Barbar Gains Control Over India - History

Barbar Gains Control Over India - History

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Babar the leader of the Mughal crossed the Kybur pass with 12,000 troops. Although his forces were outnumber ten to one his superior tactics as well as advanced artillery allowed him to overcome an army ten time his size. Babar soon gained control of Delhi and the Northern Plains of India.

Portuguese India

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Portuguese India, Portuguese Estado da Índia, name once used for those parts of India which were under Portuguese rule from 1505 to December 1961. Portuguese India consisted of several isolated tracts: (1) the territory of Goa with the capital, a considerable area in the middle of the west coast of India (2) Damão, or Daman, with the separated territories of Dadrá and Nagar Haveli, north of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and lying between the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat (3) Diu with Pani Kota Island on the southern coast of the Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat state.

The total area under Portuguese control was 1,619 square miles (4,193 sq km). Goa accounted for the bulk of Portuguese India in terms of both territory and population. For judicial purposes, the province of Goa also included Macau in China and Timor in the Malay Archipelago. Portuguese India formed a single administrative province under a governor-general and a single ecclesiastical province subject to the archbishop of Goa, who was also primate of the East.

1600s: The British East India Company Arrived

After several attempts to open trade with a powerful ruler of India failed in the earliest years of the 1600s, King James I of England sent a personal envoy, Sir Thomas Roe, to the court of the Mogul emperor Jahangir in 1614.

The emperor was incredibly wealthy and lived in an opulent palace. And he was not interested in trade with Britain as he couldn't imagine the British had anything he wanted.

Roe, recognizing that other approaches had been too subservient, was deliberately difficult to deal with at first. He correctly sensed that earlier envoys, by being too accommodating, had not gained the emperor's respect. Roe's stratagem worked, and the East India Company was able to establish operations in India.

Gandhi Arrested

Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5, but the satyagraha continued without him.

On May 21, the poet Sarojini Naidu led 2,500 marchers on the Dharasana Salt Works, some 150 miles north of Bombay. Several hundred British-led Indian policemen met them and viciously beat the peaceful demonstrators.

The incident, recorded by American journalist Webb Miller, prompted an international outcry against British policy in India.

Did you know? Gandhi’s followers called him "Mahatma, " which in Sanskrit means "great soul."

How did Great Britain control India through Indirect Rule?

India was not only weak at this time it was also divided among many competing local leaders. The fragmentation of the Mughal Empire meant a great deal of instability over much of Indian. The local rulers fought each other endlessly, Muslims and Hindus fought each other and their co-religionists. Warfare was endemic in much of the sub-continent by the early decades of the eighteenth century. [9] ". Many Indians welcomed the British's stability, especially in the late eighteenth century, although they resented the various taxes imposed on them by the foreigners.

The British adopted a clever strategy in India when it came to administering their new territories. They did not directly administer the majority of their new territories, at least at first. They often left the local rulers in place, with all their privileges and wealth. They also did not interfere with the local landowning elites. The British tended to rule through these elites. They used them to collect taxes and enforce law and order, and in return, they were allowed a measure of autonomy in their local areas. These tactics meant that many local Indian elites, both Hindu and Muslim, accepted British influence. [10] "

Instead of simply annexing many states, they agreed with the local Rajs, Nawabs, and Sultans. They agreed not to attack local rulers as long as they made the British their heirs. This meant that many small estates were bequeathed to the British upon the death of a ruler. The British also entered into treaties with local rulers, which allowed them to absorb these territories peacefully. They would agree to station military forces in a princely state and would not seek taxes but some territory. They also appointed a 'resident' to advise the ruler. Slowly, the local rulers found that they were becoming the mere puppets of the East Indian Company.


Since the Partition of British India in 1947, Pakistan and India remained in contention over several issues. Although the Kashmir conflict was the predominant issue dividing the nations, other border disputes existed, most notably over the Rann of Kutch, a barren region in the Indian state of Gujarat. The issue first arose in 1956 which ended with India regaining control over the disputed area. [42] Pakistani patrols began patrolling in territory controlled by India in January 1965, which was followed by attacks by both countries on each other's posts on 8 April 1965. [42] [43] Initially involving border police from both nations, the disputed area soon witnessed intermittent skirmishes between the countries' armed forces. In June 1965, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson successfully persuaded both countries to end hostilities and set up a tribunal to resolve the dispute. The verdict, which came later in 1968, saw Pakistan awarded 910 square kilometres (350 square miles) of the Rann of Kutch, as against its original claim of 9,100 km 2 (3,500 sq mi). [44]

After its success in the Rann of Kutch, Pakistan, under the leadership of General Ayub Khan, believed the Indian Army would be unable to defend itself against a quick military campaign in the disputed territory of Kashmir as the Indian military had suffered a loss to China in 1962 [45] in the Sino-Indian War. Pakistan believed that the population of Kashmir was generally discontented with Indian rule and that a resistance movement could be ignited by a few infiltrating saboteurs. Pakistan attempted to ignite the resistance movement by means of a covert infiltration, code-named Operation Gibraltar. [46] The Pakistani infiltrators were soon discovered, however, their presence reported by local Kashmiris, [47] and the operation ended unsuccessfully.

On 5 August 1965 between 26,000 and 33,000 Pakistani soldiers crossed the Line of Control dressed as Kashmiri locals headed for various areas within Kashmir. Indian forces, tipped off by the local populace, crossed the cease fire line on 15 August. [45]

Initially, the Indian Army met with considerable success, capturing three important mountain positions after a prolonged artillery barrage. By the end of August, however, both sides had relative progress Pakistan had made progress in areas such as Tithwal, Uri and Poonch and India had captured the Haji Pir pass, 8 km into Pakistan administered Kashmir. [48]

On 1 September 1965, Pakistan launched a counterattack, called Operation Grand Slam, with the objective to capture the vital town of Akhnoor in Jammu, which would sever communications and cut off supply routes to Indian troops. Ayub Khan calculated that "Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place" [49] [50] [51] although by this time Operation Gibraltar had failed and India had captured the Haji Pir Pass. [49] [52] At 03:30 on 1 September 1965, the entire Chhamb area came under massive artillery bombardment. Pakistan had launched operation Grand Slam and India's Army Headquarter was taken by surprise. [53] Attacking with an overwhelming ratio of troops and technically superior tanks, Pakistan made gains against Indian forces, who were caught unprepared and suffered heavy losses. India responded by calling in its air force to blunt the Pakistani attack. The next day, Pakistan retaliated, its air force attacked Indian forces and air bases in both Kashmir and Punjab. India's decision to open up the theatre of attack into Pakistani Punjab forced the Pakistani army to relocate troops engaged in the operation to defend Punjab. Operation Grand Slam therefore failed, as the Pakistan Army was unable to capture Akhnoor it became one of the turning points in the war when India decided to relieve pressure on its troops in Kashmir by attacking Pakistan further south. In the valley, another area of strategic importance was Kargil. Kargil town was in Indian hands but Pakistan occupied high ground overlooking Kargil and Srinagar-Leh road. However, after the launch of a massive anti-infiltration operation by the Indian army, the Pakistani infiltrators were forced out of that area in the month of August. [54]

India crossed the International Border on the Western front on 6 September. [55] On 6 September, the 15th Infantry Division of the Indian Army, under World War II veteran Major General Niranjan Prasad, battled a massive counterattack by Pakistan near the west bank of the Icchogil Canal (BRB Canal), which was a de facto border of India and Pakistan. The General's entourage itself was ambushed and he was forced to flee his vehicle. A second, this time successful, attempt to cross the Ichhogil Canal was made over the bridge in the village of Barki (Battle of Burki), just east of Lahore. These developments brought the Indian Army within the range of Lahore International Airport. As a result, the United States requested a temporary ceasefire to allow it to evacuate its citizens in Lahore. However, the Pakistani counterattack took Khem Karan from Indian forces which tried to divert the attention of Pakistanis from Khem Karan by an attack on Bedian and the adjacent villages.

The thrust against Lahore consisted of the 1st Infantry Division supported by the three tank regiments of the 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade they quickly advanced across the border, reaching the Ichhogil (BRB) Canal by 6 September. The Pakistani Army held the bridges over the canal or blew up those it could not hold, effectively stalling any further advance by the Indians on Lahore. One unit of the Indian Jat Regiment, 3 Jat, had also crossed the Icchogil canal and captured [56] the town of Batapore (Jallo Mur to Pakistan) on the west side of the canal. The same day, a counter offensive consisting of an armoured division and infantry division supported by Pakistan Air Force Sabres forced the Indian 15th Division to withdraw to its starting point. Although 3 Jat suffered minimal casualties, the bulk of the damage being taken by ammunition and stores vehicles, the higher commanders had no information of 3 Jat's capture of Batapore and misleading information led to the command to withdraw from Batapore and Dograi to Ghosal-Dial. This move brought extreme disappointment [57] to Lt-Col Desmond Hayde, CO of 3 Jat. Dograi was eventually recaptured by 3 Jat on 21 September, for the second time but after a much harder battle due to Pakistani reinforcements, in the Battle of Dograi.

On 8 September 1965, a company of 5 Maratha Light Infantry was sent to reinforce a Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) post at Munabao – a strategic hamlet about 250 kilometres from Jodhpur. Their brief was simple. To hold the post and to keep Pakistan's infantry battalions from overrunning the post at bay. But at Maratha Hill (in Munabao) – as the post has now been christened – the Indian company could barely manage to thwart the intense attack for 24 hours. A company of 3 Guards with 954 heavy mortar battery ordered to reinforce the RAC post at Munabao could never reach. The Pakistani Air Force had strafed the entire area, and also hit a railway train coming from Barmer with reinforcements near Gadra road railway station. On 10 September, Munabao fell into Pakistani hands, and efforts to capture the strategic point did not succeed. [58]

On the days following 9 September, both nations' premiere formations were routed in unequal battles. India's 1st Armoured Division, labeled the "pride of the Indian Army", launched an offensive towards Sialkot. The Division divided itself into two prongs, was forced back by the Pakistani 6th Armoured Division at Chawinda and was forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses of nearly 100 tanks.

The Pakistanis followed up their success by launching Operation Windup, which forced the Indians back farther. Similarly, Pakistan's pride, the 1st Armoured Division, pushed an offensive towards Khem Karan, with the intent to capture Amritsar (a major city in Punjab, India) and the bridge on River Beas to Jalandhar.

The Pakistani 1st Armoured Division never made it past Khem Karan, however, and by the end of 10 September lay disintegrated by the defences of the Indian 4th Mountain Division at what is now known as the Battle of Asal Uttar (lit. meaning – "Real Answer", or more appropriate English equivalent – "Fitting Response"). The area became known as 'Patton Nagar' (Patton Town), because of the large number of US-made Pakistani Patton tanks. Approximately 97 Pakistani tanks were destroyed or abandoned, with only 32 Indian tanks destroyed or damaged. The Pakistani 1st Armoured Division less 5th Armoured Brigade was next sent to Sialkot sector behind Pakistani 6th Armoured Division where it didn't see action as 6th Armoured Division was already in process of routing Indian 1st Armoured Division which was superior to it in strength.

The hostilities in the Rajasthan sector commenced on 8 September. Initially Pakistan Desert Force and the Hur militia (followers of Pir Pagaro) was placed in a defensive role, a role for which they were well suited as it turned out. The Hurs were familiar with the terrain and the local area and possessed many essential desert survival skills which their opponents and their comrades in the Pakistan Army did not. Fighting as mainly light infantry, the Hur inflicted many casualties on the Indian forces as they entered Sindh. The Hurs were also employed as skirmishers, harassing the Indians LOC, a task they often undertook on camels. As the battle wore on the Hurs and the Desert Force were increasingly used to attack and capture Indian villages inside Rajasthan. [59]

The war was heading for a stalemate, with both nations holding territory of the other. The Indian army suffered 3,000 battlefield deaths, while Pakistan suffered 3,800. The Indian army was in possession of 1,920 km 2 (740 sq mi) of Pakistani territory and the Pakistan army held 550 km 2 (210 sq mi) of Indian territory. [60] The territory occupied by India was mainly in the fertile Sialkot, Lahore and Kashmir sectors, [61] [62] while Pakistani ground gains were primarily in deserts opposite Sindh and in the Chumb sector near Kashmir. [62] Pakistan claims that it held 1,600 km 2 (620 sq mi) of Indian territory, while losing 1,200 km 2 (450 sq mi) of its own territory. [63] [64] [65] [66]

Aerial warfare

The war saw aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) engaging in combat for the first time since independence. Although the two forces had previously faced off in the First Kashmir War during the late 1940s, that engagement was very limited in scale compared to the 1965 conflict. [ citation needed ]

The IAF was flying large numbers of Hawker Hunters, Indian-manufactured Folland Gnats, de Havilland Vampires, EE Canberra bombers and a squadron of MiG-21s. The PAF's fighter force comprised 102 F-86F Sabres and 12 F-104 Starfighters, along with 24 B-57 Canberra bombers. During the conflict, the PAF claimed it was out-numbered by around 5:1. [67]

The PAF's aircraft were largely of American origin, whereas the IAF flew an assortment of British and Soviet aeroplanes. However, the PAF's American aircraft were superior to those of the IAF's. [68] [69]

The F-86 was vulnerable to the diminutive Folland Gnat, nicknamed "Sabre Slayer". [70] The Gnat is credited by many independent and Indian sources as having shot down seven Pakistani Canadair Sabres [a] in the 1965 war. [71] [72] while two Gnats were downed by PAF fighters. The PAF's F-104 Starfighter of the PAF was the fastest fighter operating in the subcontinent at that time and was often referred to as "the pride of the PAF". However, according to Sajjad Haider, the F-104 did not deserve this reputation. Being "a high level interceptor designed to neutralise Soviet strategic bombers in altitudes above 40,000 feet," rather than engage in dogfights with agile fighters at low altitudes, it was "unsuited to the tactical environment of the region". [73] In combat the Starfighter was not as effective as the IAF's far more agile, albeit much slower, Folland Gnat fighter. [74] [75] Yet it zoomed into an ongoing dogfight between Sabres and Gnats, at supersonic speed, successfully broke off the fight and caused the Gnats to egress. An IAF Gnat, piloted by Squadron Leader Brij Pal Singh Sikand, landed at an abandoned Pakistani airstrip at Pasrur, as he lacked the fuel to return to his base, and was captured by the Pakistan Army. According to the pilot, he got separated from his formation due to a malfunctioning compass and radio. [76] [77] This Gnat is displayed as a war trophy in the Pakistan Air Force Museum, Karachi. Sqn Ldr Saad Hatmi who flew the captured aircraft to Sargodha, and later tested and evaluated its flight performance, was of view that Gnat was no "Sabre Slayer" when it came to dog fighting. [77] Three Indian civilian aircraft were shot down by PAF, one of which shot down at Bhuj, Gujarat was carrying Balwantrai Mehta, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, total 8 killed in the incident along with Balwantrai Mehta and his wife. The Pakistan Air Force had fought well in countering the much large Indian Air Force and supported the ground forces. [78]

The two countries have made contradictory claims of combat losses during the war and few neutral sources have verified the claims of either country. The PAF claimed it shot down 104 IAF planes and lost 19 of its own, while the IAF claimed it shot down 73 PAF planes and lost 59. [79] According to PAF, It flew 86 F-86 Sabres, 10 F-104 Starfighters and 20 B-57 Canberras in a parade soon after the war was over. Thus disproving the IAF's claim of downing 73 PAF fighters, which at the time constituted nearly the entire Pakistani front-line fighter force. [80] Indian sources have pointed out that, despite PAF claims of losing only a squadron of combat craft, Pakistan sought to acquire additional aircraft from Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and China within 10 days of the beginning war. [81]

The two air forces were rather equal in the conflict, because much of the Indian air force remained farther east to guard against the possibility of China entering the war. [82] According to the independent sources, the PAF lost some 20 aircraft while the Indians lost 60–75. [5] [6] Pakistan ended the war having depleted 17 percent of its front line strength, while India's losses amounted to less than 10 percent. [ citation needed ] Moreover, the loss rate had begun to even out, and it has been estimated that another three week's fighting would have seen the Pakistani losses rising to 33 percent and India's losses totalling 15 percent. [ citation needed ] Air superiority was not achieved, and were unable to prevent IAF fighter bombers and reconnaissance Canberras from flying daylight missions over Pakistan. Thus 1965 was a stalemate in terms of the air war with neither side able to achieve complete air superiority. [82] However, according to Kenneth Werrell, the Pakistan Air Force "did well in the conflict and probably had the edge". [83] When hostilities broke out, the Pakistan Air Force with around 100 F-86s faced an enemy with five times as many combat aircraft the Indians were also equipped with comparatively modern aircraft inventory. Despite this, Werrell credits the PAF as having the advantage of a "decade's experience with the Sabre" and pilots with long flight hours experience. One Pakistani fighter pilot, MM Alam, was credited with the record of downing five Indian aircraft in less than a minute, becoming the first known flying ace since the Korean War. [83] However, his claims were never confirmed by the PAF and is disputed by Indian sources [84] [85] [86] and some PAF officials. [87] [88] [89]

Tank battles

The 1965 war witnessed some of the largest tank battles since World War II. At the beginning of the war, the Pakistani Army had both a numerical advantage in tanks, as well as better equipment overall. [90] Pakistani armour was largely American-made it consisted mainly of Patton M-47 and M-48 tanks, but also included many M4 Sherman tanks, some M24 Chaffee light tanks and M36 Jackson tank destroyers, equipped with 90 mm guns. [91] The bulk of India's tank fleet were older M4 Sherman tanks some were up-gunned with the French high velocity CN 75 50 guns and could hold their own, whilst some older models were still equipped with the inferior 75 mm M3 L/40 gun. Besides the M4 tanks, India fielded the British-made Centurion Tank Mk 7, with the 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7 gun, and the AMX-13, PT-76, and M3 Stuart light tanks. Pakistan fielded a greater number and more modern artillery its guns out-ranged those of the Indian artillery, according to Pakistan's Major General T.H. Malik. [92]

At the outbreak of war in 1965, Pakistan had about 15 armoured cavalry regiments, each with about 45 tanks in three squadrons. Besides the Pattons, there were about 200 M4 Shermans re-armed with 76 mm guns, 150 M24 Chaffee light tank and a few independent squadrons of M36B1 tank destroyers. Most of these regiments served in Pakistan's two armoured divisions, the 1st and 6th Armoured divisions – the latter being in the process of formation.

The Indian Army of the time possessed 17 cavalry regiments, and in the 1950s had begun modernizing them by the acquisition of 164 AMX-13 light tanks and 188 Centurions. The remainder of the cavalry units were equipped with M4 Shermans and a small number of M3A3 Stuart light tanks. India had only a single armoured division, the 1st 'Black Elephant' Armoured Division, which consisted of the 17th Horse (The Poona Horse), also called 'Fakhr-i-Hind' ('Pride of India'), the 4th Horse (Hodson's Horse), the 16th Cavalry, the 7th Light Cavalry, the 2nd Lancers, the 18th Cavalry and the 62nd Cavalry, the two first named being equipped with Centurions. There was also the 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade, one of whose three regiments, the 3rd Cavalry, was also equipped with Centurions.

Despite the qualitative and numerical superiority of Pakistani armour, [93] Pakistan was outfought on the battlefield by India, which made progress into the Lahore-Sialkot sector, whilst halting Pakistan's counteroffensive on Amritsar [94] [95] they were sometimes employed in a faulty manner, such as charging prepared defences during the defeat of Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division at Asal Uttar.

After India breached the Madhupur canal on 11 September, the Khem Karan counter-offensive was halted, affecting Pakistan's strategy substantially. [49] Although India's tank formations experienced some results, India's attack at the Battle of Chawinda, led by its 1st Armoured Division and supporting units, was brought to halt by the newly raised 6th Armoured Division (ex-100th independent brigade group) in the Chawinda sector. Pakistan claimed that Indians lost 120 tanks at Chawinda. [96] compared to 44 of its own [97] But later, Indian official sources confirmed India lost only 29 tanks at Chawinda. [98] [99] Neither the Indian nor Pakistani Army showed any great facility in the use of armoured formations in offensive operations, whether the Pakistani 1st Armoured Division at Asal Uttar (Battle of Asal Uttar) or the Indian 1st Armoured Division at Chawinda. In contrast, both proved adept with smaller forces in a defensive role such as India's 2nd Armoured Brigade at Asal Uttar and Pakistan's 25th Cavalry at Chawinda. The Centurion battle tank, with its 105 mm gun and heavy armour, performed better than the overly complex [ need quotation to verify ] Pattons. [95]

Naval hostilities

Naval operations did not play a prominent role in the war of 1965. On 7 September, a flotilla of the Pakistan Navy under the command of Commodore S.M. Anwar, carried out a bombardment of the Indian Navy's radar station coastal down of Dwarka, which was 320 kilometres (200 mi) south of the Pakistani port of Karachi. Operation Dwarka, as it is known, is a significant naval operation of the 1965 war [100] [101] [102] contested as a nuisance raid by some. [103] [104] The attack on Dwarka led to questions being asked in India's parliament [105] and subsequent post-war modernization and expansion of the Indian Navy, with an increase in budget from Rs. 35 crores to Rs. 115 crores. [106]

According to some Pakistani sources, one submarine, PNS Ghazi, kept the Indian Navy's aircraft carrier INS Vikrant besieged in Bombay throughout the war. Indian sources claim that it was not their intention to get into a naval conflict with Pakistan, and wished to restrict the war to a land-based conflict. [107] Moreover, they note that the Vikrant was in dry dock in the process of refitting. Some Pakistani defence writers have also discounted claims that the Indian Navy was bottled up in Bombay by a single submarine, instead stating that 75% of the Indian Navy was under maintenance in harbour. [108]

Covert operations

The Pakistan Army launched a number of covert operations to infiltrate and sabotage Indian airbases. [109] On 7 September 1965, the Special Services Group (SSG) commandos were parachuted into enemy territory. According to Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army General Muhammad Musa, about 135 commandos were airdropped at three Indian airfields (Halwara, Pathankot and Adampur). The daring attempt proved to be an "unmitigated disaster". [109] Only 22 commandos returned to Pakistan as planned, 93 were taken prisoner (including one of the Commanders of the operations, Major Khalid Butt), and 20 were killed in encounters with the army, police or civilians. [ citation needed ] The reason for the failure of the commando mission is attributed to the failure to provide maps, proper briefings and adequate planning or preparation. [110]

Despite failing to sabotage the airfields, Pakistan sources claim that the commando mission affected some planned Indian operations. As the Indian 14th Infantry Division was diverted to hunt for paratroopers, the Pakistan Air Force found the road filled with transport, and destroyed many vehicles. [111]

India responded to the covert activity by announcing rewards for captured Pakistani spies or paratroopers. [112] Meanwhile, in Pakistan, rumors spread that India had retaliated with its own covert operations, sending commandos deep into Pakistan territory, [110] but these rumors were later determined to be unfounded. [113]

India and Pakistan make widely divergent claims about the damage they inflicted on each other and the amount of damage suffered by them. The following summarizes each nation's claims.

  • Army: 169 commissioned officers (1 brigadier, 9 lieutenant-colonels, 30 majors, 39 captains, 11 lieutenants, 79 second lieutenants), 80 junior commissioned officers (JCO), 1,820 other ranks [117][118][119][120][121][122][123][114]
  • Air force: 19 officers, 21 other ranks [114]

Neutral assessments

There have been several neutral assessments of the losses incurred by both India and Pakistan during the war. Most of these assessments agree that India had the upper hand over Pakistan when ceasefire was declared. Some of the neutral assessments are mentioned below —

The war was militarily inconclusive each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other. Losses were relatively heavy—on the Pakistani side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan's army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for Pakistan. Most Pakistanis, schooled in the belief of their own martial prowess, refused to accept the possibility of their country's military defeat by "Hindu India" and were, instead, quick to blame their failure to attain their military aims on what they considered to be the ineptitude of Ayub Khan and his government.

This time, India's victory was nearly total: India accepted cease-fire only after it had occupied 740 square miles [1,900 km 2 ], though Pakistan had made marginal gains of 210 square miles [540 km 2 ] of territory. Despite the obvious strength of the Indian wins, both countries claim to have been victorious.

The invading Indian forces outfought their Pakistani counterparts and halted their attack on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city. By the time United Nations intervened on September 22, Pakistan had suffered a clear defeat.

The superior Indian forces, however, won a decisive victory and the army could have even marched on into Pakistani territory had external pressure not forced both combatants to cease their war efforts.

In three weeks the second Indo-Pak War ended in what appeared to be a draw when the embargo placed by Washington on U.S. ammunition and replacements for both armies forced cessation of conflict before either side won a clear victory. India, however, was in a position to inflict grave damage to, if not capture, Pakistan's capital of the Punjab when the cease-fire was called, and controlled Kashmir's strategic Uri-Poonch bulge, much to Ayub's chagrin.

  • In his book titled The greater game: India's race with destiny and China, David Van Praagh wrote [8] –

India won the war. It held on to the Vale of Kashmir, the prize Pakistan vainly sought. It gained 1,840 km 2 [710 sq mi] of Pakistani territory: 640 km 2 [250 sq mi] in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan's portion of the state 460 km 2 [180 sq mi] of the Sailkot sector 380 km 2 [150 sq mi] far to the south of Sindh and most critical, 360 km 2 [140 sq mi] on the Lahore front. Pakistan took 540 km 2 [210 sq mi] of Indian territory: 490 km 2 [190 sq mi] in the Chhamb sector and 50 km 2 [19 sq mi] around Khem Karan.

Although both sides lost heavily in men and material, and neither gained a decisive military advantage, India had the better of the war. New Delhi achieved its basic goal of thwarting Pakistan's attempt to seize Kashmir by force. Pakistan gained nothing from a conflict which it had instigated.

India's strategic aims were modest – it aimed to deny Pakistani Army victory, although it ended up in possession of 720 square miles [1,900 km 2 ] of Pakistani territory for the loss of just 220 square miles [570 km 2 ] of its own.

  • An excerpt from William M. Carpenter and David G. Wiencek's Asian security handbook: terrorism and the new security environment[132] –

A brief but furious 1965 war with India began with a covert Pakistani thrust across the Kashmiri cease-fire line and ended up with the city of Lahore threatened with encirclement by Indian Army. Another UN-sponsored cease-fire left borders unchanged, but Pakistan's vulnerability had again been exposed.

The 1965 Indo-Pak war lasted barely a month. Pakistan made gains in the Rajasthan desert but its main push against India's Jammu-Srinagar road link was repulsed and Indian tanks advanced to within a sight of Lahore. Both sides claimed victory but India had most to celebrate.

  • Uk Heo and Shale Asher Horowitz write in their book Conflict in Asia: Korea, China-Taiwan, and India-Pakistan[134] –

Again India appeared, logistically at least, to be in a superior position but neither side was able to mobilize enough strength to gain a decisive victory.

Conflict resumed again in early 1965, when Pakistani and Indian forces clashed over disputed territory along the border between the two nations. Hostilities intensified that August when the Pakistani army attempted to take Kashmir by force. The attempt to seize the state was unsuccessful, and the second India-Pakistan War reached a stalemate.

On 20 September, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution, which noted that its previous two resolutions went "unheeded" and now demanded an unconditional ceasefire from both nations within 48 hours. [136] [137] India immediately accepted, [138] [b] while Pakistan accepted it on 23 September, with some notable dramatics. [140]

India and Pakistan accused each other of ceasefire violations India charged Pakistan with 585 violations in 34 days, while Pakistan countered with accusations of 450 incidents by India. [141] In addition to the expected exchange of small arms and artillery fire, India reported that Pakistan utilized the ceasefire to capture the Indian village of Chananwalla in the Fazilka sector. This village was recaptured by Indian troops on 25 December. On 10 October, a B-57 Canberra on loan to the PAF was damaged by 3 SA-2 missiles fired from the IAF base at Ambala. [142] A Pakistani Army Auster AOP was shot down on 16 December, killing one Pakistani army captain on 2 February 1967, an AOP was shot down by IAF Hunters.

The ceasefire remained in effect until the start of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

Truce agreement

The United States and the Soviet Union used significant diplomatic tools to prevent any further escalation in the conflict between the two South Asian nations. The Soviet Union, led by Premier Alexei Kosygin, hosted peace negotiations in Tashkent (now in Uzbekistan), where Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Agreement, agreeing to withdraw to pre-August lines no later than 25 February 1966.

India's Prime Minister, Shastri, suffered a fatal heart attack soon after the Tashkent Agreement on January 11, 1966. As a consequence, the public outcry in India against the peace declaration transformed into a wave of sympathy for the ruling Indian National Congress. [143]

Public perceptions

The ceasefire was criticised by many Pakistanis who, relying on fabricated official reports and the controlled Pakistani press, believed that the leadership had surrendered military gains. The protests led to student riots. [144] Pakistan State's reports had suggested that their military was performing admirably in the war – which they incorrectly blamed as being initiated by India – and thus the Tashkent Declaration was seen as having forfeited the gains. [145] Some recent books written by Pakistani authors, including one by ex-ISI chief Lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmed Durrani initially titled The Myth of 1965 Victory, [146] reportedly exposed Pakistani fabrications about the war, but all copies of the book were bought by Pakistan Army to prevent circulation because the topic was "too sensitive". [147] [148] The book was published with the revised title History of Indo Pak War 1965, published by Services Book Club, a part of the Pakistan military and printed by Oxford University Press, Karachi. A few copies of the book have survived. [149] A version was published in India as Illusion of Victory: A Military History of the Indo-Pak War-1965 by Lexicon Publishers. [150] Recently a new Pakistani impression has been published in 2017.

Strategic miscalculations by both India and Pakistan ensured that the war ended in a stalemate.

Indian miscalculations

Indian military intelligence gave no warning of the impending Pakistan invasion. The Indian Army failed to recognize the presence of heavy Pakistani artillery and armaments in Chumb and suffered significant losses as a result.

The "Official War History – 1965", drafted by the Ministry of Defence of India in 1992, was a long suppressed document that revealed other miscalculations. According to the document, on 22 September when the Security Council was pressing for a ceasefire, the Indian Prime Minister asked commanding Gen. Chaudhuri if India could possibly win the war, were he to delay accepting the ceasefire. The general replied that most of India's frontline ammunition had been used up and the Indian Army had suffered considerable tank losses. It was determined later that only 14% of India's frontline ammunition had been fired and India held twice the number of tanks as Pakistan. By this time, the Pakistani Army had used close to 80% of its ammunition.

Air Chief Marshal (retd) P.C. Lal, who was the Vice Chief of Air Staff during the conflict, points to the lack of coordination between the IAF and the Indian army. Neither side revealed its battle plans to the other. The battle plans drafted by the Ministry of Defence and General Chaudhari, did not specify a role for the Indian Air Force in the order of battle. This attitude of Gen. Chaudhari was referred to by ACM Lal as the "Supremo Syndrome", a patronizing attitude sometimes held by the Indian army towards the other branches of the Indian Military. [114]

Pakistani miscalculations

The Pakistani Army's failures started with the supposition that a generally discontented Kashmiri people, given the opportunity provided by the Pakistani advance, would revolt against their Indian rulers, bringing about a swift and decisive surrender of Kashmir. The Kashmiri people, however, did not revolt. Instead, the Indian Army was provided with enough information to learn of Operation Gibraltar and the fact that the Army was battling not insurgents, as they had initially supposed, but Pakistani Army regulars.

The Pakistani Army also failed to recognize that the Indian policy makers would order an attack on the southern sector in order to open a second front. Pakistan was forced to dedicate troops to the southern sector to protect Sialkot and Lahore instead using them to support penetrating into Kashmir.

"Operation Grand Slam", which was launched by Pakistan to capture Akhnoor, a town north-east of Jammu and a key region for communications between Kashmir and the rest of India, was also a failure. Many Pakistani commentators criticised the Ayub Khan administration for being indecisive during Operation Grand Slam. These critics claim that the operation failed because Ayub Khan knew the importance of Akhnoor to India (having called it India's "jugular vein") and did not want to capture it and drive the two nations into an all-out war. Despite progress being made in Akhnoor, General Ayub Khan relieved the commanding Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik and replaced him with Gen. Yahya Khan. A 24-hour lull ensued the replacement, which allowed the Indian army to regroup in Akhnoor and successfully oppose a lackluster attack headed by General Yahya Khan. "The enemy came to our rescue," asserted the Indian Chief of Staff of the Western Command. Later, Akhtar Hussain Malik criticised Ayub Khan for planning Operation Gibraltar, which was doomed to fail, and for relieving him of his command at a crucial moment in the war. Malik threatened to expose the truth about the war and the army's failure, but later dropped the idea for fear of being banned. [151]

Some authors have noted that Pakistan might have been emboldened by a war game – conducted in March 1965, at the Institute for Defense Analyses in the United States. The exercise concluded that, in the event of a war with India, Pakistan would win. [152] [153] Other authors like Stephen P. Cohen, have consistently commented that the Pakistan Army had "acquired an exaggerated view of the weakness of both India and the Indian military . the 1965 war was a shock." [154]

Pakistani Air Marshal and Commander-in-Chief of PAF during the war, Nur Khan, later said that the Pakistan Army, and not India, should be blamed for starting the war. [155] [156] However propaganda in Pakistan about the war continued the war was not rationally analysed in Pakistan, [157] [158] with most of the blame being heaped on the leadership and little importance given to intelligence failures that persisted until the debacle of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

The United States and the United Kingdom had been the principal suppliers of military materiél to India and Pakistan since 1947. Both India and Pakistan were Commonwealth republics. While India had pursued a policy of nominal non-alignment, Pakistan was a member of both CENTO and SEATO and a purported ally of the West in its struggle against Communism. [159] Well before the conflict began, however, Britain and the United States had suspected Pakistan of joining both alliances out of opportunism to acquire advanced weapons for a war against India. They had therefore limited their military aid to Pakistan to maintain the existing balance of power in the subcontinent. [160] In 1959, however, Pakistan and the United States had signed an Agreement of Cooperation under which the United States agreed to take "appropriate action, including the use of armed forces" in order to assist the Government of Pakistan at its request. [161] By 1965, American and British analysts had recognised the two international groupings, CENTO and SEATO, and Pakistan's continued alliance with the West as being largely meaningless. [162]

Following the start of the 1965 war, both the United States and Britain took the view that the conflict was largely Pakistan's fault, and suspended all arms shipments to both India and Pakistan. [22] While the United States maintained a neutral stance, the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, condemned India for aggression after its army advanced towards Lahore his statement was met with a furious rebuttal from India. [163]

Internationally, the level of support which Pakistan received was limited at best. [34] [164] [165] Iran and Turkey issued a joint communiqué on 10 September which placed the blame on India, backed the United Nations' appeal for a cease-fire and offered to deploy troops for a UN peacekeeping mission in Kashmir. [166] Pakistan received support from Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia in the form of six naval vessels, jet fuel, guns and ammunition and financial support, respectively. [167]

Since before the war, the People's Republic of China had been a major military associate of Pakistan and a military opponent of India, with whom it had fought a brief war in 1962. China had also become a foreign patron for Pakistan and had given Pakistan $60 million in development assistance in 1965. [168] During the war, China openly supported the Pakistani position. It took advantage of the conflict to issue a strongly worded ultimatum to India condemning its "aggression" in Tibet and hinting at nuclear retaliation by China (China had exploded its first nuclear device the previous year). [165] Despite strong fears of Chinese intervention on the side of Pakistan, the Chinese government ultimately exercised restraint. [169] This was partly due to the logistical difficulties of a direct Chinese military intervention against India and India's improved military strength after its defeat by China in 1962. [164] China had also received strong warnings by the American and Soviet governments against expanding the scope of the conflict by intervening. [165] In the face of this pressure, China backed down, extending the deadline for India to respond to its ultimatum and warning India against attacking East Pakistan. [36] Ultimately, Pakistan rejected Chinese offers of military aid, recognising that accepting it would only result in further alienating Pakistan internationally. [165] International opinion considered China's actions to be dangerously reckless and aggressive, and it was soundly rebuked in the world press for its unnecessarily provocative stance during the conflict. [165]

India's participation in the Non-Aligned Movement yielded little support from its members. [170] Support given by Indonesia to Pakistan was seen as a major Indian diplomatic failure, as Indonesia had been among the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement along with India. [171] Despite its close relations with India, the Soviet Union was more neutral than other nations during the war, inviting both nations to peace talks under its aegis in Tashkent. [172]


Despite the declaration of a ceasefire, India was perceived as the victor due to its success in halting the Pakistan-backed insurgency in Kashmir. [29] In its October 1965 issue, the TIME magazine quoted a Western official assessing the consequences of the war [173] —

Now it's apparent to everybody that India is going to emerge as an Asian power in its own right.

In light of the failures of the Sino-Indian War, the outcome of the 1965 war was viewed as a "politico-strategic" victory in India. The Indian prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was hailed as a national hero in India. [174]

While the overall performance of the Indian military was praised, military leaders were criticised for their failure to effectively deploy India's superior armed forces so as to achieve a decisive victory over Pakistan. [175] In his book War in the modern world since 1815, noted war historian Jeremy Black said that though Pakistan "lost heavily" during the 1965 war, India's hasty decision to call for negotiations prevented further considerable damage to the Pakistan Armed Forces. He elaborates [176] —

India's chief of army staff urged negotiations on the ground that they were running out ammunition and their number of tanks had become seriously depleted. In fact, the army had used less than 15% of its ammunition compared to Pakistan, which had consumed closer to 80 percent and India had double the number of serviceable tanks.

In 2015, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, the last surviving armed force commander of the conflict, gave his assessment that the war ended in a stalemate, but only due to international pressure for a ceasefire, and that India would have achieved a decisive victory had hostilities continued for a few days more: [177]

For political reasons, Pakistan claims victory in the 1965 war. In my opinion, the war ended in a kind of stalemate. We were in a position of strength. Had the war continued for a few more days, we would have gained a decisive victory. I advised then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri not to agree for ceasefire. But I think he was under pressure from the United Nations and some countries.

As a consequence, India focussed on enhancing communication and coordination within and among the tri-services of the Indian Armed Forces. Partly as a result of the inefficient information gathering preceding the war, India established the Research and Analysis Wing for external espionage and intelligence. Major improvements were also made in command and control to address various shortcomings and the positive impact of these changes was clearly visible during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 when India achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan within two weeks.

China's repeated threats to intervene in the conflict in support of Pakistan increased pressure on the government to take an immediate decision to develop nuclear weapons. [178] Despite repeated assurances, the United States did little to prevent extensive use of American arms by Pakistani forces during the conflict, thus irking India. [179] At the same time, the United States and United Kingdom refused to supply India with sophisticated weaponry which further strained the relations between the West and India. [180] These developments led to a significant change in India's foreign policy – India, which had previously championed the cause of non-alignment, distanced itself further from Western powers and developed close relations with the Soviet Union. By the end of the 1960s, the Soviet Union emerged as the biggest supplier of military hardware to India. [181] From 1967 to 1977, 81% of India's arms imports were from the Soviet Union. [182] After the 1965 war, the arms race between India and Pakistan became even more asymmetric and India was outdistancing Pakistan by far. [183] India's defence budget too would increase gradually after the war, in 1966-1967 it would rise to 17% and by 1970-1971 it would rise to 25% of its revenue. [184] However, according to the world bank data India's defence expenditure by GDP decrease from 3.871% in 1965 to 3.141% in 1969, thereafter slightly increased to 3.652% in 1971. [185]


At the conclusion of the war, many Pakistanis considered the performance of their military to be positive. 6 September is celebrated as Defence Day in Pakistan, in commemoration of the successful defence of Lahore against the Indian army. The performance of the Pakistani Air Force, in particular, was praised.

However, the Pakistani government was accused by analysts of spreading disinformation among its citizens regarding the actual consequences of the war. [186] In his book Mainsprings of Indian and Pakistani foreign policies, S.M. Burke writes [127] —

After the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 the balance of military power had decisively shifted in favor of India. Pakistan had found it difficult to replace the heavy equipment lost during that conflict while her adversary, despite her economic and political problems, had been determinedly building up her strength.

Pakistani commentator Haidar Imtiaz remarked: [187]

The myth of ‘victory’ was created after the war had ended, in order to counter Indian claims of victory on the one hand and to shield the Ayub regime and the army from criticism on the other.

A book titled Indo-Pakistan War of 1965: A Flashback, [188] produced by the Inter-Services Public Relations of Pakistan, is used as the official history of the war, which omits any mention of the operations Gibraltar and Grand Slam, and begins with the Indian counter-offensive on the Lahore front. The Pakistan Army is claimed to have put up a "valiant defense of the motherland" and forced the attack in its tracks. [187]

Most observers agree that the myth of a mobile, hard hitting Pakistan Army was badly dented in the war, as critical breakthroughs were not made. [189] Several Pakistani writers criticised the military's ill-founded belief that their "martial race" of soldiers could defeat "Hindu India" in the war. [190] [191] Rasul Bux Rais, a Pakistani political analyst wrote [192] –

The 1965 war with India proved that Pakistan could neither break the formidable Indian defences in a blitzkrieg fashion nor could she sustain an all-out conflict for long.

Historian Akbar S Zaidi notes that Pakistan "lost terribly in the 1965 war". [193]

The Pakistan airforce on the other hand gained a lot of credibility and reliability among Pakistan military and international war writers for successful defence of Lahore and other important areas of Pakistan and heavy retaliation to India on the next day. The alertness of the airforce was also related to the fact that some pilots were scrambled 6 times in less than an hour on indication of Indian air raids. The Pakistan airforce along with the army is celebrated on Defence Day and Airforce Day in commemoration of this in Pakistan (6 and 7 September respectively). [194] [195]

Moreover, Pakistan had lost more ground than it had gained during the war and, more importantly, failed to achieve its goal of capturing Kashmir this result has been viewed by many impartial observers as a defeat for Pakistan. [30] [31] [32]

Many senior Pakistani officials and military experts later criticised the faulty planning of Operation Gibraltar, which ultimately led to the war. The Tashkent declaration was also criticised in Pakistan, though few citizens realised the gravity of the situation that existed at the end of the war. Political leaders were also criticised. Following the advice of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's foreign minister, Ayub Khan had raised very high expectations among the people of Pakistan about the superiority – if not invincibility – of its armed forces, [196] but Pakistan's inability to attain its military aims during the war created a political liability for Ayub. [197] The defeat of its Kashmiri ambitions in the war led to the army's invincibility being challenged by an increasingly vocal opposition. [198]

One of the farthest reaching consequences of the war was the wide-scale economic slowdown in Pakistan. [199] [200] The war ended the impressive economic growth Pakistan had experienced since the early 1960s. Between 1964 and 1966, Pakistan's defence spending rose from 4.82% to 9.86% of GDP, putting a tremendous strain on Pakistan's economy. By 1970–71, defence spending comprised a whopping 32% [184] or 55.66% of government expenditure. [201] According to veterans of the war, the war greatly cost Pakistan economically, politically, and militarily. [202] Nuclear theorist Feroze Khan maintained that the 1965 war was a last conventional attempt to snatch Kashmir by military force, and Pakistan's own position in the international community, especially with the United States, began to deteriorate from the point the war started, while on the other hand, the alliance with China saw improvements. [202] Chairman joint chiefs General Tariq Majid claims in his memoirs that Chou En-Lai had longed advised the government in the classic style of Sun Tzu: "to go slow, not to push India hard and avoid a fight over Kashmir, 'for at least, 20–30 years, until you have developed your economy and consolidated your national power'." [202] General Majid maintained in Eating Grass that the "sane, philosophical and political critical thinking" was missing in Pakistan, and that the country had lost extensive human resources by fighting the war. [202]

Pakistan was surprised by the lack of support from the United States, an ally with whom the country had signed an Agreement of Cooperation. The US turned neutral in the war when it cut off military supplies to Pakistan (and India) [45] an action that the Pakistanis took as a sign of betrayal. [203] After the war, Pakistan would increasingly look towards China as a major source of military hardware and political support.

Another negative consequence of the war was growing resentment against the Pakistani government in East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), [154] particularly for West Pakistan's obsession with Kashmir. [204] Bengali leaders accused the central government of not providing adequate security for East Pakistan during the conflict, even though large sums of money were taken from the east to finance the war for Kashmir. [205] In fact, despite some Pakistan Air Force attacks being launched from bases in East Pakistan during the war, India did not retaliate in that sector, [206] although East Pakistan was defended only by an understrengthed infantry division (14th Division), sixteen planes and no tanks. [207] Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was critical of the disparity in military resources deployed in East and West Pakistan, calling for greater autonomy for East Pakistan, an action that ultimately led to the Bangladesh Liberation War and another war between India and Pakistan in 1971.

Pakistan celebrates Defence Day every year to commemorate 6 September 1965 to pay tribute to the soldiers killed in the war. [208] However, Pakistani journalists, including Taha Siddiqui [209] and Haseeb Asif [210] have criticized the celebration of Defence Day.

National awards

    , Lt. Gen, awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1966 by the Government of India for his role in the 1965 war, [211] becoming the first Indian Army officer to receive the award. [212]

Gallantry awards

For bravery, the following soldiers were awarded the highest gallantry award of their respective countries, the Indian award Param Vir Chakra and the Pakistani award Nishan-e-Haider:

Battle honours

After the war, a total of 16 battle honours and 3 theatre honours were awarded to units of the Indian Army, the notable amongst which are: [215]

The Queen delighted in her new title and wrote in her diary, ‘my thoughts much too taken up with the great event at Delhi today, & in India generally, where I am being proclaimed Empress of India.’ A field report from Delhi stated that ‘a salute of one hundred and one salvos of artillery was fired. This was too much for the elephants…they became more and more alarmed, and at last scampered off, dispersing the crowd in every direction.’

Queen Victoria took her duties as Empress very seriously and when her Golden Jubilee came around in 1887 she made every effort to showcase her ‘jewel in the crown of the British Empire’. She hosted lavish banquets and parties for Indian princes and European nobility and rode in elaborate processions accompanied by the Colonial Indian cavalry. Indian attendants were brought to the royal household to help with the festivities as well. Victoria took a liking to one of her new servants in particular: Abdul Karim. Soon the twenty-four-year-old’s role changed from patiently waiting at tables to teaching the Queen to read, write and speak in Urdu, or ‘Hindustani’. The Queen wanted to know everything about India, a place where she ruled but could never visit. Abul told her all about Agra, from the local fruits and spices to the sights and sounds of his homeland. It was not long before he became her ‘Munshi’, or teacher, and they began a friendship that would last over a decade.

To Queen Victoria India was both an exotic, faraway place and also a country to be ruled. She put her opinions on governance - and sometimes those of her trusted Munshi - forward in her frequent letters to the Viceroy often with severe underlining to emphasise her points. For example, Abdul described the riots that sometimes broke out in Agra when the Muslims had the religious procession of Muharram to mark the martyrdom of Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet, and it clashed with the Hindu procession of Sankranti. The Queen responded by writing immediately to Viceroy Lord Dufferin, requesting he take ‘some extra measure to prevent this painful quarrelling’ so that the Muslims could carry out their ceremonies ‘quietly and without molestation’ and ‘give strict orders and prevent the Mahomedans and the Hindus from interfering with one another, so that perfect justice is shown to both.’

India in Victoria’s time was rife with such unrest, in addition to sweeping famine and widespread change. The census of 1871 aimed to record the age, caste, religion, occupation and education level of the entire population in order to better govern. It found the total population to be 238,830,958. British-born subjects in India (excluding the army and navy) numbered just 59,000. India is now the second most populated country in the world with 1,326,801,576 residents as of July 2016. The population density in England in 1871 was 422 people per square mile on average, whereas in India it ranged from 468 in Oude to just 31 in British Burma. The census of 1871 failed to fully report on Indian subject’s level of education, but came to the conclusion that only around one in 30 men (women were not included in these reports) had received the ‘barest rudiments’ of education. In 2016 81% of Indian men over 15 years and 61% of women were literate. The census also found the population to be expanding at the rate of 3% annually, which the report writers thought to be ‘an improvement doubtless due to the better administration of the country since it came under the British rule.’

On 15 August 1947 India regained its independence and 200 years of British rule came to an end. The Radcliffe Line was drawn to separate the officially Muslim Dominion of Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from the officially secular Union of India. This partition sparked the largest mass migration in history and at least one million people died from religious violence. Abdul Karim’s descendants had to flee their home too:

As Hindus and Muslims rioted in the streets of Agra, the women and children were sent in the dead of night to Bhopal in central India. From Bhopal they took the train to Bombay (the women hiding their jewellery in their saris) and finally an overcrowded ship to Karachi, joining the thousands of refugees leaving for Pakistan. Two trunks full of precious artefacts were sent on the goods train to Pakistan. The train was looted and the treasures never arrived. Abdul Karim’s diary, some pictures and artefacts including the tea set gifted by the Tsar of Russia and a statuette of Abdul Karim did make it, carried on the boat by the men of the family.

The areas of Punjab and Bengal were particularly violent, with villages divided between the two brand new countries. Although Viceroy Louis Mountbatten originally planned to leave in 1948 he brought the date forward to August 1947, and the British left the fledgling governments in a state of civil unrest with high religious tensions.

India has transformed radically since the Victorian era, by both statistical measures and cultural changes. It has endured world wars, upheavals, civil unrest and the fight for independence and yet Abdul Karim’s homeland is still a place that he could ‘gently describe’ as a ‘paradise that was as sad as it was beautiful.’

The Expansion and the Consolidation of the British in India

The British East India Company slowly and gradually expanded its trading activities in India by getting permission from the then ruling powers, the Mughals and the local rulers.

By the time the Mughal Empire’s decline started and it fragmented into successor states, the British East India Company developed designs of becoming a political power by the middle of the 18th century.

The British East India Company in its desire to become a political power realized that it had to eliminate the other European companies from trading activity and so obtained permission to build forts and to improve its military strength.

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After making thorough preparations, the British East India Company acquired its foothold firmly in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa by its victories in the battles of Plassey (1757) and Buxar (1765).

Since then, the British East India Company adopted a threefold strategy of ideological, military and colonial administrative apparatus to expand and consolidate the British Indian Empire. In this process, we witness a transformation of trading connec­tions into colonial relations of unequal nature. Now, let us understand how the British East India Company tried to justify its policy of acquiring political power through its ideological bases of mercantilism, orientalism, utilitarianism and evangelicalism.

The British were not just crude blood-thirsty annexationists or conquerors like the Arabs and the Turks. The British who came to India as traders, in course of time realized that in order to obtain the optimum profits from Indian trade, they have to secure political power, backed by force. What had never happened in the world’s history so far happened in India and a trading company becomes sovereign political power.

The British knew what they did was morally and ethically incorrect and to justify their action, they used ideological bases to brainwash the natives of India and the world that what they did in India was in the interest of the progress and development of India and it was their ‘white man’s burden’ to ‘civilize India’ from a historical barbarian rule of the earlier centuries of Indian polity and culture. Romila Thapar rightly observes that the historical writings produced by the European scholars, beginning in the 18th century, were formulated in terms of the ideological attitudes then dominant in Europe.

Further she states, “the European ideologies entailed a set of attitudes towards India which were for the most part highly critical as that of unchanging India, unhistorical, barbarian and uncivilized”, in support of their design to conquer. In this backdrop let us take up the first aspect of expansion and consolidation of the British Indian Empire, the ideological bases.


By the beginning of the 16th century, we notice the decline of feudalism in Europe along with the emergence of new ideas which promoted the rise of nation state, urge for new geographical discoveries, seaborne long distance trade and colonization of new lands through migration and settlement of new colonies. Further, a new commercial outlook influenced by mercantilist ideas dominated Europe between the 17th and 18th centuries.

Added to these the growth of science and technology in England made England an industrially developed country. In consequence, England had become a colonial power and a capitalist country. All these developments necessitated England to search for raw materials necessary for the manufacture of goods in England and new markets for their finished mechanized products.

England wanted to achieve these objectives through colonialism in India, as merchants became an influ­ential social class of England. Thus, by the 17th century the countries of Europe came under the impact of a set of economic ideas and practices called mercan­tilism.

Mercantilism presupposes the volume of world trade as more or less fixed, precious metals silver and gold form the desirable national wealth, balance of trade should be the norm and for that purpose should impose high tariffs on imports.

Colonization should be adopted and if necessary rival powers should be curbed by force of arms and finally colonial trade should be a monopoly of the mother country. The above-mentioned mercantilist ideas dominated the European nations between the 17th and 18th centuries and this system was criticized by Adam Smith, the author of Wealth of Nations published in 1776 and Maurice Dobb, the famous Marxist thinker as The Mercantile System was a system of state-regulated exploitation through trade which played a highly important role in the adolescent capitalist industry. It was essentially the economic policy of an age of primitive accumulation.


Orientalism is a concept that stresses the uniqueness of the culture and civili­zation of the Orient. Orientalists are also called Ideologists. But Romila Thapar is of the view that the term ‘Orientalist’ was used in the wider sense of scholars interested in Asia and the term Ideologists referred to those interested only in India. These orientalists started the first serious study of the past civilization and culture of India in particular in the late 18th century.

Orientalists, who were conservative by nature pleaded for providing a framework of security without interference in the working of the religio-social institutions and cultural tradi­tions. They argued that peace would promote the trade and it would be to Britain’s advantage.

This view of the orientalists was supported by the right wing Tories and they also opposed missionary activity of any sort in India. This serious study of the past of India became inevitable as the British East India company authorities decided that it was essential for officers of the British East India Company to be proficient about Indian culture and civilization to rule them properly.

In order to encourage this type of study, the Asiatic Society was established in 1784 to undertake research into the past of Indian culture and civilization. William Jones, Wilkins, H.T. Colebrooke, W.H. Wilson and Max Muller who never visited India were the well-known orientalists. Owing to the efforts of the above orientalists, by the middle of the 19th century the interest in the past culture of India has become deep-rooted and spread to various parts of Europe.

The most significant revelation of the orientalists was the relation between Sanskrit and certain European languages. Translations of the important Sanskrit classics were carried by orientalists of the Asiatic Society. As a consequence of the efforts of the orientalists, there was an infectious spread of the romantic fascination of India and her culture throughout Europe.

Warren Hastings, the Governor General of Bengal not only patronized Asiatic Society but desired to reconcile the British rule with the Indian institutions. In order to translate the vision of Hastings, Halhead prepared the ‘Gentoo laws’ with a view to ensure stability to the acquisitions of the British in India. To encourage further the study of the past of India, Wellesley established the Fort William College at Calcutta in 1800.

The focus of the Fort William College was imparting scholarship in Indian languages to the students to enable them to become good administrators. The British consciously made every effort to educate every British officer to be aware of the customs and traditions of the locality of their posting. Besides languages, they also mastered the institutions like law and landed property as the British began to consolidate their conquests. The British followed the policy of learning about the Indian society to the extent that knowledge enabled the administrators to be conversant with laws and customs of Indians of various localities but never disturbing the Indian society by mediation or intervention.


Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement of England of the 18th century. This movement in contrast to the Orthodox Church emphasized on personal experiences, individual reading of gospel rather than the traditions of the established church. While some Christian missionaries attempted to reform the ‘degenerate Indian society’ quietly, the evangelists were openly hostile to ‘Indian barbarism’ and desired to ‘civilize India’.

The influential members of the Evangelicalism were Wilberforce, the confidant of Pitt, Charles Grant, a chairman of the directors and his son who was a cabinet minister. They advocated bringing Christian West to the East and “India will reform herself as a flower to the Sun” Charles Grant propagated the policy of assimilation of India into the great civilizing mission of Britain. This attitude coincides with the liberalism advocated by Macaulay.

The British East India Company too agreed upon this philosophy of civilizing India because they can acquire properties in India and they could have markets for their finished products in India due to the implementation of free trade policy. Charles Grant too supported this idea as civilizing process would lead to material prosperity. Thus, in the late 18th and the early 19th centuries the idea of ‘improvement’ became a part of the civilizing process. The then Governor General Cornwallis introduced permanent settlement in Bengal as a part of his vision of improvement as the magic touch of property would create capital and market in land.

Munro was critical of the permanent settlement idea as it was an alien concept of English rule of law with its strict division of judiciary and executive. Murnro argued for the preservation of the stable heritage of village committees by introducing Ryotwari settlements.

When Wiliam Bentink became the Governor General of India by the Charter Act of 1833, liberal minded Macaulay suggested that Indians should be civilized through the Western education system. There arose a debate between the orientalists who insisted that the old system of education be continued and the Anglicists who supported the move of Macaulay. Finally, the Western education system was introduced with the cooperation of the reformer, Raja Ramohan Roy.

The Utilitarians:

The utilitarians too believed in the vision of civilizing and improving India like the evangelicalisms and liberals. The utilitarians were radicals and humanists and had a strong faith in reason. The most important advocate of utilitarian philosophy was James Mill, the author of History of India published in 1817. Though, his book was studied by the employees of the British East India Company as a Bible, it caused immense harm to Indian society by laying the seeds of communalist approach to the study of Indian history and civilization.

They advocated that introducing reforms into the problem of law and landed property they could attain the Benthamite principle of the ‘greatest good of the greatest number’. They believed that law could be an instrument of change and through enactment of laws Indian society could be transformed into a modern society from that of superstitious society.

With the joining of James Mill in the East India Company’s London office, a systematic attempt began to give a concrete shape to a vision of political reform in the philosophical premises of utilitarianism. Resultantly, a series of laws and penal codes were enacted to make India civilized and improved. The utilitarians opposed any form of repre­sentative government in India at that time as well as in near future.

The utilitarian philosophy also influenced the views of Dalhousie in creating all-India depart­ments with single heads. What we notice was the decline of the overall spirit of reform and the British administration was now dominated by the outlook of pragmatism and rationality.

In the span of a hundred years (1757-1857) in this process of expansion and consolidation of the British power, the mission of the British was to civilize and improve India from a society of historical unchanging barbarian image by providing a unity of action in spite of differences in the perception of the orientalists, evangelicalisms and the utilitarians led by Sir William Jones, Charles Grant and James Mill respectively. An objective analysis of the process reveals that these ideological bases and advocates of these ideologies were responsible in building the British Empire in India.

10 Ways India Has Changed Over The Last Decade

When Control Risks set up its office in Delhi 10 years ago, India was a different country. It had just started to shake off the inertia of slow growth that had hobbled it for decades. In 2007 it was the 12th largest economy in the world in nominal terms. Today it’s the seventh largest third, if you count by purchasing power parity. In 2013 India joined a handful of nations that have mounted successful missions to Mars. By one count, the number of multinational companies in India quadrupled in just over a decade to 2012.

The changes of the decade are not only reflected in numbers. There have been profound shifts in politics and policy, in diplomacy and digitization, in arts and sports. Well, perhaps not so much in sports – except that India won two more cricket world cups in this time.

What is certain is that India has changed remarkably in a number of ways in these 10 years. Some of these changes affect not just the country’s 1.3 billion people – but the rest of the world too. On the occasion of 10 years of Control Risks in India, we have selected what we consider to be the 10 most significant changes of the decade.

1) Emerging as one of the largest economies

India’s recent economic expansion has brought a record number of people out of poverty. A growing middle class has fueled impressive consumer growth. It is today the world’s third largest market for smart phones and the sixth largest for cars. India’s software industry employs more than 4 million people directly and more than 10 million indirectly. The breadth and depth of this growth is reflected in the extraordinary range of projects Control Risks has engaged in during this period.

But India is not just one of the world’s largest economies it is one of the youngest too. Almost half of India’s population today is under the age of 26. While this unique demographic holds the promise of making India a thrumming engine of the world economy, it also poses the staggering challenge of finding jobs for the million-odd Indians who enter the employment market every month, not to mention providing for the health and education of such a large nation.

2) Gaining diplomatic clout

Economic heft has brought with it a greater strategic sway. Gone are the Nehruvian years of the Cold War era, when India led the global Non-Aligned Movement. In 2008, the then government staked its parliamentary majority to ratify the US-India Civil Nuclear Treaty. It heralded India into the global nuclear elite. For the last three years, India has given more aid than it has received, with neighbors Bhutan, Afghanistan and Nepal topping the list of recipients. All of this has added up to give India much more power in diplomatic negotiations. Ministers from the largest economies can be routinely seen making a beeline for Raisina Hill, the seat of power in the nation’s capital – including those from the UK keen on agreeing a post-Brexit trade deal.

India has reached out, too. This Indian government is the first one to consistently conduct diplomacy in the language of international business. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has undertaken more than 70 foreign trips since taking office in May 2014. He has been as at home on the campuses of Facebook and Google as at packed diaspora events at Madison Square Garden in New York and Wembley Stadium in London. Given his focus on trade and investment, Modi is widely promoting the fact that India jumped 30 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list for 2018 to the 100th place.

3) Evolving federalism

Ten years ago many of our multinational clients viewed India as a single, homogenous market, not the agglomeration of 29 states that it really is. Over this past decade, the federal structure has come into a sharper focus, with more policy-making powers and funds devolving to the states and village panchayats (local governments). The mantra of cooperative federalism has morphed into a competitive federalism in which states – many with the populations of large countries – vie with each other for investment. Our clients now need to assess the political and regulatory scenarios at both the federal and state levels and pay attention to the state-wise ease of doing business rankings that are published every year.

In the middle of 2017, India implemented perhaps the boldest tax reform in history. It replaced dozens of state and federal taxes with a national one, called the Goods and Services Tax or GST. The idea is to create a more unified national market and, despite its early teething troubles, we expect the new tax to lead to greater efficiencies and a more attractive business environment.

4) Fighting corruption and black money

Another unprecedented policy move was announced on 8 November 2016. As the world woke up to hear the news of Donald Trump’s election victory, Prime Minister Modi announced the immediate withdrawal of two high-value currency notes. In one stunning move, 86% of the currency was sucked out of circulation, to be gradually replaced by new bills. The declared aim of the move was to fight black money and counterfeiting. While its success is still being debated, it made one thing clear: this government – elected on an anti-corruption manifesto – was willing to rip up the rulebook in order to drive home its agenda.

That resolve has been shown in other ways too. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was implemented in 2005, has been given more teeth in recent years with an expanded Enforcement Directorate, the federal agency tasked with fighting money laundering. Between April and August of 2017, the Enforcement Directorate and the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the stock market regulator, acted against at least 331 shell companies and 100 brokerages charged with facilitating money laundering. This government has implemented Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric identification system, which was initiated by the previous government to root out duplication of identities and safeguard welfare schemes from corruption-related leakages.

5) Forging a stricter compliance regime

Control Risks has always worked with foreign and domestic Indian companies concerned about their exposure to extra-territorial anti-corruption legislation such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act. However, today we are also seeing nervousness around the application of a more rigorous domestic compliance regime. The Companies Act of 2013 has brought clearer accountability to corporate anti-corruption and anti-fraud measures. The Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, has been given more power in 2017 to act against loan defaulters. Our clients today do not just want to fix a problem they are seeking to instill a preventive compliance culture right across their businesses.

The challenge here is to be able to disrupt previously entrenched relationships – such as those along the supply chain or with public officials – which might require companies to trade a short-term financial hit for long-term resilience. The good news is that this kind of approach, while always hard, is being increasingly adopted by Indian and multinational companies.

6) Emergence of the modern Indian multinational

Those Indian groups that have extended their international footprint during the decade have changed in more significant ways. In January 2007, the salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group bought Britain’s Corus Steel for $13 billion. The next month, Hindalco, the aluminium company of the Aditya Birla Group, announced the acquisition of Canada’s Novelis for $6 billion. The next year Tata Motors bought the Jaguar Land Rover car businesses from Ford Motor for $2.3 billion. Some of the global growth has been organic too: Tata Consultancy Services, a $17 billion software company that employs more than 370,000 people, operates in 46 countries now.

These acquisitions have helped change the culture of corporate India, embedding international best practices in some of India’s top companies. During the same period, Indians have been appointed to the top jobs in some of the world’s leading companies, particularly in Silicon Valley. However, family-run conglomerates still represent the largest part of the business environment in the country and acrimonious disputes that pit promoters against professional management still dominate the headlines – a trend that is likely to continue for some time.

7) Tilting to the political right

Another dark shadow lengthened on India this September. Gauri Lankesh, an award-winning journalist whose work was critical of the ruling right-wing BJP, was shot and killed at point blank range in front of her Bengaluru home. It was a horrific reflection of a murder that in 2006 had rocked Russia, where I had worked for six years before coming to India. Like Gauri, Anna Politkovskaya, an award-winning journalist who often criticised the ruling regime, was shot and killed at point blank in her block of flats in Moscow. It’s an extreme example of the shift to the hard right and the intolerance that is becoming more visible in India.

Business leaders are certainly not immune from this growing right-wing nationalism. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to discuss the changing business climate with the heads of some of the largest multinational companies in India. If there was something in common that the leaders of these various industries faced, it was a sense of nationalism coming in the way of business decisions and policies. As the most populous democracy in the world heads towards another national election in the first half of 2019, this position is unlikely to soften anytime soon.

8) Growing wealth of "godmen"

In an atmosphere filled with right-wing rhetoric, religion mixes better than ever with politics and business. And this can bestow superhuman powers to godmen of all hues.

Consider this: the fastest growing FMCG company in the country today is Patanjali, which was founded just a decade ago by Baba Ramdev, a yoga evangelist whose religious sermons on his own television channel are watched by tens of millions every day. His diet-biscuit-to-dish-washer company is now a $1.6 billion behemoth whose success has forced several multinational giants to rethink their market strategies.

In August 2017, the police arrested a guitar-wielding ‘rockstar’ godman, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in his sprawling compound 260 km outside Delhi. While the police scrambled to contain the tens of thousands of his followers running amuck after his arrest, our clients in the area found it impossible to ship their products, an operational challenge that befuddled and frustrated them in equal measure.

9) Changing security challenges

Operational challenges have evolved over the decade. In November 2008, ten members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, launched coordinated attacks at various locations across India’s financial capital, Mumbai. The event, which lasted four days and cost 164 human lives, changed India’s approach to terrorism, instilling a resolve to fight terrorism in a more coordinated way. The other internal security threat at the time – extreme leftist Maoist insurgents – has subsided over the years, though bandhs (or shutdown strikes) do still occur frequently.

Clients today are looking at a broader range of security risks, such as those related to labor activism, restructuring and cyber extortion. Putting in place mitigation steps tailored to these scenarios is essential, not to mention the business continuity measures to navigate natural disasters such as the Chennai floods of 2015 or communal protests, such as when the ethnic Jat community paralyzed the state of Haryana for more than a week in 2016 and cut off the main water supply to Delhi for days.

The terrible state of Delhi’s air is an existential challenge that – in contrast to other polluted cities like Beijing – has elicited little meaningful government action. The worsening pollution is setting off loud ‘duty of care’ alarm bells in embassies, multinationals and Indian companies across one of the world’s largest capital cities by population.

10) Leaping into a digital future : One of the dividends of India’s young demographic is that a large number of Indians are quick adopters of new technologies. The country is supposed to have 62 internet connections per 100 people, though there is a sharp divide in the levels of access between urban and rural areas, and between men and women. The Modi government has launched Digital India, a campaign to improve the country’s digital infrastructure and offer more government services online.

This breakneck growth has come at a cost. Indian citizens are increasingly concerned about data privacy and censorship, and perhaps with good reason given the intention to link Aadhaar ID biometric details to transactions, such as opening bank accounts, obtaining a new phone and filing tax returns. The Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the inalienable right to privacy – or the right to be left alone – in September 2017 does not sit easily with the government’s digital mission, but the agenda is here to stay and many Indian companies are leveraging artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning to disrupt their markets and deliver competitive edge.

These 10 extraordinary changes remind us that, as Control Risks steps into its second decade in India, the challenges and opportunities in front of us are quite different from those that faced us and our clients a decade ago. We have a fantastic team to take on those challenges. What we can assure you is that we will keep a keen eye on the shape of things to come.

James Owen is a Senior Partner at Control Risks, the specialist global risk consultancy. He heads the South Asia business and is based in Delhi.

Individual Enlightenment

Theravada emphasizes individual enlightenment the ideal is to become an arhat (sometimes arahant), which means "worthy one" in Pali. An arhat is a person who has realized enlightenment and freed himself from the cycle of birth and death.

Beneath the arhat ideal is an understanding of the doctrine of anatman—the nature of the self—that differs from that of the Mahayana. Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual's ego or personality is a tether and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.

Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic, separate self. Therefore, according to Mahayana, "individual enlightenment" is an oxymoron. The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together.

Watch the video: Στους μαγικούς δρόμους της Ινδίας (July 2022).


  1. Everard

    so what, the country is healthy, but what's the point?

  2. Fridolf

    Read, of course, far from my topic. But, nevertheless, it is possible to cooperate with you. How do you yourself feel about trust management?

  3. Rafi

    I can ask you?

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