Churchill’s famous wartime speeches and the Indian farmers’ agitation

Justice Markandey Katju-

Justice Markandey Katju

Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.


British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave four famous speeches in the House of Commons in the summer of 1940 during the Second World War, which have reminded me, and seem to be applicable to, the present ongoing Indian farmers agitation.

  1. Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat

This speech was given on 13th May, a few days after the German invasion of Belgium and Holland, and Churchill’s assumption of office as Prime Minister of England. Churchill told the House of Commons, and through it, the British people, ” I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat “.

This is precisely what must be said to the agitating farmers by their leaders, who must not keep the farmers under any illusion that they can achieve success without great sacrifices.

In my article ‘ To the brave Indian farmers ‘ published in I have said that though the farmers struggle will ultimately be successful, it will be a protracted one, arduous and painful, and many people will perish on the harsh journey, which will witness many twists and turns, splits and retreats. But even those who die in this struggle will have the satisfaction of knowing that their children’s future will be bright due to their sacrifice ( see my article ‘ 135 million Horatii are needed in India, published in ).

  1. We shall never surrender

This speech was given on 4th June 1940, after the Dunkirk evacuation by British forces and the imminent collapse of France after the German blitzkrieg.

Churchill said, ” We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight on the hills, we shall never surrender “.

This is the spirit I already see in the agitating farmers. Even elderly people and women have firmly said ” Bill wapasi nahi to ghar wapasi nahi ” ( unless the 3 laws are repealed we will not go back home ). Some have even said they are prepared to die here. All Goebbelsian propaganda and attempts to divide the farmers and defame them as khalistanis, Pakistanis, maoists, anti-nationals, etc have failed and boomeranged.

  1. This was their finest hour

This speech was given by Churchill on 18th June after the fall of France and the imminent danger of a German invasion. Churchill said, ” Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, this was their finest hour “.

As mentioned in my articles ‘ The historical importance of the farmers’ agitation ‘, published in, the farmers’ agitation is historical. It has united large sections of the Indian people, who were till now seem hopelessly and endlessly divided on the basis of caste and religion, and thus it has acted as the spark which has ignited and begun the process of the Indian people’s struggle for the transformation of India from an underdeveloped to a highly developed country.

  1. The few

On 20th August, Churchill said ( about the British fighter pilots in the Royal Air Force ) ” who confronted a superior German Air Force, the Luftwaffe ” Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few “.

The Indian farmers are no doubt not few, but till now they were slumbering, like Kumbhakarna, and nobody took them seriously on the Indian political map. But now, as I mentioned in my articles ‘ Indian farmers, like Lord Krishna, have displayed their mighty form ‘, and ‘ Indian farmers have shown that they have the power of Hanumanji ‘ published in they have awakened the sleeping Indian giant ( about which Napoleon spoke, though he was referring to China ), and now no power on earth can suppress it.

As I have mentioned in my article ‘ Indian farmers are creating world history ‘ published in, the present ongoing Indian farmers agitation has not only importance for India but the whole world, as it will lead the underdeveloped countries of the world in a historical transformation which will culminate in making them all highly developed and prosperous, with their people enjoying a high standard of living and decent lives.