When ‘Our Dave’ states that Britain was responsible for many of the world’s problems, he isn’t far off the truth. Well, not only not far off, not even close, really.
We might have scuttled out of India, leaving a tinder-box of religious and political issues and attitudes left unresolved, but we didn’t suddenly make Hindus and Muslims hate one another with a deadly vengeance.
We might have arranged the partition of a sub-continent without thinking every detail through, but we did not arrange the trains arriving in India from a newly independent Pakistan with words of hate painted on the sides of carriages filled with the dead, dying and mutilated bodies of the Sikhs and Hindus who had fled from the terror.
We arranged the Partition along the lines of a population majority in a State deciding which Nation would claim its fealty, we did not ensure that a Hindu King in Kashmir would swing his State into Indian rule, despite a solid Muslim majority because the Indians promised him a better deal.
We might have ruled India through a pattern of divide and rule, through propping up princelings and maharajahs, but we didn’t commence or fight three wars between the nuclear-armed States of India and Pakistan.
We have many things to be proud of in our sojourn within a greater India, some regret, but very little to be ashamed of. True, not many occupying armies had a General Dyer amongst them, but with a massive population and unrest escalating, our eventual Partition arrangement, if all had stuck to the terms of separation, could have worked without bloodshed; but there had been too much blood shed already not to inflame already tender temperaments, and flashpoints boiled over into murder and chaos.
Don’t apologise on my behalf, Prime Minister; just keep your word on domestic issues and try and appear like a Tory; even if you don’t believe in the things which we do!