Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hind-Pak 'Dosti'

Source: Hindustan times 28 Sept 2013

A cartoon published in the newspaper portrays exactly what is happening between India and Pakistan.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wavell Plan and it's rejection

Lord Wavell
In 1943 Lord Wavell became the Viceroy. He believed that Britain cannot continue to rule India for long. So in order to retain India as a willing member of the British Commonwealth, he decided to hold a meeting in Shimla on 25 June 1945. Before that he put forward his plan:
1.   A new constitution would be formed only after major political parties had reached an agreement.
2.   Viceroy’s executive council will have equal number of caste Hindus and Muslims.
3.   Viceroy’s veto power was to continue.
4.   A British High Commissioner would live in India.

The plan was rejected as no agreement could be reached over the composition of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. Mr. jinnah wanted that only Muslim League could represent Muslim community. This was not accepted to the Congress. It asserted that it represented all communities and therefore out of five Muslim members two should be nominated by the Congress. Mr. Jinnah was not ready for this so the plan was rejected. 

Monday, August 12, 2013



During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.

Preparing for D-Day
After World War II began, Germany invaded and occupied northwestern France beginning in May 1940. The Americans entered the war in December 1941, and by 1942 they and the British were considering the possibility of a major Allied invasion across the English Channel.
The following year, Allied plans for a cross-Channel invasion began to ramp up. In November 1943, Adolf Hitler, who was aware of the threat of an invasion along France’s northern coast, put Erwin Rommel in charge of spearheading defense operations in the region, even though the Germans did not know exactly where the Allies would strike. Hitler charged Rommel with finishing the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of bunkers, landmines and beach and water obstacles. 

In January 1944, General Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) was appointed commander of Operation Overlord. In the months and weeks before D-Day, the Allies carried out a massive deception operation intended to make the Germans think the main invasion target was Pas-de-Calais (the narrowest point between Britain and France) rather than Normandy. In addition, they led the Germans to believe that Norway and other locations were also potential invasion targets.
Many tactics was used to carry out the deception, including fake equipment; a phantom army commanded by George Patton and supposedly based in England, across from Pas-de-Calais; double agents; and fraudulent radio transmissions.
A Weather Delay: June 5, 1944
Eisenhower selected June 5, 1944, as the date for the invasion; however, bad weather on the days leading up to the operation caused it to be delayed for 24 hours (6 June 1944).Later that day, more than 5,000 ships and landing craft carrying troops and supplies left England for the trip across the Channel to France, while more than 11,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.
D-Day Landings: June 6, 1944
The first wave of the attack began with the paratroopers. These were men who jumped out of planes using parachutes. They jumped at night in the pitch dark and landed behind enemy lines. Their job was to destroy key targets and capture bridges in order for the main invasion force to land on the beach. Thousands of dummies were also dropped in order to draw fire and confuse the enemy. 
In the next stage of the battle thousands of planes dropped bombs on German defenses. Soon after, warships began to bomb the beaches from the water. While the bombing was going on, underground members of the French Resistance sabotaged the Germans by cutting telephone lines and destroying railroads. The amphibious invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture beaches codenamed Gold, Juno and Sword, as did the Americans at Utah Beach. U.S. forces faced heavy resistance at Omaha Beach, where there were over 2,000 American casualties.
However, by day's end, approximately 156,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing. Less than a week later, on June 11, the beaches were fully secured and over 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy.
For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack. Reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. Moreover, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.
In the ensuing weeks, the Allies fought their way across the Normandy countryside in the face of determined German resistance, as well as a dense landscape of marshes and hedgerows. By the end of June, the Allies had seized the vital port of Cherbourg, landed approximately 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy, and were poised to continue their march across France.
Victory in Normandy
By the end of August 1944, the Allies had reached the Seine River, Paris was liberated and the Germans had been removed from northwestern France, effectively concluding the Battle of Normandy. The Allied forces then prepared to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet troops moving in from the east.
The Normandy invasion began to turn the tide against the Nazis. A significant psychological blow, it also prevented Hitler from sending troops from France to build up his Eastern Front against the advancing Soviets. The following spring, on May 8, 1945, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Hitler had committed suicide a week earlier, on April 30.
Interesting Facts about D-Day

  • 1      The troops needed the light of a full moon to see to attack. For this reason there were only a few days during a month when the Allies could attack. This led Eisenhower to go ahead with the invasion despite the bad weather.
    2.       The Allies wanted to attack during high tide as this helped the ships to avoid obstacles put in the water by the Germans.
    3.       Although June 6 is often called D-Day, D-Day is also a generic military term that stands for the day, D, of any major attack.
    4.       The overall military operation was called "Operation Overlord". The actual landings at Normandy were called "Operation Neptune".
    5.       The Normandy American Cemetery, overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, was established on June 8, 1944, as the first U.S. cemetery in Europe during World War II. It holds the graves of more than 9,300 U.S. servicemen who died in the D-Day invasion or subsequent missions. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lucknow Pact - The Bond of League and Congress

Following are the main causes for the Lucknow Pact signed between the Indian National Congress and Muslim League in 1916

1)        Change in the objective of the Muslim League: Loyalty towards the government was one of the main objectives of the League, but in 1913, the League had amended its constitution to include a system of self government. Therefore it agreed with congress to have a political goal for India.
2)        International Events: In the first world war Turkey had to fight against Britain. The Turkish ruler was the Caliph or religious head of the Muslims. Therefore the Muslims all over the world felt that the Turkish ruler needed their help and sympathy. So Muslim League turned against the British.
3)        A compromise between the two factions of the Congress:Mrs. Annie Besant made efforts to reunite the two wings of the congress-the Moderates and the Radicals. Tilak rejoined the Congress in 1916. He also played a very important role in bringing congress and League on the same platform.
4)        National Events: To reunite the two wings of the congress-the Moderates and the Radicals. Tilak rejoined the Congress in 1916. He also played a very important role in bringing congress and League on the same platform.
5)        National Events: Due to anti partition movement partition of Bengal was cancelled in 1911. The Nationalist Muslims used this as an opportunity to spread nationalist ideas among the Muslims.
Under Seditious Meeting Act some Muslim leaders were arrested. This gave a set back to the Muslim League.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Demand for Pakistan

Sir Muhammad Iqbal in 1930 conceived a plan of a Muslim State. Later on a group of youngmen led by Rahmat Ali propagated this plan. Their plan was different from that of Iqbal. Sir Iqbal wanted the merger of the provinces where muslims were in majority into a single State within Indian Federation. However Rahmat Ali proposed that these provinces should have a separate federation of their own. He called it as Pakistan.

P - Punjab
A - Afghan Province (NWFP- North West Frontier Province)
K - Kashmir
I     Sindh  
A    Baluchistan

Friday, January 28, 2011


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Indian National Congress and promotion of Nationalism

The formation of the Indian national congress in 1885 by A.O. Hume was the most remarkable event in the History of India. Lord Dufferin favoured the foundation of the party because he wanted it to act as a safety valve for  popular discontentment to safeguard the British rule in India but soon congress turned out to be a revolutionary organisation leading the people to independence.
Congress helped in uniting the people of different  religions, regions, classes, castes, languages and so on.
For the first time political unity was being sponsored by forward looking Indians.

Congress was the first organisation that helped to train and organise public opinion in India.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Queen Victoria Declaration of 1858

Queen Victoria was reigning in England in England during the revolt. The Queen’s proclamation incorporating the transfer of governance from East India Company to the British Crown was made public at Allahabad on November 1, 1858 by Lord canning, the first viceroy of India. The proclamation promised that the government of India would :
                    i.            Follow a policy of Non-intervention in social and religious matters of Indians
                  ii.            Treat all subjects – Indians and Europeans – as equals
                iii.            Grant a general pardon to all those who had taken part in the revolt except those who were found guilty of murder of British subjects

               iv.            Do it’s best to advance the industries in India.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

End of Communism in Soviet Union

 In most of the East European countries single party communist rule was established. But with the rise of nationalism people started to assert their democratic rights.

 Soviet empire got another shock when East Germany was merged with West Germany. It was seen as a defeat of communism.

  There was a split in the Soviet Communist Party in 1989.

 The emphasis on heavy industry and armament made Russia powerful but failed to meet the expectations of the people in terms of food production and consumer goods.

 As all factors of production-land, property and factories were owned by the state so it killed people’s incentive to work.

 In 1980s state treasury was empty and people had to agitate to get their salaries.

The reforms started by Mikhail Gorbachev were not radical enough to revive the economy instead it created more problems.

 The censoring of the books, plays, music, literature had shocked the creative writers.

 Revolution in informational technology had enabled the soviets to know, hear, and see what is happening outside in the world.

 People could now compare their political system with that of the system in the west.

 There was large scale discontent and this discontent was transmitted to the masses by intelligentsia.

    Russia was spending large amount of national income in manufacturing weapons than promoting welfare among the masses.

 Russia always wanted that the eastern Europeon countries should continue to toe the Soviet Line in everything they did. The policy of interference in the internal affairs was not liked by many countries.

 The rise of nationalism and demand for complete autonomy by the Republics became the final and the most immediate cause for the disintegration of Soviet Union. By November 1991 thirteen out of the fifteen republics had declared their independence. The disintegration of the Soviet Union gave birth to a new World Order. The bipolar world was replaced by a Unipolar world led by United States.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cold War Cartoons

Shows a tense struggle between two equals. How Khrushchev and Kennedy brought us on the brink of a Nuclear War 
Depicting hopelessness in solving problems with Soviet Russia