From Vikram Rao (Senior Journalist)
On the death of Britain’s Malika Elizabeth II on Thursday (September 8, 2022), the subjects of the empire’s former colonial group (African, Asian, Caribbean, South American) who are now all free nations, showed a lack of public sympathy for them. For centuries, these countries were subjected to brutal and inhumane atrocities. Kenyan jurist Alice Mugo also made it clear: “I am not saddened by the passing of the Queen. I will not be.” During the Mau Mau rebellion of Jomo Kenyatta (Kenyan Gandhi), the suppression of British troops during the reign of Elizabeth (1953-60) led to the massacre of thousands of children and women in the jungles of Kenya. It was hateful. Rebels from the Kikiyu caste were beaten to death by white soldiers with bayonets. Alice Mugo asked: “Can we forget this massacre?” Twelve thousand kilometers from Kenya, the Caribbean islands (near America), especially the blacks of Jamaica and other West Indies, were devastated by the British army. Mogo tells her that she still remembers her youth. Nadan Spencer, the black leader of the popular struggle, had also said: “The Queen had lost all our sympathy at that time because of her noisy silence. That is exactly what happened. Other colonies such as British Guiana, Falkland , Antigua, etc. The atrocities of Elizabeth’s military rulers continued upon them.
So here is the reality, however formal it may seem, that the white rulers are not sentimental at heart. It doesn’t match basic human behavior. There is a Latin proverb: “Nil nisi bonum.” This means only speaking well after death. It sounds silly to hear. So Ravana and Kansa, Hitler and Stalin should also be called anindya? Since they are dead.
Consider the context of India in the same setting. Freedom fighters have been demanding for decades that Elizabeth express regret, if not a sincere apology, for the Jallian Bagh massacre. Knowing the truth about this unfortunate episode will surely make Indians prouder and prouder than those who are proud of themselves. They have been beating on Samyata’s head. Every child knows that the firing of British military general Reginald Dyer at Jallianwala Bagh was brutal, monstrous. A more horrible and hateful slaughter is unimaginable. But, as she said, what did Malika Elizabeth and her beloved husband Prince Philips do? He was also then reminded that on Baisakhi (April 13, 1919) 1500 people were shot dead in Amritsar garden, 1200 people were injured. Among them were hundreds of children.
General Dyer told the Hunter Committee of Inquiry that: “I could not kill more because I had run out of bullets.” When Karachi’s neighboring newspaper “Sindh Observer” reported Hunter’s arrogant comment. When he reached the newsroom of “, Telugu-speaking editor K. News editor Anuj of Punnayya K. Rama Rao read. “Then my blood boiled,” he wrote in his autobiography: “The Pain as My Sword” (Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan). The most frightening thing was that on the return of this cannibal general to London, his British relatives presented him with a purse of twenty thousand rupees (two million today).
But the fascinating thing happened when the Golden Festival of Indian Independence (1997) was being celebrated. Queen Elizabeth also visited Jallianwala Bagh. Then Phillips stirred up controversy. He said: “The death toll is an exaggeration.” But the Queen only said: “It was a difficult accident.” In his speech in Parliament in Delhi, he said, “I am in pain at Jallianwala Bagh.” That’s all. Pain? But this political couple were constantly required to apologize for the misdeeds of the murderous General Dyer. The queen did not accept. Now who would explain to them that pain is a much milder alpha than the word forgiveness. Forgiveness has neither a synonym nor a synonym. The Queen had come to India three times. The husband had first come as a special guest of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959. But has that woman’s heart not been moved even after such a cruel and monstrous act? So she wasn’t kind and compassionate at all?
In this regard, in the program “Ab Uttar Chahiye” presented by a private channel last Friday evening, the eminent anchor had made a detailed discussion about the neglect of the memories of national heroes who do not belong to the Nehru dynasty. I gave the example that at the same time as Netaji’s statue was placed under the royal umbrella at India Gate, at the same time, thousands of miles away in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth was breathing the ‘last breath Narendra Modi had also said that “the signs of slavery are disappearing.” I just said that Netaji Bose memorial here, Elizabeth Mahaprasthan on the other. Is it a coincidence?
About this fellow spokesman was confused that there is no comment about the deceased. I laughed Those spokespeople probably did not see as I did the barbarism of the British Raj and the brutality of the Emergency period of successor Indira Gandhi. Because both scenes are events before the birth of those people. That is why we must remember that bad things are not said at the death of those who do not commit bad deeds.
Author K Vikram Rao is a senior journalist.