Total posts in this category: 39


India has changed beyond recognition

Posted August 15, 2017

Evening Standard




70 years after independence, the India I know is losing its way

Posted August 2, 2017

The Guardian


As the country celebrates 70 years of independence, it seems to be turning its back on the secular, tolerant society I remember growing up in Mumbai.


In 1960, 13 years after India won freedom, the American writer Selig Harrison published India: The Most Dangerous Decades. He feared “the collapse of the Indian state into regional components” ruled by communists. Predicting that India would never be able to match China, he wrote: “The west confronts the unmistakable fact of a dominant central authority in China, it is possible that in an unstable India no outsider will be able to say with assurance where political legitimacy resides.”


Such views were not confined to foreigners. Three years earlier, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari – a confidant of Gandhi, and the first Indian governor-general of the country – had predicted that “the centrifugal forces will ultimately prevail”, bringing anarchy or fascism. And my most vivid memories of growing up as one of the midnight’s children generation – born as the union jack was hauled down from Delhi’s Red Fort at midnight on 15 August 1947 – are of listening to my parents’ generation, who had survived partition, mournfully surveying the country’s future, some even hoping the British would come back.

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Letter to the Times

Posted March 29, 2017

Love of British Rule

Sir, Contrary to Victoria Bagshaw’s belief (letter, Mar 25), Ramsay MacDonald did not love India, he loved the idea of the British ruling India. In The Awakening of India he wrote: “For many a long year British sovereignty will be necessary for India . . . Britain is the nurse of India. Deserted by her guardian, India would be the prey of disruptive elements within herself as well as victims of her own too-enthusiastic worshippers.”

Not many Indians today would care for Theresa May posing as a “nurse” come to look after a sick India.

Mihir Bose, London W6

Letter to The Times : What Britain needs to do to keep partnership with India post-Brexit

Posted March 23, 2017

The Times


Sir, Matt Ridley (Mar 20) is right that the British cannot build a post-Brexit partnership with India on the basis of renewing old imperial ties. Colonial rule was not only exploitative but the Raj made it clear that Indians could never be the equal of the British. What is more, very few in Britain knew, or even cared, about India. No serving British prime minister visited India during the Raj. While millions flocked to Australia and New Zealand building up family ties that endure, very few Britons went to India, and the last census in 1931 showed that 154,691 Britons, fewer than the then population of Hull or Nottingham, lived in India. It is only within the past 20-odd years that the British have really begun to get to know India, as series such as The Real Marigold Hotel and Rick Stein’s India demonstrate. A partnership of equals is possible (letter, Mar 22), but not if British ministers parrot on about a shared historical past. That will only remind Indians of how much the British took from India.
Mihir Bose

Journalist and author, London W6

Mihir talks about his new book – Silver: the spy who fooled the Nazis

Posted December 12, 2016

To watch Mihir talking about his researches into Silver the only quintuple agent of the Second World War and his fascinating new discoveries about this remarkable man, please click here.

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