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India Non-Violent Struggle? The Myth


Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

Blaming political opponents is easier. Naxalism is one such trick. For 250 years, the Indian State has not solved this problem.

The Madhya Pradesh Government are in consultation with the Centre on the action to be taken regarding Maharajah Pravinchandra Bhan Dev, Ruler of the erstwhile tribal State of Bastar in southern Madhya Pradesh. Among the charges against the Maharajah are that he has been inciting the Adivasis who number about eight lakhs to violence. The situation there is very delicate and calls for careful handling. The Adivasis still look upon the Ruler of Bastar as a representative of the Goddess Danteswari Mata in whose name the Maharaja ruled just as the Travancore Maharajahs ruled in the name of Lord Padmanabha. (read more via The Hindu : Today’s Paper / MISCELLANEOUS : This day that age).

Sense of priority

Bastar’s tribal peoples were never the quiet type. The British discovered that early in the day. The newly minted Indian State also discovered this – as this 50 year-old news-item shows. And that can be said for most tribals across the plateau. The tribal disaffection with the idea of the ‘modern’ State has been a permanent feature. It is all credit to the Unlettered Indian (aka The Indian Voter) who has been able to distinguish between shades of power grab.

Militant Maoists are seeking to using this disaffection for a power-grab. Just like Kashmiri terrorists. To impose a worse form of the ‘modern’ State – the Islāmic type in Kashmir or the maoist type in various tribal lands.

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Increasing power and spending is the way of all 'modern' States! (Cartoonist - Daryl Cagle)

Sense of priority

These same tribals, now branded as Maoists, Naxalites, organized themselves into many armies and fought British armies for more than a 100 years. For the same reasons. Land grabbing by the State. The Indian State would do well to learn from the British experience. Probably, the modern Indian State does not know its own history – and believes in its own propaganda.

Official history, strangely, does not tell us that between 1800-1947, apart from the Anglo-Indian War of 1857, there were more than 75 battles, skirmishes, revolts, mutinies, involving thousands, up to lakhs of Indians, across India. And more than double that many conspiracies, hold-ups, explosions, bombings, which were not organized. These more than 200 violent actions have been completely glossed over by post-colonial India’s historians. Obviously, more than 200 incidents of violent opposition to British misrule over 150 years (1800-1947) deserves better treatment by official historians. Especially, the people who fought most of these battles.

The tribals.

Sense of priority

The Anglo-Mysore Wars, Anglo-Maratha Wars, the Sikh Wars, the Afghan Wars plagued British misrule in India.The 1857 Anglo-Indian Wars were a landmark in opposition to colonialism. These were the major conflicts that continued to blaze across India.

Apart from these major conflagrations, significant opposition to the British misrule came from Indian forest-dwellers and migratory peoples. The Chotanagpur area (Surguja, Ranchi and Hazaribagh areas) passed to the British from Mughals in 1765. War and famine followed. The Bengal Famine of 1770 (1769-1773) was much written and analysed. The Jharkhand area remained on the boil for nearly 150 years after Buxar.

On the conflict side, the Paharia Revolt (1766-1778), by the hill-dwellers of Rajmahal Hills, soon followed. Santhals, opened a wide front against the British. One of the first of many such campaigns, started operations from the Tilapore forest against the British from 1781-1785 – led by Tilka Manjhi (also spelt Majhi). The dates of Tilkha Majhi’s revolt, vary widely – some continuing till 1799. The Tamar revolt (1783-1789) was another revolt in the modern Jharkhand area which occupied British attention in India – while they were fighting the American colonies. The Anglo-Santhal battles continued for the next 100 years. The Kol (also Khol, Khole) continued these insurrections in early 19th century.

Immediately after Buxar, in 1764 Major Hector Munro, who took charge of “the Company’s army, found the sepoys in a state of open revolt. There is no instinct of obedience in native armies in India” complains the English ‘historian’. In 1780, the East India Company faced revolt in Benares from Raja ‘Cheyt Sing’ who was appointed to “furnish the company with three regular battalions of Seapoys” who instead ‘massacred , in cold blood, thirteen of Capt.Wade’s men, who fell into his hands in the Hospital at Mirzapoor’.

If this was not enough, there were the Sannyasi rebellions (1763-1800).

Sense of priority

The only system that will meet the aspirations of the tribals, the Kashmiris, is something that will give them access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). A system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

  1. JohnC
    February 26, 2011 at 4:34 am

    This anti-Christian, anti-British and racist diatribe should be ignored – or suppressed. Views like yours – bigoted and based on false history – have no place in the 21st century. No wonder India is seething, with one sect attacking another, over childish grievances. India and its people should grow up.

  2. July 26, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Excellent post anurag.. i was thinking on the same line for long time.. you have expressed it neatly and with substantiations… the idea of modern state is completely hostile to our bharatheeya dharma.. While the britishers finished off only opposing indian kings, and spared those who co-opted, the so called independant indian state, headed by scoundrels, had finished off, every native rulers, and enslaved both people and land to be utilised by corporate companies..

    As such, once a commune village republic, is now converted to private holdings of corporate houses, driving away the people, in the name of industrialisation..

    An indian state supposed to be independant, that should have accomodated all native rulers, had unfortunately been the destroyer of all that is native to india..

  3. July 26, 2011 at 7:30 am

    and anurag.. for long i could not comprehend this attitude of charging others by state… when the government charges the tribal leader of instigating people to violence, how should we interpret this? Is it not akin to christian inquisition? ie, to accuse people of things perceived to be against something set by individual or institution..

    I think, in india, such kind of branding was not seen..

    what’s your take on this..

  4. July 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    the so called independant indian state, headed by scoundrels, had finished off, every native rulers, and enslaved both people and land to be utilised by corporate companies.

    Are you implying that the ‘Brown’ scoundrels are worse than the ‘White Scoundrels’. If yes, at least one man I know will rest happily in his grave – Winston Churchill – the author of the biggest genocide in the world.

    finished off, every native rulers, and enslaved both people and land to be utilised by corporate companies.

    The world is today running on a varying mix of Democracy + Oligarchy + Capitalism + Communism + Socialism – including India.

    The results are the same – Concentration of power, corruption, one set of bad rulers are replaced by another set of bad rulers, voters are blamed for governance failures.

    Unfortunately, I will deny you the satisfaction of saying our ‘scoundrels’ are worse than other ‘scoundrels’. Remember, even after Mughal misrule, when the East India Company was formed, Mughal India’s treasury was the biggest in the world. India was the largest economy in the world.

    After the British left, India was a hell-hole. Without Roti, Kapda or Makaan. If you lived during the 1945-1985, period, you would know what I am talking about. If not believe me, Indians struggled for food, shelter and clothing till the mid-eighties.

    But today’s India has climbed out of the hell-hole – and some part of the credit should go these ‘scoundrels’. The problem is the system – and not the ‘scoundrels.’

    This also the right time to remind you that India at 25,000 tons of gold remains an attractive target for looters and raiders even today. So, for some time forget about going back to peaceful village life. Not possible.

    But unless we understand भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, India will remain a ‘captive’ of misshapen Desert Bloc ideologies.

  5. July 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Are you implying that the ‘Brown’ scoundrels are worse than the ‘White Scoundrels’. If yes, at least one man I know will rest happily in his grave – Winston Churchill – the author of the biggest genocide in the world.

    No Anurag.. i was mentioning about those who inherited power from the britishers.. i was mentioning about those who framed our constitution, without any regard for the existing social setup..

    What is the diff b/w colonial britishers squeezing indian rulers, and the so called indian state, destroying all native rulers?

    The only difference is that, in the earlier, the wealth went out of india.. after independance, a part of it stayed, while majority went out as black money..

    The world is today running on a varying mix of Democracy + Oligarchy + Capitalism + Communism + Socialism – including India.

    The results are the same – Concentration of power, corruption, one set of bad rulers are replaced by another set of bad rulers, voters are blamed for governance failures.

    Very True.. shouldnt we review our past, and find out the root cause?

    After the British left, India was a hell-hole. Without Roti, Kapda or Makaan. If you lived during the 1945-1985, period, you would know what I am talking about. If not believe me, Indians struggled for food, shelter and clothing till the mid-eighties.

    I heard my grandfather telling that government officials would suddenly raid houses in our village and seize any grains stored in granary..

    The reason is obvious.. the foolish industrial policy of Nehru, and the resulting neglect of our rural india? that’s why i called them as scoundrels.. as a person from my village, i am asking this question.. what difference did the villages of india, had due to independance? the same poverty.. no governmental support.. complete negligence.. unsurping of village autonomy.. land grabbing in the name of industrialisation.. all these happen till today.. is it not?

    Well.. you might say, we should industrialise to compete in present world.. and i am asking.. is this industrialisation not possible without destroying villages? without destroying village autonomy?

    Instead, think of how india would have been, if we had a different kind of system than the present one.. what the so called leaders should have done? I was focussing on that aspects..

  6. July 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    i was mentioning about those who framed our constitution, without any regard for the existing social setup.

    Same difference! Is name calling the answer? ‘Scoundrels’ ‘rascals’, etc. If we accept for the sake of this discussion that Republican Democracy was the only acceptable system, can you tell me how many constitutions in the world succeeded in Republican Democracy? Beyond 50 years?

    The only two significant countries in the world are USA and India. On what performance criteria are you ‘condemning’ the Indian Constitution Makers?

    What is the diff b/w colonial britishers squeezing indian rulers, and the so called indian state, destroying all native rulers?

    Did the Modern Indian State destroy Indian Native Rulers – or were they anyway in the self-destruct mode for the previous 500 years – with the exception of Shivaji. Why did these Native Rulers deserve to be ‘saved’?

    Merit or sentiment?

    The only difference is that, in the earlier, the wealth went out of india.. after independance, a part of it stayed, while majority went out as black money.

    Usual propaganda.

    Have you checked the latest Swiss Stats on Indian deposits in Switzerland. Identified is less than US$3.0 billion – and if the unidentified are included it may reach US$15-20 billion. Against India’s projected GDP of 1.8 trillion for 2011-12?

    What are we talking about? Peanuts?

    Anyway, whose money is it? What right does anybody to force any Indian to keep his money in India?

    Very True.. shouldnt we review our past, and find out the root cause?

    Is this how you want to review the past? Find the root cause? Without data? With no performance criteria? By name-calling and labelling?

    The reason is obvious.. the foolish industrial policy of Nehru, and the resulting neglect of our rural india? that’s why i called them as scoundrels.. as a person from my village, i am asking this question.. what difference did the villages of india, had due to independance? the same poverty.. no governmental support.. complete negligence.. unsurping of village autonomy.. land grabbing in the name of industrialisation.. all these happen till today.. is it not?

    So, when Pakistan launches an invasion against India, our farmers will go to the battle-field with ploughs, sickles, axes, knives and daggers?

    Are you not forgetting that India which was a ship-to-mouth economy after the British left, is now a Top-5 agricultural exporter – and with surplus grains. Would to like to give ‘some’ credit’ to our ‘scoundrels’ and ‘corrupt’ politicians?

    Can we live in a pastoral world – without industry?

    Instead, think of how india would have been, if we had a different kind of system than the present one.. what the so called leaders should have done? I was focussing on that aspects.

    I did not see any focus on this aspect except by asking for native rulers and return to village life. Difficult to see this logic in the near 200-300 years.

  1. December 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

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