Would a United India be a good thing or a disaster?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by kernals12, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean something like the Union of Sovereign States being implemented?
     
  2. Metaverse Banned

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  3. kernals12 Well-Known Member

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    That seems like a massive stretch.
     
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  4. HShafs Well-Known Member

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    What is going on in Kashmir right now, is what probably would have happened to Pakistan had India remained united. How long after independence before restive moments arise in Punjab, NFWP and Sindh, and the Indian government responds with similar crackdowns? I can't imagine Muslims having such a large majority in several provinces of India not leading to massive unrest. Maybe not immediately after 1947, but perhaps in the 70s or 80s when the global Islamic revival took place (which led to the popularity of Islamism). And then imagine the Indian government's response to such unrest. Curfews and crackdowns in Lahore, rubber pellets being used against rioting youth in Sindh, insurgencies in FATA and Peshawar. And Muslims of a united India would only equal up to 30%, still not enough to affect any potential Hindu majority at the ballot box. In recent times Kashmiri politicians such as Farooq Abdullah, a former Chief Minister and son of Sheikh Abdullah who supported India during partition, have come out and said Jinnah's idea of two nations was correct which goes to show how difficult the situation in Kashmir has become and how alienated the population feels. A good indicator of how Pakistan would be treated in a united India scenario. There would definitely be prohibitions on beef in Punjab and Sindh. India might not attempt beef bans in NWFP or Balochistan where Muslims were 90%+ pre-partition, but united Punjab had a slim Muslim majority and Sindh's elites were entirely Hindu. Beef slaughter is banned in Jammu and Kashmir today using an old colonial-era law, despite Muslims being in majority in this state.

    The best case scenario for the subcontinent would have been a better planned partition avoiding all the bloodshed that took place and the Kashmir issue being settled properly back then. In such a case India and Pakistan would not have any issue to fight over and would probably remain peaceful with each other.
     
  5. Sardar Well-Known Member

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    That assessment is incorrect. As I said before, people assume that, in this scenario, it would be OTL Pakistan smushed into OTL India. That is not the case. Without partition, even if the POD is in 1947, the amount of bloodshed generated by partition would be nothing compared to unrest in the Northwestern Muslim regions. Obviously, the best scenario would be the gradual democratization of the whole of India, and no or almost no Muslim unrest in the following years. One has to remember that despite what you see in today's India and Pakistan; Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Jews and Parsis have lived together for centuries in relative harmony compared to the rest of the world, and even India's next door neighbors. Also, no partition would not give any large reason for inter-religious strife as well. And the idea that Muslims would be "oppressed" by the Hindu majority were confined to a small portion of the Muslim elite in Northern India. India would be leaps and bounds ahead of today in terms of economic, social and political development.
     
  6. HShafs Well-Known Member

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    That's a very rose tinted view of history. Hindu-Muslim animosity didn't just appear out of thin air because of partition. It's much deeper. The mistrust is such that Hindus and Muslims, despite living in the same villages, would not even share the same cups and plates.

    You don't get the massacres of partition taking place without centuries of seething discontent, violence and suspicion.

    And the idea the Muslim minority would be oppressed took about 70 years to unfold but it did happen eventually. And in a United India, Muslims still wouldn't be politically strong enough to prevent rise of Hindutva/RSS ideology.
     
  7. Mister Mister Well-Known Member

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    IMHO disaster like Congo.
     
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  8. Metaverse Banned

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    If there is a state sponsored secularization like it happened in Albania, I could see a situation that works. But such a system could potentially see disproportionate amounts of violence against people of both religions, who aren't willing to compromise. But in this case, I could see the richer and urban people would be secularized quite easily and would pose no problem(which is what would probably be done by an United India Government to avoid any separatism) and trickle down to other classes as time goes on. India would look way different.

    But the Govt could face a problem with heavily religious and rural ethnicities like Pashtuns, prompting the Govt to subdue them(this also depends on how friendly the Govt is with the Superpowers). Hinduism is quite much divided to lead any arms against secularization and most Hindus would embrace it, when the Govt implements it.
     
  9. Kaushlendra pratap singh Well-Known Member

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    35%. Muslim vote with secular Hindu vote will prevent any Hindutva ideology, also 60% will prevent any hardliner Muslim ideology.
     
  10. sendô Well-Known Member

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    The most likely short term result is civil war. There's a reason why India was partitioned you know.

    Long term you might even have seen some balkanisation. All those princely states, all those different languages and don't forget the religions other than Hinduism and Islam.
     
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  11. Sardar Well-Known Member

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    I did not say that Hindus and Muslims would always get along. I said that, without partition, the relations between these two groups would be much better.

    And your last points is exactly why Hindu-Muslim relation would be better. The larger Muslim minority would not allow for the development of non-secular political parties, therefore preventing the tensions we see today.
     
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  12. Southpaw Once and Future American

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    The main thing that held India back for a long time was its socialist economic system which lasted until the '90s; without such policies being implemented after independence it would probably be at least at an OTL modern Thai/Chinese level of income by now, and maybe even a Malaysian one.

    In that regard, a united India could be a greater success than OTL if the political/economic elites that ended up running Pakistan influence the country towards a less restrictive economic policy (if I recall Pakistan in OTL was more market-oriented than India for many decades). Seems doubtful they would have such a great impact as a minority, though.
     
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  13. Metaverse Banned

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    An Undivided India is quite unpredictable in a Political direction it would take. Pakistan became a more Pro-US country as India drifted to its fellow Socialist nation, USSR.

    An Undivided India would be quite fragile and as a newly independent country, quite poor. I would still see a possibility of a Socialist government taking control though it would be run by different people. Why does religion affect your economic policy for anything? The best way I could see an Undivided India going forth smoothly is an Albania or Turkey like Secularization. The closed economy part is debatable and that is fit for an another thread.
     
  14. Southpaw Once and Future American

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    I wasn't talking about the economic preferences of the population at large; rather that the Pakistani elite seems to have been more capitalist than the Indian one, and presumably they'd be part of Indian politics in an undivided India scenario, and maybe nudge the nation in another direction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  15. Metaverse Banned

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    We need to clarify a few things.

    "Population" in general doesn't decide the economic system, especially when it is a newly independent and a poor country to start with. You're talking about America or Europe. It's decided by the educated upper class who would rule, as it was in India. In this case, it would be an undivided Indian National Congress which would also have Jinnah and his Muslim team in it.

    Next up, the Western style Capitalism is still alien in these parts of the World at that time. We are not talking of the late 80s or 90s but 40s and 50s. Education and even basic facilities and opportunities were hard to come by for a vast segment of the population. It would still be largely socialist and would probably be an open economy but still controlled.

    The religion mattered less to the Ruling class. Jinnah was a Non-Practicing Muslim, Neharu was an Agnostic and they wouldn't care any religious aspects as long as their vote bank is fulfilled and they are secure. We don't know who they would ally with but I could see this class with an affinity to the Soviets too as they need to weaken and Secularize religions at any cost, to secure the rule and the future of the Country, otherwise which, you could have insurgencies in the more religious parts like Pashtun regions and the poorer Muslim and probably even the poorer Hindu and Sikh regions.

    The country could develop as a Secularist(borderline state-Atheistic) and a Socialist economy for at least four decades as I see it. Once the population is Secularized enough and the economy is decent enough, the Govt could finally take off restrictions.
     
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  16. Pelranius Well-Known Member

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    The central government would also have to give a lot of autonomy to the provinces. China can get away with a heavily centralized government because over 90%+ of the country shares a language (written, at least).
     
  17. htgriffin Member

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    It would help, yes. The 'Hindustani Belt*' would be demographically dominant, but not that much so.

    (*: Yes, we can I think take it as given that Delhi would at least for official matters try to downplay the Hindi/Urdu split and regularize the Devanagari/Nasta'liq transliteration system)
     
  18. Green Painting Ship of Theseus

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    At least in the 1940s, was it possible for Muslims to take part in a voting block with the hardline (and right-leaning) Hindus, against a secular Congress Party?

    Pakistan has always been much more right-leaning than India, and she remains a bit poorer.
     
  19. Pelranius Well-Known Member

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    If there was significant provincial autonomy on cultural rights and such, the right leaning Hindus and Muslims could probably field some coalition governments.
     
  20. rsha1s Well-Known Member

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    Long ago, adherents to the four major religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam) lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Brits attacked with the partition line. My grandfather told me that my great-grandparents' little rural town in India was diverse; there were roughly equal amounts of Hindus, Jains, and Muslims (but fewer Sikhs). Nobody held radical supremacist beliefs. When it was Diwali, Muslims used to celebrate alongside the Jains and Hindus. When it was Eid, Hindus and Jains used to celebrate with the Muslims. There was apparently a very convivial atmosphere in the town until 1947 when the Muslims went to Pakistan and the townspeople welcomed the new arrivals from Sindh.

    Since the Muslims got their own country, Islamic fundamentalism and nationalism were ramped up to levels not seen for a long while. Heck, even Abu Akbar's Mughal Empire was more tolerant towards non-muslims than modern Pakistan. Reactionary politicians were elected in both India and Pakistan and "cold war" ensued, and bigotry rose to new levels.

    I personally believe that the friendliness Indians had towards each other during Raj rule was because of the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" mentality. However, under a United India, there would be much less hate towards the "other religions" though you might see sporadic instances of anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim hate. For a United India to thrive, I believe it must have a strong and secular central government. If a United India was a confederation of sorts, it would be a total disaster IMHO as some local princely leaders would try to enact religious law which would cause violence.
     
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