The coveted Oxford Union Debates discussed the old, yet pressing question based on morality, Why Britain Owes Reparation to Her Former Colonies. Read more to discover Dr. Shashi Tharoor defend India while brilliantly concluding why the case is indeed true.
The question of whether the British got off easy after handling India in such a high handed manner for 150 years, implications of it being – the Nation struggles economically even as of today, has always aroused the curiosity of the staunchest critics. The British all along have made claims that these were just desperate attempts to colonize and democratize India. However, at the Oxford Union debates recently, representatives from previously colonized countries, argued why the British owe Nations it attempted to ‘colonize’ reparations. Representing India, Dr. Shashi Tharoor made a brilliant argument to support the need for the British Empire to offer an apology for their immolating behavior as invaders.
The former Under Secretary of the United Nations, Tharoor argued, “Its a bit rich to oppress, enslave, kill, torture, maim people for 200 years and then celebrate the fact that they’re democratic at the end of it. We were denied democracy so we had to snatch it — seize it from you. With the greatest of reluctance it as conceded, in India’s case after a 150 years of British rule, and that too with limited franchise.” He further emphasized the importance and nature of reparations the people of these countries seek and deserve, ” The fact is very simply Sir that we are not talking about reparations as a tool to empower anybody, they are a tool for you to atone for the wrongs that have been done. And I am quite prepared to accept the proposition that you cant evaluate, put a monetary sum on the kinds of horrors people have suffered. Certainly no amount of money can expiate the loss of a loved one . . . but the principle is what matters. The fact is that to blithely of sacrifices on both sides . . . that is not an acceptable argument.”
He offers several analogies in the 15 minute long speech to justify his stance, making the opposition look foolish for attempting to deny the wrongs of the British army as they set out to conquer empires, rendering them penniless in their bid to become the strongest empire in the world. Watch the complete video of the Dr. Tharoor’s speech on British rule below.