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British Rule in India and Nazi rule. What is the difference?

December 28, 2006

Indian History books teach the pros and cons of British rule

The subject of British rule in India is an emotional one for most Indians but even those Indians who are aware that Britain plundered India and treated locals as sub-humans and killed the indigenous industry, reluctantly admit that Britain did build infrastructure and made English popular in India. Guess if it wasn’t for British rule all those years ago I wouldn’t be writing this very piece in English, would I? And well, Britain did unite all those little kingdoms and gave all of us a pan Indian identity.
But if most Indians believe that British rule did some good (not everyone agrees about the high price paid) I think the credit is due to the way we were taught history. The advantages of British rule were clearly brought out.


Britain apparently teaches a biased view of the British Raj

What surprised me was a front page report in today’s Times of India (Mumbai). It said that British school children are not taught the evil aspects of British rule – in fact there is a controversy going on in Britain right now about teaching school-children about Jallianwala Bagh, where hundreds of peacefully protesting Indians were massacred (including women and children). It’s difficult to understand why Britain wants to brush this under the carpet..after all if German school children can be taught about the evils of Nazi rule, why can’t British school-children be taught about the evils of British rule in India? Sure, the Nazis did more damage in a short period of time and killed millions of Jews.

But who has calculated the damage that Britain did? Are there any records of the number of Indians killed and enslaved by the British during the British Raj? Are there any records of ill-treatment meted out on a regular basis to the Indians? Has anyone calculated the economic damage caused to India because of the East India Company and British rule? Ofcourse not.


Britain does not want to know
The truth is that the truth is too painful. And neither the Brits nor the Indians in Britain are trying very hard to do anything about it. On the other hand, it is because of the power of the Jewish community that Germany said sorry…and meant it. It is because of the Jewish people that today German school children know the truth. Surely, history is important?


Britain’s attempt to change the curriculum is being opposed

Britain is trying to change the curriculum to give British school-children a ‘valuable insight into shared, if painful and often controversial aspects of the relationship between Indian and Britain’ but there are groups opposing this because this kind of teaching is considered anti-British. How can the dissemination of truth be anti anything?


The root of racism

But then, this is the very root of racism. Children in developed countries are taught in school itself that they come from a ‘superior’ stock. They are taught to take on the ‘White Man’s Burden’. A burden which makes it mandatory for the ‘superior’ race to ‘civilize’ the ‘inferior’ races. This was the attitude of the British when they came to India. They came, they saw and they plundered. They believed it was their right as ‘rulers’. At the same time they came down heavily on some of the barbaric practices they saw in India.
Yes, some barbaric things went on in Indian society (and we are not completely rid of them) but what the British failed to see that what they were doing was equally barbaric. They robbed and enslaved not just a few people, but a whole country.
What Britishers did not realise was that India had a far longer history of ‘civilization’ than war-like Britain. The problem was that India’s civilization was cloaked in dhotis, saris and turbans and some ancient practices (not too far removed from equally medieval practices that took place in Britain). These differences convinced the shirts, skirts and trousers who came to India that India was uncivilized. Every culture and every country has it’s dark side…but the developed world can only see the evils of other countries…not their own.


What chance does truth stand?

What’s amazing is that the developed world today prides itself on freedom and democracy…so why not own up to the bad things of the past? True, Britishers were probably not as bad as the Nazis, but they did far greater harm than the Nazis by the very virtue of their being around for more than a hundred years. The British East India Company arrived in India as far back as 1757 (proxy rule by the British) and then direct British rule started in 1858, lasting until 1947. The Nazis under Adolph Hitler ruled only from 1933 to 1945 – which is just a dozen years! One does not need much of an imagination to realise the damage the British must have done to India.
The sad part is is that millions of young Britishers are growing up thinking that Britain did India a big favour by ruling her. Why, the Queen herself wears a diamond stolen from India in her crown. The Wikipedia calls this diamond the ‘spoils of war.’ Funny.

Update July 2012: The comments have changed the tone and context of this article substantially. In light of that I thought I would add a tailpiece here from LK Advani’s blog. To sum up he writes about international historians who called British Rule the greatest crime in all history. I do believe it, not just because of the contents of  that article. What no one writes about is that the British systematically murdered all those who rose up against their rule, and this was done for over a hundred years. In any society if the best and brightest are murdered, it affects the whole population, and the genes. It is like what the Nazis did, killing the brightest and the most rebellious Jews. The Nazis did it in a dramatic and quick fashion, but the British did it slowly over a hundred years. Anyway, it is now the past, and all that is needed is an acknowledgement from the British government that they did wrong. In other words an apology.  Indian history books also need to write that British Rule destroyed India economically. It was a systematic robbing and killing of a nation. The rape of a nation.

Unless you tell the truth about the past, it is difficult to move on. Today I have no grudge against the British people, not even a teeny weeny bit, but I do have a grudge against the British and the Indian governments who insist of drawing a curtain over the past.

Related Reading: Is India’s language divide the biggest divide of all?
New immigration laws in Britain tell Indians to get out and that’s not such a bad thing.

480 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2006 6:16 pm

    Actually the British East India company came to India by the charter of 1600 and established their first courts in Surat in 1618 in the time of Jehangir’s reign if I’m not mistaken. 1757 was just the point of establishing military supremacy in Bengal and dual government under Robert Clive. Anyway I feel Indians also teach a biased view, and every country in the world wants its citizens to have love and pride for its history, they feel threatened if they do not teach its “glory” enough. I want to write an article about this soon. I used to be a very enthusiastic patriot, loving India and defending and glorifying her, till I realised that we like any other nation are far from perfection. I realised it is more useful if we come together and build on common ground for the healing of our people, rather than singing about past partial glory, and stagnating with it. We have potential, as does everybody. India is the country given to us, this is where we must work. For the love of God in the service of humanity… 🙂 no longer a patriot, but a humanist.


  2. December 29, 2006 12:27 am

    very nice post !

  3. Sri permalink
    December 29, 2006 12:20 pm

    I may be wrong. But Britishers would not have come to India if it was not a rich society with many resources available. There was many famines uneducated poverty ridden people in india before britishers. Many people can defend that the British have given many things to India like a united country. Also, English language, railway system, technology. Tell me one thing: What about the amount our people suffered and got humiliated under the Britishers? Is all that worth the things they have given us? Just look at the position India was when they left the country – it was pathetic. Now don’t come “even now its like that” I agree present position is because of the pesty politics. But the groundwork of everything we suffer today lies on the Britishers.
    Thats my 2 cents to this article.

  4. December 29, 2006 8:36 pm

    If there was no British rule, Indians would be still venturous and probably America and Europe would be learning Indian languages and etiquettes, as they doing with Japan and China.
    No victor would talk about the oppression caused for victory.
    Germany probably has interest to show and clear the evil of the past which brought international embrassment for whole Germany.
    I agree with your view about racism. While reading TIME and NewsWeek and other American and European articles (and blogs too) regarding India and Indians sometime I feel that we being looked down, treated as second class.
    But then again you are correct in observation that Indian history teaches about the superiority which has fixed mind set of Indians too, and most of Indians go gaga over anything that is from west.
    It is us, Indians, who have to change our mind set. Because the west has controlled the mainstream media for too long and whatever is said by them becomes gospel’s truth for Indian media and eventually for Indians. That needs to be changed. Media has to change it’s outlook. And ofcourse we, Indian bloggers, too carry our share of burdent to portray new India, the ORIGINAL India.


  5. Erythro permalink
    December 29, 2006 11:37 pm

    Many people might not realize it, but the British rule is what created India. Before that, it was just a bunch of princes fighting over land and the masses suffering from poverty.
    When the Brits came along, Indians united in the face of a common enemy and also the British merged all the princely states into one colony. This was how India as we know it today was born.

    • February 25, 2009 5:31 pm

      even though India was different kingdoms when British arrived, we still shared a “core” culture and way of life. and even before British came, there were many times when India was united as one people under certain rulers. and by the way, India was one of the richest countries in the world before British came. During Maurya kingdom and Mughal empire, India was flourishing. Even though the peasants and farmers lived simple subsistence livelihood, most of them weren’t starving for food. Its the British colonization that sucked India’s resources up and left India as poor.

  6. December 30, 2006 6:51 am

    Ofcourse Britain did unite India into one country, but no one is denying that. Ofcourse one is not sure whether we absolutely needed it…look at Europe how it is thriving inspite of it being a number of small countries, or at least the parts that deserve it are thriving. I have written a post on the differences between our people at: multi cultural multi racial India.
    However, I assure you that I am not advocating the splitting up of India. Over the years we have learnt to live together and now our unity is our strength. All I am saying is that the British created a country which wasn’t really a country…I do not think there is even one country in this world with as much diversity as India. It is to our credit that we have remained together…Britain has nothing to do with it. I will give you an example. Two people can be brought together by a third party but if they stay together is it the credit of the third party or is it the credit of the couple?
    Also, Britain too would have been suffering from poverty if they had not robbed India and other countries. Their companies exploited India and I wish you knew this.
    India was not as helpless before the British came as after they left…they killed our industry and to a large extent…our spirit…but why am I telling you this? There is too much too tell – you will find other stuff in the history books.

  7. December 30, 2006 1:20 pm

    I think our history is our strength rather than our unity. We have a great example in our freedom fighters, they had good intentions for the country and were willing to inconvenience themselves for the sake of individual citizens who formed the masses. I am specifically referring to Gandhi. Countries like Australia have more diversity than India in my opinion, and we have not effectively stayed together in India as Indians because I think it is no secret that there is major caste and class consciousness at a social level. How many of your close friends are from the working class? How well do you know your domestic help(s)? Do you sit at the same table for meals as your housekeeper, do your brothers invite the driver to watch cricket with them. I am not specifically talking about you, because I don’t know you and maybe all those things are true for you. But for the Indian majority, those things just dont happen. Many middle class people are embarrassed to be seen in public with people of the unrich classes, and I know very very few people who would share meals at the same table with their domestic help(s). I don’t think it is a case of me having specifically bad company either.

    I think Indians can boast of true unity and strength in diversity on the day when there is no difference between a girl from my class at university, and the daughter of the jamadaarni. When “current affairs” does not make us think of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, or KBC 3 with SRK, but of mass movements to help the oppressed, downtrodden, poverty-stricken and dying, in order to take our country towards a more equalist future.

    We are all lacking terribly in these things, and I know I have gone off topic- sorry for that- I just feel strongly about the misplaced pride Indians have in being united when we are not. It is a GREAT dream, and one we should all hope to achieve, but not forget that it is not true yet.

    Great conversation.. 🙂
    God bless,

  8. nkan permalink
    December 30, 2006 11:22 pm

    What the Indian civilization has provided is the caste system, Kama Sutra and millions of superstitions. Please do not underestimate the previous sentence. This is the wholesome of uttter evil and wretchedness any society can think of. If we follow our great civilization, one class of people will be janitor for ever and the higher class will feel even seeing them is a great sin. There will be sacrifices in temples for TB, diabetes and all the diseases we have today.
    The author says,
    “Britain plundered India and treated locals as sub-humans and killed the indigenous industry”
    Isn’t Pepsi and MNCs not plundering India and taking wealth of India to their head quarters today? Isn’t it just the opposite of Mahatma Gandhi, the creator of our country, wanted to happen? Isn’t it killing indigeneous industry? What about Walmart coming to India?
    I am not saying that history is portrayed in a fair manner. All I am saying is that the India was in worse shape before the British came. And, at the end of the day, what matters is the value a society brings to the world table. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to boast that we have delivered a lot of value to the world. I can hear all the Indians yelling at me as a traitor. But see, from science ( invention of electricity, gravity…) to sociology ( democracy..)our contribution is not something spectacular except spirituality (again, there are more cons than substance here). Jews might get respect because they might have contributed more than us. Bottomline is, gear up and get to work to do something world class. That will change everything. Then, everyone will rewrite the history to favour you.

  9. December 31, 2006 10:40 am

    I agree with a lot of what you say Diana. However not about Australia. The indigenous people of Australia are the Oborgines and they are of a similar stock. All the rest who came are immigrants. Even in America, the African Americans are not of indigenous stock. Only the American Indians are. The rest are immigrants. The diversity in these countries has been created by immigration.
    In India people of say Tamil Nadu are indigenous to the place as are the people of Kerala or Maharashtra or Assam or Gujerat, or Bengal. Perhaps in the north there has been a significant mixing of blood…if you read my post on multicultural India you’ll see what I mean. In India we are all basically very different and I feel proud of the fact that we are still together inspite of that. Is there any country in the world like this? No, not a single one. If there are problems (separatist movements) let’s face it – it’s natural. It’s a great thing that we are still together.
    I agree that the caste system is evil, but the government is doing all it can to stop it. I doubt whether the British would have been in favour of reservations. And by the way, the British may not have a caste system but they are pretty class conscious.
    And what is this thing called racism, if not a caste system? There is far too much to say on this, so I will end here.

  10. January 9, 2007 5:53 am

    Some of u should read history, and not the school text book. Research before making any comment or formulating an opinion.

  11. sachin permalink
    January 9, 2007 7:30 pm

    Hi Nita,

    It was a shear coincident that I tumbled upon you blog. I have never participated in any blogs so please forgive me if I am breaching any unknown rules. Before anything else, I must congratulate you on raising this issue and the way you are handling the responses. I am living in Australia for the last ten years and since 2002 doing a PhD on US foreign policy as a matter of hobby.

    While doing my research I have realized there are tremendous similarities in the current US policies (Modern day Colonial Super Power) and the British rule over India. Incidentally the similarities are at a very fundamental level in having a mindset of ‘being superior’. I won’t go much off track but would like to make few comments.

    We can go on and on about the pros and cons of British Rule but I believe every intellectual, patriotic Indian should agree that the world we live in today Britain must,

    · Publicly apologise to India
    · Offer compensation to direct victims of genocidal events like ‘Jalianvala Bagh’ etc. somebody can add more…
    · Get every history book modified to acknowledge all the atrocities on India and Indians, put people like ‘General bloody Dyer’ in the same category as Hitler in the history books and publish it
    · Bring any living perpetrator to face justice in India
    · Return every stolen jewels, artifacts, stones to India including the ‘Kohinoor’
    · Appoint join commission to evaluate the potential economic loss to India during British rule and make it public

    Feel free to comment on these thoughts, I am positive there can be many more items in the above list, please add….

    As far as we Indians go, I read somebody said earlier ‘we need to unite first’. I strongly believe we do but once again it is our problem and WE should resolve it. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for us, lets first unite and get Britain to apologise. As far as rest of the world is concerned they have united us in a unique way. For them we are Indians, I am a Australian Citizen but if I become a news tomorrow then I’ll be referred as a ‘Sachin’ the Australian Citizen of INDIAN decent, nobody refers to rest of them as Australian Citizens of British decent or Irish descent!!

    Remember, we can live divided as gujaratis-dalit-rich-poor-upperclass-muslims etc in India – it doesn’t matter. Every country has internal division and rivalry. What is important is we stay united as Indians for the rest of the world. Don’t go to foreign soil and burry your identity, don’t be ashamed of your heritage, it is about time we respect our values and be proud of who we are. Feel confident to argue ‘if Jesus can raise from his grave then lord Krishna can carry a mountain on his little finger’. I must stop now… I don’t want to flood Nita’s server.

    Nita, just on an offline note, if you are interested there is a huge potential for some cooperation in the research I am doing on US foreign policy. It has direct correlation with everything we are discussing here and much more for the future of India. Mind you I am only doing this research to one day participate and play my role in the future of India. I can’t wait for the day I can go back and do something……


  12. Mula Jatt permalink
    January 10, 2007 9:05 am

    British gave us Divide and Rule policy. Subcontinent was divided so many innocent people died for what? Its all done by Britishs. They never wanted a united Subcontinent.

  13. NewsFlash!! permalink
    January 16, 2007 7:48 pm

    If the British had stayed we may not have had “Operation Bluestar” and the massacre of hundreds and thousands of Sikhs by an organised Modern day mafia called the Indian Government? Take out a Radical Pro Hindu government and all Indians may be in with a chance 😮 . Let us try and compensate these victims before we go around asking for apologies from others.

  14. BramiT permalink
    February 18, 2007 2:18 am

    I hve not read all these posts. There will always be conflict in the world. China is now moving into Aafrica. It is the unseen battles which cause the most damage. Does anybody recall Enron and the impact upon the worlds pension schemes and the long term misery which that caused. Today it is the middle east. In one hundred years time we could all be fighting over a bowl of rice. For sure, some one some where will want to impose thier will on another.

    War is war … What was acceptable 2000 years ago is seen to be barbaric now. Times change we no longer stone whores in the street. But is the quality of life any better?

  15. bunti permalink
    February 27, 2007 6:34 pm

    The british raj was in no way good for India.
    I think the fact that people are discussing and debating this is very surprising.
    The british were responsible for plundering our wealth, and turning our region from being one of the leading economies of the world to one of the poorest countries in the world.
    Pre-colonisation our share of the world GDP was about 24%, the same as that of the whole of Europe. That was inspite of the repeated plundering by the gaznis, the chengis khans,the mughals etc etc. It was reduced to 3.2% by 1952.

    They enslaved us, humiliated us, stifled the economy, mismanaged our problems, increasing the burden of taxes to the queen on the face of famine and hunger.

    There were about 25 famines during their rule resulting in an estimated death of 30-40 million Indians, and millions more suffering in hunger due to utter mismanagement and disregard for your lives.

    They exploited the resources in India to their advantage.
    Native industries were decimated esp after 1857. India was flooded with imports from UK. All our wealth was drained off to the UK.
    All that they did was plundering, decimation of our industries, humiliation of us and our customs, mismanagement, massacre of Jallianwallia bagh, summary execution of people who revolted, forced their language with scant regard for our sentiments.

    It was their policy of divide and rule that planted seed of doubts of treatment of muslims in India if independence was gained –leading to partition –which was responsible for 1million dead and 14 million rendered homeless seriously impacting the fragile economy of that time.

    If they have a strong economy now they have blood in their hands-it was as a result of millions of us dying for them, the humiliation, hunger, labour, hard work for poor remunerations –just like slaves- we had to suffer for their wealth.

  16. February 27, 2007 8:03 pm

    Bunti, I agree with you. The British did suck us dry, but we have to keep all this in perspective. It is history now and we are recovering.
    Unfortunately our history books are full of good stuff about the British and it has brainwashed a lot of people into thinking that the British did us a lot of good. Even I thought so when I was in school. But once I started reading other books, not textbooks, I realised the truth. I don’t know why our textbooks teach our history like this. Strangely British textbooks in british schools downplay all the horrors of the British rule in India and that is why young Britishers have no idea what their ancestors have done.

  17. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    February 28, 2007 9:52 am

    British rule in India was as bad as Nazi rule in Europe.
    In fact Hitler had a great fascination for the English and used to refer to the conquered areas of the USSR as “Our India”.

    Yes we Indians have every right to demand reparations
    We need to start an agitation to make sure that the Brits amend
    their textbooks completely to show the horrors of colonial rule.
    They seem to be the only scoundrels in history who have gotten away with it after committing a series of horrendous crimes against humanity.

    I hope to see the day when Indians control all the big-business
    in England and put the Brits in their place in England.
    I would personally open a pub in England with the label
    “Only for Indians and colored please”.

  18. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    February 28, 2007 10:26 pm

    If you read Mein Kampf, It is apparent that Hitler conceived all his ideas with the following two examples in History which according to him demonstrated remarkable success.

    a)British Rule in India which was based on pillar of racism and exploitation.
    b)The subjugation of America by the Anglo settlers who eliminated the Red-Skins and their culture.

    No where in the world have you seen such a spoiling of native populations and economies as demonstrated by British Rule.

    It can be said that these British successes mainly fueled an envy in other nations in Europe, particularly Germany who wished to emulate them.

    British rule had to collapse after WWII. It was inevitable, because the British would have come across as the worst hypocrites in history had they continued to rule India after having waged a world war in defense of the “freedom of peoples”.

    Only the arch-racist and mule-headed Churchill could not see the similarities.

    We Indians can thank Hitler for showing the British the mirror.
    It is still surprising that overt-racism in the UK and US still took 30 years after WWII to lessen.

  19. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    February 28, 2007 10:37 pm

    In Mein Kampf, Hitler clearly demonstrates his anglophilia. It Is England and Italy with which he wishes to make an alliance. (He forgot to factor in British Envy at his successes.)

    His reasoning was as follows:
    If the British can have an overseas empire ,we Germans will forge a continental Empire
    The British cannot possibly hate me for doing exactly like them.

    Even the way Hitler dressed (Khaki Overalls) and the tooth-brush mustache and closely cropped hair were borrowed from the British.
    This was the way upper class English officers of the Indian Army looked in 1910-1919
    If you look at the photos of General Dyer and Hitler there are striking similarities.

    Also the Union Jack which is the English flag is a Swastika hidden by a gammadion or plus sign. Both these markings were used by the Germans.
    Just extrapolate the lines of the X in the British flag and you can see for yourselves.

  20. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    March 2, 2007 10:28 pm

    The effects of Churchills’ policies continue to shed vast amounts of blood in the middle East. They contributed to a nuclear South Asia instead of a stable Indian Subcontinent.
    He had an unbridled hatred towards any colored person who demonstrated even a little bit of originality and intelligence.
    In the epilogue of his work “The Second World War” he gloats over the bloody mess he has succeeded in creating in the Indian subcontinent. He even got the date of Indian Independence wrong:
    “On the 18th of August, Indian Independence was declared. All efforts to preserve the Unity of India broke down (That is because Churchill always needling Jinnah to never accept anything short of Pakistan) and Pakistan became as seperate state. Four hundred million inhabitants of the subcontinent mainly divided between Hindu and Moslem flung themselves at one another with the rapacity of cannibals (to the utter satisfaction of Churchill) Two centuries of British rule in India were followed by greater bloodshed and loss of life than had ever occurred during our ameliorating and benevolent rule.”
    (What monstrous lies and falsehoods).

    To kill 100 million people over two centuries using orchestrated plagues and famines to subjugate their resources and enslave them, to hunt down mercilessly the wild-life of that bountiful land called India, to exploit the resources and deplete the land of wealth of every kind and form and then to haughtily deny all these crimes.
    That was the British Raj for folks which wish to know its true nature.

  21. Noob permalink
    March 3, 2007 7:06 am

    You can’t seriously call churchill an arch rcasist. If it wasnt for him hitler would’ve invaded i think it’s sick… that you compare what the british did to what the nazi’s did. Britain did slaughter the tazmanians but that built australia a graet country. They killed many native american’s but that later helped build america.India is united and the most loved “occupied nation” in the british empire was india. Because of it’s lovely resources he he.

  22. Queen Minx permalink
    March 3, 2007 2:16 pm

    Well hello … I hope I am not going to offend anyone by contributing to this post. I am English.

    I think it incredibly important that children are taught the ‘true’ history of Britain, good and bad, not only about India, but about all the ‘Commonwealth’ countries.

    Personally, I try very hard to ‘educate’ my daughter about what I think is important to be a good human, and being English is the country where she was born, her soul is eternal.

    In Britain today, we have a large number of first, second and third generation Indians … I think it important for ‘all’ British people to learn our history, as unpleasant as that history might be. Do you think that the many Indian people living, and despite what many might think, thriving in Britain today would be here, if it wasn’t for the historical connection?

    I do think it unfair to compare the ‘British’ to the Nazi’s … that is an incredibly emotive comparison. The Nazi’s EXTERMINATED millions of Jewish people simply because of their religion. British people did not go to India with the idea of exterminating a people.

    Yes it is very important for education to be just that, Education … but at the same time, comparing a people to the Nazis is, I feel, unjust.

    English isn’t spoken in India because of British people, it is spoken in many countries throughout the world because of the fierce economic power that is America. If you want to argue that English is spoken in America because of the English, then you would be right. But English is the Global language of today because countries who wish to compete in the Global economic market feel that it is the language which is universally accepted.

    Again, I hope I have not offended anyone by my comments. I agree with a lot of what has been said here. But I do not want to be called a Nazi because of my countries history.

    Thank you Nita for always writing informative articles and encouraging people to engage in discussion.

    Information is Education.


  23. March 3, 2007 4:01 pm

    You are absolutely welcome here Queenminx. In fact I want more people from Britain to contribute but I guess the post scares away most people.
    If you say that Nazis exterminated people in large numbers and the British didn’t do it, ofcourse you are right. In any case no one is calling the present day Britishers Nazis. Just like today there are no Nazis in Germany either. But Gen dyer was a Nazi in British uniform.
    And actually millions of Indians were killed over the years by the British. One would have to go into each war and each uprising to get at the actual numbers. Also Britain fought wars with other nations and Indian soldiers laid down their life for Britain. I agree that it is nothing compared to the inhumaness of the Nazis, but when I think of the soul murder…I start to wonder.
    The British enslaved India. Treated Indians worse than slaves. And there are still people in India who have this inferiority complex when they face Britishers. Colonialism left deep scars which have been passed on from generation to generation.
    If you have an idea of what it was like in South Africa you will understand, but while the racism in South Africa is something the world knows, no one wants to know about what happened in India. One of the reasons is that its history and everyone has moved on. We Indians have this penchant to forgive and forget.
    Also the British ruined India commercially. When I was in college I used to resent this a lot because our country seemed to be stuck in a cycle of poverty. The government was following all wrong policies and making India’s situation worse. I made up my mind as a twenty year old never to leave India. I would stay and do my little bit.
    Now that India has proved to the world that she can do better, I have made my peace with the past. But something still rankled. And this came to the fore when I worked in an International school in Africa and there everyone was British. That was when I realised that the British had no idea that they had done anything wrong by ruling India. The educated people at the school believed that before the British arrived, Indians were inferior, uncivilized, uneducated and stupid. This wasn’t just one person, they were people from different parts of Britain, teaching different subjects from Maths to English to Humanities.
    And ofcourse, they knew all the bad things about India.
    But we are not denying that some ancient customs were bad and the British did a lot by trying to ban them. But to only see the bad side?

  24. March 3, 2007 4:16 pm

    I forgot to add one thing. About the English language. It was made compulsory in our school system by the British. We still follow the old british system. That is why educated people in India are familiar with English. Not so in China and Japan or even in some East Europeon countries.

  25. March 3, 2007 5:52 pm

    I found this quote from Lord McCauley in his speech of Feb 2, 1835, British Parliament:

    “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.
    Ofcourse today in this century, English has given us an edge.

  26. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    March 4, 2007 12:27 am

    Someone said:
    I do think it unfair to compare the ‘British’ to the Nazi’s … that is an incredibly emotive comparison.

    It is not at all.
    Infact I would say that by comparing British to the Nazis we are letting them off mildly.
    150 years of British Rule in India was far worse than Nazi rule in Europe for 5 years.
    The British did worse damage to the Indian Pscyche than the Nazis did to the European Psyche.

    Also the Germans got punished for it and paid reparations.
    While the British got off scott free and now are wanting to re-write history as though nothing happened.
    This is what is most disturbing.

  27. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    March 4, 2007 1:25 am

    The sad fact is that Churchill went on to win the Nobel Prize.

    He asked: “Do you want to
    live in a nation which doesn’t know its own past?

    To the Brits I have this to say:
    “Do you want to live in a nation which doesn’t know its own past ?
    You have to look into the face of the past. Then you can ask if it was a heroic one or a tragic one or if it included
    necessary evils in a tragic time. You have to look into this face even if it has a Medusa face, and in the British case the Medusa’s face is the inequities of the British Empire”

  28. Queen Minx permalink
    March 4, 2007 1:53 am

    Nita in no way did I want you to think I agreed with what the British did to your country, I don’t.

    It was the comparison to the Nazis that I thought unfair.

    The fact that many of your countrymen were slaughtered by the British and died in wars instigated by the British is historical fact, and this history should be taught and included in the British school curriculum. That goes without saying. There is a lot of blood on British colonial hands, Nita.

    I truly hope that with attitudes such as my own, and the way I am bringing up my daughter, to embrace and value multi-culturism, is a way forward for all peoples, of all countries.

    The reference to the spread of the English language was something that I have just covered in my course work, that’s why I mentioned it. From what the course material suggested, it seemed that English is continued to be taught and accepted because it is deemed a universal language in countries where different languages are spoken, and where there is no common Mother tongue. I also learned that the English language’s heritage has developed over the centuries from invasion by the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans.

    Sorry Nita, I am practising my course work in your post!! big smile!

    Thanks again Nita, for posting my comments. It was the Nazi comparison that got to me. The Nazi mentality and philosophy is abhorrent to any compassionate human being. To be of a mind where the complete eradication of a people simply because of the religion they choose to follow, to me, is beyond my humanity.


  29. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    March 4, 2007 4:12 am

    British rule drained a millions times more wealth from India than what the Nazis did from the Jews and European countries.
    Also in 150 years the Brits killed more Indians in wars famines and plagues than the Nazis did the jews and other europeans. The British were the first to establish concentration camps to incarcerate Boers and the English were the first to use Gas against the Kurds in 1917 killing 20000 of them.
    The British were responsible for enslaving millions of Africans within and without Africa.
    If the Germans had established their empire in Eastern Europe,
    Even they would have built Autobahns and broad-gauge railways,
    telephone lines, institutions, ports etc. etc.

  30. March 4, 2007 9:40 am

    Queenminx, If it wasn’t for the British, India would not probably not have been one country. The question of a common language would not have arisen! We have more than 15 official lnaguages, not dialects. There is a post on this blog on multicultural india and it explains it well. Languages are as different as say English and Polish or French and Italian. More so as scripts are different and origins of the languages in many cases are different. There is more commonality between some European languages as they actually have the same script! Customs and traditions across India are also widely different. We celebrate our religious festivals differently. Our food is widely different. We are also ethnically different,something that westerners often do not realise.
    Also English is not accepted as a common language, not officially. Hindi, the language that one third of India speaks (some dispute this figure) has been designated as the common language and has been made compulsory across schools, in addition to English. There is a lot of resentment about this because Hindi is alien to southerners, easterners and to Kashmiris as well. Hindi originates from a different root language and in fact there is a lot I can say about it here but my post on south india and north india will explian it better. The comments there have added greatly to the original post.

    Also, generally I allow all comments. The only reason I have kept comments on moderation is that very occasionally I get a comment using bad words and filthy stuff (about once a month) and this is because of the sensitive nature of some of my posts. If the comment has even a semblance of some argument I delete the bad stuff and keep the rest, so you see I rarely delete any comment. Editing I do, basically to avoid repetition, or inflammatory statements. 🙂

  31. Queen Minx permalink
    March 5, 2007 1:48 am

    Vishnu Sharma Says:’I hope to see the day when Indians control all the big-business in England and put the Brits in their place in England. I would personally open a pub in England with the label “Only for Indians and colored please”.’

    Forgive me but, attitudes and statements such as this, frighten me … All the Brits??? Every single English person??? You encourage and advocate racism and separatism and this is supposed to make things better?

    I agree with what has been written here. British History should include it’s true History, not a watered down ‘England is Great’ History, it’s outrageous that it doesn’t.

    Mr Sharma … what you say is dangerous and inciteful, and racist.

    Two wrongs do not make a right. I believe that the British Government should make a public apology to India and all the Commonwealth countries that it robbed and raped. It angers me that this country is rich and yet the countries that made it wealthy are in debt to the countries that robbed them. I am quite passionate about this.

    Do not judge me on what my ancestors did. The British Class that raped and murdered your ancestors was not a part of my ancestory. I come from a poor working class heritage and indeed, many of my ancestors were slaves at the hands of their own countrymen, the Upper Classes. Regardless and in spite of this, I do not want to be judged on what the Country I was born into, did 150 years ago, or what the country I was born into, specifically the government does today. The vast majority of this country pubicly demonstrated how much we were against the war in Iraq, did it make a difference, no. I am a voice among many that isn’t listened to, but still I shout and still I speak my mind and my heart against what I believe is wrong.

    I have no blood on my hands Mr Sharma. I have a true passion to raise human consciousness, stamp out racism and celebrate the unique differences that make up this wonderful world that we all live in.

    Again, please forgive me if I offend anyone, my desire is not to offend.

    Thank you again, Nita for your patience and understanding.

    The comments I made re: the English Language, were not in reference to India, I have made that clear, my apologies.

    Thank you for your time.


  32. March 5, 2007 5:23 am

    Queenminx I am indeed sorry for that extreme statement by Mr. Sharma.
    It escaped me.
    If you wish I can delete it…just give me the word.
    Also, I want to tell you how happy I am that you have participated in this forum. You have not even come near offending anyone. You are a lovely compassionate and understanding human being and I wish more like you come here.

  33. Queen Minx permalink
    March 5, 2007 8:52 pm

    Nita, please do not apologise and it is not necessary to delete the comment. Mr Sharma is entitled to his opinion, as I am mine.

    I think your blog is fantastic and I love reading it. You are a very informed and intelligent woman.

    Thank you.


  34. bunti permalink
    March 7, 2007 1:00 am

    It is really glad to see that a Brit (Queen Minx) appreciates the true historical facts of the colonial rule as it rarely happens.
    While I agree that Vishnu Sharma went over the top in saying ‘I hope to see the day when Indians control all the big-business in England and put the Brits in their place in England. I would personally open a pub in England with the label “Only for Indians and colored please”’ (I do not agree with this), I undertstand why he did so.
    It is a cause of heartburn and deep hurt to repeatedly see articles, discussions, documentaries, and books extolling the ‘virtues’ and ‘benevolence’ of the British Empire. It is like adding insult to the injury to say the least.
    “The British Empire brought peace progress and stability to the country” says Andrew Roberts the historian. “They were not as cruel as other colonial powers of the day”-says another.
    Only a fool will buy into the argument that Britons travelled thousands of miles to India during the colonial rule ‘to do good to us’.
    Let’s have a look what ‘Independent India’ inherited from the ‘British Raj’. Record of being the ‘poorest country’ in the world, divided communally (partition), about 90% illiteracy, widespread poverty, scarcity of food and water, lack of basic health services to the majority, a shattered economy, and a bludgeoning population.
    If this is what happened after 200 years of British rule how can you could call it ‘benevolent’-It beats me. I cannot understand how on earth could anyone argue that way.

    I quote Bal Gangadhar Tilak “the government of one country by another can never be successful”.
    (a glaring example of that is what’s presently happening in Iraq)
    It was as much about acts of omission as it was about acts of commission leaving a completely depressed and shattered community.
    The imperialists who had ruled at that time believed that ‘Whites’ were a superior race & we were inferior to them. They had beliefs that it was destiny that they had to rule over ‘us’ and teach us everything.
    They also had a prejudice that all things ‘western’ were good and better and all our things were bad or not that good.
    It was indeed unfortunate that our ancestors of that time believed the same-that we were inferior to them and allowed them to rule over us- thinking it might do us good.

    The introduction of English was a ‘way out’ for them of the mess that they had created in their greed to exploit the resources of India to their advantage.
    To quote Macaulay from his speech on The India Bill of 1833 “It would be, on the most selfish view of the case, far better for us that the people of India were well governed and independent of us, than ill governed and subject to us; that they were ruled by their own kings, but wearing our broadcloth, and working with our cutlery, than that they were performing their salams to English collectors and English magistrates, but were too ignorant to value, or too poor to buy, English manufactures. To trade with civilised men is infinitely more profitable than to govern savages”
    It was a selfish view as he states it-for British prosperity and British honour that they should continue to rule us and that we should buy their goods.
    Why does this man require eulogies for the miseries he continued to bestow on us-making sure that the Empire was as permanent as possible and also that they prospered in the bargain.
    I agree that it would have been worse if we continued to be slaves or ‘savages’ as he put it – but that is meagre solace in the larger scheme of things.

    They had introduced the western system in Police, Judiciary, education, Healthcare etc. etc. which have been failures –just offering a rudimentary service -that the common man has completely lost faith in.
    They are known for their inefficiency. They cannot cope with the demand; they are totally out of character. The services they offer are inadequate to say the least and appalling if compared to other developed nations.
    Has the common man any faith in the legal system to really protect him or the Police to offer him any protection at all?
    The root cause of all the ills is the inefficient system that has been thrust on us without knowledge of local culture, language, traditions etc.
    They cannot cope with our population, they cannot cope with our unique demands due to our culture and traditions.
    It can work very well in the western world but for us the local needs should decide what is best for us.
    That is one of the main reasons for our very slow progress since independence and that we remain still largely ridden with poverty, illiteracy and a primitive health service even 60 yrs after independence.
    I don’t think that the people who are responsible for the present mess we are in deserve any accolades at all.
    It has left us westernised Orientals- neither fully western or fully eastern – a confused lot.

  35. Queen Minx permalink
    March 7, 2007 8:43 pm

    There is a programme on in Britain on Channel 4, Monday 9 p.m.

    The Last Days of the Raj
    This year marks the 60th anniversary since India gained independence and this 90-minute drama-documentary, filmed entirely on location in India, charts the events of six traumatic months in 1947 which saw the end of the British Raj in India.’

    I shall watch it and let you know what version of events it portrays.

    Let’s hope it shows the truth.


  36. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    March 12, 2007 9:03 pm

    Lets get a few things straight the British didn’t come here for Charity like all empires the British Empire was built on exploiting colonies for the mother country however were we really any better under the Islamic period?

    I meaan after these guys effectively shut all places of learning Taxila,Nalanda etc what exactly did we have except a debauched elite levying punitive taxation on us and living it up in their havelis etc.

    The British as a consequence of their self interest did the following.

    1.Created the nucleus of a modern state bueraucracy,police,army,navy airforce,education system,infrastructure etc.

    2.Politically united us (practically all hindus into a unified entity which is capable of defending itself as a unit(unlike for 1000 years prior to the past when our incompetent rajas fiddled when our universities,temples etc burned.)

    3.Got rid of a lot of rubbish like Sati, child marraige (by and large) etc which is why we don’t have idiotic debates about 2000 year old customs like the middle east has about sharia, the veil etc. Incidentally we never had a concept of equality before law the fine of the offence of the Brahmin was much lesser than the shudra etc.

    4.They rediscovered our history and set the facts straight by collating stuff from a plethora of distinct sources to give us a clear consistent widely accepted and proud history from the Harrappa period to the present.

    So basically I obviously would have loved it if we like Japan would have unified & modernized ourselves but if we had to be ruled by a foreign power I would pick the UK over Mughal Rule. Lets give the devil his due!

  37. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    March 17, 2007 12:49 am

    Regarding Britishers setting the history straight
    That is absolute Bunk.

    All versions of modern history ignore this basic fact:
    That India had well established cities and kingdoms 9000 years
    before Abraham in Babylon.

    As early as 7000BC, We were an inherently superior people with the finest arts, music, culture, architecture and rules of law and scientific advances which included aeroplanes and nuclear weapons.

    The Ramayana and Mahabharata were not mere legends but true
    Historical events just like the Trojan war.

    India is indeed the cradle of all Mankind like Mark Twain said.
    Even the Europeans are descendents of Hindus who migrated to Europe in stately coaches like Schoepenhauer stated.

    We had everything working for us and were a top-class civilization when the aboriginal Europeans were living in caves using sticks and stones, not knowing that one should bathe daily.

    This deliberate distortion of history serves only one purpose:
    The continued domination of the world and its utter exploitation.

    I would put the Earliest and the highest Civilizations to have originated in INDIA in the year 9500 BC long before the Indus valley or the Mesopotamian Civilizations.
    A study of the stones at the Submerged port of Dwarka show that it as a modern port as late as the year 6000 BC.

    So first we need to completely amend this part of history.

  38. March 17, 2007 6:41 am

    True we had a rich civilisation, and it has not been adequately represented in history, but there is no proof at all about the aeroplanes. And nuclear weapons? There is no proof of that either. Surely there would be some trace at least of the evidence?

  39. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    March 20, 2007 7:14 am

    Re:Visnu Sharma
    This is precisely the stuff that people laugh at.
    I mean yes we have stories describing pushpak viman and bramhaastra but u seriously believe we had aircraft and nukes???

    I mean the US has written Star trek do we assume that they know how to travel faster than light,use laser weapons on planets and materialize out of thin air ?

    The Trojan war BTW is a legend and recognized as such i.e Illiad and NOT a historical fact.

    BTW isn’t this inherently superior attitude somewhat similar to what the Europeans had in mind?All human beings are the same.Genetically proven.Period!!

  40. Ge' van Gasteren permalink
    April 3, 2007 3:21 pm

    Dear Nita,

    It is good that India rises up again finally, but it will not be helped by emphasizing old crimes committed by others.
    Surely, I think Britain should apologize, but that is their concern, not India’s.

    One may argue that the British and other foreign influences only got a foothold in India because vedic civilisation had become weak, like diseases sooner affect those with weak health.

    Your quote of Thomas Babington Macaulay is a good illustration: He never said it. (If we look back realistically, we know that that was not the state of India in the 19th century, but that’s another matter.

    What Macaulay did say is, that all literature in Sanskrit and Arabic together was worth less than a few English schoolbooks. As he couldn’t read either language, that statement was based on a good number of interviews with Indian people, who gave THEIR low opinion of the vedic heritage. Sure, his arrogance and over-estimation of English language is clear, and he may have only interviewed English-speaking people, but when I read his speech, it’s clear to me that he was a man of great morality, genuinely wanting the best for India.
    It is just sad fate that this was so badly informed.

    So, instead of putting the blame on someone in particular, I think it would be better to attribute all to the ups and downs in Time, and thank Heaven that we are now witnessing a great UP!

    With greetings,


    1 A quote from Lord Macaulay:
    “We are free, we are civilised, to little purpose, if we grudge to any portion of the human race an equal measure of freedom and civilisation”

    2 His “minute”, and a letter by Ram Mohan Roy 11 years earlier:

  41. April 3, 2007 3:54 pm

    Well, if Macaulay never said that, I am happy.
    However I do not agree when you say that “Britain should apologize, but that is their concern, not India’s.”
    When two parties are involved, it is the concern of both of them.
    Also Ge’, I assure you that I am not “emphasizing old crimes committed by others.”
    If you look at my blog, you will find that I write on a variety of topics, and what a small bit of it is this one! Yes, if I had started a hate blog on this subject, you would be right to say what you did.
    That we Indians should think of this, that we want Britain to think of this, is natural. Specially in this day and age when Britishers and Indians are meeting and interacting. I have met a lot of Britishers when I used to teach in a school in Africa, and was disturbed that they thought that Britain did India only a lot of good by ruling her. They felt India was nothing, until the Britishers came and fixed it. There was just one teacher out of ten who knew the whole truth and that was because he had lived in India. This attitude hurts you know, and this is what is at the root of racism.
    Arn’t you hurt that you read something like this about Britain? Can you imagine what Indians feel then when Britishers feel that India had no education system, that Indians were a bunch of tribals before the British came?

  42. Ge' permalink
    April 5, 2007 6:29 am

    Dear Nita,

    That the apology is not India’s concern was meant like this: When Britain apologises, it’s good for Britain. But when India keeps remembering the old injustices, it just feeds hate, and thereby spoils our present and even our future – in that sense it’s better for India to forget about it.

    It’s more healthy to realize that what happened was not “good” or “bad”, only “necessary” according to cosmic laws.

    But now I’ve read a bit more on your blog, and I see how you are actually quite balanced in your understanding, even when you’re writing down your emotions. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many of the reactions.

    I understand the hurt feelings very well, but that is the main thing in such matters: don’t let emotions take the upper hand, and try to feel aloof of such uneducated Britishers that don’t know better.

    (I’m not British by the way, but Dutch, which is only a little better with regard to Indian history.)

    The only good reaction is to try and prove them the opposite, and in fact, the current developments in India are doing just that. I really enjoyed Diana’s wisdom of “humanity before patriotism”.

    What I’m hoping for is that Indians will not just excel in a “western way”, but seriously begin to study their own heritage. I think Vedic literature is completely misunderstood nowadays, but some good sorting out will restore the old knowledge in its purity, and make it possible to find ways how to apply it in our age.

    Vishnu Sharma sure makes it difficult to agree with him on many points, but one way of building vimanas has already been (re)discovered in our time, thinking of which sounded like madness just 200 years ago; let’s see what the future will bring!


  43. Soniya permalink
    April 11, 2007 10:48 am

    I haven’t read all the posts, but from what I have read…I completely agree with the original article of Nita and think she is absolutely right in what she expreses about the British Rule! And my thoughts on all the good things supposedly the British Rule did to unite India, build railroads, blah, blah…..Were they doing this to uplift this falling country out of their sheer goodness to help India?NO! There was a totally SELFISH motive behind it……the main reason was for the COMPANY to work smoothly, uniting the kingdoms, building transportation systems, teaching english…..were there plans to the future, as in a long term plan to permanently rule for as long as one can imagine. If they only had forseen Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for India, all those long terms plans, really, would have never ever happend. So, now for the British text books to bask in the glory of the wonderful things it did for India is rather hypocritical! Anybody with an ounce of logic and common sense could see what the real intentions were. So in one line…..they didn’t do INDIANS A FAVOR, THEY DID THEMSELVES A FAVOR…in all the SUPPOSEDLY good things they did! And the rest were mere evils and violent heinous crimes, with no humanity whatsoever…VERY COMPARABLE TO THE NAZIS….and the Britishers are lucky that they ruled Indians because Indians follow Gandhianism and Karma….forgive and forget…Live and Let Live!

  44. KingNazism permalink
    April 21, 2007 6:03 pm

    My answer is simple, if britain didn’t gain control over india the whole population would be muslim right now.

  45. KingNazism permalink
    April 21, 2007 6:09 pm

    ” Vishnu Sharma”

    Britain certainly didn’t kill more than the nazi’s did, that’s a bullcrap statistic the nazi’s were scum so were the british but britian tryed to restore india in fact, and most brits didn’t agree with making the population christian.

    Britain didn’t use the concetration camps first it was actually rome, we used gas to the exrtreme killing thousands not hundrands of thousnads though but then whats worse gas or nuclear warfare?

  46. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    April 26, 2007 10:00 am

    To state the facts correctly Nazi Rule in Europe for 5 years looks like Time Lapse Histography of British rule in India for 150 years.
    The Nazis al least ran into opposition and had the world put them in their place.
    Which is why Europe lay in ruins after the war.
    But the British had no armed opposition what so ever, during 150 years of their rule
    If a British man murdered an Indian in India during the British Raj. He went on with his life as though he had killed a fly. He faced no punishment. This is a fact.

    So the enormity of the crime of British Rule == Enormity of crime of Nazi rule.
    What makes the Nazis look so henious is because of the short time span in history
    into which all their deeds were encapsulated.

  47. prakash permalink
    May 1, 2007 12:34 pm

    I found this interesting aricle on wiki.
    Throughout history India had the bigggest and richest economies in the world until the brits started leeching all the wealth out of that country.
    See below how india got worse during british rule. India had the richest and largest economy in the world before the british rule started. But, by the time they left India in 1947, it was one of the poorest countries in the world. Now thats what I call exploitation big time.

    I hope India can get back to its former glory before the brits got their hand on it.

    Pre-colonial period

    5 BC

    * Silver punch-marked coins were minted by the Mahajanapadas


    * India’s economy had a 32.9% share of world income, the largest in the world.


    * India’s economy had a 28.9% share of world income, the largest in the world.


    * India’s economy had a 24.5% share of world income, the second largest in the world after China, which had a 25% share.


    * India had an income of £17.5 million, under Akbar’s Mughal Empire, in contrast to the entire treasury of Great Britain in 1800, which totalled £16 million.


    * India’s economy had a 24.4% share of world income, the largest in the world, under Aurangzeb’s Mughal Empire.

    [edit] Colonial period

    [edit] East India Company


    * 1793 Cornwallis’ Permanent Settlement Instituted in Bengal


    * India’s economy had a 16% share of world income, the second largest in the world after China.

    [edit] British Raj


    * First estimation of India’s national income by Dadabhai Naoroji


    * India’s economy had a 12.2% share of world income under the British Empire.


    * India’s economy had a 7.6% share of world income under the British Empire.


    * Famine of Bengal

    [edit] Post-Independence period

    [edit] Nehruvian era


    * India’s economy had a 3.8% share of world income


    * India’s economy was $494.8 billion, which accounted for a 3.1% share of world income

    [edit] 1980 – 1991

    Virtually Closed.

    [edit] 1991-present


    * Economic liberalisation was initiated by Indian prime minister P. V. Narasimha Rao and his finance minister Manmohan Singh in response to a macroeconomic crisis.


    * India’s economy was $1,702.7 billion, which accounted for a 5% share of world income


    * India’s economy is $3,815.6 billion (purchasing power parity) which accounts for a 6.3% share of world income, the fourth largest in the world in terms of real GDP.

  48. krenim permalink
    May 8, 2007 1:54 pm

    We (the West) are much richer than the third world because of the industrial revolution and dramatic rise in productivity as a result as output per worker and wages increased not robbing the third world though a few people did get very rich as a result.

    Before that practically everyone was poor,the ‘fabulous wealth’ of india was still confined to 5% of the population.

    Get this very very clear:
    India is our creation for 95% of its long history the area that is now the republic of India was innumerable small kingdoms fighting amongst each other. Even today north indians have to speak in english in south India to communicate. You could say that it is some sort of poor united states of europe with English as the official language.

    Yes we did commit atrocities Jaliawalla bagh is inexcusable but seriously nazi rule???
    6 million jews were systematically butchered on an industrial scale with the full organizational and technical might of Germany.

    Famines have occured all over the place since time immemorial. Are you trying to argue there were no famines under hindu rule? islamic rule? There were no crop failiures? The depressed classses (~50% of population) were happy and content to be treated as dirt (or less)?

    Get a life!

    I am British and proud of it!

  49. May 8, 2007 4:11 pm

    I must say that if you think that Jaliawalla bagh and looting the country is the only atrocity that the British committed, you are sadly mistaken. But I am not at all surprised by your lack of knowledge.
    6 million Jews you said. Yeah sure, it was all in the space of a few years and very barbaric. Thats why it got the attention of the world.
    You have absolutely no idea as to how Indians were treated during British rule. All Indians. They were treated like shit. Apartheid and soul murder my friend. Plus thousands and thousands of people were tortured and killed. You need a detailed study of Indian history. Its sickening I can assure you. Thats why you have been protected.
    And I don’t see how pointing out our mistakes in any way alleviates yours.
    You are also wrong if you think that only 5 percent of India was well off. We should not talk of the super rich as in all countries they constitute a certain small percentage, but of poverty and starvation. There was hardly any starvation before. There was maximum starvation and poverty after the British left.
    Ofcourse you are right that Britain united us. So? It wasnt for our good, it was Britain’s good. They consolidated their empire.
    And thank you very much… we have a life, and no thanks to the British. But if you think we are going to pretend that Britain did us a lot of good in the past, sorry. British rule does have parallels to Nazi rule, though in a different way. Not extermination, but systematic robbing and raping of the country’s resources and the torture and murder of its people.
    I don’t understand why Britishers want to pretend it never happened. How does it help not to know your past?
    Today, even Japan is acknowledging its war crimes. They opologised to China but China doesn’t think its enough.

  50. krenim permalink
    May 9, 2007 12:31 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong due to my biased education (Btw all countries teach a biased view of history which glorify themselves often at the expense of others)

    but regardless of how great India was in the past and i am not denying the civilization is far more ancient than mine.The India we found in 1757 (Roughly the begining of company rule) had:
    2.Child marriges
    3.No equality before law(Brahmin>Trading class>>>>Depressed classes)
    4.Anarchy ~1000 kingdoms ,bands of robbers(thugees)

    When we left you had:
    1.A functioning unified state(you don’t seem to appreciate how important this is)
    2.Rule of law (with equality before law)
    3.The seventh largest industrial base in the world and the best in Asia(check this up)
    4. GBP 1 billion in war debt which we paid as promised {quite a sum then for a war ravaged UK but we paid}
    5.A functioning education system.

    The main point of my post is we aren’t rich because we robbed you (though I don’t deny there was some plunder but not significantly more than one indian kingdom plundering another)
    we industrialized in the 19th century which boosted productivity and incomes across the west.You are where you are because of 50 looney years of bad economic management as opposes to S Korea and Japan say though its good you have finally

    systematic robbing you say well which is why some of the richest men in the empire were Indians the nizam of Hyderabad for instance.Look you can believe what you want but by and large most indians i’ve spoken to do acknowledge they needed it

    You have used some very big words:
    Aparthied:why because upper caste indians didn’t get into private gentlemen’s clubs ?come on!
    and what do you call the horrible caste system?egalitarianism?
    Indians were very much part of the establishment ICS downwards( my grandfather’s boss was an Indian and ICS was thee service to get into those days)

    There were no laws to restrict the inter mingling or even marraige between anglo saxons and Indians,quite a few occured.
    It wasn’t bliss but aparthied??

    Treated like shit??
    Exactly how is a modern education system,rule of law ,modernization of society and the institution building that was the precurser to creating the world’s largest democracy treating ppl like crap?

    No offence but from another perspective this does seem more like jealousy vis a vis the high standard of living and power of the west.

  51. May 9, 2007 7:15 pm

    krenim – Let me answer all your points one by one:

    This post is about the evil of British rule, not the evil practices in India at the time of British rule but you keep harping on that. Who is denying the evil practices of our society? And please don’t tell me that British society was fantastic at that time or that it is fantastic even now…but what’s the point of discussing this? We can go on forever saying you are like this and I am like that! That is not the point.
    And who is denying that the British gave us an unified state with it’s attendant good aspects? We were taught this in school! We all know it. That is why Indians acknowledge it! Because it’s in our textbooks!
    And I do not believe that the British are rich because they robbed the colonies. What they did in India was systematically destroy our industry for their own ends…
    And ofcourse we had ‘50 looney years of bad economic management’!
    Who is denying it! Looney is perhaps a mild word.
    And frankly if you are denying apartheid, I am amazed, absolutely amazed.
    It is you who are denying the bad the British did to India and I find it odd. The jealousy my friend seems to be emanating from you, jealousy because of our background. Or may be its not jealousy. Just ego.
    Whatever the reason is, be at peace. This is not against you, its about history and about the past. Its an academic debate. But I think you should study Indian history before making comments. We know the good and the bad. You know only one side.

  52. May 10, 2007 1:34 pm

    I have deleted the anwer to this comment by Krenim because he feels that it was the greatness of the British that they left India.
    He said:
    “You seriusly think you could argue your way to independence peacefully with anyone else?”
    I ofcourse think it was the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi which did it, and so we differ.
    Well, he denied every point of mine earlier, the apartheid and the comparision to Nazi rule. He has taken the comparision to Nazi rule literally which ofcourse was not meant and that explained quite clearly in my post and subsequent comments.
    He denies that the British killed local industry, which is a historically proven fact.
    I thought I would write to him at the email address he provided, and the mail bounced back and therefore decided to write this comment.
    I love a good healthy argument and would have liked to answer his comment point by point, but I don’t feel comfortable with with anonymous comments although I allow them. His name must also be as false as his email id. I do not know who he is and I don’t like it, not in this sort of argument. How old is he? Is he educated? Is he a woman or a man? Has he ever been to India? Has he studied Indian history? Does he know any Indian freedom fighters? If he has been in India how long has he lived here?
    You have to be admit Krenim, that is it quite unfair for you to write your strong opposition to the post and its comments without ever studying Indian history or talking to Indian freedom fighters. If you had an attitude of say…let me know more, then I shall decide, its different. But you have made up your mind and that tells me a lot.
    I have not published your comment here, as specially your comment on Mahabharat, our sacred book will inflame people. I do not allow any religious comments. Even if someone has said something about the bible I would not published it.
    In your previous comments you have said it all, your views are well explained here so really, as I said earlier, please study Indian history and then come back.

  53. Queen Minx permalink
    May 11, 2007 3:03 am

    I think it’s hard Nita for a Brit or more to the point, English people, to be compared to a Nazi because we find Nazism so abhorrent therefore it goes against the grain to be labelled in comparison to a regime whose sole premise was to eradicate nay, exterminate one set of people because of their religion.

    What your post asks English/Brits to do is to look at the comparisons objectively and it’s difficult for us to do that because Nazism is such an emotive and ugly subject. Was there anything positive about it?? There could be arguments made about the advances that the Nazis discovered in medical science … albeit, through experiments on Jewish prisoners of war. Disgusting as it sounds … this is what they did. Personally, I would rather be 1000 years behind in medical science than have one Jewish person tortured and murdered in its name.

    I abhor anyone regardless of background, culture, religion and so on … who believes that it is their right to subjugate another person’s humanity for their own gain.

    Whatever has happened is in the past … India is a proud country, always has been, with a rich and beautiful heritage … our heritage in comparison, has always been one of invasion. First the Romans, then the Vikings, then the French … and because we are an island nation, we have always had to integrate new cultures into our own or be destroyed. Maybe this goes in some way to explain why, as a nation, we adopted these principles of invasion, divide and conquer, and used them against other nations.

    There are no excuses, there is only reasons and history.

    My Mum has been to Goa twice now, and is going again next year. She has only good things to say about India … I find this to be true of everyone I have met who has been there. Yes, it has it’s problems, but which country hasn’t? Our country, is again, adopting a defensive stance against ‘invasion’ because of the amount of immigrants, refugees and because of migrant workers now coming to Britain under the new EU rules. It annoys me when people over here cannot see that this only makes our country richer for many reasons, economically, culturally and spiritually.

    I am glad you wrote this post, it has forced people to think and hopefully re-evaluate their histories.

    We cannot know now, what would have happened in India, if the Brits had stayed away. It would be interesting to read something along those lines … where do you think India would be today if the Raj had never happened? Do you think that another country would have meddled and taken advantage of the riches in your country?

    We only have today what we have today … and living in England … I for one, am immensely proud of the wealth of Indian culture that thrives in this country.

    Your posts are always thought provoking Nita.


  54. May 11, 2007 7:35 am

    The Brits abhor the Nazis just like the rest of the world abhors the Nazis, including Germans. That is because the world has been taught about Nazi rule. I feel its time the British acknowledged their past too.
    My greatest hero from Indian history is the Rani of Jhansi, a woman from my home-town of Pune, who married a KIng of Jhansi. The British did horrible things to her kingdom, her family, her subjects, and then finally shot her in the back. She had a small baby, whom she used to tie on her back and go on the battlefied. 1857 – around this time.
    If the British had not ruled India, I can’t say that any other country would have. But I do know that we would have been as divided as Europe is today, with some rich states and with some poor states. Not so many poor states that we have today that is for sure. The states that bore the brunt of British atrocities are the poorest in India today, except for one which was resilient.
    We are all very different culturally and ethnically and so it is natural that there were kingdoms. Krenim was contemptuous of the kingdoms, called the rulers despots and said that the British cared for the Indians more than the kings and queens! Really, its shocking that any Britisher thinks like this. As if Britain didn’t have kings and queens who were despots? It doesn’t mean that a foreign ruler would have cared for the people more! I should have added this in my previous comment because this was another reason why I deleted Krenim’s comment. He talks like a colonial. This was exactly how colonials thought.
    Talking of different states, even if we were different countries, we could have united now, like the EU, or perhaps we would have not. Whatever it is, it would not necessarily have been harmful. I personally believe that without British rule we would have been good. It is a matter of opinoin, and purely a theoritical debate.
    But I think we would have found a way to govern ourselves in a way that was more culturally suited . We could have given the world many inventions. That is what I believe.
    We had an education system.
    Lack of British rule, would have certainly saved us from a lot of terrorism and separatist activities that are on today! But now that we are one, I think its wonderful and something to be proud. of.

  55. krenim permalink
    May 11, 2007 10:14 am

    Firstly obviously my name isn’t krenim its my net nickname and I don’t give away personal details on the net ( I hope you can understand why)
    I was simply stating my point of view & I find it just as apppauling indirectly to be labled as a nazi and since one of our greatest achievements in the past century is to get rid to nazism I hope you understand why.

    Talking like a colonialist? Well thats your point of view I do not advocate the return to Empire.

    Anyway I stated my point of view in the post which you so convinently deleted because it probably didn’t fit with your line of thought you go on and on about destroying cottage /traditional industry but talk nothing about us laying the foundation of modern industry.
    In any case I haven’t said anything remotely degrading to the mahabharata.And infact have given a more logical reason of how 20000 brits could rule 300mn for ~200 years.

    Could you have done it yourself? Maybe may be not.Japan did the middle east didn’t we may never know.

    If you want an honest debate instead of some sort of victims club with all parties stating their points of view then I suggst you let people decide on the merits and demerits of my post.I am afraid I won’t like to participate in this forum any longer if I am not allowed to state my views freely ( as long as they are not explicitly abusive of course).Its your call.
    BTW I am a student at Rugby, should pass out this year so I hope I pass your literacy test 🙂

    Its not me who isn’t open to debate I mean why should i post in such a place if i didn’t want to debate the pros and cons. Banning someone’s post because they labour the point that things were perhaps not utopia before we came and a lot better after we left is a sign reluctance to reexamine one’s stated position.Goodbye.{I am pretty sure even this isn’t gonna be posted 🙂 fair play anybody?}

  56. May 11, 2007 10:24 am

    I am afraid you did insult the Mahabharata by calling it a fable (even if it is so it has a spiritual meaning and there are many aspects of it which may not be a fable, its what Hindus believe in even today), and you also said that it was to the credit of the British that they left India. You have also taken the comparision to Nazi Rule literally. Overall what came through was not objectivisim. I was very very upset by your comment because I thought you were biased.
    Anyway I pride myself on being fair and that is why I published your comment.

  57. Queen Minx permalink
    May 12, 2007 4:20 am

    I have followed this for a long time Nita … and my Britishness or my Engllishness has now, I feel, become a moot point … you opened this debate with ‘British Rule in India and Nazi rule. What is the difference?’ … well, what is the difference?

    From this continuing debate …. I think the overall summation is that … the British Raj weren’t Nazis … and that is the point, whether you like it or not.

    Colonial, arrogant, self-important, ignorant murdering chancing bastards, yes. But, lets say this … India and England have much in common. We both have Kings and Queens and a lot to be protective and proud of. Put a shoe on another foot and it could be an English person calling an Indian a Nazi and making the same comparison. But for the Grace of God, go I.

    So. What is the difference? … what?

    If the Nazis would have had their way, England and India would not be the proud nations that they are today. They would not be such major and respected nations in this world, that we all live in. Because Nazis would have destroyed, exterminated and eradicated us all. We, would not have fit in. Indian and England would not be the proud nations that they are. Nazism would have seen the end of that.

    I have no time for racism. I hope to find it obsolete in any forward humanitarian thinking country.

    What would Indians have prefered … what would any country prefer … destroyed by a Nazi Nation – a country where this debate would never, never have happened? Or, fucked over by an arrogant, but future repentent colonial people? Leaving a nation of such proud people, who now, if not dominate, stand equal upon a world stage. As … Nazis … we would not exist. All of us. India and England.

    So … Nazi rule or Birtish Raj …

    What is the difference?

    This colonisation wasn’t a British invention … but both of our countries wouldn’t have this open opportunity of free debate, if the Nazis had their way.

    Not no how …

    Not no way …

    So … tell me again … what the difference is … without bullshitting history … Nazis Nita … thats no business of anyone. You are right about the British Raj … but a Nazi philosophy … no … Nazis wouldn’t have left a person standing in Indiia … or England.

    And that … for any humanitarian … is a fact.

    If the Nazis had their way … and would have continued with their relentless streamlined view of humanity … we would all live in a very small world … a world that I , and you, would not be a part of.

    So yes … absolutely advocate a ‘proper’ view of history … but Nazis … in all and anyones book … would have made a difference. I thank any God, that they didn’t.

    It’s not my difference … they wouldn’t have stopped … they would not have left …. they would have continued to make this world a place where I , nor you, Nita, would not have existedl.


  58. May 12, 2007 11:58 am

    Its not a question of like or not like. Its a question of the truth and I am willing to accept the truth.
    I quite like the way you present your argument Queen Minx, without attacking us, without bringing to the fore all our warts and boils, as if that justified any one ruling us. Your argument is very convincing…

  59. Queen Minx permalink
    May 12, 2007 4:28 pm

    I am not trying to justify anyone ruling anyone Nita … honestly … but I do believe there is a difference between what Nazism is and what Colonialism is … the Brits colonised … the Nazis exterminated … that’s the difference … you must know by now that I absolutely agree with you about British History books telling the truth about the British Raj in India … that’s not my argument … I am not justifying anything that they did … I am merely trying to bring the debate back to what it was … and that there IS a difference between the Raj and Nazis … colonials vs fascists … Nazis wouldn’t have ruled India … not with Indians in it … and the same goes for England … they didn’t want to colonise they wanted to eradicate … I believe that that is the difference.

    And that’s why Nazism is so dangerous … and it still exists today … that’s scary … it’s a poison in the blood of humanity.

    Thanks Nita.


  60. krenim permalink
    May 14, 2007 11:42 am

    Again I think there are misunderstandings regarding what I meant.

    I never said we gave India independence because of our greatness. But Mahatma’s tactics didn’t work in a vacuum.He knew that we couldn’t be beaten on a battle field but at the end of the day were bound by our own conventions of decency which we wouldn’t cross.

    So when you had non cooperation etc the senior leaders even if jailed weren’t tortured or anything, their families weren’t touched ,their lands weren’t confiscated etc.

    Regarding colonialism per se my opinion is that there are good colonialists and bad colonialists.

    We were a colony too (Roman Empire)

    The bad ones like the Mongols and the Huns basically destroy civilizations and exist solely to plunder. The good ones like the Roman Empire and I believe the British Empire even for all their ills (I again never claimed it to be perfect) ultimately impart a great deal of good in modernization of society and introduction of contemporary thought the impact of which are probably not as easily quantifiable but just as profound as transfer of money.

    The reason I keep bringing up your past is not to insult or humiliate you but for comparative purposes because all morality- and I believe this the crux of this debate- is at the end of the day comparative.

    In addition please understand that most of the crimes you attribute to the British were carried out by the east India company ( a private FOR PROFIT concern), you cannot blame a country for the activities of a rogue MNC even in the 21st century let alone the 19th most of us didn’t see a single pence worth of profit though Clive and co. became rich beyond their wildest dreams.

    As for the British Raj (1858-1947)
    The indian economy grew 1% per annum througout this period ( a bit more than the population infact)
    Modern education system (you had a proper system long ago but not when we bumped into you)
    Modern industry(textile mills,steel plants, ship building, railways, telegraph…quite a bit owned by Indians Tata etc) the best in Asia in 1947 including China and Japan.
    Foundations of institutions (Judicial system,bureaucracy,central bank)
    etc etc etc

    More good than bad wouldn’t we agree ?

    By the way this is why we think ( at my school anyway) you got poor(relatively):

    1.Industrial revolution meant indian textiles couldn’t compete with British goods even in the free market.Much the same for other industries.

    2.The entire Indian economy was linked to silver (silver rupee etc) which lost something like 80% of value with the Spanish discovery of huge reserves in South America.

    3.Political instability and anarchy money that should have been invested in the economy was spent of wars with other states.

    4.The east India Company and associated gang of carpet baggers

    In that order.

    And then you had the great Mr Nehru and Fabian socialism for 50 years which indirectly is our fault but he went to Harrow not Rugby 🙂

  61. Vishnu Shama permalink
    May 19, 2007 10:58 am

    This message is for Queen Minx .
    To tell you frankly Queen Minx Nazism is not as abhorent as potrayed by you.
    It got more and more abhorrent only after the Nazis found themselves with
    their backs to the wall.
    There was a mutual admiration society of Brits and Nazis if you would recall
    in the pre-war years. 1933-1938.
    Your own former Prime-Minister Llyod George was a guest of Hitler
    Also Lord Halifax was almost going to make peace with him after the fall of France.
    Should also mention the Duke of Windsor ?
    Nazism and British Imperialism shared one common trait ——-> RACISM.
    Let me tell you squarely. YOU DEFEATED NAZISM because of your jealousy of
    the prowess of your Teutonic cousins. You feared their dilligence and discipline.
    This hatred of Germans has been brewing in British minds ever since the late 19th century when the Germans began to industrialize better than you and produce more
    steel than you and have a better army than you and began to build a better navy than you. You feared that your dominant position in the world would be lost.
    Had the Brits made peace with the Nazis in 1940, Then Bolshevism would have been destroyed and the British empire would still have been intact.
    Hitler had promised you that this would have been the case repeatedly.
    But you refused. Why ? Because of the Jewish Bankers controlling your economy.
    Now had the Jews not influenced you so much into continuing the war with Germany it can also be said that Hitler would have been lenient towards them and favoured deportation overwhelmingly over extermination. Only in 1941 when the first phase of Operation Barbarossa ended in stalemate that he realized that the war was lost after the entry of the USA into WWII. This was around Dec 7th 1941. That was when the Holocaust began in earnest.
    It was only frustration with drove Hitler to the Holocaust.
    It is like breaching the tape at the finish line and still not being recognized as a winner
    and being forced to loos which made him mad.
    After the fall of France, Hitler was in this fantasy mood that British would fall in line
    and form an alliance with him like the Italians and all would be well and good.
    Only when that did not happen did he turn maniacle like a spurned lover.
    No one can deny that Hitler got all his ideas from the successes of the British empire which he had witnessed with envy.

  62. Vishnu Shama permalink
    May 19, 2007 11:32 am

    To Queen Mix and Krenim
    The British have this fascination of demonizing the Nazis to hide behind your crimes.
    Let me bare some facts to you from 1934 to 1939 my Grand Uncle (Grand father’s younger brother was a student in the technical university of Aachen In Germany)
    There he studied aeronautical engineering. In those days German Aeronautics was
    far more advanced than any other country. He had gone to Germany on a scholarship
    and had a stipend of 600 ReichsMarks semester. According to him he had seen both Britain and Germany of that time and clearly Germany impressed him. They had the best highways. Towns and cities were being remodelled to have parks and fountains.
    Everything was well organized. As long as you were not political and stuck to your job you lived in healthy environs with good food and trips to the country side were spectacular. Progress seemed to be in the air.
    My uncle even went with his friends to Berchtesgaden where Germans would queue up to have a glimpse of Hitler at his mountain chalet. Unemployment was virtually zero. Everyone was busy, smiling and distantly polite. Business was good.
    The ordinary German worker was constantly prodded to better himself via training in vocational schools and he enjoyed a high standard of living.
    People were purchasing houses and cars in nice neighbourhoods.
    In Britain however the mood was sombre with bread lines and rampant unemployment.
    In the Olympic Games in 1936, the Germans won the most Golds.
    Only in July-August 1939 when the situation turned a bit ugly during the Polish crisis did my Uncle return for good to India after being instructed to do so by the British Embassy in Berlin.
    So there you go. The British always want to distort the history of another country
    to serve their purpose.
    since he was a subject of the empire.

  63. Vishnu Shama permalink
    May 19, 2007 11:38 am

    If I was given a chance of choosing between Communism and Nazism
    I would go with the Organized government which Nazism gave rather
    than the organized upheavel that communism promises.
    Nazis alteast did not touch personal property and freedom of religion was guaranteed.

  64. Vishnu Shama permalink
    May 19, 2007 12:02 pm

    Check this:

  65. Vishnu Shama permalink
    May 19, 2007 12:16 pm


    I have color photographs of my Uncles time in Nazi Germany.
    Always I see immaculately maintained green lawns in front of his university department. His room with its coffee maker and draftmans table.
    Also I have a photograph of him buying milk in a well stocked shopping mall with polished floors. I also have some photographs of him standing on a bridge adjoining an autobahn.

    The German company Agfa color was the first to to come out with their color films.
    The German company Leica had a camera which was excellent and was widely used.

    Somehow, when the whole of Europe was potrayed in black and white then

    The sun seemed to be shining down on Germany.

  66. Vinay permalink
    May 19, 2007 3:04 pm

    When britishers first came to India in 1620s as traders ( like Portugese & Dutch who came before them ) , that time even their country was not having any railway system. Railway is initial product of industrial revoution after 1700. And, britishers laid down railway mainly for very fast transportation of their troops & goods. Railway system was established for britishers’ benefit ( with side effect of public transportation ).

    I admire their planning in roads or towns. But our politicians & burocrates are to blame for inefficient infrastrucutre planning in our cities. Look at New Delhi where political will has tranformed it’s infrastructure in a short timespan. Nothing is impossible if there is positive political will to develop.

    India is a country of different languages, cultures , food and landscapes. India should be compared with whole Europe which has different countries ; where as India is a one country with different states. European countires are having comparable size with Indian states. Before 1950 , european countires were fighting among themselves like Indian kings !

    India was already united by way of her ancient heritage. Fighting of Indian kings are equal to fighting european countries who fought two world wars in first half of 20th century.

  67. Vinay permalink
    May 19, 2007 4:08 pm

    British Raj had systematically tried to portray India as a savage country. But, in fact it was Europreans who were in savage state when India had progressed in science , maths, astronomy, medicine , town planning ( IVC towns ! ), poetry , language, metallugy and what not !
    Look at our text books ( inheritance of Macualay’s efforts ) where you want find mention that Pythagorus’s theorm was written in Sanskrit texts of Sulva Sutra much before Pythagorus is credited to invent ! So, forget about knowing that Pythagorus had come to Taxila for learning and he & his sect were strict vegetarians ( have you heard of vegetarian practice among ancient Greeks ! No. Pythagorus learnt about many such aspects during his Taxila stay ).
    But, all such things will be hidden from common western school children or in books. Even Indians, do they learn about Aryabhatt, Varah mihir etc.great mathematicians? Or Panini’s Ashtadhyayi – world’s only & most comprehensive language grammer book where a language grammer rules uses maths.
    Europe leant about indian maths, number system & zero ( a solid basis for industrial revolution ) via arabs. India was an economical and cultural power house.
    It’s due to masking efforts of British Raj & western media that western world ( or even Macaulay’s Indian pupil ) are unaware about true ancient India.

  68. krenim permalink
    May 25, 2007 10:37 am

    I was wondering are indians somehow in awe of nazis because maybe hitler adopted the swastika and himmler used the bhagvad gita to justify his crimes by probably the most perverse interpretation of the holy book?
    As for Mr Sharma’s comment about jews owning britain and hitler actually not being that bad a guy he he he please study some history yourself.Jews have been an integral part of Britain since time immemorial Issac Newton was a Jew,As was our great prime minister Benjamin Disraeli .
    Aryans as far as hitler was concerned were norsemen i.e blond hair blue eyes NOT Indians.
    As for we being jealous I think its quite the other way around the Germans always wanted something like the british empire for themselves hence 2 world wars.
    And the Spitfire kicked the me-109/209 during the battle of britain so exactly how were they more advanced in aviation technology?
    We also had much much better jet engines, the BMW Jumos that powered the Me 262 would burn out after 4-5 hours.
    They had advanced concepts that didn’t get into production so did we.
    Our Radar was far better than theirs( milimetric wave).Their rockets V 2 were ahead of ours though we really didn’t need rockets to bomb them bombers were much cheaper and far more accurate.

  69. May 25, 2007 12:53 pm

    Krenim, please do not put all Indians into a bracket because of individual opinions.

  70. krenim permalink
    May 25, 2007 5:39 pm

    well no of course not!
    But I can’t help noticing quite a few Indians somehow thinking that they had some sort of patron in Nazi Germany.
    I mean Alfred Rosenberg felt that Indians weren’t capable of advanced civilization so the entire history of Ancient India is effectively that of Aryans (nordic invaders according to the nazis) who subjugated the dark masses.They according to rosenberg were both to be respected and copied(caste system with Nordics first ,Alpines Second,Slavs Third etc) and to be held up as what happens when races mix as a warning to liberals.
    This is a fact.Yet Vishnu Sharma seem to actually implicitly support this wholesale hijacking of your great history .
    I think it is about time your curriculum was revised to reflect this.

  71. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    May 28, 2007 4:00 am

    Why should Indians not be grateful to Germans for helping us raise and overseas army and for facilitating Boses travel in a submarine from Kiel in Germany to Penang in Malaysia so that he could raise the INA in Singapore ?
    I would be wrong not to acknowledge this help rendered by the Axis.
    Also this nonsense about the Aryan race was started by the British with two aims :
    a) To divide South India from North India
    b) To say to the Indians that just as Aryans brought superior culture from abroad
    we the British who are of Aryan stock are also doing the same as we rule you.
    It was Max Muller who was a paid agent of the East India Company who came up with this lame theory.
    Later is was taken up by another British crack pot:
    [Houston Stewart Chamberlain] who was entertained by Kaiser Wilhelm II in his court.
    It was his idiotic theories which formed the pillar of the Nazi regime.
    So as you can see it was a Brit behind the mess.
    No one is trying to white wash history. Only the British are trying to hide when confronted with the enormity of their crimes.
    The Aryan Invasion theory has been completely discredited and I would recommend its deletion from Indian History textbooks. It is complete bunk proposed by none other than the Brits.
    Rather the migrations should be documented in the opposite direction
    From India to Europe.
    Mark Twain was correct when he said:
    “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable , the most intuitive and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

  72. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    May 28, 2007 4:23 am

    To Krenim,
    You keep harping on the spitfire and the Hurricane.
    To tell you frankly, The Royal Airforce was an inferior airforce when compared to the Luftwaffe which was the most potent airforce in the world in the years 1938,1939,1940,1941,1942.
    Which is why Hitler had his way during the Czech crisis.
    If the Luftwaffe lost the opportunity to wipe the RAF from the skies in 1940 it was primarily due to bad tactics and hasty decisions.
    They should not have resorted to bombing Civilian centers.
    Why portray battles in which Britian was not beaten
    as Victory? Take Dunkirk for example.
    The Battle of Britain was merely a staving off effort. {You did not wipe the Germans from the skies}
    As far as trained pilots and inventory, The Luftwaffe was miles ahead of the British.
    In their arsenal they had Messeschmitts 109 and 110, Focke Wulf 90,
    Heinkels, Arados and Dorniers.
    The British only had the Spitfire and the Hurricane and maybe Wellington Bombers.
    The one area where the Luftwaffe did not invest in and paid dearly for it
    is “Long Range Bombers and fighters”.
    Also the first jet engined aircraft were the Me 262 “schwalbe”
    Only in late 1942 when the Americans brought their models like the Mustang to Britain did the air-war in Europe swing decisively in Britain’s favour.

  73. krenim permalink
    May 28, 2007 9:26 am

    RE: Sharma

    Yes the luftwaffe was a better equipped airforce at the begining given the extent of rearmament but you went on and on about it being a better trained airforce.

    Well then how do you explain the 2:1 kill ratio in our favour during the battle of britain?
    The Spitfire always shot down more me109/me 209t/Fw 190s during any battle of the war.

    The Me 262 was a joke once you got past the novelty of a jet fighter(Our jet i.e. the Gloster meteor on the other hand shot down many many V 1 buzz bombs). It crashed hundreds of times due to engine burn outs and those that got in the air were decisively outgunned by P-51s(Powered by the R Royce Merlin BTW)and other piston engined aircraft.

    Infact the soviets were aghast at such shabby engineering in their jet engines when they overran them I mean really 4 hour operational life!

    As for claiming victory well we won, their objectives of invasion (operation sea lion) failed.Did you destroy the entire Pakistani army during the Kargil war? But you (rightly) claim victory don’t you? 🙂

    As for the Aryan Invasion Theory max muller had stated again and again that Aryan was a speech group not a race and certainly not nordic.And yes some sort of migration probably did happen i.e the R1a1 gene(proto European) has been found to be present with a significantly higher frequency
    in upper caste north indians/Pakistanis than others in the subcontinent. This doesn’t mean that those that don’t have the gene are inferior in any way but still one can’t ignore facts.

    Incidentally there are 3 genetic markers for Europeans R1a1, R1b1,R1c1.These are those bits of the mitochindria that pass from father to child virtually unchanged and are usually ideal for DNA analysis as they rarely mutate.

    Besides and I want an honest answer here, aren’t north indians on an average fairer than south Indians?

  74. ram permalink
    May 28, 2007 4:00 pm

    I think, at that point of time British were ‘more’ right than any one else. Nazis would have finished Gandhi at instance, but British didn’t, that says a lot.
    About the looting, and shooting: It is the simply the time . Rules, informations (read as knowledge) varies drastically with time.
    It is important to note that ‘right things and wrong things’ are time dependent. You can not sit now and analyze what would have been right in the past.
    A system collapses , when it has fault. A continuous upgrade is needed. Indian system collapsed coz, it had lots of loopholes.
    Rules of the nature cant be denied. One who is strongest, he has to prevail. And world has to accept that he is ‘more right’. In simple words, world is built unfair, right and wrong things are time dependent.
    Just think about who is more right (not who is right) at related time.

  75. soorajrox permalink
    May 28, 2007 7:24 pm

    I’m sorry, but did the person who wrote the article take the survey from all around Britan or only from England?
    I find it tough to believe that the whole of Great Britan follows the same rules. Every country in Britan has it’s own Prime Minister and therefore rules. Or is it the fact that it is ruled by the Royal Family?

  76. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    May 30, 2007 9:13 am

    “Yes the luftwaffe was a better equipped airforce at the begining given the extent of rearmament but you went on and on about it being a better trained airforce.”
    Absolutely, It was a better trained force. It had experience in Spain, Poland, the Low Countries and France. It had better tactics and better pilots and better inventory.
    If the RAF was such a superior force why was it not able to thwart the Luftwaffe in France in 1940 ? The reason why the Luftwaffe had a higher attrition rate over the skies of Britain is because the RAF had only to operate over the skies of Britain where as the Luftwaffe had to cross over from France.
    When tables were turned and the RAF had to fly over the Reich even the USAF and RAF suffered high attrition rates until the arrival of the P-38 Mustang (An American Fighter)
    Also the FACT remains: THE RAF + THE USAF was needed to defeat the Luftwaffe over the skies of Europe. The RAF could JUST NOT have done it alone.
    The US Army + The British + Canadian Army were needed to secure the beachhead
    in Normandy. The British could NOT have done it alone.
    Also in El-Alamein, The British 8th Army + the Indian Army + Australians + the NewZealanders were pitted againts Rommel and the Italians.
    So the British cannot take any major credit for winning WWII other than serving as a base for operations in the Western theater.
    If the contributions of the Big two + Britain was taken, I would give the Russians
    60% for their efforts, The Americans 30% for their efforts and Britain 10% for defeating the Reich. This is the un-biased analysis
    Even the Battle of the Atlantic was Won only after the Americans pitched in.
    Which is why I am saying that Britain needs to fix its textbooks to give an un-blinkered version of History.
    The Only operation which was undertaken by the British “Operation Market Garden” under that windbag Monty ended in a resounding route of British forces owing to just two SS divisions one of which was a Hitler Youth Division.
    Regarding the fallacy that North Indians are fairer than South Indians. There are coastal communities in South India who are fairer than North Indians.
    There were aboriginal peoples along with Hindus since a long time in India.
    To say that Hinduism was a faith brought from outside is historical Untruth.

  77. krenim permalink
    May 30, 2007 5:42 pm

    Hello Mr Sharma:
    Regarding the fallacy that North Indians are fairer than South Indians. There are coastal communities in South India who are fairer than North Indians.
    Need I explain the meaning of “on average” ? It is no fallacy it is a fact that people up north in India are generally fairer just like scandinavians are on average more blonde than us, its nothing to take offence at.
    To say that Hinduism was a faith brought from outside is historical Untruth.
    Not lock stock and barrel but the Rig veda has gods such as Indra,Surya etc which lose there relative importance in place of the trinity which hindus today consider sacrosant .In addition there are remarkable similarities in both the description of gods lightning bolt (Thor,Zieus,Indra etc ) between greek,Rig vedic Indian,Roman and Scandinavian cultures which along with similarities in language all words for mother begin with M etc.And the two most ancient epics Ramayan and Illiad vaguely correspond to the same theme i.e royal woman being abducted and kept on an island for 14 years and a war being fought to rescue her.
    Basically all indicators are there were some people somewhere along the Caspian who migrated to Persia,N India and Europe and were assimalated in pre existing cultures.
    Coming back to your novel analysis of the second world war.
    Luftwaffe/Nazi Germany had better tactics???
    Like what invading the USSR instead of finishing us,declaring war on the US in support of Japan when it started losing on the Eastern front?Thank god for their tactics else I’d be writing this in German
    The rest will be replied to later

  78. krenim permalink
    May 31, 2007 2:37 pm

    Firstly it is a P 51 [not 38] mustang and it was built around the rolls royce merlin(the same engine that powered the spitfire).
    Secondly I don’t think anyone here doubts that overall the US and USSR took the lions share of the punishment BUT we fought alone for one whole year and never surrendered!Transatlantic convoys helped but we took on the luftwaffe and fortress europe alone and inflicted on them sufficient pain both in the air and at sea (Bismark etc) to cancel Sea Lion.

    Technologically we were at par with the Gerries in everything except Rockets and possibly heavy tanks however the Pershing 2 tank was eventually able to plug this gap too.And way ahead of them in terms of Radar and jet engines.

    On the whole yes the Nazis were the most formidable enemy we have ever faced however they couldn’t beat us even when we fought alone and we smashed them along with our cousins from across the atlantic when we fought side by side.So in the end we won they lost and that’s all that matters!

  79. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 1, 2007 7:57 am

    [Basically all indicators are there were some people somewhere along the Caspian who migrated to Persia,N India and Europe and were assimalated in pre existing cultures.]
    What make you think the Caspian is the home of this people?
    It was India which was the ORIGINAL home of this people,
    who then Migrated to Iran, Russia, Past the Caucasus into Greece and the Rest or Europe.
    This is how we intend to write our history …
    If the Rig Veda came from outside there would have been references to the places of origin of the people who composed it in it.
    There are no verses the Rig Veda which talks of the Black Sea or the Caucasus mountains.
    There are none. Why this amnesia ? Which people do not remember the origin of their travels.
    On the whole the Brits have put their fingers in the historical development of almost every nation and incurred the ill-will and hatred of many.
    Take Ireland. Every Irish man in Dublin wants Ireland to be a whole nation and resent the Brits.
    Take Iran. It was the Brits along with the Americans who toppled the Mossadeh Government causing such resentment.
    As far as the Indian Subcontinent is concerned it could have been one nation instead of 5.
    300+ million Indians resent the legacy of the Raj.
    The French and Germans resent the attitude of the Brits when
    they do not regard themselves as continental Europeans but want to tie themselves closer to America.
    Also The French Resent the fact that Churchill treated De-Gaulle as a junior.
    Russians are suspicious of the Brits.
    The Czechs and Poles did not like your for selling them out to the Russians after WWII.
    So is the Middle East and China.
    I have spoken to Greeks who do not like the fact that the Elgin marbles are found in British Museums.
    Turks don’t like the British for dismantling the Ottoman Empire.
    I myself have dislike well up in me whenever I see your Queen appearing with OUR prize Diamond and other jewels on her crown or when I see British authors trying to paint the Raj in glorious terms.
    If you look at British Museums you suddenly see Wealth and Oppulance accumulating after the 18th Century.
    Where ever the British Set foot in the world with the Exception of America, Australia & NZ and Canada they
    have left a great bleeding mess behind.
    The British government covertly supported the regime in
    South Africa till the 1960s despite its policy of Apartheid.
    Regarding the Nazis not beating you, it was more a matter of disinterest.
    Do you think the Fuhrer who hurled 3 million men (motorized infantry) across the Steppes of Russia + 3000 tanks + 3500 Aircraft could not have conquered Britain if he had really made up his mind to.
    If it were not for the English Channel, London would have fallen in August 1940 itself. At Dunkirk he made the first overture by allowing the BEF to flee across the Channel.
    This was followed by a speech where he stated he did not want the war to go on.
    The greatest secret of WWII which has never been told to the world is that Churchill hinted to Hitler that if he beat the USSR, Britain would make peace with the Nazis. Which is why Hitler Sent Hess his deputy to discuss further. Now Hess survived the Nuremberg trials by promising not to spill the beans. Also Churchill knew about the Pearl harbour attack but did not alert Roosevelt to ensure America’s entry into the war.
    On the whole the entire world would have been better off
    if the British had not intervened in various regions.
    We Indians can take 90% credit for the present world order we find in the world.
    We made Colonialism and Racism look outmoded and Bad.
    The Indepedence of India was a harbinger which brought freedom to a lot of countries in Africa and Asia.
    BOTTOM LINE is this:
    You need to re-write your History to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
    As far as our history textbooks are concerned, we will firmly reveal the truth and will not tolerate any interference in this matter.

  80. krenim permalink
    June 5, 2007 12:04 pm

    Please read my previous post about the R1a1 gene
    Anyway I was going through your previous posts, you seem to believe a lot of things including nuclear weapons and aircraft in ancient India.
    Anyway I’d like to hear evidence for your great out of india theory, I don’t want quotes, I don’t want pointers to pre existing civilizations like the IVC which we discovered and aren’t mentioned anywhere in your texts.
    I want a theory with irrefutable evidence like the genetic evidence that exists of some sort of migration into india ~2000 BC
    [We Indians can take 90% credit for the present world order we find in the world.]
    We btw built the modern world by introducing both the industrial revolution which is the greatest turning point in human history since the introduction of agriculture and spreading legal concepts such as equality before law (not according to caste, sects etc) etc to places that never had them like India and writing the international rules of trade and commerce
    The fact is we at our zenith were the greatest and grandest empire that ever existed and if people have problems with that well that’s their problem.
    All countries eulogize their lost empires and all including great Indian ones like the Mughal/Maurya etc have skeletons in their cupboards,the Mughals for their wholesale exploitation of their Hindu subjects, the Mauryas for their fierce patronage of the Hindu caste order just a glance at the Arthashastra brings this out.
    Why should we not eulogize our empire which was the mightiest in World history and frankly has done much more good than bad -which is why you don’t have sati anymore a tradition that dates back for thousands of years in India-. and the looney left in the UK should be ashamed of themselves!

  81. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 6, 2007 8:32 am

    Your empire may have been the mightiest in World history but it was built by people without conscience.
    The Empire bankrupted peoples and stole their wealth and destroyed cultures all over the world
    There were a lucky few who got out of the shackles at the early stages itself, like the Americans.
    We could have done very well without you. Know that.
    Enlightenment need not come via conquest it can come via correspondence.
    The Irish, Africans and Asians willl all say that.
    Even the Nazi’s would equally say:”We had an empire from the Atlantic to the Caucasus.
    Anyway, now Britain will never again have another empire.

  82. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 6, 2007 9:13 am

    If the world had not been shaped by the Brits (industrialisation), then we would not have had such deforestation of virgin forests. No extermination of species. The world would not have been so choked and polluted. Global warming would not have come upon us so soon.
    I think even now there is a chance if nations of the world curtail their populations and do not industrialize on such a mega scale.
    Which is why is it necessary to adhere to the Kyoto Protocals.
    What the world needs is an abrogation of arms. Countries with less populations which is easily feedable and clothed. Less strain on natural resources. More forests and pristine areas. Industrialization on a meager scale which is just sufficient to maintain a necessary and decent standard of living. Alternate means of transportation which does not contribute to the Greenhouse effect.
    This is a new philosophy which will emerge from countries like India.

  83. krenim permalink
    June 6, 2007 4:40 pm

    Well firstly the age of Empire is gone and we have moved on, we live very well thank you very much and are one of the cleanest countries in the world. Our economy is a world leader in financial services and in most things we compete in such as Jet Engines, Pharmaceuticals etc etc.
    Anyway I suggest you carefully read my posts to understand my position because there is really nothing more I have to say.
    For the record I would like to see India as a prosperous developed country in my lifetime and am glad to see it is finally getting there though it probably won’t be for another 50 years and lest you forget it, it is the english language, education system which you improved on, laws and conventions which you have so thoroughly imbibed and political unity which we gave you that will play a large part in your getting there vis a vis say the middle east.
    As for the UK well all empires rise and fall, all glory is fleeting …
    However we are that single country that influenced the modern world more than any other more good than bad I should say.

  84. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 7, 2007 4:55 am

    On the whole the Good and Bad of the british empire was more slanted towards the bad.
    If the Brits make it look like it was more good than Bad it is because of the constant propaganda they have been subjected to since childhood and the complete whitewashing of their history. Only a person at the receiving end of tyranny knows the pain.
    If a british person says to an American: “All your success was due to us”. No American would take that. n the same way If an American says to a black person in the US:
    “You are better of than your African brothers in Africa because we enslaved you, with the help of the british, he could also expect to be punched in the stomach.
    In the same manner. We the Republic of India are a young country. We will always highlight the horrors of the British Raj. Lest we forget.
    Never AGAIN should we loose our FREEDOM or OUR HARD FOUGHT UNITY.
    OUR TIME WILL ALSO COME AND OUR IDEAS WILL ALSO BE WIDESPREAD AND INFLUENTIAL. OUR PRODUCTS will also flood the world. Our diaspora will become 30 % of the population of various countries. We just need to steer our nation through the turbulent waves of history without breaking asunder or suffering another mishap.
    I entreat all my fellow Indians to give up baggages like caste-based politics, reservations, corruption and unnecessary red tape and to get to work and build a great nation and a great legacy. Once we have fulfilled the Unfinished task of unifying the ENTIRE subcontinent under one economic union we can focus on making India a cleaner, stronger, richer, politer and more inventive society like we were 1500 years ago.
    Even though the middle easterners are all Arabs with the exception of Iran and Israel, they are still feuding and disunited.
    They are feuding and squandering their resources under various Sheikhdoms and meekly allow Western Imperialists to trod on their soil with impunity and reduce their lives to a shambles.

  85. Shantanu Chatterjee permalink
    June 9, 2007 10:25 pm

    Basically my take on the whole thing is:
    1.Brits weren’t as bad as the nazis though not exactly angels.

    2.We Indians are atleast as responsible as the british for the colonial period I mean how the hell did we allow 20,000 of these guys to rule us for 200 years.Shame on us!

    3.Now that we are free lets salvage the best of what we have and build on it and boy are we building GDP growth 9.4% this year!!! Should overtake Japan by 2030 basically after 1500 years of one screw up after another we finally got it right!(fingers crossed)

    4.Remember your past but concentrate on the present and look to the future.

  86. June 11, 2007 11:25 am

    I have three points to make (1) It is true that British united the small kingdoms, but far before at the time of Ashoka, we had the biggest India – Aryawart. British united the fragmented kingdoms at that time, but India paid a huge price for that unification. (2) It is really sad that the British don’t want to accept that they did all the massacres in India. It represents their double standards. (3) Thanks for writing. More power to your pen.

  87. Phantom permalink
    June 17, 2007 4:03 pm

    Interesting discussion. I have to say – Vishnu Sharma and Krenin – both of you have presented a very interesting, fact filled and intelligent set of views. I certainly enjoyed reading it. Here are my 2 cents:

    1] The brits were NOT driven by charity, philanthropy or any sense of spiritual gratification when they ventured to colonise lands that they, in their white-man chauvinism believed to be populated by heathens and inferior races/cultures. Yes, the brits did have some sense of honour and I’d say that i’d much rather be colonised by the brits than the dutch, french or portuguese, who were much more savage and ruthless in their colonising. However that does NOT in any way nullify the undertones of racial superiority with which the brits sought to “civilise” the indigenous populations. Necessity is always the mother on invention, and that is why the brits, faced with a land devoid of ancient civilisation and natural resources, sought to carve out an economic future by colonising foreign lands. India on the other hand, or rather the kingdoms in the subcontinent at the time, have historically never developed the urge or requirement for global domination, purely because it was always a land of plenty, economically, spiritually, culturally and artistically. In fact, Indian kingdoms have always been invaded by outsiders. Almost certainly, it is this lack of an aggressive invasionary spirit that made it easy for outsiders to invade and conquer/colonise the indian kingdoms. Point is – the east indian co might have been a private enterprise, with the sole aim of economic profit, but it certainly developed the endorsement of the brit givernment/queen, hence representing the brit empire.

    2] Did the brits loot India – most certainly they did. They wanted to, and achieved it rather easily. It is an indictment on the india of that time that we let ourselves be ravaged economically so easily The railways, postal system and other logistical infrastructure were set up more with the idea of improving the effeciency of this looting, rather than to provide the locals with public utilities. I mean….i don’t blame the brits for doing what they did…..its rational human thought, to do whatever it takes to further your own means. But to deny this looting and pillage….that is hypocrisy and just plain superficial.

    3] Were the brits as bad as the nazis… I don’t think they were, more importantly, i don’t think the comparison is appropriate. The nazis did what they did out of an ideological requirement. They wanted to exterminate a group of people they considered inferior, and not worthy of living. The brits on the other hand, despite their innate feeling of racial and cultural superiority over the indegenous population of any colonised land, did not seek racial/ethnic cleansing as their primary goal. Their primary goal was economic progression for themselves. I’d much rather get looted by someone out to make himself richer than get gassed by someoen who wants to wipe me and my people off the face of the planet….the former is just economics, the latter involves hatred, a far far more potent force to deal with. Anyway…..were the brits fair and just…..not entirely…..their feelings of white man racial superiority would have prevented them from treating the indians as equals So it wasn’t a case of pure business transaction….it was very much a case of bullying….capitalising on the military weakness of the other party.

    3] Regarding Indian civilization/culture and the whole Aryan theory – all bullshit. As Vishnu Sharma says….Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) has been academically discredited owing to NO academic or archeological proof of any such mass migration or invasion by a group of so called “Aryans” around 1500 BC. This was just a way for the brits to sow divide among the indians, and it lent weight to their theory that just as a group of fair skinned aryans came into india around 1500 bc and gave the savage indigenous dravidians the vedic civilisation and sanskrit….similarly, the fair skinned brits have now come to rescue the darker indians from their savagery and to give them a british style civilisation. Yes, more people from the northern part of india are fairer on average than in the south. But this is more because of the centuries of inter-mingling of blood lines in the north and northwest of the sub continent (between the mughals, persians, arabs, greeks). Climatic and geographic conditions have also played a role in affecting skin tone, over the centuries. Genetically, there is nowhere near enough variance between the fairest indian from the north-west and the darkest indian from the south…to suggest a distinct racial or genetic heritage difference. For e.g., in the north of Italy people tend to be fairer than down south near the coast. Again….same theory – climatic and geographic conditions matter.

    4] Would india be better off if the brits hadn’t come?? Who can say? There may not even have been an india as we know it, if the brits didn’t come. There are far too many variables and unknowns to even hazard a guess. But that does not mean the brits can indulge in any warm fuzzy feeling that they GAVE india anything. Yes, we got the english language, yes, we got the railways etc etc….but we also lost a lot. Its about time that britain acknowledges the true nature of their colonization….the real considerations behind what they did, why and how they did it. At least then we can all move on.

    End of the day – no point in living in the past. The future is what matters. India has already gone through the zenith of its economic, artistic, philosophical, spiritual and academic might. History repeats itself…at least we know that the future is bright.

  88. June 17, 2007 7:36 pm

    Phantom, I agree that the methods and idealogy of the Nazis and the Brits was very different…but yes I see a similarity. The similarity is in the EFFECT they created. Just take the number of years of Nazi rule and the number of years of British rule. The British created a kind of devastation that can be compared to the effects of Nazi rule. I am not talking of how people were killed, but the fact that they were killed, enslaved, and the country looted. I want historians to sit down and calculate the damage. I am sure the answers will astound the Britishers. Right now its all been swept under the carpet.

  89. Phantom permalink
    June 18, 2007 2:21 am

    Nita – cause and effect are two very different things. Natural catastrophes also claim innumerable lives. So can we then begin to compare a famine or flood with nazism, by purely taking into account the end effect – that of many lives being lost?
    I’m always concerned with the INTENTION behind an action, and not just the action itself. It is easy to judge an action, but the quality of underdtanding, true sensitivity is about understandign the intention and considerations behind an action and then evaluating its judgement. An action that may not have had evil intentions but had evil consequences is not as bad in my book as an action that was intended right from the start to have those evil consequences.
    The brits, despite their economic ambitions and condescending feelings of superiority, did NOT come into India, or into any other colony, with the primary aim of ethnic cleansing, or with the idea of totally uprooting the indegenous culture and supplanting their own. The mughals and islamic invaders of the middle east were far worse if u ask me. They invaded, raped and pillaged, and forcefully converted people to islam. In the 8th century, a small group of zoarashtrians had to escape from persia, carrying their sacred fire with them, to escape persecutioin from the ruthless islamic invaders, in order to protect their faith, their way of life. These zoarashtrians came to India, the shores of guajrat, and are now the Parsi community.
    Point is – let us look at the actions behind the brits’ colonisation and the nazis, and therein lies the dfference.
    It would be more fair to compare the brits’ colonisation with other colonisation efforts worldwide, the dutch, french, spanish and portuguese. Even the romans can be included in this category. The romans were also ruthless to some extent, laying to fire and sword any factions who resisted the spread of the roman empire. But at least the romans conquered with the view to bringin in the pax romana (the peace of the roman civilisation). They didn’t conquer with the sole hearted ambition of racial/ethnic extermination.
    The nazis are best compared with other genocidal events in history – slobodan milosovic, saddam hussain’s mustard gas bombing of the kurds, even the pakistani army for that matter, as during the ’71 war the pakistani armed forces brought about the systematic killing of up to 1 m bangladeshis, mostly hindus and many from the intellentia of hindu bangladeshi community (academics, lawyers, scientists, students etc). In this genocide, even women and children were not spared. To date this travesty of history has not been highlighted in the open, and the war mongers in pakistan brought to justice.
    Economic looting and pillaging is bad enough, and the brits are definitely to be held to account for that. But if they did indeed have aspirations to commit genocide and wipe out whole masses of people, do u think they coudn’t have easily done it??? jalianwala Bahg was an event that was triggered by other events. It was not a cold hearted event triggered off in isolation, with the pure aim of genocide. Even we indians are equally guilty of such events. What of the hindu-muslim riots, the godra riots in gujrat, did they not also have the end effect of mass murder, indiscriminate cold hearted killing???
    The brits didn’t indulge in any ethnic cleansing cos that was never the way they saw the world. They were happy for the uncultured natives to work for them, under them. Thats why they created the “babus” from the brahmin community. Thats why they set up sikh, rajput and gurkha regiments. They recognised specific skills amongst the natives and aimed to maximise those skills. The brits were about economic conquest, pure and simple. And while that in itself is enough to accuse them of immoral actions, it is a far far far lesser crime than hatred inspired ethnic genocide.
    let us also not forget that it takes 2 to tango….taali do haath se bajti hai. For the brits to have converted an initial trading operation (as the east india co) into a full fledged colonisation….they must have had lots of collaboration from power players within the indian kingdoms. Had they been more consolidation among the indian kings, a more united sense of nationalism, I very much doubt that it would have been as easy for the brits. They were not the invading conquering type. They were the more politically savvy, diplomatic type who slowly became allies of the different kings, and convinced them of the greatness the british empire woluld bring to them.

  90. June 18, 2007 7:10 am

    I agree with most of what you say Phantom, but don’t agree with your comparision of a natural disaster with Nazi rule. What I mean is: you can compare British rule to Nazi rule to some extent (both are a domination of one race over the other, although motives and methods were different) but not a natural disaster.

  91. Phantom permalink
    June 18, 2007 2:01 pm

    Alll i can say is….we have to be careful when using the term nazi or nazism because any associattion with that term is a direct implication of association with what that term represents….which is not so much the actual act of killing many people or even the end effect of lots of people being killed…but more with the considerations of ethic cleansing and cold hearted ideology behind that genocide. That is why you will find that brits will not be happy to be compared with the nazis.

    Let us call a spade a spade. Hold the brits to account for their relentless economic pillaging as well as the numerous events of genocide…..we don’t need to compare it with nazism…..on its own, it justifies some global apology or acknowledgment.

  92. June 18, 2007 2:15 pm

    The reason the Brits hate being compared to the Nazis is because they have been taught how evil Nazis are and the whole world has been taught that. No one knows completely what the Brits did in their various colonies…quite a few facts have been brushed under the carpet. As I said before, if all the facts are out (and I don’t mean just India) it will be interesting to see what comes out. But ofcourse this kind of research will never be conducted, Britain is a developed country and America’s ally.

  93. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 19, 2007 1:27 am

    Essentially if you want to encapsulate history of the past 600 years. It starts off like this.
    First the Portugese and Spaniards start their explorations. Then the Spaniards pillage the American Civilizations and come home with all the Gold. Because of the Spaniards, The Aztecs and Mayan Civilizations are decimated.
    Watching all this on the side the Brits get jealous. They start their ravages around the world helped by inventions like longitude and better navigation pratices. The Dutch and French are not far behind. Because of the Brits and their ancestors the Native Americans of North America and the Aborigines of Australia are decimated. Through methods of extermination which are not as radical as what the Nazis employed. The Brits gain a foothold in India and using the same practices dominate India. The power house of INDIAN economy and industry helps them extend their empire from Cape to Cairo. Impressed by this demonstration by the Brits, the Germans are keen to follow. Having come late on to the stage the Germans take up the mantle.
    They try first to dominate Europe itself in 1914-1918. (WWI) They are successful in neutralizing Russia in this war but not France.
    Having been thwarted from achieving their aims but the British blockade and sudden outbreak of Socialist uprisings, they put all their hopes in the hands of a Mad Genius, who promises them world domination at breakneck speed. (Fast Track)
    This time they are able to neutralize France but not Russia and are crushed by two new world powers. Also all the racist nonsense which has been propagated by the Brits for the past 100 years reaches its culmination in the European HOLOCAUST. This crime is so ghastly and the economy of European powers has received such a drubbing that the “fashion” of racial domination of other peoples goes OUT OF STYLE or is atleast not feasible any more. It is being fiercely challenged and resisted.
    It is considered to be criminal in INTENT by all and sundry
    India shows the whole world that political will of a people can be enforced without violence when they wrest their independence from the Brits. The Brits and French are forced to withdraw from their empires. Out of pure spite for having being forced to give up their empire, the Brits partition India causing death and suffering for millions. Socialism takes hold of the imagination of various people for some time until it proves to be economically unfeasible and intellectually -soul destroying.
    Countries like India which have been long suppressed find new lease of life when the stupid government restrictions immitating socialist models are lifted. Culturally speaking Indians are the only peoples who have dominated other countries by sending single emmisaries. At one time all of SOUTH EAST ASIA, CHINA and JAPAN were dominated by the religous and cultural ideas which spread from our soil.
    This idea is based on TOLERANCE and MUTUAL RESPECT. Now if you observe carefully, The Brits, The Spaniards, the Germans and Americans all come from the same stock which has Germanic roots. Spaniards are descendents of Lombards – A Germanic peoples. Brits are Anglo-Saxons also a Germanic peoples. Conquests and wars I may finally add has a “GERMANIC” heart indeed.

  94. krenim permalink
    June 19, 2007 10:51 am

    Look, humans have been butchering each other ever since we climbed down from trees. I mean if we start to apologize for past crimes there aren’t a people in the world who don’t have an axe to grind against someone else. I mean should we demand an apology from the Italian government for the Roman Conquest of the British isles and their crucifications and other scortched earth tactics? Should Europeans and Arabs demand an apology from the Mongolian government for the exploits of Gengiz Khan?
    Should the buddhists demand an apology from Hindus for persecution during the Hindu revival of the 5-6th century AD? Should the lower castes demand an apology from upper castes in India beyond reservation for a few thousand seats in a country of 1 billion? Should the Arabs demand an apology from the Europeans for the Crusades? Should the EU demand an apology from arabs to build a mosque so close to the wailing wall and the holy seplica?

    See what I’m getting at and besides I think we didn’t do too badly by the relative standards of the day and though I do agree with most of what phantom said there were some things we did do for purely altruistic purposes like the abolition of Sati. Far from being a popular move it was bitterly opposed to by lots of Indians who accused us of interfering in their sacred rituals and it certainly wasn’t good for business but we stood steadfast and shot anyone who dared to burn widows some as young as 11 years old. This I believe was a benign justified intervention however high handed. But yes you are quite right that most things we do are for economic reasons including the Empire which I may add may include good things for our colonies.
    [Conquests and wars I may finally add has a “GERMANIC” heart indeed.]
    I see so the Islamic conquerors of India were Germanic. As were the mongols. How interesting 🙂

  95. Phantom permalink
    June 19, 2007 5:08 pm

    Well, the past is the past and theres nothing any of us can do about it. “What is history but a fable agreed upon”…..a wise man once said.
    Vishnu Sharma – your analysis is interesting and I do agree with most of it. India is a land that has seen a very ancient and eventful cycle of history. Long the land of plenty, in terms of wealth, prosperity, spirituality, contentment……it is not hard to see why ancient indian kingdoms did not aspire to create massive empires, as the greeks and romans did. Even the mesopotamians, who were a land of plenty were content to remain in that general Iraq region.
    Interesting how the vikings and germanic hordes sough to invade, pillage and conquer – they came from harsh lands, where outward conquest became the sole way to defeat the frugality of their indegenous resource base. The native saxons in britain were not invading and conquering type people.
    I think it is moot to associate the germanic roots of the various invading aggressive peoples and their quest to conquer… centuries of inter-mingling of bloodlines, changing social patterns etc would caused much social and economic evolution. However it is not entirely untrue that people who have seen conquest, be it the recieving or the giving end….they tend to develop better internal mechanisms to instigate and cope with aggression. Perhaps that is why the people from the north-western part of the indian subcontinent (punjab, kashmir, pakistan, afghanisthan) tend to be more aggressive, bolder and more emotional than indians in the other parts of the country, who have seen less invasion and tend to be more stable and less aggressive in their lifestyles, mindsets and social behaviours.
    It is important to remember that much of India stems from an ancient way of life. The ancients of hinduism were not stupid when they came up with artistic and academic marvels like ayurveda, vastu, kama sutra etc. It is a pity that much of the very peaceful, spiritual and meditative principles of hinduism have been distorted over the thousands of years, to become the rituals and objective practises of modern hinduism.
    An example. Today, the word brahman is associated with the upper case of hinduism, the priestly caste…the elite group entrusted with the privilege of studying and understanding the vedas, upanishads and the religious nature of hinduism. However, it is only in recent hinduism that Brahminism came to be associated with a sect with the caste system. Like many eastern ways of life and eastern philosophies…hinduism too had the concept of duality – that of brahman and atman. Brahman was the state of awareness and consciousness of the external universe in its entirety…the external cosmic consciousness…..while Atman (the hindi word aatma meaniing spirit is derived from this) was the state of awareness and consciousness of the internal energies and forces within an individiual…the inner universe if you will. Balance between awareness and total consciousness of these two dual energy / life systems was what caused the equilibrium in life. Through the years…..a brahman came to be a person who, through life dedicated to study of the vedas etc and to peaceful meditation…..could achieve that balance of consciousness…..awareness of the inner world with the outer. This concept of duality is not unlike that of Yin and Yang in ancient chinese philosophy. Even in zoarashtrianism…..a faith as ancient as hinduism….there is a concept of duality, of dark and light forces.
    Anyway…..i have digressed from the centra theme of this thread. I said the above to indicate that we in india hail from a very ancient, wise and spiritually content heritage. The wars, invasions, colonisation in the middle were but a small blimp in the few thousand years of our heritage. Let us move on from the past, and instead focus on making a better tomorrow. I have no feelings of animosity towards the brits for their economic plundering……it was unfortunate, but a necessary event in the cycle of life for india…..who had enjoyed thousands of years of plenty. However….history does repeat itself, and perhaps now we can look forward to regaining all that economic loss of the past 300 years. At 9% growth pa….the indian economy is certainly trying hard to make up for it 🙂

  96. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    June 21, 2007 10:14 am

    To Krenim:
    With the exception of Mongols, Japanese and Arabs, Most conquests in the world were done by peoples of Germanic Origins.
    Even Napoleon was the leader of armies whose people descended from Franks. I think Germanic peoples have taken a certain refined the art of warfare to a high pitch.
    (I could NOT think of Arabs or Mongols inventing or designing submarines.)

    Take a look at the Americans now in Iraq. When I see them in their helmets and their battalion sized assault groups calling in air-strikes they look as clueless as Germans in Stalingrad. They have all the technological sophistication but cannot extricate themselves from the Quagmire they have created. I can say that after watching the German successes in WWII, Americans have certainly tried to emulate the Germans. They even designed their helmets to resemble German helmets.
    a) They have the strongest airforce in the world.
    b) They believe that technological superiority is the most essential component of winning a war as opposed to man-power. (Fanatical man-power).
    c) Now what would you Europeans do if the Arabs from Morocco to Iraq are all so riled up that they come swarming into Europe in wave after wave of suicide bombers?

    I can see that scenario emerging in the near future.

  97. krenim permalink
    June 21, 2007 4:45 pm

    Actually Mr Sharma conquests have nothing to do with race. Historically there is no race that has any sort of monopoly over conquering others all empires rise and fall and every race has its day under the sun.
    Often the conqueror is aided by new technology and again historically no race has ever stood at the apex of technology for all time. We had problems smelting iron when indians had steel but look at us now. All conquerors had some sort of technology that were as cutting edge in their days as the V 2 was during the second world war:
    Mongols:The Composite bow.
    Mughals:The cannon.
    Islamic Caliphate: Damascus steel (Actually wootz steel from India) vs the crusaders.
    And well the fact is the Islamic world at its zenith was more advanced than either India or Europe copying things from Ancient Greece and India and substantially improving on it.
    Whats the point of obsessing about nazi germany? I mean everybody knows you have to have a damn good Army/Navy/Airforce and an economy to pay for it to be a superpower the americans figured that out on their own like everyone else before them.
    The basic idea that they borrowed from us was supremacy on the seas, the USSR matched the US on the ground, in the air and in strategic forces but not the navy which is why the US could/can go anywhere, strike anyone and blockade anyone just like the British Empire before them. You own the highways of international trade (the Oceans) and you rule/dominate the world “Rule Britannia rule the waves Britons never shall be slaves…”.

    [Now what would you Europeans do if the Arabs from Morocco to Iraq are all so riled up that they come swarming into Europe in wave after wave of suicide bombers?]
    Better surveillance and more money to MI 5/6 and better laws to specifically target/detain suspected terrorists. Its all in the works notice the failed attempt to blow up 5 airlines. Better surveillance of EUs borders as with the removal of border checks within the EU.
    In addition closer cooperation with Israel/India (get them seats on NATO I say) and disruption of terrorist networks on their home soil i.e put pressure on the middle east monarchies and threaten freezing of offshore bank accounts/investments where most arab money ends up anyway because these clowns can’t spend it at home as in they don’t have the human capital to absorb that much investment….

  98. Vishnu Sharma permalink
    July 1, 2007 1:08 am

    [Actually Mr Sharma conquests have nothing to do with race.]
    I beg to differ from you.
    If you look carefully, The British, German and Japanese, Mongol conquests
    all started out and were sustained by a feeling of race.
    This was the primary feeling which made those peoples go out and subjugate other peoples.
    Japanese were constantly coached to feel racially superior to the Chinese and Koreans.
    The British kids were shown the map of the British Empire in school classrooms with
    all areas of British dominion colored “Pink” and the poem “White man’s burden” was
    learned by heart.
    German racism does not need explanation or description.
    It also incorporated “Eugenics” which was pioneered by
    Francis Galton -> Another Brit.
    Americans also regard themselves as more civilized than the Arabs whom the
    secretly call “Sand Niggers” and “Rag Heads”.

    [Better surveillance and more money to MI 5/6 and better laws to specifically target/detain suspected terrorists]
    Do you think this can really thwart a development in the middle East where more than 4 million peoples are radicalized to an extent that every one of them wants to be a suicide bomber. You also have a growing problem of Pakistani Muslims in Britain.
    You will find a hard time catching up with so many fanatics.
    Not that I want such a development to take place.

    It would be a real shame if it does and Europe is again devastated by a war which is suddenly foisted upon them over which they have no control over.

    Now Imagine if Pakistan had been part of India from 1947 itself.
    This madrassa-Jihadi culture would not have developed to such an extent.


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