- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Hurst; 1 edition (September 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849048088
- ISBN-13: 978-1849048088
- Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
"Ferocious and astonishing. Essential for a Britain lost in sepia fantasies about its past, Inglorious Empire is history at its clearest and cutting best."--Ben Judah, author of This is London
"Rare indeed is it to come across history that is so readable and so persuasive."-- Amitav Ghosh
"Brilliant EL A searing indictment of the Raj and its impact on India. EL Required reading for all Anglophiles in former British colonies, and needs to be a textbook in Britain."-- Salil Tripathi, Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International, and author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent
About the Author
Shashi Tharoor served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fourteen previous books and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Writers' Prize. Tharoor has a PhD from the Fletcher School and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a Global Leader of Tomorrow.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
ST provides an expansive account of how India was plundered, impoverished as she already was. One example is the textile industry, which used to be a nation-wide cottage industry. The British refused to buy in British pound but from forced revenue extracted from Bengal, and largely paid with forced ‘revenues extracted from Bengal, and pushing [textile] prices even lower.
The British ‘drove Indians to agriculture beyond levels the land could sustain’. Indian rulers were compelled to pay for British protection at inflated costs – much like paying protection money to mobsters. Although it has often been said that the British brought stability and a fine administrative structure to India, ST provides a different perspective. For example, ST says, the Indian social structure was vastly different from that of British society, and he explains how the British gave Indians position but not power; and transformed their agrarian society into one of ‘tenants, employees, and bondsmen’.
The method chosen to maintain control was the famous ‘divide and rule’. In the breath-taking account in the chapter entitled ‘Divide et Impera’ ST examines the sinister motives of the British census, aimed not at the proper study of demographics but to enable the colonialist masters to divide and rule. The British, ST says, exploited religion and was the cause of Hindu-Muslim animosity. The decision in 1905 to partition Bengal into a Muslim sector is a prime example.
In the long shadow of the British Raj, resistance appeared, and naturally, the British did not take it kindly. ST quotes Winston Churchill on Mahatma Gandhi: ‘It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representatives of the Emperor-King’.
India in the 21st century is rising. Some of the harm done in colonial times may take a while to be undone, but India at least has its fate in its own hands. ST tells the story from an unknown source, in which the Prince of Wales in 1921, pointing to buildings and cars, said to an Indian, ‘We have given you everything here in India! What is it you don’t have?’ The Indian replied, ‘Self-respect, sir’.
Mr. Tharoor is being hypocritical here because he himself has benefitted TREMENDOUSLY disproportionately from all things related to the Empire. It is entirely unethical for him to write something like this. Love some of the other writing by Mr. Tharoor, but cannot condone this hypocrisy.
Why 2 stars instead of one? I was fascinated by the author's willful ignorance or, perhaps, cherry picked information. I wonder if he truly believes it.
PS: What would India look like today had their ben no British Raj? Can't know for sure, but my guess is that it would resemble sub-Saharan Africa where a plethora of tiny states are involved in perpetual war over religion, territorial disputes and etc. The fighting would be as 'dirty' as you can imagine, with ethnic cleansing running rampant. So thank the nearest Briton (not that anyone alive today had anything to do with it. For the record, I am 3rd generation Gaeltacht Irish (with Castilian and German in the mix) and so am not predisposed to Anglophilia.