Suppression of truth triggers violence - falling statues tell a story

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 11, 2020, 10:51 PM(IST)

Demonstrators carry placards with slogans as they march in the road outside the US Embassy in London on May 31, 2020 to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. Photograph:( AFP )

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The demonstrators are attacking symbols of hate. More statues have been damaged and torn down -- three of Christopher Columbus in Virginia, Boston and Minnesota.

Statues are falling one after another - from Colston to Churchill to Columbus.

We reported this yesterday and asked you why India should not rethink its symbols of hate.

A lot of you appreciated our report, but some of you questioned whether we are trying to instigate violence.

No, we are not. We are reporting, raising relevant questions and addressing tough subjects. This is the beauty of a free press. This is what makes a democracy.

Also read| 'Topple the Racists': A map showing all of the 'racist' statues in Britain

India is one, as are the countries where the statues are falling. If the people of some countries are raising their voice against prejudice, if they want to do away with injustice, how are they wrong? Unless, of course, there is violence and bloodshed -- which is always wrong.

The protest against racism continues as we speak. The demonstrators are attacking symbols of hate. More statues have been damaged and torn down -- three of Christopher Columbus in Virginia, Boston and Minnesota.

In Boston, the statue of Columbus was beheaded.

Also read| UK: Edward Colston statue retrieved as many more monuments set to be reviewed

Why Columbus? In schools, we were taught he discovered the new world. Sure. No one is taking that away from him, but the discoverer apparently also brought racism to America.

Spray-painted on one of the damaged statues are the words "Columbus represents genocide".

In Virginia, demonstrators tore down a monument of Jefferson Davis. He was the President of the confederate states -- the states that promoted slavery, racism and oppression of the Blacks.

Statues of Confederate soldiers were beheaded in Portsmouth. A few hours later, one of the structures was pulled down.

In England, authorities removed the statue of Robert Baden-Powell. He was once considered among the 13-most influential Britons in the 20th century. Then came the Black Lives Matter movement, and turns out Powell was racist, a supporter of Nazi Germany and fascist too.

In Belgium, a statue of Leopold II was daubed with paint and another was sprayed with graffiti.

An online petition against the King has passed 64,000 signatures, which says Leopold killed more than 10 million Congolese. This was during his 23-year reign over the colony.

These falling statues are telling us stories we had never heard of, at least most of us did not. How many of us had heard of Edward Colston, and that he transported 84,000 slaves from Africa to America?

His statue, by the way, has been fished out of the water in Bristol. How many of us took note of Churchill's racism, or heard of Robert Milligan?

Truth does not trigger violence, the suppression of truth does.

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