Former UN under-secretary general and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday questioned why the British don’t teach their colonial history in schools.
Speaking to British television channel Channel 4 host Jon Snow, Tharoor said there is a “historical amnesia about what the empire entailed” and detailed how little Britain knew about the colonial atrocities.
Tharoor, who was speaking about his upcoming book ‘Inglorious Empire’, said British children from the new generation are not taught that their country financed the industrial revolution and its prosperity from the depredation of the empire.
“Britain financed its industrial revolution and its prosperity from the depredations of empire. Britain came to one of the richest countries in the world (India) in the early 18th century and reduced it, after 200 years of plunder, to one of the poorest,” he told Snow.
The Congress MP said current relations between India and Britain are about two sovereign nations that have come a long way with India’s economy now as big as Britain’s. But he insisted that there is a need to be aware about history. “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, how will you appreciate where you’re going,” he said.
Earlier in 2015, Tharoor had argued for reparations from Britain to its former colonies at the Oxford Union debate critiquing Britain’s role in India.