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The Colonial Hangover: Should the British Pay for their past?

I was just reading the riots that have ravaged north African nations. Although the battles are being fought between ethnic communities, including native tribes and Islamic extremists, a thought came to my mind—most of these nations were under occupation. They were either ruled by the British or the Spanish and French. It seems that most colonized nations have a sad history to share and many of them are struggling with their freedom. Colonizing powers that occupied these lands probably didn’t think it was necessary to create a system of governance that would survive when they eventually exited. Or they believed that they would rule forever. The conclusion is that being ruled for hundreds of years can make your thinking and decision making redundant. Do you remember Uma Thurman in Kill Bill?In the first part, when Uma is in hospital, she is badly paralyzed. Her muscles have gone dead due to lying in a hospital bed for the last four years. Something similar has happened to the formerly occupied nations. They seem to have lost the sense that is required to handle freedom or create a democracy. While we can sit here and point out their mistakes, what about the colonial powers that quietly receded to their respective landscapes without taking any responsibility for handicapping their occupied territories. Is there any chance for accountability and ownership for the damage done? This mind sound somewhat over-the-top but there are undeniable studies that conclude to say that even today, many now-independent nations continue to compensate for the losses incurred in terms of a halted progress story during the colonial regime. Another fact that surfaced rather recently about the UK, the center of all things colonial, points to the brown and darker-skinned people outnumbering the real inhabitants - some sort of sweet justice that has taken a long, long time coming?

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