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Dear Former 

Dear Former Coloniser is a series of letters that are addressed to the India's (and several other) former coloniser - The United Kingdom. 

These letters started as internal fumings when in touch with the audacity and arrogance displayed by governments of the west that once were (still are) imperialists and plunderers of the world have to teach respect, kindness and diplomacy. 

It is partly history recap, partly reality check and partly ranting.

Watch a letter that has been turned into a cideo piece or read one below.

6 May 2023

Dear former coloniser,


I write to you today not to congratulate you on your recent coronation, but to express my deep outrage and disgust at the grand spectacle of your ascension to abuse of power. As I witness your lavish and arrogant celebration, I cannot help but reflect on the immense violence and injustices that were carried out by your family upon the bodies and minds of our ancestors.


You may wonder what do I mean by our? By our, I mean ALL that speak, read or write the English language. I happy to see the citizens of the United Kingdom speaking about what grand injustice it was to be spending 100 Million GBP of British Taxpayer money to crown you; the leader of a family whose current wealth is a direct legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the plunder and theft of Asian, African and Australian indigenous communities, the erasure of non-western and Christian religious and spiritual culture and texts and the outright murder of thousands, if not millions of innocent people, who’s fault was only that they did not wish to be governed for the benefit of a foreign person, who has supposedly been chosen by a God whose name they never knew.


Perhaps, it is the ripe time to then bring into the consciousness of my fellow citizens of the world how absurd it must have been for Indians in early 1900 to have not one, but three Royal Durbars in Delhi to “celebrate” the coronation of the then coloniser at the expense of the Indian public.


I further invite them to imagine, what it must have been like for the farmers of India, who had been forced to let go of their food crops and to grow Indigo so that the fabrics of the Royal family could be dyed in Royal Navy Blue.


Imagine what it must have been for the powerless labour that built the railways in India, funded by their own taxes, to facilitate the speedy plunder of the resources of India for the benefit of the crown in England. Imagine what was like for these same people, who broke their backs building these railways to be reminded after India became independent that the railways were a gift of the British.


Imagine, what it was for the millions of Indians that lost their lives, their belongings, their families and their honour because of a carelessly drawn line across a map by some British lawyer that split a nation in two. An act whose consequences are still seen today.


Imagine what it was for the Indians that paid for the two bloody world wars with taxes, food grain, clothing and with their lives for which Britain claimed victory over the Germans. Imagine what it was for the people the died of the artificial famines that were caused because food reserves were diverted from honest starving people of India so that British soldiers fighting a war could stay fit and warm.


Imagine what it is like for today’s Indians to visit a palace that was built in India in memorial of a queen that had passed away at the expense of the Indian public. That this memorial still stands today. That acts as a gift of the British to Indian architecture.


Imagine that these are only the events that history remembers. Imagine what other horrors got left out. That got left out because they didn’t happen to be important enough people. So, as you can imagine, I do not apologise for being outraged although, unsurprised at the fact that you, an arrogant former coloniser spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money to proclaim yourself a divine leader of a country whose god asked them in the past to murder, famish, enslave and harass other fellow human beings for centuries in his name.


To end, I invite you to imagine how kind the world has been, to still let you live a rather privileged and extremely comfortable life. So, I invite you to not spit in the faces of the people on the backs and lives of whom you live your comfortable life.


Humble yourself. It’s about damn time.


Warm Regards,

Mohammed Ellyas Lehry

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