I agree with the decision to treat the Ghurkhas properly; we have been exploiting them for approx. 200 years, for that length of time it has been a master servant relationship which has been a blot on the honour of Britain as well as being a stain on the British Army and its history. I don’t however buy in to the sanctimonious crap which papers and celebrities have been churning out, to put the record straight we should admit that all the glory; the bravery and all the heroics shown by the Ghurkhas all the VC’s etc. won on behalf of Britain could and would have been shown to any other country which offered them more money than us all those years ago, that s the somewhat inglorious truth of the first Ghurkhas to fight for the British Empire.
When I asked my old man what he did in the war he used to say he played football for the regiment which he indeed did; some pictures survive; he also boxed for the regiment as well, he used to say “they wee Gurkeys cannae play fitba but by Christ they can fight” he bowed to no man in his admiration for them which was not only based on their fighting qualities but also on the knowledge that when he and his comrades got in to a tight spot they (the wee Gurkeys) were on our side, borrowing from Wellington he used to say “they scare the s**t out of us so what do they do to the Germans” When the British employed the German ‘Hessians’ to fight the American revolutionaries and an the beast Franco employed the Moors to fight the Spanish Republicans they were called by their right name which is of course ‘Mercenaries’ Britain as usual goes in to denial at such a suggestion, it’s gross hypocrisy as usual. This is how the Ghurkhas started their relationship with Britain. This term of course no longer applies to them but it doesn’t help in the long term to whitewash it over.
Britain employed them and exploited them, their soldiers were not paid the same as British Soldiers for instance the Ghurkhas by contrast always fulfilled their part of the bargain and after all this time they are at last to be treated fairly. The British military has a brutal and terrible history, as well as the glory of the Second World War and the defeat of Nazism there are many shameful episodes, in that sense we are no better than most countries and it’s taken a long time to do the right thing but it’s a start, now what about all those Indians.