History: The Indian Dark Ages (1750-1950 AD)

Do you think that India gained anything from Being a colony of Britain ?


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The Rise of India as a economic and military heavy weight has challenged the Western notion of "Everything good comes from the west" ,but many people seem to have trouble accepting it .
In many internet discussion forums i have noticed that people generally tend to credit Colonial Britain with 'civilizing' the primitive Indians .After all Did nt they introduce railway systems in India ? build schools and universities and abolish primitive 'Indian' customs such as caste system in India ?
Surely British Colonial rule is far superior to the current rule of corrupt governments in India ?

As the title of this thread suggests ,i find this reasoning very unacceptable .... British Colonialism in India remains IMO one of the worst disaster to have ever struck India .

Here are some facts

In 1854, Sir Arthur Cotton writing in "Public Works in India" noted: "Public works have been almost entirely neglected throughout India... The motto hitherto has been: 'Do nothing, have nothing done, let nobody do anything.

W. Digby, noted in "Prosperous British India" in 1901 that "stated roughly, famines and scarcities have been four times as numerous, during the last thirty years of the 19th century as they were one hundred years ago, and four times as widespread." In Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis points out that here were 31(thirty one) serious famines in 120 years of British rule compared to 17(seventeen) in the 2000 years before British rule.

The poverty of British India stood in stark contrast to these eye witness reports and has to be ascribed to the pitiful wages that working people in India received in that period. A 1927-28 report noted that "all but the most highly skilled workmen in India receive wages which are barely sufficient to feed and clothe them. Everywhere will be seen overcrowding, dirt and squalid misery..."


Contrast this data with the following accounts of Indian life prior to colonization:-
" ....even in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and sweetmeats can be procured in abundance .... Tavernier writing in the 17th century in his "Travels in India".



Manouchi - the Venetian who became chief physician to Aurangzeb (also in the 17th century) wrote: "Bengal is of all the kingdoms of the Moghul, best known in France..... We may venture to say it is not inferior in anything to Egypt - and that it even exceeds that kingdom in its products of silks, cottons, sugar, and indigo. All things are in great plenty here, fruits, pulse, grain, muslins, cloths of gold and silk..."



The French traveller, Bernier also described 17th century Bengal in a similiar vein: "The knowledge I have acquired of Bengal in two visits inclines me to believe that it is richer than Egypt. It exports in abundance cottons and silks, rice, sugar and butter. It produces amply for it's own consumption of wheat, vegetables, grains, fowls, ducks and geese. It has immense herds of pigs and flocks of sheep and goats. Fish of every kind it has in profusion. From Rajmahal to the sea is an endless number of canals, cut in bygone ages from the Ganges by immense labour for navigation and irrigation."



- quotes courtesy
http://india_resource.tripod.com/colonial.html
 

Plasma_Snake

Indidiot
Brits developed Infrastructure but destroyed our economy and home industry in order to promote their own so in a way colonial rule was both good and bad.
 
its obvious thats britishers were better than todays corrupt politicians. and i think india would have progressed more if they still remained here.
That is what most Indians think .... But some research will unearth quiet some startling facts

The literacy rate in India during 1911 was 6% in 1931 it was 8%, and by 1947 it had crawled to 11% .

so literacy rate under the British raj grew from 6% to 11% over a period of 36 years (1911-1947)

Literacy rate under the license raj (pre-liberalization Indian govt ) rose to a cool 42% (1950-1981) over a period of 31+ years . Thats 10 times larger.

from 1981-2001 it rose to 66% a rise of 25% in a matter of 20 years .

And during the colonial period only 4 in 10,000 Indians went to a university

I would say todays corrupt politicians are a welcome relief ! better than the Colonists
 
Most of the office(sarkari) buildings in Calcutta are made in British Raj :
They did build some good buildings ....... but only for themselves ... Who do you think resided in the Sarkari offices ? Indians ?
But more than that i think the damage they did to already existing monuments is immeasurable .

Prior to 1750 India was crisscrossed by a number of canals and irrigation system .... built over a 2000 year period . All torn down ,because their maintenance costs were too high for the English East India company .
The many beautiful Mughul and other Indian buildings torn down and drab military barracks built in its place .

Perhaps the least known aspect of the colonial legacy is the early British attitude towards India's historic monuments and the extend of vandalism that took place. Instead, there is this pervasive myth of the Britisher as an unbiased "protector of the nation's historic legacy".

Shockingly, even the Taj Mahal was not spared. David Carroll reports: "..By the nineteenth century, its grounds were a favorite trysting place for young Englishmen and their ladies. Open-air balls were held on the marble terrace in front of the main door, and there, beneath Shah Jahan"s lotus dome, brass bands um-pah-pahed and lords and ladies danced the quadrille. The minarets became a popular site for suicide leaps, and the mosques on either side of the Taj were rented out as bungalows to honeymooners. The gardens of the Taj were especially popular for open-air frolics....."

R.Nath in his 'History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture' records that scores of gardens, tombs and palaces that once adorned the suburbs of Sikandra at Agra were sold out or auctioned. "Relics of the glorious age of the Mughals were either destroyed or converted beyond recognition..". "Out of 270 beautiful monuments which existed at Agra alone, before its capture by Lake in 1803, hardly 40 have survived".
In the same vein, David Carroll (in 'Taj Mahal') observes: " The forts in Agra and Delhi were commandeered at the beginning of the nineteenth century and turned into military garrisons. Marble reliefs were torn down, gardens were trampled, and lines of ugly barracks, still standing today, were installed in their stead. In the Delhi fort, the Hall of Public Audience was made into an arsenal and the arches of the outer colonnades were bricked over or replaced with rectangular wooden windows."
 

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
Good question ! But why restrict to British invasion only ? Islamic invasion too destroyed Indian social fabric completely. Britishers just replaced that fabric with their own. Though I agree that capital was well within India during Moughal rule. But capital can be recreated but lost souls and values can never be.

Islamic invasions and Christian British invasions were a virtual rape of our motherland. Thanks to Marxist historians that we are spoon fed with conditioned history. And we have people today glorifying these invasions. While Jew holocaust has important place in history but there is no mention of Hindu holocaust. Not even of Bangladesh genocide of 3 million in 260 days during 1971. History is a propaganda of victors.

Sikh Gurus were beheaded. Our ancestors were converted at the hilt of sword. Slave trade was introduced to India.

Here is one quote about the generosity of Christian British invasion:
While most eighteenth-century European travellers to BhaaratVarsh described her as "flourishing", less than a century later she had sunk into depths of dismal misery.
One British historian noted in 1901: "Time was, not more distant than a century and half ago, when Bengal was much more wealthy than was Britain". Another even asserted
that Britain's Industrial Revolution could not have taken off without the influx of money that followed the conquest of Bengal.

People should read about Saint Xavier and his wonderful sayings. We have educational institutions named after him...lol.

Here is the Missionary tactic of Baron Macaulay which unfortunately succeeded as seen in today's Indian:
Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully... It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respectable
classes in Bengal thirty years hence.
We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Bhaaratiyas in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.

india1835.gif

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Brits developed Infrastructure but destroyed our economy and home industry in order to promote their own so in a way colonial rule was both good and bad.

That infrastructure too was for their own gain. To speed up the looting process, exporting materials to world market in short time.

Ever wonder why Gandhi was thrown out of the Train ? Common Indians were treated like herds of cattle. "Dogs and Indians not allowed" sign were a common sight. Those infrastructures was not for common Indian.
 
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Krow

Crowman
There were some gains like we had only a few countries made of the subcontinent instead of a myriad of Europe like small countries. Lets not start about the loss. The list is endless.
 

tarey_g

Hanging, since 2004..
its obvious thats britishers were better than todays corrupt politicians. and i think india would have progressed more if they still remained here.

And yeah if that had happened, most of the digit forum members wud be polishing firangi shoes now, instead of sitting b4 a computer.
 

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
There were some gains like we had only a few countries made of the subcontinent instead of a myriad of Europe like small countries. Lets not start about the loss. The list is endless.

Lol...Britishers left India divided in two pieces and 512+ independent provinces. Very much united indeed :D
 

nix

Senior Member
And yeah if that had happened, most of the digit forum members wud be polishing firangi shoes now, instead of sitting b4 a computer.

impulsive comment. saying that we would be "polishing firangi shoes" now is far-fetched. get real.

sooner or later, they would have gone. the european people were starting to oppose colonial policies after WWII. do remember that if not for english language, we would not have the edge that we have now.

They also unified india, w/o which there would be many small, independant countries divided on lingual lines, somewhat like europe.

I agree that british rule was not right. But the british people of today are not bad as the above posts infer. The success of indians in britian proves it. Present day britain is a whole lot more accomadative to people of other races than india can ever be. heck, we fight among ourself for water.(karnataka v/s TN) etc...
 
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Good question ! But why restrict to British invasion only ? Islamic invasion too destroyed Indian social fabric completely. Britishers just replaced that fabric with their own.
Islamic invasions and Christian British invasions were a virtual rape of our motherland.
While religion did fuel the coming of Islamic dynasties into India ,i would disagree on the point that they destroyed India .
One estimate puts the revenue of Akbar's Mughal Empire in 1600 at £17.5 million, in contrast with the total revenue of Great Britain in 1800, which totalled £16 million .
-wiki
And that was after the Industrial revolution in Europe.
With every passing generation they became more and more Indian . In contrast to Britons who refused to integrate into India's "inferior" culture .

And The colonial Britishers were more Racists than Religious
 
sooner or later, they would have gone. the european people were starting to oppose colonial policies after WWII.
We are talking specifically about the damage they did during their short stay .

do remember that if not for english language, we would not have the edge that we have now.
1. If it was not for india . Colonial Britain would not have been able to build its massive empire . The biggest ever in all of History . And if that had not been possible English would never have become the Lingua Franca of the world .
2. if they had not come into India ,India would have remained in the list of the top 3 economies of the world.

They also unified india, w/o which there would be many small, independant countries divided on lingual lines, somewhat like europe.
India was roughly divided into 4-5 massive empires ...The Marathas ,Mughals,Tamil kingdoms and Punjab
Each of them had their own unique rich culture and were economical power houses .

compare that to our united India with more than 50% [500 million+] beggars and nothing needs to be said about effects of Partition of India terrorism being the least of out headaches

I agree that british rule was not right. But the british people of today are not bad as the above posts infer.
The thread is clearly marked "History" :neutral:
and have you ever heard of the slogan "British jobs for British People" ?
They blame the lose of British jobs on Asians ! when the truth is that the guilty party is in fact their own bankers who caused the recession which in turn caused the job loses .

The success of indians in britian proves it. Present day britain is a whole lot more accomadative to people of other races than india can ever be. heck, we fight among ourself for water.(karnataka v/s TN) etc...
Every Asian migrant is a terrorist suspect ,regardless of religion/country .You ll be harassed by Airport Authorities and police atleast a few times if you travel to UK .Many IT executives have had to suffer silently .
And dont be shocked if some people hurl racial slurs at you once in a while .
UK and US has had serious Racial integration problems with the diverse communities that live there spawned by slave trade(black Africans),vietnam wars(Indo-Chinese community) etc etc.
 
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Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
While religion did fuel the coming of Islamic dynasties into India ,i would disagree on the point that they destroyed India .
Sorry dude but I won't consider money superior to freedom. Both treated Indians as slaves. Give this golden bait to a caged bird but not me.

Even China is progressing better than India but still India is better in terms of individual freedom.

With every passing generation they became more and more Indian .
What do you mean by Indian ?

In contrast to Britons who refused to integrate into India's "inferior" culture .
And The colonial Britishers were more Racists than Religious
Colonial Britishers were equally driven by the religious fervor. It will be stupid to consider British colonialism as simply a looting of resources.

I hope you read about missionary nature of the invasion and establishing hegemony of Britishers among other European Christian nations. A good point is to start by reading this link, a more neutral view of British invasions:

http://www.britishempire.co.uk/index.htm
 

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
We are talking specifically about the damage they did during their short stay .
At the end of the British Raj, life expectancy of Indians was just 27 years.
http://www.nimr.mrc.ac.uk/MillHillEssays/2008/familyhealth/

1. If it was not for india . Colonial Britain would not have been able to build its massive empire . The biggest ever in all of History . And if that had not been possible English would never have become the Lingua Franca of the world .
Add to that if France would have captured India unlike Britishers then today whole world will be using French primarily :D

India was roughly divided into 4-5 massive empires ...The Marathas ,Mughals,Tamil kingdoms and Punjab
Not to forget that Britishers left India with 512+ independent provinces :lol:

Sardar Patel provided the first step to free united India after Islamic and British slavery.

The thread is clearly marked "History" :neutral:
and have you ever heard of the slogan "British jobs for British People" ?
They blame the lose of British jobs on Asians ! when the truth is that the guilty party is in fact their own bankers who caused the recession which in turn caused the job loses .
The truth is that no one in developed country would like to do menial jobs people from developing countries only. And then too for good specialist jobs the high school dropout rate is far more for Firangi compared to immigrants from India or China or Thailand or Singapore etc.

Infact there is a shortage of nurses in UK itself.
 
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Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
Present day britain is a whole lot more accomadative to people of other races than india can ever be.

Oh lord ! So those Jews, Parsis, Syrian Christians, Ahamediyya and Bahai are not the example of accommodation by India ? This happened at the time when whole World was hunting these people to death and in India only they found safe haven.

But still India can never ever be accommodative like others :p

Please nix brush up your history knowledge...no...not the Marxist history but Indian history.
 

p_dude

Broken In
economic savery

this is the condition that all third world countries are in right now
and this wasn't the only country that was robbed and econimically raped in the past under the name of civilizing the people
and the christian missonaries you were takling about thats another story

all the talk about India and china becoming a superpower is just BS every country has its place and we people are still slaves

it is all done through economy and trade unions, common people like us just don't get to know about these things from what we learn from schools and colleges which is also nothing but BS.
 
Sorry dude but I won't consider money superior to freedom. Both treated Indians as slaves. Give this golden bait to a caged bird but not me.
Trade cannot flourish in a place where there is no freedom . The only blackspot they had was their religious intolerance . Mughals are considered a uniquely Indian dynasty today because they did enrich India's culture and trade .

What do you mean by Indian ?
People having/taking on Indian values / culture .
You seem to have more narrowly defined Indians as just Hindus .


Colonial Britishers were equally driven by the religious fervor. It will be stupid to consider British colonialism as simply a looting of resources.
They were not driven . Religion played absolutely no part in India or any other nation being colonised .

Are you saying they colonized India to spread their faith !
No their interest was in controlling the spice,silk trade from India and China to the west .
1. It is well known that the Colonial British empire persecuted Dutch Missionaries ,even though the Danes like Britons were protestant .Why ? because they were seen as potential political threat

2. Among today's Indian christian communities , catholics form the majority group ,protestants are among the minority .
Contrastingly India has the second largest Muslim population in the world

Proves that Britons were more interested in $$$ than in morality or conversion .
 
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