Did the Brits “Indianise” the NorthWest?

66 Comments

I was picking up the comment thread on the linguistics podcast. To my mind there are some inconsistencies about modern-day Pakistan:

(1.) Ever since MBQ conquered Sindh in 712; Sindh has remained under Muslim rule. When it did have local rule it was essentially a tussle between the Baloch and Muslim Rajputs, which has replicated itself to this day. Benazir Bhutto is of Rajput ancestry (Bhatt) while her husband Zardari is a Baloch. The Hindu minority were either merchants or serfs and as far as I know the caste Hindus of Sindh are a basically heteregenous lot (there is only one Brahmin surname among the Amils and the castes tends to have strong geographic regions).

(2.) As for Baluchistan and KPK; It’s basically seen the incursion of Iranian speakers the past millennia or so.

So the real question left is Punjab (the 5th major Indus region Kashmir is out of scope).

In a way because the British did the “inverted” invasion route (from Bengal to Punjab); it re-Indianised the Northwest.

(1.) The creation of Hindi (under British patronage) as an alternative language galvanised the Urdu-speakers of UP. Pakistan (both East & Western wings) essentially benefited middle class Urdu speakers in the search for government jobs. Beyond ideological reasons there were serious economic benefits in a separate nation.

(2.) The Canal colonies of the Punjab (and Sindh) which brought cultivators and agriculturalists from Central and Eastern Punjab (which was historically the more populated and rain-fed parts) into Western Punjab. The striking similarity of Punjab to Hindustani is probably down to Ranjit Singh’s armies but the Canal Colonies “solidified” the role of Majha Punjab on the Western Punjabi territories. Hazara, Seraiki, Potwari and Mirpuri are all examples of this ghost Lahnda language, which merged with the Hindi dialect continuum to create the Lahore-Amritsar prestige language.

It is striking that in an intensely linguistic Pakistan (Sindhis & Pashtuns particularly) Punjabis do not evidence the same linguistic passion. While this may be some function of Pakistani state building with additional reasons (Punjabis being the dominant ethnicity cannot be seen to impose their culture and Seraiki regionalism) this has deeper reasons, where Punjabiyat in a Muslim setting transcends language.

Additionally the Sikhs & Hindus of West Punjab have historically been identical to the Hindus of Sindh (the Sindhi Hindus of course also follow Sikh teaching upto a certain number of gurus). The Sikhs and Hindus are predominantly merchant caste Khatris (the Jats of Punjab had either converted to Islam or Sikhism depending on the geographic contour) with Dalit populations (in the Punjab some of these populations became Christian with some high caste leaders).

I don’t want to get into the politics of it because what we mean by Hinduism, Hindu and Hindi has transformed over time (for instance Ramcharitmanas was in the Awadhi language but is that Hindi literature).

Furthermore this isn’t to make a geopolitical statement whether or not Pakistan belongs to a certain region. My own opinion is that the Greater Indus Valley (AfPak with parts of India) is probably the “Islamicate wing” of India or the “Indian plains” of the Ummah.. As a refugium for Urdu it’s served its basic purpose but it needs to re-engage with India to really grow and thrive. It’s the conflict between these two identities that make Pakistan such an interesting and tormented nation.

As an aside with regards to the linguistic podcast, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing, I found it interesting when Shoaib mentioned that when the Hindu Brahmin wanted to create their own Hindi language in the late 19th century there was serious discussion about Braj being used as the standard instead of Khari Boli.

This was because Lord Krishna was born in the Braj region and it was historically the language of Bhakit & Hindu devotional songs. If that had been the case it would have probably avoided Partition. That’s because Hindi and Urdu would have really been two separate languages, identities and histories.

However the decision to Hindufy Khari Boli (whatever that means since KB didn’t actually exist but is speculated to have exist, there is Hindustani) meant that Hindi was able to “piggyback” on Urdu’s rich tradition and emerge as a doppelganger.

Finally there is a lot of labelling confusion as I alluded to earlier and the earlier inhabitants of the Subcontinent are to blame for it. It seems that they weren’t especially bothered to record and write their history; to the credit of the Muslims (and later Abrahamics) who were almost fastidious in recording everything.

This may be the pagan-Dharmic tendency for a more amorphous approach towards the rigidly linear Abrahamic approach to history. I don’t mind either way but I do feel that Saffron-washing of history (especially Muslim history; the Turkic invaders is a misnomer since it divides Mohammad Bin Qasim from Allaudin Khilji and disrupts the unity of the history) is almost as bad as the flip side, which is that Islam is a religion of Peace.

It would be healthy if Muslims began to internalise just how shit a religion Islam is so that a true reformation can begin. Islam is one of the few religions that has aggressively expanded through conquest, it may not have done conversion by the sword but almost immediately on conversion its followers went on to conquer a huge Arab Empire.

It does stand to reason that maybe Islam was retrofitted to fit the Arab conquests but then there isn’t any serious study of it because it’s all cloaked in hysteria and Muslims tend to hyper-ventilate at any serious critique of their cult.

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66 Replies to “Did the Brits “Indianise” the NorthWest?”

  1. For better or for worse, Pakistan is not about Urdu but about Islam. It was founded as a homeland for the Muslims of British India. Of course, Muslim was defined in an ethnic/national sense rather than a strictly religious one. 70 years have passed since then and post Zia-ul-Haq, the country has increasingly been defined by Islam. Many people consider themselves Muslim first and Pakistani afterwards (which is not necessarily healthy). Personally, I think we should focus on a territorial nationalism which incorporates non-Muslim minorities. But the genie is out of the bottle.

    I don’t see any “re-engagement” with an increasingly aggressively Hindu India. The two countries have moved too far apart. In any case, the Modi regime has no desire to constructively engage with Pakistan.

    “Islam is one of the few religions that has aggressively expanded through conquest”– How do you think the New World became Christian?

    Finally, calling a religion a “cult” is quite offensive.

    1. Any organized religion is a “cult”. Just like the 3 desert death cults of the west minor cults exist east too! (e,g: hare krishnas)

  2. “Islam is one of the few religions that spread by conquest”.

    All religions (and ideologies generally) do this. Hinduism never spreads without Aryan invasions and conquests of India. Same visa-vis the Roman (and later European) internal Crusades that destroyed earlier/folk religions to an extent not seen anywhere else in the world. That’s to say nothing of the colonial-era.

    “Invaders is a misnomer”

    Its just used incorrectly by Hindus (often intentionally), as a code-word for Muslims. Babur and Humayan were foreign invaders. The rest of the Mughal emperors were not. Qutb Aibak was a foreign invader (founder of Delhi Sultanate), the various Sultanates that arose in the former’s wake throughout India were not (some being ruled by Indian converts to Islam even).

    1. Are you the Pakistani Anan?

      You throw a lot of things up in the air, and never back them up any where. As in ” Hinduism never spreads without Aryan invasions and conquests of India”.

      There is no real clarity if the Aryans and Hinduism is congruent, or Aryans added a layer onto Hinduism, and even the most fervent Hindus on this site will be reluctant to claim the Aryan overlay is = Hinduism. I am the most Dravidan of the commenters with broad sympathy to Muslims and Christians (it is fairly well known that in the South, Islam and Christianity did not get the invaders push to convert), and even I will not paint in such broad strokes. The problem in making such leaps of faith is that you pretty much become the one who you mock, but from the other side.

      1. When one is so far outside the mainstream ideoligically (as most Hindus are on this topic), reasonable statements like mine become controversial. Its the same visavis Muslims and certain topics.

        The Aryans brought the Vedic religion and early Sanskrit, which spread parallel to their conquests. These are the basis of Hinduism. These did not exist in India before the Aryans brought them.

        1. LMAO. Even after being apprised multiple times you still spout this nonsense. Please read the Rig Veda and compare it to the modern practices and beliefs of mainstream Hinduism. In fact, compare the Rig Veda with the Bhagavad Gita. If you think the two are similar I will eat my hat.

        2. the connection you make btwn vedic ppl and hinduism is quite analogous to hindutva types. it’s interesting.

          i think we should bracket out the term ‘hinduism’ to AFTER 500 BC. i think hinduism i arguably less aryan than aryan, though with religion how can u quantify easily?

          interestingly didn’t on another thread you kind of support the proposition that hinduism was created as an identity by the british?

          1. INDTHINGS is not from a Hindu background, so he really has no clue of what mainstream Hinduism involves. Just what he has read in non-objective history books and articles. Or a synthesis of his own imagination.

            I’ve recently read Tony Joesph’s book and although overall it is a great piece of work, (possibly the best on prehistoric India), it has some glaring biases which can be really annoying. I get that non-Hindus are treated badly by these Hindutva fanatics, but there is no need to obfuscate history. Calling blatant Hindu influences as ‘Indian’ is just pathetic.

          2. Modern Hindu identity is an artificial British construct. Hinduism itself is not.

            Similar to modern Islamism being a colonial era reactionary movement, but not Islam itself.

            I consider the Vedas the inseparable core of Hinduism because Hindus do. Also, this appears to be the most authentic way to view Hinduism. Similar to the Quran and Islam.

            Obviously both religions are more than their primordial texts, Hinduism more so than Islam.

          3. “I consider the Vedas the inseparable core of Hinduism because Hindus do. Also, this appears to be the most authentic way to view Hinduism.”

            Razib has already this answered this perfectly. It does not matter what people ‘think’, it matters what is objectively true.

            The Rig Veda or the pure Arya derived aspects of Hinduism are no where near the core of modern Hinduism. The Kalash religion is probably more closer to the original Arya religion than modern Hinduism.

          4. Karan,

            We’ve discussed this before. Differences between core religious texts and later additions are less important when the latter was concieved as expressions of the former.

            This will be my last comment, don’t want to derail the thread

        3. If you are going to hold the view that the descendants of Babur are Indian by virtue of being born in the subcontinent, then how can you say that the early Vedas (namely, the Rig Veda Samhita) and Vedic Sanskrit are exogenous to the subcontinent?

          The earliest Vedic Sanskrit already shows the influence of Dravidian (or Munda) languages that were likely spoken in the northwestern part of the subcontinent. The geography described in the earliest Vedic scripture, the Rig Veda Samhita, refer to the geography of the northwestern part of the subcontinent. Accordingly, it would seem that the earliest recorded history of the Vedic religion and Vedic Sanskrit took place in the subcontinent. Moreover, based on the linguistic substratum in the earliest layers of Vedic Sanskrit, it would appear that it was produced after some mixing with locals had already occurred.

          This doesn’t even get into the point that the early Vedic religion, defined by texts like the Rig Veda Samhita, have little bearing on what we recognize as Hinduism. If we look at the ‘standard model of Hinduism’, the Rig Veda Samhita is, at best, nominally acknowledged as a nascent element.

          Also worth noting that even if we are limiting the focus solely to the Vedic religion and not Hinduism, the bulk of the Vedic texts – the Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda; the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads – were produced later on and further to the east.

    2. All religions (and ideologies generally) do this. Hinduism never spreads without Aryan invasions and conquests of India.

      i may write a post on this. there are differences in details, but i think it is true that islam is not qualitatively any different due to the importance of power and hegemony in all the ‘high religions’ and their spread.

      1. That may be true for Christianity, but Hinduism is qualitatively different. Hinduism is deeply exclusionary. While Islam “nudges” and “coerces” masses towards the religion of power elites, Hinduism drives away.

        Case in point – Bajirao Peshwa, who couldn’t get his own son from a Muslim courtesan accepted as a Hindu. (he had to be christened as a Muslim). And this was not a one-off incident. Indian history is full of such anecdotes. Children of Muslims concubines and Hindu princes were always, as a rule, brought up as Muslims.

        Iron clad caste endogamy of Hinduism has ensured that it remained highly exclusionary

        1. That may be true for Christianity, but Hinduism is qualitatively different. Hinduism is deeply exclusionary. While Islam “nudges” and “coerces” masses towards the religion of power elites, Hinduism drives away.

          this is conditional on muslim domination and hindu/indian reactions.

          i call in cultural involution. it protects the group.

          you see this explicitly and clearly with jews. when jews were a powerful group who could spread their religion and impose it, they did. jewish attitudes about conversion only changed under xtianity and islam, when their attempts to increase in that way could have resulted in horrible repercussions.

          in israel jews are starting to take a more expansive view (eg a lot of the russians and ethiopians are marginally jewish).

          what is customary and traditional is often new and reactionary. eg brahmins don’t go over water. but we have lots and lots of genetic evidence they migrated in large numbers to southeast asia before 1000 AD.

          a lot of the stuff about hinduism is reducible to caste endogamy. is caste endogamy constitutive to hinduism? not for me to say.

          1. There is some truth in the observation that Hinduism’s exclusionary tendency is basically a defense mechanism. However, I still doubt if Hinduism has ever been as coercive as Islam. At best it was probably couldn’t-care-less-if-people-join-it-or-not kind of religion.

            Anyway, interesting tidbit – during a brief period in its early history even Islam was exclusionary! I believe during an early Caliph’s reign (may be Umar), it was forbidden for non-Arabs to convert to Islam. Islam was thought of as the religion of Arabs, as Zoroastrianism for Iranians. It should have stayed that way. Islam is really a deeply Arab religion. It just does not hang well on non-Arabs.

        2. The Peshwas were Brahmins. It suits Brahmin privilege to be exclusionary. Would, say, a caste Maratha Peshwa be as exclusionary ? Unlikely but who can say for sure ?

          1. i think you highlighted the salient aspect. brahmin prestige is is a scarce commodity. i looked up the individual mentioned above and there was a lot of politics involved in not allowing him to be raised as a brahmin.

          2. Regarding Marathas and Brahmins, is India an exception in the sense that traditionally non-elite groups like Marathas (not a dvija caste) and Sikhs (mostly Jat) had a genuine shot at power in the pre modern era ?

            If true, it is interesting to speculate if Muslim dynasties were a factor in this development. The traditional elites, especially Kshatriya and Vaishya were coopted in the Mughal dynasty, while Brahmins did not have inclination to venture into politics. This could have left the door open for the upwardly mobile, but non elite castes like the Marathas to stake a claim for power with the support of the Hindu mass.

          3. Razib, even today Rajniti or politics and military affairs are regarded as Kshatriya dharma.

            Having Brahmins in politics, or military affairs in the 1600s and 1700s would be deeply controversial at that time.

            Vikram,

            many of the great saints, masters and brahmins in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, 18 Mahapuranas, Vedas, Brahmin and Jain scriptures, other old stories, were not born Brahmin.

            They were “promoted” to Brahmin later in life. In some cases not even that. They were just regarded as great masters in their own right.

            But they did not yield military, judicial, economic or political power generally speaking. For thousands of years Brahmins involving themselves in politics and military affairs was frowned upon.

            I think you are defining power in a military or economic or political or judicial sense? If so, then power has always been in the hands of non Brahmins. Brahmins for thousands of years were suppose to live a life of relative poverty.

            Most history textbooks and articles are written by marxists or post modernists that do not understand the culture of the people they are writing about.

            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            Razib, I would use the phrase:
            “Jati endogamy” rather than “caste endogamy”. The word caste did not exist until Portuguese invented it.

            There was both Jati and Varna. Jatis moved between Varnas with some fluidity. Albeit politics played a role in the movement between Varnas.

            However there was “Jati endogamy” with respect to marriage.

            Varna and Jati were regarded as very different things before the Europeans arrived in large numbers.

          4. Razib,

            I don’t think “brahmin prestige” in a generic sense meant much. The prestige of specific subgroups of dvijas (those with sacred thread . . . vaishya, kshatriya, brahmin) might have changed relative to each other. Sampradayas, Panths, paramparas had prestige. But I don’t think people would have understood the concept of an entire Varna or tri varna (three varna) having prestige.

            In other words some specific subgroups of Brahmins might have had prestige (Kashi brahmins for example) while other subgroups of self described Brahmins had less prestige.

            And again we must remember that great sampradayas from around SAARC use to give sacred threads to exceptional people who were not born into them. Maybe you consider this conversion. Or maybe you consider this making someone a Brahmin. But each order retained the right to give sacred threads to those they regarded as worthy.

            Their power to do this came from many sections of the shastras, including the story of Satyakama Jabala from Chandogya Upanishad from the Samaveda:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3MRACCHikQ

            If an organization created incompetent non merit based dvija varna, that might reflect badly on the sampradaya.

            Why would a Peshwa want to a Brahmin verses Kshatriya dvija?

  3. “Benazir Bhutto is of Rajput ancestry (Bhatt)”

    Zach are you sure about this, because afaik Bhatt(also spelled Bhat and rechristened Bhattacharya in Bengal) is a Brahmin surname across India? So I doubt that Benazir ji must have had Rajput ancestry.

  4. Bhutto is from Bhaati, a Rajasthani Rajput clan not from Bhatt which is Brahmin all over India, including in Kashmir, which has lots of Muslims with the surname Butt (Kashmiri version of Bhatt).

    1. Rajasthani bhāTī, Punjabi bhaTTī, Sindhi bhuTTo, Pahari baTT (casually written as butt) are all cognates of the same word in 4 separate Indo-Aryan Prakrits.

      These are all designations of Rajputs and ultimately from Skt bhaTa (soldier, mercenary). The words should not be confused with Skt bhaTTa, the appellation of Brahmins.

      1. @Slapstik
        Does the name of Tibetan Bhotia tribe ( and also the country name Bhutan) derive from the same root? Can it be a loan word from Sanskrit?

        1. Scorpion Eater,
          “The word Bhotiya comes from the classical Tibetan name for Tibet, Bod.”-From Wikipedia page of the Tibetan tribe.
          Though I request Slapstik ji to illuminate further.

  5. I think you are overthinking the Hindu-Urdu thing. With growing “global” consciousness among educated Hindus in the 19th century, people probably just wanted a link language for the subcontinent that was not written in Nastaliq. At least that’s my guess. The Sanskritic accretions rolled in afterward.

  6. “If that had been the case it would have probably avoided Partition. ”

    Nothing could have avoided partition, its the best thing to happen to subcontinent, albeit the scars are due to its shoddy implementation and sort of “not going far enough” , which has resulted in two (and now three) dis-satisfied countries

  7. An alternate history where the British never annex the region that comprises today’s Pakistan, and this region’s majority Muslim population becomes a part of greater Afghanistan is not implausible. After all, what is today’s Pakistan was a part of the Durrani empire, which existed in the 19th century, with Dari, a dialect of Persian as the official language.

    Pashtuns, especially Punjabi Pashtuns, rather than Urdu Mohajirs could have emerged as the elite population in such a setting.

    The real reason why Pakistani elites, once so insistent on proving a Arabo-Persian cultural and genealogical provenance, now protest their ‘South Asianness’ is the English language. They know that this is the network to be in today. India, however hostile, provides a possible entry point to that network. This is something that Afghanistan, Iran and even Saudi Arabia cannot provide, no matter how much money they have.

    1. Punjab, east of Indus was with the local powers even during Durrani’s rule (and later Mughal empire) , with fluctuating either as an independent entity or with high local autonomy . The Pakistan (and Peshwar) which Brits(and Pakistan) inherited had to do with Ranjit Singh, and by the time Ranjit Singh rose , Afghan power had already receded significantly. So had Brits never annexed the region it would have been a dominant small sikh ruling elite over majority muslims to 1947 (similar to Kashmir, Hyderabad, Bhopal)

      “They know that this is the network to be in today. India, however hostile, provides a possible entry point to that network. ”

      I think Pakistan independently (of India) has an entry point to the anglo-world , and perhaps its India which is the late entrant (but a current favorite) , but rewind to the 60s-70s ,Pakistan was the “English-country” and not India.

      1. Rajmohan Gandhi’s book on Punjab’s late medieval/early modern history clearly points out that the Muslim population of the Sikh empire was not thrilled about non-Muslim rule, and repeated calls were made for Afghans and other Muslim powers to intervene.

        Sikhs could have continued to rule, but they would have been an extremely small minority, and would have needed British support. The Brits could have agreed to let the emirate of Afghanistan (which anyways claimed Peshawar) to rule Pakistan in exchange for support against the Russians.

        1. Yes no one was (thrilled) , but i doubt there was any substantial Muslim power to really threaten the sikh (apart from the Brits) . The muslims/afghans ( Barelvi etc ) also tried but every time they were mostly beaten back. By the time Ranjit Singh died, the Sikh empire financially and militarily in a better position than Afghanistan (or any muslim power) .

          Just like Afghanistan became the buffer state (b/w Russia and Brits) , Punjab could have been the buffer state b/w the afghan and Brits, had they not fell like a house of cards after Singh’s death. Any modicum of continuity would have resulted in “client state” (like Hyderabad et all) rather than total annexation. For the Brits , afghans were mostly a headache and they would have happily “outsourced” this to sikhs to keep the “hordes at the gates”

          1. Muslims were 80% of the Sikh Empire. No outside power was needed, as had the local Muslim population decided to revolt en mass, the Sikhs wouldn’t last a week.

          2. The Afghans came out with more credit against the British than any Indian power could manage. They were definitely not as weak as you are suggesting. National consciousness also seems to have been much stronger in the Afghan emirate than the Sikh Empire, which was majority Muslim.

            Brits did not feel the need for a buffer with the Afghans. They tried to conquer it and failed. They fought three wars to this end.

          3. Vikram, we must disagree about Afghanistan. The Afghans were similar to the Nizam in how they dealt with the English.

            The English influenced the Afghan monarchy more than they influenced the Nizam . . . I would argue.

            The Afghan monarchy for the most part ruled with little opposition from 1855 to 1919.

            The Second Anglo-Afghan War posed a temporary challenge to England’s Afghan allies and the Indian Army.

            the battle of Maiwand was a one off against a very badly outnumbered Indian Army contingent.

            The English backed Afghan monarchy (and India in general) believed they were entitled to independence because of their invaluable help in WWI.

            The Afghan monarchy made a declaration and attempted to fight the Indian Army. The Indian Army easily routed the royal forces. And the English signed a new treaty with the Afghan royal family, the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919.

            Some say that the royal family was independent of the English from 1919 onwards. But did the English influence in Afghanistan change after 1919 compared to 1855-1919? Unclear.

            In many ways Afghan royalty ruled Afghanistan mostly undisturbed between 1855 and 1973 (albeit with heavy English influence for most of that period.)

            Many parts of British India were ruled directly by the crown from 1858 to 1948. Many other parts were ruled by mostly independent states allied with the English. Afghanistan, Neptal, Bhutan, Balochistan, Nizam, Sikhim, Mysore, Cochin, Kashmir, Rajputana confederacy etc.

            Why would you consider the Afghan royalty to be appreciably different from the other Indian allied states?

            https://www.google.com/search?q=india+map+1900&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0obLH5vbhAhXqIDQIHaSzBdcQ_AUIDigB&biw=1920&bih=969#imgrc=SOpl9nFQ4QK8TM:

          4. “No outside power was needed, as had the local Muslim population decided to revolt en mass, the Sikhs wouldn’t last a week.”

            Well that thinking is what got Bareilvi killed in the first place.

            “Brits did not feel the need for a buffer with the Afghans. They tried to conquer it and failed. ”

            The Brits “tried” to conquer the Afghans the same way they sort of conquered Burma/Nepal. A war which they never wanted to be in the first place. This sort of myth making as “Graveyard of empires” and all is just myth making to bolster your own. For the Brits the cost-benefit to “conquer” Afghanistan was just too high and they were rather happy that the afghans just be were they are and not invade India and better if somehow they become sort of Puppets of Brits. At no point they were trying to annex Afghanistan.

            “The Duke of Wellington speaking in the House of Lords condemned the invasion, saying that the real difficulties would only begin after the invasion’s success, predicating that Anglo-Indian force would rout the Afghan tribal levy, but then find themselves struggling to hold on given the terrain of the Hindu Kush mountains and Afghanistan had no modern roads, calling the entire operation “stupid” given that Afghanistan was a land of “rocks, sands, deserts, ice and snow”.”

          5. Saurav,

            What are you specifically talking about regarding, “Barelvi”? Surely not Syed Barelvi, a Hindustani who tried to foment Islamic-revival in west-Punjab, but was largely ignored and then chased out by the Pathans and Dards, before being executed by the Sikhs. By the time he died at Balakot, he had maybe 200 followers.

            Not at all an uprising of the Muslims of Punjab (who again, would wash the Sikhs away in an instant if so prompted). The Sikhs were cognizant of this (as previous Muslim rulers in India were cognizant of their precarious position), and did their best to not unduly antagonize the Punjabi-Muslim.

          6. Has there ever been a Muslim-Punjabi uprising?

            There was a pretty fevered one against a polio drive about 10 years back.

  8. “I think Pakistan independently (of India) has an entry point to the anglo-world”

    This could have happened if Pakistan had let its Christian and Parsi minorities flourish. English in India is deeply related to Christianity, even today quality English medium education is very much associated with Christian/missionary schools.

    Independent organizations rate India’s English proficiency in the high category (almost), and it is certainly more than high in the major urban areas. Pakistan is rated in the ‘low category’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EF_English_Proficiency_Index

    Note that this is for the general population. Of course, the elite in both countries is essentially an Anglo elite, fully fluent in English (often only English) and completely immersed in the Anglo world. But in India, there is a layer of English proficiency beyond this elite, a huge number who can ‘use English’.

    Indian students in UAE go to Indian schools to be English fluent, Pakistani students have to go to international schools.
    https://www.dawn.com/news/813614
    Heck, the Japanese are sending their kids to CBSE schools in Tokyo to learn English.
    https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/in-japan-local-students-flock-to-indian-schools-to-learn-english/

  9. Saurav
    APRIL 30, 2019 AT 3:29 AM

    “For the Brits the cost-benefit to “conquer” Afghanistan was just too high and they were rather happy that the afghans just be were they are and not invade India and better if somehow they become sort of Puppets of Brits. At no point they were trying to annex Afghanistan”

    Do you believe that the English conquered?:
    —Afghanistan
    —Neptal
    —Bhutan
    —Balochistan
    —Nizam
    —Sikhim
    —Mysore
    —Cochin
    —Kashmir
    —Rajputana confederacy

    I am trying to understand your comment.

  10. For most part Brits conquered what they can . Of course it didnt always go according to the plan. For Burma for example , they came in initially support of Assamese (who were there protectorate )who were being invaded by the Burmese, now the Brits saw the opportunity not just to drive the Burmese back ,realizing how weak the Burmese were, invading Burma itself, a classic smash and grab.

    That;s why i differentiate these (Afghanistan,Burma, Nepal) campaigns with lets say their fight against the sikhs, which even when they signed a treaty with Ranjit Singh , the brits always wanted (and had plans) for Punjab.

  11. Bhutto has etymologically the same roots as the Bhatti clan of Rajputs found in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, and not Bhatt/ Bhat as stated here.

    Other [Sindhi Muslim] Rajput clan names show similar type of inflection compared to their more-widely-known Punjabi versions, e.g Junejo (same clan as the Punjabi Janjua ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Khan_Junejo

      1. AFAIK the clan traces its origin from the semi-mythical Janamajeya [son of Parikshit, who was the son of Abhimanyu, who was the son of Arjun – as is well known, Parikshit was the sole heir to the Pandavas left alive after Mahabharata], which also explains their name.

        1. Are the DNA haploid admixture groups emanating from Janamajeya the equivalent of “Aryans” haploid group?

          Both Subhadra (sister of Krishna and Balarama) and Arjuna (from Indra) in the narrative stories have unusual DNA.

          Is R1a1 a reference to Yayati in the old narrative stories?

          Is AASI a reference to older geneology in the narrative stories?

  12. “Not at all an uprising of the Muslims of Punjab (who again, would wash the Sikhs away in an instant if so prompted)”

    Except that they never did. There was no uprising of Muslims of Punjab, neither against the Sikhs, nor against British or Afghans or Mughals. One of the most pliant people on earth. A colonizers’ delight!

    This should be a topic for a separate thread. How on earth this community who never even founded a tiny independent kingdom ended up with the lottery of the entire state of Pakistan.

    1. “Except that they never did. There was no uprising of Muslims of Punjab, neither against the Sikhs, nor against British or Afghans or Mughals. One of the most pliant people on earth. A colonizers’ delight!”

      Paneer eating surrender monkeys 😉

      I’ve always been amused by Punjabi notions of being `the sword arm of india’. Like the Rajputs, all bark, no bite:

      https://scroll.in/article/728636/what-our-textbooks-dont-tell-us-why-the-rajputs-failed-miserably-in-battle-for-centuries

      1. The sikhs are called `the sword arm of india’ , not the punjabis. Also considering that Punjabis make up just around 2 percent of India pops ,and their higher representation in India’s armed forces they still are in better position than many ethnicity of India. (Not sword arm though)

        On rajputs , we swing from one extreme to the other, like the article you linked. The rajput won and lost (miserably sometimes ) because they at least showed up to fight, which is not something you can say about other ethnicities in India.
        Put any other ethnicity in the that desert with little or no resources , that too in the western part of India, which was in the path of turk invaders and they would have folded long back . To contrast this , the rajputs were still a force (the only “Indian” force in N-India) when Babur rolled along while the Sultanate were ruling in far East in Bengal.

        So yeah, some perspective would help.

        1. The Rajputs were in the desert with no resources because they were defeated by surrounding Muslim Empires and expelled from most of North-India. The deserts of Rajasthan which they were relegated to were a blessing in a sense, as it allowed them a degree of autonomy.

          At the time of Mughal incursion into India, there were two North-Indian powers much more formidable than the Rajputs. The Gujarat Sultanate and the Bengal sultanate, both ruled by ethnic-Indian Muslim dynasties.

          1. Lets look at this one by one

            The Rajputs started with the desert so its already impressive that they could even become the pre eminent power post Guptas n N-India, considering the fact that there were other Indo-gangetic powers with greater resources and manpower to field. When they finally lost they lost to Turks who defeated most of the other powers (both in India and elsewhere) . Also being relegated to desert did not help them escape anyway where they had to constantly fight much larger Sultanates/Mughal forces.

            The Gujrat Sultanate was not stronger than Rajputs when Babur came along, and how do we know that? Because there were battles b/w the combined forces of Malwa and Gujrat against the rajputs and the rajputs won . Not just that there were battles b.w the weakened Delhi Sultanate and the Rajputs and they won that too. So yeah they were the pre-eminent power.

            Coming to the Bengali Sultante i am not sure for one if they were “ethnic” Indian to begin with. They themselves claimed to be Arab etc . And beside that before Sher Shah rose they were sort of the big bully pushing their smaller neighbors around, but whenever they came face to face with any equal power they mostly lost (like against the Mughals)

        2. Saurav mate, simply asserting things doesn’t make them true. It’s a common reference applied to Punjabis that can be found in many places:

          https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/the-plight-of-india-s-sword-arm/story-KkloDiSluFmWvkKY35aCCP.html

          and just search for the term in the following article —

          https://scroll.in/magazine/866163/the-story-of-my-nana-abu-the-man-who-led-the-first-indian-unit-at-dunkirk

          I trust you can google more for yourself. Also, it’s OK to be Rajput. But please, refrain from fact free assertions.

          1. What exactly did i assert that you found so wrong? Am not sure. The term sword arm? Or Punjabi proportion to army vis-v their population. Also Sikh being called the sword arm can also be google-ed

            https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/sikh-festival-universal-message-heart/

            The “not sword arm though” was my opinion . Perhaps should have been clearer. Never disputed what communities own “self-perception” is . Bengalis think that they are the most learned folks in whole wide world. The rajputs the most martial and so on and so forth. So yeah Punjabis have the same self perception about themselves .

            Also what exactly did i say about rajputs which were so fact-free? I haven’t likened them to vikings or anything right? Considering the martial prowess Indians have , i feel they sort of conducted themselves a bit better than the rest. That is all.

    2. Right I was responding to the ridiculous idea that should the Punjabi masses (Muslim) have decided to overthrow the Sikhs they wouldn’t have been able to, not that they did (they never attempted) or would have (again doubtful).

      I do have a theory about what you are getting at, though as you said, perhaps saved for another thread.

      As for Punjabi Muslims ending up the rulers of Pakistan, better to be lucky than good I guess.

    3. Well to be fair , the most pliant would rather go to their cousin, the sindhis. In 1857 war the region was famous for having witnessed not even a single fired bullet. I mean even in Punjab you could perhaps find that odd Zamindar at least lifting his Gandasa

      1. They’ve done a better job at resisting Urdu imposition than Punjabi Muslims though. Sadly, simple demographics and the fact that Sindh’s major cities are in non-Sindhi control means their days are numbered.

  13. “Additionally the Sikhs & Hindus of West Punjab have historically been identical to the Hindus of Sindh (the Sindhi Hindus of course also follow Sikh teaching upto a certain number of gurus). The Sikhs and Hindus are predominantly merchant caste Khatris (the Jats of Punjab had either converted to Islam or Sikhism depending on the geographic contour) with Dalit populations (in the Punjab some of these populations became Christian with some high caste leaders).”

    Can we discuss this in more detail? “Dalit” is a modern term that people would not recognize in the early 1930s.

    What specific Jatis, tribes and classes in Punjab are being discussed? Did they belong to regional paramparas (tribal religions)?

    ++++++++++++

    Is there interest in a Brown Pundits podcast on the Khatri Punjabis, major Sampradayas, Panths, Paramparas of Sikhism, Punjabi Hinduism, Sindhi Hinduism, Punjabi and Sindhi Sufism (which are very close to Sikhism), Baghdadi/Basrah Iraqi Sikhism, and their connections to each other?

    I have thought of a detailed post on this many times. But the topic is so vast and I know so little. Any description of this would end up being over 20 pages long to give any nuance.

    To massively simplify there are five major Sikh sampradayas (or more if you include 3HO and others). Four of the five largest ones have varying degrees of connection to the broader Sanathana Dharma family. The orthodox Amritdhari Khalsa has a more independent identity. But some of the Amritdari Khalsa also identify with the broader Dharmic community.

    Many Sufi Punjabis and Sufi Sindhis are part of the broader Nanaka/Guru Gobind Singh community.

    Including Dara Shikoh, Jahanara and Mian Mir (master of Qadiriyya).

  14. since KB didn’t actually exist but is speculated to have exist

    This is stunning 🙂 How on earth a language which didn’t even exist ended up providing entire grammar and 80% vocab to two major languages which are now spoken by a fifth of humanity!

  15. Western Punjab was mostly a desert region till the British brought in irrigation. I feel that that thrust has carried the population of the region till date but it might not last long.

    Pakistan is really water stressed even by sub-continental standards and it might start hitting its Malthusian boundaries soon enough if TFR levels don’t drop.

    I do not see that happening soon. Neither does there seem to be any technological innovation going on. If I lived in that region and had the means, I’d look to escape the country for the sake of my future generations.

    Maybe the guiding hand of Chinese will come to rescue.

  16. “Why would you consider the Afghan royalty to be appreciably different from the other Indian allied states ?”

    Indo-British states had a British officer stationed in their capital and were not politically sovereign. They undertook most of the British style administrative reforms the Indo-British authorities instituted in the provinces, independent judiciary, legislatures and civil services. English was the official language.

    Afghan emirate was politically sovereign.

    1. Vikram, in my opinion the Nizam had more autonomy, power and influence than the Afghan royals. You appear to disagree.

      You are discussing the general English policy. In practice there were variations between different English allied states.

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