Please watch this. Shashi Tharoor is absolutely right – the facts of the of empire need to be known. When I wrote Sculpting the Elephant set in Oxford and India , I wanted the historical subplot to be honest about the Raj but that my maverick Victorian Bartholomew Carew, like many Brits who went to India believing the civilising myths , had his eyes open to the truth. The institution was exploitative but many individuals who worked in India were sincere. I have just read an account of the Quaker Ambulance Service on WW2 working in China and India- they were resilient and selfless.
We need this discussion. We need honesty but the tone of that discussion I hope will be more like in Sculpting the Elephant – in a manner that promotes awareness and empathy not prejudice and hate.The Madras Courier published my Indian family’s experience of Partition. The hurried and badly thought out Partition was callous beyond belief. We made the decision to bring forward independence by a year and didn’t deploy the Indian Army to facilitate partition in an ordered manner. Because of the way we handled Kashmir in the process it has blighted relations between India and Pakistan ever since.