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Holding CHOGM is shameful for former colonial nations

No matter how eloquently a justification for the existence of an organization like CHOGM is presented, its vagueness and futility cannot be underestimated. No one has a clear idea, except Britain, why such a grouping exists well after the sun is set and what exactly it promotes. So far, CHOGM’s achievements are confined to promoting British interests, sometimes it turns out to be a profit-making venture as well. It has no connection with promoting democracy, freedom of expression, development and universal values, except selective rhetoric from time to time. 


Today, CHOGM has no relevance and anyway it has totally lost direction. But some former colonial members of the Raj think they can elevate their sagging prestige by hosting such a bogus event to uplift their own legitimacy.

It is shameful for former British colonial countries to hold such a bogus event that glorifies British rule and subjugation which has had once lowered their dignity and national pride. In fact, they have neither anything common nor left with any wealth which the British had looted them towards the end of the colonial rule.  

Essentially, CHOGM stems from the infamous ‘Imperial Conferences’, which were, at that time, organized to accommodate the increasing assertiveness and independence of dominions. To perpetuate Britain’s superiority in the post-colonial world it was altered and sold to the world as the ‘Commonwealth Foundation’.

Then, when it became clear that nations were becoming increasingly integrated and the power is getting increasingly decentralized, the nature of this grouping was again altered to legitimize its existence.

Today, although the organization, with Britain as its de-facto leader, claims to promote democracy, peaceful development and human rights in its former colonies, it is actually nothing more than a baton celebrating Britain’s colonial legacy. This is evident because this group has not achieved anything substantial since its inception.

Through CHOGM, and other such channels established for the so-called Commonwealth grouping, Britain is subtly practicing neo-imperialist policies.

It has managed to market the brand of CHOGM to its former colonies as a ticket to some sort of higher-status, only to continue seeking its own interests.

The nomenclature is also misguiding, because there is nothing ‘common’ in this Commonwealth grouping. CHOGM has only served Britain’s strategic interests, which had been exposed through several instances.

For instance, while Zimbabwe was suspended from the group on the grounds of Human Rights violations in 2003, Britain has fully embraced Sri Lanka as a host for the CHOGM conference, which is due to be held in November 2013.

This is despite the fact that currently Sri Lanka itself is battling the allegations of alleged Human Rights violations.

If this was not enough to expose its double standards, the fact that it only acted under pressure from India to suspend Pakistan after General Musharaff orchestrated a coup and not because that Britain itself stood against anti-democratic ideals, was another insight to its selective rhetoric.

The induction of countries like Rwanda and Mozambique, which are not even former colonies of the British Empire, only signals an attempt to tap into the market of develop economies through a sophisticated channel like CHOGM.

It also shows that Britain is willing to compromise on the ‘common’ experiences, which is the basis of the grouping in the first place.

CHOGM as an organization, and particularly Britain as its leader, have done very little to tangibly address serious issues that are faced by the developing world.

If anything, Britain shows reckless irresponsibility when it encourages developing countries like South Africa and Sri Lanka to spend millions on hosting CHOGM conferences, instead of tackling vital socio-economic issues.

Even after such significant evidences denouncing CHOGM, it is surprising that the member countries, who are the former victims of British imperialism, do not refrain from portraying such a blatant display of Britain’s colonial legacy. Far from criticizing it, they are active members to become the bandwagon of the body that celebrates colonial subjugation.

Perhaps, in a sense they feel that their status is uplifted by being a member of a global network such as CHOGM. But even then, it is not a convincing explanation for their undeterred support to the Commonwealth.

It is extremely intriguing as well as unfortunate, that these countries are not willing to break away from their respective colonial legacies, which, unlike Britain’s, have been far from glorious.

Therefore, the summation is that developing countries like South Africa, Sri Lanka and India must break away from such groupings because it does not serve their interests in the least. This grouping too, should be dissolved forever. Even though 54 countries are part of it, it is merely ceremonial and lacks significance.

It would not be long before the ‘greatness’ of so-called Great Britain, an islands in the Atlantic sea bed, dissolves when each member will walk away with his own destiny. Its economy is struggling and the aging British society is becoming hopeless. New generation of Britons have nothing to achieve, except drinking and obsessed with maniac sex.

Already, the United Kingdom is threatened by the demands of Scotland and Northern Ireland for full secession. If this is indeed fulfilled, which it will be according to numerous studies, England will lose considerable clout in the international sphere.

Therefore, not much relevance should be attached to a grouping like CHOGM by developing countries, because they have more vital issues to tackle than to pledge merely ceremonial allegiances to their former colonizers.