Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Penitent Dave

It's sad to see David Cameron indulging in the usual lefty political claptrap of apologising for the past sins of the nation, especially over Kashmir which was never going to end happily. Some people there want to be in India, some in Pakistan. Drawing that line when it came to independence was tough.

Perhaps we should try to revisit history, to imagine the events that would have unfolded in various countries had we not been there? Rollback to "Britain takes over India", remove it and play it forward. Does India now have railways or democracy?

But most of all, I don't believe that a generation should apologise for long-before generations, nor do I believe it's particularly sincere. There's a time when it's appropriate, like Willy Brandt kneeling before the Warsaw Uprising Memorial in 1970. He was apologising to people, most of whom had remembered those times, as had Brandt himself. And that was for some the actions of a regime that's hard to find much good to say about.

Very few Indians would now remember the time before Independence, and my feeling is that India is a nation looking forward, perhaps a nation that will be one of the economic giants of this century. To drag up old guilt seems unhelpful.

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