Which invaders came to India first
India gained independence on August 15, 1947. Great Britain released its colony. Fragmented: British India was divided into a Muslim Pakistan and the Indian Union. Lord Mountbatten only announced the exact course of the border the following day - when he (by the way, Prince Philip's uncle) was no longer Viceroy of India, but only Governor General of the new state.
The first result of the partition of India was the flight and displacement of around 20 million people, with hundreds of thousands dead. The idea of settling the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus by creating two separate states had failed. One powder keg had become two.
The new masters were neither particularly religious in Pakistan nor in India. In view of the different religions in India, that was probably a stroke of luck. One could describe the history of the two states as a process in which the “midnight children”, the title of Salman Rushdie's great novel about divided India, instead of settling down in their homes, become more and more radicalized. Until they face each other as nuclear powers.
Liberation of India meant the end of colonialism
The liberation of India was the beginning of the end of colonialism. The fact that Great Britain, the victorious power of World War II, had to give up India, had been a signal - for the liberation movements and for the colonial powers. Both were arming. Both were determined not to give up. In 1954 France lost the Indochina War, and in the 1960s at least one state succeeded in liberating its European master almost every year. August 15, 1947 is one of the most important dates in world history.
For centuries the invaders of India came from the northwest. Iraqi Arabs, Mamluks and Tughluqs, Pashtuns from Afghanistan came. Persian was the official language in India until 1835. For centuries the areas of what is now northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were ruled by a ruler. The grave of the founder of the Mughal Empire, for example, is not in Delhi, but in Kabul.
This does not mean that India has a desire to expand in this direction, but it does explain why New Delhi's elites are very interested in what is happening there. With Narendra Damodardas Modi, a radical Hindu politician became prime minister of the multi-ethnic state in 2014. He was Chief Minister of Gujarat State when violent clashes broke out between Muslims and Hindus in February 2002. The US refused entry to him in 2005 because of his "responsibility for serious violations of religious freedom". His massive advocacy of a Hindu state probably contributed just as much to his absolute majority as the economic success of Gujarat.
“India first” is Modi's motto. Observers of Indian politics were amazed that the newly elected Prime Minister went on more than 40 trips abroad, soliciting US support. Indeed, it looks like they are now giving preference to India over their old ally, Pakistan, deeply submerged in terrorism.
Of course, India still looks to Pakistan, its most dangerous neighbor. But China is the main economic threat to India. It's not just the millions of cheap products from China that are flooding the market. China's will to expand has a much more massive impact. China is expanding ports in front of Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. These are the neighbors India regards as its catchment area. China has a very effective and large fleet. India is only just building one. China needs a functioning connection to the Gulf States. India is fighting back.
In response to the Chinese-driven expansion of the Pakistani port of Gwadar in the Persian Gulf, India is expanding its port in Karwar on the Arabian Sea. Against the massive expansion of Kyaukpyu (Myanmar), where China is also installing pipelines, India is building its own port and energy complex in Sittwe, only 60 kilometers away. It is still a very unequal fight. Just one example: China builds as many kilometers of road every year as India has in total.
Free India is becoming less free every day
If all of this seems complicated, even dangerous enough, you have to remember that millions of Bangladeshis are fleeing to India, that India is fighting with Pakistan and China over areas of Kashmir. For decades. We have not yet said a word about the twenty to fifty thousand Maoist Naxalites who are active in southeast India.
India may be one of the fastest growing economies in the world and a factor of stability compared to Pakistan, but the truth is that India is neither a safe haven for its 154 million Muslims, nor for its wives, including those in 2011 One was raped every hour.
Free India is becoming less free every day. The Indian subcontinent, which cannot be viewed without Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, Tibet and Nepal, is geopolitically one of the less stable parts of the world.
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