As I grew up in different parts of the world, I studied books, which had some difference of opinion in some section or the either. Although, my history books had one section which was common, “The British Empire.” There was always a quote which said that, “The sun never sets on the British Empire” but is that really the case now?
There was a time when the British came to India for trade under East India Company. Digging deeper into the books of history, we discover that the Mughals used to make the British officials sit outside their courts because they always had one question for them. ”We have so much in this country, but what do you have to offer us?” But around the rule of Aurangzeb the matters got different and the East India Company turned into ruling India.
Some facts and figures show that from 1815 to 1914 the British Empire was spread across 10 million square miles with 400 million people as slaves. These figures increased to 458 million people across just over 21 million square miles, which was 25% of the world by the end of 1922. This figure has fallen massively to just over 1 million square miles.
Now the condition is that 22% of the country’s population is below poverty line (BPL). 40% of the food and beverages is being imported from other countries, more than 2 million people are unemployed and this figure is soon going to reach 3 million. People from other countries like India, who have moved to the UK are making a huge contribution to the economy but still the debt of the country is 76% of the country’s GDP (2010). The government has brought major cuts to so many things, which has lead to anger and frustration amongst the public of the UK that came out by the riots that happened in Tottenham in North London.
But is rioting the ultimate way to protest and show your anger? There are so many countries that have a much higher rate of unemployment, BPL but never seem to burn down their own buildings. As I’ve been hearing that this is just a problem of racial overtone to which I have to completely disagree. These riots started on Thursday were actual protest against the shooting of Mark Duggan but the motto was soon changed to looting of shops and getting freebies to the people who had no clue about the initial spark. Now the kids as young as 9 years have gone out to shops picking out expensive Nike sneakers and a lot of other things including LCD TV’s, Laptops, gold and cash. Most of the people involved in this were between the age group 10-25 years who had no clue as to what actually started these riots
The parents of these kids are not concerned as to where they were during these horrific moments in the cities. The thing is the sense, culture is getting diminished year after year.
One more thing that actually concerned me was why didn’t the Govt take steps as these riots had just sparked. According to the news, the Prime Minister was on leave and the Parliament was not in session, but then the Deputy Prime Minister was in office and the taxpayer’s money does constitute his pay. If their had been action taken in the beginning, the UK wont have faced a huge loss of more than £150 million.
Members of the Sikh community did get together to protect Gurudwaras, temples and mosques, shops and houses across Southall. I saw one of my friend’s status on facebook asking everyone to gather near the gurudwara. But in Birmingham 3 men tried to do the same, but they didn’t have more support from their own community. Sadly they did pass away.
Few people who have been caught have been sentenced for 10-16 weeks, when the maximum punishment the courts can impose is for 10 years. People died, there had been a huge loss of over £150 million in a week and still the courts been liberal enough to these rioters. This 10 weeks imprisonment is like a vacation to these people, where they go off to enjoy. Some jails in the UK even have golf courses for the prisoners for them to relax. The Govt which should have cut down on the amenities in the jail, is cutting down the necessities of the general public.
But with the carelessness of the government and the culturally deprived people like these, you think that the sun which never set on the British Empire, is going to set on Britain itself?