Historical amnesia. That was the buzzword that ended up making the rounds all across social media after author and politician, Shashi Tharoor went on a news show in Britain and spoke about the “historical amnesia” suffered by a large portion of people regarding the harmful effects British imperialism had on nations the Empire had colonised.
During his interview to Channel News 4 with host Jon Snow, Tharoor said Britons themselves were largely unaware of what the British Empire did to gain control of the nations they ruled.
He noted that Britain didn’t actually teach colonial history in schools, and one of the reasons for this was “amnesia.”
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) March 3, 2017
During his interview he said, “Britain financed its industrial revolution and its prosperity from the depredations of empire. The fact that 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.”
While Indians applauded the writer for candour, surprisingly, people who had themselves studied in Britain took to Twitter to agree with Tharoor.
— Morag (@DrMoragKerr) March 4, 2017
— HarpreetKhara (@HarpreetKhara) March 3, 2017
@HarpreetKhara I only learnt about Empire via an English Literature degree & the info my Dad would tell me about Ghana before independence
— SBrobbey (@SBrobbey78) March 4, 2017
— Sam Care (@imsamcare) March 3, 2017
— Matthew Dartford (@MushroomgodMat) March 4, 2017
This isn’t the first time Tharoor has spoken against the actions of Britain during the colonial rule. In 2015, a video of him making a case for reparation owed to India by the British at Oxford University went viral and was widely appreciated across the country.