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  • Lecture 3-II-Devendra Swarup In his third talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup continued with his exploration of the structure and functioning of the Constituent Assembly, emphasising its non-representative character and its failure to take into account any Indian or Gandhian ideas and institutions in its deliberations. The British used the constitutional reform process as an instrument to divide and rule the country. The Act of 1935 was part of that strategy. Our Constitution ended up adopting the same vocabulary. It seems that though the British have left, their way of thinking and even their policies of “divide and rule” continue to dominate our polity? How have the British come to dominate our functioning, thinking and world-view in this manner? Perhaps some answer to this question and some understanding of the fundamental core and direction of the British constitutional processes can be found by looking at the founding of the British power in India in the mid-eighteenth century and its unfolding over the next two centuries. From the next talk, we shall begin looking at these processes in some detail. This is part 2.
    cpsindia 00:44:07 492 2 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 3-I-Devendra Swarup In his third talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup continued with his exploration of the structure and functioning of the Constituent Assembly, emphasising its non-representative character and its failure to take into account any Indian or Gandhian ideas and institutions in its deliberations. The British used the constitutional reform process as an instrument to divide and rule the country. The Act of 1935 was part of that strategy. Our Constitution ended up adopting the same vocabulary. It seems that though the British have left, their way of thinking and even their policies of “divide and rule” continue to dominate our polity? How have the British come to dominate our functioning, thinking and world-view in this manner? Perhaps some answer to this question and some understanding of the fundamental core and direction of the British constitutional processes can be found by looking at the founding of the British power in India in the mid-eighteenth century and its unfolding over the next two centuries. From the next talk, we shall begin looking at these processes in some detail.
    cpsindia 00:59:59 342 1 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 1-II-Devendra Swarup The first talk in this series raised the core issues and questions that force us to rethink about the constitutional framework and the structures of governance that India has evolved during the British times. Shri Devendra Swarup began his talk by raising the question whether the India that we see today, three generations after Independence, was the free India for which our forefathers had fought and sacrificed so much. Is this the India that our forefathers had seen as a beacon for the world? Is this the India the vision of which had inspired many generations? Why have we failed to realise that vision? It seems to me that one of the main causes of the problems that we face as a nation is the Constitution of India. It has created a polity that has necessarily led to the division and fragmentation of the society; it has put a premium on politics based in caste and minority identities. It has made smaller identities much more important than the larger national identity. It has made coherence and harmony in public life nearly impossible. It has erased all sense of national purpose and patriotism from public life. The Sultans and the Mughals ruled over a fairly large part of India for several centuries. But though the number of Muslims in India did increase both through conversion and a relatively less significant import of mercenaries, soldiers and administrators from foreign Islamic lands, yet the Indian ideas, institutions and lifestyles remained more or less intact, even in their greatly enfeebled state. The invaders before the Muslims were not at all able to disturb or disrupt India; they simply got submerged in the Indian milieu and identity. The British, however, succeeded in establishing alien ideas and institutions which we continue to stand-by even today. Why did this happen? This historical evolution and differences are also covered in this. This is part part 2.
    cpsindia 00:48:45 345 1 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture11-Devendra Swarup CPS In the eleventh talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup carried his exploration of the development of Indian national consciousness and Indian polity further up to 1909.
    cpsindia 01:28:34 354 1 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 9-Devendra Swarup CPS In the ninth talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup explored the evolution of British policy concerning India following the failure of the 1857 revolution. The revolution had a very deep impact on Indian society and British policy. In conclusion, after 1857, the British began to argue that it was wrong to regard Hindu society as one entity as it was fragmented. They began to use theories like the Aryan race theories to give a racial complexion to the Indian diversity. The various complimentary castes and institutions of India were turned into competing rivals. They also disarmed India, about which even Mahatma Gandhi spoke strongly when he came to India in 1915. They undertook a major re-ordering of the army. The Brahmins were nearly excluded from it. They realised that the Brahmins as an agency of all-India integration and therefore they made all efforts to systematically present them as a malevolent and oppressive force of India. When we examine the political situation in the India of today, we are struck by the extent to which we continue to embrace the thoughts, ideas, categories and institutions that the British ingrained in us through their systematic effort to conquer us culturally and civilisationally and to entrench their rule after 1857.
    cpsindia 01:45:37 365 2 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 10-Devendra Swarup CPS In the tenth talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup explored the stirrings of a new nationalist consciousness in the period following 1857 and culminating in 1893. Sri Swarup began by deliberating on what might be most appropriately termed the next major landmark in modern Indian history after 1857; should it be 1885 or 1893? The former was the year of the founding of the Indian National Congress, which was to later play a crucial role in the struggle for Independence. At that stage, however, Congress was only an association of a few persons. The year 1893 was much more momentous. The developments that occurred in 1893 had a bearing on India’s civilizational journey. In that year, Swami Vivekananda, a young unknown man then, went to the Parliament of Religions at Chicago and mesmerised the gathering with his powerful speech on India’s spiritual message for the world. Overnight, he became a household name. In the same year, Sri Aurobindo returned home after a long stay in England. He had been sent abroad at the tender age of six by his father, who was determined to make him a complete Englishmen, shorn of every trace of his native culture. But, as Sri Aurobindo himself wrote, no sooner did he reach the shores of India, the motherland reclaimed her son. Sri Aurobindo, rejecting the Congress method of prayer and petition, wrote a series of articles under the title “New Lamps for the Old”. It was also in 1893 that Lokmanya Tilak made his famous declaration that Swaraj was his birthright and he would have it. He also began the custom of public organisation of Ganesh Festival, which remains with us till today. Till then, Ganesh Puja had been a family affair; Lokmanya Tilak made it a large scale public event and an effective medium of public awakening and mobilisation. The Ganesh Puja festival also became an occasion for recalling our national heritage and unity. The fourth major occurrence in the year 1893 was the arrival of Annie Besant in India. As leader of the Theosophical Society, she adopted Indian dress and manners, admired Indian cultural thought tradition and declared that India was a superior civilization that had nothing to learn from England.
    cpsindia 00:49:13 494 2 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 8-Devendra Swarup CPS In his eighth talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup continued his exploration into the meaning and lessons of 1857. Sri Swarup began by emphasising that we are looking into the important landmarks of Indian history only to understand the present and search for a way out of the impasse in which the nation is currently stuck. Many of the problems that confront us today have their genesis in the past. It is only from a proper comprehension of the bygone times that we can begin our search for the road ahead.
    cpsindia 01:27:03 535 2 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 7-Devendra Swarup CPS In his seventh talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup dealt with the period between 1803, when the British army entered Delhi, and 1857. It is important to study this period, if we have to form a proper comprehension of the roots of our current governing structures and constitutional framework. It was in this period that British began to evolve and implement the administrative arrangements, judicial structures and various codes and procedures of executive and judicial administration that are still with us today. The institutions and offices created in this period form the core of our Constitution.
    cpsindia 01:31:31 407 2 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 6-Devendra Swarup CPS In his sixth talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup continued his exposition of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century history of India. He had ended his previous talk on a major turning point of Indian history – the year 1803. That date has not been accorded its due place in our history texts which present 1818, the year in which the Peshwaship was abolished, as the decisive point. But 1818 was a mere formalization of a momentous shift in power that happened in 1803, when the British entered Delhi and ousted the Marathas. This event established that the future belonged to the British, and not the Marathas. The Muslim ulema immediately understood the significance of this event. Shah Abdul Aziz issued a fatwa declaring the British to be the principal enemy and declaring that in that difficult situation it was permissible to ally with Kafirs, meaning the Marathas in this case, to defeat the British. This was a complete reversal of the Muslim position till then. A few decades earlier, Abdul Aziz’s father Shah Waliullah, alarmed at the rise of Sikh and Maratha power, had invited the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali to invade India in support of Muslim supremacy. That invasion had resulted in the rout of the Marathas in the third battle of Panipat in 1761.
    cpsindia 01:26:39 412 1 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Lecture 5-Devendra Swarup CPS In his fifth talk in this series, Sri Devendra Swarup concentrated on the political developments in the eighteenth century.
    cpsindia 01:24:51 310 1 Downloads 0 Comments
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