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Tharoor says ‘cricket and english’ were only two benefits of British rule

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Shashi Tharoor

Jaipur: How should we view the British Empire and its legacy for its former colonies? Was it one of the world’s greatest modernizing forces, as some historians claim, or was it only a destructive bane? The latter, says Congress politician Shashi Tharoor, who maintains that the only two benefits for India were cricket and the English language.

Tharoor contested the contentions of co-panelist, British historian, author and MP Tristram Hunt, that the benefits included rule of law and an effective parliamentary system, saying he was not sure how good the latter has been for India.

“The system of governance of a small island nation was sought to be transplanted to a nation where there were not only ideological differences, but a bewildering range of diversities,” he said, at a session titled “Empire” at the Jaipur Literature Festival here on Monday.

On the idea of rule of law, Tharoor contended it was part of the normal evolution of society and India could have achieved it for itself.

“You don’t need foreigners to come and oppress you for benefit of development,” he asserted.

“(Historian) Niall Ferguson (who has termed the British Empire a great modernizing force) has not questioned for whose benefit it was done. I only accept cricket and the English language,” said Tharoor.

Hunt, who had stepped in for Ferguson, who wasn’t able to make it for the event, contended that there was renewed interest in the Empire in his country — where it had been absent for years from the school curriculum — as Britain took decisions on its place in the world.

The author of ‘Ten Cities that Made an Empire’, which seeks to chart the changing nature of the British Empire through 10 (formerly) imperial cities spread throughout the world, Hunt said the empire had had an influence on his country too — and still has.

“British politics are becoming like Indian politics. The centralized system is shifting to a more federal system… We are willing to take coalition partners,” he said.

On the question of financial compensation for the damages to the former colonies’ social and economic fabric, Tharoor, who had made headlines by making the demand at a debate in Oxford, said it should be a token amount, say a pound for every year of rule, rather than a ridiculous amount as had been calculated and would be “an exercise in absurdity and futility”, could never be paid and besides, “India couldn’t even know what to do with all that money”.

Hunt noted that such a demand was more advanced in the former Caribbean colonies, but they instead of money, had sought help in education and development.

On whether bygones should be bygones, Tharoor said he agreed. “History cannot be undone. But it haunts our past and affects the future. By all means let bygones be bygones, but never forget it… We must remember it.”

Hunt said he agreed. “We must interrogate, analyze and reinterpret the bygones,” he said, adding he was quite skeptical of official apologies for historical wrongs. (Vikas Datta, IANS)(Photo: Wikipedia)

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Samsung Unveils its Latest Processor For Mid-ranged Smartphones in India

The processor is currently in mass production and is expected to soon be part of Samsung's next mid-ranged smartphone

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Samsung files new patent application for 3D displays.

Samsung on Monday announced its latest processor for mid-ranged smartphones — Exynos 7 Series 7904 — with enhanced multimedia support and high-end features, customized especially for India.

The processor delivers fast octa-core performance required for nimble web browsing, quick app launching and smooth multitasking while consuming less power, the company said in a statement.

“Exynos 7 Series 7904 will enable advanced mobile experiences in a broader range of devices with triple-camera support, powerful performance and connectivity,” said Rajeev Sethi, Senior Director and Head of sales and marketing, device solutions, Samsung India.

Built on a 14nm process, the processor is equipped with two Cortex-A73 cores that run at 1.8GHz and six Cortex-A53 cores at 1.6 GHz.

Samsung
Samsung.

“With-A73 as a ‘big-core’ Exynos 7904 delivers fast single-core performance and the embedded LTE modem supports Cat.12 3-carrier aggregation (CA) for 600Mbps downlink speed,” the company added.

The image signal processor (ISP) of Exynos 7 Series 7904 features single-camera resolution of up to 32MP and an advanced triple-camera setup.

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Additionlly, it also comes with support for faster Full High Definition (FHD) at 120 frames-per-second (fps) or Ultra High Definition (UHD) at 30fps of video playback along wth FHD+ display for vivid mobile entertainment, the company said.

The processor is currently in mass production and is expected to soon be part of Samsung’s next mid-ranged smartphone. (IANS)