Behind the British Empire

Posted by on Jan-25-2009

I am a die hard fan of Christopher Lee. He iconised Dracula and I feel he is best in the role. Actually I was surprised to find him in the role of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and wanted to see how he performed in a “human’s role”. I was convinced after seeing the movie, that he can act well as a human too. But my wife wasn’t happy , It was not Lee’s performance which made her unhappy , but it was the story of the film .

Even though a Pakistani , she adores Mahatma Gandhi more than Jinaah and believes that the latter was responsible for the partition. She respects Gandhian principles and ideologies. ( But at times , seeing her vigour , I doubt whether she is a disciple of Che- Guevera)

I have seen her getting excited, whenever she talks about the British Colonialism and Indian freedom struggle . She often gets emotional explaining about the brutality of the British Empire. All patriotic citizens of former British colonies , do have a strong dislike towards the British .

“The sun will never set in the British Empire”. This phrase explains the vastness, richness and strength of an Empire , which may perhaps have the longest list of atrocities attached with it. A number of men were killed, a lot of women were widowed ,Children were orphaned , Kingdoms were plundered, the mouths which spoke for freedom were closed for ever, all this and much more, for establishing an Empire , that would even defeat the sun.

Were they right, when they did all this? No, we can say this with out a doubt. Their greed for expansion led to the rise of Colonialism. But before all this what was Britain- a small country in the west of Europe. It too has a History of bloody invasions .

It all began with Julius Caeser reaching Britain in 54 BC. Later Roman Emperor Claudiaus invaded it in A.D. 43 . In 495 A.D. The Anglo Saxons conquered it in the battle of Mount Badon . In a while Britain was invaded by many . Vikings repeatedly attacked and plundered Britain. Their well designed ships helped Viking in their expeditions and they continued it till 12th century AD . Prussia and Russia repeatedly attacked Britain. It was compelled to fight frequent wars with France.

The invasions , plunders and internal uprisings , shattered this country. It rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of disaster to create an realm unmatched . The Industrial revolution made them “the crown of the world”. Their language and culture which was influenced by the invasions , later became the culture and language of the world.

I moved to the window. I could hear sound of soldiers marching, sound of horses, swords colliding, gun shots ,loud laughter. Is the colonial expansion of Britain an answer to the invasions?

A gentle breeze touched me and it carried sobs, cries of grief and suffering, is it from the souls
which were trampled by the invaders of Britain or is it from the souls crushed by the British Empire??

  1. N J Said,

    Indeed a great post… Appreciate your insight on to the subject mentioned in here.

    N J `~`

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