Shashi Tharoor on what the British did to India | Antidote Festival at Sydney Opera House

Shashi Tharoor on what the British did to India | Antidote Festival at Sydney Opera House


You went to high school in an education system
that was set up by the British. You’re educated in English. You’re a man who rose to be UN Under Secretary
General. I mean, these are advantage that might not
have been or most certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the British Empire. Are you ignoring that historical reality? You know, it’s a very good question. Because, in fact, the educational system in
India that the sort of elite subscribes to is very much indeed a legacy of the colonial
era with appropriate modifications. So we do study Indian history from a somewhat
more nationalist perspective than I’m sure our ancestors did when the British were teaching
it. But by and large, a lot of the, in fact, I
took examinations of what are nominally called Indian school certificate. But when I took them, the examination answer
papers were shipped off to Cambridge, literally by ship. And we had to wait three months
for somebody in Cambridge to correct them, grade them
and send them back. I mean, the system was very much anchored
[inaudible]. [ Inaudible Comment ] Though, in fact, the schools I went to happened
to be missionary schools, Jesuit. So were not English. They were Belgian and French and Spanish and
God knows what else. And Indian too. But not too many English Jesuits. Nonetheless, the system came from that. And I’ve talked about it in the book. That one of the more insidious challenges
of colonialism is the extent to which our minds are colonised as well. And that colonisation of a mind takes some
growing out of. For us, for some of us, one never really grows
out of it. I do know that there are many who can’t help,
as it were, their identification with things Anglophone and Anglophile. Because that’s really what they were schooled
to appreciate. I have argued in the book, for example, that
my fondness for Wodehouse and cricket, which you mentioned, actually is despite in many
ways the fact that they had English origins. Of course, I’ve even more fond of cricket
now that we regularly beat the English at it, but.>>An Indian game accidentally discovered
by the British, I think.>>That’s a great line by sociologist called
Ashis Nandy that it’s actually an Indian game accidentally discovered by the British. I mean, clearly, you know, our climate is
far more suitable for cricket than theirs for one thing. But, anyway, where were we? I’ve lost my train thought. That’s okay, we. Oh, yes. PG Wodehouse, for example. Obviously, the delights of Wodehouse are the
delights that are imparted to you by your appreciation of the English language. What it does with stylistic humour, plotting
and so on and so forth. But the interesting thing is precisely because
of that. You don’t actually have to have any allegiance
to Britain as long as, in other words, you don’t need the – the passport is the English language. But you don’t need a British visa to get there. You can sit in India surrounded by a very
different world from that which he describes. And enjoy the escapism that his writing represents. And so it goes. But I realise that this is self-interested
pleading. Because, obviously, I am a product of the
system, as you rightly point out. And I suppose one of the great problems
with history is you can’t establish the counter-factual. It’s impossible to know what India might look
like had the British not been there. Can I take you to those more structural things. The fact that India speaks the world’s language. The fact that India has a centralised unitary
government. That it is a democracy. How much has India’s way in the world been
made easier by those legacies? I think highly contestable. No, there’s no question that some of this
has been useful to us. And the English language certainly. But I want to stress, and I think you alluded
to this in your introduction. That all the things that apologists for empire
like to claim credit for, the English language. Parliamentary democracy. The rule of law. The railways. You know, all of the classic cliches. And for that matter even tea. Every single one of these things was brought
in by the British to advance their control of India. To enhance their profits and serve their interests. Not one was intended principally to benefit
Indians. And the fact that when they left they couldn’t
take this with them. And we were able then to turn them around
to purposes the original people who introduced them would never have intended is something
that I think is more to the credit of the Indian nationalist than to the Englishman. I’m happy to go through the examples you mentioned. You take language, for example. The British had no intention of imparting
education to the masses of Indians. And made it very clear they weren’t going
to spend the money doing that. And, indeed, as late as 1930, the American
historian Will Durant observed that the entire budget of the British for education in India
from the nursery level to the highest university levels amounted to than half the high school
budget of the state of New York. And that was for the entire country of India
with at that point ten times as many people as the state of New York. The fact is that the British were not interested
in investing in education. And even the English language was brought
in just to educate a narrow class of sort of interpreters between the governors and
the governed. People who would help the British by constituting
a buffer between them and the dirty masses whom they ruled. I mean, that was very much the attitude. Macaulay actually said this in his notorious
minutes on education. And he said that we need to create a class
of Indians, Indian in skin and colour, but English in opinions and tastes and morals
and in intellect. That was his exact, those were his exact words. And it was to serve their purposes. Now, of course, Indians then used English
to open up another world of ideas. Often very radical and critical ideas. And ideas that eventually made English a language
of Indian nationalism. Our first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru
wrote his classic “The Discovery of India” in English. So an Indian nationalist discovered India
in English as it were. But that was our, if you like, change of what
the British had intended to do. Democracy, you mentioned political unity. Well, political unit is one that the British
point to with pride. That they came into a bunch of warring principalities,
and they made a country out of it. Not so. For 2,000 years before the British ever set
foot on India, there had been a very clear sense of a common civilizational unity. And an aspiration on the part of monarchs
to consolidate that territorially. Obviously, they couldn’t. I mean, we had two people who came very close. There was the Mauryan Empire, Ashoka and Chandragupta
who controlled about 90 percent of the subcontinent, including Afghanistan. And then the Mughals, particularly Akbar and
Aurangzeb, controlled about 95 percent of the subcontinent. And that was the sympathy, the fact that everyone
tried to do it, aspired to do it and failed in trying shows that, if the British hadn’t
succeeded. Somebody else around the same time with the
advantages of modern communications and so on would have. So political unity was not a British gift. Democracy had to be pried from the reluctant
grasp of the British. In fact, the history of the advent of democracy
in India, as I demonstrate in the book, is actually littered with the broken promises
of English rulers. Who keep promising responsible self-government
and then sort of yanking it away just when the time came for them to redeem their pledge. But still a franchise of vote was offered
to Indians properly for the first time in 1937. Before that there’d been elections. But, for example, in the 1920s, only one out
of every 250 Indians had the vote. Hardly a training ground for democracy. And even then they did not allow people to
vote for a national government. The national government was still the British
headed by the viceroy. It was only provincial governments that Indians
were allowed to form up to the second World War. So given all of that, it’s very difficult
to point. And, as I say, the British did a great deal
to undermine Indian unity. When the Indian National Congress was established
in 1885 by a well-meaning Scotsman with various Indian supporters, it was truly a body the
British could have easily co-opted. It was a bunch of largely Anglophile lawyers
who wrote decorous petitions and held very civilised meetings in which they asked the
English to give them the rights of Englishmen. But the British saw even this as a threat. So far from welcoming it as a first step towards
responsible self-government for Indians, what the British did instead was try and undermine
the Congress. To the extent of helping encourage the setting
up of a rival body 20 years later, the Muslim League. Which was set up explicitly on sectarian lines. With the British prodding them to say, look,
these people will only represent the interests of the Hindu majority. Now, you look at their first 20 presidents,
and they’re Christians. Muslims. Parsis. As well as Hindus. And there’s even an Irish woman. An Irish Catholic, Annie Besant of the theosophist
movement. So it was a very open, very inclusive body. But the British had no intention of cooperating
with it. Had no intention of taking it serious. And these are not retrospective judgments. I’ve quoted, for example, a Sunday “Times”
journalist from London who travelled in India 1907, 1908, Henry Nevinson. Who attended meetings of a Congress. Met British officialdom. And recorded his horror at the way in which
the British were denying fair due process and fair rights to Indians. So all this was apparent at the time. And yet the British drag it out as long as
they could. So it’s a bit rich, as I’ve said at Oxford,
to, you know, arrest. Maim. Imprison. Torture. Deny rights to a people for 200 years. And then celebrate the fact that they’re democratic
at the end of it. Let’s talk food. You, one of the great lines of the book is,
“There’s never been a famine in a democracy with a free press.” One of the striking things that comes out
of this book is the widespread starvation that occurs in India during the first half
of the 20th century. Can you talk about the famines and what [inaudible]. Absolutely. It really was a horror show what the British
did. And if there are any Irish people in the audience,
this will resonate with them. Because they did the same thing in Ireland. The British had a compound of attitudes at
the time that they were ruling India. The first was that one must not give charity
because it encourages idleness. The second was the rather callous notion,
but they justified it in Adam Smithian terms. That the free market must prevail. So if there is a famine and the British government
buys the only grain available to ship it off to London for the breadbaskets of the East
Ind. But the poor people left in India who are
starving for food can’t afford to buy it because the Brits have driven the price up. Well, those are the rules of the free market. It’s tough, but that’s the way it’s going
to be. Third was the Malthusian Principle. That if the land cannot sustain the population
that’s trying to live off it, well, people must die. So they did. And the final thing, of course, was Victorian
fiscal prudence. Thou shall not spend money thou has not budgeted
for. So with all of this put together, they refused
to help people in famines. Which was exactly the opposite of the Indian
experience in the past. Where whenever there was a drought, whenever
there was a failure of a harvest, the rich people, the aristocracy, the local kings and
princes and so on, all came into help people. And there are no recorded incidents of people
just dying of famines until the British came along. In fact, there are actually accounts by British
observers in the late 18th century, during the first devastating British-made famine
in Bengal. Which wiped out 1/3 of the entire population. Saying that in the nearby states still ruled
by Indians, because Britain hadn’t concurred all of India yet, people were being helped. And here in British India they were not being
helped as a matter of policy. Now, in Ireland they did the same thing. Which led to the great potato blight of 1841
and the deaths of people. But the Irish at least had the option of jumping
onto boats and sailing off to America. We didn’t have that option. So we stayed in India and died. And the worst example that one can come to
is Winston Churchill and the Second World War. Winston Churchill personally took decisions
to allow people to die while his government acquired all the grain in Bengal that they
could get. Not to feed the war effort, as was wrongly
suggested, but to enhance buffer stocks, reserve stocks in the event of a likely future invasion
of Greece and Yugoslavia. And Australian ships were docking at the port
of Calcutta laden with wheat. And Churchill was personally deciding, either
he or his odious paymaster general, Lord Cherwell, acting on his instructions, to not allow those
ships to disembark their cargo, but to continue to sail onto Europe. When officials in India wrote to him saying
people are dying. They’re literally dying on the streets. He said, well, I hate Indians. They’re a beastly people with a beastly religion. It’s all their fault anyway for breeding like
rabbits. These are all exact quotes verbatim. And when one particular memo reached the prime
minister’s desk about the unconscionable number of deaths, it ended up being 4.3 million. All Churchill could bring himself to do was
to write in the margin somewhat peevishly, why hasn’t Gandhi died yet? Now, this is the man, and the British expect
us to hail as an apostle of freedom and democracy. He has as much blood on his hands as the worse
genocidal dictators of the 20th century. So then remedy. We’re here at the Antidote Festival. What is the antidote to a historical wrong
as you’d lay it out here. The Oxford Union debate was on the subject
of reparations. It is fiscal? It is political? Is it an apology? Where do we go from here? Well, you know, I got saddled with this
reparation thing. Because that was the topic the Oxford Union
students chose, Ben. And the fact is that, even in that debate,
I said that you can’t really quantify the value of the damage done by the British. How do you put a price on these 35 million
Indians who died totally unnecessary deaths in those famines? Or how do you measure the lives and livelihoods
of the weavers whose thumbs were chopped off so they couldn’t weave again? When their looms were smashed in case the
looms were rebuilt, they no longer could ply their craft? How could you measure all of this? And the financial drainage has been calculated. In fact, an Englishman called William Digby
in 1901 published a 900-page book. Which I have on my laptop. In which he worked out down to the last penny
and shilling how much the British had each year repatriated to England from India. But, I mean, it was after that that India
spent the equivalent of 80 billion pounds sterling in supporting the First World War
and so on. So those numbers have long since been overtaken. So I don’t want to go the financial route. In that debate I said, even a symbolic one
pound a year for the next 200 years will do it. Because the larger point is not finance, but
reparation. But atonement, I beg your pardon. It’s not reparations, but atonement. Why do I say that? Because reparations, any sum of money that
would be payable would not be credible. And any sum that would be credible, that would
take into account all this damage would not be payable. So why go down that route? Atonement, however, is necessary. I think all sinners need to atone. And Mahatma Gandhi, in fact, is the one who
wrote to a viceroy that he considers British rule in India to be a sin. And for him that was a very strong word. Because a sin was, but at the same time he
had the very Hindu notion that you must hate the sin and not the sinner. So once the sin was over, once the Union Jack
had come down, there was no more any rancour towards the sinner. Because he was no longer a sinner. However, what about the past sins? And my answer is, first of all, well, there
are three things I’d like to suggest to the British. And, indeed, have been suggesting to the British. The first is I think they should teach unvarnished
colonial history in their schools. There’s this very convenient historical amnesia
in Britain today. As a result of which what’s happening is that
you can do an A level in history in Britain today without learning a line of colonial
history. Most people don’t know what the British did
to the extent that YouGov, which is a poll that often looks at young people’s views in
Britain. Every year for the last few years, I’ve quoted
one. But there’s another poll which is even worse. Showing that a significant proportion of young
English people actually are proud of the empire and would love to have it back. They have no idea what they’re proud of. So they’ve got to be taught. That’s one thing. Link to that I would say is there needs to
be more by way of memorials and museums. London is just absolutely covered with museums
of various sorts. Many of which are full of the products of
theft from colonies. They’re sort of Chor Bazaar for the Indians
in the audience. Yeah. Masquerading as museums. But having said that, you know, you can even
find an imperial war museum in Britain. But you can’t find an imperial museum, a colonialism
museum. There’s no place for children, tourists, visitors
to go to and see for themselves the whole picture what was done by the British and their
foreign rule. And the third thing, oh, by the, there’s even
a statue to the animals that aided the war effort in Britain right in the heart of London. I’ve driven past it. And there is no statue to the 1.3 million
Indians who gave of their own and won an improbable number of Victoria crosses and so on in the
First World War. And the 1.7 million Indians who fought in
the Second World War. No statue to them. The animals, however, are commemorated. The British really have to recognise the debt
that they owe. Finally, you mentioned an apology. To me that is important. And I’ve got the perfect opportunity for it
looming right now. On the 13th of April 2019, will be the centenary
of what I consider the single worst atrocity of the British Empire. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. The Amritsar Massacre some people call it. Not because of the numbers of people killed. The British actually killed 100,000 people
in Delhi alone in putting down the revolt of 1857. But rather because of everything that accompanied
it. Well, give me two minutes explain. It came at the end of the First World War,
which even Mahatma Gandhi had supported the Indian war effort. And Indians had sent money. Treasure. Taxes, which they could not afford. Pack animals. Rations. Clothing. Uniforms. Carts. Even rail lines ripped out of the ground to
aid the war effort. In the hope that at the end of all of this
there would be the grant of what the British had promised to the white commonwealth, responsible
self-government. It never came. They betrayed the promise. And not only did they betray it, but they
actually re-imposed wartime era prohibitions on freedom of speech. Freedom of assembly. Freedom of the press and so on. Immediately protests broke out saying this
is simply not what we were promised. And the British in effect declared marshal
law. They didn’t use the phrase, but they sent
generals out to the various provinces to put down the unrest. In Amritsar, the second largest town in Punjab,
we had the arrival of Brigadier General Reginald Dyer. And he got there, and he proclaimed that people
couldn’t gather in groups of more than five and so on and so forth. But he had completely failed to notice that
this was the Punjabi spring festival of Baishakhi. And in a walled garden called Jallianwala
Bagh, a large number of men, women and children had gathered to commemorate the festival. Completely unarmed. He arrives there with a bunch of soldiers. He doesn’t ask them what they’re doing there
and why they’re there. He doesn’t even take a look at who they are. He doesn’t fire a warning shot. He just orders his soldiers to shoot into
the bodies of the unarmed, wailing, soon stampeding men, women and children. And as they try to flee this garden, this
walled garden, there’s only one gate, one exit. And he stations his soldiers right there. As he himself explains later, because that
makes these people easier targets. 1,650 rounds were fired. And he boasted proudly not one bullet was
wasted. The British admitted to 379 killed and the
rest injured. The Indians claim the figures are much higher. Whatever the truth was, it was a horrendous,
horrendous massacre. At the end of it, he bars the gates shut and
doesn’t allow even the relatives of the dead, the dying and the wounded to tend to their
dear ones. They are forced to lie for 24 hours in the
hot April sun. Many of whom died because of that. On top of that he forces Indians to crawl
on their bellies on a narrow lane nearby. And if they so much as lift their heads, their
leads bashed in by British staves. At the end of all of this, of course, there
is outrage. The House of Commons condemns him. The House of Lords promptly passes a resolution
praising him for what he had done. And the British take out a collection to reward
him. And they raise the equivalent of a quarter
of million pounds sterling in today’s money. Which is presented to him with a bejewelled
sword. And that flatulent voice of Victorian imperialism
Rudyard Kipling hails him as the man who saved India. Now this, that entire package, the betrayal
at the beginning. The cruelty of the massacre. The racism and indifference to Indian suffering
that followed. The justification and reward. You take the whole thing together, and to
me it makes it the single most fitting act that is worthy of an apology. And if somebody on the centenary of that event,
somebody from the royal family. Because everything was done in the name of
the crown. Were to come to Amritsar and go down on their
knees in Jallianwala Bagh and beg forgiveness or express remorse. Apologise for this sin. I think it would have a remarkably cleansing
effect. And perhaps wash away much of the wrongs that
were done in the preceding 200 years. [ Applause ] I’m going to open the floor shortly to questions.
You’ll see there’s a couple of mic stands. I’m peering into the blackness here
but I can see one and two. If people would like to start making their way down,
I’m not sure if there are any defenders of the Empire in the house, if anyone
wants to go ten rounds with Shashi Tharoor. Any Churchill fans out there. Can I ask you another question,
perhaps a little off topic of the book, but extrapolating it further to India’s future. And because you’re a person who went within
a handful of votes, I think, of being UN secretary general. How do you see India’s place now for an independent
India on the global stage in the 21st century? In particular, how does a rising India deal
with a dominant China? And to your experience in the UN, is a reformed
UN security council with India on it still an ambition?>>Gosh, these three are the subject of an
entire other book. It’s called “Pax Indica, India and the World
of the 21st Century.” It was published a couple of years ago. But, I mean, the short answer would be that
India I think has an enormous contribution to make to the world of the 21st century,
and it should. We have the ability to contribute to the stewardship
of the global commons. We have the skill, the resources, the technology,
the human capacity to make a difference in everything from cyberspace to outer space. And we ought to step up to the plate and do
it. We are waiting, as you rightly said, for a
seat on the security council. And you can understand that because a security
council reflects the geopolitical realities of 1945 and not of 2017. So countries like India, but not only India. Also Japan. Germany. Brazil. South Africa. Others. Are all asking for a place at the table. And in international affairs this is very
true. You’re either at the table or on the menu. And the fact is we have been rule takers in
the international system for a long time. Observing rules that others have written for
us. And I think we feel that we’ve come sufficiently
of age and made enough of a contribution to the world system in peace keeping and in other
ways. Democracy promotion, so on. To have earned the right to be amongst the
rule makers. So, yes, I do believe India has a significant
and credible role to play. On China, I mean, you know, China’s way ahead
of us in economic development terms. GDP growth. The size of their economy. Their manufacturing base. Their infrastructure. I don’t see this as a race. I think as long as both countries are able
to eradicate poverty in their countries. Give their people three decent meals a day. A roof over their heads. A possibility of decent work. And ultimately the hope of leading decent
lives. Then more power to both of them. And it doesn’t have to be a competition. There’s enough available in the world and
Asia too for both countries to thrive and prosper. Those in either country who are inclined to
see this as a zero sum game, I believe are wrong. And I think there certainly are some in China
who periodically seem to like to needle in there to keep it off balance. Likely to remind it that it shouldn’t have
pretensions to challenge China. And there are some in India who seem to be
locked into a mindset that China is some sort of permanent enemy. Which I don’t believe it needs to be. I think the two can cooperate. I pointed out, for example, that something
like the sea lanes of communication across the Indian Ocean are actually a mutual interest. Instead of us worrying about every Chinese
base and the Chinese suggestion of every Indian ship, we could be conducting joint anti-piracy
patrols and so on. Because we have the same interest. The same lanes that go from the gulf in East
Africa to China have to pass by India first. So we have the same interest. Why don’t we cooperate? I’m going to be ruthlessly democratic about
our questions today. I’m going to one, two, one, two. Can I, in my most politic terms, urge people
for questions rather than dissertations with a question at the end of it. And we’ll try and hook through. We’ll go here to number one first. Thank you. Thank you, sir, for your very
thought-provoking words. One of the legacies of the “Inglorious Empire”
is the English language, as you mentioned. According to some stats I saw recently, 12.18
percent of the Indian population claimed to speak English and 0.42 percent of the population
acknowledge it as their own, as their first language. However, the federal civil service conducts
his business in English. So do the law courts, as does parliament. My question is, do you believe that India
is still held in colonial thrall by a small [inaudible] of English speakers? And, if not, what is the audience to which
you are addressing your book written, as it is, in English? But available I’ll show you in translation
in multiple Indian languages too. No, the fact is that history has left us with
English as the link language. Before the British came it was Persian that
was the language of the courts. And the aristocracy and the elite. There would always have to be a link language
in a large and diverse country like ours. If, for example, as some in the north would
like, Hindi were to be thrust on the rest of India as a national language, it will breed
far more resentment. Because it would mean that the government
of India and the law courts and everybody else would be addressing themselves to Sharma
[assumed spelling] in a language that is not known to [inaudible]. And the fact is that that would give one set
of Indians unfair advantages over another. Whereas, everyone is at an equal disadvantage
or advantage in English. I rest my case. I think we need English as that link language
at the national level. And at the same time Indian languages are
thriving and flourishing. Particularly since the expansion and democratisation
of the media. Every Indian language has multiple television
channels serving it. Culture, literature and music, cinema are
flourishing in every Indian language. And hopefully a majority of the population
doesn’t need to use those law courts that you’re worried about. Sorry, we’ll go to number two. Thanks, Dr. Tharoor. My question is around the rise of populism
in India over the last 30 years or so. How much would you say that is a legacy of
colonialism in India? And what do we do going forward? No, I think we have to accept the blame
from our own populism. I love blaming everything on the British,
but in all fairness not that. Because what’s happened is the nature of our
democratic politics has, I think would certainly surprise our founding fathers who created
the system very much in fulfilment of the models they’d seen in Britain earlier. I think if Nehru hadn’t been cremated he’d
be turning over in his grave multiple times. Because he thought caste would disappear. For example, as a good English educated Indian,
he thought it was a backward idea. And instead democracy has made caste all the
more entrenched. Because it has become an instrument of political
mobilisation. Similarly, every one of us members of parliament,
elected members of parliament as opposed to the upper house. All of us, every one of us knows that we represent
voters, a majority of who live on less than $2 a day. You’re forced to be populist because our voters
need the system. And they need the political representatives
to ensure that their system delivers benefits for them. Otherwise basically you don’t get reelected. I mean, the reelection rate in the Indian
[inaudible] in the last 25 years has averaged 26 percent. So 3/4 of our MPs don’t make it to a second
term. So inevitably populism has crept into the
system. I think as the populist and, therefore, the
electorate gets more educated and more aware, undoubtedly populism will not be able to exert
the same stranglehold on them. But right now it’s very much our system, our
democracy and the way we worked it that has given us this result. Thank you. Are you really sure that populism will
fade with the maturation of democracy? I mean, we’re seeing populism all over the
world. We’re seeing it in, you know, mature democracies. Like the United States. Like this one. I like this one. Look, I don’t know. But I do think that that’s the best hope we’ve
got. Because in India the transformation that I
tried too prematurely to trace was from a politics of identity to a politics of performance. I did have concrete examples underlying my
thesis in states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar and so on. Where populist won on an identity appeal. And when they failed to deliver performance
got left out. And alternatives were elected who didn’t appeal
on identitarian grounds. But spoke about, you know, [foreign language]. That’s red clothing and roofs over our heads. Are now [foreign language], which is electricity,
good roads and water, drinking water. Which are things that voters are now judging
their elected representatives by. Okay, we’ll go to number one. Thank you for your great insights. And I really look forward to reading this
book. Thank you. And about time after 70 years that this
book has come. And great on both sides. And, you know, from India and Pakistan. Coming like to whatever I’ve read, you know,
up to since I’ve bought the ticket about “Inglorious Empire,” that makes me think that, isn’t that
mostly empires are inglorious? And even coming to the present times, where
we see post-9/11, what has been happening. And what the atrocities have been, you know,
in Syria lately. And before that in Iraq and Afghanistan. So what are your thoughts? And also including Indian occupied Kashmir,
you know, where people are fighting for their freedom? And here there’s another perspective where
a man is a freedom fighter to one and a terrorist to another. So what are the lessons that would you see,
you know? Because your, with your profound experience
and your long association with the United States, you see that what are the take-aways. And what can you really tell the present government
of India and other present people in power? [ Multiple Speakers ] That would require a very long answer,
young lady. And I hope you will read the book. There’s a lot of it is covered in the book. First of all, I do stress right throughout
that nothing in the book is meant to absolve the present-day governments of any of the
successor countries to the British Raj, of their failures and their actions. Ultimately, I’m not using the past to justify
the present. I believe one should face the past. One should embrace the past. But one should leave it in the past. I’ve often said, you know, our problem in
the subcontinent is we have a forgive and forget culture. And forgive is good because nursing hatred
and resentment and bitterness really hurts the hater far more than the hated. So that’s no point. But, while forgive is good, forget is bad. We must not forget. And we must not forget. Because, as I often say to young people like
yourself, if you don’t know where you’ve come from, how will you appreciate where you’re
going? You must have a sense, just as we’re all curious
about our parents or grandparents. Why shouldn’t we as a society, as a collectivity
be conscious of what went on in the past? So that’s one of the first and larger points. There are inglorious moments in contemporary
India. Pakistan. Bangladesh and so on. And those have to be dealt with, in my view,
in their own terms. The history may have lead us to that point. But there’s no point blaming history anymore. We’re the ones making the decisions today. On Kashmir, it’s a rather complicated story,
as you know. I am not a fan of partition. I understand many Pakistanis are. Because they wouldn’t have a country without
it. Whereas, I think we wouldn’t have all the
hostility, conflict and wasted energies that. Sorry to interrupt you. But isn’t it about time that this should be
accepted. Okay, now Pakistan is there. It’s been 70 years. And let’s resolve the issues. And let’s talk about Kashmir. And how long will we keep on talking about
Kashmir and keep the sense of bone of contention? I’m not, you are. But the point is. But with your profound experience with
the United Nations, I see you somewhere, you know. Yeah, but just to answer that. I mean, the thing is that what Pakistan has
often failed to appreciate is that there is a big difference in the logic underlying partition
from two different sides of the border. Pakistan is created as a result of one party
wanting a state for people of a particular religion. Now, the Indian nationalist movement never
bought into that logic. It always claimed to be a movement of every
faith. Every religion. Every caste. Every language. Every colour and so on. And it never accepted the logic that because
Pakistan had been created as a state for Muslims that what we remained must necessarily be
a state for Hindus. In fact, the Indian nationalist movement explicitly
rejected that logic. And so it looks to its Muslim majority province,
I mean, districts and one state with pride as belonging and affirming the idea that religion
is not a valid determinant of nationhood. Religion, frankly, the kind of logic that
led to the creation of Pakistan would have been the kind of logic that would have been
considered disreputable to express in India. That speaking in the name of one faith or
one religion would have been seen as bigotry rather than as a national cause. So this is the fundamental problem that there
are two different logics at work. One seeing nationhood as an erring in faith. And the other seeing a large diverse nation
in which people of various backgrounds can overcome differences of caste. Of creed. Of colour. Of culture. Of cuisine. Of conviction. Of costume and of custom. And still rally around a consensus. And that consensus in a diverse country like
India is that you don’t really need to agree all the time. So long as you agree on the ground rules of
how you’ll disagree. That’s how we’ve been able to manage consensus
without consensus. How we’ve been able to preserve through our
democracy this astonishingly diverse land. And to us, therefore, the only way that works
is if everybody feels an equal ownership an equal stake. And, whereas, there have been secessionist
movements in other parts of India, they’ve been put you down through a very effective
combination of either law and order enforcement on the one hand. Or political cooperation on the other. So that yesterday’s rebels and secessionists
become political candidates today. Chief ministers tomorrow. And given the vagaries of democratic politics,
leaders of the opposition the day after tomorrow. That’s essentially the way it works everywhere
except in Kashmir. [ Multiple Speakers ] I, look I admire. Because we have a neighbouring state that
fuels it. I admire your enthusiasm and passion. I’m not sure we’re going to solve Kashmir
this afternoon. One repostand then we’re going
to move on. But my last point is coming back to your,
you know, where British denied the fair trials at that time when, you know, Indians and the
subcontinent were fighting for freedoms. So this is where I’m seeing that we can learn
a lot from history. And what is your take where we can give referendum
rights to Kashmir and give them a fair trial and let the. Sit down. [ Inaudible Comment ] We’ve dealt with that reasonably extensively. Number two. Sure you don’t want more? Talking earlier about an apology or maybe
a monument. With there being a conservative government
for at least the next four years in the UK, that’s probably not going to happen. What role does the Indian population in Britain
have to play in getting across these [inaudible] and what actually happened [inaudible]? Good question. First of all, you did notice that I didn’t
suggest the prime minister should come and apologise. Because I know she won’t. But I did suggest a member of the royal family. Because that’s the, I mean, the, we were the
jewel in their crown. So they may as well, you know, come and burnish
the jewel a little bit here. But as far as the Indian community in Britain,
I was struck by two contradictory phenomena during my many visits to the UK to promote
the UK edition of this book. The, for the first few months, the only pushback
and the only negative reviews I got were from the Indian Brits. In fact, I had a most amazing appearance at
the House of Lords where a British viscountess, title goes back 800 years, praised my book. And, you know, expressed a great deal of chagrin
as an Englishman. One of his ancestors had been a viceroy of
India. And an Indian peer who’s family had migrated
from Kenya or Uganda about 40 years ago spoke up passionately in defence of the British
Empire and all the good it had done. So there was that paradox to begin with. But subsequently I have noticed in my audiences
a rather significant number of Indian Brits feeling that in some ways this sort of is
a reminder and a validation of their place in British society. I was reminded of this wonderful photograph
I saw of a demonstration against the anti-immigrant speeches made by a certain conservative politician. There was a wonderful demonstration. And the demonstrators, black and brown Britains,
were holding up placards saying, we are here because you were there. And I think it’s something that. [ Applause ] It’s something the Brits need to be reminded
of from time to time. Come over here. Hi, in your book you talk about how, during
the height of colonialism, the British in India were outnumbered by natives at a ratio
of something like 2,000 to 1. And you say that Indian labour and soldiers
and commercial acumen was used to further the interest of empire across the globe. To what extent or how culpable are Indians
or were Indians in allowing that to happen and not throwing off those shackles within
200 years? And helping and aiding and abetting the spread
of colonialism from the [inaudible]?>>Very much culpable. Very much culpable. Indians were complicit in their own repression. They served the states that was oppressing
their people. They were very happy to betray each other
for personal advancement. I mean, there are lots of cases of this. The very first battle, the Battle of Plassey
that Clive won in 1777. He overthrew the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah. Who was betrayed in the battle by one of his
cousins and courtiers Mir Jafar. Who not only revealed battle plans to Clive. But also paid Clive off to put him on the
throne in place of his cousin. But ten years later Mir Jafar’s cousin and
courtier Mir Qasim comes along and pays the East India Company even more money to put
him on the throne in place of Mir Jafar. And ten years later Mir Jafar, having raised
more funds, comes back a third time and has his cousin displaced. I mean, this was, and it’s a worst-case scenario,
but this kind of thing happened a lot. Tipu Sultan, for example, who was one of the
few heroes that actually managed to win a couple of battles against the British. But then, when he was defeated, he retreated
to his impregnable fortress at Srirangapatnam, south of Mysore. And it was surrounded by a moat full of water
and crocodiles. And the besieging British army couldn’t get
in. There was nothing they could do. He had secret tunnels under the water that
were bringing him supplies. Food. Ammunition and so on. So he was actually entirely secure. How did the British manage to defeat him? Typical story. One of his aides betrayed him to the British. And when I went there with my kid, by revealing
the location of a gate under which, under the moat, through which the British soldiers
were able to come. And when I went there with my kids, one of
the tourist guides said to me. Sir, second Watergate, Washington. First Watergate, Srirangapatnam. They lifted the water gate to let the British
come in. So we did it to ourselves a great deal. And the British could not have ruled India
without Indian complicity. Without the comprador capitalists. And the native informants. And, frankly, the willing sepoys.>>We have a question over here.>>Hello. Thank you so much for your talk. I enjoyed it very much. I wanted to ask you a real quick question
about, you mentioned trade before in the past about trade now. And whether you think it is fair. Whether you think, I know that tech is very
strong in India right now. But a lot of it is just outsourcing. They don’t have much ownership. They’re just labour. A new form of labour, I feel. What your view is on the current-day kind
of oppression, whatever, the financial climate of India?>>Right. It’s a little more complicated than that in
the sense that there’s also high-end outsourcing going on. So you’ve got Boeing, for example, gets some
very sophisticated airline wing parts. [inaudible] being made by R and D outfits
in India. Philips has more R and D employees in India
than they have in the Netherlands. GE the same thing. Intel is expanding its research for print
in India. So there is high-end work taking place as
well. It’s not just the call centres, you know,
asking you to pay your credit card bills. Though, that’s there too. But the big worry is that a lot of what India’s
been doing well because of skilled human beings could well be taken away by artificial intelligence. So right now, for example, MRIs in Massachusetts
General Hospital in Boston are being read by trained radiologists in India. I’m told they’re now developing an artificial
intelligence software that will read those MRIs for free essentially in America. Medical transcription was a booming industry
in India. A doctor would dictate his notes at the end
of a day into a machine or a phone line. While he was asleep, a qualified Indian paramedic
would type them up with all the right vocabulary and so on. And when the doctor came in the next morning,
he would read this out. Now with voice recognition software and AI,
he may not need to do that anymore. He might have it done for him in his office. And so it goes. So India is more and more vulnerable to advances
in technology that may actually take our people out of their value-added in employment. Manufacturing is already, China seized the
opportunity at the right time. India was too late. India has gone in for this make-in-India campaign. But there’s a real worry that we will be asking
companies to make in India things that will not be made by human beings anywhere. Because robots will be doing it. So there’s that risk as well that’s facing
us. So there are some real challenges, absolutely
real challenges. As far as trade is concerned right now, we’re
not doing terribly well. But don’t forget that, you know, the days
when India and China accounted for 50 percent of global GDP are in any case not only over,
they’re never coming back. China has climbed up to about 16 percent of
global GDP. But it’s a long way down from its peak. Which I think at the most was 29 at one point. It’s not going to get there. I mean, the world is now a more complicated
place. More countries have prospered. So I would rather now start focussing, as
an Indian policy maker, on what we can do to ensure decent lives for our people. And worry less about percentages and complications
there. It was a relevant argument I believe in looking
at the historical experience. But today in policy terms, we just have to
help. Save. Feed. Employ. Educate people. That’s all. [ Multiple Speakers ]>>[inaudible] would that look like a form
of protectionism in policy?>>Well, at this stage there’s no real political
constituency protectionism. I often point out that, while people like
Mr. Modi, our present prime minister, I’m in the opposition. But Mr. Modi is very much part of this anti-globalised
elite cultural backlash. He is not an anti-globalisation backlash man. He wants to be Davos Man. He doesn’t want to knock down davos as say
Donald Trump does. There’s a difference there. But at the same time the prospects have to
be admitted, to be rather tough right now. He’s not heading towards protectionism. India is still looking towards more foreign
investment. More open markets. And I think so far the direction is very much
away from protectionism. But in the long term, everyone will have to
see what’s best for them. Driverless cars, they will be protectionism. If we get driverless cars in India, we throw
25 million people out of work the next day. That’s how many people are drivers, whose
only profession is driving. Some of those things we won’t do, but we love
to see [inaudible].>>We’ve got two minutes. So we’ll just ask for a quick question and
a quick response.>>Thank you very much, Dr. Tharoor. Very quick one. I wanted to go back to an issue that was raised
at the introduction. Which was the treatment of women in India
and the greater visibility globally around that unfortunately. And your views on the impact of colonialism
in terms of how women, how gender, how sexuality was viewed before British India and the consequences
of British India.>>Gender, I’m sorry to say India did not
have a. [ Applause ] India did not have a great record. There were a number of discriminatory practices
in regards to women. Though the great thing about India is the
paradoxes. There’s always been positive stories of women
rulers. Women warriors. Women conquerors. Women leaders of various sorts in various
fields. But the British by and large chose to leave
things alone as they saw it. And so some of the negative and social practices
continued. Except when you ask about sexual relations
and gender relations. There, of course, the British imposed Victorian
morality on a culture that had never practised it. So India, which famously, as our ancient texts
demonstrate, had had a very open attitude towards all sorts of human relationships. Including homosexual ones. Suddenly got saddled in the 19th century with
a Victorian Europe Penal Code that criminalised all sexual activity except in the missionary
position, as it were. And the result, I mean, it’s really not funny. Because the result now is that we have been
unable to shake off some of these laws. And it’s only now that a legal finding in
the supreme court suggests there might be a way to get rid of that particular punishment
from the statute book. But I do want to stress that this paradox
that I mentioned continues to the present. India has had the world’s first women doctors. It has had the world’s first women lawyers. The first lawyer to, a women to get a legal
degree in Oxford University was an Indian woman, Cornelia Sorabji. And when she studied law at Oxford, no women
had every studied law before. And when she graduated, they couldn’t give
her a degree because by tradition women were not allowed at the convocation ceremony. She had to wait 30 years to be given her degree
after graduating from Oxford in the 1860s. We had first women [inaudible]. The first woman pilots. And one of the first women heads of government. So women have had these opportunities. But at the same time at many, many parts social
ladder, women are being abused. Being discriminated against. Being essentially sold off as chattel. Having had dowry paid. All sorts of other negative things. The interesting thing is that Indian women
themselves are rising against these things. There are women’s movements across all fates. Against all castes. There are women lawyers organising female
construction workers. There are women organising other women. For example, against their salaries being
given to their husbands or their husband’s bank accounts. And policies have gradually changed, take
some of these things into account. More and more benefits are being given to
women directly in their accounts so they have some control over how it’s spent, government
funding. Things like this are changing for the better. It’s not an unrelieved negative picture as
sometimes foreign reporting can suggest. Yes, there is violence against women. But the rape statistics in India are actually
lower than those of any comparable western country per head. Of course, there’s some underreporting as
well. Women are often ashamed to go to the police. And police are often unwilling to record sexual
transgressions as crimes. These are things that still need to be fixed. But I do believe that consciousness has never
been higher right across Indian society. And if, as long as men and boys begin to understand
that there’s a problem here, that problem will start to disappear. [ Applause ]>>Ladies and gentlemen, we have run out of
time. So we’ll draw this quite extraordinary discussion
to a close. We’ve traversed a lot of territory. From driverless cars to the missionary position. We’ve rewritten Churchill’s biography. And I thought we made some fair headway on
Kashmir there for a while. So, look, thank you very much for your participation. And could I ask you to thank again Dr. Shashi
Tharoor.

100 thoughts on “Shashi Tharoor on what the British did to India | Antidote Festival at Sydney Opera House

  • Arye dortor sahab. If you hate English so much. Tho apni bhasa kyu bolte. Pura ka pura interview tho english main bol dala.. " If you hate and have problem with English people and their colonization why you don't speak hindi. You yourself love English language. Looks like you brain is also colonised forever. Sorry mate… hahha

  • This person has the truthfulness & guts to say while standing in front of a house full of British Citizens " You people are rich because of us"!!

    Respect !!!

  • And the British divided India into several parts, especially India and the two Pakistans which is presently the genesis of world's troubles.

  • the woman asking question doesn't know that they are a product of colonisation. she will of course pride the colonisation else they won't be celebrating any national day hahaha

  • No doubt the level of answering was fantastic still Sashi Tharoor negavity about make in India is highlighted.I disagree to the point he made that when make in India will start foreign companies investing in indian economic pursuits would be hiring robots instead of talented and skilled indians.If such things arise than the world employment would also be vulnerable at large.His point is refelection of his and his party's biasedness towards Modiji and BJP

  • Hindi belt bjp we don't need your 3rdclass langauge of Sharma 😅otherwise india will broke so stop ur propaganda on non hindi state

  • This guy is a oxymoron, talking of Britain etc. He does not want to address the present Indian
    critical issues and its problems. As he is a member of parliament he has not done any constructive work , even in his own district. He should be thrown out of parliament.

  • 1>I am a STAUNCH BJPite and am delighted with Dr SHASHI
    THAROOR's (except for his complicity in his wife's murder) book-The Inglorious
    Empire.

    2>INDIA is proud of both MODI and THAROOR and needs both
    of them.

    3>My only wish is that DR SHASHI THAROOR gets a bigger
    role in the MODI GOVT and plays a more important role in straightening out
    INDIA’s world affairs.

  • Shashi tharoor sir,I love to watch all your videos cos it is so refreshing me from all the past history from what I learned. Proud to have Indian like u sir. God bless u always

  • 1>How is the GANDHI PARIVAR any different from the
    BRITISH RAJ ? 2>Anything and everything they do is either aimed at  acquiring pecuniary gains for themselves or
    the promotion of their PARIVAR. 3>Doing anything for COMMON INDIANS is the
    last thing on their minds.

  • Us Indians gave Western Europe the concept of zero as a number, basic arithmetic (algorithmi), the decimal number system of today, differential calculus, sugar processing, crucible steel technology, yoga, spices, the list goes on, things that they based their very civilization on, and all their "technical accomplishments" that they seem so proud to throw in everybody's face.
    In turn, they gave us colonization and thievery.
    We don't owe them a goddam thing

  • Hypothetically, once India becomes super power..we can invade British surely they will be poor that time and give.them money but we can rule them…but only problem is we Indians don't like it…freedom is priceless… so even the enemy can have it…why not our invader….just told these because I want to tell you how it would be…no intention in doing it or we don't want any other country … our India is enough…..

  • I only want to ask this person one thing: "Where would you be if the British hadn't come to India?" I accept all his arguments, but I would like to ask him this question.

  • Oh the English are TOO modest. They should have blown the control over cricket from still, superstitious India, and declared TEST CRICKET A PRIVATE CULT. Where Beefy carried more character than the Mountbattens combined. Hope CHANDRA and BOSE get recognition in India some day!

  • Tharorji speaks better English than the English anchor. Those who pressed the dislike are the British themselves who broke their vocal cords, trying to speak like him 😂

  • A country doesn't need to be colonized for it to introduce education for its citizens. With time all the kingdoms and princely states would have come together and formed one single nation with providing it's citizens with good education. So the first line the host/anchor says is absolutely ridiculous. If Britishers would not have looted and colonized India "for their own benefit", we would have been the premier destination for education and research in the world given the rich history and culture of our nation.

  • Bharatha Khanda of Arya Varsha has been looted, raped and plundered ever since it fell into the maws of India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, and Srilanka. The colonial rapacity of the Indian Rapeublic has surpassed anything that the Moslems and the British brought to India

  • He starts to think where we decide to end our speech, We need a dictionary to understand some part of speech.

  • As far as I am concerned shashi is illiterate in India as he speaks on Angrezi . If he was intelligent he should learn hindi in India . He is a fake convert

  • Royal family of Britain must apologise to Indians! Britain Royals are enjoying the fruits of the past but forgetting the same!!

  • Mr. Taroor when you start a rant on "us" and "theirs" you ask the interviewer to remind you of the subject at hand. Such is the rusted spade of intolerance and lamentation. India evolved under British rule, and it is natural meaningful growth would be such that was of benefit to the the British too. Today's India has a culture that allows palaces for the rich and asbestos roofs for the poor. You complain about the British investment towards quality education for all, what have you done to better it since your freedom? ZILCH!! You complain of 35 million Indians having died due to famine in British India…..Ahem!… 25 million Indians STILL dye every year due to hunger. And the amputation of weavers thumbs is not backed by any evidence either. Please keep democracy separate from the evils of political mobilization as practiced in your India. You justify your actions by stating your voters need the system, but what is the point of a broken system? What can it's tenured representatives possibly deliver? You speak well, but you don't know your people, and if Gandhi had sought to impress with intellectualization versus "doing" you would still be in the British India you are so critical of; however you would be quite at home given your British accent.

  • Without the British Empire, today, India 'd be a vast Afghanistan (who famously repulsed the British): Muslim, technologically backward, or, at best, a quaint country where Hindus were living as dhimmis, paying the jaziya tax just to cling to the faith of their fathers. The Anglos were bad, what they replaced was worse. Empire was a "blessing in disguise": it was an exploitative institution, yes, but it was what planted in the Indian mind (as opposed to giving on a silver platter) the "ideas" of democracy, liberal education and so on. The very fact that one can openly criticize on British media, to a British audience, in the face of a British journalist the nefarious past deeds of Britain is proof of this. Will the day ever come when one would be able to hold up the mirror of Historic Crimes against Humanity to Mongol and Arab nations, on their own media, as (in addition to UK) one can do in USA and Germany?

  • As long as men and boys start to understand that there is a problem there the problem will start to disappear . I wish every boy who gets annoyed or angered by the word feminist would hear shashi say that.

  • Ben Dorothy is Wrong about BENEFITS…ABSOLUTELY WRONG…..!!!!!!
    IF ONES GOES DEEPER……..!!!
    ONE REF: DR. SANWEISS BOOK.

  • This man doesn’t seem to mention the barbaric slaughter of English women and children by Indians in the 1857 Mutiny. Well how strange, he seems to have forgotten that.

  • Someone like Shashi Tharoor being a "naukar" of Rahul Gandhi is detrimental for Indian democracy. He must be at the helm of affairs, not taking orders.

  • With all due respect, Turkish & Mugals rules 600 years in India before Britain – How come Dr Shashi & rest of India not asking reparations from them? Maybe India still got a chip on the shoulder with Turkish and Muslim thats why they messing around with pakistan since day first !!! in 2017 DR Shashi asking for reparation from Britain who actually give them freedom after 800 years. Britain has given hindus a freedom and let them make own country first time in 800 years. India should be thankful to them & stop acting as an unkind & self-centered nation !! Hopefully Kasmiries will ask for reparation from India soon but tht time India will be divided into 20 countries like USSR .. Jay Hind , Drink Cow muthar

  • Oh boy oh boy, isn't this a beautiful recommendation
    I would link but that probably gets deleted as spam, search "What the British Did To India: People's Veto" and take a listen if you enjoy statistics more than anecdotes

  • Britishers was ancient lootyans they were teach the world how to be reach without hard work .every houshold item of there houses belongs to mighty indian's swet😈

  • He is a charlatan and a liar. here is a rebuttal to his lies:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAXPIhnQocM&list=PLA3v-ne-tYM3R0ygiaxzthrKRkDx7eFb-&index=3&t=2178s The Raj was a golden age for India. The population tripled, literacy went from practically zero to 17%, production increased, life expectancy soared, infrastructure and administration spread throughout the entire sub-continent for the first time ever. The sub-continent was a collection of cruel feudal states constantly at war before the Raj and was left a functioning democracy. Tharoor's racist and envious criticisms do not stand up to scrutiny, all absurdly anecdotal in nature.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEX13GrLwqg&list=PLA3v-ne-tYM3R0ygiaxzthrKRkDx7eFb-&index=2&t=453s

  • all good except – reparation sounds platitudes – check here – for better argument – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDvNGAQhSYs

  • 22:21 am here after April 2019 for the jaliyanwala baug… did this apology happen? who else is here after April 2019 – give a shout out.

  • My sincere appreciations to the balance, knowledge and expression of Dr. Shashi Tharoor. Never been such a big fan of the encuclopedia that he personifies until I listened to this interaction.

  • I recall reading that the British forced India to buy locomotives from England at the time that India had the capability to build them in India.

  • The British pioneered "blowing from cannon" to set an example for others. They would tie the offender to the mouth of a cannon and fire it. See this painting at the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3c17473/

    They also used airpower to kill civilians on the ground. This they found was cheaper and more efficient. The U.S. learned this lesson and has been using it in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • As an antidote to the brainwashing we've been subjected to by those who control the narrative, download my FREE BOOKS at http://www.twf.org/Library/FREEbooks.pdf

  • Shashi Tharoor is the single most Congressi I really admire and respect.
    And i very much regret that He is not in bjp while we have people like Dilip Ghosh in my state(WB).

  • The britishers gained entry into India as traders and soon ravaged this nation… millions lost their lives and livelihood….. millions sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom movement to chase these Brits from our country….. the worst part is that our current govt institutions go around begging for foreign investments giving unbelievable benefits to these foreign entities to invest in India infact the similar route through which the britishers stepped foot in India… we are paving way for our destruction by inviting these soulless rascals by inviting them again…..

  • Christanity itself is not british or european its middle eastern. Christian monks where the first to start education in Britian and christanity itself is a copy of buddhism.

  • WHAT A POOR LOSER IS THIS ASSFACE SHASHI THAROOR ,THE INDIANS NEVER HAD IN THEIR HISTORY THE COUNTRY THAT THE HAVE TODAY ,INDIA IS A LEGACY OF BRITISH CONQUEST,BUT THE FACT THAT THE BRITISH CONQUER ALL THAT CULTURAL NOT POLITICAL ENTITY CALL INDIA DOESN'T GO WELL WITH THIS HINDU NATIONALIST,HE IS MAKING EXCUSES FOR THAT GUNGADIN INCOMPETENCE AND CORRUPTION WHICH VERY SPECIFIC TO THE SUBCONTINENT ,HE IS FALLING TO MENTION THAT THE BRITISH WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONQUER KINGDOM BY KINGDOM WITHOUT THE COOPERATION OF THEIR OWN INCOMPETENT AND CORRUPT LEADERS,A FEATURE WHICH HASN'T DISSAPEARED EVEN TODAY,EVEN TODAY THEY ARE STILL BLAMING THE BRITISH FOR THE STREET SHITTERS THEY ARE…

  • Not only the British lies to English but also other nations lie to their people about the evils of their own leaders. People should speak up demand for the truth, so the politicians cannot corrupt.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/LifeBlissFoundation pl watch
    https://www.youtube.com/user/LifeBlissFoundation pl watch
    https://www.youtube.com/user/LifeBlissFoundation pl watch

  • Really?? This generation of British people don’t know what they have done in India??
    British will pay the price for what they did on our land and to our people one day

  • I would like to request Mr. Tharoor to discuss about massacre done by Mughals !!!! That was more cruel and barbaric in comparison to Britishers!!!
    For Ur info: I'm Indian

  • Bravo Dr Tharoor, bravo! Please write more books and articles and give more talks to overwhelm that "FLATULENT voice of Victorian Imperialism – RUDYARD KIPLING" and that genocidal war criminal WINSTON CHURCHILL.

  • Slimey Limey! BritShit! Cowardly civilian killers !The world's first drug-dealers! They forced Indian farmers to grow opium which they then tried to force on China, leading to the Boxer Rebellion! They used drugs as a weapon, starvation and famine as weapons, enforced impoverishment and poverty as a weapon, and every filthy trick they could devise as a weapon, instead of fighting like "real men".They drove Aborigines off of cliffs, using guns, "gave" (pretending to be "kind hearted") small-pox laden blankets to American
    "Indians", even burnt alive Joan of Arc as a "witch" and killed many Boer women and children in Concentration camps ( though I have no love lost for the stinking Boer of South Africa).France is a true Democracy where the people revolt against injustice.The English are too cowardly to revolt against injustice, and the country is rife with a disgusting class system

  • Tahnk you. But what about the English absorbing so many words from the very many countries it took over inc the country of the above statesman enough to make the English a most wonderfully easy language for marketing knowledge and science to the world making England an invaluable asset to the world beyond imagination. But in India the local languages lost in a big way and got overshawdowed by the presence of Eglish for 300 years tbere. We were very conditioned and grew up loving the English language which preached all the values and when the folks left, nobody here ie majority and folks who took over management cared for us but bent only to take back everything that was loaned to the colonisers and we and parents got screwed. Apologies …for sounding like a gnawing gnat sitting on a bitter neem!!!!

  • KARMA will catch up with Great Britain for all the genocides and atrocities they have committed. Islam will take over Great Britain in few decades and they will treat them the same way you treated Indian's for 200 years.

  • Hate that Pakistani lady who just knows twisted history.. she could very well be an ISI agent.. may we ask how they got access to Pakistan’ occupied Kashmir when Kashmir belonged to Maharaja Hari Singh..?

  • As a Christian from the south, British did better for us than Portuguese, than Spain/French/Dutch did or would do in Kerala. Britain did not occupy South Kerala (Travencore), also part Dr. Shashi's brith place. Britiain did help stop the Islmaic conquests from Mysore, just in time Tippu Sultan was crossing the Periyar river for invasion of Travencore. The historical syrian Christians still celebrate the 8-day fast, when all the women and children were asked to gather in their churches and pray, while their men went to defend their homeland against Tipu's sultan invasion. Tipu apparently fell from his horse and his soldiers drowned in the Periyar River crossing, meanwhile, British forces from Madras attacked his HQ in Mysore. Tippu ran back to Mysore to save his palace and was later killed in the war. For most of India, Tippu is a hero/martyr fighitng the British, but for 2000 year old Christians and their tolerant HIndu Kings in South – Britiain was a real help. that is the nature of British India.. Overall Britain did help stop/contain the Islamic Conquest going further to east of India and South of India. But don't forget Britian did use Indian (mostly Madras Regiment) soldiers from the South to begin their conquest of Islamic India starting in Bengal and later the Sikhs and Nepaly Goorkhas to hold sway over very fractured Hindu land. Let's us give big credit to the Madras regiment and the people of Southern India (just as Shankaracharya again from south ) that kept India as a hindu nation today. Jai Hind. :-}

  • DR SASI THAROOR **MUST BE SELECTED AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF INDIA IN INTERNATIONAL FORUMS*****FORGET HIS POLITICAL ALLEGIANCE**

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