Saturday, 19 May 2018

How is the royal family still a thing?

Who are the most entitled people in the whole world? The heirs of hugely successful businessmen? The scions of powerful political dynasties? Or maybe a bunch of people who personify the combination of both! The British royal family are the most entitled bunch in the whole world! How they have continued to retain their prominence in a widely democratic and progressive society, is indeed a mystery. While successive generations are often not blamed for their forefathers' mistakes and crimes, its actually a popular practice in contemporary society. How the royal family has absolved itself of its blotted history and duplicitous actions is a secret only known to them! The family actually has the entire country believing that they are a part of Britain's great history and culture, and have therefore convinced the people to accord them respect and authority. In reality, they are undeserving of both. In a democratic society, nobody has the mandate to assume a grandiose position from where they can look down upon the general populace. At least when our politicians do it, we know we've voted for this humiliation. If the British royal family was indeed as righteous and principled as they are often made out to be, they would have disbanded the monarchy and become ordinary citizens. Instead they idle around in sprawling palaces and milk the treasury with their laziness and arrogance. If we do live in a world that rewards merit, the monarchy must be abolished. What has Prince William or Prince Harry achieved that makes them superior to ordinary middle-aged Britons? Nothing! They were born into this family by a mere stroke of luck, and thus have the right to never work and earn as much as they want? The very existence of the British royal family is a slap on the face of hardwork and merit!

The root of the problem lies with the British society who places the family on a pedestal. A family which has given the country extra-marital affairs, many vendettas, conspiracies, and blatant arrogance! You would think that the family might at least try to set a good example in return for the peoples' admiration; but even that is beyond them. As long as the British people accord importance to these people, they shall exist. The fault also lies with former colonies of Britain which continue to be a part of the Commonwealth, and accept its leadership by the British monarch. The Commonwealth was Britain's way of appeasing the imperialists among them; the last remaining vestige of a history of exploitation and cruelty. And it continues to grow, with farces like the Commonwealth games and cultural exchanges. The world needs to realize that the rules of the game have changed, that the royal family cannot bully them anymore, and that there is no point in according them any respect as they are undeserving of it! Sure, they may be good people, but there are plenty of good people in England, but not all of them are paid 82 million pounds annually for waking up everyday! Any pragmatic society would have abolished the monarchy the moment imperialism fell, but Britain's history is quite complex. Many monarchies often given way to democracy after bloodshed and intense rebellions. The example in neighboring France comes to mind. But in England, the people never fought for democracy. The monarch initially appointed a prime minister to rule his kingdom, while he enjoyed the fruits of his DNA; and gradually this prime minister became an elected official. Thus the British democracy can be said to be a gift from their monarchs, which would explain why they have continued to live the life they do. But surely a family with the wisdom and desire to create democracy would have realised the hypocrisy in letting the monarchy continue! Or maybe the copious life, and the undying loyalty was too much to sacrifice! Either way, the times have changed and the monarchy is nothing but a horrific flashback to the wrongs of colonialism and to the British affluence, built on the sufferings of her colonial subjects.

While it seems unlikely that the royals will abdicate power themselves, there seems to be enough people who see the disutility in their existence within the country. Thus any kind of backlash seems unlikely. India's approach to royalty has been a good one. We forced them to sacrifice their kingdoms with promises of rich titles and pensions until Mrs Gandhi felt it was time to boost her popularity and abolished the privy purses. We realised that the source of their riches was the sweat and blood of the ordinary Indian, and thus we broke the Nizam of Hyderabad, once the world's richest man, into a man submerged in personal debt! The royal families of India are very much a part of Indian history, and some of them like Sivaji and Maharana Pratap Singh are indeed very close to our hearts. But we had the acuity to understand that we now had the power to disregard the very people who had exercised illicit control over us, that we had the power to write our own destiny, and not bow before entitled fools with a false sense of superiority and power! Unfortunately, the British population still consider themselves to be the Queen's subjects, as her little playtoys who work hard every day, and pay taxes so that the Queen and her family can live a happy and comfortable life! That this is happening at the birthplace of modern parliamentary democracy is truly unnerving. While my angst might seem directed at the British Royal family, it is aimed at all countries which have preserved and supported their monarchies, and especially to countries like Australia, who actually let the Queen appoint a Governor as their head of state. The country down under seems to hate the Barmy army, but not the Queen! Its important to understand at this point that while the members of the royal family are not at fault for their parentage, and may not be bad people as such, the fact that they continue to leech off the public's money and satisfy their gargantuan need for dominance with traditions like the knighting ceremony is a testimony of their unwillingness to accept progressive thinking and democratic norms, and most importantly....equality before law!

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