The words of Samuel Johnson, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, are as true today as when he spoke them. In our time we have false patriots who are quick to condemn others who hold different views to their ill-informed narrow-minded opinions.
As Remembrance Day (November 11) approaches, these false patriots would do well to remember the contribution the British Indian Army made. Of it around 400,000 (about a third of the British Indian Army) were Muslims at the outbreak of the first world war.
The second world war would certainly have had a different outcome if it were not for the Indian regiments who pushed the Japanese forces out of Burma (now known as Myanmar). Many of these regiments were made up of Muslim soldiers.
Indeed had the Axis powers been the winners, the world would be a different place but one very much to the liking of some of the regular letter writers to The Nation.