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India, Delhi through Raj

I never finished off the India series. Looking at my journal, it took me a while to finish reading, and my notes seem scattered. I seem to have made a note of female rulers mentioned, so we'll start with that:

Delhi Sultanate, Mughals
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razia_Sultana Only lasted a few years, 1236-1240, but hey. Also note that her father's widow was effectively running things for a while, so two women for the price of one, as it were.
* "Arabs bring spinning wheel, paper." This would be in the Delhi Sultanate
* more muslims may have entered as refugees from Mongols than as Ghaznavid or Ghorid warriors combined
* art conflict: muslim vs. hindu, no representation vs. highly erotic temple art. Basic aesthetic incompatibilities; women's clothing too.
* Synthesis: Hindus adopt purdah, Muslims adopt caste. Way to adopt the worst of each world, guys.
* horses were always imported, Portugal choked trade
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malik_Ambar negro kingmaker and administrator

Tangential but interesting: a map of Eurasian (mostly Asian) polities before the Mongols swept through. Nice and complicated! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Premongol.png

* another woman leader
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahilyabai_Holkar regent. 30 years of firm and compassionate direction, giving southern Malwa peace and prosperity at odds with usual legitimized extortion. "moderate assessment and sacred respect for native rights of village officers and proprietors", styled avatar by people, sainted. Called a philosopher queen, compared to Catherine II of Russia, Elizabeth I of England, Margaret I of Denmark. Died 1795

The Raj

* Pax Britannica: more accurately called the Tax Britannica, or maybe the Axe Britannica for deforestation. As for Pax, the Empire was at war every year.

* Ranjit Singh, competent emperor of the Panjab, equal to the British, with French trained sepoys; the usual succession problem afterwards
* The conquest of the Sind actually outraged people back home in Britain, for being an unjustifiable blatant power grab. Punch put words in Napier's mouth: "Peccavi" (I have sinned/Sind)
* Apparently high caste Indians have taboos against traveling outside of India. Some did anyway, for the promise of loot and glory. Weren't so happy when Britain ran aground in Afghanistan.

* Afghan invaded by "politically insane" coterie around Lord Auckland in 1838; page 418; leapt from "we should support Dost Muhammad of Peshwar lest he turn to the Czar", to, well, mere suggestion of receiving Russian encouragement became proof of "his most unreasonable pretensions" and "schemes of aggrandizement and ambition injurious to the security and peace of the frontiers of India", leading to disaster of the First Afghan War, breaking reputation of invincibility.

* princely state of Kashmir, odd because a Hindu ruled Muslims, peaceful for a century unlike Sikh or Afghan rule.

* William Wilberforce rated missionary access to India more important than abolishing the slave trade. 1800 to 1850 saw a change: from respect for India and people urging prejudice in favor of native institutions, to contempt for natives, triumph of free trade, evangelism, contempt for Hinduism, ignorant utilitarianism

* suttee and thuggee supposedly rare and not central or peculiar to orthodoxy; but ban stigmatised Hinduism. converts to Christianity were few but British sense of moral superiority grew

* heavy taxation was traditional, but with periods of respite or relaxation; British demand was relentless, and new settlements led to dispossession when revenues weren't met

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rani_Lakshmi_Bai promising widowed rani, dispossessed by "right of lapse"; gov-general Dalhousie at work. Also annexation of Awadh, the most loyal native state. These go under the British breaking their own rules and treating allies like crap.

That seems to be it for my notes. I'm sure the book went up into modern times, independence and partition and all, but I have no notes... but wait! I have unposted notes from the *previous* book, K&R! Oy. And from earlier in the final book... okay, this was going to be the last India post, but that'd be too long. Or take too much work.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/306935.html#comments



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a bullshit piece of anti-Western, pro-Muslim apologetics to me, brother.
Feb. 10th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Uh, what are you referring to?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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