SV: SV: ICHR controversey

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Wed Mar 1 11:32:07 UTC 2000

Vidyasankar Sundaresan [SMTP:vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM] skrev 01. mars 2000
> Even worse, there is a basic tendency towards ad hoc denial of certain
> aspects of India's past. It is hardly justifiable, but that is what has
> happened, repeatedly.

> Furthermore, almost every single Indian historian has this idealized notion
> that everything was rosy and healthy before India became a British colony,
> and that every little contemporary communal problem really began only in the
> 19th century. Before that, it was all Hindu-Muslim-bhai-bhai, presumably.
> The favorite culprit is the British policy of divide-and-rule.

Blaming the British for communal conflict is a trend that can be observed among
some scholars in the West as well, particularly political scientists and
historians dealing with the modern world (say after 1850). I have never quite
understood why, possibly because to these people everything before 1850 belongs
to deep geological time :-). But there are exceptions, such as the German
historian Klimkeit who follows the conflict and the roots of Hindu nationalism
back to Shivaji. If anything, I believe the British contributed to giving
communal conflict a modern form, and certainly to exacerbating it. But I don't
buy the idea that they "invented" it.

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone/Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at

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