Throughout the eventful years - India's struggle for freedom leading up to independence in August, 1947, the English opposition to Indian constitutional reforms and complete freedom remained always a powerful force that the British government could not ignore. At its center stood the most popular figure of the Conservative party Winston Churchill, who resigned from the government rather than support the subsequent 1935 reform measures.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a well known British politician, Conservative Party leader and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was a British Army officer, a writer, an artist, first ever honorary citizen of the United States. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In spite of his various personal achievements and influence he had a conservative bent of mind and his first priority was British interest under the Crown. He never had any sympathy, whatsoever for India or any other Colonial countries and the welfare of the people living there, under the Union Jack. Nor did he care a fig about the vast sub continental people's aspiration for freedom from the oppressive British rule and their centuries of domination and consistent exploitation. Instead, unlike other British politicians, with royal connections (he was from the family of the Dukes of Marlborough) and aristocratic arrogance and pride, he looked down on the Indian freedom fighters as a bunch of poorly organized chaps (rather morons), who lacked the dynamism and the ability to lead so vast and diverse a nation such as India as effectively as the British did. To him none of the Indian leaders carried an aura about them.
Churchill's military services took him to India - Bombay in early October, 1896 and while there he was adjudged the the best polo players in his regiment and led his team to many prestigious tournament victories. Churchill came to Bangalore (now a major IT centers in the world) in 1896 as a young army officer, before leaving three years later for the North West Frontier Provinces to fight in the Second Anglo-Afghan War. It was here in Bangalore he met with his first love Pamela Plowden, daughter of a civil servant.
During the worst, unfortunate Bengal famine under the governorship of Warren Hastings, never had he cared about the death of millions of Indians and the abject poverty to which they were pushed by the British imperialists. India, which had been economically sound for more than 1500 years prior to the arrival of the British in 1600, found herself reeling under starvation, death, hopelessness and communal prejudices, thanks to the uncanny British policy of divide and rule. The famine was the result of various factors such as crop failure, poor pest control, cyclones, etc. The onus of controlling the on onslaught of famine was on the British government and the local administration by making extra stocks of food grains available to the Indians. Added to the this national disaster was the world war situation that was not in favor of the British in the early stages. Any way, the British administration had to share the major part of the failure.
Also controversial was his opposition to increased home rule for India. Churchill was consistently haughty and arrogant with respect to Indian subcontinent's freedom and never mellowed down when the question of granting freedom to India in British Parliament was widely debated. To his conservative mind ''India is a godless land of snobs and bores.''
(In a letter to his mother, 1896)
Churchill was permanently at loggers' head with Stanley Baldwin over Indian independence and never again held any office while Baldwin was prime minister. Some historians point out his basic attitude towards India was clearly expressed in his book ''My Early Life''(1930). Another bone of contention about Churchill's attitude towards Indian affairs arises over what some historians term the Indian 'nationalist approach' to the Bengal famine of 1943, which has placed significant blame on Churchill's wartime government policies for the excessive mortality of up to four million people.
According to Arthur Herman, author of Churchill and Gandhi, ''The real cause was the fall of Burma to the Japanese, which cut off India's main supply of rice imports when domestic sources fell short... [though] it is true that Churchill opposed diverting food supplies and transports from other theaters to India to cover the shortfall: this was wartime.'' In response to an urgent request by the Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery, and Viceroy of India, Wavell, to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram to Wavell asking, if food was so scarce, "why Gandhi hadn't died yet." In July, 1940, newly in office, he welcomed reports of the emerging conflict between the Muslim League and the Indian Congress, hoping "it would be bitter and bloody".
On the day the vast sub continent was divided into two independent countries in August, 1947 - India and Pakistan based on religion and the resultant communal riots, violence, injuries and death on a very large scale among the migrating people on both sides of the borders, if there was one happiest British gentleman on the earth, it was none other than Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the Marlborough man of political wisdom and military acumen.
In late 1800s the demonstration in London was organized by the Movement for Colonial Freedom, and was attended by: Dr. Orbach, John Stonehouse MP, Laurence Parvitt MP, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Qureshi, secretary of the Pakistani Welfare Association, Ratta Singh, president of the Indian Workers Association and Claudia Jones, editor of the West India Gazette. (Henry Grant)
Books Written by Winston Churchill (see Amid these Storms), The Churchill Centre, 2007.
247 House of Commons Debates 5s col 755.
"Churchill took hard line on Gandhi". BBC News. 1 January 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
Myers, Kevin (6 August 2010). "Seventy years on and the soundtrack to the summer of 1940 is filling Britain's airwaves". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
James, p. 260
(minor corrections made - July 05, 2915)