Plain Tales from British India – The New York Review of Books

For all the irrigation projects, new railways, and imperviousness to bribes, the Raj presided over the destruction of Indian political institutions and cultural and artistic self-confidence, while the economic figures speak for themselves. In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8 percent of the world’s GDP while India was producing 22.5 percent. By 1870, at the peak of the Raj, Britain was generating 9.1 percent, while India had been reduced a poor third-world nation, a symbol across the globe of famine and deprivation.

-William Dalrymple in a review of two recent books on colonial India.

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Why Australia hates asylum seekers – | Christos Tsiolkas | The Monthly

Yet all of us, no matter which side of the asylum seeker debate we fall on, know that even if all the bloody boats were stopped, if they were all sent back into Indonesian waters, if we put all those on board into camps in a deprived satellite nation, if we exterminated the whole fucking lot of them – every blighted man, woman and child – none of this would speed up the two-hour drive on choked roads that we take to and from work, boost the numbers of nurses and doctors in our public hospitals, make our education system any better, or increase wages, the dole or our pension payments. We all know this.