The Commonwealth: A Post Colonial Club

by admin Mar 20, 2006 4 Comments

Filed under: Dharma,Knowledge

CommonwealthIgnorant as I still am, I did not know anything about the Commonwealth until today. I was, at first, surprised when I read, “India picks three more gold”, but that surprise went poof after I read, India won 69 medals, including 30 gold, in the last Commonwealth Games in Manchester, in the same news article.

That’s when I realized; I know nothing about the Commonwealth, who makes up the Commonwealth, and why India was doing so well at these games. Well, I did not have to look very far, a glance to the side bar, and there was the answer, Guide to the Commonwealth

So here are some key details about the Commonwealth:

  1. It was founded in 1931 and formerly known as “British Commonwealth of Nations”
  2. It is a loose association of former British colonies, dependencies and other territories – and Mozambique, which has no historical ties to Britain.
  3. It consists of 53 nations.
  4. It was after India’s and Pakistan’s independence in 1947, that the word British was dropped, and became a group of decolonized nations.
  5. The leader of this group is the British Monarch, which would be Queen Elizabeth II
  6. There is no constitution or charter, but the heads of state of the member nations meet every two years
  7. London based Secretariat is the executive arm and manages the group in between summits.
  8. The Commonwealth games are held every four years, and the participants are from the member states.
  9. Zimbabwe was suspended in March 2002, and this lead to Zimbabwe leaving the Commonwealth—good for them!

Basically it’s a post colonial club, and unlike NATO, has little influence or powers over non member states. My question is why is India part of this group? Now that I know more, and being the grandson of an INA freedom fighter, I am furious that we are a part of this club of post colonials. Being a part of the commonwealth, is a slap-in-the-face of the people who fought and sacrificed for our Independence.

Can you believe we are part of a club where the British Monarch is the Leader? Ridiculous!! I feel it’s time we left the Commonwealth for good, what do you think?


  • DesiPundit » A Post&hellip

    Mar 20, 2006 | 9:54 pm

    […] We may be winning medals galore at the Commonwealth Games but Karmadude is furious that India is still a part of this group. […]

  • Ashish Gupta

    Mar 21, 2006 | 2:54 pm

    While it is true that is not influential body, I don’t see it as an insult. After all, British Monarch is ceremonial chief too, for all practical purposes it doesn’t bother us (India). And per definition, it is group of EX-colonies, so it doesn’t vilify our freedome fighters, indeed we are EX- because of them. Of course, reasons to get out can be strengthened if we had to incur some cost for being in the group. As of now, lets just enjoy whatever gold medals we are winning!

  • Global Voices Online &raq&hellip

    Mar 21, 2006 | 9:27 pm

    […] In the context of the Commonwealth games, Karmadude looks up the history of Commonwealth and isn’t too sure why India should be a part of this any longer. […]

  • KarmaDude

    Mar 23, 2006 | 12:15 pm

    Ashish, are you selling out for a few gold medals? Our colonial past is exactly that, in the past, and to be read in history books. Does it not defeat the purpose of our Independance, if we still belong to a group led by the queen of England, ceremonial or not!?

    Really, if there is any pride in us, then we should be troubled by being part of this group, and get out of it.

    Here is some fresh news from the Commonwealth games: Athletes “go missing from Games”.

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