Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sir Winston Churchill's racial slurs – against Gandhiji and Indians

A book on Gandhi & Churchill by ArthurHerman
 As far as Indians are concerned, Sir Winston Churchill was more known for his hate speeches against Gandhi and Indians as a whole than for his war pep talks and speeches. Right from the beginning, he was an India baiter. To many Indians, he was a racist to the core  who believed in the supremacy of British white race, nothing else other than this. When India was in the middle of freedom struggle against the British and when it started gaining  worldwide attention, a few British politicians set the roadblocks and tried to stall the prospects of giving full freedom to India. Churchill was one among the few English politicians who were  dead against India's independence movements. He made  disgusting and disparaging remarks on our great leader - Gandhiji, the father of Indian nation and  "an apostle of non-violence" on his visit to London to attend the round table conference (September – December 1931)) to negotiate India's freedom with the British Crown. Sir Winston Churchill, one of the great heroes of world war II, while addressing the Council of the West Essex Unionists on February 23, 1931, made carping remarks which he and most likely  much of his audience would have felt. He said (February 17, 1931): 
''... it was alarming to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal Palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."
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andycarrington.wordpress.com
Churchill and Gandhi: Coming from a humble family in Gujarat, for Gandhi, despite his western education, simplicity was the way of life. He was very much concerned about the middle and lower class people, their socio-economic problems and their upward progress  in the society. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact opened up the way for Congress participation in this conference. Mahatma Gandhi was invited from India and attended as the sole official Congress representative accompanied by important Indian leaders. 

When the British invited Gandhi for peace talks in London, he saw no particular reason to change his normal down-to-earth attire – loin clothes below his waist, which was quite similar to the normal dress of millions of his fellow countrymen. Not only had Gandhi refused to wear the formal western dress to meet the Emperor of British empire or any other higher-ups, but also refused to stay in expensive hotels. Gandhi met with Lord Irvin with the advantage of having won a moral victory back in India - his successful salt march to Dandi, Gujarat  (Gandhi broke the salt laws at 6:30 am on 6 April 1930) against the salt tax imposed by the British and the ensuing civil disobedience movements.

Churchill on Gandhi.izquotes.com
A year previously, Gandhi's  Salt Satyagraha, mobilized hundreds of thousands of Indians across the country to defy colonial laws and ask for an end to colonial rule. Gandhi and other prominent Congress leader were sent to the jail on silly grounds. His popular and steadfast appeal backed by several million people, at last, had persuaded the Viceroy to release the Mahatma and initiate  talks with him. Back in England, the basic  attempt at opening a dialogue with leaders like Gandhi was bitterly opposed by Churchill. He was "against this surrender'' to Gandhi. I am against these conversations and agreements between Lord Irwin and Mr. Gandhi. Gandhi stands for the expulsion of Britain from India and the permanent exclusion of British trade from India. Churchill believed that
"Gandhi-ism and all it stands for will, sooner or later, have to be grappled with and finally crushed." Winston Churchill loathed Gandhi, whereas Gandhi  loathed none.
 

When Gandhi went on fast in 1943, Churchill hoped that he would starve to death. Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi were political enemies. Churchill favored letting Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike, and during the Bengal famine of 1943 Churchill, then the Prime Minister of Great Britain,  responded to urgent requests to divert food supplies to India with a telegram asking, if food was 
so  scarce,  "why Gandhi hadn't died yet". (en.wikipedia.org). As the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has pointed out up to 3 million people starved to death because of negligence on the part of the British officials. Instead of being sympathetic, Winston Churchill, ignoring his colleagues' advice to save the dying Indians by dispatching rice and other grains on time, bluntly refused. He irrationally remarked that it was their own fault for "breeding like rabbits". At other times, he said the plague was "merrily" culling the population. 
Gandhi with British people in London.www.religiousleftlaw.com
The UK's WWII prime minister thought India's leader should be treated like anyone else if he stopped eating while being held by the British. Churchill lacked foresight with respect to Indian subcontinent. But his ministers thought it otherwise, but persuaded him against the tactic, fearing Gandhi would become a martyr if he died in British hands.

'He is such a semi-religious figure that his death in our hands would be a great blow and embarrassment to us.' Sir Stafford  Cripps, Minister for Aircraft Production.

When Gandhi had been in jail in India for sometime with his health showing deterioration, many politicians in England favored Gandhi's release from Indian jail as it would be difficult to deal with grave political situation arising out of his possible death, Churchill unmoved as he was before, had said he would prefer to keep Gandhi locked up and let him do "as he likes". However, he added: "But if you are going to let him out because he strikes, then let him out now." The Viceroy of then British-run India, Lord Linlithgow went one step forward. He said he was "strongly in favour of letting Gandhi starve to death".
Gandhi was eventually released in 1944 because of fears his failing health meant he could die in British custody.


Soon after  release in 1944, Gandhi had begun correspondence with the Viceroy of India about a timetable for a possible British withdrawal; Churchill thought "the Viceroy had no business to correspond with a traitor who ought to be put back in prison"
Winston Churchill's dislike of India and Indians is indeed a serious blot on his reputation. As far as Indians are concerned, he still remains a despicable character, lacking humility with very poor spiritual orientation.


Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January, 1948, aged 78, after Indian independence.

The full papers are on display at the National Archives in Kew, south-west London. 


Tit-bits:

 "A set of Winston Churchill’s upper dentures (Is it not crazy?) sold at auction at the Keys’ Salerooms in Aylsham, Norfolk, today for £15,200 ($23,741). The pre-sale estimate was £5,000, but since this set was one of a few custom made for the prime minister whose dentures were an integral component of some of the greatest speeches of all time, a British collector of Churchilliana bought them for 3 times the estimate. (This same collector owns the microphone Churchill used to announce the end of the war in Europe in 1945)." Paradoxically the WWII was ended by the Americans and Russians and not by the British. So, what justification did Churchill have to announce the end of WWII? Does it make  any sense?

Many people in the international community may not be aware of the fact, that  the massive Indian Army was part of the British force and thousand of valiant Indian soldiers lost their lives in the long-drawn battle and these unsung heroes  lie buried in the war graves.

Ref:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4573152.stm


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html