The strange rationalisation by Shashi Tharoor of defending Islamic colonialism while criticising British colonialism is an exercise in fallacy.
Raghunandhan (Raghu) Bhaskaran is a Bharathi and like many today, he for long, ignored his heritage and was focused towards Artha, to the exclusion of the other Purusharthas and is yet another IT consultant. But now he is increasingly a seeker of what it means to be a Hindu, a follower of Dharma in every sphere of life - personal, social, cultural and political. Towards this, he uses writing as a sadhana, to attain clarity and shares his learning with others, learns from others. He considers himself as the 'Mongoose of Mahabharatha', from the Ashwamedha Parva. Serendipity has led him to some yagna-salas, the works/company of some wonderful people - from heritage, family, friends, teachers and even on social media. He rolls around in the crumbs of their wisdom and some stick to him. And he shines in parts, from those borrowed crumbs of knowledge.
Shashi Tharoor suffers from a rather strange dissonance. He condemns the British Colonial rule for its cruelty, true enough, but while doing that he dissembles and excuses the sheer malice of Mughals and venal incompetence of Congress, the two rules which bracket the British, in Indian history.
Take for example:
“The Congress MP appearing on national channel ABC’s Question and Answer on September 04, 2017, described at length how India’s textiles, dominated mostly by Muslims, were systematically destroyed by the British."
“The British came to one of the richest countries in the world when the GDP was almost 27% in the 17th century, 23% in the18th. But, over 200 years of exploitation, loot and destruction reduced India to a poster child for third world poverty”, he said in reply to a question about the British rule in India.”
I presume he is quoting Angus Maddison’s research on the GDP.
But if we look at the GDP % prior to the Mughals, taking 1500–1700 as the Mughal era, the GDP % was evidently higher, it was even higher prior to the Muslim Sultanates. Indian fell behind China for the first time during the Mughal era. So why excuse the Muslims/Mughals?
And then let’s look at 1950–2003, the Congress era. India and China started out at the same stage, but see the progress achieved by China compared to India. So why defend the Congress and be a member? Mughals and the Congress, appear to be better only when compared to the disaster of colonialism. Not much to shout about, right? And that too only in terms of GDP.
There was a different cost which was extorted from the civilization by Muslim marauders and Congress kleptocrats — in terms of culture, heritage and lives. The argument that while Muslims looted and massacred, they did not send the loot outside of the country and hence were better than the British. That is as pathetic an excuse as the British saying, yes we looted and massacred India but gave cricket and the railways.
Also remember, India had to pay with two huge pieces of herself, broken and severed, due to the Muslims. And in that dismembering, all three were directly responsible: Muslims, the British and the Congress. So that is the cost India had to pay to the Muslims, which is far more than what the British looted. And the rest of India is still paying the descendants of both — Brown Sahibs of Congress, the remaining Muslim population in terms of social-political-cultural benefits in the name of secularism.
Further, Tharoor’s argument that the Mughals were good because they did not send their loot outside is like Sibal and Chidambaram’s “zero loss” theory to defend Congress/UPA 2G and Coal mining scams. Tharoor would argue if A.Raja and other kleptocrats of UPA — spent the money within India, they were actually good for the country and so should be appreciated.
But the flip side is that British sure looted, but they also left and so we at worst, have to deal only with the ideological inheritors of the British like the Lutyens mafia and Babudom. But the Muslims invaded, looted and then stayed put. And now we have both their identity inheritors and ideological inheritors, neither can we spit them out, nor can they be swallowed i.e. integrated. A set of thieves who looted and went away, and then a set of thieves who broke in with generations of their ever-growing family staying on, having to be kept mollified and appeased with special treatment all the time or else face their ever frequent turn to violence. Which is worse?
Note: The above is just an analogy to counter Tharoor’s argument. There are always exceptions.
Individuals can be good or bad, despite or due to ideologies. So the riposte is not applicable to all British or all Muslims, but definitely to the ideologies of Ghazi Islam, Evangelistic Christianity and European Colonialism. Those who defend these ideologies, be they British or Indian, Muslim or Christian or even nominal Hindus like Shashi Tharoor, are all culpable.