Thursday, December 17, 2009

From the archives... (more from that bigot - Winston Churchill)

I spent most of my life growing up in the city of Bangalore, India. Every once in a while I read news of that city burgeoning and making its way through the technology world - the one place where large companies can reliably find low paying English speaking technology workers. To my chagrin, I also recently discovered that being 'Bangalored' was fast becoming part of the lexicon. I was amused this morning when I read that the venerable beeb recently unearthed news of unpaid dues that Winston Churchill had owed towards a club in Bangalore when he was stationed there as an young office in the 1890's. This is what he had to say about the city...
.... Churchill, by his own account, found the city boring. He spent most of his time reading and collecting butterflies. In his memoir, My Early Life, he describes Bangalore as a "third rate watering place" with "lots of routine work" to do and "without society or good sport". In such circumstances, it is assumed that Churchill spent many an evening in the Bangalore club, drinking whisky which cost seven annas (less than 50 paise, or half a rupee) for a large drink and four annas (25 paise) for a small peg. And perhaps that is how he accumulated the debt of 13 rupees - a considerable sum in those days.
Of course, let us also not forget - this is how Churchill (who in my view was just a common racist) described Gandhi...
"It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor." - Winston Churchill, 1930

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