26th January, an interesting coincidence

India celebrates their Republic Day on January 26 when British rule ended in 1949 and the country was partitioned into two Islamic parts – East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and   West Pakistan – and India proper,  the part in the middle. Upwards of a million people died in a frenzy of “ethnic cleansing” during the partition.

One of the great tourist attractions is the Taj Mahal, an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.

It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. There is also a Red Taj Mahal, also known as John Hessing Tomb.

It is is a perfect replica of the Taj Mahal. Hessing was an army officer who worked for the Maratha rulers against the Nizams of Hyderabad. He had a successful hand in the defeat of the Nizams in the Battle of Kardla, which was fought in the year 1795. After his death in 1803, his wife, Alice, built this marvellous tomb so that he could be remembered for centuries.

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7 Responses to 26th January, an interesting coincidence

  1. Rockdoctor

    Small bone to pick Rafe, wasn’t independence 15 August 1947 or are you referring to the break with the British Crown that was January 26 1949 after the promulgation of the Indian Constitution? Quite sure the partition occurred in 1947 and yes there was mass bloodshed between Hindus, Muslims.

    Not meaning to be derail the discussion however I read a book on this subject last year and was very much enlightened to why sub-continentals are like they are.

    Interesting fact off topic Dhobi Ghaut in Singapore translates from Hindi to washermans place. Never understood what a dhoby was till I started traveling, it was an army term my dad who was a Viet vet & served in the 1970’s at RCB used to use all the time that apparently permeated from the British army to ours from Indian origins.

  2. Rockdoctor

    Apologies if a double post. Banned word.

    Small bone to pick Rafe, wasn’t independence 15 August 1947 or are you referring to the break with the British Crown that was January 26 1949 after the promulgation of the Indian Constitution? Quite sure the partition occurred in 1947 and yes there was mass bloodshed between Hindus, Muslei types.

    Not meaning to be derail the discussion however I read a book on this subject last year and was very much enlightened to why sub-continentals are like they are.

    Interesting fact off topic Dhobi Ghaut in Singapore translates from Hindi to washermans place. Never understood what a dhoby was till I started traveling, it was an army term my dad who was a Viet vet & served in the 1970’s at RCB used to use all the time that apparently permeated from the British army to ours from Indian origins.

  3. Rafe Champion

    Yes you got it right, I discovered that I got the date wrong, a mix-up with the 1947 events and the subsequent promulgation of the Constitution. Just got back to the computer. This is the source of the bungle. I wanted to post the picture of the Taj and also the Red replica and mention the bloody record of sectarian violence on the subcontinent.

    A lot of picturesque slang came out of the army like the “furphy”.

  4. Talleyrand

    I prefer the Taj at Disneyland- a better gift shop, and you can drink the tap water


    Private Lives, Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence

  5. Leo G

    The British officers who celebrated the 26th January anniversary date in the early years of British settlement in Australia and the Indian stateman who proposed the same day as a prospective national day for India some two decades before independence did have something interesting in common.
    Most of the British officers were freemasons and Nehru was a Cambridge graduate of the Inner Temple (of Knights Templar).
    All would have regarded the anniverary dates of the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz and the 1564 Council of Trent as auspicious.
    The date was significant enough for NSW Corps officers to recycle it as Rum Rebellion Day.
    Nehru was also mindful of the 1565 Battle of Talikota which marked the end of the Hindu kingdoms and the consolidation of Islamic rule over India.
    The only piece in this train of historical coincidences that doesn’t seem to rate, is an informal toast to King George III partaken on HMS Sirius moored ‘ashore’ in a small cove in Sydney Harbour on the day in 1788.

  6. Titch

    Furphy came out of the first world war, when the horse drawn water cart manufactured in Shepparton, Victoria, was a standard piece of Australian army equipment. When the water cart arrived, so did the latest gossip of the battleground, when many exaggerations and whispers were spread. Which is where “It’s a furphy” came from. Furphy tank ends now reach large prices at clearing sales, with their trademark legend of “good, better best” etc. The Furphy is equivalent to the water cooler in the office foyer, these days.

  7. The Sheriff

    India should have become an independent Commonwealth Realm like Australia and Canada. Would be much better off today if it had done so.

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