“Power will go to rascals, rogues, freebooters. . . .
All leaders will be of low caliber & men of straw. . .
They’ll have sweet tongues & silly hearts. . .
They will fight amongst themselves for power & the two countries will be lost in political squabbles. . . .
A day would come when even air & water will be taxed.”
I first read this famous quote by wartime British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill when I was a schoolboy many decades ago. My reaction at that time was to get hold of the man and beat him to smithereens, I was so furious.
Sir Winston made these remarks while arguing India and Pakistan should not become Independent nations.
At that time, I felt this was the most outrageous thing to say. It surely must have ruffled quite a few feathers and made Indians very angry. These were, as we now know, ignored and India and Pakistan became two independent nations.
Sixty-seven years later, looking at the state India is in (I will not comment on Pakistan here), I am amazed at the man’s foresight. The slew of corruption cases, the fighting, the squabbles, history-sheeters and criminals in politics and complete disregard for any authority even among the average person, the country is in a state worst than perhaps even Sir Winston imagined at that time.
We Indians have to just take a look at what is happening in the country we were so proud of and think. What freedom do we have? We are independent on paper, in spirit, but are we independent in actions?
The rot is just setting in. God only knows what the situation will be in a few years from now. Where are we headed? What are we doing to our beloved motherland? If we continue like this, we will soon be ready to kill each other on the streets.
We should not allow that to happen. We have let what Sir Winston said come true. Should we not now strive to prove him wrong and stem the rot. If not, we as a people and we as a nation will soon be at the crossroads.