General ramblings, History, Indian Politics

Video of Indian Independence in 1947

I got this video while rummaging through youtube as usual. I found it quite interesting. While the video does speak about the Indian Independence, it still leaves many a truth unsaid. Please take a look before reading my comments:

While it is surprising that India had a population of 400 million even in 1947 (US has a population of about 380 million NOW), what is even more surprising for me is that the journalist mentions some key points which tell the true only partially.

……British gave india law and order, they built the railways, they irrigated the lands….

I feel that this sentence is pretty biased against the country. The Moghul Empire did have weaknesses of its own. The British were smart enough to exploit those and enter into a good deal. What is not acceptable to me is the statement “They built the railways, they irrigated the lands”…Yes, the British did built the railways, but the railways also helped Britain economically. The higher posts in the Railways were open only to the Britishers. Indians were given all kinds of odd jobs. Besides, taxes were increased, lots of land was also also taken away from poor farmers. They were to be given away to the State “voluntarily”.

Who do you think irrigated the lands? And who do you think paid the zamindari taxes? Whose land was taken away in case the taxes were not paid?

You must have seen the part where they talk about the wide spread famine in India. As many as 7 million lives were claimed each year. It’s ironical that India was a British Colony for about 200 years, yet little was done to improve this situation. But as soon as the country gets independence, everybody starts talking about the lives of the poor farmers and their poverty and how the political leaders need to “rapidly improve rapidly the general standard of living”.

There is another statement in the video:

…To people like these, the word freedom is empty; democracy is just a word unheard by the majority…

Do you think this is justified? I don’t think that the word “deomocracy” was unheard by anybody, least of all by people who have lived under colonialism for 200 years.

…Britain has fulfilled her mission. It is for India to make her destiny…

What mission are they talking about here? I didn’t really get it.

I haven’t detailed my views here to hurt anybody’s sentiments. I feel that this is a sensitive issue and I have a right to comment and express my viewpoint.

Any thoughts? Do you feel that this video captures the real essence?

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24 thoughts on “Video of Indian Independence in 1947

  1. No the video hardly portrays the real picture..
    India was a rich country before brits came, and all the development he is talking abt, agreed british contributed, but any other ruler (indian) could have done that.
    although i must say, its true that democracy might be unheard by many because forget 200 years we never had democracy anytime before..but its funny..brits are saying that.., they are the ones who have belived in anarchy and made others follow it.

    btw, i used to blog at yahoo 360 before moving to wordpress, my last post there was on independence too..(of course nothing related to this specifically)

  2. I read your blog; you have some really interesting posts there 🙂 I think you should import them to the sparks

    Thank you for all the traffic that you have generated 🙂 I guess I’ll add a line of credit in your name!

  3. About the democracy bit,

    It’s ironical that the Indian consti. is the longest in the world; also, it has lots of articles dedicated to this issue! 🙂

    You are doing a good job of maintaining lots of “hidden” blogs..haha

  4. Dear Ruhi,

    Thanks for dropping line on my blog, well I always visit your blog by looking on new vedio article, I got only one word Biased. Well British government who ruled India almost 200 years, havent done anything for well being of people. Like comemtator saying India is HUngry, well I want to say these british people made India hungry, they robbed us our wealth and our peace.

    Well done ruhi…keep posting…

    Hey can I add you in my blogroll?

  5. hey ruhi..thanks for all the comments on my other blogs, they r not exactly ‘hidden’, just some prior blogging attempts..
    I did not respond to ur comments bcos I want to import all of them to sparks before I do it..!

  6. Hello Mr. Ekawaaz,

    Sure you can 🙂 Thanks a bunch. Yes, I felt the same way too. Infact, I was pretty shocked at the condenscending tone used….so I thought of sharing it with people who may not know….

    I like the content of your blog, its pretty focussed and gets the point across 🙂


    One word : Sure!

  7. “..…Britain has fulfilled her mission. It is for India to make her destiny…”
    thats a ridiculous statement, india was hardly free on 15th august 1947. All the army chiefs were brits, we did not have a indian air force marshall until early 196os. Mounbatten did not leave until 1948. The first indo-pak war, partition riots, junagarh, kashmir, etc were AFTER independence but still decided by brits army and viceroys for completely and only focussing the benifit of british empire..
    Nehru, Patel, Baldev singh had very few options to work with ..! One can even say churchil had more power to make decisions on India than nehru AFTER mind you AFTER independence.

  8. “Nehru, Patel, Baldev singh had very few options to work with ..! One can even say churchil had more power to make decisions on India than nehru AFTER mind you AFTER independence.”

    Yes I think so too. This video is plain ridiculous. Btw, I dont think very highly of Nehru. If I were there, I would have got Bose back 🙂 Im a big Bose fan.

  9. bose..well..! i respect him too..but it was a delicate time in history.., its just difficult to determine who would have done better..nehru or bose…
    i totally agree lot of gandhi\nehru decsions were backfired on us but there is no reason (for me)to think anyone else would have done better…
    anyways..its an endless argument..! i will blog abt it sometime.

  10. Ben says:

    I have to say that this video is a compilation of ‘half truths’ and lies portrayed through obviously biased eyes.

    “Britain has fulfilled its mission..”?? You have got to be messing with my brains here! What must be brought to light at this point is the fact that although the British did bring things like the railways to India it was only with the intention of helping itself economically. Maybe that was the mission the journalist was talking about!!

  11. Abhishek Dubey says:

    ” It is for India to make her destiny….”
    Today i really feel proud to see that way we have progressed after left like destitute child in the global scenario by British regime ,that too in just 60 years after independence.
    Now today it is almost impossible to ignore the unleashed India in all fields except sports .Video was an eye opener and made me realize that value of our independence and the development and progress we have made thereafter.
    We should not forget the that British regime was here to extend the colonialism and to extend the British empire whose sole agenda was to exploit these colonies to prepare JACK for the upcoming industrial revolution ,and they did it very efficiently. I guess that is what commentator was meant when he says ” Britain has fulfilled her mission.”

    But hats off to leaders like Nehru and entrepreneurs like Tata’s and Ambani’s ,visionaries like Kurien,Vikram Sarabhai,Homi Bhabha n many more who set the path of development for this country which is ready to prove its mettle on the world map.

    But still we are half way and still a long way to go….

  12. @ Abhishek Dubey:

    I’m not sure if that is what the commenter meant when he said “Britain has fulfilled her mission”, but the video is quite impressive and sad at the same time; sad because it talks about the poverty even on such a joyous occasion; sad also because of the fact that Indian became poor thanks to the Birtish Rule.

  13. Abhishek Dubey says:

    @ Ruhi,

    I guess this brief documentary was more like an biased one just to show that Jack has done great favor by giving these colonies their independence back.It was more abstract view of the problem and u could also smell how serious were the situation at that time and how splendidly commentator have put the ball in Nehru n Jinnah’s court to take these poverty ridden nation forward on the road of progress.
    Juhi ,we were never poor despite such few bad patches if we look back our history .Since ages we have rich and wealthy dynasties,culture,food(spices),knowledge and what not and thats why since ages we have been robbed by invaders from across the globe from Afgans,Mongoles,Greeks,Portugeese,French and lastly by British kingdom .And the only good thing about us is that we always recovered and moved on .We have always given something to this world but never snatched..

    “Sadiyo raha he dushman daure jahan humara,
    Kuch baat he ke hasti mitati nahi humari…”

  14. @Abhishek

    Lovely shayari! Did you write it?

    how splendidly commentator have put the ball in Nehru n Jinnah’s court to take these poverty ridden nation forward on the road of progress

    Exactly. That is what is really shocking. You’ll find many such videos on Youtube. Take a look. We’ve been left very poor now, after 200 years of British rule. It’s been 60 years since Independence and I don’t know when we’ll recover fully. Maybe after another 20 years.

  15. Abhishek Dubey says:

    ooops i messed with last two lines….i wrote last line first ,thats why aap ne roshni daali ruhiji …waise original to shayad if im not mistaken Iqbal ne likhi hain aur ye waali humne 🙂

    well i guess we have recovered from this blow despite corruption n all but it may take few more years to clearly see the impact of all our policies at the grass root level.

    Few days back i visited one distant village hospital …there i saw people are really poor and how they manage their dinner with two roti n onion…was mind boggling .There i come to know about India shinning,9% GDP rate n all .We need to keep these people in center before devising any new policy and how efficiently the result can be delivered to poor.Unless we cannot do this we cannot really say that we are progressing .Still 250 million people are still poor …a big task ahead in years to come..

  16. javed Tariq says:

    This video is nothing but a face saving British deperture from the subcontinent. In other words a good british way of doing it’s PR.

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