Passions: The Queen and us

“British royalty is the symbolic face of Britain, not India”

by Onir

Onir says that before the British colonized India, women did not change their surnames after marriage.
Onir says that before the British colonized India, women did not change their surnames after marriage.

India suffers from a huge colonial hangover. We are obsessed with fair skin. We get excited about the Oscars.

The women follow western standards of beauty. All of this has come from our colonial experience and is now part of our thinking.

I don’t understand why, when we constantly talk about the Mughal invasion, we don’t talk about the British destruction of our heritage. The Mughals gave us monuments, food, music, etc. The British drained India economically, destroyed our gurukul system, and divided us on the basis of religion. These are problems that we still suffer from today.

However, we are obsessed with what is happening to Prince Harry, what happened to Princess Diana and the Barbie doll based on Queen Elizabeth II. British royalty is the symbolic face of Britain, not India. Why get excited about them?

Before the British colonized India, women did not change their surnames after marriage. Now, most married women change their last names. In pre-colonial India, women could be warriors. Now it’s taken years for women to get into the army! What about section 377 of the Indian Penal Code? This discriminated against all non-heterosexual sexualities and was introduced to India by the British.

It is important to recognize history. We must not erase it by renaming places and monuments. But it is even more crucial to look at history in the correct context.

Onir is a film and television director, editor, screenwriter and producer.

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“We love the British royal family for their palaces and horses”

By Abbas Momin

Abbas says a Barbie doll that looks like the queen will make a nation's monarch a plaything in the hands of his offspring
Abbas says a Barbie doll that looks like the queen will make a nation’s monarch a plaything in the hands of his offspring

Why are Indians obsessed with the British royal family? It boils down to two things: palaces and horses.

I am writing this in my apartment in Mumbai, where the square footage only allows me to fry an egg on the stove if I sit on my toilet, but I probably pay the same rent as those who live in Buckingham Palace. Naturally, then, I want to know about the lives of the people in the palace whose daily routines seem to be just waking up, having a cup of tea, waving to people from the balcony, taking a nap, waving from the balcony some more, and then they dress up in evening gowns and tuxedos, after which they hop into horse-drawn carriages and trot off to the parties. What a life!

Which brings me to my second point: the horses. Imagine the look on your colleagues’ faces if you showed up to the office on horseback. To hell with traffic, parking spaces and Uber fares! Right now, only members of the royal families have undeniable access to horses.

I am writing this because the Queen Elizabeth II Barbies have just been released. There are apparently no wrinkles on said Barbie. Shiny! For a few minutes every day, the monarch of a nation will be a plaything in the hands of his offspring. Move along. Give your children the gift of a complex from God.

Abbas is a Mumbai-based comedian, podcaster and producer.

From HT Brunch, May 7, 2022

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