November 19, 2019
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Rajiv Malhotra’s Lecture at British Parliament on ‘Soft Power Reparations’


[Music] [Music] [Music] namaskaar and my pleasure to welcome you all to the House of Commons once again I note that my mine oh I hesitate to call him friend but colleague Steve yes Oh on occasions such as this I always repeat my mantra that I’m Akron Jew Christian with Jewish roots but honoree in do I have just returned from India for my sixth visit in the last two years where I had the pleasure of going on a direct flight from Heathrow roundabout which of course was one of those things that Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised when he was here on his last visit whilst I was there in India I had the opportunity of meeting both the foreign secretary the Indian Foreign Secretary that is not the UK for executor but the the foreign secretary and the deputy national security adviser and he both of whom made a very important point to me and I one that I’m going to relate to the foreign secretary where I get chance to sit down with him and that is as we’re concentrating in the United Kingdom on brexit there is a feeling across the world and particularly in our friends in India that we’re taking our eyes off the ball of our world role in terms of security and defense cooperation that’s particularly true because China right now is very involved and I I take the view that china is encircling India I was in Sri Lanka six years five years ago now when we saw we were the first people to land on the runway of the New International Airport built by the Chinese and policed by the Chinese and controlled by the Chinese we also went to the International deep-sea port which once again built by the Chinese and policed by the Chinese so that’s the south of India we have the proposed economic corridor going through the north from China through the illegally occupied part of India in Kashmir by Pakistan through to Europe that is that’s that that’s the second element and then we’ve seen what’s happening in the Maldives where where China is trying to create a new island which once again it will control so it will be the encirclement of of India at the same time if you followed the news there have been a series of terrorist outrages that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir where more than 25 civilians have been murdered by terrorists and at least seven service personnel have lost their lives as well and we should I think this meeting we should express our sympathy to all the relatives and all the victims of this unnecessary of terrorism equally there are hot they have been already identified no less than a hundred and sixty two terrorist training camps on the Pakistan side of the line of control training terrorists through state-sponsored terrorism from Pakistan to actually infiltrate sovereign India and cause as much damage as is possible so I think we can say that there are serious security problems that India faces this morning at business questions I asked for a statement for from the Foreign Secretary or or the Minister of State of what we can do in this country to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends from India against this terrorism and I think that’s something we will be featuring over the next few weeks because it is vital that we reach out our hand of friendship to all our friends in India and demonstrates that we are steadfast against terrorism it is relevant of course for our chief speaker today which I know he has very appropriate views of cooperation between the United Kingdom and India going forward and I’m looking forward to to hearing what he has to say this place thrives on free speech and people that want to come along and have their say about democratic responsible types of interaction sometimes that can be controversial and it’s quite right but what we should be doing is hearing those views and having the opportunity to debate and I welcome you and it’s notable as I say my colleague Stephen pound who I no doubt will say a few words later I have been say a good friend of India as well is here to demonstrate the cross-party nature of what we do in this country always so even if we do have our political differences on the other occasion it is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder with with India in seeking a better and more fruitful partnership going forward actually reunited as part of the Commonwealth as we leave the European Union behind us in terms of a political type so can I welcome you all here I’m delighted to see that we’re standing room only once again for this event and I’m looking forward to the interaction that we’re going to have to Krishna this is a momentous occasion because we are bursting with a duty here please give him a big thank you namaste I’m indeed honored to be here and thanks to Honorable Bob Blackmon for inviting and hosting us I’m delighted that right honourable Teresa Williams is here it’s a it’s a real pleasure and honorable Steven pan has taken the time I’m also delighted that if solid group of our community is established here under sri sathya sharma and Tripta ji and mother g i would like to discuss the post brexit climate from a different point of view we have a lot going on in the areas of hard power military trade etc between different countries and India is very active and interested in engaging UK I want to talk about soft power areas when when you look at brand Modi it’s a it’s a global brand and Britain must engage brand Modi it’s important to ask who voted more the into power that’s the question it’s a groundswell it’s not some fringe group it’s not something that’s going to go away this is the new India work voice that feels it has been suppressed for a few decades and this voice has come back in a big way so this is the voice that Britain needs to understand and I will give a little bit about what that voice is about because as I will explain Britain has its alignments in the public square and in academics and so on often with the very same intellectual people from India that have now been booted out so it’s very interesting that the Indian voters have removed a whole narrative and replaced it with a new narrative but many of the people from the old narrative still enjoy prominence overseas so a good thing for a joke in India in Delhi is that if you get booted out of India you can always go to London and they’ll still think highly of you because you can market yourself that way so this this disconnect is something important to fix because the policies of India should direct itself to the people’s voice in India and not the people the voices that have been discontinued and dismantled so we need to understand what has been dismantled in India and it has some parallels with brexit because in both instances what has been thrown out is a sort of ultra liberal left voice I’m not against liberalism I think there are some amazing good things about it but it was excessive it was arrogant it was hypocritical in some cases outright corrupt so this narrative which is sort of a global narrative which is being dismantled not only in UK and India but many other countries you can see around the world Japan Australia etc you have to understand what is this narrative and what are the other grand narratives of various people’s that want to come back so like brexit is a voice in Britain that wants to have its old grand narrative revived and heard because the new narrative was not being fair – it may be too much too much oppression and too much dismantling of the pride of heritage in the same way that exact sort of thing is what brought node Modi into power because a after India’s independence what India got was political autonomy what India is now getting in the last 15 years is financial and economic autonomy but we still do not have a decolonization of the intellectual sphere we still have books written in the past which are very denigrating to the culture and heritage and history of the Indian people and this is an Indian problem you cannot blame it on someone else we’ve been free from colonialism for seventy years and haven’t if we haven’t done a darn thing it’s about time so the people of India decided that they got they discussed it with the state of affairs in terms of what’s being taught in our schools in India and and the asymmetric imposition of secularism asymmetric it might be a surprise to some people that Hindu temples in India are controlled and operated and administered by the government though we are supposedly a secular country and this administration of religious worship is not happening for any other religion but Hinduism so that’s that’s not it that’s not secularism that’s sort of like pandering to the minorities now I believe that the minorities need help and the minorities need to be championed and everybody’s narrative is very good and we should respect it but respecting one should not be at the cost of disrespect in the other it should not be that we gotta knock down the 80% minority in order to impress the vote Bank of the 20% I mean the 80% majority in order to get the vote Bank and the hearts of the 20% minority and it’s these games which are dishonest which led to the dismantling of this old stuff and the rise of Modi which I think is here to stay in the attempt to bring about harmony and peace there emerged an extreme left narrative which said all grand narratives are bad grand narratives are tribal and so we got to get rid of them and replace it with some kind of a human being who has no sense of identity this was this led to the fall of the Mayas ohm a Mau ISM in China has been replaced with a Chinese grand narrative I mean they have a communist party but the Communist Party has brought back Confucianism Buddhism Taoism and saying the old classical narrative of who we are is very compatible and consistent with modernity modernity the Chinese way rather than the Western way and future so this that this is what the Confucian Institute’s are teaching this is exactly why the Soviet Union fell apart and when the Soviet Union fell apart we found that there was a huge resurgence of religion because it had been suppressed so after many generations and despite all the education of the German I mean the the Russian youth into you know science and you know scientific reason logic and all that thinking that these these things will get rid of the problem and primitiveness of faith the point is it didn’t happen when the USSR was dismantled one of the things that came back with a bang was real justly people want to understand their past and they want to understand their history they want to understand their culture in a positive way so you see it this sort of over done secularism atheism dismantling the narratives in a very nasty negative pejorative way not in a reasonable way has backfired and so my sense is that the this dismantling of the ultra left in India and a similar trend in UK and other places presents an opportunity for a new kind of a cooperation so if stage one epoch was multiple grand narratives at war with each other and this was replaced by a kind of let’s fight all the narratives okay from the extreme left point of view it’s the opium of the masses let’s get rid of all of that and that was sort of the next stage now we have to create a third stage and I propose we have to create a stage where people have their grand narratives but these grand narratives rather than being at war with each other have mutual respect so we need to create the different nations of the world need to create their own positive narratives but in a manner that they’re also open and respectful to other peoples narratives so several about two decades ago I started developing this idea of mutual respect rather than tolerance because in the year 2000 there was a world event at the United Nations of all the religions to come up with some sort of a peace and certain religions put on the table tolerance and I was asked by the leader of the Hindu community so a median and the late so a median and saraswathi to advise on our position and I said we should reject tolerance as not good enough and we need mutual respect so the discussions went on because it was not easy for certain people to consider mutual respect because when I respect you I cannot then denigrate you I cannot see your going to hell I cannot I can say tolerance I can say you’re no good you’re illegitimate in your faith and you are going to hell but you know what I’ll tolerate you but the point I made is you wouldn’t want your spouse at home to say you know I tolerate you at home you wouldn’t want to be a dinner table where someone says I tolerate you have dinner with me or your co-workers say I tolerate you here it’s a disrespectful patronizing demeaning talking down so we need mutual respect mutual respect with difference not that we don’t have a difference I mean you have a distinct thing about you and I have about me so when I’m eating the example are given is that I have respect that you are eating your pizza but I like my Gobi paratha and it’s not disrespectful that I want it could cook my way I enjoy I may even enjoy what you’re having I want my distinctiveness but it’s not in just a question of tolerance I actually respect your cuisine the same can be done for a lot of things so this grand narratives with mutual respects is I think the way for the future that’s that’s what we should we should be striving for now the apparatus the intellectual apparatus in India hasn’t caught up with this public sentiment the intellectual in the universities is still this anti grand narrative it’s still making fun it’s still hostile it’s still what I call Hindu phobia and some of these forces have become breaking India forces they are supporting separatists there’s the first stages separatist in the intellectual sense identity sense history sense exploiting these fault lines and then it gets charged with you know actual physical military violent kind of a separatism on the ground so the breaking India forces are partly in India but they also have alliances internationally in Britain in the United States in Canada in Europe they have their networks and this is part of the very extreme left-wing agenda to dismantle and grand narratives and India is a very serious threat for them because it’s such an old civilization that has not been successfully you know dealt away it dismantled the rejection by the Indian public of this what you may call anti grand narrative Nexus is a very important opportunity forbidden the history of Britain in India presents a unique opportunity for Britain to help India in this regard this is something in their needs it doesn’t cost a whole lot of money it’ll cost some but not a whole lot of money and it’ll have huge impact on India and it’s the one thing that will win the hearts of Indian people so I’m going to discuss that I’m going to discuss what exactly that is the colonial system dismantled the first the financed economic commercial strength and capital of India because of trade the Easterner company was trading so we call it in our terms we call it Vasya Varna which is the capital of Business and Finance that got dismantled first second dismantling was Dikshit Ravana which is well military because the Mishnah company got into rulership governance the East Nia company was the world’s oldest and largest outsourcing company it out sourced ruling on behalf of a king saying we will you will give you the gun salute and you’ll sit on the elephant and you’ll come to Cambridge and you play polo and I will do all that but will rule your country and we will rule them we have the police we’ll have all of that so we will rule so it was sort of out you outsource your whole rulership to us and you sit there symbolically and you’ll still be the king there’s a world’s biggest the first successful model for outsourcing actually and so this is the political power political capital being dismantled in India and then came the intellectual capital the political capital be called Kshatriya we’re now the intellectual capital called Brahmin burner now these are not by birth these are not cast these are just categories of political of of social capital so the intellectual capital dismantling was you know replacing Sanskrit with English you know but getting rid of traditional teaching and with new kind of stuff and not adding to but replacing it would be wonderful if someone said you know we teach your culture you teach your language we’re not dismantling we’re not disrupting but we’re gonna add something nice to it that would be a win-win it would be absolutely amazing but this was in fact very clearly articulated in the British house of parliament in the 1800s that the way to really defeat these guys is to deny their history the sense of self esteem and all of that so it did happen now this this depletion of social capital is being reversed with the political capital being brought back through independence and economic capital being brought back in the last 15 20 years through GDP growth and so on and now that the next frontier is to revive and bring back the intellectual cultural the capital of grand narrative so this would be a return of India’s power if you look at what is being taught the Indian Left has had five waves I don’t have time to go through the details but India and left has had five waves of in dollar G and the the import of ideas from the West a first came Marxism which is a Western thing then came post-colonial studies then came sub Orton studies then came post-modernism and now it is new Orientalism so these are these all this who Bri an alphabet soup of imported things have really devastated the Indian grand narrative it’s it’s Indians working as si poised for a new kind of imperialism if you will and and and here I think the British probably are not conscious that they are being utilized by some political forces in India and made to look bad so this the when a whole are these C points come here looking for patronage that they are Indians and they’re bringing freedom human rights the main human rights okay and so on okay you got to look at it very suspiciously you got to look at it that this is just a political faction that’s actually going to put your name and your money and your sponsorship and they’re gonna do their own political work so I I think that it is important that in this era the British government and serious thinkers should realign should question their prior alignments with the intellectual people in India and realigned with new people and some of these new people are very big and popular in social media which is a barometer of popular appeal as opposed to old-school media which is still controlled by old institutions the old intellectual system which we still have running textbooks and all kinds of things even the public service exam in India to become an Administrative Service or Foreign Service or whatever is still the the the the kind of authors and the kind of books and the questions asked are still of a very old camp kind of thinking they still haven’t a new government hasn’t done a good job of dismantling all that so in in these in this worldview which is prevailing in Indian thought and also reflected in the Western view of India there was no India prior to colonial colonization there was no India if there was a if there was any pre-colonial glamorous era it was the Muslim rule that was the height of that was a golden age of India that’s how it is being taught and so we are not studying we are not studying the Indian social theories political theories economic theories people like cart Ilya a thousand years before Machiavelli saying profound things we just don’t have that we just don’t have a so many economic theories you can see books now coming out which compare modern economic thought with some of the classical Indian thought in economics so it is important that we revive our narrative when you look at Britain Britain was beneficiary of a large part of Indian knowledge and Indian power because until if you look at the Cambridge history of world economics I tell you that until 1750 India had about 25 percent of world GDP 25 percent of world GDP and it says that the West comprising of Europe and North America combined had less than 20% the rest was mainly China giant and so these are the three big slices so what happened and also when you look at the early European scholars of India they call themselves romanticists and they had a huge romance for India so it’s only later on 100 years after this Romantic period for India that things became negative so you can go back to these people and you have tremendous resources I mean they’re respected India’s you know mathematics astronomy philosophy linguistics botany medicine or all kinds of stuff and the East India Company really studied steel production in India Dharampal has the later impulse spent a lot of time in libraries in the UK to cat reports from the eastern accompanying measuring steel production quality of steel cost of steel and so on and even arguing why some of the Indian steel was better and cheaper and should be sent to UK and some of the major construction projects requiring a lot of steel in in Britain were with Indian steel and Indian textiles legendary so if you look at the first two products that made the British Industrial Revolution successful what are they textiles and steel and what were some of the most important things the East India Company was engaged with in India its textiles and steel so you see we have to rethink history we have to rethink history of what happened and to what extent Britain benefited not just expropriating capital art of India and not just using it as a large captive market but also in some of the knowledge transfer and this knowledge transfer in those days we did not have patents and intellectual property and we didn’t have lawyers wanting royalty so it didn’t happen that way when I speak to my my American educators one of the questions I ask is why was Columbus looking for India hardly one out of 100 will kind of tell me they don’t know what you know so I said he was not he was not certainly going there to teach human rights yeah I mean most Americans you see on there and the the narrative of India I’m talking about he’s not like you got to do some new research and come up with new things the dots exist but they haven’t been connected so for example the Arabs acknowledged and respected a whole lot of mathematics and astronomy coming out of India in fact many of the Arab texts start by giving the name of what text in Sanskrit or Malayalam that they are translating and then you know 100 200 years later some of these tests texts are translated Latin and then we know that they go from there to northern northern in northern Europe and so people like live nate’s and Newton were not out in a vacuum there were for instance the whole theory of series is very well known and respected by the historians of mathematics where it came from in India the theory of infinitesimals and these are all precalculus these are all the foundations from which calculus is made so we need to come up with a global history of how ideas have traveled how ideas have traveled from west to east and east to west and we are all human it’s a network it’s sort of like a very slow version of the internet things didn’t happen in milliseconds they took a long time somebody had to go in a boat somewhere but they did happen over a long period of time and we have to acknowledge that so all of this connecting the dots and re developing a true history of India and India soft power would be a very important thing that Britain can collaborate with Indian thinkers and this would be something the Indian people would really really appreciate as a tremendous gift coming back from Britain and this I think is an important proposal I would like to leave that written [Applause] there is a proposal I do not agree with which says that Britain should give financial reparations to India now this is not a original proposal this is every few years some politician some slick politician comes up with this to get some applause because it’s emotional but let me tell you and this has been around since Indira Gandhi’s time when I was in school they used to talk about it and we all kind of well you know but we must move forward in a win-win way in a positive way where everybody wins and put the back pass behind us we have to acknowledge the past we have to write the correct history like I just described we have to honor each other help each other rebuild and reconstruct a positive grand narrative for ourselves and then move forward into the future rather than us versus you rather than anger rather than kind of blame kind of a mode so the problem with this financial reparations issue is that it sort of says you are guilty and I’m going to get you it’s punitive damages it will never happen let me just tell you Britain will never give you know even a small amount money as a symbolic thing and and come up with some kind of okay we are guilty and we’re ashamed and all that it’s not going to happen so the rabble-rousing over emotional bombastic people in they’re just looking for some instant populism I would replace that with something far more important far achievable and I call it soft power reparations that’s a term I’m introducing for the first time today what we should ask for is soft power operations not financial reparations soft power reparations means the narrative of India the what we teach in our textbooks what Britain teaches in its textbooks the ideas of history these are to be set correctly not exaggerated but set correctly and this kind of a intellectual exercise is just honesty is just a sign of being honest and it doesn’t cost money it just costs heart just the heart in the right place so I have a few ideas first I think this whole Aryan invasion theory needs to be dismantled and this Aryan invasion theory was first this was the early British Orientalists never proposed such a theory I mean they were they were fond of Sanskrit from William Jones onwards they were they loved Sanskrit Sanskrit texts but never never they said you know that the bee Sumerians who brought it to you and all that stuff it was never done this happened late later with max Miller he’s the one who kind of fathered this theory and this was encouraged by Queen Victoria but it was great news saying wow this is a discovery if we brought civilization to them in the ancient days we were just bringing more civilization now so so the the German is what Descartes are these are in theory is a sense of nationhood that we we we are the inheritor we are the ancestors of all these great Sanskrit hence runs great texts for we are a nation that’s why that’s why we are so great so it gave them it built the German nation in terms of the German grand narrative and of course then Hitler took it into a different turn which is a horrible thing because he appropriated this idea for a very nasty purpose so that’s another reason to dismantle such a theory what the British got out of it is saying thank you max Miller this is good because while you guys get a sense of grand narrative for your nation what we get is legitimization for the empire because we can say you know this is this is like this is colonialism 2.0 because once before we went there as our ends to civilize you anyway we then we didn’t have cricket but we brought you Sanskrit and now now we can give you cricket and we can give you English language we can give you more so this this business that started in the 1800’s needs to be dismantled and the right and if Britain were if some good honest scholars with an open mind were to collaborate with their Indian counterparts and publish some words and we could have a few conferences I would love for my foundation to have a partner here and to us with a shield ology conference right here and on this topic and set the record straight you know in World War one 1.3 million Indian soldiers fought on the side of the Allies more than the combined number of soldiers from all other countries put together and there is no memorial to them in Britain the same sort of statistics also for World War 2 now what a great soft power move it would be for the British government to say let’s work together and let’s produce a real solid monument it’s not out of blame anger guilt or any of that stuff but just to honor those people 75,000 Indians soldiers died in World War one fighting on the British side and another 70,000 were seriously injured this is a very high casualty and let me also tell you this many military historians feel that if it weren’t for such a large number of brave Indians Britain would probably have lost the war and Britain would probably have this means turned out to end it up as a German colony and today we would be sitting here speaking German so this is pretty serious stuff that that a huge event twice in the in the 20th century we our community did our ancestors did this most of them Hindus we did this and they ought to be at least for emotional psychological reasons they ought to be in Nice Memorial some way so this is this is another kind of an example of what I’m talking about very concrete soft power reparations I believe that next year April 19th 2019 will be the 100th anniversary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that was a huge massacre the general Dyer ordered a peaceful gathering in Amritsar and a large number of people were brutally killed fired what we also need to be ashamed of is that the actual bullets were fired by Indian sepoys Indian sepoys killed their fellow Indians in very large numbers throughout the British time and this jellia wala bog is not just a disgrace for one man general Dyer but also for all the Indians who sold out to do this dirty work and we generally don’t complain about these boys but we should because the modern intellectuals who are colonized who are bringing the same kind of anti Indian grand narrative are basically sepoys 2.0 that’s who they are they are the breaking India forces so this this business so what what could we do so something positive could be done we should have a conference or we should have something to kind of memorialize what happened 100 years ago you know in Germany they teach the Holocaust and they teach it with a kind not that you know it’s somebody’s fault it’s like it happened we don’t take ownership of it something in the past happened it won’t happen again let’s move on in the United States there’s a lot of white black reconciliation where they teach slavery it happened in a previous generation it was a horrible thing to happen and we’ve now made sure it won’t happen again so having set the record let’s not have this under the current under currents of anger and hatred and all that let’s move on let’s just move on together I think it’s time that the Indians got out of this all negativity towards the British it’s time that the British acknowledged what has happened it’s time that we worked together and that is what I’m calling soft power reparations and the benefit will be we will move forward in a win-win way positively hell as collaborators that’s what I would like to happen there are certain negative things that Britain should stop doing because these things were part of the old Indian elite intellectual elite wanting these things and those people have been thrown out and Britain should stop for example this whole overdone you know caste oppression we gotta fix their caste problem well in the United States there is a US Commission on religious freedom and I had a closed-door meeting with him recently and I told them about you know oppression in the United States and then their never mentioned one sentence of that in any of their reports over the last 15 years and I mentioned that some of this you know overdone support for Christian evangelism in India he’s very nasty because that is not that kind of evangelism is not a true change of the heart towards another faiths which is fine but it’s really a pejorative hitting it’s sort of like in our a kind of a militancy to denigrate and bring down the traditions of the country and and I showed them some evidence and they were surprised because they had never heard of this before no one told them this before they were being fed things through their channels which were self-serving so I think there are certain networks institutional alliances that need to be dismantled and so Britain should also take with a grain of salt any reports you get from Christian evangelists in India want basically they want to expand their numbers expand their market share and they want to do it with by claiming that they’re bringing human rights so this whole human rights business is feeding what I call breaking India forces and it’s bringing Britain a bad name and Britain should not be involved in that be realigned with those who are trying to build a positive India for all Indians including every kind of a community every faith everything all Indians need to be part of a good+ grand narrative of India and we ought to construct that rather than breaking each other apart so that’s a project we can move [Applause] you know Britain missed the boat on the globalisation of yoga Americans did it first now in the 60s the Americans discovered that this is a great thing and then they there is taken them a couple of decades and now there’s this globalization of kind of an Americanized yoga but Britain had 200 years to do it could have been more open-minded and said you know these guys they got something nice also about them and and and so it’s not just money we can take out of them but also they have some very nice culture and this is very good for Humanity maybe 200 years if there had been two hundred years of Yogi’s all over the world perhaps we would have been a more peaceful world perhaps perhaps Britain missed the boat on the yoga revolution and let the Americans do it and now there is more happening the cutting edge of mind sciences cognitive science neuroscience is basically taking lots of Indian techniques advanced meditation you know chakra techniques and and Tantra techniques and so on and really doing a neural neuro scientific empirical studies on it my foundation has done for 15 years we’ve been doing research on Indian contributions to mind sciences I’m writing a book on that on the unacknowledged Indian contributions to mind sciences over the last 50 years in the West looking at citing Western evidence and in March we are doing a conference in Delhi University on the Indian mind sciences so a lot of Westerners are actually already involved in this a lot of people in Britain and us and various places are very much involved in a new paradigm of mind and how to move it forward which is very Indian when you when you look at it so there are areas of collaboration but there is vegetarianism they are going which is becoming popular there are social theories of ageing of multi-generational families there are so many areas of traditional Indian knowledge which are relevant today and Britain can actually be part of that and help build those grand narratives together with us and this would be good for humanity this could be probably jointly exported so I will conclude by saying the Americans also did something else that Britain should have done the multi trillion-dollar technology led American economy is built it runs on Indian brains there is more Indians when you look at Microsoft IBM Google Facebook Apple and you look at the old technical giants like Bell Labs or NASA there is more Indians than any other single ethnic group including white Americans in fact when you look at Indians and that Chinese and Japanese you know the Asians are majority most of these places and I’m not talking about low-level coding type jobs I’m talking about billionaires entrepreneurs leaders CEOs now Britain could have done that but instead Britain is a consumer of made in America things and these made in America things are really made by a lot of Indians so in a sense I’m being a technocrat I’m grateful you guys are good consumers for and you are a good market for us so you see the Indian supply the brains but did not have the Indians have a weakness this is a tremendous problem for Indians Indians did not know how to institutionalize Indians are brilliant as one man here one there one there one there so the Americans figure out that you know we give them a home we give them respect we give them all the facilities they need and we institutionalize them and we make get the best out of them and not hold them below a glass ceiling ceiling and then they’ll flourish and so creating this kind of an atmosphere which made us a the chosen the most preferred destination and forever every bright Indian wanted to go there in the last couple of generations was brilliant success for them but UK could have done it and UK had the knowledge about India and had the clout and the political capital to do it and should have done it and a lot of money out of it so I will conclude by just saying that there is a clash of grand narratives which has been going on since his early part of history you cannot dismantle these grand narratives as a way of getting rid of the problem you have to develop their cooperation with each other with mutual respect that is the challenge that we all have to do and there is a technology-driven narrative of the future the one thing that won’t go away is technology you can argue left or right or water whatever but whatever you are arguing it has to be Pro technology and so and and the fact that Indians have a lot now invested in this and are a big resource should not be ignored so given these opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between Britain and India I’m hoping we can take some ideas and take some of these ideas further in a concrete way and my foundation and I are available and very happy to take the lead with any British organization that would be interested in working with us thank you and namaste [Applause] thank you what an extraordinary occasion and how wonderful it is for me to see the Aarti lit here in the Palace of Westminster and not just see the illumination that flows from there but also to bask and bathe in the intellectual illumination that we’ve heard today what we’ve actually had is the Grand Tour Dora’s all of global India India in the world India emerging India of the 21st century is there any stranger relationship than this country and Mother India we’re very very deeply connected once a year we gather together to celebrate our divorce which i think is bizarre we always have we call it Indian Independence Day but we’re there we’re gathering fur but in many ways for me the quintessential coming together of those two cultures expressed in vision sing babies Indian cricket team of 1977 because there you had the Indian family tradition two brothers batting at number two and number three you had a Parsi wicket keeper you had a Sikh captain but you also had the game of cricket which was slightly brutal the way that the British had played it he was fast it was aggressive but in that testing you had Chandrasekhar Venkat arugula a ripple eye Prasanna if you wanted to actually have a bit of scene you had Carson singari and you had mother and Lao and of course maybe Sachin Tendulkar Aron but look the point being that in India had taken something from this country and it shaped it and crafted it and changed it utterly and totally and for the better and for me it may seem odd to think of cricket as being the sort of the paradigm of the change in our relationship but just look at one of the greatest Indian films of the last few years that great cricket match view of the lagoon and that that actually sums up but for me it’s also something else which brings it very very close to what we were talking about and when I first went to Mumbai where my mother went to school in Pune and you talk about reverse colonialism her father was working in Gujarat in the cotton mills you know he was so the couny weren’t working her way up there slaving away and he’s actually buried in Bangalore um but you know it’s very very grateful for the work I hosted a Shinto it when I went to then I saw that statue of Jamsetji Tata and I was fascinated by this man this man who from nothing had worked his way across the Atlantic had gone to Pittsburgh had gone to Pennsylvania I’d gone to Youngstown and he’d walked around the Bethlehem Steel works with his notebook writing down how to make steel and the American said who’s that little Indian guy over there take no notice oh he said yes wrote it all down went back until it sent on us better and for half the price and invented something else he went to Western capitalism in its rorish and red hot furnace mode but he added something to it which was quintessentially Indian corporate social responsibility CSR hadn’t existed before there was a bit of philanthropy occasion it was a bit of guilt motivation but then wasn’t the principle of CSR that artists inventing it you have to see India in the context you cannot deny the past and I think so you’re so absolutely right to actually go forward you know based on empiricism of the past but also to acknowledge and accept that and I think you mentioned jolly Amala back anyone who’s actually stood in that tight constrained Courtyard anyone who’s actually seen the well where the bullet holes are still there from the machine gun fired from the armored personnel carrier under the direct command of general Dyer anyone who’s seen that who has actually seen the letter on the wall there from rabindranath tagore the greatest poet certainly of that century I would say people would say you know here’s the Shakespeare of India I say Shakespeare is that Ted go up of England’s we cover for the audience but to actually speak back to see that letter handing back his knighthood and to actually read that and then to emerge from a jolly on mana back and turn left and walk along the road for a couple of hundred yards and they you mind the golden temple there where the mist rises slowly from that lake where peace is exudes from every brick and every stone where solemnity and solidity and decency persist and pertain the contrast between those two is so absolutely extraordinary and then we’ve had I have to say it’s almost like like a versus lot of Mother India we’ve had before us today all the great achievements all I can say as someone who studied economics at the Roman School of Economics obviously how could we do mathematics without bows how could we study anything without zero the concept of zero who invented that it wasn’t the Arabs certainly wasn’t my lot it was yours it was India – actually just got the biggest and most significant breakthrough in mathematics mathematics started with that concept once you’ve got that you can then move on and as for yoga well do you know those Victorian chaps used to come back from India with their Kipling in their back pocket of recipes for hot careers in there they actually used to exercise using what we called Indian clubs now probably nobody in India called some Indian clubs but they were just actually throw them up and capture and it was a sort of a form of physical exercise that was carried on very very well indeed but look ultimately we in this country are facing in my opinion one of the most catastrophic decisions economically socially in culture that we’ve ever taken and we can have disagreements along the table here but I think the idea of the United Kingdom ripping itself away from the other 27 countries of the European Union is disastrous however for India it’s a completely different perspective you see it through a totally different prism there was a poster in my constituency of just outside my constituents in fact in Southall in in Ealing Georgia in June the 23rd 2016 which said vote leave now we want more Punjabis and less poles and that was the attitude that some people had they saw leaving the European unit as an opportunity I think it is going to be a tragedy for this country why is tartar why are they running the steelworks in South Wales while they’re running the Tetley tea company in my constituency because it’s not out of some sentiment Indian business is not sentimental no one is going to do us any favors in this country’s nobody by we’re looking at you know you gave us cricket yeah we’ll give you a cheap deal it ain’t gonna happen like that you know you are bottom-line people you are people who ultimately you are there for the business achievement with CSR obviously I think that the reason why so much Indian investment is in the in GB in the UK is because we’re an entry PO to Europe we’re there we’re an access point you can build cars here and we can sell them over there I think that without British membership in the European thing are going to be very dire for this country however India will be shining because you always do because you always managed to succeed and I think Theresa Villiers is here one of the best secretaries of State for Northern Ireland we’ve had and somebody had the honor of working with she and I in Belfast would buy oak trees would agree with this in a city riven by sectarianism riven by violence there were one or two small pools of peace within Belfast City one was the Hindu Mandir extraordinary building apps at which Theresa winter and the other one was the Krishna consciousness care personally Italy society of Krishna consciousness building in the worst part of his power how extraordinary that they’re in the most unpropitious circumstances with the the most barren of soil this philosophy this belief in Dharma this great contribution of Indians made to the world managed to flourish so I’m not here to make a speech I’ve got to make I’m here to not to say thank you and to also say it has been I mean you know Rajee tea it’s been an honor to sit at your feet today and I think I speak for everyone here to say we are not just blessed by your presence but illuminated by it and I have to say intellectually challenged by some of your iconoclasm which is what a great writer a great philosopher a great economist should actually be doing but I want to thank you you all for coming along here too for being proud of your culture in your community and for remembering the most important thing about communities in this country that you integrate but you don’t assimilate you never ever forget what makes you original and it makes you unique yes you’re good citizens you’re good corporate citizens you pay your tax as well most of you pay your taxes I’m sure you those of you who don’t have a really good accountant attempt but but we don’t have an account but are there any other sorts of accountants ridiculous question if you haven’t got a Patel in the accounts room with a point but no but you’ve never ever lost that which makes you special that which makes you unique and that which I would say in all honesty makes you in my opinion perfectly placed to be India shining in the 21st century this country post brexit faces problems faces troubles faces difficulties India post brexit I know we’ll continue to grow because it’s what India does thank you thank you well I will I would keep it very brief because I can’t possibly hope to compete with the phenomenal presentation by our very special guest speaker and of course it’s after hearing you wowed by Stephen pound in his speech as well it is it’s really an honor for me to be here it was a really sort of fascinating reflection on hugely important cultural issues within India and in terms of its relationship with United Kingdom I am I’m very taken by the idea of soft power reparations and I am shocked that there is no specific war memorial for Indian soldiers it’s something that must be put right thing it is the contribution of those soldiers in World War one is something that is actually phenomenal as we have just completed that set of centenares relating to World War one this is an important time to be reflecting on that incredible service and sacrifice yes as you say who knows what the result of those two huge global conflicts of the 20th century would have been were it not for Indian soldiers fighting on the side of the colonies so I I think there is you know we’ve all got you’ve given us a huge amount of food for thought I am I really found what you had to say fascinating and I think unlike Steve there are huge opportunities for the United Kingdom after we lead the European Union in reshaping our our place in the world unlike Steve I don’t I think this is a positive decision for us I think it was in many in most cases motivated by the natural desire for self-government and independence and I believe that we can make a success of this and part of doing that of course will be strengthening our relations with India both our cultural academic ties ball circles are trading ties as well and I want to really thank you for sharing with us these thoughts on so many of these crucial issues which I found absolutely fascinating and because I keeps everyone else who’s here for this really important event thank you [Applause] very inspiring and soft power reparations that’s an amazing and very practical concept that I think we’ve all heard for the first time today so I wanted to ask you that the idea of reparations we’ve heard from Shashi Tharoor as well could you please clarify what your position is and how your differ or agree with what you say yes thank you I’ll repeat the question the question is that Shashi Tharoor has also recently made some speeches on this idea of reparations and how does my idea compare or disagree are different from his Shashi Thoreau’s proposal would not change anything about Indian history India’s sense of itself India’s recovery of its grand narrative mine are extremely concrete proposal they are actionable and both countries will benefit thank you [Applause] British Indian community and Indians here in Britain are generally successful group so as a community how can we help promote a better in the UK relationship was vexing so the question is the Indian community in Britain and the CEOs some of them are well established and a successful group and how can they help promote better in the UK relations since my forte is in the soft power area I would say you could help us join our campaigns join our activities create a affiliate of our foundation here in the UK maybe facilitate the kind of things I’m talking about get us a British counterpart to what we want to do which is ideologically aligned with us and let us work on it together so this is something very concrete and doable I mean we could hold this conference next year announce it in the next three months if you can organise your side of it we’ll organize our side of it a very practical thing we should look forward to and you know CEOs have to be very pragmatic people not some ideologue kind of pe