Conspicuous by its Absence: “Inglorious Empire” by Shashi Tharoor

NOTE: It appears that Shashi Tharoor has made mid-April 2018 headlines regarding his wife’s death back in January 2014 and his recent arrest regarding such. The fact that I am writing a review of his book INGLORIOUS EMPIRE at the same time is nothing more than happenstance, although it does make one wonder at the Universe’s sense of humour.

INGLORIOUS EMPIRE (subtitled “What the British Did to India”) is a book that has long been wanting in the sphere of post-British colonialist non-fiction. And you’ll see why I say “British” as opposed to mere anti-colonialism later. In page after page, INGLORIOUS EMPIRE excoriates the British for their deliberate neglect and plundering of India during two centuries of corporate and later imperial domination. The text is heart-rending and infuriating in its examples and copious references and lays bare the unmistakable hubris and arrogance of many British as they plundered and pillaged a great power with utter greed. On p 175 of INGLORIOUS EMPIRE, Tharoor quotes the start of Alex von Tunzelmann’s book INDIAN SUMMER: The Secret History of the End of an Empire and it nicely illustrates the tone of his book:

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