Divides in South Asia Prompted by British Colonialism

As previously discussed in class this week, South Asia carries a heavy history of the massive divide between religions and races. When the British established power in the 19th, a divide was also established between Pakistan and India, creating great indifferences among the two cultures (Indian and Pakistan war of 1947). This divide was created in order for the British to establish some sort of dominance and control over the state. Colonialism formed by the British harmed South Asia in many ways, but most importantly they crippled the ties between religious cultures of the Indian communities and the Muslim communities. In India’s government, false powers were given by the British, to leaders who had very little knowledge about running a government. One of these leaders was Nehru. With the help of the British colonial powers, a divide between Pakistan and India created a massive massive war over frivolous discrepancies, mainly prompted by British intervention. However, for Nehru, “the driving forces of the modern transformation were science and secularism, which were in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the most powerful forces transforming the world. But the progressive effects of these forces on India had been deformed – particularly when it came to religion – by the structure of colonialism itself, through which the British had manipulated religion and distorted India’s modern development to serve their own exploitative purposes” (Gilmartin Page 25). As described by Gilmartin, Nehrus inexperience and the British intervention caused chaos. This establishment of power founded by colonialism is also described in India at 70, and the Passing of Another Illusion. This reading mentions “Nehru’s economic policies boosted India’s monopoly capitalists. His priorities were heavy industries and elite polytechnics, which precluded major investments in primary education, health, and land reform.” Again we see the established ties of colonialism and the reign of incoherent leaders such as Nehru driving major decisions for South Asia during the 19th century, and onward.

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