On the occasion of Charles Dickens’ 200th birth centenary, it’s time to look at what the acclaimed British writer thought of Indians.
Here’s what the dickhead Dickens wrote after the 1857 mutiny/First War of Independence:
I wish I were Commander in Chief over there [India]! I would address that Oriental character which must be powerfully spoken to, in something like the following placard, which should be vigorously translated into all native dialects, “I, The Inimitable, holding this office of mine, and firmly believing that I hold it by the permission of Heaven and not by the appointment of Satan, have the honor to inform you Hindoo gentry that it is my intention, with all possible avoidance of unnecessary cruelty and with all merciful swiftness of execution, to exterminate the Race from the face of the earth, which disfigured the earth with the late abominable atrocities.
Our initial source: The Dark Side of Dickens from Arguably, Essays by Christopher Hitchens, p.178
Full quote in Grace Moore (2004), Dickens and the Empire. Discourses of class, race, and colonialism in the works of Charles Dickens