Cameron's trade visit to India

Discussion in 'Politics & The Economy' started by nabby, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. nabby

    nabby
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    Watching the news this evening I see that David Cameron was in Amritsar and visited the site of the notorious 1919 British Army massacre of unarmed locals under General Dyer's orders. Deaths were estimated to be somewhere between 400 and over a thousand.

    DC was asked if he was going to apologise for the massacre at today's visit but he didn't do so in the end.

    Given that he felt able to apologise for the Bloody Sunday massacre, does this reek of double standards on his part, or was he right to hide behind Winston Churchill's description shortly after the massacre, namely "monstrous"?

    I think that if he was serious about building bridges he should have both apologised for that incident and also mentioned that the Indian Government themselves fired on Sikh pilgrims in the Golden Temple in 1984, using tanks and other artillery.
     
  2. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    I suspect he was right to stay silent. And especially so on the events of 1984. Why embarrass a nation we want to do business with?

    Never quite understood the need for governments to apologise for things that they weren't responsible for in any case. Are any members of the 1919 cabinet still alive?
     
  3. Cliff

    Cliff
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    He probably did the right thing. I am sure this was discussed in full before the visit.
    There was outrage at the time and Winston Churchill was brave enough to call it "monstrous". That, to me is, far more valid than looking at it from a 21st century point of view.

    There are many terrible events in history, and some feel the need for apologies but we forget that this kind of thing is still very current in many other countries today. How many lives of innocent demonstrators were lost recently during the Arab Spring / Burma/ Iran?
     
  4. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Cameron paid his sincere respects and expressed regret, even laying a wreath and signing the condolence book as follows: "a deeply shameful event in British history", adding that "we must never forget what happened here".

    That was the right and proper thing to do and should be satisfactory.

    It isn't appropriate for him to 'apologise' for the actions of a British government long gone. Nobody involved would even be alive today (unlike Bloody Sunday). Basically if we start apologising for historical wrongdoings we're gonna need to set aside a lot of time- so are most other countries.

    If the German Chancellor visited should she apologise for the aerial bombing of London & Portsmouth? Should the Danish head of state apologise for the Viking Invasions?

    How would pointing out India's own atrocities build bridges? :confused:
     
  5. nabby

    nabby
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    I think there's a distinction between wartime and peacetime attrocities. I;m not sure that we should view such things as black or white, where we either apologise for everything or nothing. We don't do this in our everyday lives, after all. Or do we?

    I only pointed that out as by all accounts, DC was somewhat put on the spot by the Indian PM over making an apology. It would be somewhat hypocritical of the Indian PM to visit the Golden Temple and not apologise for the attrocities carried out by the Indian Government/Army there whilst wanting DC to apologise for the British Army's attrocity down the road. And yes, I realise the Indian PM is a sikh.
     
  6. krish

    krish
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    ^^ ironic since he's the puppet of Sonia, whose mother-in-law was behind the '84 incident, leading to her assassination and then increased bloodshed with anti-Sikh riots
     

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