British rule and its impact on India

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By Dinesh K. Sharma

NEW DELHI: That the white man did incalculable damage to India under 200 years of British colonialism goes without saying.

As former Union minister and author Shashi Tharoor points out in this lecture at Oxford University this week, India accounted for over 24 percent of the world’s GDP when the British landed in India in the 17th century. And India’s share of the world was down to below 4 percent by the time the British left India in 1947.

India actually financed Britain’s industrial revolution in the 18th century. India was de-industrialised to finance Britain’s industrial revolution. India’s cotton raw material was shipped to Britain to starve the country’s famous handloom weavers. While British cotton mills in Manchester and elsewhere thrived on Indian raw material, world-famous Indian weavers were reduced to beggars. India was forced to buy finished cloth from Britain, turning it into the colonial empire’s biggest cash cow.

As Shashi Tharoor has rightly pointed out that it is wrong to give the credit for expansion of Indian Railways to the British. The British created only those railway lines which could carry material from the Indian hinterland to ports so that it could be shipped to Britain. Railway lines to hill stations in India were built so the British could enjoy the summers in Indian hill stations.

True, we stupid Indians paid for our own oppression by colonial Britain. Our dark-skinned rajas and maharajas flounted their friendship their white firangi masters just like our NRIs in the West today flaunt on Facebook their pictures with some semi-literate white legislators.

The British cunningly destroyed the Sikh empire, and looted its precious possessions, including the famous Kohinoor. The British took away Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s little son Duleep Singh, converted him to Christianity and shipped him to Britain. How shameful!

Hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers died defending their colonial masters Britain in two World Wars and today their descendants flaunt their Victoria Crosses or military medals. How shameful! They were slave soldiers, after all.

While these Indian soldiers were fighting for their colonial masters, the British in India caused the deaths of four million Indians in the Bengal famine.

Before the cunning white man left India in 1947, they had already sown the deep seeds of the Hindu-Muslim divide. Without the British, India would have remained undivided.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. how about considering this as a Karmic Cycle, Those who performed better karma could get where ever the wealth of the universe was both in terms of assets and knowledge. Ancient knowledge inspired what west is heading to: computers, quantum physics…keep counting. Those who mis- managed assets and Ancient knowledge – lost it.

  2. Very true, the facts are known, However, the blame may also be put on ourselves. For example, after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the mighty Sikh empire was demolished not by Britishers but the Sikh franctions fighting and taking revenge on each other. If Sikhs had joined hands in harmony, no one could touch Prince Duleep Singh and his mother Maharani Jindan Kaur.

  3. India lost a lot in 200 yrs, but what progress has it made in last 68 yrs? Instead of Britishers, corrupt MPs & business moguls are looting its wealth. Many films have1item/daru song & our MPs stoop so low to claim reparation against tenets of Hinduism. It is ok to state full facts including wicknesses & blunders made by our forefathers like Siraj-ud-daula & his likes. Past is gone & cant be corrected now; but what action have Indian MPs taken?

  4. Few Muslims defeated Indians & ruled over India before britishers.a muslim ruler forced many Hindus to adopt Islam as their religion.forced conversion is worse than looting cash china took-over kailash & mansarover from india;when will india claim suitable compensation from muslims & chinnese for such grave loss.after1947 many m.p.s have looted national wealth of india & how people of india can claim suitable compensation from such looters or their heirs?its very good that the current government of india has moved a motion to keep india ‘clean’ when the same government has no real interest in cleaning their cabinet from corruption.first corrupt govrnment officers fail to stop illegal tree felling from forests & few mps illegally take few acer of forest land & later govern ment request the citizens to plant more trees!it can be very interesting to note gdp,per capita income,& mps remunerations at the time of independence & today.i must thank the mp who want to claim repairation from past rulers,only if his government dont steal from indian treasury & for a short period steal from income of repairation but not from both ! ! !

  5. Regretfully there are many Indians of Kala Saheb mentality who believe that Britain gave “freedom” to India and that Bristish connected Indian towns through railway lines. Also we do not realize that the Police Department in India was established to protect “looters and their kala sahebs” from common Indians. Unfortunately, the Police department–generally speaking–is still following British rules in India.

  6. I request all indians to beg to uk-govt to divide tot repairation amount by nummber of months from month of1st payment to the month of next election of whole of lndia to get sum payable each month in arrears &to pay this sum only after satisfactory proof that amount of cash stolen from revenue of indian-govt is NIL;ELSE that installment CANT be paid by 1thief to another thief.if nothing was stolen & the installment was paid;some habitual looters may steal ftom that sum when indians will have some consolation that taxes paid by them is safe AT LAST. I wish gandhi bapu is aware of all ills prevailing in india after his death ! Bapu pls rest in peace &dont worry about the thieves who may soon stop stealing billions & will plan to steal trillions because ‘LOBH NE THOBH NATHI’.

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