British Atrocities-1 (Post No.11,604)


Post No. 11,604

Date uploaded in London – 30 December 2022                  

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From the book: 

Empireland by

Sathnam Sanghera

Viking publication,2021

“The trouble with the Engenglish is that their hiss hisshistory happened overseas, so they dodo don’t know what it means.” 

—-Whisky Sisodia in Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses 

Slave Trade and Britain 

British used Indians and the black community  as slaves to make money. They treated them like animals. Their health condition and living conditions were appalling. They didn’t have any freedom. Even if they wanted to leave or escape, they couldn’t do it because they were placed in the remotest parts on earth. Now let us read what Sanghera says in his book,

 I take the view that slavery was an aspect of the British empire; this nation wasn’t the first into slave trade, and the slaves were not taken from a part of the world that was part of the British empire at that time, but they were transported to British colonies where they helped sustain vital imperial trade. Britain participated to such a degree that, according to the Financial Times , slave related business in the eighteenth century accounted for about the same proportion of G DP as the professional and support services sector does today. As Linda Colley puts it in

 Captives: Britain Empire and the World,1600-1850 

Africans transported as slaves across the Atlantic experienced an atrocity that was not peculiar to the British empire, but was certainly fostered by it.


Sanghera provides us some interesting information about Indian English

Indian English ,

 More specifically they would consult the glorious Hobson Jobson Dictionary, a remarkable 1000 page glossary of colloquial Anglo indian words and phrases and of kindred terms etymological,historical,geographical and discursive compiled by Colonel Henry Yule and A .C. Burnell in 1886, which provides testament to the enormous number of English words that have entered English . Many of the citations function as time capsules into the British Raj.

Dam originally referred to a copper coin, for example the fortieth part of a rupee and so low in value that it led Britons in India employing the phrase I won’t give a dumri which in turn led to the popular expression I don’t give a dam/n. And juggernaut is a corruption of the Sanskrit Jagannatha, Lord of the Universe, a name of Krishna worshipped as Vishnu at the famous shrine of Puri in Orissa, the idol of which was and is, annually dragged forth in procession on a monstrous car, and occasionally persons, sometimes sufferers of painful disease, cast themselves before the advancing wheels.

 In Pax Britannica, Jan Morris produces like an unlikely passage that makes use of two dozen examples of English words of Indian origin

Returning to the bungalow, through the jungle, she threw her calico bonnet on to the teak table, put on her gingham apron and slipped into a pair of sandals. There was the tea caddy to fill, the chutney to prepare for the curry, pepper and cheroots to order from the bazaar. She would give the boy a chit. The children were out in the dinghy and their khaki dungarees are sure to be wet. She needed a shampoo, she still had to mend Tom’s pyjamas and she never had finished those chintz hanging for the veranda. Ah well! She didn’t really give a damn , and putting a shawl around her shoulders, she poured herself a punch.


 In 1911 Rudyard Kipling supplied a poem, entitled Big Steamers, for a text book which conveyed how much Britain relied on empire. It opens

 OH, where are you going to, all you Big Steamers

With England’s own coal, up and down the salt seas?

We are going to fetch you your bread and your butter

Your beef, pork and mutton, eggs apples and cheese

And where will you fetch it from, all you Big Steamers

And where shall I write you when you are away?

We fetch it from Melbourne, Quebec and Vancouver

Address us at Hobart, Hong Kong and Bombay

But if anything happened to all you Big Steamers

And suppose you were wrecked up and down the salt sea?

Why you would have no coffee or bacon for breakfast

And you would have no muffins and toast for your tea 


 The Scouts, conceived and founded by sir Sir Robert Baden Powell to turn a new generation of boys into good citizens or colonists, he wanted to call them Imperial Scouts, but was talked out of it by his publisher. Baden Powell also founded the girl guides association in 1909, setting its principles with his sister Agnes in its first hand book, entitled How Girls can Help to Build up the Empire

( All the institutions started by the British were not started with any good intention; they were started to produce more slaves for the British empire, who will loyally serve the British)

To be continued………………………………………………

Tags-British, atrocities, Empireland, Sathnam Sanghera, Scouts, Rudyard Kipling

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