HISTORY: What Every "Ugly American" Must Know about the "Civilized British"
Aug. 24, 2007 (LPAC) One of the tragedies of English-speaking British colonies is that their history under the British rule was written by the British historians, or by those natives who were trained by the British historians. However, it seems the time has come to record history in its true light-- at least so in India.
Amaresh Misra, writing about India's first war of independence in 1857, in his recently published book, In War of Civilisations: India AD 1857, said that there was an "untold holocaust" that caused the deaths of almost 10 million people over 10 years, beginning in 1857. British-fed historians, claims Misra, have counted only 100,000 Indian soldiers who were slaughtered in savage reprisals, but none have tallied the number of rebels and civilians killed by British forces desperate to impose order.
"It was a holocaust, one where millions disappeared. It was a necessary holocaust in the British view because they thought the only way to win was to destroy entire populations in towns and villages. It was simple and brutal. Indians who stood in their way were killed. But its scale has been kept a secret," Misra told the Guardian in an interview
Misra's calculations rest on three principal sources. Two are records pertaining to the number of religious resistance fighters killed -- either Islamic mujaheddin or Hindu warrior ascetics committed to driving out the British. The third source involves British labor-force records, which show a drop in manpower of between a fifth and a third across vast swaths of India, which as one British official records was "on account of the undisputed display of British power, necessary during those terrible and wretched days -- millions of wretches seemed to have died."
Misra is right. One of author's close friends lost 17 of his 19 family members at the time because one of them was a senior advisor to the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.