Of Britain’s colonial crimes and millennial’s Harry-Meghan

By Bisma Fida. Dated: 6/8/2018 10:42:23 AM

Rule: The history of modern nation states, is centered within its geography.
Exception: Much of Britain's (not great) history happened across the globe and not within Britain.
This history isn't a neat one. The sun, while never setting on 13.01 million square miles of colonial hydra-head saw its crimes in galore. Crimes that originally stemmed from racism branching into economic, social, political and later onto post-colonial discourses. Maybe that is why, even for the sake of British sentiment, it never set on the empire. In the absence of consent-manufacturing electronic media and an extreme excess of colonial literature, who else was a greater witness to the crimes, but the Sun.
The East India Company, imperialistically on behalf of the Crown, came to one of the bountiful sub-continents of the world, overstayed its visit by a 190 years (Plassey to Partition) and outstayed these 190 years of mass murder, social engineering, hypocrisy, loot and redrawing of boundaries (on map), by leaving a colonial baggage which couldn't make way through the brainchildren of post colonialism. Social intrusion meant cultural misappropriation. Under the façade of "white man's burden" (shame on you Kipling!), really was vile racism. This unscientific social demarcation established the existence of just the two races- browns and whites, perpetuating a myth of inferiority and superiority. Racial discrimination of the colonizers could be well exemplified by say, a "Churchill and race" graph, the theme of which would be "colour of the sin", defined by the countries Kenya, South Africa, Iraq and India on X-axis and the numerical value of racial exterminations he carried on Y-axis. This Churchill and race hyperbole serves as an umbrella theme of Britain's colonial crimes.
Come middle of 20th century and the truth of Decolonization. An unfavourable post-World War II economy stood at whose centre, an involuntary process compounded by an ego saving, meant a hasty withdrawal from its colonies in Africa and Asia. Ergo, failure to contain the holocaust of 1947, (which now is the central theme to Indo-Pak relations) and the geo-political crisis of Kashmir are headers to the multiple present day sub-conflicts. To name a few cross-border terrorism and security, religious polarization, military escalations in the Siachen, dispute over the geo-strategic Sir Creek, the most recent: a weakening Indus Water Treaty that could potentially escalate into a water-war. In the neighbourhood an impractical cartographic division by the intruding British has shaped the present Sino-India border dispute. Leaving vast geographical areas sans constitution and legitimate governments, meant a game of thrones (exemplified by Myanmar) won by Suu Kyi only to confer upon a second class citizenship to an indigenous Rohingyas. These are just a few consequences of playing race vs. race and of British free-will.
What is political and economic is at its crux really, social. To sum up, British colonialism stood for amoral practices such as the persecutions of native peoples, open hatred, name calling, legal instruments that disrupted populations (read Balfour Declaration& Zionism), sexual violence, carefully planned pogroms, religious bigotry, destruction of indigenous enterprises, drainage of economies, free trade policies that suited their ends and really wars fought at strange ends of the world for food security, economic safety of the colonial enterprise and an ego that only took a bi-racial, brown girl, millennial Meghan Markle to shatter.
One may argue Britain's colonial crimes are a history now. But like any other system of philosophy (read Colonialism) to be put into practice and extended out on a behemoth scale over the centuries, cannot be easily let go of. In which case, unfortunately for Churchill and his unprincipled post-colonial champions, life came full circle on May 19' 2018 when the poster boy of millennial bravado, Diana's youngest, known to the whites and browns alike, Prince Harry, wed a brown-girl. So, what does this marriage of white and brown mean for colonial discourses on racism in Britain and the commonwealth? What does it really mean when a nation at the cusp of an Industrial Revolution, pools abroad best of the men she bred and energies into racist propaganda only to an unforeseen outcome like this? Britain may have bled an entire sub continent, created sub-nationalities out of it, which more or less are successfully running as nation states. Kashmir which owes its flashpoint status to a cuppa tea and crumpet politics may low-function for now. But beyond the political economy of third world, racism and more particularly gender normative racism, haunts us all in an alike manner! And let's not forget, Racism is as British as a cup of tea (CNN, Kehinde Andrews).
Egregious British racism and its derivative: colour-shaming, is really a royal rant of bogus epiphany of Elizabeth's delusional forefathers, lashed out against the other coloured. The silver-lining? Royal wedding 2018, will lead to a racial dilution. British heritage will undoubtedly be dismantled and along with it, the set standards of beauty and success. Markle's royal status by virtue of affinal kinship affirms the spirit of equality of rights, both in sum and substance. Prospects of birthing (half blood Princes and Princesses) changes royal equations with the race forever. Briefly put, the Crown efforts that only took centuries in creation of subservient economies, maladministration and social mishandling of other-skinned are really deduced to brownie points now! From now on, let it be known that Queens's newest home-girl is the symbol of atonement long overdue.
God bless the millennial attitudes and the sassy brown girl who quit an American legal drama to wed Harry!

 

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