Weak like Europe

Colin Ross compares India to Europe to drive home his prediction of a liberated India’s eventual splintering and vulnerability.

Like Europe, India is not one nation, Ross notes, but hosts a variety of peoples and interests who struggle to identify common interests. Great Britain, meanwhile, is equated to the dying Roman empire, whose “quarrelsome” [p. 406] subject nations were unleashed after the collapse of imperial power.

Such general comparisons to things back home are Colin Ross’s stock-in-trade. These frequently imprecise analogies are designed to familiarize the faraway. But they also often have the inverse effect of casting German politics in a more dramatic light. For example, Ross details at length how vulnerable a non-united India would be to both ethnic dissension (of the Muslim population) and military invasion (from Afghanistan or China). What does that portend for a Europe that is similarly divided against herself?

The concept of pan-Europe as advocated by Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi is mentioned, not without sympathy, as “a remote ideal”. [p. 406] After his return to Germany in 1930, Ross would follow through on this. He traveled through Europe and wrote articles in which he pleaded for some measure of European unity and reconciliation. The referenced article exemplifies such reasoning, down to the comparison with India.

Joachim Schätz

Colin Ross. [Excerpt from] Things Seen in India. The Living Age: 1930 Jun 1; 405–7.

Topic: Colonialism
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30


1 Colin Ross. Europa G. m. b. H. Sein oder Nichtsein eines ganzen Erdteils. Berliner Morgenpost: 1931 Feb 26; 49; 1–2. See also: Colin Ross. Deutsch-französische Psychose. Berliner Morgenpost: 1931 Jul 26;  177; 1–2. See Library.

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