Secularism, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia 2017011570, 9781138052024, 9781315168043, 9780367888886

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Secularism, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia
 2017011570, 9781138052024, 9781315168043, 9780367888886

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction: secularism as historical practice
1 Traces of a transnational mindset: thinking secularism for the postcolonial era
2 Contesting urban space: places of worship, the secular state, and social disintegration in post-Partition Delhi
3 Prosecuting the ‘non­secular’: the conflict with the RSS in Delhi after Partition
4 Redefining secularism in the Cold War: Christian missionaries in Malaya’s New Villages, 1948–1960
5 (Anti-) secularism and social struggle: Christian and Islamic groups during the anti­communist mass murder in Indonesia, 1965–1966
6 Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India
Conclusions
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Secularism, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia

The intensifying conflicts between religious communities in contemporary South and Southeast Asia signify the importance of gaining a clearer under­ standing of how societies have historically organised and mastered their re­ ligious diversity. Based on extensive archival research in Asia, Europe, and the United States, this book suggests a new approach to interpreting and explaining secularism not as a Western concept but as a distinct form of practice in 20th-century global history. In six case studies on the contemporary history of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, it analyses secularism as a project to create a high degree of distance between the state and religion during the era of decolonisation and the emerging Cold War between 1945 and 1970. To demonstrate the interplay between local and transnational dynamics, the case studies look at patterns of urban planning, the strug­ gle against religious nationalism, conflicts around religious education, and (anti-)communism as a dispute over secularism and social reform. The book emphasises in particular the role of non-state actors as key supporters of secular statehood – a role that has thus far not received sufficient attention. A novel approach to studying secularism in Asia, the book discusses the different ways that global transformations such as decolonisation and the Cold War interacted with local relations to reshape and relocate religion in society. It will be of interest to scholars of Religious Studies, International Relations and Politics, Studies of Empire, Cold War Studies, Subaltern Studies, Modern Asian History, and South and Southeast Asian Studies. Clemens Six is Assistant Professor for contemporary global history at the Department of History, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His main research interests include religion and politics, the contemporary ­h istory of South and Southeast Asia, the history of North-South relations, and the global aid industry.

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia For a full list of available titles please visit: www.routledge.com/RoutledgeStudies-in-the-Modern-History-of-Asia/book-series/MODHISTASIA

119 Britain’s Imperial Retreat from China, 1900–1931 Phoebe Chow 120 Constitution-making in Asia Decolonisation and state-building in the aftermath of the British Empire H. Kumarasingham 121 Neutrality in Southeast Asia Concepts and contexts Nicholas Tarling 122 Britain’s Retreat from Empire in East Asia, 1905–1980 Edited by Antony Best 123 The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia Deimperialization, postwar legitimation and Imperial afterlife Edited by Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov 124 Public Health and the Modernization of China, 1910–2015 Liping Bu 125 The Economy of Colonial Malaya Administrators versus capitalists Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja 126 Secularism, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia Clemens Six 127 Chinese Middlemen in Hong Kong’s Colonial Economy, 1830–1890 Kaori Abe

Secularism, Decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia Clemens Six

First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 Clemens Six The right of Clemens Six to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Six, Clemens, 1975– author. Title: Secularism, decolonisation, and the Cold War in South and Southeast Asia / Clemens Six. Description: New York, NY: Routledge, 2018. | Series: Routledge studies in the modern history of Asia; 126 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017011570 | ISBN 9781138052024 (hbk) | ISBN 9781315168043 (ebk) Subjects: LCSH: Secularism—South Asia. | Secularism—Southeast Asia. | Decolonization—South Asia. | Decolonization—Southeast Asia. | Religion and politics—South Asia. | Religion and politics— Southeast Asia. | Religion and sociology—South Asia. | Religion and sociology—Southeast Asia. | South Asia—Religion—20th century. | Southeast Asia—Religion—20th century. | Cold War. Classification: LCC BL2765.S64 S59 2018 | DDC 201/.72095—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017011570 ISBN: 978-1-138-05202-4 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-16804-3 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by codeMantra

Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations

vii ix

Introduction: secularism as historical practice 1 1 Traces of a transnational mindset: thinking secularism for the postcolonial era 22 2 Contesting urban space: places of worship, the secular state, and social disintegration in post-Partition Delhi 57 3 Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’: the conflict with the RSS in Delhi after Partition 89 4 Redefining secularism in the Cold War: Christian missionaries in Malaya’s New Villages, 1948–1960 124 5 (Anti-)secularism and social struggle: Christian and Islamic groups during the anti-communist mass murder in Indonesia, 1965–1966 164 6 Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India 205 Conclusions 239 Bibliography Index

259 299

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Acknowledgements

During my visits to India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia over the last ten years or so, I have always been impressed by women and men for who the occupation with religious extremism, inter-religious violence, national­ ism, and patriarchy is not merely an academic exercise but a matter of daily confrontation and dispute. In the course of many conversations, I learned that their efforts to analyse and understand contemporary manifestations of religion and secularism are not only contributions to a wider political de­ bate about how to master diversity and strengthen democracy. More impor­ tantly, their engagement inside and outside academia is in itself a political endeavour to expose the fateful consequences of religious exclusivism for societies that have been for centuries conglomerates of an almost endless va­ riety of religious ideas, practices, and social formations. Research on secu­ larism in a global perspective is an academic field somewhat complementary to this engagement. In this light, this book is an attempt to discuss secular­ ism not as a diffusion of Euro-Christian traits but as a central category of ­20th-century global history. During the turbulent history since its initiation in 2008, this project has benefited from critical and benevolent comments from many scholars and companions. The research got kicked off at the University of Chicago, where the late Martin Riesebrodt brought me into contact not only with his own way of researching but also with other colleagues in the humanities and particularly in religious studies. The inspiring months as a fellow at the Divinity School lay the ground for this project. At Bern University, I thank Christian Gerlach for three years of free research, his advice, and encouragement, especially in difficult times and his detailed comments on the manuscript. Moritz Feichtinger, who knows much more about counter-insurgency than I do, read the Malaya chapter and has become a very close friend; and Alexa Stiller, although working in a very different field, took the time to listen to the puzzles of Asian history. Stefan van der Poel (Groningen), Guido van Hengel (Den Haag), and ­Ilker Ataç (Vienna) commented on parts of the manuscript and helped to make my arguments more coherent. Antoon de Baets (Groningen) provided me with strategic advice whenever needed.

viii Acknowledgements In Indonesia, I thank the Department of History at Universitas I­ ndonesia in Depok/Jakarta for the opportunity to share some of my ideas during a guest lectureship. Linda Sunarti and Lucky were wonderful hosts, and I learned a lot not only from their academic experience but also their politi­ cal views on Indonesian affairs. The Roosevelt Institute for American Studies at Middleburg, the ­Netherlands, has granted me with a visiting fellowship to make use of its rich archive. The Faculty of Humanities at Bern University and the Research ­Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) at the University of ­Groningen have supported this project with numerous travel grants. Finally, a word of gratitude on what is difficult to express succinctly. Throughout these years, Élo has been a fierce critic of academia’s ­multiple flaws, but also the most determined supporter of my endeavours. I am deeply thankful for both. The book is dedicated to her.

Abbreviations

ABRI

I ndonesian National Armed Forces (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia) AICC All-India Congress Committee AIHMS All-India Hindu Mahasabha ANRI  Indonesian National Archives (Jakarta) (Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia) Ansor  Ansor Youth Movement, NU’s youth wing (Gerakan Pemuda Ansor) BAPERKI Indonesian Citizenship Consultative Body (Badan Permusjawaratan Kewarganegaraan Indonesia) BPI Central Intelligence Body (Badan Pusat Intelijens) BTI Peasants Front of Indonesia (Barisan Tani Indonesia) CBMS Conference of British Missionary Societies CIA Central Intelligence Agency CIA/CREST CIA Records Search Tool CID Criminal Investigation Department (New Delhi) CMS Church Missionary Society CWM Council of World Mission CWMG Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi DA Delhi (City) Archives DA CC Office Delhi Archives Chief Commissioner Office (Delhi) DA DC Office Delhi Archives Deputy Commissioner Office (Delhi) DDRS The Declassified Documents Reference System, accessed at the RSC, Middleburg, the Netherlands DKI Jakarta S  pecial Capital City District of Jakarta (Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta) DRM Die Rheinische Mission (Wuppertal, Germany) FAK Anti-communist Front (Front Anti-Komunis) FCC Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America GASBIINDO Joint Industrial Labour Union of Indonesia (Gabungan Serikat Buruh Industri Indonesia) GERWANI I ndonesian Women’s Movement (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia)

x Abbreviations Gestapu

P  ropaganda term for the Movement of 30 September 1965 (Gerakan 30 September) GOI Government of India HMI  Islamic Students Association, Indonesia (Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam) HMS Hindu Mahasabha (see AIHMS) HUA/RvdZ Het Utrechts Archief/Raad voor de Zending HSVC Hindu Scouts Volunteer Corps ICCC International Council of Community Churches INC Indian National Congress IRD Information Research Department, UK J&K Jammu & Kashmir KAMI  Indonesian Students Action Front (Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Indonesia) KAPPI A  ction Union of Indonesian High School Students and Youth (Kesatuan Aksi Peladjar dan Pemuda Indonesia) KASI  Indonesian Graduates Action Front (Kesatuan Aksi Sarjana Indonesia) KDC  Catholic Documentation Centre (Nijmegen) (Katholieke Documentatie Centrum) KIT  Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam) (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen) KITLV R  oyal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (Leiden & Jakarta) (Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde) KITLV/SMGI K  ITLV/Foundation Oral History Indonesia (Leiden) (Stichting Mondelige Geschiedenis Indonesië) KomMissieMemoires (KDC interview project) KMM Army Strategic Reserve Command (Komando Cadangan Kostrad  Strategis Angkatan Darat) (Indonesia) People’s Cultural Institute (Lembaga Kebudayaan LEKRA  Rakyat) Department of Local Self Government (Delhi) L.S.G. C  ouncil of Indonesian Muslim Associations (Partai Masyumi Majelis Syuro Muslimin Indonesia) Malayan Chinese Association MCA Malayan Christian Council MCC Malayan Communist Party MCP Muslim League National Guards MLNG Indonesian University Student Assembly (Majelis MMI  Mahasiswa Indonesia) Member of Parliament MP NA/DH Nationaal Archief/Den Haag National Archives of India (New Delhi) NAI

Abbreviations  xi NARA  National Archives and Records Administration (Maryland, USA) NAS National Archives of Singapore (Singapore) NMML Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (New Delhi) NSA National Security Agency NU  Nahdlatul Ulama (Revival/Awakening of Religious Scholars) NWFP  North-West Frontier Province (British India, today Pakistan) OSF Order of Saint Francis (Ordo Sancti Francisci) Parkindo I ndonesian (Protestant) Christian Party (Partai Kristen Indonesia) PERSAMI Association of Indonesian Muslim Graduates (Persatuan Sarjana Muslimin Indonesia) PERSIS Islamic Union (Persatuan Islam) PEMKRI  Christian (Catholic) Youth Organisation of Indonesia (Pemuda Kristen Indonesia) PII Islamic Student Organisation (Pelajar Islam Indonesia) PKI  Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia) PMII  Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia) PNI Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia) PP Pancasila Youth (Pemuda Pancasila) PSII  Muslim Association Party Indonesia (Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia) PWD Public Works Department (New Delhi) Indonesian Journalist Association (Persatuan Wartawan PWI  Indonesia) Indonesian Christian Women’s Association (Persatuan PWKI  Wanita Kristen Indonesia) Relief & Rehabilitation R&R The Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, the Netherlands RSC  ational Volunteer Organisation (Rashtriya RSS (or RSSS) N Swayamsevak Sangh) Singapore Council of Women SCW Unilever Labour Union (Serikat Buruh Unilever) Serbumi Fraser & Neave Labour Union (Serikat Buruh Fraser & SGFN  Neave) Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI School of Oriental and African Studies (London) SOAS Societas Verbi Divini (Divine Word Missionaries or SVD  Steyler Missionaries) Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru SWJN

xii Abbreviations TNA The National Archives, London, UK TNI Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia) UB-CRL  University of Birmingham, Special Collections, Cadbury Research Library UMNO United Malays National Organisation USIS United States Information Service WCC World Christian Council (Library & Archives, Geneva) W.M.&P. (Indian) Ministry of Works, Mines and Power (New Delhi) YMCA Young Men’s Christian Association YWCA Young Women’s Christian Association

Introduction Secularism as historical practice

This book is a historian’s contribution to secularism studies, an increasingly rich research field that has so far been dominated by sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and scholars of religion. During the last two ­decades or so, scholars have devoted a large amount of attention to the study of politicised religion as well as different forms of religious extremism. More recently, scholars in various academic disciplines are advancing our understanding of how and where secularism came about, who its most important advocates were and in how far secularism ought to be interpreted as a key feature of our globalising world.1 The motivation to write this book, however, was not the conviction that historians should necessarily be part of every interdisciplinary debate that currently shapes international social science and the humanities. The evolving agenda of secularism studies, though, suffers from some important shortcomings that a historical approach may help to address. First, large parts of the debate are theoretical and disconcertingly speculative. There is need for more and more detailed empirical studies. More specifically, secularism studies so far underestimate historical archives as a means to trace and analyse undetected practical forms of secularism. Second, the agenda of secularism studies is still dominated by a strong focus on W ­ estern societies, with some notable exceptions, on a limited amount of non-­Western cases such as Turkey and India. Comparative works concentrating on (post) colonial cases are almost completely absent. Third, the impact of transnational dynamics on local formations of secularism is largely unclear. ­Finally, secularism studies are over-determined by the focus on institutions in general and state institutions, state law, and state actors more specifically. The broad spectrum of non-state actors needs significantly more attention because it co-determined secularism in many decisive ways. On this background, the objective of this book is at the same time modest as well as ambitious. It is modest in the sense that it concentrates on only one particular meaning of secularism, i.e. secularism as a distinct means of managing religious diversity under the auspices of a largely secular state. In this perspective, secularism describes a particular relationship between state and religion that is neither a consequent separation – as often claimed

2 Introduction for Western secularism – nor an equidistance of the state to all religious communities. Historically more adequate, secularism is a comprehensive effort to accommodate religious diversity by locating the state beyond indi­ vidual religious communities in a mode of strategic distance. Such strategic distance allows for differentiated treatment of religious communities and thus includes different degrees of closeness, control, and intervention to­ wards religion.2 As such, secularism is different from secularisation, mean­ ing the decreasing significance of religion in public and private life. In this understanding, it is possible for a devout Muslim, Hindu, or Christian to be committed to a secular state without necessarily giving up his or her religious conviction. The interest in this book, however, lies on the former, i.e. on historical formations of secularism and how and why these forma­ tions have evolved and changed over time. From a global historical perspective, the Asia-Pacific region has long-standing, exceptionally rich experience of the many facets of religious and ethnic diversity. Particularly, South and Southeast Asia have for cen­ turies been a testing ground for the coexistence of numerous religious out­ looks and ethnic communities.3 These societies have experimented with the political and social management of such diversity since pre-colonial times and have thereby turned this diversity into a subject of intentional political interventions. In return, these interventions have shaped and altered the nu­ merous religious, cultural, and social formations in society. Historically, it is thus helpful to distinguish mere diversity from pluralism as an objective and distinct product of political management. As such, pluralism is not simply given but requires the active, reflexive perception of diversity as well as its deliberate design by political decision-makers and/or religious communities themselves.4 Given the centrality of both religious diversity and pluralism for historical change more generally, our understanding of how South and Southeast Asian societies have negotiated their pluralism and what deter­ mined local secularism projects is still fairly limited. The more ambitious aspect of this book lies in its goal: it proposes to re­ flect on secularism as a central category of 20th-century global history and in this way move questions about religion and the secular from the margins of contemporary historiography to its very centre. To do so, it compares and partly connects several forms of secularism in India, Indonesia, M ­ alaysia, and Singapore under the conditions of decolonisation and the Cold War. It asks to what extent these two transnational processes have created or de­ nied opportunities for various groups and individuals, secular-minded as well as religious, to redefine the location of religion in society and in this way work towards secular statehood. My main argument hereby is that in a 20th-century global perspective secularism is best understood as a distinct form of historical practice to define and master the religious pluralism that evolved when the colonial administrators’ control capacities declined and postcolonial ideas and interest groups came to the fore. As such, this his­ torical practice is not the manifestation of a uniform set of ideas, a certain

Introduction  3 religious doctrine, or a distinct political ideology that can clearly be defined in its origin or traced in its global diffusion.5 More adequately, this his­ torical practice is multifaceted and diverse, ephemeral, and thus radically historical, sometimes planned, frequently situational, improvised, and thus occasionally contradictory, but nevertheless uniform in its goal to establish a state that is not conflated with, and at the same time not fully disconnected from, religion. The understanding of secularism that derives from this perspective does not sharply distinguish any more between local, national, and transnational levels.6 By contrast, I discuss the transnational as a historical “condition”,7 which evolved after the Second World War and increasingly shaped social relations and processes of state formation. What makes secularism as prac­ tice so relevant for 20th-century global history is that it had far-reaching consequences for the power structures, social relations, and political hege­ monies within the societies concerned as well as in the international arena. In this sense, it provides a key to a more in-depth understanding of longterm transformations in postcolonial politics and society. The comparison between different societies and situations in South and Southeast Asia that I undertake in the following chapters suggests that we should empirically re-evaluate and thus also selectively re-appreciate secu­ larisation theory. A central part of Western social science after the Second World War, this theory – or better this complex of theories – has described “the process by which sectors of society and culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols” as a result of increasing modernisation in the West and, for the future, also outside the West.8 The normative assumption of this theory that more modernity means less reli­ gion is empirically no longer tenable. Comparison does show, however, that (post)colonial societies in Asia were often confronted with similar, in some cases even identical challenges of how to organise religious pluralism in the context of territorial integration, inter-religious conflicts within and across national borders, economic hardship, social inequality, and weak state ­legitimacy. As a consequence, they have developed comparable and in some ways structurally related concepts of secularism to meet these challenges. The purpose of my case studies is, therefore, to demonstrate exemplarily how secularism as practice evolved under the conflictual circumstances of state (re-)building during the transition from colonialism to a postcolonial order after the Second World War.

Secularism and its context Comparative works on secularism differ significantly in their interpreta­ tion of secularism and historical change. More recently, a culturalist un­ derstanding of secularism became more prominent in this interdisciplinary field. The starting point of these contributions is the critique that, in con­ trast to religion, secularism has been analysed too often outside the realm

4 Introduction of culture which, among other problems, would enhance Western-centrism. Alter­natively, these authors offer a more culture-sensitive definition of the secular. Marian Burchardt, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, and Matthias ­Middle, for example, recently suggested to use the term “secularity” for such ­culture-sensitive forms of the secular. For them secularity is “an analyti­ cal term for the culturally, symbolically, and institutionally anchored forms of distinction between religious and non-religious spheres and material spaces.”9 Their goal is therefore to locate “cultures of secularities” within the longue-durée of global changes in order to explain how culture-specific constructions of the religious-secular divide came about.10 In a similar fashion, Susanna Mancini and Michael Rosenfeld have argued in their study on “constitutional secularism” that the cultural-­ religious context of secularism should be given greater consideration. What they recognise as this context is a “Christian tradition” that includes the New Testament and Western Christianity during the centuries until the ­Enlightenment.11 In the same volume, Nadia Urbinati insists that secular­ ism is “recalcitrant of abstract theorizing, because the context is a crucial factor for evaluating it.”12 Similarly, Steve Bruce asks in his extensive study on politics and religion on a global scale whether “religions differ in the sorts of regimes and movements they encourage.”13 By extension he comes to the conclusion that, more than any other religion as a sort of context, ­Christianity’s “long period in the wilderness gave it a very good reason to take seriously the separation of church and state that Christ had suggested”.14 Scholars have come to similar conclusions about non-Western societies or ‘cultures’. With reference to India, for example, T.N. Madan has criticised a universal secularisation theory for its culture-insensitive approach. While a clear separation of the domains of the sacred and the secular would his­ torically be specific to (Protestant) Christianity, Hinduism would subsume the secular under the sacred. Islam would not make this distinction alto­ gether.15 For a more context-aware theorising of secularism, we would thus need to study the different religions and ‘their’ respective interpretations of the secular. While I agree with these authors that the historical context is indeed cru­ cial to understand historical formations of the secular, I argue in my case studies that this crucial context is not religion itself, a civilisational longuedurée, or any other form of long-term texture societies may have built up since pre-modern times. In their recent comparative study of various Western, Middle Eastern, and Asian cases, Mirjam Künkler and Shylashri Shankar found that formations of state secularism and their effect on religion in the modern era indeed seem to depend gradually “on the realm regulated by re­ ligious authorities prior to the emergence of the modern state.”16 But as the heterogeneity within the Islamic world shows, these civilisational contexts and their guiding ideas on religion and the state are only one and, as I would argue, a minor aspect to explain modern formations of secularism.17 A cul­ turalist approach to secularism has limited explanatory potential because it

Introduction  5 underestimates historical discontinuity and the relevance of contemporary transnational processes, which exceed cultural as well as national bound­ aries. Short-term interests of indigenous elites, the colonial heritage, and changing opportunities within globe-spanning processes that evolved since the end of the 19th century and particularly after the Second World War were over-powering factors that altered long-term cultural textures in many profound ways. The archival material I analyse in this book suggests, by contrast, that sec­ ularism as historical practice is a product of midterm, in Fernand Braudel’s terminology ‘conjunctural’, developments as well as situational conflicts af­ ter 1945. Although the precise shape and course of these developments and conflicts was mostly national, they were essentially intertwined with global change. Political disputes, inter-religious clashes, economic disruptions, and social antagonisms were connected with transnational factors such as the decline of empires, the cycles of the world economy, and geopolitical programmes such as (anti-)communism that intervened in state affairs, so­ cial relations, and the state’s relationship with religious organisations. For that reason, secularism studies in a global comparative perspective ought to localise the evolution of secularism inside subnational as well as transna­ tional arenas of institutions, everyday life practices, and norms.18 An important consequence of this interpretation of secularism is that a clear distinction between different religions – frequently suggested in sec­ ularism studies – is not helpful. The key to a more profound understand­ ing of secularism’s historical formations, including its national and local variations, does not lie in religion itself, but in various ‘worldly’ processes that transformed state and society in the aftermath of the Second World War. For this reason, this book combines studies on societies with Islamic, Hindu, as well as Buddhist-Taoist majority communities.

Secularism and the global condition In contemporary social science, there is an increasing desire to analyse and explain the role of religion and the secular under the conditions of grow­ ing global interdependency and exchange. There are especially two deve­ lopments that need to be accommodated in such an analysis: the growing religious diversity globalisation processes bring about; and the coexistence of religious cosmologies with atheistic or agnostic perspectives in almost all societies worldwide. Although secularisation theory with its “organic link”19 between modernisation and the decline of religion is no longer ad­ equate due to the persistent relevance of religion as well as the rise of new forms of religion within globalisation processes, there is growing aware­ ness that we do need concepts and interpretations that help explain uni­ versal, i.e. global changes without necessarily assuming their homogeneity. For José ­Casanova, the theory of secularisation does indeed describe con­ vincingly the historical diminution of the social significance of religion in

6 Introduction Europe. At a global level, though, the connection between modernisation and the decline of religion is not suitable as a “universal teleological model for a development which shows the future to the rest of the world.”20 The global condition of religion and the secular that evolved throughout the 20th century includes two different dynamics that are crucial to under­ stand historical formations of secularism during this era. For one, religious diversity is increasingly a worldwide condition of life and belief. But what looks relatively new from a European perspective is in many Asian societies a sociocultural pattern established since centuries. Under more recent con­ ditions of global modernity, however, the question for the modern state in these societies is how this state defines itself in relation to religion and how the state intends to regulate the relations of different religious communities with each other.21 Throughout the 20th century, communities were increas­ ingly perceived as in need for specific forms of “religious and social engi­ neering” in order to fit into the overall framework of a modern bureaucratic state and to ‘produce’ religious freedom.22 Thus, what globalised in this era is not the declining public significance of religious beliefs and practices, but the recognition of religion as a subject of political intervention under the auspices of a modern bureaucratic regime. In this sense, the central thesis of secularisation theory about the differenti­ ation and emancipation of secular spheres, including the state from religious influence, remains a fruitful starting point.23 What we need to understand better, though, are the enhancing historical factors of this process in the context of global transformations and their contradictory consequences on society and the state. Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen have suggested earlier to reconsider secularism “in the con­ text of contemporary global politics and transnational social change.”24 My case studies therefore concentrate on ways by which religion was redefined as a political subject and relocated within society in the context of late im­ perial and postcolonial state building. The second aspect of the global condition of religion in this era is a trans­ national and thus increasingly global secular discourse that puts people in a position to deal with different facets of public life and politics with­ out reference to any religious cosmology. Agnostic, atheist, and anarchist views have informed various communities and political movements across the globe throughout the 20th century.25 Although outside the communist bloc these ideological positions remained in a minority position, historians have so far clearly underappreciated their influence on politics and soci­ ety.26 ­Particularly in postcolonial non-communist societies, the impact of agnostic and atheist milieus – either in the form of dialogues with or more militant counter reactions from religious groups – is a subject that deserves more attention in secularism studies. Even more influential was another secular discourse in the form of the modern bureaucratic mindset. Administrative and political elites in late co­ lonial and postcolonial societies handled political matters within secular

Introduction  7 state structures according to the established procedures of modern bureau­ cracy as well as the state’s own requirements of control, social engineering, and surveillance largely independent from their personal religious beliefs as well as from religious orthodoxies. In this way, the modern state adminis­ tration contributed significantly to the globalisation of what Charles Taylor called a secular “context of understanding”.27 Whereas Taylor restricts this context mainly to the realm of ideas, it is actually a much larger framework for state and society. Because it was perceived as, in principle, independent from any religious ontology, this secular framework determined political and social practice in many important ways. In this sense, the modern state is a key element of a “self-sufficient immanent order”28 that functions ac­ cording to its self-defined rules and procedures. This secularism of modern state bureaucracy, however, locates the state at a delicate boundary with religion: still intimately connected with religion through its political capacities, claims of religious and social engineering, as well as self-interests of control and surveillance, but nevertheless non-­ conflated with religion. The case studies of this book analyse historical ­negotiations of this boundary in the context of decolonisation and the Cold War, in order to advance our understanding of who or what its main deter­ mining forces were – especially beyond formal state structures – and how we could understand the intermingling of the local, the national, and the trans­ national in a global comparative perspective. The key to such an analysis is a methodology – in my case of a historian – that is in some ways different from the established approaches in secularism studies.

Understanding secularism in terms of historical projects Due to its manifold ties with broader patterns of socio-economic and po­ litical change, secularism cannot be reduced to an ideology or doctrine but is better understood as a distinct set of historical projects.29 As such, these projects are intentional, sometimes planned, undertakings based on a rough design and, above all, a goal. In the Indian context, for example, scholars have identified the preservation of humanitarianism,30 gender equality,31 citizenship rights, and religious non-discrimination as secularism’s central goals.32 However, the project character of secularism’s polymorphic mani­ festations emphasises that they are not universally predefined endeavours. By contrast, they take shape as they evolve. Different secularism projects can thus coexist or even compete within one society. This proposition may sound abstract and thus seems not to add much to an empirical debate. In fact, however, it suggests to reorient the methodology in secularism studies in at least four important ways that also alter the ways we can locate secu­ larism in historical archives. First, as a project, secularism centrally concerns the state and the state’s relationship with religion. Historically, however, these projects enjoyed an authorship that went far beyond the state and its institutions. Relevant

8 Introduction human agency can be found within the realm of the state, but also to an equal degree beyond the state, within nations, or in transnational encoun­ ters.33 For this reason, the following chapters focus particularly on social ac­ tors outside the state structures such as intellectuals, women’s movements, youth organisations, militias, school principals, parents of school children, but also religious actors such as transnational missionary societies, Hindu nationalist organisations in northern Indian cities, Islamic authorities in ­Javanese villages, and religious youth organisations active among university students in larger cities. As they tried to maximise their own self-interests, these religious actors often had a significant impact on secularism because in some cases, the distance between the state and religion increased their own autonomy and thus also their own scope to manoeuvre. Even among the state actors, however, there are important, hitherto under­appreciated groups to be discovered for the historical analysis of secu­ larism. Such groups include municipal bureaucrats and urban planners, re­ settlement experts, regular armed forces, state-funded paramilitary groups, school inspectors, or ministries for religious affairs and their ever-growing staff of religious bureaucrats. But also global players such as the Pentagon, the CIA, diplomatic missions, or the International Red Cross are impor­ tant, hitherto unnoticed protagonists. In their diversity, these historical actors make secularism a complex and heterogeneous project: internally fragmented, contested, and permanently redefined through myriad voices from different social, ideological, and political backgrounds, united solely by the lowest common denominator – the desire to establish and maintain a high degree of distance between state and religion. The way their ideas and social practices have influenced secularism projects has so far been under­ estimated in our historical understanding. Second, a major deficit of research on secularism up until now has been that the actual secular practices of the state as well as non-state actors have not been sufficiently analysed.34 Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd therefore suggested to study secularism “from the ground up” and look into “ways of life, disciplinary practices, habits, and sensibilities”.35 The most elementary practical dimension of secularism, however, is its at­ tempt to introduce a distinction between the religious and the non-religious into daily life. This exercise is not simply a matter of describing social reality, but is in itself already a form of social intervention.36 Although clearly informed by political and social goals, secularism projects took shape through vari­ ous modes of trial and error, usually in conflict-ridden situations that re­ quired practical solutions. In its concrete historical forms, secularism has therefore always been characterised by a high degree of improvisation, ad-hoc interventions, and chaotic, even contradictory social management far beyond the clarity of ready-made ideas and concepts.37 The reason for this was not so much uninformed historical actors but rather the spe­ cific objectives of secularism in a given situation that could not simply be

Introduction  9 implemented or transferred from one context into another. In this sense, improvisation meant not simply copying secular ideals from Western so­ cieties, but rather adapting the goal of a state emancipated from religion to a society’s distinct circumstances. Such a high degree of improvisa­ tion was a central feature of virtually all modernisation programmes and ideas.38 Improvisation is thus not only a contingent, but also an essential feature of secularism projects that emerged and developed within con­ crete temporal and spatial settings. A historical approach to secularism studies should therefore attempt to detect such patterns of improvisation around religion and the state also in areas where one would not necessar­ ily expect them. Third, because secularism projects are characterised by a significant degree of improvisation, case studies of failure are as telling as studies of success. The source of a more comprehensive historical understanding of secularism is not only – and probably not even primarily – the shining examples of success, in which the state together with other social actors has indeed managed to secure religious freedom and peace between reli­ gious communities. Cases of failures are at least as relevant because they ­constitute an intrinsic element of (re-)negotiating the distinctions between the secular and the religious. Although secularism seeks to “fix permanently the social and political place of religion” in a society,39 it only manages to do so temporarily. Negotiations over the religious are thus a constant feature of secularism. A last facet of secularism understood as projects concerns their political character. The empirical case studies presented in the following chapters are all taken from late colonial as well as early postcolonial times, when both state and society went through far-reaching transformations. These trans­ formations were characterised by severe disruptions, but also important continuities from the colonial era, particularly in relation to statehood. In this sense, postcolonial here indeed means after colonialism (postcolonial) as well as in continuation of colonial structures and practices (postcolonial). Secularism projects were part of late colonial and early postcolonial power struggles and thus themselves decisive arenas in which struggles over domi­nation and subordination took place. As the task of secularism is to create and sustain a high degree of distance between state and religion, sec­ ularism seeks to realign relationships between various social forces, includ­ ing the state, and thereby opens debates over as well as unleashes struggles for domi­nation and influence within the societies concerned. As some case studies will demonstrate, secularism can result in fierce, sometimes even ­violent social struggles over material and symbolic resources. In this sense, secularism is indeed a “relational category”,40 reflecting the mutually trans­ forming interactions between different social groups among each other as well as in their relationship with the state. In other words, secularism pro­ jects have always been deeply influenced by socio-economic changes in soci­ ety, which thus form an important element in the following chapters.

10 Introduction

Transnational dynamics: decolonisation and the Cold War The empirical case studies presented in the following chapters have all been taken from the conflictual transition period towards political independence in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. The studies are not organised in a continuously comparative perspective, because the main thrust of my argument is not the nation state but secularism understood in terms of a va­ riety of historical projects. Comparative perspectives are repeatedly woven into the case studies, and in particular in cases where a direct comparison indeed contributes to a better understanding of socio-economic and politi­ cal patterns common to more than one of those four societies. For the time period envisaged here, i.e. approximately between 1945 and 1970, direct connections between these four societies in relation to secularism did exist but were selective, often limited to parts of the political elites. In spite of these limitations, a transnational perspective shows the crucial involvement of transnational actors and demonstrates that these societies shared many urgent questions and challenges as a consequence of decolonisation and the emerging Cold War. Such questions were related to territorial integration, inter-religious violence, social and political reform, communism, and above all mounting socio-economic problems, to which they provided similar and thus comparable, but not identical answers. The case studies are necessarily selective and do not comprise, for ex­ ample, important Buddhist-dominated societies such as Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand as well as communist regimes such as North Vietnam. The main reason for this is methodological. For in-depth archival research, it is vital to master these societies’ main colonial and postcolonial languages, which I do in the case of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. In ad­ dition, I chose these countries because they realised different models of state secularism with various degrees of intimacy between the state and religion. Out of these four, Singapore implemented probably the most comprehen­ sive form of distance between state and religion, which included that the city-state’s governmental authorities heavily intervened in religious affairs whenever it was deemed necessary. India and Indonesia managed to steer a middle course between secular-authoritarian interventionism and religious freedom. What these two societies have in common is the enormous size, social complexity, and cultural heterogeneity of their population. In both cases, the state, together with other social actors, had to strike a delicate balance between the need for some sort of unifying fundament for the post­ colonial state on the one hand and the omnipresent threat of disintegration on the other. Their distinct projects of secularism were an answer to this challenge that emerged less on the basis of ready-made ideas than as practi­ cal patterns between the various social forces involved. Malaysia is probably the hardest case to argue. To this day, there is a dispute among scholars of Malaysian history as well as political scientists as to how far Malaysia can indeed be considered a secular state. Islam was

Introduction  11 legally declared “religion of the Federation” immediately after independ­ ence. Whatever the adequate interpretation of this article in the constitution may be,41 in its early postcolonial years, Malaysia realised a significant and, as I would argue, high degree of distance between the state and Islam and thereby allowed various forms of religious pluralism to flourish. Even before independence, debates about secularism intersected with, and were at times indistinguishable from, cultural politics of identity and the organisation of a multi-ethnic coexistence within a single political unit.42 The same goes for the late colonial state of British Malaya after 1945, from where one of the following case studies is taken. The British colonial state had long respected the religious authority of the Sultans and minimised its own intervention in social affairs that might come into conflict with Islamic affairs. In addition, until 1945, the British were sceptical about the mis­ sionary zeal of Christian groups and neither actively encouraged their in­ volvement nor allowed open proselytisation among Muslims in their colony. These patterns changed profoundly during the early Cold War. Malaysia is therefore an enriching case in point and sheds light on distinct practices of secularism in South and Southeast Asia’s contemporary history. The case studies look at various moments of crisis and insecurity in which practical circumstances coerced the state and social actors to define and practise secularism. The early months after India’s Partition in 1947, the implementation of an emergency regime in British Malaya in 1948, the ­anti-communist mass violence in Indonesia in 1965, or the educational ­revolution in Indonesia, India, and Singapore after independence were peri­ ods of intense negotiations over the (re-)location of religion in society, trig­ gered by a rapid and conflict-ridden transformation of society as a whole. My assumption hereby is that secularism is not a project that presupposes stability, peace, and socio-economic welfare, but takes shape in times of crisis, ambiguity, insecurity, and instability. By keeping this in mind, the task for a historical empirical analysis is not necessarily to reconstruct these projects in all their facets. Rather, my inten­ tion is to identify defining moments in history as well as concrete locations where secularism as a form of historical practice could and did emerge. In these defining moments, on the one hand, theoretical ideas about secularism were formulated and diffused; on the other hand, ideas of secularism had to pass the test of practical applicability, through which they again became transformed, adapted, or abandoned altogether. The case studies therefore seek to illustrate primarily patterns of cooperation and coordination bet­ ween religious affiliations and state institutions and to a lesser extent con­ flict and confrontation, usually emphasised in secularism studies. The case studies illustrate that, above all, local circumstances in villages, cities, regions, as well as national policies shaped these societies in their con­ temporary history. However, transnational dynamics (also) had a hitherto underestimated impact. This book considers mainly two separate, yet con­ nected forms of transnational change – decolonisation and the Cold War,

12 Introduction which both had a significant influence on local transformations by add­ ing transnational dynamics to state-society relationships in the region. As such, they also co-determined the position of religious actors within these societies. Recent scholarship on decolonisation has expanded its agenda beyond the focus on formal empires coming to an end. The transition from formal colo­ nial rule to a postcolonial order remains a central characteristic. However, decolonisation was not simply an exchange of power-holding elites in colo­ nial capital cities, but concerned the whole spectrum of social and politi­ cal relations between local, regional, and international actors. In this light, decolonisation is the culmination of a conflictual and contradictory history of interaction between colonisers and colonised, but also between different political and social groups that covered a whole range of positions and ide­ ologies from conservative to reform-oriented, revolutionary to traditional, ruling to marginalised, resistant to collaborative.43 For the specific purpose of this book, I am therefore not so much interested in decolonisation as a specific moment in history that marked the end of formal empires as in the gradual, conflictual, and diffuse process during which societies struggled to reorient, reimagine, and reorganise themselves.44 Persistent elements of the old order struggled thereby with factors and agents of change including a large variety of local, regional, and national state and non-state actors as well as the global economic, geopolitical, and cultural rules of an emerging international order, including the Cold War.45 In many cases, this process resulted in a profound alteration of local power relations affecting social elites, political parties, bureaucrats, as well as social movements, schoolteachers, village elders, or religious organisa­ tions. The question I address in the case studies below is to what extent the decline of the colonial administrations’ control capacities created or de­ nied opportunities for religious actors, in the context of various other social and political interest groups, to redefine their positions both in society and with respect to each other. Emerging secularism projects were scuffles for ­positions between religious and non-religious protagonists in which also the state was centrally involved. Among these struggles over domination and subordination, direct confrontation with the colonial rulers was only one particular line of conflict. The process of decolonisation also had an ideational dimension. From the perspective of (post)colonial societies, it was generally framed as an emanci­ patory ideology that sought to liberate a people, sometimes even humanity as a whole.46 In many Asian societies, a central concern of this ideology was the realm of culture, which already during the first half of the 20th century had turned into a distinct field of decolonisation efforts and emancipatory programmes. Through stereotypical images about ‘non-Western’ or ‘Orien­ tal’ cultures, themselves forms of colonial knowledge, the colonised initi­ ated decolonisation as an “act of exorcism”47 that essentially concerned also cultural forms of liberation. Religion has long been a cultural repertoire

Introduction  13 that was redefined, reinterpreted, and reactivated for the political purpose of anti-colonialism. Economic emancipation from colonialism was usually even more con­ flictual and took even longer than the achievement of political independ­ ence. The Second World War’s massive disruptions, including starvation and hunger, the economic, social, and educational marginalisation of major parts of the population, as well as the uprooting of millions through migra­ tion aggravated the social situation in many Asian colonies even further. These different facets of decolonisation led to disastrous social hardship, continuous struggles over economic and political resources, and attempts at cultural decolonisation, which remained a central characteristic of postwar Asia at least during the first two decades after 1945. Secularism projects were products of this hardship. Though India and Indonesia already gained formal political independence in the years following the Second World War, Malaya and Singapore underwent a “second colonial occupation”48 by the British before the last, ultimately successful wave of anti-colonialism set them free during the late 1950s. The second transnational context, in which projects of secularism in South and Southeast Asia emerged after 1945, was the Cold War with its ambivalent impact on decolonisation. In some cases, the Cold War i­ ndeed accelerated decolonisation, but in others, it also came to the rescue of ­empires.49 During this era of state-centred modernisation, elites in (post) colonial countries often presented their own political and economic agenda in response to the concepts of development propagated by the United States and the USSR and derived their own political legitimacy from the Cold War constellation.50 The relevance of the Cold War I am interested in, however, was to a large extent noticeable below the level of elites and concerned the re­ lationship between religious and non-religious social forces including labour unions, women’s organisations, communist affiliations, as well as I­ slamic and Hindu orthodoxy. With hindsight, historians now see that beyond superpower confrontation, the Cold War had a “galvanizing role, either by offering opportunities to, or setting limits on, local actors” and “by intensifying, prolonging, international­ izing, or foreshortening conflicts after they commenced”.51 My specific inter­ est is the extent to which the Cold War created new constellations of alliance and conflict among religious groups and other local state and non-state actors. A closer look at South and Southeast Asia’s religious orthodoxies and their material interests during the 1950s and 1960s illustrates that social cleavages between them and reformist leftist forces had existed for a long time. Cold War dynamics, however, radicalised these antagonisms and intensified the clashes between social interests. In this light, the Cold War appeared as a form of global social conflict that crystallised in various local manifes­ tations that were deeply rooted in pre-existing antagonisms and clashing interests over communist revolutionary approaches, uneven c­ apitalist deve­ lopment, and political control.52

14 Introduction Within the context of decolonisation’s disruptions and hardship, these social conflicts also determined the Cold War’s course and impact.53 As I will show below, transnational and local religious organisations used the growing confrontations between communist and non-communist forces in their social environment as an opportunity to serve their own ends. In this way, anti-communism altered the position of religious organisations in their own societies and created new opportunities for transnational religious net­ works. For these reasons, anti-communism as a Cold War-related social struggle is crucial to understanding the historical origin and development of secularism projects in South and Southeast Asia at that time. In combination, decolonisation and the Cold War exerted a defining in­ fluence on the secularism projects in the region’s societies after 1945. The sequence of the chapters results from their different emphases: from theo­ retical ideas on secularism in a late colonial and postcolonial era to the state as secularism’s central promoter and finally non-state actors as the main driving force.

The case studies The case studies are based on archival research I conducted between 2008 and 2013 during several visits to nearly 30 archives and research libraries in Asia, Europe, and the United States. The sources cover a broad range including documents of colonial and postcolonial ministries; Indian, British, Dutch, and US secret service material; personal papers and oral history tran­ scripts of educators, social activists, politicians, and religious authorities; Western diplomatic communications; newspaper clippings, as well as files of international organisations such as the Red Cross and missionary networks. The first chapter is dedicated to the arena of ideas. From a transnational perspective, it discusses paradigmatic thoughts about the postcolonial state in a religiously diverse society formulated by select historical actors. ­Political leaders, bureaucrats, police forces, social movements, intellectuals, and others have shaped rich discussions in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore about how to organise religious pluralism after colonialism and what the crucial requirements for an appropriate state ought to be. These discussions were transnational not only in terms of the sustainable networks that accommodated them. They were also transnational in the sense that they were determined by the globe as a key reference, with common ob­ servations, comparable experiences, shared memories of a colonial past, and (sporadic) patterns of exchange across borders. They contained new approaches to the management of pluralism through the merger of trans­ lated and adapted ideas that originated from European philosophy as well as political systems as different as those of Great Britain, the United States, France, or Turkey. Many of these ideas on secularism, religious pluralism, and the state were indeed formulated in close consideration of Western philosophy and history.

Introduction  15 However, they were infused with local intellectual traditions and thereby translated to meet the specific requirements of a late colonial  and  early postcolonial context with its particular historical challenges and social conditions. For these reasons, it is exaggerated to talk about these ideas’ “Western genealogies”.54 This clearly underestimates translation, adapta­ tion, and alteration in the light of local intellectual traditions and contem­ porary political requirements. From the beginning, these discourses were characterised by a strong degree of “epistemic disobedience”,55 in other words, the ideological urge as well as the strategic political need to diverge from Western ideas about the secular state and religious pluralism without rejecting their relevance altogether. For secularism in a postcolonial era, European thought indeed seemed both indispensable and inadequate at the same time.56 The second and third case studies are devoted to the arena of urban space and contain two studies on Delhi after India’s Partition in 1947. In the midst of mass violence and mass migration, India’s future capital city gained spe­ cial significance as an urban space in which the self-understanding of the postcolonial state was to be put on display. The national government, the city administration as well as urban planners envisaged Delhi as a beacon of religious pluralism in the secular, liberal state of India. For these reasons, Delhi after 1947 is an enlightening study object for India’s secularism pro­ ject and its practical implications. The first of these two chapters enquires into the relevance of urban space for the ways in which postcolonial secularism was defined and implemented. To this end, it studies the numerous conflicts over places of worship that broke out during and after Partition. These highly volatile controversies are historically significant because they forced the authorities and city planners to intervene in a violence-ridden atmosphere. More importantly, the author­ ities were forced to define ‘the secular’ in spatial and political terms and also to clarify their own role as secular instances ranking ‘above’ religious com­ munities. Next to the state, Muslim as well as Hindu organisations played a significant role in these disputes as the question of these sacred sites was inseparably connected with their political and social recognition in a post­ colonial setting. A closer look at these controversies over sacred and secular spaces sheds light on processes of urban planning and urban administra­ tion, which introduced, confirmed, or questioned spatial distinctions bet­ ween the religious and the secular. I interpret space thereby primarily as a medium of secularism. The third chapter is about the conflict between Delhi’s political as well as bureaucratic authorities and the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organisation that questioned the legitimacy of the postcolonial government including its notion of a secular state. During this conflict, the government sought to move against the RSS but also to ‘clean up’ its own bureaucratic apparatus and systematically expel RSS adherents from its ranks, its intention being to ensure the loyalty of bureaucrats to the government and its interpretation

16 Introduction of a secular state. The fact that this endeavour largely failed is an indication of the blurriness of ‘the secular’ as a political category. Furthermore, this case illustrates the practical difficulties of imposing the distinction between the secular and the non-secular from above as a disposition that excludes certain ideas and practices. Chapters 4 and 5 are about the case studies on anti-communism and its impact on the relationship between state, society, and religion in late colonial Malaya as well as postcolonial Indonesia. The first of these two case studies focuses on the role of Christian missionaries in Malaya’s ‘New ­Villages’. The villages – a central element in the British colonial warfare against a communist guerrilla movement – were laboratories of social en­ gineering in which transnational as well as local Christian organisations turned into close allies in the struggle against communism. This case study allows certain conclusions to be drawn on the question of to what extent the Cold War transformed state secularism and provided new opportunities for religious groups. In contrast to the decades before, the British administra­ tion abandoned its secular aloofness from Christian missionary activities and offered to actively promote Christian social services and other activities in these villages. Surprisingly, many missionaries had strong reservations towards this new openness of the late colonial state and insisted on a con­ sistently secular policy from the government to secure their own autonomy. As this case illustrates, secularism was, under certain circumstances, in the interest of religious groups insofar as it maximised their own autonomy and prevented the state from intervening in their internal affairs. In the end, however, the missionaries opted for an active, social-reformist role within the secular colonial state and thereby expanded their own social relevance in Malayan society. Many of the missionaries recognised the need for effi­ cient measures against communism and perceived their own activities in the New Villages as an important contribution to the larger Cold War struggle. In any case, these transnational missionary networks were major beneficiar­ ies of local Cold War confrontations. Secularism and an active role of reli­ gious organisations in social reform are apparently not mutually exclusive, particularly in the context of the Cold War. Chapter 5 focuses on (anti-)secularism as a social struggle and discusses the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in 1965/66. These fateful events not only included a mass murder, but also an episode of tem­ porary cooperation between Islamic and Christian organisations in their common combat against the PKI’s and other leftist forces’ version of a sec­ ular state and social reform. The chapter discusses why religious groups played such a prominent role in the violence. In this particular case, the struggle over a distinct form of social order, which crucially included the weakening of conservative religious affiliations, found its manifestation in a major social struggle over different forms of capital between antago­ nistic social forces selectively supported by state actors. Reform-oriented leftist forces and conservative religious groups competed over power and

Introduction  17 domination in numerous arenas including human resources, public space, schools, access to and control of information, organisational infrastructure, economic interests, as well as antithetical worldviews. Through strong assis­ tance from the armed forces, this resulted ultimately in the eradication of communism as a relevant factor in Indonesian society and politics. Thus, leftist secularism and anti-communism were not limited to politics but es­ sentially included social relations in rural and urban areas. The last chapter enquires into the extent to which Christian and Islamic schools can historically be understood as drivers of secularism projects. During a period of educational reform after colonialism, state administra­ tions but also education planners, school teachers, school administrators, and parents of schoolchildren had an important impact on changing pat­ terns of school administration as well as school curricula. In particular, Christian schools experienced strong pressure to readjust after colonialism, when political circumstances changed and Christians could no longer count on protective measures by the colonial authorities. As archival material on Java, India, and Singapore shows, important impulses for a more secu­ lar education not only came from governments. Rather, private religious schools as well as the schoolchildren’s parents increasingly enhanced a more secular education in order to maximise their children’s future prospects on the labour market. A particularly controversial topic in this context was the teaching of religion as a subject in schools that received government funding. The three societies discussed here found different solutions for this problem that are analysed comparatively. Finally, the conclusions evaluate the findings of the case studies against the background of the growing literature that interprets secularism from a global perspective. In the transnational perspective suggested here, they draft new areas and approaches for future research, in particular in relation to non-state actors, the relevance of space, lessons about the state, and the relevance of decolonisation and the Cold War.

Notes 1 Cf. Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini (eds.), Secularisms (Durham, NC, ­London: Duke University Press, 2008); Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, The Politics of Secularism in International Relations (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton ­University Press, 2008); Ahmet T. Kuru, Secularism and State Politics Toward Religion: The United States, France and Turkey (Cambridge: ­Cambridge ­University Press, 2009); Michael Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, and Craig Calhoun (eds.), Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Cambridge, MA, L ­ ondon: ­Harvard University Press, 2010); Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth S ­ hakman Hurd (eds.), Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (New York: Palgrave ­Macmillan, 2010); Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan ­VanAntwerpen (eds.), Rethinking Secularism (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Markus Dressler and Arvind-Pal S. Mandair (eds.), Secularism and Religion-Making (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Nils Bubandt and ­Martijn van Beek (eds.), Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion,

18 Introduction Politics and the Spiritual (London, New York: Routledge, 2012); Ranjan Ghosh (ed.), Making Sense of the Secular: Critical Perspectives from Europe to Asia (New York, London: Routledge, 2013); Péter Losonczi and Walter Van Herck (eds.), Secularism, Religion, and Politics: India and Europe (London, New York, New Delhi: Routledge, 2015). 2 Rajeev Bhargava has suggested the term “principled distance” for India’s consti­ tution. Cf. his “Reimagining Secularism: Respect, Domination and Principled Distance”, Economic and Political Weekly, 48/50, 14 December 2013, pp. 79–92, and “States, Religious Diversity, and the Crisis of Secularism”, The Hedgehog Review 12/3, Fall 2010, pp. 8–22. A comparative approach on various Asian societies indicates, however, that in practice this distance has often been far less “principled” but instead strategic depending on the broader political and ­socio-economic context. 3 Cf. Anthony Reid, “Introduction: Muslims and Power in a Plural Asia”, in Anthony Reid and Michael Gilsenan (eds.), Islamic Legitimacy in a Plural Asia (London, New York: Routledge, 2007), p. 1; Chiara Formichi, “Religious ­Pluralism, State and Society in Asia”, in Chiara Formichi (ed.), Religious Pluralism, State and Society in Asia (London, New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 1–2. 4 Clemens Six, “Religious Pluralism as a Modern Political Project: The Relevance of Space in Contemporary India, Indonesia, and Singapore”, in Michael ­Dickhardt and Andrea Lauser (eds.), Religion, Modernity and Place in East and Southeast Asia (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2016), pp. 69–94. Cf. also Jamal ­Malik, “Intro­ duction”, in Jamal Malik and Helmut Reifeld (eds.), Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 1–20. 5 Talal Asad’s interpretation of the secular as “neither singular in origin nor stable in its historical identity” is still instructive. Cf. Asad’s Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), p. 25; for a critical appreciation see Jon E. Wilson, “Subjects and Agents in the History of Imperialism and Resistance”, in David Scott and Charles Hirschkind (eds.), Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and His Interlocutors (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), p. 199. 6 Nina Glick Schiller suggested a similar approach in her discussion of global mi­ gration patterns in her “A Global Perspective on Transnational Migration: The­ orising Migration without Methodological Nationalism”, in Rainer Bauböck and Thomas Faist (eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010), p. 114. 7 Steven Vertovec, “Conceiving and Researching Transnationalism”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 22/2, March 1999, pp. 447–462, here 447. 8 Peter L. Berger, The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (New York: Anchor, 1967), p. 107. 9 Marian Burchardt, Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, and Matthias Middle, “Multiple Secularities Beyond the West: An Introduction”, in Marian Burchardt, ­Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, and Matthias Middle (eds.), Multiple Secularities beyond the West: Religion and Modernity in the Global Age (Boston, MA, Berlin, Munich: De Gruyter, 2015), p. 4. 10 Ibid., p. 2. 11 Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld, “Introduction”, in Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (eds.), Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. xvii. 12 Nadia Urbinati, “The Context of Secularism: A Critical Approach of the Post-secular Argument”, in Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld (eds.), Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 14–32, here 14.

Introduction  19 13 Steve Bruce, Politics and Religion (Cambridge, Malden, MA: Polity, 2003), p. 14. 14 Ibid., p. 241. Similar Graeme Smith, A Short History of Secularism (London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008). 15 Triloki Nath Madan, Modern Myths, Locked Minds: Secularism and Fundamentalism in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 15. See also the summary of Madan’s most important essays on this topic in his Images of the World: Essays on Religion, Secularism, and Culture (New Delhi: Oxford ­University Press, 2006), in particular Chapters 1–5. 16 Mirjam Künkler and Shylashri Shankar, “Introduction: A Secular Age”, in ­Mirjam Künkler, John Madeley, and Shylashri Shankar (eds.), ‘A Secular Age’ Beyond the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (forthcoming). 17 Illuminating in this respect is also Edward Schneier, Muslim Democracy: Politics, Religion and Society in Indonesia, Turkey and the Islamic World (New York, London: Routledge, 2016). Schneier demonstrates not only the diversity of in­ stitutional and political arrangements between state and religion in Muslim-­ majority societies but also emphasises the relevance of historical factors such as inequality, poverty, decolonisation, and regional embeddedness to explain the (troubled) career of democracy in these societies. 18 For a similar tendency in globalisation studies see Hilary E. Khan, “Introduc­ tion: Framing the Global”, in Hilary E. Khan (ed.), Framing the Global: Entry Points for Research (Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indian University Press, 2014), pp. 1–17; Saskia Sassen, A Sociology of Globalization (New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), pp. 5–6; Saskia Sassen, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblage. Updated Version (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008), pp. 1–3; Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori, “Approaches to Global Intellectual History”, in Samuel Moyn and Andrew ­Sartori (eds.), Global Intellectual History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), p. 7. 19 Peter Berger, Grace Davie, and Effie Fokas, Religious America, Secular Europe? A Theme and Variations (Hampshire, Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008), p. 2. 20 José Casanova, “Beyond European and American Exceptionalism: Toward a Global Perspective”, in Grace Davie, Paul Heelas, and Linda Woodhead (eds.), Predicting Religion: Christian, Secular and Alternative Futures (Farnham, ­Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003), p. 22. 21 Peter L. Berger, The Many Altars of Modernity: Toward a Paradigm for Religion in a Pluralist Age (Boston, MA, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014), p. 79. 22 Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Beyond Religious Freedom: The New Global Politics of Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015), p. 5. 23 Cf. the classic studies by José Casanova, Public Religion in the Modern World (Chicago, IL, London: The University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 6; and Peter L. Berger, “The Desesularization of the World: A Global Overview”, in Peter L. Berger, The Desesularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Poli­ tics (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1999), pp. 1–18. An illuminating analysis of a “globally shared form of national-political structuration” estab­ lished by the modern state and its impact on religious conflicts provides Saba Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016), p. 2. 24 Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, “Intro­ duction”, in Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan VanAntwer­ pen (eds.), Rethinking Secularism (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 6. 25 For the (post)colonial world see Steven Hirsch and Lucien van der Walt (eds.), Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870–1940: The

20 Introduction

26 27 28 29

30 31 32 33

34

35

36 37 38 39 40 41

42

Praxis of National Liberation, Internationalism, and Social Revolution (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2010). Frank L. Pasquale and Barry A. Kosmin, “Atheism and the Secularization The­ sis”, in Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Atheism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 451–467, here 460. Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA, London: Belknap Press of ­Harvard University Press, 2007), p. 3. James K.A. Smith, How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (Grand Rapids, MI, Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014), p. 93. Clemens Six, “Postkolonialer Säkularismus in Indien und Indonesien, ­1945–1965”, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 51, 2011, pp. 487–510; Peter van der Veer, “Religion, Secularism and National Development in India and China”, Third World Quarterly 33/4, 2012, p. 722; Peter van der Veer, “Spirituality in Modern Society”, Social Research 76/4, Winter 2009, p. 1099. Ratna Naidu, “Whither Secularism: Is It a Problem of Definition?” Economic and Political Weekly 48/3, January 2013, pp. 53–61. Zoya Hasan, “Gender, Religion and Democratic Politics in India”, Third World Quarterly 31/6, 2010, pp. 939–954. Jackie Assayag, “Spectral Secularism: Religion, Politics and Democracy in ­India”, European Journal of Sociology 44/3, December 2003, p. 352. One of the rare exceptions of a truly actor-centred approach provides Christian Smith, “Introduction: Rethinking the Secularization of American Public Life”, in Christian Smith (ed.), The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life (Berkeley, LA, London: University of California Press, 2003), pp. 1–96. Cf. Thomas Blom Hansen, “Predicaments of Secularism: Muslim Identities and Politics in Mumbai”, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 6/2, June 2000, p. 256; Bhargava, “States, Religious Diversity, and the Crisis of ­Secularism”, p. 8. Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, “Comparative Secularisms and the Politics of Modernity: An Introduction”, in Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (eds.), Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (New York: ­Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), p. 6. Saba Mahmood, “Can Secularism be Other-wise?”, in Michael Warner, J­ onathan VanAntwerpen, and Craig Calhoun (eds.), Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Cambridge, MA, London: Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 294. Cf. also Wilson, “Subjects and Agents in the History of Imperialism and Resistance”. Sudipta Kaviraj, “An Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity”, European Journal of Sociology 46/3, December 2005, p. 522. Talal Asad, “Reading a Modern Classic: W.C. Smith’s The Meaning and End of Religion”, History of Religions 40/3, February 2001, p. 221. Shabnum Tejani, Indian Secularism: A Social and Intellectual History, 1­ 890–1950 (Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008), p. 15. An excellent overview on this debate provides Shad Saleem Faruqi, “The Consti­ tution of a Muslim Majority State: The Example of Malaysia. A paper presented at the Constitution-making Forum: A Government of Sudan Consultation, ­24–25 May 2011, Khartoum, Sudan” http://unmis.unmissions.org/­Portals/­U NMIS/ Constitution-making%20Symposium/2011-05_Faruqi_Malaysia.pdf (accessed 30 August 2016); see also Joseph M. Fernando, “The Position of Islam in the Constitution of ­Malaysia”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 37/2, June 2006, pp. 249–266. Christopher A. Furlow, “Secularism in Malaysia”, in Ranjan Ghosh (ed.), Making Sense of the Secular: Critical Perspectives from Europe to Asia (New York, London: Routledge, 2013), p. 209.

Introduction  21 43 Martin Shipway, Decolonization and Its Impact: A Comparative Approach to the End of the Colonial Empires (Malden, MA, Oxford, Carlton, VIC: Blackwell, 2008), p. 5. 44 For a more detailed discussion on decolonisation as a process see Els Bogaerts and Remco Raben, “Beyond Empire and Nation”, in Els Bogaerts and Remco Raben (eds.), Beyond Empire and Nation: The Decolonization of African and Asian Societies, 1930s–1960s (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2012), p. 16. 45 Cf. Nicholas J. White, Decolonization: The British Experience since 1945. 2nd ed. (London, New York: Routledge, 2014), p. 5. In this perspective the Cold War can be seen as a sub-theme in an era of anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism that increasingly shaped world affairs since the 19th century. Cf. Akira Iriye, “His­ toricizing the Cold War”, in Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 17. 46 Prasenji Duara, “Introduction: The Decolonization of Asia and Africa in the Twentieth Century”, in Prasenji Duara (ed.), Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then (London, New York: Routledge, 2003), p. 2. 47 Samia Mehrez 1991, quoted in Jan Nederveen Pieterse and Bhikhu Parekh, “Shifting Imaginaries: Decolonization, Internal Decolonization, Postcolonial­ ity”, in Jan Nederveen Pieterse and Bhikhu Parekh (eds.), The Decolonization of Imagination: Culture, Knowledge and Power (London, New Jersey: Zed Books, 1995), p. 4. 48 Antony “Tony” Gerald Hopkins, “Rethinking Decolonization”, Past & Present 200, August 2008, p. 227. 49 Cf. William Roger Louis and Ronald Robinson, “The Imperialism of Decolo­ nization”, in James D. Le Sueur (ed.), The Decolonization Reader (New York, London: Routledge, 2003), p. 53. 50 Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 3; Prasenjit Duara, “The Cold War as a Historical Period: An Interpretative Essay”, Journal of Global History 6/3, 2011, pp. 473–474. 51 Robert J. McMahon, “Introduction”, in Robert J. McMahon (ed.), The Cold War in the Third World (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 7. 52 Cf. Richard Saull, The Cold War and After: Capitalism, Revolution and Superpower Politics (London, Ann Arbor: Pluto Press, 2007), p. 7. A similar approach has Federico Romero, who identifies the struggle over change in social, eco­ nomic, political, and cultural affairs, in brief a comprehensive “contest for he­ gemony”, as the core of Cold War dynamics. See his “Cold War Historiography at the Crossroads”, Cold War History 14/4, 2014, pp. 689–690. For a contrasting, narrower definition of the Cold War that insists on its military and diplomatic core see Holger Nehring, “What was the Cold War”, English Historical Review 127/527, August 2012), p. 923. 53 Wilfried Loth, “The Cold War and the Social and Economic History of the Twentieth Century”, in Odd Arne Westad (ed.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 503. 54 Partha Chatterjee, “Religious Minorities and the Secular State: Reflections on an Indian Impasse”, Public Culture 8/1, 1995, p. 13. 55 Walter D. Mignolo, “Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Deco­ lonial Freedom”, Theory Culture Society 26/7–8, 2009, pp. 159–181. 56 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 6.

1 Traces of a transnational mindset Thinking secularism for the postcolonial era

Introduction In order to analyse secularism as a variety of historical projects that took shape under specific historical conditions, the primary concern indeed ought to be the complex, often contradictory empirical processes during which different meanings were assigned to the secular and the religious. Ideas and practices thereby entered into a mutually defining relationship.1 On the one hand, ideas about religion and secularism guided historical practice in the sense that political decision-makers, bureaucrats, school principals, teachers of religion, missionaries, and city planners acted within what they perceived as their social realities according to central ideas about the past, the present, and particularly the future. The transition period from the colonial to the postcolonial era was not only a period of profound ­social, political, and economic change, but also an era of conflicting ideas that competed over power to interpret, represent, and thus shape the pres­ ent and the ‘modernised’ future. In other words, ideas and categories have also historically been “modes of creating and controlling”,2 through which social and political hegemonies were negotiated and fought for. On the other hand, historical practice also shaped ideas. The definition of secularism was frequently not a predetermined concept, but rather a label for a historical practice that arose out of concrete historical circumstances and was thus more the result of ad-hoc interventions than the application of abstract formulas. This chapter takes account of this twofold relevance of ideas by looking at select thoughts on secularism in late colonial and postcolonial South and Southeast Asia. The analysis of historical ideas is always complex and their precise impact on historical change difficult to judge.3 For this reason, I will concentrate on ideas and categories propagated by personalities relevant to the following empirical case studies, in other words politicians, bureau­ crats, social activists, and intellectuals who shaped the political, social, and intellectual history of late colonial and early postcolonial India, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. I intend to show how these personalities located in specific imperial and national spaces were selectively connected with each

Traces of a transnational mindset  23 other and thus integrated into a global network that facilitated the exchange of ideas and information on secularism and religious pluralism. Beyond di­ rect patterns of exchange, they shared other forms of common ground. This common ground was not exclusively the result of connectivity but of resem­ blance, intersection, and comparability in at least four different ways. For one, they shared certain ideas about diversity. These progressive thinkers acknowledged religious as well as ethnic diversity as an insur­ mountable actuality that deeply shaped their societies. Because this diversity was to them an established fact, it was both a precondition of postcolonial politics and at the same time one of the key subjects of political intervention in­separably connected with questions of legitimacy, institutional arrange­ ments, and social as well as political power. For this reason, the organisa­ tion and ultimately the handling of diversity through secularism were a core element of their political ideas. Second, these milieus shared similar sources of inspiration. Many of them had come into contact with Karl Marx’s political economy and Max W ­ eber’s ideas on state, economy and (Asian) religion, were guided by Mazzini’s thoughts on nationalism, or were inspired by Gandhi’s political philosophy and non-violent strategies.4 These sources were themselves global perspec­ tives on social phenomena and political solutions that transgressed national boundaries. These perspectives also had a clear political dimension. In the interwar period, many Asian, African, and Latin American activists had met in European cosmopolitan cities such as Paris, Brussels, or London. Their shared experience of migration became the framework for their own cosmopolitan anti-imperialism.5 Back in the colonies they perceived the major ideological confrontations of their time including the struggle against fascism, imperial racism, inter-religious conflict, or the Cold War largely in secular terms. To meet these challenges they enhanced international co­ operation, including the League against Imperialism Congress in Brussels in 1927, the Asian Relations conference in Delhi 1947, and the Bandung Conference in 1955.6 In this light, the following chapter is a search for what Akira Iriye has once called the “transnational state of mind” that shaped ideas about the state, religion, and secularism.7 Third, these progressive milieus were confronted with similar challenges within their national territories for which they formulated strikingly simi­ lar answers. In this case, the transnational scale stems not necessarily from direct connection and exchange across borders but from the comparability of otherwise hardly interdependent patterns.8 Before independence, these challenges included the collective experience of imperialism, the Great ­Depression, and the Second World War. After independence, this experi­ ence turned into a shared memory that guided the perception of new is­ sues such as territorial integration, Cold War dynamics, poverty, illiteracy, forced migration, and the necessity of inter-religious coexistence for the sur­ vival of the young nations. The following discussion of these challenges and, more importantly, the ideas with which they were met is selective and cannot

24  Traces of a transnational mindset claim to comprise all the ideas that might have had an impact on secular practice. My focus on various transnational scales presupposes a choice of ideas I consider successful and relevant in this respect. The main point of this selection, however, is to illustrate that the development of ideas on sec­ ularism was intrinsically connected with a shared contemporary context. Fourth, even without personal connection and exchange secular-minded thinkers, activists, and politicians did refer to each other in several specific ways. They observed each other through the media, learned from the o ­ thers’ experience, and tried to draw theoretical as well as practical conclusions for their own local tasks. Political leaders and social activists informed themselves about how pluralism was defined and managed in other late colonial and postcolonial societies, particularly in Asia but also beyond, and drew their inspiration from similar examples they considered arche­ typical for their own cause. Mustafa Kemal’s Republic of Turkey was one such archetype of aspirations around secularism in other Asian societies. By highlighting these transnational perspectives, I intend to show the mutual dependencies of secularism ideas in their various local manifestations and, further, how ideas and modes of implementation reinforced each other.

Secularism as a strategy for spatial integration in Indonesia In none of the four countries of interest here was territorial integration a self-evident fact after colonial rule. India, Malaysia, and Singapore all un­ derwent different forms of spatial partition, during which their geographi­ cal borders were redrawn on the basis of ethnic as well as religious criteria. What is more, India and Indonesia inherited a politically highly fragmented territory, comprising princely states, local monarchies, as well as leftovers of colonised territories that were not integrated into the national geography un­ til years after the formal achievement of political independence. In all these cases, religion and ethnic affiliation played some, in many cases even the de­ cisive, role for national integration or separation, and consequently ideas of secularism took shape against the background of these historical experiences. These ideas were primarily meant to provide a means to prevent further ter­ ritorial disputes or even ultimate disintegration. Secularism can historically be understood as a reaction to religion that functioned as a marker of spatial identity, geographical separatism, and political disintegration. For Sukarno, the first Indonesian president who, in the eyes of US di­ plomacy, had an “obsession with national unity”,9 geographical as well as politi­cal unity was the most crucial precondition for a successful struggle against colonialism. In his view, though, Indonesia and India had differ­ ent requirements for such a struggle. The Swadeshi movement in India had already succeeded in the early 20th century to unite a national bourgeoi­ sie, which challenged the economic backbone of British imperialism. In ­Indonesia according to Sukarno, only a remnant bourgeoisie remained.10 It was thus v­ ital for this society to find an alternative unifying force. Pancasila,

Traces of a transnational mindset  25 Sukarno’s five principles of national coexistence, which called for mutual respect for all religions and thus prevented Islam from becoming a state religion, was a precondition as well as the fundament for national unity: How could we possibly unite these groups, so diversified in religion and currents of thought, if we do not provide them with a basis, on which to stand together? The Pancasila is the answer to this question! (…) The Pancasila is like a belief, a mode of thinking, or a faith, not a religion, but an undefined faith of the people.11 Although in its early form, Pancasila systematically excluded animists as well as followers of other traditional religions and made it hard for Hindus and Buddhists to feel truly appealed, in particular the first of these five prin­ ciples, the belief in one God, was intended by Sukarno to stimulate spiritual compassion that would foster national integration among adherents of dif­ ferent religions. Ganis Harsono, a close companion of Sukarno and for a short period also Indonesia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, later recalled this integrative meaning of Pancasila in the following words: The belief in God was natural. Indonesia was by and large an agrarian country in which the people depended entirely on the condition of the soil and of the water in the country to survive. This greatly affected their attitude of mind, and it made them religious, whatever religion they might embrace. But religion alone was not enough. People, Sukarno found, can be religious but still fight one another like barbarians unless there is another spiritual wisdom infused. The wisdom and compas­ sion of a loving God – not a fearful God – was added. And through this, Sukarno hoped religious tolerance among his people would be nurtured. This love for God was thus his answer to promote mutual tolerance and understanding among his people.12 On the occasion of an Indonesian state visit to New Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, expressed his suspicion that in practice Pancasila might favour Islam over all other religions. Nehru nevertheless called it the “right thing”. Even though Indonesia might not always live up to it completely, “it shows us the right path, and even though there might be some evil behind it, by saying the right thing and trying to act up to it will gradually do away with that evil in the end.”13 Nehru recalled that these five principles, without being mentioned explicitly, were also the pillars of the agreement achieved between the People’s Republic of China and India relating to Tibet “to regulate our relations with each other”. In his view, Pancasila, a Sanskrit word, “was a suitable description of the five principles of international behaviour to which we subscribed” and were thus not only about national integration, but also about international solidarity and co­ existence as a life principle.14

26  Traces of a transnational mindset For Sukarno, on the other hand, Pancasila was essentially a national means to secure territorial integration and inter-religious coexistence. If Islam were to become the state religion, on the other hand, it would im­ mediately result in spatial disintegration: “If we build a state on the Islam, many non-Muslim regions will secede such as Maluku, Bali, Flores, Timor, Kay, and Celebes, while West Irian which has not yet entered the republic may not choose to do so.”15 By contrast, in his interpretation, Pancasila was not in conflict with Islam, and prevented Indonesia from falling apart into numerous groups and territories.16 An Islamic state would be a form of “chauvinistic nationalism” not in line with the teachings of Islam, which also allows other forms of nationalism.17 In this point, Sukarno was supported by parliamentarians from the Com­ munist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Referring to a similar argument brought forward by the Catholics during the debate on Indonesia’s future consti­ tution, Sakirman from the PKI explained his party’s point of view on this question: Although Islam claims to be universal, practical, and objective, it is only one of the many beliefs and faiths existing in Indonesian society. There­ fore, Pancasila being the grootste gemen deler (the common denomina­ tor) […], being the meeting-point of the different faiths and the beliefs of all of us, will always be more practical, more objective and more uni­ versal than Islam […] [T]he one and only principle which can guarantee the unity of the whole nation and country present, is not the Christian principle, not the Islamic principle, not the principle of nationalism, not the principle of communism, but the principle of P ­ ancasila that is universal.18 Sukarno’s political opponents from conservative Islamic factions were quick to criticise that the president had not yet fully understood the es­ sence of Islam, which was in no way restrictive on other religions. On the contrary, an Islamic state would mean that the existence of the individual, ­society, and the state would be based on the teaching of Islam according to which every person would be guaranteed the freedom to follow a faith of personal choice.19 The danger of secularism in their view was that it lowered the sources of values and norms from divine revelation to the mere level of society and could thus not give any guidance in case of conflicting views on the concept of society, good life, moral behaviour etc.20 Sukarno, however, remained incredulous about the purported tolerance of Islam and consequently rejected the identification of the state with one particular religion. In a parliamentary debate, his Minister of Religion went even one step further and explained that it was not enough for the state to simply guarantee the non-identity between the state and one particular creed. In addition, he deemed it necessary for the state to actively organise religious affairs from a neutral position, for mainly two reasons: to enhance

Traces of a transnational mindset  27 the development of the “mortal”, i.e. the profane sphere of life, and to pro­ tect the inner unity of the country.21 In this reading, secularism meant the non-identity of state and religion as well as a mandate for the state to ac­ tively organise religious matters to serve the higher good of national cohe­ sion and ‘profane’ development.

Communalism and national disintegration in India and Singapore In India, the political struggle against communalism served a similar pur­ pose. In the Indian context, communalism means less community-based action in general terms, but more specifically connotes conflicts between – primarily religious – communities with the potential to turn violent.22 Whereas during the anti-colonial struggle, communalism had mainly chal­ lenged nationalism and, hence, unity in the struggle against foreign rule, after India’s independence in 1947 communalism was interpreted as the op­ posite of secularism.23 It implied the idea that followers of one religion also shared common social, economic, political, and cultural interests,24 which inevitably separated them from other religious communities and endangered the unity of the secular state. Confronted with communal violence between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs during and after Partition, the govern­ment’s “primary objects” had to be “to maintain the safety and integrity of the state, to build its strength to meet all contingencies, to rescue speedily all those (…) who stand in peril and look to India for relief.”25 Irrespective of the somewhat odd but probably revealing sequence of pri­ orities in this quotation that puts the integrity of the state before the pro­ tection of human lives, state secularism in India was a concept that rejected community-based claims in favour of a multi-religious nation state that could reasonably claim to stand above these communities and therefore also overrule sectarian and religiously biased demands. For Nehru, the lesson of Partition was that “the first essential” in India ought to be “the maintenance of the unity of the country (…), a unity of the mind and the heart, which precludes the narrow urges that make for disunity and which breaks down the barriers raised in the name of religion or between State and State or, for that matter, any other barrier.”26 A “secular state” was first and foremost a state “not tied to any religion”27 but rather a state based on the Indian nation that was itself a product of “synthesis”.28 He envisaged India pri­ marily as a composite nation, based on the somewhat glorified notion of a long historical tradition of welcoming and integrating various different religious and philosophical schools. In this perception, only a secular state could accommodate this historical legacy and do justice to this composite character of the Indian people.29 The objective of state secularism was thus not the insurmountable religiosity of its people, but religious diversity itself. In Nehru’s interpretation, India’s secularism was not limited to the creation of a “secular state in a religious society, but the creation of a secular state in

28  Traces of a transnational mindset a multi-religious society.”30 To achieve this higher goal, postcolonial politics had to find a concrete strategy. In this sense, territorial control as well as claims to political governance over all social groups merged in state secular­ ism as the guiding principle for political affairs. A major challenge for the postcolonial state was thus indeed to distance itself from and de-legitimise community-based claims of political solidarity. These claims ran counter to state integration as well as to the power inter­ ests of the postcolonial political elite. In an early speech to the R ­ amakrishna Mission in April 1965, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s head of government, de­ fined his formula for a secular, multi-religious state on similar lines: I am quite sure that whatever we do, the one thing we should not do is to try to stifle the other man’s culture, his language, his religion, because that is the surest way to bring forth all the acute conflicts in which he is quite prepared to abandon reason and rationality and stand by his heritage. (…) And I am hoping that in the next ten years, that others who I am sure are less exposed to these influences will have the op­ portunity first to tolerate, then to appreciate that the other man has got something, may be better than what he has got. And in this way, we hope, instead of hearing people in strident tones, shout about one race, one language, one culture, one religion, which is the surest way to the destruction of this fragile society which we all nurture and which nurture [sic] us, (…) they will slowly begin to appreciate, that just as the Indonesians treasure the sound of their bamboo music, the dances, of what they call [the] quintessence of their culture, so other people have the right to keep what they consider good.31 In the postcolonial settings of almost unlimited religious heterogeneity, state secularism was a programme to encourage and, where necessary, en­ force the abandonment of any notion of political and cultural singularity that had long been part of the emancipatory struggle of many religious and cultural movements against colonial rule. Now, such notions stood in the way of national unity and territorial integration. In this sense, secular­ ism basically meant to prevent single religions from claiming exclusivity in political and cultural affairs and thereby to enable minorities to join and stay within the postcolonial political federation. Secularism has thus also been a spatial strategy to secure geographical loyalty and create a nation as a spatially integrated social and political reality. In everyday politics, this required a complex practice of checks and balances between the dif­ ferent religious, ethnic, and social demands to produce and maintain the delicate equilibrium. To this end, the state asserted a superior position at equidistance to the various religious communities, although in practice, depending on the situational political requirements, this equidistance has always been patchy.

Traces of a transnational mindset  29

Malaysia’s ethnic-religious citizenship After 1945, British Malaya was an ethnically and religiously extremely hetero­geneous society characterised by a tacit predominance of Islamic af­ fairs over other religious communities within the framework of a secular, authoritarian colonial regime. During the last years of colonial rule, the leaders of the most prominent political platform (UMNO) refrained from developing their visions of a Malay nation into an exclusive nationalism of “Malaya to the Malays”, i.e. the Muslim ethnic majority. Rather, they based their nationalism on a principled appreciation of religious and ethnic diver­ sity, although Malays were considered the nation’s “core ethnie”.32 In spite of the fact that this core idea of Malaysian nation-building was subject to pressure from within UMNO and from other Malay nationalists,33 it re­ mained a temporary consensus during the first years after independence. For UMNO’s leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia should be a state on the basis of secular principles that even allowed Islam to be its official, but not exclusive, religion: “I would like to make it clear that this ­country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood, we merely provide that Islam shall be the official religion of the State.”34 In concrete terms, this meant that the state indeed allowed the continued existence of Islamic courts as an integral element of jurisdiction, but limited their competencies to a narrow field of explicitly Islamic affairs. The judges (kadis) at these courts sanctioned, for example, civil matters of family law such as marriage and divorce, property inheritance, sexual offences, or the non-payment of religious taxes.35 In the implementation of their judgments, the courts were also subjected to strict organisational constraints. The Islamic magistrates in the states had to rely on the national, non-religious police to implement their judgments as the state refused to equip them with their own police forces or prisons.36 The result of these mixed competencies was, however, that postcolonial citizenship was, in principle, secular under the overarch­ ing authority of the state, but integrated layers of deviant regulations that resulted in a gradually Islamised and thus ethnically specific citizenship for Muslims. The background underlying motive for this complex idea of a secular state with an official religion was not high-flying values of tolerance and conniv­ ance, but pragmatic considerations of geographical integration. When Tunku Abdul Rahman pressed for the inclusion of North Borneo, Sarawak, and Brunei in January 1962, which were populated by a large share of ­Christian and other non-Islamic groups, the local leaders successfully demanded the following conditions that: Malay be accepted as the national language but English continue as a medium of instruction and an official language of pro­ vincial government; Islam be the state’s religion, though administered by a secular government and not by Islamic clergy, and other religions be allowed to be propagated;37 finally, that indigenous people in Sarawak and North Borneo enjoy similar privileges to the Malays in Malaya.38

30  Traces of a transnational mindset In order to put this idea of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation into practice, it was necessary to integrate members of the different non-­Malay groups into the administration as well as the highest decision-making ranks.39 In 1962, members of the Chinese community held 16 per cent more top-level jobs than the Malays in spite of the government’s efforts to increase the share of Malays.40 In the face of mounting political pres­ sure from Malay nationalists, this situation was difficult to maintain. In the years to come, the Chinese were confronted with numerous forms of discrimination including employment, particularly at the lower levels of civil service, but were also in promotions, professional transfers, and train­ ing practices.41 Tunku Abdul Rahman’s idea of a non-exclusive national­ ism to spatially integrate the regions of the Malaysian territory was thus challenged right from the start and confronted with the specific interests of Malay pressure groups.42 Among the practical forms of religious dis­ crimination were restrictions on Christian missionary activities among Muslims, a clear dominance of Islamic programmes on radio and TV over programmes for other religious communities, and a preference for Islamic places of worship when new land was allocated for the construction of religious buildings.43 In India, diplomats justified the seemingly secular, integrative charac­ ter of the Indian political system in similar terms. They pointed out that ­Muslims were represented prominently at the highest level of the state. Eight years after independence, 46 Muslims were members in both Houses of ­Parliament; two ministers and three Parliamentary Secretaries were ­Muslim; in all state governments a total of 11 Muslims were Ministers and five Deputy Ministers; one out of nine judges in the Supreme Court as well as the Chief Justice of Bombay and Bihar High Courts were Muslim.44 What the diplomats did not mention, of course, was that these figures were highly disproportionate to the share of Muslims in the total population, which was around 10 per cent at that time. Furthermore, Muslims were increasingly marginalised at the lower levels of state bureaucracy, including the police forces.45 In spite of these practical shortcomings, the key idea propagated by dip­ lomats and politicians in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia was an integrative nationalism as an alternative strategy for spatial integration to the propagation of positive values such as one common religion or one shared ethnicity for all citizens, which clearly would have led to conflict and disintegration. This secular strategy of spatial integration by contrast worked through the appreciation of diversity. In practice, more than any­ thing else this meant opposition to any sentiment or idea – such as a state religion – that had a potentially destructive impact on this desired national unity.46 To flesh out the details of this strategy, this generation of politicians also looked beyond national borders for inspiration. In this way, their ideo­ logical horizon constituted an own transnational scale that connected Asia in particular with the Middle East.

Traces of a transnational mindset  31

Turkey: a postcolonial prototype? There was one country in the Middle East which leaders of the Indian and Indonesian independence movements looked to as a shining example of a modern, secular state. This was Turkey. Mustafa Kemal’s strongly interventionist regime, established with the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in October 1923, comprehensively reor­ ganised the realm of Islam and Islamic institutions. Although recent research emphasises that the reforms were more gradual and based on reforms already implemented during the final years of the Ottoman Empire,47 Kemal’s secu­ larisation measures had a profound impact on basically three areas: the state, including education and law, where Atatürk attacked the institutional strong­ holds of the Islamic authorities; religious symbols in public spaces, which the Republican regime replaced with symbols of European culture and civilisa­ tion; and the secularisation of social life, where Atatürk transformed popular Islam through ritual reforms or the reorganisation of mosques.48 The effect of these measures was not so much the clear separation of the state from re­ ligion, but actually the subordination of Islam including its authorities and institutions to the state’s administrative regime. The underlying objective of all these measures was to modernise Turkish society as a whole.49 Turkey and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, had long since been an important reference point in transnational formations of political opin­ ions and anti-colonial attitudes, particularly in British India. Since the First World War, the future of the caliphate was fiercely discussed not only within the Ottoman Empire but also among Muslim leaders and Islamic authorities in various Middle Eastern and Asian societies. This institution was interpreted not only as an aspect of religion, or din, “whose contracted existence was deemed obligatory by the rites of Islam”, but also as a sym­ bol of Islam’s independence and proof of the political power of Muslims.50 When Atatürk indicated the abolition of the caliphate in November 1922, Muslim leaders in Great Britain, Palestine, Syria, and British India made several efforts to initiate a transnational solidarity movement supposed to exert pressure on the Turkish government. In their function as officers of the Islamic Association of England, the Indian Muslim leaders Agha Khan and Sayyid Amir Ali published a widely discussed letter in three of the major daily news­papers in Istanbul in November 1923, begging the Turk­ ish government not to abolish but to place the caliphate “on a basis which would command confidence and esteem of the Muslim nations, and thus impart to the ­Turkish state unique strength and dignity”.51 In India after 1918, ­Muslims had been first among the most supportive well-wishers of Kemal who they called “sword of Islam” unleashed to liberate the caliph.52 The Khilafat movement between 1920 and 1924, however, remained sur­ prisingly national in its approach and could not generate lasting solidar­ ity either between Hindus and Muslims or among the different fractions of Muslim communities across the subcontinent.53

32  Traces of a transnational mindset However, Atatürk’s reforms, implemented mainly during the second half of the 1920s and the 1930s, were a source of inspiration for several Asian leaders and intellectuals in the interwar period as well as during the Second World War. In British Malaya, editorials of Malay newspapers with differ­ ent political and religious views generally agreed with key aspects of the Turkish Revolution: the achievement of (national) independence, Atatürk’s military achievements, and the overall spirit of progress that character­ ised the early years of the Republic. Although more orthodox Islamic cir­ cles criti­cised Atatürk for having gone too far with his religious reforms, the young generation of nationalist leaders spoke highly about this form of secular modernisation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister of ­Malaysia, and other leaders in his party (UMNO) had a high regard for Atatürk’s nationalism and imagined a postcolonial form of secularism de­ signed after the Kemalist example.54 One of the most elaborate analyses of these reforms came from the Indian poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbāl who, until his death in 1938, had a significant impact on intellectual debates in India and beyond. ­Initially, Iqbāl had been critical about the abolishment of the caliphate and Kemal’s secularism, but during the 1930s, Iqbāl formulated a differentiated appreci­ ation of these reforms. Although Iqbāl fiercely rejected the idea that ­Islam is unprogressive and thus a major problem for modernisation, he saw T ­ urkey as an example of creative destruction, paving the way for a future of ­Muslims different from the West.55 Recognising the importance in preserving and at the same time reforming Islam, Iqbāl praised Turkey for being a sole exam­ ple of a nation that “has shaken off its dogmatic slumber, and attained to self-consciousness. She alone has claimed her right of intellectual freedom; she alone has passed from the ideal to the real – a transition that entails keen intellectual and moral struggle.”56 For Nehru, who accused Iqbāl of having a reactionary outlook with his return to Islam, Turkey and India were the “forerunners of secularism and progress”, assigned not only to build modern, secular states in religious so­ cieties, but also to be pioneers in the establishment of peace between na­ tions.57 Sukarno, on the other hand, interpreted Turkey as an example for a successful separation of state and religion. In a series of articles published in 1940, Sukarno argued that such a separation was in the interest of the state as well as in the interest of Islam. As Sukarno saw it, Turkey separated Islam from the state “in order that it [i.e. Islam] might prosper.”58 State secular­ ism was thus a means to free religion from external influence and secure its highest possible autonomy. Because this is not what actually happened in Atatürk’s Republic, this could indeed indicate Sukarno’s “misunderstanding of ‘Kemalism’”, as ­Chiara ­Formichi has suggested.59 But as Sukarno wrote these texts on Turkey rela­ tively late in 1940, when many consequences of Turkish secularism on Islamic institutions and orthodoxy were clearly visible, and as it is little convincing to assume that Sukarno just didn’t understand Atatürk’s approach, it is more

Traces of a transnational mindset  33 fruitful to interpret Sukarno’s view on Turkey as a strategic move. Sukarno was aware that this interpretation of secularism was indeed a motivation even for religious movements in various different contexts to actively support the separation of state and religion. He thus enhanced this argument to secure these movements’ support. In Sukarno’s strategic reading, this separation also had a liberating impact on the state itself: [T]he freeing of religion from the ties of the state also means the freeing of the state from conservative religious opinions, that is, the freeing of the state from traditional laws and orthodox Muslim concepts which are in fact in conflict with the true spirit of Islam, and which clearly have always been obstacles to the activities of the state leading to progress and modernity.60 As Sukarno interpreted Turkey, there was also a connection between sec­ ularism and socio-economic prosperity. Due to numerous “superstitions and corruptions of Islam”, Turkey’s economic status had been “at a very low level and backwardness.” This legitimised state intervention in religious affairs and religious institutions in order to move society forward into the modern era.61 Not everyone in Sukarno’s political environment, of course, shared this view. More conservative leaders in the independence movement such as ­Mohammad Natsir and Ahmad Hassan rejected Kemal’s secularism as a cornerstone of state ideology. In their view, the backwardness of the ­Ottoman Empire could not be blamed on the unity between state and religion. ­Besides, the sultanate-caliphate should not be considered as the only possible version of an Islamic government. As the Prophet Mohammed had been both a po­ litical and a religious authority, Islamic governance also in modern times consisted of religious as well as political aspects.62 From Sukarno’s perspec­ tive, Muhammad had been a religious messenger who exercised his role in politics as a human being and not as a prophet.63 In summary, secularism in this interpretation comprises a combination of separating strategies to distinguish more clearly between the realm of religion and the state without eliminating their mutual entanglements. By contrast, this notion of secular­ ism reorganises the modes of entanglement and bases them on a rearranged form of hierarchy that favours the state over religious affairs.

Secularism and the promise of equality In postindependence India, there were many critiques of the term “sec­ ular” and “secularism” even among those thinkers who strongly sup­ ported a religiously neutral state. B.R. Ambedkar, a major voice in the ­constitution-making process and prominent leader of the scheduled castes (Dalits), derived his notion of equality, tolerance, and social reform from intellectual sources as different as the pragmatic philosophy of his teacher

34  Traces of a transnational mindset John Dewey, the US Constitution and Civil Rights Movement, the British economist John Maynard Keynes, the emancipatory thoughts of Edmund Burke, and ideas of brotherhood in Buddha’s teaching.64 Ambedkar was well aware that the term “secular state” was confusing and misleading. But in his reading, the Indian constitution showed a precise understanding of secularism even without the explicit application of this term: It does not mean that we can abolish religion; it does not mean that we shall not take into consideration the religious sentiments of the people. All that a secular state means is that the Parliament shall not be com­ petent to impose any particular religion upon the rest of the people.65 For Ambedkar, a secular civil code extending to all religious communities as well as matters of marriage and inheritance was a central requirement of such a state.66 As such, secularism and religious reform were inseparably connected and two facets of the same political project. For Nehru, the word “secular” was “not a very happy one” either, as it was confusing and lacked precision. Besides, expressions like “secular de­ mocracy” were “used today too much and by people who do not understand their significance.”67 Yet, as there was no better alternative, he wanted his administration to be clear that it does not obviously mean a State where religion as such is discour­ aged. It means freedom of religion and conscience, including freedom for those who may have no religion. It means free play for all religions, subject only to their not interfering with each other or with the basic conceptions of our State.68 A secular state “does not allow itself to be attached to one faith or religion, which then becomes the state religion.”69 What is more, according to Nehru, secularism conveys the idea of social and political equality. Thus, a caste-ridden society is not a properly secular [one]. I have no desire to interfere with any person’s belief, but when those beliefs become petrified in caste di­ vision, undoubtedly they affect the social structure of the State. They prevent us from realising the ideal of equality which we claim to place before ourselves. They interfere in political matters, just as communal­ ism interferes.70 In other words, Nehru interpreted secularism as well as religion mainly through their social consequences and thus linked these categories insepa­ rably to social policies as well as social reform.71 An important implication of this interpretation was that state secular­ ism justified and even motivated interference in religious affairs if religious

Traces of a transnational mindset  35 patterns obstructed the implementation of social reform.72 As a conse­ quence, the secular state became the highest authority for assessing the so­ cial implications of religious practices and religious belief and addressing such implications through political intervention according to the socio­ political principles that the state had itself defined. Social divisions based on caste were a specificity of Indian society, but the problem of striking inequalities after decolonisation was a feature most postcolonial societies shared. In ­India and elsewhere, the idea of secularism was therefore closely intertwined with questions of social inequality and promised greater equal­ ity through social reform, in particular addressing modes of inequality based on religious traditions. Women were thereby not only a key target group for gender-related inequality, but also a distinct actors group that co-determined thoughts on secularism in their own ways.

Women, secularism, and social reform Postcolonial critics of secularism, who based their approaches on Michel Foucault’s interventions on power and the state, have forcefully argued that within the modern state regime it was not so much religion that needed to be regulated. By contrast, it was the modern state apparatus that needed some­ thing to regulate and, at one point in history, that need also concerned re­ ligious behaviour and religious organisation. In this light, religion appears just as another subject of the modernist project’s quest for order and social control.73 As important as this focus on the intrinsic dynamics of modern statehood is, it tends to underestimate what (post)colonial citizens them­ selves demanded from their administrations.74 These demands not only con­ cerned economic welfare but also social accomplishments such as equality between human beings, and particularly between women and men, that ought to be achieved only against the interests of religious orthodoxies. As such, these social demands were a facet of a postcolonial citizenship that was not exclusively implemented from above,75 but originated largely from non-state actors and their attempts to pressure state institutions in favour of their social views. The idea of equality in the context of religious reform was particularly high on the agenda of various women’s movements in Asia and the ­Middle East. Many of these movements had already emerged during the first half of the 20th century and had been an integral element of anti-colonial ac­ tivism. Historians have argued that the discourse of anti-colonial nation­ alism has actually reinforced the inequality between men and women by separating the domains of public and private into male and female spheres. In a new, revised version of patriarchy, different from traditional patterns of male dominance, women were constructed as the guardians of the in­ ner, spiritual world, and the nation’s mothers.76 This form of subordination, however, does not fully cover women’s roles in (post)colonial settings during the first half of the 20th century. Women began to more and more influence

36  Traces of a transnational mindset public debates on politics and social reform and formed local as well as transnational networks to propagate their demands. In the interwar period, women’s organisations extended their work to the emerging international organisations such as the League of Nations and set up various regional and international Women’s Congresses to target a basically global audience.77 Although these efforts to organise women’s interests on a transnational as well as a local level originated from the interwar period, it was decolonisa­ tion that provided a profoundly different and larger opportunity for w ­ omen’s activism.78 The controversies around religion and religious customs was one of the most controversial issues. A brief look at the national deve­lopments in former South and Southeast Asian colonies illustrates this point. After the Second World War, the Dutch colonial authorities in Indonesia saw themselves confronted with three different sorts of women: the “women in the village”, whose lives were determined exclusively by their duties in the village economy and by raising children; the “half-developed” women with access to some education, but still living mainly in the rural areas; and finally the “intellectuals”, who “support emancipation”, “recognise abuses and have deeper insights into transitions of society” and thus develop “broader perspectives” on the future of women.79 Reflecting the ideological heterogeneity of politics in Indonesia, numerous new women’s movements emerged during decolonisation, ranging from a conservative, religious out­ look to liberal-secular movements. What many of these movements had in common, though, was that they recognised the need for religious reform to address the unresolved problems of discrimination against women in public and private life as well as the striking gender inequality that characterised their societies.80 In November 1952, the national umbrella organisation Kongres Wanita Indonesia met in Bandung. Islamic, Christian, nationalist, as well as com­ munist women’s representatives discussed different forms of discrimina­ tion against women and demanded immediate political solutions. In spite of their ideological differences, the participants agreed that the problem of gender inequality could only be addressed successfully by a political organ­ isation that itself put women and men on an equal footing.81 Based on Pancasila, the state ideology, women demanded improved ac­ cess to higher education, a better social safeguard for widows, the gradual reform of religious customary laws in particular on marriage and inhe­ ritance, the prohibition of polygamy, and a homogeneous marriage law for all religions.82 The struggle against polygamy and the prohibition of child marriages or commercial marriages was a particular concern of Christian as well as communist women’s movements. These movements’ agendas were particularly critical of Islamic customary practices.83 In Sumatra, the Indonesian Christian Women’s Association (PWKI) de­ manded the abolition of the customary laws on marriage based on select Islamic teachings, because these laws deprived widows of their husband’s inheritance if there were no children.84 For GERWANI, the communist

Traces of a transnational mindset  37 women’s organisation, a “democratic marriage bill” based on the notion of strict equality between men and women was a key demand in the field of so­ cial and religious reform. Again, this targeted mainly Islamic customs.85 In 1952 in Singapore, at that time still a British colony, the Singapore Council of Women (SCW) was founded as an umbrella organisation for more than 30 different women’s associations. Its foremost symbol of the injustice done to women was the practice of polygamy, justified and sustained by religious orthodoxy.86 In Indonesia, the conflicting views on women’s emancipation between progressive, leftist movements, and religious conservative circles had al­ ready surfaced during the 1920s. At that time, communist and Islamic organisations had developed their respective agendas for more social and political rights for women.87 After independence, these differences over women’s roles in social affairs and religion persisted, but also within ­Islamic organisations the urge to reform became stronger.88 More con­ servative Islamic representatives insisted on the traditional view that the highest ambition of every woman should be to become a housewife and mother. At the same time, they also recognised that not all women can or may achieve this goal and thus need better social security through educa­ tion and employment.89 In India, the All-India Women’s Conference (AIWC) was already lobby­ ing before independence for a secular civil code, but it later re-enforced its efforts once again. Their target was less Islamic customary practices than conservative Hindu circles. In the National Planning Committee ­(1939–1940) and in the Constituent Assembly (1946–1948), which had the task of drafting independent India’s new constitution, AIWC leaders lobbied for a guaran­ tee of sex equality and a uniform civil code to be implemented in coordina­ tion with an extensive reform of Islamic as well as Hindu law.90 A particularly controversial question turned out to be the demand for a uniform marriage law. Conservative Hindus opposed the provision of di­ vorce as well as women’s rights to inheritance “because by giving a part of inheritance to women, [men] lose that share of property.”91 The debates over the so-called Hindu Code Bill between 1941 and 1956 heightened the discussions over (Hindu) women’s rights to unprecedented levels. Women’s associations challenged religious organisations not only over issues such as property rights and divorce, but also over conservative notions of mother­ hood.92 Reform-minded women called the secular state to account, which they saw as the central protagonist of religious and social reform on the ground.93 It was a major disappointment that this secular state made vir­ tually no attempts to reform Muslim personal law, which had been equally repressive against women and their rights.94 In brief, as women’s movements increasingly pressed for women’s rights in private and public life, they also questioned religious customs and came into conflict with conservative religious, male milieus that sought to allow only a minimum of change in gender relations. As such, this campaign

38  Traces of a transnational mindset constituted nothing less than a fight for “a new social order”,95 to be se­ cured by a legislative body that stood above the individual religious com­ munities and their legitimate or illegitimate representatives. Only such a ‘neutral’ legislature could enforce the agenda of social reform against re­ ligious interests as well. In order to gain a more comprehensive historical understanding of secularism as a distinct idea as well as a practical project, these voices from civil society are indeed crucial.96 In particular, women found an arena in secularism in which they were able to deploy their agency and form as well as articulate their ideas and agendas.97 These voices not only contributed to the debates about the precise meaning of secularism and the ultimate goals of social reform, but they also provided an impor­ tant foothold for state action and thus supported state secularism in many important ways.

Equality through religion? A different strand of ideas on secularism denied that religion and equality were, in principle, incompatible and argued that, on the contrary, religion it­ self was the source of more equality in society. In Indonesia, the most prom­ inent voice advocating this approach was Mohammed Hatta, I­ ndonesia’s first Vice President and later Prime Minister. While, for Sukarno, P ­ ancasila was a sort of communist manifesto “sublimated by adding the belief in God”,98 the devout Muslim Hatta sought to utilise Islam itself as the basis for social reform and equality. Hatta did not disagree with the five principles of Pancasila. As these prin­ ciples included belief in God, the Islamic tenet that God must be the centre of every Muslim’s daily activities was in his view indeed respected. This has been interpreted as an “escape route for Hatta from any obligation, as an orthodox Muslim and son of an ulama, to support the Islamic state.”99 Social reform, however, was in his perspective not inconsistent with Islam, but one of its core demands. In Hatta’s reading, one of the major sources of socialism and its ideal of non-exploitation and equality was Islam itself. Similar to the Christian poverty movements such as the Waldensians that came into existence during the 12th century and founded a “movement of Christian socialism”,100 the Prophet Mohammed also propagated the unity of all Muslims based on the notion of equality and the unity of God. Hatta was also inspired by modern reformist Islamic thinking in India, where ­Muhammad Iqbāl, Liaqat Ali Khan, and others had developed an Islamic notion of equality and unity into a sort of Islamic socialism.101 In Indonesian politics, according to Hatta, socialism meant the establishment of a just and prosperous society, a society released from poverty and unhappiness, in which the production is carried out by the majority for the majority on the basis of common effort under the leadership of public bodies responsible for the society.102

Traces of a transnational mindset  39 Besides Marxism and the struggles for survival of the rural communities, the major source for this Indonesian variation of socialism was Islam, ac­ cording to which the earth and the sky belonged to God alone and not to human individuals.103 Social justice thus lay at the heart of Islam’s teach­ ings, a justice “that will not have been secured in a society when its con­ dition reveals a sharp clash between rich and poor, when prosperity is not evenly spread throughout all layers of society.”104 Thus, “in accordance with ­Islam, the state should represent a welfare state which guarantees prosperity of all.”105 Hatta’s orthodox belief motivated him in his intellectual endeavours to construct an idealised interpretation of Islam that had once been realised in the Prophet’s own community, based on the principles of equality and ­reverence for God. In contrast to many secular-minded women’s move­ ments, Hatta did not see the problem of inequality as being rooted in Islam itself, but in distinct religious practices and Islamic teachings that helped sustain inequality and social cleavages. As a consequence, the political route to equality lay in a different, in his view, more adequate interpretation of Islam within a quasi-secular state structure that recognised a general be­ lief in one God rather than Islam itself as one of its basic principles. Whether achieved through or in defiance of religion, equality was one of the central concerns during decolonisation. This concern legitimised the postcolonial state in contrast to colonial rule, which had been based on highly unequal social relations and racial hierarchies. In this context, ine­ quality was frequently seen as the historical result of capitalist penetration. Sukarno once made this point in one of his speeches at the anniversary of his country’s independence. In his view, the problem of social injustice had simply not existed before colonialism: “At that time there was no capitalism, there was equality!”106 The question whether religion was itself the source of inequality or, by contrast, a means to reduce this inequality, remained dis­ puted in subsequent decades. Irrespective of this question, the central prom­ ise of the secularism project propagated by various progressive intellectuals, politicians, and social activists, was that of a state that would elimi­nate the various mechanisms of discrimination and thus enhance equality.

Secularism – a modern form of interventionism The two and a half decades after the Second World War were not only a transformative period of decolonisation during which societies in Asia and elsewhere aspired to reimagine and reorganise themselves. These were also the years in which modernisation discourses reached a peak. In the United States and Western Europe, these discourses revolved around distinct ideas about the ideal modern human being, showing an “openness to new expe­ rience, both with people and with new ways of doing things”, “the asser­ tion of increasing independence from the authority of traditional figures like parents and priests”, “belief in the efficacy of science and medicine,

40  Traces of a transnational mindset and a general abandonment of passivity and fatalism.”107 Particularly in US academia, where the Cold War rationale rapidly gained influence, decolo­ nisation in the so-called underdeveloped world was interpreted as a major source of risk, which required stringent social analysis and comprehensive control.108 In the postcolonial world, however, a similar call for social analysis was motivated by the political objective of proving these suspicions about decolonisation wrong and legitimising political independence through social reform, economic welfare, and cultural transformation. G ­ enerally, the promotion of modernity was not just about economic production, but also about society and its values and norms.109 In the broad range of political interventions undertaken to achieve such modernity – ­however, limited in scope and depth – religion constituted a decisive area in which social reform was expected to manifest itself. In this perspective, religious beliefs and practices were not only a major battleground for national in­ tegration and the promise of equality, but more broadly the matrix for modern standards of political interventionism. This interventionism sought to relocate religious affairs within a clearly defined field and in this way gradually separate it from social, political, cultural, and eco­ nomic affairs. One immediate context in which many considerations on interventionism in religious matters emerged was related to violent clashes between adher­ ents of different religious and/or ethnic identities. A society particularly af­ fected by these dynamics was Singapore in the mid-1960s. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew suspected religion of being able to “bring forth all the acute conflicts in which he [i.e. man] is quite prepared to abandon reason and ra­ tionality.”110 Lee was thus convinced that “tolerance between racial groups, linguistic groups and religious groups is of the essence for our survival.”111 For historical reasons related to the ethnic violence Singapore had experi­ enced in the 1950s, his trust in tolerance was limited. His administration thus opted for a comprehensive regime of control based on a securitised notion of religion that redefined religious dynamics primarily as a question of public security and control. As the practical dimensions of state control over religion in Singapore at that time have been convincingly analysed elsewhere,112 the focus here is on ideational changes reflected in the ways executive forces thought about religion. Articles published in police journals illustrate how religion became a central field of social engineering and thus manifested one of the key ideas of modernisation: the ‘makeability’ of society. This modern form of inter­ ventionism in turn had a significant impact on how ‘the secular’ and ‘the religious’ were defined. In the eyes of Singapore’s police in the late 1960s, religion was a “major area of conflict” that required special precautionary measures to be implemented mainly by the state. In this reading the “main danger” was “to give religion a racial colouring”. The state therefore had to take a proactive approach in

Traces of a transnational mindset  41 order to prevent religion from provoking national disintegration. The conse­ quences of this insight were as compelling as they were simple: Not only must the races be tolerant religiously, but it is best that we have some form of state ideology or philosophy that will transcend per­ sonal and petty interests. This will act as a common aspiration which the nation can be identified with. In no way, however, is it suggested that religions are to [be] done away with. The role that religions can play as a unifying or a destructive force cannot be denied.113 According to the police authorities, this state ideology should be based on a secular orientation that placed the state above the individual religious com­ munities, their teachings, and ritual practices. In this way, it would have a positive impact on Singapore’s citizens through indoctrination and social­ isation. In their view, such indoctrination should also happen in schools through teaching as well as at home through the influence of mass media such as radio and TV. These forms of socialisation included rituals and ceremonies, in other words repetitive and systematic procedures similar to church services, with a view to inducing certain feelings of solidarity and tolerance. The police considered these “informal techniques of social con­ trol” crucial for telling a human being as a “cultural animal” what is right and what is wrong, in particular in the field of religion.114 Even more important in a modern society, though, were “formal tech­ niques of social control” that would also constitute an effective power strat­ egy of the “modern” over the “primitive”: It is the function of the socialized force to gauge and to evaluate the motive of a person for violating the laws. It has been proven that force is the most effective instruments [sic] of social control over uneducated or regimented populations than [sic] over those which have been brought up in an atmosphere of liberty and criticism. (…) On the whole, primi­ tive societies resort mainly to informal means of controlling individuals and groups. Advanced or civilized societies, on the other hand, tend to rely on systematically formulated regulations, rules and laws which are enforced by agencies, such as courts and police systems.115 Particularly for a society like Singapore that strived to become modernised and progressive, social control was by no means a thing of the (colonial) past, but rather an indispensable requirement for change. As such, social control was understood as a pillar of modern social order, ultimately sus­ tained by the state authorities: The level of control, be it high or low, is to be determined by the kinds of social relationship that exist among the individuals that make up the society and their effectiveness in getting people to follow prescribed

42  Traces of a transnational mindset patterns of behaviour. Social control is necessary for any society that wants progress, peace and stability, and especially more so, for a plural society.116 Religion, for that matter, had twofold relevance in the achievement of social control under the conditions of modernity. First, together with ethnicity, religion formed the core element of diversity that the police recognised as a source of “conflicting social patterns and fierce demands.” Second, religion was one of the key reference values for the “ideal citizen”, who observed “ra­ cial harmony in the context of nation-building”, in other words “racial tol­ erance, respect for one another’s customs, understanding, and religions, and general goodwill to one another, irrespective of colour, caste or creed.”117 In this way, the ideal citizen combined a distinct form of religiosity, based on tolerance and a liberal, appreciative attitude towards other believers, with the requirements of social control under the state’s critical supervision: The ideal citizen will have to be absolutely law-abiding, both in the letter and in the spirit of the law, his character beyond reproach, and his integrity beyond question. His activities should not depart from the framework of the constitution and his attitudes should not infringe into [sic] the happiness of others. In short, his life in all its details should manifest a glittering example to the others around him as how to behave and conduct themselves in their day-to-day lives.118 There is no question that these ideas rarely ever corresponded with social reality. What these police discourses show, however, is that as an idea, state secularism was embedded in the broader context of social control, and that social control in turn was deemed to be a vital requirement for a modernis­ ing society. The informal and formal techniques of social control required liberal forms of religiosity to actively facilitate the state’s disciplining meas­ ures. On the other hand, these control techniques required more exclusivist and radical forms of religiosity to be banned from social life altogether. The ultimate authority to distinguish between these two forms of religion was, of course, the state and its executive, including the police. They were ultimately responsible for what was defined as religious and racial harmony and thus also were the supreme interpreter of the quality of religion.

Secularism as theology Over time, as a consequence of the state’s function of distinguishing between different forms of religion and assessing them in relation to modernisation and social control, state secularism itself turned into a distinct form of the­ ology. This theology favoured certain interpretations of sacred sources and teachings while discriminating against others. The state not only favoured certain forms of religious teaching, namely those most in line with its own

Traces of a transnational mindset  43 agenda of control and social reform, but it also became involved in broader theological debates over the reinterpretation of sacred sources as well as norms and values. A primary concern of these political efforts to reinterpret religion was to reconcile religious beliefs with the core ideas of modernisation itself. A few years before Indonesia’s independence, Sukarno demanded a “modern no­ tion of the meaning of Islam”.119 Observing similar efforts being undertaken at that time to rethink Islam in other Asian and African societies including Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and India, Sukarno recognised a certain “elastic­ ity of Islam”, which made this religion “compatible with all progress” and which was the reason “why Islamic culture constantly changes its charac­ ter.”120 As in India or Turkey, where religion was separated from the state “so that Islam might prosper”, Indonesia needed a rational assessment of the “idea of the religion of Islam as a social system”. This would, among other things, improve the position of women in society: “Or dare the con­ servatives fix it in their hearts”, Sukarno asked rhetorically, that, for instance, the question of the curtain is a settled question, the question of education of girls is a settled one, the question of the veil is a settled one, the question of women in general is a settled question, the question of bank interest is a settled question, the question of national­ ism is a settled question, the question of religion and the state is a settled question, the question of co-education is a settled question, the question of rationalism is a settled question?121 In these debates over the reform of Islam the “curtain” (tabir), which sepa­ rated women from men in public assemblies, was a controversial issue. The discussion among leading Indonesian intellectuals and political leaders es­ calated in early 1939 when Sukarno and his wife walked out together from a Muhammadiyah meeting in protest against this curtain. Sukarno had previ­ ously told the council of Muhammadiyah that he regarded the tabir as a sign of women’s continuous enslavement.122 Considered by Islamic orthodoxy as a key feature of Islamic public life, this curtain was not essential to Islam in Sukarno’s modernised theology, but simply a means of discrimination against women: The curtain is the product of relations in Islamic society, the conse­ quence or the survival of historical social relations among Muslims. I  would even say: although, for instance, it is true that Muslim men today put up the curtain precisely “in order to honour women” – so goes part of the grounds of those pro the curtain – I still continue to call it the symbol of enslavement.123 After independence, Sukarno and his followers within the state bureau­ cracy had to acknowledge that their theological viewpoints could not be

44  Traces of a transnational mindset fully implemented. More conservative voices were influential within the ad­ ministration. Mohammed Natsir, for example, Islamic scholar and prime minister in 1950 and 1951, suspected secularism in the form of Pancasila of uprooting citizens from their cultural origins. He therefore demanded that Islam become the exclusive foundation of the Indonesian state.124 How­ ever, at the time of Indonesia’s first general elections in 1955 Natsir, too, had taken a pragmatic turn. He urged Muslims in Indonesia to accept the secular state and cooperate with non-Muslims in “improving that which is still not good, strengthening that which is not strong, while making whole that which is still imperfect.”125 Because politicians and bureaucrats interpreted their role in society as that of actively enhancing a social reform called ‘modernisation’, they in­ evitably became involved in theological debates about the interpretation of the sacred sources of religious beliefs. The mission to modernise state and society could not avoid the tricky terrain of theological disputes and conflicting religious practices. These theological disputes constituted both a major obstacle to and strong support for the modernisation mission, de­ pending on the respective theological perspective. In this sense, Lee Kuan Yew reminded Singapore’s Islamic scholars in July 1966 during his inaugu­ ral speech at a “Holy Koran conference”, always to remember: give it [i.e. Islam] the interpretation that will bring peace, harmony and happiness for your adherents. And that is only pos­ sible if you at the same time give the interpretation that is conducive to multi-racial, multi-religious tolerance, forbearance and togetherness.126

Secularism and the institutionalisation of religion The theological dimension of state secularism was not limited to the per­ sonal opinions of political decision-makers and administrators, but also ac­ quired an institutional dimension, in particular in Malaysia and Indonesia. In these countries, a separate Ministry of Religion was in charge of religious and particularly Islamic affairs. After the emergency regime had been installed in British Malaya in 1948, the Malay States initiated the establishment of provincial Departments of Religious Affairs and gradually expanded their competencies. Their tasks were to provide new services, including social services, to the local Muslim communities, to homogenise Islamic practices such as the collection of reli­ gious taxes, and more generally to professionalise the administration of re­ ligious affairs.127 The task of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion, founded only two years earlier in 1946, was to assist in the practical organisation of religious affairs such as pilgrimages to Mecca or the administration of charity. More importantly, it had the power to grant official status to a limi­ted number of faiths. In other words, the Ministry of Religion was created as the sole and ultimate authority in distinguishing official religions

Traces of a transnational mindset  45 (agama) from unofficial forms of faith that did not benefit from the state’s support. Since independence, several such unofficial faiths have come under suspicion of undermining the state’s ultimate authority in religious matters and, in some cases, their leaders and followers have been prosecuted. These conflicts are another illuminating facet of secularism’s theological profile, which emerged less during theoretical debates over religious pluralism and the state than in concrete conflict situations rooted in controversies over social and political control. During the 19th century, orientalist scholarship in Europe had increas­ ingly recognised a limited number of so-called “great religions” such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism that were considered comparable to the Christian confessions in Europe. In the colonies, particularly in the Middle East as well as in South and Southeast Asia, the concept of “great religions” turned into a categorical, scientific framework by means of which schol­ ars, but also colonial bureaucrats, could explain the distinct characteristics of the societies they ruled.128 This development had basically two conse­ quences for the politics of religion in the second half of the 20th century. First, it founded a tradition of antagonism to religious syncretism. The boundaries of these “great religions”, it was argued, should be preserved in their seemingly authentic and pure character.129 In this way, syncretism entered a powerful career as the opposite of ‘proper’ religion. Subsequently, it turned into a political and social tool used by political as well as social elites to “identify true religion and to authorize some practices as ‘truthful’ and others as ‘false’.”130 The concepts of “great religions” as well as “syncre­ tism” were powerful means of social distinction that acknowledged certain practices, beliefs, and believers and marginalised others. Second, alternative religious movements such as millennial, prophetic, or revivalist movements served as the ‘Other’ in this discourse of religious standardisation. In Chota Nagpur in British India around 1900 or in Burma during the early 1930s, when religious revivalist movements motivated ­anti-colonial resistance, the colonial authorities interpreted these move­ ments as irrational, superstitious, or even as forms of psychopathological behaviour.131 After political independence, however, these normative ap­ proaches towards certain forms of religious belief were more often than not adopted into the new state structures. Indonesia’s Ministry of Religion, for example, constituted itself as the sole authority to distinguish official reli­ gions from unofficial forms of faith and also sanction the latter. To introduce this distinction and translate it into concrete religious policies is in itself a theological measure rooted in contemporary social, political, and cultural affairs. Already in its early years, the Ministry of Religion in Jakarta un­ dertook investigations on mystical movements such as “Mitro Darmo” in Surakarta, Central Java,132 or “Bukit Gombak” near Padang in Sumatra.133 What usually triggered these investigations were complaints by local Is­ lamic authorities about what they suspiciously called “new religions” (agama baru). These were movements that propagated teachings that deviated from

46  Traces of a transnational mindset orthodox Islam or in some way challenged the authority of local Islamic teachers, for example by issuing unauthorised legal judgments ( fatwa). The Ministry’s local authorities collected information about these movements’ more or less systematically: the numbers of followers, their social back­ grounds, the leaderships, and their doctrines. Ultimately, the authorities ruled whether or not they were indeed “new religions” and thus illegal, and, more importantly, whether they constituted a threat to social order. The latter was the case if these movements deviated significantly from orthodox Islamic teaching and thus threatened the “pillars of Islam” (rukun Islam), or if they were disobedient to the state.134 Mukhdi Akbar, a mystical movement that had come into existence dur­ ing the second decade of the 20th century in South Sulawesi, is an illus­ trative case in point. At one point after independence, the state authorities declared that Mukhdi Akbar fulfilled both the above-cited criteria: it was “un-­Islamic” and it threatened the established political order. According to the movement’s doctrine, the end of the current world was imminent, but the members of Mukhdi Akbar would be saved and live on in a new world led by the movement’s supreme teacher (guru).135 Mukhdi Akbar was a mystical movement with eschatological expectations that were quite simi­ lar to those of other movements in Indonesia as well as other societies in Southeast Asia. During the 1950s and 1960s, however, when the political situation in Indonesia turned increasingly authoritarian, Mukhdi Akbar became the subject of ministerial investigations and was finally outlawed.136 In 1966, several months after the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of suspected communists had profoundly changed Indonesia’s political land­ scape, the Ministry of Religion declared that not only was Mukhdi Akbar a deviation from official Islam that threatened the unity of the Islamic com­ munity, but more importantly, it harmed the state’s authority and was thus considered “counter-revolutionary”.137 The Ministry’s long-term investigation of this movement shows that the Ministry’s theological interventionism intersected with questions of social order and social control. Mystical and other revivalist movements were ex­ pelled from the official religious canon not only on theological grounds, but also in relation to their impact on the established (religious as well as secu­ lar) power structures and social order. To be able to do this, the state author­ ities had to formulate their own theological agenda as an integral part of its interventionist policy that was actually intended to modernise society and the state. The administrative structure of the Ministry of Religion included so-called “mystical movements and religious sects sections”. In 1959, these sections estimated that in East Java alone there were around 100 different mystical movements that were “harmful to and […] jeopardizing security and public order.”138 In particular, when revivalist movements came into conflict with the administrative proceedings of the modern nation state, the authorities reacted with severity. In early 1959, for example, a “religious sect” known as Walikathon came into conflict with the North Sumatra

Traces of a transnational mindset  47 Committee to Screen Military and Civilian Servants, an institution tasked with scrutinising the ideological orientations and personal beliefs of state servants. When the Committee examined a group of 40 persons of whom 33 were active members of the sect, it charged them with several violations of existing regulations, which in their view had been dictated by their religious belief. As they refused, among other things, to possess identity cards, pay taxes or do compulsory community services, the followers of the sect were apprehended and convicted.139 In particular in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when the economy in ­Indonesia deteriorated and a growing share of the population struggled hard to earn a living, such mystical movements gained in popularity and their numbers increased significantly. Many of them condoned violent prac­ tices and open violation of Islamic orthodoxy. The state authorities inter­ preted the growing popularity of these movements first and foremost as a challenge to internal security rather than a symptom of socio-economic problems. For this reason, the Attorney General in Jakarta, who headed the recently founded “Committee for the Surveillance of Religious Cults in Society”, ordered all branches of his office in the country “to take drastic and resolute actions against the mystic and religious movements within the community which are clearly misleading or harming the community.” Some of these movements had allegedly committed “the murder of several child­ ren followed by the devouring of parts of the victims, and the burning of the Holy Koran.” The “superstitious bent of the peasant mind” motivated Javanese villagers to wear sliced roots and vegetables around their necks as well as wrists to ward off the destruction of the world.140 Many intellectuals in Jakarta and other major cities criticised the govern­ ment for its concerted efforts to wipe out cults branded as “not permitted” (tidak boleh), which ranged from bloodletting to the worship of mystical spirits to gain immortality. These critics accused the governmental author­ ities of misleading the general public. In their interpretation, it was not the cults that were the problem, but rather a general disillusionment about un­ fulfilled promises after independence in a situation of economic turmoil, a general lack of opportunities in particular for younger generations, and the general shortage of goods.141 Indonesia was far from being the only state in Southeast Asia confronted with this rise in unofficial religiosity. The authorities of the Malayan ­Federation faced similar problems that challenged the ‘modern’, ‘enlight­ ened’ self-perception of the state institutions. In October 1962, Islamic leaders joined forces in a public statement in which they expressed their unconditional support for their highest religious authorities, the Sultans.142 They reminded all Muslims of their country that they must not believe in black magic and witchcraft, as these forms of religiosity were against the teachings of Islam. The President of the Selangor Religious Affairs Depart­ ment explained to the general public that there were two types of medicine men (bomoh) in Malaysia: the first type, who used black magic to cure the

48  Traces of a transnational mindset sick and exorcise evil spirits, were un-Islamic and should not be trusted. But the second type, who chanted verses of the Holy Koran to cure sickness, were legitimate as they were in line with official Islam. Beyond acceptance, however, were broken eggs in front of courthouses and incense sticks inside courtrooms to influence the work of these secular institutions.

Conclusions Thinking secularism and religious pluralism in the late colonial and early postcolonial era was a rich field of controversial and contradictory contri­ butions from politicians, religious thinkers, intellectuals, bureaucrats, po­ lice forces, as well as social actors such as women’s movements. This chapter presented a selection of these multiple voices by looking at different trans­ national scales in the form of comparable experience, shared memories, mu­ tual references, and actual connections among leading figures of political and social life in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Thoughts on how to organise and deal with religious diversity were developed not in iso­ lation or through exclusive attention to explicitly religious problems, but in a broader context of comprehensive social, economic, and political transfor­ mations. Contrary to what is usually described under this term, the agenda of secularism was not limited to restricting religion, but also included ways of involving religion in the task of ‘modernising’ society and the state. More specifically, this chapter has identified three different meanings of secularism. First, secularism was conceptualised as an idea to enhance spatial integration in a society that was perceived as essentially diverse in religious terms. As those historic voices who advocated pluralism implied, religious diversity was not a temporary phenomenon, but a permanent and insurmountable characteristic of their societies. To them, secularism meant first and foremost the rejection of an official state religion and the institu­ tional as well as ideational affirmation of religious heterogeneity. In this way, religious diversity was on the one hand acknowledged as a conditio sine qua non of politics in the broadest sense and on the other interpreted as a po­ litical product (pluralism) that required careful planning and organisation. The second meaning of secularism was understood as a form of modern interventionism. The idea that society is not simply given, but is the result of political regulations and interventions, is a profoundly modern idea that centrally concerned the realm of religion. In this way, religion became just another field of political interventionism based on the notion of society’s makeability through political and social regulation. This interventionism also implied the bureaucratisation of religious affairs, the institutionalisa­ tion of control, and the exclusion of those forms of religion not officially recog­n ised by the state, which again had a significant impact on the defini­ tion of religion itself. The third idea of secularism concerned the promise of equality, which was central to the self-legitimisation of postcolonial elites, grassroots movements,

Traces of a transnational mindset  49 and other non-governmental pressure groups. Soaring inequality engendered by socio-economic as well as cultural discrimination against large parts of the population was one of the core features ascribed to colonialism. By con­ trast, political independence appeared to hold the promise of general, secular citizenship based on the notion of equality and general welfare, which also accommodated compromises in the form of specific regulations for some religious and ethnic communities in civil law. As an idea, secularism was expected to make a decisive contribution to this mission, enhancing indivi­ dual and gender equality as well as mutual respect for the various religious communities that coexisted within a state. As the following case studies of practical secularism illustrate, this idea was indeed instructive for many ini­ tiatives, but too often remained rhetorical.

Notes 1 On the mutual influence of ideas and social practices see Andrew Davison, Secularism and Revivalism in Turkey: A Hermeneutic Reconsideration (New Haven, CT, London: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 4; Andrew Davison, “Hermeneu­ tics and the Politics of Secularism”, in Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (eds.), Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010), p. 26. 2 Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, “The Imperialism of Categories: Situating Know­ ledge in a Globalizing World”, in Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber ­Rudolph (eds.), Explaining Indian Democracy: A Fifty-Year Perspective, 1­ 959–2006, Vol. I: The Realm of Ideas: Inquiry and Theory (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 103. 3 Anthony Grafton, “The Power of Ideas”, in Ulinka Rublack (ed.), A Concise Companion to History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 355–379. 4 Timothy Samuel Shah and Daniel Philpott, “The Fall and Rise of Religion in International Relations”, in Jack Snyder (ed.), Religion and International Relations Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), p. 45; on the global reach of Mazzini see Janaki Bakhle, “Putting Global Intellectual History in Its Place”, in Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori (eds.), Global Intellectual History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), pp. 228 & 232. 5 Cf. Michael Goebel, Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 6 An overview on this ‘school of thought’ provides Pankaj Mishra, From the ­Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia ­(London: ­A llen Lane, 2012). 7 Akira Iriye, “The Making of a Transnational World”, in Akira Iriye (ed.), Global Interdependence: The World after 1945 (Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014), p. 686. 8 On this distinct approach see Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori, “Approaches to Global Intellectual History”, in Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori (eds.), Global Intellectual History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), p. 7. 9 “Ambassador Mathew’s Telegram on Increased Economic Aid to Indonesia”, 2 November 1956, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, LOT File No. 58D3, Box 1. 10 778/58, “Pidato PJM Presiden pada upatjara peringatan umang tahun P ­ antjasila pada tanggal 5 Djuni 1958 di istana negara, Djakarta”, p. 3, ANRI, RA. 10, File No. 009. 11 Ibid., p. 4.

50  Traces of a transnational mindset 12 Ganis Harsono, Recollections of an Indonesian Diplomat in the Sukarno Era. Edited by C.L.M. Penders & B.B. Hering (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1977), p. 261. 13 Nehru in Delhi, 24 September 1954, quoted in Indian Daily News, Indian Information Services, Jakarta, 25 September 1954, p. 2. 14 Nehru to Russell H. Fifield, University of Michigan, USA, No. 1038-PMH/57, New Delhi, 4 June 1957, The Library of Congress Manuscript Division, The Papers of Loy Henderson, Box 8, pp. 510–511. 15 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 13 February 1953, p. 8; a slightly different transla­ tion is provided by Adnan Buyung Nasution, The Aspiration of Constitutional Government in Indonesia: A Socio-legal Study of the Indonesian Konstituante 1956–1959 (Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 1992), pp. 30–31. 16 “Het probleem van de nationale staat en de Islam-ideologie in Indonesie”, ­Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissar­ iaat voor Indonesië, Vol. 4, No. 9, September 1953, p. 2, KIT. 17 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 8 May 1953, p. 1. 18 Reproduced in Adnan Buyung Nasution, The Aspiration of Constitutional Government, p. 75. 19 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 9 March 1953, p. 4. 20 Mohammad Natsir during a debate about the Indonesian constitution in 1945, quoted in Adnan Buyung Nasution, The Aspiration of Constitutional Government, p. 107. 21 Ichtisar Parlemen, Diterbitkan oleh Kementerian Penerangan, No. 352, 23 ­October 1951, p. 1456, KITLV Library, Jakarta. 22 Cf. Rajni Kothari, Communalism in Indian Politics (Delhi et al.: Rainbow Pub­ lishers, 1998), p. 7. 23 Shabnum Tejani, Indian Secularism: A Social and Intellectual History 1­ 890–1950 (Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008), p. 253; C.A. ­Perumal, “Nehru and Secularism”, The Indian Journal of Political Science 48/3, 1987, pp. 301–302; communalism as a form of “colonial knowledge” is analysed by Gyanendra Pandey, The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North ­India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 6–22. 24 Bipan Chandra, Communalism in Modern India. 2nd revised edition (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1987), p. 1. 25 “Situation in Delhi”, Note to the Members of Cabinet, 17 September 1947, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 4 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 81. 26 Speech “Laying the Foundation”, broadcast from All India Radio, Delhi, 31 December 1952, reproduced in Jawaharlal Nehru’s Speeches, Volume Two: ­August 1949–February 1953. 4th impression (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1967), p. 93. 27 Hindustan Times, 4 June 1948, p. 1. 28 Jawaharlal Nehru, The Discovery of India. 18th impression (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 519. 29 Judith Brown, Nehru: A Political Life (New Haven, CT, London: Yale U ­ niversity Press, 2003), p. 189. 30 Nehru in an interview with André Malraux, quoted in K.N. Panikkar, “Secular Thoughts”, Frontline 29/1, 14–27 January 2012. 31 Speech of the Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at the Ramakrishna ­Mission on 18 April 1965, reproduced in Republic of Singapore, Prime Minister’s Speeches, Press Conferences, Interviews, Statements etc. Part 1 (Singapore: Prime Minister’s Office, 1965), p. 2. 32 Anthony Reid, “Understanding Melayu (Malay) as a Source of Diverse Modern Identities”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 32/3, October 2001, p. 309.

Traces of a transnational mindset  51 33 Cheah Boon Kheng, Malaysia: The Making of a Nation (Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, 2002), p. 6. 34 Abdul Rahman on 1 May 1958, quoted in Joseph M. Fernando, “The Position of Islam in the Constitution of Malaysia”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 37/2, June 2006, p. 266. 35 CIA Report National Intelligence Survey Vol. 11, Malaysia and Brunei, 1  ­January 1969, Chapter 4 “Religion, Education, and Public Information”, p. 4, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, ­National Intelligence Surveys, 1948–1972, British Indonesia – Railways, 7-1-52 to British Indonesia – Air Force, 1-1-53, Box 224. 36 Michael G. Peletz, “Sacred Texts and Dangerous Words: The Politics of Law and Cultural Rationalization in Malaysia”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 35/1, January 1993, p. 79. 37 Raymond L.M. Lee and Susan E. Ackerman, Sacred Tensions: Modernity and Religious Transformations in Malaysia (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997), p. 21. 38 Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, A History of Malaysia. 2nd ed. (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2001), p. 285. 39 Harold Crouch, Government and Society in Malaysia (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell University Press, 1996), p. 20. 40 US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Telegram, “Malay favoritism”, 18 August 1966, p. 1, NARA, RG 59 Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, SOC 13 Malaysia, Box 3230, SOC 14 Malaysia. 41 US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Airgram “The Sarawak Chinese – Shall we overcome?”, 14 May 1965, p. 4, NARA, RG 59 Central Foreign Policy Files, ­1964–1966, SOC 13 Malaysia, Box 3230, SOC 14-1 Malaysia. 42 Kwame Sundaram Jomo and Ahmad Shabery Cheek, “Malaysia’s Islamic Movements”, in Joel S. Kahn and Francis Loh Kok Wah (eds.), Fragmented Visions: Culture and Politics in Contemporary Malaysia (North Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1992), pp. 79–105. 43 Crouch, Government and Society in Malaysia, p. 169. 44 Speech by Gaganvihari Lallubhai Mehta, Ambassador of India to the U.S.A., 9 August 1955, p. 6, NARA, RG 59, LOT File 57D373, Box 6, Notes from the Indian Embassy 1955. 45 Jawaharlal Nehru in a letter to Govind Ballabh Pant, 19 January 1952, SWJN (2nd series), Vol. 17 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 397. 46 See also Robert Edward Elson, The Idea of Indonesia: A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 136. 47 Erik J. Zürcher, The Young Turks Legacy and Nation-Building: From the ­Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey (London, New York: I.B. Tauris & Co, 2010). 48 Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2005), p. 186. 49 Yesim Arat, “Religion, Politics, and Gender Equality in Turkey: Implications of a Democratic Paradox”, Third World Quarterly 31/6, 2010, p. 871; Feroz Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (London: Hurst & Company, 1998, orig. 1964), pp. 481–482; Carter Vaughn Findley, The Turks on World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 207; Paul Dumont, “The Origins of Kemalist Ideology”, in Jacob M. Landau (ed.), Atatürk and the Modernization of Turkey (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1984), p. 38. 50 Reza Pankhurst, The Inevitable Caliphate? A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present (London: Hurst & Company, 2013), p. 34. 51 Quoted in Bernhard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey. 3rd ed. (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 263.

52  Traces of a transnational mindset 52 Gail Minault, The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 139. 53 Kenneth McPherson, Religious Diversity and the Colonial State: Hindu-Muslim Relations under British Rule (Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Compara­ tive Politics, Working Paper No. 23: South Asia Institute, Department of Politi­ cal Science, University of Heidelberg, 2004), pp. 6–7 & 13. 54 Anthony C. Milner, “The Impact of the Turkish Revolution on Malaya”, Archipel 31, 1986, pp. 117–130. 55 Fazlur Rahman, “Muhammad Iqbāl and Atatürk’s Reforms”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 43/2, April 1984, p. 162. 56 Muhammad Iqbāl, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (first published in 1930, ISN, ETH Zürich, online publication), Lecture VI “The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam”, p. 79. kms1.isn.ethz.ch/ serviceengine/.../8006_IqbalReconstruction.pdf (accessed 1 July 2016). 57 Indian Daily News, Indian Information Services, Jakarta, 11 February 1952, p. 3. 58 “Why has Turkey separated religion from the state?” Pandji Islam 1940, in Dr Sukarno, Under the Banner of Revolution, Vol. 1 (Jakarta: Publication Com­ mittee, 1966), p. 389. 59 Chiara Formichi, “Mustafa Kemal’s Abrogation of the Ottoman Caliphate and its Impact on the Indonesian Nationalist Movement”, in Madawi Al-Rasheed, Carool Kersten, and Marat Shterin (eds.), Demystifying the Caliphate: Historical Memory and Contemporary Context (London: Hurst & Company, 2013), p. 114. 60 Ibid. 61 Ibid., p. 398. 62 Natsir in 1940, quoted in Ibnu Anshori, Mustafa Kemal and Sukarno: A Comparison of Views regarding Relations between State and Religion (MA-thesis, ­Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, July 1994), p. 114. 63 Sukarno in a lecture titled “Negara Nasional dan Cita-Cita Islam”, delivered at the University of Indonesia (Universitas Indonesia) on 7 May 1953, repro­ duced in Soekarno, Negara nasional dan cita-cita Islam: kuliah umum Predisen ­Soekarno, ed. by Elisabeth Tata (Jakarta: Pusat Data Indikator, 1999). 64 A.M. Rajasekhariah and Hemalata Jayaraj, “Political Philosophy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar”, The Indian Journal of Political Science 52/3, July–September 1991, p. 373; S.D. Kapoor, “B.R. Ambedkar, W.E.B. DuBois and the Process of Lib­ eration”, Economic and Political Weekly 38/51–52, 27 December 2003, p. 5344. 65 B.R. Ambedkar during Parliamentary Debates on the Hindu Code Bill, 1951, quoted in Ved Prakash Luthera, The Concept of the Secular State and India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 160. See also Aditya Nigam, “Secu­ larism, Modernity, Nation: Epistemology of the Dalit Critique”, Economic and Political Weekly 35/48, 25 November 2000, pp. 4256–4268. 66 Gabriele Dietrich, “Women’s Movement and Religion”, Economic and Political Weekly 21/4, 25 January 1986, p. 157. 67 Jawaharlal Nehru, “Doing Away with Minority Reservations”, Constituent Assembly Debates, 26 May 1949, reproduced in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Nehru’s India: Select Speeches (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 127. 68 Nehru to Presidents of PCCs, 5 August 1954, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 26 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 200. 69 Quoted in S. Gopal (ed.), Jawaharlal Nehru: An Anthology (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 330. 70 Nehru to Presidents of PCCs, 5 August 1954, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 26 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 200–201. 71 Subrata Kumar Mitra, “Desecularising the State: Religion and Politics in India after Independence”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 33/4, 1991, p. 765.

Traces of a transnational mindset  53 72 Bhikhu Parekh, “Nehru and the National Philosophy of India”, Economic and Political Weekly 26/1–2, 5–12 January 1991, p. 42. 73 See for examples the writings of Tala Asad, but also Foucault’s notion of “gov­ ernmentality” and James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, CT, London: Yale University Press, 1998). 74 Bruce Robbins, “Is the Postcolonial Also Postsecular?”, Boundary 2 40/1, Spring 2013, p. 260. 75 Steven Robins, Andrea Cornwall, and Bettina von Lieres, “Rethinking ‘Citi­ zenship’ in the Postcolony”, Third World Quarterly 29/6, 2008, pp. 1069–1086. 76 Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994), Chapter 6; Suruchi Thapar, “Women as Activists; Women as Symbols: A Study of the Indian Nationalist Movement”, Feminist Review 44, Summer 1993, p. 83; critical Tanika Sarkar and Sumit Sarkar, “Introduction”, in Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar (eds.), Women and Social Reform in Modern India: A Reader (Bloomington, Indianap­ olis: Indiana University Press, 2008), p. 4. 77 For more details see Charlotte Weber, “Between Nationalism and Feminism: The Eastern Women’s Congresses of 1930 and 1932”, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 4/1, Special Issue Winter 2008, pp. 89–90 & 97; Carolien Stolte, “‘The Asiatic Hour’: New perspectives on the Asian Relations Conference, New Delhi, 1947”, in Nataša Mišković, Harald Fischer-Tiné, and Nada ­Boškovska (eds.), The Non-Alignment Movement and the Cold War: Delhi-Bandung-­ Belgrade (London, New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 67–68. 78 On the relevance of changes in statehood for women’s movements see Raka Ray and Anna C. Korteweg, “Women’s Movements in the Third World: Identity, Mobilization, and Autonomy”, Annual Review of Sociology 25, 1999, p. 53. 79 Sociaal Sepctrum van Indonesië, No. 7, 2e Jaargang, Januari 1949, pp. 10–11. 80 “De Indonesische Vrouwenbeweging”, Indonesische Voorlichtingsdienst van Het Hoge Commissariaat voor Indonesië, Herdenkingsnummer: Indonesisch Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 7/8, 1953, pp. 31–32, KIT. 81 “Het Indonesische Vrouwencongres (Kongres Wanita Indonesia)”, Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissariaat voor ­Indonesië, Vol. 3, No. 18, 1952, p. 689. 82 Ibid., pp. 690–691; Antara (English edition), 25 November 1952, No. 329/A, p. 1. 83 Antara (English edition), 13 October 1952, No. 286/B, pp. 2 & 28 November 1952, No. 332/A, p. 6. 84 Antara (English edition), 19 June 1952, No. 171/B, p. 2. 85 Antara (English edition), 8 March 1956, No. 68/B, p. 4. 86 Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew, “The Singaporean Council of Women and the W ­ omen’s Movement”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 25/1, March 1994, p. 116. 87 Denys Lombard, “Aperçu sur les associations féminines d’Indonésie”, Archipel 13, 1977, p. 195. 88 Susan Blackburn, “Indonesian women and political Islam”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39/1, February 2008, pp. 90 &104. 89 “Het Indonesische Vrouwencongres (Kongres Wanita Indonesia)”, Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissariaat voor ­Indonesië, Vol. 3, No. 18, 1952, p. 692. 90 Jana Everett, “‘All the Women Were Hindu and All the Muslims Were Men’: State, Identity Politics and Gender, 1917–1951”, Economic and Political Weekly 36/23, 9 June 2001, p. 2077. 91 “Comment, All-India Women’s Conference, Indore Branch”, British Library, India Office Records and Private Papers, Hindu Law (Rau) Committee 1941,

54  Traces of a transnational mindset Written statements submitted [on draft Hindu Code] 1945: Vol. 1, IOR/V/26/100/ 17, p. 97. 92 Chitra Sinha, “Images of Motherhood: The Hindu Code Bill Discourse”, Economic and Political Weekly 42/43, 27 October–2 November 2007, pp. 49–57. 93 A prominent contemporary voice was Renuka Ray, “The Background of the Hindu Code Bill”, Pacific Affairs 25/3, September 1952, pp. 268–277. 94 Zoya Hasan, “Communalism, State Policy, and the Question of Women’s Rights in Contemporary India”, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 25/4, ­October–December 1993, p. 6. An early fear of “bits and pieces which so easily lend themselves to distortion when isolated from the whole” was expressed by Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay in her Presidential Address to the All-India Wom­ en’s Conference, Bombay, 7 April 1944, reproduced in Ramachandra Guha (ed.), Makers of Modern India (Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011), p. 248. 95 “Congress of the Kaum Ibu (1928, Suluh Indonesia Mudah)”, Dr Sukarno, Under the Banner of Revolution, p. 93. 96 On India see for example Meera Nanda, “Secularism without Secularisation: Reflections on God and Politics in US and India”, Economic and Political Weekly 42/1, 6 January 2007, pp. 39–46. For an international perspective cf. Kumari Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World (London: Zed, 1986). 97 Patricia Jeffery, “Agency, Activism, and Agendas”, in Patricia Jeffery and ­A mrita Basu (eds.), Resisting the Sacred and the Secular: Women’s Activism and Politicized Religion in South Asia (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1999), p. 223. 98 Sukarno quoted in Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 18 August 1960, p. 1. On the relationship between Islam and Marxism in Sukarno’s thinking see also James R. Rush, “Sukarno: Anticipating an Asian Century”, in Ramachandra Guha (ed.), Makers of Modern Asia (Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014) pp. 179–180. 99 Mavis Rose, Indonesia Free: A political biography of Mohammad Hatta (Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program Cornell University, 1987), p. 112. 100 Mohammad Hatta, article “Islam dan sosialisme”, 1954, p. 3, ANRI, Micro­ film, Mohammad Hatta (Tahun 1942–1951), Reel 1. 101 Ibid., p. 14. 102 Mohammad Hatta, “Socialism in Indonesia”, speech before students of the University of Sun Yat Sen in Canton, China, 11 October 1957, p. 12, ANRI, Microfilm, Mohammad Hatta (Tahun 1942–1951), Reel 3. 103 Ibid., p. 8. 104 Hatta in a speech on “Islam, knowledge and society” at Aligarh University, India, 29 October 1955, reproduced in Mohammad Hatta, Portrait of a Patriot: Selected writings of Mohammad Hatta (The Hague, Paris: Mouton Publishers, 1972), p. 601. 105 Ibid., p. 602. 106 Republik Indonesia, Kementerian Penerangan, Jakarta, “From Sabang to Merauke!”, President Sukarno’s speech on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Indonesia’s independence, 17 August 1950, TNA, FO 371/83687, FH 1015/ 64, p. 8. 107 Alex Inkeles, “Making Men Modern: On the Causes and Consequences of In­ dividual Change in Six Developing Countries”, American Journal of Sociology 75/2, September 1969, p. 210. 108 Michael E. Latham, Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era (Chapel Hill, London: The University of North Carolina, 2000), p. 22.

Traces of a transnational mindset  55 109 Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War ­America (Baltimore, MD, London: The Johns Hopkins University, 2003), pp. 6–7. 110 Speech of the Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at the Ramakrishna Mission on 18 April 1965, p. 2, in Republic of Singapore, Prime Minister’s Speeches, Press Conferences, Interviews, Statements etc. Part 1 (Singapore: Prime ­Minister Office, 1965). 111 Transcript of the Prime Minister’s Statement to Religious Representatives and Members of the Inter-Religious Council at His Office in City Hall on ­September 30, 1965, p. 2, in Republic of Singapore, Prime Minister’s Speeches, Press ­Conferences, Interviews, Statements etc. Part 2 (Singapore: Prime Minis­ ter ­Office, 1965). 112 Eugene K.B. Tan, “Keeping God in Place: The Management of Religion in Singapore”, in Lai Ah Eng (ed.), Religious Diversity in Singapore (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008), pp. 55–82; Vineeta Sinha, “Con­ structing and Contesting “Singaporean Hinduism””, in Lian Kwen Fee (ed.), Race, Ethnicity, and the State in Malaysia and Singapore (Boston, MA: Brill, 2006), pp.  145–167; Kuah-Pearce Khun Eng, State, Society and Religious ­E ngineering: Towards a Reformist Buddhism in Singapore (Singapore: Eastern ­University Press, 2003); Charlene Tan, “Creating ‘Good Citizens’ and Main­ taining Religious Harmony in Singapore”, British Journal of Religious Education 30/2, March 2008, pp. 133–142; Chee Kiong Tong, Rationalizing Religion: Religious Conversion, Revivalism and Competition in Singapore Society (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2007). 113 Loh Boon Tan, “National Integration in a Plural Society – The Singaporean Experience”, Singapore Police Magazine 14/1, March 1968, p. 14. 114 Ng Kim Ming, “Are Informal Techniques of Social Control Sufficient in Mod­ ern Societies?” Singapore Police Magazine 15/4, March 1969, p. 11. 115 Ibid., p. 12. 116 Lee Leong Koon, “Policing in a Plural Society – A Problem of Social Control”, Singapore Police Magazine, 13/1, March 1967, p. 25. 117 E. Mahadevan, “The Ideal Citizen”, Singapore Police Magazine, 13/4, December 1967, p. 8. 118 Ibid. 119 “Rejuvenating our concepts of Islam” (Pandji Islam, 1940), in Dr Sukarno, ­Under the Banner of Revolution, p. 354. 120 Ibid., p. 359. 121 Ibid., pp. 355–356. 122 Bernhard Dahm, Sukarno and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence ­(Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell University Press, 1969), p. 186. 123 “Definite Ruling required on the Question of the ‘Curtain’”: Open letter to K.H.M. Mansur, Chairman of the Central Council of Muhammadiyah which is about to hold its 28th Congress in Medan (Pandji Islam, 1939), in Dr Sukarno, Under the Banner of Revolution, p. 338; see also “The curtain is the symbol of slavery” (Pandji Islam, 1939), ibid., pp. 333–335. 124 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 15 November 1955, p. 1. 125 Muhammad Natsir, “The Indonesian Revolution”, reproduced in Charles Kurzman (ed.), Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook (New York, Oxford: Oxford ­University Press, 1998), pp. 61–62. 126 “Islamic Doctrine: Lee’s Call to Muslim Leaders”, The Straits Times, 18 July 1966; “Transcript of Speech made by the Prime Minister at the Holy Qu’aran [sic] Conference organised by the Tamil Muslim Union, held at the National Theatre on Sunday, 17 July 1966”, p. 3, in Republic of Singapore, Prime

56  Traces of a transnational mindset

127 128

129 130

131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 1 39 140

141 142

Minister’s Speeches, Press Conferences, Interviews, Statements etc. (Singapore: Prime Minister Office, 1966). Gordon P. Means, “Public Policy toward Religion in Malaysia”, Pacific Affairs 51/3, Autumn 1978, p. 388. Tomoko Masuzuka, The Invention of World Religions or, How European ­Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism (Chicago, IL, L ­ ondon: ­Chicago University Press, 2005), pp. 16–18; an illuminating micro-study of these developments in a Bihari village provides Peter Gottschalk, Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Rosalind Shaw and Charles Stewart, “Introduction: Problematizing Syncre­ tism”, in Rosalind Shaw and Charles Stewart (eds.), Syncretism/Anti-­Syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis (London, New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 7. Peter van der Veer, “Syncretism, Multiculturalism and the Discourse of Tolerance”, in Rosalind Shaw and Charles Stewart (eds.), Syncretism/Anti-­ Syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis (London, New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 196. Michael Adas, Prophets of Rebellion: Millenarian Protest Movements against the European Colonial Order (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979), pp. 160–161. Report, Penindjau Kantor Urusan Agama, Kota Pesar Surakarta, 5 January 1953, ANRI, RA 42, File No. 204. Kantor Urusan Agama Ketjamatan Lima Kaum to Kepala Kantor Urusan ­Agama Kabupaten Tanah Datar di Batusangkar, 28 July 1955, ANRI, RA 42, File No. 206. Kantor Urusan Agama Daerah Tk. II Bogor to Kantor Urusan Agama Daerah Tk. I Djawa Barat, 26 September 1960, ANRI, RA 42, File No. 210. A. Lucas and C. de Jong, “Mukhdi Akbar: The Struggle for Religious Recogni­ tion of a Mystical Movement in Selayar, South Sulawesi”, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 156/3, 2000, p. 576. Document No. 1: Madjelis Muchdi Akbar Selajar, Pimpinan, to the Head, ­Kantor Penerangan Agama, Propinsi Sulawesi di Makassar, 12 November 1954, ANRI, RA 42, File No. 205. Document No. 3: Resolution, “Musjawarah Ummat Islam Sekabupaten Sela­ jar”, Selajar, An. Peserta Musjawarah Ummat Islam, Se_Kabupaten Selajar, 26 April 1966, ANRI, RA 42, File No. 205. Indonesian Observer, 17 June 1960, p. 2; see also Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 18 July 1960, p. 4. Antara (English edition), 28 February 1959, No. 59/A, p. 8. US Embassy, Jakarta, Foreign Service Despatch No. 147, “The problem of mys­ ticism in Indonesia”, 23 August 1960, p. 1, NARA, RG 84, Entry UD 2727, ­Indonesia, US Consulate Gen & Embassy, Jakarta, General Records 1­ 936–1963, Box 94, 570.3 Religion. Bernard Kalb, “Land of Cultists, Mystics and Quacks”, The New York Times, 11 September 1960, p. SM37. US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Airgram “Black Magic in the Federation of ­Malaya”, 18 October 1962, pp. 1–2, NARA, RG 84, Entry UD 2888, Container 8.

2 Contesting urban space Places of worship, the secular state, and social disintegration in post-Partition Delhi

Introduction This chapter analyses the conflicts over places of worship in Delhi and the fate of the city’s Muslim communities during and after the partition of British India in August 1947. These conflicts not only illustrate that the sphere of culture and religious symbols constituted a distinct dimension of mass violence and forced migration during these fateful months. More importantly, the various efforts undertaken by municipal administrators, urban planners, and the national government to solve these conflicts con­ tain some valuable lessons about secularism projects under conditions of decolonisation. First of all, space is a little explored concept so far in secularism studies.1 One aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the potential of interpreting space as a medium of secularism. Places of worship in Delhi were part of an urban landscape that changed rapidly during the initial years after independence as a consequence of migration and violence. Political programmes of (anti-) secularism, social engineering, and nation-building became manifest in the changing spatial settings of the city as well as in the conflict-laden processes of ascribing meanings to space. Space can thus be read as a matrix for con­ tested ideas on state and society, political interventions, and social change. Second, the conflicts over places of worship highlight how a postcolonial notion of secularism evolved from planned interventions, but even more so from ad-hoc decisions in social and religious affairs. Such a practical under­ standing of secularism was not only defined by state institutions, but also by Muslim residents, Islamic institutions, Muslim political leaders, and Hindu organisations, all of whom competed over sacred urban spaces. Third, the case study argues against the tendency in secularism studies to confine their subject to religious affairs. It demonstrates that the sec­ ularism agenda was not limited to questions of religious life in the city, but overlapped with other fields of social, economic, and political ‘mod­ ernisation’ after the colonial era. As such, secularism was an integral part of decolonisation processes that reshaped societies and states in various important ways.

58  Contesting urban space Finally, this chapter makes an argument about urban studies more broadly. It suggests that the role of religious buildings as well as contesta­ tions over religious and secular space should be given greater priority in the global historiography of cities.2 In urban studies, a discipline still domi­ nated by Western case studies and their corresponding theoretical perspec­ tives, these aspects have long been marginalised. By contrast, in particular, in modernisation discourses in (post)colonial societies, religious organisa­ tions and their notions of religious space exerted significant influence on the conceptualisation of cities as well as on nation-building in urban space.

Delhi – the torchbearer of secular India? For secularism studies, the contemporary history of the city of Delhi is an extraordinarily rich source. For centuries this city had been a matrix for the exercise of control, the implementation of social planning, as well as the projection of political self-imagination.3 This was also true during the ­British Raj. Since the mid-19th century, the management of South Asian urban centres had been a key priority for the colonial state in order to re­ duce the costs of colonial rule and at the same time enhance the cities’ eco­ nomic and financial potential.4 Although Bombay and Calcutta were the fastest growing as well as commercially the most important cities, the shift of ­British India’s capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911 re-established Delhi’s central political position it had once enjoyed under the Mughals. ­Subsequently, New Delhi had become a planned model city of imperial grandeur and modern administration. The architectural project of New Delhi was part of a series of new impe­ rial capital cities in the British Empire including Pretoria, Canberra, and Ottawa, meant to reemphasise British imperial control and grandeur. The concept of ‘dual cities’, in which ‘the traditional’ of historical cities was kept strictly separate from ‘the modern’, combined the political ideology of indi­ rect rule that had emerged in the Empire during the second half of the 19th century with progressive ideas on municipal improvement and town plan­ ning.5 More specifically, Project New Delhi symbolised the British claim on India perceived as a timeless, traditional society of castes and religions which the modern Empire alone could master and reconcile.6 Ironically, a crucial precondition for this claim was the attempt in urban management to physi­ cally separate what was perceived as the different ethnic, social, cultural, and religious component groups living inside the city. Even the changes in Delhi’s religious architecture after 1911 reflected this urge. Central places in New Delhi were made available for Christian congregations and their religious buildings, including the Roman Catholic Cathedral, opened in 1935, Methodist and Baptist chapels, as well as the buildings for the Young Men and Women Christian Associations. For Indian Christians, though, St. Thomas Church should provide separate religious services. Their dead should be buried at newly constructed, separate cemeteries. For Hindus,

Contesting urban space  59 a new principal temple financed by the Birla industrialists was erected to­ gether with other such places of worship like the Mahabodi and Kalibari Temples.7 In brief, late colonial urban planning also included the rearrange­ ment of the city’s religious infrastructure which followed the same divisive norms than those that ought to define its socio-economic and political life. It was one of the contradictions of British colonialism that this desire for strict racial and spatial separation between colonisers and colonised was in reality jeopardised by multiple forms of social interaction such as trade relations or the presence of natives as servants in British households.8 Late colonial Delhi therefore oscillated between a colonial normative of civilisa­ tional differentiation and a much more complex social reality of distancing, closeness, and mutual dependency. In the course of decolonisation, the significance of Delhi was transformed once again. As in other postcolonial societies, cities in India played a central role in the nationalist imagination of the country’s political and administra­ tive elites after colonial rule.9 In the aftermath of British India’s partition, India’s national capital city (New) Delhi advanced into a model case for two concerns of public interest: socio-economic matters such as urban planning, economic reconstruction, and social reform; and sociocultural affairs in­ cluding the handling of untouchability, state secularism, and the organisa­ tion of religious pluralism. Although large parts of the urbanisation process indeed took place in an unplanned and improvised way,10 urban develop­ ment affairs in Delhi became paradigmatic for India’s progress into the fu­ ture as a sovereign nation and thus required the utmost political attention by the national as well as the city administration. Barely a month after Partition, when Delhi was flooded by hundreds of thousands of refugees and severely troubled by inter-religious violence, Prime Minister Nehru reminded his cabinet how significant the local transformations in Delhi were for India’s present and future development. According to Nehru, the events in Delhi and the handling of the refugee problem in the city had to be looked at in its all-India context. We have indeed to think out carefully the exact policy we should pursue in future on this vital point so that the steps we may take in the present may not come in the way of our general policy. As in his view, government officers were confused and did not have a clear idea about where to go, “we have to think in terms of the future of India, what kind of India we envisage and hope to build”.11 In this perspective, urban restructuring in Delhi and the integration of the refugees into the city’s society took on paradigmatic significance for the whole country and was regarded as a potential archetype for the nationalist imagination after colonialism. To this end, not only Indian but also transnational actors such as the Ford Foundation, US city planners, sociologists, and French architects became

60  Contesting urban space involved in drafting a Master Plan for Delhi as the torchbearer of secu­ lar India.12 In other words, the history of Delhi during and after Partition is not only a matrix for how to imagine the nation but even more so for the power techniques of a postcolonial regime that centrally included state secularism. Delhi turned into a space in which the political elite as well as various social forces experimented and improvised with state secularism in the midst of mass migration, inter-religious violence, and the consolidation of state power. The significance of Delhi during the late 1940s and early 1950s is thus comparable to a pattern Michel Foucault has observed in European his­ tory. At one point in the modern era – Foucault suggests more precisely the 18th century as a threshold – “every discussion of politics as the art of the government of men necessarily includes a chapter or a series of chapters on urbanism, on collective facilities, on hygiene, and on private architecture”.13 This new centrality of urbanism and urban design was as much an element of late colonial rule as it was of modern European governmentality. In this mindset, cities were no longer islands beyond the common law. Instead, the cities, with the problems they raised, and the particular forms that they took, served as the models for the governmental rationality that was to apply to the whole of the territory.14 Within the cities, the architectural space of the built environment served an “educational purpose”.15 It manifested the self-understanding of the politi­ cal order, communicated the central notions of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, and enforced various modes of social and spatial control. On the other hand, it provided people with opportunities to evade the modern administrative regime and state control, for example by inhabiting unplanned and widely uncontrollable settlements. In a similar manner, Delhi and its built environ­ ment turned into the prototype space of postcolonial ordering and govern­ mentality, in particular in relation to defining the secular state as well as organising and mastering religious pluralism. The significance of Delhi for national development after Partition was also manifested in the city’s administrative and legal status within the ­Indian federation. Right after independence, Delhi was granted a certain degree of autonomy and became administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by and responsible to the national government. Delhi’s urban affairs thus became a combination of local and national competencies. In September 1951, this duality was further institutionalised when it became an autonomous state within the Indian Union. Delhi was provided with a “dyarchical government”,16 in which the legislative powers were shared by a separate Legislative Assembly of Delhi, the national Parliament of India that prevailed over state legislation, and the Central Government.

Contesting urban space  61 For the practical implementation of planning and refugee policies, the executive power within Delhi State was relevant. This power was located not within the city administration but at the national level, where it vested with the President of the Union, who exercised his executive competencies through the Chief Commissioner. Real political power therefore lay both at the local level of city administration and at the national level of the Indian Parliament and the President of the Union. For these reasons, the urban policies implemented since 1947 are best understood as the outcome of a negotiation process during which local and national power holders and bu­ reaucrats vied for influence on Delhi’s affairs. In 1956, when Delhi finally became a Union Territory, administered directly by the Central Govern­ ment, and in 1966, when the Delhi Administration Act was passed,17 the influence of national affairs was strengthened even further. Since independ­ ence, therefore, urban affairs in Delhi have always to a large extent been a national affair that reflected national political processes and displayed a national rivalry over ideas, visions, and power within the city.

Sociocultural changes and the secularism project Another reason why Delhi is such a rich source for the historical study of secular practices in India is the city’s distinct sociocultural history during and after mass migration in Northern India subsequent to independence. Nehru had once explained that the central feature of secularism in India was the creation of a secular state in a multi-religious society.18 This un­ derstanding required crucially, and not just contingently, the cultural and social presence of various religious communities – in particular so-called ‘minorities’ – within India’s society in order to realise its vision of religious and cultural integration and a secular state as its supervisory and regulatory authority. In this light, religious heterogeneity was indeed an inescapable, fundamental feature of Indian society that required the appropriate politi­ cal ideas and action. The long-term demographic and cultural developments in Delhi clearly worked against the vision of a secular state in a multi-religious society that comprised the acceptance and integration of Muslims. For centuries, cities had occupied a privileged place in the history of Indian Muslims. From the early days of the Delhi Sultanate at the beginning of the 13th century, the growing power and cultural influence of Muslims created a unique ‘com­ posite culture’ in an otherwise Hindu-dominated society. Although social as well as cultural conflicts have never been absent in these urban milieus, India’s ‘composite culture’ had been on a decline in most of its cities during the first half of the 20th century, due to inter-religious conflicts and internal migration.19 This worrisome long-term trend culminated in the tragic events of Partition, when Delhi largely lost its historic character as an Indo-Islamic city on demographic and on cultural-religious grounds.20

62  Contesting urban space First, the Muslim share of the total city population declined significantly in the course of Partition due to the mass emigration of Delhi’s Muslims and the even larger immigration of ‘non-Muslims’ into the city. In 1941, Muslims constituted around 33 per cent and Hindus around 63 per cent of the city’s total population. Ten years later in 1951, the share of Muslims had dropped to a mar­ ginal 5.7 per cent, whereas Hindus now formed 84 per cent of the total popula­ tion.21 The US Ambassador posted in Delhi during the aftermath of Partition estimated that in the city alone around 15,000 Muslims had been killed during the violence.22 In addition, the mutual atrocities between Hindus and Muslims did not remain restricted to public places but increasingly extended into private homes. As a consequence, the displacement of Muslims within Delhi was con­ siderable. As a witness of the violence in Delhi recalled many years later, people were running, shouting slogans and chasing one another with sticks and knives. We were told that the Muslim shops in the mar­ ket were set on fire and looting was going on. Someone said that the ­Muslims in retaliation were on the warpath, entering every Hindu home to loot and plunder.23 The total number of Muslim refugees in Delhi reached around 164,000 within several weeks after Partition.24 This displacement had severe consequences for the long-term settlement of Muslims in Delhi. Muslims who had stayed in the city or returned ­after they had already left for Pakistan, were a much less dispersed community after Partition than before and settled in only a few “Muslim zones” as well as “mixed neighbourhoods”.25 Four-fifths of all Delhi Muslims in 1951 lived in one single area (“City-Sadar-Paharganj”), making Muslims the “least dis­ persed”,26 in other words the most ghettoised religious community in the city. In the decades to come, Muslim communities remained concentrated in a few selected areas such as Paharganj, Sadar Bazar, Pahari Imli, Pul Bangash, and Phatak Habash Khan.27 Parallel to this, Hindu and Sikh refugees migrated into the city in large numbers. Already two weeks after ­Partition, Delhi housed around 120,000 “non-Muslim” refugees,28 a figure that increased to roughly 500,000 during the following months.29 The result of these processes was a demographic marginalisation of ­Muslims in Delhi, which corresponded with a cultural and religious mar­ ginalisation no less relevant for a secular state in a multi-religious society. In the course of the violent clashes between Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim residents and refugees as well as between different religious and political organisations in the city, a major share of Islamic infrastructure such as mosques, shrines, graveyards, and pilgrimage sites was damaged, desecrated, or destroyed al­ together. According to Pakistani sources, in 1950, the list of mosques “occu­ pied by refugees or otherwise misused or destroyed in Delhi and suburbs” comprised 193 sites, of which 19 were “turned into Mandirs [Hindu temples] and Gurdawaras [Sikh temples]” and 56 were destroyed completely.30

Contesting urban space  63 During the same year, the High Commissioner of Pakistan forwarded another detailed list of 268 damaged or destroyed mosques to the ­Indian ­Foreign Minister. The Indian administration responded that during ­Partition indeed 11 of these mosques had been converted into other places of worship, 70 were occupied by displaced persons, 3 were locked and sealed, 19 had been completely demolished, and the remaining mosques were in fact in the hands of local Muslims.31 The geographical distribution of the damaged and destroyed mosques showed that particularly those areas with large Muslim communities such as Paharganj, Subzi Mandi, and Kotwali had become the targets of vandalism.32 In addition to these damaged mosques, the city authorities were con­ fronted with another potentially volatile situation. As Shankar Prasada, Delhi’s Chief Commissioner after Partition, recalled, Many new mosques and temples had cropped up with dubious origin. The total number of such disputed cases was over 500. Half a dozen of these cases were causing much tension because they had become the subject of litigation in civil courts.33 The disruptive potential of these conflicts over places of worship lay in the historical context in which these disputes occurred. In the midst of inter-­ religious violence, the administrative chaos of post-Partition Delhi and the massive influx of thousands of new and old residents into the city, these disputes became a politically highly explosive matter. The government was forced to address the issue not only to restore order but also to as­ sert its exemplary secular regime within the city’s boundaries. In Nehru’s perspective, the elimination of the Muslim population together with its ­religious-cultural existence in Delhi was a real threat after August 1947. Only the state could secure religious diversity in the young nation’s capital city by being a kind of composite state where there is complete cultural freedom of various groups, but at the same time a strong political unity, or do we wish to make it, as certain elements appear to desire, definitely a Hindu or a non-Muslim state? If the Hindus think in terms of any domina­ tion, cultural or otherwise, over others, this would not only be against our own repeated professions, but would naturally displease other and smaller minorities in India. […] This leads me to think that we should deal with the present evacuee problem in Delhi with a view not to push out Muslims as a whole, or in large numbers, but rather aim at a consid­ erable population to continue to stay in Delhi.34 The demographic as well as cultural survival of Muslims in Delhi was there­ fore a central feature of Nehru’s national imagination and became a crucial requirement for the success of a secular state in a multi-religious society.

64  Contesting urban space

Partition and urban space As the word “partition” already suggests, the separation of India and ­Pakistan in August 1947, with its traumatising consequences on both sides of the new border, was first and foremost a spatial issue. The partition of British India meant a redefinition of these societies’ external boundaries on the basis of religious criteria. The original plan was that political dis­ tricts within British India with a Muslim majority constitute the territory of ­Pakistan. Partition was thus intrinsically connected with religion, and hence, religion was the ultimate defining criteria of South Asia’s national spaces after the colonial era. This combination of spatial separation as the basis for nationhood on the one hand and religion as a spatially defining cri­ terion on the other had significant ramifications for the internal constitution of these postcolonial societies. The redefinition of external boundaries also altered the ways in which boundaries between different social groups and religious communities within India and Pakistan were defined and socially implemented. Partition as a spatial transformation of external boundaries found its continuation in spatial transformations within these two societies. In order to analyse the various historical aspects of the multiple spatial ram­ ifications of Partition in Delhi, it is helpful to recall a meanwhile classic dis­ tinction between physical and cultural meanings of space. “Spatial practices”35 that refer to physical space are based on various material features of space such as the physical realities of cities, their immanent distances, surface structures, their architecture, and so forth. Representational aspects of space, on the other hand, refer to the “conceptualised space” of planners and social engineers as well as “space directly lived through its associated images and symbols”, in other words the social and cultural space of a city’s inhabitants and users.36 The consequence of this distinction is relevant for historical analysis insofar as space cannot be seen as a passive matrix in which things sim­ ply happen.37 Rather, space is better understood as something “relative” as well as “relational”,38 and in which objects such as houses, streets, or places of worship are defined and exist in relation to each other. This re­ lationship is manifested in the way they are perceived and used by people. The representation, interpretation, and perception of space are the outcome of social relationships, unequal power relations as well as unequal access to political, economic, social, and cultural resources between individuals as well as groups.39 As such, they are subject to social and political strug­ gles, which are inherently dynamic and ever-changing. To develop a more comprehensive understanding of the spatial dimensions of objects such as places of worship in Delhi, it is thus important to understand those objects in terms of their relationships with other objects as well as in terms of the changing tapestry of social and political realities in the city. A closer look at the historical struggles around this interpretation of urban places is thus an enriching perspective for perceiving and analysing social conflicts over material as well as symbolic resources. As will be discussed

Contesting urban space  65 below, religious sites in Delhi after Partition were not only converted into alternative religious sites – from a Hindu temple to a mosque, a mosque to a Sikh temple and so forth – but also became economic production zones, housing for refugees, or cow shelters. These different representations and usages of space competed with each other and thus symbolised as well as caused social conflicts. In Asia, as elsewhere, urban architecture has never simply been a collec­ tion of functional constructions, but has always represented a city’s politi­ cal, cultural, and social life. Already during the British colonial era and probably even before, graveyards, mosques, temples, and churches were part of an urban architecture that manifested a sort of “petrified ideology”40 of religious pluralism.41 Their physical presence in the city was a manifestation of the city’s cultural heritage as well as its political self-understanding. As a consequence, these religious sites were also an integral element of the city’s complex social life that state authorities sought to influence or even control. These buildings were spaces of encounter in a truly practical sense – where people got together, performed their religious rituals, expressed their beliefs, or took leave of their dead. What is more, the production and maintenance of such buildings and sites are an indication of administrative capacities, the distribution of power among different religious groups, the access and control of resources, as well as the ways in which societies are internally organised.42 Thus, the construction and maintenance of sacred sites has al­ ways been a crystallisation of social, economic, political, and administra­ tive relations in a particular historical setting. The second way in which social hierarchy has historically been reflected in religious spatial patterns was through modes of settlement. Throughout India’s modern history, social hierarchies in the cities have been manifested in patterns of urban segregation that reflect not only class relations among the urban settlers,43 but also the success or failure of settlement policies based on distinct ideas of spatial order and the distribution of land and housing. By looking at segregation dynamics within the city in the after­ math of Partition, the changing social positioning of (religious) communi­ ties in relation to each other becomes visible. In many cases, patterns of violence reinforced this spatial logic during Partition in Delhi insofar as the aggressors imposed a new spatial order of the new nation on those who were, for reasons of religion, perceived as outsiders.44 The following analysis of conflicts over – mainly – Islamic places of wor­ ship in post-Partition Delhi is thus not only a history of symbolic struggles in the context of violence and mass migration, but also an account of social exclusion, spatial marginalisation, and the political efforts undertaken by parts of the state machinery to intervene in these multiple arenas of strug­ gle and thereby establish its own administrative and ideological regime of a ‘secular state in a multi-religious society’. From the perspective of the ­Muslim communities, the future status of Islamic sites in Delhi was on the one hand a decisive test of how Indian secularism would secure their rights

66  Contesting urban space as equal citizens.45 On the other hand, Muslims considered the struggle over the symbols of Islam an opportunity to demonstrate and defend their own (secular) stance, as many of them had already done during the independ­ ence struggle.46 In any event, these struggles over places of worship were a mani­festation of a much broader struggle for economic, political, social, and religious recognition, and even survival.

Administering the disputes The several hundred disputes over religious sites in Delhi after Partition re­ quired a more or less immediate response from the state institutions as well as from religious organisations in order to defuse their explosive potential. This destruction of the social and cultural landscapes in Delhi occurred within the context of the city’s general social restructuring when several hundred thousands of so-called “non-Muslim refugees”,47 originating from Punjab, Sindh, and other places in Pakistan, streamed into Delhi. In addi­ tion to “non-Muslim refugees”, the city also provided housing for more than 160,000 Muslim refugees, 121,000 of them in camps.48 The Muslim refugees were either displaced or left their homes on their own initiative in reaction to the violence in the city or because they had temporarily left for Pakistan and then returned to Delhi again. In brief, after September 1947, the city faced a momentous task in terms of short-term security measures as well as long-term socio-economic integration and cultural reconciliation. Solving the disputes over sacred places was an early test in all three of those fields. In response to various community protests from local Muslims as well as official reports from Pakistan about the massive destruction of Islamic re­ ligious sites in Delhi, the city administration installed a so-called “Mosque Restoration Sub Committee”. This Committee was answerable to a “Peace Committee”, established as part of a more comprehensive peace strategy, and charged with finding practical solutions to conflicts over sacred sites and restoring a trustful relationship between the city’s various religious communities.49 Its task was to “examine the cases in which the character of certain structure [sic] was disputed to be either a mosque or a temple as a result of the communal disturbances in 1947”.50 Right after its initiation in January 1948, the Committee was headed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Education Minister in the first Indian ­Government. Azad was a highly esteemed Muslim, who had been one of the leading figures in the independence movement and enjoyed considerable respect also outside the Muslim communities for his indefatigable struggle for Hindu-Muslim dialogue.51 A stern believer in Islamic teachings himself, Azad called on Muslims as well as Hindus to return to their own religions and discover the many things they had in common.52 This was even more im­ perative as towards the end of colonial rule, the liberal forces among ­Indian Muslim communities and intellectuals had lost more and more ground to the conservative orthodoxy that resisted religious reforms.53 What is more,

Contesting urban space  67 during Partition, Delhi’s Islamic communities lost a large number of their highly educated members, including the urban artisan and entrepreneurial class, many of whom left for Pakistan.54 The consequence was that Islamic liberalism continued to exist on shaky grounds, in particular in relation to reforming Islamic education as well as access for Muslim children to secular education. In addition, Muslims had practically no distinct national leadership that could effectively represent their interests and specific needs in the government and the Indian adminis­ tration.55 Maulana Azad, also a distinguished scholar of the Quran, tried to fill this gap as well as he could, but apart from a few concrete activities such as his leadership in the Mosque Restoration Sub Committee, he “was not in touch with the Muslim masses”.56 There were thus well-founded doubts as to whether he was the right man to tackle the monstrous challenges facing Indian Muslims.57 In an effort to prevent the cultural and religious extermination of Islamic life in Delhi, the Committee collected reports and complaints sent in by Muslim communities which documented the widespread abuse of mosques, Islamic graveyards, and Sufi shrines. During the weeks after Partition, when many local Muslims had left Delhi, the city administration tried to preserve the abandoned Islamic sites by sealing them up and preventing refugees and others from entering. Shankar Prasada, the Chief Commissioner, claimed to have taken a very grave view of this matter. When a mosque has been sealed up, any attempt by any individual to force entrance constitutes a grave danger to law and order. Prompt action should be taken. […] The persons living in the vicinity of such buildings should be warned that it is their duty to exercise vigilance in the matter and that any attempt at tampering will make them liable to imposition of [a] collective fine.58 In contrast to this rhetoric, the reality in the city was more complex as well as more difficult to manage. Due to the high demographic pressure in the city, refugees occupied Islamic sites to use them for practical purposes. In Bazaar Sitaram and Darya Ganj, two areas with strong Muslim communi­ ties, Hindu and Sikh refugees settled inside the local mosques. An enquiry by local Muslims revealed that the police themselves had broken the locks of the mosques. The local police inspectors as well as the Deputy Super­ intendent of Police claimed that they had acted on the order of the Chief Commissioner himself.59 After an intense conflict between the local Muslim population, the refugees who had settled in and around the mosques, and the police, the latter finally evicted the refugees from the mosques. The evicted refugee families strongly protested against this measure be­ cause they were not provided with alternative shelter and accommodation. In their view, the government was “unmindful of the hardship of Hindus and Sikhs and was supporting the Muslims”. This “was evident from the

68  Contesting urban space fact that whereas non-Muslims were left to rot, the Muslims were being al­ lowed to return to Delhi and resettle”.60 Refugee youths warned that the time would come when Hindus and Sikhs would break open all the locks of Muslim houses and mosques and not allow the Muslims to come back.61 Most of the religious offences local Muslim communities were con­ fronted with concerned tombs that had been broken open, furniture re­ moved from mosques, huts erected on graveyards, and temples constructed inside the mosques.62 In another place, Hindu refugees removed the debris of the mosques and established a girls’ school in the courtyard. The Sunni ­Majlis-e-Auqaf, who had reported this to the city administration, explained that “the girls’ school is against the Muslim Law and as such the school au­ thorities may kindly be asked to vacate the mosque premises immediately”.63 The conflicts over Muslim property not only concerned religious sites, but also profane property such as houses and apartments. For a long time, the police remained inactive in these cases and, in contrast to official politi­ cal rhetoric, did not actively protect Muslim property: A typical complaint is to the effect that a Muslim owner of a house in Delhi having migrated to Pakistan sold his house through a proper deed of conveyance to a Hindu and the new land-lord wishes to enter upon possession which results in the ousting of a Muslim tenant with a questionable right.64 The usual measures taken to protect Muslim houses, however, had little suc­ cess. In Phatak Habash Khan and Karoli Baoli, Hindu and Sikh refugees occupied Muslim properties forcefully as the police allowed them to do so: “Up to 2 p.m. situation remained calm but later on the same old tactics were resorted to by the refugees by bringing forward women, who started demanding forcible occupation of vacant Muslim houses”.65 The Hindu and Sikh refugees, who had settled in areas such as Paharganj, Karol Bagh, and Subzi Mandi, with a traditionally large Muslim population, were particu­ larly averse to a resettlement of Muslims in their original environment as this would have meant they would lose their new housing. In a general atmosphere of hatred and aggression, the authorities as­ sumed that if Muslims are put back in their houses in these areas they will be safe only as long as police protection is there. As soon as the police picket is withdrawn there is bound to be an attack on the Muslims by the non-Muslim refugees of the locality.66 Extremist Hindu and Sikh organisations aggravated the situation in the city by criticising the government for its decision to rehouse Muslims in Delhi as far as possible. They accused the government of not securing reciprocal ar­ rangements and guarantees of safety for non-Muslims in the border region

Contesting urban space  69 67

to Pakistan as well as in Pakistan itself. Thus, the official rehabilitation policy for Muslims in Delhi was not only implemented half-heartedly, but also provoked fierce competition between refugees, local Muslims, and radi­ cal religious organisations that propagated their social Darwinist interpre­ tation of the situation. From September 1947, the government’s official policy on the Muslim “evacuees” as well as Muslim communities in Delhi was that they should not be sent away nor should any pressure be exerted on them to leave the city or abandon their property, but that measures should be taken to en­ courage them to stay in Delhi. Nehru’s own provisional conclusion in ­December 1947, though, deviated significantly from these noble principles: In practice, however, this policy has not been given effect to and im­ plemented as it was expected to be done. Partly this was no doubt due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control but partly also undoubtedly because it was either not clearly understood by those in charge of the work or it was deliberately not followed by them. The result has been that while in the one hand we have given repeated assurance to Muslims in these areas that they can remain, yet conditions have been created which made it impossible for them to remain.68 During the first few months after India’s independence, the official policy of accommodating Muslims in the capital city was thwarted by a reality of expulsion, life-threatening circumstances – in particular, in public places – and disastrous social as well as sanitary conditions for Muslims living in camps. In order to raise public awareness about the fate of Muslim refugees in the city and to increase pressure on the government as well as on the non-­ Muslim population of Delhi, Mahatma Gandhi visited the Muslim ­refugee camps several times in September 1947, where he was enthusiastically re­ ceived by the inmates.69 According to one eyewitness, they rushed towards him with folded hands and with tears in their eyes asked him for food, cloth[ing] and better sanitation. Mahatma Gandhi looked visibly moved to see the insanitary state of living and assured the refugees that he would do all he could for them.70 Meanwhile, the marginalisation of residential Muslims in Delhi continued. By the end of October 1947, an estimated 50,000 Muslim homes had been destroyed and those Muslims still in the city were “in a wretched and mis­ erable condition. […] They can neither move freely in markets, nor can they attend their respective office”.71 The problem was further aggravated by Hindu groups exerting severe pressure on the remaining Muslims, in parti­ cular in so-called mixed neighbourhoods, to leave their houses.72 Muslims also increasingly disappeared from the state services such as the police.

70  Contesting urban space By February 1948, there were an estimated 12,000 displaced persons who had once belonged to the police force.73 In particular in Delhi, the United Provinces, and Central Provinces, the exodus of Muslim executive person­ nel left a large gap and were soon replaced by Hindus and Sikhs. This de­ velopment limited even further the Delhi administration’s capacity to ease the conflicts between Hindus and Muslims in the city’s mixed neighbour­ hoods.74 Confronted with these realities of repression and threats against Delhi’s Muslims, the government decided to take more rigorous measures against the sociocultural destruction of the Islamic heritage.

The secular authorising the religious It was again Mahatma Gandhi who first understood the long-term con­ sequences of the cultural-religious destruction in Delhi as a dramatic ex­ pression of social and economic expulsion. In a speech at one of his prayer meetings he referred to these fatal developments: We have got the Jama Masjid which is the largest mosque in the world. What will happen to that mosque if we kill most of the Muslims or they go away to Pakistan? Will you transfer the mosque to Pakistan? Or will you destroy that mosque or turn it into a Shiva temple? Suppose some Hindu in his pride wants to turn it into a Shiva temple, or a Sikh wants to turn it into a gurdwara – I would say that it would be an attempt to bury Hinduism and Sikhism. No religion can be built upon in this manner.75 In the following months, the police as well as the city administration were confronted with a large number of disputes over sacred places caused by conflicting claims made by Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh organisations. By far the largest number of these disputes concerned mosques that had been converted into Hindu temples during and after Partition. Hindu or­ ganisations and orthodox Hindu authorities applied a strategy of religious conquest with the aim of diminishing or even extinguishing the cultural presence of Islam in the city. Nehru reminded Home Minister Patel that the “question of mosques”, whether destroyed or converted into temples, was “of the utmost signifi­ cance and very grave consequences will follow it, apart from our prestige suffering greatly”.76 As a general guideline, the city administration gave its executive forces the directive that “the mosques which have been converted into temples should be restored to their previous condition. The mosques which are being used by people for accommodation should be cleared of all occupants and restored to their previous condition”. The city authori­ ties should immediately “survey the damage done to all mosques and […] prepare plans and estimates for their restoration”.77 Due to the persistently hostile atmosphere against Muslims and their institutions in the city, these

Contesting urban space  71 restoration procedures were not only politically a delicate undertaking, but also an administrative challenge, exacerbated in many cases by inconsistent implementation and anti-Muslim attitudes among those in charge. The state bureaucracy used these incidents as opportunities to assert it­ self as the ultimate, exclusive decision-making body relating to the authori­ sation of religious sites or declaration of places as ‘secular’ where no definite religious identity could be identified. Procedures varied, but in many cases, the city authorities undertook historical research and investigations on British colonial modalities. The government sent “inspectors” to the dis­ puted religious sites to interview local residents about the previous status of the sites,78 consulted colonial tax registers,79 and identified leases con­ cluded between the British authorities and the officially recognised Hindu or Muslim institutions that could prove the status of the disputed sites be­ fore Partition.80 In many mosques, Hindu idols had simply been installed to convert these sites symbolically into Hindu temples. These idols were perceived by ­Muslim communities as a serious provocation and thus caused further dis­ turbance. The government reacted to the growing pressure with the removal of these “idols, pujaris [Hindu temple priests] and other symbols connected with temples”.81 In the small towns outside Delhi, where the demographic composition of the population changed profoundly with the emigration of Muslim residents during Partition, mosques had either been occupied by refugees, were completely neglected, or served a meanwhile very small Muslim community of only a few families, who depended on government assistance in order to repair the damage done to their religious sites.82 In several cases, the police also destroyed existing Hindu temples if found to be unauthorised or claimed to be Hindu sites only after independence.83 Desecrated mosques were a frequent, though by far not the only challenge for a secular administration. The city administration also examined and fre­ quently rejected Muslim claims to religious sites, ordered the demolition of Islamic buildings and prohibited Islamic religious services if it did not find any evidence of Islamic worship on the sites in question prior to Partition. In the case of the Mosque of Takya outside Turkman Gate at Ramlila Ground in the very heart of New Delhi, for example, the authorities concluded their historical examination as follows: Neither Wilson’s Survey of 1910–11 nor the Municipal [unreadable] tax registers have any entry about the existence of a mosque at the disputed site. It appears that in 1934, the Superintendent of Land & Development Office observed that a part of the City Wall had been white-washed and that close to this section there were rough indicators of a grave. The grave was allowed to continue but there was no formal recognition of the fact by way of execution of a lease by the Land & Development ­Officer in favour of the Sunni Majlis-i-Aukaf [unreadable] any other registered body. Soon after the disturbances [in] October 1947 a report

72  Contesting urban space was made that an idol of Hanuman [had] been discovered at the time of the digging of the place of the monument.84 The city administration appointed a committee of three people to investi­ gate the opposing claim that no mosque had ever existed there. The city authorities ultimately decided “that the disputed site is neither the part of a mosque nor of a temple and that all the existing construction on this site is illegal and unauthorized”.85 The decisive factor for the acknowledged legitimacy of a religious build­ ing was indeed its status before India’s independence. In the case of a mosque in Takia Bela Road the administration found out that as early as 1923 one Maulvi Abdul Rahim had encroached upon this piece of land and been prosecuted by the Notified Area Committee. In 1946, his successor had submitted plans for the construction of a mosque, which had been rejected by the British. Consequently, the final judgement of the city authorities stated: “Considering that the plans for the construction of a mosque were submitted as late as October, 1946, and that they were rejected, it is clear that no mosque ever existed at the site”.86 Any construction put up either by ­Muslims or Hindus was thus declared unauthorised.

Cultural extinction through land usurpation In many cases, however, the general atmosphere of violence and hatred made the immediate clearance and restoration of mosques and other Islamic sites difficult, if not impossible. Although the government instructed its police forces that “mosques which are being used as temples or as inhabitations for people should be restored to their original condition as soon as possible”87 and that the government’s general warning on the misuse of Islamic sites for non-Islamic purposes “should not be merely an empty threat but prompt ac­ tion should be taken to punish the miscreants if after clearing them [i.e. the mosques] they [i.e. the refugees] again attempt to take wrongful possession of them”,88 the social reality of widespread violence as well as the threat of vio­ lence against Muslims forced the state authorities to adapt their procedures. It was therefore announced in mid-November 1947 that the mosques in the traditionally strong Muslim areas of Qarol Bagh, Subzi Mandi, and ­Paharganj, where many Hindu and Sikh refugees had settled, should be looked after by the custodian of Evacuee Property. It is un­ safe for Muslims to proceed to mosques in these areas and if they are repaired and restored to their original condition now they are likely to be damaged again, with the result that the Government will be put to a considerable loss.89 As “the scramble for houses and business premises” continued between Hindu and Sikh refugees on the one hand, and local Muslim residents on

Contesting urban space  73 90

the other, the police were confronted with considerable problems in their efforts to clear the mosques in these areas. Refugees organised demonstra­ tions against the police. When they were finally forced to leave, their odys­ sey continued back to the city’s refugee camps.91 Kingsway Camp, which had already been closed due to overcrowding, was extended even further to accommodate refugees who had been evicted from mosques.92 The clearing of mosques and re-establishment of their original status con­ tinued to be a pressing problem for several years to come. After an initial effort by the city authorities as of January 1948 to preserve Delhi’s Islamic heritage and restore Muslim community life in the city, the administra­ tion again reduced these endeavours significantly. By 1951, Delhi’s Chief ­Commissioner had to admit that the restoration of mosques was no longer a priority, that many mosques had been reoccupied by displaced persons, and that the present status of many more mosques was simply not clear to the authorities.93 Several years later, the government admitted that all in all, actions taken hitherto in Delhi against unauthorised occupation were “in­effective”. A significant number of mosques, and to a lesser extent also Hindu temples, were used by formerly displaced persons, but also by non-refugee Hindu and Sikh inhabitants for housing, as engine workshops, tea and pan shops, schools, or nurseries, or were occupied by Sadhus for their religious purposes.94 Cultural extinction also threatened the realm of the dead. Muslim grave­ yards in the vicinity of Connaught Place and in Asaf Ali Road, both in the centre of New Delhi, were occupied by Hindus and used for housing.95 In New Rhotak Road outside the city centre, the government itself destroyed a local graveyard for the construction of new settlements despite fierce pro­ tests by the poor local residents against the destruction of their cultural heri­ tage.96 The social and political consequences of the persistent difficulties in effectively improving the lot of Muslims and protecting their religious and cultural heritage were far-reaching for the city of Delhi, but also for India as a whole. The Congress Party, which had once flamboyantly assured “the minorities in India that it will continue to protect, to the best of its ability, their citizen rights against aggression” and “make every effort to create con­ ditions wherein all minorities and all citizens have security and opportunity of progress”,97 was now confronted with vanishing political support among Muslims. Congress had to concede that, as a reaction to its political failure, Muslims were “not favourably disposed if not hostile to the Congress”.98

Engineering co-worship In particular, during periods of profound social and political transfor­ mation, such as India’s Partition, religious architecture can function as a medium through which state authorities manifest and propagate their ideas about social as well as political order. In the immediate aftermath of Partition, when the violence between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims still

74  Contesting urban space determined the general atmosphere in Delhi, governmental authorities discovered a specific form of sacred space that it was able to utilise as a form of petrified ideology. The ideology in this case was that of a secular state in which various religious communities were meant not only to live peacefully side by side but also to demonstrate periodically their mutual appreciation. These sacred spaces were so-called Dargahs, Islamic Sufi shrines built over the graves of Sufi saints or dervishes. Traditionally, these Dargahs had attracted considerable numbers of Islamic worshippers, but also Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. Dargahs were a lively, autonomous element in South Asia’s civil society, largely beyond the orthodox regime of Islam’s legal scholars.99 As such, the shrines had not so much been places of per­ fect harmony, but rather complex sacred sites where adherents of differ­ ent religious traditions and practices co-worshipped a saint in a form of “competitive sharing”.100 At these shrines, tolerance usually meant passive non-interference and the inability of any religious community to dominate over the others. Nevertheless, Dargahs brought different communities and religious meanings together and enjoyed an exceptional reputation for peaceful co-worshipping. During the violent clashes after independence many of these shrines had been seriously damaged, but were soon discovered by parts of the state ad­ ministration to propagate their version of India’s postcolonial society. One of the most prominent Dargahs in Northern India is located in Mehrauli, south of New Delhi, erected upon the grave of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, who lived some 800 years ago.101 Traditionally, Muslims and other believers used to assemble at the shrine during the annual Urs festival to worship the saint until the British stopped the celebrations in 1942. Now, after independ­ ence, the reconciliatory potential of this site was rediscovered by the Indian government. In spite of severe financial constraints, the city administration initiated comprehensive repairs in January 1948 so that the annual Urs celebrations could take place as before 1942. Minor repairs followed during the year.102 Gandhi had visited the shrine only a few days before his death on 27 ­January 1948 and had requested the government to do everything possible to restore this magnificent building to its former beauty, so that it would be available for the Urs celebrations some three months later.103 For Nehru, the Dargah in Mehrauli had an important, even national significance: Although this is a relatively small matter and there would appear to be no urgency, nevertheless it creates ill-feeling and our reputation suffers. In two or three months time there is some kind of Urs or fair there and many people will gather there from outside. It is desirable therefore that the work of repairing the screens and railings and more especially the marble screens should be undertaken soon. Even though it might take time to complete, the fact of starting it soon is important.104

Contesting urban space  75 The damage to the Dargah included the marble fencing, the extensive terra­ cotta work, and the minarets. Muslim residents, who had taken refuge in the Dargah during the riots and cooked food inside the shrine, had caused some of the damage.105 “Unauthorized persons” had also damaged the adjoining mosque.106 To the disappointment of the local Muslim orthodoxy, the mar­ ble balustrade, the central aesthetic element of the Dargah, was replaced by a wooden construction, one reason being that marble was expensive and difficult to obtain. In addition, Nehru was aware of the still acute danger of violent attacks and thus suggested waiting a little until the marble was put back again, but it must be understood that it is our duty and obligation to repair the Dargah with marble where necessary. These places are continuous ad­ vertisements of our policy and therefore we cannot leave them neglected or in a broken down condition. Therefore the sooner this matter is dealt with the better.107 In several other locations in Delhi, the Dargahs were now investigated and restored as far as possible. In particular, the upcoming Urs celebrations were an opportunity also for Muslim representatives to urge repair and a propagation of co-worshipping in the city. Due to financial constraints, half-hearted attempts, and the general circumstances that remained diffi­ cult, the achievements of the administration were moderate and symbolic. Even years after independence, several Dargahs were still in miserable con­ dition, others continued to be threatened by constant looting: They have recently damaged several graves including the marble tomb of the petitioner’s father. Their presence makes it impossible to hold the URS [sic] and is a hindrance to the pilgrimage [sic] who come to the Dargah from all over India and from Pakistan, thereby hurting the feelings of a large section of the population and bringing a bad name to the Secular Democratic Government which we are endeavouring to establish in the country.108 During colonial times, a Dargah near Connaught Place in the heart of New Delhi had usually hosted two Urs gatherings annually, attended by ­thousands of Hindus and Muslims of Delhi as well as other parts of the country. Local Muslim authorities sought to revive this tradition in postco­ lonial India.109 At Ferozshah Khadar, inside a Dargah, six graves had been seriously damaged during the violent clashes, but could be repaired right on time before the Urs.110 The struggle over religious sites was closely connected with the rivalry over settlement land in the city and thus also with the need for access to material resources such as housing. In Qutub Road in the north of Delhi, the Dargah had been a centre for Muslim pilgrimage for 600 years. By 1948,

76  Contesting urban space the Dargah was surrounded by mainly Hindu refugees living in the houses nearby. The Dargah, including the footprints of the Prophet inside the shrine, had suffered severe damage.111 Muslims feared that they would be attacked when visiting the shrine. Muslim representatives therefore de­ manded that the government clear the surrounding area of refugees, after which around 300 Muslim families could be resettled there so that pilgrims would once more have unhindered access to the shrine and in this way re­ gain some of their previous control over the neighbourhood. Co-worshipping between Muslims and Hindus became a central element of the government’s official vision for postcolonial India. As inter-religious violence in Delhi and elsewhere had disrupted almost all forms of a com­ mon social life between Hindus and Muslims, the revival of the Dargahs was a promising means to renew some forms of cooperation and mutual trust not against, but with the help of, religious worship, advocated and actively supported by a state that considered itself secular. In this under­ standing, secularism and inter-religious peace were to be achieved through the promotion of particular, conciliatory forms of religious worship, which would hopefully also foster peaceful coexistence. Many decision-makers in Delhi and elsewhere in Northern India were well aware of the crucial role of cooperation in everyday social affairs. In the words of Mohan Lal, then a member of parliament in violence-ridden Punjab: The only effective way to create cordial relations between Hindus and Muslims is their mutual absorption, the promotion of a common social life which in more concrete forms means inter-dining and inter-­marriage between the Hindus and Muslims. Communal tension began with the ceasing of such relations and only their renewal can ease it.112 In more recent times, however, religious extremists have rediscovered the integrative role of Dargahs and therefore launched attacks against them to disrupt this common social and religious life once again.113

Contesting (sacred) land In the postcolonial struggle over urban spaces and their meanings and representations, virtually all these negotiation processes revolved around one crucial resource: land. Due to the massive immigration of Hindu and Sikh refugees to Delhi, outnumbering by far the out-migrating Muslim population, the scarcity of land within the city increased significantly after independence. A well-to-do class of landowners, who possessed enough capital to invest, was thus in a position to compete with powerful government servants over the most precious pieces of land in and around Delhi. The existence of such a landowning class exacerbated the situation, particularly for the landless

Contesting urban space  77 114

and deprived migrants. As a consequence, the allocation of land within the city became an imminently conflict-ridden political question, central to the relationship between the state and the different religious and social groups on the one hand and the positioning of these groups towards each other on the other. The reallocation of land thereby reflected the general processes of ­socio-economic and demographic change in Delhi. For example, land va­ cated by Muslims who had left the city was in fact to a large extent redistrib­ uted among Hindu and Sikh refugees: The basic principle on which land is given to refugees and which has been ignored by the Provincial Congress Committee is that the land, which has been evacuated by the Muslims in Delhi Provinces who have migrated to Pakistan, should be given to Hindu and Sikh refugees, whose properties the Muslims who have migrated will eventually pos­ sess. It is the Muslim refugees [in Pakistan] who will occupy the land evacuated by the Hindu and Sikh refugees.115 An official report, released about two and a half months later, nevertheless claimed that “no lands belonging to Muslim evacuees have been auctioned by the Government in the Delhi Province”.116 As the demand for land was immense, in particular in Delhi and Punjab, corruption played an important role in the allotment of land. This corrup­ tion caused severe unrest and discontent among refugees, who competed fiercely among each other as well as with other social groups over this pre­ cious resource.117 Religious reform movements such as the Arya Samaj made strong efforts to use the growth of the city’s (Hindu) population as well as its territorial expansion for their own purpose. The negotiations between state authorities and religious organisations over land allotment are a meaningful indicator of the general relationship between the state and religious affilia­ tions and show how this relationship changed in these turbulent times. The city administration thereby implemented a complex but also contra­ dictory agenda. In general, it was not in its interest to provide additional resources to organisations that had contributed to inter-religious conflicts. On the other hand, it was the state’s policy to put secularism into practice through the active promotion of religious life in Delhi, also by providing land to religious affiliations, in particular if they played an active role in providing much-needed social services. The strategy of the Arya Samaj and others was, therefore, to portray themselves as charitable organisations with a strong social commitment that served Indian citizens regardless of their religious orientation. The government policy oscillated between strong sym­ pathy for these endeavours and strong scepticism, given its experience with religious affiliations during and after Partition. As I shall discuss in more detail in the next chapter, Hindu nationalist organisations had long played an active role in refugee relief, particularly

78  Contesting urban space in the border area of Punjab and in Delhi. The Hindu Mahasabha, a farright Hindu nationalist political party founded in Amritsar, Punjab, in 1914, opened its own refugee camp near a railway station and also made its head­ quarters, the Hindu Mahasabha Bhawan, accessible to Hindu refugees. Similarly, the Arya Samaj in Delhi called on its members who had fled ­Pakistan to register their Delhi addresses with the organisation’s city branch in order to be assisted with their immediate necessities.118 But the Arya ­Samaj had also been involved in unauthorised conversions of mosques into Hindu temples and thus had played a part in the escalating conflicts over places of worship between Hindus and Muslims.119 During the disturbances, the organisation tried to expand its social infrastructure in the city to in­ crease its social relevance and thereby recruit new members among D ­ elhi’s new inhabitants. The Arya Samaj repeatedly made formal applications for plots of land all over the city to erect new temples, libraries, meeting places etc. To the city administration, the Arya Samaj presented itself as a non-sectarian body whose aim is the spread of truth and the raising of the standard of morality of the people, and which is wedded to the social service and the fostering of the well-being of all irrespective of caste or creed.120 The Hindu reform agenda, which the Arya Samaj pursued, was integrated into various “social functions” that the organisation sought to provide at its branches. These “social functions” included physical infrastructure such as libraries and reading rooms, but also social events and regular meetings. At these meetings, the Samajists taught physical exercises for the “moral and physical uplift of children”, training in “duty, discipline, honesty and truthfulness” as well as Hindi classes and other adult education according to its own standards.121 The new refugee settlement colony Vinay Nagar, today known as Sarojini Nagar, in Delhi’s South West is a case in point. From 1950, the Arya Samaj tried for several years to secure a plot of land of around 500 square yards for a temple. After the organisation had set up its social services in this neighbourhood for the new local Hindu residents, who had come to Delhi as refugees, its religious services still had to be held in the open air. The city administration, however, was sceptical about authorising yet an­ other Hindu temple in this area, as it feared disturbances and a “law and order problem” due to the sectarian tendencies of the Arya Samaj.122 The discussions about this case within the bureaucracy illustrate the delicacy of the case, but also reveal the inability of the administrators to come up with a clear and practicable solution. In the end, politicians within the ruling Congress Party who were generally supportive of the Arya Samaj decided the dispute in the organisation’s favour on the grounds that the Arya Samaj was “a body which basically serves human interest on a most enlightened level”.123 The allotment of land to religious affiliations was in many cases

Contesting urban space  79 the result of political struggles within the administration and the Congress Party between more secular forces, who opted for a more restrictive policy, and forces more or less openly abetting the expansion of Hindu organisa­ tions and their social services in Delhi. In light of the severe shortage of housing and land in the city, the city govern­ment was slow to formulate general regulations for the allotment of land to religious organisations and did not accomplish this until sev­ eral years after independence. According to these regulations, land could be allotted only to “a registered body”, in other words an officially recog­ nised religious affiliation.124 Land dedicated to the construction of places of worship must not be used for residential purposes, except for the building’s caretaker. In addition, the authorities introduced strict financial regulations regarding the deposit to be paid beforehand, the ground rent, and a maxi­ mum leasehold term of 99 years. In practice, however, the administration made significant concessions, in particular on the financial requirements, and reduced the fixed rates for deposits by half and more if Hindu organisations could convincingly ar­ gue that they could not afford the required amounts.125 This policy made it easier in particular for Hindu organisations to broaden their services and significantly expand their infrastructure. During the second half of the 1950s, the question of the government’s price policy on land arose due to the dramatically increasing value of land in Delhi.126 In 1957, the city administration had decided to give land to charita­ ble and religious organisations in the rehabilitation colonies, where refugees had been settled, at concessional rates. As the market prices for land in Delhi soared, the subsidies to the concessional land rates increased considerably. Besides, the distribution of land showed some severe economic deficiencies. Land turned into a speculative asset with the consequence that some institu­ tions were asking for more land than they actually needed or tried to obtain land to keep it unused for a long time and benefit later from the price rise.127 The scarcity of land led the administration to review its land policy and distinguish between land for “schools, hospitals, social, cultural and other charitable institutions” on the one hand, for which it was agreed to keep prices stable. On the other hand, all concessions on land purchases by “reli­ gious, political and semi-political organisations” would be abolished in the rehabilitation colonies, as otherwise the Government would be faced with a large number of applications for allotment of land for religious purposes at concessional rates from all communities, and administratively, it would be very diffi­ cult to decide on priorities as between the competing claims of different communities and sects.128 In this way, the continuing demand for land for charitable organisations operating in the fields of education, social welfare, and health care as well

80  Contesting urban space as the general price rise for land in Delhi resulted in a revision of the gov­ ernment’s policy and price fixation for land to be devoted to religious af­ filiations in rehabilitation colonies. In a sense, the market forces for land contributed to an end of the privileged position of religious organisations in the land distribution process after independence and ‘secularised’ the gov­ ernment’s policy in this field. In the context of social restructuring and the rebuilding of urban infra­ structure after independence, the allotment of land was another means for the state authorities to exert a certain degree of regulatory control over ­society – in this case over religious affiliations. The practice of land allot­ ment was contradictory and did not follow a clear plan or concept. It com­ prised not only the redistribution of land vacated by Muslims who had left for Pakistan, but also the granting of land to Hindu organisations with a more than ambivalent history during and after Partition, but which nev­ ertheless could count on state concessions. In other cases, the government delayed the allotment of land almost indefinitely, so that sectarian organisa­ tions would be discouraged from spreading their ‘services’. However, what the documented cases do not show is a coherent policy, serving the restora­ tion of inter-religious harmony through coherent land allotment strategies.

Conclusions For India as a secular state ‘in-the-making’, physical places and representa­ tional urban spaces were decisive political arenas. In these arenas, the ex­ pulsion and displacement of local Muslim communities took on different forms, which in their combination, constituted a real threat to Islamic life in the city. On the other hand, these arenas provided the opportunity for the postcolonial administration to manifest its understanding of secularism as a project, and to implement this understanding in the midst of rapidly changing social realities. In this perspective, secularism was not confined to the question of India’s constitution or other forms of legal norms, but – most importantly – comprised a practicable concept of a state within a multi-­ religious society and its role in social and religious affairs. To this end, the city administration – or more precisely significant parts of this administration – sought to implement their project in the context of the changing urban realities of physical places and representational space, which they considered central to the transition from the colonial to the post-independence era. In doing so, however, the administration showed se­ vere internal contradictions, conflicting interests, and practical shortcom­ ings brought on by the traumatic experiences of Partition and the scarcity of means. The archival sources illustrate a strong political commitment by signi­ficant parts of the administration to ensuring that Muslim commu­ nities in the city survived and thrived, combined with numerous practical strategies to achieve this goal. But these efforts were clearly thwarted by social expulsion and disintegration, the permanent destruction of cultural

Contesting urban space  81 and religious infrastructure, and creeping processes of Hinduisation. In this case, secularism as a project was impeded by unfavourable social realities on the ground, contradictions within the state apparatus, and offensive counteraction by political opponents. Several years after the horrors of Partition, the city of Delhi had changed profoundly as a physical location and as a conceptualised space. In the end, what was true for India as a whole unfortunately also applied to its capital city: The position of the Muslims in India, whatever we may say about it, is not a happy one. They are a frustrated community with fewer and fewer openings for them. (…) Muslims are practically not taken in the Army and the Police Forces. On the civil side too, the new entrants get fewer and fewer. I am afraid most of our State Governments are not fair to them and some have an active dislike of them.129 In June 1961, Muslim leaders gathered in New Delhi for an All India Muslim Convention. The general assessment expressed during this convention was that, in spite of the comprehensive constitutional guarantees for the security and welfare of minorities, Muslims in India were not given a fair deal. The president of the convention complained that Muslims had so far not found “their life, honour and property safe”, as they were treated as second-class citizens.130 There was systematic discrimination in matters of recruitment to government services, commerce, and other non-governmental avenues of employment. Irrespective of the government’s repeated promises on sec­ ularism, which essentially meant the integration of Muslims after Partition, they were still confronted with an overarching suspicion and generally con­ sidered unworthy of holding any position of trust and responsibility.131 The position of Muslims in India’s urban society and the subjective self-perception of this minority several years after independence not only demonstrates the mutual interdependence between secularism as a histor­ ical project and the religious as well as social well-being of minorities, but also illustrates the multifaceted challenges confronting a state seeking to organise pluralism and implement secularism as an official state project. In both respects, the secularism project suffered defeats and successes from the beginning and was fought over at various levels, including the material reali­ ties of cities as well as cultural-religious relations in representational spaces.

Notes 1 Notable exceptions are Claire Hancock, “Spatialities of the Secular: Geo­ graphies of the Veil in France and Turkey”, European Journal of Women’s Studies 15/3, 2008, pp. 165–179; Bret E. Carroll, “Worlds in Space: American Religious Pluralism in Geographical Perspective”, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80/2, 2012, pp. 304–364. 2 An innovative step in this direction provide various essays in Peter van der Veer (ed.), Handbook of Religion and the Sian City: Aspirations and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015).

82  Contesting urban space 3 Amita Baviskar, “Between Violence and Desire: Space, Power, and Identity in the Making of Metropolitan Delhi”, International Social Science Journal, 55/175, March 2003, p. 91. 4 Prashant Kidambi, “South Asia”, in Peter Clark (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 565; V ­ ijay Prashad, “The Technology of Sanitation in Colonial Delhi”, Modern Asian Studies 35/1, February 2001, pp. 115–116. 5 Robert Home, Of Planting and Planning: The Making of Colonial Cities ­(London et al.: E & FN Spon, 1997), p. 48. 6 Ibid., p. 145. 7 Anthony D. King, Colonial Urban Development: Culture, Social Power and Environment (London, Henley, Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976), p. 253. 8 Swati Bhattacharya and Jayesh G, “Postcolonial Global Cities: The Indian Ex­ perience”, IIAS Newsletter 57, Summer 2011, p. 4. 9 Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India, Updated ed. (New Delhi: Penguin, 2004), p. 110. 10 Véronique Dupont, “Socio-Spatial Differentiation and Residential Segregation in Delhi: A Question of Scale?”, Geoforum 35, 2004, p. 160. 11 “A Uniform Refugee Policy”, Note to Cabinet Ministers, 12 September 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986) Vol. 4, p. 63. 12 On the role of these transnational actors see Ravi Sundaram, “Danger, Media, and the Urban Experience in Delhi”, in Michael Laffan and Max Weiss (eds.), Fear: The History of an Emotion in Global Perspective (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012), pp. 168–169. 13 Michel Foucault in his essay “Space, Knowledge, and Power”, in Michel ­Foucault, The Foucault Reader, edited by Paul Rabinow (New York: Pantheon Books), p. 240. 14 Ibid., p. 241. 15 Yi-Fun Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (London: Edward Arnold, 1977), p. 112. 16 Delhi Administration, Delhi Gazetteer (Delhi: Gazetteer Unit, Delhi Adminis­ tration, 1976), p. 554. 17 Ibid., pp. 559–560. 18 Nehru to André Malraux in November 1958, quoted in K.N. Panikkar, “Sec­ ular Thoughts”, Frontline (online edition) 29/1, 2012, www.frontline.in/static/ html/fl2901/stories/20120127290108700.htm (accessed 20 August 2016). 19 Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot, “Introduction: Muslims of the I­ ndian City: From Centrality to Marginality”, in Laurent Gayer and ­Christophe ­Jaffrelot (eds.), Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation ­(London: Hurst & Company, 2012), p. 13. 20 Tai Yong Tan and Gyanesh Kudaisya, The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia (London, New York: Routledge), p. 24 and 198; on the cultural impact of refu­ gees on various Northern Indian cities see also Ian Talbot, “A Tale of Two Cit­ ies: The Aftermath of Partition for Lahore and Amritsar, 1947–1957”, Modern Asian Studies 41/1, 2007, pp. 151–185. 21 Asok Mitra, Delhi, Capital City (New Delhi: Thomson, 1970), p. 18. 22 John T. McNay (ed.), Memoirs of Ambassador Henry F. Grady: From the Great War to the Cold War (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2009), p. 122. 23 Lalitha Ramakrishnan, who shared her memories in an online blog: “Memories and Musings: My memories which have remained with me over so many years, coloured with my thoughts, and tempered by my experience”, entry 1 May 2007. http://memories-and-musings.blogspot.com/ (accessed 20 August 2016).

Contesting urban space  83 24 Gyanendra Pandey, “Partition and Independence in Delhi: 1947–48”, Economic and Political Weekly 32/36, 6–12 September 1997, p. 2263. 25 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 26 October 1948, p. 1. 26 Mitra, Delhi, p. 18. 27 Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories (New York: Columbia ­University Press, 2007), p. 29. See also Mitra, Delhi, p. 18. Laurent Gayer ­argues that this spatial segregation into religiously ‘homogeneous’ colonies was actu­ ally a later phenomenon, starting only in the 1980s. This might be true for parts of the Old City and other districts of Delhi; however, the sources consulted here illustrate processes of concentration specifically in those local areas mentioned above. For a different view see Laurent Gayer, “Safe and Sound: Searching for a ‘Good Environment’ in Abul Fazl Enclave, Delhi”, in Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot (eds.), Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation (London: Hurst & Company, 2012), p. 219. 28 The Leader (Allahabad), 29 August 1947. 29 Gyanendra Pandey, Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 122. 30 Letter, High Commissioner for Pakistan in India, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Delhi, 18 April 1950, DA CC Office/Correspondence File No. I, 2. 31 Letter, High Commissioner for Pakistan to the Foreign Minister, 18 April 1950, and Reply, Chief Commissioner, 16 August 1951, DA CC Office/Correspondence File No. II, 181. 32 Letter, H.K. Bansal, Enquire, Assistant Secretary to the Government of India, to the Secretary (Local Self Government) to the Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 6 January 1949, DA CC Office 16(98)/1948, Health and Public Works (Branch), 1948, 8. 33 Interview with Shankar Prasada, 6 August 1988, NMML, Oral History Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, p. 160. 34 “A Uniform Refugee Policy”, Note to Cabinet Ministers, 12 September 1947, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 4 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 64–65. 35 Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Malden, MA, Oxford, Carlton, VIC: Blackwell, 1991), p. 38. 36 Ibid., pp. 38–39. This corresponds with what Michel de Certeau called “space” in contrast to “place” in his The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley, Los ­A ngeles, London: University of California Press), p. 117. 37 Michael Keith and Steve Pile, “Introduction Part 1: The Politics of Place…”, in Michael Keith and Steve Pile (eds.), Place and the Politics of Identity (London, New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 2. 38 David Harvey, Explanations in Geography, quoted in his “Space as a Key­ word”, in Noel Castree and Derek Gregory (eds.), David Harvey: A Critical Reader (Malden, MA, Oxford, Carlton, VIC: Blackwell, 2006), p. 271. 39 Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994), p. 3. 40 Joseph Maran, “Architecture, Power and Social Practice – An Introduction”, in Joseph Maran, Carsten Juwig, Hermann Schwengel, and Ulrich Thaler (eds.), Constructing Power: Architecture, Ideology and Social Practice (Hamburg: LIT, 2006), p. 10. 41 Cf. the approach of postcolonial architectural history, discussed in Andrew Leach, What Is Architectural History? (Cambridge, Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2010), pp. 129–130. On the physical arrangement of space as a spatial mani­ festation of society see Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson, The Social Logic of Space (Cambridge et al.: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 26. For the (dis)

84  Contesting urban space continuities in segregation patterns from the colonial to the postcolonial era see Carl H. Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (Chicago, IL, London: Chicago University Press, 2012), p. 402. 42 Monica Juneja, “Spaces of Encounter and Plurality: Looking at Architecture in Pre-colonial North India”, in Jamal Malik and Helmut Reifeld (eds.), Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 246. 43 Eric Lewis Beverly, “Colonial Urbanism and South Asian Cities”, Social History 36/4, 2011, p. 483. 44 Jim Masselos, “Decolonized Space: The Reconfiguring of National and ­P ublic Space in India”, in Els Bogaerts and Remco Raben (eds.), Beyond Empire and Nation: The Decolonization of African and Asian Societies, 1930s–1960s ­(Leiden: KITLV Press, 2012), p. 193. 45 For a similar argumentation on secularism from a minority perspective and equal rights as citizens see Philippa Williams, “An Absent Presence: Experi­ ences of the ‘Welfare State’ in an Indian Muslim Mohallā”, Contemporary South Asia 19/3, 2011, p. 277. 46 On Muslims, secularism, and the independence movement see Mushirul Hasan, “Introduction”, in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Islam and Indian Nationalism: Reflections on Abul Kalam Azad (New Delhi: Manohar, 1992), p. 5. 47 Government of India, Ministry for Relief & Rehabilitation, “Weekly note for the Cabinet for the week ending May 14, 1949”, 17 May 1949, NAI Rehabilita­ tion Division (1948–1965), RHB-14(1)/49, 1949, 475–477. 48 US Embassy, New Delhi, Despatch No. 203, “Magnitude of the refugee prob­ lem: Conditions in Delhi Camp, Attitude of Cabinet Ministers”, 18 September 1947, p. 3, NARA RG 83 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 45/848. 49 Ministry of Rehabilitation, n.d., DA CC Office/Correspondence File No. II, 181. 50 Report “regarding the orders of the C.C. Delhi about disputed mosques”, Shankar Prasad, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 18 July 1948, DA CC Office/ 24(122)/1948, L.S.G./PWD, 1949, Part II, 2. 51 For Azad’s elaborate religious and philosophical views on Hindu-Muslim unity see Rajmohan Gandhi, Understanding the Muslim Mind (New Delhi: Penguin, 1987), Chapter 7. 52 Valerian Rodrigues, “In Search for an Anchor: Muslim Thought in Modern India”, Economic and Political Weekly 46/49, 3 December 2011, pp. 53–54. 53 Mushirul Hasan, Moderate or Militant: Images of India’s Muslims (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 85. 54 Ibid., pp. 190–191; Mushirul Hasan, “Adjustment and Accommodation: ­Indian Muslims after Partition”, Social Scientist 18/8–9, August–September 1990, p. 51. 55 For a more detailed discussion see Balraj Puri, “Indian Muslims since Parti­ tion”, Economic and Political Weekly 28/40, 2 October 1993, p. 2142. 56 Interview with K.L. Gauba, various sessions in 1970, NMML, Oral History Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, p. 239. 57 A critical evaluation undertakes A.G. Noorani, “Introduction”, in A.G. ­Noorani (ed.), The Muslims in India: A Documentary Record (New Delhi: Oxford ­University Press, 2003), p. 7. 58 Chief Commissioner Shankar Prasad, 23 August 1948, DA DC Office/348/1948, 1948, 3. 59 Letter, Sunni Majlis-e-Auqaf, to the Chief Commissioner, 13 August 1949, DA DC Office/4/1949, “Unauthorized occupation and demolition of mosques”, 1.

Contesting urban space  85 60 Secret Source Report, Inspector-General of Police, Delhi, 10 May 1948, DA CC Office 55/1948 (Part C) Confidential, “Casual Reports on the political situation in Delhi”, 6. 61 Ibid. 62 See the dozens of reports and letters written by Sunni Majlis-e-Auqaf which document the damage, DC 5 DA DC Office/4/1949, “Unauthorized occupation and demolition of mosques”. 63 Letter, Sunni Majlis-e-Auqaf, to the Chief Commissioner, 23 September 1949, DC 5 DA DC Office/4/1949, “Unauthorized occupation and demolition of mosques”, 141. 64 Shankar Prasad, Chief Commissioner, to H.R.V. Iengar, Secretary to the Govern­ment of India, Home Ministry, 1 September 1948, DA DC Office 337/1949 Fortnightly Report, 14–15 May 1949, 1–2. 65 Superintendent of Police, City of Delhi, 5 January 1948, DA CC Office 21/1948 (Part C) Confidential, “Communal trouble in Delhi”, 1–2. 66 Casual Source Report, Inspector-General of Police, Delhi Province, 15 May 1948, DA CC Office 55/1948 (Part C) Confidential, “Casual Reports on the po­ litical situation in Delhi”, 9. 67 DA DC Office 1/1947 Fortnightly Report, 11 October 1947, 1. 68 Jawaharlal Nehru, Note for the Cabinet, 3 December 1947, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Role 15, File 131D, 184. 69 The Leader (Allahabad), 11 September 1947. 70 The Leader (Allahabad), 15 September & 8 November 1947. 71 Letter, Special Magistrate, Secretary, Muslim Relief Committee, to American Red Cross, c/o American Embassy, New Delhi, 29 October 1947, NARA RG 84, Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records, 1942–1963, Box 45, 848. 72 Nehru in a speech to K.C. Neogy, Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation, and other government officials, 29 November 1947, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 5 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 174. 73 Report, J.C. Jain, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation, GOI, New Delhi, “Some Thoughts on the Problems of Rehabilitation of Dis­ placed Persons from Pakistan”, 2 February 1948, p. 37, NARA RG 84, ­Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records, ­1942–1963, Box 71, 848. 74 Letter, N.N. Mallya, Government of India, Ministry of Home ­A ffairs, 23  ­September 1947, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 26/38/47­Police, 1947, 3. 75 Speech at Prayer Meeting, New Delhi, 18 September 1947, CWMG, Vol. 89 ­(Ahmedabad: Navajivan Trust, 1983), p. 201. ­ niversity 76 Letter to Patel, 22 October 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford U Press, 1986) Vol. 4, p. 174. 77 Memorandum No. 476/47-P.A., Government of India, Ministry of Home ­A ffairs, 1 November 1947, DA CC Office/16(98)/1948, Health and Public Works (Branch), 6–7. 78 See for example Report, P.H.B. Wilkins, Registrar to Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 20 November 1947, DA CC Office/2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947. 79 Report “regarding the orders of the C.C. Delhi about disputed mosques”, Shankar Prasad, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 18 July 1948, DA CC Office/24(122)/ 1948, L.S.G./PWD, 1949, Part II, 2–5. 80 NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 47/1/59-Delhi, 1959, Corre­ spondence, 11–12. More broadly, on the adoption of British methods, devices,

86  Contesting urban space and legal instruments by Indian town planners see A.G. Krishna Menon, “Im­ agining the Indian City”, Economic and Political Weekly 32/46, 15–21 November 1997, pp. 2933–2934. 81 Letter, M.S. Randhawa to Sahibzada Kurshid, Chief Commissioner, 9 December 1947, DA CC Office/2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947, 49. See also Land and Development Officer, New Delhi, to Lala Shri Ram, President, Ram Lila Committee, Delhi, 10 September 1948, DA DC Office/184/1947, 53. 82 Letter, Office Jamiat Ulamai Hind, to the Prime Minister of India, 13 March 1951; S.W. Shiveshwarkar, Jaipur, to C. Ganesan, Deputy Secretary to the GOI, Ministry of States, New Delhi, 20 July 1951; K.P.U. Menon, Government of Rajasthan, Political Department, to C. Ganesan, 27 March 1952, NAI Ministry of States, Political Branch, 10-P(A)/51, 1951, Correspondence. 83 Hindu Outlook (New Delhi), 17 June 1951. 84 Report “regarding the orders of the C.C. Delhi about disputed mosques”, Shankar Prasad, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 18 July 1948, DA CC ­Office/24(122)/ 1948, L.S.G./PWD, 1949, Part II, p. 2. 85 Ibid. 86 Ibid., p. 5. 87 Home Minister V. Patel in an official statement, reproduced in The Leader ­(Allahabad), 7 November 1947. 88 Letter, Sahibzada Khurshid, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, to D.W. Mehra, ­Deputy Inspector, General of Police, Delhi Province, 17 November 1947, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947, 9. 89 M.S. Randhawa, Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Delhi, to Sahibzada ­Khurshid, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, 14 November 1947, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947, 20. 90 DA CC Office 1/1947 Confidential, Fortnightly Report, 7 December 1947, 1. 91 Jaswant Rai, S.H.O. Paharganj, 10 December 1947, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947, 62. 92 Sahibzada Khurshid, Chief Commissioner, to G.V. Bedekar, Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, 7 January 1948, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947 Health and Public Works, 1947, 69. 93 The Chief Commissioner, Delhi, U.O.No.406/ST/CC/53, 5.2.1953, to the Super­ intendent R&R, DA CC Office/17(11)/1950 Health and Public Works 1950, 28. 94 Ibid. 95 NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 47/1/59-Delhi, 1959, List at­ tached to Correspondence, 9–10. 96 DA CC Office/2(192)/1955 L.S.G. 97 Report, A.I.C.C. Meeting, 15 November 1947, p. 1, NMML Microfilm, R-8671, G-30. 98 Letter, Mohanlal Saksena to Nehru, 8/9 April 1954, NMML Manuscript Sec­ tion, Individual Collection, Mohanlal Saksena Papers (1939–1964), Corre­ spondence between Mohanlal Saksena and Jawaharlal Nehru, 54. 99 Peter Custers, “Sufism and the Secular State: The South Asian Experience”, IIAS Newsletter 66, Winter 2013, p. 51. 100 Robert M. Hayden, “Antagonistic Tolerance: Competitive Sharing of Religious Sites in South Asia and the Balkans”, Current Anthropology 43/2, April 2002, p. 206. 101 Ronald Vivian Smith, The Delhi That No-one Knows (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2005), pp. 11–12. 102 Minute, Executive Engineer, Special Division No. III, to the Chief Commis­ sioner, 28 February 1949 DA CC Office 24(71)/1949 L.S.G./P.W.D., 1. 103 Nehru, Note to the Principal Secretary, 13 December 1948, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989) Vol. 8, p. 134.

Contesting urban space  87 104 DA CC Office 24(71)/1949 L.S.G./P.W.D. Correspondence 3. 1 05 Letter, S. Narain, Executive Engineer, New Delhi, to Mr Dewan, 15 December 1947, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947, Health and Public Works, 56. 106 Letter, S. Narain, Executive Engineer, Special Division III, to Superintendent Engineer, No. 535/MQ-1/1, 19 January 1948, DA CC Office 2(53)/1947, Health and Public Works, 89. 107 Nehru to B.K. Gokhale, W.M.&P. Ministry, 25 February 1949, DA CC Office 24(71)/1949 L.S.G./P.W.D., 9. 108 Kashana-i-Faruqi Katra Nisar Ahmed, Kucha Pandit, Delhi, 6 November 1952, DA CC Office/Correspondence File No. I, 101–104. 109 “Petitioner” Kashana-i-Faruqi Katra Nisar Ahmed, Kucha Pandit, Delhi, n.d., DA CC Office/Correspondence File No. I, 116. 110 Deputy Commissioner, 16 November 1948, DA CC Office/24(88)/1949 L.S.G./ P.W.D., 13. 111 Letter, Sahibzada Bhaiya H.S.M. Rashiduddin Ahmad, President, All India Jamiatul Quresh & member, Committee of Union & Progress, to the Governor General of India, 29 August 1948, DA DC Office/348/1948, 37. 112 Mohan Lal, M.L.C. Jullundur, “What is the Cure?”, Letter to the editor, The Hindustan Times, 11 October 1956. 113 “Attack took place close to emblem of Indian secularism”, The Times of India (Delhi), 28 September 2008. 114 “Delhi, a city of refugee enterprises”, Times of India, TNN, 24 January 2010. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Delhi-a-city-of-refugee-enterprise/ articleshow/5493706.cms (accessed 5 January 2017). By far not all refugees coming to Delhi were needy; for a detailed discussion about class and refu­ gees see Ravinder Kaur, “The Last Journey: Exploring Social Class in the 1947 Partition Migration”, Economic and Political Weekly 41/22, June 3–9, 2006, pp. 2221–2228. 115 M.S. Randhawa, D.C. Delhi, 31.12.1947, CC Office/3(1)/1948 L.S.G./R&R, “Townships near Delhi for refugees”, 2nd File, 9. 116 Report “Progress of Relief and Rehabilitation“, Press Information Bureau, Government of India, New Delhi, 12 March 1948, Part III, p. 6, NARA RG 84 India U.S. Embassy New Delhi, Classified General Records, 1942–1963, Entry UD 2710A, Box 71, 848. 117 Embassy, New Delhi, Report No. 266, “Personal Observations in East Punjab”, 17 December 1947, NARA RG 84 Entry UD 2710A, India, U.S. Embassy New Delhi, Classified General Records, 1942–1963, Box 45, 848. This form of cor­ ruption occurred largely unnoticed from the national public. The first major case of corruption, the so-called Mundhra scandal, was brought to public only in 1958. Cf. Ramachandra Guha, Patriots & Partisans (New Delhi: Allen Lane, 2012), p. 136. 118 Amita Kumari, “Delhi as Refuge: Resettlement and Assimilation of Partition Refugees”, Economic and Political Weekly, 48/44, 2 November 2013, p. 65. 119 Letter to Patel, 22 October 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986) Vol. 4, p. 174. 120 Krishna Lall, Honorary Secretary, Arya Samaj, Lodhi Road Colony, New Delhi, to The Land and Development Officer, New Delhi, 3 July 1949, DA CC Office/ 23(77)/1949 L.S.G./Lands, 3. 121 Letter, Prakash Chand, President, Arya Samaj, Vinay Nagar, New Delhi, to the Chief Minister, Delhi State, 31 July 1956, 1, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, L-3(51)/56, 1956. 122 M.R. Sachdev, 23 January 1958, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, L-3(51)/56, 1956, 6.

88  Contesting urban space 123 Congress Party in Parliament, Sd. Algu Rai Shashtri, M.P., 9 January 1958, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, L-3(51)/56, 1956, 38. 124 Ministry of Rehabilitation, New Delhi, 12 June 1954, on the Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Patel Nagar, DA CC Office/20(20)/1954 R&R, 1954, 5. 125 Yudhvir Singh to J.K. Bhonsle, Deputy Minister of Rehabilitation, Govern­ ment of India, 21 September 1955, DA CC Office/20(20)/1954 R&R, 1954, 25. 126 Ministry of Works, Housing and Supply, Note for the Cabinet, 22 March 1960, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 37/27/59-Delhi, 1959, 70. 127 Ibid. 128 Ministry of Works, Housing and Supply, Note for the Cabinet, December 1959, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 37/27/59-Delhi, 1959, 56. 129 Nehru, letter to K.N. Katju, 13 June 1954, SWJN, 2nd series, Vol. 26 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 195–196. See also Nehru in a letter, 20 September 1953, reproduced in Ramachandra Guha (ed.), Makers of Modern India (Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011), pp. 306–307. 130 Quoted in Ved Prakash Luthera, The Concept of the Secular State in India ­(London: Oxford University Press, 1964), p. 5. 131 Ibid., p. 6.

3 Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ The conflict with the RSS in Delhi after Partition

Introduction On 4 February 1948, the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi released a press communiqué announcing the legal ban of an organisation that had attracted a considerable amount of attention during the preceding months. Since the partition of British India in August 1947, the subsequent mass violence, and the huge population displacement, this organisation had not only been involved in relief work among Hindu and Sikh refugees, but also in communal atrocities against Muslims in Punjab as well as Delhi. The relevant press communiqué declared: In their Resolution of 2nd February 1948, the Government of India de­ clared their determination to root out the forces of hate and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the nation and darken her fair name. In pursuance of this policy, the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [RSS]1 in the Chief Commissioners’ Provinces. Similar action is also being taken in the Governors’ Provinces. As the document further explains, the RSS’s aims and objectives were to “promote physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the Hindus and also to foster feelings of brotherhood, love and service amongst them”. In prac­ tice, however, different members of the RSS had not adhered to their “pro­ fessed ideals” by carrying out “undesirable and even dangerous activities”. After extensive investigation, the Government of India concluded that “in­ dividual members” of the RSS had “indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and murder and have collected illicit arms and am­ munition”.2 Under these circumstances, it was considered the Government’s duty to take “effective measures to curb this reappearance of violence in a virulent form and, as a first step to this end, they have decided to declare the Sangh [i.e. the RSS] as an unlawful association”.3 After months of internal disputes in the government over the role of the RSS in harassing and killing Muslim citizens and refugees, the authorities

90  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ had finally adopted a supposedly clear and firm position. In reality, though, this ministerial communiqué reflected the deeply ambivalent attitude of ­India’s political elite about the present and future role of religious nation­ alist organisations in Indian society and the definition of state secularism. This chapter analyses the relationship between the RSS and the state ap­ paratus as a telling example for the political struggle to define and imple­ ment state secularism in concrete, practical terms below the constitutional level. Although the Constituent Assembly was about to choose the secular path, concrete historical practices were far more contradictory. The argu­ ment here is that, in contrast to the usual historiographical approaches, state secularism was less the outcome of legislative procedures. Rather, it evolved as a guiding principle of the executive authorities that evolved in concrete, contingent political, and social settings. Empirical evidence around the controversy over the RSS illustrates that there existed contradicting views within state institutions and particularly among the various branches of the executive forces, resulting in incoherent action. It also shows that as a pro­ gramme imposed from above, secularism was a vague, disputed political endeavour that was difficult to implement. At the same time, some non-state actors were crucial facilitators of state secularism. The strongest support for the resolute prosecution of anti-­ secular forces came from groups outside the state structures that aligned with secular-oriented bureaucrats and politicians. The consequence of these observations is, however, that one of the most central questions of historical secularism studies, namely whether a state can be considered secular or not, is wrongly phrased; it is hard to answer unequivocally in concrete, empirical terms; and the answer depends on the respective group(s) of actors under scrutiny.

The nebulous definition of secularism According to a popular narrative among historians of contemporary ­India, the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s were the heyday of state secularism, in­ spired by the leadership of Prime Minister Nehru, before it ran into a se­ rious and lasting crisis.4 By contrast, it is argued here that it seems more appropriate to interpret the early times after Independence as an intense, multifaceted period of political struggle over the definition and the con­ crete, practical meaning of secularism. Secularism in postcolonial India has always been a “fuzzy idea”5 characterised by a high degree of vagueness. As such, it was politically contested right from the start. These contestations took place in various social and political arenas and were played out not only in political assemblies and speeches, but also in the streets and on the pavements.6 Indeed, it seems fairly adequate to as­ sume that the Indian state under Nehru did not have a ready-made defini­ tion of secularism and thus lacked political coherence.7 A consequence of this assumption, however, ought to be that historians broaden their view

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  91 on the different arenas in which the meaning of secularism was negotiated and experimented with. The conflict around the RSS and its activities in the aftermath of Partition is one such arena in which concrete historical understandings of secularism and secular practices, including their contra­ dictions, ambiguities, and incoherences, emerged. With Partition, state bureaucrats endeavoured in a slow, laborious, and conflict-ridden process to prevent secular institutions from being domi­ nated by the ideas and practices of any religion.8 As secular institutions, it was their task to facilitate the social, economic, and political integration of ­Indian citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs and practices. The Hindu nationalist ideology of the RSS challenged this process with its dis­ criminatory approach to Muslims, whom they in fact regarded occasionally as no citizens at all but more often as second-class citizens and cultural al­ iens within a nation of Hindus. The Hindu Right’s understanding of citizen­ ship differed profoundly from the official policy and was based on mainly two premises: citizenship was equated with cultural and ethnic belonging; and Muslims could never be patriotic or even loyal to Hindu India.9 The RSS and major parts of the state elite, therefore, clashed over different con­ cepts of citizenship and their implementation after independence. For this reason, the question of RSS support within the state administration at the national level and in Delhi’s municipality was one of the most burning issues in dealing with the RSS. However, the conflict around the RSS is significant also for India’s later history because it occurred during a politically and legally formative pe­ riod. The ban on the RSS coincided with the last phase of the Constituent Assembly that had already started its work in December 1946 and planned to finalise India’s constitution during the second half of 1949. Throughout the period of its operation, there had been conflicting perspectives within the Assembly on the meaning and appropriateness of secularism for India’s society as well as on the question to what extent the state should intervene in the organisation of places of worship and other religious matters.10 How­ ever, most arguments emphasised that secularism must not and could not imply that the state was hostile to religion or that the state was unaware of the presence and social relevance of religious practices among its citizens. Over the course of the Assembly’s gatherings, a certain consensus emerged on some basic principles of India’s state secularism. This consensus included the notion that the state would not have a single official religion, that reli­ gion should as far as possible be regarded as a private matter and thus be separated from the political arena, and that the state should practice impar­ tiality between the different religions.11 As Nehru explained only five days after Independence, the Indian state “is not a communal state”, i.e. based on the interests of one particular religious community, but a “democratic state in which every citizen has equal rights”. What he considered “anti-­social el­ ements” were “defying all authority and destroying the very structure of so­ ciety. Unless these elements were suppressed, to whatever community they

92  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ belonged, there was no freedom or even security for any person”.12 The dispute over the RSS and its activities after Partition must be interpreted within the context of intense debates over constitutional provisions. For many actors involved, the controversy over whether or not the RSS was a an “anti-social element” was of paradigmatic significance, as it was linked with more profound questions concerning the meaning of secularism and how to organise religious pluralism. The practical limitations of this policy indicate that the ambiguities and incoherences of secularism were not a result of a crisis that emerged somewhat later in Indian history. On the contrary, these ambiguities existed right from the beginning.

The RSS and the ‘secular’ state before Partition The history behind the confrontation between the RSS and postcolonial state institutions helps to explain the social and organisational relevance of the RSS after Indian independence. The spread of the RSS was originally enhanced by the changing life cir­ cumstances of millions of Indians during the Second World War. The early 1940s had been years of massive social disruption caused by anti-colonial agitation, hunger, forced migration, and inter-religious violence. During those years, Hindu but also Muslim and Sikh ‘volunteer’ (youth) organi­ sations, with their focus on physical drill, military discipline, and radical ideological instruction, were able to establish themselves as protectors of their communities’ interests in a general atmosphere of hostility, milita­ rism, and violence.13 Particularly, the rising tensions between Hindus and Muslims in northern and eastern India gave the RSS a major organisa­ tional boost, and its network of branches (shakhas) spread from Punjab in the West to Bengal in the East. In August 1946, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, had called for a Direct Action Day, which had provoked widespread violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims. Since those fateful events, more and more Hindus particularly in ­Northern India had come to believe that organisations such as the RSS would be in a position to defend Hindu interests and save Hindus from Muslim aggression.14 The colonial government had been widely restrictive against extremist organisations under the Defence of India Rules in 1944 and 1945. As early as August 1940, the British government had decided to prohibit the perfor­ mance of military drill by issuing two notifications under the Defence Rules (Nr. 58 & 59). However, the prohibition had little impact. As a consequence, the author­ ities considered “firmer action” and “advised” the provincial governments to control the paramilitary camps and parades of radical voluntary organ­ isations such as the RSS. Under the “Camp and Parades (Control) Order, 1944”, no camp or parade could be held without prior permission from the district magistrate.15 After the war regulations had ended, the colonial

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  93 administration observed a revival of the RSS and other “volunteer organi­ sations/private armies”: The lapse of the Defence of India Rules at the end of September 1946 and the restrictive orders passed under them was followed by the im­ mediate revival of the wearing of uniforms, the carrying of weapons, parades and marching. These have added to the growth of communal tension, provoked anger, fear and suspicion.16 Throughout the year 1946, the discontent among colonial police forces in­ creased, leading to major strikes in Bihar and Malabar. The armed forces were more and more dominated by non-commissioned officers with doubt­ ful loyalty to the Raj and thus could less and less be relied upon.17 There are also indications that the colonial authorities did not comprehensively collect rifles and guns from the Indian Army’s ex-soldiers and even sold to civilians empty bombshells and chemicals used later in the Partition riots.18 During these months, the RSS made massive inroads in local Hindu com­ munities, but also among state employees including railwaymen and local police forces, in particular in the province of Punjab,19 a major location of the later killings between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. During the immediate months before Partition, the RSS continued to grow largely unnoticed, which enabled to develop significant social and organi­ sational capacities during and after Partition. Throughout 1946, the RSS not only expanded its network of branches in areas such as the ­North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, Sindh, Bihar, or the United Provinces, where it had been present before, but also made inroads into regions such as Assam, where it had previously been unknown.20 Membership also increased during that time. In the United Provinces, the total strength of the RSS grew from 10,225 (April) to 25,056 members (December).21 In Punjab, the western Indian province divided in August 1947 between India and Pakistan, the British Chief Secretary estimated that the number of active RSS members had grown by around 1,000 in D ­ ecember 1946 alone, adding up to a total of around 47,000 RSS followers. In the dis­ tricts of Multan and Ambala, the police knew of eight new branches es­ tablished during that period.22 In Nagpur, the city of its origin, the RSS organised two camps for around 2,000 volunteers where “squat drill, simple skirmishing, Indian games, guard mounting and dismounting were prac­ tised. The volunteers were asked to be ready to defend their religion and culture”.23 Additional camps were held in Wardha, Amravati, Jubbulpore, and Pardi near Nagpur, where 6,000 uniformed Hindu volunteers were told to “discard their inferiority complex and exert themselves to arouse among themselves a sense of realism”.24 By June 1947, the RSS had opened 17 new branches in Punjab with an estimated provincial membership of 59,200. In Punjab, the RSS was only one of several religious nationalist organisa­ tions that armed themselves for the approaching confrontation. The Muslim

94  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ League National Guards (MLNG)25 had accumulated 43,200 members. In addition, there already existed a growing number of smaller extremist groups such as the Hindu Scouts Volunteer Corps (HSVC) or the Akal Saina, a radical Sikh organisation that most probably cooperated closely with the RSS.26 Apparently, war-experienced veterans of the Gurkha regiments had found a new field of employment by training these paramilitary units.27 In January 1947, the colonial provincial government in Punjab banned the RSS and some other radical organisations, as it was revealed that their acti­ vities included the stockpiling of weapons. RSS cadres and loyal personnel around Taran Singh, a radical Sikh leader, had toured P ­ unjab Province call­ ing on Hindus and Sikhs to arm and prepare themselves to face “the Muslim League onslaught”.28 Government authorities reported on secret meetings now held in pri­ vate houses and temples in the predominantly Hindu suburbs of Lahore. Some of these meetings were chaired by people the RSS had brought to Punjab from outside the province to strengthen the organisation and recruit new members.29 The ban on the RSS was in place for less than a week when the government authorities lifted it again in response to widespread protests not only by RSS members but also by people not affiliated with the organisation but who considered the RSS to be of vital interest for local Hindu communities.30 After September 1946, when the British had relaxed their restrictive orders on paramilitary activities, the colonial government in fact did little to nothing to stop the armament of these extremist groups. In Delhi, inter-religious relations deteriorated steadily during the months prior to Partition. In November 1946, around 250 “prominent RSS work­ ers” under the leadership of Basant Rao Oak held a meeting in Delhi and decided to investigate “the number of Muslim residents in the vicinity domi­ nated by the Hindus (…) and also the number of Muslims able to take part in communal riots”. Furthermore, “all the Hindus of Delhi and surrounding places should be armed” and supplied with knives and daggers. Sikhs were called upon to hold their ceremonial swords (kirpans) at the ready and the order was given for all available firearms to be stored in local temples in Delhi, ready for “times of emergency”.31 By May 1947, British intelligence had gathered information that the RSS was organising catapults and arrows in the city to be used during riots.32 After the ban on the RSS had been lifted again in January 1947, the organ­ isation also stepped up its mobilisation efforts, particularly in urban public spaces. For the three days from 25 to 27 January, the RSS planned a rally “on the other bank of the river Jumna”, i.e. outside Old Delhi across the river, for an anticipated 40,000 volunteers. The first two days were to be a sort of internal gathering, but on the third day, the RSS would welcome the general public. To this end, the RSS had booked virtually every religious rest house (dharamshala) available in the city and organised 125 horses to be used during the rally. In the end, the police banned the rally. The RSS

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  95 responded to this with organised public protests and urged Hindus in Delhi to close their shops for one day.33 In March, the RSS stepped up its propaganda once again and undertook several efforts to recruit new members among Hindus and Sikhs in Delhi “as at the time of transferring power by the British Government to India Muslims are likely to create a hitch”.34 RSS volunteers therefore covered “every nook and corner of the city appealing to the Hindus and Sikhs to join together and be ready for the defence when an opportunity arises”.35 These developments towards militarisation also had consequences for social life in local communities. In Delhi’s local neighbourhoods, relations between Hindus and Muslims deteriorated as Partition came closer. The example of Daryaganj, a neighbourhood inside the walled city of Old Delhi, illustrates this point. After the capital city of British India had been moved from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911, Paharganj and Daryaganj turned into two important buffer areas between the new capital city and Old Delhi. With their strongly mixed population of Hindus and Muslims, both of these areas played an important role during and after Partition as many immi­ grant refugees arrived and settled there. In June 1946, however, local Muslim organisations showed a renewed in­ terest in the area of Daryaganj, a predominantly Hindu area. Local Hindu and Muslim newspapers had adopted a strong “communal attitude” and repeatedly published offensive reports on members of the respective other religious community. The conflict arose over the use of a public park that had hitherto been used primarily by Hindu women and children but was now increasingly frequented by Muslim men. Now, local Muslim leaders contested the predominance of Hindus in this park. The ultimate reason why local Muslims had decided to initiate this strug­ gle over the use of public space was the RSS. The organisation had been very active in this area during the previous months. It had tried to recruit local members for its organisation and showed more and more presence in the area’s streets and bazaars.36 The RSS also publicly supported the forma­ tion of a Delhi Provincial Hindu Sikh Protection Board “in order that their [i.e. Hindus’ and Sikhs’] legitimate rights and privileges may be safeguarded against encroachment on the part of undesirable element [sic] in the city”. The Board assured that it would “always” cooperate with the authorities to maintain law and order.37 Long before India’s independence, therefore, the RSS was an important factor in Delhi’s local communities and contri­ buted to a significant degree to the militarising relations between Hindus and Muslims. When power was finally transferred from the colonial administration to the Indian authorities on 15 August 1947, the RSS constituted a sig­ nificant social and political force particularly in Delhi and the Punjab Province. Its logistical and mobilisation capacities that had gradually grown during the early 1940s and again since 1946 rendered it powerful and efficient.

96  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ The development of its capabilities had gone largely unnoticed by the I­ ndian media as well as the major political authorities in Delhi and in the province of Punjab.38 The Delhi unit of the RSS was particularly strong, having grown significantly during the last phase of British rule from a total number of six local branches in 1937 to around 100 branches spread across the city by the time of Partition.39 This colonial legacy was a troublesome starting point for a postcolonial state that sought to be secular and pro­ mote inter-religious harmony and religious pluralism. To the same degree that Partition’s mass violence and large-scale migration had taken Congress leaders by surprise,40 the significant growth of the RSS and the immense challenge it presented to the secular endeavours of postcolonial India went unnoticed by the political leaders for far too long. In early September 1947, when mass violence and the forced migration of millions were in full swing, the major English daily The Leader lamented how the general public and particularly India’s Hindus could have over­ looked the dramatic expansion of the RSS during the previous years. Due to the nature of this organisation and its significant impact in Delhi and elsewhere, it urgently required more careful scrutiny: It is high time the parent, the teacher and the state tried to understand the working of this important organisation to which the new generation of Hindus is rallying. If it be a healthy and useful institution, it should get the support of all well wishers of Hindu society. In case, however, it be unconsciously leading the country towards a similar precipice to which the Nazi party and the Fascist party once lead their respective countries, it is necessary that its activities should be diverted towards proper channels.41

Skirmishes over rumours and refugees As discussed in the previous chapter, Partition was a deeply transformative period for Delhi. According to official data collected by the census authori­ ties, the total population of the city more than doubled within the ten years between 1941 and 1951 from 700,000 to more than 1.44 million.42 The es­ timates of the total incoming population during the first three years after independence vary between 480,00043 and 500,000.44 In 1951, refugees still accounted for 28.4 percent of Delhi’s total population.45 From an India-wide perspective, Delhi’s rapid growth surges outpaced by far the growth rates of all other major Indian cities in this particular time period. Also the territo­ rial size of the city expanded significantly. The major task for the city administration was therefore to set up facili­ ties and infrastructure in particular for the refugee population in order to cope with the social, economic, and cultural challenges of Delhi’s new de­ mographic profile. More recent research on Partition has highlighted that the relief, rehabilitation, and resettlement of refugees in urban areas cannot

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  97 only be interpreted as a disaster. For certain actors and interest groups, ­Partition constituted a unique opportunity to try and implement their vi­ sions for India’s postcolonial society.46 In this perspective, the forced migra­ tion of hundreds of thousands of people created a laboratory situation for social planning, the establishment of state authority and state control over the population, the creation of the ‘new citizen’, the social commitment of non-state actors, as well as the burgeoning social and cultural relevance of religious organisations. In a way, this trend in historiography only reflects certain perspectives that many political, social, and religious actors had developed themselves during the tumultuous months after August 1947. Prime Minister Nehru, for example, commented that the objective of refugee rehabilitation in Delhi and elsewhere was “not to reproduce the kind of structure or system which has shown cracks and requires change but rather to make a beginning in a new social reorganisation insofar as possible”.47 Government reports au­ thored during the first few years after Partition show that the government was very much aware of the correlation between rehabilitation and reset­ tlement policies on the one hand and the construction of an industrialised, socially more equitable, and more affluent society on the other. In particular, the refugee camps around Delhi and in Punjab, some of which had gradually transmuted into permanent settlements, functioned as ‘model towns’ for the new Indian society. They were planned as paradig­ matic experiments and intended to serve as archetypes for the new ­Indian cities. Refugee camps were supposed to be places where women could re­ alise their “desire for economic independence”,48 where physical and non-­ physical education for children was “free and compulsory”,49 where a “well-equipped library” was frequented by children who “come and read during spare time” and all medical needs were taken care of by modern hospitals.50 In Delhi, it was soon discovered that the provision of relief and security for incoming refugees was not only a huge task for the state admin­ istration, but also a political resource that could be used to implement con­ flicting visions of social order and collective identity. As such, the refugees were a sort of raw material in the competitive arena of postcolonial politics and social engineering, and were vied for not only by the state but also by oppositional political forces, domestic and international social activists, as well as religious organisations. The RSS was one of the players in this arena, seeking to maximise its influence over the definition and implementation of its own version of India after colonialism. Obviously, this version was significantly different from Nehru’s secularism and his integrative approach to religious diversity. The RSS confronted the postcolonial state authorities with a multifaceted strategy, on the one hand targeting the remaining Muslim population of Delhi with verbal threats, aggressive molesting, and open violence, and on the other seeking to recruit new supporters among the incoming Sikh and Hindu refugees.

98  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ A primary target of RSS agitation and violence was the mixed neighbour­ hoods in the city, where Hindus, Muslims, and others had lived together before the outbreak of the killings. The broader context of this violence was a generally deteriorating situation, in particular in September 1947 and the subsequent months. The responsibility for the soaring violence in the city thus not only lay in “communal [i.e. inter-religious] hatred”, but also in the economic displacement of large sections of the urban population, the con­ tinuous influx of large numbers of refugees without adequate infrastructure to receive them, the general scarcity of food, labour unrest, the frequent curfews that impaired the city’s economic life, and the “preoccupation of the administration in suppressing communal frenzy”.51 The RSS contributed to a significant extent to this preoccupation of po­ lice and administrative forces by deliberately worsening the general condi­ tions in the city and turning the lives of Muslim families, who had decided not to leave Delhi, literally into a nightmare. Shri Jugal Kishore Khanna, between August and October 1947 Special Magistrate at Delhi Railway ­Station, where thousands of refugees flocked into the city, and then Deputy Secretary of the Constituent Assembly, recalled years later: The R.S.S. people organised themselves and took prominent part in or­ ganising arson, looting, murders in mixed localities. For instance, I am personally aware of the happenings in Bazar Sita Ram, it was a mixed locality and the number of Muslims killed was quite considerable in that area. Similarly in Karol Bagh, quite a large number of ­Muslims were butchered and unfortunately, there was a feeling in Delhi at that time that Mr. M.S. Randhawa, the then Deputy Commissioner of Delhi, secretly encouraged R.S.S. people and Hindu Sabhites. I do not believe it was true but I must admit that he was influenced somehow on account of the happenings which had occurred in Pakistan to Hindus.52 Also in Punjab, the RSS was involved in incidents of arson, setting fire to Muslim houses and killing their inhabitants. Local residents even docu­ mented police assistance in these crimes.53 In Ajmer in Rajasthan, the RSS was the main organiser of local riots against Muslims and systematically marked and destroyed the shops of Muslim traders.54 The RSS called for the remaining Muslims to be expelled altogether from India. In Delhi, the RSS demanded from the government that “Delhi Muslims […] be evacuated” and cynically objected to the rehabilitation of local Muslims.55 At least as difficult as the open violence for the state authorities to handle were the propaganda efforts undertaken by the RSS to challenge the state’s information policy and, hence, the state’s authority to define and interpret the ongoing occurrences in the city and restore law and order. The severe damage done by misinformation and rumours had already been a major issue during the months before Partition. As the British colonial government was not effectively suppressing the spread of misinformation,

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  99 people opposing the RSS organised themselves in their own neighbour­ hoods to exchange first-hand information and founded initiatives to pro­ mote peaceful coexistence between the religious communities. In Karol Bagh, for example, a major task of the local “Peace Committee” was to refute the misinformation and rumours and thus prevent the violence they were meant to provoke. In a circular, the Committee appealed “to everyone in the locality not to be carried away by false rumours and not to believe any news that [is] spread except by those of the Committee who would commu­ nicate to them the latest correct and authentic news”.56 On 26 August 1947, barely twelve days after independence, posters were put up in numerous places in Old Delhi announcing that on 30 August all remaining Muslims in Delhi would be slaughtered. In connection with this incident, several local leaders of the RSS were arrested. But according to the Chief Commissioner of Delhi Province, they were released after half an hour by order of the Congress High Command. Local Muslims as well as Hindus had meanwhile informed staff members of the US embassy in Delhi that the RSS played a leading role in the spurring of Hindu and Sikh mobs.57 Of course, the RSS was not the only organisation that made use of posters. Police forces were repeatedly confronted with the devastating consequences of offensive messages and accusations on such posters, in particular in mixed neighbourhoods.58 But there was little doubt that the RSS, which had considerable resources at its disposal, including its own publication office, printing facilities, and sophisticated communication strategies, which also targeted government servants and other state employees, counted among the culprits. As part of its elaborate propaganda measures in the midst of mass vio­ lence, the RSS accused Muslims in Delhi as well as in Punjab of illegally stockpiling weapons in huge underground arsenals in preparation for major armed conflict against Sikhs and Hindus. According to this propaganda, the “disturbances” in Delhi, i.e. the harassment and killing of Muslims by the RSS and other armed groups, were no more than a reaction to the atrocities committed by Muslims in West-Punjab “and to the possession of quantities of illegal arms by Muslims. They were aggravated by the resistance that was put up by the Muslims against the Delhi authorities in the maintenance of law and order”.59 According to the RSS’s “well-informed circles”, Muslims had “some underground ammunition factories” in the Subzi Mandi area in Delhi, including a workshop with an oil engine and a number of machines for the production of bombs and shells.60 This information policy of the RSS was not limited to Delhi but also im­ plemented in other smaller towns in Northern India. When Govind Sahai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of the United Provinces and lead­ ing member of the Congress Party, returned from a tour to Dehradun and Saharanpur, he reported that the RSS “has a sinister design and is making great capital out of the unfortunate communal disturbances in the coun­ try [and is] engaged in a most subtle propaganda with the definite object

100  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ of undermining the present Government and strengthening itself”. After interviews with former RSS volunteers and commandants, Sahai had the impression that the violent outbursts contributed to the growth of the RSS “and there is an unconscious pro-Sangh attitude in the Hindu middle class and intelligentsia”. The physical violence against Muslims and in particular the propaganda war “will lead to half-hearted loyalty amongst Government servants, confusion in the public and ultimately to ruin and devastation of the country through war”.61 The impact of propaganda on government servants in particular was a warning signal to the state leaders. This propaganda was in explicit contra­ diction of the official political effort to establish a secular state that would not favour one particular religious community but rather enhance inter-­ religious reconciliation. Already in late September 1947, the President of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC), the central decision-making body of the ruling Congress Party, received a letter from the New Delhi D ­ istrict Congress Committee complaining that the police in the city, including the Police Department and leading police officers, had taken on inter-religious hatred. As many of these police officers came from provinces where their families were suffering from inter-religious violence, “they can not be ex­ pected to deal all fairly and impartially”. Some of these police forces “openly connive at arson and loot and in some cases also encourage it. In some po­ lice stations, policemen are given share in the looted property”.62 According to the Delhi District Congress Committee, the Special Police Force, set up to contain the endemic violence in the city, was inefficient and actually did more harm than good and should be replaced as soon as pos­ sible. In their view, the RSS propaganda had been underestimated in its impact. As a consequence, there had so far been no systematic effort by the Government and the Congress Party to counter the propaganda and false rumours of the RSS.63 Even Congress workers themselves used ­Congress structures to spread false news and thus actively assist in inciting hatred against Muslims.64 Given the growing confusion among the Congress ­Party’s own workers about the Party’s policy, a clear-cut programme and concrete countermeasures were urgently needed. The Congress Government was also urged by other party organisations in Delhi to recognise that the Special Police Force in the city was indeed a ma­ jor hindrance to the coexistence of Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. As a conse­ quence, this force should either be disbanded or reconstituted. In addition, immediate counter-propaganda was called for against anti-­secular forces in the form of daily news-sheets and a daily broadcast of fifteen minutes bet­ ween 7 and 9 pm.65 These reports and letters to the ­Government also pointed out that local state authorities differed significantly in their political orien­ tation and therefore did not always share the Central ­Government’s com­ mitment to secularism. Besides the RSS, it was alleged that the land-owning caste of Hindus around Delhi as well as a particular “section of the services, both civil and military, having close links with the RSS and the [Sikh] Akali

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  101 Party” were also trying to “undermine the National Government with a view to strengthening reaction in the Government”.66 Meanwhile, the Con­ gress measures to restore peace between Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims in Delhi were less than successful. On 26 September, Lord Mountbatten and Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel had to inform Nehru that these measures had so far been unsuccessful, and propaganda vans deployed by the govern­ ment to encourage inter-religious amity had nearly been mobbed.67

The RSS in relief work Besides the battlefield of propaganda and public (mis)information, the RSS developed another strategy to hamper the government’s policies: refugee re­ lief work. In contrast to the national authorities, the RSS interpreted this relief work as an act of Hindu solidarity against the alleged enemies of its imagined Hindu nation. Compared to the total scale of the refugee prob­ lem in Delhi and other parts of Northern India, the RSS’s contributions to refugee relief were insignificant. Politically, however, these activities were important and functioned primarily as propaganda measures to increase pressure on the government and actively promulgate the RSS’s views on postcolonial Indian society and its ‘Muslim enemies’. About three years after Partition, when the disturbances in Bengal gave rise to a second wave of mass migration between India and Pakistan, the RSS described the conditions inside a small refugee camp it ran in Dum Dum in the city of Calcutta for around 200 both male and female refugees. The actual living conditions of refugees in the numerous camps in Northern India varied. Archival material on these camps as well as interviews with witnesses show that, due to the general lack of material resources and the immense scale of the problem, life in these camps was determined by depri­ vation, hunger, disastrous hygienic conditions, a lack of health care, and few employment opportunities.68 The difficulties persisted not only during the first few months after independence, but also for several years. Living con­ ditions were even worse for those refugees who could not be accommodated inside the camps. The RSS report published in July 1950, however, shows the propagandis­ tic function that relief work acquired for this organisation.69 The descrip­ tion of the camp contains several central elements of the Hindu nationalist rhetoric such as a casteless society integrating all Hindus and Sikhs irre­ spective of their original community, birth status, or caste affiliation. But it also contains idealising comments on economic and social development such as access to education for all, flourishing small-scale entrepreneurship among the refugees etc. that can also be found in government publications on relief and rehabilitation. The government, for its part, was well aware of the connection between re­ lief work and ideological struggle. When Nehru received reports from West Bengal about relief workers who in the course of their work were apparently

102  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ favouring Hindus and discriminating against Muslim refugees, he used this opportunity for clarification of the general principles of refugee work and the importance of the right ideology: [In our relief and rehabilitation work] we are relying, more than ever, on our governmental apparatus. That of course is inevitable. But no govern­ment, not even an autocratic government and certainly not a democratic one, can function without popular support. Behind that popular support must be some ideology. (…) The only ideology that we can hold on to, as far as I can see, is the Congress ideology. Opposite to it is the communal ideology on the one hand and the communist on the other. So far as the communists are concerned, we are more or less at war with them. If we make compromises with the communal ideology, we uproot ourselves and not only go in a wrong direction but gradually fade away. Thus it becomes essential in dealing with a situation to be perfectly clear in our minds about the ideology we are pursuing and to make this clear to others, who are instruments of our work.70 Refugee relief work was thus not only done out of concern for the fate of refugees, but was also an integral part of an ideological as well as political struggle in which the national elites, local party cadres, communists, and Hindu nationalists competed for the power to implement their visions of a postcolonial society. In this struggle, the refugees actually functioned as a sort of raw material out of which the new nation would be formed. Already in April 1947, four months before the Partition of the country, the RSS had set up the so-called “Hindu Sahayata Samiti” with the objec­ tive of organising Hindus “so that they could put up defence against any oppression that comes upon them from various quarters”.71 In May, the RSS in Delhi started to collect clothes and money to be sent to P ­ unjab to assist Hindu refugees.72 When Hindus and Sikhs started migrating from this area to Delhi, the Samiti opened several refugee relief centres in the city as well as in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi. During the peak times of refugee immigration, the RSS organised two small refugee camps, one near Delhi railway station, where most of the refugees arrived, and one in the area of Subzi Mandi in Old Delhi. According to RSS sources, the camps accommodated around 500 refugees per day. RSS workers received the refugees directly on the railway platform and brought them to their camps. The RSS repeatedly criticised the government’s “indifference and gross neglect of this public duty”, for which it “owe[d] an explanation to the Hindu public”.73 At the same time, the RSS and other religious nationalist affiliations or­ ganised relief work in Delhi to assist the Hindu and Sikh refugees in Punjab. As winter approached in October 1947, the RSS launched door-to-door cam­ paigns to collect warm clothing.74 The Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform move­ ment, ran a refugee camp on Palwal south of Delhi and received material

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  103 aid from the Indian Red Cross to improve its provision of food, cooking utensils, and clothing.75 Both the Arya Samaj and the RSS used their refugee camps for a number of purposes. First, these refugee camps were recruitment locations for new followers for their organisations. The active assistance provided for a small number of Hindu and Sikh refugees in the form of relief was an effective strategy for these organisations to turn their abstract ideology of a Hindu nation into a concrete, perceivable experience. This in turn was meant to ex­ pand their membership. Due to its political character, the RSS’s relief work can thus more aptly be described as canvassing work rather than the provi­ sion of humanitarian services in a classical sense.76 Second, in particular, the RSS organised physical and ideological instruc­ tion inside the camps. Refugees, generally deprived of their employment and uprooted from their original social context, were a promising audience for physical drill and ideological indoctrination, which the RSS usually under­took during the regular meetings at its local branches. Third, the RSS sought to use its refugee work for broader propagandistic purposes in Delhi and elsewhere. In speeches, newspapers, and broadcasts, the RSS repeatedly referred to its contributions to relief work, which it saw as the dawn of a new national solidarity among all Hindus. For the govern­ ment and its secular self-perception, these efforts were a major challenge to the implementation of what it saw as its legitimate state ideology. In particu­ lar, the increasingly blurred boundaries between Hindu nationalist ideology and agitation on the one hand and the state’s own bureaucrats and police forces on the other was a major problem that characterised the whole initial phase of India’s postcolonial history.

Mounting contradictions: the implementation of the ban The catalyst for the ban on the RSS was Gandhi’s assassination on 30  ­January 1948 at the Birla House in New Delhi. Gandhi was shot by ­Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist activist from Pune in Maharashtra, Western India, who had once also been an active RSS member. Although the RSS released a statement in Bombay immediately after Gandhi’s mur­ der, purporting that the alleged assassin had “never [been] connected with the RSS” and that the RSS would “mourn this national calamity (…) by closing [the RSS] centres for 13 days”,77 the organisation could not prevent government action against it. For the history and the development of India’s secularism as a consti­ tutional principle and a paradigm for state action, Gandhi’s assassination was indeed an important threshold. Yasmin Khan has argued that the crackdown against the RSS and the subsequent “pro-secular propaganda and educational drive (…) guaranteed the ascendancy of secularism and demo­cracy as the legitimate ideological foundation on the Indian state and its constitutional and legal status”.78 In particular, the public reaction to

104  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ Gandhi’s assassination supposedly “made a decisive difference in the re­ ception of state-centric articulation of secularism by inscribing power in a particular idiom at a time when alternative Hindu nationalist formations had been far from discredited”.79 The details of the implementation of the RSS ban and the history of the RSS after the ban paint a somewhat different picture. This history contains striking contradictions at virtually all levels of government bureaucracy, a half-hearted commitment to persecuting the anti-secular tendencies among RSS followers as well as its wider circles of sympathisers, and a general difficulty distinguishing between the legitimate ‘secular’ and its illegitimate ‘other’. In spite of the strong commitment of select government members, in particular Prime Minister Nehru himself, Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and others, these contra­ dictions remained an underlying feature of the early years after India’s inde­ pendence and could not be resolved. As an immediate consequence of Gandhi’s assassination and the publica­ tion of biographical details of his murderer, Godse, including his former ac­ tivities in the RSS, the Hindu nationalist organisations themselves became a target of violence. In particular in Western India, a traditional stronghold of Hindu nationalist organisations, the infrastructure as well as leading per­ sonalities within the RSS and the All-India Hindu Mahasabha (AIHMS, or HMS) were attacked. In Shivaji Park in Bombay, a crowd of around a thousand people attacked the home of V.D. Savarkar, a leading ideologue of Hindu nationalism. When the local government sent police forces to repulse the increasingly aggressive crowd, the situation escalated to open violence. In other parts of Bombay such as Dadar-Mahim, the police opened fire more than ten times to disperse the angry protesters.80 In Pune, the private residence of the AIHMS leader L.B. Bhopatkar was damaged.81 In numer­ ous places all over India including Bombay, Kolhapur, Ichalkaranji, Nasik, Belgaum, Satara, Madura, and Calcutta, crowds of from a few hundred to a thousand people attacked local offices and the personal property of RSS and AIHMS members. In Sangli, a town south of Bombay, a mob of around a thousand people burned down different buildings including mills in vari­ ous parts of the city. The crowd specifically targeted shops and buildings known to belong to HMS members.82 Offices of local and national news­ papers such as The Organiser, the RSS mouthpiece, or Kal, a Delhi paper advocating HMS views, were attacked or set on fire.83 Government policy on these organisations before Gandhi’s assassination had at best been contradictory. On the one hand, the Home Ministry to­ gether with select provincial governments, in particular the government of the United Provinces, had started to tighten their measures against these organisations even before Gandhi’s murder, primarily because Nehru, to whom the RSS was “a private army (…) definitely proceeding on the strict­ est Nazi lines”,84 had pressured them to become more active. Already in September 1947, Nehru had complained to his Home Minister, ­Vallabhbhai Patel, that “while the connection of the R.S.S. with these disturbances

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  105 [i.e. the inter-religious violence] is fairly well known, still noted members of the R.S.S. were appointed as special magistrates and special police officers”. While the police had sufficient information against the RSS and several vio­ lent Sikh gangs, there “appears to be a lacuna somewhere and the delay in taking action which should have been initiated long ago. Why this has hap­ pened I do not know”.85 In late December, Nehru again complained about inactivity within the executive, this time to Govind Ballabh Pant, Chief Minister of the United Provinces.86 Before Gandhi’s murder, the United Provinces implemented a policy that RSS members should not hold any position in the government. The police confiscated pistols, hand grenades, and bombs possessed by the RSS, which it internally considered a private army and thus illegal.87 Four days before the fatal shots were fired on the Mahatma, the Home Ministry in Delhi is­ sued a warning addressed to all government servants not to participate in RSS activities or aid the organisation in any other way as this would consti­ tute an infringement of the “Government Servants Conduct Rules” that the British had once formulated. These rules prohibited government servants from playing any direct or indirect role in “political developments [which] excite disaffection against or embarrass the Government as by law estab­ lished or to promote feeling of hatred or enmity among different classes of his Majesty’s subjects or to disturb the public peace”.88 Some of the reasons for the delay in vigorous action and the government’s ambiguous behaviour until January 1948 lay within the Home Ministry as well as the Delhi administration, which was legally under the responsibility of the Home Ministry. There existed a strong antagonism between Nehru and his Deputy, Home Minister Patel, which gave rise to severe contradic­ tions within the administration. According to Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the situation was further complicated by competing loyalties among the bu­ reaucrats to Nehru and Azad on the one side and to Patel on the other and a weak Chief Commissioner, the Muslim Sahibzada Khurshed Ahmed, who was hesitant to take action against Hindu nationalists.89 The result of this situation was unclear orders, internal conflicts, and overall inefficiency due to the absence of anything that could be called a coherent approach. During the first few months after Partition, these contradictions culmi­ nated in a conspicuous show of passivity of the national and local admin­ istration in relation to the RSS. This passivity granted the organisation significant time and space to prepare its disastrous campaigns and propa­ ganda against Muslims and secular forces. Patel espoused a version of ‘sec­ ular’ policy significantly different from Nehru’s, in particular in relation to the role of Muslims in independent India and the RSS in Indian society. The accusation of ‘communal bias’ – in other words, the favouring of one particular religious community over members of another – was a cen­ tral political and legal accusation against the RSS after Gandhi’s murder. But these controversies also turned against Muslims within the state struc­ tures by challenging their loyalty to the Indian nation due to their religious

106  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ beliefs. Particularly within the civil service, the question of Muslim loyalty to the Indian state became a widely discussed topic.90 Rather than dis­ pelling this criticism against Muslims and supporting their integration into an Indian collective identity, Patel supported these allegations: “Muslims should search their conscience and ascertain if they are really loyal to this country. If they are not let them go to the country of their allegiance”.91 As early as September 1947, the Maharaja of Faridkot, a Sikh princely state in Punjab, claimed that in a personal conversation Patel had favoured the “evacuation” of all Muslims from Delhi and had expressed personal “satisfaction” about this plan.92 As regards the RSS, however, Patel imple­ mented a more than conciliatory policy. In his view, RSS followers were “not thieves and dacoits. They are patriots who love their country. Only their trend of thought is diverted. They are to be won over by Congressmen by love”.93 However, this deflective argumentation became a problem for Patel, too, when the RSS’s active role in promoting violence in Delhi and elsewhere could no longer be denied: I have received complaints against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. If so many complaints are received, the Sangh should realise that there must be something wrong. I appreciate the enthusiasm of young men, but that should be diverted into constructive channels.94 But still no further consequences were taken. Even after Gandhi’s assassi­ nation, and in spite of the subsequent ban, Patel continued his conciliatory policy towards the RSS although he was aware that the Home Ministry’s own reports did “confirm that, as a result of the activities of [the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha], particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy [i.e. Gandhi’s murder] be­ came possible”. The RSS thus “constituted a clear threat to the existence of govern­ment and the state”.95 In his view, though, political integration was the best way to deal with this organisation. In September 1948, after the RSS had already been illegal for more than seven months, he invited its members to “carry on their patriotic endeavour (…) by joining the Congress”.96 In contrast to Nehru, Maulana Azad, and others, Patel saw the future of RSS members as an integrated part of the Congress rather than excluded from party and state structures. Initially, the government’s implementation of the RSS ban was indeed impressive and hit the RSS structures hard. While estimates are vague in terms of the total number of RSS members arrested during the 18-month ban, RSS sources claim that around 20,000 members were arrested and detained for various lengths of time during the first few months of the ban.97 However, given that the membership of the whole organisation had reached a new peak in January 1948, with around 5 million members par­ ticipating more or less regularly in its daily physical drill and ideological

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  107 98

instruction, even this figure was fairly modest. A more meaningful pic­ ture is provided by looking at the way in which the legal ban was practically implemented. The ban ruled that “all places which are used for purposes of the Sangh and action consequential to such notification be taken (…) All leaders and active workers of the Sangh should be arrested and detained (…) Their houses and offices be searched”.99 The Home Ministry specified later that these provisions related especially to activities such as physical drill, hold­ ing camps, and parades, wearing uniforms along “semi-­m ilitary lines” and so forth.100 During the weeks following Gandhi’s assassination, Muslim extremist organisations such as the Muslim League National Guards were also accused of having violated the secular state ethos and thus declared unlawful and their members and structures prosecuted.101 Right from the beginning of the ban, the police possessed relatively de­ tailed information about hundreds of RSS workers including their bio­ graphical background, residential addresses, their educational background and profession, as well as activities outside the organisation.102 Based on this data, around 1,000 leaders of the RSS and the HMS in Delhi, the United Provinces, and elsewhere in Northern India were arrested and remained under police custody for some time.103 In various violence-torn parts of Delhi such as Kamla Bhawan, Kamla Nagar, and Subzi Mandi, the po­ lice took over the most important premises of the RSS including the Latifi Press Building. This location had previously been used by the organisation as a publishing house for The Organiser, its English mouthpiece, and other regular and irregular publications. At Naya Bazar, the police confiscated a building used by the RSS as a sort of central library.104 The magistrates in Delhi and other cities were well aware that a signi­ ficant number of “RSS workers” had gone underground after the ban was launched and would continue their activities, for example within a new po­ litical party with the innocuous name of “National Democratic Party”.105 Some of these underground workers continued targeting Hindu and Sikh refugees and portraying the ban as a deliberate act of the government against all Hindus. Muslims, by contrast, were favoured, they claimed, and allowed to return to Delhi, where thousands of Hindu refugees were still homeless and unemployed. In the words of the Inspector General of Delhi Police only three months after the initiation of the ban: The R.S.S.S. [i.e. RSS] workers are also reported to have started work­ ing among the Hindus subterraneously. According to them the Sangh workers did meritorious services during the communal flare up in the Punjab and thus helped a lot to save thousands of Hindu women and children to fall victim to the Muslim fury and it is for this reason that the Punjab Hindus are greatly in obligation to them and are support­ ing their cause. It is expected that a large number of refugees will be sympathetic towards the Sangh workers in Delhi as the hatred which

108  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ had suddenly developed against them on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi is gradually fading away.106 As decisive as these first steps by the government against the RSS had been, the following months were typified by half-hearted measures, inconsistent prosecution, and unclear directives within the executive. One of the main problems was that the executive had no clear instructions as to how to pro­ ceed against RSS followers and how to distinguish between different de­ grees of involvement. Consequently, RSS workers already identified and detained were released again.107 In August 1948, Keshab Chandra, President of the Punjab Hindu ­Mahasabha and Financial Secretary of the national umbrella organisation (AIHMS), confirmed to US diplomats that the RSS had been revived and would continue as an “auxiliary of the Mahasabha and its successor politi­ cal group”.108 According to RSS insiders, the government had taken severe action against the organisation’s infrastructure and that a total number of 80,000 arrests had been made by late December 1948. Nevertheless, the RSS still managed to keep its members even under the restrictive circumstances of the ban. It did so, it was claimed, by maintaining informal sports pro­ grammes, and social groups and “cultural and historical groups” continued as they had before the ban. In many places Hindu men would meet at 5 pm to play “traditional” Hindu games, eat together afterwards, and discuss ­Indian historical, cultural, and political subjects.109 The govern­ment meas­ ures failed to effectively undermine the informal, non-public social net­ works of the RSS, and thus allowed the organisation not only to maintain its functions during the ban but also to recover fairly quickly after the ban was lifted in July 1949.

Lack of political will To a large extent, the problem was related to a lack of political will. In the beginning of December 1948, RSS activities were on the increase again.110 The national leader of the organisation, M.S. Golwalkar, had used its limi­ ted freedom during his stay in Delhi to revitalise the organisation. Explain­ ing this development later, the Chief Commissioner of Delhi recalled that the prohibition of the RSS had led to an absurd situation in Delhi: The R.S.S. had been declared an illegal organisation, but not a single member of it was behind bars in Delhi. On the contrary, the Communist party had not been declared illegal, but a very large number of its mem­ bers were behind bars.111 For a long time, the city administration had remained reluctant in its in­ vestigation and prosecution of RSS activities and organisational structures. Nehru, who had admonished the Home Ministry that the situation in Delhi

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  109 required “particular care, not only because Delhi is the capital but also be­ cause it is the centre for such activities”,112 once again pressured the city au­ thorities to become more active. When Home Minister Patel returned from a trip to Hyderabad, the city administration finally initiated some investiga­ tion into the financing of the RSS in Delhi and its leading personnel. This investigation came to the conclusion that the RSS’s hard-core vol­ unteers numbered no more than 3000 people, equipped with a total fund­ ing of 200,000–300,000 rupees. Based on its far-reaching executive powers, Delhi police arrested around 200 previously identified persons who were suspected of financing the RSS and providing food and shelter to its volun­ teers. Between 10 and 12 of them had to be released again immediately after arrest. Home Minister Patel was confronted with allegations concerning the use of unconstitutional methods by the local administration in Delhi.113 Throughout the following weeks, the police arrested, released, and rear­ rested RSS demonstrators in order to put a stop to its activities at least in the most prominent public places in the city. It was indeed successful in this cat-and-mouse game, albeit briefly. Among the arrested leaders of the RSS was its chief in Delhi, Lala Hans Raj Gupta, the General Secretary, Prabhakar Balwant Dani, and other local leaders.114 Beyond Delhi, the police arrested around 300 RSS activists – and released 160 of them again – in Madras including a former police clerk, students, teachers, and a clerk of the Reserve Bank of India. It used tear gas and “lathi charges”, i.e. bamboo sticks to disperse pro-RSS demonstrations. In other cities such as Salem, Bangalore, and Mysore, 32 RSS workers were arrested and sentenced to six weeks in prison and a fine of 50 rupees.115 The executive forces were somewhat more resolute in the prosecution of the RSS’s propaganda machinery that had caused enormous harm dur­ ing  the inter-religious violence after Partition. Initially, the police had no clear picture about the publishing activities of the organisation and tried to find out where its publications were produced and who the responsible news agencies were. The RSS ran its own news agency in Delhi, called “­ Hindustan Samachar Delhi”, situated in the office of the daily Bharat ­Varash inside the historic walled city, close to Delhi Gate.116 This agency issued daily vernacular bulletins about the day-to-day activities of the RSS at different places around the country and about its ideological views on politics and minorities. To remain undiscovered from the police, the RSS developed a complex system of telephone operators across India who exchanged their information about RSS activities in enciphered reports and then forwarded the accumulated information to the news agency in Delhi. What exacerbated the problems implementing the ban were unclear political guidelines as well as vague definitions as to which religious, so­ cial, and political activities ought to be considered legitimate or illegiti­ mate. Although the Constituent Assembly had decided in April 1948 that so-called communal organisations should be prevented from engaging in activities “other than [those] essential for the bona fide religious, cultural,

110  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ social and educational needs of the community”, it was far from clear what this meant in practice. For the police, the city magistrates, and other state bodies it was “for several reasons [difficult] to draw at this stage a clear line ­between religious, cultural, social and educational activities [which may be termed non-political] on the one hand and other activities [which may be termed political] on the other”.117 As a consequence, the city authorities formulated a series of improvised guidelines. Government officials as well as the police were instructed not to take any notice of “petitions or representations” on political matters by organisations such as the RSS, to deny any interview to leaders of these organisations who “wish to make representations on political matters”, and to refuse any government grants-in-aid or patronage to “communal organ­ isations which indulge in political activities”.118 These guidelines, of course, could not solve the practical difficulties with which government officers, local magistrates, and the police were confronted. The arrests, releases, and rear­ rests, the inconsistent prosecution of RSS cadres, and the haphazard courses of action decided by the executive were caused by the general difficulty in distinguishing between legitimate, “non-political” religious, cultural, and social activities on the one hand and illegitimate “political” actions which violated the secular character of the state and its policies on the other. For their part, organisations such as the RSS used the categories “religious” and “cultural” in order to elude state sanctions by making strategic use of the fuzzy terrain between constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of religion and illegal policies of hatred and aggression against religious minorities.

Government employees and the RSS The heightened interest of the police and Delhi administration in the RSS before and during the ban allows us today to reconstruct a few details about the social and economic background of its supporters. When the RSS launched a mobilisation campaign (satyagraha) including “direct action” and “civil disobedience”, around 9 December 1948, to pro­ test against the ban and the persecution of its members, the police arrested 1,594 RSS workers, of whom 1,235 were held for participation in illegal pub­ lic demonstrations. The police’s “occupational analysis” of the detained RSS members concluded “that the movement has not affected the peasants or the labourers”.119 Rather, the police observed that a few hundred refugees joined the demonstrations, but the refugees as a class have kept out of the movement. The balance is largely made up of students of school going age, petty traders and a few Government servants in the ministerial service.120 The RSS continued making use of posters and “news-sheets” to undermine the loyalty of the police and the defence forces to the secular state.121

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  111 Similar documentation on Madhya Bharat, a central Indian province, showed a comparable picture. Most of the RSS leaders in this province who were “detained, convicted or under trial” prior to 10 January 1949 belonged to the liberal professions or the state administration, including “teachers, lawyers and civil servants”. Among the total number of 2,320 cases there were 153 government servants, 602 students and 1,565 “other[s]”. However, the number of persons actually under detention was only 122.122 In any case, state employees were an important group among the suspected RSS followers. The problem of sympathy or even open support for the RSS among govern­ment servants was a matter of exceptional concern for the state, right from the day the ban came into force. In order to achieve a democratic, sec­ ular political culture, the active cooperation and initiative of state bureau­ crats was paramount. Government servants were the Achilles’ heel of a state whose leading politicians had decided for it to be secular and thus balanced towards all religious communities. The administration’s para­meter was thus on the one hand a political attitude. It wanted its servants to reject Hindu nationalism as an ideology and actively support the secular, integrative pro­ gramme of the constitution. On the other hand, the state’s official standard was a social requirement, which prohibited government servants to parti­ cipate in any public activities of communal organisations. In practice, how­ ever, both of these parameters were difficult to implement. Initial action had been taken against a limited number of government servants right after 12 January 1948. On that day, the Home Ministry is­ sued a circular announcing that persons associated with the RSS “are to be dealt with departmentally on merits”.123 However, the internal investi­ gations quickly faced major obstacles due to a lack of cooperation between the government bodies as well as a lack of clarity about the criteria for deciding who was in fact to be considered an RSS member and should consequently be prosecuted, and what strategies could be used to estab­ lish which government servants shared the RSS’s ideology. In the words of an officer in charge of investigating RSS membership among government personnel: I am afraid the police will not vouchsafe any more illuminating infor­ mation even as a result of the further reference suggested by office. They will at least have only allegations of a general and vague nature to make which will not constitute sufficient material on the basis of which defi­ nite charges could be framed and brought home. Since all the persons concerned have been since released either after tendering [an] apology [for having been a member of the RSS] or without it, I think they may now be reinstated in service.124 Towards the end of the year 1948, when the RSS stepped up its mobilisa­ tion efforts including public demonstrations and protest marches, the

112  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ government was forced to proceed more vigorously against its own staff members loyal to the RSS. To this end, the national authorities in Delhi specified that government servants found to be participating in RSS acti­ vities would be “immediately suspended and dealt with departmentally”. ­Police authorities must immediately communicate information about ar­ rests of state employees to the heads of office. Even watching RSS gather­ ings from a distance would from now on be interpreted as an expression of sympathy with RSS and would render them liable to de­ partmental action. (…) Careful watch should be kept on suspended members of the RSS amongst Government servants to prevent or detect cases of leakages of information and to find out if they are actually members. Should it indeed be discovered that a servant was a member, “drastic ac­ tion” should be taken “immediately”.125 Together with the provinces, the national government pushed for a consensus that “no consideration what­ soever” should be shown to government servants convicted of participating in RSS activities, as “any consideration shown to them would destroy the whole fabric of administration”.126 The action taken in practice, however, was far less spectacular. Ques­ tioned in Parliament on 20 December 1949 about whether there had been any government servants among the “R.S.S. Satyagraha convicts”, Home Minister Patel admitted that there were “some”, but refused to give any concrete figures.127 A year earlier during the initial stage of the ban, the police had arrested a total number of 278 government servants for their in­ volvement in RSS activities, of whom 167 were convicted, 41 detained and 15 more brought to trial. By March 1949, a total number of 2,020 persons had been arrested, among them 287 government servants as well as 605 ref­ ugees, though a significant number of them were “discharged and released after tendering [an] apology” to the authorities.128 What changed during these weeks, though, was the share of detained RSS followers actually imprisoned for their offences.129 The state prac­ tice of prosecuting these illegal actions had thus become more restrictive. Finding himself under increasing political pressure to be more transpar­ ent and concrete in this matter, Home Minister Patel reported in February that throughout India around 960 government employees had so far been arrested in connection with RSS activities, of whom 487 were indeed con­ victed and 316 dismissed from service. When asked how many people work­ ing in government services were actually “sympathising with the RSS”, the Home Minister replied that this was difficult to estimate. When a member of parliament asked the Home Minister, alluding to Patel’s own more than ambiguous relationship with the RSS, whether there were any “[RSS] sym­ pathizers in the Cabinet”, the House reacted with loud laughter.130

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  113

After the ban When the ban on the RSS was finally lifted on 12 July 1949, the problem of loyalty to the organisation remained an issue for the ‘secular’ state. The decision to end the ban was basically the result of a series of attempts made by “well-wishers and members” during the months after December 1948.131 Since that time, the Hindu papers as well as the Hindu refugee press had repeatedly demanded that the ban be lifted132 and had accused the govern­ ment of using the terms “secular” and “communal” to suppress the voices of the opposition.133 RSS members in Delhi had gone on a hunger strike in order to increase pressure on the government.134 Political activists affiliated with the RSS had even contacted the US embassy, requesting US authorities to persuade the Indian government to lift the ban, which the Indian govern­ ment denied.135 In the end, however, Home Minister Patel demanded a written and pub­ lished constitution of the RSS to restrict its activities to the sphere of culture and profess loyalty to the democratic Constitution of India.136 In spite of severe concerns among the Muslims in Delhi and elsewhere, for sympathis­ ers the lifting of the ban “came none too soon and at a time when Hindu opinion had begun to get exasperated at the delay”.137 The concerns of Muslims were shared by some within the city administra­ tion of Delhi as well as at the national level. H.V.R. Iyengar, a high-ranking bureaucrat in the Indian Civil Service and later Governor of the Indian Re­ serve Bank, questioned to what extent, after the ban was lifted, it was again possible for a government servant to take part in RSS activities. In his view, experience in the past had shown that such an organisation would not keep aloof from political activities.138 The Delhi police did its utmost to mitigate such concerns.139 In fact, right after the ban was lifted, the RSS started spreading its or­ ganisational network again, in the cities as well as in rural areas.140 Its methods of military drill and ideological instruction were continued in the same manner as before the ban and also the infrastructure as well as its organisational capabilities recovered quickly during the following months. By August 1951, a little more than two years after the ban, the RSS had again become a regular feature of public life in Delhi. According to its own census, around 3,500 RSS volunteers met during the morning meetings and around 1,500 in the evenings.141 Another two years later, the police counted 41 RSS branches (shakhas) in Delhi, in which regular military drills as well as ideological instruction were practised.142 In numerical terms, the RSS in Delhi was indeed significantly weaker than before the ban. But the social and political issues that had motivated government action against the RSS such as the propagation of “political” and anti-secular worldviews, their ap­ peal to government employees, students and better-educated middle-class Indians, and the RSS’s active support of violence against minorities and secular forces had not been resolved. Rather, the opposite was the case.

114  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ In the Punjab, the police discovered large collections of arms and ammu­ nition at the residences of local RSS cadres, apparently gathered during the mass violence in the aftermath of Partition in 1947.143 In Delhi, the RSS con­ tinued to be involved in numerous incidents of harassment against Muslim residents, though less overtly than before the ban. RSS newspapers quickly revived their pernicious propaganda against Muslims and secular forces, although this was not confined to the Hindu nationalist organisations but a broader trend observed again particularly since the early 1950s.144 And the RSS resumed its organisational work through relief activities as it had done before the ban. During the subsequent months and years, the RSS not only relaunched its relief work in Delhi, but also became active among Hindu refugees in West Bengal, Bihar, and Madras Province, sponsored food relief campaigns in Bihar in 1954, organised relief work among flood-affected ar­ eas in Punjab in 1955, and assisted Hindu victims of a cyclone in Tamil Nadu as well as people affected by an earthquake in Gujarat in 1956.145 As with its refugee work in Delhi before the ban, this social activism was restricted to Hindus and thus sectarian, but it was beyond doubt helpful for the RSS’s quick recovery and expansion during and after Nehru’s era.

Conclusions The conflict between the RSS and the transitional government of India, which was in power until the first general elections in 1952, took place in the midst of mass migration and the outbreak of large-scale violence. As much as Partition was a “defining event”146 for South Asia as a whole, the conflict with the RSS was a defining controversy for India. Whereas Partition established the terms of religious “majority” and “minority” in a truly national sense for Indian politics and society,147 the conflict with the RSS called into ques­ tion long-established, central, dyadic categories of political discourse and social order in India – “political”/“non-political”, “religious”/“secular”, or “communal”/“national” – and their meanings once more became contested. Political decision-makers and the state bureaucracy got involved in a bitter struggle over redefining these categories as a means to stabilise political rule. Of particular relevance in the controversy over the RSS were the catego­ ries of the “secular” and the “political”, over which the government tried to re-establish its hegemony. In Nehru’s understanding, communal organisa­ tions such as the RSS should be excluded from both the secular as well as the political, mainly because they were anti-national. Their claim to represent the interests of a religiously defined majority community undermined the interest of national integration. Nehru explained these central political categories in more detail in a speech in Bangalore towards the end of December 1948, when the government had decided to take more vigorous measures against the RSS: So we have decided not to tolerate communalism any more. It means not merely something that calls itself communalism because some

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  115 movements speak in term of nationalism even though they are hundred per cent communal. We have seen the reaction to it in the encourage­ ment of intense and virulent communalism among the Hindus and Sikhs. We have seen it in the Hindu Mahasabha. We have seen it in the organisation which has thrown a challenge to the Government of India today – the R.S.S.S. So far as I am concerned, I shall repeat to you we shall no more tolerate communalism separatism or disruption.148 In practice, though, the implementation of the ban against ‘communal’ ele­ ments was a challenging endeavour. The state authorities were not only con­ fronted with shifting patterns of loyalty and ideological orientations among their own bureaucrats and executive forces, but also with two different di­ mensions of Hindu nationalism: as a form of social organisation and as an ideology. Whereas the former was relatively easy to prohibit, the latter was more difficult if not impossible to detect. In terms of personal attitudes and (dis)loyalty towards the government, the “secular” and the “communal” were in practice blurred concepts that provided no clear criteria for admin­ istrative sanctioning and legal prosecution. The criteria for distinguishing state secularism from the non-secular were relatively easy to define on pa­ per. In a concrete social and political context, however, these distinctions turned out to be too vague to provide concrete guidelines for state action. The conflict with the RSS also questions two assumptions often made about communalism in India’s early postcolonial history. First, Nehru is usually seen as the central guarantor for secular political practice in this early period of Indian history after independence.149 As the sources in this chapter illustrate, Nehru was personally and politically fully committed to the integration of minorities and a determined struggle against Hindu sec­ tarianism. This central role of Nehru is closely related to his power position, which was virtually undisputed during the late 1940s and 1950s. Chester Bowles, US Ambassador in New Delhi from 1951–1953 to 1963–1969, char­ acterised Nehru’s power in that time as follows: When we first went to India in 1951, Nehru was so much the center of things that it was almost unnecessary for me as the U.S. Ambassador to call on anyone else. He had practically the sole power to make decisions, and he used it without hesitation.150 The story of the RSS ban, however, illustrates that Nehru’s influence on the Delhi state administration and beyond was not as undisputed as it may seem. From the beginning, Nehru took a clear stand on the RSS and com­ munalism, but he appeared isolated in his uncompromising approach. Only Gandhi’s assassination in January 1948 and the renewed cam­ paigns of the RSS in December 1948 provided him with the opportunity to implement a more resolute policy on the RSS. Nehru was constantly confronted with conflicting interests within the administration and the

116  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ executive, a lack of coordination between the state institutions, and the strategic withdrawal of the RSS into private spaces widely inaccessible to state authorities. The second assumption that is questioned by the events concerning the RSS after Partition is the distinction often made between Delhi and the rest of the country.151 After independence, Indian secularism was confronted with the problem that there were hardly any committed secularists among the Chief Ministers of the states. For this reason, as the argument goes, in addition to the contradictory policies of the Congress Party outside the capital city, the implementation of secularism as a state-led project suffered from severe shortcomings in many states. The controversy around the RSS in Delhi, however, shows that Delhi was in fact rather the rule than an excep­ tion. Delhi, together with Punjab, was not only the centre of RSS acti­v ities but also the centre of active and passive police assistance in violence against Muslims, sloppy implementation of sanctions against the RSS, and a sub­ stantial degree of sympathy for Hindu nationalist ideas among government servants. In this respect, Delhi is more of a showcase for the troubled history of state secularism in early postcolonial India than a counter-­example to the sectarianism that impeded politics in the rest of India.

Notes 1 In archival sources the acronym R.S.S.S. is occasionally used for this organisa­ tion, whereas nowadays the shorter form RSS is more common. The meaning, however, is in both cases the same. 2 Government of India, The Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) Debates. Official Report, Vol. V, 1948 (6 April to 9 April, 1948), Second Session of the Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) (New Delhi: Government of India Press, 1948), p. 3573. 3 Ibid., p. 3574. 4 For example Anuradha Dingwaney Needham and Rajeshwari Sunder Rajan (eds.), The Crisis of Secularism in India (Durham, NC, London: Duke ­University Press, 2007). 5 Triloki Nath Madan, “The Case of India”, Daedalus 132/3, Summer 2003, p. 65. 6 Cf. Wiliam Gould, “Contesting Secularism in Colonial and Postcolonial North India Between the 1930s and 1950s”, Contemporary South Asia 14/4, 2005, p. 482. 7 See for example Badrinath Rao, “Between Promises and Performance: A Cri­ tique of Nehru’s Contribution to Secularism in India”, Journal of Asian and African Studies 41/4, 2006, pp. 359–396. 8 On the definition of “secular institutions” in India see Andre Beteille, “Secular­ ism and Intellectuals”, Economic and Political Weekly 29/10, 5 March 1994, p. 562. 9 Vasundhara Sirnate, “The RSS and Citizenship: The Construction of the Mus­ lim Minority Identity in India”, in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Living with Secularism: The Destiny of India’s Muslims (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 233–234. 10 Shefali Jha, “Secularism in the Constituent Assembly Debates, 1946–1950”, Economic and Political Weekly 37/30, 27 July–2 August 2002, pp. 3175–3180. 11 Rochana Bajpai, “Minority Representation and the Making of the Indian Con­ stitution”, in Rajeev Bhargava (ed.), Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  117 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 361. See also in the same vol­ ume Gurpreet Mahajan, “Religion and the Indian Constitution: Questions of Separation and Equality”, pp. 297–310; Rochana Bajpai, “The Conceptual Vo­ cabularies of Secularism and Minority Rights in India”, Journal of Political Ideologies 7/2, 2002, pp. 179–197. 12 Nehru in a broadcast from New Delhi, 19 August 1947; Document repro­ duced in Mushirul Hasan, Nehru’s India: Select Speeches (New Delhi: Oxford ­University Press, 2007), pp. 119–122. 13 William Gould, Religion and Conflict in Modern South Asia (New York: ­Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 170–175. 14 Pralay Kanungo, RSS’s Tryst with Politics: From Hedgewar to Sudarshan (New Delhi: Manohar, 2002), p. 54. 15 NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Reel 13, File 117/13/15. 16 Report “Private Armies”, Secretary, Governor, Central Provinces & Berar, 26  May 1947, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers ­(Microfilm), Reel 13, File 117/13/1-6. The RSS membership for this province was estimated to be 39,000, which made it by far the largest of these “private armies” compared to Azad Hind Dal (8,000), Hindusthan Red Army (1,470), the Muslim National Guards (7,337) and the Samata Sanaik Dal (6,567). 17 Ronald Hyam, Britain’s Declining Empire: The Road to Decolonisation, ­1918–1968 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 114. 18 “Problem of India’s Ex-Soldiers: Their Part in the Riots”, The Manchester Guardian, 16 August 1947, p. 6. 19 Gould, Religion and Conflict, pp. 180–181. 20 Express letter, Home Department to the Chief Commissioners, 9 January 1947, NAI Home Department (Political), 22/3/1947-Poll. (I). 21 Letter, Deputy Secretary to Government, United Provinces, to Homein, 31 ­January 1947, NAI Home Department (Political), 22/3/1947-Poll. (I). 22 These figures have to be interpreted as rough estimates because the govern­ ment sources do not specify what exactly they mean by “membership”. The RSS did not have a formal membership as such. However, what the British colonial authorities registered was on the one hand the number of people participat­ ing in the organisation’s daily drill sessions as well as the number of branches (shakhas) the RSS maintained. See Chief Secretary’s Report, second half of January 1947, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers ­(Microfilm), Reel 15, File 128/94/3. 23 “Private Armies” Report, Secretary to the Governor, Central Provinces & ­Berar, 26 May 1947, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Reel 13, File 117/13/3. 24 Ibid. 25 According to the Secretary to the Governor of the Central Provinces & ­Berar, the “Muslim (League) National Guards” were founded in 1937 by the All-­India Muslim League at its Lucknow session. As of 1 October 1946, when the Guards’ new constitution came into effect, they came under the command of the cen­ tral Muslim League instead of its provincial branches as had previously been the case. According to the British Intelligence Bureau, in summer 1946 the MLNG had a national membership of 91,500, compared to the 100,500 mem­ bers of the RSS. See C.P. Scott, Volunteer Organisations/Private Armies in ­India, 12 April 1947, p. 2, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Reel 13, File 117, Document 1, 1–2. The document contains a hand-­w ritten note at the end which reads as follows: “Ministers are too gentle with private armies, but when the Unionist Ministry in the Punjab tried to put

118  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ down the Muslim National Guard the result was an upheaval on the part of the ­Ministry – which started the present crisis”. 26 Ilyas Chattha, Partition and Locality: Violence, Migration and Development in Gujranwala and Sialkot, 1947–1961 (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2011), p.  84. The alleged cooperation is also mentioned in the document “Note on Sikh Plan”, n.d., NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Reel No. 15, File 128, pp. 91–106. On the historical background of this document see Rafique M. Afzal, Pakistan: History and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 21 & 48, n. 42. 27 Similar archival evidence found by Ian Talbot, Pakistan – A Modern History (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998), p. 102. 28 Superintendent, Note on the Sikh Plan (Lahore: Government Printing, 1948), p. 4. 29 Ibid., p. 2. 30 Yasmin Khan, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan (New Haven, CT, London: Yale University Press, 2008), p.82. 31 Report on “Secret Activities of the RSSS”, DA CC Office/48/1949(Part B), Con­ fidential, p.1. 32 Ibid. 33 “RSS activities”, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 413(1947), pp. 12 & 29. 34 Casual Report, 1 March 1947, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional ­Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 413(1947), p. 49. 35 Police Report, 7 March 1947, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Col­ lection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 413(1947), p. 58. 36 District Magistrate Office, No. F.1(35)/46-Home, 22 June 1946, DA DC Office/ 315/1946, p. 37. 37 DC Office/315/1946, p. 94. 38 D.R. Goyal, himself an RSS member from 1942 to 1947 and author of a history of the RSS, in an interview, in Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta, “Culture of Hate”, Frontline Magazine (online edition) 27/16, 31 July 2010 http://www.frontline.in/ static/html/fl2716/stories/20100813271602000.htm (accessed 7 January 2017); see also Goyal’s Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (New Delhi: Radha ­K rishna Prakashan, 1979), pp. 97–100. 39 Christophe Jaffrelot, “The Hindu Nationalist Movement in Delhi: From ­‘Locals’ to Refugees – and towards Peripheral Groups?” in Véronique Dupont, Emma Tarlo, and Denis Vidal (eds.), Delhi: Urban Space and Human Destinies (New Delhi: Manohar, 2000), p. 183. 40 Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh, The Partition of India (Cambridge: ­Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 37. 41 The Leader (Allahabad), 5 September 1947. 42 Of particular relevance for Delhi is the record of Asok Mitra, former Regis­ trar General of India (1958–1968) and author of the first census (1951) of West Bengal after independence and the 1961 Census Report in India’s Popula­ tion, Housing and Industrial Establishments. For the growth of urban Delhi during and after Partition see his Delhi, Capital City (New Delhi: Thomson, 1970), p. 7. 43 Mitra, Delhi, p. 11. 44 Figure cited by U. Bhaskar Rao, The Story of Rehabilitation (Delhi: Govern­ ment of India Press, 1967), p. 61; according to these records, more then 300,000 refugees could neither be accommodated in evacuee houses nor find shelter with relatives and friends and were thus dependent on help provided by the gov­ ernment as well as social organisations such as the Kasturba Gandhi national Memorial Trust Fund, All India Save the Children Committee, the Indian Red

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  119 Cross, the Trust for Sindhi Women and Children, the Arya Pradeshik Pratini­ dhi Sabha, Jainendra Gurukul etc. 45 Figure cited in Gyanendra Pandey, Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2001), p. 122. ­ unjabi 46 See for example Ravinder Kaur, After 1947. Partition Narratives among P Migrants of Delhi (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 37 & 91; Khan, The Great Partition, p. 86. 47 Address to the Rehabilitation Conference, New Delhi, 11 December 1950, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993) Vol. 15, Part 2, p. 66. 48 Government of India, Ministry of Education, Towards a New Life. A Brochure on Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons in Delhi (Faridabad: Government of ­India Press, 1963), p. 7. 49 Ibid., p. 9. 50 Ibid., p. 11. 51 Report on the Police Administration in Delhi Province for the Year ending 31 December 1947, NAI, Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 1/4/49-­Police-I, 1949, p. 97. On the lingering threat of famine due to a combination of ­Partition-related losses of grain, flooding in some parts of India, and drought in others see “Situation in Delhi Improving: Influx of Refugees Creates Food Problem”, The Manchester Guardian, 11 September 1947, p. 6; “Indian Famine: Two Dangerous Months”, The Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947, p. 5, and “Indian Food Deficit: Delhi Government’s Measures to Avert Famine”, The Times (London), 15 October 1947, p. 5. 52 Interview with Shri Jugal Kishore Khanna, 14 January 1974, NMML, Oral His­ tory Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, p. 137. 53 Letter to Mahatma Gandhi, Lahore, 21 September 1947, NMML Individual Collection, (Lord) Mountbatten Papers (Microfilm), Reel No. 15, File 129, p. 2. 54 Interview with Shri Newandram Vishindas Gurbani, February 1991, NMML, Oral History Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, p. 59. 55 The Organiser (Delhi), 25 September 1947. This comment refers to the signifi­ cant number of Muslims who had left Delhi during Partition in order to migrate to Pakistan but had then decided – for various reasons – to return to Delhi. 56 Undated circular, DA, DC Office/315/1946, p. 9. 57 Embassy, New Delhi, Despatch No. 203, 18 September 1947, p. 3, NARA RG 84, Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Re­ cords, 1942–1963, Box 70. 58 See for example C.I.D. Daily Diary, 13 September, 5 & 14 October 1949, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 2nd Instalment, File No. 28 (1949), pp. 6, 25, 51. 59 The Organiser (Delhi), 11 September 1947. 60 The Organiser (Delhi), 16 September 1947. 61 The Leader (Allahabad), 7 December 1947. 62 New Delhi District Congress Committee, Report to the President, AICC, New Delhi, 22 September 1947, NMML Microfilm, R-8668, p. 1. 63 Ibid., p. 3. 64 Letter by Prasad Jain, Secretary, Jain Mittra Mandal, to Rajendra Prasad, President, INC, 15 January 1948, NMML Microfilm, R-8668, p. 1. 65 Report, Delhi Provincial Congress Committee, Ajmer Gate, Delhi, to J.B. ­K ripalani, NMML Microfilm, R-8668. 66 “D.P.C.C. Note on the situation in Delhi and the steps to be taken now”, n.d., NMML Microfilm, R-8668, p. 1. 67 Records of Meeting of the Cabinet Emergency Committee, 26 September 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986) Vol. 4, p. 100.

120  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ 68 For an early account on the practical difficulties including administrative inef­ ficiency, corruption, and a deficit of material resources see the motion on “relief and rehabilitation of refugees” in the Constituent Assembly in late November 1947, Government of India, The Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) Debates. Official Report, Vol. II, 1947 (29 November to 10 December, 1947), First Session of the Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) (New Delhi: Govern­ ment of India Press, 1947), pp. 855–865 & 907–910. 69 Kaushik, “Refugee children, our future citizens”, The Organiser (Delhi), 17 July 1950, pp. 5 & 16. 70 Nehru in a letter to B.C. Roy, 7 May 1950, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: ­Oxford University Press, 1993) Vol. 14, pp. 167–168. 71 V.P. Joshi, Secretary of the Hindu Sahayata Samiti, Delhi, in The Organiser (Delhi), 14 August 1947. 72 DA CC Office/1/147 Confidential, Fortnightly Report, 5 May 1947, pp. 3–4. 73 The Organiser (Delhi), 14 August 1947. 74 The Leader (Allahabad), 29 October 1947. 75 Indian Red Cross, Twentyseventh Annual Report (New Delhi: Beecham’s Press, 1947), p. 5. 76 Gwilym Beckerlegge, “The Rashtriya Sawamsevak Sangh’s ‘Tradition of Self­ less Service’”, in John Zavos, Andrew Wyatt, and Vernon Hewitt (eds.), The Politics of Cultural Mobilization in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 105–135. 77 The Leader (Allahabad), 2 February 1948. 78 Yasmin Khan, “Performing Peace: Gandhi’s Assassination as a Critical ­Moment in the Consolidation of the Nehruvian State”, Modern Asian Studies 45/Special Issue 01, January 2011, p. 60. 79 Ibid., p. 63. 80 The Statesman (Delhi), 1 February 1948. 81 The Leader (Allahabad), 2 February 1948. 82 US Embassy, New Delhi, Despatch No. 97, “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Known as the R.S.S. and Alleged Connections with Murder of Mahatma Gandhi”, 2 February 1948, p. 1, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8; ­“Rioters Fire Houses and Stop Brigades”, The Observer, 1 February 1948, p. 1. 83 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 9 February 1948, p. 7. 84 Nehru in a letter, 7 December 1947, reproduced in Ramachandra Guha (ed.), Makers of Modern India (Cambridge, MA, London: The Belknap Press of ­Harvard University Press, 2011), p. 303. 85 Letter to Patel, 30 September 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford ­University Press, 1986) Vol. 4, pp. 110–114. 86 Letter to Govind Ballabh Pant, 29 December 1947, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986) Vol. 4, p. 222. 87 The Hitavada (Nagpur), 31 December 1947. ­ ntry 88 Home Ministry, Government of India, 26 January 1948, NARA RG 84 E UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records ­1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 89 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India Wins Freedom: The Complete Version ­(Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1989, orig. 1959), p. 231. 90 William Gould, “From Subjects to Citizens? Rationing, Refugees and the ­P ublicity of Corruption Over Independence in UP”, Modern Asian Studies 45/ Special Issue 01, January 2011, pp. 33–56. 91 Quoted in Ornit Shani, “Conceptions of Citizenship in India and the ‘Muslim Question’”, Modern Asian Studies 44/Special Issue 01, January 2010, p. 163.

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  121 92 US Embassy, New Delhi, Despatch No. 203, “Magnitude of the refugee prob­ lem: Conditions in Delhi Camp, Attitude of Cabinet Ministers”, 18 September 1947, p. 4, NARA RG 83 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 45/848. 93 Bombay Chronicle (Bombay), 7 January 1948. 94 Patel during a public meeting in Jaipur, 17 December 1947, reproduced in Rakesh Batabyal, The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Speeches: 1877 to the Present (New Delhi: Penguin, 2007), pp. 650–653. 95 Letter, V. Patel to Shyama Prashad Mookerjee, 18 July 1948, quoted in A.G. Noorani, “Godseites’ Day Out”, Frontline Magazine (online edition), 32/1, 23 January 2015. 96 Quoted in Prakash Chandra Upadhyaya, “The Politics of Indian Secularism”, Modern Asian Studies 26/4, October 1992, p. 827. 97 Quoted in Walter K. Anderson and Shridhar D. Damle, The Brotherhood in Saffron: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu revivalism (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), p. 51. 98 US Embassy, New Delhi, “Comment on Letter of November 19, 1947 from Mr Richard Morse to Mr Walter S. Rogers of the Institute of Current World ­A ffairs”, 16 February 1948, p. 1, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 99 Telegram, “Homein, New Delhi” to the Chief Secretaries of all Provinces, and Chief Commissioners Ajmer and Coorg, 4 February 1948, DA CC Office/ 2(17)/1948, R&J, 1948 Unlawful RSS Association, p. 1. 100 Telegram, “Homein, Delhi, to all provincial Governments”, n.d., DA CC Office/ 2(17)/1948, R&J, 1948 Unlawful RSS Association, p. 17. 101 Notification, Chief Commissioner, Delhi, date illegible, DA CC Office/ 2(17)/1948, R&J, 1948 Unlawful RSS Association, p. 13. 102 The material contains around 100 pages of detailed information on hundreds of RSS workers, NAI Regional Commissioner’s Office, 68-P/1948-A (Part II). 103 US Embassy, New Delhi, “Comment on Letter of November 19, 1947 from Mr  Richard Morse to Mr Walter S. Rogers of the Institute of Current World ­Affairs”, 16 February 1948, p. 1, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Em­ bassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8; “1,000 Ar­ rests in India: Firm Measures”, The Times (London), 7 February 1948, p. 4. Other sources reported 3,000 nation-wide arrests of RSS and Hindu Mahasabha leaders within the first five days of the ban; cf. “Arrests Continue in India: Government’s Action Against Newspapers”, The Manchester Guardian, 10 February 1948, p. 6. 104 Order, District Magistrate, 12 May 1948, DA CC Office/2(17)/1948, R&J, 1948 Unlawful RSS Association, pp. 28–29. 105 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 11 March 1948, p. 26. 106 Secret Source Report, Inspector General of Police, Delhi, 10 May 1948, DA CC Office/55/1948 (Part C) Confidential, p. 6. 107 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 23 April 1948, p. 41. 108 US Embassy, New Delhi, Airgram A-253, 31 August 1948, NARA RG 84 En­ try UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 109 US Embassy, New Delhi, Memorandum of Conversation, “RSS Request for Ambassador’s Assistance”, 22 December 1948, p. 2, NARA RG 84 En­ try UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records ­1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 110 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 6 December 1948, p. 1.

122  Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’ 111 Interview with Shankar Prasada, 6 August 1988, NMML, Oral History Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, p. 165. 112 Note to the Home Ministry, 5 December 1948, SWJN, 2nd series (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989) Vol. 8, p. 129. 113 Interview with Shankar Prasada, 6 August 1988, NMML, Oral History Project, Manuscript Section, Oral History Transcripts, pp. 166–168. 114 US Embassy, New Delhi, Airgram A-834, 9 December 1948, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 115 US Consulate, Madras, Airgram A-133, 15 December 1948, p. 1, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 116 Source Report, 18 December 1948, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 404 (1948), p. 2. 117 G.V. Bedekar, Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, to all Provin­ cial Governments and Chief Commissioners, 11 August 1948, DA CC Office/ 16(28)/1948 Home, “Regulations of communal organisations”, p. 1. 118 Ibid. For the British colonial origin of these provisions see “Note for Supple­ mentaries”, Rule 20 of the Secretary of State’s Service (Conduct) Rules, and Rule 23 of the Government Servants’ Conduct Rule, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 15/18/48-Ests, 1948, p. 3. 119 Untitled document, DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 22 December 1948, p. 1. 120 Ibid., p. 2. 121 Ibid., p. 3. 122 V. Viswanathan, Report from Madhyabharat to the Ministry of States, n.d., NAI Ministries of States, Political, 74(1)-P/1948, pp. 200 & 208. For slightly dif­ ferent data on Madhya Bharat but similar tendencies see Christophe Jaffrelot, The Hindu Nationalist Movement in Indian Politics, 1925 to the 1990s: Strategies of Identity-Building, Implantation and Mobilisation (with special reference to Central India) (London: Hurst & Company, 1996), pp. 137–138. 123 NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 25/48/48-Ests., 1948, p. 1. 124 Ministry of Defence, C.B. Gulati, 15 November 1948, NAI Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Section, 25/48/48-Ests., 1948, p. 4. 125 H.V.R. Iengar, Homein, to all Provincial Governments and Chief Commission­ ers of Ajmer-Merwara and Coorg, 12 December 1948, NAI Ministry of States, Political, 74(1)-P/1948, p. 6. 126 Inter-Provincial Conference on RSS, 29 January 1949, NAI Regional Commis­ sioner, PEPSU Branch, C-7-7/1948, 5–6. Present at this meeting were Minister Patel, the Premiers of East Punjab, Bihar and Central Provinces as well as other high-level bureaucrats from the Home Ministry. 127 Government of India, The Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) Debates. Official Report, Vol. IV, 1949 (28th November to 24th December, 1949), Sixth Session of the Constituent Assembly of India (Legislative) (New Delhi: Govern­ ment of India Press, 1949), pp. 570–571. 128 Extensive statistical material summarised in a table for the fortnight from 1 to 16 January 1949 in DA CC Office/46/49 Confidential, 1949, pp. 6 & 36. 129 Ibid. 130 The Statesman (Delhi), 10 February 1949. 131 Rakesh Ankit, “How the Ban on the RSS Was Lifted”, Economic and Political Weekly 47/16, 21 April 2012, pp. 71–78. 132 DA CC Office/1/1948 (Part C) Confidential, Fortnightly Reports, 22 December 1948, p. 6. 133 Guru Dutt, “A Secular State in India”, The Organiser (Delhi), 29 July 1948.

Prosecuting the ‘non-secular’  123 1 34 The Statesman (Delhi), 12 January 1949. 135 The activists were from an organisation called “Civil Liberties Union” and their representative was a so-called “Mr. Singh”, a person apparently very familiar with the internal developments and proceedings of the RSS. See US Embassy, New Delhi, Memorandum of Conversation, “RSS Request for Ambassador’s Assistance”, 22 December 1948, p. 1, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 136 Press Communiqué, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, 12 July 1949, DA CC Office/2(17)/1948, R&J, 1948, 42. 137 DA DC Office/337/1949, Fortnightly Report, 29 July 1949, 1. 138 H.V.R. Iengar to all Secretaries to the Government of India, 16 September 1949, DA CC Office/138/1949 Confidential, 2–3. 139 Superintendent of Police, Delhi, to the Deputy Commissioner, Delhi, Criminal Investigation Department, Delhi, 27 September 1949, DA CC Office/138/1949 Confidential, 10. 140 C.I.D. Daily Diary, 2 January 1951, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institu­ tional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 552(1951) (RSS), 4. 141 DA CC Office/1/1951 Confidential, Fortnightly Report, 16 August 1951, p. 4. 142 NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 551(1953–1954) (RSS), 145. 143 N.K. Ray, Assistant Director, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home ­A ffairs, New Delhi, Memorandum to the C.I.D.s in all over India, 20 July 1953, NMML, Manuscript Section, Institutional Collection, Delhi Police Records (List No. 30), 8th Instalment, 555(1953) (RSS), 232. 144 H.V.R. Iengar to All State Governments (except J&K), 17 September 1952, 1–2, DA CC Office/117/1952 Confidential, Propaganda of newspapers. 145 The Organiser (Delhi), 13 March 1950, 14 April 1952, 25 October 1954, 12 ­December 1955, 9 & 16 January & 6 August 1956. 146 Gerald James Larson, India’s Agony over Religion (New York: State University of New York Press, 1995), p. 182. 147 Gyanendra Pandey, “Can a Muslim Be an Indian?” Comparative Studies in ­Society and History 41/4, October 1999, pp. 608–629. 148 Quoted in US Embassy, New Delhi, Despatch No. 1395, “Resumption of Po­ litical Activity by the Hindu Mahasabha”, 29 December 1949, NARA RG 84 Entry UD2710A, India, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, Classified General Records 1942–1963, Box 70/840.8. 149 See for example Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss, Reinventing India: ­Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy (New Delhi: Oxford ­University Press, 2000); Bipan Chandra, India after Independence 1947–2000 (New Delhi: Penguin, 2000); B.N. Pandey, Nehru (New Delhi: Rupa, 1976); S. Gopal, “Nehru and Minorities”, Economic and Political Weekly 23/Special Number 45/47, October 1988, pp. 2463 & 2465–2466; Bhikhu Parekh, “Nehru and the National Philosophy of India”, Economic and Political Weekly 26/1–2, 1991, pp. 35–39 & 41–43 & 45–48. 150 Chester Bowles, Promises to Keep: My Years in Public Life 1941–1969 (New York et al: Harper & Row, 1971), p. 467. 151 Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed, “Sangh Parivar and New Contradictions”, Interview with Christophe”, Frontline Magazine (online edition), 28/6, 12–25 March 2011. www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2806/stories/20110325280604700.htm (accessed 7 January 2017).

4 Redefining secularism in the Cold War Christian missionaries in Malaya’s New Villages, 1948–1960

Introduction: religion and secularism within the context of the Cold War Religion was a neglected field in Cold War studies for a long time. This is somewhat surprising considering the “dual character”1 of the Cold War comprising geopolitical as well as ideological elements of contestation, to which religious organisations and authorities contributed in many signifi­ cant ways. More recently, however, religion is increasingly recognised as a specific arena of Cold War dynamics that cannot simply be understood as a reflection of geopolitical and military confrontation. Rather, religion con­ stituted a rich field of ideological and social work that interacted with the Cold War. A considerable number of studies have been published that inter­ pret culture and religion as specific fields of Cold War dynamics in Western ­societies.2 More specifically, in large parts, they analyse the role of religion in the United States and under various US administrations, in particular during the early Cold War period.3 The following two chapters take this agenda two steps further. First, they examine to what extent Cold War dynamics altered the role of local and transnational religious networks not in Western, but in (post)colonial soci­ eties. To this end, they underpin a change in perspective on the Cold War itself. From the point of view of global history, which essentially considers historical experiences in late colonial and postcolonial societies, the dual character of the Cold War was not only the result of direct confrontation between the superpowers. Besides these large-scale rivalries, the Cold War consisted of myriad local, micro-historical social struggles that were al­ tered by the larger dynamics of the bipolar world order. These Cold War micro-histories were written not primarily by the Pentagon or by the Soviet Communist Party, but by numerous local stakeholders as well as transna­ tional non-state actors that were confronted with the gradual globalisation of US and Soviet “messianic modernism”,4 which challenged and ultimately altered their life realities. These stakeholders, however, were rarely ever simply the puppets of the superpowers. On the contrary, they were self-confident players who

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  125 interpreted the Cold War as an “opportune set of circumstances”5 that they could exploit for their own goals. Thus, they were not simply passive objects of superpower manipulation, but also active subjects who defined, shaped, prolonged, exacerbated, and co-determined the Cold War at the local as well as the global level.6 What is more, in many colonial and postcolonial societies, the Cold War altered the greater context of domestic power contestations and in this way co-determined social relations between various social, ethnic, and religious groups. From this perspective, the Cold War was an evolving circumstance that created hitherto non-existent opportunities for some protagonists and at the same time denied these opportunities to others. Beyond superpower intervention, the Cold War was a transformative framework that altered domestic power relations among different social groups as well as between these social forces and state institutions. Secularism projects, which I have defined as a distinct form of rela­ tionship between the state and society as well as between different social forces, were also affected by these dynamics. The second step in the follow­ ing two chapters is, therefore, to examine the extent to which these Cold War dynamics transformed local secularism projects in Southeast Asia. Secularism has largely been excluded from the discussion on religion dur­ ing the Cold War, and there exists as yet no in-depth study on the mutual relationship between religion in postcolonial societies, the Cold War, and secularism. The case study discussed in this chapter is about the role of transna­ tional Christian missionary networks in so-called “New Villages” during the Emergency in Malaya (1948–1960). The Emergency was primarily a military and civilian effort by the British colonial government to separate communist guerrilla groups from their civilian supporters, who provided them with food, information, and other necessities. The New Villages, in which rural informal housing communities and village populations were resettled, provided an opportunity for Christian missionaries to propa­ gate their belief in a distinct Cold War setting without directly participat­ ing in Cold War military confrontations. From 1950 onwards, Christian missionaries gradually became an integral part of the civilian strategies of British ­a nti-communism. To this end, the late colonial administration abandoned its traditional secularist policy of remaining consistently aloof from religious players and initiated active cooperation with C ­ hristian mis­ sionary societies, including financial and logistical support and ­politicaladministrative courtesy. In other words, Malaya’s Emergency exempli­ fies the historically contingent character of (colonial) secularism that was shaped by broader political, social, economic, and even military circumstances. This cooperation between secular state institutions and transnational re­ ligious networks benefited not only the British colonial government and its anti-communist mission of reorganising Malaya’s rural and urban societies,

126  Redefining secularism in the Cold War but also the Christian churches in their missionary zeal. Particularly in the early phase of the Emergency, church workers and missionary organisations were sceptical, sometimes even critical about the new opportunities that opened up for their missionary zeal. In the long run, though, many among them embraced this challenge enthusiastically and also benefited from the violence-prone context by increasing their influence over significant parts of the resettled population. In relation to the general argument of this book, this chapter illustrates how the Cold War led to the gradual but historically significant revision of established secularism projects, in this case the British colonial policy of neutrality towards Christian and other religious affiliations. It thereby cre­ ated new opportunities for religious engagement within the framework of a secular state and upgraded the role of Christian affiliations in Malaya’s late imperial society. The case study further demonstrates how we can deepen our historical understanding of secularism projects – whether colonial or postcolonial – when analysed in relation to the interdependencies with transnational processes.

Counter-insurgency by social engineering The year 1948 was decisive for British global political and strategic inter­ ests. At that time, Malaya, one of Britain’s remaining colonial territories in the region after the decolonisation of South Asia, became a crucial battle­ field over ideologies, strategic influence, and economic interests. After the British colonial government had established the Malayan Union in 1946, it was increasingly confronted with strong opposition from the Malay com­ munity. As a result, the British abandoned the Union in favour of a federa­ tion that granted Malay nationalism more political weight. A consequence of this policy was, however, that the British colonial ad­ ministration neglected the immigrant communities, among them large eth­ nic Chinese communities. The Malayan Communist Party (MCP), founded in 1930,7 declared itself to be their main representative, radicalised its po­ litical struggle during 1947, and grew significantly in membership and or­ ganisational strength. The MCP’s radicalisation and, lastly, uprising were probably not the result of any instructions from the Soviets but rather the outcome of local dynamics.8 It seems adequate to assume that the MCP’s turn to violence needed little international stimulus.9 In any case, the longterm patterns of social discrimination against the Chinese and the worsen­ ing economic conditions in Malaya, particularly the shortage of rice and consequently high prices, fuelled the conflict in a decisive way. Right from the beginning, the Emergency was driven by both local eco­ nomic consideration of European, mainly British investors, and Cold War motives concerning counter-insurgency, anti-communist propaganda, and psychological warfare. From Britain’s geopolitical perspective, the loss of Malaya to communism would have led to the communist domination “of

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  127 the whole stretch of southern Asia between India and China”, cutting off and threatening New Zealand and Australia. In economic terms, a com­ munist Malaya would have meant the loss of “the world’s biggest single source of rubber and tin”.10 In practice, however, particularly during the first two years, British Emergency policy was a sophisticated combination of military combat, claiming more than 8,000 casualties up to 1954 alone, extensive Emergency powers to detain without trial, remove families as well as immigrants, and coercing them into accepting offers for rehabilitation, ‘rewards’ and ‘self-renewal’.11 During the summer of 1950, after the arrival of Sir Harold Briggs as the new director of operations based in Kuala Lumpur, the British strategy for combatting the insurgency changed significantly. His “Federation Plan for the Elimination of the Communist Organisation and Armed Forces in Malaya” (May 1950) aimed to demonstrate to the Malay people that the Western way of life was superior to communism and included not only the resettlement of informal housing communities and villagers in so-called “New Villages” but also the provision of social services to the resettled population on a massive scale.12 Whereas the first measure was intended to isolate the insurgents from any contact with the local rural population as well as the urban poor, the provision of social welfare was meant to ensure the psychological and social defeat of the insurgency. The overall task confronting the colonial administration was immense. According to British sources, up to the end of March 1952, about 85,000 families, com­ prising around 423,000 men, women, and children, 85 per cent of whom were ethnic Chinese, had been “settled, resettled or regrouped in 410 new villages”.13 Informal housing communities were increasingly defined as a significant problem in various societies in South and Southeast Asia after the Second World War. From India to Singapore, Malaya, Thailand, and the ­Philippines, colonial and postcolonial governments identified migrant communities and their descendants as beyond official control and thus an imminent threat to statehood in general and anti-communist containment in particular.14 Rehousing programmes were meant to transform these communities, ini­ tially criminalised as “squatters”, into colonial subjects and, ultimately, into model citizens of the independent nation.15 In British Malaya, most of the ethnic Chinese had immigrated during the 1920s and 1930s as unmarried young men, and were employed in rubber plantations, tin mines, and other precarious jobs. As migrants, many of them lacked stable family structures and community networks, although the immigration of Chinese women into Malaya increased significantly in the 1930s and gradually changed this pattern.16 Eventually, the Great Depression, in combination with the intro­ duction of labour-saving technology in the plantation agriculture and the mining sector, and the Japanese occupation drove hundreds of thousands of Chinese out of work and pushed them into the even more precarious social existence as squatter farmers.17

128  Redefining secularism in the Cold War The purpose of their resettlement, which contemporary observers had al­ ready called an “operation of war”,18 was to [bring] under administrative control people in the Federation who for one reason or another had previously lived and worked in this country without contributing their fair share to the costs of the public adminis­ tration and without receiving many benefits from it.19 The New Villages were envisaged as “law-abiding and progressive commu­ nities”,20 which no longer constituted a threat to capitalist colonial rule. In contrast to these noble ideas, realities on the ground were different. In the same year that this programme was drafted (1952), the colonial admin­ istration’s actual spending on social services and amenities constituted only 8 per cent of the $67 million spent on resettlement.21 In 410 New V ­ illages, there existed no more than 216 schools, attended by about 40,000 pupils, who were instructed by around 900 teachers qualified “well below stand­ ard”. The health and medical services left “much to be desired”, as the ­British colonial government had severe problems with shortages of trained staff, a lack in infrastructure, and insufficient funding.22 The effect was that five years after the declaration of emergency in 1953, the British authorities had “successfully contained but […] failed to sup­ press the Communists”; the guerrilla warfare in the jungle continued, and the Malayan Chinese failed to cooperate in the anti-guerrilla campaign.23 The worsening economic situation, fuelled by falling tin and rubber prices by about one-third after the Korean War, increased the government’s budg­ etary constraints as well as social hardship on the ground.24 In some of the largest New Villages, many of the shortcomings including high unem­ ployment, inadequate access to cultivable land, and alienation from local and national state authorities could not be addressed for years to come.25 ­Confronted with these problems, its own lack of resources, and even grow­ ing criticism in Parliament in London,26 the colonial government encour­ aged national and international social service providers, including Christian missionary societies, to contribute to the overwhelming task of improving living standards in the new settlements and thereby support its ideological, social, psychological, and military struggles against communism.

The Emergency: a missionary opportunity From a global historical perspective, Christian missionary societies usually perceived late colonial emergencies as a serious threat that had the potential to disrupt whatever practical understanding had hitherto existed between the churches and the colonial states.27 In the case of British Malaya, how­ ever, this was different. In February 1952, about a month after his appointment by Winston Churchill as the new High Commissioner of the Federation of Malaya,

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  129 General Gerald Templer contacted the Conference of British Missionary Societies (CBMS) and encouraged them to significantly expand their work in Malaya. His underlying conviction was that we must do much more in all these respects in the Chinese resettlement areas if we are to influence those half-million people in the right direc­ tion. These resettlements are fruitful soil for any seed, wheat or tares. They are the most important battlefields for the soul of this country to-day.28 From the government’s point of view, “the most effective people to exploit this opportunity are missionaries, because they have no axe to grind po­ litically”.29 Templer was aware, however, that the large-scale deployment of Christian missionaries in a strongly Muslim-majoritarian country could turn into another political challenge.30 To make this endeavour more attractive to missionary societies, the ­Federation of Malaya worked out a grants-in-aid scheme for missionary bodies on the basis of half of the salaries and allowances paid for public servants with comparable medical, educational, and welfare qualifica­ tions.31 The government thus offered financial support for various social programmes primarily in the fields of health care and schooling,32 the pro­ portionate payment of the mission agencies’ salaries,33 and indirect finan­ cial support for the missionaries via payments to the societies.34 Interestingly, the reactions of several British and American missionary organisations were far from enthusiastic. On the one hand, many missionar­ ies recognised the unique opportunity these New Villages presented for their missionary zeal. The Bishop of Singapore was among the earliest advocates of more Christian involvement in this anti-communist venture. ­Eighteen months prior to General Templer’s invitation to Christian missionaries, the Bishop interpreted the Government of Malaya’s efforts as a grand programme of social re-construction involving the resettlement of tens of thousands of Chinese in controlled areas. This programme requires the services of numbers of officers [–] administrative, welfare, ­educational, medical, and places a premium on ability to speak Chinese. The work for missionaries in these resettlement areas would be “pioneer work”.35 In May 1951, the Bishop pointed out to his fellow Christians in Europe and elsewhere the one-of-a-kind opportunity the resettled Chinese ­offered for Christian missionary undertakings. To him, these Chinese were a “spiritual challenge”: These hundreds of thousands of squatters are changing the pattern of their whole life. From living, isolated, on the edge of the jungle,

130  Redefining secularism in the Cold War snatching a precarious existence under continual threat from bandits, they are finding themselves congregated in large villages and townships with a new world of relationships and possibilities opening up before them. They are at that stage in their development when the shape of their whole future can be moulded. They are more open now to the ap­ proach of friendship and service than perhaps they will ever be again. It is a wonderful opportunity for setting forth the Gospel.36 From the Bishop’s perspective, the new settlements were therefore “part of a vast social experiment on the success of which depends the future of this country”. Thousands of Chinese, “brought in from the fringes of jungle”, would “regain security and accommodation. […] I need not emphasise the immense opportunity for evangelism in such settlements nor the challenge which they present to Christian statesmanship”.37 Other voices called on Christian missionaries to “work diligently in season and out of season” as there was a “large harvest to be brought home in Malaya”.38 British Malaya also had some significance in the missionaries’ global inter­ ests. A Christian traveller to New Villages in 1952 observed that ­Malaya was a place of “strategic importance” not only as a crucial society in ­Southeast Asia where several religions met, but also as a place “where Christianity confronts Communism and Nationalism and Racialism”.39 From a univer­ sal Christian perspective, Malaya and Singapore represented a “strategic position of primary importance in the Church’s universal mission”, a unique challenge and opportunity to bring together into community the men of Indian and Asian races and faiths, with the House of Islam al­ ready dominant among the Malays. This area’s lying along a very active Communist border gives it an additional strategic importance.40

The ‘loss’ of China for Christianity Along with this euphoria, which focused mainly on the opportunities of the New Villages, there were also cautionary voices that saw major risks for the higher interests of the Christian endeavour. One of the main addressees of General Templer’s invitation to work in the New Villages had been the British Church Missionary Society (CMS). Since its foundation in 1799, one of the CMS’s major tasks had been to free the Anglican Church from state control and shake off the sole focus on ­British citizens by enhancing a truly global missionary endeavour.41 Now, at the be­ ginning of Malaya’s Emergency, there were serious concerns about a closer cooperation with the colonial administration. The debates about these risks illustrate how strategic and truly global were the considerations of the ­Anglican missionary society, but also those of others such as the ­Catholic Church, within the context of an emerging Cold War in Asia, and how deeply entrenched their thinking already was in the logic of the Cold War.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  131 For the ministry of Christian missionaries, which considered itself a truly “supra-national” undertaking,42 the crucial event in Asia at that time had not been the Malayan Emergency but the communist takeover in China in October 1949, which led to a gradual expulsion of foreign missionaries from mainland Chinese territory. Even before 1949, Christian missions had re­ peatedly been confronted with nationalist and anti-imperialist hostilities,43 but the communist takeover turned out to be a watershed. Critical voices from within the international missionary networks interpreted the events in China as a “debacle” of Christian missions that had also been caused by the missionaries’ strategic alliance with imperialism, unjustified social privi­ leges, and elitist orientation.44 In the course of 1950, it became increasingly apparent that the living and working conditions of Christian missionaries in China would continue to worsen. Christian missionaries were reported to be “completely out of their depth” because there was now a “new China”, with “new ideas and the new teaching”.45 Mao’s government did not expel the missionaries immediately after it had gained power in Beijing. However, gradually the police and the army turned more hostile towards Europeans. The government restricted their travel possibilities within China by forcing them to apply for special permission if they wished to leave their town of residence. In addition, the commu­ nist authorities no longer granted entry permits to missionaries on furlough or new recruits who had never worked in China before.46 The missionaries in China, as well as their central administrations in Europe, still had two hopes: that Chou-Enlai “or another of the more liberal men in the govern­ ment” would remain prime minister and thus ease the situation for mission­ aries again after “two or three years”;47 or an “early collapse” of the present regime in China, in which case foreign missionaries “might be invited to return in some cases if they are delivered from the imperial taint, say in five [years] time”.48 Experienced missionaries from China, now gradually leaving China via Hong Kong and Singapore, distinguished themselves by at least two key competences invaluable for missionary work among Malayan Chinese set­ tlers: they spoke Mandarin or other Chinese languages, and they had expe­ rience in pioneering missionary work and were thus familiar with common administrative and logistical challenges. Beginning in late 1950, the CMS explored the possibilities of deploying its missionaries with experience in China in Malaya while nevertheless keeping their main focus on China.49 The withdrawal from China was meant to be temporary, and the missionar­ ies would go back as soon as the circumstances would allow.50 Although the church authorities suspected that Mandarin might not be of much help, because the large majority of the Malayan Chinese did not speak Mandarin but instead “dialects” such as Hokkien or Hakka,51 their main concerns lay elsewhere. As early as August 1950, when the future of ­Christian missionaries in China was still unclear, the Colonial Office in London suggested abandoning the established secular practice of remaining

132  Redefining secularism in the Cold War aloof from Christian missionaries. The High Commissioner of the Malayan Federation had informed London about the withdrawal of missionaries of the Church of England from China and that more withdrawals of Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic, and Methodist missionaries were contemplated.52 These missionaries were badly needed in Malaya and should therefore be offered contracts by the Malayan Education Department or be employed as Welfare Officers among the Chinese ‘squatters’.53 The missionary societies, however, feared a strong negative impact on their regional missionary efforts in East Asia, particularly in China. For one thing, many Christian missionaries leaving China were “too old to return to the tropics”54 or simply exhausted from their recent political struggles and in need of “physical as well as spiritual refreshment”.55 What was much more important, though, was the possible interpretation of this coopera­ tion between the colonial British government and the missionaries by the Chinese communist authorities. Cooperation with an imperial government could mean that the Chinese Communist Party might never readmit the missionaries into its territory again.56 It was feared that even the Left in the United Kingdom, as well as the national and international Commu­ nist press, might use this cooperation to generally discredit the work of the missionaries, causing severe political and financial consequences for the missionary societies. Instead, public attention should be drawn to the en­ gagement in Malaya as a “consolidation of Christian forces in Malaya as a natural and obvious development in view of the increasing opportunities”.57 For all these reasons, the CMS together with other missionary organisa­ tions drew up a catalogue of practical measures that reshaped late colonial state secularism. First, their concern was that government grants for reli­ gious work be clearly distinguished from grants for educational and medical work in the New Villages. Whereas the former “might prejudice the church’s freedom of action in the discharge of its spiritual mission, and be open to misunderstandings, especially in the present political atmosphere in South East Asia”, financial assistance for educational projects and healthcare services would be acceptable, provided that the arrangements were made “directly with the agents of the Societies or churches concerned” rather than with individual missionaries.58 Grants from the Malayan government should generally be provided to the Parent Committee in London rather than to the local Diocese in Singapore so as “to ensure greater secrecy”.59 Second, the most likely alternative to an engagement in Malaya, namely sending the former missionaries in China to Japan, which was in the eyes of some bishops “a place of far greater strategic importance in East Asia” than Malaya,60 had become increasingly unlikely. As a consequence, the CMS in London recommended the greatest possible discretion by the govern­ ment about the actual places of missionary engagement as well as about the people involved. The more successful the British government claimed its co­operation with missionaries to be, for example in health care, the more “likely it is to draw fire upon it from communists”.61

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  133 Third, the decision-making authorities of the CMS in Britain, as well as the local church authorities, rejected the idea of missionaries becoming govern­ment employees, as this would seriously limit their professional free­ dom and in addition do harm to the society’s reputation in Malaya as well as abroad.62 Open cooperation with an imperial government and its resettle­ ment measures would place the missionaries in a more than ambivalent po­ sition within the first few months of this social experiment. In the eyes of the Society, there was widespread concern that the colonial government would fail to make it clear to the Chinese population, and particularly those in the resettlement areas, what the purpose of the resettlement policy actually was. What the Chinese experienced instead was open dislike by the M ­ alays, ­bullying by Malay police officers, and the fear of being permanently de­ ported to unknown areas. It was clear to the missionaries that the Chinese were suspicious of them. This suspicion would need to be addressed in Christian missionary work right from the start: “If successful Christian work is to be done amongst such people, their confidence has first to be won. Occasional visits – even at regular intervals – by missionaries will not suffice. Workers amongst them must live amongst them”.63 And while conflicts with the local government authorities over practical issues might continue, missionaries could make a start in larger settlements, using them as their base from which they could expand their work.

Late imperial secularism and religious autonomy The Anglican Church and other Protestant congregations, as well as the Catholic Church, were therefore hesitant or even distrustful about co­ operating with the colonial government. Colonial secularism had so far provided the churches with sufficient space for manoeuvre, which they did not want to put at risk. The churches sought to preserve their autonomy from the colonial bureaucracy and everyday politics to the highest possi­ ble degree. In this case, therefore, it was not the secular British colonial government, traditionally keen on maintaining equidistance to religious communities and staying aloof from controversial religious affairs, which insisted on a critical distance between colonial politics and religious or­ ganisations, but the Christian churches themselves.64 Their motives for this were the preservation of their own autonomy from political affairs and, hence, an improvement of their theoretical chances of returning to China, where they had already built up their communities and social infrastructure. In 1953, for example, when the Holy See’s Vicar Apostolic Bishop van Melckebeke planned to visit Malaya to investigate the Catholic missionary work in the New Villages, he blatantly “stated his desire to avoid all open contact with the authorities during his visit”.65 Melckebeke, a former bishop in Ningxia, north-western China, who had spent several months in Chinese

134  Redefining secularism in the Cold War prisons, thought that such an open contact with the government was “likely to compromise [him] in his relation with the Chinese”.66 Another motivation for Christian missionaries to remain aloof from the colonial authorities was their awareness that a close identification of their social and religious work with British imperialism would have far-reaching consequences for their political reputation in Europe as well as in Malaya, a society destined to become independent from colonial rule in the not too distant future. The fate of the Christian communities would then depend on the sympathetic cooperation of a Muslim majority, for which a historically critical distance to imperialism would be pivotal. The missionary societies ultimately entered into closer cooperation with the state authorities, not least because of their own grim financial situa­ tion in Europe as well as in the local churches in Singapore and Malaya. ­Although the disengagement of missionaries in China released some fund­ ing for other missionary engagements,67 neither the CMS in London nor Catholic missionary networks were in a position to launch social and evan­ gelical work in the New Villages on a larger scale.68 The only realistic way to realise their missionary zeal in Malayan society was therefore through financial cooperation with the government. In spite of this, missionary work in the New Villages always remained a fi­ nancially tight undertaking, which constantly exceeded the financial means of the societies up until Malaya’s political independence in 1957. Through­ out the Emergency and the CMS’s involvement in New Village work, by far the largest part of the budget went to securing the very presence of the missionaries in the villages, i.e. housing, furnishing, water supply, and so on, rather than to the actual social work in education, health care, youth work, etc.69 Besides the colonial government’s grants-in-aid, an important source of funding for the missionaries was the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA). Provided with substantial funding, part of which was raised through its gi­ gantic lottery,70 the MCA financed the missionaries’ basic infrastructure such as housing71 and clinics,72 and accepted grant applications for schools for resettled Chinese and other welfare projects.73 Founded in February 1949 with the help of the British Reoccupation Authority, the MCA was run mainly by Chinese businessmen and association leaders who shared com­ mercial interests as well as conservative cultural outlooks.74 Together with local European and Indian entrepreneurs, these Chinese circles were relent­ lessly opposed to communism and therefore appreciated any initiative that promised to weaken communist influence in Malayan society.75 During the elections in Kuala Lumpur in February 1952, the MCA entered into an alliance with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the leading Malay nationalist force. Although the Alliance claimed to be ­inter-communal, there was a widespread feeling that the common candidates were selected on the basis of racial criteria.76 The Alliance’s main purpose was thus to secure Chinese economic interests and their distinct cultural

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  135 existence. For the missionaries, however, this strategic involvement of the MCA meant strong support for their own endeavours, which in numerous situations brought about decisive financial backing in their own favour.

Providing a ‘motive for living’ When the engagement of British Protestant missionaries started on a larger scale in the course of 1952, Christian workers from abroad soon recognised the comprehensive social and political struggles they had become involved in. They experienced the coercive, oppressive, and humiliating character of the resettlement programme. The Malayan officials communicated to the missionary societies the urgency of these repressive measures as otherwise “the supply lines of the communists cannot be cut” and the job there was to create places the villagers could “regard as their home and resettling them… and getting their agricultural activities going again in new land”.77 Never­ theless, it became evident to the first missionaries as soon as they took up their work that these villages were anything but home to their inhabitants. Archival sources illustrate that many Anglican missionaries indeed agreed to the strategic necessity of New Villages as a means to combat communism. But they were also highly critical of the personal hardship re­ lated to the compulsive character of the resettlement, the barbed wires, and the uprooting.78 For others, the idea of forced resettlement itself was the problem.79 In these circumstances, the missionaries arrived in an atmosphere of threat, mistrust, and suspicion. This suspicion was primarily targeted against the government for its reckless resettlement methods and the “com­ plete disruption” of the villagers’ lives, which, as some observers specu­ lated, was possibly responsible for a transfer of people’s anger “from the Communists, who were the prime cause, to the Government [itself], which was the immediate agent of their discomfort”.80 For the planning circles of the ­Anglican missionaries, it was evident that only the provision of social services would enable the Christian workers to get closer to the ‘new set­ tlers’ and thereby possibly also fulfil their missionary objectives. With this strategy, however, the Christians would directly compete with the commu­ nists, who pursued a similar policy. In particular through educational and medical work, the missionaries intended to “bring integration to the lives of individuals and of the new communities”.81

The Lord’s clinics In their efforts to provide medical care and other social services to the re­ settled in the New Villages, the missionaries were soon confronted with a general feature of imperial education policy in the British Empire. Since the 19th century, the British authorities had implemented a policy that effec­ tively restricted access to higher medical education as well as other social

136  Redefining secularism in the Cold War service diplomas in their Empire in order to effectively preserve the educa­ tional privileges of a small, white, Britain-educated elite. This form of insti­ tutionalised racism discriminated systematically against local aspirants for such diplomas in the colonies by creating artificially high entrance barriers to official training programmes. Moreover, this policy made it difficult for non-British practitioners to obtain official licenses as social service provid­ ers and thus gain access to remuneration.82 In the New Villages, this practice led to severe contradictions in the co­ operation between the state and religious networks. On the one hand, ­Christian missionaries were assured of every possible encouragement […] to work in the new villages in the drive that is being made to win the hearts and the minds of the Chinese communities […], regarded as one of the most important aspects of the campaign against militant Communism in the Federation.83 On the other hand, they were systematically impeded in their endeavours by such imperial modes of discrimination. Jesuits soon criticised the rigid conditions for the recruitment of missionaries as regards medical degrees and social service diplomas, “upon which the scale of government finan­ cial aid was made to depend”. This practice was less a problem for ­British and American missionaries, but frequently penalised missionaries of other nationalities.84 In their official admissions policy, British authori­ ties clearly distinguished between white European, British-educated mis­ sionary workers and other, particularly Chinese, missionary workers. The latter could only be admitted “after each individual has been vouched for by the Church Authorities and vetted by the Security Authorities”.85 Even European missionaries with Chinese working experience but not holding a British nursing diploma were disqualified under the colonial Malayan health regulations.86 In spite of these difficulties, the missionaries initiated their first experi­ ments in social work. During their first months in the Ipoh New Village, mis­ sionaries reported that “communist cells” within the village were making capital out of the sense of grievance, loss of freedom to come and go as they please owing to the necessity for police guards at the entrance to the villages, the carrying of identity cards and the close tab kept on everyone.87 The villagers complained about large-scale police brutality and the extor­ tion of bribes.88 The missionaries, therefore, usually started cautiously, and initially pursued two main types of work: In the first, the villages are visited by teams of workers from an existing church outside, who undertake evangelistic, welfare, medical and social

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  137 activities amongst the people. In the second, a centre is set up within the village itself with resident workers who live amongst the people.89 Usually, CMS missionaries purchased small houses inside the compound of larger New Villages such as Jin Jang (2,332 Chinese and 2 Indian families in early 1953), Ipoh (1,065 Chinese and also 115 Indian families), Sungei Buloh (505 Chinese families), Salak South (625 Chinese families),90 and Kulai in Johore district (around 12,000 people, mainly Chinese in 1952).91 The houses were intended to function both as the missionaries’ own residence and as small clinics in which the Christian workers provided local patients with ba­ sic medical treatment. The missionaries were keen on keeping their own res­ idential houses “similar to the average New Village house”, still “somewhat larger than most – and certainly lighter”.92 The clinic was usually nothing more than a small annex dedicated to the treatment of patients from early morning on by female Christian workers trained in nursing. After the first few days of mutual observation, these clinics quickly developed into major centres of attraction for the villagers, which in turn provided the mission­ aries with the personal contact with Chinese and Indian settlers they had looked for. From the beginning of the missionaries’ assignment in New Villages, the clinics constituted the actual backbone of their presence as well as their so­ cial relevance in these newly created settlements. In late 1954, the Protestant Christian Churches operated 32 small clinics in various New Villages.93 Two years later, this number had risen to 52, treating on average about 14,331 pa­ tients per month.94 Another two years later, in 1958, precisely ten years after the beginning of the Emergency and one year after Malaysian independence, government and Christian clinics covered some 450 New Villages, while 108 or so New Villages still had no health services at all. Christian church or mission groups ran half of all the New Village clinics. Of the 450 New ­Villages with clinics, 61 had one or more stationary healthcare facilities; the remaining 390 New Villages, however, were served only by mobile clinics.95 The medical benefit of these clinics, however, was doubtful, even “thin”.96 Doctors complained for years after the establishment of these clinics that the quality of medical work in the New Villages was unsatisfactory. The clinics, in most cases staffed only by nurses and medically trained Christian workers, provided medical relief only to the most urgent problems, mostly related to the challenging hygienic and nutritional conditions in the new settlements. These persistently disastrous living conditions caused high rates of reinfec­ tion, and the medical work was almost exclusively “curative but not preventa­ tive”.97 People were “herded together in these New Villages, in bad conditions as far as sanitation, drainage and disposal of refuse are concerned”.98 As one clinic worker estimated, half of the patients would have needed no clinical assistance if they had had “proper living conditions and correct diet”.99 These details from the clinics’ everyday work illustrate the fundamental struggle of the resettled families to restore and maintain their health under

138  Redefining secularism in the Cold War severely deteriorated living conditions caused by nutritional deficiencies, lack of hygiene, and overcrowded housing. From a long-term historical perspec­ tive, the Emergency and its various social and economic disruptions consti­ tuted a significant change in an otherwise more successful colonial health policy in Malaya. In particular, since the end of the First World War, the British colonial administration had transformed Malaya “from one of the un­ healthiest regions in the world to one of the most productive economies in the tropics”.100 Since then, the British had regarded the improvement of health care as an investment to raise labour productivity and thus – in comparison to other colonies – established a well-functioning network of public healthcare services.101 In the New Villages, however, things turned out quite differently.

Emergency work as a form of transnational ecumenism The revision of British policy on Christian missionaries in Malaya not only opened up new opportunities for individual missionary societies, but it also reshaped cooperation among them. In certain ways, late imperial secular­ ism strengthened Christian practices by triggering new forms of religious ecumenism that ultimately enhanced the position of local and transnational Christian networks in society. At a global level, the early years after the Second World War were hardly a good time for ecumenism between Catholic and Protestant congrega­ tions. When the World Christian Council (WCC) held its first assembly in ­A msterdam in 1949, the Vatican forbade Catholics to attend, even as ob­ servers. The Catholic dogma of the Virgin Mary’s bodily assumption into Heaven in 1950 added a further separation barrier between congregations. Also within the United States, interfaith conflicts grew due to burgeoning Catholic self-confidence, motivated by the Church’s rapid increase in mem­ bership and influence, and Protestant fears of Catholic dominance.102 In the colonies, however, the situation was at times different. The scar­ city of resources and the challenge of the Malayan Emergency motivated ­Christian churches to cooperate and coordinate their efforts. These efforts were institutionalised in the Churches’ Coordinating Committee, set up in April 1952. The Second World War had already enhanced ecumenical efforts among Christians in Malaya, in particular among Protestant churches.103 The Japanese occupiers had refused to deal with more than one Christian representative body, so that the various Churches present in Singapore and Malaya had to coordinate closer than ever before in what was then called the United Christian Committee. This early experience of involuntary co­ ordination became crucial for the period immediately following the war.104 During the Emergency, there were similar tendencies to cooperate, although some churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) – a US-based international or­ ganisation of fundamentalist Protestant churches105 – and others, remained aloof from these ecumenical endeavours.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  139 By far the most important Protestant churches active in the field of health care in the New Villages were the Anglican Church, followed by A ­ merican Methodists, the Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Malaya, the China ­Inland Mission, the American United Lutheran Mission, the ­Salvation Army, and the Presbyterian Church.106 Their medical and financial sup­ plies originated not only from local sources such as the Social Welfare ­Department of the British colonial government in Malaya or the MCA, but also from abroad. The Salvation Army, for example, received substantial donations from the United States.107 The Methodists, who in the first half of the 1950s had 14 full-time workers involved in educational, medical, and pastoral work in 46 different New Villages,108 were well connected, particu­ larly with their American sister churches. They received various forms of material and financial assistance from abroad. The English Churches could count on financial support from their mother churches in Europe, the WCC, and non-religious charity institutions such as the Westminster Plea Fund.109 The Roman Catholic Church, initially hesitant in its involvement in the New Villages and – compared to the American Methodists and Anglican churches – slow in stepping up its organisational efforts,110 was present in more than 100 of these new settlements by 1954.111 As a truly global organi­ sation, it received important supplies from its parishes in the United States and other Western societies. Other international religious and non-religious organisations active in New Village health care were the British and the Australian Red Cross, the St. John Ambulance Association, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Guides Association.112 These international connections proved particularly useful for local Christian networks in cases of major disasters, when urgent assistance on a large scale was essential. After a major flood in Malacca in December 1954, for example, international Christian organisations provided shelter, clothing, and food for the refugees.113 In 1958, when the British still used food rationing and communal cooking as a means to “starve out the com­ munists”,114 the Church World Service, in the course of a surplus food pro­ gramme, shipped 61 tons of powdered milk and 24 tons of wheat flour to Malaya for prioritised distribution in New Villages as well as Christian or­ phanages.115 The World Council of Churches donated “multi-purpose food” to fight malnutrition in the new settlements.116 Churches in the United States repeatedly donated substantial amounts of powdered milk, flour, corn meal, etc., which the Christian workers allocated to New Villages.117 In spite of this help from abroad, the health-related services in the New Villages remained widely insufficient throughout the Emergency. There was a combination of various reasons for this: the financial commitment of the colonial government was far too limited, to say the least; the Christian churches could not tap sufficient financial resources of their own to match the immensity of their task; and finally, the Christian and government clin­ ics suffered permanently from a severe staff shortage, which could not be tackled successfully until the end of the Emergency in 1960.

140  Redefining secularism in the Cold War

Educating communism away Together with the educational services, the clinics nevertheless served an important strategic purpose for the Christian missionaries by accounting for a social relevance within the New Villages that by far exceeded the nu­ merical strength of Christians within these communities. Usually, the share of Christians was less than 1 per cent of the total local village population.118 Besides its relevance for employment, the provision of primary as well as further education in the New Villages also played, from a Christian per­ spective, a significant role in combatting communism. In the eyes of some of the missionaries involved, the British Christian workers in the New Villages were unfortunately “much too slack in this matter […]”.119 In several respects, schools were sites of intense contestation in the larger struggle over communism, Christian proselytisation, and secular reform. First, schools taught children and young adults how to read and write, and thus enabled their graduates to access various sorts of literature, propa­ ganda material, religious publications, government instructions, and so forth. The reading material used in these schools was itself a matter of fierce controversy. In particular, the Christian groups invested a substantial amount of time and money in producing and distributing what they consid­ ered adequate reading material on religious as well as secular topics. The low literacy rates in the settlements – less than a third according to some missionaries – made the use of this literature additionally difficult.120 In other cases, communist groups left their own reading material at the steps of the New Village schools to access the young readers with their own ideas and political messages.121 Second, as institutions for social reform, schools were crucial. The churches realised a twofold strategy to make use of educational institutions to their advantage. They successfully got involved in the organisation and administration of secular, mainly English-medium schools within or close to New Villages. In contrast to the discriminated Chinese language and the local Malay, English was seen by many Chinese parents as the “language of educational advancement and job opportunity”.122 These English-medium schools were usually administered by a Christian headmaster, but were in principle secular in their orientation. For children and adults unable to at­ tend school during the week due to long working hours in the plantations and rubber estates, the Christian workers introduced Sunday Schools with strong elements of Christian teaching in English, but also in Malay and ­Chinese.123 In addition, the Christian congregations set up Bible classes in various languages, usually held on Saturday evenings or Sunday afternoons. Often, young Christian volunteers were in charge, who came from nearby cities to teach Bible reading and propagate Christian beliefs.124 All in all, the churches implemented a multifaceted strategy in education to gain a foothold in the curriculum and thus influence the world views of the younger generation as well as their parents in the settlements.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  141 Third, schools were an integrated element of the British and US “propaganda of deeds”, which promoted the physical as well as socio-economic well-being of the rural Chinese.125 The larger background was an increasing international focus on the relevance of schools in the Cold War. During the early 1950s, the US government significantly increased pressure on domestic educational insti­ tutions such as public high schools, municipal colleges, and renowned univer­ sities such as Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to allow open investigations into alleged communist subversion in education.126 This development also brought with it certain changes in global Cold War politics. Chinese schools in Malaya became a major concern in British and US Cold War policies. In March 1951, the US Consulate in Kuala Lumpur estimated that there were 1,246 Chinese schools in British Malaya with a to­ tal enrolment of 227,000 students. It suspected an increasing share of them to be under strong communist influence.127 Together with labour unions, these schools were interpreted as the main gateway to communism in the region.128 The British government, however, was confronted with severe difficul­ ties in collecting validated information about the actual influence of com­ munism on both teachers and students. The British colonial administrations in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore had basically ignored this question for sev­ eral years.129 One of the few concrete measures taken by the government during the early 1950s, however, was to significantly reduce the financing of Chinese schools in comparison to English and Malay schools. The ad­ ministration sought to reduce the diversity of school types in Malaya at the cost of Chinese-medium institutions, among other reasons also to improve political control over schooling.130 Scholarly interviews conducted among communist insurgents confirmed that Chinese schools were indeed the pre­ ferred location for discussions about politics in general and first-hand con­ tact with communist ideas in particular. A considerable number of teachers in those schools were themselves members of the MCP.131 Towards the end of the British colonial era in Malaya, Chinese schools were still suspected of providing fertile ground for communist recruitment and propaganda.132 During the Malayan Emergency, however, schools belonged to the New ­Village aftercare programme, which allegedly provided social welfare as well as future perspectives to the resettled population and thus made them unapproachable for communist propaganda and recruitment. In May 1953, the colonial administration released its first “comprehen­ sive directive”, which laid down the adapted government policy in the New ­Villages. According to this directive, a situation in the villages could be con­ sidered settled when several conditions were fulfilled: adequate water sup­ ply, the provision of agricultural land as close to the settlement as possible, an established village self-administration in the form of a Village Commit­ tee or a Village Council, “reasonable conditions” of sanitation and public health, a “friendly relationship” between the police and the inhabitants, and finally the existence of places of worship as well as a school accommodating “at least the majority of the children and adequate teachers’ quarters”.133

142  Redefining secularism in the Cold War In practice, however, the Christian schools struggled with countless diffi­ culties and shortcomings related to the specific circumstances in many New Villages as well as the patterns of social life therein. Many Christian work­ ers were in a “state of permanent frustration” because they were not capable of teaching local settlers due to language problems. Although many of them were fluent in Mandarin, they did not master the much more common local Chinese ‘dialects’.134 Wherever possible, the Christian groups hired Chinese teachers, their pay half-funded by the school fees the children’s parents had to pay.135 Schools only received government grants when they were “well equipped, staffed and up to standard”136 – criteria that were supervised by the Malayan Education Department, which was formally in charge of edu­ cational matters in the New Villages. Some Christian congregations such as the Methodists or the Roman ­Catholic Church were comparatively successful in setting up their own schools.137 Oth­ ers, such as the British CMS, struggled with the lack of a clear government education policy and the repeatedly changing requirements. As their priority was on primary education, the colonial authorities cut the grants for church kindergartens in 1953 and demanded higher standards from the CMS schools in the New Villages. The tight financial situation of missionary societies also made it hard for them to set up schools of a high standard, which was in turn the precondition for applying for governmental financial support.138 What is more, many parents were not supportive of, or even critical about, their children’s attendance at the Sunday Schools.139 Parents would return late from their work cutting rubber and then be late sending their children to school. Many parents saw the Sunday Schools more “as something to enter­ tain their children”140 than as serious education and would send them only when they had “nothing better to do”.141 In Kulai, after several years of the Christian presence, parents were still “not interested in encouraging their children to attend Sunday School”.142 The schools’ Christian elements also evoked criticism and social distancing, and resulted in numerous conflicts bet­ ween the ambitious missionaries and the villagers. In Tasek New Village, for example, the Christian school struggled with a shortage of Christian teach­ ers. As a consequence, and contrary to what the missionaries had originally planned, there was almost no Christian teaching. The spreading of slander about the Christians and the school distanced the small community even fur­ ther from the rest of the local population.143 In 1955, the Protestant churches together had some 2,684 children in their Sunday Schools,144 a fairly modest number considering the total New Village population of around 600,000.

Women The British authorities clearly had an instrumental approach to Christian networks whose social services promised to facilitate the resettlement pro­ gramme. For Christian workers, on the other hand, being present in the New Villages was not an end in itself, but was actually meant to serve the

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  143 purpose of recruiting new Christian members and ultimately promoting baptism among the resettled. At a very early stage, the churches made it clear to themselves and to the government that they were not concerned merely with humanitarian efforts, but with a missionary zeal and the stabilisation of the new communities as a means to fight communism.145 To this end, the missionaries, Christian nurses, doctors, and other workers brought a whole arsenal of social strategies to bear: establishing personal relationships with families living in the new settlements; distributing ­Christian literature in the waiting rooms of their clinics; involving children in regular commu­ nity activities; establishing regional, even international youth networks; organising youth camps; training young Christian Chinese and I­ ndians in parish work; and establishing a continuous parish life in the midst of the barbed-wired villages. In all this, women played a decisive role as promoters of Christian ideas, but also as a special target group. In the late colonial era, the traditionally conservative role model of missionaries’ wives underwent some changes, which also had a bearing on the role of women in New Village work. Of course, many missionaries were unshakeable in their conviction that the “most worthwhile Christian job and witness for the married woman is in her home, in creating a real Christian home, and bringing up her children in the best way she can”.146 But in contrast to the “good old imperialist days”, when the children were raised by amahs (i.e. nannies) and servants, mission­ ary wives acquired a more active role in evangelistic community activities. Since the late 19th century, Protestant women had claimed more promi­ nent roles not only as missionaries’ wives but also as equals in scholarship and pastoral duties in the missions.147 Independent of their husbands, they now tried “to get nearer to the people, and live nearer their level, and to wit­ ness more in this way by our lives”.148 Several of the Christian workers who had come from China after the communist takeover and pioneered the New Village work in Malaya, were women working mainly as nurses in the clinics as well as on the forefront of church administration and planning. For establishing personal contact with local settlers, women were indis­ pensable. In spite of a general shortage of female recruits for Christian work in the new settlements,149 the Singaporean Diocese Board of Women’s Work acknowledged in 1955 that in the New Villages, women had to contend with severe scepticism not only among male villagers, but also among the local indigenous churches, which were mostly conservative in their orientation. In spite of this, church representatives claimed that wherever “women evan­ gelists” have been at work, the Church had become “better established in homes”.150 Women organised regular women’s gatherings, during which they addressed problems of everyday life related to women, girls, and family life, but also discussed the Christian teaching from a female perspective.151 Among the resettled in the New Villages, women often had to contribute to the family income in addition to their domestic work. Together with their husbands, they worked in the plantations, rubber estates, and tin mines.152

144  Redefining secularism in the Cold War Young children were usually left with older siblings or grandmothers.153 In Guntong, Kampong Tawas, and other New Villages, the Christian women workers therefore instigated separate, well-attended handicrafts classes for girls to improve day care.154 Particularly in the early phase of Emergency, female settlers were confronted with outstanding challenges inside and out­ side the barbed-wired settlements. Women were frequently suspected by the police of supporting the insurgents and thus repeatedly held for question­ ing. During the work in the rubber estates, women were confronted with numerous forms of physical threat.155 The challenges for women also included health risks related to childbirth in unhygienic conditions as well as postnatal health care. For this reason, female Christian workers developed plans to establish midwifery services inside the New Villages, but met with numerous social and cultural bar­ riers. In Sungei Buloh New Village, for example, midwifery services were accepted only in rare cases. Particularly among the very poor, domiciliary midwifery was not popular.156 In Kulai New Village, female Christian work­ ers organised “baby visits” at the homes of the villagers.157 Female Christian workers saw an urgent need for infant welfare education and counselling on bringing up babies and small children.158 In their perception, in the envi­ ronment of the new settlements, the established, traditional ways of rearing children were inadequate. In particular, the existing hygienic conditions and the educational standards, which the Christian workers defined themselves, made these changes imperative in their view. But there were also other risks specifically relevant to women. In case of serious illness, when the local clin­ ics inside the village compounds could no longer help, women had to take their children to hospitals and maternity homes far away. This could only be undertaken under severe security risks due to the absence of reliable trans­ portation and the continuous threat of assault.159

Youth Among the different social groups attracted to the communist insurgency, there was one group of particular concern for the British authorities as well as for the Christian workers, and that was young people. At the beginning of the Emergency, British Malaya already showed the demographic patterns of a relatively young society that it maintained for several years after inde­ pendence. In 1950, there were around 900,000 children aged between six and twelve in Malaya, of whom not even half were enrolled in school.160 At this early stage, a popular saying described a New Village as a “place where old people live in old houses, surrounded by new regulations and new fences”.161 Generally, this description was inaccurate, as the New Village popu­ lations consisted mainly of families including children and young adults. During the first half of the 1950s, however, it turned out that there was a growing desire among young settlers to move to the cities and escape the adverse living conditions of many New Villages, sometimes called “rural

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  145 slums”. In interviews, young people often said that they wanted to leave their New Village as soon as the emergency regulations were lifted.162 In the eyes of Christian observers, the government had no adequate strategies to counter these trends: “All the government do [sic] is to arrest a [young] man who has gone too far, they have no means or personnel to feel-in [sic] and teach them”.163 For all these reasons, social work among the New Villages’ young people ranked high on the agenda, particularly of female Christian workers. Young people were recognised as a “key factor in the building of the Church” and thus the crucial battleground to fight atheism and social disintegration.164 In so-called youth groups or youth fellowships of 10–15, occasionally even ­40–50 people, interested young settlers met once a week under the leadership of Christian youth workers from Singapore and the Federation, who trav­ elled to the new settlements only for this purpose. These fellowships were meant to “occupy usefully the time of young men and women in the eve­ nings, to stretch their minds and guide them to intelligent citizenship” and prevent them from joining communist groups.165 The youth groups became involved in social as well as manual work inside the settlements, construct­ ing houses, expanding clinics, or painting churches.166 The ultimate pur­ pose of these youth fellowships was, of course, to win young people over to ­Christianity, but their actual interest in the Gospel and Christian spirituality was limited.167 The majority of young people in the settlements tended to be in distinct “political camps, and not easy to contact with the Gospel”.168 In spite of the intention to specifically target the youth, the ­Protestant churches had considerable difficulties reaching out to them. During the first years of the Emergency, there was no clear strategy in the New Villages on how to include young people more effectively in church activities. One exception, however, was the American Methodist Church, which es­ tablished its own Youth Institute in Malaya in 1952, at a fairly early stage dur­ ing the Emergency, to recruit young people for two-year voluntary work in the new settlements.169 Within two years, the Methodists had an extensive youth organisation with mainly English- but also Chinese-speaking branches.170 Others, such as the Anglican Church, the Presbyterians, but also the YMCA, the YWCA, and the Salvation Army got involved in youth work, trying to set up youth networks that connected New Village populations with national and international networks.171 Many local youth workers used their involve­ ment in youth fellowships during the Emergency to get access to higher edu­ cation in the United States, Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.172 One measure to improve the coordination and efficiency of youth work was youth camps, during which youth workers from New Villages got to know each other and were trained particularly in organisational skills. The First New Village Youth Camp, held at Port Dickson south of Kuala ­Lumpur in 1958, was attended by youth workers from five different New ­Villages in that region. Its programme was a combination of Christian spiritual endeavours such as morning prayers, Bible studies, and discussion

146  Redefining secularism in the Cold War groups on religious matters and more adventurous activities including film screening or a campfire on the beach.173 Towards the end of the Emergency, the Christian churches once again intensified their efforts to strengthen their hold on young people inside the New Villages and beyond. This task had been neglected for a long time in spite of the early recognition that the large share of young people in M ­ alaya’s national population and their crucial importance for domestic political de­ velopments ought to be a central concern. However, the churches found it difficult to access young people due to a lack of clear strategies, insufficient national coordination among the different congregations, and limited fi­ nancial and organisational means.

Christian Emergency work and the global rise of communism and secularism For Christian missionaries and Christian social workers, the Emergency in British Malaya provided an exceptional opportunity for social and evange­ listic work. Although precise figures are difficult to reconstruct – in 1955, the main Protestant churches registered no more than 147 adult and 71 child baptisms altogether174 – it seems appropriate to assume that the number of converts remained small until Malaya’s independence in 1957. The global history of Christian missionary endeavours, however, cannot be reduced to the number of converts. More broadly, it is a history about their impact on the transnational Christian networks themselves, their influence on those who explicitly did not convert, and the imprint they left on society as a whole.175 Consequently, the historical impact of Christian involvement dur­ ing the Emergency went beyond the low numbers of proselytes; it concerned the local version of colonial and postcolonial secularism, including the role of Christian networks in Malayan society, their relations with government authorities, and the country’s ethnic and religious fabric. First, compared to earlier times, when there was practically no Christian missionary activity in Malaya, the Emergency provided a unique oppor­ tunity to expand Christian work beyond Singapore to smaller towns and rural areas. In these areas, Christian organisations had hitherto been vir­ tually non-existent. Second, the internationalisation of Malayan Christian work had an institutional effect on the churches. Among other things, it strengthened the diocese of Singapore and significantly increased its stra­ tegic importance for regional Christian networks in South and Southeast Asia. Third, the Emergency enhanced the relevance of Christian organisa­ tions and networks for the secular colonial administration, and thereby con­ solidated their political weight. Government officials, of whom many were Muslims, repeatedly acknowledged the high reputation of Christian medi­ cal, educational, and social work. Christian groups themselves had the im­ pression that “trust and goodwill is being built up that will be more valuable than ever in future Christian work in the newly independent country”.176

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  147 A good deal of this “trust and goodwill” depended on the question of proselytisation among Malays, who were usually Muslims. There were re­ peated discussions among Christian missionaries during the Emergency over whether the law in Malaya indeed prohibited missions to Malays. As the British Government had long since separated Islamic affairs from other policies and thus left matters of “religion and customs” to the Sultans, who strictly opposed the proselytisation of non-Islamic organisations among Muslims,177 Christian workers had to proceed carefully. In this context, however, church authorities had their own interpretation of a secular state. At the annual meeting of the Singapore Auxiliary Diocesan Association in 1948, the Anglican Bishop of Singapore criticised that “there is no real [mis­ sionary] work among the Malays. It is time we did it”. Anglican Christians would “not want a State subservient to the Church, nor a Church subservi­ ent to the State”, but instead “a State influenced by this environment which Christians can produce, and which will create a new environment in which the Kingdom of God may be proclaimed”.178 The consequence of this speech was a fierce debate between Christian au­ thorities and colonial administrators in Malaya and in the United Kingdom over whether proselytisation among Muslim Malays was indeed prohibited by law or banned through a tacit agreement to prevent a politically “unde­ sirable proselytisation race” in Malaya.179 In practice, however, there were also efforts to proselytise among Muslims. Christian groups had a policy of “regular contacts on a small scale between the church and the Malays”. In Malay villages, there was “some social work going on”. In particular, the American Methodist Church tried to evangelise Malays in the Settlement of Malacca.180 Malays were thus not completely excluded from the missionary programme during the Emergency, even though the political situation re­ quired caution and restraint. Given the Christians’ strong self-interests, the question remains how the missionaries themselves interpreted their work in relation to global deve­ lopments during the early Cold War era. In their personal notes as well as in their official reports, many missionaries and Christian workers involved in New Village work saw their work explicitly in the context of the broader struggle against communism and against what they perceived as a global rise of secularism. In their perspective, communism could “only be defeated as men turn not to it [i.e. communism], but to the Lord of All, and find in Him hope and fulfilment”.181 “Because of the challenge of communism”,182 Christian involvement in the New Villages was urgently required. According to them, “[t]he times are too critical and the menace of Communism and material­ ism too acute for us to play about with the mandate we have to preach the ­Gospel”.183 The struggle between the government and the communists was, of course, a military one, “but there is another struggle going on between them – the struggle to win the hearts of the New Village people. And the people are beginning to take interest in what the two sides have to say”.184

148  Redefining secularism in the Cold War In this extended struggle, Christians had a major contribution to make as they were themselves struggling for survival. “Surrounded by a jungle of non-Christian religions with their superstitions and unreasoning fanati­ cism”, Christians were numerically too weak to compete with these other religions as well as with the “growing non-, or anti-religious secularist move­ ments, such as Communism”.185 As the New Villages were expected to re­ main and gradually become permanent settlements, the struggle between communist ideas and Christian teachings appeared all the more decisive: “People [in the New Villages] lie as wide open to nihilism and communism as to Christianity. Thus the field in which [the] Mission works is both lasting and most important in Christian strategy”.186 In spite of these individual testimonies, it would be exaggerated to inter­ pret anti-communism and anti-secularism as the sole or even the primary reason for Christian work during the Emergency. Nevertheless, the context of the Cold War and the awareness of a truly global confrontation between communist-secularist ideas and religious values pervaded not only indivi­ dual statements of Christian workers, but also, at the institutional level, Christian congregations as a whole. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the clergy and the local churches in England regarded Christianity and com­ munism generally as antithetical in their theological and ideological orien­ tation.187 Transnational missionary networks, as well as their missionaries, stationed in (post)colonial societies, by contrast, were much more differen­ tiated in their opinions about communism. Recent research on US Protestants and their role during the early Cold War period has shown that, contrary to the established narrative, by no means all of the Protestant circles were supportive of the Truman and later administrations in their steps to militarise the Cold War.188 In particu­ lar, not only the transnational Protestant networks such as the WCC, but also domestic umbrella organisations such as the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (FCC) were among the most fervent critics of US Cold War mongering. More often than not, Protestant missionaries saw themselves as an element in a global struggle against poverty, imperi­ alism, and war and thus rejected the US administration’s confrontational approach from the late 1940s onwards. Similarly, Anglican missionaries posted in Asia, Africa, and Latin ­A merica during the late 1940s contributed different perspectives to the de­ bate over the ‘red menace’. In their view, there existed important objectives and values that the Christian doctrine and communism shared. Many mis­ sionaries were not at all sure that anti-communism was indeed the main political line of conflict of their times. The London-based CMS suggested drawing “some lessons” from the experience of China and the eviction of Christian missionaries under communist rule. According to the CMS, communism offered some “real at­ tractions” for Christians, for instance its “depth and comprehensiveness of conviction”, “thoroughness of propaganda”, “close and warm fellowship”,

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  149 “enthusiasm to the point of self-sacrifice”, and the “certainty that they are on the winning side, or as they would put it, co-operating with the historical process”.189 Christians, therefore, should prepare for this confrontation by knowing exactly what they stood for and what their “doctrinal teaching” was about, but also by reading the communist material and “[trying] to ap­ preciate what it feels like to be a Communist”.190 The missionary journal “The Malaysia Message” published mainly US Methodist contributions to this discussion. In their view, the rise of communism was a result of the Christians’ “failure to apply consistently the basic Christian principles of justice and freedom and equal opportunity, and [their] failure to rectify the common wrongs of exploitation and the common ills of poverty”. What communism and Christianity shared were their assertion of the “equality of all men” and their concern for “economic welfare and the accessibility of the goods of life to all men”.191 In practice, these similarities made communism a very serious competitor. In 1949, the CMS launched an enquiry and a debate within its own global network, but also with other Christian organisations, on the extent to which communism indeed constituted a threat in the different colonial and postco­ lonial societies, and what could be done about it. Contributions sent in from Asia including China, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Iran, and Sri Lanka, as well as those from African countries such as Kenya, Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, and other Western African outposts, reflect diverse interpreta­ tions of communism and of the nature of its challenge to Christianity. Several African missionaries clearly questioned the imminent threat of communism to Christianity and encouraged their Christian co-workers in Africa, Asia, and Europe to instead learn from the communists. Their “thorough knowledge of their doctrine”, their “very good training by well equipped teachers”, and the “popular demand and striving for social reform” ought to be a rich source of inspiration for Christians worldwide. Although communism was not a direct threat to Christianity because it was not a “re­ ligion but an economic set up”, Christians should recognise the comparative advantage of many communist groups in comparison to ­Christians. Whereas communists were determined and willing to die for their “faith”, Christian churches were “lukewarm and […] failing to get across to [their] people the challenge of Christianity to a life of full surrender and self-denial”.192 CMS missionaries in Calcutta, East India, reported that communism was spread­ ing quickly among students in Bengal and the lower-paid workers. It was not clear, however, how much sympathy communists already enjoyed among the urban middle classes. While communists effectively expressed broader “disgust for present conditions”, the Christians’ greatest weakness in India was the “refusal to come down practically to the problems of the street and the bazar. Everything is far too theoretical”.193 CMS priests in Travancore, South India, estimated that a communist takeover in India was “the very real probability within five years”. Christians should therefore enter politics to gain more influence.194

150  Redefining secularism in the Cold War Others were disturbed by the facile way in which Christian opinion in Western ­ urope and America is being lined up on the anti-Communist front. E There is […] a real peril in the approach which says “Communism is anti-God and to be opposed as such to the uttermost”.195 From a Christian point of view, one could, of course, be sceptical of Marx­ ism, but one should also see “that it represents the most thoroughgoing at­ tempt to analyse the basis of human society, and then to build a new order on that basis, of which we have an evidence at the moment”. Communism ought to be confronted “positively” because of its “anger against injustice and an appeal to compassion which alone explains its command on the ide­ alism of Youth”.196 One missionary in Nigeria questioned whether, from an African perspective, communism was really the most imminent threat to Christianity and not Islam, nationalism or, “most serious and tragic of all, secularism within the Church”.197 The immediate confrontation of missionaries in their living environments with issues such as poverty, inequality, and other forms of social deprivation made many of them receptive to communist criticism. Many Christian work­ ers could not but acknowledge the legitimacy of these topics of communist teaching and even found a great deal of overlap with Christian thoughts. More remarkable, though, is that secularism within the churches was per­ ceived as an even greater challenge. The growing number of US missionar­ ies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia after 1945 popularised this view.198 In the United States, Protestant and particularly Catholic anti-communism had its origin in hostility towards ‘godless’ secularism that had emerged in the interwar period. According to conservative and fundamentalist Chris­ tian circles, this secularism was the true danger for Western civilisation.199 After the Second World War, however, this aversion to communism con­ tinued and intensified within the much broader framework of hostility to­ wards secularism. It is therefore no coincidence that in 1947 the Catholic Bishops of the United States devoted their “annual statement” to the subject of “secularism”. They saw in secularism a “view of life that limits itself not to the material in exclusion of the spiritual, but to the human here and now in exclusion of man’s relation to God here and hereafter”. Secularism was thus a different name for the “practical exclusion of God from human think­ ing and living” and thus lay “at root of the world’s travail today”.200 The global planning of the CMS and other worldwide missionary organ­ isations during the late 1940s and 1950s put a strong emphasis on “younger churches” in colonial and postcolonial societies in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. What these churches had in common were their mi­ nority status and the fact that they were all founded by foreign missionar­ ies and in many cases still functioned under their leadership. Besides, they were often poor and included many so-called “depressed classes”. The CMS

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  151 was concerned that an environment of imperialism, colonialism, and na­ tionalism would push these churches into a confrontation with other, much stronger forces including Marxism.201 An adequate Christian response to these challenges in a minority situation was a “policy of action”, in other words an existence less by the word of preaching than by material action, in group forms, by medicine in relief or hospital teams, by co-operatives either agricul­ tural or industrial, by any group activity of Christian inspiration which enables the standard of living of ordinary men to be raised in some marked and obvious fashion.202 The Christian engagement in the New Villages was an illustrative attempt to practise this “policy of action” and, by doing so, enable and strengthen local Christian communities in their struggle with competing ideas and so­ cial practices.

Conclusions This chapter provided a case study on the transformation of secularism pro­ jects under the conditions of radicalising social and political struggles in local communities as well as the globalising Cold War. At an early stage of the Emergency in Malaya, the British authorities developed a strong interest in making use of the social services provided by transnational Christian organisations, to the benefit of their strategic efforts against the communist guerrilla movement. As a consequence, the British revised their secular, dis­ tanced approach to these networks. In contrast to previous colonial prac­ tices,203 Christian missionaries were now offered an active, state-funded role in the field of social policy. This change of policy appealed in turn to the missionary societies, as it provided a unique missionary opportunity in a society in which Christianity had hitherto been marginal. Contrary to what one might have expected, many Anglican missionaries posted in Asia and in the decision-making bodies in the United Kingdom were sceptical about this new openness to Christian cooperation under the late imperial administration. An important facet of colonial state secular­ ism had always been that Christian organisations maintain a strategic dis­ tance to the colonial government so as not to be associated too closely with colonial practices. This strategic distance also guaranteed maximum auton­ omy for the Christian networks themselves. From a Christian perspective, the Emergency therefore constituted an ambivalent opportunity. On the one hand, it indeed provided access to a hitherto inaccessible population, i.e. the ethnic Chinese who had been resettled during the early months of the Emergency. On the other hand, it encouraged closer cooperation with an im­ perial state at a time when Malaya was moving towards political independ­ ence and a critical distance to imperialism was more decisive for Christian

152  Redefining secularism in the Cold War communities than ever before. Direct, close cooperation with the imperial government bore the risk of being marginalised or even victimised once the colonial rulers had left the country. In addition, the continued interests of the missionary societies in China made them cautious about accepting the alluring offers of the colonial administration. The missionaries therefore formulated their own concepts for a secular state and their conditions for select cooperation. In the years that followed, relations between the secular colonial state, the missionaries, and the communist groups were gradually redefined in different spheres of social life including health care, school­ ing, mass communication, gender relations, and youth work. In the end, the Emergency indeed enabled Christian missionaries to increase their social relevance and also, to a lesser extent, to enhance their proselytising efforts. After the Emergency, however, Christian communities in Malaya had an infrastructure of parishes and an indigenised clergy at their disposal that had been absent before. A closer look at the debates within the global missionary networks on the ‘red menace’ reveals that, in contrast to Western missionaries, many missionaries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were differentiated in their opinions. Although anti-communism indeed constituted an important ideological reference, the communist criticism of poverty, inequality, and deprivation was in their view a legitimate perspective from which ­Christian workers ought to learn. In these debates, secularism was portrayed as a form of godlessness and relativism, which some missionaries perceived to be a more imminent global threat than Marxism. In particular within the churches, secularism was alleged to have a corrosive effect on missionary zeal. In the long run, this secularism would lead network members to ques­ tion the most fundamental Christian convictions that were so crucial in the struggle against communism.

Notes 1 Henry William Brands, The Devil We Knew: Americans and the Cold War (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 4. 2 Useful overviews are provided by Jean-François Sirinelli and ­Georges-Henri Soutou (eds.), Culture et guerre froide (Paris: Presses de l’Université P ­ arisSorbonne, 2008); Dianne Kirby (ed.), Religion and Cold War (Houndmills, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). 3 Particularly instructive are Kenneth D. Wald, “The Religious Dimension of American Anti-Communism”, Journal of Church and State, 36 (1994), pp. ­483–506; Dianne Kirby, “Religion and the Cold War – An Introduction”, in Dianne Kirby (ed.), Religion and the Cold War (Houndmills, New York: ­Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 1–22; William Inboden, Religion and A ­ merican Foreign Policy, 1945–1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008); Marc A. Amstutz, Evangelicals and American Foreign Policy (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2013); Jonathan P. Herzog, “From Sermon to Strategy: Religious Influence on the Formation and Implementation of US ­Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War”, in Philip E. Muehlenbeck (ed.), Religion

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  153 and the Cold War: A Global Perspective (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2013), pp. 44–64; Andrew Preston, Swords of the Spirit, Shields of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy (New York, Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012); Angela M. Lahr, Millennial Dreams and Apocalyptic Nightmares: The Cold War origins of Political Evangelism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Jonathan P. Herzog, The Spiritual-Industrial Complex: America’s Religious Battle against Communism in the Early Cold War (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). 4 Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 25. 5 Albert Lau, “Introduction: Southeast Asia and the Cold War”, in Albert Lau (ed.), Southeast Asia and the Cold War (London, New York: Routledge, 2012), p. 8. 6 Charles K. Armstrong, Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, ­1950–1992 (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell University Press, 2013), p. 4. 7 Cf. C.F. Yong, “Origins and Development of the Malayan Communist Party, 1919–1930”, Modern Asian Studies, 25/4, October 1991, pp. 625–648. 8 For a brief summary of the broadly discussed (possible) Soviet role in these events, see Loen Comber, “The Origins of the Cold War in Southeast Asia: The Case of the Communist Party of Malaya (1948–1960). A Special Branch Perspective”, Kajian Malaysia 27/1&2, 2009, pp. 39–60. 9 Nicholas Tarling, Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Cold War, ­1945–1950 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 310. 10 H.M. Stationery Office, Malaya – The Facts (Cambridge: W. Heffner & Sons, 1952), pp. 10–11. 11 Karl Hack, “Negotiating with the Malayan Communist Party, 1948–89”, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 39/4, November 2011, p. 611. 12 Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon, Imperial Endgame: Britain’s Dirty Wars and the End of Empire (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 136–137. 13 Federation of Malaya, Paper to be laid before the Federal Legislative Council by Command of His Excellency The High Commissioner, No. 33 of 1952, “Re­ settlement and the Development of New Villages in the Federation of Malaya, 1952”, p. 2, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 “Ex-missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”. 14 Cf. the statistical overview for 1961 and 1963 in Terence Gary McGee, The Southeast Asian City: A Social Geography of the Primate Cities of Southeast Asia (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1967), p. 157. 15 Loh Kah Seng, “Squatters, Colonial Subjects and Model Citizens: Informal Housing in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong after World War II”, in Chapters on Asia: A Selection of Papers from the Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship, March 2014, Issue 1 (Singapore: National Library Board, 2014), pp. 169–205. 16 Sharon M. Lee, “Female Immigrants and Labor in Colonial Malaya: ­1860–1947”, International Migration Review 23/2, Summer 1989, pp. 315–316. 17 Kernial Singh Sandhu, “The Saga of the “Squatter” in Malaya: A Preliminary Survey of the Causes, Characteristics and Consequences of the Resettlement of Rural Dwellers during the Emergency between 1948 and 1960”, Journal of Southeast Asian History, 5/1, March 1964, p. 147; Jonathan M. House, A Military History of the Cold War, 1944–1962 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012), p. 304; Michael Johnstone, “Urban Squatting and Migration in ­Peninsular Malaysia”, International Migration Review 17/2, Summer 1983, p. 295. 18 Richard Clutterbuck, The Long Long War: The Emergency in Malaya 1­ 948–1960 (London: Cassell, 1966), p. 61. 19 Federation of Malaya, Paper to be laid before the Federal Legislative C ­ ouncil by Command of His Excellency The High Commissioner, No. 33 of 1952,

154  Redefining secularism in the Cold War “Resettlement and the Development of New Villages in the Federation of ­Malaya, 1952”, p. 2, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 “Ex-­ missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”. 20 Ibid., p. 3. 21 T.N. Harper, The End of Empire and the Making of Malaya (Cambridge: ­Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 183. 22 “New Villages’ Problems”, The Straits Times, 12 June 1952. 23 Department of State, Office of Intelligence Research, IR-6165.4, “Communism in the free world: Capabilities of the Communist Party, Malaya”, January 1953, p. 3. http://ia801705.us.archive.org/33/items/Communism-In-Free-World-1953/ CIA-RDP86B00269R000800080001-4.pdf (accessed 22 July 2016). 24 National Security Council, “Status of United States Programs for National ­Security as of December 31, 1953”, NSC 5407, RSC, The Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Files, 1953–1961, Part 1: Subject Files, Reel 2, 0872. On the magnitude of the drop in rubber prices see “The United Sua Betong Rubber Estates, Ltd.”, The Economist, 13 June 1953, p. 778. 25 Department of State, US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, Airgram A-67, “New ­Villages in Ipoh Area”, 7.4.1972, NARA, RG 59 Subject Numerical Files, ­1970–1973, SOCIAL, SOC LUX to SOC 10 MAURITANIA, Entry NO. 1613, Box 3077, POL 12 Malaysia. 26 Since December 1951, a growing number of leftist MPs in London had openly criticised the colonial government’s military strategies of crop destruction, col­ lective punishment of villagers, etc. as “very reminiscent of Fascist methods”. In the spring of 1952, 131 Labour MPs signed a motion against this practice because it was “contrary to civilised practice and is more likely to antagonise the Malayan people than to win their friendship and support”. The motion therefore urged the government to modify its policy. All documents quoted in ­David Goldsworthy, Colonial Issues in British Politics 1945–1961: From ‘Colonial Development’ to ‘Wind of Change’ (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 211 and “Law and Order in Malaya: Mr Lyttelton Optimistic”, The Manchester Guardian, 4 April 1952, p. 10. 27 John Stuart, “Scottish Missionaries and the End of Empire: The Case of Nyas­ aland”, Historical Research 76/193, August 2003, p. 413. 28 Letter, Gerald Templer to the Conference of British Missionary Societies, 25 February 1952, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1952; for Templer’s dis­ tinct approach including military, but also political, social, and economic strat­ egies, see John A. Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (Chicago, IL, London: Chicago University Press, 2005), p. 100. 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid. 31 G. Templer, Confidential No. 84/53, 21.4.1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 48. 32 Protocol, Malaya Mission Council Special Meeting, 15.11.1952, p. 2, SOAS ­A rchives London, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 9. 33 Malayan Establishment Office, Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya, “Nature of the help required by the Federation Government”, n.d., UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51; John Roxborough, “The Story of Ecumenism”, in Robert Hunt, Lee Kam Hing, and John Roxborough (eds.), Christianity in Malaysia: A Denominational History (Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, 1992), p. 301. 34 File 431b/3, Protocol, CMS Malaya, 7.10.1952, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1952. 35 Bishop Henry, “Memorandum on the possibilities of service by China Mis­ sionaries in the Diocese of Singapore following conversations between the Rev.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  155 Douglas Sargent and the Bishop of Singapore”, 22 December 1950, p. 2, UBCRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51; cf. also Note, 18 May 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 6. 36 C.M.S. News-Letter, No. 128 (Double Number), May 1951, SOAS, CBMS Box 461. 37 Bishop of Singapore to The Secretary, Dublin University Foochow Mission, 5.10.1951, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 38 “The First Impression of Work in a New Village: It isn’t easy”, MCC Bulletin, December 1953, p. 15, SOAS Archives, London, CBMS Box 459, File 3. 39 F.K. Balchin, “First Impressions of the Malayan Mission (In place of an annual report)”, November 1952, p. 1, SOAS Archives, London, CWM/LMS/1951– 1960/Box EA/24, File 27C, East Asia 1951–60, Reports, Balchin F.K. 1952–60. 40 The Far Eastern Secretary, London, to the Bishop of Singapore, 7 June 1951, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 41 Kevin Ward, “‘Taking Stock’: The Church Missionary Society and Its Histori­ ans”, in Kevin Ward and Brian Stanley (eds.), The Church Missionary Society and World Christianity, 1799–1999 (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000), p. 23. 42 Letter No. 13, Secretary to Kingsford Carpenter, 19 October 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 43 Ka-Che Yip, “China and Christianity: Perspectives on Missions, National­ ism, and the State in the Republican Period, 1912–1949”, in Brian Stanley (ed.), Missions, Nationalism, and the End of Empire (Grand Rapids, MI, Cambridge: ­William B. Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 134–135. 44 A China Missionary, “First Thoughts on the Débâcle of Christian Missions in China” (originally published in October 1951 in the International Review of Missions), African Affairs 51/202 (January 1952), pp. 33–41. 45 H.A. Wittenbach to Harry Baines, 11 September 1950, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. Cf. also Adrian Hastings, A World History of Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI, Cambridge: Wm.B. Eerdmans, 1999), p. 406. 46 John W. Masland, “Communism and Christianity in China”, The Journal of Religion 32/3, July 1952, p. 201; K.E. Priestley, “Chinese Communism and Chris­ tianity”, Far Eastern Survey 21/2, 30 January 1952, pp. 17–20; Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, “An Unlikely Peace: American Missionaries and the Chinese Commu­ nists, 1948–1950”, Pacific Historical Review 45/1, February 1976, pp. 103–104; C.M.S. (1950), Annual Report of the Committee of the Church Missionary So­ ciety for Africa and the East, One-Hundred-Fifty-Fist Year 1949–50, London, pp. 8–9, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 2 1. 47 H.A. Wittenbach to Harry Baines, 11 September 1950, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 48 H.A. Wittenbach to Harry Baines, 13 September 1950, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 49 General Secretary, CMS, to The Right Reverend, 16.11.1950, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 50 General Secretary, CMS, London, to the Bishop of Singapore, 20 February 1951, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 51 T. Campbell Gibson to F.G. Healey, 10 October 1950, SOAS Archives, London, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 3. In particular, the Hakka had been a repeat­ edly persecuted minority group in China. Many of them had chosen emigration to escape their status of social marginalisation. 52 E.W.A. Scarlett to Stanley Dixon, 24 August 1950, p. 1, SOAS Archives, ­London, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 (“Ex-missionaries for Govt. ser­ vice in Malaya 1950/52”).

156  Redefining secularism in the Cold War 53 Ibid., p. 2. 54 Note, D. Bishop, 2 May 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 5. 55 Letter Secretary to Jeremy Sampson, 20 June 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 56 R.K. Orchard to Mr Healey, Mr Childe & Mr Wittenbach, 20 October 1950, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 (“Ex-missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”). R.K. Orchard, London Missionary Society, London, to Rev. S.H. Dixon, London, 7 March 1952, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 (“Ex-missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”). 57 Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland, London, to the Members of the Far East Committee, 13 April 1951, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 (“Ex-missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”). 58 SHD: LT to Gerald Templer,, 24 April 1952, p. 2, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 22–26 (“Ex-missionaries for Govt. service in Malaya 1950/52”). 59 G. Kingsford Carpenter, CMS Malaya, KL, Letter 4, 9 October 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 60 Letter No. 19, 431b/3, Secretary to Kingsford Carpenter, KL, Malaya, 7 December 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 61 Letter (9), Kingsford Carpenter to H.A. Wittenbach, 26 December 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1952. 62 Letter No. 2, Kingsford Carpenter, KL, to Harry (Bishop of Singapore), 1 ­August 1951, p. 2, & Secretary, Malaya, to S.H. Dixon, Conference of Missionary Socie­ ties, London, 1 August 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 63 Letter No. 3, 431b/3, Secretary to Kingsford Carpenter, 5 July 1951, p. 1, UBCRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1950–51. 64 Cf. also Lee Kam Hing, “A Neglected Story: Christian Missionaries, Chinese Villagers, and Communists in the Battle for the ‘Hearts and Minds’ in Malaya, 1948–1960”, Modern Asian Studies 47/6, 2013, p. 1986. 65 Confidential: From Holy See to Foreign Office, Sir W. Roberts, Telegram No. 49, 23 October 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 16. 66 The Secretary of State for the Colonies, Telegram No. 427, to Federation of ­Malaya, 11 April 1953 & Inward Telegram to the Secretary of State for the Colo­ nies, From Federation of Malaya, 21 October 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 72 & 17. 67 Letter, CMS, London, to Bishop of Singapore, 18 December 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1950–51. 68 CMS, London, to the Bishop of Singapore, 7 December 1951, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1950–51; Inward Saving Telegram from Holy See to For­ eign Office, Departmental Distribution, 8 July 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 37. 69 See for example “New Village Service Fund”, financial overview, 31 July 1952, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY 1 1952; financial statement in Letter 48, C.M.S. Malaya, 17 May 1957, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 4; and “New Village Service Fund – 1957”, UB-CRL, CMS, H/H35/A2/1, Home Division. 70 “Malaya’s New Nationalists”, The Economist, 10 October 1953, p. 104. 71 Report “C.M.S. Policy in Malaya”, n.d., p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1952. 72 C.M.S., London, “Report on C.M.S. work in Malaya”, 12 February 1953, ­UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1953–1954. 73 “85,000 Families in New Villages: Malayan Resettlement”, The Manchester Guardian, 11 September 1952, p. 10; J.R.F. [Fleming] “Memorandum on Rela­ tionships between Churches and Government as this affects New Village work (Confidential)”, November 1952, p. 3, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 23 New Villages.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  157 74 Karl Hack, “‘Iron Claws on Malaya’: The Historiography of the Malayan Emergency”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 30/1, March 1999, p. 119; Karl Hack, Negotiating, p. 612. 75 Among the strongest supporters of the resettlement programme were the ­European, Indian, and Chinese Chambers of Commerce in Malaya that re­ minded the Secretary of State for the Colonies Oliver Lyttelton in a common memorandum in April 1952 about how important it was to deport squatters or put them into detention camps in order for anti-communism to succeed. Cf. “Resettlement in Malaya”, The Manchester Guardian, 28 April 1952, p. 3. 76 Enid Lakeman, Report on Malaya: The Relevant Facts and Opinions (London: The McDougall Trust, 1952), p. 13, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 21 Political. 77 Malayan Establishment Office, Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya, n.d., p. 1, SOAS, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 4. 78 Kathleen Carpenter, The Password is Love: In the New Villages of Malaya ­(London: The Highway Press, 1955), p. 16. 79 E.E. Parkerson, Salak South (New Village), KL, Malaya, Round Robin No. 4, 28 April 1952, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary, G59 Y7MY1 1952–1963. Rhoderick dhu Renick Jnr., “The Emergency Regulations of Malaya Causes and Effect”, Journal of Southeast Asian History, 6/2, September 1965, p. 10. In­ terviews with elderly villagers, quoted in Tan Teng Phee, “Oral History and People’s Memory of the Malayan Emergency (1948–60): The Case of Pulai”, Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 27/1, 2012, p. 110; also by the same author “‘Like a concentration Camp, Ipah’: Chinese Grassroots Experi­ ence of the Emergency and New Villages in British Colonial Malaya”, Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, 3/2009, p. 221. 80 Government of Malaya White Paper (1952), “Resettlement and the Deve­ lopment of New Villages”, quoted in “Village War must be won”, The Straits Times, 12 June 1952. 81 Secretary, CMS, London, to Kingsford Carpenter, 1 October 1952, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1952. 82 Douglas M. Haynes, “The Persistence of Privilege: British Medical Qualifications and the Practice of Medicine in the Empire”, in Kevin Grant, Philippa Levine, and Frank Trentmann (eds.), Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire and Transnationalism, c. 1880–1950 (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 214–239. 83 G. Templer, Confidential No. 84/53, 21 April 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 48. 84 “Record of a conversation between Father O’Brian and Mr. Etherington Smith”, 10 July 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 29. 85 Inward Telegram No. 1132 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies from ­Federation of Malaya, 27 September 1952, TNA, CO 1022/379, 87. 86 Telegram No. 19, From Holy See to Foreign Office, 27 October 1952, TNA, CO 1022/379, 85. 87 R.A. Elder, Ipoh, Perak, Malaya, to Rev. R.E. Fenn, London, 24 March 1952, p. 1, SOAS, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 7. 88 Ibid. 89 Malayan Christian Council, “Forward Together”, Annual Report February 1953, p. 16, SOAS, CBMS Box 459, File 2. 90 CMS London, Report on C.M.S. work in Malaya, 12 February 1953, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1953–1954. 91 Report, J. Lovell (Kulai, Johore, Malaya), 10 November 1952, p. 1, SOAS, CWM/LMS/15/07/338, File A. 92 Report, J. Lovell, 5 February 1953, SOAS, CWM/LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24, File 27C, East Asia 1951–60, Reports, Balchin, F.K. 1952–60.

158  Redefining secularism in the Cold War 93 New Village Survey, quoted in J.R. Fleming, General Secretary, MCC, “Gen­ eral Secretary’s Report to Member Churches and Organisation”, 30 December 1954, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 459, File 2. 94 Statistics for 1955 on the Churches’ New Village work, listed in Malayan ­Christian Council, Minutes of New Villages Coordinating Committee Meet­ ing, Kuala Lumpur, 16 November 1956, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (NV C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). 95 Malayan Christian Council, A Survey of the New Villages in Malaya (Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Christian Council, 1958), p. 11. 96 “Memorandum on the Future of the New Village Work (To members of the New Village Service Fund Committee and New Village workers)”, February 1958, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 3. 97 File 31/3, to Kingsford Carpenter, 2 March 1955, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 3. 98 A.J. Lee, Malaya, Guntong New Village, Ipoh, to Wittenbach, 16 July 1953, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1953 K-L. 99 Ibid. 100 Kai Hong Phua and Mary Lai Lin Wong, “From Colonial Economy to Social Equity”, in Milton J. Lewis and Kerrie L. MacPherson (eds.), Public Health in Asia and the Pacific: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (London, New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 173. 101 Ibid. 102 Mark Silk, Spiritual Politics: Religion and America since World War II (New York et al: Simon & Schuster, 1988), pp. 84 & 86. 103 Division of Foreign Missions, NCCCUSA, Far Eastern Joint Office, Southeast Asia Committee, “The Religious Situation in Malaya and the Opportunities for Christian Work through the MCC and MCCE”, Informal Report by Dr Hobart B. Amstutz, 7 April 1952, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 23 New Villages. 104 M.M. Thomas, “Notes on a short visit to Singapore and Indonesian SCMs” [Students’ Christian Movements], 29 November 1948, p. 3, WCC, 213.13.30/6. 105 On the role of the ICCC in global anti-communism, see Markku Ruotsila, “Transnational Fundamentalist Anti-Communism: The International Coun­ cil of Christian Churches”, in Luc van Dongen, Stéphanie Roulin, and Giles Scott-Smith (eds.), Transnational Anti-Communism and the Cold War: Agents, Activities, and Networks (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 235–250. 106 “Report of New Villages Statistics 1955”, UB-CRL, CMS, AS 59 G1 MY1 ­1955–1959, sub-file 5. 107 Malayan Christian Council, “Minutes of New Villages Co-ordinating Commit­ tee Meeting held at Wesley Social Hall”, KL, 17 May 1957, p. 2, SOAS Archives, London, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (M.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). 108 Robert Hunt, “The Churches and Social Problems”, in Robert Hunt, Lee Kam Hing, and John Roxborough (eds.), Christianity in Malaysia: A Denominational History (Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, 1992), p. 343; other sources count 20 New Villages with Methodist presence; see Theodore R. Doraisamy, The March of Methodism: Singapore and Malaysia 1885–1980 (Singapore: MBR, 1982), p. 90. 109 Agnes L. Richards and J. Lovell, “Kulai Report 1954”, p. 3, SOAS, CWM/ LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24; CMS Historical Record 1957–58, CMS Archive Section III: Central Records, Part 11: Periodicals, Reel 132, document nr. 488, UB-CRL, CMS. 110 British Legation to the Holy See, 9 February 1953, TNA, CO 1022/379, 79–81. 111 J.R. Fleming, “General Secretary’s Report to Member Churches and Organisa­ tion”, 30 December 1954, p. 1, SOAS Archives, London, CBMS Box 459, File 2;

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  159

112 113

114 115

116 117 118 119 1 20 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131

J.R. Fleming, Gen. Secretary, M.C.C. to Alexandre de Weymarn, 18 September 1953, p. 1, SOAS Archives, London, CBMS Box 460, File 2. J.M.M. Neave, Report on the Church & the New Villages in the Federation of Malaya, 24 October 1952, p. 2, SOAS, CWM/LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24, Neave J.M.M., 1951, 1954. CMS Historical Record 1956–57, CMS Archive Section III: Central Records, Part 11: Periodicals, Reel 131, document nr. 452, UB-CRL, CMS; James M.M. Neave, 1954 Report, SOAS, CWM/LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24, Neave J.M.M., 1951, 1954. “Malaya sets up kitchens: Starving out the communists”, The Manchester Guardian, 12 August 1958, p. 5. Khoo Hin Hiong, Malayan Christian Council, “Minutes of the New Villages Co-ordinating Committee”, held in KL on 25 March 1960, n.d., p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (M.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60); International Cooperation Administration, Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, Washington D.C., 6 December 1957, NARA (National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland, USA), RG 59 LOT File 63D18, Sub­ ject Files Relating to Malaysia & Singapore, 1950–1958, Box 22. G. Kingsford Carpenter, New Village Coordinating Committee Report for 1955, SOAS, CBMS Box 459, File 2. Khoo Hin Hiong, Malayan Christian Council, “Minutes of the New Villages Co-ordinating Committee”, held in KL on 25 March 1960, n.d., p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (M.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). Rev. 431B/B, Bishop of Singapore to Wittenbach, CMS, 1 June 1951, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1950–51. Letter to E.W.L. Martin, 16 June 1954, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1953–1954. File 431b/3, Point xi, 3 February 1952, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1953–1954. Letter “Malaya, Sept.-Dec. 1951”, B.B. Officer, “formerly in China, not CMS”, 6 February 1952, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1950–1951. Ray Nyce, Chinese New Villages in Malaya: A Community Study (Singapore: Malaysian Sociological Research Institute, 1973), p. 108. Arnold J. Lee to Wittenbach, 3 April 1958, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 5. E.M.J. Izzard to Wittenbach, 20 August 1952, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL ­1950–1953 H-J. Kumar Ramakrishna, Emergency Propaganda: The Winning of Malayan Hearts and Minds 1948–1958 (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2002), p. 4. Diane Ravitch, The Trouble Crusade: American Education, 1945–1980 (New York: Basic Books, 1983), p. 100. US Consulate, Kuala Lumpur, to Department of State, 897.43/10-1951, 10 October 1951, NARA RG 263, Entry Murphy Papers, The Murphy Collection on Inter­ national Communism, 1917–1958, Indonesia, Box 122, 4202 Malaya. US Department of State, Memorandum of Conversation, “Discussion on Southeast Asian Matters”, 2 November 1955, p. 2, NARA RG 59, LOT File 57D373, Box 6, 510 South and Southeast Asia. US Foreign Service Despatch No. 19, to US State Department, 18 September 1952, NARA RG 263, Entry Murphy Papers, The Murphy Collection on Inter­ national Communism, 1917–1958, Indonesia, Box 122, 4202 Malaya. “Supplementary Report on a Tour of Singapore and the Federation of M ­ alaya”, Rev. D.N. Sargent of the Church Missionary Society – December 1950, ­Chapter X, UB-CRL, CMS, H/H35/A2/1, Home Division. Lucian W. Pye, Guerrilla Communism in Malaya: Its Social and Political Meaning (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956), p. 175.

160  Redefining secularism in the Cold War 132 Report “International Communism (Communist Penetration of Malaya and Singapore)”, Staff Consultation with Kuo-Shuen Chang, Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Fifth Congress, First Session, May 29, 1957 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1957), Synopsis, The US Library of Congress Manuscript Division, The Papers of Loy Henderson, Box 9. 133 “New Villages in Malaya”, The Economic Weekly, 12 February 1956, p. 229. 134 Letter 45, A.J. Lee to Wittenbach, 20 March 1957, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1953–59, sub-file 1; Annual Letter, Rev. W.F. Norton, Guntong New Vil­ lage, to Wittenbach, 29 July 1955, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 N-P. 135 E.E. Parkerson, Malaya, Salak South New Village, to Wittenbach, 27 August 1953, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1953, N-P. 136 Covering Letter to M/52/70 and 72, The Joint Secretary, Malaya Group Com­ mittee, n.d., SOAS Archives, London, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 9. 137 Information Bureau, Royal Empire Society, London, “Notes on Conditions in the Federation of Malaya”, February 1953, p. 2, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 21 Political; J.R.F. “Memorandum on Relationships between Churches and Government as this affects New Village work (Confidential)”, November 1952, p. 3, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 23 New Villages. 138 “An Educational Policy?”, n.d., SOAS, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 10. 139 Annual Letter, E.W.L. Martin, Kampong Tawas to Wittenbach, 31 August 1955, p. 3, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 M. 140 Joyce Lovell in Kulai Chronicle, No. 7, Chinese Christian Church, Kulai, ­Johore, Malaya, October 1954, SOAS, CWM/LMS/15/07/338, File A. 141 Joyce Lovell in Kulai Chronicle, No. 3, Chinese Christian Church, Kulai, ­Johore, Malaya, February 1953, SOAS, CWM/LMS/15/07/338, File A. 142 Agnes L. Richards and J. Lovell, “Kulai Report 1955”, p. 1, SOAS, CWM/ LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24. 143 Rev. A.J. Lee to Wittenbach, 11 July 1953, p. 3, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL ­1950–1953 K-L. 144 “Report of New Village Statistics”, 1955, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (N.V.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). 145 J.R.F. [Fleming] “Memorandum on Relationships between Churches and Gov­ ernment as this affects New Village work (Confidential)”, November 1952, p. 3, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 23 New Villages. 146 Report, “The Missionary Wife”, 1.9.1955, attached to A.J. Lee (Kathleen), Kampong Tawas, Ipoh, Malaya, to Wittenbach, 28 August 1955, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 K-L. 147 Norman Etherington, “Introduction”, in Norman Etherington (ed.), Missions and Empire (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 9; Hartmut Lehmann, “The History of Twentieth-Century Christianity as a Challenge for Historians”, Church History 71/3, September 2002, pp. 592–593. 148 Report, “The Missionary Wife”, 1 September 1955, attached to A.J. Lee ­(Kathleen), Kampong Tawas, Ipoh, Malaya, to Wittenbach, 28 August 1955, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 K-L. 149 Bishop of Singapore to H.A. Wittenbach, 2 April 1955, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary, G59 Y7MY1 1952–1963. 150 “Report of the inaugural meeting of the Diocese Board of Women’s Work”, 12 October 1955, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 3. 151 E.M. Izzard to Wittenbach, 24 August 1956, p. 3, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 H-J. 152 Two of the major socio-economic consequences of the Malayan Emer­ gency were a general, significant increase in urban centres with more than

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  161

153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 1 63 164 165

166 167 168 169 170 1 71 172

1,000 inhabitants from 163 (1947) to 400 (1957) and a change in the occupational structure of the New Village population. Between 1950 and 1952, the percentage of farmers among the total New Village population dropped from 60 per cent to 27 per cent. At the same time, the proportion of wage earners increased from 25 per cent to 55 per cent. See John Coates, Suppressing Insurgency: An Analysis of the Malayan Emergency, 1948–1954 (Boulder, CO, San Francisco, CA, ­Oxford: Westview Press, 1992), p. 93; specifically on female occupation pat­ terns, see Lee, “Female Immigrants”. A.J. Lee (Kathleen) to Wittenbach, 26 July 1954, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–1959 K-L. CMS Historical Record 1956–57, CMS Archive Section III: Central Records, Part 11: Periodicals, Reel 131, document nr. 447 & 449, UB-CRL, CMS. Agnes L. Richards and J. Lovell, “Kulai Report 1955”, p. 1, SOAS, CWM/ LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24. East Asian Committee, Annie Sydenham, Medical Report on New V ­ illages Work for the Year ending 31 December 1955, 26.1.1956, Paper “B”, p. 2, ­UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 3. Agnes L. Richards and J. Lovell, “Kulai Report 1954”, p. 2, SOAS, CWM/ LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24. Annual Letter, V.R. Ansell to Wittenbach, 12 September 1955, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL 1950–59 A-BA. Circular Letter, May Briggs, Yongpeng, Malaya, 13 September 1954, p. 1, ­UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 5. “Supplementary Report on a Tour of Singapore and the Federation of Malaya”, Rev. D.N. Sargent of the Church Missionary Society – December 1950, Chapter X, UB-CRL, CMS, H/H35/A2/1, Home Division. “The New Villages: Happy Homes or Rural Slums?” The Malayan Monthly, June 1956, UB-CRL, CMS, H/H35/A2/1, Home Division. Ibid. E.M. Izzard to Wittenbach, 9 August 1955, p. 6, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL ­1950–1959 H-J. J. Sutton, Report of M.C.C. New Villages Workers’ Retreat, held at Malacca, April 29–May 3, 15 May 1957, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (N.V.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). “Extracts from H. A. Wittenbach’s Report on his Asia Tour 1953–1954, Report on the Diocese of Singapore; Compiled and Introduction by Michael Poon”, February 2006, www.ttc.edu.sg/csca/rart_doc/ang/sing/wittenbach1953.htm (accessed 15 August 2016). Circular Letter, May Briggs, Yongpeng, Malaya, 13 September 1954, p. 2, ­UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 5. A.J. Lee to Wittenbach, 25 August 1955, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, ASE AL ­1950–1959 K-L. J. Sutton, “Report of M.C.C. New Villages Workers’ Retreat”, held at Malacca, 29 April–3 May, 15 May 1957, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (N.V.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). Malayan Christian Council of the International Missionary Council, to ­Stanley Dixon, 8 May 1952, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 460, File 2. J.R. Fleming to Rev. Frank Short, 20 January 1954, p. 1, SOAS, CBMS Box 460, File 2. Ibid. G.A. Hood, Overseas Mission Committee, Malaya: Report from Rev. G.A. Hood, Annual Reports: 1957–58, p. 1, SOAS, CWM/LMS/1951–1960/Box EA/24.

162  Redefining secularism in the Cold War 173 Arnold J. Lee to Wittenbach, 7 May 1958, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1955–1959, sub-file 5. 174 Report of New Village Statistics, 1955, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 24 (N.V.C.C. Minutes, 1956–60). 175 Steven Kaplan, “Introduction”, in Steven Kaplan (ed.), Indigenous Responses to Western Christianity (New York, London: New York University Press, 1995), p. 2. 176 Malayan Christian Council, Survey, p. 10. 177 John Fleming to Stanley Dixon, 6 November 1952, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 27 (Malaya: Religious Liberty). 178 Extract from Speech of the Bishop of Singapore at the 1948 Annual Meeting of the Singapore Auxiliary Diocesan Association, n.d., TNA, FCO 141/7399. 179 Letter, J.G. Black, 4 January 1949, TNA, FCO 141/7399. For more details on this discussion, see particularly the handwritten comments at the beginning of the file. 180 Kenneth G. Grubb, “The Christian Approach to the Malays”, 16 December 1955, p. 4, SOAS, CBMS Box 462, File 4, Folder 28 (Malayan Constitution). 181 Joyce Lovell in Kulai Chronicle, No. 6, Chinese Christian Church, Kulai, ­Johore, Malaya, June 1954, SOAS, CWM/LMS/15/07/338, File A. 182 No. 46, 431B, H.A. Wittenbach to Bishop of Singapore, 2 December 1950, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, AS59 G1 MY1 1950–51. 183 Ray Dawson, Johore, Malaya, “Correspondence: Spheres of Influence”, British Weekly, 20 September 1951, SOAS, CBMS Box 461, Folder 9. 184 Appeal on Behalf of the ‘New Villages’ (by the Malayan Mission Council), ­October 1952, p. 2, SOAS, PCE/FMC Series II, Box 8, File 9. 185 S.R. Anderson, The Anderson-Smith Report on Theological Education in Southeast Asia: Especially as it Relates to the Training of Chinese for the Christian Ministry: The Report of a Survey Commission, 1951–1952 (New York: Board of Founders, Nanking Theological Seminary, 1952), p. 85. 186 Letter, Bishop of Singapore to Dr Warren, 25 August 1952, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, H/H35/A2/1, Home Division. 187 Ian Jones, “The Clergy, the Cold War and the Mission of the Local Church: ­England ca. 1945–60”, in Dianne Kirby (ed.), Religion and Cold War ­(Houndmills, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 189. 188 Andrew Preston, “Peripheral Visions: American Mainline Protestants and the Global Cold War”, Cold War History, 13/1, 2013, pp. 109–130. 189 Report “Some Lessons from China by three C.M.S. Missionaries recently in China”, July 1952, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. 190 Ibid., p. 4. 191 The article “Christianity and Communism”, written by the “faculty of Garrett Biblical Institute”, was published in “The Malaysia Message” in 1950 (exact date unknown). The Garret Biblical Institute is a theological seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Evanston, Illinois, USA. See ­UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary, G59 Y/MY1 1950–1951. 192 CMS, Precis, etc. for Africa Committee, 29 May 1952, p. 2, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. 193 J.S. Turner, Calcutta, to Max Warren, 19 December 1949, p. 3, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. 194 John Beall to Max Warren, CMS, 14 November 1951, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. 195 Max Warren to CMS London, April 1949, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secre­ tary G59/P P1. 196 Ibid. 197 John Hargreaves to Dr Warren, 20 November 1951, p. 1, UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. See also James P. Alter, “The Church and Com­ munism”, International Review of Mission 45/177, January 1956, pp. 123–124.

Redefining secularism in the Cold War  163 198 On the increasing importance of US missionaries particularly after 1945, see Timothy Yates, Christian Mission in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: ­Cambridge University Press, 1996); Adrian Hastings, A History of African Christianity 1950–1975 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 41. 199 Colleen Doody, “Grappling with Secularism: Anti-Communism and Catholi­ cism in Cold-War Detroit”, American Communist History, 10/1, 2011, p. 55. 200 Annual Statement of the (Roman Catholic) Bishops of the United States, re­ leased on 14 November 1947, www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view. cfm?recnum=767 (accessed 22 August 2016). 201 E.J. Bingle, “Communism and the Younger Churches”, Report, n.d., p. 3, ­UB-CRL, CMS, General Secretary G59/P P1. 202 Ibid., p. 20. 203 For a more detailed discussion, see Azmi Aziz and Amri Baharuddin Shamsul, “The Religious, the Plural, the Secular and the Modern: A Brief Critical Survey on Islam in Malaysia”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 5/3, 2004, pp. 346–347.

5 (Anti-)secularism and social struggle Christian and Islamic groups during the anti-communist mass murder in Indonesia, 1965–1966 Introduction In the course of the months after 30 September 1965, when an abortive coup d’état from within the armed forces failed, Indonesia became the scene of “one of the ghastliest and most concentrated bloodlettings of current times”,1 during which several hundred thousand people were killed, most of them either members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) or sus­ pected sympathisers. This chapter discusses why conservative Christian and Islamic groups played such a prominent role in the mass violence against leftist forces in Indonesian society.2 The existing literature has thus far not provided a satisfying explanation for this pattern; in particular, the role of Christian circles has been widely overlooked. The argument I put forward in this chapter is that the mass violence was a culmination of a social and po­ litical conflict around a distinct secularism project advanced by the PKI and other leftist organisations such as labour unions, peasants’ organisations, and women’s movements, many of them by the mid-1960s strongly rooted in Indonesian and particularly Javanese society. As such, this secularism project entailed the maintenance and expansion of the secular state and its institutions, comprehensive social reform, and an economic restructuration of Indonesian society through various means, including land redistribution as well as legal moves against high-level corruption and crony capitalism. In all these fields, established Islamic and Christian elites defended their vested interests against the rise of leftist reformist and revolutionary forces and thus cooperated with the armed forces as the principal facilitator and coordinator of the killings. The central task of secularism, i.e. to create distance between state and religion, is intrinsically connected to issues of social order and, more broadly, to power relations between different social forces within a soci­ ety. Historically, the question of which role religious orthodoxy, religious institutions, and religious values ought to play in a society has not been restricted to and dealt with by national constitutions, legal orders, or judi­ cial practices. Rather, social power was contested in open social struggles between competing interest groups. The task of this chapter is to analyse

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  165 and understand secularism as a form of social struggle over various forms of economic, social, cultural, symbolic, and political capital under the con­ ditions of global Cold War dynamics.3 In Indonesia, during the early 1960s, this social antagonism culminated in a violent clash over the state, which the communist party and its affiliated organisations threatened to take over. In contrast to major parts of the existing literature that chose either local or national approaches to explain the violence,4 the focus here is on the underlying social conflict in the interplay between local and transna­ tional dynamics. Immediately after Sukarno and Hatta had declared Indonesia’s inde­ pendence in 1945, communist and other leftist forces had been among the most prominent voices demanding the largest possible distance between religion, especially Islam, and the state. In the following years, the antago­ nism grew steadily, particularly between the PKI and conservative Islamic circles in Java, Sumatra, and elsewhere. During its rapid organisational expansion in the course of the 1950s, the PKI had not been a consequently anti-religious force. On the contrary, it claimed to be tolerant in particular towards the more liberal forms of Islam.5 Among the Christian commu­ nities in Bali, Flores, and Timor, the PKI had for a long time successfully campaigned against poverty and social deprivation among subsistence farmers and worked closely with Christian community leaders and par­ ishes.6 In West Timor, the PKI combined radical politics of social reform with Christian thinking, traditional magic, and even witchcraft in order to appeal to local tastes and customs.7 But whereas in the colonial context of the 1920s and 1930s, Islamic, Christian, and other religious groups se­ lectively cooperated with communist organisations and even merged with them ideologically,8 this relationship turned bitter during the early Cold War period of the 1950s and 1960s, and ultimately deteriorated into mu­ tual combat. A closer look at the anti-communist violence of 1965/1966 and preceding developments reveals that the burgeoning influence of the PKI and other leftist organisations in social organisation, social mobilisation, and national politics increasingly posed a challenge to the power basis of conservative Islamic and Christian circles. In particular, the PKI’s claim on the state and its institutions, including the armed forces, was their disaster scenario. In addition, these conservative forces felt threatened by the leftist forces’ pur­ suit of social reform and interpreted their secularism as a strategy to limit the societal role of conservative religious actors. Seen in this light, the out­ break of mass violence in the mid-1960s appears not to be an isolated event, but rather a process embedded in larger conflicts over political and social power, economic resources, and public space that were exacerbated by ex­ ternal Cold War players. Christian Gerlach suggested that it is important to grasp the “process[ual] character of social crisis and mass violence”.9 This is also a key to understanding the contributions of religious organisations to the outbreak and the course of mass violence. These contributions were

166  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle related both to their distinct ideological world views and to their broader role in society. This chapter seeks to understand the competing roles of left­ ist secular-oriented actors and conservative religious groups in these fields of social crisis including distributional conflicts over land, control over hu­ man resources, the reallocation of political power, controversies over social representation and hierarchy, access to information, and control over public urban space. The role of religious conservatives can only be estimated in reference to the armed forces and the global Cold War. The Indonesian Army (TNI, or ABRI) was not only a crucial facilitator of the religious violence against leftist forces in 1965/1966, but was itself probably the most important actor in the bloodshed.10 Since the introduction of martial law in 1957, military personnel had established an increasingly powerful position in Indonesia’s economic life and civic administration. The nationalisation of Dutch and later also British and US enterprises provided huge opportuni­ ties for the empowered army to generate large revenues through oil sales; control over plantations, mines, and banks; tax collection; the issuing of licences; and the granting of other facilities.11 The rise of communism was a potential danger to the armed forces’ growing economic and political strength. An alliance between parts of the army and conservative Islamic and Christian groups was far from natural, however. Since long, the military elite had been recruited from the gentry class, whose worldviews were more influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism, and animistic elements than by orthodox Islam.12 In addition, the long, exhausting struggle between 1949 and 1962 against attempts by the militant Islamic movement Darul Islam to establish an Islamic state on Indonesian territory had increased distrust towards fanatical Muslims.13 As a consequence, the majority of army officers had strong reservations towards devout Muslims organised in ­Islamic grassroots organisations. However, for the sake of its own longterm economic and political interests, and assisted by global Cold War players such as the CIA, the armed forces allied temporarily with con­ servative religious circles, thereby multiplying its effectiveness against the Left. In turn, this temporary alliance not only transformed the religious violence but also had an impact on the role of Islamic and Christian net­ works in Indonesian society. The case study below thus reveals that the anti-leftist mass murder was, among other things, the fatal outcome of cooperation between significant parts of the Indonesian Army, which was pursuing its own economic and political power interests, and conservative religious Christian and Islamic actors against the Left, whose programme of social reform and secularism threatened their social power. As the final part of this chapter illustrates, the global framework of the Cold War had a strong influence on these de­ velopments, comparable to the Malayan Emergency discussed in the pre­ vious chapter.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  167

Secularism and socio-economic reform: a threat to religious orthodoxy The reasons for the exceptional hostility of Islamic and Christian groups towards leftist forces were manifold and testified to a comprehensive social struggle over religious, social, economic, and political resources. In general terms, the roots of the violence lay in the preceding months or even years. Ruth McVey argued that the economic and political strains under Sukarno’s authoritarian leadership style (“Guided Democracy”) since 1957 had surged so rapidly that now “encouragement to communal slaughter was hardly needed”.14 The growing antagonism between religious organisations and the communists developed within a context of intensifying socio-economic and political conflicts. The PKI’s pressing agenda for social reform and as a con­ sequence its demand to weaken the power of orthodox circles in Indonesian society was increasingly perceived by these circles as an imminent threat. The oft-propagated antithesis between the orthodox (santri) and more eclectic (abangan) Muslim communities, the latter supposedly more sym­ pathetic to communist ideas and political reform, is indeed “much over­ worked” and more often than not a simplistic perception of social relations in Indonesian society.15 In relation to the social struggle discussed here, however, it does have explanatory potential if considered in conjunction with socio-economic patterns that had been crucial driving forces in ­Indonesia’s rural society before the attempted coup in September 1965. Rural orthodox and more eclectic Muslim communities were often segre­ gated from each other, living in different circles and even different villages, where they had acquired different cultural patterns including different styles of clothing, music, and rituals. By the mid-20th century, this segre­ gation had developed into a sort of local “cultural apartheid”,16 which led to serious political frictions, and radicalised even further when from 1960 the PKI shrewdly picked out the question of land property as a major bone of contention between these two groups. During both the first decade of ­Indonesia’s postcolonial history after 1949 and Guided Democracy after 1957, the PKI’s most important political card had been a strong reputation for incorruptibility as well as its efficient organisation.17 The latter was generally perceived to have a positive impact particularly on the poorer, i.e. landless sections of rural society. In order to explain the appeal of the PKI to readers in the United States, a journalist once reported the following dialogue between a wealthy Indonesian of Chinese ancestry and her chauf­ feur about Indonesia’s forthcoming first general elections in 1955. When the chauffeur had admitted that he would vote for the communists, she won­ dered how he could do that as a good Muslim. He explained: Because when the Communists come to power, everyone will have nice houses like yours. And all the land and property of the rich will belong to the common people. (…) The Masyumi [conservative Islamic party] is

168  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle all right for religion, but the Communists are the people for improving our everyday life.18 As for the election campaigns in 1955, the confrontation between Masyumi and the PKI intensified significantly. Since its re-establishment in 1945, Masyumi had defined itself as a political party based on the principles of Islam and had repeatedly criticised the anti-religious orientation of ­Soviet communism, which did not allow its people to exercise their religions freely.19 In late 1954, Masyumi in West Java issued an anti-communist fatwa, an ­Islamic legal announcement that declared the followers of communism to be heathens (kafir). Masyumi reasoned that the ideology of communism was itself “anti-God (atheism) and anti-religious” and thus contradicted Islamic law. As a consequence, communism should be combatted with Islamic teaching as well as Islamic law.20 The PKI, on the other hand, stepped up its day-to-day work among peas­ ants with the establishment of cooperatives, mutual assistance programmes for cases of illness or death, representing collective demands for rent reduc­ tion, the redistribution of fertilisers, seedlings and tools at cheaper prices, organising the repair of water channels, fish ponds, village infrastructure in­ cluding wells and bridges, and so forth. Between March 1954 and ­December 1958, the peasant membership of the PKI rose significantly as a result of these efforts from less than 80,000 to more than half a million. In the lat­ ter half of 1962, when the nationwide PKI membership passed two million, 80–85 per cent were concentrated in Central and East Java,21 where in 1965 the majority of atrocities occurred. In 1962, 60 per cent of PKI members were peasants.22 As a result, in summer 1965, the PKI was not only organ­ isationally present in virtually every village of Central and East Java, but had also improved the quality of its cadres through intensified training and education.23 The outbreak of violence in October 1965 was thus the outcome of several long-term factors that had caused a burgeoning of socio-economic clashes during the two or so preceding years between conservative Islamic circles and the Left. Throughout 1964, the PKI increasingly lobbied in the main cities, including Jakarta, for a thorough land reform on a national scale.24 The land reform laws, in particular the Basic Agrarian Law (BAL) No. 5,25 passed by the national government in 1960 had only been poorly imple­ mented, if at all. Chaotic statistical and recording apparatus, poorly trained officials especially at the lower government levels, and, most importantly, obstruction by landlords and their protectors with official appointments, had prevented a more rigorous enforcement.26 This obstruction was made possible by a clause built into the BAL according to which land property of social and religious organisations was converted into right of ownership and thus exempted from redistribution.27 Particularly in Java, Lombok, and Sumbawa hajis, religious teachers (kijajis) and other landowning authori­ ties donated their excess land, i.e. land property above the new legal limit,

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  169 to religious institutions (wakap) through antedated acts of transfer.28 In practice, these institutions acted often simply as puppets of the landowners who could in this way successfully secure their privileges by effectively not loosing control over ‘their’ land. For their part, the religious institutions accumulated even more land property and thus feared the PKI’s mounting pressure for factual land redistribution. Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a conservative Sunni Islamic organisation with a national network of local branches and strong representation in Jakarta, and particularly its youth wing Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, took a leading role in the anti-communist killings after 30 September 1965. A large number of Ansor members were actually sons and relatives of these hajis and kijajis who defended their families’ economic interests. In Sulawesi, for example, local Christian communities recalled in interviews with contemporary trav­ ellers that the large number of people murdered in the course of only a few weeks in late 1965 was only possible because “the hajis”, i.e. the local Islamic authorities, “have organised it”.29 In their view, these religious authorities acted not only out of religious zeal, but also to defend their material inter­ ests as a propertied class that owned the largest land properties in their vil­ lages. As the communists had long pressed for a maximum of ten hectares of personal land ownership and some of the “hajis” owned more than 100, the clash of interests was inevitable.30 The land situation in the mid-1960s was indeed critical, particularly in Java. Some 54 per cent of rural households on the island owned less than half a hectare of land, which was far too small for them to sustain them­ selves; another 13 per cent were landless. For both of these groups, the de­ teriorating agrarian situation, as a result of the massive drought during the late months of 1963 and early months of 1964, posed severe challenges for their survival.31 Although also Muslim trade unions recognised this insuf­ ficient land reform as a major challenge for social peace in Indonesia,32 it was mainly the PKI and in particular its Secretary-General, D.N. Aidit, who now targeted political decision-makers in urban areas to press for a renewed and, above all, rigorously implemented land reform.33 As early as 1959, Aidit supported an open attack on the landlords’ interests and de­ manded the existing 60:40 crop share in favour of the landholders to be re­ versed to the same ratio in favour of the tenants.34 When Parliament finally passed the Crop Sharing Bill in November 1959, the PKI interpreted this Bill as a de facto confirmation that there existed landlordism in Indonesia and that extensive land redistribution was inevitable.35 The PKI’s policy of land reform was to a certain extent only rhetoric. It was clear for many contemporary observers that even if all the availa­ ble land were redistributed to the landless, there would simply not be suf­ ficient land to provide for this significant share of the population, neither on Java and Bali nor on other islands of the archipelago.36 In rural areas, however, the PKI stimulated the mass mobilisation of peasants and the “ru­ ral proletariat”,37 i.e. peasants without any landholdings who worked on

170  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle other people’s properties and suffered from chronic underemployment. The party was not only present in the smallest villages in many regions on Java and Sumatra, but also sold fertiliser, hoes, and other farming equipment at reduced rates, which increased its popularity.38 In these ways, the PKI and its Peasants Front Organisation, Barisan Tani Indonesia (BTI), directly confronted the landowning classes. The PKI’s youth organisation Pemuda Rakyat declared, a few months before the outbreak of the mass violence, all “religious groups” to be the party’s foremost enemy as they, together with their religious creeds, would obstruct the breakthrough of communism in Indonesia.39 Besides the question of land reform, a further factor that contributed to the escalation of the situation was the food crisis that struck large parts of ­Indonesia in 1963, mainly due to drought. The food crisis emerged against the background of a worrisome long-term trend in per capita food supply which had been in decline since the end of the Second World War.40 The economic consequence was that in Jakarta, the price index of 19 foodstuffs, including rice, rose from 3,010 in May 1963 to 4,674 in December of the same year. In February 1964, thousands of people living in various areas in Central and East Java were officially registered as suffering from hunger oedema.41 The PKI daily Harian Rakyat reported extensively that people in West Java were subsisting on mango seeds, as they could no longer afford rice.42 This economic crisis also had an impact on Indonesia’s foreign relations. The United States tried to compensate for the worst effects of the crisis in order to keep the communists away from power in rural areas as well as at the national level, and also to keep Indonesian oil under Western con­ trol.43 Washington was highly critical of Indonesia’s hostile policy towards ­Malaysia, and for this reason had withdrawn a proposed stabilisation loan of about US$200 million.44 Nevertheless, it did provide US$75 million in 1964 to help Indonesia meet its food and cotton deficits.45 In spite of this, the food crisis, together with the overall economic crisis, provided an additional impetus for the PKI’s campaigning in rural areas. The resulting political as well as violent clashes paved the way for what was to come after the coup on 30 September 1965.

Inter-religious complicity in anti-communist violence The escalating social struggle between the PKI and various anti-communist forces encouraged distinct forms of complicity among religious organisa­ tions that had previously harboured distanced or even hostile attitudes to­ wards each other. As their common enemy, the expansion of the PKI and its affiliated organisations triggered various inter-religious alliances between Muslim and Christian groups. These alliances were generally short-lived and disappeared as soon as they no longer had any strategic value. During the violence, however, inter-religious alliances were significant elements in the mass murders and important backing for the armed forces.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  171 While the main religious opposition to the PKI no doubt came from or­ thodox Islam, attitudes towards communism among the Christian com­ munities were more diverse with some sharing the consequent rejection of communist atheism and others agreeing with the PKI’s goal of social jus­ tice and land reform.46 Since the mid-1950s and particularly during Guided Democracy after 1957, however, religious organisations started experiment­ ing with anti-communist alliances. While early attempts such as the Front Anti-Komunis (FAK, 1953) and Manikebu (Manifes Kebudayaan, Cultural Manifesto, 1963) remained exclusively Muslim, later platforms diversified. The “Cooperative Body for Safeguarding Pancasila in Surabaya”,47 initi­ ated in December 1964, was a direct reaction to the PKI’s progress among peasants in Central and East Java and included not only Islamic, but also Catholic as well as Protestant parties. Its means were primarily political as it lobbied at a provincial level against the increasing political influence of leading PKI members in the state administration. In early 1965, Masyumi sympathisers and more progressive elements of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) founded Persami ­(Persatuan Sarjana ­Muslimin ­I ndonesia, the Association of Indonesian ­Muslim Graduates). Under the leadership of the NU’s Vice Chairman Subchan, who also played a de­ cisive role during the mass killings, Persami functioned as a policymak­ ing board for its members and sought to advance their anti-communist agenda through Muslim delegates in parliaments and Muslim action groups.48 In mid-March 1965, NU, GASBIINDO, the ­Muslim Trade Union, and various Islamic student organisations met in Bandung and declared a “new stage” in building Islamic anti-communist alliances in Indonesia.49 The ­A fro-Asian Islamic Conference, held in Bandung at the beginning of March, had brought these heterogeneous Islamic groups together, and they communicated among each other almost on a daily basis. The organisations were determined “to prevent moves from any group, which are aimed at damaging Islam. (…) Every move to harm any Islamic group is considered [a] move against [the] entire Islamic community”.50 After the 30 September coup, various religious groups and political parties developed their cooperation further into coordinated efforts to persecute PKI suspects, suppress the PKI’s organisational infrastructure, and pro­ tect the religious organisations’ own members and properties against pos­ sible attacks. On 2 October, encouraged by the army leadership in Jakarta, Subchan Z.E. of the NU and Harry Tjan of the Catholic Party founded the Action Front to Crush Thirtieth of September Movement (KAP-Gestapu).51 Although mainly a coordinating body, the Action Committee became an important operational partner for the armed forces outside of Jakarta.52 Its Action Commands, facilitated by the religious organisations’ own networks and infrastructure, were designed to bring out popular support for the mili­ tary’s efforts to wipe out the PKI and its influential leaders in provincial par­ liaments and the bureaucracy.53 The religious youth wings supported these

172  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle efforts. They formed armed guards and militias such as the Islamic Barisan Serba Guna (All-Purpose Brigade) and the Christian Barisan P ­ engawal ­Yesus (Guards of Jesus Christ) not only to protect the churches from com­ munist attacks, but also to launch offensives against PKI suspects.54 In Pare near Kediri in East Java, Muslim and Protestant youth together with nationalist youth formed armed squads and surrounded villages where the presence of PKI members was suspected. Then, a mass of Ansor Youth would be brought in from the various pondok and pesantrèn [Islamic schools] in the Kediri region. On average, about 3,000 people would be involved. The expectation was that, with the vil­ lage surrounded, no Communist element would be able to escape.55 Christians were also among those unloading the communist detainees from the army trucks before they beheaded their victims with the Samurai swords that the Japanese occupiers had left behind a few years previously.56 In Sikka district on Flores, an island with a Christian majority, the religious parties were deeply involved in the mass killings. According to Fr. ­Hubertus Thomas Hasulie SVD, the killings there “have always been witnessed by representatives” of the Catholic Party, the Indonesian C ­ hristian Party, and the NU. Before the slaughter, army personnel usually fetched party repre­ sentatives and envoys of Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims to be witnesses and actively assist in the executions. While the army provided the weapons and itself stood aloof, it also threatened unwilling executioners to substi­ tute for the ‘communist’ victims if they disobeyed.57 The Catholic Party, its Youth League, and the Catholic Church more generally on Flores had long since held a commanding position in the education sector, the bureaucracy, and in local politics. The elimination of leftist, anti-­establishment oppo­ sition not only secured their hegemony, but also annihilated any form of organisational alternative that could in the future potentially question their ­ uslims supremacy.58 In Timor, another peripheral arena of the violence, M and Catholics joined hands in their persecution of whomever they identified as ‘communist’. In South-West Timor alone, around 50 communist suspects were slaughtered as a consequence of this ferocious ecumenism.59 Muslim and Christian youth also collaborated “in friendly fashion against [the] common communist enemy” in what they called sessions of “reindoctrination” among high school students to combat communist ideas.60 To some members of the Catholic clergy, communism’s secularism had long been perceived to be the greatest threat to religion and the Catholic Church.61 Catholic authorities such as the Archbishop of Semarang openly acknowledged these religious counter-propaganda efforts and demanded the “organisation of religious instruction” for the communists “so that they will lead a God-fearing life in their individual responsibility to God”.62 On the ground, Muslim and Catholic networks organised joint meetings with provincial military leaders to coordinate their anti-communist efforts.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  173 In  Central Java, the Commander of the VIIth/Diponegoro military dis­ trict, Brigadier-General Surjosumpeno, and the Head of the Central Java High Persecution Office, Boedhi Soestrino SH, attended together a mass rally of Muslim and Catholic organisations for programmatic and proce­ dural coordination.63 The US embassy in Jakarta observed in November that a “relatively smooth coordination between various Moslem parties and groups themselves and with their Catholic and Protestant counterparts” had evolved in Java and Sumatra. As their leaders also coordinated with the army, “rudiments of civilian-military cooperation in [the] formation of [the] post-Sukarno [Government] have therefore emerged”.64 Rumours cir­ culating within Protestant and Catholic Church networks about communist killing lists containing the names of leading church authorities and foreign missionaries further increased the willingness, particularly of Catholic cir­ cles, to join hands with Muslims “for revenge”.65 The fall of Sukarno, which many of these religious organisations expected in the not too distant future, would re-draw the political map of Indonesia from scratch. In Medan, the army made full use of this unique inter-­religious complicity, in particular between Muslim and Catholic groups. The pro­ vincial military command in North Sumatra utilised secular groups such as Pemuda Panjasila, but also called upon Protestant and Catholic Youth, ­Ansor, HMI and the PII (Pelajar Islam Indonesia), two Islamic student feder­ ations, to “report anything suspicious to the armed forces”,66 in other words to inform the army about the PKI’s members and affiliates. The Catholic Party (Partai Katolik) used a similarly neutral wording in its instructions to the mass Catholic Front organisations. The Catholic G ­ eneral Board chairman Frans Seda and secretary-general Harry Tjan called on ­Catholics to “assist the Armed Forces in exterminating the counter-­revolutionary ‘30 September Movement’”.67 With the mass murder already in full swing, such a proclamation was open to various interpretations in the local com­ munities, including active assistance in the killing, for example, through the provision of crucial information about communist personnel and activities. This gave the Christian networks considerable leeway to denounce leftists and people who might in any way have been critical of those networks’ ma­ terial and ideological interests. In January 1966, to enhance the cooperation between the different I­ slamic groups and the army, senior army officer Major General Sudirman founded the Body of the Coordination of Good Deeds of Muslims (Badan Koordinasi Amal Muslimin Indonesia), which was less a political party in its own right than an umbrella organisation closely associated with the armed forces.68 The Body served mutual interests. After the peak of the anti-­communist violence and the destruction of the PKI’s infrastructure, the Muslim o ­ rganisations developed high expectations concerning their role in ­Indonesian society and politics after Sukarno’s fall, due to the assistance they had provided for the army. Conservative members of the ­government as well as the armed forces saw Islam as the appropriate tool for fighting communist ideas among

174  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle the remaining communist sympathisers. In so-called “Mental Development Projects”, the authorities sought to “educate the Communist prisoners in Islam and thus bring them back into the fold”.69 In addition, they stepped up the establishment of training centres to indoctrinate in particular students and youth in the techniques of missionary Islam.70

Religious war profiteers When the eradication of the PKI was more or less completed, long-term rivalries between Christian and Islamic political forces began to resur­ face. The Catholic Party’s leading intellectual P.K. Aujong continued to highlight the still acute danger of communism and Sukarno for the stabil­ ity of the country and the future of Indonesia’s Christians. On the other hand, Harry Tjan and Liem Koem, two senior Catholic leaders, depicted fears of an Islamic state.71 Within Parkindo, the Protestant Party, critics now openly denounced the Catholics’ severe anti-communism and warned that the “green” threat was more imminent than the “red” one.72 Many Christian communities and Christian clergy increasingly had the feel­ ing that they were “sitting right between red and green”. They observed that in Surabaya and other places, the Muslim youth group Ansor again installed the Jakarta Charter, a so far unadopted constitutional supple­ ment that would have turned Indonesia into an Islamic state.73 Rivalries over government jobs and political influence in the provinces, as well as in ­Jakarta, intensified further with a growing awareness of the vacuum that the PKI had left behind,74 and the major political forces including the military and the religious organisations prepared for what was to come after the violence. However, there was another important factor that contributed to the ris­ ing tensions between Christian and Muslim groups. As the PKI had been dissolved and the communist ideology had been banned, the government announced in 1966 that every Indonesian had to embrace one of the five re­ ligions (agama) Sukarno had officially recognised in 1965. The annihilation of the PKI and the persecution of its members provided a favourable context for Balinese Hindus to recruit new followers in East Java. As a consequence, local army as well as Muslim leaders in East and South Java accused Hindu and Buddhist organisations of providing a safe haven for communists, and temporarily even restricted the practice of Hinduism and Buddhism on Java.75 On Bali itself, people had already started during the persecutions to mark their houses in big black letters with their religious affiliations such as “Buddhist” or “agama Kristen”, i.e. Christian religion, to indicate that they were not communists. Henk Visch, a Dutch church worker stationed in Bali during these months, commented that it was “strange to see how many people now wanted to be called Christian although we had never learned about them as Christians before”.76 When the violence subsided, however, local Christian communities were occupied primarily with internal frictions

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  175 as well as conflicts with a reinvigorated Hindu orthodoxy that enjoyed the support of the nationalist PNI.77 In the rest of the country millions of adherents of primal religions, former PKI members, and alleged communist sympathisers joined the Protestant or Catholic faith. High-ranking military, provincial, and national leaders openly encouraged the churches to reinforce their missionary endeavours and undertake conversions on a large scale in order to prevent communism from re-emerging.78 The effect was that in some regions like Central and East Java church membership doubled within a few months.79 In some cases in East Java, entire villages asked for baptismal instruction and subsequently converted formally to Christianity.80 The Protestant Church in Timor re­ ported in early 1967 that within two years more than 100,000 new church members had been registered. In Central Java, entirely new Christian com­ munities emerged after September 1965. In East Java in the region south of Malang, 30,000 people converted. And in Karo-Batak land, a tribal area with a traditionally strong missionary presence, more than 13,000 adults formally converted in 1966 alone.81 The number of regular church services in this region more than doubled.82 Only occasionally did church employees criticise the silence of church authorities about the killings and their perpe­ trators while at the same time enjoying what they perceived as the “revival” of Christian community life.83 Besides the increase in membership, Christian communities in Sumatra and elsewhere experienced greater cohesion in the midst of mass violence and the anti-communist “witch hunt”.84 In Central Java, different Protestant Churches initiated a common “revivalist movement through the ­Gospel” to collectively receive new proselytes.85 The violence also had the effect that Christians whose religious convictions had previously only been lukewarm now frequently travelled significant distances to actively participate in com­ munity and parish work. In districts such as Kediri and Malang, strongly affected by the violence, Christian parishes reported already in early 1966 that the churches were full and the numbers of new proselytes were soaring: “Everywhere are new opportunities to spread the gospel”.86 Christian youth experienced a revival, and Christian labour unions enjoyed previously un­ seen popularity.87 The Christian churches were, of course, ill-prepared for this influx. What made things worse was that several Muslim groups and youth wings inter­ preted this mass conversion as an unfair form of Christianisation. Christian “triumphalism”,88 due to the high number of converts, aggravated the situa­ tion. During the second half of 1966 as well as throughout 1967, repeated vio­ lent clashes occurred between Christian organisations and Muslim (youth) groups, during which churches were burned down, Christian schools and monasteries attacked and Christians physically injured.89 The short-term ‘friendly relationship’ between Christian and Islamic organisations in their joint struggle against the Left turned sour again as the struggles over postSukarno Indonesia and its political identity began.

176  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle

Information battles For a long time, the social struggle between the Left and conservative forces had included disputes over information and hegemony in the public interpretation of political, social, and economic affairs. The mass violence radicalised these disputes. There is little doubt that the Indonesian armed forces, actively supported by Western diplomats, Western Cold War prop­ aganda, and Western media, have taken centre stage in the propagandistic assistance of the mass killings. Their factual distortions, anti-communist hate speech, and racial stereotyping were key elements in the reporting on the domestic Indonesian developments, which also had fateful repercus­ sions on these developments.90 Religious groups played an important and so far underappreciated role in the clash over the control and distribution of information that broke out immediately after 30 September 1965. At the end of this conflict, left-wing media had virtually disappeared, and conservative religious media mouthpieces had claimed a much more prominent position than before. President Sukarno had long had an ambiguous relationship with the free­ dom of opinion and the press. During the period of Guided Democracy, he had explained that as Indonesia was still in a stage of “economic revolution”, I shall not allow destructive criticism of my leadership nor do I permit freedom of the press. We are too young a country to encourage more confusion than we already have. What kind of army permits privates to publicly strip the general of his respect and confidence?91 The government’s growing authoritarianism in relation to freedom of infor­ mation reflected the general political polarisation under Sukarno’s Guided Democracy. This development also attracted international attention. Al­ ready in 1960, the International Press Institute (IPI) decided to withdraw recognition from its national committee in Indonesia due to the severe defi­ cits in press freedom.92 In early 1965, the increasing political polarisation resulted in rising ten­ sions between PKI-controlled media and non-communist journalists, who rejected the PKI’s efforts in Java and elsewhere to suppress newspapers con­ trolled by Islamic organisations.93 During the summer of 1965, new M ­ uslim newspapers appeared in Jakarta with the main objective of countering communist information policy.94 Immediately after the 30 September coup, however, Sukarno sought to maintain the PKI’s ability to publish its own opinions and propaganda, mainly in order to deny the military more com­ petencies in information policy. The army and various religious organisa­ tions, on the other hand, fiercely fought the PKI’s media channels.95 During the first few days after the coup, the army started to take control over the PKI press facilities in Jakarta,96 outlawed more than 30 daily and weekly newspapers, and started publishing two gazettes of its own.97

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  177 The national news agency Antara, known for its independent, critical jour­ nalism, is a case in point. As of 8 October, the agency was placed under the authority of the “Java War Administrator” and, hence, under the direct con­ trol of the armed forces. Twenty-six of its correspondents were arrested.98 The military justified this move by explaining that Antara “should be safe­ guarded from all influence” of the 30 September movement.99 In addition, the army targeted the new media of the time, i.e. TV and radio. Since the 1950s, both radio and TV had expanded considerably in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As new forms of mainly urban mass commu­ nication, they also played an increasing role in domestic politics as well as in global Cold War propaganda.100 In Indonesia, radio rapidly took on a central role in mass communication after independence, with an effective listenership of at least 17 million in 1963.101 The PKI recognised this signi­ ficance and declared radio to be its favoured means of mass communica­ tion.102 According to the government, radio was supposed to inform and educate citizens, and thereby contribute to constructing the new nation.103 In reality, however, the government held no monopoly over this media. For several months in 1965, “clandestine radio broadcasts” contributed to the spread of violent clashes between Muslim groups and commu­ nists, particularly in East Java.104 In the aftermath of the failed coup, the armed forces took control over TV and radio105 as well as postal and tele­ communication facilities.106 Foreign journalists were barred from entering the country, and those already present in Jakarta were placed under tight restrictions.107 The consequence of this early move was a fierce controversy over press control in the capital city. Whereas the army considered the supervision of Jakarta’s press to fall under the army’s jurisdiction during the present “state of war”, Sukarno, his foreign minister Subandrio, and Information Minister Achmadi claimed that the civil government had sole competence over it.108 Although control over publication activities after the coup was never all-­encompassing, the army indeed managed to rebalance public de­ bates according to its own priorities and strategic interests. Whereas the communist and left-leaning media such as Antara were either shut down or remained under the tight control of the armed forces,109 the army soon lifted the sanctions against radical Islamic papers (Duta Masyarakat, Suara Islam, Api Islam, etc.) as well as other papers controlled by Christian organi­ sations (Kompas, Hidup Katolik, etc.),110 thus flying in the face of the civilian government. Information Minister Achmadi prohibited, for example, the ­Muslim daily Suara Islam (Voice of Islam) during the second half of October due to its anti-communist and abusive reporting. A few days later, however, the Jakarta war administration announced its reinstatement.111 To regain its dominance in the field of information, the government stopped issuing visas to foreign correspondents and started publishing a new daily (Dwikora) to propagate the presidential palace’s perspective on domestic developments and to counter-balance the pro-army bias of the Jakarta press.112

178  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle Media owned by Muslim organisations, among them eleven daily news­ papers controlled by the NU,113 reported extensively on the violence alleg­ edly committed by suspected PKI followers in Java as well as on the outer islands of the archipelago. The reporting itself was a major provocation, aggravating the tension between the communist and anti-communist forces. It was biased and rumour-laden,114 and in many cases also embellished with horrific details about the massacres115 and gruesome pictures of slaughtered men and women, allegedly the victims of communist violence.116 Muslim organisations also used their media to actively propagate ­anti-communist ideas as well as messages of hatred against communists and their supporters. A strong case in point was the communist revolt in ­Madiun in 1948, when the PKI had tried, but failed, to organise a proletarian uprising and had specifically targeted members of the conservative Islamic Masyumi party, many of whom were landowners, but also civil servants and teach­ ers.117 In response, many Islamic organisations had themselves declared a ‘holy war’ against the PKI.118 In an article representative for the report­ ing after the failed coup, Muhammadiyah’s Jakarta daily accused the PKI of indoctrinating Indonesians, which had resulted in a “thirst for battle – ­battle to maim and destroy the integrity of this nation”. The PKI-­controlled media, “which should be acting as enlighteners of the people, serving the revolution with honest reporting”, were instead “turned into sources of lies to exacerbate cunningly the conflicts existing among the people”. ­Finally, Muhammadiyah expressed an unequivocal threat towards the communists in the midst of massive violence all over Indonesia: “Since October 1 it turns out that the puppet-master has just been talking big and is really a counter­ revolutionary. And you know what the punishment for counterrevolution­ aries is?”119 The NU daily Duta Masyarakat wrote on 7 October that “the most legitimate and best judgement” for the communists was “to annihi­ late them, their roots, their accomplices, their supporters, and all who act openly or secretly for them”.120 Besides the religious press, other national as well as international Cold War players influenced the information battle. A preferred political target was thereby the People’s Republic of China. Already in early October 1965, the British representation in Indonesia, a still poorly documented actor in the mass violence, launched a campaign to “blacken the PKI” by distri­ buting “suitable propaganda themes” such as PKI brutalities and China’s role in arms shipments,121 a charge which Antara News Agency rejected as pure propaganda.122 Nevertheless, the local religious press followed suit. Together with the Catholic Youth organisation,123 the Muslim press repeatedly accused China of playing an active role in the violence,124 en­ hancing the communist propaganda in Sumatra,125 and more generally of intervening directly into Indonesia’s domestic affairs.126 In this way, the religious segment of the press supported the rising campaign of Muslim youth groups against the Chinese minority, many of whom were traders and local entrepreneurs and were a comparatively easy target. Later in 1966,

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  179 when the pogroms against Chinese were in full swing, Muslim youth groups assisted the armed forces in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan in rounding up Chinese families and preparing them for their forced departure to China.127 The People’s Republic of China had functioned as one of the most impor­ tant benchmarks in Sukarno’s world view. Since his visit in Beijing in 1956, China manifested Sukarno’s notion of what had gone wrong in I­ ndonesia and how things should actually be done.128 Now, during the crisis of 1965 and 1966, China remained one of Sukarno’s key allies. On 19 October, Sukarno accused the press of having contributed to a significant worsening of relations with China and demanded that control over the press and radio be returned from the army to the Department of Information.129 The army delegated some competences of media control back to the civil government a few days later,130 but, referring to the state of emergency laws, it retained its overall control over the media under.131 In the following weeks, President Sukarno had no delusions about the violence-provoking impact of press re­ porting, but besides moralising appeals to both the religious and the secular press to cease fuelling the violence through the publication of rumours and propaganda,132 there was in fact little he could do. The annihilation of the PKI, the mass violence, and the transition to the Suharto dictatorship had a lasting impact on Indonesia’s newspaper market, particularly in Jakarta. Although the reliability of circulation figures is limi­ ted, it allows two cautious conclusions: the newspaper market experienced a significant reduction of its previous diversity, and structural changes took place in favour of papers run by religious affiliations. Between late 1966 and September 1967, due to limited financial coverage, increasing governmental pressure, and rising distribution costs, the total number of newspapers in Indonesia declined from 132 to 78, and the total daily circulation fell from 2,015,000 to 895,000. Other periodicals performed no better. Their numbers dropped from 286 to 74, with their total circula­ tion down from 2,901,000 to 993,000.133 More importantly, the media sector underwent a number of far-reaching structural changes as well as an ideo­ logical reorientation. As of October 1965, leftist journalists were expelled from the Indonesian Journalist Association (PWI), and hundreds of media staff arrested.134 In addition, the ideological orientation of Jakarta’s leading papers changed. Before the anti-communist violence, the daily and weekly newspapers in the city were dominated by secular, government-friendly formats such as Harian Rakyat, a communist paper with a circulation of 58,000, Pedoman (55,000), Sin Po (Indonesian edition), Merdeka, Suluh ­Indonesia (each with a circulation of 45,000), Pos Indonesia (30,000), or Sin Po (Chinese edition) (27,000).135 After the period of censorship during the mass violence, however, newspapers controlled by religious affiliations dominated the field of daily and weekly print media in Jakarta.136 Kompas, a Catholic news­paper, had the highest circulation (30,000 issues), equalled by Sinar Harapan, controlled by the (Protestant) Indonesian Christian Party

180  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle (Partai Kristen Indonesia). In terms of circulation, these Christian papers were followed by the army’s own newspaper Berita Yudha (25,000) and other more independent papers (Warta Berita, 17,000; Merdeka, 10,000). The NU’s newspapers Duta Masyarakat and Duta Revolusi were minor, but still visible actors in the market.137 The general concentration of print media, the de­ struction of communist and other leftist media, and the army’s temporarily sympathetic policy towards newspapers controlled by religious groups had profoundly restructured access and flow of information in the country.

Reclaiming cultural capital: schools Controversies over the control of information also included educational institutions, in particular in rural areas. Since Indonesia had attained po­ litical independence, the content of education and its secular or religious orientation had been the subject of fierce conflicts in Indonesian society. The primary actors in the debate were the ministries of education and reli­ gious affairs as well as non-state actors such as religious organisations and the Left.138 Similar to British Malaya, Chinese schools in Indonesia had been sus­ pected by national and international observers of coming increasingly under communist influence.139 In December 1966, more than a year after the failed coup in Jakarta and the subsequent eradication of the PKI, Central Java school inspection officials published a statement according to which out of a total of 120,000 elementary schools in Central Java, no less than 58,000 had been “involved” in the coup. In other words, the authorities accused them of having assisted or sympathised with the PKI. As a consequence, thousands of teachers were interned and thereafter either removed altogether from their posts or ‘rehabilitated’ after ‘intensive re-indoctrination’.140 The debate was aggravated further by religious actors. Islamic organi­ sations such as the NU or Muhammadiyah had claimed a prominent po­ sition in Indonesia’s education sector after 1945, and its religious schools contributed significantly to the country’s expanding primary education, but also – though to a lesser degree – to its secondary and higher education.141 These religious schools (pesantren) had traditionally remained outside of state control and thus constituted an important element of Islamic auto­ nomy.142 In East Java, the growth of religious schools including madrasahs and pesantren, and the demand for compulsory religious (Islamic) education in government schools were accompanied by anti-communist sentiments, fuelling the conflict of interests between Islamic groups and the PKI already months before the coup.143 The PKI wanted to change the basic principle of education and eliminate religious instruction altogether.144 Not surprisingly, the school controversy also surfaced during the mass violence in autumn 1965. Under the directives of the Indonesian army and General Suharto, the anti-communist campaign meant both the strug­ gle against communist ideas and the removal of the PKI’s influence in its

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  181 various facets  from civilian life in Indonesia. To this end, the army lead­ ership temporarily closed numerous education institutions in Central Java from kindergarten to high schools and dismissed their teachers.145 The mil­ itary suspected them of being controlled or at least influenced by Baperki, an Indonesian ­Chinese organisation founded in 1954 to lobby for the citi­ zenship rights of the ethnic Chinese and affiliated to the PKI.146 In a meet­ ing with the Indonesian Teachers Association, General Suharto reminded teachers that it was an absolute necessity for them to actively cooperate with the armed forces. It was the teachers’ responsibility, he stated, that the chil­ dren of the country become “true Panjasilaists”.147 In early December 1965, the armed forces shifted the focus of their cam­ paign from military to “psychological” means to deal with the impact of communist propaganda especially in rural areas.148 Besides suppressing the PKI’s public campaigns and demonstrations, the army also sought to with­ draw PKI-sponsored textbooks from schools and eliminate communist in­ fluence on schools of whatever kind.149 Women’s demonstrations in Jakarta repeatedly raised the issue of removing the PKI’s influence on schools.150 Various Islamic, Christian, and Hindu organisations lobbied for a reform of school curricula in favour of more extensive religious teaching in order to prevent communist ideas from taking root.151 They found their strongest supporter in Brigadier-General Sjarif Thajeb. During an opening ceremony of the Indonesian Islamic Students Movement (Pergerakan Mahasiswa ­Islam Indonesia, PMII) at Jakarta’s biggest university, less than two months after the attempted coup, Thajeb demanded that a consequence of the coup should be the introduction of religion as a compulsory subject in Indonesia’s schools.152 In spring 1966, when the army under General Suharto had consolidated its central position in national politics, the question of communist influ­ ence on education remained on the political agenda. Protestant Christian leaders exploited the favourable political circumstances and adopted reli­ gious education as a compulsory subject in their school curricula simply because “now this is possible. Only half a year ago this would have caused tensions”.153 The general assumption among the leading political and mili­ tary decision-makers was that religion and communism were indeed in­ compatible, and that in the long run religious instruction in schools was an appropriate means to fight communist ideas in the education system.154

Mobilising against communism in public space An important aspect of the violent social struggle between religious actors and the Left was the control of public space, which constitutes an impor­ tant arena in the struggles over secularism. Through a strategy of public demonstrations in Jakarta and other major cities in Java and Sumatra, the opposing parties sought to mobilise their members, radicalise the general atmosphere, and exert pressure on the government. In several cases, these

182  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle demonstrations led to open violence, the persecution of PKI members, and the destruction of private homes and public facilities as well as PKI offices. Islamic and Christian organisations, and particularly their youth wings, had significant mobilisation capacities, which they used extensively after the 30 September coup for anti-communist purposes. Their demonstrations not only set the stage for further violence; they were also a means for the younger generation within the religious organisations to express their politi­ cal views against the established political leadership. Muslim and Christian youth were in many cases much more critical of Sukarno and his adminis­ tration than older generations.155 In particular as the destruction of the PKI progressed in November and December 1965, Muslim and Christian youth wings increasingly expressed their disapproval of Sukarno and his policies, and demanded the president’s immediate retirement. Public mobilisations were thus an articulation of a growing generation gap between a radical­ ised, anti-communist youth, demanding a fresh start in Indonesian politics, and older generations who still acknowledged Sukarno’s contribution to Indonesia’s independence and postcolonial reconstruction. This “pemuda (youth) culture”, an idealised image of young revolutionaries,156 which had already played a significant political role in Indonesia’s independence struggle, continued to determine domestic developments during the anti-­ communist mass violence. In early October, right after the attempted coup, Islamic and Christian political forces formed an anti-communist alliance called United Action Command to Crush Gestapu (Kommando Kesatuan Aksi Pengganjangan Gestapu), led by the NU’s third chairman Subchan. The purpose of this Action Command was mainly to mobilise public support for the army’s anti-communist programme. Several weeks later in early November, the ­Students’ Action Union (Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Indonesia, KAMI), which had a “fully developed command structure based on military lines”,157 as well as KAPPI, the Action Union of High School Students and Youth (Kesatuan Aksi Peladjar dan Pemuda Indonesia) were formed. These three umbrella organisations were extremely nationalistic and thus not exclusively religious in their ideological orientations. However, ­Muslim as well as Christian interest groups exerted considerable influence within their militant cadres and provided them with a major mobilisation poten­ tial. KAMI’s secretary-general Kosmos Batubara, for example, was also chairman of The Catholic University Students Association.158 Member­ ship of KAPPI was dominated by Muslim and Catholic conservatives. The Catholic Students Association (Perhimpunan Katholik Republik ­Indonesia, PKRI), the high school affiliation of the Catholic Party, was one of ­K APPI’s largest and most influential groups. The Catholic ­Party’s uni­ versity affiliation (Perhimpunan Mahasiswa Katholik Republik ­Indonesia, PMKRI), on the other hand, was one of the strongest sections within KAMI and in West Java especially enjoyed “military sympathy and tacit military support”.159

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  183 Whereas the United Action Command’s first mobilisation effort on 4  ­October in Jakarta was only moderately successful with only around a thousand people attending, its second attempt only a few days later brought “tens of thousands” out onto the streets.160 In the course of this demonstra­ tion, young Muslims marched to PKI’s Jakarta headquarters, attacked it and, with the army standing passively aloof, ultimately burned it down. Later in October, the United Action Command mobilised up to 150,000 Muslims and Christians, demanding that the PKI be banned and various “Gestapu elements” removed from all state institutions, agencies, and departments in Central Java.161 During the weeks that followed, numerous demonstrations and rallies produced an atmosphere of endorsed hate and aggression, which the army sought to use for its own strategic purposes while at the same time maintain­ ing its strict control over who had access to urban public spaces. The army thereby clearly favoured religious groups, prohibiting rallies of leftist or­ ganisations.162 A particularly controversial figure was Subandrio, S ­ ukarno’s First Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs – one of the most important government portfolios during Guided Democracy. In addition, Subandrio and his allies also controlled the government’s Central Intelli­ gence Body (BPI). This intelligence service had been founded in 1959 and now, during the mass violence, had become a decisive strategic instrument. Subandrio had long been a special protégé of Sukarno and openly favoured the PKI over other political forces, in particular the armed forces. Throughout October and November, the foreign ministry frequently be­ came the target of Muslim protesters,163 who even stormed and wrecked the building in January 1966.164 Backed publicly by the army, the pro­ testers demanded that Subandrio prove his allegations that the CIA was ­financing anti-communist, i.e. religious newspapers in Jakarta,165 and that he stop his campaign against anti-communist media in the capital city.166 In spite of these controversies, Sukarno held on to his Foreign Minister. Only after the army had reaffirmed its political influence in spring 1966 did ­Subandrio become one of the prime suspects in relation to the September coup. He was found guilty and sentenced to death on 25 October 1966 for having co-­organised the coup and negotiated with China for the delivery of 100,000  ­r ifles to support the overthrow.167 The death penalty was later commuted to life imprisonment. Some two weeks after the outbreak of mass violence in October 1965, Muslim organisations and Islamic youth staged major demonstrations in Pekanbaru in Central Sumatra with the tacit consent of the armed forces, during which they sacked the local premises of the PKI, the communist labour union, and the communist youth organisation’s headquarters.168 In Aceh and South Kalimantan, Muslim organisations, as well as Islamic labour unions, mobilised tens of thousands of followers to demonstrate for a ban of the PKI and its network of affiliated organisations. The conservative Muslim press covered these events extensively in its daily

184  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle reports.169 In Jakarta, the Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim youth organ­ isations combined their mobilisation potential and brought more than 300,000 people out onto the streets in protest against communist labour unions.170 Religious youth organisations also militarised their followers, equipping them with weapons. After violent clashes during public meetings between communist and Catholic youth groups in October 1965, the army gave its approval for the Catholics to train around 100 men to handle weapons, and equipped them with rifles and pistols.171 In Surabaya, PKI cadres had at­ tacked 24 members of the Catholic youth organisation PEMKRI and tor­ tured them “with spikes through their heads”. As a consequence, Catholic Church members formed permanent guards to protect the Catholic schools and churches, and prevent communist youth from attacking these build­ ings.172 Foreign missionaries, who often presided over these local Christian communities, were terrified of being denounced as American spies and killed by communists.173 In Kudus, Central Java, the Catholic Party formed a paramilitary unit of around a thousand members to assist the army in the area. One main purpose of this unit was to suppress communist rallies and public mobilisations.174

The impact of the global Cold War Although domestic factors and the growing rivalry between leftist move­ ments and anti-communist forces can be considered the most direct root causes of the mass murders in 1965 and 1966, the Cold War constituted a transnational dynamic that interacted in various important ways with changing local as well as national circumstances. I will limit myself here to the impact of the US Cold War strategies on religious players in Indonesia and discuss the consequences this had for their role in society. Already in this early phase of the Cold War, religion turned into an impor­ tant factor in US policies meant to assist in the worldwide crusade against communism and in its containment. In recent Cold War historiography, re­ ligion is recognised on the one hand as a cause, helping to explain why the United States actually opposed the USSR. On the other hand, religion was also seen in the United States as a “natural antidote to communism”175 – an instrument to strengthen the anti-communist resolve at home and under­ mine communism abroad.176 From the beginning, the US Cold War strat­ egies bore features of a Christian enterprise, built on the conviction that the American cause was morally just and communists were evil.177 This strong Christian influence on the ideological construction of the Cold War confrontation made accommodation with the communist ideology almost impossible. The practical consequence of this impact of religious ideas was that ­Christian, but also Islamic, organisations became valuable allies in the United States’ global struggle against communism. In relation to I­ ndonesia,

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  185 the United States had long been observing the changing relationship be­ tween religious groups, in particular Islamic, on the one hand and com­ munism on the other. Already at the beginning of the Dutch aggression against ­Indonesia in 1947, the US diplomatic mission in Jakarta anticipated that the once amicable and cooperative relationship would change as soon as the common enemy, the Dutch colonial rulers, had left and that “con­ troversies may arise as the situation develops”.178 The growing antagonism, however, between Islamic orthodoxy and communism did not surface im­ mediately but only gradually became apparent. In August 1948, the CIA still warned that in the villages, there was no actual resistance against com­ munism observable “on a confessional basis”.179 All too often, conservative Islamic forces and communists were in agreement in their criticism of feudal chiefs in rural areas and the colonial regime. For the CIA, this overlap­ ping agenda explained “why it was so easy to make room for instruction in the communistic, Leninistic doctrine in strict Islamic schools, and why in countless towns and villages local Masyumi so readily pronounce for co­ operation with the communists (…)”.180 The failed communist uprising only one month later in September 1948 in Madiun, and the achievement of political independence a year later, terminated this informal alliance. As the first general election in 1955 ap­ proached, the US State Department together with the CIA, the Pentagon, and other decision-makers in foreign policy decided to “utilize the forces of nationalism and of Islam in opposing Communism, and avoid antagoniz­ ing the forces of anti-colonialism”.181 This was part of a broader discussion process in Washington about how to cooperate more closely, primarily with Islamic, Buddhist, and Christian actors in Asia, to counter communist ex­ pansion. This discussion deepened in the following years and resulted in some concrete initiatives.182 One of the first practical opportunities to deploy this strategy, however, was the general election campaign in Indonesia one year later, during which the CIA supported the Masyumi, an Islamic party and the strong­ est political opponent of President Sukarno, with around one million US dollars.183 In this way, the CIA hoped to foil the PKI’s campaign, which targeted specifically rural voters and their “mingled fear and suspicion” of the government through a “vigorous programme of education, ag­ itation and propaganda”.184 The Masyumi’s victory, on the other hand, “would  (…) afford the U.S. a more favourable opportunity for exerting increased efforts toward attaining its objectives in Indonesia”.185 In this perspective, the election results were disappointing, as Masyumi fell be­ low expectations and secured slightly more than 20 per cent instead of the 30–35 per cent the CIA had anticipated.186 What is more, the PKI did even better than feared. Right after the elections, Muslim leaders from Aceh in North Suma­ tra and Christian leaders met in Rome to coordinate their fight against communism, having established that religious organisations, supported

186  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle by the United States, were the best means to fight the ‘red menace’ in Indonesia.187 The American propaganda institution United States In­ formation Service (USIS) launched a formal partnership with the Front ­A nti-Komunis to more effectively distribute publications and films to ­Islamic schools and I­ slamic organisations.188 In addition, the United States set up an exchange programme to target “leaders and potential leaders in national and local governments; leaders in the field of press, publications, and radio; student and youth leaders; educators, teachers, and leaders of women’s organizations”.189 Among those chosen to visit the United States were Sulaiman ­Dachlan, a prominent Masyumi leader, and several Ansor leaders who received training in fundraising and other organisational matters. Appreciating this valuable training abroad, NU senior leader Idham Chalid requested the US embassy in Jakarta to continue providing invitations for Ansor members to the United States. In addition, USIS provided the Muslim press in Indonesia with anti-­ communist books, pamphlets, and press material for further distribution through its communication channels.190 Instead of reducing the influence of communist forces on national and provincial politics as had been intended, however, the United States was forced to conclude that the elections and subsequent domestic developments had strengthened the PKI and its affiliated organisations. After the failure of CIA-sponsored regional rebellions against Sukarno191 and renewed PKI election victories in 1957, largely owing to the party’s “excellent grass roots organisation through labour, veterans and village organisation”,192 the United States initiated an upgraded military assistance programme to the Indonesian army as an “encouragement” for General Nasution to “carry out his ‘plan’ for the control of Communism”.193 Between 1958 and 1964, the United States transferred about US$431 million in armaments to ­Indonesia including transport aircraft, helicopters, and landing ships,194 and trained more than 2,000 Indonesian officers in the United States.195 As of 1959, in response to this, the PKI increasingly shifted its emphasis towards the threat of US penetration in Indonesia’s economic, political, and cultural life.196 What the PKI deliberately ignored was, of course, that the Soviet Union provided even more military aid worth US$521 million only between 1961 and 1964.197 From that point on, political relations between the Indonesian leader­ ship around Sukarno and the United States worsened, the latter becoming increasingly concerned about the growing standing of the PKI in national politics and among various social groups including peasants, workers, and women. Indeed, some foreign relations experts in Washington expected Sukarno at any moment to announce a break in formal diplomatic rela­ tions. Others feared an open alignment with the communist world, which would endanger America’s half-a-billion-dollar investment in Indonesian oil reserves, and also threaten to outflank the struggling non-communist countries in mainland Southeast Asia.198

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  187

US assistance in the mass murders In the months before the outbreak of the mass violence in 1965, the United States reduced its embassy staff in Jakarta from more than 400 to a mere 35 in order to decrease its visibility and thus minimise the opportunity for communist propaganda against the American presence in the capital city. The CIA, however, retained communication technology specialists, political analysts, and strategic operative specialists in Indonesia.199 In ­December, when the mass violence was in full swing, these specialists purchased and shipped mobile antennae and radio equipment from the Philippines to the KOSTRAD headquarters of the Indonesian army in Jakarta. Furthermore, they trained army communications officers and tuned their radios to fre­ quencies known to the NSA. In the course of events, these frequencies pro­ vided the US army with detailed information about the Indonesian armed forces’ ground operations.200 Another area of US activities that ultimately facilitated the mass murder was the gathering of intelligence. In spite of their reduced capacities, the CIA and the US embassy continued their systematic intelligence work and, among other documents, compiled comprehensive lists of communist oper­ atives including provincial, city, and other local PKI committee members. During the 1960s, compiling lists of “subversive” individuals and organi­ sations had become a well-established anti-communist tactic of exposure in the United States as well as a strategy of gathering and sharing intelli­ gence about communists all over the world.201 It was in this vein that the US Air Force sent a memorandum to the Director of Central Intelligence as early as December 1960, requesting detailed information from US officials in Indonesia about the most influential PKI members from the national to the local levels, including their biographical backgrounds, but also about non-governmental organisations purportedly “dominated” by communists, segments of the army allegedly “penetrated” by communists,202 details of the communists’ current “covert, political, economic, psychological, and sociological actions”.203 Several years later, when the mass killings were in full swing, US officials handed over infamous “shooting lists” comprising more than 5,000 names to the Indonesian army, who forwarded them to cooperating Muslim organ­ isations. These lists had been systematically compiled since 1963 in a joint endeavour between officials of the US State Department and the CIA,204 and purportedly contained highly valuable information for the army.205 The strategic significance of these lists for mass murder remains obscure, however, as the killers also had access to local information sources. Time and again, the Indonesian army raided local PKI offices to seize membership lists of the party’s regional and local cadres. Also, the PKI’s daily newspaper ­Harian Rakyat had repeatedly published the names of the party’s most promi­ nent leadership before the crimes began.206 Finally, particularly in Javanese villages, knowledge about the local PKI cadres was provided to the army

188  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle by the religious organisations that assisted in the murders. John Hughes, the then correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor in ­Indonesia, who travelled rural Java extensively during the violence, reported that it was easy for them [i.e. the anti-communist forces] to pick out their tar­ gets, for in such tight little communities the political views of each man were well known. Sometimes anti-Communist villagers were assigned to eliminate Communist villages. In these instances, brother might often be set against brother. Many handed the names of Communist members of their family to the army so that the soldiers, rather than they, would carry out the executions.207 In spite of the efforts of US officials to systematically document PKI cadre activities, the coup on 30 September 1965 and the following outbreak of mass violence caught the Johnson administration in Washington by sur­ prise. The general approach of the US Embassy in Jakarta as well as the State Department to this new development was one of caution. The authori­ ties reasoned that any open backing of the anti-communist forces might play into the hands of Sukarno and the PKI.208 In early November, however, the US Ambassador in Jakarta left no room for doubt in a telegram to the US Department of State that the armed forces around Suharto were “moving re­ lentlessly to exterminate the PKI as far as this is possible to do” and that the US, along with other like-minded countries, including Japan, have good reason to lend a helping hand to the extent that that help is really needed and to the extent that help does not compromise [the] army or detract from our interests.209 After the Indonesian military leaders had repeatedly requested assis­ tance from the United States and also the CIA had acknowledged that the ­Indonesian Army was “determined to seize the opportunity of the current confused circumstances to break the organisational back of the PKI, to eliminate it as an effective political force, and to prevent emergence of any crypto-Communist successor party”,210 the United States became more in­ volved. The underlying reason for their covert support of the army and the anti-communist religious organisations was the US administration’s con­ cern about American investments as well as the US-controlled oilfields of Minas and Duri, which, combined, made up no less than 60 per cent of Indonesia’s total oil production. As early as summer 1950, US companies with significant investments in Sumatra and elsewhere including Goodyear, American Overseas Petroleum Co., Standard Vacuum Co., and US R ­ ubber Co. had complained that the position of US businesses in Sumatra was “deli­cate” due to the “concentrated communist drive” in better organised labour and peasant unions.211

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  189 Leading managers of the US oil multinational Caltex had made it clear to Sukarno as well as army generals quite early on that, should the PKI suc­ ceed in enforcing the nationalisation of oilfields in S ­ umatra controlled by American companies, insurance coverage of Indonesian tankers would im­ mediately be withdrawn and the extraction of oil from Indonesian territory would be halted. This, in turn, would cut off the Indonesian armed forces from fuel supplies.212 For a long time, the PKI’s oil workers’ union Perbum had organised large parts of the local oil workers. In early 1965, the PKI’s plantation workers’ union (Sarekat Buruh Perkebunan Republik Indonesia, SARBUPRI) had attempted to seize plantations owned by the US Rubber Company in North Sumatra.213 For these reasons, the ­Indonesian armed forces moved swiftly against the communist labour union and removed its leaders by either killing or detaining them.214 Other Western companies that also benefited from the violent removal of their communist labour unions were Dutch Unilever (Serikat Buruh Unilever, Serbumi) as well as Fraser and Neave (Serikat Buruh Fraser & Neave, SBFN),215 a conglomerate founded in Singapore in 1883 and today mainly involved in soft drink and aerated water production. According to available documentary evidence, the influence of the Soviet Union on domestic developments in 1965/1966 was less significant. Moscow probably even preferred the elimination of the PKI to a continuation of its pro-Chinese position and, as far as we can reconstruct, was more interested in finding an understanding with the anti-communist military leaders.216 Thus, while the decimation of the PKI came as a shock to Moscow, it was a major blow to Chinese interests in the region.217 Although immediately after the anti-communist atrocities neither the overall economic impact nor the long-term consequences for international politics were quite clear,218 some Western diplomats already recognised sev­ eral months after the coup in Jakarta the tectonic shifts the events would cause for the whole of Southeast Asia. The CIA interpreted the whole epi­ sode as “a major diplomatic debacle when viewed in the light of the close ties that existed between Peking and Djakarta prior to last October’s coup”.219 Even as the violence continued, J.A.H. Luns, the Dutch foreign minister, commented that one conclusion may safely be drawn: Communist China’s predominant influence has been virtually eliminated. Although the new Government have reaffirmed Indonesia’s adherence to a policy of non-alignment, it is fair to assume that in fact they will stand less to the left than their predecessors and adopt a more positive attitude to the West.220 Indeed, the events after the coup in Indonesia rebalanced the Cold War power relations in the whole region in favour of the capitalist world, and particularly the United States.

190  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle

Conclusions The central concern of this chapter was to analyse secularism as well as the opposition against it, not primarily as a national political endeavour, but as a comprehensive social struggle in Indonesian society over various forms of capital, between progressive, leftist forces including the PKI on the one side and conservative Christian and Islamic circles on the other. To this end, the angle chosen here was to explain why Christian and Islamic organisations acquired such a crucial role in the anti-communist purge in the mid-1960s. Growing tensions between these antagonistic forces that had gradually built up in the years prior to the failed coup in September 1965, and the subse­ quent patterns of mass violence, are an enlightening case study of the social challenges that leftist secularism posed for conservative religious groups. As the membership and organisational capacities of the communist party and affiliated social organisations built up, the economic, social, cultural, and political interests of other important groups were increasingly called into question. The conflict patterns highlight the hostility that conservative Islamic circles within the landowning class harboured towards the com­ munist aspirations of land reform, which threatened their core economic capital. Conservative Catholic clergy and local Christian communities felt increasingly threatened in their social and religious existence by communist bullying and physical hostilities against their social and sacred infrastruc­ ture. In several locations in Java, PKI cadres had for a long time provoked Islamic authorities with anti-religious propaganda that questioned their le­ gitimacy and social status. Growing communist influence in schools was perceived by Islamic and Christian circles alike as a worrisome development that exerted growing ideological influence on the country’s youth. Finally, the rapidly increasing organisational capacities and human re­ sources of leftist organisations contributed to growing competition with Islamic and Christian networks over social capital in the form of social ser­ vices, information, control of public space, and the organisation of labour. All these facets were part of a comprehensive social struggle aggravated by the leftist forces’ agenda of socio-economic reform and their quest for political power that they would use to weaken the position of conservative ­Christian and Islamic forces in Indonesian society and the state. What the sources used in this chapter could not clarify is how far Christian and Islamic actors also targeted animists as well as atheists not affiliated to leftist politi­ cal forces. One reason for this may be that these social categories are empir­ ically hard to fix and as such difficult to distinguish from other sociocultural classifications. In any case, more research into this question is needed. However, two additional factors, domestic and international, played an important role in the social struggle between leftist and conservative forces. Major parts of the Indonesian armed forces coordinated and facilitated the growing hostilities, in particular between Islamic organisations and the PKI, by providing equipment, logistics, and training. The mass anti-communist

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  191 violence in Indonesia is thus an illustrative case of a secular state institution supporting and thereby heightening religious violence on an immense scale. As the conflict patterns have shown, this cooperation not only increased the efficiency of the killers, but also transformed social relations in rural com­ munities and the cities for decades to come. The second factor analysed here is the global Cold War. Communist labour unions not only threatened the conservative Islamic landowning and entrepreneurial classes, but also American, British, Dutch, and other ­Western commercial interests. Furthermore, since the early 1950s, Christian and Islamic organisations were increasingly perceived by the CIA and the Pentagon as valuable allies in the global struggle against the ‘red menace’. When the war in Vietnam entered into its most decisive phase in the mid1960s, the United States once again stepped up their interests in Indonesian domestic affairs. The United States practised a whole range of interventions in these affairs, including the training of leading Ansor members in the United States or the financial support of Islamic political parties. During the violence, the United States provided intelligence, communication tech­ nologies, and even weapons to the armed forces and thus co-determined the social struggle on the ground. In the light of the events, one can therefore conclude that the Cold War in Southeast Asia was indeed constituted more by local actors pursuing their own ideological and material interests, often in alliance with global actors, than by direct superpower intervention and proxy wars.221 Taking a historical approach towards understanding this era means shifting the fo­ cus more strongly onto local religious actors in order to grasp more clearly how domestic conflicts in this region radicalised under the conditions of the globalising Cold War, rendering compromises between conflicting social forces increasingly impossible.222 Such an approach in turn also highlights the different modes of interaction between local developments, shaped by state and non-state actors, on the one hand, and transnational dynamics of the global systemic confrontation between capitalism and communism on the other. In the case of the anti-communist mass murders, Christian and Islamic groups seized the Cold War as an opportunity to pursue their own interests, destroy the Left’s secularism project, and thereby transform their own role in society.

Notes 1 CIA Research Study, “Indonesia – 1965, the Coup that Backfired”, Washington DC, December 1968, p. 70, NA/DH, 2.05.188/869. 2 The term “leftist” refers to several progressive forces in Indonesian society tar­ geted during the mass violence when the term ‘PKI’ became a “catch-all for anyone of the left”. Cf. Adrian Vickers, A History of Modern Indonesia. 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), p. 163. Already in spring and summer 1966, a team of 150 “Indonesian university graduates” travelled to Java, Sumatra, Bali, and other areas to investigate the killings. Their draft

192  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle report estimated that in total one million people had been killed, many of them “families” and “friends” of “suspects” as well as “old enemies”. According to this report, about a quarter of the dead were killed in communist retaliation or through “mistaken identity”. See “Indonesia: One Million Dead?”, The Econo­ mist, 20 August 1966, p. 727. In numerous cases anti-communism was simply a pretext to resolve private conflicts over property and other non-ideological matters. Cf. the eyewitness report of a “German PhD student” in “Frauen töteten die Generäle”, Der Spiegel 20/20, 9 May 1966, pp. 99–100. 3 By capital I mean various forms of accumulated labour that together consti­ tute the different forms of exchange and structures of distribution in a soci­ ety. These forms centrally include economic capital such as control over land and, more broadly, the accumulation of material resources, but also cultural capital like education (immaterial) or cultural and religious goods (material, including places of worship), social capital in the form of social networks and relationships of acquaintance and mutual recognition, symbolic capital grant­ ing legitimacy and authority (of religious orthodoxies, for example), and access to political power from local rural communities to national state institutions. Cf. Pierre Bourdieu, Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action (Stanford, CA: ­ apital, Stanford University Press, 1998); Pierre Bourdieu, “Ökonomisches K kulturelles Kapital, soziales Kapital”, in Reinhard Kreckel (ed.), Soziale ­Ungleichheiten (Soziale Welt, Sonderband 2) (Göttingen: Otto Schwartz & Co, 1983), pp. 183–198. 4 See, for example, Robert Cribb (ed.), The Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966. Studies from Java and Bali (Clayton, VIC: Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1990); Douglas Kammen and Katherine M ­ cGregor (eds.), The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965– 68 (Singapore: ­National ­University of Singapore Press, 2012); alternatively, Bernd Schaefer and B ­ askara T. Wardaya (eds.), 1965: Indonesia and the World, Indonesia Dan Dunia ­(Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2013), Bradley R. Simpson, ­Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, ­1960–1968 ­(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008). 5 Rex Mortimer, Indonesian Communism under Sukarno: Ideology and Politics, 1959–1965 (Jakarta, Singapore: Equinox, 2006, orig. 1974), p. 92. 6 R.A.F. Paul Webb, “The Sickle and the Cross: Christians and Communists in Bali, Flores, Sumba and Timor, 1965–1967”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 17/1, March 1986, pp. 94–112. 7 Steven Farram, “Revolution, Religion and Magic: The PKI in West Timor, 1924–1966”, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 158/1, 2002, pp. 21–48. 8 Michael Charles Williams, Communism, Religion and Revolt in Banten (Athens: Ohio University Center for International Studies Monographs in International Studies, 1990). 9 Christian Gerlach, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 266. 10 On the army’s crucial, yet not exclusive agency, see Robert Cribb, “Unresolved Problems in the Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966”, Asian Survey 42/4, July/ August 2002, p. 552 & Statement of the KOMNAS HAM (National Commission for Human Rights) on the Results of Its Investigations into Grave Violations of Human Rights During the Events of 1965–1966, 16 August 2012 (Unofficial translation). www.etan.org/action/SaySorry/Komnas%20HAM%201965%20 TAPOL%20translation.pdf (accessed 10 October 2016); Mathias Hammer, “The Organisation of the Killings and the Interaction between State and ­Society in Central Java, 1965”, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 3, 2013, pp. 37–62. A central agency of the armed forces assumes John Roosa,

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  193 “The State of Knowledge about an Open Secret: Indonesia’s Mass Disappear­ ances of 1965–66”, The Journal of Asian Studies 75/2, May 2016, pp. 281–297. 11 Harold Crouch, “Generals and Business in Indonesia”, Pacific Affairs 48/4, Win­ ter 1975–1976, p. 520; John Roosa, “Framing the Killings, Framing Up the Com­ munists”, in Bernd Schaefer and Baskara T. Wardaya (eds.), 1965: ­Indonesia and the World, Indonesia dan Dunia (Jakarta: Kompas Gramedia, 2013), pp. 26–27; “Indonesia and Shell in £40m. deal”, The Guardian, 31 December 1965, p. 10. 12 Ann Gregory, “Factionalism in the Indonesian Army: The New Order”, Administration & Society 1970/2, p. 346. 13 Françoise Cayrac-Blanchard, L’Armée et le Pouvoir en Indonésie (Paris: ­Editions L’Harmattan, 1991), p. 24. 14 Ruth McVey, “Communism in Southeast Asia”, in Dan N. Jacobs (ed.), The New Communisms (New York, Evanston, IL, London: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 265. 15 Justus M. Kroef, “Sukarno’s Indonesia”, Pacific Affairs 46/2, Summer 1973, p. 277. 16 Ruth McVey, “Faith as the Outsider: Islam in Indonesia”, in James P. Piscatori (ed.), Islam in the Political Process (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 202. 17 Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, “The Idea of Power in Javanese Culture”, in Claire Holt (ed.), Culture and Politics in Indonesia (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell ­University Press, 1972), p. 41. 18 Peggy Durdin, “Analysis of Communism in Indonesia”, New York Times, 13 May 1955. 19 See, for example, the debate in the national Parliament on the occasion of the opening of the Soviet Embassy in Jakarta, KITLV Library, Jakarta, ­Ichtisar Parlemen, Diterbitkan oleh Kementerian Penerangan, 1953, Nr. 78, n.d., pp. 389–395. 20 Fatwa reproduced in Samsuri, Politik Islam anti komunis: Pergumulan Masyumi dan PKI di Arena Demokrasi Liberal (Yogyakarta: Safiria Insania Press, 2004), pp. 27–28. 21 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-752, “Basic Informa­ tion and Recent Developments in the Organization of the Pemuda Rakyat”, 14 February 1964, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. 22 Donald Hindley, The Communist Party of Indonesia 1951–1963 (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966), p. 163. 23 Ibid., p. 164. 24 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-1143, “An Evening with the Pemuda Rakyat”, 19 June 1964, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. 25 Undang-Undang Pokok Agraria Nomor 5 Tahun 1960 (UUPA). 26 Rex Mortimer, The Indonesian Communist Party & Land Reform 1959–1965 (Monash Papers on Southeast Asia - No. 1) (Clayton, VIC: Monash University Press, 1972), p. 18; witness report in Anton Lucas, “The Land, the Law, and the People”, in Anton Lucas and Carol Warren (eds.), Land for the People: The State and Agrarian Conflict in Indonesia (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2013), p. 4; FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture 1961 (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 1961), p. 97. 27 Daryono, “Transformation of Land Rights in Indonesia: A Mixed ­Private and Public Law Model”, Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal 19/3, 2010, pp. ­417–418 & 439; for a detailed overview on the BAL see also Ulrich Löffler, Land ­Tenure Developments in Indonesia, August 1996, Chapter 3.2.1. Box 1;

194  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle www.mekonginfo.org/assets/midocs/0001794-planning-cadastre-land-­t enuredevelopments-in-indonesia.pdf (accessed 22 June 2016); 28 Ernst Utrecht, “Land Reform in Indonesia”, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 5/3, 1969, pp. 84–85; Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, “Bung Karno and the Fossilization of Soekarno’s Thought”, Indonesia 74, October 2002, p. 16. 29 H. Perdok, “Select parts of a personal diary written on a journey across Sulawesi and the Moluccas”, n.d. (spring 1966), HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/3642. 30 Ibid. Cf. also Gerrit Huizer, Peasant Mobilisation and Land Reform in ­Indonesia. I.S.S. Occasional Papers (Institute of Social Studies: The Hague, 1972), p. 51. 31 John Bresnan, Managing Indonesia: The Modern Political Economy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), pp. 16 & 19; for more detailed national sta­ tistics on the status of peasant landholders and especially landlessness in the mid-1960s, see Dianto Bachriadi and Gunawan Wiradi, “Land Concentra­ tion and Land Reform in Indonesia: Interpreting Agricultural Census Data, ­1963–2003”, in Anton Lucas and Carol Warren (eds.), Land for the People: The State and Agrarian Conflict in Indonesia (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2013), pp. 42 & 61, Table 2.7. 32 For example Jusuf Wibisono, chairman of the Moslem trade union federation “Gasbiindo”, in Djakarta Daily Mail, 3 August 1962, p. 1. 33 D.N. Aidit in a speech before an urban audience in Jakarta in June 1964, ­Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-1143, “An Evening with the Pemuda Rakyat”, 19 June 1964, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. 34 Bresnan, Managing Indonesia, p. 18. 35 Harian Rakyat, editorial, and BTI chairman, 7 July 1960, quoted in Peter ­E dman, “Communism a la Aidit”: The Indonesian Communist Party under D.N. Aidit, 1950–1965 (Townsville: James Cook University of North ­Queensland, 1987), p. 78. 36 Anne Booth, “Government and Welfare in the New Republic: Indonesia in the 1950s”, Itinerario 34/1, March 2010, p. 61. 37 François Cayrac-Blanchard, Le parti communiste Indonésien (Paris: Armand Colin, 1973), p. 35. 38 Cf. Werner Grothaus, “Ein Volk im Aufbruch auf den guten Weg”, In die Welt, für die Welt: Berichte der Rheinischen Mission und der Bethel-Mission 3/3, March 1967, p. 48. 39 Büro der Kurse für Revolutionskader der P.K.I., Propaganda Abteilung, ­Nationalrat Pemuda Rakyat, Jakarta, 21 January 1965: “Langfristiges Pro­ gramm der P.K.I.”. DRM 3.430. 40 Pierre van der Eng, “Food for Growth: Trends in Indonesia’s Food Supply, 1880–1995”, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 30/4, Spring 2000, p. 604; FAO, The State of Food and Agriculture 1964 (Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, 1964), p. 17. 41 Justus M. van der Kroef, “Indonesian Communism’s Expansionist Role in Southeast Asia”, International Journal 20/2, Spring 1965, p. 197. 42 Harian Rakyat, 19 November 1963, quoted in Justus M. van der Kroef, ­“Indonesian Communism and the Changing Balance of Power”, Pacific Affairs 37/4, Winter 1964–1965, p. 368. 43 Howard Dick, “Formation of the Nation-State, 1930s–1966”, in Howard Dick, Vincent J.H. Houben, J. Thomas Lindblad, and Thee Kian Wie, The Emergence of a National Economy: An Economic History of Indonesia, 1800–2000 (Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin and University of Hawai’i Press, 2002), p. 188. 44 “Aid to Indonesia”, New York Times, 2 May 1964.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  195 45 “Country Assistance Program INDONESIA (Financial Year 1954)”, AID Pro­ posed Programs for Fiscal Year 1964, Volume I (Confidential), p. 124, NARA, RG 59, Entry 5408, LOT File 85D240, 71D144, Subject File of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, 1961–74, Box 17. 46 Robert Cribb, “The Indonesian Massacres”, in Samuel Totten, William S. ­Parsons (eds.), Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. 3rd ed. (New York, London: Routledge, 2009), p. 236. 47 Jacob Walkin, “The Moslem-Communist Confrontation in East Java, 1964–1965”, Orbis 23/3, Fall 1969, p. 831. 48 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-575, “Possibilities of Anti-Communist Moslem Front”, 29 January 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Cen­ tral Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2319. 49 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-1963, 23 March 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2319. 50 Joint Declaration, quoted in Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Tele­ gram 1893, 18 March 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Po­ litical Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2319. 51 Harold Crouch, The Army and Politics in Indonesia (Ithaca, NY, London: ­Cornell University Press, 1978), p. 141. 52 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1485, 18 November 1965 (based on Telegram, US Consulate, Medan), p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central For­ eign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 53 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-587, “The Future of Action Commands in Indonesian Politics”, 26 March 1966, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 ­Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2313. 54 Centre for Village Studies, Gadjah Mada University, “Rural Violence in Klanten and Banyuwangi”, in Robert Cribb (ed.), The Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966. Studies from Java and Bali (Clayton, VIC: Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1990), p. 133. 55 Pipit Rochijat, “Am I PKI or Non-PKI?” Indonesia 40, October 1985, p. 43. 56 Ibid., p. 45. 57 “The Operations Commander as God”, Tempo (English edition), 7 October 2012, p. 45. 58 For a detailed study of these local dynamics see John Mansford Prior, “The ­Silent Scream of a Silenced History: The Maumere Massacre of 1966”, Exchange 40, 2011, pp. 117–143, and his “The Silent Scream of a Silenced History: Part Two: Church Responses”, Exchange 40, 2011, 311–321. 59 Letter, Kupang, Timor, 7 May 1966, Politiek 32, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972; cf. also Steven Farram, “The PKI in West Timor and Nusa Tenggara Timur: 1965 and beyond”, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 166/4, 2010, p. 390. 60 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1599, 30 November 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & ­Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 61 Illuminating in this respect were the candid comments of Franz ­Magnis-Suseno SJ, an eyewitness of the violence as a student of theology in Yogyakarta, in his “Indonesian Experiences 1965/1966”, in Bernd Schaefer and Baskara T. ­Wardaya (eds.), 1965: Indonesia and the World, Indonesia Dan Dunia (Jakarta: Gramedia

196  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle Pustaka Utama, 2013), p. 146. Another empirical illustration provides J­ ustin L.  Wejak, “Ketakutan 1965 Sebagai Ketakutan Masa Kini: Menelaah ­Ketakutan Sekuler, Agama dan Supranatural”, Jurnal Ledalero 14/1, Juni 2015, pp. 83–108. 62 Archbishop J. Darmojuwono in an interview with the Catholic newspaper Kompas, reproduced in The Indonesian Herald, 29 December 1965, p. 5. 63 Antara (English edition), 14 October 1965, No 277/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 6. 64 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1515, 20 November 1965, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & ­Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 65 A. de Kuiper, Bogor, to G.P.H. Locher, 4 November 1965, p. 1; P.J. Mackaay to Ms. A. Klokke-Coster, 15 December 1965, and N.W.K., Kupang, 7 May 1966, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. 66 Antara (English edition), 18 October 1965, No 281/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 9. 67 Ibid., p. 8. 68 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-466, “Masjumi Organ­ izing Activities”, 21 January 1966, pp. 1 & 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. 69 James L. Peacock, The Muhammadiyah Movement in Indonesian Islam (Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings, 1978), p. 55. 70 Ibid. 71 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram-805, “Catholic Party ­Cooperation with NU”, 29 June 1966, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2319. 72 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram-459, “Miscellaneous ­Information from Catholic Party Source”, 17 January 1966, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 15.1 Head of State, Exe, Br, Indonesia to POL 15-4 Indonesia, Box 2315. 73 Letter, S. Kruyt, Surabaya, 12 March 1966, Politiek 32, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. 74 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 2055, 14 January 1966, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2313. 75 Department of State, US Embassy, Memorandum of Conversation, “The Hindu and Buddhist Movements in Indonesia”, 13 May 1970, p. 2, RG 59, Subject File of the Office of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore Affairs, 1965–1974, Entry 5417, LOT File 74D9, Box 7, POL 15-7. 76 Henk Visch and Cor Tonsbeek, Pelter: Brieven van Henk Visch en Cor Tonsbeek uit Bali, 1948–1971, bewerkt door dr. Th. Van den End (Zoetermeer: Boekencentrum, 2003), p. 271. 77 An illustrative summary of the developments provides G.P.H. Locher in his “Reisnotities” (travel notes) made during a trip to Indonesia (20 February to 22 March 1967), pp. 9–11, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/3646. 78 Cf. General Mokoginta on 18 May 1966, Council of the Churches in ­Indonesia, Region Sumatra, Medan: “Mass Conversion in North Sumatra/­Indonesia”, n.d., DRM 2.988; or Deputy Prime Minister Johannes Leimena, himself a Christian: A Resume of a Meeting/Talk with J. Leimena at the Army ­Chaplain’s Conference in Jakarta on 25 November 1965, Concerning the Present Situation in Indonesia After the Failure of the First October Movement, DRM 846.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  197 79 Frank Cooley, “The Religious Revival in Indonesia”, The World Evangel 86/11, December 1967, pp. 362–366; Rapporten 651.78, Tahi Bonar Simatupang, “The Situation and Challenge of the Christian Mission in Indonesia To-Day”, 16  June 1968, pp. 8–9, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2914; Jan Sihar Aritonang, Karel Steenbrink (ed.), A History of Christianity in Indonesia (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2008), p. 206. 80 “The Protestant Churches in East Java”, Asia Department Bulletin (National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.), New York: Indonesia Bulletin No. 10, 1 June 1967, p. 2, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/3401-a; Dieter Becker, Die Kirchen und der Pancasila-Staat. Indonesische Christen zwischen Konsens und Konflikt (Erlangen: Verlag der Ev.-Luth. Mission, 1996), pp. 180–181. 81 NZR 97/67: J. Verkuyl, n.d., De consultatie van de Raad van Kerken in Indonesië (Sukabumi 20 februari – 5 maart 1967), p. 1, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. 82 Pd. W. Grothaus, Berastagi, Frühjahr 1968: Jahresbericht 1967, p. 1, DRM 2.974. 83 Cf. M. Singgih, Makassar, to G.P.H. Locher & J. van der Linden, 7 September 1966, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2914. 84 G.P.H. Locher, Secretaris, Raad voor de Zending, one of the rare Christian voices critical about the murder of communists in a letter, 29 December 1965, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. 85 Eberhard Lumbantobing in “Ragi Buana”, Nr. 29, June 1966, pp. 6 & 9. DRM 2.981. 86 Various reports in “Citaten uit brieven van de O. javaanse Kerk (vervolg)”, here p. 3, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/3394. 87 The Protestant community in Palembang, Sumatra, reported on 13 December 1965: “Slapende christenen zijn ontwaakt: halfglovigen zijn versterkt; de chris­ telijke jeugd vernieuwt haar verenigingsleven; christen-arbeiders verenigen zich in christelijke vakbonden en zendingsarbeiders worden ijveriger. Kortom: chris­ telijke activiteiten worden ontplooid voor de grote naam van God de Vader, de Zoon en de Heilige Geest…”, Zendingscentrum van de Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland, Bulletin situatie Indonesië no. 13, p. 2, NA/DH, 2.05.188/610. 88 D.B., Situatie en Achtergronden, Yogjakarta, 1 December 1967, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2732. 89 A case in point was Makassar in South Sulawesi; see various documents in HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2732; Bericht über die Ereignisse vom 1. Oktober 1967 in Makassar, Makassar, 4 October 1967, DRM 2.958; on the damage Reisebericht Fr. Werth, Indonesien, 21.August bis 26.Oktober 1967, DRM 3.431; Jan Sihar Aritonang, Karel Steenbrink, History of Christianity, p. 205. 90 Cf. Adam Hughes Henry, “Polluting the Waters: A Brief History of Anti-­ Communist Propaganda during the Indonesian Massacres”, Genocide Studies International 8/2, Fall 2014, pp. 153–175. 91 Sukarno, An Autobiography as Told to Cindy Adams (Indianapolis, IN, Kansas City, MI, New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1965), p. 279. 92 Hessell Tiltman, “I.P.I. Criticises Indonesia: Repressive Press Controls”, The Guardian, 5 April 1960, p. 10. 93 Ulf Sundhaussen, The Road to Power: Indonesian Military Politics 1945–1967 (Kuala Lumpur, Oxford, New York, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 184. 94 US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-300, “The September 30 Affair”, 22 October 1965, p. 6, RSC, DDRS. 95 Cf. CIA Office of Current Intelligence, 6 October 1965, Intelligence Memo­ randum “The Upheaval in Indonesia” & CIA Report No. 22, “The Indonesian Situ­ation”, to White House Situation Room, 8 October 1965, 6 a.m., RSC, CIA Reports, Japan, Korea, and the Security of Asia, 1946–1976, Reel 1, 375 & 388.

198  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle 96 CIA (CREST), 4 October 1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 10. 97 Jaarrapport Indonesië 1965, B.L.C. Schiff, Nederlandse Ambassadeur, Jakarta, 4 July 1966, p. 4, NA/DH, 2.05.188/628. 98 “Rings on a Tree Trunk”, The Economist, 6 November 1965, p. 594. 99 General Nasution, quoted in Antara (English edition), 12 October 1965, No 275/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 1. 100 United States Information Agency, Report, “Part 5 – The USIA Program”, Sta­ tus on June 30, 1960, NSC 6013, RSC, The Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Files, 1953–1961, Part 1: Subject Files, Reel 6, 0375. 101 David Easter, “‘Keep the Indonesian Pot Boiling’: Western Covert Intervention in Indonesia, October 1965–March 1966”, Cold War History 5/1, February 2005, p. 68. 102 Büro der Kurse für Revolutionskader der P.K.I., Propaganda Abteilung, ­Nationalrat der Pemuda Rakyat, Jakarta, 21. Januar 1965: “Langfristiges Pro­ gramm der P.K.I.”, p. 2, DRM 3.430. 103 Jérôme Samuel, “Radios indonésiennes: comment survivre à l’Ordre ­Nouveau?”, Archipel 64, 2002, p. 294. 104 CIA Intelligence Information Cable, 19 February 1965, “G-1 recommendations for tightening Indonesian internal security, including the seizure of American oil companies and expelling some U.S. Officials”, RSC, CIA Reports, Japan, Korea, and the Security of Asia, 1946–1976, Reel 1, 345. 105 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1212, 26 October 1965, p.  1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & ­Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318; CIA (CREST), 8.10.1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 22; on the army’s use of TV for its own propaganda see “Macht der Messer”, Der Spiegel 1/1966, p. 58 and “Prächtiger Kerl”, Der Spiegel 42/1965, pp. 114–118. 106 Antara (English edition), 26 October 1965, No 289/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 2. 107 John Roosa, Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30 Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’État in Indonesia (Madison, London: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p. 25. 108 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1269, 29 October 1965, p. 3, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 109 CIA (CREST), 9 October 1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 25; CIA (CREST), 17 October 1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 33. Antara had long been suspected of having pro-communist sympathies; see for exam­ ple US Department of State, Office of Intelligence Research, Report I­ R-6165.3, ‘Communism in the free world: Capabilities of the Communist Party, I­ ndonesia’, January 1953, p.11, CIA declassified documents, www.foia.cia.gov (accessed 3 May 2016). 110 Antara (English edition), 21 October 1965, No 284/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 5. 111 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1280, 30 October 1965, p.  2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & ­Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. I­ ndon, Box 2318; Roger K. Paget, “Djakarta Newspapers, 1965–1967: Preliminary Comments”, Indonesia 4, October 1967, p. 223. 112 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1319, 3.11.1965, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 113 Verzonden Codebericht, 24 November 1965, Ambassade de Djakarta, bested voor Ministerie van Buitenlands Zaken, p. 5, NA/DH, 2.05.188/870.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  199 114 See for example the unconfirmed reports on the PKI’s secret weapons arsenals, ‘discovered’ by Ansor; Duta Masyarakat, 10 November 1965, p. 1. 115 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1269, CN 23705, 29 ­October 1965, pp. 2 & 3, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1­ 964–1966, Politi­ cal & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL ­Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 116 For example Duta Masyarakat, 20 November 1965, p. 1. 117 George McTurnan Kahin, Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell University Press, 1970, orig. 1952), p. 305. 118 Andrée Feillard and Rèmy Madinier, The End of Innocence? Indonesian ­Islam and the Temptations of Radicalism (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2011), p. 19; Ann Swift, The Road to Madiun: The Indonesian Communist Uprising of 1948 ­(Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program Cornell University, 1989), p. 76. 119 Soerasto Sastrosoewignjo (pseudonym S.S. Kelana), “You have stabbed us in the back again”, reproduced at full length in Herbert Feith and Lance ­Castles, Indonesian Political Thinking 1945–1965 (Ithaca, NY, London: Cornell ­University Press, 1970), p. 374. 120 Quoted in Andrée Feillard, Islam et l’Armée dans l’Indonesie contemporaine (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1995), p. 64. 121 Mark Curtis, “British Role in Slaughter of 500,000”, The Observer, 28 July 1996, p. 19; Isabel Hilton, “Our Bloody Coup in Indonesia: Britain Colluded in One of the Worst Massacres of the Century”, The Guardian (London), 1 August 2001, p. 16. 122 CIA to White House Situation Room, “The Indonesian Situation”, 24 October 1965, RSC, DDRS. 123 For example Antara (English edition), 1 December 1965, No 325/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 9. 124 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1128, 21 October 1965, p.  2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & ­Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 125 Duta Masyarakat, 19 November 1965, p. 3. 126 Duta Masyarakat, 10 December 1965, p. 1. 127 “Gefährliche Farbe”, Der Spiegel 20/44, 24 October 1966, pp. 132–134. 128 Hong Liu, China and the Shaping of Indonesia, 1949–1965 (Singapore: NUS Press, 2011), p. 206. 129 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1177, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 ­Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 130 CIA (CREST), 24 October 1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 40. 131 CIA (CREST), 17 November 1965, “The Situation in Indonesia”, report no. 64. 132 Duta Masyarakat, 8 November 1965, p. 1; The Indonesian Herald, 24 November 1965, p. 2. 133 CIA, Report, National Intelligence Survey, Volume 7, Chapter 4 “Religion, ­Education, and Public Information”, Indonesia, 1 May 1959, p. 42, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National Intel­ ligence Surveys, 1948–1971, Indonesia-Inland Waterway to Indonesia-Naval Forces, Box 337. 134 David T. Hill, The Press in New Order Indonesia (Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur: Equinox, 2007), p. 34. 135 CIA, Report, National Intelligence Survey, Volume 7, Chapter 4 “Religion, Education, and Public Information”, Indonesia, 1 May 1959, p. 42, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National

200  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle

136 137 138 1 39 140

141 1 42 143 144

145 146 147 148

149

1 50 151 152 1 53 154 155 156

Intelligence Surveys, 1948–1971, Indonesia-Inland Waterway to Indonesia-­ Naval Forces, Box 337. Jaarrapport Indonesië 1967, B.L.C. Schiff, Nederlandse Ambassadeur, Jakarta, 4 March 1968, pp. 7–8, NA/DH, 2.05.188/628. Jaarrapport Indonesië 1966, B.L.C. Schiff, Nederlandse Ambassadeur, ­Jakarta, 14 June 1967, p. 7, NA/DH, 2.05.188/628. For a more extensive discussion of this topic, see the chapter below on educa­ tion in Java, Singapore, and India. “Communism in South Pacific Schools”, New York Times, 17.8.1952. Justus M. van der Kroef, “How Dead Is the Indonesian Communist Party?” Communist Affairs 5, January–February 1967, p. 7; R. Murray Thomas, ­“Indonesian Education: Communist Strategies (1950–1965) and Governmen­ tal Counter Strategies (1966–1980)”, Asian Survey 21/3, March 1981, p. 385; cf. also Douglas Kammen and Faizah Zakaria, “Detention in Mass Violence: Pol­ icy and Practice in Indonesia, 1965–1968”, Critical Asian Studies 44/3, 2012, pp. 441–466. Cf. Lee Kam Hing, Education and Politics in Indonesia 1945–1965 (Kuala ­Lumpur: University Of Malaya Press, 1995), pp. 111–116. Ruth McVey, “Faith as the Outsider”, p. 209. Letter, S. Kruyt, Surbaya, 12 March 1966, Politiek 32, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. Jusuf Wanandi, then secretary of the Supreme Advisory Council’s Committee on Review of the National Educational System, in his Shades of Grey: A Political Memoir of Modern Indonesia 1965–1998 (Jakarta, Singapore: Equinox, 2012), pp. 41–42. Antara (English edition), 12 November 1965, No 306/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 2. Leo Suryadinata (ed.), Political Thinking of the Indonesian Chinese, ­1900–1977: A Sourcebook. 2nd ed. (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1997), pp. xvii–xviii. Suharto at the anniversary reception of the Indonesian Teachers’ Associa­ tion (PGRI), quoted in Antara (English edition), 27 November 1965, No 321/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 6. Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1621, 2 December 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1319, 3 November 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. The Guardian, 9 November 1965. Duta Masyarakat, 9 December 1965, p. 2. Antara (English edition), 1 November 1965, No. 295/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 1. Letter, S. Kruyt, Surabaya, 12 March 1966, Politiek 32, HUA/RvdZ, 1102-2/2972. Lambert Kelabora, “Assumptions Underlying Religious Instruction in Indone­ sia”, Comparative Education 15/3, October 1979, p. 332. Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 2055, 14 January 1966, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. Freek Colombijn, J. Thomas Lindblad, “Introduction”, in Freek Colombijn and J. Thomas Lindblad (eds.), Roots of Violence in Indonesia: Contemporary Violence in Historical Perspective (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002), p. 19.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  201 157 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Airgram A-587, “The Future of Action Commands in Indonesian Politics”, 26 March 1966, p. 2, RG 59, Cen­ tral Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2313. 158 CIA Intelligence Reference Aid, “Indonesian Youth Groups”, 20 June 1966, RSC, CIA Reports, Japan, Korea, and the Security of Asia, 1946–1976, Reel 1, p. 487. 159 Ibid., pp. 492 & 493. 160 Harold Crouch, Army and Politics, p. 141. 161 Antara (English edition), 23 October 1965, No. 286/A (Morning edition), Home News, p. 8. 162 Note from the German Embassy, Jakarta, quoted in Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1512, 19 November 1965, p. 3, NARA, RG 59, Cen­ tral Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 163 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1270, 29 October 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 164 Frank de Jong, Report “Fighting one urgent – uncensored”, 8 March 1966, ­Jakarta Agence France Presse (AFP) Bureau, SOAS Archives, PP MS 13, Agence France Presse, Box 3. 165 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1212, 26 October 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318; CIA (CREST), 26.10.1965, “The Indonesian situation”, report no. 42. 166 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1510, 19 November 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 167 “Höhle der Krokodile”, Der Spiegel 20/45, 31 October 1966, pp. 157–158; De­ partment of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1985, 26 October 1966, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2319. 168 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1272, 30 October 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 169 Duta Masyarakat, 6 November 1965, p. 3; 6 December 1965, p. 2; and 21 December 1965, p. 1. 170 The Indonesian Herald, 2 November 1965, p. 8. 171 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1169, 23 October 1966, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 172 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1463, 16 November 1965, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & De­ fense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2312. 173 Interview, H.L.P.M. Hoeff, 12 February 1980, KDC, KMM 347, mp3 version, file 3, minute 10. 174 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram “Conditions in the ­Kudus area of Central Java”, A-435, 7 January 1966, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, Cen­ tral Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318.

202  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle 175 Kurt L. Leidecker, “The Natural Antidote to Communism in Asia”, Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors 37/4, Winter 1951/1952, pp. 702–710. 176 William Inboden, Religion and American Foreign Policy, 1945–1960: The Soul of Containment (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 2. 177 Andrew J. Rotter, “Christians, Muslims, and Hindus: Religion and U.S.-South Asian Relations, 1947–1954”, Diplomatic History 24/4, Fall 2000, pp. 606–607. 178 American Consulate General, Batavia, Java, Study “Growth and Nature of Communism in Indonesia”, 17 May 1947, p. 26, NARA, RG 263, Entry ­Murphy Papers, The Murphy Collection on International Communism, 1917–1958, ­Indonesia, Box 118. 179 CIA Information Report “Communism in the Indonesian Republic”, August 1948, p. 11, NARA, RG 263, Entry Murphy Papers, The Murphy Collection on International Communism, 1917–1958, Indonesia, Box 118. 180 Ibid. 181 Operations Coordinating Board, Washington D.C., Progress Report on NSC 171/1, United Stated Objectives and Courses of Action with Respect to ­I ndonesia, 1 July 1954, p. 7, CIA declassified documents, www.foia.cia.gov ­(accessed 1 May 2016). 182 Cf. The White House, Operations Coordinating Board, Informal Memoran­ dum of Meeting: Ad Hoc Working Group on Islam, 30 January 1957; SEA – Kenneth T. Young, Jr., Office Memorandum, U.S. Government, “Comments on memorandum of committee on Buddhism”, 27 August 1956; Report, The White House, “Proposals regarding U.S. relations with Therawada [sic] Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia, including Ceylon, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos”, 7 September 1956; for early thoughts on this subject see CIA, Intel­ ligence Memorandum No. 209, “Vulnerabilities of Communist Movements in the Far East”, 20 September 1949; all retrieved from RSC, DDRS. 183 Tim Weiner, Legacies of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 143. 184 US Embassy, Jakarta, Foreign Service Despatch No. 6, “Election Plans of the Indonesian Communist Party”, 2 July 1953, p. 2, NARA, RG 263, ­Entry ­Murphy Papers, The Murphy Collection on International Communism, ­1917–1958, ­Indonesia, Box 120. 185 National Security Council Report, NSC 5518, “U.S. Policy on ­Indonesia”, 3 May 1955, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1955–1957, Volume XXII, Southeast Asia, Document 95, p. 154. http://history.state.gov/historical documents/frus1955-57v22/d95 (accessed 23 July 2016). 186 CIA (CREST), NSC Briefing, “Indonesian Prospects”, 11 May 1955, p. 3. 187 Straits Times 27 February 1956 & 1 March 1956, NA/DH, 2.05.189, Bestanddeel 376. 188 Laura A. Belmonte, Selling the American Way: U.S. Propaganda and the Cold War (Philadelphia, PA: University of Philadelphia Press, 2008), p. 106. 189 US Embassy/USIS Jakarta, Annual Report for USIS Indonesia for the report­ ing period July 1, 1956 through June 30, 1957, Despatch Nr. 87, 14 August 1957, RSC, President John F. Kennedy’s Office Files, 1961–1963, Part 5, Reel 12, p. 3. 190 United States Information Agency, Report, “Part 6 – The USIA Program”, NSC 5819, Year ending June 30, 1958, RSC, The Dwight D. Eisenhower ­National Se­ curity Files, 1953–1961, Part 1: Subject Files, Reel 5, 0641. 191 CIA (CREST), Report “Indonesian Operation”, 15 May 1958. 192 CIA (CREST), “Indonesia”, 16 June 1958. 193 Quoted in Peter Dale Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965–1967”, Pacific Affairs 58/2, Summer 1985, p. 246.

(Anti-)secularism and social struggle  203 194 SIPRI data, quoted in Dawi Fortuna Anwar, “Beneficiary of the Cold War: ­Soeharto and the ‘New Order’ in Indonesia, 1966–1990”, in Malcolm H. ­Murfett (ed.), Cold War Southeast Asia (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International, 2012), p. 306. 195 Roosa, “Framing the Killings”, p. 31. 196 Mortimer, Indonesian Communism under Sukarno, p. 167. 197 David Easter, “Active Soviet military support for Indonesia during the 1962 West New Guinea crisis”, Cold War History 15/2, 2015, p. 204. 198 Robert J. McMahon, The Limits of Empire: The United States and Southeast Asia since World War II (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), p. 120; CIA Office of National Estimates, Special Memorandum No. 4-65, “Principal Problems and Prospects in Indonesia”, 26 January 1965, p. 12, RSC, DDRS. 199 Antonie Dake, The Sukarno File, 1965–1967: Chronology of a Defeat (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2006), p. 266. 200 Simpson, Economists with Guns, p. 187; US Ambassador Marshall Green, In­ terview, 3 March 1989, The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, RSC, Frontline Diplomacy Database; Memorandum Prepared for the 303 Committee, Washington, 17 November 1965, RSC, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Vol. XXVI, ­Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines, Document 175. 201 Larry Ceplair, Anti-Communism in Twentieth-Century America: A Critical History (Santa Barbara, CA, Denver, CO, Oxford: 2011), p. 14. 202 CIA (CREST), “Communism in Indonesia”, Department of Defense, Intelli­ gence Directorate, 20 December 1960, p.1. 203 Ibid., p. 2. 204 “Comme un génocide: Indonésie il y a quarante ans était perpétré le massacre des communistes”, L’Humanité, 1 October 2005, p. 26. 205 Cf. Christopher Reed, “US agents ‘drew up Indonesian hit list’: Diplomats and CIA located communist targets for army”, The Guardian (London), 22 May 1990; George Lardner, “Papers show U.S. role in Indonesian purge; GPO seeks return of Official History detailing covert actions in mid-1960s”, The ­Washington Post, 28 July 2001, A Section, p. A08; “U.S. role in destroying Indonesian communist party 25 years ago”, Xinhua General News Service, 21 May 1990; Kathy Kadane, “Ex-agents say CIA compiled death lists for Indonesians”, www.namebase.org/ kadane.html (accessed 1 May 2016). 206 Seymour Topping, On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent’s Journal from the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010), p. 295. 207 John Hughes, The End of Sukarno: A Coup that Misfired: A Purge that Ran Wild (Singapore: Archipelago Press, 2002, orig. 1967), p. 167. 208 Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia, ­Washington, 13 October 1965, RSC, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Vol. XXVI, Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines, Document 153; H.W. Brands, The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 174. 209 Telegram, Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State, Jakarta, 1  ­November 1965, RSC, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Vol. XXVI, Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines, Document 165. 210 CIA Memorandum, 9 November 1965, reproduced in Jussi Hanhimäki and Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 372. 211 Memorandum of Conversation, “Sumatra”, 31 August 1950, p. 1, NARA, RG 59, LOT File 60D60 & 59D344, Box 12, 570.3.

204  (Anti-)secularism and social struggle 212 US Embassy, Jakarta, to Department of State, “Top Indonesian Executive ­Caltex (Tahija) March 1 gave Ambassador following comments”, 3 March 1965, p. 2, RSC, DDRS. 213 Bradley Simpson, “The United States and International Dimensions of the Killings in Indonesia”, in Bernd Schaefer and Baskara T. Wardaya (eds.), 1965: Indonesia and the World, Indonesia Dan Dunia (Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2013), p. 46. 214 Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1272, 30 October 1965, pp. 1 & 3, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318; Department of State, US Embassy, Jakarta, Telegram 1269, CN 2305, 29 October 1965, p. 2, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, Political & Defense, POL 23-9 Rebellion Coups Indon to POL Political Aff. & Rel. Indon, Box 2318. 215 Antara (English edition), 9 December 1965, No 333/B (Afternoon edition), Home News, p. 6. 216 Cf. Ragna Boden, “Silence in the Slaughterhouse: Moscow and the Indonesian Massacres”, in Bernd Schaefer and Baskara T. Wardaya (eds.), 1965: Indonesia and the World, Indonesia Dan Dunia (Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2013), pp. 94–95; Simpson, “The United States”, p. 52. 217 Jonathan Haslam, Russia’s Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall (New Haven, CT, London: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 229. 218 For early speculations cf. US Department of State, Director of Intelligence and Research, Research Memorandum, “The Question of Chinese Communist In­ volvement in Indonesia’s September 30 Movement”, 17 December 1965, NAR, RG 59, Entry 5408, LOT File 85D240, 71D144, Subject Files of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, 1961–74, Box 17. 219 CIA Special Report “Peking’s Setbacks in Indonesia”, 1 April 1966, RSC, CIA Reports, Japan, Korea, and the Security of Asia, 1946–1976, Reel 1, 446. 220 J.H.H. Luns, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Den Haag, to Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, Department of State, Washington DC, 6 April 1966, p. 1, NA/DH, 2.05.188/870. 221 Karl Hack and Geoff Wade, “The Origins of the Southeast Asian Cold War”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40/3, October 2009, p. 443. See also Malcolm H. Murfett, “Introduction”, in Malcolm H. Murfett (ed.), Cold War Southeast Asia (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International, 2012), p. 2. 222 For a long-term analysis of this trend see Rémy Madinier, “Lawan dan kawan (Friends and Foes): Indonesian Islam and Communism during the Cold War (1945–1960)”, in Christopher E. Goscha and Christian F. Ostermann (eds.), Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, ­1945–1962 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), pp. 356–375.

6 Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India

Introduction When Clifford Geertz published his groundbreaking study on the “religion of Java” in 1960, one of the first and probably most important observations he shared with the reader concerned educational changes. In the small town of Modjokuto in East Java, where Geertz had conducted his field studies in the mid-1950s, he observed that the number of educated villagers had ex­ panded rapidly over the previous few years. He tentatively explained this his­ toric transformation “with the post-revolutionary expansion of the school system”. This expansion included first and foremost a soaring number of government schools as well as Chinese and Catholic elementary schools, but also “semi-modernised” religious schools of the old style. The social conse­ quences of these changes were far-reaching. Students and teachers formed “two of the most clearly defined and dynamic social groups within the soci­ ety, perhaps the two groups who are least closely bound to the Javanese past and whose relationships with the rest of the society are the most ambigu­ ous”.1 What Java and the other major islands of the Indonesian archipelago experienced at that time was nothing less than an educational revolution. This revolution not only altered the educational landscape of this early post­ colonial society by lifting the majority of its population out of literacy for the first time in history, but it also had a profound social and political impact, which clearly shaped future developments in Indonesia as a whole. These educational changes were mainly, but not exclusively, the result of concerted organisational efforts undertaken by the national and several provincial governments since independence in 1949. Equally important were non-governmental educational organisations such as Taman Siswa, once closely associated with the pre-war nationalist movement, that had 199 branches and ran 207 schools, 650 teachers and about 20,000 pupils on the eve of the Second World War2 and by 1952 had grown to over 1,000 teachers and 30,000 pupils.3 In addition, there existed a whole range of religious schools characterised by heterogeneous theological and organisational orientations. As such, educational reform and the subsequent expansion of educational facilities was an important field in which relations between the state, social

206  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India movements, and religious actors were renegotiated and ultimately rede­ fined for the new era after colonialism. In other words, for secularism in ­Indonesia, educational reform was one of the foremost defining areas in which diverse historical actors competed for the minds of young people, hegemonic ideas on state and society, control over the educational infra­ structure and, hence, the future direction of the nation as a whole. In an at­ mosphere of departure and renewal after the dismissal of the Dutch colonial administration, schools turned into decisive battlegrounds over visions for the nation, culture, and society, but in particular over the role of religion in post-independence Indonesia and thus the definition and implementation of secularism. In the current debates on the global resurgence of religious extremism and the complex reasons for this, religious schools are frequently identi­ fied as crucial factors undermining secular orientations and practices in the state and society.4 This chapter, by contrast, explores to what extent religious schools have functioned as important drivers of secularism in edu­ cation and in society as a whole. Muhammad Qasim Zaman argued that particularly in Muslim societies the clear distinction between religious and secular education was itself a modern and thus colonial construct that func­ tioned as an administrative imperative and was a necessary precondition for ‘educational reform’.5 This chapter intends not necessarily to dissolve but at least to soften this distinction by showing how mutually influential both forms of education have historically been. Empirical evidence from early postcolonial Indonesia, India, and Singa­ pore suggests that Islamic and Christian schools have historically not been the natural opponents of secular education and, hence, secularism as a pro­ ject. Rather, religious schools have selectively, but centrally, contributed to putting secularism into practice and achieving “internalised pluralism”,6 i.e. a strong awareness of religious diversity. In this way, this chapter seeks to divert historical attention away from the state to religious non-state actors, more specifically private schools, and to analyse their distinct but crucial contribution to secularism projects. The point I seek to make here is that in certain ways, religious actors were not the natural enemies of secularism projects, but rather their decisive facilitators. Schooling played an important role in the transition period after coloni­ alism. The knowledge distributed through these schools was itself a decisive pillar for the establishment of a postcolonial order and national identity. Knowledge taught in schools functions as a means to “establish the para­ meters of acceptable knowledge, impose ideological boundaries, determine the range of permissible interpretations, point the way to action – and, both overtly and covertly, create images of self-belief and self-doubt”.7 For this reason, schooling – as much as religion – has always been central in the pro­ motion of political ideologies, collective and individual self-perceptions, as well as ideas about order and its taboos. But not only religion and education are mutually related in this way,8 but also religious and secular education.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  207 Historically, religious schools were important loci in which the definition and the practices of secularism were contested, experimented with, and im­ plemented in specific ways. Religious schools, therefore, provide essential knowledge about secularism projects and the complex variety of practices they comprised. Pivotal to the significance of religious schools was their respective rela­ tionship with the state, which comprised a whole spectrum of interactions and interdependencies. In this chapter, four different facets of this relation­ ship will be analysed: direct as well as indirect state intervention, changing educational incentives, and religious reform agendas. First, the state inter­ vened directly in the sphere of religious schools, their administration, and teaching. In the early years after colonialism, state authorities drew up a truly national education policy with a strong focus on ‘modernising’ edu­ cation to create the basis for future socio-economic, political, and cultural developments. Second, the state intervened indirectly by creating specific administrative and financial conditions that had a profound impact on the realities of religious schools on the ground. The postcolonial administrative regime, which still partly used colonial procedures, set circumstantial con­ straints that religious instructors had to cope with or work around. Third, altered circumstances caused profound changes in the (religious) education sector not through coercion, but through motivational incentives. Religious organisations responded to these incentives mainly out of self-interest. The rapid expansion of the education sector brought enormous potential for religious networks to increase their social relevance through educational services that, conversely, the state sought to make use of. Fourth, religious organisations active in the field of education had their own reform agen­ das based on their own distinct ideas of social reform, nation-building, and Islamic or Christian principles. These ideas often clashed with the state agendas; what was equally important, however, was that they entered into historically relevant negotiation processes with the state. These processes co-determined the outcome of educational realities on the ground.

The stony path to educational revolution in Java In order to analyse the qualitative transformations of religious and secular education in the early postcolonial era, it is necessary to first get a more detailed idea about the long-term quantitative changes during the first half of the 20th century as well as the continuities and discontinuities after colonialism. In the case of Indonesia, the colonial educational policies of the Dutch had left the society with a legacy of wholesale educational discrimination and staggering inequality.9 This neglect of popular education had basically two consequences that clearly mattered in the postcolonial era. It created significant room for religious organisations not only to sustain but also to expand their educational services. It also encouraged the spread of so-called

208  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India ‘wild schools’, which were largely beyond government regulation. By the late 1930s, their total number had reached 2,200 with an estimated total enrolment of 142,000 pupils.10 These ‘wild schools’ were primarily an ad­ ministrative challenge to the colonial rulers, as their teachers had no official authorisation, nor were their curricula in line with those of the government schools.11 However, the largely diverse sector of religious schools was a chal­ lenge of much greater magnitude as well as a political and ideological un­ known whose consequences for Dutch rule were difficult to judge. Of the various Islamic organisations active in the education sector dur­ ing the first half of the 20th century including Nahdlatul Ulama, Persatuan ­Tarbijah Islam, and others, the educational history of Muhammadiyah is probably the most relevant one in the light of the postcolonial era. Founded in 1912, Muhammadiyah rapidly expanded its network of branches during the following two decades and by 1938 had more than 250,000 members, mainly in urban and semi-urban areas.12 Muhammadiyah’s schools were basically of two types: more conservative, religious schools, and general schools that primarily taught secular subjects besides religion. The latter type was par­ ticularly strong on Java, where religious authorities (hajis and ulama) had less influence and Muhammadiyah schools competed with Christian as well as secular government schools.13 For this reason, Muhammadiyah quickly adopted government school curricula so that its pupils could sit for the same exams as graduates from government schools in order to secure better ca­ reer options in the labour market.14 The second stream of Muhammadiyah schools, the more traditional madrasahs, however, had more schools and more enrolments. This type was geographically stronger in Sumatra, where a more conservative, even orthodox Islamic social structure was predominant. The aim of this type was mainly to complement the education given in the Dutch-operated schools, where pupils received no religious instruction at all. The numerical growth of Muhammadiyah schools coincided with the Great Depression of the 1930s and the subsequent diminishing capabilities of the colonial administration to meet educational demands.15 Although precise numbers are hard to verify, we can reconstruct some general trends. Towards the end of the 1920s, on the eve of the Great Depression, a con­ temporary witness observed that Muhammadiyah ran about 64 primary schools and 25 schools of higher education, including two teacher-training institutions.16 In the late 1930s, at the end of the Depression decade, the total number of Muhammadiyah schools had increased to 1,744,17 of which 466 were secular in their orientation, including three teacher-training col­ leges in Surakarta (Solo), Yogyakarta, and Batavia (Jakarta).18 Even more important for later developments than this numerical growth was the change in educational culture within the more liberal ­Muhammadiyah schools. These schools, supported and attended mainly by urban m ­ iddle-class Muslims, also modernised their didactic methods, moving beyond the tradi­ tional Islamic schools (pesantren) in which students sat around the teacher and basically repeated whatever they were taught. Muhammadiyah schools

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  209 gradually replaced memorisation with comprehension and reasoning,19 in particular in secular subjects that complemented lessons in Arabic language and Islam. The Protestant and Catholic schools underwent a similar period of ex­ pansion in the years before the Second World War. According to official colonial statistics covering the period from 1934 to 1939, the number of students enrolled in Protestant and Catholic schools at all levels increased from 2,388 to 4,407 and from 1,827 to 2,794, respectively.20 For a long time, ­Christian schools had benefited from an “aura of modernity” in the eyes of many Indonesians,21 promising chances of employment in the civil ser­ vice, at least in theory.22 The economic crisis of the 1930s made this bonus even more attractive and thus enhanced the popularity of these schools, not just in areas with strong Christian communities such as Eastern Indonesia, North Sumatra, or South Sulawesi. Another reason for the expansion of Christian education lay in chang­ ing government policies. Since the early 1930s, the colonial administration had granted financial subsidies to a much larger number of Protestant and Catholic schools than to Islamic schools. In 1938/1939, a total of 2016 Prot­ estant and 728 Catholic schools received government subsidies at all edu­ cational levels compared to only 140 Islamic schools.23 The major share of Christian schools was thus also a result of active government intervention in favour of non-Islamic private schools, in particular in primary schooling.

The expansion of education after independence After independence, the significant track record of Muhammadiyah and other Islamic organisations continued as the postcolonial government al­ lowed the establishment of a full Muslim educational system under the di­ rective of the Ministry of Religion. This Ministry, founded in 1949, was the result of a historic “compromise between the secular and Christian theory of the separation of State from Church and the Islamic theory of the alli­ ance between the two”.24 Precise figures on education for the immediate post-independence period are difficult to reconstruct, and in most cases, only rough estimates are possible. Nevertheless, they allow at least some cautious conclusions on major trends. In 1951, when Indonesia had an estimated total population of 70 million, more than 13.2 million children were aged between 6 and 14 and thus the tar­ get group for compulsory education.25 An estimated four million children attended 24,775 primary schools that employed around 83,000 teachers.26 The number of primary schoolchildren had thus doubled within a decade, whereas the number of primary schools had only marginally increased by around 3,000. Besides the shortage of financial means for new buildings, the number of schools was also growing at a slower rate because many schools had been appropriated for use as administrative buildings as the young state expanded its bureaucratic reach.27 The state bureaucracy also rented some

210  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India mission school buildings, after decolonisation had led to a significant reduc­ tion in the number of Dutch children attending these schools.28 Even less impressive was the growth in secondary education, where the total num­ ber of First High Schools had grown from 41 to 227 and Secondary High Schools from 17 to 52.29 Meanwhile, the share of religious schools increased continuously, par­ ticularly in primary education. When Muhammadiyah celebrated its 40th anniversary in November 1952, a whole group of national leaders including the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, and the chairman of Parliament paid homage to the social services provided by the organisation, particu­ larly in education. At that time, Muhammadiyah claimed to maintain around a thousand schools at all levels with a total enrolment of 230,000, instructed by 4,100 teachers.30 Over the next twenty years, the number of ­Muhammadiyah schools seems to have grown to a total of 6,400.31 Other Islamic organisations involved in educational services grew at a similar rate, which had an important impact on the overall patterns in education. By 1955/1956, the phenomenal growth of religious schools in the con­ text of the overall expansion of the government school sector had secured religious instruction and religious schools a position of considerable sig­ nificance in Indonesia’s postcolonial educational system, particularly in primary education. Of an estimated 12.7 million children of primary school age, seven million were indeed in school. As the share of population hav­ ing received at least some primary education had risen sharply since inde­ pendence, ­Islamic schools (including the more traditional pesantren and the modernised ­madrasahs) provided education for around one-third of all pri­ mary schoolchildren and around one-tenth of secondary pupils. The share of Catholic and Protestant schools in total primary schooling was around 5 per cent.32 The Catholic Church alone ran 1,612 primary schools, a vast majority of them in Java, with a total enrolment of 274,458 pupils and more than 6,000 teachers.33 At the higher levels of education, however, the gov­ ernment remained by far the most important provider. The major problem for primary and secondary education was the criti­ cal shortage of qualified teachers – a problem “accentuated by inadequate equipment”.34 Indonesia took several years to address this problem. In spite of these severe shortcomings, the Indonesian Government made impressive progress in attacking this gigantic educational problem. There are at present 16 times as many secondary school students and ten times as many university students as there were in 1940. Indigenous resources, however, both in teachers and facilities, are completely in­ adequate for the number now seeking higher education […].35 In a country in which 530 doctors, 3,500 nurses, 150 dentists, 18 oculists, and no more than 100 civil engineers served around 70 million people,36 the need for higher education was close to insatiable.37

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  211 To sum up, the sources indicate the following trends. By the ­m id-1950s, r­ eligious schools constituted a major segment in Indonesia’s p ­ ost-independent educational sector. However, this circumstance was less an obstacle to, but rather an integral part of a rapidly growing, mainly secular-oriented gov­ ernment school system. The majority of religious schools were clearly pri­ mary schools. As the following section on educational reform and changing realities within schools will show, religious schools interacted with the state in various different ways that themselves became defining moments for ­Indonesian secularism.

Modernising religious schools as part of the secularism project During the early years after independence, the Indonesian state was con­ fronted not only with an enormous educational task, but also with omni­ present shortcomings in educational planning as well as the lack of financial resources and qualified teaching personnel. The reports that reached Jakarta about the educational situation in the provinces painted a grim picture about the situation in the archipelago. The Primary School Inspection Office in Bandung reported in mid-1950 that for two million school-ready children around 4,000 schools and 40,000 teachers were needed, whereas so far only 2,550 schools and 15,000 teachers were ac­ tually available. Concrete plans to address this problem did not exist.38 The severe lack of government schools in East Java forced parents to send their children to private schools at their own expense. As the local bureaucracy struggled with registration problems, tens of thousands of children were in fact prevented from attending school on time.39 In Central Java, elementary school teachers threatened to go on strike after waiting for two months to receive their salaries. The Central Finance Office in the province struggled with a severe shortage of staff – five bureaucrats were in charge of admin­ istering a thousand teachers in every district – and payment delays within the administration.40 Petty corruption at the lower levels of bureaucracy, which generated a small additional income for low-ranking civil servants, caused further problems in the implementation of educational measures.41 In some regions, the majority of enrolled students in secondary and higher education dropped out of school before their graduation. The severe inefficiency of the education system in terms of high dropout rates remained a constant feature of the education sector until Sukarno was deposed in the mid-1960s.42 It was directly attributed to the low quality of education as well as the lack of much-needed technical, agricultural, and commercial schools.43 In addition, many religious schools and other pri­ vate schools, which did not receive government subsidies, employed poorly trained and underpaid teachers, and were therefore consequently unable to fulfil the government’s quality standard for secondary education.44 As a re­ sult, they soon lagged behind public schools in securing official approval. In the mid-1950s, the Education Ministry complained that still only 26 per cent

212  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India of all inspected religious schools passed the government’s inspection – a precondition for becoming an officially recognised junior high school.45 In general terms, these practical challenges resulted primarily from a growing gap between soaring demands for education at all levels on the one hand and scarce resources on the other. To improve the situation, however, the Indonesian state sought to implement a comprehensive, national education policy in which religious education was of central concern. In the historical context of postcolonial nation-building, the implemen­ tation of a national education policy was part of a broader agenda to con­ solidate the structure and legitimacy of the young state. The control over religion in two different forms, namely as a source of power and discipline and a risk factor in its fanatic forms, was thereby crucial.46 To increase the state’s grip on educational institutions run by religious organisations, the national and provincial administrations applied a strategy already prac­ tised to a certain extent by the Dutch colonial bureaucracy in the first half of the 20th century: increasing control and disciplining through active fi­ nancial support. It is thus not fully correct to claim, as Lambert Kelabora did at the time, that in December 1945, the Central National Committee of Indonesia “reversed the previous colonial policy towards madrasahs and pesantren by requiring the government to provide assistance in the form of supervision and funds”.47 What was indeed different, though, was that the envisaged support for religious schools by far exceeded any previous colonial practices. The Minister of Religion, seeking to increase the competences of his young ministry, argued that in rural Java and other regions where children had no access to alternative education, Islamic schools had already been teaching pupils for centuries. The government’s financial support for these schools would thus only enhance already existing educational efforts.48 In the following years, the state administration set up complex procedures to grant financial assistance to religious organisations specifically for their ed­ ucational and other social services including orphanages and medical work. One of the most prominent beneficiaries of these subsidies was, again, the Islamic reform movement Muhammadiyah. This organisation enjoyed a high reputation among state bureaucrats, particularly in the Ministry of Education, because of its reform-oriented, progressively secularised out­ look on education and social relations. But also the social features of this organisation’s membership appealed to the state’s educational planners. In the Javanese provinces members of Muhammadiyah were themselves well educated, a large majority of them having at least completed primary educa­ tion. Besides, they were economically stable and enjoyed strong popularity among the rural female population, a special target group for educational measures.49 To be eligible for admission, new members of ­Muhammadiyah not only had to go through a formalised procedure of acceptance, but were also interrogated about their educational background.50 In brief, ­Muhammadiyah was an attractive partner for the state.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  213 One way the state administration channelled funds to Muhammadiyah was through state-funded foundations, mostly based in Jakarta, to which the provincial Muhammadiyah branches could apply for funds. Many of these foundations such as the Yayasan Harta Sosial51 or the Yayasan ­Sosial Islam52 were not exclusively dedicated to education, but to social affairs in general. In practice, however, the financial separation of these different social tasks was far from consistent. Although Muhammadiyah struggled internally with decentralised structures and a lack of coordination,53 the organisation was able to make use not only of funds from the Ministries of Education and Religion, but also from the Ministry of Social Affairs and use these funds at least partly to enlarge its own school network. The flipside of active financial support for Muhammadiyah schools was they were increasingly pressured to adapt to the educational requirements of the donor, i.e. the state. In this way, the subsidies had an impact on the schools and the organisation’s approach to schooling. In order to maxim­ ise government support for its educational services, Muhammadiyah was anxious to let the Education Ministry know how similar its schools were to government schools. It was in Muhammadiyah’s interest to gain access not only to the Ministry of Religion’s funds for religious schools, but also to declare its madrasahs as non-Islamic schools and, hence, become eligible for the educational subsidies of the Education Ministry. In several prominent cases in Jakarta, Muhammadiyah argued that ­70–75 per cent of the school curriculum of its madrasahs comprised general subjects and only 25–30 per cent, religion.54 In its high schools in Sumatra, the organisation implemented a curriculum that dedicated slightly less than twothirds of all lessons to general subjects such as language training in ­Bahasa Indonesia and English, maths, physics, biology, geography, and history, and the rest to Arab language and Islam.55 For this reason, Muhammadiyah re­ quested the Education Ministry to also pay for the salary of the religious instructor and to support the maintenance of the schools.56 Muhammadiyah also openly advised its local branches to orient their schools towards the cur­ ricula of government schools and strictly follow the internal Muhammadiyah regulations for a more liberal, reform-oriented teaching of Islam.57

Homogenising education through school inspection Apart from these reform impulses from the state, Muhammadiyah also de­ veloped its own reform agenda that fed into the national project of educa­ tional modernisation. Since its foundation in 1912, this reformist Islamic movement had always considered technological and societal developments in its educational practice.58 However, with the dawning of Indonesia’s po­ litical independence, certain exigencies arose that also had a severe impact on Muhammadiyah’s own organisational strategies. One of the principal challenges for implementing a coherent national ed­ ucational policy in Indonesia was the topography of the archipelago. The

214  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India national territory comprised not only thousands of islands in various sizes, but also remote areas isolated by dense jungle. Their isolation from the ex­ isting lines of communication made them difficult to access and thus ad­ minister and control. Already in April 1948, the national government under Mohammed Hatta had decided to establish a nationwide system of school inspection for government schools.59 An inspection system had already ex­ isted during colonial times. Throughout the 19th century, however, school in­ spection had largely been sporadic due to the geographical dispersion of the schools.60 Since 1911, a truly national inspectorate for government schools had existed that was formally under the auspices of the Domestic Affairs Department but also reported regularly to the Department of Education and Religion.61 The task for the state authorities after independence was, therefore, to establish a truly national inspection system capable of increas­ ing the homogeneity as well as administrative control of the rapidly expand­ ing school sector. Furthermore, the general inspectorate was commissioned to revive all schools disbanded during the independence struggle.62 The tasks of the Ministry of Religion, on the other hand, were to improve the surveillance and control of religious schools and thereby subordinate them to the national government’s administrative regime. Like Persatuan Islam (PERSIS),63 another major player in the Islamic educational field, Muhammadiyah was concerned about the overall direction of its educa­ tional programme. Particular challenges were the maintenance of uniform quality standards in its schools in the face of declining quality of educa­ tional services due to rapid geographical expansion and the implementation of a unified educational policy in all its local branches. For these reasons, the organisation launched a major effort in the early 1950s to establish a nationwide system of regular school inspections. This spatial strategy to integrate religious schools into a national system of supervision was also an opportunity for the Ministry of Religion to develop a network of local ministerial branches, which in turn would improve its administrative reach to the more remote parts of Indonesian society. An example from Central Java illustrates just how politically sensitive and difficult to implement this task actually was. Compared to other much more remote areas of the Indonesian territory at the time, Central Java was at that time relatively easily accessible.64 In close cooperation with Muhammadiyah and other Islamic organisations, the Ministry of Religion set up a regular inspection service around Y ­ ogyakarta in Central Java in 1952. Yogyakarta and its surrounding areas had been particularly affected by late imperial violence. This violence had also had a devastating effect on the schools in terms of material shortages as well as soaring dropout rates.65 Now, three years after independence, eleven in­ spectors were put in charge of twenty-nine major cities in this province. An additional fifty-eight inspectors visited several religious schools as well as teachers of religion in government schools in rural areas across the whole province. A significant number of these inspectors were separated from

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  215 their families for several weeks and had to cross dense forests, often on foot, in order to gain access to even the remotest madrasahs and pesantren. In the absence of hotels, they slept in the local mosques, especially when threat­ ened by the simmering conflict between the armed forces and the remaining local resistance groups.66 The inspectors’ mission also had the administra­ tive purpose of extending the state’s bureaucratic regime to these corners of Indonesian territory. They set up around 30 religious education offices with a total number of 400 government employees whose special task was to train and examine the teachers of religion, a segment of educators hitherto almost entirely beyond state control. In this way, within only four months the edu­ cation officers and inspectors trained around 1,500 religious instructors to be deployed across Central Java to the remotest corners of the province.67 Muhammadiyah’s own inspection efforts also encountered severe ob­ stacles. In Kedu, Central Java, the local Muhammadiyah branch reported that competition with commercial and government schools was increasing significantly. These other schools not only drew potential new pupils away from Muhammadiyah schools, but also actively wooed pupils away from them. As quality of education attracted schoolchildren, it was even more problematic that the inspection of Muhammadiyah schools was not func­ tioning well. There was concern that the schools’ reputation would decline because of the unavailability of sufficient teaching materials.68 This was a general problem. Instructional materials, in particular books, were rare all over Indonesia because all of the country’s twenty book publishers were themselves severely limited in their production by a shortage of printing ma­ chines and paper.69 In other areas such as East Sumatra, Muhammadiyah implemented a similar school inspection system to improve its educational quality, but was confronted here with limited organisational capacities, too many teachers to visit, and practical problems of accessibility.70 In general terms, school inspection was a strategy to establish a spatial regime of control and surveillance that served educational homogenisation, which in turn helped the state to improve its geographical reach to terri­ tories of the young nation over which it had hitherto little or no control. Notwithstanding serious material limitations and logistical deficits, school inspection combined spatial control with the attempted standardisation of educational quality through educational reform.

Educating the educators Another measure to reform and thereby improve the quality of religious schooling was teacher training and education. To this end, Muhammadiyah founded its own Institute for the Teaching of Religion (Lembaga Pendidikan Agama) in early 1953. Its tasks included research and data collection on the teaching and learning of “religion and other subjects, as practised inside and outside the country” as well as “draft[ing] concrete plans to improve the religious education and teaching of religion” in Indonesia’s religious and

216  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India government schools.71 Right from the start, a major focus of the Institute was on teaching methods, the curricula, as well as the teaching materials used in Islamic schools. All of these were recognised as widely insufficient and incoherent.72 In practice, however, the Institute’s ambitious agenda was confronted with insufficient funding, inadequate infrastructure – not even a telephone – and a lack of properly trained staff. In spite of this, and using the limited means available, the Institute’s staff immediately started with the examination of schoolbooks and school curricula.73 The existence and the work of this Institute were consistent with the state’s strong commitment to integrate the teaching of religion into the curricula not only of religious schools but also of government schools. The legal basis for this move had already been created under the Education Act in 1950, which ruled that religion be integrated into the curriculum of government schools as a compulsory subject as from grade IV. This decision, however, was far from undisputed. During the months before the Education Act passed the legislature, the inclusion of religion into public school curricula was a heavily contested issue, hotly debated by education planners, intellectuals, politicians, and school administrators. At an education conference held in Bandung in ­October 1949, which was attended by leading education planners and po­ litical decision-makers, the question of religion was dropped in the final resolution because the discussants could not arrive at a consensus.74 In the Parliamentary Working Committee, responsible for the education bill, reli­ gion in public education was a “subject of controversy”,75 until a compro­ mise formulation proposed that “in state schools, the pupil’s parents are to state whether or not their children are to be given religious instruction”.76 In a rare joint effort, the Ministries of Education and Religion decided that religious education in public schools should be provided for classes in which at least ten pupils shared the same religion. The prerequisite was, however, that the salaries of these religious instruc­ tors be paid solely by the Ministry of Religion and that all learning ma­ terials be provided by the same ministry “upon approval of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture”.77 This regulation included Islamic as well as Christian religious teachers and even allowed children to attend religious instruction of a religion other than their own, provided that they submitted the written consent of their parents. Senior pupils were allowed to decide for themselves whether to participate in religious instruction or not.78 The Christian Churches welcomed this decision as it meant that the state would not control or intervene any further in the content of C ­ hristian instruction, but lamented that a majority of Christian teachers was not suf­ ficiently trained for this task.79 In the following years, Protestant Churches especially launched several initiatives to improve the quality of religious teaching, apparently with limited success, however, as there was still a lack of teacher-training institutions specifically for teachers of Christian religion.80

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  217

Disputes over religious instruction in India’s public schools With this solution, one that passed the ultimate responsibility onto the parents, postcolonial Indonesia took a very different path than, for exam­ ple, India, a country with a comparably complex religious diversity that achieved independence at about the same time. During the first half of the 19th century, when the East India Company was still in charge of education policy in India, the intention had been to promote both ‘Oriental culture’ and Western science. After the responsibility for educational planning was finally handed over to the Indians in 1921, India was still far from having a comprehensive and integrated education policy.81 As a consequence, uni­ form regulations governing both public and private schools, including the teaching of religion, were not achieved until after political independence in 1947. In post-independence India, as in many other South and Southeast Asian societies, religious instruction in public schools was a central con­ cern in educational planning. The disastrous Partition, which had triggered ­religion-based violence on a massive scale, also had a profound impact on educational planning. First of all, Partition had caused tremendous social disruptions. National educational planning was closely involved with the task of rehabilitating and integrating the numerous refugees that Partition had uprooted.82 As many Muslim communities in particular in Northern India were scattered and many of their cultural institutions had been either damaged or destroyed, many Islamic educational institutions were depleted of students and teachers.83 Education planners in Delhi were hardly aware of this but insisted on a clear separation between secular and religious edu­ cation in public schools. Already before Partition, the members of a national Religious Education Committee had resolved that while they recognize all fundamental importance of spiritual and moral instruction in the building of character, the provision for such teaching, except in so far as it can be provided in the normal course of secular in­ struction, should be the responsibility of the Home and the Community to which the pupil belongs.84 The Committee criticised the mainly “old-fashioned” and “unenlightened” religious teachers of Hinduism (pandits), Islam (mullahs), and Sikhism (granthis) and demanded that “teachers with a liberal outlook” should teach the spiritual and moral values common to all religions.85 Teaching the tenets of a particular religion such as Islam or Hinduism, by contrast, should be the responsibility of the families and communities.86 When the Indian Constitution was drafted and finally came into effect in early 1950, there was a strong “anti-majoritarian impulse”87 fostered by Sikhs and other minorities who supported the ban on religious instructions

218  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India in schools funded by the state. They were concerned that state assistance would ultimately favour the largest religious community. The Constitution therefore reflected a strong reservation towards religious instruction and prohibited religious education in all schools fully maintained by the state. At the same time, it secured the right of religious minorities to run their own schools, a right that in practice has never been facilitated or regulated.88 However, the state bureaucracy translated this spirit of the Constitution into specific instructions for school inspectorates, who had to supervise the concrete practices of educational secularism within the school compounds. The instructions for school inspections stipulated that ours being a secular state, students of all communities should be treated on par. The morning prayer, if any, should not have any religious tinge. It may be the form of some national song which can be sung by students of all communities without arousing their religious susceptibilities.89 The Province of Madras in South India even went one step further. Not only must religion be banned from government schools; even the teaching of (Christian) religion in mission schools became subject to stricter conditions. For quite some time, Protestant Churches had complained that the state sought to “religiously neutralise” mission schools.90 Non-Christian children were now required to bring written permission from their parents to attend Christian instruction in mission schools.91 As a consequence, the number of children attending these classes declined significantly in some regions.92 The national debate on religion as a school subject in public schools again flared up in the second half of the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1956, a small group of intellectuals and parliamentarians launched a public debate on reli­ gious education as a means to improve inter-religious relations in India. They argued that India needed to do more in education to promote “cordial rela­ tions” between Hindus and Muslims through “a common social life”.93 Reli­ gious instruction in public schools would improve knowledge on religion and thereby enhance mutual understanding between the religious communities.94 P.D. Shukla, the Minister of Education, reacted cautiously to these dis­ cussions, apparently anxious not to question the established practices of keeping religion out of public schools. In his view, the issue of religious edu­ cation in schools was indeed “a very important but delicate one” insofar as sectarian teaching must be avoided under all circumstances. “Teaching of the elements of any religion which encourage its followers to hate any other group is of course out of question”, even thinking that “works against our solidarity as one Indian nation” must be abandoned, for it was “wrong for us to think any more in terms of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians etc. etc.”95 If allowed at all, religious instruction in public schools must be based on a “very wellconsidered [sic], definite and clear cut policy regarding this and follow it firmly without allowing any kind of liberal interpretation or lax implementation”.96

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  219 The Minister’s hesitant approach corresponded with doubts among other leading administrators of educational affairs in Delhi. In their view, it was indeed the case that religious organisations, their schools, and their colleges did quite considerable service to the nation, “but it is also a painful fact that many of them had rendered greatest dis-service [sic] in spreading the cult of religious hatred against one another”. India should thus remain a secular country, “secular in the sense that its Government is not guided by any reli­ gious dogma and all people, irrespective of their religious belief, can enjoy equal opportunities for advancement”. A common religious course, though, teaching the “fundamentals of each religious belief” might contribute to mutual understanding.97 During the early 1960s, another government-­ appointed Committee on Religious and Moral Instruction expressed its concern over what it perceived to be “a general loosening of social relation­ ships and an increasing emphasis on careerism and on a more materialistic approach to life”.98 Older bonds within the nation, based on the common experience of the anti-colonial struggle, were increasingly weakening. It was thus “unsatisfactory” to leave the matter of religious education completely to the homes and communities. Instead, the Committee advocated an “ob­ jective, comparative and sympathetic study of all important religions in ­India” at school to rediscover religious diversity as a value in itself.99 Only a few months later, textbooks used in government schools became an issue in public debates. In several states of the Indian Union, representatives of religious minority communities had repeatedly complained that several school textbooks contained perspectives on Indian history and religions that they found offensive and that thus violated the Constitution’s directive princi­ ples. The Ministry of Education set up a Committee on School Textbooks in September 1966 to examine these accusations. As a “truly secular State”, the Committee explained, India “is not an irreligious or anti-religious State; it is one in which full religious freedom is ensured to every citizen, and in which no religion is accorded any specially favoured treatment”.100 It was indeed essential that children “not be shut off from the knowledge of their religion or that of others” and mythological themes did fulfil a “certain educational pur­ pose”. In spite of this, school textbooks ought to “produce a modern, secu­ lar and rational mind, receptive to the total heritage of the human race and able to live in this age of space travel, nuclear energy and other spectacular technological changes”.101 Similar to the teaching of a new national history of independent India, any reference to mythology and religion had to serve the “interests of national unity and the needs of a modernizing society”.102 Although these debates remained theoretical and did not change the overall direction of educational policies in India, this discussion illustrates how India and Indonesia realised profoundly different forms of educational secu­larism after independence. Whereas Indonesia interpreted reformed and homogenised religious instruction as an integral part of state secular­ ism, the Indian elites tended to see in religious education its very opposite, which required its consequent exclusion from education in public schools.

220  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India

Educational competition and Christian schools in Java At the time of Indonesia’s independence, the Christian schools sector was in a more privileged position than Islamic education. The organisational network between churches and the existing teacher-training institutions was long established, and easily accessible for Christian schools to continuously adjust and adapt themselves to the changing requirements of Indonesian so­ ciety. For this reason, in the early years after independence, Christian schools actually enjoyed more freedom from state supervision than I­ slamic schools. But there were other deficits that plagued local Christian communities. As it did with Islamic schools, the postcolonial administration also ex­ tended its financial assistance to Christian social services including schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Initially, this assistance was a mixed blessing for the Christian communities. It was clear that many of these services could only be sustained through the state’s active financial support. On the other hand, there was a strong fear of becoming too completely dependent on these subsidies in the future and thus losing a substantial degree of auton­ omy from the state.103 In Yogjakarta, the Protestant community even turned down financial support offered by the Republic for the preservation of churches and a theological college because the community did not want the state to have any say in its internal affairs.104 In the end, relations between the state and Christians became determined less by abstract, ideological considerations than by practical modes of cooperation and demarcation. In the light of the general deficits in secondary and higher education, the teacher-training capacities of Christian institutions were crucial for the state’s efforts in educational reform. They therefore enjoyed a pioneering position in early postcolonial education policies. Immediately after inde­ pendence, the Catholic Church opened its higher education institution in Semarang, where teachers were trained in the subjects of history and peda­ gogics. Aware of the urgent need for trained teachers throughout ­Indonesia, the national government was very appreciative of these efforts.105 A few years later, Catholic teacher-training colleges were opened in Malang and Bandung. To this end, the Catholic Church made use of its informal con­ tacts with the Education Ministry to test the ground. The common practice was that the Church would initially contact the ministerial decision-makers, then launch the school as well as the teacher training, and finally receive the Ministry’s inspection for official approval, which would ultimately mean access to government subsidies.106 In spite of this privileged position, the social realities after independence changed for Christian schools, too. Particularly in Java, but also on other islands with strong Christian communities, political independence tough­ ened the rivalry between Christian, Islamic, and government schools over children as their most precious resource. On Flores, in the early 1950s, an island with a total population of around one million, about half of whom were Catholic, more than 600 missionary schools provided primary and

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  221 secondary education for the local communities and thus enjoyed almost a monopoly over education.107 The post-independence provincial government not only made the immigration of Catholic missionaries to the island much more difficult, but also stepped up the construction of “neutral” public schools in order to undermine the Catholic educational hegemony.108 Even in regions where Islamic organisations had already been well es­ tablished, Christian communities still had a comparative advantage over the Islamic communities by virtue of the properties they owned, in other words the schools, hospitals, houses for the poor, orphanages, and so forth. These Christian institutions attracted the local populations regardless of their own religious orientation.109 Christian schools had a reputation for providing good quality education, and their hospitals and clinics were often the only institutions of this kind within reachable distance. The active financial support for social services provided by Islamic organ­ isations changed this pattern and increased the competition among the reli­ gious as well as secular service providers. M. Ferouge, a former missionary of the Society of Jesus (SJ) in Central Java, recalled many years later that the main competition for Catholic schools in Yogyakarta and surrounding villages came on the one hand from new Islamic schools, often built with the help of government subsidies on sites right next to the Christian schools.110 On the other hand, the government’s own agenda of expanding free schools in urban as well as rural areas made the Christian schools actually lose pu­ pils. Faced by the threat of losing government subsidies due to falling student numbers, the Christian teachers set out to actively recruit pupils. Before the start of every school year, the teachers would go out to the neighbourhoods to actively advertise their Christian schools. Their best argument, accord­ ing to M. Ferouge, was the pleasant atmosphere in the schools, disciplined learning, and complete religious freedom, which meant no coercion to con­ vert to Catholicism and religious instruction in all relevant religions prac­ tised in the respective school catchment area, including Islam.

Changing realities within the school compound Postcolonial educational reform in Indonesia and elsewhere was not just a complex negotiation process between religious and secular educators and ed­ ucation planners over administrative procedures. More importantly, educa­ tional reform affected the realities within the school compounds. In particular for Christian schools, the shifting political circumstances after the colonial era meant rapidly changing social conditions for their educational services, which in turn had a profound impact on educational practices in the schools. According to N.J.C. Geise OSF, Catholic bishop of the diocese of B ­ ogor near Jakarta between 1961 and 1975, the established network of schools was the most important capital of Christian missionaries in a region “where you could achieve nothing through direct preaching”.111 The missionaries were

222  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India to a large extent Dutch missionaries who had been trained in the ­Netherlands in Indonesian languages and ethics and acquired their practical knowledge about Javanese society from years of missionary activities under colonial rule.112 Right after independence, a vociferous controversy broke out among the Catholic bishops in Indonesia over whether the attendance of a Catholic school should be intrinsically tied to the attendance of religious Christian instruction. One faction of bishops argued that the exceptional reputation of the schools ought to be used to make admission subject to a whole set of conditions including the compulsory attendance of religious instruction. In the end, however, the bishops agreed to grant more freedom to the children and teach “catechism” only to those pupils who opted for it. The rest should be given lessons in widely secular “good morals”.113 This compromise was also in line with the emerging attitude after 1945 among intellectuals and education planners that the teaching of religion in primary and second­ ary education should take the form of instruction in ethics rather than the teaching of concrete religious duties.114 In early 1946, the Commission of Education, mandated to design a new education system for independent Indonesia, recommended several far-­ reaching changes. Religion should be provided in all schools, including gov­ ernment schools and private religious schools, during school hours. Religious instruction should start in the fourth of a six-year primary school education. Finally, only the state, i.e. the Ministry of Religion, was to be in charge of appointing, training, and paying religious instructors.115 Children should henceforth be instructed for two hours per week in their own religion in such a way “that under no circumstances the feelings of other believers shall be hurt”.116 This active intervention would put the state in a position to super­ vise and influence religious teaching in its various facets, and thus fulfil its agenda of educational modernisation also in the field of religious instruction. For the teachers of Islam, these changes had several severe practical con­ sequences. They no longer enjoyed the privileged position of being the un­ disputed authorities in their schools as well as their subject, but were now part of a bigger educational system in which higher administrative authori­ ties determined what had to be taught and when. Second, on the basis of an increasingly homogenised curriculum, the du­ ties and competencies of religious teachers were now much more clearly de­ fined than before.117 In the early 1950s, the Ministry of Religion started to examine and approve teachers of Islam for the public school sector. Many of these teachers had a Muhammadiyah background and had previously taught in more conservative Islamic schools (pesantren). Under the auspices of the Ministry of Religion, training for religious instructors was formal­ ised, homogenised, and significantly expanded to a four-year, post-primary course.118 The first two years of this training were devoted to the same ed­ ucation that teachers of secular subjects underwent, while the second two years of this training comprised Islamic studies as well as Arabic language and literature, together with higher general education.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  223 In government schools, however, where the main part of the educational programme was secular, teachers of religion were not always welcome or their contribution to the new educational canon appreciated. Cooperation between teachers of religion and secular subjects was thus complicated and often even conflictual. In many cases, teachers of secular subjects did not respect teachers of religion, as the former considered the education of the latter to be inferior and thus not adequate to meet the new educational standards. Indeed, many of the teachers of Islam had received their training in colonial times when religious formation had been more orthodox, con­ servative, and heterogeneous.119 In practice, the moderate, widely secular consensus among teachers of non-religious subjects made the integration of Islamic studies into the public school curriculum challenging. In Christian schools, the agenda of nation-building became more and more prominent during the initial years after independence. The daily flag ceremony became obligatory and the “indoctrination” to propagate cooper­ ation among pupils from various religious and ethnic backgrounds became a central element of school culture.120 After 1945, Catholic schools also quickly accepted non-Catholic children, although the internal practices as regards religious instruction varied. In Yogyakarta, Catholic schools ac­ tively recruited non-Catholic children and provided them not only with per­ sonal religious freedom but also with instruction in their own religion.121 In Jakarta, on the other hand, Catholic schools welcomed Muslim children on the basis of religious freedom, but in reality many of them also joined the Christian religious classes simply because no Islamic instruction was provided. An additional motivation for adapting to greater diversity and thereby secularising education itself came from the parents of schoolchildren and their changing demands for their children’s education. During the 1950s, in government schools in Java, Christian as well as Islamic teachers of reli­ gion observed a gradual decline in the popularity of religious instruction. In some of those schools, up to 50 per cent of the Muslim parents gave written consent that their children be exempted from Islamic religious instruction in order to focus their attention on secular subjects more promising for their future careers. Directors of these government schools complained that their main challenge was neither religious extremism nor competition between the different forms of religious instruction, but rather the “irreligion” re­ flected in the parents’ changing educational preferences.122 Compared to government schools, however, private (Christian) schools were sensitive to parental consumer demands because they, in contrast to the free public schools, charged school fees that many families could not or hardly afford. For private schools it was thus essential to be aware of changing educational priorities among parents as well as altering expecta­ tions about their children’s education. During the 1950s, the demand for sec­ ular subjects such as economics, natural science, or technical subjects grew continuously as these subjects promised better chances for school-leavers

224  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India in the labour market. These were subjects, on the other hand, that mis­ sionaries and religiously trained teachers could not teach themselves. As a consequence, Christian private schools hired more and more non-­Christian teachers to provide the specialised knowledge demanded from their custom­ ers, i.e. their pupils’ parents.123 As the teaching staff became more diverse, the school culture also changed generally towards a more open, hetero­ geneous, and secular orientation. In some areas in Central Java, the militant Islamic movement Darul Islam and other conservative affiliations tried to extend their influence also to Muslim teachers in Christian as well as public schools, which created considerable frictions in the schools. In some cases, Muslim teachers even left their schools temporarily but returned and con­ tinued teaching when the worst was over.124 In spite of these temporary setbacks, private education in Java pluralised and secularised due to transformative dynamics, which not only originated from state policies but also from the private schools’ own initiatives as well as the changing educational demands from parents.

Christian schools in early postcolonial Singapore Changing educational priorities among parents towards a more secular edu­ cation were particularly relevant for educational change as a whole. A brief look at one of Java’s neighbouring societies, Singapore, illustrates that these tendencies were far from unique but actually part of a broader development in postcolonial Southeast Asia. After Singapore’s independence in 1965, missionary schools enjoyed un­ interrupted popularity and thus continued to educate the island’s social and economic elite, as they had done during the colonial era.125 There existed ­thirty-seven denominational schools in the city-state, some twenty of them under Catholic auspices, but also five Methodist schools and one P ­ resbyterian school.126 Thanks to this infrastructure, the Catholic Church even managed to expand its influence among the leading classes of S ­ ingaporean society, i.e. the white-collar workers, and in this way was able to secure its strong social grounding.127 Like Malaysia,128 Singapore decided to implement a secular education system mainly to serve its prospective political as well as economic requirements.129 To build up Singapore as a nation, schools had to provide what, in the eyes of its leaders, was as yet missing: “in-built reflexes [such as] loyalty, patriot­ ism, history or tradition”.130 To promote this mental nation-building, the ruling elite applied a controversial form of pragmatism. This pragmatism has appropriately been described as an “opposition to idealism, ­Utopianism and totalising approaches”131 and was thus not beyond ideology, but rather an ideological instrument to secure and legitimise power especially over re­ ligion and religious institutions. In relation to mission schools, however, this pragmatism was not intended to dissolve them. Rather, the government’s pragmatism aimed at integrating

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  225 these schools into a non-religious education policy in order to make active use of their capacities. Financial support for their educational services was a means of subordinating them to state control. To this end, the Education Ministry quickly set up a school inspectorate that regularly examined not only government schools but also private institutions to make sure that all schools adhered to the regulations.132 This comprehensive, strict school in­ spectorate was an integral part of the authoritarian state structures with strong interventionist patterns in religious affairs, in particular when they threatened to mingle with politics. At a fairly early stage after independence, leading Christians recognised the risk that state support as well as state intervention entailed for their schools: “the Government was aiding Christian schools but the Government has a tendency to control”.133 In spite of these risks, throughout the fol­ lowing years, Christian schools preserved a significant degree of autonomy. They secured this autonomy through a basically appreciative attitude from the state administration as well as by constantly adapting to the changing requirements of the postcolonial context. Since independence, state offi­ cials viewed the Churches as a source of values that helped to legitimise the state.134 Traditional family values, respect for authorities, and the inculca­ tion of strong moral values as the bedrock of state and society constituted an overlapping ethical agenda between the Churches and the state.135 For their part, the Churches in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia under­ lined the “positive function of government in the reordering of economic life and the duty of Christians and other citizens to accept the authority of the state and a great measure of state-imposed discipline as a means to social progress”.136 Roman Catholic as well as Protestant affiliations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India reflected together in a series of concerted ef­ forts on how to open up their Churches to the “modern world”.137 Moreover, they discussed how to integrate their schools into “Asian cultures” in order to actively contribute to the “overall objectives of each of our nations”.138 Through these processes, Christian stakeholders did not become pup­ pets in the hands of the national government, but instead turned into dis­ tinct historical actors with a certain degree of autonomy to pursue their own interests, which included education. In Singapore, Christian schools were thus able to establish themselves as important pillars of the govern­ ment’s foremost educational agenda. According to this agenda, a school was interpreted as a site for multireligious and multiracial ideology as well as economic modernisation.139 Together with the army and the economy, early postcolonial state elites saw education as a fundamental ingredient of nation-building.140 Consequently, schools were expected to fulfil two functions: provide education that enhances integration beyond racial and religious boundaries, and make the younger generations responsive to the demands of capitalist growth. As in Indonesia, the rapidly growing number of government schools also sharpened educational competition and reduced the relative significance of mission schools. For their part, mission schools

226  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India stepped up internal reform processes and promoted their compliance with the state’s educational policy.141 For mission schools in Singapore and Malaysia, the years around inde­ pendence were a “period of change” that brought a good deal of “uncer­ tainty about the future”.142 Their position in society clearly weakened. The complaisant attitude of the colonial regime no longer existed and the ethnic and religious majorities asserted their positions as major political factors of the future. Among other things, the Roman Catholic Church and other congrega­ tions in Singapore were confronted with the accusation of actively prose­ lytising Muslims through their schools. During the mid-1960s, the Muslim Malay community realised that it was competing with Christian institutions on highly unequal ground, particularly in the field of education. Whereas Christian schools had long belonged to the most prestigious institutions with high academic standing,143 recently established Malay Islamic schools, and particularly their high schools, suffered from a severe lack of qualified teachers, a lack of adequate teaching materials especially on subjects such as maths and science, and insufficient government support.144 As early as September 1966, a national seminar on Islamic education in Singapore identified a long list of severe deficits from which Malay Islamic schools suffered. According to the seminar’s findings, Islamic education was in too many cases monolingual, i.e. only in Malay, and thus inadequate to prepare graduates for a multilingual professional environment. Besides, the school culture was focused too much on learning-by-heart techniques and repetitive learning instead of freedom of enquiry and expression. The cur­ riculum did not include any “secular aspects”, i.e. humanities or natural science subjects, and education for boys still enjoyed a privileged position over education for girls.145 In their combination, these trends further exac­ erbated the already weak educational and socio-economic status of Malays in Singaporean society.146 In comparison to the other ethnic groups in Singapore, Malays indeed lost significant ground not only in education but also in civil service recruit­ ment, military enlistment, and income.147 In the long run, many I­ slamic schools were closed due to persistently falling enrolment figures and a gen­ eral decline in popularity.148 One immediate consequence, however, was that in the 1960s, more and more Malay parents already considered sending their children either to government schools or, if they could afford it, to Christian schools. Although the Christian leaders stated publicly that they “[did] not believe in or countenance unfair or unethical attempts to change a person’s religious convictions” and thus would “refrain from making converts of Muslims to their faith”,149 it became apparent that future practices within the Christian schools would have to be adapted to the new sensitivities of religious plural­ ity after the colonial era. For Christian schools, this meant adapting their school culture towards more secular and less ‘Christian’ patterns.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  227 Private Christian schools created more secular spaces for non-­Christian pupils and thus turned towards a more liberal school culture. Already in colonial times, the principals of missionary schools had assured other reli­ gious communities that pupils would not be urged to become ­Christians.150 ­Although non-Christian boys and girls were not openly pressured to con­ vert, they were integrated into the Christian ritual practices within the school, attended the religious services, and learned the songs and texts re­ gardless of whether they believed in them or not.151 Immediately after in­ dependence, the primary aim of Christian education was still “to assist the Church to proclaim the Good News, and in the nurture of Christians in matters of the Christian life, that they may be strengthened in their ability to witness for Christ in the world”.152 But the influence of Christian teachers on their pupils towards conversion could no longer be as direct. In order for missionary activities to be continued in Christian schools, given the suspicion of other religious communities as well as the govern­ ment, a more liberal and thus more secular school culture was needed. A former principal of a Catholic girls’ school described this new culture in her mission school in the following way: Well, if they [i.e. non-Christian pupils] didn’t want to make the sign of the Cross, they could just remain there. I think they enjoyed join­ ing in. But those who had other religious beliefs [were excused]. There would be some who had not discovered any religion, if you like. Some of the parents would not be practising any religion at all. They wouldn’t mind joining in. But they were not compelled to come to Catechism classes. (…) You didn’t have to join [in].153 Muslim and Buddhist children were now explicitly allowed not to attend the chapel services at school. Instead, they were made do their homework in classrooms, while their Christian classmates attended the services. Towards the end of the 1960s, the teaching of Bible knowledge was completely aban­ doned by mission schools, often in the face of incomprehension on the part of the school boards and their principals.154 In the climate of inter-religious tensions and mutual observation in parti­cular between the Christian and the Muslim communities, mission­ ary schools changed their mode of recruiting new followers from openly encouraging young people to convert to a more indirect way of commu­ nicating Christian values. This reflected a broader theological trend that had become increasingly influential since the Second World War in several Southeast Asian societies. According to this new theology, the expansion of ­Christianity should be achieved not primarily by active proselytisation but through the propagation of Christian values through education and, for that matter, school culture.155 Soon, these changes led to a broader dis­ cussion about what the Christian identity of these schools actually was.156 In the words of a former teacher at Singapore’s St. Andrew’s School,

228  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India the main difference between Christian and non-Christian schools was the “school culture”, based on “values” such as a Christian notion of solidarity and “practical rules” such as cooperation among the pupils.157 In a multi­ religious, postcolonial setting, in which Christians and their institutions formed a small minority, and in which a secular government implemented a harsh regime of political abstinence for religious groups, open proselyti­ sation became a sensitive political subject. Christian schools tried to bypass this sensitivity with softened strategies for communicating Christianity. There was a further development, however, originating from society itself, that changed educational practices in Christian private schools. In addi­ tion to the government’s changing priorities, due to which technical and science education should get the major share of educational funds,158 paren­ tal demands on educational institutions and expectations of their children’s progress changed, too. As in Indonesia, parents increasingly expected edu­ cation in general and expensive private education in particular to prepare their offspring for the changing requirements of the labour market, which clearly favoured skills in science, technology, and commerce. To maintain their elitist position on the education market, Christian schools had to adapt to alternative patterns of demand and started their first science classes in the 1960s. “Before that, science was not important”.159 In fact, in most mission schools science was not taught at all.160 The ex­ pansion of science education occurred at the expense of religious instruc­ tion. Parents encouraged their daughters in particular to drop the subject of scriptures, i.e. Bible studies, because “they couldn’t find the time to cope with so many subjects”.161 Instead, the Christian schools improved their sci­ ence labs and hired non-Christian teachers, or teachers with no religious conviction whatsoever, who could teach these new, highly specialised sub­ jects. The missionaries themselves were less and less in a position to pro­ vide the expertise necessary for these new, secularised school profiles. As a consequence, the Christian commitment of the teaching staff, previously one of the core features of Christian private schools, declined and became a somewhat marginal aspect of the school culture as a whole.162 The government further enhanced these tendencies in education, as the example of technical education at Catholic schools in the 1960s and 1970s demonstrates. In interviews, Catholic missionary educators recall that after independence, there was significant scepticism among Catholic school prin­ cipals about the general requirement to provide technical education in their schools. This kind of education was simply “not our tradition”.163 In their negotiations with the government, however, it quickly became evident that the Education Ministry not only insisted on its target of dedicating onethird of all education to technical education “within three or four years”, but also threatened the Catholic schools “under the table” that it would withdraw their grants in case of non-compliance.164 As these grants were a major source of finance for the private schools, the school administrators had virtually no option but to play along.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  229 The Boards of Governors of mission schools therefore had to accept that in this matter the real power was not with them, but with the Education Ministry. In the transition period of the late 1960s, the Christian schools had to operate “very carefully within the latitude” given to them by the political authorities and even had to accept “very quietly” the abandonment of Bible knowledge as a distinct subject on the school curricula.165 To the ex­ tent that the schools had the latitude to realise their own school culture and educational strategies, it was clearly limited in the field of curricular reform by the strong state’s educational agenda of school modernisation.

Conclusion In their initial years of political independence, countries such as Indonesia but also India and Singapore each experienced decisive changes in the field of education, which acquired the dimensions of an educational revolution. This is not to deny the various organisational, administrative, and financial shortcomings that limited educational achievements in some regions more than in others. In all three countries, however, the state administration was committed to the secularisation of education. In organisational terms, this meant a significant increase of public schools at all educational levels. In other words, the state became the most important actor in the educational field. In terms of school organisation, this secularisation meant a stronger commitment to religious and ethnic pluralism by actively promoting a more integrative school culture. Finally, in terms of curricular content, so-called secular subjects such as natural science, mathematics, or technical and com­ mercial subjects became more and more prominent in the educational canon. In all these processes, the role of religious organisations and their reli­ gious schools was not confined to being the subject of state regulations. From the beginning, Islamic and Christian schools actively shaped edu­ cational secularism through their own strategies, curricula, and internal modes of functioning. As private schools, religious institutions were forced to react to changing demands in the education market. As parents increas­ ingly discovered non-religious subjects as a means to improve their child­ ren’s chances for later employment and upward mobility, religious schools increased the share of secular subjects in their educational canon at the cost of religious instruction. Apart from this, religious affiliations had a strong interest, in particular if – like the Christian Churches – they were in a mi­ nority position, to establish themselves as reliable, cooperative partners for the state in the educational field. Their motivation was mainly the preserv­ ation of their own strong position in this field. Religious organisations used the turbulent, transitional period of decolonisation to reposition themselves as integral elements of the postcolonial order. In Indonesia and Singapore, the state was in general appreciative of these efforts, but also influenced this development through financial incentives as well as coercion. In spite of this, religious schools maintained a high degree of autonomy as educational

230  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India players. As such, they are crucial for an adequate historical understanding of educational secularism in practice. A particularly delicate issue in the early postcolonial setting in all three countries was the problem of religious instruction in public schools. In this respect, India chose a different path to that of Indonesia by excluding re­ ligious instruction from government schools altogether. The collective ex­ perience of Partition seems to have made a crucial difference, as it made state authorities extremely cautious about the potentially disruptive impact of religious instruction. Singapore, another post-Partition society, adopted a similar approach. Having come into existence in the midst of ethnic strife and violent inter-religious clashes, the foremost priority for the adminis­ tration was to make sure that any disruptive potential in education was minimised as far as possible. The exclusion of religious instruction from government schools was one means to achieve this goal. Indonesia, by con­ trast, opted for the integration of religious instruction into the educational canon of public schools. What these cases have in common, though, is that religious schools themselves were important drivers of educational secular­ ism, precisely because this seemed to be the most promising way to secure educational autonomy as well as their relevance in the field of education in a postcolonial era.

Notes 1 Clifford Geertz, The Religion of Java (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1960), p. 4. 2 Lee Kam Hing, “The Taman Siswa in Postwar Indonesia”, Indonesia 25, April 1978, p. 41. 3 Antara (English edition), 3 July 1952, No. 184/A, p. 3. 4 For a differentiated overview on these debates, see Robert W. Hefner, “Intro­ duction: The Culture, Politics and Future of Muslim Education”, in ­Robert W. Hefner and Muhammad Qasim Zaman (eds.), Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: ­Princeton University Press, 2007), pp. 1–39; Alexander Evans, “Understanding M ­ adrasahs”, Foreign Affairs 85/1, January/February 2006, pp. 9–16; ­Farish A. Noor, ­Yoginder Sikand, and Martin van Bruinessen, “Behind the Walls: Re-­Appraising the Role and Importance of Madrasas in the World Today”, in Farish A. Noor, Yoginder Sikand, and Martin van Bruinessen (eds.), The Madrasa in Asia: Politi­ cal Activism and Transnational Linkages (Amsterdam: Amsterdam ­University Press, 2008), pp. 9–29; Yoginder Sikand, Bastions of the Believers: Madrasas and Islamic Education in India (New Delhi: Penguin, 2005), Chapter 6; Saleem H. Ali, Islam and Education: Conflict and Conformity in Pakistan’s Madrassahs (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009); for a more sceptical perspective see International Crisis Group, Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military, ICG Asia Report No. 36, 29 July 2002. 5 Muhammad Qasim Zaman, “Religious Education and the Rhetoric of Reform: The Madrasa in British India and Pakistan”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 41/2, April 1999, pp. 295–297. 6 John R. Bowen, Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), p. 12.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  231 7 James Anthony Mangan, “Images for Confident Control: Stereotypes in Im­ perial Discourse”, in James Anthony Mangan (ed.), The Imperial Curriculum: Racial Images and Education in the British Colonial Experience (London, New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 17. 8 Amy Stambach, “Revising A Four-Square Model of a Complicated Whole: On the Cultural politics of Religion and Education”, Social Analysis 50/3, Winter 2006, p. 2. 9 For details see Adrian Vickers, A History of Modern Indonesia. 2nd ed. ­(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), p. 41; and statistics in Simon Lambertus van der Wal, Het Onderwijsbeleid in Nederlands-Indië 1900–1940: Een Bronnenpublikatie (Groningen: J.B. Wolters, 1963), pp. 693, 696–697. 10 Robert Cribb and Audrey Kahin, Historical Dictionary of Indonesia (Lanham, MD, Toronto, ON, Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, 2004), p. 135. 11 C.A.O. van Nieuwenhuizjze, “Staat en Godsdienst in het nieuwe Indonesië”, Report, March 1948, p. 39, NA/DH, 2.05.117/22146. 12 Rémy Madinier, Le Masyumi (1945–1960): Islam et Politique dans l’Indonésie contemporaine (Paris: École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales, 1992), p. 8. 13 This pattern remained basically the same after independence; see US Embassy, Jakarta, Memorandum of Conversation, “PNI Political Views”, 29 December 1955, NARA, RG 59, LOT File No. 60D60, Box 11, 300 General National Intelligence. 14 Lee Kam Hing, Education and Politics in Indonesia 1945–1965 (Kuala L ­ umpur: University of Malaya Press, 1995), p. 14; Sven Cederroth, “Islamism in Multi­ religious Societies: The Experience of Malaysia and Indonesia”, in David Westerlund (ed.), Questioning the Secular State: The Worldwide Resurgence of Religion in Politics (London: Hurst & Company, 1996), p. 374. 15 Agus Suwignyo, “The Great Depression and the Changing Trajectory of Public Education Policy in Indonesia, 1930–42”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 44/3, October 2013, pp. 465–489. 16 R.J. Brugmans, Geschiedenis van het onderwijs in Nederlandsch-Indië (Groningen, Batavia: J.B. Wolter’s Uitgevers-Maatschappij, 1938), p. 361. 17 James L. Peacock, The Muhammadiyah Movement in Indonesian Islam (Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings, 1978), p. 53. 18 Lee, Education and Politics in Indonesia, p. 14. 19 Peacock, The Muhammadiyah Movement, p. 53. 20 Soegarda Poerbakawatja, Pendidikan Dalam Alam Indonesia Merdeka ­(Jakarta: Gunung Agung, 1970), Appendix Table No. 20. 21 Gavin W. Jones, “Religion and Education in Indonesia”, Indonesia 22, October 1976, p. 36. 22 An illustrative case study on Jesuit educational work in Java and colonial elite-formation is provided by Rémy Madinier, “The Catholic Politics of In­ clusiveness: A Jesuit Epic in Central Java in the Early Twentieth Century and Its Memory”, in Michel Picard and Rémy Madinier, The Politics of Religion in Indonesia: Syncretism, Orthodoxy, and Religious Contention in Java and Bali (London, New York: Routledge, 2011), p. 40. 23 Kementerian Agama R.I., Kebidjaksanaan Pemerintah terhadap agama Islam, 10 February 1954, document no. A/VII/1786, Table, p. 7, ANRI, RA 7, File No. 177. 24 M.H. Kafrawi, General Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Repub­ lic of Indonesia, “Main Features of Indonesia’s Religious Policy”, speech held in New York, 1 September 1953, p. 3, NA/DH, 2.05.117/14432. 25 “Written statement appended to the Presidential Message ‘Hope and Facts’” to Parliament, Antara (English edition), 18 August 1952, No. 230/B, p. 10.

232  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India 26 Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissar­ iaat voor Indonesië, Vol. 5, No. 11, November 1954, Table p. 3, KIT; for simi­ lar figures see Lawrence S. Finkelstein, “Education in Indonesia”, Far Eastern Survey 20/15, 22 August 1951, p. 151; cf. also the rudimentary statistics on pri­ mary schooling in Departemen Penerangan R.I., 20 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka. Vol. VIII (Jakarta: Departemen Penerangan, 1965), p. 138. 27 Antara (English edition), 1 March 1950, No. 61/B, p. 5. 28 Inspektor Witschi to H. Dürig, 16 December 1952, p. 2, Archiv der Basler ­Mission/mission 21, Kalimantan Missionare Korrespondenz, “Kalimantan: Korrespondenz 1951–1954 A-F”, B-3, p. 22. 29 Ministry of Education data, released in Antara (English edition), 3 January 1952, No. 3/B, p. 2. 30 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 20 November 1952, p. 8; Antara (English edition), 19 November 1952, No. 323/B, p. 4; cf. also Leslie H. Palmier, “Modern Islam in Indonesia: The Muhammadiyah after Independence”, Pacific Affairs 27/3, September 1954, p. 258. 31 Department of State to AID/W, “Report for the quarter ending September 30, 1972”, 12 October 1972, p. 3, NARA RG 84, Entry P-609, Singapore: U.S. Em­ bassy Singapore; Unclassified Central Subject Files; 1964–1974, Container 19. 32 Report National Intelligence Survey Volume 7, Chapter 4: “Religion, Educa­ tion, and Public Information”, Indonesia, 1 May 1959, pp. 15–16 & Table p. 25, NARA RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry ­A1-48, ­National Intelligence Surveys, 1948–1971, Indonesia-Inland Waterway to ­Indonesia-Naval Forces, Box 337. 33 Statistics “L’Église Catholique dans L’Archipel Indonésie”, August 1954, NA/ DH, 2.05.118/15956; an overview of all (non-Catholic) Christian schools in the country about a decade later is provided in Departemen Penerangan R.I., 20 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka. Vol. VII (Jakarta: Departemen Penerangan, 1965), p. 424. 34 Information Service, High Commissioner of Indonesia, Den Haag, No. 6, ­15–18 August 1950, p. 71, KIT. 35 “Indonesia’s Education Problem and U.S. Educational Exchange Policy”, 15 December 1955, p. 1, NARA RG 59, LOT File No. 60D60, Box 11, 620 Edu­ cation 1965. 36 Ibid. 37 An overview of this “golden age” of founding higher education institutions in Java is provided by Andi Suwirta, “The History of Education in West Java, Indonesia: From Traditional Era Toward Modern Era”, International Journal of Educational Studies 1/2, 2009, pp. 1–13. 38 Antara (English edition), 11 August 1950, No. 223/A, p. 3. 39 Antara (English edition), 29 May 1952, No. 150/B, p. 3. 40 Antara (English edition), 26 August 1952, No. 238/B, p. 2. 41 Report National Intelligence Survey Volume 7, Chapter 4: “Religion, Educa­ tion, and Public Information”, Indonesia, 1 May 1959, p. 35, NARA RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National Intelligence Surveys, 1948–1971, Indonesia-Inland Waterway to Indonesia-Naval Forces, Box 337. 42 L.H.S. Emerson in his 1968 report to the Ministry of Education, quoted in L. Kelabora and J.V. d’Cruz, “Educational Reform in Indonesia since 1965: A Cul­ tural Critique”, New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies 14/2, N ­ ovember 1979, p. 127. 43 Interview, Irenion Oudejans, OFM, Bishop of Central Java, N.C.W.C. News Service, 30 June 1958, p. 4, NA/DH, 2.05.118/15956.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  233 44 According to government sources, this problem persisted for many years to come; cf. Departemen Penerangan R.I., 20 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka. Vol. VII (Jakarta: Departemen Penerangan, 1965), p. 392. 45 Times of Indonesia (Jakarta), 10 September 1954, p. 4. 46 Ruth McVey, Redesigning the Cosmos: Belief Systems and State Power in ­Indonesia (Copenhagen: NIAS, 1999), p. 21. 47 Lambert Kelabora, “Religious Instruction Policy in Indonesia”, Asian Survey 16/3, March 1976, p. 236. 48 Kementerian Agama to Presiden R.I., 8 December 1951, p. 2, ANRI, RA 7, File No. 164. 49 Mitsua Nakamura, The Crescent Arises from the Banyan Tree: A Study of the Muhammadiyah Movement in a Central Javanese Town. 2nd ed. (Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press, 1993), p. 120. 50 “Suara Muhammadiyah”, April 1951, ANRI RA 34, File. No. 65. 51 Various documents in ANRI, RA 34, File No. 2631. 52 Sekretariat Jajasan Islam to MU Pare-Pare, 17 April 1953, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 100; Antara (English edition), 29 August 1950, No. 241/B, p. 1. 53 MU BAG. Pengadjaran Tjabang Djepara to Pusat Pimpinan MU, Jakarta, 15 October 1954, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 774. 54 Badan Pemusatan Urusan Subsidi MU, Jakarta, to Pengurus MU Udjung Tandjung, 20 February 1953, & Badan Pemusatan Urusan Subsidi MU, Jakarta, to Pengurus Madrasah Islamijah MU di Maros, 17 February 1953, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 100. 55 Mahmud Junus, Sedjarah Pendidikan Islam di Indonesia (Jakarta: Pustaka Mahmudiah Djakarta, 1960), Table p. 120. 56 Badan Pemusatan Urusan Subsidi MU, Jakarta, to Pengurus MU Udjung Tandjung, 20 February 1953, & Badan Pemusatan Urusan Subsidi MU, Jakarta, to Pengurus Madrasah Islamijah MU di Maros, 17 February 1953, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 100. 57 Hasil2 Keputusan Sidang Daerah Muhammadijah Daerah Bengkulu ke 26 Tgl. 17–20 April 1965 Du Bengkulu, 20 April 1965, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 1441. 58 Howard M. Federspiel, “The Muhammadijah: A Study of an Orthodox Islamic Movement in Indonesia”, Indonesia 10, October 1970, p. 75. 59 Table “Kronik Pemerintahan Hatta, Pemerintahan Republik Indonesia”, p. 2: Putusan Menteri Pendidikan, Pangadjaran dan Kebudajaan, No. 75/H.D/25, 28 April 1948, ANRI, RA 12, File No. 244. 60 S. Nasution, Sejarah Pendidikan Indonesia (Bandung: Penerbit Jemmars, 1983), p. 45. 61 Ibid., p. 84. 62 Soegarda Poerbakawatja, Pendidikan Dalam Alam Indonesia Merdeka ­(Jakarta: Gunung Agung, 1970), p. 53. 63 Howard M. Federspiel, Islam and Ideology in the Emerging Indonesian State: The Persatuan Islam (PERSIS), 1923 to 1957 (Leiden, Boston, MA, Köln: Brill, 2001), p. 241. 64 Report, Inspektur Pendidikan Agama pada Djawatan Pendidikan Agama di Jogjakarta, to Kepala Djawatan, Pendidikan Agama Pengangsaan, Jakarta, 5 February 1953, pp. 1–2, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 82. 65 Mohammad Wahban Hillal, “Mijn rijs naar Djogja”, 20 June 1947, p. 3, NA/ DH, 2.10.17/1265. 66 Ibid., p. 1. 67 Ibid., p. 2. 68 Report, Muhammadiyah, Kedu, 27 September 1956, pp. 1–2, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 1412.

234  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India 69 Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissar­ iaat voor Indonesië, Vol. 2, No. 17, 2 February 1951, p. 354, KIT. 70 R. Dulpakansi to Pengurus Perwakilan P.P. MU Daerah Sumatera Timur, 15 June 1955, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 3876. 71 Peraturan Tata-Tertib Lembaga Pendidikan Agama (L.P.A.), 3 January 1953, p. 1, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 97. 72 Ibid., Lampiran 3a. 73 Perselah-Tahunan, L.P.A., 1 October 1951 to 31 December 1952, pp. 1–3, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 98. 74 Antara (English edition), 21 October 1949, No. 65/A, p. 1. 75 Antara (English edition), 27 October 1949, No. 71/B, p. 5. 76 Antara (English edition), 28 December 1949, No. 72/B, p. 4. 77 Antara (English edition), 7 February 1951, No. 38/A, p. 1. 78 Undang-undang no. 4 tahun 1950, quoted in Soegarda Poerbakawatja, Pendidikan Dalam Alam Indonesia Merdeka (Jakarta: Gunung Agung, 1970), p. 143. 79 Abschnitt 1956: “Synode der G.K.E. vom 15–22. April 1956 in Kuala-Kapuas”. Zusammenfassung der Aussprache der Synode, p. 5, Archiv der Basler Mission/ mission 21, Kalimantan Missionare Korrespondenz, “Kalimantan Konferenzen, Synode: 1948–59”, B-2,6. 80 Direktorat Jenderal Bimbingan Masyarakat (Kristen) Protestan, Departemen Agama di Jakarta, Laporan dan Evaluasi Perlaksanaan Perkerjaan dan Hasil ­Kegiatan dalam Pelita II (1974/1975–1977/1978), p. 25, ANRI, RA. 67, File No. 157. 81 Clive Whitehead, “The Historiography of British Imperial Education Policy, Part I: India”, History of Education 34/3, May 2005, pp. 320–321. 82 Suresh Chandra Ghosh, The History of Education in Modern India, 1757–1998 (revised and updated edition) (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2000), p. 178. 83 Mushirul Hasan, “Muslims in India: Problems and Prospects in Education”, in Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Will Secular India Survive? (Gurgaon: ImprintOne, 2004), p. 287; Barbara Metcalf, “Madrasas and Minorities in Secular India”, in Robert W. Hefner and Muhammad Qasim Zaman (eds.), Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), pp. 91–92. 84 Government of India, Bureau of Education, Pamphlet No. 33. Report of the Religious Education Committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education in India, 1945, Together with the Decision of the Board Thereon (Delhi: Govern­ ment of India Press, 1946), p. 1. 85 Ibid., p. 4. 86 Ibid., p. 6. 87 Rajeev Bhargava, The Promise of India’s Secular Democracy (New Delhi: ­Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 306. 88 Tahir Mahmood, “Introduction. Educational Rights and Institutions of Mi­ norities: International Norms and National Landscapes”, in Tahir Mahmood (ed.), Politics of Minority Educational Institutions. Law and Reality in the Subcontinent (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 17. 89 Chief Commissioner, Bilaspur, Shimla Hills, to the Secretary to the Govern­ ment of India, Ministry of Education, New Delhi, 9 June 1950, NAI, Ministry of Education, File No. 49-28/50-D.III, p. 18f. 90 Evangelische Missionsgesellschaft in Basel (1948). 133. Jahresbericht auf 1. Juli 1948 (Basel), p. 18, Archiv der Basler Mission/mission 21. 91 Evangelische Missionsgesellschaft in Basel (1949). 134. Jahresbericht auf 1. Juli 1949 (Basel), p. 7, Archiv der Basler Mission/mission 21. 92 Evangelische Missionsgesellschaft in Basel (1950). 135. Jahresbericht auf 1. Juli 1950 (Basel), p. 21, Archiv der Basler Mission/mission 21.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  235 93 Mohan Lal, “What Is the Cure?”, The Hindustan Times, 11 October 1956, p. 6; “Need to Revitalise Educational System”, The Hindustan Times, 24 October 1956, p. 8. 94 M.L. Shandilya, “Religious Education”, Letter to the Editor, The Hindustan Times, 30 October 1956, p. 6; Lal Singh, “Religious Education”, Letter to the E ­ ditor, The Hindustan Times, 5 November 1956, p. 6; Harnarain Midha, “Religious Educa­ tion”, Letter to the Editor, The Hindustan Times, 9 November 1956, p. 6. 95 Statement, P.D. Shukla, 28 November 1956, NAI, Ministry of Education, File No. 22-77/56 B2 (SEUI), p. 5. 96 Ibid., p. 6. 97 Shri Lal Sing to Syed Ashfaque Husain, 30 October 1956, NAI, Ministry of Education, File No. 22-77/56 B2 (SEUI), Correspondence p. 3; see also the col­ lection of comments made by ministerial staff in the same file, pp. 1–4. 98 Government of India, Ministry of Education, Report of the Committee on ­Religious and Moral Instruction (New Delhi: Government of India Press, 1964), p. 11. 99 Ibid., p. 12. 100 Committee on School Textbooks, 1966 – Report, New Delhi, Ministry of Edu­ cation, 1967, in Virendra Kumar (ed.), Committees and Commissions in India 1947–1973, Vol. 7 (Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, 1966), p. 326. 101 Ibid., p. 327. 102 Ibid., p. 328. 103 S.C. van Randwijck, “Some Problems with Regard to Missions in Indonesia”, November 1950, p. 7, Archiv der Basler Mission/mission 21, Kalimantan Mis­ sionare Korrespondenz, “Ber. Indonesien Holland, 1931–53”, B-41.1. 104 Dokument No. 18: Publikationsbureau der Protestantischen Kirchen in ­Indonesien, Jakarta, 5. Publikation, February 1948, p. 2, Archiv der Basler Mission/­ mission 21, Kalimantan Missionare Korrespondenz, “Ber. Indonesien Holland, ­1931–53”, B-41.1. 105 Interview, H.L.P.M. Hoeff, SJ, 12 February 1980, KMM 347, mp3 File 1, minute 55, KDC. 106 Ibid., mp3 File 1, minute 67. 107 Jan Sihar Aritonang and Karel Steenbrink (eds.), A History of Christianity in Indonesia (Leiden, Boston, MA: Brill, 2008), p. 262. 108 J.W. Naarding, ‘Bezoek op Flores’, Report, 30 June 1954, pp. 1–2, NA/DH, 2.05.117/14432. 109 Muhammadiyah BG. Pengdjaram daerah to Pengurus Pusat Muhammadiyah, 6 July 1961, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 2631. 110 Interview, M. Ferouge, SJ, 27 February 1981, KMM 156, mp3 File 14, minute 7–14, KDC. 111 Interview, N.J.C. Geise, OSF, 23 May 1984, KMM 802, mp3 File 2, minute 1, KDC. [own translation] 112 Interview, B.J. Boland, 13 June 2000, Track 2/4, KITLV, Stichting Mondelige Geschiedenis Indonesië (SMGI), 1614.1.a. 113 Interview, N.J.C. Geise, OSF, 23 May 1984, KMM 802, mp3 File 2, minute 3, KDC. 114 Deliar Noer, Administration of Islam in Indonesia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1978), p. 38. 115 Kelabora, “Religious Instruction Policy”, p. 236. 116 Indonesische Documentatie/Afdeling Voorlichting van Het Hoge Commissar­ iaat voor Indonesië, Vol. 2, No. 19, 2 March 1951, p. 391, KIT. 117 Karel Adriaan Steenbrink, Pesantren, Madrasah, Sekolah: recente ontwikkelingen in indonesisch islamonderricht (Proefschrift ter verkrijging van de graad van

236  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India

118

119 120 1 21 122 123 124 125

126

127 128

129 130 131

doctor in de godgeleerdheid aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen) (Meppel: Krips Repro, 1974), p. 156. Report National Intelligence Survey Volume 7, Chapter 4: “Religion, Educa­ tion, and Public Information”, Indonesia, 1 May 1959, p. 29, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National Intelligence Surveys, 1948–1971, Indonesia-Inland Waterway to Indonesia-Naval Forces, Box 337. Report, Muhammadiyah, Kedu, 27 September 1956, p. 2, ANRI, RA 34, File No. 1412. Interview, M. Ferouge, SJ, 27 February 1981, KMM 156, mp3 File 13, minute 43, KDC. Ibid., File 13, minute 13–14. Letter, Gloria M. Wysner, International Missionary Council, Bangkok, 5 March 1955, School inspection in Java, p. 1, WCC, 26 May 100, File No. 41, Indonesia General Correspondence 1950–1958. Interview, H.L.P.M. Hoeff, SJ, 12 February 1980, KMM 347, mp3 File 2, minute 15, KDC. Interview, N.J.C. Geise, OSF, 23 May 1984, KMM 802, mp3 File 2, minute 17, KDC. Cf. Keith Watson, “Rulers and Ruled: Racial Perceptions, Curriculum and Schooling in Colonial Malaya and Singapore”, in James Anthony Mangan (ed.), The Imperial Curriculum: Racial Images and Education in the British Colonial Experience (London, New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 147–174; on the mission school system Robbie B.H. Goh, Christianity in Southeast Asia (Singapore: ­Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005), Report National Intelligence Survey Volume 10, Chapter 4: “Religion, Educa­ tion, and Public Information”, Singapore, 1 February 1968, p. 7, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National Intel­ ligence Surveys, 1948–1972, Singapore – General Survey to NIS 45, Chapter 2, Section 21, Box 226. Robert P. Balhetchet, “Church of the 70s – A Statistical View”, in Robert P. ­Balhetchet (ed.), From the Mustard Seed (Singapore: Cathedral Reprographic Services, 1996), p. 110. Rosnani Hashim, “The Challenge of Identity, Education, and Citizenship for Muslims in a Pluralistic Society: A Case Study of Malaysia”, in Michael S.  Merry and Jeffrey Ayala Milligan (eds.), Citizenship, Identity, and Education in Muslim Communities: Essays on Attachment and Obligation (New York: ­Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 167–187. Goh Chor Boon and Saravanan Gopinathan, The Development of Education in Singapore since 1965. Unpublished Background Paper for the Asia Education Study Tour for African Policy Makers 2006, p. 7. Lee Kuan Yew, New Bearings in Our Education System. An Address by The Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew to Principles of Schools in Singapore on ­August 29, 1966 (Singapore: Ministry of Culture, 1966), p. 3. Kenneth Paul Tan, “The Ideology of Pragmatism: Neo-Liberal Globalisation and Political Authoritarianism in Singapore”, Journal of Contemporary Asia 42/1, February 2012, p. 71; see also Kenneth Paul Tan, “Pragmatic S ­ ecularism, Civil Religion and Political Legitimacy in Singapore”, in Siam-Heng ­Michael Heng and Chin Liew Ten (eds.), State and Secularism: Perspectives from Asia (River Edge, NJ: World Scientific Publishing, 2010), pp. 339–357; ­Michael Hill, “The Rehabilitation and Regulation of Religion in Singapore”, in James T.  Richardson (ed.), Regulating Religion: Case Studies Around the Globe (New York et al.: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2004), pp. 343–358.

Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India  237 132 Report National Intelligence Survey Volume 10, Chapter 4: “Religion, Educa­ tion, and Public Information”, Singapore, 1 February 1968, p. 13, NARA, RG 263, Records of the Central Intelligence Agency, Entry A1-48, National Intel­ ligence Surveys, 1948–1972, Singapore – General Survey to NIS 45, Chapter 2, Section 21, Box 226. 133 Brother Lawrence O’Toole, Assistant General of the LaSalle Brothers, on his inspection tour of Catholic schools in Sabah, quoted in Airgram, US Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, “Malaysian Sensitivity on Religious Education: Christian Ap­ prehension; Political Implications for Sabah”, 4 December 1964, NARA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1964–1966, SOC LIB to SOC 12 Malaysia, Box 3229, SOC 9 Malaysia. 134 Mathew Mathews, “Accommodating Relationships: The Church and State in Singapore”, in Julius Bautista and Francis Khek Gee Lim (eds.), Christianity and the State in Asia: Complicity and Conflict (London, New York: Routledge, 2009), p. 186. 135 Mathew Mathews, “Christianity in Singapore: The Voice of Moral Conscience to the State”, Journal of Contemporary Religion 24/1, January 2009, p. 56. 136 East Asia Christian Conference, Bangkok 1964, quoted in Ron O’Grady, Banished: The Expulsion of the Christian Conference of Asia from Singapore and Its Implications (Hong Kong: Christian Conference of Asia International Affairs Committee, 1990), p. 57. 137 Seminar “At the Service of the Nation”, The Malaysian Catholic News, 1 January 1967, p. 1. 138 Third Asian Regional Conference on Education, Kuala Lumpur, The ­Malaysian Catholic News, 12 March 1967, p. 1. 139 Lily Kong, “Religious Schools: For Spirit, (f)or Nation”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23/2005, p. 621. 140 Edwin Lee, Singapore: The Unexpected Nation (Singapore: Institute of ­Southeast Asian Studies, 2008), p. 295. 141 Robbie B.H. Goh, “Mission Schools in Singapore: Religious Harmony, Social Identities, and the Negotiation of Evangelical Cultures”, in Lai Ah Eng, Religious Diversity in Singapore (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008), p. 369. 142 Minutes of the Seventy-Fourth Session of the Malaya Annual Conference of The Methodist Church, held at the Methodist Centre, Port Dickson, 9–11 ­December 1968, First Session of the Singapore-Malaya Annual Conference, 12–14 December 1968, p. 64, Methodist Church Library & Archive, Singapore, Singapore-Malaya Annual Conference Minutes, 1968–1971. 143 C.Y. Kuo, S.T. Jon, and Tong Chee Kiong, Religion and Religious Revivalism in Singapore: Report prepared for Ministry of Community Development (Singapore: National University of Singapore, 1988), p. 38. 144 Lily Zubaidah Rahim, The Singaporean Dilemma: The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community (Kuala Lumpur, Oxford, S ­ ingapore, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 189. 145 Report, Seminar on Islamic Education in Singapore, University of Singapore, 1966 (Singapore, 1967), pp. 117–121, National Library Singapore, Microfilm NL 12075, Document 3; Theodore R. Doraisamy (ed.), 150 Years of Education in Singapore (Singapore: TTC Publication Board, Teachers’ Training College, 1969), p. 103. 146 Rahim, The Singaporean Dilemma, p. 2. 147 Tania Li, Malays in Singapore: Culture, Economy and Ideology (Singapore, ­O xford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 103–104; Hussin ­Mutalib, “Singapore Muslims: The Quest for Identity in a Modern City-State”, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 25/1, April 2005, p. 58.

238  Religion and secular education in Java, Singapore, and India 148 The Straits Times, 28 April 1989; Chee Min Fui, “The Historical Evolution of Madrasah Education in Singapore”, in Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman and Lai Ah Eng (eds.), Secularism and Spirituality: Seeking Integrated Knowledge and Success in Madrasah Education in Singapore (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2006), p. 16. 149 “Church: Not Our Policy to Convert Muslims”, The Straits Times, 1 October 1965. 150 The Straits Times, 1896, quoted in Tay Eng Soon, “Religion and Politics in the Singapore Context”, in Bobby E.K. Sng (ed.), Church and Society: Singapore Context (Singapore: Graduates’ Christian Fellowship, 1989), p. 70. 151 Interview, Earnest Lau, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 30, Accession No. 001421, Audio CD. 152 The Methodist Church Official Journal: Third Session of the Singapore-­ Malaya Annual Conference, 27–30 November 1971, p. 58, Methodist Church Library & Archive, Singapore, Singapore-Malaya Annual Conference ­Minutes, 1968–1971. 153 Interview, Marie Ethel Bong, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 22/64, ­Accession No. 1390, Transcript, p. 216. 154 Interview, Earnest Lau, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 49, Accession No. 001421, Audio CD. 155 Robert Hunt, “The Churches and Social Problems”, in Robert Hunt, Lee Kam Hing, and John Roxborough (eds.), Christianity in Malaysia: A Denominational History (Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, 1992), p. 328. 156 The Malaysian Catholic News, 22 August 1971, p. 1. 157 Interview, Dr Jazmyn Chelliah, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 8/17, ­Accession No. 2877, Audio CD. 158 Ong Pang Boon, Minister of Education, Parliamentary Debates Republic of Singapore, Official Report, 12 December 1968, column 142. 159 Interview, Tan Sock Kern, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 6/20, Accession No. 1427, Transcript, p. 86. 160 Interview, Earnest Lau, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 6, Accession No. 001421, Audio CD. 161 Interview, Marie Ethel Bong, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 22/64, ­Accession No. 1390, Transcript, p. 217. 162 Goh, “Mission Schools in Singapore”, p. 372. 163 Interview, Patrick James (Joseph) Kiely, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 3/4, Accession No. 3297, Audio CD. 164 Ibid. 165 Interview, Earnest Lau, NAS, Oral History Centre, Reel No. 49, Accession No. 001421, Audio CD.

Conclusions

Though widely overlooked in secularism studies so far, the previous c­ hapters have shown that transnational dynamics are crucial to an understanding of the changing relationships between social actors and the state, and are thus also essential to analyse the changing fortunes of secularism projects. Although the direct links between the four societies and their different sec­ ularism projects investigated in this book were in many cases only selective, these projects were embedded and interwoven in comparable transnational transformation processes and networks that had similar and at the same time also specific influences on local conditions. In order to understand secularism’s historical manifestations and dy­ namics, it has been suggested that “a new conceptual vocabulary is needed that is better equipped to reflect the growing array of practices that escape, circumvent, and confound both Enlightenment epistemology and the con­ straints of traditional religious authority”.1 I have doubts that such a new ­vocabulary would indeed help us correct the historiographical shortcomings and Western-centrism that still exist in our understanding of secularism. These shortcomings are less the result of ‘wrong categories’ than of limited empirical scope and normatively loaded evaluations. Instead, I propose a re-evaluation and re-adaptation of the existing vocabulary from a trans­ national historical perspective, derived from alternative empirical strate­ gies. Such a re-adaptation of the existing vocabulary and, consequently, new methodological approaches would put us in a position to better understand the multiple interdependencies between the historical formations of the sec­ ular and the local, national, and global contexts in which they emerged. In this way, we can understand better than before the key issues that secular­ ism projects sought to address, the improvised as well as planned modes of action through which they came into existence, and the various – sometimes truly transnational – transformations of the religious in an era of decoloni­ sation and the Cold War. Alternative methodologies in secularism studies may also help to address another challenge that results from an increasingly global comparative agenda in this field. Talal Asad and other scholars, who make extensive use of his works, insist on the relevance of global power inequalities for a more

240 Conclusions profound understanding of secularism and its impact on postcolonial soci­ eties. Although in this view “the conventional distinction between Western and non-Western secularism needs to be fundamentally rethought” insofar as secularism characterises all modern societies,2 these authors suggest to conceptualise the variations of secularism in relation to a “universalizing project”, which centrally includes the subordination of non-Western socie­ ties to multiple forms of Western domination.3 Asad himself has repeatedly emphasised that secularism is inseparably connected with the rise of the modern system of capitalist states including its structures of inequality in power and prosperity, which have historically favoured Western states.4 Apart from the question how empirically well founded such claims are, the case studies assembled in this book demonstrate that there is more to power relations and secularism. Secularism needs to be understood not only in terms of hierarchies between states, but also between political groups, classes, and religious communities within and across postcolonial socie­ ties. Although these forms of inequality were in many cases connected to a global – not only capitalist but also communist – order, they cannot be re­ duced to it. Postcolonial secularism projects are reflections of and reactions to multiple forms of inequality that fundamentally determine their agenda and implementation. What is more, a focus on power relations between societies tends to ne­ glect the emancipatory impact of secularism projects. Different interest groups in postcolonial societies have drafted and pursued secularism pro­ jects in order to reveal and oppose different forms of power inequality such as patriarchy, majority-minority constructions, religious chauvinism, social deprivation, or the rural-urban divide. The focus on the dominant charac­ ter of secularism projects underestimates their subversive dynamics, which have historically been no less significant. The task of secularism studies is therefore to become empirically more creative in order to dig out the nu­ merous and often contradictory ways by which secularism projects reflect, but also challenge and alter, inequalities. Below, I summarise some of the empirical findings derived from the examples in this book.

The diverse historical authorships of secularism Critiques of secularism in postcolonial societies argue that particularly in these societies, secularism has always been and still is an enterprise of state elites. As the argument goes, the political project of secularism reflects a legacy of inequality through its patronising character that primarily – if not exclusively – serves the political and economic interests of the ruling classes. Secularism, as critics argue, “has always been an elite-based process that never was fully accepted by the masses”,5 and thus had to be established through repressive measures by the state apparatus. In this reading, secu­ larism is a form of “external and internal colonialism” that “continues to be fostered by the same institutions and structurally identical elites, who work

Conclusions  241 out of the same centers of power that earlier spread their ‘civilization’ and continue to expand their mission, be it economic, military, cultural, human­ itarian even”.6 There is “no doubt” that “non-Western modernizing govern­ ments greatly preceded their populations in secularist beliefs and practices”.7 This criticism is indeed serious because it juxtaposes secularism’s own goals, including equality and emancipation from patronage, against per­ sisting patterns of marginalisation. It also refers to the colonial heritage that lived on after the achievement of independence in the form of political and social structures that reproduced and transformed inequality instead of abolishing it. It is true that postcolonial governments did in many cases adopt the same strategies of “norm-deviation” as well as “norm-exception rhetoric” that the colonial powers had already applied before them to exclude large parts of the population from power and minimise democratic participation.8 Among other things, this form of continuity meant that postcolonial re­ gimes operated within the same legal, bureaucratic, and political paradigms that origi­nated in the colonial era. An example of this is rule through emer­ gency measures, which severely limited democratic control as well as civil liberties.9 Many postcolonial regimes consciously preserved these extensive executive powers by adopting them into the constitutions of their independ­ ent states. The archival evidence presented in this book, however, suggests that this line of argumentation requires substantial qualification, as it re­ flects only certain features of secularism projects while ignoring others. In all four Asian societies analysed here, the personal attitudes, ideas, and administrative practices of state elites did indeed play a substantial role in defining and implementing secularism and religious pluralism. This role, however, was inconsistent and therefore had different effects on society. In Delhi after India’s Partition, for example, main parts of the national govern­ ment, as well as the city administration, insisted on the preservation of reli­ gious diversity in the city. This stance, however, could not altogether prevent Muslim mass emigration, large-scale violence between religious communi­ ties, and social marginalisation. In some cases, parts of the city adminis­ tration even assisted in these crimes. But the strong commitment of other parts of the state bureaucracy and in particular the national government did prevent an even more disastrous outcome. The persecution and evic­ tion of Muslims as well as the total elimination of Islamic heritage within the city were a real threat in this context. In postcolonial Indonesia, the government’s commitment to religious pluralism and the protection of mi­ norities was not just empty rhetoric but was also a programme whose effect was indeed noticeable among minority groups. Christian communities and missionaries emphasised in interviews that state elites made an important difference in their social life. In particular during the first decade or so af­ ter independence, the national government’s strive for a religiously diverse society provided the minorities with significant social and cultural leeway to remain and even extend their religious activities and social engagement.

242 Conclusions Historically, however, the spectrum of social actors initiating and pro­ moting secularism projects was much wider. A leading role in shaping the idea of secularism was played by liberal intellectuals and, more broadly, the better educated, who were in many cases not, or only indirectly, affil­ iated with the state. These educational elites had already influenced the ideo­logical orientation of the independence movement. After independence, they continued to direct the debates on postcolonial political and social or­ der away from the engrossing activism of traditional orthodoxies, conserv­ ative religious reform movements, radical nationalist movements, and other protagonists who favoured a single, all-embracing state religion. Through their engagement in social movements, activist groups, and other forms of collective action, these better-educated elites enhanced secularism in sev­ eral practical ways. Women’s movements in India, Indonesia, and Singapore, for example, campaigned for far-reaching social reforms to emancipate women and girls from the lot of patriarchy that colonialism had aggravated and that reli­ gious orthodoxy sought to preserve – or even expand – after independence. These women’s movements formed important lobbying groups that exerted pressure on provincial and national governments to actively enhance social change towards women’s rights more generally and gender equality more specifically. Another example for the importance of non-governmental actors in secu­ larism projects comes from educational reform. Probably, the most impor­ tant stalwarts of secularised mass education in Indonesia were not education ministers but teachers in primary and secondary schools. In many cases, this mass education marginalised, but more often integrated, religious schools as well as religious teaching into the education revolution that took place when formal colonial rule came to an end. As the example of religious schools in Indonesia demonstrated, secular teachers of secular subjects were often hostile to teachers of religion as they considered their training and teaching to be inadequate for ‘modern times’. Female as well as male teach­ ers of religion often had a difficult time standing their ground and explain­ ing their relevance in the midst of changing educational requirements. Besides the teachers, parents of schoolchildren in Singapore and I­ ndonesia significantly changed their educational demands for their children during the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in private schools, for which many had to spend a large proportion of their household income. These private schools, whether secular, Islamic, or Christian, were sensitive to these changing de­ mands in favour of secular subjects that seemed more promising than reli­ gious training for future prospects on the labour market. These changing demand patterns were a major impulse for the emerging secular mass edu­ cation system that did not exclude, but rather integrated religious schooling and religious teaching into its reform-oriented agenda. Last but not least, another important spectrum of non-governmental protagonists was religious actors themselves. Several case studies in this

Conclusions  243 book provide further evidence that religious orthodoxies, as well as radical ­religious-nationalist reform movements, obstructed religious pluralism as a political project. The Hindu nationalist RSS in India or the conservative Islamic Nahdlatul Ulama in Indonesia openly sought to undermine reli­ gious freedom with their vision of a political, cultural, and legal hegemony of one particular religious community. At the same time, other religious actors contributed crucially to secularism.10 Each in their respective way, religious organisations as well as individual religious actors were important in the creation of a secular public sphere in which opposing political opin­ ions could be divulged.11 The case studies collected in this book, however, illustrate how diverse, multilayered, and at times controversial the contri­ butions of religious actors were historically, including political protest, the demand for political, economic, and social reform, but also the advocacy of religious autonomy that could only be safeguarded by a secular state. Again, the transnational horizon as well as transnational actors played an important role in these contributions. The motives behind these contributions were, of course, very diverse. Principals of religious schools in Indonesia and Singapore initiated the secularisation and modernisation of their teaching in order to preserve or even expand their privileged status in the education market. During the ­Emergency in British Malaya, it was the missionaries of the Anglican Church Missionary Society who were hesitant about direct support from the government. Instead, the missionaries insisted on the colonial state’s secular abstention in order to preserve the Society’s autonomy from political inter­ ests and to avoid being identified with imperialism. Such open cooperation might later have done great harm to the Christian minorities in a postco­ lonial society and might also have jeopardised the global interests of this transnational Christian network. The Islamic reform movement Muham­ madiyah in Indonesia turned into an important pillar of the postcolonial education system and became a major driver of the government’s agenda for social reform, which included the provision of secular as well as religious education, health care, and the promotion of adult literacy. In particular, re­ ligious minorities such as Christians in Malaya, Java, and Sumatra, H ­ indus in Bali and East Java, Muslims in Delhi and other parts of Northern I­ ndia, and Malay Muslims in Singapore were strong advocates of secularism in ­national and regional parliaments, but also pushed for it through their ac­ tive engagement in the fields of social reform, cultural policies, education, and health care. From their perspective, the project of secularism was the most promising way to preserve their own cultural, political, and social presence in society and at the same time protect them against all forms of majoritarianism that might lead to marginalisation or even persecution. What these cases show is not that secularism has always been conciliatory or cooperative with religious practices and religious organisations. Contem­ porary Asian history provides numerous cases that illustrate the opposite, i.e. open hostility of secular actors towards religion in its various forms.12

244 Conclusions But for a comprehensive historical understanding of secularism projects, it is essential also to perceive and analyse the various ways in which religious organisations and religious actors themselves contributed to secularism. In many cases, they did so out of a distinctly religious motivation, precisely be­ cause they did not perceive secularism as the opposite of religion but rather as a common framework in which their own and other social actors’ inter­ ests might be preserved.

The relevance of space for secularism studies An argument repeatedly made in this book has been that more use should be made of space as a central category in secularism studies. A fresh look at the relevance of space is also the result of the transnational framework I have applied in the case studies. This framework implies shifting the fo­ cus away from the nation state and its territory to alternative locations and also to alternative notions of space and their relevance for historical change in a broader context.13 Looking at changing spatial arrangements in cit­ ies, for example, offers scope for illuminating studies on the dynamics of the secular in urban neighbourhoods and the city as a matrix for political and social planning. Such an approach shows that secularism is not only an abstract idea, but rather a specific mode of organising space, including the social practices connected to space. Particularly in the rapidly changing Asian cities, evolving patterns of urbanity are closely connected with the transformation of religion and the demarcation of the secular.14 In spite of the rich insights that can be gained from a spatial approach to secularism and religious pluralism, references to space have hitherto remained excep­ tional in the comparative literature on secularism.15 Contemporary South and Southeast Asian history is a fertile ground for advancing this agenda of spatial analysis and thereby opening up new fields for historiographical inquiry into the social, political, and cultural facets of secularism expressed in spatial rearrangements. Twentieth-century social sciences, including historiography, have long underestimated the potential of space in the analysis of social and politi­ cal changes. For the most part, they “preferred to re-present the world in vertical, aspatial, and sequential terms, in terms of historical depth and du­ ration, rather than in terms of horizontality, proximity, and simultaneity, rather than in terms of geographical configuration and extent”.16 The con­ sequence of this deficit is that social changes are interpreted mainly – if not ­exclusively  – as temporal processes, in other words as changes over time. Only recently have historians become more involved in a form of theoreti­ cal dialogue with the geographers’ spatial approaches to past and present.17 ­Historians now discover that space in its manifold forms of social representa­ tion is itself the product of historical change and thus e­ minently political in its character.18 Space is not simply ‘given’ in the world of social relations; it is a product of asserting, questioning, and resisting power.19 Space is thus a

Conclusions  245 source of social fragmentation as well as social integration that can be scru­ tinised for a better understanding of class formations, changing gender rela­ tions, as well as the evolving relations between ethnic and religious groups.20 Symbolic orderings of space provide insight into how historical actors in­ terpreted their own roles in society, how these interpretations have changed over time, and whose material interests these orderings served.21 There are different angles through which space can be explored for a historical under­ standing of secularism in local, national, and transnational arenas. Space has on the one hand been an object of secularism. As the enquiry into historical ideas of secularism has shown, a prime task of secularism has been territorial integration, in other words the creation and mainte­ nance of the postcolonial state as a spatial entity. On the other hand, space has been the medium of negotiations over social, political, and cultural or­ der. In this regard, the numerous conflicts over places of worship between Hindus and Muslims in post-Partition Delhi were significant in various ways. First, they manifested underlying struggles over material resources such as land, commercial infrastructure, and the control over public space in the city. As demographic pressure on Delhi steadily increased by mas­ sive immigration, these scarce material resources became increasingly contested among different social groups, including religious communi­ ties. A parallel can be drawn here to Indonesia. The case study on anti-­ communist mass violence, too, showed that a major source of conflict was the ownership and use of land. The social struggle between conservative Islamic circles and leftist forces was fuelled by communists questioning the existing land ownership and demanding redistribution, if necessary by violent means. Second, Delhi’s architectural space became relevant in the struggles over social order. Architectural space, i.e. the built environment, manifests broader issues of social and cultural representation as well as legitimacy in public space.22 Hindu temples, mosques, holy shrines, and graveyards turned into critical battlegrounds over social and cultural representation in a context in which mass violence and the large-scale physical destruction of buildings threatened to wipe out the social and cultural presence of the Muslim minority within the city. Third, these conflicts were a litmus test for the city administration as well as the national government that perceived itself as secular. Solving these conflicts not only constituted a major contribution to restoring order in the city, but it was also the first time that the authority of the young state was asserted over a whole range of societal actors. The establishment of postco­ lonial secularism as a political project functioned via the authorisation of religious sites as Hindu, Islamic, or both, as well as their distinction from secular space, where any form of religious worship was prohibited. Drawing spatial boundaries between religious and non-religious space was one of the first core competencies of the postcolonial authorities through which the project of secularism acquired a concrete, tangible quality. In this way, both

246 Conclusions religious pluralism and secularism were translated into contested spatial configurations. Besides places of worship, schools also manifested certain spatial dynam­ ics of secularism that displayed social, political, as well as ideological contes­ tations. In the context of modern nation-building, schools have always been particularly contested sites.23 They lie at the intersection between public and private life, and thus form a sort of “third space”, neither fully private nor public, though located in public space.24 In this in-between space, social iden­ tities are not simply taken for granted but gradually redefined. School com­ pounds are places in which class affiliations are reinforced, ethnicities are strengthened or relativised, and personal beliefs and ideologies are shaped. In this perspective, a school is an institution where two things happen: the sub­ jection of young minds to hegemonic ideas, and the cultivation of subversive spirit and resistance.25 Particularly in the early postcolonial settings, schools were crucial sites of political contestation and played a central role in secu­ larism projects. Since colonial times, private Christian schools in Malaya, Singapore, and Indonesia have been exceptional spaces of trans-ethnic life. This pattern did not change fundamentally after independence, but due to the changing political circumstances these schools had to redefine their role in society. To this end, school principals and teachers developed distinct strate­ gies to maintain or even expand their privileged position in the education system, including the secularisation of curricula, the expansion of secular, i.e. non-confessional, culture within their school compound, and a stronger emphasis on religious pluralism as a distinct product of this school culture. A further notion of space becomes apparent in the case study on ­Christian missionaries in Malaya’s New Villages where around 400,000 mainly ­ethnic-Chinese were resettled to monitor them more efficiently and isolate them from communist guerrilla groups. In this case, space functioned as the medium for violence, but also for changing patterns of late colonial secular­ ism during the nascent Cold War era.26 These New Villages were created for the relocation of people on a grand scale and, more broadly, an attempt by the late colonial state to “fix people in space”.27 Their resettlement was in­ tended to determine people’s social realities as well as their ideological ori­ entation, and thus subject them to the state’s anti-communist programme. In these specific spatial reconfigurations, Christian missionaries found a promising opportunity for their missionary zeal as well as an opportu­ nity for cooperation with the colonial regime. In this way, the spatial strate­ gies of the colonial government and the new role for Christian missionaries within the secular space of the New Villages complemented each other. The villages allowed the missionaries to expand their religious reach through interpersonal relationships as well as through new infrastructure such as churches, parishes, clinics, orphanages, and other social institutions. In the guise of the resettlement programme, the Cold War provided new scope and an enabling environment for the transnational Christian networks. Histori­ cally, this was a major reconfiguration of late colonial secularism under the

Conclusions  247 changing conditions of the emerging Cold War that also had consequences for the postcolonial era. Finally, space is also an illustrative category in the analysis of the ­anti-communist mass violence in Indonesia during 1965 and 1966. From a global perspective, Indonesia acquired a new significance as a territory in Southeast Asia in the evolving Cold War dynamics. In 1965, the war in Vietnam entered its peak phase and renewed, particularly, US interests in the region’s broader political and economic developments. In this context, Indonesia’s national territory turned into a decisive battleground between antagonistic Cold War interests, which the Western capitalist powers could not afford to lose.28 Indonesia’s new role in the changing spatial dynamics of the Cold War also had domestic consequences that came into play during the anti-communist violence. The clash between Islamic and Christian groups as well as the armed forces on one side and the PKI and its sympathisers on the other was a vio­ lent conflict that was centrally triggered, aggravated, and sustained through the medium of space. First, religious groups supported the conflict through their power of mobilisation in public space. In the cities in particular, the struggle between the PKI and religious groups was a struggle for domi­ nation over public space. The motives for cooperation between the armed forces and Islamic and Christian groups were spatial among others. The army was simply not in a position to launch this attack on Indonesia’s vast territory all by itself. Religious organisations were a necessary correlate for the spatial expansion of violent persecution in less than a few weeks. A consequence of this brutal persecution was the utter destruction of the physical infrastructure of the PKI, the backbone of its unique organisational capacities and spatial reach. The physical presence of the communists, a cru­ cial requirement for any relevant political player in such a spatially frag­ mented country as Indonesia, was virtually crushed, and the beneficiaries were the religious organisations themselves. Islamic student organisations increased their following, Christian communities gained tens of thousands of new members, and media controlled by religious affiliations expanded its reach. Another spatial facet of these mass murders is that the Indonesian army ultimately managed to restore and expand its political dominance by reinforcing its control over public space in Jakarta and elsewhere. The perse­ cution and killings of the communists wiped out the radical Left’s secularism project altogether. The religious groups lost their main competitor over social relevance, particularly in rural areas and the armed forces, for their part, es­ tablished themselves as the unquestioned hegemon in Indonesian state affairs.

Secularism and the state in transnational perspective If secularism is reduced to a state ‘ideology’ implemented by state actors, as the largest part of secularism studies would have it, the predominant question for a historical understanding is what the state can tell us about

248 Conclusions secularism. Against the background of contemporary South and Southeast Asian history, however, the more relevant question would be what the di­ verse secularism projects can tell us about the state, its character, and its relationship to society. During the transitional period of decolonisation, states in South and Southeast Asia were largely in the making. Their paramount task at that time was to secure and expand their core functions over their respective ter­ ritories. This involved on the one hand measures to improve control such as administrative measures or the sole right to threaten with and make use of violence. On the other hand, these states also sought to construct a distinct self-image to underpin their own legitimacy. The management of religious pluralism was one of the core areas of these struggles for legitimacy. As the different practices of secularism discussed in this book illustrate, these states hardly ever proceeded as unitary actors. On the contrary, they were historically heterogeneous and in many cases even contradictory. The question whether a (postcolonial) state was secular or not can probably clar­ ify constitutional circumstances, but it does not do justice to the manifold arenas beyond the law in which the secular was negotiated. During and after the Partition of India, the central government’s un­ derstanding of a secular state was incongruent with the measures it imple­ mented in Delhi. The government’s directives concerning the treatment of Muslims, the frustration at their expulsion, as well as the prevention of the destruction of Islamic culture in the city corresponded neither to a signi­ ficant degree with the attitudes of lower-ranking civil servants in the city administration nor with the bureaucratic practices of government execu­ tives on the ground. There were, of course, lower-ranking bureaucrats who actively supported the government’s opinion of what needed to be done, but there were sizeable factions within the administration who did not and who therefore ignored or even actively undermined state policies. Likewise, there existed severe differences within the government. Home Minister ­Patel’s ­initially non-­existent – and in the following at best lax – prosecution of Hindu nationalists in Delhi stood in open defiance of Nehru’s decisive approach to combatting communalism. This defiance also undermined the Muslim communities’ efforts to secure more consistent political and finan­ cial support for their social and cultural concerns. Similar contradictory patterns of state action existed in Indonesia. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Affairs were embroiled in a long-standing dispute over educational competencies and the role of religious teaching and religious schools in the postcolonial education sys­ tem. During the anti-communist purge in the mid-1960s, major parts of the armed forces openly aligned with Christian and Islamic groups in their murderous mission. Also, external Cold War actors such as the CIA, US training and education programmes, or British intelligence had a strong im­ pact on the rising importance of conservative Islamic groups in Indonesian social affairs. These developments stood in stark contrast to the policies

Conclusions  249 that had previously been implemented by the civilian government. Major parts of the national government, including Sukarno and Subandrio, had maintained a critical distance in particular to conservative religious forces, and had developed close relations with the PKI and its affiliated organisa­ tions. Even within the armed forces, loyalties as well as political orientations were far from homogeneous. In Java, the army was confronted with con­ tradictory attitudes among its ranks towards the PKI. Some local divisions openly supported the communists, while others cooperated closely with ­Islamic groups. In brief, the political endeavour of religious pluralism and secularism can, historically, hardly be said to have been the outcome of a coherent ‘ideology’ or ‘doctrine’ that was implemented by the state as a unitary actor. On the contrary, actual state practices were fragmented, even contradictory, and were the outcome of numerous bargaining processes between various state and non-state actors and their specific interests in a given historical context. Also in its institutions – the ministries, government offices, armed forces, municipal administrations, and local branches in rural areas – the state was far from being a centrally controlled organisation that implemented one single coherent ‘doctrine’.29 In this respect, the state was closer to Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of a “theological entity, that is, an entity that exists by the way of belief”30 rather than an actually homogeneous actor motivated by an integrated worldview on how to position itself towards religion. For historians, the major challenge is to establish why certain versions of the state and religious pluralism have at least temporarily prevailed over others. To this end, a closer look at the numerous bargaining processes, compromises, and alliances among state and non-state actors is helpful. These modes of bargaining and the formation of alliances, which also re­ sulted in group-specific state practices rather than one standard coherent state practice vis-à-vis all religious and ethnic groups,31 have to be analysed specifically for each temporal and spatial context. However, there are some general patterns one can derive from the case studies presented in this book. Educational reform in Indonesia and Singapore, initiated by state institu­ tions in charge of educational affairs, hinged on the support of schoolteach­ ers and school administrators as well as on the changing demand patterns of the schoolchildren’s parents. Notwithstanding the various organisational and financial shortcomings, secularised mass education was supported by significant sections of the population because it corresponded with their idea of a modern society. Secular education was thus supported as the most promising form of education for future generations. Women’s movements in India, Indonesia, and Singapore lobbied for various social reforms including uniform marriage and divorce legislation, the prohibition of polygamy, and political reforms to give women more say in politics. No less crucial for pro­ jects of secularism, though, was the support of religious organisations and authorities. For obvious reasons, religious minorities such as the Christians in Indonesia or Muslims in Northern India strongly supported the state

250 Conclusions institutions’ efforts to establish religious pluralism and a secular state as the dominant political paradigm. But even among the majority communities like the Muslim population in Indonesia, modernist reformist movements such as Muhammadiyah integrated themselves into the secular framework of postcolonial administration and thereby enhanced secularism. There existed of course also opposition and resistance from conservative and radical nationalist religious organisations. In this respect, religious ac­ tors maintained a broad spectrum of relationships with the state, their at­ titudes ranging from integrative to supportive and affirmative, indifferent, separationist, critically distanced, and even openly hostile. But the main reasons why secularism – the distancing of the state from religion – ­prevailed can be found in these temporary alliances among different state and nonstate actors. Historical explanations of secularism therefore require two dif­ ferent levels of analysis: one level that discusses the state’s integrity, in other words the different aspects of its unified character as testified by its institu­ tional arrangements, as well as the image the state constructs of itself as a homogeneous, consistent actor. The second level analyses the disintegrating forces and contradictory practices that fragment the state, together with the alliances between disparate state and non-state actors that – temporarily – help to bridge these fragmentations.32 These different modes of cooperation between various state and non-state actors indicate that particularly in rela­ tion to religious pluralism, the boundaries of the state were in practice quite fluid, blurred, and flexible rather than rigid and static. During decolonisation, the state was a fairly complex, but also contra­ dictory agent that interacted with different societal forces in various ways according to temporal and spatial requirements.33 For this reason, the in­ stitutional as well as practical boundaries between state and religion were far from clear-cut. On the contrary, these boundaries were characterised by different modes of interaction in the course of which the state and religious actors converged, negotiated, dissociated themselves from each other and, in exceptional cases, even conflated: teachers of religion became government employees, the Islamic clergy in Indonesia was integrated into the struc­ tures of Religious Affairs Ministries, members of religious political parties joined parliaments in Indonesia and Malaysia, and religious organisations became an indispensable pillar of state-directed and state-funded social re­ form in all the societies analysed in this book. These developments, however, did not turn the state into a religious entity, but co-determined the multi­ layered character of secularism projects that essentially entail ele­ments of non-­identity between the state and religion and, rather contingently, also elements of identity with religious forces. In societies in which religious organisations, networks, and authorities played an important role, state institutions depended on their active cooperation and alliance. Instead of in­ terpreting these alliances as the opposite of secularism, it seems historically more accurate to interpret them as a decisive pattern of secularism projects, which ensured the survival of both the alliance partners and the states.

Conclusions  251 A final lesson to be learned from secularism about the state concerns what Thomas Blom Hansen has called the “sublime qualities” of the state, i.e. the “opaque secrets and knowledge of the state’s higher echelon, […] its hidden resources, designs and immense power, and […] the higher forms of rationality or even justice believed to prevail there”.34 Historical secular­ ism projects were closely intertwined with the state as an enormous power apparatus with its distinct power interests, cover-up strategies, and repres­ sive practices. To the extent that the state consists of material institutional realities that emerge, grow, and crumble over time, it is also an ideological project whose first and foremost task is to legitimise itself and its modes of otherwise “unacceptable domination”.35 Secularism in late colonial and early postcolonial South and Southeast Asia not only comprised the safe­ guarding of religious freedom, as its protagonists repeatedly emphasised, it also significantly augmented state power over religious actors and, more generally, the administration of religious affairs. Leading state officials in Indonesia, for example, described the creation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs as proof of the state’s commitment to the active support of religious life, particularly Islamic. In practice, however, the Ministry bureaucratised practically the whole gamut of Islamic affairs from the training of clergy to the organisation of the pilgrimage to Mecca and religious education in schools. The Ministry’s procedural methods were in fact quite differentiated and adapted to the specific characteristics of the various religious actors. In relation to the Muslim majority in the country, the ultimate purpose of these measures was to tighten the state’s grip over Islamic affairs, while in the administration and control of Christian matters, for example, state bu­ reaucracy was more lenient. The same combination of support and control can be observed in ­Singapore’s contemporary history. Singapore’s state secularism in practice meant on the one hand enabling Christian institutions to continue with their social services, particularly in education, which allowed local and trans­ national missionary networks to maintain or even expand their role in so­ cial affairs. This move protected Christian institutions against majoritarian Chinese voices who articulated strong critique about the missionary endeav­ our they saw built into Christian education efforts. On the other hand, the state’s supportive approach also included an explicit threat to the ­Christian institutions’ financial sustainability in case of non-compliance with the state’s educational parameters. A particularly relevant aspect of state measures to establish extensive con­ trol over religious actors is violence. Scholars today frequently discuss vio­ lence and religion in terms of their mutual reinforcement by focusing on “the apparently intolerant, dogmatic and socially disharmonious aspects of pur­ portedly identifiable entities known as ‘the religions’”.36 This concentration on religiously motivated forms of violence, fuelled by the current global in­ terest in religious extremism and terrorism,37 detracts attention from violence exercised by state authorities against religious actors, religious organisations,

252 Conclusions and religious infrastructure. During the formative years of the postcolonial state, violent state action as well as the threat of violence remained central elements in the political repertoire of state authorities, particularly in the con­ text of religious diversity. Institutionalised secularism has indeed frequently been “riddled with coercion and violence”, as critics have remarked,38 because these practices were central elements in the state’s repertoire for enforcing its authority also in the realm of religion. Towards other religious actors as well as its citizens in general, the state justified the use of violence as necessary where religious actors threatened the social order legitimised by the state.39 In this way, certain religious activities were de-legitimised for being ‘destruc­ tive’, ‘un-Islamic’, or ‘anti-social’ and, hence, the object of state persecution and state violence that presented itself as a legitimate instrument of order. To better understand these forms of state violence against religion, it  seems necessary to analyse the mutual dependency of various forms of physical violence on the one hand and administrative processes during the transition from the colonial to the postcolonial on the other. Gayatri Spivak proposed the use of the term “epistemic violence”40 for historical practices that silenced marginal groups and thereby deprived them of their ability to speak for themselves and/or be heard. Historically, epistemic violence has frequently been a precondition for physical repression against religious ac­ tivities as well as religious groups. During Partition, Muslims in Delhi fought against attempts to silence them by setting up their own umbrella organisa­ tions, representatives, and decision-making platforms in order to resist the destruction of their cultural and social existence more efficiently. Other mar­ ginalised groups such as female refugees or Dalits were even more vulnera­ ble, and successfully silenced by various social actors including the state.41 Probably more important than silencing groups were administrative pro­ ceedings that ascribed a certain political and social status to religious groups, which in turn became an important ideological precondition for physical hos­ tility. These dynamics primarily concerned religious minorities. The minority status in itself was a product of developments that originated in the colonial era but intensified significantly in the context of postcolonial ­nation-building. The “minoritization”42 of Muslims and Christians in postcolonial India, of Malay Muslims in Singapore, of Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus in ­Indonesia and Malaysia was itself the result of state secularism insofar as the secular state installed an administrative regime of ‘officially recog­nised’ religions. The introduction of official religions implied by definition that there also existed ‘unofficial’ and thus de-legitimised forms of religion. These ascriptions were important building blocks of secularism projects that acti­ vated their own social dynamics of subordination and domination. However, the relationship between secularism and violence was not limi­ted to repressive action against unorthodox or radical forms of politicised reli­ gion. Secularism projects also assumed the form of violent social conflict be­ tween leftist and conservative social forces in the context of the Cold War. In this way, controversies over secularism found their continuation in conflicts

Conclusions  253 over various forms of capital between different social groups, some of them actively supported by external powers motivated by the Cold War’s bipolar or­ der. In the conflict over Indonesia’s communist party and other leftist forces, anti-communism stood for a comprehensive power struggle from the national level down to the smallest villages, in which communism was opposed as a secular alternative to the existing order. In this existing order, Islamic ortho­ doxy and conservative religious circles enjoyed key roles in social, economic, and political affairs and thus had a great deal to lose from consequent social reform. Christian and Islamic groups became crucial players in this strug­ gle over domination by actively assisting the I­ ndonesian army in its bloody crusade against the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), its alleged sym­ pathisers, and other reform-oriented forces of the political Left. Ultimately, however, this struggle ended once more for religious organisations in a strict, politically even more repressive form of secularism under dictator Suharto. Elements of repression are thus as equally central to historical secularism projects as consensual, alliance-based forms of cooperation between dif­ ferent social actors. The historical shape of secularism is thus a negotiated combination of those two elements in time and space. It is in this integration of repression and alliance, apparently, that their transitory success lies. A final aspect concerns the role of (mass) violence as a distinct historical context that shaped and redefined the relationship between state, society, and religion. In the case studies above, mass violence occurs in different forms as a context for secularism: British India’s Partition, the subsequent riots and the migration of millions of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs between Pakistan and India; the violent and at times extremely brutal campaign of resettlement and anti-guerrilla warfare during the Emergency regime in British Malaya; or the anti-communist mass murders in Indonesia. These contexts of violence each had a far-reaching impact on state, society, and religion in various different ways. First, these contexts of violence changed the roles of religious networks and organisations in social affairs. In Delhi, Hindu and Muslim organi­ sations used the crisis of Partition as well as the inter-religious clashes to expand their organisational capacities and develop new forms of social rel­ evance they had not enjoyed before. Relief work, the provision of social ser­ vices to refugees, and the expansion of their organisational infrastructure were strategic efforts to enlarge their social relevance and thereby also in­ crease their political weight in urban society. In other contexts, global Cold War dynamics provided an opportune set of circumstances for religious af­ filiations to expand their social relevance and thus increase their influence in society. In Indonesia, Islamic and Christian youth networks used their own anti-communist violence to increase their membership. What is more, they expanded their influence in the media and in public space in the cities and in rural areas, where the destruction of the PKI’s infrastructure eradicated their chief rival. Although these achievements were in many ways short-lived, the role of religious organisations and the simultaneous destruction of the

254 Conclusions PKI altered the status of religion at the sub-national level in Indonesian so­ ciety. The resettlement programme during the Emergency in British ­Malaya, finally provided a unique opportunity for Christian missionary societies to gain access to parts of the population that had hitherto been almost un­ reachable for Christian proselytisation. Here, too, religious networks were among the beneficiaries of larger-scale violence and forced migration. The context of violence also played a role in re-adapting the state’s policy vis-à-vis religious groups. Again, the global Cold War functioned as a crucial facilitator of different types of new alliances between religious affiliations and state institutions. In contrast to previous practices, the British colonial administration in Malaya changed its approach on Christian missionaries during the Emergency from critically distant to actively supportive. As of 1948, this new approach clearly benefited the British anti-communist cam­ paign. The colonial authorities supported the missionaries with financial and other resources in their efforts to establish clinics, schools, churches, and other infrastructure in the new settlement, the so-called New Villages. The missionaries, on the other hand, initially viewed this new willingness to cooperate with scepticism, as they suspected that their close cooperation with the late imperial regime may have harmed the global interests of the missionary movement. In the long run, though, the missionary organisations deliberately fell back on this crucial assistance from the state. In Indonesia, the anti-communist violence in 1965/1966 led to unprecedented strategic partnerships between the armed forces and religious groups on the one hand and between Christian and Islamic groups on the other. Both forms of co­ operation were unique in post-independence Indonesia and quickly disinte­ grated when the main phase of anti-communist violence was over. In India, the inter-religious violence and particularly the role of Hindu-nationalist organisations during Partition prompted the administration to define what its self-declared secularism meant in practice, including what kind of state intervention this secularism called for in concrete situations of conflict. What these cases illustrate, however, is that secularism projects were not the result of abstract debates in times of peace and harmony, but were rather defined and initiated during periods of severe crisis triggered by decolonisa­ tion, Cold War dynamics, mass violence, and forced migration. Historically, therefore these projects were reactions to social, political, economic, and cultural emergencies rather than the result of harmonious negotiations bet­ ween the state and social actors. Again, conflict and cooperation have been two inseparable sides of the same coin.

Secularism through the lens of decolonisation and the Cold War The central concern of this book was to study secularism in terms of the interplay of local and transnational change and thus establish secularism as a core category of 20th-century global history. Decolonisation and the Cold War were the lenses through which secularism projects were analysed.

Conclusions  255 Such a historical-empirical analysis may help to reveal various, so far ne­ glected, layers of secularism’s broader historical context and thus extend the spectrum of relevant actors groups. Secularism projects have historically been defined, negotiated, and implemented at diverse locations from small villages in rural Java to major cities like Jakarta, Delhi, and Singapore. The range of relevant actors includes local village communities, national (reli­ gious and non-religious) lobby groups and decision-makers, global political actors such as the Pentagon, the CIA, and the British Colonial Office, as well as transnational non-state actors such as the Church Missionary ­Society. Both decolonisation and the Cold War had a far-reaching impact on local social relations and as such triggered social change, in some cases even so­ cial revolutions. This social change was, in the case of decolonisation, the result of a whole repertoire of political transformations, disorder, forced migration and mass violence, and, in the case of the Cold War, the outcome of struggles over competing versions of social order, economic reform, po­ litical revolution, conflict over land and, again, mass violence. Furthermore, decolonisation and the Cold War developed specific modes of influence on local social relations that can be analysed in a transnational perspective. Decolonisation in South and Southeast Asia created the politi­ cal as well as ideational space to renegotiate the location of religion in these societies at a time when religion was no longer considered chiefly a prob­ lem for domestic security, as had been the case during colonialism, but had meanwhile become a central element of postcolonial social order and na­ tional identity. Secularism projects were one crucial field within the broader scheme of nation-building, economic reform, and social engineering. The Cold War had a major impact on the role of religious actors within their societies and, more specifically, on relations between religious groups, leftist forces, and the state. The Cold War created new latitude for local, but also transnational, religious organisations and thereby transformed the existing secularism projects. After 1948, the Cold War emerged as a global social conflict that confronted different versions of political, social, and economic order with each other and thereby radicalised local class differ­ ences. In this way, the Cold War determined, and was determined, by a broad spectrum of local and transnational non-state actors, including re­ ligious players, and therefore had a lasting impact on secularism projects. Finally, a transnational perspective on the immediate post-Second World War period illustrates how secularism acquired different but comparable forms of historical practice. Scholars of religion and politics have so far concentrated primarily on state constitutions, courtrooms, legal orders, and similar institutional regimes in their endeavours to understand the location of religion in society and assess whether a state might rightly be called secu­ lar. The practical arrangements of state, society, and religion, however, can historically be observed in numerous other settings as yet undiscovered by the historiographical searchlight. Changing patterns of organising space in postcolonial cities, ‘modernised’ school cultures in Christian and Islamic schools, or anti-communism and its changing patterns of state/religion

256 Conclusions cooperation are additional arenas that shed light on the various negotia­ tions over the boundaries of religion in society. These arenas offer a rich field for historiographical studies of secularism, which in the light of current global affairs seem politically as equally instructive and equally imperative as the history of religious extremism.

Notes 1 Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, “Comparative Secularisms and the Politics of Modernity: An Introduction”, in Linell E. Cady and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (eds.), Comparative Secularisms in a Global Age (New York: ­Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), p. 21. 2 Saba Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report (Princeton, NJ, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016), 208. 3 Ibid., p. 10. 4 For example Talal Asad, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), p. 7. 5 Jonathan Fox, An Introduction to Religion and Politics: Theory and Practice (London, New York: Routledge, 2013), p. 23. 6 Gil Anidjar, “Secularism”, Critical Inquiry 33, Autumn 2006, p. 64. 7 Nikki R. Keddie, “Secularism and the State: Towards Clarity and Global Com­ parison”, New Left Review 226, November–December 1997, p. 27. 8 Partha Chatterjee, Lineages of Political Society: Studies in Postcolonial Democracy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), p. 25. 9 Georgio Agamben, State of Exception (Chicago, IL, London: Chicago U ­ niversity Press, 2005). 10 Craig Calhoun made the point that in the United States, it was the churchgo­ ing classes as well as Jewish circles who were central to secular social reform through their political activism, popular education, and philanthropic engage­ ment. In a similar manner, these circles also supported the civil rights campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s against the discrimination of African Americans and the war in Vietnam. Cf. Craig Calhoun, “Afterword: Religion’s Many Powers”, in ­Judith Butler, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, and Cornel West, The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere, edited and introduced by Eduardo Mendieta and ­Jonathan VanAntwerpen (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), p. 122. 11 Cf. Peter van der Veer, Imperial Encounters: Religion and Modernity in India and Britain (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001), p. 33. 12 Cf. Christopher Marsh, Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival, and Revival (New York, London: The Continuum International Publish­ ing Group, 2011); Fenggang Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Peter van der Veer, “Smash Temples, Burn Books: Comparing Secularist Projects in India and China”, in Craig Calhoun, Mark Juergensmeyer, and Jonathan VanAntwerpen (eds.), Rethinking Secularism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 270–281. 13 For a more elaborate discussion, see Kiran Klaus Patel, Nach der Nationalfixiertheit: Perspektiven einer transnationalen Geschichte. Antrittsvorlesung, Humboldt-­Universität zu Berlin, 12 January 2004, p. 16. http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/ humboldt-vl/­patel-kiran-klaus-2004-01-12/PDF/Patel.pdf (accessed 10 October 2016). 14 Cf. Marian Burchardt and Irene Becci, “Introduction: Religion Takes Place: ­P roducing Urban Locality”, in Irene Becci, Marian Burchardt, and José ­Casanova (eds.), Topographies of Faith: Religion in Urban Spaces (Leiden, ­Boston,

Conclusions  257

15

16

17 18 19

20 21

22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29

MA: Brill, 2013), p. 13; see also Nilüfer Göle, “The Civilizational, Spatial, and Sexual Powers of the Secular”, in Warner Warner, Jonathan VanAntwerpen, and Craig Calhoun (eds.), Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age (Cambridge, MA, London: Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 255. Charles Taylor remarks that during the “secular age”, public spaces have been emptied of God and other references to ultimate reality. This ‘emptying’, how­ ever, is just one among several relevant dynamics in public space. Cf. Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA, London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007), p. 2. Allan Pred, Making Histories and Constructing Human Geographies: The Local Transformation of Practice, Power Relations, and Consciousness (Boulder, CO, ­Oxford: Westview Press, 1990), p. 5. For a historiography see Reinhart Koselleck’s “Raum und Geschichte” in his Zeitschichten: Studien zur Historik ­(Frankfurt/ Main: Suhrkamp, 2000), pp. 78–96; Jörg Döring and Tristan Thielmann, ­“Einleitung: Was lesen wir im Raume? Der Spatial Turn und das geheime Wissen der Geographen”, in Jörg Döring and Tristan Thielmann (eds.), Spatial Turn: Das Raumparadigma in den Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften (Bielefeld: transcript), pp. 7–45; Karl Schlögel, Im Raume lesen wir die Zeit: Über Zivilisationsgeschichte und Geopolitik. 4th ed. (Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 2006), pp. 9–15 & 60–71. Alan R.H. Baker, Geography and History: Bridging the Divide (Cambridge: ­Cambridge University Press, 2003). Doreen Massey, “Politics and Space/Time”, New Left Review I/196, November– December 1992, p. 80. David Chidester and Edward T. Linenthal, “Introduction”, in David Chidester and Edward T. Linenthal (eds.), American Sacred Space (Bloomington, Indian­ apolis: Indiana University Press, 1995), p. 15. See also Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, “Beyond ‘Culture’: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference”, Cultural Anthropology 7/1, February 1992, p. 11. Cf. Chris Philo, “Foucault’s Geography”, in Mike Crang and Nigel Thrift (eds.), Thinking Space (London, New York: Routledge, 2000), p. 213. David Harvey, The Conditions of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Cambridge, MA, Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), p. 214; David ­Harvey, “Between Space and Time: Reflections on the Geographical Imagina­ tion”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 80/3, 1990, p. 419. Cf. Yi-Fun Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (London: ­Edward Arnold, 1977), p. 107. Ahmet T. Kuru, “Passive and Assertive Secularism: Historical Conditions, Ideo­logical Struggles, and State Policies toward Religion”, World Politics 59, July 2007, pp. 568–594. Claire Hancock, “Spatialities of the Secular: Geographies of the Veil in France and Turkey”, European Journal of Women’s Studies 15/3, August 2008, p. 172. Cf. Fazal Rizvi, Bob Lingard, and Jennifer Lavia, “Postcolonialism and ­Education: Negotiating a Contested Terrain”, Pedagogy, Culture & Society 14/3, October 2006, p. 257. On space as a medium of violence, occupation, and control see Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (London, New York: Verso, 2007); on space as a medium of religion see Kim Knott, The Location of Religion: A Spatial Analysis (London, Oakville: Equinox, 2005), p. 3. Maureen Sioh, “An Ecology of Postcoloniality: Disciplining Nature and Society in Malaya, 1948–1957”, Journal of Historical Geography 30, 2004, p. 738. Bernd Schaefer and Baskara T. Wardaya (eds.), 1965: Indonesia and the World, Indonesia Dan Dunia (Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2013). For a theoretical debate on patterns of state fragmentation see Joel S. ­Migdal and Klaus Schlichte, “Rethinking the State”, in Klaus Schlichte (ed.), The Dynamics

258 Conclusions

30 31 32

33 34 35 36 37

38 39 40

41

42

of States: The Formation and Crisis of State Domination (Aldershot, Burlington, NJ: Ashgate, 2005), p. 2. Pierre Bourdieu, On the State: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1989–1992 (Cambridge: Polity, 2014), p. 10. Joel S. Migdal, “Why Do So Many States Stay Intact?” in Peter Dauvergne (ed.), Weak and Strong States in Asia-Pacific Societies (St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998), p. 19. This approach is inspired by Antonio Gramsci’s discussion of the state, hegem­ ony, and power in his ‘prison notebooks’ and other writings. See also Sabine Kebir, Antonio Gramscis Zivilgesellschaft: Alltag, Ökonomie, Kultur, Politik (Hamburg: VSA, 1991), Chapter 4 & 5; Joel S. Migdal, State in Society: Studying How States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 22; and Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of the state as a field constituted by varying alliances, interests, and the deliberately constructed illusion of unity in his On the State, pp. 20, 32–33 & 115. Cf. Tony Day, Fluid Iron: State Formation in Southeast Asia (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002), p. 34. Thomas Blom Hansen, “Governance and Myths of State in Mumbai”, in C.J. Fuller and Véronique Bénéï (eds.), The Everyday State and Society in Modern India (London: Hurst & Company, 2001), p. 35. Philip Abrams, “Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State”, in Aradhana Sharma and Akhil Gupta (eds.), The Anthropology of the State: A Reader (Malden, MA, Oxford, Carlton, VIC: Blackwell, 2006), p. 122. Richard King, “The Association of ‘Religion’ with Violence: Reflections on a Mod­ ern Trope”, in John R. Hinnells and Richard King (eds.), Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice (London, New York: Routledge, 2007), p. 227. See for example Scott M. Thomas, The Global Resurgence of Religion and the Transformation of International Relations: The Struggle for the Soul of the ­Twenty-First Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); Fabio Petitio and Pavlos Hatzopoulos (eds.), Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Steve Bruce, Fundamentalism. 2nd ed. (Cambridge et al.: Polity Press, 2008); Jessica Stern, Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill (New York: Ecco, 2003). John Keane, “Secularism?”, The Political Quarterly 71, Issue Supplement s1, ­August 2000, p. 14. William Herbrechtsmeier, “Religious Authenticity as a Function of Power”, in Lewis F. Carter (ed.), Religion and Social Order. Vol. 6: The Issue of Authenticity in the Study of Religions (Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1996), p. 20. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”, in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (eds.), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), pp. 271–313. See also Homi K. Bhabha, “The Other Question: Difference, Discrimination and the Discourse of C ­ olonialism”, in Francis Barker, Peter Hulme, Margaret Iversen, and Diana Loxley (eds.), Literature, Politics and Theory: Papers from the Essex Conference 1976–84 (London, New York: Methuen, 1986), pp. 148–172; Kristie Dotson, “Tracking Epistemic Violence, Tracking Practices of Silencing”, Hypatia 26/2, Spring 2011, pp. 236–257. Cf. Urvashi Butalia, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India (London: Hurst & Company, 2000); Ravinder Kaur, After 1947. Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007). Gyan Prakash, “Secular Nationalism, Hindutva, and the Minority”, in Anuradha Dingwaney Needham and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan (eds.), The Crisis of Secularism in India (Durham, NC, London: Duke University Press, 2007), p. 178.

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264 Bibliography 2.13.132/2076 S  ignalement van de CMI betreffende de “Negara Islam Indone­ sia” (Het Islamitische land Indonesië) getiteld “Een beschouwing over de mogelijkheden bij de stichting van een staat gebaseerd op de Islam over heel Indonesië”, met bijbehorende kaart van Indo­ nesië, 1949 Het Utrechts Archief, Utrecht Raad voor de Zending (1864) 1950–2001, nummer toegang 1102-2, inventarisnummers: 2972 3642 7291 Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT), Library & Archive, Amsterdam For information purposes / Information service, High commissioner of ­Indonesia, The Hague: High commissioner of Indonesia. Information service, 1950, no. 2 to 1951, no. 36 Acc. No. 267027 Indonesisch bulletin / Indonesische voorlichtingsdienst Indonesische documentatie / Afdeling voorlichting, Hoge commissariaat voor ­Indonesië vol. 4, no. 1(1953) to vol. 8, no. 10(1957) Acc. No. 267026 Sociaal spectrum van Indonesië: maandelijks orgaan van het Departement van sociale zaken te Batavia, T/m jrg. 2, no. 2(1948) verschenen o.d.t.: Sociaal spec­ trum van de Archipel jrg. 1, no. 1(1947) to jrg. 3, no. 6(1949) Acc. No. 266621 Katholiek Documentatie Centrum (KDC), Library & Archive, Nijmegen KomMissieMemoires (KMM, Interviewproject): KMM 156, M. Ferouge (male), SJ, 27 February 1981 KMM 343, C.H. van der Linden (male), 22 December 1977 KMM 627, I.G.M. van der Berg (female), 17 August 1981 KMM 410, C.B. Peeters (male), 3 March 1979 KMM 455, C.J.M. Rutten (female), 19 June 1978 KMM 320, A.K.M. van de Laar (male), 17 June 1977 KMM 317, C.J. Künter (male), 20 October 1977 KMM 347, H.L.P.M. Hoeff (male, SJ), 12 February 1980 KMM 802, N.J.C. Geise (male, OSF), 23 March 1984 KMM 773, J.W. Oudejans (male), 20 December 1983 Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV), Library & Archive, Leiden Stichting Mondelinge Geschiedenis Indonesië (SMGI), interviews: B.J. Boland (male), 13 June 2000 J. Bos (male), 14 July 1999 W.H. Hogestijn (male), 20 August 1997 E. Winarta (female, Peranakan Chinese), 14 October 1997 Instituut voor oorlogs-, holocaust- en genocidestudies (NIOD), Library & Archive, Amsterdam 15.09.5. Religie, kernen en zending (various documents) Knipselcollectie: Indonesië: KC II 50 KC II 55

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Index

Agha Khan 31 agnosticism/anarchism/atheism 5–6, 145, 168, 171, 190 Aidit, D.N. 169 Ali, Sayyid Amir 31 All-India Women’s Conference (AIWC) 37 Ambedkar, B.R. 33–4 American Overseas Petroleum Co. 188 Ansor (Gerakan Pemuda Ansor) 169, 172–4, 186, 191 Antara (news agency) 177–8 anti-communism see communism Arya Samaj 77–8, 102–3 Asian Relations Conference 23 Aujong, P.K. 174 Azad, Abul Kalam 66–7, 104–6 Bali 26, 165, 169, 174, 243, Bandung 36, 171, 211, 216, 220 Bandung Conference 23 Baptist Churches 58 Bihar (India) 30, 93, 114, Bogor (diocese) 221 Bombay: Chief Justice 30; commercial centre 58; RSS in 103–4 Borneo (North) 29 Bourdieu, Pierre 165, 249 Boy Scouts 139 Braudel, Fernand 5 Briggs, Harold 127 British colonialism 11, 16; and health policy 128; in India 65, 71, 98; in Malaya 125–6, 133, 138–9, 141, 254–5; see also British-Malaya British-Malaya 2, 10–11, 13–14, 16, 23, 24, 32, 225, 252; Departments of Religious Affairs 44, 47–8, 250; Emergency 125–8, 243, 253–4;

ethnic-religious citizenship 29–30; mission schools 226, 246; see also New Villages Buddhism/Taoism 5, 10, 25, 45; in Indonesia: 166, 174, 185, 252; in Singapore 227 Calcutta: anti-RSS protests 104; capital of British-India 95; Christian missionaries in 149; commercial centre 58; refugees 101 Camp and Parades (Control) Order 92 Catholic Party (Indonesia) 172, 173, 174, 182, 184 Catholic Student Association (Indonesia) 182 Catholic Youth organisation (Indonesia) 178 Celebes 26 Chalid, Idham 186 Chandra, Keshab 108 Chief Commissioner (Delhi) 60–1, 63, 67, 73, 89, 99, 108 China (People’s Republic of) 25, 127, 143; and anti-communist killings in Indonesia 178–9, 183, 201; and Christian missionaries 130–3, 148, 149, 152 China Inland Mission 139 Chinese schools (and communism) 141, 180 Christianity: and communism 149–50; missionaries in Indonesia 175; missionaries in Malaya: 145, 151; and schooling 227–8; Western Christianity 4 Church Missionary Society (CMS) 130–4, 137, 142, 148–50, 243, 255

300 Index CIA 8, 166, 183, 185, 187–9, 191, 248, 255; see also NSA, Pentagon, State Department, USA Cold War 13–14; see also religion and Cold War, secularism and Cold War Commission of Education (Indonesia) 222 communalism: in India 27–8, 114–5, 248; in Singapore 27–8 communism 5, 10; anti-communism 14, 16; and Christianity 146–51; education against 140–2; in Indonesia 17, 26, 166, 168, 170–2, 174–5, 181, 184–6; in Malaya 126, 127, 128, 134–5, 143; see also Cold War, PKI Constituent Assembly (India) 37, 90, 91, 98, 109 Constitution 164, 241, 248, 255; Indian 33–4, 37, 80–1, 90–2, 103, 109, 110–11, 113, 217–9; Indonesian 174; Malaysian 11; US 34; Singaporean 42

modernising Indonesian schools 211–3; and religious extremism 206; religious instruction in Indian public schools 217–9; teacher training in Indonesia 215–6; see also secularism and education Education Act (Indonesia) 216 Egypt 43, 149 Emergency (British-Malaya) 125–8, 243, 253–4

Dalits 33, 252 Dani, Prabhakar Balwant 109 Dargahs 73–6; see also Delhi Darul Islam 166, 224 decolonisation 11–13; see also secularism and decolonisation Defence of India Rules 92 Delhi 15; Asian Relations Conference 23; Dargahs 73–6; disputes over places of worship 66–69; distribution of land 76–80; Islamic heritage 72–73; and Partition 64–66; as secular model city 58–61; socio-cultural changes 61–63; see also India Delhi Sultanate 61 diversity (religious) 1–2, 5–6, 23, 27, 30, 42, 48, 252; in India 63, 97, 241; in schools 206, 217; see also pluralism Duta Masyarakat (newspaper) 177–8, 180 Dutch colonialism 36, 166, 185, 212; and education 206–8, 210; and missionaries 222 Dutch companies and economic interests 166, 189, 191

Gandhi, Mahatma 23; assassination of 103–8, 115; and Muslim refugees 69, 70; and shrine renovations 74 Geertz, Clifford 205 Geise, N.J.C. 221 Gerwani 36–7 Girl Guides Association 139 Golwalkar, M.S. 108 Goodyear 188 Great Depression 23; in BritishMalaya 127; and religious schools in Indonesia 208 Guided Democracy (Indonesia) 167, 171, 176, 183 Gupta, Lala Hans Raj 109

education: Christian education in Java 220–4; Christian education in Singapore 224–9; in Indonesia after independence 209–11; in Indonesia before independence 207–9;

famine see food scarcity Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (FCC) 148 Ferouge, M. 221 Flores 26; and anti-communist killings 165, 172; and Christian education 220 food scarcity 69, 98, 103, 109, 114, 125, 139, 170 Foucault, Michel 35, 60 Fraser & Neave 189

Harian Rakyat (newspaper) 170, 179, 187 Harsono, Ganis 25 Hassan, Ahmad 33 Hasulie, Thomas 172 Hatta, Mohammed: declaration of independence 165; on Islam and equality 38–9; and school inspection 214; see also Sukarno Hindu(ism) 2, 5, 13, 25, 45, 61, 245; and education 217–9; Hindu Code Bill 37; Hindu nationalism 8, 15–16, 27–8, 78, 79, 91–101, 243, 248, 254; Hindus in Delhi 62; Hindu state 63; Hindu temples 65, 68, 71, 73, 74; and secularism 4

Index  301 Hindu Code Bill 37 Hindu Mahasabha 78, 104, 106, 108, 115 HMI 173 Hong Kong 131, 145, 149 India 1–2, 48; communalism in 27–8; decolonisation and Cold War 13–15; minorities 252–3; religious education 17, 217–9, 242–3; secularism in 4, 7–8, 10–11, 22, 248; spatial integration of 24–5; and Turkey 30–5; women’s movements and social reform 37–8, 242, 249; see also Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Madras, Madhya Bharat, North-West Frontier Province, Punjab; Indian National Congress (Congress Party) 73, 77–9, 96, 99–100, 102, 106, 116 Indonesia 2, 10–11, 13–14, 16–17, 22–3, 38–9, 43–8; Dutch colonialism 36, 207–9; education 205–7, 220–4; school inspection 213–5; spatial integration 24–27; women’s movement 36–7; see also Flores, Java, Jakarta, Medan, Sumatra, Timor; Indonesian Christian Women’s Association (PKWI) 36 Indonesian army (TNI): and anticommunist killings 166, 171–4, 176–7, 179, 181–4, 186, 247, 249, 253; army newspapers 180; US assistance to 187–9 Institute for the Teaching of Religion (Lembaga Pendidikan Agama) 215–6 International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) 138 International Press Institute 176 Iqbāl, Muhammad 32, 38 Iran 43, 149 Iraq 43 Islam: and communism in Indonesia 167–74, 185–6; Islamic places of worship in Delhi 65–80; Islamic organisations 16, 58, 182; Islamic schools 17, 209–216; Islamic women’s movements 36–7; in Malaysia 10–11, 29–30; and schooling in Indonesia 209–216; and secularism 4–5; and state in Indonesia 25–6, 38–9, 43–6, 165; in Turkey 31–3 Islamic Association of England 31 Iyengar, H.V.R. 113

Jakarta: demonstrations in 181, 183–5, 247; Muhammadiyah in 213; national media in 176–80; NU representation in 169; food crisis in 170; PKI lobbying activities 168; and religious conflicts 174; and religious schools 208, 211, 223; surveillance of religious cults 45, 47; US embassy in 173, 186–8; see also Indonesia Jakarta Charter 174 Japan 132, 149, 188 Java 8, 17, 45, 243; army involvement in killings 173, 179, 249; Christian schools 220–4; communist influence on schools 180–1; during anticommunist mass killings 164–5, 168, 172, 177–8; education after independence 209–11; educational reform 205–7; education until independence 207–9; land scarcity 169; mass conversions 174–5; mystical movements in 46–7; PKI activism 170–1; school inspection 213–5; school modernisation after independence 211–213; teacher training 215–6; youth mobilisation 182–3; see also Indonesia Jinnah, Muhammad Ali 92 KAMI 182 Kamla Bhawan (Delhi) 107 Kamla Nagar (Delhi) 107 KAPPI 182 Karo-Batak 175 Karol-Bagh (Delhi) 98–9 Karoli Baoli (Delhi) 68 Kediri 172, 175 Kemal, Mustafa Atatürk 24, 31–3 Kenya 149 Khan, Liaqat Ali 38 Khilafat movement 31 Koem, Liem 174 Kongres Wanita Indonesia 36 Koran 44, 47–8 land usurpation (Delhi) 72–3 League against Imperialism 23 League of Nations 36 Lee Kuan Yew: on Islam 44; on religion 40; on secularism 28 Lombok 168 Luns, J.A.H. 189

302 Index Madhya Bharat 111 Madras (city & Province) 109, 114, 218 madrasah (Islamic schools) 180, 208, 210, 212–3, 215; see also pesantren Malabar 93 Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) 134–5, 139 Malayan Communist Party (MCP) 126, 141; see also British-Malaya Marx, Karl 23; see also Marxism Marxism 39, 150–2 mass communication: radio 30, 41, 177, 179, 186–7; TV 30, 41, 177; see also press Masyumi 167, 168, 171, 178, 185–6 Mazzini, Giuseppe 23 Mecca (pilgrimage to) 44, 251 Medan 173 Methodist Church 58; in Malaya’s New Villages 132, 139, 142, 145, 147, 149; schools 224 Ministries of Religion 44; Indonesian 44–7, 209, 212–4, 216, 222 missionaries in British-Malaya 16, 243, 246, 254; cooperation with British colonial authorities 133–5; and education in New Villages 140–2; expulsion from China 130–3; female missionaries in Malaya 142–4; and global (anti-)communism 146–51; and health care in New Villages 135–8; Malayan Emergency as a missionary opportunity: 128–30; and transnational ecumenism 138–9; youth work in Malaya 144–6; see also missionaries in Indonesia missionaries in Indonesia: during the 1965/66 violence 173, 184; in schools 221–2, 228, 241; see also missionaries in British-Malaya Mosque Restoration Sub Committee 66–7 mosques: in Turkey 31; desecration/ destruction in Delhi 62–73, 75, 78 Muhammadiyah: during anti-communist mass violence in Indonesia 178, 180; in education: 208–15, 222, 250; public meeting 43 Mukhdi Akbar 46 Muslims: and Atatürk 31–2; communal hatred and violence in India 27, 89, 91–3, 95, 98–100, 105, 114, 241, 243, 245; Congress support among 73;

in Delhi 61–3, 66–70, 77, 80, 81, 106, 113, 248, 252; during anticommunist violence in Indonesia 172–3, 183; education in India 218, 226; Malaysian citizenship 29; proselytisation among 11, 30, 146–7, 226; and secularism in Indonesia 43–4; and secularism in India 249–50; see also Dargahs Nagpur 93 Nahdlatul Ulama 169, 171, 172, 178, 180, 182, 208, 243 Nasution, Abdul Haris 186 Natsir, Mohammad 33, 44 Naya Bazar (Delhi) 107 Nehru, Jawaharlal: on Pancasila 25–6; on Partition and communalism 27; on religious diversity 63, 69, 70; on refugee rehabilitation 97; on repair of sacred sites 74–5; on RSS 105–6, 108–9; and secularism 34, 61, 90–1, 104, 115–6, 248; on significance of Delhi 59; on Turkey 32 Netherlands, the 14, 222; see also Dutch colonialism New Rhotak Road (Delhi) 73 New Villages (Malaya) 134, 137, 139, 145, 147; Ipoh 136–7; Jin Jang 137; Kulai 137, 142, 144; Salak South 137; schools: 140–2; Sungei Buloh 137, 144; and women 143; see also British Malaya, Emergency non-state actors see secularism and nonstate actors North-West Frontier Province 93 NSA 187; see also CIA, Pentagon, State Department, USA Ottoman Empire 31, 33 Paharganj (Delhi) 62–3, 68, 72, 95 Pahari Imli (Delhi) 62 Pakistan 62–4, 66–9, 70, 75, 77–8, 80, 93, 98, 101, 253 Palestine 31 Pancasila 24–6, 36, 38, 44, 171, 181 Partition (Indian) 11, 15, 24, 27, 57, 80; and education 217, 230; HinduMuslim relations & violence 95, 109, 241, 252–3; and Indian secularism 248, 254; and places of worship 70–75; in Punjab 114; and RSS 91–4, 96,

Index  303 105–6, 116; and urban space 59–67; see also violence Patel, Vallabhbhai 70, 101, 104–6, 109, 112–13, 248 Pemuda Pancasila 173 Pentagon 20, 124, 185, 191, 255; see also CIA, NSA, State Department, USA pesantren (Islamic schools) 180, 208, 210, 212, 215, 222; see also madrasah Phatak Habash Khan (Delhi) 62, 68 PII (Pelajar Islam Indonesia) 173 PKI 16, 164–5, 247, 249, 253–4; ban of 182–3; destruction of party infrastructure 170–4; and education 180–1; and land reform 167–70; party strategies before 1965 185–6; publication activities 176–80; US assistance in destruction of 187–9; see also communism pluralism (religious) 2–3, 11, 14, 15, 23, 24, 45, 48, 241, 243–4, 246, 248–50; in education 206, 216, 223, 229; in India 92, 96, 216; see also diversity polygamy 36–7, 249; see also women Prasada, Shankar 63, 67 Presbyterian Church: in British-Malaya 132, 139, 145; in Singapore 224 press: British-Malayan 132; Indonesian 176–80, 186; Indian 107, 113; see also mass communication Protestant Christian Party (Indonesia) 174, 180 Pul Bangash (Delhi) 62 Punjab 66, 76–8, 89, 92–9, 102, 106–8, 114, 116; see also India radio see mass communication Rahman, Tunku Abdul 29, 30, 32 Red Cross: Australian 139; Indian 103; International 8, 14 refugees: in British-Malaya 139; and India’s Partition 59, 61–2, 65–9, 71–3, 76–9, 89, 95–8, 101–3, 107, 110, 113–4, 252–3; and schooling in India 217; see also relief work relief work: in British-Malaya 137, 151; in India 27, 77, 89, 96–7, 101–3, 114, 253 religion 4; and anti-colonialism 13; and Cold War 124–6, 255–6; and communism 172, 174; and customs in Malaya 147; and decolonisation 255–6; and equality 38–9; Gandhi

on 70; ideas about 22, 23; India’s Partition and 64–6, 91; interpretation of (theology) 42–4; institutionalisation of 44–8; and national (dis)integration 24, 41–2; politicised 1; primal 175; religious freedom 32, 110, 168; and secularisation 2, 6; and secularism 3, 5, 7–11, 33, 164–5, 244, 250; and social reform 35–8; state 25–7, 29, 30, 34, 242, 249; teaching of 17; as school subject 181, 208, 213, 216–29; teachers of 214–5; as a source of power 212; in US foreign policy 184; and violence 251–4; see also Christianity, Hindu(ism), Islam, Roman Catholic Church/Catholics, secularism Reserve Bank of India 109 Roman Catholic Church/Catholics: Catholic media in Indonesia 179; during anti-communist mass violence 171–5, 178, 182, 184, 190; in India 58; in Indonesia 26; in Indonesian education system 206, 209, 210, 220–8; in Malaya’s New Villages 130, 132–4, 138–9, 142, 150 RSS 15, 243; the ban of 103–8; after the ban 113–14; failure of ban 108–110; branches (shakhas) 92, 113; and government employees 110–12; and the Indian state 90–2; and misinformation campaigns 96–101; before Partition 92–6; and relief work 101–103 Sadar Bazar (Delhi) 62 Sakirman 26 Sarawak 29 schools see education school inspection 213–5 Second World War 3, 5, 13, 36, 39; and ecumenical Christianity 138, 150; and education 205, 209, 227; India during 92–3 secularisation (theory) 2, 4–6, 31, 229, 243, 246 secularism: in 20th century 6–7; in Christian churches 146–51; and Cold War 10, 14, 16–17, 124–6, 146–52, 254–6; colonial 11, 16, 58, 125–6, 132; and culture 3–5, 11; and decolonisation 10, 15, 57–8, 254–6; diverse historical authorship of 240–4; and education 180–1, 205–7,

304 Index 211–3, 218, 229–30; and European philosophy 15; and equality 33–9; as historical practice 1–3, 11, 57, 90, 164– 6, 239–40; as historical projects 7–9, 11, 23; as idea/ideology 11, 22–4, 90; and inequality 3, 35–6, 39, 49, 240–1; as modern interventionism 39–42; and non-state actors 1, 8–9, 12, 13, 14, 49, 242–4; and religious worship 76–7, 90; as social struggle 164–6, 190–1; and space 24–30, 57, 244–7; and state 1–3, 5–9, 26–30, 33–5, 43, 63, 89–90, 110–2, 164–5, 207, 247–54; and statesociety relationship 5–7, 12, 16, 206, 247–54; as theology 42–8; and war 13; and women 35–8 secularism studies 1, 5–7, 9, 11, 57–8, 90, 239–40, 244, 247; see also secularism Semarang 172, 220 Shukla, P.D. 218 Sikhs/Sikhism: Akali Party 100–101; and communalism 27, 68, 93, 94, 99, 105, 115; places of worship 65; refugees 62, 67, 72, 76–7, 89, 95, 97, 102–3, 107, 253; and religious education 217–8; in state administration 70; youth organisations 92 Sikka (District) 172 Sindh 66, 93 Singapore 2, 10–11, 13–14, 17, 22, 24, 30, 41, 44, 48, 189; Christian schools 224–9; communalism 27–8; diocese 129–32, 134, 138, 141, 143, 146–7; religion and secularism 39–42; women’s movement 37 Singapore Council of Women (SCW) 37 Soestrino, Boedhi 173 Soviet Union 13, 126, 184, 186, 189; see also Cold War, USA space: contested public 31, 94, 95, 165–6, 181–4, 190; and Partition 64–6; physical and representational/ conceptualised 64–5; sacred 74; secular 227; and secularism studies 57–8; relevance in secularism studies 244–7; urban space and secularism 15, 80–1; see also secularism and space, violence and space Sri Lanka 10, 149 St. Andrew’s School (Singapore) 227 St. John Ambulance Association 139 Standard Vacuum Co. 188 state see secularism and state

State Department (US) 185, 187–8; see also CIA, NSA, Pentagon, USA Subandrio (Foreign Minister) 177, 183, 249 Subzi Mandi (Delhi) 63, 68, 72, 99, 103, 107 Sudan 149 Sudirman 173 Sukarno: on capitalism 39; and China 179; and communism 249; and education policy 211; and independence movement 165, 182; on Islamic theology 43; and national unity 24–5, 174; fall of 173; and freedom of press and opinion 176–7; on Pancasila 25–6, 38; on Turkey 32–3 Sumatra 45, 243; army involvement in killings 173; Christian communities 209; communist propaganda 178; during anti-communist mass killings 165, 179, 183; foreign investments 188–9; Islamic schools 208, 213, 215; land reform 170; mass conversions 175; unofficial religions 46–7; women’s movements 36–7; youth mobilisation 181; see also Indonesia, Java Surakarta (Solo) 45, 209 Surjosumpeno 173 Swadeshi movement (India) 24 Syria 31, 43 Taman Siswa 205 Tamil Nadu (India) 114 Tanzania Taylor, Charles 7 Templer, Gerald 129–30 Tibet 25 Timor 26, 165, 172, 175, Tjan, Harry 171, 173–4 Turkey 1, 14; Kemalism 24, 31–33, 43; see also Kemal, Mustafa Atatürk TV see mass communication Uganda 149 UMNO 29, 32, 134 Unilever 189 United Provinces 70, 94, 99, 104–5, 107 USA 13, 14, 39, 145; anti-communism in Indonesia 170, 184–6; religion in Cold War 124, 138–9, 150; role in anticommunist mass murder 187–9; see also CIA, Cold War, NSA, Pentagon, State Department

Index  305 urban studies 58 Urs festival (Delhi) 74–5 US Rubber Co. 188 USIS 186 USSR see Soviet Union violence: anti-communist 11, 16, 164–8, 170, 172–80, 182–3, 187–91, 245, 247; epistemic 252; ethnic 40; as historical context of secularism 253–5; late (Dutch) imperial 214; inter-religious 10, 15, 27, 57, 59, 60, 62–3, 65–6, 73, 76, 90, 92, 96–8, 100, 104–6, 109, 114, 116, 217, 241; and space 246–7; of state against religion 251–2 Visch, Henk 186 Weber, Max 23 West Bengal (India) 101, 114, 149 West Timor (Indonesia) 26; and anti-communist killings 165, 172

women: during anti-communist violence in Indonesia 164, 178, 181, 186; equality of 43; female refugees in India 68, 97, 107; in Malaya’s New Villages 142–4, 145; women’s movements and secularism 8, 13, 35–9, 48, 242, 249; see also polygamy World Christian Council (WCC) 138–9, 148 World Church Service 139 Yayasan Harta Sosial & Yayasan Sosial Islam 213 Yogyakarta 208, 214, 221, 223 youth: during anti-communist killings in Indonesia 169, 170–5, 178–9, 182–4, 186, 190, 253; Indian religious youth movements 92; “pemuda” (youth) culture 182; refugee 68; target group in New Villages 134, 143, 144–6, 152; youth organisations and secularism 8, 150 YMCA/YWCA 145