Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Grievious Wrong Wrought By The Brits

A Grievious Wrong Wrought By The Brits

The India-Pakistan Divide, the India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Divide, the Kashmir Accession, the Afghanistan Impasse, were 300 years in the making. It took a lot of doing.

The people of South Asia have inherited the Imperial Project. They have yet to move their leaders to dismantle and overturn the ideology and practice of that imperial Project. It took the British (and lesser colonial powers) that long, 300+ years, in days, months and years, in decades and centuries, to robustly execute their Oppress-Exploit-Divide-Rule strategy. This strategy is in stark evidence today throughout the Global South, Angola to Zimbabwe, Indonesia to Iran, Singapore to Seychelles.

Lest we forget, we in South Asia are still playing out that strategy in 2009, with real oppressors on the ground or in the air, and imagined enemies among our very own sisters, brothers and cousins. The Great South Asian Family Quarrel has transposed itself onto the emergent struggling nation-state, carefully fractured by our departing Brit masters. Pesky relatives believe the malicious gossip and decide to walk out of the door while tea is being poured and sweets are being distributed. The taste in our mouths is bitter, watered by tears over the days of bloody parting.

We ourselves have become master performers of that cynical strategy of our erstwhile masters. Ironically we have ourselves mastered that strategy, added new rules and regulations. We oppress each other. Our families have turned on their own members. So it is today in our region, South Asia.

So it will continue -- unless we reflect and return to ourselves, our deeper collective selves.


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