I am now convinced that all this ole talk about reparation is no more than classical nemakharamism or ingratitude. I say so because we as former colonial people continue to regal in the institutions that masa has handed down to us; but more so, we cherished the social and cultural traps that masa used to ensnare us, taking much more pride in the frills while destroying the institutions he has left behind such as the educational, legal, and political systems, and the values of hard work and accountability, etc.
A few noted that in India the institutions that the British left have been placed to work while ignoring the social and cultural trappings. In fact, the Indians have always resisted the conversion to Christianity so much so that after almost 300 years of British rule and influence Indians continue to cherish their indigenous values, customs, and traditions. And if Indian clothes himself with a jacket and tie, he does so by choice and not compulsion.
It is disgraceful that after 60 years of independence the elites continue with the religious tradition that masa imposed on us despite our posturing against colonial exploitation and correcting history.
Despite all that are said against colonialism, the off springs of the colonial mold continue to see value in the jacket and tie, and not the kurta. The piano is still given pride of place to the exclusion of the dholak. We continue to quote proudly from the Bible without seeing any merit in the Ramayana.
I am now seeing the courage and strength of leaders like Bhadase Maraj, Sat Maharaj and the so many pandits and other cultural leaders such as Bisram Gopie, Narsaloo Ramaya, Sham Mohammed and many others who have fought to preserve this ‘alien’ culture in this hostile world carved by the colonial masters. Sham Mohammed, then a cabinet minister, launched Mastana Bahar amidst much opposition from his colleagues. Such display of manliness must not be lost but lauded. What would have happened in this country if there were no Maha Sabha, KPA or ASJA?
The heroism of Sewdas Sadhu must be lauded. He could have accepted Jesus instead of pursuing his mission to build a temple and falling afoul with the law. Luckily, Sewdass Sadhu was no charlatan, but a man rooted in his dharmic tradition. No bulldozer or prison could have stopped him and come hell or high water he pursued his dream to build his mandir to worship his gods.