Thursday 31 March 2022

Shruti Kapila's crazy Hindutva

Soros set up a University in Budapest. Orban shut it down. Why? It wasn't benefiting his country. Indeed, it is difficult to see which country it was benefitting. The following is the abstract of a public lecture Shruti Kapila gave there titled 'HISTORY AS VIOLENCE: HINDUTVA’S WAR AND THE BATTLEFIELD OF INDIA'. 

What violence has Indian witnessed in the last century?

1) a small amount of 'Revolutionary' violence against the British. This was not specifically Hindu. It included radicals of various descriptions. However, ex-Revolutionaries from the twenties on did foresee partition and created a Hindu party similar to the Muslim party which gained strength after 1922 and finally established its supremacy in the elections of 1946

2) Partition violence. Here Muslims, Sikhs, Dogras and some Congress Hindus played the leading role. The RSS and Mahasabha played second fiddle because the INC was the muscular Hindu party par excellence. Similarly, in Pakistan, the Army which was initially 'secular' dominated the Islamists. 

3) Secessionist violence. Hinduism had nothing to do with this

4) Naxal violence- again nothing to do with Hindutva.

5) post-Babri riots. In each and every case the Muslims started it and then paid a disproportionate price. It appears that some at least of this violence was politically instrumentalized. The triumph of Hindutva puts an end to such violence because the expectation is that the instigators will get shot immediately.

Hindutva has not had to wage any war purely because 80 percent of the population is Hindu. Moreover, it appears that it is always possible, by paying a little money, to get some Muslims to start a riot which, predictably, ends with the minority taking disproportionate losses. But this isn't war- it is, at best, whackamole. No doubt, there is an electoral battlefield and in Mamta's Bengal that does mean violence- but only after she wins not before lest the Election Commission take action. On the other hand even Mamta's goons can be brought to heel by the threat of President's rule.

Why does the rise of Hindutva mean less violence and History having to turn to economic and social factors? The answer is simple. Hindutva is about getting Hindus to play nice with each other irrespective of caste or region. It is merely an ecumenism and naturally reduces internecine conflict. It may be argued that this poses a threat to Muslims but Muslims get stomped by everybody, including Sikhs and Christians and atheists, if they run amok. In the past twenty years Muslims have been pounded by bombs and drone strikes by the armies of a huge array of countries. China, of course, went the extra mile and is 're-educating' the entire population of a huge province. Even Muslim nations are killing or incarcerating Islamists who run amok or who look as though they might run amok. Currently, in the UK, there are 40,000 Islamists who are on a watch-list. The French have put a thousand mosques and Muslim cultural centers under surveillance. The NYT has an article claiming that there is a quiet Muslim flight from France. 

What makes Islamist movements different from Hindutva? The answer is that the former are sectarian. They harbor hatred, or have reason to want revenge against, rival sects. By contrast, though there may be rivalry between Hindutva outfits- e.g. Shiv Sena & BJP or, previously, Hindu Mahasabha vs RSS supported BJP leaders- and quite bitter animosity between specific Hindutva leaders- there has been no bloodshed. Indeed, the sort of internecine violence which existed historically- e.g. between rival Jain sects or antagonistic leaders of Hindu monastic sects- has declined or disappeared. Whereas previously good people would contribute money to hire goons to eject the goons of the rival sect, they scorn to do so now. The thing will be tied up in Court while a modus vivendi is hammered out. 

Older people like me were sure that, when the Bench made the Ayodhya judgment, the BJP would mishandle the situation. Some Baba or the other would feel miffed and you'd have a bunch of naked guys with tridents marching around creating trouble. Maybe COVID helped. Or maybe Hindu acceptance of Hindutva means we are finally getting over our atavistic instinct to grab hold off agricultural implements and crack each other's heads open ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Personally, I deplore this outcome. I firmly believe that it is because young men nowadays- what with their 'six pack' and good grooming- are all homos. You can see them talking and laughing freely with girls. I even saw one nephew of mine kissing his 'girl-friend'. Only gay people behave in such an effeminate manner. His own mother told me that the boy sleeps with this girl. Her parents are fine with it. Obviously this is because the boy is as queer as 3 Rupee note! 

Often described

by liars 

as ‘conspiratorial’

right! The biggest political party in India is a 'conspiracy'!  

and a form of ‘crypto nationalism’,

Why 'crypto'? It is openly nationalist. But then the Indian National Congress started off as Nationalistic. It is only recently that it has become anti-National.  

Hindutva (political Hinduism/Hindu nationalism) was articulated simultaneously with Gandhi’s assertion and signature politics of nonviolence in the last century.

No. It was 'articulated' before Gandhi asserted anything. He was reacting to Savarkar and Dhingra and Lal, Bal & Pal, when he wrote 'Hind Swaraj'. He said he was 'Sanatani' as opposed to Arya Samaji (though his dad did keep contact with the Arya Samaj after his own 'Pushtimarga' hit a rough patch after its leader was discovered to be a syphilitic cunt who slept with the wives of his disciples). However, by the time Gandhi surrendered in 1922, it was obvious that 'dyarchy' would evolve into Provincial autonomy and finally, once a Federal Government at the Center had been set up, Dominion Status. The only question that remained was whether the Muslims would accept a common nationality or insist on a separate Muslim state which could forcibly convert or ethnically cleanse kaffirs and move in the direction of Sharia law etc.  

Hindutva was a name to bridge the empty gap between the political and Hinduism.

There was no such gap. The cow-protection movement had given the INC a 'mass contact' vehicle as the then Viceroy noticed. The Muslim League too found there was no 'empty gap' between the political and Islam. The odd thing was that the Shias, including the Ismailis, supported Khilafat though the Caliph was Hanafi.  


Was only needful for Revolutionaries- but, by the Twenties, they were Leftists not Hindutvadis.  


Was unnecessary. Hindus don't need to be hugging and kissing and bumping fists all the time. Anyway, our wives beat us or if they don't then they can say some really mean things. At such times, brothers are no use. Only Mummy or big Sister can come and fight your battles for you. Sadly, stringent anti-dowry laws mean a wife can always throw her mother-in-law and sister-in-laws in jail while the men abscond so as to earn money to pay for lawyers. 

territory in as much as blood and the significance of history and its writing were foundational to the conceptual repertoire of Hindutva.

Everybody is attached to territory. The question is, are Hindutvadis trying to conquer any territory? The answer is no. So the thing does not really feature in the 'conceptual repertoire' of Hindutva. But it does in the laws of the Indian Nation State.  

The overarching idea of war and the political as a war formation,

is severely missing in Hindutva just as it is severely missing in ecumenical movements in Christianity. No doubt, Kapila thinks the YMCA is a 'war formation'.  As for the Salvation Army- it is obviously a terrorist organization of some sort. 

rendered Hindutva a specifically twentieth century ideology.

I think it is a twenty first century ideology. Only about ten years after liberalization did I see the grip of caste relax on even middle class, urban, anglophile Indians. I think, this had already happened for better educated NRIs in the Eighties. It started to happen in India for the same reason- viz. both parties could earn well and divorce was no longer a big issue. 

Another reason Hindutva has become normative is because higher disposable income means we can be exploratory in our Religion. We visit 'teerths' not traditionally visited in our lineage. Even in remote places, the local pandes would be able to spot a likely 'first time' visitor and quickly enroll him as a client. This meant that the next time you visit, you already have a pande. This is quite flattering. You naturally bring your son a few years down the line. This creates a 'dual track' cosmopolitanism. You mention the foreign University you attended and the foreign MNC office you put in a couple of years at, but you also casually let drop the names of the different teerths you visit with your family.  The Upper Class may smile at your naivete, but if your wealth is increasing rapidly, they are forced to be polite. They might even give you the name of their own Purohit or Jyotish or whatever. 

In elaborating these themes, and contrary to dominant understanding,

I suppose she means the dominant understanding amongst Leftist pedants holed up in shitty University Departments 

I argue that Hindutva is not the expression of ‘Hindu nationalism’ signifying a variant form of Indian nationalism, authentic, hidden or fabricated. Instead, as a distinct theory of violence, Hindutva as elaborated by its ideologue, is a series of conditions of enmity for a potential and new fraternity.

No. Others may pick fights with Hindutva but, in the process, they get carried away and say nasty things about Hinduism, Hindus and the Indian Nation State. This naturally backfires. Only a Soros or an Omidyar will finance them. Perhaps the Carter Center will hire them. But for how long? The bottom has fallen out of that market.  

As a political idea, Hindutva conceptualised enmity as perpetual while detaching India from its territorial specificities and transforming it into a battlefield.

No. Hindutva made things better for Hindus by allowing them to break with caste without becoming 'outcaste' or having to embrace some paranoid ideology. Modi and Yogiji and so forth show that the administration can be improved. India need not be an utter shithole for all time to come. The good news is that the rise of Hindutva has encouraged the rise of  'Common Man' type movements. If a comedian can become C.M of Punjab, then the mold of Indian politics has well and truly been broken. Violence is foolish. Voters want 'deliverables'. Even Mamta may curb the violence of her goons. There can be no question that Stalin and Vijayan want to do so. They have big plans for their States. Kapila, sadly, has chosen to remain ignorant of all these developments. Assuming she is Punjabi, this is not because she is stupid. She is just very very badly- but very expensively- educated. 

The message here is don't study worthless shite at Uni- even if Soros is paying for it- because, if you do, your brains will turn to shit. 

Anand Patwardhan's Constitutional Pineapple has republished two different articles in its current issue, both alleging serious violations of the Constitution. I have referred to the serious violation suffered by Salik Ahmad in my previous post. Here I want to look at Anand Patwardhan's claim that the merger of the National Film Archives and Films Division is an assault on the Constitution. Our archived history is in danger of disappearing or being re-cut and rewritten.

This shite was first published in 'Countercurrents' . Why has Scroll put its imprimatur on it? Does it really believe that something unconstitutional has been done? In that case why has it not approached the Bench or, at the very least, published a legal opinion in this regard? 

As with Salik's cri de coeur, it may be that there is a hidden subtext that it is up to us to discover. What could it be? Let us find out-

The merging of four distinct public bodies under one single umbrella, controlled by one single ministry under one single minister whose most infamous utterance just before the outbreak of deadly violence in Delhi in 2019 was “shoot the bastards” (a loose translation of “goli maaro salon ko”) would have been alarming in of itself.

No it wouldn't. Indians want rioters who kill policemen to be shot. If they aren't shot immediately, it is the economically vulnerable amongst minorities who suffer most. Why does Patwardhan not know this? Is it because he has been paid to pretend otherwise? But, is he earning his pay? Is Scroll? That is the question.

Now it is true that 'the film fraternity' complained that they hadn't been consulted when this was first announced. Now they have been consulted. But the constitution does not require any such consultation. Patwardhan may believe otherwise. But Patwardhan is as stupid as shit.  

What is more alarming is that these developments are not about one individual.

So, this isn't just about Patwardhan being miffed that he won't get any more Government money to make his worthless documentaries. 

They are the fruit of an ideology that has been at work for over a hundred years, producing hatred based on fake news and the demonisation of fellow citizens of India.

This cunt is publishing fake news and demonizing fellow citizens of India.  

Their most famous victim was Mahatma Gandhi.

Patwardhan thinks he is the Mahatma. Godse is shooting him by cutting off funding for worthless documentary films. Biden must take action! 

But the killings and the hatred have never stopped, they just lie below the surface till the haters gather enough power to deliver.

Deliver what? I think it must be 'fruit of an ideology'. Where will they deliver it? The answer is 'up Patwardhan's ass'. It is a fact that documentary film makers have very tight anal sphincters. That is why, though all their documentaries are shit, so few of those turds are released.  Clearly, for proper delivery of fruit of ideology up Patwardhan's asshole, much power must be gathered. 

The only question which remains is which particular fruit Patwardhan is hoping for. I am betting pineapple. Nothing less will do for Patwardhan Sahib- who is 72 years old. 

Today they bask in the glory of election victories won by sheer money power and the ruthless control over every democratic institution originally set in place by the power of India’s secular and democratic Constitution.

The fucker means that Hindus vote for the BJP. They think Patwardhan is a piece of shit. They are not even shoving a nice big pineapple up his pining asshole. This is clear violation of India's secular and democratic Constitution.  

But this Constitution means nothing to those who sincerely and truly believe in dictatorship and majoritarian rule.

Patwardhan sincerely and truly believes this shit. Yet no nice pineapple is being shoved up his asshole. Gujjus, like Modi and Shah, are too fucking kanjoos to buy expensive items of fruit for this salutary purpose.  

Assault on the Constitution

The assault on the National Film Archive of India and Films Division (which also has a vast collection of post-Independence news and documentary films) should be seen as nothing short of an assault on our Constitution.

Why? These are loss making public bodies whose functioning needs to be streamlined. The best thing would be for everything they have to be put up on You Tube or something of that sort.  

Once our archived history falls into the hands of those who never fought for Independence from British rule, it will just disappear or be re-cut and rewritten.

Then campaign to get everything put on You Tube.  

As for the Children’s Film Society and the Directorate of Film Festivals, these were both bodies created to expand our cultural heritage.

They are shit. Defund them.  

One can only shudder at what the future holds if these institutions come under the control of a single poisonous agency.

If one is 72 years old and are pining for pineapple- sure, why not? But who else is shuddering? I am 13 years younger than Patwardhan. I fucking hated the 'Children's Film Society' and the 'Directorate of Film Festivals' because they were both utterly shit. My younger cousins weren't exposed to that shite because by the Nineties there was cable TV and then broadband and Multiplexes and so forth. The truth is the Public Sector failed in both Cinema and TV. India threw away money on miserabilist shite.  

And what indeed is this new agency? On the surface, it is actually an old agency called National Film Development Corporation that was meant to promote good independent cinema as opposed to the commercial cinema that came out of Bollywood. Initially, some good films were indeed produced or distributed by National Film Development Corporation. But their role soon turned into a clerk’s office where filmmakers could not be discovered even under a microscope.

So, Patwardhan agrees that this loss making shite should be curbed.  

At least the Films Division had existing staff, infrastructure, equipment and a large body of competent work. The National Film Development Corporation is a clean slate. Their only raison d’etre is to make money and even this they have failed to do. However once four bodies are merged into one and that body has the mandate to make a profit, it is not hard to predict what will happen next. Privatisation and the selling off of public assets. Films Division sits on highly lucrative land in Mumbai. It is a bonanza awaiting looters.

But 'looters' do sensible thing with assets and thus make profits and pay taxes. Instead of the Government making a loss, it gains revenue which it can use to fund expanding social welfare programs. Patwardhan objects because all he cares about is expensive pineapples for his rectal comfort.  

If those who believe in freedom of expression and the right to information stand idly by at this juncture,

they won't get pineapple- which Soros Sahib should kindly provide- and thus their rectal needs will remain unmet 

not only will our archives and valuable properties be destroyed or sold, we should not complain if a Kangana Ranaut or a Vivek Agnihotri become the ilk that decides what message is force-fed to the public at large.

People pay money to see Kangana. But people are not contributing even one paisa each so as to purchase appropriate pineapples for the purpose of satisfying Patwardhan's rectal cravings. This is the true scandal here. Nobody denies that Capitalism can lift the living standards of the poor. But- because of diabolical miserliness of Hindus- kanjoos Gujjus in particular- Patwardhan is not being provided large enough fruits of ideology for cramming purposes up his anus.

This is a clear breach of Constitution. Mind it kindly!  


Atrocity suffered by Salik Ahmad in Modi's India

In February 2020, US Dictator, Donal Trump came to India to persuade Modi to tear up and destroy Indian Constitution. Fearless editor, Fearless Editorji, called his top reporter- Salik Ahmad- into his office. 'Indian Constitution is in danger' Fearlessji said, 'We have obtained original copy. It must be hidden from Modi's goons. If necessary, it should be smuggled out of the country. I call upon you, Salik Bahadur, to perform this heroic feat! Will you accept?' 

'Fearlessji, it would be my honor', Salik replied dropping his trousers and presenting his anus for insertion of sacred Constitution. Sadly Fearlessji turned out to be 'footloose' in his ideology.  Instead of tenderly and respectfully inserting Indian Constitution into a place of safety, Fearlessji shoved his dick up Salik's rectum. What was the result of this horrible action? Only two years later are we able to judge...

The India Forum is funded by a charity whose chairman is also the chairman of the Raza Foundation. It published the following cri de coeur by a young Muslim 'independent journalist' which was republished by which received funding from Omidyar and is registered in Delaware.

The Shattering of the Muslim Hope in India
A young Muslim reflects on the collapse of constitutional promises and on the everyday fears and dilemmas faced by the minorities.


What is noteworthy here is that the editor is not saying this is one young Muslim's opinion. Rather, this is the situation of all Muslims. Apparently they used to have hope. Now that hope has shattered. Why? Because of the collapse of 'constitutional promises' and 'everyday fears and dilemmas'. 

This is surprising. The Constitution stripped Muslims of all previous reservations and even caste based affirmative action. Muslim refugees who had crossed the border in panic were stripped of Citizenship. Non Muslim refugees were assured of it. The Custodian of Evacuee (later 'Enemy') property was empowered to harass Muslim property owners. The proportion of Muslims in India went down. Why on earth would Salik Ahmad pin any hope on the Constitution? It can be amended any which way. It has been amended every which way.  Extra judicial killing on an industrial scale has been the method of choice for tackling any large scale insurgency. For smaller 'law and order' problems, majoritarian retaliation followed by one-sided curfews and patterns of arrest have been the norm since 1937. Why is this 'independent journalist' so fucking ignorant and stupid? Perhaps the answer is that he is being paid. What he writes is aimed at grant-renewal from entities registered, for Tax purposes, in Delaware.

There are 200 million Muslims in India. What percentage of them is Salik speaking for? Let us see

A few days ago, a friend and I were sitting on my terrace’s moss-blackened floor, having stolen an evening from Delhi life, looking at the fractals of a bare tree against an anaemic sky. He worked in one of those menacingly big MNCs, and was talking about how, as a Muslim, the office felt so alien to him.

Less than one percent of Indians work for 'menacingly big MNCs' in any capacity, let alone the management cadre. Though upper class Muslims may be well represented in the upper echelons, historically that anglophile upper class represented an ever tinier fraction of the Muslim population than the anglophile Hindu class did (at least in some parts of India). 

Indeed, a Hindu from a small town or from a 'backward caste' would find a big MNC office even more alien than this Muslim.

“Everybody is so oblivious to the persecution of Muslims.

or persecution of Hindus from such and such caste- e.g. anti Brahmin sentiment in Tamil Nadu which some Iyers- who grew up in Delhi or Bombay- are oblivious of.  

I wake up to a new video of lynching,

Murder of Brahmin priest by dominant caste people miffed that the fellow had been pre-booked for another marriage. 'Poonal snatching', verbal and physical abuse, incessant denunciation of Brahmins by senior politicians, discriminatory quotas etc, etc. 

Obviously, if some rustic Iyer who got into an MNC office because of his IT skills, made any such remarks other more sophisticated Iyers would tell him to shut the fuck up. Concentrate on getting posted to San Fran, so as to get rid of your desi accent, or Frankfurt, if you don't want to work your ass off and prefer quality of life. India is a shithole. Leave. Do it for your kids, if not for yourself. 

or another hate speech,

plenty of 'hate speeches' against Brahmins in T.N. Indeed, plenty of denunciations of 'Brahmin patriarchy' at J.N.U.  

or a genocide-enabling cartoon,

But only Muslims in India, in recent years, have done ethnic cleansing. Hindus haven't. Genocide is a Muslim specialty though, no doubt, the War on Terror killed 1.3 millions, according to American sources. Why don't Omidyar and Soros and so forth publicize that fact?  

but I go to office and find people discussing what place makes the best sushis

200 million Indian Muslims hopes have been shattered because Hindus keep talking about sushi.  U.N must take action!

and what place makes the best cheesecakes.

Cheesecake is Hindu conspiracy to suppress Muslims. 

There’s Secret Santa

Secret Santa is RSS trojan horse. The paak Mussulman's spiritual and moral integrity is being subverted by evil Hindu sushi and cheesecake and secret Santa! Jihad those infidels! Jihad them but good! 

happening and there are people chalking out their growth trajectories, and I just look around the office, wondering what this place is, or if I’ve come to a different age,” he said.

Indeed. Where are the camels? How come the boss isn't telling us which idolatrous temple to attack?  

But then we worried about other friends who worked in outright communal workspaces, with colleagues needling them every now and then over their religious beliefs,

Which atheists consider a cool thing to do. Religious folk should not engage in such foolishness. Everybody's beliefs appear bizarre from some other perspective. Attack the shibboleth of another Faith and you have forged a weapon of skepticism against your own Credo.  

and deduced that even an apathetic space was a privilege. And of course, we shuddered at the thought of what Muslims, especially the ones visibly so, in the informal sector—street vendors, rickshaw-pullers, etc.—might be facing every day.

This 'independent journalist' does not bother finding out what problems such Muslims actually face. This would not be difficult. Just talk to rickshaw-wallahs etc. There are many more of them in Delhi than there are guys working in MNC offices.  

Being a print journalist who has worked in English newsrooms, I have been largely saved from such experiences.

Because the guy didn't do what journalists are supposed to do- viz. talk to the rickshaw puller.  

I worked under some truly secular editors, and others, who, I later realised, were secular only because of the prevailing office culture—they turned out to be surprisingly footloose in terms of ideology.

How shocking! Did you know that editors were prostitutes? Oh. The term 'presstitute' is Indglish. Why did nobody tell poor, innocent, wide-eyed, Salik? He may well have yielded his virginity to some such 'footloose' person. 

As the skies turned dark and the chatter of kids from the streets below petered out, my friend and I got up to take a walk. The conversation then turned towards what has become the staple of every conversation between young, privileged Muslims: Should we leave India?

Yes. It is a shithole. Get out while you can. But this is true of Hindus, Parsis, Christians...everybody. Seriously, Delhi's air will soon be completely toxic.  

There was a time when I believed in the promises of the Indian state, but over the years and many painful reckonings later I began to see it for what it was.

See India for what it is- a Malthusian shithole. Very very poor countries aint gonna have wonderful State apparati. True, patriotic people may want to stay on to make the country richer and more secure. But these guys aint patriotic. They are whiners. They should emigrate, if only for the sake of their kids.  

Even as I begin to write my thoughts, I feel a gush of anger, closely followed by an impulse to moderate my expression.

When a journalist begins to write his thoughts, he feels a gush of uncertainty- does he have enough facts? is his account fair and balanced?- and this motivates further investigation and getting better sources to confirm the gravamen of the article.  

This is exerted either by a fear of the law or the anxiety to express an ‘acceptable’ shade of opinion.

So, the guy has no journalistic ethics. That's another reason to get the fuck out of India. Its journalistic standards have turned to shit.  

This is the first mark of control and oppression, for it limits my voice, pre-setting the range of my vocabulary, and, thus, diminishes upon its very birth, the cry for my rights.

This fucker thinks he is Anna Akhamatova under Stalin. Perhaps some 'footloose' editor sodomized him. Or perhaps his Ammi put her boot up his ass because she wanted him to stop hanging out with friends on terraces and just get married already.  

It is almost incredible how the law and the discourse-setters work together to sanitise testimonies and, subsequently, erode justice.

Worse still, they conspire together to shove 'footloose' editorial dick up Salik's ass. That is the real story here. You have to read between the lines. The law and discourse-setters have sanitized Salik's testimony. The fact is he was held down by Sushi eating MNC employees while various footloose editors, lacking sound ideological moorings, robbed him of his anal cherry. Either that or his Ammijaan shoved her boot up his ass. In either case the guy has a prolapsed rectum. This is eroding justice too much. Constitution is in peril! 

There was a time when I believed in the promises of the Indian state, but over the years and many painful reckonings later

them 'footloose' editors sure are randy little buggers 

I began to see it for what it was. When it came into being, it was certainly a child with considerable potential.

It stripped Muslim refugees of citizenship, got rid of reserved seats for Muslims, and took away affirmative action for Muslim Dalits.  

But what it allowed itself to become, a lot of times with wilful transgressions, pausing but never really atoning for its crimes, only suggested that the initial assessments were erroneous and premised perhaps on an unfounded optimism.

Smart Muslims emigrated. So did smart Hindus. This was even before Sushi eating MNC employees started holding down wide-eyed believers in the Constitution while 'footloose' editors went to town on their anal cherries.  

Despite the progressive Constitution giving it nearly all the thrust it needed to become a secular state,

but not as much thrust as that of 'footloose' editors 

it could never become that. On the contrary, it has now become quite a majoritarian state.

It always was a majoritarian state. However, Pakistan and India agreed to halt exchange of population. Why did they do so? Because both sides wanted an underclass to provide cheap labor. But then the West too permitted immigration of South Asians for the same reason. The point about being as poor as shit is that rich people want to exploit your labor power. On the other hand, they may pay a little money to hear you whine about how shitty your natal shithole really was. Obviously, this is funnier if you are still living in that shithole. On the other hand, this may be because you have grown fond of the attentions of 'footloose' editors. 

I see and remember ... the faces of the Muslims who have spent their entire youth in prison because of wrongful incarceration.

This never happens to Hindus- right?  Still, it's good to know that Americans funded 'India forum' and '' because it drew attention away from Guantanamo Bay. Salik is fighting the good fight for Uncle Sam by distracting attention from the 1.3 million Muslims killed in a War against Terror which ended terribly for everybody except Iran and the Taliban. 

If there was a metaphor for what the Indian state does to its Muslim citizens, it is that of the police torturing the 23-year-old Faizan during the violence that broke out in Delhi in February 2020.

But, this metaphor is predicated on the notion that Muslims will attack policemen and Hindus- just because the American President is visiting India- even though, within a day, the Hindus will massively retaliate and then even the Police got in on the action. 

The man is lying on the ground, along with other Muslim men, writhing in pain, and the cops are forcing him to sing the national anthem while prodding him with sticks.

But, if the Police Commissioner hadn't been a pussy and if the police had opened fire immediately the first time one of their own got knifed, there would have been no riots. Muslims would have been safer. Why did Delhi not see any post-Babri violence? It is because an IPS officer gave shoot to kill orders the moment one of his men was stabbed. The result was that Delhi remained trouble free while Bombay went up in flames.  

Faizan dies later, quite apparently killed by the state.

Whereas policemen were killed by Muslims and therefore, by Salik's logic- by Islam.  

More than two years later, there is not a flower of justice on his grave.

Nor has Islam been punished for killing policemen during the Delhi riots. On the other hand, the flower of Salik's anal virginity may well have been plucked by 'footloose' editors.  

Writing in 1962 for The New Yorker, in an essay titled “Letter From a Region in My Mind”, the Black American writer James Baldwin noted, “They had the judges, the juries, the shotguns, the law—in a word, power. But it was criminal power, to be feared, but not respected, and to be outwitted in any way whatever.”

Were Muslims brought to India as slaves? No. They came as conquerors who enslaved Hindus. Strangely, Hindus did not appreciate this at all. Sad.

I see and remember the face of Faizan’s mother.

Did she and remember Salik's face as one of the people who came forward to comfort her? 

I see and remember the horror and the plea for mercy in the eyes of Qutbuddin Ansari from 2002; the tears in the eyes of the lady in Karnataka, who was forced to take off her burqa to enter the school where she had been teaching for years; the faces of the Muslims who have spent their entire youth in prison because of wrongful incarceration; and the pain in the eyes of fellow Muslims, every time I see them raise their hands in supplication.

But does Salik remember his own anal violation at the hands of footloose editors? I do even though I wasn't there. Yet the image is growing more and more vivid to my mind's eye. 

Salik raised his hands in supplication but Footloose editors did not care. They continued to thrust away at his pink, puckered, asshole laughing heartily. Some even forced the fellow to sing National Anthem so as to increase their perverse pleasure. Others were cramming Sushi and Cheesecake down his throat which they then used as a repository for their sperm. Such is the fate of innocents Muslim in Modi's India.  They may spread hands in supplication for insertion of Constitution as a suppository. What they are getting is anal intrusion by ideologically footloose editors. As James Baldwin, who was homosexual, said 'First they come for our assholes but nobody says anything because that would be like homophobia right? Then they force us to write worthless shite but nobody says anything coz that would be like against the Freedom of the Press, right? Then they turn out never to have existed because we made them up and everybody just gets on with their life as though nothing happened!'

C.A Bayly, Shruti Kapila and Ideology as Bridgerton Series II

C.A Bayly made history by becoming the first corpse to win the Toynbee prize. Equally, the Toynbee prize made history by being shittier than the C.A Bayly's prize for being a fucking corpse. 

Toynbee, the historian, may have been stupid but he could write grammatical English. Sadly, the Toynbee Prize Foundation-  which 'was chartered in 1987 “to contribute to the development of the social sciences, as defined from a broad historical view of human society and of human and social problems'- publishes ungrammatical shite on its website.

The following was written by one Mahia Bashir, a graduate of St. Stephens and a postgrad from the LSE. Why is this woman so utterly illiterate?

Historical considerations of modern South Asia have been marked by a predisposition towards political, material and socio-cultural analyses.

Historical accounts, not 'considerations', show a particular predisposition. Depending on their motivation- i.e. 'consideration'- they may dwell on the political or the material circumstances or else they may highlight socio-cultural factors. Taken together these three realms exhaust the scope of history. It is foolish to say that 'Historical accounts' are 'predisposed' to dwell on all three factors. What else could they possibly look at? The limitation arises from the subject matter, not the historian's predisposition or motivating 'consideration'. 

Mahira should have written- 'Historians of modern South Asia are predisposed to dwell on either political or material or else socio-cultural considerations'. This is because modern South Asia is a real place. By contrast, Historians of modern Cloud Cuckoo Land are predisposed to dwell on fairy tales. 

Seldom has the remit of ideas as autonomous objects

Ideas are not autonomous objects. For empiricists, they have no separate existence outside the human brain. For idealists they are sublated and subsumed by the Absolute Idea.  However, for shit poor countries, ideas don't matter. Mimetics- imitation- drives everything. 

taken centre stage in the historiography of modern South Asia.

Such a thing has never happened anywhere. Ideas may motivate actions but those actions don't determine events on the basis of the power, or 'sovereignty' or 'autonomy' of the motivating idea. This is not to say that there haven't been Gandhian or Marxist or Liberal or Islamic historians of India. However, no such historian has been foolish enough to claim that 'Ahimsa', or 'Proletarian Revolution', or 'Utilitarianism' or Islam or anything else triumphed in India purely on the basis of the autonomous power of its associated idea. The truth is all of these projects failed save where a happy, or unhappy, concatenation of circumstances, militated otherwise. 

Perhaps Mahia is deliberately writing nonsense so as to satirise the subject of her screed- viz. the cretin Shruti Kapila. 

Shruti Kapila’s new book Violent Fraternity veers off this established trajectory and breaks new ground by looking at ideas as the wellspring of political innovation

New ideas are the source of innovation of all types. That is common knowledge. Which previous historian refused to accept that 'political innovation' had occurred because some politician, or set of politicians, had fastened on a new idea?  

and fundamental to the republication foundations of the nations of India and Pakistan during what she terms the ‘Indian age’.

There was and is no such thing. The woman is mad. 

A work of remarkable scope that defies easy summarisation, the premise of Violent Fraternity is that violence became fraternal in 20th-century India: it was the intimate kin rather than the colonial other that became the object of unprecedented violence.

Yet, there is not one single example of people slaughtering their own family members even if they were of different religions. Acharya Kripalani's brother converted to Islam. He showed no tendency to slaughter his younger sibling. 

Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs did kill each other. But they were not related to each other. You'd have to go back several generations to find common ancestors. 

It simply isn't the case that Hindus and Muslims were 'intimate'. They did not eat together and, even at the Railway station, drank water provided by different vendors. There were one or two cases of 'inter-marriage'- e.g. Aruna Asaf Ali- but the Nehru family prevented Vijaylaxmi marrying a Muslim. Whatever 'intimacy' existed, it was less than that between the English and the Indians. Rukmini Arundel still classed as a Brahmin after marrying an English theosophist. Had she married a Muslim, she could scarcely have 'Brahminized' Bharatnatyam as an art form. 

As for the 'colonial other'- the Mutiny had taught the Indians a lesson they would never forget. Still, just to be on the safe side, Brigadier Dyer rubbed in the message. However, it wasn't the fact that he slaughtered innocents or made Indian men crawl on their bellies that riled Gandhi & Co. Dyer had forced the lawyers of Amritsars to do menial jobs connected with reestablishing law and order. 

This is not to say that some Indians didn't try to kill specific British officials from time to time. It's just that Indians working for the CID were very adept at penetrating and rolling up the networks of the Revolutionaries who, in any case, realised they were just being silly. Their 'alterity' was not 'colonial', it was people of a different caste or creed who were competing with their own sept for Government jobs. 

“Violence, fraternity and sovereignty,” Kapila writes, “made up an intimate, deadly and highly consequential triangle of concepts that produced what has been termed here the Indian Age” (p.4)

It has only been termed such by herself. The truth is there had always been 'communal' violence and this may certainly have reduced 'fraternity' but it hadn't established any sovereignty whatsoever. It is not the case that either Pakistan or India gained sovereignty by any other means than such as was in conformity with British legislation and the policy of the British Cabinet. 

India’s founding fathers, who as opposed to the conventional figure of the detached scholar-philosopher

Radhakrishnan and Lala Hardayal were professional philosophers. They weren't 'detached' any more than Bertrand Russell (who was jailed during the Great War) was 'detached'.  

were also actively straddling echelons

an echelon is a rank in a profession. 

of the political world,

what 'echelons' of the political world were being straddled? None. Either a particular person held a political office or they did not. There was no straddling. It may have appeared that Gandhi, who held no political office, was doing some straddling. But this was not the case. He had influence. But an influencer is not a member of an echelon.  

repeatedly engaged with the question of how to forge life with others in an intimate context rife with hatred and violence.

But that repeated engagement failed utterly because, truth be told, it wasn't engaging with anything political. It was merely a moral or spiritual type of camaraderie. 

In seeking these answers, they authored a new canon of political thought that defied “fidelity to any given ideology, whether it be liberalism, Marxism or communism”.

But that 'new canon of political thought' defined an already established type of ideology- viz. Nationalism. No doubt, Indian Nationalism was different from Pakistani Nationalism or American Nationalism but that is because Nationalist ideologies always show ideographic differences precisely because they are not Universalist ideologies. 

As Kapila demonstrates, global political thought of the Indian age departed from its western counterpart by reconceptualising the place and potential of violence.

This is nonsense. Norwegian Nationalism was different from Swedish Nationalism. At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Norway and Sweden parted company without any violence. India and Pakistan too parted company without any military confrontation. It is a different matter that neither Nehru nor Jinnah made provision for a peaceful exchange of population with the result that hundreds of thousands lost their lives. But this did not involve any 'conceptualizing' or 'reconceptualising'.  It reflected the fact that Nehru and Jinnah were shit at their jobs. In Delhi, on Nehru's watch, the proportion of Muslims fell from 33 percent to just 5 percent. In Karachi, Jinnah couldn't even retain his Hindu Law Minister, J.N Mandal who fled to India. 

In the western canon, the state has been the natural habitus of violence.

Habitus means the norms of a class. This silly bint means 'the state had the monopoly of legitimate violence'- a Weberian apopthegm which isn't true. Self-defence is always legitimate. 

In the West, a violent rebellion or revolution- e.g. that of the Americans or the French- could bring about regime change.  But this was equally true of the East and the South and the North. 

However, Indian political thinkers like Tilak and Gandhi dissociated violence from the orbit of state,

No they didn't. Tilak was on the side of the Revolutionaries and would have been delighted if India had been able to do what the American Revolutionaries had done- viz. throw out the Brits by force of arms. Gandhi didn't want any sort of State. He believed in autonomous, autarkic, villages where nobody had sex and so the population would die out.  

and in a radical rewriting of established political vocabularies, posited violence as an individual capacity,

But everybody already knew that individuals could be violent and, moreover, that the use of violence in self-defence was perfectly legal and legitimate. Nobody denied that the Indians could, with perfect legitimacy, kill or otherwise drive away the British. They just didn't think the thing practicable or, from the point of view of their own 'class interest', wholly desirable.  

thereby reconceptualising the notion of sovereignty and summoning a subject-centred political horizon.

But that 'subject centred' political horizon had been vindicated by the American Revolution and the French levee en masse. Moreover, after the Bolshevik Revolution, there was an even more, not less, 'subject-centred' political horizon of a not just Left Hegelian, but wholly Marxist-Leninist, type. 

Dr. Shruti Kapila is an Associate Professor of Indian History and Global Political Thought at the University of Cambridge

which needs a place to dump cretinous kids  

and presently the Co-Director of the Global Humanities Initiative.

this is an initiative which seeks to turn Western Paideia into an indoctrination in sub-Humanity.  

Her research centres on modern and contemporary India

of which she is wholly ignorant- because she is Punjabi and as thick as shit. I believe she is training to be a Lacanian psychotherapist!  

and on global political thought in the twentieth century. In her recent book Violent Fraternity and in her earlier work on intellectual history of modern India, Dr. Kapila has pushed the boundaries of the field beyond its conventional focus on the West.

This is a stupid woman who knows little about India- even her native Punjab (where she thought Channi's elevation would save Congress!) - and less about the West.  

The boundary she is pushing is that of stupidity. 

In our interview, we spoke about modern India’s founding fathers

Warren Hastings? A.O Hume? Annie Beasant?  

and their intellectual contributions,

Tilak is rated by the far Right- Serrano, Evola, the Franco-Greek maths teacher Savitri Devi.  

writing global intellectual histories of the non-west,

there is no such 'intellectual history'. It would be like saying 'an intellectual history of the non-Punjab'.  

the future of the field of global intellectual history

which is just Begriffsgeschichte. Liebniz and Boskovich were influenced by Chinese thought.

and Dr. Kapila’s engagements beyond her illustrious academic career.

She teaches shit to shitheads. That's not an 'illustrious' career. It is one which illustrates how steeply the Cambridge History Dept.- at least for sub-continentals- has fallen in our estimation. 

—Mahia Bashir, London School of Economics and Political Science

A place I attended. Three of my subcontinental class-mates, to my knowledge, became billionaires though one, a Pakistani, is awaiting extradition to the States. My point is, there is only one reason to attend the LSE- viz. to make money or understand money or just use the place as a Visa College while making money being a waiter or night-porter or whatever. 

Mahia Bashir: Violent Fraternity marks a crucial departure from conventional Indian historiography in that its central focus is on the power of ideas.

Religion has power. Caste has power. Money has power. Ideas don't. Every asshole has loads of 'em.  

It seems to follow from a deep-seated conviction in ideas as an animating force in history and is as much a scholarly milestone

millstone, maybe.  

as it is labour of love.

If this is love, what is hate?  

Might you tell us what inspired this project?

This is polite. It is courteous. It shows the girl has 'samskar' or 'akhlaq'.  Even the LSE can't obliterate such things- at least, amongst the fair sex.  

Shruti Kapila: Wow that’s a wonderful question and you are very right that it is a labour of love

self-love, sure, but very little labour was involved.  

in that I am very animated personally by political ideas myself.

She is backing RaGa. Smart move. Punjabi women, after all, are Punjabi. They may talk modish bollocks, but are shrewd and sensible enough when it comes to practical matters.  

At a basic level, I was always surprised that India, broadly conceived up to 1947, is marked by so much political rhetoric and debate—it’s inescapable at all levels of society. Yet, when I read scholarly accounts, especially about India’s politics, they tend to be very reductive and instrumental. They fall into two categories: one, in terms of institutional histories—“How Indians got some representation? Why did they get representation? Was this a form of British loyalism?”—or, two, crass social interpretations—which group is acting in which way, whether caste group or class group?

I thought this is the first country to be decolonised after America

Oh dear. It transpires that Kapila's stupidity arises quite simply from her utter ignorance of History even as taught in Primary School. 

Haiti became independent in 1804. The Spanish and Portuguese lost their possessions in Mexico, and continental South America during the nineteenth century. Cuba and the Philippines were 'liberated' by the Americans at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Egypt, Ireland and Afghanistan became independent in 1922- which was the year Gandhi unilaterally surrendered to the Brits. Still, India was in the League of Nations and had provincial autonomy by 1937. Its  progress towards complete independence was so slow because the INC had so thoroughly pissed off all the minorities- including Dalits, Sikhs, and (the majority) non-Brahmin Madrasis- that they made common cause against Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference. 

and this is a very significant historical change—achievement even. How can it be reduced to a bunch of these materialist analyses?

Because no other explanation fits. Why did the Indians not get what the Irish and the Egyptians and Afghans got? How come, when Independence did materialize, it was because the Brits were in a hurry to get the fuck out? Material causes, not ideas, explain everything. The fact is Indians knew their own ideas were plenty shitty. They also knew that, as Gandhi said, without the Brits the country would not be able to feed or defend itself. That's why ideas didn't matter very much.  

People would have been animated by something. So for me, ideas are causes. It was both, as you say, a form of love, but also, as a historian, I have a conviction in the power of ideas as a cause in history.

Ideas are indeed a 'cause' in history. If ideas are sensible we see history moving in a sensible direction. If ideas are stupid, we see some stupid shit going down in the historical record. But material causes limit the duration of that stupid shit. Essentially, once you are starving or being beaten to death, you give up stupid ideas and let sensible people arrange matters.  

MB: One of the key premises of the book is that the architects of Indian political thought or the ‘founding fathers’ as you call them were not just ‘leisured thinkers,’ to invoke C.A. Bayly’s term, but also active political actors.

Bayly may have been a silly man but even he was not stupid as to imagine that a 'leisured thinker' could have any knowledge of contemporary politics without being politically active. The fact is, the 'statistical liberals' he mentions were very busy professional men. Telang was a judge and Sanskrit scholar who was a member of the Bombay legislative council. R.C Dutt was an ICS officer, a lecturer at University College London, and then Dewan of Baroda. Both wrote knowledgably on economic topics and were active in the Universities of their respective Presidencies. 

By contrast, Gandhi, Nehru & Co had more leisure because they were frequently in jail. 

How did this unique vantage position, if I may, inform their political thought and also political practice?

SK: This question links to the first one, because, as I mentioned, my work is informed by a particular problem in Indian history: Indian politics and the way people have looked at it. But there is also another problem: we often assume modern political ideas came from the West, and places in the non-West, particularly colonised places like India, are mere receivers—they somehow derived their political ingenuity or innovation.

More particularly if this is what they themselves said. However, nobody was suggesting that Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism was a Western invention. Any purely Islamic or Hindu or other indigenous institution or practice was obviously  un-connected with the West. Moreover, Western political theorists understood that the actual administration of any given Colony was not itself explainable in Western political terms more particularly if indigenous terms were used for the relevant institutional practices.

Kapila and her ilk are tilting at windmills. It was never the case that the West thought that the East had derived its political ideas from them. They thought the East was pretending to have Western ideas but was actually doing what it always had done under a thin, but very funny, disguise. Herbert Spenser echoes the great truth of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado when he tells his Japanese interlocutor to keep alive traditional Japanese political norms under a mere pretense of top hatted, tail coated, British style Parliamentary Liberalism. 

If you look at the canon of Western political canon, it is a very policed canon: it starts with a particular figure and ends with a particular figure.

This is nonsense. The Western 'political canon' is shite no fucking Westerner gives a flying fuck about. Nobody polices some stupid shite only a few pedagogues- mainly furriners- bother to curate in University Department's specially dedicated to the feeble minded.  

They all tend to be men. This poses the second-order problem of: how will you write the political thought of the non-West? Where will you start?

Kapila is from Punjab. Can she explain the various strands of Akali politics to us? No. She is too stupid. 

In England, if you look at the story of the modern state in which civil wars are really important, Hobbes becomes this great philosopher of the modern state and that’s the genesis of one side.

But English people don't read Hobbes or Locke. Only foreigners bother with that shite.  

In France, against the backdrop of French Revolution, Voltaire and Rousseau

who wrote well and whom we do read but only because we are convinced that the French are utterly mad. This is because they leap about on the banks of the Seine trying to devour the legs of frogs.  

generated debates about republicanism and democracy,

French Republics keep fucking up. That's the joy of being on the right side of the Channel. We can laugh ourselves sick at the gormlessness of the Gauls. Macron married his drama teacher! That's fucking hilarious. 

and to say nothing about communism and what comes about from the former Soviet Union.

The Russians are very funny. Doestoevsky is priceless. But Putin's novichok poisoners wandering hand in hand around Salisbury cathedral are even funnier. Zelenskyy may be a comedian by profession but Putin's antics have turned him into Charleston fucking Heston in El Cid.  

What I am saying is, in the West, the philosopher has occupied a very central role.

Not in Anglo-America. Empiricism in England and Pragmatism in America and sound Scottish common sense in Edinburgh put the psilosophers to flight. The French, on the other other hand, have to study Philosophy in High School. That's how come they end up marrying their Drama teacher which is fucking hilarious. 

Treatises were written and historians can subsequently debate what was the impact of Voltaire’s work, for example, on the French Revolution or how did Hobbes inform the modern state.

Some cretins from foreign countries can debate this shite in University Departments specially tasked with the care of the feeble minded. Nobody else does so.  

In South Asia, we have a completely different problem. The work is the opposite. My work is actually doing something to defamiliarise, if I may use that word. It is a bit counter-intuitive to use that word because I take some of the most prominent and powerful political actors in this period and I convert them into thinkers. The only exception here is Muhammad Iqbal because Iqbal is a trained philosopher and is one of the best known literary figures of the twentieth century, but Iqbal is someone who delved in Muslim League politics.

There were other 'trained philosophers'- e.g. Radhakrishnan and Lala Hardayal. Subhas Chandra Bose studied Philosophy at both Presidency College and Cambridge. Azad knew much more Islamic philosophy than Iqbal. Aurobindo was no slouch when it came to philosophy both Eastern and Western. Why is this stupid woman pretending that the Indians were ignorant of philosophy? In Maharashtra, the positivism of Herbert Spencer (or Harbhat Pense as the fondly called him) had paved the way to the superior mathematics and statistical methodology of Karl Pearson- and thus the emergence of a distinctive pragmatic research program in the Social Sciences which paralleled the Mahalanobis (a student of Pearson's) school of statistical science in Bengal. Kapila, being a casteist nubjob, won't admit that Ambedkar had philosophical nous. He was a student of Dewey and thus in the tradition of C.S Pierce. 

The plain fact is that the Indians were more philosophical, not less so, than other revolutionaries. Tolstoy read Vivekananda. L.E.J Brouwer and Wittgenstein read Tagore. The former wanted Tagore to be put in charge of coining new terms for a Universal Intuitionistic philosophy which could save mankind from the ravages of war and civil strife. Brouwer is perhaps one of the greatest philosophers of mathematics. Turing used his choice sequences to achieve what Husserl could not. Kapila, being stupid and having to teach stupid shite, has no idea as to what is or isn't philosophy.  

The question then is, are we going to look at these figures only in terms of their concrete politics or in terms of pragmatism? To that, I say no.

Why? Pragmatism is about 'cash value'- i.e. the positive effect of your thinking. Ambedkar was trained in the pragmatic philosophy. It is entirely proper to assess him with respect to it. Hardayal went in a different direction but his book sold well and is a contribution to eudaimonic philosophy. What makes your life better has 'cash value'. To say Indian thinkers had this type of utility is to praise them, not denigrate them.  

These figures have profoundly torn down and rewritten the fundamental political vocabularies of the twentieth century and of modern politics itself.

Quite false. They were part and parcel of univocal movements of a universal type. Even Iqbal is related to Nietzsche and Bergson, both of whom inspired socio-political critiques. Indeed Sorel referred to Bergson as 'the French Marx'.  

The fact is Indian political thinkers were in touch with similar people in other countries. There were multiple channels of intercourse and mutual influence. Vocabularies were being expanded not 'rewritten'. 

I give them conceptual and reflective capacity.

Kapila lacks any such capacity. She can't give what she does not have.  

We see them as busy people immersed in political action, going out there and making arguments. What is the thought behind it?

The one expressed by the argument they are making. Kapila doesn't grasp this. No wonder her very expensive and prolonged education has been utterly wasted on her.  

This is an interesting issue for people wanting to study the thought and ideas of the non-West in this “moment of decoloniality”—where do you look?

In the non-West at the time when Colonialism was ebbing. What's so difficult about that? 

My answer is, and I am not saying everyone should use this answer, look at the prime political actors.

Fuck have other people been doing? Looking at non-political actors who lived elsewhere? Is there really some rival professor to Kapila who has chosen to analyze Indian political thought by focusing on the activities of Belgian prostitutes? I hope so. It's what I'd have done with my grant money if I'd got an INLACS scholarship.

MB: This book is primarily a history of Indian political thought, but it distills crucial insights from some of the most influential thinkers from Carl Schmitt to Alain Badiou, Sigmund Freud, George Simmel, Ashish Nandy, and Jaques Lacan.

These aren't 'influential thinkers'. They are irrelevant and stupid thinkers whom only very stupid foreigners studying or teaching worthless shit bother with. Still, it's cool that Bashir shoehorns Ashish Nandy- who dropped out of Medical College and is as fucking low I.Q as a Bengali can be- into a place above Jacques Lacan. 

Is Bashir taking a sly dig at Kapila who is now training as a Lacanian psychotherapist? Is she suggesting that Kapila would be just as well off being a Nandian analyst? 

If so, Bashir is being very cruel. Kapila is Punjabi. Be nice to Punjabis. They can't help being as stupid as shit.  

What were some of the challenges in writing a book as theoretically rich and layered as Violent Fraternity is?

The challenge was to see whether Kapila could write something more foolish yet than any similarly placed savant. She succeeded. Daad do, is Punjabi kudi ko! 

SK: That’s such a generous question. I don’t mean to be unfair to historians but very few historians would seem to care so deeply about the theoretical edifice of their narratives.

Kapila is praising herself. Sound Punjabi strategy.  

One of the issues really about political thought is its close relationship with not just the history of concepts but also philosophical propositions which have informed it.

All thought may be said to have this feature. That's why only stupid people actually say it.  

One of the challenges was to really elevate and give conceptual depth to figures who are all too well received. We think we know who Sardar Patel is or what he stands for.

Kapila doesn't. I do. The Sardar was the envious younger brother of a charismatic, but eccentric, Nationalist in the Da Valera mold. That's why the Sardar went in the opposite direction. He kept Capital on side and played the long game. 

Likewise, for someone like Ambedkar, we assume we know everything about him because he was the first

Nope. M.C Rajah was the first. Kapila is wholly ignorant.  

and is the most prominent Dalit figure of the twentieth century.

We say so now. But back in the Seventies, we though Jagjivan Ram would become P.M. Shourie, being Punjabi, wrote a whole book shitting on Ambedkar in 1997. It was burnt all across the country. Everybody now would agree this was the right thing to do. The BJP needed to shun that cretin. Incidentally, Sunil Khilnani described Ambedkar's Mahar caste as nearly 'totally illiterate'. The truth is, it had higher male literacy because of its martial and administrative role. Ignorance of that sort amongst 'phoren' educated Indians was cool back then. Siddharth Varadarajan once plaintively asked 'who or what is a Kurmi?' despite his Dad being an U.P cadre IAS officer. Sadly for Kapila, ignorance of that sort is no longer a ticket to the top table in India. We do read Kapila's ignorant articles- but only so as to laugh at her. 

We also think what they said or thought about A, B, or C controversial matters, be it about caste, conversion, Hindu-Muslim relations, or partition. But when you actually read them, I wouldn’t say their work is simply nuanced, but it is informed by so many global debates. Ambedkar, for example, has written in the full awareness of not just Nazism in the 1930s and 40s but also French revolutionary thinking, anthropological thinking, and also liberalism.

WTF?! The guy had PhDs in Econ from Columbia and the LSE. He was regularly visiting Europe all through the Twenties and Thirties. How could he fail to be aware of Nazism? The French Revolution was covered in the Political Science syllabus of his first degree in India. His Masters from Columbia included a paper in anthropology. He himself quotes Tarde's mimetic theory and invokes the 'broken man' hypothesis. As for Liberalism- that had been around in Bombay Presidency since the 1830s! 

Ambedkar was smart. Kapila is stupid. What was easy for him is stuff she will never comprehend.  

It does not mean that he will end up with some kind of salad of stuff. He is a totally innovative thinker.

No. He was a pragmatic thinker. 'Innovations' must 'pay for themselves' by making what is 'ready to hand' more useful.  

So, the challenge was to give the conceptual due and innovation to the figure involved. For example, with Ambedkar, though he is very much about caste and justice, I think of him as a foundational thinker not only of radical democracy but also of republicanism.

That is only because Kapila's thinking is shitty. Pragmatism eschews 'foundational' thinking or rabbiting on about 'radical' this or 'subversive' that because the thing is silly. It can't pay for itself. It's just shitting higher than your arsehole is all.  

The second challenge was how to make it conversant,

Kapila's English is poor. I suppose she means that she wanted to make what was ideographic, or context specific, into something universal or nomothetic- i.e applicable to other, foreign, political contexts. This requires something like a 'transfer principle' from model theory. 

how to not make it so insular—that this is only about something Indian. As you say, India is instructive for the global with its diversity and scale, which it is, but also in the very nature of its political foundations. It has to produce a republican, modern kind of state formation out of sheer diversity of all kinds.

No. It could have broken up into smaller units with various different types of regime. Kapila can't explain why Hindu India, ab ovo, cohered as a democratic republic under the rule of law whereas Burma and Pakistan did not. There is only one possible explanation. Hinduism needed to break with Casteism and move towards 'Hindutva'- i.e. what it could be in an ideal world where hereditary and gender differences had ceased to matter. 

That is not the story of modern Europe. Modern Europe is borne out of quite modular and homogenous ways of being.

A modular way of being isn't homogenous. Whatever can the cretin Kapila mean? 

The challenge was, thus, these two or three different registers: to keep the authenticity of the Indian context and to identify where the interventions lay. That is why the book decided to be, to use the term in the introduction, ‘pointilistic’, rather than trying to write a comprehensive history of these ideas. I must say I truly enjoyed writing this book. It was challenging, but it was a challenge I really relished.

Her next challenge is reading that shite and understanding why only cretins might 'relish' it. 

MB: One of the key reflections of book is that in India, violence became an individual capacity rather than being the remit of the state as it was in the West.

Did Kapila kill 50,000 people in Punjab during the Khalistani insurgency? No. It was the State. True, at Partition, lots of people got killed but some States- Sikh as well as Rajput and Dogra- made the first move. It is true that the Brits didn't have to kill very many people- save when dealing with Moplahs or other uprisings in what is now Pakistan. However, this was because everybody knew they had very great capacity to do so. Jallianwallah Bagh wasn't exactly a picnic. The air force had bombed peasants in the countryside. The Brits hade made their point very clearly. 

The individual, be it Tilak’s anti-statist political subject, Gandhi’s self-sacrificing subject or the dislocated Ghadri, thus became the bearer of sovereignty.

Fuck off! They were crushed! Sitting in jail does not mean you are actually the King. It means you are a loser.  

What ramifications does this have for the conceptions of the post-colonial future espoused by these thinkers?

SK: You have really read the book well. One of the problems that these political actors faced was at the beginning of the twentieth century, when India’s first mass political movement, the Swadeshi or the Home rule movement in 1905-08, failed. It really forced a rethinking on the question of violence and political action.

Both were useless. The Brits would devolve power at their own sweet will and pleasure. True, something cosmetic could have been achieved equal to what Egypt obtained. But because Indian politicians were shit at tackling bread and butter issues, power would have trickled back to Civil Servants. 

From a historian’s point of view, one of the issues that animates this book is, in 1857 Indians mount what is at that point the largest anti-imperial movement in world history

There was a Mutiny. It was crushed with insulting ease. Most of India remained loyal. Kapila's own Punjabis did their bit for the Brits with great glee.  

and it is also the largest scale violence the British see outside of the Crimean War.

In 1857, the Brits defeated the Persians with a handful of casualties. The Crimean War cost about 21,000 lives- mainly of disease. The Indian Mutiny took 2,300 British or allied lives but, obviously, wouldn't have taken any if needful reform and basic vigilance had been maintained. Simply keeping the artillery out of native hands was enough to ensure no repetition of that stupidity. 

Indians killed British men, women, and children. It’s pretty widespread; it takes the British two years to suppress it.

Because of all the looting and raping and torturing and executing those poor souls felt obliged to do.  

Ninety years later, the British are singularly spared in the fratricide, in the partition violence. What has changed? What happened?

How fucking stupid are these two women? Do they not understand that Britain had a huge army and air force in India? Any attempt to kill White people would have led to the immediate massacre of thousands of people. Back in the mid Nineteenth Century, the Brits were more exposed. Also, they were foolish enough to trust Indians. General Wheeler, the commander in Kanpur, was married to an Indian woman. All that changed after the Mutiny. Just in case some Indian was stupid enough to have forgotten this, Brigadier Dyer rammed home the message at Jallianwallah Bagh.  

What has changed, to answer your question, is the rethinking of the very basic political grammar after 1905-08, particularly by Tilak, who is a known leader of the Swadeshi movement and is regarded by men like Lenin as the figurehead

does she mean 'fountainhead' ? 

of revolution in South Asia. He decouples the question of violence from the state. This is not an anarchist anti-statism. It is a philosophy of a political subject that says life and death are primarily individual capacities, not capacities exclusive to the state to own, deploy, or control. This is very radical.

It is meaningless. The State decided when to lock up Tilak and Gandhi and so forth and when to let them out. It and it alone dictated the pace and scope of reform and devolution of power. Indians could have gained a deciding voice in 1922 and 1931 but they failed because they were shit at politics. Not radical shit. Just shit.  

It circumvents the liberal imperial state, which had in effect depoliticised India.

But the INC had been set up by British Civil Servants! The Muslim League, too, was fostered by the Brits! The second Indian MP, 'bow and agree', was an Imperialist Tory! The Liberal Party- from Morley-Minto to Montague-Chelmsford- explicitly created representative institutions so that more and more legislation could be done locally thus reducing the burden on Westminster. 

Men like Tilak and also Ghadris knew very well that the British had entered in the twentieth century a very peaceful and possibly permanent state of imperial rule. Not only was there education, progress, and co-optation, as it were, of the Indian population to a vast degree, but there was also the means and control of violence complete to the British. This philosophy of anti-statism becomes really very important, and Gandhi would make it into a very non-violent and, I would say, much more consequential force. He lays down the grammar for Indian democracy.

But that grammar had a language which turned out to be utter nonsense! The grammar of Indian democracy is wholly English. True, there was a time when 'Rajpramukhs' existed in it. But that time was of brief duration. Kapila was born after it had disappeared completely from India's constitutional vocabulary.  

No doubt, Indian politics features hartals and hunger strikes. But the Election Commission takes no cognizance of them. 'Panchayat Raj' in India isn't really Indian. It is just a parish council. 

You ask me, what are its ramifications. The ramifications are two-fold. One, the Indian state is unlikely or has failed to date to gain monopoly of violence.

Really? Then how come the Khalistanis have virtually disappeared? Why are Naxalites on the back foot? Even in Kashmir and the North East, it is the State which has the higher threat point. The one thing Indira's Emergency clearly demonstrated was that the State could exercise its monopoly of violence in a manner similar to Communist China or Stalinist Russia. Its autocrats could easily make themselves immune to assassination. But that's not the direction in which they wanted to go. Why? India is Hindu. Its leaders prefer to be loved rather than feared. Why? They then believe their after-life- if only in the History books- will be so much better. 

Second, anti-statism remains—and as I said it’s not anarchist—a very operable political precept. We have seen it from environmentalism,

which isn't violent 

to say nothing of Maoism

which is but which gets stomped because tribals prefer to get a pensionable job killing Naxals rather than risk their lives for no money.  

or other openly violent movements against the Indian state.

Which have to be financed in some way. Violence costs money.  

But you also have the other side of it, which is that it causes a very strong language of civil disobedience and protest, which is a Gandhian value.

It is a nuisance which costs money. The farmers prevailed because they had money. But now their financiers are wondering whether it was worth it. AAP swept the polls in Punjab. Yogiji won seats in the Jat belt.  

You see it most lately in the farmer’s protest. I wrote about it in one of my columns: whether they invoke it or not, it belongs to that genealogy of Gandhian struggle.

Which cost a lot of money which turned out to have been wasted.  Ik tamasha hua gila na hua. There was a big spectacle, but no political gain. 

Tilak…decouples the question of violence from the state.

No he doesn't. He lived through the First World War. He knew that either a State could kick the ass of all comers or it would cease to exist. Anyway, the guy was Chitpavan. They remembered their glory days under the Peshwa. That glory had been lost on the battle-field. It could only return the same way.  

MB: In his magisterial Time and Power, Christopher Clark

which is about Germany. It has no application at all to Indian history. 

ruminates on the relationship between power and historicity (i.e., the assumptions about how the past, present, and the future are connected). The role of temporality in relation to political action has also been addressed in your book. How do the different protagonists of this book conceptualise time, and how does it impinge on their political thought?

The answer is obvious. The Revolutionaries thought a strong India should have a historicity of fighting and winning. Gandhians thought it should have a historicity of starving quietly while muttering Ahimsa! Ahimsa! Socialists didn't think. They just sat in a big puddle of their own poo saying nasty things about Fascism.  

SK: This is indeed a minor theme of the book. The main theme of the book has really been about violence and intimacy and fraternity, and subsequently how republican foundations are laid for India’s democracy.

But every country Britain withdrew from became a republic- unless it had a Sultan or a bunch of Sultans who'd take turns being Head of State.  

But you are absolutely right that temporality and history both are part of the story. First in the sense that it is quite inescapable that a large number of India’s political actors/thinkers convey their political ideas through the genre of history. Whether it is Nehru, whether it is Savarkar, whether it is even Ambedkar or even Iqbal who writes a philosophical history of Islam,

No. He didn't even write a history of Islamic philosophy. His contributions were speculative and revisionist. Basically, he was saying 'for a philosophical Islamic reason we should read such and such Scriptural injunction as meaning the opposite of what it says'. Hindus were doing the same thing. 

history is the template to convey political ideas.

No. History must be distorted so as to fit the template of a particular political idea. This is 'revisionism'.  

To use a technical term, it’s a prognostic, a future-oriented project

Prognostic means 'predicting'. At my age, my prognosis is that of physical and mental decline. However, I could have a 'future oriented' project- like getting into Heaven or earning a good reputation before I die. In that case we would speak of teleology or eschatology. 

In that sense, history contains both positive and negative utopias inside it.

No. Revisionist history may do so. Actual history can't.  

These political actors/thinkers are not writing histories the way you or I, as professional historians, would write it.

Unless they are as stupid and ignorant as Kapila- but that's a hard ask.  

They are writing it in that utopian sense, that it provides a future oriented idea of the past.

The word for that is 'revisionist'.  

Second, you get different ideas of temporality in terms of its civilisational grandeur, for someone like Nehru, or in terms of the epic form, like the Gita. There is a kind of hold of the epic tradition in political thinking or what I call, following Schmitt, political theology.

Schmitt was a spoiled Catholic. There was some point to his using that term. After all, his rehabilitation depended precisely on it. But why is Kapila going down that road? Is it coz that's wot all the cool kids are doing?  

Then, you have someone like Gandhi whose idea of time is the everyday—a very quotidian idea of time.

Quotidian means everyday. Gandhi however believed in karma- give up sex in this world and you will be born on a celestial planet where you can live for millions of years and no sexy shenanigans occur.  

Everyday becomes the framework of political action.

Only if you believe your refusal to eat or shit or do something sensible really helps all the suffering Palestinians in Ukraine.  

So, you have the epic scale thinking in terms of how does a human agent act, which one sees in Tilak’s invocation of the Gita, and Krishna and Arjun.

Tilak is saying 'don't be a pussy. Fight!'  

Then you also like someone like Nehru, who operates with the notion of civilisational times, which allows him to give this temporal identity to India—that India has this ancient civilisational temporality.

Coz India is sooooo special. Unlike Egypt which is puffed up coz of its Pyramids and such like. Fuck you Egypt! Fuck you very much!  

Interestingly, the flipside to this is Vinayak Savarkar, who is looking at two millennia. In a way, he is quite opposed to his mentor Tilak.

His mentor was his elder brother. His patron was Shyamji Krishna Varma.  

He says, ‘I don’t know Puranic history or epic stuff,

coz that's fictional 

I am only interested in what can be called recorded history’. For him this longue duree is actually very static and it is only interrupted through war. This is altogether a different sort of temporality.

coz fiction is different from factual stuff 

So, you have Gandhi’s everyday to Tilak’s epic timescape, and

neither matter. Why? Hindus believe in reincarnation. Be martyred or do some other really stoooopid but saintly stuff in this world and you get re-born on a paradisal planet for a gazillion years. But then it all starts again. The other thing is if you kill someone in this life, you will have to have another birth where you get killed by that dude. Hopefully, it will be a brief life- that of an ant or fly that quickly gets crushed. Still, this tends to sour Hindus on killing as a way of life unless, obviously, that is part of a proper, pensionable, job. 

it informs the kind of political projects that they would want to see and the kind of political actor they would want to create. I was thus very careful not to organise the book under any political ideology, because these temporalities allow for competing political ideologies and projects to emerge in India.

What emerged in India was the realization that the Brits had economies of scope and scale in Defense and admin. India lost both. Also its leaders were as stupid as shit. So India turned into a shithole of a  begging bowl. A few pedants could escape India by pretending to be 'ideological' and thus getting tenure in some worthless University Dept. in the West. On the other hand, if you wanted to get rich, you substituted straightforward religious charlatanry for Gandhian or Marxist magical thinking. Mahesh Yogi made billions teaching 'yogic levitation' which spreads 'peace rays'.  C.A Bayly, poor fellow, got into Gallagher type Indian history at a moment when it was plausible to speak of 'ideology' as mattering. Surely Indira and Zulfi and Bandarnaike and so forth were influenced by that shite? Then Dominique Lapierre sexed up and then Salman Rushdie 'chutneyfied' modern Indian history. It became clear that India is a very poor part of the world where people might pretend to do ideology for a little money and the chance to escape that shithole. Finally, because of the influx of South Asian immigrants, the subject turned into a type of finger painting for the idiot spawn of a rising professional and entrepreneurial class of yahoos. Thus Bayly- who might have started off as a sensible enough chap- ended up contributing to the availability cascade which gives us Kapila and Priyamvada and the even more illiterate Divya Dwiwedi. Will this shite ever bottom out? What will its next iteration be? I suppose it will have to feature gender bending cat people fighting for the right to replace the Queen with such cats as might come to look at them. This then leads to Bridgerton type sexy shenanigans featuring trans-species relationships of a type subversive of keeping down your lunch. 

Monday 28 March 2022

Shashi Tharoor & Britain's shameful failure to 'brown nose'

Was British rule in India good for Britain? Yes. This became apparent during two world wars when Indian troops played a significant role in Britain's victory. Still, there had been doubters. Burke, for example, feared that the East India Company would use its money power to make Westminster its pawn. Just as the Spanish and Portuguese realms had been ruined by the money power of the Monarch- enriched by treasure fleets from the Indies- so too might Britain fall prey to the corrupt despotism of an oligarchy of 'Nabobs'. 

But this outcome was averted precisely because the Empire itself was a gift of the patriotic, but jolly, Jack Tar and, it turned out, the 'nabobs', in the main, were happy to turn into salaried patriots who governed Colonies with a strict eye to what was best for the mother country.

What about India? Could any Indian say British rule was good for India? Sadly, the answer is yes. The alternative to British rule was French and Dutch and perhaps American and, later on, Japanese enclaves on the coast and endless proxy battles between the Indian war-lords who were their clients. Unlike China, India did not have a cohesive 'Mandarin' class or any accepted institutional mechanism by which the nation as a whole- if it really was a nation- could come together. Hindus might hope that every Hindu chieftain might get behind a Maratha or Sikh or Rajput or other potential 'Chakravartin' or Universal Emperor, and Muslims might harbor a similar hope for one of their own Princes. But even if the miracle came to pass, what was to prevent the division of the Empire between the heirs? This would mean that a generation or two down the line, war would once again raise its ugly head. The alternative- viz. primogeniture- carried the risk of  brother turning on brother or Uncle on nephew or everybody trying to poison everybody else. Either way, internecine conflict and endless intrigue would be the order of the day. True, in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, younger brothers are loyal to the eldest and, it is true, Lord Ram had only one wife, but the reality was quite different. Princes had many wives. Primogeniture was not well established. Unlike the limited monarchies of Europe, where monogamy also prevailed, the brothers of the eldest prince were not encouraged to remain dutiful. Democracy turned out to be a good way for members of a family to compete with each other without any blood being spilled. Look at Varun Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They seem to get on quite well. Suppose the 'last Englishman to rule India' had decided to do away with Democracy. Then if a Nehru-Gandhi died suddenly, his brother or cousin would be suspected of cold blooded murder. The habit of fighting things out in Court or at the hustings could be considered Britain's gift to India's ruling classes. On the other hand, it could be argued that it was the service the Indians paid the Brits to perform or, alternatively, the service that had to be performed if economies of scope and scale were to be available to run India on a profitable basis from generation to generation. 

Shashi Tharoor, who, sadly, is in Rahul's camp not the camp in which Varun retains his place in U.P politics, takes a different view.
Many modern apologists for British colonial rule in India no longer contest the basic facts of imperial exploitation and plunder, rapacity and loot, which are too deeply documented to be challengeable.

Nor do they contest the basic fact that there was less exploitation, plunder, rapacity and loot, as a result of Pax Britannica.  Why? It is during war that the worst types of 'loot-maar' (killing and plundering) occur. The Rule of Law collapses as people are conscripted and goods and services are requisitioned. 

Instead they offer a counter-argument: granted, the British took what they could for 200 years,

Which was less than India's 'consumer surplus' from having Pax Brittanica.  

but didn’t they also leave behind a great deal of lasting benefit? In particular, political unity

Tharoor forgets that first Buddhist Burma and then Muslim majority provinces went their own way. Only Hindu India wanted democracy for the reason I have mentioned.  

and democracy, the rule of law, railways, English education, even tea and cricket?

There may indeed by 'apologists' who don't get that you don't need to be ruled by Japan to take up judo or sushi. On the other hand it is certainly a fact that nobody whose ancestors weren't ruled by Italians can stomach pizza.  

Indeed, the British like to point out that the very idea of “India” as one entity (now three,

four. Burma split off in 1937. 

but one during the British Raj), instead of multiple warring principalities and statelets, is the incontestable contribution of British imperial rule.

Surely the fact that the British Raj no longer exists is the incontestable contribution of those who fought British rule? A more sensible way of looking at things is that Britain forcibly exported certain services to India. There were scale and scope economies to those services. Sadly these were not heritable for indigenous polities because of legal and religious and sociological constraints. The British understood this. Their solution was to gradually devolve power to elected assemblies which would get more and more involved in 'parish pump' issues. Localized fiscal policy (we would call this subsidiarity) would give rise to competing 'Tiebout models' (again this is a modern terminology) and a puerile type of 'identity politics' would give way to pragmatic, managerial, pan-Indian accommodation and cooperation. 

Sadly, the Indian National Congress was opposed to 'cooperation' while the Socialists lived in a fantasy world. 

Unfortunately for this argument, throughout the history of the subcontinent, there has existed an impulsion for unity.

Why didn't unity exist? Was there also an 'impulsion towards disunity'? Why did the latter prevail over the former? Tharoor, rather meanly, won't tell us.  

The idea of India is as old as the Vedas, the earliest Hindu scriptures, which describe “Bharatvarsha” as the land between the Himalayas and the seas. If this “sacred geography” is essentially a Hindu idea, Maulana Azad has written of how Indian Muslims, whether Pathans from the north-west or Tamils from the south, were all seen by Arabs as “Hindis”, hailing from a recognisable civilisational space.

And we speak of Arabic speakers as Arabs whether they come from Kuwait or Qatar or Syria or Jordan or Algeria. So what? There is United Arab Republic of the sort Nasser and the Ba'athists dreamed of.

Numerous Indian rulers had sought to unite the territory, with the Mauryas (three centuries before Christ) and the Mughals coming the closest by ruling almost 90% of the subcontinent. Had the British not completed the job, there is little doubt that some Indian ruler, emulating his forerunners, would have done so.

Sadly, this is precisely what is highly implausible. Hindus didn't want to go back under Muslim rule and sided with the Brits where this appeared possible. But Muslims soon came to hold the same opinion about the undesirability of coming under Hindu rule. This leaves the question as to whether any Hindu or Sikh War-lord could unite the Hindu areas.  Sadly, there were no plausible candidates for any such role. 

Far from crediting Britain for India’s unity

India is unified only where Hindus (broadly defined) are the majority. Where they are not there is secessionism. Democracy was useful to Hindus because they needed to reform their religion and their inheritance and other laws- to put an end to competitive 'holier-than-thou' stupidity. Furthermore 'reserved seats' has worked out well because, it turns out, Dalit politicians tend to be better than average- or at least less stupid. 

and enduring parliamentary democracy, the facts point clearly to policies that undermined it – the dismantling of existing political institutions,

like what? The Mughal Empire? It was powerless. It had been a puppet of the Marathas before the Emperor became a pensioner of the British 

the fomenting of communal division

which existed before the Brits came and after they left.  

and systematic political discrimination with a view to maintaining British domination.

Why did the Brits reward loyalists and punish seditionists? This was 'systematic political discrimination'! Worse still, Viceroy Sahib was refusing to wipe Mahatmaji's bum even though he wiped his own bum! This shows RACIST discrimination! You should wipe all bums without regard to color or creed. 

In the years after 1757, the British astutely fomented cleavages among the Indian princes,

Very true. Indian princes used to cuddle and kiss each other all the time. British astutely got them to stop mounting each other affectionately. Later they were even criminalizing sodomy! 

and steadily consolidated their dominion through a policy of divide and rule.

No. Their policy was unite and rule. Why? You get economies of scope and scale if you take over Princedoms. However, after 1857, the Brits back-pedaled on this.  Why? They realized that Indians were better at beating and exploiting the fuck out of Indians. Indeed, they would pay for the privilege.

Later, in 1857, the sight of Hindu and Muslim soldiers rebelling together, willing to pledge joint allegiance to the enfeebled Mughal monarch, alarmed the British,

This is mad. The Brits were happy to see Hindu and Muslim soldiers working  together in their own army and civil service. What alarmed them was that white peeps were being killed. They got very very angry and taught the rebels such a lesson that they remained quiet ever thereafter. 

Tharoor may find it strange that Brits objected to having their throats slit. He may feel that their true motive in slaughtering rebels was alarm that maybe Hindus and Muslims would start kissing and cuddling and sucking each other off. But Tharoor is a silly billy.  

who concluded that pitting the two groups against one another was the most effective way to ensure the unchallenged continuance of empire.

The Brits weren't that stupid. They knew that if Hindus and Muslims kept slaughtering each other then the Empire would cease to be profitable. Money matters. Hindus kissing and cuddling Muslims does not matter in the slightest.  

As early as 1859, the then British governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone, advised London that “Divide et impera was the old Roman maxim, and it should be ours”.

Lord Elphinstone's Uncle, Mountstuart, had returned to England 30 years previously. He had been posted in Afghanistan and at the Peshwa's court in the first decades of the nineteenth century. He knew there was no need to do any dividing. Every Royal Prince  was against his Royal brother. The Chief Minister was plotting against the King as was every other General. Indian division cried out for an Imperial force capable of uniting that benighted country. The point about 1857 is that it had horrified the Indians. 'Hindu-Muslim' unity had quickly dissolved. But so had the fabric of Society. The Meo tribesmen, though Muslim, raided the lines of the 'Ghazis' in Delhi. The shedding of British blood had opened the floodgates of a war of all against all. Thus, the propertied class welcomed the restoration of British rule. They wished to be 'assimilated' to British Justice and the Rule of Law. They no longer hankered for their own religious or clannish shibboleths. 

Lord Elphinstone had acted very creditably during the Mutiny. He emptied his own province of men to go on the offensive against the rebels. There had been a grave risk of disorder and rapine in Bombay itself but experienced officers had acted swiftly and with decision.

The question remained- how arrange the army so that it wouldn't mutiny? This is where 'divide and rule' came in. The first imperative was to keep Whites apart from Natives. Why? The Whites were drunken scum. The 'prestige of the European' would be destroyed if native soldiers saw too much of their White colleagues save under battle conditions. The second point was to divide up the army such that natives were never in charge of artillery except on the Frontier. Turning to the point that Tharoor is seeking to make, firstly it should be borne in mind that it was believed that the 'passive' Bihari Hindu had come under the domination of the fanatical and warlike Muslim and thus it would be wise to separate them or, better still, do without them altogether. More generally, there was the familiar problem of how to keep the Army from becoming so cohesive that it might seek to advance its own agenda. The traditional answer was territorial regiments which viewed each other with suspicion on the parade ground but which vied with each other for the honors of battle. The same policy used in England must be used for the recruitment of the native portion of the Indian standing army.

Neil Stewart quotes a soldier of the period- 

The Peel Commission in England came to the opposite conclusion- the Indian army should recruit from all classes and mix everyone up together. However, this would have to be compensated for by recruiting many more Europeans. In the end, 'divide and rule' prevailed and proved effective. Why? Greater esprit de corps was generated by soldiers who worshipped together and uttered the same battle cry. The British officers' willingness to act as a nominal Hindu or Sikh or Gurkha or Pathan or Coorgi or whatever, depending on which Regiment he served with, bound their Indian NCOs to them. Other reforms ensured that NCOs were of an age and had the skills to effectively discharge their functions.
Since the British came from a hierarchical society with an entrenched class system, they instinctively looked for a similar one in India.

Very true. Indian society wasn't hierarchical at all. Maharajas were frequently to be observed sweeping the streets. Since the British came from a Parliamentary polity with elected Members of Parliament they instinctively looked for something similar in India. On the other hand, since they didn't come from a country with a lot of elephants and camels, they instinctively didn't see any such beasts in India. This is the reason, throughout the nineteenth century, you would see British officers asking an elephant which constituency it represented. Camels, of course, were assumed to sit in the Upper House.  

The effort to understand ethnic, religious, sectarian and caste differences among Britain’s subjects inevitably became an exercise in defining, dividing and perpetuating these differences.

Worse still, British zoologists started defining and dividing and perpetuating the difference between cats and dogs.  

Thus colonial administrators regularly wrote reports and conducted censuses that classified Indians in ever-more bewilderingly narrow terms, based on their language, religion, sect, caste, sub-caste, ethnicity and skin colour.

This is why Indians no longer speak the same language or all follow the same religion or have the same skin color. Worse still, it explains why they are not all jammed into the same pair of underpants. Tharoor does not mention the colonial administrator's attempt to differentiate between dudes with dicks and chicks with titties. Previously all Indians were having lots of dicks and titties and vaginas all over their body. Evil Angrez Sarkar is reducing us to a condition of having either just one dick or just a single paltry vagina.  

Not only were ideas of community reified, but also entire new communities were created by people who had not consciously thought of themselves as particularly different from others around them.

Very true. Many Indians used to think they were cows because they saw a lot of cows around them. Then Brits told them they weren't cows at all. This is what is causing some evil people to eat beef! They don't understand they are eating their own Divine Mother! 

Large-scale conflicts between Hindus and Muslims (religiously defined), only began under colonial rule;

Yes. But this happened when Muslims colonized Hindu India a few centuries before the Europeans showed up.  

many other kinds of social strife were labelled as religious due to the colonists’ orientalist assumption that religion was the fundamental division in Indian society.

Colonist's believe the fundamental division in society is between themselves and the natives they rule over. Sadly, the natives keep telling them that they aren't all a homogenous mass. Some are educated. Some belong to this religion. Others claim to be aristocrats. Indeed, a few hint that they might belong to one gender rather than another.  

It is questionable whether a totalising Hindu or Muslim identity existed in any meaningful sense in India before the 19th century.

In so far as it is questionable whether a human identity as opposed to a bovine identity existed in any meaningful way at any point in Indian history. Tharoor himself, as a Minister affected by austerity measures, complained of having to fly 'cattle class'.  

Yet the creation and perpetuation of Hindu–Muslim antagonism was the most significant accomplishment of British imperial policy: the project of divide et impera would reach its culmination in the collapse of British authority in 1947.

But Nehru claimed to be the last Englishman to rule India! Sadly he was shit at defending its borders.  

Partition left behind a million dead, 13 million displaced, billions of rupees of property destroyed, and the flames of communal hatred blazing hotly across the ravaged land.

Partition occurred ten years after the Brits devolved power over everything ( save Defense, Diplomacy, Monetary Policy, Post Office etc)  to elected provincial governments. It was Gandhi and Nehru and Jinnah and Shurawardy who were responsible for the blood-letting. They could have organized an orderly exchange of population. Instead they talked bollocks and left the minorities to their fate.  

No greater indictment of the failures of British rule in India can be found than the tragic manner of its ending.

But that rule had been greatly watered down! It was the job of the Provincial Governments to maintain law and order. They couldn't be arsed. Gandhi said Congressmen in Bihar were responsible for the killing of innocent Muslims. Nehru threatened to send planes to bomb the Biharis. Was even one Bihari Congressmen suspended from the party- let alone arrested- for the communal riots there? No. Don't be silly.  

Nor did Britain work to promote democratic institutions under imperial rule, as it liked to pretend.

They gave universal suffrage to Ceylon in 1931. They couldn't do so in India because all the minorities objected.  

Instead of building self-government from the village level up, the East India Company destroyed what existed.

Because 'self-government from the village level up' was so utterly shit that a handful of foreigners from a distant isle were able to take over a much much more populous country.  

The British ran government, tax collection, and administered what passed for justice.

Which was still better than the sort of shite 'self-governing villages' dished out.  

Indians were excluded from all of these functions.

Because other Indians thought they were shit.  

When the crown eventually took charge of the country, it devolved smidgens of government authority, from the top, to unelected provincial and central “legislative” councils whose members represented a tiny educated elite, had no accountability to the masses, passed no meaningful legislation, exercised no real power and satisfied themselves they had been consulted by the government even if they took no actual decisions.

They did pass laws which were so meaningful they are still with us today. An example is the law under which Rajiv Gandhi's government banned the Satanic Verses.  

Tharoor admits that India's educated class was 'tiny' and powerless. What would have been the point of 'devolving' anything to them? The answer is that those guys knew the law and something about what rich peeps wanted by way of legislation. They delivered this. That was good for Britain and, like it or not, it was good for India. 

As late as 1920, under the Montagu-Chelmsford “reforms”, Indian representatives on the councils – elected by a franchise so restricted and selective that only one in 250 Indians had the right to vote – would exercise control over subjects the British did not care about, like education and health, while real power, including taxation, law and order and the authority to nullify any vote by the Indian legislators, would rest with the British governor of the provinces.

Why didn't the Indians rebel? Were they all cowards? Perhaps. Still, facts are facts. In 1922, just when Ireland and Egypt and Afghanistan gained freedom, Gandhi unilaterally surrendered and went off meekly to jail. Then Motilal Nehru decided to go after the votes of the 'one in 250' Indians so as to get into the legislative council and show it was useless. Sadly, he and C.R Das only showed they themselves were even more stupid and useless than Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi may have been a crackpot but he was less stupid than Motilal and C.R Das. 

Real power rested with the British but real money was coming into the hands of the guys who financed Gandhi & Co. The thing was a swindle. Indeed, the INC is nothing but a cretinous money making scheme. 

Democracy, in other words, had to be prised from the reluctant grasp of the British by Indian nationalists.

Though, in 1922, Gandhi said India was shit. Even if, in a moment of 'mad fury', it chased the Brits away it would soon succumb to starvation and invasion. The country could not feed or defend itself. After independence, it fell to Nehru to go begging for American food and American armaments. 

It is a bit rich to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe a people for 200 years, and then take credit for the fact that they are democratic at the end of it.

Is it though? Would Tharoor really feel better if the Brits kept saying 'You guys are shit. You used to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe each other for 1200 years. We turned a profit by getting you to go easy on that shite. Then we left because America wouldn't pay for us to stay and you guys got much weaker and poorer and fell farther and farther behind much smaller East Asian countries. South Korea was as poor as India 60 years ago. It is now 15 times as well off.'

We might reply 'Korea stopped being a democracy so as to rise. You fuckers pushed democracy down our throats. Fuck you very much indeed!'  

A corollary of the argument that Britain gave India political unity and democracy is that it established the rule of law in the country.

India is Unitary democracy because of Hinduism. However, it can't be denied that its legal system was entirely the creation of the British.  

This was, in many ways, central to the British self-conception of imperial purpose; Kipling, that flatulent voice of Victorian imperialism,

Kipling was a great poet. Tharoor is fatuous if not flatulent.  

would wax eloquent on the noble duty to bring law to those without it.

Tharoor's party is now whining about Mamta's reign of terror in Bengal. But Mamta started off in the INC. 

But British law had to be imposed upon an older and more complex civilisation with its own legal culture,

which was shit 

and the British used coercion and cruelty to get their way.

No. You had to pay good money to access the Raj's courts. Still, it was worthwhile. Indeed, Indian firms still prefer to stipulate that adjudication of a contract should be done in England rather than India though court fees etc. are much lower back home.  

And in the colonial era, the rule of law was not exactly impartial.

It was amazingly impartial compared to what came before or, more sadly, what would come afterwards.  

Crimes committed by whites against Indians attracted minimal punishment;

and crimes committed by Indians against much poorer Indians attracted no punishment. During the Second World War a Muslim ICS officer in Bihar killed a maid servant. Everybody knew about it. Nothing was done. Par for the course really.  

an Englishmen who shot dead his Indian servant got six months’ jail time and a modest fine (then about 100 rupees), while an Indian convicted of attempted rape against an Englishwoman was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.

He should have been tortured and killed. Without Englishwomen in India, the Raj would have soon gone to the dogs. Indians didn't want white women to be raped or their kids to be butchered. Why? Their own lives would turn to shit if the Raj degenerated into the regime of drunken, debauched, bullies. Come to think of it, much of Indian history could be described in no other terms.  

In the entire two centuries of British rule, only three cases

six men were executed in all 

can be found of Englishmen executed for murdering Indians, while the murders of thousands more at British hands went unpunished.

In the entire two millennia over which Tharoor's caste has tyrannized over Dalits in Kerala, how many Nairs have been executed? How many Afghans or Turks were executed for killing Hindus? How many Congress-wallahs have been executed for all the Sikhs they killed in 1984?  

The death of an Indian at British hands was always an accident, and that of a Briton because of an Indian’s actions always a capital crime. When a British master kicked an Indian servant in the stomach – a not uncommon form of conduct in those days – the Indian’s resultant death from a ruptured spleen would be blamed on his having an enlarged spleen as a result of malaria. Punch wrote an entire ode to The Stout British Boot as the favoured instrument of keeping the natives in order.

Sadly, there was little need to wear out shoe leather in this manner. Indians would be happy to do your killing for you for a modest fee. 

Political dissidence was legally repressed through various acts, including a sedition law far more rigorous than its British equivalent.

Why did Nehru & Co retain it? Why did Indira or Rajiv or Manmohan not get rid of it in the same manner as the Brits? 

The penal code contained 49 articles on crimes relating to dissent against the state (and only 11 on crimes involving death).

But only Indira Gandhi made sedition a cognizable offence.  

Of course the British did give India the English language, the benefits of which persist to this day. Or did they? The English language was not a deliberate gift to India, but again an instrument of colonialism, imparted to Indians only to facilitate the tasks of the English. In his notorious 1835 Minute on Education, Lord Macaulay articulated the classic reason for teaching English, but only to a small minority of Indians: “We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”

Macaulay was saying this class already existed- his fellow MPs would have remembered Ram Mohan Roy who had been lobbying Westminster to send out more White peeps to protect the Hindu from the rapacious Mussulman- and that this class wanted the Brits to stop wasting money on Sanskrit and Arabic instruction. English is useful. Indians can make money by it.  

The language was taught to a few

No. A few greedy bastards paid money to learn it or get their kids to learn it so that they could get rich by fucking over their own people. On the other hand, the Brits and the Missionaries and so forth spent a lot of time and money learning Indian languages so as never to become dependent on any fucking 'native informant' or 'dubash' or 'dragoman' or whatever. The 'Mem Sahib' learnt a bit of Hindustani so as to swear at the cook and tell him she'd have him locked up in jail for any minor peculation.  

to serve as intermediaries between the rulers and the ruled.

Who the fuck would trust an Indian 'intermediary'? Even Rahul can speak Hindi.  

The British had no desire to educate the Indian masses, nor were they willing to budget for such an expense.

The same was true of the Indian masses.  

That Indians seized the English language and turned it into an instrument for our own liberation – using it to express nationalist sentiments against the British – was to their credit, not by British design.

Why not just say 'fuck you Whitey' in your own lingo? Why do you have to say it in English? What is the point of 'expressing nationalist sentiments' against a handful of guys who had turned up from a distant island and then created a larger Empire in India than any Maurya or Mughal and who used the Indian army to project force on the European continent to such good effect that India was invited to join the League of Nations? Obviously, Indian politicians soon fucked up which caused Burma to go its own way (though this meant famine for Bengal) and then Pakistan to go its own way and then Khalistan- but extra judicial killing on an industrial scale put an end to that mischief.  

The construction of the Indian Railways is often pointed to by apologists for empire as one of the ways in which British colonialism benefited the subcontinent, ignoring the obvious fact that many countries also built railways without having to go to the trouble and expense of being colonised to do so.

Some princely states built railways. The question is, why did Indian Railways turn to shit after Independence? How come the US has almost 4 times the amount of Rail mileage but pays less than half in total wages?  

But the facts are even more damning.

The railways were first conceived of by the East India Company, like everything else in that firm’s calculations, for its own benefit.

Air India made a huge loss for the tax payer because it wasn't run for the benefit of its own bottom line. Thankfully, it has now been privatized so poor Indians no longer have to subsidize the flights of Ministers and M.Ps.  

Governor General Lord Hardinge argued in 1843 that the railways would be beneficial “to the commerce, government and military control of the country”.

Which is why there was a country for the Indian National Congress to clamor to take over. Tharoor does not get that the Government must act in a self-interested manner if it is to survive. What was the outcome of John Company's policies? India was no longer invaded from the West or the East. It was kicking ass in Afghanistan, keeping the Chinese out of Tibet, and expanding into Burma. After Nehru took over, the country turned into a vast begging bowl.  

In their very conception and construction, the Indian railways were a colonial scam.

No. The railways were real enough. It's just that they weren't managed very well. But that problem worsened after independence. Currently the Southern States are up in arms that the Government is putting almost all its railway budget into the North- much of it ruled by the BJP- while there is precious little for the South which pays proportionately more into the Central budget. That's the sort of thing Tharoor should be shouting about.  

British shareholders made absurd amounts of money by investing in the railways,

No. They received an assured return which however, because of the lower risk premium associated with Pax Britannica, was much less than wholly independent Princely State would have been charged. The complaint of Gandhi's bania class was that they were kept out of Imperial finance from the Napoleonic period onward. But the bania's opportunity to squeeze Indians in the boondocks increased. Thus, under Gandhi, the banias were able to make a bid for paramountcy. But, like most British concerns taken over by Marwaris, they bankrupted anything they got their greasy little mitts on. 

where the government guaranteed returns double those of government stocks, paid entirely from Indian, and not British, taxes.

Whereas India now has to pay a much bigger premium because Congress refused to back Manmohan when he proposed big ticket reforms so as to avert Moody downgrading. 

It was a splendid racket for Britons, at the expense of the Indian taxpayer.

No. It was a safe but boring investment. The Indians preferred to pay taxes to the Brits rather than be periodically looted by its own Princes and Pindaris.  

The railways were intended principally to transport extracted resources – coal, iron ore, cotton and so on – to ports for the British to ship home to use in their factories.

So, the Brits ran India in such a way that they made a profit on it. This is why it was credible that they would defend the place rather than decamp at the first whiff of trouble. Still, that option was always on the table. The Brits could run away from a Province or even take to the Sea and stay away till anarchy prevailed and they were invited back on more profitable terms. This is why the Brits had a higher threat point than the INC. The worst the Indians could do was kill a few Whites till they ran away. But then everybody would start massacring everybody. The Brits would get rich shipping in guns and taking looted gold in exchange. Then they would come back, because they controlled the Seas, in one form or another. It was actually more profitable to prop up a rapacious despot and help him extract primary resources rather than bother run a Civil administration. 

The movement of people was incidental, except when it served colonial interests; and the third-class compartments, with their wooden benches and total absence of amenities, into which Indians were herded, attracted horrified comment even at the time.

Why did the Indians pay to travel in such horrible conditions? The answer is that the alternative was more expensive and worse. I believe some improvements were made in the Seventies but am old enough to remember conditions worse than Mahatma Gandhi described in 1917. On the other hand, it must be said, railway carriages filled with slaughtered bodies was the gift of 'Azadi'.  

And, of course, racism reigned; though whites-only compartments were soon done away with on grounds of economic viability, Indians found the available affordable space grossly inadequate for their numbers. (A marvellous post-independence cartoon captured the situation perfectly: it showed an overcrowded train, with people hanging off it, clinging to the windows, squatting perilously on the roof, and spilling out of their third-class compartments, while two Britons in sola topis sit in an empty first-class compartment saying to each other, “My dear chap, there’s nobody on this train!”)

So, this was a 'post-independence' cartoon. The fact is that Whites were not slaughtered in railway carriages. It was Indians who took the sword to other Indians so as to fill them with blood as a way of celebrating 'Azadi'.  

Nor were Indians employed in the railways.

Nonsense! White people could not do the heavy manual work involved. Anglo-Indians were employed as stokers and engine drivers and Telegraph clerks but the rest of the labor was left to Indians. Tharoor thinks white dudes were shoveling coal in India's 40 degree Centigrade heat! 

The prevailing view was that the railways would have to be staffed almost exclusively by Europeans to “protect investments”.

Initially, there may have been something to this notion. However, it was cheaper and easier to substitute Indian labor even at the higher levels. Obviously, Indians were paid much less than Europeans- but this incentivized Indianization. By 1895, India was producing locomotives simply because that was cheaper. Sadly the technology moved on and, in any case, India had too small a market to gain economies of scale.

 The railways finally became profitable some ten years later. Still, it is certainly true that the Raj's railways could have been much better managed. But independent India's railways could not have been worse managed. That is the achievement of Tharoor's party. He must be so proud.  

This was especially true of signalmen, and those who operated and repaired the steam trains, but the policy was extended to the absurd level that even in the early 20th century all the key employees, from directors of the Railway Board to ticket-collectors, were white men – whose salaries and benefits were also paid at European, not Indian, levels and largely repatriated back to England.

This is nonsense. Eurasians were not considered 'White'. They did not repatriate salaries to England because they and their parents and their children lived in India. It must be said that 'insolence' by railway officials was less resented if carried out by genuine Brits. Equally, Eurasians and Indian staff often acted in a much more barbaric manner. An example from 1895 is booking clerk, Akshay Kumar Roy, calling Mrs. Ghosh- whose husband was a Post Office clerk- a fucking prossie. On another occasion a Eurasian ticket collector chucked out a respectable Bhadralok family to create space for some Eurasian ladies. The reason a British male official was more acceptable was because he was unlikely to call your wife a fucking prossie or chuck your family out to make space for his Aunty wot ran the Cantonment brothel.  

There were disturbing complaints of rape by Indian assistant station masters and ticket collectors in the 1890s. However there were also incidents of rape by European guards. Though it was unprofitable to do so, the Railways had to pay more for educated White people of good character to come out to India and raise the standard of conduct, and public confidence, in the Railways. The alternative was every affluent family bringing their own body-guards who would be bound to get into fights with each other. 

Incidentally, Surendranath Bannerjee- one of the founders of Tharoor's party- tried to make a stink about the gangrape of a 'Bosinob' girl by Eurasians. This backfired. Indians considered her a prostitute. Moreover, they didn't want more Indian ticket collectors and so on. They wanted Whites straight from Britain. But that was too expensive. 

Racism combined with British economic interests to undermine efficiency. The railway workshops in Jamalpur in Bengal and Ajmer in Rajputana were established in 1862 to maintain the trains, but their Indian mechanics became so adept that in 1878 they started designing and building their own locomotives.

Also they built flying saucers and time travel machines. Evil Britishers got jealous and banned these useful inventions. On the other hand it is true that Jamalpur produced 'the Lady Curzon' locomotive in 1899. 

Their success increasingly alarmed the British, since the Indian locomotives were just as good, and a great deal cheaper, than the British-made ones. In 1912, therefore, the British passed an act of parliament explicitly making it impossible for Indian workshops to design and manufacture locomotives.

I think that intervention was in 1903. India only produced 700 locomotives prior to independence. Why was this? The simple answer is lack of scale and scope economies. The market was too small. However, from 1912 onward, supply side bottlenecks were increasingly irrelevant. Indeed, because of the war, the shoe was on the other foot. Why, then, did this industry stagnate? The answer is political uncertainty as well as lack of a 'captive' domestic market. There was no guarantee that the Indian railways would buy Indian. However a well connected entrepreneur might have his losses absorbed by an Indian Railway company. But that was scarcely enough. The other factor which held back this type of industrialization was fear of a 'revolutionary' industrial proletariat. Obviously, a large scale locomotive industry would create a pool of skilled workers who would lap up Bolshevik propaganda.  

Between 1854 and 1947, India imported around 14,400 locomotives from England, and another 3,000 from Canada, the US and Germany, but made none in India after 1912.

Technology had moved on. Other countries had substantial economies of scope and scale. But the bigger problem was that Indian financial capital was speculative in origin and needed state support and assured markets to develop. Congress was supposed to provide that support. Sadly, it failed to pay back its paymasters after Independence. Mahalanobis told Rudra that the Planning Commission would fuck up the private sector. There was no need for a Revolution when Bureaucracy could destroy the Bourgeoisie. But, what this meant was that India got neither Social Democracy nor rampant Capitalism. It got cretinous Rahul Baba type stupidity and 'sweat equity' seeking corruption.  

After independence, 35 years later, the old technical knowledge was so completely lost to India that the Indian Railways had to go cap-in-hand to the British to guide them on setting up a locomotive factory in India again.

Because the technology had moved on. Tatas got into the locomotive business with German help. But because their sole customer was the Government they were in a vulnerable position and couldn't make a profit. Then, with TTK's help, they were able to get out of locos and into vehicles where they partnered with Mercedes-Benz. On the other hand the Chitaranjan Locomotive plant survived and did quite well under GoI. However, there is no question that India missed the boat both before and after Independence on a key infrastructure sector. 

There was, however, a fitting postscript to this saga. The principal technology consultants for Britain’s railways, the London-based Rendel, today rely extensively on Indian technical expertise, provided to them by Rites, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways.

The Tatas were right to go to the Germans. British Rail, having spent a long period under Nationalization, turned to shit long ago. Still, its good to know that the loss making, tax funded, Indian Railways are subsidizing Brits albeit through a subsidiary. The Tatas too have been very generous to the British car and steel industry. Sweet of those darkies to give us so much money after so many years.

The process of colonial rule

like the process of Nehru-Gandhi dynastic rule 

in India meant economic exploitation and ruin to millions,

the novelty was that it also involved pogroms against Muslims. Nehru refused to allow refugees who had crossed the border in panic in 1947 to return and reclaim Indian citizenship.  

the destruction of thriving industries,

The Planning Commission was very good at this. It prevented India doing what every other poor country did- viz. grow its textile and other labor-intensive light industries. Instead it wasted money on white elephant capital intensive projects 

the systematic denial of opportunities to compete,

Well, that's Socialism for you. Sad.  

the elimination of indigenous institutions of governance,

Does Tharoor mean the rule of Maharajas and Nizams and so forth? He himself comes from a State which was ruled by hereditary Queens of his own caste.  

the transformation of lifestyles and patterns of living that had flourished since time immemorial,

Why is Amarinder not ruling Patiala the way his daddy and grand-daddy did?  

and the obliteration of the most precious possessions of the colonised, their identities and their self-respect.

Congress tried to destroy the self-respect of Hindus. It failed. The question is how Tharoor can have any self-respect sticking his big brown nose up the shitty bum of a dynasty that is dying nasty.

In 1600, when the East India Company was established, Britain was producing just 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was generating some 23% (27% by 1700).

Because Britain was small and had a tiny population. But the Brits became so productive and scientifically innovative that they rose and rose while India stagnated. It is a matter of shame that thirty years after liberalization, India has once again slipped behind Britain which is now the fifth largest economy in the world. Hopefully that situation will soon reverse itself. Britain itself benefits if a country with 20 times its population becomes a little less poor. This is because Britain exports highly income elastic goods and services.  

By 1940, after nearly two centuries of the Raj, Britain accounted for nearly 10% of world GDP, while India had been reduced to a poor “third-world” country, destitute and starving, a global poster child of poverty and famine.

Which it remained into the Sixties and early Seventies. The difference was that India had also become a country unable- for the first time in 5000 years of its history- to defend itself against China. By contrast, under the Brits, India could project force and alter the balance of power on European and MENA battlefields.  

The British left a society with 16% literacy, a life expectancy of 27, practically no domestic industry and over 90% living below what today we would call the poverty line.

Did things get better when they devolved power to elected Indian administrations in 1937? No. Things got worse. Bengal suffered huge, avoidable, famine deaths in 1943 under a Muslim League Government. But then the same thing happened after Bangladesh became independent and democratic in 1974. 

The India the British entered was 

so fucking weak and shittily run that a small bunch of merchant adventurers were paid by the Indians to take over the running of the country.  

wealthy, thriving and commercialising society: t

also an Islamizing society where temples were turned into mosques and the demographic composition of vast provinces was changing rapidly. It is not often realized that Hindus were a majority even in Sindh in 1600.  

That was why the East India Company was interested in it in the first place.

They weren't interested in ruling it. They just wanted to trade. It was the Indians who paid them and lent them money so they could take over the country.  

Far from being backward or underdeveloped, pre-colonial India exported high quality manufactured goods much sought after by Britain’s fashionable society.

These were labor intensive. The Europeans did Scientific R&D and soon made better, cheaper, stuff which Indians eagerly bought because the product represented better value for money.  

The British elite wore Indian linen and silks, decorated their homes with Indian chintz and decorative textiles, and craved Indian spices and seasonings.

While Indians didn't like English food or music. But they did want Pax Britannica and British style Courts and, later on, Legislative Assemblies and 'covenanted' Civil Services and a British style professional army. Sadly India continued to neglect the sea. The first Indian admiral was only appointed in 1958.  

In the 17th and 18th centuries, British shopkeepers tried to pass off shoddy English-made textiles as Indian in order to charge higher prices for them.

Why did they stop doing so? Was it because the British product improved while the Indian product ceased to be remunerative for the emaciated artisans with the appropriate skills?  

The story of India, at different phases of its several-thousand-year-old civilisational history, is replete with

wankers talking high falutin bollocks in a language quite different and alien to that of their own ancestors 

great educational institutions,

like what? Nalanda? It was a Buddhist seminary. 

magnificent cities ahead of any conurbations of their time anywhere in the world,

because of all the flying saucers zipping around 

pioneering inventions,

India invented ZERO.  That was the one lesson drummed into us at School.  Apparently some dude named Aryabhatta or Daalbhatta or something of that sort was responsible for this great discovery.

world-class manufacturing and industry,

produced in mud huts by guys living in mud huts 

and abundant prosperity –

because of high mortality. That's how Malthusian involution works.  

in short, all the markers of successful modernity today –

because Indian villagers produced I-pads in their mud huts.  

and there is no earthly reason why this could not again have been the case, if its resources had not been drained away by the British.

But by why did this rich and technologically advanced country come under the paramountcy of a tiny number of foreigners from a far away island? That is the question Tharoor must answer. One reason, familiar to South Indian Hindus, is that British rule was preferable to forcible conversion at the tip of the sword of Tipu Sultan.  

Mahatma Gandhi said in 1939

'Consider for one moment what can happen if the English were to withdraw all of a sudden and there was no foreign usurper to rule.

'It may be said that the Punjabis, be they Muslims, Sikhs or others, will overrun India. It is highly likely that the Gurkhas will throw in their lot with the Punjabis. Assume further that non-Punjabi Muslims will make common cause with the Punjabis. Where will the Congressmen composed chiefly of Hindus be? If they are still truly non-violent, they will be left unmolested by the warriors. Congressmen won’t want to divide power with the warriors but will refuse to let them exploit their unarmed countrymen. Thus if anybody has cause to keep the British rule for protection from the stronger element, it is the Congressmen and those Hindus and others who are represented by the Congress. The question, therefore, resolves itself into not who is numerically superior but who is stronger. Surely there is only one answer. Those who raise the cry of minority in danger have nothing to fear from the so-called majority which is merely a paper majority and which in any event is ineffective because it is weak in the military sense. Paradoxical as it may appear, it is literally true that the so-called minorities’ fear has some bottom only so long (as the British remain). But the British power will, so long as it so chooses, successfully play one against the other calling the parties by whatever names it pleases. And this process need not be dishonest. They may honestly believe that so long as there are rival claims put up, they must remain in India in response to a call from God to hold the balance evenly between them. Only that way lies not Democracy but Fascism, Nazism, Bolshevism and Imperialism, all facets of the doctrine of ‘Might is Right.’ I would fain hope that this war will change values. It can only do so, if India is recognized as independent and if that India represents unadulterated non-violence on the political field.'

The reason Gandhi unilaterally surrendered to the Brits in 1922 now becomes clear. Gandhi thought Hindus were shit at fighting. The Muslims would take over. They might not anally rape the Hindus- because of the magical power of AHIMSA- but they would take away any nice shiny stuff they might own. Sad. Brits must remain to make India independent and then feed it and defend it and wipe its bum. This is Tharoor's gravamen. 

India used to be so nice. Then Indians came under British rule because....urm... British promised to wipe everybody's bum but Britain cheated! Viceroy did not come and lick clean every single native bum! Then Brits slyly fucked off! Come back Viceroyji! My bum needs cleaning! I'm too busy licking dynasty's arse, so Queenji should arrange the needful. Mind it kindly. 

If there were positive byproducts for Indians from the institutions the British established and ran in India in their own interests, they were never intended to benefit Indians.

Only bum wiping can benefit Indians. Fuck you expect us to accomplish if a great big turd is protruding from our arseholes?  

Today Indians cannot live without the railways; the Indian authorities have reversed British policies and they are used principally to transport people, with freight bearing ever higher charges in order to subsidise the passengers (exactly the opposite of British practice).

Which is why the economy stagnated. Still, India did have 'Freight Equalization' which fucked up the Bengalis. Come to think of it, maybe that's why Mamta looks so mad all the time.  

This is why Britain’s historical amnesia about the rapacity of its rule in India is so deplorable.

But such rapacity was only possible because Indians were either arrant cowards or Tharoor level stooooopid. Thankfully, people like Amartya Sen- who predicted a big famine under Thatcher- serve to remind the Brits that Indians are as stupid as shit. My own efforts in this direction scarcely rate even a lifted eyebrow or sharp intake of breath. The truth is I'm just not educated enough to able to compete with Dr. Tharoor or Dr. Sen or Dr. Spivak.  

Recent years have seen the rise of what the scholar Paul Gilroy called “postcolonial melancholia”, the yearning for the glories of Empire, with a 2014 YouGov poll finding 59% of respondents thought the British empire was “something to be proud of”, and only 19% were “ashamed” of its misdeeds.

British people should be proud of their Empire because it contributed greatly to the security and defense of the home islands. Beating natives in some shit-hole may have been a shitty job but it helped maintain the supply of rubber and petrol and saltpeter and other such vital supplies for 'the sinews of war'. On the other hand, the trans-Atlantic slave trade was an utter abomination though, no doubt, from about 1650 to 1750 it may have been necessary to achieve the Naval supremacy which was vital to the Kingdom's defense. But that horrible shite continued in an uneconomic, let alone unconscionable, manner for another fifty years. 

All this is not intended to have any bearing on today’s Indo-British relationship. That is now between two sovereign and equal nations, not between an imperial overlord and oppressed subjects; indeed, British prime minister Theresa May recently visited India to seek investment in her post-Brexit economy. As I’ve often argued, you don’t need to seek revenge upon history. History is its own revenge.

No. Revenge is a good thing. It teaches a historical aggressor that they will get their head kicked in if they try those monkey tricks ever again. India did not revenge itself on the Brits because the truth is Indians invited them in and, when the US pulled the financial plug on Westminster, Indians were by no means pleased. One reason they continued to buy British into the late Fifties and Sixties was because they didn't like the vulgar Yank who would only provide India with food and armaments but did not even offer to wipe Indian bums! Fuck you Uncle Sam! Fuck you very much indeed!  The Brits, on the other hand, never sent PL480 to feed an almost entirely agricultural nation. Thus there could be no question of quite literally biting the hand that fed India. Instead we can grumble that the Brits looted us and they can send Joanna Lumley over to hold our hand and try to cheer us up by mentioning Cricket or those marvelous steam trains you have and did I tell you my Daddy was the Resident in Gangtok?

 I'm not saying that's what happened to me- but it still might and when it does I shall die content.