Remember former Union Minister and author Shashi Tharoor’s 2015 speech at Oxford Union, where he fiercely debated why Britain owes India reparations? Well, the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has slayed it again. This time the idea that one of Britain’s biggest contributions to India was education.
Tharoor, who was part of Australian channel ABC News Q&A, was asked about the things the British gave back to India, in terms of engineering, manufacturing and administrative processes they left behind, and mainly “the rapid education of the Indian people of which you [Shashi Tharoor] are an excellent and outstanding example”.
But the former diplomat wasn’t one to take this lying down. This, being the subject of his book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India’, he responded succinctly, detailing how barren the country was when the British left.
In response to the question about engineering developments India has seen, Tharoor said, "All the Indian Institutes of Technology, the engineering achievements you're talking about were established after independence by the Government of India."
“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 responded, while talking about how the British plundered India.
In a scathing response to the part of the question about “the rapid education of the Indian people,” Tharoor said an American historian travelling in India in 1930 had pointed out the entire expenditure of the British on education in India from primary school to the highest universities was less than half that of the high school budget of New York.
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