Yesterday we went for lunch with some friends and rather randomly the husband engaged Vidhi on the merits/demerits of colonialism. I also had a commentator somehow bring up that I’m unfairly blaming the English for South Asia’s problems.
My point being is that the new counter-narrative is that the English seem to have done us a favour by gifting us English, building railways and a United India.
The idea that India was some sort of net expense on the Crown is palpably absurd and I’ll leave it to the Commentariat to discuss.
(1.) the idea of English has no net benefit either way. The fact that English is an elite language in South Asia (and pretty much nowhere else outside of the Anglosphere) benefits the English speaking world. If Africa & South Asia switched out of English, it would deeply impact the strength of the language.
(2.) the railways weren’t a gift to South Asia; they were supply chains to various ports and cities much like the canal colonies in West Punjab. The famines and the vast military personnel India was able to bring forth to the Empire was more than a sufficient advantage.
(3.) India has always found a way to express itself; the ancient Hindu texts sort of scope out the region. The English built on what was before.
The past cannot be undone; colonialism was shite but even if we can’t get the Koh-I-Noor back the least the Colonisers can do is be contrite about it.