2ndlook

How Jinnah was made Important; became Somebody & got Pakistan

Posted in British Raj, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on August 2, 2012

To mount a credible challenge to Hitler in WWII, British desperately needed Indian soldiers. Congress could have denied them this luxury.

1935 Nazi Party Rally at Nurnberg displayed the new half-track artillery-carriers.  |  Image source and courtesy - Hitler's Army- The Men, Machines, and Organization- 1939-1945 - David Stone - Google Books 2012-08-02 17-43-23  |  Click for image.

1935 Nazi Party Rally at Nurnberg displayed the new half-track artillery-carriers. | Image source and courtesy – Hitler’s Army- The Men, Machines, and Organization- 1939-1945 – David Stone – Google Books 2012-08-02 17-43-23 | Click for image.

Jinnah turns

In 1940, Jinnah, who for most part of his career was anti-colonial, suddenly changed.

The man who defended Bal Gangadhar Tilak wanted a Pakistan.

To many this has seemed like a puzzle.

Transfer Of Power In India - V.P. Menon - Google Books accessed on 2012-07-31 at 01-20-35  |  Click to go to books.google.co.in

From MA Jinnah’s speech at the Lahore Session in March 1940 of the The All-India Muslim League. | Image Extract from Transfer Of Power In India – V.P. Menon – Google Books accessed on 2012-07-31 at 01-20-35 | Click to go to books.google.co.in

Why or what changed Jinnah?

The simple answer is the British.

The British needed a counter to the Congress – which could have disrupted the British recruitment of Indian soldiers. Congress decided to oppose British recruitment of Indian soldiers. Jinnah agreed to support British recruitment of Indian soldiers to fight a British war in far-off lands.

Indians soldiers who were essential to the British victory in WWII.

Keys to British power

Just as Indian gunpowder powered the British rise to world power, the other leg was the Indian Army. Drawing upon India’s vast military market, tens of thousands of soldiers could be raised in a short time – at a very reasonable cost.

To impose British writ on the world.

When the British needed to teach a lesson to Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia (then Abyssinia; also “Theodore”), it was the Indian sepoy who was sent. After the British disaster in Burma, it was decided to use the Bengali sepoys in Burma – which resulted in the Barrackpore Mutiny of 1824. After a lull, British power was imposed on Burma, in degrees, between 1856 to 1896,  by Indian soldiers. As the Chinese started steaming, and the Boxer Wars started, it was the Indian Sepoy who landed in China.

On August 4, 1900, a relief force of more than 3000 soldiers from Sikh and Punjabi regiments left Tianjin, part of the larger eight-nation alliance that was dispatched to aid the besieged quarter, where 11 countries had set up legations. Indian troops were also dispatched to guard churches and Christian missionaries, the targets of the Boxer uprisings.

Among the Indians, there was sympathy for the Boxers, Colonel Jaishankar said. Gaddhar Singh, a Rajput who was in Beijing in 1900-01, empathised with Chinese grievances in his accounts, arguing it was an entirely justified peasant rebellion.

The British also dispatched Indian regiments to China leading up towards the Opium War, which ended with the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 and the opening up of Chinese ports to the British.

The British deployed Sikh soldiers as law enforcement officers in ports like Shanghai, where their trading companies had set up a large presence by the early twentieth century. The Sikh soldiers were feared by the Chinese with their imposing figures, so much so that the British deemed that they did not even need guns when on duty, Colonel Jaishankar said, citing records from the time.

The history of Indian troops in China is one that is ignored in Chinese accounts, and is likely a sensitive legacy considering they were often deployed against the Chinese.

via The Hindu : Arts / History & Culture : The forgotten history of Indian troops in China.

During WWI, more than ten lakh Indian soldiers fought all over the world to save the British Empire from being overrun by the German-Ottoman alliance.

After WWI, with many idle Indian soldiers and no war, the British Raj decided on another adventure against Amir Amanullah Khan of Afghanistan in 1919. A small contingent of Indian soldiers under Wilfrid (also Wilfred) Malleson landed in Russian Central Asia to hold crucial railway lines and oil fields from falling in Bolshevik hands. Both campaigns failed.

Modern Western narrative is reluctant to admit the role played by the British Indian Army in the power and conquest of the Raj.

Inadequate Cover

The role of the Indian soldier was most crucial in the British victory in WWII.

A White Paper introduced in the British Parliament on March 1, 1935 discussed Germany’s secret re-armament – and proposed British increase in defense production.

Germany responded with an announcement of Luftwaffe, and universal military conscription on March 16, 1935 in the Wehrmacht. Nearly four years after the white paper, Britain introduced conscription to increase the size of its army, after the passage of the Military Training Act (April 27, 1939).

The small size of the British military against the might of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg, forced Britain into conscription at the beginning of WWII.

During the early years of the war, the army suffered defeat in almost every theatre in which it was deployed. With mass conscription, the expansion of the army was reflected in the formation of larger armies and army groups. From 1943, the larger and better equipped British Army hardly suffered a strategic defeat.

In September 1939, the army had a total of 892,697 officers and men in both the full-time regular army and part-time Territorial Army. The regular army could muster 224,000 men, who were supported by a reserve of 173,700 men. Of the regular army reservists, only 3,700 men were fully trained and the remainder had been in civilian life for up to 13 years.The Territorial Army numbered 438,100, with a reserve of around 20,750 men.

By the end of 1939, the Army’s strength had risen to 1.1 million men, by June 1940 it stood at 1.65 million men, and had further increased to 2.2 million men by the following June. The size of the Army peaked in June 1945, at 2.9 million men.

By 1944, the United Kingdom faced severe manpower shortages. By May 1944, it was estimated that the Army’s strength in December 1944 would be 100,000 less than at the end of 1943. Although casualties were actually lower than anticipated, losses from all causes were still higher than could be replaced. 35,000 men from the Royal Air Force and Royal Artillery were retrained as infantry.

via British Army during the Second World War – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Although 35 lakh British soldiers enlisted during WWII, the peak numbers of soldiers fighting was never more than twenty-nine lakhs – including reserves, under-training, injured and non-combatants, which was about half the number. In contrast twenty-five lakh Indian soldiers fought to save the British Empire. Compare this with the thirty lakh soldiers that Germany committed for Operation Barbarossa (June 22, 1941) against Soviet Union.

At the beginning of the WWII, the British attitude, in part was ‘Me? Worry!’ ‘Indeed the advice coming from London was that it was unlikely that Indian troops would be required at all.’

The tune soon changed.

There were over two and a half million Indian citizens in uniform during the war. The Fifth Indian Division, for example, fought in the Sudan against the Italians, and then in Libya against the Germans. From North Africa the Division was moved to Iraq to protect the oilfields.

After this relatively easy posting, the Division was moved to the Burma front, together with eight other Indian Divisions, and then occupied Malaya. It was then moved to Java to disarm the Japanese garrison there.

The Fourth Indian Division also fought in North Africa, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and then in Italy. Together with the 8th and 10th Division it participated in the taking of Monte Cassino, after which it was moved to Greece.

India also served as an assault and training base, and provided vast quantities of foods and other materials to British and Commonwealth forces, and to the British at home. This necessitated the involvement of more millions of men and women in war work and war production.

via BBC – History – World Wars: Colonies, Colonials and World War Two.

For this privilege of saving the British skins

India also had to pay for its two and a half million citizens in uniform, as well as for the highly paid white British officers.

via BBC – History – World Wars: Colonies, Colonials and World War Two.

Later in this post we will use gold prices indices to demonstrate the high salaries paid to Indian and British soldiers by the British Raj. From the taxes levied on the Indian peasant.

Western historians make much of the fact that the British-Indian Army was a voluntary Army and not a conscript army.

They conveniently overlook the fact that what went towards paying for the British Indian Army were extortionate taxes that the Indian peasant paid. Neither voluntarily nor willingly.

Taxes that were not even fair.

Wages of sin?

The question about British-Indian Army on most people’s minds was

What motivated men to fight in a war thousands of miles from home, in a cause that did not seem to be their own? The Indian Army has often been described as a mercenary force, and money may have been one motive for enlistment. The pay for an Indian infantryman was a modest 11 rupees a month, but the additional income would have been useful to a hard-pressed peasant family. Promotion could bring more substantial income, particularly to men who had served for many years.

via BBC – History – World Wars: India and the Western Front.

In an India wracked by famines in the British Raj, in an agricultural economy subjected to crippling taxes, British-Indian Army with it high pay, timely salaries, pension benefits was attractive to rural families with any surplus children, that could not be used on the farm.

The other aspect is that as the Squeeze-India Campaign initiated by Churchill-Montagu Norman progressed, indebtedness of the Indian population also grew. The Central Banking Enquiry Committee estimated the total rural debt in 1929 at Rs.900 crores. Some 4.5 crore families owed equal to today’s Rs.200,000 in debt – calculation based on Rs.200 debt per family debt with gold at Rs.30 per tola.

By 1937, this doubled to today’s Rs.400,000 for every rural family – indexed to current gold prices.

To get a handle on this

Let us compare this to modern India’s labour market.

Look at the software industry. Employing about 28 lakh people (Nasscom; 2012), the average entry level pay for a basic software professional (HTML; Java) is about Rs.1.00-1.20 lakhs per annum. SAP-trained entry level employees cost between Rs.2.0-3.0 lakhs.

At entry-level, software employees get just about double of what farm labour gets in India. A typical farm labourer makes about Rs.50,000-Rs.100,000 per annum.

Similar to India modern software industry, the British Indian army at the end of WWII had recruited about 25 lakh soldiers. Unlike software employees, the recruits in the British Army had close to zero skills and negligible education. Mostly from rural areas, a career in the British Indian Army was rewarding. For most of the British Raj period, rural wages in India were about 10%-20% of a sepoy’s salary.

To better understand the value of this salary, we will need to understand the value of the Indian currency vis-a-vis the British pound and the price of gold in India – during this period.

In 1927, the peg was once more reduced, this time to 18 pence (13⅓ rupees = 1 pound). This peg was maintained until 1966, when the rupee was devalued and pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 7.5 rupees = 1 dollar (at the time, the rupee became equal to 11.4 British pence). This peg lasted until the U.S. dollar devalued in 1971.

via Indian rupee – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Gold in India, before WWII was at Rs.30 per tola. A salary of Rs.60 indexed to today’s gold price would mean Rs.60,000 – excluding food, lodging, uniform, and other allowances.

So, what were actual pay scales like?

Paying for loyalty

We will take a broad sample of reports for that period. A luminary from the British Indian Army was

Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (March 18, 1914 – February 6, 2006) an officer in the Indian National Army charged with “waging war against His Majesty the King Emperor”. Along with Shah Nawaz Khan and Prem Kumar Sahgal, he was tried by the British at the end of World War II in the INA trials that began on November 5, 1945 at Red Fort. Dhillon also played an important role in the Indian independence negotiations.joined the Training Battalion of the 10/14th Punjab Regiment on May 29, 1933, receiving pay of fifteen rupees per month. He completed his training in the first week of March 1934.

via Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Another INA leader who joined in the officer grade had a much higher salary.

Habib ur Rahman Khan (1913–1978) was an Indian freedom fighter during British colonial rule of India, Rahman was an officer in the Indian National Army who was charged with “waging war against His Majesty the King Emperor”. Along with Gen. Shah Nawaz Khan, Col. Prem Kumar Sahgal & Col. Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, he was tried by the British at the end of World War II in the famous INA trials that began on November 5, 1945 at Red Fort.

Khan got enrolled himself at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College, Dehradun and was commissioned as an officer in the British Indian Army. In 1933 after training from Dehradun joined 5th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 40th Pathans, the 5/14th Punjab Regiment on May 29, 1933. As a officer his pay was hundred rupees per month. He was posted to 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment.

After Independence Quaid-i-Azam was delighted with that Khan joining the government service and advised him in writing to visit and report about the current situation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar. Following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, Khan chose to settle in Pakistan

via Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Comparing pay scales in navy yields similar numbers.

In 1914, Indian deckhands earned between 16 and 22 rupees (£1.00-£1.50) a month and firemen (who worked with the engines) 20 rupees (less than £1.50) compared to wages of £5.10 per month for their British co-workers. By 1919, their wages had stayed the same, while the British seamen’s wages had nearly tripled to £14.00 a month.

When World War II began, there were still big differences in pay, with White seamen earning on average seven times as much as lascars. This caused widespread unhappiness amongst the lascars, and led to strikes, running away and the setting up of seamen’s unions. By the end of the war, lascar wages had increased by 500% to over £9.00 a month, but still stood at less than half the wages paid to White seamen (£20.00-£24.00 a month).

via Bangla Stories – Two World Wars.

As the German motorized division rolled across Europe brushing all opposition aside, the British also changed their Indian army recruitment. At the start of the war some British Indian Army divisions had entire regiments where no one knew how to drive an automobile.

The outbreak of World War Two forced the British to speed up mechanisation but initially mechanisation for Indians meant only trucks or armoured cars. There was one important measure which the British undertook and which most probably attracted the best available manpower to try to enrol in the Indian Armoured Corps. This was an almost doubling of the pay of the Armoured Corps soldiers from around 18 rupees to 33 rupees per month. This was done in October 1942, once General Martel who was visiting India in order to reorganise the Indian Armoured Corps was told that “India had a mercenary army” and that the best men in India would not join he (sic; read as the, and not he) Indian Armoured Corps if they were paid Rs 18 per month which was the average monthly pay of an Indian soldier.

via Pakistan Armoured Corps as a Case Study.

The above figures are broadly confirmed by the memoirs of a soldiers. This following memoir, with some contradictions and inconsistencies (not to mention spelling mistakes) still serves a useful purpose of confirming a soldiers salary.

Once the situation came under control, then I joined the Indian Army. This was in 19th Febuary 1948. At first I was an electrician/ motor vehicle engineer. After this I was made an Armamnet Artificial Vehicle Officer. At that time India was in the commonwealth. India brought independance in 1947. However, Lord Mountbatton was still the Governer General of India until 1952.

During the British period the uniforms were Khaki. Under Indian rule this changed to olive Green. Status was low. We used to receive the same wages though, 29 rupees monthly. Normally people were not very well educated at that time. When i joined the air force,

During the beginning, I was going to join in 1945, but the British recruitment was finished. That is why I had to join later. Living standards were very good for army people, and people used to give us more respect. British people really appreciated the Sikhs joining the British Army, and were very encouraging.

via BBC – WW2 People’s War – My Life as a Sikh Soldier In India.

Money alone is not enough

By the time of the Burma offensive (Nov.1944-August 1945), Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck had to increase pay to retain Indian soldiers. When the time came, even this increased pay was not enough.

In January 1943, the Japanese invited Bose to lead the Indian nationalist movement in East Asia[12]. He accepted and left Germany on 8 February. After a three-month journey by submarine, and a short stop in Singapore, he reached Tokyo on 11 May 1943, where he made a number of radio broadcasts to the Indian communities, exhorting them to join in the fight for India’s Independence.

On 15 February 1943, the Army itself was put under the command of Lt. Col. M.Z. Kiani. A policy forming body was formed with the Director of the Military Bureau, Lt. Col Bhonsle, in charge and clearly placed under the authority of the IIL. Under Bhonsle served Lt. Col. Shah Nawaz Khan as Chief of General Staff, Major P.K. Sahgal as Military Secretary, Major Habib ur Rahman as commandant of the Officers’ Training School and Lt. Col. A.C. Chatterji (later Major A.D. Jahangir) as head of enlightenment and culture.

On 4 July 1943, two days after reaching Singapore, Subhash Chandra Bose assumed the leadership of the IIL and the INA.

via Indian National Army – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

An estimated 40,000 joined the INA, though the Japanese agreed to kit and fit only some 16,000 soldiers.

After winning WWII, the British attempted to punish the Indian Army deserters, rebels who had joined SC Bose’s INA, and fought against the armies of the Raj. Against much objections and opposition, the trials and court martial proceedings were initiated against Habib-ur-Rahman and

Colonel Prem Sahgal, Colonel Gurubaksh Singh Dhillon and Major General Shah Nawaz Khan. The three had been officers in the British Indian Army and taken PoW in Malaya or Singapore. They had, like a large number of other troops and officers of the British Indian Army, joined the Indian National Army and later fought in Imphal and Burma alongside the Japanese forces in allegiance to Azad Hind.

via INA trials – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The whole nation rose in revolt. A common rhyme during the period was

Lal Qile se aaee awaz,
Sahgal Dhillon Habib Shah Nawaz,
Charoon ki ho umar daraz

Translation – Comes a voice from the Red Fort, Sahgal, Dhillon, Habib, Shah Nawaz, May the Four live long

End game

Nehru informed the Congress and Mountbatten reported to London, that India was like like a volcano, which could erupt any time. Penderel Moon, a much quoted British Civil servant, felt that the Raj was on “the edge of a volcano.” As did Nehru and Pethick Lawrence. The INA trials had created serious ruptures in British control over India.

This movement marked the last major campaign in which the forces of the Congress and the Muslim League aligned together; the Congress tricolor and the green flag of the League were flown together at protests.

During the trial, mutiny broke out in the Royal Indian Navy, incorporating ships and shore establishments of the RIN throughout India, from Karachi to Bombay and from Vizag to Calcutta. The most significant, if disconcerting factor for the Raj, was the significant militant public support that it received. At some places, NCOs in the British Indian Army started ignoring orders from British superiors. In Madras and Pune, the British garrisons had to face revolts within the ranks of the British Indian Army.

Another Army mutiny took place at Jabalpur during the last week of February 1946, soon after the Navy mutiny at Bombay.

via INA trials – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

British officers deemed that this court-martial was minimum necessary to maintain military disciple. Later retreating, Claude Auchinleck wrote to his British officers, explaining why the sentence could not be carried out.

practically all are sure that any attempt to enforce the sentence would have led to chaos in the country at large, and probably to mutiny and dissension in the Army, culminating in its dissolution.

Unsure of Japanese and German ability to fully arm and support the INA, the thinking was that an armed confrontation by an Indian Army against the British, with foreign aid and support would establish diplomatic and military credentials of the Indian leadership.

Prem Kumar Sahgal, an officer of the INA once Military secretary to Subhas Bose and later tried in the first Red Fort trials, explained that although the war itself hung in balance and nobody was sure if the Japanese would win, initiating a popular revolution with grass-root support within India would ensure that even if Japan lost the war ultimately, Britain would not be in a position to re-assert its colonial authority, which was ultimately the aim of the INA and Azad Hind.

via Indian National Army – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Even as India draws direction from the above elements, in Pakistan, it can be quite different. One study derives the Pakistani-military tendency to British recruitment patterns.

Explains a Muslim historian

The most drastic effect of the 1857 Uprising was the regional recruitment shift in the British military from Bengal to the Punjab and North West Frontier Province NWFP of the subcontinent. This shift resulted in the de-Bengalisation and the Punjabisation of the Indian army – a punishment for the Bengal region that rebelled and a reward to the Punjab that suppressed the Uprising. the assertive role played by the Pakistan Army during the 1950s and 60s can be traced to the evolution of the colonial Indian army.

Railways were not available for all locations. Regiments had to simply march . Image of 5/13th Frontier Force Rifles, preceded by their band, marching from Kohat to Banu in December 1930 |  Source - Liddle Collection; courtesy - The Indian Army 1914-1947 - Ian Sumner - Google Books |  on 2012-07-31 at 20-33-25  |  Page 20

Railways were not available for all locations. Regiments had to simply march . Image of 5/13th Frontier Force Rifles, preceded by their band, marching from Kohat to Banu in December 1930 | Source – Liddle Collection; courtesy – The Indian Army 1914-1947 – Ian Sumner – Google Books | on 2012-07-31 at 20-33-25 | Page 20


 

32 Responses

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  1. admin said, on August 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

  2. Naras said, on August 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

    The whole post is about how prominent the British were in changing Jinnah’s loyalties. But Jinnah himself barely gets a mention! I think you have ignored the 1929 Congress session and Jinnah’s jealousy with Gandhi’s popularity, his adoption of close friend Iqbal’s two-nation theory in the 1930s, and the extent to which he went with Direct Action Day, “I’ll see India divided or India destroyed” etc. Normally I like your writings, but your tendency to blame the British more than they deserve is unfortunate. Also see Koenraad Elst’s blog on this point.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      You make a nice point.

      When I started with this post, it was about Jinnah – and as I started putting the story together, Jinnah was not the central character anymore.

      He just became a pawn!

      The way it seems to me …

      If it was not Jinnah, the British would have picked up some one else to play this game.

      The game to be played in India was decided by the British – the player opposing Gandhi and Congress could be anyone.

      We rely too much on reading into individual actions. Some of us praise Nehru too much – and some condemn him too much.

      But events have a way of making a man.

      Of course truly great people, make events happen also. Now that is where judgement comes into play.

      Was Jinnah the great man, who could make things happen?

      All my reading and writing about Jinnah makes me believe that he was not someone capable of making anything much happen.

      Even while he was anti-colonial, he was British in his outlook and behaviour. When he became anti-India, he was British in his thinking.

      No change really.

      Then there is his statement on how he ‘got’ Pakistan. His famous statement was that he, his secretary and his typewriter got Pakistan.

      This statement rings true – because if you go back, the idea of Pakistan started with the Partition of Bengal – and till Jinnah took over the movement, it was led by UP-Bihari-Bengali landlords. After Pakistan was made, East Pakistan’s leaders were given no credit in the birth of Pakistan.

      My post on Mujib-ur-Rehman covers that.

      Then there is the third element. Could the British have walked away from without partitioning India? Like I have pointed out in earlier posts, the British partitioned everywhere.

      1. Israel Palestine
      2. India Pakistan
      3. Singapore Malaysia
      4. Greece Cyprus
      5. China-Taiwan

      A India united was a beacon to Asia that the West did not want! You only have to read the IIL (Indian Independence League) saga, or my recent post on China and Dr.Kotnis to realize the impact India had on the world.

      The India divided was a lesser threat.

      In these entangled threads, Jinnah, was less than a pawn.

      • masculineffort said, on August 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm

        Singapore-Malaysia was not a british partition. Malaysia won independence in 1957. Singapore was part of the malay federation. Singapore was kicked out of the malay federation in 1965. China-Taiwan is not a British thing either. But point taken. The brits will partition if they can. Of course now they are gonna lose scotland as well as wales and northern ireland. The law of karma reigns supreme as always.

  3. Naras said, on August 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I can agree with you that some other Jinnah could have been found by the British. As you yourself state, the idea of a separate muslim nation was already popular starting with the partition of Bengal. But what is also true is the under-estimation of this by the Congress leadership, the lack of mollification of Jinnah for his injured pride, some compromise on the separate electorates idea, or a guarantee of adequate representation for his muslims. The failure was as much the congress leadership’s as the “success” was British or Jinnah’s.

    Some possible background here

    Guha argues that partition was inevitable by 1946, and nearly inevitable as early as the 1940s. The Muslim League, which in 1927 was quite small, had expanded rapidly in the 1930s, running largely on a platform of “Muslim Unity,” and by 1940 started calling for a separate state. The communal platform worked: Guha points out that by 1944 the party had 500,000 members in Bengal and 200,000 members in Punjab. It was not just Jinnah’s ambition — the Muslim League was a genuine mass-movement.

    Guha also looks at the Provincial Assembly elections of 1946, which pretty much sealed the deal for Partition. Again, the Muslim League ran on a Muslim Unity/Pakistan platform, and was highly successful. Of the 492 “reserved” seats for Muslims in 1946, the League won 429 seats. The Congress still had an overall majority (927 seats), but the anti-Pakistan Muslim representatives were effectively swept out of power, leaving the Congress with no negotiating power whatsoever.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm
      The issue of separate electorates, separate language, etc. were encouraged by the British – especially during the Hindi-Urdu debates.

      Soon after 1857, at Benares in 1867, with the expanding role of the State, a case for using Devnagari script was made. This issue simmered and in 1900, the Urdu-Nagri Resolution was notified by Sir Anthony Macdonald, Lieutenant-Governor, United Provinces, in April 1900 giving parity to Hindi as a official-language along with Urdu in UP. Muslim paranoia was watered and nurtured by the British.

      By creating claims and supporting counter-claims, responding to alternate parties, the British administration created frenzy around a simple administrative issue. Pakistani historians to this day see this as “the machination of Dr. Feelan, District Inspector of Schools and Anthony Mac Donald, then Collector of Muzaffarpur, the two bitterest antagonists of Urdu”.

      Most Indians do not realize – and Guha does not make explicit, is that Muslim electorates represented less than o.5% of Muslims. These elections were not on universal, adult, suffrage, which India pioneered in the world.

      So, the entire Muslim League plank was based on retaining economic and political power by the landed gentry – which has happened in Pakistan.

      The Muslims in India were never asked – and they have never supported Muslim League.

      I would agree that between 1940-1947, the die was cast – and Pakistan would have happened. With which I have less quarrel.

      My quarrel is now that this has happened, why do we allow politicians in India to use their Islamic identity for any negotiations.

      That negotiating card was killed after Partition.

      • Naras said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        I always have liked the depth of your knowledge of history. So the ML did not have the support of most Indian muslims. It did not matter, Jinnah held the key. The man who truly wanted an undivided India (and thus defeat British designs) offered the PM post to Jinnah and asked him to name his cabinet. Like the good mother in the tale of Solomon’s judgement. It actually was a good strategy, since elections afterwards would have diluted Jinnah’s hold, apart from the fact that he’d die soon after. The refusal was by Nehru and Patel, which finally made partition a reality.

        • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

          So the ML did not have the support of most Indian muslims. It did not matter, Jinnah held the key. The man who truly wanted an undivided India (and thus defeat British designs) offered the PM post to Jinnah and asked him to name his cabinet. Like the good mother in the tale of Solomon’s judgement. It actually was a good strategy, since elections afterwards would have diluted Jinnah’s hold, apart from the fact that he’d die soon after.

          Yes!

          Gandhiji played that card brilliantly. But Jinnah and the British were not fools either.

          The refusal was by Nehru and Patel, which finally made partition a reality.

          Why are you desperate to absolve the British?

          Nehru and Patel could have accepted the British Cabinet Mission Plan(1946) of a ‘federal’ India – which was designed by the British, for rejection by the Congress. Nehru and Patel saw this as a British attempt at ‘Balkanizing’ India.

          the Cabinet Mission Plan which specified the compulsory grouping of provinces into separate sections and those which specified that the proposed Indian Union have not one but two or more separate Constitution making bodies for all subjects except only three Union subjects defence, foreign affairs and communications.

          This plan called for mini-Pakistan’s inside a weak Indian nation – that would fall apart in a few years. This was a plan that was designed for failure. Jinnah and British pushed for this plan. Nehru and Patel rightly rejected this.

          Partition happened. The Great leadership of Britain, which has seen the demotion of a world power to a Third Rate power has been exposed. Similarly, the pretensions of the Pakistani leadership have also been exposed.

          On the other hand, the most under-rated leadership in the world, the Indian polity has done a commendable job in the last 65 years.

  4. Naras said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I am not absolving the British. They played “cricket”, tried “match-fixing” and did what was best for them. The cause? Love for Britain! Only Gandhi understood them completely, and matched them in his love for India.

    A balkanized, weak India might have been their design, but if India can remain a democratic union after 65 years, it is possible to imagine an undivided India doing the same – fighting all the odds of separate constitutions, mini-pakistans etc. Too naive? Perhaps.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      if India can remain a democratic union after 65 years, it is possible to imagine an undivided India doing the same – fighting all the odds of separate constitutions, mini-pakistans etc. Too naive? Perhaps.

      After Partition two things happened.

      One : Gandhiji died. The light had indeed dimmed for many.

      Two : India after Partition could steer its own destiny. And our leadership, without Gandhiji, could hammer a constitution in record time – and what more, make it work.

      With the Cabinet Mission plan, the mini-Pakistans would have been led by the type of leadership that we see in Pakistan even today. Incapable of any kind of performance. This kind of leadership would have done the same thing to India what they are doing to Pakistan. So, it would not have worked.

      It was not a Muslim problem. It was a leadership problem.

  5. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Enjoyed the post as well as the discussion box between the two. I may be permited to insinuate on two points.

    One for Naras: “Normally I like your writings, but your tendency to blame the British more than they deserve is unfortunate. Also see Koenraad Elst’s blog on this point.” I shall like to point to Koenraad Elst,s reference. I have read that and also several of his other posts and books. Respectfully, if you carefully read it in the very beginning paras, one gets the impression that he is anything but a Hindu sympathiser what I have been told by his admirers. Same can be observed from his post on Lord Macaulay’s quote. Let us not get into the merit or its veracity of that controversial quote; we are talking of its author. He is a good writer and being a whiteman, perhaps propped up for the job which he is performing very well. The very first para again in his post on that quote is enough to nauseate a curious unbiased mind. It is too obtuse to miss but that quote has been blamed on Hindus is another myopic research because the same had appeared in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh media and literature. Hence blaming only or criticising RSS/Hindu mind is definitely something needing further exploration of the mens rea and his deeper roots.

    Naras I am sorry to difer with you but your further more intent follow up may help. As we all know that an average Indian mind doesn’t care so much for such propagandas. A little critique of Missionaries or Muslims is good enough to sway the Hindu intellect. KE is expert and Christian missionaries research these aspects on institutional level. They have two very important instruments: Money and white skin besides the Lingua Franca. It is more than enough to swing the Macaulayite mind. This is my personal view.

  6. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    @Anurag,

    It is a topic I like and have been gathering my bits and pieces on. Brilliantly posed. I did not find unlike Naras any exageration in blame on British. Sometimes the stress may be more than other times. However to just substantiate your view point: It was not a Muslim problem. It was a leadership problem.” I fully agree. In my opinion, the leadership problem is inherent because of their Quranic jurisprudence of Sharia Law where nothing else than a single man rule aka monarchy or tyrant will succeed due to the intolerance preached. Hence any leader is bound to get lost as the entire OIC nations have miserably shown. Unfortunate thing is that they are not led to see anything else than Islam, Allah, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) etc. This has kept them squarely behind the other communities. Regards,

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm
      @Dr.Sudrania

      However much people may today may disbelieve, the fact is that just 40 years ago, Indian Muslims at least were more liberal than ‘Hindus’ were.

      The real trigger for this regression may have been:

      1. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran.
      2. The oil wealth in the Middle East.

      Indians who came back from Middle East suddenly had a narrative which said that for economic ‘progress’ liberalism was not essential. Their ‘experience’ was the Middle East, where pious Muslims were making humongous progress. The thinking probably went that the prosperity was in fact due to the piety in the Middle East – and the poverty in India was due the lack of piety.

      Marta, kya na karta. So, I think probably they grabbed the pious Muslim narrative and went with it.

      Around this time, also the Shah Of Iran was overthrown. Portrayed a special friend of India, the Shah’s overthrow was the starting point in anti-Western feeling in the Middle East. The American persecution of Iran – similar to Cuba and Haiti closer home, by USA, made Iran even more aggressively Islamic. America became the Big Satan. American intervention in Iran subsequently, support to Israel, anti-Palestine foreign policy, the 20 year persecution of Iraq (from the time of Kuwait invasion), the Libyan sanction and now the death of Gaddafi, have all only strengthened the anti-American feeling.

      Since Iran started this wave of anti-Americanism, Saudi Arabia could not be left behind. They unleashed an even worse form of Wahabbism. To this add Zia Ul Haq’s Islamization of Pakistan. Now in this tinderbox, throw the match of US-Russian war over Afghanistan with the Afghan mujahidden.

      The Third leg is Islamic Demonization that we have seen in the last 20 years

      With Clinton’s ethnic cleaning in Eastern Europe

      and

      Huntington’s Clash of Civilization trash.

      It is one huge, sorry mess – and I wonder where will the Islamic world get the leadership to pull them out of this morass.

      Bad scene!

  7. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Secularism, democracy, socialism, communism or any other political philosophy vis a vis Sharia is unacceptable to Muslims. It is clearly borne out in the recent Arab spring. Pakistan and Afghanistan are inclusive. Perhaps Bangladesh of Mujib is different than that of Begum Zia. Once Mujib dynasty has disappeared, Bangladesh will not be any different than Pakistan, as I see it.

  8. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Just augurs to me that this post of Anurag will be a perfect antidote to KE’s views which I felt that were too polarised.

  9. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I might use your post here if I write on this issue. I seek your permission for it. I shall give proper credit to your work in such event. I must admit that KE appears to me a very clever mole but his roots may not be easy to decipher for us. Sometimes he reminds me of Max Muller, William Bentinck etc who studied this stupid Indology as they call it, only to malign by finding faults and feeding these ideas to the missionaries.

    All the Christian Missionary institutions are diehard Christian in letter and spirit but I have never heard a voice from any of these pseudo-secular politicians and Indian medias which are all bought by the Vatican or Saudi money. Hence a anti Hindu stance is being perpetuated by political current establishment which is being supported by US and UPA govt feeds these medias sufficient perks by carrot and stick technique.

    (1) http://koenraadelst.blogspot.in/2012/07/the-british-were-not-guilty-of.html

    Above is KE’s link in question.

    (2) http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/hinduism/macaulay.html

    A dubious quotation, a controversial reputation: the merits of Lord Macaulay

    If one carefully read the very first para, it is quite obvious that the rest what followed is totally biased pro Macaulay, anti Hindu exercise and a shower of praise for British and the merits of Macaulay. His soft corner for Indian Dalits vis a vis Hindus is also open fact. He asks such embarrassing questions like, Are Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs etc Hindus and then extends dubious arguments on these points which should or a Hindu sympathiser not raise in the first place. The style and choice of words are also inflammatory, as I feel it.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on August 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Dr.Sudrania, You know you do not need my permission to quote from this post.

      So, if it is relevant please go right ahead.

      After KE’s first few posts many years ago, I have never followed. His is the kind of study and scholarship that gives both, study and scholarship a bad name.

    • S said, on August 4, 2012 at 4:34 am

      Your views about KE looks accurate ( very few indian scholars have noticed this before). I think some other scholars ( french one, canadian ones) who preach too hard on Hind-Muslim differences should also come under this category.

      • Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

        Thanks Sji. This is what I have been trying for last so many years ever since Indian Freedom Express in 2007. I have done a lot of work on this issue and I now feel that KE has been relentless in befooling the Hindus and demoralise them. Time is ripe for exposing him. Thanks once again for your support.

  10. desicontrarian said, on August 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Dr Sudrania,

    I hope you can take a 2nd look at Dr Elst. In my truly humble opinion, he has done yeoman service to both Hinduism and Hindutva. I am not for Hindutva, nor am I against it. It is a countervailing force against Indian secularism, which I dislike. It follows the “divide-and-rule” colonial policy successfully.

    I also dislike the lack of intellect that normal Hindutva-vaadins display. But crude as it may be, it has a purpose. Dr Elst is one person who attempts to improve their intellect!

    There are several articles at Bharat vani that may give you a more rounded view of him. His view of Macaulay may not coincide with ours, but that is a single divergence. As regards, his view of the British role in partition, I somewhat agree.

    I am not anti-islam, but Dr Elst is. His idea of the essence of islam is that it is an imperialist and barbaric faith, unsuited to modern vaues. My view is that Sufism is the real Islam. His debunking of the Romila Thapars, Meera Nandas and Michael Witzels of the world is worthy of admiration.

    Perhaps Anuraag will not agree with my assessment, but then I agree to disagree.

    BTW, some body’s skin colour or religion-born-into does not automatically make him a colonialist, or an anti-hindu.

    • osudraniaDr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      “BTW, some body’s skin colour or religion-born-into does not automatically make him a colonialist, or an anti-hindu.” I agree and I do accept your sincerity ‘IS’ but not of KE, at least till this point of time. I am glad that you have accepted his Macaulay misstep. I am sure, please keep reading my observations in unbiased manner. You will agree more and more with me. He is no where near the spirit of late Sitaram Goel, in my opinion.

      There are a lot of white skin people currently, including you; e.g. Prof Ram Das and another French white Hindu viz Francois Gautier, David Frowley, I have no qualms about them including you. As humans, we may not agree with each other on every point but that is the reason for discussion.

      Please permit me my freedom of expression and someone like you trying to speak on behalf of KE is unfortunate. I am sure, KE is competent enough to speak for himself. Please do not mistake me. If we take away the spirit of free and fair discussion, it will kill the very essence and meaning of discussion. I have no personal enmity against KE. It is his misguided writtings that I should be allowed to judge it freely. I have never asked anyone to accept my views. I place them on the board for every one and they express themselves. It is their opinion. Some one will agree or disagree as long as the point is placed in sportsman spirit.

      My request is to kindly care for my views and that leaves doors open for opinions. I would like to listen to a reasoned argument respectfully. At the same time, I expect the same from others. .

  11. desicontrarian said, on August 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

    “It follows the divide-and-rule policy” – I am referring to secularism.

  12. Hitesh Kumar said, on August 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    If we carefully read KE writing definitely he is man of High intellect. Few of his observation are correct up to extent if we look into context.

    He also talked about controversial Macualey quotes not a point of discussion here(but question for us doesn’t end whether quote is controversial or not. If we carefully analyses MoM of macaulay on education system of India and read Dharmpal jee research on India education system, controversial quote and MoM of macaulay fits together of Britishers propaganda which we carried along till today).

    If we carefully study mistakes of Gandhi Jee and on the same time study Gandhi-Nehru (duo) leadership it’s more of Nehru responsible for decision took by Gandhi.

    Jinha instigated by Nehru and his clergy supported by British imperial interest.

  13. osudraniaDr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    My genuine request to Elst would be to try and drink the nectar out of Hinduism instead of indulging in fault finding. No one is and will ever be perfect including KE. This is the basic tenet of Hinduism which are explained by the Great Rishi Patanjali through his eightfolddrink the ocean of nectar in Vedas and its other sacred scriptures. path of Yoga Sutras. I should request him to drink the ocean of nectar in Vedas and its other sacred scriptures. No one has tried to understand and have indulged in superficial talks like Romilla Thapars, Rajiv Malhotra and etc. This is unfortunate.

  14. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Just testing to see if wordpress still prints my name erroneously or properly

  15. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Correction of errata – Please read as follows:

    “My genuine request to Elst would be to try and drink the nectar out of Hinduism instead of indulging in fault finding. No one is and will ever be perfect including KE. This is the basic tenet of Hinduism which are explained by the Great Rishi Patanjali through his eightfold path of Yoga Sutras. I should request him to drink the ocean of nectar in Vedas and its other sacred scriptures. No one has tried to understand the Vedic wisdom and have indulged in superficial talks like Romilla Thapars, Rajiv Malhotra and etc. This is unfortunate.” The recent trend by Christian Institutions of selecting some improper facades of Hinduism for “Inter-religious Dialogue” is another clever ploy by these powerful groups to continue their predatory proselytisation.

  16. Naras said, on August 6, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Thank you, Dr Sudrania, for the gentle spirit of your response.

    By the way (again!), I am not a white man. I am a Desi(as my nickname indicates), and yes a Hindu, living in, grown up, educated and working in Bangalore. 🙂

    सुदिनमस्तु (Have a nice day).

  17. Dr. O. P. Sudrania said, on August 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Naras,
    Thanks for your response. I never carry individual malice but it is a principled approach.

    I hope I did not confuse you with whiteman. You have posted in your own name. Even whitemen does not necessarily mean opponent e.g. Francois Gautier, David Frawley, Prof Ram Das et al. They are more Hindu than us. Further even with Elst, I have no personal grudge. In fact, I have recently quoted his observations in my recent article on castes in Buddhism. The problem with Elst is, “He is too conscious of his intel.” He looses the track. Reasons are very obvious. There is no doubt that he is a clever person and so are the Catholic institutions. They won’t waste their money on a fool.

  18. admin said, on August 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

  19. Vishal V Kale said, on December 30, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Excellent Post, Anurag…

    I have always wondered how can it be that a nation totally united as one across religious lines, and without communal tensions till as late as the 1920s could degenerate into rioting in 1946-47; I further wondered how is ti that within 10-12 months Pakistan became a reality. Established history always seems quixotic to me on this point, and raised too many questions. Then I had the misfortuned fortune (deliberate usage: look up my blog for an explanation) to read the book Freedom At Midnight.The one question occurred to me: you have an imposing Mr. Louie Mountbatten {I’ll be damned if I call him Lord. It is not an Indian award!} being presented as something of a cross of Moses, Jesus Christ, Manu, Chanakya and Bismark all rolled into one invincible person as per the authors… this set me thinking, and on the track of other but quality books…

    Today, 7 books later, I still am not sure precisely what happened… sad part is, perhaps no one is. But what is emerging for certain is the underplayed role of the british in partition:: without their interference, India would have been one, Be it the Calcutta, Noakhali riots, or the Bengal Holocaust (what bloody famine? It was a british creation from the start to finish; 5.4 million deaths is not a famine) or be it Wavells invitation to Jinnah to join the constituent committee without agreeing to a unitary India; or allowing Jinnah to launch Direct Action; or HMGs declaration of 20 Feb 1947; or the Jinnah-Linlithgow-Wavell meeting of 1939; or the source of Jinnah;s assurances to continue to hold out; or the intransigency of the ML…. it all boils down to the British. Sad part is Indians are not only not aware, but disbelieve you when you try to correct them – despite the provision of corroborative evidence!!!!!! That is the saddest part!

  20. vishalvkale said, on December 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Today, 21 books later, I still have questions… but just a word: JInnah had turned long, long before 1940. Please read the memoirs of Narendra Singh Sarila, ADC to Mountbatten, who has accessed archival records in 3 nations to lay bare the perfidy that was practiced. A true shocker based on irrefutable proof. Jinnah had discussed Pakistan with Linlithgow as early as 3rd September 1939 – and offered a clear barter. This, and much much more is present in that book (The Shadow Of The Great Game ) : “”Muslim Areas should be seperated from Hindu India, and run by Muslims in collaboration with Great Britain- Jinnah to Linlithgow, 4 Sept 1939”


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