armed forces. These, in turn, had an effect on the freedom struggle, the net result being unplanned decolonization.</b>

<b>Deshpande asserts how faulty the British security policy was, which finally culminated in decolonization in 1947. </b>His claim that mass indiscipline, desertions and mutinies between 1940-45 threatened the Indian army cannot be sustained after analysing the court martial and war cabinet records. <b>Even during the Quit India movement, the Indian army stood firm by its white master. Only after 1945, when the sahibs failed to provide jobs for the demobilized sepoys did the latter turn “nationalist”.</b>

Deshpande deserves credit for fusing the arrested development of the colonial military establishment with limitations of imperial grand strategy. He fills an important gap in the historiography of modern India.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sir, — I quite appreciate AK Ghosh’s stout defence made in “The Anthem Debate” (5-6 February) for maintaining the original version of Rabindranath Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana, India’s present National Anthem, without changing the word Sindhu with other words like Kashmir etc.

But what bewildered me is his statement that Subhas Chandra Bose was one of the members of the sub-committee, formed at the instance of the Congress working committee, “to examine the current national songs with the advice of Rabindranath Tagore”. Bose was never a member of such a sub-committee, but was a member in a sub-committee formed in 1937 by the CWC, to decide the fate of the song Bandemataram, which was then widely accepted as the national anthem by freedom fighters, and regularly sung in Congress meetings.

But the Muslims in general and nationalist Muslims in particular objected to its use, as it contained the names of Durga, Kamala etc. Anything concerned with the image is forbidden in Islam. It should be mentioned, at that time, the entire Bandemataram was sung in Congress meetings. Obeying the diktat of the Muslims, the Congress High Command formed the said committee of which Bose was a member. Tagore’s advice was sought. Tagore made a statement in which he opined that the first part of Bandemataram is harmless and could be accepted as the national anthem.
Accepting his advice the CWC decided in favour of using only the first part of the Bandemataram as the national anthem. Mr Ghosh has quoted Tagore’s statement made in relation to Bandemataram. There was a furore against the decision of the CWC, and the protesters even included Sadharan Brahma Samajists like Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Ramananda Chatterjee, Krishna Kumar Mitra, who did not believe in image worship.

— Yours, etc., Lakshmi Kanto Boral.
Santragachi, 7 February. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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