The Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – RIP
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 26 Sep 2022
Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service
The Impact of the Unresolved Challenges of the Global British Imperial Legacy of Colonialism
“We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history,”[i]
24 Sep 2022 – This publication, presents the life and reign of the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth 11 of the House of Windsor and the death of the longest reigning sovereign in the sordid, oppressive history of the British Kingdom. The report also highlights and causes the readers to reflect on the most expensive state funeral, televised live, globally over a ten-day period of pageantry, pomp and pseudo glorification of the excesses of the State funeral, from the time of her death on 08th September 2022, until her embalmed body, in a lead lined, sealed coffin was lowered into the Royal crypt, at St Georges Cathedral, at Windsor Castle on the evening of Monday 19th September. This ongoing rehearsals and ceremonial traditions continued for eleven long days of frienzied media activities, costing the British taxpayer millions of pounds in actual monetary terms, for hosting the State Funeral for the Monarch.
This financial, wasteful expenditure, for the actual funeral, and the attendance of Kings, Queens, Presidents, Prime Ministers and a plethora of dignitaries, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and politicians does not include the millions of productive humanoid hours wasted by the estimated 400,000 British, as well as foreigners, who travelled from countries, as far afield as New Zealand, to spend an average of 13 hours waiting in “The Queue”, to pay their last respects to the Queen, lying in State, in the iconic Westminster Hall, over the designated period. All this media hype, clearly demonstrated, the pleasurable and publicity seeking rights of the overfed, grossly obese, Royalists, affluent, westerners, while the economic, financial, climate change and social crises have resulted in malnutrition, unemployment, abject poverty and social unrest, not only globally, but also in Britain, where the poor and disadvantaged go to sleep without even a meal.
The high definition visuals broadcast by BBC and various other international television channels, to affluent homes, to be seen on high tech mega screens, showed in glorious colour, the proceedings, live on a minute to minute basis, using helicopters, drones, and strategically mounted highly experienced camera people, as well as using rowing cameras, to record the proceedings. It was also ironic to note, that the German, luxury car maker, Daimler, obtained their free product publicity, when the Queen’s coffin was transported by a Mercedes Benz, E Class hearse, from Balmoral Castle, where the Queen passed on peacefully, surrounded by her family, to Edinburgh, along a multitude of citizenry lined routes , who had nothing better to do to assist humanity, to the detriment of British owned carmaker, the likes of Jaguar, presently owned by the Tata Corporation, an Indian owned, mega company, from India, one of the former British colonies.
India was occupied and exploited, culturally, ethnically, financially and genocidally by the very same lineage of British Royalty, during the 200 years of oppressive British Raj, in India. Britain, under the racist Prime Minister, “Sir” Winston Churchill, as knighted by Her majesty, the Queen, agreed to give India its independence, not because India deserved it, but simply because of the fact that Britain was in financial recession in the post-World War 11, era and out of necessity, in 1947. However, it must be remembered, that Britain caused the division of the subcontinent of India into India and Pakistan based on religious composition, by instituting the Partitions. Where millions of people of Indian origins were massacred, on both sides, by the British engineered “Partition”. This typical British modus operandi of “Divide and Rule” was catastrophically played out between India and Pakistan, during the peri-independence period, from 1947. The author has described this in his previous publication, as well.
Bearing in mind the background, the previously subjugated , oppressed, occupied and exploited colonies, have absolutely no reason to celebrate the life and death of Queen Elizabeth 11 and her successor King Charles 111, who must bear collectively responsibility for the excesses of the past on the occupied colonies as well the neo colonial trends prevent globally, in the 21st century. It is for these reasons, the non-condescending citizens of the former colonies, have realised the undercurrents of collective and ongoing British hypocrisy and have stated the obvious, which some statesmen of the former colonies have adopted a condescending and patronising stance, at the demine of the 96-year-old monarch.
These former colonies know fully well the reality of the past, but for fear of alienating the Western bloc, on whom they are dependent on the financial handouts and fiscal gain from the trade agreements. In South Africa the leader of the rapidly growing political party, Economic Freedom Front. EFF, which is presently a formidable threat to the ruling African National Congress the ANC, in the next general elections, Mr Julius Malema, has rightly issued a media statement condemning the celebrations. “We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history,” Malema recalled how the Royal Family “dehumanized” millions of people across the world. “Britain, under the leadership of the royal family, took over control of this territory that would become South Africa in 1795 from Batavian control, and took permanent control of the territory in 1806,” the activist recalled. “From that moment onwards, native people of this land have never known peace, nor have they ever enjoyed the fruits of the riches of this land, which were and still are utilized for the enrichment of the British royal family and who look like them.”
The vocal politician further claimed the British “tortured” those who tried to resist their rule. Malema added that it was the British royal family who sanctioned the actions of Cecil John Rhodes in Zimbabwe and Zambia. “It was the British royal family that benefitted from the brutal mutilation of people of Kenya whose valiant resistance to British colonialism invited vile responses from Britain,” he said. He added, “In Kenya, Britain built concentration camps and suppressed with such inhumane brutality the Mau Mau rebellion, killing Dedan Kimathi on February 18, 1957, while Elizabeth was already Queen.” Mau Mau were the militant wing of a growing clamour for political representation and freedom in Kenya. The first attempt to form a countrywide political party began on 1 October 1944. This fledgling organisation was called the Kenya African Study Union. The British and international view was that Mau Mau was a savage, violent, and depraved tribal cult, an expression of unrestrained emotion rather than reason.
While the world will remember the Queen as a kind-hearted Queen, Julius Malema faulted the late Queen for not acknowledging the brutalities that the royal family committed. “Elizabeth Windsor, during her lifetime, never acknowledged these crimes that Britain and her family in particular, perpetrated across the world.” He added, “She willingly benefited from the wealth that was attained from the exploitation and murder of millions of people across the world.” Malema reiterated that the British royal family benefits from the millions of slaves who were shipped away from the continent to serve the interests of “racist white capital accumulation”. He added that by “mourning and praising the queen, you are celebrating colonialism”
Addressing a crowd, following a march by different political parties to the Public Protector’s office on 23rd September 2022 , Malema said those are mourning the death of the queen are no different from Helen Zille. “Heh we mourn the queen, we mourn the queen, but when Helen Zille tweeted and said colonialism was not all bad, you all said she is racist, ‘how can she praise colonialism?’ By mourning and praising the queen, you are celebrating colonialism, you are not different from Helen Zille,” said Malema. “We were not colonised by the land called Britain, but the leadership of Britain that killed our people. We must not be asked to do wrong things here, we are very clear; the queen does not represent anything good. Britain has got a lot of gold yet they don’t have a single mine of gold. Those are stolen goods. We must talk about reparations, we must talk about the return of the gold and stolen diamonds and not these issues which are not important to us.
“How can you be oppressed for so many years and still have nothing to show that you’ve been liberated. You have no land, bank or mine. The only thing you have is hatred of other Africans. It was this Britain that gave us surnames, we didn’t have surnames, we used to call each other with our clan names. The surnames and addresses? We did not have an address because we used to move from one place to another according to the season. So today we are given addresses, borders and surnames because we must be controlled by a certain nation which we must celebrate,” If there is really life and justice after death, may Elizabeth and her ancestors get what they deserve,” said Julius Malema.
During her reign she witnessed 15 Prime Ministers, beginning with Winston Churchill and ending with Liz Truss. Her reign saw the slow degradation of British power from the twilight of the colonial era to a new post-colonial Britain, exhibiting neo-colonialism. During her long life, she lived through times of prosperity and security for many in the United Kingdom as well as times of war, crisis, and recessions.
However, the legacy of the Queen is not without controversy. Whereas Prime Minister Liz Truss credited “her devotion to duty” as “an example to us all”, as reported by Scottish Daily Express, others have seen her death as a moment to remind us of the role the British monarchy has played in colonialism. For example, Uju Anya, an associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie University, tweeted on Thursday afternoon that: “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.”
The other unresolved challenges include the ownership and return of the cursed Koh-I-Noor stone, taken from Duleep Singh a 11-year-old child king by the British. This was recut and installed in the crown of Queen Mary, presently housed in the Tower of London.
In addition, the carnage of the Amritsar Massacre in India, also remains unresolved as the Queen did not apologise. The author has a full publication on this sad chapter of the history of British occupation and slaughter of the Indians.
Similarly, in South Africa, the British initiated apartheid which was perfected by the minority While Afrikaner government in 1948, as a discriminatory tool against the Black indigenous majority until 1994.
Imperial Britain is also guilty of stealing cultural and religious artefacts from India during its colonization and cultural genocide of the country. These incidents are also documented by the author in his previous publication. The British Museum, backed by the government has repeatedly refused to repatriate these items to their rightful owners in India. Perhaps, King Charles 111 might consider returning them in the future.The British has also systematically destroyed the Internationally renowned muslin centres of production in pre-partitioned India, as detailed in another of the author’s publication.
Similar unhappiness prevails amongst the Australian Aborigines “As a kid, I grew up looking at her in an aspirational way and thinking: ‘Gosh, that’s the Queen! And that’s my dad receiving an [MBE] order from the Queen!” the Aboriginal Australian television presenter Ms Narelda Jacobs’ says. “She’s someone that I always looked up to.” But as Ms Jacobs grew older, the meaning and sentiment of the photo shifted. When she looks at it now, she sees a sovereign standing in front of a man who dedicated his life to having the sovereignty of his own people recognised. “And he died waiting for that recognition,” the Whadjuk Noongar woman tells the BBC.
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have spoken of complicated emotions after the Queen’s death. The oldest continuing cultures on Earth, they suffered greatly from colonialism. The arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770 set off events that dispossessed Indigenous Australians of their land. Massacres, profound cultural disruption, and intergenerational trauma followed. When Queen Elizabeth II first visited Australia in 1954, First Nations people were not counted as part of the population, and children were still being forcibly removed from their families to be assimilated into white households. In some parts of her tour, Aboriginal Australians were actively hidden from view.
Much has changed since, but Indigenous Australians remain disproportionately worse off in terms of health, education and other measures compared to non-Indigenous Australians. “We’re still not doing as well… and that’s because of colonial rule,” Wiradjuri academic Sandy O’Sullivan says. There are mixed feelings. As a result Australia has struggled with the question of how to celebrate her life while acknowledging some of the country’s darkest chapters. A decision to lower the Aboriginal flag to half-mast in her honour, in line with other official flags, drew some criticism, as did the decision to suspend parliament for a fortnight. A promise to rename a Melbourne Hospital from an Aboriginal word, Maroondah, to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital has been attacked as “tone deaf”. Controversially, the Australian Football League Women’s decided against mandating a ,minute’s silence for the Queen last week, because it was Indigenous Round. But the National Rugby League fined and suspended an Indigenous player after she wrote an offensive post about the Queen that some defended as freedom of speech.
For University of Canberra Chancellor and Aboriginal elder Tom Calma, the Queen led a life of service “with a whole lot of dignity and humanity”. “She inherited, at a very young age, a whole lot of global challenges. We’ve seen a lot of change and she’s been at the helm of that,” says Professor Calma, a Kungarakan and Iwaidja man. She seemed sympathetic, he says, to the desires of First Nations people, such as in 2000 when she called for the government to “ensure prosperity touches all Australians”, pointing out many Indigenous people felt “left behind”. But some say the Queen’s legacy in Australia is impossible to separate from the invasion and colonisation of the country.
Among them is Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe, who referred to the Queen as a coloniser while taking her oath in parliament earlier this year. Indigenous people never ceded their sovereignty, the Djabwurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman wrote in the Guardian Australia last week. “The institutions that British colonisation brought here, from the education that erases us to the prisons that kill us, are designed to destroy the oldest living culture in the world,” wrote Ms Thorpe. “That’s the legacy of the Crown in this country.”
For others, there is criticism of what the Queen herself didn’t do. Many Indigenous Australians made appeals to her for greater support during her reign. Among them was Ms Jacobs’ father, an Anglican reverend and one-time National Aboriginal Conference chair. Though he was always “very fond” of the Queen, Cedric Jacobs had spoken to her about his people’s desire for a treaty. “Could there have been something that she could have done?” Ms Jacobs asks. Professor O’Sullivan says: “I don’t have a lot of time for people who want to celebrate the idea of somebody passing away.” But it’s not fair to paint the Queen as simply a “kindly grandmother” given she was so influential and had “enormous wealth”, the academic adds. She used that power to be an “incredibly eloquent” advocate for some causes, Prof O’Sullivan says. ” she certainly didn’t do anything to make our lives better.”
Professor Calma argues the Queen inherited colonial tensions she had no part in creating. “There’s always an argument that more could have happened, but that’s not always in the hands of the monarch,” he says. “We can’t continually blame the Crown, when we’ve had our own constitution since 1901. It is the Australian government who has to step up.” ‘An opportunity’ .Some argue an Australia that recognises the harm colonisation has done to First Nations people, cannot remain subject to a British monarch. But a referendum on a republic looks at least three years away. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has committed to first holding a referendum on recognising Indigenous people in Australia’s constitution and giving them a Voice to Parliament – a new advisory body. Even if Australia becomes a republic it may not leave the Commonwealth, Professor Calma says. Some urge the monarchy to embrace a new era. “This is an opportunity for a clean slate,” Professor O’Sullivan says. “I have a lot of a lot of hope.”
Some Indigenous Australians want King Charles III to make an apology for the damage done by colonialism, like that offered to New Zealand’s Māori in 1995.
There are also calls for reparations, financial compensation, the return of land and artefacts, and the repatriation of ancestral remains located in British museums. The King could also consider lending his support to the campaign for the Voice to Parliament, some say. All the BBC spoke to said they wanted the King to meet with First Nations people, and to listen.
“It is really frustrating. These are the same conversations that our leaders would have had with his mum,” Ms Jacobs said. “But I don’t want anybody else to die waiting to have their sovereignty as a First Nations person recognised.”
The Bottom Line is that while the Queen cannot be personally blamed for the atrocities committed by the dynasty, despite numerous opportunities to offer an official apology, the Queen was not forthcoming. Queen Elizabeth was on the throne when UK colonial administration committed one of the many heinous crimes of British colonialism in East Africa during the Mau Mau rebellion, killing tens of thousands to perpetuate British occupation all in the name of the Crown. Similar golden opportunities were lost when the Queen visited the Site of the Jallianwala Bagh in Srinagar, India, where thousands of unarmed women, children and elderly men were mercilessly killed by a British General Dwyer. All she was required to say and could have said was “Sorry”. However, her arrogance and self-perceived sense of superiority, to the darker Indians, prevented her ego, from stating what was obviously required at the time of her Royal visit to India.
There are three lessons for all humanoids to be learnt from the death of anyone, not just the Queen of England. First, we should recollect that we, as humanoids, are all going to die. We reflect upon the reality of this life, that we pause and ponder over what we have prepared for the real life that comes after death. Death is the biggest challenge presented to humanity by God. It is the end of this life; every individual will start another life following it. A wise person would take the opportunity to reflect on how s/he has spent this transient life in preparation for the everlasting life to follow. That’s why the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Remember death frequently.”
The second lesson is that the Lord has decreed that the Queen will die at 96 years of age and her husband died when he was almost a hundred. This is God’s decree. He chooses whether a humanoid has a long life, or a short one, but whatever your situation you will surely die in the end. Even if you live for a hundred years you will die, even if you are a king, a queen, a governor, a president, a minister, a senator, a local government chairman or the wealthiest person, you are not going to live forever, this is another important lesson we should take from the passing of the Queen or any other seemingly powerful person.
When we look at these people we ask, where is their wealth, where is their power, where are their supporters? Have any of these things protected them against death and will they help them whilst they are in the grave? The answer is an unequivocal and certainly “NO”. The final thought is that people feel sad upon the passing of those who are close to them. Sometimes we also feel a sadness for those who are not so close to us but have some connection to our lives. This is not reprehensible in of itself. It depends on how a humanoid reacts. In this regards we can wish the grieving family patience and solace during this critical period of loss of a loved one.
In summary, there are a large number of apologies and reparation issues that King Charles 111 has to grapple with and remedy, if he is to rectify the Queen’s, his mother’s, either intended oversight, or indifference and denial of the excesses of the colonial Britain, in the immediate future. This singular act of corrective justice, in his capacity as the King of England, will enhance an overall ethos of peace, global respect and international social harmony. This will also allow the new King to leave behind an important and memorable legacy for the future generations to remember King Charles 111, by, with no outstanding challenges left behind. for his heir to the throne, if British Monarchy is to persist, in the future.References:
Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.
Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Tags: Biography, British Colonialism, British empire, Colonialism, Colonization, England, English Colonialism, Europe, History, Obituary, Queen Elizabeth, UK
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 26 Sep 2022.
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