» I did say the failed coup would have no difference on polls. Westminster lives far too much in a bubble. 7 hrs ago

» CAMPAIGN to stop Rod Liddle being made editor of the Indy! http://tinyurl.com/ybz54uy (please RT!) 7 hrs ago

» I'm shocked (not)! RT @DaveSemple: More examples from @BickerRecord of Tom Harris' moral hypocrisy - http://bit.ly/5QoECx 13 hrs ago

» Thread of the week RT @libcon: All the full lol-plot pics (32!), with new 'Mandelkitteh' http://bit.ly/7bop1H 18 hrs ago

» Ugh! If Rod Liddle ends up editing the Indy, it'll be the last time I'll be buying or linking to the newspaper. 1 day ago

More updates...


  • Family

    • Ala Abbas
    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sonia Afroz
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Aqoul
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Blairwatch
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • MT and friends
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
    • Women Uncovered
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man’s fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sajini W
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Idolising historical figures


    by Rumbold on 11th August, 2009 at 5:38 PM    

    There has been quite a heated debate in the post below about Subhas Chandra Bose. I argued that he was a fascist, since he raised an army to fight on the side of the Nazis and Japanese. It was clear that if the British were driven from India, a Japanese army would have almost certainly filled the gap. If they had behaved anything like it had in the rest of Asia, then Indian civilian casualties would have numbered in the millions, if not higher. Other people on the thread argued that since Bose was fighting for Indian independence, this shows that he wasn’t pro-Japanese/Nazi, as he was simply using the Japanese help free India. Bose has also been accused of being naïve, which seems unlikely when you consider that he was a Cambridge-educated politician with plenty of experience.

    Now, as with most things in history, whether Bose was a fascist/Nazi is open to interpretation. What I want to focus on though is the dangers of idolising historical figures simply because you agreed with some of their views and/or actions. Winston Churchill was a great war leader. He was also a racist and an imperialist. Are the two contradictory? No. Can one admire Churchill’s war record while condemning his views on race? Yes. Historical figures, especially those who make a massive impact on the world, are very likely to have controversial aspects to their life. I admire Oliver Cromwell’s striving for religious liberty, while condemning his military dictatorship.

    It is perfectly fine to admire historical figures for certain things. However, the danger comes when that admiration is transferred to an uncritical acceptance of said figure (which is why I always though that the ‘100 Greatest Britons’ and such polls were always flawed and wrong). Was it right for Indians to struggle for independence? Of course. But that does not excuse all behaviour by those who did struggle. To do so would be to accept that the ends justify the means. A few figures from the past, such as Hilter, Stalin or Mao, can be safely dismissed without the need to hunt for any elusive virtues. Yet for the vast majority of historical figures, we do history a disserve when we try and defend or condemn everything they said or did. We in the present are not all good or bad, and neither were they.


         
            Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: History






    77 Comments below   |   Add your own

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs


    1. Jai — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

      I’ve already stated this in the “Nazis” thread, but to re-iterate, it’s worth emphasising that only 1.6% of the entire number of Indian soldiers involved in WW2 joined the Axis powers. The other 98.4% — a full 2.5 million — fought on the side of the Allies.

      It’s important to make this point as the BNP has deliberately been making false statements such as “many Indians fought for the Axis powers” in order to de-emphasise the actual military contribution of Indians to the Allied war effort during WW2. Not to mention the knock-on insinuation about historical and present-day Indians’ loyalties and sympathies.

      *****************************************************

      Rumbold, I tried submitting another post on the “Nazis” thread a couple of times but it keeps disappearing after I submit it. Is there some kind of filter/block currently in place there automatically preventing further contributions to that thread ? (If it’s currently being “screened” then you may end up with a couple of duplicates after it’s cleared, in which case the copies will need to be deleted).

    2. Laban Tall — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

      “Churchill was a great war leader. He was also a racist”

      He was a little more complex than that, perhaps :

      To Hitler’s aide “Putzi” Hanfstaengle in 1931, “I can quite understand being angry with Jews who have done wrong or are against the country, and I understand resisting them if they try to monopolise power in any walk of life; but what is the sense of being against a man simply because of his birth ? How can any man help how he is born ?”

      On Indians - towards the end of the Second World War the question of Indian officers in the Royal Navy arose, and whether there was any barrier of rank for those who showed aptitude and bravery. Churchill had already been in conflict with the navy over the antiquated rules governing which occupations could rise to become officers (‘apparently there is no difficulty about painters rising in Germany !’), and he wrote that there should be no limits, that Indian citizens should be promoted to Captains, or even Admirals, of His Majesty’s Ships if they were the best men for the job.

      He then added an afterthought - ‘But not too many of them, please’.

    3. Laban Tall — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:16 PM  

      I forgot to mention his Afghan border experiences :

      “It is a point of honour on the Indian frontier not to leave wounded men behind to fall into the hands of the enemy. Death by inches and hideous mutilation are the invariable fate … “.

      This applied to all troops of whatever colour. Churchill ended the skirmish carrying (not very expertly - ‘he shouted with pain’) a wounded Sikh down the mountainsides of the Mamund Valley.

      While the recent death of a soldier who was retrieving the body of an Afghan colleague is a tragedy, it’s good to see the tradition is intact.

    4. Laban Tall — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

      “Oliver Cromwell’s striving for religious liberty”

      WHHAAATTT ! As in “religious liberty for all Protestant demominations”, perhaps.

      I think you should read more Winston Churchill. From his ‘history of the English-speaking peoples’.

      “In the safe and comfortable days of Queen Victoria, when Liberals and Conservatives, Gladstone and Disraeli, contended about the past, and when Irish Nationalists and Radical Nonconformists championed their old causes, a school grew up to gape in awe and some in furtive admiration at these savage crimes. Men thought such scenes were gone for ever, and that while moving into a broad age of peace, money-making and debatings they could afford to pay their tributes to the rugged warriors who had laid the foundations of a liberal society.

      The twentieth century has sharply recalled its intellectuals from such vain indulgences. We have seen the technique of “frightfulness” applied in our own time with Cromwellian brutality and upon a far larger scale. We know too much of despots and their moods and power to practise the philosophic detachment of our grandfathers. It is necessary to recur to the simpler principle that the wholesale slaughter of unarmed or disarmed men marks with a mordant and eternal brand the memory of conquerors, however they may have prospered….

      In his hatred of Popery, which he regarded as a worldwide conspiracy of evil, he sought to identify the Royalist garrison of Drogheda with the Roman Catholic Irish peasantry who had massacred the Protestant landlords in 1641. He ought to have know that not one of them had the slightest connection with that eight-year-old horror. He shielded himself behind “the heat of action” when his troops had not suffered a hundred causalities, and when, in Ranke’s impartial judgment, “there throughout mingled a cold-blooded calculation and a violence which is deliberate.” Above all, the conscience of man must recoil from the monster of a faction-god projected from the mind of an ambitious, interested politician on whose lips the words “righteousness” and “mercy” were mockery. Not even the hard pleas of necessity or the safety of the State can be invoked. Cromwell in Ireland, disposing of overwhelming strength and using it with merciless wickedness debased the standards of human conduct and sensibly darkened the journey of mankind. Cromwell’s Irish massacres find numberless compeers in the history of all countries during and since the Stone Age. It is therefore only necessary to strip men capable of such deeds of all title to honour, whether it be the light which plays around a great captain of war or the long repute which covers the severities of a successful prince or statesman.”

      I’m sorry to hijack your Bose thread into British history, but I can’t let that pass.

    5. Rumbold — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

      Jai:

      Your comnment was caught in the spam filter. it has now been passed.

      Thank you for pointing out how many Indians fought the Nazis/Japanese rather than alongside them. While the British were hardly examples of a shining colonial power, people can lose sight of just how bad the axis powers were.

      Laban Tall:

      Well, Oliver Cromwell officially readmitted the Jews to England. While the reasons are debatable (commerce, religious impetus), the fact is he did and also tolerated them throughout his reign.

      Yes, his religious liberty was mainly focused on securing toleration for non-conformists, with his ideal vision being a religious landscape where a national church oc-existed alongside sects, with lay preachers allowed.

      The military campaign in Ireland was brutal, but his attitude to the Roman Catholic faith was a lot closer to his other religious feelings. It would have been widely popular in Britain to have denounced Roman Catholicism wholesale, but in 1650 he said of the Irish:

      “What thoughts they have in the matter of religion in their own breasts I cannot reach; but I shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same.”

      In other words, he wanted toleration for those who obeyed the law and practicised their religion quietly. Not an ideal state of affiars, but one that put him ahead of most others at the time.

    6. Shatterface — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

      There are few political philosophies with founding fathers free of sexism or racism. Some of the anti-Semitic passages in Kropotkin and Bakunin make me cringe; ditto Marx. We don’t chuck away Shakespeare because of The Merchant of Venice though.

    7. anobody — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:28 PM  

      For all his ills, Hitler was a great orator.

    8. Amrit — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

      Very interesting Rumbold, thanks. I didn’t know the extent of SCB’s affiliation with the Axis powers. Given that I’ve never really had the best grounding in Indian history, it’s all very informative.

      Though you mean ‘lose sight’ and ‘co-operation’. :-D

      Laban Tall - All very warm and fuzzy, but the fact that Churchill had the fear of being overwhelmed by the Other:’‘But not too many of them, please’, makes him a racist.

      Complex or no, it shows that ultimately he saw Indians as a potential threat to his particular identity. Sad, really - it shows that he acknowledged their inferior status at the time and, like so many ’soft racists’ feared that they might eventually try to claim parity.

      Very sad, coming from the man who so wisely remarked ‘How can any man help how he is born?’

    9. The Common Humanist — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

      Can I just add that the quality of the Indian Army in WW2 was excellent. By the end of the War there were many Indian officers - upto Full Colonel I believe.
      That should obviously have been general officer of course but not bad either.

      I appreciate the Raj wasn’t exactly a benign entity but for the time it cannot really be compared to the Germans, the Soviets, the Japanese, the French or the Portuguese as colonial masters.

    10. coruja — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

      Amazing how many liberals are so quickly Empire apologists - better us them than those awful Japs, Ruskies or Dagos eh? What a line of argument.

    11. Shatterface — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

      Despite everything, Norman Bates never once forgot the birthday of his dear old Mum.

    12. Laban Tall — on 11th August, 2009 at 9:02 PM  

      I hope that wasn’t me you’re calling a liberal, coruja.

      “All the guilty people,” he said
      “They’ve all seen the stain
      On their daily bread
      On their Christian names
      I cleared myself
      I sacrificed my blues …”

    13. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

      Coruja,

      The last gasp of the golden horde. And here was me thinking that the League of Empire Loyalists died out in the 1960’s…

      Still, Rumbold, as usual, makes telling points.

      Almost every political figure throughout history had feet of clay with the possible exception of Ghandi.

      There seems to be some debate on whether or not Winston Churchill was in favour of the use of poison gas or not, for instance.

    14. Roger — on 11th August, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

      “We don’t chuck away Shakespeare because of The Merchant of Venice though.”
      Actually, Shatterface, The Mercahnt of Venice is one of the reasons we keep Shakespeare.
      The usual treatment in Elizabethan plays was that jews are naturally wicked and evil because they are jews. Shylock is sometimes wicked but we also see that he is not always wicked, that he has good reason to be wicked and that his enemies aren’t all that virtuous either.

    15. Roger — on 11th August, 2009 at 9:56 PM  

      “better us them than those awful Japs, Ruskies or Dagos eh?”

      “It is the logic of our times,
      No subject for immortal verse-
      That we who lived by honest dreams
      Defend the bad against the worse.”

    16. fugstar — on 11th August, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

      The game plan for WW2 should have been for the european and asian colonial as well as american neocolonial powers to simply neutralise eachother.

      Instead the USA won with perfect nuclear strikes.

      the villains of WW2 are certainly not the INA. certainly not.

      It is an unfortunate fact that there are always intermediary groups who benefited from british imperialism. They do whatever is in their nature.

      Let us not forget that it was the british policies that starved so much of bengal. the holocaust of the jews is much not as attentuated as this story.

      whats all this talk of nazi this and nazi that, in the midst of colonialism. what are you a bunch of baniya bloggers or what?

      Brown saahibs, bean counters and IT boys.

    17. Don — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:14 AM  

      Douglas,

      Why Gandhi?

      And bugger Churchill. He also advocated using machine guns on striking miners and called Mussolini “Roman genius… the greatest lawgiver among men.”

    18. Shatterface — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:24 AM  

      Gandhi was a pacifist and as such would have let Hitler goose-step over Europe in the hope he’d see the error of his ways.

      ‘The usual treatment in Elizabethan plays was that jews are naturally wicked and evil because they are jews. Shylock is sometimes wicked but we also see that he is not always wicked, that he has good reason to be wicked and that his enemies aren’t all that virtuous either.’

      Shakespeare was a product of his times and while Shylock is as complex a character as any in his plays, he’s hardly a positive portrayal.

    19. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:55 AM  

      Don,

      Because he didn’t seem to have a separation of his public and private personas. You got what you read on the tin.

      And I think you and I agree about the cult of Winston Churchill. There is no harm whatsoever in saying that he was what we needed in 1939, but otherwise, well.

    20. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2009 at 1:14 AM  

      Shatterface,

      I think you’ll find that young Adolf had slightly larger aspirations than just Europe. Do you think he intended to stop at the border of European Russia? And why were we fighting Rommel in North Africa?

    21. Ben — on 12th August, 2009 at 4:03 AM  

      At the risk of getting back to the subject originally under discussion, I’d like to describe an experience I underwent in India a few years back.

      I entered the leading bookstore in town, and was astonished to find massive piles of two hardcover books for sale. Clearly they were both hugely popular. One was the English-language edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The other was an admiring biography of Bose. Could it have been just a coincidence?

    22. Mostaque — on 12th August, 2009 at 6:29 AM  

      Rumbold please clear the spam filter in relation to a response I have made to you in “Far right protests in Brum”

    23. Shatterface — on 12th August, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

      ‘Shatterface,

      I think you’ll find that young Adolf had slightly larger aspirations than just Europe. Do you think he intended to stop at the border of European Russia? And why were we fighting Rommel in North Africa?’

      Fair enough, just making the point that pacifism - or neutrality for that matter - were not an option.

    24. Brett — on 12th August, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

      douglas clark: “Almost every political figure throughout history had feet of clay with the possible exception of Ghandi.”

      Ghandi himself is not untainted by racism:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi#Early_South_African_articles

    25. Leon — on 12th August, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

      Despite everything, Norman Bates never once forgot the birthday of his dear old Mum.

      Heh yeah was thinking something similar reading all this…

    26. fugstar — on 12th August, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

      The great inter-war indian leaders would have eaten their white counterparts for breakfast had they led free nations and been able to evolve a non-white political architecture. I feel sad for the young generation on south asia, everyone is just so lame and chavlike in comparison.

    27. Edwin Greenwood — on 12th August, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

      Amrit (8) wrote:

      Laban Tall – All very warm and fuzzy, but the fact that Churchill had the fear of being overwhelmed by the Other:’‘But not too many of them, please’, makes him a racist.

      Really? I would have thought “the fear of being overwhelmed by the Other” to be an entirely rational response. Why should one assume that “the Other”, once it had gained the upper hand, would be benevolent, let alone egalitarian and “non-racist”?

      You draw your tick-box categories exceeding wide, Amrit. On your definition, 99% or more of the world’s population are racists.

    28. Rumbold — on 12th August, 2009 at 11:19 AM  

      Thanks for the corrections Amrit.

    29. Amrit — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

      Why should one assume that “the Other”, once it had gained the upper hand, would be benevolent, let alone egalitarian and “non-racist”?

      Well, if you’re white British, why don’t you answer that Q? Clearly the British were hardly any of those things in India - yet Indians were not constantly afraid of being ‘racially replaced’ the way comments like Churchill’s imply. They wanted the British to leave, which is different (and understandable).

      The fear is only rational if there is a real chance of being overwhelmed. The 2001 Census put the % of Indians in this country at 1.8%. God, wow, real fear of being overtaken there!

      All I can say is that if your identity is so flimsy that it depends almost entirely on you *not* being something else, then that’s really quite sad and pathetic.

    30. Jai — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

      Rumbold,

      Bose has also been accused of being naïve, which seems unlikely when you consider that he was a Cambridge-educated politician with plenty of experience.

      Not necessarily. Being Oxbridge or Ivy League educated with “plenty of experience” in one’s particular field does not necessarily preclude people from serious errors of judgement, especially when egotism and overconfidence are involved.

      Speaking generally, of course. I have no idea what was literally going on inside Bose’s head at the time. Maybe he trusted the Axis powers’ promise of Indian independence if he allied himself with them, or maybe he thought he would be able to “handle” any complications if the Axis leaders reneged on their promise. Who knows ?

      *********************************

      Amrit,

      Why should one assume that “the Other”, once it had gained the upper hand, would be benevolent, let alone egalitarian and “non-racist”?

      Based on European imperial/colonial history, I believe the appropriate term for the viewpoint described above is “psychological projection”.

      In some cases, of course. In others it’s simply a case of being “realistically cautious”.

      The problem is when the latter is based on unfounded paranoia and a stance which is maintained in the absence of little or zero supporting evidence in relation to specific groups deemed to comprise “the Other”.

    31. Amrit — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

      Jai - How elegantly put. You neatly described what I was thinking! Thanks. :-D

      The problem is when the latter is based on unfounded paranoia and a stance which is maintained in the absence of little or zero supporting evidence in relation to specific groups deemed to comprise “the Other”.

      Mmmhmmm. I am tempted to make a libertarian bingo card, but one that’s more suited to UK libertarians.

    32. Wendy — on 12th August, 2009 at 1:08 PM  

      Bose felt India needed authoritarian and determined government.

      After ducking out from inattentive house arrest, he crossed into Afghanistan. Once in Kabul, he asked for - and got - Italian assistance to obtain Soviet permission to cross Soviet territory.

      He was greatly distressed and embarrassingly outspoken about Hitler’s attack on the USSR; this was probably the main reason why he was conveyed - with other passengers and cargo - to the Far East to aid the Japanese war effort.

      He died in Taiwan as the war was ending, heading for the USSR again.
      See: ‘Brothers against the Raj’

      TRICKY QUESTION:
      An Indian then aiding the Kaiser’s war effort makes a [fatal] appearance in a fictional Somerset Maugham story. He was based on a REAL person who ended up attempting to aid Stalin but who perished in - I think - the Great Purge of 1937.

      Who was the real person murdered by the NKVD?
      Is he commemorated anywhere?

    33. billaricaydickey — on 12th August, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

      I refer onece again to my good friend the Indian writer and ilm maker Mal Sen whose father was Major General LK Sen DSO. I believe that after the war there was a Court Martial for the officers of the INA at the Lal Bhag in Dheli.

      As far as I know there were no executions but Gen Sen, even as an old man, was outraged that people that he had served with and had been to staff college at Dera Dun had collaborated.

      Without the Indian troops the Japanese could quite easily have forced the allies into dome form of negotiations if they had got into India proper.

      The respect for the Gurkhas and Sikhs within British society and military is immense. There is a photo of a Sikh soldier in Ethiopia taking the surrender of thousands of Italians which leads to some old jokes.

    34. Rumbold — on 12th August, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

      Jai:

      (This is a combined response for both threads).

      The problem is that both the Allied-Soviet pact and the US funding of anti-Soviet forces in the 1980s don’t really work as comparisons. In those cases it was simply a case of utilising unpleasant allies. In Bose’s case, he was pursuing a strategy that, on past form, would have seen his country under brutal military rule, with millions of civilians dead (see Japanese behaviour in the rest of the conquered territories). Bose exposed his country to that risk. FDR and Reagan did not.

    35. chairwoman — on 12th August, 2009 at 3:43 PM  

      Personally I’ve always been an admirer of the unfairly maligned Richard III.

      Great soldier and law giver, loved and respected by the men under his command and by the people who lived in areas under his control.

      He was a victim of scurrilous lies invented by Henry VII to justify his claim to the English throne.

      Just thought I’d mention it.

    36. Sunny — on 12th August, 2009 at 11:30 PM  

      A few responses:

      Firstly, he’s not a fascist and there is no proof he was. He was a fighter for the independence caused and like many Britons in the past he embraced the idea that working with the Japs might work in the country’s favour. That doesn’t make him a fascist however you spin it.

      Secondly, I also don’t buy the argument that if he’d worked with the Japs then many more Indians may have died. Look - that is unlikely anyway because the Japs were very stretched by then and couldn’t even hold China let alone another massive country.

      Regardless of that - the English killed millions in India. Fact. So I don’t think Bose was sitting there contemplating whether life could be worse under the Japs. He wanted independence and if that meant later fighting the Japs then that was a chance he was presumably willing to take.

      I love how people like to pass judgement on how others should have behaved given they’ve neither lived in subjugation for so long, nor realise how bad the situation was in India at the time.

      Lastly it’s pretty fucking funny to watch people like Iain Dale and that Tory councillor be in horror about how the Indians behaved at the time while neatly sidestepping British atrocities against India at the time and wondering why Bose was driven to his plans.

      Frankly though, it’s irrelevant. They’re waving around their dicks to no avail. What would be really funny is if they tried to deselect an Indian born Tory MP who did the same - and watch how much outrage there would be in India. Then they’d run away with their tails between their legs.

    37. Sunny — on 12th August, 2009 at 11:48 PM  

      On Phil Taylor’s blog, he has the audacity to say:

      First, of all what about the 2.5 million Indians who fought in the Indian Army? This kind of mobilisation and the effective use of this massive army in combat operations must indicate a very high level of co-operation and assent.

      This is the kind of stupidity I’m talking about. This is Dale and Taylor right there - these people actually think the Indians wanted the British to hang around and wanted to help them defeat the Japanese!

    38. Roger — on 13th August, 2009 at 3:32 AM  

      ” these people actually think the Indians wanted the British to hang around and wanted to help them defeat the Japanese!”

      You’re confusing two different things here: many Indians who didn’t want the British to hsng around did want them to help them to defeat the Japanese. That’s why so many fought for or alongside- depending how you look at it- the British.
      Bose may not have been a fascist, but to say that he wasn’t a fascist because he admired Stalin as well as Hitler shows only that he was an extreme authoritarian. When he spoke of freedom for india he did not mean freedom for Indians but a replcement of the ruling elite.

    39. Sunny — on 13th August, 2009 at 3:49 AM  

      many Indians who didn’t want the British to hsng around did want them to help them to defeat the Japanese

      I’m not going to comment on why people joined the British Army - but the Indians were being ruled over by the British - not Japanese. The Japs weren’t even close. So that line of argument doesn’t work.

      When he spoke of freedom for india he did not mean freedom for Indians but a replcement of the ruling elite.

      What? How do you know about what sort of govt he wanted? He wasn’t ideologically in love with Hitler and Stalin. He wanted the British out and was willing to make a pact with the devil to defeat the bigger enemy (as he saw it). Which is exactly what Churchill did.

    40. douglas clark — on 13th August, 2009 at 3:53 AM  

      Sunny,

      Was it not the case, correct me if I am wrong, that, in exchange for India supporting the UK against the Axis powers it was a given that Greater India would be granted, given, what have you, independence?

      Does that not underpin the whole of that era? Is that not what, in fact, happened? It seems to me that the date of Indian independence - 1947, two years after the Second World War finished, suggests that just such a deal was struck.

      I cannot compute the end of your final paragraph:

      these people actually think the Indians wanted the British to hang around and wanted to help them defeat the Japanese!

      It would seem to me that replacing British dominance with Japanese dominance would have been anathema to any Indian nationalist. Why the hell would you replace one colonial power with another and claim a victory?

      It seems to have been the case that India raised a massive army on the Allied side. I think that there was an incentive - throwing off the British colonial yolk or something. Not replacing it with an ersatz, Japanese version.

      I am not about to say that Japanese rule would have been any worse, but it would certainly have been just another form of colonialism. Ask the Chinese what they think about the rape of Nanking.

      I think greater India showed enormous maturity and sense in dealing with the cards it was played. It saw off the threat of Japanese dominance and it saw off the British. That is a win, win.

      It is worth noting that the collapse of the British Empire (post 1945) started with the loss of India.

      And that is a good thing.

    41. Roger — on 13th August, 2009 at 4:12 AM  

      If many Indians hadn’t wanted the British to defeat the Japanese they wouldn’t have joined the Indian army in such numbers when the Japanese were on India’s borders. People who admired both Hitler and Stalin as Bose did were usually not ideologically driven but were philosophical elitists who thought authoritarianism was a better method of government than others. They admired the method of government more than the actual policies. In fact,there were many authoriarian elements in British colonial rule and especially in the assumptions of the ruling elite that they need not consult the populace to decide what was best for them, some of which were carried over after independence by the Indian rulers.

    42. douglas clark — on 13th August, 2009 at 4:44 AM  

      Roger,

      Dunno.

      Elites are just that, dominant bastards. And I think that is independent of race, religion or politics.

    43. douglas clark — on 13th August, 2009 at 4:54 AM  

      We have been subject to a couple of domineering arseholes on here recently, haven’t we? And one was a Muslim fundamentalist and the other was a fascist.

      I kind of hope that the middle ground doesn’t weaken when faced with this onslaught of shit. For, that is what they want to do, to polarise any discussion, or debate.

      It is really quite nauseating.

      I am now at the stage that I don’t know whether I can’t stand the Muslim extremist more than the fascist.

      I think they are two sides of the same coin, and I’d like to think they are as trivial as they sound. But, I wouldn’t bet on it.

    44. Roger — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:08 AM  

      But where the elite are appointed by or answerable to the population they cannot dominate so easily, Douglas. There are rather more unpleasant instances of polarisation than on a computer debate. I don’t know if the B.N.P. and the islamists and their respective acolytes consciously got together to arrange what happened in Birmingham but they seem to be dancing to the same tune.

    45. Rumbold — on 13th August, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

      Sunny:

      With respect, you are missing the point. No-one is defending British imperialism in India, or trying to say that it was some utopia. It wasn’t, and that is why the majority of Indians rightly wanted independence. But you are adopting a logical fallacy: ‘Indian independence was just, Bose wanted Indian independence, so Bose was just’.

      “Firstly, he’s not a fascist and there is no proof he was. He was a fighter for the independence caused and like many Britons in the past he embraced the idea that working with the Japs might work in the country’s favour.”

      He raised an army to fight with the Japanese and Nazis. If

      “Secondly, I also don’t buy the argument that if he’d worked with the Japs then many more Indians may have died. Look – that is unlikely anyway because the Japs were very stretched by then and couldn’t even hold China let alone another massive country.”

      Eh? When the INA was formed Japan was the dominant power in that region. We can’t know how exactly an occupation of India would have looked, but if it was anything like Japanese rule in other countries there would have been mass slaughter.

      Helping the Japanese to conquer India (which, intentionally or not, was what Bose was doing) was an awful idea at the time too, as the world knew how the Japanese were behaving. That is the context.

      I don’t think they like being called ‘Japs’ either.

      A good comparison would be if British people started to laud Clive of Plassey (later known as Clive of India). He fought the French, who were undemocratic, and he fought the Nawab of Bengal, who wasn’t a just ruler. So does that make him a hero? Apparently so.

    46. Jai — on 13th August, 2009 at 11:33 AM  

      Rumbold,

      A good comparison would be if British people started to laud Clive of Plassey (later known as Clive of India). He fought the French, who were undemocratic, and he fought the Nawab of Bengal, who wasn’t a just ruler. So does that make him a hero? Apparently so

      Er…..until relatively recently, Clive of India was lauded as a hero in Britain.

      ****************************************

      I said this before (as did a couple of other people), but Bose’s activities constitute a clear example of someone following the principle of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”

      If you want another analogy (since the French have been mentioned), it would be the Continental Army under George Washington allying itself with the French during the American War of Independence. The French army and navy both played a particularly pivotal role during the decisive Siege of Yorktown, against British forces commanded by Cornwallis, as you may know.

      It doesn’t mean that the Americans approved of France’s overseas colonial activities, or that they wanted to replace Britain with France as the dominant imperial power in North America (remember that the French were indeed competing with Britain in this regard), or that this made the Americans imperialists themselves because they had allied themselves with France. They viewed the French as a useful ally against a common enemy, namely the British at that time.

      The same mindset applied to Bose — someone, as I said before, I do not support one bit myself, but whose rationale is obvious.

      Having said that, the following…..

      Helping the Japanese to conquer India (which, intentionally or not, was what Bose was doing) was an awful idea at the time too

      …..is absolutely correct.

    47. Rumbold — on 13th August, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

      Jai:

      Again, I see what you were trying to say, but the analogy doesn’t hold up. In WWII, there was a real danger that Japan would conquer India. However, there was never any danger that France would conquer America, as the British had driven them from most of the continent in the mid-eighteenth century. France merely hoped to hold onto a few strongholds while weakening the British- they knew they didn’t have the resources to even contemplate an invasion.

      As you say, Clive was long lauded as a hero in some quarters. Which is why I used him as an example, in order to show how I feel about Bose.

    48. Douglas Berk — on 13th August, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

      douglas clark

      I kind of hope that the middle ground doesn’t weaken when faced with this onslaught of shit. For, that is what they want to do, to polarise any discussion, or debate.

      So Douglas Clark the man who says things that would make the BNP blush, things things like

      “they do it (forced marriage) because they are Muslim men”

      “Its clear Muslims are selling their daughters”

      as well as demanding all Muslims apologies for an attack at a cinema (which wasnt even done by Muslims)

      “doesnt want to polarise”

      well I never. What a complete un self-aware twat.

      If him and these comments are “the middle ground” God help Pickled Politics,

    49. Ravi Naik — on 13th August, 2009 at 2:10 PM  

      Rumbold, I find it ironic that you say that we shouldn’t idolise historical figures, yet at the same measure you dismiss Bose as a fascist. Clearly, the lesson here is that it is simplistic to idolise or demonise many of the figures that played a role in WW2 through the lens of those who wrote History (the winners).

      Let’s not kid ourseves - WW2 was an European war by rich colonial powers, and people from the colonies were never seen as equals to Europeans, they were just there to serve (which is why Iain Dale’s rant is hilarious) The Germans were extremely prejudiced and racist (and Bose faced that racism when he was in Germany), but so were the allies. Racist to the core.

      Bose hated the nazis who he thought were racist and arrogant. But he said that he would shake the devil’s hand to get India’s independence. He also tried to get help from Stalin, but was unsuccessful.

      But saying that Bose is a fascist because he associated with the Axis, is like calling the Allies communists because they allied themselves with Stalin, who let’s face it, but the end of WW2 managed to secure several parts of Europe and bring about misery to so many people for decades. Nobody knows what Holodomor stands for… but you know, the allies won, and they got to write the narrative. Oh, and the allies also droped nuclear bombs in Japan where children even today are born with deformities…

      I am glad Bose failed, he was incredibly foolish. Of course, in hindsight, we know who the “good” guys and the real bad guys were, but in 1930s, it was far more difficult to assert that, specially for Indians who had to endure the European chauvinist mindset against non-whites.

    50. Sunny — on 13th August, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

      Yup, what Ravi said above.

      Helping the Japanese to conquer India (which, intentionally or not, was what Bose was doing) was an awful idea at the time too

      I’m sorry but you can’t twist it around like that. You can argue that it could be the consequence but Bose was certainly not planning that the subjugation of the English would be replaced by the Japanese.

    51. Rumbold — on 13th August, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

      Okay. I obviously have failed to explain myself. Apologies. I shall try again.

      It is one thing to ally with someone who you don’t agree with. That is war, and a sad but inevitable part of conflict. What Bose did was different though. He wasn’t merely allying with the Japanese, he was helping them to invade India. Yes, the British were hardly saints, but if Bose had won, India would have been under Japanese rule. What would have happened after that we can’t say (rebellion etc.). What we can say is that countries under Japanese control at the time were utterly brutalised. It is well worth reading up on it.

    52. Shamit — on 13th August, 2009 at 5:50 PM  

      “….but if Bose had won, India would have been under Japanese rule.”

      How can you substantiate this?

      Bose openl;y said it in Tokyo and Singapore that Japan would not run India and if the Japanese tried, the INA would fight the Japanese too.

      Japan, for the only time, during world war two handed over all Indian POWs to the INA and the Azad Hind Government - which was actually by the way started by another Bose - Rashbehari Bose.

      So this assertion that India would have been under Japanese rule — and that Bose knowingly was leading the INA towards it is just a theory. How do you substantiate this theory?

      And I have done some reading and I also lived in S.E. Asia — and I know the brutality of Japanese occupation. But it does not mean that SC Bose was interested in letting Japan rule India.

      And since the day this debate began, I have been asking that question over and over again.
      *********************************************

      What we the Brits did to the Poles or the Czechs during World War II and after — did we not get together with Stalin and let him take over Eastern Europe and force millions of people to live under his despotic rule. And we did it knowingly too.

      So, if SC Bose was fascist then Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill were communists.

      I agree Churchill did what he thought was best to protect our country and it was the right thing to do. And he hated the communists and everything Soviet Union stood for.

      Bose used the Axis powers to try to get India independent - And he did so despite hating the Japanese occupation of other countries and the Nazis

      Why can’t we give the same benefit of doubt to Bose as we give to Churchill? One simple reason - he lost and Churchill won.

      That’s how history is written - isn’t it or at least before the internet.

    53. Rumbold — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:38 PM  

      Shamit:

      Two points, then I will say no more.

      The situation at the time was that a Japanese army (with INA support) was attacking British-controlled India. The result of successful invasion would have meant that India would have been in Japanese hands. Beyond that, we cannot say whether Bose would have rebelled, what would have happened, etc. So Bose went into the war knowing what the immediate result of a successful attack would be. That is why I don’t like him.

      Second point, and I have tried to draw this distinction. It is one thing to use unsavoury allies in far-away places, but Bose was willing to let them loose on his own people. That is the difference.

    54. Sunny — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:45 PM  

      It is one thing to use unsavoury allies in far-away places, but Bose was willing to let them loose on his own people.

      Er, no he wasn’t. Shamit has already answered this. You can not prove in any way that Bose was happy with the Japanese replacing the English. He would have had zero support in India for that. What you’re doing however is saying you think that would be the likely impact and thus he wanted it.

      I’m sorry that’s not logic or evidence that’s just projection.

    55. Shamit — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

      Rumbold:

      On your first point the evidence suggests you are wrong - - In October 1943, if I am correct, some parts of Manipur came under INA - Japanese control. For the next 3 months, the Government that ran Manipur was the Azad Hind Provincial Government and the Japanese were present but had no role in running the Government.

      So, if the Japanese then did abide by the agreement with Bose then your assertion that Japanese occupation of India seems to be an extrapolation of what they did in other places. But evidence of those three months, they honoured their agreement with the Azad Hind Government and the Japanese soldiers behaved — there was no loot or rape like they normally did in other places.

      Therefore, once again the extrapolation that Japan would have done the exact same thing to India - is probably not very accurate. And Bose did not unleash anything in India which the British hadn’t already started.

      So while rest of Asia hates Japan — the emotions are strikingly different in India.

      Now, I know the Japanese regime was abhorrent but they did keep their word to Bose. So Bose did not unleash anything on India and therefore both your assertions are incorrect as the only actual evidence shows otherwise.

    56. Rumbold — on 13th August, 2009 at 9:08 PM  

      Sunny:

      I didn’t say that Bose wanted the Japanese to run things, just that was the most likely outcome, and Bose must have known that. You couldn’t not have.

      Shamit:

      It is difficult to speculate about the real thinking of the Japanese high command. All I would say is that the Japanese were well aware of resentment of Briitsh rule in India, and so would have been foolish to mistreat Indians in the small part of India that they controlled. Based on the evidence from the rest of Asia, as you rightly say, the Japanese would have been incredibly vicious rulers.

    57. douglas clark — on 14th August, 2009 at 1:24 AM  

      Shamit @ 55,

      Here’s a slightly different perspective on the geo-politics of the time:

      http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=188

      In essence, By summer of 1943, the Allied forces were beginning to dominate in the skies (over Burma) with aircraft operating out of India. While Japan had no original plans to invade India, Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi of the Japanese 15th Army knew that an offensive into India was the only way he could eliminate the aerial threat.

      It is also quite interesting if you look at the Order of Battle stuff for the defence of Imphal-Kolima just how many of the forces were, in fact Indian. Which, one might imagine, could make it Indias’ own Gettysburg.

      And, finally, Bose managed to raise a force of circa 50,000 men, mainly from POWs, where the option seems to have been fairly horrific. And that has to be compared to the 2,500,000 that volunteered on the Allied side.

      I think he wasn’t quite as influential as some are saying here.

      I wonder if he met Lord Haw-Haw when he was in Berlin?

    58. douglas clark — on 14th August, 2009 at 2:07 AM  

      I’d have thought that, if your train up 2.5m folk as a credible fighting force, and they fight for you, then when their government says:

      “Hey. We’d like our Independence!”

      Even Whitehall has to take notice.

      And that, obviously, excludes the moral right of the case.

      I recall looking through Acts of Parliament for the late fifties, early sixties, and I was struck by how many of them were about the independence of nations that Queen Victoria had been - I imagine - delighted to call her subjects.

      It was quite liberating. You could say, well I’ll say, that India started that avalanche, and a good thing too!

    59. Vikrant — on 14th August, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

      Rumbold,

      I actually completely agree with what you say, especially in post 56. Bose’s actions would have ultimately led to Japnese take over of India, but i doubt that he was a wilful collaborator with the facists. I’d still say that there is scant evidence that he was a facist.

      As for idolising Bose in India, given the selective Nehruvian interpretation of Indian history, driven by mostly Bengali academia in India, Bose’s role/influence has undoubtedly been exaggerated in India!

    60. douglas clark — on 14th August, 2009 at 8:56 AM  

      It seems appropriate to apply the concept that ‘Your enemies enemy is your friend’ to Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi just in the same way as some seem to apply it to Bose. They were, perhaps, both using each other and the companionabilty was, in another timeline, to be short lived. Still, in the one we occupy, Bose was being used by the Japanese, and that is very, very sad.

      The world must be littered with failed independence movements based on support from powerful imperialist powers. Partly, or mainly, because they were betrayed by the imperialists. I don’t think we have to go much further back than the interegnum between Gulf Wars 1 & 2 to see an example of duplicity on the part of a major power. See here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_uprisings_in_Iraq

      Particularily the tacit US support that ended up as snow off a dyke.

    61. douglas clark — on 14th August, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

      I am also, sadly, reminded of the Warsaw uprising. Where the Russians encouraged the Poles to rise against the Nazis, on the basis that ‘we are coming. we are coming!’, and then, of course, they didn’t.

    62. Jai — on 14th August, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

      On a tangential note, there’s been a fair bit of controversy about whether Bose really did die in the plane crash as claimed by the Japanese. There have been a number of formal investigations by India which have apparently revealed considerable discrepancies, and some of the findings have been “sealed” by the Indian government, ostensibly because they are politically highly sensitive:

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

      And, even more curiously, there are also rumours that Bose actually lived “in disguise” in northern India until his death in 1985. Apparently the handwritings of Bose and the individual concerned matched too. And although the investigating team could not say for certain whether Bose and his person were one and the same, they simultaneously came to the conclusion that the official account of Bose’s death was also incorrect.

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

      The plot thickens, eh…..

    63. Rumbold — on 14th August, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

      Vikrant:

      I agree that Bose might not have been a fascist in the narrow ideological sense, though of course that is debatable. However, he was a willing collaborator.

      Jai:

      I ssuspect if he was held in the USSR it would have come to light by now. But who knows what really happened.

    64. soru — on 14th August, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

      Bose openl;y said it in Tokyo and Singapore that Japan would not run India and if the Japanese tried, the INA would fight the Japanese too.

      The obvious counterpoint would be if if the INA tried such a thing, they would have lost, just like the Koreans, Chinese, etc.

      Which leads to three options:

      1. Bose was lying.
      2. Bose was an idiot.
      3. Bose liked fighting for it’s own sake, so wasn’t especially worried about winning or losing.

      Pick one according to taste.

    65. Mumbaikar — on 14th August, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

      Speaking of Indians who allied with Nazis/Japanese, here is some fascinating information of a little known freedom fighter, who actually coined the term “Jai Hind”. Some people say he was the inspiration behind Bose.

      Champaka Raman Pillai

      Some snippets from the post…
      “During the First World War, he is said to have printed & dropped pamphlets from airplanes among the Indian soldiers in France, exhorting them to turn against the English”


      “After the war, Champak became a Member of the nationalist party of Germany. Champakraman Pillai was not pro-Nazi as some said, but was apparently murdered (poisoned or beaten to death) by Hitler’s goons. In the Pan German Nationalist party, he was the only non-white man to have the honor and with his shiny black complexion, was proud of the distinction. Having met Kaiser Wilhelm and claming close friendship with two important Generals, Hindenberg and Ludendorf, he was considered something of a dandy with perfect drawing room manners. Pillai was then active in the German Fatherland Party. In later years in Berlin, where he died, he remained one of the very few Indians in Germany.”

      …..
      A very interesting piece of information indeed.

    66. sonia — on 14th August, 2009 at 3:53 PM  

      /what post are you referring to Rumbold? you just say in the post below but there are no links

    67. sonia — on 14th August, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

      but anyway, your wider points are entirely valid and very well put. and not just historical figures - but idolising a leader full stop, past or present. all this ‘guruji’ business: oh guruji you have the answers! you will show us the way! tell us guruji!

      its too much in evidence everywhere we go. i went to this talk by edward de bono, and the man himself kept saying that a big part of creative thinking is about challenging and being provocative! and what did the audience do but respond in a very ‘guruji’ manner idolising him and what he was saying and asking him silly questions like What would you Do with Young people to encourage Creative thinking. Think for yourself people!

      its just sheer laziness in the end, and complete lack of creativity, and individuality.

    68. sonia — on 14th August, 2009 at 4:06 PM  

      Very good post Rumbold.

      I don’t really think the wider impact of your points has been appreciated by many of the commenters on this thread who seem to be mostly side-tracked by specifics of what happened in india. (yeah i think we can all agree the bloke was an aggressive nationalist, like so many “leaders”!) can’t see much point about wrangling about terminology.

      Never mind all that. Big problem now is that society still seems to be made up of followers slavishly following some leader or other (fight being about whom) rather than critiquing the overall problem with leadership as we understand it. What you are saying, is a big part of that critique.

      So well done you

    69. sonia — on 14th August, 2009 at 4:08 PM  

      for all his ills Hitler was a great orator.

      Well duh obviously! how else would he have managed to gain power? most politicians and leaders are great orators, slimy bastards that most of them are.

    70. fugstar — on 14th August, 2009 at 4:49 PM  

      Bose as our Elvis.

      hmm.

      interesting.

    71. Don — on 14th August, 2009 at 5:20 PM  

      most politicians and leaders are great orators…

      Not really. Think about our current/recent crop. Blair and Obama have that knack, but seriously, who else?

      Bush? Brown? Cameron? Out of those three Cameron wins hands down, but still only gets a B+/-. Check out some of Thatcher’s speeches, heavy handed clunkers for the most part but playing to the choir. Major? Carter? Bush Snr? It’s harder to judge non-English speakers but I’d sooner spend a wet weekend in Hull than sit through a speech by Castro or Kim Jong-il.

      Putin is confident and well-practised, but I wouldn’t call him a great orator.

      It’s a pretty rare talent and if you have it it probably will boost you significantly, regardless of the worth of the content. But most politicians are boring as hell.

    72. Rumbold — on 14th August, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

      Sonia:

      Thank you for your kind words. The post I was referring to was this one:

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5493

    73. Rumbold — on 14th August, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

      Sonia:

      I think the real problem is that people don’t compartmentalise enough when it comes to historical figures.

    74. Halima — on 15th August, 2009 at 2:56 AM  

      “It’s a pretty rare talent and if you have it it probably will boost you significantly, regardless of the worth of the content. But most politicians are boring as hell.”

      That’s right. Public speaking is a rare talent, and it’s exactly that - a talent, not easily something you can teach at a course. Most public speaking courses in my mind teach you to minise the obstructions to speaking well - rather than teach you how to do it well. It’s something that’s innate in you - either you have it or you don’t and most people speak in the dull monotonous drone-like way with a power point to hand, often to hide nerves, too. I went to a Reuters course once and the trainer told the group the the most natural public speakers also tend to be the most annoying people to sit next to at a dinner table.. they’re not suited with intimate settings where they are not the centre of attention and always hog the space… which might serve to explain why good politicians are boring - they’re considerate, whereas the ones that speak well might be well - extraverts that are busy dominating the world…

    75. Halima — on 15th August, 2009 at 3:03 AM  

      Sonia

      I think you’re right, South Asian are programmed to idololise gurus..

      Idolisation is over-rated - gimme an unsung hero anytime.

    76. douglas clark — on 15th August, 2009 at 3:46 AM  

      Mumbaikar @ 65,

      Interesting stuff indeed.

      I seem to remember reading that there were Indian students at German Universities during that period, although my backtracking doesn’t seem to agree with me, if you see what I mean. You read something, somewhere on the Internet and you assume it is true, and then when you try to find it again, nada :-(

      I’d just be interested if you had a handle on whether that was the case or not, and if so, what sort of numbers we are talking about.

      And the only agenda I have here is to wonder whether there is an interesting novel to be written on the lost and the lonely that gravitated towards Berlin in the ’30’s.

      For Bose was not alone in jumping the shark. There was a minor, perhaps, community of folk that thought National Socialism was the bees knees.

      Bose and Lord Haw-Haw had a common interest in using the wireless to propogate their ideas. Nowadays we call it propoganda. Or Fox News.

      Given that common interest, I really do wonder if they met, and what they might have made of each other.

      Sorry, this a diversion too far.

      ___________________________

      Sonia is not wrong, she is never wrong, but it seems to me to be the case that it is not just South Asians that are programmed to idolise gurus…

      Bet at least half the audience for Edward de Bono were white?

      Just to prove my independent spirit or summat, I think he’s overrated. And I did read some of his books..

      Now, for an Aunt Sally, I think “I’m OK, your OK” is probably the best book ever written about how we should treat each other, and why.

    77. Dalbir — on 3rd September, 2009 at 10:02 PM  

      Had to drop this recent article in guys. Well worth a look:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/02/second-world-war-nostalgia-myths?commentpage=1



    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.