So proud of West Bengal's decisive repudiation of the BJP's politics of religious divisiveness and misogyny in these elections. The BJP chose to make a battleground of the Bengal elections in the midst of a deadly pandemic. 1/3…
And despite torrents of dark money, the collusion of the Election Commission, and innumerable unmasked superspreader rallies, the BJP has met with a resounding defeat. So proud of friends & family who literally risked their lives to vote in a pandemic. 2/3…
Along with the BJP's losses in Kerala and Tamil Nadu let's hope that this is another 2021 turning point.

Fitting too that the results have been announced on the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Satyajit Ray. My tribute: 3/3…

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More from @GhoshAmitav

15 Jun 20
In 1936, Nehru wrote, in a letter to Lord Lothian: 'nothing astonishes me so much as the way the British people manage to combine their material interests with their moral fervour; how they proceed on the irrefutable presumption that they are always doing good to the world...
"... and acting from the highest motives, and trouble and conflict and difficulty are caused by the obstinacy and evil-mindedness of others."

This is why it is so important to remember the rapacious history of the British Empire, and the Anglosphere in general.
Because they believe that when they conquer other countries, it's for their good & their own motives are benevolent. This way of thinking is not dead in the Anglosphere: it is what gave us the liberal-interventionist justifications of the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq etc.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct 19
I've long wanted to write about the historical role of Nepal in India-China-Britain relations in the form of a review of the most important work on the subject (below). Don't think I'll ever get around to it so here's a thread instead. 1/7…
The reason Nepal wasn't gobbled up by the British Empire was because the East India Company didn't want to jeopardize the lucrative trade between British India and China (opium, tea etc.). The Panchen Lama asked the EIC to attack Nepal in 1788, but it refused for this reason. 2/7
Instead the Qianlong Emperor's general, Fuk'anggan, invaded Nepal in 1792/3. Again Lord Cornwallis refused to help the Gurkhas. They were defeated and became tributaries of the Qing dynasty. They also became China's window on the Indian subcontinent. 3/7
Read 8 tweets
15 Aug 19
Thread: The @nytimes' superb articles on slavery & capitalism made me doubly glad to receive this excellent new study of another commodity that was foundational to modern capitalism: opium, produced under duress in the narco-state that was British India. 1/4
Rolf Bauer's book is the first overview of opium production across India. He shows that Indian farmers were forced to produce opium, at a loss. But the British Raj (& many British, Indian & American merchants) made immense profits, at a terrible human cost for China & SE Asia.2/4
The British Empire was the world's largest narco-state (but not the first, that'd be the Dutch - see below). Many leading US capitalist (and even presidential) families also had their start in opium. This history is essential to today's opioid crisis. 3/4…
Read 4 tweets

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