A History of India Volume II: Medieval to Modern Times [2]

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A History of India Volume II: Medieval to Modern Times [2]

Table of contents :
Front Cover
Title Page
CONTENTS
lndia ln Modern Times
THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF INDIA (EIGHTEENTH CENTURY)
THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND THE FRENCH FOR INDIA (1746-1763)
THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF SOUTH INDIA
THE POLICIES OF THE COLONIAL AUTHORITIES IN INDIA: LATE EIGHTEENTH AND EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURIES
THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
THE FINAL STAGE OF THE CONQUEST OF INDIA
ANTI-COLONIAL PROTEST
THE EMERGENCE OF A MOVEMENT OF THE BOURGEOISIE
THE GREAT POPULAR UPRISING OF 1857-1859
INDIAN CULTURE IN THE EIGHTEENTH AND EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURIES
INDIA AT THE ONSET OF IMPERIALISM (1860-1897)
CHANGES IN THE SYSTEM OF COLONIAL ADMINISTRATION
INDIA'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN THE 1860s AND THE 1890s
THE NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE OF THE PEOPLES OF INDIA BETWEEN THE 1860s AND THE 1890s
THE EMERGENCE OF BOURGEOIS NATIONALISM AND ITS VARIOUS TRENDS
INDIA IN THE PERIOD OF PRE-WAR IMPERIALISM, AS ASIA AWAKENS (1897-1917)
MOUNTING CONTRADICTIONS BETWEEN BRITAIN AND INDIA
THE RISING TIDE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT IN 1905-1908
INDIA ON THE EVE OF THE FIRST WORLD WARAND DURING THE WAR YEARS
Recent History of Indla
THE FIRST REVOLUTIONARY ON SLAUGHT ANDTHE EMERGENCE OF POLITICAL MASS ORGANISATIONS (1918-1927)
HIGH TIDE OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENT
THE COUNTER-OFFENSIVE OF BRITISH IMPERIALISM
THE EMERGENCE OF A COMMUNIST MOVEMENT IN INDIAAND THE FORMATION OF WORKERS' AND PEASANTS' POLITICAL ORGANISATIONS
THE RISE OF THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVEMENTAND THE STRUGGLE FOR A UNITED FRONT (1928-1939)
A NEW CHAPTER IN THE NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE
THE LEFT FORCES ASSUME A STRONGER POSITION THE NATIONAL MOVEMENT. STRUGGLE FOR LEADERSHIP INTENSIFIES
PROGRESS TOWARDS A UNITED NATIONAL FRONT. THE INTENSIFICATIONOF THE STRUGGLE WITHIN THE CONGRESS
INDIA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR
THE POSITION OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVEMENT DURING THE EARLY WAR YEARS (1939-1941)
THE "AUGUST REVOLUTION" OF 1942 AND BRITISH COLONIAL RULE
THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN INDIAN THE LAST YEARS OF THE WAR (1943-1945)
THE FINAL STAGE IN THE STRUGGLEFOR INDEPENDENCE (1945-1947)
THE MASS MOVEMENT IN 1945-1946 ANDTHE POLITICAL MANOEUVRING OF THE BRITISH IMPERIALISTS
ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM
THE DOMINION OF INDIA
FIRST STEPS ON THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE
THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA: BUILDINGTHE FOUNDATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE (1950-1964)
INTERNAL POLITICAL SITUATION OF THE EARLY 1950s
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL POLICY
THE EMERGENCE OF THE NEHRU LINE IN INDIA'S DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY
THE STRUGGLE TO PURSUE THE NEHRU LINE (1964-1972)
THE GROWING ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CRISIS
CONSOLIDATION OF THE LEFT FORCES
INDIA IN THE MID-SEVENTIES: DEEPENING CONTRADICTIONS IN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT (1973-1977)
ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE MID-SEVENTIES
INTERNAL POLITICAL SITUATION IN 1973-1975
A TURNING-POINT IN INDIA'S INTERNAL POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT: THE EMERGENCY AND THE 1977 ELECTIONS
FOREIGN POLICY

Citation preview

AHistorq of ludia K. Anton ova, G.Bongard-Levin, G. Kotovsky In Two Books

BOOK

2

Progress Publishers • Moscow

Translated (rom the Russian b).. KATHERINE JUDEUiON Designed by Y. LILOV

K. A. AJnoaoaa. I'. M. lioarapA-..1\eBRB, I'. I'. Koroaclad HCTOPIUI HH.l\HH KHHfA BTOPAJt

Firs~

printing \978.

e

}bJI;>.Te.JU.C'11>0 •MWc.m.•. 1973 English trans\auon of revised Russian text. 4;1 Progress Publishers 1979 Printaf in lh., Union of Sovje,l Socialisl Republics 1060!>--248 102-711

A.

014(01)-79

050400000o

CONTENTS

INDIA IN MODERN TIMES

THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF INDIA (EIGHTEENTH CENTURY) by K. A. Antonova ........................................................................ The Fall of the Moghul Empire . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Struggle Between the British and the French for India (1746-1763) ..... The British Conquest of South India .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Policies of the Colonial Authorities in India: Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Economic Development of India in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century.................................................................................. ....... The Final Stage of the Conquest of India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anti-Colonial Protest .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Emergence of a Movement of the Bourgeoisie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Great Popular Uprising of 1857-1859 ............................................... Indian Culture in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

II

II 19 32 50 60 63 65 68 70 76

INDIA AT THE ONSET OF IMPERIALISM (1860-1897) by G. G. Kotovsky

85

Changes in the System of Colonial Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . India's Economic Development Between the 1860s and the 1890s ............. The National Liberation Struggle of the Peoples of India Between the 1860s and the 1890s ......................................... ,.............................. The Emergence of Bourgeois Nationalism and Its V~U"ious Trends.............

85 90 101 110

INDIA IN THE PERIOD OF PRE-WAR IMPERIALISM, AS ASIA AWAKENS (1897-1917) by G. G. Kotovsky ........................ .... Mounting Contradictions Between Britain and India ................................ The Risina Tide of the Revolutionary Movement in 1905-1908 .................. India on the Eve of the First World War and Durina the War Years ........

116 116 123

134

RECENT HISTORY OF INDIA THE FIRST REVOLUTIONARY ONSLAUGHT AND THE EMERGENCE OF POLmCAL MASS ORGANISATIONS (1918-1927) by G. G. Kotovsky ...................... .................... ...... .......... ...... .... .... .

Hiah TKie of the National Liberation Movement............................... ...... The Counter-Offensive of British Imperialism.............................. ........... The Emergence of a Communist Movement in India and the Formation of Workers' and Peasants' Political Organisations........................... ........

153 153 171

176

THE RISE OF THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVEMENT AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A UNITED FRONT (1928-1939) by G. G. Korovslcy ......... .................... ............... ........... ... ... . . .. . .... . . .

185

A New Ollpter in the National Liberation StJua1e .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. . 1be Left Fon:es Assume a Stronger Position in the National Movement. StJuate for Leadership Intensifies .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. Propess Towuds a United National Front. The Intensification of the Struak Witbin the COOIRSS .. .... .. .. .. ..... .. ... ...... .. .. • .. • .. .. .. .. .. .. .. • .. .. .. ..

203

INDIA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR by G. G. Kotovslcy.................

218

The Position of the Political Parties and the Anti-Imperialist Movement During the Early War Years (1939-1941) ............................................ The ~August Revolution" of 1942 and British Colonial Rule..................... The Ecooomic and Political Situation in India in the Last Years of the

218 224

Wu: (1943-1945) ................................................. .............................

226

THE FINAL STAGE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE (194.5-1947) by G. G. Kotovsky ........................ ..

233

The Mass Movement in 194.5-1946 and the Political Manoeuvrina of the British Imperialists ................................................. ........................ .

233

·j

185

209

:__./ On the Road to Freedom ................................................. ................... .

243

THE DOMINION OF INDIA by G. G. Kotovsky ................................ ..

249

First Steps on the Road to Independence .............................................. . lnteusified ~~ Strugle .................................................. .................. .

249 260

v'

THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA: BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF INDEPENDENCE (1950-1964)by G. G. Kotovsky .............................

266

Internal Political Situation of the Early 1950s ......................................... Economic and Social Policy .................................................................

266 274

The Emergence of the Nehru Une in India's Domestic and Foreign Policy ......................... _................................................................

288

THE STRUGGLE TO PURSUE THE NEHRU LINE (1964-1972) by G. G. Kotovsky ..............................

310

The Growing Economic and Political Crisis............................................ Consolidation of the Left Forces .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

310 319

INDIA IN THE MID-SEVENTIES: DEEPENING CONTRADICTIONS IN THE INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT (1973-1977) by G. G. Kotovsky

327

Economic Situation in the Mid-Seventies .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .... .. .. .. .. .... .. .. .. .... .... .. . Internal Political Situation in 1973-1975 .................................................. A Turning-Point in India's Internal Political Development: the Emergency and the 1977 Elections .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Foreign Policy .. . .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

327 330

333 337

ludla lu Modem Times K.Antonova, G.Kotovsh

TilE BRITISH CONQUEST OF INDIA (EIGHTEENTH CENTURY) TilE FALL OF TilE MOGHUL EMPIRE

It was in the eighteenth century that the Moghul empire fell and lost its independence. The balance of power between the Indian states and the European trading companies operating in India under the auspices of their mother countries, was constantly changing to the Europeans' advantage. In the sixteenth century all that the Europeans had had in India was a few strongholds and warehouses; in the seventeenth century followed trading stations and settlements, while in the eighteenth century they began to subdue the Indian states. On the other hand it should be noted that by the eighteenth century the Europeans were confronting not the Moghul empire from which they had secured trading privileges by means of force and gifts, but merely individual states that were competing between each other and turning to the Europeans for help in feuds with their Indian adversaries. The decline of the empire which had begun as early as Aurangzeb 's reign proceeded at a far more rapid pace after his death. The war of succession which broke out between his three sons ended in victory for the elder-Muazzam, who acceded to the throne in 1707 in Delhi as Bahadur Shah (1707-1712). This aged and indecisive ruler ,undertook campaigns only against the Sikhs, who were being led by Banda Bahadur since the murder of Guru Govind Singh. This resolute man attracted to his cause many "embittered Indians from the lower castes" (to use the words of the chronicler) and captured Sirhind. Then with an army of seventy thousand he gained control of the Saharanpur district, and laid siege to Lahore, but failed to capture it. Bahadur Shah led his army out against Banda in person and in 1711 the Moghul forces captured the Sikhs' main stronghold Sirhind, and pushed them back to the foothills of the Himalayas. A new rivalry for the throne broke out between Bahadur Shah's sons after his death. This time it was the least talented claimant who emerged victorious-Jahandar Shah (1712-1713), who however was supported by a highly competent advisor. After no more than a few months, however, Jahandar Shah was ousted from power by his nephew Farrukhsiyar (1713-1719) and murdered in prison. Practically speaking, the country was at this time being ruled by Farrukhsiyar's advisors-two brothers from the Sayyid clan of Barba, a line that had been famous for its fighting traditions ever since Akbar's day. II

Meanwhile Banda had embarked once more on military action in the Punjab. but was unable to take Lahore because he lacked artillery. Farrukhsiyar sent an army out against the Sikhs and they were besieged in the fortress of Gurdaspur. Hunger forced the defenders to surrender. After forcing their way into the fortress the Moghul troops massacred those within. Banda and his supporters were captured and subjected to a lingering death in Delhi. Farrukhsiyar now sought to rid himself of the Sayyid brothers. but was defeated by them. After that the Delhi throne was for a short time held by Bahadur Shah's two infant grandsons, one after the other. Finally his third grandson acceded and assumed the title Muhammad Shah (1719-1748) after "removing" the Sayyid brothers with the help of a clique of courtiers. However Muhammad Shah himself had no thought for anything but the pursuit of pleasure. His lavish court and also the maintenance of the army devoured tremendous resources. Everything possible was exacted from the peasants; virtually no norms were laid down for the collection of taxes. Many peasants abandoned their holdings to escape the tax burden, joining the army or setting up their own detachments to plunder the surrounding countryside, daring even to approach Delhi. The economy was in a state of collapse. The empire was losing region after region in relentless succession. In 1713 Aurangzeb's governor in Bengal. Murshid Quli Khan, drove out of his province his official successor sent there by the Great Moghul: he also stopped taxes to Delhi and set up a new capital which he named Murshidabad. Between 1714 and 1718 Murshid Quli Khan was able to annex Bihar and Orissa to Bengal. Although the new state of Bengal formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the Moghul ruler, in practical terms it was completely independent. refusing, as it did, for example, to grant British merchants the privileges, that Farrukhsiyar had guaranteed them in 1717. The Moghul governor in the Deccan, Asaf Jah, also broke away from the empire and set up the independent state of Hyderabad with a capital of the same name near the fortress of Golconda. Asaf Jah and his successors on the throne of Hyderabad, who assumed the title Nizam, fought against the Marathas to hold sway over South India. Finally, in 1739, the Moghuls also lost control over Oudh which had also become an independent principality with its capital in Lucknow. Oudh endeavoured to extend its territory at the expense of the Rohilla Afghans, tribes that had settled to the north-east of the Delhi region. By this time the Moghuls were merely in control of the Agra-Delhi area. The main claimants to power over the whole of India were the Marathas. While a power-struggle was going on in North India among the various claimants to the Moghul throne, the Marathas not only established themselves in Western India, but also brought their fighting detachments to Central India. Since there were no organised armies to oppose them in that area, the Marathas attacked the towns 12

and small settlements, on the pretext that they were collecting the chauth and sardeshmukhi that were due to them. In Maharashtra a struggle for the throne was going on between Shahu, son of Sambhaji, who had been freed from captivity in Delhi, and Tara Bai, the widow of Rajaram, who had been ruling in the capacity of regent during Shahu's absence. . Meanwhile the Peshwa (first minister), Balaji Viswanath ( 17131720). assumed a position of influence. He virtually concentrated all power in his hands, thus laying foundations for the Maratha dynasty of Peshwas. The various members of Shivaji's dynasty still ranked as rajahs but they were not entitled to leave the town of Kolhapur where they were living. For supporting the Sayyid brothers, Balaji was given a firman (mandate) to collect the chauth and sardeshmukhifrom six of the southern subahs (provinces) of the Moghul empire. This meant that the Marathas' plunder had been legalised. They sent out their tax collectors escorted by military detachments to gather all they could find and to torture rich men in order to find out where their treasures were hidden. The inhabitants of the subahs concerned would scatter in fear at the approach of the Marathas. By the third decade of the eighteenth century the Marathas were in control of extensive territories in Central India. As a result four large Maratha principalities were set up: these were respectively ruled by the Bhonsla dynasty based in Nagpur, the Sindhias based in Gwalior, the Holkars based in Indore, and finally the Gaikwars based in Baroda. They were all to some extent subject to the central administration in Poona, the headquarters of the Peshwas. This league of Maratha principalities soon developed into a medley of different peoples and tribes. in which the Marathas themselves constituted the ruling minority. The Maratha army became a motley crowd with no vestige of ideals or a national spirit left. The position of the peasants in the Maratha principalities was extremely difficult, and all manner of new taxes were introduced. In practical terms the league of Maratha principalities turned into a feudal empire, that differed from the Moghul empire in its heyday only insofar as it was less centralised. Baji Rao I (1720-1740), Balaji's son, encouraged the Marathas to look northwards, since he was sure that if the Marathas could seize Delhi then they would be in control of the whole of India. He used to say: "If you strike at the trunk of the withering tree, the branches will fall off themselves." However when the Marathas were marching on Delhi from the south, troops of the ruler of Persia, Nadir Shah, invaded India from the north. The demoralised troops of the Great Moghul, Muhammad Shah, were unable to withstand his onslaught. While Nadir's army actually met with no resistance up to its appearance in the vicinity of Delhi, the main battle between the Moghuls and the Persians was fought at Karnal not far from Panipat. Since the outcome of these hostilities was not decisive, Nadir Shah gave orders for his troops to prepare for home. At that juncture he 13

was visited by envoys from Muhammad Shah who came to sue for peace. After this Nadir Shah set off for Delhi where he spent two months. organised a massive slaughter and received a firman granting him the right to take over the lands of the Moghuls north of the Indus (i.e. the territory that makes up modem Afghanistan) before returning home loaded down with Moghul treasures and booty. After Nadir Shah's departure. Delhi. now devastated, was at the mercy of marauders. The mass of inhabitants fled and the feudal lords sought refuge at the court of other nobles, mainly in Lucknow (the capital of Oudh). The Afghans were not long under Persian rule, and after Nadir Shah had been slain in 1747 they set up an independent state ruled over by Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani). Ahmad Shah had been in Delhi with Nadir Shah's army. Having seen how weak the Moghuls were, he decided to conquer the whole of India. He invaded India five times: in 1748, 1750, 1752, 1756-1757 and 1758. The main resistance which he encountered was not that of the Moghuls, but that of the Sikhs. They forced him to withdraw by cutting off his supply lines from Afghanistan. Meanwhile the Marathas under the leadership of Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao (1740-1761) were moving northwards. There they encountered the troops of Ahmad Shah. In 1761 the decisive battle between the two contestants for sway over India took place at Panipat. The Marathas were routed to a man. The best Maratha commanders fell during the battle and the Peshwa himself died of wounds. However it had been no easy victory for Ahmad Shah. He was compelled to withdraw to Afghanistan in order to muster fresh forces after the considerable losses incurred. Troubles at home detained him and after his death in the midst of feudal strife Afghan incursions into India came to an end. After Ahmad Shah's armies had withdrawn from India, the Sikhs immediately proceeded to drive out the Afghan garrisons from the Punjab, where they soon succeeded in setting up an independent state. By this time there was no longer any doubt that the centre of the economic activity in the sub