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It is said that sixty-four years ago, during the last days of the British rule, Indians hated British Prime Minister The Right Honorable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, FRS, PC because he steadfastly opposed the granting of freedom to India by his vituperative statements such as:
Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed.”
“India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the equator.
Sir Winston Churchill was a visionary and was able to visualize what kind of political set-up, bureaucratic and Education system the Britishers were leaving behind them. After 65 years of Independence we now realize that Churchill was a true prophet and foretold of what was in store for the good people of India – a social welfare state.
Later on, Churchill always described the years 1896 to 1897, when he served as a soldier and journalist in India, as “the university of his life.”
We have to admit, barring a very few notable exceptions among our leaders, that all our present day Indian politicians are of ‘low caliber’ who make hay while sun shines by mortgaging our freedom for the welfare of their own families.
In the present political arena in India, the political parties keep aside all their moral principles just before the elections and ally with their political enemies.
While canvassing for votes, these ‘rascals, rogues and freebooters’ come to our doorsteps, and with ‘sweet tongues’ inveigle us by competing with each other by doling out instant cash as per the number of votes in each household and promise to give non-existing freebies when their party wins.
After the elections, the winning parties part their ways and “will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.“
Sir Winston Churchill’s prediction, ‘A day would come when even air and water would be taxed‘ has come true. Even polluted and contaminated water is taxed by municipal corporations, townships, and village panchayats.
Selling water, once considered a sin, is now a booming business because the government is unable to supply clean, potable water to its citizens. Raw water is supplied by tankers and purified potable mineral water in canisters and bottles.
Air is not taxed at the moment. Even now, the Central Government of India and its satellite States, might be conferring and analyzing the ways and means of levying tax on the contaminated impure air that we are now being forced to breath.
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed.”
The above passage that I used at the beginning of this post has often been cited and purported to a speech on the eve of Indian Independence in 1947 by Sir Winston Churchill or even from a speech in the house of Commons. However, it does not seem to have any credible source.
It might have first appeared in the 1979 Annual Report of the discredited “Institute for Rewriting Indian History” launched by Purushottam Nagesh Oak commonly known as as P N Oak. This bigoted Indian writer, notable for his Hinducentric brand of historical revisionism claimed that Christianity and Islam are both derivatives of Hinduism, or that the Catholic Vatican, Kaaba and the Taj Mahal were once Hindu temples to Shiva. Hence, if Oak had quoted this passage, then it should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Furthermore, the passage purported to Sir Winston Churchill has found its way into at least three books, as well as countless media and websites, such as, “Anything multiplied by zero is zero indeed!” by M. R. Venkatesh in Rediff India Abroad (11 April 2007).
Even so, if these are not the words of Sir Winston Churchill, then I beg your pardon. Nevertheless, I stand by whatever I have said in this post.
- Winston Churchill: The Ultimate CEO (greatfinds.icrossing.com)
- Famous Quotes and Authors – Winston Churchill Quotes (lifeissublime.wordpress.com)
- A Museum dedicated to Winston Churchill (wethehumans.wordpress.com)
- Changing India. (rummuser.com)
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- Anything multiplied by zero is zero indeed! (rediff.com)
Click on this line to view more comments and opinions about this article expressed by the Semester 1 and Semester 3 students of Professor Dilip Barad, Dept. of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India.