My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.
V is for Vijayanagara Confederation: 16 May 1929, Vijayanagara – Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, premier of the Vijayanagara Confederation gathers a conference of representatives from throughout the Indian sub-continent to discuss a union of their nations. With the co-operation of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from the Maratha Republic and Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Khilafat Protectorate, they establish the Bharat Federation, named after the historical name for India, Bharatavarsha.
The constitution of the Federation is built around universal suffrage, and economic policies based on import substitution industrialisation and a mixed economy, where the government-controlled public sector co-existed with the private sector. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade in goods that Bharat excelled in producing is encouraged in exchange for goods that the states are not able to be self-reliant in. A formal agreement is made with the Kanata Konføderasjon to develop airship technology. In all states, religious pluralism is to be adhered to as well as an end to purdah, child marriage, untouchability, and the extreme oppression of widows, up to and including sati.
All attempts by outsiders, from the Moghuls, the British, the Portuguese, and the Chinese, to influence the affairs of the sub-continent had been resisted over centuries, and Bharat becomes a founder member of the Union of World Nations in 1930.
In our timeline: The Vijayanagara Empire was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Sangama Dynasty. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century.
The empire’s legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hamp, formerly the capital city of Vijayanagara. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire’s patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.
The largest feudatories of the Vijayanagar empire – the Mysore Kingdom, Keladi Nayaka, Nayaks of Madurai, Nayaks of Tanjore, Nayakas of Chitradurga and Nayak Kingdom of Gingee – declared independence and went on to have a significant impact on the history of South India in the coming centuries. These kingdoms lasted into the 18th century, while the Mysore Kingdom remained a princely state until Indian Independence in 1947, although they came under the British Raj in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan.
Tragically, India and Pakistan’s path to partition was bloody and difficult despite the attempts of the leaders, including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru – the first Prime Minister of India – and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. The ongoing political tensions between the nations has often been cited as a potential nuclear flashpoint.
Among other prominent activists was Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972) born in Tamil Nadu. Informally called Rajaji or C.R., he was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state.
Would the foreign powers have taken over the Indian sub-continent if the states had been united? What could have emerged without the British Raj? What language would have become the dominant language? Could Bharat be a major ally or rival of Kanata?
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