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67 votes
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Is the photograph "England’s Revenge in India" real, staged, or fake?

It seems to be the painting Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English, a painting by the Russian artist Vasily Vereshchagin c. 1884 According to the annotation on Wikipedia: It ...
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51 votes
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Why did the UK allow India to be a republic rather than a democratic parliament under the British Monarch?

That's an interesting question. When India first gained independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947 it was as The Dominion of India, with King George VI as king and Head of State. India ...
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43 votes
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Where was gunpowder invented/ discovered?

This confusion is A Thing. I actually looked into it a few weeks back. Its quite likely that ancient Indians were the first people to harvest and make use of saltpeter. We certainly haven't found ...
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32 votes
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Why did English become Lingua Franca of the modern world?

I don't think there's much truth in this claim. Although the US does speak English, the spread of the English language is because British empire was the most successful amongst colonial empires. ...
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30 votes
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Why would anyone from Japan be in Northern India in early 1900s?

There would seem to be quite a number of possibilities, including: Businessmen Japanese business interests in India were extensive between the two world wars. Putting this together with "In the ...
29 votes
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Did Napoleon plan to invade India?

The answer is a very solid yes although I'd prefer the word Intervene rather than invade. India was one of the key possessions of British and Indian trade was crucial to British economy at that time....
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25 votes
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Why did Nepal and Bhutan not become a part of India like other princely states when colonial rule ended?

Legalities Modern India evolved out of the transitionary Dominion of India, which was created from territories of the British Raj. It is important to note that neither Bhutan nor Nepal were princely ...
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24 votes
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Was there a serious proposal to offer India territory in East Africa?

Yes, surprising as it is, I found credible sources indicating that there was some discussion of offering India East Africa as a mandate. Perhaps it is useful for others who wish to read more about ...
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21 votes
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How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of Exploration?

The Fall of Constantinople had a negligible effect on the launching of the Age of Discovery, school textbooks notwithstanding. It was well under way a generation earlier, due to the perfection of the ...
20 votes
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What happened to Dada Abdullah & Co, the firm that started Gandhi's career in South Africa?

Like most early Indian trading firms operating in South Africa, Dada Abullah & Co. went into rapid decline after the turn of the century.[1] The firm's founder and principal partner, Abdullah Haji ...
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20 votes
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Why didn't invaders of India ever cross into Myanmar and beyond (east)?

The region to east of Bengal is Myanmar. In between them, the Himalayan foothills taper off rather abruptly into the Bay of Bengal. They still form quite a formidable obstacle. Southeast Asia itself ...
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20 votes
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Is Indus civilization over 8000 years old?

There's a bit of confusion over terms here. The culture that was first excavated at Harrapa, as per the idiom of archeologists, was named "Harrapan" after the first archeological site at ...
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19 votes

Is the photograph "England’s Revenge in India" real, staged, or fake?

Radio Yerevan reports that: "In principle, yes, the photo is absolutely real. Except, that it isn't a real photo, its name isn't 'England's Revenge in India', and the propaganda book never ...
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18 votes

Why would anyone from Japan be in Northern India in early 1900s?

(Some) Indians, and (some) Japanese share a common religion, Buddhism. This religion was founded in India in the sixth century B. C.,spread over East Asia, and found its way to Japan in the sixth ...
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17 votes
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Who introduced Yoga to the West?

Modern Yoga as it is known in the West gained traction in the late 1890s, when Indian monks began transmitting their knowledge to the Western world. Specifically, the influential Swami Vivekananda is ...
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17 votes

Where are the descendants of Mughals today?

No one knows where they are. Professor Aslam Pervez, an historian of Bahadur Shah II's reign and a founding member of the Mughal Trust, told The Daily Telegraph: "There are so many people who ...
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16 votes

Did the US and Soviet navies really come close to blows in the Indian Ocean in 1971?

The narrative states that Enterprise was off the coast of Viet Nam on Dec 10, 1971. The way I recall the situation, Enterprise was in the area of Hong Kong and it was more like Dec 20 or close there ...
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16 votes
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How large were the East India Company armed forces?

The British East India Company raised three forces between 1740-1757. These became known as the Presidency Armies, named after the three Presidencies in India under Company rule. They were the: ...
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16 votes
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Why did the Portuguese permit an Italian commercial agent to accompany Vasco da Gama on the 4th Portuguese India Armada?

This expedition was financed by the Affaitadi family (they were bankers), of which Matteo de Bergamo was a clerk. It is natural that the investors would ask the da Gama brothers to take one of their ...
15 votes
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How did ululation originate and spread?

Ululation is of such ancient origins, likely in Sumer, that it would be difficult to trace its diffusion to other cultures. For example, a Sumerian proverb written down 4,000 years ago reads: (...
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15 votes

Why did English become Lingua Franca of the modern world?

The claims you cite are based on several wrong assumptions. That the development of the US strongly depended on investment from Britain. British colonies are independent since 1776, and long before ...
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15 votes
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Was Kandhar/Gandhar renamed Afghanistan?

No. The word which appears in Sanskrit ancient tomes is "Gāndhāra". That refers to ancient Kingdom of Gandhara which is now part of North-West Pakistan. It's boundaries included Peshawar Region, ...
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14 votes

Why didn't Gengis Khan invade India?

Genghis Khan mostly made a one-way trip. There were two main branches of the Silk Road (which wasn't an actual road, but rather an itinerary). One passed north of the Himalayas and one south (or by ...
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14 votes
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What happened in Calcutta in 1961?

I would guess that this fellow was stationed at the American consulate general (that is what AM CON GEN stands for) in Calcutta between 1961 and 1962. So to answer your precise question: Probably not ...
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14 votes
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What stopped the British from granting independence to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands?

On 30 June 1947 (one and a half months before the independence of India), there was a discussion in the UK House of Commons about Anglo-Indians and Europeans (alternative link): Mr. Gammons asked ...
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13 votes

What is the origin of Khans? Is there any link between South Asian Khans and the Mongols?

RI Swamp Yankee has provided a good answer however I find some aspects lacking and some misinformation in the otherwise decent answer. Mongols and Islam When talking about Mongols, one has to ...
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13 votes

Who introduced coins in India?

"The first coins in India were minted around the 6th century BC by the Mahajanapadas of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, and certainly before the invasion of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. " ...
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13 votes
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Why did Bakht Khan switch sides in Indian War of Independence 1857?

For a possible reason, Encyclopædia Britannica says this about Bakht Khan (emphasis mine): Related on his mother’s side to the ruling house of Oudh (Ayodhya), which was deposed by the British in ...
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12 votes
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Instances of Jauhar around the world

Yes. Off the top of my head, jauhar is reminiscent of the Siege of Masada. Looking at the wikipedia entry for jauhar (which you linked), I see also a reference to Balinese puputan. Finally, here is a ...
12 votes
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How voluntary was Sati during the Mughal era?

Sati were supposed to be voluntary. Since it was offensive to the sentiments of the Mughals, its rulers such as Akbar the Great explicitly banned involuntary sati. On a superficial level, therefore, ...
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