Distinguished alumnus Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accompanied by Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Lord Patten of Barnes, on his way to the Convocation House in
This is an emotional moment for me.
The economics we learnt at
There is no doubt that our grievances against the
This was best exemplified by the exchange Mahatma Gandhi had here at
Jawaharlal Nehru echoed this sentiment when he urged the Indian Constituent Assembly in 1949 to vote in favor of
�I wanted the world to see that India did not lack faith in herself, and that India was prepared to co-operate even with those with whom she had been fighting in the past provided the basis of the cooperation today was honorable, that it was a free basis, a basis which would lead to the good not only of ourselves, but of the world also. That is to say, we would not deny that cooperation simply because in the past we had fought and thus carry on the trail of our past karma along with us. We have to wash out the past with all its evil.�
What impelled the Mahatma to take such a positive view of
Today, with the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian Prime Minister to assert that
Of all the legacies of the Raj, none is more important than the English language and the modern school system. That is, if you leave out cricket! Of course, people here may not recognize the language we speak, but let me assure you that it is English. In indigenizing English, as so many people have done in so many nations across the world, we have made the language our own. Our choice of prepositions may not always be the Queen’s English; we might occasionally split the infinitive; and we may drop an article here and add an extra one there. I am sure everyone will agree, however, that English has been enriched by Indian creativity as well and we have given you R.K. Narayan and Salman Rushdie. Today, English in
The idea of
The idea of
It used to be said that the sun never sets on the
To see the India-British relationship as one of give and take at the time he first did was an act of courage and statesmanship. It was, however, also an act of great foresight. As we look back and also look ahead, it is clear the Indo-British relationship is one of give and take. The challenge before us today is to see how we can take this mutually beneficial relationship forward in an increasingly inter-dependent world.
I wish to end by returning to my alma mater.
the fact that the Spalding professorship was held by two very distinguished Indians: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who later became the President of