10 Facts Showing British Cruelty
Under the glitter of the developments that were long familiar around the world lies the harsh reality of the atrocities inflicted by one of most significant empires that ever existed – The British Empire.
1. Killings After 1857 Indian Revolt
In 1857, Indian soldiers in the British Army started the revolt against the rule of East India Company. They got support from Tatya Tope, Maharani Laxmi Bai, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Nana Saheb and Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zuffer. After capturing Delhi, the rebel forces started to lose as Brits got armies from Burma. Then they started the merciless killings of the soldiers and leaders, both of the sons of the emperor were killed and he exiled to Rangoon. Famous Urdu poet Ghalib wrote that Delhi was full of dead bodies, there were bodies hanging from most of the trees and some of had more than ten.
2. During the Bengal Famine
The most recent example that surfaced was the Bengal Famine of 1943. Evidence suggests that the death toll which took lives of millions was deliberate. And to our surprise this holocaust was ordered by none other but the man himself – Winston Churchill. Engaged in World War II he refused to provide any aid to the starving and the destitute. He ordered the supplies to be diverted for the British troops which already had it in excess. Not only this he even blocked the supplies coming from America and Canada. When telegrammed from Delhi about the status quo the one thing that Churchill asked was that if this was the case then why Gandhi hasn’t died yet.
3. Jalliawala Bagh Killings
On April 13, 1919, some thousands of people gathered to protest peacefully on the grounds of Jalliawala Bagh in Amritsar. To crush their protest, at 4:30 pm Brigadier Reginald Dyer along with his troops surrounded and blocked the exits to the garden. After this, they started firing openly until they ran out of ammunition. Within 10 minutes, around 1000 people were shot dead. To escape the attack many women and children jumped into the well situated in the garden but unfortunately never made it out of it. When Dyer was called back to London people labelled him as a hero and was applauded for saving India. Even 26000 pounds were raised for him. He stayed there for the rest of his life and died in peace thinking that his actions were morally justified.
4. During the Aden Emergency
During the 1960’s, a port in the Aden region of modern Yemen was a port controlled by Brits. A nationwide protest started to absolve this port which resulted in the Brits setting up torture cells to tame this uprising. People who were captured were kept in refrigeration cells and allowed to freeze until suffering from frost bites and pneumonia. Cigarettes were extinguished on victim’s skin in an attempt to burn them. There were also cases of sexual assaults like people were forced to sit naked on metal poles until it would pierce their derriere under their body weight and also their genitals were crushed by the guards. When this report by Amnesty International came out in 1966, the Brits apologised for their behaviour but still continued this atrocity for another year.
5. During the Malayan Emergency
Another instance is that of the Chinese resettlement of 1950. The inhabitants of Malay along with a group of rebels seek to liberate their homeland from the Britishers. To prevent these rebels from getting any kind of help from the peasants, they fortified the whole village keeping the victims under the surveillance of trigger ready guards and bright floodlights. A minimum wage and majorly scourges were given to the people not undermining that this was only because of a handful of rebels. Illustrations suggest that the total number of people detained during this emergency was around 50000.
6. Brutal killing of Cyprus Rebellions
In between 1955 and 1959, a group of Cyprus rebels tried to bomb the Brit colonies. To respond to their actions, 3000 innocent Cypriots were held as captives in internment camps. These innocent people were subjected to many violent and abusive executions. People were beaten, pepper was rubbed in the eyes of children who were just 15 years of age, their bones were broken and were flogged with iron whips. People were executed in court for holding sympathise with the rebels and were molested to the extent of death.
7. During Iraqi Revolt of 1920
During the Iraqi revolution of 1920 to claim back their land from the Brits, the Iraqis turned to revolution. In response, the Brits subjected them to tales of horror and revulsion. They were given orders to conduct random raids in villages and if anyone was suspected of keeping weapons then every living person inhabiting was exterminated. In short they were given orders to annihilate whole villages. Wells were poisoned, children even animals were slaughtered. They would even conduct night raids and deploy chemical weapons to suppress the revolution. This series of events would continue for half a decade.
8. During The Great Irish Famine
Then comes the great Irish famine between 1845 and 1852. To provide relief the Britishers sent Charles Trevelyan to Ireland which turned this famine into a massive genocide. A Christian by religion, he believed that a famine was Gods way to punish the common for their sins. He refused to hand out food to the needy and instituted them into a work labour program. He forced them to build useless roads and gave them a minimum wage for their work to buy food. He blamed the Irish for their ignorance and poverty and was officially venerated in London for his relief work.
9. During the Kenya Revolt
During 1950, the Kenyans tried to start a revolution to regain their lost land. In an attempt to curb their efforts, more than 1.5 million people were placed in concentration camps. There started a series of molestation and torture. Men were raped with knives, women’s bosoms were severed, eyes were gauged out, people were burned alive and were scourged with whips and barbed wires. People were castrated and mud was stamped in their mouths until they passed out or died. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of people lost their lives in these horrible camps.
10. Concentration Camps During the Boer War
The foremost example of their cruelty was the concentration camps during the Boer war. At this time, hundreds and thousands of South African people were detained in the camps. This led to an outburst of deadly diseases killing many women and children in the camp. Apart from this there was also the scarcity of food and basic sanitation facilities. An account of the death toll stated that 10% of the entire population died in these camps out of which 22000 were only children. This infamous incident caused 48000 civilian causalities which was 18000 more than the total number of soldiers which died on both sides.