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Sir Mark Tully visits Haileybury

The broadcaster, author and speaker, Sir Mark Tully, gave a fascinating talk to mark the final in a three-part series of talks to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the laying of Haileybury’s Foundation Stone.

His talk, "Aspects of India", took place on Monday, 15 May.

Sir Mark spent 22 years as the BBC correspondent in India, during which he gave a unique insight into the lives of people on the sub-continent. He was knighted in 2002.

Nearly 200 people gathered in the Attlee Room to hear Sir Mark say that to criticise as imperialists the former students of the original college who went to serve on the sub-continent would be a "narrow and anachronistic way of looking at what happened in India".

"The Indian Civil Service officers did what they could for India, and they were not wholly unsuccessful," he went on. "We have to rejoice in the fact that they did not succeed in Europeanising or Christianising India."

Sir Mark also talked about the legacy of British colonial rule and the lessons he believed India can teach the world. Voicing his fears about the "neo-imperialism" he sees taking place today, Sir Mark said: "The Western market capitalist consumer model is being rammed down the throat of India. It is very unfortunate that consumerism is taking off in a big way in India, because it can never solve the problems of 400 million people."