New York, June 28. His charisma never fails to work its charm and it did not disappoint his fans on Tuesday either when Shashi Tharoor launched his latest tome, Inglorious Empire at a function organized by the Indo American Arts Council at the Fuller Building, New York. The noted writer was first engaged by Tunku Varadarajan in a conversation about his recent books, including Inglorious Empire and the introspective Why I am A Hindu which preceded that. The session was followed by a Q&A with the audience, sales of the two books providing the opportunity to lap up signed copies from the author.
New York’s eminent South Asian cultural Moghul Aroon Shivdasani, organized the full house event.
Post the open session with the public, Tharoor, was as usual mobbed by fans eager to get their books signed and meet the enigmatic writer-politician for a quick chat. .
Listed among the Top Ten Bestsellers of the year by The Sunday Times Inglorious Empire relates India’s plight from the eighteenth century onwards when India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. However, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest and deception, the Empire blew rebels from cannons, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalized racism, and caused millions to die from starvation.
Excerpts from the review:
“British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed. In contrast, Shashi Tharoor takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial ‘gift’ from the railways to the rule of law was designed in Britain’s interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain’s Industrial Revolution was founded on India s deindustrialization, and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain’s stained Indian legacy.”