Home / News / India /  British empire wouldn't have lasted…: Anand Mahindra shares viral video of 1957 student debate

Industrialist Anand Mahindra on Friday shared a video where an Indian and a Pakistani student teamed up to ‘champion the cause of India to debate against an United Kingdom representative at a school event and pointed out how the British empire and how it looted India for 200 years. The video went viral on social media on Thursday and the Indian student was identified as Kochi boy Padmanabha Gopinath.

Mahindra also asked Congress MP Shashi Tharoor about Gopinath's fate, and responding to it Tharoor said he is "retired & living in undeserved anonymity."

"Yes Anand," he said and further added, "I *was* born by then! And I know the brilliant bespectacled Indian student, who went on to be a star official at the @ILO. He is now retired & living in undeserved anonymity."

Defining the topic of the debate ‘"Prejudice’, Gopinath replied, "Prejudice is willful ignorance. It is dictated only by emotion. And the fear and suspicion it creates causes more harm than I can think of."

He then added, "savage Anglo Saxons were still wandering around clad in skins 3,000 years before the signing of the Magna Carta, which Englishmen considered to be the beginning of history, in the Indus River Valley."

“It is solely the responsibility of the Indian people and not the British that India is still cordial with Britain and maintains good relations. Your policy of saying that all these countries wished for it, it was you who were putting the wish in their mouths. There was not much they could do."

When the opposition, questioned about material wealth, he noted that the British empire would not have lasted a single day if not for the same material wealth, all of which came from India. In exchange, Britain provided us with a vaguely nebulous way democratic way of life.

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