why blame this guy, when manmohan singh said the same thing -- that colonialism was good for india -- when some limey university gave him a degree?
at least rowan (i almost said atkinson :-) w. has clearly benefited: his country's prosperity is based on loot from india. what has manmohan singh got? (on second thoughts, we don't know what is in his numbered swiss bank accounts.)
Church of England head lauds British Raj
The spiritual head of the Church of England has launched an extraordinary defence of the British Raj, saying it was benign to India compared with cack-handed American neo-imperialism in Iraq.
Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who officially leads nearly 80 million Anglicans worldwide, told a British Muslim lifestyle magazine that the British experiment in India was an example of caring colonialism.
On Sunday, the comments were criticised by observers as a patronising justification of imperial Britain's grip on India.
Sources said it was surprising that Williams, a long-term critic of the Anglo-American 2003 invasion of Iraq, was getting into dangerous historical territory such as the British Raj.
Williams, who is known as a free-thinking churchman, said, "It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalising it. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the British Empire did, in India for example".
He added that "it is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put it back together - Iraq, for example".
The Archbishop's interview was conducted by Sarah Joseph, a white English convert to Islam who edits Emel. Joseph, a hijab-wearing Muslim who has, in the past, criticised European attitudes to its large and growing Muslim community, described Williams' job as "the most political of religious roles".
Williams said, using words that would be music to the ears of disaffected British Muslims, that the US, as the only "global hegemonic power", was trying to accumulate influence and control, rather than territory. But he said "That is not working" and the result was "the worst of all worlds".
He said the US had lost the moral high ground since 9/11 and made a further controversial attack on Western modernity as a whole, saying it "really does eat away at the soul."
Williams' most pessimistic comments yet on the state of western civilisation have provoked anger within sections of the British establishment, even as his pat on the back to the Raj has gone almost unnoticed.
Author: Rashmee Roshan Lall
Publication: The Times of India
Date: November 25, 2007