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ENTERTAINMENT/ ARTS/ LITERATURE => Books & Reviews => Topic started by: News on October 31, 2016, 08:51:54 AM

Title: Excerpt from Shashi Tharoor's new book, An Era of Darkness
Post by: News on October 31, 2016, 08:51:54 AM
Jewel in the crown: Excerpt from Shashi Tharoor's new book, An Era of Darkness

By Shashi Tharoor, Hindustan Times (
Updated: Oct 29, 2016 10:37 IST

I shall say one last time that, in laying out this case against British colonialism in India, I do not seek to blame the British for everything that is wrong in my country today, nor to justify some of the failures and deficiencies that undoubtedly still assail India. There is a statute of limitations on colonial wrongdoings, but none on human memory, especially living memory, for as I have pointed out there are still millions of Indians alive today who remember the iniquities of the British empire in India. History belongs in the past; but understanding it is the duty of the present…


So what do we do about colonialism, other than understand it? The issue of reparations, as I explained in the introduction, has been overblown: no accurate figure is payable and no payable figure is credible. My own suggestion of a symbolic pound a year may not be a practicable one to the finance ministries that would have to process it. An apology—an act of genuine contrition at Jallianwala Bagh, like Trudeau’s over Komagata Maru, might work best as a significant gesture of atonement. And a determination, in the metropolitan country, to learn the lessons of Empire—to teach British schoolchildren what built their homeland, just as German children are shepherded to concentration camps to see the awful reality of what their forefathers did.

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'An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India' by Shashi Tharoor (