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Re: #1 in 1750?

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ritu Ko <rituc_ko@hotmail.com>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: 14 October, 1998 3:37 AM
Subject: Re: #1 in 1750?

YOU WRITE : This is a little tricky. OK. This is my response to
Vinay's response to P.Guptara's response to Arvind
Prof. Guptara never claimed that British did any favors for India or
Indians. "If you think the British did not give us much, you are

Dear Ritu,
Why is this a little tricky Ritu ?

The problem perhaps lies because you do NOT read between th lines.
Someone has said, Language was given to man to conceal his thoughts.
We reveal just as much by not giving expression to  certain of our
thoughts as by giving expression to others.

What do you make of the following quote from Prabhu Guptara's
posting  ?

PRABHU GUPTARA :"That the British destroyed India is a self-serving
myth that was useful to us in ......."

MY QUESTION : Don't you take this is as supportive of the idea that
British did not destroy Indian institutions ?

REF : Health-insurance .????????????

PRABHU GUPTARA :".....but they built up numerous other things
(literacy, education, the press, health care, agriculture, the legal
system, transport and communications, science and industry, and
indeed gave us the basis of a modern economic system, for example by
rationalising and stabilising our monetary ......."

EXPLANTION You state that you have re-read PG's letters on the topic
and really could find no claim that any health-insurance policy was

You don't want to give me the pleasure of being sarcastic sometimes
? I am not a school teacher, Yaar ! Come on, let's have some fun
debunking unsubstantiated & unresearched anti-India statements.

Now you have TWO bulldog puppies on the team (for identity of other
one, see our beloved President's E-missile of sometime back). He
attacks you if you write against Capitalism, the present one attacks
you if you write UNSUBSTANTIATED  and UNRESEARCHED articles critical
of India.



CLARIFICATION : British "ruled" India for 200 hundred years, it is
generally said, so I put their arrival approximately in 1750 or so.
In 1765, I think, their was a decisive battle between the English &
Portuguese forces, the battle of Plassey ( I could be wrong about
the dates, not a Historian, either, can't verify them in this
foreign land, why don't you send dates - if you are in India, it is
easy for you Hotmailers ? You will earn thanks and gratitude !)

But this does not alter the major premise. Even if the British
arrived before Shivaji, their "unifying" India occurrd much later.
This occurred sometime after the great Mutiny of 1857. So Chatrapati
Shivaji is rightly attributed the honour.

YOUR DOUBT :     MYTHOLOGY-ERA  referred to ......

EXPLANATION :On this point our outlook is separated by mille-nniums
I give below quote of what PG wrote :

"Most importantly they began to reform our society and give us a
sense of our own history (as distinct from mythology).  Our
mythology had not given us a sense of nationalism ever in the past.
It was the recovery of our history (indeed the invention by the
British of the notions of India as a single country) which was  the
whole basis for our recovering a sense of our own national past and
therefore of our national pride (I understand the Taj was being used
as a stables when the British started making efforts to identify and
preserve our national monuments - someone please check and verify).

MY COMMENT : Line 1 & 2  :  Ritu, may be you can explain to me what
the British actually DID and what is meant by giving a sense of
history. Did they start a school in which they taught Indians
History ? Or did they preach that Indian history was great or some
such thing ?

Line 3 : Mythology NEVER gives a sense of nationalism. It has ONLY
religious connotations. Also Mythology is not created in 100, 200 or
few hundred years. I think it is compendium of record of the
beginning of a culure that could span a few thousand years.

This whole passage is Froth & Rhetoric, looks nice in books, gets
shot down in debate.

YOUR SPECULATION ABOUT EUROPE/INDIA and what is so great about the
notion of one India

YOU STATE : " higher costs for the Indian sub-continent. Still, all
this is in the realm of pure speculation.On a purely personal note,
though, I do think that India being a single nation is a rather
great notion. "

MY OBSERVATION : Ritu, Speculation is a indeed a  risky thing, one
has to speculate in real life to know whether one has the stomach
for it.

But, while we are on the topic, let me tell you what I think is
going to happen in near future.

Reading these debates and the strong points put forward by Ash
Mahesh and others about "delimitation", I think there is going to be
hue and cry for federalistic type of governemnt in which all the
different parts of India will insist upon maintaining  their "own
purse" while accepting one umbrella and identity. I have commented
on this elsewhere.
I have commented on other aspects in my previous posting including
the point that India then & India now is different "geography" and
things should only relate to the respective India intended.

>having the notion of a single country given by the British? Indians
>today are what the present Europeans will be in a 100 or 50 years
>That does not mean that the different nation of Europe to day are

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