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  • Naresh Sethi

BBC is biased - Britain should hold India in reverence and grant it 'most favoured nation' status.

Britain should regard India with reverence and allocate it the status of ‘most favoured nation’ for many reasons:

UK gained most of its wealth from India [and other ex-colonies] – not just via fair trade but by devious cunning methods and force – forcing people to pay taxes after occupying their lands, etc, looting the country of gold, jewellery, etc – the famous diamond ‘Kohinoor’ is still in UK possession and displayed in the Tower of London; destroying and relocating industries like the textiles to UK; many inventions in the UK and West had their origins in India. When the British landed in India, India had more than 20% share of the worlds GDP – by the time they left India’s share of the worlds GDP was only about 4%. But that being enough, the British destroyed or dismantled 700,000 traditional Indian educational academies called ‘Gurkuls’; a few centuries earlier, around 1200 AD, the Moghuls had burned down 9 million books and all Indian Universities and libraries including Nalanda University [Nalanda University was established around or before the 4th century [some archaeological excavations and further discoveries prove it existed since the period beyond 1200 BCE]] – it was famous for attracting scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey]. There is a record of a speech in the House of Lords by the British Lord McCauley which goes “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 could 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 thin that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.

Indians helped the British to build their empire and win the World Wars I and II. Over 1.5 million Indian troops served overseas in the World War I – more than 62,000 died, another 67,000 recorded as wounded; they fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western front; they were engaged in the second Boer War and the British expedition to Tibet. More Indians fought with the British from 1914 to 1918 than the combined total of Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and South African troops. However much of this has been whitewashed in history like so much else herein.

During the World War II the Indian Army started in the war numbering 200,000 in 1939 but by 1945 it numbered 2.5 million – the largest “volunteer army” in history. They served in Africa, Europe and Asia. They fought in Ethiopia against the Italian Army; in Egypt Libya, Tunisia and Algeria against both the Italian and German Army. However the bulk of the Indian Army was committed to fighting the Japanese Army – in Malaya and Burma mostly. Some 4000 medals were awarded including 18 Victoria Crosses or similar. Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, Commander in Chief of the Indian Army from 1942 onwards asserted that the British “could not have come through both World Wars I & II if they had not had the Indian Army.

Often Indian soldiers were used as the first traunch of attack. A lot of the wealth and rations for the Wars came from India – with such abundance that 3 million Bengalis were allowed to starve to death whilst grain was sent or diverted to UK to be kept as a reserve in case the British soldiers needed it. Prime minister Churchill even ordered a shipload of food from Australia docked in an Indian port to feed the starving in India to be diverted to UK to add to the stockpile of reserves [were Indian lives of less value!]

India was promised independence for its efforts but the promise was not upheld and it was only till Prime Minister Atlee came to power that independence was granted – albeit by a very weakened Britain who could hardly hold its own leave alone keep occupying lands forcefully. The UK had been weakened by the war and was in debt to the USA – which took many years to repay; the contributions from India were “taken” – not to be repaid – or should they be repaid – this is a moral dilemma or perhaps one of Karma [yet to be repaid].

Naresh Sethi, London.

5th September 2019

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