Shashi Tharoor, the congress MP and erudite speaker, recently schooled a British interviewer on India’s contribution to the colonial empire. Tharoor was giving an interview on Sky News when the interviewer asked him about the ‘trickle down of the repatriation of the funds to the UK’.
However, Tharoor was quick to counter the interviewer on the term ‘trickle’ being used by him and told that it was ‘not just a trickle’ but vast sums of money that were sent to the UK. He, however, added that he was not there to talk about the monetary aspect but the ‘moral case’. “What really matters is for Britain to look within and to recognise that there is something to be apologetic about,” the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said.
Referring to how Justin Trudeau – the current prime minister of Canada – tendered an apology to India over an old incident when Canada turned away a ship full of Indian migrants fleeing the British from the Vancouver port more than 100 years ago that resulted in their death despite the fact that the ‘Canadians didn’t kill anybody themselves’, Tharoor said, adding, “To my mind, I think, just taking collective responsibility is a moral step that the British have simply not contemplated even after 200 years of profiting from their empire.”
Speaking vociferously, the diplomat who spent 29 years at the United Nations, added, “Do you know that a million Indians fought unarmed for the British side? Do you know that it was largely Indian soldiers who stopped the German advance in Ypres in the beginning of the war? Do you know India supplied pack animals, food, clothing, rations and rail lines ripped out of the ground in India and sent off to aid the war effort? And that the total contribution of Indians in cash and kind is estimated, in today’s money, at about £80 billion. I am quite sure you don’t know that. Because the British don’t tell you that.”
A big critic of the British empire in India, Tharoor has also penned down a book named ‘Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India’ recently where he has done a bold reassessment of the colonial era in India.
Meanwhile, zillions of people are lauding Tharoor for speaking the truth in the interview. While it was quite natural to draw support from the Indians, many foreigners have also praised the MP for his audacity and knowledge.
Check out some of the reactions.
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