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Pak Tea House » Uncategorized » Is there a silver lining in the cloud…….

Is there a silver lining in the cloud…….

Raza Habib Raja

The story which is developing headlines right now is of a young girl being shot by Taliban. This story is horrific and completely disgusts me. This understandably has attracted a lot of international condemnation and deservedly so. But it is not the international condemnation which interests me. Something has happened, which despite the tragedy gives me hope. Perhaps every tragedy despite its ugliness also gives us the opportunity to have a fresh look at the situation. At times a tragedy to someone innocent, completely flawless and lovable shakes even the most naïve ones awake.
Here over the years, Taliban have largely been projected as some kind of “victims” who are bravely resisting the US hegemony. Moreover, all the suicide blasts have largely been brushed aside through conspiracy theory mode of analysis. Swat, from where Malala hails, has witnessed an army operation which had been resisted like anything by Pakistani media and its main target audience, the urban middleclass. Before the army action, a flogging video had appeared which had shown a young woman being canned for coming out of the house without a “permissible” male chaperon. I remember, instead of being appalled, the entire media thrust was to prove it as a “fake”. Instead of being horrified, Pakistanis were spinning to absolve Taliban and portray them as victims of propaganda.
I have written before also that today that it is not hardline Islam which is the main problem but the denial of the so called moderate Muslims which actually gives “soft” support to the hardliners and allows them to flourish. This moderate Muslim is generally fully convinced of moral superiority of Muslims and consequently finds it extremely difficult to believe that those who visibly uphold Islamic values ( the way Taliban try to show that they deliver justice without “favors” ) can be guilty of these hideous crimes.
As evidence kept on mounting the conspiracy theory paradigm was increasingly supplemented by “victims” of US aggression explanation. Reactionaries like Imran Khan have been instrumental in further propagation of this narrative.
I have written before also that if the entire nation is not even ready to recognize the source or in case they recognize it, then the severity of the problem, NOTHING will happen. Recognition does not mean that problem will disappear but at least initiates building of political will to tackle the issue. Government and army ( Yes because now their created Frankenstein monster has largely turned against themselves also) need backing of their public to start and pursue a military action against these pests.
A 14 year old girl who first gained fame for bringing attention to the plight of little girls under the so called “victim” Taliban, has through a potential fatal tragedy once again shown Pakistanis the ugly reality.
But there is a silver lining in the cloud. Right now as I write these sentences, I know that the Malala Yosuf Zai’s shooting is being condemned across the board. And this protest is cutting across ethnic and religious spectrum of Pakistan. In a normal country, such a reaction is normal and very much expected. But in Pakistan, this is frankly positively surprising. Even the religious leaders are finally uttering what should have uttered a long time ago.
This 14 year daughter of Pakistan, has through her blood, done what nobody could imagine. As the global spotlight is once again in Pakistan and internationally Taliban are being condemned, for the first time a huge majority of Pakistanis are feeling revulsion and are getting embarrassed that a gross thing like this happened in their country.
This time the reality is so shocking that even the naïve have been jerked awake out of their amnesia. And those who are still not seeing it are eternally damned and deserve the same fate which their pig like heroes, Taliban deserve.
And shame on you Imran Khan…
Frankly a 14 year old girl has more courage and comprehension than you..




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294 Responses to "Is there a silver lining in the cloud……."

  1. Syed United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Majumdar bhai,
    This is how my logic runs: The militant mullahs are the greatest enemies of Pakistan. The Pakistan Army is fighting against them and has sustained more casualties than any of the previous wars of Pakistan. The term “Hind”, as used in the days of the Holy Prophet, referred to the entire Indian Subcontinent. Since the present war between the Pakistan Army and the Mullahs is being fought on a soil that is part of what was called “Hind” in the days of the Holy Prophet, this war is a “Ghazwatul Hind”.

    Regards

  2. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Army and the Mullahs is being fought on a soil that is part of what was called “Hind” in the days of the Holy Prophet, this war is a “Ghazwatul Hind

    syed u will loose this also as pre prediction.this is war between gvt&establishment on one side and people of pakistan on other side.

    POWER OF LANGUAGE IS MORE STRONG THAN LANGUAGE OF POWER.dicussions,arguments and debate is only way to win.

  3. ahem Germany Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    to syed

    Ghazwatul-Hind is a typical muslim hate-concept against hindus. Don’t try to hide that. It contains the notion that arabs and muslims are superior to hindus and the muslims will be rewarded by their arabic god for terrorizing and eliminating the hindus. This meaning will always remain so. Giving that word a new meaning is only temporary and the original meaning of terrorizing-eliminating hindus will thus be revived later.

    I hope you are – inspite of your islamic indoctrination – a man of some decency and accept this analysis as correct and necessary. Otherwise you are a morbid danger to the hindus.

    Don’t try to make dangerous concepts look harmless. That can backfire badly. Hindus will become victims of your mendacious re-interpretations – do you want that to happen?

    Pak army and mullahs don’t call their skirmishes as ghazwat ul Hind. They are united in their traditional understanding of this concept of ghazwat ul Hind as hate and violence against hindus and for eliminating hindus.

    The mullahs are attacking pak army because pak army is not attacking India. And pak army is attacking mullahs because they are pushing the pak army to a war with India at a time when pak army cannot afford to undertake such a war.

    The war between pak army and mullah is not ghazwatul Hind – but a difference of opinion about when and how to start this ghazwat ul Hind.

  4. Dronacharya Saudi Arabia Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    We believe that for the next 200 years., Muslims (world-wide.. without distinction)., must take to EDUCATION.. with a passion.. nay.. an addiction. Change will not come overnight. This needs the hand of time.

    Muslim hai.. to MATH class mein aa !
    Muslim hai.. to PHYSICS class mein aa !
    Muslim hai.. to CHEMISTRY class mein aa !
    Muslim hai.. to C.A. Class mein aa !
    Muslim hai.. to ENtreprenuer bann kay dikhaa !

    EK EK PAISA.. EK EK PAAYI.. MOO MEIN PAKAD KE RAKKHO. MARWARI SE BACHO. HE IS AFTER YOUR WALLET. YOUR ASSETS. MAR JAAO.. LEKIN MARWAARI KAY HAATH NAA LAGNAY PAAYE. MARWARI NE MUSALMAANON KO PICHLE 1 HAZAAR SAAL SE LOOTA HAI. MARWARI EMPIRE KI BUNIYAAD.. MUSLIM KHOON.. AUR DEAD-BODIES PAR KHADI HAI.

    CUT THE MARWARI YOKE OF SLAVERY + TAKE TO EDUCATION + DO NOT SPEND MONEY (FRUGAL LIVING.. ).. AND VICTORY IS YOURS.

    KAAMYAABI AAPKI HAI.

    Een masnad-e-Shaa`haana Mubarak baa`shad !
    Hame`ishaa Dil`barr., Sub`haaan Mubarak baa`shad !!

    THINK POSITIVE. BURY THE PAST. CUT THE CRAP. MOVE ON. LIVE IN HUTS.,BUT THINK ‘HIGH’.

    (PS : We dont reply to personal abuse. Its below our dignity)

  5. Maggu India Safari iPad says:

    DHOORT, since when did tapeworms have dignity??

  6. AKB Pakistan Opera Windows says:

    @Dronacharya

    Muslim he tu: Harem e khoobaan-e-Hind mein aaa!!
    Muslim he tu: Mardaan e Hind ko sissy bana!
    Muslim he tu: Goray kee jootiyaan utha!
    aur aur aur ………………..

  7. AKB Pakistan Opera Windows says:

    @ HRH

    ZEB E DASTAAN KO ITNA NA BARHA……

    ”Frankly a 14 year old girl has more courage and comprehen……..”
    .
    WHY DON’T YOU EULOGIZE THE 14 YEAR OLD BOYS AND GIRLS TRAINED AND BRAINWASHED FOR SUICIDE BOMBING??

    .

    WHY HIDE THE TRUTH BEHIND THE STUNT OF ‘EDUCATION’ ?? DO YOU PROVIDE SCHOOLS TO 14 YEAR GIRLS FOR THE SAKE OF EDUCATION?? ISN’T THAT EXPLOITATION OF SMALL GIRLS AND OPENING THEM TO THE RISK OF MURDER?? THE SCHOOL WHICH WAS RUN BY MALALA IS CLOSED, CAN YOU TELL THE READERS HERE WHY?? WHY CAN’T THE GOVT RUN IT NOW?? WHY HAS MALALA BEEN MADE A STOOGE FOR THIS WHOLE ACT WHICH WAS IMMINENT IN THE FACE OF SITUATION PREVAILING IN SWAT AND MANGORA??

    .

    NOT TO TALK OF SWAT, TELL ME ONE PERSON WHO CAN FREELY CRITICIZE ORACT AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE MAJORITY PARTY IN KARACHI AND I WILL SAY YOU ARE RIGHT. YOU ARE WRONG AND TRYING TO TOW THE LINE OF THE IGNORANT…..A CHILD ACTIVIST MADE TO RISK HER LIFE UNDER THE COVER OF EDUCATION WHERE EVEN GOVT IS NOT PREPARED TO TEACH….IT’S OUR UNFORTUNATE TRADITION THAT WE TRY TO MAKE A MOUNTAIN OF A MOLE HILL THEN REPENT….CHECK OUT FOR THE
    MUKHTARAAN MAI CASE WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE FAKE….

    .

    I HAVE FULL SYMPATHY WITH THE WOUNDED GIRL BUT PITY THOSE WHO USED HER AS A TOOL FOR THEIR PROPAGANDA.

  8. notabene Germany Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AKB is using Malala for his propaganda (and accusing others of doing it). He is using her to push forward his islamofascist themes and agenda. PAKISTAN WILL BE RUINED EVEN MORE BY THE LIKES OF AKB.
    Go ahead.

  9. no-communal United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    BM
    .
    After a break and a delightful win by Obama I was checking if you came up with your promised expose on R. C. Majumdar. But no you didn’t. But I came across your long comment reproduced below which for some reason I missed earlier. At the risk of appearing to beat a dead horse I decided to respond to it because some of the claims you made here are wrong.
    .
    Bade Miyan, act. 15, 2012
    .
    “I have never claimed that Gandhi was solely responsible for the freedom. That is just not true. He was an important player but not the sole player. But I would like to contest this story about how Bose’s INA was a prime mover for the eviction of the British because that is also false. Ambedkar’s view about Gandhi is well known and I don’t completely disagree with it. Gandhi was an astute political player. No one disagrees with that. But let’s talk about the importance of Bose’s army in the freedom movement. I think it played an important role but not to the extent that you claim. If you notice, Ambedkar leaves it an open question as to why Attlee was in such a hurry to leave India. Churchill, a better military man, clearly didn’t think so. Knowing the facts now, it can be reasonably concluded that Roosevelt played no small part in forcing Attlee to fix a timeline for the departure of the British. Britain was bankrupt in the aftermath of the War. It goes back again to what I said about how long a Center can hold. When an imperial power decides to leave is when such minor insurrections gain importance. It’s quite conceivable that Attlee himself would have peddled that argument to justify his decision. The revolt of 1857 was much wider in scope. It had an opposite effect. The British Army was still composed of regiments that were studiously loyal. To advertise this narrative that the barracks were teeming with itchy soldiers just waiting for the bugle to drive the British out is laughable. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has even a passing familiarity with how the military works knows that the regimental loyalty forms the lynchpin of the army’s code of honors and it’s considered a grave sin to go against it. Do you really think that the Punjab Regiment or the Baloch Regiment or the Rajput Regiment would have rebelled against the British at the siren call of Bose? In fact, your claim of constitutional transfer would have been rendered useless had such an event taken place and it was the reason why Nehru refused the amalgamation of INA with the British Indian Army. He didn’t want the Army to be politicized. So please. By all means, let’s argue the interpretation of the “court” historians but let’s do it based on facts on the ground and not on hypothetical imponderables.
    .
    Okay, so let’s begin:
    .
    “Knowing the facts now, it can be reasonably concluded that Roosevelt played no small part in forcing Attlee to fix a timeline for the departure of the British.”
    .
    BM, Tilsim has his dates garbled up but what’s your excuse for claiming that Roosevelt had a hand in forcing Attlee “fix a timetable” when he DIED before Attlee became the Prime Minister? I can understand a Pakistani incorrectly claim that the riots that made India “ungovernable” were a factor in Attlee’s decision to leave India (when that decision was announced in March, 1946 and the first big riot, the Direct Action Day, happened on Aug. 16 of that year). A Pakistani may make such an error because after all they perhaps are not too concerned with anything other than Hindu-Muslim trouble that led to the creation of their country. But what makes YOU forget that Roosevelt was DEAD by the time Attlee became Britain’s Prime Minister? As you may well know, Truman, his successor, was not seen in any high esteem in Britain, certainly nothing in comparison to Roosevelt, to be able to influence Britain’s policy to its empire.
    .
    “I have never claimed that Gandhi was solely responsible for the freedom. That is just not true. He was an important player but not the sole player. But I would like to contest this story about how Bose’s INA was a prime mover for the eviction of the British because that is also false. ”
    .
    Okay, thank God for the small mercies, that you have never claimed Gandhi to be solely responsible for India’s freedom. But you contest the view that Bose was the prime mover for the eviction of the British because “that is also false”. If “that is also false”, what, in your opinion, was Ambedkar’s motivation to make precisely such a claim here,
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEYVIbSMvZ4
    .
    If you hear that BBC interview again you will note that Ambedkar is not calling what he is saying as his *hunch*, but his analysis , “From the analysis that I have made about it, it seems to me…” etc. Why do you think a person considered to be the foremost astute observer of contemporary national and international politics came to a conclusion like that after thoughtful analysis if “that is also false”? And why didn’t he mention the purported American influence even once although he did mention other side factors such as Britain’s need for trade etc (in the second part of the interview also available online). Note also that the interview was conducted close to the mid fifties, long after 1947, so if anything like what you suggest in terms of American influence were actually true do you think Ambedkar would have missed it, given that he was almost a fan of America?
    .
    It is true that, consistent with his other progressive views but more because of war-time expediency, Roosevelt was supportive of India’s independence. But it’s also true that USA Diplomats, including Roosevelt, mostly paid only lip-service to its concerns about Britain’s imperialistic policies. Even after the famous Atlantic Conference, where Roosevelt made Churchill concede post-war liberal policy to the colonies, the British PM went on record in the House of Commons, no less, announcing that the Atlantic agreement did not apply to India (the document had no explicit mention of India). It’s significant that there was no protest to this from the USA. BM, you fail to recognize that USA then, as now, was a divided house in foreign policy and any suggestion that after the war , and thus in the absence of any pressing need, the US would force Britain take a conciliatory approach to India (that will also effectively mean a liquidation of the Empire) is not reasonable. How many times the US is forcing anything on Israel, for example, and we are talking about Great Britain, the US’s greatest friend and basically the same people here. Even during Quit India (when Britain and USA were in much weaker position than after the war), after Churchill threatened to resign if pushed too hard, USA quietly supported him while bombarding Indians with propaganda designed to strengthen public support of the war effort.
    .
    Read below British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin’s 1947 letter to Attlee on the subject of Indian independence, specifically, on fixing a time table. See how the FM, even in 1947, is urging his PM to use the American influence on India, as he has been assured of by the US Foreign Secretary Byrnes, to somehow avoid fixing a time table and continue British rule in India. Also, see for yourself where the main thrust of the debate was – if it was, whether or not it was possible to run India with exclusively British forces and administrators – a proposition Bevin thought was practical (but risky) but something Attlee dismissed in his response (not reproduced here). If you recall, earlier I reproduced the same argument made by Cripps in the House of Commons in 1947. At that time I think MB dismissed it saying it was just a Labor MP arguing with his Conservative colleagues to win a point. But Bevin’s letter was a classified document written by a Labor Foreign Minister to his own PM. Judge for yourself what if anything played the pivotal role in the British decision to leave India.
    .

    Letter from Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to Prime Minister C.R. Attlee, 1 Jan 1947 (Library of Congress)
    .
    Prime Minister.
    .
    I must express my strong views with regard to India, as I mentioned to you this morning. I have examined this problem in relation to Egypt, Palestine the Middle East, and all the Arab States and Persia, and I cannot help feeling that the defeatist attitude adopted both by the Cabinet and by Field-Marshal Wavell is just completely letting us down. I do not believe that, with leadership, the Indian Army is in the bad way that people suggest. I can quite understand that with a mind like Wavell’s the demoralisation of the whole of the Army and the Police must be inevitable and I would strongly recommend that he be recalled and that you find somebody with courage who, even if he were the last man left there would come out with dignity and uphold the British Empire and Common-wealth.
    .
    … Personally, I do not think it depends on the number of British troops there, but it is the complete lack of leadership in the Indian Army which I believe will cause the disaster that will overtake the British Empire. In fact, you cannot read the telegrams from Egypt and the Middle East nowadays without realising that not only is India going, but Malay, Ceylon and the Middle East is going with it, with a tremendous repercussion on the African territories. I do beg of you to take a stronger line and not give way to this awful pessimism. When I saw Wavell and Alexander on the 21st December, I was filled with dismay.
    .
    Now, as regards administering the country under Section 93; with an army of over 30,000 in India I cannot be persuaded that, if such a situation arose, we could not find the men from the Indian Army and at home to administer Section 93. What would happen if the Congress withdraw? The people of the Provinces would want government, and stable government. They would be just terrified at the idea of no government. The Indian Army itself would not know what to do. Therefore, If we were able to move into Germany and other occupied countries and find administrators among the young men from the Services, as we had to do, why can’t we find them from the Forces in India and at home? Secondly, continued searching for men with reputations leads us, I believe, into a morass. Try some one untried and it is remarkable how they will rise to the occasion.
    .
    Therefore, my view is that while we issue a declaration that it is our determination to clear out of India and to hand the responsibility to the Indians, we should declare that it is our determination to hand it over as a going concern and to place the responsibility squarely on their shoulders of failure in that respect. I would impress you with this fact. As Foreign Secretary, I can offer nothing to any foreign country, neither credit, nor coal, nor goods, (and) expected to take bricks without straw – to use that old proverbial phrase. And on top of that, within the British Empire, we knuckle under at the first blow and yet we are expected to preserve the position. It cannot be done and I beg of you in all sincerity, even if does involve a certain risk, to take it, and I believe the world will respect us.
    .
    Now as regards the United States: I sent you report from America which was handed to me by Byrnes. I have not had a reply but why cannot we use the United States to put pressure on Nehru and on Jinnah? Why not bring the whole of our diplomatic power to bear at this stage to make the Indian politicians realise that it is not merely Great Britain they are facing but a very much wider area. It would be especially useful if they could be made to say that Great Britain is taking a magnanimous attitude and I believe the United States can be honest in such a way to bring a tremendous amount of pressure to bear on the Indian politicians.
    .
    We appear to be trying nothing except to scuttle out of it, without dignity or plan, and I am convinced that if you do that our Party in this country, as a leading Party in this new world settlement, will lose and lose irrevocably when the public become aware of the policy of the Cabinet at this moment.

    .
    BM, the US Foreign Secretary Byrnes, whom Bevin met in America, is being talked about as a helping hand to put pressure on the Indian politicians in order to avoid fixing a time table . Where does that leave your assertion of American influence on Britain *in favor of* fixing a time table for Indian independence?
    .
    The primary factor for Indian independence, as most historians now agree (excluding those who are merely Gandhi-Nehru hagiographers), was the Japanese invasion of East Asia. In addition to severely crushing the British power, a by-product of that invasion was anti-European, anti-colonial, uprisings in most of that part of the world. In India’s case this was decisively through the influence of Subhas Bose. The Indian part of the uprising started with the INA trials and peaked with the Navy mutiny that spread into widespread discontent in the Indian Army. BM, you are perhaps not fully aware of the ferocity of the uprising. The BBC was barred from reporting on it but there are numerous dispatches to the New York Times from that period on the violent civilian agitations on the streets of Calcutta, Bombay, Karachi, Lahore, Bhopal, practically all of India. The NYTimes called it, the first major uprising (which was also violent) that cut across communal boundaries on a scale not seen since the non-coperation movement of 1920 .
    .
    The NYTimes archive is available with a subscription, but here are a few headlines that I had the energy to reproduce here:
    .
    “PARTISANS OF BOSE IN RIOTS IN BOMBAY” (NYTimes, Jan. 24, ’46, “the rioting began with a pitched battle between the police and the marching supporters of Bose. Law enforcement officials described the riots as anti-British and anti-police”).
    .
    “Birthday celebrations of Bose ends in riots on the streets of Bombay” (NYTimes, Feb. 4, ’46).
    .
    “Ex-Viceroy forecasts Indian dominion” (NYTimes, March 9, ’46).
    .
    “Bose and his “Army” cause widespread stir in India” (NYTimes, Feb. 8, ’46 “Bose is the most explosive political issue and more emotionally supercharged than any to be found here… Those issues, which had their beginning at the fall of Singapore, now appear to play the most vital and perhaps violent part in Indian politics… It is an issue in which Subhas Chandra Bose, the former Bengal “terrorist” and Congress President, figures constantly. “..) ..
    “Indian nationalists are working day and night to build up Bose as the “George Washington” of India” (NYTimes, Feb. 8, ’46).
    .
    “Officials on the spot term the civilian riots “open rebellion”" (NYTimes, Feb. 22, ’46 “Shift seen in British attitude. After civilian riots and the naval mutiny, underlying this surprise move is the fact that the British government no longer bases its policy so strictly on the former stand that.. Instead the Labor government seems now to be determined to draw up a fixed date for self-rule ” ),
    .
    and so on and so forth.
    .
    It is difficult to reproduce all the relevant material from the NYTimes archive (these are scanned documents not reproducible by a simple copy and paste) but to summarize the events from another source (“The INA trial and the Raj”, by H. Singh), on November 21 and 23, 1945 a mass demonstration took place in Calcutta. Police shot more than 200 people of whom 33 died. Then the British decided to put on trial only those INA men who were charged with committing murder or brutality against other POW’s. However, Calcutta simply exploded when in February 1946, Abdul Rashid Khan of INA was given seven years imprisonment for murder. Unrest began with Muslims and soon joined by students. Both the Police and Army were called to put down the ‘almost revolution’. This time nearly 400 people were shot down out of whom nearly 100 were killed. Khan’s trial gave thousands of Indian’s an excuse to revolt. revolt started with Sailor’s mutiny it spread from Karachi to Bombay and from Vizag to Calcutta involving 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 men/sailors. The naval mutiny set off a chain reaction and soon unrest spread to the British Indian Army.
    .
    British forbade BBC from broadcasting the revolt. But the NYTimes reported it extensively. On Feb. 22, 1946, it dispatched from London,
    .
    “PARLIAMENT BACKS ATTLEE ON MUTINY: Endorses Surrender Demand on India – Move to Fix Date for Self Rule Held Near:” …. “The civilian riots “open rebellion” in India have aroused more concern here than the mutinies themselves. For sometime there has been a growing feeling in the well-informed British quarters than tension in India has reached such a point where it might snap dangerously at any time. In fact there is good reason to believe that the recent government decision to send a three-man Cabinet Mission to India represents an even more drastic step than what appears from the government announcement. ” (NYTimes, Feb. 22, 1946).
    .
    Then, right on cue, on March 15, 1946, NYTimes reported again, “BRITISH OFFER INDIA THE RIGHT TO SECEDE: Full Independence Pledge Made by Attlee Goes Beyond 1942 Bid to Dominion Status”.
    .
    BM, I agree with you that perhaps none of this would have mattered if Britain had been at the peak of its power in ’45-’46, like it was in 1857. But this is precisely where the Japanese (and the German) invasions factor in. Even then, I agree that Churchill would have been a much harder nut to crack than Attlee. But this only proves that Bose was right all along in ’39-’40 (when Churchill was firmly in power), that Britain was in no mood to give India her independence and Indians therefore should launch another, decisive, Civil Disobedience movement instead of helping Britain in her war effort. Even the Conservative defeat in the ’45 elections at the hand of Labor was completely unexpected. So yes, I agree that with Churchill independence probably would not have happened, or at least would have been much more difficult, and Attlee’s win was critical for India’s freedom.
    .
    But why was Attlee more amenable to India’s freedom than Churchill and even some of his own party colleagues like Foreign Minister Bevin? After all, contrary to perception, the Labor Party MPs actually cheered a proposal of “Machine Gunning mobs” in 1942 (“Mention of machine-gunning mobs cheered in the Commons”, NYTimes, Oct. 2, 1942))? The clue to that lies in the various debates between Churchill and Attlee with the former as the Prime Minister and the latter his Deputy in the war cabinet. Attlee stressed time and again that 60,000 to 100,000 Indians were in prison (during Quit India), there was violence all over the country (Quit India was violent), the administrators civil service were disaffected, and given all that it would be an impractical proposition to hold India for far too long. But wasn’t this exactly what Bose proposed in 1940 that Gandhi and INC rejected?
    .
    Most historians agree that post Bose’s departure, Gandhi was paradoxically much more influenced by him than any one else close to him in India. He was an avid listener to all of Bose’s radio broadcasts on the Azad Hind Radio. As Louis Fischer writes, supported by Azad, that the decision to launch the QI movement was a direct influence of Bose (Nehru and Azad were against it, Patel supported it enthusiastically). Even the choice for the campaign slogan, “Do or Die”, was a Bose coinage in Jalpaiguri, Bengal, in 1938, addressing a public rally as the Congress President. In QI the Congress leaders were arrested within hours and days and remained in jail for 3 years. To the extent the movement, often violent, was successful (prompting Attlee make those arguments with Churchill) it was due to the efforts of the common men and women sans their leaders. Bose continued his numerous broadcasts on the Azad Hind Radio supporting and nourishing the movement in any way he could (there are a number of such QI broadcasts available in the Netaji archives today).
    .
    So, BM, if you track the trajectory of the freedom movement since 1938, the immediate pre-war period, to 1947, our independence, two things become clear. The British power was sapped by the war but that by itself would not have led to independence (as it didn’t after WWI, despite the Indians supporting the war effort enthusiastically on the hopes of winning favorable treatment after the war). The second factor was equally, if not more, important: the Indians themselves made it impossible for the British to govern effectively after the war. This is where Bose was crucial, the Quit India itself was his influence (just that it came 2 years after when he wanted it), fulfilled through Gandhi, and over the objections of Nehru and Azad. But the resistance that was far more vicious and far more effective in changing British opinion started in 1945 (as is clear from the NYTimes reports quoted above) and it peaked with the Navy Mutiny and the discontent in the Army in 1946. It cannot be an accident that Attlee made the announcement of allowing India to secede in March, 1946, right after the peaking of the civilian riots and the mutiny in the armed forces (in Jan.-Feb., 1946). What is also important is that in this decisive final struggle, the Hindus and Muslims fought side by side as in 1857 and 1920. This eliminated one more British delaying tactic, as reported by the NYTimes, that there was no bi-communal demand for freedom from India.
    .
    BM, in the decisive phase of the freedom movement, the most popular name in India was Subhas Bose. The popularity can be judged by the following INC resolution of 1946, in which the Congress Party “asked that India’s new interim Government should appeal to Mr. Bose, if he is alive, to preside over the annual session of the Congress Party to be held in November. It also urges that he should be elected the next Congress Party President ” (NYTimes, Sept. 22, 1946). Durga Das writes on this influence and popularity in his “India from Curzon to Nehru and After”,
    .
    “On the morning of Independence Day, Nehru unfurled the tricolour at Red Fort, watched by nearly a million people. They reserved their loudest cheers for a reference to Subhas Bose, who Nehru said, had raised the flag of independence abroad. Men of the Indian National Army and their band participated in the ceremony, …There is no doubt that had Bose not died in an air crash, he would have influenced for the better the course of Indian history after independence. Nehru paid him a compliment by adopting “JaiHind”(long live India), the salute of Bose’s INA, as the national salutation and by unfurling the national flag on the Red Fort. Bose’s slogan to his freedom fighters was “Delhi chalo” and he had vowed to plant the tricolour on the Red Fort to the cry of “Jai Hind”. ”
    .
    Because of this groundswell of popularity in the decisive phase of the freedom movement pre- and post-independence India adopted virtually all of Bose coinages (“Do or Die” in Quit India, “Jai Hind” as national salutation in free India, “Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja” as the regimental quick march, even “Jana Gana Mana” which was the anthem chosen by Bose), but it also systematically played down his absolutely critical contributions mainly to play up the role of the Congress Party (and also to assuage Britain). But any fair person can see today that the stepped up resistance to British rule from 1940 onwards, that peaked in ’45-’47, had a clear imprint of Bose. Without this independence was impossible even from a war-torn Britain, as was the case after WWI. As Roderick Matthews has written recently, INC stopped being the parliament of the Indians against British rule after 1937. In this period there was only one man who could rightly be called, “His Majesty’s Opponent” and that man was Bose.
    .
    So, BM, let’s ignore Majumdar, Michael Edwardes, Perry Anderson, and other historians who are slowly coming out with the true picture. But I have given you evidence in terms of Ambedkar’s (first hand) interview, Foreign Minister Bevin’s (classified) letter to Attlee, Cripp’s argument in the Commons, proof (in Bevin’s letter) that USA had no role to play (if not in delaying) a time table, and I have connected Bose’s undeniable influence on Quit India itself (to which Nehru and Azad were opposed and Gandhi, in ’39-’40, was opposed himself). As a true blue Gandhi-Nehru fan and admirer let’s see how you refute them.
    .

  10. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    NC,
    Thank you for the very long post. I wish, however, that you had served this in installments. It’s easier to reply. I did look up that book by Majumdar. As it happens, the “doyen” of Indian Historians’ seminal work was only available as a special recall item at my library. So much for the influence of his work. I got lazy and had a steady stream of work interfere in between. I also decided to get a personal copy of Jalal’s book and if time permits, I will write a short summary of her criticisms as well.
    .
    I am somewhat amused that you are so delighted with Obama’s victory. Naively, I thought that as an enthusiastic supporter of population exchange in Bengal on the basis of religion and your contempt for “sickularism”, you had thrown in your lot with Romney whose self deportation sounds curiously similar. Of course, when the boot is on the other foot, a hurried somersault is required.
    .
    Now with regard to this old topic of how Gandhi has cornered a lion portion of plaudits, I am sure there are many alternate universes and I have lost count of how after every few years or so someone comes out with new revelations and new “analysis”. Curiously, the question never goes away. If you are a rabid Bose supporter, I can see how a different narrative can be created, events blown out of proportion to suit that narrative and an imagined hurt used to justify its meager merits.
    .
    Coming back to your posts:
    “BM, Tilsim has his dates garbled up but what’s your excuse for claiming that Roosevelt had a hand in forcing Attlee “fix a timetable” when he DIED before Attlee became the Prime Minister? ”
    .
    Actually, that was an error. I agree that Roosevelt couldn’t have forced Attlee to “fix a timetable”. It was a sloppy sentence. What I intended to say was that Roosevelt’s importance is not given its due share. I read years ago about his role when he was named Time’s man of the century and attended a seminar on his role in Indian independence. Roosevelt made an implicit pre condition of the right to self determination of Britain’s colonies. Significantly, as you have mentioned, Churchill rebuffed, successfully, Roosevelt’s condition. To imagine then that the flag bearer of the empire was cowed by a platoon of poorly equipped soldiers whose success rested more on hope and prayer is beyond imagination. As I said about alternate universe, you are free to indulge in that but it just doesn’t square up with facts on the ground. Now, about Ambedkar’s tape: Ambedkar clearly mentions that he didn’t know what was going on in Attlee’s mind that he would probably disclose someday and **NOBODY** expected that independence would be given so quickly. So, in Ambedkar’s own words, nobody saw that coming and yet it happened so obviously, according to some quarters, Bose’s army had something to do with it. That just seems a very simplistic reasoning. Don’t forget that Churchill insisted to the very end that he could hold India. Now that we have the benefit of hindsight, this idea seems even more bizarre, straight out of a monty python. There has been only one serious challenge to the integrity of the Armed forces in India and that was in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star. The one you are describing just pales in comparison. Yet, you and your cohorts carry on blithely hyping up its importance. I am not discounting its importance. I just find it hard to believe that it was as important as you claim it was. Even Attlee might have his selfish reasons in ginning it up. The desert war was a supreme example of that exaggeration.
    .
    As for Bose’s influence on Quit India Movement, I already said that Bose was a better tactician than Gandhi but the Quit India movement was Gandhi’s effort. None can take that credit away from him, howsoever stupid or good that idea was.
    .
    ” In addition to severely crushing the British power, a by-product of that invasion was anti-European, anti-colonial, uprisings in most of that part of the world. In India’s case this was decisively through the influence of Subhas Bose.”
    .
    So you have stopped at one hagiography only to start another?
    .
    “BM, you are perhaps not fully aware of the ferocity of the uprising.”
    .
    I am and that NY times article is not new. Instead of getting into all sorts of contortions, why don’t you just calmly go over the implication of your analysis. What you are saying is that the immense war machine that stopped the Nazi blitzkrieg in the Battle of Britain quivered at the sight of the INA in Burma. It’s hilarious to insist this alternate reality that the entire mass of country was sitting idle twiddling their fingers waiting for Bose to fire his shot of rebellion and then they gleefully took the baton to oust the British. The amusing thing is that you want to base one set of events from newspaper clippings but then totally dismiss as hagiography and west’s unhealthy obsession with naked fakirs when those same newspapers start talking about Gandhi. History is not just based on newspaper clippings. The reality, my dear, is that Bose, no matter how great he was for us, was just a small fry in the immense Nazi War machine. Let me give you a brief idea of the scale we are talking about: In the battle of El Alamein, almost half a million troops fought and that was nothing in comparison to the Russian front. Are you saying that the Empire couldn’t find one general to clamp on the restive troops in India? Don’t make it silly. There was multiple reasons for our independence, Bose’s was one of them but not what you term as a “decisive one”. That is unsupported by any reasonable historical reading.
    .
    “The second factor was equally, if not more, important: the Indians themselves made it impossible for the British to govern effectively after the war. This is where Bose was crucial, the Quit India itself was his influence (just that it came 2 years after when he wanted it), fulfilled through Gandhi, and over the objections of Nehru and Azad.”
    .
    I don’t know how you can miss such obvious connections. By itself, the Quit India movement was not a radically new idea. So yeah, Bose suggested it. But its importance was in its timing: Coming at a crucial time of WWII, it was designed to throw a spanner in the works of the Raj. Actually, in retrospect, it was not such a good idea. It gave a breathing space to AIML and allowed Jinnah to gain in importance.
    .
    “But the resistance that was far more vicious and far more effective in changing British opinion started in 1945 (as is clear from the NYTimes reports quoted above) and it peaked with the Navy Mutiny and the discontent in the Army in 1946. ”
    .
    Please. I urge you to read history in a more dispassionate manner. The Indians, in general, had made things ungovernable for the British and this incident was just an icing on the cake. By itself it would have achieved nothing, as you yourself admit. The rest of your post is a unnecessary attempt to further expand on this theme about the centrality of Bose’s adventures. No one disagrees with Bose’s influence but it’s rather hard to justify your exuberance.
    .
    “Most historians agree that post Bose’s departure, Gandhi was paradoxically much more influenced by him than any one else close to him in India. He was an avid listener to all of Bose’s radio broadcasts on the Azad Hind Radio.”
    .
    That just made me laugh. It just doesn’t say one thing or another but I guess we can put it down to the uniquely conspiratorially inclined thinking of Bengalis. Just kidding. ;) I bet some idiot is making another case of his homoerotic tendencies.
    .
    “Bose continued his numerous broadcasts on the Azad Hind Radio supporting and nourishing the movement in any way he could ”
    .
    So you are saying that his Radio broadcasts were available on AIR? Or maybe the public had ham radios back then.
    .

    I will write now what I admire about Gandhi. As I have said ad nauseam, I hold no brief for him. He was a bundle of contradictions like many others. But among all the personalities across the spectrum of our continent, he was the only one that was original, an authentic Indian thinker. We can quibble about his abhorrent ideas of sexuality but in his unique attempt to forge a mass movement, he was thoroughly original. I agree that quite a lot of his contemporaries were greater in intellect, possibly greater in tactical acumen but at the end of the day, they were painful carbon copies, howsoever decorated, of ideas of the West. As a cultural Hindu, I marvel at his intellect to get the nub of the religion that had eluded even the most brilliant thinkers. His passive aggressive ideas of mass movement was a succinct distillation of Hinduism. I remember someone who wrote about Hinduism as a faith that “wouldn’t fight” and in it’s surrender would outlive its opponents. Gandhi understood this better than anyone else. Above all, in contrast to the prancing dandies, he was not afraid of getting his hands dirty. He had all the trappings of an elitist but he broke the set conventions to reach out to the most helpless and the dirtiest of the lot. Anyone that has seen the squalor of our villages can only have respect for him. Above all, as I have traveled more, I have felt proud of at least one original idea from India. I am sure in 100 years, his minor peccadillos would be forgotten and he will live through MLK, Green Peace, etc.

  11. no-communal United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    CM
    .
    What you are trying as a rebut is a pathetic attempt at erecting a straw man and killing him.
    .
    “I did look up that book by Majumdar. As it happens, the “doyen” of Indian Historians’ seminal work was only available as a special recall item at my library. So much for the influence of his work. I got lazy and had a steady stream of work interfere in between. I also decided to get a personal copy of Jalal’s book and if time permits, I will write a short summary of her criticisms as well.”
    .
    What book? If you mean the work on Indian independence movement why would you find a book on that subject a popular fixture in the library of a US school? That you found it as a special recall item in your library is enough in my opinion. You won’t be so lucky in most Indian libraries. And frankly I don’t have much taste for his or her criticism. If you have evidence of historical inaccuracy or dishonesty in Majumdar’s work I am interested to learn something new.
    .
    “I am somewhat amused that you are so delighted with Obama’s victory. Naively, I thought that as an enthusiastic supporter of population exchange in Bengal on the basis of religion and your contempt for “sickularism”, you had thrown in your lot with Romney whose self deportation sounds curiously similar. Of course, when the boot is on the other foot, a hurried somersault is required.”
    .
    I gave that as a bait to you and you took it. Very predictable! But I thought you would bring up Obama’s appreciation for Gandhi, not this. BM, I explained my position on that subject quite clearly. Everything has a time and a place. What I mentioned was advocated by no less a person than Ambedkar. Here he is, on that subject:
    .
    “Some scoff at the idea of the shifting and exchange of population. But those who scoff can hardly be aware of the complications, which a minority problem gives rise to and the failures attendant upon almost all the efforts made to protect them.

    . . .

    This is what happened in Turky, Greece and Bulgaria. Those, who scoff at the idea of transfer of population, will do well to study the history of the minority problem, as it arose between Turky, Greece and Bulgaria. If they do, they will find that these countries found
    that the only effective way of solving the minorities problem lay in exchange of population. The task undertaken by the three countries was by no means a minor operation. It involved the transfer of some 20 million people from one habitat to another. But undaunted, the
    three shouldered the task and carried it to a successful end because they felt that the considerations of communal peace must outweigh every other consideration.
    .
    That the transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace is beyond doubt. If that is so, there is no reason why the Hindus and the Muslims should keep on trading in safeguards which have proved so unsafe.
    .
    God knows Ambedkar was right for the Hindus of East Bengal! So were Patel and S. P. Mukherjee. BM, sometime one has to be not communal, secularist, socialist, capitalist, but just a realist! The pea-brained Nehru was incapable of that feat. He proved that multiple times, in his stance on Quit India, which was not because of the Hindu-Muslim problem (even in 1944 he was saying there was no Hindu-Muslim problem that needed solving when a huge one was staring him on the face!), in his stance on Nehru-Liaquat, and in his stance on China. The last two cost dearly to India. The first one was overruled by Gandhi who by 1942 was much more influenced by Subhas Bose than anyone else, as write Azad and Louis Fischer.
    .
    “What I intended to say was that Roosevelt’s importance is not given its due share. I read years ago about his role when he was named Time’s man of the century and attended a seminar on his role in Indian independence. Roosevelt made an implicit pre condition of the right to self determination of Britain’s colonies. Significantly, as you have mentioned, Churchill rebuffed, successfully, Roosevelt’s condition. ”
    .
    Roosevelt made an attempt, in 1942 . The result was Cripps Mission, sent over by Churchill to garner Indian support in the face of clear and present danger. After that US influence was minimal or nothing at all or on the other side (read Foreign Minister Bevin’s Letter to Attlee.) This is why Ambedkar makes no mention of it. .
    .
    You would do honesty a great service by not bringing up too many factors to India’s independence. Tilsim already made an attempt to bring in the effects of the riots. This is a favorite ploy of the naysayers to cloud the arguments with too many issues. It would be of great help if you do not bring up these factors again and again.
    .
    “To imagine then that the flag bearer of the empire was cowed by a platoon of poorly equipped soldiers whose success rested more on hope and prayer is beyond imagination. As I said about alternate universe, you are free to indulge in that but it just doesn’t square up with facts on the ground.”
    .
    Enough with the straw man argument already.
    .
    As a friend has written already the INA would have had no impact on Indian Independence, if it did not cause a backlash civilian rebellion (which was non-communal, violent, and wide spread all over India ) and an undercurrent of dissent in the armed forces. Or even if the dissent had been contained instead of blowing up in the RIN Mutiny. Or even if the RIN mutiny had no ripple effects and landed up as a one off. Instead from a position where they literally had millions of loyal troops and police personnel, who were running the empire for them, the british landed up with millions of troops who had demonstrated their intent to revolt.
    .
    Refer to Bevin’s letter once again: “I do not believe that, with leadership, the Indian Army is in the bad way that people suggest. . Or the following NYTimes report: “The civilian riots “open rebellion” in India have aroused more concern here than the mutinies themselves. For sometime there has been a growing feeling in the well-informed British quarters than tension in India has reached such a point where it might snap dangerously at any time. In fact there is good reason to believe that the recent government decision to send a three-man Cabinet Mission to India represents an even more drastic step than what appears from the government announcement. ” (NYTimes, Feb. 22, 1946).
    .
    I have depend on the NYTimes, because BBC and all the India papers were barred from reporting any of these from 1945-1947.
    .
    Please, not that pathetic straw man argument anymore.
    .
    “As I said about alternate universe, you are free to indulge in that but it just doesn’t square up with facts on the ground. Now, about Ambedkar’s tape: Ambedkar clearly mentions that he didn’t know what was going on in Attlee’s mind that he would probably disclose someday and **NOBODY** expected that independence would be given so quickly. So, in Ambedkar’s own words, nobody saw that coming and yet it happened so obviously, according to some quarters, Bose’s army had something to do with it.”
    .
    That is a definition of dishonesty. I don’t know why you have to go to that length of dishonesty simply to satisfy an ill-formed fixation of yours. Ambedkar is not saying “according to some quarters Bose’s army had something to do with it”. Here, those who haven’t already, listen to Ambedkar once again,
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEYVIbSMvZ4
    .
    He says “from the analysis that I have made, it seems to me there are two things that led….” etc.
    .
    If you don’t agree with Ambedkar, despite the fact that he went through all of this first hand and is a universally acknowledged
    foremost observer and player of contemporary politics, just say so. But base your arguments on facts, not dishonesty. I mean, honesty should have some value even among the fixated Congress wallahs, even from the land of 3000-crore Rs scams on a daily basis.
    .
    “I don’t know how you can miss such obvious connections. By itself, the Quit India movement was not a radically new idea. So yeah, Bose suggested it. But its importance was in its timing: Coming at a crucial time of WWII, it was designed to throw a spanner in the works of the Raj. Actually, in retrospect, it was not such a good idea. It gave a breathing space to AIML and allowed Jinnah to gain in importance.”
    .
    Even the QI in 1942 was indirectly influenced by Bose. I hope you know both Nehru and Azad, in their time-honored delusions, were very much against it (and not with an apprehension about the Hindu-Muslim problem, but for the sake of the Raj). The rejection of Cripps and the launch of QI were directly motivated by Bose on the Azad Hind Radio. Cripps, in private to his India friends, was apologetic that he had nothing new to offer. Roosevelt and Chiang Kai Shek had tried to convince Churchill to do the right thing for India. But Cripps confessed that the British PM was as obstinate about India as ever. Bose in his broadcast of March, ’42 made a strong attack on the Cripps Mission. He said that the mission was meaningless, how could a man of Sir Stafford’s liberalism and well-known hatred of imperialism could undertake such a cynical task? Let the British adopt the policy “India to Indians”. And yes, these broadcasts may not have been carried by AIR, but they were available all over India. Gandhi for one was an avid listener . They were available even in the rural areas. The reason I am claiming this is because Pranab Mukherjee said the other day that in his childhood they as a family used to wait for the Netaji broadcasts and he is from very rural parts of Bengal. I don’t know why and how they were available, but it should not be too difficult to find out.
    .
    “Please. I urge you to read history in a more dispassionate manner. The Indians, in general, had made things ungovernable for the British and this incident was just an icing on the cake. By itself it would have achieved nothing, as you yourself admit. The rest of your post is a unnecessary attempt to further expand on this theme about the centrality of Bose’s adventures. No one disagrees with Bose’s influence but it’s rather hard to justify your exuberance.”
    .
    BM, the Indians, in general, would NOT have made things ungovernable for the British, had they followed Nehru’s or Azad’s (or Gandhi’s in ’39-’40) prescriptions of doing nothing with the Raj. They followed that prescription in the WWI and were laughed off by the British after the war. It was Bose’s relentless insistence of striking when the Raj was vulnerable that made things ungovernable. Even in 1942, without direct prodding by Bose the QI would not have been realized, as is evident from Louis Fisher’s and Azad’s writings.

    All this made Attlee take a stand different from Churchill. But by 1944, India was largely peaceful. All the Congress leaders were in jail (actually the Congress leaders were out of direct contact from the people almost as much as Bose himself, Bose left India in 1941, the Congress leaders were put in prison in 1942!), and the movement had been largely contained. There was no US influence and no influence of any riot of any large scale. The country was very much governable. It is at this time the large scale civilian rebellion, anti-government riots (that resulted in hundreds of deaths all over India, even Americans were killed in Calcutta), the RIN (that involved 76 ships, and 22,000 men), and the wide discontent in the army burst open. There were 3 million battle hardened Indians who had just returned from battles overseas. They were showing signs that they could not be trusted and the British needed their own men. The scale was much bigger even than that of 1857. The British were sapped of all their energy and resources by the war. This is the context why post 1945 was crucial, that you are pathetically trying to play down.
    .
    .
    “That just made me laugh. It just doesn’t say one thing or another but I guess we can put it down to the uniquely conspiratorially inclined thinking of Bengalis. Just kidding. ;) I bet some idiot is making another case of his homoerotic tendencies.
    .
    .
    So you are saying that his Radio broadcasts were available on AIR? Or maybe the public had ham radios back then.”
    .
    these broadcasts may not have been carried by AIR, but they were available in India. Gandhi for one was an avid listener . They were available even in the rural areas. The reason I claim they were available even in the rural areas is because Pranab Mukherjee recently said (I hope not for some conspiracy!) that in his childhood they as a family used to wait for the Netaji broadcasts. He is from very rural parts of Bengal. I don’t know why and how they were available, but it should not be too difficult to find out.
    .
    If you have an argument, make it. Don’t just make a fool of yourself by making straw men argument. I gave you proofs such as Ambedkar’s first hand account, Bevin’s letter, Bose’s hand in QI etc. Please refute them if you can, but intelligently.

  12. Chote Miya United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    NC,
    The fundamental disagreement between us is that you are too locked in by this alternate or contrarian thinking, so much so that you are willing to overlook humanistic concerns just because it fits in your worship of certain personalities. I brought in the reference of self deportation because the whole opposition to that idea is humanistic. I see the non implementation of forced exchange of population in Bengal in that reference. To me it’s that obvious. I cannot agree with jettisoning a core belief merely because it’s more expedient to do so. I agree with Ambedkar more than I agree with Gandhi but I have reservations with his characterization of Muslims and Islam in general. I have great admiration for Bose but it’s a historical fact that he was not that influential post 40, whether Gandhi listened to his nightly broadcast for directions or not. If you wish, I can unload countless newspaper clippings to support my contention that he was a marginal player, at best. In fact, that is my biggest criticism of Bose, that he left India at a crucial time. I am quite sure that he would have been a huge counterweight to Nehru, Jinnah, etc. With regard to Obama’s admiration of Gandhi, it’s an irrelevant point for me.
    Also, I think that you get mired in really small details and lose sight of the bigger narrative. Let me give you another example: It’s a raging belief among Islamists and Taliban that they “drove” USSR out of Afghanistan. Impartial observers generally agree that Soviet Union’s implosion was the biggest factor in its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Which one is true? I am inclined to believe that Soviet Union’s internal problems were a bigger factor and that it was also bled by another superpower. To support my contention, I would point towards Russia’s involvement in the Balkans and in Hungary. The opposition to communists in Hungary was no less ferocious but the Soviets, by and large, successfully crushed that revolt. Likewise, the war in Vietnam, as Ho Chi Min memorably put, was going to be won on the streets of Washington. In a striking similarity, the post war Britain had even less stomach to latch on to its tenuous hold on its colonies. The Labor Govt. in post war Britain was, by and large, inward looking and had little inclination to maintain the imperial overreach–it was too bankrupt to do so. That’s a historical fact. Now to spin that into a deification of Bose’s achievements is just plain cuckoo. There is a similar thing going on in Afghanistan, right as we speak. The Labor Govt. vacated not only India but Burma and Sri Lanka as well, where there was no such insurrection. That is a standing argument of another equally vociferous faction that label Gandhi and his cohorts as anarchist and that freedom was going to come anyways.
    Now, with regard to the Quit India Movement. I assume you think that it was a brilliant idea. If you didn’t think so, I am sure you would have unloaded the entire blame on Gandhi. I don’t think it was a good idea at all, especially during the war years. What was the result? British authorities locked up all the key leaders and the vacuum was filled by Jinnah and that gave him the crucial leverage that he needed. It was a bad idea in ’42. It would have been an even worse idea when Bose wanted.
    Here too you are making the same mistake that you have made earlier and the contradictions show up. Contrary to your repeated assertions that I am a blind Gandhi devotee, I think it’s high time that you question your devotion. You start off with a claim and then string together tenuous arguments to construct this grand story that Bose, as a supreme clairvoyant, had the blue print for everything worthwhile that happened after he left. That sort of argument is nothing new. All the great leaders’ acolytes are fond of thinking that they were indispensable and they had a grand strategy. The truth is no one knew beyond six months as to what was going to happen next. It’s wonderfully exhibited by the audio excerpt of Ambedkar. He was still shocked (well into 50s!) that the British left so early and that nobody knew that it would happen. His analysis is just one of the many theories. I don’t take that as a gospel truth. Even then, I would gladly take your claim about Bose as an unparalleled seer if he didn’t take that extremely stupid step of aligning with the Nazis. That sows seeds of grave doubt about his judgement. In addition, your method of ascribing praise is unintentionally amusing. It’s a shoddy attempt to cover all bases. So the QI movement was the brainchild of Bose but it failed since all the leaders were locked up but then he was influencing the whole of country by his shortwave broadcast! Apparently, the whole of country was so in thrall with his message that it went on rioting well into 45-46, even after his death. So, in summary, your main gripe is that his poster child QI movement wasn’t started when he wanted. Well, as I said before, the timing was the main thing. It was a bad idea even in 42 when the British were on the ropes. It would have been a spectacularly silly idea in 38. Also, I have issue with ascribing whatever merits of that movement was to Bose. That’s like giving credit to Gandhi for the 75 movement and Anna Movement.
    .
    “There were 3 million battle hardened Indians who had just returned from battles overseas. They were showing signs that they could not be trusted and the British needed their own men.”
    .
    Really? Or is this one of your own constructions? With regard to your subsequent assertions and story build up of an even more exaggerated influence of Bose, I must remind you that the Navy revolt was in 46 by which time most leaders knew that independence was being discussed and the paramount question was the settlement of Hindu Muslim issue. Majority of people, as such, were expecting that there would be some sort of orderly transfer. If you remember, Ambedkar’s shock was not about the departure of British but the “sudden” departure of the British. In that scheme of things, the navy revolt was actually a distraction. Since the constitutional transfer was at hand, it would have served the country best if the Army maintained its political neutrality. That is why it was condemned by both the Congress and the Muslim League. What the revolt did was to push the British over the edge. The cake was baked much before. If the rank and file of the army was so wrapped by the message of Bose, then it wouldn’t have quietly taken in Nehru’s subsequent order canceling the reinstatement of the INA soldiers in the army. As I have said before, these events take importance because there was an underlying hope that the British were leaving–it was only a matter of time. That revolt, had it happened in 20s, would have been ruthlessly crushed and not a peep would have been heard throughout the country. The British pretty much escaped the repercussions of the Jallianwallah massacre. You keep quoting Bevin’s letter. I don’t know how you could have missed the more important message in that letter staring right through the pages:
    .
    “Personally, I do not think it depends on the number of British troops there, but it is the complete lack of leadership in the Indian Army which I believe will cause the disaster that will overtake the British Empire. In fact, you cannot read the telegrams from Egypt and the Middle East nowadays without realising that not only is India going, but Malay, Ceylon and the Middle East is going with it, with a tremendous repercussion on the African territories.”
    .
    First, the FM clearly believes that there was an absence of leadership and that he was still hopeful that a determined leadership could save the day. Also, and perhaps, more importantly, he talks about similar stories from Malay, Ceylon, etc. That is exactly what I have been saying. Post war anti colonialism was a gobal occurrence. That is why you saw the British vacate almost in a hurry their various possessions. This brings me to another important point: your hyperventilation about why-this-sudden-departure and how can we not see that as a result of the mighty exploits of Bose and his men and their stories. Again, a very naive question and in line with my oft-repeated advice that you look at events on a global scale. If you look at the history of such departures, almost all of them have been sudden. The Soviets left Afghanistan almost as suddenly as they came. The British did the same almost everywhere. The French dragged on in Algeria with disastrous consequences. You forget that it’s a truism in international affairs that when an occupying power decides to leave, it does so quickly. The British wanted to leave almost the next day despite pleadings of a section of Congress and AIML to stay on for a few more years.
    .
    “The scale was much bigger even than that of 1857.”
    .
    You need to read a good book on 1857.
    .
    With regard to Majumdar, I assumed, given his superb credentials, that his magnum opus on the freedom movement, which supposedly contains unheard of gems, could be easily available in the regular section of our library and not by special request. Other similar books are easily available. I guess, we can ascribe it to the establishment’s successful overreach in shutting down alternate narratives and making sure that the gullible americans never got their hands on that incendiary piece of work.
    .
    As for the transfer of population, we can agree to disagree. It’s a moral issue for me. For you it may be a tactical issue. It’s just hard for me to see how such a tactic cannot be considered communal or a dressed up version of religious cleansing. As for your examples of Greece, Cyprus, etc., you may not know this but the Indian Pakistani template is now being floated in various other countries (Syria, Lebanon, etc.). Sudan is the latest example and I hope I don’t need to educate you of the consequences.
    .
    As always, my sincere request to think a bit more and not latch on to any narrative that suits your pedagogical biases.

  13. no-communal United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    CM
    .
    Here you are again going off on a tangent. Presented with historical facts and solid arguments all you do is present your ideological positions. What Abmedkar said was a realist’s position. It should have been applied to Bengal and Bengal only, especially when it was implemented in Punjab with Nehru’s own approval. Nehru had a habit of living in the cloud cuckoo land and so do his followers with all their devotion to these people. It’s high time you look at history unencumbered by emotions and hagiography.
    .
    “I have great admiration for Bose but it’s a historical fact that he was not that influential post 40, whether Gandhi listened to his nightly broadcast for directions or not. If you wish, I can unload countless newspaper clippings to support my contention that he was a marginal player, at best. In fact, that is my biggest criticism of Bose, that he left India at a crucial time. I am quite sure that he would have been a huge counterweight to Nehru, Jinnah, etc. With regard to Obama’s admiration of Gandhi, it’s an irrelevant point for me.”
    .
    Notwithstanding your biggest criticism, you are making the cardinal mistake of looking at history too simplistically. BM, Gandhi can be credited with what Indians achieved in terms of political freedom up until 1935. But beyond 1937 specifically with the start of the war, up to 1947, the full independence was achieved by dint of Bose’s ideas and humongous efforts swimming against all odds staked in front of him by his own party. Had INC followed Nehru’s ideas, or Azad’s, or Gandhi’s up to Bose’s departure (in 1941), it is fairly certain that Indians would not have made themselves ungovernable and there would have been no Attlee making counter arguments to Churchill. And there would have been no fresh civilian and military uprisings in 1945, 1946. Given this, your statement that Bose’s influence was marginal beyond 1940 is astounding!
    .
    BM, it can be safely said that the INC specifically Gandhi that rejected Bose’s plans in 1940, embraced that very plan starting in 1942. This startled Azad who wrote about this in his book. Louis Fisher also wrote about this. Noorani recently wrote (in an essay not adulatory of Bose) “Maulana Azad noted with some astonishment that Gandhi’s “admiration for Subhas Bose unconsciously coloured his view about the whole war situation”, especially on Cripps’ proposals of March 30, 1942, for a settlement of India’s political impasse.” Azad expounds on this on page 40 of his book which you are welcome to look up. Louis Fiscer made the same point quite clearly and ascribed the whole QI movement to Bose’s influence on Gandhi. But more importantly, if you follow the INC resolutions and demands post 1941, they almost mirror the plans and programs devised by Bose including the main sticking point (with ’35) of relegating defense to the Indians (India needs its own army). I would repeat, post his departure, the Indian freedom struggle was dictated by Bose’s ideas and plans, announced in 1940, whether he was in India or not. This included a violent QI (by INC estimate 25,000 killed) and a violent 1945, 1946, with a peaceful interlude of 1944 in between. Acknowledged or not, no other Indian leader had as much influence after the start of the war as Subhas Bose.
    .
    “As I have said before, these events take importance because there was an underlying hope that the British were leaving–it was only a matter of time.”
    .
    BM, independence was being discussed even in 1942. The crucial question was evasiveness. It was the evasiveness why the Cripps Mission was rejected and QI was launched in which 25,000 died. The same thing persisted in the post war period too. Nehru himself said that the Labor in the pre-election period looked very different from the Labor post election win. It was Wavell’s report about the army (note FM Bevin’s contempt for Wavell) and the mutiny in the RIN that pushed Attlee take a decision. Even then, on March 16, 1946, two third of the Commons did not show up when Attlee made the announcement.
    .
    I usually do not reproduce another person’s account, other than primary source material such as Bevin’s letter. But here I will make an exception. Your claim about Bose’s marginal influence is so astounding, that even though Azad’s and Fiscer’s writings should have been enough as a rebut, I will reproduce a critical essay on this below. I agree that this topic has not been fully explored but that is a statement of our hagiography of Gandhi and unwillingness to acknowledge any one else other than who “gave us freedom without firing a single shot”.
    .
    Whether or not QI was a good or bad idea for the Hindu-Muslim problem is a separate issue. That is not under discussion. What is under discussion is India’s freedom from Britain. One might even argue freedom itself was not such a great idea (as Ambedkar evidently thought), but all these are irrelevant for the topic at hand.
    .
    The article promised (for which I just give the link because it’s too lengthy, http://middlab.middlebury.edu/tag/politics/) is fully supported by primary source materials. One of the summary sentence is telling,
    .
    “Gandhi, recalling in 1940 his correspondence with Bose after his resignation as party president, wrote in his newspaper, “I told him that, if at the end of his plan there was Swaraj [i.e., independence]
    during my lifetime, mine would be the first telegram of congratulations he would receive. …But I told him he was wrong.” Two years after the article’s publication, it seemed that Bose was on his way to earning such a telegram because Gandhi and the party leadership had adopted key aspects of Bose’s methods as their own.”
    .

  14. Mohan United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    CM,

    ” I will write now what I admire about Gandhi. As I have said ad nauseam, I hold no brief for him. He was a bundle of contradictions like many others. But among all the personalities across the spectrum of our continent, he was the only one that was original, an authentic Indian thinker. We can quibble about his abhorrent ideas of sexuality but in his unique attempt to forge a mass movement, he was thoroughly original. I agree that quite a lot of his contemporaries were greater in intellect, possibly greater in tactical acumen but at the end of the day, they were painful carbon copies, howsoever decorated, of ideas of the West. As a cultural Hindu, I marvel at his intellect to get the nub of the religion that had eluded even the most brilliant thinkers. His passive aggressive ideas of mass movement was a succinct distillation of Hinduism. I remember someone who wrote about Hinduism as a faith that “wouldn’t fight” and in it’s surrender would outlive its opponents. Gandhi understood this better than anyone else. Above all, in contrast to the prancing dandies, he was not afraid of getting his hands dirty. He had all the trappings of an elitist but he broke the set conventions to reach out to the most helpless and the dirtiest of the lot. Anyone that has seen the squalor of our villages can only have respect for him. Above all, as I have traveled more, I have felt proud of at least one original idea from India. I am sure in 100 years, his minor peccadillos would be forgotten and he will live through MLK, Green Peace, etc.”

    Loved reading this paragraph.

    CM, NC,

    Good to see both of you again engaged in a very intelligent and knowledgeable discussion which made a very absorbing reading.
    Thanks gentlemen.

  15. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    NC,
    Just a few rough guidelines before I lay out my reply. A good start would be to read your references. I looked up your most recent reference. Sample the headline: “Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the ***Degree of Bachelor of Arts*** in the Department of History: Middlebury College”!!! Hello! Is this your exceptional reference?? Are we going to argue about our Independence movement based on someone bachelor degree essay? What next? A High School essay? Please don’t waste our time giving such inconsequential references and circulating hypotheticals from your adda buddies. The last two references that you gave, one titled swaraj and Gandhi turned out to contradict your own ideas. The second one, by Perry Anderson, had not even a single new information, not one, nothing, zilch! I wasted 50 pages and an entire afternoon on that joke. Also, please, for heaven’s sake, desist from your turgid prose about which song or slogan was adopted by who and when. We know that. It proves nothing.
    .
    Talking about “historical facts and solid arguments”, so far as I can judge, your entire farcical analysis rests on one video, a few stray references and newspaper clippings! I mean, if history was to be written on basis of newspaper clippings, I am pretty sure 60 years from now, people will conclude that Anna and his merry men almost toppled the Congress govt., which as you know, didn’t happen. So much for your “facts”. But let’s verify those facts a little bit more.
    .
    First, you dismissed the role of Roosevelt. Then you admitted that his pressure was the reason behind the Cripps Mission, a substantial achievement, since Britain was still a superpower. What was basis for your argument? Because Ambedkar didn’t talk about it! Well, it was important enough for the entire congress to make a song and dance about the whole affair.
    .
    Second, about the transfer of population. While I argued my position on humanistic grounds, it had more strength on grounds of realism. After all, the current self flagellation in the GOP has led some to argue that they should provide a step to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants, simply because they cannot deport all 12 million of them! I asked you before that how would you deport or make the muslims in Bengal self deport. You had no answer. All you did was some hand waving and some nonsense about oh-they-could-have-found-a-way. That’s not a solution.
    .
    Your reference of Ambedkar is similarly flawed. This is another annoying part of your posts. You rely too much on ctrl+F, and it doesn’t help all the time. Amebdkar wrote that as a part of his thesis titled “the case for Pakistan.” That was in ***1940***. Hell, at that time, even Jinnah didn’t define Pakistan. The transfer of population was one of the possible scenarios that the opponent of Pakistan brought up and the reply of Ambedkar was in this regard. In fact, at that time, if Jinnah had so much as even mentioned the transfer of population as one of the fallouts of his proposals, his support would have melted away overnight. Which is why, an orderly transfer of power was one of the main demands of the QI movement. There are other factors too but I am not going to do the hard work for you and describe everything.
    .
    “But beyond 1937 specifically with the start of the war, up to 1947, the full independence was achieved by dint of Bose’s ideas and humongous efforts swimming against all odds staked in front of him by his own party.”
    .
    You are given to baloney every now and then but in this one, you have surpassed yourself. That is just utter nonsense. You are sounding more and more like Islamists that think that the entire world is in thrall of their antics. The biggest issue staring at the rank and file of the leadership in India was the Pakistan issue. Rest was just a sideshow.
    .
    “Had INC followed Nehru’s ideas, or Azad’s, or Gandhi’s up to Bose’s departure (in 1941), it is fairly certain that Indians would not have made themselves ungovernable and there would have been no Attlee making counter arguments to Churchill. ”
    .
    Again a barrage of hypotheticals. A short answer: No it wouldn’t have. Just in the previous post, you said that by 44, the QI movement was effectively crushed and the country was by and large peaceful. So, no, the QI movement was a bad idea in 42, in 40, in 39, and in 38. Stop contradicting yourself. Plus, I really don’t know why you make such a big deal about Subhas starting that movement. How was QI different from non-cooperation movement? Apropos this following lines from your own post:
    “All this made Attlee take a stand different from Churchill. But by 1944, India was largely peaceful. All the Congress leaders were in jail (actually the Congress leaders were out of direct contact from the people almost as much as Bose himself, Bose left India in 1941, the Congress leaders were put in prison in 1942!)”
    .
    Now, you tell me how it would have succeeded if Bose started it in 38. Remember, Churchill was still there and we know what he would have done.
    .
    “BM, independence was being discussed even in 1942.”
    .
    Let me give you a little bit of detail because you have got everything mixed up. By 44 QI was effectively over. Nehru was later on heard remarking that the whole leadership of the Congress was thoroughly demoralized. The brute fact was, to paraphrase Nehru words, that there was no will left for another mass struggle and the Congress was like a rudderless ship. This is a fact. The war, as you have also written, came as boon to the larger goal of the independence movement. And, so did the Labor Party. We are talking about ’45 now. The Labor Party’s primary goal was internal reconstruction and it sought to cut its losses in its former colonies. It wanted to withdraw from its colonies as soon as possible. Again, let me quote Brevin’s letter (thank you):
    “Therefore, my view is that while we issue a declaration that it is our determination to clear out of India and to hand the responsibility to the Indians, we should declare that it is our determination to hand it over as a going concern and to place the responsibility squarely on their shoulders of failure in that respect….
    ..We appear to be trying nothing except to scuttle out of it, without dignity or plan, and I am convinced that if you do that our Party in this country, as a leading Party in this new world settlement, will lose and lose irrevocably when the public become aware of the policy of the Cabinet at this moment.”
    .
    If you pay attention to these sentences, it becomes clear that the FM was not arguing for keeping the possession of the Empire, but not to “scuttle out of it, without dignity or plan”. So, we can infer what Attlee was arguing for, i.e., a sudden departure from the empire. Surely, even in the labor party, there was a tussle. Again, as an analogy, I draw your attention to the current tussle in the US to withdraw from Afghanistan. There is a sizable section in the Democratic party that argues for bringing home the soldiers tomorrow. Now, imagine if US was coming back from a war like WWII. What do you think Obama would have done?
    Again, the sailor’s revolt was a distraction and it had nothing to do with Bose. Of course, there was widespread sympathy for INA. But they had even greater sympathy for Bhagat Singh? What did it lead to? Sailor’s revolt or not, the independence of India at that time (’46) was not in doubt. The vexing issue of the day was the Pakistan problem, in which Bose had no role to play.
    .
    Now, I want to address your accusation that I have been tangential in my arguments. I think many others will disagree. In fact, I have gone beyond the inconsequential details to frame our independence struggle in a larger framework. Neither have I overblown someone’s contribution nor I have sought to willfully deny the obvious. It’s you who is running around gathering tattered evidences to support your increasingly hallucinogenic theory that Bose, like Banquo ghost, was still determining the events post 45.
    .
    Once again, try seeing things from a larger perspective rather than imagining ghosts where none exist. I should, however, thank you for one very important thing. Ever since this discussion started, months ago, I have read a lot more about Bose, and I must say it’s been a revelation. Forget Gandhi, it was the image of Bose that needed self correction in my mind. If Nehru hadn’t bungled the Indo-China War, I would rate him higher than Bose.

  16. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Mohan,
    Thanks for your kind compliments!

  17. no-communal India Google Chrome Windows says:

    BM
    .
    I wrote earlier that there’s no point arguing with the Ramachandra Guha and the Prof. Tarachand types. You are showing yourself as just one of them, drunk too much on the Gandhi-Nehru kool aid, beyond the point it is okay for your health. What have you done in your latest post (!) have you been able to counter any of the points I raised, how about Azad’s description of Bose’s clear influence on the rejection of Cripps, in the launch of QI (for which Gandhi asked both Azad and Nehru to resign because they were opposed to it), Louis Fischer’s writing on the exact same lines, how about the INC resolutions that virtually mirrored Bose’s demands in ’40 (in Forward Block), how about the methods that included violent and non-violent protests, that asked people to resist imprisonment (a clear departure from the usual Gandhian methods), uprooting of train tracks, postal lines, attacking police lines? BM, these were all methods of QI and they were all part of Bose’s plan in 1940. The fact is you have very little substance in your posts, they, regretfully, read like your expression of annoyance at being presented facts and source material that do not conform to your child-like faith in the Ramachandra Guha and Tarachand types. But let’s examine your latest one line by line, even though I am pretty sure it will be a waste of time like always.
    .
    “A good start would be to read your references. I looked up your most recent reference. Sample the headline: “Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the ***Degree of Bachelor of Arts*** in the Department of History: Middlebury College”!!! Hello! Is this your exceptional reference?? Are we going to argue about our Independence movement based on someone bachelor degree essay? What next? A High School essay? Please don’t waste our time giving such inconsequential references and circulating hypotheticals from your adda buddies. The last two references that you gave, one titled swaraj and Gandhi turned out to contradict your own ideas. The second one, by Perry Anderson, had not even a single new information, not one, nothing, zilch! I wasted 50 pages and an entire afternoon on that joke. Also, please, for heaven’s sake, desist from your turgid prose about which song or slogan was adopted by who and when. We know that. It proves nothing.”
    .
    BM, in contrast to your favorite “northie” historians like Prof. Tarachand and other half-educated folks drunk on the Gandhi-Nehru kool-aid by rule I do not reproduce another person’s account. Even when I take help from one of them, my emphasis is on the primary source material cited there, not on account itself. Because history is not really rocket science, a person’s point of view is mostly a summation of his/her prejudices and “stuff” one has heard in his/her formative student years. Very few people are independent thinkers and very few of them live in India. This one I cited not because of the author’s credentials, but because it summarizes what I want to say well, something I felt disinclined to do over and over again. But leave the credentials, what about the primary source materials, the INC resolutions, the reports of the British intelligence, etc. that clearly show that the QI methods and demands mirrored exactly the ones made by Bose in 1940. Do you have any response to those before you deride the credentials (even though one of teh researcher is a full History Professor) in favor your ideal Prof. Tarachand?
    .
    But why just him? Do you have anything to say about Azad, or Louis Fischer’s accounts on this topic?
    .
    I have no fu%$ing idea what turned out to be what in the reference Swaraj Party and Gandhi. Please be more clear in teh future when you write anything critically. About Perry Anderson, I am sorry to say you still have not found the correct article. I was going to fail you earlier on this particular assignment, but decided against it because it could be counter-productive.
    .
    “Also, please, for heaven’s sake, desist from your turgid prose about which song or slogan was adopted by who and when. We know that. It proves nothing.”
    .
    Ha ha, a typical “heartland” “expression of annoyance”, but I will give it a pass!
    .
    “First, you dismissed the role of Roosevelt. Then you admitted that his pressure was the reason behind the Cripps Mission, a substantial achievement, since Britain was still a superpower. What was basis for your argument? Because Ambedkar didn’t talk about it! Well, it was important enough for the entire congress to make a song and dance about the whole affair.”
    .
    I thought JNU raised you better than this. When did I dismiss Roosevelt’s role in 1942? And what the f&%k do you mean by the entire Congress Party making a song and dance about it? Go back to Bevin’s letter and see what he says about his talks with to Byrnes. And yes, Ambedkar doesn’t talk about it. Those were the basis of my argument that the US had no role in the final push in 1946-47 . Remember you claimed earlier, that Roosevelt had a role in Attlee setting a time table? See, BM, this is the problem with not so bright folks writing or discussing history (in India, as you well know, the brightest ones don’t “do” history). They mix too much stuff, there was the hand of Roosevelt (even though he died before Attlee became the PM), there were the riots (even though they started only after CMP failed), and all these must have contributed to Attlee’s decision. If these are what pass off as history, written and read by a multitude of unintelligent beings, I am not surprised you find my analysis “based on on one video, a few stray references and newspaper clippings!”. No BM, I write based on the analysis of Ambedkar, a multitude of NYTimes reports (none of which are adulatory of Bose), British Foreign Minister’s letter to his own PM, Cripps’s statement in the Commons,
    Azad’s statements in his book, Louis Fischer’s evaluation of QI, all of which are either primary source material or first hand accounts. Do you have anything to refute them, other than just expressing annoyance at your inability?
    .
    “Second, about the transfer of population. While I argued my position on humanistic grounds, it had more strength on grounds of realism. After all, the current self flagellation in the GOP has led some to argue that they should provide a step to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants, simply because they cannot deport all 12 million of them! I asked you before that how would you deport or make the muslims in Bengal self deport. You had no answer. All you did was some hand waving and some nonsense about oh-they-could-have-found-a-way. That’s not a solution.
    .
    Your reference of Ambedkar is similarly flawed. This is another annoying part of your posts. You rely too much on ctrl+F, and it doesn’t help all the time. Amebdkar wrote that as a part of his thesis titled “the case for Pakistan.” That was in ***1940***. Hell, at that time, even Jinnah didn’t define Pakistan. The transfer of population was one of the possible scenarios that the opponent of Pakistan brought up and the reply of Ambedkar was in this regard. In fact, at that time, if Jinnah had so much as even mentioned the transfer of population as one of the fallouts of his proposals, his support would have melted away overnight. Which is why, an orderly transfer of power was one of the main demands of the QI movement. There are other factors too but I am not going to do the hard work for you and describe everything.”
    .
    I am not going to argue with you on this one. You have shown yourself incapable of discussing a subject like this. Just for your info, Ambedkar’s proposal was a serious one, and he held it most of his life. Any serious person could see what would befall the Hindus in East Pak after the DAD and the Noakhali massacre. What did the Govt of India do for them, other than making a “treaty” that everyone other than the hair-brained Nehru could see was going to be futile? And please, don’t compare the state of the immigrants in the Americas with those after the partition of India. There is no comparison, unless you want to look pea-brained on a scale similar to Nehru.
    .
    But I can see why you are unable to comprehend a subject like this. Even though the germ of the religious bigotry, the killings, the separatism, have always been with the heartland, continuing, to this day, to the Ram Mandirs, Masjid demolitions, riots, and terrorism, those left in the heartland actually suffered very little for the partition itself. The obnoxious politics and INC stupidity arising from the heartland eventually led to the partition of the country, and did very little for the independence itself, but the folks left in the heartland paid little price for it. So I don’t grudge you not being able to discuss these matters by anything other than superficially.
    .
    “You are given to baloney every now and then but in this one, you have surpassed yourself. That is just utter nonsense. You are sounding more and more like Islamists that think that the entire world is in thrall of their antics. The biggest issue staring at the rank and file of the leadership in India was the Pakistan issue. Rest was just a sideshow. ”
    .
    That’s a bunch of nonsense. Of course as a heartlander you would think that way (refer to my paragraph above), but let me feed you this info, Nehru said (I forget which year but long after 1937) that independence would probably arrive in the 70′s. Linlithgo hoped the British would continue indefinitely. About the biggest issue after 37, the Bengal famine happend in 1943, in scale and effect which was no less than the jewish holocaust. The QI itself, by the INC estimate, resulted in the death of 25,000 people. BM, I had respect for your ideas earlier. But you are slowly and surely staring at the abyss when it comes to delusion. I mean, come off your Tarachand type readings of history, obsessed far too much with your Hindu-Muslim problem.
    .
    “Again a barrage of hypotheticals. A short answer: No it wouldn’t have. Just in the previous post, you said that by 44, the QI movement was effectively crushed and the country was by and large peaceful. So, no, the QI movement was a bad idea in 42, in 40, in 39, and in 38. Stop contradicting yourself. Plus, I really don’t know why you make such a big deal about Subhas starting that movement. How was QI different from non-cooperation movement? ”
    .
    Seriously, have you even been following the arguments? I mean what did they teach you in JNU in terms of critical thinking? BM, the QI had an effect in the Attlee-Churchill debates about the future of India, in the war cabinet . This was in 1942-43. I am well aware that by 1944 it was crushed (actually within a few months of its launch it was crushed). But it had an effect in shaping the labor opinion during the war years. That opinion tilted after they came to power. In 1944-45 the country was peaceful. There was no US pressure. There were no riots. The push came from the large scale civilian rebellion in 1945-46, which was non-communal (so those that say the Muslims had no hand in India’s independence are actually not right). The non-communal rebellion eliminated the British excuse that the demand for freedom was not a universal demand. After this came Wavell’s report on the army and the RIN. Comprendo? This was the chronology of the events in the forties that led to idnependence. All of this had a clear imprint of Bose.
    .
    The reason I make a big deal of the QI movement being started by Bose,
    is because most of the INC leadership other than Gandhi was still opposed to it when it started. But by this time Gandhi was much more influenced by Bose (refer to Azad and Louis Fischer) and the QI movement started in 1942 was the same one planned and programmed by Bose in 1940 (not 1938).
    .
    The way this was different from the non-cooperation movement (something clearly Prof. Tarachand has not taught you) is that QI had a violent component to it, people for the first time were told to resist imprisonment, violence for the first time was adopted in the resolution itself, Gandhi himself said there will be rivers of blood.
    .
    “Now, I want to address your accusation that I have been tangential in my arguments. I think many others will disagree. In fact, I have gone beyond the inconsequential details to frame our independence struggle in a larger framework. Neither have I overblown someone’s contribution nor I have sought to willfully deny the obvious. It’s you who is running around gathering tattered evidences to support your increasingly hallucinogenic theory that Bose, like Banquo ghost, was still determining the events post 45.
    .
    Once again, try seeing things from a larger perspective rather than imagining ghosts where none exist. I should, however, thank you for one very important thing. Ever since this discussion started, months ago, I have read a lot more about Bose, and I must say it’s been a revelation. Forget Gandhi, it was the image of Bose that needed self correction in my mind. If Nehru hadn’t bungled the Indo-China War, I would rate him higher than Bose. ”
    .
    More nonsense. BM, starting with the war, the independence movement in India was violent. The QI, even though it came in 1942, was the same one devised in 1940. I have already given you the chronology, I guess there’s no point to repeat it. None of this was supported by Nehru or Azad. Gandhi asked them to resign when they opposed QI. BM, everything you said in the conclusion, applied as well to the first World War. What was the result of INC’s support of the war? They were laughed off for their demands of full independence. What I am saying is not a hypothetical, there is a clear precedence in WWI. The same thing would have happened if we followed Nehru or Azad’s policy of non-embarrassment. The fact is, QI (to a smaller degree because it helped make Labor opinion which later showed signs of dissipation) and the bi-communal civilian rebellion+RIN mutiny+Wavell’s report of army and India being ungovernable, coupled with British domestic situation after the war made independence possible in 1947. Other than these, As Nehru’s or Linlithgo’s statements show, independence would have happened perhaps in the seventies. All of those events after 1939 had a clear imprint of Bose, Tarachand’s history talks about it or not.

  18. no-communal India Google Chrome Windows says:

    Correction: “everything you said in the conclusion, applied as well to the first World War” replaced by:
    .
    “everything you said in the conclusion, applied as well to the first world war, with Asquith making similar conciliatory gestures just like Attlee but which in the end came to nothing.”
    .
    “Other than these As Nehru’s or Linlithgo’s statements show,”, replaced by “Without these, as Nehru’s or Linlithgo’s statements show”.
    .
    BM, unless provoked, I usually desist from making regional innuendos. But since your last one is so full of them, let me just assure you that you have no reasons to be so frothing in the mouth. Where I am in India today, I’m surrounded by the Biharis of all hues. But unlike in Maharashtra no one grudges them here. The last gentleman I just bought some fresh fruits from, squatting in his make-shift place on the pavement he gave me a great smile. The state government has even announced the Chhath puja as a state holiday this year.
    .
    As a parting remark, for the next few days, swimming in the paan khaini and gutkha painted heaven of colorful bliss, I will be on and off from the net. So please don’t expect swift responses to your grand “larger narrative” with the usual regularity.

  19. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    NC

    QI was not violent. It was passive resistance all over again. I doont know what your definition of violence is but QI was not violent by any stretch of imagination. When Gandhi said rivers of blood will flow, he meant the usual. We will bleed, we will die, etc etc.
    In that sense, QI was indeed very similar to NCM. As a Bose fan you seem to be seeing his hand everywhere. That is what biases do. If QI had such an impact on the Labour party, then you are crediting Gandhi for making that impression even if Gandhi was influenced by Bose in unleashing QI( which i don’t believe).
    India may have been peaceful in the 44 to 47 period but the British feared that they had been decimated to the point that other similar mass movements would be impossible to handle given their resources. THey fear was whether tax collection would be possible like before and if it was then they would stay. Money always endangers objectivity. The Labour was not being altruistic. Just realistic and this realism was spawned from the unfolding of the colonial world all all around them.
    Gandhi and Bose created a strong narrative but neither were really responsible for the departure itself at that stage. They might have played on the minds of the British a little( Bose was dead so not so much) but the final reason for departure was just a change in fortune and times for the British.

  20. no-communal India Google Chrome Windows says:

    Fingolfin
    .
    QI was violent in a way 1920 and 1930 were not. Gandhi himself, being the “apostle of non-violence”, could not actually call for a violent rebellion (although he did announce the abandonment of the policy of voluntary courting of arrest). But it was clear to anyone (read Azad on this), that at that stage of the war, any act of organized rebellion on that scale would compel the government to arrest the leaders, and, in the absence of the leaders, the movement would then turn violent. That is exactly what happened and uprooting of train tracks, destroying post and telegraph lines, attacking police stations and other government buildings, etc were common in QI. Bose of course had supported these acts in his own plan with his own slogan “Do or Die”, and throughout QI he instigated them also in his radio addresses. Thus, in effect, the QI that ensued in 1942 was no different from the QI that was visualized by Bose earlier. Read Azad also on how Gandhi’s views were changed about the whole war situation and how they (Azad, along with Nehru) were startled to find out, before the launch of QI, that Gandhi’s views about the Japanese had also gone through a transformation. None of this is to argue who or what was right (so spare me a discussion on the pitfalls of a possible Japanese takeover), but the transformation of Gandhi was real and documented. Read also the eye-witness account of Louis Fischer on this before you start telling me what you believe.
    .
    “India may have been peaceful in the 44 to 47 period but the British feared that they had been decimated to the point that other similar mass movements would be impossible to handle given their resources. THey fear was whether tax collection would be possible like before and if it was then they would stay. Money always endangers objectivity. The Labour was not being altruistic. Just realistic and this realism was spawned from the unfolding of the colonial world all all around them.
    Gandhi and Bose created a strong narrative but neither were really responsible for the departure itself at that stage. They might have played on the minds of the British a little( Bose was dead so not so much) but the final reason for departure was just a change in fortune and times for the British. ”
    .
    India was violent in 1945-46 (that was an elementary error!).
    .
    FF, I have already written multiple times on this and don’t want to repeat myself. No one discounts the effects of the war. I think it’s clear to anyone that without the Japanese and German invasions India would have remained under British rule for much longer. But it’s amusing to see that, to withdraw any credit from anyone else, you and BM are ready to sacrifice your own hero Gandhi. Funny you were crediting Gandhi for India’s independence just a while ago!
    .
    “but the final reason for departure was just a change in fortune and times for the British.”
    .
    How about pressure from Roosevelt and the effects of the riots as well? They are also part of the narrative, you know, the paan-stained grand narrative that BM talks about.
    .
    FF, it’s not that complicated. The British were decimated by the war. During the war years notables in the govt (Cripps and Attlee) were making sympathetic gestures. But both of these were true also for WWI. So what changed in WWII? What changed was that the Indians revolted all out during the war itself. As we all know Bose was the only one who championed this and Gandhi was a late convert. Then there were civilian rebellions in the aftermath of the war in which scores died, and the rebellions in the Navy and potential ones in the Army. Simple arithmetic should give you the answers you are looking for, but if only you have an unprejudiced mind of course.

  21. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    i must have missed this reply.
    NC, i find this extremely tenuous and expedient. Firstly, you should know that since Gandhi was arrested early on, he was not in a position to lead or direct the protest. So this whole point of yours that Gandhi was influenced by Bose is ridiculous because he did not ask for violence. Your point will only be proved if he specifically asked for the “violence” that you talk about.
    He did not say please loot and indulge in arson or any such thing. ANY rebellion will have significant amounts of violence if left leaderless. The surprising aspect is how nonviolent it still managed to remain despite the fact that it was so leaderless.
    Next, the point you make about labour being influenced by the QI riot is also untenable.
    Especially when the movement was crushed the way it was, to think that the QI movement would influence labour thinking in that manner. That does not sound logical at all and no labour MP in his right mind would think that the QI is an indication that India cannot be held anymore. The other riots of the Navy were also really late in day and were not sweeping in nature. All of the navy did not take part in it. Had Netajo influenced these riots, they would have happened as soon as he called for it rather than so much later. The navy revolted as did others because at that time there was a fear that post independence, there was a fear that they would be demonized for being part of the British Navy.
    they were just backing the winning side.
    That was the case with most of the riots at the time. Why do you think the armed forces never revolted earlier? Why did the armed forces no revolt when Netaji brought his army into the north east?! We really need to stop this romanticizing.
    The British left thanks to the WW2 and Gandhi and Bose left is with a legacy that enabled nation building. i never said that Gandhi won us independence. I have always maintained that he did the most. i have always said that he united the country like no one else could which is why Bose respected him so much for he knew that without that the country formed post independence would not be a country but many countries. I have always said that he left us with a narrative that we did not have to feel ashamed of by galvanizing the entire country.
    in WW1, there was no mass base. india was not united by Gandhi and the Congress was not a grassroots party. It was an elite club for the lawyers of India. that was the main difference.
    Despite Bose, India would not have revolted in 1942 had Gandhi not called for it whether Gandhi was a late convert or no.

  22. no-communal India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Fingolfin,
    .
    You have a lot to learn is all I can say to your latest offereing. One of the most important things to learn is to avoid saying, “I believe”, “I don’t believe”, or “it doesn’t sound logical to me”. Try to be more objective and cite references instead of rambling about what sounds reasonable to you or not.
    .
    About violence in QI, here is Louis Fischer in his book “The Life of Mahatma Gandhi”,
    .
    “The moment the prison doors closed behind Gandhi, the sluice gate of violence opened. Police stations and government buildings were set on fire, telegraph lines destroyed, railroad lines pulled up, a number of British officials were assaulted, and a number of them were killed.”
    .
    What was Gandhi’s reaction to this? It’s not like he didn’t know what was happening outside. The British government urged him to denounce the violent acts and withdraw the movement. They had made a long list but unlike in non-cooperation where just Chauri Chaura was enough Gandhi refused to condemn the violence in QI. You asked about the difference between non-cooperation and QI, this was the difference. QI was finally crushed by brutal means and by INC estimate 25000 were killed (4000 by government estimate). Just go and compare this with the death tolls in the earlier movements, specifically non-coperation, to know the difference of QI with them. Note also the statement above, ” a number of British officials were assaulted, and a number of them were killed.
    .
    About Subhas Bose’s influence on Gandhi’s thought post 1941, just read Azad’s book and Louis Fisher’s “Seven Days with Gandhi”. I don’t want to belabor it but if you want to learn something you must have an open mind. Just saying “I don’t believe this or that” or something not sounding reasonable are not enough.
    .
    About how QI influenced Attlee, dig out some of the Attlee-Churchill debates in the Commons. I don’t want to do the hard work for you but it’s available on the net in reliable sources.
    .
    “All of the navy did not take part in it. Had Netajo influenced these riots, they would have happened as soon as he called for it rather than so much later. The navy revolted as did others because at that time there was a fear that post independence, there was a fear that they would be demonized for being part of the British Navy.
    they were just backing the winning side.”
    .
    That is the most ridiculous statement I have heard on this matter in a while. Sometimes I wonder about the length people would go to to belittle the contribution of someone like Bose who doesn’t quite fit in a particular Congress sponsored narrative. Previously BM even asked how the Navy rebellion was connected with Bose (despite the fact that they started calling themselves the Indian National Navy and adopted the slogan Jai Hind), which was something I didn’t feel deserved a response. FF, the discontent in the Army (mentioned by both Wavell and Auchinleck in their reports) and the revolt in the Navy were a part of the general deteriorating situation triggered by the INA trials in late 1945. Widespread, violent, and bi-communal civilian rebellion in response to the same trials was the other piece of the same process which together broke the camel’s back. Without these, QI, and the second world war (all involving force and none non-violent since 1939), the British had planned to rule India for at least another 30-40 years as is clear from the statement of Linlithgow the war time Viceroy. Freedom through Gandhian non-violence is a myth propagated by Nehru, Azad, etc who since 1937 had virtually no role to play in India attaining her full independence.
    .
    The rest of your response is a collection of words you have repeated here time and again. They are part of a smokescreen of myths without any basis in objectivity so I won’t respond to them. This is my last post on this topic anyway as I don’t want to spoil my or anyone else’s time analyzing illusions, myths, and half-truths. I can only laugh at those who may find reasonable Roosevelt and the communal riots having an influence on Attlee (despite the fact that one died earlier and the other started later) but not QI, which in effect was the same one Bose called in 1940 Ramgarh, and not the decisive effects of the INA, even after as big and reliable an authority as Ambedkar vouching for it!
    .

  23. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    NC,
    I apologize for the late reply. You may or may not respond to the post. At the outset, I must say that your long list of favorite bugbears point to a different problem. Some of it is understandable. It happens to people who have suddenly tasted the disconcerting reality that the world thinks differently to what they were led to believe. I’ll clarify that later on.
    I was also considerably amused by your post. While some amount of personal invective is de rieguer, the liberal sprinkling of swear words and general abuse is the surest sign, if ever was, of a person who has lost an argument. Even in your wild assumptions, there was an oblique praise, for which I thank you very much. Just to clarify, I haven’t read Tarachand, nor Guha’s whatever book that is. Neither did I go to JNU. One of my exes was doing an MPhil there when I left India but that was it. So, even after that if my analysis reminds you of Tarachand et al., it’s a cause for happiness because no matter what their views are, they are considerably more accomplished than I am, in history, at least. But my happiness is tempered somewhat by the reflection that such backhanded praise comes from your revered pen, because no matter what you think, you are intellectually lightweight despite the sombre tone that you assume when writing your nonsense. I had that suspicion for a long time but the penny dropped when you circulated your Bangladeshi friend’s alternative history with considerable admiration. It was shockingly stupid and juvenile piece of work. I will come back to this later but let me address the issues first:
    .
    “how about Azad’s description of Bose’s clear influence on the rejection of Cripps, in the launch of QI (for which Gandhi asked both Azad and Nehru to resign because they were opposed to it), Louis Fischer’s writing on the exact same lines, how about the INC resolutions that virtually mirrored Bose’s demands in ’40 (in Forward Block), ..”
    .
    The ganja in Calcutta must be of really high quality because you completely missed the main point. I told you, no matter whose idea it was, it was a bad idea, which is probably why the rank and file of the congress was not very enthusiastic about the whole affair. Moreover, it gave unfettered political space to Jinnah and AIML, which they milked to the fullest. If the country was, by and large, peaceful by ’44 then are you saying that the upheavals started out of nowhere? From Bose’s radio broadcasts? Here is a relevant quote:
    .
    “At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Congress high command instructed all its provincial governments to resign in protest at the viceroy’s declaration of war on Germany without consultation with the people of India. The immediate result was to create a political vacuum, into which Jinnah, aware that London badly needed some show of loyalty in its major imperial possession, stepped with assurance. Declaring the end of Congress ministries a ‘day of deliverance’, he lost no time in expressing support for Britain in its hour of need, and winning in exchange its wartime favour.”
    .
    “how about the methods that included violent and non-violent protests, that asked people to resist imprisonment (a clear departure from the usual Gandhian methods), uprooting of train tracks, postal lines, attacking police lines?”
    .
    Really? Did Gandhi send out a clarion call to attack police line. This is new stuff! Thanks! Of course, after being shown the facts, you took the fig leaf of “the QI had an effect in the Attlee-Churchill debates about the future of India, in the war cabinet . This was in 1942-43.”. That was it? So the grand plan of Bose came to a fixture in Attlee-Churchill talk?
    See the thing is I have no doubt that Bose had a part in our independence movement. The part I objected was:
    .
    “the full independence was achieved by dint of Bose’s ideas and humongous efforts swimming against all odds staked in front of him by his own party.”
    .
    I mean, if anyone needs to wean away from the Kool Aid, it’s you, my friend. If we are in business in assigning such tangential praise, then why not take it further and blame him for partition as well? After all, the biggest reason why the Partition was so bloody was because the British left suddenly. I have absolutely no issue with accepting the notion that it was all Bose’s idea. Be my guest and write a book on it, because even for die hard supporters of Gandhi, the QI movement has been a sore point that all their devotion has not been able to assuage.
    .
    “But I can see why you are unable to comprehend a subject like this. Even though the germ of the religious bigotry, the killings, the separatism, have always been with the heartland, continuing, to this day, to the Ram Mandirs, Masjid demolitions, riots, and terrorism”
    .
    I think we have gone over this issue but just for fun’s sake, here is a quote from your favorite Perry Anderson:
    .
    “For everywhere in the region, political awakening was intertwined with religious revival. Well before Gandhi, the first stirrings of nationalism in Bengal were soaked with modernised Hindu appeals: its canonical work of fiction, Bankim Chatterji’s Anandamath – whose poem invoking the goddess Durga would supply Congress with its anthem ‘Vande Mataram’ – was already extolling wholesale destruction of Muslims as alien underlings of the British, while the first political leader with an ardent national following, Lokmanya Tilak, was rousing his compatriots in Maharashtra with a new cult of the elephant-headed god, Ganesh.”
    .
    That disease was brought to the heartland from somewhere else. I thought we had set the record straight.
    .
    “During the war years notables in the govt (Cripps and Attlee) were making sympathetic gestures. But both of these were true also for WWI. So what changed in WWII? ”
    .
    Your ignorance and simplistic assumptions makes this discussion heavy going. Thankfully, I did find snippets from another work, which is substantially more credible than the bachelor degree essay you referenced. Here are some relevant quotes:
    .
    “World War II had a profound effect on the colonial powers because it completely destroyed their economies. Although Hitler committed crimes against humanity, I give him credit—and not Gandhi—for India’s independence immediately after World War II. Hitler destroyed the economies of Britain and France to such an extent that they were no longer able to financially maintain their military forces, and were hence incapable of containing the burgeoning freedom movements in their colonies. It is worth noting that Britain was in such bad shape that it received about one-fourth of the total aid given under the Marshall Plan. Regardless of Gandhi or any other charismatic leader, Britain would have left India in 1947 purely for financial reasons, due to its wholly collapsed economy. After WWII, Britain left not only India but nearly all its other holdings, including Jordan in 1946, Palestine in 1947, Sri Lanka in 1948, Myanmar in 1948, and Egypt in 1952. For the same reason, France also had to grant independence to Laos in 1949 and Cambodia in 1953, and had to leave Vietnam in 1954. Had there been no Hitler and no World War II, it most probably would have taken another 30 or more years for India and some of the other colonies to achieve independence.
    The destruction of industrial facilities in Britain and other European countries was immense and far exceeded the damage wrought during WWI, when damage was largely confined to battle areas. France estimated the total cost of damages as equivalent to three times the total French annual national income. In Great Britain, about 30 percent of residential homes were destroyed or at least partially damaged, first by the German aerial blitz of 1940-41 and later by German V-bombs and rockets.[1]
    Britain had incurred a huge debt in order to finance the war. The war stripped it of virtually all its foreign financial resources. In addition, it had accumulated “sterling credits”— debts owed to other countries that required repayment to those countries in their own currencies —amounting to several billion pounds. Its domestic economy was in tatters. The adjustment from a war economy to a civilian economy was painful, as for some time the war industries overproduced goods no longer required in a non-war economy at the same time essential goods for railways and coal mines were not being produced in enough abundance to serve the British population. The economic turmoil was made worse because the British had nothing to export and had no way to pay for imports or even for basic daily necessities such as food. To further exacerbate an already disastrous situation, American president Harry S. Truman, as required by law, ended the Lend-Lease Act on which Britain had depended for the basic necessities of its  population as well as its war weaponry. Under the 1941 Lend-Lease Act, a total of $50.1 billion (equivalent to nearly $700 billion at 2007 prices) worth of supplies had been shipped—$31.4 billion to Britain, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, $3.2 billion to France, and $1.6 billion to China. One of the final actions of British economist John Maynard Keynes was to negotiate a $3.75 billion loan from the U.S. and a smaller one from Canada. In other words, Britain was bankrupt.[2]”
    .
    As you can very well see, he essentially says the same thing which I mentioned with my pan stained mouth. As for the role of US et al., here again, some pertinent info:
    .
    “Prior to both world wars, the civilian population of the United States was not at all interested in going to war in Europe. Its mentality was isolationist, and Americans saw no personal gain coming to them from these wars. Which country maintained hegemony in Europe was simply irrelevant to the American people during both world wars.
    According to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Roosevelt was far closer to Winston Churchill than he was to any American. Yet, sometimes he was highly acerbic towards the British prime minister, far more than he was towards Stalin. As Kissinger writes, “In Churchill, he found a wartime comrade-in-arms; in Stalin, he saw a partner in preserving postwar peace.”[3] At his first meeting with Churchill, during which the two leaders signed the Atlantic Charter, Roosevelt insisted that the charter apply not just to Europe, but to the entire world, including the colonies. He said, “I am firmly of the belief that if we are to arrive at a stable peace it must involve the development of backward countries…I can’t believe that we can fight fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy.”[4]
    The British War Cabinet completely rejected Roosevelt’s interpretation, however, declaring in response that “… the Atlantic Charter… was directed to the nations of Europe whom we hoped to free from Nazi tyranny, and was not intended to deal with the internal affairs of the British Empire.”[5]
    In a 1942 Memorial Day address, Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles reiterated America’s historic opposition to colonialism by declaring: “If this war is in fact a war for the liberation of peoples it must assure the sovereign equality of peoples throughout the world, as well as in the world of all Americas. Our victory must bring in its train the liberation of all peoples… The age of imperialism is ended.”[6] These were great words, and led later to his dismissal from office.
    In November 1943, at the Tehran war conference, Roosevelt openly accused Churchill of being an imperialist. In 1944, he sent silver worth $26 million to Stalin so as to improve ties between the two countries. However, a German submarine sank the U.S.S. John Barry, carrying the silver. Dr. John Charmley of the British University of East Anglia wrote in his biography of Churchill that this was clear proof that relations between the U.S. and Britain were not as warm as the world supposed them to be.[7]
    After the war, both Britain and France made attempts to re-establish their colonial powers, but failed, primarily due to American intervention. When the Suez Canal was nationalized by Egypt in 1956, both Britain and France attempted to convince the U.S. to invade Egypt so as to regain control of the canal. President Eisenhower declined. As a result, Britain and France, along with Israel, moved independently and invaded Egypt. Within 48 hours they were forced to withdraw, however, because the U.S. took the issue immediately to the U.N. General Assembly. In addition, the British pound collapsed in world financial markets and the U.S. refused to provide Britain any assistance. This was the one instance in history when the U.S. voted with the U.S.S.R. at the U.N. against its own close allies, because Britain had openly defied Eisenhower’s clear disinclination to invade Egypt. This impromptu invasion became the death knell for the erstwhile colonial powers, Britain and France.”
    .
    I am sure that this must raise your BP to dangerous levels, which should be a perfect reminder to you to do some exercise and use the gym more often and not waste this wonderful opportunity to get in some physical shape by cavorting with some asinine Bangaldeshi commentators and their alternate realities.
    .
    “And please, don’t compare the state of the immigrants in the Americas with those after the partition of India. There is no comparison, unless you want to look pea-brained on a scale similar to Nehru.”
    .
    In your apoplectic rage, you missed the point I was making. It was not whether the two situations were equivalent. It was the reasoning of the opposing camp in both cases. You have gone hammer and tongs about Ambedkar’s points on this feature, which is quite amusing since you generally keep quiet when I bring in his quotes. As I mentioned before about your habit of not reading beyond the first few sentences of what ctrl+F gives you, here is something for you to chew upon:
    .
    “The opposition of the Bengali Hindus to the Partition of Bengal is another illustration of this trait of the high-caste Hindus. The Bengali Hindu had the whole of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and even U. P. for his pasture. He had captured the civil service in all these Provinces. The partition of Bengal meant a diminution in the area of this pasture. It means that the Bengali Hindu was to be ousted from Eastern Bengal to make room for the Bengali Musalman who had so far no place in the civil service of Bengal. The opposition to the partition of Bengal on the part of the Bengali Hindus, was due principally to their desire not to allow the Bengal Musalmans to take their place in Eastern Bengal. Little did the Bengali Hindus dream that by opposing partition and at the same time demanding Swaraj they were preparing the way for making the Musalmans the rulers of both Eastern as well as Western Bengal.
        These thoughts occur to one’s mind because one fears that the high-caste Hindus, blinded by their hereditary trait, might oppose Pakistan for no other reason except that it limits the field for their self-seeking careers. Among the many reasons that might come in the way of Pakistan, one need not be surprised, if one of them happens to be the selfishness of the high caste Hindus.”
    .
    “Very few people are independent thinkers and very few of them live in India. This one I cited not because of the author’s credentials, but because it summarizes what I want to say well, something I felt disinclined to do over and over again. ”
    .
    Hear! Hear! Hello! The reason you don’t quote from your references is because you rarely read them.
    .
    “But leave the credentials, what about the primary source materials, the INC resolutions, the reports of the British intelligence, etc. that clearly show that the QI methods and demands mirrored exactly the ones made by Bose in 1940. ”
    .
    As I said before, history is not constructed out of stray references. By the way, have you asked yourself, why your alternate history is not followed by mainstream(borrowing from Fox News) folks–neither in academia nor in popular literature? Could it be because after a thorough study, it does not really hold up?
    .
    “Where I am in India today, I’m surrounded by the Biharis of all hues. But unlike in Maharashtra no one grudges them here.”
    .
    If you give me your address, I’ll post you a personal thank you note. I am especially grateful because that bunch there is not really the brightest bulb in the box. As you may very well know, the smarter ones don’t generally go there. Calcutta is a very good place to leave.
    .
    ” The state government has even announced the Chhath puja as a state holiday this year.”
    .
    I wish they didn’t! You already had 10 straight days of holidays.
    .
    Oh and by the way, there was a revolt by the Indian army in the First World War too. Go and find it. The sailors revolt in 46 had nothing to do with Bose. It’s proponent took on the cause of INA later on as Azad and others had taken before too. Were Azad and Nehru inspired by INA too? I have much admiration for Bose but I am glad that he died in 45. Had he been alive, the political class would have had to bear the headache of dealing with his association with the Nazis.
    .
    After such a long post, some personal remarks are in order. Reading your last few exchanges, we get a good idea of the tiny bigoted man behind the tattered intellectual cape, and I pity you. That is why I believe it’s a good idea that kids should be kicked out of their homes once they are 17 otherwise you get overgrown pampered mamma boys. Your problem is not with Gandhi or Bose. It’s arises from your sheltered upbringing. Forget India, you are not even qualified to talk about Bengal. You have moved from one bubble to another. I am sure living in the US, your social life is confined to chattering among your small circle of equally clueless Bengali folks. I have met your kind, and they are uniformly boring. I have also seen your breadth in music, films, politics, religion, history, et al. Now go and get yourself some education before you indulge in an argument.

  24. no-communal United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    CM
    .
    Very, very, agitated, are you now? Unfortunately, there is nothing in your recent post that is basically not a rehash of what you have been regurgating for a while. Repeating something patently incorrect in a new and different language does not make it right or more credible. But you sure make me laugh for the stupidity and pointlessness of your efforts. Take, for instance, your referring to Roosevelt again and again with one quote or another all pertaining to the period before 1942 hoping that one would stick in support of your rather stupid claim earlier that Roosevelt (or was it the ghost of him you meant) may have influenced Attlee. That trick won’t work however because your argument has been convincingly busted as also the one involving the communal riots. Accept it and move on.
    .
    Let’s see, what else is worth making a off-hand remark or two. Oh, yes, Quit India.
    .
    “I told you, no matter whose idea it was, it was a bad idea, which is probably why the rank and file of the congress was not very enthusiastic about the whole affair. Moreover, it gave unfettered political space to Jinnah and AIML, which they milked to the fullest. If the country was, by and large, peaceful by ’44 then are you saying that the upheavals started out of nowhere? From Bose’s radio broadcasts? Here is a relevant quote:
    .
    “At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Congress high command instructed all its provincial governments to resign in protest at the viceroy’s declaration of war on Germany without consultation with the people of India. The immediate result was to create a political vacuum, into which Jinnah, aware that London badly needed some show of loyalty in its major imperial possession, stepped with assurance. Declaring the end of Congress ministries a ‘day of deliverance’, he lost no time in expressing support for Britain in its hour of need, and winning in exchange its wartime favour.”
    .
    One of the problems I have with people like you is that they don’t listen carefully. I already made it clear that if QI gave space to AIML etc, it may very well be the case, but that is beside the point for the present discussion. We are discussing here its effects (or not) on the shortening of the British rule in India so let’s stick to that.
    .
    I really have no clue what you mean by this,
    .
    “If the country was, by and large, peaceful by ’44 then are you saying that the upheavals started out of nowhere? From Bose’s radio broadcasts?”
    .
    I am actually always fu%$ed up trying to read your mind objectively, but seriously, what “upheavals”, and what started out of where after ’44? (please don’t assume that my use of expletives is a sign only of my losing an argument to a lightweight. Although that may be the case sometime, it is often also a sign of a genuine frustration so please bear with me!).
    .
    Those who were not “enthusiastic” about the whole affair, had not the least bit worries about the Hindu-Muslim problem. You should have known that they were supporting the “democracy” of the British people just like their seniors did in WWI after which they were laughed at and also rewarded with the Jaliwanwallabagh massacre. That is why QI and similar “upheavals” were important during the great war itself which cut short British rule by a considerably long time.
    .
    One piece of friendly advice, just think about the above in your head, however agitated, in a cool and calm manner. Do you really think if the Indians had not made themselves ungovernable and the empire unprofitable the British would have left just because they were exhausted by the war? I hope you can see the obvious problem in this argument, after all, the colonial masters were not doing us a favor by ruling and spending on us from its own exchequer, were they? This is where QI which led to a vigorous discontent in the population and the civilian and Navy rebellions and the disaffection in the army post 1945 are important, they made post war rule of Britain unprofitable. All these had clear imprints of Bose and his policies, more than of anyone else’s, no matter what a half-witted “intellectual” Delhi-walla writes about it (by that I don’t mean you, but I could).
    .
    “Really? Did Gandhi send out a clarion call to attack police line. This is new stuff! Thanks! Of course, after being shown the facts, you took the fig leaf of “the QI had an effect in the Attlee-Churchill debates about the future of India, in the war cabinet . This was in 1942-43.”. That was it? So the grand plan of Bose came to a fixture in Attlee-Churchill talk?
    See the thing is I have no doubt that Bose had a part in our independence movement.”
    .
    Read my post to FF above to get your answer. About the effects of QI I have been always consistent, have never been “shown the facts”. I am actually very consistent in everything I write and say. This is because I write after deliberation and care quite unlike you and many others who jump from one argument to another, hoping something – a quote here, an incident there – will stick somewhere. That’s not how I work. If you wish go back to the earliest posts on this thread, even the earlier ones on different threads, you will see that my descriptions of the effects of QI etc have not changed. It’s been my experience that there’s no compelling reason to change my views and arguments after discussions with folks not even aware of the proper chronology of the events.
    .
    “The part I objected was:
    “the full independence was achieved by dint of Bose’s ideas and humongous efforts swimming against all odds staked in front of him by his own party.””
    .
    This is true and anyone with a fair and objective mind will see the truth in it. This is true because all of the war time movements, QI, civilian rebellions post the INA trials, the Navy rebellion, and most importantly the disaffectaion in the army had a strong Bose connection. This is often an overlooked fact that the QI itself was strongly influenced by Bose and was essentially the same one called by him in 1940 Ramgarh. Had INC continued with the policies of the others there would have been no confrontation with the British during the war and a golden opportunity would have been lost again as it was lost during the non-cooperation movement and the WWI. Among the Congress notables Bose was the only one who championed confrontation and by ’42 Gandhi was influenced by him in calling QI. In 1941, Bose’s flight from India and all the subsequent efforts were a desperate last ditch effort to salvage the advantage of the WWII. As Azad writes, Gandhi effectively compelled him to leave India by keeping no outlets open for him in his own land. In the end the policy of confrontation succeeded, as most historians now agree, by rendering the country ungovernable and unsustainable by a war-ravaged great Britain. The QI and the INA trials were the two pieces of the puzzle that made this possible.
    .
    Content-wise I have not said anything new in the lines you object to. My guess is you may have been caught surprised by the mention of Bose in such an emphatic manner. But the emphasis on Bose is also a fact that will be very hard to disprove on any objective basis.
    .
    “But I can see why you are unable to comprehend a subject like this. Even though the germ of the religious bigotry, the killings, the separatism, have always been with the heartland, continuing, to this day, to the Ram Mandirs, Masjid demolitions, riots, and terrorism”
    .
    “I think we have gone over this issue but just for fun’s sake, here is a quote from your favorite Perry Anderson:….That disease was brought to the heartland from somewhere else. I thought we had set the record straight.”
    .
    My mention of the religious hatred and riots may have hurt your ego a little too much but citing Perry Anderson for the Hindu political awakening in Bengal in 1875 in support of whatever is happening in the heartland in the twenty first century is a bit far fetched is’nt it? I wish Bengal had as much influence in dowry deaths, honor killings, female infanticide, caste based murders, and homophobia as well!
    .
    “As you can very well see, he essentially says the same thing which I mentioned with my pan stained mouth. ”
    .
    By reproducing those lines you made me laugh so much that I almost fell from my sofa! One of the problems I have in discussions with you is that you are too easy to respond to. BM, the same guy, Susmit Kumar, from whose article you copy-pasted that paragraph, also wrote this (most of it in the same article):
    .
    “There is a saying that history is written by the victors of war. One of the greatest myths, first propagated by the Indian Congress Party in 1947 upon receiving the transfer of power from the British, and then by court historians, is that India received its independence as a result of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence movement. This is one of the supreme inaccuracies of Indian history because had there been no Hitler and no World War II, Gandhi’s movement would have slowly fizzled out because gaining full independence would have taken several more decades. By that time, Gandhi would have long been dead, and he would have gone down in history as simply one of several great Indian freedom fighters of the times, such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Motilal Nehru, Dada Bhai Naoroji, and C.R. Das. He would never have received the vast publicity that he did for his nonviolence movement. Political independence for India was achieved not by Mahatma Gandhi, but rather by Hitler rendering the British Empire a bankrupt entity.”
    .
    Then Kumar continues,

    “Subhas Chandra Bose was a genius with a superlative academic record. After only six months of preparation, he stood fourth in the prestigious Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination, which in those days was held at regular intervals in Britain. In his book The Indian Struggle, Bose described his first meeting with Gandhi in 1921:
    .
    “I began to heap question upon question…The reply to the first question satisfied me…His reply to the second question was disappointing and his reply to the third question was no better…My reason told me clearly…that there was a deplorable lack of clarity in the plan which the Mahatma had formulated and that he himself had no clear idea of the successive stages of the campaign which would bring India to her cherished goal of freedom.”[3]
    .
    .
    Bose was unanimously elected Congress Party president in 1938. The following year, he decided that the party should launch a nationwide civil disobedience movement, giving the British six months’ notice. With this goal in mind, he decided to run for re-election as party president. This was completely within precedent; just before his term, Nehru had also been Congress Party president for two terms. Gandhi, however, was not pleased. He threw his entire support behind Sitaramayya, another senior Congress leader. Despite this, Bose defeated him. Gandhi said publicly that the defeat of Sitaramayya was his own defeat. He then manipulated his followers in ensuing executive committee meetings in such a way that he forced Bose to resign from the party.
    .
    .
    Ultimately, however, Gandhi and the Congress Party opted for a “Quit India Movement” against the British in 1942 and he spread the slogan “Do or Die,” which in fact Subhas had proposed in 1938. The British government arrested all the top Congress Party leaders and thus killed the Quit India Movement before it had a chance to gather steam. It fizzled out entirely within a matter of months.
    .
    Although Bose’s Indian National Army (INA), which drew its cadre from Indian POW’s in Japanese camps and fought along with Japanese forces on India’s eastern front towards the end of the war, failed in its ultimate mission, indirectly it succeeded in causing the British to leave India early. When Japan surrendered, the British charged 20,000 INA men with treason. They decided to hold the trial in public at the Red Fort in Delhi. The first three of Bose’s officers to be tried were a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Sikh. This immediately united Indians of all three religions against the British. While the Muslim League was at that time fighting with the Congress Party and demanding a separate state for Muslims, on this issue it joined Congress in the now-national movement against the INA officers’ trial. Most of Bose’s army cadres were Muslims.
    .
    On November 21 and 23, 1945, a mass demonstration took place in Kolkata (Calcutta). Participants included members of the Congress Party, the Communist Party, and Muslim League. The police shot more than 200 people, of whom 33 died. Then the British decided to put on trial only those INA men who were charged with committing murder or brutality against other POW’s. However, Kolkata simply exploded when, in February 1946, an Abdul Rashid Khan (a Muslim) of the INA was given seven years’ rigorous imprisonment for murder. The protest began peacefully by students of the Muslim League, but later students of the Congress and Communist parties joined them in solidarity. Both the police and the army were called to put down what came to be known as “the almost revolution.” This time nearly 400 people were shot down, and nearly 100 killed. Since racial discrimination was rampant in the Royal Indian Navy, Khan’s trial gave thousands of Indians the excuse to mutiny. The mutiny spread to nearly 80 ships and 20 sites on land. This came closer to overthrowing the British than anything Gandhi ever did.”
    .
    Now, could you please stop this infantile habit of quoting from one guy or another to “support” your this or that view? I agree with Susmit Kumar, your reference, on the effects of the war on the British economy, but do you, with the part above discussed in the same article?
    .
    “You have gone hammer and tongs about Ambedkar’s points on this feature, which is quite amusing since you generally keep quiet when I bring in his quotes. ”
    .
    No, I agree with Ambedkar on most of what I know he wrote on matters he had seen during his own life time. For instance I agree with him when he said that Gandhi went to extraordinary lengths to bring about Hindu Muslim unity during non-cooperation. I also agree with him ehen he makes no mention of a US role in influencing the Labor govt and the role of the aftermath of the INA trials. There must be some but I am yet to find anything that he observed and wrote about with which I fundamentally disagree.
    .
    “If you give me your address, I’ll post you a personal thank you note. I am especially grateful because that bunch there is not really the brightest bulb in the box.”
    .
    BM, I am well aware that the hand pulled ricshaw drivers, porters, taxi drivers, barbers, street vendors, slum dwellers etc are not exactly the brightest bulbs. But they do useful work and no one holds much grudge against them here unlike in Mumbai. (Incidentally it’s the same with those from Bangladesh). To give you an example, in the last few days, half the taxis, autos, and the milkmen were gone from the streets because they went back home for the Chhat Puja. I myself faced enormous difficulties because of this.
    .
    The brightest bulbs always go to the capital I agree. This is true even for Bengal, barring of course some exceptions. Incidentally, what are the Maharashtrians so agitated about, do they get the brightest bulbs and are luckier than Bengal or is it only Delhi?
    .
    BM it feels below my dignity to comment like these but some time ago I decided that attacks of this kind should be responded to in the same manner. I hope you will understand.
    .
    “I have also seen your breadth in music, films, politics, religion, history, et al. Now go and get yourself some education before you indulge in an argument.”
    .
    Much agitated, are you now? Music, films, politics, oh, those lofty topics, where would we be in India today without the effervescence in these fields emanating straight from the heart!

  25. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    M. J. Akbar, a Nehru and Gandhi loyalist, has finally said in today’s Dawn what has long been said here in PTH. Long live the freedom and truth.
    .
    Bose Reduced:
    .
    M. J. Akbar
    .
    Dawn, Sunday, 27th January, 2013
    *****************************************************************
    WE measure power through size. Check any political poster. The boss gets the biggest face. Others in the pecking order descend till the miniature at the end.
    .
    Why was Subhas Chandra Bose struggling among the also-rans in the Bengal Republic Day tableau? Swami Vivekananda, understandably, had pride of place. But it might have been better to keep Bose out of the jumble rather than literally reduce his stature. If Bengal forgets, how long will India remember the only Indian to head a government of united India?
    .
    Bose declared independence before the British gave it in 1947. His government in exile did not have Gandhi’s sanction. It fought on the wrong side of the Second World War: but it was a proud and free government whose contribution to our freedom has been reduced by the domestic political forces he challenged.
    .
    Bose is an embarrassment to Congress because he challenged Gandhi, and was a powerful parallel icon to Nehru. Bose asked Indians to give him their blood, and he would give them freedom. Gandhi promised freedom without violence. Gandhi refused to join the British war effort in 1939; Bose went a step further, and led Indian troops on the side of the Germany-Italy-Japan axis. However, their horizon, freedom, was the same.
    .
    More than six decades later the argument might seem pedantic, and yet it is worth revisiting. Invaluable Indian blood and treasure helped Britain win the First World War. After victory, Britain reneged on its commitment to Indian self-rule within the empire without batting an eyelid. Instead of dominion status, Indians got vicious brutality at Jallianwala Bagh and the pernicious Rowlatt Act.
    .
    It is not generally known that Gandhi was not a pacifist: he served on British frontlines in the Boer and Zulu wars in South Africa, and was very eager to lead a medical unit to the killing fields of France in 1914, at the onset of the First World War. In 1918, Gandhi worked so hard as a recruiting agent for the British army, urging Gujaratis to prove they were not “effeminate” by picking up a gun, that he almost died of exhaustion. Farewell bhajans began to be sung before he recovered. Gandhi lost hope in Britain.
    .
    Britain had as much to protect in 1945 as in 1918. London knew that its empire would unravel at the point where it had begun, in India, once India became independent. What pushed Britain towards the exit gate? Of course there was the irresistible momentum of Gandhi’s nationwide struggle. But the British had faced this challenge before, in the non-cooperation movement 25 years before.
    .
    The significant difference was the nationalist sentiment unleashed by Bose among Indians in uniform. Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) showed them where their national loyalties should lie. Bose’s war also inspired the young to surge beyond the confines of Congress.
    .
    Even Gandhi, who only had faint praise for Bose in a 1945 obituary (“Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot though misguided”), had to admit in an article published on Feb 15, 1946: “The hypnotism of the Indian National Army has cast its spell on us … [Netaji’s] patriotism is second to none…He aimed high but failed.
    Who has not failed? … The lesson that Netaji and his army brings to us is one of self-sacrifice, unity irrespective of class and community, and discipline….”
    .
    When the British put three INA officers — Shah Nawaz, a Muslim, Sahgal, a Hindu, and Dhillon, a Sikh — on trial for sedition, India exploded in wrath. Nehru said on Dec 24, 1945: “The INA trial has created a mass upheaval.”
    .
    Bose broke the backbone of British rule when he destroyed trust between the British Raj and its armed forces. The eminently sensible Sir Claude Auchinleck, commander in chief, accepted that any extreme punishment for INA officers would make governance impossible, because Indians adored them as national heroes. This, he said, was the “general opinion held in India, not only by the public, but … by quite a considerable part of the Indian Army as well”.
    .
    Subhas Bose’s contribution to the formation of a Republic of India was no less than that of the very greatest of our founding fathers. Bose proved in practice what an Indian secular state would be. At a time when the Muslim League was in ascendant, he had the love and trust of Muslims.
    .
    He lived his dream of gender equality when he set up the Rani of Jhansi regiment, under the fiery and beautiful Lakshmi Swaminathan. When Bose told the Japanese he was setting up a women’s-only force, they thought he was joking.
    .
    I do not believe Bose could have fought alongside Hitler, who advised the British to shoot Gandhi dead, and resented the Japanese advance because he thought Asia was being lost to white Europeans. Hitler was an undisguised racist, as were all Nazis.
    .
    Perhaps India can survive without Bose. But such amnesia will only diminish India.
    ********************************************************************
    The writer is editor of The Sunday Guardian, published from Delhi, India on Sunday, published from London and editorial director, India Today and Headlines Today.

  26. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Heavy_petting,
    You shouldn’t be surprised: MJ Akbar comes from Bengal. Such fanciful notions generally seem to come from one particular part of India.
    As a reference, you should read what he has written about Gandhi, Jinnah, etc.

  27. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Chote Miyan,
    Why don’t you read it and tell me what he has written about Gandhi, Jinnah, etc. I have no wish to be a member of your book club. The part you are referring to seems a a lot saner than that part (yours?) where you perpetually stand as a ganja man on the trance floor singing bhajans of Gandhi Baba.

  28. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Heavy_petting,
    I have no desire to regurgitate stuff for you. What’s sane or insane depends on where one’s standing. Just to clarify: This theory is not new and it props up every 20 years or so. As for singing bhajans about Gandhi baba, I guess you didn’t read my post. I am not justifying Gandhi’s adulation. I am merely questioning this theory that Bose was the architect of India’s freedom. There is a difference between the two standpoints and I have no patience to explain the difference.

    I was caught up with work in the later part of last year. My point is not hard to understand. To repeat, Quit India, by a wide section of intellectuals, is considered a failure. To support my viewpoint, I quoted authors who were not kind to Gandhi to make sure that there was no bias on that account. More importantly, I have quoted factual assertions not idle deductions. I don’t know from which places you guys got your PhDs from but that simple logic stems from Logic 101: that to buttress your point, you should, in general, quote people who are not sympathetic to your protagonist.

    MJ Akbar has rolled in the familiar arguments about the secret sauce that changed the whole situation from 1925 to 1945. It’s very simple: The world was a different place in ’45.

    Of course, that shouldn’t stop our bengali brethren from looking for conspiracy theories and floating even more outlandish ideas. Research is a tough business and we all wish that all the major phenomena could be explained in a few columns.

  29. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Chote Miyan,
    .
    The Bengali brethren do not look for conspiracy theories. That requires a degree of naivete that is perhaps in shorter supply there than anywhere else in the subcontinent. What M. J. Akbar has refuted is the Indian official myth making Bollywood ishtyle, “De Di Hame Azadi Bina Khadak Bina Dhal”. This was Chacha Nehru’s handiwork, aided by his Congressi chamchas many of whom were Bengali themselves since much of the post-colonial administration as well as history writing were by the Bengalis or their proteges (hence the term, “Marxist historians”). BTW, you should do a little bit of research yourself and dig out how Nehru came to be known as Chacha Nehru. May be that will give you a better sense of perspective before you accept with wide eyes everything you were taught in your village primary school. Walter Crocker, who observed Nehru from close quarters as the Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi, writes,
    .
    “….He didn’t like children as India has been taught to believe….Nehru certainly did some acting on public occasions and before TV cameras… The acting was never worse than the pose of Chacha Nehru with the children. This was at its worst on his birthday for a few years when sycophants organised groups of children, with flowers and copious photographing, to parade with him. It was out of character; his interest in children was slender.”
    .
    This is how myth making by the chamchas goes in India. “De Di Hame Azadi Bina Khadak Bina Dhal” is of a similar kind, and so is the banishment of Netaji. There is no conspiracy theory here invented by the Bengalis or anyone else.
    .
    You seem like a typical Jholawalla of the Delhi but not the Calcutta kind.

  30. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    If Gandhi & Nehru WERE ever admired in the landmass that is today India, you can be sure that there was a reason and that the Indian people were not the naive imbeciles that your unfounded and quite unwarranted elitism leads you to believe.
    I refer to you now, to my idol since childhood, Bhagat Singh, as he urges the people of Amritsar to follow Nehru and not Bose, because Bose, much like his supporters, was an irrational romantic( according to Bhagat), whereas Nehru’s cold logic appealed to Singh more than anything else & it is the same rationality that lead them towards atheism.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/visions-of-revolution/594316
    please read this before you display anymore ignorance.

    If you think Nehru’s admirers were only irrational Bhakts, you are wrong. It was ice cold logic. Nehru was brilliant. A comparative study by Bhagat into what “nationality” meant to Bose & Nehru is a case in the point.

  31. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Heavy_petting,
    You are accusing me of things I have never said nor supported. I have gone hoarse clarifying that I hold no brief for either of the two gentlemen. There is obviously an undercurrent of a deep sense of hurt which manifests in periodic rambling of the sins of omission and commissions of Gandhi and Nehru. I mean, what’s this stuff about Chacha Nehru, blah blah.
    .
    “The Bengali brethren do not look for conspiracy theories. ”
    .
    Are you kidding me? There is always some goofball spinning a tired old yarn about how so and so has been repeatedly shortchanged. Have you forgotten how the whole assembly passed a motion whining about Ganguly’s exclusion! Of course, to avoid sounding silly, somber Bengali commentators tied it with some farce about federalism and other such nonsense.
    .
    Once again, my humble suggestion: Don’t go by what a certain Majumdar or Das said. Think for yourself. Just to get you started: Britain attempts to muscle into Suez failed spectacularly without US support. Had Churchill been in the place of Attlee, we would have been waiting for our independence till late 60s.

  32. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    “You seem like a typical Jholawalla of the Delhi but not the Calcutta kind.”
    .
    Thank you. Jholawallahs of Delhi look better fed.

  33. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Fingolfin
    .
    Please keep the lecturing to yourself. In 1928, the time of Bhagat Singh’s writing that piece, Subhas Bose was 31, Nehru almost 40. It is common knowledge that Subhas Bose was a deeply spiritual person, perhaps the only one among the leaders, and that includes Gandhi Baba, who was fluent in Sanskrit, spoken as well as written. The spiritualism of Bose, grounded in that of Vivekananda, would not be to the liking of Bhagat Singh who was a communist. It is clear from your article that what appealed to Singh about Nehru in 1928 is latter’s calling independence, “a necessary preliminary to communist society”. Nehru was a communist, so was Bhagat Singh, Subhas Bose unmistakably was not, but so what?
    .
    Also, don’t give me the utter crap that Gandhi and Nehru, one a religious Guru given to the wet dreams of Ram Rajya and the reigns of the Rightly Guided Caliphs and the other to a communist society, were “admired” for diametrically conflicting ideas in “the landmass today that is India”. Much of the veneration India holds Nehru in today is a result of latter day fabrications by his chamchas. Among Nehru’s ˜prejudices”, Crocker records ˜maharajas, Portugal, moneylenders, certain American ways, Hinduism, and the whites in Africa…The list explains why Nehru was so offensive at the opening of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute in Calcutta, 1961.

  34. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Heavy_petting,
    You guys practice a particular kind of liberalism: Anyone that doesn’t agree with me is illiberal! The world (and India) has moved on, my friend. I highly doubt if Bose would be as obtuse as some of this loud mouth supporters. They were all tall leaders. You cannot pull down one of them without denigrating the other. I mean, are you going to blame Nehru for living longer?
    The basic problem is that instead of looking at the issue at hand, you go by whatever your patron saints have said without any sort of reflection. I remember when the above wise commentator came out with breathless condemnation of Anna Hazare’s campaign merely on the grounds that some idiot was playing a religious hymn during one of the intervals. Lo and behold! It automatically became a right-wing campaign!

  35. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Chote Miyan
    .
    The Delhi jholawallas are worse, if you are one of them. They carry the jhola but lack the necessary brains that must go with it. This is the sense I compared you with them. I won’t mind if you don’t thank me for that.

  36. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    look at you. Gandhi’s spiritualism is sick whereas Vivekananda’s is beauty?
    both of them had the same reference. the Hindu holy texts. Vivekananda envisioned a Ram-Rajya very similar to Gandhi’s.
    And yes, both were Marxists. So? It’s a brilliant philosophy and goes to show that Nehru and Singh’s ideologies were in sync and based in reason unlike Bose’s fan club.
    i asked you to look at the way they perceived nationality as a measure. has nothing to do with marxism. while one used it to employ rhetoric and develop a mass following, the other used reason to deconstruct it.
    That is the way they remained for the rest of their lives. Bhagat Singh saw this early on. It’s easy to get sucked into rhetoric. Don’t.

  37. Chote Miyan United States Safari Mac OS says:

    heavy_petting,
    Accha bhai, you guys are the greatest. If you have the brains then why shout from the rooftops. It should be self-evident. I must admit, I do have sympathy for the jholawallahs-whether in Bengal or in Jhumri Tallaya. At least, the poor guys routinely go and protest and get beaten up. All you do is just talk and talk and talk.

  38. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Fingolfin
    .

    I never thought of turning this into another interminable and meaningless exchanges on Gandhi and his ideology. But just as a parting thought, Gandhi was a traditional and highly superstitious Hindu. He read and talked about Islam and Christianity but his take on these faiths was anything but sophisticated. His ideas about how to unite people of these divergent faiths was insensitive, refer to Hind Swaraj. His vision for the Indian state was that it would be Hindu, and organized on Hindu principles, but in a way that Muslims and Christians could embrace. For a complex emerging country of conflicting faiths and communities that were sometimes at odds with each other Gandhi provided a very unsophisticated leadership based on religious principles and value systems which ultimately proved to be a bane for India.
    .
    Now, comparing with Vivekananda, Vivekananda may have had similar visions (except that his Hinduism was much more modern, industrialist, and free of the Gandhian bogey of superstitions) but he never used his spiritualism for a political movement as an organizing principle. There lies his difference with Gandhi. As for Subhas Bose, when Habibur Rahman and others suggested that the INA men perform religious prayers in the mess using a common word for God for forging religious harmony Bose vetoed it saying if religion could be used to unite it could also be used to divide. If you have the intellect to “deconstruct” the difference of these two men with Gandhi, do.
    .

  39. Fingolfin United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    HP

    What exactly in the Hind Swaraj did you see as insensitive and unsophisticated? And how was he superstitious? i promise you that he did not start the QI or the NCP by waiting for the Muhurtam as you would like to believe.
    As I have said before, he used religion in politics once. the NCP. never before or after.
    And like you say, Gandhi and Vivekananda had the same idea. Your hatred for one and rejection of the other, is therefore just a reflection of your bias. Gandhi derived his secularism from Hinduism. so to him they go hand in hand. Not that had he lived, he would not allow Ambedkar to write the constitution.
    And I was comparing Bose and Nehru. Both were tall, but both had their shortcomings. This black and white narrative of Bose=awesome and Nehru = chacha moron is parochial, crude and puerile. Especially for someone who has read so much. Anyone reading history knows that it’s always shades of grey.
    You know this and trying to have some fun like Kaal is what i would like to believe.

  40. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    There is a tendency among the Nehru Gandhi chamchas to pooh pooh the battles of Imphal and Kohima as some sort of skirmishes fought on the local soccer field. The following news item is for them: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/battle-to-repel-netaji-subhas-chandra-bose-led-azad-hind-fauj-selected-britains-greatest/articleshow/19664667.cms

  41. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Oh I should have said, there is a tendency among the Nehru Gandhi chamchas and the communists to pooh pooh the battles of Imphal and Kohima as mere skirmishes fought on the local soccer fields. For them, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/battle-to-repel-netaji-subhas-chandra-bose-led-azad-hind-fauj-selected-britains-greatest/articleshow/19664667.cms

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