Fleeting thoughts on a Queen’s death
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Fleeting thoughts on a Queen’s death

September 20, 2022

The whole of yesterday afternoon I was glued to my grandpa’s rose-wood armed chair till late in the evening watching the grandiose, spectacular, colourful and elaborate funeral ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Yes, Great Britain not just Britain. It denotes political union of England, Scotland and Wales. Then what is United Kingdom? Ahoy! It is United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland! More the merrier, stronger and greater in the comity of nations. Otherwise it would be a mere island, of course, largest island in Europe. The mention of the Commonwealth was also made as of the Queen’s realm.

Queen is dead, long live the new King Charles III, aged 72. Queen’s long life and legacy is remembered and recalled. Her greatest achievement: Long, (96 years) healthy life and longest reign (70 years). The rightful heir to the throne Charles, with all the ups and down in his personal life,                                        had to wait in the wings this long to become Charles III the King. Let it be.

Much has been written about the British Empire. Some call it an Evil Empire. Some credit it with civilising its Colonies, leading them from darkness to light. Darkness of poverty, lack of “culture,” belief in superstition, cruel rulers, sinister customs and practices, above all lack of modern, scientific education.

Many decades have passed since British left their Colonies but how far have these Colonies developed? Colonies of the past are still blaming the British for their deficiencies and failures in developing their ‘independent, free (and even secular) countries.’ Why? I guess a bit of introspection by these past British Colonies may help. Blaming the British, years after they left their Colonies, for the failures our own rulers is unfair and wrong.

READ ALSO  BJP’s new generation leader

It will do some good to the present rulers of these free countries to go back in time and study the history of their countries before the Britishers colonised them. The life and times of the people, the natives, were worse than under the British. Why not write about it also? Yes, you will find both are evils but my perception is that  the British are the lesser of the two evils.

As for India, if British had not come, beating their rivals in trade like Dutch, Portuguese and French, the country (Indian continent) would have remained fragmented under Muslim Mughals, Sultans and Hindu Maharajas with each one engaged in war with the other without development of their little country. Border wars, trade wars…! See Hyderabad Karnataka, Bengal and Bihar and judge. We are not able to fix the underdevelopment in these places even today after 75 years of independence.

However, this is not to justify the British havoc wreaked on the Indian sub-continent but only to say a fragmented Indian continent with absolute Hindu majority was UNITED because of the British colonisation. Yes, if at all there was any good that happened under the British this is certainly the one that saved India for Hindus. After all, united we stand, divided we perish.

Be that as it may, as I vacated that old centurion of a  chair my mind was full of the British funeral to their Queen. And I recalled, rather philosophically as a mortal human being, the famous lines of the British poet Thomas Gray in his famous poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard:

READ ALSO  Santhepete Srikantaiah, the Good Samaritan and Aryan

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth ever gave,

Awaits alike the inevitable hour.

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Amen.

e-mail: [email protected]

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Fleeting thoughts on a Queen’s death”

  1. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Mr Ganapathy
    This was by far the most watched pageantry-it was funeral ofcourse conducted in a very grand manner, for a constitutional monarch, the head of state. Never before so many heads of governments participated in an event like this> I do not recall in JFK funeral in this scale, as I was living in the US then. This woman met and discussed world affairs with 14 of US presidents from Harry Truman down wards.
    When you boasted the othersday about Wadiyar dynasty-the last 200 years of this dynasty, except a brief interlude when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan kept the Wadiyar in prison, the Wadiyar dynasty was controlled by the British Kings and queen through their representative in India called the Viceroys.
    When you speak about Nalwadi Wadiyar’s achievements-what you are talking about were the achievements of the British rulers, without who, Nalwadi wouldn’t be able to move a mere pebble! Sir MV and all the Dewans were creatures of the Britisgh Rulers. Sir MV sounded and worked like an Englishman in a turban!
    It was the British who united a fragmented India. They gave a good education system, students were selected based on merit. Jobs went to those who were really skilled . No caste-based reservations. Can you for a moment imagine that Sir MV would have merged if there are quotas based on backward castes and SC/ST?
    The laws, the courts and the entire modernity of transport , in an otherwise medieval country.
    Still today, not less than 70,000 work visas are granted for Indians to work in Britain. over 250,000 Indian students arrive every year to study in British universities, although India has over 1000 universities and colleges. Even if they drop out, they are prepared to work in black economy run by Indian businessmen in Britain, rather than returning home!
    The sole Indian Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry , who was born in India, works in Cambridge university.
    Very recently, Sonia Gandhi, not satisfied with the medical treatment in India, arrived to get proper treatment in London.
    When Richard Nixon refused to resign even after his part in the Watergate building break in was discovered, and when the Bush Jnr and Gore presidential election results were disputed as to who won, American regretted that they did not have a steady hand of a monarch.
    A person of Indian origin-the son-in-law of Sudha Murthy, narrowly missed from being elected as the PM recently, mainly due to his political inexperience. Meritocracy rules unlike in India.

  2. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Mr Ganapathy
    This was by far the most watched pageantry-it was funeral ofcourse conducted in a very grand manner, for a constitutional monarch, the head of state. Never before so many heads of governments participated in an event like this> I do not recall in JFK funeral in this scale, as I was living in the US then. This woman met and discussed world affairs with 14 of US presidents from Harry Truman down wards.
    When you boasted the othersday about Wadiyar dynasty-the last 200 years of this dynasty, except a brief interlude when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan kept the Wadiyar in prison, the Wadiyar dynasty was controlled by the British Kings and queen through their representative in India called the Viceroys.
    When you speak about Nalwadi Wadiyar’s achievements-what you are talking about were the achievements of the British rulers, without who, Nalwadi wouldn’t be able to move a mere pebble! Sir MV and all the Dewans were creatures of the Britisgh Rulers. Sir MV sounded and worked like an Englishman in a turban!
    It was the British who united a fragmented India. They gave a good education system, students were selected based on merit. Jobs went to those who were really skilled . No caste-based reservations. Can you for a moment imagine that Sir MV would have merged if there are quotas based on backward castes and SC/ST?
    The laws, the courts and the entire modernity of transport , in an otherwise medieval country.
    Still today, not less than 70,000 work visas are granted for Indians to work in Britain. over 250,000 Indian students arrive every year to study in British universities, although India has over 1000 universities and colleges. Even if they drop out, they are prepared to work in black economy run by Indian businessmen in Britain, rather than returning home!
    The sole Indian Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry , who was born in India, works in Cambridge university.
    Very recently, Sonia Gandhi, not satisfied with the medical treatment in India, arrived to get proper treatment in London.
    When Richard Nixon refused to resign even after his part in the Watergate building break in was discovered, and when the Bush Jnr and Gore presidential election results were disputed as to who won, American regretted that they did not have a steady hand of a monarch.
    A person of Indian origin-the son-in-law of Sudha Murthy, narrowly missed from being elected as the PM recently, mainly due to his political inexperience. Meritocracy rules unlike in India.

  3. Jogekal Lingappa says:

    Just think about independence, this 40% commission government and the quality of the president elected : Droupadi Murmu
    If Mahatma Gandhi were to be alive and see the moral depravity of India, he would regret having started the independence movement!

  4. Masaladosa Ramaiah says:

    I would also say, think about the excesses-wine and women practiced by JC Wadiyar and his son SD Wadiyar, the latter chasing every buxom women in Mysore, which the Palace officials were hushing up!! The above Wadiyars’ colourful life style would have shamed even John F Kennedy, the late US president!! These 2 were advised to move to Bangalore Palace, to keep away from the prying eyes of Mysoreans! Interesting that they both died in Bangalore , not in Mysore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ABOUT

Mysuru’s favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 41 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it’s readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.

CONTACT

Academy News Papers Private Limited, Publishers, Star of Mysore & Mysuru Mithra, 15-C, Industrial ‘A’ Layout, Bannimantap, Mysuru-570015. Phone no. – 0821 249 6520

To advertise on Star of Mysore, email us at

Online Edition: [email protected]
Print Editon: [email protected]
For News/Press Release: [email protected]