… ..All that is good but drink tea with your pinky up
I don’t know about you, but I feasted on Modaks this Ganesh Utsav as the Neeraj Chopra Gold Brands marketing strategy. But, my insubordination to Faith in God matters (which my parents called “too-advanced-she-became”) has nothing to do with what I love about such occasions, it is. is what I realized. Love, positivity and modaks will never dominate my 70% atheist and 30% antagonist personality.
However, it also got me thinking about how this festival was once a catalyst for the Indian independence movement.
This year has been a double decline in the Indian independence movement. A dark-haired man with a first-class ticket was dumped in Pietermaritzburg; shivering in the South African winter night. And on the other side, Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav was first promulgated in Pune to unite the masses against the imperialists. Nonviolence and unity were catapulted against the Gora-sarkar led by the Mahatma and Lokmanya of our nation.
My memories of my grandparents’ house decorated with photo frames of our freedom fighters and my Dadaji recounting their valor (better than Amitabh Bachan’s narration in Lagaan) had always made my heart beat with pride and gratitude. . But over time and the internet, I also realized how easily the British were fired for the misery, loot and trauma they caused. How they stole $ 45 trillion from India, which research shows is 17 times the UK’s current GDP! How they created a trade surplus for 30 years at the cost of millions of human lives.
And all of this defended so “properly” by their contributions like Indian Railways (used only to transport goods and British goras), education (an obsession of Indian parents with getting good grades in English) and democracy (a secret plan of the British, for the British, for the British after the death of the Queen?)
The British are so obsessed with skin color that they have whitewashed their history of colonial rule from British education! Not so surprising for a country that revere Winston Churchill whose words about the Bengal famine of 1943 were like this: “I hate Indians. They are bestial people with a bestial religion. The famine was their fault because they reproduced like rabbits ”.
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the India-Pakistan partition are some horrors that continue to haunt the Indians to this day. But Oopsie, forgive my tone because the British taught us to drink tea, to greet and to be “correct”!
However, Hamid Dabashi, professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University, puts it very bluntly. He says, “The British don’t know how to make tea. What they call “tea” is a travesty. There is no polite way to put it. They just suck at making tea.
I don’t mean direct hate, I’m too Indian to do this but all I’m saying is living in the dark isn’t healthy, especially for Brits who run into the rays of the sun for sunbathe!
It’s time for them to realize that they owe India reparations (in Shashi Tharoor’s own words) and that an apology would be a good start. But, more importantly, it is time for Indians to realize that judging a person’s intellect based on their vocabulary, normalizing education / work in the West as a success, inferiorizing cultures / languages / Indian system is a form of subjugation rooted in mental slavery to imperialist thought. Don’t normalize it.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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