Shashi Tharoor has always been vocal, and incredibly unflinching about his views on the damages caused to India by the British Empire. In the recently held Auckland Writers Festival, he was asked to recount a “true story” for a duration of 7 minutes.
He chose perhaps one of the most terrible events in Indian history—the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
The speech moved many, including a British man who came up to Tharoor and pressed a note into his hand.
When selected authors were invited to tell a 7-minute “true story” at the opening gala of the #aucklandwritersfestival, I told the story of Jallianwallah Bagh. An Englishman came up afterwards at the book signing and pressed this note into my hand. pic.twitter.com/TFBUc1GSqD
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 17, 2018
It read, “I am British born, and I am sorry.”
This isn’t the first time that Tharoor’s views have resonated with an audience. In fact, in a speech that went viral at the Oxford Union in 2015, Tharoor spoke in depth about the reparations owed to India. His book titled “An Era of Darkness”, examined the effects of the same. Additionally, he has frequently written columns for various publications highlighting the impact of the British Raj on India’s economy, politics, and state.
You can watch his speech below.
While the terrible events of the past are behind us, history invites us time and again to reflect on actions that must never be repeated. Therefore, an apology like this, even though delivered years later, still manages to touch the hearts of all who remember the lives lost during India’s freedom struggle.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)