Page 55. " Muslim League "


The Muslim League
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Muslim League - Credit: Don.pac

The All-India Muslim League was a political party founded in Dhaka, Bengal, in 1906. It played a key role in the Indian independence movement and became the driving force behind the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan as an independent Muslim state, despite opposition to partition by prominent Indian political figures such as Gandhi and Nehru.  After the foundation of Pakistan, the League formed the country's first government, but disintegrated during the 1950s following an army coup.


Page 56. " ‘The year of the Quit India Resolution’ "
Quit India March in Bangalore
Creative Commons AttributionQuit India March in Bangalore - Credit: Dore Chakravaty

The Quit India Resolution was launched in 1942 by the Indian National Congress as a response to Britain’s inclusion of India in World War II and as a final ultimatum to the British Government.  The movement of Civil Disobedience aimed to achieve the immediate independence of India and found much support among Indians. Large scale protests and demonstrations were held all over the country, workers remained absent en masse and strikes were called. However, despite the call from Mohandas Gandhi to engage in non violent protest, not all demonstrations were peaceful. At some places bombs exploded, government buildings were set on fire, electricity was cut, and transport and communication lines were severed.


Page 60. " ‘Gai Wallah’ "

In his later novel Shame, Rushdie refers to the Bollywood film again with the following description:

“Gai-Wallah. Perhaps you've heard of it? An unusual fantasy about a lone, masked hero who roamed the Indo-Gangetic plain liberating herds of beef-cattle from their keepers, saving the sacred, horned, uddered beats from the slaughterhouse.” (Rushdie, 1983)

Page 73. " ‘when she died he built her a mausoleum which has been immortalised on postcards’ "


Taj Mahal
Creative Commons AttributionTaj Mahal - Credit: J. A. Knudsen

The Taj Mahal is the finest and most famous example of Mughal architecture in India. A mausoleum located in Agra, India, it was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal (“chosen one of the palace”) who died during the birth of their fourteenth child in 1631.

Emperor Shah Jahan was reportedly inconsolable at the death of his wife and went into secluded mourning for a year. On his return he began planning the design and construction of a suitable resting place for his wife, as a monument to her memory and love.

Construction began in 1632 one year after her death, and the principal mausoleum was completed in 1648. The surrounding buildings and garden were finally finished five years later.

Profile of Mumtaz Mahal here >>

Page 75. " ‘The army of Subhas Chandra Bose’ "

Subhas Chandra Bose was a leader in the Indian independence movement famous for his militant stance against British rule of India and conflicts with Mahatma Gandhi over resistance measures.

Popularly known as Netaji ("Respected Leader"), Bose was leader of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms, from 1938-1939, but resigned after openly attacking the Congress' policies. Bose believed that the tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule.

He further advocated violent resistance as leader of the Azad Hind, or Indian Government-in-Exile which he established in Singapore in 1943 and at the outset of the Second World War, he left India, seeking alliances with Germany, Russia and Japan with the aim of attacking the British in India. Bose then re-organised and later led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers, alongside the Japanese Army against British forces at the Battle of Imphal in North East India. They suffered great loses and were pushed back in to Burma.