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Freedom didn’t come at midnight

  • Date Submitted: 08/24/2012 05:47 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.1 
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Freedom didn’t come at midnight
By Rakesh Krishnan Simha August 2010

The principal architects of India’s independence are not the usual suspects.

A persistent Indian myth gleefully accepted as truth by the country’s liberals and Macaulayites – a class of people western in outlook but Indian in looks – is that freedom came too easy. The British, the myth goes, after ruling India for 190 years, became so tired of the responsibilities of running an empire that they simply wound up their empire and left.

Yeah, right! This myth would be laughable if it weren’t so sinister. Though it was clearly invented by the British to cover their ignominious and hasty retreat from India, millions of Indians have been brainwashed into swallowing the myth wholesale. Many Indians believe M.K. Gandhi used the weapon of non-violence and shamed the British colonialists into leaving India, and since then both countries have been best friends.

Freedom didn’t come overnight. It was obtained at a great cost – the sacrifice of millions of Indian lives. Contrary to the belief that the British period was a time of great stability, India was in fact roiled by uprisings and rebellions everywhere, virtually throughout colonial rule.

The First War of Independence of 1857 was the biggest uprising against the British. The sweep of the war covered nearly the entire country and for months India was turned into one massive battlefield. Britain came perilously close to losing its most prized possession: India. (Dr B Ambedkar considered the 1857 Mutiny to be a revolt by Muslims to reestablish their rule over India - Editor.)

In War of Civilisations: India AD 1857, Amaresh Misra, a writer and historian based in Mumbai, argues that there was an “untold holocaust” which caused the deaths of almost 10 million people over 10 years beginning in 1857. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Misra said, “It was a holocaust, one where millions disappeared. It was a necessary holocaust in the...


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