Friday, June 21, 2024

“UK became wealthy at India’s expense; caused 100 million deaths”

The UK caused “real damage to the people of India” with its colonial policies, and caused millions of deaths, Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday asserted weighing in on Britain’s colonial past. More than 100 million Indian people “fell victim” to London’s draconian policies as  in the period between 1880 to 1920 during their rule, Russia noted, adding that this period was the “peak of the British colonial rule in India” that brought misery and suffering to the Indian population.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry was refuting the statistics cited in a scholarly study published by economic anthropologists Jason Hickel and Dylan Sullivan. It accused its adversary, the UK, of looting and plundering India during its rule and berated the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s colonial policies in India. 

Approximately 165 million deaths were recorded in India from 1880 to 1920, while Britain stole trillions of dollars of wealth from the country, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement published on Telegram and on Kremlin’s official website. It denounced the alleged “positive impact” of the British colonial rule in Asia hurled by pro-Western analysts on social media.

The British rule in India reduced the mortality rate from 37.2 per 1,000 in the 1880s, to a further 44.2 in the 1910s, and shrank the life expectancy of the Indians from 26.7 to 21.9 years, respectively, Russia said citing Hickel and Sullivan’s study. 

This, noted Russia, was because millions of Indians died due to the anthropogenic famine “engineered by the British” in the then Bengal of 1943. “That humanitarian catastrophe was a direct result of the decisions by the colonial administration and personally British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who ordered for grain to be shipped out of India to cover the needs of the home country,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

Moscow, India’s steadfast ally, lashed out at UK’s “racism” against the Indians. It slammed Winston Churchill’s views of the Indians. “Winston Churchill’s statements about the horrifying developments in Bengal look openly racist,” said the Russian MFA. The latter quoted the ex-British Prime Minister’s wordings: ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.’ Churchill caused a “humanitarian catastrophe” in India, as a result of the decisions made by his colonial administration, Russia noted. It was Churchill, personally, “who ordered grain to be shipped out of India to cover the needs of UK,” the foreign ministry of Russia said, labelling the colonial UK’s actions as “criminal” that claimed the lives of nearly three million Indians. Russia slammed the UK for “starving Indians to death.” 

Russia also accused the UK of looting Indian wealth during colonial rule, supporting the analysis of the Indian economist Utsa Patnaik. The British empire siphoned out £9.2 trillion ($45 trillion) of wealth from India, the Russian MFA pointed out. The evidence listed in the academic journals, clearly unveils, how the UK “got wealthier at the expense of India, and how they exploited and caused the deaths of [Indians] whom they deeply despised,” Russia asserted. 

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