Amid a row over film 'Padmavati', former union minister Shashi Tharoor claimed on Thursday that the "so called valourous maharajas" had scurried to accomodate themselves when the British "trampled" over their honour and were now after a filmmaker claiming prestige was at stake.
At an event in Mumbai, Tharoor was asked why his book, 'An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India', had a "whiff of victimhood" when he holds that Indians had connived with the English.
"It is (our fault) and I say so. I actually don't take the mantle of victimhood. In about half a dozen places in the book, I am harsh enough on us... Some British reviewers said 'Why doesn't he explain why the British conquered?' And it's a fair question...," Tharoor said.
"In fact, every single one of these so called valorous maharajas, who today are after a Mumbai filmmaker because their honour is at stake, they were less concerned about their honour when the British were trampling all over it. They scurried to accommodate themselves. So let's face it, there is no question, that we were complicit," he said.
The Congress leader's comments come at a time when Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movie 'Padmavati' has been in the eye of a storm as the Shri Rajput Karni Sena and some other outfits have accused the filmmaker of distorting history and hurting Hindu sentiments.
Tharoor, meanwhile, said that his book was "not a plea that 'Oh! We are poor victims, forgive us". It very much points out that the British empire is not what many made people believe it to be, the former minister said.
Tharoor said Mahatma Gandhi showed mirror to the British to made them realise about their acts.
"Mahatma Gandhi triumphed by shaming the British through their own brutalisation. He showed them a mirror and said, 'look at you, you are shaming yourselves, are these the value you stand for'? Fortunately the British were capable of being ashamed," Tharoor added.
He was in conversation with professor Peter Frankopan during a session at the opening ceremony of the eighth edition of the Tata Literature Live.