Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Sun Setting, Legally, on the British Empire

Fascinating programme on Radio 4 last night about the 2003 case in which the High Court of Calcutta ruled that Calcutta was not founded by Job Charnock of the British East India Company in 1690.  Click here for the programme.  It explores the importance of the decision for those seeking to eradicate the last vestiges of British imperial rule. 
One interesting aspect of this case is how it shows law deals, and has to deal, in simplistic yes or no answers, which history eschews.  The complexity of a place and space, of its heritage, is reduced by law to simplistic pigeon-holing, in this case a type of 'paternity suit".  What I'm not quite clear about is why this issue came before the High Court of Calcutta; what was the legal issue in it?  Here's the case itself.

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