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Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State

claybaskit

Well-known member
37. Richard Nixon Republican Spiro Agnew 1969-1973 Gerald Ford 1973-1977 1969-1977

38. Edmund Brown jr Democratic Lloyd Benson 1977-1985

39. Charles Percy Republican Howard Baker 1985-1989
 
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TheNixonator

Unironic Georgist
1893-1897: John M. Palmer (Democratic)
1892 (with William Eustis Russell) def. Benjamin Harrison / Whitelaw Reid (Republican) and James B. Weaver / James G. Field (People’s)
1897-1900: Cushman K. Davis* (Republican)
1896 (with Marion Butler; cross-nominated by People’s) def. John M. Palmer / Williams Eustis Russell (Democratic) and Levi P. Morton / various (National Republican)
1900-1901: Marion Butler (Republican)
Replaced Davis
1901-1905: Richard F. Pettigrew (Republican)
1900 (with Joseph C. Sibley) def. George Dewey / Elliott Danforth & Chauncey Depew (Democratic cross-nominated by National Republican)
1905-1908: William Freeman Vilas** (Democratic)
1904 (with George Gray) def. Richard F. Pettigrew / Joseph C. Sibley (Republican)
1908 (with George Gray) def. Albert B. Cummins / Albert Beveridge (Republican)

1908-1913: George Gray (Democratic)
Replaced Vilas
1913-1921: Thomas H. Carter (Republican)
1912 (with Nahum Josiah Bachelder) def. George Gray / James D. Phelan (Democratic)
1916 (with Nahum Josiah Bachelder) def. Simeon Eben Baldwin / Joe T. Robinson (Democratic)

1921-1929: Herbert Hoover (Democratic)
1920 (with J. Campbell Cantrill) def. Nahum Josiah Bachelder / Jeter Pritchard (Republican)
1924 (with Albert Ritchie) def. Jacob S. Coxey Sr. / Harry Wallace (Republican)

1929-1937: Smith Wildman Brookhart (Republican)
1928 (with Gifford Pinchot) def. Royal Copeland / Vic Donahey (Democratic)
1932 (with Gifford Pinchot) def. John Nance Garner / J. Hamilton Lewis (Democratic)

1937-1941: Charles H. Martin (Democratic)
1936 (with Thomas Rhea) def. Homer Bone / Philip La Follette (Republican)
1941-1942: Smedley Butler*** (Republican)
1940 (with John L. Lewis) def. Charles H. Martin / Thomas Rhea (Democratic)
1942-1945: John L. Lewis (Republican)
Replaced Butler
1945-1949: Henry J. Kaiser (Democratic)
1944 (with Frederick Van Nuys) def. John L. Lewis / Bronson Cutting (Republican)
1949-1959: William “Wild Bill” Langer**** (Republican)
1948 (with Huey Long) def. Henry J. Kaiser / Robert Gray Allen (Democratic) and Robert Taft / Howard Buffett (Liberty endorsed by ‘Isolationist’ Democrats)
1952 (with Huey Long) def. Paul A. Dever / Robert Kerr (Democratic) and Robert Taft / William Knowland (Liberty)
1956 (with Wayne Morse) def. Manchester Boddy / Frank Lausche (Democratic) and William E. Jenner / Walter Judd (Liberty)

1959-1961: Wayne Morse (Republican)
Replaced Langer
1961-1969: Harold J. Arthur (Republican)
1960 (with Jeremiah Voorhis) def. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. / Berkeley Bunker & Thomas Werdel (Democratic cross-nominated by Liberty) and Paul Douglas / Vincent Impellitteri (Independent)
1964 (with Jeremiah Voorhis) def. Nelson Rockefeller / Malcolm Buie Seawell (Democratic) and Barry Goldwater / Wallace F. Bennett (Liberty)

1969-1973: Harold Hughes (Republican)
1968 (with Billy Graham) def. Clinton D. McKinnon / Daniel Brewster (Democratic) and Harland Sanders / Curtis LeMay (Liberty)
1973-1981: Allard Lowenstein (Democratic)
1972 (with Philip Hart) def. Harold Hughes / Billy Graham (Republican) and Jack Williams / William Loeb III (Liberty)
1976 (with John J. Gilligan) def. John Sherman Cooper / Wilbur Hobby (Republican) and James Buckley / Hank Grover (Liberty)

1981-1989: George McGovern (Republican)
1980 (with Milhous Nixon) def. John J. Gilligan / Cyrus Vance (Democratic) and Jack Kemp / Phil Crane (Liberty)
1984 (with Milhous Nixon) def. Dixy Lee Ray / Thomas P. O'Neill III (Democratic) and James Buckley / Sam Hayakawa (Liberty)

1989-1993: David Garst (Republican)
1988 (with Bronson La Follette) def. Anthony Iacocca / Gordon Humphrey (Liberty) and Pierre Salinger / Dorothy Richards (Democratic)
1993-1995: Mario Cuomo***** (Democratic)
1992 (with Neil Goldschmidt) def. David Garst / Bronson La Follette (Republican) and Henry Hyde / Pete du Pont (Liberty)
1995-1996: Neil Goldschmidt****** (Democratic)
Replaced Cuomo
1996-1997: George Leland (Democratic)
Replaced Goldschmidt
1997-2005: Norman Schwarzkopf (Independent)
1996 (with John Engler; cross-nominated by Liberty) def. Bronson La Follette / George Sinner (Republican) and George Leland / Bob Casey (Democratic)
2000 (with John Engler; cross-nominated by Liberty) def. Glen Stassen / Isaac Skelton (Republican) and Paul Wellstone / Carl Levin (Democratic)

2005-2017: Billy Blythe (Republican)
2004 (with James P. Hoffa) def. Hillary Trump / Malcolm Forbes (Liberty) and Kurt Schmoke / Jack Reed (Democratic)
2008 (with James P. Hoffa) def. John McCain / Isadore Lieberman (Liberty) and Carl McCall / Lynn Woolsey (Democratic)
2012 (with James P. Hoffa) def. Bill Peduto / Dick Durbin (Democratic) and Earl Johnson / Ovide Lamontagne (Liberty)

2017-2021: Betsy Huber (Republican)
2016 (with John Boyd Jr.) def. Warren Wilhelm Jr. / Michael McGinn (Democratic) and Dick Zimmer / Willard Romney (Liberty)
2021-Present: Frederick Lee Morton (Liberty)
2020 (with Elizabeth Herring) def. Dennis Kucinich / Katherine Clark (Democratic) and Betsy Huber / John Boyd Jr. (Republican)

* Died of lung disease.
** Died of natural causes.
*** Died of cancer.
**** Died of diabetes.
***** Assassinated by the mafia.
****** Resigned after allegations of rape emerged.


Political Parties as of modern day:
Democratic Party: Left-wing to center-left, urban focus, progressivism, economic interventionism, labor unionism, social democracy (faction)
Republican Party: Left-wing to center, populism, social moralism, Grangism, isolationism, cooperative economics, social credit (faction)
Liberty Party: Center-right to right-wing, fiscal responsibility, classical liberalism, libertarianism, internationalism, business interests, social conservatism (faction)
 
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Yokai Man

Well-known member
Crooked Warren or The Impossibility of Change?

1921-1924 Warren G Harding/Calvin Coolidge (Republican)

1920: Warren G Harding/Calvin Coolidge-Republican [211],Herbert Hoover/Franklin D Roosevelt-Independent [200],James Cox/Lawrence Tyson-Democratic [120]

1924-1925 Calvin Coolidge/Charles G Dawes (Republican)

1925-1929 Fredrick Gillett/
vacant (Hung College)

1924: Herbert Hoover/Franklin D Roosevelt-New Dawn [220],Calvin Coolidge/Charles G Dawes-Republican [154],John W Davis/Charles W Bryan-Democratic [141],Robert La Follette/Burton K Wheeler-Progressive [16]

1929-1933 Finis J Garrett/vacant (Hung College)
1928: Franklin D Roosevelt/Herbert Croly-New Dawn [200],Frank Lowden/Charles Curtis-Republican [164],Al Smith/Joseph T Robinson-Democratic [161]

1933-1937 Bertrand Snell/vacant (Hung College)
1932: Franklin D Roosevelt/Phillip La Follette-New Dawn/Progressive Alliance [245],Al Smith/Huey Long-Democratic [140],Frank Lowden/Joseph I France-Republican [140]

1937-19xx Redford Tugwell/Elmer Benson (New Dawn/Progressive/Farmer-Labor National Salvation Pact)
1936: Redford Tugwell/Elmer Benson-New Dawn/Progressive/Farmer-Labor National Salvation Pact [279],Frank Know/William Borah-Republican [117],John Nance Garner/Millard Tydings-Democratic [110],Huey Long/John Brinkley-Common Men [12],William Randolph Hearst/Alvin M Owsley-Rebirth [8],Norman Thomas/George A Nelson-Socialist [3]
 

Wolfram

a single, distant, very loud, yeehaw
Location
the Velvet Coffin, Texas
Pronouns
he/him
Presidents of the United States (inspired by @Vidal)
1977-1981: Jimmy Carter (Democratic)
'76 (with Walter Mondale) def. Gerald R. Ford (Republican) [1]
1981-1982: Gerald R. Ford (Republican) [2]
'80 (with Buddy Cianci) def. Jimmy Carter (Democratic)
1982-1983: Buddy Cianci (Republican) [3]
1983-1984: Tip O'Neill (Democratic) [4]
1984-1985: Silvio Conte (Republican) [5]
1985-: Lawton Chiles (Democratic)
'84 (with Jim Mattox) def. Jon M. Huntsman Sr. (Republican) [6]
'88 (with Jim Mattox) vs. Buddy Cianci (Republican), Elliot Richardson (Constitution) [7]

[1] The nomination of Buddy Cianci for Rhode Island's Senate seat, and his use and usefulness as a surrogate for the Ford campaign, pushes the President's campaign into the Rust Belt. When November rolls around, Ford wins Ohio, Wisconsin, and the popular vote - but Carter takes Oregon, Oklahoma, and three out of Maine's four electors, and with it the Presidency. Republicans seethe.
[2] 'Miss me yet?' say the buttons, and America does. Reagan botches expectations management by staying out too long and allowing Ford to lock up the institutional Republican party and use John Anderson as a Washington Generals for the conservatives, then alienates the base by violating the Eleventh Commandment and doing his level best to monster Ford. It doesn't work. Ford rallies, picks fresh young Senator Cianci as a running mate, and wins the election in a walk.
[3] John Hinckley got caught stalking Jodie Foster and was in jail at the time - but Christopher John Lewis was still around, and when President Ford visited New Zealand in 1982, his rifle didn't miss.
[4] Cianci's corruption was visible enough that the House was already considering convening hearings before Ford's untimely death - but between the sympathy bounce, the rise and fall of Bill Janklow's nomination for the Vice Presidency, the sagas of Dan Rostenkowski and Jim Wright muddying the waters, and the desultory War in Lebanon, the matter was delayed. Still, it couldn't be delayed forever, and Cianci chose to fall on his sword and leave the door open for a future effort.
[5] O'Neill elected to stay on until the Republicans could pick a replacement, but that proved more difficult than expected - Bob Michel, Trent Lott, and Newt Gingrich feuded over the caucus nomination, allowing Silvio Conte to squeeze through on a platform of solidifying the Cianci legacy among white ethnic voters.
[6] Both the Democrats and the Republicans wanted to nominate outsiders, people above reproach for the clusterfuck of the past few years. But plenty of swing voters distrusted Huntsman for his Latter-Day Saint faith, and others simply didn't gel with his personal style, while Chiles married down-to-earth Southernism with personal ethics that were beyond reproach.
[7] Will that and his successful healthcare reforms be enough to compensate for ongoing deindustrialization and the undeniable charisma of Buddy Cianci, the 'local boy made good' who survived the powerful trying to knock him down for doing the right thing? Only time will tell, though observers have noted that the Chiles campaign this time is a lot lower-energy than last time.
 

Edmund

政治ギャル、永田町を叱る!
Location
Tynemouth
Pronouns
he/him
4939-4946: Tommy Brewer (Luthorian Workers')
4939 (Coalition with National Movement and New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Revolution), Bennet Reed (Communist), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Levi Ford (Conservative), Edward Montgomery (Country)
4943 (Minority coalition with National Movement and New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Revolution), Jackson Brumby (Country), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Levi Ford (Conservative), Amahle Inyone (Pirate)
4944 (Minority coalition with National Movement and New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Revolution), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jackson Brumby (Country), Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Levi Ford (Conservative)


The recount in St. Richard's North remains the greatest 'what if?' Luthorian politics. Thirty years of Luthorian history made by thirty votes between the Luthorian Workers' Party and the Communists when the result was finally declared after two days of counting. With it, a coalition of the Luthorian Workers' Party and National Movement with the support of (and inclusion of a minister from) the New Luthorian Church had 76 seats and a majority in the Diet. Countless electoral petitions were filed and dismissed. All the efforts of the establishment, the months of negotiations after the 4935 election that had seen the Communists and Peoples' Revolution form a coalition with Conservative and Country backing, had ultimately come to nothing: on the 15th of November, Tommy Brewer became prime minister.

But the narrowest of majorities would not have even been possible were it not for a Church dispute and the intransigence of all but the Luthorian Workers' and National Movement parties in refusing to recognise the 'New Luthorian Church' splinter as a legitimate religious group. Incensed by the repeated refusal, the NLC had finally announced that it would be running and endorsing candidates against the parties responsible for its 'persecution'; on election night, even as the Luthorian Workers' Party and National Movement fell against their opponents' carefully-crafted electoral pacts, 16 NLC-aligned candidates entered the Diet. Equally, though, had the National Movement not managed to completely alienate the Country Party during the Attridge ministry they and their coalition partner would have had a lot more room.

The New Luthorian Church would not, however, allow the coalition they supported to simply do as it wished. The proposed Segregation Act, "against the Hosian ideals", was defeated with their votes. "If the New Luthorian Church are truly such good Hosians how is an attempt to impose racial segregation not a deal breaker for them in coalition negotiations?" asked one opposition MID. "We are on a mission sent by God. If no one else is willing to help on that mission we will work with the National Movement. We will not support segregation," said the Church's leader, Jonathan Keeper.

This, at least, meant the government's bigotry was restrained to it being led by the man who had owned the Malivian libs by eating a parrot and getting food poisoning. "Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Prime Minister's claim is that it is far from the most deranged thing he has said to date," said Pirate leader Amahle Inyone when Brewer informed the Diet that his government had received thousands of letters from "Luthorian women complaining that their fiances and prospective husbands have been lured away by the charms of Duka-worshipping, dark-eyed, saree-wearing Malivian enchantresses," and was introducing legislation (which failed, of course) to "end this threat once and for all."

Just as the National Movement had alienated the Country Party, however, so did they end up alienating the New Luthorian Church. When the Church's supporters in the Diet voted to ban paramilitaries, Louise of Hurrington warned the NLC that the National Movement would "not tolerate the presence of a New Luthorian Church minister in the cabinet when his party votes with the left". In response, Keeper announced that he would begin negotiations with the opposition's 'rainbow coalition'. Furious at the National Movement's actions, which now threatened to leave Ord permanently in the wilderness as the NM had been for decades, and their recent votes for secularisation, Brewer announced that the coalition was over. Snap elections were called for once again. The newly-rebranded 'Ord', as the Luthorian Workers' Party now was, kept first place with a net gain of two seats and almost double the total of the Peoples' Revolution, which lost nine. Even still, Brewer knew that no coalition could be formed with him leading it; with the alternative being a Peoples' Revolution-Pirate coalition supported by the Conservative and Country parties, he agreed to back a different candidate as prime minister.


4946-4951: Levi Ford (Conservative)
4946 (Coalition with Ord, Country, New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs, and Empire Forwards!) def. Tommy Brewer (Ord), Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Revolution), Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Jackson Brumby (Country), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Edward Fennessy (Empire Forwards!), William Maugham-Ponsonby, Duke of Middenriding [de facto] ("Duke's Men" independents)
4950 (Coalition with Ord, Country, New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs, and Empire Forwards!) def. Tommy Brewer (Ord), Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Jackson Brumby (Country), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Communist Party), William Maugham-Ponsonby, Duke of Middenriding [de facto] ("Duke's Men" independents), Edward Fennessy (Empire Forwards!)

4951-4951: Levi Ford (Conservative-Country-New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs-Empire Forwards! coalition)
4951-4956: Levi Ford (Conservative)
4951 (Coalition with New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs, Country, and Empire Forwards!) def. Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Jackson Brumby (Country), Edward Fennessy (Empire Forwards!), Patrick Duncan (Peoples' Communist Party)
4953-4953: Levi Ford (Conservative-New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs-Country coalition)
4953-4955: Levi Ford (Conservative)
4953 (Minority coalition with New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs and Country) def. Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Jackson Brumby (Country)
4955-4955: Levi Ford (Conservative-New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs coalition)
4955-4956: Levi Ford (Conservative)
4955 (Minority coalition with New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Amahle Inyone (Pirate), Ethelwin Paglesham (Alliance), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs)

Ford was a prime minister who never should've been; and yet he was. As a young rising star in the Conservative government of 4914-4919, he had been widely tipped as a potential successor when leader Erin Romney stood down over the Luthorian Workers' Party decision to align with the National Movement, but instead chose to support Peterson's successful campaign for the leadership. Over the next eighteen years, as the Conservatives continued to alternate between further decline and slight improvements, he served as a party spokesman in various roles, succeeding Peterson as leader after his retirement in 4937. By 4946, having led the party to three performances each worse than the last, the Conservatives were ready to junk him. The state of the party's finances was such that it refrained from running in the 4945 ducal elections. As it was, the party's performance on election night 4946 was its worst since the 4760s.

But his combination of cabinet experience with near-elder statesman status instead made him the perfect candidate to lead a unity government, Brewer being unpalatable to Country and Edward Fennessy's Empire Forwards! party. The cabinet he formed, with Brewer as Deputy Prime Minister, would turn out to be one of Luthori's longest-lived. The government's programme, as voted on by the Diet, was to "reform the ducal electoral system", "establish a commission to explore introducing a separate, ceremonial head of state", but offered "free votes otherwise: this is primarily a government of constitutional reform". The government would accomplish no constitutional reform whatsoever; in effect, Ford's time in office would be as little more than a caretaker ministry.

One of the first moves overseen by the government was a two-point tax raise on Luthorians earning more than £15,000 a year. Introduced by Ord due to a budget deficit, the proposal passed despite Conservative opposition with support from the Pirates and the abstention of the Peoples' Revolution party. Conservative proposals to deregulate the economy were defeated with the opposition of all the coalition's other members with the exception of Ord; a bill to devolve powers over food, health and safety, and smoking laws to the duchies was more successful, passing the Diet narrowly. Attempts to have the Diet ratify the Confederate Neutrality Treaty were frustrated by Conservative opposition and complaints from the Duke of Middenriding that Luthori's southern neighbour had stolen his family's ancestral lands (taking the opportunity to demand their return).

Foreign Secretary Ray Sivewright from Ord proposed the diplomatic recognition of the Union of Communist Councilist Republics, just so that he could vote against it and have his party "register our most fervent disapproval of Red Dranland"; never let it be said that Luthori is not perfectly capable of being petty. The Diet also voted against an initiative by the Duke of Middenriding to abolish prisoner of war labour, Ord and the National Movement coming together to oppose the bill, and the Pirate and Peoples' Revolution MIDs 'accidentally' missing the vote. The Diet would, however, vote for his proposal to legalise hugging and kissing in public; "This is a slippery slope. What will we allow next? Men wearing shorts? Women wearing trousers? I should hope not," protested Brewer to no avail.

A National Curriculum would be established in 4947 after a proposal from the National Movement. The Duke of Middenriding became a YIMBY hero after asking (that is, having one of his elected MIDs) the government in the Diet to bypass local bureaucrats who were 'holding things up' on his plan to build a new housing estate outside Martwick. The Diet voted to implement a no-first-use policy on weapons of mass destruction - the military would've ignored it if Luthori had any. Political restrictions on trade unions were abolished, with only the National Movement voting against. More powers were devolved to the duchies. The Pirates managed to abolish software patents after one government backbencher missed the vote. In conclusion, the Ford ministry was a government of contrasts.

One of the few successes that could be said to actually be the government's was the 4947 publication of an integrated defence and foreign review authored by defence secretary Vic Scoles. Plotting out the future expansion of the Luthorian armed forces and the direction of the country's foreign policy, the Scoles Report came after centuries of governments having neglected the international scene, something that had only recently changed with the Attridge and Brewer ministries and their look to an alignment with the (former - as of 4970, in perhaps more sense than one, with the recent rise of the Native Confederacy to power in Likatonia) settler colonies in North Seleya. It is notable that Scoles has remained in his post even under the Paglesham government, and will be overseeing the first launch of a Luthorian aircraft carrier in centuries later this year; with that, it is widely expected that he will seek to end his 24-year career as defence secretary on a high note and retire.

"Louise of Hurrington: 'Ord has betrayed the interests of the Luthorian citizens and made a deal with the Luthorian Conservative Party. We now have a Prime Minister from a party that received less than 10% of the vote. Ord is clearly showing which side they are on by allowing the political elites and the particracy to form a coalition with them. Mr. Brewer has no plans for the future and is only thinking of his own self-interest. This new government has no agenda and will not pass economic reform to improve the lives of millions of impoverished Luthorians. That is something we cannot accept.'

Interviewer: 'But you did make a coalition with Ord, didn't you?'

Louise of Hurrington: 'Yes, we did for many years. At the time Ord was a big, popular party with clear policies. Then we began to understand what was going on. Ord began to side with the New Luthorian Church, which passed left-wing policies, including disbanding our paramilitary unit. Ord said: this is OK, get on with it. But I said: no! This party must be ousted from the coalition. And that's what started this whole crisis. That's why in 4950 the NM has to be the first party, so we can have a strong mandate and lead this country with our policies. I think the mask is slowly coming off and many people now understand what kind of party Ord is.'"


The Diet passed the Armed Forces Act 4949, overturning the no-first-use policy introduced less than two years before. The Duke of Middenriding became a beautiful and attractive progressive when he spoke out against the introduction of a religious test for entry to the armed forces, which under Luthori's conscription laws effectively criminalised atheism or belief in a religion other than Hosianism (though the government has been reluctant to apply this, except against its outspoken political opponents). When the National Movement proposed the so-called 'Banning the Left Act', Ord did what is commonly known as 'did a little trolling' by moving an amendment designating the National Movement as leftist 'for fulfilling the anti-racist, anti-national, and progressive criteria'. "The National Movement is anti-the Luthorian race and nation, with its close ties to Gishotoi supremacists and hatred of our patriotic government. It has also voted for secularist legislation seeking to 'progress' by removing Luthori's explicitly Hosian character from the law. With that in mind, my party shall be voting for this bill with the amendment," said Brewer.

With the government's first term coming to a close, the nation went to the polls in January 4950.

"Despite analysts saying that the party would make a significant breakthrough, possibly even take first place from Ord, our exit poll has the National Movement in fact losing - against all predictions! - three seats."
— Luthorian Broadcasting Corporation election coverage

"Even Ord's own insiders privately expected, as the polls projected, that they would lose perhaps twenty seats and fall to second or third place. Instead, the party has stayed the largest in the Diet for the seventh election in a row, losing only five seats. Why?"
Fort William Inquirer

Louise of Hurrington: "The results are not what we expected. The National Movement, the only right-wing opposition force to this government of political elites, has lost more than 1 million votes. We may have lost one battle, but we are not defeated. In this election, there was no real winner. The Ord disappointed a lot of people and made its worst result since 4923, a weak 23%. There are also countless factions in the Diet: a party for junkies, a party for farmers, MIDs for the New Luthorian Church, even MIDs for the Duke of Middenriding. The only good news is the continuing decline of the Communists. That's why we need a strong National Movement, a strong leadership! We need to have a way out of this particracy! When victory comes, the traitors will go to prison. Now the political elites will form a cabinet without us, again! We will once again be the main far-right opposition party. The duchy elections will take place in 4 months, let's get ready and shake up the system."


The National Movement went down in flames at the ducal elections in April, winning only Orange, having won at the 4945 election all five duchies in alliance with Ord. Later that year, a private members' bill proposing the banning of the internet as a 'Satanailic contrivance' was soundly defeated.

Having survived an election thought to be its doom almost unscathed, the defeat of Ord would ultimately be at its own hands. Only a year after its miraculous 'victory', in January 4951 some of the party's backbenchers would put forward a 'Segregation Act'. Although their theory of race and discrimination upon it was significantly different to the National Movement's, the latter saw an opportunity to at least partially advance their aims and to split the government.

This worked perfectly. The coalition partners privately talked and, facing the prospect of the government being brought down, Tommy Brewer decided upon a course of action that he, the former arch-racist, surely understood the inevitable consequences of. That spring conference, having previously had no provision for it, he proposed changing the party's rulebook to allow the leadership to expel from the caucus members of the Diet who were 'bringing the party into disrepute'. Factions came to literal blows on the conference floor. By the end of it, the party was no more. The party's radicals left for the National Movement, and the remainder voted to dissolve the party into the Conservatives. Snap elections were called for October. The Conservatives and National Movement surged, Empire Forwards! and New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs made gains of eight seats each, and the other parties stayed where they were. The Duke of Middenriding's lot had been banned from standing for (re-)election after it came out that the progressive hero had been intimidating his tenants into voting for them.

The second half of the Ford ministry would stand in sharp contrast to its first. After five years of little happening in the government itself - Ford was 'the grey man' - came five years of near-constant scandals. In late 4952, both Empire Forwards! and the Peoples' Communist Party were dissolved by the courts for the illegal use of public funds. Protests of innocence and then "I didn't know anything about it," amounted to nothing, and snap elections were called for January 4953. The Pirates surged - taking all of the PCP's seats and then some - while the National Movement and New Luthorian Church (Luthori's Komeito in more ways than one, scandal-free in a scandal-ridden government) made minor gains. The Conservatives fell from first to fourth place. When the Country Party was dissolved for the same offence, disgruntlement turned to outrage. Snap elections were called, the Pirates ran a suspiciously well-funded online campaign that saw them capture a third of the seats, the newly-formed Alliance led by ex-bureau-securocrat Ethelwin Paglesham came out of nowhere to take second place, and the Conservatives lost more than half their seats.

And outrage turned to farce. As the Ford government hobbled on with less than a quarter of the seats, this time it was the Pirates in the opposition who were found to have illegally used public funds and dissolved by the courts. Snap elections were called yet again, while Louise of Hurrington led a demonstration of 200,000 protesters in the streets of Fort William demanding the prime minister's resignation. This time the Alliance took first place in terms of seats, though coming second behind the New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs (tactically backed by much of the left) in terms of votes cast. The Conservatives, though in last place, doubled their seat count - this time, at least, it had been the opposition and not the government with the scandals.

The National Movement had come third, with a campaign that both called democracy "a broken system" (advocating instead a hereditary Imperator from the Hurrington family) and thundered against "the useless anti-democratic government". It was surprisingly environment-focused otherwise, following the party's recent environmentalist turn led by its youth wing: the Alliance was "out of touch with reality" with its opposition to the National Movement's green proposals. Paglesham hit back hard: Louise of Hurrington, of all people, was a 'watermelon', "green on the outside and red on the inside". Turnout at the 4956 election was the lowest since the 4555 general election 401 years before.

Louise of Hurrington: "The dissolution of the Pirates is a victory for the National Movement. It is our movement's influence that put the pressure on the deep state to ban harmful crazy parties."

How little she knew.


4956-4961: Ethelwin Paglesham (Alliance)
4956 (Coalition with New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Louise of Hurrington (National Movement), Levi Ford (Conservative)
4959 (Coalition with New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs) def. Alexander of Hurrington (National Movement), Jonathan Keeper [de facto] (New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs), Joseph Brown (Monarchist Tory)

4961-4964: Ethelwin Paglesham (Alliance-National Movement coalition)
4964-4970: Ethelwin Paglesham (Alliance)
4964 (Coalition with National Movement) def. Alexander of Hurrington (National Movement), Joseph Brown (Monarchist Tory), Jonathan Keeper (Union of Luthorian Hosian Churches)
4969 (Coalition with National Movement) def. Alexander of Hurrington (National Movement), Joseph Brown (Monarchist Tory), Jonathan Keeper [imprisoned] (Union of Luthorian Hosian Churches)


Ethelwin Paglesham was born to a civil servant on the 9th of January 4905 in Arford, Duringland, a duchy-within-a-(stem) duchy so conservative that even the language was. He attended Arford Grammar School, moved away from Duringland when he went on to the University of Northminster, and then came back to Duringland to follow in his father's footsteps and work as a bureau-securocrat himself in Thwireford. Fifteen years of making his way up the ladder, and he married the granddaughter of a friend of his father's. A life story not dissimilar to that of hundreds of thousands of other not-too-distant relatives of landed gentlemen. After a few years, it turned out that his wife Winifred would be unable to have children; and so Paglesham devoted himself to a life of local public service as an alderman, to earn a legacy of having his name on a foundation stone.

In the dying days of the Brewer government when he first won election to the city's council, the national stage was nowhere in his mind. But like many a good Luthorian (near-)gentleman, he was infuriated when the Ford ministry turned from its steady course of the status quo (with the carrot of a restoration) to the unfortunate but inevitable corruption of career politicians. Of course. Who manages the finances, especially those of government members? Who runs the courts? Who is in the private members clubs? Why would the government come to a halt if the Diet ever tried to forbid the use of titles of nobility? Even after an interregnum of almost four centuries, Luthori was still the Holy Luthorian Empire.

Immediately following the election result, the National Movement attempted to reach out to the Alliance and form a coalition. Paglesham rejected these overtures, instead opting for an arrangement with the New Luthorian Church, receiving the support of NLC-aligned MIDs in return for a number of cabinet positions. Another condition would be the reunification of the 'new' Church with the mainstream Church, on favourable terms to the former and with appointments to Church offices; uproar from the Alliance backbenches was smoothed over thanks to deals with factional leaders, and the abstention of much of the opposition when it came to vote in the Diet.

The first years of the Paglesham government would be dominated by the discovery and release by genealogists at the University of Richbrough of letters revealing that the last Orange-Villayn emperor, Charles IX, had in fact declared one of his natural children legitimate shortly before his death in 3841. Although many conspiracies emerged suggesting that the letters were forgeries, the letters were determined by the vast majority of academics to be genuine, and with a definitive heir – found to be living in a Fort William slum – to rally behind the government introduced legislation to restore the monarchy. Attempts to get the bill through the Diet would, however, be frustrated by National Movement opposition, the party still angered by Paglesham's refusal to negotiate the formation of a government with them.



The Church (Settlement) Act passed in 4957, finalising the appointments the New Luthorian Church had demanded. So did the Diet Act, extending the legislative term from 4 to 5 years. The Environment Bill introduced by the National Movement (and called by them the 'Saving the Environment Bill'), providing for fishing quotas and pollution restrictions, was defeated 91 to 34. The party's Segregation Act would meet with more support, passing narrowly, but was rendered irrelevant by the decision on the part of Luthorian Covenant Society-aligned members of the Alliance to move an amendment clarifying that segregation would be on the basis of their bizarre division of the world into two races of believers and unbelievers. The National Movement refused to support the amendment, and the Alliance backbenchers in turn the bill's original provisions.

Louise of Hurrington resigned the presidency of the National Movement in 4958, succeeded by her 24-year-old grandson Alexander of Hurrington, hitherto president of the party's youth wing and the driving force behind the National Movement's environmentalist turn. That year a new Segregation Act passed the Diet, clarifying segregation to be between 'the two races of believers and unbelievers', and ever since then atheists and non-Qedarites (following a complicated legal challenge and theological debate that disputably determined God, Elyon, and Akim were 'the same words in different languages') unwilling to convert or lie about their faith have been treated pretty poorly.

Food, healthcare, and education were all devolved to the duchies, while a National Movement motion to declare climate change 'a serious issue' failed. The Conservatives voted at their party conference to dissolve, with many of its members joining the Monarchist Tory Party that had been founded two years before (though the Tory tradition is a venerable one in Luthori, dating back to when the Catholics were still 20% of the population two and a half thousand years ago). Snap elections were called, which saw the Monarchist Tories win one more seat than their de facto Conservative predecessors, while the combined vote share of the New Luthorian Church-aligned MIDs collapsed as the left-wingers who had tactically voted for them deserted over the Church's support for the Alliance. There was now finally a majority in the Diet for the restoration of the emperor, which finally succeeded on the third attempt. The emperor's coronation was to be held in 4960.

After the vote succeeded, Transport Secretary Enmond Buckenham made a polite enquiry as to why the National Movement had voted against the restoration.



His Majesty Eowin VI was crowned Holy Luthorian Emperor in St. Richard's Cathedral, bringing an end to an interregnum of almost four centuries. It was the first time a Luthorian emperor had taken the Orange-Villayn name since the death of the emperor's direct ancestor Charles IX in 3841. Thousands of guests were in attendance at the cathedral, including prime minister Ethelwin Paglesham, and millions more lined the streets of Fort William to wish their new emperor well.

Shortly afterwards the Hurringtons had their titles, noble status, and the privileges derived from the two stripped from them – for "their open betrayal of the imperial line and declaration that they wanted Alexander of Hurrington and 'not an unknown emperor' to be head of state" – on the prime minister's advice. Hurrington was quick to protest.

"The new Emperor appointed by the government decided to strip me and my family from our titles of nobility. I believe it is a clear insult to all our voters. The Emperor is the puppet of the Alliance. With its millions of supporters all across the country, the National Movement will fight against this fraudulent restoration for a free and independent country.

Luthori needs a real leader and not a puppet of the Alliance. I know a lot of people are angry against this fraudulent, illegal restoration, where the Emperor is not neutral but against us, against the millions of people who trust our movement.

When we take our country back, those who betrayed us and appointed this political Emperor will go to jail for treason! LONG LIVE LUTHORI!"


The Imperial Household released an official statement saying that the role of the monarch "is to follow the advice of the prime minister", and that given the circumstances not following Paglesham's advice would have been a direct breach of the emperor's neutrality. "It is because the emperor is apolitical and not political that the prime minister's advice was followed." Paglesham said that Alexander of Hurrington's actions were "obviously, entirely treasonous" and that he should be "thankful he is not in court."

The Data Act (expanding surveillance), Public Order Act (expanding police powers to disperse crowds), and the Public Records Act (effectively ending freedom of information) passed through the Diet in the afterglow of the coronation. Government almsgiving and the workhouses were devolved to the duchies. The Duke of Middenriding's brother, George Maugham-Ponsonby, suggested that the Charles IX letters had been 'awfully convenient' for prime minister Ethelwin Paglesham and cast doubts as to their veracity; he was found dead in an apparent suicide.

Alexander of Hurrington ran for governor in the far-right stronghold of Orange, losing in a landslide to Alliance candidate Peter Amesbury - though the ducal elections did see his party take control of Northriding from supporters of the New Luthorian Church in a campaign marked by religious polarisation and tension (and, as at the national level, the NLC's left-wing tactical voters abandoning them). The National Movement's new ducal government introduced food standards, health and safety laws, a 35-hour work week, a ban on industrial hemp, a ban on displaying the LGBT flag, and ethnic profiling guidelines for the police.

With the National Movement neutralised, Paglesham turned his attention to the New Luthorian Church. Although he had made the deal with them, him being practical when necessary did not distract from the fact he was – like his less pragmatic backbenchers who had opposed the deal – a traditional conservative from Duringland. Using their opposition to the Judiciary and Policing Reform Act introduced by the National Movement and supported by the Alliance as an excuse, that summer he arranged for a meeting with Alexander of Hurrington and stabbed the Church in the back.

Furious, the NLC announced the formation of the 'Union of Luthorian Hosian Churches' as a political party to oppose the government. Hurrington publicly reconciled with and acknowledged the Emperor, making an oath of his and his family's loyalty. The Hurrington family's noble titles, status, and privileges were restored shortly afterwards. Despite accusations from the Church of "using the Emperor as a pawn in their bribery", Paglesham insisted that the decision had followed "months of discussion" and that it had been planned before the recent rapprochement between the Alliance and National Movement.

The National Movement re-entered government for the first time in almost twenty years, Alexander of Hurrington being appointed Deputy Prime Minister. Paglesham dined at the Hurringtons' eponymous ancestral hall, and a government programme was agreed to: the rooting out of any 'anti-national' and/or 'politically biased' elements amongst the army of government employees (curiously, this unofficially did not apply to government supporters); the loosening of restrictions on contraception, which would now be allowed on prescription for married couples; the bringing of the Bank of Luthori back under government control; the censorship of international media; an end to the policy of forest clearance; restrictions on international aid; and – silently – a reduction of penalties for blasphemy.

The Hosian Union's proposed Human Rights Act, proposing to end religious segregation, was defeated 91 votes to 59 that September.

Over the remainder of the term the Diet would also vote to 'empower local governments to make their own decisions regarding foreign investment and how best to encourage it', give 'local governments in areas with high unemployment the ability to make laws regarding the employment of non-citizens', implement a ban on research into human cloning, require all films to receive government approval to be viewed, and introduce mandatory sentences for all crimes. Due to the unfortunate placing of a semicolon in the rush to cover all criminal offences, knocking and running is now punished with death.

4964 was the first time in fourteen years that a diet had lasted its entire scheduled duration. Both the Alliance and National Movement saw losses, but their coalition kept its majority. In its first moves of the new Diet, the government abolished the 57% tax band, reduced welfare spending by £3 billion, required businesses to introduce profit-sharing programmes for workers, introduced preferential government hiring for ethnic Luthorians, and reintroduced penal servitude.

The 4965 ducal elections saw the coalition lose Shipleyriding to the Monarchist Tories and Orange to the Hosian Union. His Majesty The Emperor married Wilhelmina Anke von Faust-Essen, a princess of the former Dorvish ruling house and the third sister of the current claimant to the throne of Dorvik, in a ceremony at St. Richard's Cathedral; in attendance at the imperial wedding were members of the bride's family and Luthorian aristocracy, among thousands of others, including the prime minister Ethelwin Paglesham - who had been reported to be urging a match for some time - and deputy prime minister Alexander of Hurrington. The Imperial Diet offered its congratulations to the emperor on his marriage.

The government continued: the police was militarised; the education system reformed; pollution restricted; and the opposition censored. Media critical of the government, or publishing material it simply did not approve of, was now forbidden. And the New Luthorian Church's claimed second coming of Elijah was found dead, with a DNA test revealing him to be the illegitimate son of Jonathan Keeper; the coroner's inquest into the circumstances of the death has still not yet been completed. But what should've been the end of the New Luthorian Church, as the other churches that had joined the Hosian Union abandoned it, ended up strengthening it when Keeper was arrested on suspicion of fraud; conspiracy theories abounded that Keeper had been set up, that 'Elijah' really was who he claimed to be, and that the government had killed him.

The government increased its majority, and turnout at the 4969 election was even lower than it had been in 4956. The opposition now consists of a radicalised cult on one hand and a party of pointy-headed intellectuals and eggheads on the other. And the left, meanwhile, increasingly looks to the Luthorian Anarchist Federation and its leader the Masked Man of seven centuries before…


Addenda:


Results of the 4969 Worldfest song contest





"Let the Luthorians party. They have nothing else. And rejoice instead that you have woken up in Kalistan."
The Kalistani Republic



"GOOD MOOOOOOOORNING! Just wanted to remind you that The Lace's Pineapple (yes, THE Lace from Luthori) is confirmed as the winner of the 4969 Worldfest song contest! Make sure to save your money for the limited edition commemorative record so you can cash in on Luthori's time to shine!

>NONONONOOOOOO! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE KALISTAN'S TURN AGAIN! I WAITED YEARS FOR THIS SHIT! IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!
"No!"

Sorry, we kept trying to warn you that your "literally who" country could never compete with the success of Luthori, but unfortunately you refused to listen. Day after day you continued to hold on to some false hope that the judges would pity your socialist hellhole with another victory. Unfortunately, no one cares about your hipster tripe. Guess you gotta deal with the hard truth that only good songs win Worldfest! But don’t worry, at least you now get to see Worldfest hosted by a country worthy of the slot: the one-and-only Luthori!"
 
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lerk

Well-known member
1947 - 1952: Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian National Congress) [1]
1951 def: Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha)
1952 - 1955: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Indian National Congress)
1955: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Swatantra Party)
[2]
1955 - 1960: T. T. Krishnamachari (Indian National Congress) [3]
1955 def: Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Swatantra Party), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1960 - 1967: N. G. Ranga (Swatantra Party) [4]
1960 def: T. T. Krishnamachari (Indian National Congress), Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1965 def: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (Indian National Congress), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian Socialist Party), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)

1967 - 1970: Jayaprakash Narayan (Popular Front/Indian Socialist Party) [5]
1967 def: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (Indian National Congress), N. G. Ranga (Swatantra Party), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Amin Ahsan Islahi (Jamaat-e-Islami), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1970 - 1975: Yashwantrao Chavan (Indian National Congress) [6]
1970 def: Minoo Masani (Swatantra Party), Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian Socialist Party), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Amin Ahsan Islahi (Jamaat-e-Islami), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1975 - 1980: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Swatantra Party) [7]
1975 def: Yashwantrao Chavan (Indian National Congress), Abdul Qayyum Khan (Indian Muslim League), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Abdul Ghafoor Ahmed (Jamaat-e-Islami), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1980 - 1994: Morarji Desai (Indian National Congress) [8]
1980 def: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Swatantra Party), Abdul Qayyum Khan (Indian Muslim League), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Abdul Ghafoor Ahmed (Jamaat-e-Islami), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1985 - 1986 def: S. V. Raju (Swatantra Party), Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi (Indian Muslim League), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), Sita Ram Goel (Communist Party of India), G. M. Syed (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1990 - 1991 def: S. V. Raju (Swatantra Party), George Fernandes (Indian People’s Party), Ebrahim Sait (Indian Muslim League), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)

1994: Sharad Pawar (Indian National Congress) [9]
1994 - 1998: Ishaq Dar (Swatantra Party) [10]
1994 def: George Fernandes (Indian People’s Party), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), Sharad Pawar (Indian National Congress), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)
1998 - 1999: Birender Singh (Swatantra Party) [11]
1999 - 2000: Lalu Prasad Yadav (Indian People’s Party) [12]
1999 def: K. S. Surdashan (Hindu Mahasabha), Birender Singh (Swatantra Party), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), Jalaludin Umri (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Sanjay Gandhi (Indian National Congress), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)
2000 - 2001: Mulayum Singh Yadav (Indian People’s Party) [13]
2001 - 2011: Benazir Bhutto (Swatantra Party) [14]
2000 - 2001 def: K. S. Surdashan (Hindu Mahasabha), Mulayaum Singh Yadav (Indian People’s Party), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Jalaludin Umri (Jamaat-e-Islami), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party), Sanjay Gandhi (Indian National Congress)

[1] - The road to India’s independence was more fraught then what an outside observer might think. It was not marked by much violence, and as hindsight would show would eventually be an inevitability as the British, along with other colonial powers, would find it increasingly difficult to hold on to large colonies following the end of the Second World War. And yet, the process could have very much been complicated. Throughout the Indian independence struggle a movement emerged calling for the separation of the Muslim areas from the Indian Subcontinent and turning it into its own separate state - Pakistan. The movement would continue to grow in size and in popularity with the Muslims of India, yet would be cut short when the leader of the separatist All-India Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, would die of tuberculosis in 1940, shortly after the declaration of the Lahore Resolution, which called for an independent Pakistan. Without a clear path forward, the AIML found it difficult to make its case to the British Crown, and eventually the decision was made to let India become independent, undivided. On July 1st, 1947, the flags of the British Raj were pulled down and replaced with the flag of India. The All-India Muslim League was forced to change its name and its separatist ideology with one merely calling for the preservation of Muslim interests in India.

However, sectional tensions remained even after independence. The Hindu population wasn’t quite sure if it could trust a Muslim population which wasn’t so long ago was calling for a separate state. The continued existence of the All-India Muslim League, in spite of its rebrand, could possibly lead to a system in which, all the Muslims vote for one party whereas the Hindus vote for another. The sectionalization of electoral politics was a scenario which Nehru was repulsed by, and would try to do anything in his power to break the back of the League. Most of the leaders of the League in Muslim-majority areas such as Sindh, Punjab, and Bengal tended to be wealthy landlords - Nazimuddin, the leader of the League in all of India, was one of them. As such, Nehru felt that by embarking on vast land reform, he could break the finances of the Muslim League. He achieved support for this even by non-socialists within Congress, who shared a desire to crush the League. The 1950 Land Reorginization Act, passed just a year before the elections (so as to prevent the Muslim League from recovering in time), would set the maximum amount of land to be owned to be at 30 acres. The suddenness of this reform - opposed by the League - would work at first as Muslim League branches in some towns found itself unable to fund itself. However, come 1951, most Muslims would still vote for the League, as they had felt that Nehru had not done enough to help the Muslims in India. The League managed to portray land reform as anti-Muslim, a portrayal accepted by the majority of Muslims.

Foreign policy wise, Nehru tried to orient India into a non-aligned position as the world powers were dividing themselves into blocs based on political ideology, either under America and the Montreal Pact, the Soviet Union and EUTO (Eurasian Treaty Organization). Nehru did not believe that India, the most populous country in the world, should be a lackey of any of the three blocs, not under the Soviets, nor under the Americans. But being non-aligned did not mean being isolationist. This was shown in 1950 when the Republic of China began to mobilize troops along the border to annex Tibet, India recognized Tibet and sent soldiers to Tibet in order to prevent any annexation of it. This prevented a Chinese annexation of Tibet, much to the dismay of the United States which wanted to expand China’s power in the region. India’s refusal to become aligned with the Soviets had ensured its status as a separate, non-aligned nation. One of Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel’s last acts before his death was to move India into annexing Sikkim and Bhutan, two states in the Himalayas both of which were a British protectorate during the Raj period. Patel did not see much of a reason for their continued independence seeing as how they would have to rely on India on pretty much everything from water to electricity to monetary aid etc. essentially making it impossible for them to be truly independent from India, and as such it would be in the best interest of Sikkim and Bhutan to become a part of India, thus formalizing what would have been a de facto relationship had they remained independent. It was said that Patel wished to do this with Nepal as well, however Nepal was much larger, was more independent even during British rule, and wasn’t as willing to become a part of India despite the fact that the relationship that Sikkim and Bhutan had with India was essentially becoming true with Nepal as well. Nevertheless, Patel died before he could do anything vis a vis Nepal, thus securing its status as an independent state.

This would not be the only foreign policy issue to dominate Nehru’s tenure. So too would the issue of the Pashtun areas in India play a part. This became readily apparent when Afghanistan voted against India’s entrance to the UN - the only nation to do so. Afghanistan wanted a repeal of the Durand Line and a return of all of the Pashtun areas of India to Afghanistan, and was rather dismayed that the British chose to leave without first consulting them. Afghanistan also refused to recognize India as an independent state until the issue was resolved. Nehru was, at first, sympathetic to the Afghans due to anti-colonial stance and was willing to give up FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Afghanistan. However, he faced stark opposition from those in Congress, believing that letting go of Indian territory could potentially set a bad precedent. Instead, a separate idea was proposed by Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel, who stated that the Pashtun areas should be allowed in India so as to arouse Pashtun nationalist sentiments, which would express itself in the elections. Their main opponent would be the Muslim League, who would then find itself having to deal with more than one political opponent. For every rupee the Muslim League spends on a candidate against a Pashtun Nationalist, they don’t spend it on a candidate against a Congressi. An interesting idea to be sure, one which Nehru eventually got around to supporting, and one which ended up with his death at the ends of an Afghan Nationalist on January 29th, 1952.

[2] - One issue that would dominate Rajagopalachari’s tenure was the same issue that got him in office in the first place, that of Afghanistan and the Pashtun areas in India. Rajagopalachari’s government had contacted Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the “Frontier Gandhi”, otherwise referred to as “Bacha Khan”, a staunch opponent of the erstwhile Pakistan Movement, to issue his support for the Durand Line and for India’s presence in Pakhtunkhwa. However, Bacha Khan was a lot more reluctant to take a pro-government position, instead believing that the Afghan Government had legitimate grievances. Rather surprised by this reluctance, and also the fact that Nehru’s assassination, Said Akbar Babrak, was revealed to have had ties with tribal Pashtun leaders and was a part of a Pashtun separatist network, had led to the Indian Government coming to the harsh but unavoidable conclusion that the Pashtunistan issue would be a much more difficult one than expected. It was not long until there were reports of security incidents within the tribal areas, with some of them even consisting of casualties of police officers and border patrol agents loyal to the Indian Government. Like its more dysfunctional neighbor to the east, Burma, India too was facing the beginnings of a separatist insurgency.

As proposals were drafted up for an eventual crackdown on separatists in Pakhtunkhwa, Rajagopalachari received a letter from a Major-General named Ayub Khan, who was also a Pashtun, and despite coming from a Muslim background he wasn’t that religious, in which he said that the Indian Army shouldn’t send Hindu or Christian soldiers to Pakhtunkhwa to participate in the crackdown, at least not in large numbers, to deal with the Pashtun separatists lest they make out the operation to be a religious war. Further, he called for the implementation of President’s rule in Pakhtunkhwa. While Rajagopalachari did not consider President’s rule to be necessary at this time, he nevertheless trusted Ayub Khan’s expertise in dealing with the Pashtun population on account of his ethnic background. He would be promoted and placed in charge of the bulk of Indian soldiers in Pakhtunkhwa. Ayub Khan would overplay his hand in Pakhtunkhwa, and would be noted for his excessiveness in dealing with the population there. He would make a mountain of a molehill of separatist activity in Pakhtunkhwa in order to justify his actions, and would exaggerate said activity in written reports to his superiors in New Delhi. All this would do was alienate some of the more moderate Pashtuns, such as Bacha Khan, who would later form the Pashtun Awami Party, which was a nationalist, yet not separatist, party of Pashtuns calling for negotiations with Afghanistan and the cessation of operations in the area.

Yet what would end up dooming Rajagopalachari was not Pakhtunkhwa or the anti-Hindi agitiations in Madras. His insistence on economic liberalism and on markets would end up alienating much of the Congress leadership, who were socialists in the vein of the late Nehru, and what would end up becoming the final straw would be his open rejection of the Five Year Plan which had been in place since 1951. He would make moves to repeal it and would refuse to listen to other Congress leaders, which even if they were not as socialist as Nehru considered Rajagopalachari’s intrasignece to be an insult to the memory of the man who led India’s independence struggle and was killed for his commitment to its unity. The other Congress leaders would make moves to eventually get rid of him in a palace coup of sorts. Facing increasing pressure and finding it unable to work with Nehru’s cabinet and the party leadership, Rajagopalachari would eventually declare his departure from the Congress Party and declare the formation of the new Swatantra Party. Over 60 members of the Lok Sabha would switch over, but in the end all this did was make things easier for Rajagopalachari’s opponents in Congress who managed to force through a vote of no confidence and call for new elections. Though the Swatantra Party managed to hold course and not spectacularly collapse (as was the hopes of some Congress leaders), they still lost in a landslide to the Congress Party.

[3] - Seeing as how the main disputes were because of differences in dealing with economics, who better to put in charge of India than the finance minister himself. Krishnamachari became Prime Minister at an increasingly precarious time. With a part of India on the verge of open revolt, the Congress Party, while still dominant, having gone through a split, one could not really envy him. However, he was confident in his ability to make things right. India would be a better place by the time he’s done with it.

Of course, these things don’t tend to be as simple, and in Krishnamachari’s case this wasn’t an exception. First issue was the big one - Pakhtunkhwa. The crackdown had failed in its purpose after two years of its beginning. What’s worse, with Afghanistan surrounded by the USSR, along with two EUTO members (Iran and East Turkistan), they managed to make an image of themselves within the halls of Congress and in the Pentagon as an important ally. As such, it would receive billions in aid money from the US, along with advanced military technology, and Afghanistan chose to send quite a bit of those new guns to separatists in India. The Pashtun cause found some supporters within the State Department, who were annoyed at India’s socialism and stubborn non-alignment. India found few friends within the West, which instead tended to sympathize with Afghanistan. The last straw - one that tipped public opinion of the West in favor of the separatists, was the Orakzai Massacre on January 29th, 1956 in which 29 civilians accused of helping separatists were shot. The massacre was publicized by Afghan embassies and consulates within the United States and in the European countries. This was both a PR disaster, and one which many within the Indian Government found itself personally disgusted by. The decision was made a week later to dismiss Ayub Khan and replaced him with General Muhammad Musa Khan Hazara.

Musa Khan was a Hazara Shia, and his family, along with most other Hazaras in India, had fled Afghanistan into Balochistan after the genocidal campaigns waged against them in the 1880s by the Pashtun Afghan king Abdurrahman Khan. And while Musa Khan did not hold any grudges against Pashtuns - it would be unbecoming of a professional soldier to do so, and one does not become a general being unprofessional - it did lead to some alarm among ordinary Pashtuns. Pashtun nationalists began to sound the alarm of a revenge seeking Mongol with a hatred against Pashtuns and Sunnis in general at the employ of daalkhor (Pashtun term for those east of the Indus River, Hindu and Muslim both, meaning “daal eater”) Hindu polytheists ready to avenge his ancestors. This framing led to an increase in recruitment for Pashtun separatist militias, but it was also false. Musa Khan had showed an exemplary professionalism in dealing with the insurgency, much more than his harsh predecessor, Ayub Khan, did. By 1959, the number attacks and incidents began to fall sharply, and infighting between Pashtun groups due to ideological differences (the use of religious framing led to many Islamists joining the struggle, and needless to say they didn’t quite like the more secular nationalists) just further hurt their cause.

Another issue which would end up being solved during Krishnamachari’s tenure would be that of Hindi imposition. Being a Tamil himself, he was always against the imposition of Hindu as a national language, speaking against it at the constituent assembly just a year after India’s independence and terming it as “Hindi Imperialism”. He put his words into deed during his tenure and removed Hindi’s status as the official language. Official government documents would continue to be written in Hindi, but in English too.

But despite his initial successes, what ended up dooming Krishnamachari was his own self. A leak to the press around the beginning of election season in 1960 exposed a scam in which Haridas Mundhra, a Calcutta-based industrialist and stock speculator got the government owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest 13 million rupees into his companies. What made this leak interesting was that Prime Minister Krishnamachari was involved in the scam, and this could not have happened without his approval. This had hurt Krishnamachari’s reputation, and calls for his resignation were plentiful. However, he dug his heels and refused to do so during an election campaign. All this did was ensure the defeat of Congress.

[4] - Yet this did not mean that the Swatantra Party managed to win, at least, at first. They had won a small plurality of seats and won the popular vote by a smidgen, yet could not make a majority government. It was then that the leaders of the Indian Muslim League realized that they had suddenly become some of the most powerful people in India. And it wasn’t long until everyone else did too. Congress’s screams of bloody murder, that Swatantra was openly dealing with traitorous closet secessionists fell on deaf ears as Ranga went to Lahore to meet with Nazimuddin to discuss a coalition government. In a way, this was not as unexpected as one may think. The League was the party of Muslim landowners. Due to their affluence, they were not taken in by religious leaders as some of their middle class co religionists did, those who voted for Jamaat e Islami (the Muslim underclass, which found itself at the service of this elite, voted alongside their bosses) And it was due to their affluence that they found themselves negatively impacted with Nehru’s land reforms and were even more hostile to him and the Congress than in the past. And it was the Hindu landowners who too began to feel animosity towards Congress and who were responsible for funding Swatantra. This coalition was thus a secular coalition consisting of the landowning elite of both religions.

This did not mean that land reform was reversed, though. It would simply be too big of an issue if they were to move with this. A lot of landlords found themselves bankrupted and as such couldn’t really buy back the land anyhow. But Nehru’s legacy would have to be dismantled in some way, and it was decided that it would be the Licence Raj, along with his non-alignment, that would be the ones to go. Over the next five years, every facet of the Licence Raj was being done away with in favor of a pro-market liberal policy. This “shock therapy”, as it was called, did indeed lead to the Indian economy becoming more unstable as these sudden changes were occurring. The Congress Party managed to get the other leftist parties and even some sympathetic members of the Hindu Mahasabha to oppose some of the more extreme changes, and indeed it was this opposition that prevented “shock therapy” from truly doing a number on India.

There was one aspect of the liberal economic program under the Ranga government which did have much more far reaching effects than others. That was the attempted privitization of Indian Railways. The announcement of a privatization came as a surprise, and even by some Swatantra members many believed that it was a bridge too far. Many railway workers, fearing that their livelihoods would be negatively impacted with privatization, took to the streets to strike against it. In Odhisa a heavy crackdown took place leading to the deaths of over 20 strikers. The fact that there was a Congress Government in Odhisa (Congress had opposed privatization, but the Odhisa Congress Party stated that the crackdown was needed for purposes of securing law and order) had led to the already existing rift between ardent socialists and the Congress Party to become much larger, and eventually, led to the creation of the Indian Socialist Party. Ultimately, privatization was defeated as even some members of the Swatantra Party and the Muslim League chose to vote against acts which would begin the process of privatization.

Non-alignment was something easier to get rid of. Both Swatantra and the League were pro-West, and believed that an alliance with the United States was in the best interests of India. Ranga would make the meeting with President Johnson the first foreign meeting of his premiership. With the Licence Raj being dismantled, US investment- both governmental and non-governmental - began pouring into India. This would help India’s economy and, along with a successful operation taking back Portuguese India in 1964, would lead to another victory for the Swatantra-League Coalition in 1965. Furthermore, India being an American ally would lead to pressure being applied on Afghanistan to stop funding Pashtun militants. However, India would soon have to hold up their end of the bargain.

To India’s south would be Indonesia. Indonesia resembled India in many ways - it was a large, multiethnic, multifaith, once-colonized nation which did not have any inclinations towards either the United States or the Soviet Union. It was for this reason that Indonesia and India had good ties throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, it had experience internal strife much worse than anything India had at that point. Be it pressure from communists or from Islamists, the Indonesian President Sukarno saw no other choice than to embark on an autocratic “guided democracy” system, yet that just made things worse. In 1964, an attempted coup d’etat by the military (which ended in his assassination) in response to his inclinations towards the left had led to a civil war in Indonesia, with leftists, Islamists, the Military, and separatists all fighting each other. A bomb blast at the American embassy committed by Communists on March 30th, 1965 would give America a casus belli to enter in support of the Indonesian military, bringing along Australia and New Zealand. In India, the pro-West tendencies of the Ranga Government meant that there was considerable support within it to have India involved as well. This would lead to a firestorm within the Indian political sphere, with every party except Swatantra, the Muslim League, and the Hindu Mahabhasha against it. But despite the domestic opposition to it, the United States attempted to entice India such as by promising billions more in aid, along with military aid in which the weapons are worth just as much. Eventually, Ranga would be forced to accept sending a few detachments of the Indian Army to Indonesia to act as a peacekeeping force.

The announcement led to vast opposition within India, and arguably marked the start of the worldwide anti-Indonesia War movement. India’s soldiers soon found themselves in the foxholes alongside Americans once it became clear that being a mere “peacekeeping” force wasn’t going to be tenable as Communists and Islamists began shooting at them. Reports of American and Australian crimes just led to more opposition to the war amongst Indians. While many in the Ranga Government hoped that, at the very least, involvement in the war would be unify Indians regardless of religion, ethnicity, caste, or class, it actually exacerbated existing tensions. Many Indian Muslim soldiers found themselves tempted by the propaganda of Islamist forces in Indonesia, and there would be reports of defections and soldiers refusing to fight them (this was a part of a larger global trend, shown in a similar civil war in Turkey after the military couped an Islam-oriented government, which led to another civil war between putchists, leftists, Islamists, and separatists). This led to Hindu and Sikh soldiers being distrustful of their Muslim comrades, a distrust which was obviously felt by them even if they were never openly told of it. At home, it ironically did unify Indians regardless of division against the war. The Muslim populace was of course against the war, and could not understand why the Muslim League, though it talked endlessly of securing the rights of Muslims at home, was willing to embrace getting involved in a war which overwhelmingly hurt Muslims. This discontent was eventually shown when 20 Muslim League MPs, lead by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, split from the League in order to declare the formation of the Muslim Socialist Party. This announcement meant that the Swantantra-League Coalition no longer held a majority of seats, forcing a new election.

[5] - The 1967 Indian Election was perhaps the strangest of elections, yet when one digs deeper one finds it easier to understand. Perhaps the biggest question has to relate with the winner - how come did the Congress Party lose at a time of an unpopular Swatantra Party government, even though they had been seen as the main opposition? The answer to that question is rather simpe - the Indian Socialist Party, after managing to get a much better than expected showing in 1965, still had enough momentum to manage to defeat both the Congress Party (still recovering from 1960) and the Swatantra Party. Had the elections gone as planned in 1970, it is likely that the ISP would have lost quite a fair bit of their momentum and it would’ve been a Congress victory. The Congress Party had also made Neelam Sanjiva Reddy his leader, which, despite the urgings of his many advisors, did not take up a populist tone throughout the campaign and as such lost quite a fair bit of supporters to the Indian Socialist Party.

One part of the election which stood out was that the Indian Muslim League no longer had a monopoly over the Muslim vote in India. Their support for involvement in Indonesia had hurt them, and they were attacked by both the left-wing and the right-wing of the Muslim political spheres for it. This would be a pretty monumental election in this regard, and its effects would last to this day. This also led to vote-splitting which led to quite a few weird results taking place, like in Bengal, where a member of the Hindu Mahasabha ended up winning in a 51% Muslim constituency.

Narayan would begin his term by announcing the end of Indian involvement in Indonesia. This was rather easy, and something there wasn’t much opposition to this move. So too would Narayan move to re-establish negotiations with the Kingdom of Afghanistan at the behest of their coalition partner, the Pashtun Awami Party. Narayan knew that giving up the Pashtun areas was a bridge too far, one that would not find much support among Indians, one which even he didn’t really support. But he had to do Something. For one, the Americans which had been invited to India were getting rather antsy with a Communist Party within a ruling coalition government, and Narayan didn’t want a re-establishment of the American-Afghan alliance which would set Pakhtunkhwa on flames as in the 1950s. Further, the “Popular Front” government was holding on by a thread, and with the exit of one party the whole thing falls apart. Narayan knew that he had to do something to make the Pashtun Awami Party happy. Eventually, a compromise was found, in that while India would not cede any territory to Afghanistan, Afghan citizens and Indian citizens in Pakhtunkhwa would be able to move between borders without having to deal with the usual protocol when it comes to crossing borders (of course, any Afghan wishing to go to India beyond Pakhtunkhwa and into Punjab, Balochistan, or Jammu and Kashmir, would, in fact, need papers). Indian laws would still apply in their part of Pakhtunkhwa but none of them were that offensive to Afghan sensitivities. Narayan was hailed by his party, and many members of the opposition, for being the one to have solved the Durand Line problem which had led to the death of the first Prime Minister and dominated the 1950s. Foreign policy wise, Narayan sought better ties with the Soviet Union, and further, would declare India’s support for movements such as the anti-colonial fighters in Angola along with the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

Domestically, Narayan would find it much more difficult to push through his agenda. While he did have his successes, such as pushing through the 1968 Film Act, which had managed to rein in Bollywood’s excesses (unknown to him, this had saved millions of lives, and in this author’s view Narayan is worthy of a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize), his moves towards nationalization would find opposition from the Swantantra Party, the Muslim League, and by many members of the Indian National Congress. The first act of nationalization would relate to coal - India’s energy needs were not being met by private coal companies, as such, they would have to go. Narayan had managed to take enough socialists from the Congress Party and populists from the Hindu Mahasabha to vote against their party leadership, and thus, the coal industry was nationalized. So too did Narayan succeed in nationalizing the banks, one of which was the Bank of India. These radical policies caused shocks in India’s economy and would make him unpopular amongst the general populace.

What would end up dooming Narayan, however, was foreign policy. 1970 would see the end of the ten-year Civil War in Turkey, which saw that partition of Turkey by the Soviet Union and Greece, with the former taking many once Georgian and Armenian areas and making them a part of the Soviet Union, leaving just a rump Islamist Turkish state in its place. In doing so, the USSR would ethnically cleanse the Turks there and would destroy their mosques. This would cause a firestorm across the entire Muslim World, with even leftist currents among it feeling uneasy at the whole thing. The Muslim Socialist Party would condemn the displacement of Turks, and would try to nudge Narayan to get on their side. Narayan, who wanted to make it clear to his naysayers that he wasn’t going to turn India into a Soviet satellite, would condemn the annexation and the Soviet Government, but in doing so would alienate the Communist Party of India, which saw the condemnation as a betrayal, and would leave the Popular Front coalition. In doing so, it no longer had a majority, forcing a new election. It can thus be said that it was the Muslim Socialist Party which brought Narayan into power, but also got him out of it, and it was Narayan’s desire for peace that brought him into power but also led to him losing it.

[6] - A Nehruvian Socialist, Chavan became the leader of the Congress Party mainly because people believed he would have taken enough voters from the Indian Socialist Party to win. But in the end, socialist or not, Chavan would’ve won mainly because by the year 1970 the Congress Party was becoming synonymous with steady governance, as it was under Nehru and Krishanamachari when politics were considerably more stable than after the latter. If he had been a liberal, he would’ve taken voters from the Swatantra Party, and he would’ve still won.

Despite his victory, Chavan proved to be little different than his predecessor. He did not wrap himself in the red flag, which may have made him more palatable to the West, but in his deeds, he would not reverse any of Narayan’s reforms nor govern much differently than what he planned. This was either very good or very bad depending on who you asked. But Chavan’s greatest opponents would come not from the opposition but rather from his own party. The right-wing of the Congress Party, led by Morarji Desai, which had the same economic views as the Swatantra Party but was also on board with Congress’s non-alignment policy as opposed to the pro-Western policy of the Swatantra Party, would lead the charge against further nationalization of private industries. Chavan didn’t really plan on dealing with them at the outset of his premiership, which is why when he began to move forward on bank nationalization, he was surprised to see one member of Congress after another voting with the opposition against it, eventually leading to its defeat.

But perhaps the issue that would define Chavan’s premiership would be that of communal tensions. The issue of religion in Indian politics was never one that went away though it had not been propagated by any of the major parties. What would be the spark the would re-ignite religious tensions would be the selection of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the leader of the Swatantra Party and thus the new leader of the opposition. It was not surprising that someone like Bhutto would be involved in the affairs of the Swatantra Party as he had come from a background similar to many of its supporters, that is, he was the son of a land-owning family in Sindh who lost a lot of their land during Nehru’s land reforms. While Bhutto was in America at the time, and was a member of the Muslim League, he was profoundly impacted by this, and would chose to join the Swatantra Party after returning to India in 1955, believing that a secular party such as the Swatantra Party could do more to oppose Congress’s left-wing reforms than the more exclusive Muslim League. By making Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the leader of the Swatantra Party, many Hindus would have to grapple with the question of whether or not they would vote a Muslim for Prime Minister. Riots and pogroms have happened in the past, albeit mainly in rural areas meaning that it didn’t really impact the urbanites in India and as such didn’t make the news. But it did cause a lot of friction between Hindus and Muslims, and this friction was shown due to Bhutto becoming the Leader of the Opposition.

Tensions, slowly but surely, built up until October of 1973, during Ramadan. That was when a strand of hair, purportedly belonging to the Prophet Muhammad, was stolen at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar. The news caused considerable concern amongst Kashmiris and Muslims across India. The spark would be the announcement that the thieves were a few Hindu teenagers. Thousands of miles away in Bengal, a land dispute between Muslims and Hindus was occurring in Dhaka, the leader of the Muslims being a man named Muhammad Azam, who would use the news of the Hazratbal incident to whip up a frenzy in his support. Members of his family, along with his supporters, would begin attacking Hindu shops and businesses on October 15th. While this may have ended there as just a small episode of violence which didn’t last more than 24 hours with all the perpetrators arrested and tried, what ended up happening was the entrance of RSS members and other members of Hindu Nationalist organizations who chose to take the law in their own hands and attack not just the perpatrators but also other Muslims as well. Riots in Dhaka would then continue for the next few days, with violence beginning to spill over as Hindus began to attack Muslims in the Hindu-majority areas of the Bengal province. Within two weeks, every major urban area in Bengal was in flames with religious violence, with only villages with a clear population disparity of one religion or the other being spared. In Uttar Pradesh on November 1st, an attack on Hindu pilgrims in Ayodhya (though who would be the killers is a subject of debate to this day - with many claiming that it was a false flag) would leave 10 dead in a very gruesome manner, and would just inspire an attack on part of Hindu parties against Muslim worshippers, leaving 32 dead. The violence would soon spread across Uttar Pradesh, and eventually to Bihar too as it was between Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Most of North India would thus be at the center of the some of the worst pogroms in human history. Chavan would be forced to use the military against the rioters, setting a rather bad precedent but one which he felt was necessary. The riots would end by December, with over 5,000 dead, most of them Muslim, with many of the bodies never being found. In an attempt to save face with the Muslim population, who blamed him for a slow response, Chavan would announce the banning of the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, and Jamaat-e-Islami, along with numerous other organizations, both Hindu and Muslim, accused of playing a role. However, these bans would just lead to widespread criticism from both groups, Muslims blaming Chavan for playing a “both sides” routine, and as for the Hindus, reactions ranged from support (mainly from Congressis and those to their left), to concern regarding free speech (this was the main argument of the Hindu Nationalists but there were secularists who were also concerned), to anger. They would take the issue to court, but eventually Chavan would be forced to lift the ban after six months, fearing even more violence if the courts chose not to rule their way.

The 1973 North India Pogrom, as it was called, would set a shadow over Chavan’s premiership. It would be the main event anyone could remember from it. He no longer had the trust of the overall Muslim community due to his late response. Hindu Nationalists, to some success, managed to portray the violence as being started by Muslims and thus making them deserving of what happened to them. All this would do was set the stage for even more violence in the latter half of the decade.

[7] - Ultimately, Bhutto won the election as a result of three main factors. The first one was rather obvious- the average person did not feel as if they were better off now than when Chavan came to power. In all democracies, if you fail to make people think as if they are better off than when you assumed office, let alone actually make them better off, it is difficult for you to be given another mandate. The second reason is darkly comedic - the voters who were steadfastly against a Prime Minister with an, err, strange name found themselves divided between voting for the Hindu Mahasabha, who shared their views on Muslims, and the Congress Party, who presented the best chance at beating Bhutto. Further, the Mahasabha, after just being banned, wasn’t able to recuperate in time to launch a full fledged campaign. Nevertheless, the Mahasabha managed to, in a first, get their number of seats up to the triple digits, mainly in the rural Hindu areas where the Swatantra Party tanked. The third reason consisted of mere rumors and innuendo, but would nevertheless be revealed in 2004 to be factual. That would be of American involvement in the election. America, after witnessing eight years of a socialist, non-aligned India, chose to interfere in India’s elections by covertly funding Bhutto’s campaign. As Shahnawaz Bhutto, Zulfikar’s youngest son, would state in an interview 30 years later: “We came to power on a CIA Train”. America had suffered a bloody nose in Indonesia and was eventually forced to withdraw in 1975, but nevertheless maintained an interest in the region as they wanted to prevent more countries from following the path of Indonesia. If guns and bombs wouldn’t do it, then perhaps more secretive means will, and in India, it worked. The election would also see a resurgence in the Indian Muslim League’s fortunes, as after a rough last two elections, managed to now use the alliance with the Swatantra Party to their advantage as now Bhutto was in charge and thus would be more amiable to Muslim interests than anyone else. A vote for the League was thus a vote for Bhutto.

Bhutto did hold up his end of the bargain vis a vis the United States. He had reversed all left wing reforms done by the Narayan and Chavan administrations. Further, he moved to a more pro-US position in the region, but even he managed to cause a few headaches for them by taking a stand against the pro-US Hashemite Arab Federation, which had developed a system of segregation, much like to that which had once existed within the American South, against the Shia population, and Bhutto, however irreligious he was came from a Shia family, and most of the Shias in India voted for the Swatantra-League coalition in greater numbers than they had previously. Bhutto also continued India’s support for anti-colonial movements across Africa.

But like with Chavan, Bhutto’s biggest issue would be of religious disputes. While there would be a lot tensions during election season and immediately after the results, it amounted to nothing. Indeed, the rest of 1975 and much of 1976 would be quiet in this regard. It was then, on October 28th, 1976, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his wife Nusrat were visiting Assam to rally support for the Swatantra Party in the upcoming Assembly Elections that a few shots from an abandoned building would end up becoming a “declaration of war” on part of Hindutva extremist groups against the Indian state. Bhutto was unharmed, suffering only a shoulder wound, yet the same can’t be said of his wife who had taken the majority of the bullets. She would eventually be declared dead just hours after arriving at the hospital.

The attack had shocked the nation, with even the Hindu Mahasabha not finding any joy in the death of a middle aged woman. Personally, it had shaken Bhutto up tremendously. Cynical as he was he had been emotional at his wife’s funeral. The killer would be captured just hours after the attack, and would’ve been revealed to have been part of a larger network which had been aiming for anti-Muslim pogroms just after the Bhutto’s planned killing. This network had stretched from RSS shakas to police departments to local politicians. These local politicians had links with much of the Hindu Mahasabha leadership in the state. It would be then that, partly out of delirium from his wife’s death, and also because he wanted to get rid of a political opponent, that Bhutto would make the decision to ban the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, and practically every Hindu right-wing group in a crackdown which far exceeded his predecessor’s.

In response, the Hindutva organizations tried to repeat what they had done previously in order to get unbanned, that is, make it so that it would be either allowing them to operate or face the threat of more violence. But this situation was different - they did not kill Chavan’s wife. Bhutto remained undeterred. When they tried to change their name to circumvent the ban, they were banned again. But Bhutto never threw anyone who wasn’t a part of that network in jail. This meant that all of the Hindutva leaders on a national level were still allowed to go on without harm provided they don’t openly endorse the banned organization. On October 22nd, 1977, right after Dussehra, a Hindu festival celebrating the death of the demon king Ravana, all of the Hindu Nationalist organizations - banned and unbanned - announced protests across the country. After burning they would burn effigies of Ravana - some which were just standard effigies, others made to look like Bhutto, and others in which it literally was just Bhutto with no ambivalence as to who was portrayed on the effigy - they took to the streets by the millions. In Delhi, the demonstrators would march lockstep near the houses of power. One American journalist compared the demonstration to the March on Rome. As they were doing so, one marcher was hit by rocks thrown by Muslim children. Angered by this, he and his comrades would soon run against them into the Muslim neighborhoods where they eventually had to face their parents. A brawl would occur, causing more to get involved, and eventually they would be kicked out. But that group of Hindutvawadis would come back with even more demonstrators after telling them that the bruises they incurred were the cause of Muslim aggression by members of Jamaat-e-Islami. They would rally across the Muslim neighborhood. When Bhutto heard of this, he would order the Swatantra-led Government of Delhi to send police to stop the march dead in its tracks in an attempt to prevent any violence. But if this was the intention, it had failed.

The arrival of the police had not come as a surprise, what did come as a surprise was when the police tried to break up the rally. Seeing this as an attack, the Hindutva demonstrators began to attack the police, and when the police fired back, the situation had collapsed. It did not take long for the rioting to reach the Muslim areas as well. And when more police were sent in, an unfortunate incident took place in which there were some Hindu police officers which began to side with the Hindutva demonstrators. Things just became worse when far-left groups began to arrive to join in on the “fun”. Islamists began to enter too, and within 72 hours Delhi became a free-for-all. Bhutto would eventually declare President’s Rule and send in the Army, and after a series of provocations by the far-right demonstrators the army would fire at them, killing 100 by the day’s end. The other demonstrations in other states outside of Delhi by Hindu Nationalist organizations became quiet during the Delhi violence, yet after the massacre would explode into chaos. Across all of India, violence erupted as Mosques and Churches were destroyed by Hindu extremist groups. Mass graves would’ve been dug in certain areas, while entire neighborhoods were cleansed in others. The violence continued for months varying by region until a crackdown along with the initial anger causing the violence to begin with beginning to ware off led to its end.

The 1977 - 1978 Indian Religious Conflict would be a black mark on its history, one that would have effects last even today. It deepened the divide between religious groups as more segregated communities began to be formed. People couldn’t trust one another anymore. Throughout the Muslim community, many began to wonder whether or not Jinnah was right. A question which was thought to have been buried with independence (but in reality was always a lingering one, never really went away) resurfaced once more. Outside investors looked at the violence with disgust and many began to leave India, thus preventing any big economic boom as Bhutto promised in 1975. Bhutto could’ve stopped it by jailing the leaders but now he could not as that would cause another uproar. Much like Chavan, Bhutto found it unable to have his government move on from the religious conflict. Reports of lynchings and lone-wolf shootings would continue throughout his term, and the threat of another pogrom always remained.

In 1975, Bhutto was a lion of the Swatantra Party. The man who would save India from the clutches of Socialism and Soviet Imperialism. His victory would defeat the purveyors of class war and religious war. By 1980, the fire had gone away from him. He had lost his wife. His faith, along with the faith of many other minorities in the country, in India had been shaken thoroughly. He was no longer as energetic. It was over, and he knew it.

[8] - The national morale of the Indian nation throughout the 1980 Election Campaign was at an all time low. Religious and political violence combined with a rather sluggish economy led to a sense of pessimism across the country. Few were optimistic about the future. In these cases, it is very hard for the ruling party to win a second term, and indeed, this showed in the 1980 Election. With the banning of the Hindu Mahasabha all of the anti-Muslim voters went to Desai, not because Desai was an Hindutva extremist himself, but instead mainly because he would be the only person powerful enough to defeat Bhutto. Further, the fact that Desai had come from the right-wing of the Congress Party (that is, the one that preached economic liberalism) made him appeal to many Swatantra voters as well. And as such, it came as no surprise to even the unseasoned political observers that he would win in a landslide.

Yet this landslide was not accompanied by any positive feelings that people had for Desai. Indeed, his decision in 1981 to unban the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS was one that caused an outcry by many both in and out of his party, but nevertheless it was one that he felt would be best for the country. Yet this surprisingly did not lead to a resurge in religious unrest as feared. The most likely reason for this would be that after three years of being forced into underground, many of the Hindutva leaders were rather uneasy with starting yet another crisis, and would rather spend this time trying to build up their strength. The fact that a Hindu is now Prime Minister meant that a lot of the wind had been taken from their sails. A rather interesting event occurred within the fields of communal relations when, in 1985, after his re-election Desai moved to decriminalizing homosexuality, a position which he had always held much to the disagreement of those even within his own party. Desai realized that just because he had won re-election it did not mean that he had the mandate to embark on such a radical move. In doing so he had united the organizations of every religion against him, which managed to cause enough pressure on Desai to eventually desist.

With a decrease in religious tensions, the foreign investors which had left India had now become interested in it once more. India became a country that they could use as a way to get cheap labor. This helped the GDP of India to grow as it had throughout the 60s under Ranga’s government, yet what it also did was cause further income inequality between the poor and wealthy classes of India. Desai, for his part, tried to fix this, yet for many this was not enough. The Indian Left, which had been divided since 1970, used the growing discontent at Desai’s neoliberal policies to finally come around to an agreement to unite into the Indian People’s Party. This consisted of the Indian Socialist Party, the Muslim Socialist Party, Pashtun Awami Party, and the Communist Party of India. And of course, there were a few splitters who disagreed with the formation of the IPP, leading to the formations of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. Yet despite the problems caused by an increase in foreign investment, it nevertheless brought benefits as well. By the year 1990 all of India’s villages had been electrified, one US Dollar had equaled to just five Indian Rupees, and it had become one of the top 5 largest economies in the world, only set to increase in the future.

This had an impact on foreign policy as well. Desai did the expected thing and began to disengage from the United States after the defeat of the pro-West Bhutto. This, of course, also did not mean that India was becoming a Soviet colony. But he went further than that and tried to build ties with various African countries, along with countries in South-East Asia, to act as a sort of third, non-aligned bloc consisting of nations from the Global South against both the capitalist and communist blocs. This would be formalized in 1991, with the formation of the Indian Ocean Cooperative Pact, or the IOCP, consisting of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Aden, Somalia, Somaliland, and the East African Confederation. In addition to working on economic cooperation, they too would find common ground on dealing with the threats of the communist states of Indonesia, Malaya, and Thailand, along with the Islamist Islamic State of Melaku and Apartheid South Africa.

On the face of it, all was well under Desai’s tenure. Religious tensions had gone down, India’s economy and quality of life are better than ever, and India’s position in the world had increased by a lot. Yet as Desai was getting older it was clear that he was losing control over his mental faculties and thus could not have been as capable in dealing with India’s affairs as he once was. Yet he could not be removed. There was very little difference between the Congress Party and the Swatantra Party under Desai except that one wished for greater ties with the United States whereas one did not. Nobody else in the Congress Party could inspire as much loyalty as Desai did. The few leftists within the Congress Party, which did not go over to the IPP, felt as if they could strike back after Desai’s death, which was a scenario which was of great concern to the rightists within the Congress Party. As the internal fights within the Congress Party were becoming more tense, it became more clear to the loyalists to the Party that Desai was needed for Congress Party unity. And while it was clear that the Desai of the 1990s wasn’t exactly the Desai of the 1970s or 1980s, it wasn’t as if he was beyond hope. He could still give television interviews without that much effort. For all the effort that the Congress Party leaders put into keeping Desai the Prime Minister despite his old age in a bid to keep the Congress Party afloat, perhaps they should’ve also put effort into figuring out what would happen after Desai’s death. They did not plan for it, and as such when Desai passed away, they had no idea what to do next.

[9] - The worst case scenario for the Congress Party came to fruition when Pawar assumed power. Pawar was a member of the Congress Party’s leftist faction, and had managed to be appointed as the Minister of Defence. The right-wing of the Congress Party could not agree on a candidate, whereas the left rallied around Pawar. In taking control of the Congress Party in such a slick way, the right-wing of Congress was alienated, and many would resign from the cabinet. In an inverse of Rajagopalachari’s departure, now it was a mostly right-wing Congress Party plotting against a left-wing Prime Minister. A vote of no confidence was held, forcing an election so soon after Desai’s death. After alienating most of his party, there was little chance of success for Pawar, and indeed, he would fail to win re-election.

[10] - The selection of another Muslim as Prime Minister, regardless of how secular he may be personally, after the Bhutto debacle, seemed to be a very risky idea. This was the opinion of many of the leaders of the Swatantra Party even though they held no animus towards the Muslim population and believed in secularism. Nevertheless, Dar was a very cunning man. He had managed to climb his way up through the Swatantra Party ranks to become party leader. And when he did, it was too late to reverse it. It thus became a fait accompli for those concerned about a return of communal violence.

The 1994 Elections saw an historical collapse of the Congress Party. With Pawar maintaining a leftist tack while the majority of the Congress Party were liberals, they flocked to Dar and the Swatantra Party. He may have taken a few votes away from the Indian People’s Party, but even then, they had managed to make a name for themselves as a leftist party without the corruption or factionalism of Congress. They would become the main opposition party - cementing India’s new two party system. And while communalism wasn’t that big of a problem during the elections, it did show up with the Hindu Mahasabha becoming the third largest party, and this was inspite of the advanced age of its leader, the ideologue Ram Swarup. This was not focused on as much as most political analysts instead chose to focus on the collapse of the Congress Party.

While Dar was privately in support of a more pro-West position, he knew that if he buddied up too much the West then the Congress Party would perhaps go through a resurgence as the liberal non-aligned party. Further, with the creation of the IOCP, it would risk a collapse if India tried to make it as a second Montreal Pact. It would be for these reasons that Dar would make his first international visit with the Soviet General-Secretary Sergey Sokolov. He was convinced that with his membership in the Swatantra Party, that his visit with Sokolov wouldn’t alarm the West. However, with the United States and the United Kingdom both being under right-wing governments, they chose not to take a risk. “Perfidious India” would become a term coined by CIA Director James Jesus Angleton, to describe America’s frustration with India’s insistence on a non-aligned stance under Chavan’s tenure. This term would appear again in the aftermath of Dar’s visit with Sokolov. With tensions between the West and the East increasing, this was a popular move. Nevertheless, Dar wanted a more powerful India, and would make moves to begin India’s nuclear program. India had not considered making nuclear weapons mainly because it had no immediate threats. However, if India were to become a superpower, it would have to possess that most powerful weapon known to mankind.

Ishaq Dar chose to continue the years of economic prosperity under Desai by not reversing any of the liberal reforms. However, he would try to get rid of more regulation in the belief that it would speeden up India’s economic growth. But in doing so, he had exacerbated the problems that were there with India’s economic growth, such as that about low wages and income inequality, and would eventually cause a scandal when, on June 23rd, 1996, a factory in Chittagong would collapse, killing 232 workers. This incident would cause a firestorm throughout India, with the IPP blaming the neoliberal economic policies of the Desai and Dar administrations. It did hurt Dar’s popularity and would lead to the defeat of the Swatantra Party in the state assembly elections in 1996 and 1997. Dar, however, did not do much to prevent another disaster like that from happening, and maintained course on the economy.

But Dar, much like Krishnamachari, would end up being undone by his own mistakes. In 1997 an investigation done by the Times of India would reveal that Dar he defrauded about five hundred million rupees during his time in office. Dar denied it, but more and more information came out, and the severity of the scandal meant that he couldn’t just pretend that it was a mere moral failing. He would be forced to resign on May 23rd, 1998.

[11] - Poor Birender Singh. Hailed as a rising star of the Swatantra Party for his young age and for his family (his grandfather, Chhotu Ram, being a Punjabi Hindu landlord who worked with Muslim and Sikh landlords in Punjab to prevent partition) all of the hype around him seemed to get into his head, which is why he believed that he would be the one to change the image of the Swatantra Party just a year before elections after one of India’s largest corruption scandals had occurred. Had he waited five years he could’ve been a real fixture in Indian politics, yet he had failed. The press, mainly sympathetic to the Swatantra Party despite the scandals, was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But this was not the case for the Indian public, many of whom were calling for Dar’s head. And so, it would not be a surprise when Singh ended up losing the elections in 1999. But that did not mean that the election results weren’t surprising. Indeed, it would be one of the most important elections in India’s history.

[12] - The old slogan, “Like there is no samosa without aloo (potato), there is no Bihar without Lalu” had “Bihar” changed to India. It should’ve been a landslide for the relatively new Indian People’s Party. Yet what ended up happening again was a lot more complicated than expected. For one, in an environment in which the nation just went through a corruption scandal, Lalu Prasad Yadav couldn’t not portray himself as an anti corruption crusader as he too went through a few corruption cases during his political career and some were continuing as well. He had been acquitted in the ones that had ended, of course (albeit many accused corruption in the decision making process), but it nevertheless set a dark cloud over his campaign which he couldn’t get rid of.

But perhaps the more important issue at the time was pertaining to communal tensions. Religious violence had increased after Dar’s victory, albeit it wasn’t the mass pogroms of the 70s, and with the corruption case many Hindus felt vindicated in their hatred of Muslims. Be it Bhutto or Dar, one could not trust a Muslim to not mess up at some point as head of the country. This was not surprising as they feel no real loyalty to it and never gave up on making a Pakistan. At least that’s what they thought. K. S. Surdashan had been made the new leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, and had hailed from the moderate wing, which made him appealing to the broader Hindu community. This, combined with the unpopularity of the Swatantra Party, and the corruption cases of Lalu, made the Hindu Mahasabha win a plurality in both popular vote and number of seats. The election results shocked the nation. If India had been a presidential system, then they would’ve been assuming power. However, they could not form a government due to the fact that no other party was willing to form an alliance with them. Conversely, the other secular parties were negotiating a grand coalition to prevent the entrance of the Hindu Mahasabha to power. In doing so, they had angered many Hindutvawadis, many of whom used the news of a grand coalition to embark on attacks against religious minorities and leftists in an attempt to scare the various parties from forming a coalition. But all it did do was cement their resolve that the Hindu Mahasabha shouldn’t be allowed any semblance of power. The coalition agreement was made just two weeks after the last election phase, consisting of all of the secular political parties except for the Indian National Congress. The INC, after having lost its right-wing members to the Swatantra Party and its left-wing members to the IPP, was essentially a rump party after the mass exodus. This paved the way for entryists to take control of it, but after various attempts made by people belonging to various ideologies, the winner was Sanjay Gandhi, the grandson of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. While he hoped that name recognition could help him rebuild the Congress Party, he was unable to stake out a clear political position contrary to that of the Swatantra Party and the IPP. And while name recognition did help, the media didn’t focus on him aside from that. And so, despite his attempts, Sanjay Gandhi never became an important figure in Indian history.

This coalition couldn’t hold for too long. Passing populist reforms were not impossible but they were rather difficult as the Hindu Mahasabha declared that despite whether or not they agreed on something all members of it would never vote for a proposal made by the coalition government, even if they were to propose making India a Hindu state, with one member of the Hindu Mahabhasa saying “they’ll find a way to mess it up”. But what did make it impossible was that Lalu’s corruption cases eventually catching up to him. On September 23rd, 2000 he would be convicted by the Supreme Court of India for participation in a scam. He would be forced to resign in ignominy.

[13] - Mulayam Yadav, no relation to his predecessor, faced the same problem as Birender Singh did. The various parties would pull out of the coalition forcing a new election to be called.

[14] - And to ring in the new millennium India made a woman their Prime Minister. Within just a year the Swatantra Party managed to shake off the Dar scandal and win a majority with the League once more. And indeed, for many in India the election of a woman from a religious minority was hailed as a New India. Indeed, a great recession, which was just getting worse and worse with the austerity regimes in the United States and the United Kingdom, had made India the foremost economic power in the world. The collapse of the USSR and EUTO just a year before meant that they couldn’t take advantage of the West’s depredations. The nuclear program was expected to be successful by 2005, and India held the largest military in the world. Now it would be India had been handed the baton which was once held by the United Kingdom and the United States to be the defender of Anglo Liberalism across the world. India managed to culturally influence the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand taking advantage of the decline of American power also asked for membership in the IOCP). The Arab Cricket League is the most watched cricket league outside of India, and in the West a trend was noted in which those involved in theater who are big fans of Indian movies and eventually get obsessed with India itself due to the fact that most Indian movies are musicals and have a romantic plotline.

Yet this did not mean that India would not have problems. The biggest problem of the time was that pertaining to communal tensions. The Hindu Mahasabha didn’t make much gains mainly because the fact that a Hindu was also in jail for corruption meant that slogans of “A Muslim cheated us!” didn’t hold much water (as if they did before Yadav’s scandals) as it was revealed that no, corruption is not something limited to the Muslim mind. It would no doubt be one of the biggest problems India would face in the future regardless of whatever changes happen. Some hope that with the biggest geopolitical issue India would face being the radical, nuclear-armed, and remaining Apartheid South Africa would give a few people sympathetic to Hindutva a pause as to whether or not a Hindu apartheid would be something desirable after witnessing Apartheid in South Africa, along with the increasingly deteriorating situation of the Indians within it, much as how America went through a similar reckoning vis a vis segregation after the Second World War. However, the explicitly Calvinist nature of the South African government along with the anti-Christian stances of the Hindutva movement meant that supporting Hindutva while being opposed to South Africa wasn’t that much of an unexpected position.

So too would India have to face with resentment from other countries with claims of “Cultural Imperialism”. This would be the most evident in the Arab World, with the far-left claiming that Bollywood represents a soulless, consumerist culture (though some nevertheless maintained a liking for India due to its support of anti-colonialist movements during the Cold War) whereas the far-right disliked India due to its Hinduism and fears that it would spread a more syncretic version of Islam to Arab youth. Some may think that because both sides on the fringe that it isn’t something to worry about. However, these arguments exist and could become more popular within the coming decades. Similar arguments are made in Oceania, Indonesia, East Africa, and other areas in which Indian culture is influential. The fact that India has an economic stranglehold on a lot of them to the point where a decision made by India to embargo them would lead to an economic collapse has made them more dependent on India thus leading to more resentment.

At this stage, while liberalism is seemingly dominant it is not guaranteed that it would remain so. And if an opposition to liberalism rearises, if a Second Cold War were to occur with India at the helm of the liberal capitalist bloc, it is clear that they will act differently than the United States did. Or perhaps liberalism remains dominant which means that India remains dominant, and is available to spread its culture across the globe. In any case, one cannot tell where the Indian Century would lead, but one thing is certain - it will be interesting.
 
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Active member
1947 - 1952: Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian National Congress) [1]
1951 def: Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha)
1952 - 1955: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Indian National Congress)
1955: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Swatantra Party)
[2]
1955 - 1960: T. T. Krishnamachari (Indian National Congress) [3]
1955 def: Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Swatantra Party), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1960 - 1967: N. G. Ranga (Swatantra Party) [4]
1960 def: T. T. Krishnamachari (Indian National Congress), Khawaja Nazimuddin (Indian Muslim League), Ajoy Ghosh (Communist Party of India), V. D. Savarkar (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1965 def: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (Indian National Congress), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian Socialist Party), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)

1967 - 1970: Jayaprakash Narayan (Popular Front/Indian Socialist Party) [5]
1967 def: Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (Indian National Congress), N. G. Ranga (Swatantra Party), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Amin Ahsan Islahi (Jamaat-e-Islami), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1970 - 1975: Yashwantrao Chavan (Indian National Congress) [6]
1970 def: Minoo Masani (Swatantra Party), Jayaprakash Narayan (Indian Socialist Party), Nurul Amin (Indian Muslim League), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Amin Ahsan Islahi (Jamaat-e-Islami), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1975 - 1980: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Swatantra Party) [7]
1975 def: Yashwantrao Chavan (Indian National Congress), Abdul Qayyum Khan (Indian Muslim League), Deendayal Upadhyaya (Hindu Mahasabha), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Abdul Ghafoor Ahmed (Jamaat-e-Islami), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1980 - 1994: Morarji Desai (Indian National Congress) [8]
1980 def: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Swatantra Party), Abdul Qayyum Khan (Indian Muslim League), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Abdul Ghafoor Ahmed (Jamaat-e-Islami), Jyoti Basu (Communist Party of India), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1985 - 1986 def: S. V. Raju (Swatantra Party), Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi (Indian Muslim League), George Fernandes (Indian Socialist Party), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), Sita Ram Goel (Communist Party of India), G. M. Syed (Muslim Socialist Party), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pashtun Awami Party)
1990 - 1991 def: S. V. Raju (Swatantra Party), George Fernandes (Indian People’s Party), Ebrahim Sait (Indian Muslim League), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)

1994: Sharad Pawar (Indian National Congress) [9]
1994 - 1998: Ishaq Dar (Swatantra Party) [10]
1994 def: George Fernandes (Indian People’s Party), Ram Swarup (Hindu Mahasabha), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), Sharad Pawar (Indian National Congress), Ghulam Azam (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)
1998 - 1999: Birender Singh (Swatantra Party) [11]
1999 - 2000: Lalu Prasad Yadav (Indian People’s Party) [12]
1999 def: K. S. Surdashan (Hindu Mahasabha), Birender Singh (Swatantra Party), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), Jalaludin Umri (Jamaat-e-Islami), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Sanjay Gandhi (Indian National Congress), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party)
2000 - 2001: Mulayum Singh Yadav (Indian People’s Party) [13]
2001 - 2011: Benazir Bhutto (Swatantra Party) [14]
2000 - 2001 def: K. S. Surdashan (Hindu Mahasabha), Mulayaum Singh Yadav (Indian People’s Party), Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain (Indian Muslim League), A. K. Padmanabhan (Communist Party of India (Marxist)), Jalaludin Umri (Jamaat-e-Islami), Nasim Wali Khan (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party), Sanjay Gandhi (Indian National Congress)

[1] - The road to India’s independence was more fraught then what an outside observer might think. It was not marked by much violence, and as hindsight would show would eventually be an inevitability as the British, along with other colonial powers, would find it increasingly difficult to hold on to large colonies following the end of the Second World War. And yet, the process could have very much been complicated. Throughout the Indian independence struggle a movement emerged calling for the separation of the Muslim areas from the Indian Subcontinent and turning it into its own separate state - Pakistan. The movement would continue to grow in size and in popularity with the Muslims of India, yet would be cut short when the leader of the separatist All-India Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, would die of tuberculosis in 1940, shortly after the declaration of the Lahore Resolution, which called for an independent Pakistan. Without a clear path forward, the AIML found it difficult to make its case to the British Crown, and eventually the decision was made to let India become independent, undivided. On July 1st, 1947, the flags of the British Raj were pulled down and replaced with the flag of India. The All-India Muslim League was forced to change its name and its separatist ideology with one merely calling for the preservation of Muslim interests in India.

However, sectional tensions remained even after independence. The Hindu population wasn’t quite sure if it could trust a Muslim population which wasn’t so long ago was calling for a separate state. The continued existence of the All-India Muslim League, in spite of its rebrand, could possibly lead to a system in which, all the Muslims vote for one party whereas the Hindus vote for another. The sectionalization of electoral politics was a scenario which Nehru was repulsed by, and would try to do anything in his power to break the back of the League. Most of the leaders of the League in Muslim-majority areas such as Sindh, Punjab, and Bengal tended to be wealthy landlords - Nazimuddin, the leader of the League in all of India, was one of them. As such, Nehru felt that by embarking on vast land reform, he could break the finances of the Muslim League. He achieved support for this even by non-socialists within Congress, who shared a desire to crush the League. The 1950 Land Reorginization Act, passed just a year before the elections (so as to prevent the Muslim League from recovering in time), would set the maximum amount of land to be owned to be at 30 acres. The suddenness of this reform - opposed by the League - would work at first as Muslim League branches in some towns found itself unable to fund itself. However, come 1951, most Muslims would still vote for the League, as they had felt that Nehru had not done enough to help the Muslims in India. The League managed to portray land reform as anti-Muslim, a portrayal accepted by the majority of Muslims.

Foreign policy wise, Nehru tried to orient India into a non-aligned position as the world powers were dividing themselves into blocs based on political ideology, either under America and the Montreal Pact, the Soviet Union and EUTO (Eurasian Treaty Organization). Nehru did not believe that India, the most populous country in the world, should be a lackey of any of the three blocs, not under the Soviets, nor under the Americans. But being non-aligned did not mean being isolationist. This was shown in 1950 when the Republic of China began to mobilize troops along the border to annex Tibet, India recognized Tibet and sent soldiers to Tibet in order to prevent any annexation of it. This prevented a Chinese annexation of Tibet, much to the dismay of the United States which wanted to expand China’s power in the region. India’s refusal to become aligned with the Soviets had ensured its status as a separate, non-aligned nation. One of Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel’s last acts before his death was to move India into annexing Sikkim and Bhutan, two states in the Himalayas both of which were a British protectorate during the Raj period. Patel did not see much of a reason for their continued independence seeing as how they would have to rely on India on pretty much everything from water to electricity to monetary aid etc. essentially making it impossible for them to be truly independent from India, and as such it would be in the best interest of Sikkim and Bhutan to become a part of India, thus formalizing what would have been a de facto relationship had they remained independent. It was said that Patel wished to do this with Nepal as well, however Nepal was much larger, was more independent even during British rule, and wasn’t as willing to become a part of India despite the fact that the relationship that Sikkim and Bhutan had with India was essentially becoming true with Nepal as well. Nevertheless, Patel died before he could do anything vis a vis Nepal, thus securing its status as an independent state.

This would not be the only foreign policy issue to dominate Nehru’s tenure. So too would the issue of the Pashtun areas in India play a part. This became readily apparent when Afghanistan voted against India’s entrance to the UN - the only nation to do so. Afghanistan wanted a repeal of the Durand Line and a return of all of the Pashtun areas of India to Afghanistan, and was rather dismayed that the British chose to leave without first consulting them. Afghanistan also refused to recognize India as an independent state until the issue was resolved. Nehru was, at first, sympathetic to the Afghans due to anti-colonial stance and was willing to give up FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Afghanistan. However, he faced stark opposition from those in Congress, believing that letting go of Indian territory could potentially set a bad precedent. Instead, a separate idea was proposed by Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel, who stated that the Pashtun areas should be allowed in India so as to arouse Pashtun nationalist sentiments, which would express itself in the elections. Their main opponent would be the Muslim League, who would then find itself having to deal with more than one political opponent. For every rupee the Muslim League spends on a candidate against a Pashtun Nationalist, they don’t spend it on a candidate against a Congressi. An interesting idea to be sure, one which Nehru eventually got around to supporting, and one which ended up with his death at the ends of an Afghan Nationalist on January 29th, 1952.

[2] - One issue that would dominate Rajagopalachari’s tenure was the same issue that got him in office in the first place, that of Afghanistan and the Pashtun areas in India. Rajagopalachari’s government had contacted Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the “Frontier Gandhi”, otherwise referred to as “Bacha Khan”, a staunch opponent of the erstwhile Pakistan Movement, to issue his support for the Durand Line and for India’s presence in Pakhtunkhwa. However, Bacha Khan was a lot more reluctant to take a pro-government position, instead believing that the Afghan Government had legitimate grievances. Rather surprised by this reluctance, and also the fact that Nehru’s assassination, Said Akbar Babrak, was revealed to have had ties with tribal Pashtun leaders and was a part of a Pashtun separatist network, had led to the Indian Government coming to the harsh but unavoidable conclusion that the Pashtunistan issue would be a much more difficult one than expected. It was not long until there were reports of security incidents within the tribal areas, with some of them even consisting of casualties of police officers and border patrol agents loyal to the Indian Government. Like its more dysfunctional neighbor to the east, Burma, India too was facing the beginnings of a separatist insurgency.

As proposals were drafted up for an eventual crackdown on separatists in Pakhtunkhwa, Rajagopalachari received a letter from a Major-General named Ayub Khan, who was also a Pashtun, and despite coming from a Muslim background he wasn’t that religious, in which he said that the Indian Army shouldn’t send Hindu or Christian soldiers to Pakhtunkhwa to participate in the crackdown, at least not in large numbers, to deal with the Pashtun separatists lest they make out the operation to be a religious war. Further, he called for the implementation of President’s rule in Pakhtunkhwa. While Rajagopalachari did not consider President’s rule to be necessary at this time, he nevertheless trusted Ayub Khan’s expertise in dealing with the Pashtun population on account of his ethnic background. He would be promoted and placed in charge of the bulk of Indian soldiers in Pakhtunkhwa. Ayub Khan would overplay his hand in Pakhtunkhwa, and would be noted for his excessiveness in dealing with the population there. He would make a mountain of a molehill of separatist activity in Pakhtunkhwa in order to justify his actions, and would exaggerate said activity in written reports to his superiors in New Delhi. All this would do was alienate some of the more moderate Pashtuns, such as Bacha Khan, who would later form the Pashtun Awami Party, which was a nationalist, yet not separatist, party of Pashtuns calling for negotiations with Afghanistan and the cessation of operations in the area.

Yet what would end up dooming Rajagopalachari was not Pakhtunkhwa or the anti-Hindi agitiations in Madras. His insistence on economic liberalism and on markets would end up alienating much of the Congress leadership, who were socialists in the vein of the late Nehru, and what would end up becoming the final straw would be his open rejection of the Five Year Plan which had been in place since 1951. He would make moves to repeal it and would refuse to listen to other Congress leaders, which even if they were not as socialist as Nehru considered Rajagopalachari’s intrasignece to be an insult to the memory of the man who led India’s independence struggle and was killed for his commitment to its unity. The other Congress leaders would make moves to eventually get rid of him in a palace coup of sorts. Facing increasing pressure and finding it unable to work with Nehru’s cabinet and the party leadership, Rajagopalachari would eventually declare his departure from the Congress Party and declare the formation of the new Swatantra Party. Over 60 members of the Lok Sabha would switch over, but in the end all this did was make things easier for Rajagopalachari’s opponents in Congress who managed to force through a vote of no confidence and call for new elections. Though the Swatantra Party managed to hold course and not spectacularly collapse (as was the hopes of some Congress leaders), they still lost in a landslide to the Congress Party.

[3] - Seeing as how the main disputes were because of differences in dealing with economics, who better to put in charge of India than the finance minister himself. Krishnamachari became Prime Minister at an increasingly precarious time. With a part of India on the verge of open revolt, the Congress Party, while still dominant, having gone through a split, one could not really envy him. However, he was confident in his ability to make things right. India would be a better place by the time he’s done with it.

Of course, these things don’t tend to be as simple, and in Krishnamachari’s case this wasn’t an exception. First issue was the big one - Pakhtunkhwa. The crackdown had failed in its purpose after two years of its beginning. What’s worse, with Afghanistan surrounded by the USSR, along with two EUTO members (Iran and East Turkistan), they managed to make an image of themselves within the halls of Congress and in the Pentagon as an important ally. As such, it would receive billions in aid money from the US, along with advanced military technology, and Afghanistan chose to send quite a bit of those new guns to separatists in India. The Pashtun cause found some supporters within the State Department, who were annoyed at India’s socialism and stubborn non-alignment. India found few friends within the West, which instead tended to sympathize with Afghanistan. The last straw - one that tipped public opinion of the West in favor of the separatists, was the Orakzai Massacre on January 29th, 1956 in which 29 civilians accused of helping separatists were shot. The massacre was publicized by Afghan embassies and consulates within the United States and in the European countries. This was both a PR disaster, and one which many within the Indian Government found itself personally disgusted by. The decision was made a week later to dismiss Ayub Khan and replaced him with General Muhammad Musa Khan Hazara.

Musa Khan was a Hazara Shia, and his family, along with most other Hazaras in India, had fled Afghanistan into Balochistan after the genocidal campaigns waged against them in the 1880s by the Pashtun Afghan king Abdurrahman Khan. And while Musa Khan did not hold any grudges against Pashtuns - it would be unbecoming of a professional soldier to do so, and one does not become a general being unprofessional - it did lead to some alarm among ordinary Pashtuns. Pashtun nationalists began to sound the alarm of a revenge seeking Mongol with a hatred against Pashtuns and Sunnis in general at the employ of daalkhor (Pashtun term for those east of the Indus River, Hindu and Muslim both, meaning “daal eater”) Hindu polytheists ready to avenge his ancestors. This framing led to an increase in recruitment for Pashtun separatist militias, but it was also false. Musa Khan had showed an exemplary professionalism in dealing with the insurgency, much more than his harsh predecessor, Ayub Khan, did. By 1959, the number attacks and incidents began to fall sharply, and infighting between Pashtun groups due to ideological differences (the use of religious framing led to many Islamists joining the struggle, and needless to say they didn’t quite like the more secular nationalists) just further hurt their cause.

Another issue which would end up being solved during Krishnamachari’s tenure would be that of Hindi imposition. Being a Tamil himself, he was always against the imposition of Hindu as a national language, speaking against it at the constituent assembly just a year after India’s independence and terming it as “Hindi Imperialism”. He put his words into deed during his tenure and removed Hindi’s status as the official language. Official government documents would continue to be written in Hindi, but in English too.

But despite his initial successes, what ended up dooming Krishnamachari was his own self. A leak to the press around the beginning of election season in 1960 exposed a scam in which Haridas Mundhra, a Calcutta-based industrialist and stock speculator got the government owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to invest 13 million rupees into his companies. What made this leak interesting was that Prime Minister Krishnamachari was involved in the scam, and this could not have happened without his approval. This had hurt Krishnamachari’s reputation, and calls for his resignation were plentiful. However, he dug his heels and refused to do so during an election campaign. All this did was ensure the defeat of Congress.

[4] - Yet this did not mean that the Swatantra Party managed to win, at least, at first. They had won a small plurality of seats and won the popular vote by a smidgen, yet could not make a majority government. It was then that the leaders of the Indian Muslim League realized that they had suddenly become some of the most powerful people in India. And it wasn’t long until everyone else did too. Congress’s screams of bloody murder, that Swatantra was openly dealing with traitorous closet secessionists fell on deaf ears as Ranga went to Lahore to meet with Nazimuddin to discuss a coalition government. In a way, this was not as unexpected as one may think. The League was the party of Muslim landowners. Due to their affluence, they were not taken in by religious leaders as some of their middle class co religionists did, those who voted for Jamaat e Islami (the Muslim underclass, which found itself at the service of this elite, voted alongside their bosses) And it was due to their affluence that they found themselves negatively impacted with Nehru’s land reforms and were even more hostile to him and the Congress than in the past. And it was the Hindu landowners who too began to feel animosity towards Congress and who were responsible for funding Swatantra. This coalition was thus a secular coalition consisting of the landowning elite of both religions.

This did not mean that land reform was reversed, though. It would simply be too big of an issue if they were to move with this. A lot of landlords found themselves bankrupted and as such couldn’t really buy back the land anyhow. But Nehru’s legacy would have to be dismantled in some way, and it was decided that it would be the Licence Raj, along with his non-alignment, that would be the ones to go. Over the next five years, every facet of the Licence Raj was being done away with in favor of a pro-market liberal policy. This “shock therapy”, as it was called, did indeed lead to the Indian economy becoming more unstable as these sudden changes were occurring. The Congress Party managed to get the other leftist parties and even some sympathetic members of the Hindu Mahasabha to oppose some of the more extreme changes, and indeed it was this opposition that prevented “shock therapy” from truly doing a number on India.

There was one aspect of the liberal economic program under the Ranga government which did have much more far reaching effects than others. That was the attempted privitization of Indian Railways. The announcement of a privatization came as a surprise, and even by some Swatantra members many believed that it was a bridge too far. Many railway workers, fearing that their livelihoods would be negatively impacted with privatization, took to the streets to strike against it. In Odhisa a heavy crackdown took place leading to the deaths of over 20 strikers. The fact that there was a Congress Government in Odhisa (Congress had opposed privatization, but the Odhisa Congress Party stated that the crackdown was needed for purposes of securing law and order) had led to the already existing rift between ardent socialists and the Congress Party to become much larger, and eventually, led to the creation of the Indian Socialist Party. Ultimately, privatization was defeated as even some members of the Swatantra Party and the Muslim League chose to vote against acts which would begin the process of privatization.

Non-alignment was something easier to get rid of. Both Swatantra and the League were pro-West, and believed that an alliance with the United States was in the best interests of India. Ranga would make the meeting with President Johnson the first foreign meeting of his premiership. With the Licence Raj being dismantled, US investment- both governmental and non-governmental - began pouring into India. This would help India’s economy and, along with a successful operation taking back Portuguese India in 1964, would lead to another victory for the Swatantra-League Coalition in 1965. Furthermore, India being an American ally would lead to pressure being applied on Afghanistan to stop funding Pashtun militants. However, India would soon have to hold up their end of the bargain.

To India’s south would be Indonesia. Indonesia resembled India in many ways - it was a large, multiethnic, multifaith, once-colonized nation which did not have any inclinations towards either the United States or the Soviet Union. It was for this reason that Indonesia and India had good ties throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Yet, it had experience internal strife much worse than anything India had at that point. Be it pressure from communists or from Islamists, the Indonesian President Sukarno saw no other choice than to embark on an autocratic “guided democracy” system, yet that just made things worse. In 1964, an attempted coup d’etat by the military (which ended in his assassination) in response to his inclinations towards the left had led to a civil war in Indonesia, with leftists, Islamists, the Military, and separatists all fighting each other. A bomb blast at the American embassy committed by Communists on March 30th, 1965 would give America a casus belli to enter in support of the Indonesian military, bringing along Australia and New Zealand. In India, the pro-West tendencies of the Ranga Government meant that there was considerable support within it to have India involved as well. This would lead to a firestorm within the Indian political sphere, with every party except Swatantra, the Muslim League, and the Hindu Mahabhasha against it. But despite the domestic opposition to it, the United States attempted to entice India such as by promising billions more in aid, along with military aid in which the weapons are worth just as much. Eventually, Ranga would be forced to accept sending a few detachments of the Indian Army to Indonesia to act as a peacekeeping force.

The announcement led to vast opposition within India, and arguably marked the start of the worldwide anti-Indonesia War movement. India’s soldiers soon found themselves in the foxholes alongside Americans once it became clear that being a mere “peacekeeping” force wasn’t going to be tenable as Communists and Islamists began shooting at them. Reports of American and Australian crimes just led to more opposition to the war amongst Indians. While many in the Ranga Government hoped that, at the very least, involvement in the war would be unify Indians regardless of religion, ethnicity, caste, or class, it actually exacerbated existing tensions. Many Indian Muslim soldiers found themselves tempted by the propaganda of Islamist forces in Indonesia, and there would be reports of defections and soldiers refusing to fight them (this was a part of a larger global trend, shown in a similar civil war in Turkey after the military couped an Islam-oriented government, which led to another civil war between putchists, leftists, Islamists, and separatists). This led to Hindu and Sikh soldiers being distrustful of their Muslim comrades, a distrust which was obviously felt by them even if they were never openly told of it. At home, it ironically did unify Indians regardless of division against the war. The Muslim populace was of course against the war, and could not understand why the Muslim League, though it talked endlessly of securing the rights of Muslims at home, was willing to embrace getting involved in a war which overwhelmingly hurt Muslims. This discontent was eventually shown when 20 Muslim League MPs, lead by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, split from the League in order to declare the formation of the Muslim Socialist Party. This announcement meant that the Swantantra-League Coalition no longer held a majority of seats, forcing a new election.

[5] - The 1967 Indian Election was perhaps the strangest of elections, yet when one digs deeper one finds it easier to understand. Perhaps the biggest question has to relate with the winner - how come did the Congress Party lose at a time of an unpopular Swatantra Party government, even though they had been seen as the main opposition? The answer to that question is rather simpe - the Indian Socialist Party, after managing to get a much better than expected showing in 1965, still had enough momentum to manage to defeat both the Congress Party (still recovering from 1960) and the Swatantra Party. Had the elections gone as planned in 1970, it is likely that the ISP would have lost quite a fair bit of their momentum and it would’ve been a Congress victory. The Congress Party had also made Neelam Sanjiva Reddy his leader, which, despite the urgings of his many advisors, did not take up a populist tone throughout the campaign and as such lost quite a fair bit of supporters to the Indian Socialist Party.

One part of the election which stood out was that the Indian Muslim League no longer had a monopoly over the Muslim vote in India. Their support for involvement in Indonesia had hurt them, and they were attacked by both the left-wing and the right-wing of the Muslim political spheres for it. This would be a pretty monumental election in this regard, and its effects would last to this day. This also led to vote-splitting which led to quite a few weird results taking place, like in Bengal, where a member of the Hindu Mahasabha ended up winning in a 51% Muslim constituency.

Narayan would begin his term by announcing the end of Indian involvement in Indonesia. This was rather easy, and something there wasn’t much opposition to this move. So too would Narayan move to re-establish negotiations with the Kingdom of Afghanistan at the behest of their coalition partner, the Pashtun Awami Party. Narayan knew that giving up the Pashtun areas was a bridge too far, one that would not find much support among Indians, one which even he didn’t really support. But he had to do Something. For one, the Americans which had been invited to India were getting rather antsy with a Communist Party within a ruling coalition government, and Narayan didn’t want a re-establishment of the American-Afghan alliance which would set Pakhtunkhwa on flames as in the 1950s. Further, the “Popular Front” government was holding on by a thread, and with the exit of one party the whole thing falls apart. Narayan knew that he had to do something to make the Pashtun Awami Party happy. Eventually, a compromise was found, in that while India would not cede any territory to Afghanistan, Afghan citizens and Indian citizens in Pakhtunkhwa would be able to move between borders without having to deal with the usual protocol when it comes to crossing borders (of course, any Afghan wishing to go to India beyond Pakhtunkhwa and into Punjab, Balochistan, or Jammu and Kashmir, would, in fact, need papers). Indian laws would still apply in their part of Pakhtunkhwa but none of them were that offensive to Afghan sensitivities. Narayan was hailed by his party, and many members of the opposition, for being the one to have solved the Durand Line problem which had led to the death of the first Prime Minister and dominated the 1950s. Foreign policy wise, Narayan sought better ties with the Soviet Union, and further, would declare India’s support for movements such as the anti-colonial fighters in Angola along with the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

Domestically, Narayan would find it much more difficult to push through his agenda. While he did have his successes, such as pushing through the 1968 Film Act, which had managed to rein in Bollywood’s excesses (unknown to him, this had saved millions of lives, and in this author’s view Narayan is worthy of a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize), his moves towards nationalization would find opposition from the Swantantra Party, the Muslim League, and by many members of the Indian National Congress. The first act of nationalization would relate to coal - India’s energy needs were not being met by private coal companies, as such, they would have to go. Narayan had managed to take enough socialists from the Congress Party and populists from the Hindu Mahasabha to vote against their party leadership, and thus, the coal industry was nationalized. So too did Narayan succeed in nationalizing the banks, one of which was the Bank of India. These radical policies caused shocks in India’s economy and would make him unpopular amongst the general populace.

What would end up dooming Narayan, however, was foreign policy. 1970 would see the end of the ten-year Civil War in Turkey, which saw that partition of Turkey by the Soviet Union and Greece, with the former taking many once Georgian and Armenian areas and making them a part of the Soviet Union, leaving just a rump Islamist Turkish state in its place. In doing so, the USSR would ethnically cleanse the Turks there and would destroy their mosques. This would cause a firestorm across the entire Muslim World, with even leftist currents among it feeling uneasy at the whole thing. The Muslim Socialist Party would condemn the displacement of Turks, and would try to nudge Narayan to get on their side. Narayan, who wanted to make it clear to his naysayers that he wasn’t going to turn India into a Soviet satellite, would condemn the annexation and the Soviet Government, but in doing so would alienate the Communist Party of India, which saw the condemnation as a betrayal, and would leave the Popular Front coalition. In doing so, it no longer had a majority, forcing a new election. It can thus be said that it was the Muslim Socialist Party which brought Narayan into power, but also got him out of it, and it was Narayan’s desire for peace that brought him into power but also led to him losing it.

[6] - A Nehruvian Socialist, Chavan became the leader of the Congress Party mainly because people believed he would have taken enough voters from the Indian Socialist Party to win. But in the end, socialist or not, Chavan would’ve won mainly because by the year 1970 the Congress Party was becoming synonymous with steady governance, as it was under Nehru and Krishanamachari when politics were considerably more stable than after the latter. If he had been a liberal, he would’ve taken voters from the Swatantra Party, and he would’ve still won.

Despite his victory, Chavan proved to be little different than his predecessor. He did not wrap himself in the red flag, which may have made him more palatable to the West, but in his deeds, he would not reverse any of Narayan’s reforms nor govern much differently than what he planned. This was either very good or very bad depending on who you asked. But Chavan’s greatest opponents would come not from the opposition but rather from his own party. The right-wing of the Congress Party, led by Morarji Desai, which had the same economic views as the Swatantra Party but was also on board with Congress’s non-alignment policy as opposed to the pro-Western policy of the Swatantra Party, would lead the charge against further nationalization of private industries. Chavan didn’t really plan on dealing with them at the outset of his premiership, which is why when he began to move forward on bank nationalization, he was surprised to see one member of Congress after another voting with the opposition against it, eventually leading to its defeat.

But perhaps the issue that would define Chavan’s premiership would be that of communal tensions. The issue of religion in Indian politics was never one that went away though it had not been propagated by any of the major parties. What would be the spark the would re-ignite religious tensions would be the selection of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the leader of the Swatantra Party and thus the new leader of the opposition. It was not surprising that someone like Bhutto would be involved in the affairs of the Swatantra Party as he had come from a background similar to many of its supporters, that is, he was the son of a land-owning family in Sindh who lost a lot of their land during Nehru’s land reforms. While Bhutto was in America at the time, and was a member of the Muslim League, he was profoundly impacted by this, and would chose to join the Swatantra Party after returning to India in 1955, believing that a secular party such as the Swatantra Party could do more to oppose Congress’s left-wing reforms than the more exclusive Muslim League. By making Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the leader of the Swatantra Party, many Hindus would have to grapple with the question of whether or not they would vote a Muslim for Prime Minister. Riots and pogroms have happened in the past, albeit mainly in rural areas meaning that it didn’t really impact the urbanites in India and as such didn’t make the news. But it did cause a lot of friction between Hindus and Muslims, and this friction was shown due to Bhutto becoming the Leader of the Opposition.

Tensions, slowly but surely, built up until October of 1973, during Ramadan. That was when a strand of hair, purportedly belonging to the Prophet Muhammad, was stolen at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar. The news caused considerable concern amongst Kashmiris and Muslims across India. The spark would be the announcement that the thieves were a few Hindu teenagers. Thousands of miles away in Bengal, a land dispute between Muslims and Hindus was occurring in Dhaka, the leader of the Muslims being a man named Muhammad Azam, who would use the news of the Hazratbal incident to whip up a frenzy in his support. Members of his family, along with his supporters, would begin attacking Hindu shops and businesses on October 15th. While this may have ended there as just a small episode of violence which didn’t last more than 24 hours with all the perpetrators arrested and tried, what ended up happening was the entrance of RSS members and other members of Hindu Nationalist organizations who chose to take the law in their own hands and attack not just the perpatrators but also other Muslims as well. Riots in Dhaka would then continue for the next few days, with violence beginning to spill over as Hindus began to attack Muslims in the Hindu-majority areas of the Bengal province. Within two weeks, every major urban area in Bengal was in flames with religious violence, with only villages with a clear population disparity of one religion or the other being spared. In Uttar Pradesh on November 1st, an attack on Hindu pilgrims in Ayodhya (though who would be the killers is a subject of debate to this day - with many claiming that it was a false flag) would leave 10 dead in a very gruesome manner, and would just inspire an attack on part of Hindu parties against Muslim worshippers, leaving 32 dead. The violence would soon spread across Uttar Pradesh, and eventually to Bihar too as it was between Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Most of North India would thus be at the center of the some of the worst pogroms in human history. Chavan would be forced to use the military against the rioters, setting a rather bad precedent but one which he felt was necessary. The riots would end by December, with over 5,000 dead, most of them Muslim, with many of the bodies never being found. In an attempt to save face with the Muslim population, who blamed him for a slow response, Chavan would announce the banning of the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, and Jamaat-e-Islami, along with numerous other organizations, both Hindu and Muslim, accused of playing a role. However, these bans would just lead to widespread criticism from both groups, Muslims blaming Chavan for playing a “both sides” routine, and as for the Hindus, reactions ranged from support (mainly from Congressis and those to their left), to concern regarding free speech (this was the main argument of the Hindu Nationalists but there were secularists who were also concerned), to anger. They would take the issue to court, but eventually Chavan would be forced to lift the ban after six months, fearing even more violence if the courts chose not to rule their way.

The 1973 North India Pogrom, as it was called, would set a shadow over Chavan’s premiership. It would be the main event anyone could remember from it. He no longer had the trust of the overall Muslim community due to his late response. Hindu Nationalists, to some success, managed to portray the violence as being started by Muslims and thus making them deserving of what happened to them. All this would do was set the stage for even more violence in the latter half of the decade.

[7] - Ultimately, Bhutto won the election as a result of three main factors. The first one was rather obvious- the average person did not feel as if they were better off now than when Chavan came to power. In all democracies, if you fail to make people think as if they are better off than when you assumed office, let alone actually make them better off, it is difficult for you to be given another mandate. The second reason is darkly comedic - the voters who were steadfastly against a Prime Minister with an, err, strange name found themselves divided between voting for the Hindu Mahasabha, who shared their views on Muslims, and the Congress Party, who presented the best chance at beating Bhutto. Further, the Mahasabha, after just being banned, wasn’t able to recuperate in time to launch a full fledged campaign. Nevertheless, the Mahasabha managed to, in a first, get their number of seats up to the triple digits, mainly in the rural Hindu areas where the Swatantra Party tanked. The third reason consisted of mere rumors and innuendo, but would nevertheless be revealed in 2004 to be factual. That would be of American involvement in the election. America, after witnessing eight years of a socialist, non-aligned India, chose to interfere in India’s elections by covertly funding Bhutto’s campaign. As Shahnawaz Bhutto, Zulfikar’s youngest son, would state in an interview 30 years later: “We came to power on a CIA Train”. America had suffered a bloody nose in Indonesia and was eventually forced to withdraw in 1975, but nevertheless maintained an interest in the region as they wanted to prevent more countries from following the path of Indonesia. If guns and bombs wouldn’t do it, then perhaps more secretive means will, and in India, it worked. The election would also see a resurgence in the Indian Muslim League’s fortunes, as after a rough last two elections, managed to now use the alliance with the Swatantra Party to their advantage as now Bhutto was in charge and thus would be more amiable to Muslim interests than anyone else. A vote for the League was thus a vote for Bhutto.

Bhutto did hold up his end of the bargain vis a vis the United States. He had reversed all left wing reforms done by the Narayan and Chavan administrations. Further, he moved to a more pro-US position in the region, but even he managed to cause a few headaches for them by taking a stand against the pro-US Hashemite Arab Federation, which had developed a system of segregation, much like to that which had once existed within the American South, against the Shia population, and Bhutto, however irreligious he was came from a Shia family, and most of the Shias in India voted for the Swatantra-League coalition in greater numbers than they had previously. Bhutto also continued India’s support for anti-colonial movements across Africa.

But like with Chavan, Bhutto’s biggest issue would be of religious disputes. While there would be a lot tensions during election season and immediately after the results, it amounted to nothing. Indeed, the rest of 1975 and much of 1976 would be quiet in this regard. It was then, on October 28th, 1976, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his wife Nusrat were visiting Assam to rally support for the Swatantra Party in the upcoming Assembly Elections that a few shots from an abandoned building would end up becoming a “declaration of war” on part of Hindutva extremist groups against the Indian state. Bhutto was unharmed, suffering only a shoulder wound, yet the same can’t be said of his wife who had taken the majority of the bullets. She would eventually be declared dead just hours after arriving at the hospital.

The attack had shocked the nation, with even the Hindu Mahasabha not finding any joy in the death of a middle aged woman. Personally, it had shaken Bhutto up tremendously. Cynical as he was he had been emotional at his wife’s funeral. The killer would be captured just hours after the attack, and would’ve been revealed to have been part of a larger network which had been aiming for anti-Muslim pogroms just after the Bhutto’s planned killing. This network had stretched from RSS shakas to police departments to local politicians. These local politicians had links with much of the Hindu Mahasabha leadership in the state. It would be then that, partly out of delirium from his wife’s death, and also because he wanted to get rid of a political opponent, that Bhutto would make the decision to ban the Hindu Mahasabha, the RSS, and practically every Hindu right-wing group in a crackdown which far exceeded his predecessor’s.

In response, the Hindutva organizations tried to repeat what they had done previously in order to get unbanned, that is, make it so that it would be either allowing them to operate or face the threat of more violence. But this situation was different - they did not kill Chavan’s wife. Bhutto remained undeterred. When they tried to change their name to circumvent the ban, they were banned again. But Bhutto never threw anyone who wasn’t a part of that network in jail. This meant that all of the Hindutva leaders on a national level were still allowed to go on without harm provided they don’t openly endorse the banned organization. On October 22nd, 1977, right after Dussehra, a Hindu festival celebrating the death of the demon king Ravana, all of the Hindu Nationalist organizations - banned and unbanned - announced protests across the country. After burning they would burn effigies of Ravana - some which were just standard effigies, others made to look like Bhutto, and others in which it literally was just Bhutto with no ambivalence as to who was portrayed on the effigy - they took to the streets by the millions. In Delhi, the demonstrators would march lockstep near the houses of power. One American journalist compared the demonstration to the March on Rome. As they were doing so, one marcher was hit by rocks thrown by Muslim children. Angered by this, he and his comrades would soon run against them into the Muslim neighborhoods where they eventually had to face their parents. A brawl would occur, causing more to get involved, and eventually they would be kicked out. But that group of Hindutvawadis would come back with even more demonstrators after telling them that the bruises they incurred were the cause of Muslim aggression by members of Jamaat-e-Islami. They would rally across the Muslim neighborhood. When Bhutto heard of this, he would order the Swatantra-led Government of Delhi to send police to stop the march dead in its tracks in an attempt to prevent any violence. But if this was the intention, it had failed.

The arrival of the police had not come as a surprise, what did come as a surprise was when the police tried to break up the rally. Seeing this as an attack, the Hindutva demonstrators began to attack the police, and when the police fired back, the situation had collapsed. It did not take long for the rioting to reach the Muslim areas as well. And when more police were sent in, an unfortunate incident took place in which there were some Hindu police officers which began to side with the Hindutva demonstrators. Things just became worse when far-left groups began to arrive to join in on the “fun”. Islamists began to enter too, and within 72 hours Delhi became a free-for-all. Bhutto would eventually declare President’s Rule and send in the Army, and after a series of provocations by the far-right demonstrators the army would fire at them, killing 100 by the day’s end. The other demonstrations in other states outside of Delhi by Hindu Nationalist organizations became quiet during the Delhi violence, yet after the massacre would explode into chaos. Across all of India, violence erupted as Mosques and Churches were destroyed by Hindu extremist groups. Mass graves would’ve been dug in certain areas, while entire neighborhoods were cleansed in others. The violence continued for months varying by region until a crackdown along with the initial anger causing the violence to begin with beginning to ware off led to its end.

The 1977 - 1978 Indian Religious Conflict would be a black mark on its history, one that would have effects last even today. It deepened the divide between religious groups as more segregated communities began to be formed. People couldn’t trust one another anymore. Throughout the Muslim community, many began to wonder whether or not Jinnah was right. A question which was thought to have been buried with independence (but in reality was always a lingering one, never really went away) resurfaced once more. Outside investors looked at the violence with disgust and many began to leave India, thus preventing any big economic boom as Bhutto promised in 1975. Bhutto could’ve stopped it by jailing the leaders but now he could not as that would cause another uproar. Much like Chavan, Bhutto found it unable to have his government move on from the religious conflict. Reports of lynchings and lone-wolf shootings would continue throughout his term, and the threat of another pogrom always remained.

In 1975, Bhutto was a lion of the Swatantra Party. The man who would save India from the clutches of Socialism and Soviet Imperialism. His victory would defeat the purveyors of class war and religious war. By 1980, the fire had gone away from him. He had lost his wife. His faith, along with the faith of many other minorities in the country, in India had been shaken thoroughly. He was no longer as energetic. It was over, and he knew it.

[8] - The national morale of the Indian nation throughout the 1980 Election Campaign was at an all time low. Religious and political violence combined with a rather sluggish economy led to a sense of pessimism across the country. Few were optimistic about the future. In these cases, it is very hard for the ruling party to win a second term, and indeed, this showed in the 1980 Election. With the banning of the Hindu Mahasabha all of the anti-Muslim voters went to Desai, not because Desai was an Hindutva extremist himself, but instead mainly because he would be the only person powerful enough to defeat Bhutto. Further, the fact that Desai had come from the right-wing of the Congress Party (that is, the one that preached economic liberalism) made him appeal to many Swatantra voters as well. And as such, it came as no surprise to even the unseasoned political observers that he would win in a landslide.

Yet this landslide was not accompanied by any positive feelings that people had for Desai. Indeed, his decision in 1981 to unban the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS was one that caused an outcry by many both in and out of his party, but nevertheless it was one that he felt would be best for the country. Yet this surprisingly did not lead to a resurge in religious unrest as feared. The most likely reason for this would be that after three years of being forced into underground, many of the Hindutva leaders were rather uneasy with starting yet another crisis, and would rather spend this time trying to build up their strength. The fact that a Hindu is now Prime Minister meant that a lot of the wind had been taken from their sails. A rather interesting event occurred within the fields of communal relations when, in 1985, after his re-election Desai moved to decriminalizing homosexuality, a position which he had always held much to the disagreement of those even within his own party. Desai realized that just because he had won re-election it did not mean that he had the mandate to embark on such a radical move. In doing so he had united the organizations of every religion against him, which managed to cause enough pressure on Desai to eventually desist.

With a decrease in religious tensions, the foreign investors which had left India had now become interested in it once more. India became a country that they could use as a way to get cheap labor. This helped the GDP of India to grow as it had throughout the 60s under Ranga’s government, yet what it also did was cause further income inequality between the poor and wealthy classes of India. Desai, for his part, tried to fix this, yet for many this was not enough. The Indian Left, which had been divided since 1970, used the growing discontent at Desai’s neoliberal policies to finally come around to an agreement to unite into the Indian People’s Party. This consisted of the Indian Socialist Party, the Muslim Socialist Party, Pashtun Awami Party, and the Communist Party of India. And of course, there were a few splitters who disagreed with the formation of the IPP, leading to the formations of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party. Yet despite the problems caused by an increase in foreign investment, it nevertheless brought benefits as well. By the year 1990 all of India’s villages had been electrified, one US Dollar had equaled to just five Indian Rupees, and it had become one of the top 5 largest economies in the world, only set to increase in the future.

This had an impact on foreign policy as well. Desai did the expected thing and began to disengage from the United States after the defeat of the pro-West Bhutto. This, of course, also did not mean that India was becoming a Soviet colony. But he went further than that and tried to build ties with various African countries, along with countries in South-East Asia, to act as a sort of third, non-aligned bloc consisting of nations from the Global South against both the capitalist and communist blocs. This would be formalized in 1991, with the formation of the Indian Ocean Cooperative Pact, or the IOCP, consisting of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Aden, Somalia, Somaliland, and the East African Confederation. In addition to working on economic cooperation, they too would find common ground on dealing with the threats of the communist states of Indonesia, Malaya, and Thailand, along with the Islamist Islamic State of Melaku and Apartheid South Africa.

On the face of it, all was well under Desai’s tenure. Religious tensions had gone down, India’s economy and quality of life are better than ever, and India’s position in the world had increased by a lot. Yet as Desai was getting older it was clear that he was losing control over his mental faculties and thus could not have been as capable in dealing with India’s affairs as he once was. Yet he could not be removed. There was very little difference between the Congress Party and the Swatantra Party under Desai except that one wished for greater ties with the United States whereas one did not. Nobody else in the Congress Party could inspire as much loyalty as Desai did. The few leftists within the Congress Party, which did not go over to the IPP, felt as if they could strike back after Desai’s death, which was a scenario which was of great concern to the rightists within the Congress Party. As the internal fights within the Congress Party were becoming more tense, it became more clear to the loyalists to the Party that Desai was needed for Congress Party unity. And while it was clear that the Desai of the 1990s wasn’t exactly the Desai of the 1970s or 1980s, it wasn’t as if he was beyond hope. He could still give television interviews without that much effort. For all the effort that the Congress Party leaders put into keeping Desai the Prime Minister despite his old age in a bid to keep the Congress Party afloat, perhaps they should’ve also put effort into figuring out what would happen after Desai’s death. They did not plan for it, and as such when Desai passed away, they had no idea what to do next.

[9] - The worst case scenario for the Congress Party came to fruition when Pawar assumed power. Pawar was a member of the Congress Party’s leftist faction, and had managed to be appointed as the Minister of Defence. The right-wing of the Congress Party could not agree on a candidate, whereas the left rallied around Pawar. In taking control of the Congress Party in such a slick way, the right-wing of Congress was alienated, and many would resign from the cabinet. In an inverse of Rajagopalachari’s departure, now it was a mostly right-wing Congress Party plotting against a left-wing Prime Minister. A vote of no confidence was held, forcing an election so soon after Desai’s death. After alienating most of his party, there was little chance of success for Pawar, and indeed, he would fail to win re-election.

[10] - The selection of another Muslim as Prime Minister, regardless of how secular he may be personally, after the Bhutto debacle, seemed to be a very risky idea. This was the opinion of many of the leaders of the Swatantra Party even though they held no animus towards the Muslim population and believed in secularism. Nevertheless, Dar was a very cunning man. He had managed to climb his way up through the Swatantra Party ranks to become party leader. And when he did, it was too late to reverse it. It thus became a fait accompli for those concerned about a return of communal violence.

The 1994 Elections saw an historical collapse of the Congress Party. With Pawar maintaining a leftist tack while the majority of the Congress Party were liberals, they flocked to Dar and the Swatantra Party. He may have taken a few votes away from the Indian People’s Party, but even then, they had managed to make a name for themselves as a leftist party without the corruption or factionalism of Congress. They would become the main opposition party - cementing India’s new two party system. And while communalism wasn’t that big of a problem during the elections, it did show up with the Hindu Mahasabha becoming the third largest party, and this was inspite of the advanced age of its leader, the ideologue Ram Swarup. This was not focused on as much as most political analysts instead chose to focus on the collapse of the Congress Party.

While Dar was privately in support of a more pro-West position, he knew that if he buddied up too much the West then the Congress Party would perhaps go through a resurgence as the liberal non-aligned party. Further, with the creation of the IOCP, it would risk a collapse if India tried to make it as a second Montreal Pact. It would be for these reasons that Dar would make his first international visit with the Soviet General-Secretary Sergey Sokolov. He was convinced that with his membership in the Swatantra Party, that his visit with Sokolov wouldn’t alarm the West. However, with the United States and the United Kingdom both being under right-wing governments, they chose not to take a risk. “Perfidious India” would become a term coined by CIA Director James Jesus Angleton, to describe America’s frustration with India’s insistence on a non-aligned stance under Chavan’s tenure. This term would appear again in the aftermath of Dar’s visit with Sokolov. With tensions between the West and the East increasing, this was a popular move. Nevertheless, Dar wanted a more powerful India, and would make moves to begin India’s nuclear program. India had not considered making nuclear weapons mainly because it had no immediate threats. However, if India were to become a superpower, it would have to possess that most powerful weapon known to mankind.

Ishaq Dar chose to continue the years of economic prosperity under Desai by not reversing any of the liberal reforms. However, he would try to get rid of more regulation in the belief that it would speeden up India’s economic growth. But in doing so, he had exacerbated the problems that were there with India’s economic growth, such as that about low wages and income inequality, and would eventually cause a scandal when, on June 23rd, 1996, a factory in Chittagong would collapse, killing 232 workers. This incident would cause a firestorm throughout India, with the IPP blaming the neoliberal economic policies of the Desai and Dar administrations. It did hurt Dar’s popularity and would lead to the defeat of the Swatantra Party in the state assembly elections in 1996 and 1997. Dar, however, did not do much to prevent another disaster like that from happening, and maintained course on the economy.

But Dar, much like Krishnamachari, would end up being undone by his own mistakes. In 1997 an investigation done by the Times of India would reveal that Dar he defrauded about five hundred million rupees during his time in office. Dar denied it, but more and more information came out, and the severity of the scandal meant that he couldn’t just pretend that it was a mere moral failing. He would be forced to resign on May 23rd, 1998.

[11] - Poor Birender Singh. Hailed as a rising star of the Swatantra Party for his young age and for his family (his grandfather, Chhotu Ram, being a Punjabi Hindu landlord who worked with Muslim and Sikh landlords in Punjab to prevent partition) all of the hype around him seemed to get into his head, which is why he believed that he would be the one to change the image of the Swatantra Party just a year before elections after one of India’s largest corruption scandals had occurred. Had he waited five years he could’ve been a real fixture in Indian politics, yet he had failed. The press, mainly sympathetic to the Swatantra Party despite the scandals, was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But this was not the case for the Indian public, many of whom were calling for Dar’s head. And so, it would not be a surprise when Singh ended up losing the elections in 1999. But that did not mean that the election results weren’t surprising. Indeed, it would be one of the most important elections in India’s history.

[12] - The old slogan, “Like there is no samosa without aloo (potato), there is no Bihar without Lalu” had “Bihar” changed to India. It should’ve been a landslide for the relatively new Indian People’s Party. Yet what ended up happening again was a lot more complicated than expected. For one, in an environment in which the nation just went through a corruption scandal, Lalu Prasad Yadav couldn’t not portray himself as an anti corruption crusader as he too went through a few corruption cases during his political career and some were continuing as well. He had been acquitted in the ones that had ended, of course (albeit many accused corruption in the decision making process), but it nevertheless set a dark cloud over his campaign which he couldn’t get rid of.

But perhaps the more important issue at the time was pertaining to communal tensions. Religious violence had increased after Dar’s victory, albeit it wasn’t the mass pogroms of the 70s, and with the corruption case many Hindus felt vindicated in their hatred of Muslims. Be it Bhutto or Dar, one could not trust a Muslim to not mess up at some point as head of the country. This was not surprising as they feel no real loyalty to it and never gave up on making a Pakistan. At least that’s what they thought. K. S. Surdashan had been made the new leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, and had hailed from the moderate wing, which made him appealing to the broader Hindu community. This, combined with the unpopularity of the Swatantra Party, and the corruption cases of Lalu, made the Hindu Mahasabha win a plurality in both popular vote and number of seats. The election results shocked the nation. If India had been a presidential system, then they would’ve been assuming power. However, they could not form a government due to the fact that no other party was willing to form an alliance with them. Conversely, the other secular parties were negotiating a grand coalition to prevent the entrance of the Hindu Mahasabha to power. In doing so, they had angered many Hindutvawadis, many of whom used the news of a grand coalition to embark on attacks against religious minorities and leftists in an attempt to scare the various parties from forming a coalition. But all it did do was cement their resolve that the Hindu Mahasabha shouldn’t be allowed any semblance of power. The coalition agreement was made just two weeks after the last election phase, consisting of all of the secular political parties except for the Indian National Congress. The INC, after having lost its right-wing members to the Swatantra Party and its left-wing members to the IPP, was essentially a rump party after the mass exodus. This paved the way for entryists to take control of it, but after various attempts made by people belonging to various ideologies, the winner was Sanjay Gandhi, the grandson of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. While he hoped that name recognition could help him rebuild the Congress Party, he was unable to stake out a clear political position contrary to that of the Swatantra Party and the IPP. And while name recognition did help, the media didn’t focus on him aside from that. And so, despite his attempts, Sanjay Gandhi never became an important figure in Indian history.

This coalition couldn’t hold for too long. Passing populist reforms were not impossible but they were rather difficult as the Hindu Mahasabha declared that despite whether or not they agreed on something all members of it would never vote for a proposal made by the coalition government, even if they were to propose making India a Hindu state, with one member of the Hindu Mahabhasa saying “they’ll find a way to mess it up”. But what did make it impossible was that Lalu’s corruption cases eventually catching up to him. On September 23rd, 2000 he would be convicted by the Supreme Court of India for participation in a scam. He would be forced to resign in ignominy.

[13] - Mulayam Yadav, no relation to his predecessor, faced the same problem as Birender Singh did. The various parties would pull out of the coalition forcing a new election to be called.

[14] - And to ring in the new millennium India made a woman their Prime Minister. Within just a year the Swatantra Party managed to shake off the Dar scandal and win a majority with the League once more. And indeed, for many in India the election of a woman from a religious minority was hailed as a New India. Indeed, a great recession, which was just getting worse and worse with the austerity regimes in the United States and the United Kingdom, had made India the foremost economic power in the world. The collapse of the USSR and EUTO just a year before meant that they couldn’t take advantage of the West’s depredations. The nuclear program was expected to be successful by 2005, and India held the largest military in the world. Now it would be India had been handed the baton which was once held by the United Kingdom and the United States to be the defender of Anglo Liberalism across the world. India managed to culturally influence the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand taking advantage of the decline of American power also asked for membership in the IOCP). The Arab Cricket League is the most watched cricket league outside of India, and in the West a trend was noted in which those involved in theater who are big fans of Indian movies and eventually get obsessed with India itself due to the fact that most Indian movies are musicals and have a romantic plotline.

Yet this did not mean that India would not have problems. The biggest problem of the time was that pertaining to communal tensions. The Hindu Mahasabha didn’t make much gains mainly because the fact that a Hindu was also in jail for corruption meant that slogans of “A Muslim cheated us!” didn’t hold much water (as if they did before Yadav’s scandals) as it was revealed that no, corruption is not something limited to the Muslim mind. It would no doubt be one of the biggest problems India would face in the future regardless of whatever changes happen. Some hope that with the biggest geopolitical issue India would face being the radical, nuclear-armed, and remaining Apartheid South Africa would give a few people sympathetic to Hindutva a pause as to whether or not a Hindu apartheid would be something desirable after witnessing Apartheid in South Africa, along with the increasingly deteriorating situation of the Indians within it, much as how America went through a similar reckoning vis a vis segregation after the Second World War. However, the explicitly Calvinist nature of the South African government along with the anti-Christian stances of the Hindutva movement meant that supporting Hindutva while being opposed to South Africa wasn’t that much of an unexpected position.

So too would India have to face with resentment from other countries with claims of “Cultural Imperialism”. This would be the most evident in the Arab World, with the far-left claiming that Bollywood represents a soulless, consumerist culture (though some nevertheless maintained a liking for India due to its support of anti-colonialist movements during the Cold War) whereas the far-right disliked India due to its Hinduism and fears that it would spread a more syncretic version of Islam to Arab youth. Some may think that because both sides on the fringe that it isn’t something to worry about. However, these arguments exist and could become more popular within the coming decades. Similar arguments are made in Oceania, Indonesia, East Africa, and other areas in which Indian culture is influential. The fact that India has an economic stranglehold on a lot of them to the point where a decision made by India to embargo them would lead to an economic collapse has made them more dependent on India thus leading to more resentment.

At this stage, while liberalism is seemingly dominant it is not guaranteed that it would remain so. And if an opposition to liberalism rearises, if a Second Cold War were to occur with India at the helm of the liberal capitalist bloc, it is clear that they will act differently than the United States did. Or perhaps liberalism remains dominant which means that India remains dominant, and is available to spread its culture across the globe. In any case, one cannot tell where the Indian Century would lead, but one thing is certain - it will be interesting.
So the US fell behind economically and became less politically influential as a result?
 

lerk

Well-known member
So the US fell behind economically and became less politically influential as a result?
Yeah pretty much, a part of this unpartitioned India is that without a Licence Raj and with it being the most populous country in the world it can gain more power than it did IOTL. The League, which probably would have to change its secessionist ideology to a mere autonomist one, consisted on Anglophiles and landlords who weren't Fabians like Nehru. In the event of a Congress split over the economy the League may well find themselves in an alliance with the liberal faction. Of course I do mention India's various problems, most prominent of that being religious tensions. I didn't want to write a "Beautiful and Attractive unpartitioned India" as if partition just came out of a vacuum and Muslims supported it for no reason. India becoming the foremost power in the world without partition is a possibility but so is India becoming a lot more authoritarian as the military would feel the need to step in due to religious strife (without Pakistan the bad reputation that military involvement in civilian affairs has wouldn't be present in India) along with India just becoming mega-Yugoslavia. However while I do like to think that I know a lot about how wars such as those in Yugoslavia and Syria work an Indian Civil War without partition would just be too complicated with so many factions that I just didn't know how to write it. Maybe someone can make a TL on it. I do remember seeing a "Superpower India without Licence Raj" TL on the other site and I wondered how it would look like without partition.
 

claybaskit

Well-known member
1948:Henry Wallace Democratic Albert Barkley. DEF: Thomas Dewey Republican Charles Halleck. Strom Thurmind Dixie a segregationist Steven Francis

1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican Richard Nixon Def:
Adali Stevenson Democratic Richard Soarks
1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican Richard M.Nixon Def: Def: Adali Stevenson Democratic Hubert Humphrey

1960: John Fritzgerald Kennedy Stuart Symthington Democratic
Def:
Def: Richard Nixon Republican Nelson Rockefeller
Def:
1964: Stuart Symthington Democratic
Def: Barry Goldwater Republican William Scranton
 
Last edited:

Thande

Bündnis für Freizeit, Garagetigkeit und Nachmittag
Published by SLP
England-France analogue, unrealistically close for pop AH purposes

List of Heads of State of England

Old Regime (Stuart Kings of England, Scotland and Ireland)

1603-1628: James I
1628-1670: Henry IX
1670-1739: Henry X (grandson of the above)
1739-1770: Henry XI
1770-1789: Henry XII

Great English Upheaval of 1789

Stuart Kings of the English, Scotch and Irish

1789-1792: Henry XII† (de jure; executed)
1792-1795: Henry XIII (de jure)

First Commonwealth of England (NB the term 'England' as used by the republican regimes refers to the whole British Isles)

1795-1795: The Lord President of the English Council of State (rotating position; de facto from 1792)
1795-1799: The People's Witenegemot (collective office)
1799-1804: The Lords Protector (collective office; in practice dominated by the First Lord Protector, Arthur Wellesley)

First Bretwaldate of England (House of Wellesley)

1804-1814: Arthur II (a conceit supposing a succession from the legendary King Arthur; briefly exiled to the Channel Islands following his defeat)

First Stuart Restoration (Kings of England, Scotland and Ireland)

1814-1815: Henry XIV (fled following Wellesley's escape from Jersey)

First Bretwaldate of England, restored (House of Wellesley)

1815-1815: Arthur II (defeated following the Hundred Days and exiled to Mauritius)

Second Stuart Restoration (Kings of England, Scotland and Ireland)

1815-1824: Henry XIV (restored)
1824-1830: Charles II
1830-1830: Henry XV followed by Edward VII (brief, disputed)

May Day Upheaval of 1830

May Day Kingdom, House of York (Kings of the English)

1830-1848: Henry Benedict (The Burgher King)

Mad March Upheaval of 1848

Second Commonwealth of England

1848-1848: various (unstable government)
1848-1852: Arthur Wellesley-Pole

Second Bretwaldate of England (House of Wellesley)

1852-1870: Arthur III (captured by Dietsch forces during the Anglo-Dietsch War and the kingdom fell)

(In 1870 the 'Liberty of London' briefly ruled in the capital surrounded by Dietsch forces)

Third Commonwealth of England

1870-1940: Presidents of the Commonwealth

(Under Dietsch occupation)

English State a.k.a. 'Buxton England', Captain of State

1940-1944: H. H. Kitchener

Fourth Commonwealth of England

1944-1959: Presidents of the Commonwealth

Fifth Commonwealth of England

1959-????: Presidents of the Commonwealth (executive)
 

Wolfram

a single, distant, very loud, yeehaw
Location
the Velvet Coffin, Texas
Pronouns
he/him
DENNIS THE MENACE

1974-1981: Gerald R. Ford (Republican) [1]
'76 (with Robert Dole) def. Mo Udall (Democratic)
1981-1985: Robert Dole (Republican) [2]
'80 (with Howard Callaway) def. Ted Kennedy (Democratic)
1985-1993: Dennis Kucinich (Democratic) [3]
'84 (with Ernest Hollings) def. Robert Dole (Republican)
'88 (with Elizabeth Holtzman [4]) def. Barry Goldwater Jr. (Republican) [6], Pat Buchanan (Independent), John B. Anderson (Independent), Jesse Jackson (PUSH) [5]

1993-: James Baker (Republican) [7]
'92 (with Dick Thornburgh) def. Bill Clinton (Democratic), Pat Buchanan (People's), Jesse Jackson (PUSH)

[1]: "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD" was the watchword of the Republican Party after Nixon. As the fiscal crisis of the '70s failed to go away by itself, as municipal budgets trembled in the grip of white flight and urban decay and inflation, as Republican policymakers from the growing suburbs of California and ever-more-Republican Southern metropolitan areas like Houston and Atlanta started to outright ignore the cities, indeed to see their unionized workforces as active generators of inflation, the industrial cities of the Steel Belt - Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, and perhaps most of all Cleveland - became some of the staunchest opponents of the Ford administration.
In particular, Cleveland's boy mayor Dennis Kucinich became a national symbol. An uncompromising zealot for the interests of his working-class base in the white-ethnic neighborhoods of the West Side, Kucinich alienated the establishment at home with his opprobrium and unrepentant cronyism, but made up for it in the national press, who painted him as David fighting the federal Goliath - an image Kucinich spent quite a bit of effort actively seeking. His narrow victory in 1979 inspired a course-correction - in particular, from active hostility to the interests of Black communities on the East Side to wary clientelism - but not a change in approach.

[2] Ted Kennedy was supposed to end twelve years of Republican administration, but Ted was flighty, Hollywood, liberal, and covered in scandal, perhaps most significantly rumors that his team had approached General Secretary Gromyko to try to get his cooperation in the Presidential race. It was - by a couple thousand votes in Ford's native Michigan - not enough. Bob Dole continued Fordonomics - and with Paul Volcker in the Federal Reserve chairmanship, the hammer continued to come down on inflation and its causes - but also took a more aggressive turn in foreign policy, including committing American military aid to Central America. As "El Salvador Is Spanish For Vietnam" bumper stickers proliferated, the Supreme Court struck down the War Powers Act as unconstitutional, and the worst economic crisis since the Depression came into another year, the time was right for a 39-year-old Governor of Ohio to take the stage.

[3] The four-foot-nine son of a Croatian-American truck driver, the attack dog who turned his invective on anyone who seemed to oppose him, the unabashed candidate of the working-class neighborhoods of the "Rust Belt" who somehow got a new image as the darling of the coastal Democrats who appreciated his championing of unions and inveterate opposition to wars of choice - he was elected President in a landslide, practically locking Dole out of the country east of the Mississippi, in part due to his ability to - just barely - appeal to both Anglo Southern Democrats (in part thanks to his running mate) and Black voters who identified with his narrative of fighting the powerful and winning.
His Presidency would be more polarizing. On the positive side - an end to the Great Fumble, arguably the end of the Cold War, universal healthcare, an administration more responsive to gay rights than any beforehand, and economic revitalization for industrial cities from Portland, Maine to Omaha, Nebraska. On the other side, there was constant fighting between Kucinich and... well, everyone else except his loyalists; his cuts to military spending and 'withdrawal' from the world produced conniptions on the right, disruptions in domestic industries, and mixed results in places like Korea and Argentina, where formerly American-supported military regimes responded to losing their sponsor by dialing up bloody repression; his barely-even-tacit support for the IRA led to blood on the streets of Belfast and a decisive end to the "special relationship"; a strong nativist trend, including immigration restrictionism and an active protectionism that put the hammer down on cities from Seattle to Houston; an administration that pursued clientelist projects for local allies at the expense of civil rights bills; corruption throughout the federal government, including in the new National Health Administration; open political interference with the judiciary and Federal Reserve; and dozens of other controversies and scandals, major and minor. The Senate tried to impeach Kucinich twice, and failed twice, the second time by only a handful of votes.

[4] Another issue was the Vice President. A craggy old Southern conservative, his support had been vital to getting the nomination and perhaps to winning the Presidency, but by 1988 he was a liability, alienating liberals in general and Jewish, Black, and woman voters in specific. Kucinich responded by dropping him in favor of a liberal Jewish woman, and more than that, another tribune of urban reformism against the machine. It helped, but in hindsight wasn't as significant as it seemed.

[5] Mayor Jesse Jackson's molding of People United to Save Humanity into a new political party, combining urban liberals with feminist, Black, and immigrant-rights movements to build a "Rainbow Coalition", was widely viewed as the death knell for the Kucinich administration. It didn't quite take off, between Jackson's own anti-Semitic comments and many community leaders supporting a Kucinich administration they could do business with over a vanity campaign that might allow Goldwater in.

[6] But Goldwater himself had his own issues. For one, he was too Sun Belt, too WASPish (even with his grandfather's Judaism), and too affluent to challenge Kucinich in his home territory, where he was still genuinely personally popular. For another, he had his own discontents to deal with - on his left, liberal Republicans flocked to the independent candidacy of former House Majority Leader John B. Anderson, while on the right, Pat Buchanan was able to triangulate a conservative answer to Kucinich's white-ethnic grievance politics. It was a close-run thing the whole way through, but - despite the worst popular-vote margin since Wilson - Kucinich won another term.

[7] Second verse, same as the first. Kucinich was hardly personally corrupt, and he had no patience for the Daley machine or its ilk - but where local politicians lent him their loyalty, he would do what he could for them. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had its own problems - the Cold War was as important to its legitimacy as it was to Washington, perhaps more so, and as much as Kucinich had no interest in war with them he had less than no desire to maintain the Russian position over Poland or Czechoslovakia or even Ukraine and Armenia. The Pinatubo Revolution and Kucinich's support for new President Ninoy Aquino seemed to help validate the Kucinich Doctrine, but at the same time the War of the Two Kims and the blood on the streets of Gwangju seemed a counterexample.
At the same time, though, employment was up, and so were wages, even if many consumers balked at the high cost of imported goods between tariffs and the inflating dollar. New housing and new funding seemed to be giving decaying industrial cities like Cleveland, the crown jewel of the administration, a new lease on life. Ignore the rampant segregation in the new developments (after all, that was on the people who chose the neighborhoods they wanted to live in, wasn't it?), the growing underclass of undocumented immigrants, the growing militancy of Western ranchers who refused to accept the Kucinich administration's environmentalist limits or its 'malign neglect', the frosty relations with Canada and Mexico. None of that mattered.
But in 1992, something else did matter. As Buddy Cianci stormed to the Republican nomination as "Kucinich in blue", as Liz Holtzman fought Coleman Young and Mario Cuomo and Bill Clinton for the right to carry the legacy forward for a third term, the full effects of Kucinich-era trade policy came home. Balance-of-payments crises in France, West Germany, and Japan - "another Axis attack", Kucinich groused - led to falling exports, and that punched a hole in the housing market right when it was needed least, and that spread out through the rest of the economy. Into the new crisis stepped a business Republican from Texas, someone who could act as the administrator Kucinich never could have been, who could reassure the markets and reform institutions and bring a bright new day. "Dennis the Menace" was out - and Baker, the gray tribune of austerity and a free market, was in.
 

Meppo

Well-known member
Location
Default City, Russia
Pronouns
he/him
[5] O'Neill elected to stay on until the Republicans could pick a replacement, but that proved more difficult than expected - Bob Michel, Trent Lott, and Newt Gingrich feuded over the caucus nomination, allowing Silvio Conte to squeeze through on a platform of solidifying the Cianci legacy among white ethnic voters.
the Cianci Boys will have their revenge...

Say, how's that one New York prosecutor, Rudy something doing?

His narrow victory in 1979 inspired a course-correction - in particular, from active hostility to the interests of Black communities on the East Side to wary clientelism - but not a change in approach.
Ah, that sounds a little grim.

On the other side, there was constant fighting between Kucinich and... well, everyone else except his loyalists; his cuts to military spending and 'withdrawal' from the world produced conniptions on the right, disruptions in domestic industries, and mixed results in places like Korea and Argentina, where formerly American-supported military regimes responded to losing their sponsor by dialing up bloody repression
How was the relationship between Kucinich's US and Yugoslavia?

I suppose President Kucinich - and the Democrats as a whole - aren't liked too much by immigrants (and war refugees), are they?
 

Wolfram

a single, distant, very loud, yeehaw
Location
the Velvet Coffin, Texas
Pronouns
he/him
the Cianci Boys will have their revenge...

Say, how's that one New York prosecutor, Rudy something doing?
Ford appointed Rudy US Attorney from the get-go, and Cianci considered drafting him for the Roy Cohn Justice Department but ultimately kept him in SDNY, which saved his career when things went south. Rudy then ran for an outer-boroughs Congress seat, where he became a vocal and notable continuity Ciancite; he is currently the candidate for the Senate seat held by Bess Myerson, who replaced Moynihan when he was appointed SecState.

How was the relationship between Kucinich's US and Yugoslavia?
Complicated. Kucinich was opposed to bombing Serbia IOTL, but supported US peacekeeping efforts; Dole, on the other hand, was an active and enthusiastic interventionist IOTL. I imagine Kucinich probably tried to negotiate a planned and peaceful dissolution, with the support and cooperation of diaspora organizations in the US; that said, I have doubts about the likelihood of success there. Moreover, the fact of his Croatian heritage is probably pretty polarizing.
I suppose President Kucinich - and the Democrats as a whole - aren't liked too much by immigrants (and war refugees), are they?
It depends. European immigrants, especially from Ireland and Eastern Europe, tend to like him; the diaspora communities many of them joined fullthroatedly supported him, though some of them look askance at his anti-interventionism, diplomatic support of the IRA (Ireland, Northern and Republic, is not doing too well as of 1993, and a lot of that can be laid at his feet - that said, for at least some Irish immigrants, support for the IRA not considered a bad thing), or role in the financial crisis. Others, especially from Latin America and East Asia, not so much - that said, immigrants in the United States are by definition those who were not stopped by his immigration restrictions.
 

Veridian

disasterpiece
Location
the next universe over
Pronouns
She / They
1985-1993: Dennis Kucinich (Democratic) [3]
'84 (with Ernest Hollings) def. Robert Dole (Republican)
'88 (with Elizabeth Holtzman [4]) def. Barry Goldwater Jr. (Republican) [6], Pat Buchanan (Independent), John B. Anderson (Independent), Jesse Jackson (PUSH) [5]



[6] But Goldwater himself had his own issues. For one, he was too Sun Belt, too WASPish (even with his grandfather's Judaism), and too affluent to challenge Kucinich in his home territory, where he was still genuinely personally popular. For another, he had his own discontents to deal with - on his left, liberal Republicans flocked to the independent candidacy of former House Majority Leader John B. Anderson, while on the right, Pat Buchanan was able to triangulate a conservative answer to Kucinich's white-ethnic grievance politics. It was a close-run thing the whole way through, but - despite the worst popular-vote margin since Wilson - Kucinich won another term.
Barry Jr. continues to be my fav New Right candidate to piss off the right - he makes for such a more interesting Jack Kemp than Jack Kemp.
 

TheHatMan98

Well-known member
Hartford Academics Poll: Top 10 Presidents of the United States in the 20th Century

Sister list to this one of British PMs in the 20th Century
  1. Stuart Symington – Democrat (1961-1973)
  2. Nelson Rockefeller – Republican (1973-1979)
  3. Harold Stassen – Republican (1949-1953)
  4. Albert J. Beveridge – Republican (1913-1921)
  5. Gary Hart – Democratic (1985-1993)
  6. Wendell Willkie – Democratic (1941-1945)
  7. Earl Warren – Republican (1953-1961)
  8. James M. Cox – Democratic (1921-1929)
  9. William Jennings Bryan – Democratic (1901-1905)
  10. James S. Sherman – Republican (1905-1912)
[1] Finest President of the United States in the 20th Century, as agreed upon by the nation’s finest academics. Stuart Symington presided over some of the biggest changes in the nation’s history. Uniquely, the only President to serve more than two term, and for many Americans it wasn’t enough. Symington rarely appears out of the top 5 in any kind of list. It fell to him to guide the nation as the Cold War reached its zenith, and America finally overtook Britain as leader of the West against the Soviets, drawing a line in the sand that neither China nor Moscow could cross. At home, after years of unrest and back and forth, Symington overturned the legacy of segregation and Jim Crow with the ’63 Civil Right Bill, the 24th Amendment that broke voting discrimination, as well as his ‘Greater Union’ policies that overhauled healthcare, public works, market regulation and military funding. The modern United States has much owed to the Mighty Missourian.

[2] Rockefeller. Not merely the name of the 38th President, but a word that has defined the modern Republican Party since his election. New York’s favourite son, Rocky had been a Republican insider for much of his early life, before being propelled to Vice Presidency in the turbulent late 50’s before spending Symington’s Presidency as a Senator for New York. From this position, Rockefeller marshalled the forces of the Eastern Republicans behind the President’s agenda, making earning the irritation of the Conservative Coalition in the Senate. As President, he then ensure the longevity to the best of Symington’s work, reforming healthcare and welfare with national requirements before aid was give, housing programs and overseeing the Abortion Reform Act 1977. In foreign affairs, Rockefeller carried on American primacy in the Cold War: his Vice President would famously be charged to ensure détente with China, setting it off against Moscow; while the President signed the Vancouver Agreement with Prime Ministers Prior (UK), Hayden (Australia) and MacDonald (Canada) of the Commonwealth once more making official cooperation between the two against the Warsaw Pact. Though expected to follow through and match his predecessor’s achievement of a third term in office, tensions within a resurging conservative movement began to push back, and there was talk of a new amendment to prevent Presidential third terms, but before Rockefeller could respond he was struck down by a heart attack. The image of Rocky slumped over his desk, working for the nation to the end, is assured to grant him posterity.

[3] Before there was Rockefeller and Symington, there was Stassen. America of the late 1940s was a very troubled nation, struggling to come to terms with its position in the world post-WW2 and the vast social/economic changes it had undergone as a result. Polarisation was greater than ever, more than merely Republican vs Democrat but farm vs factory; North vs South; Atlantic vs Pacific; black vs white; labour vs business etc. Stassen’s time as President was one largely of moderate conservativism, typical of what would be known as Rockefeller Republicans, though tragedy would intervene to make Stassen the lesser of the two men in History’s eyes. Struggling with the fractious state of the nation and Congress for his first term, Stassen was able to bind a kind of moderate coalition together from his Mid-West basis, but they forced him to compromise on the interventionist foreign policy he had hoped to push, especially in Asia and West Europe. However the famous crux came in 1952 with crises in the West Pacific. The Quasis-War that ensued with the Japanese Empire, the Soviet-Manchu, Wang Jingwei and the Philippines was not Stassen’s fault by any stretch, but as the increased attacks on American civilian and military shipping increased, he increasingly became blamed by the public, culminating in his assassination after winning a narrow victory. Much of what followed in the decade has given Stassen the image of a kind of prophet for many Republicans that followed, a man who had all the solutions to problems to come, he had just come too early and to a Party that wasn’t ready for him yet…

[4] If the 20th Century was going to belong to any country, then it would belong to America. That was the basis of the everything Albert Beveridge did as President, whether dialling up the Progressive Movements hold on the reins of power to an eleven, or taking the nation head first into the First World War.

These policies were as controversial when they were enacted as they are today, Beveridge had no trouble with a second Naval Bill to Sherman’s first, and adding an Army Bill to the Congressional agenda. To many, this put America on collision course for the storm brewing in Europe though initially these extended arms of American power were sent to buttress the fledgling colonies and to support the Constitutionals in the Mexican Revolution before the first shot in Europe was fired. When the Great War did arrive, Beveridge was pro-Entente from the start and encouraged his Party and American business to get behind their war effort, naturally antagonizing the Central Powers who began making deals with Mexican rebels and influenced the German decision of unrestricted submarine warfare.

Despite the President’s confidence never once shaking throughout his tenure, confidence in him would fall into question by the 1916 election. One year into the American struggle, the allied war effort ran into deep trouble as US troops arrived on the Western front in time to take the brunt of the Verdun Offensive. The meat grinder that followed dominated the election, however a divided Democratic Party still meant that Beveridge swept the country. Eventually, the allies managed to cohere in 1917, and drove back on the Western Front, breaking through at Passchendaele and holding the German offensives to a standstill, the President consistently made sure that American troops did their part and got a fair share of the credit, himself crossing the Atlantic on General Wood’s invitation in time to see US Marines reach the Rhine in February 1918.

Victory brought its own trials however, and changes in government in both France and Britain meant Beveridge quickly began to form a rift with his former allies. Likewise at home, Beveridge was facing new enemies. During the War, Congress had been accept (if reluctant) to the need for allowing the Executive a massive increase in power to oversee its conduct, though many protested – one of the main critics by Democrats in 1916 were those similar to Lincoln had faced 50 years before – that the President had become a tyrant. Yet in Peace, Beveridge tried to hold on to much of his powers, particularly as regards the economy. The final years of Beveridge was marked by arguments on all front as now more and more deemed Progressivism and Imperialism had had its day in America.

[5] The last President of the Cold War came to office at a turbulent time. John Connally’s resignation was still raw and details of the financial scandals around him were still trickling out, and the split in the Republican Party went to the marrow. As a result, the former Senator from Colorado had his work cut out for him in uniting the country and getting the wavy economy back on track. Hartenomics became one of the defining words of the 1980s in America, as the President reengineered Keynesian policies of Symington and Rockefeller, boosting the power of labour unions and moving investments away from traditional industry, and towards the up and coming ones of the Microchip Age. By the end of his first tenure, Hart had the beginnings of what became ‘Digital Detroit’ as manufacturing in certain areas of the Rust Belt began to decline in favour of computers and the burgeoning internet to compete with Silicon Valley and Japan, and by the time Hart left office future giants Amazon and eBay would be based out of the city. Under Hart, inflation came under control (though not by enough to keep out of people’s minds) and GDP had an annual growth of 4%.

Foreign Affairs became a mixed bag, though dominated by his one major success: Ending the Cold War, and the collapse of the USSR. The new Soviet leadership were reform minded, and Hart eager to work with them, however, he had to tread carefully and as they faced crisis after crisis Soviet leadership kept pushing it back. ‘Bleeding Hart’, as Republicans derogatorily referred to the President and his attitude to the Russians, began outreach programmes to the Soviets which for a time seemed to work, until for the Central Committee it began to work too well. When Moscow tried to close down the American programmes active in the Soviet Union, the people on the streets reacted badly, as their patience finally ran out with the regime and took to the streets. The unrest soon spread to puppets of the Warsaw Pact in Warsaw, Gdansk, Budapest, Changchun, and Bucharest, and so the divided house couldn’t stand. In America, Hart was lauded for his tact and understanding of the Russian people even by the most hostile Republicans, which made Hart’s failings in Central Asia and the Middle East, and as his time in office wound down, this provided useful cover for the ongoing crisis inside the White House.

It was an open secret in the White House about Hart’s extramarital affairs from the beginning of his Presidency, however during the ’88 campaign, the first rumours began to leak to the press. They managed to be shrugged off as rumours by sore Republicans, however they never quite went away. The Washington Post gained confirmation of the President’s ongoing affair with Donna Rice in Summer 1992, but declined to print the evidence while the President remained in office, his popularity at the time being to great as he was on a high from shaking hands with the new ‘Democratic’ Russian Premier. Nevertheless, White House staff caught scent of the story and threatened legal action (whether this was with Hart’s approval remains unclear), which prompted the Post to react in self-defence and publish the story anyway. The whole episode was blown totally out proportion, and while Hart remained personally popular, polls declared that ‘the Administration’ was failing, with the main fallout from the scandal being the contamination of VP Mario Cuomo’s ticket to succeed Hart.

[6] For better and for worst, Wendell Willkie was not Albert Beveridge – is the epitaph by which most Americans remember the 34th President. Elected in 1941, while WW2 was less than a year old, Willkie was already out of his depth as an ardent interventionist elected on an isolationist platform and owed much of his political capitalist to his VP, David Walsh, who did his best to ensure the President kept this to this tack. Early on Willkie scored huge success with the Matsuoka-Hull Agreement that ended talk of war between Japan and America as a result of the Knox Administration’s embargos. But even then events conspired in the President’s favour in the worst possible way when German U-boats torpedoed USS Ranger.

America was at war, and Willkie, now vindicated moved the nation to a war footing and he was thrown onto the world stage with Joe Stalin and Britain’s J.R. Clynes. Sadly, this was an arena into which Willkie was rapidly outclassed in: conscious that Britain in skies of southern England, the Breton Redoubt, Norway and North Africa and Russia across the vast spaces of the Eastern Front were facing the brunt of the war, Willkie made concessions which prioritised Lend Lease (which the Democrats had been hoping to end) over supply America’s war effort. On some level this made sense, as the American armed forces were tiny compared to its allies and enemies, and needed time to build themselves up to a substantial force that act independently, but the President’s unwillingness to take risks and project American power frustrated many and for much of the war Americans, even in places when they would outnumber their allies, went severely underrepresented in High Command.

The fact was Willkie was an idealist, and it was to the post-war future that he was most keen to look forward to best personified in his Twenty Point Plan for Peace published after the Baghdad Conference with support from the Stalin and Morrison (Clynes’ successor). While mostly clarifying allied war aims, the Plan went further in calling for a United League of Nations which could arbitrate international disputes with out the need for violence. In this Willkie became the Father of the modern United Nations, however his good intentions and plans for the post-War world soon became compromised, as shortly before the 1944 election, the President suffered several heart attacks. Forced by doctors to remain in the US, Willkie had to leave more work to others until he was finally subdued by another heart attack and was succeeded by the dreaded isolationist Walsh.

[7] Out of the tragedy of Stassen’s death came Warren, which initially had many people groaning and little was expect to come from the effectively retired former California governor. Despite this Warren is largely said to have done a decent enough job given the turbulent period that he oversaw. At a time when the Civil Rights movement was getting its feet well and truly off the ground, Warren provided an impartial hand that oversaw the Truman Court ruling in Parks vs Montgomery, the deployment of federal troops in the Atlanta Crisis – events which began the end of segregation and Jim Crow, however the President would often drag his heels over civil rights as a price for his impartiality and Warren would be long out of power by the time it ran its course.

One of the excuses Warren had for his lack of urgency on Civil Rights were events across the Pacific. As the Japanese position in South East Asia began to collapse under its own weight, and China descended into civil war between Jingwei and Zhou, Warren initially withdrew from the conflict until he reengaged again to prevent the islands Taiwan and Hainan from falling into Communist hands or back into Japanese. The occupation of the islands would notoriously bloody as American troops fought CCP insurgents and guerrilla Japanese settlers for increasingly vague reasoning, in addition to the fight they were already engaged in the Philippines, which was at least in defence of a legitimate government from armed rebels. The news reel footage especially painted a poor picture and rumours of atrocities on both sides compelled international condemnation, nevertheless the regime change in Tokyo and American material power soon made a difference and as the decade turned resistance died down and V. K. Wellington Koo was inaugurated as President of 2nd Chinese Republic in Taipei. While this might have given some retrospective purpose to the Quasi War in Asia, Americans nevertheless held a sour taste in their mouth, and record low opinion polls predicted a complete wash out of Republicans, first in the midterms, and then is the Presidential election.

Ultimately, Warren’s term as President speaks for itself – good intentions and sound thinking, confounded by procrastination in the White House and events beyond its control.

[8] As recent as ten years ago, its possible that Cox might have been raised higher in this list, but as public and academic opinion of the United States in the 1920s had dropped, so to does the defining President of that decade. James M. Cox would be the last President of the Progressive Era, though few expected him to amount to much until his shock defeat of war hero Gen. Leonard Wood in 1920.

Cox’s campaign pledge to ‘return to prosperity’ hit exactly the right tone with the war weary public and to avoid a post-war slump taxes were cut and selective tariffs were increased which would work mostly through the entire decade. Though beneath the surface Cox’s America was a myriad of contradictions: it was anti-big business, yet began to roll back regulations and trust busting; campaigned for tougher action on crime, yet post-Volstead Act the White House still stocked liquor, and VP Carter Glass had financial links to moonshiners in his native Virginia; Cox was vocal in support for self-determination for the Philippines and anti-Imperialist, but endorsed legislation that restricted enfranchisement of immigrants and minorities at home.

Part of the appeal of Cox era as the Roaring Twenties comes from the general zeitgeist of the period, but also a very structured and consistent effort by the President and his deputy Glass to control the image of them and the government. Both men had considerable newspaper interests and used them widely for their own ends in a manner not seen since the Jefferson/Hamilton era. Later in the decade, Cox then took to the radio and his weekly national broadcast became staple listening in millions of household. In effect, Cox was the first mass media president and his innovations would change campaigning and public relations forever and would for 50 years shield Cox from much of the blame that should fall on his administration for the Depression that gripped the country until WW2

[9] For some people, the Presidency is a waste for time – and so it was for William Jennings Bryan. The first President of the Century came to office after William McKinley declined a second term in office and a fractious Republican Party dubiously nominated Admiral Dewey at the last minute. Bryan had a solid reputation from the 1896 campaign and again planned to introduce a progressive and populist agenda. However, despite his lofty goals, Bryan ran into the brick wall of a vindictive Republican dominated Congress that refused to play ball. Bryan hoped to outflank Congress by once more appealing to the general public and in 1902 went on a speaking tour of the nation to drum up support of his agenda and force the Republicans to budge in face of public opinion.

While popularly received wherever he went (becoming one of the most seen national politicians of the time), Bryan was repeatedly attack in the press by friends – who wished to get on with the business of running the country – and foes – who simply wished he just stop. Returning to Washington he found little had changed, and little was accomplished in the rest of his tenure, besides the independence of Cuba. He, like his rival McKinley, refused re-election and has been since characterised as either President before his time, or being better off out of office altogether where he could better shape public opinion and policy for the better.

[10] Still cautious over the Bryan presidency, the Republicans would shackle their progressives by selecting the stalwart New York conservative as their candidate for the Presidency, whose ticket was finely balanced with Robert La Follette, and delivered a sound defeat to the Democrats on two occasions making him the first President since Grant to be successively elected to the Office. Despite Sherman’s conservativism, he had to suffer a Congress which was more and more receptive to Progressive ideas on both sides, and Sherman would reticently throw support behind Food and Drug regulation. Sherman also wanted to better project American power, in light of developments in Japan and post the Spanish-American War, signing the First Naval Bill that began a massive expansion of the Navy and introduced it as the third Dreadnought power.

This move would antagonise Tokyo and the already fraught relations with Japan would be strained further when the administration introduced limits on immigration that singled out Japanese moving to California. It’s from Sherman’s attitude toward racial minorities would tarnish his legacy among most Presidents of his era, though none have been so linked to the poor relations that would exist between the USA and an entire nation for the next 30-40 years.

Perhaps Sherman’s defining characteristic was that he managed to govern quietly in between Presidents whose terms were extremely tumultuous even by the standards of the time. Despite his double tenure in the office, few can identify Sherman as President and is only thought of (if ever) as the first President to die in office during the 20th Century.

1901-1905: William Jennings Bryan/Arthur Sewall (Democratic)
1900 def. George Dewey/Mark Hanna (Republican), Louis C. Hughes/Joshua Levering (Prohibition)

1905-1912: James S. Sherman*/Robert La Follette (Republican)
1904 def. William Randolph Hearst/Francis Cockrell (Democratic)
1908 def. George Gray/John A. Johnson (Democratic), Eugene V. Debs/Benjamin Hanford (Socialist)


1912-1913: Robert La Follette/Vacant (Republican)

1913-1921: Albert J. Beveridge/Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. (Republican)
1912 def. Oscar Underwood/George E. Chamberlain (Democratic), Eugene V. Debs/Benjamin Hanford (Socialist)
1916 def. Thomas Gore/Simeon Baldwin (Peace Democrats), Robert Lansing/Franklin D. Roosevelt (War Democrats), Robert La Follette/Victor Murdock (Progressive), Eugene V. Debs/Benjamin Hanford (Socialist)


1921-1929: James M. Cox/Carter Glass (Democratic)
1920 def. Leonard Wood/Miles Poindexter (Republican), Robert La Follette/Ernest Lundeen (Progressive)
1924 def. James Watson/Peter Norbeck (Republican), Robert La Follette/Magnus Johnson (Progressive)


1929-1933: Andrew Mellon/Hiram Johnson (Republican)
1928 def. Duncan U. Fletcher/William Gibbs McAdoo (Democratic)

1933-1937: William A. Ayres/Daniel J. Moody (Democratic)
1932 def. Joseph J. Blaine/George W. Norris (Republican)

1937-1941: Frank Knox/Charles L. McNary (Republican)
1936 def. William A. Ayres/Daniel J. Moody (Democratic)

1941-1945: Wendell Willkie*/David I. Walsh (Democratic)
1940 def. Frank Knox/Charles L. McNary (Republican)
1944 def. Arthur H. Vanderberg/Alf Landon (Republican), Richard Russel Jr./Leadner Perez (Dixiecrat)


1945-1949: David I. Walsh/Vacant (Democratic)

1949-1953: Harold Stassen*/Earl Warren (Republican)
1948 def. Claude Pepper/Harry F. Byrd (Democratic)
1952 def. Robert S. Kerr/W. Averell Harriman (Democratic)


1953-1957: Earl Warren/Vacant (Republican)

1957-1961: Earl Warren/Nelson Rockefeller (Republican)
1956 def. W. Averell Harriman/Albert Gore Sr. (Democratic)

1961-1969: Stuart Symington/Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic)
1960 def. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr./William F. Knowland (Republican)
1964 def. George H. Bender/Everett Dirksen (Republican), John Sparkman/James Eastland (Dixiecrat)


1969-1973: Stuart Symington/Ralph Yarborough (Democratic)
1968 def. Hiram Fong/Richard Schweiker (Republican), Strom Thurmond/George Wallace (Dixiecrat)

1973-1979: Nelson Rockefeller*/John Connally (Republican)
1972 def. Terry Sanford/Wilbur Mills (Democratic), Ross Barnett/Curtis LeMay (Dixiecrat)
1976 def. Robert Byrd/Milton Shapp (Democratic)


1979-1983: John Connally**/Charles H. Percy (Republican)
1980 def. Henry M. Jackson/Cliff Finch (Democratic)

1983-1985: Charles H. Percy/Barry Goldwater (Republican)

1985-1993: Gary Hart/Mario Cuomo (Democratic)
1984 def. Charles H. Percy/John B. Anderson (Republican), Barry Goldwater/Bill Clements (National Union)
1988 def. Pete du Pont/Bob Dole (Republican)


1993-1997: Jack Kemp/James Stockdale (Republican)
1992 def. Mario Cuomo/Joe Biden (Democratic)

1997-????: Robert P. Casey/Barbara Boxer (Democratic)
1996 def. Jack Kemp/James Stockdale (Republican)
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member

2009-2014 Mircea Geoană (PSD,AUR after 24 March 2012,PSD+PC after 14 September 2014)
2009 Presidential Elections First Round def: Traian Bãsescu (PD-L),Crin Antonescu (PNL),Corneliu Vadim Tudor (PRM)
2009 Presidential Elections Second Round def: Traian Bãsescu (PD-L)
2012 Parliamentary Elections: AUR [277],PD-L [138],PMP [70],PP-DD [70],UDMR [27]
2014 European Parliament Elections: AUR [16],PD-L [7],PMP [5],UDMR [2],PP-DD [1],Monica Macovei-Independent


2014-2015 Traian Băsescu (PMP)
2014 Presidential Elections First Round def: Mircea Geoană (PSD+PC),Crin Antonescu (PNL),Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (PLR)
2014 Presidential Elections Second Round def: Mircea Geoană (PSD+PC)


2015-2016 Călin Popescu-Tariceanu (PLR,Interimary President)
2015 Presidential Impeachment Referendum: 68,90% No,voting turnout 48,90%-DISPUTED

2016-2019 Traian Băsescu (PMP)
2016 Parliamentary Elections: PSD+ALDE [230],PMP [95],PD-L [46],PNL [40],UDMR [27],USR [25],M10 [20]
2017 Constitutional Referendum regarding the definition of the family: 94% Yes,voting turnout 29,10%-DISPUTED
2019 European Parliament Elections: PSD+ALDE [9],ACD [9],USR+M10 [9],PMP [4],UDMR [2]


2019-present day Ion-Aurel Pop (PSD+ALDE)
2019 Presidential Elections First Round def: Ciprian Ciucu (USR+M10),Ilie Bolojan (ACD),Elena Udrea (PMP)
2019 Presidential Elections Second Round def: Ciprian Ciucu (USR+M10)
2020 Local and Parliamentary Elections Postponed due to CoVid til 3 November 2021
 

Mumby

Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
Location
Municipal Commune of Bourne
Pronouns
He/Him
Political Rundown of The Workers' International c.1968

Bolsheviks - Still considered a 'first amongst equals' due to their dominating position in the USSR, which retains a level of respect as flagbearers of the Revolution. Increasingly isolated these days, since the heights of power they achieved in the 1920s and 30s. Trotsky is long dead at this point and a new generation of revolutionaries have singularly failed to emerge from the ranks of either the military or the intelligentsia. However, that spiritual respect we mentioned before is matched by the sheer scale of the USSR's military organisation - and the fact that their possession of nuclear weapons means that the rest of the International is effectively under their atomic umbrella. Russian bombs deterring Franco-British revanchism buys a lot of respect.

Spartacists - The first major non-Bolshevists to emerge in the International, they also enjoy respect as those who opened the door for other rebels from the Moscow line to enter the room. Like the Bolsheviks they are looking a little old-fashioned these days - perhaps because their more decentralised ideals of communism have basically become the norm everywhere, and their social ideas have not really progressed much further than what was being mulled over in the 40s. Very distinctly the grouping for 'Germans and their mates' these days.

Agrarians - The up-and-comers, who will take the world by storm. If they can make their numbers tell. The Indian Revolution may have been the International's biggest success since the Anti-Fascist Crusade, but it also definitively started the Cold War, hardening the FBU's resolve and putting China firmly on the side of the West. And the International's reward is a fairly sclerotic mess on the subcontinent. India is by its nature very decentralised and while its the spiritual leader of the global Agrarian movement, that movement lacks much central or ideological discipline. So yeah, while they are big and get bigger, they are still definitively playing third fiddle.

Point Fivers - Yesterday's men, if they were ever really a thing yesterday. Mostly in the 'observer' position these days since the Cold War began and their few governing representatives got cleaved apart by anti-communist sentiment and a failure by the Point Fivers to either commit to revolution or milquetoast social democracy in their home countries. Their only real member with teeth are the Spanish, but they are fucking weird - they have kept up a cozy relationship with anarchists since the Anti-Fascist Crusade. My dude that was two internationals ago, what is going on.

Rainbow Group - Again, mostly observers. But maybe they will inherit the earth. Their flagbearer is the militant Civil Rights movement in the United States, and they have managed to articulate a coherent anti-capitalist and (perhaps more importantly) anti-colonial ideology which is catching on in Franco-British Africa. I mean, it is freaking the Yanks out no end, and could end up being snuffed out by Hoover any day now - but the Rainbow Group are way more organised than the Agrarians. They aren't disappearing any time soon.
 
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