I observe a moratorium on all electronics between dinner and bedtime but I’ve commandeered V’s laptop (with her permission) to express my profound outrage. I’m also sorry to detract attention from the excellent Episode 10.
“Rather like the British in India, the Romans in Germany found a patchwork of warring statelets and imposed upon it, for their own convenience, the notion of a single vast Nation. Like the British, they then created for this invented land a class of semi-acculturated leaders from whom they expected loyalty.”
I just tweeted him this link but this coloniser has no shame in writing such ahistorical filth and must be called out. Any reading of Indian history shows that there has always been an intrinsic geographic identity that stems back as far as IVC and that centralised authority has existed twice (in the Maurya dynasty and the Mughals) pre-British (I was going through the Numismatics podcasts).
I’m absolutely livid and this is the problem with Britain not atoning for the Rape of India. The book has got sparking reviews from all the usual suspects but it’s passages like this that deeply underscore the need for Brown Pundits, BrownCast and a uniquely desi voice. To deny Indians* any agency in our own identity formation (when Indian civilisation ranks as one of the World’s Greats) and that somehow it was a “white man’s burden” is so insulting and in it’s off-hand nature so belittling that I’m at a loss for words.
*I use Indians as shorthand for all desi/brown people; even Pakistanis ascribe to such an identity of sorts but with obviously a different slant, our India is found in Akbar.
Ps: As I wrote this post what also occurred to me is this Coloniser’s breathtaking condescension in referring to India’s 17th-19th century political entities as “statelets.” Statelets mean “small states” (Principalities and such) and even the small Indian political states (the Maratthas, the Sikhs and what not) would have dwarfed the European powers by population, geography and in many cases history. This is cloaked language and psychological penmanship, this was an entirely unnecessary paragraph that geniunely calls for an apology.
PPs: Upon ruminating further it occurred to me that it is so shameful to compare the uncivilised Germanic tribes in 100 BC to Indian Kingdoms in 1700AD. The analogy is simply derogatory because how could uncivilised Germanic tribes compare to the sophistication and grandeur of the Indian Kingdoms in any possible way?
PPPs: Just as Germans would approach their history in a careful manner (one German presenter was immediately fired for suggesting that at least the Nazis constructed the autobahns) it may be wise for Colonisers to be more reticent whenever they mention the Rape of India.