Category Archives: Education

What has gone wrong with education especially in the UK and how to fix it.





Introduction and Geography

India is a country in Asia. This nation is very large. India is the seventh largest in area and the second largest in population. The country has several neighbours. These are Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma). There is a maritime border between India and Sri Lanka as well as the Maldives. The Maldives is an independent country close to the Lakshadweep Islands which belong to India. The Straits of Mannar separates India from Sri Lanka. India is the only country in the world to have an ocean named after it. It is the Indian Ocean. The Maldives lie in the Indian Ocean.  The Arabian Sea is to the west of India. The Bay of Bengal is to the east of India. India has many offshore islands. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are Indian islands in the Bay of Bengal. The major town of these islands is called Port Blair. 

China is occupying some Indian territory and so is Pakistan. India has a border dispute with both. Pakistan holds a third of Jammu and Kashmir which is the northernmost state of India. Jammu and Kashmir is sometimes called simply ‘Kashmir’ for short. 

The Himalayas are found in northern India. These are the highest mountains in the world. These mountains lie on the border with Pakistan, Nepal and China. In Sanskrit ‘Himalayas’ means ‘House of the Snows’. Sanskrit is an ancient language that grew into many modern Indian languages. Much of India is very flat. In southern India there are two ranges of mountains – the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats. In Hindi a ‘ghat’ is a platform or raised area.

The Himalayas is the highest mountain range in the world. The highest mountain in the world and it is in the Himalayas (Mount Everest) but located in Nepal. 

This country is warm in winter. It is very hot in the summer. In August there is a monsoon – very heavy rain almost every night. There is sometimes inundations. For much of the year is does not rain.

India is sometimes called ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’. ‘Bharat’ is also a man’s name. The ‘stan’ part of ‘Hindustan’ means ‘land.’ These names are a little old fashioned. In English the name is usually ‘India’. There is a newspaper in India called The Hindustan Times. The name India is possibly derived from the River Indus. However, the Indus is now in Pakistan.

India has over 1.36 billion people. It is the second most populous country in the world. It is set to overtake China’s population within 20 years.

The capital city of India is New Delhi. The capital has shifted several times in India’s incredibly long history. Kolata and Fatehpur Sikri have also been capitals of India. Simla used to be the summer capital. Simla is pronounced ”SHIMA la”. When it was boiling hot in New Delhi at the height of summer civil servants and politicians would go to the hills in Simla and run the country from there. Kolkata was the capital until 1930. In the summers the government used to shift from Kolkata to Darjeeling because Darleeling was not so hot being located at high altitude. Darjeeling is renowned for its tea production. 

Mumbai is the largest connurbation in India. The people of this city are called Mumbaikers. This city is the undisputed commercial capital of the country. It is the nexus of finance. The Indian film industry is located there. The film area is called Bollywood. Mumbai was named Bombay from the 16th century until 1998. Bombay derived from the Portuguese ‘bom bahia’ meaning ‘good bay.’

Ootacamund is a hill station in South India. It is known as Ooty for short.

Bangalore is a South Indian city that is famous for IT. 

  1. How many nations have a land frontier with India?
  2. What is a maritime border?
  3. What range of mountains exists in northern India?
  4. What are the two ranges of mountains in South India?
  5. What is the monsoon?
  6. Which country lies in the Indian Ocean?
  7. What are the Indian islands in the Bay of Bengal called?
  8. What is the population of India?


India has had civilisation for several thousand years. Hinduism was founded here almost 5 000 years ago. The ancient Indian language is Sanskrit. The language is no longer spoken but a few people can read it. The tongue was used to pen the Hindu scriptures – the Bhagavad Ghita and the Mahabharata and the Vedas for example. The Mahabharata is the great epic of the Indian nation. Sanskrit is the ur language for many languages in South Asia and South-East Asia. Millennia ago Sanskirt was read by scholars as far away as Indonesia. The Hindu religion was also the major religion of other countries such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. 

Ashoka was an ancient emperor of India. He invented human rights. Slavery and the death penalty were outlawed. Sadly his code did not long survive him and injustice returned. The lions of Ashoka are still a symbol of India. There are three of them visible – the fourth one is facing away. His motto was ‘Truth Alone Triumphs‘ which is the motto of India today.

Many dynasties ruled India. At times India was divided and at times it was united. India sometimes included Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma and Pakistan. Like most nations the frontier of India have waxed and waned. 

In the 1st century AD St Thomas came to India from Judea. He brought Christianity. He converted a few people in South India to the Christian faith. The Assyrian Church is the religious organisations of those people descended from those converted by St Thomas.

Islam came to India in the 8th century AD. Mohammad bin Qasim brought Islam from Saudi Arabia. Islam became the main religion of eastern India and western India. These areas are no longer part of India. These regions are now called Pakistan and Bangladesh. The majority of Indians remained Hindus especially in the north centre of India and in South India.

Jainism was a breakaway from Hinduism. It is a vegan religion. Jains often have the surname Jain. They do not eat root vegetables because in uprooting the vegetables they might harm insects. Some wear masks to avoid accidentally swallowing bugs. Jains are mostly from the State of Rajasthan in western India. The Jains are a minority even in that state.

The Moghuls came to India in the 15th century. They were of Mongol ancestry – hence their surname. They intermarried with local people and lost their Central Asian phenotypes. They were also Muslims. The Moghuls spoke Persian which is the language of Iran. In  1527 they came to rule India. They were not the first Muslims to do so. They had their capital at Delhi. Many Indian civilisations have had their capital at Delhi. There is a legend that any empire that shifts its capital from Delhi is doomed. Note that Moghul is sometimes spelt Mughal. Some people have Mughal as a surname. The word ‘moghul’ has come to mean a very mighty person. For instance, a media moghul means someone who owns many newspapers and TV stations. 

The Hindi language was blended with Persian. This produced the Urdu language which is written in the Persian script. ‘Urdu’ means ‘camp’ in Persian as in ‘army camp’. The language had this name because it was spoken in army camps. Urdu and Hindi are mutually comprehensible when spoken.

Most Hindi speakers continued to speak Hindi. They did not switch to Urdu. Hindi is written in the Devanagari script which is shared by several North Indian languages.

The Moghuls had no law of succession. Because there was no primogeniture rule it was unclear who would succeed the emperor. Any male relative could make a power play. India regularly descended into internecine warfare as Moghuls battled it out for the crown. When an emperor died it could be any of his brothers, sons, uncles, nephews, cousins or grandsons who seized the throne. It was survival of the fittest. India was enfeebled by this routine power struggles. Princelings did not necessarily wait for an emperor’s demise before making a grab for the paramount position. Princes might depose a living emperor. An old emperor might make an alliance with his grandsons against his sons. He knew that his sons would be against him. In turn his grandsons would one day be against his sons. There were regular free for alls. 

One Moghul ruler Aurangzeb tried to impose Islam on others. He penalised the Hindu majority. He was deeply unpopular.  Aurangzeb ordered some Hindu temples at holy sites to be razed and had mosques built in their stead.  He imposed heavy taxes on non-Muslims. In 1707 Aurangzeb died. The Mughals were never as mighty again. The Mughals had their capital at Agra. Later they shifted it to Fatehpur Sikri. Latterly they moved it to Delhi. There is a legend that says that any Indian dynasty that moves its capital to Delhi will soon fall.

Others Mughal emperors more broadminded and welcomed discourse with other faiths. Shahjahan was one such ecumenical emperor. He was living in Agra when his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal died. He built a mausoleum for her called the Taj Mahal. This is thought to be the superlative example of Moghul architecture. Further, this tomb that he erected to memorialise his wife is regarded as an unparalleled expression of love. The Taj Mahal is white. The emperor wanted to build a fascimile of the building facing it from across the river. The fascimile would be built all in black stone. The cost of this was prohibitive. He was ousted by his family partly because his building projects threatened to empty the treasury. A city named Shahjahanapur is named in his honour. 

In the late 15th century Sikhism emerged. This faith was propagated by Guru Nanak in the Punjab. He was a former Muslim. Mohammedans detested him as an apostate. The penalty for apostasy is death. The Sikhs had to fight for survival. Their holy city is Amritsar meaning the pond of nectar. 

In the 16th century Europeans arrived in India. They were traders and missionaries. The missionaries were spreading Christianity. They made very little progress.  Britishers and Portuguese came first. In 1600 the Honourable East India Company was founded.  They purchased land. Over time they acquired more territory. France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom all established East India Companies. The Dutch Compagnie van de verre Oost. That translates as ‘the Company of the Far East’. The Hollanders became more interested in Indonesia.  Their East India company later changed its name to De Vereinigde Oost Indisch Compagnie  meaning ‘The United East India Company.’ It was written as VOC for short. The British called it ‘the Dutch East India Company.’ The French had la Societe des Indes meaning the Company of the Indies. The Indies did not just mean India. It included what is now Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore etc…

In 1690 the East India Company founded Calcutta.  The city is now named Kolkata. Many Indians say that Calcutta was a British mispronunciation of Kolkata. There had already been a village there called Kali Ghat as in ‘Kali’s Altar.’ The British pronounced it ‘Calcutta’. Job Charnock married a Hindu widow after talking her out of sati. Sati was committing suicide on her husband’s funeral pyre.

In the 18th century the Moghul Empire was enfeebled. Provincial governors and army commanders were able to effectively secede from the empire.  The emperor’s writ no longer ran in swathes of his domain. Some provinces stopped paying taxes to him. There was no law of succession. Members of the imperial house fought each other for the crown. The Britishers, French and Portuguese were able to gain more land at this time. Indians often enlisted foreign aid to fight other Indians.

By the late 18th century the British ruled Bengal. Robert Clive was an employee of the East India Company who proved to be an effective military commander. The Britishers had their capital at Calcutta. They beat the French. Calcutta is now called Kolkata. Robert Clive became known as Clive of India. He was a hero to Britishers into the 20th century. Clive was ennobled as Lord Clive of Plassey. A village in Co Limerick, Ireland was named Plassey. He took an Irish peerage. He was therefore able to be elected to the Parliament of Great Britain. Robert Clive became a very wealthy man.

By 1757 the Britishers were clearly the dominant force in India. The Battle of Plassey that year signaled the start of the British era. In the late 18th century English replaced Persian as the language of the courts. The British did little to proselytise for the Christian faith.  A few Indians became educated in the British manner. A very few of them went to the United Kingdom to study.

In 1783 the Regulating Act was passed. The British Government would send a governor-general to Calcutta. The East India Company had its own army. The British Army was also stationed in India. The Regulating Act had to be updated every 20 years. Each time the Regulating Act was reviewed Parliament insisted on more changes.

There were very few British women in India in the 18th century. British males in India wed Indian women. Their children were half Indian and their grandchildren were three-quarters Indian. Most Britishers found Indian culture deeply alluring. They ate Indian food, wore Indian clothes and learnt Indian languages.

Sir William Jones was a British judge at the High Court of Calcutta. He was a hyperpolyglot. He knew over 30 languages. Sir William read Indian legal codes which were written in Sanskrit. Jones also read Islamic Law codes in Arabic. He translated them into English and wrote a summary.

The EIC increased tax in Bengal. There was a famine and millions of people died.

In the 19th century the British did a lot to improve agriculture. They dug irrigation ditches and improved the roads. British inventions such as the railway did much to unite India. Trains were introduced to India in the 1850s. By that time the Moghul Empire had all but ceased to be. The emperor only styled himself King of Delhi.

In the early 19th century missionary activity began in earnest. This irked many Indians. Soldiers in the Army of the East India Company were obliged to listen to Christian sermons. These were translated into their languages.

In 1857 the Indian Mutiny broke out. Some soldiers in the British Indian Army mutinied. Most soldiers remained loyal. North India was severely affected for six months. The proximate cause was a new cartridge which was greased. Rumour had it that this was made from pork and beef. Muslims may not touch pork and Hindus may not touch beef. The Sikhs stayed on the British side. This may well have been the determinative.

The Mughal Empire was then officially abolished. The last Mughal Emperor was sent into exile in Myanmar (Burma).

The British Government took direct control of India in 1858. The governor-general was given the additional title of viceroy. However, he was usually known simply  The viceroy was appointed by the crown. The Britons learnt not to aggravate the Indians by treading on religious sensibilities. From then on the army and police never went into places of worship in their official capacity.

Queen Victoria issued a proclamation saying that all posts were open to every man regardless of race. In practice whites held all the higher grades.

In 1877 Queen Victoria was made Empress of India. Her son Edward VII went to India. A Delhi Durbar was held. The princes bowed to him and recognised his mother as empress.

The late 19th century was the high Raj. It was the zenith of the British era. This time is known as the British Raj because it was the time that the British ruled India. ‘Raj’ means ‘government’ or ‘rule’ in Hindi. Britishers were convinced of their superiority. The Indian Army assisted the Britishers. There were three wars against Afghanistan. The first one was a calamity for the British and their India confederates. The last two were semi-successful. There was intermittent fighting on the north-west frontier.

Opium was cultivated in India and sold for recreational use. It is very dangerous. Despite that it was sold in India, the UK and China. There was an Opium Department of the Government of India. Only the government was permitted to grow it.

In 1885 the Indian National Congress was founded with the blessing of the British Raj. Congress was there to critique the Government of India. The Britishers welcomed this constructive criticism. At that time Congress was a tiny group of wealthy anglophile intellectuals. There were also some whites in Congress at first. Among them were Allan Octavian Hume and Annie Besant.

Some Muslims in Congress felt that they did not get a fair crack of the whip. They founded the Muslim League. At first this was a subsection of Congress. In time it broke away.

There were terrible famines in India in the 19th century. Millions of people died. Some Indians blamed the British administration.

There was an attempt to divide Bengal around 1905. Muslims wanted this and Hindus did not – by and large. In the end the government reversed its decision due to Hindu demands in 1912.

King Edward VII came to India in 1902. He held a Durbar at Delhi. The 585 princes came to Delhi and did obeisance to him. They recognised him as Emperor of India (Kaiser i Hind).

In the First World War many Indians volunteered to serve the British Empire. Congress emphasised that in gratitude for this fulsome loyalty they expected significant reform after the war. The British authorities were chary about promising too much. The UK would not give an answer. Why? That was because they did not want it.  If they said no then that would anger Congress. The UK did not want to have to deal with large scale protests. If they said yes then then the UK would have to deliver on these promises.

Despite their misgivings the British Government was broadly positive about the idea of political evolution for India. Gandhi was a doyen of Congress. He urged Indians to enlist in the Indian Army.

When the First World War ended the British Government was willing to offer much less than Congress sought. Congress wished for dominion status – the same situation as pertained in Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa or Australia. The British did not appear to be ingratiated to the Indians. Many Indians were seriously disappointed.

The government brought in extraordinary security legislation in 1919. This allowed censorship and detention without trial. This was called the Rowlatt Act because Mr Rowlatt wrote it. The First World War was not clearly finished. There was also Bolshevik agitation. There were large scale protests in India.

Congress pointed out that the UK professed to believe in a free press. Yet India was being denied the freedom of the press.

In 1919 there was an illegal rally in Amritsar. There had been rioting in the town. Five Britons had been killed and several public buildings had been burnt down.

A crowd of thousands gathered at a park called Jallianwala Bagh. The British commander there Dyer had his men shoot dead hundreds of civilians. His men were Indians and Nepalese. Dyer had had his men block the only exit to the park. He had his troops open fire without warning. Over 475 people were killed. The soldiers fired 1 600 bullets. Most were men but a few were women and children. Some people jumped down a well to avoid the hail of bullets.

Reginald Dyer’s action was described by the official report as ‘injudicious’. He was forced to retire but was not punished. Brigadier General Dyer was utterly impenitent. He said that none of the protesters had guns and they did not threaten his troops. Some Britons said that Dyer had done the right thing. They donated £ 26 000 to him so he could enjoy opulence in retirement. This sum is worth over £ 1 000 000 now.

A sword was given to Dyer. It said ‘Saviour of the Punjab’ on one side and ‘Hero of the Hour’ on the other.

Agitation gradually died down in the 1920s. Congress had been supportive of the British Raj until this point. By this stage they were mainly oppositional. Congress was briefly led by Motilal Nehru the father of Jawaharlal Nehru.

In 1930 the British Raj moved to Delhi. New Delhi was founded. This was designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. It is just south of Old Delhi. There is a legend that any Indian empire that moves its capital to Delhi shall soon meet its doom.

The British Raj founded the Chamber of Princes. This was for the rulers of the princely states to discuss matters of common concern. The British justified its creation saying it was like the House of Lords.

In 1930 Congress announced that they no longer wanted dominion status. They sought total independence. There were some extremists who used force against the British Government. They had very little support for their terrorist methods. Congress believed in moral force and not physical force. Congress resorted to civil disobedience. They believed in non-co-operation with the British Raj.

In 1930 there was a Round Table Conference in London to discuss India’s future. Congress was there. So was the Muslim League, the princes and the Liberal Party of India.

In the 1930s Congress was banned for two years. Its leaders Gandhi and Nehru were imprisoned for a time. Congress had invented a tricolour flag with a blue spinning wheel in the middle white horizontal bar.  The top bar was orange and the bottom one was green. This flag was briefly banned. There was a Flag of British India: it had the British Flag in the top left hand corner. Its background was mostly red.

There were two more Round Table Conference. Congress was not invited to it.  They would have refused to attend anyway.

In 1935 the Government of India was passed. It took effect two years later.

In 1937 a new system of government began. The British controlled the centre. That is to say at Delhi the British administration ran departments that controlled certain things such as railways for the whole country. Elected government ran the provinces. Men of property were allowed to vote. Congress controlled most provinces and the Muslim League controlled a few.

In 1939 the Second World War began. Congress soon resigned form provincial governments because the government had declared war on Germany without asking the elected politicians. The Muslim League was able to take over more provinces. The Hindu Mahasabha was a political party that also governed some provinces.

In 1940 the Muslim League issued its Lahore Declaration. This called for the creation of Pakistan.

The Indians beat off Japanese attacks. Congress undermined the war effort with its Quit India Campaign. They sabotaged. The British declared that once the war was won they would expedite Indian independence as soon as practicable. Sir Stafford Cripps was sent out to convey this message. He also tried to mediate between the Muslim League and Congress.

In 1942 a famine broke out in Bengal due to a cyclone. It was hard to get food aid through due to Japanese submarines sinking ships in the Bay of Bengal. Railways had been wrecked by Congress. Boats and bridges in Bengal had mostly been destroyed to forestall the Japanese advance.

The Muslim League announced during the war that they sought the creation of a separate Muslim nation. It was to be called Pakistan.

In 1945 the war ended. A new viceroy came out called Lord Mountbatten. In 1947 he decided to facilitate independence as soon as possible. In August 1947 India was partitioned. Pakistan was created. India and Pakistan were independent.

Nehru was the first prime minister. He faced a war against Pakistan and the influx of refugees. He managed to developed the country well. However, most people were still illiterate. Poverty was widespread. It was a very testing time.

In 1950 India become a republic. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.

Nehru died in 1964. He was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri who was the second PM of India. In 1965 there was another war against Pakistan. Shastri went to the USSR to make peace with Pakistan. He signed a peace deal. He soon died. Then Indira Gandhi became prime minister. Indira was the daughter of Nehru.

India beat Pakistan in 1971. Indira was at the zenith of her popularity. This soon faded away due to the oil crisis and corruption scandals. She was out of office briefly. She returned to office in 1980. Four years later she was assassinated. Her son then became prime minister. Rajiv Gandhi ruled till 1989. He then lost office.

As Rajiv sought to regain office he was assassinated in 1991. Since then power has gone back and forth between Congress and the BJP. The BJP is the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In 1989 the Kashmir Conflict erupted once again. The Pakistanis armed and trained various terrorist organisations.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee became PM in 1999. He ruled as a BJP leader until 2004.

In 1999 the Pakistani Army attacked Indian at Kargil. After a few months the Pakistanis were repelled.

Congress was led to victory by Sonia Gandhi in 2004. She is the widow of Rajiv. She declined to become PM. Her son and daughter are both Congress MPs.

India is a republic. It has had a woman as president. Her name was Pratiba Patil.

India prides herself on equality. Four Muslims have served as president. One Sikh Zail Singh has been president. This is cited as proof positive that the Hindu majority does not mistreat the minority.

  1. How long has Hinduism existed?
  2. When did Islam come to India?
  3. Who were the Mughals?
  4. When was the East India Company founded?
  5. Which Mughal emperor ordered thousands of Hindu temples to be demolished?
  6. When was Regulating Act passed?
  7.  What was special about Sir William Jones?
  8. When did the Indian Mutiny take place?
  9.  What caused it? Five marks.
  10. When was Congress founded?
  11. What was the original purpose of Congress?
  12. What happened in Jallianwala Bagh?
  13. What was the symbol on Congress’ flag?
  14. When did the Second World War break out?
  15. What was the Lahore Declaration?
  16. When did India become independent?
  17.  Who was the first president of India?
  18.  Who was India’s second prime minister?
  19.  Who was the first woman to be PM of India?
  20. Has there been a female president of India?
  21. How many generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family have been in politics?


The currency is the Indian Rupee.  The symbol of the currency is IRS. It is divided into 100 baisas. These used to be subdivided into annas. Nobody uses annas anymore because these are too small.  The neighbouring lands of Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka all used rupees but these are different currencies from the IRS. In India people sometimes just write ‘Rs’ for Rupees. The IRS is more valuable that the currencies of the adjacent countries. 

There are 2 000 languages in India. 18 are official according to the constitution. The main ones are English and Hindi. Hindi and English are the only languages in India passports. 

India’s Flag is a Tricolour.  A tricolour is a flag which has three bars each of a different colour. It is orange, white and green horizontal bars. In the middle of the white bar there is a blue sixteen spoked wheel. This flag represents peace (white) between Muslims (green) and Hindus (orange). The Indian Tricolour resembles the Irish Flag. The two flags are even confused sometimes. That is despite the fact that the Irish Tricolour has vertical bars and has no symbol. Indian nationalists were inspired by Irish revolutionaries which is partly why the Indian Tricolour is 

The national carrier is Air India. The late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was once a pilot for the airline. There are other airlines like Indigo and Kingfisher.

The national anthem was composed by Sir Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore was a Bengali writer of the early 20th century. It is called the Jana Mana Gana. It lists the provinces of India including the ones which are now part of Pakistan. The first line is in Hindi and says, ‘You are the ruler of the minds of all the people.’

The capital city is New Delhi. It is new since it was built in the 1920s a few miles south of Old Delhi.

India is a middle income country. Its economy is growing rapidly. This nation has 70 per cent literacy.

80 per cent of the people are Hindus. 15 per cent are Muslims. There are Christians (2% of the population), Buddhists and Sikhs (2%) as well.

India is a secular state. According to the constitution government does not support or oppose any faith. However, under the BJP the Government of India has privileged Hinduism. Undocumented people who are Hindus are assumed to be Indian citizens. Non-Hindus are presumed to be illegal aliens. 

The BJP promotes Hindutva. That is Hindu mindedness. 

Mumbai is the largest city in the country. It is also the financial nerve centre. Moreover, it is where the film industry is based – Bollywood. This is because of the old name of Mumbai – Bombay – and Hollywood. India produces more films than any other country. These movies tend to be escapist. They feature very wealthy and attractive people. The storylines are hackneyed and Manichean. These films appeal to fantasies of being rich, beautiful and glamorous. The films have a hero and an anti-hero. The villain is often portrayed to be a Pakistani. The films feature lavish song and dance routines. 

India acquired nuclear weapons in the 1970s. This nation is a regional superpower. She is prominent in the Commonwealth and has produced a secretary-general of the Commonwealth. Bharat once hosted the Commonwealth Games. India is pushing for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

India is in the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). This involves all of India’s neighbours with the exception of China.

  1. What is the currency?
  2.  Is the Pakistani Rupee the same as the Indian one?
  3. Does India have nuclear arms?
  4. How many official languages are there?
  5.  What symbol is on the Indian Tricolour?
  6.  Describe the symbolism of the flag.
  7. Who wrote the national anthem?
  8.  What are the two biggest religions after Hinduism and Islam?
  9. What is Bollywood?
  10.  What is India’s aspiration for the UN?


India has been a republic since 26 January 1950. The president is elected by the legislatures of the states. The president serves a five year term. He or she can be re-elected once but only once. A woman named Pratibha Patil served as president from 2007 to 2012. She is the only woman to hold the office.

The President can suspend a state government. The state can be subject to president’s rule if there is grave disorder there.

The President of India appoints the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can be sacked by the President. Indira Gandhi became PM in 1966. She was the second woman in the world to be PM. 

The motto of India is ‘truth alone triumphs.’

Every Indian adult has the right to vote unless he or she is in prison. Indians cannot be dual citizens.

The Republic of India is divided into 28 states. These are based around a major language. The states  have autonomy. Autonomy can be suspended and president’s rule can be implemented in extremis.

The states include Andra Pradesh (meaning southern state), Uttar Pradesh (northern state), Madhya Pradesh (central state), Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, Gujarat, the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh (”snowy state”), Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Kerala and others. 

There are Union Territories. These are areas that are not states. Among them are Diu, Daman, Pudicherry and Delhi. Pudicherry is unusual in that it was French ruled. Therefore many people can speak French there.

This country has two houses to its parliament. The lower house is directly elected. There are single member constituencies. The upper house consists of representatives of the states. The Lok Sabha is the lower house. The Rajya Sabha is the upper house.

It takes over 2 000 000 people to elect an MP to the Lok Sabha. The country is divided into constituencies.

The country uses common law. This is partly based on English law. The court of cassation is the Supreme Court of India. The courts use English. There are no juries in India.

  1. Do the ordinary people elect the president?
  2. What is a Union Territory?
  3. Which part of India is partly French speaking?
  4. How many houses are in Parliament?
  5. What is the legal system of India?


To the west of India is the Arabian Sea. To the west is the Bay of Bengal. To the south is the Indian Ocean. India has many islands such as the Lakshadweep Islands.

India is fantastic at cricket. The country has won the world cup twice.

Bollywood is the centre of the Indian film industry. It produces more films than any other nation.

Rice is the staple food. Many people are vegetarians. Some people are vegans. Killing a cow is illegal in most states for religious reasons.

The national airline is Air India. There are several others such as Indigo.

Bangalore is an IT centre. India has produced countless doctors and accountants. India’s famous companies include Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Cobra Beer, Adidas and Tata. India’s Tata has built the first car for under $1000. It is called the Nano. A lot of scientific companies are based here too.

India has the second largest population in the world. It has almost 1.4 billion people. In a few years India’s population will overtake China’s.

The Government of India wants to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The UK supports India’s goal. China does not want India to be on the UNSC because the Chinese have taken Indian land and do not wish to give it back.

  1. What is the most popular sport in this land?
  2. Which country has the most people?
  3. Name an Indian airline?
  4. What is special about the Nano?
  5. Name an Indian sports brand?


General Questions

  1. Which continent is this country on?
  2. What was special about Ashoka? Three marks.
  3. Draw the flag. Five marks.
  4. Name three neighbours of India. Three marks.
  5. What is the capital city?
  6. What is Sanskrit?
  7. What is the main faith in India?
  8. When did Britishers arrive?
  9. Who were the Moghuls? Five marks.
  10. Where in India did Muslims predominate?
  11. What mountain range is in North India?
  12. How many official languages are there in India?
  13. Which Britisher won British mastery in India in the 18th century?
  14. What was the East India Company?
  15. What happened in India in 1857?
  16. What did Congress do 1885-1919?
  17. What was the Muslim League?
  18. Who was the first Prime Minister of India?
  19. Which country split off India in 1947?
  20. What difficulties did India face in the aftermath of Partition?
  21. Who was the last viceroy?
  22. Besides English which is the principal language of India?
  23. Which sea is east of India?
  24. Who was the daughter of a prime minister and herself served as PM?
  25. Who was Indira’s son who also became PM?
  26. Which party besides Congress has been vital in Indian politics?
  27. What is the climate of India like?
  28. What is the currency?
  29. What is the national airline called?
  30. Would you like to visit this country? Why or why not? Five marks.

All about Rome




Rome is a city in Italy. It is one of the most ancient cities in Europe.

The River Tiber bisects Rome. Tiber is pronounced ”TIE ber”.  In Italian the Tiber is called Tevere. To the west is the Tyrhennian Sea which is part of the Mediterranean Sea. To the east is the Appenine Mountains. Rome is half way up the Italian Peninsula and to the west of centre.

There are the Seven Hills of Rome. These are the Vimmian Hill, the Esquiline Hill, the Aquiline Hill, the Aventine Hill, the Capitoline Hill, the Quirinial Hill and the Caelian Hill. All lie on the east bank of the Tiber. The Aquiline Hill takes its name from aquila which is eagle in Latin. The Capitoline is where the governmental edifices were located. This gives us the word capital. In Washington DC the US Congress is sited on Capitol Hill. The hill was consciously named in honour of the equivalent hill in Rome. There is a 1950s film entitled The Seven Hills of Rome.

The Ancient Roman legend states that Rome was founded in 752 BC. Archaeologists say that is about right. There are some artefacts from the 13th century BC but nothing like the remnants of a city till around 800 BC.

Legend has it that Romulus and Remus were born identical twins. Their mother was the goddess Rhea. They were descended from Mars – the god of war. They were not descended from the Planet Mars! Romulus and Remus were also supposed to be descended from Aeneas who fled Troy when the Trojans were defeated by the Greeks. The Trojans said to Carthage in what is today Tunisia. They fell out with the Carthaginians and the Trojans moved to Italy. Therefore the Romans as heirs of the Trojans would be hereditary foes of the Greeks. The story that the Trojans were the ascendants of the Romans is a misclaim. In fact there were many Greek settlers in Italy. The word Italy even comes from the Greek word italos meaning ‘bull.’ The Romans wanted to play down the fact that Greece was a more ancient and advanced civilisation than Rome.

When they were infants Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. This story is possibly a misunderstanding of the word ‘lupina’ which can mean ‘she-wolf’ in Latin but has another signification too meaning

Romulus built some walls atop a hill. His brother Remus mocked his walls by jumping over them. In a rage Romulus killed his twin. Romulus gave his name to the city of Rome.

The Romulus and Remus story may well be a back formation. That is someone asked why the city was named Rome and to provide an explanation a story was invented.

Romulus became the first King of Rome. When he was old the gathered the whole city in front of him. Everyone saw him vanish into thin air. He was declared to have become the god Quirinius. The Quirinial Hill is named after him.

There were seven kings of Rome one after another. Seven: just like the number of hills. The last king was Tarquinius Superbus. Superbus means ‘the proud’. He certainly thought he was superb! He did not drive a super bus!

Tarquinius became friends with Lars Porsena who was the King of the Etruscans. The Etruscans were an enemy people living to the west. The Romans disliked their king for becoming friends with the foe. The Italian region of Tuscany takes its name from ‘Etruscan.’

The Romans overthrew Tarquinius and he fled. The Roman Republic was declared. In Latin it is ‘res publica’ meaning ‘public thing.’ The people would be in charge of their own governance. A king would not govern over them. They were the first republic outside Greece. The word ‘king’ (‘rex’) in Latin had bad connotations at the bridge.

There is another Roman story about Horatius (or Horatio) who fought the Etruscans as they tried to attack over a bridge. Horatius fought the enemy. The bridge was so narrow only one man could cross at a time. He killed many soldiers until he fell into the river. One version of the story says he drowned another says he survived.

The Romans spoke the Latin language.  The region around Rome was called Latium. Today the region is called Lazzio. They invented the Latin Alphabet which we use today. The alphabet was not entirely original. It borrowed from the Greek Alphabet and the Phoenician Alphabet. The Phoenicians lived in what we now call Palestine, Israel, Malta and Tunisia. The Maltese are the last people to speak a version of the Phoenician language.

There was a town near Rome called ‘Latina’. Latina also means ‘tin’ as in the type of metal. The Romans made many things from tin. By tin they did not mean a tin of beans! They did not have airtight containers like that for food until the 19th century.

The area around Rome was called Latium which is clearly related to ‘Latin’. In Italian it is now called ‘Lazzio.’ There is a city in Lazzio called Latina.

The Romans learnt a huge amount from the Greeks. They Greeks had 12 gods and 12 goddesses: one for each month. The Romans copied that but renamed them.

Jupiter was the King of the gods. He has a wife named Juno who was a goddess. Mars was the god of war. Priapus was the god of the countryside and he had an unusual feature! Neptune had hair of seaweed and a long beard. He held a trident and was the god of the sea.

A statute of a god was housed in a temple. The statue was washed and dressed each day. People performed animal sacrifices on the steps of the temple. The blood of the animals flowed away. Pigs, cows and doves were sacrificed. By propitiating the pantheon the Romans thought they got good luck. A goddess named Fortuna controlled their fate. From her name we get the word ‘fortune.’ It was all sympathetic magic.

The Romans were very superstitious. They believed a man call a haruspex could foretell the future by slaughtering an animal and inspecting the liver. The colour, shape and spots on the liver supposedly indicated what would happen to the person who asked the haruspex to foretell the future. Augurs were men who could tell the future by observing the flight of birds. We still use the word augury derived from these Roman soothsayers. The Romans believed in horoscopes. They could tell a person’s destiny by knowing the exact hour of a person’s birth.

The Romans had women who were vestal virgins. They lived in a centre temple and too vows of chastity. If they broke these they were killed by being buried alive.

The Romans believed in an afterlife. Good people went to the Elysian Fields. Bad people went to the underworld.

Romans buried their dead in tombs by the roadside. They visited graves regularly. They held a party on the birthday of the deceased. The Romans believed the dead could hear them and enjoyed the party. The poured wine on the grave as a substitute for the person’s blood.

The wealthy had spectacular mausoluea.



Romans wore white gowns called togas. They looked down on people who wore trousers.

The Romans were divided into social classes. At the top were the senatorial class. These people were from very wealthy landowning families. They elected senators from among themselves. The word senator is related to ‘senior’ which means ‘older’ in Latin. The senators met in the Senate. The Senate functioned as a parliament. A member of the senatorial class had the right to a broad purple band on his toga. This class was a tiny minority. Not everyone in the senatorial class was a senator! They merely had the right to vote for senators and the right to seek election to the Senate. There were 50 senators at a time. People sometimes call people in the senatorial class ‘patricians.’ It is related to the word ‘patron’. The names Patrick and Patricia are derived from patrician.

The Eques class were below that. Eques are often translated ‘knights’. Their name is close to the word for horse ‘equus’. Equus gives us the word equestrienne, equine, equestrianism and equestrian. An eques had to own at least one horse. They functioned as the cavalry in the army. They had a thin purple stripe on their togas. The toga were like the middle class. They were a minority of the citizens.

Below that was the plebeian class. The plebes were the lowest class of citizens. They were the majority. Some were reasonably well off. Most were poor. They had an assembly. Two tribunes of the people were appointed to look after their interests. Only members of the senatorial class were allowed to be elected tribunes. Plebes were not allowed to wear purple at all!

Purple dye was only available from sea snails. These were rare and hard to catch. Therefore, purple dye was extremely expensive. This is why we associate purple with power and status. Kings and religious leaders later wore purple robes. We have the expression ‘purple prose’ and ‘purple patches’ because of this.

Women had no political rights in Rome. However, they were invited to dinner parties unlike in Greece. Roman women had dresses with a very high waistline. Women had elaborate hairstyles and wore makeup as well as jewellery.

Roman girls got married in their mid teens. Their husbands were usually several years older. A Roman woman was expected to have as many children as possible. Medical knowledge and techniques were very rudimentary. Therefore life expectancy was about 40.

Marriage could be cum manu (with control) or sine manu (without control). Cum manu meant that the husband had total control.

There were many slaves in Rome. They were captured people from other lands. Sometimes slaves were bought from slave traders. There was no racial rationale to slavery. People of any colour or race could be a slave or a free person. Slavery was uncontroversial in Rome. Unsurprisingly those held in slavery did not think that slavery was good!

Slaves had only one right. They could not be killed without good reason. Public entertainment was a sufficient reason.

If a slave killed his master then all the slaves in the house were executed even if people were certain that some of the slaves were innocent. This was the strongest possible deterrent against killing the master. Any slave who got wind of a plot was likely to inform the master because the slave feared for his own life.

A few slaves were high status. A slave could be a teacher or an accountant. However, most slaves toiled in menial jobs and were treated abominably. They were treated as beasts of burden and worked to death.

A master might have an intimate relationship with his male and female slaves. A child born of such a liaison was still held in servitude.

A slave could be set free. He was then a freedman not a free man. A man born the son of a freedman was a free man. They could rise to any position in society.

A slave who was set free was said to be manumitted. That means ‘sent out from the hand.’ Manu is the hand and missio is ‘I send’ as in the word mission.

Censors regulated the social classes. If the wealth of a patrician family fell below a certain level they were demoted. It was possible to move up a social class but very rare and expensive. Patricians were not allowed to engage in commerce.

Politicians tried to be popular with the lower classes. They gave away bread for free. They paid for gladiatorial fights and chariot races at the Circus Maximus. The expression was ‘panem et circenses’ meaning ‘bread and circus’.



The circus in Rome was totally different from our idea of a circus. The circus was only for chariot races. A chariot in a race was a quadriga – it had four horses. They completed a set number of circuits of the track. The chariot was light so it could go fast. But that made it unstable and fragile. It could break apart under the strain of the race or flip over. Charioteers often whipped rival charioteers. Charioteers were badly injured or even killed by falls or being trampled by horses. Watching these races was exceedingly exhilirating. People were on the edge of their seats.

A chariot race was watched by tens of thousands of people. A charioteer dressed in a prearranged colour: black, blue, red, or whatever. People supported a colour. The groups of fans were called ‘factiones’ which gives us the word ‘faction’. They were very passionate about their colour and sometimes fought each other as they shouted their support for their chosen charioteer. Not much has changed in spectator sports!

In the Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre) people watched gladiatorial combat. The word gladiator is related to the Latin word gladius (sword).  The gladiators were of different kinds and had different equipment. A rhetor had a helmet, an armoured arm, a net and a long trident. He was like a fisherman. He might be against a man with a shield, a sword and a breastplate but no helmet. That made it more interesting to watch – seeing men with different equipment fight.

The Romans would sometimes flood the Colosseum performance space so that sea battles could be fought between boats.. When the performance space was dry they had trapdoors that could raise wild beast to the centre of the performance space in the middle of the fight to add an exciting surprise.

100 000 people packed into the Colosseum to spectate. It was the largest entertainment venue in the world for many centuries. It was so well built that most of its still stands almost 2 000 years after its construction.

If one gladiator overpowered and wounded another he would stop with his weapon poised over the other man’s chest. The winning gladiator would look to whoever was in charge of the games. He was usually a rich politician. The gladiator looked to see if it was thumbs up or thumbs down.

The man in charge of the games listened to the crowd. They would shout and show what they thought with their thumbs. The patron of the games usually went along with the majority opinion and signaled to the gladiator with his thumb.

For us thumbs up is good news. But in Rome it meant: stab him to death. Thumbs down meant: put your sword away and let him live.

Gladiators were adulated. They were seen as very desirable by women and they were rich. But their lives were short! Every fight could be your last.

If you were wounded you might be disabled for life. If you were wounded and allowed to live then you might die of an infection in the wound days later. Medicine was very primitive back then.

Gladiators were usually slaves or criminals. A brigand who was sentenced to death could be  They were trained in gladiatorial schools.

Astonishingly, some free men chose to become gladiators. They did so because the rewards were as enormous as the risks.

The Romans knew the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus who made wings and flew. Sometimes they attached wings to a slave and pushed him off a tall building to see if he could fly.

The Romans fed unpopular religious minorities to wild beasts. This included Christians. The Roman Government reviled Christians since this religion would not acknowledge the divinity of the Roman pantheon. The Romans did not accept monotheism. The lions and leopards were not fed for days beforehand. They had to be ravenous to make sure that they ate people.

When the big cats were brought out they were sometimes so frightened by the roaring crowd that they just sat down and cowered. If this happened the beast master who brought them were publicly executed.

The Romans brought in wild animals to the Colosseum from all over Europe and North Africa. Until the Middle Ages there were wild lions in Europe.

The people of Rome loved a good public execution. They were a very blood thirsty lot.

The Ancient Romans were highly civilised but also savage. They were very advanced in science and technology for their era but they were also crueler than less sophisticated people. The Romans watched people whom they knew to be totally innocent being eaten alive. That was considered fun!

The Romans also practised crucifixion. This was a sadistic form of execution. The person was nailed to a cross. He died from asphyxiation hours or days later as his diaphragm collapsed. The form of execution was used for rebels.

Latin has the word ”spectator”. It means exactly the same as in English. This is related to the word spectacle.

The rich had dinner parties. They would get a slave blind drunk beforehand. As the guests (men and women) arrived they would see the poor slave shambling around. This was to remind the dinner guests that when someone is drunk he is not smart or impressive but looks like a fool. People drank wine but were careful not to overdo it.

Ladies wore makeup and had elaborate hairstyles.

People say on a chaise longue to eat. When they were full they went to a vomitorium to make themselves vomit so they could eat more.

Lucullus was a Roman who served legendarily lavish dinners. That is why we have the expression ‘a lucullan feast’.


Rome was centred around the forum. The forum was a marketplace and there were temples and law courts around the edges. Later Roman rulers built new fora. Therefore, there are several fora now: one beside the next. Some people say forums as the plural.

Patricians liked to stroll around there. They would have clients to follow them and listen to their speeches. A client was a member of one of the lower two classes.

Unlike our idea in Rome a client was paid by a patron. A client would received a sportula which is an amount of money (six and a quarter sesterces).

Patricians would try to move up cursus honorum (the way of honours). Cursus honorum was series of political offices they could be elected to. Among these were priesthoods.

Upper class Romans (patricians) often worked as lawyers. Oratory was very valued. A lot of Roman plebeians could not read therefore the spoken word mattered more than the written word. Cicero and Cinncinatus were among the renowned lawyers and politicians. Quintillian wrote The Education of an Orator about how to train a public speaker.

Children learnt to write on slates on wax tablets with a stylus which was a wooden implement like a pen. Paper was made form papyrus and was very expensive. They had scrolls. They did not have books as we do. At first they had no punctuation marks or even spaces between the letters. The Romans only had capital letters. Back then they had no letters J, Y and K. They used the letter ‘I’ where we would use a ‘J’. They did not have an ‘I’ sound.  They always read aloud. The idea of reading silently had not occured to them.

Sometimes they tried to mass produce books. A book would be read aloud for scribes to copy down.

Roman Republic was co-ruled by two consuls at a time. A consul could serve for one year only and never be re-elected. The idea as the separation of powers. They could not risk one man becoming too mighty. He might become a tyrant. The Romans did not want a king back. They were convinced that kings were wicked. They were proud to have a republic. Later the rules were relaxed and a consul could serve more than one term but consecutive terms were not allowed.


Once a year all Roman men had to gather atop a hill. Those who were able bodied were selected for military service.

The Romans at first had an army with cavalry from the eques (the knightly class). Older men were triarii – that mean pike men. They were slower moving and were at the rear of the battle array. There were some men who were skirmishers known as vanatorii (”hunters”). They fought spaced out in front. They had a short sword and a bow and arrow. They had to be very fast moving. Most men were princeps and hastaii. They had a long shield, a short sword and two javelins.

Soldiers were not allowed to marry during their period of military service. However, many had girlfriends and even children.

The Roman Army was divided into legions. A soldier was called a legionary. It is related to the word ‘liga’ meaning bond. They were bound together. This word ”liga” gives us words like league, ligament and religion.

Later military reforms got rid of the skirmishers and the pike men. All infantry became men with a long shield, a short sword and two javelins. One javelin was light and one was heavy. The metal on the javelin was partly tempered and partly not. If a javelin hit an enemy shield it would bend. It could not be taken out of the shield. The shield became an unwieldy encumbrance and the enemy soldier usually dropped it.

The Romans would throw their light javelin from 30 metres and their heavy javelin from 20 metres range. They would draw their swords and charge. They had short swords. They believed in stabbing and not in slashing. A slashing movement opened too much of the body for the enemy to stab.

Roman armour was excellent. It covered the important parts of the body without being too heavy. Roman legionaries had a way of fitting their shields together to form a tortoise. That meant they could not be stabbed from the front, the back, the sides or the top.

About 100 soldiers were led by a centurion. His rank is related to ‘centus’ meaning a hundred. Six centuries made up a cohort. The cohorts made up a legion of 6 000 infantry. There were also a few hundred cavalry in a legion. In reality legions were almost always under strength. The legion had a standard that was carried into battle. The legions wanted to protect it. It represented the honour of the legion. If the enemy captured the standard the legion would try very hard to get it back. The Romans did not have flags. A standard would be a symbol like an eagle.

The standard like so many Roman objects had the letters SPQR on it meaning ‘the Senate and People of Rome.’

There were auxiliary units of non-Roman citizens. These were from friendly peoples and tribes. They often used different weapons and tactics from the Romans.

The Romans numbered their legions I, II, III, IIII, V and so on. Note that the Romans usually wrote four as IIII and not IV.

On campaign the Roman Army built a fort for every night. That was even with a small trench and a wooden palisade. Sentries were posted all night. A sentry who fell asleep on duty was severely beaten by his comrades since he had endangered their lives.

The Roman legionaries had to carry their paraphernalia. Before Marius there had been mules to carry the baggage. Marius got rid of the mules as expensive and noisy. The mules lost the element of surprise. Legionaries then grudgingly referred to themselves as Marius’ mules.

The soldiers were often paid in salt. Salt flavoured food and also preserved it. This is why we say ‘he is worth his salt.’

If a unit ran away and they were later captured then they were decimated. That means one man in ten was executed at random.

The Romans were superb at siege warfare. They could undermine walls. They had a battering ram on wheels with a roof of animal hides to protect the soldiers operating the battering ram. The Romans also built siege towers on wheels. These would be taller than the walls of the city of fortress to be stormed.

Catapults were built. These were very powerful.

There was also a Roman Navy. The sailors sailed the ships and did not fight. The marines fought and did not sail it. The marines fired arrows and catapults. The catapults sometimes fired burning objects. They also had a bridge with a spike that could be lowered onto a nearby enemy ship allowing the marines to walk across and fight with swords and shields. Roman ships were galleys. They had sails but they also had banks of oars underneath. A trireme had three banks (levels) of oars. A quinqureme had five banks of oars. The more oars, the faster it went. But bigger ships were expensive and less manueverable.

The oarsmen were galley slaves. It was a horrific life. They were whipped if they did not row fast enough. They were chained to the ship to prevent escape. If they ship sank so did they.

The navy was as superstitious as the rest of society. One fleet carried some supposedly sacred chickens. If the chickens ate when food was offered this signaled good luck for the Roman Navy. Before a battle these chickens once refused to eat. The admiral grew irate and threw the chickens into the sea saying ‘if they will not eat let them drink.’ He lost the battle. The admiral was demoted not for losing but for impiety.

The Romans were constantly battling to defeat pirates. Julius Caesar captured a pirate leader and scolded him for his impudence in robbing people on the high seas. The pirate captain retorted, ”I steal one ship and you call me a pirate. You rob a thousand ships so you call yourself an emperor.” The man was crucified for his cheek.

The prows of captured warships were displayed in the Forum Romanum. This was a place for public speeches. It was called ‘rostrum’ meaning ‘prows’. To this day a platform for making a public speech is called a rostrum.

The Romans gradually conquered Italy. Nearby peoples learnt Latin. The Romans allowed people in the rest of Italy to become Roman citizens. In time in areas beyond Italy some people became Roman citizens.


The Romans were very advanced at architecture and engineering. They built multistorey buildings including blocks of flats. They did not have lifts.

Some palaces and the colosseum were enormous. They needed to supply water to these buildings and to Rome in general. They built aqueducts to bring water from the nearby hills. Water only flows downhill. Therefore the aqueducts had to slope very slightly down for miles. They water flowed from pipes 24/7. Much of it went down the drain. This water was wasted because the Romans did not have taps. It did not occur to them to turn off the flow of water. Why? That is because rivers cannot be turned off. No one had thought of inventing a way to stop the flow and store the water.

Some Roman buildings still stand today well over 2 000 years after they were built. Le Pont de Gars in France is an aqueduct that is now used as a bridge.

The Romans even had underfloor heating. This was not needed in Rome itself because it is not very cold even in winter. It was needed in northern reaches of the empire.

The Romans built public lavatories. There were separate ones for men and women. Men sat down as well as women. There was no pissoir. There were no cubicles. Therefore people were right beside to each other and could chat.

There were public baths. This was more like a swimming pool. There would be a hot room and a cold room. People went for massages and had the oil scraped off. People bathed in the nude so there were separate sections for men and women. The baths were free. This was the only way many people could wash.

The Romans had theatres for dramatic performances. They watched tragedies and comedies. They had clowns.

Some edifices were jerry built. These were liable to collapse. The poor often lived in such houses.

A Roman town by the Bay of Naples is called Pompeii. A volcanic eruption covered it in deadly ash. They people of the town died. The town was buried under ash. It was perfectly preserved for centuries until excavated in the 19th century.

The Roman soldiers built roads. They hated doing it. It was laborious and dull. Therefore roads were as short as possible. They would build over a hill even if that meant walking this route was slower than if the road had been built to avoid the hill. The roads were dead straight to minimise the road’s length. The roads were so well built that some still exist over 2 000 years later.

The roads made travel on foot or by horse much faster. It was said that all roads led to Rome.

Slaves were sent to deliver letters. There was no postal service.



The Roman Empire spread beyond Italy. In the 3rd century AD it stretched into Gaul (France) and Spain. They invented the word Spain (Hispania). The Romans divided the empire into provinces.  They conquered the Adriatic Coast.

The Romans fought the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians were descended from the Phoenecians. The wars against them were called the Punic Wars. Punic is related to Phoeniecian. In the end the Romans won.

Carthage was taken by the Romans. It was demolished. Its soil was sown with salt so nothing would grow.

After the Punic Wars the Romans had a Social War. Two factions fought each other. They were the Optimates and the Populares. Sulla led the former and Marius led the latter. Sulla won.

Marius had reformed the army. He had got rid of mules to carry things for the soldiers. The soldiers disliked this because they had to carry more heavy objects. Soldiers joked that they were Marius’ mules.

A soldier’s equipment was called paraphernalia.

A soldier (legionary) was paid in salt. That is why we have the word ‘soldier’ and ‘salary’ – all related to the Latin word for salt. We also have the expression ‘he is worth his salt.’ Salt was important for preserving food.

Roman has a currency with units like a denarius and sestersi. The Italian word for money ‘denaro’ is related to denarius.

The Romans came to rule everything from Scotland to Iraq. They never invaded Ireland because we Irish are too tough for them.


Women had few rights in Rome. Not many girls went to school. We have almost nothing written by women. The could not have any job other than a housewife or being a menial labourer.

Women married as young as 12. They were expected to have as many babies as possible. Only half the children survived to adulthood.

Romans believed that a vein from the ring finger went straight to the heart. When a woman wed she said to her husband ‘where you are Gaius and I am Gaia”.

Gaius was a common Roman name. In English it is the name ‘Guy’. Gaia is the feminine of Gaius.

Divorce was rare at first. It became common in the time of Julius Caesar. But Augustus tried to discourage it. He felt it was immoral.

There was a female cult within the Roman religion. It was the worship of a goddess called Bona Dea. Only women could participate in the ceremonies and they did not write down what this involved.



Julius Caesar was a Roman patrician. When Julius was a baby his father died. Caesar was born in 100 BC.

The Caesar family may have had that name because an ancestor was born by caesarean section: i.e. he was taken out of his mother’s womb by an incision. The word ‘caesura’ is a cutting. There is also incision meaning cutting in. There is another etymological theory that his name related to curly hair. He was said to be descended from Venus the goddess of love many generations earlier. However, Romans accepted that in his lifetime Caesar was a human.

Julius Caesar’s family had been on the losing side on the Social War. Nonetheless he rose fast. He studied at University on the Island of Rhodes in Greece. Like many upper class Romans he spoke Greek as well as Latin.

In Spain he saw a statute of Alexander the Great at Gades (Cadiz). He thought that Alexander had achieved much more at that age.

Julius held many offices like Priest of Jupiter.  He was also an army officer. Caesar fought pirates in the Mediterranean. Once he was captured. As he was from a rich family the pirates asked for a ransom for him. Caesar suggested they increase it. They did. It was paid and he was set free.

Later Caesar defeated pirates. He asked a captured pirate chief ‘How dare you steal ten ships!’ The pirate leader said, ‘I steal ten ships so you call me a pirate. You steal a thousand ships so you call yourself an emperor. Which one of is more guilty?’ The pirate was crucified for his impertinence.

Julius fought in what is now Turkey. He described one campaign pithily ‘vendi vidi vici’ meaning ‘I came I saw I conquered.’

He fought in Gaul and wrote the Gallic Wars about it. In this he referred to himself in the third person. He launched two expeditions into Britannia (Britain) on successive summers.

As Caesar got out of a ship at Pevensey he fell onto to the shingle and cut his face. The Romans were deeply superstitious and thought it an ill omen. Julius instantly turned this portent of doom into an auspicious portent by saying ‘look I have seized this land with both hands!’ Exactly the same story was told about William the Conqueror who landed at the same beach 1 100 years later!

Caesar marched north and crossed the Thames. He fought at Brentford. He decided that Britain was too difficult to conquer. He took a few Britons as slaves and retreated. It was also a punitive expedition. The Britons were Celts like most Western Europeans. They were aiding their fellow Celts in Gaul against the Romans.

Julius built a bridge across the River. He fought tribes called the Allemanii and the Germanii. The Germanii give us the word German. In other languages Germany is Allemania because of the Allemania. A later Roman Emperor defeated them and took the title Germanicus.

A Roman Emperor who beat the Britons called himself Britannicus. Just as Scipio defeated the Carthaginians and called himself Africanus.

In Gaul Julius founded Forum Iulii (today’s Frejus). That was where Agricola was born who later ruled Britannia.

Julius Caesar formed a triumvirate with Pompey and Crassus. A triumvirate is an alliance between three. It comes form the words ‘tri’ (three) and vir (man).

Pompey was a politician and military commander like Caesar. Crassus was famously wealthy. That is why we say someone is ‘as rich as Crassus.’

Pompey and Caesar later fell out. Pompey fled to the coast of Egypt. He sent a slave ashore to ask Egyptian permission to land. The Egyptians agreed and sent a boat to bring Pompey from his ship onto the beach. Pompey boarded the Egyptian boat. The Egyptians stabbed him to death. They believed that Caesar would win and wished to be get in his good books.

Julius Caesar had not heard of the fate of Pompey but he knew that Pompey had gone to Egypt. Julius landed at Alexandria and demanded that Pompey be handed over. The Queen of Egypt gave him Pompey’s severed head. The queen was named Cleopatra. Julius and Cleopatra formed a romantic relationship.

Caesar was not allowed to lead his troops out of his province. The River Rubicon separated Gaul from Italy. He decided to seize power in Rome. He brought his men to the Rubicon. He hesitated about crossing the river. Then an omen from the gods signalled him to do it. He said ‘alea iacta est’ – ‘the die is cast’. He crossed the Rubicon. This means making a major decision.

Caesar had a relationship with the Queen of Egypt. She was called Cleopatra. She gave birth to his son Caesarion.

Julius seized power. He was popular among the plebes. He made himself sole consul and dictator for life. He had coins struck with his face on them. Only coins with a god’s face had been minted before.

Other patricians were envious and suspicious. They feared that Caesar wanted to be king.

Caesar had a triumph through Rome. This was a victory parade. He wore victor’s laurels as he travelled in a chariot to be hailed by the crowd with the word ‘ave’. A slave whispered in his ear ‘remember you are only a man.’ A man who was so effusively praised by an adoring multitude might believe that he was a god.

A rumour got about that Julius wanted to shift the capital to Egypt. This was false.

Mark Anthony was Julius Caesar’s bosom companion. Mark Anthony was an excellent army officer. Crassus was an extremely wealthy man who was also Caesar’s ally. They has formed a triumvirate – an alliance of three men ruling together. In the end Caesar ruled on his own.

Some senators formed a clandestine group called the liberatores. They believed that to preserve Roman liberty Caesar must die.

Brutus had been very close to Caesar. He was 17 years younger that Caesar. Some speculated that he was secretly Caesar’s son. But Brutus was alarmed at Caesar’s dictatorial ways. He joined the liberatores.

Caesar went to a soothsayer. The woman could foretell the future. She warned him ‘beware the Ides of March’. The Ides of any month was the 15th day. But she did not know the nature of the peril that he faced.

Julius went to the Senate. The senators approached him. They drew daggers. He was poinarded and shouted ‘this is violence.’ Then Brutus approached knife in hand. Caesar said ‘kai su teknon?’ (‘and you my son’ in Greek). Brutus then stabbed Julius who fell dead. Julius could not believe it that he beloved Brutus would stab him too. In Shakespeare the last words of Caesar are ‘and you my son.’

Caesar was stabbed 44 times. Most senators stabbed him. The idea is if they all did it then it would mean they could not be punished. There were too many assassins. It was 44 BC when Caesar died.

Mark Anthony gave the funeral oration before Caesar’s funeral. His stirring speech and the fact that Caesar’s will give money to every free man in Rome turned public opinion towards him. Julius also gave his garden to the public.

Mark Anthony fell out with the liberatores. The Liberatores fled Rome. Octavian was Caesar’s great nephew. He and Mark Anthony were allies. They formed a triumvirate with Lepidus who was a cavalry commander.

The 17 year old Octavian chased the liberatores to northern Italy. He defeated them in two battles near Forum Gallorum.

Mark Anthony gathered the army and pursued the enemy to Greece. The liberatores had soldiers on their side.

At the Battle of Pharsallus the liberatores were heavily defeated. Those assassins who had not been killed committed suicide.

Mark Anthony then married Cleopatra. She had been Caesar’s girlfriend.

In Rome Caesar’s great nephew rose to power. His name was Octavian. He was the grandson of Caesar’s sister. Julius Caesar had only one surviving child Caesarion who was his son with Cleopatra. Caesarion was not considered his heir since he was born out of wedlock.

Octavian became sole consul for life. It was the same position Caesar had held.

Octavian agreed to divide the empire with Mark Anthony. Octavian would have the western two-thirds. Mark Anthony would have the eastern third.

The agreement quickly broke down. Octavian went to war against Mark Anthony. A huge sea battle was fought off the coast of Greece. It was the Battle of Actium. Octavian;s forces prevailed.

Mark Anthony ran away to Egypt. He was pursued by Octavian’s men. The Roman Army closed in on the palace where Anthony and Cleopatra were hiding. Mark Anthony fell on his sword: i.e. committed suicide. Cleopatra asked for a snake called an asp to be brought. She committed suicide by having the poisonous snake bite her.

Caesarion was captured. He was Caesar’s son. Octavian ordered that Caesarion be killed. He was a potential rival. It was a strange way to show reverence to Julius Caesar!

Octavian was the undisputed ruler of the Roman Empire. He had himself made imperator literally ‘commander’ or emperor.

Octavian changed his name to Augustus. This means ‘respected’.

Augustus tried to revive religion. He felt it had been disrespected and people were decadent. He said it was ‘parens patriae’ meaning ‘parent of the fatherland.’

The Senate continued to function. However, it was subservient to the emperor.

Augustus changed the calendar. There used to be 10 months of 36 days each. September was the seventh month, October was the eight, November the ninth and December meant the tenth. He introduced the month of July after Julius Caesar. Then there were Augustus named in honour of Augustus himself.

The Romans had a festival at 22 December called saturnalia. It was a raucous one. Christmas is held at that time because of this.

They had a festival where slaves and masters swapped places for a day.



Augustus founded the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Augustus had no children. He had his nephews declared ‘princeps juventutum’ meaning ‘the princes of youth.’ When Augustus died his nephew took over. The emperorship was heritable.

The emperor was said to be ‘primus inter pares’ meaning ‘first among equals.’

Julius Caesar was deified. All dead emperors were made gods in time. People could observe any religion so long as they prayed to the emperors too.

The cursus honorum continued under the empire. There were still consuls right up to the Middle Ages. But the emperor made sure a yes man only would get elected.

The empire continued to expand. The Romans conquered Judea (Palestine and Israel). They disliked the Jews for not worshiping the emperors.

There were some moronic emperors. Caligula (”little boots”) was a deranged emperor who made his horse a senator. He was later assassinated.

Nero was the most depraved emperor. He famously ”fiddled while Rome burned”. That means he played his lyre (musical instrument) during the Great Fire of Rome and did not organise an effort to douse the flames. He had Christians burnt alive to provide flood lighting at evening garden parties. He went to the Olympic Games in Greece and declared that he had won every single event.

Nero was later assassinated. As he died of his wounds he said ”Quid artifex in me pereo” – ”what an artist dies in me.”

In 70 AD there was  Jewish Revolt. It was smashed. The Jews made a last stand at Masada and committed suicide. A Jew who went over to the Roman side named Josephus wrote The Jewish War which is a vital historical source.

In time the Julio-Claudians were overthrown. Whoever had most military power became emperor. One year was the year of four emperors because of the violent power struggles.

The Praetorian Guard was the emperor’s bodyguard. They never left Rome. Sometimes the Praetorians were persuaded to overthrown and kill an emperor. They would replace him with someone who offered them a better deal.

Because the Romans were fighting each other they enfeebled themselves. Over the centuries they were attacked by stronger enemies.

In Germany Arminius led the German tribes to ambush the Romans in the forest. The Romans suffered a heavy defeat. Arminius’s name was known as ‘Herman’ in subsequent chronicles. It is a popular name in Germany today.

The Goths, Visigoths and Huns began to attack the Romans in the north and east. The Huns were audacious horsemen. The Romans found it hard to cope with such tactics.

In North Africa the Vandals rebelled. The vandals liked to break things. They gave their name to vandalism.

The Romans suffered defeats by the Parthians in the extreme east of the empire. The Romans had to withdraw from some areas.

In the early 5th century AD the Romans withdrew from Britannia and told the Britons to prepare for their own defence. Some Britons were Romanised by that time.

Rome was being attacked. The Gauls came down to seize the city. Some geese with their keen hearing heard the enemy approach at night and made noise. This alerted the soldiers and they defeated the Gaulish attack.

Christians were viciously persecuted at first. They lived in catacombs under Rome – tunnels for burial.

The Emperor Constantine’s mother converted to Christianity. She persuaded him to change to. He saw the sign of the cross in the sky and said ‘In this sign I shall conquer’. Then Christianity became the state religion.

St Peter is seen as the first Bishop of Rome. He was executed in what is now St Peter’s Square. The Bishop of Rome became known as the pope. The pope took the title ‘Pontifex Maximus’ which was the title of a Roman archpriest. It means bridge builder in chief. Bridge builders were thought to have magical power.



The emperor Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople (Istanbul). It was named after him. It was a Greek city. Greek became the official language but the people there still called themselves Romans. Constantinople became known as Byzantium.

The Roman Empire declined and broke up in the west. It survived in the east until 1453. It was getting weaker and weaker until the Turks stormed Byzantium. They renamed it Istanbul. This was from their mishearing of the Greek words ‘to the city.’

In Western Europe the Holy Roman Empire was founded. As Voltaire said it was neither holy nor Roman nor and empire. It was based on central Europe.

The EU



The European Union comprises 27 member states. The EU is a trading bloc and a political union.

After the Second World War some people in Europe wanted to prevent war ever again. They believed that commerce and co-operation would achieve this.

They founded the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).  Several countries in Western Europe joined ECSC. Members of the ECSC shared resources. Steel can be used to make weapons of war. Coal was used to power factories and trains. Factories could manufacture weapons and trains could take soldiers to war. By pooling resources it was believed that these countries could never fight against each other.

In 1957 the European Economic Community (EEC) by the Treaty of Rome. The EEC had six members states: West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium. The EEC was often known as ‘the Common Market’. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg already had a customs union called the Benelux.

The EEC was just a common market at first. Goods and services from one country could be bought in another. Until that time each land had its own regulations. Goods and services from other countries were often not allowed because they did not comply with national regulations. People had to pay tax to move goods across borders.

It was decided to place the capital in Brussels. No one could suspect Belgium of being so strong as to dominate Europe. Belgium is a trilingual country that embodies the European idyll.

The founders of the EEC were two Frenchmen: Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann. They wanted a United States of Europe. They saw the USA as the model. The USA has 50 states. Schumann and Monnet say the European countries as the 20 or 30 future states of their USE. However, they were aware that this plan was far too radical for many people. National identity was very strong. Many people jealously guarded national independence. They believed that their identity would be subverted by joining a USE. Monnet and Schumann said that their European Project had to move very slowly. But step by step European nations would integrate. They would co-operate on more and more issues. They would become inexorably more united.

The European Parliament was founded. It alternates between Brussels and Strasbourg.  At first its members were nominated by national parliaments.

Not everyone likes the EU. Those who dislike it are called eurosceptics. Those who like it are europhiles.

The EEC took in more member states. In 1973 the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark joined.

Norway refused to join because it would have lost exclusive access to its fishing grounds. A proposal to join the EEC was voted down in a referendum.

In 1979 the European Parliament held its first elections. The people elected thereto are MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

Greece, Spain and Portugal joined in the 1980s.

In 1992 the Treaty of Maastricht was signed. This founded the European Union (EU). The EEC turned into the EU in 1993.

The EU is about the four freedoms. These are the free movement of people, goods, capital and services. You can sell almost any service or product in another member state. You can move money and valuables from one EU country to another.

All EU citizens have the right to live and work in other member states. They can vote in local elections and European elections in another member state. They also have a right to stand for election to the European Parliament in another member state. A French socialist was elected to represent Italy in the European Parliament.

The European Commission is the executive of the EU. It is the equivalent of a cabinet of ministers. There are 27 commissioners. One is from each member state. Only the European Commission can propose legislation.

The European Parliament is the legislature. It is weighted towards the smaller member states. Malta has 12 times the per capita representation of Germany. Germany is the largest member state in population.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is based in Luxembourg. The ECJ is the judicial branch of the EU.

In the 1990s many europhiles wanted to set up a single European currency. They decided on the name the Euro. In 1993 it was decided that the Euro would soon be launched. The UK and Denmark chose not to join the Euro.

In 1995 Austria, Sweden and Finland joined the EU. The EU talked about taking in former communist countries.

In 2002 the Euro was finally launched as a real currency. Most EU countries use the Euro. Countries that use the Euro are said to be in the Eurozone. Some countries are not in the EU but use the Euro. These include Monaco, the Vatican City, Montenegro, Kosovo and Andorra.

In 2004 ten more members joined. These included Eastern European lands as well as Cyprus and Malta.

In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined. In 2018 Croatia joined the EU.

The EU is grossly profligate. Billions of Euros are squandered every year. There is a great deal of embezzlement. The Common Agricultural Policy keeps food prices high. It pays people not to grow food. It dumps food on developing markets. It paid people to grow tobacco which it is illegal to sell because it is too strong.

The Common Fisheries Policy led to overfishing. Many fish are caught and thrown back into the sea dead. EU countries have to share their fishing grounds.

All EU member states have the absolute right to leave the EU at any time.

The UK left the EU in 2020. It is the only member state to ever do so.

Note that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is NOT an EU Court. This is a common misconception. The ECHR is based in Strasbourg.

The EU has a flag with 12 stars. These reflect the 12 member states at the time the flag was conceived in 1992. It was decided not to add more stars as more members joined. The EU has an anthem – the Ode to Joy.

The EU has a Rapid Reaction Force. This is an army in all but name. The EU Rapid Reaction Force has engaged in peacekeeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Its naval element has patrolled the Indian Ocean to stop piracy.

The EU has a common foreign policy and defence policy. It has external representative offices.

All citizens of EU states are also citizens of the EU. They have the right to live and work in all other member states unless they are serious criminals.


  1. When was the EEC founded?
  2. What does EEC stand for?
  3.  What was the EEC sometimes known as?
  4. Which Treaty founded the EEC?
  5. When did the UK join the EEC?
  6.  When was the EU founded?
  7. When was the Euro launched as a paper currency?
  8.  Are all EU countries in the Eurozone?
  9. Name one non-EU country that used the Euro?
  10. What is the ECJ?
  11. What is the cabinet of the EU called?
  12.  Which two cities host the European Parliament?>
  13. How many stars are on the EU Flag?
  14. What rights do EU citizens have in member states other than their own?
  15. Which country has the largest population in the EU?
  16.  Do all member states have the same per capita representation in the European Parliament?
  17. Does the EU have a common foreign policy?
  18. Which Treaty formed the EU?
  19. Does a member state have the right to leave the EU?
  20.  Do you support the EU? Ten marks.

Indira Gandhi. super advanced course lesson 10


super advanced course lesson 10


In 1917 Indira Priyadarshini Nehru was born at Allahabad, India. Her father was Jawaharlal Nehru who was a barrister and a luminary in the Congress Party. Her mother was Kamala Nehru. Indira’s grandfather Motilal was also a barrister and had been leader of Congress.

The family were Hindus and had come from Kashmir a century earlier. They were fluent in Hindi and English.

Indira was born several years after her parents wed. She was a much longed for child. Her middle name means ‘dear to the sight.’ She was given the best education money could buy. She grew up in a large and commodious house with extensive gardens and several servants. She was cognizant that not everyone was so blessed as her. Some people in that city lived in abject penury.

In the 1920s her family started to oppose the British Raj outright. Her father and grandfather were frequently arrested. They were fined for civil disobedience. They refused to pay these fines. Policemen came to the house to confiscate goods to the value of the fine. As the police tried to take away the furniture the toddler Indira punched them.

Indira totally agreed with the Congress Party. Her family decided not to buy any British products. They decided that they would also destroy all the British made objects they owned. In public in held a bonfire and burnt their pricey British clothes. In solidarity Indira burnt her treasured dolls.

In the 1920s Kamala was plagued by ill health. She gave birth to a boy who died within days.

In the 1930s Kamala died. Indira’s relationship with her father became even closer. Being an only child was highly unusual back then.

As a teenager she met Ferozevarun Gandhi who proposed marriage to her. She turned him down because she was of legal age but she considered herself too young.

In time Indira was sent to school at Badminton, England. She was fairly scholarly.

In 1935 Indira went to Oxford University. She attended Somerville College. This was an all female college. She joined the Labour Club. Indira was attracted to the UK Labour Party because they were sympathetic to Indian independence.

Whilst in the UK she was dating Ferozevarun Gandhi. He was a Parsee which is a very minor Indian religion. He was studying at the London School of Economics (LSE). Indira and Ferozevarun visited Paris together.

Indira struggled with Latin at Oxford. She soon dropped out.

Ferozevarun and Indira sailed to India. They became engaged. In 1942 they married in Allahabad.  The marriage was conducted according to Hindu usages. Thereafter she was known as Mrs Gandhi.

Indira soon became pregnant. Her husband was arrested for anti-colonial agitation. Indira then gave birth to her firstborn Rajiv in 1944.  In 1945 Ferozevarun was set free. In 1946 their second child Sanjay was born.

In 1947 India became independent. Indira was in the Congress Party. India granted women political equality upon independence.

In the 1950s Indira entered politics. She rose rapidly. Her husband worked as a journalist.

Indira traveled abroad with her father. She and her sons sailed with the prime minister to Indonesia for the Bandung Conference.

By the mid 1950s Indira and her husband were estranged. They lived separately but did not divorce. There was a stigma surrounding divorce at the time.

Indira sent her sons to boarding school. They attended the Doon School which is in Dehra Dun. Dehra Dun is in the hills north of Delhi. The Doon School is one of India’s elite schools and was founded by an Eton schoolmaster in the 1930s.

In 1960 Ferozevarun died. Indira never remarried.

By the early 1960s Indira was a cabinet minister. Her father was visibly ailing.

In 1964 Nehru died. He was replaced as prime minister by Lal Bahadur Shastri.

In 1965 Shastri died in the Soviet Union. Some suspect that he was poisoned.

Indira was made prime minister. She was the second woman in the world to become prime minister. She said she wanted to advance women’s rights and abolish pauperism.

Mrs Gandhi tacked towards the USSR. The prime minister believed that India needed to take advantage of all that the Soviets had to offer.  She was not communist but was not anti-communist either. I P Gandhi scorned American rhetoric about democracy when the US propped up so many pernicious dictatorships. She excoriated the United States for fighting in Vietnam. The USA had decided to back Pakistan a religiously discriminatory military dictatorship over India which was one of the freest countries on earth. Indira visited the USSR several times and lauded it for its achievements.

Indira continued to try to help lower caste people. She believed positive discrimination must be used to help these people. She was also eager to advance women. Mrs Gandhi outlawed dowries. That is because some Hindus believe that a bride’s family must offer a dowry. If a woman’s family did not have enough money then she could not wed. The amount for dowries went up and up. It became ruinous. Mr Gandhi said this system was pernicious and ruined families. A woman who did not wed was scorned by some.

Under Mrs G the licence raj continued. To produce or import things people needed licences. This was intended to ensure there was no useless overproduction. The needs of the poor would be provided for. She did not want wealth leaving India with people buying many costly foreign manufactures. She pursued a socialist economic policy.

Some in Congress were unhappy with her. Some of the old guard were envious because they wanted the top job. They regarded her as inexperienced.

In 1971 she played a blinder against Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from East Pakistan fled to India because the Pakistani Army was slaughtering civilians. When the sympathy of the world was clearly with India Mrs G ordered an invasion. The Pakistani Army in East Pakistan was smashed in short order.

Indians were jubilant. Bangladesh was free. Mrs G’s popularity was at its apogee. She held an election and won a resounding victory.

Her foes accused her of having a conceit of herself. She was depicted by cartoonists as Queen Victoria. Perhaps victory went to her head and she was haughty.

Sanjay Gandhi entered Parliament. Rajiv was not attracted to politics. He flew for Air India.

The Government of India wanted to reduce the population. A policy of vasectomies was introduced. Sometimes it was forced on men and this was illegal. Sanjay was involved in implementing this policy.  Some people left Congress over this.

In 1974 the oil crisis struck. A legal challenge deposed her as an MP. She declared a state of emergency.

The hike in oil prices hit India very hard. It became costly to generate electricity. It became too expensive to transport food and other goods by truck. Therefore the price of foodstuffs increased.

Mrs G met Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher was leader of the Conservative Party. She was nervous. Mrs G advised the woman to be more self-assured or she would never make it as PM.

In 1976 Sanjay died in an air crash. Indira was distraught. Her other son Rajiv agreed to enter the political arena.

In 1977 the state of emergency ended. Elections were held. Mrs G was defeated. Congress went into opposition.

In 1979 another election was held. Indira’s party was known as Congress (Indira) to distinguish it from other parties that used the name Congress. Congress (Indira) won a clear victory. Mrs G was back as prime minister.

Mrs G had to contend with an insurgency in the Punjab. She had to order the army to be more pro active.

Indira flew around the world. She was respected by statesmen far and wide. She maintained a cordial relationship with the West as well as the USSR. Mrs G visited the United States and the UK. She also hosted the Queen of the United Kingdom on a state visit to India.

In June 1984 the prime minister ordered the army to defeat the KLF which was holed up in the Golden Temple, Amritsar. This is the holiest site of Sikhism. The army achieved its objective. However, the fighting in the Golden Temple enraged Sikhs.

Some of the PM’s bodyguards were Sikhs. She was advised not to allow Sikh soldiers near her. Some of them might decided to seek revenge for the damage to their holiest site. Mrs G said she trusted her men and would not send the Sikhs away because that would be bigotry.

On 31 October 1984 two Sikh soldiers decided that they would slay the prime minister. Mrs Gandhi was about to give an interview to Peter Ustinov. As they walked across the garden in Safdarjang Road two soldiers shot her. She collapsed. She was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. However, she died of exsanguination.

One of her assassins was shot dead at the scene. The other was shot and wounded. The wounded man was later judicially executed.

Mrs Gandhi was cremated in Delhi at the customary location for the obsequies for Indian dignitaries. She was succeeded as prime minister by her son Rajiv.


  1. In which year was she born?
  2. In which city was she born?
  3. What was her father’s name?
  4. What faith was the family?
  5. Which school did she attend?
  6. Which British party did she join?
  7. Why did she leave Oxford?
  8. Whom did she marry?
  9. What religion was Ferozvarun?
  10. What were the names of her sons?
  11. Which of her sons was first politically ambitious?
  12. Why was Sanjay unpopular?
  13.  Who was PM before Indira in 1965?
  14. Why did some in Congress dislike Indira?
  15. What year was the victory in East Pakistan?
  16. When did Indira lose an election?
  17. What year did she return as PM?
  18. In which year did she die?
  19. What is your estimation for her? Five marks




Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg. The house in which he was born still stands and is open to the public. This Austrian city was ruled by the Archbishop of Salzburg. The city’s name means ‘salt mountain’ because of the salt mines in the mines outside the city. The River Salzch (‘salty’) flows through the city.

The Mozart family were musicians for the archbishop. The Mozarts were Christians of Catholic denomination. It was the 18th century and most people were religious. Wolfgang’s father was a composer for the  prelate. Wolfgang’s middle name Amadeus means ‘love of God’.

Wolfgang was taught music and little else. He had a natural flair for music. But incessant practising meant that he learnt several instruments very fast. He did not go to school. His father kept him at home to teach the boy music non-stop. Wolfgang had several siblings. Most were musical but none were as gifted as he was.

Before long Mozart’s father gave up his job. He took the child around the courts of Europe showing off the boy’s musical accomplishments. They went to London. People paid money to see this little boy play. He also composed music.

Back then the Holy Roman Empire existed. The province where Mozart was born was Upper Austria. This was part of the Holy Roman Empire. The emperor asked Mozart to visit. The child impressed the emperor. In his adulthood Mozart spent most of his life in Vienna close to the emperor.

The Freemasons is a society with strange rituals. Mozart joined this fraternal society. The Catholic Church forbade its communicants from being freemasons. But Mozart did not care. He became disillusioned with the freemasons and their bizarre ceremonies. He left the organisation.

Mozart composed the music for several operas such as The Marriage of Figaro, Escape from the Seraglio, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni.  Mozart was not the librettist for these. The Magic Flute was a send up of the Freemasons. The Freemasons were unhappy at being ridiculed.

The operas were huge hits. Mozart was lionised but he did not make much money.

W A Mozart married. He had several children. None of them were musically distinguished.

Antonio Salieri was a well known Italian composer in Vienna. Mozart came to know him well and they were friends.

Other non operatic compositions by Mozart include Eine Kleine Nachmusik (a little night music) and his French horn concerto.

Wolfgang was incredibly talented. He was also odd and childish. They say that genius comes with madness. He had a scatological sense of humour. He had been denied a childhood so he remained a child all his life.

Mozart’s financial situation deteriorated. He was a mismanager. He fell ill and died in his 30s. Mozart was buried in an unmarked grave. This was the norm for those who were not nobles in Vienna at the time.

Mozart is one of the most popular composers of all time.

In 1984 Peter Shaffer’s play on Mozart became a film. It was called Amadeus. It was a huge hit.


  1. In which city was Mozart born?
  2. Who was the most important person in Salzburg?
  3. What was Mozart’s father’s job?
  4. Why did Mozart not go to school?
  5. What does his middle name mean?
  6. Why did he travel so much?
  7. Name an opera by him?
  8. Did he write the words for the operas?
  9. Name a non opera composition by him?
  10. Did he marry?
  11. What is your opinion of him? Five sentences.








The religion of the Jews is called Judaism. The Jewish people started out in the Middle East. It is probable that they became a distinct people in what is now Iraq.

The holy book of the Jews is the Bible. There are two parts to the Bible: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jews only believe in the Old Testament. Christians believe in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. They word ‘testament’ is like saying ‘witness statement’ because the prophets were supposedly witnesses of God.

The Bible started to be composed as long ago as 800 BC. It was perhaps an oral document and only written down much later.

The first book of the Bible of the Book of Genesis. In Genesis it says that the Garden of Eden was near the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. These rivers are in Iraq.

It is believed that the Jews migrated through the Fertile Crescent. That means the land where crops grew well. They moved through what is now Syria and Lebanon into what is now Israel and Palestine. The Jews called this area ‘Judea’. The word Jew comes from Judea. The names Judas (for a boy) and Judith (for a girl) are derived from Judea.

The Jews sometimes called themselves the Children of Israel. They believed they were the Chosen People of God. They were almost unique in being monotheistic. They did not make images of God. Most other religions were fertility cults and were polytheistic.

The Jews spent some time in Egypt where they were held in slavery. Pharaoh tried to kill many Jewish boys. A baby boy was born to a Jewish family. His parents made a basket for him and put pitch (tar) on it to waterproof it. The basket was then put on the river and hidden in reeds. The baby’s elder sister was sent to watch over the basket. However, Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby. She decided to raise him as her own. She named the infant ‘Moses’ meaning ‘water’ because she found his basket on the water. A baby’s basket is sometimes called a Moses basket.

Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. So God sent ten plagues to punish the Egyptians.

Moses later led his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. He told them that God would give them this land. The name of God was so holy that Jews usually did not say it but called him the LORD instead.

The escape from Egypt is commemorated at Pesach (Passover). This festival is called this because the tenth plague came. The Angel of Death took the firstborn of every Egyptian family. But the Israelites had been told by Moses to daub blood on their doorposts. The Angel of Death passed over the Jewish homes and did not cause their firstborns to die.

The Jews fled Egypt in a hurry. They did not have time to leaven their bread before they went. So they ate unleavened bread. That is why in the runup to Passover Jews avoid leaven.

Jews fled through the Red Sea. The chariots of the Egyptians came after them. The sea opened to let the Israelites. Then the sea came in and drowned the Egyptians. The truth behind the story is that they fled through a marshy area of reeds. The tide then came in and soaked the pursuing Egyptians.

The Bible

The first five books of the Bible are called The Books of Moses. They are The 1st Book of Moses commonly called Genesis, the 2nd book of Moses commonly called Exodus, the 3rd book of Moses commonly called Leviticus, the 4th book of Moses commonly called Deuteronomy and the 5th book of Moses commonly called Numbers. Moses dies during the 2nd book of Moses! How can he have written the rest? The oldest of these stories are thought to date to roughly 800 BC but perhaps not to have been written down till later.

The Five Books of Moses are sometimes called the Pentaeuch of the Torah (Law).  It has the name Pentateuch because ‘pente’ in Greek means ‘five.’ Judaism is very textual. The word God is ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’ – it is debatable how it should be pronounced. The Jews did not like to say their word for God out loud or even write it. To this day some Jews will not write the English word ‘God’ and only write ‘G-d’. The name is to holy to say or even write!

Genesis begins with the words ‘In the beginning …’ In Greek ‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’ or ‘origin.’ We call the book Genesis because of its first words. Exodus has that name because it has the Jews fleeing Egypt. That is because ‘Exodus’ means ‘exit’ in Greek. Leviticus has that name because the book contains rules about Levites (priests). Deuteronomy means ‘second law’ in Greek because much of the Jewish Law is repeated in this book. Numbers has that name because it contains a census.

The Jewish dietary laws come from these books. Jews are forbidden to eat pork or shellfish. Shellfish rot very quickly so they can make people ill. They cannot eat rabbits since they eat their faeces. Animals are to be slaughtered in a particular way. The throat must be cut with the heart still pumping so the blood is got rid of. Meat and dairy products cannot be consumed at the same meal. There are separate sets of cutlery, crockery and fridges for meat and dairy products.

Dairy products and meat cannot eaten together because it would be perverse to eat an animal cooked in its mother’s milk.

A schochet is a Jewish butcher. A strict Jew will only eat meat that has been slaughtered by a schochet. This is schechita butchering.

The Jewish people believed that if they kept to their covenant with God then God would bless them with health and wealth. God commanded them to take the land of other people.

Jews consider life sacred. They greet each with ‘Shalom’ meaning ‘peace.’

Jews believed they are descended from Abraham. His wife Rachel could not have children for years. Finally she bore a son named Isaac. He was almost sacrificed. Then the Lord provided Abraham with a ram. The ram was sacrificed instead. Jewish people sometimes have the surname Abraham, Abrahams, Abramovich Isaak, Isaacs or Isaac because of this.

Abraham’s other son was Ishmael. The Arabs are descended from him. Arabs are sometimes called Ishmaelites because of this. They say that Ishmael was the legitimate son and that Isaac was not. The Jews say it was the other way around. The Muslims call Abraham ‘Ibrahim’ and they call Ishmael by the name of ‘Ismail’.

The Jews observed the Sabbath. It is called Shabbos or Shabbat in Hebrew. It is the seventh day because after making the world in six days God then rested. Therefore no work is permitted on this day. It is a day for worship. They were not to cook or prepare food.  Jews greet each other with the word ‘Shabbat Shalom’ on the Sabbath.

Ancient Israel

The Jews traveled through the wilderness for 40 years. They defeated the Canaanites and drave them out. Then the Jews came to inhabit the land that is called Israel. It had formerly called Canaan.

After some time they were defeated by the Babylonians. The Jews were taken into captivity. They were taken to Babylon in what is now Iraq.  A Jewess named Esther married Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon. The king had an evil vizier named Haman. Haman wanted to annihilate the Jews. However, Esther persuaded the king to have Haman’s ears cut off. Haman was then executed. Jews perform a play about Haman every year. Whenever his name is mentioned people boo and jeer. This festival is called Purim. People say of Haman ‘may his bones rot’.

The Jews lamented their exile in Babylon. They wrote songs about their yearning to return to their homeland.

After some decades they were freed and allowed to return home. The Jews used to put all the sins of the nation onto a goat and chase it into the wilderness. It was the scapegoat.

The Israelites asked the Lord for a king. Most other nations had a king. The Lord warned the Children of Israel that kings were sometimes wicked. Nevertheless the people insisted that they wanted a king. Nathan the Prophet and Zadok the Priest annointed Solomon the king. King Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem. He met the Queen of Sheba – she was from Ethiopia. Solomon was a great lawgiver. Solomons is a Jewish surname because of him.

After Solomon came Saul. The next king was David. As a little boy David had defeated and killed the Philistine giant called Goliath. David killed him with only stones and a sling. A David and Goliath contest is when the weak fight the mighty.

Sacrifices were carried out in the temple. Levites (priests) conducted these. There were courts in the Temple in Jerusalem. There was the Court of Gentiles where non Jews were permitted. The  inside that was the Court of Women. Jewish women were allowed there. Inside that was the Court of Men. Only Jewish men were allowed in that. Inside that was the Court of Priests – only levites were allowed in. Inside that was the Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest was allowed there. There was a curtain to separate it from the Court of Priests. People believed that God was present there.

Anyone who went into a court where he was not allowed in the Temple he would be slain on the spot. It would be a sacrilege.

Some Jewish people have the surname Levy or Levi because of the levites in ancient times. There are other Jews with the surname Cohen because it comes from ‘kahin’ meaning ‘priest’ in Hebrew.

The Greeks eventually invaded Judea. The Jews fought back but their fight was unavailing. Many young men gave their lives defending their homeland. Until that point Jews had not believed in an afterlife. But it was hard to accept that so many youths had gone to oblivion. Jews then began to believe in heaven.

A lot of Greek immigrants arrived in Judea. Some Jews adopted Greek customs and the language. These Hellenised Jews were disapproved of by Jews who kept to the old ways. The Greeks are called the Hellenes so being Hellenised means adopting the Greek culture and language.

In time the Romans conquered Judea. The Jews were permitted to keep their religion. The Romans wanted the Jews to worship the Roman Emperor as well as Jehovah. The Jews refused. The Romans looked on Jews as a troublesome people.

Some Jews split off and became Samaritans. They were detested by mainstream Jews.

In the 1st century AD the main Jewish denomination were the Pharisees. They believed in an afterlife. The minority denomination were the Saducees. The Pharisees like to stick rigidly to their laws. They made a great show of abiding by these laws.

The Jews rebelled against the Romans. In 70 AD the Romans defeated the Jewish Revolt. Jerusalem was stormed.  The Temple of Solomon was demolished all except for the Western Wall. Josephus was a Jewish insurgent who changed sides. He wrote an account of it called The Jewish War. He also wrote The Antiquities of the Jews which is a vital source. Both of these tomes are in Latin.

At Masada many Jews committed suicide rather than surrender. The Jews were scattered around the Mediterranean. This is called the Diaspora – the dispersal.

Some Jews clung on in Judea for another 50 years. A second insurrection led to them being expelled too.

The Diaspora 

Jews became a minority in other countries. They settled in Spain and other lands. They learnt other languages.

Christianity became the major language of Europe. Christianity had been founded by Jews. At first people even regarded Christianity as a form of Judaism.

Christians started to be anti-Jewish. They said that Jews had killed Jesus Christ. Christian governments passed laws discriminating against Jews. Guilds were open to Christians only. Jews were often forbidden to farm or engage in forestry. In Europe Jews had to lend money or deal in gold and jewels. This is why Jews sometimes have surnames like Gold, Goldman, Silver, Goldschmid, Goldsmith, Silbermann, Diamond and Kaufman (‘buying man’ in German).

The Bible forbade Jews to lend money for interest to other Jews. However, they were allowed to lend money for interest to non-Jews. Christians believed that they were the new Jews. Therefore Christians were not allowed to lend money for interest to their co-religionists. Those who lent money for interest were called ‘usurers’. The practice of lending money for interest is called usury.

Jews were often blamed for things. Christians false accused Jews of spreading bubonic plague. Jews were regularly set upon and killed by Christians. This particularly happened in the Rhine Valley of Germany in the 14th century.

There were pogroms against Jews. In England Jews were slaughtered in York and at Lincoln. In 1290 Jews were expelled by the Edict of Explusion.

There was the blood libel. Jews were blamed for unsolved murders. People said that Jews kidnapped and murdered a Christian virgin at Passover and mingled it with the flour to make their Passover bread.

In the Islamic World the Jewish community found more acceptance in the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. Muslims accepted Jews as people of the Book.

Jews moved to far away lands such as India and China. They were a tiny minority in these lands.

In Europe Jews were obliged to live in a ghetto in each city. This was a small walled off area. They could go out in the day but had to be back by nightfall. Jews studied their religious texts intently. This became the most prestigious thing for a man: to be a biblical scholar.

In Venice there was foundry or ‘ghetto’ in  Italian. This was where the Jewish area was concentrated. That is why say ghetto for a poor or crowded area for an ethnic minority.

Poland welcomed the Jewish community. Poland had the largest Jewish community in Europe. 10% of Poland’s population was Jewish. Poland back then included Belarus, Lithuania and half of Ukraine. In time Russia conquered this and so Russia acquired a large Jewish community.

Out of the ghetto

In the 18th century some European lands removed their discriminatory laws against the Jews. Jews acquired legal equality and were allowed out of the ghetto. Some seized educational opportunities avidly.

The 17th century saw a growing fissure in the Jewish community. This was between Orthodox Jews and Reform Jews. Orthodox Jews kept strictly to the laws of Judaism and engaged with Gentile society only a little. Reform Jews believed that Judaism could be modernised and some rules did not need to be adhered to any longer. They became ever more integrated into Gentile society. Reform Jews are sometimes called Liberal Jews. Reform Jews became lax about eating kosher food. Some of them married Christians.

Orthodox Jews tended to wear dark clothes and grow beards. They wore skullcaps always. Reform Jews rarely grew beards and wore the same clothes as most people in their country. They only donned a skullcap in a synagogue.

Orthodox comes from the Greek words meaning ‘straight path’. Orthodox Jews believe they are on the right path and others have turned off in the wrong direction.

Reform Jews often prospered in trade and the professions. Some of them entered politics Reform Jews were usually attracted to liberalism and socialism. These movements had supported the emancipation of the Jews. Orthodox Jews treated politics with suspicion.

There are gradations within Orthodox Judaism. Ultra Orthodox Jews are sometimes called Haredim. They often wear black suits and sometimes dress like they are in 17th century Poland. They grow their hair long in front of their ears. That is because the Bible says ‘you shall not round the corners of your heads.’ They usually refuse to watch television regarding it as iniquitous at worst and at best distraction from their piety. They regard marrying out as an abomination. They want to win back Reform Jews to Orthodoxy.

Ultra Orthodox Jewish women who are married do not show their hair outside the home. They wear wigs. That is because a hair is a woman’s glory. She is not trying to be attractive to other men. Apart from that they dress very modestly. She will dress from her collarbone to her knees at least.

For Ultra Orthodox Jews marriage is an obligation and a couple should have as many children as possible. Ultra Orthodox Jews are the most conservative kind of Orthodox Jews. Ultra Orthodox Jews tend to dress like they are in 17th century Poland. They keep themselves to themselves. Ultra Orthodox study the Bible intensely. Ultra Orthodox Jews are unconcerned with amassing wealth. They tend to marry very young and have as many children

Ultra Orthodox women will not act on stage or sing in the presence of men. That is because the Bible says ‘the female voice is nakedness.’ Ultra Orthodox Jewish men do not cut off the hair in front of their ears. These is called their sidelocks. That is because the Good Book says ‘you shall not round the corners of your heads.’ These men often wear white aprons with tassles. They pray with phyllaceteries – that means leather boxes and leather straps wrapped around their arms and heads. The phyllaceteries contain tiny handwritten scrolls of the law. These are sometimes called ‘tefelin’.  This is because the Bible says ‘bind the word of the Lord to your head and to your arm.’ They often don a white prayer shawl when they pray.

Some Jewish houses have a mezzuzah on the doorpost. It contains a scroll of the law. People touch it as they enter and leave the room.

Some Jews sailed to America, Brazil, Argentina and other countries in the New World. Jewish people moved to Australia and South Africa in the 19th century.


A Jewish place of worship is called a synagogue. It is the Greek word for ‘assembly’. There is an ark (box) which contains the scrolls of the law. This is redolent of the Ark of Covenant. In Orthodox Judaism men and women must be physically separated in the synagogue. In Reform Judaism they can mingle.

When a Jewish boy reaches 12 or so he learns to read the Torah in Hebrew. When he does so in the synagogue for the first time it is a celebration called Bar Mitzvah (son of the law). He becomes a man in religious terms. In Reform Judaism girls are also allowed to do this and she is called Bat Mitzvah (daughter of the law).

A Jewish wedding takes place under a huppa (canopy). A glass is broken to commemorate the destruction of the Temple of Solomon. People say ‘Mazel Tov’ meaning ‘good luck’ because something lucky has happened.

A scroll of the law wears a jacket and breastplate. It might have crowns on it or symbols of that state. People do not touch the text with a finger when reading but use a metal pointer.

Some synagogues have flags in them. A synagogue will not have images of people or animals because that could be idolatry.

A Jewish religious leader is called a rabbi (teacher). Reform Judaism allows women to be rabbis.

An Orthodox rabbi’s wife is a significant figure. She regards herself as the leader of womenfolk and polices their dress and morality.

Sermons can be in Hebrew or the local language.

Some synagogues have a mikvah. This is a ritual bath for women after menstruation.

Jews often say L’chaim meaning ”to life” as a joyful motto. A popular Jewish boy’s name is Chaim (sometimes spelt ‘Haim’). This name means ‘life’.

Judaism has its own 12 month calendar. The Jewish calendar is lunar not solar. The Jewish year falls a bit behind the Christian year of 365 days because a Jewish year is shorter. Every fourth year the Jewish calendar has an extra month to catch up with the Christian calendar.

Hannukah is a Jewish festival a bit before Christmas. It is about candles. Jews only had oil for the candle to be alight for one day but miraculously it stayed aflame for nine days. A menorah is a nine branched Jewish candlestick which is lit at Hannukah. The menorah is a symbol of Judaism.

Pesach or Passover is the most important festival. At the meal a seat is left for the Prophet Elijah. A child has to ask the father ‘why is tonight different from every other night.’ The father then tells the tale of the escape from Egypt. The food is all significant. The bitter herbs remind people of bitter experiences.

In the runup to Passover Jews do not eat anything with leaven in it. That is because at Passover they had to leave quickly and did not have time to let their bread rise.

Purim is the festival when Jews celebrated defeating Haman’s plot.

Holocaust Memorial Day is another Jewish festival.

There is the Festival of Booths. Some Jewish people live in sheds or tents for a week as part of this.

Yom Kippur is in late September or early October. It is the Day of Atonement. It is just before the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is for the people to say sorry for their transgressions.

A ram’s horn is blown to signal the start of the Jewish New Year.



In the early 19th century some Jews made aliyah. That meant that they returned to Israel. It was then called Palestine and was part of the Ottoman Empire. Some Jews had drifted back over the centuries. But in 1798 Palestine was about 5% Jewish. The Palestinians were mostly Arabic speaking Muslims.

In the 19th century a Hungarian Jew called Theodor Herzl overheard a crowd chanting ‘Death to the Jews.’ Herzl believed that Jews would never be safe until they had their own homeland. He established the World Zionist Federation. His idea was called Zionism because he wanted Jews to settle around ‘Zion’ which is a mountain in Jerusalem. Some Jews disliked the idea. They were integrated in Western nations. They did not wish to be accused of divided loyalties.

Herzl wrote a novel about his vision of  Jewish homeland. It is entitled ‘Oldnewland’. Israel was the Jews’ old country and it would be their new home. He envisioned the Arabs welcoming Jews.

Herzl died before his ideas gained much ground. In the early 20th century Zionism gained support from Jews and some Gentiles.

Zionists decided they needed a language. Hebrew was an ancient tongue. It was written and not spoken. People read it aloud. But it was the logical choice as the language of a new Israel. Hebrew was then modernised and made to express modern ideas.

Perhaps ironically the German Emperor endorsed the idea of a Jewish Homeland. However, it seemed that Palestine would a province of the Ottoman Empire. Germany and the Ottomans had a good relationship at the time.

Some Jews wondered about living somewhere more fertile. Uganda was even touted as a solution.

In 1917 Palestine was conquered from the Ottomans by the British. The UK Government issued the Balfour Declaration: ‘His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish national home. This is without prejudice to the right of existing communities.‘ The language was purposively ambiguous. Was this Jewish Homeland to be independent? Would it be a British colony? Or a province of an Arab State?  Britain came to rule Palestine.

In the 1920s more Jews particularly from Eastern Europe shifted to Palestine. The Palestinians became alarmed and started fighting the Jews.  The advent of Nazism made more Jews flee Europe. In the 1930s Jewish immigration spread up. The British were piggy in the middle.

In 1939 the UK declared it would withdraw from Palestine within 10 years. Much of the Arab world was incensed by excessive Jewish immigration to Palestine. They said the Palestinians would be driven out.

In 1942 the Holocaust began. A third of all the Jews in the world were murdered in three years. The Jewish community has only just recovered its number from that time.

Many Holocaust survivors wanted to head to Israel. They were afraid of staying in Europe. The British were trying to appease Arab opinion which said ”no more Jewish immigration to Palestine.” Zionist extremists attacked the British Army. The UK was outraged. The United Kingdom was the only country in Europe that had fought Nazi Germany from 1939 to 1945. The UK was the least anti-Semitic country in the continent. Moderate Zionists said that it was wrong to attack the British.

Much of the Muslim world expressed solidarity for the Palestinians. Non-Muslims Arabs felt likewise.

The United Nations drew up a plan for the Partition of Palestine. Two-thirds of the land was allotted to the Jews and was to be called Israel. The Palestinians got the rest. The Palestinians were irate because they were the majority and they got a third of the land only.

In 1948 the UK granted independence to Palestine and Israel. A war began which Israel won.

Israel declared its capital to be Jerusalem. The Palestinians dispute this and claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel is the only Jewish majority country in the world. It is 75% Jewish. There are Christians, Muslims and others there too. Most countries have their embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv.

Only about a third of the Jews in the world live in Israel. That is at the conservative end of the definition for who is Jewish. The world Jewish population is anything from 15 000 000 to  70 000 000 depending on who you count as being Jewish.

Israel includes the Western Wall of the Temple of Solomon. People worship there. Some called it the Wailing Wall.









The train as we know it was invented in 1825. George Stephenson is credited with inventing it. Stephenson was a Briton. However, a Frenchman invented something very similar just before him. Therefore France disputes the United Kingdom’s claim. It could be that the French invented the train and not the British.

The steam engine was invented in the late 18th century. Richard Trevithick invented it. This was a very powerful machine for pulling heavy loads. It was extremely long but moved slower than walking pace. It worked by burning coal which boiled water. This caused steam to rise. The steam turned turbines and made pistons moved which turned the wheels.

There were also rails in the 18th century. When horses or ponies pulled a wagon or a cart along a road the surface mattered. People noticed that on a bumpy surface the wagon moved slower because the friction was taking a lot of energy out of the kinaesthetic energy. On the other hand if the road was smooth then the cart or wagon moved much faster. However, if the road was totally smooth then the horses would slip and fall. It would be too slippery for their hooves. They needed some traction. The solution was to build something that would allow the rails to travel easily but without making the horses fall over for lack of grip.

People built metal rails and put the wheels of the cart of wagon on the rails. People noticed that the wagon or cart moved much faster. The wheels slid along very fast because there was little friction. The people had to built wooden sleepers to keep the rails in place. The rails needed to be parallel so the wheels could go along. If the rails moved too far apart the cart would fall off. If the rails moved too close together then the cart would fall off.

Rails were built in coalmines. Pit ponies were a  special breed of ponies that were short but strong. They were used in coalmines to pull carts of coal up on wheels. Sometimes people had to pull these carts.

George Stephenson hit on an ingenious idea. Why not take the steam engine which was very strong and put it on the rails which allow a vehicle to move fast? Stephenson did just that. He called a train. He called the rails that the train traveled on a ‘railway.’. In the United States it is called a ‘railroad.’

At the front of a train is a locomotive. This contains the engine and makes the train move. There was a train driver who actually drove the train. There was also a fireman whose job was not to put out fires. The fireman’s task was to shovel coal into the engine and keep the fire burning to keep the water boiling and the steam rising. Sometimes there was an assistant fireman. Because of this the fireman’s section was uncovered. He was exposed to the cold. But the fire kept him warm.

The locomotive pulls carriages. The carriages are where the passengers sit. A carriage can be called a car or a coach. The carriages are sometimes numbered A, B, C and so on. Sometimes

Before railways we had trains but these meant trains of horses or camels. This meant a long line of horses one in front of the other. Each horses was tied to another behind or in front. The same applied to a train of camels.

The first railway line in the world was Stockton to Darlington. These two towns are in north-east England. This region is rich coal.

In 1830 the first railway line opened between two major cities. It was the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. It was an event that was heralded with ado and fanfare. The Prime Minister was present. He was the Duke of Wellington. The President of the Board of Trade was William Huskisson. Huskisson’s post in the cabinet meant that he was in charge of commerce. Railways were going to be vital to trade. Huskisson has the dubious distinction of being the first person killed by a train.

In the UK railways were built by private companies. It required an act of Parliament to built a railway line. A man who wanted to build a railway had to buy all the land along it.

Some fuddy duddies vehemently objected to the construction of railway lines. Those who owned turnpike trusts (road companies) took exception to railways because they stood to lose financially. There were some people who dislike any innovation. The noise and grit of trains irked some.

Oxford University did not want a railway in Oxford. They said it would distract the undergraduates. Eventually the university was able to prevent the construction of a station no longer. But the university did win one concession. The city would not be the site of a junction. The main east-west to north-south junction was sited further west at a village called Swindon. Swindon had previously been a village. The railway junction caused it to grow into a major town.

Trains were not good at going up and down hill. They had to build viaducts to make the route as close to level as possible. They built up earth embankments sometimes to keep the railway level. If a slope was steep a train would go out of control going down. Going up a steep slope the train might not be able to make it.

Trains were divided into different classes. On some trains there were three classes. First class was the most expensive and the most comfortable.

Different railways had different gauges. The gauge is the distance between the two rails. But this meant that if one railway had a gauge if 1.55 metres and another railway had a gauge of 1.6 metres then the train built for a 1.6 metre gauge could not travel on the railway with a 1.55 metre gauge.

Railways were built all over the United Kingdom. Railways soon spread to other lands. British railway engineers traveled the world building railways and teaching people how to do this.

It was said that the United Kingdom ‘girded the world in iron’. The United States started to build railways in the 1830s. By the 1860s these were significant and had an effect on the outcome of the American Civil War.

Russia started to construct railways in the 1850s. The first was from Moscow to St Petersburg.

Countries started to co-ordinate on railways. They decided to have the same gauge so trains could travel from France to Belgium for instance.

Trains traveled faster than horses. Moreover, trains do not get tired but horses do. On the other hand every few hours a train had to stop to take on coal and water as they were running out of it. This is why in old stations you often see huge water tanks.

Steam and smoke rose from trains. Therefore the roofs of stations were very high to let the steam and smoke rise. If the ceiling was low the steam and smoke would be trapped near head height.

Excess steam was left out of the boiler. This made a ‘choo choo’ sound which is why trains were known as a ‘choo choo’ by children.

A train was a more comfortable way to travel than in a horse drawn coaches. Train rides were smooth and not bumpy. It was possible to have a good sleep on a train.

In the 20th century electric trains started. Then diesel trains were made. Steam trains were a thing of the past.

In the 1950s train travel went into decline. This was because so many people bought automobiles. Railway lines were torn up.

In the 1960s Dr Beeching was commissioned by the UK Government to write a report entitled Reshaping Britain’s Railways. His idea was close two-thirds of the railway stations and half the mileage of track. Fewer people were traveling.

These days there are magnetic levitation trains. They are called maglev for short. The Germans invented them in the 1980s. They hover a few milimetres off the track. There is no friction on the track. They can go 500 km an hour. However, in practice they usually travel at a more sedate 200 km per hour. If you go 500 km per hour you must treat the maglev like a plane and sit down with a seatbelt on.

Maglev tracks are extremely costly to build. This is why very few countries operate them. China and Japan have a few maglevs in use.


  1. Who invented the steam engine?
  2. Who invented the train?
  3. How were rails first used?
  4. Explain how a steam engine and rails were used together. Five marks.
  5. What is a pit pony?
  6. What is the part of the train that pulls the carriages?
  7. Which was the first railway line in the world?
  8. Which was the first railway between two major cities?
  9. What is Huskisson’s unenviable claim to fame?
  10. What is a maglev?
  11. What report did Beeching write?
  12. What is the gauge of a railway?
  13. Why did children call a train a choo?


The British Indian Community


The History of the British Indian Community


First contact

India and the United Kingdom have interacted before the UK even existed as such. In the 1500s an English priest traveled to India. He was the first person from the UK to set foot in India. A few English and Welsh merchants traveled to India to trade. India was then ruled by the Mughal Empire.

In 1600 Queen Elizabeth I issued a charter to the Company trading unto the East Indies. This became known as ‘the East India Company.’ By the ‘East Indies’ people meant what is today India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and even Indonesia. The voyage from Great Britain to India went around the Cape of Good Hope. Sailing all the way around Africa meant that the voyage took four months at least. The East India Company bought land at Surat. This is on the west coast of India. Later the Company mainly traded with Bengal.

From the early 17th century some Indians came to England. They came as merchants and sailors. At first the Indians in England were a tiny, tiny number. There were only a few dozen Indians in England which then had a population of 4 000 000. The Indians who came to England were almost all men. Very few Indian women arrived. Therefore these Indians often married white Englishwomen. Their children were half white. Their grandchildren were three quarters white and in the next generation they gradually disappeared into the white community and their Indian ancestry was largely forgotten.

The Indians who came to England in the 17th century were most Bengalis and mostly Muslims. They lived in port cities such as London, Bristol, Southampton and Liverpool. Indians occasionally visited Wales. Outside the main port cities an Indian was virtually never seen.


  1. When did a Briton first go to India?
  2. What company was founded in 1600?
  3. What was meant by the East Indies?
  4. What route did Britons said to India?
  5. Why did the Indians who arrived in England in the 1600s soon blend into the white majority?

Growing prominence


Indians started to appear in some of the oil paintings of the period. In 1707 Scotland and England and Wales formed the United Kingdom. This was called the Act of Union. Scots joined the East India Company. Indians started to move to Scotland.

The British elite became more interested in India. Some British intellectuals became fascinated by India’s ancient civilisation. Some British scholars learnt some Indian languages such as Bengali, Sanskrit and Urdu. Much of the Indian ruling class spoke Persian back then. Very few Indians learnt English back then. The East India Company owned a few ports on the coast. Only in the mid 18th century did it start to acquire more land in the hinterland.

Around 1800 Dean Sake Mohammed founded the first Indian restaurant in the UK. Other Indians introduced shampoo to the UK. Indian architecture started to be popular. The Prince Regent famously built an Indian style edifice in Brighton: the Royal Pavilion.



  1. Who founded the first Indian restaurant in the UK?
  2. When was the UK founded?
  3. What Indian style building stands in Brighton?

The Irish in India

In 1801 Ireland joined the UK. Some Irishmen went to work in India. One Irishman the Earl of Mayo became Viceroy of India. Lord Mayo College is name in his honour. This is the most estimable school in the Subcontinent. It is located Ajmer, Rajasthan.

The East India Company had its own army. Besides that the British Army started to be stationed in India. British soldiers picked up some Indian words.

Various words from Hindi and other Indian languages entered the English language such as pyjamas, bungalow, polo, pukka, thug, loot, pundit, guru, yoga, wallah, dum dum, dungarees, doollaly, jodhpur, catamaran and tiffin.

In the 19th century the number of Indians who moved to the UK increased. Those who came were mostly middle class and upper class from coastal cities that already had a lot of contact with the British.

Some Indian princes spent time in the United Kingdom. They bought houses in London and its environs. Near Eton there is a palatial house called ‘Maharajah’s’ because it once belong to an Indian prince. It overlooks the Thames.

In 1812 the Earl of Liverpool became Prime Minister. Lord Liverpool was one-eighth Indian. Can he be regarded as Indian? He was the first person of part Indian blood elected to the UK Parliament. The British nobility sometimes wed Indians.

In the 18th century a British lord married an Indian woman and dwelt in India. Their descendants married full blooded Indians. The grandchildren were three-quarters Indian and the great grandchilren were seven-eights Indian. By 2004 they holder of the title could barely speak English yet he was known as ‘the Englishman’ in his part of the country.

In 1841 David Dyce Sombre was elected MP for Sudbury. D D Sombre was half Indian. He was the first half Indian person elected to Parliament.

  1. When did Ireland join the UK?
  2. List five English words of Indian origin.
  3. Why is a house near Eton called Maharajah’s?

Indian educational achievement in the UK

Indians enrolled at some of the top schools in the United Kingdom such as Westminster School, Eton College, St Paul’s School and Harrow School. Some went on to Oxford University and Cambridge University. The two great English universities only admitted Christians until the 1870s. Very few Indians subscribed to the Christian faith. These universities opened themselves to non-Christians in the 1870s.  Sri Aurobindo went to St Paul’s and became head boy. Nehru went to Harrow.

An Indian woman named Cornelia Sorabhji went to Oxford University in the 1870s. She was the first Indian female to study at a UK university. She was also the first woman of any nationality to graduate in law from Oxford. Miss Sorabhji was like quite a few Indians in the UK from a tiny minority religion – Zoroastrianism. Cornelia Sorabhji was also the first woman to qualify as a solicitor (lawyer) in England.

Zoroastrians (Parsees) put their dead in Towers of Silence. Such a method of disposal of the dead was not permitted in the UK. Therefore they had to be buried. At Brookwood Cemetery a special section was founded for Parsees.

  1. Name a famous Indian who went to St Paul’s.
  2. What was astonishing about C Sorabhji?
  3. Why could Indians not attend Oxford or Cambridge until the 1870s?


The Maharajah of the Punjab came to the UK as a child. He was brought up by Queen Victoria. His sons went to Eton. The maharajah converted to Christianity. He spent a lot of time in Scotland and was known as the black prince of Perthshire. Later he reconverted to Sikhism and attempted to return to India. The British authorities prevented him from doing so fearing he would stir up trouble.

Victoria was very fond of one of her Indian servants. His name was Abdul Karim but he was known as the Munshi. She interceded with the authorities in India to make sure this man’s relatives were promoted. The rest of the royal family was not overfond of Munshi. When Queen Victoria died they told Munshi to get out of the Palace.

Some rich Indians became britannicised. They spoke English more than their native languages, they wore British clothes and played British sports. They tended to be British in everything but religion. Very few Indians converted to Christianity. Nonetheless some Indians were worried that their sons in the UK were being de-racinated.

Many key figures in the Indian and Pakistani independence movements came to study in the UK. These included Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Gandhi, V K Krishna Menon, Allama Mohammed Iqbal, Liaquat Ali Khan, M A Jinnah , Dr Ambedkar and C Rajagopalachari. Most of these men qualified as barristers.


  1. Which maharajah was raised by Queen Victoria?
  2. What does it mean to be britannicised? 
  3. What profession did most leaders of the Indian independence movement belong to?

Into politics


Some Indians visited Ireland. Ireland was part of the UK until 1921. Some were inspired by the Home Rule Movement.

Dadabhai Naoroji was elected a Liberal MP in London in the 1892. He won by only five votes and people dubbed him ‘narrow majority’ which was supposed to sound like his surname. Mr Naoroji was elected to represent Finsbury Park which is an area of London. There was not a single other non white person in his constituency. Lord Salisbury had said that racial prejudice was strong and Naoroji would not win but Lord Salisbury was proven wrong. 

Mancherjee Bhownaggree followed as a Conservative MP just after that. Naoroji and Bhownaggree were both elected on their first attempt. Some people stand for Parliament several times without success. Naoroii narrowly lost his seat in 1895. Bhownagree held Bethnal Green constituency from 1895 till 1906. He was unseated when the Liberal Party made major gains. The election of these men demonstrates the relative lack of racialism in the United Kingdom.

Mr Bhownagree was an ardent advocate of the British Raj. Some Indians disliked him for this. Some scornfully dubbed him ‘bow the knee’ or ‘bow and agree.’

Dadabhai Naoroji argued that India owed Britain much for its beneficence. However, he said too much wealth was leaving Indian and it was UK-bound. He called this ‘the drain’.

By the dawn of the 20th century the UK was about 0.1% Indian. People from any country in the British Empire had the right to settle anywhere in the British Empire. They were all British subjects whatever their colour or birthplace.

A mosque was founded in Woking. It was mostly for Indians. There was another mosque established in Cardiff. This served the needs of Indian sailors. It was in the Tiger’s Bay area of the city which was quite multiracial.

Cricket became a craze in India in the late 19th century. Soon India played against England and Wales. The Indian team toured the UK.

Some Indians were fed up with the British Raj by the 1910s. One of them was named Madan Lal Dhingra. Dhingra came to London with the aim of  assassinating a British official. He shot Sir Curzon Wyllie. When Wyllie was shot an Indian doctor named Cawas Lalcaca went to his aid. The assassin fired two more bullets and accidentally shot Dr Lalcaca. The doctor was a Parsee and he died. He was buried with great honour at Brookwood. Many Indians said he had saved India’s reputation by his conspicuous gallantry.

The man was arrested and charged with murder. At his trial he said that the British had starved millions of Indians to death. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. The condemned thanked the judge saying that dying for India was a privilege. He was hanged.


  1. Was Ireland part of the UK?
  2. Who was the first Indian MP in the UK?
  3. What party was M Bhownaggree? 
  4. Where was the first mosque in the UK built?

War and progress

An Indian poverty-stricken, self-taught mathematician enrolled at Cambridge University after winning a scholarship. His name was Srinivas Ranamujan. Ranamujan was elected a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Trinity is perhaps the most illustrious of Cambridge’s colleges. The First World War broke out. He is commemorated in the film The Man who knew infinity. 

Many Indian soldiers served the British cause in the First World War. Indian soldiers wounded in France were evacuated to the UK for hospital treatment. But some died of their wounds. Those who were Sikh or Hindu were cremated as per the funereal customs of their faith. The ghat on which they were cremated still stands as a memorial to them.

Shapurji Saklatvala was of Indian Mr Saklatvala was a Parsee on his father’s side. He was in the UK in the 1920s. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). Saklatvala was elected to Parliament for Battersea in London. However, he soon lost his seat.

Romesh Palme Dutt was half Indian and half Swedish. He became the key theoretician of the CPGB.

The Parsees are a microscopically small proportion of the Indian population. However, they achieved a staggering degree of success in business, politics and the professions.

By the 1920s London had a significant Indian minority. But even then London was only 1% Indian which was much more than any other UK city. They mostly lived in the East End.

Members of extremely rich Parsee families were in the UK. These were the Cowsajees and the Tatas. The Tata family became prominent in the mid 19th century due to their business acumen. The Tata dynasty became wealthy through banking, construction and automobile manufacturing.

By the 1930s there were a few Indian doctors in the UK. At this time a gurdwara (place of worship) was founded for Sikhs in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

Indian students in the UK founded an organisation called India House. It was for them to live in. They also discussed Indian affairs. Many of them campaigned for independence. The police kept India House under surveillance because they were worried about Indians using force to advance the cause of independence. India House was an actual building as well for the students.

Indira Nehru studied at Badminton School and then went up to Somerville College, Oxford. But she left without a degree because she could not cope with Latin which was obligatory. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. Ferozevarun Gandhi was at the London School of Economics (LSE). There was a significant number of Indian students at LSE. Indira later married him. She became Indira Gandhi. Ferozevarun and his wife were both active in Congress.


  1. Which communist Indian was elected to the British Parliament?
  2. What was Saklatvala’s ancestry?
  3. What do you call a Sikh place of worship?
  4. What was India House?
  5. Which school did Indira Nehru attend?

In the Second World War more Indian troops came to the UK to fight for the British Empire. Indians in the RAF helped to win the Battle of Britain. However, even troops in the pro-British Indian Army often wanted independence for their country after the war.

Udham Singh was a Punjabi who came to the UK during the Second World War. Udham Singh sometimes called himself Mohammed Ram Singh Azad. He took one name for Muslims, one for Hindus and one for Sikhs. His surname ‘Azad’ means ‘free’ in many North Indian languages.

Mr Singh was irate because of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919. He wanted to kill Sir Michael O’Dwyer who had been Governor of the Punjab in 1919. O’Dwyer had not ordered the massacre he had defended it after it occurred. O’Dwyer was utterly impenitent.

Singh found out that Sir Michael would address the Central Asiatic Society at a certain hall in London on a certain day. It was Caxton Hall was a well known venye for public meetings. Udham Singh went along with a revolver.  The Marquess of Zetland would also be here. Lord Zetland was the Secretary of State for India  and Burma. He stepped forward and shot Sir Michael as well as the Marquess of Zetland. O’Dwyer died instantly but Lord Zetland survived. Singh was surrounded by the crowd and overpowered. He was arrested. Udham Singh happily confessed to the police. He was sentenced to death and executed.

Nehru and Gandhi denounced what Udham Singh had done. But they asked the UK authorities not to hang him because this would inflame Indian opinion. Perhaps unwisely Singh was put to death at Pentonville Prison. In the 1970s his mortal remains were returned to Indian and interred with great honour. He has since been declared a martyr of India. Udham Singh is given the honorific ‘shaheed’ in front of his name as his voluntarily laid down his life for the nation.


  1. What did Indians do in the Battle of Britain?
  2. Who shot Sir Michael O’Dwyer?
  3. Why did Udham Singh kill him?

After the war

After the war the UK had a labour shortage. More Indians came to fill the gaps. The UK Government advertised jobs in India. India became independent in 1947 but Indians had the right to reside in the UK. They also had the right to vote in the United Kingdom as Commonwealth citizens so long as they lived in the UK. Indeed an Indian citizen resident in the United Kingdom has the right to be elected to the British Parliament because of the Commonwealth.

In 1947 a former officer of the Indian Army became a factory manager in Southall, London. He recruited many of his former Sikh soldiers to work in the factory. More and more Sikhs moved to Southall. By 2000 Southall was over 50% Indian or British Indian. Southall is the most Indian area in the UK. Southall is also very close to Heathrow Airport. Many Indians who flew over in subsequent decades.  They chose to live together because there is safety in numbers. There were other advantages such as being able to find shops that stocked their preferred foods. It was also convenient for people to live close to a place of worship of their religion. It was pleasant to have familiar faces around. Southall Station has signs up in Punjabi.

Churches started to be sold to the Indian community. The Indians turned them into gurdwaras, mosques and mandirs.

Some white Britons were prejudiced against Indians. A few whites were so ignorant that they thought that India was in the Caribbean. They assumed that the West Indies and India were the same. This was even more confusing for whites because some Indians lived in Caribbean countries particularly Trinidad and Tobago. The same goes for Guyana.

Some whites refused employment or accommodation to Indians. There was some racial animus towards them.

Pakistan was created in 1947. Many Britons did not even realise Pakistan existed. Some whites thought that Indians were Pakistanis.

In 1947 there were only 5 Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom. British people almost never ate rice except in rice pudding.


  1. Why did the UK ask Indians to come after the war?
  2. Do Commonwealth citizens have the right to vote in the UK? 
  3. Why did many Sikhs move to Southall?
  4. When was Pakistan created? 

Commonwealth Immigration

The British Empire was being transformed into the Commonwealth of Nations. Former colonies could join the Commonwealth. Most did so. The Commonwealth consults on matters of common concern. The Commonwealth could not force countries to do anything. It could only try to persuade countries to do things. The UK had no especial power in the Commonwealth. All member nations are equal. It has a Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting every two years. There is the Commonwealth Games. In those days Commonwealth citizens all had the right to move to the UK.

People who immigrated to the UK were able to obtain British citizenship after 4 years residence. British Indians who married someone from abroad had the automatic right to bring the spouse to the UK. Many people in India did not speak English in the 1950s. Some arrived in the UK speaking fluent English. Others spoke it reasonably well and some spoke none at all.

The number of immigrants from India increased in the 1950s. The UK also experienced significant immigration from the former British colonies in the Caribbean and countries such as Malta, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Nigeria and Kenya.

By the 1960s some white Britons were worried about the level of immigration. Some whites were opposed to immigration for openly racist reasons. Some whites said there were too many Indians and that ‘they are taking over.’ The UK’s population was stable at the time. Though 10 000s of immigrants arrived each year a similar number of white Britons emigrated each year. The white Britons moved to Australia, the USA, Canada and South Africa in most cases. There was net emigration: more people were moving out than were coming in.

There was white immigration into the UK after the Second World War. This was from the Republic of Ireland, Poland, Cyprus, Malta, Italy and Spain. Few white Britons objected to this. Some of the white immigrants came from countries outside the Commonwealth. India was in the Commonwealth. Indians arrived in the UK speaking English in most cases. The Poles, Spanish and Italians often arrived speaking no English. Therefore the objection to Indian immigration was often due to colour prejudice. Almost no white Briton objected to the religions that Indians followed: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. The average white British knew nothing about these religions.

In the 1960s some Sikhs got jobs as bus conductors. The bus company said that they must not wear turbans as it was a non-uniform item. There was a row about this. The bus conductors went on strike saying the rule was racist. The bus company said this was not racist since no one is born with a turban growing out of his head. Wearing a turban is a choice and not all Sikh men do it. In the end the strike was successful.

In the 1960s the UK Government stated that Sikh men would be allowed to wear turbans as part of various uniforms. In British India Sikhs had been allowed to wear turbans as part of military and police uniforms. Therefore this rule was extended to the UK. Legislation mandating the wearing of helmets when on motorbikes exempted Sikhs who wore turbans.

A number of Hindu temples and Sikh temples were established. These were often in former churches.

  1. What countries did white Britons emigrate to?
  2. Which white majority countries sent lots of immigrants to the UK?
  3. What is the evidence that opposition to Indian immigration into the UK was largely due to colour bigotry?
  4. What exemptions were granted to Sikh men?


In 1968 a Conservative MP called Enoch Powell gave a speech on immigration. Powell represented Wolverhampton South-West. This town near Birmingham had a serious number of immigrants from South Asia and from the Caribbean. Powell gave his notorious ‘Rivers of Blood’ oration. He did not oppose immigration for economic reasons. He said he was against large scale immigration because it changed the character of the country. Powell accused immigrants of bad behaviour. He did not say that all immigrants were bad but that was the implication. Nor did he acknowledge that some white Britons behave badly too.

Enoch Powell said, ”Like the Roman I am filled with foreboding. I see the Tiber foaming with much blood.” His incendiary speech caused a huge reaction.

80% of people said they agreed with Powell’s sentiments. Dockers – usually Labour voters – marched to the House of Commons chanting ‘We want Enoch Powell’ and holding placards ‘Enoch for Prime Minister.’

Powell received tens of thousands of letters of support and a few of condemnation. Royal Mail had to lay on a van just for his post.

Edward Heath was Leader of the Conservative Party. He sacked Powell from the Shadow Cabinet for his inflammatory speech. It caused hatred towards immigrants. Heath noted that as Health Secretary Powell had purposefully recruited doctors and nurses from abroad.

Labour censured Powell for his speech. Ethnic minority children were bullied at school because of what he said. Powell had not urged anyone to insult others or hit others. However, his unhelpful words had caused many whites to become viciously anti-immigrant. Powell had damaged Commonwealth relations.

Most British Indians supported Labour. They were horrified by his speech. Racist insults and graffiti became commonplace due to Powell.

Left wing people detested Powell. Some students chanted ‘Disembowel Enoch Powell.’ Whenever he tried to speak at a university his opponents would try to ruin his speech. People held placards reading ‘Powell is foul.’ 

Powell said he was not opposed to immigration from any country. Immigrants could come but only in tiny numbers. He also approved of interracial marriage.

The Race Relations Act was passed in 1968 as a reaction to Powell’s speech. Inciting racial hatred became a crime. Racial discrimination was also prohibited.


  1. Which MP made an inflammatory speech in 1968?
  2.  What is the title of Powell’s speech?
  3. Which constituency did he represent?
  4. Why did some people hate Powell?
  5. Which party did most British Indians support?
  6. What law was passed to prevent racism?

Indian Africans

In the 1960s all of the UK’s African colonies became independent. There were Indians in Kenya and Uganda. These Indians were granted British citizenship. They had never lived in the UK though. Some of the Indians resident in East Africa moved to the UK. Some Britons said these Indians from Uganda and Kenya should not be allowed in.

In 1972 the President of Uganda expelled people of Asian origin. This usually meant Indian. They were British citizens and made plans to come to the UK. One Tory MP Alan Clark said, ”they must be told ‘you cannot come here because you are not white.’ ”. The Conservative Prime Minister of the time was Sir Edward Heath. Heath stood up to pressure from within his own party and allowed these British Indians in. He said there was no legal reason to prevent these people from moving to the UK since they were British citizens and had the absolute right to live in the UK.

In the 1950s and 1960s many Indians in the United Kingdom established small businesses such as corner shops. Indian restaurants were a novelty. But they gradually became part of the urban scene.

In the 1970s the National Front (NF) was active. It was an openly white supremacist organisation. It wanted to expel all non whites even if they were British citizens. National Front members often shaved their hair and were called skinheads. Some admired Hitler. The NF sometimes beat up ethnic minority people.

Immigration continued in the 1970s. The UK started to suffer high unemployment. Some people blamed immigrants. The government further restricted immigration. The first Indian joined the British Police. It was headline news.

The Labour Government in the late 1970s passed another Race Relations Act. It enhanced the definition of incitement to racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Enoch Powell left the Conservative Party in 1974. He urged people to vote Labour. But some in the Conservative Party still approved of his anti-immigration stance.


  1. What citizenship was granted to Indians in Kenya and Uganda?
  2. What did the President of Uganda do to Asians?
  3. What did the NF believe in?
  4. What did Powell do in 1974?

Integration and division

In 1979 the NF marched through Southall to protest against the presence of Indian whether British citizens or not. The police advised the Indian community to stay indoors. Some British Indians and white anti-racists launched a counter protest against the NF. The police strove to keep the NF and their opponents apart. In clashes with the police an anti -NF protester called Blair Peach was killed by a police baton. Blair Peach was a white who was disgusted with white supremacy. Many Sikhs attended his funeral to express their solidarity. They knew that not all whites were anti-Indian. The British Indian community appreciated fraternal support from decent whites. 

In the 1980s the British Indian community was riven by controversy. In the Punjab a Sikh organisation called the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) started to fight for independence. The Indian Army fought against the KLF. Many Sikhs accused the army of brutality. There was bad feeling between Sikhs and Hindus.

In 1984 the Indian Army attacked the KLF in the Golden Temple, Amritsar. Hundreds of KLF combatants were killed. Sikhs were enraged that their holy of holies had been desecrated. But that was the fault of the KLF for turning it into a terrorist camp. The army had tried to resolve the situation peacefully. The KLF had refused to surrender.

Indira Gandhi was PM of India at the time. In October 1984 she was assassinated by a Sikh soldier for what she had done to the Golden Temple. Some British Sikhs danced in the streets in jubilation.

By the 1980s there were many people of British descent born in the UK. They were sometimes more Indian and sometimes more British in culture. Other people were bicultural. The British Indians were finding acceptance.

British Indians made waves in literature. V S Naipaul was knighted. Stuart Hall had many books published. Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses provoked intense controversy.

Indians started to appear on television in dramas and comedies. Freddy Mercury (real name Freddy Mercury) set the world ablaze as the front man of the band Queen. The UK Indian community reached 1% of the population. This might surprise people if they live in certain areas. The British Indian community is heavily concentrated in the major concentrations. Being a relatively young community the population is most visible among children. Few of its members are nonagenarians.

Some Indians stood for Parliament but in the early 1980s none were elected. Many of them complained that British Indians were selected as candidates for the major parties (Labour and Conservative) but only in unwinnable seats. That means a Labour candidate would stand in rock solid Conservative territory and therefore lose. Conversely, a Conservative would stand in an area where Labour was safe as houses and the Conservative would be defeated.

In 1983 Jonathan Sayeed was elected a Conservative MP. This former Royal Naval officer is half Indian. He was the first Indian Tory MP for almost 70 years.

A British Indian woman was elected Mayor of Windsor. She was later ennobled by Margaret Thatcher. The woman was given the title Baroness Flather. The baroness said she was given grief by the rest of the Indian community which tended heavily towards Labour. They were pro-Labour because Labour had agreed to independence. They believed that Labour was anti-racist. But in 1987 Jonathan Sayeed was elected as Conservative MP and he was a British Indian.

In 1987 Keith Vaz was elected for Leicester East. Vaz was a British Indian of the Christian faith. But he was elected for the most Hindu constituency in the UK.

  1. What happened to Blair Peach?
  2. Why was Indira Gandhi shot?
  3. What did Baroness Flather achieve?

The rise and rise of the British Indian community

In 1992 Piara Khabra was elected in Southall. He had formerly served in the Indian Army during the Second World War. Khabra was a Labour man. Piara Khabra was the first Sikh elected to the UK Parliament. 

In the 1990s the British Indian community was increasingly affluent. 1 in 10 British Indian men were doctors. The British Indians grasped educational opportunities with alacrity and achieved above average results in school and university. The London School of Economics (LSE) had and has an extraordinarily high proportion of British Indian students.

In the 1990s Goodness Gracious Me started to be shown on TV. This was a comedy show by British Asians. It was mainly about their community. The title of the show recalls a 1960s funny song of the same name. 

In 1997 the Labour Party won a landslide victory. This brought several more MPs of Indian ancestry into the House of Commons. Some were appointed to the cabinet. Several British Indians were made lords. They included Lord Swarj Paul and Lord Alli. The Liberal Democrats asked the Queen to ennoble a British Indian. Mr Dholakia was elevated to the title Lord Dholakia.

By the 2000s the British Indian community has a higher than average income. If the UK population is divided by religion the richest community per capita is the Jewish community. The second richest is the Sikh community. They are followed by Hindus and then Christians. Prejudice also moved towards Eastern European immigrants such as Poles and Romanians. The Indians were no longer such a target of racism.

Racism started to move away from British Indians. Some white Britons were prejudiced against Muslims but not Hindus or Sikhs. The British Indian community has existed in serious numbers for quite a long time. The British Indian community had become part of the furniture.

British Indians started to feel more welcome in the Conservative Party. Some were elected Conservative MPs.

Immigration from India increased substantially in the 2000s. The British Indian community came to feel increasingly secure. In some areas of London, Birmingham and Leicester British Indians are the majority. In 2004 the largest Hindu temple outside India opened in London.

There was talk of founding a British Sikh Regiment. However, race relations experts said it would be bad because it would be divisive British Indians have a low rate of joining the armed forces and the government had been trying to change that.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was married to a British Indian. Under him the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is a British Indian. Sunak represents a constituency that is 99% white. There is not much anti-Indian prejudice any more. The Home Secretary Priti Patel is also a British Indian. Sunak is tipped as the next leader of the Conservative Party. There are other British Indians such as Suella Fernandes (nee Braverman).

In 2020 the Labour Party elected a new leader. The runner up was Lisa Nandy who is British Indian. In 2020 the Liberal Democrats had their first MP of Indian stock. The Scottish National Party has several politicians of Indian descent.

2% of Indians are Sikhs. But 30% of British Indians are Sikhs.

  1. Who was the first British Indian MP for Southall?
  2. What proportion of British Indian males are doctors?
  3. Who is the first Indian Liberal Democrat lord?
  4. Which religious community suffered prejudice in the 2000s?
  5. Which is the second richest religious group in the UK?
  6. What was special about the Hindu temple built in London in 2004?
  7. Should a British Sikh Regiment be formed? Five marks
  8. Who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer?
  9. What job does Priti Patel have?
  10. What is unusual about the number of British Indian Sikhs? 
  11. What are the achievement of the British Indian community? Five marks
  12. Which British Indian do you most admire and why? Five marks








Emomali Rahmon is the President of Tajikistan.

President Rahmon is respected by the people of his nation. He was born in Tajikistan in 1952. He came from an ordinary family. At school he learnt Tajik and Russian and acquired fluency in both languages. He joined Komsomol which was the Communist youth organisation.

In the 1970s there was compulsory military service in the USSR. Rahmon served in the Soviet Navy. He sailed around the Pacific Ocean. This was far from his homeland which is landlocked.

Upon returning to Tajikistan he enrolled in a state university. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree. Later Rahmon became manager of a collective farm. He wed and had seven daughters and two sons.

In 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved. Tajikistan resumed its sovereign independence. In 1992 Rahmon became independence. A civil war broke out. Religious maniacs rebelled. The Taleban from Afghanistan helped the rebels Kazakhstan and Russia sent troops to help Tajikistan.

Eventually President Rahmon prevailed. He has been re-elected several times by an incredibly high percentage of the vote.

The president is respected and adored by all the people of Tajikistan. The media has only positive things to say about him. People like nothing better than to sing his praises. Every poets extolls him and composes paeans dedicated to him.

Emomali Rahmon is a Sunni Muslim. He has been on the Haj several times. He has assured people that they have the right to practice any faith. However, religious extremism of any kind is not permitted.

The president’s son Rustam is assumed to be his heir and holds a high public office. Rustam has adopted ‘Emomali’ as his surname. This is in line with traditional Tajik naming practices. Rustam is his father’s favourite son.

Rahmon is lauded for his strength, his courage, his indefatigability and his articulacy. He is admired all across the globe as a superb leader. He is a steady hand on the tiller of state. People are eternally in his debt because of the continuity, safety and prosperity that he has secured to his adoring people.



  1. In which year was Rahmon born?
  2. Which country was he born in?
  3. What branch of the armed forces did he serve in?
  4. Where did he go to university?
  5. Which languages does he speak?
  6. How many children does he have?
  7. What is his favourite son’s name?
  8. In which year did Rahmon become president?
  9. What happened in the 1990s that was bad?
  10. How do you explain his incredible popularity? Five marks.


Mohammed Ali Jinnah. super advanced course lesson 8


super advanced course lesson 8


Jinnah was born in Karachi. The city lay in the province of Sindh which was part of British India. He was brought up a Muslim in the Shia denomination. The Jinnah family were prosperous merchants. They spoke the Kutchi language. Mohammed Ali had one sister Fatima to whom he was very close. He had several other siblings but he was not to close to them.

The family later shifted to Mumbai which was then called Bombay. M A Jinnah did very well at school and acquired absolute fluency in English.  He briefly attended the University of Bombay. It was decided that he should be called to the bar. He set sail to England and enrolled at the Inns of Court in London. Jinnah studied law. M A Jinnah chose Lincoln’s Inn out of the four inns. Why? Because there was a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed there as a lawgiver. Jinnah later said he saw the name ‘Mohammed’ written on a wall in Lincoln’s Inn to honour the Prophet as a magnificent lawgiver. M A Jinnah did not want to tell Muslims elsewhere that there was an image of the Prophet in London because most Muslims consider it an abomination to fashion such an image. He had to sit exams some of which were in Latin. Whilst in London it was decided that he should wet. He agreed. Jinnah married in Mumbai.  He spent only a few weeks with her before setting sail. Later that woman died without Jinnah having any children.

After being called to the bar Jinnah returned to India. He practised law in Bombay and did extremely well for himself. He soon amassed a fortune. He spoke only English and his native language. The Muslims of North India mostly spoke Urdu which is Hindi with some Persian words. He never learnt that language.

Mr Jinnah met a young lady named Rutti Petit who was Parsee. The Parsees are a religion which only has 100 000 adherents. This miniscule minority achieved a most mind blowing degree of success in many fields in India. In business, law, politics, science, music and military affairs the Parsees are worth their weight in gold. Rutti Petit whom Jinnah fell in love with was the daughter of a colleague. A Parsee can only be a Parsee if both the mother and father are Parsees. The child who has one Parsee parent and one non-Parsee parent is not a Parsee. Jinnah and the woman decided to marry. They informed her father Mr Petit. He was apoplectic with rage! Mr Petit would never consent to his daughter marrying a non-Parsee. Petit’s grandchildren would not be considered Parsee. Despite this the 18 year old Rutti Petit bravely chose to wed the middle aged Jinnah. Her father never spoke to her again. Rutti converted to Islam.

Dina was Jinnah’s only child. She was raised in Islam. When Dina was only 11 her mother died of an illness. Jinnah did not marry again.

Jinnah was a slim, effete, calculating and aloof man. He was very self-assured but desiccated. He never did anything without reason. Jinnah was also a chain smoker. Observant Muslims disapproved of smoking.

The Indian political party called Congress was making waves in the early 20th century. Jinnah joined it. He was very anglophile and wore British clothes. He drank alcohol and made little attempt to practise Islam. He did not socialise with Muslims all that much.

The Muslim League broke off Congress and Jinnah went with it. Jinnah was not concerned about pushing for Indian independence.

Some Muslim intellectuals like the poet Allama Mohammed Iqbal and Chaudhry Rehmat Ali said their ought to be a homeland created for the Muslims of India. What should this be called? Ali said ‘Pakistan.’ How did he come up with the name? ‘P’ for Punjabis, ‘A’ for Afghans, ‘K’ for Kashmiris and ‘S’ for Sindhis and ‘tan’ for Baluchistan. In Urdu ‘Pakistan’ means ‘Land of the Pure.’

Muslims predominated in the north-east and north-west of India. The Muslims in the north-east were mostly Bengalis. There is no ‘B’ in Pakistan. What about the Bengalis? For some reason Ali only identified with Muslims in the west of India. Why was there letter ‘A’ for Afghans in the name Pakistan? Afghanistan is a separate country. By ‘Afghans’ and Pathans. These people often speak Persian or Pashto which are the languages of Afghanistan.

In the 1930s the notion of establishing Pakistan seemed far-fetched. Jinnah called it, ”an impossible dream”. Some Muslims said in an independent India they would be treated unfairly. The activities of some hardline Hindus made this seem plausible. The Hindu Mahasabha organisation said that an independent India must be zealously Hindu and the law of the land must reflect that. They wanted Muslims to become Hindu. They wished to make killing cows a felony. The Hindu Mahasabha noted that Indian Muslims had converted from Hinduism centuries before. The Hindu Mahasabha wanted these Muslims to reconvert. The Hindu Mahasabha recalled that Muslims had destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples in the 16th and 17th century. A few Hindus said it would be payback time once independence came!

At that time Jinnah was more worried about his only child. His daughter Dina fell in love with a Parsee. She requested her father’s approval to marry him. Jinnah refused to consent to her marrying outside the faith. She left and married the man anyway. Jinnah never spoke to her again. He was hypocritical since she was doing exactly what her mother had done with Jinnah.

Congress campaigned ardently for ‘Swadesh’ or independence. The Muslim League was preoccupied in securing the wellbeing of Muslims and was not het up about independence. Congress were being sent to prison for illegal protests. The Muslim League never broke the law. They were allowed to continue their activities.

The Second World War broke out in 1939. Congress resigned for the provincial governments it was running. This was a protest at the UK bringing India into the war without the agreement of Indians. The Muslim League took over some of these provincial governments. Astonishingly they sometimes went into coalition with the Hindu Mahasabha.

It seemed that the British Empire was living on borrowed time. Jinnah turned his mind to the post-British era. He decided that creating a new country for Muslims was a must. In the meantime the Muslim League adopted a posture of neutrality towards the Second World War. They neither encouraged nor discouraged men from joining the Indian Army.

In 1940 Jinnah addressed a crowd in Lahore.  M A Jinnah spoke in English for the benefit of foreign journalists. He could not speak the languages of the local people – Punjabi or Urdu. He issued the Lahore Declaration. He said that when British rule in India ended a new homeland must be created for Muslims in the north-east and north-west of India. His statement did not make it clear if there were to be two separate Muslim homelands or one united Muslim homeland. He later said he meant one Muslim homeland. There as a big problem. What about the 1 000 miles of Hindu majority territory in between the two Muslim majority areas? Jinnah said the two Muslim areas could still be a single country despite not being geographically contiguous.

The Lahore Declaration did not contain the word ‘Pakistan’. It has since been given the misnomer ‘the Pakistan Declaration’. Pakistan has the Minar i Pakistan (Tower of Pakistan) in the park where the declaration was made.

The war ended in 1945. Congress leaders were let out of prison. For six years Congress had not been running any provinces. In those 6 years the Muslim League had become popular in areas where Congress had been strong in the 1930s. Congress perhaps made a grave mistake in their Non-Cooperation campaign. Congress had once had been strong in places like the North-West Frontier Province.

A lot of Congress disliked the Muslim League. It had done nothing to end British rule but was going to reap the reward. Jinnah had only campaigned legally for his ideal.  Jinnah had never been arrested. If Congress had not broken the law then the British Raj would not be drawing to a close or certainly not so soon.

The idea of Pakistan was gaining ground. Jinnah demanded Partition. The British did not want this nor did Congress nor did the Sikhs nor did the Hindu Mahasabha. But Jinnah’s will was inflexible. He argued that the Muslims of India were a nation. Muslims and Hindus were different in clothing, cuisine, music, law and architecture. He said that the new India would be Hindustan and run for Hindus.

In 1946 Jinnah found out he his tuberculosis was fatal.  M A Jinnah had been suffering from this disease since the 1930s. He knew he was dying. But this was a closely guarded secret. Lord Mountbatten and others tried to talk Jinnah out of the idea of partitioning India. Could the Muslim provinces not band together to form mega-provinces in India? Muslim rights would be guaranteed. They could have a lot of autonomy within India. But Jinnah was not to be moved. He demanded that Pakistan must become a totally separate country. He said that Muslims had ”nothing in common with Hindus but their slavery to the British.” That was the only time he referred to the British Raj as ”slavery.”

Jinnah started wearing traditional Muslim clothing. Until that point he had been completely anglicised. He started to sport a Kashmiri cap.

Lord Mountbatten became viceroy in 1947. He had a number of one on one meetings with Jinnah. He tried to talk sense into Jinnah – as Mountbatten saw it anyway. The two did not form a rapport. His lordship found Jinnah desiccated, false and distant. By contrast he had an excellent working relationship with Nehru. Nehru got along with the vicereine very well indeed.

Mountbatten subsequently said that if he had known Jinnah was dying he would have stalled and stalled. The Pakistan Movement was based around his personality. If Jinnah had died he movement might have run out of steam. Partition could have been avoided.

Jinnah wanted the whole of the Punjab. Muslims made up just over 50% of the Punjab. But Jinnah said that a Punjabi is a Punjabi first and foremost. That matters more than religion. Mountbatten said that showed how ridiculous partition was. If religion did not determine nationality then do not divide India. Jinnah wanted the whole of Bengal too despite Muslims only being about 55% of the people. Again he said a Bengali is a Bengali before he is Muslim or Hindu. Mountbatten said that Jinnah was contradicting himself. It was as though Jinnah was eloquently pleading his opponent’s cause. Jinnah said he did not want ”a moth eaten Pakistan”.

Punjab is the homeland of the Sikhs. Almost all Sikhs lived there. They did not want their homeland being cut in two. There was a lot of bad blood between Muslims and Sikhs.

With a heavy heart Lord Mountbatten and Congress agreed to Partition. But where was the boundary to be? A British judge called Sir Cyril Radcliffe was brought out. Sir Cyril had never been to India before. He worked in uttermost secrecy. He had to give as many Muslims to Pakistan as he could without taking more Hindus and Sikhs than absolutely unavoidable. He asked for submissions from both sides. The Indians wanted to give Pakistan almost nothing. Contrarily, the Muslim League claimed huge swathes of land that contained almost no Muslims. The border he drew is called the Radcliffe Award. When it was announced amazingly both sides accepted it.

When it was announced that Pakistan would come into being Jinnah made a speech on the radio in English. He ended with ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ – in Urdu that means ‘Long Live Pakistan!’  He hardly spoke any Urdu. Many people believed that he was speaking English even at the end and had said ‘Pakistan’s in the bag!’

Lord Mountbatten thought that having a country with two wings that were not connected by land was crazy. West Pakistan and East Pakistan were separated by 1 000 miles of India. He said with incredible prescience that this arrangement could not last 25 years. It lasted 24.

On 14 August 1947 Pakistan was born. Lord Mountbatten went to Karachi with Jinnah for the celebrations. Jinnah became the Governor-General of the Dominion of Pakistan. The Prime Minister was Liaquat Ali Khan. There was said to be a Hindu fanatic in the crowd who wanted to assassinate Jinnah. Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten drove very slowly in an open car through the crowded streets. In the end the would be assassin did not try to kill M A Jinnah.

The next day India became independent.

Millions of Hindus and Sikhs fled Pakistan. Many were waylaid and slaughtered. Many women were subjected to a heinous crime. Millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan. Many of them were killed too. About 14 000 000 people moved. Many people had to leave all their property behind.

Had Jinnah caused catastrophe? He laid the blame on his opponents. But if he had not called for Partition none of this would have happened. Pakistanis say that had Partition not happened then Muslims would have been killed en masse and those who survived would have been forced to to change to Hinduism. The Government of India said this is nonsense. There are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan. There are countless mosques in India and Muslims worship freely.

There were many teething problems for the new country. There were millions of refugees to accommodate. Many of them arrived wounded or ill. What would Pakistan do about the property of Hindus and Sikhs who fled? There were lots of missing people and orphaned children. The country was in chaos.

All the property of pre-1947 India was divided on a 70:30 basis. 30% of the property went to Pakistan. This was true of armaments, furniture, money in the bank and so forth. This all required a huge amount of reorganisation.

Pakistan had to set up its army. These were made up of former Muslim regiments of the Indian Army. The Pakistani Navy was established and so was the Pakistani Air Force. The civil service also had to be established.

Pakistan was still using the Indian Rupee. It stamped the notes with a ‘P’ for Pakistan. In time the country printed its own currency.

There were Dalit Hindus in Karachi who ran the sewage system. They were attacked for their religion. Jinnah issued them with special bands to indicate that they were Dalits and not ordinary Hindus. They were vital to the running of the city.

Christians and Parsees in Pakistan were left unmolested.

In October 1947 Pakistani tribesmen attacked Kashmir. This was a huge Muslim princely state run by a Hindu. The Maharajah of Kashmir then asked to join India. The Indian Army was airlifted to Kashmir. Pakistan made war on India. The UN brokered a ceasefire the next year. It is a frozen conflict to this day.

Jinnah said Pakistan must be a secular country. Though it was a home for Muslims it was not to be an Islamic state. Sharia was not to be the law of the land. People were free to practise any faith. There are Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Jews and Parsees in Pakistan. Jinnah said they must have equality. They were guaranteed representation in the National Assembly (parliament).

In September 1948 Jinnah died of tuberculosis. He is remembered as ”Qaid i Azam” meaning ”The Great Leader”. He has a mausoleum in Karachi. His house in Mumbai still stands. His descendants do not still live there. His birthday is 25 December. Therefore it is a public holiday in Pakistan not because it is Christmas Day!


  1. In which city was Jinnah born?
  2. What was his religion?
  3. Which denomination of Islam did he belong to?
  4. What was his father’s trade?
  5. Which city did M A Jinnah grow up in?
  6. What does ‘ M A’ stand for in the name  M A Jinnah?
  7. What was his profession?
  8. Why was his marriage controversial?
  9. What was his personality like?
  10. Which party did he first join?
  11. What did the Muslim League do with regard to its place within Congress?
  12. Who invented the name Pakistan?
  13. What is the etymology of Pakistan?
  14. What did the Lahore Declaration say about Pakistan?
  15. Why was Jinnah never imprisoned by the British?
  16. Why did Jinnah say Muslims were a nation in India?
  17. What did Jinnah prefer to call India post 1947?
  18. When did he die?
  19. What is your opinion of him? Five marks.
  20. Was the Partition of India good or bad? Five marks