Koenraad Elst: Singing Bhajans to British Gods to an Indian Audience or The Game Is Over

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India, Islamic Demonization, Propaganda, Religion by Anuraag Sanghi on August 5, 2012


British were not the worst says Koenraad Elst. They killed some people. That is all. Just some fifty times more than Islamic raiders and invaders.

Koenraad Elst’s writing has been distasteful – and his ‘scholarship’ suspect.

A 2ndlook reader, Dr.OP Sudrania, drew my attention to a new post by Elst. Unlike 2ndlook, Elst does not respond to comments or criticism – probably, because he has none.

For reasons of time, I would not normally spend much time with verbiage of the Elst variety – excepting this was too easy.

Elst writes

Lord Louis Mountbatten, only accepted Partition because the Muslim League threatened and started violence.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Is it beyond your Catholic-Christian intelligence to see how British could put Gandhiji behind bars for threatening non-violent protest! The British had no qualms (and artificial regret later) when O’Dyer opened fire on unarmed people in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar?

But could not do anything when Jinnah threatened and started violence? Your Christian-Catholic logic escapes my ‘Hindu-Indian’ thinking.


Viceroys Lord Victor Linlithgow and Lord Archibald Wavell told Jinnah to his face that they would not countenance the division of their nice and neat Indian empire, not even in the event of decolonization. Their successor, Lord Louis Mountbatten, only accepted Partition because the Muslim League threatened and started violence.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

I presume it is below Elst’s Catholic-Christian intelligence to provide proof and citation of this. Day, date, time, place, witnesses, subjects discussed, duration of the meeting(s), other participants? Catholic Christian Elst gives no details.

Was Catholic Christian Elst the proverbial fly-on-the-British-wall, who witnessed these events first hand, in his previous birth?

brainwash the Indian Muslims into becoming India-loving Hindus

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

I presume again that is is below Elst’s Catholic-Christian intelligence to provide data or source which shows that Indian-Muslims do not love India – as much as Hindus?

And what are ‘Hindus’ supposed to do? Send Indian Muslims to concentration camps?

Like America did with Americans of Japanese descent during WWII? Or Britain did to Boers during the Boer War? Or the Spanish did with Cubans in the War of Freedom by Cuban Slaves?

Or are we to follow the example of your king, Leopold of Belgium who managed to annihilate more than 1 crore people of Congo, who he deemed to be his ‘personal’ property?

British had nothing to do with Partition, and that this was a purely Muslim operation necessitated by the present democratic age’s belief in numbers.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Is it below Elst’s Catholic-Christian intelligence to accept evidence from Jinnah’s statement when Jinnah said how “suddenly there was a change in the attitude towards me. I was treated on the same basis as Mr Gandhi. I was wonderstruck why all of a sudden I was promoted and given a place side by side with Mr Gandhi.”

I will argue that the British had nothing to do with Partition

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Mr.Elst, you will make your Catholic-Christian arguments without citations, evidence, links, quotes, sources, because the Hindu is polite to stop you?

It is only the fledgling Cold War that made the British and also the Americans see a silver lining in the Partition, viz. that one of the parties would join the Western camp and provide it an outpost to monitor the Soviet threat

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Is it beyond your Catholic-Christian intelligence to do some background study about the The Great Game that was played out between the Tsarist & Soviet Russia and the British from 1840-1940?

How Russia was seen as the biggest threat to the Indian Empire by the British Raj?

To be sure, the British were guilty of many things, and the fixation of Hindu nationalists on them is understandable. Principally, they caused several very serious famines, they dismantled the technology and economic structure of India, and they imposed a foreign ideology that harmed the natives’ self-respect. This did not make British rule “the biggest crime in history”, as L.K. Advani claims on his blog (15 July 2012), but it was pretty bad.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

After killing more than 25 million Indians – which is about 50 times more than what the Islamic invaders and rulers killed and enslaved, your Catholic-Christian intelligence believes that the British were not the worst killers in the history of humanity – way beyond Hitler.

I would agree with you on one thing here.

The Hindu is too polite – and should actually go after your Catholic-Christian *#@* with all that he has in all his god-given Hindu departments … and a crowbar, to prove his courage!

Hindus who blame the British for Partition, show that they are afraid of the truth, and afraid of Islam. It is far easier to accuse the British, who have safely departed, than to lay the blame at the door of Islam. Blaming Islam opens a can of worms, it is difficult to deal with this religion. It is a challenge to one’s courage, but it is mainly a challenge to one’s intelligence. If you are deficient in these departments, then go ahead and blame the British.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Is there a deficiency in your Catholic-Christian departments that you should deal with facts, documents, sources, evidence, quotations – and not in hate, name calling?

Can a Catholic-Christian intelligence rise above it’s vile, genocidal ways of the last 2000 years?

It is here that I have more reason to worry. Though Hindus have shown great intelligence in the literature of the past and ICT initiatives of the present, they have mostly failed to apply their intelligence to the Islam problem, though this is staring them in the face every day. But I am confident that now you will do something about it.

via Koenraad Elst: The British were not guilty of Partition; somebody else was.

Your Catholic-Christian mind has a good reason to be worried. Indians are seeing through the Christian-Progressive-Liberal Game – and you may be out of business.

Faster than you imagine.


Tagged with: , ,

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


Demonization: Method; Mechanics & the Madness

Posted in America, British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India, politics, Propaganda by Anuraag Sanghi on July 27, 2012


The day when Churchill will join Genghis Khan, Taimur Leng, Adolph Hitler for the top honors of being the greatest killer of humanity is not far off.

Extract from one of Churchill's 1897 newspaper reports  |  Image source & courtesy - dailymail.co.uk  |  Click for image.

Extract from one of Churchill’s 1897 newspaper reports | Image source & courtesy – dailymail.co.uk | Click for image.

For instance, in the Swat Valley, during the First Mohmand Campaign (1897-1898) in the picturesque part of North India (now in modern Pakistan), Churchill

gladly took part in raids that laid waste to whole valleys, writing: “We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.”

He then sped off to help reconquer the Sudan, where he bragged that he personally shot at least three “savages.”

When the first concentration camps were built in South Africa, he said they produced “the minimum of suffering” possible. At least 115,000 people were swept into them and 14,000 died, but he wrote only of his “irritation that kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men.” Later, he boasted of his experiences. “That was before war degenerated,” he said. “It was great fun galloping about.”

As war secretary and then colonial secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed the notorious Black and Tans on Ireland’s Catholics, to burn homes and beat civilians. When the Kurds rebelled against British rule in Iraq, he said: “I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.” It “would spread a lively terror.”

Churchill believed the highlands, the most fertile land in Kenya, should be the sole preserve of the white settlers, and approved of the clearing out of the local “kaffirs.” When the Kikuyu rebelled under Churchill’s postwar premiership, some 150,000 of them were forced at gunpoint into detention camps, later called “Britain’s gulag” by the historian Caroline Elkins. Obama never truly recovered from the torture he endured.

Didn’t everybody in Britain think that way then? One of the most striking findings of Toye’s research is that they really didn’t: even at the time, Churchill was seen as standing at the most brutal and brutish end of the British imperialist spectrum. This was clearest in his attitude to India. When Gandhi began his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill raged that he “ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.” He later added: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

This hatred killed. In 1943, to give just one example, a famine broke out in Bengal, caused,by British mismanagement. To the horror of many of his colleagues, Churchill raged that it was their own fault for “breeding like rabbits” and refused to offer any aid for months while hundreds of thousands died.

This is a real Churchill (via Book Review – Churchill’s Empire – By Richard Toye – NYTimes.com).

Winston Churchill in the Hussars just before he saw action in North India  |  Image courtesy - dailymail.co.uk  |  Click for image.

Winston Churchill in the Hussars just before he saw action in North India | Image courtesy – dailymail.co.uk | Click for image.

Churchill was someone who excelled at reducing other people with a non-stop flow of derogatory labels, till the tide of opinion turned.

This ‘reduction’ process works in four stages:

  • Stereotype
  • Demonize
  • Genocide
  • Apologize

Let us see how this process has been used in the USA. This kind of

dehumanization can have deadly consequences.

Saturday, June 23, is the 30th anniversary of one of the watershed events in the formation of the Asian American community as we know it: The killing of Vincent Chin in Detroit, Michigan, by auto workers Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. Chin, due to be married in two days, was celebrating his bachelor party at a strip club called the Fancy Pants when Ebens and Nitz began verbally haranguing him. “It’s because of you m_____f_____ that we’re out of work,” shouted Ebens. A fight broke out, after which all of the participants were encouraged to leave.

Chin challenged Ebens to continue the fight outside. Ebens responded by going to Nitz’s car and procuring a Louisville Slugger baseball bat (ironically, a Jackie Robinson model). After chasing Chin and cornering him in McDonald’s parking lot, Nitz held Chin down as Ebens pummeled him with the bat, sending him into a coma from which he never awoke.

Ebens and Nitz were convicted in a county court of manslaughter. They were given three years probation with no jail time, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay court costs of $780. Though Ebens was later found guilty of violating Chin’s civil rights in federal court, and sentenced to 25 years in jail, the decision was overturned on appeal.

Neither of Chin’s killers spent any time in prison for his death.

News of the case galvanized the Asian American community, forcing many who had resisted political involvement in the past to consider the grotesque implications of Chin, a Chinese American, being mistakenly identified as Japanese, and then blamed by proxy for the decline of the U.S. car industry.

The upshot is that Chin’s killing was like a bad ethnic joke gone horribly wrong: “Chinese, Japanese? What’s the difference?” (via Is Your Font Racist? (Tao Jones) – Speakeasy – WSJ).

British officers and Indian troops from the 45th Sikhs Regiment in 1897 at Chakdara fort sent to subdue Indian militants  |  Image source & courtesy - dailymail.co.uk  |  Click for image.

British officers and Indian troops from the 45th Sikhs Regiment in 1897 at Chakdara fort sent to subdue Indian militants | Image source & courtesy – dailymail.co.uk | Click for image.

Or for that matter, it can also be brown-skinned people.

In 1943, some 3 million brown-skinned subjects of the Raj died in the Bengal famine, one of history’s worst. Official documents and oral accounts of survivors paint a horrifying portrait of how Churchill, as part of the Western war effort, ordered the diversion of food from starving Indians to already well-supplied British soldiers and stockpiles in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, including Greece and Yugoslavia. And he did so with a churlishness that cannot be excused on grounds of policy: Churchill’s only response to a telegram from the government in Delhi about people perishing in the famine was to ask why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.

British imperialism had long justified itself with the pretense that it was conducted for the benefit of the governed. Churchill’s conduct in the summer and fall of 1943 gave the lie to this myth. “I hate Indians,” he told the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery. “They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The famine was their own fault, he declared at a war-cabinet meeting, for “breeding like rabbits.”

Some of India’s grain was also exported to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to meet needs there, even though the island wasn’t experiencing the same hardship; Australian wheat sailed past Indian cities (where the bodies of those who had died of starvation littered the streets) to depots in the Mediterranean and the Balkans; and offers of American and Canadian food aid were turned down. India was not permitted to use its own sterling reserves, or indeed its own ships, to import food. And because the British government paid inflated prices in the open market to ensure supplies, grain became unaffordable for ordinary Indians. Lord Wavell, appointed Viceroy of India that fateful year, considered the Churchill government’s attitude to India “negligent, hostile and contemptuous.”

The way in which Britain’s wartime financial arrangements and requisitioning of Indian supplies laid the ground for famine; the exchanges between the essentially decent Amery and the bumptious Churchill; the racism of Churchill’s odious aide, paymaster general Lord Cherwell, who denied India famine relief and recommended most of the logistical decisions that were to cost so many lives.

Churchill said that history would judge him kindly because he intended to write it himself. The self-serving but elegant volumes he authored on the war led the Nobel Committee, unable in all conscience to bestow him an award for peace, to give him, astonishingly, the Nobel Prize for Literature — an unwitting tribute to the fictional qualities inherent in Churchill’s self-justifying embellishments. (via Books: Churchill’s Shameful Role in the Bengal Famine – TIME).

For Indians the crucial lesson is that an enemy’s enemy need not be our friend.

He may be the second enemy.


British Raj: Expansion In India was Swift and Easy says British-American Historian

Posted in British Raj, History, India, Propaganda by Anuraag Sanghi on July 2, 2012

65 years after the loss of India, Britain tries recycling old propaganda – and selling it as cutting edge history.

James Gillray, (1756-1815), leading printmaker, lampoons Cornwallis after battlefield reverses in India in a work Title: The coming on of the monsoons, or, The retreat from Seringapatam Related Title: Retreat from Seringapatam  |  Published: London; on December, 6th 1791 by H. Humphrey  |  Click for image.

James Gillray, (1756-1815), leading printmaker, lampoons Cornwallis after battlefield reverses in India in a work Title: The coming on of the monsoons, or, The retreat from Seringapatam Related Title: Retreat from Seringapatam | Published: London; on December, 6th 1791 by H. Humphrey | Click for image.

Regret and rankle?

Why does it bother a British historian, that Indian-writers write good things about India, who are largely read in India? After 30 years in the employ of an American University!

Yet it does.

Writing smoothly, in the London Book Review (LRB) Perry Anderson uses more than 15,000 words to refresh British propaganda about the British Raj in India.

Full of gaps like

When the British arrived, it was the sprawling heterogeneity of the area that allowed them, after a slow start, to gain such relatively swift and easy control of it, using one local power or population against the next, in a series of alliances and annexations that ended, more than a century after the Battle of Plassey, with the construction of an empire extending further east and south, if not north-west, than any predecessor. (via Perry Anderson · Gandhi Centre Stage · LRB 5 July 2012)

Was the British imperial expansion in India, ‘swift and easy’ over ‘more than a century after the Battle of Plassey.’


Eh … Oh … Aah

Let us look at some history.

First: If the expansion was swift and easy, the decline and departure was faster. Between Plassey (1757) and the 1857 War was a hundred years. Between the 1857 War and Indian Independence (1947) was only ninety.

Indian independence, which had a large dose of non-violent protest, was preceded by British loss of initiative and control.

Remember dates.

English are nowhere

1600 – East India Company formed.

1683 – British Crown approves new charter for EEIC; which can now wage war.

1739 – Nadir Shah’s raid on India sees British missing in action.

1746 – Chauth for Bengal & Bihar ceded to Marathas by Mughals. British are still nowhere.

1757 – Battle of Plassey – an artificial landmark in Indian history; but important to British.

1761 – Ahmad Shah Abdali defeat Marathas at Panipat. Maratha powers starts to decline.

1764 – British take advantage of Maratha /Mughal weakness; and win the minor Battle of Buxar, 22 October; which lands them the Diwani of Bengal. British loot of India begins. Regular famines become feature of the British Raj.

English Appear Somewhere

1765-1785 – British win battles against European powers (French, Dutch, Danes) but lose wars against Indian kings.

1781 – Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, October 19, at Yorktown, America.

1786 – 23 February, Cornwallis appointed for India position. Departing in May, arrived at Madras – 22 August.

1799 – Tipu Sultan’s death. British power consolidates in India.

English Are Here in India

1818 – The Third Anglo-Maratha /Pindari War ends. English power arrives in India.

1839 – Death of Ranjit Singh.

1845-1849 – The Sikh Wars in which English gained supremacy over the last outpost of Indian power.

British power in India

1857 – Combined Indian forces, led by the Mughal-Maratha alliance declare war. Major battles continue for 18 months. English win.

British Loss of Power

1916 – April 16. BG Tilak declares Swaraj is my birthright; forms Home Rule League at the Bombay Provincial Conference held at Belgaum.

1927 – Indian polity refuses to negotiate with Simon Commission.

1930 – Bhagat Singh displays disinterest in the legal outcome of his trial.

1944 – India’s leading industrialists come together (Bombay Club) and make an economic-plan document for an India which is yet to be born; for a government that was yet to be formed.

1946 – Naval Ratings raise the Indian Flag of independence.

1947 – Britain out of India

Two: A recent British ranking included Rani Lakshmi Bai as sole woman entry in the list of Top-20 foes of the British Empire. More than 200 wars, battles, mutinies, bombings, armed uprisings, spread over the 190 years, in which more than 10 million people died, was not easy.

Three: The loss of India was recurring theme in the less than 200 years of British misrule in India. The British knew their hold on India was one-step away from losing it.

Voices From The Past

Lord Curzon, probably got the tone for the Raj, till its end 50 years later. In a letter, on 31 March 1901, (some suggest March 3), to the Conservative minister AJ Balfour; Curzon predicted in 1901,

governing of India was far and away the biggest thing that the British were doing anywhere. As long as we rule India, we are the greatest power in the world. If we lose it we shall straightway drop to a third rate power. (from – Curzon in India: Achievement; books.google.co.in; David Dilks – 1970.).

In 1857, soon after the outbreak of war, reporting on Europe’s reactions, were brothers Eliakim Littell and Robert S. Littell, for their American publication, The Living Age (Volume 55 – Page 113).

In a familiar manner they said,

India is not only an English, it is a European subject; and the face of the Continental press moves that it is so. “Will England lose India or not?” is a question mooted by friends and foes, with hopes and fears according to their feelings; and from what they say of our prospects, we may judge of their future ‘conduct in the event of any serious loss to our power. On the Continent, more than in this country, it seems to be felt, and is indeed here and there loudly proclaimed, that Great Britain will lose her European supremacy if she lose India.

In fact, the loss of India would be a deathblow to her commerce and industry. (From: The living age …, Volume 55; By Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, Making of America Project.).

Further back, in 1829, writing in Gentleman’s magazine, (Volume 149), John Nichols summed up the mood in England.

It has been said that we might lose India, if, with the gospel of peace in one hand, and the code of English justice in the other, we thus legislate in a country whose superstitions are inveterate! Lose India !’ what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul!

Many Britishers said the opposite too. Churchill, the most famous of these Indian-doom predictors, thundered in the British Parliament,

In handing over the Government of India to these so-called political classes we are handing over to men of straw, of whom, in a few years, no trace will remain.

We now know whose predictions were right.

It can be safely said, that India was far from subdued, either easily or quickly, in the entire British Raj. A long enough search will produce one such analysis for each year where the British fear of losing India was exposed.

But the British lost power pretty fast.

Kissa Kahani Bazaar massacre

Posted in British Raj, History, India, Indo Pak Relations, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on May 20, 2012

Did the British change or learn anything after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre? Not really. Little over ten years later, the Raj repeated the same action in Peshawar – the infamous massacre at Kissa-Kahani Bazaar; the publisher’s market in Peshawar.

Troops advancing on the protesters  |  Image source - INP; courtesy - tribune.com.pk  |  Click for image.

Troops advancing on the protesters | Image source – INP; courtesy – tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

Qissa Khawani Bazaar is one of Peshawar’s well-established market areas, a place named for its long association with publishing, and these days, sweets. Unfortunately, the bazaar is also the site of one of the most violent attempts by the British Raj to suppress the Indian independence movement.

By 1930, the Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) had transformed from a movement to unify the Pakhtun tribes under one umbrella into a legitimate non-violent independence movement, drawing inspiration from Gandhi’s Satyagraha philosophy. However, it was the events of April 23 that year which thrust the movement into the limelight.

Following the arrest of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Baacha Khan) for a speech urging resistance to the British occupation, a number of his followers were rounded up by the police on frivolous charges. When two prominent workers surrendered, they were escorted to the Kabuli Police Station, where they were warmly welcomed by a large crowed assembled around the station.

The size of the crowd – which though noisy, had made no threat of violence – panicked the escorts, and they used force to disperse the assembly. The crowd reacted to the gunshots by slashing the tyres of the vehicles and attempting to free the two political workers.

As the British lost control of the situation, the military was brought in to restore order, while civilians from nearby collected at the scene to aid the injured. Upon reaching the scene, the famed indigenous Royal Garhwal Rifles was ordered to move forward and fire.

They refused.

Archive photos: A military vehicle burns in the empty streets. | Image source - INP; courtesy - tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

Archive photos: A military vehicle burns in the empty streets. | Image source – INP; courtesy – tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

The egg-faced leadership withdrew the Rifles and sent in the City Disturbance Column, who killed and injured members of the crowd while driving in. When the crowd demanded access to the dead and wounded, the Column was ordered to open fire.

The Market of Storytellers ran red with blood as bullets flew around for hours. However, the survivors stood their ground and faced the hail of gunfire with God’s name on their lips. After hours of firing, over 400 people had lost their live, with some estimates going as high as 700.

Gene Sharp, Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, wrote, “When those in front fell down wounded by the shots, those behind came forward with their chests bared and exposed themselves to the fire, so much so that some people got as many as twenty-one bullet wounds in their bodies, and all the people stood their ground without getting into a panic…. This continued from 11 till 5 o’clock in the evening. When the number of corpses became too many, the ambulance cars of the government took them away.”

Ghaffar Khan later wrote that this and subsequent aggression towards his non-violent movement were because the British thought a non-violent Pashtun was more dangerous than a violent one.

Though King George VI ordered an investigation into the event, historical records in the Peshawar Archives indicate that like many previous incidents, the British Government tried to covered up the Qissa Khawani Bazaar Massacre by bribing Judge Naimatullah Chaudhry.

However, Naimatullah published a 200-page report criticizing the British and passed a resolution in favour of the local people.

In the aftermath, the Khudai Khidmatgar became widely known for their resistance work while their leader was propelled to national stature and soon earned himself the nickname Frontier Gandhi for his devotion to non-violent resistance.

Archive photos: A sepoy taking aim early in the day  | Image source - INP; courtesy - tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

Archive photos: A sepoy taking aim early in the day | Image source – INP; courtesy – tribune.com.pk | Click for image.

As Khan said, “There is nothing surprising in a Muslim or a Pathan like me subscribing to the creed of nonviolence. It is not a new creed. It was followed fourteen hundred years ago by the Prophet all the time he was in Mecca.”

(Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th; via Qissa Khawani Bazaar massacre: Standing tall before a hail of gunfire – The Express Tribune).

Three very interesting things about this post in the Pakistan’s Express Tribune .

One: This post refers to the Indian Independence Movement – without naming, involving, using Pakistan, Jinnah et al.

Two: Pakistan’s Express Tribune credits Gandhiji’s Satyagraha Movement for inspiring people in Peshawar, under the leadership of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – aka the Frontier Gandhi.

Three: Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – aka the Frontier Gandhi, was persona non grata, in Pakistan for many years – and was in jail in Pakistan.The Pakistani Establishment – and the reactionaries both were anti-Ghaffar Khan.

Frontier Gandhi’s grandson, Asfandyar Wali Khan (also spelled Asfandiyar Wali Khan) is seen as a threat by fundamentalists – and the Pakistani Taliban attempted to assassinate him in October 2008. As the 2ndlook post ‘Behind The Web of terror’, on December 17th, 2007, pointed out, the answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback.

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