|Map of the British Raj. commons.wikimedia.org|
It is a known fact a preponderance of the British population both the old and younger generation have not a clear picture of the British colonial rule across the globe and how a small country like Britain gobbled up so much land over a period of 200 plus years on which the sun had never set. In the last several decades, many Indians as well as English Historians claim that the British school students are taught a biased and distorted British colonial history in which their oppressive rules, massacres, atrocities on natives, racial discrimination, exploitation of lands and resources, wheeling dealing in businesses, etc are wantonly left out. What they are studying is a concocted story of colonial history and its benefits to the natives. During its heyday in 1922, the British Empire, believe it or not, was responsible for governing a fifth of the world's population and a quarter of the world's total land area; with colonies in very corner of the continents.
The proponents of Empire vociferously argue that the empire was responsible for the various economic developments in many parts of the world it controlled. Most importantly, they introduced democratic systems in many countries. In India, the British introduced the railways and built harbours, not for the benefits of Indian natives, but for their own benefits to move the raw materials fast from the hinterland to the harbours to be exported to English factories and to transport and distribute the finished products from England ex, textiles to the Indians across the country. This is true of other colonies as well.
|British Enpire flag. reddit.com|
The following are some of the atrocities committed by the British Empire: 01. Boer concentration camps:
During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population the way the cowpokes round up the cattle on the western ranches. They detained mainly women and children in camps. Because of overcrowding, the people were prone to outbreaks of disease. The food ration was just minimum. .
The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. The war lasted for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought the Boers to terms. Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans.
02. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, India:
| Gen. Dyer, butcher of Amritsar, 1919. reformation.org|
Dyer had the main entrance behind them in the bagh blocked, His soldiers took up position on a raised bank, and on Dyer's orders opened fire on the fleeing crowd for about ten minutes. They kept firing towards the few open gates through which people were trying to flee, until the ammunition supply was almost exhausted. The following day Dyer stated in a Report to the General Officer Commanding that "I hear that between 200 and 300 of the crowd were killed. My party fired 1,650 rounds.", a number apparently derived by counting empty cartridge cases picked up by the troops afterwards. The actual unofficial figure was more than 1000 and several hundreds severely injured. No first aid and no ambulance services available. Countless men, women and children bled to death without any medical help. It was the darkest day in British history.
03. Partition of India:
|Indian subcontinent. origins.osu.edu|
In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was entrusted with the job of drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over a short time. Cyril Radcliffe, without using discretion and common sense divided the subcontinent along religious lines, and this caused the uprooting of over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to leave their homes. It was a mass exodus - cross border trans-migration of people and majority of the families became helpless and penniless to start a new life afresh in a new home. The frustrations, resentment and hatred boiled down to violence, mayhem and killings. Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings. The British government did not plan it properly as they were in a hurry to leave India. On top of it the Indian govt. treasury had barely the minimum. There was money to sustain for some months.
04. Mau Mau Uprising, Kenya:
|Brtish colony, Kenya. sahistory.org.za|
05. Bengal Famine, India:
|Before partition, Bengal, India en.wikipedia.org|
When honest British officials pleaded Churchill to redress the famine situation, he peevishly wrote on the margin of the file sent to Delhi. Had Gandhi not died yet? When India was reeling under the worst famine, Churchill was particular about storing food grains for future war purposes.