February 18, 2013

The UK and India: Tables Turned

Amol Rajan, London Evening Standard

AP Photo

As recently as the 1930s, the official view of Britain’s ruling class towards India bordered on fascism. In those last, sepia-tinged days of the Raj, Winston Churchill, who once called Gandhi a “seditious fakir”, said that if the British departed “India will fall back quite rapidly through the centuries into the barbarism and privations of the Middle Ages”. For the British “to abandon India to the rule of Brahmins would be an act of cruel and wicked negligence”. The idea of Indian independence, he added, was “not only fantastic in itself but criminally mischievous in its effects”.

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