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British "Justice" In India?

"Dogs and Indians not allowed” 

           - Such a barbaric signs clearly classified Indians as belonging to some other-than-human species.

Refer to The parade of the vanquished and On A Neglected Aspect Of Western Racism By  Kurt Jonassohn.


One of the claims oftenest made by Great Britain is, that she has given to the Indian people better laws and a better judicial system that they ever had before or could create for themselves....and this fully justifies her in retaining possession of the land.

Sir Robert Fulton, an eminent British official in India:

"The foundation of our empire in India rests on the principle of justice, and England retains its supremacy in India mainly by justice. Without justice we could not hold India for a moment, for it is that which inspires the people of India with a confidence in us and with a belief that in all our dealings with them we never act otherwise than fairly and justly, and which renders them on the whole satisfied and contented with our rule."

This is what the British are constantly saying to the world in justification of their holding India in subjection. Is it true?

In large part it is untrue. The Indian people submit to it only because they have been disarmed and British battleships are in all their harbors ready to bombard their cities; British canon and machine guns are ready to mow down their men, women and children; and British bombing airplanes are ready to blow up their villages, if they attempt to throw off the yoke of their foreign masters.

Mr. John Dickinson, in his book, "Government of India Under a Bureaucracy," describes the kind of legal system set up by the British and the results it produced. He says:

"We, the English, ignorantly assumed that the ancient, long civilized people of India, were a race of barbarians who had never known what justice was until we came among them, and that the best thing we could do for them was to upset all their institutions as fast as we could, among them their judicial system, and give them instead a copy of our legal models at would have been the grossest political empiricism for force it on a people so different from ourselves....and the reader may conceive the irreparable mischief it has done to India..."

Sir Henry Cotton in his book "New India" p. 170 says:

"The people of India possess an instinctive capacity for local self-government. It is by the reason of the British administration, only, that the popular authority of the village headman has been sapped, and the judicial power of the Panchayat, or Committee of Five has been subverted. "

The gravest charge of all against the British legal system in India, was that of partiality, favoritism towards Europeans, especially Englishmen, resulting in serious and widespread injustice to the Indian people. Says a prominent Calcutta daily: "No man in this country can knock an Englishman down without promptly being arrested and sent to jail. But an Englishman may knock a dozen Indians down and go scot-free. If the Indian attempts to defend himself against his British assailant, the officer is on him in no time, and he goes to jail for heavy sentence."

Says a Bombay daily: "A European kicks his servant to death. The local magistrate finds him guilty of simple assault and fines him one pound, six shillings and eight pence. An appeal to the Bombay High Court increases the sentence to nine months imprisonment."

In another case, an Englishman kicks a sweeper, rupturing his spleen, which results in his death, and is ordered to pay a fine of 50 rupees with no imprisonment. Yet in another case, an Indian is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for attempting to rape an Englishwoman, while in the same province an Englishman who gags and rapes a Hindu girl of 18 is acquitted, with no punishment at all. 

In November, 1923, some British soldiers who had been out fox-hunting near the village of Lohagaon, in the vicinity of Poona, fell into an altercation with the villagers, when one of the villagers was shot dead by a soldier named Walker. The soldier was tried by the Sessions Court before European jurors and British judges and acquitted. 

Mr. K. C. Kelkar, President of the Poona City Municipality and Editor of the weekly Kesari commented editorially in the paper as follows:

"Such farces of trials of Europeans accused of crimes against Indians are not new among us. They date back to the times of Warren Hastings. The thing to be most regretted is that with such things taking place before their very eyes there are persons who keep singing the praise of British justice. By good rights a pillar ought to be erected at Lohagaon having engraved on it the full details of this case, as a memorial showing what value is attached to the lives of Indians under British rule."

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland p.105-119).




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