“Empress Victoria will remain immortal,” reads the invitation to the event to commemorate India’s British colonial legacy, to be organised by controversial right-wing group Hindu Sena at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Tuesday, to mark her death anniversary. Victoria passed away on Jan 22, 1901.
In the first of its kind event, a Sangh Parivar outfit will celebrate the legacy of Queen Victoria, the former British monarch under whose rule the British colonialists found firm feet on the Indian subcontinent after the defeat of Indian rulers during the 1857 First War of Independence.
“Britishers under the dynamic leadership of Queen Victoria brought hundreds of princely states under one umbrella and became one country under one law,” reads the invitation to tomorrow’s event.
Vishnu Gupta, the President of Hindu Sena, has in the past been in news for attacking the office of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2011 when its former leader Prashant Bhushan had made certain statements on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In June 2017, the Hindu Sena had celebrated the birthday of US President Donald Trump by organising an event featuring a 7.1 kilogram cake.
Contacted by NH, Gupta said, “The Britishers united India under one rule after 1857. The credit goes to Queen Victoria.
“Except the Jallianwala Bagh incident, there hasn’t been any major condemnable incident under the British,” the apologist for British imperialism says.
“Britishers helped India to get independence in 1857 from foreign Islamic invaders/terrorist and it was India’s first independence in true sense,” says Hindu Sena. The outfit has thousands of cadre at its disposal in 9-10 states, Gupta tells.
“Indian Parliament, law, judiciary, Indian Army, Administrative services, Railways, postal services are some of the contributions of Britishers for which we should be thankful to them,” the outfit says.
Queen Victoria was the British monarch from 1837 through her death in 1901. She became the de-facto ruler of India after the 1857 War of Independence.
Critics of British imperialism in India, and rightly so, say that British rulers were responsible for pillaging the Indian economy and causing the deaths of millions of Indians in famine, state-backed violence and flawed policies, among a range of reasons.
“The British came to one of the richest countries in the world and over 200 years of exploitation, loot and destruction, reduced it to a poster child for third world poverty,” Congress MP and former union minister Shashi Tharoor had famously remarked during a debate at the Oxford Union in 2015.