Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think? – India Real Time – WSJ

Should Britain pay reparations to its former colonies, including India? An articulation of why the former holder of empire should make amends, or at least say sorry, for two centuries of colonial rule, has sent a video of Indian law maker Shashi Tharoor viral and opened up a debate in India.

In a 15 minute speech given during a debate at the Oxford Union in the U.K., telegenic and floppy-haired Mr. Tharoor, who is a former foreign minister and a onetime under-secretary-general at the United Nations, argued that “Britain’s rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.”

Speaking in favor of the motion, the opposition Congress party politician said that India’s share of the world economy when the British arrived was 23% but by the time they left it had slipped to 4% because “India had been governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain’s rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.”

“In fact, Britain’s industrial revolution was actually premised upon the de-industrialization of India,” he added.

The YouTube clip of the Congress politician’s oration has been watched more than 1.5 million times since it was uploaded last week, making it one of the most-viewed clips from the Oxford Union, a prestigious debate chamber at the University of Oxford.

A video of Jack Gleeson, an actor explaining to the chamber why he left the Game of Thrones, has over two million views as does one of Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, impersonating Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Others to have appeared at in the red-walled debate chamber in the recent past include Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, former U.S. Senator John Edwards, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and onetime South African President F.W. De Klerk.

Indian social media lit up with praise for Mr. Tharoor’s eloquence and ability to take on the British establishment: Opposing speakers in the debate included Sir Richard Ottaway, a politician with the United Kingdom’s right-wing Conservative party.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who belongs to Congress’s rival the Bharatiya Janata Party, praised Mr. Tharoor for the speech.

via Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think? – India Real Time – WSJ.

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3 Comments to “Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think? – India Real Time – WSJ”

  1. Charles–Thanks for your comments.
    Well, if you are not in favour of historical apologies, then either the matter is closed or leave the things as they are!

    “Accepting the principle that reparation are owed” is to amend the records and move on.

    With respect to the other cases/events quoted in your comments, I would not even attempt to pass my judgement/views because my knowledge is too poor in the historical events your referred to.

    PS. When Mr Modi visits UK , perhaps the media will ignite this issue again, wait and see!

    Like

  2. Should Britain Pay Reparations to India? Shashi Tharoor Says Yes, Narendra Modi Praises Him, What Do You Think?

    As an Indian citizen and now permanently settled in U. K. I have read the above with interest.

    I have heard Mr Tharoor’s presentation at Oxford Union debate with interest. (I recommend)

    Also, in today’s Telegraph Newspaper headlines “Modi backs call for Britain to pay reparations over the Raj” provides a good reading!

    A couple of points are worth noting:
    “Britain rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations of India”

    Mr Tharoor who once served an Under-Secretary-general of the United Nations told the audience at Oxford Union
    We paid for our own oppression, It’s bit rich to oppress, maim, kill, torture and repress and then celebrate democracy at the end of it”

    i agree with what has been said and especially what Mr Tharoor said “what is required is accepting the principle that reparation are owed”

    I understand that Mr Modi is due to travel to Britain later this year, in the meantime, the media will be busy in arguing about the subject matter!

    However, no prices for guessing, my view is YES. (After all blood is thicker than water)

    I would like to hear from others.

    Jai Hind

    Like

    • Ramesh – personally I’m not in favour of historical apologies. How far do we go back?

      Should Normandy apologies to England, or even the Saxons and Romans. And where are the Aryans who should apologies to the Dravidians and the Moghuls to apologise to the ‘native’ Indians

      Like

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