Anupam Sen Gupta
Colonies and Commonwealth
We appreciate the glory and heritage of Europe, which is fine. And we pose in front of monuments and post photos on various social platforms, which is fine too. But do we know that European heritage and nobility were built on the blood, sweat and tears of millions of Indentured Labourers who were transported from the heartlands of India by the colonists in millions to work as a substitute for slavery in European tropical colonies all around the world?
And how happily these European colonists dumped these simple people who worked as slaves and later Indentured Labourers in various tropical countries. Come to think of it. Bob Marley and Clive Llyod are of African origin. So what happened to the indigenous people of these colonies? Where are the Mayans of Latin America? Where are the Tainos of the Caribbean?
What happened to the Indians of America? The US of A is the biggest European colony where they have systematically destroyed the indigenous culture and faith; with the stories of a lost culture having turned into folklores.
Recently there was a massive volcanic eruption in Tonga. The capital of the country is Tongatapu. 'Tapu' in Hindi is an island. Needless to say, people in Tonga are of Indian origin and were dumped by the European colonists. This is true for many tropical nations that were looted, raped and plundered. The indigenous cultures too were systematically destroyed by the colonist Europeans to gain control over the resources of the colonies!
Suriname or Dutch Guyana too is a country that was plundered by the colonists. A trade treaty in South East Asia between the British and the Dutch, allowed the Dutch to recruit labourers from India and ship them as human cargo in ocean-going vessels. The labourers were told that they were going to 'Shri Ram Tapu' i.e. the island of Hindu God, Ram.
The word Coolie was coined by the British for Indentuerend Labourers but later Coolie became synonymous with exploitation and subservience. Even today, a porter in India is called Coolie..
We don't have to wear patriotism on our sleeves but why has no one opposed this and demanded an apology? And how sad is it that we are still a Commonwealth country? Who's Commonwealth? And why?
Are we aware that when a certain actor got married to a British prince, she wore the emblems of flora and fauna of the Commonwealth countries on her veil ....why? It’s not her father's property that she can wear them on her veil !!!
By the way, our country was represented on her veil with a Lotus, the national flower of India.. It's time we speak about it. Demand that these idiots return the wealth that they have systematically looted and continue to do so in many ways in so many parts of the world. Postcolonial industrialization? Globalisation? NATO? Global currency? City of London?
We should demand that these colonizing countries stand up and accept the exploitation by their forefathers. It’s time European colonizing nations learn the true nature of their history!
Isn't it enough of a colonial hangover...including the language I'm writing in? The hangover is deeply embedded in our DNA !!! It Burns my heart and I know not how to raise a voice but shout !!
(disclaimer - images have been sourced from the internet. we don't have any claim on them. used as reference)