It is an evident and obvious fact that India has failed to prosper. The cause of that failure is also obvious: the poor quality of its political and bureaucratic overlords. I use the word overlord advisedly because politicians and bureaucrats are not agents of the people — as they should be in a properly constructed government of a free people — but rather are rulers who position themselves above the people as commanders and dictators.
It is also easy to explain why the government is the overlord rather than the servant of the people. The reason is historical. The form, function, structure, objectives and power of the government were determined by the British during their colonial rule of India, starting in the mid-19th century. When it was no longer profitable for the British to continue to hold India as its colony, they transferred control of the British-created government to its favored minions, namely, Gandhi and his protégé Nehru. It is absolutely imperative to recognize that this transfer of power from the British to the Indians was a deliberate and voluntary act on both sides of the bargain.
The occasion of India’s “independence” in August 1947 was a peaceful transfer of power. Both the departing British overlords and the new overlords were quite content with the arrangement. It was an amicable, gentlemanly (they were all men) and civilized deal worked out in genial camaraderie.
Indeed, the new management was not all that new. Nehru considered himself an Englishman. He boasted that he was the last Englishman to rule India. The British Raj was dead. Long live the British Raj.
Nehru, like the proper Englishman he fancied himself to be, had contempt for Indians.
It was the age old tradition of the apprentice taking over control from the master. Continuity was a prime objective of this transition of power. Nehru was taking control but under the watchful eyes of the old master, Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS — aka Lord Mountbatten.
Lord Mountbatten (even the title impresses upon all that it was a master-slave relationship) continued as the British lord ruling Indians. He was the Governor General of India until June 1948. It was a long handshake between the old and the new management. Continuity and all that, old chap, don’t you know.
No sir, this was no break from tradition. It was a continuance of tradition, a continuation of the tradition of British Imperialism, a tradition of the government as the ruler, the master and the people as subjects, as the servants.
Colonial governments deny all manner of freedoms to its subjugated population. This is natural and easily understandable. It would be pointless to be a colonial power and allow people to do what they want. Colonialism is profitable for the colonizers and supremely costly for the colonized. Colonization impoverished India and the most potent instrument of destruction was the government that the British created for ruling India — and precisely that government was transferred peacefully to the new overlords. These were not British by birth or skin color but they continued to wield that same instrument of destruction with evident relish and expertise.
The command, control, license, permit, quota, bureaucratic government of the British continued to impoverish India. Most Indians don’t know it but the British rule was brutal and in many instances needlessly so. This general ignorance is also explained by the fact that post 1947 it was a continuation of the British Raj: it was what I refer to it as British Raj 2.0.
Because it was British Raj 2.0, all the atrocities committed by the British Raj 1.0 had to be suppressed because doing so otherwise would motivate the people to revolt against British Raj 2.0 — which would imply that Nehru would not be acceptable to Indians.
What was so bad about the British Raj pre-1947? First, it was an imperial rule. Imperialism consists in the control of one group over another group and its territories. For the proper implementation of imperialism, the instrument that the British created was the government of India. That instrument enriched the British and impoverished India.
Second, the British were not benevolent masters. They committed what we would today recognize as war crimes and atrocities. Massive human rights violations were the norm. Anyone can read about it with only a little bit of searching on the web. Take a quick look at the website Crimes of Britain.
Why were the British not benevolent towards Indians? Because they considered Indians to be sub-human at best. Attitudes have perhaps improved a bit but I venture not by much. Churchill epitomized that hatred. He said, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”
Pay attention, the Indian reader of this piece. I am looking at you. You are a beastly person with a beastly religion. You deserve to be treated like crap by the government you have.
That kind of attitude does not produce a benevolent government. It produces a controlling, overbearing, freedom-denying, ruthless and tyrannical government.
I have argued previously that the British engineered India’s poverty.
That tyrannical British government is still in force. Certainly, the overlords are not any longer white like the British but are homegrown (with a couple of exceptions). But regardless of the color of the skin, the British-created government continues to imprison India.
The sad fact is that Indians are unaware that they are not free. They have been fed a lie that independence from the British is the same as being free. It is not. Freedom is the absence of coercion by others.
My resistance to coercion is not conditional on the skin-color of the oppressor. It is a matter of supreme indifference to me whether a brown or a white guy swings the whip. I just don’t acquiesce to being whipped. In this regard I appear to have decidedly different preferences than the majority of Indians.
In Aug 1947, India became independent of the British but did not become free. All the hoopla of Independence Day parades and speeches cannot alter that fact. And the present overlords don’t want Indians to know that any more than the overlords of the past did.
Be quiet and calmly submit to your Indian overlords. And have a happy Independence Day, India.
Here’s a screen capture of a page from Deena Khatkhate’s book“Ruminations of a Gadfly” (Academic Foundation 2008.):
Well, what do you know. Nehru had a love affair with a young Englishman!
Categories: British Raj 2.0