This site will highlight personalities, events and facts about the British Empire which are now not well-known.


V P Menon - Forgotten Architect of Modern India


A historical article by Dr. R P Fernando*


V P Menon was the Constitutional Adviser to the last three Viceroys during British rule in India. He was the only Indian in Mountbattenís inner team. Menonís plan for the partition of India into two Dominions was the one which was eventually adopted. It was Menon who realised the need to get the Princely States to accede to India before the date of independence and that Mountbatten was the ideal person to facilitate this. Following independence, when the communal violence began,  Menon asked Mountbatten to take charge. Menon and Sardar Patel later achieved the full integration of the Indian States. Menon has never received the recognition he deserved for his contributions and this paper is intended to highlight Menonís role during this crucial period in Indian history and to draw attention to his views on events and personalities.

For full text of the article: click here (PDF)


Sir Robert Chalmers - outstanding scholar of Pali in Sri Lanka

A historical article by Dr. R P Fernando*


Sir Robert Chalmers was the Governor of Ceylon from 1913-1915. Today, he is remembered as being the Governor during the Sinhalese-Muslim riots in 1915 when the colonial authorities over-reacted and imposed martial law for three months, causing considerable trauma to sections of the Sinhalese population. Chalmers is frequently accused as having been anti-Buddhist. He was, in reality, one of the foremost Pali scholars of the time and this article describes his contributions to the study of Buddhist literature.

Full text of the article: click here (PDF)

Comments on the Historical Accuracy of "Indian Summers"

A critique by Dr. R P Fernando*


Though the Indian Summers series are dramas, assertions have been made in interviews with the writer and members of the cast that the events portrayed are based on historical facts. Clearly, a great deal of care had been taken over sets, costumes and locations. The story lines are interesting and the programmes are beautifully filmed. However, the historical context shown is grossly inaccurate and designed to show the British governing classes in the worst possible light.

Full text of the article: click here (PDF)

*Click HERE to email the author directly.