Nirpal Dhaliwal the ‘historian’ celebrates Britain’s colonisation of India


by Sunny
1st August, 2010 at 6:56 pm    

Nirpal Dhaliwal, the man (and I use this term loosely) who once wrote such a crap review of Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani that we had to eviscerate it. The Evening Standard eventually got someone else to review it.

He has now written an article for the Daily Mail titled: Britain has no need to make an apology to India for Empire…

I won’t go into too much detail into why this is absolute horseshit. Though, in the comments of that article, PP contributor Jai has already torn him apart.

1. Dhaliwal claims: “After 800 years of Mughal rule…”

Jai: Completely false. The Mughals only arrived in India in the late 15th century, via Babur, the first Mughal emperor. And he was from the region now called Uzbekistan.

Due to the frequent intermarriages with Hindu Rajput royalty which the Mughals subsequently engaged in, within a couple of generations they had become heavily “Indianised” both culturally and “ethnically”. This became so prevalent that in terms of his specific ancestry, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal) was actually ¾ Rajput. They were certainly not “foreigners” by this time, by any stretch of the imagination.

2. Dhaliwal claims: “For all the artistic refinement and opulence of India’s past rulers – and their poetry, music, and the magnificence of the Taj Mahal are testament to that – they oversaw a period of general barbarism in which the ordinary Indian was no more than a starving chattel.”

Jai: More Victorian-era propaganda. India and China have been estimated by modern Western historians to have jointly been responsible for half the world’s entire GDP until the colonial era. It was the reason that British traders went there in the first place, a disproportionate number of whom are recorded in the East India Company’s own archives as embracing the Mughal-aristocracy-influenced Indian Muslim culture right up until the end of the 18th century. The increasing numbers of British people present during that era certainly didn’t view it as “a period of general barbarism”, including those at the most senior levels of the EIC.

3. Dhaliwal claims: “Delhi was razed eight times in that period and great pyramids were constructed with the skulls of its inhabitants.”

Jai: You’re confusing the Mughals with multiple previous groups purely on the basis of them all being Muslims, specifically invaders such as Timur (known in the West as “Tamburlane”) and the Afghan predecessors of the Delhi Sultans. These were all completely separate historical groups. The false conflation in this article is the equivalent of someone blaming historical British people for the actions of the Conquistadors in Latin America just because they all happened to be Christians.

4. Dhaliwal claims: “The fact that Christianity is very much accepted in India”

Jai: There have actually been settled communities of Christians in India for centuries longer than there have been Christians in northern Europe (including Britain). Christianity didn’t suddenly arrive in India during the colonial era.

5. Dhaliwal claims: “Because Islam permits the enslavement of non-Muslims”.

Jai: As a fellow person of Indian Sikh ancestry, you should be perfectly aware that Islam is not a monolithic, homogenous religion, especially in terms of the subcontinent and its history. The major Sufi orders which developed in north India during the later Delhi Sultanate and also during the Mughal era had a very different message. Many of these involved Muslim Sufi figures who are still revered by Indians from all religious backgrounds, including Sikhs; the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures, includes numerous hymns by some of these historical Muslims, along with Islamic names for God. Guru Nanak originally forcefully objected to the chaos caused by Babur’s war with — and eventual overthrow of — the Delhi Sultanate, but is recorded by Sikh historians as later becoming on very good terms with him, and even blessed him that the Mughal dynasty would flourish as long as they ruled fairly and with tolerance.

6. Dhaliwal claims: “In 1846, the British commissioner, John Lawrence, told the local elite that Punjabis”

Jai: Interesting that you conveniently omit the fact that the 1840s included two extremely bloody wars of aggression by the EIC against the Sikhs, resulting in the annexation of a huge region of north Indian territory under Sikh rule and the overthrow of Maharajah Duleep Singh. Not to mention the implementation of divide & rule policies in the region for the next hundred years – the legacy of which also seems to be horribly reflected in the contents of your own article.

I could go on, but you get the picture. None of my comments are mere speculation; the areas involving Muslims in particular are confirmed by internationally-acclaimed modern British historians as diverse as Niall Ferguson and William Dalrymple, whose writings are backed up not only by Indian historical records but also a huge number of British military, administrative, commercial and civilian sources going right back to the 1600s.

—-

It’s easy to pick holes and point out that Nirpal Dhaliwal is a historically illiterate buffoon who says things merely so he can make right-wingers feel good about their shameful past. The Daily Mail, which tried to whitewash fascists in the 1930s, doesn’t care much for history – only political propaganda.

He also wrote How Feminism is destroying real men and more recently How wet white liberals became the ultimate black joke – now reckons he’s going to lecture others on history as well.

He’s becoming a minor poster-child for right-wing loons looking for a token non-white face to play out their culture wars. Maybe they should look for someone who at least knows some facts about history eh?


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: History,Media,Race politics






122 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blog post:: Nirpal Dhaliwal the 'historian' celebrates Britain's colonisation of India http://bit.ly/9XB2Ib




  1. mansur — on 1st August, 2010 at 7:10 pm  

    This is the comment voted down the most by Daily Heil readers (always a good sign)

    “Your article makes some good points but is devalued by your overt anti-Muslim rhetoric. To call the Taj Mahal a “useless bauble” simply because it was a Mughal inspired monument is disgraceful when it has come to symbolise India and actually is a priceless legacy. A modern wonder of the world nonetheless. You also seem to brand art and culture as meaningless and uncivilised but only when it was expressed by those you don’t like. The British, of which I am one, also did some terrible things, and the Muslims were no angels of course, but you don’t vilify Christianity, the religion of the British, in even a mild way when you denigrate Islam, the religion of the Mughals, in what appears through your writing as simply prejudicial.”

  2. johng — on 1st August, 2010 at 7:31 pm  

    Very useful take-down. Necessary too.

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 1st August, 2010 at 8:28 pm  

    “Like the U.S., India is a nation fostered into being by Britain, and one which derives its romantic national identity from its struggle for independence.”

    As the great Apu once said ‘I don’t which part of that sentence to correct first…’

    Nirpal is the archetype of what happens when a little Asian boy grows up bullied by white people for being different, and rejected by Asians for being a cock, and decides its better to pander to the master than try to change the fact that he’ll always be a cock

  4. Dalbir — on 1st August, 2010 at 8:40 pm  

    Nirpal’s tongue has a curious relationship with white arse?

    Shame, because his book did amuse me for a brief time. Guess he’s yet another Jatt bumlicker who believes Brits were the best thing to happen to his ancestors. I can sense a deeply rooted inferiority complex in there. Poor thing.

  5. KJB — on 1st August, 2010 at 9:30 pm  

    Wow, I find myself in (almost) complete agreement with Dalbir for once. I remember reading bits of Tourism and they were more than enough to persuade me otherwise.

    Nirpal needs to move into advertising skin-lightening cream, it is the next logical step in his pathetic excuse for a career. Keep brown-nosing Nirpal, while you’re such a stranger to talent, it’s the only way you’re going to get paid! You can’t live off your white wife any longer, since you exceeded even her high tolerance levels.

    I see that Londonstani ranks at 13,102 in Amazon’s Bestsellers in Books, while Tourism, is, ah, 31,937? I recommend its reviews as well – even just a glance at the titles is telling. ‘What an ego!’ cries one – well, quite, while my personal favourite is ‘Deeply unpleasant, but not in an interesting way.’

    Kismet Hardy – Might I thank you, Sir? Your piece eviscerating Nirpal’s gratuitous ejaculation ‘novel’ was what got me into PP!

  6. joe90 — on 1st August, 2010 at 10:07 pm  

    Nirpal Dhaliwal what a plonker anyone reading his account of the british raj would think it was like being in heaven. He conveniently forgot to mention the complete brutality of the british raj, highlighting only one example on their watch allowed up to 20 million lives to be lost due to famine and neglect. Oh yes old boy no need to apologize while we whitewash (no pun intended) history!

  7. Sahibzada Jahan — on 1st August, 2010 at 10:35 pm  

    Maharaj Jai, excellent riposte!

    My own story, my family fought alongside Maharaja Ranjit Singh, however after the British annexed the Punjab, the family title, estate and holdings were confiscated by the British. My mother has not forgiven this outrageous act, and although she holds no malice towards the British public she feels she has every right to hold a grudge against those who were allowed to get away with such abominable crimes. We loved our Hindu and Sikh brethren and then partition kicked in and ruined our solace. I am a Muslim as you may have gathered and get pretty vexed when I hear gutter monkeys like Nirpal Dhala misbehalf and misrepresent the pangs of the Motherland.

    How would he feel if he had lost a family member in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, a terrorist act carried out by Dyer; a brutal fiend. Some Brits referred to him as saviour whilst others labelled him butcher, testimony that not all British officers/officials were deluded with ‘white mans burden’

    I have met countless Brits who disagree with what happened in India, but I have only met one Dhala who appears to defend the British side, yes you guessed it Nirpal.

    Jai Zindabad!

  8. tory — on 1st August, 2010 at 11:50 pm  

    The article in question didn’t go far enough. You can’t talk about the Raj without mentioning the abolition of suttee. A practice which would still be common were in not for the British Empire.

  9. Kamal — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:20 am  

    Tory that’s untrue. The mughals also opposed sati. The emperor akbar’s comment on the subject is famous.

  10. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:33 am  

    Kismet Hardy – Might I thank you, Sir? Your piece eviscerating Nirpal’s gratuitous ejaculation ‘novel’ was what got me into PP!

    You’re not alone. Plenty others have told me in the past they first heard of PP when someone pointed out that review of Tourism and thought it was the funniest review they’d ever read.

  11. Ravi Naik — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:36 am  

    The article in question didn’t go far enough. You can’t talk about the Raj without mentioning the abolition of suttee. A practice which would still be common were in not for the British Empire.

    Why would it be common today?

    Religious massacres and slavery was too common in Europe not long ago and that ceased to exist today. Why would it be any different with Indians? It is amazing that people still believe that non-Europeans are savages and incapable of social evolution even though Europeans went to a similar process.
    And while the Western world is debating today about animal rights and animal cruelty, a more civilized society had already debated about it centuries ago.

    But one thing seems clear to me. The Indian subcontinent was the the richest region in the world from 1st century until 1700. In 1700, it contributed to 25% of the world’s wealth, the same as Europe. In 1945 it produced 3% of wealth.

    Hence, India owes nothing to Britain. Whatever it got, it paid a huge price for it. I do think India needs to stop looking at British Raj and for apologies, and start looking at the future and regain its place economically and scientifically. I mean, if not for India, the advances of the last 300 years would be delayed for a good while, as we would be stuck with Latin numbers which are only useful for stamping dates in buildings.

  12. Sunny — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:41 am  

    I do think India needs to stop looking at British Raj and for apologies, and start looking at the future and regain its place economically and scientifically.

    I don’t think India is. There isn’t a big call in India for an apology, although it wouldn’t go remiss for some to acknowledge more explicitly what happened at Jallianwallagh Bagh or the Calcutta famines etc.

    I think Dhaliwal just used Cameron’s trip as a hook to earn some money on the back of some rubbish, which fitted nicely into the Daily Mail agenda.

  13. halima — on 2nd August, 2010 at 5:24 am  

    I think it would be good to run a thread on the UK’s proposed ideas for a special new relationship with India. It really is the more interesting story in international relations at the moment and one which PP readers might have good contributions to make …

  14. ¬AFAR — on 2nd August, 2010 at 6:02 am  

    Do recall people that this is the self-serving lunatic who once caused much hilarity on CiF for criticising Baron-Cohen so:

    In fact, his [Sacha Baron-Cohen's] preoccupation with male genitalia and anal sex is so tedious, it makes you forget the real outrage: the inequality of the class system.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2009/jul/09/bruno-sacha-baron-cohen

    Ehhhh?!?!?!?!

  15. Sarah AB — on 2nd August, 2010 at 9:12 am  

    I found it a bit confusing reading the snippets out of context but one thing which struck me was how easy it would be to transpose item (2) onto various Western countries/eras in which a splendid culture coexisted with great poverty and inequality. And – wrt the comment Mansur quotes – you could describe pretty much *any* beautiful building as a ‘useless bauble’ unless it was a school or a hospital or something.

  16. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:07 am  

    I also submitted the following two final comments on the Daily Mail thread during the weekend, but it seems the moderators over there have chosen to not publish them (yet) — the Mail has a pre-mod screening process for comments:

    *************************************************

    Two final posts from me: Nirpal wrote the following article for The Independent in January 2008:

    “Why Britain must forget the Empire and embrace India”:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/nirpal-dhaliwal-britain-must-forget-the-empire-and-embrace-india-768515.html

    Quote: “The move…..should also make Britain reassess its attitude to India and the colonial-era condescension that permeates it…..History’s momentum is with India, but Britain vainly refuses to acknowledge that its former colony will ultimately eclipse it…..still viewing India through the denigrating lens of Empire, rather than building what could become the most important partnership it has.”

    The title says it all, but it’s worth reading the article in full. It’s such a contrast to the current Mail article in terms of both quality and content that it beggars belief that both articles were written by the same author. Something has clearly gone very badly wrong with Nirpal during the past 2 years.

    (continued)

    To reiterate: People wishing to get a far more accurate and rigorously-researched academic understanding of the subject are advised to read the following books, all written by professional Western historians, including several individuals who are amongst the global leaders in their field:

    “White Mughals” and “The Last Mughal”, both by William Dalrymple;
    “Empire”, by Niall Ferguson;
    “The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire”, by John Newsinger;
    “A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time”, by Diana & Michael Preston;
    “Empires of the Indus”, by Alice Albinia.

  17. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:11 am  

    Along with the comments Sunny has already reproduced here, I also submitted the following posts, which the Mail did publish this time:

    “Because Islam permits the enslavement of non-Muslims”.

    As a fellow person of Indian Sikh ancestry, you should be perfectly aware that Islam is not a monolithic, homogenous religion, especially in terms of the subcontinent and its history…..[Jai's note: First paragraph can be read in full in Sunny's article above].

    …..The last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, did not remove any of this material from the Sikh scriptures when he compiled the final version, neither did he add any material denigrating Islam as a whole (including the kind of sweeping caricatures your own article includes) or Muslims en masse, and neither did he preach any kind of bigotry towards ordinary Muslims. His army included senior Muslim officers, he is recorded by Sikh historians as being on excellent terms with numerous Muslims and even having his life saved by Muslims at one of the very worst times in his life, and he provided military assistance to (the ultimately successful) Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah I during the war of succession after Aurangzeb’s death.

    You should also already be aware that the Sufi-influenced version of Islam had become the dominant version in India by the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar and heavily influenced his own policies and religious views – to the extent that Akbar visited the Sikh Guru of the time and was on such good terms with the Sikhs that he granted them the land on which the city of Amritsar and later the Golden Temple were built. A Muslim called Mian Mir from the Qadiri Sufi order was invited by the Sikh Guru to lay the foundation stone of the Golden Temple, and he was himself the main religious teacher of the Mughal prince Dara Shukoh, the son & chosen heir of Emperor Shah Jahan. Dara Shukoh was also heavily involved in promoting religious tolerance and understanding between Indians of different faiths, including his famous treatise “The Mingling of Two Oceans” highlighting what he believed to be the basic similarities between Sufi Islam and devotional Hinduism.

    Pluralism has been an integral part of India’s cultural and religious fabric for thousands of years, and certainly didn’t arise with the colonial era. As for the Mughals, Akbar himself actually institutionalised religious pluralism and tolerance, to the extent that non-Muslims were employed at the highest levels of the civilian and military administrations both in Delhi and throughout the Mughal Empire, and with a minority of exceptions such as Aurangzeb (who overthrew his father Shah Jahan and murdered Dara Shukoh), these policies were broadly continued by most of his descendents right up to the time of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in the mid-19th century. The Sikh Maharajah Ranjit Singh also deployed similarly pluralistic and egalitarian policies during his rule, again including employing Muslims at the most senior levels of his government and the military, in a territory where the majority of the inhabitants were themselves Muslims.

  18. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:12 am  

    (continued)

    “Nirpal, one final thing: Your distorted claims about Indian history and the caricature of Islam & Muslims you’re promoting duplicate the propaganda of the BNP’s Rajinder Singh and the EDL’s Guramit Singh. Rajinder is being formally investigated by the global Sikh authorities at the Akal Takht in Amritsar, and is potentially going to be formally excommunicated from the world’s entire Sikh population because of his very public anti-Muslim bigotry. Guramit has been forcefully condemned by the most senior Sikh religious figures in Britain, who are also associated with the Akal Takht, and in the case of ‘Bhai Sahib’ Mohinder Singh of the British Sikh Consultative Forum & the main gurdwara in Birmingham have been heavily involved in actively opposing exactly the kind of anti-Muslim propaganda which the aforementioned two individuals have been engaging in. It may be a good idea for you to think about the path you’re taking and the type of ideological company you’re keeping.”

  19. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    (continued)

    The next day I submitted with the following (split into two separate posts), which the Mail also published:

    ************************************

    “Further to my earlier series of posts below, it speaks volumes when leading British historians at the opposite ends of the political spectrum like William Dalrymple and Niall Ferguson both contradict many of the claims made in Nirpal’s article. For direct proof, read “White Mughals” and “The Last Mughal” by Dalrymple, and “Empire” by Ferguson; all 3 books also include hundreds of further historical references in their respective bibliographies.

    The narrative about the Raj and India’s previous Muslim-dominated era in Nirpal’s own article is pure Victorian propaganda, a result of the rise of fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity and pseudo-scientific racial theories during the period along with the Victorians’ need to justify their increasingly aggressive colonial activities in India. This had a catastrophic impact on generations of British people in India, not just the Indians themselves. Again, this is a matter of British historical record, confirmed by Dalrymple & Ferguson.”

  20. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:04 am  

    A clarification to my first Mail comment which Sunny has reprinted in his article: Babur’s reign as the first Mughal emperor of India actually formally began in the early 16th century, specifically in 1526. However, he was born in Uzbekistan in the late 15th century, which is what my comment on the Mail thread was supposed to say (they don’t have an ‘edit’ function).

    Nirpal’s article is absolutely riddled with historical errors; in particular, his comments about “Delhi being razed”, “towers of skulls”, and most of all his repeated erroneous references to “800 years” demonstrate the staggering lack of accurate historical knowledge on his part and the fact that he’s confusing the Mughals with wildly disparate individuals such as Mahmud of Ghazni, Timur, the various dynasties comprising the Delhi Sultans, and quite possibly even the 18th century Persian emperor Nadir Shah.

    That’s the scale of historical ignorance involved here. If he doesn’t even know about the timeline & nature of Mughal rule, and is inaccurate by a colossal 800 years (not exactly a “minor” error), it doesn’t exactly say much about the level of accuracy of the rest of his article either.

    Unfortunately, there are going to be a lot of people out there amongst the Mail’s non-Asian audience who will believe Nirpal’s heavily distorted narrative because he’s Asian himself and will be presumed to “know what he’s talking about”; most of all, Nirpal is using the Mail as a very high-profile platform to tell the right-wing contingent exactly what they want to hear (especially about the subcontinent’s pre-colonial Muslim-dominated period) and is pandering to the worst racist stereotypes about India and its history. Essentially, he’s quite openly saying that Indians were barbarians until the British came along.

    Nirpal’s claims about Muslims in particular are straight from the Stormfront/BNP/EDL falsified narrative of history. Apart from the extreme far-Right, I’ve never heard anyone else in the British public domain ever go even remotely that far — not even amongst the usual suspects in the Mail and the Express, and (as far as I know) not even Glenn Beck & Fox News. I hope Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal takes note of what I said about the current status of Guramit Singh and Rajinder Singh vis-à-vis the Akal Takht (part of the Golden Temple complex) in Amritsar and its most senior representatives here in Britain.

    And as I mentioned in #16, Nirpal was presenting a very different perspective indeed about India via The Independent back in 2008 : http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/nirpal-dhaliwal-britain-must-forget-the-empire-and-embrace-india-768515.html

  21. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:08 am  

    You can’t talk about the Raj without mentioning the abolition of suttee. A practice which would still be common were in not for the British Empire.

    Why would it be common today?

    It was never common even before the Raj — this claim is yet more Victorian propaganda. In reality, ‘suttee’ only occurred amongst a very small minority of the total Indian population, and was confined to a specific group of castes localised in specific regions. And as others have mentioned here, Mughal emperors such as Akbar in particular were actively opposed to it, as were all 10 of the Sikh Gurus during the approx. 200 years from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh.

  22. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:19 am  

    The commander-in-chief of the British armed forces in India in 1920, General Rawlinson (actually Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Rawlinson,_1st_Baron_Rawlinson ), is on record as making the following statement:

    “You may say what you like about not holding India by the sword, but you have held it by the sword for 100 years and when you give up the sword you will be turned out. You must keep the sword ready to hand and in case of trouble or rebellion use it relentlessly. Montagu calls it terrorism, so it is and in dealing with natives of all classes you have to use terrorism whether you like it or not.”

    That’s a direct quote from the most senior British military officer in the subcontinent at the time, at the height of the Raj. His own words.

  23. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:47 am  

    Sahibzada Jahan,

    re: #7

    Good to see you here, and thank you very much for your kind words. Excellent posts by you too, on this thread and also over on the Mail thread — this is exactly the kind of accurate information which needs a much higher public profile in Britain, not only to correct some misinformed stereotypes prevalent in some quarters but also to counter the warped narrative presented by the far-Right.

    I have met countless Brits who disagree with what happened in India,

    Including a number of world-famous British historians from the opposite ends of the political spectrum. As I said earlier, it really says something when even Niall Ferguson (not exactly a “white liberal” by any stretch of the imagination) contradicts many of the claims in Nirpal Dhaliwal’s article, and has presented a far more balanced and less-whitewashed account of that era & the associated events than Nirpal has.

    Ravi, very good post #11 by you too. Well said.

  24. TORY — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    Victorian propaganda? I think not, its still happening in the 21st century.

    Of course Indian liberals objected to the British ban on ‘anti-colonial’ grounds. The Pickled Politics of the day, snort.

    “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

    Napier

  25. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:04 pm  

    I think it would be good to run a thread on the UK’s proposed ideas for a special new relationship with India. It really is the more interesting story in international relations at the moment and one which PP readers might have good contributions to make …

    Ironically, yesterday’s Mail on Sunday had an excellent article by Vince Cable along exactly the same lines:

    Title: “The week that revived my love affair with India – and convinced me that Britain’s future lies there”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1299235/VINCE-CABLE-The-week-revived-love-affair-India–convinced-Britains-future-lies-there.html

    Quote, from the final paragraphs:

    Britain’s problem is no longer the baggage of this imperial past but a slowness to recognise the opportunities presented by a re-emerging India (and Asia in general).

    Taking advantage of these opportunities requires dumping a lot of prejudices about India. We must. There is no future for Britain looking inward and backward, or being trapped in a Eurocentric world. Our country must be open for global business.

    As you can see, this is far more in line with the positive premise of Nirpal Dhaliwal’s Independent article from 2008. Whilst Vince Cable is promoting a similarly enlightened and forward-thinking attitude, Nirpal’s own recent Daily Mail article indicates that Nirpal himself has taken a radical turn for the worse. Much, much worse.

  26. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 12:07 pm  

    Typo in #20: “If he doesn’t even know about the timeline & nature of Mughal rule, and is inaccurate by a colossal 800 years”

    That should say “inaccurate by a colossal 500 years”. But it still doesn’t make Nirpal Dhaliwal’s wildly distorted (and repeated) claims about “800 years of Mughal rule” any more accurate.

  27. Dalbir — on 2nd August, 2010 at 1:24 pm  

    @24

    Look! It’s General Dyer back from the grave!

  28. Sahibzada Jahan — on 2nd August, 2010 at 1:33 pm  

    Hi Tory,

    One form of Anglo punishment during the Mutiny.

    Hindus sown into cows hide and buried alive, Muslims were sown into the skin of a swine and burnt alive. A terrorist response, ensuring eternal damnation.

    dear Tory, all that you bought to Indian was gory, as we approach our new age of glory you want to rewrite our story

    Tory leader visits one country criticises another. The PM prostituted himself wherever he went.

  29. Rumbold — on 2nd August, 2010 at 1:43 pm  

    It is sad that this is the man a paper would pick to write a piece on the British empire. No historical knowledge or qualifications, his only link being that he is brown and knows people on the staff.

  30. anwar — on 2nd August, 2010 at 2:28 pm  

    sahibzada jahan
    “Hindus sown into cows hide and buried alive, Muslims were sown into the skin of a swine and burnt alive. A terrorist response, ensuring eternal damnation.”

    You clearly havent studied Islam. There is no eternal damnation for the acts of OTHERS .

  31. Sahibzada Jahan — on 2nd August, 2010 at 2:49 pm  

    That was the British intention, these are not my comments. It was an extreme form of religious subjugation and psychological warfare. A message to all mutineers that they would not only suffer here but in the next life ie eternal damnation. Is that clearer perhaps?

    Actually I studied theology and history.

  32. Dalbir — on 2nd August, 2010 at 2:59 pm  

    It is sad that this is the man a paper would pick to write a piece on the British empire. No historical knowledge or qualifications, his only link being that he is brown and knows people on the staff.

    Isn’t this exactly what whiteists have been doing from day one? Bolstering those natives who sing their song?

    What’s the big surprise?

  33. anwar — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:01 pm  

    sahibzada jahan
    “A message to all mutineers that they would not only suffer here but in the next life ie eternal damnation. Is that clearer perhaps?”

    Not really because it would have been meaningless to the “mutineers” since they wouldnt believe it. As meaningless as the message Christian missionaries give to Muslims that they will suffer eternal damnation if they dont commit idolatry by worshipping Jesus (peace be upon him)

    “Actually I studied theology and history.”

    Which Islamic text of theology specifically?

  34. Rumbold — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:12 pm  

    Dalbir:

    Isn’t this exactly what whiteists have been doing from day one? Bolstering those natives who sing their song?

    At the risk of getting an answer, what are whiteists?

  35. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:22 pm  

    Before this thread becomes derailed by people arguing over the minutiae of British atrocities against Indians during the conflict of 1857, I suggest that interested parties read the following articles by William Dalrymple:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/200610160035

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3655677/A-dynasty-crushed-by-hatred.html

    I also suggest you read Dalrymple’s acclaimed book “The Last Mughal” itself. “Empire” by Niall Ferguson also goes into exhaustive detail about those events, and includes one of the most unequivocally hardhitting & forcefully-stated condemnations of British motivations & actions in the period leading up to, during, and after that conflict that I have ever read.

  36. Sahibzada Jahan — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:32 pm  

    Anwar,

    You seem to have some warped idea that Muslims were all in strict observance of every letter of the Quran, hadith etc. To understand the Muslim pysche of the 1800s I recommend for you to engage with the historical upheaval. This will also help to explain the situation the Deobandi scholars found themselves in and why they declared Jihad against John Company. However this is not to say that there weren’t other Muslims who had their own interpretation of the faith, much like modern times. Essentially the British had hoped to crush the rebellion by instigating terror, an act that would hopefully subdue them.

    It doesn’t matter what I studied, what are you some kind of Muhaddith.

    Some interesting quotes for those interested in India’s subjugation

    India’s cultural subjugation had begun even before the first war of Indian Independence in 1857. In 1835, Lord Macaulay said about India in British Parliament: “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.

    ‘Every examination of the events of 1857 comes back to this fact: that the rank and file of the Bengal Army imagined that they were about to be made Christians. At Delhi in May they implored their countrymen to join them in a war for India’s faith……Sir Henry Lawrence realised the importance of the binding power of religion when he undertook a black propoganda by spreading rumours that Muslim mutineers had desecrated Hindu Temples.’ RAJ: The Making of British India written by Lawrence James

  37. anwar — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:38 pm  

    sahibzada jahan
    “You seem to have some warped idea that Muslims were all in strict observance of every letter of the Quran, hadith etc”

    not at all but the uprising had a strong religious element to it , you yourself admitted that

    “It doesn’t matter what I studied, what are you some kind of Takfiri or Muhaddith.”

    LOL an interesting choice of combination……

  38. Cauldron — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:52 pm  

    Britain’s most wretched parting gift to India was Fabianism.

  39. TORY — on 2nd August, 2010 at 3:59 pm  

    28

    The horrors of Cawnpore and other places are undisputed. It is a historical fact that British soldiers bayoneted the mutineers on the spot. Prisoners were made to lick up the blood on the floor. The point is that every serious British historian (including right wing ones – Ferguson/James)have written about these historical events in great detail.

    The same cannot be said of some Indian writers who have constructed a fantasy narrative about the mutiny. Im sure there are good Indian historians but Indian popular culture is woefully ignorant and misinformed about such events.

    I have met Indian ‘nationalists’ who don’t even know that European women were thrown from the tops of castle walls. They were never been taught that the mutineers killed European children. How can you understand a period in history if you only examine the actions of one side of a dispute?

    Not to mention the fact that all the violence was the result of religious hocus pocus and had nothing to rising up for independence or something.

  40. Sahibzada Jahan — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:15 pm  

    Dear Tory,

    In agreement with you, we’re just sick and tired of this idea that we inherited a more just set of morals. India and indeed Pakistan and Bangladesh were home to some amazing civilisations; Indus, Gandhara, concerning individuals there was the Buddha and of course Asoka the Great.

    We were not in need of enlightenment, what began with white mans burden quickly transformed itself into white mans blunder.

    However in the scheme of things, there were some amazing relationships which developed between both Brits and Indians, my personal favourite Sir Claude Auchinleck, he truly adored his soldiers – the affection was mutual.

    ‘Britain couldn’t have come through both wars if it hadn’t the Indian Army’ Sir Claude

    Personally I would like to hear more about Britain’s junior partner, the British Indian Army 2.5 million volunteers.

    They fought as volunteers when most British soldiers were conscripts

    They fought for British democracy at time when they were denied self rule

    They lost 14 and 15 year old boys in Britain’s battles.

    All this, but what is it worth if we never hear the heoric stories of dashing Indian soldiers like:

    Namdeo Jadhav VC
    Nand Singh VC
    Umrao Singh VC
    Ali Haidar VC
    Fazal Din VC
    Subramanian GC

  41. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:37 pm  

    Religious massacres and slavery was too common in Europe not long ago and that ceased to exist today. Why would it be any different with Indians? It is amazing that people still believe that non-Europeans are savages and incapable of social evolution even though Europeans went to a similar process.

    Ideally a comprehensive understanding can be gained by reading the books I listed at the end of #16, in this case specifically those written by William Dalrymple, Niall Ferguson and John Newsinger, but in the meantime the best way to explain why attitudes towards Indians changed so drastically is to provide a few extracts from “White Mughals” by Dalrymple.

    I’ll follow it up with some extracts from the New Statesman article mentioned in #35 in order to describe the reasons for the deterioration in attitudes and relations between British and Indian people throughout the 19th century (particularly after 1857); there’s obviously going to be some overlap between the two series of extracts and I’ll also have to break them up into separate posts in order to make them more readable on PP, so bear with me.

    ****************************************

    White Mughals, by William Dalrymple, published by Harper Perennial 2004 – extracts from pp 46-54:

    “Most powerful of the critics was one of the Company’s Directors, Charles Grant. Grant was amongst the first of a new breed of Evangelical Christians, and he brought his fundamentalist religious opinions directly to the East India Company boardroom. Writing ‘it is hardly possible to conceive any people more completely enchained than they [the Hindus] are by their superstitions’, he proposed in 1787 to launch missions to convert a people whom he characterised as ‘universally and wholly corrupt…..depraved as they are blind, and wretched as they are depraved’. Within a few decades the missionaries – initially based at the Danish settlement of Serampore – were beginning fundamentally to change British perceptions of the Hindus. No longer were they inheritors of a body of sublime and ancient wisdom,…..but instead merely ‘poor benighted heathen’, or even ‘licentious pagans’, some of whom, it was hoped, were eagerly awaiting conversion, and with it the path to Civilisation.

    …..It was to combat the intolerance of these Evangelicals that [the more enlightened British General] Stuart anonymously published a pamphlet called A Vindication of the Hindoos. In this text he tried to discourage any attempt by European missionaries to convert the Hindus, arguing that, as he put it, ‘on the enlarged principles of moral reasoning, Hinduism little needs the meliorating hand of Christianity to render its votaries a sufficiently correct and moral people for all the useful purposes of a civilised society’…..The reaction that Stuart generated by writing his defence of Hinduism is a measure of how attitudes were beginning to change at the close of the eighteenth and the opening years of the nineteenth century. A full-scale pamphlet war broke out, with furious attacks on the anonymous ‘Bengal Officer’ who produced the work, denouncing him as an ‘infidel’ and a ‘pagan’.

    …..[General] Stuart was not alone in facing criticism. All over India, as the eighteenth century gave way to the nineteenth, attitudes were changing among the British. Men who showed too great an enthusiasm for Hinduism, for Indian practices or even for their Indian wives and Anglo-Indian children, were finding that the climate was growing distinctly chilly.

    David Hare, a Scottish watchmaker who founded the Hindu College in Calcutta, was actually denied a Christian burial when he died of cholera, on the grounds that he had become more Hindu than Christian. Many more found that their Indian ways led to a block on their promotion. When Francis Gillanders, a British tax-collector stationed in Bihar, was found to be involving himself too closely with the [Buddhist] temple at Bodh Gaya, to which he donated a bell in 1798, the Directors of the Company back in London wrote to the Governor General expressing their horror that a Christian should be, as they put it, administering ‘heathen’ rites. A little later Frederick Shore found that his adoption of native dress so enraged the increasingly self-righteous officials of Calcutta that a government order was issued explicitly forbidding Company servants from wearing anything other than European dress. The following year the army issued similar orders forbidding European officers from taking part in the [Hindu] festival of Holi…..The shutters were beginning to come down.”

  42. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:39 pm  

    (continued)

    “Ideas of racial and ethnic hierarchy were also beginning to be aired for the first time in the late 1780s, and it was the burgeoning mixed-blood Anglo-Indian community which felt the brunt of the new intolerance. From 1786, under the new Governor General, Lord Cornwallis, a whole raft of legislation was brought in excluding the children of British men who had Indian wives from employment by the Company. Cornwallis arrived in India fresh from his defeat by George Washington at Yorktown. He was determined to ensure that a settled colonial class never emerged in India to undermine British rule as it had done, to his own humiliation, in America.

    With this in mind, in 1786 an order was passed banning the Anglo-Indian orphans of British soldiers from travelling to England to be educated, so qualifying for service in the Company army. In 1791 the door was slammed shut when an order was issued that no-one with an Indian parent could be employed by the civil, military or marine branches of the Company. In 1795, further legislation was issued, explicitly disqualifying anyone not descended from European parents on both sides from serving in the Company’s armies except as ‘pipers, drummers, bandsmen and farriers’, Yet, like their British fathers, the Anglo-Indians were also banned from owning land. Thus excluded from all the most obvious sources of lucrative employment, the Anglo-Indians quickly found themselves at the beginning of a long slide down the social scale. This would continue until, a century later, they had been reduced to a community of minor clerks and train drivers.

    …..It was not just the Anglo-Indians who suffered from the new and quickly-growing prejudices in Calcutta. Under Cornwallis, all non-Europeans began to be treated with disdain by the increasingly arrogant officials at the Company headquarters of Fort William…..These new racial attitudes affected all aspects of relations between the British and Indians. The Bengal Wills show it was at this time that the number of Indian bibis [wives or consorts] being mentioned in wills and inventories began to decline: from turning up in one in three wills in 1780 and 1785, the practice went into steep decline. Between 1805 and 1810, bibis appear in only one in every four wills; by 1830 it is one in six; by the middle of the century they have all but disappeared. The second edition of Thomas Williamson’s East India Vade Mecum, published in 1825, had all references to bibis completely removed from it, while biographies and memoirs of prominent eighteenth-century British Indian worthies which mentioned their Indian wives were re-edited in the early nineteenth century so that their consorts were removed from later editions;

    …..Two words were growing apart…..If that gap widened into an abyss during the first years of the nineteenth century, it was largely due to the influence of one man…..On 8 November 1797, Lord [Richard] Wellesley [elder brother of Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington], a minor Irish aristocrat, set out from England to take up his appointment as Governor General of Bengal and head of the Supreme Government of India. For nearly three hundred years Europeans coming out to the subcontinent had been assimilating themselves to India in a kaleidoscope of different ways. That process was now drawing to a close. Increasingly Europeans were feeling they had nothing to learn from India, and they had less and less inclination to discover anything to the contrary. India was perceived as a suitable venue for ruthless and profitable European expansion, where glory and fortunes could be acquired to the benefit of all concerned. It was a place to be changed and conquered, not a place to be changed or conquered by.

    This new Imperial approach was one that Lord Wellesley was determined not only to make his own, but to embody. His Imperial policies would effectively bring into being the main superstructure of the Raj as it survived up to 1947; he also brought with him the arrogant and disdainful British racial attitudes that buttressed and sustained it.”

  43. me — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    Faisal Gazi on US imperialism and Muslim-bashing:

    For example you forgotten to include in your sweeping surmise that the
    USA (a Christian Democracy) has been involved in 42 wars and conflicts
    in the last 40 years. This is a record of violence unbeaten by any
    country, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever takes your
    fancy.

    It may be that you do not wish to include the USA in your statistics
    because you are not willing to bite the hand that feeds. I can only
    congratulate you then on your caution.

    Faisal Gazi
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eshomabesh/message/4650

    Oh please Mr. Kaushik Sharma [mailto:kaushikmtc@...], spare us
    the ranting of this crazed obsessive-compulsive. V S Naipaul was a
    perfectly good author who suddenly became a professional anti-Muslim
    hack and put out 2 books in succession about Islam – his pet hate.
    (‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Among the Believers’)

    I’m sure that his books will resonate with many an Islam-basher on this
    list.
    ;-)
    But bear in mind that following his second anti-Muslim clever-clever
    visceral diatribe (Among the Believers), Edward Said commented that the
    book signified a writer going through an “Emotional and Intellectual
    breakdown”. That shows just how far-gone was Naipaul’s foaming-at-mouth
    hatred of Islam.

    Naipaul was recently awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature – and I’m sure
    it was more to do with the content of these 2 pieces of pseudo-journo
    hack, rather than his other sublime novels which include: ‘A House for
    Mr Biswas’, ‘The Mystic Masseur’ and ‘In a free State’. Since the
    Nobel-Prize was awarded following the anti-Islam hysteria following 9/11
    - Naipaul was probably a good choice to award the prize to, in spite of
    there being better and more deserving writers.

    V S Naipaul has a lot to answer for.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eshomabesh/message/4607

    Appears Mr Gazi is an anti-colonial “Islamist”

  44. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:44 pm  

    Extracts from the New Statesman, source: http://www.newstatesman.com/200610160035

    ********************************************

    “The Siege of Delhi was a fight to the death between two powers, neither of whom could retreat. Finally, on 14 September 1857, the British assaulted and took the city, sacking the Mughal capital and massacring swathes of the population. “The orders went out to shoot every soul,” recorded Edward Vibart, a 19-year-old British officer. “It was literally murder . . . The women were all spared but their screams, on seeing their husbands and sons butchered, were most painful . . . I feel no pity, but when some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes, hard must be that man’s heart I think who can look on with indifference . . .”

    Delhi was left an empty ruin. Those city-dwellers who survived were driven out into the countryside to fend for themselves. Though the royal family had surrendered peacefully, most of the emperor’s 16 sons were tried and hanged, while three were shot in cold blood, having first freely given up their arms, then been told to strip naked. “In 24 hours I disposed of the principal members of the house of Timur the Tartar,” Captain William Hodson wrote to his sister the following day. “I am not cruel, but I confess I did enjoy the opportunity of ridding the earth of these wretches.”

    …..The Last Mughal, published this month, continues the story I began in White Mughals – the story of the fast-changing relationship between the British and the Indians, and especially Muslim Indians – in the late 18th and the mid-19th century.

    During the 18th century it was almost as common for westerners to take on the customs, and even the religions, of India, as the reverse. These white Mughals had responded to their travels in India by shedding their Britishness like an unwanted skin, adopting Indian dress, studying Indian philosophy, taking harems and copying the ways of the Mughal governing class they came to replace…..By the end of the 18th century one-third of the British men in India were leaving their possessions to Indian wives.

    …..This was not an era when notions of clashing civilisations would have made sense. The world that Ochterlony inhabited was more hybrid, and had far less clearly defined ethnic, national and religious borders, than we have been conditioned to expect. It is certainly unfamiliar to anyone who accepts the usual caricature of the Englishman in India, presented repeatedly in films and television dramas, of the narrow-minded sahib dressing for dinner in the jungle.

    …..Why did the relatively easy interracial and inter-religious relationships so evident during the time of Ochterlony give way to the hatred and racism of the 19th-century Raj? How did the close clasp of two civilisations turn into a bitter clash?

    Two things put paid to the easy coexistence. One was the rise of British power: in a few years the British had defeated not only the French, but all their other Indian rivals; and, in a manner not unlike the Americans after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the changed balance of power quickly led to undisguised imperial arrogance. No longer was the west prepared to study and learn from the subcontinent; instead, Thomas Macaulay came to speak for a whole generation of Englishmen when he declared that “a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia”.

    The other factor was the ascendancy of evangelical Christianity, and the profound change in social, sexual and racial attitudes that this brought about. The wills written by dying East India Company servants show that the practice of cohabiting with Indian bibis quickly declined: they turn up in one in three wills between 1780 and 1785, but are present in only one in four between 1805 and 1810. By the middle of the century, they have all but disappeared. In half a century, a vibrantly multicultural world refracted back into its component parts; children of mixed race were corralled into what became in effect a new Indian caste – the Anglo-Indians – who were left to run the railways, posts and mines.

    Like our 19th-century forebears, today we have sometimes assumed that liberalism and progress are unstoppable forces in society, and that the longer the nations and religions of the world all live together, the more prejudices will cease to exist and we shall come instead to respect each other’s faiths and ways of living. The world since 11 September 2001 has shaken our confidence in this, and led to a reassessment (at least in some quarters) of assumptions about the melting pot of British multiculturalism. Likewise, Company India moved from a huge measure of racial intermixing in the late 18th century to a position of complete racial apartheid by the 1850s.”

  45. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 4:59 pm  

    (continued)

    “By the 1850s, the British had progressed from aggressively removing independent-minded Muslim rulers, such as Tipu Sultan, who refused to bow before the will of the hyperpower, to destabilising and then annexing even the most pliant Muslim states. In February 1856, the British unilaterally annexed the prosperous kingdom of Avadh (or Oudh), using the excuse that the nawab, Wajid Ali Shah, a far-from-belligerent dancer and epicure, was “debauched”.

    By this time, other British officials who believed in a “forward” policy of pre-emptive action were nursing plans to abolish Zafar’s Mughal court in Delhi, and to impose not just British laws and technology on India, but also British values, in the form of Christianity. The missionaries reinforced Muslim fears, increasing opposition to British rule and creating a constituency for the rapidly multiplying jihadis. And, in turn, “Wahhabi conspiracies” strengthened the conviction of the evangelical Christians that a “strong attack” was needed to take on the “Muslim fanatics”.

    The eventual result of this clash of rival fundamentalisms came in 1857 with the cataclysm of the Great Mutiny. Of the 139,000 sepoys of the Bengal army, all but 7,796 turned against their British masters, and the great majority headed straight to Zafar’s court in Delhi, the centre of the storm. Although it had many causes and reflected many deeply held political and economic grievances – particularly the feeling that the heathen foreigners were interfering in the most intimate way with a part of the world to which they were entirely alien – the uprising was articulated as a war of religion, and especially as a defensive action against the rapid inroads that missionaries, Christian schools and Christian ideas were making in India, combined with a more generalised fight for freedom from occupation and western interference.”

    Jai’s note:

    1. The majority of the sepoys were actually Hindus.
    2. It’s worth bearing in mind that the 19th century version of Evangelical Christianity which the missionaries and their colonial supporters practised and wished to use the full machinery of the British Empire to forcibly impose on India and convert its inhabitants en masse bore little relation to the modern, liberal 21st century CoE version, as the various extracts and quotes from the period demonstrate.
    3. By this time, the British imperialists didn’t just think of themselves as the inheritors of classical Rome, but also as “the new Crusaders”, and this affected their attitudes towards India’s Muslims in particular (especially the Mughals) as the latter were the paramount power in the subcontinent.
    4. Considering that the East India Company were technically the Mughal court’s vassals, in legal terms the British of the period were actually committing treason, in terms of their systematic disempowerment of the Mughal administration in the years leading up to 1857, their well-documented plans to eventually overthrow the Mughals and terminate the dynasty, the subsequent catastrophic military conflict, the formal termination of Mughal rule, and ultimately the formal installation of British imperial rule (directly taking over from the EIC) over the Indian subcontinent.

  46. sonia — on 2nd August, 2010 at 5:17 pm  

    Yeah what sunny said in no.12. is India looking for an apology? I don’t think so!

  47. Papa Foxtrot Tango — on 2nd August, 2010 at 6:52 pm  

    “It is sad that this is the man a paper would pick to write a piece on the British empire. No historical knowledge or qualifications, his only link being that he is brown and knows people on the staff.”

    Vince Cable, brown? Shurely not.

  48. Jai — on 2nd August, 2010 at 7:18 pm  

    A quick note regarding the following paragraph in comment #44:

    2. It’s worth bearing in mind that the 19th century version of Evangelical Christianity which the missionaries and their colonial supporters practised and wished to use the full machinery of the British Empire to forcibly impose on India and convert its inhabitants en masse bore little relation to the modern, liberal 21st century CoE version, as the various extracts and quotes from the period demonstrate.

    This is an extremely important point — not only because extensive surviving British historical records from the period confirm that aggressive British imperialists throughout the 19th century and many of the British troops directly involved in committing atrocities towards Indians during the conflict of 1857 believed that their actions were fully supported by the contents of the Bible and their militant interpretation of Christianity itself as an organised religion, but also because (as I mentioned earlier) there have actually been settled communities of Christians in India for hundreds of years longer than there have been Christians in Britain.

    Furthermore, Christians in India (either recent European arrivals or established Indian Christians) were completely free to openly practice their faith during most of the “Great Mughal” era and without any hostility or restrictions, as has been previously discussed on PP in the following two-part article “Christianity and Islam in Mughal India”:

    Part 1: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6912
    Part 2: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6961

    Even one of the personal physicians of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, converted to Christianity; Zafar’s subsequent response was effectively that a man’s religious beliefs are his own personal business and a matter for his own conscience. Unfortunately, Indian Christians were not spared from the hatred and violence unleashed towards Indians in general by British forces during the conflict of 1857, and neither were they exempt from the discriminatory racial policies implemented in India by the colonial authorities during the Raj as a whole.

  49. Refresh — on 2nd August, 2010 at 10:11 pm  

    Bravo Jai!

  50. Dalbir — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:33 pm  

    Rumbold@34

    Don’t you remember this?

    Look@post#10

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/7520

    I think Nirpal falls under the Slave Master section myself?

  51. persephone — on 2nd August, 2010 at 11:36 pm  

    why don’t PP invite nirpal to write a guest post here – an opportunity to explain his thoughts (and his change in stance) here rather than the Daily Mail

  52. halima — on 3rd August, 2010 at 3:52 am  

    Jai @ 25

    Thanks for linking to Sunday Mail article.

    It think traditional countries in the west have all been a bit slow responding to emerging India and Asia. India is special of coarse, for Britain’s historic relations. Reminds me a little of the previous century when Britain and US struck a happy deal during the transition of power, based on a ‘shared’ culture, and I sense that a similar transition will occur with India’s rise and Britain’s efforts to find its place in the new geopolitics, Britain as usual, will prosper from this transition because of its history (good and bad) with India, and its fantastic ability to be pragmatic and adapt , when we realise…

  53. Nirpal Singh Dhaliwall — on 3rd August, 2010 at 10:02 am  

    The political do-goodery of all you lefties that champion such crass, archaic notions such as ‘human rights’ and bleat on about ‘equality’ make me laugh, like a barrel of yesterday’s mixed analogies. We allowed women equality, look what happened. Millions of are being lost everyday while they stay at home popping out babies instead being of at their desks, working hard like us men. We gave Moslems rights? What did they do? Bring down western civilisation as we know it, brick by brick, before our very eyes. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against women or Moslems. I just want you to hold me.

  54. Shamit — on 3rd August, 2010 at 10:46 am  

    Well, I don’t think the comments made @53 are from Nirpal Singh Dhaliwall. It sounds more like a BNP or an EDL supporter who is demonstrating the blatant lack of grey matter and reasoning power.

  55. Sarah AB — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:03 am  

    Shamit – or possibly just someone being satirical at his expense.

  56. Jai — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:33 am  

    Bravo Jai!

    Thanks, Refresh.

    why don’t PP invite nirpal to write a guest post here – an opportunity to explain his thoughts (and his change in stance) here rather than the Daily Mail

    Ultimately it’s obviously Sunny’s decision, but personally I think Nirpal should say nothing further at all on this subject until, at the very least, he’s read all 6 of the books I recommended in #16.

    (He should also read “The Maharajah’s Box” by Christy Campbell in order to gain a greater understanding of the two Anglo-Sikh wars in the mid-19th century and their disastrous aftermath. The author is an investigative historian and a former defence correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph).

  57. Nirpal Singh Dhaliwall — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:40 am  

    Shamit, for your information, the EDL have more understanding of pain and suffering caused by Moslems and women and gays and Virgin broadband than your so called human rights peddlars like that ugly lesbian shami chakrabarty can ever begin tocomprehend. It’s Asians like you that make me sad. So sad, and so very cold.

  58. David Copeland — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:40 am  

    Yes Mr Nirpal?, we gave Muslims rights, they gave us collectively more support than any other single ethnic group during WWII, political, theological and most important of all the man power.

    In a letter addressed to US President Franklin Roosevelt, dated 4 March 1942, Winston Churchill wrote,

    ‘We must not on any account break with the Moslems, who represent a hundred million people, and the main army elements on which we must rely for the immediate fighting’ (The Second World War, Volume IV, page 185, authored by Winston S. Churchill) Churchill relied on the Muslim community due to its large volume of martial races!

    No they did not bring down western civilisation, they actually helped to safeguard it from the fascist, racist regime. The same regime which uses the Swastika, the Hindu symbol for goodness, the same regime which is responsible for the murder of 100,000s of British ann Commonwealth troops. Search the link below and you will find the gravestone of three 15 year olds who fell, fighting for British freedoms.

    Taken from http://www.britainsmuslimsoldiers.co.uk

  59. Jai — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:45 am  

    It think traditional countries in the west have all been a bit slow responding to emerging India and Asia. India is special of coarse, for Britain’s historic relations. Reminds me a little of the previous century when Britain and US struck a happy deal during the transition of power, based on a ‘shared’ culture, and I sense that a similar transition will occur with India’s rise and Britain’s efforts to find its place in the new geopolitics, Britain as usual, will prosper from this transition because of its history (good and bad) with India, and its fantastic ability to be pragmatic and adapt , when we realise…

    Halima, I know what you mean, and David Cameron & Vince Cable have both recently been publicly making exactly the same point. Personally I think that India will continue to have a much closer political & cultural relationship with America (ironically, something Nirpal also praised repeatedly in his article from the Independent in 2008), but I guess time will tell.

    Apparently India’s economy is projected to match Britain’s economy within just 15 years; within 40 years it is predicted to actually become 4 times the size of Britain’s economy at the time, and India will have joined both America and China as the world’s 3 largest economies.

    Well, I don’t think the comments made @53 are from Nirpal Singh Dhaliwall.

    Sounds more like someone spoofing him…..

    **********************************************************

    Incidentally, I see that the Daily Mail has refused to publish the comment I submitted on Nirpal’s discussion thread where I flagged up his article from the Independent in 2008 — the article in which he completely contradicted his views in his current Mail piece.

  60. Nirpal Singh Dhaliwall — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:45 am  

    David. But… but.. you’re white, right? I mean, I totally agree with your points. And don’t get me wrong, but as I originally said, it was the Moslems that were to blame. Not you sir. Never you. Please. Please love me.

  61. Katy Newton — on 3rd August, 2010 at 11:55 am  

    Nirpal Singh Kismet Hardy, if you ask me.

  62. David Copeland — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:00 pm  

    Foremostly I’m a human, this transcends all colours and races, if us whites want to get it right we need to lead by example, no such thing as blame one race, this is Britain we all safeguarded this nation together, Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist fought together and died together. Its their country as much as ours!!!

  63. Shamit — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    Katy – you are probably right

  64. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd August, 2010 at 12:09 pm  

    spoilsports :-(

  65. Ravi Naik — on 3rd August, 2010 at 2:26 pm  

    I just read Nirpal’s article How feminism destroyed real men which is totally cringe-inducing. In that article, he explains that women – in particular his wife – prefer alpha-males who behave like total jerks.

    The follow-up article written by his wife a few months later is titled I’m finally, finally, finally divorcing my husband. According to his wife, Nirpal “Who’s the boss” Dhaliwal calls her “mommy” given their age difference (he was living with mother before moving to his wife’s house when they got married). And other unflattering business.

  66. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd August, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

    I always suspected Liz Jones was a bit stupid, and in her article she calls herself as much, but…

    “As I am continuing to find out even now, sleep with other women he did. Not just in India, where he slept with five women in three months”

    No he didn’t. He said it because he knows you’ll write about it.

    (Shakes head)

  67. sonia — on 3rd August, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

    yeah, but ironically, he is kind of proving his point! about women and idiot men like him. Mind you, men clearly go for idiot men too so a match made in heaven :-)

  68. halima — on 3rd August, 2010 at 6:52 pm  

    Jai @ 59

    “Apparently India’s economy is projected to match Britain’s economy within just 15 years; within 40 years it is predicted to actually become 4 times the size of Britain’s economy at the time, and India will have joined both America and China as the world’s 3 largest economies.”

    Yes. 100%. Of coarse the big story of the early 21st century is about which Asian power will reign – India or China? It’s not an academic exercise, as much as trying to predict what will make powers more competitive in the future – i.e. what will the 21st century developmental state look like? Will it spring from a raw, manufacturing base, or from innovation and value -added sectors? If it is the former, then it’s China and in the scramble for Africa, if it’s the latter, it is India and others. It cannot be the former as the days of manufacturing in China are also numbered. I find this topic fascinating as nerdy as it appears. The real interesting story about Indian and Chinese competition is of coarse taking place in Sudan right now. A sign of the future.

    Why do you think India will forge closer relations with the US? I suppose I hadn’t considered it, just automatically assumed there would be special relationship between the UK and India, and had somehow forgotten about the Americans …

  69. Jai — on 4th August, 2010 at 9:54 am  

    Why do you think India will forge closer relations with the US?

    It already does have much closer relations with the US. Ironically (again), Nirpal Dhaliwal actually listed a number of the reasons in the Indy article I mentioned earlier on this thread, so take a look at that for further details.

    Also, as far the dominant Western cultural influence in India along with Indians’ own interests when they “look to the West” are concerned, these days both are now heavily centred on the United States. It doesn’t mean that Indians ignore Britain, of course, but in most aspects America is by far their “partner/destination of choice”. Unless there are some radical shifts in American culture or unforeseen political developments in the US, India’s “special relationship” during the next few decades will continue to be with America.

    This discussion may be more suitable on Shariq’s “Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani” thread, as people like Shamit and of course Shariq himself are already discussing some related issues there.

  70. Jai — on 4th August, 2010 at 4:20 pm  

    (continued)

    Halima, you should find this article to be interesting too, as it discusses some further reasons that India’s priority is the United States much more than the UK:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/03/pakistan-india-clinton-cameron

  71. Jai — on 4th August, 2010 at 4:27 pm  

    The Independent recently mentioned something else which is directly connected to Sunny’s PP article above (and of course also Nirpal’s Mail article about the Raj). Somewhat unfortunate for David Cameron, of course, and it’s obviously a good thing that nobody (especially the main Indian news channels such as NDTV) triggered a potentially highly-awkward situation by publicly raising the matter with him during his trip to India:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin-alibhaibrown-camerons-megaphone-diplomacy-2041161.html

    Quote:

    And then there is the imperial family legacy, discovered recently in a book found in the British Library. William Low, [David] Cameron’s great-great-grandfather, mercilessly cut down scores of Indian mutineers and happily helped hang blameless Indians to warn off future rebels. William’s father Sir John Low was with the East India Company – masterful political manipulators and profiteers. These historical connections were not mentioned (for old-fashioned diplomatic reasons) during his visit. Fair enough. The UK wants to move forward, respectfully bury the past.

  72. soru — on 4th August, 2010 at 6:42 pm  

    In the interests of historical accuracy, the following quote did rather set off my bullshit detector:

    In 1835, Lord Macaulay said about India in British Parliament (slightly paraphrased): ‘I am an evil overlord, and here is my evil plan’.

    It does look like that is one of those completely made up quotations that must make up a measurable proportion of the internet.

    Lord Macaulay claimed and no doubt sincerely believed that he was helping Indians forward by foisting English education upon them in replacement of what he considered a moribund and backward culture. To make him speak out otherwise, a cynical quotation has had to be invented and put into his mouth.

    Someone at some point must have invented and launched these false attributions of statements and viewpoints. The psychology behind this act of deceit deserves closer scrutiny. I suppose in many cases there is no deliberate will to concoct and propagate a lie. Many people just don’t distinguish properly between what is and what they wish for. If they want to win the political or intellectual battles in which they participate with such zeal, they had better exercise their power of discrimination. If any worn-out quotation deserves to be repeated to them, it is India’s ever-fresh national motto: Satyam eva jayate, “truth shall prevail”.

  73. Jai — on 4th August, 2010 at 7:30 pm  

    Whilst the quote above is indeed possibly apocryphal, unfortunately Macaulay is confirmed as making the following statements:

    “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

    And, of course, his most notoriously bigoted remark of all:

    “a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.”

    Various other authenticated quotes of dubious opinions by Macaulay can be read here, in his own words:

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1833macaulay-india.html

  74. soru — on 4th August, 2010 at 8:17 pm  

    All of which have a meaning that is pretty much the polar opposite of the original quote. Macaulay was a 19C Whig Imperialist, genuinely convinced of his own superiority, not a cheap Lex Luthor clone boasting about how his plot to undermine the Indian superman would work.

    Interesting counter-factual is that I think it would have been entirely plausible for the Brits of that period to have decided to set up the nascent elite education system in Latin, instead of English. The consequences of that for modern-day India would be interesting…

  75. Rumbold — on 4th August, 2010 at 8:31 pm  

    Macaulay, for all his pompous cultural superiority, was a fascinating character (and a fine historian) who left an equally interesting legacy. He still retains quite a following in India, especially amongst some Dalits, who see the English language as the great leveller:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/special-report/D-is-for-Dalits-and-E-is-for-the-English-Goddess/articleshow/5908486.cms

    As Soru says, he was a Whig imperialist who fit in with the mentality of the age.

  76. Dalbir — on 4th August, 2010 at 11:28 pm  

    “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

    Aha! I spy with my little eye, something beginning with “C” – a coconut!

    I think the bastards are still at it meself!

  77. KJB — on 4th August, 2010 at 11:53 pm  

    “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

    Aha! I spy with my little eye, something beginning with “C” – a coconut!

    Yeah, gosh, because those stupid Indians could only ever do what whitey told them to. Two of those ‘coconuts’ go by the name of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, you might have heard of them? There’s this other fellow as well – Nobel Laureate, I believe – Rabindranath Tagore?

    Anyone calling themselves an Sikh, of Indian descent, wants to be REAL careful about who they call ‘coconut’ and how they start interpreting historical quotes that have nothing to do with the present moment.

  78. persephone — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:06 am  

    Good comment KJB

    ——————————————————-

    The term coconut is a relative one.

    Some Asians who remained ‘back home’ think all British Asians are coconuts simply by the fact that we live in the UK, have adopted ‘western’ clothes, accents etc.

    Going by such a sweeping generalisation it seems that quite a lot of us can be accused of being coconuts…

  79. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:15 am  

    Going by such a sweeping generalisation it seems that quite a lot of us can be accused of being coconuts…

    Tell me about it. I have been called one (and similar names) and it used to bother me until I realised that, hang on, I was born here and have lived here my whole life and if that is a problem for other people, then tough shit.

    If people want to be religious or traditional or whatever, then good for them, as long as it is a free choice. Personally, I don’t believe that’s the case at all at the minute, since ‘the community’ is used to police individual behaviour and the threat of excommunication, to ensure conformity. It is an open secret that many British Asians hardly conform fully to what their religions and parents expect of them, yet many will buckle and make a marriage that is about pleasing the parents and the community. I think they see it as some kind of karmic payback for having lived lives of shame or something? Either way, it is utterly moronic because they contract out the biggest decision of their lives, and then end up unhappier than ever.

    The fact is, unless parents are absolutely determined that their children MUST think in a particular way, they have to get real about the fact that growing up here means their children thinking differently and maybe even having very separate identities. There is an intergenerational conversation to be had about racism and notions of cultural superiority, but most are too clueless or cowardly to do so, unfortunately.

  80. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:16 am  

    That should be a* Sikh – moving words around inevitably causes mistakes!

  81. persephone — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:31 am  

    @ 79 But these self same parents have acclimatised into a level of coconutism themselves – when they go ‘back home’ on visits they turn their noses up at some traditional ways of life & talk proudly about things in the uk. I think its worse in the generation that was not born here.

  82. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 1:28 am  

    @77

    Nehru and Gandhi might be heroes to you, they certainly aren’t for me. I’d value Udham and Bhagat Singh a thousand times more than those guys, even if the later relinquished his faith.

    And this has got EVERYTHING to do with today. Like sycophants don’t exist and get used like tools against their own people. My contention is that some white people still use this co-opting strategy. It informs them of who they patronise (in both senses of the word) and who they don’t. It was no surprise to read that quote, it explains a lot of what happened in the past and a lot of what happens even today. In fact I would go as far as to say it is an unspoken of feature of British society. All the quote did was affirm it has historical provenance. I’m sure William Darymple will have expert knowledge of its development……

    @78

    That is just a poor deflection. There is a stark difference between some adaptation to the environment within which one lives to being an all out poster chumcha. I could use the example of the people I mentioned above to illustrate my point. Udham Singh wore western clothes, yet anyone calling him a coconut would obviously be mentally retarded. Plus why are you turning this into some personalised gripe about conservative marriage practice? I mean it isn’t like other cultures don’t have them. Look at how much pressure there is on some Greek girls to marry their own for instance, or Jews for that matter. Whatever you might say, PLENTY of people have those neo-traditional type marriages and are as happy as “Larry”. I know loads. Sure some have ended badly, but so have a fair few marriages of people who made their own choices. So don’t go on like plenty of people aren’t happy with what goes on. If you want to “marry out” – knock yourself out. You wouldn’t be the first. Or is it that you personally lack the courage to do what you want? I mean mixed marriages aren’t rare now are they. There’s a few in my family too and loads of other families I know. The thing is, even in these, the people I know strongly retain their identity, mainly because it means something important to them. It’s never something up for negotiation. I guess that is one of the benefits of having a strong sense of self identity – whatever other problems you may have, at least you’re not haunted by this ‘annoying constant identity crisis shit’ I keep hearing from certain types. Actually, I’d put money on one of the key attraction factors fof these people being their confidence derived from their self acceptance. But that is a digression.

    My point referred to the historic attempts to mould ‘natives’ into the form white people like. There is an element of this still in practice today, although it’s infinitely more subtle than in the good old days of the raj. It’s just my opinion, no need to torture yourself about it.

  83. halima — on 5th August, 2010 at 6:26 am  

    “The term coconut is a relative one.”

    No-one, virtually no-one in Chinese cities wears traditional clothes, it’s all suits and boots and skirts, and hot pants in China, but I have yet to meet a Chinese person who isn’t uber-nationalistic…

  84. halima — on 5th August, 2010 at 6:32 am  

    “My point referred to the historic attempts to mould ‘natives’ into the form white people like. There is an element of this still in practice today, although it’s infinitely more subtle than in the good old days of the raj.”

    I think you touch on an important point, though I don’t think it’s the one about the cocunut. It’s more about ‘fitting in’ and ‘passing’. An important topic for sure.

  85. halima — on 5th August, 2010 at 6:37 am  

    Jai, thanks for the comments/links on India-US, I think I better start reading the “imagining India by Nandan Nilekani” thread…

  86. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:35 am  

    82 – Let me ask you a question. Have you ever read anything written by Nehru or Gandhi? Unless you have, I am none too interested in whether you valorise them or not, because yours is the same ignorant opinion as so many people out there. The level of utter fucking shit trotted out about those two men is unbelievable. I used to resent them completely, because I just believed everything my parents told me. Then, when I actually had to read them later on, I got much more of a clue about the situation they were in.

    And this has got EVERYTHING to do with today. Like sycophants don’t exist and get used like tools against their own people.

    Sycophants have, and always will, exist. There are however always a significant number of racialised non-whites who might not meet your personal approval rating (cf. Gandhi, Nehru etc.), but who use their experiences with Whiteness constructively.

    It was no surprise to read that quote, it explains a lot of what happened in the past and a lot of what happens even today.

    Um, not really. It’s specific to India, and whatever you think of ‘coconuts’ in this country, you can’t really apply something that was being said about that country to here. Furthermore, for all Macaulay’s comments in the minute on education, he was just on one side of the debate – Anglicist – at that point, and actually later ended up moving to the more Orientalist side. Many Anglo-Indians were deeply uncomfortable about letting Indians learn English, and when Indians – Bengalis especially – began to prove competitors for jobs, used the concept of the ‘martial races’ to attack them and make them internalise a sense of racial inferiority.

    Gandhi and Nehru and others like them were heroic because they spoke up for Indian unity and challenged this sense of inferiority. Gandhi in particular attacked Hindu supremacists as much as he did Marxist revolutionaries – had he not been a major player in Independence, Sikhs would likely still have had as bad a time of it or worse post-Independence. He did a lot to keep Hindu supremacism in check, which was why it was a Hindu supremacist who murdered him. I admire Bhagat Singh, but he didn’t exactly offer a practical programme for the mass of Indians to follow – none of the Marxists did.

    I think the rest of your comment’s directed at me, not persephone @ 78?

    Plus why are you turning this into some personalised gripe about conservative marriage practice?

    Depends – why do you turn so many threads into personalised gripes about ‘coconuts’ et. al?

    If you want to “marry out” – knock yourself out. You wouldn’t be the first. Or is it that you personally lack the courage to do what you want?

    None of your business really, is it?

    I am perfectly aware that some people are happy in traditional marriages, the reason I single out British Asians is because Sikhs and Hindus at least are supposed to be ‘model communities’ and they certainly enjoy the benefits of being seen as more liberal than Islam, but this doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. Sikhism seems to me like one of the most enlightened, rational religions there is and yet many people discard this element and turn it into a vehicle for little more than anti-Muslim posturing. Ironically, their attempt to police behaviour is as concerted as the Muslims they claim to be superior to.

    whatever other problems you may have, at least you’re not haunted by this ‘annoying constant identity crisis shit’ I keep hearing from certain types

    Well, who says I’ve never been? I suspect people who make such comments do so because they know who they are, but those around them aren’t prepared to accept it. That would cause anyone to feel an identity crisis, having to choose between support from their families and the people they’d grown up with, and being themselves. There is also a disjuncture between identities (i.e. religious and ethnic/geographical) that might cause problems for them.

  87. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:04 am  

    Good points KJB.

    Dalbir:

    KJB wasn’t saying people shouldn’t have traditional marriage, she was criticising the attitudes and behaviour towards marrying out. And your use of disabilist language is disagraceful:

    Udham Singh wore western clothes, yet anyone calling him a coconut would obviously be mentally retarded.

    Why do you think it okay to use ‘meantally retarded’ as an insult?

  88. Shamit — on 5th August, 2010 at 9:44 am  

    Well put KJB –

    btw, anyone who has met you or for that matter has read your blog would not for a second think you lack convictions or courage.

    “There is a stark difference between some adaptation to the environment within which one lives to being an all out poster chumcha.”

    Well Dalbir – most of us on this blog are BRITISH. YES we were born here and this is our country. India is land of our forefathers.

    This is not a foreign environment to us – this is home.

    And, it is not for you or any one to judge British Asians – we are not a homogeneous group and we never would be. However, most of us love this county and love our WHITE friends and even WHITE & BLACK family members. We also have family members from different religions and most of us don’t give a shit about that as long as the person is nice and we get on with them.

    You obviously have a problem with that – and that puts you in the bigot category.

    Who are you calling Chumcha – seems like yo are the chumcha of those notions of yester years when accepting the “divide and rule” was the true faith. You identify youself with your religion – most of us do not – we have various identities and we are very comfortable with them. You got a problem so you deal with it – don’t push your narrow minded crap on to us.

    Btw, I have met KJB and all the insinuations you have made in your stupid comment does not portray her in anyway . So may be its time to shut the hell up and show some bloody respect.

  89. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 11:01 am  

    Shamit and Rumbold – Thank you very much. :-)

    I only vaguely registered the disablist language in Dalbir’s post, given as I am rather high on allergy and sleep deprivation – I’m glad you called him on it.

    Dalbir, you undoubtedly make some fair points at times, but a lot of the time you just bandy about crude stereotypes and use rather unpleasant language. You might want to think it through a bit in future, so you don’t come across like such a git.

  90. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:00 pm  

    Well said Shamit. A fine speech from a fine man.

    Dalbir:

    KJB is right. You do have some good points now and again, but they are always bruied under crude stereotypes and abuse.

  91. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:14 pm  

    Rumbold, Soru,

    [Macaulay] was a Whig imperialist who fit in with the mentality of the age.

    None of which detracts from (or excuses) his attitudes or diminishes the fact that he was a vicious piece of work when it came to his views towards Indians. As for being a “product of his time and his background”, the latter was directly responsible for the massive deterioration in relations between Indians and British people throughout the 19th century and continuing throughout the rest of the Raj, whose consequences are still with us in 2010. Maucalay himself played a part in this, as did his contemporaries and successors who shared the same type of views. Let’s not forget even for a moment that “the mentality of the age” had catastrophic consequences for hundreds of millions of people in India, not only the Indians themselves (including Anglo-Indians) but also those British people who were a legacy of far more enlightened times.

    Macaulay, was…..a fine historian

    I’m afraid not. His own contemporaries highlighted the fact that, despite his prolific writings about British history and his jingoistic claims of “European superiority”, in reality he was actually incredibly ignorant about anything which did not originate in Europe, especially when it came to the accuracy and objectiveness of his knowledge (parallels with many amongst the modern-day British far-Right). Furthermore, he was so ignorant that he was not even aware that the classical Greeks and Romans, whom he viewed the 19th century British to be the successors to, did not even remotely share the level of condescension and superciliousness towards classical Indian philosophy, literature, and culture which Macaulay himself persistently demonstrated. Ironically, the classical Greeks and Romans were far better informed about (and more positively disposed towards) all this than Macaulay and his fellow blinkered imperialist ideologues were.

    Macaulay was a racist, a bigot, and an insular, parochial fool whose delusional superiority complex exacerbated the destructive consequences of his actions. He was the 19th century British equivalent of modern-day Islamist extremist ideologues whose pseudo-intellectual ramblings may have great respect amongst their followers with grandiose ambitions of power and a belief in their own alleged intrinsic superiority, but who should still never be excused or “contextualised” — irrespective of how “fascinating characters” or “fine historians” they may allegedly be.

  92. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    Dalbir, Halima,

    I’m sure William Darymple will have expert knowledge of its development

    Absolutely. He does.

    My point referred to the historic attempts to mould ‘natives’ into the form white people like. There is an element of this still in practice today, although it’s infinitely more subtle than in the good old days of the raj

    Agreed again (and the same applies to subtle “divide & rule” actions in some quarters). There is a direct chain of events associated with the Raj from the end of the 18th century onwards, as can be seen in the extracts from Dalrymple’s writings which I provided in #41-42 and #44-45. And although in modern Britain it’s frequently more about just “fitting in” (as Halima correctly mentioned), with some white British people there is indeed sometimes an underlying dismissiveness and condescension towards “anything Indian” (apart from the food, apparently). The latter does have its historical origins in the attitudes & actions of Macaulay and similar colonialists. The tragedy is that the prevalent viewpoints of most British people (including here in Britain itself) were far more open-minded and respectful before the Victorian era.

    A few days ago there was also an excellent article in the FT which briefly mentioned how attitudes between British people and Indians changed from curiosity, empathy, and mutual respect during the Mughal era to the twisted superiority/inferiority dynamic of the Raj, whose nasty legacy is still with us today. If you Google “FT The West must start living up to its ideals” then you should be able to read it; the subsequent comments thread also makes some good points.

    Notwithstanding vague hippie flirtations during the 1960s, the situation obviously finally began improving considerably during the 1990s, but unfortunately — as we all know — it’s subsequently taken a downhill turn due to 9/11 and (in Britain) particularly after 7/7, exacerbated in no small measure by sections of the British media along with the actions of the Al-Muhajiroun types.

    The consequences of historical events can sometimes last for a very long time, particularly if there isn’t necessarily a concerted and widespread organised effort to take a really honest look at what happened and the resulting attitudes which may still exert an influence in the modern day. You can see another example in the ongoing reluctance to return the Koh-i-noor to India, despite the increasing calls for its return both in India and amongst some notable museums here in Britain. David Cameron responded with a straight “No” when suddenly put on the spot about it by NDTV, and in other quarters in Britain you frequently get the usual obfuscation about it “setting a bad precedent as many other misappropriated artefacts worldwide would also have to be returned” and “it was already ‘stolen’ several times within the Indian subcontinent, so why should we give it back either ?”.

    Edwina Currie actually sat there smirking about it when the question was raised on Susanna Reid’s new BBC debate show “Sunday Morning Live” a few days ago. In fact, it raises the question of why there are clear double-standards when it comes to the (completely justified) concerted activities to return precious artefacts stolen by the Nazis until the end of the Third Reich in 1945, yet there is such arrogance and stubbornness when it comes to returning artefacts misappropriated by the British in India until the end of the Raj in 1947. The latter would certainly help to draw a healthy line under the colonial era once and for all, especially if the intention now really is to open a fresh new chapter in amicable relations with India, as several senior members of the current LibDem government have repeatedly stated.

  93. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 1:10 pm  

    Soru,

    Interesting counter-factual is that I think it would have been entirely plausible for the Brits of that period to have decided to set up the nascent elite education system in Latin, instead of English. The consequences of that for modern-day India would be interesting…

    What are your thoughts on what the consequences would potentially be ?

    (Apart from the fact that, if the Indians of that period also had access to the requisite surviving historical records & literature from the Roman era, eventually they would have stumbled upon the fact that classical Rome had extremely good diplomatic & trade relations with India over the course of several centuries when the Romans simultaneously regarded the British themselves as uncivilised barbarians. A discovery which would have resulted in the “Latin-educated Indians” puncturing the Victorian-era colonial Brits’ presumptions of being “the new Romans”, including their derisory claims of Indians being the “conquered natives” who needed to be “civilised” and whose own classical literature and philosophies were allegedly “worthless”).

  94. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 1:38 pm  

    KJB

    Personally I couldn’t give a monkeys about who you or anyone else marries. It is you that brings the subject up on a public forum designed for debate and then turn around and say “mind your own business” when called on it.

    Regards the identity issue. If people don’t like the models of normative behaviour embedded by the majority in a community, they can simply leave. If I experienced so much angst as displayed by some with regard to what a particular wider community (they sort of pseudo belong to) may ‘push for’, personally I’d leave it, plain and simple. But I am ofthat stubborn disposition, so it wouldn’t be that hard for me if I wanted to. Having the courage of your convictions is admirable and much more desirable than wingeing constantly. For you it may be an intrusion but for many it may well provide parameters that they actually value and think are advantageous to them.

    What certain types also conveniently gloss over or underplay in all this is that the very same subtle form of coercion stemming from white society to whitewash brown people into their preferred image. So its boo hoo about ‘Asians’ doing it – but negation through silence about the same from white quarters. What sort of blindness is this?

    To some of you others. Okay, I get your point about some of my “crude” use of language – apparently considered politically incorrrect by leftists and others. I will try and keep a check on it. That mental retarded bit was pretty lame on reflection. I apologise for it. But that being said, as crap as I am at expressing my points, there are some important issues embedded within them that are not nearly given enough attention.

    The only way we will gain any sort of deeper understanding is to face up to these differences we have. What we should try to avoid is the natural defensiveness that manifests when such matters (that are very close to people’s hearts) are broached. I understand that it may be considered socially, materially advantageous to mould oneself into the form preferred by the majority group around you. I know that for some the psychological strain of doing otherwise is just too much for them to bear. Despite that, I still have valid reservations about this. Now I’m not propagating that we wonder around failing to learn English and learning about the indigenous cultures around us and being general stick in the muds. What I am saying is that certain white people go way too far in what they wish to make us into. And that they reward hard compromise in various ways. Inherent within this is their own dislike of the cultures they seek to modify. This is pretty much alluded to in that quote I originally flagged.

  95. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 1:45 pm  

    Jai

    I blame the motivated, patently false Scythian/Aryan theory nonsense for a large part of the inferiority/superiority bullshit you see on the ‘subcontinent’.

    Talking from a Sikh perspective, it is high time the matter was addressed and put to rest amongst us in my opinion. Again, notice the subtle implications, x is superior over y because they have white blood in them.

    I just translated a piece of Gurmukhi text from Bhai Vir Singh regarding Chandi/Durga and the prevalence of these ideas within the text were staggering. Whites sold it, many of our lot bought it because it appealed to their vanity and ego (read hankaar). Centuries later these ideas still cause hatred. Bravo.

  96. Rumbold — on 5th August, 2010 at 2:02 pm  

    Jai:

    This is a genuine question: do you know much about Thomas Maucaulay- his history and views? Perhaps I am not understanding your points, but some of your comments suggest a lack of knowledge about Maucaulay. This bit was particuarly baffling, and I would be interested to know your primary source for it:

    He was the 19th century British equivalent of modern-day Islamist extremist ideologues

    On the contrary, his maiden speech in parliament was to speak out against discrimination against Jews. To call him a relgious extremist is, as I said before, baffling. He was religious, but then most were. Where are you getting your source material?

    You can only understand him in the nineteenth cenutry context of Whig imperialists. Therefore neither Soru nor I were defending him, merely pointing out how his views were not atypical in said context.

    Most professional historians consider him fine historian not because of what he wrote (he was of the pre-Von Ranke generation) but because of how he wrote and his use of language. Nobody uses his books for reference, but as an example of how to write history.

  97. soru — on 5th August, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    @Jai: not so much a serious historical suggestion, but could be a cool setting for a some pulp novels.

    The Romans always went around saying ‘these guys worship Mercury, under a different name’. So there would be long scholarly treatises written as to how Cupid is really Kamdeva and so on. Rome would end up being seen as an early predecessor of the true ideals of the modern Indic Empire, in the same way the USA uses the Athenian word ‘democracy’.

    You’d have a mixed-race Latin-speaking elite who are very much into Empire for it’s own sake, just as much as any 4th-century Spaniard. Most of those guys would be cynical about religion, except as a tool. Think of the way Gibbon largely blamed Christianity for the decline and fall or the Roman empire.

    They’d lose the cultural supremacism, except as it pertained to strictly pragmatic matters. Infantry squares, railways and cannon, but Shakespeare and King James are footnotes studied only by Occidentalists.

    Not sure if they would work better in a book as good guys or bad guys…

  98. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 3:50 pm  

    Dalbir,

    the motivated, patently false Scythian/Aryan theory nonsense for a large part of the inferiority/superiority bullshit you see on the ‘subcontinent’.

    Without wishing to go too far into unrelated tangents: As far as the “Aryan Invasion Theory” is concerned, what has actually been discredited is the notion that the Aryans were Europeans. The “invasion” part also currently has a large question mark hanging over it.

    With the exception of some of the Hindutva types in India, the current informed view amongst professional historians & scientists is that there was an influx of Indo-Iranian/Indo-European people into the subcontinent in ancient times, but that they were actually from Central Asia (not Europe), and also that their migrations didn’t necessarily predominantly/exclusively involve the military conquest of the various peoples who were already in India. The older, mostly-discredited version of the “Aryan” theory and the associated pseudo-anthropological classification of Indians was fabricated during the 19th century by British imperialists as a way to “explain” ancient Indian history and of course also to justify their own actions in India.

    many of our lot bought it because it appealed to their vanity and ego (read hankaar).

    Correct.

  99. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 3:55 pm  

    Rumbold,

    To call him a relgious extremist is, as I said before, baffling.

    I wasn’t calling Macaulay a “religious extremist”; the specific term I used was “19th century British equivalent”, not “Christian extremist”. He was a supremacist in the racial and nationalist sense (which in his case extended to the whole of Europe — again, similar to many amongst the modern-day far-Right), not — as far as I know — in the religious sense, even though the latter obviously played a major part in the deterioration in British attitudes towards Indians from the end of the 18th century onwards.

    I hope that clarifies the rest of my remarks.

    You can only understand him in the nineteenth cenutry context of Whig imperialists. Therefore neither Soru nor I were defending him, merely pointing out how his views were not atypical in said context.

    I’m well aware of that. His views, unfortunately, really were not atypical by that time, and were symptomatic of the poisonous attitudes and distorted worldview which had become prevalent. As I said earlier, a very heavy price was paid by hundreds of millions of people as a result, and the ongoing consequences are still with us.

  100. ¬AFAR — on 5th August, 2010 at 3:57 pm  

    Dalbir

    I married out and so did my wife. I’m white, she’s black, but our children are brown.

    Happy now?

  101. KJB — on 5th August, 2010 at 4:03 pm  

    Personally I couldn’t give a monkeys about who you or anyone else marries. It is you that brings the subject up on a public forum designed for debate and then turn around and say “mind your own business” when called on it.

    Let’s get something straight here:

    - I was responding to persephone. Now, I’m well aware that this is ‘public space’ and that other people can see what I say, but it doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t actually addressing you.
    - I wasn’t talking about myself. The situation I described has 0 to do with me personally, I was basing it more on relatives and friends who live those kinds of lives. You wrongly inferred that I was talking about myself.

    So its boo hoo about ‘Asians’ doing it – but negation through silence about the same from white quarters. What sort of blindness is this?

    What on earth does this mean?

    There’s the usual mix of cluelessness and semi-reasonable points in the rest of what you say (‘If people don’t like the models of normative behaviour embedded by the majority in a community, they can simply leave’ – hello, male privilege!), but as my eye is swelling shut, I’m not going to go much further on this. All I can say is that reading up on things before you throw judgements around is always advisable. There is so much good history on how the British used various tactics (most notably the politics of colonial masculinity) to keep a stranglehold on India for a long time – and how this was both resisted and hypocritically co-opted, and collaborated with, by Indians.

  102. amir — on 5th August, 2010 at 4:03 pm  

    “Happy now?”

    Ecstatic Abu Faris

  103. Ravi Naik — on 5th August, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

    I understand that it may be considered socially, materially advantageous to mould oneself into the form preferred by the majority group around you… What I am saying is that certain white people go way too far in what they wish to make us into. And that they reward hard compromise in various ways. Inherent within this is their own dislike of the cultures they seek to modify.

    You once accused one of our regulars of suffering low-esteem because she called herself ‘English’. Not surprising, the BNP types agreed with you.

    I have no idea what you are talking about – who are these evil white people? What rewards are you talking about? Surely you are not against ethnic minority children in Britain learning English, British history and geography and other cultural elements specific to the country where they live and which they are part of? Surely you do not expect 2nd, 3rd generation to feel more Indian than British having only visited India a few times?

    The bottom-line is that we should respect people’s multiple identities without engaging in name calling – you clearly don’t.

  104. Ravi Naik — on 5th August, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

    low-esteem => low self-esteem.

  105. Don — on 5th August, 2010 at 4:51 pm  

    That mental retarded bit was pretty lame on reflection.

    Was that deliberate, or did you just not get the point?

  106. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

    Yeah Don, I deliberately want to be cruel towards disabled people…..

    I guess it’s just a legacy of the language that was commonly used in days gone past. I should have chose a less loaded word.

    A thousand apologies!

  107. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 5:31 pm  

    Surely you are not against ethnic minority children in Britain learning English, British history and geography and other cultural elements specific to the country where they live and which they are part of?

    Of course not. But there is an important point about the high levels of complete bullshit in much of what recently passed as ‘British history’ as well as supposed objective histories written from British people about other communities that really was a propaganda of sorts.

  108. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 5:39 pm  

    There’s the usual mix of cluelessness and semi-reasonable points in the rest of what you say (‘If people don’t like the models of normative behaviour embedded by the majority in a community, they can simply leave’ – hello, male privilege!)

    I don’t know about that. There were plenty of blokes marginalised or disowned by their families for their marriage choices not long ago. I’m sure it still goes on today to an extent. That being said, things are a lot more relaxed across the board from what I can see. It is a bit curious though – how I perceive quite a bit of change whilst it appears that you seem to see so little? God knows?

  109. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    Soru,

    Re: #97

    Interesting ideas…..basically a “What If ?” scenario.

    During the past few years there have actually been a number of fiction novels imagining the world if the (Western) Roman Empire never fell, such as “Roma Eterna” by Robert Silverberg and the ongoing “Romanitas” trilogy by Sophia McDougall. I haven’t read any of these myself (apart from browsing through them in Waterstones etc) and Amazon reviews have been mixed, although the criticisms have mainly been based on the execution rather than the brilliant premise.

    Sophia’s second book in the series, “Rome Burning”, has received far more positive reviews than the first one. She’s also provided meticulously-detailed Tolkien-style “alternate history” overviews of the last 2000 years in her books – by the time of the novels, the Roman Empire has expanded to cover 2/3 of the world (including most of the American continent), and its main rivals are basically Chinese and Japanese empires.

    The Romanitas saga also has its own website, which you’ll probably enjoy: http://www.romanitas.com/newspaper.html

    Not sure if they would work better in a book as good guys or bad guys…

    Depends on whether they’re going for the full-on heroic good guy Russell Crowe/Maximus/Gladiator theme, or if they’re going more for the “grey area” anti-hero approach like the main characters in some of the spate of historical fiction novels about the Roman era which have been written during the past decade.

    ****************************************************************************

    There was recently a fascinating article in the magazine “History Today” too about Rome’s considerable links with India and the attitudes Romans had towards the subcontinent’s inhabitants; the magazine’s website is currently being revamped so they haven’t uploaded the article yet, but that edition of the magazine might still be available in WHSmiths so keep an eye out for it if you’re interested.

    I’ll leave you with a few thought-provoking facts (there are plenty more, of course) :

    - Classical India was on such good terms with Rome that Roman citizens were allowed unrestricted travel through most of the Indian kingdoms at the time.
    - Many Romans viewed India as such an attractive “getaway destination” that people such as the emperor Tiberius are on record as longing to cut his ties with his life in the Roman Empire and permanently disappear into India. At one point he was apparently on the brink of doing just that, and only barely stopped due to some urgent political/military issues he had to take care of instead.
    - I recently came across this in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ by the historian Dr Adrian Goldsworthy: Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s son, Caesarion, was actually being sent by his mother to India, but he was obviously murdered on Augustus’s orders before he could make it. Cleopatra and Antony were planning to escape with large amounts of salvaged wealth and supporters and join Caesarion in the subcontinent later on, with the intention of possibly founding a kingdom in exile for themselves in the northwest of India.

    ****************************************************************************

    You should read “White Mughals” and “The Last Mughal” by William Dalrymple too if you haven’t already, as they go into extensive detail about pre-Victorian attitudes to Indian culture and philosophy, including the religious elements originating in India’s classical period.

  110. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:06 pm  

    supposed objective histories written from British people about other communities that really was a propaganda of sorts.

    It’s worrying that the main British historians who have recently been negotiating with the new government to try to introduce a revised history curriculum in British schools and make the subject compulsory are Andrew Roberts and Niall Ferguson. In the interests of getting a more accurate and balanced perspective (especially where India is concerned), William Dalrymple also definitely needs to be involved. Plus various other professional historians such as Dr Adrian Goldsworthy, Dr Thomas Asbridge etc.

  111. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:37 pm  

    Jai@109

    Seriously, I wonder if history is EVER really an attempt to portray the past truthfully, or is it always twisted/slanted for political, cultural and motivated purposes?

  112. Jai — on 5th August, 2010 at 7:57 pm  

    Dalbir, that’s why it’s always a good idea to read history books by a range of professional historians — in order to get a broader, more accurate understanding of the specific area being discussed. The “whole picture”, basically.

  113. Dalbir — on 5th August, 2010 at 8:05 pm  

    Jai, some of these supposed ‘experts’ do exactly what I’m referring to.

    But I do understand, you have to read them all and critically evaluate the work in line with likely biases. Then find the missing dots between whats written.

    To use the cliche, history frequently does appear to be ‘his story’. The ‘his’ being the writer and his (or her) agenda. Sometimes prestigious institutes patronise particular people who further the institutes own agenda, commonly some revisionist version or one playing down the dirty work done by certain people. So you can spot highly suspect sources a lot easier than others at times.

    Anything sponsored by crusty old British institutes with links stretching to colonial times is definitely something to keep your eyes extra wide open on.

  114. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 4:54 pm  

    Hallo? Anybody here?

    PP, my home away from home! I see some familiar handle names here. Hello to everyone (too many names to address specifically)!

    RE: Nirpal Dhaliwal–not directly related to the post, but ancillary, based on this crap regarding women and feminism:

    LOL, this guy is a fruitcake! Here I was thinking that it’s usually American men that are confused as hell when it comes to gender roles and whatnot, but I see that I am wrong.

    Too bad for Dhaliwal, who needs a strong, self-sufficient, independent, financially stable (with a fat paycheck, I might add), a homeowner, etc—i.e. someone who actually embodies a lot of the ideals of feminism–to support his spineless, incapable-of-providing-for- himself-dependent ass (NOTE: this is not directed to those who are unable to find a job due to economic conditions; I am talking about men who are scammers like Dhaliwal, i.e. looking for someone to leech off of). I guess he finds himself in a quandary where, being incompetent in many areas, he has to depend on a woman. But since he has an inferiority complex, he has to assert his masculinity by asking the following in bed: “Who’s the boss?” LOL! If someone asked me some stupid ish like that in a moment of passion-making, I’d be like, “I am. Now get the F@&k out.” LOL

    Also, I don’t get his article. I mean, I get what he is *trying* to see, but that anecdote he opened the article with about the successful women who’s also kind of a gold-digger being with a meeker man—how in the world is that “feminism” in action? I don’t get that. Nonetheless, his article is a poor, lame attempt at striking out at feminism, because the article lacks any coherent thought, actual and solid support of his argument, and so on. Which he is to say that his thoughts on “feminism” are basically null and invalid (because, like I said, what exactly are this “thoughts?” That he was a doormat that he can run over? That he wants someone who will put us with his dumb ass? There are places for men like that…you can look at the map, and also, look at a timeline reaching back to, oh, say, 50-100 years?!)

    “Bring back the real men, girls. You might just remember why you loved them in the first place.”

    1. “Real men” are NOT like him, which he thinks otherwise

    2. If he personifies a “real man,” one might just remember those moments where castration seems like a totally valid undertaking! LOL

  115. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

    But seriously, this Nirpal Dhaliwal dude actually represents a lot of views, confusion, inner turmoil, and reactions *some* men have towards women that I’ve observed. Sadly, I come across all that too often. It appears that some guys, even if they claim they don’t see women that way, still have views on women that are really stereotypical–” i.e. all women are materialistic, all women love to gossip, all women are manipulative, all women are deceptive, etc–that they end up finding what they are looking for–self-fulfilling prophecy–which ends up confirming their biased views. But their starting point is fallacious to begin with.

    Or, they’ll be around a women who is none of the things they expect, and THAT’S when they *real* messiness starts. A bit fun to be the spectator of this scenario; not fun to be the participant in the battle. LOL

    Then there are the dudes who clearly have some sort of views about women, then try to “contain” themselves, and pat themselves on the back for it. To to have to strenuously try to actually treat an individual who happens to have female genitalia properly and with respect speaks volumes. Someone once said, “I try really hard to respect women.” Um, you have to make a conscious effort to “respect” women? You wouldn’t have to make an effort if there wasn’t something you weren’t thinking about them in the first place…

  116. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

    NOTE: I am not male-bashing, I love the mens–but only the ones who are nice people.

  117. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:14 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    Good to see you back posting here, though the subject matter is beyond my somewhat limited brain!

    I quite like women. Is that OK?

  118. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:23 pm  

    @Douglas:

    Hello there!

    “I quite like women. Is that OK?”

    Yes.

    Now, go bake me some brownies, do my laundry, and oh yeah, pay off my student loans, and buy me a ticket to the Bahamas.

    Also, speak only when you’re spoken to.

    JUST KIDDING! LOL

  119. halima — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    Desi Italiana,

    “I love the mens” lol … Guess all the single ladies looking for a real man will look at Nirpal Dhaliwal and just keep looking…

    His writings remind me of people who think women have it too good these days because they want to be equals, it’s like those comments you hear everywhere, when a woman is an equal and has normal say in where the couple lives or goes on holiday, it’s always punctuated by “we know who wears the trousers in that relationship” as if the default is not to be equal, but naturally have the bloke in charge.

    I don’t mind a bit of confusion, though, but it is a tad boring to hear people write about their relationships …

  120. halima — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:36 pm  

    Welcome back, Desi! Stay please.

  121. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 5:37 pm  

    Halima, my love!

    “we know who wears the trousers in that relationship” as if the default is not to be equal, but naturally have the bloke in charge.”

    People like this should be banned from having any kind of relations. J/K (maybe not).

    But you know, we both referred to “real men,” but now that I think about it, there is no such thing as a “real man” any more than there is a “real woman.” I mean, what do we mean by that when we say that?

    I guess it’s better to say “real person,” or “real human being…” lol

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.