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Shashi Tharoor Asks Britain Why They Don't Teach Schoolchildren Colonial History

"Historical amnesia."

06/03/2017 11:25 AM IST | Updated 06/03/2017 12:51 PM IST
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India can hardly forget its colonial past and the havoc colonialism wreaked upon the inhabitants of the subcontinent for two long centuries. Britain on the other hand seems eager to airbrush from its history books, the effects its colonial adventures on the imperial colonies. It turns out that schools in Britain do not teach students about colonialism and its impact.

Speaking to Channel 4 News host Jon Snow, Indian politician, author and former senior UN bureaucrat, Shashi Tharoor wondered just why British school-goers were not being taught about colonial history.

Tharoor, who is in the Congress party and is a member of the Lok Sabha, was speaking about his new book, 'Inglorious Empire'. He called the selective portrayal of Britain's colonial past, "historical amnesia".

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"There's no real awareness of the atrocities," he said on the show. "The fact that 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."

When Snow asked Tharoor that if he is going to hold on to the past, he replied, "I don't think this is about today's relations, which are between two sovereign, equal countries, Jon."

You can watch Channel 4 News' viral video here:

This is not the first time that Tharoor has spoken critically about Britain's role as a coloniser. In a video that went viral in 2015, he can be seen debating and asking Britain to make amends for all the wrongs it had done in the past.

The Channel 4 News video concludes with Tharoor saying, "But I think we need to be aware of history because, as I often say to young people, 'If you don't know where you've come from, how will you appreciate where you're going?'"

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