The “fun” Games have begun and Indians are watching with major glee and awe (with their unbroken world record of one Olympic medal at the rate of every one billion people)! Here in USA where I live, people are watching with supreme patriotism and pride American media’s supremacist, Orwellian propaganda. But I am not. I am boycotting London Olympics of 2012.
To voice my strong protest against the British tyranny, violent occupation, colonization, artificial famines, pauperization and bloody partitioning of India (and countless “other” deaths by prison, torture, hanging and shooting)– which caused me, my family, my ancestors and my people lifelong misery, hopelessness and trauma, I am boycotting the global, athletic theater of corporate media and billionaire establishments — now known as the Olympics.
I am boycotting the Summer Olympics of London, 2012. Read my reasons below. Thank you.
(For those who might say: “Big deal!” Or, “So what?” Or, “Who cares?” You might read it too. Thank you.)
If you know me, this IS a big deal. For the first time in my sports-loving life that included religiously following decades of Olympic athletes and their superhuman feats — starting from Bob Beamon, Larisa Latynina, Mark Spitz, Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, Carl Lewis, Teófilo Stevenson, Dick Fosbury, Usain Bolt and Abebe Bikila (even including our lone Indian gold medalists the field hockey team) — I shall not be watching the games or the opening ceremonies on TV, reading news on the progress of the games and medal tally, or getting sucked into the massively profiteering corporations’ 24/7 commercial blitz, continued under the guise of a not-for-profit, global sports movement.
(And I could never afford to watch the games sitting in a stadium, ever in my life.)
Today’s Olympic games are anything but not-for-profit, and they are anything but a movement. Michael Jordan and his so-called Dream Team, with help from global corporations and their media, have destroyed once and for all the pristine athletic camaraderie.
I offer my profound apologies to Bob, Larisa, Mark, Olga, Nadia, and everybody else. Sorry, I had to outgrow it, my lifelong idols.
A noted observer named Helen Jefferson Lenskyj said this.
She is absolutely right! But for now, I want to concentrate on the London and British part of it.
Because this is perhaps going to be the last Olympic assembly in London before my death, my boycotting is even more significant. I invite you to join this cause. I have no other power to protest on behalf of myself and the generations of suffering of people I mentioned above. This is my personal political poster.
I say, “Down with British barbarism!” I say, “Down with Downing Street!”
I demand an official apology for the two-hundred-year-long, violent British occupation of the Indian subcontinent and the bloody 1947 partition, and I demand reparation from the British government (just the same way South Africa demanded apartheid apology and reparation)– to the ordinary people of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma. No, this is not an academic debate. For me, this is real! I shall keep demanding until my death — Olympics or not!
There is a good chance that some conscientious and thinking people from many countries will read what I have to say, and share it with their family, friends and colleagues. Given the healthy size of blog readership I somehow managed to create over the past few months, I am optimistic that some ripple-effect actions will take place. I pin my hopes on that synergy of activism.
The Irish blog from where I took the the “British Mafia” photo above, however sharp in its language, actually finds reassurance for me that I am not the only one protesting the London Olympics. This is what the blog says:
“The British Government are political hypocrites and war criminals waffling on about human rights overseas, while being found guilty of torture and human rights abuses in British Occupied Ireland and interning political prisoners of conscience, even in their own Olympic city of London 2012, which all non-infiltrated human rights activists worldwide, are calling to boycott !”
Given where you are from, if you are from a country that once went through the horrific, bloody British occupation, rights and justice abuse and economic destruction, you can replace Ireland in the above paragraph with your country, and get the same, sharp message! I am doing just that for India and Bangladesh and Pakistan.
It’s about time we sent that message of protest across the globe. “Down with Downing Street!” (Just the same way we recently said, “Down with Wall Street!”)
Karl Marx wrote about the British occupation of India many years ago. I am not a Marxist in my beliefs; but you don’t have to be a Marxist per se to admire and appreciate what Marx wrote to expose the tyranny of corporate capitalism and global aggression of powers such as the British Empire. In the twenty-first century, U.S. corporate powers have taken over the mantle the British powers left behind; the modus operandi and results have, however, remained the same. I wrote about it elsewhere in this blog.
Marx said: “There cannot, however, remain any doubt but that the misery inflicted by the British on Hindostan [i.e., Hindu land of India] is of an essentially different and infinitely more intensive kind than all Hindostan had to suffer before. I do not allude to European despotism, planted upon Asiatic despotism, by the British East India Company, forming a more monstrous combination than any of the divine monsters…
All the civil wars, invasions, revolutions, conquests, famines, strangely complex, rapid, and destructive as the successive action in Hindostan may appear, did not go deeper than its surface. England has broken down the entire framework of Indian society, without any symptoms of reconstitution yet appearing. This loss of his old world, with no gain of a new one, imparts a particular kind of melancholy to the present misery of the Hindoo, and separates Hindostan, ruled by Britain, from all its ancient traditions, and from the whole of its past history.”
[Quoted from http://sabhlokcity.com]
I want to talk about the British government’s and East India Company’s destruction of Indian farmers and forcible, rapacious plantation of indigo, accompanied by barbaric torture of the farmers and their families. I want to talk about British government’s solitary confinement in the horrific Andaman Cellular Jail and hanging of thousands of Indian young men and women who fought back against the occupation. I want to talk about British police’s brutality against Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu or Marathi revolutionaries of 1920’s and ’30s as well as North Indian peasants who revolted in 1857. I want talk about British government’s blanket press censorship and absolute suppression of freedom of speech to quell rebellion.
I could write about the British rulers’ destruction of forests, farm land and environment in India. I could talk about their massive, forced conversion. I could talk about their total derision and belittling of an ancient civilization. I could write about their sinister divide and conquer policies creating permanent rift between Hindus and Muslims.