An Era of Darkness – Shashi Tharoor

About the Author

Although he was born in London, UK,  Sashi Tharoor graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in 1975. At 22, he was the youngest  to get his  doctorate in International Relations and Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Shashi Tharoor was a former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and is presently a sitting  Member of Lok Sadbha  from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

He is Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology and All India Professionals Congress. He was Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on  External Affairs during 2014 to 2019.

He had earlier served as Minister of State for External Affairs during 2009–2010, and Minister of Human Resource Development  during 2012–2014

Sashi Tharoor is a renowned writer. He has authored 19 bestselling books, both fiction and non-fiction. All his works are related to Indian history, culture, foreign policy, politics, society and related themes. He has scripted numerous columns and articles in various publications like the The Times of India, The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Newsweek International, The Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle, Mail Today  The Indian Express, The Hindu, etc.

Shashi Tharoor is the recipient of Sahitya Academy Award for his book An Era of Darkness in the non-fiction category.  


An Era of Darkness by Sashi Tharoor is a book which every Indian must read.

He narrates the story of the British Rule in India, right from how the British East India Company who entered India as traders of Indian goods and transformed themselves as rulers.

While the book exposes the negative aspects of British rule, it does mention some of the positive contribution to the Indian society.

 ‘An Era of Darkness  is a well- researched narration of the British empire in the country and  portrays how the Indians were culturally, economically and  politically suppressed. The book exposes how the Indian society was divided on communal lines and how even after seventy years, this  communal partition of India  is used as a political tool in India and Pakistan.

An Era of Darkness  has  eight chapters with the first chapter telling us how the East India Company plundered Indian resources to enrich  the British Empire.

The second chapter looks at the claim by the British that they created political unity in India. The third and fourth chapters explains  their role in the process of democratization process and their ‘divide and rule’ policy.

The fifth chapter is about the assumption that the British helped create a “renaissance” in India.

The sixth chapter six asserts that the claim of British to have made positive contribution  to Indian politics, education, economy, and  especially railway as ridiculous.

In the seventh chapter a comparative study on the performance of India during and after the British rule  and how India developed India to become a significant power militarily, economically  and in global politics.

In the  eight th chapter he shows how the British got industrialized by the exploitation of the Indian economy and its resources therby fracturing the economic institutions in


He cites various historians to point out how India which had 23 percent share of the world economy in 1700 got reduced to a mere 4 percent when they left in 1947.

The wealth that was plundered by the British from India is estimated to be 3 Trillion US Dollars  today

Shashi Tharoor would like his reader to know how cruel the British Empire in India has been. The wonderful narration of An Era of Darkness will surely clear various misconceptions about this period of Indian history.

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