A 1914 letter by a Lord from UK- Must See

30 May 2010

For a change a completely different topic. Let us look at an inspiring letter of a Lord who was Governor of Madras in early 20th century. I always admired Britisher's strange sense of discipline, devotion and a sort of dry sense of humor. In India several of them who were administrators have left their marks quite visible in many parts of India. Of course one biggest one is the English language. I consider now English as one of the Indian languages.

I remember a few months back while visiting USA and giving a lecture in a university I casually mentioned before my lecture "I come from Mumbai, my accent is different from yours so please ask me if you do not follow any thing." I also added,"Though, I think many of you may have to be used to my style of English. The number of people who use English in India is perhaps more than the number of those in USA and UK put together."


Lord John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland (1860-1925)
Lord John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland (1860-1925)
Gopuram (main door) of Rameshwaram Temple
Gopuram (main door) of Rameshwaram Temple
Ramanatha Swamy Temple
Ramanatha Swamy Temple
Sea Shore Rameshwaram
Sea Shore Rameshwaram
Rameshwaram Temple
Rameshwaram Temple
Railway Bridge
Railway Bridge
Pamban Bridge
Pamban Bridge

After my lecture apart from Science related questions many were curious about this fact ( I do not know exact numbers. No body really knows but I think over all it should be correct).

On the reverse side influence, once a British guy was telling me in a typical British style (Is there a British style? Perhaps many Britishers might ask, I think there is) , "Best thing which came out of British rule over India is - all these Indian restaurants in London."


I am copying below a letter written from Madras Governor Lord John Sinclair, 1st Baron Pentland (1912-1914) to Viceroy of India. He is the one who was responsible for building up Pamban Bridge which connects main land of India to the island of Rameshwaram.

The letter shows how much he loved our (India's) culture and style as an administrator. It also talks of “Adam's Bridge” with a lot of affection. What we are doing today -- talking about destroying it??

We need today politicians and administrators who love their constituency in a similar way and create in a similar way atmosphere of social justice and love for our history and culture and further use it to build up infra structure in our country, we need millions of bridges or similar structure like Pamban Bridge. But where are our leaders and administrators who can do similar wonders?

The country is looking for political leaders, administrators with similar dedications. Let us hope top political parties like BJP or Congress start a training program for its politicians towards this goal. Here is the text of the letter by Lord Pentland.

"For me Rameshwaram, very much like India as a whole is the real world. We English men live in a mad house of abstractions. Vital life in Rameshwaram has not yet withdrawn into the capsule of the head. It is the whole body that lives. No wonder the English man feels dreamlike: the complete life of Rameshwaram is something of which he merely dreams.... I did not see an English man in India who really lived there. They are all living in England, that is, in a sort of bottle filled with English air.... History can be events or memory of events.... along the Bay of Bengal the Madras Presidency runs, with the well-governed city of Madras at its center and the sublime and glorious temples of Tanjore, Tiruchi, Madurai and Rameshwaram adorning its Southern boundaries. And then Adam’s Bridge- a reef of sunken islands’ beckons us across the Palk Straits to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where civilization flourished more than 2000 years ago....Linga stones may be seen in many places on the highways in my Presidency. Hindus break upon them the coconuts which they are about to offer in sacrifice. Usually the phallic ritual is simple and becoming; it consists in anointing the stone with consecrated water or oil, and decorating it with leaves. At the Rameshwaram temple, the Linga stone is daily washed with Ganga water, which is afterwards sold to the pious, as holy water or mesmerized water has been sold in Europe. All these are a little part of my beloved Presidency - indeed my favourite India. Right from the dawn of history, India is extraordinarily continuous in time. In space, on the other hand, it is extraordinarily discontinuous.... from early times in India, it is ethnology, philology, and archeology that give and will give us some notions of the truth. From archaeology much can be expected. I would earnestly request you to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to undertake an extensive and intensive survey of Rameshwaram and its beautiful environs, particularly with reference to the historic and primordial Adam’s Bridge."

– John Sinclair, Letter to Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, December 1, 1914




The letter has been copied from the wikipedia site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair,_1st_Baron_Pentland

The site does also talk about some escapist attitude of Lord Pentland. But let us ignore it. Let us get inspired by his love for our culture and his strong contributions like building up of Pamban Bridge and starting in India discussions on town planning in current era.

Photos taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/1stLordPentland.jpg, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2d/Rameswaram_Temple_Tower.jpg/398px-Rameswaram_Temple_Tower.jpg, http://www.rameswaram.co.in/photo/rameswaram_railway_bridge.jpg, http://www.rameswaram.co.in/photo/rameswaram_sea_view.jpg, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rameswaram_Temple_Tower.jpg

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Comments 52 comments

suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

I like the part of your article where you say that we have yet to learn so many things about discipline and governance,fair,impartial and clean and not the one we are having in the name of democracy that we have, to rule over us.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! suny

Thanks a lot for visit. Yes quite true!


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

It seems you in India have the same problem we in America have with politicians - they want to rule us. They all want to be like kings of old.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 6 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Enjoyed this hub. Someday I must re-visit India, but this time I'll venture farther than Mumbai!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Sheila

Thanks for the visit. Yes quite true politicians are quite the same. But there is one big difference. In USA (much more in most of Western Europe) to some extent there is socialism, in the sense that every working person can provide a life with minimal decency to his/her family (food, house, road infra structure, electricity communication infra structure etc. is available). To some extent politicians are also responsible for it.

In India there has been just talks and slogans about it. This talking has been used to propagate political feudalism by leaders of some political parties. There is very little real action towards this goal of minimal life style. Though some accountability is now going to come, hopefully.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Paraglider

Thanks for the visit. Welcome to India! If you come to Mumbai do contact me, I live in Mumbai most of the time.

You comment reminds me of an article in a Sunday news paper, I had read while visiting London. It was about tourism in Goa. Article talked nicely about Goa and beaches. The last sentence in the article was "But if you are thinking about going all the way to India just to enjoy beaches of Goa, then you are crazy"

when you left this comment by chance I was just reading your interesting article "How to be a Scientist - and how not to be one!" Very well written!


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

How Indians can forget the contributions made by British. It is ‘English’ by dint of which we the Indians are united and proud to say to-day that we are the citizens of Indian Union. British created not only Ramseur Bridge in South, Howrah Bridge in the East and many others. It is easy to destroy something but difficult to create. Thanks for sharing.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Roychoudhuryji

Thanks for the visit. Yes agree about constructions etc. I am not so sure about how far back the concept of Indian Union goes. I think idea of Bharatvarsha (name of India in many Indian languages) is supposed to be prehistoric. Maurya and Gupta empires more than 2300 years back did have Indian union (though name was obviously different) which included quite a bit of what we know today as South Asian subcontinent. Kanishka Empire in 1 century AD included most of north India so did the Gupta empire in 3rd to 5 th century AD. Adi Shankaracharya's tours and foundations of four mathas several centuries back defines boundaries of Bharata quite closed to what we know today as India.

But surely English today is as much of an Indian language as most of the other Indian languages are. That has been the style of India always. We have always adopted willingly to new ideas, culture and new words etc. (class known as tatsam or videshi words in Indian languages) from others much more easily and amalgamated that in our style. I consider that as our big strength.

It is this strength which has left our basic style and culture intact and you feel almost whole universe included in it. Otherwise if you look around us almost all countries have become practically Muslim with lot of their ancient style destroyed.

Lot of our cultural attitudes and edifices today do include styles, structures and ideas built during British time. The credit for this goes indeed to both our style and discipline and British style and discipline.

I quite agree with your last sentence "It is easy to destroy something but difficult to create." For example it is a bit surprising that some people are bent on destroying or degrading the bridge called Adam's bridge or known as Rama's path to Sri Lanka which must have been created perhaps by geologically natural processes since prehistoric time and there is very little protest about it. All kinds of strange arguments are being floated to support this destruction, secularism, Hindu gods are myths, economy and what not.


dreamreachout 6 years ago

Wonderful hub!! Indeed, the greatest contribution of the British was imbibing the English language into the Indian society. The discipline of that era if followed today would have beckoned another Golden age to India.

As for Rameshwaram, I do have fond memories of the place as also of the Pamban Bridge. I still remember that we came back from Rameshwaram and had those idlis at the Mandapam railway station!!

One point to add here, the greatest contribution of Rameshwaram in recent times has been A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, our best nuclear scientist who went on to become the President of the nation.

All this could not have been possible without the Pamban Bridge!!

Great hub .. Thumbs up!!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! dreamreachout

Welcome! I quite agree. Dr. Abdul Kalam is a great contributions. His sort of autobiography "Wings of Fire", I consider one of the best books I have ever read, an ever inspiring one.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 6 years ago from California

Hey there! This is a very interesting hub....I have to visit there one day! Ofcourse you know what I think about the British! ha...from my last hub you visited....ha

Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your articles.....Best, GPAGE


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot GPAGE! Same thing with me I have to see your hubs, I enjoy frankness with which you write.


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

Thank you for your wonderful hub. I think the information was great. I so hope some day to make it to India.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! BJ

Thanks a lot. Welcome!

If you need any help (I live in Mumbai) for trip to India do contact me.


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

I WILL REMEMBER THIS INVITE!


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Great Hub soumyasrajan. I really like what I know about the Indian culture and look forward to learning more. I like when you say "We need today politicians and administrators who love their constituency in a similar way and create in a similar way atmosphere of social justice and love for our history and culture and further use it to build up infra structure..." and I know this can be applied to every country around the world.

In the above comments it is interesting to note how fondly you speak of United States Socialism giving a sense of minimal life quality to everyone. There are many people in the United States who believe our social programs are destroying the country and will lead to a communist dictatorship. I enjoy seeing this from the point of view of someone who is from a country where there is no socialism in the government


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! John

Thanks for the visit.

I quite agree with you. I feel wall between socialism and capitalism drawn is quite artificial and unnatural. For me socialism means a minimal style life available to all family members of every working persons in a country. I feel it has been brought in USA, Europe etc. equally by government as well as business people like Ford with vision of growth of infra-structure and good life for employees. In country like India and communist countries accept for changes in recent decades ruling parties politicians just talked about it with nontention to do some thing about it.

I wrote some months back 3 articles on financial turmoil - specially about strengths in India or USA to face it. Perhaps you may enjoy it. One of them is http://hubpages.com/money/Financial-Turmoil---Indi...

Much more analysis and discussions is needed for this.

I was just telling my daughter about first two chapters your interesting coming up novel about elves and human being etc. It reminds me of hobbit - Bilbo.


packerpack profile image

packerpack 6 years ago from India, Calcutta

Loved reading it. I had no idea of any such letter. Thanks for sharing!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks for your visit packerpack. The letter and lord seems to have interesting effects on India.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

I've been interested in India since I was a young boy and wrote a piece in grammar school titled, "India: A Land of Contrast." India has a great deal of fascinating history -- and fiction as well. I appreciate learning more about India from your writing. Thumbs up.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! William

Thanks for the visit. Very much look forward to your comments. I feel the same with your articles I learn from them a lot.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

I really enjoyed this hub, as well as all the comments. I love India even if i have not been there. There is something of it that I hold, maybe of a past life! Some times I have an accent as if i am from there if I am talking to someone from there. It happens naturally, I have no control over it. ~aloha~


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Sa`ge

Thanks a lot for so moving comment. Your poems also show you must have connection with India. Come over some time. I live in Mumbai. Contact me when you decide to come.


raakachi profile image

raakachi 6 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

Nice hub! I agree with you.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot raakachi. Yuppee!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA

Howdy soumyasrajan - An interesting article. One might wonder if the English rulers (etc.) liked ruling more than they may have really liked India. No matter that. I enjoyed your article, and I was very pleased to find that so many of my Hubpages friends also liked your article.

Gus :-)))


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Gus

Thanks a lot for the visit and interesting comment. Well! As usual we have records in history of only top rulers. I am not so sure. Many top rulers might have felt their stay in India as punishment. Top rulers have very easy life. Some of them may have just liked power and some may have liked both and also learnt a lot in India. Over all they may not have that much to do. Most parts of India were actually ruled by Maharajas. British control was rather indirect.

But we do not know much about ordinary English people, who came here. Lot many may have come at that time to find just money or to do simple jobs as Secretary, Engineer or as small Businessman. Many of them may have found very hard to adjust to different culture and weather. Many of them may have gone back quite disillusioned too or may not have been that nice during their stay here too.

But over all I feel that dry sense of humor, sort of inbuilt in their style, ability to make fun of their own deeds and some strange sense of discipline they followed does help Britishers (for example you see a lot of statues, temples etc. very ancient ones defaced and you hear that they were defaced by Southern Europeans Portuguese, Spanish etc. in India but similar stories are much less about Britishers). Incidentally compared to even Southern Europeans, Muslim rulers who were any way mostly from India only caused much more destruction and killings (British rulers mostly supported them in such acts for their own power games) and that still continues with monstrous army top and feudal rulers in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran (earlier period) etc. and their control terrorists and conservative Muslim sects. This is being also strongly helped/controlled by Western countries specially USA and UK, who finance and arm these rulers, even other criminals with all kind of excuses. This has been going on not just from 2001 but practically from the time India became Independent from British rule. This is not just current history in these parts but also in many other countries. Of course most of it goes on in the name of good rule, peace, Nuclear arm control and what not - which have least to do with any of this destruction or power game. I wonder what average Britishers or Americans feel about it.

It looks like some basic corruption at top levels (It is not easy to find any other explanation, wikileaks also suggest that) must be the reason why USA, UK etc. are bent on arming and financing these rulers - people who may be controlling the terrorist groups who are killing their own soldiers or people in India, Israel etc. and fighting a war from both sides.

I do not hear much noise about it in British or US press and media. There are some Peace brigades who are saying let us get our soldiers out but even they just mean that. That just means continue to arm and finance these top guys who are controlling main destruction and killings.


HubMania profile image

HubMania 6 years ago from India

Nice, interesting and informative Hub. Loved reading it.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot HubMania for the visit and appreciation.


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Interesting historical information. I'm sure the English had a great deal of influence in India. I also think that the distance of years allows people to look at it from a different perspective than I'm sure they did back then.

Good read


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Duchess for the visit appreciation. About distance of years it is just about 60 years - not such a big time period in a country where you know for example Rama is supposed to have lived more than 800,000 years back and people are still quite a bit moved by his story and a lot of cultural ideas of life is governed by style he is supposed to have adopted.

But as I mentioned in above comments there is not much anti- British feeling in India. Mainly because main rulers were any way Indians. The British rule was quite a bit indirect via control on these rulers.

The style of struggle against them was colored by Gandhi's style which did not have space for hatred etc. and also as I mention above Britishers themselves have a sense discipline and their dry sense of humor. These formed the base of feelings about them. From what ever I have heard from people of previous generation, I think feeling was more or less the same even in fifties or even earlier when they were ruling- even though a lot of wealth and prosperity in India was lost during that time.


Wayne Litchford profile image

Wayne Litchford 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

The spiritual link the people of India seem to have with all things natural and supernatural has always intrigued me. When listening to a person from India speak, I always sense a humble spirit that has, somehow, found the path to enlightenment...a blessed state.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Wayne

Thanks a lot for such a strong comment and so much love for people for India. I live in Mumbai, if you come to India some time, do plan to visit us.

To some extent in any country particularly, such a large with one billion people and which has substantial percentage of people following any major religion you can think of or of any race or color you can think of will always have some people who are not so good in their style.

But over all what you feel is true, many from India, it does not matter which religion they are or what color they have, do have spiritual leanings and polite style. Perhaps upbringing with learning a lot from grand mother, father etc. in childhood, as I mention in some of my articles and seeing all the time different kind of people, religion, accommodating different views etc. helps a lot. I often feel USA is going in that direction. The mixing taking place in USA today of different styles is some thing very similar to what happened in India more than 2000 years back. Let us hope both these countries continue to have more and more such assets.


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

soumyasrajan, I love history, and especially history beyond the mainstream, so this was a very interesting article to me. It would have taken alot of personal research to learn what you so freely gave me here. Thank you so much!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Another beautiful hub! Thank you and God bless you!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot RunAbstract for the visit and nice comment. I was just going through your nice articles on not so mainstream. Actually I found this just by chance. I was searching for some thing and found in Wikipedia this letter. I found it quite interesting then learnt a little more about Lord Pentland. His son also seems to have contributed some interesting things. He perhaps emigrated to USA.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Micky

Thanks a lot. Your visits are always a big pleasure.


VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image

VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA 6 years ago from India.

No one talks of destroying the Rameswaram bridge... and no sane person would do it. Rameswaram is far away from "Adams bridge".

Adams bridge is a under-sea link between India and Srilanka, where the sea is too shallow for ships to cross over. For that, all the ships have to come after circling the shores of Srilanka. If a ship has to sail from Tuticorin to Chennai, a distance of 600 Kms by road, it has to sail around Colombo, Triconamalai and then to Chennai. This distance is more than double. Rameswaram bridge, now used for rail, road and sea-transport is separate from the Adams bridge and is not in dispute.

If a portion of the shallow waters along Adams bridge are deepened to enable ships to cross it, how much distance will it save? Without taking this, some people mix it with religion and cause hurdles in development schemes.

Those who plan the Sethu bridge are also Hindus and worship Ram as their God. Some people need not think Hinduism is their own private property. They are not going to protect Hinduism... they can only stand, shed some tears, clubbing their hands and witnessing the poor people engaged in "protecting" Hinduism. They can only incite poor people to vandalism... they themselves will hide behind doors when issues come to Court, putting the blame on others.


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Dear Venugopal

Thanks a lot for the visit and comment. I respect your knowledge and devotion to History very much. But I do not agree with sentiments you expressed in your comment.

First of all I did not mention in my article any where that people are talking about destroying Rameshwaram Bridge. I do not know why you mention that.

About other aspects you mention here are my opinions.

1. About creating this Sethusamudram Channel (I think sea link you are mentioning is called by this name?) and destroying Adam's bridge, I have the opinion that the project should not be taken up any further without making proper studies of all aspects. It should not have been started even. Some reasons why I feel so I give below. The links below give some figures to support that. They show that how government spends 100's of crores of rupees and gives contracts to foreign companies without going through any proper studies. Note that some of this started when BJP was in power in Center. So culprits are not just in Congress. Apart from Economic aspects, there are cultural and environmental reasons also.

I think even Hindu sentiments never claim that Adam's Bridge was created by Men only. Those ancient stories also only talk about Monkeys using floating stones (so a natural process) to create the bridge. These stories that Hindus claim that bridge was made by men and a proof can be found are invented by those who want to mock our country and Hindus (of course most of this brigade in in our country only, outsiders except for a very few are generally least bothered about what happens in our country or what do Hindu stories say). Whether Adam's bridge was created by Rama's Vanar Sena (monkey- brigade) or it is created by a natural process is immaterial. It is a fact that the project will hurt sentiments of 100's of millions of people and will destroy environmentally some thing which has been created by geological changes or depositions of 100's of 1000 years of processes. There are reports in links below which say that sea is shallow there because of either deposits made due to currents in two directions or because of earth movements up, long back, a very rare formation which can be noticed even from outer space.

Historical evidence also suggests that the bridge natural or artificial was used by people to cross from India to Sri Lanka until 14th-15th century.

It is quite possible that Hindu sentiments and stories have also been result of a wish not to destroy such a natural formation. This style to support environment via stories is not uncommon in Hindu style.

Some thing involving such complications for even to spend 10% of money which has been spent so far, much more studies should have been made (whole project requires 100's of times more money). In our country even though we have democracy but almost all of our political parties are managed in a feudal manner by a person or one or two families. Result is that such decisions are taken in just few seconds, in a very feudal style with no proper analysis.

I feel developing proper rail, road infra -structure instead of these money guzzlers and corrupt money making operations for a few would serve purposes of the country and Tamilnadu, much better.

http://www.livemint.com/sethuproject.htm

http://kalyan97.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/654/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%27s_Bridge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sethusamudram_Shippin...

2. About political aspects - my view is opposite of what you feel. I do not consider BJP or Congress as left or right or Hindu or non-Hindu or secular, communal etc. Our these two main parties are both Centrist parties. They have to be in a country of our size and diversity. I did not see much difference in ruling style, when BJP was in power (though as far as development is concerned I do feel that it did much better than current Congress for that short period of its rule).

I do not know about whom you are talking, when you talk of "Hinduism being private property of some people". There is no doubt that just like any community, among Hindus there may be some people who hold extreme views. But just the style, diversity and freedom in Hinduism is such that it always keeps such people in control. Style of Hindus -I have written some articles about them. I do not see any evidence that Hindu extremists are being given much attention by the society in India. Nor have they much menace creating capacity.

I do not even see that Hindus bring that much religion into political or economical decision making.

I pity those who claim that Hindus are saying in above issue that proof will be found about Bridge being man made. Even Hindu ritualism says that Rama was supposed to have lived in time-frame of much more than million years ago and Bridge was created as I described above. Those who claim that Hindus are saying that proof will be found are trying to fool and degrade a community of more than a billion people and are fooling nobody but themselves. Every body knows that no physical evidence can be found for events that long back, except for tracing some continuity in sentiments. Even that trace so far has never been traced that long back. Though Kosambi in his very interesting History books did try to trace a little- a few thousand years.

While I do not see much evidence of Hindus as a community raising too much religion in decision making, I do see evidence that a lot of others do. Most of politicians in parties like Congress, Communists, some Socialists, all community oriented parties (Shiv sena, MNS, DMK, AIDMK, BSP, Muslim parties,Mamata's party, Mulayam or Laloo's parties etc.), editors and anchors in media and press etc. (most of our media or press is also essentially managed in feudal style by one or two families) - almost all those who call themselves liberal and secular (but their behavior is opposite of that ), they do raise religion in almost every issue they talk about. They use the tool of abusing practically every one in India communal, fascist etc. It is they, who have ruled our country for most of last six decades and their rule is by using such abusive feudal style and vote bank politics to manipulate every thing.

As I mention above almost all parties in our country except BJP and to some extent Communists (even these also have short term trends similar to others) have cadre based management. They are being managed in a feudal manner by one or two families or persons.

The parties with feudal family management are generally least interested in creating an environment in which we can create a minimal life style for family of every working person-some thing most countries have achieved long back. For me that is the core aim of development. The feudal ruler is only interested in continuing its rule, all other things become secondary. They use all such tools calling people communal, fascist etc. or vote bank political sentiments etc., to drive people's attention away from the mess they have been creating.

Above example is not very far from this truth. There are of course occasional bright spots like Kalam's rise to President-ship etc., Narasimha Rao's sudden move to make License raj dysfunctional or BJP's attempt to use Highway creation for developing economy. But very few are away from clutches of above mentioned mess creators.

I feel it is much better to be away from this mudslinging on others and to keep focus in rebuilding our country with the goal of minimal life style as driving force for all business, economic cultural activity. In past Gandhi had quite successfully brought country closed to this path in an admirable manner. We can do it again.


ram_m profile image

ram_m 6 years ago from India

There is a lot to ponder in this hub. The admirable aspect of the colonial British ruler was their ability to appreciate the good aspects of the ruled as Lord Sinclair. There were many like him and probably the most noteworthy was Lord William Jones, the orientalist and founder of Asiatic society. You have mentioned above Indian politicians be given training which is an eminently sensible idea. A very timely hub


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! Ram

Thanks a lot for the visit and so nice and useful comment. Asiatic Society has indeed served India so much. Even now libraries run by them are among largest.


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

soumyasrajan, ever since I was a young child, I have been intrigued and fascinated by the country of India and its cultures and peoples.

And I believe that a great many of us here in America are quite familiar with "Indian-accented" English. Nearly every day, millions of us have at least one telephone conversation with an Indian person (in India) who is either working as a telemarketer, a customer service representative, or a technician.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! feenix

Thanks for the visit. I enjoyed very much your expressions and admiration about India and BPO services.

If you plan to see real India, just plan and come over. I live in Mumbai, when ever you decide to come over do write to me. May be stay with us, if we are there at that time (Just now I am visiting USA for a few months).


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

soumyasrahan, thank you very much for the invitation. It would please me very much to stay with you and your family. I would be honored.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 5 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Good hub, thank you.

I was last in India in 1978, wanted to go back this year but for whatever reason the Indian Government have now ruled that all visas must be issued from ones country of birth, and as I live in Malaysia but come from the UK, that's a long way to go for a visa!

My father was in India 35 years earlier, i.e. 1943, when he was based there during WW2, he loved it, living up in Rawalpindi before he took the long walk to Rangoon.

Possibly earlier generations may have visited, 300 years is a long time for our nations to have been linked so intimately.

You are correct, the Brits administered India very indirectly, and the Maharajahs were allowed to do most of the ruling, but that British administrator was overlooking all decisions.

Ironically, at it's peak, the Imperial British Empire had more India soldiers in it's service than British ones, and so by default your own troops maintained British control.

Someone mentioned the gift of curry houses that the Indian immigrants had given the UK, well it goes far deeper than that, our Indian cousins have integrated far deeper than offering Britons their Number One food choice, and are amongst the most industrious people ever to grace England's shores.

I look forward to visiting again when I can get to London for visa, India is a powerhouse nation in todays world, and as your people increasingly enter into western ideals, there is a sizable market to be enjoyed.

When the Brits first came it was to benefit from the riches that controlling the Empire offered, to a degree, we still visit for the same reasons, but yet it always feels like home as well..... strange, but we have this affinity.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Hi! aguasilver

Thanks a lot for your visit and comment. A very interesting comment. I also do not like that visa rule. I think Indian Government must have done to reciprocate what UK must have done first that you get Visa only in country of origin. Neither this idea of reciprocating nor such rules help any one. We seem to be creating endless web of such unnecessary restrictions. They seem to effect also more people who deserve unrestricted visits while those who should be stopped overcome such restrictions easily. In today's era of internet, surely all consulates in world are linked together and they must have common server to check every one's credentials. Why should they introduce such rules?

Do plan to come. There must be some loopholes to over come this rule of country of origin. Just visit Indian consulate and try to take help of some body there. May be tell some official your father was based in India during WW2. May be it helps.

I am just now in USA but will be back in Mumbai by the end of this month. I live very close to downtown. So do visit us when ever you are there.

I also find this affinity you describe quite interesting and quite natural. I particularly liked your feeling of affinity via past via your father. He must have had an interesting life. Has he visited India recently? I wonder how he would have felt.

In reverse direction I have developed similar affinity towards West. I have stayed in UK occasionally for a few months as a visiting professor. So much more in company of academic people. I enjoyed very much. But I have visited USA much more and have stayed there quite often for long periods of time. Both places I visited initially more to earn money as salaries of professors in India were very low. But over the years I feel now USA is almost like second home country for me. Even in Europe and UK I feel quite a bit similar that these are the places where I can visit and have friendships just like home.


prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 5 years ago from Tumkur

A useful hub.It is true that,British officers sincerely tried to preserve our monuments,historical evidences,etc.We must be thankful for that


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Prasad for the visit. Yes! I quite agree.


Manthan 5 years ago

Dear SS Sir

I just read this hub. In fact I took up these links from www.speakingtree.in or ST, as we fondly call it.

Really wonderful hub. I still have to read your other hubs. As regards your responses, it takes several hours to read and digest them :) :)

Thank you.


soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Thanks a lot Manthan for the visit. Hope you are enjoying them articles and comments.


sheilanewton profile image

sheilanewton 4 years ago from North Shields, UK

Thanks so much for this. Maybe we British have one or two saving graces after all!!


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA Author

Oh! Sheila Britisher's style does have several interesting assets. Some of them quite unique. I do not know whether you read my comments, let me copy from one of them below. This is more from my observations while staying in London some times and meeting Brits in USA. Otherwise I was born after British rulers left India.

"But over all I feel that dry sense of humor, sort of inbuilt in their style, ability to make fun of their own deeds and some strange sense of discipline they followed does help Britishers (for example you see a lot of statues, temples etc. in India very ancient ones defaced and you hear that they were defaced by Southern Europeans Portuguese, Spanish etc. in India but similar stories are much less about Britishers). "

In another comment I wrote

"But surely English today is as much of an Indian language as most of the other Indian languages are. That has been the style of India always. We have always adopted willingly to new ideas, culture and new words etc. (class known as tatsam or videshi (foreign) words in Indian languages) from others much more easily and amalgamated that in our style. I consider that as our big strength.

It is this strength which has left our basic style and culture intact and you feel almost whole universe" included in it. Otherwise if you look around us almost all countries have become practically Muslim with lot of their ancient style destroyed.

Lot of our cultural attitudes and edifices today do include styles, structures and ideas built during British time. The credit for this goes indeed to both our style and discipline and British style and discipline."

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