In his book Eminent Churchillians, Andrew Roberts, the historian and biographer, demolishes the image of Lord Mountbatten as a military planner and describes him as "a mendacious intellectually limited hustler, whose negligence and incompetence resulted in many unnecessary deaths - the numbers of which increased exponentially as his meteoric career progressed".
Roberts's main criticism of Mountbatten is directed at his role in the hasty, unplanned and unsupervised partitioning of India:
Any population transfers that were ... demanded could have been properly supervised and protected. Then - and only then - the country could have been partitioned and the two countries declared independent. In not following this common-sense sequence - indeed in taking the steps in almost the reverse order, with such horrific consequences - Mountbatten deserved to be court-martialled on his return to London.
As India celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence in August this year, it should demand from the British government a public inquiry into the circumstances leading to its partition in 1947 and especially the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest transfers of population in history.
M RIAZ HASAN