The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire
by William Dalrymple
On 28 August 1608, Captain William Hawkins . . . became the first commander of an
EIC [East India Company] vessel to set foot on Indian soil.
India then had a population of 150 million - about a fifth of the world's total - and was
producing about a quarter of global
manufacturing: indeed in many ways it was the world's industrial powerhouse and the
world's leader in manufactured textiles. [page 14 -- Mughal authorities allowed the
English East India Company to establish a small trading settlement at Surat] . . .
Tipu went out of his way to woo and protect the Hindus of his own dominions. From the
beginnings of his reign he had loaded the temples of his realm with presents, honours
and land. . . . But it was the great temple of Sringeri that always received his most
generous patronage, . . . Tipu put on record his horror at damage done to the temple by
a Maratha raiding party during a Maratha invasion of Mysore [pages 319-320 ] . . .
The Company's conquest of India almost certainly remains the supreme act of
corporate violence in world history. [page 394]
William Dalrymple has written several books on India, has lived in India on and off
since 1989, and spends most of the year at his Mehrauli farmhouse in the outskirts of
Delhi. He has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Duff Cooper Memorial
Prize, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the
Year Award, the Hemingway, the Kapuscinski and the Wolfson Prizes.
[The policemen who supervised and sometimes even assisted the rampaging Hindu mobs in
Gujarat have been rewarded and promoted. The RSS has 45,000
branches, its own range of charities and 7 million volunteers preaching its doctrine of
hate across India. They include Narendra Modi--Arundhati Roy,
monster in the mirror," theguardian.com, December 13, 2008]
Ram Puniyani, "Why Did Muslim Rulers Destroy Hindu Temples? Facts and Myths," YouTube, June 18, 2014
[Through most of the 20th century, Hindu nationalism was not a mainstream view.
Especially after a Hindu nationalist assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, . . . For most of its
past, India was neither Hindu nor a nation, . . .
Hindu kings had begun the Indian tradition of desecrating one another's temples
by the seventh century, long before the dawn of Indo-Muslim rule. . . .
For a century, Hindus had constituted roughly 20 per cent of all Mughal nobles. In the
second half of his reign, Aurangzeb enlarged by 50 per cent the proportion of Hindus in
the Mughal nobility, hardly a course of action that indicated he was bent on destroying
Hindus or Hinduism.--Audrey Truschke, "A
much-maligned Mughal," aeon.co, April 7, 2015]
"Article 370: India Strips Disputed Kashmir
of Special Status," BBC.com, August 5, 2019
[The Company makes its first territorial seizure with the support of the Jagath
Seths [the country's wealthiest bankers]. It was they who asked the British to
overthrow Siraj-ud-Daulah of Bengal and they offered Clive £2 million to do this.
This was the moment the Company realised it could defeat the vast Mughal armies with a
very small amount of its newly-trained sepoys. And particularly from the 1780s onwards,
the Marwari and Jain bankers of Bengal, and later the Hindu bankers of Benares and
Patna, consistently backed the Company against other Indian forces. . . .
If only the Triple Alliance created by Nana Phadnavis between Hyderabad, the Marathas
and Tipu Sultan had held together. Had these three pushed at the same time, there was
absolutely no question that the Company would have been defeated. . . . The Triple
Alliance broke down and the next [one] was with the British against Tipu. The Marathas
collaborated with the Company, idiotically from an Indian perspective, to destroy
Tipu.--Mukund Padmanabhan, "William Dalrymple on 'The Anarchy' and
the cunning of the East India Company," thehindu.com, October 3, 2019]
[My generation grew up in an India where our sense of nationhood lay in the slogan,
'unity in diversity.' We were brought up to take pluralism for granted, and to reject
the communalism that had partitioned the nation when the British left. In rejecting the
case for Pakistan, Indian nationalism also rejected the very idea that religion should
be a determinant of nationhood.--Sashi Tharoor, "Why I Am A Hindu -- Book Excerpt,"
The Wisdom Fund, October 10, 2019]
protests began in the state of Assam, where the BJP had supported the implementation
of a National Registry of Citizens under orders from the Supreme Court in 2015. The NRC,
which grew out of a decadeslong ethno-linguistic dispute between Indigenous Assamese
people and Muslim and Hindu immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, was billed as a way
to identify unauthorized immigrants, forcing residents of Assam to establish their
Indian lineage or be stripped of their citizenship. But the BJP turned the registry into
a predominantly anti-Muslim exercise: Ultimately, a major portion of the 2 million
residents of Assam who were excluded from the list were Muslim.--Soumya Shankar, "INDIA'S CITIZENSHIP
LAW, IN TANDEM WITH NATIONAL REGISTRY, COULD MAKE BJP'S DISCRIMINATORY TARGETING OF
MUSLIMS EASIER," theintercept.com, January 30, 2020]
[In a stump speech in 2014, Modi told an audience in Assam that while Hindu migrants
would be accommodated, other "infiltrators" would be sent back to Bangladesh. In April
2019, Amit Shah, now Modi's home minister, said that Bangladeshi immigrants were "eating
the grain that should go to the poor". They were "termites", Shah added. The BJP would
pick them up, one by one, and "throw them into the Bay of Bengal".--Samanth Subramanian,
"How Hindu supremacists are tearing India
apart," theguardian.com, February 20, 2020]
Karan Deep Singh and Suhasini Raj, "'Muslims Are Foreigners': Inside India's Campaign to Decide Who Is a
Citizen," nytimes.com, April 4, 2020