Many thinking Indians fear the future. They see India's age-old problems of illiteracy, poverty, overpopulation, food shortage worsening, not getting better! Their experiment in democracy hasn't been a big success. Some are beginning to ask, "Can communism solve our problems better than democracy?" This in-depth report tells where and how India will go from here!
Calcutta, India Parliamentary democracy in India has been jarred by a sudden shock! The Communist Party is now in control of two of India's 17 state governments. The Marxist-led United Front Party made a sweeping election victory in the state of West Bengal in February. This communist victory dealt a devastating setback to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Congress Party. The United Front coalition, led by a resurgent pro-Peking party, won 214 of the 280 seats in the West Bengal legislature over 40 more than it needs to run the state. The Congress Party dropped from the 127 seats it won in 1967 to a low of 55. The Times of India called the communist sweep in West Bengal a "debacle." West Bengal, which has India's chief commercial port, Calcutta, now joins the southern state of Kerala, for many years communist dominated, as another Red wedge to fracture India's already-weakened political structure.
Congress Party Hurt Elsewhere
In other results in India's midterm elections, the Congress Party hopes of regaining power were dashed in Bihar State, where it appeared that no party would win a majority. And the same happened in Punjab State, where the Congress Party lost 10 seats and fell before a rightist coalition. In only one state, Uttar Pradesh, did the Congress Party even come close to the majority which would enable it to form a state government. Congress candidates won 208 of the 425 seats in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. There are now many fears that fractionalism in India's loose federation of states will destroy India's long fight to become a unified, self-supporting industrial nation capable of feeding, housing and clothing its own people. "All the glib talk of unity in diversity now has a sickeningly hollow ring," said Indian Express writer Nandan Kagal. "National unity is being torn to shreds in several parts of the country."
Adrift Since Independence
Ever since India gained her independence in 1947, she has been drifting. No government has yet really been able to get its hand firmly on the helm of India's national destiny. India's Prime Ministers (Nehru, Shastri and Mrs. Indira Gandhi) have, in vain, grappled with India's many problems. Some Indians have already lost patience, and others are fast becoming disenchanted with India's experiment in parliamentary democracy. Westerners often fail to realize that Asiatics do not readily accept democracy as we do. To them, democracy is, at best, an unproved theory. After all, what has democracy accomplished in India? Many have already turned to communism, and many others are leaning in that direction. They keep asking: "Can communism do for India what democracy has failed to do?" "Can communism enable India to provide a higher living standard for her millions of ill-clad, ill-fed, illiterate masses?" Will the communists eventually gain control of India? Can any government on earth lift India's hundreds of millions of poor out of their problems? Before we answer these questions, we should take a brief historical look at India. Only then will we be able to understand India's destiny.
Britain and India
What caused Britain to become so deeply involved in the affairs of the people of India? When and how did British involvement in the affairs of India commence? It can truthfully be said that India has one of the oldest histories of any nation on earth with clear historical references going back at least three or four thousand years. Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer and trader, first established trading posts in India in 1498-99 and 1502-03. Then the Dutch established trading posts in India in order to get a toehold in the lucrative spice trade of the East. They finally superseded the Portuguese. But the Dutch made the fatal mistake of asking the British exorbitant prices for the spices they got from India. It was then that a small group of British traders formed themselves into the East India Company, charter dated 31 December, 1600. They thereby secured from Queen Elizabeth I a 15-year spice monopoly. It should be understood that, at this point in history, this was a purely commercial venture. The British had no designs to get political control of India. Once the English East India Company began its operations, however, it felt a need to raise an armed force to protect Company warehouses from the anarchy that prevailed in much of India at the time. Until this time, it must be remembered, India was not a united nation, but a great number of warring large and small states, each with its own language, customs and religion, and each ruled by its own rajah. Soon, this new British force was drawn into taking sides in local Indian feuds. The British found themselves extending their influence over more and more territory as they assumed greater responsibility for law and order. The English founded Madras and Calcutta and acquired the city of Bombay from Portugal. It was through Britain's operating the East India Company that she eventually gained control over all of India. When the French nation, under Napoleon Bonaparte, was defeated at the beginning of the nineteenth century, this gave the English a free hand in India. Before this time, British and French traders and armed forces struggled for control of India. Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India (1774-1785), set up civil government and later established the Indian Civil Service. The British parliament finally assumed political direction. Under Lord Bentinck (1828-35) the British began to extend their rule of law and order over all India. Under the British the corrupt misrule by the rajahs was abolished, infanticide was stopped, suttee (suicide of a widow on her husband's funeral pyre) was made illegal. Britain began to spread the English language, culture and education among the Indians. Under British rule 25,000 miles of railways were laid by 1900, and 14 million acres of land had been brought under irrigation! This was the biggest irrigation development in the entire world. Under the British, famines were practically stopped. Education began to thrive, an efficient Indian Civil Service was set up, a strong army was raised, factories were built, trade and commerce began to 4hrive, and in general India began to be lifted out of her millennium-old squalor, misery and human suffering. During World War I, India provided 800,000 troops for the Allies. Of these, 24,000 were killed and 70,000 were wounded. But the National Congress of India refused to join the Allies in World War II.
India Agitates for Self-Rule
Both before and after World War II, a number of Indians had begun to agitate for Indian self-rule. Foremost among the leaders of those who advocated this Indian self-rule was an ascetic named Mahatma Gandhi. He had been schooled in law at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1915, Gandhi was a very loyal subject of the British Empire firmly believed that British rule was "an act of Providence." Not long afterward, however, he changed his mind and declared that he couldn't "cooperate with evil" and therefore decided to fight the "Satanic Government." Much of Gandhi's life was devoted to the abolition of "untouchability" in India. In his childhood, his own devout, kindhearted mother had forbidden him to play with Uka, his "untouchable" friend. He also strove to give the women of India equality with men. Mahatma Gandhi was a very devout Hindu, and was very broad-minded in many ways. His prayer meetings were always begun with Hindu, Muslim and Christian hymns. And he used to have "a picture of Christ" hanging in his room. Many in India looked upon Gandhi as a great saint a holy man. Many others looked upon him as an ascetic and a crank. He could be extremely stubborn. He preached sexual abstinence even among married couples. Gandhi was known worldwide for his long fasts which were a sort of political blackmail against British rule. He made endless speeches and wrote articles in the cause of Indian self-rule. He and many others agitated and refused to cooperate with the British and finally wore the British down. The British announced they would leave India on the 15th August, 1947. British rule had admittedly bequeathed many good things to the nation of India, including a measure of unity, the rule of law and order, the abolition of suttee and infanticide. The British also passed laws outlawing shameful public eliminations. But India's woes still continued during the period of British rule. Since India experienced poverty, illiteracy, hunger and wretchedness under British rule, many Indians concluded they could rule India better than the British could. They had forgotten what it had been like before the British came. Thus, under pressure, British rule of the second-most-populous nation on earth ended in 1947. This rule of India by the British had not been consciously sought, but by a fluke of history, it would seem to many, they stumbled into an Empire including rulership over India's hundreds of millions. Speaking of Britain winning the rule of India from the French, Portuguese, Dutch and the Sultans, the famous historian, Seely, said that "the British won [India] in a fit of absence of mind." Truly, they hadn't planned it that way; but there is a Creator-Ruler God in heaven who rules over the nations of this earth (Dan. 4:25, 34 & 35). He builds up nations and empires with many or few. It took only 5,000 Britons to rule India. If you want to know the real truth as to why it was the British who won control over India, and established the world's largest, most benign empire (ruling over one quarter of the earth), then be sure and read our free book entitled The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy. But as of now, over two decades since India gained self-rule, many thinking Indians are beginning to realize their troubles were not caused by the British. They can see that twenty-two years of self-rule hasn't changed the overall picture of poverty, illiteracy and human wretchedness which has existed in India for thousands of years.
Is Democracy to Blame?
Many in India are beginning to question or even blame the parliamentary democratic system for all of India's troubles. They are seriously thinking that some other system of government might improve their lot. Many are considering a type of state socialism very similar to the state-owned and state-run system of Russian communism. Even though Nehru (India's first Prime Minister) had been trained at Harrow and Cambridge, he was never fully persuaded that the British system of parliamentary democracy was best for India. "Indeed, the younger Nehru became more and more attracted by communism; after a four-day visit to Soviet Russia in 1927 he wrote: 'Whatever its faults, communism is not hypocritical and not imperialistic' " (India, Taya Zinkin). Nehru spent his last years trying to lift India out of the "cow-dung age" and into the atomic age. But he, like the British before him, soon learned that it isn't an easy task to change the religious, social and political ideas and customs of four or five hundred million Indians. The road to true, lasting progress in India will be a long, uphill climb all the way! Nehru found that many domestic and foreign problems seemed almost to defy solution. Prominent Indian governing officials have said the caste system has done more to shackle the peoples of India than anything else! They are frustrated by their powerlessness to find the solution to this problem. Some Indians feel that Nehru's most serious mistake in conducting India's foreign policy was his obsession with Pakistan and his complete overlooking of China as India's foe. During the 1950's the slogan Hindi Chini, Bhai, Bhai "Chinese and Indians are brothers" was familiar in India. When communist China overran Tibet, Nehru supported Peking on the ground that Tibet was, after all, only a province of China. But he got his eyes opened when the Chinese began to encroach upon India's Ladakh territory, and began to lay claims on the Northwest Frontier Agency. Today, India is quite friendly with the Russians. But the recent success of the pro-Peking communists indicates the Chinese brand of communism is making a rapid comeback.
Signs of Communism
While we were in India we saw little Chinese activity, but many obvious indications of Russian (communist) influence. In Calcutta we saw obvious outward signs of communist influence their slogans prominently displayed. Furthermore, the Russian Admiral, Gorshkov, made a tour of India in the early part of 1968, seeking, among other things, a Russian base in the Indian Ocean. Our plane from Bombay to Moscow was filled with Indians. India's trade with Russia and the communist countries has more than tripled since 1961. In 1966, India negotiated a billion-dollar arms deal with the Russians for the purchase of tanks, planes, submarines and small arms. India's purchase of a 1.3 billion dollar steel mill from Russia further underscores Russia's efforts in that country. The Sino-Indian border conflict temporarily favored Russo-Indian relations. Russia is very happy to have even an impoverished nation like India for her ally, because this will give her certain psychological and military advantages in her struggle against the West and against the Chinese communists. Yet, in spite of all these Russian communist efforts, the Chinese communists were the real winners in India's February elections.
India's Communist Party
Many in the Western world have not realized that right now the communist party is the second most powerful party in India and has the second highest number of seats in parliament. The seeds of communism have been sown all over India. Several Indian states are known to be communist strongholds, especially Kerala and West Bengal, as the recent elections made obvious. It is a well-known fact that communism thrives on poverty, squalor and human wretchedness. No affluent nation has ever espoused communism. That is why Calcutta's deep poverty makes that city an easy prey for communists. Calcutta, remember, has been referred to as "the world's worst city," and "the world's biggest slum." Since poverty and illiteracy are so common in India, it may not prove too difficult for the communists to take over the entire country. One of the main obstacles to a communist take-over is Hinduism. The Hindus are deeply religious. Communism is atheistic. There would be, of course, some bloodshed. But there would not be anything like the bloodshed which occurred in Russia when the communists took over that country during World War I. It is not so easy to rouse the Hindu Indians to organized violence because so many of them, by religion, are against taking life in any form. But Hindus are prone to spontaneous riots and acts of emotionalism leading sometimes to disorganized local violence.
Who are the peoples of India? Where did they come from? It will come as a surprise to many to learn that the racial origins of the Indians are made plain through the Scriptures. The peoples of India, in major part, descend from Ham, one of the three sons of Noah. One of Ham's sons was named "Put" or "Phut" spelled either way in the Scriptures (see Gen. 10:6; I Chron. 1:8). Both the Hebrew Bible and profane history especially Arabic and Persian sources demonstrate that the descendants of Put migrated eastward from Mesopotamia and settled in what we call India. The Hebrew word "Put" means a warrior. The word "Rajput" means "king or chief of Put (Encyclopedia Britannica, art. "Raja"). The rulers of India have often been referred to as the "Rajputs." They were the warrior-rulers of India. Furthermore, some descendants of another of Ham's sons, Kush or Cush, also settled in India. These Cushites once lived in the area called Hindu Cush. Today there are Cushites in India as well as in Ethiopia and other far-flung regions. And it is well known that the Parsees are the descendants of the ancient Persian peoples. Some of the Indians are very dark like the dark Cushites of Ethiopia (where the Western branch of Cushites settled) while many of the Indians are not quite so dark.
India to Go Communist?
Many in India especially in government circles fear a possible communist take-over. Present-day indications point to the strong and imminent possibility of India being engulfed by communism either in a somewhat bloodless coup, or by a more bloody revolution. India and communist Russia have been drawing closer and closer through the years. India is becoming more and more disenchanted with democracy and with the Commonwealth. British papers recently stated that Mrs. Indira Gandhi had hinted that India might even withdraw from the Commonwealth. Some in Britain feared India would turn more completely to Russia, and away from the Commonwealth. At this year's Commonwealth meeting in London, Mrs. Gandhi told us that she and her government don't fear a communist take-over in India. But, time will tell if she is correct.
An Amazing Prophecy
An amazing prophecy, written thousands of years ago, reveals that India will eventually be allied with the COMMUNISTS not with the West astounding as that may seem! The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel speak of a number of nations allied against Israel. Notice the names of those attacking nations who will come up "against the mountains of Israel" (Ezek. 38:8). What are those nations, or peoples, who, according to this prophecy, will attack the nation of Israel? Verse 2 mentions the peoples of Gog and Magog, of Meshech and Tubal (or Moscow and Tobolsk). Allied with them will be the Persians, some of the peoples of "Ethiopia" (Heb. Cush) and "Put" or "Phut." Any good marginal reference will show that the word "Libya" (verse 5) is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word here translated "Libya" is "Put" or "Phut." So we see that the peoples of Phut and of Cush (meaning the modern-day Indians) will be allied with the communists of Russia, China and the Orient. Since India is inhabited by peoples of Phut, Cush and even some of the Persians (today called Parsees) it becomes quite clear that India will either be taken over by the communists, or else will be very closely allied with them at the time when these communist nations invade the "land of Israel." The 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel are known to be yet future. No one claims they have already been fulfilled. These amazing prophecies are beginning to take shape right before our very eyes. Watch Bible prophecy! Watch India! You will not have long to wait to see these sure prophecies come to pass before your very eyes.
India's Only Hope
Even though India will finally sever her ties with the British Commonwealth and will snuggle up closer to the communists, yet surprising as it may seem the time is coming when the peoples of India will have their hearts turned back to the peoples of Britain. Yes, the peoples of Britain are prophesied to help lift the peoples of India out of their ignorance, poverty and squalor during the coming millennial rule of Jesus Christ upon this very earth! The people of Britain will be a great blessing to the people of India in the wonderful world tomorrow when the long-prophesied Messiah will rule all nations in peace, judgment and in prosperity. This, truly, is India's only hope! Then, and only then, will the peoples of India receive such boundless blessings that we can't even imagine! The Hindus also believe that their god, Chrishna (or Krishna) will return to the earth and rule for 1,000 years. This Hindu belief in a millennial rule is virtually identical with the Jewish and Christian Messianic teaching of the soon-coming Messiah establishing His just rule upon this earth. If you wish to understand, in much greater detail, just how these and other significant world happenings will occur in the near future, then you should immediately write, requesting the free books: The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy, and The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like.