r / worldnews – Canada to return statue of Hindu goddess stolen over 100 years ago from India
Honestly, I still find it a bit confrontational. I understand this particular case, but speaking in broader terms of the recovery of all kinds of items “stolen” by colonialists, the dialogue becomes more complicated.
Complicated because modern identity becomes intertwined with artifacts and history that may not have much to do with or connection with society and people today, and because we are retroactively imposing postcolonial dialogue on the story.
We hate to admit it, but every country and people in existence today has a history of conflict that involved subjugating others and a transfer of power / wealth / artefacts from one group to another. The same is true of India, which has a huge diversity of ethnic and religious groups. If everyone recovered every object moved from their “ancestral lands” to elsewhere, it would really be like dismantling the common cultures and histories of today.
Colonialism is a unique dynamic because all constituent groups and parties in internal conflict have suddenly been subjugated by an even more dominant external force. And this arrangement lasted for hundreds of years, during which a lot was transferred, but which everywhere the colonialists went also helped unite previously hated groups – most of the borders on the map today. hui are the result of this inheritance. Rather than trying to erase every trace of that time frame by now also collecting every ‘stolen’ artifact, I’d rather we recognize this shared story, even though in many ways it’s also seen as negative.