tv Book Discussion Midnights Furies CSPAN July 25, 2016 9:18pm-10:12pm EDT
he certainly had a reputation in england, but he was a local in that sense so the rest of the world probably wasn't as interested. >> one more question and if you would come to the microphone. it'microphone. >> on a local college student and i want to say how meaningful i find your work to be. my question is in research for the most recent book that you were speaking about this evening, what did you find those surprising and least surprising and why? >> the truth is i can't point to
one big surprise. the biggest thing was finding surprised as every day in one small way. it wasn't as if i had a revelation in one way. i was in jerusalem for a long time coming and it a city that gets into a rut in the term of the way people talk about it and it's tiresome the same story over and over again. at least as it's told in the newspapers and as you feel it as a resident. yesterday another bus blew up. it's very repetitive which doesn't make it any less meaningful and is hard to take but i was trying to surprise myself and surprised the city by looking in these hidden corners. these are not people that tend to be written about. it's not that they are unknown, but usually as the prime minister and general whoever architects for in part because we don't have time for
aesthetics there is a view when it comes to jerusalem. so i can't really answer that question in a specific way except to say i was surprised. when i found stuff in the archives that was exciting but i would be surprised walking into the rockefeller museum, which those of you if you have a chance in jerusalem i recommend you go. it's aeneas t in east jerusalemd palestinians don't go because it's an israeli institutions so they are afraid. i'm often wandering around by myself so don't be surprised by a doorjamb were in that sense high and low or both. >> as rich as the talk was, i read the book and it is richer.
it's easy to download from the store. watch on demand at c-span.org where you will find the convention coverage and schedu schedule. the democratic national convention live in philadelphia, the c-span radio application and c-span.org. good morning. welcome and good morning. i'm on the faculty of political science department annals of a research fellow at peace and more centers of it is my pleasure and honor to have this
conversation with the 2016 winner recipient of the military history award. what they are going to do today is have a conversation you should take a look in the pamphlet that was handed out. as a very famous journalist and helped set up "time" magazine's edition. he lives now in singapore and works for bloomberg. he's written this book called midnight fury and what we wanted to do today is unpack this book and i've intentionally not read the entire biography because it would be more of the audience to have a conversation and put the
book in perspective. so this book deals with events that happen in countries far away from over 70 some on years ago, but i would contend the book is so timely and relevant and connects with issues you see from the newspapers every day. america's leadership and transforming to help try to transform countries and what the 21st century will bring as a role of religion, and if i might say how important it is for politicians when they are running for office or otherwise to be very careful in what they say. so i want to take you back if you will a few centuries. i was born a long time ago, not that long ago that wants to take
you back a few centuries to india where for hundreds and hundreds of years there existed a cosmopolitan multicultural civilization with hindus and muslims and christians all living together worshiping each other's shrines and this is especially true of muslims and hindus who did that and you can go to any village in pakistan or india and you will find them worshiping at muslim shrines and hindu shrines and there are marriages where it took place after 150 years of british presence in india and another 200 to 300 years of another empire before that when the partition took place, it was a hugely significant event.
but before i get into the conversation, it's not as simple as it looks. this isn't strictly a religious conflict and i will give you a personal example. an uncle of mine rose to the air force and he's family like many muslim families didn't leave india because they thought it was whole. so in the pakistani war come here as my uncle leaving against the airport muslims and muslim on both sides both owing allegiance to their own countries. the big point i want to make is that as important as religion seems to appear, that isn't always the case. i want to start by asking you for hundreds of people they've
lived together. in 1947, millions get injured or killed. why? >> why don't you start with an easy one. [laughter] >> we will give a one-word answer, power. what changedwhat's changed, whas different from the previous 150 years means for the first time the british were leaving and they made it clear they were heading out and it didn't have the money to maintain and they were not wanted there. there have been tensions but it's fairly limited. you have small riots break out and usually last a day or two, that you didn't have a mass scale of violence you would have in 1947. what happened is the political leaders in the muslim community
in india saw a future in which there would be a permanent minority they would be cut out of power and the congress party that was dominated always when. they would get the majority of the votes wherever they ran and would be confined to the system database year i tier is almost r take all system where if you ran the government coming to your friends and family and cronies would get the contracts. he would write the textbooks in schools and the words of worship and so on through the political leaders, the founder of pakistan argued the only way muslims could be safe after the british left is they have a state of their own where they were majority and ran the government.
>> reporter: a a lot of them still had weapons. so with the riots in the violence broke out after the british left these organized you could almost call them death squads were much more effective and deadly than previous attacks. they were not fighting with fist and knife there using machine guns. the death toll skyrocketed because of that. >> that is an interesting series of dots that you tried to connect. let me ask you that a lot of the trouble, i grew up in bombay, my, my family and i went through the partition, but there was scarcely a whimper there and what i wanted to ask you is if
you could unpack that part of your book where you talk about the killings. why were they localize? why did they not happen all over? >> it's important to remember, that a lot of people have the idea that the british left and all the sudden violence and rights broke out all over the subcontinent. people were killing each other, it was not that at all. my family my father was a child in bombay at the time, no memory of any violence. it was most of india was unaffected by this. there is one particular providence called the punjab which is now split between india and pakistan and this is where the border was going to go. they decided to draw the border to divide areas where muslim were majority would to where he hindus were majority of the punjab was half-and-half. a new border was going to be drawn there. the problem was there is a third community in the punjab which was known as the sikhs they were concentrated
in the middle of the providence and historically there is a historical memory of how the sikhs had suffered under muslim rulers of centuries ago, much more recently in the spring of 1947 as part of this ruling series of rights, muslim mobs had massacred several thousand sikhs. within just a few months of memory they had this vision of what would happen to them if the british drew this border and they found themselves on the wrong side of the line. also the sikhs were overrepresented in the army so they were heavily militarized. so there death squad as a were started the violence after the border was drawn. that is white spread very quickly, but it was very concentrated in this area. it was that muslims on the indian side of the punjab were pushed out and hindus and sikhs are pushed up the other side.
as you have this movement of people, something like 14,000,000 people cross sides of the border over the span of a few months you had these mile-long convoys of refugees, 250,000 people in a convoy, sensually defenseless. there are some elders trying to guard them but the death squads would commandants swoop in and were able to massacre several hundred thousand people at a time. is that combination of communities in the punjab with the new border that provoke them >> so that is so interesting, by the way i wanted to commend you and you dad probably were still calling it bombay, a lot of us have never grown used to move bay. so this kingdom muslim issue came to providence along the border areas but it's not spread to the rest of the country, does that tell us anything about how deeply embedded in religion this was or whether it was a local fact having to do more with
territory and advantage and revenge? >> again it's easy to think of this as a hindu muslim conflict but you have to remember the leaders of indian pakistan work completely secular men. they were not religious at all. they barely knew the crime, he he drank alcohol those forbidden by islam,. >> he was a man of fine taste. very dapper. and nehru was was a cambridge socialist. he did not believe in any of this hindu mumbo-jumbo as he saw it. it wasn't about religion for them. it was again about territory, about community, it was fear that was driving them. the sikhs were afraid that they were going to be that the community was going to be massacred. anything that is interesting to remember to is that the strongest drive to create
pakistan was not in areas that eventually became pakistan because in northwest and india where muslims are majority, they were majority, they were in power. they did not have to fear what happened after the british left. it was muslims it was muslims in central india, southern india, other places really push the idea of pakistan. some of them moved but it it was created, many others did not. and many indian muslims never want to to be created at all and live in india now. >> so it's just a quick personal anecdote on this issue and how importantly a lot of muslims felt about not creating another country called pakistan. so my dad at that time was an up-and-coming screenwriter and he had not yet made a big movie. we were very young and he was having a hard time and he got an offer to partition from pakistan to produce a movie.
he said great, this is going to be my big opportunity and my mother of course, a freedom fighter and so on in india and she said not on your life, you are you are not going to the horrible country to start a movie and he said we don't have any money we have two children and he went out for his walk to think about this and he came back and so he told me when we are growing up that my mother had her suitcases packed and he said what are you doing? and she said you go to pakistan to make money, i am going back to my mother. so that is how intensely a lot as you point out, the family fell. but the question i have for you than it is now i want to focus on therefore the importance of leaders and the importance of the british. do you think that of the british had stuck it out, said no, we're going to work this out, as they had many times over 150 or 200 years, or, if the leaders themselves had stuck it out, do you think it's a
feeling on the leader's eye, the british side for the partition to happen? >> there are definitely mistakes made on all sides. there are. there are failures, guilt to be assigned to everyone. now you cannot prove a counterfactual obviously even if partition had not happened there is no proof that it unified india would've stayed unified. these these pressures still would have been there, possible five years or ten years later it could have broken up along different lines. the other thing to remember is that in 47 the british only directly controlled about half the subcontinent. the other half were independent kingdoms ruled by monarchs who legally were independent and could choose to join india or pakistan but if the british had just left them unified they may have decided to declare. but all of the leaders made mistakes. they did try to compromise. the british, for a year a year tried
to bring the two sides together and in about a year earlier in the spring of 46 they had come up with a compromise, a very complicated, rickety compromise where you have a unified india with very weak, central government and the muslim areas would have a certain degree of autonomy and the individual provinces would have other powers. it was a face-saving way for everybody to agree. they did agree. everybody did agree to this. but, then almost immediately after they agree to it the communist party leader had a press conference and he was being pressured by people from within his own party saying why are you given up this autonomy to the muslim areas, we have fought for vet decades to kick the british out and this is our time to roll. and he said something stupid like don't worry, were saying this now once the british lee we'll will do whatever we want. of course, for any muslim
hearing this you had to think, how can we trust these people. the sign this document now, once the british leave they'll be in power and they will turn on us. so so they backed out of the agreement, and that it became virtually impossible to bring them back together again. they did try, the british kept trying up until the summer of 47, they kept trying to get back to that compromise, the americans were putting heavy pressure on both sides to come back to that compromise. they are very worried from the beginning of the cold war that they wanted a united india to help in the defense against the soviet union. they did not wanted to be broken up. they do want the army to be broken up. between the time they struck the compromise in the summer 47, that is when these rights started to spread across the country. so feelings were getting embittered at the ground level
and the tensions and divisions between communities were growing. and they grew between the leaders themselves. you have to remember, nehru remember, nehru and jenna had known each other for 30 years. the fathers had been good friends, they argued with each other, they had friends in common. you think that they could have found common ground, even their personal relations grew very bitter over this time. >> so in a moment we'll open it up and ask questions. i wonder now to close this part of the conversation and to think about history. i had the pleasure of interviewing general gordon sullivan, the chair of the board of trustees at the university a few weeks ago, he impressed on me how important it was for him and nor rich to get this history major and a huge liberal and i use the word liberal in the classical sense, education. he said without an understanding
of history, this a very little that you can do as far as making sound decisions at the top levels of any chain of command. and so i wanted to take us forward now. we spent trillions of dollars in the strongest army in the world, a stake in every hill that we wanted it to, but we have not been able to prevail against an enemy, the taliban that has no gdp, we have 15,000,000,000,000 dollars, same thing in iraq and you can carry that through. so my question for you is, in america we have the same, oh that's history. right when someone says something that you think is irrelevant, and i think we ought to do away with that saying and i wanted you to take now what happened in 1947 and if you would as you did masterly new book, by the way of raising the pressure here so you go out by multiple copies of his book, christmas is not that far away,
you need to buy at least six each. so i wanted to say, can you you now take us forward from there and connect this to what is happening in afghanistan essentially but the importance of history. >> is important in two i think, for americans in particular you mention afghanistan. the reason reason we're still fighting afghanistan 15 years later most is only because the television has had a safe haven to retreat to across the border in pakistan. they have a certain degree of support from the pakistani military covertly, they are tolerated to regroup and me and the leadership is safe there and so on. that has allowed them to keep the insurgency alive and they can keep it alive forever as long as they have that safe haven. what is pakistan do this? what do they take billions of dollars in aid from the u.s. and then support the taliban? why do they support what they would support terrorist groups
that fight the indians in kashmir but also conducts attacks like the mumbai attacks in 2008, and why are they building up their nuclear arsenal so rapidly and creating smaller nuclear weapons and so on, they do all of this because they view india as a mortal threat still, 70 years later, they do not believe still treats india as an xo sense jill's threat they don't leap in their their existence and does not want them to survive. they would like to see them fail and be absorbed within india. so that mentality is nothing new. that came out of these just a few months in 1947, that 47, that mentality was cemented within the pakistani establishment within ordinary establishment. they have been able to rule the country from half of this existence because every time they took power they say you need us to defend you against india. we are going to protect the country. they blended this with his mom,
they use other excuses but that is their justification for drawing the majority to the budget for the military is that you need us to defend you against india. so for americans and outside powers it's important to understand the roots of this mentality. you have you have to understand where it comes from. we need to understand how it has changed over the decades and how it has developed. but you cannot start to unwind it until you know where it came from. you accept that at least out when it was created there is a certain degree of legitimacy to it. there were indian leaders in 1947 he did not want pakistan to be created or exist. they would've been happy to see it fail within a year to and be reabsorbed. it is not entirely crazy. it is not the truth now, indians have no interest in taking over pakistan, quite the opposite. but it did come out of something real that we have to accept and understand. then for india and pakistan it's important to bring up that saying about americans in
history. i agree with you that sense, the other hand americans also had a very healthy ability to examine their own history and to be self-critical and not to feel like they have to hide things or sugarcoat them or ignore them. they can admit what happened in the civil war and there's shelves and shelves of books about this. and and then they can move forward. we can move forward. indians and pakistanis still have trouble with this. i've given lots of readings in india, the majority of the publishes were young, born after partition. born after partition. they should not have any personal connection to this, yet the phrases they use, the way they talk about pakistanis and vice versa, it is no different than 1947. there 1947. there still a sense of paranoia, suspicion, it is because they are taught to version of history, it's very different than this. the indians get 1% pakistanis get another version and there are mutually incompatible.
neither side really wants to admit that they could have partly been at fault, that may be gandhi was not entirely think, maybe he did make mistakes. and pakistanis say maybe jenna was not such a nice guy maybe was power-hungry and so on. until they do that and come up with some sort of joint narrative that asides blames all sides, i do nothing they're going to be able to move forward in the prayer that is dangerous for the rest of us. we have to to hope that they will get there. >> before i open it up for questions i wanted to give you an opportunity, was there a time when you wrote the book or after that you sat back and said, you know, this really came out well. >> the fact that you wrote about -- >> is guess a revealing moment that happen is when i got my first review of the new york review of books. they call called it super. that is the only time. but tell us, just a personal,
you've thought about this for so long, you wrote this book,. >> it was a long process. he started working on this book exactly five years ago in spring of 2011 and i11 and i had been working at his week magazine for about ten years and i left my job, my wife and i sold our apartment in new york and we put all of our stuff in my in-laws basement and then took off. and looked out of a suitcase for a year while i did research in india, london and i had no idea where this was going. i had no idea what i wanted to accomplish, but imagine you're in the library ten hours ten hours per day just pouring through painstakingly telegrams, the paper thin telegrams that churchill sign, and personal diaries and letters and you vacuum it all up and you try to see patterns in it but at the time you're really trying to get as much material as possible. and then i sat down and try to make sense of it all. because it was reports me with
this book was to write it for a general audience. this is not meant for professors. i hope they find new scholarship in it, but i wanted to i wanted to make a narrative that would be appealing to everyone. also to try to find a narrative in this great mass of material, i cannot say there is a moment while i was doing it that i was fully confident that i succeeded until it was published in someone else told me it was okay. >> so we have a few minutes left and we can take a few questions. and just tell us who you are and go to the microphone. the microphone will come to. >> my name name is sean markey, have a question about craft and some of the choices you made and may be a way to open it up a little bit. what was maybe one of the harder things that you struggled with
and how to do work through that, or alternately, what was the best advice that you got from then outside reader either an editor or friendly reader that really helped to see something that was not quite working. >> the best advice i got early on was to make a timeline. it sounds so simple but i literally, the book takes place in a very short, two-year period from 46 to 48. i did a day by i did a day by day timeline of those two years. once you do that that's what i start to see the patterns emerging. what's what's incredible is that these leaders, especially in the thick of the months right after the partition there were milling things going on, they were not just focused on the rise of the punjab, there is an uprising in kashmir, they're moving towards independence and these things were all happening in the same day. and you realize in those books,
they treat them all separately, there's a chapter on each but you do not realize that when nehru woke up that meeting he went to one meeting about this in another bout that, he was operating on to ours asleep and then he got a letter from his girlfriend and so on. it's only once you see it laid out that way that you can kind of get into their heads a little bit more and understand the pressures they were under and why they would have made certain decisions. there are certain decisions that jenna made that i've never seen explained before then you realize all he made a decision at the end of a three-hour meeting where they had talked about x before hands and i can imagine that would've influenced his thinking. the hardest part for me was making a narrative because you have any characters, huge forces, and it was chaos at the time. it is hard to know what's real, what's not. not. a lot of people's memories afterwards were not all that trustworthy, if you hear the same story over and over again that my aunt was on a train full of refugees and everybody was killed but her, for the story
dozens of times. it's generally not true because they had stopped most of the trains. but it's something people have told themselves for generations and you have to sort of see the records at the time to know that no, there actually were not that many train massacres and so on. so i waited through the material and then finding a way to make it a chronological narrative which i did through using two characters. i dig jenna and narrow, and their personal relationship gave me a vehicle in which to work the larger forces in the history into. but really tell it through a day by day account of what they were going through at the time. >> did you do most of your research in india or pakistan? >> at the most of it in london because up until august 15 when the british left all those records were british records. so they exist in india but in india trying to work in the archives is a little difficult.
you have to fill out request forms and on paper and send the men in three days later you get a note back saying we cannot find the file and so on. it's more straight for forward in london and you can get through more material quickly. there's a there's a lot of personal papers there as well. i spent about three in india, went back for a few weeks and almost a year in london. >> if you would've taken the time he spent on research versus the time writing, is there division there you can talk about? >> it was about half-and-half. >> for the first draft. >> until the first draft and then saw about one year researching, wrote the first strap between man december and then i accepted a job, moved to singapore and that i read the first draft and realize there is still work to be done. then it took me another year but that was just working on evenings and weekends to polish it up. >> and the class of 68, when you
are researching the book was there an aha moment for you that changed your mind or understanding of the history. >> my understanding was wrong, and it was this way can you share that with us please. >> there is not a single moment, there were individual moments though, there are days when you do this and you go to library and you work through the archives and he come home and you know that you have found nothing new. everything you have read that day has been read by someone else and so on. and then there are days when you find that nugget, that illuminates a particular angle and then the combination of those leads to that new narrative that you create. for instance, some of the best material i found was actually in the state department archives in a park and marlon. nobody ever looks at them. the
american diplomat at the time in new delhi were fairly well-connected, everyone came to talk to them they knew the americans for the rising power in the world so they had great details. there is actually a moment, the british investor in london, the day the british decided to create pakistan in the june of 4070 called in the u.s. ambassador to explain the decision, the investor writes back to washington as is, they're going they're going to do this, they're gonna create pakistan. they're gonna hand over power, possibly as soon as august to india. but they know pakistan is not ready yet so they will hand over power later, may be a few months, maybe a year, it has not really been worked out yet. and that sort of brings home, you understand why they left so fast, how, how could they have thought this was a good idea and is because they had not thought it through. they thought somehow the pakistanis will want us to stick around to help us with the government and so everything is going to be okay were not going to worry about the details so much. there are certain moments like that where a key decision of why
the british decided to leave so quickly, it seems so crazy and stupid. and you realize this because they do not think there are leaving that quickly. >> , students, we talk about pakistan providing a safe for the television, and in the past couple of years it's very trying but it never worked out, afghanistan does not have provide security and things like that in the country and its borders. but what you think is a solution left for the afghan is? to fight the taliban? to think they can. [inaudible] >> the nobel peace prize --
>> it when i did my ten years at newsweek i oversaw the war in afghanistan and i wish i had a good answer. i think you're right that there has to be a negotiated solution. i think all the parties our work right to work towards that. but even though they give the taliban safe haven they don't control them or kick tell them what to do. i do believe the pakistanis generally want the telephone to come to the peace table now. they're not able to do it. on the other hand, if they said were not given you anymore safe haven whatsoever and were kicking out all the leaders or we will arrest you, then i think they might change their not minds. the pakistanis are are not ready to do that yet. the one positive development i've seen so far and it is not a breakthrough yet is the fact that china is now involved. china has much more interest and stability in afghanistan than it ever did before partly for economic reasons because they want to develop minerals there and so on.
but also because they're worried about islamic extremism coming across the border into western china. china is one power that has influence over the pakistanis. that more influence over the pakistanis and we do. they are the ones leaning on the pakistanis to try to being the taliban and to the peace table. they've offered host talks. it's going to be a long long process but they sustain that pressure, we coordinate with them and it's important to remember their tension between the u.s. and china in the south china sea over trade another issues. it's important important to remember the big picture too. we need their help on north korea and on afghanistan. so even as we compete with them in some areas we have to work with them and others. so i do not it is paid a breakthrough anytime soon, but it pakistan and china keep pressuring them, if the afghans can hold their own at least if they keep losing territory from the taliban and they'll have less incentive, but if they can hold their own maybe we'll get
to a point where you can bring them in. what an agreement will look like i don't know. you obviously have to preserve the liberties that have been created in afghanistan. nobody is going to get those up now. see connecticut back to the taliban and a spray but there's going to have to be some part of the solution eventually. >> just as a follow-up to to this, do you think the american presence helps or do you think if you left the country's there was strike a balance within themselves? >> i think were still needed there now. i think the afghan army is not able to hold its own against the televangelist out the are logistical help and intelligence. i think our presence there, and we cannot solve this for them, sending more troops, i don't think there is a search that can happen the way did in iraq that will turn things around. but nasa don't think we should necessarily rush to draw down to zero there. >> you recognize someone in the
back? >> was in the back? go ahead. >> you're such an iconic figure for americans and indians as well, can you talk briefly about anything, how your perceptions may have changed in the writing of this book and i know can you talk a little bit about this, were you surprised today think that you learned about gandhi and how that might affect our memories of him? >> i really was. it's interesting, you have to write about him carefully obviously. especially for an indian audience but gandhi was much more of a politician then people give him credit for. he was seen the movie, it seems like a serial, saintly figure that spouts proffers that sound great and is for priests and so on. and he hates violence.
he was a very shrewd politician. he used nonviolence against the british because it works. he knew that the indians did not have the weapons to challenge the british army. this is the advantage they had over them. he had great success in the 20s and 30s. but, he he was also fairly pain man. he was surrounded by admirers and others telling him what a great person he was and how infallible he was. even even indian leaders like nehru coming to him for advice. so that's a couple things. and he never understood the way muslims like jenna saw him. he thought, i'm a p person, have no have no prejudice i have nothing against muslims, course they must embrace my message. he cannot understand that for many muslims they would see gandhi dressed up like a hindu, holding prayer meetings, having hindu chance and so on, stories and and the parables he used were all hindu parables using hindu gods. he never understood that image
is projecting to a lot of muslims was frightening. they saw him as a religious leader not as a secular democrat. >> then he also did not understand the impact of his words. by the time partition came around he was in his mid to late 70s and he was a little, i don't want to use the word senile but he was not as sharp as he had been before. but nobody around him would tell him that. everybody would still act as if everything he said was gospel. so he would. so he would do things like when these riots were starting to spread there were reports and rumors coming in her rise and fall in eastern india and the rumors were that muslims were going to massacre hindus and raping window women and he brought this up at a prayer meeting in new delhi and was trying to say do not retaliate, do not use violence, don't fight back, instead, for all of the tens of thousands of hindu women
were at risk of being raped, you should kill yourself instead. he had not thought this through it all. boy this message message was heard on the provinces was, hindu women are being raped. there are local politicians at a much lower level who use this message and rallied hindu mob same come limited massacre of several thousand muslims. something that muslim leaders like jenna blame gandhi for inside your spouting this stuff and it's causing violence. he wouldn't not acknowledge that. he thought his spirit was pure, his intentions were good, and they were but he did not understand the impact of his words. there are also times this compromise that i mentioned, he fought against it the most and dragged out the negotiations. i
think if they had accepted much earlier as possible a compromise may have been hell. moments of the process where he would've been good as a spiritual figure in a more figure but should have been involved in the politics because he found it very hard to make compromise. >> with the class of 1970, i was intrigued after watching the news for the last month that in the book jenna and nehru were very egotistical egotistical, narcissistic to some degree and seem not to catch onto things that a more practical or humble person might see. it just it just reminded me of today. >> yes, there are some eerie parallels. these men were they had huge egos. they're great statesmen statesmen and in a way as well, part of that may be the reason why they rose to the top. you you have to have a certain degree of self-confidence in
order to do this. remember's is a british system where combined with the indian feudal system where nehru went to a political rally, he was trying to bite worshipers. he he would give the speeches in english and talking about socialism and this and that, these farmers had no idea what he was talking about. they just knew he was this godlike figure who had come down from new delhi and was on stage and they're just there to be in his presence. just to listen to this group. they did not want to touch as feeder shake his hand or this or that. again, again, nehru knew this was a danger. it's interesting about ten years before 1937 there's a younger man and was receiving all this and he wrote an essay that warred against the dangers of a leader like him becoming a
dictator that letting the stuff go to his head and that the party needed to be wary of this in the country needed to be wary of this and not allowed to happen. he knew it it was a danger but he still let it happen. jenna was the same way. it had been fighting for recognition for years and years and all of a sudden once he started promoting pakistan hundreds of thousands of people come to his rallies and he was surrounded by guards waving swords in uniform and he loved it. now batten was the vein of all three. he counted the ribbon on his uniform and spent his summer when the death squads were forming certain look working out with the flags would look like that they would use on independence day. kind of pomp circumstances why he was there. so you do have to worry, have your leader you have to have responsibility. you can't just let the stuff go. >> two quick things.
what i thought fascinated about how the normal folk did not want to leave and had an insight as to why there is such a deep feeling and secondly, the flipside of what really happened i had the two leaders the more religious maybe they would've had different perspectives and would not be so vain. another another words in a sense their deep secularism which was not evident good that eventually led to the feeling and then thirdly as a sleep position, the two hours of sleep deprivation that he was legally impaired, he would be more than legally intoxicated by alcohol. it's a fascinating subject for us. how these world leaders are making decisions will their impaired. he is not the last.
so that's really cool think that you uncover for us. >> working backwards it was fascinating to see just these guys did everything themselves. they never ran a government. nehru had been a politician but really just a leader, street leader in the way. he had never been an executive or run anything. we try to run everything himself. the reason he the reason he only got two hours of sleep is because he was dealing with negotiations as would be no invitations to conference and when riots broke out and it came to his house and said there is a bridge, between all the new deli where refugees are coming across the bridge and are being killed when they come across because gangs are waiting for them. nehru now is a prime minister 400,000,000 people what is what to do, he runs upstairs, gets out of his drawer a giant remarkable that blanche's father and hadn't been fired in 30 years and he said were going to dress up like refugees, you and i we are going to go out there and walk across the bridge and
when they try and attack as we are to shoot them. his friend said, no ivc or going to tell the police to go there and do this. that was the mentality that they had. the religious question is interesting. what made them or humble. he was humble and it would have been a problem in other ways after these riots broke out there is a lot of people who did not want muslims to say. including nehru gandhi thought about this and said were going to be a multiethnic society. we are not going to allow this and was not a popular decision and that's why her --'s i forgot the first question. >> i think is over centuries.
religion was not all that organized. he had a village shrine or village mosque but if you're living in close quarters together you have basically the same food, some people don't eat beef or this or that, but use the same spices, you dress the same way. your children will go to school together and in many cases and i think most people generally want to get along. it did generally work. muslims had legitimate fears politically about what happened but they were solvable. there could've been a a compromise that would solve that fear. they had to acknowledge the pure first unaccepted there were real tensions to. >> i've never been a part of this issue myself that there's another piece to it, have they been more religious but india is a very religious country. what these people were really like, i will not throw your dad
into this conversation but they were these stories about mr. nehru and others and everyone knew what these people were about. the other side of the point is they knew what these are. >> no one really believed jenna was -- it's interesting in some of these local elections the muslim lake, organizers were gone try to get votes. one of them i found wrote back in new delhi and said it's great that these people, they think jetta is this long bearded ima on and very religious. that was the image that they're trying to pinpoint they had never seen him. so they were able to manipulate ordinary people. >> let's go back to the audience
please. >> you mentioned that one of the major flaws if not the major flaw of the bit that his role was that they exited to quickly and left a lot of details undone. any other major flaws in hindsight? >> there were a bunch. i will will say though that i am less critical of the british that many writers are. probably because i feel the indians and pakistanis wanted independence. they been asking for years. the responsibility was theirs to prepare for it. they were the ones that had influenced over these death squads. there were not ordering it themselves but at lower levels of their parties people were involved in procuring weapons. so is their responsibility to stop this before the violence really broke out. but it did a few things. in the long run they contributed to dividing these communities. in 19 oh nine th