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Decolonization of Asia and the emergence of the Third World (1945-1955)

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  1. The tyranny form of government
    1. The concept of power
    2. The tyrant, the sole holder of power
  2. Tyranny, a controversial and transient system
    1. A controversial system
    2. A transient regime

In 1945, South Asia was almost totally colonized by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or France. In this region, the national movements were sometimes old and very structured. They were led by charismatic and cultivated leaders. The occupation of certain European colonies by the Japanese, the ideals of the war, and the weakening of cities, led to the radicalization of the protest movements of Asia in 1945. Also, a massive process of rapid decolonization began in South Asia.

Forms of decolonization in Asia are different since they depend on the reaction of cities faces nationalist movements. The intellectual elite formed by local missionaries, teachers and universities in the European metropolis were steeped in the Western values and culture (Enlightenment, liberal democracy, Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen), referred to their account of these ideals, and turned against the colonial power.

Each colony contains its own question. In contact with the colonizers, the enslaved people gain national consciousness which is led by the indigenous Westernized elite and excluded from political power. The Indian leaders Nehru and Gandhi, Sukarno and the Indonesian and Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh led independence movements that enliven and embody the Asian nationalism. Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi graduated in law in England, become lawyers and worked within the Indian National Congress to win independence for India. Ahmed Sukarno came from the Javanese gentry and graduated from and engineering school in Bandung.

Ho Chi Minh, the son of a mandarin (official) of Annam (province of Vietnam), studied in Europe in London and Paris and joined the French Communist Party in 1921. These elites rejected the administrative and political domination in the name of "right of peoples to self-determination", condemn the "colonial pact" (unequal system in which the colonies are relegated to suppliers of raw materials, mining and agricultural materials) on behalf of the equality of nations and condemned the exploitation of one nation by another and condemned the contradictions of colonial societies (the absence of political rights for local people, the allocation of land to settlers) on behalf of equal rights.

Asia has the distinction of being the precursor in the formation of nationalist movements and a focus of contestation of colonial domination led by organizations representing diverse ideological tendencies. In India, in 1885, Westernized elites founded the Indian National Congress or "Congress Party", a political organization that called for greater Indian participation in political life. In 1929, Nehru was elected Secretary General of the Congress Party.

Also in India, the "Muslim League" founded in 1905 and headed by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a religious movement, with strong religious identity that struggled for independence and the birth of a Muslim state. In Indochina, Ho Chi Minh was the charismatic leader of an independence movement. In 1930, he founded the Indochinese Communist Party, then in 1941, the Viet Minh, or League for the Independence of Vietnam.

In Indonesia, Sukarno founded with some students, the Indonesian National Party, which advocated the idea of an independent Indonesia, and a religiously neutral state.

Tags: Muslim League, Indian National Congress, Indonesian National Party

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