Seen from the countries colonized by Great Britain, the death of Queen Elizabeth takes on a completely different meaning. And even the trumpeted emotion of its subjects (non-citizens) reveals a bitter truth: even the poorest figures of a colonialist society confusedly realize that their relative condition of material superiority / well-being with respect to the colonized has depended on the policies of robbery against the rest of the world. In addition to its own exploitation.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch of the British royal family, sparked global appeal and generated thousands of news reports about her funeral details. Americans, who rejected the monarchy centuries ago, are apparently obsessed with the ritual, bizarrely mourning the disappearance of an elderly and fabulously rich woman, born into privilege and died of natural causes at the ripe age of 96 on the other side of the world. Ocean.
Perhaps because popular and long-running television shows on British royalty, such as “The Crown,” have convinced us that we know intimate details about the royals and, even worse, have led us to believe that we should care about a family that is a symbolic marker of past greatness. imperial.
But for those who are descended from the subjects of the British imperialist conquest, the queen, her ancestors and her descendants represent the ultimate evil empire.
India, my country, celebrated the 75th anniversary of independence from British rule this year. Both of my parents were born before independence, in a country still ruled by the British. During my childhood I heard many stories about the absences of my grandfather, who had gone into hiding, wanted for seditious activities against the British. After independence, in 1947, he was awarded for being a “freedom fighter” against the monarchy.
Despite the popularity and critical acclaim of “The Crown” and similar films and shows, I have found a much stronger connection with the new superhero series “Ms. Marvel, ”if only because it faces the horrors of division, a little-known (in the United States) legacy of the evil empire.
As Pakistani writer Minna Jaffery-Lindemulder explains in New Lines, “in 1947 the British changed the borders of India and Pakistan at the eleventh hour before declaring the independence of both nations, leaving former crown subjects confused about where they should migrate to ensure their safety “. As a result, 15 million people felt compelled to move from one part of the South Asian subcontinent to another, a mass exodus with estimated death tolls of between half a million and 2 million.
Today, those disputed borders, recklessly drawn in 1947 by British officials acting on behalf of the crown, remain a source of seething tensions between India and Pakistan, which occasionally result in outright wars.
This is the legacy of the British monarchy. The UK enjoys an odious distinction in the Guinness Book of Records, for “the largest number of countries  who have gained independence from the same country “.
It could be argued that Elizabeth, who received the throne and title in 1952, did not lead an aggressive conquering empire and instead presided over an institution which, under her rule, has become largely symbolic and ceremonial. And indeed many do just that, referring to her, for example, as a “specimen of moral decency.”
Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade, takes a different view, referring in an interview with Elizabeth as a “morally irrelevant person with a job that involved doing extremely irrelevant things.”
Mahajan further explains, saying that he is “a highly privileged person, who has been given the opportunity to influence world events to some extent, who hasn’t had to do anything to earn it, and who has never done anything particularly remarkable, innovative or insightful “.
While Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne were mostly spent overseeing the apparent unraveling of the British Empire into a world less tolerant of imperial occupation, slavery and plunder, just months into her role as queen, the British violently put down the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. According to a New York Times article about how citizens of African nations today have little sympathy for the dead monarch, the suppression of the rebellion “led to the creation of a vast system of detention camps and to torture, rape, castration and all ‘killing of tens of thousands of people ”.
Although Elizabeth was not responsible for directing the horrors, they were done in her name. In the seven decades that she wielded symbolic power, she never once apologized for what was done during her rule in Kenya, nor for what was done in her family’s name by the dozen. of other nations of the global South.
No wonder blacks and browns around the world have openly expressed their disgust at the collective adulation of such an ugly legacy.
Carnegie Mellon University professor Uju Anya, who is Nigerian, is under fire for her blunt disavowal of Elizabeth after posting on Twitter that “she has heard that the monarch leader of a thieving and raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating ”.
Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies at Birmingham City University, wrote in Politico that he cannot relate to his fellow citizens’ desire to mourn Elizabeth, a woman he considers “the number one symbol of white supremacy” and a “manifestation of institutional racism. that we have to face every day “.
Elizabeth might have appeared to be a kind, smiling old woman who maintained the correctness expected of a royal leader. But she worked hard to preserve an institution that should have long since died out. Her throne was given to her after her uncle, the Duke of Windsor, abdicated to marry a twice divorced American. Both the marriage to a divorcee and the fact that the couple turned out to be sympathetic to Nazism have marked a low point for royalty.
“The monarchy was in a really good position to disappear with this kind of antics,” says Mahajan. But it was Elizabeth who “saved the popularity of the monarchy”.
In addition, Elizabeth quietly preserved the family fortune, which she and her descendants had benefited from in a postcolonial world. “One thing she could, and of course should, have done and said is the huge royal heritage,” says Mahajan. Observers can only estimate the value of the royal family (Forbes talks about $ 28 billion), which includes jewelry stolen from former colonies, expensive art investments and real estate across Britain.
The new king of Great Britain, Charles III, now inherits the fruits of the evil empire. According to Mahajan, Carlo “is apparently very determined to take his fortune and invest it in order to enrich himself as much as possible”. According to the New York Times, “as a prince, Charles used tax breaks, offshore accounts and cunning real estate investments to turn a sleepy estate into a billion dollar business.”
In 2017 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that both Elisabetta and Carlo were mentioned in the leaked “Paradise Papers”, indicating that they hid their money in havens to avoid paying taxes.
Cheating taxpayers and living on stolen wealth – the monarchy’s original modus operandi – seems to be at the heart of Elizabeth’s legacy, which she passes on to her son (who won’t even pay inheritance tax on the estate she left him).
The British monarchy, according to Mahajan, “is above all a real concession to the idea that some people are born better and more important than you, and that you should look to them.”
Mahajan adds: “This is a good time to wipe out the popularity of this institution.”
This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.
Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio program that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a collaborator of the “Economy for all” project of the Independent Media Institute.
* from Independent Media Institute
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