The Landmark Chola Invasion of Srivijaya

I found this video on the Chola invasion of Srivijaya and it is so well made and informative, about this little known but nevertheless a major event on Indian and SE Asian history, that i couldn’t help posting it here.

It is a shame that this video does not have more views.

The Chola invasion of Srivijaya dispels a major myth about Indian history that is bandied about often which is that India or Indians never invaded another nation.

The timing of this major world event is also quite interesting. It came about in the early part of the 11th century CE when the Greater India region stretched from Afghanistan and Balkh in the Northwest to the Phillipine Islands in the southeast and had been so for more than a millenium already. Indian religion and ideas also held great sway over the countries of China, Japan & Korea.

This was the phase of the greatest afflorescence of Indian civilization. Yet by the turn of the 2nd millenium, this civilization which the Arabs referred to as Al-Hind was already well past its high point. The kingdoms of the Tarim Basin such as Khotan, Kucha, Shanshan etc were already lost as were the Central Asian kingdoms of Balkh and Sughd (Sogdia).

Yet, most poignantly, in the very timeframe that the Cholas invaded Srivijaya in the southeast, the Turco-Afghan Mahmud Ghazni invaded from the Northwest and devastated North India.

What a turning point in Indian history were these initial years in the new millenium of the Christian era !


57 thoughts on “The Landmark Chola Invasion of Srivijaya”

    1. Vijayvan,

      Do we have any evidence that the Indian Ocean got its name after the conquests of the Cholas ?

      We may safely argue that Indians had been sailing to SE Asian regions atleast since 500 BC and likely earlier. Likewise they have sailed to the Near East and East Africa since millennia.

      1. That is what I remember from reading Heinrich Zimmer long time ago

        Another reason can be European travel and trade to South Asia and South east Asia. Seeing a large Indian cultural influence , it was named Indian Ocean; just as SE Asia was called Indo-China. After all European exploration was kicked off by finding routes to India.

  1. “The Chola invasion of Srivijaya dispels a major myth about Indian history that is bandied about often which is that India or Indians never invaded another nation.”

    I dont know whether invading another country should be taken with a positive or a negative connotation.

    Of course the positive side would be displaying the martial-ness/ fighting ability , but in today’s world, having not invaded another county also gives u moral superiority of not hankering for other countries land which is seen as a desirable quality for a country, something which helped US swing to our side during the 99 Kargil crisis.

    I guess Indians push the latter narrative so as max “Hindu” land is already in their control (which they desire), while simultaneously gaining acceptance in the comity of nations.

    1. Well, one reason to “push” for something is not for moral or martial posturing but simply because it is true.

      What a novel concept.

      1. Lot of things are “true” at that same time. It depends on what needs to be highlighted.

    2. Saurav,

      The Chola invasion of Srivijaya dispels the nonsense that Indians were always passive and pacifist people who always got invaded from outside. It is also pretentious to carry a holier than thou attitude and try to suggest that we are morally superior to other nations and civilizations.

      1. Don’t get me wrong , but this martial image might boost Indians own self respect , but pacifist and passive image (even though misleading) has helped India’s international image. There is a reason why even the current right wing Govt parrots the same stuff as “having never invaded” anyone, even thought sabreratlling more up their alley. The very same reason people laugh at Pakistan’s “India is Nazi/Israel” stuff, irrespective of whatever we do in Kashmir.

        Sometimes some stereotypes help, and one should be careful to cast them aside. Especially when one doesn’t have the requisite force projection to back up the altered image. If nothing else, at least this we can learn from the Chinese, as to how to hide one’s ability and pretend to be weak, till one’s time has come.

        1. India’s image as ‘peaceful and pacifist’ is largely due to Mahatma Gandhi. Only other border wars have been with Pakistan and China. Both of them the world knows who has been aggressive. Also as a leader of NonAligned Movement, the image had some purchase.
          OTOH the realities of geopolitical changes and challenges will force India towards more aggressive attitude. Just 10 days back, India has signed Strategic agreement with Australia and slowly getting into bed with Quad4. Both India and the world knows Gandhian nonviolence is not practical under all circumstances

  2. Definitely an interesting chapter of Indian and Southeast Asian history that deserves more attention. The Cholas were also known for their architecture (big temples) and statues, especially Nataraja.

    More generally, I’d like to see more coverage of Indian maritime history.

    1. True, its an unwritten chapter of Indian history but a very important one that cannot be ignored.

  3. I’m guessing the Cholas are why many SE Asian countries nave Indian looking writing scripts.

    A lot of people would disagree Central Asia was past its high point but I agree with that. That region has very little potential even today imo.

    1. True; the South Indian and south east asian scripts – traditional ones- are derived from Grantham , a script devised by about 6th C by Pallavas of Kanchi. Only Thai maintain their traditional script. Malays, Indonesians, Vietnamese have switched over to latin. Divehi in maldives – have switched to Arabic based script. Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Sinhalese were also derived from Pallava Grantham. Tamil is certainly a derivative of Grantham – Tamil script was made by rejecting characters which are only for Sanskrit and adding few charcaters peculiar to Tamil, not found in Sanskrit from an earlier Tamil script called vattezuthu.
      Till last century Grantham only was mainly used for writing Sanskrit , it has given way to Devanagari mostly- but not 100%. There are still some Grantham books , mainly for brahminical rituals . I have downloaded many Grantham books from published from 1850 to 1950s and I hope to revive the use of Grantham for Sanskrit in south and push out Devanagari.

      Just today I downloaded Harivamsa in Grantham published in 1888.

      Tamil and Grantham are two scripts joined at the hip, as thgey came out of the same workshop and same authors but the Dravidian politics of Tamilnadu hates Grantham as spoiling Pure Tamil

      Grantham for ever.

        1. Right Vietnamese. Both Khmer and Laos maintain their traditional scripts which is derived from Pallava Grantha

    2. Jatt_Scythian,
      The old scripts of SE Asian nations certainly derives from the Brahmi script, more specifically its derivative the Pallava Grantha script from Peninsular India. But its spread into SE Asia is much older to the time of the Cholas.

      About Central Asia, it did have some importance during the medieval period but it was out of Indian zone of influence.

  4. For those who are interested in Chozha society during the years of Rajaraja Chozhan I, there is a great semi-fictional work called the “Ponniyin Selvan” by Kalki. Ponni is another name for the river Kaveri and the title translates to “The son of Kaveri”.

    Kalki Krishnamoorthy wrote the opus magnum in 1950 and it is ginormous – spanning over 2000 pages. There is nothing about Chozha society that is not detailed in the book – the water canals administration, ocean going ship design, the geographical areas in southern India at that time, comfort foods eaten, dating rituals, cyclones, the sectarian conflict – Saivas vs Vaishnavas, the Buddhist imperial structure in Srilanka, the streets of Anuradhapura, elephant taming, weapons used.

    And all of these are side quests! The main tale is one of palace intrigue, an emperor is dying and wishes to put the correct successor on the throne. He has grand visions for the Chozhas – remember they have not yet reached their zenith, the Grand Temple is not built yet. The level of detailing and the character development is amazing.

    Link to a good English translation –

  5. Eastern Ganga dynasty of Kalinga, who were descendants of Western Gangas and Cholas

    The Kalinga/Chola invasion by Magha was the culmination of Sinhalese Civilization in North and North Central Sri Lanka that had been in full flower since 500BC.

    Temples, Reservoirs, Irrigation Canals were destroyed.

    He usurped the throne from Parakrama Pandyan II of Polonnaruwa, in 1215.[6] His reign saw the massive migration of Sinhalese to the south and west of Sri Lanka, and into the mountainous interior, in a bid to escape his power.[7] Magha was the last ruler to have his seat in the traditional northern seat of native power on the island, known as Rajarata; so comprehensive was his destruction of Sinhalese power in the north that all of the successor kingdoms to Rajarata existed primarily in the south of the island.

    1. NGL i was waiting for sbarrkum to comment 😛

      BTW always felt Cholas would bring closer the two natural enemies Periyar and Rajpakshe

    2. Saurav,

      The Kalinga/Chola destruction got me thinking about anti thesis with history of Mughals in India. Let me put it in point form

      a) Kalinga/Chola, i.e Tamils destroyed the Sinhalese Civilization

      b) The Tamil kingdoms never really built anything

      c) No real distinctive Tamil Culture compared to Tamil Nadu. In comparison some aspects of Sinhalese culture are similar to South India, but quite distinctive. (cf English vs French).

      e) Under the British a segment became a privileged minority. This is a section that will expand on.

      Above points is the history of majority of Sri Lankan Tamil who live in North and East. (12% of population). Distinct from Indian/Estate Tamils in the Hill Country (4%)

      Under British rule a very small segment of SL Tamils gained favored status. Mainly Protestant converts they took to education and the professions. By time of Independence they formed 50% of white collar govt jobs, professions and University entrants.

      That segment of SL Tamil was anything but oppressed. They were the oppressors and entitled. Pretty much thought the rest of the population were stupid and not intelligent. If you speak to the older diaspora (60+ and above) they expect SL to become a failed state because they are no longer around to run the place.

      Like I said this small segment of SL Tamils, oppressed their own too. They ruled the north and east in a feudal like society, with caste and class overtones. Many time the SL govt had to step in and ensure equitable laws of SL (Eg Temple entry Crisis).

      In the south majority Sinhalese were treated with contempt. I have personally seen my relatives* who grew up in Jaffna kick and assault Sinhala workers while calling them stupid. By that time in the South there was more awareness of equality and such actions were considered “not done”.

      The resentment against this segment of SL Tamil grew. Riots in 1956, 1977 and finally the big one in 1983. Most of the urban Professionals fled to and were welcomed in Western countries.

      Anyway all this is a precursor to a point I want to make in “US ” post .

      *My paternal ancestry is from this small segment of SL Tamil society.

  6. Cool video!
    The trade aspects are described in Sanjeev Sanyal’s Ocean of Churn, a good pop-history intro to (south) India’s maritime past. His description of SE Asia as the arena of competition between Indic, Arab and Chinese civilisations is an interesting angle.

    Tamil diaspora communities are found all over SE Asia, and due to their industriousness are well regarded everywhere. There’s obvious shared architectural motifs in Temple architecture across TN and SE Asia that even predate the Cholas. And it’s not just Hinduism, I even came across a mosque in Java that was supposed to have been set up by ‘Indians’ centuries ago, most likely Tamils I would guess but not sure.

    India’s focus is too land-centric, probably due to N-Indian demographic heft and Punjabi-Kashmiri domination of our worldview. India’s land neighbours are mostly hostile or indifferent, but SE Asia would be a good avenue to grow influence, especially as a counterweight to China and to get a piece of the growth story happening in Vietnam for example.

    1. When I first went to Paris, I came out of Airport into the the train system and fumbling for directions and platform. One railway staff came forward to help me. He said he was a Tamil and his family lived and prospered in Vietnam and left Vietnam in the 60s for France. Still, he was happy to help whom he surmised as fellow Tamil , that is not difficult.

      A community of Tamils in malaysia about 500 years old
      nowadys quite intermarried with malays , still consider themselves separate and hindu

      Hindu (Tamil) presence in China
      At present, there are no Hindus in Quanzhou. However, there previously existed a Tamil Hindu community in the city who, in the late 13th century, built the Kaiyuan Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.[30] The temple is now in ruins, but over 300 carvings are still within the city.

      Hindu remains in Bujang Valley

    2. India’s focus shift only when there is a concern. It mostly had military engagement on land, and the Indian Ocean has largely been trouble fee. Its still the biggest player in the Indian Ocean region. This could change if China comes in a big way, but there is still some time left, so there is no sense of urgency.

      On S-E asia , the countries are seen either neutral or closer to Chinese, so seen as independent or lost cause. They don’t want to get sucked up in the US-India vs China rivalry, and considering US recent beahivour, they are cagey of annoying the Chinese. But sooner than later they might have to choose, just like India has to now.

  7. Very informative video. The notion that India never invaded another country is not just baseless, it is meaningless. Something that did not exist could not invade anything that did. India did not invade Srivijaya, the Cholas, or you might say the Tamils did. The other ‘Indian’ rulers who invaded ‘foreign’ lands are Ashoka, Ranjit Singh who conquered Afghan territory, and Gulab Singh who invaded and conquered Ladakh, though his invasions were as a Sikh functionary. His general Zorawar Singh a native of Bilaspur HP invaded Tibet as well. Gulab Singh’s successor Ranbir Singh tried his hand at expanding into Sinkiang sending troops to invest Khotan before being forced to retreat. Lalitditya, of the Kashmiri Karkota dynasty is said to have invaded and conquered Turkish and Tibetan territories. We should not include the Mughal holdings in Afghanistan because that came with Babar. Of course, Gulab Singh, Ranjit Singh, Ranbir Singh, Ashoka, and Rajendra Chola did not think of themselves as Indians in the sense that we think of the term, so perhaps it may have been accurate to say that India has never invaded another country except of course for the Sikkim episode, and if you want to include them, Hyderabad in 1948 and Goa in 1961.
    Coming to India proper we have to admit that it did invade and conquer Burma, and Afghanistan under British rule. However, if you exclude the British Indian government by definition, as not being ‘Indian’ (though they created the country, India), then how about the smash and grab operation of Sikkim. Some of the maps of the Hindu Mahasabha of the 1940s show India as including Burma.
    Non violence was never an ‘Indian’ trait. It is routine and gratuitous in this country.

    1. Thank you for admitting that “India” is a socially constructed entity that did not exist before August 15, 1947.

      People on this site don’t like hearing that and will give you some bullshit about “eternal Bharat Mata”. They cannot deal with the simple fact that all nations are socially constructed.

  8. Small scale piracy attack cannot be considered as invasion. Cholas were such compared to the present pirates of Sudan and Nigeria off the Arabian Sea. Only the influence and cultural spread tells a conquest tales. Hinduism was spread by the Kalingas. The culture of Indonesia and Indo China shows such affinity.

  9. You wrote:

    It came about in the early part of the 11th century CE when the Greater India region stretched from Afghanistan and Balkh in the Northwest to the Phillipine Islands in the southeast and had been so for more than a millenium already.

    I can’t find evidence that the people of modern-day India was in the Philippines for 1000 years.

  10. @Kabir, don’t thank me. I like to transact in facts. India did not exist as a political entity till the British created it, but conceptually India has existed since pre-history, in Western and Persian thinking as India or Hind, and within India, as Bharat. Now be factual yourself and admit that Pakistan is conceptually no older than 1930, and politically, 1947 (unless you are one of those who retrocess to Muhammad bin Qasim – and that is a good starting point for discussion). India has lived in the imagination for the last 2,300 years, at least, and, in fact, since the British defeated the Sikhs.

    1. If we are going to “transact in facts”, we will have to admit that neither “India” nor “Pakistan” existed before August 15, 1947. Both nations are socially constructed and were created at the exact same time.

      BRITISH India is not the same thing as “India” but Indian nationalists don’t admit that. Your nation and mine are just as legitimate as each other.

  11. Good to know that you are now dealing in facts. When I said India did not exist in my earlier post I should have qualified it by the adjectives, sovereign and independent. Fact- India existed as British India, as a British colony and had the status of a country under International Law. It did not have to be admitted to the UN like Pakistan in 1947. India agreed in the UN to let Pakistan be a member. Fact- India was admitted as a member of the League of Nations in 1919. India is accepted under international law as the successor state to British India, not Pakistan.
    Following your logic, it would be wrong to talk of Greece existing till the Greeks declared independence from the Ottomans in 1822. We do talk of Greek philosophy, Greek history or Greecian Urns and so on, as well of ancient Greece, the same way we talk of Indian history, culture music, mathematics, etc as we do of Ancient India, Mughal India or British India. That India in a different format with different frontiers, but sovereign and independent continues till today – an ancient India if not the ‘Eternal India’ of someone’s conception.
    Fact- Columbus set out to find a sea route to India, and the East India Company was meant to trade with India. So there was an entity, India, though it was not a sovereign self-defined territory as it is today. Pakistan, on the other hand, begins conceptually in 1930, and not even then, because the acronym was put together later, and even then Jinnah insisted that the term was foisted upon the discussion by the Hindu Press. Later he grudgingly adopted it.
    I do not remember having criticized the legitimacy of Pakistan. What is not legitimate, if that is the word you want to employ, is the ideology on which Pakistan was created. All nations are social constructions-imagined communities as Benedict Anderson put it, some more so than others, not just India and Pakistan. I do not quite follow what you intended to imply by drawing attention only to India and Pakistan in that context. India is also claimed by some to be a civilizational entity, which I agree with in a qualified way, as well as comprising a sacred geography, which too is accurate in some sense of the term.

    1. No I am sorry but BRITISH India is NOT “India” contrary to what Indian nationalists like to claim. There was a British Indian Empire NOT a nation state. “India” and “Pakistan” were created at the exact same time. Both are social constructions (nice to see you’ve read Anderson) and both are equally legitimate.

      Indians do not get to claim the entirity of South Asia’s history. The confusion arises because the founders of the modern nation-state chose to use the same name as the earlier pre-Partition entity.

      As for “civilizational entity” and “sacred geography”: that is all Hindutvadi bullshit which you are entitled to but the rest of us are not obliged to take seriously.

      Indian nationalists want to delegitimize Pakistan by pointing out that the nation didn’t exist until 1947 and contrasting it with “eternal Bharat Mata”. The FACT is that both nation-states were created at the same time. Pakistan didn’t secede from “India” but from BRITISH India.

  12. It is only a tautology to say that Pakistan seceded from British India but taking Pakistan out of it does not make India cease to be India. Punjab does not cease to be Punjab, or Bengal, Bengal because a part separated. However let us discuss your other points, which are not factual again, but merely opinions.
    “Both are social constructions (nice to see you’ve read Anderson) and both are equally legitimate.”
    Once again, when did I doubt the legitimacy of Pakistan? I have read other books too, not just Anderson you will be equally glad to know.
    “Indians do not get to claim the entirety of South Asia’s history. The confusion arises because the founders of the modern nation-state chose to use the same name as the earlier pre-Partition entity.”
    Nation is an odd term in the Indo_Pak context; convenient but not always accurate for modern States. We were not discussing the birth of the ‘nation states’ of India or Pakistan. If you were, you may continue to do so. There is no confusion in India about what it is, but there is in Pakistan about itself. The father of your nation, whose views you seem to have only partially understood, imagined that after independence India would comprise two nations, Hindustan and Pakistan, and he was upset that Hindustan called itself India, which would preclude Pakistan from subsuming itself in that category. Indians always knew that they were Indians, though some of us prefer to call ourselves Bharatis. No doubt Pakistanis would prefer that too, and if Nehru and Patel had done that in the beginning then Jinnah could have had his wish of wanting to be Indian.
    You are wrong to say that India and Pakistan were created at exactly the same time. Your country declared itself independent on 14th August, so your country is a day older than mine, apparently. Be that as it may, India does get to claim the history of Pakistan as its own because it was part of India by whatever name you want to call it. (Unless your argument is that God created the two, de novo, on 15th August 1947). So the previous history of Pakistan is included in the history of India. It is also the history of Pakistan of course, but it is not the history of Arabia or Persia or Uzbekistan. The Pakistani people were Hindus and Buddhists of Indian stock, and, except for a very few, are of the same genetic type as North Indians. Pakistanis may want to argue that they were created by an Act of the British Parliament, Indians know they have always existed, for millennia before 1947. We have no objection to your claiming the history of Mughal India to be a part of Pakistani history or that of Ashoka and Ranjit Singh. I understand that your country prefers to leave the latter bits out.
    Not being a Hindutvavadi I have no objection to your calling the term sacred geography bull shit. I know that civilizationally, Pakistanis believe themselves to be Arab or Persian or anything else as long as it is not Indian. It is not for me to define your identity, but facts cannot be wished away. I read Aitzaz Ahsan’s puerile effort at defining Pakistan in ‘The Indus Saga’ when it came out. Pathetic!
    “Indian nationalists want to delegitimize Pakistan by pointing out that the nation didn’t exist until 1947 and contrasting it with “eternal Bharat Mata”.”
    Again, this question of legitimacy; which I did not question, nor raise. My first post, if you recall was on the subject of India’s aggression against foreign countries. Pakistan was no part of the discussion. You brought it in. I am not usually included in the category of ‘eternal Bharat Mata’ by those who know me. Your insistence on doing so shows your monochromatic view of Indians.

    1. My points are just as factual as yours. This is not physical science where there is only one truth. You are entitled to your narrative and I am entitled to mine. But you don’t seem to recognize that yours is only a narrative.

      Pakistan was NEVER part of “India”. We were part of BRITISH India (and the Mughal Empire before that). You seem to not get it through your head that “India” did not exist before August 15, 1947. The independence day for both countries was originally August 15, btw. Pakistan later changed ours because we prefer not to celebrate independence on the same day as our “enemy”.

      “Indians know we have always existed”– This is ahistorical bullshit. I have no patience for people who lack the ability to think historically. Of course the land always existed, but there were different polities on it. There was no “India” until the nation-state was created. “Ancient India” is an ahistorical term. Places can be referred to as being part of Mughal India, Gandhara, Vijaynagar or whatever is appropriate.

      I have seen this rhetorical move too often. Indian nationalists (whether self-declared Hindutvadis or not) stress that “India” has always existed and Pakistan was created. This is ahistorical. If you understood Anderson, you would understand that ALL nations are socially-constructed entities.

      There is no confusion about Pakistan. We are the homeland of the Muslims of BRITISH India and the successor state to Indo-Islamic Empires. This is not that hard to understand.

      This is getting repetitive so I’m done with this conversation. You are entitled to your beliefs (though I think they are wrong).

  13. It would save both of us a lot of time if you did not respond to my posts because you have epistemic problems and seem not to understand what I am saying. And your bombast is amusing. For example, “We are the homeland of the Muslims of BRITISH India and the successor state to Indo-Islamic Empires. This is not that hard to understand.”
    I understand what you are saying, and it is wrong. Pakistan is at present, the homeland of approximately a third of the Muslims of British India. One third live in India and another third in Bangladesh, roughly speaking. You are wrong on the other part of your statement as well. Pakistan is not the successor state to the Indo-Islamic empires. Those empires were of Turkic people such as Ghazni and the Mughals, or Mongols, and occasionally Afghan. Pakistanis are Indian types, with some admixture of Turks and Mongols, but such mixture is found in India as well among its Muslims. You yourself have written somewhere that you have Kashmiri genes, mixed up with, I suppose, Punjabi dna. Since when did descendants of Punjabi and Kashmiri Hindus claim descent from Central Asian Islamic conquerors. You are not even successors to the Sikhs I am afraid. Next, you might start claiming to have conquered Spain and the Balkans, because you think that being a Pakistani Muslim makes you inheritor of the legacy of the Arabs.
    Anyway, it is pointless discussing these things with you. Let us agree to disagree.

    1. You are entitled to your views. But I’m not the one who has “epistimic problems”. You are arrogant enough to think that you have all the facts and everyone else’s narratives are wrong. Newsflash: This is History. Everything is a NARRATIVE.

      Just because Bangladesh seceded from United Pakistan doesn’t mean that we were not intended to be the homeland of all BRITISH Indian Muslims.

      Spain and the Balkans have nothing to do with South Asian Muslims. Pakistanis are South Asian. We are not Arabs or Turks and I have never claimed that we were.

      I have no problem not responding to you. But if you ever bring up my country or my religion, I will reserve the right to respond.

      1. If you do not have epistemic issues then you must be a historical relativist- To each his own narrative. Historical narratives can differ not historical facts. You should not confuse the two.
        Pakistan was not intended as a homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent. Muslims in India were expected to remain where they were. Jinnah expected the hostages theory to operate i.e minorities of the two countries would be hostage for the good behaviour of the other party. It did not work out that way
        Your country was created under the two-nation theory. Pakistan was never intended to be the homeland of all of India’s Muslims. Jinnah expected, I dont know how, that Indian Muslims would continue to be a Pakistani community within India, and this is what right wing Hindus believe to be a self evident truth. Nehru however proved cleverer than Pakistan and insisted that whatever they may have said or done in the past Indians Muslims were Indians not Pakistanis. That is the final position. Your lot and Praveen Togadia think alike as far as India’s Muslims are concerned. If Pakistan is meant to be home to all subcontinental Muslims you should have no difficulty in taking in those Biharis stranded in Bangladesh, who were Pakistanis by definition.
        Pakistan came into this discussion because you chose to take a dig at India. If you can refrain from doing that in future there should not be a problem, as far as I am concerned. Pakistani narratives will of course by met with Indian facts.

        1. “Pakistani narratives will be met with Indian facts”– LOL. Indians also have a NARRATIVE. You are just too arrogant to realize that.

          For the last time, we are not discussing physical science where there is an objective truth but History where interpretations differ.

          Obviously, the Muslim minority provinces had to be sacrificed for the majority provinces. There was no way that they could form part of the Pakistani nation-state. But that is not contradictory with Pakistan being the homeland of BRITISH India’s Muslims. Those Muslims who felt that they belonged in Pakistan immigrated to the new country.

          Indian Muslims are Indian citizens and deserve to be treated as such. Pakistani non-Muslim minorities are Pakistani citizens and also deserve equal treatment.

  14. If I may as a compromise, say that Pakistan and India are 2 different people and they have different history. Each side can have their own “sovereign” history, just like they have their “sovereign” territory. Even though the latter had been achieved, sadly it will take decades for the former.

    The whole issue is one group trying to superimpose their history unto other and vice versa. Thankfully in a decade or so Indians and Pakistanis will see each other as different people. And it will be good for both.

  15. @Kabir. All I have seen from you is interpretation, not a single fact. I had entered into this discussion with the hope that we might proceed on the basis of facts; narratives is all we have from your side.
    India does not need advice from Pakistanis and their shifting narratives on how to treat its own citizens. If you believe the two-nation theory is/was valid then your advice contradicts your beliefs.
    As to the homeland theory, Punjab’s Muslims along with Sindhis and Afghans already had a homeland, as did the Bengalis. It was the deluded Muslims in the minority provinces who thought they were getting a homeland, and they didn’t because that was never the plan. The Punjabis and Sindhis have been regretting taking in Mohajirs from India ever since partition, which is why they will not let those poor Bihari Bangladeshis in.

    1. Apparently you are too stupid or too arrogant to realize that all you Indian nationalists have is a NARRATIVE.

      I am sick of explaining to you that History is not a physical science where there is such a thing as an objective truth.

      I have no interest in any further discussion with you.

  16. Are you always abusive? I am arrogant perhaps, but stupid? Categorize and condemn. Is that the worst you have to say about me – that I am an Indian nationalist? Whether I fall in that category according to the current Pakistani epistemology, or not, you certainly are a credit to Pakistani nationalism.
    Goodbye then, till the next encounter.

    1. Stupid or arrogant, those are your choices.

      Otherwise, you would have caught on by now that History is all about NARRATIVES. It is Not a physical science in which there is such a thing as Objective “truth”.

    1. There is no such thing as “universal truth” when it comes to social sciences/History. There are only NARRATIVES.

      “Intelligent” people should have been able to figure this out by now.

        1. I have repeatedly made clear that I want nothing to do with you. Please cease to address comments to me. Thanks.

  17. There is no such thing as “universal truth” when it comes to social sciences/History. There are only NARRATIVES.

    your fucking derivative moron.

    1. There is nothing particularly controversial about stating that unlike the physical sciences where it is possible to speak about objective truths, the social sciences/humanities are all about interpretations and narratives. This is really not that hard to understand.

      Indian nationalists are entitled to their own version of History and so are Pakistanis. That’s all I’m saying.

      There is really no need for you to resort to personal attacks. I notice you take out your frustration on me and not on the various other (Serbian Nationalist, Hindutvadi) nutjobs that frequent this site. There’s a dude who literally made antisemitic remarks. You didn’t call him out. I guess you know your audience is the loony Right and not center-left people like me.

  18. Kabir, if I have understood you till now your proposition is that (in the social sciences) facts don’t matter, only narratives do. Well, that may be true of religion, taken to be a kind of social science, which dictates what you may believe, not necessarily dependent on an established fact. In all other social sciences, history included, scholars like to have facts around which they elaborate narratives. If they did not they would be called novelists. Narratives without facts embedded somewhere are rather like Erica Jong’s novel about the zipless f**k. It was all in the head.

    1. Facts? Haven’t you heard about ‘ketman’ i.e. ‘taqiyya’ – the most primitive ethic’s norm which keeps those exemplars under the lowest civilisational level?

    2. You still don’t seem to understand that historians use facts to develop narratives.

      It is quite legitimate for an Indian nationalist version of History to differ from the Pakistani version, while agreeing on the same basic facts. This is why two parties to a conflict can have very different understandings of the cause of events.

      You are supremely arrogant to believe that your Indian nationalist version of History is the absolute truth and my understanding is illegitimate.

  19. I try to present facts not versions of the facts. If you will take the trouble to glance over the previous posts you will discover that you have not 1) refuted any of the facts that I presented, 2) presented new facts yourself, or 3) offered a narrative based on facts. If you are willing to do that we can resume our discussion; if not, let it be.

    1. Your arrogance knows no bounds:

      There are no facts, there are only interpretations of those facts. Obviously since you are an Indian Nationalist you will not like my interpretation and that’s fine. But it is just as based on “facts” as yours is.

      You have no viewpoints other than the bog-standard Indian nationalist view. I’m frankly bored of you now.

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