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when nations and communities apologize for crimes committed in their name/behalf

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kunjuppu

Well-known member
When countries or societies or communities say they are ‘sorry’, it is time to sit up and question why. because it does not happen often.

AFAIK the concept of apologizing for crimes committed against a community or country, came into vogue only after World War 2. the new divided west germany, considered itself as the inheritor state to the nazi germany, and on reaching unprecedented levels of prosperity post war, took upon itself, and in a way answering to demands too, to give financial compensation to the victimized countries of nazi germany. Along with it came unconditional apologies

Israel and the jewish people, were the maximum beneficiaries of this german act, and rightfully so too.

Since then, it has become a sort of norm, for erstwhile victims to demand apologies for crimes committed against them,
historically or current.

Just this morning, japan apologized to Canada, for the illtreatment of 1000+ Canadian prisoners of war in hong kong 1941.
these soldiers were part of british empire troops sent there to stop Japanese aggression. About 4000 canadians participated,
3000 died and 1000 survived. That they were treated cruelly is putting it mildly.

I am aware that Canada has long been demanding the apology, and finally japan gave in and a formal note was presented to a
Canadian delegation today. I wonder, if japan is truly sorry, as to why it took so long (the war after all ended in 1945, ie 66 years ago) to render the apology. Does japan feel different today than what it felt all these years, and is filled with a sense of contriteness?

I don’t know. Most of the Canadian POWs are dead anyway or in their 80s., to appreciate any mode of apology from japan.

Still a late apology, is better than no apology, I guess.


were-sorry-japanese-government-tells-canadian-pows/


Japan has not been so kind to china. The Japanese troops committed unmentionable massacres there, with ‘the rape of nanking’ standing out, as among the citadel of the horrors of war. Even as recent as a couple of years ago, there were large anti japan demonstrations in china, tacitly encouraged by the communist government – the word Nanjing is a code word to remind china of the ½ million or so murdered Chinese by the marauding Japanese army.

/Nanking_Massacre

I guess japan will apologize to china one day, when it feels, that it has no choice but to utter some soothing words of sorrow, in turn, for some more trade concessions or monetary factors. Money, apparently instigates and greases any noble or ulterior act and anything inbetween.

The 20th century’s first holocaust was the massacre of million+ Armenians by the turks. Till today turkey has denied it. and the
armenians the world over, are pretty sore over it.

The british apologized for their role in African slavery in 15 through 18th centuries, though I don’t know if spain and Portugal, even bigger slave traders, apologized.

should the british apologize to india for having ruled her? if we go on to every stage of history, where will this apology thing stop? compared to what the belgians did in africa, or the french in algeria, the british rule and departure was benign. also to their credit the british did not destroy deliberately any religious place of any religion while they were in india. in fact, by founding the archeological society of india, they started the process of preservation of our ancient monuments, including the taj mahal.

The USA has not exactly said sorry to its black citizens. Yet. But it may be coming.

The other day bangla desh demanded an apology from Pakistan, for the crimes committed by pak army during 1971 bangla war of independence, which india midwifed.

Now, I think, it would be good for some own introspections and apologies within our own bharat. For starters, the upper castes might want to apolgize to the dalits for what I consider ‘crimes against humanity’ committed against the dalits (& still continuing in parts of india) over the milleniuims. i do not expect any takers on this currently, but who knows, in another
100 years, we might have developed enough civility in our life, to enact a formal apology in the lok sabha. :)

Another raw subject, many hindus are still sore, about the destruction of hindu temples in the north. somnathpur, madurai meenakshi, kerala temples by haidar ali/tipu sultan, aurangzeb....and the list can go on. An apology from muslims, for this act done by their ancestors, would, I think warm many a hindu’s heart.

Quid pro quo: an apology from hindus for babri masjid would also I think soothen muslim feelings.

Apologies, I think, do not demean us, or make us weak. It only brings out the better part of ourselves, and takes us to a higher and nobler plane.

I for one, am happy that germany started this concept of apology by countries – as a result today’s germans feel guilt free of nazi horrors and are a rich and prosperous country. The other part, east germany, which denied any involvement with the Nazis, is now no more. even the most ardent jew, will have to agree, that the german heart is rid of nazi sentiment. again like all generalization, this statement is flawed, but overall i think, it still holds.

In another forum, there was a healthy and heated thread about ‘introspection by brahmins’, with a view to apologizing to the other castes, for taking credit to manu’s ideas of caste especially the one, granting us privileges based on our birth, and parcelling out, the more unsavoury aspects of life to other castes, with the dalits ending up with the wrong end of the stick. Needless to say, the public can guess where I stood on that argument. Which was overwhelmingly denounced by the tambrams, and equally overwhelmingly upheld by the NBs.

There were no identified dalits in that argument in that thread. if there were, they did not identify themselves. but there was a nadar christian, who held the brahmins to crime, for preventing his grandmother and all mothers before her, from wearing a blouse to cover her breasts. apparently that was why his grandfather became a christian.

to sum up, if we see more apologies from communities and countries, i think, it better for humanity. and for world peace. :)
 
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Yamaka

New member
Should America apologize to African Americans? If they do, then is REPARATION a logical and legal necessity?

From my reading of history, slavery has been rampant in all of Africa for a long time: stronger ethnic groups always traded the weaker ethinic groups as slaves.

The Colonial Powers and America follwed what was already there in Africa and EXPANDED it outside the continent. Yes, AA were brought against their WILL to this new land as slaves and they were treated horribly for a long long time.

Although Britain quit the slave trade and North Eastern Colonies in America opposed slavery, the South was adamently following it because of the nature of their economy: largely agrarian. They needed cheap manual labors to tend their vast lands.

America went to Civil War on the very issue of Abolition of Slavery: Several hundred thousands perished and millions wounded, and Lincoln finally won, fortunately.

What's more horrible than anything is, the Jim Crow Laws in the South: Separate and Unequal treatment of AA... this is unconscionable..the Society has been fighting this tooth and nail for nearly 100 years since the Civil War.

Finally, since the assasination of Dr. King, Bobby & John Kennedy - the veterans of Civil Rights in 1960s - things changed dramatically.

Personally, I don't want America to apologize to AA.. but if the Govt in the Southern States want to pass Words of Appreciation for the African Americans for their Sacrifice to their States, it's fine with me.

If words like "Apology" is used, then it would open the floodgate of REPARATION, which I don't support. Because this would create a firestorm from both North and the South.

The North will say "We have been fighting Slavery for a long long time and went to Civil War on this".

The South will say, "Well, it's all Historical Accident.. look most of AAs here in America are far better in standard of living than most people in Africa... both Whites and Blacks benefited by this "slave trade" which happened everywhere in the world".

What say you?

Cheers.

:)
 

KRS

Well-known member
I am generally against communities and countries issuing apologies. They end up being meaningless as the perpetrators and the victims are long gone. This is why I do not agree with the quota system as it is applied in India. These things diminish the descendants who had nothing to do with the unacceptable behavior of their forefathers.

As long as the laws are passed and hard work done to uplift the affected, without affecting anyone in the process, it is the right thing to do.

Otherwise, the probable/issue never gets resolved, and the slate is not wiped clean, with the past dragging down the present and the future. We can see this play out in almost all the problem areas in the world.

We must learn from history, but should not carry it's burdens.

Regards,
KRS
 

Nara

Well-known member
Finally, since the assasination of Dr. King, Bobby & John Kennedy - the veterans of Civil Rights in 1960s - things changed dramatically
Bobby yes, that too later on after his trip down south, but Jack was certainly no veteran of civil rights, he wanted the "trouble makers" to just shut up go home. It is the "redneck" LBJ who delivered on civil rights. Too bad he got mired down with Vietnam.

On offering apology, to bring oneself to apologize for past injustices is not easy, but it happens occasionally. Anyone who thinks he/she is gift of the so called god to the world -- U.S. of A -- or those who think they are the worst victims the world has ever seen -- Israel -- both wallowing in their own narcissism, can never bring themselves to apologize, be it slavery, or the genocide of Palestinians. I know the usual suspects will come after me for this comment with their long steely knives, but, in either of the two cases I have no dog in the fight, all I am moved by is the common humanity we all share.

Cheers!
 

ShivKC

Active member
bad excuses are worse than none. so, its always better to apologize and move on. such acts are always beneficial for both the communities, in all the angles.


1)victim feels emotional healing when apologized by the wrongdoer.
2)when we receive an apology, we no longer perceive the wrongdoer as a personal threat.
3)it helps us to move past our anger and prevents us from being stuck in the past.

practically, apologizing sometimes tend to make us feel humiliated, however, in the long run, it always help us by prompting us to not repeat the act.

but then,interestingly, given a chance to demand apologies at the drop of hat, i bet, china & india may jointly demand apologies from condom factories (!)
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Dear Sri.Kunjuppu, Greetings.

should the british apologize to india for having ruled her? if we go on to every stage of history, where will this apology thing stop? compared to what the belgians did in africa, or the french in algeria, the british rule and departure was benign.

British crown should apologise for Jalian Wala Bagh massacre; also should apologise for the forced famine and forced shortage of food which resulted in few million death due to starvation in Bengal and other parts of India. I don't see the crown any different from Hitler who caused death for millions of Jews. Only difference is, British Crown got away scot free because it was on the winning side.

In another forum, there was a healthy and heated thread about ‘introspection by brahmins’, with a view to apologizing to the other castes, for taking credit to manu’s ideas of caste especially the one, granting us privileges based on our birth, and parcelling out, the more unsavoury aspects of life to other castes, with the dalits ending up with the wrong end of the stick. Needless to say, the public can guess where I stood on that argument. Which was overwhelmingly denounced by the tambrams, and equally overwhelmingly upheld by the NBs.

Holding the brahmins of present era is meaningless. Present brahmins neither discriminate nor they are responsible for manu sashtras. The only problem with the present brahmins are minority and they are weak minded allowing all and sundry to exploit their weakness.
Apologies should be extended only from wrong doers; not by persons who happen to belong to such communities although they don't involve themselves in any wrong doings.

Cheers!
 
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prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
I am generally against communities and countries issuing apologies. They end up being meaningless as the perpetrators and the victims are long gone. This is why I do not agree with the quota system as it is applied in India. These things diminish the descendants who had nothing to do with the unacceptable behavior of their forefathers.

As long as the laws are passed and hard work done to uplift the affected, without affecting anyone in the process, it is the right thing to do.

Otherwise, the probable/issue never gets resolved, and the slate is not wiped clean, with the past dragging down the present and the future. We can see this play out in almost all the problem areas in the world.

We must learn from history, but should not carry it's burdens.

Regards,
KRS

Thank you.
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
Holding the brahmins of present era is meaningless. Present brahmins neither discriminate nor they are responsible for manu sashtras. The only problem with the present brahmins are minority and they are weak minded allowing all and sundry to exploit their weakness.
Apologies should be extended only from wrong doers; not by persons who happen to belong to such communities although they don't involve themselves in any wrong doings.

Cheers!
Thank you
 

happyhindu

Well-known member
Holding the brahmins of present era is meaningless. Present brahmins neither discriminate nor they are responsible for manu sashtras. The only problem with the present brahmins are minority and they are weak minded allowing all and sundry to exploit their weakness. Apologies should be extended only from wrong doers; not by persons who happen to belong to such communities although they don't involve themselves in any wrong doings.
Raghy Sir,

Considering how everyone evolved over cultural phases and moved across occupations, i feel its not right to expect one group to apologise. Who knows a section of former brahmans (like descendents of pulastya, pulaha, etc) may have ended up or turned out to be later day untouchables. And vice-versa.

There is no way to prove unbroken biological descent, i feel. We are all just cultural representatives of occupational groupings and old ideologies. For all we know, an actual descendent of Lord Rama may be a carpenter in Lahore doing namaz 5 times a day. And an actual descendent of Manu, or Lord Krishna, or a Chola king, may be a buddhist blacksmith in Colombo.

Actions speak louder than words. What we need now is action. Hopefully orthodox mutts will welcome anyone spiritually inclined to study and become a brahman. Sringeri has taken a pivotal step, let all other mutts take similar steps. This will convey to the public that birth-based segregation is no longer recognised by hindu dharma. And that the mutts themselves accept anyone, irrespective of his purvashrama birth, into their fold. No one is expecting folks in secular jobs to be involved in all this. So let us wait and watch where the Shringeri's first step leads to, and how things develop.

Regards.
 

Nara

Well-known member
British crown should apologise for Jalian Wala Bagh massacre; also should apologise for the forced famine and forced shortage of food which resulted in few million death due to starvation in Bengal and other parts of India.

[....]

Holding the brahmins of present era is meaningless. Present brahmins neither discriminate nor they are responsible for manu sashtras.
Dear Raghy, even though I am kind of ambivalent when it comes to apologies offered to me personally, I lean towards offering it in cases of broad atrocities and humiliations perpetrated in the past precisely for the reason you want the Brits of the present era, by way of their crown, apologize to us for past massacres, but find it meaningless to expect the present day brahmins to apologize.

While you may have your own valid reasons for this apparently contradictory stand, my reason is the memory of the victims is long and passed on from one generation to the next. Offering sincere apology is a way to restore dignity and respect to the memory of victims long gone, a way to mitigate the kind of anger their descendents feel, the same anger we all feel when we think about Jalian wala bagh or the orchestrated famine.

Cheers!
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
When a big bully claims that you harmed him, you apologize, even if you did not do it. It is an appeasement, not a sincere apology, in the hope that the bully will go away. If the bully is going to take physical action, you try to escape.

Given the fact that there are designated BB in this site, I see no purpose is served by apologies.

I know there are few Brahmin apologist, who have been offering apologies but that has not stopped BB.
 
OP
K

kunjuppu

Well-known member
barring nara, the responses is along the lines of status quo, maintaining impasse between groups, cultures, nations, civilizations.

no one has come up with solutions. to break barriers, build trust and above all, bring folks together.

what we do in our home? there is always fights and quarrels in any average home. then someone, not always the underdog, comes down in stance, and breaks the freeze. one sorry or apology, is all that it takes to break the anger, soften the mood, and introduce a sense of accommodation.

the world today is too complex for us or anyone else for that matter, to isolate themselves. solitudes may be good for yogis and rishis,
of ancient times, but not for societies of today, when quick communication through internet, bypassing all rules and regulations, makes many of our quarrels look absurd or childish.

i am quite sure, each one of us, in our lifetime, can bring out instances, where there is an official state of aggression, or enmity, undercut by someone else in each other groups making contact and friends. how many of us know, adults quarelling, and the children playing together.

this is not a question of BB or NBB or WBB or HBB. it is a question of breaking walls, of silence, anger, suspicion and ensuring that we leave behind a world, community, better than what we inherited. even for those who find no fault with our inheritance, i think, there is always room for improvement, for everyone has to agree, that it is but an imperfect world, that we live.

something for everyone to think, and come up with solutions. that is a challenge for everyone here bar nara, 'ok dont believe in apology. come up with some other strategy to open up trust and confidence, and win over someone with whom you have grudge'.

let us all remember that all humans have inherited memories - memories particularly of wrong done against us, appear to flourish in every group. so warped the minds become with these aggrievements, that ultimately, it comes to a matter of not living together, but destroying one another. which in this world with so many new technologies, is easier done before thinking through the consequences.

jai peace!
 

sangom

Well-known member
Dear Shri Kunjuppu,

This topic of "apology" will, imo, never find support in this forum. I look at it this way. Brahmins of today say that they did not do any atrocity towards any low caste/dalit person and so they have absolutely no moral, or even Dharmic, responsibility for making any apology. Perhaps they may even be feeling that it will be "adharmic" for them to apologize. But these present day brahmins very zealously stick to the customs and conventions observed by their forefathers and feel very proud about it too. The things they have omitted to adhere to are eithet banned/prohibited by the laws of the present government or, they themselves find it useless or inconvenient to adhere to because of their pre-occupation with earning more and more wealth in their lives and lead a comfortable, materialistic life. Yet, they do not have the humility or broad-mindedness to tender an apology.

That said, who is the representative body to make that apology?














 

KRS

Well-known member
One can empathize with the down trodden people. One can be helpful in uplifting them. One can pass laws that are anti discriminatory and more importantly enforce them. Above all a government can treat everyone the same as citizens and provide EXTRA resources to help any disadvantaged community.

Apologies mean nothing if they are not timely and between the wrong doer and the wronged. The only apology that I have no issues with was the somewhat timely apology by the US govt. to the Japanese Americans who were unfairly detained in illegal camps.

Generational apologies do nothing but aggravate the divisions and increase hatred. What is proper is to assist the victims to get out of their victim hood. People are clamoring for 'apologies', precisely because they equate these generational issues are like a spat in a household. They are not. Like the overt racism is disappearing in the US by it's own untenability in modern times, other issues like that around the world will slowly disappear.

Just my 2 cents.

Regards,
KRS

P.S. When a govt. itself is discriminating against some castes in the name of helping others, supposedly in a country where legally caste was abolished, why should not those citizens try to preserve their caste?
 

Nara

Well-known member
....Generational apologies do nothing but aggravate the divisions and increase hatred.
Dear Shri KRS, if generational apologies do nothing but aggravate the divisions, then it seems to me the apology is still timely. An apology at a time when divisions are still present and would aggravate such divisions, can't be but timely.

You may still feel it is not required for other reasons, that is fine.

Cheers!
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Dear Raghy, even though I am kind of ambivalent when it comes to apologies offered to me personally, I lean towards offering it in cases of broad atrocities and humiliations perpetrated in the past precisely for the reason you want the Brits of the present era, by way of their crown, apologize to us for past massacres, but find it meaningless to expect the present day brahmins to apologize.

While you may have your own valid reasons for this apparently contradictory stand, my reason is the memory of the victims is long and passed on from one generation to the next. Offering sincere apology is a way to restore dignity and respect to the memory of victims long gone, a way to mitigate the kind of anger their descendents feel, the same anger we all feel when we think about Jalian wala bagh or the orchestrated famine.

Cheers!

Dear Sri. Nara, Greetings.

I don't have a contradicting stand. My message is just incomplete. As a community, Harijan/Parayar/SC & ST..by whatever name they are denoted, all the oppressed persons as a community deserve an apology from all the caste hindu communities. There should be representation from all the major castes. All the castes have some sort of association; representation can be made from each caste based association in extending a sincere apology and the clear undertaking not to carry on with any discriminatory actions in the future. Such a good will gesture may have classes that reflect co-operation and acceptance between communities. Such an effort could be a starters; a better community can be built upon that.

My only objetion was to hold just one community responsible for all the atrocities happened in the past. Just for argumnent sake, if the brahmin community alone extends an apology to dalit community, that would not stop the discriminations doled out by BC & MBC communities. But if such efforts are extended from all communities, thee is much room for reforms.

Cheers!
 

Raghy

Well-known member
Dear Sri.Kunjuppu, Greetings.

barring nara, the responses is along the lines of status quo, maintaining impasse between groups, cultures, nations, civilizations.

no one has come up with solutions. to break barriers, build trust and above all, bring folks together.

Possibly due to my insufficiencies, I have not seen any solution from Sri.Nara's message either. There should be an apology not just to one community, but to many communities, extended by just not one community, but many communities. The dynamics of the caste problem should be addressed. Such reform actions should not turn into blame games targetting one particular community; in such instane, that particular community would resort to defensive measures. that is only natural.

what we do in our home? there is always fights and quarrels in any average home. then someone, not always the underdog, comes down in stance, and breaks the freeze. one sorry or apology, is all that it takes to break the anger, soften the mood, and introduce a sense of accommodation.

Have you tried blaming one member of the family every time for all the ills in the family? You should try that; then you may appreciate my point of view.

A solution from my point of view can be seen in my message in post #16, please.

Cheers!
 
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Raghy

Well-known member
Dear Sri.Sangom, Greetings.

That said, who is the representative body to make that apology?


Any such representation is required from all the castes. Caste discrimination has a pyramid effect. It is not possible for one single community to tender apology across the board. Instead of targetting and blaming one single community, the effort should be from all communities for a decent social reform. Targetting brahmin communities and blaming brahmin community alone will not pave the way to a social reform. Such reforms should be across all communities, properly represented by every community.

Cheers!
 

prasad1

Gold Member
Gold Member
P.S. When a govt. itself is discriminating against some castes in the name of helping others, supposedly in a country where legally caste was abolished, why should not those citizens try to preserve their caste?

I fully agree with you. The Indian Constitution was providing a similar framework to reduce the effects of casteism, then for the populist reason the present society enshrined the cast system back in the constitution to legalize this caste divisions.
 

sarang

Well-known member
There are many like captain haddock who are ready to apologise on demand. There is no need to demand aor offer apology.

Today, caste status has given advantage, political and economic power to many castes and they make use of this fully.

Mayawati and kanshiram (late) said that dalits can take over delhi if they unite. (there are thousand castes among dalits, will they ever unite?)

All parties, field caste based candidates and openly convasse for caste votes.

Today, to belong to any specific caste is a blessing, and the rewards can be high, if only the politicians are honest.

Who will give up such a wonderful chance to give up the silver lining?

The british are responsible for the caste problem.
 
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