One writer offered an MBE said he declined because he did not want to be associated with the “brutal, bloody” British Empire.
Nikesh Shukla received an MBE for services to literature, but chose not to accept it because it “enhances” the British Empire.
The author is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was editor of the award-winning collection of essays The Good Immigrant.
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Born in London, the 40-year-old began his career in Bristol as the founding editor of the Rife Magazine project at Watershed, is also a screenwriter and columnist and writer of youth books such as The Boxer, reports BristolLive.
But he said he declined the MBE’s invitation because of his roots and background in the British Empire.
“I said no thanks. I don’t want to be a member of the Order of the British Empire, ”he said.
“The main reason for not accepting the MBE was because I hate the way it enhances the British Empire, a brutal, bloody thing that has resulted in so much death and destruction. Accepting the MBE would mean co-signing it, ”he added.
Mr Shukla also referred to Operation Legacy, the government’s program to destroy or hide files to prevent them from being taken over by the new governments that took over former colonies when they became independent.
Operation Legacy ran from the 1950s to the 1970s and saw MI5 or the Special Branch Veterinary and destroyed or hid all classified documents in countries around the world, selecting those who might embarrass the UK government for being racist or showed religious prejudice, or outlined how the The British Empire had tortured political opponents in its colonies.
The operation involved at least 23 countries that the British were decolonizing, and the authorities in London even advised British colonial masters on how best to destroy the documents by burning them or throwing them at sea.
“Since the country is fighting over the history of the Empire and whether it was good or bad, I considered Operation Legacy – a project to destroy all colonial documents that could embarrass the British,” Shukla said.
“If the Empire was so good, why do you need Operation Legacy?” He added.
Mr. Shukla joins a long list of people of all races and religions who have turned down or returned honors. Notable people from Bristol who have done this are John Cleese, who refused lordship, and scientist Paul Dirac, who refused knighthood.