New Delhi. 24 January 2019. “Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed,” said Winston Churchill , the most respected leaders of all times and surprisingly remembered fondly by nation which sees him as an astute politician with military elan, undoubtedly the legacy of the British Raj in India which percolated the thought down generations of well read Indians.
But there is another school of thought which feels that it was nothing else but frustration which led to such statements from the greatest statesman of all times. He probably knew Indian freedom would be the beginning of the sun setting over the British empire. He wanted India to remain as part of British Empire. He loved the empire so much. He knew without India, British empire would crumple quickly. Everyone knew that and within 2 decades they lost what had taken them 300 years to build. So he said and acted whatever he could do to prevent that.
He said “no trace will remain” of India, but the fact is that Modern India survived its cesarean birth, took its baby steps to become a republic and rose to become what the world sees it today – a power to reckon- a nation to respect – a democracy to emulate and its slow but steady rise in the international arena does make one ponder – did Churchill’s prediction come true at all. But all said and done the modern India bases its views on what historians and the internet serve it on their plates. Most of the generation which had seen and understood Churchill and India under his Prime Ministership have passed into the other world. Even the octogenarians today were babies when India got its independence. So Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG OM CH TD DL FRS RA was a British politician, army officer, and writer, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955 who as Prime Minister, also led Britain to victory in Europe in the Second World War and hence an enigma respected and remembered with fondness. Surprisingly the India of today has no bad blood for Britain having ruled it for centuries and finds in it a friend and an ally. Hence vandalisation of Churchill’s statue in his home country receives a lot of criticism in India, infact more than the reaction in its own country. Today on the day Churchill died India warmly remembers him. And he would have been a happy man to know that the Churchill War rooms in England have maxnum visitors from India.