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State of Education in India - Inputs on Root Causes.
Dear Friends:
Thank you for taking the time to share issues related to Education system in India.

These are some of the key issues outlined by you:

1 Private school fees have become exorbitant
2 Quality of education in government schools is not at par with the private schools
3 Inadequate schools in cities as well as rural areas
4 Unqualified and/ or incompetent non-performing teachers in Government schools
5 Inadequate facilities in many schools
6 Many Government schools in rural India still don't have toilets for girls
7 Teachers in government schools don’t show up at work too often
8 Children are beaten up by school teachers
9 School curriculum is different across states and boards
10 School curriculum in many cases is outdated
11 There is little focus on practical learning
12 Inadequate facility and training in sports
13 Hefty donations asked for at the time of admissions in private schools
14 Most private schools are run for business and profits.

If there are some key issues missing, kindly post it as a comment to this post. Let us move forward and root cause these so we can figure out what is driving these issues in our Education system.

Once we know the Root Causes, we will start the Solutions discussion in a separate post.

Thank you again for your participation.

Rajendra Pratap Gupta
Bharatiya Janata Party
View Resource/Reply
---
#archbhoo

  • 48 days ago via site
  • 114

10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting aliens and UFOs found in Chhattisgarh

Germans who were considered Barbarians did not invent any thing. German scholars had been visiting Indian civilization since 18th century after hearing about Indian civilization's wealth and science and tech knowledge through the British looters. Since Germans or Europeans in general had severe inferiority complex after coming out of so called dark ages for 1500 yrs, they wanted to distort Indian civilization's glorious history and misappropriate it. Some similarities to Indian language Sanskrit led to the invention of fake Aryan theory from the figment of Max Mueller's (German) imagination, who was hired by East India Company's real owners Rothschild German jews. We all know what this fake Aryan theory led to in the form of Hitler and World war II. (What an irony? Jews were targeted with their own fake Aryan theory by Hitler) lol 50 million people lost their lives. Germans just applied the science and technology discovered/Invented by the Fractal mindset of Brilliant Hindu/Indian Mathematicians, Astronomers, Metallurgists of the past 5000 yrs. Don't forget that Indians were the first to invent Iron and steel (rust free), first to invent spinning wheel technology and Indian civilization was the largest manufacturer and exporter of Iron and steel and textiles in the world until British looters came in 18th century who not only shifted both these technologies and made them as twin engines of so called Industrial revolution but also de-industrialized India for 200 yrs (10 generations) This reason, distortion of Indian history and replacement of flawless Sanskrit with a flawed English language and education system are the main reasons for current self-effacement and self - loathing attitude of stupid Indians Come on, Germans along with other Europeans did not even know how to count until Fibonacci introduced Indian numbers 0 to 9 in 1200 AD. Germans did not create vortex engine design out of thin air. They caught hold of India's ancient Vedic texts. The ion engine was first demonstrated by German-born NASA scientist Ernst Stuhlinger. The Vedic texts from colonized India were taken or stolen to Germany by Hermann Gundert The point is, western philosophies and religion never had it in them until Indian civilization was discovered. It led to misappropriation, absorption and digestion of everything that was valuable from the great Indian civilization.

Rudra S

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/10000-year-old-rock-paintings-depicting-aliens-and-UFOs-found-in-Chhattisgarh/articleshow/38435091.cms

  • 65 days ago via site
  • 173

Germans who were considered Barbarians did not invent any thing. German scholars had been visiting Indian civilization since 18th century after hearing about Indian civilization's wealth and science and tech knowledge through the British looters. Since Germans or Europeans in general had severe inferiority complex after coming out of so called dark ages for 1500 yrs, they wanted to distort Indian civilization's glorious history and misappropriate it. Some similarities to Indian language Sanskrit led to the invention of fake Aryan theory from the figment of Max Mueller's (German) imagination, who was hired by East India Company's real owners Rothschild German jews. We all know what this fake Aryan theory led to in the form of Hitler and World war II. (What an irony? Jews were targeted with their own fake Aryan theory by Hitler) lol 50 million people lost their lives. Germans just applied the science and technology discovered/Invented by the Fractal mindset of Brilliant Hindu/Indian Mathematicians, Astronomers, Metallurgists of the past 5000 yrs. Don't forget that Indians were the first to invent Iron and steel (rust free), first to invent spinning wheel technology and Indian civilization was the largest manufacturer and exporter of Iron and steel and textiles in the world until British looters came in 18th century who not only shifted both these technologies and made them as twin engines of so called Industrial revolution but also de-industrialized India for 200 yrs (10 generations) This reason, distortion of Indian history and replacement of flawless Sanskrit with a flawed English language and education system are the main reasons for current self-effacement and self - loathing attitude of stupid Indians Come on, Germans along with other Europeans did not even know how to count until Fibonacci introduced Indian numbers 0 to 9 in 1200 AD. Germans did not create vortex engine design out of thin air. They caught hold of India's ancient Vedic texts. The ion engine was first demonstrated by German-born NASA scientist Ernst Stuhlinger. The Vedic texts from colonized India were taken or stolen to Germany by Hermann Gundert The point is, western philosophies and religion never had it in them until Indian civilization was discovered. It led to misappropriation, absorption and digestion of everything that was valuable from the great Indian civilization

Rudra S

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/10000-year-old-rock-paintings-depicting-aliens-and-UFOs-found-in-Chhattisgarh/articleshow/38435091.cms

  • 65 days ago via site
  • 84

Plan to Expand Manhattan 500 Feet into the East River “Financially Feasible,” Says City

New York City is one step closer to expanding a 1.3-mile stretch of Lower Manhattan up to 500 feet into the East River in the coming decades.

The proposal, originally conceptualized as Seaport City by the Bloomberg administration, is the subject of the Southern Manhattan Coastal Protection Study: Evaluating the Feasibility of a Multi-Purpose Levee, released last month. The massive project, which would complement a protective berm being built on the Lower East Side, is “technically, legally and financially feasible,” according to the document’s authors.

The expansion would protect Lower Manhattan from storm surges like the one caused by Hurricane Sandy by raising the shoreline to 19 feet above sea level. “If we don’t make something like this happen, we are totally exposed to the risk of climate change,” said Dan Zarrilli, director of New York City’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency.

A secondary benefit would be the residential and commercial development that the expansion would enable, which could help offset construction costs that would reach into the billions of dollars, and even generate revenue to fund additional resiliency programs.

In planning parlance a flood-protection device that incorporates active uses is known as a multi-purpose levee. It’s considered a global best practice with successful examples at work in the Netherlands, Singapore and Japan. (Next City recently reported on an enormous super-levee that will soon protect Tokyo from flooding while creating much-needed new housing in the densely packed city.) The idea was first floated for Manhattan in the 2013 report A Stronger, More Resilient New York as one of 257 initiatives aimed at protecting the city against extreme weather events.

Since then, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and a team of engineers and planners led by ARCADIS has been exploring a variety of flood-protection scenarios, including a flood wall at the existing shoreline, a 250-foot expansion of the shoreline (allowing for one new city block and open space), a 500-foot expansion of the shoreline (allowing for two new city blocks and open space), a scenario involving an elevated platform extending past an expanded shoreline, and a man-made barrier island (allowing for one new city block and open space) separated from the existing shoreline by a channel of water with flood gates at either end.

According to the report, all of these scenarios would provide significant flood protection, though the shoreline expansion scenarios would provide the most security. Of the batch, only the 500-foot expansion would generate enough money to fund its construction, plus an additional $700 million to pay for other resiliency programs. Projected timelines vary from one to five years for the shoreline flood wall to 35 years for the shoreline expansion projects, though interim protection measures could be in place long before the project is complete.

Based on their findings, the study’s authors recommend further analyzing the 250-foot expansion plan, the barrier island scenario and the 500-foot expansion plan, noting that the latter “would best achieve all the project goals.”

According to Zarrilli, the city has already started presenting the study to local community boards and will continue to do so in the coming months.

When asked how likely the project was to happen, he said, “We’re putting big, bold ideas out there because traditional solutions are going to prove ineffective. This is a feasible way to protect the city. Of course, we need to take the right next steps. We need to talk with communities and local stakeholders. They need to play an important role, and we need to do more analysis and review.”

Resilient Cities is made possible with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

The east side of Lower Manhattan, seen here from Brooklyn, could be expanded into the East River by as much as 500 feet. Photo credit: Don DeBold via Flickr

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/plan-to-expand-manhattan-500-feet-into-the-east-river-financial-feasible

BY GRAHAM T. BECK | RESILIENT CITIES | JULY 2, 2014

  • 74 days ago via site
  • 168

#Siam #Bangkok 119 FARTHER INDIA AND THE EAST
INDIES
December 31, 1932
WE have done with the Far East for a while. We have seen something of India also during the
nineteenth century, and it is time that we moved westward to Europe and America and Africa.
But before we take this long journey, I should like you to have a glimpse of the south-east corner
of Asia and bring our knowledge of it up to date. It is long since we considered these countries. I
have referred to them in some previous letters rather vaguely and variously and perhaps not very
correctly, as Malaysia and Indonesia and the East Indies and Farther India. I doubt if any of these
names covers the whole area, but so long as we understand each other, what's in a name ?
Look at a map if you have one handy. To the south-east of Asia you will see a peninsula
consisting of Burma and Siam, and what is now called French Indo-China. And from between
Burma and Siam a thin tongue of land shoots out—the Malay Peninsula— fattening out towards
the end, with the city of Singapore at the tip. From Malay to Australia there lie many islands, big
ones and small, curiously shaped, giving the impression of the ruins of a giant bridge connecting
Asia and Australia. These islands are the East Indies,
469
and to the north of these lie the Philippines. A modern map will tell you that Burma and Malay
are under the British; Indo-China is French, and, in between, Siam is an independent country.
The East Indies—Sumatra and Java and a great part of Borneo and the Celebes and Moluccas,
the famous spice-islands which drew the mariners of Europe across many thousands miles of
perilous seas— are Dutch. The Philippine Islands are under American domination.
That is the present position of these countries of the eastern seas. But you will remember my
telling you of India's children who went and colonized these countries nearly 2000 years ago; of
the great empires that flourished there for long ages; of beautiful cities with wonderful buildings;
of trade and commerce and a mingling of Indian and Chinese culture and civilization.
In my last letter dealing with these countries (it is number 79) I told you of the fall of the
Portuguese Empire of the East and the rise of the British and Dutch East India Companies. In the
Philippines the Spaniards still ruled.
The British and the Dutch had combined to defeat and drive out the Portuguese. They succeeded,
but there was little love between the victors, and they quarrelled with each other frequently. On
one occasion, in 1623, the Dutch Governor of Amboyna in the Moluccas had the entire English
staff of the East India Company arrested and executed on a charge of conspiring against the
Dutch Government. This wholesale execution is known as the Massacre of Amboyna.
One fact I would have you remember; I have told you of it in earlier letters. At this period—that
is, during the seventeenth century and after—Europe was not an industrial country. It did not
manufacture goods on any large scale for export. The days of the big machine and the Industrial
Revolution were far distant still. Asia was more of a manufacturing and exporting country than
Europe. When the goods of Asia went to Europe, they were paid for partly by European goods
and partly out of the treasure that came from Spanish America. This trade between Asia and
Europe was a profitable one. The Portuguese had controlled it for a long time and had grown rich
by it; the British and Dutch East India Companies were formed to share in it. But the Portuguese
looked upon this trade as their peculiar preserve, and would not allow any one to share in it.
They had had no difficulty with the Spaniards in the Philippines, as the Spaniards were more
interested in religion than in trade. There was little of religion about the British and Dutch
adventurers who came on behalf of the two new trading companies. Soon there was conflict.
The Portuguese had been ruling for over a century and a quarter in the East. They were far from
popular with the people they ruled and there was discontent. The two trading companies of
England and Holland took advantage of this discontent and helped these people to get rid of the
Portuguese, but, immediately after, they themselves stepped into the place vacated by the
Portuguese. As rulers of India and the East Indies they took tribute from the people
470 471
in the shape of heavy taxes and in other ways, and this helped them greatly in carrying on the
foreign trade without any great burden on Europe. The great difficulty which Europe had
previously experienced in paying for the goods from eastern countries was thus lessened. Even
so, as we have seen, England tried to stop the inflow of Indian goods by prohibition and heavy
duties. Matters stood thus till the coming of the Industrial Revolution.
The conflict of the Dutch and the British in the East Indies did not last long, because the British
withdrew from it. They were beginning to get busy in India, and had their hands full. So these
East Indian islands were left entirely to the Dutch East India Company, with the exception of the
Philippines, which remained under the Spanish. As the Spanish cared very little for trade and
were not trying to conquer any further territory, the Dutch had no rivals now in this area.
The Dutch East India Company, like its namesake the British Company in India, settled down to
make as much money as possible. For a 150 years this trading company ruled these islands. They
did not pay the slightest attention to the welfare of the people. They oppressed them and extorted
as much tribute out of them as was possible. When it was easy to make money by taking tribute,
trade became a secondary consideration and languished. The Company was thoroughly
inefficient, and the Dutchmen who went out to serve it belonged to the same type of
unscrupulous adventurers as the factors or agents of the British Company in India. Moneymaking,
by fair means or foul, was their chief concern. In India the resources of the country were
far greater, and even a great deal of mismanagement could be covered up; in India also a number
of able British governors made the administration efficient at the top, even though it crushed the
people at the bottom, But you will remember that the great Revolt of 1857 put an end to the
British East India Company.
The Dutch East India Company went from bad to worse, and ultimately in 1798 the Netherlands
Government took direct charge of the Eastern Islands. Soon after, owing to the Napoleonic Wars
in Europe and Holland becoming a part of Napoleon's Empire, the English Government took
possession of these islands. For five years they were treated as a province of British India, and
during this period considerable reforms were introduced. With the fall of Napoleon, the East
Indies were returned to Holland. During the five years that Java was connected with the British
Indian Government, an able Englishman, Thomas Stamford Raffles, acted as Lieutenant-
Governor of Java. Raffles reported that the history of the Dutch colonial administration " is one
of the most extraordinary relations of treachery, bribery, massacre, and meanness ". Among other
practices, the Dutch officials used to have a regular system of kidnapping people in the Celebes
in order to secure slaves for use in Java. This kidnapping was accompanied by devastation and
killing.
The direct rule of the Netherlands Government was no better
472
than that of the Company. In some ways it was even more oppressive for the people. You will
remember perhaps what I told you of the Indigo Plantation system in Bengal, which caused so
much misery to the cultivators. Something similar to this system, only much worse, was
introduced in Java and elsewhere. In the days of the Company the people were made to supply
goods. Now, under the " culture system " as it was called, they were forced to work for a certain
period every year, which was supposed to be about a third or a quarter of the cultivator's time. In
practice, often enough, almost all the cultivator's time was taken up. The Dutch Government
worked through contractors, who were given advances of money, free of any interest, by the
government. These contractors then exploited the land with the help of forced labour. The
produce of the land was supposed to be shared, in certain fixed proportions, between the
government, the contractor and the cultivator. Probably the poor cultivator's share was the
smallest of all; I do not know exactly what it was. The government also laid it down that certain
products that were required in Europe must be grown over part of the land. Among these were
tea, coffee, sugar, indigo, etc. As in the case of the indigo plantations in Bengal, these had to be
grown even though the profit was less than it otherwise might be.
The Dutch Government made enormous profits; the contractors flourished; the cultivators
starved and lived in misery. In the middle of the nineteenth century there was a terrible famine,
and vast numbers of people died. Only then was it thought necessary to do something for the
unhappy cultivator. Slowly his conditions were bettered, but even as late as 1916 there was still
forced labour.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century a number of educational and other reforms were
introduced by the Dutch. A new middle class has grown up and a nationalist movement has
demanded freedom. As in India, some very halting advance has been made, and feeble
assemblies, with little real power, have been established. About five years ago there was a
revolution in the Dutch East Indies; it was crushed with great cruelty. But no amount of cruelty
or oppression can kill the spirit of freedom. which has arisen in Java and the other islands.
The Dutch East Indies are now known as Netherlands India. Every fortnight an air service goes
all the way from Holland, across Europe and Asia, to the city of Batavia in Java.
I have finished my outline story of the East Indian islands, and now I want to cross over to the
mainland of Asia. Of Burma there is little more to be said. Often the country was divided
between North and South, and the two struggled with each other. Sometimes a powerful king
united the two and even ventured to conquer neighbouring Siam. And then, in the nineteenth
century, came the conflicts with the British. The Burmese King, over-confident of his strength,
invaded and annexed Assam. The first Burmese War with the British in India followed in 1824,
and Assam went to the British. The British now discovered that the Burmese Government
473
and army were weak, and the desire to annex the whole country came to them. Silly pretexts
were found for a second and a third war, and by 1885 the whole kingdom was annexed and made
part of the British Indian Empire. Since then Burma's fate has been linked with India's.
South of Burma, the British had also spread in the Malay Peninsula. They took possession of the
island of Singapore early in the nineteenth century, and owing to its happy situation it soon
became a rising commercial city and a port of call for all ships going to the Far East. The old
port of Malacca, farther up in the peninsula, declined. From Singapore the British began to
spread north. There were many small States in the Malay Peninsula, most of them vassal to
Siam. By the end of the century all these States were British protectorates, and they were joined
together in a kind of federation named the " Federated Malay States ". Siam had to give up all the
rights she possessed in some of these States to England.
Siam was thus being surrounded by European Powers. To the west and south, in Burma and
Malay, England was supreme; to the east France was aggressive and was absorbing Annam.
Annam acknowledged China's suzerainty, but that was of little help when China herself was in
difficulties. You will remember my telling you in a recent letter on China about fight ing between
France and China over the French invasion of Annam. France was checked a little, but only for a
while. In the second half of the nineteenth century France built up a great colony, called French
Indo-China, including Annam and Cambodia. Cambodia, where in the old days the Empire of
Angkor the Magnificent had flourished, was a subject-State of Siam. France established its sway
over it by threat of war with Siam. It is worth noticing that all the early intrigues of the French in
these countries were carried on through French missionaries. One of these missionaries was
sentenced to death for some reason or other, and it was to secure reparation for this that the first
French expedition was sent in 1857. This expedition seized the port of Saigon in the south, and
from there French control spread north.
I am afraid there is a great deal of repetition in these sordid tales of imperialist advance in the
countries of Asia. The methods were more or less the same everywhere, and almost everywhere
they succeeded. I have dealt with country after country, and finished the story, for the time being
at least, by putting it under some European Power. Only one country in south-east Asia escaped
this fate, and this was Siam.
Siam was lucky to escape, wedged in as she was between England in Burma and France in Indo-
China. Perhaps it was because of the presence of these European rivals to the right and left of her
that she escaped. She owed her good fortune also to the fact that she was having a spell of fairly
good government and there were no internal troubles, as there had been in many other countries.
But good government was, of course, no guarantee against foreign
474
invasion. As it happened, England had her hands full in India and Burma, and France in Indo-
China. By the time both of them had reached the frontiers of Siam, late in the nineteenth century,
the day for annexations was already passing. The spirit of resistance was rising in the East, and
nationalist movements were beginning in the colonies and dependencies. There was danger of
war between Siam and France over Cambodia, but Siam gave in and avoided friction with the
French. To the west a strong mountain barrier protected Siam from the British in Burma.
I have told you that twice at least in the past the Burmese kings have invaded Siam, and even
annexed it. The last invasion was in 1767, when the Siamese capital named Ayuthia or Ayudhia
(note how Indian names occur) was destroyed. Soon, however, the Burmese were driven out by a
popular rising and a new dynasty began with King Rama I in 1782. Even to-day, just a 150 years
later, this dynasty still reigns in Siam, and all the kings seem to be called " Rama ". Under this
new dynasty Siam had good but rather paternal government and, very wisely, an effort was made
to cultivate good relations with foreign Powers. The ports were opened for foreign trade,
commercial treaties were made with certain foreign Powers, and some reforms were introduced
in the administration. The new capital was Bangkok. All this was not enough to keep the
imperialist wolves away. England spread in Malay and took Siamese territory there; France got
Cambodia and other Siamese territory to the east. France and England nearly came to blows over
Siam in 1896. But then, in the recognized imperialist fashion, they agreed to guarantee the
integrity of the remaining portions of Siamese territory and, at the same time, divided this up into
three " spheres of influence ". The eastern part was the French sphere, the western was the
British, and in between there was a neutral area where both could have their pickings.. Having
thus solemnly guaranteed the integrity of Siam, a few years later France took some more territory
to the east, and England of course then had to take some compensation in the south.
Still, in spite of all this, a part of Siam has escaped European domination, and that is the only
country ,to do so in this part of Asia. The tide of European aggression has been checked now,
and there is little chance of Europe getting more territory in Asia. The time is soon coming when
the European Powers in Asia will have to pack up and go home.
Siam was till recently and autocratic monarchy and, in spite of some reforms, there was a good
deal of feudalism. A few months ago there was a revolution there—a peaceful one—and the
upper middle classes, it seems, came to the front. Some kind of parliament has been established
there. The king, of the dynasty of Rama I, wisely agreed to the change, and so the dynasty has
remained. Siam has thus now a constitutional monarchy.
One other country of south-east Asia remains for us to consider— the Philippine Islands. I
wanted to write about them also in this letter, but it is late and I am tired, and the letter is long
enough
475
This is the last letter I shall write to you this year—1932—for the old year has run its course and
is at its last gasp. In another three hours it will be no more and will become a memory of the
past.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

  • 74 days ago via site
  • 221

#Chosen-Korea 118 CHINA BECOMES A REPUBLIC
December 30, 1932
WE have seen how Japan's victory over Russia pleased and flattered Asiatic nations. The
immediate result of it, however, was to add one more to the small group of aggressive,
imperialistic Powers. The first effect of this was felt by Korea. Japan's rise meant Korea's fall.
Ever since her reopening to the world, Japan had marked out Korea, and partly Manchuria, as her
own. Of course she declared repeatedly that she was going to respect the integrity of China and
the independence of Korea. The imperialist
465
Powers have a way of giving fulsome assurances of good-will even while they rob the party
concerned, of declaring the sanctity of life even as they kill. So Japan declared solemnly that she
would not interfere in Korea, and at the same time carried through her old policy of taking
possession of her. Her wars with China and Russia both centred round Korea and Manchuria.
Step by step she had advanced, and now with the defeat of China and Russia, her way was clear.
No scruple had ever troubled Japan in the pursuit of her imperial policy. She grabbed openly, not
caring even to over her designs with a veil. As early as 1894, just before the China War, the
Japanese had forcibly entered the royal palace at Seoul, the capital of Korea, and removed and
imprisoned the Queen, who would not do their bidding. After the Russian War, in 1905; the
Japanese Government forced the Korean King to sign away his country's independence and
accept Japanese suzerainty. But this was not good enough. In less than five years this unhappy
king was removed altogether from the throne, and Korea was annexed to the Japanese Empire.
This was in 1910. After a long history of over 3000 years, Korea passed away as a separate State.
The king who was thus removed belonged to a dynasty which had driven out the Mongols 500
years before. But Korea, like her elder sister China, became fossilized and stagnant, and had to
pay the penalty for this.
Korea was given its old name again—Chosen, the land of the morning calm. The Japanese
brought some modern reforms with them, but they ruthlessly crushed the spirit of the Korean
people. For many years the struggle for independence continued and there were many outbreaks,
the most important one being in 1919. The people of Korea, and especially young men and
women, struggled gallantly against tremendous odds. On one occasion, when a Korean
organization fighting for freedom formally declared independence, and thus defied the Japanese,
the story goes that they immediately telephoned to the police and informed them of what they
had done Thus deliberately they sacrified themselves for their ideal. The suppression of the
Koreans by the Japanese is a very sad and dark chapter in history. You will be interested to know
that young Korean girls, many of them fresh from college, played a prominent part in the
struggle.
Let us go back to China now. We left her rather suddenly after the orushing of the Boxer
movement and the Peking Protocol in 1901. China was thoroughly humiliated, and again there
was an attempt at reform. Even the old Dowager Empress seemed to think that something should
be done. During the Russo-Japanese War, China remained a passive spectator, although the
fighting was taking place on Chinese territory—Manchuria. Japan's victory strengthened the
reformers in China. Education was modernized, and many students were sent to Europe and
America and Japan to study modern sciences. The old system of literary examinations by which
officials used to be appointed was abolished.
466
This amazing system, typical of China, had lasted for 2000 years— ever since the days of the
Han dynasty. It had long outgrown its utility, and was keeping back China; so it was well that it
was abolished. And yet, in its way, it was for long ages a wonderful thing. It represented the
Chinese outlook on life, which was neither feudal nor priestly, as in most other countries of Asia
and Europe, but was based on reason. The Chinese have always been the least religious of
people, and yet they have followed their system of an ethical and regulated life more strictly than
any religious people. They tried to develop a rational society, but as they limited this within the
four corners of the ancient classics, progress and necessary changes were prevented and there
was stagnation and fossilization. We in India have much to learn from this Chinese rationalism,
for we are still in the grip of caste and dogmatic religion and priestcraft and feudal ideas. The
great Chinese sage Confucius gave a warning to his people which is worthy of remembrance : "
Never have anything to do with those who pretend to have dealings with the supernatural. If you
allow supernaturalism to get a foothold in your country, the result would be a dreadful calamity."
In our country unfortunately many a man with a tuft of hair on his head, or matted locks, or long
beard, or intricate markings on the forehead, or saffron cloak, poses as an agent of the
supernatural and fleeces the common people.
But China, with all her old-time rationalism and culture, had lost grip with the present, and her
old institutions gave her little help in her hour of difficulty. The march of events had vitalized
many of her children and made them seek diligently for light elsewhere. They had shaken up
even the old Dowager Empress, who talked of granting a constitution and self-government, and
sent a commission to foreign countries to study their constitutions.
The Chinese Government under the old Dowager was moving at last. But the people were
moving faster. As early as 1894 Dr. Sun Yat Sen had founded the " China Revival Society ",
which many joined as a protest against the unfair and one-sided treaties— the " unequal treaties "
they are called by the Chinese—which the foreign Powers had forced on China. This society
grew, and attracted to it the youth of the country. In 1911 it changed its name to the Kuo-Min-
Tang—the " People's National Party "—and became the centre of the Chinese Revolution. Dr.
Sun, the inspirer of the movement, looked to the United States for his model. He wanted a
republic, not a constitutional monarchy, as in England, and certainly no emperor-worship, as in
Japan. The Chinese had never made a fetish of their emperors, and besides, the reigning dynasty
was hardly Chinese. It was Manchu, and there was a good deal of anti-Manchu feeling. It was
this ferment in the people that had moved the Dowager Empress. But the old lady died soon after
her proclamations about the coming constitution. Strangely enough, both the old Dowager and
her nephew the Emperor, whom she had removed from the throne, died within twenty-four hours
of each other in November 1908. A babe now became the nominal Emperor.
467
Again there were loud demands for the calling of a parliament, and anti-Manchu and antimonarchical
feeling rose higher. The revolutionaries gathered strength. The only strong man who
might have faced them was the viceroy of a province, Yuan Shih-Kai. This man was a wily old
fox, but he happened to control the only modern and efficient army in China, called the " model
army". Very foolishly, the Manchu rulers irritated and dismissed Yuan, and thus lost the only
man who might have saved them for a while. In October 1911 revolution broke out in the valley
of the Yangtze, and soon a great part of Central and South China was in revolt. On New Year's
Day in 1912 these provinces in revolt proclaimed a republic with its capital at Nanking. Dr. Sun
Yat Sen was chosen as President.
Meanwhile Yuan Shih-Kai had been watching the drama ready to intervene when it would be to
his advantage to do so. The story of Yuan's dismissal by the Regent (who was acting for his son,
the infant Emperor) and his subsequent recall is interesting. Everything was done with all
courtesy and politeness in the old China. When Yuan had to be dismissed it was announced that
he was suffering from a bad leg. Of course everyone knew that his leg was in excellent
condition, and that this was just the conventional method of sending him away. But Yuan had his
revenge. Two years later, in 1911, when mutiny and revolt had broken out against the
Government, the Regent summoned Yuan in alarm. Yuan had no intention of going unless his
terms were granted. So he replied to the Regent that he regretted that he could not possibly leave
home just then, as his leg was not yet well enough for him to travel! His leg recovered with
remarkable speed when his conditions were accepted a month later.
But it was too late to check the revolution, and Yuan was clever enough not to compromise
himself by committing himself to either side. Finally he advised the abdication of the Manchus.
With a republic facing them and deserted by their own general, the Manchu rulers had little
choice left. On February 12, 1912, an Edict of Abdication was issued, and thus disappeared the
Manchu dynasty from the Chinese stage, after over two and a half centuries of memorable rule.
According to a Chinese phrase : " They had come in with the roar of a tiger, to disappear like the
tail of a snake."
On this same day, February 12, there took place a strange ceremony in Nanking, the new
Republican capital, and also the place where stood the mausoleum of the first Ming sovereign—a
ceremony which brought together the old and the new in vivid contrast. Sun Yat Sen, President
of the Republic, went with his Cabinet to this mausoleum and presented offerings in the old way.
And in the course of his address on this occasion, he said : " We are initiating the example to
Eastern Asia of a republican form of government; success conies early or late to those who
strive, but the good are surely rewarded in the end. Why, then, should we repine to-day that
victory has tarried long ? "
For many a long year, at home and in exile, Dr. Sun had laboured
468
for China's freedom, and success seemed to have come at last. But freedom is a slippery friend,
and success demands full payment before it comes, and often it mocks us with vain hope, and
tests us with many a hardship, before it can be secured. China's and Dr. Sun's journey were far
from over. For many a year the young Republic had to fight for its life, and even to-day, twentyone
years later, when it should have come of age, the future of China hangs in the balance.
The Manchus had abdicated, but Yuan still stood in the way of the Republic, and no one seemed
to know what he would do. He controlled the North, the Republic the South. For the sake of
peace, and to avoid civil war, Dr. Sun effaced himself, retired from the president ship and had
Yuan Shih-Kai elected as president. But Yuan was no republican. He was out to gain power to
exalt himself. He borrowed money from foreign Powers to crush the very Republic which had
honoured him by electing him President. He dismissed Parliament and dissolved the Kuo-Min-
Tang. This led to a split, and a rival government, with Dr. Sun as its head, was set up in the
South. The split which Dr. Sun had sought to avoid by all the means in his power had come, and
there were two governments in China when the World War broke out. Yuan tried to become
emperor, but he failed and died soon after.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Korea

  • 74 days ago via site
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117 JAPAN DEFEATS RUSSIA
December 29, 1932
I HAVE been writing to you about the Far East, and I shall continue this story to-day. You may
wonder why I seek to burden your mind with the wars and disputes of the past. They are not
savoury subjects, and they are over and done with. I do not want to lay stress on them. But much
that is happening to-day in the Far East has its roots in these very troubles, and some knowledge
of them therefore is necessary to the understanding of modern problems. China, like India, is one
of the great world problems of to-day. And even as I write, a bitter dispute is going on regarding
the Japanese conquest of Manchuria.
I told you in my last letter of the scramble for concessions in China in 1898, backed by the
warships of the western Powers. They seized all the good ports, and in the province lying behind
the port they secured all manner of rights—to open mines, build railroads, etc. And still the
demand continued for further concessions. The foreign governments began to talk of " spheres of
influence " in China. This is a gentle way which modern imperialistic governments have of
partitioning a country. There are various degrees of possession and control. Annexation is, of
course, complete possession; a protectorate is something with slightly less control; " spheres of
influence " is less still. But they all point to the same thing; one step leads to another. Indeed, as
we shall perhaps have the chance of discussing later, annexation is an old and almost discarded
method which brings nationalistic trouble in its train. It is far easier to have economic control of
a country and not worry about the rest.
So the partition of China seemed imminent and Japan was thoroughly alarmed. The fruits of her
victory over China seemed to have gone to the western Powers, and she gazed in helpless anger
at this splitting up of China. Above all, she was wroth with Russia for preventing her from taking
possession of Port Arthur and then seizing it herself.
460
There was one great Power, however, which had so far taken no part in this scramble for
concessions in China or the plans for partition. This was the United States of America. They had
kept away not because they were more virtuous than the others, but because they were busy
developing their vast country. As they spread westwards to the Pacific Ocean fresh areas
required development, and all their energies and wealth were poured into this. Indeed, a great
deal of European capital was also invested in America for this purpose. But by the end of the
century Americans began to look abroad for investments. They looked to China, and saw with
disapproval that the European Powers were on the point of dividing it up into " spheres of
influence ", with a view perhaps to eventual annexation. America was being left out. So America
pressed for what is called the " open-door " policy in China. This meant that equal facilities
should be given to all for trade and business in China. The other Powers agreed to this.
This continual aggression thoroughly frightened the Chinese Government, and convinced them
that they must reform and reorganize. They tried to do so, but they had little chance to succeed
on account of the continuous demands for fresh concessions. The Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi had
been living in retirement for some years. The Chinese people began to look to her as a possible
saviour. The Emperor at the time, suspecting some intrigue, wanted to put her in prison. But the
old lady retaliated by removing him from power and taking control herself. She took no steps for
radical reform, as Japan had done, but she concentrated on building up a modern army. She
encouraged the formation of local bands of militia for defence. These bodies of local militia
called themselves " I Ho Tuan "—Bands of Righteous Harmony. Sometimes they were also
called " Fists of Righteous Harmony "—I Ho Chuan. This latter name reached some Europeans
in the port towns, and they translated it into " Boxers ", a crude translation of a graceful phrase.
These " Boxers " were a patriotic reaction against foreign aggression and the innumerable insults
which had been offered to China and the Chinese by foreigners. It is not surprising that they did
not love the foreigner, who seemed to them the embodiment of evil. In particular they disliked
missionaries, who had misbehaved greatly, and, as for the Chinese Christians, they considered
them traitors to their country. They represented old China making a last effort to protect herself
from the new order. The attempt was not likely to succeed in this way.
There was bound to be friction between these patriotic, anti-foreign, anti-missionary,
conservative people and the Westerners. Conflicts occurred; an English missionary was
murdered; many Europeans and a large number of Chinese Christians were killed. Foreign
governments demanded the suppression of the patriotic Boxer movement. The Chinese
Government punished those who were guilty of killing, but how could it suppress its own child
in this way ? Meanwhile the Boxer movement spread rapidly. The foreign ministers, alarmed by
it, summoned troops from their warships,
461
and this again made the Chinese think that the foreign invasion had begun. Soon there was
conflict. The German Minister was killed, and there was a siege of the foreign legations in
Peking.
A great part of China was up in arms in sympathy with the patriotic Boxer movement. But the
viceroys of some provinces remained neutral and helped the foreign Powers in this way. The
Dowager Empress undoubtedly sympathized with the Boxers, but she was not openly associated
with them Foreigners tried to make out that the Boxers were just brigands. But as a matter of fact
the rebellion of 1900 was a patriotic effort to free China from foreign interference. A high
English officer in China, Sir Robert Hart, who was Inspector-General of the customs there at the
time, went through the siege of the legations. He tells us that the foreigners, and especially the
missionaries, were to blame for outraging Chinese feelings, and that the rebellion " was patriotic
in its origin, and that it was justifiable in much that it aimed at cannot be questioned, and cannot
be too much insisted on ".
This sudden turning of the worm irritated the western Powers greatly. They hurried troops, as
they were justified in doing, to save and protect their own people who were besieged in Peking.
An international force under a German commander marched to relieve the legations. The Kaiser
of Germany asked his troops in China to behave like Huns, and probably it is from this order that
the English took to calling all Germans Huns during the World War.
The Kaiser's advice was followed not only by his own troops, but by all the foreign armies. As
these forces marched to Peking, the treatment they gave to the people was such that large
numbers preferred suicide to falling into their hands. Chinese women in those days dwarfed their
feet and could not easily run away. So many of them killed themselves. In this way the allied
armies marched on, leaving a trail of death and suicide and burning villages. An English war
correspondent, who accompanied the allied forces, says :
There are things that I must not write, and may not be printed in England, which would seem to
show that this western civilization of ours is merely a veneer over savagery. The actual truth has
never been written about any war, and this will be no exception.
These armies reached Peking and relieved the legations. And then followed the sack of Peking—
" the biggest looting excursion since the days of Pizarro ". The art treasures of Peking went into
the hands of crude and uncultured people who did not even know their value. And it is sad to
note that the missionaries took a prominent part in this looting. Groups of people went from
house to house fixing notices on them saying that they belonged to them. The valuables in the
house were sold, and then a move was made to another big house.
The rivalry of the Powers, and partly also the attitude of the United States Government, saved
China from partition. But she
462
was made to drink the bitterest cup of humiliation. All manner of indignities were heaped on her
: a permanent foreign military force was to remain in Peking and also to guard the railway; many
forts were to be destroyed; membership of an anti-foreign society was made punishable with
death; further commercial privileges were taken and a huge sum of money extorted as an
indemnity; and, most terrible blow of all, the Chinese Government was forced to put to death as "
rebels " the patriotic leaders of the Boxer movement. Such was the " Peking Protocol", as it is
called, which was signed in 1901.
While all this was taking place in China proper, and especially round Peking, the Russian
Government took advantage of the prevailing confusion to send large numbers of troops across
Siberia to Manchuria. China was powerless; all it could do was to protest. But, as it happened,
the other Powers disapproved very much of the Russian Government taking possession in this
way of a large slice of territory. Even more anxious and alarmed was the Japanese Government
at this development. So the Powers pressed Russia to go back, and the Russian Government tried
to assume a look of virtuous pain and surprise that its honourable intentions should have been
doubted by any one, and assured the Powers that it had absolutely no intention of interfering with
China's sovereign rights, and would withdraw its troops as soon as order was restored on the
Russian railway in Manchuria. So everybody was satisfied, and, no doubt compliments must
have been paid by the Powers to each other for their remarkable unselfishness and virtue. But,
none the less, Russian troops remained in Manchuria and spread right up to Korea.
This advance of Russia in Manchuria and to Korea angered the Japanese greatly. Quietly but
intensively they prepared for war. They remembered the combination of three Powers against
them in 1895, when they had been forced to give up Port Arthur after the China War, and they
tried to prevent this happening again. They found in England a Power which feared Russian
advance and wanted to check it. So in 1902 an Anglo-Japanese Alliance was made with the
object of preventing a combination of Powers from coercing either Power in the Far East. Japan
felt safe now, and took up a more aggressive attitude towards Russia. She demanded that Russian
troops be withdrawn from Manchuria. But the foolish Tsarist Government of the day looked
upon Japan with contempt and never believed that she would fight.
Early in 1904 war began between the two countries. Japan was fully prepared for it, and the
Japanese people, egged on by their government's propaganda and their cult of emperor-worship,
were aflame with patriotic fervour. Russia, on the other hand, was wholly unprepared, and her
autocratic government could only govern by continuous repression of the people. For a year and
a half the war raged, and all Asia and Europe and America were witness to Japan's victories on
sea and land. Port Arthur fell to the Japanese after amazing deeds of sacrifice and enormous
slaughter.
463
A great fleet of warships was sent by Russia from Europe all the way by sea to the Far East.
After having crossed half the world, travel-stained after thousands of miles of voyage, this
mighty fleet arrived in the Sea of Japan, and there, in the narrow straits between Japan and
Korea, it was sunk by the Japanese, together with its admiral. Nearly the whole fleet went down
in this great disaster.
Russia, Tsarist Russia, was hard hit by defeat after defeat. Russia had great reserves of power;
was it not she that had humbled Napoleon 100 years before 1 But just then the real Russia, the
common people of Russia, spoke.
In the course of these letters I am continually referring to Russia, England, France, China, Japan,
and so on, as if each country were a living entity. This is a bad habit of mine, which I have
acquired from books and newspapers. What I mean, of course, is the Russian Government, the
English Government of the day, and so on. These governments may represent nobody but a small
group, or they may represent a class, and it is not correct to think or say that they represent the
whole people. During the nineteenth century the English Government might be said to have
represented a small group of well-to-do people, the owners of land and the upper middle classes,
who controlled Parliament. The great majority of the people had no say in the matter. In India today
one hears sometimes of India sending a representative to the League of Nations or a Round-
Table Conference or to some other function. This is nonsense. The so-called representatives
cannot be the representatives of India unless the people of India choose them. They are thus the
nominees of the Government of India, which, in spite of its name, is just a department of the
British Government. Russia, at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, was an autocracy. The Tsar
was the " autocrat of all the Russias ", and a very foolish autocrat he was. The workers and the
peasants were kept down by means of the army, and even the middle classes had no voice of any
kind in the government. Many a brave Russian youth raised his head and his hand against this
tyranny and sacrificed his life in the fight for freedom. Many a girl went the same way. So, when
I talk of " Russia " doing this or doing that, of fighting Japan, all I mean is the Tsarist
Government and nothing more.
The Japanese war, with its disaster, brought more suffering to the common people. The workers
often went on strike in the factories to bring pressure on the government. On January 22, 1905,
several thousands of peaceful peasants and workers, led by a priest, went in procession to the
Winter Palace of the Tsar to beg for some relief from their sufferings. The Tsar, instead of
hearing what they had to say, had them shot down. There was a terrible slaughter; 200 were
killed, and the winter snow of Petersburg was red with blood. It was a Sunday, and, ever since,
that day has been called " Bloody Sunday ". The country was deeply stirred. There were strikes
of workers, and these led up to an attempted revolution. This revolution of 1905 was put down
with great cruelty by the Tsar's Government. It is interesting for us for several reasons.
464
It was a kind of preparation for the great revolution twelve years later, in 1917, which changed
the face of Russia. And it was during this unsuccessful revolution of 1905 that the revolutionary
workers created a new organization which was to become so famous later on —the Soviets.
From telling you about China and Japan and the Russo-Japanese War I have, as is my way,
drifted to the Russian revolution of 1905. But I had to tell you something of this to explain the
background in Russia during this Manchurian War. It was largely because of this attempted
revolution and the temper of the people that the Tsar came to terms with Japan.
The Russo-Japanese War ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth in September 1905. Portsmouth is
in the United States. The American President had invited both parties and the treaty of peace was
signed there. By this treaty Japan got back at last Port Arthur and the Liaotung peninsula, which,
you will remember, she had been forced to give up after the China War. Japan also took a great
part of the railway which the Russians had built in Manchuria, and half of the island of
Sakhalien, which lies north of Japan. Further, Russia abandoned all claims on Korea.
So Japan had won, and she entered the charmed circle of the great Powers. The victory of Japan,
an Asiatic country, had a far-reaching effect on all the countries of Asia. I have told you how, as
a boy, I used to get excited over it. That excitement was shared by many a boy and girl and
grown-up in Asia. A great European Power had been defeated; therefore Asia could still defeat
Europe as it had done so often in the past. Nationalism spread more rapidly over the eastern
countries and the cry of " Asia for Asiatics " was heard. But this nationalism was not a mere
return to the past, a clinging on to old customs and beliefs. Japan's victory was seen to be due to
her adoption of the new industrial methods of the West, and these ideas and methods became
more popular all over the East.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Japanese_War

  • 77 days ago via site
  • 105

116 JAPAN RUSHES AHEAD
December 27, 1932
IT is long since I wrote to you about Japan. Over five months ago I told you (in letter 81) of the
strange way in which this country shut herself up in the seventeenth century. From 1641, for over
200 years, the people of Japan lived cut off from the rest of the world. These 200 years saw great
changes in Europe and Asia and America, and even in Africa. Of some of the stirring events that
took place during this period I have already told you. But no news of them reached this secluded
nation; no breath from outside came to disturb the old-world feudal air of Japan. Almost it
seemed as if the march of time and change had been stayed, and the mid-seventeenth century
held captive. For though time rolled on, the picture seemed to remain the same. It was feudal
Japan, with the landowning class in power. The Emperor had little power; the real ruler was the
Shogun, the head of a great clan. Like the Kshattriyas in India, there was a warrior class called
the Samurai. The feudal lords and the Samurai were the ruling class. Often different lords and
clans quarrelled with each other. But all of them joined in oppressing and exploiting the
peasantry and all others.
Still, Japan had peace. After the long civil wars which had exhausted the country this peace was
very welcome. Some of the great warring nobles—the Daimyos—were suppressed. Slowly Japan
began to recover from the ravages of civil war. People's minds turned more to industry and art
and literature and religion. Christianity had been suppressed; Buddhism revived, and later
Shinto, which is a typical Japanese worship of ancestors. Confucius, the sage of China, became
the ideal to be looked up to in matters of social behaviour and morals. Art flourished in the
circles of the Court and the nobility. In some ways the picture was similar to that of the Middle
Ages of Europe.
But it is not so easy to keep out change, and though outside contacts were stopped, inside Japan
itself change worked, though more slowly than it might otherwise have done. As in other
countries, the feudal order moved towards economic collapse. Discontent grew, and the Shogun,
being at the head of affairs, became the target for this. The growth of Shinto-worship made
people look more to the Emperor, who was supposed to be the direct descendant of the Sun.
Thus a spirit of nationalism grew out of the prevailing discontents, and this spirit, based as it was
on an economic breakdown, would have inevitably led to a change and the opening of Japan to
the world.
Many attempts had been made by foreign Powers to open up Japan, but they had all failed.
About the middle of the nineteenth
454
century the United States of America became especially interested in this. They had just spread
out to the west in California, and San Francisco was becoming an important port. The newly
opened trade with China was inviting, but the journey across the Pacific was a long one. So they
wanted to call at a Japanese port to break this long journey and take supplies. This was the
reason for Americas repeated attempts to open up Japan.
In 1853 an American squadron came to Japan with a letter from the American President. These
were the first steamships seen in Japan. A year later the Shogun agreed to open two ports. The
British, Russians and Dutch, learning of this, came soon after and also made similar treaties with
the Shogun. So Japan was open again to the world after 213 years.
But there was trouble ahead. The Shogun had posed as the Emperor before the foreign Powers.
He was no longer popular, and a great agitation rose against him and his foreign treaties. Some
foreigners were also killed, and this resulted in a naval attack by the foreign Powers. The
position became more and more difficult, and ultimately the Shogun was prevailed upon to
resign his office in 1867. Thus ended the Tokugawa Shogunate which, you may or may not
remember, began with Iyeyasu in 1603. Not only that, but the whole system of the Shogunate,
which had lasted for nearly 700 years came to an end.
The new Emperor now came into his own. He was a boy of fourteen who had just succeeded to
the throne as the Emperor "Mutsihito. For forty-five years he reigned, from 1867 to 1912, and
this period is known as the Meiji (or " enlightened rule ") era. It was during his reign that Japan
forged ahead, and, copying western nations, became their equal in many respects. This vast
change brought about in a generation is remarkable and without parallel in history. Japan became
a great industrial nation and, after the manner of the western Powers, an imperialistic and
predatory nation. She bore all the outward signs of progress. In industry she even advanced
beyond her teachers. Her population increased rapidly. Her ships went round the globe. She
became a great Power whose voice was heard with respect in inter-national affairs. And yet all
this mighty change did not go very deep down into the heart of the nation. It would be wrong to
call the changes superficial, for they were far more than that. But the outlook of the rulers still
remained feudal, and they sought to combine radical reform with this feudal shell. They seemed
to succeed to a large extent.
The people who were responsible for these great changes in Japan were a band of far-seeing men
of the nobility—the " Elder Statesmen " they were called. When the anti-foreign riots in Japan
were followed by bombardment by the foreign warships, the Japanese saw their helplessness and
felt bitterly humiliated. Instead of cursing their fate and tearing their hair, they decided to learn a
lesson from this defeat and degradation. The Elder Statesmen chalked out a programme of
reform and they adhered to it.
455
The old feudal Daimios were abolished. The capital of the Emperor was taken from Kyoto to
Yedo, which was now renamed Tokyo. A new constitution was announced with two Houses of
Parliament, of which the lower House was elected, the upper nominated. There were changes in
education, law, industry, and in almost everything. Factories grew up, and a modern army and
navy were formed. Experts were sent for from foreign countries, and Japanese students were
Bent to Europe and America, not to become barristers and the like, as Indians have done in the
past, but to become scientists and technical experts.
All this was done by the Elder Statesmen in the name of the
456
Emperor, who in spite of the new Parliament and all else, remained in law the absolute ruler of
the Japanese Empire. And at the same time as they pushed ahead these reforms, they spread the
cult of emperor-worship. It was a strange combination: factories and modern industry and a
semblance of parliamentary government on the one side, and a medieval worship of the divine
Emperor on the other. It is difficult to understand how the two could go together even for a short
while. Yet they did march together, and even to-day they have not separated. The Elder
Statesmen utilized this great feeling of reverence for the Emperor in two ways. They forced the
reforms on the conservative and feudal classes who would otherwise have resisted them but were
cowed down by the prestige of the Emperor's name; and they held back the more progressive
elements who wanted to go faster and get rid of all feudalism.
The contrast between China and Japan during this last half of the nineteenth century is
remarkable. Japan rapidly westernized herself; China, as we have seen and shall see even more
later on, got involved in the most extraordinary difficulties. Why did this happen? The very
vastness of China, her great population and area, made change difficult. India also suffers from
this seeming source of strength—huge area and population. China's government also was not
sufficiently centralized—that is to say, each part of the country had a great deal of selfgovernment.
It was thus not easy for the central government to interfere and bring about big
changes as had been done in Japan. Then again, China's great civilization had grown up in
thousands of years and was too closely interwoven with her life to be easily discarded. Again we
can compare India to China. Japan, on the other hand, had borrowed Chinese civilization and
could more easily replace it. Another reason for China's difficulties was the continual
interference of European Powers. China- was a great continental country. She could not shut
herself up, as the islands of Japan had done. Russia touched her territories to the north and northwest;
the British Empire in the south-west; France was creeping up in the south. These European
Powers had managed to extort important privileges from China and had developed great
commercial interests. These interests gave them plenty of excuses for interference.
So Japan shot ahead, while China was still blindly struggling on and trying, with little success, to
adapt herself to the new conditions. And yet there is another strange fact worth noticing. Japan
took to western machinery and industry and, with a modern army and navy, put on the garb of an
advanced industrialized Power. But she did not take so readily to the new thought and ideas of
Europe; to notions of individual and social freedom; to a scientific outlook on life and society. At
heart she remained feudal and authoritarian and tied up to a strange emperor-worship which the
rest of the world had long outgrown. The passionate and self-sacrificing patriotism of the
Japanese was closely allied to this loyalty to the Emperor. Nationalism and the cult of the divine
457
Emperor went side by side. China, on the other hand, did not take readily to big machinery and
industry; but the Chinese, or at any rate modern China, welcomed western thought and ideas and
the scientific outlook. These were not so far removed from their own. Thus we see that although
modern China entered more into the spirit of western civilization, Japan outstripped her because
she put on the armour of it, ignoring the spirit. And all Europe praised Japan because she was
strong in this armour, and they made her one of their fellowship. But China was weak and
unprovided with Maxim guns and the like. So they insulted her and preached to her and
exploited her, caring little for her thought and ideas.
Japan not only followed Europe in industrial methods, but also in imperialistic aggression. She
was more than a faithful pupil of the European Powers : she often improved on them. Her real
difficulty was the discordance between the new industrialism and the old feudalism. In her
attempts to carry on with both she could not establish economic equilibrium. Taxation was very
heavy, and people grumbled. To prevent trouble at home she had recourse to an old device—
distracting attention by war and imperialistic adventures abroad. Her new industries also forced
her to look to other countries for raw materials and markets, just as the Industrial Revolution had
forced England, and later other western European Powers, to look abroad and. conquer.
Production increased and there was a rapid growth of population. More and more food and raw
materials were required. Where was she to get them? Her nearest neighbours were China and
Korea. China offered opportunities for trade, but she was a thickly populated country. In
Manchuria, however, which formed the north-eastern provinces of the Chinese Empire, there
was plenty of elbow-room for development and colonization. So to Korea and Manchuria, Japan
looked hungrily.
Japan also saw with concern the western Powers getting all manner of privileges from China, and
even trying to get territory. She did not like this at all. If these Powers became well established
on the mainland opposite to her, her safety might be imperilled and, at any rate, her growth on
the continent would be checked.
In less than twenty years after her opening to the outer world, Japan began to be aggressive
towards China. A petty dispute about some fishermen, who had been shipwrecked and were
murdered, gave Japan an opportunity to demand compensation from China. China refused at
first, but then, threatened with war and occupied at the time with the French in Annam, she gave
in to Japan. This was in 1874. Japan was elated by this triumph and immediately looked round
for further conquests. Korea seemed inviting and, picking a quarrel with her for some petty
reason, Japan invaded her and forced her to pay a sum of money and to open some ports for
Japanese trade.
Korea had long been a vassal State of China. She looked to China for support, but China was
unable to help. The Chinese Government, fearing that Japan might acquire too much influence,
458
advised Korea to give in for the moment and also to make treaties with the western Powers to
checkmate Japan. So Korea was thrown open to the world by 1882. But Japan was not going to
be satisfied with this. Taking advantage of China's difficulties, she again raised the Korean
question and made China agree to a joint protectorate over Korea.—that is, poor Korea became a
vassal State of both. This was obviously a most unsatisfactory state of affairs for all concerned.
There was bound to be trouble. Japan, indeed, wanted trouble, and in 1894 she forced a war on
China.
The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 was a runaway affair for Japan. Her army and navy were up
to date; the Chinese were still old-fashioned and inefficient. Japan won all along the line, and
forced a treaty on China which put her on the same level as the western treaty Powers. Korea
was declared independent, but this was only a veil for Japanese control. China was also forced to
give to Japan the Liaotung peninsula in Manchuria, with Port Arthur, as well as Formosa and
some other islands.
This crushing defeat of China by little Japan surprised the world The western Powers were by no
means pleased at this rise of a powerful country in the Far East. Even during the Sino-Japanese
War, when Japan was seen to be winning, she was warned by these Powers that they would not
consent to Japan annexing any part of China's mainland. In spite of this warning she took the
Liaotung peninsula with an important port—Port Arthur. But she was not allowed to keep this.
Three great Powers—Russia, Germany and France—insisted on her giving it up, and, much to
her annoyance and anger, she had to do so. She was not strong enough to face these three.
But Japan remembered this slight upon her. It rankled and made her prepare for a greater
struggle. Nine years later this struggle came with Russia.
Meanwhile Japan, by her victory over China, had established her position as the strongest nation
of the Far East. China had appeared in all her weakness, and all fear of her vanished from the
western Powers. They swooped down on her like vultures on a dead or dying body, and tried to
get as much as possible for themselves. France, Russia, England, and Germany—all scrambled
for seaports on the China coast and for privileges. There was an unholy and a most unseemly
battle for concessions. Every little thing was made an excuse for claiming additional privileges
or concessions. Because two missionaries were killed, Germany seized by force Kiauchau in the
Shantung peninsula in the east. Because Germany took this, the other Powers insisted on their
share of the booty. Russia took Port Arthur, of which she had deprived Japan three years
previously. England took Wei-hai-wei to set off Russia's possession of Port Arthur. France took
a port and territory in Annam. Russia also got permission to build a railway across North
Manchuria, an extension of the Trans-Siberian railway.
It was extraordinary—this shameless scramble. Of course China did not enjoy parting with
territory or granting concessions
459
She was forced to agree on every occasion by displays of naval force and threats of
bombardment. What shall we call this scandalous behaviour ? Highway robbery ? Brigandage ?
It is the way of imperialism. Sometimes it works in secret; sometimes it covers its evil deeds
under a cloak of pious sentiment and hypocritical pretence of doing good to others. But in China
in 1898 there was no cloak or covering. The naked thing stood out in all its ugliness.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/bender4/eall131/EAHReadings/module02/m02japanese.html

  • 77 days ago via site
  • 128

115 CHINA IN DIFFICULTIES
December 24, 1932
IN my last letter I told you of the destruction by the British and French of the wonderful Summer
Palace of Peking in 1860. This was done, it is said, as a punishment for a Chinese violation of a
flag of truce. It may have been true that some Chinese troops had been guilty of such an offence,
but still the deliberate vandalism of the British and French almost passes one's comprehension.
This was not the act of a few ignorant soldiers, but of the men in authority. Why do such things
happen ? The English and the French are civilized and cultured peoples, in many ways the
leaders of modern civilization. And yet these people, who in private life are decent and
considerate, forget all their civilization and decency in their public dealings and conflicts with
other people. There seems to be a strange contrast between the behaviour of individuals to each
other and the behaviour of nations. Children and boys and girls are taught not to be too selfish, to
think of others, to behave properly. All our education is meant to teach us this lesson, and to a
small extent we learn it. And then comes war, and we forget our old lesson, and the brute in us
shows his face. So decent people behave like brutes.
450
This is so even when two kindred nations, like the French and Germans, fight each other. But it
is far worse when different races are in conflict; when the European faces the races and peoples
of Asia and Africa. The different races know little of each other, for each is a closed book to the
other; and where there is ignorance there is no fellow-feeling. Racial hatred and bitterness
increase, and when there is a conflict between two races, it is not only a political war, but
something far worse—a racial war. This explains to some extent the horrors of the Indian Revolt
of 1857, and the cruelty and vandalism of the dominant European Powers in Asia and Africa.
It all seems very sad and very silly. But where there is the domination of one nation over another,
one people over another, one class over another, there is bound to be discontent and friction and
revolt, and an attempt by the exploited nation or people or class to get rid of its exploiter. And
this exploitation of one by another is the very basis of our present-day society, which is called
capitalism, and out of which imperialism has emerged.
In the nineteenth century the big machines and industrial progress had made the western
European nations and the United States of America wealthy and powerful. They began to think
that they were the lords of the earth and that the other races were far inferior to them and must
make way for them. Having gained some control over the forces of Nature, they became arrogant
and overbearing to others. They forgot that civilized man must not only control Nature, but must
also control himself. And so we see in this nineteenth century progressive races, ahead of others
in many ways, often behaving in a manner which would put a backward savage to shame. This
may perhaps help you to understand the behaviour of European races in Asia and Africa, not
only in the last century, but even to-day.
Do not imagine that I am comparing the European races to ourselves or to other races to our
advantage. Far from it. We all have our dark spots, and some of ours are pretty bad; or else we
might not have fallen quite so low as we have done.
We shall go back to China now. The British and French had given a demonstration of their might
by destroying the Summer Palace. They followed this up by forcing China to ratify the old
treaties and extorted fresh privileges out of her. In Shanghai the Chinese customs service was
organized under foreign officials by the Chinese Government in accordance with these treaties.
This was called the " Imperial Maritime Customs ".
Meanwhile the Taiping Rebellion, which had enfeebled China and thus given an opportunity to
the foreign Powers, was still dragging on. At last, in 1864, it was finally put down by a Chinese
Governor, Li Hung Chang, who became a leading statesman of China.
While England and France extorted privileges and concessions out of China by terrorism, Russia
in the north achieved a remarkable success by more peaceful methods. Only a few years before,
Russia, hungry for the possession of Constantinople, had attacked Turkey in Europe. England
and France were afraid of Russia's
451
growing strength, and so they joined the Turks and defeated Russia in what is known as the
Crimean War of 1854-56. Defeated in the west, Russia began to look towards the east, and had
great success. China was persuaded by peaceful means to cede to Russia a province in the northeast,
adjoining the sea, with the city and harbour of Vladivostok. This triumph for Russia was
due to a brilliant young Russian officer, Muravieff. In this way, Russia gained far more by
friendly methods than England and France had gained after their three years' war and insensate
destruction.
So matters stood in 1860. The great Chinese Empire of the Manchus, which by the end of the
eighteenth century covered and dominated nearly half Asia, was now humbled and disgraced.
Western Powers from distant Europe had defeated and humiliated it; an internal rebellion had
almost upset the Empire. All this shook up China completely. It was obvious that all was not
well, and some effort was made to reorganize the country to meet the new conditions and the
foreign menace. So this year 1860 might almost be considered the beginning of a new era when
China prepares to resist foreign aggression. China's neighbour, Japan, was similarly occupied at
this time, and this also served as an example. Japan succeeded far more than China, but for a
while China did hold back the foreign Powers.
A Chinese mission, under an American named Burlingame, who was a warm friend of China,
was sent to the treaty Powers, and he succeeded in getting somewhat better terms from them. A
new Sino-American treaty was signed in 1868, and it is interesting to find that in this the Chinese
Government agreed, as a favour and a concession to the United States, to permit the emigration
of Chinese workers to the States. The United States were busy then developing their western
Pacific States, especially California, and labour was scarce there. So they imported Chinese
labour. But this became the source of fresh trouble. The Americans began to object to cheap
Chinese labour, and there was friction between the two governments. The United States
Government later stopped Chinese immigration, and this humiliating treatment was greatly
resented by the Chinese people, who boycotted American goods. But all this is a long story
which brings us into the twentieth century. We need not go into it.
The Taiping Rebellion had hardly been crushed when another revolt broke out against the
Manchus. This was not in China proper, but in the far west, in Turkestan, the centre of Asia. This
was largely inhabited by Muslims; and the Muslim tribes, under a leader named Yakub Beg, rose
in 1863 and drove out the Chinese authorities. This local revolt has interest for us for two
reasons. Russia tried to take advantage of it by seizing Chinese territory. This, of course, was a
well-established European manoeuvre whenever China was in difficulties. But, to every one's
surprise, China refused to agree, and ultimately made Russia disgorge. This was due to an
extraordinary campaign by the Chinese General Tso Tsung-tang in Central Asia against Yakub
Beg. This general
452
took matters in a most leisurely fashion. He marched slowly, allowing year after year to pass by
before he reached the rebels. Twice he actually halted his army long enough to plant and reap a
crop of grain to provide for its use ! The problem of providing food supplies for an army is
always a difficult one, and this must have been formidable when the Gobi desert had to be
crossed. So General Tso solved it in a novel way. He then defeated Yakub Beg and put an end to
the rebellion. His campaign in Kashgar and Turfan and Yarkand, etc., is said, from a military
point of view, to have been a wonderful one.
Having settled satisfactorily with Russia in central Asia, the Chinese Government soon had
trouble in another part of their wide-flung but disintegrating empire. This was in Artnam, which
was a vassal State of China. The French had designs on it, and there was fighting between China
and France. Again, to every one's surprise, China did rather well, and was not cowed down by
France. There was a satisfactory treaty in 1885.
The imperialist Powers were sufficiently impressed by these new signs of strength in China. It
seemed as if she were recovering from her weakness of 1860 and before. There was talk of
reform, and many people thought that she had turned the corner. It was because of this that
England, when annexing Burma in 1886, promised to send every ten years the customary tribute
to China.
But China was far from having turned the corner yet. There was still a great deal of humiliation
and suffering and disruption in store for her. What was wrong with her was not merely the
weakness of the army or navy, but something which went far deeper. Her whole social and
economic structure was going to pieces. As I have told you already, it was in a bad way early in
the nineteenth century when many secret societies were formed against the Manchus. Foreign
trade and the effects of contact with industrialized countries made matters worse. The appearance
of strength which came over China after 1860 had little reality behind it. There were some local
reforms by energetic officials here and there, especially by Li Hung Chang. But these could not
touch the roots of the problem or cure the disease which enfeebled China.
The chief reason for the outward showing of strength by China during these years was the
presence at the head of affairs of a strong ruler. This was a remarkable woman, the Empress
Dowager Tzu Hsi. She was only twenty-six when power came into her hands, as the nominal
Emperor was her infant son. For forty-seven years she ruled China with vigour. She chose
efficient officials and impressed them with some part of her own vigour. It was largely due to
this and to her that China made a braver show of strength than she had done for many a year.
But meanwhile, across the narrow seas, Japan was performing wonders and changing out of all
recognition. To Japan, therefore, we must now go.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Chinese_Americans

  • 77 days ago via site
  • 92

5 BURJ KHALIFA, Dubai by Architect Adrian Smith, FAIA , Gordon Gill #AS+GG
From IIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects-JIIA
iia-india.org #architecture #architects #Buildings #Mosque #design #Dubai #India #Andrian #archbhoo

  • 80 days ago via site
  • 205

4/4 BURJ KHALIFA, Dubai by Architect Adrian Smith, FAIA , Gordon Gill #AS+GG
From IIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects-JIIA
iia-india.org #architecture #architects #Buildings #Mosque #design #Dubai #India #Andrian #archbhoo

  • 80 days ago via site
  • 185

3/4 BURJ KHALIFA, Dubai by Architect Adrian Smith, FAIA , Gordon Gill #AS+GG
From IIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects-JIIA
iia-india.org #architecture #architects #Buildings #Mosque #design #Dubai #India #Andrian #archbhoo

  • 80 days ago via site
  • 161

2/4 BURJ KHALIFA, Dubai by Architect Adrian Smith, FAIA , Gordon Gill #AS+GG
From IIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects-JIIA
iia-india.org #architecture #architects #Buildings #Mosque #design #Dubai #India #Andrian #archbhoo

  • 80 days ago via site
  • 147

1/4 BURJ KHALIFA, Dubai by Architect Adrian Smith, FAIA , Gordon Gill #AS+GG
From IIA Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects-JIIA
iia-india.org #architecture #architects #Buildings #Mosque #design #Dubai #India #Andrian #archbhoo

  • 80 days ago via site
  • 170

115 CHINA IN DIFFICULTIES
December 24, 1932
IN my last letter I told you of the destruction by the British and French of the wonderful Summer
Palace of Peking in 1860. This was done, it is said, as a punishment for a Chinese violation of a
flag of truce. It may have been true that some Chinese troops had been guilty of such an offence,
but still the deliberate vandalism of the British and French almost passes one's comprehension.
This was not the act of a few ignorant soldiers, but of the men in authority. Why do such things
happen ? The English and the French are civilized and cultured peoples, in many ways the
leaders of modern civilization. And yet these people, who in private life are decent and
considerate, forget all their civilization and decency in their public dealings and conflicts with
other people. There seems to be a strange contrast between the behaviour of individuals to each
other and the behaviour of nations. Children and boys and girls are taught not to be too selfish, to
think of others, to behave properly. All our education is meant to teach us this lesson, and to a
small extent we learn it. And then comes war, and we forget our old lesson, and the brute in us
shows his face. So decent people behave like brutes.
450
This is so even when two kindred nations, like the French and Germans, fight each other. But it
is far worse when different races are in conflict; when the European faces the races and peoples
of Asia and Africa. The different races know little of each other, for each is a closed book to the
other; and where there is ignorance there is no fellow-feeling. Racial hatred and bitterness
increase, and when there is a conflict between two races, it is not only a political war, but
something far worse—a racial war. This explains to some extent the horrors of the Indian Revolt
of 1857, and the cruelty and vandalism of the dominant European Powers in Asia and Africa.
It all seems very sad and very silly. But where there is the domination of one nation over another,
one people over another, one class over another, there is bound to be discontent and friction and
revolt, and an attempt by the exploited nation or people or class to get rid of its exploiter. And
this exploitation of one by another is the very basis of our present-day society, which is called
capitalism, and out of which imperialism has emerged.

In the nineteenth century the big machines and industrial progress had made the western
European nations and the United States of America wealthy and powerful. They began to think
that they were the lords of the earth and that the other races were far inferior to them and must
make way for them. Having gained some control over the forces of Nature, they became arrogant
and overbearing to others. They forgot that civilized man must not only control Nature, but must
also control himself. And so we see in this nineteenth century progressive races, ahead of others
in many ways, often behaving in a manner which would put a backward savage to shame. This
may perhaps help you to understand the behaviour of European races in Asia and Africa, not
only in the last century, but even to-day.

Do not imagine that I am comparing the European races to ourselves or to other races to our
advantage. Far from it. We all have our dark spots, and some of ours are pretty bad; or else we
might not have fallen quite so low as we have done.

We shall go back to China now. The British and French had given a demonstration of their might
by destroying the Summer Palace. They followed this up by forcing China to ratify the old
treaties and extorted fresh privileges out of her. In Shanghai the Chinese customs service was
organized under foreign officials by the Chinese Government in accordance with these treaties.
This was called the " Imperial Maritime Customs ".

Meanwhile the Taiping Rebellion, which had enfeebled China and thus given an opportunity to
the foreign Powers, was still dragging on. At last, in 1864, it was finally put down by a Chinese
Governor, Li Hung Chang, who became a leading statesman of China.

While England and France extorted privileges and concessions out of China by terrorism, Russia
in the north achieved a remarkable success by more peaceful methods. Only a few years before,
Russia, hungry for the possession of Constantinople, had attacked Turkey in Europe. England
and France were afraid of Russia's
451
growing strength, and so they joined the Turks and defeated Russia in what is known as the
Crimean War of 1854-56. Defeated in the west, Russia began to look towards the east, and had
great success. China was persuaded by peaceful means to cede to Russia a province in the northeast,adjoining the sea, with the city and harbour of Vladivostok. This triumph for Russia was due to a brilliant young Russian officer, Muravieff. In this way, Russia gained far more by
friendly methods than England and France had gained after their three years' war and insensate
destruction.

So matters stood in 1860. The great Chinese Empire of the Manchus, which by the end of the
eighteenth century covered and dominated nearly half Asia, was now humbled and disgraced.
Western Powers from distant Europe had defeated and humiliated it; an internal rebellion had
almost upset the Empire. All this shook up China completely. It was obvious that all was not
well, and some effort was made to reorganize the country to meet the new conditions and the
foreign menace. So this year 1860 might almost be considered the beginning of a new era when
China prepares to resist foreign aggression. China's neighbour, Japan, was similarly occupied at
this time, and this also served as an example. Japan succeeded far more than China, but for a
while China did hold back the foreign Powers.

A Chinese mission, under an American named Burlingame, who was a warm friend of China,
was sent to the treaty Powers, and he succeeded in getting somewhat better terms from them. A
new Sino-American treaty was signed in 1868, and it is interesting to find that in this the Chinese
Government agreed, as a favour and a concession to the United States, to permit the emigration
of Chinese workers to the States. The United States were busy then developing their western
Pacific States, especially California, and labour was scarce there. So they imported Chinese
labour. But this became the source of fresh trouble. The Americans began to object to cheap
Chinese labour, and there was friction between the two governments. The United States
Government later stopped Chinese immigration, and this humiliating treatment was greatly
resented by the Chinese people, who boycotted American goods. But all this is a long story
which brings us into the twentieth century. We need not go into it.

The Taiping Rebellion had hardly been crushed when another revolt broke out against the
Manchus. This was not in China proper, but in the far west, in Turkestan, the centre of Asia. This
was largely inhabited by Muslims; and the Muslim tribes, under a leader named Yakub Beg, rose
in 1863 and drove out the Chinese authorities. This local revolt has interest for us for two
reasons. Russia tried to take advantage of it by seizing Chinese territory. This, of course, was a
well-established European manoeuvre whenever China was in difficulties. But, to every one's
surprise, China refused to agree, and ultimately made Russia disgorge. This was due to an
extraordinary campaign by the Chinese General Tso Tsung-tang in Central Asia against Yakub
Beg. This general
452
took matters in a most leisurely fashion. He marched slowly, allowing year after year to pass by
before he reached the rebels. Twice he actually halted his army long enough to plant and reap a
crop of grain to provide for its use ! The problem of providing food supplies for an army is
always a difficult one, and this must have been formidable when the Gobi desert had to be
crossed. So General Tso solved it in a novel way. He then defeated Yakub Beg and put an end to
the rebellion. His campaign in Kashgar and Turfan and Yarkand, etc., is said, from a military
point of view, to have been a wonderful one.

Having settled satisfactorily with Russia in central Asia, the Chinese Government soon had
trouble in another part of their wide-flung but disintegrating empire. This was in Artnam, which
was a vassal State of China. The French had designs on it, and there was fighting between China
and France. Again, to every one's surprise, China did rather well, and was not cowed down by
France. There was a satisfactory treaty in 1885.

The imperialist Powers were sufficiently impressed by these new signs of strength in China. It
seemed as if she were recovering from her weakness of 1860 and before. There was talk of
reform, and many people thought that she had turned the corner. It was because of this that
England, when annexing Burma in 1886, promised to send every ten years the customary tribute
to China.

But China was far from having turned the corner yet. There was still a great deal of humiliation
and suffering and disruption in store for her. What was wrong with her was not merely the
weakness of the army or navy, but something which went far deeper. Her whole social and
economic structure was going to pieces. As I have told you already, it was in a bad way early in
the nineteenth century when many secret societies were formed against the Manchus. Foreign
trade and the effects of contact with industrialized countries made matters worse. The appearance
of strength which came over China after 1860 had little reality behind it. There were some local
reforms by energetic officials here and there, especially by Li Hung Chang. But these could not
touch the roots of the problem or cure the disease which enfeebled China.

The chief reason for the outward showing of strength by China during these years was the
presence at the head of affairs of a strong ruler. This was a remarkable woman, the Empress
Dowager Tzu Hsi. She was only twenty-six when power came into her hands, as the nominal
Emperor was her infant son. For forty-seven years she ruled China with vigour. She chose
efficient officials and impressed them with some part of her own vigour. It was largely due to
this and to her that China made a braver show of strength than she had done for many a year.
But meanwhile, across the narrow seas, Japan was performing wonders and changing out of all
recognition. To Japan, therefore, we must now go.


jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

  • 82 days ago via site
  • 129

114 BRITAIN FORCES OPIUM ON CHINA
December 14, 1932
I HAVE told you, at considerable length, of the effect of the Industrial and Mechanical
Revolutions on India, and of how the new imperialism worked in India. Being an Indian, I am a
partisan, and I am afraid I cannot help taking a partisan view. But I have tried, and I should like
you to try, to consider these questions as a scientist impartially examining facts, and not as a
nationalist out to prove one side of the case. Nationalism is good in its place, but it is an
unreliable friend and an unsafe historian. It blinds us to many happenings, and sometimes
distorts the truth, especially when it concerns us or our country. So we have to be wary, when
considering the recent history of India, lest we cast all the blame for our misfortunes on the
British.

Having seen how India was exploited in the nineteenth century by the industrialists and
capitalists of Britain, let us go to the other great country of Asia, India's old-time friend, that
ancient among nations, China. We shall find here a different type of exploitation by the West.
China did not become a colony or dependency of any European country, as India did. She
escaped this, as she had a strong enough central government to hold the country together till
about the middle of the nineteenth century. India, as we have seen, had gone to pieces more than
100 years before this, when the Moghal Empire fell. China grew weak in the nineteenth century,
but still it held together to the last, and the mutual jealousies of foreign Powers prevented them
from taking too much advantage of China's weakness.

In my last letter on China (it was number 94) I told you of the attempts made by the British to
increase their trade with China. I gave you a long quotation from the very superior and
patronizing letter written by the Manchu Emperor Chien Lung in answer to the English King
George III. This was in 1792. This date will remind you of the stormy times that Europe was
having then—it was the period of the French Revolution. And this was followed by Napoleon
and the Napoleonic wars. England had her hands full during this whole period and was fighting
desperately against Napoleon. There was no question thus of an extension of the China trade for
her till Napoleon fell and England breathed with relief. Soon after, however, in 1816, another
British embassy was sent to China. But there was some difficulty about the ceremonial to be
observed, and the Chinese Emperor refused to see the British envoy, Lord Amhurst, and ordered
him to go back. The ceremony to be performed was called the kotow, which is a kind of
prostration on the ground. Perhaps you have heard of the word " kow-towing ".
So nothing happened. Meanwhile a new trade was rapidly
444
growing—the trade in opium. It is not perhaps correct to call this a new trade, as opium was first
imported from India as early as the fifteenth century. India had sent in the past many a good
thing to China. Opium was one of the really bad things sent by her. But the trade was limited. It
grew in the nineteenth century because of the Europeans, and especially the East India Company,
which had a monopoly of the British trade. It is said that the Dutch in the East used to mix it with
their tobacco and then smoke it as a preventive against malaria. Through them opium-smoking
went to China, but in a worse form, for in China pure opium was smoked. The Chinese
Government wanted to stop the habit because of its bad effect on the people, and also because
the opium trade took away a lot of money from the country.
In 1800 the Chinese Government issued an edict or order prohibiting all importation of opium
for any purpose whatsoever. But the trade was a very profitable one for the foreigners. They
continued to smuggle opium into the country and bribed Chinese
445
officials to overlook this. The Chinese Government thereupon made a rule that their officials
were not to meet foreign merchants. Severe penalties were also laid down for teaching the
Chinese or Manchu languages to any foreigner. But all this was to no purpose. The opium trade
continued, and there was probably a great deal of bribery and corruption. Indeed, matters became
worse after 1834, when the British Government put an end to the monopoly of the East India
Company in the China trade, and threw this open to all British merchants.
There was a sudden increase in opium-smuggling, and the Chinese Government at last decided to
take strong action to suppress it. They chose a good man for this purpose. Lin Tsehsi was
appointed a special commissioner to suppress the smuggling, and he took swift and vigorous
action. He went down to Canton in the south, which was the chief centre for this illegal trade,
and ordered all the foreign merchants there to deliver to him all the opium they had. They
refused to obey the order at first. Thereupon Lin forced them to obey. He cut them off in their
factories, made their Chinese workers and servants leave them, and allowed no food to go to
them from outside. This vigour and thoroughness resulted in the foreign merchants coming to
terms and handing over to the Chinese 20,000 cases of opium. Lin had this huge quantity of
opium, which was obviously meant for smuggling purposes, destroyed. Lin also told the foreign
merchants that no ship would be allowed to enter Canton unless the captain gave an undertaking
that he would not bring opium. If this promise was broken, the Chinese Government would
confiscate the ship and its entire cargo. Commissioner Lin was a thorough person. He did the
work entrusted to him well, but he did not realize that the consequences were going to be hard on
China.
The consequences were : war with Britain, defeat of China, a humiliating treaty; and opium, the
very thing the Chinese Government wanted to prohibit, forced down their throats. Whether
opium was good or bad for the Chinese was immaterial. What the Chinese Government wanted
to do did not much matter; but what did matter was that smuggling opium into China was a very
profitable job for British merchants, and Britain was not prepared to tolerate the loss of this
income. Most of the opium destroyed by Commissioner Lin belonged to British merchants. So,
in the name of national honour, Britain went to war with China in 1840. This war is rightly called
the Opium War, for it was fought and won for the right of forcing opium on China.
China could do little against the British fleet which blockaded Canton and other places. After
two years she was forced to submit, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking laid down that five ports
were to be opened to foreign trade, which meant especially the opium trade then. These five
ports were Canton, Shanghai, Amoy, Ningpo, and Foochow. They were called the " treaty ports
". Britain also took possession of the island of Hongkong, near Canton, and extorted a large sum
of mon6y as compensation for the opium
446
that had been destroyed, and for the costs of the war which she had forced on China.
Thus the British achieved the victory of opium. The Chinese Emperor made a personal appeal to
Queen Victoria, England's Queen at the time, pointing out with all courtesy the terrible effects of
the opium trade which was now forced on China. There was no reply from the Queen. Just fifty
years earlier his predecessor, Chien Lung, had written very differently to the King of England !
This was the beginning of China's troubles with the imperialist Powers of the West. Her isolation
was at an end. She had to accept foreign trade; and she had to accept, in addition, Christian
missionaries. These missionaries played an important part in China as the vanguard of
imperialism. Many of China's subsequent troubles had something to do with missionaries. Their
behaviour was often insolent and exasperating, but they could not be tried by Chinese courts.
Under the new treaty, foreigners from the West were not subject to Chinese law or Chinese
justice. They were tried by their own courts. This was called " extra-territoriality ", and it still
exists, and is much resented. The converts of the missionaries also claimed this special protection
of " extra-territoriality ". They were in no way entitled to it; but that made no difference, as the
great missionary, the representative of a powerful imperialist nation, was behind them. Thus
village was sometimes set against village, and when, exasperated beyond measure, the villagers
or others rose and attacked the missionary, and sometimes killed him, then the imperialist Power
behind swooped down and took signal reparation. Few occurrences have been so profitable to
European Powers as the murders of their missionaries in China ! For they made each such
murder the occasion for demanding and extorting further privileges.
It was also a convert to Christianity who started one of the most terrible and cruel rebellions in
China. This was the Taiping Rebellion, started about 1850 by a half-mad person, Hung Hsin-
Chuan. This religious maniac had extraordinary success and went about with the war-cry " Kill
the idolaters ", and vast numbers of people were killed. The rebellion devastated more than, half
China, and during a dozen years or so it is estimated that at least 20,000,000 people died on
account of it. It is not right, of course, to hold the Christian missionaries or the foreign Powers
responsible for this outbreak and the massacres which accompanied it. At first the missionaries
seemed to bless it, but later they repudiated Hung. The Chinese Government, however, continued
to believe that the Christian missionaries were responsible for it. This belief makes us realize
how greatly the Chinese resented missionary activities then and later. To them the missionary did
not come as a messenger of religion and good-will. He was the agent of imperialism. As an
English author has said : " First the missionary, then the gunboat, then the land-grabbing—this is
the procession of events in the Chinese mind." It is well to bear this in mind, as the missionary
crops up often enough in Chinese troubles.
447
It is extraordinary that a rebellion led by a mad fanatic should have had such great success before
it was finally suppressed. The real reason for this was that the old order in China was breaking
up. In my last letter on China, I think I told you of the burden of taxation and the changing
economic conditions and the growing discontent of the people. Secret societies were rising
everywhere against the Manchu Government, and there was rebellion in the air. Foreign trade,
the trade in opium and other articles, made matters worse. Foreign trade China had had, of
course, in the past. But now the conditions were different. The big machine-industry of the West
was turning out goods fast, and these could not all be sold at home. So they had to find markets
elsewhere. This was the urge for markets in India as well as in China. These goods, and
especially opium, upset the old trade arrangements, and thus made the economic confusion
worse. As in India, the price of articles in the Chinese bazaars began to be affected by the world
prices. All this added to the discontent and misery of the people and strengthened the Taiping
Rebellion.
This was the background in China during these days of growing arrogance and interference by
the western Powers. It is not surprising that China could do little to withstand their demands.
These European Powers and much later Japan, as we shall see, took full advantage of China's
confusion and difficulties to extort privileges and territory from her. China, indeed, would have
gone the way of India, and become the dependency and empire of one or more of the western
Powers and Japan, but for the mutual rivalry of these Powers and their jealousy of each other.
I have strayed from my main story in telling you about this general background during the
nineteenth century in China, of economic breakdown, Taiping Rebellion, missionaries, and
foreign aggression. But one must know something of this to be able to follow intelligently the
narrative of events. For events in history do not just happen like miracles. They occur because a
variety of causes lead up to them. But these causes are often not obvious; they lie under the
surface of events. The Manchu rulers of China, till recently so great and powerful, must have
been amazed at the sudden change of fortune's wheel. They did not see, probably, that the roots
of their collapse lay in their own past; they did not appreciate the industrial progress of the West
and its disastrous consequences on China's economic system. They resented greatly the
intrusions of the " barbarian " foreigners. The Emperor at the time, referring to these intrusions,
used a delightful old Chinese phrase : he said that he would allow no man to snore alongside of
his bed ! But the wisdom and humour of the old classics, though they taught a serene confidence
and a magnificent fortitude in misfortune, were not enough to repel the foreigner.
The Treaty of banking opened the door to Britain in China. But Britain was not going to have all
the fat plums to herself. France and the United States stepped in and also made commercial
treaties with China. China was helpless, and this compulsion
448
exercised on her did not make her love or respect the foreigner. She resented the very presence of
these " barbarians". The foreigner, on his side, was still far from content. His appetite for
exploiting China grew. The British again took the lead.
It was a very favourable time for the foreigners, as China was busy with the Taiping Rebellion
and could offer no resistance. So the British set about to find a pretext for war. In 1856 the
Chinese Viceroy of Canton had the Chinese crew of a ship arrested for piracy. The ship belonged
to the Chinese, and no foreigner was involved. But it flew the British flag because of a permit
from the Hongkong Government. As it happened, even this permit had expired. None the less, as
in the fable of the wolf and the lamb at the river, the British Government made this the excuse
for war.
Troops were sent to China from England. Just then the Indian Revolt of 1857 broke out, and all
these troops were diverted to India. The China War had to wait till the Revolt was crushed. In
1858 this second China War began. The French, meanwhile, had also discovered a pretext for
taking part in it, for a French missionary had been killed somewhere in China. So the English
and the French swooped down on the Chinese, who had their hands full with the Taiping
Rebellion. The British and the French Governments tried to induce Russia and the United States
of America to join them, but they did not agree. They were quite prepared, however, to share in
the loot. There was practically no fighting, and new treaties, extorting more privileges, were
signed by all the four Powers with China. More ports were opened to foreign trade.
But the story of the Second China War is not yet over. There was another act to the play, with a
still more tragic sequel to it. When treaties are made it is customary for the governments
concerned to ratify or confirm them. It was arranged that this ratification of the new treaties
should take place within a year at Peking. When the time came for this, the Russian envoy came
direct to Peking, overland from Russia. The other three came by sea and wanted to bring their
boats up the river Peiho to Peking. This city was being threatened by the Taiping rebels just then,
and the river had been fortified. The Chinese Government therefore asked the British, French and
American envoys not to come by the river route, but to travel by a land route farther north. It was
not an unreasonable request. The American agreed to it. Not so the British and French envoys.
They tried to force their way up the Peiho river in spite of the fortifications. The Chinese fired
upon them and forced them back with heavy losses.
Arrogant and over-proud governments, which would not even listen to a request from the
Chinese Government to change their travel route, could not tolerate this. More troops were sent
for to take vengeance. In 1860 they marched on the old city of Peking, and their vengeance took
the form of the destruction and looting and burning of one of the most wonderful buildings in the
city. This was the Imperial Summer Palace, the Yuen-Ming-Yuen, completed in the reign of
Chien Lung. It was full of rare treasures of
449
art and literature, the finest that China had produced. There were old bronzes of great beauty, and
amazingly fine porcelain, and rare manuscripts, and pictures and every kind of curio and work of
art for which China had been famous for 1000 years. The Anglo-French soldiery, ignorant
vandals that they were, looted these treasures and destroyed them in huge bonfires which kept
burning for many days ! Is it any wonder that the Chinese, with a culture of thousands of years
behind them, looked upon this vandalism with anguish in their hearts, and considered the
wreckers ignorant barbarians who only knew how to kill and destroy ? And memories of the
Huns and the Mongols and many other old-time barbarian wreckers must have come to them.
But the foreign " barbarians " cared little what the Chinese thought of them. They felt secure in
their gunboats and with their modern weapons of war. What did it matter to them that the rich
and rare treasures which had been collected during hundreds of years were no more ? What did
they care for Chinese art and culture
" Whatever happens, We have got The Maxim gun, And they have not I "

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113 THE REAWAKENING OF INDIA
December 7, 1932
I HAVE told you of the consolidation of British rule in India and of the policy which brought
poverty and misery to our people. Peace certainly came, and orderly government also, and both
were welcome after the disorders which followed the break-up of the Moghal empire. Organized
gangs of thieves and dacoits had been put down. But peace and order were worth little to the man
in the field or the factory, who was crushed under the grinding weight of the new domination.
But again, I would remind you, it is foolish to get angry with a country or with a people, with
Britain or the British. They were as much the victims of circumstances as we were. Our study of
history has shown us that life is often very cruel and callous. To get excited over it, or merely to
blame people, is foolish and does not help. It is much more sensible to try to understand the
causes of poverty and misery and exploitation, and then try to remove them. If we fail to do so,
and fall back in the march of events, we are bound to suffer. India fell back in this way. She
became a bit of a fossil; her society was crystallized in old tradition; her social system lost its
energy and life and began to stagnate. It is not surprising that India suffered. The British
happened to be the agents to make her suffer. If they had not been there, perhaps some other
people might have acted in the same way.

But one great benefit the English did confer on India. The very impact of their new and vigorous
life shook up India and brought about a feeling of political unity and nationality. Perhaps such a
shock, painful as it was, was needed to rejuvenate our ancient country and people. English
education, intended to produce clerks, also put Indians in touch with current western thought. A
new class began to arise, the English-educated class, small in numbers and cut off from the
masses, but still destined to take the
436
lead in the new nationalist movements. This class, at first, was full of admiration for England and
the English ideas of liberty. Just then people in England were talking a great deal about liberty
and democracy. All this was rather vague, and in India England was ruling despotically for her
own benefit. But it was hoped, rather optimistically, that England would confer freedom on India
at the right time.

The impact of western ideas on India had its effect on Hindu religion also to some extent. The
masses were not affected and, as I have told you, the British Government's policy actually helped
the orthodox people. But the new middle class that was arising, consisting of government
servants and professional people, were affected. Early in the nineteenth century an attempt to
reform Hinduism on western lines took place in Bengal. Of course Hinduism had had
innumerable reformers in the past, and some of these I have mentioned to you in the course of
these letters. But the new attempt was definitely influenced by Christianity and western thought.
The maker of this attempt was Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a great man and a great scholar, whose
name we have come across already in connection with the abolition of sail. He knew Sanskrit
and Arabic and many other languages well, and he carefully studied various religions. He was
opposed to religious ceremonies and pujas and the like, and he pleaded for social reform and
women's education. The society he founded was called the Brahmo Samaj. It was, and has
remained, a small organization, so far as numbers go, and it has been confined to the Englishknowing
people of Bengal. But it has had considerable influence on the life of Bengal. The
Tagore family took to it, and for long the poet Rabindranath's father, known as Maharshi
Debendra Nath Tagore, was the prop and pillar of the Samaj. Another leading member was
Keshab Chander Sen.

Later in the century another religious reform movement took place. This was in the Punjab, and
the founder was Swami Dayananda Saras wati. Another society was started, called the Arya
Samaj. This also rejected many of the later growths of Hinduism and combated caste. Its cry was
" Back to the Vedas ". Although it was a reforming movement, influenced no doubt by Muslim
and Christian thought, it was in essence an aggressive militant movement. And so it happened,
curiously, that the Arya Samaj which, of many Hindu sects, probably came nearest to Islam,
became a rival and opponent of Islam. It was an attempt to convert the defensive and static
Hinduism into an aggressive missionary religion. It was meant to revive Hinduism. What gave
the movement some strength was a colouring of nationalism. It was, indeed, Hindu nationalism
raising its head. And the very fact that it was Hindu nationalism made it difficult for it to become
Indian nationalism.

The Arya Samaj was far more widespread than the Brahmo Samaj, especially in the Punjab. But
it was largely confined to the middle classes. The Samaj has done a great deal of educational
work, and has started many schools and colleges, both for boys and girls.
437
Another remarkable religious man of the century, but very different from the others I have
mentioned in this letter, was Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He did not start any aggressive society
for reform. He laid stress on service, and the Ramakrishna Sevash. rams in many parts of the
country are carrying on this tradition of service of the weak and poor. A famous disciple of
Ramakrishna's was Swami Vivekananda, who very eloquently and forcibly preached the gospel
of nationalism. This was not in any way anti- Muslim or anti anyone else, nor was it the
somewhat narrow nationalism of the Arya Samaj. None the less Vivekananda's nationalism was
Hindu nationalism, and it had its roots in Hindu religion and culture.
Thus it is interesting to note that the early waves of nationalism in India in the nineteenth century
were religious and Hindu. The Muslims naturally could take no part in this Hindu nationalism.
They kept apart. Having kept away from English education, the new ideas affected them less,
and there was far less intellectual ferment amongst them. Many decades later they began to come
out 01 their shell, and then, as with the Hindus, their nationalism took the shape of a Muslim
nationalism, looking back to Islamic traditions and culture, and fearful of losing these because of
the Hindu majority. But this Muslim movement became evident much later, towards the end of
the century.

Another interesting thing to note is that these reform and progressive movements in Hinduism
and Islam tried to fit in, as far as possible, the new scientific and political ideas derived from the
West with their old religious notions and habits. They were not prepared to challenge and
examine fearlessly these old notions and habits; nor could they ignore the new world of science
and political and social ideas which lay around them. So they tried to harmonize the two by
trying to show that all modern ideas and progress could be traced back to the old sacred books of
their religions. This attempt was bound to end in failure. It merely prevented people from
thinking straight. Instead of thinking boldly and trying to understand the new forces and ideas
which were changing the world, they were oppressed by the weight of ancient habit and
tradition. Instead of looking ahead and marching ahead, they were all the time furtively looking
back. It is not easy to go ahead, if the head is always turned and looks back.
The English-educated class grew slowly in the cities, and at the same time a new middle class
arose consisting of professional people —that is, lawyers and doctors and the like, and merchants
and traders. There had been, of course, a middle class in the past, but this was largely crushed by
the early British policy. The new bourgeoisie, or middle class, was a direct outcome of British
rule; in a sense they were the hangers-on of this rule. They shared to a small extent in the
exploitation of the masses; they took the crumbs that fell from the richly laden table of the
British ruling classes. They were petty officials helping in the British administration of the
country ; many were lawyers assisting in the working of
438
the law courts and growing rich by litigation; and there were merchants, the go-betweens of
British trade and industry, who sold British goods for a profit or commission.

The great majority of these people of the new bourgeoisie were Hindus. This was due to their
somewhat better economic condition, as compared to the Muslims, and also to their taking to
English education, which was a passport to government service and the professions. The
Muslims were generally poorer. Most of the weavers, who had gone to the wall on account of the
British destruction of Indian industries, were Muslims. In Bengal, which has the biggest Muslim
population of any Indian province, they were poor tenants or small land-holders. The landlord
was usually a Hindu, and so was the village bania, who was the money-lender and the owner of
the village store. The landlord and the bania were thus in a position to oppress the tenant and
exploit him, and they took full advantage of this position. It is well to remember this fact, for in
this lies the root cause of the tension between Hindu and Muslim.

In the same way the higher-caste Hindus, especially in the south, exploited the so-called "
depressed " classes, who were mostly workers on the land. The problem of the depressed classes
has been very much before us recently, and especially since Bapu's fast. Untouchability has been
attacked all along the front, and hundreds of temples and other places have been thrown open to
these classes. But right down at the bottom of the question is this economic exploitation, and
unless this goes, the depressed classes will remain depressed. The untouchables have been
agricultural serfs who were not allowed to own land. They had other disabilities also.
Although India as a whole and the masses grew poorer, the handful of people comprising the
new bourgeoisie prospered to some extent because they shared in the country's exploitation. The
lawyers and other professional people and the merchants accumulated some money. They
wanted to invest this, so that they could have an income from interest. Many of them bought up
land from the impoverished landlords, and thus they became themselves landowners. Others,
seeing the wonderful prosperity of English industry, wanted to invest their money in factories in
India. So Indian capital went into these big machine factories and an Indian industrial capitalist
class began to arise. This was about fifty years ago, after 1880.

As this bourgeoisie grew, their appetite also grew. They wanted to get on, to make more money,
to have more posts in government service, more facilities for starting factories. They found the
British obstructing them in every path. All the high posts were monopolized by the British, and
industry was run for the profit of the British. So they began agitating, and this was the origin of
the new nationalist movement. After the revolt of 1857 and its cruel suppression, people had
been too much broken up for any agitation or aggressive movement, It took them many years to
revive a little.
439
Nationalist ideas were soon spreading, and Bengal was taking the lead. New books came out in
Bengali, and they had a great influence on the language as well as on the development of
nationalism in Bengal. It was in one of these books, Ananda Matha, by Bankim Chandra
Chatterji, that our famous song Vande Mairam occurs. A Bengali poem which created a stir was
Nil Darpan—the mirror of indigo. It gave a very painful account of the miseries of the Bengal
peasantry under the plantation system, of which I have told you something.

Meanwhile the power of Indian capital was also increasing, and it demanded more elbow-room
to grow. At last in 1885 all these various elements of the new bourgeoisie determined to start an
organization to plead their cause. Thus was the Indian National Congress founded in 1885. This
organization, which you and every boy and girl in India know well, has become in recent years
great and powerful. It took up the cause of the masses and became, to some extent, their
champion. It challenged the very basis of British rule in India, and led great mass movements
against it. It raised the banner of independence and fought for freedom manfully. And to-day it is
still carrying on the fight. But all this is subsequent history. The Nat ional Congress when it was
first founded was a very moderate and cautious body, affirming its loyalty to the British and
asking, very politely, for some petty reforms. It represented the richer bourgeoisie; even the
poorer middle classes were not in it. As for the masses, the peasants and workers, they had
nothing to do with it. It was the organ of the English-educated classes chiefly, and it carried on
its activities in our step-mother tongue— the English language. Its demands were the demands of
the landlords and Indian capitalists and the educated unemployed seeking for jobs. Little
attention was paid to the grinding poverty of the masses or their needs. It demanded the "
Indianization " of the services—that is to say, the greater employment of Indians in government
service in place of Englishmen. It did not see that what was wrong with India was the machine
which exploited the people, and that it made no difference who had charge of the machine,
Indian or foreigner. The Congress further complained of the huge expenses of the English
officials in the military and civil services, and of the " drain " of gold and silver from India to
England.

Do not think that in pointing out how moderate the early Congress was I am criticizing it or
trying to belittle it. That is not my purpose, for I believe that the Congress in those days and its
leaders did great work. The hard facts of Indian politics drove it step by step, almost unwillingly,
to a more and more extreme position. But in the early days it could not have been anything but
what it was. And in those days it required great courage for its founders to go ahead. It is easy
enough for us to talk bravely of freedom when the crowd is with us and praises us for it. But it is
very difficult to be the pioneer in a great undertaking.

The first Congress was held in Bombay in 1885. W. C. Bonnerji of Bengal was the first
president. Other prominent names of those
440
early days are Surendra Nath Banerji, Badruddin Tyabji, Pheroze-shah Mehta. But one name
towers above all others—that of Dadabhai Naoroji, who became the Grand Old Man of India and
who first used the word Swaraj for India's goal. One other name I shall tell you, for he is the sole
survivor to-day of the old guard of the Congress, and you know him well. He is Pandit Madan
Mohan Malaviya. For over fifty years he has laboured in India's cause, and, worn down with
years and anxiety, he labours still for the realization of the dream he dreamed in the days of his
youth.

So the Congress went on from year to year and gained in strength. It was not narrow in its appeal
like the Hindu nationalism of an earlier day. But still it was in the main Hindu. Some leading
Muslims joined it, and even presided over it, but the Muslims as a whole kept away. A great
Muslim leader of the day was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. He saw that lack of education, and
especially modern education, had injured the Muslims greatly and kept them backward. He felt
therefore that he must persuade them to take to this education and to concentrate on it, before
dabbling in politics. So he advised the Muslims to keep away from the Congress, and he cooperated
with the government and founded a fine college in Aligarh, which has since grown into
a university. Sir Syed's advice was followed by the great majority of the Muslims, who did not
join the Congress. But a small minority was always with it. Remember that when I refer to
majorities and minorities I mean the majority or minority of the upper middle class, Englisheducated,
Muslims and Hindus. The masses, both Hindu and Muslim, had nothing to do with the
Congress, and very few had even heard of it in those days. Even the lower middle classes were
not affected by it then.

The Congress grew, but even faster than the Congress grew the ideas of nationality and the
desire for freedom. The Congress appeal was necessarily limited because it was confined to the
English-knowing people. To some extent this helped in bringing different provinces nearer to
each other and developing a common outlook. But because it did not go down deep to the
people, it had little strength. I have told you in another letter of an occurrence which stirred Asia
greatly. This was the victory of little Japan over giant Russia in 1904-5. India, in common with
other Asiatic countries, was vastly impressed, that is, the educated middle classes were
impressed, and their self-confidence grew. If Japan could make good against one of the most
powerful European countries, why not India ? For long the Indian people had suffered from a
feeling of inferiority before the British. The long domination by the British, the savage
suppression of the Revolt of 1857, had cowed them. By an Arms Act they were prevented from
keeping arms. In everything that happened in India they were reminded that they were the
subject race, the inferior race. Even the education that was given to them filled them with this
idea of inferiority. Perverted and false history taught them that India was a land where anarchy
had always prevailed, and Hindus and Muslims had cut each other's throats, till the British came
to rescue the country
441
from this miserable plight and give it peace and prosperity. Indeed, the whole of Asia, the
Europeans believed and proclaimed, regard, less of fact or history, was a backward continent
which must remain under European domination.

The Japanese victory, therefore, was a great pick-me-up for Asia. In India it lessened the feeling
of inferioricy, from which most of us suffered. Nationalist ideas spread more widely, especially
in Bengal and Maharashtra. Just then an event took place which shook Bengal to the depths and
stirred the whole of India. The British Government divided up the great province of Bengal
which at that time included Bihar) into two parts, one of these being Eastern Bengal. The
growing nationalism of the bourgeoisie in Bengal resented it. It suspected that the British wanted
to weaken them by thus dividing them. Eastern Bengal had a majority of Muslims, so by this
division a Hindu-Muslim question was also raised. A great anti-British movement rose in
Bengal. Most of the landholders joined it, and so did Indian capitalists. The cry of Swadeshi was
first raised then, and with it the boycott of British goods, which of course helped Indian industry
and capital. The movement even spread to the masses to some extent, and partly it drew its
inspiration from Hinduism. Side by side with it there arose in Bengal a school of revolutionary
violence, and the bomb first made its appearance in Indian politics. Aurobindo Ghose was one of
the brilliant leaders of the Bengal movement. He still lives, but for many years he has lived a
retired life in Pondicherry, which is in French India.

In western India, in the Maharashtra country, there was also a great ferment at this time and a
revival of an aggressive nationalism, tinged also with Hinduism. A great leader arose there, Bal
Gangadhar Tilak, known throughout India as the Lokamanya, the "Honoured of the People ".
Tilak was a great scholar, learned alike in the old ways of the East and the new ways of the
West; he was a great politician; but, above all, he was a great mass leader. The leaders of the
National Congress had so far appealed only to the English-educated Indians; they were little
known by the masses. Tilak was the first political leader of the new India who reached the
masses and drew strength from them. His dynamic personality brought a new element of strength
and indomitable courage, and, added to the new spirit of nationalism and sacrifice in Bengal, it
changed the face of Indian politics.

What was the Congress doing during these stirring days of 1906 and 1907 and 1908 ? The
Congress leaders, far from leading the nation at the time of this awakening of the national spirit,
hung back. They were used to a quieter brand of politics in which the masses did not intrude.
They did not like the flaming enthusiasm of Bengal, nor did they feel at home with the new
unbending spirit of Maharashtra, as embodied in Tilak. They praised Swadeshi but hesitated at
the boycott of British goods. Two parties developed in the Congress—the extremists under Tilak
and some Bengal leaders and the moderates under the older Congress leaders. The most
prominent of the moderate leaders was, however, a young man,
442
Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a very able man who had devoted his life to service. Gokhale was also
from Maharashtra. Tilak and he faced each other from their rival groups and, inevitably, the split
came in 1907 and the Congress was divided. The moderates continued to control the Congress,
the extremists were driven out. The moderates won, but it was at the cost of their popularity in
the country, for Tilak's party was far the more popular with the people. The Congress became
weak and for some years had little influence.

And what of the government during these years ? How did it react to the growth of Indian
nationalism? Governments have only one method of meeting an argument or a demand which
they do not like—the use of the bludgeon. So the government indulged in repression and sent
people to prison, and curbed the newspapers with Press laws, and let loose crowds of secret
policemen and spies to shadow everybody they did not like. Since those days the members of the
C.I.D. in India have been the constant companions of prominent Indian politicians. Many of the
Bengal leaders were sentenced to imprisonment. The most noted trial was that of Lokamanya
Tilak, who was sentenced to six years, and who during his imprisonment in Mandalay wrote a
famous book. Lala Lajpat Rai was also deported to Burma.

But repression did not succeed in crushing Bengal. So a measure of reform in the administration
was hurried up to appease some people at least. The policy was then, as it was later and is now,
to split up the nationalist ranks. The moderates were to be " rallied " and the extremists crushed.
In 1908 these new reforms, called the Morley-Minto reforms, were announced. They succeeded
in " rallying the moderates ", who were pleased with them. The extremists, with their leaders in
gaol, were demoralized and the national movement weakened. In Bengal, however, the agitation
against the partition continued and ended with success. In 1911 the British Government reversed
the partition of Bengal. This triumph put new heart in the Bengalis. But the movement of 1907
had spent itself, and India relapsed into political apathy.

In 1911 also it was proclaimed that Delhi was to be the new capital—Delhi, the seat of many an
empire, and the grave also of many an empire.

So stood India in 1914 when the World War broke out in Europe and ended the 100-year period.
That war also affected India tremendously, but of that I shall have something to say later.
I have done, at long last, with India in the nineteenth century. I have brought you to within
eighteen years of to-day. And now we must leave India and, in the next letter, go to China and
examine another type of imperialist exploitation.

The famous poet Rabindranath Tagore with Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi at Santiniketan, West Bengal in 1940.

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112 HOW BRITAIN RULED INDIA
December 5, 1932
I HAVE already written you three long letters on India in the nineteenth century. It is a long
story and a long agony, and if I compress it too much, I fear that I shall make it still more
difficult to understand. I am perhaps paying more attention to this period of India's story than I
have paid to other countries or other periods. That is not unnatural. Being an Indian, I am more
interested in it, and knowing more about it, I can write more fully. Besides, this period has
something much more than a historical interest for
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us. Modern India, such as we find her to-day, was formed and took shape in this travail of the
nineteenth century. If we are to understand India as she is, we must know something of the
forces that went to make her or mar her. Only so can we serve her intelligently, and know what
we should do and what path we should take.
I have not done with this period of India's history. I have still much to tell you. In these letters I
take one or more aspect and tell you something about it. I deal with each aspect separately, so
that it may be easier to understand. But you will know, of course, that all these activities and
changes that I have told you about, and all those that I shall describe in this letter and afterwards,
took place more or less simultaneously, one influencing the other, and between them they
produced the India of the nineteenth century.
Reading of these deeds and misdeeds of the British in India, you will sometimes feel angry at the
policy they have pursued and the widespread misery that has resulted from it. But whose fault
was it that this happened ? Was it not due to our own weakness and ignorance ? Weakness and
folly are always invitations to despotism. If the British can profit by our mutual dissensions, the
fault is ours that we quarrel amongst ourselves. If they can divide us and so weaken us, playing
on the selfishness of separate groups, our permitting this is itself a sign of the superiority of the
British. Therefore if you would be angry, be angry with weakness and ignorance and mutual
strife, for it is these things that are responsible for our troubles.
The tyranny of the British, we say. Whose tyranny is it, after all ? Who profits by it ? Not the
whole British race, for millions of them are themselves unhappy and oppressed. And
undoubtedly there are small groups and classes of Indians who have profited a little by the
British exploitation of India. Where are we to draw the line, then ? It is not a question of
individuals, but that of a system. We have been living under a huge machine that has exploited
and crushed India's millions. This machine is the machine of the new imperialism, the outcome
of industrial capitalism. The profits of this exploitation go largely to England, but in England
they go almost entirely to certain classes. Some part of the profits of exploitation remain in India
also, and certain classes benefit by them. It is therefore foolish for us to get angry with
individuals, or even with the British as a whole. If a system is wrong and injures us, it has to be
changed. It makes little difference who runs it, and even good people are helpless in a bad
system. With the best will in the world, you cannot convert stones and earth into good food,
however much you may cook them. So it is, I think, with imperialism and capitalism. They
cannot be improved; the only real improvement is to do away with them altogether. But that is
my opinion. Some people differ from this. You need not take anything for granted, and, when the
time comes, you can draw your own conclusions. But about one thing most people do agree : that
what is wrong is the system, and it is useless getting annoyed with individuals. If we want a
change, let us attack and change the
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system. We have seen some of the evil effects of the system in India. When we consider China
and Egypt and many other countries we shall see the same system, the same machine of
capitalist-imperialism, at work exploiting other peoples.
We shall go back to our story. I have told you of the advanced stage of Indian cottage-industries
when the British came. With natural progress in the methods of production, and without any
intervention from outside, it is probable that some time or other machine-industry would have
come to India. There was iron and coal in the country and, as we saw in England, these helped
the new industrialism greatly, and indeed partly brought it about. Ultimately this would have
happened in India also. There might have been some delay in this, owing to the chaotic political
conditions. The British, however, intervened. They represented a country and a community
which had already changed over to the new big machine production. One might think, therefore,
that they would favour such a change in India also, and encourage that class in India which was
most likely to bring it about. They did no such thing. Indeed, they did the very opposite of this.
Treating India as a possible rival, they broke up her industries, and actually discouraged the
growth of machine-industry.
Thus we find a somewhat remarkable state of affairs in India. We find that the British, the most
advanced people in Europe at the time, ally themselves in India with the most backward and
conservative classes. They bolster up a dying feudal class; they create landlords; they support the
hundreds of dependent Indian rulers in their semi-feudal states. They actually strengthen
feudalism in India. Yet these British had been the pioneers in Europe of the middle-class or
bourgeois revolution which had given their Parliament power; they had also been the pioneers in
the Industrial Revolution which had resulted in introducing industrial capitalism to the world. It
was because of their lead in these matters that they went far ahead of their rivals and' established
a vast empire.
It is not difficult to understand why the British acted in this way in India. The whole basis of
capitalism is cut-throat competition and exploitation, and imperialism is an advanced stage of
this. So the British, having the power, killed their actual rivals and deliberately prevented the
growth of other rivals. They could not possibly make friends with the masses, for the whole
object of their presence in India was to exploit them. The interests of the exploiters and the
exploited could never be the same. So they, the British, fell back on the relics of feudalism which
India still possessed. These had little real strength left even when the British came; but they were
propped up and given a small share in the exploitation of the country. This propping up could
only give temporary relief to a class which had outlived its utility; when the props were removed
they were sure to fall or adapt themselves to the new conditions. There were as many as 700
Indian States, big and small, depending on the good-will of the British. You know some of these
big States :
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Hyderabad, Kashmir, Mysore, Baroda, Gwalior, etc. But, curiously, most of the Indian rulers of
these States are not descended from the old feudal nobility, just as most of the big zamindara
have no very ancient traditions. There is one chief, however—the Maharana of Udaipur, the head
of the Surya Vanshi, Rajputs of the race of the Sun, who can trace his lineage back to dim
prehistoric days. Probably the only living person who can compete with him in this respect is the
Mikado of Japan.
British rule also helped religious conservatism. This sounds strange, for the British claimed to
profess Christianity, and yet their coming made Hinduism and Islam in India more rigid. To
some extent this reaction was natural, as foreign invasion tends to make the religions and culture
of the country protect themselves by rigidity. It was in this way that Hinduism had become rigid
and caste had developed after the Muslim invasions. Now, both Hinduism and Islam reacted after
this fashion. But, apart from this, the British Government in India actually—both deliberately
and unconsciously—helped the conservative elements in the two religions. The British were not
interested in religion or in conversions; they were out to make money. They were afraid of
interfering in any way in religious matters lest the people, in their anger, rose against them. So to
avoid even the suspicion of interference, they went so far as actually to protect and help the
country's religions, or rather the external forms of religion. The result often was that the outer
form remained, but there was little inside it.
This fear of irritating the orthodox people made the government side with them in matters of
reform. Thus the cause of reform was held up. An alien government can seldom introduce social
reform, because every change it seeks to introduce is resented by the people. Hinduism and
Hindu law were in many respects changing and progressive, though the progress had been
remarkably slow in recent centuries. Hindu law itself is largely custom, and customs change and
grow. This elasticity of the Hindu law disappeared under the British and gave place to rigid legal
codes drawn up after consultation with the most orthodox people. Thus the growth of Hindu
society, slow as it was, was stopped. The Muslims resented the view conditions even more, and
retired into their shells.
A great deal of credit is taken by the British for the abolition of what is (rather incorrectly) called
sati, the practice of a Hindu widow burning herself on the funeral pyre of her husband. They
deserve some credit for this, but as a matter of fact the government only took action after many
years of agitation by Indian reformers headed by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Previous to them other
rulers, and especially the Marathas, had forbidden it; the Portuguese Albuquerque had abolished
the practice in Goa. It was put down by the British as a result of Indian agitation and Christian
missionary endeavours. So far as I can remember, this was the only reform of religious
significance which was brought about by the British Government.
So the British allied themselves with all the backward and
432
conservative elements in the country. And they tried to make India a purely agricultural country
producing raw materials for their industries. To prevent factories growing up in India they
actually put a duty on machinery entering India. Other countries encouraged their own industries.
Japan, as we shall see, simply galloped ahead with industrialization. But in India the British
Government put its foot down. Owing to the duty on machinery, which was not taken off till
1860, the cost of building a factory in India was four times that of building it in England,
although labour was far cheaper in India. This policy of obstruction could only delay matters; it
could not stop the inevitable march of events. About the middle of the century machine-industry
began to grow in India. The jute industry began in Bengal with British capital. The coming of the
railways helped the growth of industry, and after 1880 cotton-mills, largely with Indian capital,
grew up in Bombay and Ahmedabad. Then came mining. Except for the cotton-mills, this slow
industrialization was very largely done with British capital. And all this was almost in spite of
the government. The government talked of the laissez-faire policy, of allowing matters to take
their own course, of not interfering with private initiative. The British Government had interfered
with Indian trade in England and crushed it with duties and prohibitions when this was a rival in
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Having got on top, they could afford to talk of
laissez-faire. As a matter of fact, however, they were not merely indifferent. They actually
discouraged certain Indian industries, especially the growing cotton industry of Bombay and
Ahmedabad. A tax or duty was put on the products of these Indian mills; it was called the excise
duty on cotton. The object of this was to help British cotton goods from Lancashire to compete
with Indian textiles. Almost every country puts duties on some foreign goods, either to protect its
own industries or to raise money. But the British in India did a very unusual and remarkable
thing. They put the duty on Indian goods themselves ! This cotton excise duty was continued, in
spite of a great deal of agitation, till recent years.
In this way modern industry grew slowly in India, despite the government. The richer classes in
India cried out more and more for industrial development. It was only as late, I think, as 1905
that the government created a department of Commerce and Industry, but even so, little was done
by it till the World War came. This growth of industrial conditions created a class of industrial
workers who worked in the city factories. The pressure on land, of which I have told you, and the
semi-famine conditions of the rural areas, drove many villagers to these factories, as well as to
the great plantations that were rising in Bengal and Assam. This pressure also led many to
emigrate to other countries where they were told they would get high wages. Emigration took
place especially to South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius and Ceylon. But the change did little good to the
workers. The emigrants in some of the countries were treated almost like slaves. In the teaplantations
of Assam they
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were in no better condition. Discouraged and disheartened, many of them sought, later on, to
return to their villages from the plantations. But they were not welcome in their own villages, as
there was no land to be had.
The workers in the factories soon found that the slightly higher wage did not go very far.
Everything cost more in the cities; altogether the cost of living was much higher. The places
where they had to live were wretched hovels, filthy, damp and dark and insanitary. Their
working conditions were also bad. In the village they had often starved, but they had had their
fill of the sun and of fresh air. There was no fresh air and little sun for the factory-worker. His
wages were not enough to meet the higher cost of living. Even women and children had to work
long hours. Mothers with babes in their arms took to drugging their babies so that they might not
interfere with work. Such were the miserable conditions under which these industrial workers
worked in the factories. They were unhappy, of course, and discontent grew. Sometimes, in very
despair, they had a strike—that is, they stopped work. But they were weak and feeble, and could
easily be crushed by their wealthy employers, backed often by the government. Very slowly and
after bitter experience they learnt the value of joint action. They formed trade unions.
Do not think that this is a description of past conditions. There has been some improvement in
labour conditions in India. Certain laws have been passed giving just a little protection to the
poor worker. But even now you have but to go to Cawnpore or Bombay, or a number of other
places where factories exist, and you will be horrified to see the houses of the workers.
I have written to you in this and other letters of the British in India and of the British
Government in India. What was this like, and how did it function ? There was the East India
Company at first, but behind it was the British Parliament. In 1858, after the great Revolt, the
British Parliament took direct charge, and. later the English King, or rather Queen, for there was
a queen then, became Kaiser-i-Hind. In India there was the Governor-General, who became a
Viceroy also, at the top, and under him were crowds of officials. India was divided up, more or
less as it is now, into large provinces and States. The States under Indian rulers were supposed to
be half-independent, but as a matter of fact they were wholly dependent on the British. An
English official, called the Resident, lived in each of the larger States, and he exercised general
control over the administration. He was not interested in internal reform, and it mattered little to
him how bad or old-fashioned the government of the State was. What he was interested in was in
strengthening British authority in the State.
About a third of India was divided up into these States. The remaining two-thirds were under the
direct government of the British. These two-thirds were therefore called British India. All the
high officials in British India were British, except towards the end of the century, when a few
Indians crept in. Even so all power
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and authority of course remained, and still remains, with the British. These high officials, apart
from the military, were members of what is called the Indian Civil Service. The whole
government of India was thus controlled by this service, the I.C.S. Such a government by
officials, who appoint each other and are not responsible for what they do to the people, is called
a bureaucracy, from the word bureau, an office.
We hear a great deal about this I.C.S. They have been a curious set of persons. They were
efficient in some ways. They organized the government, strengthened British rule, and
incidentally, profited greatly by it themselves. All the departments of government which helped
in consolidating British rule and in collecting taxes were efficiently organized. Other
departments were neglected. Not being appointed by, or responsible to, the people, the I.C.S.
paid little attention to these other departments which concerned the people most. As was natural
under the circumstances, they became arrogant and overbearing and contemptuous of public
opinion. Narrow and limited in outlook, they began to look upon themselves as the wisest people
on earth. The good of India meant to them primarily the good of their own service. They formed
a kind of mutual admiration society and were continually praising each other. Unchecked power
and authority inevitably lead to this, and the Indian Civil Service were practically masters of
India. The British Parliament was too far away to interfere and, in any event, it had no occasion
to interfere, as they served its interests and the interests of British industry. As for the interests of
the people of India, there was no way of influencing them to any marked extent. Even feeble
criticism of their actions was resented by them, so intolerant were they.
And yet the Indian Civil Service has had many good and honest and capable people in it. But
they could not change the drift of policy or divert the current which was dragging India along.
The I.C.S. were, after all, the agents of the industrial and financial interests in England, who
were chiefly interested in exploiting India.
This bureaucratic government of India grew efficient wherever its own interests and the interests
of British industry were concerned. But education and sanitation and hospitals and the many
other activities which go to make a healthy and progressive nation were neglected. For many
years there was no thought of these. The old village schools died away. Then slowly and
grudgingly a little start was made. This start in education was also brought about by their own
needs. The British people filled all the high offices, but obviously they could not fill the smaller
offices and the clerkships. Clerks were wanted, and it was to produce clerks that schools and
colleges were first started by the British. Ever since then this has been the main purpose of
education in India; and most of its products are only capable of being clerks. But soon the supply
of clerks was greater than the demand in government and other offices. Many were left over, and
these formed a new class of educated unemployed.
435
Bengal took the lead in this new English education, and therefore the early supply of clerks was
very largely Bengali. In 1857 three universities were started—in Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras.
A fact worth noticing is that the Muslims did not take kindly to the new education. They were
thus left behind in the race for clerkships and government service. Later this became one of their
grievances.
Another fact worth noticing is that even when the government made a start with education, girls
were completely ignored. This is not surprising. The education given was meant to produce
clerks, and men-clerks were wanted, and only they were available then, owing to backward
social customs. So girls were wholly neglected, and it was long afterwards when some little
beginning was made for them.

jawaharlal_nehru_glimpses_of_world_history (1)

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பூபாலன் 40,000 yrs old Tamil
भूपालन 4000 yrs old Sanskri/Hindi
BUBALAN 400 yrs old English

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a a a

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109 WARS AND REVOLT IN INDIA
November 27, 1932
WE have had a good long survey of the nineteenth century. Let us now look more closely at
certain parts of the world. We shall begin with India.
I told you some time back of how the British triumphed over
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their rivals in India. The French were definitely eliminated during the Napoleonic wars. The
Marathas, Tippu Sultan in Mysore, and the Sikhs in the Punjab, held the British for a while. But
they could not resist them for long. The British were obviously the strongest and best-equipped
Power. They had better weapons and better organization, and, above all, they had sea-power to
fall back upon. Even when defeated, as they often were, they were not eliminated, as they could
draw upon other resources owing to their command of the sea routes. For the local Powers,
however, defeat often meant a disaster which could not be remedied. The British were not only
the better-equipped fighters and the better organizers, but were also far cleverer than their local
rivals, and took every advantage of their mutual rivalries. So inevitably the British power spread
and the rivals were knocked down one by one, and often with the help of others whose turn to go
down came next. It is surprising how shortsighted these feudal chieftains of India were at the
time. They never thought of uniting against the foreign enemy. Each fought a lone hand and lost,
and deserved to lose.
As the British power grew in strength it became more and more aggressive and truculent. It made
war with or without excuse. There were many such wars. I do not propose to weary you with an
account of them. Wars are not pleasant subjects, and far too much importance is paid to them in
history. But the picture would be incomplete if I did not say something about them.
I have already told you of two wars between Haider Ali of Mysore and the British. Haider Ali
was largely successful in these. His son, Tippu Sultan, was a bitter enemy of the British. It took
two more wars, in 1790-92 and 1799, to put and end to him. Tippu died fighting. Near Mysore
city you can still see the ruins of his old capital, Seringapatam, where he lies buried.
The Marathas remained to challenge British supremacy. There was the Peshwa in the west and
Scindia of Gwalior and Holkar of Indore and some other chiefs. But the Maratha power went to
pieces after the death of two great statesmen, Mahadaji Scindia of Gwalior who died in 1794,
and Nana Farnavis, minister of the Peshwa, who died in 1800. Still the Marathas took a lot of
beating, and there were British defeats before the final overthrow of the Marathas in 1819. The
Maratha chiefs were defeated separately, each watching the other go down without helping.
Scindia and Holkar became dependent rulers acknowledging the suzerainty of the British. The
Gaikwar of Baroda had even previously come to terms with the foreign Power.
Before taking leave of the Marathas I should like to mention one name which has become
famous in Central India. This is the name of Ahalya Bai, a ruler of Indore for thirty years from
1765 to 1795. She was a young widow of thirty when she came to the gaddi, and she succeeded
remarkably well in administering her State. Of course she did not observe purdah. The Marathas
have never done so. She attended to the business of the State herself, sat in open durbar, and
raised Indore from a village to a wealthy city. She
410 411
avoided wars and kept peace and made her State prosperous at a time when the greater part of
India was in a state of turmoil. It is not surprising that she is still considered a saint and is
revered in Central India.
A little before the last Maratha war, the British had a war with Nepal from 1814 to 1816. They
had great difficulties in the mountains, but they won in the end, and this district of Dehra Dun,
where I sit in prison writing this letter, and Kumaun and Naini Tal came under British rule. You
may perhaps remember my telling you, in a letter on China, of the amazing exploit of a Chinese
army which crossed Tibet and walked over the Himalayas and beat the Gurkhas in their
homeland, Nepal. This was only twenty-two years before the British-Nepal War. Ever since then
Nepal formally acknowledged China's suzerainty, but I suppose it does not do so now. It is a
peculiar country, very backward, very much cut off from the rest of the world, and yet, from all
accounts, a delightfully situated place, full of natural wealth. It is not a dependent State like
Kashmir or Hyderabad. It is called independent, but the British people see to it that this
independence is kept within bounds. And the brave and warlike people of Nepal—the Gurkhas
—are enrolled in the British army in India and are used to keep down Indians.
In the east, Burma had spread right up to Assam. So there was bound to be conflict with the everadvancing
British. There were three wars with Burma, each time the British annexing some
territory. The first war in 1824-26 resulted in Assam coming under the British; in the second war,
in 1852, South Burma was annexed. North Burma, with the capital at Ava near Mandalay, was
completely cut off from the sea and left high and dry, at the mercy of the British. The end came
in 1885, when there was a third Burma War, and the whole of the country was annexed by the
British and joined on to the British Empire. But Burma was in theory a vassal of China; and
indeed it used to send tribute regularly. It is curious to note that the British, when annexing
Burma, agreed to continue this tribute to China. This shows that even in 1885 they were
sufficiently impressed by the power of China, although China was so involved in her own
troubles that she could not help her vassal when Burma was invaded. The British paid the tribute
to China once after 1885, and then discontinued it.
The Burma Wars have taken us to 1885. I wanted to deal with them all together. But now we
must go back to North India and to an earlier part of the century. In the Punjab a great Sikh State
had risen under Ranjit Singh. Right at the beginning of the century Ranjit Singh became master
of Amritsar. By 1820 he was master of nearly the whole of the Punjab and Kashmir. He died in
1839. The Sikh State weakened and began to break up soon after his death. The Sikhs illustrate
the old maxim that one rises in adversity and falls after success is attained. It was not possible
even for the later Moghals to suppress the Sikhs when they were a hunted minority group. But
with political success,
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the very foundations of success were weakened. There were two wars between the British and
the Sikhs, the first in 1845-46 and the second in 1848-49. During the second there was a severe
defeat of the British at Chilianwala. In the end, however, the British triumphed completely and
the Punjab was annexed. It may interest you to know—because you are a Kashmiri—that
Kashmir was sold by the British to a certain Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu for about seventy-five
lakhs of rupees. It was a bargain for Gulab Singh. The poor people of Kashmir of course did not
count in the transaction. Kashmir is now one of the States dependent on the British and the
present Maharaja there is a descendant of Gulab Singh.
Farther to the north, or rather north-west of the Punjab, lay Afghanistan, and not far from
Afghanistan, on the other side, were the Russians. The spread of the Russian Empire in central
Asia upset the nerves of the British. They were afraid that Russia might attack India. Almost
right through the nineteenth century there was talk of the " Russian menace ". As early as 1839
the British in India made an entirely unprovoked attack on Afghanistan. At that time the Afghan
frontier was far from British India, and the independent Sikh State of the Punjab intervened.
None the less, the British marched to Kabul, making the Sikhs their allies. But the Afghans took
signal revenge. However backward they may be in many respects, they love their freedom and
will fight to the last to preserve it. And so Afghanistan has always been a " hornets' nest " for any
foreign army that invaded it. Although the British had occupied Kabul and many parts of the
country, suddenly there were revolts everywhere, they were driven back, and a whole British
army suffered destruction. Later another British invasion took place to avenge this disaster. The
British occupied Kabul and blew up the great covered bazaar of the city, and the British soldiery
plundered and set fire to many parts of the city. It was clear, however, that Afghanistan could not
easily be held by the British without continuous fighting. So they retired.
Nearly forty years later, in 1878, the British in India were again unnerved by the Amir, or ruler,
of Afghanistan becoming friendly with Russia. To a large extent history repeated itself. There
was another war, and the British invaded the country and seemed to have won, when the British
envoy and party were massacred by the Afghans and a British army defeated. The British took
some measures of retribution and again withdrew from the " hornets' nest ". For many years
afterwards the position of Afghanistan was peculiar. The British would not allow the Amir to
have any direct relations with other foreign countries, and at the same time they gave him
annually a large sum of money. Thirteen years ago, in 1919, there was a third Afghan War which
resulted in Afghanistan becoming fully independent. But this is outside the scope of the period
we are discussing now.
There were other little wars also. One of these, a particularly shameless one, was forced on Sindh
in 1843. The British Agent there bullied the Sindhis and goaded them to action, and then
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crushed them and annexed the province. And as a profitable side-line, prize money was
distributed to the British officers for this deed; the Agent's (Sir Charles Napier) share being about
seven lakhs of rupees ! It is not surprising that the India of that period attracted the unscrupulous
and adventurous Britisher.
Oudh also was annexed in 1856. It was in a frightful state of misgovernment at the time. The
rulers for some time past had been the Nawab-Viziers, as they were called. Originally, the
Nawab-Vizier had been appointed by the Moghal Emperor at Delhi as his Governor of Oudh.
But with the decay of the Moghal Empire, Oudh became independent. But not for long. The later
Nawab-Viziers were thoroughly incompetent and depraved, and even if they wanted to do any
good, they were unable to do it because of the interference of the East India Company. They had
no real power left, and the British were not at all interested in the internal government of Oudh.
So Oudh went to pieces, and, inevitably, became part of the British dominions.
I have said enough, and perhaps more than enough, of wars and annexations. But all these were
just the outward indications of a great process that was going on, and that was bound to go on. In
India the old economic order was already breaking up when the British came. Feudalism was
cracking up. Even if no foreigners had come to India then, the feudal order could not long have
survived. As in Europe, it would have given place slowly to a new order under which the new
productive classes had more power. But before this change could take place, when only the
break-up had occurred, the British came and, without much difficulty, stepped into the breach.
The rulers they fought in India and defeated belonged already to a past and vanishing age. They
had no real future before them. The British were thus, under the circumstances, bound to
succeed. They hastened the end of the feudal order in India; and yet strangely, as we shall see
later, they tried to prop it up outwardly and thus put obstacles in the way of India's progress
towards the new order.
Thus the British became the agents of a historical process in India—the process which was to
change feudal India into the modern kind of industrialized capitalist State. They did not realize
this themselves; and certainly the various Indian rulers who fought them knew nothing about it.
An order that is doomed seldom sees the signs of the times, seldom realizes that it has fulfilled
its purpose and its function and should retire gracefully before all-powerful events force it into
undignified retreat, seldom understands the lesson of history, and seldom appreciates that the
world is marching on, leaving it behind in the " dustbin of history ", as somebody has said. Even
so, the Indian feudal order did not realize all this and fought unavailingly against the British.
Even so, the British in India and elsewhere in the East to-day do not realize that their day is past,
the day of empire is past, and that the world marches onward relentlessly pushing the British
Empire into the " dustbin of history ".
But the feudal order that prevailed in India, when the British
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were spreading out, made one more final effort to recover power and drive out the foreigner.
This was the great revolt of 1857. All over the country there was a great deal of dissatisfaction
and discontent against the British. The East India Company's policy was to make money and to
do little else; and this policy, added to the ignorance and rapacity of many of its officers, had
resulted in widespread misery. Even the British Indian army was affected, and there were many
petty mutinies. Many of the feudal chiefs and their descendants were naturally bitter against their
new masters. So a great revolt was organized secretly. This organization spread especially round
about the United Provinces and in Central India, and yet, so blind are the British people in India
to what Indians do or think, the government had no inkling of it. Apparently a date was fixed for
the revolt to begin simultaneously in many places. But some Indian regiments at Meerut went
ahead too fast and mutinied on May 10, 1857. This premature outburst upset the programme of
the leaders of the revolt, as it put the government on their guard. The revolt, however, spread all
over the United Provinces and Delhi and partly in Central India and Bihar. It was not merely a
military revolt; it was a general popular rebellion in these areas against the British. Bahadur
Shah, the last of the line of the Great Moghals, a feeble old man and a poet, was proclaimed by
some as Emperor. The Revolt developed into a war of Indian independence against the hated
foreigner, but it was an independence of the old feudal type, with autocratic emperors at the
head. There was no freedom for the common people in it, but large numbers of them joined it
because they connected their miserable condition and poverty with the coming of the British, and
also in some places because of the hold of the big landlords. Religious animosity also urged them
on. Both Hindus and Mohammedans took full part in this war.
For many months British rule in North and Central India hung almost by a thread. But the fate of
the Revolt was settled by the Indians themselves. The Sikhs and the Gurkhas supported the
British. The Nizam in the south, and Scindia in the north, and many other Indian States, also
lined up with the British. Even apart from these defections, the Revolt had the seeds of failure in
it. It was fighting for a lost cause, the feudal order; it had no good leadership; it was badly
organized, and there were mutual squabbles all the time. Some of the rebels also sullied their
cause by cruel massacres of the British. This barbarous behaviour naturally set up the backs of
the British people in India, and they paid it back in the same coin, but a hundred and a thousand
times multiplied. The English were especially incensed by a massacre of English men and
women and children in Cawnpore, treacherously ordered, it is stated, after promise of safety had
been given, by Nana Sahab, a descendant of the Peshwa. A memorial well in Cawnpore
commemorates this horrible tragedy.
In many an outlying station the English were surrounded by crowds. Sometimes they were
treated well more often badly.
415
They fought well and bravely against great odds. The siege of Lucknow stands out, coupled with
the names of Outram and Have-lock, as an example of British courage and endurance. The siege
and fall of Delhi in September 1857 marked the turning-point of the Revolt. Henceforth and for
many months afterwards the British crushed the Revolt. In doing so they spread terror
everywhere. Vast numbers were shot down in cold blood; large numbers were shot to pieces
from the mouth of cannon; thousands were hanged from the wayside trees. An English general,
Neill, who marched from Allahabad to Cawnpore, is said to have hanged people all along the
way, till hardly a tree remained by the roadside which had not been converted into a gibbet.
Prosperous villages were rooted out and destroyed. It is all a terrible and most painful story, and
I hardly dare tell you all the bitter truth. If Nana Sahab had behaved barbarously and
treacherously, many an English officer exceeded his barbarity a hundred-fold. If mobs of
mutinous Indian soldiers, without officers or leaders, had been guilty of cruel and revolt ing
deeds, the trained British soldiers, led by their officers, exceeded them in cruelty and barbarity. I
do not want to compare the two. It is a sorry business on both sides, but our perverted histories
tell us a lot about the treachery and cruelty on the Indian side, and hardly mention the other side.
It is also well to remember that the cruelty of a mob is nothing compared to the cruelty of an
organized government when it begins to behave like a mob. Even to-day, if you go to many of
the villages in our province, you will find that the people have still got a vivid and ghastly
memory of the horrors that befell them during the crushing of the Revolt.
In the midst of the horrors of the Revolt and its suppression, one name stands out, a bright spot
against a dark background. This is the name of Lakshmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi, a girl-widow,
twenty years of age, who donned a man's dress and came out to lead her people against the
British. Many a story is told of her spirit and ability and undaunted courage. Even the English
general who opposed her has called her the " best and bravest" of the rebel leaders. She died
while fighting.
The Revolt of 1857-58 was the last flicker of feudal India. It ended many things. It ended the line
of the Great Moghal, for Bahadur Shah's two sons and a grandson were shot down in cold blood,
without any reason or provocation, by an English officer, Hodson, as he was carrying them away
to Delhi. Thus, ignominiously, ended the line of Timur and Babar and Akbar.
The Revolt also put an end to the rule of the East India Company in India. The British
Government now took direct charge, and the British Governor-General blossomed out into a "
Viceroy". Nineteen years later, in 1877, the Queen of England took the title of " Kaiser-i-Hind ",
the old title of the Cassars and of the Byzantine Empire, adapted to India. The Moghal dynasty
was no more But the spirit and even symbols of autocracy remained, and another Great Moghal
sat in England.

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