Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is known for his wordplay and grip over the language. Time and again, Tharoor has come up with some spectacular speeches that have made headlines. One fine example of that was his 2015 speech at the Oxford Union, where he fiercely debated why Britain owes India reparations. The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram was once again at his best while attending the Melbourne Writers Festivals 2017 in Australia. Tharoor who is also a well-known author didn’t hold back when he was asked if India has not benefited from the presence of British, especially while inculcating skills in the field of engineering, infrastructure and education.
This, being the subject of his book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India’, Tharoor wasn’t short of words. In response to the question, the Congress leader said, “All the Indian Institutes of Technology, the engineering achievements you’re talking about were established after Independence by the Government of India.” He added that under the Britishers, India suffered 200 years of exploitation.
“Over 200 years of exploitation, depredation, loot and destruction, reduced it to a poster child for third-world poverty, just over three percent of global GDP, 90% of the population living below the poverty-line when the British left in 1947,” Tharoor can be seen saying in the video that has gone viral on social media platforms.
This part of the video comes after 44:55 minutes. Watch the video here:
Tharoor categorically explained that contrary to some opinions, the presence of British in India did more harm than good and that the colonial empire incessantly looted and plundered one of the richest countries in the world for 200 years. He went to say that education was the last thing on the British colonialists’ minds and that they left India in ashes.