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Monday, August 06, 2007

The Ills Of Empire

In the new New Yorker, Pankaj Mishra reviews Alex von Tunzelmann's Indian Summer, using the space to reprise the events leading up to Independence, and ending with an attempt to connect that event with the state of the world today: "Meeting Mountbatten a few months after partition, Churchill assailed him for helping Britain’s 'enemies,' 'Hindustan,' against 'Britain’s friends,' the Muslims. Little did Churchill know that his expedient boosting of political Islam would eventually unleash a global jihad engulfing even distant New York and London. The rival nationalisms and politicized religions the British Empire brought into being now clash in an enlarged geopolitical arena; and the human costs of imperial overreaching seem unlikely to attain a final tally for many more decades."


  • Mishra thinks Cal should have been in Bangladesh!Quelle Horreur!!! His tone suggests he thinks the Congress should have accommodated Jinnah more. From one's admittedly amateur knowledge of history, one remembers that Gandhi offered him the PM-ship which of course the congress rejected.Seems to me that even if the Cong was craven enough to go through with this, Jinnah was smart enough to know that it wasnt feasible and as power-hungry as he was, Partition was inevitable.While Mishra writes wonderfully, his brand of self-loathing liberalism is wrong-headed as hell.

    By Blogger Rohit Thombre, at 1:46 PM  

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