Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Common Indo-Arab Interests

If I were to give my opinion, I should say that even more than diplomacy, intrigue and treachery have been responsible for the success of the British in the past. But you cannot fool all men for all time. Those nations that have been fooled by the British in the past have now learnt from bitter experience and they are not prepared to be fooled again. That's why the Arab people are today wide awake. That's why India is now in a state of rebellion. Never again will the Arabs and the Indian people be deceived by the promises and the bluffs of the wily British politicians. The Arab and the Indian people were both given promises of independence during the last war. They took these promises at their face value and gave their blood and their resources in the service of Britain. When the war came to an end, these promises were conveniently forgotten. Not only were the Arabs deprived of their independence, but they were split up into several states and in the heart of the Arab world, Palestine, the British tried to set up a Jewish state. And for India, the promise of Swaraj or independence was not redeemed, and all that the Indian people received for the sacrifices they had made for Britain was the massacre at Jallianwala Bagh.

It is because of British treachery that we see that even those Arab leaders who were formerly cooperating with the British are now their determined and implacable enemies. It is for the same reason that Mahatma Gandhi who helped the British generously in the last war is now the leader of a national revolution and is confined in a British prison. The Arab people are today determined to overthrow the British rule and bring about their unification. So also are the Indian people determined to expel the unwanted Britisher from India and recover their lost liberty.

Thus the interest of the Arab and the Indian people have brought them together in a common fight against a common enemy. It is a truism of the international politics today that the two pillars of the British Empire are Egypt and India and if these two countries are liberated, the British Empire will cease to exist. British politicians realised long ago the importance of India for the British Empire and the necessity of dominating the Near East in order to maintain the British hold over India. That is why they tried to create a class of puppets in those countries of the Near East in which they were interested. Through the medium of these puppets in the Near Eastern countries, Britain tries to boast before the world as a friend of Islam, but this is a bluff which has never deceived and will never deceive any Islamic people. No other power his robbed or threatened the liberty of the Islamic people to the extent that Britain has. In this matter Britain stands in a class by herself, and for all the Islamic countries, Britain is certainly enemy No. 1. The same thing could be said of Britain in relation to India and I should go further and say that for India there is only one enemy in the world and that enemy is British imperialism.

The British realised from the very beginning that they had no moral justification for dominating India. That is why they invent excuses and carry on an ingenious and systematic propaganda all over the world to convince the people that the British rule in India stands for progress and national prosperity.