COLONIAL DISCOURSE COMPETING NATIONALIST VISIONS COLONIAL KNOWLEDGE Colonial conquest was not just a result of the power of superior arms, military organization or economic wealth. It was sustained and strengthened by cultural techniques of rule. Colonialism knowledge both enabled conquest and was produced by it. COLONIAL KNOWLEDGE Through this knowledge new categories were created to enhance the gap between colonizers and colonized or modern and traditional or European and Asian. There were constitutional question: A private trading company controlling the largest colony of Britain. Above all, India had strong political and cultural roots and indigenous populations could not be wiped out completely. COLONIAL KNOWLEDGE Legitimization of rule was conceived in reconstruction of India’ past and instruments of governance were sought from the past as well… Models Castes Religion Region Language THE CATEGORIZATION OF COMMUNITIES: HINDU/MUSLIM The British understanding of Hinduism developed with the discoveries and writing of the Orientalists and Indologists. Hinduism remained an incomprehensible and mysterious religion for the British. At the onset the Brahmin was perceived as the focal point of Hindu religion and of the community. “THE HINDU MIND” The limited vision of Brahmanical Hinduism was enlarged by the works of German Indologists Hegel, Schlegal and Max Muller. Their worldview of the Indian mind as of a system of dream like knowledge dominated by created vision (study of the Upanishads and Puranas). “THE HINDU MIND” This version of a “Hindu mind” was construed in this way that the ‘spiritual India’ could never co-exist peacefully with the ‘material west’. THE “HINDU” IDENTITY The elusiveness of the faith of the majority of populace of India made the British turn to alternative way to manage the Indian population and that was make use of caste and custom categories to make sense of the society. Caste, in particular was favoured for it provided a way to control the society at the THE “HINDU” IDENTITY local level and was used to categorized the Hindu community as a whole. The late nineteenth century ethnographic enterprise was based upon caste, rather than sect. In many reports a commonly used heading was ‘ Caste if Hindu, otherwise religion’. THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” The British had considerable amount of knowledge about Islam which had been increasing from the days of Crusades. Two contrasting viewpoints about Indian Muslims: 1) from the European encounter with Muslim in the Middle East; 2) Oriental construct of distant Asian lands where a tropical climate shaped effeminate peoples. THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” The pre-colonial Indian polities were understood as Islamic it was easy to project the stereotypes constructed in the Middle East upon India’s Muslims. The result was the two communities: Hindus and Muslims were imagined (first) to be opposed to each other. The Indian Muslims were depicted as invaders THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” who had ruled over India with violence and self-indulgence. British attitude towards Muslims had been of suspicion and the revolt of 1857 was perceived as a conspiracy of Muslim against the British. THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” Such views continued even after the suppression of the revolt. 1860s and 1870s this aura of suspicion remained a powerful force in shaping British conceptions of their Muslim subjects. THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” Gradually, this monolithic view about Indian Muslims became to be changed and gave way to give to the conception of giving them safeguards as their were in minority. THE INDIAN “MUSLIM” “ By the end of the nineteenth century this insistence that India was divided into two opposed religious communities shaped the way out that only the British, but increasing number of Indians, viewed their society” (Metcalf p. 148). IDEOLOGY OF RULE At the same by the late nineteenth century the authoritative conception of the two faiths and the character of their adherents, had been set firmly in place. The British also believed that the religious beliefs defined membership in a larger community. To be a Hindu or Muslim explained the way in which the Indians acted. THE ALLIANCES… The alliances built by the British after the categorization of their Indian subjects can also be seen as a balancing act of managing different and inherently opposed communities. The process of bridging the gaps and conciliations also had two things very clear: A) Mobilize support for the British Raj. B) Never to repeat the mishap of 1857 (always ready for counter offensive). CREATING A “PUBLIC”SPHERE These various communities participated with the imperial rulers in a distinctively colonial public arena. An expanding print media, with public meetings, and voluntary associations, gave expression to this autonomous public discourse. But the emergence of public arena remained extremely limited in its scope and responsibility. For the most part the state itself PUBLIC SPHERE at once created and defined the “public”. The electoral process did not create the public sphere as it developed in England, for example. In other word the state remained the sole arbitrator about what was lawful public discourse and what was not. It was a mechanism (public arena) through PUBLIC SPHERE which the state could control the society more effectively. The communities were included as actors in the public arena but what their individual members did remained a “private” matter. The private affairs included marriage, family life and also the practice of religion. The religious observations were confined to the private sphere and the individuals were PUBLIC SPHERE required to manage it on their own. The Indians were incapable of managing the public space because of their irrational attitude dominated by passion and emotion. Indian people had no conception of a larger public sphere except representing their narrowly constituted communities. Thereby, any activity undertaken by the self PUBLIC SPHERE appointed leaders was not legitimate. The claim of the Indian National Congress that it represented all Indians was dismissed as preposterous. John Strachey (India) “ there is not, and never was, an India possessing any sort of unity, physical, political, social, or religious, no Indian nation, no people of India, of which we hear so much.” (quoted in Metcalf p. 188). PUBLIC SPHERE The same categorization of public and private was adopted by the nationalists. Their response was both derivative and different (more in next class). The Council Acts can be taken as a graph showing the institutional development of public representation in colonial India. REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS The reform movement that made spectacular advance in late nineteenth century was Arya Samaj founded by the wandering sanyasi Dayanand Saraswati (1824-83) and the movement acquired a strong base in Punjab and parts of western UP). Saraswati criticized the existing Hindu practices such idolatry, polytheism, child marriage, taboo on widow REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS remarriage, foreign travel and Brahmanical supremacy. Dayanand also asserted the supremacy of the Hinduism based on the infallibility of Vedas over other religions. From 1900 onwards the Arya Samajis carried on large scale shuddi or mass purification and conversion of the lower castes- Rahtias, Odhs, Meghs, Jats and other trading groups. REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS Revivalism in Bengal was popularized by Rama Krishna (1836-96) who taught seeking inspiration from devotional bhakti cult of Chaitanya. But it was disciple Swami Vivekananda who founded the Rama Krishna Mission in 1896 and became an internationally known figure. He preached self strengthening and social service. His teachings acknowledged the REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENT The reformist and revivalist movements of Islam started emerging in the late nineteenth century. Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s educational and intellectual movement was based in western United Provinces. He tried to convince the upper class Muslims to appreciate the virtues and benefits of English education. He established the Aligarh Anglo Muhammaden REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS College in 1875. He was a great scholar of Arabic, Persian, and English. He emphasized the validity of free inquiry (ijtihad) and the alleged similarities between Quran and the laws of nature discovered by modern science. He encouraged the Muslims to profess their loyalty towards the British and opposed those who wanted to join the Indian National congress. He was the first leader to talk about REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS the separate representation for the Muslims. Sir Syed’s views (a quote from his speech in 1888), “ Now, suppose that all the English and the whole English army were to leave India, taking with them all their canon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that REFORM/REVIVAL MOVEMENTS under these circumstances two nations- the Muhammadans and the Hindus- could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power. Most certainly not”. FORMATION OF NATIONAL MOVEMENTS INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS AND ITS EARLY PHASE FROM 1885-1905 WILL BE DISCUSSED. THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS WAS FIRST POLITICAL ASSOCIATION WHICH CLAIMED TO REPRESENT ALL INDIANS WAS FORMED IN 1885. INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (1885- 1905) Indians learnt their positive national consciousness lesson from the British examples of political consolidation, technological integration, administrative unity and the sublimation of personal interest and identity to the impersonal laws and “higher” needs of national purpose. In 1885, seventy five men came together to INDIAN CONGRESS represent all provinces of India and formed an association under the guidance Allan Octavian Hume and the first session was held in Bombay in December 1885. The principal demand of the Congress were: Extension of Indian representation in the Legislative councils Give Indian greater powers to discuss budgets INDIAN CONGRESS Indianization of Indian Civil Services by holding examinations in India. Higher jobs in army for the Indians and demand for racial equality. Inquiry into the endemic poverty and famines in India by elaborating the Drain of wealth theory. The leaders of the congress were mostly INDIAN CONGRESS English educated and believed in the good government created by the British in India. Politics for these early leaders was very much a part time affair and they did not represent the public opinion (if there was any) at all. According to United Province Lt. Governor Auckland Colvin called the congress “microscopic minority” and tried to obstruct the congress session in Allahabad in 1888. PARTITION OF BENGAL (1905-11) The Indian National Congress leadership opposed the partition of Bengal through the conventional methods: press release, meetings and petitions and conferences. The evident and total failure of such techniques led to search for a formal boycott of British goods. There was appeals of rakhi- bandhan by Rabindranath Tagore which meant wristlets of coloured thread were PARTITION OF BENGAL exchanged on Partition Day (October 16) as a symbol of brotherhood, and the hearth kept unlit as a sign of mourning. The British crackdown on student picketers through threats of withdrawing grants, scholarships and affiliation from nationalist dominated institution led to a movement for boycott of official educational institutions and PARTITION OF BENGAL organization of national schools. Tensions mounted with further measures of repression: lathi charge by Gurkha regiment in Barisal, and arresting the picketers. How the partition of Bengal affected the Congress leadership and why? It was a provincial issue why and how it became a national issue? SWADESHI MOVEMENT The Swadeshi movement can be seen as the starting point of how the local and communal issues became national issues, yet remained localized. The agitation against the partition of Bengal became the largest movement at the time against the British imperialism. PARTITION OF BENGAL The methods to oppose the Partition of Bengal led to lot of differences in the Congress leadership and it became clear that the split was inevitable. EXTREMIST LEADERS The Extremist leaders such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai (known as Bal Pal Lal in the nationalist literature/folk tales) dominated the Congress during this period. The split with the Congress was cemented when Dadabhai Naoroji was elected as President (equally respected by all factions) in 1908. EXTREMISTS LEADERS But the resolutions of the session marked the height of Extremist influence with its resolutions on Boycott, Swadeshi, National Education, and Self Government (Swaraj). Tilak’s famous quote: “ Swaraj is my birth right and I will have it”. RISE OF MUSLIM SEPARATISM The British propaganda that the new province of East Bengal will create more jobs for the Muslims did achieve considerable success in swaying upper and middle class Muslims against the Swadeshi movement. There were some memorable scenes of fraternization like 10,000 strong joint student procession in Calcutta on September 23rd 1905 and presence of several sincere swadeshi Muslim agitators. MUSLIM SEPARATISM The agitation against the Partition of Bengal resulted in some harsh realities for Indian Muslims. The celebration of religio-political festivals like Ganapati festival in Maharashtra, the reverence given to Shivaji (a Marathi zamindar who had revolted against the Mughals) as a national hero, cow protection movement, movement to make Hindi the national MUSLIM SEPARATISM Above all, the British categorization of “Indian Muslim” was taking a firm shape. The Muslim elite led by Aligarh group had started agitating for separate electorates and representation in excess of numerical strength in view of “the value of the contribution” Muslims were making ‘to the defence of the Empire’ (Sumit Sarkar, p. 140). MUSLIM LEAGUE The Muslim group led by Aga Khan went to meet the viceroy Minto in Shimla (a hill station) to plead for separate electorates. Later on, Muslim League, the political association for Muslims were established in Dacca in 1907. MUSLIMS LEAGUE On December 30 1906, the annual meeting of Muhammadan Educational Conference was held at Dacca under the chairmanship of Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk. For the first time the conference lifted its ban on political discussion, when Nawab Salim Ullah Khan presented a proposal for establish a political party to safeguard the interests of the Muslims; the All India Muslim League. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS As the institutions of the modern state were elaborated in the colony especially in the second half of the nineteenth century, the ruling European groups found it necessary to lay down- in lawmaking, in the bureaucracy, in the administration of justice, and in the recognition by the state of a legitimate domain of public opinion- the precise difference between the ruler and the ruled. Ironically, COLONIAL RULE it became the historical task of nationalism, which insisted on its own marks of cultural difference with the west, to demand that there be no rule of difference in the domain of the state. The legitimacy of the state in carrying out this function was to be guaranteed by its indifference to concrete differences between POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS private selves, differences, that is, of race, language, religion, class and caste. The production of nation by ignoring or marginalising communities by the nationalists left some unresolved issues. Post colonial problems of South Asia are the direct by product of this: regionalism, caste, women issues, linguistic borders, marginal groups and most importantly, communalism. MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS In 1906, Lord Morley, the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs, announced in the British parliament that his government wanted to introduce new reforms for India, in which the locals were to be given more powers in legislative affairs. With this, a series of correspondences started between him and Lord Minto, the then Governor General of India. MORLEY MINTO REFORMS A committee was appointed by the Government of India to propose a scheme of reforms. The committee submitted its report, and after the approval of Lord Minto and Lord Morley, the Act of 1909 was passed by the British parliament. The Act of 1909 is commonly known as Morley Minto Reforms. MORLEY MINTO REFORMS The following were the main features of the Act of 1909: 1. The number of the members of the Legislative Council at the Center was increased from 16 to 60. 2. The number of the members of the Provincial Legislatives was also increased. It was fixed as 50 in the provinces of Bengal, Madras and Bombay, and for the rest of the provinces it was 30. MORLEY MINTO REFORM 4. Right of separate electorate was given to the Muslims. CONGRESS/ MUSLIM LEAGUE There was increasing cooperation between the Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League. Mohammad Ali Jinnah a prominent Bombay lawyer and staunch supporter and member of the Indian National Congress joined the Muslim league at this time and was LUCKNOW PACT (1916) The Lucknow Pact of 1916 saw a negotiation between the League and the Congress in which the Congress accepted the principle of separate electorates. A bargain was struck over the distribution of seats: Muslim leaders accepted under representation in Muslim majority areas (only 40% seats in Bengal), in return for over representation in provinces like Bombay and United Provinces where Muslims were in LUCKNOW PACT (1916) minority (30% seats were assigned to them). Mohammad Ali Jinnah was the main architect of this pact. M K GANDHI Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 into a bania (merchant trader) family in a princely state of Porbandar, Gujarat. He went to England to complete his law degree and then went to South Africa in 1893. He worked in Natal for nearly 20 years on behalf of Indian community against racist policies of white rulers. M K GANDHI The close of Non-cooperation Movement in 1922 also saw the spread of communal violence and the assertion of Congress that only its brand of politics offered representation to the nation. It is also critical to keep in mind that Gandhi’s ethical and political thought emphasized discipline, self-discipline particularly, but also M K GANDHI by extension, the disciplined mass protest. While he is associated with mass protest, he was deeply concerned about the potential explosiveness of the uncontrollable masses. Is Gandhi to be considered a new force in Indian politics, or did he complement the existing moderate infrastructure?
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