Bengal Famine, 1943
Spewing fine Cuban nicotine, some two-thirds stupefied with Pol Roger,
He fulminated over Gandhi (“that nauseating, malignant and seditious,
Half-naked, fanatical fakir”), as he always did those nights. “The Indians
Are beastly people”, growled the Greatest Briton in that fake put-on voice,
With bellicose pomposity, which dreadfully impressed his sycophants, “Practising
Their foul religion. Sending them food would just encourage them to breed.”
He pouted at the paper, grunted and upon it scrawled, with brandy-trembling hand,
‘Inaction this day’. Marlborough’s descendent snorted and then returned
To his cigar. Three million starved to death. No epitaphs upon Bengali graves.
He and his acolytes composed the histories. His legacy remains secure
Mike Douse has a lifetime's immersion in education: his first assignment in Bangladesh was in 1966 and his latest there - looking at technical education for the International Labour Organisation - is ongoing. A collection of his articles, essays and conference contributions, entitled An Enjoyment of Education, was published in 2014 and he has published two anthologies of poems: Old Ground and Gone to Ground. Mike lives in mid-Wales with his dear wife Patricia.
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