Creep

A new biography argues that the British commander who ordered the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on Vaisakhi day, 1919, was every bit as sadistic as reputed. Nigel Colletts’ damning take on General Reginald Dyer is rightly called The Butcher of Amritsar (via Amardeep Singh):

… Indians… were also incensed by the General’s notorious “crawling order.” In the street where a female missionary had been left for dead, Dyer decreed that between 6am and 8pm Indians could only proceed on their bellies and elbows and were to be beaten if they raised a buttock… a series of outrages… ensured that the indigenous elite would seek fulfilment in a government of their own race… [the book] helps retire the notion that the end of the Raj was anything but a good thing.

Surprisingly, Dyer’s instruments of butchery were desi soldiers from remote areas, not Brits. (The U.S. has pursued a similar strategy by using Kurdish soldiers in Sunni areas in Iraq). You’ve got to wonder what the hell Dyer’s soldiers were thinking as they methodically murdered their countrymen with manual rifles:

He chose from the troops at his disposal those he thought would harbour the least compunctions in shooting unarmed Punjabi civilians: the Nepalese Gurkhas and the Baluch from the fringes of far-off Sind… His “horrible, bloody duty”, as he called it, consisted of ordering his soldiers to open fire without warning on a peaceful crowd in an enclosed public square. The General directed proceedings from the front, pointing out targets his troops had missed, and they kept shooting until they had only enough ammunition left to defend themselves on their way back to base. While Dyer made his escape, a curfew ensured that the wounded were left to linger until the following morning without treatment… nearly 400 had been killed, including 41 children and a six-week-old baby, and around 1,000 injured.

Dyer, who was born in what is now Pakistan, was a stim-seeker and risk-taker with a strangely bipolar moral makeup:

… [Dyer] resigned from his officers’ club when it refused to end racial segregation. However… the Inspector of Infantry in India, described him as “an excitable lunatic” who did little during his time as a garrison commander except that “he used to drive about the mountain roads around Abbottabad with a car full of ladies of the station, his great delight being to frighten them by dangerous driving at which he was an expert. The man was insane.”

He was also prone to sociopathic callousness:

Of the fate of the injured, who had lain 10 deep in places, he remarked “the hospitals were open… The wounded only had to apply for help.” Dyer – and many of his contemporaries – believed that he had nipped a second Indian Mutiny in the bud…

Although Winston Churchill denounced Dyer’s murderousness, the British Parliament at the time anointed him a hero. Twenty-one years later, Udham Singh assassinated the former Punjab governor in London with two rounds from a Smith & Wesson .45. He claimed revenge for the Amritsar massacre and was hanged within four months.

94 thoughts on “Creep

  1. The only reason why present day India looks the way it does, was a result of the common threat posed to all in the subcontinent by the British… Most likely a sprinkling of small and large princely states…

    Doubt it. Some kind of Indian federal union would still have formed. You’re ignoring the intense economic and political pressures that have historically driven consolidation into larger nations.

  2. And why is fighting for your independence (if you are Gandhi) admirable and not if you are Churchill?

    Wow, comparing Gandhi with Churchill.. Man, Amazing !!!! I hope you know that Gandhiji’s struggle was called “satyagrah”. The civil rights movement in the US was due to principles of Gandhi. (I think all minorities in the US should be , and are thankful to Gandhi for it).

  3. Doubt it. Some kind of Indian federal union would still have formed. You’re ignoring the intense economic and political pressures that have historically driven consolidation into larger nations.

    the analogy isn’t perfect, but consider the arab states, several of them (syria and egypt) have explicitly attempted union but it never worked, despite a common literary language and religion. so i don’t think that unity is an inevitable force-political disunity might have been structurally enforced if the local elites had not been first obliterated. china for example has a 2,000 year history of central reassertion of power after chaos. south asia does not. the key thing is that federal consolidation does happen to states/polities of certain sizes, but various indian regions are very populous nations in their own right. european union is still less integrated than india, and it has been driven by powerful historical forces in the recent past that i am not sure are analogous with india….

  4. Doubt it. Some kind of Indian federal union would still have formed. You’re ignoring the intense economic and political pressures that have historically driven consolidation into larger nations.

    I later said:

    If anything, modern India without colonial rule may have resembled today’s EU. As mentioned in the comments above, the larger kingdoms could have eaten up their smaller neighbors until it reached an equilibrium where the big boys can live together in some peace

    .

    You are correct in stating that there are economic and political pressures that lead to consolidation. To what degree this consolidation would occur is what I am arguing here. I do stand by the statement that the makeup of present day India (or its very existence) would not be the same. An EU like umbrella structure under which these independent nations would operate seems to be a likely answer.

    Doesn’t the idea of a federal republic have its roots in western philosophy? No imperial british rule would mean the infusion of ideas that percolated from British would be on a lesser scale.

  5. various indian regions are very populous nations in their own right.

    and…

    An EU like umbrella structure under which these independent nations would operate seems to be a likely answer.

    Populous does not intrinsically mean having lots of natural resources, access to oceans and rivers, the ability to prosper economically, indigenous defense tech…

    Doesn’t the idea of a federal republic have its roots in western philosophy?

    Empires have managed the tensions between capitals and feudal units for thousands of years.

  6. There is evidence that linguistically the Baluchi language is actually Dravidian based.

    If you could reference a source for this, vurdlife, I’d appreciate it.

    How can you be so sure that the old grievances (which do exist even today) could not be superseded by some sort of secular republic, independent of British “assistance”? The Japanese were able to becoming a global power in about 20-30 years, without any colonial domination, there is no reason why the Indians couldnt do the same.

    Before Commodore Perry showed up in Tokyo Bay, Japan had already experienced a couple of centuries of political unity under the Tokugawa Shogunate. These centuries of political unity, in conjunction with Japan’s relative geographic isolation as an archipelago, has led to a degree of ethnolinguistic homogeneity not found on the subcontinent.

    National unification usually occurs at the expense of peoples like the Ainu, the Nicard or the Basques. New Delhi itself, which has been relatively benign in this regard, has had to reassure India’s minorities that their cultures and languages would not be subsumed.

  7. MD, regarding your original point “How is it that a man can be so courageous and morally strong in one instance, be such a vile coward/xenophobe in another?” and ASR’s reply, the answer may be as follows:

    I have a cynical, pragmatic sense of Churchill. His top priority probably was his country. Opposing/fighting/stoping Hitler was mandatory to keep Great Britain alive. And, keeping India subjugated and ‘in its place’ was also important for Britain. Its the impact of this single strain of ideology that’s responsible for his apparantly bipolar actions.

    As for Hitler vs. Churchill evil dukeout, I guess we all ‘know’ Hitler’s deeds. But I wouldn’t completely discount the same degree of loathing and disgust some of the colonial invaders had for India and indians. Pick up almost any account written by the early missionaries or British officials, and you’ll notice the unmistakable stench unabashed vilifcation of religion, culture, and customs still causes from those pages written so long ago.

    I am not so sure a complete tally of all hardships and deaths caused by 200 yrs of colonial antipathy towards the Indian peoples will not compete head-to-head with those caused by hitler. Only it doesn’t get any play at all (present company excluded off course).

    Finally, winners write history. Had Hitler won, no doubt he would have written himself in as benevolent and every positive thing else, and in 60 yrs there wouldn’t be much available outside his realm to shed light on the truth. Its partially true in Churchill case today. How many of us have read through tomes expounding on day-to-day strategizing of the foxy East India Company and its impact on the locals? More importantly, how many of those actually even exist in comparison to the voluminous genre of everything about WWII/Hitler/Nazis/Holocaust ?

  8. re: the dravidian + baloch connection, it is highly plausible that the iranid language of the baloch is built upon a dravidian substrate: after all, the brahui of balochstan are a dravidian speaking people. additionally, some linguists propose an “elamo-dravidian” language group, elam being an ancient iranian nation in what is today khuzistan (right next to southeast iraq).

    the only thing i would caution is that using terms like “dravidian” causes confusions in the minds of people because it is often seen as an ethnic, racial and linguistic term, simultaneously, or apart. there is philological evidence that most north indian languages are built upon a dravidian substrate (some argue that indo-aryan languages are indo-european “spoken with a dravidian accent,” especially ones like marathi that abut dravidian speaking regions).

    also, the genetic evidence suggests that no matter what the linguistic issues are, there are general clinal shifts in frequencies which display a discontinuity all around the north rim of india where the lowlands give way to highlands. so though there is admixture between the peoples of nagaland and assam, or punjab and the northwest frontier, the differences are far sharper than between, for example, the punjab and the oudh.

  9. I think it was Mill whose history of India was a step towards dehumanizing their history and customs. He was a classic liberal. His history made the British adventure as a “civilizing” mission more plausible. Which goes to show I think that one person’s open-minded individual is another’s demagogue.

    I think Churchill is about perspective. What was he to you? I think it depends on what perspective you take. I take him as a product of his time. He was a product of a system than countenenced colonialism. Who does not fight for their home? But on what principles? Gandhi versus Churchill? Well, who knows? Why fight on behalf of men when we can fight on behalf of principles? Colonialism yes or no? Maybe it’ll get us farther than Churchill yes or no?

  10. Japan was an analogy. Obviously there are differences, but the point is that self-sufficiency was possible in an imperialism-free context (as if that proposition needed support). Japan was but one trajectory, India could have enjoyed its own successful experiments in self-sufficiency in numerous forms. The point is, as many have suggested, a federal or centralized (whether loosely or not) government would have been a strong possibility for India. But that possibility of genuine self-sufficiency was wrested away, and only returned to South Asia after the region had been debilitated and stultified.

    Moreover, the statements about India’s disparate regions and ethnic groups are correct, however the fact that India does exist as a unified nation — the largest functioning democracy in the world — that has had an amazingly stable political history (as opposed to say Pakistan or the United States..civil war) is testament to the fact that unity would have been possible because it exists today. In saying so I’m well aware of India’s problems, but I can’t think of another country that has so successfully managed its potentially-balkanizing religious diversity while maintaining democratic values.

    If you could reference a source for this, vurdlife, I’d appreciate it.

    Its from a grad-level academic book on the vedic people. I will try to locate it and the page over the weekend if you’re really interested.

    Hitler vs. Churchill. Great points Seeker. It reminds me of the OJ trial when Johnnie Cochran (RIP) equated American slavery with the Holocaust, and the Goldmans and some Jewish groups lambasted the comparison. Hitler’s methods were pure evil obviously, but one must not discount centuries of commodification, domination and terror that the slaves faced. Maybe its an unfair statement but Jews worldwide today are doing a lot better than descendants of slaves worldwide (African Americans, Carribeans, etc). SO back to the point, Hitler and his Nazi regime were horrible, but Churchill and his imperialist regime were horrible too. (If you must have a winner, Hitler the man was way worse than Churchill the man).

  11. Winston Churchill: An Apostle of Freedom?

    A bit of a detour…

    However, since many previous have already taken this road, thought I’d chip in with some choice Churchill gems.

    On Eugenics:

    ‘The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate … I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.’

    About the use of gas against Arabs in Iraq:

    ‘I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes”

    On Hitler (in 1937): ‘One may dislike Hitler’s system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.’

    A shameless plug, but the more this joker’s nonsense is outed, the better — and he’s called the Man of the Century? Give me a break..

    More gems here

    http://www.stringinfo.com/pkblog/archives/002560.html

  12. I can’t think of another country that has so successfully managed its potentially-balkanizing religious diversity while maintaining democratic values.

    vurdlife: The worst has already happened in the form of partition. But I am not sure whether it was India’s moment of truth. The USA did come out triumphantly during its moment of truth, an event that you have not given justice in your arguments and used it out of context.

         Perhaps, one fact in India's favour is that there was no nationalist identity based on religion or language that encompasses a certain region. The lack of Indian identity of our forebears is more than compensated by their lack of any other national identities. However, tribal identities of north-easterners might be an exception. Also the caste based nationalist identities(that you observe in Tamilnadu, Konga nadu, Chetti nadu?) have become irrelevent.
    
           There were poets who defined regional boundaries and wrote nationalist poems. However, sometimes they had under covered or sometimes over covered the regions based on their rulers' dominion. In any case, the common people had no idea about their national identities that they could pass on to their future generations.
    
  13. uh, all this junk abut churchill, much of it true (though prior to 1940 almost everyone aside from conservative evangelicals and roman catholics were pro-eugenics of some sort, sweden practiced it until the 1970s through sterilizations of the retarded). but can’t we judge people by the times? i mean, gandhi with his statements about “kafirs” in south africa before he became a great saint?

    come on.

  14. Manish, you sound like a Marxist ;)

    It’s tantalizing to try to figure out what might have been, but this conversation makes me cringe as someone with a little training in history. The whole idea is like saying, “well if you killed off the tiger today, this is what South Asia’s ecosystems would look like 50 years later.”

    There are always “larger forces” at play (technology, demographics, natural resources, preexisting capital, preexisting cultural trends etc.) that can help you to say that some things are really likely: e.g., in hindsight, I feel comfortable saying that South Asia as a whole would likely have been wealthier had it not been colonized (although just stating that opens up how bizarre this entire project of imagining “history that might have been” is: it’s arguable whether the absence of colonization is really an option or whether there was a situation where desiland was going to be colonized by one or more European countries and the question was just which one(s)).

    Without really comprehending the world of 1757 (and earlier), who knows what fractures were there and would have developed, which regions would have emerged as powerful, what directions language would have taken things, what religious movements would have arisen, etc. and then the corresponding developments from those complications and then the ones from those and the one from those and…

    Just to take a small example–if John Hinckley had succeeded at killing Ronald Reagan in 1982, the course of United States, Central American, Iraqi, Russian, and many, many other histories would have been different in ways that we can’t even really understand fully. I can still say fairly confidently that the Soviet Union would still have collapsed as a world power and a lot of other things, but there are things that would have been different. For example, what would be the impact of AIDS today in Africa and South Asia if we had had George Bush in office to control U.S. response to it in the 80s. And that’s just 20 years ago–now try to imagine the impact of the South winning the American Civil War.

    You see, people, this is what happens when you ignore masterpieces of American cinema like The Butterfly Effect just because you choose not to recognize the glory that is Ashton Kutcher. For shame!

  15. Its from a grad-level academic book on the vedic people. I will try to locate it and the page over the weekend if you’re really interested.

    If you’re willing to do that, I’d be grateful, but if it’s too much trouble, just the name of the book will do.

  16. PB, I can’t help but think Churchill would find “Monkeys and Indians” a redundant statement…

  17. Manish, you sound like a Marxist ;)

    And, perhaps you already know this, Marx did have something to about famines in colonial India. According to this he said “Between 1769 and 1770, the English manufactured a famine by buying up all the rice and refusing to sell it again, except at fabulous prices.”. It’s not surprising then that many newly-decolonized countries like India looked to Marx for political and economic ideas.

    It’s tempting to think of the Brits as benevolent overlords but I think it is good to be reminded that imperialism/colonialism is about nothing but the self-interest/greed of the colonizer (as is summarized http://www.counterpunch.org/damato05172003.html“>here) even if it has a sprinkling of unforseen benefits for the colonized.

  18. It’s tantalizing to try to figure out what might have been… like saying, “well if you killed off the tiger today, this is what South Asia’s ecosystems would look like 50 years later.”

    It’s more like seeing electricity invented and predicting powered lighting. It’s really pretty straightforward.

  19. Doubt it. Some kind of Indian federal union would still have formed. You’re ignoring the intense economic and political pressures that have historically driven consolidation into larger nations.

    Knowing how people still can’t get along well in India, I doubt if some kind of present day India would still have formed. We’d probably have a ‘North India’ and a ‘South India’, and an ‘East India’, but even in the south, I doubt if Tamil Nadu would have joined any federation. So there’s another country for you ‘Thamizh’. Plus there’s Maharashtra – with the likes of people like Bal Thackeray, would they form part of another nation? Nopes.. that’s a separate country for you right there. I could go on and on..

  20. I doubt if Tamil Nadu would have joined any federation.

    I don’t think the consolidation would have been entirely voluntary, if you look at the history of the world during the colonialist period.

  21. It’s tantalizing to try to figure out what might have been… like saying, “well if you killed off the tiger today, this is what South Asia’s ecosystems would look like 50 years later.”
    It’s more like seeing electricity invented and predicting powered lighting. It’s really pretty straightforward.

    It depends on 1) the comprehensiveness and reliability of source materials out there 2) the work others have done in interpreting primary documents for you on the issues on which you’re interested and 3) having satisfed the first two conditions, your ability to digest everything and make a prediction and include all necessary factors.

    So we’ll disagree, I guess, but I think you’re being glib in reducing the entire history of South Asia to whatever macroforces you think govern it on the basis of the shoddy, often biased, and definitely incomplete evidence we largely have at our disposal today.

  22. It’s tempting to think of the Brits as benevolent overlords but I think it is good to be reminded that imperialism/colonialism is about nothing but the self-interest/greed of the colonizer (as is summarized here) even if it has a sprinkling of unforseen benefits for the colonized.

    It’s not really all that tempting anymore, and I’ve heard enough about the railroads :)

  23. Re: Churchill and the Bengal famine

    Right around the time of the famine, the British and the Americans jointly were conducting a huge airlift operation out of Northeastern India to China and Burma using long range bombers to drop supplies and materiel in China and Burma on a scale comparable to the later Berlin airlift. In fact, the commanding officer of the Berlin operation, Bill Tunner, was the guy in charge of the operation in India. Read about it by googling about “The Hump”. So it was possible to get supplies (likely from India itself) to other countries over hundreds of miles away during that time. However, historians want us to believe that the British could not find a few food trains to go far less miles within Bengal itself. As to why that was, I leave it to you to speculate about…

  24. … you’re being glib in reducing the entire history of South Asia to whatever macroforces you think govern it…

    Smaller economic units tend to consolidate given enough time where there are economies of scale (countries, EU, NAFTA, most U.S. industries). That’s neither visionary nor controversial. If quoting the history of the world is glib…

  25. but can’t we judge people by the times?

    Churchill’s time was the same time as Hitler. If the whole world can say the Nazi system was barbaric and inhuman, temporally speaking the same can be said for the imperalist system and its leader, Sir Winston Churchill.

  26. RC – yes, I know what satyaghara is. I wonder how it would have worked against the Nazis? Ask your self this: what would have happened to India if the Nazis and not the British had won?

    vurdlife – I’ve been spending some time on that historical journal you linked regarding the Bengali famine. It is a Holocaust revisionist site that has this to say about Gandhi:

    addressing a public meeting in Bombay on Sept. 26, 1896, he had the following to say about the Indian struggle in South Africa (1)

  27. Sorry, hit post instead of preview

    RC – yes, I know what satyagara is. I wonder how it would have worked against the Nazis? Ask yourself this question: what would have happened to India if the Nazis and not the British? Is it all just the same, then?

    vurdlife – I’ve been spending some time on that historical journal you linked regarding the Bengali famine. It looks like it is a Holocaust revisionist site that has this to say about Gandhi:

    from a series of quotes in an article by one Arthur Kemp, purported to be by Gandhi -

    “Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

    “It is one thing to register natives who would not work, and whom it is very difficult to find out if they absent themselves, but it is another thing – and most insulting – to expect decent, hard-working, and respectable Indians, whose only fault is that they work too much, to have themselves registered and carry with them registration badges.”

    “Now let us turn our attention to another and entirely unrepresented community – the Indian. He is in striking contrast with the native. While the native has been of little benefit to the State, it owes its prosperity largely to the Indians. While the native loafers abound on every side, that species of humanity is almost unknown among Indians here.”

    “We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.”

    “The petition dwells upon ‘the co-mingling of the colored and white races.’ May we inform the memebers of the Conference that so far as British Indians are concerned, such a thing is particularly unknown. If there is one thing which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is the purity of type.”

    Here is the url (I’m not going to link to a Holocaust revisionist site)

    http://www.vho.org/tr/2004/2/Kemp184-186.html

    I’m not going to vouch for such a site, but I do know that Gandhi did make comments about kaffirs and black South Africans that we would regard as racist in this day and age in the Indian Opinion (paper he started I believe). I will find a better reference, and link it.

    Google Gandhi, kaffir or Zulu rebellion. Look, I believe Gandhi was a great man, who grew and evolved his whole life. But emphasis on man.

    Men, not Gods. Once again, my original point.

  28. Here is an article that is more academic and a little more reasonable:

    Gandhi and the Black People of South Africa, James D. Hunt, Shaw University.

    ” A particulary vexing quesion has been the relationship between Gandhi and the Black people….many scholars have looked at this relationship and found it unsatisfactory.”

    The article goes on to say this claim was unfair: Gandhi started life as a “Victorian Indian, seeking accomodation and personal success within the British Empire. He shared the prejudices of this class concerning Black people, and his lifestyle and work kept him isolated from them. In this respect, he became a segregationist, albeit a liberal one, arguing for a special status for his own people while objecting to the treatment given the Black Africans.”

    Look, I don’t want to play this trading quotes game. The story was complicated. It was then, it is now.

    Have a nice night, ya’ll.

  29. MD,

    Gandhi was born a high-caste Hindu and grew up with lot of the prejudices early on his life. Massive props to him however on being able to transcend his hindu prejudices later on. In fact, high caste hindus were so infuritated with him on ‘pandering’ to lower castes and other religions that they ASSASINATED him. In contrast, Churchill remained a committed imperial racist thug until the end. In spite of massive pressure from fellow englishmen and FD Roosevelt he continued to put forth his imperialist policies till he could help it.

    Your characterisation of him having led his people from hilter’s tyranny (or a variant) is quite weird. The factors that led to the fall of the third reich were – the russian winters, stalin, FDR and the US army generals in that order. To think that the cigar chomping blowhard won battles by giving soul-stirring speeches is the height of naivette. No amount of high-spiritedness can resist an army unless you have sufficient capability. In fact the only time he was ever given direct control of deciding the fate of war was as the First Lord of Admirality in Gallipoli (first world war), the british defeat (against turks) was so intense that the prime minister was gone and nobody would listen to the fraudster churchill until around 1938. He had some role in the another massive fiasco in Passcendale (sp?) where around 300,000 British troops lost their lives unnecessarily. To say that this guy led the British to fight and destroy Hitler is the height of ridiculousness.

    At best he can be seen as a Paris Hilton of imperialism, a later generation spoilt Brat who spend most of his time in publicity and giving speeches and writing books. C’mon, if this guy really led the british to defeat the germans and was responsible for the freedom the british enjoyed why would he LOOSE THE 1945 election??? I mean, memories should be fresh in people’s mind right? The fact is he was a stupid publicity whore and the british exposed him by voting with their feet.

    Finally, I am curious why you would support this guy even if he led his country to glory. I mean, if you are English makes some sense I guess. As an american you have to realize that he pushed isolationlist America into the war (Pearl Harbor wasn’t a random event). This led to hundreds of thousands americans being killed to defend England’s ass. Hitler never threatned to attack america. He knew what would happen. Alternately as an Indian descendent you have to understand that his being prime minister would have given no self-rule to India. So unless you some closet imperialist, I fail to see what is happening. As India becomes self-confident and rises, a new generation will grow and see Churchill for the racist thug that he really was and history will be corrected.

  30. Sigh. Once again – who held down the fort until the Americans arrived, how worked on FDR like a dog to get the Americans in, once again, what would the world have looked like if Hitler had won? No one seems to want to answer that question.

    I never defended him and all his actions completely and to say I am a closet imperialist is to completely misunderstand what I said.

    And I am first, and foremost, a member of the human race, so to say I should care about the lives of brown people over white is very wierd in my mind. I care that millions were killed in the Bengali famine, I care that millions were killed by Stalin, I care that the Japanese killed so many Chinese and Koreans, and that the Jews were slaughtered. At the end of the day, given the complex situation of the time, I am glad that Churchill and the Americans, with the help of Russia of course, won. That is what I am saying. To say Churchill had nothing to do with holding things together and getting the Allies together is sheer blindness.

    Once again, boo yah – what would have happened to India if Hitler had won?

    I would rather that there were no British occupation, but I am talking about the reality at the time, not what the ideal situation would have been.

    As for loosing the election, well, democracy is not fair and the electorate is short minded, which is as it should be.

    So, all that matters is that brown people, die, right? Doing the right thing is not important at all. Resisting tyranny just doesn’t matter, does it?

  31. And no, MD has not gone insane with all the late night posting. She is on call, and stuck waiting for a call at this time of night….yuck.

  32. Before I knew his views on Indians I admired Churchill, but after I found out his views, I don’t admire him. Why would I admire someone who thought my own ancestors were scum? I don’t think I need to think good of Churchill to think fairly about the world

  33. fyi on this topic, since I was reading on this somewhere else on the web, Indian soldiers were involved, to significant degrees, in both WW I and II. In WW I they were in in some of the most heavy fighting all over Europe, including Belgium. TFrom what I just read, their heroism of those fighters in part of the battlefield honors in Europe to this day. And in WW II, their efforts in Burma were central to the end of the Japanese advance. I knew of this before, but its amazing what gets forgotten sometimes. An ancestors in my family fought in WW I.

  34. If by this:

    Some kind of Indian federal union would still have formed.

    you meant this:

    Smaller economic units tend to consolidate given enough time where there are economies of scale (countries, EU, NAFTA, most U.S. industries)

    I don’t disagree, and I’m too tired to argue that they’re not equivalent.

  35. And Raju has the final and best word: ” I don’t need to think good of Churchill to think fairly of this world.” And I would add that you can translate that to many ‘heroes’ of history, in many cultures.

    • I mentioned this conversation to a friend of mine who is a Pole, who found it astounding, at first. But then, all this about Yalta this week, so…..

    Ok, then. I stand down.

    thanks for a fascinating discussion, guys.

  36. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1480178,00.html

    The British and American publics share a sunny view of the second world war. For apologists of the British Empire, such as Niall Ferguson, the war was an ethical bath where the sins of centuries of conquest, slavery and exploitation were expiated. We are marked forever as “the good guys”and can all happily chant “Two world wars and one world cup.”

    Â…Â….. Hitler’s dream was inspired, in part, by the British EmpireÂ….. In Western Europe, they sought their India from which revenues, labour and soldiers might be extracted.

  37. MD,

    to Hitler a Indian was to be sent directly to hell. To Churchill an Indian was to be worked to death and every drop of profit was to be squeezed out of him and then he should be sent to hell.

    They are equally as bad. The UK was finished as a world power before 1939, the Second World War only proved as a catalyst to their downfall.

    Churchill was great for speeches and hot air, even if the UK had been invaded sooner of later the Americans would have entered the war to maintain the balance of power in Europe. And the the US would have been able to retake Europe from North Africa, Ireland, Sicily, anywhere. It would have cost more men and supplies but the Americans barely broke a sweat in that war. The fact is that 80% of the German Army was on the Eastern front fighting the Soviets, so really the Brits and the US were not the main concern of the Germans. Churchill was great for grandizing Britains role, but really the UK didnt do much. Monty won in El Alamien out of sheer numbers and supply benefits, Monty almost screwed the game in Sciliy and Italy, and then again in the Netherlands.

    Churchill was there just for photo ops and to later on be America’s deputy/poodle in Europe. A role that they are playing to this very day incredibly well.

    To me Churchill and Hitler are equally as bad, they both would like to see the brownies dead sooner or later. One would smile and stab me in the back, the other would frown and do it.

  38. to Hitler a Indian was to be sent directly to hell.

    Hitler originally railed against desis in Mein Kampf, but he softened his tone during his meetings with Subhash Chandranath Bose.

    Interestingly, Indians fought on both sides of WWII.

    These shifty allegiances were all a matter of convenience. As ASR said,

    they both would like to see the brownies dead sooner or later.
  39. DUE TO THIS GANDHI JI CALLED A MOVEMENT WHIT MUHAMMAD ALI AND SHAUKAR ALI {YOUNG GENERATION MUSLIN LEADERS} WHICH IS CAMMONLY KNOWN AS NON CO-OPRATION MOVEMENT.