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Month: April 2017

LORD CURZON REFORMS( 1899-1905)

LORD CURZON REFORMS( 1899-1905)

Lord Curzon occupies a high place among the rulers of British India like Lord Wellesley and Lord Dalhousie. He was a thorough imperialist. In order to make the administration efficient, Lord Curzon overhauled the entire administrative machinery. His internal administration may be studied under the following heads:

EDUCATIONAL REFORMS:

Curzon took a serious view of the fall in the standard of education and discipline in the educational institutions. In his view the universities had degenerated into the factories for producing political revolutionaries. To set the educational system in order, he instituted in 1902, a universities commission to go into the entire question of university education in the country.

On the basis of the findings and recommendations of the commission, Curzon brought in the Indian Universities Act of 1904, which brought all the universities in India under the control of the government.

 

POLICE AND MILITARY REFORMS:

Curzon believed in efficiency and discipline. He instituted a Police Commission in 1902 under the chairmanship of Sir Andrew Frazer. Curzon accepted all the recommendations and implemented them. He set up training schools for both the officers and the constables and introduced provincial police service. As for the remodelling of the army, it was by and large done by Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief in India in Curzon’s time.

 

CALCUTTA  MUNICIPAL  CORPORATION ACT (1899)

The Viceroy brought in a new legislative measure namely the Calcutta Corporation Act in 1899 by which the strength of the elected members was reduced and that of the official members increased. Curzon gave more representations to the English people as against the Indians in the Calcutta Corporation. There was strong resentment by the Indian members against Curzon’s anti-people measure

 

 

FOREIGN POLICY:

The Basic principle of Indian foreign policy is live and let live. All our neighbours are path of prosperity therefore till ancient times till now India has followed the policy of live and let live.e.g., Dhamma mission by Ashoka, non-alignment movement by Nehru, Cultural expansion by Man Mohan Singh but with the beginning of British Rule in India i.e., from 1757 for their personal interest and protect India from foreign invasion Britishers reverse this policy and adopted the policy of war and aggression e.g., War towards Burma and Afghanistan.

When Curzon arrived in India the expansionist world powers like France, Germany etc. They became threat for India and in this situation Curzon revived the policy of aggression and the two victims were Persia and Tibet.

  1. Persia: Persia was the old name of Iran. French were interfering in affairs of Persia and in spite of repeated warning by Curzon the shah of Persia was not relenting in this situation Curzon send a military expedition under Sir major Douglas and himself visited Persia and after which Persia aligned with British cause in Central Asia.
  2. Tibet: Tibet is called the roof of the world and oxygen level is minimum in the area so the people of Tibet have to compulsory perform Bardo, the yogic Practice and this is the reason the people of Tibet are naturally spiritual. Russians were interfering in the matters of Tibet and lama of Tibet refuse to remove Russians from Tibet and this led to second military expedition under young husband and Tibet brought in line.

 

PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBJECT:

Curzon had a passion for preserving the ancient monuments of historical importance in India. No Viceroy in India before or after him took such a keen interest in archaeological objects. He passed a law called the Ancient Monuments Act, 1904 which made it obligatory on the part of the government and local authorities to preserve the monuments of archaeological importance and their destruction an offence.

 

ECONOMIC POLICY REFORMS:

  1. Land Resolution Act 1900
  2. Punjab Land alienation act 1902
  3. Establishment of Cooperative Banks
  4. Promotion of irrigation

 

 

PARTITION OF BENGAL, 1905

The Partition of Bengal into two provinces was effected on 4 July 1905. The new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam included the whole of Assam and the Dacca, Rajshahi and Chittagong divisions of Bengal with headquarters at Dacca. Though Curzon justified his action on administrative lines, partition divided the Hindus and Muslims in Bengal. This led to the anti-partition agitation all over the country. This had also intensified the National Movement.

References:  http://holisticthought.com/india-under-the-british-lord-curzon/, Wiki, Modern India Spectrum.

 

 

 

Khilafat Movement

Khilafat Movement

Introduction:

The Khilafat movement (1919–1924) was a pan-Islamic, political protest campaign launched by Muslims in British India to influence the British government and to protect the Ottoman Empire during the aftermath of World War I. The movement gained force after the Treaty of Sèvres (August 1920) which imposed the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and gave Greece a powerful position in Anatolia, to the distress of the Turks. The movement won the support of Mahatma Gandhi and the predominantly Hindu Congress movement because of its anti-British overtones. In India, although mainly a Muslim religious movement, the movement became a part of the wider Indian independence movement.

Background to Khilafat.

Turkey’s an ally of Germany in WWI  was defeated. Thrace was presented to Greece while the Asiatic portions of Turkey passed to England and France. Thus Turkey was dispossessed of her homelands and the Sultan deprived of all real authority and also caliphate was abolished. Being a Caliph, the Ottoman emperor was nominally the supreme religious and political leader of all Muslims across the world.  Indian Muslims regarded this as a great betrayal andthey regarded the Turkish Sultan as their Khalifa and they started Khilafat movement for the restoration of Khalifa in Turkey.

Course of the Movement:

The Khilafat Committee led by Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali (Ali Brothers) headquartered at Lucknow, formally launched the Khilafat Movement on August 31, 1920. They aimed to build political unity amongst Muslims and use their influence to protect the caliphate. In 1920, they published the Khilafat Manifesto, which called upon the British to protect the caliphate and for Indian Muslims to unite and hold the British accountable for this purpose.

They called upon Gandhi to guide them. Immediately after this, the Indian National Congress convened a special Session in September 1920 in Calcutta, where Gandhi presented a plan for non-cooperation with the government till the wrongs in Punjab and those in Turkey were mended by the British. Seeking to increase pressure on the British, the Khilafatists became a major part of the Non-cooperation movement — a nationwide campaign of mass, peaceful civil disobedience.

Massive protests, strikes and acts of civil disobedience spread across India. Hindus and Muslims collectively offered resistance, which was largely peaceful. Gandhi, the Ali brothers and others were imprisoned by the British. Under the flag of Tehrik-e-Khilafat, a Punjab Khilafatdeputation comprising MoulanaManzoor Ahmed and MoulanaLutfullah Khan Dankauri R.A. took a leading role throughout India, with a particular concentration in the Punjab.

Although Khilafat movement was not directly concerned with Indian politics, Gandhi thought that in this there was an opportunity to unite the Hindu and Muslims against the British. He therefore, openly supported the movement.

Decline and Collapse of the movement:

However, the Congress-Khilafat alliance began withering soon. The Khilafat campaign had been opposed by other political parties such as the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha. Many Hindu religious and political leaders identified the Khilafat cause as Islamic fundamentalism based on a pan-Islamic agenda. And many Muslim leaders viewed the Indian National Congress as becoming increasingly dominated by Hindu fundamentalists.

Central Khilafat Committee participated in All parties Conference, which formed a committee under the Chairmanship of MotiLal Nehru to draft a constitution, which came to be known as “Nehru Report”[1928]. Khilafat Committee rejected Nehru Report.

In wake of these disturbances, the Ali brothers began distancing themselves from Gandhi and the Congress. The Ali brothers criticised Gandhi’s extreme commitment to non-violence and severed their ties with them after he suspended all non-cooperation movement after the killing of 23 policemen at ChauriChaura in 1922. Although holding talks with the British and continuing their activities, the Khilafat struggle weakened as Muslims were divided between working for the Congress, the Khilafat cause and the Muslim League.Another reason was that members of the movement were concerned with the fate of khalifa than were the western powers and the people of Turkey.

The final blow came with the victory of Mustafa Kemal’s forces, who overthrew the Ottoman rule to establish a pro-Western, secular republic in independent Turkey. He abolished the role of Caliph and sought no help from Indians.

Leaders such as Dr. Ansari, Maulana Azad and Hakim Ajmal Khan remained strong supporters of Gandhi and the Congress. The Ali brothers joined Muslim League. They would play a major role in the growth of the League’s popular appeal and the subsequent Pakistan movement.

Criticism of the Movement:

  1. It is regarded as a political agitation based on a pan-Islamic, fundamentalist platform and being largely indifferent to the cause of Indian independence.
  2. Critics of the Khilafat see its alliance with the Congress as a marriage of convenience.
  3. Advocates of Pakistan and Muslim separatism see it as a major step towards establishing the separate Muslim state.
  4. The Ali brothers came to be regarded as founding-fathers of Pakistan.

Impact of the movement:

  • The support of the Khilafatists helped Gandhi and the Congress ensure Hindu-Muslim unity during the struggle. Gandhi described his feelings towards Mohammad Ali as “love at first sight” to underscore his feelings of solidarity.
  • Proponents of the Khilafat see it as the spark that led to the non-cooperation movement in India and a major milestone in improving Hindu-Muslim relations
  • Khilafat leaders such as Dr. Ansari, Maulana Azad and Hakim Ajmal Khan also grew personally close to Gandhi. These leaders founded the JamiaMilliaIslamia in 1920 to promote independent education and social rejuvenation for Muslims.
  • Azad, Dr. Ansari and Hakim Ajmal Khan became national heroes in India’s independence.

 

Was Khilafat Movement a new chapter in Hindu Muslim Unity or was a closing chapter?

The period 1919-22 is understood as the heyday of Hindu-Muslim unity against the colonial rule. This was the period when the leaderships of Congress and the Khilafat movement often overlapped. This was in tune with Gandhi’s idea that British can be fought only with united Hindus and Muslims. Strikes, demonstrations, and Satyagrahas took place around the country, while ‘Hindu-Musalmanki Jai was the famous slogan.

But the above was just ephemeral. After 1922 a series of differences between the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation leaderships intersected with growing popular conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities. Some section of Muslims started to see the futility of Swaraj and fresh interest was awakened in the Muslim league which had been stagnant since 1918.

The most ardent khilafatists started to believe that there was more to be gained by supporting government in its honest efforts than by adhering to the hitherto non-cooperation . Many Muslim leaders raised fears and doubts about the capacity of India to win freedom through civil disobedience. As a result of this, the old dissensions, based upon complaints like cow-slaughter and music before mosque, were raised up and issues of disagreement such as Suddhi Movement or tabligh and sangathan or tanzim were added.

The Hindu Muslim Unity was shattered, giving way to a period of “communalism”. This was the sad demise of the Hindu-Muslim unity as marking a turning point in the freedom struggle. The disintegrated state of affairs then offered an opportunity to the British to re-establish their old relations with the Muslims. They were able to successfully bring the Muslims into their loyalists fold. The so called bond of fraternity turned out to be an ad hoc coalition of interests. India was now on a path to partition.

How Government seeded hate?

The Government created commissions and commissions on one another with an undeclared motive of creating mutual apprehensions and mistrusts. It was the time when the top leaders including Gandhi were failed to understand the political implications of his extensions of support to the cause of Khilafat. Practically, the leaders of Khilafat needed support of Gandhiji only for a defined particular purpose.

Most of the constitutional acts were there to ensure that there was a constant creation of mutual mistrust among the communities. It was made sure that people would understand that the benefit of one caste / community was at the cost of those of others

 

Swadeshi Movement

 Swadeshi Movement

Origin: Swadeshi movement had its genesis in the anti-partition movement which was stated to oppose the British decision to partition Bengal. The british announced the decision in December 1903 quoting the reason, that the population of Bengal is higher and administration become difficult. This was true to some extent but the actual reason for partition is to weaken the nerve center of the nationalism.

The idea of British was to divide the Bengal based on

  1. Language as Bengal had minority of population in strength when compare to Hindi
  2. Religionwas another tactic to divide the Bengal as the western part of Bengal had Hindu majority and the eastern part of Bengal had Muslim majority.

 

Anti-partition Campaign under moderates:During this period leadership was provided by Surendernath bannergee, K.K.Mitra and Prithwishchandra Ray. They adopted petitions to government, public meetings, memoranda, and propaganda through pamphlets and newspaper such as Hitabadi, Sanjibani and Bengalee. Their objective was to exert the pressure on the government through an educated public opinion in India and England to prevent the unjust partition of Bengal from being implemented.

 

Announcement of partition:Ignoring the public opinion against the partition proposal , the government announced partition of Bengal in July 1905. Within days, protest meetings were held in small towns all over bengal. In this meetings that the pledge to boycott foreign goods was first taken but formal proclamation of swedeshi movement was made in august 07, 1905 in boycott resolution held in town hall , culcutta.

 

In October 16, 1905, the day the partition formally came into force, was observed as a day of mourning throughout the Bengal. People bathed in ganges and walked in barefoot in procession singing Bande Mataram. This song become the theme song of the movement. People tied Rakhis on each others hand as a symbol of unity of the two halves of the bengal.

The movement later spread to other part of the countries like poona, Bombay, Delhi and Madras.

The Congress position: The indian national congress, meeting in 1905 under the presidentship of Gokhale, resolved to

  1. Condemn the partition of Bengal and the reactionary policies of Curzon
  2. Support the anti-partition and swadeshi movement of Bengal

Militant nationalist wanted to take out the movement to other parts of the Bengal but the moderates were opposing it. In Calcutta session (1906) under the presidentship of Dadabhai Naoroji, it’s declare that the goal of INC was ‘Self government or Swaraj like the United Kingdom or colonies’.

The moderates-extremist dispute reached to deadlock at suraj session where the party split.

 

Techniques used in Swadeshi movement:

The militant nationalist put forward several fresh ideas at te theoretical, propagandistic, and programmatic plane. Their idea was to convert the movement of boycott into full-fledged non-cooperation movement and passive resistance but some militants were keeping the option of violent resistance too.

Public meetings and procession emerged as major methods of mass mobilization and simultaneously as forms of popular expression.  Meetings were held in all the levels right from district to village levels. This movements were the foundations for the later national movements.

Forming the samiti was another technique used by the extremist which reached even the remotest places of the district to generate the mass movement.

Celebrating the festivals and offering the meals were the techniques used to reach a mass. Ganapati festival and Shivaji festivals, popularized by Tilak became the medium for Swadeshi propaganda and this helped the movement vigorous not only in western but also in bengal.  Jatra, traditional folk theatre forms were extensively used to disseminate the swadeshi movement.

Another important aspect of this movement was ‘Atmasakti’ or self-reliance in various filed meant reasserting of national dignity, honor and confidence. It was, perhaps in the cultural sphere that the impact of swadeshi movement was most marked.

Drawbacks of the Swadeshi movement:

This movement was not supported by the mass muslims especially the peasantry class. During this period the All india muslim league was set up with the support of British government.

Swadeshi movement caused Negative consequences, implanted by Mullahs and Maulvis during the time of communal riots in the Bengal.

Popular customs and festivals techniques were misinterpreted and distorted by the communalist backed by the state.

Communal forces saw the narrowness in the religious identities in the tradition forms and festivals

Reason for failure of Swadeshi movement:

Repression took in the form of controls and bans on public meetings and processions and the press.

Students participated in this movement were expelled from the colleges , debarred from the government services.

Internal conflicts, especially the split happedn in 1907 weakened the movement.

Swadeshi movement lacked effective organization and party structure. All these movements were not converted into reality as a political practice.

The mass movement were not able to sustain the force of the movement as the movement suffered severe repression from the government.

Basics of Music

 

Basics of Music

What is Music:

Music is an art form whose medium is sound. In its most general form the activities describing music as an art form include the production of works of music, the criticism of music, the study of the history of music, and the aesthetic dissemination of music. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; “art of the Muses“).

The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk music, pop, and Indian classical music. India’s classical music tradition, including Hindustani music and Carnatic, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.

Basics of Music:

The two main traditions of classical music are Carnatic music, found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, found in the northern, eastern and central regions. The basic concepts of this music includes shruti (microtones), swara (notes), alankar (ornamentations), raga (melodies improvised from basic grammars), and tala (rhythmic patterns used in percussion). Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called shrutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to one quarter of a whole tone of Western music.

 

 

 

Shruti:

The number of sounds that the human ear can hear, in an octave, is infinite.  But the number of sounds that it can discern, differentiate, or grasp, is 22. They are called shruti-s (microtones).  Shruti has been variously translated as: microtone, microtonic interval, interval, step etc. It is mainly determined through fine auditory perception. It has been used in several contexts throughout the history of Indian music. Shruti in Indian Music is the musical pitch. Basically it is a note from which all others are derived Bharata Muni uses shruti to mean the interval between two notes such that the difference between them is perceptible. In other words, shruti, in the context of Indian music, is considered the smallest interval of pitch that the human ear can detect. It is an expression in the mind of the listeners.

Swaras :

In Indian Classsical music, Swara is a Sanskrit word that means a note in the octave. There are seven main swaras known as Saptak.

  1. Shadj (Sa)
  2. Rishabh (Ri in Carnatic music and Re in Hindustani)
  3. Gandhar (Ga)
  4. Madyam (Ma)
  5. Pancham (Pa)
  6. Dhaivat (Dha)
  7. Nishad (Ni)

These seven swaras are further divided into twelve notes. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam (the word is an acronym of the consonants of the first four swaras). Sargam is the Indian equivalent to solfege, a technique for the teaching of sight-singing. The tone Sa is not associated with any particular pitch. As in Western moveable-Do solfège, Sa refers to the tonic of a piece or scale rather than to any particular pitch.

Raga :

Raga is the system of scales which is associated with the melodic pattern of Hindustani music system. A raga uses a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is constructed. Understanding the concept of ‘Thaat’  is important to understand the complex structure of ragas. The term Thaat refers to the basic pattern in which the seven notes of the Saptak are arranged. Thaat is the parent scale from which the raga is derived.

To South Asian musicians, raga is the most important concept in music making, and the classification of ragas plays a major role in Indian music theory. In northern India, ragas are classified according to such characteristics as mood, season, and time; in southern India, ragas are grouped by the technical traits of their scales. The two systems may use different names for similar ragas or the same name for different ragas. There are several hundred ragas in present use, and thousands are possible in theory.

Traditionally, ragas were associated with specific times of day and seasons of the year, and they were thought to have supernatural effects such as bringing rain or causing fire. While some of the seasonal associations are maintained by certain musicians, these restrictions are largely ignored in modern concert life, as most public performances take place in the evening and are concentrated in the cooler parts of the year. Nevertheless, in program notes or verbal introductions, musicians often refer to the traditional associations of time and season.

In Indian classical music, there are about 200 main ragas, each of which is defined by its unique combination of scale-pattern, dominant notes and specific rules. The most popular ragas are: Bahar, Bhairavi, Sindhu Bhairavi, Bhim Palasi, Darbari, Desh, Hamsadhwani, Jai Jayanti, Megha Malhar, Todi, Yaman, Pilu, Shyam Kalyan, Khambaj.

Jati :

The number of notes in ascending or descending movements of a Raga is called its Jati. There are a total of 9 jatis. There are three basic Jatis:

  1. Sampoorana -containing seven notes,
  2. Shaudava – containing six notes, and
  3. Audava – containing five notes.

 

Tala:

Tala or Taal (literally a “clap”), is the term used in Indian classical music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition and for the entire subject of rhythm, roughly corresponding to metre in Western music, though closer conceptual equivalents are to be found in the older system of rhythmic mode and its relations with the “foot” of classical poetry, or with other Asian classical systems such as the notion of usul in the theory of Ottoman/Turkish music.

Taal is the beat or rhythm of a music composition. The beats of a Taal are divided into Vibaags, which gives a taal its unique texture. There are hundreds of Taal in Hindustani music and the most popular one is the sixteen beat or Teentaal. Other common taals of Hindustani music include Dhammar, Ek, Jhoomra, Chau talas and Jhap or Rupak talas. . The most common instrument for keeping rhythm in Hindustani music is the tabla, while in Carnatic music it is the mridangam.

Bhajan:

A Bhajan is any type of Hindu devotional song. It has no fixed form: it may be as simple as a mantra or kirtan or as sophisticated as the dhrupad or kriti with music based on classical ragas and talas.[1] It is normally lyrical, expressing love for the Divine. The name, a cognate of bhakti, meaning religious devotion, suggests its importance to the bhakti movement that spread from the south of India throughout the entire subcontinent in the Moghul era.

Bhajans by Kabir, Mirabai, Surdas, Tulsidas and a few others are considered to be classic. The language of their works is influenced by several of the dialects of Hindi. They are widely enjoyed even among those who do not speak Hindi.

Abhang:

Abhang is a form of devotional poetry sung in praise of the Hindu god Vitthala, also known as Vithoba. The word abhang comes from a for ‘non-‘ and bhang for ‘ending’ or ‘interrupting’, in other words, a flawless, continuous process, in this case referring to a poem. By contrast, the devotional songs known as Bhajans focus on the inward journey; abhangs are more exuberant expressions of the communitarian experience. Abhanga is considered a form of the ovi. Abhangs are sung during pilgrimage to the temples of Pandharpur.

Bhajan starts with the Naman(invocation of god), followed by the Roopancha Abhang (Portraying the physical beauty of god by personifying in the human form) and towards the end, Bhajans giving Spiritual and Ethical messages are sung. Some Famous Musicians in Abhangs are Bhimsen Joshi, Suresh Wadkar,Ranjani, Gayatri,Aruna Sairam and Jitendra Abhisheki. It is a form of music performed by both Classical and Non-Classical Musicians. It has nowadays become an integral part in Bhajan concerts across South India.

Kriti:

Kriti is a format of a musical composition typical to Carnatic music, an Indian classical music style. Kritis form the backbone of any typical Carnatic music concert and is the longer format of a Carnatic music song. Conventional Kritis typically contain three parts

  • Pallavi, the equivalent of a refrain in Western music
  • Anupallavi, the second verse, which is sometimes optional
  • Charanam, the final (and longest) verse that wraps up the song

The charanam usually borrows patterns from the anupallavi. The charanam’s last line usually contains the composer’s signature, or mudra, with which the composer leaves their mark.

 

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