“If you don’t know where you come from, how will you appreciate where you are going?”
It is very important to learn history for this reason, if not for anything else. And that is what Shashi Tharoor put across in a powerful interview in the UK.
He questioned why even history students in England are NOT taught colonial history. He pointed out the fact that young people in England do not know of the atrocities the British committed during their occupation of India.
“CHILDREN DOING A-LEVELS IN HISTORY DON’T KNOW A SINGLE LINE OF COLONIAL HISTORY.”
He called this ‘historical amnesia’. This phenomenon seems to be a reason why most of the English feel that they ‘did us a favour’ by colonising us.
He went on to say that how British children today do not know about the atrocities their forefathers committed and the fact that Britain fueled its Industrial revolution by plundering India.
But, like a true gentleman, he clarified that this issue does not affect the relations the two countries have today.
Because the interviewer became very concerned and asked if this part of the history will ever affect the bilateral trade between the two countries.
“IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM, HOW WILL YOU APPRECIATE WHERE YOU ARE GOING?”
He did maintain that the history has to be taught to the young people so that they appreciate where they are going in the future.
It is surprising that Britain does not teach its young, colonial history. Maybe that is why the English still believe that colonising India was a good thing.
Watch the full video here –
Thank you, Mr. Tharoor, for pushing the envelope on this issue time and again. Even though we do not want any financial reparations, we deserve to know that the British at least realize the gravity of the atrocities they committed.