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Indian independence fighters also fought the British who committed acts of tyranny against India not unlike what the Axis powers did in their occupied countries.

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Would it be accurate to say that the INA gathered most of its manpower from Japanese POW camps?

 

British and European acts of tyranny in Asia? I was under the impression that only the Japanese were guilty of tyrannical ambitions in Asia. Thanks for the clarification.

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Its hardly urban history or legend! The Bose INA thing and the Indian Legend is very well documented.

As a matter of fact, any search on the Indian troops throws up dozens of links, even with cursory keywords.

Bose and his history are pretty well documented. The man had noble intentions [from the Independence pov] but he ended up having to ask those for aid, who were much worse and no better than the Raj [and in many policies much worse].

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Note how I said how it was nice to see the notion of it being an urban legend being debunked.

 

In case you're not sure, not everything that is ever stated that isn't 100% flattering of Indian History/Heritage/Anything else should be construed as being anti-Indian. I know the South Asian contingent here has problems with this sometimes, but it's the truth...

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Indian independence fighters also fought the British who committed acts of tyranny against India not unlike what the Axis powers did in their occupied countries.

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Like when the British herded millions of Indians into cattle cars and exterminated them, or when they used biological weapons, or perhaps when British soldiers routinely massacred the inhabitants of villages in which they spent the night?? Did I miss when Gandhi and Bose were sent to concentration camps, or hung from piano wire for peaceful opposition to British rule? How many Indian women were enslaved as Briish Army comfort women to be raped, and murdered?

 

I won't claim that British rule was always sweetness and light, even by contemporay standards (much different in eighteenth century India than today) but at its worst, it never approached the levels of the Nazis and Japanese.

 

To him, it made no sense to further bleed poor Indians for the sake of colonial and imperial nations.
Unless they're Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.

 

resurfaced in Kabul (now in Afghanistan),

 

Now in Afghanistan? Was it somewhere else in 1941?

 

his broadcast from German radio sent shock waves among the British and electrified the Indian masses who realized that their leader was working on a master plan to free their motherland.
So electrified were they that they joined the British Empire's Indian Army in record numbers.

 

INA freed the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the British,

 

Which had been occupied by Japan on 21 March 1942, a year before the INA was formed and while Bose was still in Germany working with Hitler.

Edited by R011
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Note how I said how it was nice to see the notion of it being an urban legend being debunked.

 

Hmm, we are arguing over semantics here, but what you dont seem to get is that its common knowledge. Not to breathless journalists perhaps, but to all those who followed the WW2 back and forth, there have been many references, repeated at that.

 

In case you're not sure, not everything that is ever stated that isn't 100% flattering of Indian History/Heritage/Anything else should be construed as being anti-Indian. I know the South Asian contingent here has problems with this sometimes, but it's the truth...

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Errm...that was rather patronising, and secondly, I already knew that. :rolleyes:

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R011,Sun 21 Aug 2005 2044

Like when the British herded millions of Indians into cattle cars and exterminated them, or when they used ogical weapons, or perhaps when British soldiers routinely massacred the inhabitants of villages in which they spent the night?? Did I miss when Gandhi and Bose were sent to concentration camps, or hung from piano wire forpeaceful opposition to British rule? How many Indian women were enslaved as Briish Army comfort women to be raped, and murdered?

I won't claim that British rule was always sweetness and light, even by contemporay standards (much differnt in eighteenth century India than today) but at its worst, it never approached the lervels of the Nazis and Japanese.Unless they're Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.Now in Afghanistan? Was it somewhere else in 1941?. So electrified were they that they joined the British Empire's Indian Army in record numbers.

 

Which had been occupied by Japan on 21March 1942, a year before the INA was formed and while Bose was still in Germany working with Hitler.

 

 

This is getting way off topic as it is and we are heading into the usual Colonial flame fest.

 

Guys [Raj also], please drop it.

Edited by nitin
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Indian independence fighters also fought the British who committed acts of tyranny against India not unlike what the Axis powers did in their occupied countries.

 

While the Bengal famine was perhaps comparable in size, it wasn't in motivation. The Amritsa Massacre can be compared in motivation perhaps but not in size. They're the only two major events I can think of which fit this description. What others are you suggesting should be considered?

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Begging Nitin's indulgence (this will be my last post), to clarify

 

Britian's motivations were irrelevant to the fact that millions of Indians were killed in preventable famines, not just Bengal, simply because the colonial leadership did not deem the lives of the Indian worthy. Added to this tens of thousands of Indian's killed in preventable violence, not curbed for political reasons agaisnt the Indian populace, hundreds of thousands of Indians jailed without trial in deplorable conditions, some similar to gulags, simply for demanding equal rights, zero political representation in the decision making process, etc., etc.

 

It doesn't matter if the British were marginally better than the Nazis or Japanese. They were still imperialists who committed unspeakable acts of brutality and suppressed and plundered through outright violence or through proxy of starvation the Indian.

 

A simplified analogy: it really doesn't matter if you murder someone out of cold-blooded psychopathy, or simply because you found it mildly bothersome to stop the pulling of the trigger. At the end of the day you're still a murderer.

 

 

It's a different world today, but it is still no excuse for the white-washing of history. It is for this reason that Netaji Bose is so revered by Indians. Because he had the balls to demand freedom at any cost.

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It doesn't matter if the British were marginally better than the Nazis or Japanese

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It's clear you have no idea of the enormity of Nazi and Japanese crimes nor do you care. There is no point in arguing further with malevolent nationionalist ignorance like this.

Edited by R011
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...right. Air out some dirty laundry and all of a sudden I'm a virtual Japanophile or anti-Semite. It's quite clear who you are trying to equate me to. :rolleyes:

 

Your knee-jerk statements pretty well spell out your mentality.

 

I'm so glad you feel so glib about the starvation to death of millions of children, women and men, and that the denying of basic fundamental rights and freedoms to hundreds of millions weighs so lightly on your conscience.

 

 

Yes. There is no arguing with such a malevolently arrogant atrocity apologist. Tell me this, though: do you feel first degree murderers should be punished, and second degree murderers should be slapped on the wrist?

Edited by RajKhalsa
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This is a wrong forum for me to be a jingo but still things need to be put in proper perspective.

 

I am sure it was in the interest of Japan to help India. There is nothing wrong with it to work with each other to achieve common goals. The common goal was ejection of unwanted British Empire from Asia.

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Rajkhalsa,

 

I want to tank you for referring to the great Indian leader as Neta Jee. Ofcourse British are not going to like him. It was not the aim of Neta Jee to be liked by British. It was his aim to kick British out of India.

 

Here is a famous quote from Neta Jee:

“If you give me your blood, I will give you your freedom”.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

No body in India gives a hoot about what British thought about Neta Jee or any other Indian who fought for independence of India. Neta Jee fought for Indians and that is what made him a hero to Indians.

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This is a wrong forum for me to be a jingo but still things need to be put in proper perspective.

 

I am sure it was in the interest of Japan to help India. There is nothing wrong with it to work with each other to achieve common goals. The common goal was ejection of unwanted British Empire from Asia.

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The Japanese goal was to rule Asia, period. Asia for the Asians was a catchy slogan that did inspire many nationalist movements for self rule- I remember reading about a Malay text which spoke of the fervor such statements caused, but suffice to say that if the Axis had won the war and the Japanese held sway in India, it would be from the frying pan into the fire.

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Begging Nitin's indulgence (this will be my last post), to clarify

 

Britian's motivations were irrelevant to the fact that millions of Indians were killed in preventable famines, not just Bengal, simply because the colonial leadership did not deem the lives of the Indian worthy. Added to this tens of thousands of Indian's killed in preventable violence, not curbed for political reasons agaisnt the Indian populace, hundreds of thousands of Indians jailed without trial in deplorable conditions, some similar to gulags, simply for demanding equal rights, zero political representation in the decision making process, etc., etc.

 

It doesn't matter if the British were marginally better than the Nazis or Japanese. They were still imperialists who committed unspeakable acts of brutality and suppressed and plundered through outright violence or through proxy of starvation the Indian.

 

A simplified analogy: it really doesn't matter if you murder someone out of cold-blooded psychopathy, or simply because you found it mildly bothersome to stop the pulling of the trigger. At the end of the day you're still a murderer.

It's a different world today, but it is still no excuse for the white-washing of history. It is for this reason that Netaji Bose is so revered by Indians. Because he had the balls to demand freedom at any cost.

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Thats a very simplistic response. Even the source you quoted, wikpedia makes it very clear that the reason why the Bengal famine occurred was more because of mismanagement, rather than necessarily because of deliberate genocidal intent on the part of the British. Motivation is indeed very important - the Allies killed millions of people. While some simplistically believe that means they were as bad as the Axis, the reality is that the motivations behind each set of killings is very different.

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"But, I didn't kill the guy on purpose!," said the crashed drunk driver to the cop.

 

The motivation for the murder of millions by the Germans and the Japanese was ethnosupremicist militancy. The homicide of millions of Indians by the British was ethnosupremicist apathy.

 

The end result is, millions dead, Germans and Japanese historically put in their place, and the British crimes pooh-poohed.

 

 

Pardon me while I and a billion other Indians do not jump on this bandwagon of moral disequity.

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One suspects that the majority of that 1 (US) billion don't give two hoots about the issue.

 

You should be thankful that the British were able to see the immorality of their rule over India and quit it, in the end, peacefully. If it had been the Germans or the Japanese, as others have noted, they'd quite happily have consigned the entire Indian population to the flame, rather than given them their freedom.

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Thats a very simplistic response.  Even the source you quoted, wikpedia makes it very clear that the reason why the Bengal famine occurred was more because of mismanagement, rather than necessarily because of deliberate genocidal intent on the part of the British.  Motivation is indeed very important - the Allies killed millions of people.  While some simplistically believe that means they were as bad as the Axis, the reality is that the motivations behind each set of killings is very different.

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Cant believe I am entering into this flame fest again.

 

This has a more comprehensive review, from the wiki sources:

http://www.vho.org/tr/2003/1/Pfitzner71-75.html

 

1. Since 1940, all proposed constitutional reforms were deferred in order to place India fully into the service of the war efforts against Germany. Consequently, the Congress Party, India's largest national party (the one of M. Ghandi) withdrew its cooperation with the government which led to considerable internal political tensions. Due to the socially strained situation, violent conflicts arose repeatedly between the colonial authorities and independence fighters. Because the Gulf of Bengal was viewed as a possible location for a Japanese invasion, a strong independence movement there was unacceptable to the British, who therefore executed a military police action in October 1942, during which 193 camps and buildings of the Congress Party were destroyed and countless people arrested. Between August 1942 and February 1943, 43 persons were shot by the British occupation police. Additionally, British troops were involved in an unknown number of rapes and lootings of food supplies, among other things.

2. In May 1942, the British colony of Burma, which until then had exported food to India, fell into Japanese hands.

3. In the Summer 1941, Great Britain lost control over the Gulf of Bengal for about one year, which led to the collapse of all civilian sea traffic. Export of Bengal's principal export product, jute, via the sea route became impossible as well as importing food.

4. Bengal was overcrowded with refugees as well as with retreating soldiers from various British colonies which were temporarily occupied by the Japanese. In March 1942 alone, around 2,000 to 3,000 British soldiers and civilians arrived in Calcutta and Chittagong every day, and in the month of May, a total of 300,000 were counted. Because these people could not all be accommodated in the cities, preliminary camps were erected for them in the countryside before they could be transported to the interior. In the meantime, thousands of them died of malaria and cholera. As a result of the massive food purchases by the government, food prices in the countryside skyrocketed.

5. Expecting a Japanese landing in the Gulf of Bengal, the British occupation authorities enacted the so-called "Boat-Denial Scheme" leading to the confiscation of all boats and ships in the Gulf of Bengal which could carry more than 10 persons. This resulted in not less than 66,500 confiscated boats. Consequently, the inland navigation system collapsed completely. Fishing became practically impossible, and many rice and jute farmers could not ship their goods anymore. Subsequently the economy collapsed completely, especially in the lower Ganges-Delta.

6. The confiscations of land in connection with military fortifications and constructions (airplane landing places, military and refugee camps) led to the expulsion of about 150,000 to 180,000 people from their land, turning them practically into homeless persons.

  7. Food deliveries from other parts of the country to Bengal were refused by the government, on the one hand in order to weaken the independence movement, on the other hand in order to make food artificially scarce. This was an especially cruel policy introduced in 1942 under the title "Rice Denial Scheme." The purpose of it was to deny an efficient food supply to the Japanese after a possible invasion. Within this policy, the government authorized free merchants to purchase rice at any price and to sell it to the government for delivery into governmental food storage.

 

8. This blank check of the government triggered price inflation. As a result, some merchants did not deliver food to the government but hoarded it, hoping for higher profit margins when selling it later. This led to further food shortages on the market and to further price increases.

  9. For military considerations, the government emphasized that the food supply for soldiers, government employees, and workers within the defense industry had to be maintained under all circumstances. In addition to this inflationary thrust, the massive military activities in Bengal that were basically financed by overtime of the money printing presses led to a general inflation which hit the impoverished population in the countryside especially hard.[12]

  10. On October 16, 1942, a hurricane caused a five meter high wave to flood the entire lower Ganges delta. It destroyed the winter harvest, salted a gigantic area of land, killed about 14,500 people and 10% of the cattle. Wood for the cremation of the bodies was not available, and decaying corpses caused the contamination of drinking water and finally the outbreak of cholera and other infectious diseases.

  11. In connection with the aid measures introduced after the flood in the fall/winter of 1942/1943, the government returned only one third of the food that had been previously withdrawn from Bengal. Further food supplies from other parts of India were purchased only during the following spring when the famine in Bengal was in full swing. This again led to a general increase in food prices.

  12. The Government never thought about a legally enforced price control of basic food supplies.

  13. Because the military transports had absolute priority, the Indian transport system was not able to bring greater quantities of food to Bengal.

  14. Even though British law in India provided that emergency laws were to be applied in case of famines, the famine in Bengal was never officially recognized as such, an emergency was not declared, and therefore no drastic counter measures were taken for its amelioration. It was not until October of 1943 that the British government took notice of the emergency situation, but it still refused to introduce any supportive measures that would have been necessary.

 

The British Responsibility

 

The statistical data for Bengal in the years 1942-1944 reveal that food availability was the lowest in at least 15 years, and probably 11% lower than in 1941.[13]This food scarcity caused by war and flood catastrophe might not have sufficed to trigger such a huge famine that drove four million people into death from starvation, among those about one third of the entire landless population. It was in fact a combination of several factors that triggered the catastrophe, for which primarily the British occupation authorities have to take responsibility, namely:

 

  1. British Manchester-Capitalism destroyed the traditional social support systems and caused the impoverishment of broad sections of the population.

2. Suppression of the Indian independence movement and the lack of will of the British to help the suffering Indian rebels.

3. A ruthlessly executed military policy on the back of the socially weak sectors of the population which partly resembled Stalin's policy of 'scorched earth.'

4. Unwillingness and incompetence of the colonial masters to acknowledge the famine catastrophe and to introduce proper counter measures, especially food imports.

 

 

I agree with you that the Nazis and Japanese were no angels and the former were genocidal freaks but "mismanagement" does not explain the magnitude of what happened. Basically the Raj treated India as a resource, not as its own people. Their policies were directed towards British needs and purposes and what happened to the Indian populace was tertiary. The process was exacerabated by Churchill- who didnt care two hoots about how many lived or died as far as India was concerned. Fortunately a couple of his generals were more humane and began some limited aid, but it was too little too late.

 

While Sen may be controversial, he does have a basic point. A native democratic govt will attempt to provide relief to its people come what may since it is elected by and is made up of natives. It wouldnt ignore the human cost of arbitrary policies designed to keep itself in power, for eg the British action against the Congress etc and their attempts to weaken the independence movement by preventing even lay relief efforts by Congress workers to assist.

 

IMHO, that typifies colonialism- the use of extreme methods to retain power at any cost.

 

I'd really like to end this here- debates on this topic merely bring up bad blood and exacerbate the issue. The original poster did succeed in his attempt to divert the thread.

 

To conclude, British rule in India does have its positives- the beginning of the Indian rail network, the postal system, its contribution to India's apolitical and professional Armed services,- Indians recognise this and appreciate it. But, it must also be recognised that the Raj in India *was not* a force for good. It may not have been as bad as compared to hypothetically [say] the Japanese ruling India, but at the same time, it was extremely exploitative and caused a lot of harm.

 

Take the salt law for instance.

http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Dandi.html

 

Beginning in February 1930, Gandhi's thoughts swayed towards the British salt tax, one of many economic improprieties used to generate revenue to support British rule, as the focal point of non-violent political protest (Ashe 301).  The British monopoly on the salt tax in India dictated that the sale or production of salt by anyone but the British government was a criminal offense punishable by law (Ashe 301).  Moreso than in more temperate climates, salt was invaluable to the people of India, many of whom were agricultural laborers and required the mineral for metabolism in an environment of immense heat and humidity where sweating was profuse.  Occurring  throughout low-lying coastal zones of India, salt was readily accessible to laborers who were instead forced to pay money for a mineral which they could easily collect themselves for free (Jack 235). Moreover, Gandhi's choice met the important criterion of appealing across regional, class, and ethnic boundaries. Everyone needed salt, and the British taxes on it had an impact on all of India.

 

This is *not* to imply all British are bad- unfortunately many on Tanknet, and elsewhere take the two to be similar- it is not.

 

And then we have emotional and increasingly angry responses from both sides and the situation escalates to the usual flame war.

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One suspects that the majority of that 1 (US) billion don't give two hoots about the issue.

 

You should be thankful that the British were able to see the immorality of their rule over India and quit it, in the end, peacefully.  If it had been the Germans or the Japanese, as others have noted, they'd quite happily have consigned the entire Indian population to the flame, rather than given them their freedom.

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India's colonial past has not been forgotten in India- to that extent, Raj is certainly right.

If the British had not left and resorted to Japanese/ Nazi tactics , Gandhis non-violence would not have lasted forever [his policies may not have been universally accepted forever]. And as Bose proved, even the British Indian Army was increasingly being drawn against the Raj.

Take the Indian Naval mutiny for instance.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/beyond/fact...3_prog12a.shtml

 

In essence, it would have been untenable for Britain to hold on to India, one way or the other. The British left not only because critics at home pointed out the immorality thing, but because Gandhi and co, essentially brought home the point that the Raj was no longer workable. With a mass civil disobedience movement, and an increasingly nationalized Indian Army, colonial rule was at an end.

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1 (US) billion

 

 

Off topic... does anybody still seriously use the British version of "Billion"? Even the UK government has given up and uses the US billion throughout their national statistics. Just to add to the debate, here is a site that shows we can blame the French. Of course any further discussion on number naming conventions should probably belong in the FFZ.

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You should be thankful that the British were able to see the immorality of their rule over India and quit it, in the end, peacefully.  If it had been the Germans or the Japanese, as others have noted, they'd quite happily have consigned the entire Indian population to the flame, rather than given them their freedom.

I can't believe I just read that. British quit India because they could see the immorality of it? They so saw their immorality that they arbitrarily imprisoned many hundreds of thousands of Indians, possibly millions, until the very end?

 

Oh please. It had nothing to do with morality. It had everything to do with economics.

 

It was simply because the colonized had reached the point in development of their own nation state that it was simply impossible for the British to control India without resorting to such overt practices of state-sponsored genocide.

 

Netaji Bose's actions in formation of the INA and its subsequent massive following in particular proved to the British that even that bedrock of British might, the Indian army, will now look after themselves first, and not their former masters.

 

 

Do you not find it incredibly tragic that you have to justify British rule in India by constantly waving around the red herring that you weren't "as bad" and didn't kill millions "as openly" as some of the most despotic rulers in history? Does it assuage your conscience?

 

Should I mete out a congratulations to the colonial apologist for not resorting to genocide? You want a cookie for it?

 

Fine.

 

Have a whole bloody box. Chewing perhaps will stop your mouth from blithering such excruciatingly inane nonsense further.

 

-Raj

Edited by RajKhalsa
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Basically the Raj treated India as a resource, not as its own people. Their policies were directed towards British needs and purposes and what happened to the Indian populace was tertiary.

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A vast (I'm talking seriously vast here) pool of manpower, apparently quite willing to volunteer, fight and die for Queen and country.

 

Why wasn't this resource taken advantage of to the full?

 

I'm sure the British Army would have loved another couple hundred thousand Australian or Kiwi .303 Enfield-equipped infantrymen to deploy against the Wehrmacht.

 

To conclude, British rule in India does have its positives- the beginning of the Indian rail network, the postal system, its contribution to India's apolitical and professional Armed services,- Indians recognise this and appreciate it.

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Then in any hypothetical Japanese liberation/conquest of India, Indians would no doubt recognize and appreciate Imperial Japan's continued contributions to said rail networks, postal routes, and apolitical Armed services.

 

An extra six corps of disciplined Indian infantry, trained by Japanese drill instructors and led by Bose and Col. Tsuji Masanoba would have been a godsend to the Japanese Army in China.

Edited by Nobu
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