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Keeping the Jewel in the Crown: The British Betrayal of India

Walter Reid

Top 10 Best Quotes

“There is nothing sadder in this story than the way it ended.”

“The story of the last thirty years of the Raj reveals little evidence of goodwill or wholehearted commitment to India’s well-being. On the contrary, it is an unsettling story of deceit and double-speak.”

“Quite how iniquitous they (the Indian Princes) were will never be known, because Corfield told his officials to extract from the files any evidence of what were called ‘eccentricities’ on the part of the princes. No fewer than four tons of eccentricities were burned, to the annoyance of both Mountbatten, who knew just how eccentric royals could be, and Nehru.”

“On the issue of dominion status for India, for example: "So here was the usual duplicity. Those who framed policy in London were well aware that Indians thought that there was something new and revolutionary about the statement, and encouraged them in that belief.”

“Linlithgow identified the obstacles to progress as Indian political stupidity and British political dishonesty, but he was himself a master of the ability to say something which meant very little, and to decorate it with qualifications like ‘in the light of the then circumstances’, and ‘subject to such modifications as may seem desirable’.”

“India will never, within any time that we can foresee, be an efficient country, organised and governed on Western lines. In her development to self-government we have got to be prepared to accept a degree of inefficiency comparable to that in China, Iraq or Egypt . . . [W] e cannot continue to resist reform because it will make the administration less efficient.’ - Wavell to Churchill, July 1944”

“India and Burma have no natural association with the Empire, from which they are alien by race, history and religion, and for which as such neither of them have any natural affection, and both are in the Empire because they are conquered countries which have been brought there by force, kept there by our controls, and which hitherto it has suited to remain under our protection. …Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India, 1942”

“He spoke to me for half an hour, and I am still not sure what he meant to tell me. Every sentence he spoke could be interpreted in at least two different ways. I would be happier were I convinced that he knew what he was saying himself, but I cannot even be sure of that.’ (Wavell, talking about Gandhi)”

“He (Archibald, Lord Wavell, former Viceroy of India) was intellectually formidable , though he did not parade the fact. In 1938 he gave the Lees Knowles Lectures at Cambridge on ‘Generals and Generalship’. Rommell carried a copy of the lectures with him throughout the North Africa campaign.”

“Having been drafted with the strength of Conservative opposition in mind, the India Act was guarded and mean. The ‘safeguards’ in the Bill inevitably gave Indians the impression that the legislation was designed to limit, not facilitate, Independence.”

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Book Keywords:

north-africa-campaign, indian-independence-movement

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