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British Empire

Book Review: 'Mau Mau and the Kikuyu'

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'Mau Mau and the Kikuyu', by L.S.B. Leakey

A man who was born and reared amongst a primitive people, who speaks their language fluently, who has been accepted and initiated into a high and respected rank in their community and who is a student of anthropology, such a man is in a remarkably good position to write of their history and social organisation. Mr. L. S. B. Leakey has all these qualifications to write of the Kikuyu people of Kenya and the Mau Mau organisation that has developed amongst them.

Book Review: 'Can Pakistan Survive?'

Imperial hangover

'Can Pakistan Survive?', by Tariq Ali (Penguin, £2.95)

When the British ruling class decided that its continued exploitation of South Asia was best done outside a formal imperial framework, the region was divided into two states along religious lines. Thus in 1947 Pakistan came into existence, divided into two parts separated by a thousand miles of India. The history of "independent” Pakistan since that time is the subject of Tariq Ali’s latest book.

Hong Kong Hand-over

In September last year the British and Chinese governments signed a Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong, which provided for China to resume control from 1 July 1997. This was the culmination of two years of hard bargaining over the spoils of a sordid nineteenth-century imperialist expansion, which also reveals not a little about twentieth-century capitalism.

Divide and Rule in India

The British invaders of India did not create Moslem-Hindu rivalry but they certainly made use of what they found. A divided India was a weak India. Although communal riots were troublesome for the Police and costly to traders it was possible for the alien rulers to view them somewhat philosophically. British capitalists were holding down India because they made big profits out of it and they no more thought of getting out of India because of Hindu-Moslem riots than they would have thought of giving up the profits of capitalism at home because of occasional conflicts with the workers.

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