When will we Indians give up our enslavement based fascination for all things Colonial?
Even the people from the Colonial countries have started removing those horrific memorials to the deepest human tragedy ever, the slave trade, known more frequently in India as “indentured labour”. The rest of the world is pulling down statues of slavers, whether as a result of Black Lives Matter, or just because a time has come for this to be done.
But here in India we continue to not just honour those who had robbed, maimed and killed us, but we also use tax-payer funds to encourage a weird sort of glorification of their memory. Just changing a name from Victoria Terminus to CST is not enough, though it is a very good start, we have to do a lot more.
I am not for even a moment suggesting that we also start toppling statues. Sure, removing them and placing them elsewhere, or simply doing away with them as was done with the King Somebody or the Other’s Canopy at the India Gate roundabout and replaced with the War Memorial for Indian Armed Forces is one option.
But a message has to be sent out that now, in 2020, finally, we are trying to do away with the way our Colonial Rulers thought and still try impose their thought processes from Colonial days on us. That we are truly free.
And one way would be to ensure that ALL colonial era buildings, wherever they are in India, are lit up in the colours of the Tri-Colour. Every night and not just on National Holidays.
And that wherever there is a statue of a Colonial Ruler, a tricolour is painted on it, just like it is on railway engines and passenger wagons as an example.
I would love to see, to start with, an Indian flag flying on a flagpole right next to Victoria Behn in that Memorial in Kolkata.