Comparison between Quebec and India

by raphaelledion on April 2, 2014 - 7:26pm

 

Even though Canada and India don’t seem similar at first sight, their populations have some points in common. Through the history of India, Hindus and Muslims had to live under the same government. However, these two ethnic groups didn’t get along well mostly because of their different cultures and beliefs, which were influenced by their views of history. Like Jinnah said, “very often the hero of one is the foe of the other” (Theodore de Bary 230). In Canada, Quebecers can relate to Muslims in India. In Canadian history, the French and English were always opposed to one another. Over the course of history, Muslims and Hindus have often fought against one another to defend what each thought was right. So did the French and English in Canada, for example during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham (“Constitutional History”). These conflicts obviously led to a feeling of distrust and even hatred between Muslims and Hindus and French and English Canadians. Given that each ethnic group’s view of life is different, it’s impossible to form a government that would suit both of them.

 

Furthermore, since the Muslims no longer had much power after the British eliminated the Mughal Empire in 1858, it was natural for the authorities to favor the Hindus’ interests because they represented the majority of the population (Cohen 16). To get some power back, Muslims fought to get their own province, which led to the Partition of Bengal in 1905. Similarly, after the Conquest of New France by the British, French Canadians became a minority under the English. In 1791, Canada was divided into Upper Canada, where English speakers resided, and Lower Canada, where French speakers lived (“Constitutional History”). In both cases, the creation of a territory for the minority was an attempt to ease the tensions between the Muslims and Hindus and the English and French.

                                                                                                                                                         

However, Muslim Indians still wanted to create their own country because they didn’t trust Hindus to defend their interests. The same situation applies to the nationalist French Canadians, who still want to form their own country so they won’t have to live under a constitution with an English mentality. Just like Muslims in India, French Canadians always had different beliefs and views of life that are not always compatible with the majority.

 

Works Cited

 

Cohen, Stephen P. Idea of Pakistan. Washington: Brookings Institution Press,  2004. Web. 29 March 2014.

 

“Constitutional History.” Canadiana. n.p. n.d. Web. 29 March 2014.

 <http://www.canadiana.ca/citm/themes/constitution/constitution6_e.html>

 

Theodore de Bary, William, and Stephen Hay. Sources of Indian Tradition  Volume II : Modern India and Pakistan. Columbia University Press, 1988. Print.

 

 

Comments

I like how you analyzed the whole situation for both countries to really be able to point out how they relate to one another. However, I would like to come back on one of the points you make as I think it does not reflect today's reality. I must disagree with you when you come and state that it would be "impossible to form a government that would suit both of them [groups]". There are several living examples that clearly show that it is possible for a government to make concessions and to focus on issues that are meaningful for both parties. Examples such as Switzerland, where three distinct groups cohabit under one single flag: Germans, French and Italians, or South Africa, where English and Boers have learned to live together in peace. It is important, when you live with two different important cultural groups, to focus on what will unite the two and to insist on mutual respect, instead of emphasizing on one's differences (Ambedkar Part V (in part XIII). It is what these countries have done, and it is, I think, what makes them stronger than other nations. I am not saying that everyone will always agree on every point, just that it is possible to have a government that reflects the the majority of both groups.
Sources :
Ambedkar, B. R. "Must there be a Pakistan-Part XIII." Columbia University in the City of New York. Columbia University in the City of New York, n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/ambedkar_partition/.

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