How would you characterize the Cold War

1. How would you characterize the Cold War? How was it a form of total war that impacted the entire world?

2. How did total wars (World War One, World War Two and the Cold War) accelerate anti-colonial movements in Africa and Asia?

3. At the start of Indian independence was the village of Mano Majra more enlightened or did the villages have pre-enlightened views.

4. Why were trains important to Mano Majra? How did changes in train arrivals and departures in Mano Majra reflect changes in post-colonial India? What did the trains start to bring after Indian independence that they had never brought before? How did that change Mano Majra?

5. What did the people of Mano Majra initially know of India’s independence? How did they feel about it? Did they immediately engage in sectarian violence like their neighboring villages, why or why not? How did sectarian violence come to Mano Majra? Could anyone escape the sectarian conflict?

6. Who is Iqbal Singh? Why has he come to the village of Mano Majra? Are his views more pre-Enlightened or enlightened? Did he have a great influence on the villagers? Why or why not? In the end of the book, did he see India taking an enlightened post-colonial path?

7. On page 171, Singh writes, “Proof? We do not go in for such pedestrian pastimes as proof! That is Western. We are of the mysterious East. No proof, just faith. No reason: just faith.” What does he mean by that?

8. If you were a leader of a former colony that gained independence after World War Two how would you unite your people into a new nationalism and how would you structure your newly independent country? What challenges would you face and how would you deal with them?


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