[Assam] Indian Political Boundary

Chan Mahanta cmahanta at charter.net
Fri Sep 28 13:30:27 PDT 2007

>It is slowly changing and clash of linguistic groups is bound to happen.

*** Does that mean that unless an American learns 
Spanish, she might not be able to get ahead when 
that time arrives?

*** And to extend the logic, will one have to 
learn Hindi to get ahead  in India pretty soon, 
unless it is already so?

At 12:39 PM -0700 9/28/07, Dilip/Dil Deka wrote:
>If you leave out the Hispanics, you can say it 
>is one language in USA. As we all know, USA will 
>have to face the issue of two rival languages 
>very soon.
>Also USA does not have an official language. The 
>reign of English as the language is due to the 
>fact that all immigrants had to learn the 
>language to get ahead. It is slowly changing and 
>clash of linguistic groups is bound to happen.
>barua25 <barua25 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>It is all one mother tongue, one language here.
>Not like India as a whole administered by a foreign language: English.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Krishnendu Chakraborty"
>Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 9:12 AM
>Subject: [Assam] Indian Political Boundary
>>>First India was never such a big united country as
>it is now.
>**** Applying this logic, even US should be termed as
>a country that was never expected to ever be a
>country. Apart from European colonization the wars,
>grabbing of land from Native Americans and Speniards
>continued till late 19th century (source:
>Same goes true for Canada (even may be Australia).
>>>>>>  First India was never such a big united country
>as it is now.
>Even during the British Raj, there were many many
>independepdent states ruled by Maharajas, where prsent
>India is.
>Second, the South was never under any Indian kings
>except to some extent under the Moghols.
>***** The map I see in wiki
>(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurya_dynasty) shows
>that almost entire south barring present TN and Kerala
>was under Mauryas.
>Coming to point of Assam, Kamrup historically had a
>very close tie with rest of India ... reference
>Mahabharat. Culturally too, think about Krishna --
>Kalika Purana mentions that the last of the
>Naraka-bhauma rulers, Narak, was slained by Krishna.
>As for never being ruled by any Indian King, the
>argument is same as I mentioned for US or Canada or
>many other countries.
>>>>>>>  The Indian situation is same. It is one
>country because of one foreign language: English. Thus
>the historians have a point. Today, take away the
>English language fron India, the Indian democracy will
>collapese overnight.
>***** This is a very new argument ... never heard
>this argument earlier! How many people in villages of
>India do you think can speak English ... I am not
>talking about proficient but at least Pigin English?
>A guess will be less then half of Indian Population
>speaks English. People adapt languages because of
>convenience. Imagine, had you been a villager of
>Assam, would you care to learn English? Or say if you
>spend most of your life in Delhi or UP, can you avoid
>learnig Hindi even though you might be a Hindi hater?
>>>>>>The issue under discussion is : "India is the
>country that was never expected to ever be a country".
>The above point which some historians are trying to
>make is this.
>First India was never such a big united country as it
>is now.
>Even during the British Raj, there were many many
>independepdent states ruled by Maharajas, where prsent
>India is.
>Second, the South was never under any Indian kings
>except to some extent under the Moghols.
>Then the Marathas were also out.
>Old Kamrup, that is present Assam and NE were never
>under any Indian kings, nor under Ashok, nor under the
>Guptas, nor under the Moghols. This came under India
>only under the British.
>Today India is one country not because of any unity
>but because of its diversity which cannot be defined
>under any political science.
>Imagnice Europe under one country because of one
>foreign language (say) Hindi. Can one imagine? The
>Indian situation is same. It is one country because
>of one foreign language: English. Thus the historians
>have a point. Today, take away the English language
>fron India, the Indian democracy will collapese
>That is the point.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Krishnendu Chakraborty" yahoo.com>
>Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:45 AM
>Subject: [Assam] Indian Political Boundary
>What can be the point here.
>I see from Wiki that the Maurya India is close to
>today's India
>This was followed by Invasions by Greeks, Sakas etc
>when it again got disintegrated.
>>>>That is because they historians and thought
>This is a good topic one can debate long.
>I think they have their points.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Rajib Das"
>To: "A Mailing list for people interested in Assam
>from around the world"
>; post.harvard.edu>
>Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:34 AM
>Subject: Re: [Assam] Book review : India After Gandhi-
>Bengal democracy
>I fail to understand why SOME historians (and thought
>leaders) continue to insist that India is a country
>that was never meant to be.
>The exact political boundaries are new (as in 60 years
>old) - but there is enough political thought through
>the course of history - before the Brits came in or
>even before the Islamic invasion of India - to warrant
>the idea of India.
>--- Rajen & Ajanta Barua
>>  Umesh:
>>  India is best described as 'an elected
>>  dictatorship'.
>>  Rajenda
>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>  From: umesh sharma
>>  To: A Mailing list for people interested in Assam
>>  from around the world
>>  Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 11:52 PM
>>  Subject: Re: [Assam] Book review : India After
>>  Gandhi- Bengal democracy
>>  Rajen-da
>>  Good example of India-Shining rhetoric.
>>  But just becos there is peace (despite armed
>>  militancy in 25% of India's districts- NE, Kashmir,
>>  Bihar, Central India, LTTE South India etc etc) and
>>  not many are dying of starvation and voting not by
>>  reading election manifestos but by recognizing
>>  cartoons (election symbols) of political parties .
>>  Even democratically elected communist govt (an
>>  anamoly) of West Bengal is allegedly in power for
>>  past 25 years non-stop since a nexus prevents
>>  anyone from voting against the "party" or else
>>  face ex-communication a-la erstwhile Pope's rule in
>>  Europe in medieval times -as per a Bengali
>>  researcher .
>>  But ofcourse noone can deny that despite is
>>  shortcomings the India that is Bharat is growing -
>>  despite spoofs like Hollywood's "Borat" movie
>>  (Bharat ??) from Kazakhstan (Rajasthan???)
>>  Umesh
>>  Rajen & Ajanta Barua
>>  Following may be added from another review about
>>  the book:
>>  India is the country that was never expected to
>>  ever be a country. In the late 19th century, Sir
>>  John Strachey, a senior British official, grandly
>>  opined that the territory's diverse states simply
>>  could not possess any sort of unity, physical,
>>  political, social or religious. Strachey, clearly,
>>  was wrong: India today is a unified entity and a
>>  rising global power. Even so, it continues to defy
>>  explanation. India's existence, says Guha, an
>>  internationally known scholar (Environmentalism: A
>>  Global History), has also been an anomaly for
>>  academic political science, according to whose
>>  axioms cultural heterogeneity and poverty do not
>>  make a nation, still less a democratic one. Yet
>>  India continues to exist. Guha's aim in this
>>  startlingly ambitious political, cultural and social
>>  survey is to explain why and how. He cheerfully
>>  concludes that India's continuing existence results
>>  from its unique diversity and its refusal to be
>>  pigeonholed into such conventional political models
>>  as Anglo-American liberalism, French republicanism,
>>  atheistic communism or Islamist theocracy. India is
>>  proudly sui generis, and with August 15, 2007, being
>>  the 60th anniversary of Indian independence, Guha's
>>  magisterial history of India since that day comes
>  > not a moment too soon. 32 pages of b&w illus., 8
>>  maps.
>>  ----- Original Message -----
>>  From: Rajen & Ajanta Barua
>>  To: assam at assamnet.org
>>  Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:42 PM
>>  Subject: [Assam] Book review : India After
>>  Gandhi
>>  Good review of a grand 900 page book on India
>>  recently published:
>>  India After Gandhi: The History of the World's
>>  Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha
>>  From The Washington Post's Book
>>  World/washingtonpost.com
>>  Reviewed by George Perkovich
>>  A toast to India on its 60th birthday: No
>>  country has more heroically pursued the promise of
>>  democracy. Against the odds of staggering poverty,
>>  conflicting religious passions, linguistic
>>  pluralism, regional separatism, caste injustice and
>>  natural resource scarcity, Indians have lifted
>>  themselves largely by their own sandal straps to
>>  become a stalwart democracy and emerging global
>>  power. India has risen with epic drama -- a
>>  nonviolent struggle for independence followed by
>>  mass mayhem and bloodletting, dynastic succession
>>  and assassination, military victory and defeat,
>>  starvation succeeded by green revolution, political
>>  leaders as saints, sinners and sexual ascetics. And
>>  yet, the Indian story rarely has been told and is
>>  practically unknown to Americans.
>>  India After Gandhi masterfully fills the void.
>>  India needs a wise and judicious narrator to convey
>>  its scale, diversity and chaos -- to describe the
>>  whirlwind without getting lost in it. It needs a
>>  biographer neither besotted by love nor enraged by
>>  disappointment. Ramachandra Guha, a historian who
>>  has taught at Stanford and Yale and now lives in
>>  Bangalore, has given democratic India the rich,
>>  well-paced history it deserves.
>>  Much will be new to American readers.
>>  Large-scale conflicts in India's northeast between
>>  tribal groups and the center have been as enduring,
>>  and in some ways as important, as the more familiar
>>  violence in Kashmir. The framing of India's
>>  constitution from 1946 through 1949 should induce
>>  awe, especially in light of Iraq's post-Saddam
>>  experience.
>>  In the midst of Hindu-Muslim bloodshed, a
>>  flood of 8 million refugees, starvation, and other
>>  profound conflicts, Indian representatives worked
>>  out constitutional provisions to protect minorities,
>>  keep religion out of state power, correct thousands
>>  of years of caste discrimination and redistribute
>>  power and wealth accumulated by still-regnant
>>  princely states. This was done with no external
>>  guidance or pressure. The drafting committee was
>>  chaired by an "untouchable," B.R. Ambedkar --
>>  analogies are inexact, but imagine if James Madison
>>  at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention had
>>  been a freed slave.
>>  Specialists will quicken over insights from
>>  the private papers of Indira Gandhi's confidant,
>>  P.N. Haksar, who gave his papers to Guha. These
>>  documents reveal, among other things, that it was
>>  the Soviet Union that proposed the 1971 treaty of
>>  cooperation and friendship between the two
>>  countries, and that suspicion of China motivated
>>  both nations more than was appreciated at the time.
>>  Miniature biographies of grassroots leaders
>>  and movements also enliven Guha's storytelling. Jay
>>  Aprakash Narayan -- "JP" -- plays a leading role. A
>>  onetime friend of Nehru who became the bĂȘte noir of
>>  his daughter, Indira Gandhi, JP led a massive
>>  movement for radical governmental reform in 1974-75,
>>  which moved Indira Gandhi to declare a national
>>  emergency and suspend democracy.
>>  Some themes go under-explored: For example,
>>  why has the Indian Army abstained from interfering
>>  in politics, unlike the military in many other
>>  developing countries? And why has India given short
>>  shrift to primary education, even as it has
>>  developed technological institutes that rival M.I.T?
>>  Many chapters begin or end with India's future
>>  in doubt. "India is almost infinitely depressing,"
>>  Aldous Huxley wrote in 1961, "for there seems to be
>>  no solution to its problems in any way that any of
>>  us [in the West] regard as acceptable." He predicted
>  > that "when Nehru goes, the government will become a
>>  military dictatorship." Guha records that "ever
>>  since the country was formed there have also been
>>  many Indians who have seen the survival of India as
>>  being on the line, some (the patriots) speaking or
>>  writing in fear, others (the secessionists or
>>  revolutionaries) with anticipation."
>>  Yet, marvelously, India's survival as a
>>  democracy seems more assured than ever. Less clear
>>  is the nature of its relationship with America.
>>  Since 2005, the U.S. and Indian governments have
>>  moved toward nuclear cooperation, reversing 30 years
>>  of U.S. policy against nuclear assistance to
>>  countries that refuse to sign the Nuclear
>>  Nonproliferation Treaty.
>>  Washington clearly views India as a
>>  counterbalance to China's strategic power. But Guha
>>  records an important historical parallel.
>>  In 1962, China crossed disputed boundaries in
>>  the northwest and northeast of India. A shocked
>>  Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru abandoned
>>  nonalignment and pleaded for emergency U.S. military
>>  assistance. Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith wrote
>>  to President Kennedy: "The only Asian country which
>>  really stands in [China's] way is India and pari
>>  passu the only Western country that is assuming
>>  responsibility is the United States. . . . We should
>>  expect to make use of India's political position,
>>  geographical position, political power and manpower
>>  or anyhow ask."
>>  Four decades later, another Harvard
>>  professor-cum-American ambassador to India, Robert
>>  Blackwill, championed the proposed nuclear deal with
>>  similar reasoning. As different as the presidents
>>  they served, Blackwill and Galbraith were tempted by
>>  strategic abstraction and a desire to raise "their"
>>  country -- India -- in American priorities. Yet
>>  supplying arms to India in 1962 did not make India
>>  any more deferential to U.S. foreign policy.
>>  Washington will delude itself again if it thinks
>>  that nuclear India will be a pliant instrument in
>>  its
>=== message truncated ===>
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