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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Victorian Angkor Wat

For anybody who reads about World War II, Winston Churchill emerges a hero. That's why it is such a shock, to read in "Churchill's Secret War", how Churchill, with his hostility, racism and arrogance, condemned Bengal to  a terrible famine in 1943, in which three million Indians died. The author, Madhushree Mukerjee, carefully documents Churchill's almost criminal negligence, and his view of Indians as a subhuman race, which led to the tragedy. Food was being exported from India to Britain, even when Indians were dying of hunger in the streets of Dhaka and Calcutta....

By coincidence, I was on Ross Island last week, in the Andaman Islands, which was the adminstrative headquarters of the British, from where the British governed the huge archipelago. It was weird: the equivalent of going to a Victorian Version of Angkor Wat, with twisted trees growing out of Anglican churches and Gothic architecture...we have made no attempt to preserve the place, which was destroyed by the combination of an earthquake and Japanese attack in 1942. A truly fitting end to a racist and arrogant empire...enjoy the pics...

This was the wall of one of the barracks which billeted Brit soldiers..

After keeping down 250 million people, the Presbyterian Church where they used to piously pray....

The Commissioner's Bunglow

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