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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

This thread is more than 5 months old.

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Lupis Volk

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For an AAR called "The Path of Peace" we are now seeing our second major war.

Perhaps this is a definition of the the word peace along the lines of "they make a wasteland and call it peace" kind of peace?

:D
To prepare for peace, one must prepare for war.
 

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Chapter XIV: The Bombay Plan

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Chapter XIV: The Bombay Plan
1st of January 1941 – 15th of January 1942

1st of January 1941, Delhi, India.

The 1940s Indian elections had shown that support for Gandhi’s government was dwindling. The war with the Deccan Federation and the integration of the former Princely States had taken much of the attention, while other issues remained unsolved. One of those issues was the fate of high ranking military officials from the former Commune. Many of them remained unappointed after the reunification of India. But with an ever increasing defence force and the shortage of skilled officers, the Republic was in dire need of military leaders. The problem was that the current army staff was reluctant to accept their former enemies among their ranks as equals. After all, the Princely officers were just officers, but here they were afraid that former Commune generals would overtake them in rank. And so Gandhi and Jinnah came up with a compromise. Generals from the former Commune were given a chance to be appointed again, but they first needed to appear in front of a commission which consisted of both politicians and army staff. That way, the Dominion generals would have some say in who to appoint and who not. Some Socialist generals who were denied, however, would only see their hatred towards the unified India grow.

12th of March 1941, Calcutta, India.

Gandhi and some of his cabinet members were visiting the old capital of the Bharatiya Commune. While violence was increasing in the South due to opposition to the integration process, Bengal was being terrorized by syndicalist terrorists who were not happy with what they saw as Gandhi’s betrayal of socialism. Today, Gandhi would sit together with some of the socialist generals that had voiced their criticism of the government. One of their major complaints was the situation with Bhutan. In the aftermath of the Raj’s collapse, the small and mountainous kingdom utilised the chaotic situation in Northern Assam to seize several districts at the foothills of the Himalayas. With the remainder of India finally reunited, many of the hawks within the government are now demanding the return of this unlawfully occupied territory. Personally, Gandhi would rather keep Bhutan friendly and maybe even invited them into a customs union. Of course the hawkish generals were outraged with Gandhi’s pacifist stance. Gandhi decided that this issue had lasted long enough and sent an invitation to Bhutan’s King to negotiate a return of the occupied districts. Gandhi hoped that the conflict in China would push Bhutan towards seeking protection from India.

Bhutan still holds territory which it occupied in the aftermath of the Indian Revolt of 1925.

16th of March 1941, Calcutta, India.

Mahadev Desai quickly read the telegram that they had received from the King of Bhutan. The King refused to come to India and negotiate with a socialist government. He wished to remain neutral and isolated. But afraid of an Indian invasion, the Bhutanese King accepted the Indian request of returning Northern Assam. Gandhi was disappointed that Bhutan refused to talk about a customs union, but at least they got their territory back.

7th of August 1941, Calcutta, India.

Sad news arrived on Gandhi’s desk. His friend and former premier of the Commune, Rabindranath Tagore, had passed away. In the past few years, Tagore increasingly struggled with illness. Today his agony was finally over. Along with the sad message came a poem, Tagore’s final one.

I'm lost in the middle of my birthday. I want my friends, their touch, with the earth's last love. I will take life's final offering, I will take the human's last blessing. Today my sack is empty. I have given completely whatever I had to give. In return if I receive anything—some love, some forgiveness—then I will take it with me when I step on the boat that crosses to the festival of the wordless end.

Tears started running across Gandhi’s face. He felt guilty that he did not visit Tagore that often since he became President of the Republic of India. He felt guilty that he never got around to combat the practice of the caste system with its large underbelly of untouchables. As Gandhi’s guilt was growing with the minute, he decided that now was the time to finally address the caste system and its malpractices.

One of the last known pictures taken of Rabindranath Tagore.

3rd of September 1941, Bombay, India.

Gandhi had travelled with his cabinet members to Bombay on the west coast. Over the past few weeks, they have been meeting with important industrialists and representatives of workers’ rights. Based on their talks, President Gandhi, Premier Jinnah, Minister of Economy Khan and Minister of Internal Affairs Kaur drafted a plan, the Bombay plan. A balanced system where the government could intervene if necessary would go into action. Large scale investments would be put into strategic industries. In return, these industries promised to increase the living standards of their workers and provide them with their basic human needs. At the same time, the government would also seek ways to improve the standing of untouchables. Later historians would say the Bombay plan was overambitious, but it did get some change done. Gandhi’s biographers would also point to the fact that Tagore’s death resulted in Gandhi’s more progressive stance towards big social issues like the status of India’s untouchables.

1st of October 1941, Bombay, India.

Bombay was bustling with creative activity as a film festival was being held in the city. Partly funded by the government, the goal was to get young Indian filmmakers on board of Gandhi’s program to uplift the untouchables. One of the biggest hurdles for India’s film industry was the fact that there were twelve different major languages and twenty secondary ones being spoken across the subcontinent. With the emergence of talkies, the issue of language became more apparent. In silent movies there was no need for dialogue and intertitles could be easily changed in different regions. But with the possibility of spoken dialogue, language became a new issue. Another big hurdle was the stability of the film industry. Currently, the industry was trying to mirror Hollywood, with a vertical integration structure trying to establish a chain going from production all the way to distribution. The problem with this system, however, was that it required large investments and sufficient capital for mergers and takeovers. The state could easily provide investments, but it would need something in return. As part of the deal between industrialists, including movie production companies, and government officials, the deal more commonly known as the Bombay plan, the Board of Indian Cinema (BIC) was founded. The BIC would provide funding, but would also be allowed to ‘request’ certain movies to be made. As a result, a new kind of genre emerged in the 1940s. Besides the already popular mythologicals and devotionals, the already existing social movies formed the backbone of India’s Social Realism movement. And Bombay’s film industry became widely known as Bollywood and became one of the major cultural factors that changed how the Indian people looked upon the caste system, as movie theatres were required by law to desegregate their seats regardless of the caste system or race.

Mother India (1957) became one of the more famous movies in the Indian Social Realism movement, depicting the story of a woman struggling to raise her children on her own.

3rd of December 1941, Delhi, India.

Homi J. Bhabha arrived at the Presidential Residency with some good news for Gandhi. His scientific task force had made some major breakthroughs in the field of nuclear science. Bhabha entered Gandhi’s officed and greeted him: “Mr. President, I am honoured to be here again. I have come with some good news”. Gandhi was delighted and said: “It always amazes me how science pushes mankind to do great things.” Bhabha nodded and said: “We have figured out a way to generate energy from splitting the atom. We will need more funding though if we would want to build a power plant and provide a city with the energy of the future.” “Of course, Mr. Bhabha. I will personally see to it that you receive adequate resources for your project”, Gandhi said in response. Bhabha thanked the President for his support. The two visionaries continued talking about all kinds of topics, ranging from science to India’s education system.

15th of January 1942, Calcutta, India.

Over the past few years, fewer and fewer occasions presented itself between Gandhi and Mahadev to travel together. Mahadev’s agenda as Minister of Foreign Affairs often required him to travel abroad, while Gandhi was often tied to Delhi as President of the Republic. Today was one of those rare occasions when Gandhi and Mahadev were able to see each other again. Today marked the anniversary of the Constitution of the Bharatiya Commune and both men would attend the festivities in the former Commune’s capital in Calcutta. Gandhi and Mahadev marched through the streets, as they had done a long time ago during their election campaigns. Thousands of people had come from all over Bengal to be able to see India’s President. Not only Gandhi’s followers, but also his enemies. There were a lot of people who considered themselves as enemies of Gandhi and his government. Reactionary princes in the south, Muslim nationalists in the west, Hindu nationalists and frustrated socialists in the east. All these groups proved a possible danger for the Republic of India and its leaders. Today should have been a day of celebration, but it became a day of tragedy. As Gandhi and Mahadev were heading towards the Calcutta High Court, their group was suddenly held up. Confusion arose and Gandhi’s security guards spread out to clear the way and allow them to continue their path. In the confusion and with the guards being spread out, a man managed to get close to Gandhi and take a shot with a pistol. However, Mahadev had noticed the man and had pushed Gandhi out of the way and put himself between the gunman and the Mahatma. The man was quickly caught by the security guards, but the damage had been done. Mahadev collapsed as he was hit in the stomach and was bleeding out. Gandhi rushed towards his friend and held him in his arms. “Mahadev! Mahadev!” Gandhi shouted, “Mahadev, do not leave me! India needs you!” Mahadev stopped breathing. Gandhi’s friend had died. Sadness befell Gandhi, the celebrations were cancelled.

A drawing of Mahadev Desai.
 

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Governing is no easy thing - and not helped no doubt by the still essentially fragmented nature of India as those election results show.
 

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Governing is no easy thing - and not helped no doubt by the still essentially fragmented nature of India as those election results show.
Elections are often proof of polarization within a country. Now India is reunified, it is time for Gandhi to reunify its people.
 
Chapter XV: A Famine Prevented

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Chapter XV: A Famine Prevented
16th of January 1942 – 23rd of February 1943

16th of January 1942, Calcutta, India.

Gandhi was still shaken up by yesterday’s events. The image of Mahadev laying in his arms still occasionally flashed before the Mahatma’s eyes. Meanwhile, the police had opened an investigation into the assassination. The man that had shot and killed Mahadev was easily apprehended after the crime and was interrogated once ad the police station. His name was Nathuram Godse, a radical Hindu from the Bombay Province. Godse stated that he loathed Gandhi’s concessions to the Muslims and was angered by the fact that thousands of Indians died in the War of Southern Aggression. Godse also stated that the Muslims intentionally escalated violence in the wake of the war to be able to bring the majority Hindu population of the South into submission of the north, where Muslims already had cemented their rights into the Constitution. Of course this was all fake news and part of some false conspiracy, but nevertheless Godse truly believed his own lies. Further investigation would need to point out whether or not Godse was aided by one or more accomplices.

Nathuram Godse, Mahadev Desai’s killer and India’s most hated man.

25th of January 1942, Calcutta, India.

After the police had searched Godse’s house, they found several notes and letters which pointed to the fact that the assassin was not working alone. The letters which were found didn’t include any names, but it was clear that Godse was being fed false information by the sender of these letters. Based on the language used, the police could set up a profile. They were looking for an educated man, aware of the inner workings of the government and aware of the security details of the infamous day. There were only a few people that fit that profile. One of which was a former general of the Commune’s army who didn’t pass through the commission to become a general in the Indian Army. They had found their suspect. Military police arrested the suspect, but before they could interrogate him, he collapsed on the floor and died.

27th of July 1942, Delhi, India.

Over half a year had passed since Gandhi lost his best friend and advisor, Mahadev Desai. With his death, India also lost its Minister of Foreign Affairs. Desai was replaced by Jawaharlal Nehru, a member of the former Moderate Party, in order to please the Moderates and work together to prevent more uprisings in Southern India and Bengal. Recent events, however, shook the entire Foreign Affairs administration in Delhi. In the last couple of weeks, the conflict between east and west escalated as Japan and Russia went to war with each other. NATO soon joined in on the war on Russia’s side. In Indonesia, previously a Condominium ruled by both Belgians and Germans, the Belgians, with the support of the Dutch officers in the Indonesian Colonial Army, took full control over the colony. The Indian and Pacific Oceans had soon turned into the battlefield of this new war. While India was still neutral, many feared that either Japan’s ambition of a Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere or NATO’s war effort would end India’s neutrality. To make matters worse, the Burma Road project that Gandhi had been working for was ended in an instance when Japanese bombers destroyed the Chinese construction camp that was connecting the road from Burma to China. Japanese submarines were rumoured to be roaming in the Indian Ocean and it was all hands on deck in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to avoid any and all conflict with Japan or NATO.

Japanese subs were sometimes spotted all the way up to the Bay of Bengal.

15th of August 1942, Delhi, India.

A delegation of scientists from Bengal had arrived at the doorstep of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They had come with worrying news. Reports had come in from all over the Bay of Bengal that crops were affected by some kind of disease. Amrit Kaur, Minister of Internal Affairs, had set up an investigative commission to look into the matter. Heading the commission was palaeobotanist Birbal Sahni, one of India’s finest scientists. Now they had returned to report their findings. Birbal Sahni entered Kaur’s office and took some photographs out of his briefcase and put them in front of the Minister. “Minister, these pictures were taken on several locations across the Bengal region. Our samples included various crops including rice and wheat, two major components of the population’s diet. Our results are worrying to say the least”, Sahni said. Minister Kaur looked at several pictures and asked: “Is this some kind of disease on these plants?” “Indeed,” Sahni replied, “This is the so called brown spot disease and it has the potential to cause massive crop failures all across the Bay of Bengal. If the government doesn’t intervene, this might cause another big famine.” “What do you propose the government should do?” Kaur asked. “Well, first of all you should ensure that there is enough food in reserve in case a crop failure occurs. Second of all, the government should look into a possible cure for this disease to prevent future outbreaks”, Sahni replied. Kaur nodded and thanked the scientist for his report. This disease was certainly a concern for the Bengal region. With war raging between China and Japan, Burma’s rice exports to Bengal had been dropping due to the threat of Japanese submarines in the Indian Ocean. Transport over land was made difficult to bad weather conditions, but Gandhi’s Burma Road did help in getting some food across to Bengal. However, if the disease were to spread to Burma as well, Bengal and Burma would need to find another source of food.

17th of October 1942, Calcutta, India.

Yesterday, a cyclone had swept across the Bay of Bengal, bringing destruction to everything in its path. The cyclone proved devastating for agriculture in the whole region. Not only that, but plant material being swept up in the air currents contributed further to the spread of brown spot disease. Reports now also came in from Burma that their rice paddies were infected with the disease. To prevent panic from spreading across Bengal, Minister Amrit Kaur had personally travelled to Calcutta to deal with the situation in person. She had already requested Gandhi to relief funding and additional food supplies to prevent a famine from occurring. Food stamps were already being distributed to lessen the financial burden of the rising food prices in the Bengal region. Minister Kaur did everything in her power to prevent another famine from happening.

The cyclone of October 1942 caused massive damage and flooded certain areas for several days.

23rd of February 1943, Calcutta, India.

Food transports came in day in, day out. Over the past few months, crop output in the region had dropped by 40% due to brown spot disease and destruction caused by heavy storms and a cyclone in October. On top of that came the Japanese threat. By now their empire stretched all the way across the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands. In southern and western direction, the Japanese had made major gains in China, while also occupying the whole of the Philippines. But overall, India succeeded in managing any threat of wide spread food shortages. For now, a famine was prevented. One could only imagine how many people would have died if the government hadn’t been so willing to spend its resources on this matter.

 

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Things are getting rather stretched.
 

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Things are getting rather stretched.
As we're moving closer and closer to the end of this AAR (two more chapters and an epilogue to go), Gandhi is getting older and older and other people within the government will have to take over to ensure a smooth transition of power when Gandhi finally decides to move on with his life.
 

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As we're moving closer and closer to the end of this AAR (two more chapters and an epilogue to go), Gandhi is getting older and older and other people within the government will have to take over to ensure a smooth transition of power when Gandhi finally decides to move on with his life.
So no pressure then? ;) Let's hope India won't have a Bismark moment.
 

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So no pressure then? ;) Let's hope India won't have a Bismark moment.
I've still got a couple of years to cover, but the game at this point didn't really give me much in terms of content. Gandhi definitely already has an eye on his possible successor, so India will probably be fine once he resigns.
 
Chapter XVI: The 1944 Elections

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Chapter XVI: The 1944 Elections
28th of June 1943 – 20th of August 1944

28th of June 1943, Delhi, India.

Homi J. Bhabha, who was leading India’s nuclear research team, entered President Gandhi’s office with good news. “Mr. President, I have come with great news. We have finally managed to create a reliable source of energy from splitting the atom. India can properly call itself a nuclear nation now”, Bhabha said. The Mahatma, looking out of his window at the city in the distance, smiled and said: “That is indeed great news, Mr. Bhabha. However I fear that the world could be in grave danger if your research were to fall into the wrong hands. Therefore I have sat together with my Military Intelligence advisor, Mr. Razak, and he has told me that with the Japanese at war, he has increasingly uncovered Japanese spies within our borders. I’m afraid that I will have to postpone electrifying India with nuclear reactors until the war is over. Until then, I will grant you enough funding and resources to construct a prototype of such a nuclear reactor in an undisclosed location, far away from any Japanese spies.” Bhabha at first looked disappointed, but with a hopeful vision towards the future he said: “One day our entire nation will be powered by clean nuclear energy and India will become a great power. Until then, I look forward to working towards that future.” Gandhi thanked the scientist and guided him towards the exit of the Presidential Palace.



25th of September 1943, Calcutta, India.

Election campaigns were already running hot, even though they were still over half a year away from now. Gandhi hated to admit it, but he himself had also taken upon the politicians’ habit of going on campaign rallies. Some might even say that his Satyagraha marches were nothing but political campaigns. Now that India was unified, Gandhi had to unify its people. Today, Gandhi and his entourage found themselves back at Calcutta. One would think that campaigning wasn’t needed in Calcutta, the heartland of the Socialist Party, but recent protests and even some attempted terrorist attacks tell a whole different story. Nevertheless, Gandhi found himself in a Catholic-run school in Entally in eastern Calcutta, one of the few remaining ones after more than ten years of syndicalist rule. He was greeted by a group of children and two nuns. Gandhi was introduced by what looked like the headmistress of the convent. The headmistress then went on to introduce her Sister: “This is Sister Teresa, she will be your guide for today.” Gandhi smiled and said: “It is a pleasure to meet you, Sister Teresa.” Sister Teresa smiled back and said: “Mr. President, it is an honour to be your guide today.” The headmistress left the two of them alone and Gandhi and Sister Teresa continued their conversation. Gandhi admired the Sisters for their work and said: “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. That is why the work that’s been done here is so important for India. These children are literally the future of our country and if they don’t know the importance of peace, then what kind of future will that be?” Sister Teresa agreed and said: “I agree. Peace begins as a smile. A seed that is being sown into a child’s wonderful mind. We teach them to be compassionate, to be kind to other people. And while not all of us can do great things, we can still do small things with great love.” Gandhi laughed and said: “Those are the words of a true saint.” Sister Teresa continued to speak about life in the convent and showed Gandhi the classrooms where the children were being schooled. When the moment came for Gandhi to leave again and head to his next stop, Sister Teresa had some final words to share with the President: “Remember, Mr. President, God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.” Gandhi thanked the Sister for sharing her wisdom with him. This day would forever remain in Teresa’s memory.

Sister Teresa, or as we know her today: Mother Teresa.

20th of May 1944.

Once again, it was time for India to go to the voting stations. The world’s biggest democracy would once again elect its leadership for the coming four years. The country had changed a lot over the last few years. Gandhi’s Socialist Party has seen the emergence of a new rival on the left: the Syndicalist Party, which mainly centred itself around Calcutta and the workers who were disillusioned with Gandhi’s unified India. When the final results came in, many were surprised. The expected breakthrough of the Syndicalists did not arrive and the electorate hadn’t shifted that much compared to last elections. Political analysers contributed this to the fact that the government had successfully prevented a famine in the Bengal region. The Bombay Plan had also turned many voters from the All-India Social Democrats to the Socialist Party. At the same time, the Unionist Party ran out of things to blame on the Socialists, as no real scandals rocked the government between 1940 and 1944 and the assassination attempt on Gandhi and Mahadev’s death had only made the Socialists more popular. As a result, the Socialists had overtaken Jinnah’s All-India Social Democrats as largest party in Punjab, while coming close to overtaking the Unionists in Gujarat, which was considered as a real conservative stronghold. As expected, the southern tip of India remained under firm control of the Swaraj Party, while Ceylon’s independence movement managed to stay the biggest party on the island, but did not succeed in getting another seat.


Syndicalist Party: 13(^13)
Socialist Party: 201 (V18)
All-India Social Democrats: 106 (V14)
Swaraj Party: 118 (^4)
Unionist Party: 97 (^15)
Ceylon Independence Party: 10 (=)

Largest party per Province.

When it came to choosing a new cabinet, Gandhi preferred to keep the current formula. Don’t change what works, he thought. Amrit Kaur had shown what kind of skills she possesses in her efforts to prevent a famine from occurring in Bengal. Jawaharlal Nehru proved himself by keeping India neutral in the raging conflict between the Tripartite Powers and NATO and Gandhi considered Nehru as his most probable successor. Abdul Razak had been part of Gandhi’s inner circle ever since the preparations against Bose’s uprising. And because another party was still needed to form a majority in parliament, Jinnah’s All-India Social Democrats remained the best and most obvious choice. Jinnah himself would remain Premier, while his second man, Liaquat Ali Khan would remain Minister of Economy. And so India’s governing cabinet for the next four years was formed. Its main tasks would be to deal with the demands of the separatists in Ceylon, India’s place among the big powers and the use of nuclear energy to power the country.



15th of June 1944, Colombo (Ceylon), India.

Gandhi and Jinnah were visiting the island of Ceylon in an effort to pacify its population. But most importantly, they met with D.S. Senanayake, leader of the Ceylon Independence Party, to talk about a possible solution to the island’s separatist demands. Under India’s Constitution, Ceylon, as a Province, already had extensive autonomy rights, so for many politicians in mainland India the independence movement wasn’t fully understood. Gandhi was among those who didn’t understand the Ceylonese, but he had shown interest in their culture and their habits. For one, Ceylon was made up of not one but several ethnic groups. The biggest group were the Sinhalese people, followed by the Tamils. This ethnic diversity was one of the major driving forces behind the independence movement, as Tamils and Sinhalese alike could increase their power under an independent state. Another major factor was religion. While most of India was either Hindu or Muslim, Ceylon was mainly Buddhist. And while the rights of Muslims to participate in the central government were set in stone in the Constitution, Ceylon and its Buddhists felt abandoned because they had no such rights. Senanayake explained all these things to Gandhi and Jinnah. And while Gandhi understood their concerns, he could not afford to change the Constitution to include a minimum amount of Buddhists in the government, because then every minority religion would come knocking on Gandhi’s door to ask for a representation in government. Perhaps there was something else that Gandhi and Jinnah could give the Ceylonese to please them. Preferably something that wouldn’t act as a domino effect and make every Province into a semi-independent nation. Then Jinnah came up with an idea. The current political system of India was bicameral, with the Indian National Congress as the most important chamber because of the fact that it was directly elected by the people. The other chamber, the Indian Congress of Provinces, was modelled after the American Senate, with each Province having the same amount of representatives, but didn’t really hold much power. Jinnah proposed to give more control to the Congress of Provinces over things like finances and foreign affairs. Both Gandhi and Senanayake agreed with Jinnah’s proposal. Upon Gandhi and Jinnah’s return to Delhi, a difficult Constitutional change would await them.

D.S. Senanayake, leader of the Ceylon Independence Movement.

20th of August 1944, Delhi, India.

A Constitutional Committee had approved Jinnah’s proposal several days ago and the Indian National Congress was expected to put it up to a vote today. Gandhi’s Socialists and Jinnah’s Social Democrats didn’t achieve a 2/3rd majority together, but the Swaraj Party and the Ceylon Independence Party were both supportive of the Constitutional change. With 435 votes in favour, 59 against and 51 abstains, the Constitutional Amendment passed and the next legislature of the Indian Congress of Provinces would hold more power. For now, the Ceylon Independence Party was tempered. There were even some rumours that a merger with another big party was in the making.​
 

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I'm not sure giving the Congress of Provinces more power is going to end up solving anything - it sounds like a compromise good for perhaps one electoral cycle. When it comes to addressing actual Ceylonese concerns it is a mirage, and it will not take long for it to be so exposed. And that might lead to radicalisation.
 

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I'm not sure giving the Congress of Provinces more power is going to end up solving anything - it sounds like a compromise good for perhaps one electoral cycle. When it comes to addressing actual Ceylonese concerns it is a mirage, and it will not take long for it to be so exposed. And that might lead to radicalisation.
You think so? Maybe I should have explained it a bit more in detail what the Congress of Provinces is like. I imagine it is something like the American Senate, where all the States, Provinces in India's case, have an equal amount of seats. India currently has 18 Provinces and Ceylon is one of them. That means that the island holds considerable powers now that the Congress of Provinces have been granted more powers. Of course it doesn't really address the problems of religion and multi-etnicity on the island, but those are all things that the Provincial Government can deal with.
 

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You think so? Maybe I should have explained it a bit more in detail what the Congress of Provinces is like. I imagine it is something like the American Senate, where all the States, Provinces in India's case, have an equal amount of seats. India currently has 18 Provinces and Ceylon is one of them. That means that the island holds considerable powers now that the Congress of Provinces have been granted more powers. Of course it doesn't really address the problems of religion and multi-etnicity on the island, but those are all things that the Provincial Government can deal with.
Not really, given the problem of religion is also represented at the federal level.

And because I imagine that in these things that matter most to the island their votes will always be denied by the mainland supermajority.
 

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And because I imagine that in these things that matter most to the island their votes will always be denied by the mainland supermajority.
That isn't necessarily so. For example, the Tamils are also a major ethnic group in Southern India. Ceylon could easily ally itself with other minority groups on the mainland. My prediction for the future of Indian politics is that as the big founding fathers dissappear from the stage, more and more ethnically based parties will pop up and be represented in parliament. But for now, with Gandhi being the symbol of a united Indian people and Jinnah uniting almost all prominent Muslim politicians in his party, there is no real room for political parties based on ethnicity, except in those parts of India where the cultural differences are the most highlighted (f.e. Ceylon which has been changed from British hands before the Weltkrieg, to German hands until the 1930s, to be sold to the Princely Federation and then finally annexed into the Republic of India).
 
Chapter XVII: When Gandhi met Churchill

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Chapter XVII: When Gandhi met Churchill
(
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10th of January 1945 – 6th of December 1946

10th of January 1945, London, Greater United Kingdom.

Ever since 1941, restoration efforts in Britain coincided with large scale reforms of the GUK and the British Empire. Shortly after the end of the War of Homecoming, King Edward VIII and the Canadian government instated the British Reconstruction Authority with the goal of eliminating all traces of more than fifteen years of syndicalist rule. A short-lived civilian provisional government, led by Winston Churchill, oversaw the smooth return of the British aristocracy from Canada and called for General Elections in December 1941. Some politicians, particularly those on the far-right, advocated to ban any socialist party, even Labour, from running. Instead, the provisional government only banned candidates with official ties to the Union of Britain, allowing Labour to participate, yet as a somewhat amputated party. As a result, Winston Churchill and the Conservatives won a landslide victory, now controlling both the Canadian and the British government, with Churchill even being PM in both nations. On New Year’s Day of 1942, the Kingdom of Canada and the British Reconstruction Authority formally united under a federal Greater United Kingdom, allowing more funds to flow from Canada to Britain to help in the reconstruction effort. In the following years, Churchill worked hard to kickstart the British economy and simultaneously prevent syndicalist resistance. Especially small family businesses reaped the benefit from the sudden inflow of money. Churchill also attracted major Canadian and American corporations to invest in Britain’s destroyed infrastructure and industry. Within months, the heavily destroyed industry in North England was slowly being rebuilt. In the wake of the coming war with Germany, priority was given to the military industrial complex. Britain’s involvement in the war was fairly limited compared to Canadian, French and Belgian efforts and mainly focused on producing equipment for the soldiers on the front. In 1943, the British Reconstruction Authority was officially ended thanks to Churchill’s efforts, combined with regular anti-syndicalist broadcasts on the BBC and a slow economic revival. By 1945, several voices within the British Empire called for a new Imperial Conference with the prospect of strengthening and institutionalizing the ties between the dominions. But first, Churchill focused on finishing the war effort and on establishing a new international organisation. During the Tripartite War, prominent political leaders within NATO had advocated for the founding of an international peacekeeping organisation. Inspired by Woodrow Wilson’s political memoires, people like Winston Churchill and Quentin Roosevelt called for a “League of Nations” which united all nations in the world. As early as October 1943, during a conference in Moscow, the Greater UK, the US and Russia signed a declaration in preparation of the organisation. Eventually the new ideas made their way to India and Gandhi was excited for the idea. The years before the war were characterized by the total collapse of diplomatic relations between nations. Future historians would even call the early 20th century a second Thirty Years’ War. The world needed an international platform where diplomacy could prevail over war and violence. As it currently stood, Churchill, Roosevelt and Savinkov envisioned a United Nations where a council of the world’s most powerful countries would act as policemen. This ‘Security Council’ would consist of five permanent members, each with a right to veto, and ten non-permanent members. At the moment, Russia, the United States and the Greater United Kingdom would all hold a permanent seat. That left two spots up for discussion. Churchill had already made it clear that the Kingdom of France would also get a permanent seat. The US tried to get Brazil as a permanent member, but was opposed by Russia, who would much rather have France than Brazil, which was solidly in America’s sphere of influence. That left one spot open. Currently, both China and India could claim that position, as both had been invited on several occasions by the ‘Big Three’ to discuss the matter. Russia was leaning towards supporting China, as they were natural allies in the still ongoing war with Japan. But opposing ambitions of the two nations in East Asia could drive a wedge between Russia in China in the future. Gandhi expected that convincing Savinkov wouldn’t be that hard. Convincing Churchill on the other hand was a whole other matter. While on a state visit to the Greater United Kingdom, Gandhi would have the opportunity to talk to Churchill in person.


Gandhi was quite popular among the working classes in London. His socialist policies were seen as a good alternative to the banned syndicalist ideology in Britain.

Churchill was quite known for his opposition, some would even call it hatred, against Gandhi. Churchill famously opposed the Lucknow Summit. In his words, it “was alarming to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal Palace, while he is still organising and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience as leader of the Bengalese Syndicalists, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor”. Luckily for the Indians, it was Edward VIII who gave his approval to the talks and allowed Jinnah’s government to negotiate a deal with the Commune. When the final deal was made public, Churchill said that he was “against this surrender to Gandhi. I am against these conversations and agreements between Mr. Jinnah and Mr. Gandhi. Gandhi stands for the expulsion of Britain from India. Gandhi stands for the permanent exclusion of British trade from India. Gandhi stands for the substitution of Brahmin domination for British rule in India. You will never be able to come to terms with Gandhi". In the end, Churchill was wrong. Not only, because trade with Britain/Canada continued, but also because Gandhi chose for cooperation instead of conflict and confrontation with the British Empire. Gandhi was aware of Churchill’s opinion about him, but still wanted to arrange a meeting between the two statesmen. In a letter, Gandhi wrote: “Dear Prime Minister, You are reported to have a desire to crush the simple 'naked fakir' as you are said to have described me. I have been long trying to be a fakir and that naked - a more difficult task. I, therefore, regard the expression as a compliment though unintended. I approach you then as such and ask you to trust and use me for the sake of your people and mine and through them those of the world.” With much reluctance, Churchill accepted Gandhi’s request and invited him to his residency in Downing Street 10. Gandhi went to the meeting with an open mind. He knew that the only way to get Churchill on board was to show that India and its people weren’t the enemy of Britain and the Greater United Kingdom.

“Prime Minister, it is a pleasure meeting you again”, Gandhi said, referring to their previous encounter in 1906 when Churchill was still undersecretary of state for the colonies and Gandhi was still a lawyer.

Churchill mumbled something between his lips, which were holding his signature cigar in place: “Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Gandhi. Never thought you would become a statesman.”

Gandhi smiled and said: “Neither did I, but fate called upon me to unite the people of India.”

Churchill laughed at that and said: “Leading a country is not just something that happens to you overnight. And excuse me for saying so, but the Indian nation does not exist. There is no such thing as a unified Indian people. I believe your elections results have made that quite clear.”

Gandhi did his best to not be offended by that and said: “Naturally I must disagree. From North to South and East to West, wherever you go, you find the yearning for freedom.”

“Yes, that yearning for freedom clearly showed itself when your government denied the right of Kashmir and Gujarat to secede and join the Deccan Federation”, Churchill replied.

Gandhi was becoming quite annoyed, a rare occurrence, and said: “Look Prime Minister, I have not come to argue.”

“Then why did you come?”, Churchill interjected.

“I came here to discuss with you the future of peace,” Gandhi said, “This world needs an international organization to stand guarantee for non-violence. Prime Minister, I want you to know that India is your best guarantee for peace in Asia.”

Churchill saw straight through Gandhi’s words and said: “You want India to have the fifth permanent seat in the Security Council, don’t you?”

Gandhi sighed and said: “This is not just about that position. If you grant China the seat, I fear that peace will not prevail in our part of the world. Their rivalry with Japan over control of the East and South China Seas will not disappear with the impending Japanese defeat. And their rivalry with Russia over Eastern China and Mongolia will only grow bigger once the war ends. India is friendly with all its neighbours and is the best guarantee for a stable Security Council.”

“Mr. Gandhi, I see your point, but once Japan is defeated, their quarrel with China will no longer be something that stands in the way of peace and stability. President Roosevelt and I agree on that”, Churchill said.

“If I may be honest, Prime Minister, I think the President would much rather have a neutral India in the Security Council than a China who leans towards Russia”, Gandhi said.

Churchill wasn’t convinced and replied: “Earlier, you just said that Russia and China had conflicting interests and now you say they’re in cahoots with each other. Mr. Gandhi, you need to make up your mind.”

“Look, Prime Minister, Chinese foreign policy is as unpredictable as their Emperor,” Gandhi said, clearly annoyed by Churchill’s paternalistic tone, “What I’ve learned from the past couple of years is that if China had to make a choice between Russia and the West, they’d prefer going with the power that guarantees the survival of their political system. As long as the Emperor holds on to his autocratic powers, he has no interest in aligning China with a West that calls for universal democracy and protection of human rights. Russia, on the other hand, for the past ten or so years, is firmly under the control of an autocratic ruler who has shown no remorse in dealing with democratic opposition.”

Churchill put out his cigar and looked at the Mahatma. “What guarantee do we have that India will be a reliable partner of the Greater United Kingdom going forward?”, the Prime Minister asked.

Gandhi, finally pleased that Churchill decided to drop his aggressive tone, smiled and asked: “Prime Minister, can you tell me who NATO’s biggest supplier of steel is?”

“I believe that must be India”, Churchill said kind of reluctantly.

Gandhi smiled and said: “Exactly. I think it has been proven already that India and its people are mature enough to take up their role on the international stage. It is my understanding that the British Empire is planning to hold another Imperial Conference.”

“Yes, that is correct”, Churchill said.

“The agreements made in Lucknow meant that India was no longer a Dominion and therefore no longer part of the British Empire. However that doesn’t mean that India can’t be an observer state and maintain friendly relations with the Empire”, Gandhi explained.

“You want India to be represented in the Imperial Conference?”, Churchill asked.

The Mahatma nodded and said: “Yes, the Empire still has a lot to offer for India and India still has a lot to offer for the Empire. I think that there’s still plenty of deals to be made between our two nations.”

Churchill lit another cigar and looked at Gandhi, briefly thinking about offering the Indian a glass of whiskey and a cigar of his own. “Mr. Gandhi, I think President Roosevelt and I will be delighted to meet you again in San Francisco in a couple of months,” Churchill said, “Until then I will consider your proposal regarding the Security Council and discuss it with the US President. Enjoy your stay in London and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to give my secretary a call.”

And with that, Churchill said his goodbyes to the Mahatma. Gandhi left the Prime Minister’s residence with a smile on his face, while he was greeted by members of the British and Indian press, eager to know of what happened inside. If only they knew…


The Mahatma Gandhi at Downing Street 10 in London, just after his meeting with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

24th of June 1945, San Francisco, United States of America.

The idea of a League of Nations became tangible as invitations were sent around the world to attend the United Nations Conference on International Organizations in San Francisco. Gandhi and many other world leaders would personally meet and discuss the path of peace, while Germany had already capitulated and fighting still went on in East Asia. On the opening day Winston Churchill held a most iconic speech about the United Nations: “[…] We must make sure that its work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a frothing of words, that it is a true temple of peace in which the shields of many nations can someday be hung up, and not merely a cockpit in a Tower of Babel. Before we cast away the solid assurances of national armaments for self-preservation we must be certain that our temple is built, not upon shifting sands or quagmires, but upon the rock. Anyone can see with his eyes open that our path will be difficult and also long, but if we persevere together as we did in the two recent wars, I cannot doubt that we shall achieve our common purpose in the end.” Churchill was welcomed by the people of San Francisco as a true herald of peace. Even though the city had been subject of a Canadian siege no less than ten years ago, hundreds of people came out to see the former Canadian and current British Prime Minister.


Winston Churchill as he is being driven around San Francisco.

The other true herald of peace in San Francisco at the time was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the President of the Republic of India. The Mahatma had chosen to personally attend the Conference in the United States. For Gandhi it was the first time that he visited the US and for many Americans, it was the first time that they could see the leader of an Asian country. For Gandhi, the Conference would not only be an occasion to celebrate peace and international cooperation, but also an occasion to lead India onto the international stage. His meeting with Churchill a few months ago had been quite productive, as he had received word that President Roosevelt was considering to back India instead of China and wished to meet the Mahatma in person.


A huge crowd in San Francisco trying to get a glimpse of the Mahatma Gandhi.

Quentin Roosevelt was the youngest President in US history, only 21 on the day of his election. As a grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt, Quentin was assisted by a whole team of political experts. While Roosevelt officially identified as a Progressive Republican, his Administration consisted of both Republicans and Democrats, in an effort to unite the nation after the bloody 2nd American Civil War. As a result, Quentin’s Vice-President was a Democrat; Robert Wagner and would remain so until his death in 1953. Today, two days before the final draft would be signed by 35 or so governments, the identity of the fifth member of the Security Council was still kept a secret. Secretly, Roosevelt, Churchill and Savinkov had already made a deal in the last couple of months. Instead of China, India would become the fifth and final permanent member of the Security Council. In return, the US would drop its request of having Brazil as a permanent member and Russia would be allowed to establish a puppet state in Korea. Roosevelt had invited Gandhi to a meeting to break the news to him. “President Gandhi, it is an honour to meet you here on this glorious occasion. I hope the Californian sun hasn’t been too harsh for you”, Quentin Roosevelt said. “The honour is all mine, Mr. President. And don’t worry about the sun, I’m used to a lot more tropical weather than this”, Gandhi replied. The two Presidents continued with their small talk for a while until Roosevelt moved on to the subject of the United Nations Conference: “President Gandhi, I think you will be pleased to know that we have agreed on India as the 5th permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. I hope that your nation is fully on board of our concept of policemen guarding the international peace.” Gandhi smiled and said: “I am very pleased with this news, Mr. President. India and its people will take up their role as guarantor of peace with pleasure and proudness.” Both Presidents continued to talk about the upcoming ceremony where the United Nations would be officially founded and its members would sign its Charter.


The young President Quentin Roosevelt.

26th of June 1945, San Francisco, United States of America.

It was a momentous day for the international community. No less than 37 countries had sent representatives to San Francisco to sign the Charter of the United Nations. Never before in the history of mankind were so many people from so many different countries present in one room. If one were to take a group photo of this moment, one could spot the Presidents of India and America, the Prime Minister of Britain and delegations from East Africa, Arabia, China and many other non-Western nations. The ceremony, held in the Veterans’ War Memorial Building, took several hours, as delegations from all participating countries were each called to the front to sign the Charter. After everyone signed, US President Quentin Roosevelt closed the ceremony with a speech in which he addressed the world. The United Nations was officially founded and Gandhi’s India had a major role to play in it.


L. S. St. Laurent, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, signing the UN Charter.


The UN at the moment of its founding: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue. Permanent members of the Security Council have the UN logo on the map (USA, GUK, France, Russia and India).

3rd of September 1945, Delhi, India.

Gandhi had just read the report from his delegation at the Imperial Conference in London. It looked like London and Ottawa had extended their influence across their former Empire. The old British Empire became officially known as the Imperial Commonwealth, with the Greater United Kingdom (and its African colonies), the Caribbean Federation, the South African Federation and the Australasian Confederation all being founding members, while India remains on the side line as an observer member. With the formation of this Imperial Commonwealth also came the creation of several supranational governing bodies. One of those was the Imperial Marketing Board, tasked with coordinating the overall economy and trade within the Commonwealth. One of its first policies was working towards a monetary union. The founding members of the Commonwealth all agreed on having a common currency by 1960. This monetary union would become known as the Sterling Area and would later serve as an inspiration and an example for the Eurozone. India chose to remain out of the Sterling Area, for obvious reasons. Having control over their own monetary policy was a powerful tool for the Indian government, one they wouldn’t want to give to bureaucrats in London or Ottawa. In the Final Declaration of the Imperial Conference, the GUK, Australasia, the Caribbean Federation and South Africa all agreed to the so called system of Imperial Preference; prioritizing internal Commonwealth trade over external trade. Due to India’s observer state, however, an exception was made towards the Asian country, to insure the survival of the already quite extensive trade networks between India and the Commonwealth.


Supranational organisations founded in the 1940s. In red: Imperial Commonwealth (observer states in pink and colonies in greyish red), in blue: European Organization for Peace and Reconstruction (°1946) which would later become the Western European Union (°1955) (colonies in greyish blue).

6th of December 1946, Saigon, Deutsch Ostasien.

The first real challenge for the young United Nations Organization came from South-East Asia, where a remnant of the German Empire still remained untouched. Deutsch Ostasien was a curious case in history. After the French defeat in the First Weltkrieg, French Indochina was handed over to Germany and was combined with the German Pacific colonies into Deutsch Ostasien. During the 1920s, a violent uprising led by Ho Chi Minh tried to throw out the Germans, but without any success and resulting only in the death of Ho Chi Minh. Civil unrest, however, didn’t stop there and in several places, a guerrilla warfare continued. This constant unrest resulted to the fact that Deutsch Ostasien never officially joined the war against NATO or China. However, Siam and (Belgo-Dutch) Indonesia did seize some territory during the war, when another violent revolution broke out against German rule. With the war now fully over, the various factions in Indochina have organized themselves and are looking for foreign support. While the southern part of Indochina remains firmly under control of the German Imperial remnant, the northern part has declared itself independent as the Democratic Republic of Indochina, in reality a syndicalist state. Both sides are relatively isolated, with the Germans hoping to get Russian support for a German/Prussian led puppet state in the region. The DRI on the other hand is looking towards India for support and volunteers. In the meantime, China has proposed a resolution to the UN, asking for an intervention in Indochina which would allow the Chinese to set up their own puppet government. Gandhi was quite annoyed with the whole situation. There was no real incentive on both sides of the conflict to negotiate over a peace deal. Besides, NATO would much rather see the Germans entirely gone from the region. But NATO also didn’t want another syndicalist government coming to power, fearing the consequences for their own rule in Africa. The current situation in the UN looked as following: the US, GUK and France would all support an intervention in Indochina, but only on the condition that a NATO-led invasion would be initiated from the south, to prevent the syndicalists from gaining territory in the region. Meanwhile, the Chinese would be allowed to invade from the north to get rid of the syndicalists. Russia, however, did not want Indochina to fall in either China’s or NATO’s sphere of influence and decided to veto the resolution. As a result, the UN stood by powerless while the US Congress and the Imperial Council of the Commonwealth agreed to provide equipment to non-syndicalist rebels in Indochina. Gandhi, already quite old and tired at this point, allowed official Indian support to the DRI by approving the transport of equipment to Hanoi through Burma.


The Indochinese War would last from 1945 to 1973, when German diplomat Heinz Kissinger and Indochinese President Thich Nhat Hanh signed the Berlin Agreement, where the Federal Republic of Germany would repatriate soldiers who fought for the Imperial remnant, but allowed Indochina to trial leaders and generals who led the remnant during the war.

----------
And with this chapter, we have come at the end of this AAR, unfortunately. But do not fear, I still have an epilogue for you guys and some 'Post-Credit Scenes' hinting at future events for this timeline. I will also release a short-story set in this universe this week or the next one. Hope you will all enjoy it!​
 
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stnylan

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Nice to see the post-war world.

On a presentation note the dialogue between Churchill and Gandhi I found very difficult to actually read. A mixture of the centre justification and all the speech.
 

Nikolai

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And so another chapter in this trans-AAR spanning story is at an end. Good work!
 

SibCDC

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Nice to see the post-war world.

On a presentation note the dialogue between Churchill and Gandhi I found very difficult to actually read. A mixture of the centre justification and all the speech.
Should be a bit easier to read now, I hope.
As for the post-war world, we see the beginning of the Indochinese War which was also mention in my Cuba AAR, I hope to expand further into this conflict as it is this timeline's Vietnam War.
And so another chapter in this trans-AAR spanning story is at an end. Good work!
Indeed, one more epilogue to go and then onto the next story!
 
Epilogue: A Peaceful Ending at Midnight

SibCDC

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Epilogue: A Peaceful Ending at Midnight

Just before the 1948 elections, Gandhi announced that he wouldn’t run for a fourth term as President of India. And on the 11th of September 1948, a month before the elections, Premier Mohammed Ali Jinnah passed away. Liaquat Ali Khan briefly took over the office of Premier. The 1948 elections brought fresh blood in the Socialist Party and the All-India Social Democrats. The Socialist Party continued to lose seats, but remained the biggest party. Together, the Socialists and Social Democrats managed to keep their majority, albeit narrowly. Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s new President, while Liaquat Ali Khan once again took on the role of Premier. The Syndicalist Party continued to grow and became the second biggest party in Bengal. The Ceylon Independence Party had formed a new party with some southern members of the Swaraj Party to form the Tamil National Alliance. Their success remained isolated to Ceylon and Madras. The Unionist Party saw a revival, becoming the biggest party in Gujarat, Rajputana and Jammu & Kashmir. In Punjab, the Social Democrats once again took over from the Socialists.



Indian National Congress:
Syndicalist Party: 26 (^13)
Socialist Party: 181 (V20)
All-India Social Democrats: 113 (^7)
Swaraj Party: 68 (V50)
Unionist Party: 103 (^6)
Tamil National Alliance: 54 (^44)

On the 24th of June 1949, Gandhi passed away in his sleep, leaving behind a nation in mourning. Gandhi and Jinnah left a big stamp on India. Both founding fathers played a major role in bringing the Muslims and Hindus of India together. Until the 1970s, the tradition that India’s President was a Hindu and the Premier was a Muslim remained in place. It was only during Indira Gandhi’s last years as President that the position of Premier was filled by a Hindu, J.R.D. Tata. The Socialist Party remained the biggest party in India until the 1970s and between 1952 and 1964, the Socialists even managed to form a majority of their own, with Nehru as President and Abdul Razak as Premier. The hegemony of the Socialist Party lasted until the election of 1977, when both the All-India Social Democrats of Tata and the Swaraj Party of Morarji Desai had major gains in northern India and Bengal. Also in the 1970s, tensions between mainland India and Ceylon escalated over fishing disputes. A strong separatist movement exists until today, with some radicals even turning to terrorism to achieve their goals. More recently, India has been experiencing increasing violence between Hindus and Muslims, particularly in the region bordering Afghanistan. Terrorist attacks by radical Islamists, driven by the ideal of an independent Muslim caliphate in the region, threaten to destabilize the unity of India, while nationalist Hindus want to rid India of any Islamic influences. India will need strong leaders again to unite both faiths within the nation, like Gandhi and Jinnah had done before.


Gandhi’s funeral in Delhi was attended by thousands of Indians of both Hindu and Muslim faith.

Gandhi is one of those people in history who many look upon with great respect. Nevertheless, in some circles Gandhi is a very controversial or even hated person. For example, far-left historians of the 1960s regard Gandhi as a traitor to syndicalism, mirroring the Syndicalist Party of the 1940s or even Bose in the 1930s. They argue that the Mahatma did not hesitate for a moment to ban several syndicalist factions to participate in the elections of 1940 in accordance to the accords at Lucknow. They also argue that Gandhi did nothing to support other syndicalist nations such as the CSA or the Commune of France in their effort to defend their sovereignty. Others say however that Gandhi acted quick in taking Burma under the Commune’s protection. Another issue where Gandhi felt short according to some circles was his loyalty to non-violence. Some argue that Gandhi only applied non-violence when it was most useful to his cause. They point to the ultimatums to Nepal and Bhutan and the escalation of war with the Deccan Federation to prove that Gandhi wasn’t afraid to threat other countries with violence to achieve the unification of India. Defenders of Gandhi say that this was never a deliberate tactic. They say that Gandhi never would have ordered an actual war. They praise Gandhi for succeeding in keeping casualties low on the Commune’s side of the Maximist uprising, but forget to mention the high amount of deaths in the war with the Deccan Federation. They also point to Gandhi’s role in founding the United Nations after the Tripartite War and setting up India to be a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. Critics of Gandhi pose that by moving forward as a neutral nation, Gandhi has limited India’s ability to build its own sphere of influence. While it is true that India never had the same influence as Russia, the Greater United Kingdom or the US, some countries still heavily relied on India. Burma and Oman for example explicitly asked the Indian government for international protection.


British Prime Minister David Cameron reveals a new statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in London.

More recent economists criticize Gandhi for his narrow view on economics. The Mahatma never sought to industrialize the Indian subcontinent. Gandhi’s economic policy was aimed at self-sufficiency and not at becoming a major exporting country. But Gandhi’s policies also improved the income of local producers as most resources were available for factories instead of exported for foreign businesses. Economists today see this as the reason why it took another ten years to industrialize centres as Delhi and Calcutta and why India has not industrialized at the same pace as China has, although they often forget to mention the role that Tata’s steel industry played in NATO’s war effort. Environmentalists praise Gandhi however for his economic policies. In Gandhi’s self-reliance, they saw restraint: produce enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. It is true that India differs today from the US, Europe and China. Whereas the West and China are typical capitalist societies known for overproduction and a focus on exports, India imports only what it needs and produces rarely more than its population needs. However, due to the size of India’s population, the country still produces massive amounts of goods. In more recent decades, India has also become known for ‘exporting’ its people as cheap labour or as IT-specialists. Gandhi’s interest in nuclear energy further strengthens environmentalists in their beliefs. Gandhi took the first step in human history to move away from fossil fuels and move towards more carbon neutral ways of providing energy. There are however those who say that nuclear energy is as polluting as fossil fuels. They put Gandhi in the long list of culprits of the nuclear catastrophe in Finland, the fallout of which will probably last for another century.


Finland’s Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant after the nuclear disaster in 1986.

Post-Credit Scenes
Paris, France, 3rd of March 1940

The Belgian Army had to move quickly. German High Command was on its way to claim the most valuable pieces of art in the Louvre. Soldiers and museum employees did everything they could to hide the most prestigious works of art. In return for the help the Belgians provided, they would get their stolen artwork back. Finally, after a hundred years, the art stolen by Napoleon during the French Revolution would return to its rightful place. Sure the Germans would be angry, but these were the explicit orders of King Albert: “Return as much Belgian art as possible and keep as much French art out of German hands.” After a few hours of hard work, most of the Belgian art was already on its way to Brussels, while the walls of the Louvre were empty except for a few minor works. The most important works were safely stored in catacombs underneath the museum. Only a few people knew of their existence. The Germans would not find them and the French art was safe for the rest of the war. Around midnight, Jacques Pirenne arrived. Pirenne was one of the most trusted advisors of the King. He came with a special task: find the Golden Fleece.

SHAPE, Mons, Belgium, 5th of May 2012

“Are you familiar with the Mandela Effect, Mr Meunier?” the Intelligence Officer asked. Leopold Meunier shook his head. “The Mandela Effect is named after Nelson Mandela, a South African revolutionary who died in prison in 1983, yet many people seem to ‘remember’ he survived prison and became president of South Africa. According to the pseudoscientific community, these false memories prove the existence of multiple alternate realities." Meunier shook his head in disbelief. Alternate realities? And he thought he had seen everything...
 
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