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Divided people are easy targets

10 3 17
14.01.2018

Way back in 1857 a foreign journalist described India in words that seem eerily relevant today. (That is going a really long way back because 1857 was the year Indian soldiers rebelled against their British overlords in what came to be known, in Indian terms, as the first war of independence and, in British terms, as the Sepoy Mutiny.

This was the showdown that led to the formal end of the Mughal Empire and the formal start of the British Empire, the Crown taking over officially from the East India Company). In November of that year an American editor named Charles Creighton Hazewell published an article titled British India in The Atlantic Monthly. His thesis was that the cultural divisions within India were so sharp and extreme that a foreign power found it easy to take control. A lengthy quote is justified:

“In one respect the Indian Empire of England resembles the Roman Empire. The latter comprised many and widely different countries and races, and so it is with the former. We are so accustomed to speak of India as if it constituted one country, and was inhabited by a homogenous people, that it is difficult to understand that not even in Europe are nations to be........

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