Assessing people and countries

When we assess whether people are good or bad, we must see all their sides, not just one. I may give some examples
Justice Geoffrey Care is my British friend whom I have met often, in India and abroad. He comes to India frequently.

Once when I was a Judge of the Indian Supreme Court he was in Delhi, and we went together to a function at a venue near the Supreme Court, the Indian Law Institute.
There, a person from the audience shouted ” Why have we invited a Britisher here ? The British had oppressed us during their rule “.

I immediately replied ” That is not fair. Geoffrey’s ancestors may have oppressed my ancestors, but Geoffrey has not oppressed me. Also, while we should certainly criticise the British for their oppression and exploitation in India, we must not forget their great historical contribution to the struggle for liberty in the 17th century, their fight against Nazis in the Second World War, etc and their great contributions in literature ( Shakespeare, Dickens, etc ), science ( Newton, Darwin, etc ), and in various other fields ”.

Similarly, when we assess Churchill, the former Prime Minister of England, while we know he was hostile to India and strongly opposed Indian independence, we must not forget his fight against Nazi tyranny, even fighting them bravely when Britain was alone in the Second World War.

When we assess Americans, while we must condemn their actions in Vietnam, and invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, we must praise Abraham Lincoln for his leadership in the American Civil War ( 1861-65 ) and his fight against slavery, their fight against fascist Nazi Germany and the Japanese, and their great contributions in science and technology, art and literature.

When we assess Pakistan, we must distinguish between the Pakistani government which is usually hostile to India, and is presently oppressing its own people, and the Pakistani people who are friendly to India, and are themselves suffering from terrible poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, etc.

So while assessing a people or a country, we must see the overall picture, and not condemn them by seeing only one side of it.



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