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#166 [Permalink] Posted on 20th July 2017 10:03
India-China

India and China have been engaged in a military standoff since early June in the Sikkim sector over the construction of a road by the Chinese army in disputed territory, which is also claimed by Bhutan. (AFP file)

Updated: Jul 20, 2017 08:43 IST

By Sushil Aaron, Hindustan Times

The India-China military standoff near Sikkim continues. The rhetoric from both sides is very revealing of their states of mind. India is adopting a conciliatory tone but China is uncompromising. India will be “patient and peaceful” in dealing with its neighbours, says the Narendra Modi government; commentators emphasise Delhi’s moderation and maturity. China insists that withdrawal of Indian troops from the disputed Doklam area is a precondition for dialogue. Chinese experts are not mincing words. Victor Gao, a former diplomat and once an interpreter for Deng Xiaoping, has said any other country in China’s situation of seeing foreign (Indian) soldiers on its territory would send troops to drive them out. He says the longer India keeps troops in Doklam the more likely a military confrontation is.

The reaction in Indian media to the standoff with China is markedly different from what tensions with Pakistan usually provoke. Television channels are not dishing out angry hashtags about Beijing as they usually do about Islamabad’s misdemeanours. The Indian establishment clearly wants to avoid a confrontation. In Delhi’s muted reaction and Beijing’s belligerence there is perhaps a tacit acknowledgment in both capitals that the reason China is being aggressive is because India now is the weakest it has been for years.

China wants to symbolically establish dominance in Asia and it has chosen a moment when the contours of India’s path to decline are fairly well-established, three years into Modi’s rule. This is the lesson that Delhi should take away from this standoff, that not only is India militarily not in a position to challenge China now (short of a nuclear exchange), the direction that the BJP is taking the country undermines India’s capabilities as a power and leaves it in no position to deter China’s aggression for years to come. This is the time to starkly assess India’s situation, let go of the positive spin the BJP government puts out, and view India as how its adversaries would.

This may be a counter-intuitive argument to make because India certainly has some impressive attributes: a large youthful population, a formidable military machine with nuclear weapons, a sizeable middle class and elite to keep foreign companies interested for years and, like any happening power, it convenes several high-profile business and think-tank conferences. China is evidently not daunted by these because some indicators of India’s power make for grim reading.

India’s vulnerabilities are manifest in four areas. The first is in the economy, where India has recently endured a series of self-inflicted wounds. India has had a weak investment climate for years owing to regulatory bottlenecks and because banks are saddled with bad loans. Demonetisation was needlessly introduced in an already difficult situation and it brought cities to a standstill for weeks and compounded an agrarian distress by short-circuiting billions of transactions in rural India and disrupting supply chains. Growth slowed to 6.1% in the last quarter; one economist believes it may have permanently damaged the country’s informal sector. After demonetisation came changed rules for cattle slaughter which essentially constitute a form of trade war against Muslims, Dalits and the meat export industry at large. The subsequent introduction of GST has bred widespread confusion; one businessman simply warns that “small traders will die”.

Alongside the effects of recent decision-making, India has a jobs crisis, an education crisis and a skills crisis. PM Modi claimed his leadership would yield 100 million manufacturing jobs by 2022; around 135,000 materialised in eight sectors in 2015 – far shorter than the 12 million that reportedly enter the workforce each year. The government has simply abandoned the goal of training 500 million Indians as part of its Skill India plans.
The education sector looks almost irredeemable. A committee appointed by the ministry of human resource development has conceded that “large segments of the education sector…face a serious crisis of credibility in terms of the quality of education which they provide, as well as the worth of the degrees which they confer on students.” There are simply too many bad teachers in government schools, many of whom get their jobs through patronage or corruption. Students are not failed in schools and colleges for political reasons – since parents would be angry if governments provided their children bad education to begin with and then failed them. India thus has millions of youth with college degrees often lacking foundational skills let alone employable ones. That’s the reason why, as Rajesh Mahapatra writes, “no one any longer speaks of India’s youth bulge as a demographic dividend. It is, as we speak, fast turning out to be a liability of monstrous consequences in the time to come.”

If challenges in the economy, education and skills weren’t enough there is now an active attack on India’s social cohesion, the one thing that held the country together despite all its problems. The BJP’s rule has seen a spike in hate speech directed at Muslims, leading to their targeting and lynching. The Indian Muslim is being constantly represented as a hate figure, with a view to snap the associational life between Hindus and Muslims. All this corrodes social life and undermines economic productivity -- a divided and fear-ridden country is hardly in a position to pool its energies and talents to tackle present and future challenges.

Several other fissures have come to the surface since 2014. In addition to intensifying Hindu-Muslim strife, there is the North-South divide which we are increasingly seeing because of the NDA’s attempts to impose the Hindi language. There is continuing conflict in Kashmir and great restiveness among different social groups elsewhere: Patels and Dalits in Gujarat, Rajputs in Rajasthan, and farmers in various states, including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Not only is society polarised by identity politics, the Modi government is also instinctively anti-intellectual and waging a war against knowledge, particularly targeting the liberal arts and social sciences. There is not a single form of independent intellectual endeavour that is potentially not under threat in India now, either by regulation, censorship or physical intimidation – be it a play, film, comedy sketches, documentaries, political discussions in universities or academic publications.

This is a disturbing trend with real implications because the Modi government is letting its antipathy toward liberal intellectuals undermine the transmission of social science knowledge in India – which is indispensable for a society to understand itself and the world. The problem here is two-fold. Progressive intellectuals dominate the social science scene in India, perhaps not in number but in the standing they have in their disciplines. On the contrary, there is no credible right-wing intellectual ecosystem in India – in that one can scarcely find historians or sociologists sympathetic to the BJP who are capable of being published by university presses, the gold standard of academic publishing. Rather than treat progressive intellectuals as a national resource, the BJP government is hell bent on marginalising them, thereby threatening to snuff out forms of knowledge that have developed with some difficulty over the decades. If India is struggling with its quality of education to begin with, it makes little sense to undercut whatever little intellectual capital it has. The Modi government may well note that in the US, a few years ago, around 58-66 percent of social science professors identified themselves as liberals, only 5-8 percent as conservative. Liberal intellectuals are often critical of America and yet its governments do not interfere in academic life as universities advance knowledge and ultimately America’s cultural power.

The real source of India’s weakness at the moment is that the Modi government is concentrating its energies on achieving political and ideological dominance, rather than addressing the country’s glaring deficits. Politics of polarisation has taken precedence over governmental efforts to facilitate cooperation among citizens that can yield productive outcomes. All regimes in big countries aim to consolidate their own power, but they strive for excellence as well (in the hope of compensating for weaknesses). In India we are seeing the former without much evidence of support for the latter. The Chinese Communist Party is unflinching about exercising political control but it is also pushing the country towards new frontiers. It wants to introduce 100,000 industrial robots every year and plans on having 150 robots in operation for every 10,000 employees by 2020. It is making major investments in artificial intelligence; this year an international conference of AI researchers in the US had to be rescheduled because Chinese delegates could not attend as it clashed with the Chinese New Year. China takes social science seriously too and is making strenuous efforts to get Western academics to teach and undertake research projects in China, through initiatives such as the Thousand Talent and Thousand Foreign Experts programmes.

India, by contrast, is grappling with basic issues of social order, the rule of law and constrictions on the life of the mind. The military standoff with China is an important opportunity to take a hard look at its own realities and see how they stack up against the priorities of other countries. If the Modi government does not change course now, the gap between India and China will increase in the future and give Beijing more reason to continue bullying India.

Source : HT
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#167 [Permalink] Posted on 20th July 2017 16:16
Real Picture Of India Right Now..Its Saffron! Full Of Hate/Hindutva..Controlled By RSS..13 CMs, PM, President & VP In Next Few Days!

North India Is Gone! Surrounding States Too! South Still Safe From RSS!

And If Simultaneous Elections Are Held In 19 As Modi Wants..Then even South May Fall For Hindutva! Complete Takeover Of India!

nikhil wagles tv show on tv9 marathi cancelled. Modi Is After Regional media..Wants More Seats Than 2014. They Will Buy Every Regional Media House Now..Modi Wants 400+ Seats For Making Hindu Rashtra. Needs To Brainwash Ppl. Regional Media Is Best
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#168 [Permalink] Posted on 25th July 2017 10:33
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#169 [Permalink] Posted on 25th July 2017 16:06
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#170 [Permalink] Posted on 27th July 2017 08:51
maripat sahib, what do you think of nitish ditching lalu and congress. once a snake always a snake. he was happy allying with BJP post 2002 Gujarat riots so why would he have hesitation doing it now. similar situation in gujarat where former rss and bjp leader has quit congress and will possibly join hands with bjp again.
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#171 [Permalink] Posted on 27th July 2017 08:52
and there also goes great maha gantbandhan. bjp is ever inching closer to 400+ target in 2019 and complete hold of rajya sabha by 2022
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#172 [Permalink] Posted on 27th July 2017 09:13
Rajab wrote:
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Very sad ya akhi. Very sad. Here is what I just wrote on Facebook.
Bihar Mess

Quote:


Corruption is a problem for me, you and the country. For people like Lalu, Mayawati and the ilk it is not.

Flagrant communalism of the Sangh Parivar in general and BJP in particular is my problem, your problem but it is not a problem for Nitish.

They way I ignored Lalu's corruption in celebrating the electuons results in Bihar I also ignored Nitish's past alliance with the BJP.

He has pulled up the same coup once again. And if we do not like Lalu's corruption and if we do not like Nitish's eagerness to shake hands with the Sangh Parivar then that too is alright. In fact it is a good thing. This is the only sign we have in our own behavior that something is amiss.

Clearly our finer instincts, like Lohia socialism and the like are at the moment ineffective in face of the mobilization of majority sentiments against minorities. We fight it eerie and we cringe at the shape of things emerguing before our eyes.

In 2014 the present PM elivated BJP to power by garnering 31 percent of votes and in 2017 in UP it went up to even forty percent. Bihar served her temporary role by arresting the juggernaut in between.

At the moment I can do nothing except for adopting the wait and watch strategy. My feeling is that even if our options today were the likes of VP Singh, Rajesh Pilot and Madhavrao Scindhia and not the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Lalu, Nitish and Mayawati even then the tide of majoritarianism would have been very difficult to arrest.

We need people of the Nehru, Gandhi level to set the things right today but there is hitch here.

"If you are not sad at the state of things that we do not have the likes of Nehru-Gandhi today then you have no heart and if you think that we shall have back people like them then you have no brain."

This all amounts to a sad and painful conclusion. Unfortunately that is how the things stand today.

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#173 [Permalink] Posted on 27th July 2017 17:23
India and Qur'an


The Noble Qur'an is rather stark about the nature and behaviour of non-Muslims. It is also stark about how to deal with them.

For this sinner it was always a crigeworthy point. In India the deal for Muslims did not mostly match with what is described in the Noble Qur'an. After independence there have been several Presidents of India who were Muslims. Dr Zakir Hussain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. There have also been several Vice Presidents too - Justice M. Hidayatullah and Dr M. Hamid Ansari included. Political parties regularly organized Iftar in Ramadan. Mosques are ubiquitous and so are Muslims. There many national holidays on Muslim festivals. There are many Muslims who are prominant in public life. And so on.

In this background it was very difficult to ponder over those verses where the Noble qur'an gives stern warnings in matters related to non-Muslims, particularly the polytheists. And India is predominantly polytheistic.

And today, seventy years after independence, all that the Noble Qur'an says looks like more closer to truth and reality than the idealistic Utopia that Muslims of India were living in. Non-believers will not let up till you stop believing - it says. "Musalman ke do maqam - Pakistan ya qabaristan : Only two places for Muslims - either Pakistan or graveyard." That is the slogan of the people who are busy implementing the Sangh agenda in India today. Earlier these words looked like fancies of lunatics but today this sentiment is being put to horrific implementation. And no brake is having any effect on the process and dynamics set in motion by the Sangh Parivar - the Saffron Family.

Sometime back India was happy that the election results in Bihar have put an effective check on the Saffron Juggernaut but a the moment of writing same Bihar has a very ugly political metamophosis in which one of the main architects of BJP decimation in Bihar has has shaken BJP's hand. India is talking a lot about this development and that will be all. BJP has had her way.


And the situation for the minorities in general and Muslims in particular will become worse. It is finding a new nadir after the last nadir.

In ancient times India society got up in rebellion against the suffocating provisions of Hindu religion - Brahmanism and Manuvad. Mainstay of these reactions were three new religions - Buddhism, Jainism and Ajivak Dharma. Hindu religion had a very violent reaction to these movements. As a result Hinduism prevailed and completely destroyed Ajivak Dharma, banished Buddhism completely from India and decimated Jainism. Today we have only sporadic Buddhists in India, Jians who are indistinguishably mingled with the Hindu crowd and not a trace of the followers of Ajivak Dharma - they do not get even a mention in the text books of history.

The Saffron ambition is to duplicate or triplicate or quadruplicate the same story with Islam. After all after 873 years of muslim rule in india many local Indian have entered the fold of Islam. In fact that plan is to do to Muslims in India what was done to them in Spain - Inquisition and Reconquista and complete extermination. The saffron hordes or the public inspired by the Saffron political success are becoming more and more strident by the day. Neither the Muslims nor the the saner elements of the majority community have any workable and effective plan or even an idea to arrest the rise and rise of Saffron Power.
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#174 [Permalink] Posted on 30th July 2017 16:10
An MP in Indian Parliament


If you understand Hindi then do listen to this brief speech in Indian Parliament by the MP Mr Sharad Yadav.
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#175 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd August 2017 05:55
Resignation of Niti Ayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya

Resignation of the Niti Ayog Vice Chairman Mr Arvind Panagariya is symptomatic of colossal downward slide of the country into an unkown but scary and painful abyss like state.

When the present Prime Minister of the country came into power he went into a frenzy of foreign visits that looked like a juggernaut of foreign policy drive to Arun Shourie while the rest of the country saw it for what it was - unrestrained enjoyment of perks provided by the economy of a newly prosperous country with huge below poverty line population.

Another observation that can not be missed is of high level professionals being put to a use that can not be legitimate by any stretch of imagination - justification of ad hoc and /or partisan policy decision.

This is precisely what has happened in the present case. Life is full of problems and and the life of a country is merely a collection of problems and more so for a gigantic construction called India. In such a situation and even in situations of lesser magnitude it is an honour for a professional to be give charge of a problem. The society is imposing faith in your abilities to solve big problems.

This honour turns into indignity when you are called for justification of whimsical policy decisons or partisan agenda. RSS has been in the business of character building for more than nine decades and within its less than humane agenda it has done a wonderful job. By now we have the country infested with large number of its workers and still larger numbers of sympathisers. In particualr it has managed successfully to organize the majority community against the hapless minorities.

What it has not been able to do and what it can not do is to develop a sufficiently big clique of people having expertise in various technical matters. This is both surprising as well as reassuring. Surprising because India is an incredibly vast country with an enourmous pool of talent. Reassuring because this is one weakness that might save the miserable minorities of the country and from the wrath of this partisan organization and in turn the country herself from destruction and ignominy.

(My piece on Facebook)
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#176 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd August 2017 07:29
Maripat wrote:
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How to protect Indian Muslims from a possible civil war?


In the video linked in above post Mr Sharad Yadav, an Indian parliamentarian of a long standing career, tell in a most heart felt and agonising manner the most repugnant possibility of a civil war looming large on Muslims ( and Dalis) of India.

It has been an experience of yours truly also that the situation of Muslims in India has been going from bad to worse for as long as I can remember. And that means I am talking about for decades of active memory.

It is true that today we hardly have thirty cases of lynching of Muslims since the present BJP lead NDA RSS inspired central government in India. But, for one, every life is precious. Secondly these lynchings are merely symptomatic and not isolated events perpetrated by some deranged acriminals. In this case the majority community, nearly eighty percent of the population, have been aroused against the hapless 14.1 percent peopel - the Muslim minority.

This brings us to the question of how this defenceless minority can be defended against the violent people from the majority community. The situation is very grave from the ground reality point of view. The police and the paramilitary force called the CRPF, PAC and others usually side against the Muslims whenever there is a tension between two communities. Muslims have very meagre representation in these forces - much below their population percentage.

Though Indian Army remains mostly uninvolved in the communal riots that sporadically flare up in India with very devastating results mostly for the Muslims yet the recent trend of retired army officers showing a proclivity towards dalying with the BJP leaves a very eerie and cringewothy feeling amongs Muslims and those from the majority community who do not share BJP and RSS's hatred for the miserable minority community.

Internationally India, at least the present government, has managed to guide at least two significant Muslim nations towards her side. These are Saudi Arab and the United Arab Emirates. This deprives the Indian Muslims of a very crucial possible support. Then there is the west. Fortunately the US is slowly waking up, at least in the intelligentsia circles, to the obnoxious reality about the precarious states of Mislims in India. similarly Europe too is becoming aware of the dangers that are looming large here. But the situation remains as tricky and unnerving as it can possibly be for India is a mammoth country and correspondingly the world has never seen dangers of this proprtion earlier in history.

As far as Muslims of India themselves addressing this democles sword hanging on their head the sitaution is even more pathetic. The two most visible sources of ideological rejuvenation lie in shambles. These are Deoband and Aligarh. Deoband has been progressively retreating into interovert mode by restricting itself to mere teaching of Arabic alphabet while Aligarh has simply not been able to shake off the partition legacy at any effective level. In last seventy years Aligarh has betrayed no worthwhile movement for betterment of the situation of Muslims in India, particularly their security issues. National Muslim politics has for all the seventy years been in the hands of secular leaders from the majority community who catered only to an Iftar party in Ramadan. Whenever a Muslim leader get a chance to serve in position of power he or she simply mostly is either unaware of the fact that minorities like Muslims need special attention or is simply too scared to show it. when in rare cases a Muslim leader here or another there end up saying anything even mildly in favour of Muslims then he has to spend the rest of his life trying o wash out this cardinal sin.

So what is the end result of it? Not very hope inspiring at the moment. And here lies the crux. The only positive observation i can make is that Lord Most High in the Noble qur'an says that do you think we would leave you alone just because you said we believe and that He, God, tested the people of yore so severely that even the Prophets amongst them said, "When will God's help come?"

I would have tried to end this note on a promising nore but I shall not attempt to do so because my brothers and sisters are not listening sufficiently attentively to what I have been blabbering here and earlier at the Sunni Forum. All these years I have been aware of this deteriorating situation of Indian Muslims and that is why and that is how I came to seek the company of my brothers and sisters. Yet rather than showing the requisite courage to face the unpleasant reality they are simply adopting the easier and escapist way and shutting themselves off from the incraesingly painful input that we have been constantly receiving. That is cowardice.


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#177 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd August 2017 06:25
Bismillah
Personally I am not unaware of the gravity of tragic situation of Muslims in India. I am very busy with something and once I pass through this, inshaaAllah I will dedicate myself to contribute with the best of my abilities. Not that I forgot but it is in my mind.
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#178 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd August 2017 15:32
Umm Khadeejah wrote:
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Thank you my sister.

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#179 [Permalink] Posted on 5th August 2017 04:59
Was Sachar Commitee Dr Manmohan Singh's Biggest Mistake?


Identity politics is not dead: What Congress can do to beat BJP at its own game
Commoners understand no loaded statements. They act on fears. You just need the saffron party to tap them.
POLITICS
| 3-minute read | 04-08-2017
Harmeet Shah Singh

Around two years before Manmohan Singh's government fell apart, "policy paralysis" emerged as an economic term with wider currency - from New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, London, Washington to New York.

No news report on India's financial health looked complete without a "policy paralysis" inserted into it. Most media outlets, national and international alike, copy-pasted the narrative to build a story around a supposedly failing India.

Over the past three years though, that "paralysis" has miraculously evaporated from public conscience.

This, when no MRI scan of the country's economic nervous system has been able to detect a miracle cure.

Indians, rather, reconciled themselves to the shocks of an abrupt note ban and to the rigmarole of a GST.

So, I wonder whether it was wrong to assume many Indians voted the BJP to power because they were anxious about their economic future. Probably, it was.

Many of us are now aware it's too far-fetched to expect a bumper output from factories and farms, a massive job creation and eradication of poverty under the BJP.

Many of us are fairly aware that the so-called Gujarat model was as much exaggerated as the alleged policy paralysis under the UPA.

The Congress, as it stands today, is beaten down electorally. The BJP's surge has been phenomenal.

Rahul Gandhi, once glamorised by global press as a future prime minister, is now hounded by an army of trolls. They are working 24x7 to turn his every public appearance into a joke encapsulated in WhatsApp-friendly video clips.

Today's Congress is a phantom of its "grandest, oldest" past. Yet, a lot many people seem to be drawing sadistic pleasure from raids on its politicians.

Why?

The answer to this intriguing question originates in the 1990s.

Under then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, a suave Sikh in a powder-blue turban becomes the architect of a new India. As finance minister from 1991-1996, Manmohan Singh restructured the Indian economy after four decades of quasi-socialism.

Fast-forward to 2004, Sonia Gandhi, raised a Roman Catholic, made way for him to lead the country.

But two years later, Singh, India's first non-Hindu prime minister, committed what perhaps was the biggest mistake of his political life.

"We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably the fruits of development. These must have the first claim on resources," he told a meeting of the National Development Council in December 2006.

Singh represented a minority, reported to a leader from another minority and spoke about gifting natural resources to a third minority, the country's largest.

For Hindutva forces, the statement came like manna from heaven. They pressed the button for the Congress' countdown.

Given the size of our country, it took them almost five to six years - into the UPA's second term - to convert mounting resentment into full-blown fears of an identity crisis.

Reports of the national auditor about alleged scams helped them stimulate mass mobilisation.

Forget natural resources, Muslims found themselves stuck at the bottom of the ladder. Many of them deserted the Congress for other non-BJP parties.

Voters sank Gandhis' UPA nationally and in state elections, one after another.

But what remains entrenched in the psyche of a large majority is the existential threat that Singh and his bosses sowed.

That explains why social media feeds erupt into celebrations every time the remains of the Congress are kicked and punched.

But will the INC's Phoenix ever rise from its ashes?

It can if it beats the BJP at its own game. It has to mobilise minorities - ethnic, religious, tribal and the Dalits.

Sound bites and panel debates by its gentlemanly clique are good TV but terrible politics.

Now that Nitish Kumar has jumped ship, minorities of all hues must be convinced aggressively that their existence depends on the survival of the Congress.

Minorities have legitimate fears that can't be addressed by television statements alone. The Congress has to launch an offensive from the ground every time it sees a lynching, God forbid, happening.

Commoners understand no loaded statements. They act on fears. You just need a BJP to tap them.

Source : DY
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#180 [Permalink] Posted on 5th August 2017 16:02
Five states that refused to join India after Independence

Some of them thought this to be the best moment to acquire independent statehood, while there were others who wanted to become a part of Pakistan. Here are the cases of five princely states that opposed the idea of joining India.


Written by Adrija Roychowdhury | New Delhi | Updated: August 1, 2017 5:30 pm

I

The princely states, both pampered and exploited by the British, maintained a position of semi-autonomy under the colonisers and were the toughest challenge facing free India. (Wikimedia Commons)

The midnight of August 15, 1947 is perhaps noted as the most significant in the pages of Indian history. In the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, India awoke to life and freedom. But if freedom is the hard earned dream come true for the nationalist leaders of India, then stitching together the hundreds of territorial pieces into a distinct whole was an aspiration much harder to realise and as of August 15, lay yet unfulfilled. The departure of the British from Indian territory was accompanied by the question of how to bring together the 500-odd chiefdoms and states they had left behind.

The princely states, both pampered and exploited by the British, maintained a position of semi-autonomy under the colonisers and were the toughest challenge facing free India. Remarking upon the complicated relationship between the princes and the British, historian Barbara Ramusack notes “British colonial officials had claimed them as faithful military allies, denounced them as autocrats, praised them as natural leaders of their subjects, chided them as profligate playboys, and taken advantage of their lavish hospitality.” For the British these states were the necessary allies, to keep in check the rise of their common enemy, the French. Accordingly, the princes were given autonomy over their territories, but the British acquired for themselves the right to appoint ministers and get military support as and when required.
Independence day India, princely states of India, 70 years of independence, 70th independence day, August 15, 15th august, 15th august 1947, 15th august 2017, India, India history, India news, Indian Express The princes were given autonomy over their territories, but the British acquired for themselves the right to appoint ministers and get military support as and when required. (Wikimedia Commons)

Once the withdrawal of the British was announced, the issue of the princely states had to be settled for the new government that would be in power. By the late 1930s itself, the Congress had made clear their intention of integrating the states into the Indian union. In the 1938 Haripura session of the Congress, the objective was made clear in the following words:

“The Congress stands for the same political, social and economic freedom in the States as in the rest of India and considers the States as integral parts of India which cannot be separated. The Purna Swaraj or complete independence, which is the objective of the Congress, is for the whole of India, inclusive of the States, for the integrity and unity of India must be maintained in freedom as it has been maintained in subjection.”

To aid in the process a new states department was set up with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as its head and V. P. Menon as the secretary. Together they, under the guidance of Lord Mountbatten, were given the responsibility to coax, cajole and convince the princes to accede to the Indian union. Bikaner, Baroda and few other states from Rajasthan were the first ones to join the union. Alternatively, there were several other states that were adamant to not shake hands with India. Some of them thought this to be the best moment to acquire independent statehood, while there were others who wanted to become a part of Pakistan. Here are the cases of five states that opposed the idea of joining India.

Travancore

The southern Indian maritime state was one of the first princely states to refuse accession to the Indian union and question the Congress’ leadership of the nation. The state was strategically placed for maritime trade and was rich in both human and mineral resources.

Sir C. P. Ramamswamy Aiyar, the dewan of Travancore and a distinguished lawyer by profession, had by 1946 declared his intention of forming an independent state of Travancore that would be open to the idea of signing a treaty with the Indian union. Historian Ramachandra Guha notes that Travancore’s bid to independence was in fact propelled by Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Sir C.P. Aiyar is also said to have had secret ties with the UK government who were in support of an independent Travancore in the hope that they would get exclusive access to a mineral called monazite that the area was rich in, and would give an edge to Britain in the nuclear arms race. While the Dewan stuck to his position till as late as July 1947, he changed his mind soon after he survived an assassination attempt by a member of the Kerala Socialist Party. On July 30 1947, Travancore joined India.

Jodhpur

The Rajput princely state of Jodhpur was a strange case of tilting towards Pakistan despite having a Hindu king and a large Hindu population. While the prince, Maharaja Hanvant Singh, was strong in his willingness to join India, he somehow got the idea that it might be more beneficial for him to join Pakistan on account of the fact that his state shared border with the soon to be born country. Further, he was lured into joining Pakistan by Jinnah who offered him full port facilities in Karachi along with military and agrarian support. However, when Vallabhbhai Patel was made aware of the possibility of Jodhpur going to Pakistan, he immediately contacted the prince and offered him sufficient benefits and explained to him the problems of joining a Muslim state. Eventually the Jodhpur prince was won back. Historian Ramchandra Guha, in his work “India after Gandhi”, notes that on being presented with the Instrument of Accession, the Jodhpur prince dramatically took out a revolver and held it on the secretary’s head saying, “I will not accept your dictation”. However, few minutes later he calmed down and signed the document.

Bhopal

Another state that wished to declare independence was Bhopal, which had a Muslim Nawab, Hamidullah Khan, ruling over a majority Hindu population. A close friend of the Muslim League, the Nawab was staunchly opposed to Congress rule. He had made clear his decision to attain independence to Mountbatten. However, the latter wrote back to him stating that “no ruler could run away from the dominion closest to him”. By July 1947, the prince became aware of the large number of princes who had acceded to India and decided to follow suit.

Hyderabad

The case of Hyderabad was by far the most significant and complicated challenge among the princely states. Lying in the Deccan plateau, the state covered a large portion of the centre of India. During the independence of the country, Nizam Mir Usman Ali was presiding over a largely Hindu population. When the British decided to leave, the Nizam was very clear on his demand for an independent state and consequently becoming a member of the British commonwealth of nations. Lord Mountbatten, however, made it very clear that the Crown would not agree to Hyderabad becoming member of the British commonwealth, except through either of the two new dominions.

While the tussle over Hyderabad grew stronger over time, violence and demonstrations across the state became a regular feature. The Nizam also drew support from Jinnah who pledged to defend the oldest Muslim dynasty in India. For Patel, however, an independent Hyderabad was equivalent to having cancer in the belly of India.

Once Lord Mountbatten resigned in June 1948, the Congress government decided to make a more decisive turn. On September 13, Indian troops were sent to Hyderabad in what came to be known as ‘Operation Polo’. In an armed encounter that lasted for about four days, the Indian army gained full control of the state. Later, in an attempt to reward the Nizam for his submission, he was made the governor of the state of Hyderabad.

Junagadh

Apart from Hyderabad, there was one more state that had not acceded to the Indian union by August 15, 1947, the Gujarati state of Junagadh. Junagadh was the most important among the group of Kathiawar states. Here too, the Nawab, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III ruled over a large Hindu population. However, when on July 25, 1947 Lord Mountbatten addressed the princes, the Dewan of Junagadh had made very clear his decision to advise the Nawab on joining the Indian union.
Independence day India, princely states of India, 70 years of independence, 70th independence day, August 15, 15th august, 15th august 1947, 15th august 2017, India, India history, India news, Indian Express Junagadh was the most important among the group of Kathiawar states. Here too, the Nawab, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III ruled over a large Hindu population. (Wikimedia Commons)

In early 1947, the Dewan of Junagadh, Nabi Baksh invited Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto of the Muslim league to join the state council of minister. In the absence of the existing dewan, Bhutto took over the office and pressed the Nawab to accede to Pakistan. When Pakistan accepted Junagadh’s request for accession, the Indian leaders were enraged as it went against Jinnah’s two nation theory.

The disturbed situation in Junagadh led to a complete breakdown of the economy and consequently the Nawab fled to Karachi. Vallabhbhai Patel requested Pakistan to allow a plebiscite in Junagadh and eventually sent in troops to force annexation of three of its principalities. In the face of acute shortage of funds and forces, the Dewan was forced to accede to the Indian government. Eventually, on February 20, 1948, a plebiscite was held in the state wherein 91 percent of the voters chose to join India.

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