Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

15/7/2006

Heat of the moment

It is, as Jan Dalley implies, a fair bet that most English schoolboys (the gender is relevant because we’re talking machismo here) haven’t a clue about the Black Hole of Calcutta, though in 1956 there would have been few who didn’t have at least some idea of the calamity that had happened 200 years earlier. So far, and effectively, have we moved from our imperial past, that we have lost any concept of what Nirad C Chaudhuri once memorably described as the event which “threw a moral halo over the British conquest of India”. It was up there with the Cawnpore massacre and the siege of Lucknow as a noble British tragedy in the face of native savagery; but because it preceded them by a full century, the Black Hole was the event that first established moral rectitude as a justification of empire-building. for more click here

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