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Bipat Apr 23rd 2020 8:27 am

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 12842897)
hi bipat, it is always an interesting discussion.

actually the experience of several countries in the far east ( which started after the war with a smaller industrial base than india) saw rapidly declining poverty, and India's rapid growth in recent years, show with proper economic and other policies poverty can be reduced substantially in the world economic environment post world war II. almost every foreign or Indian economist has severely criticised the policies followed in the decades following 1947- just has the changes in policies the last 20 years have resulted in tremendous growth for a third world country the size of India.

1) my reference to the social measures used by universities, world organizations, economists and so forth are the statistics we have available. your doubt of hard evidence because it doesn't suit your wish to portray India in the manner you prefer can equally be applied to the countries mentioned in terms of data collection etc anecdotally form my own observations admittedly dated, but also of people I know who in recent years have been in India and Indonesia the extent of dire poverty remaining in India is worse and more extensive in India, villages and cities than what one finds in Indonesia. That doesn't negate the tremendous progress India has made in recent years which is extraordinary and a testament that if the Indian government and elites gets out of the way, the intelligence, diligence and commercial acumen present in India can achieve economic wonders under recent economic conditions.

2) Tharoor actually I find quite engaging and personable as a speaker, but his writing historical and economic ignorance catering to a point of view that is fashionable without much careful scrutiny.

3) I always find curious that you seem to feel it has some economic or other real significance that the Mughals intermarried with the locals which you often bring up.

4) (In any case it is heartbreaking to see the scenes of the Indian migrant workers trying to flee the cities these days, and reports of attacks on health workers being attacked or threatened with evictions,or today a report that an Indian hospital - claiming a 'misprint'- demanding Muslim patients show proof they do not have the Corona virus. I do hope these sort of sensationalist stories not the norm and that India gets through this period better than most ! The BBC showed film clips of the migrant workers which I found quite astonishing the numbers and some of the stories the workers gave. Friends in Pakistan tell me an even worse but under reported situation there).

Morpeth your usual long posts.

1) You mean the view of India you prefer!!!! Yes Congress Governments did not move fast enough regarding poverty however having travelled and lived north to south of India over the past 50 years seen that there was a gradual decrease in the poverty of British times ----accelerated under present Government.
50% of population now free healthcare and medicines! etc.
Travellers to India see large city slums on arrival (visible by air!) and just remember those----I presume you know those rehoused from the Mumbai slum sold their new flats and moved back!
Of course there are millions of poor when there is a billion + population!

2) Again Tharoor ---just because you want to push your own view about a 'glorious empire'-----presume you have read about his diplomatic and literary career.
The book concerned here----67 pages of references----20 pages of bibliography. Are the latter all wrong!!
(Certainly an unpleasant character known locally as the 'crook'---presently 'problems' regarding the possible contract killing/possible suicide of his very wealthy third wife.)

3) The fact that the Mughals made India their home not just ruling from an ignorant distance. As I said Ashoka still revered.

4) Not sure what you meant by "migrant" workers. It is obvious street workers and daily wage earners would want to go back to their villages on lockdown---it was probably underestimated the numbers and inadequate buses etc initially.
There have been problems of Muslims insisting on gathering in large numbers for festivals and not obeying lockdown-----I thought this might be just 'sensationalist but whatsapps from people that I know have no prejudices confirm this. (We returned to UK in March to give moral support to our medic children -on the front line--).

India has been praised internationally for their pandemic handling------I could put numerous references.
Even our rural home ----work on paving our back garden was stopped ----police patrolling. Now some let up in rural areas for farmers etc. but yesterday a spike in cases.



scot47 Apr 23rd 2020 8:27 am

Re: Inglorious Empire
 
One word for Morpeth and the other "Empire Loyalists" - AMRITSAR.

morpeth Apr 24th 2020 11:33 am

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Bipat (Post 12842932)
Morpeth your usual long posts.

1) You mean the view of India you prefer!!!! Yes Congress Governments did not move fast enough regarding poverty however having travelled and lived north to south of India over the past 50 years seen that there was a gradual decrease in the poverty of British times ----accelerated under present Government.
50% of population now free healthcare and medicines! etc.
Travellers to India see large city slums on arrival (visible by air!) and just remember those----I presume you know those rehoused from the Mumbai slum sold their new flats and moved back!
Of course there are millions of poor when there is a billion + population!

2) Again Tharoor ---just because you want to push your own view about a 'glorious empire'-----presume you have read about his diplomatic and literary career.
The book concerned here----67 pages of references----20 pages of bibliography. Are the latter all wrong!!
(Certainly an unpleasant character known locally as the 'crook'---presently 'problems' regarding the possible contract killing/possible suicide of his very wealthy third wife.)

3) The fact that the Mughals made India their home not just ruling from an ignorant distance. As I said Ashoka still revered.

4) Not sure what you meant by "migrant" workers. It is obvious street workers and daily wage earners would want to go back to their villages on lockdown---it was probably underestimated the numbers and inadequate buses etc initially.
There have been problems of Muslims insisting on gathering in large numbers for festivals and not obeying lockdown-----I thought this might be just 'sensationalist but whatsapps from people that I know have no prejudices confirm this. (We returned to UK in March to give moral support to our medic children -on the front line--).

India has been praised internationally for their pandemic handling------I could put numerous references.
Even our rural home ----work on paving our back garden was stopped ----police patrolling. Now some let up in rural areas for farmers etc. but yesterday a spike in cases.

Well is there something with ‘long posts’ trying to answer a question properly?

1) “You mean the view of India you prefer!!!!” No just a vision based on logic and evidence not partisan pro-India, pro Hindu nationalism and anti- British feelings.



“Yes, Congress Governments did not move fast enough regarding poverty was a gradual decrease in the poverty of British times ----accelerated under present Government.


There was a gradual decrease in poverty in many Third World nations post World War II for a variety of reasons.

“Of course, there are millions of poor when there is a billion + population!

As with other Third World nations the issue is the depth of poverty and the percentage of population living in such conditions- and of course what I find the amazing acceptance and lack of empathy of middle class and elite Indians concerning poverty.

2) “ Again Tharoor”

That was the subject of the thread. We have discussed before the numerous inaccuracies and plain ignorance of economics and history displayed in his book- and I even looked up a few references that certainly did not buttress or prove his points. For example evidently in his books and most particularly his Oxford lecture he hasn’t the slightest understanding of 19th century economic history as evidenced by his ignorance of the productivity drivers of the British economy, or British investment and rates of return on British foreign investments and where they were made.

3) “The fact that the Mughals made India their home not just ruling from an ignorant distance.”



I am unsure where an invading ruled from is necessarily significant, and in any case most decisions during the Raj were made in India not in London. Most history shows the Mughal Empire in decline, and hardly in the slightest any evidence they were capable of or embarking on a path of industrial revolution and setting up of the type of universities or political economic structure necessary for modernization. I am not sure how ‘ignorant’ you claim the British were, looking at the advances in Sanskrit studies (such as by William Jones and the Asiatic Society of the 18th century in Calcutta) they could not have been too ignorant.


4) You may wish to look at the videos posted on the BBC about the thousands of day workers in Indian cities overwhelming transports or having to walk back to their villages, that is what I was referring to. The stories certainly sensationalist of the hospital in India refusing Muslim patients not tested but accepting Hindus is what I referred to, and reports from India of attacks on health care workers or landlords trying to evict healthcare workers. While how various governments handling the situation, I think too early to judge, I have the same impression that India appears overall to be handling well and decisively and a damn pity this situation interrupts the steady economic progress India has been making.


morpeth Apr 24th 2020 11:34 am

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by scot47 (Post 12842933)
One word for Morpeth and the other "Empire Loyalists" - AMRITSAR.

Well by all means look forward to your specific responses to the original post I made, as presumably we all looking for productive discussion to advance knowledge.

Bipat Apr 24th 2020 12:15 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by morpeth (Post 12843484)
Well is there something with ‘long posts’ trying to answer a question properly?

1) “You mean the view of India you prefer!!!!” No just a vision based on logic and evidence not partisan pro-India, pro Hindu nationalism and anti- British feelings.



“Yes, Congress Governments did not move fast enough regarding poverty was a gradual decrease in the poverty of British times ----accelerated under present Government.


There was a gradual decrease in poverty in many Third World nations post World War II for a variety of reasons.

“Of course, there are millions of poor when there is a billion + population!

As with other Third World nations the issue is the depth of poverty and the percentage of population living in such conditions- and of course what I find the amazing acceptance and lack of empathy of middle class and elite Indians concerning poverty.

2) “ Again Tharoor”

That was the subject of the thread. We have discussed before the numerous inaccuracies and plain ignorance of economics and history displayed in his book- and I even looked up a few references that certainly did not buttress or prove his points. For example evidently in his books and most particularly his Oxford lecture he hasn’t the slightest understanding of 19th century economic history as evidenced by his ignorance of the productivity drivers of the British economy, or British investment and rates of return on British foreign investments and where they were made.

3) “The fact that the Mughals made India their home not just ruling from an ignorant distance.”



I am unsure where an invading ruled from is necessarily significant, and in any case most decisions during the Raj were made in India not in London. Most history shows the Mughal Empire in decline, and hardly in the slightest any evidence they were capable of or embarking on a path of industrial revolution and setting up of the type of universities or political economic structure necessary for modernization. I am not sure how ‘ignorant’ you claim the British were, looking at the advances in Sanskrit studies (such as by William Jones and the Asiatic Society of the 18th century in Calcutta) they could not have been too ignorant.


4) You may wish to look at the videos posted on the BBC about the thousands of day workers in Indian cities overwhelming transports or having to walk back to their villages, that is what I was referring to. The stories certainly sensationalist of the hospital in India refusing Muslim patients not tested but accepting Hindus is what I referred to, and reports from India of attacks on health care workers or landlords trying to evict healthcare workers. While how various governments handling the situation, I think too early to judge, I have the same impression that India appears overall to be handling well and decisively and a damn pity this situation interrupts the steady economic progress India has been making.


1) No the vision I actually know----- not just read about in newspapers without any knowledge of the politics as you do.

Why are you so upset by the fact that the majority of the population follow Hindu philosophy. Is the UK Christian nationalist???
The government is certainly not anti-British.

Percentage in poverty?------Do you know the percentage of UK in poverty? Homeless--foodbanks-- etc.

Indians below a certain income limit ALL get basic food practically free---subsidised gas cylinders, free medicines and treatment in PRIVATE hospitals for 50% of the population related to income. Bank accounts without a deposit revolutionised the lives of rickshaw drivers, they could borrow for new vehicles-----just one example. Unlike you we talk to such people daily.

Yes there is still along way to go------how do you know what middle class think or do????
Yes as in UK there are billionaires who could do a lot more.

2. I have explained the character of Tharoor. Presume you have at least SOME knowledge of his diplomatic and political career!!

3) The British Raj was under the control of the British Government-----"The Jewel in the Crown"----why were they there----charity??
As I have said before relationships 'on the ground ' could be very good----British workers in India also suffered.

4) Yes I have seen the videos---Yes there was an under estimate of the numbers going back to villages. There have been similar stories in UK of landlords evicting.
I have pointed out to you the minority of Muslims insisting on large festival gatherings and increasing infection rate.
We have WhatsApp messages several times a day from areas north and south of India so we DO actually have first hand knowledge.

There has been international praise for India's immediate lockdown, travel restrictions. visa bans, police help and amusing people. Other forum members even in TIO have put posts regarding this but Morpeth just wants to search for anything negative!!!!!!!


scot47 Apr 24th 2020 1:10 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 
The official line was that they were in India for just that - charity. Nonsense of course. Both "John Company" and the Raj proper were there to get rich !

I suggest people do a bit of reading - the title here and some of the books by William Dalrymple - my fellow-Scot, albeit from a different caste.

Elgin1983 Apr 24th 2020 3:21 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Bipat (Post 12841299)
The Mughal Empire was not all bad. The Emperors varied and unlike the British the Mughals intermarried with locals and the countries wealth remained in India not shipped of to a country on the other side of the world via taxation.
Emperor Ashoka is still revered today (on the flag).
Always people bring up sati----it was terrible yes just took place in certain remote areas.

There wasn't much intermarriage because there weren't many British there. No large-scale settlement, just the thin white line. But for the first 150 years there was intermarriage, which produced the Anglo-Indians. Only after the 1857 rebellion were things changed. As for Mughal "intermarriage", did they allow Hindu men to marry Muslim Mughul women and produce Hindu children? Nope. As is always the way in Islam, Mughul Muslim men took Hindu women, converted them to Islam and had Muslim children, which is really just another form of conquest. Some of the Mughul emperors also imposed the notorious jizya tax on non-Muslims.

As for economics, India's proportion of the world economy was no doubt larger in 1700 than in 1900, but that was because the overall size of the world economy was so much smaller in 1700, before the industrial revolution. The living standards of most Indians were raised significantly during British rule thanks to the things prestonjohn mentioned, such as the railways and other infrastructure, civil service, rule of law, organised system of government, schools and colleges; not to mention the removal of Mughul jizya and oppression of non-Muslims.

I enjoyed reading morpeth's learned posts, many thanks.

kimilseung Apr 24th 2020 3:47 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 (Post 12841127)
You can't judge things that happened centuries ago by the norms of today. All empires were brutal: the Mughal Empire, which the British replaced in India, was much worse (particularly to the majority non-Muslims). And then there were such little matters as banning sati, the burning of widows alive on their husband's funeral pyre, and the creation of the railway system. Of course certain people just enjoy criticising the West and pretending everyone else sat around making daisy chains and singing kumbaya till the terrible white man showed up.

yes you can, although apologists always claim you cant. I am not negating that cultures and norms change, but what we see is that there are always voices against atrocities, what we see over history is not a change in individual opinion but in the power of hegemony and the source of that hegemony. The main opposition I have to 'it was a different time' is the complete nullification of the voice of the victim, whose voice was always clear that what was being done was wrong.

kimilseung Apr 24th 2020 3:55 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 
A book I read recently(ish) on India, that I would recommend, particularly as Amritsar has been mentioned is
"The Patient Assassin" by Anita Anand.
Follows the killer of Sir Michael O'Dwyer, the man with ultimate responsibility for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. It helps paint a picture of the opposition to British rule that is often overlooked because of the shadow of Gandhi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Patient_Assassin

Bipat Apr 24th 2020 4:14 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 (Post 12843609)
There wasn't much intermarriage because there weren't many British there. No large-scale settlement, just the thin white line. 1)But for the first 150 years there was intermarriage, which produced the Anglo-Indians. Only after the 1857 rebellion were things changed. As for Mughal "intermarriage", did they allow Hindu men to marry Muslim Mughul women and produce Hindu children? Nope. As is always the way in Islam, Mughul Muslim men took Hindu women, converted them to Islam and had Muslim children, which is really just another form of conquest. Some of the Mughul emperors also imposed the notorious jizya tax on non-Muslims.

As for economics, India's proportion of the world economy was no doubt larger in 1700 than in 1900, but that was because the overall size of the world economy was so much smaller in 1700, before the industrial revolution. 2)The living standards of most Indians were raised significantly during British rule thanks to the things prestonjohn mentioned, such as the railways and other infrastructure, civil service, rule of law, organised system of government, schools and colleges; not to mention the removal of Mughul jizya and oppression of non-Muslims
I enjoyed reading morpeth's learned posts, many thanks.

1) The Anglo Indian Community for the most part came about by wealthy British taking Indian servant girls as concubines and producing children. Subsequent generations married each other. It is still a community proud of its heritage.

2) How can you possibly know about the British improving living standards? Were you there? Were you there in 1947?
The railways and infrastructure were for the British to use themselves, they expected to stay.

Haven't you read about the taxation (most Western people have at least heard about salt tax and bans.) My middle class coastal family had and some still have salt pans-----their income totally ceased They educated children from their land sales. They could manage ---the poor with small coastal patches---starved.
Presume you know about the famines----taxation or compulsory purchase of land and grain and export meant no money for machinery, no money for storage. Animals also died so no milk etc.
The poor did not benefit from hospitals or any medical help. ( The wife of one Viceroy built a hospital for the poor----it had 37 beds!!!!))

A country with thousands of years of history was reduced to hand to mouth living----there are still those alive who remember.

I think the evidence of parents, grandparents, great grandparents uncles, aunts etc.etc. those now in their 80s and 90s is more valuable than reading books written by those who read others books, who also read others books!! Then pronounce they are experts on a country that they don't live in.



Elgin1983 Apr 24th 2020 6:25 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Bipat (Post 12843645)
1) The Anglo Indian Community for the most part came about by wealthy British taking Indian servant girls as concubines and producing children. Subsequent generations married each other. It is still a community proud of its heritage.

2) How can you possibly know about the British improving living standards? Were you there? Were you there in 1947?
The railways and infrastructure were for the British to use themselves, they expected to stay.

Haven't you read about the taxation (most Western people have at least heard about salt tax and bans.) My middle class coastal family had and some still have salt pans-----their income totally ceased They educated children from their land sales. They could manage ---the poor with small coastal patches---starved.
Presume you know about the famines----taxation or compulsory purchase of land and grain and export meant no money for machinery, no money for storage. Animals also died so no milk etc.
The poor did not benefit from hospitals or any medical help. ( The wife of one Viceroy built a hospital for the poor----it had 37 beds!!!!))

A country with thousands of years of history was reduced to hand to mouth living----there are still those alive who remember.

I think the evidence of parents, grandparents, great grandparents uncles, aunts etc.etc. those now in their 80s and 90s is more valuable than reading books written by those who read others books, who also read others books!! Then pronounce they are experts on a country that they don't live in.

And of course there was no taxation or repression under the Mughuls, when the entire population lived in mock-Tudor mansions with two Range Rovers each.

Elgin1983 Apr 24th 2020 6:28 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by scot47 (Post 12842933)
One word for Morpeth and the other "Empire Loyalists" - AMRITSAR.

More people were killed in the Amritsar massacre under Indira Gandhi than the one during British rule. Which ought to tell you something if you think hard enough.

Bipat Apr 24th 2020 7:58 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 (Post 12843710)
More people were killed in the Amritsar massacre under Indira Gandhi than the one during British rule. Which ought to tell you something if you think hard enough.

#

Indira Gandhi was responsible for far more atrocities than that! She was punished for it---assassination!!! You might remember that Margaret Thatcher was a particular friend of Indira!

The British were foreign occupiers for nearly 100 years. Until present day memory.
The famines killed millions.The apartheid, the poverty that British rule has produced has taken decades to eliminate.
May I ask how much time have you actually spent in India and how many States do you know well??

Bipat Apr 24th 2020 8:23 pm

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 (Post 12843707)
And of course there was no taxation or repression under the Mughuls, when the entire population lived in mock-Tudor mansions with two Range Rovers each.

Presume you know the dates of the Mughals. I presume you know the early history of England at that time.
You are trying to compare two totally different times in history. The British were in India in living memory and they are still remembered. (I can remember the "no natives" signs on doors!)

morpeth Apr 25th 2020 7:57 am

Re: Inglorious Empire
 

Originally Posted by Bipat (Post 12843645)
1) The Anglo Indian Community for the most part came about by wealthy British taking Indian servant girls as concubines and producing children. Subsequent generations married each other. It is still a community proud of its heritage.

2) How can you possibly know about the British improving living standards? Were you there? Were you there in 1947?
The railways and infrastructure were for the British to use themselves, they expected to stay.

Haven't you read about the taxation (most Western people have at least heard about salt tax and bans.) My middle class coastal family had and some still have salt pans-----their income totally ceased They educated children from their land sales. They could manage ---the poor with small coastal patches---starved.
Presume you know about the famines----taxation or compulsory purchase of land and grain and export meant no money for machinery, no money for storage. Animals also died so no milk etc.
The poor did not benefit from hospitals or any medical help. ( The wife of one Viceroy built a hospital for the poor----it had 37 beds!!!!))

A country with thousands of years of history was reduced to hand to mouth living----there are still those alive who remember.

I think the evidence of parents, grandparents, great grandparents uncles, aunts etc.etc. those now in their 80s and 90s is more valuable than reading books written by those who read others books, who also read others books!! Then pronounce they are experts on a country that they don't live in.

I think your post says it all Bipat, that you reject all historical and economic analysis by both Indian and foreign experts, and only hearsay,folk memories and opinions by people trained in history and economics. Furthermore , as you have indicated in prior posts, you only accept the folk memory of Indians as opposed to the British or other foreigners there at the time.

Many of the issues of the effect of British rule have been studied and much is still being debated by historians.So when you make assertions it is hard often to accept when they contradict evidence, or do not acknowledge areas that are still unclear- but your response to any evidence that contradicts your ideological viewpoint, your only response is evidence of what you have heard from your family.

That the Indian economy grew during British rule is accepted by any serious economist or historian, just as it didn't grow as fast as most Western countries.This was equally the case for Asian countries that were not colonized (eg. Iran, Thailand). Equally regardless of the motivations, the English establish transportation and communication advances which cost far more than any taxation revenue sent to Britain ( the majority of tax revenue was spent in India), and in 1947 India had the strongest industrial base of any country in Asia. The growth in population during British rule was significant, obviously having an effect on living standards, though there appears some debate as to the extent of per capita income growth as opposed to absolute growth. There is ongoing debate on the effect of this or that British economic policy, such as the effect on the textile industry in India, just as one can debate Indian policies the first 30 years of independence.Of coruse for an overall assessment one should consider the 'what if' question of what India was like before the British and what India may have turned out like without British rule The Mughal Empire by the 198th century hardly a stellar example of a progressive and stable rulers who were on teh verge of prompting a scientific and industrial revolution.

So when you throw out comments about British taxation, it would seem normal to determine what that taxation was, where it was spent, how significant it was in terms of the overall economy etc etc. When I provided actual statistics concerning this, instead of disputing with evidence or logic, the response as usual is that based on family recollections only, taxation was excessive and drained wealth from India. This recent post confirms that approach to analysis.

My mother was in British India, and from correspondence and discussion I know the efforts she made to train Indian medical personnel, and the care she put into her work and care for the people, and her views of the benefits the British were giving the Indians. She also was in India in the late 1960's , and I was there as a child, and had a basis for comparison. My father also was in India numerous times in the 1940's through the 1980's, and I have very close Indian and Pakistani friends whose families lived during the British Raj and built significant enterprises dating back to the early 20th century, in banking and textiles. Surely such anecdotal evidence provided from conversation is useful, but certainly for a full understanding one would want to consider the views of historians and economists even if they were born after 1947.

However it is helpful for this thread to understand why you reject any serious analysis as a basis for opinion.


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