Outrage of the British Raj

William Dalrymple, best-selling author of ‘The Anarchy’ which chronicles the rise of the East India Company, talks to Alan Philps.

The World Today Published 1 August 2020 Updated 27 September 2020 4 minute READ

Alan Philps

Former Editor, The World Today, Communications and Publishing

In the 30 years you have been in India, how has Indian sentiment changed towards the old colonial power?

Very radically. The generation that lived through colonialism and suffered under it often retained great fondness for individual Brits and were culturally imbued with everything British. Since that generation moved on, the view has been understandably one of increasing anger and frustration that colonialism happened at all.

There is now far less affection and far less connection with Britain than there was at that time. And today the first choice of the elite is to go to America, to Harvard or to other Ivy League universities. Britain is definitely a second division choice for university studies, possibly moving down to the third division, since more Indians are going to Germany and France now that the government has made it very difficult to get a job in Britain after studying. And we have never come to terms with what we did to India.

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