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A glorious and bloody tale of greed

  • Published at 02:09 pm November 18th, 2019
Mehedi Haasn

William Dalrymple presentshis new book

William Dalrymple took the stage at the Abdul Karim Shaittyabisharad auditorium and gave the audience a glimpse of his new book, The Anarchy. The hour long session was jam-packed with fascinating bits of history, tracing the rise and fall of the East India Company in Bengal. Dalrymple stitched stories of 200 years together within an hour almost seamlessly, busting some commonly held beliefs regarding historical figures that are revered by many. 

William Dalrymple has a knack of making the audience feel like they’ve gone back to the classroom, only his sessions might just be far more engaging and entertaining than the standard history lesson. Imagine a play-by-play of quick wins and immense losses of the world’s first corporation, a history the ins and outs of East India Company’s loot and horrific, bloody plunder in Bengal. 

The session ended with insightful questions from the audience, covering the downfall of Bengal’s weavers, and which Bengali groups actually benefitted from the Company’s rule in Bengal. From the tax-free haven of Calcutta, to the impeachment of Warren Hastings, the session intertwined the past and the present, and asked the audience to reflect on how corporations can influence the state, and how far its implications can last.