The Charles Coronation Circus And Some Spineless Indians

Do Buckingham residents deserve the adulation they keep getting in India, given the inglorious past they represent? (The Royal Family/ Twitter)

COLUMN/ THE HOT POTATO
Nadim Siraj

This week has served as a perfect litmus test to figure out if the modern-day Indian is indeed a vertebrate – an animal with a firm spine. It turns out that the ludicrous British circus surrounding Charles’s coronation has confirmed that a disturbingly large number of Indians are spineless, lack self-respect, and suffer from a chronic colonial hangover.

A sea of Indians – including the mainstream media, history buffs, organisations, elite clubs, artists, politicians, and even economy experts – have been shamelessly celebrating the obnoxious ritual of religious confirmation of the new UK monarch’s rise to the throne of the tainted British empire.

In one delirious week of festivities, these hallowed bunch of Indians have completely shoved under the carpet 190 years of humiliation dealt to their forefathers by the rogue British Raj.

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In one delirious week of fanfare, these spineless Indians have insulted the freedom fighters who put their necks on the line to get the British invaders booted out of the subcontinent in the 1940s.

While this self-respect- defying behaviour from these Indians defies logic, it isn’t entirely their fault. A good part of the blame should go to their favourite Indian media outlets.

The Media Circus

If TV channels, newspaper front pages, and social media platforms constantly bombard people with positive news and celebratory developments about the Buckingham family tamasha, then it’s only natural for a good number of them to fall prey to the twisted narrative.

Having said that, in a country where history books still teach us how British pirates invaded India, colonised it, and squeezed it dry, it is appalling that countless spineless Indians are drunk on a colonial hangover, relishing the ridiculous proceedings at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

In his epic 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, British author George Orwell coined the term ‘doublethink’. According to the Orwellian concept – which is deeply rooted in reality – people can be successfully indoctrinated with certain narratives in such a way that they would believe in conflicting or contradictory ideas both at the same time, defying logic.

As the descendants of the criminal British Empire are now burning millions of pounds for their opulent and garish coronation party – with money that was once largely siphoned from colonial India – shameless Indians are exhibiting this phenomenon of Orwellian doublethink.

Orwellian ‘Doublethink’

In fact, for Indians in this context, doublethink is an understatement. Indians watching the London melodrama in awe know the granular details of how the rogue British East India Company tormented the subcontinent from 1757 to 1857. They know in vivid detail how the hawkish British monarchy looted India from 1857 to 1947. They know all about the takeover, the torture, the plunder, the slavery, and their propaganda effort just like the back of their hands.

The mind-boggling depth and scale of how much the British royal family once looted from the Indian economy was best established in an economic investigation done by Indian economist Utsa Patnaik in 2018. Her probe revealed that the sophisticated British robbers drained out $45 trillion from the Indian subcontinent between 1765 and 1938.

The fraudulent Britishers pulled off the epic siphoning through a cunning system of tax-and-trade. Basically, they first overtaxed the financially starved population of the subcontinent. After that, they used that excess windfall taxpayer money to buy Indian-made goods for cheap, and packed them off to the markets of the British Isles.

Effectively, they appropriated Indian-made goods without actually having to pay with British money. They just cleverly returned a small fraction of the tax collected in exchange for the Indian-made products. It was a fairy-tale heist that today’s Indians are well aware of, but for some logic-defying reason, they are clapping away at the London show instead of feeling disgusted.

Screenshots of positive coverage of the coronation drama by the popular press in India

And then, of course, there is a mountain of other blinding crimes that the predatory British family and its predecessor, the East India Company, committed with impunity during those 190 troubling years.

Like hardcore pirates, they walked away with high-profile treasures such as the Koh-i-Noor that was mined at Kollur in present-day Andhra Pradesh, the jewelled ring of Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, the jade wine cup of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, and the Amaravati Marbles from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur.

A Long, Dark List

Far worse than that, numerous studies and historical accounts say the British colonialists killed at least 10 crore (100 million) Indians in just a 40-year span between 1880 and 1920. That’s a genocide involving more lives lost than all the famines in the Soviet Union, China and North Korea put together.

Also, who can ever forget the two Bengal famines orchestrated by the deviant British pirates? The first one came in 1770, thanks to the perverse efforts of the British East India Company. And the next one was slapped on Indians in 1943 during the closing years of the monarchy’s terror reign.

As for Buckingham Palace’s track record on slavery, Charles – seen smiling away through the week – was recently forced to allow the conduct of a full-blown investigation into the British royal family’s past involvement in the global trade of African slaves. This dark legacy isn’t related to the Indian subcontinent, but it’s atrocious enough for modern-day Indians to not hold the former British Empire in high esteem.

Interestingly, there is a certain breed of modern-day Indians who believe that since the British Raj is now a thing of the past, we might as well move on and stop raking up the past on occasions like this one.

Colonisation Continues

To them, the answer is that it’s incorrect to conclude that British imperialism is a thing of the past. Instead, it is back upon us in the shape of modern-day Anglo-American western imperialism. Back then, London alone pulled the strings of colonialism. Today, transatlantic owners of MNCs and international bodies, mostly operating from Washington DC, California, New York, London, Geneva, and Paris, are trying to control India’s economy – and its people.

New-age British colonisers are playing nearly as big a role as the Americans in the Anglo-American West’s ongoing attempt to recapture India’s economy. The list of British companies that have a firm footing in India’s heartland says it all – Reuters, Barclays, Unilever, HSBC, Cadbury India, Marks and Spencer, Deloitte, JCB, Accenture, Standard Chartered Bank, Royal Enfield, PwC, just to name a few of India’s ‘new British masters’.

Every single clap, every single nod of approval, and every single positive discussion that Indians are having about the coronation ceremony – which has even drawn sharp criticism from some Caribbean leaders – is a disturbing confirmation that a good number of Indians are still under a spell of colonial hangover.

When will they wake up from it? Or will they, at all?

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