lørdag 22. august 2020

Rana Mitter: In Hong Kong, China should learn from India’s healthy attitude to the British Empire

The ghosts of empire keep appearing across the globe. This summer,  Britainwas rocked by the
Black Lives Matter movement, members of which pulled down the statue in Bristol of the slave trader Edward Colston and dumped it in the river. Next to fall may well be the statue of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes outside Oriel College, Oxford.

In Tokyo, this month’s 75th anniversary of the end of World War II was marred by some prominent politicians paying respects at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, where remembrance is held for leaders who defended Japan’s wartime empire. 

And even Hong Kong has recently seen the temporary return of colonial symbols, when political protesters last year unfurled the old colonial flag that was retired at the end of British rule in 1997. Nobody runs empires any more, or at least not officially. Yet decades after formal imperialism has come to an end, the legacy of empire still shapes politics across Asia and Europe, usually in terms defined by rhetoric rather than the nuances of history.