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Inglorious Empire

Shashi Tharoor

In this blistering post-colonial reassessment, Shashi exposes the sins of an empire. Tracking the real story of the British in India - from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj.

Chaired by Ben Doherty.

In the Drama Theatre.

“It is a bit rich to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe a people for two hundred years, and then take credit for the fact that they are democratic at the end of it.”
Shashi Tharoor

See history with new eyes

In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's; by 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Politician and commentator Shashi Tharoor alleges starvation and destruction are colonialism's legacy.

British imperialism has been justified by claims of granting stability, democracy and, of course, cricket, but Shashi challenges this perspective. He believes these 'gifts', from railways to the rule of law, were imposed by the British in pure self-interest.

In this blistering post-colonial reassessment, Shashi exposes the sins of an empire.

Session Partner: University of New South Wales

More about Shashi Tharoor...

Shashi served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary-General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fifteen books, and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Shashi has a PhD from the Fletcher School, and was named by the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos as a 'Global Leader of Tomorrow'.

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