Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Morning 90 Years On: The Debate Continues

Was it needless death after all?

William Butler Yeats asks this question in his poem, Easter 1916, and there’s an unholy row going on about all this, on this 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916.

Sunder Katwala answers Yeats’ question this way: “Ireland and India would have become nations without General Maxwell overseeing summary executions in Dublin castle, or General Dyer firing on crowds in Amritsar.” But he says a lot more, and you can read it here.

Elsewhere, Yeats also asked: Did that play of mine send out certain men the English shot?

Yes, answers Danny Morrison, but as it is with the photograph that accompanies this post, all is not as it seems. “Does this commemoration of ours justify the men who shot the English?” Morrison asks. Yes to that as well, but Danny also asserts that no one owns the Rising’s legacy, and Mick Fealty wonders whether a preoccupation with those events in Dublin 90 years ago is helpful to the purposes of reconciliation.

Along those same lines, Remember Scullabogue, as Colm Toibin did when he considered these questions, and others, reaching back to the Rising of 1798.

Then there’s this auld miseryguts who makes good points in spite of himself.

And here you’ll find a whole Easter Sunday’s worth of reading about it all, in a splendid example of public-service journalism.

Meanwhile, another row that raises related questions about the silliness of certain kinds of nationalism is taking place in Italy at the moment, where the Globe and Mail’s Doug Saunders observes that this weekend’s banjaxed election result is the consequence of a fascist idea that defines eligible voters “as anyone with a continuous line of male descendants going back to a man born in Italy.” Now everything’s hooped. Blame Canada.


Post a Comment

<< Home