Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Seeking reparations – the Shashi Tharoor way!

Reading Time: 3 minutesWhy SHASHI THAROOR’s viral video is a much needed vision of Modern India for the rest of the world

It is not often that a video of an Indian politician trends on social media for a ‘good’ reason. So when I heard about this 15 minute clip going viral on the internet, I decided to take a peek. Like most other people who have a patriotic bone for India in their body, I absolutely relished the video.
The politician featuring in this clip is Dr Shashi Tharoor. A diplomat, a writer, a former Minister, and a current Member of Parliament of India. The video is of his speech at a debate organised recently by the prestigious Oxford Union in England. In his speech, Dr Tharoor emphatically asserts his opinion that Britain must pay reparations to India, and all its other former colonies, for the oppression unleashed upon them during its extended imperial rule.
Tharoor is no stranger to a controversy. But for a day, leave aside the alleged irregularities of his personal life, and just savour him speaking as a citizen of the much touted “Modern India”. Here he is the kind of Indian that so many of us desperately aspire to see more of, more often. Especially in the political circles of the country.
No fluffy slogans, no throw-away lines, and no hollow remarks. Rather, he relies on a potent blend of intellect, passion, and old-fashioned confidence to run home a debate on behalf of every single citizen of India. He doesn’t play victim, or portray India in that vein. At no stage does he endeavour to inflame emotions, yet Tharoor manages to leave you with goose bumps.

He acknowledges the history of imperial rule for what it is and then gradually peels it away, one layer at a time, exposing the ulterior elements of colonialism that held back India for almost two centuries. And then, as he closes off his engaging arguments, he seeks some pragmatic reparations to move on from the scars of the past. He does not demand a monetary ransom disguised as an apology. Just a heart-felt acknowledgement of the oppression suffered by the people of India in those times.
Not for a minute does Tharoor come across as flustered or out of his depth, in relation to the subject of the debate and the facts associated with it. His arguments are rational, succinct, and articulate. Dripping with healthy doses of passion and sarcasm. For the 15 minutes that he speaks, he justifies the charisma that is often associated with this former United Nations diplomat.
The debate is done. Dr Tharoor put forward a sound voice of reason on behalf of India, but in the end, it was just a debate. One does not expect much to come out of it. But hopefully, this will project a rightful image of a “Modern Indian” to the rest of the world. An Indian who is educated, aware, and most importantly, empowered.
And as for Dr Shashi Tharoor. Well, you nailed it, Sir, with your oration. But here’s a question I have for you. Do you intend to show similar conviction and passion and seek reparations from your colleagues in the modern Indian political fraternity, for the oppression and looting over the past 60 odd years?

Previous articleRising from the rubble
Next articleBlessed beginning
Avatar
Sanam Sharma
A typical middle class guy who is abundantly opinionated, moderately flawed, and adequately grounded

Related Articles

US Elections 2020: Trump is finally the ‘chosen one’

Donald Trump has long anointed himself as the saviour of America’s working class, a messiah sent by some higher power. Over the years, Trump...

The tyranny of a distanced Diwali

  An Australian classic by well-known historian Geoffrey Blainey uses the phrase, “the tyranny of distance” to describe how distance and isolation has shaped Australia’s...

Tanishq ad: a time to stand together

A modern, progressive secular country that "wears" its traditions proudly, that is what the Tanishq ad said to me. Eight years ago Tanishq made a...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

0
To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

0
  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

mehul choksi, vijay mallya, lalit modi, nirav modi

India has caught only 2 of 72 fugitive scamsters in 5...

0
  In a candid admission, the Centre has stated that of the 72 absconding economic offenders, the government has managed to bring in only two...
India Tour of Australia dates

Ind V Aus fixtures: Matches begin this weekend

0
The upcoming months promise an exciting season for cricket with three series – the Vodafone Test series, Dettol ODI series, and Dettol Twenty20 International...
delhi crime netflix wins international emmy

‘Delhi Crime’ becomes first Indian show to win International Emmy

0
  Web series Delhi Crime has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards, held virtually this year owing to the...
india ayurveda surgery

Indian medics condemn move allowing Ayurveda docs to perform surgery

0
  The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly condemned the recent move by the Central government which will allow post-graduate scholars of Ayurveda to formally...
Mala Adiga policy director

Biden appoints Mala Adiga as Policy Director for next First Lady

0
  Joe Biden, who will become the United States' President in January, has appointed Indian-American Mala Adiga to be the Policy Director for the next...