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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “British Raj”

Lovefest With Israel Signals India’s Final Rejection Of The Raj

Narendra Modi’s arrival in Israel marks not only an epochal moment in India-Israel relations, but also the final rejection of the psychological Raj that has hampered Indian diplomacy for so long – since independence in 1947. While Jawarhalal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, fought for freedom from Britain, he and the wider political establishment that surrounded him were very much creations of the British and inheritors of their limited thinking.

Read Here – Haaretz

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As the Splintered History Of Lost Kingdoms Unravels, India, China Need To Confront The Future

It is interesting that in invoking historical justifications in the latest standoff between China and India in the Sikkim and Bhutan tri-junction area, neither party is keen to recall that the region once constituted sovereign principalities – of Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan. Of the three, Bhutan is still independent, Tibet was taken over by China in 1951 and Sikkim became part of India only in 1975 by the exercise of Article 2 of the Indian constitution. The controversies behind these takeovers is another matter, but the moot point is that the histories of these erstwhile states have been splintered beyond recognition as they have been absorbed into other historical streams.

Read Here – The Wire

Legacy Of 1857 Continues Unabated

The brave and fractious anti-British uprising of 1857 was put down with a heavy hand. It took another 90 eventful years for Hindus and Muslims who claimed to have jointly led the anti-colonial showdown to part ways. Anger, acrimony, violence visited both communities and tore up large swathes of their habitats across the subcontinent .

Read Here – Dawn

Gandhi’s Unequal Justice In South Africa

During his years in South Africa, Gandhi sought to ingratiate himself with Empire and its mission. In doing so, he not only rendered African exploitation and oppression invisible, but was, on occasion, a willing part of their subjugation and racist stereotyping. This is not the Gandhi spoken of in hagiographic speeches by politicians more than a century later. This is a different man picking his way through the dross of his time; not just any time, but the height of colonialism; not through any country, but a land that was witness to three centuries of unremitting conquest, brutality and racial bloodletting.

Read Here – New Republic

‘Did The Empire Do Any Good?’ British TV Is Revising India’s History. Again

Certainly, the English didn’t arrive on Indian shores as long-lost parents, but as traders from a poorer nation. If they then became parent-like, authoritarian and wealthy, they also left their progeny destitute upon their departure on 1947: so the middle-aged offspring might have some reason for complaint.

Read Here – The Guardian

250 Years Ago, This Event Changed Everything In South Asia

2015 marks an often overlooked anniversary, the 250th anniversary of the start of de jure British rule over India. The history of 18th century South Asia is a complicated whirlwind of competing powers and conflicting interests. By 1707, when the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, died, his empire controlled most of South Asia, but was also teetering due to military overstretch and fiscal instability.

Read Here – The Diplomat

India As The Pivot In Asia

The notion of an Indian arc of influence stretching from Aden to Malacca was, of course, a staple of strategic thinking in the British Raj. Yet, these lines were written not by a mandarin of the Raj, but by the freshly appointed vice-president of the viceroy’s executive council, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Read Here – The Hindu

 

Pakistan’s 3 Greatest Leaders Of All Time

In writing about a country like Pakistan, it is a hard task to determine who its three greatest leaders were. Unlike India, which had a stable political system, Pakistan has often swung from a presidential system to a parliamentary system to military dictatorship. Almost all its leaders, even great ones, had many flaws. Nonetheless, here are the three Pakistani leaders, who did the most to improve Pakistan.

Read Here – The National Interest

Isn’t History Fascinating?

A transgender singer hits stardom in Baghdad. Officials scramble to impose order after a Kuwaiti restaurant is found to be selling cat meat. Gulf royals on an official visit to London are left marooned in a drab south London suburb because of a shortage of hotel rooms in the West End. These are some of the quirky stories hiding in nine miles of shelving at the British Library (BL) that hold the India Office Records – millions of documents recording Britain’s 350-year presence in the sub-continent.

Read Here – BBC

Struggling With Ideology

According to Perry Anderson’s new book, The Indian Ideology, India’s democracy — routinely celebrated as the world’s largest — is actually a sham. It is fatally compromised by its origins in an anticolonial struggle led by the “monolithically Hindu” Congress party, which Anderson holds largely responsible for the bloodiness of the partition of the British-ruled subcontinent in 1947.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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