Brenda Rangel

Churchill and the Bengal Famine

For those of you who don't recall, Courtney's loop last Wednesday revolved around the topic of "Celebrity Idolization" and the importance of "see[ing] each of your role models for everything they are, instead of just the perception build up around them."


For today's loop, I'd like to revisit this topic and make my own connection/extension on the topic. Courtney gave the hypothetical example of Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson...well, I bring you all the example of Sir Winston Churchill and a side of him you may not have known. 


I think it might be fair to assume that many praise Churchill for the countless accomplishments he was able to achieve during his lifetime: he was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, he was appointed the Privy Council of Canada in 1941, he successfully led Britain to victory over Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.


So how exactly is Churchill a good example of the dangers of Celebrity Idolization? Well, for those of you who may not know, Churchill played the main "hidden" factor in the 1943 Bengal Famine in British India. With the help of his loyal friend, Fredrick Lindemann, he influenced the closure of the shipping ports to India and guided the rejections of Canada's and the United States' offer to send food when the famine was at its worst. Three million people ended up dying in the Bengal Famine of 1943. But what led Churchill to help commit such an unfortunate and ghastly event? The answer: Churchill hated Gandhi and India. A hatred that, again, claimed three million innocent lives. Kind of hard to believe this is the same man who successfully led Britain to victory over Nazi Germany during the Second World War huh.


Overall, I hope this brief example can help shine a light on last week's loop devoted to Celebrity Idolization and the importance of digging into who you choose to idolize.  


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