On Monday morning, reports of the statue of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill getting vandalised by anti-racist protestors in Westminster, London, garnered traction in India. The protestors scrawled ‘was a racist’ under Churchill’s name.
Here’s what we know so far
- Demonstrators scrawled “was a racist” on the statue of the wartime British Prime Minister in Parliament Square on Sunday afternoon as thousands descended on London for another protest over an American black man George Floyd’s death.
- This is the second time the same statue has been defaced. It was defaced with green graffiti on the 76th anniversary of D-Day, which was on Saturday.
- Piers Morgan of ITV Breakfast programme Good Morning Britain, to tweet: “Memo to protesters in Westminster today: defacing Sir Winston Churchill’s statue on the 76th anniversary of D-Day is not a good way to make your point.”
- While there was outrage in the United Kingdom, a number of people took to Twitter to agree with the fact that Churchill was a racist. Journalist Vidya Krishnan said, “Heroes don't change as per time zones. Churchill is considered heroic only because a genocide of brown people is entirely acceptable in the Western world. The latest example of that is the Rohingya crisis- roots which can also be traced back to the empire. No, they are treating Churchill exactly the way he deserves to be treated He was blindingly racist to Indians, killed at least 4mn at one go during the Bengal famine because everything from India was directed towards war efforts. White ppl need to stop calling him a statesman.”
- Geopolitical expert Brahma Chellaney said, “Churchill was more than a racist. A born imperialist, Churchill supported the use of chemical weapons during WWI. The 1942-45 Churchill-made Bengal famine killed millions. India suffered more casualties in WWII than the U.S., France, and Britain combined.”
- Besides the Bengal Famine that killed millions of people, including women and children, Churchill is primarily responsible for sending the Black and Tans, an elite group of constables into Ireland, who terrorised the Irish during the war for independence.
- Churchill, was content in supporting and arming Saudi Ibn Saud and his followers so long as they worked in the interest of Britain. He would write in later years that his “admiration for him [Ibn Saud] was deep, because of his unfailing loyalty to us.”
- He even ordered the British army to fire on anti-Nazi protestors in Greece in 1944.
- Churchill led the Coup that led the fight to overthrow democracy in Iran. He was even responsible for 1.5 million people getting sent to detention camps in Kenya
- He was vocal about black people not having voting rights in South Africa.