There are occasions when something your granny tells you leaves you shocked. Something like this happened a couple of days ago while we were watching the Mumbai police mercilessly beating medical students up for protesting in a non-violent manner. My grandmother, someone who had actively participated in the Quit India movement was moved to tears, but the usually soft-mannered lady said in a uncharacteristically cold voice, “I wish I had never taken part in the Quit India movement, the British were much better than this.” I was shocked, but only temporarily, by this confession. Yet, I know believe it to be true, the British Raj was a million times better than this government. It would have been our fortune had Great Britain still been here, for despite all their shortcomings, they were much better administrators. They introduced the railways, telegraphs, telephones, schools and colleges. The argument that they also committed Jallianwala Bagh is neutralized by the fact that Dyer was immediately court-martialled from the army, while many people who have committed worse acts of mass killing roam scot-free in India today. The “honorable” HRD minister Mr.Arjun Singh surpassed Gen. Dyer in 1984 itself, when after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, he arranged for the escape of Warren Anderson on December 4 1984. When a person who marched down the streets of Hyderabad shouting for the British to Quit India now herself wishes that they had never done so, it shows what a pathetic, incompetent, cruel, uncaring and downright stupid government we have today. 1946, we wanted the British out. 2006, we realize we were better off with them.