Home Disciplines History Winston Churchill: a hero or villain?

Winston Churchill: a hero or villain?

Winston Churchill: a hero or villain?

Winston Churchill, Britain’s most famous Prime Minister who led Britain in the second World War is today considered to be a dynamic and heroic historical figure. He became an inspiration for many when he refused to surrender to the Nazi’s and remained firm with his values and his love for the British Empire upfront.. Oratory which is a gathering of priests and church figures for Churchill was an important source to gain support within the masses and the parliament. His iconic speeches such as the one called “Blood, tears and sweat” helped him gain support for continuing the full-fledged war against the Nazi’s and boosted the morale of the British soldiers fighting in different parts of the world

Is it actually fair to consider Churchill as a notorious figure? During the British raj, Churchill despised self-rule or Swaraj. He claimed and was able to make an influx of the British into believing that Gandhi was a threat to the “great and ever expanding” British empire. The 1943 Bengal famine responsible for killing 4 million Bengali’s aroused anger for Churchill and his war time cabinet. It is believed that the famine was a result of failure of the very comprehensive policies and not the monsoon. Wartime inflation, hoarding and unnecessary speculation led to a drastic increase in food prices, depriving the poor Bengali’s from food. During this time, Churchill diverted food supplies to British soldiers in European countries where stocks were being piled up for a future invasion. Was this a deliberate failure of prioritization or a mere mistake? According to Arthur Herman, the author of “Gandhi and Churchill”, as soon as Churchill and his cabinet realized the extent of the famine, they tried their level best to help. 

Recognising Churchill as a Racial Supremacist can help us evaluate his views in clear depth regarding ‘people of colour’ which were extremely disgusting and full of hatred. Regardless of all the current  #BlackLivesMatter protests, was defacing Churchill’s statue outside parliament square the right thing to do? Was it enough? Or was it disrespectful considering all his services for the not so really Great Britain empire built on the blood and bodies of the people of the subcontinent? Churchill once said people from India were “the nastiest people in the world next to Germans”. He admitted that he did not really think that “black people were as capable or efficient as white people”. In 1937, an unpublished article portrayed Churchill as Anti-Semitic. However later Churchill’s historian claimed that his views were not captured adequately. In fact, according to an article in 1920, Churchill said that “the Jews are beyond question the most formidable and remarkable race that the world has even seen.”

Winston Churchill, a man filled with valor and determination, is not actually an epitome of perfection. 


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