Today is Jan 23rd, the birthday of Subhas Chandra Bose, also known as Netaji, who was born in 1897 on this day. Thinking about him and what he stood for, I realized that I don’t know the answer to a simple question that is of great significance for India.
Subhas Bose had his differences with Mohandas K. Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress, and he was ousted from the INC in 1939. Gandhi did not like opposition to his ideas. It seems all Indian leaders with the inherited name “Gandhi” also inherit that trait of being autocratic. I suppose the main bone of contention between Gandhi and Bose was that the latter did not wish to forego the use of force to persuade the British to leave. To Gandhi and the Congress, Bose became a bigger enemy than the British.
Bose created the “Indian National Army” to fight the British but it was short lived — Aug 1942-Sept 1945. Shortly afterwards, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. It is still uncertain where or when he died. Regardless of that, he had an impact on the British.
Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister during whose rule India became independent, mentioned that INA activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (which weakened the Indian Army – the very foundation of the British Empire in India) and the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in 1946 were major reasons that made the British realise that they were no longer in a position to rule India. [Wiki]
We all know that the British ruled India until August of 1947. I have a fairly good idea of why they left — although it differs significantly with the conventional wisdom. I give absolutely no credence to the persistent claim that Gandhi won India’s independence from the British. That’s another story.
What I don’t know is this: how many were the British that ruled India?
- What was the population of India? That is, how many were being ruled?
- What was the population of Britain? That is, how many belonged to the class of rulers?
- What was the population of Britishers in India? That is, how many Britishers lived and worked in India ruling over the Indians?
I realize of course that there is a time dimension to these questions but for the sake of simplicity, we can consider the answers to those for a specific year, say 1900. The wiki says, there were 200 million Indians (which I guess includes the ancestors of today’s Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) living in India, and 38 million Britishers living in the UK. That’s a ruler/ruled ratio of 1:5.
The picture is bleak from an Indian perspective. There were five times as many Indians in the world as Britishers and yet Indians got ruled. It gets even bleaker when you consider that all the Britishers were not in India ruling over Indians. Hence that last question: how many Britishers were physically present in India in 1900 ruling over 200 million Indians?
Was their number 20,000? That makes the ruler:ruled ratio an astounding 1 is to 10,000. Every Britisher present in India ruled over 10,000 Indians.
Though I can find out by doing a bit of search on the web, I don’t know the answer to that question off the top of my head. I can only suppose it was less than 100,000. It could be as few as 5,000 for all I know. Do you know the answer? If you do, please leave a comment.
Why do I ask? Because I believe that the answers would be critically revealing. It will tell us why India is faltering today, and what we must to do to prevent India from totally failing.
If there were only a few thousand Britishers controlling 200 million Indians, it just means that Indians must have been following the orders of the Britishers. It means that Indians under the order of the Britishers were oppressing other Indians. It means that Indians could not have been subjugated without the active participation of some Indians in that subjugation.
It means that there is a long tradition of traitors in India’s history, since India has been ruled by foreign invaders for many centuries.
It means that the reign of traitors is not over yet.
Indians must know that there were almost insignificantly few Britishers who ruled 200,000,000 Indians. The traitors have kept the game of exploitation and impoverishment of India, and the rest of the Indians have allowed it to happen.
In Dec 2011, I wrote that “the Congress are not traitors” —
The Congress is the enemy. Their goal is to destroy the country to enrich themselves. They are true to their goal and cannot be faulted for it. Indians who support the Congress are traitors since treason lies in aiding the enemy. Even some of the biggest names in the BJP have aided the Congress in the past, and continue to do so. They are traitors. Let’s distinguish between the enemy and the traitors. While I may grudgingly respect the enemy, I have nothing but contempt for traitors.
There are too many Indian traitors. They aid the enemy. Let us beware.