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Hollywood Needs To Stop Glorifying Winston Churchill

Comments 35

  1. The problem is dat this video is in buzzfeed india wer 95% viewers r indian nd we r alrdy aware of this side of dat son of a bitch Winston Churchill….i wish we need to make another film on him in english to be released worldwide just to make sure dat he shoud be remembered by ppl not as a grt statesman but as one of the monsters from europe along with hitler nd Mussolini !!!

  2. You know in a way, Hitler helped us indirectly without knowing it. If British supplies were not severely weakened by the consequence of war, History could have been different.

  3. I don't think this is a problem. Don't tell them to stop saying what they want to say. Instead, comeback with a movie which highlights what Indians think of Churchill. Movies need not be historically accurate, unless they are documentaries.

  4. Yo BuzzFeed! Put this on your main page, people deserve to know the Sh#t Indians went through because of the British.

    People don't talk about this enough. Kudos to BuzzFeed India👍

  5. The charge stems from a 2009 book accusing Churchill of irresponsibility over Bengal that amounted to a war crime, repeated by scores of sources since. As Churchill once remarked, “I should think it was hardly possible to state the opposite of the truth with more precision.”3

    The truth—documented by Sir Martin Gilbert and Hillsdale College—is that Churchill did everything he could in the midst of world war to save the Bengalis; and that without him the famine would have been worse.4

    On receiving news of the spreading food shortage Churchill spoke to his Cabinet, saying he would welcome a statement by Lord Wavell, his new Viceroy of India, that his duty “was to make sure that India was a safe base for the great operations against Japan which were now pending, and that the war was pressed to a successful conclusion, and that famine and food difficulties were dealt with.” (Italics mine.)5

    Churchill then wrote to Wavell personally:

    Peace, order and a high condition of war-time well-being among the masses of the people constitute the essential foundation of the forward thrust against the enemy….The hard pressures of world-war have for the first time for many years brought conditions of scarcity, verging in some localities into actual famine, upon India. Every effort must be made, even by the diversion of shipping urgently needed for war purposes, to deal with local shortages….Every effort should be made by you to assuage the strife between the Hindus and Moslems and to induce them to work together for the common good.6

    Again Churchill expressed his wish for “the best possible standard of living for the largest number of people.”7

    Next Churchill turned to famine relief. Canada had offered aid, but in thanking Prime Minister MacKenzie King, Churchill noted a shipping problem: “Wheat from Canada would take at least two months to reach India whereas it could be carried from Australia in 3 to 4 weeks.”8

    At Churchill’s urging, Australia promised 350,000 tons of wheat. King still wanted to help. Churchill feared a resultant loss of war shipments between Canada and Australia,9 but King assured him there would be no shortfall. Canada’s contribution, he said, would pay “dividends in humanitarian aspects….”10

    The famine continued into 1944, causing Secretary of State for India Leopold Amery to request one million tons of grain. Churchill, who had been studying consumption statistics, now believed India was receiving more than she would need. He remained concerned about the shipping problem, “given the effect of its diversion alike on operations and on our imports of food into this country, which could be further reduced only at the cost of much suffering.”11

    The Cabinet cited other causes of the famine rarely mentioned in latter-day denunciations of Churchill: the shortages were “partly political in character, caused by Marwari supporters of Congress [Gandhi’s party] in an effort to embarrass the existing Muslim Government of Bengal.” Another cause, they added, was corrupt local officials: “The Government of India were unduly tender with speculators and hoarders.”12

    Amery and Wavell continued to press for wheat, and in the Cabinet of February 14th Churchill tried to accommodate them. While shipping difficulties were “very real,” Churchill said, he was “most anxious that we should do everything possible to ease the Viceroy’s position. No doubt the Viceroy felt that if this corner could be turned, the position next year would be better.” Churchill added that “refusal of India’s request was not due to our underrating India’s needs, but because we could not take operational risks by cutting down the shipping required for vital operations.”13

    The war pressed Britain on all sides; shipping was needed everywhere. Indeed, at the same time as India was demanding another million tons, Churchill was fending off other demands: “I have been much concerned at the apparently excessive quantities of grain demanded by Allied HQ for civilians in Italy, which impose a great strain on our shipping and finances,” he wrote War Secretary Sir James Grigg. “Will you let me have, at the earliest possible moment…estimates of the amount of food which is really needed….”14

    Churchill and his Cabinet continued to struggle to meet India’s needs. While certain that shipping on the scale Amery wanted was impossible without a “dangerous inroad into the British import programme or a serious interference with operational plans,” the Cabinet grasped at every straw, recommending:

    (a) A further diversion to India of the shipments of food grains destined for the Balkan stockpile in the Middle East. This might amount to 50,000 tons, but would need War Cabinet approval, while United States reactions would also have to be ascertained; (b) There would be advantage if ships carrying military or civil cargo from the United States or Australia to India could also take a quantity of bagged wheat.15

    A month later Churchill was hoping India had turned the corner when his Minister of War Transport, Frederick Leathers, reported “statistically a surplus of food grains in India.” Still, Leathers emphasized “the need for imported wheat on psychological grounds.” What were they? Amery explained that “the peasant in 750,000 villages” might hold back “his small parcel of grain” if no outside aid was in sight. He said he could ship 200,000 tons, “provided that the twenty-five ships required were surplus to the Army’s needs.” But Amery wanted double that quantity.16

    Again trying to help, the Cabinet suggested that India had underestimated its rice crop. While agreeing to send the 200,000 tons, Churchill told Amery he could get another 150,000 tons from Ceylon in exchange for excess rice: “The net effect, counting 50,000 tons previously arranged [was] 400,000 tons of wheat.”17

    In April, it was Lord Wavell asking not for 400,000 but 724,000 tons! Now the problem was unseasonable weather and a deadly explosion in the Bombay Docks, which destroyed 50,000 tons of food grains. Peasants were still holding back their crops, he said; rumors were circulating “that London had refused to ask America for help.” The exasperated Cabinet retorted: “If we now approached the United States and they were unable to help, it would at least dispel that allegation.”18

    One can sense Churchill’s frustration. Whatever they did, however they wriggled, they could not appease the continued demands from India—even after calculations showed that the shortage had been eased.

    Churchill agreed to write President Roosevelt for help, and replace the 45,000 tons lost in the explosion. But he “could only provide further relief for the Indian situation at the cost of incurring grave difficulties in other directions.”19

    As good as his word, and despite preoccupation with the upcoming invasion of France, Churchill wrote FDR. No one, reading his words, can be in doubt about his sympathies:

    I am seriously concerned about the food situation in India….Last year we had a grievous famine in Bengal through which at least 700,000 people died. This year there is a good crop of rice, but we are faced with an acute shortage of wheat, aggravated by unprecedented storms….By cutting down military shipments and other means, I have been able to arrange for 350,000 tons of wheat to be shipped to India from Australia during the first nine months of 1944. This is the shortest haul. I cannot see how to do more.

    I have had much hesitation in asking you to add to the great assistance you are giving us with shipping but a satisfactory situation in India is of such vital importance to the success of our joint plans against the Japanese that I am impelled to ask you to consider a special allocation of ships to carry wheat to India from Australia….We have the wheat (in Australia) but we lack the ships. I have resisted for some time the Viceroy’s request that I should ask you for your help, but… I am no longer justified in not asking for your help.20

    Roosevelt replied that while Churchill had his “utmost sympathy,” his Joint Chiefs had said they were “unable on military grounds to consent to the diversion of shipping….Needless to say, I regret exceedingly the necessity of giving you this unfavorable reply.”21

    There is no doubt that in those fraught weeks Churchill said things off the record (but duly recorded by subordinates) that were unworthy of him, out of exasperation and the press of war on many fronts. There is no evidence that Churchill wished any Indian to starve; on the contrary, he did his best to help them, amidst a war to the death.

  6. The worst part of all this was there was protest for Padmavat but nobody had a problem with The Darkest Hour. If protest was done ,it would have garnered some attention.But as Indians we have pretty much fighting ourselves.

  7. What happened in Bengal was horrible but that does not take away the fact that Churchill was a war hero. History can be perceived differently by different people. Md Ali Jinnah loved in Pakistan hated by Indians for separating India; Sheikh Mujib considered the father of the nation of Bangladesh whereas despised in Pakistan for being a secessionist; Indira Gandhi honoured as a strong leader but detested by the Sikhs for the the Golden temple raid; S C Bose considered as an Indian war hero but according to the rest of the world he was a person who supported(for the benefit of Indian) the Nazis and the list goes on. All I am saying is history can be perceived differently and depends on the narrative that you are looking for.

    No one is perfect and if the Europeans wants to remember their leader as a "hero" let them do it the same way we have done it to our own leaders. If you are interested in the truth you have all the resources you need to get to it.

    TBH everyone suffered during both the world wars, tough decisions and sacrifices had to be made. Times has passed and we have to stop acting like a victim all the time and stop blaming Britain for all our troubles. We have to stand up ourselves and make ourselves better than them.

  8. Churchill is India Hitler. Even in Indian education system we try to minimize the extent of brutality that British imposed on Indians. I have learnt about it only recently through sashi tharoor book. Will definitely read the book mentioned in the video. I hope Bollywood make a movie about it so that at least Indian can be educated about such sickening atrocities

  9. I start by saying wow nice video. Learned something about Churchill, which I will say has been an idol for a long time. I will tell you this, it was cruel and barbaric the whole colonial system, and Churchill was born right into the last of it and that's why he had such a detestable view of subject nations, especially those who didn't submit completely and loyally to the crown, especially surprising since India basically fought the entire middle eastern campaign of WW1 and served in France. Since Gandhi was a well trained lawyer that might have stung his Britishness.

    But I do have to say that Hollywood is BS always when it comes to "based on a true story". It's infuriating to find out everything you watched is just made up except the names.

  10. Well, tbh we've got no idea what actually happened in history, all we've got is accounts! The truth is every country portrays it's people in positive lights! So, in all we really need to learn what actually happened before basing our judgements from partial knowledge! And this video was just that!

  11. I’m with you on the brutality of the British. I’m from Singapore, also once a British colony. When the Japanese invaded Singapore, the British ‘masters’ left immediately! Singaporeans will forever be grateful to the regiment of soldiers mainly from India, New Zealand and Australia. They defied the order to leave and stayed to fight for a little place that wasn’t even their home! They were mercilessly annhilated by the large Japanese Imperial soldiers. Till today the Singapore government has dedicated a plot of land to honour these nameless heroes who had sacrificed themselves for us. I would suggest whenever anyone come visit Singapore, please come to the Kranji War Memorial Cemetery which is next to the site where these heroes fought bravely.

  12. BuzzFeed went to India and started spreading its PC liberal snowflake culture among the youth the way its been doing it in the US. I hope the Indians are smarter than us Americans and dont fall for it.

  13. Omg! Another pseudo intellectual video trying to be awe-inspiring. Not very fair to take people out of their time and context and judge them. No doubt Churchill was a Conservative, white supremacist, aggravated the Bengal famine. That doesn't change the fact that he was the only man who was ready to fight Hitler. It was a bloody war against fascism and Hitler was advancing at an alarming rate. Also, you forgot to mention how the Japanese, an Axis power and INA were entering from the North East. Nasty and brutal war strategy. Hitler on the other hand, had been cold-bloodedly exterminating people as if they were pests. The British recorded colonial history their way and we record our history our way. By not acknowledging, in fact dismissing any form of good the British had done in India.

  14. One country's national hero may very well be a monster for another. Take Napoleon, still loved in France, not so much across the channel or in former French colonies.

    As for Hollywood, they tend to love all things British. Maybe it's time for India to start writing and spreading it's own version of history. It certainly has the means to do. Take that one video from Sashi Tharoor in the Oxford debate which went viral worldwide. You may need more of those.

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