his explosive new book, A Long Darkness: e British Empire in India. SHASHI THAROOR is the bestselling author of fteen previous books. How do I get Shashi Tharoor books? 2, Views · What are the opinions of people from India and Britain alike on Shashi Tharoor's 'An Inglorious Empire'?. Shashi Tharoor whose brilliance enchanted over 3 million people on an Oxford Union debate continues in the same vein in his new book.
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Shashi Tharoor is the prize-winning author of ten books, both fiction and non- fiction, and a widely published critic, commentator and columnist (including for The. Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining. Shashi Tharoor, "An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India" book review and overall argument render Tharoor's book a formidable read, at times Tharoor .
The Looting of India 2. Divide Et Impera 5. The Myth of Enlightened Despotism 6. The Remaining Case for Empire 7. A welcome antidote to the nauseating righteousness and condescension pedalled by Niall Ferguson in his book Empire. Indians are not the only ones who need reminding that empire has a lot to answer for.
One is left with the sad feeling that some Englishman was rude to Tharoor in a railway carriage. Almost all the ills of the Indian sub-continent, past and present, are laid at the door of British colonialism, including the dismal failure of his own Congress Party to develop his country in the seventy years since independence.
How much better, he postulates, had the Marathas, the roving bands of Indian marauders who laid waste and terrorized central and northern India in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, been left to rule the land. Forster, according to Tharoor, possesses a stultifying and limited vision, which never arises [sic] above the mystery and the muddle that this well-intentioned Englishman saw India as. This is a tendentious and unfair interpretation revealing only the little that Tharoor understands of the novel.
A glaring instance of this is where Tharoor utterly misses the point of a famous passage from the novel which he cites at length. The two protagonists, the Englishman Fielding and his Indian friend Dr.
Aziz, part. As his popular historian opponents have done, Tharoor has made his case by citing evidence that backs up only one side of the argument, and his book is neither a real study of the effects of British colonialism, nor a full account of the past.
As a guide to the future it has no value. As he points out, "my concern is principally with tomorrow, not yesterday. Beautifully written and engaging, like his previous books, Tharoor manages to tell a fluid story without omitting the many complexities that make the topic so interesting.
Those familiar with Tharoor's writings and speeches will recognize several parts of the text - hence the conversational tone of Pax Indica. Tharoor's brief historical review is interesting because it reflects a near-consensus among foreign policy thinkers that Nehru was right to opt for non-alignment, contrary to most Western thinkers who often misunderstand the strong legacy of the struggle for independence and the complex geopolitical constraints India faced at the time.
His chapter on India-Pakistan relations, entitled "Brother Enemy", focuses almost entirely on the Islamist terrorist attacks in Mumbai in - a reminder of how much of a setback the attacks have been for the bilateral relationship. Yet it also contains a series of concrete proposals - such as unilaterally accelerating the process of issuing multiple-entry visas to Pakistanis.
With regard to India's regional policy, the author rightly points out that India's global ambitions depend on its capacity to convince its neighbors that India's rise is an opportunity for them, not a threat. The author is at his best in the chapter on India's relations with the Arab World, mixing historic details with personal anecdotes and his vision of what can be done to strengthen ties.
Notably, Tharoor dedicates part of the chapter 'unchartered territories' to Latin America, lauding Brazil's President Lula's attempts to strengthen relations between emerging powers.
Yet he also adds a cautionary note: "South-South cooperation is all very well, but national interests must inevitably prevail.
Arguing that India's foreign policy is open to change, he writes that the post-colonial chip has fallen off our shoulder, New Delhi can now afford to look at the globe from a position of authority.