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Monday, April 15, 2024

Why Bharat needs to exit the ‘Commonwealth’

Commonwealth (CW) is group of nations acknowledging their enslaved history under British crown. US and Ireland not part of it, why should Bharat? Doubt SE Asian nations would volunteer to recognize their colonized past in the Indosphere.

UK’s Queen is permanent head of Commonwealth. If CW is to be a confluence of equal nations, its leadership ought to have rotated. When Bharat suggested it, it was met with firm resistance from UK. BBC even argued why Royal family should stay head of the CW.

The basis for one commonwealth itself is problematic. Nations like Australia and Canada were treated as allies by British Empire, while Asian/African nations were pillaged. It is an unequal mix of nations which the British considered to be partners and those it considered slaves.

All member nations subscribe to the Commonwealth charter. One of the 16 values enshrined in it is commitment to democracy, yet UK is a ceremonial monarchy. Another value is separation of power between religion and Government, yet UK has an official religion in Protestant Christianity.

Commonwealth’s history littered with instances of nations like Nigeria and South Africa ejected for Racist policies. Then how is it justified commonwealth leadership stays with one predominantly white Royal family? Such hypocrisy makes it a hollow organization in 21st century.

Demonstrative of Commonwealth’s impotence is its dithering stance with Islamic terror. Quick to sanction members for Racism, it resisted push from Bharat to sanction Pakistan, which was twice suspended for having military rule but not once condemned for being a terror haven.

Another nation that fought bitterly with UK for independence, Ireland left Commonwealth once it became free. None of the middle eastern Islamic states UK ruled like Egypt are part of it. US declined to be member as it got freedom by revolt rather than with the King’s blessing.

At a time Bharat is pitching its credentials for a seat at the UN security council, being subordinate to declining power UK in a post colonial club does no good perception wise. The wider world lends no credence to Commonwealth’s voice even if it endorses Bharat’s candidature.

Not a single commonwealth state is in the top 10 economies in terms of volume of trade with Bharat. CW gives members no trade privileges and its statements carry zero international respectability. Bharat has other productive avenues to pursue relations with rest of the CW members.

Commonwealth would make sense to be part of if UK was a world power economic or defense wise. But UK can’t protect or influence policy of any CW member, it could barely help Ukraine. UK has hard time agreeing even a free trade agreement with us. CW has zero utility for Bharat.

One of the reasons Mountbatten gave to advance Bharat’s independence from 1948 to an year earlier was Bharat’s agreement to be in the commonwealth. British envisaged their empire to still hold strong elsewhere and desperately wanted their crown jewel to be part of the anglosphere.

Post 1947, though UK declined as a Global power with US-Soviet rise, primary intention of Bharat in commonwealth wasn’t altruistic but to keep it geopolitically under British influence. A fledgling Bharat unsure of its place in the world yielded then but has no reason to now.

The commonwealth of nations is an unequal, monarchical, archaic organization that handicaps Bharat’s global perception while offering no material benefits. CW membership doesn’t befit a middle power nation that aspires to lead the Indo-Pacific & be part of UN Security council.

UK refused to recognize Bharat’s vaccines while readily accepting China’s. British vaccine racism was so stark they stated Bharatiya nationals double jabbed with domestic vaccines are considered unvaccinated. That’s the breaking point when Bharat should have left the Commonwealth.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread originally tweeted by Cogito (@cogitoiam) on August 3, 2022.)

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