Indians Hated British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.

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By T. V. Antony Raj


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


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 calibre’ who make hay while the 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 heartsThey 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.


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. 

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39 thoughts on “Indians Hated British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.”

  1. Why should we give credit to the British people and this leader who has made profits out of our country , divided us , agree to their opinions when their underlying emotion was that of intense hatred ?


  2. To some extent, what Churchill stated then may have come true now. It does apply a bit to the time of India’s independence. Churchill had a racist antipathy towards all colored peoples.
    His crimes are enormous as far as the Indian, French, Russian and Poles are concerned.
    Comparing, Stalin, Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt, one knows that Roosevelt was the most decent man and that Churchill responsible for more human murders than Hitler or Stalin.

    Churchill, starved the people of Bengal In 1943 because he hated the Congress and Indians for launching the Quit India movement in 1942. It was pure spite and evil which overtook him. He made the Muslim league very powerful, because Jinnah came to his aid during the war years and supplied soldiers for his army from the Punjab. Then he forced Jinnah to extract the pound of flesh from the body of India in the form of Pakistan and is directly responsible for the partition riots which killed 1.5 million Indians.

    All in all Churchill killed 25 million people in his lifetime and got away with it.

    He murdered 3000 French sailors in operation catapult which was launched to prevent the French navy falling into the hands of the German kriegsmarine.

    He destroyed Poland’s territorial integrity and sided with the soviets in the communization of Poland.

    He betrayed Russians who opposed Stalin and sealed their fate by handing them over to the NKVD. The Cossacks come to my mind here.


  3. Winston Churchill was far worse than Hitler. He was responsible for the deaths of nearly 30 million Indians through purpose-afflicted famines. Hope the whole of Britain suffers for eternity because of him.


  4. Blaming on others is always an easiest lane. Sitting on your chairs and replying would not serve the MOTTO of this post. Mr. Churchill was never a well wisher of India. He said so to spare their reign in India diverge our countrymen from their goal to freedom. He always did the same. We can refer him as a patriot for Britain, not India.

    But yes, we can have the meaning of this post in a positive manner as passing comments from yards is always easy but passing through the same and fighting for the cause is always the deadliest part a man can do for his nation.

    Let me tell you one thing, when I was in school, I do not remember about the standard but in HINDI Literature, there was a chapter stating in for ”SHAKTI BODH” & ”SAUNDARYA BODH” which means that if you are defining your country weak, not able to fight for its honor, then you are wounding its ”SHAKTI BODH” and if you are making your country dirty then you are hurting its ”SAUNDARYA BODH”.

    We, here by praising Mr. Churchill and blaming our politicians for the disasters India had, are doing the same Churchill did in past and are hurting our ‘’SHAKTI BODH’’.

    I praise the blogger for this very nice try to stir the people and I also urge all of u here not to have negativity from this post but to hear the appeal from the writer.


  5. In this connection I would like all of you to refer to an interview given by Sri Venkat Kalyanam,former political secretary to M.K.Gandhi appearing in the Telegraph on 21.8.2011,where he bemoans the sad state of India and would vote to have the Britisher’s back!As they were men of character,unlike most of our leader’s since independence.Even Jim Corbett,who was loved by the hill-folk,said that-India has been sacrificed at the altar of greed and ambition,before leaving for Kenya in 1947.Was he wrong?


    1. Open up a textbook in any field/subject and tell me significant contribution by an Indian. The world we live in today is shaped and defined by what Westerners have thought and written down. Take up anything and we are following models that have been thought up, tried and tested and successfully implemented by the West. We just follow them- thats all. We face a challenge, see whether any similar models exist in the West and implement it. The only innovation we are capable of is adding masala flavor to chips. We are nothing but a market to them. They smile and behave nicely with us saying we are a great people and a great democracy; they laugh all the way to the bank.

      I am not being racist but then I believe the statement ” All men are created equal, but some are created more equal”

      As long as I can make money out of you praising how great you are, what great democracy you are, and your rightful place in the world I don’t truly mind.


  6. Let us also reflect upon the kind of India that the British left for us. It is also true that the taxes in UK now are higher than that in India. And finally, is there a better alternative to democracy!


  7. He was spot on…….can any idiot say he was wrong…we succeed abroad but he knew how indians were in india…..he did live there and who did get azzadi the rascals, freeloaders and chor


  8. well india came from a long way

    now indians mainly youths are worried about der carrier future indians youth are having a common cause to reduce corruption and crime

    pls dont tell brit is a complete corruption fee country

    all have weak ends and india now people are being educated and changing

    now india has achieved one thing, basic need for all

    now they are taking a leap to the future we need industries i mean indian sustained industries

    well but one thing is sure

    cost of living in india is really low

    u have a huge range of people of economic background

    this is because we indians believe in saving money and land gold for future use
    which our culture is taught us


  9. This is an interesting article. There is, nevertheless, something I am sure Churchill would disagree with you. When you say “government is unable to supply clean, potable water to its citizens.” Governments are not supposed to supply water to citizens; this is a very socialistic way of conceiving independence. Churchill was a brilliant man, who was mortally wonded when Brits chose socialism over common-sense and self-rulling. I recently watched a series called Lord Mountbatten, that shows the British leaving India. Churchill was against it and, although I don’t think it was the movie’s goal, it proved him right.


  10. Yes, we all are aware of how egregiously rotten our politicians are, but I would like to make an observation of mine out here. Winston Churchill, when he made his statements, was actually referring to the politicians and policy makers of the Independence era. He was referring to people such as Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Patel, Rajendra Prasad etc.

    The country was in a terrible condition when the Brits had left. They had left us high and dry. Poverty was rampant, religious and communal tensions were in high spirits and there was no system in place. There were a lot of eminent personalities of that era who said India was bound to fall apart, that it was one of the most ambitious experiments of democracy, in a country that is so different and diverse. But our forefathers proved them wrong. They had different priorities in the first two decades after Independence. Maintaining communal and religious harmony, production and supply of food and water etc. Despite all the odds, they succeeded to a large extent.

    And do keep in mind, all the greatest powers in History including America and Britain did not make history overnight. It took two centuries for Britain to establish an empire. It took two centuries for America to be the super power it is now and that too given the fact that most Americans were actually Brits who were already from a nation which was at the peak of its power. America got its independence in the 18th century, industrialized in the 19th century and became a superpower in the 20th century. India is going through a phase, which it will definitely come out of.

    Consider a simple analogy. In 1980 we had 4738 colleges in our country, but in 2004-05 we had 17625 colleges. I am aware that the quality of education system in our country is not up to the mark, but the refinement will start henceforth. Such is the manner in every field that India has embarked upon.

    It takes time and effort and most important of all faith and a bit of effort by everyone of us to take the country forward. Had just the leaders of the society of the 1900’s era alone had struggled for Independence, we probably would have not got our Independence in 1947. It was the collective effort of everyone in the country and their pursuit of one common goal, that they achieved what they had set out for


    1. And how many of those colleges actually do what theyre supposed to? India did boom.But then again most third world countries did because of globalization. But its being lost to rampant corruption. Politicians run education like a buisness. Even if good citizens want to improve the conditions, they’re killed. The police is suppressed to an unbelievable extent. Logically, its impossible to help our own citizens and try to improve the conditions here. Look at the land rates here and look at what you get in return. There is a scam everywhere!!!! How can our situation improve? The other countries went through a lot of mindless bloodshed to reach where they are and even now they survive on shedding blood. Our government survives by using us as crops to grow money. There is no denying it.


      1. I am aware of all the above, especially in the last five years corruption has become rampant and is something that’s become ubiquitous across all government and private sectors. But it’s at times like these that change and refinement and most important of all FAITH is required, and I do not mean blind faith. Don’t get me wrong about this but we Indians are good at complaining and debating about who’s at fault. We never step up to the situation and try to do good to the society. Very few of us do. How many people who bitch about the politicians or the likes have committed themselves to do a few hours of social service every week? How many of us educated people even have the basic civic sense to not litter the place? Politicians take advantage because they are aware of this fallacy of the ‘aam aadmi’.

        They are aware that the people, especially the youth, the age group between 18 -30 are gullible that and at their best what they can do is go on a march lighting candles. (No offense meant. I do appreciate the effort.)

        We make a hue and cry about poverty in the villages, in the slums etc etc but what has each and everyone of us done?

        The Britsh would have ruled over us and oppressed us for a longer period of time had not all the Indians back then did not have a common goal to get independence and more importantly all of them worked towards it. They all served the common cause. People were beaten to death publicly if they stood against the Britsh, they were shot at, leaders like Gandhi, Nehru were jailed for months and years at stretch but they did not let go of their ideals, their faith in the idea of Independence.

        Nation building is something that everybody contributes towards. Not just the politicians. We surrendered power to the politicians, when the educated middle class and the upper middle class started to pursue their materialistic pleasures and started to live our mundane existence in this country without contributing or being a responsible citizen.

        How many doctors or engineers in this country have chosen to serve in a village or a slum to improve the health or infrastructure of the place where it is most needed or choose to spend a few hours during the weekend educating the poor kids in the slums or on the streets? And I include myself to this list also, I am no exception either. This country can move forward only if every citizen contributes. I am not talking about paying taxes and the like, given the fact that most of it is being used by the corrupt political machinery, but doing a lot of social service. Social service and helping the needy was one of the primary principles Gandhi insisted upon during the struggle for Independence.

        I am sorry, probably I might have been scathing in my reply but I do tend to get emotional when people make a hue and cry about how bad this country has become but the sad part is that’s all that we do. Every scandal is just a monsoon that comes every year. The villages and cities get flooded, the newspapers report bad roads and bad drainage systems with pictures and videos, forums get filled about how bad the country is and then “Poof” let’s get back to our lives.


  11. You sir are an Idiot . I don’t say this but the world says it that India is an economic Miracle ! Despite overwhelming poverty our economy is rising very fast. And mind you that if you look state wise there are currently only 4 states that are backward HDI(human development index) wise i.e – M.P , U.P , Bihar and Orissa. And more than Half of the countries poor live in these states. And Bihar is rising very quickly under the nitish kumar govt and will soon become a developing state as it has the highest growth rate even surpassing Gujarat . Our prime minster is respected by all the economists of the world do you know that ?

    All countries have corrupt leaders at their local level . People are waking up in India . even small instances of scams are being condemned by the public . I bet you that when India turns 100 , i don’t know if it will be a superpower or not but it will definitely be a developed nation .

    Being a democratic Govt , we have considerably going good. People laude China on its development but do you really want to live in a country like china where people are even afraid to look at the govt. rather than speak up against them . Its a single party state so hop elections , every god damn thing is censored and no Social networking is allowed !

    We are just 65 years into our independence and the British left us in a horrible state!!
    This winston churchill you talk about is second or perhaps equal to Hitler . Just read about the Bengal Famine of 1942 . Because of hitler diverting food to britian unto million people were killed due to starvation !! ISnt that as bad as Hitler ??

    He was a war monger , And such leaders are responsible for the state which Africa is in .

    Shame on you


  12. I don’t agree with this at all. Yes there is a majority of rascals and rouges but every country has its fair share of rascals and rouges in their political system. Just because they are in suites and the Indian politicians are in khadi, makes them no different.
    There is a small a small but steadily increasing group of people who are educated, true to their word and trying to make a honest attempt.

    India is a nuclear superpower and a economic powerhouse that is in power with all the so called developed nations.

    The pace is painfully slow but there is progress and thats what we should uphold.

    Churchill was the prime minister of a state which held India captive for 300 years and they used to extract tax from people so that they could build they castles, fund their wars and pay for all their luxuries.
    Hell ya he would be against the freedom of any state which is a source of revenue.

    I agree there is corruption, lies and fraud at every corner of the bureaucracy, but don’t forget this mess was left by the British.

    Just because someone is not educated enough and poor does not mean he should be deprived of “freedom”.
    India is a Hindu states, which welcome and is tolerant to all other religions.


    1. Nuclear superpower? lol. Please tell me where is nuclear energy being utilized for constructive purposes. Where do we get our uranium from? Is there any uranium in India? As for India being a economic ‘powerhouse’, the market is dominated by sick capitalists that feed us trash for 3 times what it costs in other countries. Why is petrol is goddamn expensive if we’re such a powerful powerhouse. Please step out of the comfort off your home and look at how scores of people die in sheer poverty all over the country!!!!! Development is slow and painful you say? You dont know anything about pain and you cant imagine how fast we can develop if our power was harnessed. Instead of defending the pride of your country stand up and help the dying populce out there. Sticking cliched lines to people easy. Go work. Fool


  13. Here are some actual statements made by Churchill:
    1. “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”
    2. “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
    So even if Churchill said what is claimed in the mail, is it worth repeating? (Or perhaps he said it in the expectation or hope that independent India would continue with the political and bureaucratic system and divide and rule policies created by the British.)

    If we want to lament the state of our nation we do not need an apocryphal Churchill quote to drive it home


  14. I agree to it as :
    Corruption in India is a major issue and adversely affects its economy. The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated taxes and licensing systems, numerous government departments each with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly by government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes. There are significant variations in level of corruption as well as in state government efforts to reduce corruption across India. Black money refers to money that is not fully legitimate property of the owner. The right to information act (2005) and equivalent acts in the states, that require government officials to furnish information requested by citizens or face punitive action, computerization of services and various central and state government acts that established vigilance commissions have considerably reduced corruption or at least have opened up avenues to redress grievances.
    Effects of corruption :
    Economic Concerns
    Corruption may lead to further bureaucratic delay and inefficiency as corrupted bureaucrats may introduce red tape to extract more bribes. Bureaucratic inefficiency also affects growth directly, such as through misallocation of investments in the economy. Additionally, corruption results in lower economic growth for a given level of income.

    Lower corruption, higher growth rates
    If corruption levels in India were reduced to levels in the developed economies such as the United States, India’s GDP growth rate could increase by an additional 4 to 5 percent, to 12 to 13 per cent each year
    The level of corruption varies in different parts of India. In a July 2011 report, The Economist for example, claims the state government of Gujarat has kept red tape to a minimum, does not ask for bribes, and does not interfere with entrepreneurial corporations. The state, the article claims, has less corruption, less onerous labour laws and effective bureaucracy. With growth rates matching some of the fastest growing economic regions of China, Gujarat continues to outpace growth in other Indian states


  15. Excellent post. We are nearing the 65th anniversary of India’s independence and I doubt if we are any better off from what we were under an alien rule. Sure, we are not slaves to a foreign power but the reality is that we are now slaves under a domestic one. And that really rankles! For, we had a whole force of selfless freedom fighters to pull us out of the mire then. Today, we just suffer in silence…and, pardon my pessimism that has grown out of years of watching reality, will continue to do so and see our country grow from bad to worse.


  16. WHAT HE SAID IS 100% true in now present days. can we see atleast 10% of our political leaders are good calibre, intellects, well educated?????????????????


    1. He was very right when he uttered such words about Indians in Pre -Independent India. You can appreciate his far sightedness when he opposed the proposal to give freedom to India. What he told is true and is happening today in every part of the country and every Indian feels the heat of corruption, lawlessness. unemployment problem, illiteracy, casteism, regionalism, greed, lust for power, gender bias, untouchability,growing menace of anger, terrorism, backwardness and intolerance and so on. Thanks.


        1. rascals rogues taxing of water we are now able to see with our naked eyes prophesied by great winston churchill


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