“The ability to acknowledge a wrong that has been done, to simply say sorry, will go a far long way”. Dr. Shashi Tharoor ended his hefty speech in the Oxford Union among a roar of claps. The video instantly went viral, so did the question. Does Britain owe reparations to her colonies?
His words were guided by his passion for letting everyone know that an apology by the Empire can go a long way. No stones were left unturned in his arguments. 150 years of colonialism brought global Indian economy from a whopping 23% to just 4%. Millions died in famines and wars. Property looted and resources snatched away. The British Empire tore our wings and fed on our gold. Not only did we pay for our own oppression but we fought for them too.
The whole essence of his argument was proving that reparations were owed. He blithely quoted that the principle of reparations wasn’t a new thing and that that it had been seen. Citing examples from history like Germany’s reparation to Poland, Italy’s to Libya, Japan’s to Korea. And lastly reminding Britain’s reparations to the New Zealand Maoris.
Following his debate, now Shashi Tharoor has shared a petition initiated by his London-based nephew Avinash Tharoor seeking British apology. For the British authority to even consider discussing an apology, this petition needs a signature from 100000 UK citizens. If so happens and they do decide to honor us with an apology, it would be a historic movement for India, which still hasn’t fully recovered from the loss and destruction caused by the colonial rule.
In support of this ardent patriotic cause, Tharoor tweeted about this petition validating his full support for above. Now that the opportunity has come, fellow Indians are called upon to show their support. If a tenth of Britons of Indian ethnicity signs this petition, we could hope for the martyred golden bird to be honored.