Better in Wales than India

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"One of the very first Indian words to enter the English language was the Hindustani slang for plunder: “loot”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this word was rarely heard outside the plains of north India until the late 18th century, when it suddenly became a common term across Britain. ⁣⁣ To understand how and why it took root and flourished in so distant a landscape, one need only visit Powis Castle (Photo 1)."⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Not many know that this castle located in Wales houses the largest private collection of Indian artefacts in the UK. It "is simply awash with loot from India, room after room of imperial plunder, extracted by the East India Company in the 18th century. There are more Mughal artefacts stacked in this private house in the Welsh countryside than are on display at any one place in India – even the National Museum in Delhi." The stolen riches include a pair of slippers belonging to Tipu that is made from red velvet and leather embroidered with gold thread, and large curved toes (photo 2) and Tipu’s magnificent state tent (photo 3)⁣⁣ ⁣ Source: The Guardian" The East India Company: The original corporate raiders" by William Dalrymple ⁣

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I’m in High Tory mode these days but I find it absurd to ask for the recovery of Mughal artifacts when both India & Pakistan disrespect that historical period.

When Pakistanis can speak decent Dari and Babri Masjid is rebuilt then we can discuss the colonial encounter and its aftermath. Until then there are much better things to complain about.

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4 Replies to “Better in Wales than India”

    1. not especially; I’m interested in the mode of governance rather than governance itself.

      It’s interesting to see if Partition had never happened would such a thing be happening now in an India roughly 30~40% Muslim..

      You shouldn’t impute my thoughts..

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  1. “It’s interesting to see if Partition had never happened would such a thing be happening now in an India roughly 30~40% Muslim..”

    ‘Retributive” justice/violence on Hindus of Pak-areas and muslims on Indian-areas. Yugoslavia type situation with tri-furcation of Hindu majority areas, muslim majority areas and language/ethnic politics areas.

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  2. Agreed, but your point is relevant for Pakistan; but from a social construct not relevant from an Indian perspective. Why, I list it down:
    1. Mode of spread of Mughal dominance
    2. Harm it caused
    3. On a religious and philosophical base, vis-a-vis weighing it against prevalent existing indic systems.
    4. External projections of affluence. Objects of merely beautiful appearance. Their don’t stick around in India that much. Zero internal significance.
    Recovery doesn’t make sense, but if the Britishers can pay for it then it would be helpful! But I suppose its in the right place, cause 50-100 yrs later in any case we will see a more prominent arab population in UK anyway.

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