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  • Churchill: Let the fakir die


    by Rohin
    4th January, 2006 at 2:49 am    

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Winston Churchill. The man millions of Britons voted ‘The Greatest Briton of All Time’ at the turn of the millennium, ahead of Newton, Shakespeare, Darwin and Brunel. The man who advocated gassing “recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment”.

    The man who described Mahatma Gandhi as “a half-naked fakir” who “ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back” [Link]. The man who is in the news again - although there isn’t too much coverage.

    Hitherto unseen government documents have been released, which detail Churchill’s stance on several issues. The notes were recorded by deputy Cabinet secretary, Sir Norman Brook, and give the first detailed glimpse into what was discussed at the War Cabinet between 1942 and 1945. They’re open to the public just down the road from me at the Public Records Office in Kew, so I took a look. The rather difficult to read shorthand revealed some fascinating facts.

    He wanted to send Nazis to the electric chair, without trial. He wanted Hitler executed “like a gangster”. Hey, I’m not going to make a fuss about these two.

    He thought Gen. Charles de Gaulle was a barrier to a “trustworthy” relationship with France. When de Gaulle fled to Britain, he subsequently asked if he was free to leave in order to visit French troops (de Gaulle remained a popular figure amongst the Resistance) and Churchill said “arrest him if he tries to leave.”

    Whilst the British Army prided itself on treating black and Asian soldiers with respect (at least in comparison to the Americans), Churchill insisted, “the views of the US must be considered.” Black soldiers were told to show respect for the American army’s segregation policies.

    Churchill went on, expressing a desire to wipe out German villages as revenge for the Ludice massacre.

    Perhaps least surprisingly, given Churchill’s intense hatred of Gandhi (which is largely ignored by Western historians), is the fact that Churchill was willing to let Gandhi die. Whatever criticisms Gandhi has attracted, his devotion to pacifism stands out dramatically from the history of the world. It was this commitment to non-violence that inspired Martin Luther King to adopt the same approach.

    Churchill said he was prepared to let him die if he went on hunger strike whilst imprisoned at the Aga Khan prison in Puné. Gandhi was interned during WWII as a result of the Quit India movement. He denounced Indian soldiers fighting in the war and his called for civil disobedience. At this time his wife and his secretary and close friend, Mahadev Desai, both died. Churchill was also keen to make sure Gandhi was treated “like any other prisoner”.

    India’s viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, had recently sent a telegram claiming he was “strongly in favour of letting Gandhi starve to death” but it has become clear that the British Cabinet were the ones who decided that allowing Gandhi to continue on a strike would simply cause too big a backlash in India, as former viceroy Lord Halifax (then ambassador to America) explained, “Whatever the disadvantages of letting him out, his death in detention would be worse.”

    But hey, things change. Current Tory leader Dave Cameron quoted Bapu in his new year message:

    “As Gandhi said, ‘we must be the change we want to see in the world.” [Link]

    “A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back — but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.”

    - Marian Wright Edelman.

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    Filed in: India,Party politics,South Asia,Uncategorized






    256 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. DesiPundit » The Bulldog

      [...] Pickled Politics on the Gandhi-hating, racism-tolerant Churchill as a background to the chilling fact that he was voted ‘The Greatest Briton of All Time’ at the turn of the millennium. [...]


    2. Global Voices Online

      [...] Churchill who has been voted as the ‘The Greatest Briton of All Time’ was a Gandhi-hater and a man who tolerated racism. More at Pickled Politics. [...]


    3. Robert Sharp

      [...] This has been the foundation of Political Correctness - a simple acknowledgement that our common language is been loaded with derogatory words. It is a subliminal prejudice, set as our factory default, which we must work hard to overcome. And if we acknowledge the undesirable aspects of our society, an recognition of the many undesirable aspects of our history must be a part of that too. [...]




    1. Bikhair — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:09 am  

      Meh! We cant all be perfect.

    2. Bikhair — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:10 am  

      Pickled Punks,

      “Whatever criticisms Gandhi has attracted, his devotion to pacifism stands out dramatically from the history of the world. It was this commitment to non-violence that inspired Martin Luther King to adopt the same approach.”

      You ever notice how pacifism is only fitting for the brownies?

    3. Sunny — on 4th January, 2006 at 7:59 am  

      Churchill exposed as racist scumbag?? That isn’t new! Though these revelations simply confirm my previous view, I’ve always been annoyed at how the British idolise this guy just because he was stubborn against the Nazis, and ignore pretty much everything else.

      He also thought all brown people were “uncivilised savages” (can’t remember where I saw that now). Imperialism at its best. Grrrrr.

    4. Jess — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:49 am  

      “the British idolise this guy”

      Not all of us. Me, I voted for Darwin.

    5. Yusuf Smith — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:52 am  

      Winston Churchill has a whole long list of crimes to his names; he is admired mostly by people who know that “he won the war” and know nothing about his colonial record (and even aspects of his war record, like his sell-out of eastern Europe to Russia). Actually, he didn’t win the war; the whole country - indeed, the whole empire - won it.

      His fame, in my opinion, is due to the tireless repetition of the anti-appeasement rhetoric during the Cold War which has come back with a vengeance since 9/11. Churchill always said war would be necessary, while others wanted to avoid a war at all costs. The problem comes when people try and apply this to every other situation by using “appeasement” as some sort of general knock-down.

    6. Vikrant — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:19 am  

      I beg to differ.

      When evaluating a historical personality, we have to take time, and circumstances into account. Prophet Mohd. is said to have had sex with a nine year old girl! surely that doesnt stop 1.6 billion people from idolising him… Even good ole Gandhi had kind things to say about Hitler.

      I’m ready to forgive him all the unkind things he said about Gandhi and Indians in general. Without him Britain didnt stand a chance.

      “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” The other included the equally famous “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”

      Yes that was our finest hour.

    7. Sunny — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:36 am  

      You’re an uncivilised brown savage Vikrant, what would you know?

    8. Vikrant — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:56 am  

      Pah… Sunny i know you’d rather prefer vitriolic Bikhair or even virulently anti-Indian Raz, to a “communal” guy like me….

      Seriously you call yourself a Liberal Democrat but cant take others opinions!

    9. Sunny — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:02 am  

      You clearly did not get the irony in my last post Vikrant.

    10. Vikrant — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:05 am  

      i do get the point.

    11. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:12 am  

      I voted for Churchill and I knew about some of his past.
      He was undoubtedly a great, if racist, man. I think it’s difficult to judge the past by today’s standards. They way we think, what we have, are things that we take for granted. The fact of the matter is that he kept his head while all around were losing there’s at a critical juncture in human history (yes, Rudyard Kipling was another racist) and for that we should all be eternally grateful. I certainly am.
      If you really dig deep I’m sure we can find plenty of scientists/philosophers/prophets etc who could also be berks.

    12. Don — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:20 am  

      Churchill certainly isn’t worshipped in my neck of the woods. In northern mining communities (when such things still existed) he was seen as an enemy of the workers, although most would concede that he had done a good job in standing up to Hitler.

      That ‘Very well, then, alone.’ attitude made Churchill into an icon of a particular time and place but icons are meant to be two dimensional (some iconographer will probably show up my ignorance about that.)

      As an icon Churchill bears the same significance as Drake, Alfred the Great and Good Queen Bess; an emotively charged symbol of a perceived aspect of Britishness (Englishness?) As a politician the country
      voted him out very promptly once we no longer needed a symbol of defiance but rather practical politicians who recognised that the world had changed.

      Those who know anything about history are well aware of Churchill’s flaws and his unpleasant side, but his role as symbol of war time tenacity is a construct quite divorced from the real individual.

    13. BevanKieran — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:23 am  

      Came in and pushed out at the right time. The NHS, welfare state, peaceful relinquishing of Empire followed Churchill’s eviction. His contempt for us brown savages was variable; he showed considerable admiration towards Indian workers in Africa on his travels, although this was at the expense of the native inhabitants.

    14. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:40 am  

      Very well put Don, Bevankieron

    15. Old Pickler — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:01 pm  

      Yes but at the time Britain didn’t need a politically correct softie. Ghandi would have been as much use against the Nazis as a chocolate teapot.

      He thought Gen. Charles de Gaulle was a barrier to a “trustworthy” relationship with France

      And? The French are a barrier to a trustworthy relationship with France. Always will be. And vice versa. And rightly so.

    16. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:37 pm  

      My great grandfather told me that the Sikh soldiers in World War 2 hated Churchill - because Churchill despised the closeness between the white British officers who had deep respect for Sikh and Indian soldiers, grew bounds of affection and treated them as equal, and Churchill gave some ordinance saying that Indian soldiers were not to be allowed to be drawn too close to their white captains and commanders.

      Apparently whilst Churchill was shooting Afghans he formed a high opinion of Sikhs though, some of whome served beside him in the NWFP, but that was probably just due to the quirk that for historical reasons, Sikh soldiers probably enjoyed fighting with Afghans just as much as he did.

      There are parts of Wales that despise Churchill too, because he sent troops in to break up a strike in the coal mines there, and they massacred some of the miners.

    17. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

      Did your great grandfather fight in Burma? I have a long-term book project and I need to do some research before his heroic generation dies off.
      So I’d love to speak to him, and others like him, if possible.

    18. raz — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

      Ghandi was even more racist than Churchill. He thought black people were subhuman:

      http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_23-3-2005_pg4_24

      “I’ve always been annoyed at how the British idolise this guy just because he was stubborn against the Nazis, and ignore pretty much everything else.”

      We could say the same about Ghandi, who’s idiotic resistance to partition nearly lead to the greatest bloodbath in history. And yet still he is revered. Only the wisdom of Jinnah and the British defeated the stupidity of Ghandi and saved hundreds of millions of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim lives. Ghandi’s opposition to Pakistan, which he described as evil, will always damn him in my eyes.

      On a related note:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4100961.stm

      Jinnah FTW!

      Now watch Vikrant attack :)

    19. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:10 pm  

      raz

      A while back a Bangladeshi made some very astute comments about you. In particular he said something about how your attitude makes plain what happened in the genocide of 1971, how that came about, and how narcisstic nationalism run rampant is such an ugly thing.

      I think they were accurate comments about you.

    20. raz — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:16 pm  

      Your holier than thou attitude and bigotry wears tiresome, Jay Singh. Even 20 years after Air India 182, some people don’t want to learn lessons.

    21. raz — on 4th January, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      What is your opinion of calling black people sub-human, Jay Singh? I notice you failed to comment on this, instead choosing to make absurd remarks against me? Are you an apologist for racism against Africans? Sickening display of bigotry, really. Par for the course for these kind of fundamentalists.

    22. Col. Mustafa — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:05 pm  

      Yeh yeh, they were all racist.
      What can ya do?

      I would have to say the majority of humans living on this earth are still prejudice, racist, clueless the list goes on.

      However lets not start arguing about who was more racist than the other.
      Its kind of pointless.

    23. Vladimir — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:15 pm  

      It seems to me though a number of you have outlined criticisms of Churchill, you have forgotten the main one, the fact he was scum scum tory fuck’in scum. This surely deserves a mention.

    24. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

      To add to the accepted opinion on this thread about Churchill, it would not be revisionist to say that he was in full support of Fascism as late as 1937. He was considered to be a bluffer, a demagogue, an incompetent and an inebriate, and that’s just what his colleagues and subordinates thought of him - ambassadors, private secretaries, generals, air marshalls.

      His language towards India and Indians in general was so viscerally racist that his own party reined him in and prevented him from the Tory Cabinets througout the 30s.

    25. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

      I think some people have missed the point. Hindsight is a lovely thing to have - I’m not going to sit here and judge historical figures by today’s standards.

      I’m not trying to say that Churchill was scum nor am I trying to belittle his obvious successes in the war (although old Pauline Monty had something to do with it). But the whole greatest Briton thing really peeved me. NEWTON! I can’t even begin to comprehend how Newton didn’t win, I can only assume people are ignorant of his achievements. Perhaps I’m biased, I’m a scientist.

      I just wish history painted a fairer picture of Churchill. A great war leader. A great man? No.

      Old Pickler, with all respect, that’s nonsense. No one is proposing Gandhi (this is the spelling to all those reading) would have been useful against the Nazis! His opposition was the British and he tailored his strategy toward them.

      Raz, you have surprised me most on this thread. I thought you’d know better than to believe daft Pakistani propaganda like that nonsense you linked to. So Gandhi didn’t like black people? SO WHY THE FUCK DID HE MOVE TO SOUTH AFRICA? He championed the human rights of black and Indian people under apartheid. The article is also complete bunk - read it. I can’t believe you actually linked to that as evidence. The most damning quote they can come up with is one of Gandhi talking about the views OF THE COLONIALS, not his own.

      The article is also based on a piece on Sulekha. Please go to that website. See for yourself what sources you are now purporting as fact. You’ve inadvertantly become a Hindutvadi.

      I’m Bengali and anyone who knows the politics of independence will know how I feel about Gandhi. But I can respect his fortitude and achievements in much the same way I can see Churchill’s good and bad points. I find it pathetic and rather sad how Pakistan villifies Gandhi. He was their best friend. It was only when he suggested that Jinnah become India’s first prime minister that Nehru, Patel and others finally said “you’ve gone too far” to Gandhi.

      Pakistan celebrates independence every year. To them, there was only one man that mattered, The Big J. They erase many freedom fighters and invent rumour about the rest. Please cite where you got the gem that Gandhi said Pakistan was “evil”.

      Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

      Raz, up till now I’ve been the main supporter of you saying what you like. But this bizarre Pakistani detestation of Gandhi and a total absence of any evidence is daft, to say the least.

    26. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

      Sid,
      I hate to say it but you’re talking nonsense.
      You’re behaving as disingenously as those axe grinders we habitually put down on this site.
      No, it would not be “revisionist to say that he was in full support of Fascism as late as 1937.” It would be utter bollocks.
      Go check you facts man.

      P.S. I would add that Gallipoli is another black mark against Churchill. But all things considered I would still vote for him.

    27. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      Rohin
      I thionk I would have voted for Newton too if he’d been with a chancve.
      The most annoying thing of all was that Princess Diana came in third. I mean, give me a break!!

    28. Don — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

      Greatest Briton? Personally I would have gone for William Blake, but he wasn’t listed. Failing that, I’d agree with Jess; Darwin.

    29. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

      El Cid

      I think it is you who needs to check the facts. Man.

      I’m quoting from a essay by Hitchens which I have in front of me, who himself has synthesized his information from Churchill historians such as Clive Ponting (Myth and Reality, 1940), John Charmley (Churchill: The End Of Glory, 1993 and Churchill’s Grand Alliance 1995), Lord Jenkins and of course, David Irving.

    30. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:27 pm  

      Don: I would have gone for William Blake too.

    31. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:38 pm  

      El Cid, did she? I completely forgot that! I also though Brunel came too high to be honest. Anyway, it’s just a phone poll - I’m probably making too big of a deal of it.

      Sid, Raz, whoever has strong views - I not only read the notes at Kew, I did a lot of reading around. The Indian press hates Churchill. I didn’t echo some of the things they said there - similar to what you’ve said Sid - such as Churchill supporting Stalin. One paper (I forget which) said “Churchill met Stalin and described him as a good man and splendid leader”.

      It didn’t give a date. So if Hitler met Stalin when he’d just come to power, how would he know he’d go on to kill 20 million people? There are hagiographies aplenty of Churchill, but in the same way I object to glossing over his flaws, I don’t like dubious accusations about supporting fascism. It was a rapidly changing climate in the 30s.

    32. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:43 pm  

      Isn’t it cool how I voted for Newton and you two have voted for Blake, whose (arguably) most famous piece was a depiction of Newton? Yay!

      Great Britain IS great. More specifically, its produced so many greats. Yet we’re discussing Churchill. Argh!

    33. Col. Mustafa — on 4th January, 2006 at 3:54 pm  

      We should talk about Micheal Crawford from Some mothers.
      He was a freaking legend or maybe not.
      No. no he was.

      But yeh Darwin or Newton both deserve to be the greatest briton over Churchill.

      Most influential character ever for Great Britain is a difficult one though.
      I would say Freddy from the triplet Rod, Jane and Freddy.

      Bungle was a dude too.

    34. Rohin — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

      If we’re going pop culture, then it’s Rowan Atkinson all the way.

      If we’re going daft, it’s Dangermouse.

      If we’re goin-

      No no, I don’t want this thread de-railed. Not yet. Neha’s just been kind enough to link us from DP so let’s pretend to be serious for at least a few more hours.

    35. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

      Well well, if it isn’t the ‘drink-sodden former Trotskyist popinjay’ himself.
      Sid, you haven’t actually checked the facts, now have you? You have resorted to quoting one of the most of controversial and polemical historical essayists of recent times.
      Churchill was certainly an anti-communist, initially sympathetic to Mussolini, an imperialist and right wing too boot, and in the polarised pre-war years it’s not hard to see how he might be dubbed a “fascist”. But in its historical context, when Churchill was quite clearly the foremost British opponent of Nazi appeasement, it doesn’t make sense to call him that.
      It’s just headline grabbing nonsense.
      Everyone who has participated on this thread has already recognised that he was a hugely flawed character. But he was nonetheless there when it mattered (and promptly voted out after the war by a nonetheless grateful democracy).

    36. Col. Mustafa — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

      I understand many British love churchill for what he did, and those Brits in turn told thier children and so on.
      Which could be why majority of people voting for the greatest Britain looked past the outstanding discoveries of Newton and Darwin.
      We all apparently know about evolution, but i think its more a case of many know the jist of evolution but not really how important the concept of evolution even today plays a part on our lives.
      Everything is always evolving, especially the mind.

      Same goes for Newton, hes just overlooked as only people that are interested in his work realise how much of an impact hes had on modern science.

      Its more of a case of the average person just voting for the dude that saved us from the Nazis; Churchill.

    37. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      raz

      You are very funny! ;-)

      All the snakes and demons that possess your unsubtle mind I can do nothing about. About me you are clueless. But the crudity of your nasty infections and implications, Tu Quoque arguments and raising of straw men are a sight to behold. Spitting piss and vinegar and juvenile slurring just emphasises my original point.

      Carry on :-)

    38. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      Vladimir

      It seems to me though a number of you have outlined criticisms of Churchill, you have forgotten the main one, the fact he was scum scum tory fuck’in scum. This surely deserves a mention

      I already mentioned that he is hated in Welsh mining villages for sending in the army to kill them when they were striking! Do I get a prize from the society of working class demonisation?

    39. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      El Cid

      sigh*
      I didn’t say WC was a Fascist sympathiser during the war years. I clearly said he had Fascist sympathies as late as 1937. And I’m not making this up, these are the thoughts of the historians which Hitchens presents pretty much without embellishment.

      This is the historian David Dutton, as quoted in Hitchens’ essay:

      As late as 1937 he even seemed willing to give Hitler the psosible benefit of the doubt. Accepting that history was full of men who had risen to power by “wicked and even frightful methods” but who had gone on to become great figures, enriching the “story of mankind”, he held out the possibility that “so it may be with Hitler”…

    40. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

      I have to say that I find Churchill’s wartime speeches and rhetoric damn inspiring though. You have to admit he was the right man for Blighty at the time. And then right after the War the British people kicked his arse out of Downing Street and got the NHS. So even then they knew that he had a job to do, he did it, and then told him to move along. So they claim that Churchill is eternal and for all seasons is a myth - invoking him every half hour just stunts the mind. The latest one is the picture doing the rounds of Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand next to a picture of Churchill - the World Cup being in Germany this year.

    41. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      Lets not forget Winston’s words on the religion of Islam, as quoted regularly on the ‘Anti-Dhimmi’ websites (jOnz control yourself! Dont get too excited!)

      +++++++++++

      “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

      “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.”

      +++++++++++++

      I reckon jOnz has this particular speech on his bedroom wall ;-)

    42. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

      Sid,
      For effing’s sake man.
      He was the foremost opponent of Nazi appeasement in the pre-war years — that’s pre-war, well before 1937.
      I could direct you to speeches that demonstrate that quite clearly (please don’t make me do that, it’ll take time I haven’t got).
      As for that quote, what does that prove — that he had “fascist sympathies”??

    43. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:34 pm  

      Sorry to burst any long-held bubbles (?) about the wartime speeches, but it has now come to light the following:
      The three crucial broadcasts (“We shall fight them on the beaches”, “blood, toil, tears and sweat” and “finest hour”) were not made Churchill but by an actor hired to impersonate him. Norman Shelley, who played Winnie-The-Pooh for BBC’s Children’s Hour, ventriloquized Churchill for history and fooled millions of listeners. Perhaps because WC was too incapicated by drink to deliver the speeches himself.

    44. El Cid — on 4th January, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

      yes, it is a theory

    45. Vikrant — on 4th January, 2006 at 5:40 pm  

      Raz, if you wanna criticise Gandhi… be my guest! But agains methinks Pakistanis should be a lil’ more considerate of “cunning bania” who died for saving Pakistan from bankruptcy.

      P.S I voted Churchill, but would have voted Rowan Aitkinson if he had been on the list!

    46. Vladimir — on 4th January, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

      Jay Singh, im not sure if they the the society of working class demonisation give out awards to people of such low wit as you .

    47. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 6:06 pm  

      Vladimir

      Stick around - my wit gets even lower than that ;-)

    48. raz — on 4th January, 2006 at 9:14 pm  

      Rohin, Ghandi made the remarks about Pakistan - “which I have declared as evil” in his Harijan weekly paper in 1947. And LOL at Ghandi being a friend of Pakistan! He fought against the partition of India all the way, until it became inevitable thanks to the efforts of Jinnah. If Ghandi had got his way, Pakistan would never have been created - and you wonder why he is disliked?

      http://www.mkgandhi.org/momgandhi/chap70.htm

      Ghandi’s opposition to partition and the creation of Pakistan is palpable:

      “I AM firmly convinced that the Pakistan demand as put forth by the Muslim League is un-Islamic and I have not hesitated to call it sinful”

      “Therefore, those who want to divide India…are enemies alike of India and Islam”

      “The ‘two-nations’ theory is an untruth”

      “But i can never be a willing party to the vivisection”

      “It is possible to turn Pakistan, which I have declared an evil ” - there’s your gem :)

      While I can respect Ghandi for his desire for peace between the two nations, his oppostion to partition and the creation of Pakistan will always damn him in my eyes.

      BTW, even some South Africans attack Ghandi’s racism now:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/southafrica/story/0,13262,1065018,00.html

      Some choice quotes:

      “Many of the native prisoners are only one degree removed from the animal and often created rows and fought among themselves.”

      “raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness”.

      “GB Singh, the author of a critical book about Gandhi, had sifted through photos of Gandhi in South Africa and found not one black person in his vicinity.”

      It’s really sad that you make a big issue over Churchill’s racism and yet refuse to consider the issue in relation to Ghandi.

      Jay, keep it up :) You may end up joining Vikrant as one of my VIP fan club members ;)

      Vikrant, just for you - my favourite Winston Churchill quote :

      “India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the Equator.”

    49. scratch — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:25 pm  

      Lest we forget…

      Fat boy sent gunboats up the Mersey and personally took charge of destroying the general strike, the wee charmer.

      Personally I’d have voted for Shaun Ryder in the greatest Briton poll, if I could have been arsed.

    50. Siddharth — on 4th January, 2006 at 10:35 pm  

      And? It sounds like the late great man had Islam down to a tee.

      You mean the late, great alcoholic, misogynistic, venally racist, manic depressive and fascist man? Halitosis is the least of his crimes.

    51. Jay Singh — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:29 pm  

      raz

      Get some pills for the delusion and depression dude ;-)

    52. raz — on 4th January, 2006 at 11:41 pm  

      Depression? I’m as happy as they come :)

    53. jamal — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:05 am  

      In his book “from The River War”, he also considered the spread of Islam as “the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries” and that we have “slovenly systems of agriculture”.. a quote the BNP like to use. apparantly he edited it out of later editions, probably after realising that us muslims do not consider themselves to be “Mohammedan”, and that agriculture originated in the middle east region.

      Based on what youve said above (apart from the hitler bits) i think i just consider him as a racist. This is not actually surprising as hye was a leader of a country at a time when racism, prejudice and feelings of superiority were riding high in England. It wasnt that much of a way off from the imperialistic golden age which basically means racism, slaughter, pilliging and genocide.

      Anyway, history is history, forget all the heros and has beens;

      “As Gandhi said, ‘we must be the change we want to see in the world.”

    54. Arif — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:19 am  

      Maybe the poll tells us more about what people feel they want to emulate. What it is they feel their world is missing.

      Chuchill as a choice suggests people looking for strong leadership to fight evil. Churchill was many other things (and I have no great respect for him, unlike Gandhi) but what he represents for the people who do like him is probably not his racism, imperialism or class prejudices. They propbably like his charisma and what they believe to be his noble motives in a particular conflict which required heavy decisions.

      This is still a bit frightening, as I assume he is most respected for being a wartime leader, not for humanistic impulses. Trying to improve the world by fighting world wars is not my favourite strategy.

    55. scratch — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:23 am  

      Agreed Arif.

      You wouldn’t catch Shaun Ryder starting world wars.

    56. Arif — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:46 am  

      Bikhair#2, I don’t know what my strategy would be in ’39. I’m not arguing that Churchill was wrong then (if you read what I wrote, I was saying his wartime role seems to show his most admirable qualities).

      I just know that my strategy in ’06 is very different. I am not attracted to strong leaders calling for global wars to defeat evil. There are lots of them on different sides of similar conflicts. If our leaders keep leading us up paths where they make war seem necessary then I might eventually get swept along. But my current strategy is to try to forge different paths.

    57. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:48 am  

      Bikhair #2 - unless you pick a different name, I will continue to delete all your posts, as will the other admins.

    58. Arif — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:50 am  

      My last post now makes no sense as Bikhair#2′s comment has disappeared. Was there something wrong with his comment? Does the moderator believe he misunderstands on purpose?

    59. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:56 am  

      It does make sense as you repeated the question :)
      The problem with Bikhair #2 is that he is imitating someone else and it becomes confusing…

    60. Sunny — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:54 am  

      In India we still continue to overlook the stupidity of Indira Gandhi, forget the Mahatma!

    61. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 12:36 pm  

      Raz - just to respond to you. I did not actually know about the comments Gandhi is alleged to have made about black people. I’m not unwilling to face that he made racist comments, as I think I’ve made it clear I’ve already got mixed views about the man. Although it’s interesting to see that in the article you linked to, the people vocal in the defence of Gandhi are African, including a certain Mr Mandela.

      When I said Gandhi was a friend of Pakistan, I wasn’t clear. Obviously once Pakistan was created he wasn’t pleased, as we all know he was very much against it. But he was a great supporter of the Muslims who vehemently disliked Hindus - like Jinnah. Hence I can also see how Churchill would be a popular figure in Pakistan as he was one of the key people instrumental in forming the country. His outrageous lies about the number of Muslims in the army sealed India’s fate.

      How the world would have turned out had Pakistan not been created…well that’s a whole different story!

    62. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

      “India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the Equator”
      Is this true?

    63. Siddharth — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      No

    64. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 1:46 pm  

      please elaborate Sid

    65. raz — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

      Sunny, and then there’s ranjiv ghandi as well! Mind you, be thankful that at least Indians don’t have any Bhuttos to contend with :)

      Rohin, simple question - do you believe the partition of India was a good thing?

    66. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

      No I don’t, 3 wars, billions upon billions in defence spending and millions of lives lost mean partition was not a good thing.

      But that’s a separate question from do I think NOT partitioning would have been better. Probably not. I can’t say.

    67. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

      Raz, Rohin.. was unification by the British a good thing (*I’ll get me coat*)

    68. raz — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:41 pm  

      “No I don’t”

      :(

    69. raz — on 5th January, 2006 at 3:41 pm  

      Nice stirring of the pot there, El Cid :)

    70. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

      Raz don’t take it as an offensive comment - I don’t say this as an Indian, just a neutral observer. One country becoming 3 and a whole bunch of wars and bloodshed afterwards. Does that sound like a good thing?

      I don’t really go in for retrospective speculation (although those What If? books did very well. I think it’s all a bit silly), so what’s happened has happened. It’s not because I don’t think Pakistan should have existed or anything. Anyway, I followed up what I said by saying that not splitting India up would have probably been worse.

      El Cid, do I think the unification by the British was a good thing? Yeah sure I do.

    71. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      Don’t you think that a country that huge, and a young democracy to boot, might not have been better served by being split into even smaller more governable chunks built around ethnicity rather than religion?
      It’s an honest question. I have no agenda.

    72. olebrowneyes — on 5th January, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

      Winston Churchill was a hero and a man I very much admire. Sure he had shitty lil’ traits, who doesn’t. He was a very arrogant, stubborn, ego-maniac but his very being allowed us to live in the free(ish) world we live in today. Yeah he was a racist per se but still very much a product of his generation. Thus he was very proud of his nationailty and the some what misplaced faith in the might of the British Empire.
      I like Franks Sinatra and his music, but ole blue eyes wasn’t exactly a philanthropist, far from it.
      Human beings are flawed!
      Now Gandhi is a icon. He had an extremely peaceful soul and his legacy has more to do with just India. martin Luther King drew a lot of his thinking and actions from Gandhi.

      And no, I am not a coconut.

    73. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 4:39 pm  

      What’s Frankie got to do with it?!

      Yeah sure, bottom line as we’ve all said above - Churchill had his bad points, but we’re all thankful he was there to do his job the way he did - and we’re also thankful there were other ministers around to curtail his other aspirations. I just thought I’d share what I found out.

      El Cid - perhaps. But it’s all about the long game. India is an economic elephant. Malaysia etc are tigers. India has lumbered even slower than it should have through years of idiotic economic theory from congress. But today it’s on the up. Pakistan is far smaller but hasn’t fared that differently.

      India’s size has hampered it for many years and will continue to do so. But eventually it will be an immensely powerful nation. I’m not saying it is now, but there are few countries with the sheer size.

    74. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

      El Cid we (Indians) may vary in our ethnicity and culture to agreat extent but all these cultures share common “ancestry”. India is like Europe in many aspects. Marathis are to Bengalis what French are to Spanish.

      India was never built upon basis of religion, it is home to 3rd largest Muslim population in the world! (India has as many Muslims if not more than Pakistan).

      Rohin, i do believe partition was a necessary evil. Keeping India united would have lead to the ultimate balkanisation!

      Raz 1 q, do you know why Gandhi died?

    75. coruja — on 5th January, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

      “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”

      I think people are products of their society, calling Churchill racist is hardly insightful. Most of British society could be accussed of it in that time.

      It looks like he had a rather complicated realtionship, much like Kipling, with India and in fact with anyone involved with India at the time of Empire. It is a deep internal conflict with a person’s rationality, cultural prejudices and denial.

      Interesting article here:http://www.hindu.com/mag/2005/06/05/stories/2005060500170300.htm

      Further, one of the most famous campaigners against slavery William Wilberforce had said “‘The eradication of the Hindu faith is to me a more important ambition than the abolition of slavery.”

      Mixed blessings, eh!

    76. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 6:44 pm  

      I didn’t know that quote from Wilberforce coruja, interesting! I’ve heard a lot of fire and brimstone about Hinduism in the past. Christianity had more of an evangelical missionary streak in the past and Hinduism was poorly understood, so I can see how Christian assumed Hindus to be snake-worshipping cult-following polytheists.

      As Hindus learnt English etc and as education of other civilisations grew, a lot of the misunderstandings about Hinduism were put to bed - but many persist to this day.

      Yes Vikrant, I agree - which is why I said Partition not happening would have been worse. By creating Pakistan, India was able to lose a great number of militantly anti-Hindu, anti-secular people. Had it not happened that way, we would have seen new countries pop up in pockets across the sub-continent.

      It’s a mind-blowing chapter in history. The sheer mass of people moving is incredible.

    77. raz — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:17 pm  

      I think the fact that ‘India’ splintered into 3 countries, a disputed terriotry of Kashmir and hundreds of separatist movements is evidence that Churchill was spot on in his views.

    78. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:21 pm  

      Erm, Raz if you really believe that you’ve not grasped the situation. And who are these ‘hundreds’ of separatist movements you like to frequently mention. I’ve listed a few in another thread, but I get stuck after about half a dozen.

    79. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

      hundreds of separatist movements… ROFL!!!
      you fail to mention that almost 95% “separatist” movements exist in ISI books.

      People living in glass houses shouldnt throw stones at others.

      Pakistan is no more a country than Indo-China. An abomination of Punjab,Sindh,Balochistan,Afghan areas and parts of Kashmir cobbled together. With Punjabis dominating Pakistani society Sindh,Balochis and NWFP have active separatist movements.

      For all your rants about self-determination for Kashmiris, what the fuck does Pakistan do in Nothern Areas and “Azad” Kashmir? These areas have no democratic infrastructure. One thing struck me during recent earthquake was how tmost of the survivors interviewed were speaking in Punjabi! “Azad” Kashmir and NA have been flooded with Punjabi migrants.

    80. raz — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

      Sorry, I should have said ‘groups’. And I’m not just talking about India either :)

      What don’t I grasp? Churchill made that comment in 1931, and a cursory look at modern day South Asia bears out his views. Not only have 3 countries appeared instead of one, not only is an entire state caught between two countries, but both Pakistan and India (and maybe Bangladesh as well) have plenty of internal uprisings and discontent, not to mention being wracked with sectarian/religous violence. Hardly one happy family, wouldn’t you say?

    81. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:37 pm  

      Sorry, I thought you were referring to his other comments - I didn’t realise you meant the one about India being a coherent country. Yes I have to admit, that has some credence BUT I think time has shown a lot of these groups (speaking for India) can be satisfied without balkanisation - e.g. Khalistanis. Go back 20 years and they were determined to have a state, now the movement barely registers.

    82. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:42 pm  

      Rohin… methinks Southall is a better place for Khalistan than Punjab. The movement obviously exists only in UK!

    83. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 7:51 pm  

      I think its heartland is Brum and some places in Canada. I’ve often criticised NRI communities for exactly this reason - they stay in the mindset as when they left ‘the motherland’ and India/anywhere else moves on in the meantime. Look at how backward so many British Asian communities are. From serious things like Khalistan to daft beliefs.

      Without loonies from all the major religions raising money in the UK, US and Canada, the fundas in India would be stripped of much of their income.

    84. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

      I’ve never been to gurudwaras in Brumland but I’ve seen some Khalistani stuff at the one in Southall (Sri Guru Singh Sabha is it?).

      the fundas in India would be stripped of much of their income

      very true. Jihad in Kashmir and Hindutvadis are mainly funded by diaspora. Didnt parliament istitute an inquiry into “Saffron Pound Affair” a few years back?

    85. El Cid — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

      Vik, Rohin, Raz
      Thanks for your comments.

      Vik, when I referred to religion I was really thinking of Pakistan and Bangladesh, which were part of British India, not India India.
      But your comparison with Europe was instructive. After all, France, Spain et al are separate countries within a continent, which developed separately and only recently have started to bond. Even then, we’re not talking about homogenous nation-states (just ask the Bretons, Basques, Welsh, Catalans, etc). We share a common heritage as Europeans but we also have separate ones (and diff languages). Only the most ardent Brussels bureaucrats see themselves as European first.
      As for the economics. Sure, the slow burn of Indian economic devlopment has picked up pace and the country has nuclear weapons. India is a rousing giant. But I can’t help thinking that your average Indian would be richer now if India had had a much stronger federalist arrangement or evolved along regional/ethnic lines.
      As the tyre advert goes, power is nothing without control.

    86. Vikrant — on 5th January, 2006 at 8:45 pm  

      As the tyre advert goes, power is nothing without control.

      With India.. you never know.

    87. Old Pickler — on 5th January, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

      Of course, if it hadn’t been for Churchill, racist though he was, being a man of his time, there wouldn’t be any British Asians. Do you really think that a Britain occupied by the Nazis would have allowed immigration by “non Aryans”?

      Churchill served his purpose. The alternative is too awful to contemplate. Churchill helped to keep Britain free; then it was free to change, and that includes changing attitudes to race, gender and sexuality that Churchill himself would not have agreed with, but ones that most people posting here would see as beneficial.

    88. Rohin — on 5th January, 2006 at 9:29 pm  

      Yeah Old Pickler - we agree with all that, as we said above.

      But I do object to “Oh he was a racist, as a man of his time”. No, there were plenty of less racist people and plenty of non-racist people. A man of his time wasn’t by default racist. Racism was more common then and less frowned upon, but just because someone said something racist 70 odd years ago, it doesn’t get automatically excused. Abraham Lincoln had more progressive views 50 years prior - how often do we say that about yanks?

      Anyway, no one’s doubting his importance in avoiding the far worse alternative of a Nazi Britain.

    89. Siddhartha — on 5th January, 2006 at 10:04 pm  

      Do you really think that a Britain occupied by the Nazis would have allowed immigration by “non Aryans”?

      How far do you want to go with that kind of relativist claptrap? How about: Do you think that Britain could have been a superpower worthy of taking on the Nazis without having Africa, India and other imperial colonies to drain resources from?

    90. Old Pickler — on 6th January, 2006 at 10:13 am  

      Britain did a lot of good in these places. Africa, particularly has gone down the toilet since we left.

      What I said about there being no British Asians if it hadn’t been for Churchill applies (presumably) to you, too. You should be grateful and stop whining.

    91. Siddharth — on 6th January, 2006 at 10:38 am  

      You should be grateful and stop whining.

      And you should stop twitching your net curtains and lay off the tinned cat food.

      If, in fact, there were ever an audit on how much the Industrial Revolution, the building of Victorian Britian etc relied on the financial input of Indian and African resources, I suspect it would be quite revealing.

    92. Vikrant — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:13 am  

      OP how easily you forget that 100000 brownies (including my kinsmen, The Rajputs) died for the Empire in WW2. Interestingly when Brits quit India, they left behind $5 billion war time debt! 200 years of British Raj wrecked havoc on India, especially rural India. Probably greater than the Islamic invasions!

    93. Vikrant — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:17 am  

      as for Aryans…. if anybody can lay claim to Aryan descent then it is us the Indo-Iranians. Hitlers “Aryan Race” is actually based on Mullers pyschofansy as he obviously wanted to apporpriate the credits for Sankrit, Vedas and Yigas to the mythical Germanic race.

    94. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      And you should stop twitching your net curtains and lay off the tinned cat food.
      that’s hilarious!

    95. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:51 am  

      OP, comment #90 was fair but then you spoil it with #93.
      I must say, this medium is rather conducive to polemics. It’s a shame that seeking consensus should be so boring.

    96. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:53 am  

      I repeat a request I made earlier, if anyone has relatives who fought in the British Indian Army in Burma, I’d love to speak to them. (*cue tumbleweed*)

    97. Old Pickler — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:18 pm  

      Worse than Islamic rule? 70 million Hindus slaughtered? Plus Islamic rule did no good at all, whereas British rule did.

      Countries that function best in the world are the ones most influenced by the British. And it is simply a fact - no Churchill, no British Asians. Be grateful, as I said and stop bleating about colonialism.

    98. Rohin — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

      OP, as El Cid said, you spoilt a reasonably valid point (and Sid’s comeback was also reasonable) by becoming a typical tub-thumping old skooler by saying we’re bleating about colonialism. That’s not just daft, it’s quite offensive.

      You said no Churchill, no British Asians - fine.
      Sid said - no Indian and African money, no Indian and African soldiers - no Great Britain. He didn’t say that colonialism was a bad thing. He just said acknowledge how valuable it was to Britain.

      This defensive attitude you display, immediately assuming that we’re moaning about the Raj, is a bit silly. Especially as it’s the kind of thing you accuse others of. A knee-jerk reaction.

    99. Vikrant — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

      @El Cid,

      one of my acquaintances fought with the His Majesty’s Maratha Light Infantry of the British Indian Army in Italy and North Africa.

    100. Vikrant — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:34 pm  

      70 million Hindus slaughtered?

      Hah! Where’dya get that figure? Some whacko Hindutva site no doubt.

    101. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:42 pm  

      And it is simply a fact - no Churchill, no British Asians

      OP,
      You’re employing sheer rhetoric for it is quite clearly not a fact but a hypothesis, albeit a good one. It is not something that is known to have happened and it is not a truth that can be proved.
      How about: “it is very likely that without Churchill, there would have been no British Asians.”
      Or how about: “If there’d been no British India there would have been no British Asians.”
      You can’t deny also that an exceedingly large Commonweath force fought for Britain in WW2. So we can all claim Churchill’s win for ourselves, should we want to.

    102. Old Pickler — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:46 pm  

      I’m not denying it. No, you can’t claim all Churchill’s win for yourselves - that would be silly - just some of it.

      It is more than very likely that without Churchill’s win there would be no British Asians. It is about as certain as anything can be, unless you don’t know what the Nazis thought about race.

    103. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:48 pm  

      Thanks Vikrant, but I really need the Burma connection.
      I would like to explore any mixed feelings that soldiers might have had re INLA as well with white officers.

    104. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:50 pm  

      and yet 1) who knows what might have happened in the intervening years and 2) old Adolfo was rather fond of Aryans and Hindu symbols, wasn’t he not?

    105. Rohin — on 6th January, 2006 at 12:51 pm  

      Good point El Cid - no British India, unlikely there would be many British Asians today.

      Anyway, as I’ve said before, all this what if history is bullshit. But I’m glad I have my first centurion post.

    106. Siddharth — on 6th January, 2006 at 1:40 pm  

      Rohin - you comment whore.

    107. Rohin — on 6th January, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

      I’ve been called many whores in my day, but never a comment one.

      110.

    108. coruja — on 6th January, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

      Old Pickler,

      I am not sure who in according to your view should be grateful or ungrateful for Churchill: the British Asians, grateful for being allowed in; the native population ungrateful for allowing these darkies in?

      I do think you need to examine the history of Asian & Caribbean immigration in to this country. Do not think it was directly due to Churchill’s policies. Cotton mills “up North”, London Transport and the NHS? Yes, Winston? No.

      The Empire had passed its zenith long before Churchill. We all have our heroes, Churchill was truly a hero for the British people at a time of their need, likewise Ghandi was/is a hero for a lot of people in the sub-continent and beyond in their time of need.

      It is also worth considering the whole ‘Aryan’ (a Sanskrit word) concept was invented in the 19th century to explain and rationalise how a sub-human race could have had a sophisticated civilisation in the Indus valley and to fit in to the concept that the world was no more than 4,000 or years old. You know, Max Muller et al.

      In the late 19th & early 20th century there was a huge interest in Indian culture/language, especially in Germany (hence Aryan, Swastika), precisely because of the discovery of a language older than any known Semitic languages. In fact the whole field of linguistics was the result. Besides, I do not think there has been any archaeological evidence of an Aryan invasion.

      Anyway, please elaborate exactly what were the benefits of colonialism to the colonised. It is very fashionable at the moment to hold your view (basically boils down to blacks can’t rule themselves), but it is an old one regurgitated time and again and conveniently avoids a full examination of the effects to everyone concerned. It is of course obvious what the benefits were to those European countries that did have colonies. It is interesting to note that how many of the worlds poorest countries were part of the last wave of European colonisation, which includes England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy.

      In Britain it was government policy not to invest in and develop the economy of their colonies, perfectly articulated by James Mill. (Interestingly, it seems the contributions James Mill, James Stuart Mill and Bentham made to the intellectual justification of Colonisation seems to be ignored where their liberal philosophies are discussed.) In the light of this it doesn’t seem so unusual that an industrial revolution was not engendered within in India at the time when it was under British control & Britain was undergoing the same. What happened was 200 odd years of under-development.

      It is a not a matter of apportioning blame and making excuses, but what I do find is that there is a severe disinterest in how the world was shaped and how we have arrived at the situation we are in. It is also surprising to hear the lamentations of many Asian ‘Libertarians’ about India’s cumbersome entry in to the market system, comparisons with China &etc without any reflection given at all to the circumstances of European development, the beneficial effects of having colonies and the side effects of active under-development. Pankaj Mishra sums up the situation very well for these countries “They knew that there remained no unknown lands and peoples for them to conquer, control and exploit. They could only cut down their own forests, pollute their own rivers and lakes, and seek to control and thereby oppress their own people, their women and minorities”.

      All this navel gazing about British identity, multiculturalism &etc could very well start by an honest, humane and unbiased examination of consequences of the country’s past. I really don’t think any of this debate will get very far unless we do this and it is something Britain has so far refused to engage in.

    109. coruja — on 6th January, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

      Thinking about it what exactly is your point OP?

      There have been British Asians long before Churchill - would you consider those Indians in India educated by the British to run Indian Civil/Administrative Services – Macaulay’s ‘Minute Men’ - British Asian?

      Or would you consider the first Asian person to become an elected member of parliament British Asian? Dadabhai Noaroji (1892, Finsbury Park).

      I realised what a pointless argument you’ve made and my stupidity for replying to it above.

    110. Siddharth — on 6th January, 2006 at 4:23 pm  

      Notwithstanding the OP’s venal stupidity, your comment Coruja (111) was a fine post in its own right. Well done.

    111. Jai (message for El Cid) — on 6th January, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

      El Cid,

      Regarding your request for information about Indian veterans from the Burma conflict, I think I might be able to point you in the right direction (or at least towards large numbers of other people who will definitely be able to help you).

      Huge numbers of Sikhs fought in WW2 in Burma. There’s a very good discussion forum on the Sikhnet website (www.Sikhnet.com). They’ve actually discussed this topic in detail a number of times before. You’ll have to register as a member before you can participate on the forum (it’s free and takes 30 seconds — just a matter of selecting a username & a password etc), but you can then open a new discussion topic and request the information you need.

      Considering that tens of thousands of Sikhs worldwide access that website, and the forum participants are usually a pretty helpful bunch, I’m sure they should be able to assist you.

    112. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

      Dadabhai Noaroji (1892, Finsbury Park).
      Well I never! That’s my manor!

      Very interesting post Coruja. I have but two provisos to offer.
      1) There’s an institutionalised disinterest in British history full stop. And for that you have to blame the liberal left and the damage they inflicted on the state education system, not the likes of Old Pickler.
      2) On the question of India’s “cumbersome” entry into the global economy. You make some valid points. Imperialism and the birth of capitalism did go hand in hand. But they’ve been plenty of empires before and they never had the same economic success. So you have to give the Europeans, in particular the British, credit for their economic genius. Remember also that the working class British (Dickens, Engels, Rowntree, etc come to mind) suffered greatly in the 19th century in turning Britain into the economic power it became and leading the world out of its feudalistic and malthusian trappings (yes, I know much of the world is still playing catch up).
      But as I said earlier, you make some very valid points.
      It’s about balance. So I would hope that any future British-orientated history curriculum doesn’t simply slate the Empire for its wrongs.
      The Victorians are the modern-day equivalents of the Romans.

    113. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 5:47 pm  

      did I say “modern-day”? I meant modern history’s

    114. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 5:48 pm  

      Jai, thanks very much! I shall register straight away.

    115. Don — on 6th January, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

      El Cid,

      ‘There’s an institutionalised disinterest in British history full stop. And for that you have to blame the liberal left and the damage they inflicted on the state education system,’

      What? Probably too OT to discuss it here, but that doesn’t square with my experience.

    116. El Cid — on 6th January, 2006 at 6:18 pm  

      Don, maybe there is hope after all
      I didn’t say British history was completely ignored. But all I remember from school is ancient egypt, the Romans, the Tudors, slavery trade, social history under the Victorians and during WW2. And then at A-Level the imperialist Scramble for Africa and East Asia, how WW1 began, plus the inevitable Stalin and Hitler.
      (Actually, this is beginning to sound like a “what did the Romans do for us” sketch. *giggles to himself* Maybe there was more UK history at school than I originally recalled).
      But where was the English Civil War and the Enlightenment? Where was the Napoleonic Wars and the rise of British Naval and economic prowess? Where was the rise and fall of Empire?
      These were crucial in shaping the modern world, let alone our country. Anyway, we’ll save that discussion for another time.

    117. Jai — on 6th January, 2006 at 7:15 pm  

      El Cid,

      No problem, I hope you find it useful. I believe they do have an FAQ section too, but if you run into any major difficulties about how to use their discussion forum, post a message on this thread here on PP and I’ll try to help you out.

      (Although bear in mind that there may be a delay in getting a reply from me, as it’s now the weekend ;) )

      Best of luck with Sikhnet anyway.

    118. Sunny — on 6th January, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

      Good point Coruja. I doubt OP will be able to come back to that, the girl is only good at one-liners ;)

      El Cid - I did GCSE and A Level history, with the Tudors and 20th Century Europe, and yeah you are right that there is a lot more to teach (specially around the industrial revolution) but not everything can be crammed into the limited time students have to learn history. Otherwise it turns into one of those “brief outline of world history” things…

    119. Old Pickler — on 6th January, 2006 at 10:01 pm  

      am not sure who in according to your view should be grateful or ungrateful for Churchill: the British Asians, grateful for being allowed in; the native population ungrateful for allowing these darkies in?

      We should all be grateful to Churchill for defeating an enemy that would not have allowed any immigration of non-white peoples, and would have put to death any that lived in Britain had we been conquered.

      I do think you need to examine the history of Asian & Caribbean immigration in to this country. Do not think it was directly due to Churchill’s policies. Cotton mills “up North”, London Transport and the NHS?

      Not directly due to Churchill’s policies, but indirectly because he preserved us from the Nazis. Yes, cotton mills etc, but it must have been a lot worse in India or Pakistan, otherwise immigrants would not have come. My own grandmother worked in a cotton mill. I don’t. People can better themselves, black, white or Asian..

    120. Old Pickler — on 6th January, 2006 at 10:03 pm  

      Come to think about it, Churchill, being a man of his time was probably very sexist. You don’t catch me whining and bleating about that.

    121. Kush Tandon — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:16 pm  

      Raz,

      You truely know nothing. Sure, Gandhi opposed Partition (making of Pakistan) and he deeply cared for “undivided” India. He did put forth the idea that Jinnah be the first PM of independent India.

      Please go and read ANC (African National Congress) website and academic papers by black scholars on Gandhi there, some by Nelson Mandela himself. Taking comments by 20something guy in 1800s or early 1900s out of context - putting them on the sensitivities of today is damn stupid. His comments were the product of his time.

      Remember, the journey he took, a man who called African “Kaffir” become the source of their inspiration for like of Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King later. Black leaders from America made journey to India to visit him. One of his son was involved in one of the first “comprehensive” disobedience in SA. That is a hell of long journey.

      Please read real acedemic stuff rather than internet garbage only………..Ignorance is sin.

      Google = African National Congress + Gandhi

    122. Sajn — on 6th January, 2006 at 11:52 pm  

      124 posts and not one mention of the greatist Briton of them all, the one and only Ronnie Barker.

    123. Old Pickler — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:29 am  

      greatist Briton of them all, the one and only Ronnie Barker

      You’ve got a point there. He was the greatest. Porridge is years old, yet it never dates. And The Two Ronnies? Ageless. Timeless.

    124. Cruiser — on 7th January, 2006 at 4:07 am  

      There are three characters on this thread - Siddharth, Sunny and Coruja - who are bizarrely hostile to Churchill. Was he a paragon of virtue in every respect? No. But if you read Roy Jenkins’ biography (quoted as a source by Siddharth) there is the real sense of a fundamentally decent and large-hearted human being.

      Any great figure has flaws, somethimes considerable ones. But to damn Churchill for his shortcomings is like damning Gandhi for his early racism towards blacks or damning Martin Luther King for his adultery - correct in the narrow sense but SO missing the point of a great life.

      It’s been said elsewhere on this thread but merits restating. World War Two - an event that took place within living memory of many people today - was a rare moment in world history where the future of humanity itself was at stake.

      What would have happened to black and brown people if the Nazis had triumphed? Think about it. These maniacs were driven by an unquenchable hatred for ‘lesser races’. Their end game was crystal clear - genocide.

      Sitting here in comfortable 21st century London it all seems about as real as Lord of the Rings but that shit really happened - millions of people were systematically murdered on the basis of their race.

      Anyone - ANYONE - who has studies WW2 knows that it was a damn close run thing. In short, Hitler nearly won. And, insofar as it’s possible to identify one single human being who stopped him, Churchill was his nemesis. Through a clear-sighted ability to understand the evil nature of the nazi agenda (way before 1937, Siddharth), a ruthless determination to fight to the bitter end and a unique ability to inspire his fellow countrymen, Churchill kept the war going when every other country (and even a few leading figures in the UK) has given up in despair. Without him, Hitler would have had the whole of the West in his pocket before he attacked Russia - and would, for that reason, have smashed the Soviet Union (even fighting a war on two fronts he came within an inch of doing so) and the Americans would never have entered the war, at least not in time.

      Sorry to sound like some old bloke in the pub but sometimes a cliche really does sum up the truth - this was Britain’s finest hour and without it I doubt we’d even be here, and we certainly wouldn’t be free to defame Churchill on a website.

      So good on you, big man. We owe you an awful lot - even if some people are too ignorant to see it.

    125. Kush Tandon — on 7th January, 2006 at 5:57 am  

      Gandhi and the Africans

      It has became fashionable to pick some of the Gandhi statements and run them through the mud.

      Therefore a while ago, I went to Michigan State University online library (http://www.lib.msu.edu/limb/a-z/az_bg5.html) and African National Congress Website (http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/people/gandhi/). They have 10 articles by African National Congress (ANC) on Gandhi, including two by Nelson Mandela and other reputed people. They all speak very highly of Gandhi and James Hunt from Shaw University talks of his son, Manilal’s lead role in 1952 Great Defiance Campaign in South Africa. Nelson Mandela wrote a very moving article for Time millenium special issue. Do you think there is something “goofy” internet sites know that ANC and African scholars don’t. Are they on Indian government pay roll?

      This is as academic rigorous I (or anyone) can be in using less than an hour on the internet. All I did was I visited an online site for a North American University. I would trust the integrity of ANC and Nelson Mandela over shady literature on any given day. I am pleading and coaxing the readers and writers of Pickled Plotics to read these articles from Michigan State University online library and African National Congress and make up their own mind and clear themselves of any propaganda, the readers of Pickled Politics by Raz went through. Everything is presented to you loud and clear.

      For his influence on African Americans, please read http://www.emory.edu/ACAD_EXCHANGE/2001/decjan/bilimoria.html

      If Gandhi or for that matter any figure is to be criticized or evaluated, then it should be done with full academic integrity and rigor not with slander. I also believe historical figures including Gandhi need to be evaluated from time to time but with care.

    126. coruja — on 7th January, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

      Cruiser & OP,

      No where in my previous posts have I indicated any hostility towards Churchill, in fact I had mentioned he was a hero and seems to have a very complicated relationship – as did most others who administered the Empire – with India. Unfortunately, the topic got side-tracked in to a discussion of colonialism.

      But it is inevitable that any non-Eurocentric discussion of modern history will give rise to misunderstanding and hostility because there is always the belief that someone is out to trash another’s heroes and the values they hold dear.

      Of course Hitler was a fanatical racist and had “unquenchable hatred for lesser races”, but this really wasn’t the preserve of one lunatic Austrian.
      How would you describe the position of a subjugated people, who are not free and are exploited and are treated as sub-human? What is the relationship between the colonist and the colonised, are not the colonised considered a lesser race?
      If you look at British policy (post-East India Company) toward its colony, its whole philosophical basis is found upon the idea of lesser races and improving their lot.
      As for the threat of Hitler killing the Indians, I think the list of famines caused by basically racist colonial policy had cost between 12 – 27 million Indian lives. Of course, Churchill was not involved in any of this, I am making the point that murder of the subjugated race carried on quite well before Hitler.
      However, even during the war, the famine and the abuse continued: http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2005/09/angloamerican_w.html

      I don’t think any real assessment of how England made India and India made England is really possible with the mindset most people currently have. There is a tendency for people to avoid unpalatable truths and concentrate on the aspects that make their favoured nation appear ‘benevolent’ – this doesn’t seem to help in the long run.

      People in past times may have been trapped by the attitudes and circumstances of that time but it does not mean we have to be; a balanced view of things is always uncomfortable because we have to consider differing point of view. For instance, whenever the Independence struggle is discussed here Subhas Chandra Bose (yes, at one time India did fight for and against Britain) is rarely mentioned – something else to look in to when trying to validate the claim of a massacre of Indians by a victorious Hitler. Nor is the possibility that it was not the Independence movement itself but much larger economic forces that led to Britain to quit India. Gandhi might have been the leader for the people/movement but it is possible that the loss of bureaucratic control in India since mid-1930s and the ruinous impact of the war itself on Britain did more for Indian independence (Liberty or Death, Patrick French)

      You may be firmly of the opinion that Churchill saved the entire population of India from being massacred by Hitler, but I do not think so.

      I get the feeling behind all this talk is idea that British Asians should consider themselves lucky to be allowed in to the country and they should not ‘whinge’, criticise or engage in any discussion and evaluation of the accepted truths of how and why they arrived here in the first place and of the part they played in the shaping of world affairs. British Asians have as much claim on this as any Englishman born and raised here and it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, this puncturing of cosy assumptions.

    127. Rohin — on 7th January, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      Coruja, I think you’ll find I’ve mentioned Netaji on several occasions on PP. I didn’t think it pertinent to mention him on this thread though.

      Hello Kush, nice of you to drop in!

    128. Siddhartha — on 7th January, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      I get the feeling behind all this talk is idea that British Asians should consider themselves lucky to be allowed in to the country and they should not ‘whinge’, criticise or engage in any discussion and evaluation of the accepted truths of how and why they arrived here in the first place and of the part they played in the shaping of world affairs. British Asians have as much claim on this as any Englishman born and raised here and it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, this puncturing of cosy assumptions.

      Excellent Coruja, spot on.
      I know we’re dealing with the ideas of OP here - who’s ideas are a Middle-England variant of Bikhair - a sort of middle-aged Bikhair without the burkha and the mid-western drawl, I still think there is an idea she floated here that needs to be addressed.

      British Asians have owe as much to Churchill for their existence as British immigrants as much as they should owe George Best, or anyone else you care to mention. My point being, there is no equivalence between Churchill and post-war subcontinental migration. In the same way that there is no relation between WC and the Welfare State and the NHS. In other words, sweet fanny adams.

    129. Sajn — on 7th January, 2006 at 7:06 pm  

      OP You forgot Open All Hours which never fails to make me laugh.

    130. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:28 pm  

      I don’t really see how anyone could have any arguments Coruja. Superb post.
      As for this Noaroji fellah. Why doesn’t someone on PP or the Asian community write to the London Boroughs of Haringey, Islington and Hackney and the Finsbury Park Partnership and suggest/insist that he be recognised in some way?
      The Finsbury Park area is currently being redeveloped (about time they gave the dump a facelift). Maybe a statue or a palque at the tube station or something to cheer the place up could be arranged (it’s either him or Sid Vicious, who came from the area).

    131. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

      As for Greatest Briton, I would like to nominate Thierry Henry. Yeah, yeah, he’s French, whatever.

      134: is this a record Rohin?

    132. Vikrant — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:31 pm  

      El Cid!

      Noaroji in his twilight years turned a sort of militant leader fro India’s freedom struggle. Dunno but methinks they’d have problems with some of the his “trecherous” statements.

    133. Vikrant — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:32 pm  

      134: is this a record Rohin?

      see the post on Burmland riots

    134. Vikrant — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:36 pm  

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naoroji_Dadabhai

    135. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 8:54 pm  

      Vik
      I don’t see his support for the Indian independence movement as a problem. I think you’ll find that even the most ardent of Tories have moved on by now!!
      However, one insurmountable problem that I have just discovered is that he was in fact MP for Finsbury not Finsbury Park!!! Doh!
      Finsbury is actually about 2-3 miles to the south of Finsbury Park in south Islington. It runs along the top of the City. Here’s a map.

    136. Vikrant — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

      So Finsbury Park tubestation aint in Finsbury?

    137. coruja — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

      By the way, my vote for the greatest Briton would go to Darwin, who hoped his ideas would liberate human beings from the tyranny of ‘purpose’ and allow them to live their lives freely. 150-odd years on and we’re still trying.

      I once read somewhere his was one of the most profound ideas to have ever occurred in a human mind, and you can’t better that!

    138. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

      No

    139. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:13 pm  

      Sorry, that last post of mine was meant for Vik.
      No, it isnt. Here’s another map.

    140. Rohin — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:25 pm  

      Darwin was second on my list. Newton took the cake for the overwhelming volume and importance of his work. Is the theory of gravity less profound than evolution? I don’t think so. And don’t forget the laws of motion! The mind boggles at his contribution. I’ll write something on my personal blog about it. Maybe. Actually, on that note, my latest post touches on evolution. It’s an edited version of another article I wrote about science, Darwin, FSM and evolution.

      Whether it was the greatest idea ever to have occurred in a human mind is subjective, I’d put Aristarchus’ realisation that we go around the Sun up there too. Neither were popular with religion, funny eh? In fact I’d put another famous God-botherer (and personal hero) Galileo on the same level for the law of falling bodies.

      Vik, your link was broke, here’s the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dadabhai_Naoroji

      Sure he was famous for being Britain’s first Asian MP, but his biggest claim to fame is founding the INA and later forming the INC.

      And yup, the Brum riots thread topped 700, and was then chopped down to non-racist size.

    141. coruja — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:36 pm  

      Hey, I did say regarding Darwin, his was ‘one of’.

      As for Naoroji, sorry it looks like he got elected for Central Finsbury …oh well, a not quite the tryst with destiny I had hoped for Finsbury Park. Also Jinnah served as his secretary for a year at the INC.

      There you go raz say something ridiculous…

    142. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:45 pm  

      Then there’s the guy/woman who invented agriculture, whoever he/she was

    143. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:49 pm  

      ..and lets not forget Eve for encouraging Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge!

    144. Rohin — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:50 pm  

      Oh Jinnah and him worked together quite a lot.

      Sorry coruja, missed the ‘one of’! Wouldn’t be cool if there were units for coolness (the modern word for profundity). One could categorically measure how profound a statement is and express it as a number.

    145. coruja — on 7th January, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

      El Cid,

      Don’t forget the man (it must have been a bloke, surely?) with the wheel, he may have been British.

      And of course the Mayan man/woman who came up with the idea of zero but didn’t tell anyone non-Mayan. As usual, it was up to the Indians to sort that one out much later.

    146. Rohin — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

      Actually Coruja, Pingala (500-300BC) pre-dates the Mayan use (estimated 40BC). There is speculation the Babylonians had a concept of zero earlier than the Indians, but nothing recorded.

    147. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:33 pm  

      A mention in dispatches for Gregor Johann Mendel and Adam Smith surely?
      And much as I hate to say it, the Italians merit a mention too for their contribution to our diets. Pasta and ice cream may have its origins in China and tomatoes orginally came from LatAm but credit where credit is due.

    148. coruja — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:48 pm  

      El Cid,

      If it wasn’t for things that grew in South America - tobacco, tomatoes, chilli, cocoa, potatoes, coffee and brazilian women and other stimulants - all of our lives would be a lot less fun.

    149. El Cid — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:57 pm  

      aint that the truth

    150. Rohin — on 7th January, 2006 at 10:59 pm  

      I may have updated this post with a picture I just found. Teehee!

    151. Siddharth — on 7th January, 2006 at 11:05 pm  

      class!
      :-D

    152. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 12:54 am  

      British Asians have owe as much to Churchill for their existence as British immigrants as much as they should owe George Best, or anyone else you care to mention.

      That is just cobblers. There would be no British Asians if it hadn’t been for Churchill. End of story. And British Asians would rather be here than in India, otherwise they, along with other Britons would be migrating in that direction not this.

      Stop whining. Churchill saved your arse. And mine.

    153. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 12:57 am  

      there is no equivalence between Churchill and post-war subcontinental migration. In the same way that there is no relation between WC and the Welfare State and the NHS. In other words, sweet fanny adams.

      What kind of NHS and welfare state do you think we would have had under the Nazis, then? One that “euthanized” the handicapped, and killed inferior races with their “special treatment”. So that we can live in the cushy society Britain is today, people faught and dies, yes Indians to. Be grateful. I am.

    154. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 12:59 am  

      That should be “died, Indians too”. Idiots are making me make typos.

      A politically correct leader would have been bugger all use against an enemy like the Nazis.

    155. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 10:29 am  

      Old Pickler,
      Are you familiar with Bose and the INA?
      These people were closely allied to the Nazis and Imperial Japanese. It might have been a marriage of convenience, but then again, who knows, I refer the lady to comment #107. So things could have turned out very differently!!!
      In any case, there’s more consensus here than participants care to admit.
      Coruja is spot on because he treats history with academic respect.
      As I said earlier OP, I voted for Churchill and would do so again, unless Newton was in contention.

    156. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 10:31 am  

      Great piccie.
      “Is it coz I is drunk?”
      Why aren’t people calling their baby boys Winston anymore? Great name.

    157. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

      Stop whining. Churchill saved your arse. And mine.

      Naaaah, not mine, but if you think he saved yours, knock yourself out. Light a candle at your own creepy spare-bedroom shrine. But don’t expect everyone to. Some people need to have patriarchial figureheads to look up to. But the fact that Churchill’s name rakes up a kind of “Wahhabism”, as demonstrated on this thread, doesn’t surprise me.

      The Churchill history industry is being revised and not a moment too soon. If people still want to vote him ‘The Greatest Briton of All Time’, thats their vote. I can name at least 20 and Mr C doesn’t get a look in. Here’s my top 5 in no particular order:
      Anuerin Bevan (now thats a man that Asian Britons should really thank),
      John Stuart Mill,
      Shakespeare,
      Morissey and
      William Blake.

    158. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 1:20 pm  

      Morissey???
      Get a life!

    159. Cruiser — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      “Anuerin Bevan” - ahah, all becomes clear. Siddharth is a socialist. Bevan was a fool.

      “puncturing of cosy assumptions” - Coruja, I think YOUR cosy assumption is that those who support Churchill are net curtain-twitching Little Englanders.

      Couldn’t be further from the truth in my case. I just recognise greatness when I see it. And I’m not blinkered by hostility to my adopted country.

    160. Rohin — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:09 pm  

      I don’t know much about Aneurin Bevan - but whether Asians have to thank him or whether he has to thank Asians (without whom there would be no NHS) is a matter open to debate.

      If I was choosing someone from the arts, it would have to be Shakespeare. Perhaps simply because I’ve read his plays and I’m not overly familiar with all of Blake’s work. But certainly not fucking Morissey!

    161. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      Morissey? Wot a twot.

    162. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:13 pm  

      I don’t know much about Aneurin Bevan - but whether Asians have to thank him or whether he has to thank Asians (without whom there would be no NHS) is a matter open to debate.

      And a rich debate it would be, self-referencing and productive. As opposed to the philosophical dead-end that is the ‘Asians have Churchill to be thankful to WC’ wank.

    163. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:17 pm  

      Morrissey - yeah thats my British popular from my own century culture candidate. Put in there for the sake of irony. Sorry if it got lost in translation.

    164. Rohin — on 8th January, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

      Perhaps I’ll try to write something on the NHS some time Sid, but I’d want to research it properly. Or do you fancy it? I quite enjoy learning about the first Indian docs who came over here. The lives they lived, to begin with at least, are so far removed from what assumes a doctor’s life is. They shared little houses or bedsits with other immigrants, they sent money back to their wives and children, they were given only the inner city and rural GP jobs - hardly the glamorous life it’s supposed to be.

    165. El Cid — on 8th January, 2006 at 7:33 pm  

      We didn’t really think that Morrissey was a serious candidate Sid ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Sorry. I’m okay now.
      How can you not even include Churchill in your top 20?? your top 20?? I salute your indefatigability.
      Good call on Bevan. He’s in my top 10. Definitely.

    166. Jai — on 8th January, 2006 at 7:41 pm  

      In addition to Shakespeare, Darwin, and Newton, I think that Queen Elizabeth I would probably be a good candidate for greatest Brit. I’m surprised nobody else here has mentioned her.

    167. Jai — on 8th January, 2006 at 7:43 pm  

      (As in “Queen Elizabeth the First”. Yes the one from that surprisingly gripping movie by a certain Mr Shekhar Kapur.)

    168. Rohin — on 8th January, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

      Did you see Shekhar Kapur has teamed up with Ricky Branson and Deepak Chopra? I sent a tip to SM, but they didn’t seem interested. It’s not in PP’s remit.

      Elizabeth is another good choice, but it’s natural that memories are short. Which is why I’m hopeful that in a hundred years or so, the greatest Briton poll (say in 2099) will have a different result. Who knows, perhaps someone we haven’t even heard of?

      El Cid: “I salute your indefatigability.”

      Hahaha! Fancy a cuban?

    169. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 9:10 pm  

      Nice discussion going on at Harry’s Place with OP trying to poison the Pickled Politics well.

      Here

      Trusty Siddharth defending the name of PP to the death!

    170. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 9:27 pm  

      Bog off. I was talking only about PP’s attitude to Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji - which is far from positive, and reflects a mental block about gender equality that you get if you only focus on issues of race.

    171. Rohin — on 8th January, 2006 at 9:52 pm  

      Well, you’ve now said on the HP thread that you were aiming your point at some of the commenters here as opposed to the posters, so I’m happy with that - but I would politely ask for you to be clearer next time. Politely, I said politely.

      However, do you really feel it’s a MAJORITY of commenters who are “toeing the Islamic line”? I can think of about 2 or 3.

    172. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

      OP, come of it - you’re comments speak for themselves. If you were not made to qualify your first post about Pickled Politics, it would have left at that.

    173. Old Pickler — on 8th January, 2006 at 10:09 pm  

      I also had in mind a thread about the burkha, which a lot of the blokes here seem to think is about diversity and freedom of choice, instead of being a walking prison. Like they’d wear one.

      Anyway, that’s a whole nother thread.

    174. Siddharth — on 8th January, 2006 at 10:20 pm  

      Yeah, well don’t go mixing up threads and making crashing generalisations all Asian men are sexist, will you now, Old P.

    175. Col. Mustafa — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:22 am  

      “I also had in mind a thread about the burkha, which a lot of the blokes here seem to think is about diversity and freedom of choice, instead of being a walking prison. Like they’d wear one.”

      Im wearing a Burkha right now, and to be honest it looks pretty good.

    176. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:32 am  

      I’m twitching the curtains. I’m a curtain twitcher. Twitch. Twitch. I can’t get over myself in spite of the explosion of racist and Islamophobic generalisations that are head-rushing me. I can barely contain myself.

      Wogs! oops!

      Aaaargh! I think I’m as snarky as Julie Burchill and as crass as Melanie Phillips and possibly as pretty as Pete Murphy. Hold that thought while I vent my bile over at Harry’s Place. They like me there. I like me there. Mostly I like me there.

    177. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 2:12 am  

      Hey, guys, sounds like you want to be women. You can have it on the NHS, you know, but you’ve got to live for two years as a metrosexual man. You’ve got to moisturise and that. Can you hack it?

    178. Col. Mustafa — on 9th January, 2006 at 2:35 am  

      Already do.

    179. douglas — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:47 am  

      This is really silly. Can’t all you guys and gals grow up and realise that an argument is just that, an arguement. I have issues with OP, if I look far enough back I probably have issues with Siddarth. So what? That is the nature of debate. lean to love it. And |FFS don’t assume your opponent is a moron or a person of no morality.

      Or, if you do, alternatively try MPAC where freedom of speech and thought is a crime and where they are currently trying to ‘dig the dirt’ on Sunny. You might have to register as a black shit to find out. What was freely available is now not.

      Come on guys, we need you out of the closet and breathing fresh air. Are you forr freedom of speech, thought and attitude or are you with the morons at MPAC? Tell me, I can walk away.

    180. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 9:25 am  

      Sid,

      OP isnt a BNP type. I’ve come across her at JW. Her name there is Intrested i believe.

      Bong-o-phobic Vikrant

    181. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 9:38 am  

      No, OP isn’t a BNP type. But she has made some generalisations that I’ve objected to. I welcome her presence here but the whole MP-Burchill idolisation has irrevocably damaged my opinion of her.

      IRREVOCABLY!

      Vikrant-o-phobic Bong.

    182. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 9:51 am  

      She’s such a Middle-England variant of Bikhair, its not funny. Even the most ardent Islamophobes (such a crass word - much better to use “wog-bashers” and be done with it) on Harry’s Place calls her brand of racism “brittle”. Quite the euphemism, isn’t it.

      I could spend time in mutually sympathetic discussion but she’s closed herself off to dialogue and is beyond rehabilitation.

      From her, expect more “Asian men are sexist” on PP and on HP, she’ll still be pumping her Islamophobic canard-box with the rest of the wog-bashers.

      Vikrant-o-phile Bong.

    183. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:23 am  

      I have issues with OP, if I look far enough back I probably have issues with Siddarth.

      Dude, I’m not afraid of having issues with anyone that cannot be dscussed without reaching for cheap racist one-liners.

      You might have to register as a black shit to find out.

      And how does one register as a “black shit”?

    184. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:30 am  

      Black shit

      (SFW) Geeky medical humour.

    185. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:46 am  

      Ironic, isn’t it, that I was praising Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the skies on that thread before Sid Sexist reluctantly and grudgingly put in a good word for her. I’m rather selective in my racism, you see. I like black/asian/white people that I like, and don’t like black/asian/white people that I don’t like.

      Weird.

      Julie Burchill is very funny and she’s dead right about Islam, particularly as it oppresses women. So yes, she’s a good egg.

      Vikrant - yes, my name is Interesed at JW, and you will be well aware of the lengths I’ve gone to to explain to dozy, ignorant Americans what a bunch of shits the BNP are.

    186. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:51 am  

      Actually you were poisoning the name of PP on that HP thread before I stepped in - irrespectibve of the fact that it was about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

      You then asked my opinions of her, thinking that you would stump me, but my thoughts on her are far more developed than yours - which are just muddled -headed praise of someone whom you presume to be Islamophobic - simply because you think her ideas square with your own festering prejudices.

      So cut the bullshit. You’ve been caught red-handed.

    187. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:57 am  

      Twaddle. I don’t “presume her to be Islamophobic”. I don’t recognise the word “Islamophobia”, in any case. AHA is someone who has suffered greatly because of Islam and is brave enough to speak out about it. Nothing phobic about that. And if there were no problems with Islam, she wouldn’t be getting death threats, now would she? Of course, if I were racist, I wouldn’t care if she got bumped off, because she’s black.

      Irshad Manji wrote a book “The Trouble with Islam”. Is she “Islamophobic” too? Or just brave and honest?

    188. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:58 am  

      You were calling the men on PP a bunch of sexist Asians. Thats very selective.

    189. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:04 am  

      Oh, and you, again very “selectively” (LOL), said that PP “don’t like” Ayaan Hirsi Ali because she does not tow the “Party line of Islam”. Would really like to know from the commentators/admin/contributors on PP what they think of that one.

    190. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:13 am  

      Yes OP, there are two objections here. The Islamophobic one I’ll let you two duke it out to your heart’s content. But Sid is right, if he hadn’t stepped in and got you to clarify your stance on PP, you would’ve quite happily have painted a false picture.

      I’m not being petty, but this is the most-read blog I write for and it’s only predictable I’m going to dislike inaccurate allegations about it, right?

      As for Julie Burchill, agreeing her on one topic surely doesn’t make her a good egg. She’s a moronic chav-apologist. Ah I like how I drew a political analogy there, how droll. I actually watched some of that Sugar Rush, sweet fancy Moses. Pol Pot had great taste in music, so he’s a good egg. Anyway, I’m only pulling your leg about that stupid moo, liking her is hardly an arrestable offence. (Shame).

    191. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:19 am  

      I don’t recognise the word “Islamophobia”

      But no doubt, you’ll be happy to peddle your mendacious guff on “Islamofacism”. Recognise that one?

    192. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:25 am  

      I have acknowledged that the main posters at PP are not sexist, but some of the commenters are, not mentioning any names.

      No, Sid. I don’t recognise “Islamofascism”. Islam is fascism.

      Yes, Sugar Rush was bollox, as was her stupid book “Ambition”. But she’s right about Islam and women. And she’s entertaining.

    193. El Cid — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:29 am  

      You were still wrong to say what you said Old Peculiar. Be woman enough to admit it. Whatever.
      On a lighter note: Cheney has been hospitalised

    194. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:33 am  

      Am I sexist because I dare to argue with you OP? Is that what this is all about? Thats a very progressive attitude. Feel free to show what I have posted to PP that would suggest that I’m sexist. Are all the men on PP “sexist Asians” - as you suggested on the HP thread?

      You on the other hand are racist. And there are plenty of posts by you on this thread alone that should prove that. Why are you so reluctant to confront that? Oh yes - its not politically correct to be racist - because, what was it, its not of this time. But aren’t you categorically against PC?

    195. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:35 am  

      I have admitted it. However, what I won’t accept is that many of the commenters here are not sexist. There were loads of people defending the cloth prison on the burkha thread in the name of “free choice”. If that’s not sexist, I don’t know what is.

    196. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:38 am  

      Sid Sexist - you are not sexist because you argue with me. You are sexist because that’s what you are. Nowhere, however, will you find any comments by me condemning someone because of skin colour. Culture yes. Asian culture is sexist, more so than Western culture, because the countries from which it derives are less enlightened. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture and attitudes. Culture and attitudes can be changed. Race cannot.

    197. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:43 am  

      Racism is not just prejudice based on skin colour. It goes way deeper and is far more visceral than that. And its time you confronted your racism.

      As for my sexism - where are the posts?
      Or is that another spin-off from the fact that I put in a counter argument on behalf of Islam on HP every so often? Doen’t take much to be a sexist in your estimation if you regard the entire male input on PP to be sexist though does it.

    198. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      200!

    199. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:50 am  

      Racism is not just prejudice based on skin colour.

      Yes it is. That’s all it is. Aspects of culture are fair game for any kind of criticism because they can be changed.

      If you accept that culture is immutable and beyond criticism, then you are holding dark skinned people to an inferior standard. That is real racism.

    200. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

      There are blue-eye blonde Pakistanis from the NWFP region of Pakistan. But to you - they’ll still be Pakis. And there are dark-skinned people from Cordoba in Spain - who are whiter than white in OP-World.

      And as for your support for Women’s Rights - you don’t support the rights of Muslim women. You have admitted that - because you say they have bought into a fascist ideology. So, who’s being sexist there?

      You’ve got issues that need more than a public airing to dispel.

    201. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:16 pm  

      There are blue-eye blonde Pakistanis from the NWFP region of Pakistan. But to you - they’ll still be Pakis. And there are dark-skinned people from Cordoba in Spain - who are whiter than white in OP-World.

      This makes no sense whatsoever. I’ve just said that skin colour is irrelevant, so prejudice based on skin colour is totally wrong. However, judgements about culture are legitimate. There are people of Pakistani ethnic origin who are lighter skinned than me - I have very dark colouring and have been mistaken for Turkish, Spanish or even (when tanned) Asian. So what?

      I do support the rights of Muslim women, but think that their rights as women and as full human beings are at odds with Islam, which treats them as inferior. This is a perfectly valid point of view, even if you don’t agree with it.

    202. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

      But you’re racism towards people light-skinned or dark will be far more pronounced once you find out that they’re Muslim. Likewise, your Women’s Rights crusade turns into a lighter shade of neutral when find out they’re Muslim women.

    203. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

      But you’re racism towards people light-skinned or dark will be far more pronounced once you find out that they’re Muslim.

      But then it isn’t racism, is it? The most you can say is that it is prejudice against their religion. In any case, just because someone is Muslim, doesn’t mean I’m not going to like them. It depends how, and to what extent, they follow their religion. It’s Islam I don’t like, and its effect on people.

    204. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      Gerroffit. If anything, you live by the maxim “Innocent until proven Muslim”. Which is why you find it so comfortable over at HP - where other like-minded I-phobies hang out.

    205. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:30 pm  

      Religionism?

    206. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:31 pm  

      Racism with a Religionist twist.

    207. Siddharth — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:43 pm  

      If you accept that culture is immutable and beyond criticism, then you are holding dark skinned people to an inferior standard. That is real racism.

      To wit: As if to say only “dark skinned people” belong to and subscribe to immutable cultural values. And what of Americans, Scandinavians, Jewish people, the English upper class? They’re not being held to an “inferior standard”? Only the darkies. Only ever the darkies.

    208. El Cid — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:45 pm  

      shit, dick cheney leaves hospital

    209. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:47 pm  

      OK - Muslim women I like:

      Two colleagues. Two friends, not that they’re very Muslim, but their background is.

      That comedienne - can’t remember her name, Shiraz or something.

      Yasmin Alibhai-Brown - at least I like her honesty when it comes to women’s oppression in Muslim communities.

      Irshad Manji.

      Muslim women I don’t like

      Salema Yakub (sp??)
      Yvonne Ridley.

      Respect Party, ie crap.

      So, yes, maybe it’s “religionist”, but may be it’s politicalist.

      HP isn’t Islamophobic or even anti-Islam. The blog owners’ opinions are totally at odds with mine, as are most of the commenters, though some agree with me.

    210. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 12:58 pm  

      You like Shazia Mirza? Puh-lease she has about one joke.

      Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Now it’s odd you say her as I find her too much of a funda for me, and I think we’ve established you’re not too keen on Muslims. I can’t stand that woman and shit she spouts.

      Irshad Manji I like.

      Umm..OP, shouldn’t you say HP IS anti-Islam? Because if PP is ‘sexist’ due to a minority of its commenters, surely HP is anti-Islamic because you’re a commenter there?

      Kapow! Man I’m good.

    211. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 1:12 pm  

      Look, I’ve already backed down on the PP point. OK PP is not sexist but some of its commenters are. HP is not anti-Islam, but some of the cleverest, wisest and wittiest - and most modest - people who post there, are.

    212. El Cid — on 9th January, 2006 at 1:50 pm  

      More to the point, PP does not dislike women who do not “toe the party line on Islam.” Is that what you are trying to say?

    213. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

      Not exactly. The burkha thread showed that there is a reluctance to criticise Islam’s oppression of women and a delusion, on the part of some men, about how much “choice” Muslim women have about their lives.

    214. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

      The non-Muslim Asians on this blog who defended the burkha were probably doing that out of a wish to be fair towards Muslims’ freedom to practice their religion; I doubt it was driven by some kind of agenda to continue the oppression of women.

    215. Col. Mustafa — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      That is most probably true Jai.

      OP there are muslim women out there that wear the burkha completely out of choice, not even because islam is telling them to, but just because they want their own identity.
      Obviously this isnt the case with most of the muslim women that are wearing the burkha, im aware of that.
      But the people that brought it up felt it neccessary as it widens the discussion.
      But i don’t think they were saying its ok to wear a burkha or that women should have to wear one.
      Im all for men wearing them too, maybe then they won’t make women wear them.
      But like i said before that aint gonna happen, its just about making muslim men understand equality.
      Which is quite a hard task.

    216. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:19 pm  

      OP,

      One sane advise, never quarrel with Bongs.

      Bong-o-phobic Vicky

    217. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

      err…

      should read:

      Bong-o-phobic Bhicky

    218. El Cid — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

      As a non-Asian non-moslem I would add OP, that there really are lots of women out there who insist on wearing the tent, and not because their husband/family obliges them to.
      Given that, what else can people but defend their right to wear it?

    219. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:33 pm  

      Vikrant - yes, my name is Interesed at JW, and you will be well aware of the lengths I’ve gone to to explain to dozy, ignorant Americans what a bunch of shits the BNP are.

      Yea… yea… i’m also aware of your lone campaign to make Americans appretiate British spellings!

      Bhickrant

    220. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

      I love the word Moslem. I can’t stop saying it. I want to replace Muslim with Moslem. In a broad American accent. Morzlem. Good word.

      Well let’s take a look at what’s been said about the burqa on PP shall we?

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/167

      I said:
      “My gut reaction would be that if you wish to dress like that, you are automatically distancing yourself from Western society where the face plays a key role in all interactions, so should you really be complaining about quite rational rules?”

      Just about all commenters on that thread agreed the burqa wasn’t a nice thing.

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/85

      The overwhelming sentiment here was not that the commenters were defending the burqa at all - most, including Siddhartha, said they’re not particularly keen on it. But they said that to automatically assume that a woman who wears a burqa is doing so because she’s been told to is unfair.

      Sunny said:
      “For Asians (or Muslims specifically), you seem to be saying ‘look, you can’t make up your mind properly because you live in a patriarchal society so let me make the decision for you’, which is just as condescending as how many Asian men behave.”

    221. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

      Vikrant,

      Since I recall you mentioning a while ago that you’re going to me emigrating to the US soon, I recommend you check out the Sepia Mutiny blog, as it’s US-based and dominated by desis living in America. I think you’ll find it lively and quite eye-opening too, assuming you haven’t seen it already.

      Rohin and myself also participate there regularly, although Rohin use a different alias.

    222. El Cid — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

      Is moslem the U.S. spelling for muslim? Oh dear, I have been a naughty boy.

    223. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

      Jai,

      I also comment on Sepia Mutiny under an entirely different alias.

    224. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

      Aha…..which alias, eh ?

      ;)

    225. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 3:58 pm  

      I’m just kidding mate, you’re under no obligation to tell me or anyone else — it’s none of my business.

      Glad to hear you’re an undercover Mutineer too ;)

    226. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:05 pm  

      Hehe.. i’m also on JW,Israpundit,Daniel Pipes,American Thinker ,Free Republic and loads of crappy blogs.

    227. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

      You obviously have far too much free time on your hands are a busy guy on the ‘net ;)

      I pretty much stick to SM most of the time, along with the occasional post here on PP; on rare occasions I’m on the BBC Asian Network forum too but it’s a little overrun by “caliphate” fundie types so I tend to stay away from it.

    228. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

      You are under obligation to tell me though.

      Sorry, what is JW? I’ve never heard of the other ones you mention Vikrant.

      Sepia is one of my faves, but I prefer it for cultural things and media-related stuff. It’s good fun. When it comes to politics it’s become a bit predictable and boring. Just a lot of people agreeing with each other and then banging their heads against a wall when the resident Hindutvadi shows up (you know who).

    229. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      Yeah, funny that isn’t it Jai - about the beeb? I used to post on me mates’ Bobby & Nihal’s board way back in the day (under a name you’ll recognise) but since they merged it with the Punjabi Hit Squad’s board the IQ’s taken a nose dive. Although I dropped in the other day and found this! I took a look at the BBC Asian Network boards once - they look dire. Again, an average IQ so low you have to dig for it.

      I don’t really post anywhere much except here and SM. I don’t even read all that many blogs, but I’m increasing slowly.

      I like how this has become a random thread. 232!

    230. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:20 pm  

      El Cid,

      =>”Is moslem the U.S. spelling for muslim? Oh dear, I have been a naughty boy.”

      I might be wrong, but I think it’s the Persian spelling/pronunciation…..

    231. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

      Yeppie m8 i got loads of free time…. i’ve just recently taken my Maths GCSE, rest are a piece of cake.

      JW - JihadWatch… though these days i only volunteer to scourge the net for stories rather than commenting there. JW of late has been flooded with BNP-types and VHP mumbo-jumbos. Nevertheless Robert and Hugh are doing a fine job. Though Sunny dismisses JW as american fundy blog, it isnt. Hugh’s knowledge about India (and pretty much entire world) is simply staggering.

      One of my recent contribs at JW
      http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/009664.php

    232. Jai — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

      Rohin,

      Amusing that you got a shout-on on that message board. Good for you ;)

      The “Write Hear Right Now” message board is the worst — it’s where all the ‘armchair jihadists’ come out to play. Considering that, apart from Sikhnet (extremely smart people but obviously quite conservative), the BBC forum had previously been my only area of exposure to on-line desi debates, SM was a huge breath of fresh air. There are some very insightful people on the BBC board too, but thanks to the fundies who repeatedly hijack it there is a marked difference in the overall quality when compared to SM. (And PP for that matter).

    233. Rohin — on 9th January, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

      Hmm…read the post Vik - the comments are interesting to say the least. Maths GCSE eh? Wow that takes me back. I was 13! (We did French and Maths 1½ years early for some reason, seems you do too). It’s so piss easy compared to A-level, it’s like another subject. Course…exams weren’t so easy back in MY day (cue the older commenters to rubbish my exams as well!)

      I still want to know Vikrant’s SM handle. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Oo-er missus.

    234. Vikrant — on 9th January, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      (evidence destroyed)

    235. Old Pickler — on 9th January, 2006 at 8:18 pm  

      OP there are muslim women out there that wear the burkha completely out of choice, not even because islam is telling them to, but just because they want their own identity

      Bollocks

    236. Wy Tsi — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:31 pm  

      To all people commenting on the burkha. the essence of it is the hijab.

      i won’t bore you with the exact details behind it, but as we all know islam to be a religion of conservative nature, it states that you [women] must dress yourselves in a way to keep a low profile, as to not attract any male (perverted is type intended) attention.

      i’m a practicing muslim and to me, this makes complete sense. the burkha isn’t supposed to be a black “tent” (as described by someone earlier). any effort on part of a muslim woman to make sure she keeps a low profile in public and avoids perverted glares from men is a strive in the light of hijab.

      a little view of mine that usually sparks flares: if the burkha seems to be making a person gain more attention than making someone’s presence in public more subtle - isn’t that defeating the purpose?

      this is my first comment and i do expect to get acidic replies.

      bombs away….*gulp*

    237. Col. Mustafa — on 9th January, 2006 at 10:52 pm  

      “Bollocks”

      Bollox.

    238. Wy Tsi — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:27 pm  

      why bollocks colonel?

      do elaborate.

    239. Col. Mustafa — on 9th January, 2006 at 11:41 pm  

      Not to you.
      To the person that said bollox to me.

    240. Siddharth — on 10th January, 2006 at 12:05 am  

      you mean the ignorant troll?

    241. Old Pickler — on 10th January, 2006 at 12:47 am  

      it states that you [women] must dress yourselves in a way to keep a low profile, as to not attract any male (perverted is type intended) attention.

      Well that is a pile of crap. Men should control themselves. How would you like to go around in a potato sack? This religion stinks.

    242. Rohin — on 10th January, 2006 at 12:51 am  

      Here’s the difference OP. I agree entirely with your way of thinking. I’ve often criticised the ‘codes’ for Islamic dress as I think they’re unnecessary if men can control themselves. Dressing women modestly so all thoughts about them are ‘pure’ is the same as saying make food bland so no one gets hungry. Somehow, over the years, Muslim women have adopted this as a symbol of ‘empowerment’, which baffles me.

      However, although we have the same view here - I don’t end up at the same conclusion as you, that ‘this religion stinks’. I say “this aspect needs reform.” But I say it in a more profound, catchy way so I’ll be quoted widely.

    243. Old Pickler — on 10th January, 2006 at 12:54 am  

      OK, then, let’s compromise. This (and other) aspects need reform so it doesn’t stink any more.

    244. Siddharth — on 10th January, 2006 at 1:08 am  

      But then you don’t have a congenital variant of Tourrettes either Rohin.

    245. Jai — on 10th January, 2006 at 11:52 am  

      As many here on PP know from previous discussions, I don’t agree with the burkha concept either. Yes it does unnecessarily place the onus on women to “hide themselves” rather than what should be happening, which is that men should act like responsible adults and learn to control their reactions to female sexuality, instead of “externalising” the problem and attempting to control the external environment (ie. women) rather than themselves.

      And as I’ve stated before, yes I do think that the burkha, niqabs etc are a) an oppressive practices and b) sometimes manifestations of “false modesty”.

      However, the point is that, although we may all think that the women concerned are misguided in their mindset, they have to come to this conclusion themselves. In the meantime, they have “the right to be wrong.”

    246. Vikrant — on 10th January, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

      Rohin guess what? i’ve worked out your SM nick!

      Bong breaker… a no brainer really.

      Bhicky

    247. NorahJones — on 10th January, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

      Can I add, as someone who did the whole must cover myself up routine and then changed my mind..oops, you really do become invisible. People don’t look at you.

      I think with a lot of women it may even be a confidence thing. I know a white convert who, before she became muslim, shied away from people and attention. As a convert. she followed the dress code and she was like a different person. For some reason it gave her an identity.

      Not that I’m defending it or anything..

    248. Rohin — on 10th January, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

      Vikrant, yes I wasn’t expecting you to have trouble with it - they both link to the same blog!

      That’s an interesting thing you say there Norah, cos it makes me think of something else. Plastic surgery. Women who have that say EXACTLY the same thing as your friend/acquaintance. That the surgery made them more confident. In a way, religion has reached a stage of cosmetic-shopping now. Which religion is fashionable? I’ll do that one. Hence it’s become a crutch for people who need something to lean on.

    249. sonia — on 10th January, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

      lots of different things give people identity ..obviously we use external crutches to prop our minds up. the trick is to rely less and less on the external..

      anyway, obviously churchill was an idiot - why is it obvious - cos he wanted to protect empire and colonialism. I would say that was fascist myself. just because the ‘enemy’ was fascist as well doesn’t mean whoever opposed them didnt have their own brand of fascism. ( think: a war between bush and bin-laden - why if they weren’t fighting they’d be best buddies - possibly they have the same guy writing their speeches)

      obviously empire and colonialism and britishness are tied up together due to sweet simple history. that said, it ain’t like other ‘empires’ around the world didn’t exist and they probably had ‘patriotic’ guys like churchill at the head. (proselytizing faith :yup just like his own :-) )

      anwyay -

      “Sunny said:
      “For Asians (or Muslims specifically), you seem to be saying ‘look, you can’t make up your mind properly because you live in a patriarchal society so let me make the decision for you’, which is just as condescending as how many Asian men behave.”

      sunny’s very sensible is all i can say.

    250. sonia — on 10th January, 2006 at 4:11 pm  

      yusuf smith -well yes its problematic that when wars happen - people take ‘sides’ - i guess its called patriotism.

      rubbish concept.

      and then of course everything is seen in this one-sided light and people lose any reflexivity they may have had..

      unfortunately this silly loyalty means that even if your country is espousing nasty violence - one should ‘support’ it - why? - cause a) its allegedly to protect you and b) well it wouldn’t matter anyway because ‘we’ are in the right.

      pah

    251. Sunil Mohan — on 24th January, 2006 at 11:23 pm  

      This is for Old Pickler who has a very muddled and idiotic “British Centric” View of History.

      These people are neo colonialists who can do much harm.

      Read this completely before even attempting to respond.
      http://east_west_dialogue.tripod.com/american_system/id10.html

      This clearly indicates that the British killed of far more Indians during the Raj than the Nazis did to “lesser” Europeans during WWII

      If the crimes against humanity in History are tabulated
      then the
      British come first
      followed by the Chinese Commies (A distant second)
      Followed by Russian Commies
      Followed by Nazis

      Churchill was at the centre of this grand old criminal organization called the British empire while it was systematically murdering, looting and starving millions in the years 1940-1946

      That is all I have to say.

      Any attempts by Brits to re-write history in favour
      of their stupid empire will be strongly resisted by 1-billion Indians to say the least.

    252. Sunil Mohan — on 25th January, 2006 at 2:14 am  

      We in India will be planning a memorial for the millions of Innocents who were lost to British Colonialism from the years 1757-1947
      It will be in New Delhi and will be comparable to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

      These include deaths due to famines, land grabs, indentured labour, serfdom, summary executions
      and deliberate spread of disease in the far reaches of India by these homicidal imperialists.

      It will be a testament to our strength as a people against the ravages of the worst despotism known
      in Human history.

      The crimes of the British empire should not be allowed to go un-recorded.

      I am sure that even if the hand of man could not judge these criminals, the hand of God will judge them and their Island in the near future.

    253. Sunil Mohan — on 26th January, 2006 at 2:35 am  

      While the Nazis are accused of killing 55 million peoples.(This is a gross exageration)

      The British are tops with the blood of 500 million peoples spread across all continents of the globe on their hands.

      The one thing which I share with my German, Irish, Russian, Polish, Jamaican and Egyptian friends is a visceral hatred for the English.

      As soon as I hear that snotty English accent I can feel the hatred crawling up from my toes.

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