1. A White Man With a BurdenThe princes, the Europeans, the Muslims, the depressed classes, the Anglo-Indians - none of them know what to do nor where to turn in the face of their apparent desertion by Great Britain. Can you wonder that they try in desperation to make what terms are possible with the triumphant Brahmin oligarchy?Winston Churchill at a Speech in Albert Hall, London, 1931
Churchill’s views on India were fairly typical of British Conservatives at the time. He seemed to have bought into Rudyard Kipling’s idea of the ‘White Man’s Burden”. Lesser people, like us, were to be ushered into civilisation and modernity by colonial rule. Left to ourselves, we would likely descend to barbarity.
Unsurprisingly, Churchill was also a staunch defender of the British Raj and thought it was a force for good in the world. His love for the empire made him a strong opponent of Gandhi.It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer of the type well-known in the East, now posing as a fakir, striding half naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.Comment on Gandhi’s meeting with the Viceroy of India, Feb 23, 1931
But perhaps Churchill’s greatest crime against India came during the Second World War, and it lead to millions of deaths.