By Abhishek Saha, Hindustan Times
Updated: July 23, 2015
At a recent debate on the British colonisation of India in Oxford, Congress MP and writer Shashi Tharoor brilliantly argued why Britain owes reparations for its exploitation of the subcontinent.
The video of the debate, held on May 28 by the Oxford Union, went viral on social media in the past few days.
The motion for the debate was: “This House Believes Britain Owes Reparations to her Former Colonies” and Tharoor, along with eminent speakers from Ghana and Jamaica, spoke in favour of it. British and American intellectuals spoke in opposition.
Tharoor’s speech was widely appreciated in India because of the succinctness with which he illustrate how and why colonial rule exploited the subcontinent, and how violence and racism were the order of those days.
“It’s a bit rich to oppress, enslave, kill, torture, maim people for 200 years and then celebrate the fact that they are democratic at the end of it. We were denied democracy, so we had to snatch it, seize it from you,” he said to loud applause from the audience.
What’s unmistakable in Tharoor’s speech, though, is his sense of humour.
Sample this, “The Sun couldn’t set on the British empire, because even God couldn’t trust the English in the dark.”
Also, Tharoor argues against the opposition's arguments in a compelling manner.
Talking about railways in India, a development often described as a 'gift by the British', Tharoor said, "Roads and railways were built to serve British interests in India."
He added that many countries in the world have got roads and railways built without being colonised.
While the social media conversation on the speech has been mostly positive, some said that the same point had been made by others earlier. Full Article : hindustantimes.com