Archive for December 10th, 2008

Why one nation takes a higher ground or falls back leaving room for another doesn’t arise solely from the nations themselves. In such a case superpowers mean that they have come to their position of power by means that they cannot justify themselves. In such a case if they throw their weight around what do they mean? Is it not that they justify rule of the might? The mighty keeps their position unchallenged by the way they can silence opposition.  Their governance is a show of their superiority and laws are one-sided to protect their lawlessness and punish those who are client states and the governed.  One need only look at England’s role in the opium wars in China during the Manchu dynasty. In the present post let me show how England responded to the great famine in India (1876–78) when Lord Lytton was the viceroy.
His uncompromising implementation of Britain’s trading policy is blamed for the severity of the famine, which killed up to 10 million people. (The relief workers were paid a reduced wage on the curious belief that any excessive payment might create dependency among the famine-afflicted population! The mindset of superpower creates its own rationale and the minions who run the colony see to that no protest against their lawlessness is heard outside.)
The Great Famine was to have a lasting political impact on events in India.
The British administrators in India who were unsettled by the official reactions to the famine and, in particular by the stifling of the official debate about the best form of famine relief, were William Wedderburn and A. O. Hume. Less than a decade later, they would found the Indian National Congress and, in turn, influence a generation of nationalists such as Dadabhai Naoroji and Romesh Chunder Dutt.
A superpower in short shortchanges principles of equity and justice at so many levels.

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