Browse

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 25 items for :

  • Manchester Studies in Imperialism x
  • Manchester Security, Conflict & Peace x
Clear All
The façade of South Asian responsibility

British leaders were astonishingly slow in grappling with the problem of determining a new international boundary line. The partition was to be perceived as a South Asian undertaking, with British officials acting only as steady and impartial guides. The Radcliffe commission was clearly concerned with delimitation, not demarcation; demarcation was left to India and Pakistan, after independence. Despite Cyril Radcliffe's central role in the boundary-making process, few historians have offered more than a cursory appraisal of Radcliffe the individual. As Radcliffe prepared for his voyage to India, the British Government began to speed up its withdrawal. On 4 July 1947, the government introduced an Indian Independence Bill in the British House of Commons. This bill included a clause that ultimately rendered Radcliffe's decision binding on both India and Pakistan.

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
Radcliffe’s private deliberations

Sir Cyril Radcliffe's use of administrative boundaries reinforced the impact of imperial rule. Radcliffe's award retained for the postcolonial states of India and Pakistan a central element of the legacy of imperial rule; the raj's political boundaries marked the stability of its rule. In both the Punjab and Bengal awards, Radcliffe discussed canals, canal headworks, roads, railways and ports before turning to population factors. The irrigation systems and other infrastructure of Punjab and Bengal had been built to function under a single administration. The 'sketch map' sent by Mountbatten's office is one of the most controversial elements of this story. The base map Radcliffe used to delineate his boundary in Kasur tehsil focuses on one particular means of British administrative control: the collection of taxes. The most detailed of Radcliffe's maps, the 'Map of Kasur Tehsil' was very large scale, at one inch to two miles.

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
Methodist missionaries in colonial and postcolonial Upper Burma, 1887–1966

The first British Methodist missionaries came to Upper Burma in 1887 and the last left in 1966. They were known as 'Wesleyans' before 1932 and afterwards as 'Methodists'. This book is a study of the ambitions, activities and achievements of Methodist missionaries in northern Burma from 1887-1966 and the expulsion of the last missionaries by Ne Win. Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth-century mission administrators. Wesleyan missionaries often found property development more congenial than saving souls. In Pakokku in December 1905, a 'weak' American missionary from Myingyan and a couple of Baptist Burman government officials began 'totally immersing' Wesleyans. Proselytism was officially frowned upon in the Indian Empire. The Wesley high schools were extraordinarily successful during the early years of the twentieth century. The Colonial Government was investing heavily in education. A bamboo curtain descended on Upper Burma in May 1942. Wesley Church Mandalay was gutted during the bombing raids of April 1942 and the Japanese requisitioned the Mission House and the Girls High School soon afterwards. General Ne Win was ruthlessly radical in 1962. By April 1964 Bishop was the last 'front-line' Methodist missionary in Upper Burma and the last European of any sort in Monywa. The book pulls together the themes of conflict, politics and proselytisation in to a fascinating study of great breadth.

The mood in Mandalay changed abruptly in December 1941. The bricolage of fear, cynicism and nervous anticipation gave way to blind panic. Europeans were leaving Mandalay in droves, but Chapman insisted that the Methodist missionaries should stay and 'carry on as normal'. Meanwhile, Mandalay was heaving. 'Hundreds or thousands' of refugees had trekked in from Lower Burma. Chapman urged Burmese Christians to escape 'to distant villages' while they had the chance. Mandalay was bombed on 19 February 1942. Chapman tried to keep track of all the missionary families. Rangoon was already in the hands of the military authorities. Government offices, banks and commercial firms had been evacuated to Mandalay and Maymyo. Methodist missionaries played distinguished roles in the evacuation, although fact and fiction sometimes became confused in the chaos. The missionaries were demoralised and exhausted as they assembled in Calcutta between March and May 1942.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

General Ne Win was ruthlessly radical in 1962. Civil society in Upper Burma was a shambles. People in Monywa detested local politicians. They were interested only in pleasing 'big men' in Rangoon. The Revolutionary Council alienated Buddhist leaders when it tried to impose its own moral code. The press had been relatively free under U Nu, but after 1962 newspapers were heavily censored. Burmanisation was a euphemism for xenophobia. The 300,000 ethnic Chinese in Burma fared little better. They were compromised by the activities of the Burmese and Chinese Communist Parties. The Working People's Daily reported that 9,986 foreigners had left Burma during the first six months of 1964. On 19 May 1964 Reed went to the bank and discovered that all Methodist assets had been frozen. By April 1964 Bishop was the last 'front- line' Methodist missionary in Upper Burma and the last European of any sort in Monywa.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

The first British Methodist missionaries came to Upper Burma in 1887 and the last left in 1966. They were known as 'Wesleyans' before 1932 and afterwards as 'Methodists'. Missionary societies built hospitals, clinics and schools as practical expressions of their Christian love, although critics dismissed them as instruments of cultural domination. Henry Venn, the impeccably evangelical Secretary of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was the most distinguished and inspiring of nineteenth- century mission administrators. The early Wesleyan missionaries in Upper Burma were less racist than Southern Africa counterparts, but they were reluctant to criticise colonial authority and slow to embrace local church autonomy. Politics of proselytism rather than religious differences lay behind most battles with secular and Buddhist leaders in Upper Burma. The British public was fascinated by Burma, imagining it as an 'intangible' corner of a 'Boy's Own' empire.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

A bamboo curtain descended on Upper Burma in May 1942. Little news filtered in or out. In some respects arbitrary Japanese rule merely replaced arbitrary British colonial rule, but there was another important factor too. Many Burmans hoped the Japanese would bring independence and most feared anarchy more than they feared Japanese rule. Burmese Methodists had particular reason to fear the Burma Independence Army (BIA) which openly defied orders from the Japanese military administration. Pongyis generally kept a low profile during the occupation, but ordinary Buddhist Burmans were unhelpful and sometimes hostile. Wesley Church Mandalay had been gutted during the bombing raids of April 1942 and the Japanese requisitioned the Mission House and the Girls High School soon afterwards. The regular Burmese congregation was augmented from time to time by an eclectic mixture of Buddhists, 'Burmese princes' and Japanese soldiers.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

In 1942 Chapman had dreamed of the day when the missionaries would return to find 'a little Church pure as gold and tested in the fire'. The first post-war synod in 1946 was a tetchy affair. Burmese ministers were aggrieved that their wartime exploits had not been recognised. During the early 1950s the additional criteria were tested in a trio of cases in Kachin State. The first involved the Yunnan Tibetan Christian Mission (YTCM). The second case, in April 1951, involved the Roman Catholic Mission in Myitkyina. Unlike their predecessors, post-war missionaries were unburdened with the baggage of colonialism and were more open-minded. 'Buddhist missionaries and communist myrmidons' dissuaded Christian children from attending church on Sundays and unsettled everyone else too. Many important issues were addressed in the 1960 Synod. Methodists in Upper Burma had gained a reputation for their innovative social projects.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

Rev. Ebenezer E. Jenkins was General Secretary of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society and a powerful gatekeeper. Wesleyan missionaries often found property development more congenial than saving souls. Winston tried to squeeze money out of the Missionary Committee to pay off his spectacular debts. In 1893 Thomas was sent to Monywa, a bustling, cosmopolitan town and headquarters of the colonial civil service for the Chindwin district. A pecking order for building projects began to emerge. Mission houses came first, and were most expensive. School buildings followed, and churches came last. Government grants were sometimes withdrawn without explanation leaving buildings half-finished. In Pakokku in December 1905, a 'weak' American missionary from Myingyan and a couple of Baptist Burman government officials began 'totally immersing' Wesleyans. The luxury of interdenominational squabbling merely underlined the impression that Burman resistance was crumbling.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
Abstract only

The civil war had exploded myths of imperial invincibility. It triggered nationalist turmoil in India and exposed colonial vulnerability in Burma. When the war ended, coruscating events in Rangoon eclipsed the struggles of ordinary people. The Methodist Synod in Mandalay predicted a gloomy and uncertain future. The sheer scale of destruction gnawed away at post-war Burmese politics and undermined public morale. Upper Burma since the war, and in 1948 they began to infiltrate towns like Chauk and Yamethin. Gradually government forces managed to fight back, and in October 1953 Thakin U Nu felt strong enough to outlaw the Burma (White Flag) Communist Party (BCP) and the People's Volunteer Organisation (PVO). The tide began to turn as one by one towns south of Mandalay were retaken by government troops. In the 1960 election U Nu had promised to make Buddhism the state religion.

in Conflict, politics and proselytism