Inglorious Empire

Old Apr 12th 2020, 5:00 pm
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Default Inglorious Empire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inglorious_Empire

Listening to this as an audiobook. A reminder of the Infamies of Imperialism.
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Old Apr 12th 2020, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inglorious_Empire

Listening to this as an audiobook. A reminder of the Infamies of Imperialism.
So many books have been written about the 'Empire'-----Shashi Tharoor is somewhat 'inglorious' also!! Desperately needed money when he wrote the book.
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Old Apr 12th 2020, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

But most people in these islands are quite unaware of the Infamies of Empire - in India and elsewhere.
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Old Apr 19th 2020, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

You can't judge things that happened centuries ago by the norms of today. All empires were brutal: the Mughal Empire, which the British replaced in India, was much worse (particularly to the majority non-Muslims). And then there were such little matters as banning sati, the burning of widows alive on their husband's funeral pyre, and the creation of the railway system. Of course certain people just enjoy criticising the West and pretending everyone else sat around making daisy chains and singing kumbaya till the terrible white man showed up.
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Old Apr 20th 2020, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Its not just the railways and architectural structures that the Raj left behind but the system of government and the rule of law, the civil service and the armed servies and schools & Colleges are the real and benefits that have stood the tests of time.You can cite famines and massacres and blame the British to high heaven for any number of crimes committed but the foundations of modern India were laid down during the Raj period, not during the days of The East India Company. They are still as strong today as when they were first formulated over a hundred years ago.
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Old Apr 20th 2020, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by prestonjohn View Post
Its not just the railways and architectural structures that the Raj left behind but the system of government and the rule of law, the civil service and the armed servies and schools & Colleges are the real and benefits that have stood the tests of time.You can cite famines and massacres and blame the British to high heaven for any number of crimes committed but the foundations of modern India were laid down during the Raj period, not during the days of The East India Company. They are still as strong today as when they were first formulated over a hundred years ago.
This is a topic that could be discussed for 'ever'-----As Tharoor has said India was one of the world's wealthiest areas but when the British left the poorest, with low literacy, no health system for the poor etc etc.
The rail system was built for the British themselves, it is totally different now.
Yes it was not all bad ----those with a background of previous education did better and the political system has remained similar for the most part. (Still going through British laws needing to be repealed!!)
The schools and colleges are totally different from those of the British time.
Remember the history of India one of the earliest learned civilisations, people were living sophisticated lives when the British were still in caves!!
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Old Apr 20th 2020, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 View Post
You can't judge things that happened centuries ago by the norms of today. All empires were brutal: the Mughal Empire, which the British replaced in India, was much worse (particularly to the majority non-Muslims). And then there were such little matters as banning sati, the burning of widows alive on their husband's funeral pyre, and the creation of the railway system. Of course certain people just enjoy criticising the West and pretending everyone else sat around making daisy chains and singing kumbaya till the terrible white man showed up.
The Mughal Empire was not all bad. The Emperors varied and unlike the British the Mughals intermarried with locals and the countries wealth remained in India not shipped of to a country on the other side of the world via taxation.
Emperor Ashoka is still revered today (on the flag).
Always people bring up sati----it was terrible yes just took place in certain remote areas.
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Old Apr 20th 2020, 2:02 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Those Brits who venerate the Empire are unlikely to read this book. They should. It might give them some perspective
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Old Apr 21st 2020, 9:27 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...ional_Congress

Returning to this theme and refreshing my memory on History.
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Old Apr 21st 2020, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inglorious_Empire

Listening to this as an audiobook. A reminder of the Infamies of Imperialism.
The author is hardly a Historian and there so are so many inaccuracies and overt bias behind his supposed 'conclusions' the book is virtually worthless for a serious analysis- I have read it cover to cover.

His comments about India's proportion of the world's economy in 1700 could equally be applied to China, and both countries hardly had the foundation the West had for industrial revolutions.His rather bizarre idea that the Empire accounted most of the economic productivity growth in the UK in the 19th century, or even the majority of profits Britain derived from overseas trade and investment is simply sheer economic ignorance. I am always amazed such drivel is taken seriously.

One can debate the numerous advantages or disadvantages of British rule, but the sort of nonsense of this author hardly grounds for rational debate.



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Old Apr 21st 2020, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by Elgin1983 View Post
You can't judge things that happened centuries ago by the norms of today. All empires were brutal: the Mughal Empire, which the British replaced in India, was much worse (particularly to the majority non-Muslims). And then there were such little matters as banning sati, the burning of widows alive on their husband's funeral pyre, and the creation of the railway system. Of course certain people just enjoy criticising the West and pretending everyone else sat around making daisy chains and singing kumbaya till the terrible white man showed up.
Criticising the West is so politically correct all reason or logic or objectivity gets thrown out the window. If one looks throughout Asia, whether former colonies or independent nations, or what the situation was before the West arrived, the situation is much more complex. Yet one can make almost any unsubstantiated assertion such as in the book referred to,and without much thought accepted by many.

Throughout the 19th century the bulk of British foreign investment and foreign profits came from outside colonies such as India, whether outside the Empire such as the USA or Argentina, or if within the Empire settler colonies such as Australia or Canada.

Would India have done better if not colonized ? An interesting question- one would assume one would look at the factors behind the industrial revolution, whether a university system with advanced pure research and a commercial system that provided incentive and means to commercialize scientific advances,geographic/climate/cultural differences, and numerous other factors. ,Such 'what if' questions interesting, but should have some sort of logic applied.

India has been invaded throughout its history, the British were not the first. There were definite advantages the British brought to India, and also one can identify some disadvantages with the oft cited example of the effect on the local textile industry.There has been much criticism of British handling of famines in the 19th century India ( let alone during World War II) as well. I am unsure that the Mughal Empire represents a high level of efficiency in its declining years to assume they would have done better.On taxation certainly one would want to consider hard statistics though the bulk certainly stayed in India just the nature of the elite changed, and certainly distinct differences between policies of the East India Company and the British Raj.

India certainly in the 50's,60's and 70's responsible for the continued massive poverty- yet in recent decades especially under the current government economic growth has greatly accelerated, yet with hundreds of millions in dire poverty and by some social statistics India is behind countries such as Indonesia or the Philippines. But trying to blame the British easier than taking responsibility for their own actions.
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Old Apr 21st 2020, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
Criticising the West is so politically correct all reason or logic or objectivity gets thrown out the window. If one looks throughout Asia, whether former colonies or independent nations, or what the situation was before the West arrived, the situation is much more complex. Yet one can make almost any unsubstantiated assertion such as in the book referred to,and without much thought accepted by many.

Throughout the 19th century the bulk of British foreign investment and foreign profits came from outside colonies such as India, whether outside the Empire such as the USA or Argentina, or if within the Empire settler colonies such as Australia or Canada.

Would India have done better if not colonized ? An interesting question- one would assume one would look at the factors behind the industrial revolution, whether a university system with advanced pure research and a commercial system that provided incentive and means to commercialize scientific advances,geographic/climate/cultural differences, and numerous other factors. ,Such 'what if' questions interesting, but should have some sort of logic applied.

India has been invaded throughout its history, the British were not the first. There were definite advantages the British brought to India, and also one can identify some disadvantages with the oft cited example of the effect on the local textile industry.There has been much criticism of British handling of famines in the 19th century India ( let alone during World War II) as well. I am unsure that the Mughal Empire represents a high level of efficiency in its declining years to assume they would have done better.On taxation certainly one would want to consider hard statistics though the bulk certainly stayed in India just the nature of the elite changed, and certainly distinct differences between policies of the East India Company and the British Raj.

India certainly in the 50's,60's and 70's responsible for the continued massive poverty- yet in recent decades especially under the current government economic growth has greatly accelerated, yet with hundreds of millions in dire poverty and by some social statistics India is behind countries such as Indonesia or the Philippines. But trying to blame the British easier than taking responsibility for their own actions.
Morpeth I was reluctant to join in this discussion (even though it was regarding my own home) because I knew you would join in!!!!!!
Poverty in the 50s-70s-----It is not possible to eliminate 90% poverty in 20 years!
I have personally seen poverty reducing year by year.
You always select out certain statistics from Philippines etc without understanding the context, the reality and the actuality of gathering such statistics.

At least we can agree regarding Shashi Tharoor as a person if not as a writer and speaker. I am not sure if he is still on bail----but the charges will never stick!!!!





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Old Apr 22nd 2020, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Morpeth probably believes that The Slave Trade was carried out solely to provide a better life for the unfortunates who were transported to The Americas !

Last edited by scot47; Apr 22nd 2020 at 6:56 pm.
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Old Apr 23rd 2020, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Morpeth probably believes that The Slave Trade was carried out solely to provide a better life for the unfortunates who were transported to The Americas !
By all means it would be interesting your opinion based on history or common sense on the three substantive points I made, one can always learn from discussion.

If instead one wishes to hold some fashionable politically correct view without having an open mind considering reality evidence or probability, not much serious discussion possible,
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Old Apr 23rd 2020, 6:35 am
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Default Re: Inglorious Empire

Originally Posted by Bipat View Post
Morpeth I was reluctant to join in this discussion (even though it was regarding my own home) because I knew you would join in!!!!!!
Poverty in the 50s-70s-----It is not possible to eliminate 90% poverty in 20 years!
I have personally seen poverty reducing year by year.
You always select out certain statistics from Philippines etc without understanding the context, the reality and the actuality of gathering such statistics.

At least we can agree regarding Shashi Tharoor as a person if not as a writer and speaker. I am not sure if he is still on bail----but the charges will never stick!!!!
hi bipat, it is always an interesting discussion.

actually the experience of several countries in the far east ( which started after the war with a smaller industrial base than india) saw rapidly declining poverty, and India's rapid growth in recent years, show with proper economic and other policies poverty can be reduced substantially in the world economic environment post world war II. almost every foreign or Indian economist has severely criticised the policies followed in the decades following 1947- just has the changes in policies the last 20 years have resulted in tremendous growth for a third world country the size of India.

my reference to the social measures used by universities, world organizations, economists and so forth are the statistics we have available. your doubt of hard evidence because it doesn't suit your wish to portray India in the manner you prefer can equally be applied to the countries mentioned in terms of data collection etc anecdotally form my own observations admittedly dated, but also of people I know who in recent years have been in India and Indonesia the extent of dire poverty remaining in India is worse and more extensive in India, villages and cities than what one finds in Indonesia. That doesn't negate the tremendous progress India has made in recent years which is extraordinary and a testament that if the Indian government and elites gets out of the way, the intelligence, diligence and commercial acumen present in India can achieve economic wonders under recent economic conditions.

Tharoor actually I find quite engaging and personable as a speaker, but his writing historical and economic ignorance catering to a point of view that is fashionable without much careful scrutiny.

I always find curious that you seem to feel it has some economic or other real significance that the Mughals intermarried with the locals which you often bring up.

(In any case it is heartbreaking to see the scenes of the Indian migrant workers trying to flee the cities these days, and reports of attacks on health workers being attacked or threatened with evictions,or today a report that an Indian hospital - claiming a 'misprint'- demanding Muslim patients show proof they do not have the Corona virus. I do hope these sort of sensationalist stories not the norm and that India gets through this period better than most ! The BBC showed film clips of the migrant workers which I found quite astonishing the numbers and some of the stories the workers gave. Friends in Pakistan tell me an even worse but under reported situation there).
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