by Jules Gomes, Rebel Priest:
A distinguished member of India’s parliament has derided the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Amritsar apology as “a form of self-flagellation that may appeal to multiculturalism … but doesn’t alter the way India thinks of contemporary Britain.”
Dr. Swapan Dasgupta, recipient of the Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian award) for literature in 2015, dismissed “the issue of colonial guilt” as “principally a British domestic issue.”
Dasgupta, an influential journalist, also pointed out how almost none of India’s mainstream newspapers thought Archbishop Justin Welby’s “dramatic genuflection all that newsworthy,” even though The Times in Britain “thought his message significant for page one.”
Writing in The Pioneer, one of India’s oldest newspapers which retained journalists like Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling, Dasgupta warned of the dangers of apologising for the past:
Trying to put order into history is tempting but ultimately a self-defeating exercise. Britain has its own issues with its past. It is best to leave it to resolve its existential dilemmas without India adding its one peice contribution to a self-indulgent debate. India is looking forward. It is to be hoped that the UK does likewise. It will be better for both countries.
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