Author and parliamental leader Shashi Tharoor gave a riveting speech at Oxford University recently, calling for acknowledgement and action concerning the British Empire's damage to India during the 200-year colonial rule.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has endorsed this statement, calling it brilliant and saying, “Tharoor’s speech reflected the feelings of patriotic Indians on the issue and showed what impression one can leave with effective arguments by saying the right things at the right place."

Tharoor states that “Britain’s rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India … We paid for our own oppression … It’s a bit rich to impress, maim, kill, torture and repress and then celebrate democracy at the end of it.”

Minhaz Merchant, a publisher and columnist calculated that Britain would owe India close to three trillion dollars in reparations, adjusted for inflation.



 India officially became a British colony in 1858, after the British crown took control of India from the East India Company. British involvement with India began in the 18th century through trade.

 In 1943, a deadly yet preventable famine killed 3 million people in the Bengal region of India. 

 The Indian Independence Act was signed in August 1947.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons