Welcome to the Net Muslims Forums.
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default Atrocities of Colonial Imperialism

    5 of the worst atrocities carried out by British Empire, after 'historical amnesia' claims

    It is the 70th anniversary of the partition of India

    The British people suffer "historical amnesia" over the atrocities committed by their former empire, an Indian MP and author has claimed.

    Former UN under-secretary general Dr Shashi Tharoor said the British education system fails to tell the real story of empire.

    He said: "There's no real awareness of the atrocities, of the fact that Britain financed its Industrial Revolution and its prosperity from the depredations of empire, the fact that Britain came to one of the richest countries in the world in the 18th century and reduced it, after two centuries of plunder, to one of the poorest."

    A previous YouGov poll found the British public are generally proud of the British Empire and its colonial past.

    YouGov found 44 per cent were proud of Britain's history of colonialism, while 21 per cent regretted it happened.

    The same poll also found 43 per cent believed the British Empire was a good thing, while 19 per cent said it was bad and 25 per cent said it was neither good nor bad.

    At its height in 1922, the British empire governed a fifth of the world's population and a quarter of the world's total land area.

    Although proponents of Empire say it brought various economic developments to parts of the world it controlled, critics point to massacres, famines and the use of concentration camps by the British Empire.

    Here, The Independent looks at five of the worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire.

    1. Boer concentration camps



    During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population - mainly women and children - and detained them in camps, which were overcrowded and prone to outbreaks of disease, with scant food rations.

    Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans.


    2. Amritsar massacre



    When peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by Gurkha soldiers.

    The soldiers, under the orders of Brigadier Reginald Dyer, kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing between 379 and 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes.

    Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000 for him as a thank you.


    3. Partitioning of India


    In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over the course of a single lunch.

    After Cyril Radcliffe split the subcontinent along religious lines, uprooting over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to escape their homes as the situation quickly descended into violence.

    Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings.

    4. Mau Mau Uprising





    Thousands of elderly Kenyans, who claim British colonial forces mistreated, raped and tortured them during the Mau Mau Uprising (1951-1960), have launched a £200m damages claim against the UK Government.

    Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as "Britain's gulags" or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault.

    Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died.


    5. Famines in India




    Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India.

    In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

    Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”


    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7612176.html




    Mohammed Yusuf and 986 others like this.



  2. #2
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India


    Book review: Shashi Tharoor’s angry history of British rule in India is a timely response to empire nostalgia




    Chronicling the evils of British imperialism is imperative given the impact and legacy of that imperialism, and given the dishonest and selective nostalgia about it, not to mention downright ignorance. Almost 60 per cent of Britons were proud of the British Empire and almost 50 per cent thought it had made the colonies better off – a manifestation of what the scholar Paul Gilroy has termed postcolonial melancholia – according to a YouGov poll in 2014.


    Inglorious Empire, by Shashi Tharoor, a United Nations diplomat turned Indian National Congress MP in New Delhi, adds to a growing list of books on what the British did to India, most recently Jon Wilson’s India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire. Wilson underlines how the British view of themselves as conquerors generated a racist delusion of “victor’s sovereignty”, an argument still fuelled by the current wave of empire nostalgia.


    Tharoor notes, somewhat quietly in a footnote towards the end, that Wilson’s effort was published “just as this book was going to press” and “makes much the same case” about the extent to which Britain benefited from imperial rule at the expense of the conquered.


    The growing library is justified; Britain’s exploitative, racist imperial project in India was awesome in its savagery and vindictiveness, what Tharoor calls a “long and shameless record of rapacity”. The recent books are a welcome antidote to the nauseating righteousness and condescension pedalled by Niall Ferguson in his 2003 book Empire, which argues that British imperialism gave to the world its admirable and distinctive features (language, banking, representative assemblies, the idea of liberty) and that India, “the world’s largest democracy, owes more than it is fashionable to acknowledge to British rule”.


    Tharoor sets out energetically, bluntly and hurriedly the litany of exploitation and theft, and the support given to the East India Company. This was before the Government of India Act of 1858 led the British crown to assume direct control. The company had a private army of 260,000 at the start of the 19th century, and the champions of the British industrial revolution plundered India’s thriving manufacturing industries.


    Under British rule India’s share of world manufacturing exports fell from 27 per cent to 2 per cent as East India employees made colossal fortunes. The marquess of Salisbury, secretary of state for India in the 1870s, remarked that “India is to be bled”, and by the end of the 19th century it was Britain’s biggest source of revenue.


    “To stop is dangerous; to recede ruin” was the logic, as enunciated early by Robert Clive, commander in chief of British India in the mid-18th century. The Indian shipping industry was destroyed and Indian currency manipulated while tariffs and regulations were skewed to favour British industry.

    British boast

    Tharoor also demolishes the British boast that it left India in 1947 a functioning democracy. And although he might exaggerate the extent to which precolonial village self-rule was ideal (“a society of little societies” in the soft phrase of Jon Wilson), he does expose the hollowness of Queen Victoria’s 1858 proclamation that “in their prosperity will be our strength, in their contentment our security and in their gratitude our best reward”.

    This fostered a court culture for Indian princes to follow, and there were many dissolute rajas, but just 4 per cent of the coveted positions in the Indian civil service were filled by Indians as late as 1930. The nationalist leader Jawaharlal Nehru was cutting in his dismissal of a civil service that was “neither Indian, nor civil, nor a service”.


    By 1890 about 6,000 British officials ruled 250 million Indians, but there was also a “cravenness, cupidity, opportunism and lack of organized resistance on the part of the vanquished”.


    Ultimately, it was the rise of Mahatma Gandhi and his promotion of the moral values derived from satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) that “proved a repudiation of British liberalism and not its vindication”.
    Racial theories

    India’s native newspapers were also devoured. In 1875 an estimated 475 newspapers existed, most owned and edited by Indians, but severe restrictions were placed on their operations and editors. British racial theories were in full flow in relation to railway matters, with legislation making it impossible for Indian workshops to design and manufacture locomotives.

    Racism was also reflected in the penal code: “there had never been a taboo against homosexuality in Indian culture and practice until the British Victorians introduced one.” Crucially, Britain also “helped solidify and perpetuate the iniquities of the caste system”, which was made out to be more uniform and pervasive than it had been. Religion became a useful means of divide and rule, with the fostering of a two-nation theory that eventually divided the country and made partition inevitable; one million were killed and 17 million displaced.


    Tharoor’s assertion that “stories abound” of Hindu and Muslim communities “habitually working together in pre-colonial times” is a bit loose and ambiguous, but Lord Oliver, the secretary of state in the 1920s, admitted a predominant bias in British officialdom in favour of the Muslim community to offset Hindu nationalism. The British also sponsored a Shia-Sunni divide in Lucknow and generally transformed religious differences into public, political and legal issues.


    There are also reminders of the vile racism of Winston Churchill: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion . . . Let the Viceroy sit on the back of a giant elephant and trample Gandhi into the dirt.” Tharoor seeks to demolish the myth of “enlightened despotism” given brutalities like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919, with soldiers “emptying their magazines into the shrieking, wailing, then stampeding crowd with trained precision”. It is a pity he does not give the context for the comment of William Joynson-Hicks, home secretary in the 1928 Conservative government of Stanley Baldwin, that “we conquered India by the sword and by the sword we shall hold it. I am not such a hypocrite to say we hold India for the Indians.”


    Up to 35 million died unnecessarily in famines; London ate India’s bread while India starved, and in 1943 nearly four million Bengalis died. It was their own fault, according to the odious Churchill, for “breeding like rabbits”. Collectively, these famines amounted to a “British colonial holocaust”.


    Tharoor finds the argument that modernisation could not have taken place in India without British imperialism to be “particularly galling”. In response to the claim that empire laid the foundations for eventual success in a future globalised world, he quite rightly observes that “human beings do not live in the long run; they live, and suffer, in the here and now”. And although the “gift” of the English language cannot be denied (“I am after all using it as I write”), there was only a 16 per cent literacy rate at the time of Indian independence.


    Inglorious Empire is not, however, a polished effort; it seems rushed. Tharoor admits the decision to write it, following online reaction to a provocative lecture he gave at Oxford, was “made rashly”, and it shows. It is too derivative and at times sloppy and sketchy, and the over-reliance on anecdote does not generate confidence. (“The story is told – I cannot pinpoint the source”; “There is a story – perhaps apocryphal”). He generalises when there is no need to, and the book becomes too repetitive (“Let’s look at the numbers one last time”).


    There are also too many sweeping assertions: “By the early 1800s India had been reduced from a land of artisans, traders, warriors and merchants functioning in thriving and complex commercial networks into an agrarian society of peasants and moneylenders.”

    Unromanticised history

    Still, the book is a timely reminder of the need “to start teaching unromanticized colonial history in British schools”, as “the British public is woefully ignorant of the realties of the British empire”. The book is helpful as a deconstruction of Niall Ferguson’s argument, because the evidence Tharoor piles high – mostly by synthesising the work of others – is overwhelming.

    Indeed, it is so staggering that it becomes quite exhausting, but that should not merit too much sympathy for the well-connected, -heeled and -staffed Tharoor. He thanks his “two tireless researchers . . . who bore the brunt of the load” and a staff that “backed me up in a hundred vital ways throughout the writing of this book”.


    Tharoor also had the generous hospitality and support of “His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan”, without whom “I would have been unable to write this book or finish it within deadline”.
    Isn’t it well for him?

    https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/b...ndia-1.2981299



  3. #3
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    India has forgiven Britain for 200 years of imperial enslavement – but we won't forget


    Many Brits ignore the atrocities committed by ancestors and think the Empire civilised ignorant natives.



    Most Indians have tended not to dwell on the country's colonial past. Britain's shambolic withdrawal from India in 1947 after two centuries of imperial rule was curiously without rancour, even though that original Brexit savagely partitioned the country and left it to tear itself apart. Indeed India chose to remain in the Commonwealth as a Republic and maintained cordial relations with the former imperial overlords.


    When Winston Churchill, some years after Indian Independence, asked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who had spent more than a decade of his life in British jails, how he was so devoid of bitterness, Nehru replied: "We were taught by a great man [Mahatma Gandhi] never to fear and never to hate."


    Whether this was a national strength or a civilisational weakness, India has long refused to bear any grudge against Britain for 200 years of imperial enslavement, plunder and exploitation. It was therefore something of a surprise for me when a speech I made at the Oxford Union in the summer of 2015 – decrying the iniquities of British colonialism went viral – with one post racking up more than three million hits in just 48 hours.


    Right-wing critics of my politics suspended their 'trolling' of me on social media to hail my speech. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, went out of her way to laud me at a function attended by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who then congratulated me publicly for having said "the right things at the right place". Schools and colleges played the speech to their students; one university, the Central University of Jammu, organised a day-long seminar at which eminent scholars addressed specific points I had raised. Hundreds of articles were written for and against what I had said.


    Two years later, I still keep meeting strangers who come up to me in public places to praise my 'Oxford speech'. My book on the same theme, An Era of Darkness, has stayed on Indian bestseller lists since its publication three months ago. This month, its British edition, Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to Indiahas entered the bookstores in the colonial capital.


    The simple truth is that the British seized one of the richest countries in the world (accounting for 27% of global GDP in 1700) and, over 200 years of colonial rule, reduced it to one of the poorest countries in the world. They did so through practices of loot, expropriation, and outright theft, enforced by the ruthless wielding of brute power, conducted in a spirit of deep racism and amoral cynicism, and justified by a staggering level of hypocrisy and cant.



    Whether or not you agree with the American historian Will Durant that this was "the greatest crime in all human history", it was certainly no exercise in benign altruism, as some disingenuous British apologists have described it.

    Britain has been suffering from a kind of historical amnesia about colonialism.
    Londoners look at the magnificence of their city with no idea of the loot and rapacity that paid for it. Many Brits are genuinely unaware of the atrocities committed by their ancestors, and some live in the blissful illusion that the Empire was some sort of civilising mission to uplift the ignorant natives.


    The British tendency to brush colonial history under the carpet has been compounded by the gauzy romanticisation of Empire in assorted television soap operas that provide a rose-tinted view of the colonial era, glossing over the atrocities, exploitation, plunder and racism that were integral to the imperial enterprise.


    Astonishingly, several British historians have written hugely successful books extolling what they see as the virtues of Empire. Many of the popular histories of the British Empire in the last decade or two, by the likes of Niall Ferguson and Lawrence James, have painted it in glowing colours. All this explains Britons' ignorance – but does not excuse it.


    I'm not a fan of simple historical analogies, given the very different times we live in, but history always offers instructive lessons – as well as perspectives. As I say to young people in both Britain and India: If you don't know where you've come from, how will you appreciate where you're going?


    As for my fellow Indians, they have an admirable quality of being able to "forgive and forget". I do want them to forgive – but not to forget.


    My book is not intended to have any bearing on today's Indo-British relationship. That is now between two sovereign and equal nations, not between an imperial overlord and oppressed subjects. Indeed, when my book appeared in Delhi, British Prime Minister Theresa May was days away from a visit to India seeking investment from India in her post-Brexit economy. As I've often argued, you don't need to seek revenge upon history. History is its own revenge.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/india-has-f...forget-1610656

  4. #4
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    'But what about the railways ...?' ​​The myth of Britain's gifts to India



    Apologists for empire like to claim that the British brought democracy, the rule of law and trains to India. Isn’t it a bit rich to oppress, torture and imprison a people for 200 years, then take credit for benefits that were entirely accidental?






    Many modern apologists for British colonial rule in India no longer contest the basic facts of imperial exploitation and plunder, rapacity and loot, which are too deeply documented to be challengeable. Instead they offer a counter-argument: granted, the British took what they could for 200 years, but didn’t they also leave behind a great deal of lasting benefit? In particular, political unity and democracy, the rule of law, railways, English education, even tea and cricket?


    Indeed, the British like to point out that the very idea of “India” as one entity (now three, but one during the British Raj), instead of multiple warring principalities and statelets, is the incontestable contribution of British imperial rule.
    Unfortunately for this argument, throughout the history of the subcontinent, there has existed an impulsion for unity.

    The idea of India is as old as the Vedas, the earliest Hindu scriptures, which describe “Bharatvarsha” as the land between the Himalayas and the seas. If this “sacred geography” is essentially a Hindu idea, Maulana Azad has written of how Indian Muslims, whether Pathans from the north-west or Tamils from the south, were all seen by Arabs as “Hindis”, hailing from a recognisable civilisational space. Numerous Indian rulers had sought to unite the territory, with the Mauryas (three centuries before Christ) and the Mughals coming the closest by ruling almost 90% of the subcontinent. Had the British not completed the job, there is little doubt that some Indian ruler, emulating his forerunners, would have done so.

    Far from crediting Britain for India’s unity and enduring parliamentary democracy, the facts point clearly to policies that undermined it – the dismantling of existing political institutions, the fomenting of communal division and systematic political discrimination with a view to maintaining British domination.


    In the years after 1757, the British astutely fomented cleavages among the Indian princes, and steadily consolidated their dominion through a policy of divide and rule. Later, in 1857, the sight of Hindu and Muslim soldiers rebelling together, willing to pledge joint allegiance to the enfeebled Mughal monarch, alarmed the British, who concluded that pitting the two groups against one another was the most effective way to ensure the unchallenged continuance of empire. As early as 1859, the then British governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone, advised London that “Divide et impera was the old Roman maxim, and it should be ours”.


    Since the British came from a hierarchical society with an entrenched class system, they instinctively looked for a similar one in India. The effort to understand ethnic, religious, sectarian and caste differences among Britain’s subjects inevitably became an exercise in defining, dividing and perpetuating these differences. Thus colonial administrators regularly wrote reports and conducted censuses that classified Indians in ever-more bewilderingly narrow terms, based on their language, religion, sect, caste, sub-caste, ethnicity and skin colour. Not only were ideas of community reified, but also entire new communities were created by people who had not consciously thought of themselves as particularly different from others around them.


    Large-scale conflicts between Hindus and Muslims (religiously defined), only began under colonial rule; many other kinds of social strife were labelled as religious due to the colonists’ orientalist assumption that religion was the fundamental division in Indian society.


    It is questionable whether a totalising Hindu or Muslim identity existed in any meaningful sense in India before the 19th century. Yet the creation and perpetuation of Hindu–Muslim antagonism was the most significant accomplishment of British imperial policy: the project of divide et impera would reach its culmination in the collapse of British authority in 1947. Partition left behind a million dead, 13 million displaced, billions of rupees of property destroyed, and the flames of communal hatred blazing hotly across the ravaged land. No greater indictment of the failures of British rule in India can be found than the tragic manner of its ending.


    Nor did Britain work to promote democratic institutions under imperial rule, as it liked to pretend. Instead of building self-government from the village level up, the East India Company destroyed what existed. The British ran government, tax collection, and administered what passed for justice. Indians were excluded from all of these functions. When the crown eventually took charge of the country, it devolved smidgens of government authority, from the top, to unelected provincial and central “legislative” councils whose members represented a tiny educated elite, had no accountability to the masses, passed no meaningful legislation, exercised no real power and satisfied themselves they had been consulted by the government even if they took no actual decisions.


    As late as 1920, under the Montagu-Chelmsford “reforms”, Indian representatives on the councils – elected by a franchise so restricted and selective that only one in 250 Indians had the right to vote – would exercise control over subjects the British did not care about, like education and health, while real power, including taxation, law and order and the authority to nullify any vote by the Indian legislators, would rest with the British governor of the provinces.

    It is questionable whether a totalising Hindu or Muslim identity existed in any meaningful sense in India before the 19th century. Yet the creation and perpetuation of Hindu–Muslim antagonism was the most significant accomplishment of British imperial policy: the project of divide et impera would reach its culmination in the collapse of British authority in 1947. Partition left behind a million dead, 13 million displaced, billions of rupees of property destroyed, and the flames of communal hatred blazing hotly across the ravaged land. No greater indictment of the failures of British rule in India can be found than the tragic manner of its ending.


    Nor did Britain work to promote democratic institutions under imperial rule, as it liked to pretend. Instead of building self-government from the village level up, the East India Company destroyed what existed. The British ran government, tax collection, and administered what passed for justice. Indians were excluded from all of these functions. When the crown eventually took charge of the country, it devolved smidgens of government authority, from the top, to unelected provincial and central “legislative” councils whose members represented a tiny educated elite, had no accountability to the masses, passed no meaningful legislation, exercised no real power and satisfied themselves they had been consulted by the government even if they took no actual decisions.


    As late as 1920, under the Montagu-Chelmsford “reforms”, Indian representatives on the councils – elected by a franchise so restricted and selective that only one in 250 Indians had the right to vote – would exercise control over subjects the British did not care about, like education and health, while real power, including taxation, law and order and the authority to nullify any vote by the Indian legislators, would rest with the British governor of the provinces.


    Democracy, in other words, had to be prised from the reluctant grasp of the British by Indian nationalists. It is a bit rich to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe a people for 200 years, and then take credit for the fact that they are democratic at the end of it.


    A corollary of the argument that Britain gave India political unity and democracy is that it established the rule of law in the country. This was, in many ways, central to the British self-conception of imperial purpose; Kipling, that flatulent voice of Victorian imperialism, would wax eloquent on the noble duty to bring law to those without it. But British law had to be imposed upon an older and more complex civilisation with its own legal culture, and the British used coercion and cruelty to get their way. And in the colonial era, the rule of law was not exactly impartial.


    Crimes committed by whites against Indians attracted minimal punishment; an Englishmen who shot dead his Indian servant got six months’ jail time and a modest fine (then about 100 rupees), while an Indian convicted of attempted rape against an Englishwoman was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. In the entire two centuries of British rule, only three cases can be found of Englishmen executed for murdering Indians, while the murders of thousands more at British hands went unpunished.


    The death of an Indian at British hands was always an accident, and that of a Briton because of an Indian’s actions always a capital crime. When a British master kicked an Indian servant in the stomach – a not uncommon form of conduct in those days – the Indian’s resultant death from a ruptured spleen would be blamed on his having an enlarged spleen as a result of malaria. Punch wrote an entire ode to The Stout British Boot as the favoured instrument of keeping the natives in order.


    Political dissidence was legally repressed through various acts, including a sedition law far more rigorous than its British equivalent. The penal code contained 49 articles on crimes relating to dissent against the state (and only 11 on crimes involving death).


    Of course the British did give India the English language, the benefits of which persist to this day. Or did they? The English language was not a deliberate gift to India, but again an instrument of colonialism, imparted to Indians only to facilitate the tasks of the English. In his notorious 1835 Minute on Education, Lord Macaulay articulated the classic reason for teaching English, but only to a small minority of Indians: “We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”


    The language was taught to a few to serve as intermediaries between the rulers and the ruled. The British had no desire to educate the Indian masses, nor were they willing to budget for such an expense. That Indians seized the English language and turned it into an instrument for our own liberation – using it to express nationalist sentiments against the British – was to their credit, not by British design.


    The construction of the Indian Railways is often pointed to by apologists for empire as one of the ways in which British colonialism benefited the subcontinent, ignoring the obvious fact that many countries also built railways without having to go to the trouble and expense of being colonised to do so. But the facts are even more damning.

    The railways were first conceived of by the East India Company, like everything else in that firm’s calculations, for its own benefit. Governor General Lord Hardinge argued in 1843 that the railways would be beneficial “to the commerce, government and military control of the country”. In their very conception and construction, the Indian railways were a colonial scam. British shareholders made absurd amounts of money by investing in the railways, where the government guaranteed returns double those of government stocks, paid entirely from Indian, and not British, taxes. It was a splendid racket for Britons, at the expense of the Indian taxpayer.


    The railways were intended principally to transport extracted resources – coal, iron ore, cotton and so on – to ports for the British to ship home to use in their factories. The movement of people was incidental, except when it served colonial interests; and the third-class compartments, with their wooden benches and total absence of amenities, into which Indians were herded, attracted horrified comment even at the time.





    And, of course, racism reigned; though whites-only compartments were soon done away with on grounds of economic viability, Indians found the available affordable space grossly inadequate for their numbers. (A marvellous post-independence cartoon captured the situation perfectly: it showed an overcrowded train, with people hanging off it, clinging to the windows, squatting perilously on the roof, and spilling out of their third-class compartments, while two Britons in sola topis sit in an empty first-class compartment saying to each other, “My dear chap, there’s nobody on this train!”)


    Nor were Indians employed in the railways. The prevailing view was that the railways would have to be staffed almost exclusively by Europeans to “protect investments”. This was especially true of signalmen, and those who operated and repaired the steam trains, but the policy was extended to the absurd level that even in the early 20th century all the key employees, from directors of the Railway Board to ticket-collectors, were white men – whose salaries and benefits were also paid at European, not Indian, levels and largely repatriated back to England.


    Racism combined with British economic interests to undermine efficiency. The railway workshops in Jamalpur in Bengal and Ajmer in Rajputana were established in 1862 to maintain the trains, but their Indian mechanics became so adept that in 1878 they started designing and building their own locomotives. Their success increasingly alarmed the British, since the Indian locomotives were just as good, and a great deal cheaper, than the British-made ones. In 1912, therefore, the British passed an act of parliament explicitly making it impossible for Indian workshops to design and manufacture locomotives. Between 1854 and 1947, India imported around 14,400 locomotives from England, and another 3,000 from Canada, the US and Germany, but made none in India after 1912. After independence, 35 years later, the old technical knowledge was so completely lost to India that the Indian Railways had to go cap-in-hand to the British to guide them on setting up a locomotive factory in India again. There was, however, a fitting postscript to this saga. The principal technology consultants for Britain’s railways, the London-based Rendel, today rely extensively on Indian technical expertise, provided to them by Rites, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways.


    The process of colonial rule in India meant economic exploitation and ruin to millions, the destruction of thriving industries, the systematic denial of opportunities to compete, the elimination of indigenous institutions of governance, the transformation of lifestyles and patterns of living that had flourished since time immemorial, and the obliteration of the most precious possessions of the colonised, their identities and their self-respect. In 1600, when the East India Company was established, Britain was producing just 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was generating some 23% (27% by 1700). By 1940, after nearly two centuries of the Raj, Britain accounted for nearly 10% of world GDP, while India had been reduced to a poor “third-world” country, destitute and starving, a global poster child of poverty and famine. The British left a society with 16% literacy, a life expectancy of 27, practically no domestic industry and over 90% living below what today we would call the poverty line.


    The India the British entered was a wealthy, thriving and commercialising society: that was why the East India Company was interested in it in the first place. Far from being backward or underdeveloped, pre-colonial India exported high quality manufactured goods much sought after by Britain’s fashionable society. The British elite wore Indian linen and silks, decorated their homes with Indian chintz and decorative textiles, and craved Indian spices and seasonings. In the 17th and 18th centuries, British shopkeepers tried to pass off shoddy English-made textiles as Indian in order to charge higher prices for them.


    The story of India, at different phases of its several-thousand-year-old civilisational history, is replete with great educational institutions, magnificent cities ahead of any conurbations of their time anywhere in the world, pioneering inventions, world-class manufacturing and industry, and abundant prosperity – in short, all the markers of successful modernity today – and there is no earthly reason why this could not again have been the case, if its resources had not been drained away by the British.


    If there were positive byproducts for Indians from the institutions the British established and ran in India in their own interests, they were never intended to benefit Indians. Today Indians cannot live without the railways; the Indian authorities have reversed British policies and they are used principally to transport people, with freight bearing ever higher charges in order to subsidise the passengers (exactly the opposite of British practice).


    This is why Britain’s historical amnesia about the rapacity of its rule in India is so deplorable. Recent years have seen the rise of what the scholar Paul Gilroy called “postcolonial melancholia”, the yearning for the glories of Empire, with a 2014 YouGov poll finding 59% of respondents thought the British empire was “something to be proud of”, and only 19% were “ashamed” of its misdeeds.


    All this is not intended to have any bearing on today’s Indo-British relationship. That is now between two sovereign and equal nations, not between an imperial overlord and oppressed subjects; indeed, British prime minister Theresa May recently visited India to seek investment in her post-Brexit economy. As I’ve often argued, you don’t need to seek revenge upon history. History is its own revenge.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ifts?CMP=fb_gu

  5. #5
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    “Winston Churchill? He’s no better than Adolf Hitler” – Dr Shashi Tharoor.


    He may be the subject of worship from London’s Parliament Square to the Oval Office in Washington DC, but Winston Churchill was little more than a mass murderer, with as much blood on his hands as Hitler does.

    That’s according to the Indian politician and author Shashi Tharoor, whose new book ‘Inglorious Empire’ chronicles the horrors of British imperialism in the Indian sub-continent.

    In the book, Dr Tharoor points to the Bengal famine of 1943 – one of numerous famines that gripped India during the British Raj and which left millions dead – as merely one example of the horrors perpetrated by the British in India.

    And he places the blame for that event – in which an estimated three and a half million starved to death – firmly in the hands of Britain’s much-venerated war-time leader Winston Churchill.

    “Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does.
    The Bengal Famine – millions died because of the decisions he took or endorsed. Not only did the British follow its own policy of not helping the victims of this Famine, Churchill persisted in exporting grain to Europe, not to feed actual ‘Sturdy Tommies’ as he described them, but to add to the buffer stocks that were being piled up in the event of a future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia”, said Dr Tharoor.

    “Ships laden with wheat were coming in from Australia docking in Calcutta and were instructed by Churchill not to disembark their cargo but sail on to Europe”
    , Dr Tharoor continues.

    “And when conscience stricken British officials wrote to the Prime Minister in London pointing out that his policies were causing needless loss of life all he could do was write in the margin of the report, ‘why hasn’t Gandhi died yet’”?

    “To my mind this remains a permanent stain on Britain’s colonial history and Churchill’s place in history must be re-examined”.

    Dr Tharoor makes numerous references to Churchill in the book, including his racism.

    “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion
    . . . Let the Viceroy sit on the back of a giant elephant and trample Gandhi into the dirt”, Churchill was once quoted as saying.

    While London ate India’s bread, millions starved in India during World War 2 but Churchill remained unrepentant, claiming that the famines were “India’s fault” for “breeding like rabbits”.

    Churchill is but one of the many individuals – and policies
    – that Dr Tharoor takes aim at in ‘Inglorious Empire’, a work of popular history that was borne out of a powerful speech given by the author at the Oxford Union during which he carefully outlined the terrible toll inflicted on India by Britain.

    “Britain came to one of the richest countries in the world in the 18th century and reduced it, after two centuries of plunder, to one of the poorest”
    , he said at the time.

    That speech went viral on Social Media and resulted in ‘Inglorious Empire’, which was launched in London on 5 March at an event organised by the culture charity Vidyapath UK at the Royal Overseas League.

    Dr Tharoor says his aim is to highlight the “historical amnesia” suffered in Britain over the atrocities committed by Britain in India.

    He also decried the British educational system for ignoring to teach the real story behind Empire.

    While admitting that India has not made the most of its independence, Dr Tharoor is dismissive about the “benefits of Empire”, such as democracy and the railways.

    He describes as “galling” the suggestion that modernization could not have taken place in India with the British Raj. As for claims that the Empire laid the groundwork for India’s current standing as a global superpower, Dr Tharoor says: “human beings do not live in the long run; they live, and suffer, in the here and now”.



    http://ukasian.com/winston-churchill...i-tharoor.html

  6. #6
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    Heartbreaking Stories from the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition


    The 1947 partition of India and Pakistan led to the largest mass migration in human history of some 10-15 million people with Muslims migrating from present day India to present day Pakistan and Bangladesh (which was then known as East Pakistan) and Hindus migrating to present day India although many decided to stay in their ancestral lands.

    The borders were hurriedly drawn up by a British lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, who had little knowledge of Indian conditions and with the use of out-of-date maps and census materials.

    Over one million civilians died in the accompanying riots and local-level fighting, particularly in the western region of Punjab which was cut in two by the border. The riots were a result of a lack of military and political control on the part of the British who had colonised India.

    The 1947 Archive project is a project run by volunteers which is documenting personal stories from those who lived through the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. IlmFeed has obtained permission to publish some of the stories and what you’re about to read is truly heartbreaking:



    Mohammad Ramjan


    Currently Residing At: Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Age in 1947: 12
    Migrated from Kolkata, West Bengal, India to Dhaka, Bangladesh


    Mohammad Ramjan was born in 1935 in Kolkata, British India. His father was a police officer for the British government and chose to Pakistan during the Partition. Mr. Ramjan and his family witnessed the worst riots of Kolkata. He remembers men and women being taken away from their houses by the mobs, and trucks full of corpses passing by their house. During this turmoil, his family hid in a graveyard for 2 days to save themselves. Eventually, once the riots subsided, they took the train to Dhaka, East Pakistan. After moving to Dhaka, Mr. Ramjan took up odd jobs such as taxi driving. After the war of 1971, he, along with his family, moved to the Geneva camp in Mohammadpur, Dhaka.


    Akhtar Hussain Rana


    Currently Residing At: Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
    Age in 1947: 11
    Migrated from Bhagoran, Punjab, India to Chunian, Punjab, Pakistan


    If you go out and spend time with other children, how will you learn about the matters that are handled inside the house? You need to be here with your elders to meet and greet people when they come to see us. This was the philosophy that Mr. Akhtar Rana grew up with in his Rajput clan in Bagora village, Tehsil Navashehr, District Jalandher. His father and uncles always kept their sons close to them, for every minute was an opportunity for them to learn the ways of the Rajput clan.

    Mr. Rana was 11 years old when news of the Partition arrived. He remembers when his cousin Rai Muhammad Khan, a landowner, was attacked and killed by a group of men one morning in 1947. After killing him, the men killed three women in the top floor of the house. By then, news had spread of the Rai Muhammad’s murder. The men of Mr. Rana’s family picked up guns and rushed to the village. A gun battle followed which finally ended in the evening, when the police managed to shoot the men holding the house. The next day, the house was burned down. The family sought refuge in their home in Bogra. When they heard attacks were imminent, they left Bogra by kafila. They first stopped in a small village called Tirchian near Amritsar. He remembers hearing news every day about villages being burnt, complete families being butchered.

    During their journey to Lahore, Mr. Rana was grief-stricken. He was eleven years old and was frightened to leave the only life he knew. He had heard of Pakistan but did not know where it was, what it would be like, or what would he do there. He went back to school, finished university, and married Akhtar Bibi, who shares the same first name. He remembers it was a very difficult time for his family. They had very little land, and his father was a very honest man. They faced many hurdles. Today, he lives in Chunian. Sometimes he dreams vividly about his village. Mr. Rana hopes to visit his mother and uncle’s graves and the family house in Bogra soon. His message is that the violence that surrounded 1947 could have been avoided.


    Kazi Shamsuzzaman


    Currently Residing At: Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Age in 1947: 15
    Migrated from Howrah, West Bengal, India to Dhaka, Bangladesh


    Kazi Shamsuzzaman was born in Jadavpur, British India. His family lived in Howrah prior to partition. His father was a postal worker in Howrah. A traumatic riot broke out in Howrah in 1946 called the Direct Action Day, and eight people died. They lost everything. The house was looted and burnt to ashes. The women fled with only their jewelry on them. While Mr. Shamsuzzaman hid in a tree, his father hid in a graveyard. They came to Dhaka penniless in 1947. They were often called “ghoti” and discriminated as refugees in Dhaka. Mr. Shamsuzzaman completed his education there and worked as an Insurance Agent. Later, he went back to Howrah to see his birthplace. The house they owned is now owned by someone else.


    Mehmuda Khatoon

    Currently Residing At: Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
    Age in 1947: 4
    Migrated from Daryaganj, Uttar Pradesh, India to Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan


    Mehmuda Khatoon was born at the residence of her paternal aunt, the granddaughter of Bahadur Shah Zafar, at Darya Ganj, Delhi. She is the youngest of three sisters and a brother. Her mother’s home was at Nizamuddin. Her father was a bricks contractor in Delhi. The decision to leave Delhi was made when they heard rumors that insurgents were on their way to set fire to the Nizamuddin settlement, as narrated to Mrs. Khatoon by her mother.


    Mrs. Khatoon’s aunt managed to arrange some seats in the train headed to Lahore and urged her mother to leave Delhi at their earliest. It was very difficult for her family to decide at that moment, recalls Mehmuda, as her father had died of natural causes only a few days before violence erupted in the area. “There is a mourning period of 3-4 months, called ‘iddat’ after the death of a loved one. We were maybe in the second day of mourning our father’s death when we had to flee Delhi,” she says. She doesn’t remember her father at all. “We didn’t even have a photograph of him,” she says.


    “My mother was in the middle of making dinner. It was almost sunset when one of my uncles’ sons, a columnist at Dawn newspaper who’d been missing for days, came to our house unexpectedly, injured and covered in blood,” Mrs. Khatoon recalls.


    He confirmed the rumors of rioters headed towards their neighborhood and advised them to leave everything immediately. “We had to flee the house without taking any of our belongings. I still remember we didn’t even turn down the burning stove, and still remember the flame. We had a cook who was helping my mother make rotis.”

    Mrs. Khatoon was four years old at the time of Partition and, with her family, she migrated to Karachi via Lahore from Delhi Railway Station. They stayed in the basement of a mosque for one night where she says that she felt scared by the dark and suffocated by the large quantity of people hiding there with them. The next day, they were moved to the Red Fort. Mrs. Khatoon doesn’t remember the number of days they stayed in Red Fort but recalls getting food and water and being taken care of before they were escorted to the Delhi railway station. She says there were British troops sitting on top of their train to ensure it reached its destination safely, as there was news of trains being stopped short and people in them being killed.


    The train took them to Karachi, making a brief stop at Lahore. In Karachi, they stayed at the refugee camps. She remembers running around in the refugee camp and fetching kerosene oil for three paisas to light the lamp and stoves in their tent. About two weeks later, they were shifted to a newly-built quarter at Jacob Lines on Abyssinia Road in Karachi. She used to play ‘pehel dooj’ or hopscotch with kids from the streets and would sometimes secretly hitch a ride on the trams of Saddar, Karachi, where she also saw a school but did not attend it. Saddar, usually a highly populated marketplace, was empty and very quiet, Mrs. Khatoon recalls.


    Her elder sisters and brothers continued their schooling after migration, but Mrs. Khatoon was taught to read and write at home and acquired most of her learning from children’s educational programs on television and radio.

    She was married at the age of 21 years in 1964 and moved in with her husband on Jehangir Road. The couple has three daughters and three sons. She’s been living in Federal B. Area in Karachi since 1973 with two of her children and grandchildren.


    The early years of her life in Delhi were like a dream to her that only started making sense when she re-visited her aunt’s and her mother’s homes during her trip to India in 1983, she says. “I naturally wanted to be at my aunt’s house at Darya Ganj and met my aunt. She asked me if I wanted to see my mother’s house in Nizamuddin as well.” Mrs. Khatoon says that she was surprised to see her mother’s house intact. It had actually been occupied by other families belonging to Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities and everyone knew her mother. She also visited and prayed in the graveyard of her mother’s old house where her father had been buried.


    Abdul Rehman


    Currently Residing At: Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan
    Age in 1947: 8
    Migrated from Chabal Kalan, Punjab, India to Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan


    Abdul Rehman, also known as “Manna,” was born in 1934 in Chhajpur Kalan near Panipat. Young Mr. Rehman assisted his male family members in cultivating their fields. He often visited local villages to participate in festivals. Growing up, Mr. Rehman was much influenced by the wisdom of his elder brother.

    In 1947, announcement of a division of the land and of migration was made via loudspeakers in his village. Mr. Rehman says that all residents were helpful in assisting the migrating families. One day Mr. Rehman and his brother were working in the fields when a man told them that surrounding villages had been invaded and many were killed, including many Mr. Rehman’s cousins. He said that the group was heading toward Chhajpur Kalan. Mr. Rehman hid in a sugar cane field while his brother disguised himself. When the invaders reached their field, the workers told the invaders that there were no families left in the village, in order to deter them. But when Mr. Rehman and his brother returned to their village, they saw many dead in the streets. Homes were locked and shops were looted. Mr. Rehman and his brother walked to the town of Chhajpur Khurd. The families of the town escorted them to Noorwala where refugees had gathered. He was informed in Noorwala that fifty members of his family had been killed. After hearing this news, Mr. Rehman was unable to speak for a time.


    An army convoy took all refugees from village Noorwala to Panipat refugee camp, where Mr. Rehman lived for one month. One day, Mr. Rehman along with other refugees were put on a train to Amritsar. En route, they encountered a fallen tree on the track. The army removed the tree and the train continued on. Mr. Rehman and his family lived in Walton camp in Lahore for one month and later moved to Sialkot. His family did not feel at home in the new environment. They did not receive any land compensation after Partition, and understanding the local language was difficult at first.


    Mr. Rehman later moved to Daultala and continues to cultivate land there today. Concluding, Mr. Rehman remarks that life was simple before Partition.


    Hakeem ud-Din


    Currently Residing At: Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
    Age in 1947: 13
    Migrated from Panipat, Haryana, India to Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan


    Hakeem ud-Din, fondly called Ghappa, was born in 1934 in Har Singh Pura, Panipat, Haryana. He assisted his family with agriculture and farming. His father cultivated maize, wheat and other grains. He remembers digging out the waterways for irrigation in his ancestral land daily with his elder brother who was very strong and healthy. He says that his family used camels for ploughing in the field. He lived in a large house with dozens of rooms constructed where all families of his grandfather, his cousins, and his uncles lived side by side. He says that community relations were cooperative in the village.


    When Partition was announced, violent incidents began to take place in the town. Villagers started destroying properties. Some of his family members were in his maternal village of Bichpari when an armed group arrived in Har Singh Pura. Mr. ud-Din left the village in a hurry and reached a village known as Nawab Garh, where he lived for 25 days along with his extended family. He says that many people invaded the town and the village was burnt to ashes. Approximately 50 people in his extended family were killed. Mr. ud-Din was able to escape the violence by taking shelter in a forest outside the village with relatives. In order to not be identified, he wore only his underclothes while hiding in the forest. He went through the forest to Faridpur Haryana, Chandoli and Bhainswal. He succeeded in joining his parents and the rest of his family in Bichpari. Together they went to Noorpur, Uttar Pradesh.


    He says that he and his family managed to assist many girls who were in the custody of invaders and helped the girls find families to travel with. Mr. ud-Din, his family and other refugees gathered in Noorpur, and were escorted by the army to Panipat and Karnal. Their caravan stayed at the Karnal refugee camp. He saw many wounded refugees there. The next day, his family crossed the border by train. The train passed Ludhiana and Jalandhar railway stations safely, but it was not allowed to move further from Amritsar. After waiting several hours, the train was allowed to depart. The refugees were given food at the Lahore railway station. Mr. ud-Din lived in the camp for 10 days. He recalls that daily rations were rice and a few pieces of bread. He says that people were dying daily due to cholera. After a few days, he along with the other fellow refugees were transferred to Kahuta, Rawalpindi by train. They were given maize flour to make bread.


    In Kahuta, his family did not feel completely settled, so they decided to move to Daultala, Rawalpindi. There, his family found many houses that had been vacated. Once they found a residence, Mr. ud-Din began working as a laborer. Later, he received some land from the government. Today, he lives with his whole family including grandchildren in Rawalpindi.


    Ali Asghar


    Currently Residing At: Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan
    Age in 1947: 15
    Migrated from Kapurthala, Punjab, India to Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan


    Ali Asghar was born in Kaduwela, Karpurthala in 1932. He remembers playing streets games during his childhood with his friends. He went to primary school at Thakkar Kora. His family received news of communal riots from Sultanpur Lodhi. Therefore, he along with his family left Kaduwela. Women, children and men were crying while leaving the land of their ancestors along with their valuables. They took nothing special from the village, locked their house and started on their journey to another village. When they reached their destination, they saw aftermath of a massacre.

    Then they lived in Fattu Dhinga for 12 days. People armed with swords, blades, axes came into Fattu Dhinga from time to time; however, they were able to stay safe. A local policeman contacted the refugees for arranging a safe escort from Fattu Dhinga. When their caravan came out of the village, it confronted a mob. Fortunately, a caravan traveling towards Jalandhar approached them at the same time, which was escorted by the army.

    However, when Mr. Asghar was walking in a caravan along with his brothers-in-law, he was separated from his own family near a bridge. The group was split in two. One group decided to travel the route passing through Amritsar and the other and decided to cross the border in Firozpur district. Their caravan continued traveling through Lahore.

    When they reached Sheikhupura, many buildings had been burned down. Ali Asghar with his sisters and bothers-in-law lived in Dera Nawaz Khan for three months. One day his father reached Dera Nawaz Khan in his search and he traveled to Faisalabad to join his parted family. With the passage of time, they were allotted land and started to cultivate it.


    http://ilmfeed.com/heartbreaking-sto...tan-partition/

  7. #7
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    INDIA & BRITAIN

    I graduated from the first Engineering College in Kerala founded by a British Major T H Mathewman in 1939. Sashi Tharoor, you have mentioned Britain owing reparation to India. But what about all the skills in engineering and manufacturing India acquired, the administrative and democratic processes it inherited, the infrastructure left behind and most of all, the rapid education of the Indian people of which you are an excellent and outstanding example? Surely, no one can put a price on these intangible values that were gained during the British rule in India, and propelled the country to its present position as one of the leading countries in the world?


    What do you think?

    Tharoor responds: https://www.facebook.com/abcqanda/vi...4646565411831/

  8. #8
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default

    The west’s wealth is based on slavery. Reparations should be paid

    If the countries and companies that became rich by exploiting human flesh paid their debts, the world would be a radically different and fairer place

    The west is built on racism; and not in some abstract or merely historical way. Genocide of over 80% of the natives of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries paved the way for the enslavement of millions of African people and the conquest of the world by European powers. At one point Britain’s empire was so vast that it covered two-thirds of the globe, so large that the sun never set on the dominion. The scientific, political and industrial revolutions the British school system is so proud to proclaim, were only possible because of the blood, toil and bounty exploited from the “darker nations” from across the globe. Colonialism left Africa, Asia and the Caribbean underdeveloped, as the regions were used to develop the west while holding back progress in what we now call the global south.

    Any discussion of progress in racial equality in Britain or the rest of the world has to acknowledge the damage that the west has inflicted on the former colonies and their descendants. Malcolm X explained that “if you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made”. Instead of attempting to fix the damage, we are completely unable to progress on issues of equality because countries such as Britain “won’t even admit the knife is there”.

    It is the height of delusion to think that the impact of slavery ended with emancipation, or that empire was absolved by the charade of independence being bestowed on the former colonies. Descendants of enslaved Africans in the west find themselves subject to steep racial inequalities in every area of social life and are more likely to be killed by the state, as evidenced by the eruption of Black Lives Matter movements across the globe. This year marks 70 years since the partition of India and the region is still dealing with the consequences of British rule. The underdevelopment of the African continent continues with corrupt trade policies and the domination of the economy from the outside. One in 12 children dies in sub-Saharan Africa before their fifth birthday, in large part because the continent continues to be crippled by western “development”.


    Make no mistake, the knife is still planted firmly in our backs and it is time we not only removed it, but healed the wound. The only way to do this is for reparations to be paid to wipe out the unmistakable debt the west owes.


    Reparations have been routinely dismissed by British leaders, including David Cameron who told Jamaica that it was best to “move on” rather than expect so much as an apology. But as dismissive as Cameron was, there are plenty of precedents for the repayment of historical and economic debts.


    Reparations were paid out by the British government after the abolition of slavery – albeit to the slave owners. So great was the loss of wealth from the exploitation of human flesh that the equivalent of £2bn was paid, which has now been tracked by researchers at UCL. In 1804, Haitians had the audacity to carry out the only ever successful slave rebellion and declared independence from France. One of their rewards was being forced to pay 90m French francs, from 1825, with the final payment only being made in 1947. Slavery was clearly a lucrative endeavour and one for which those who produced the wealth have never received any compensation.


    It is not just governments that owe a debt; some of the biggest institutions and corporations built their wealth on slavery. Lloyds of London is one of Britain’s most successful companies and its roots lie in insuring the merchant trade in the 17th century. The fact that this was the slave trade has already led to civil action being taken by African Americans in New York. The church, many of the biggest banks, much of the ironworks industry and port cities gorged themselves on the profits from human flesh.


    It is clear that it would be just to pay reparations, and it is also possible to calculate the amount that Britain and other nations owe. A lot of work has been done in the United States to determine the damages owed to African Americans. The figure owed comes to far more than the “forty acres and a mule” that were promised to some African Americans who fought in the civil war. The latest calculations from researchers estimates that for unpaid labour, taking into account interest and inflation, African Americans are owed anywhere between $5.9tn and $14.2tn.


    It would not be prohibitively complicated to work out the debts owed by the western powers, or the companies that enriched themselves off exploitation. The obviousness of the issue is such that a federation of Caribbean countries (Caricom) is now demanding reparations, as is the Movement for Black Lives in America and Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe.


    In many ways the calls for reparatory justice do not take go far enough. Caricom includes a demand to cancel third world debt, and the Movement for Black Lives for free tuition for African Americans. Both of these are examples of removing the knife from our backs, rather than healing the wound. Third world debt was an unjust mechanism for maintaining colonial economic control and; allowing free access to a deeply problematic school system will not eradicate the impacts of centuries of oppression. In order to have racial justice we need to hit the reset button and have the west account for the wealth stolen and devastation caused. Nothing short of a massive transfer of wealth from the developed to the underdeveloped world, and to the descendants of slavery and colonialism in the west, can heal the deep wounds inflicted.


    We would need to perfect the mechanism for delivering this wealth transfer. Many governments in the developing world have as little interest in their native populations as the colonial administrations did, and sharing the money between individuals is the surest way to ensure that none of the issues are solved. But real reparatory justice would allow the developing world to build strong, sustainable economies that could eradicate global poverty. No one would need to live on less than a dollar a day and children would not die by the second. Racial equality at home would heal divisions between communities and absolve politicians from more handwringing.


    There’s even something in it for the “little Englanders”. People are not risking their family’s lives crossing deserts and the Mediterranean on makeshift boats because they crave the British way of life. Migration to this bleary island would turn to a trickle if people could make a decent life in their homelands.


    Of course there would be stark economic consequences for repaying this mountain of debt and no longer exploiting the developing world. But it is time we admitted that society currently works to benefit the few, and a rethink of how wealth is distributed more generally is long overdue. A factory reset of the political and economic consensus, in the form of reparations, would lead to a radically different and potentially fairer world for all.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ity-world-race



    Comments:

    Not just slaves but all those countries that were colonized, occupied and plundered and are being invaded, occupied and plundered by these axis of terrorist regimes

  9. #9
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,973

    Default


    Winston Churchill has as much blood on his hands as the worst genocidal dictators, claims Indian politician


    'This is a man the British would have us hail as an apostle of freedom and democracy,'
    says author

    An Indian politician has put Winston Churchill in the same category as some of “the worst genocidal dictators” of the 20th century because of his complicity in the Bengal Famine.

    Dr Shashi Tharoor, whose new book Inglorious Empire chronicles the atrocities of the British Empire, argued the former British Prime Minister’s reputation as a great wartime leader and protector of freedom was wholly miscast given his role in the Bengal famine which saw four million Bengalis starve to death.

    In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

    During an appearance at the Melbourne writers’ festival broadcast by ABC, the Indian MP noted Churchill’s orders related to Australian ships carrying wheat at Indian docks.

    “This is a man the British would have us hail as an apostle of freedom and democracy, when he has as much blood on his hands as some of the worst genocidal dictators of the 20th century,” he said to applause.

    He added: “People started dying and Churchill said well it’s all their fault anyway for breeding like rabbits. He said ‘I hate the Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion’.”

    Dr Tharoor, a former Under-Secretary of the UN, also gave an extensive description of British colonial exploitation and annihilation of traditional Indian industries such as textiles which reduced it to “a poster child of third world poverty” by the time the British left in 1947.

    He said the “excuse that apologists [of British empire] like to make is, it’s not our fault, you just missed the bus for the industrial revolution. Well, we missed the bus because you threw us under its wheels.”

    This is not the first time Dr Tharoor has voiced his frustrations about the way Churchill is remembered by the history books. In March, he argued the former PM who led Britain to victory in World War Two should be remembered alongside the most prominent dictators of the twentieth century.

    “This [Churchill] is the man who the British insist on hailing as some apostle of freedom and democracy," the author told UK Asian at a launch for his book. "When to my mind he is really one of the more evil rulers of the 20th century only fit to stand in the company of the likes of Hitler, Mao and Stalin".

    He added: “Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does. Particularly the decisions that he personally signed off during the Bengal Famine when 4.3 million people died because of the decisions he took or endorsed."

    "Not only did the British pursue its own policy of not helping the victims of this famine which was created by their policies. Churchill persisted in exporting grain to Europe
    , not to feed actual ‘Sturdy Tommies’, to use his phrase, but add to the buffer stocks that were being piled up in the event of a future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia”.

    “Ships laden with wheat were coming in from Australia docking in Calcutta and were instructed by Churchill not to disembark their cargo but sail on to Europe,” he added. “And when conscience-stricken British officials wrote to the Prime Minister in London pointing out that his policies were causing needless loss of life all he could do was write peevishly in the margin of the report, ‘Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?'"


    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...=facebook-post



    The 5 of the worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire



    1. Boer concentration camps

    During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population - mainly women and children - and detained them in camps, which were overcrowded and prone to outbreaks of disease, with scant food rations. Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans



    2. Amritsar massacre

    When peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by Gurkha soldiers. The soldiers, under the orders of Brigadier Reginald Dyer, kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing between 379 and 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes. Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000 for him as a thank you




    3. Partitioning of India

    In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over the course of a single lunch. After Cyril Radcliffe split the subcontinent along religious lines, uprooting over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to escape their homes as the situation quickly descended into violence. Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings


    4. Mau Mau Uprising

    Thousands of elderly Kenyans, who claim British colonial forces mistreated, raped and tortured them during the Mau Mau Uprising (1951-1960), have launched a £200m damages claim against the UK Government. Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as "Britain's gulags" or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault. Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died




    5. Famines in India

    Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India. In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal. Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits”




 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •