You the Marathas, we the Mughals & Dalrymple the Coloniser

By Xerxes the Magian 84 Comments

As an aside I wanted to say that Dalrymple is a joke and an appropriator. Even though I am a Mughalist I do not wish to be lectured on my history by a coloniser, who somehow claims distant Indian+Persian ancestry. If you coast on White Privilege then don’t expect to be an authority on Colored Topics. That’s appropriation simple as!

Now back to my original post. Bharata wrote:

“Right after british conquest, whose real victory was over marathas, it removed them, their soldiers had no employment, they became the thugee cult.”

I may not be an expert in Indian history but I think it is a bit of a stretch to claim the British won India from the Marathas or from Ranjit Singh.

Sometimes traditional history does make sense and while there is an element of “history being written by the conquerors” we must also avoid extreme revision.

I’m not personally invested either way; maybe the Mughal Empire had crumbled to that point of nothingness but to somehow constantly impugn it strikes me as somewhat undignified. If Indians/Hindus hate that aspect of their history so much, which we love so much; how can we really hope to bridge the divide.

In fact in that case it’s far easier for the two countries to look elsewhere because on the most basic existential issue we back different sides (we the Mughals, you the Marathas).

Somehow I don’t think history was that way; the Mughals had Hindu nobles and the Marathas had Muslim generals.

But I couldn’t give up on Akbar or even Aurangzeb; one can’t betray one’s ancestor and the Pakistani psychosis conditions us to see them as so regardless of the facts of the matter.

Unless there is true acceptance of the Mughals (look at the late 19th century butchery of the Urdu language) there will never ever be a United Subcontinent and the kernel of Muhajir Resistance (manifested in Pakistan – for what is Pakistan without the Muhajir but a collection of Muslim tribals on the Indus who have frankly and historically very little to do with Mughal majesty but with their own cute & folk traditions) will manifest itself somehow.

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84 Replies to “You the Marathas, we the Mughals & Dalrymple the Coloniser”

  1. Attitudes towards the Mughals in India have changed significantly even within my lifetime (I’m not 40 yet.) 30 years ago, starting to learn Indian history as a kid (from family, friends, and books), the public attitude towards that dynasty was benign, even favorable, with the sole exception of Aurangzeb, who was regarded as a tyrant and a bigot. Akbar was considered one of the great rulers and dynasts of India; not a foreigner or a Turk but an Indian.

    I find it hard to imagine that this view was totally Congress/Marxist/SecularIntelligensia-imposed. I think the Mughal Empire had widespread legitimacy among the Indian public and aristocracy from the time of Akbar (regardless of religious differences), but that’s my personal opinion.

    1. It is my general impression that this deep hatred of the Mughals and anything “Muslim” is a fairly recent phenomenon. Perhaps it dates back to the start of the Modi Era?

    2. Numinous – The way history was taught in India, atleast in my state was very inadequate. For two reasons I think: a) To keep it simple – as in teach the history of the particular state, and of the Delhi based states as a proxy for pan-Indian history and b) To provide legitimacy to the Indian state by drawing a straight line from the Mughals to the British to the new Indian state and c) To maintain communal harmony by underplaying the conflict between Muslim states and resurgent Hindu states – Marathas, Sikhs, Vijaynagar etc.
      The British did the same for similar reasons. This resulted in complete underemphasis say on Southern India and Chola forays into SE Asia or the history of the Marathas and Sikhs etc. This is still the case AFAIK and infact is quite counterproductive. History should be taught factually and not to suit agendas

      1. History should be taught factually and not to suit agendas

        Really, when did this happen anywhere in the world.

        It can be just a little word.
        Sri Lankan history, the father of a famous King who united Sri Lanka Dutu Gemunu.
        The father was named Kakkavanna Tissa, i.e. crow colored Tissa.
        The history textbook name him Kavan Tissa (Kaha-van, golden colored Tissa)

        This in spite of the English translation of the Mahavamsa being available online and print and Sinhalese translation readily available.

  2. we have gone over this many times on this platform already. I have no intention to bring those jarring facts here all over again, I sympathize with you. You have been conned into thinking this way,that things were rosy than they actually were. That unfortunately is what the left does, it begins with some lies for some beningn reason, then digs deeper and deeper until it defends even Aurangzeb . I dont see me making condition that one must like pre Islamic India, why should it matter. Except Akbar, there really wasnt much. The comparison of mughals with British would actually make mughals look worse.
    As I said, I sympathize with you, so wont make this pain worse.

      1. Yes, it is the Indo-Islamic High Culture of nos ancestres les Mughals that defines India to the outside world. Deal with it haters.

        1. Dude, leave your simplistic notions aside. India is defined to outsiders by Gandhi, Yoga, Hinduism, Democracy, IT (lately) etc….Taj Mahal is an iconic Indian building and yes very much associated with India in the minds of outsiders but it is just a building, and just one symbol..
          Leave your associated ethnic pride aside and keep an open mind

        2. The Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Fatehpur Sikri, need I go on? All of this is Indo-Islamic High Culture. We made your country great and you just cannot accept that fact. Without us, you would have been a collection of princely states….

          1. Dude – Who is we? Are you a Mughal descendant? You didn’t make it great nor did the Mughals. They extracted revenue from India and invested in their forts and palaces.. The Rajput rulers in Rajasthan who happened to be Hindu did the same (although they had less money to play with). None of them really did much for India or the people – making India great would have meant investing in infrastructure, education, sciences etc and India was a backwater in the middle ages due to undue Mughal / Rajput/Other king’s emphasis on their glory and pleasure palaces, forts etc… Just compare with contemporary rules in Western Europe etc and you know how bad all of these medieval rulers were for India..Sorry a few forts don’t make up for it.

  3. But facts are facts. You should read see real history on who was calling the shots in the 18th century from Delhi to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur to the Deccan. It wasn’t the Mughals but the Marathas. The Marathas were so powerful as to be able to install their favorites in Rajput and Mughal courts. They were defacto the most powerful group in India at the time and without the British coming in the picture would have eventually become the dejure rulers of all/ most of India. The British did indeed win India from the Marathas (the Sikhs were too new and had only had their empire for 50 years so hard to say if they would have lasted ). Your hurt feelings are neither here nor there.

      1. Actually, that is why 1857 was lost, the marathas, sikhs and others didnt want them back among other reasons. Infact that is also one of the reasons quoted for many princely states to simply join the Indian union too.

      2. Everyone is a petty chief until they have had their kingdom for a while (just like every religion is a cult when small but a great religion when it has a lot of adherents).. The Mughal ruler was a figurehead even in Delhi in 1857 – he was selected as a mascot of the rebellion, but that doesn’t say anything about who held actual power in India. Among Muslim rulers those in Awadh and the Nizam were much more powerful than Timur’s descendants in Delhi..
        Take a look at this map of India in 1800 AD: http://www.geocities.ws/narenp/history/maps/1800ad.gif. Marathas controlled half of India and with Rajputs (very much under Maratha influence) probably 2/3rds. The Sikhs had a lot of Punjab and about to takeover current KP K and Kashmir. Look at the blue that is the Mughal empire – it was a rump in 1800 AD, and totally controlled by various actors including Awadh, Marathas etc at variout times..

        1. This attempt at Saffronising history does not change

          India was settled
          The Dravidians built Indus Civ
          Aryans attack
          Hindu era
          Muslim era
          British era
          Modern era

          1. Zachary

            You forgot the Maurya (Chandragupta to Asoka), the Nanda’s.
            Origins from modern day Bihar, would be Dalits/Sudra.

            Until a few years ago, Chandragupta, Asoka, the Nanda’s were erased from Indian history.
            They just did not fit into the Dravidian/Aryan narrative.

            I am into the whole Sudra/Dalit thing.

      3. Exactement. Bahadur Shah Zafar was still Zil-e-Ilahi, the Padishah of all Hindustan (even if the British were really running the show).

        This Hindu revisionism is really getting ridiculous now. Outside of Maharashtra, who even cares about the Marathas? The world over, the Mughal Empire is studied in Advanced Placement World History classes. We didn’t even hear about your Marathas in 11th grade.

        1. Your Zil e Elahi controlled a rump small state around Delhi..and even that he didn’t really control and was a puppet of the rulers of Awadh, British, Marathas etc depending on the day..

          You lack of decent education in history doesn’t change the facts on the ground. Deal with it.

        2. I have read all of William Dalrymple as well as Professor Harbans Mukhia’s book on the Mughals. What have you read?

          I’m probably more educated than you. You are most likely some kind of IT professional.

          1. Kabir, what is the point of attacking satya personally. Why can’t we focus on the discussion of ideas and perspectives.

          2. Really? If you want to play this silly game, let’s do it. I think you have a Bachelors in Liberal Arts from Georgetown (I can write this here, since you are not anonymous and also keep harping about your “education”).
            I have a Bachelor’s from India, and two Master’s degrees from US Universities, both of which are higher ranked than Georgetown including in liberal arts. I am not an “IT professional” – engineering is more than IT .
            And while we are being candid, I will say that I have found your book reviews to be decent but I have not found any of your other musings to have any depth or nuance whether it comes to Indian-Pakistani, Hindu-Muslim, Mughal legacy or even Punjabi-Pashtun dyanmics..You are quick to take offence and pull the education card (ironic since your education is not that impressive). There are so many intellectual guys here – I hope we can keep them (they are on all sides of all divides – Indo, Pak, Hindu, Muslim etc)

          3. George Washington University actually. Seems you can’t even read bios correctly.

            Engineer eh? That explains a lot. I am done with this stupidity. I have my own blog and I will just write there. I am not going waste my time with Hindu revisionists.

            Thanks for your criticism of my writing skills. I don’t need Engineers telling English Majors anything about writing.

          4. Sorry, George Washington University (doesn’t change the gist of the post though).
            I was not criticizing your writing skills – they are quite good (and much better than mine!), may be you need to improve your comprehension skills. My point was about how you argue your point (and the perceived lack of nuance, tendency to take offence, argumentum ad hominem etc).

          5. I take offense because I have to deal with idiot engineers who think they know social science. And people who think they understand Pakistan without ever having visited the country. I am Adjunct Faculty at a University which is considered the Harvard of Pakistan. I don’t have time for this shit.

            Anyway, I’m done here. Welcome to BP. I’m going back to my actual blog where hopefully some sensible human beings will turn up to actually discuss English Literature.

          6. [[I am saying that the entire world knows what the Mughal Empire was. Even if they know nothing else about ancient or medieval India. Local empires don’t even enter into the picture. Just as we learned about the Safavids and the Ottomans we learned about the Mughals. These empires are of true historical importance. India was not very interesting between the end of the Guptas and the rise of the Delhi Sultanate. Perhaps South India had something going for it. But I am interested in North India.

            I understand there is great Islamophobia in Bharat these days. This post has elicited vicious commentary. BP is seriously a polarized place. The Hindu Indians on this site disparage the Mughals. The Pakistanis praise them. If the history of 500 years ago is so contentious, how are we supposed to deal with 1947?]]

            First of all, this post was about whether the Marathas were the dominant force in India around 1857, not whether Mughals had a vast and notable empire at some point which they did.

            Second, nobody cares if you only care about North India. This post or BP is not about you.

            Third, you make every post and comment about you and India vs. Pak and Mughals vs others. People have opinions backed by fact that go against your cherished notions (which are usually not fact based and basically the group position of whatever group you belong to in that context)..Keep your sensitivity aside – it’s quite pathetic and annoying.

            Fourth, you are super predictable. If it is India vs . Pak your position is Paknationalist and you will not brook any diseenting voices. If it is Mughals vs others it is Mughal centric, if it is Hindu vs. Muslim of course….And not surprisingly when we had a Pakistani Pushtun you came down to talking about separating KPK (but keeping the land up to Attock), attacking him and Pashtuns/Afghans for being ungrateful etc..

            People have seen through you, and the last time you wrote about quitting BP, quite tellingly the only person to ask you to stay was Zach (and AnAn because he is generally quite nice to everyone).

            If anyone challenges you on something you post, you ask them to take it up with whoever it is you are quoting. (for example: “take it up with Arundhati Roy, I am just a messenger).

            You should invest in some self awareness instead of accusing others of vitiating the atmosphere here, and then trying to take the moral high group like you did in this post here.

        3. Kabir,

          Are you suggesting that importance of empire is dependent on what is offered in Advanced World History curriculum in US?!

          By this token, all Telugu people should consider Telugu translation of Bible is the most important literature rather than Nanaya, Thikkana or anyone else..

          Gosh, the measure of something being important has come to this…

          Perhaps you will apply same criteria in 20 years regarding how Pakistan is described in World History, and will you be fine if the West decides Pakistan as a place of hiding for OBL and nothing else?

          1. I am saying that the entire world knows what the Mughal Empire was. Even if they know nothing else about ancient or medieval India. Local empires don’t even enter into the picture. Just as we learned about the Safavids and the Ottomans we learned about the Mughals. These empires are of true historical importance. India was not very interesting between the end of the Guptas and the rise of the Delhi Sultanate. Perhaps South India had something going for it. But I am interested in North India.

            I understand there is great Islamophobia in Bharat these days. This post has elicited vicious commentary. BP is seriously a polarized place. The Hindu Indians on this site disparage the Mughals. The Pakistanis praise them. If the history of 500 years ago is so contentious, how are we supposed to deal with 1947?

          2. Kabir,

            You must have studied a lot of American Civil War too. Did you go around and said to every American with Confederate flag that they are racist too? Or defend that Confederate flag is a perfectly fine historical representation for a portion of Americans? It is Americans own internal matter, no?

            “The Hindu Indians on this site disparage the Mughals. The Pakistanis praise them.”

            The point is, why should Pakistanis care at all? It is up to Indians to see what to make of their own history. They can love or hate whatever they like. (e.g., Mexicans can think whatever they like about Texas, but Americans aren’t going to act according to how Mexicans think of Texas)

            Are you suggesting that Indians should define the importance of their own history based on what interests the West or Pakistanis? That would be pushing for narrative control of Indian history by non-Indians.

            Also, world history includes only American Revolution, Civil War and Second World War about the US. Does that mean Americans shouldn’t care about the Dust Bowl or Great Depression, or US-Canada War? When I discuss American history with Americans, do you recommend that I say “nothing interesting happened in America between Civil War and Second World War, as it is not in the world history curriculum”?

          3. Pakistanis care about the Mughal Empire (well maybe all Pakistanis don’t but many of us do) because it is part of our history as well. Lahore was a Mughal city and it is currently included in our nation state. The glories of Mughal Delhi are part of our heritage. Agra and Lucknow are part of our heritage. My grandmother was from Agra (this is how recent this all is). But for the contingent events of 1947, I would be an Indian citizen right now.

            Pakistanis also care about the fate of India’s Muslims because many of us have family who to this day are Indian citizens. I have relatives who stayed behind in Agra to manage the family shoe factory. They are patriotic Indians and it is painful to see how any sign of Islam is belittled in the new Hindutva India.

            As to your point about the American Civil War (As we used to call it “The Civil War”), people who display confederate flags do tend to be racist.

            Those other topics were discussed not in AP World History but in AP US History. I’m not saying they are not important, but the parts of your country’s history that are important on a global scale are different from those that are purely of local interest.

            I’m done here.

          4. Mohenjadaroo & Harappa are in Pakistan; the Taj is in India.

            The same way Phillistine is in Israel and Judea & Samaria are in Palestine. The fuzzy logic of Partition.

          5. Moenjodaro, Harrapa and the Taj are all part of Pakistan’ s heritage. We own the Mughal Empire just as much as any Indian does.

          6. Kabir our Pak/Islamic Studies is entirely focussed on our Muslim history.

            I can tell you all about Badr & Qadr but I know nothing about the Vedas.

            We own the Mughal Empire but we don’t own Indus Valley Civ, which is in our own land. The geographic disconnect is astonishing!

          7. We learned about the Indus Valley Civilization in Pak Studies at LUMS (the only time I was required to take Pak Studies having grown up in the US). The Indus Valley civilization was in the syllabus of the course I taught this semester. I didn’t design this syllabus but “Music in the Indus Valley” was a theme of one of the lectures.

            I don’t know when you took Pak Studies but at least now many Pakistanis do own the Indus Valley Civilization.

  4. As a current non Rajput with significant Rajput ancestry, it was a bit of a surprise for me too when u read up on all this..but facts are facts

  5. Zachary, I like your post!

    The Marathas were smashed in the third battle of Panipat in 1761. While marxist post modernist historians now think 80,000 to 110,000 Marathas were killed in the third battle of Panipat; I think perhaps Maratha casualties were much higher. The Marathas never recovered.

    The Mughal empire was an Iranian protectorate 1739-1747 and an Afghan protectorate 1747-1805.

  6. satya I slightly disagree with your map. You are correct on India being known for spirituality. India is also defined partly by Sufism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, music and Bollywood.

    Did you want to write about spirituality?

  7. AnAn,
    I am not too spiritual but wanted to write about the sociological aspects of how religion (in particular Shwetamber Jainism) is practiced currently, and the interaction between religion and contemporary social mores. I am not much of a writer but will try and write something over the next few weeks. Would love your take.
    On the map, can you say what you disagree with?

    1. In general I find historical maps of India to be less than impressive and they disagree with each other. The borders of Mysore are wrong for example. There is more. Maps are also inadequate. I would rather maps had notes and pages describing spheres of influence and interest for various powers.

      Please contribute on Jainism. I find Jainism and the great Jain saints to be fascinating. Many of the Jain temples in India might have more Hindus visit them than Jains!

  8. Yikes, another Mughal /India fest.

    Are there not older European heritage history writers, compared to Dalrymple.
    What are the Mughal /Maratha history writers; any translated into english

    Not seen a reference to the Kashmiri Rajatarangini, is it translated to English.

    Sri Lanka, had plenty European records, Journal’s written in the 15th century onwards.
    Most have been translated into Englis
    Fernao de Queiros, Ribeiro and Robert Knox (1681 and available online)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajatarangini

    1. The Mughals wrote their own memoirs. The Baburnama has been translated into English with an introduction by Salman Rushdie.

    2. Check out Irfan Habib, sanjay subrahmanyam/muzzafar alam’s “the mughal state”, and for an old foundational take on maratha power superseding the mughal, the work of jadunath sarkar.

  9. This was done already, but I guess periodical reminders are important.

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/03/08/no-mughals-didnt-loot-india-they-made-us-rich/#comment-5282

    Well, all the knowledge on mughals is on display here already.

    https://twitter.com/pseudoerasmus/status/874818240563863557
    “Mughal India was probably one of the most extractive regimes in history ”

    https://twitter.com/pseudoerasmus/status/890495958424973312

    “Shocking # of people believe India’s global share of GDP in 1750 was an indicator of living standards! Contrast with ”

    https://twitter.com/Parikramah/status/837077222091546624

    1. During Mughal rule, Hindu peasants who could not afford the Islamic jiziya tax would be forced to sell a son into eunuch slavery.

    https://twitter.com/Parikramah/status/837081691407667200

    https://twitter.com/Parikramah/status/837079573913300992

    Facts dont cease to exist just because you choose to ignore them.


    Europe was well on its way ahead of India.

    Leonardo da Vinci was contemporary of Babur
    1452-1519, 1483 – 1530
    Copernicus was contemporary of Humayun
    1473-1543 , 1508- 1556
    Galileo Galilei was contemporary of Akbar
    1564-1642 ,1542-1605
    Francis Bacon was contemporary of Jahangir
    1561-1626,1569 – 1627
    Descartes was contemporary of Shah Jahan
    1596-1650, 1592 -1666
    Newton was a contemporary of Aurangzeb
    1643- 1727, 1618-1707

    The only people who came close to working out the ideas of calculus was in kerala by Madhava and his school and the other place with something along lines of chemical industry was also in India.

    https://www.chemistryworld.com/opinion/the-origins-of-chemical-industry/3008292.article

    Madhava of Sangamagrama, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhava_of_Sangamagrama

    One oxford or Cambridge perhaps did more than entire Islamic contribution including mughals to India. We have gone down this route before already. Facts are clear. The only worthwhile contribution was in subjective fields like arts ,food,music, architecture. Here too one isnt sure how well would they match to wonders that did exist or would have existed.

    https://www.firstpost.com/india/world-landmarks-taj-mahal-ranks-third-after-machu-picchu-angkor-wat-916635.html

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/taj-mahal-2nd-best-unesco-world-heritage-site-after-angkor-wat/articleshow/61946063.cms

    A Hindu temple far away from India still ranks higher. As to food, It is India that was the land of spices, and it was spice race that got colonial empires interest in India to begin with. As for music, India already had an evolved music tradition and arts . It is safe to say, it was Islam which benefited from contact with India than the other way around. Harking back to Music, food ,arts, architecture of just one empire reveals incredible myopia. One would call this fanaticism .

    Ever wondered Why not much is said about scientific contribution in India by left?. Because they have a lot to hide and deflect. So people write about jonardan ganeri and logic in bengal, or romila thapar questions why kerala mathematicians didnt make progress to physics like Newton. Logic is pathetic compared to science. And progress requires a large network of people to work and kerala school was small network. Indian muslims and mughal aficionados have been a pampered lot. Having been pampered by lies, truth seems shocking.It is not the questions that have been asked that reveal the truth where left is concerned, It is the questions that have never been allowed to be asked that reveals the truth.

  10. The Yousafzai Rebellion and subsequent Pashtun wars cut off the Mughals’ supply of real Mughals, i.e modern day Uighurs and other Turkmen, and horses for the cavalry.

    It was as important an event leading to the death of the Mughal Empire as the Deccan Wars.

    No matter how skillfully the Mughals played off Pathan vs Rajput, Deccani Muslims vs Maratha Hindus, etc, they needed a steady influx of steppe-bred horses and Turks completely loyal to the Empire.

    When the Pashtun cut them off, the empire was doomed.

    Perhaps “cute and folksy” Muslim tribes around the Indus were more “sons of the soil” (like the Marathas, Jats and Ahom), and didn’t take kindly to a bunch of effete had-beens lording over them from UP?

    1. “Effete has beens”–why is everyone hating on the Mughals today? And they were “lording it over” people from Delhi. Delhi is not in the UP.

      Pakistan’s high culture is based on the Mughals and Urdu.

  11. Satya,
    I am an author on BP. You are not. I was asked to contribute to this forum. I did not come begging to anyone. You can ask to become an author. Maybe the administrators will let you. I don’t know.
    I won’t attack you personally if you don’t attack me personally. Deal? You are free not to comment on my posts. But if you insult the Dynasty, I will not take it lying down.

    1. One final thing (and then I will cease to engage with you): I think you really don’t understand what a book review is (not being an English Lit Major and all). If I am reviewing Arundhati Roy’s book, then the ideas in that book are hers. I am simply stating what I think of them.

      If someone doesn’t like Roy’s ideas, they should take it up with her. What do you expect me to do about it?

      Have a nice life.

      1. Once again, a book review is simply supposed to state whether the reviewer thinks the book in question is well-written or worth reading. I was not quoting Roy to support my position. I was describing her book. If you had actually read my review, you would have realized that I never said it was a particularly good book.

        Thanks for telling me to be more self-aware (though who you are to give me any kind of advice, I have no idea. I don’t know you from Adam). But perhaps that is advice we should all take.

        1. Yes we should all take that advice – want everyone to tone it down including you K if you don’t mind pls bud.

    2. Satya makes very worthwhile and unique contributions and BP is always honoured by its commentariat (authors too). If he wants to be an author he only need say the word..

      We don’t want an echo chamber for any one opinion

      1. I deleted Bharatha’s latest post since I won’t accept any “goodbye posts” anymore on BP. It’s unnecessarily melodramatic (mea Culpa). Bharatha

        It is not a liberal or a person of left who would have a problem with the use of the term of “Genocide” with respect to 1971 . Because it was a Genocide. It is an islamist who takes umbrage at this. Genocide denial is unacceptable.

        ‘Yet you went and called 1971 ( a civil war in which Pakistan’s enemy helped dismember Pakistan) a “genocide”. I am not allowing that.’

        This from mr Kabir on “Indian Psychosis”.

        And I am leaving this place for the same reason. I wont share platform with those in denial of genocide in Bangladesh . This is the reason why most people are completely losing trust in ideas like “liberalism” or “left”. If people can pass themselves off as being liberal because they vote democrats in USA,throws hands up and says that’s the state of affairs in pakistan, is ever so worried about Hindutva in India and is in denial of genocide in Bangladesh. Thank you to Mr. @Omarali50 for the opportunity.

        And to mr @anan, for you to say this isnt so is immoral as well.

        1. It is my right to decide what gets posted under my threads (if I understand the policy). Only people whose comments cannot be deleted are the admins.

          I refuse to have 1971 called a “genocide”. It was a civil war between East and West Pakistan. Pakistan’s enemy, India, saw a chance to intervene and to dismember United Pakistan and kill the Two Nation Theory once and for all. Indira Gandhi decided to go for it. Otherwise, East Pakistan would still be Pakistani territory today. I’m not defending what the (West) Pakistani Army did in East Pakistan, but genocide is a provocative word.

          How dare anyone call me an “Islamist”? I demand an apology for that smear.

          Bharata is an adult. If he wants to leave BP it’s up to him. If I don’t have absolute control over my own threads, I will leave as well. I don’t need to put up with this kind of bullshit (Sorry for being blunt).

          I respect you deeply Zach, but this blog has serious issues. People always seem to be at each other’s throats. This calls for some introspection.

          1. I am simply “advising, warning and encouraging.”

            We all need to take a chill pill, including me, since BP is a learning zone. Blogs are necessarily controversial but I also think a thread on the “Indian psychosis” is unnecessarily provocative (why not the Hindutva psychosis etc since India by and large is a secular democracy).

            Everyone is entitled to their interpretations of 1971.

            I am also tired of everyone threatening to leave; it’s not mature and doesn’t qualify for reasoned debate.

            Personal insults should be set aside but opinions should be free and unfettered. I don’t see any serious issue with BP; it’s simply because we are a very broad (too broad) church.

          2. Oh so anyone (including non-Pakistanis) can throw around “Pakistani Psychosis” but “Indian Psychosis” is unnecessarily provocative? Nice double standard you’ve got going. Perhaps you should think about why that is.

            Anyway, I’m firm on this. You insult my country or my God and I will push back. I will not stand for Rasul-Allah (pbuh) to be insulted. I will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to be insulted.

            You don’t want me on your blog, just say the word. The internet is a vast place.

          3. Patrie & Dieu are important to all and you are welcome to defend them.

            Yes and I do think there is a very qualified difference between India & Pakistan.

            I love the Mughals but they are long-dead; the Pakistani government actively relegate its minorities to second class citizens.

            The Indian government does not.

            And that’s not normal.

          4. The Indian Government (the current regime) treats Muslims like crap.

            If you will allow people to disrespect me, I will have no choice but to go. I like you but not enough to put up with this kind of nonsense.

          5. It’s great that you don’t tolerate disrespect. So I need an apology for being called an “Islamist” ( I am the furthest thing from an Islamist and I will not tolerate that smear). Some of the things that Satya wrote above (comments which you allowed to go through) were also highly patronizing. I don’t have time to pull out individual sentences.

            Something needs to change around here or you will lose me. Your choice.

          6. Yes Bharatha was wrong to call you an Islamist and on his behalf I apologise.

            I allowed both Satya’s and VIKRAM’s comments to go through because I had to weigh against freedom of expression. I apologise on their behalf too ..

          7. There is no reason for you to apologize. The people who stepped out of line need to apologize.

            As a general rule, things start to degenerate when people start calling each other’s education “half decent” or calling each other “pathetic”. I apologize for responding in kind, but when people are attacked they tend to fight back.

            I have no interest in engaging with Bharata, Satya, Vikram or other “Internet Hindus”. Enjoy your blog Zach, but I’m out.

  12. Kabir –
    I have no interest in personal attacks. Having said that, Mughals or Islamicate culture are not holy cows for me – I will continue to comment and respond as I deem fit. If that goes against your cherished notions, we can have a debate or an argument (or not).

    I have never commented on your posts and nor do I intend to.

    Lastly, regarding the Arundhati Roy comment, if you quote someone to support your position, then you can’t just run away when someone challenges the premise/argument of that quote…That is drive by shooting.

    1. How interesting that you, a Hindu, use the phrase “holy cow”. Your phrase not mine.

      You guys are welcome to this blog. I don’t need this constant Hindu disparagement of Islam and Islamic culture. I have other priorities in my life and I earn no money for what I write here.

      Hail Lord Modi!

  13. Kabir is not an Islamist. My definition of Islamist:
    (1) someone who believes in taking over global society, even if over the very long run through nonviolent means
    (2) (1) plus someone who is close to (1) but engages in the mass slaughter of minority or liberal muslims because they do not subscribe to extreme parts of the theology of Ibn Taymiyyah

    In general people should lay off Kabir.

    Kabir . . . life is short. Live life. Enjoy life. Please let others write as they choose. What possible difference does it make? Why get offended? You sometimes express yourself strongly and with force; which causes others to respond to you with similar and opposite force. Bhaiji, Shant hojayeh. Prem Bhagavan heh. Love is Allah.

    Bharata, please stay. We agree about what the Pakistani Army did to Bengalis. I would call it a brutal and harsh civil war that killed hundreds of thousands. I think post modernists so overuse the word “genocide” that it loses meaning. This is why I don’t consider most “genocides” to be genocides. I very much enjoy your insights and wisdom.

    1. I can only control my own threads where I have repeatedly said that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will not be insulted and Islam will not be insulted. Other than that you are free to say whatever.

      Other people’s threads are their own concern. There are certain people whose comments I don’t want to read and whose names I don’t want to see. I find the “Internet Hindus” extremely toxic and they know who they are. Life is short as you said, so no time for toxicity.

  14. Zachary, the military history facts are clear on this.. the British conquered India piecemeal and defeated many local nawabs and princes, but the single biggest power they faced (and had the most difficulty subduing) was indeed the Marathas. They never got into a fight with Ranjit Singh, partly because they knew he was at least a match for the company army. They took Punjab (and its appendages, included the part of Afghanistan now included in Pakistan because of this) from Ranjit Singh’s successors, and even though the Sikh Kingdom was falling apart in civil war, it was not an easy win for the Company army.
    That said, the other states that gave them trouble include Mysore (so you can feel better about the Muslim pride side here), but the Mughal remnants gave them no trouble at all (one battle, Buxar, decided the issue).
    Pound for pound, no one gave them as much trouble as Nepal, so there is something to be said for the Gurkhas.
    You can read this post http://www.brownpundits.com/2017/01/05/martial-races-theory-myths-and/ for some related information.
    I would humbly suggest not getting too worked up about Hindutva-vadi pride and its issues (and vice versa). The facts are out there..

    1. Omar, the English didn’t defeat the Marathas. The Marathas fought two civil wars where the English supported side won. The English supported side was massively in debt to the English. Most of the Maratha empire was neutral in the third Maratha English war. Marathas won the war for England. In general Indians fought and won wars for England.

      Nationalism and independence only happened, much later. Initially Indians didn’t have a big problem with the English.

  15. // There is no real Maratha period in India history; the popular history is a handover from Mughal to British. //

    Here is the news report how Maratha Empire became a real thing, just few years ago after rare documents about it were found in UK before that it was all scattered proofs but the UK archive provided the missing framework to conclude that there indeed was a Maratha empire.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Devendra-Fadnavis/articleshow/45839287.cms – After 200 years, rare Maratha Empire papers found in UK (title)

    http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsFarEast/IndiaMarathas.htm

    https://microform.digital/boa/collections/20/taking-india-how-the-military-established-company-rule-1752-1774

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_the_Maratha_Confederacy

    Maratha empire was indeed there but with a Mughal Vessel at top {maybe to maintain the hold of such large area with less army men & to keep the regional revolutionary qualms to the minimum} as Shashi tharoor puts it.

    1. Deep, the Mughal empire was at best a joint protectorate of the Afghans and Marathas. The Afghans smashed the Marathas in the third battle of Panipat in 1761.

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