Roots of Conflict in South Asia Pakistan Nepal Bhutan Bangladesh India Sri Lanka
Really… THIS is the road Less Traveled… The Khyber Pass…
1526: The Battle of Panipat Babur, a Turko-Persian king from Central Asia, invaded India from his base in Kabul. On the 5th attempt, Babur defeated the Lodi Sultan with only 12,000 men against an army of 100,000 men and 100 elephants! Babur had 20 firearms and that made all the difference! He established the Mughal Dynasty which lasted over 300 years… His life story is recorded in the famous BABURNAMA.
The Mughals (Islamic Dynasty) 16th c.- 19th c. Babur claimed descent from the Mongols…particularly, Ghengis Khan, the Great Mongol Ruler
Akbar and his Hindu wife Jodbhai … in their youth and in the autumn of life… “Din I Ilahi”
And when you have so many wives, how do you keep them from fighting? Give them each a house of their own…
The Taj Mahal A Tomb fit for a ‘tired’ Queen…
Most people in South Asia not Muslim when the Mughals invaded. There were a few thousand Muslims along the coastal areas, mainly, since 800’s and Christians, Buddhists, but most (90%) were practioners of Hinduism…What is HINDUISM?Many religions under one Umbrella! • Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions inthat it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. • Hinduism consists of thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE.
Tolerance • Religions which recognize the existence of multiple deities have traditionally been among the world's mostreligiously tolerant. • Hinduism remains arguably one of the most tolerant of such religions. Hindus recognize the fact that the means or ways to salvation are many.
The Trimurti (the primary trinity) BRAHMA Shiva Vishnu
Brahmin priests perform pooja… Other Castes: Kshatriya (warriors and kings) Vaisya (artisans and merchants) Sudras (farmers) then the out-castes… The Untouchables
Mughals ruled as minority…and as such, they tended to • Be tolerant • Promote Peace • Insure economic prosperity • Respect Hindu customs (non-interference) • Integrate Hindus into administration • Fund Hindu temples and priests *Military expansion constant, but NOT a “jihad” *Most Muslim rulers were not “Islamists” – in other words, didn’t want a MUSLIM state.
British East India Company • Joint Stock Company • Private merchants given charter by Queen Elizabeth • Founded in 1600 • 218 subscribers to the new enterprise raised £68,373 – a massive amount at a time when a skilled carpenter was earning about 7 pence a day. The Company was granted a monopoly on all English trade east of the Cape of Good Hope. • www.bl.uk/.../tpimages/exhibitionfigs1.jpg
The trading company had its own troops… to protect its commercial interests…
Battle of Plassey, 1757(beginning of British Rule in India) British and French rivals fight war for colonial control in India and the Americas during 1700’s. British General Robert Clive overthrows local Indian ruler in Bengal and puts puppet on the throne… Brits get land and taxation rights!
The Company begins to acquire more political power and port cities, annexcing princely states, battling local armies and passing laws to change Indian society, religion and traditions. Many of these legal ‘reforms’ focused on women and helped the Brits justify their colonial conquest.
Central Asia The Great Game: The 19th century rivalry Great Britain vs. Russia Race to get more Central Asian territory, raw materials, markets and ports for Empire…
Victorian Ideals… • <> <>
The British recruit local Indian troops to help them in the colonial project – expanding their territorial control, collecting taxes, extracting raw materials and building-up markets where they could sell their manufactured goods from Britain. Indian Troops in Brit. Army = SEPOYS
1858 Queen Victoria makes proclamation to the people and princes of India… The East India Company is removed and India falls under CROWN RULE. Promises to respect Indian religion and customs…
Indian Nationalism 1885 – Indian National Congress *The loyal opposition *Elite, western educated Brits, Muslims, Hindus *Requesting greater representation in provincial legislature *Seeking more authority in federal government
Non-Cooperation=Civil Disobedience • Satyagraha or SOUL FORCE • Parents remove children from govt. schools • People withheld taxes • Boycott on British goods • General workers strikes (hartal) • Quit Govt. jobs • Disobey unjust laws and willingly accept ARREST. MORAL VICTORY … HUMILIATE THE BRITISH
COMMUNALISM Seeing one’s religious identity as the root of one’s political identity, superiority, and power… • HINDU vs. Muslim politics • Result of imperial “divide-n-rule” politics • Leads to violent acts and “othering” • Used by politicians today to evoke both FEAR AND HATRED in South Asia.
Nehru and Gandhi, Congress Party Jinnah, Muslim League, founded in 1906
The Partition of India, 1947 Independence from Britain The Horror of India being divided in TWO… • The Muslim League calls for PAKISTAN = “Islam is in Danger!” • Gandhi refuses the idea of separate electorates for Muslims, or reserved seats… calls for secular INDIA.
In 1947, the border between India and its new neighbour Pakistan became a river of blood, as the exodus erupted into rioting. These pictures are by Margaret Bourke-White from Khushwant Singh's book Train to Pakistan, Roli Books.