Thursday, 23 August 2018

Queen Victoria and Empress of India's statue in Montreal,Canada vandalized

It seems vandalism of statues and ancient monuments has also plagued the western countries as well. These monuments connect the present generation with the glory and cultural heyday of the past era. Damaging and vandalizing statues or structures of the past era is not a way to register ones' protest against past mistakes. Nor is  such destruction / defacing going to correct past blenders.
vandalized Queen Victoria statue.Montreal, Canada. enoughisenough14.org
The recent incidence of vandalism of  two Queen Victoria statues in Montreal, Quebec, Canada has surprised me. The wanton vandalism took place  at night days before the outdated  Queen Victoria holiday on 18 May 2018.  The Victoria Memorial in downtown Montreal (erected in 1872) as well the bronze statue on Sherbrooke Street (erected in 1900) at McGill University were both sprayed in red paint.
Queen Victoria, en. wikipedia. org
This vandalism has close links with opposition to colonialism and imperialism, and a  hatred for the greedy and status conscious   British monarchy (and all monarchies) and its cronies - Dukes, Lords, Viscounts, etc who went on a land grabbing spree in the past centuries across the globe.  Recent  vandalism (with green paint) of the same Queen Victoria statues in advance of St. Patrick’s Day this past March by the Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade encouraged the present group, according to the media.
According to the  DD Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade, the British expansionism in the early period represented   “a legacy of genocide, mass murder, torture, massacres, terror, forced famines, concentration camps, theft, cultural denigration, racism, and white supremacy.” This is true of colonial India under the English company. They took away the tribal lands and converted them into tea and coffee estates, rendered rich Maharajahs and Nawabs powerless and be content with allowances from their government. A fairly rich country, its people became poor, emaciated and finally when Indian subcontinent became a free country, they purposely divided it into two countries - India and Pakistan.

In colonial America, they earned the fury of Americans by increasing the tax on tea and denied freedom to the colonies. The Queen Victoria statues should  be  off the pedestal and be placed in a museum as a historical artifact. Such public statues and monuments should not represent oppression, slavery and exploitation, according to countless Canadians.  About the  Queen Victoria statues in Montreal  in the words of the Delhi-Dublin Anti-Colonial Solidarity Brigade, “an insult to Indigenous nations in North America (Turtle Island) and Oceania, as well as the peoples of  Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, and everywhere the British Empire committed its atrocities.”
People who supported the  progressive struggles of the Irish, as well as Québecois feel the very presence of  colonial statues is quite insulting and their place is museum and not shared-public spaces. Again to quote the DD Ant-Colonial Solidarity Brigade: Our action is a simple expression of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist solidarity, and we encourage others to undertake similar actions against racist monuments and symbols that should be in museums, not taking up our shared public spaces. In Canada, their  next targets are Cornwallis in Halifax, John A. Macdonald in Kingston and Montreal.
Tit-bits: 
01. In India in 2014, three youths vandalized three statues of Queen Victoria in the museum at Mathura, UP. Reason: The youths preferred the statues of Indian patriots, not Queen Victoria, representing colonial imperialism. The statues were to be installed in the adjacent park. 

02. In the 1960, a huge statue of Brig. Gen. James George Neill was removed from the main thoroughfare Mount Road, Madras (Chennai), TN after years of public protest. James Neill , also known as Butcher of Allahabad, killed thousands of Indians during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. 

03. Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India.was the one who received the world famous Kohinoor diamond and also the largest gemstone Timur Ruby during the colonial period under the East India Company after taking over Punjab by force. The state was on Subsidiary Alliance. Actually, they were spoils of Angelo-Sikh war, however, they were personally presented to the queen in  London as gift from the young Maharajah Ranjit Singh.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Iy3JbzR6d0