Career diplomat and former Indian minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor took part in a debate at the Oxford Union recently, arguing for the motion that put to the house whether Britain should pay reparations for its colonial excesses. The Thiruvananthapuram MP tore through the myths of any "benevolence" by British colonisers, and eloquently demolished the arguments routinely made to whitewash the excesses of the island nation's colonial past.
"British aid to India is 0.4 percent of India's GDP," said Tharoor. "The government of India actually spends more on fertiliser subsidies, which might be an appropriate metaphor for that argument."
At the debate, which Tharoor's side won by 185 to 56 votes, the 59-year-old former UN official unearthed a series of statistics to point India's financial decline due to Britain's ill-gotten gains. Read more.