Thomas Paine and the Rights of Hindus

24 09 2009
Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

I would like to draw people’s attention to a piece by historian J. M. Opal in Common-placeCommon Sense and Imperial Atrocity: How Thomas Paine saw South Asia in North America”. Opal argues that Paine understanding of British policy in the Thirteen Colonies was influenced by the ongoing British debate about British misrule and atrocity in India.

If Opal’s interpretation is correct, it means that Paine saw the whites of the Thirteen Colonies and Hindu and Muslim populations of India as co-victims of the British Empire.

I found Opal’s argument interesting in light of a book I have purchased and plan to read this weekend, David Armitage’s The Declaration of Independence: a Global History.

The picture of Paine is from the Library of Congress (see here) and is in the public domain.