Watch: Winston Churchill Was No Better Than Hitler, Says Tharoor
While in London to launch his book, Tharoor strongly lashed out against the much celebrated 20th century British leader Winston Churchill, in an interview with UK Asia. Tharoor went as far as to equate Churchill to the German dictator Adolf Hitler, saying “Churchill has as much blood on his hands as Hitler does”.
For Tharoor, Churchill was one of the more evil leaders of the 20th Century, “only fit to stand with the likes of Hitler, Mao and Stalin”.
Tharoor’s book holds the Empire’s feet to the fire for its role in the Bengal famine of 1943 that caused the death of millions of Indians, and that is just one of the dark glimpses of the British Raj in India, according to Tharoor. He holds the British wartime hero, Churchill, squarely responsible for the Bengal Famine.
“Millions died because of the decisions he took or endorsed. Not only did the British follow its own policy of not helping the victims of this famine, but Churchill also persisted in exporting grain to Europe, not to feed the actual ‘Sturdy Tommies’, as he described them, but to add to the buffer stocks that were being piled up in the event of a future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia”, Dr Tharoor told UK Asia.
“Ships laden with wheat were coming in from Australia, which were docking in Calcutta, were instructed by Churchill not to disembark their cargo but sail on to Europe”, Dr Tharoor continued.
“And when conscience stricken British officials wrote to the Prime Minister in London, pointing out that his policies were causing needless loss of life, all he could do was write in the margin of the report, ‘why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?’”
“To my mind, this remains a permanent stain on Britain’s colonial history, and Churchill’s place in history must be re-examined.” Tharoor considered penning down his ‘alternate’ and less celebratory narrative of the British Empire after his now viral speech at the Oxford Union in 2015 that highlighted how the British flourished at the cost of India during the Raj.