The British Rule - Was it a boon? India's Independence - Was it a mistake? PART - II

This article is a continuation of The British Rule - Was it a boon? India's Independence - Was it a mistake? PART - I

British Rule... Was it a boon? Would India have been developed by now if the British had remained in the country? Did our freedom fighters do a great mistake by sacrificing for a freedom that was not really as beautiful as they thought it would be?



These are a few facts, I think, that need to be made clear for this discussion:
  • During the British Raj, India experienced some of the worst famines ever recorded, including the Great Famine of 1876–78, in which 6.1 million to 10.3 million people died and the Indian famine of 1899–1900, in which 1.25 to 10 million people died. Recent research, including work by Mike Davis and Amartya Sen, attribute most of the effects of these famines to British policy in India. 
    • According to current findings the India-China region produced around 73 per cent of the industrial manufactures of the world around 1750.
    • According to Indian historian Rajat Kanta Ray, India's share of global income slipped from 22.6% in 1700, nearly equal to that of Europe's of 23.4%, to 3.8% by the time of Indian independence. In 1780, the issue was raised by conservative British politician Edmund Burke who vehemently attacked the East India Company, claiming that Warren Hastings and other top officials had ruined the Indian economy and society.
    • Instead of the Indian nationalist account of the British as alien aggressors, seizing power by brute force and impoverishing all of India, Marshall presents the interpretation, supported by many scholars in India and the West, in which the British were not in full control but instead were players in what was primarily an Indian play and in which their rise to power depended upon excellent cooperation with Indian elites.
    You can also read the following pages for more such facts and info:
    No matter how much today’s people complain and moan that India was better under the British rule, they are just being…. In the politest sense of the term… ignorant. Ignorant of all the complex, melancholy, heart-breaking histories of this great country that once was the land of greatly advanced mathematics and science, the land of all the glories a nation could possibly possess and “the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.” [In the words of Mark Twain]

    The British rule escalated India’s woes and everything was crippled – the industries, the health sector, the educational sector, the living standards and even the deep sense of nationalism and pride in every brave Indian heart. We were reduced to the levels of a corrupt, morally deficit, poverty-stricken, illiterate, defenseless and senseless society by the time we got independence. But it wasn’t entirely the Britishers’ fault. Our history books were right when they talked about the intent of the British Raj and the East India Company. But when it came to the intent of the people of India, they [intentionally, perhaps] forgot to emphasize on how big a role that played in the destruction of the society.

    You can read Karl Marx's view on this here: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1853/06/25.htm

    When the Mughal Dynasty broke up, many small princely states were formed and the rulers were all greedy, selfish '*#^(&%^#'s who didn't really think much before collaborating with the foreign invaders. When the sultans from the west invaded the country, it was a different scenario. The rulers had their pride and patriotism. They didn't have any unity among themselves and that's why they fell, causing India's greatest treasures to be looted by the Turkish invaders. But during the British colonization, the rulers had neither unity nor moral responsibility to the people. And when people like that become rulers, it can only mean that the society had fallen into a ditch... Meaning, the citizens of the country neither knew nor cared about what happened to the society at large.

    The 3 Greatest Lies Ever Told
    And so, the decline began. For 200 painful years, India suffered from the ills cancer that had been inflicted on her by a foreign nation, with the help of her own people. Then, India became independent. Everyone rejoiced thinking this was the turning point and that India will get back to its old, glorious form in no time. But 64 years have passed and people are still suffering... from poverty, disease, corruption, illiteracy and ignorance. Here, we must NEVER FORGET the fact that INDIA HAS IMPROVED. And India will continue to improve, just not fast enough. India will stagnate without changes in the political, economic and social reforms and if corruption and population grow at the present rate, the already despairing people will lose all hope in democracy and there will soon be worse disasters like dictatorship or something even worse than that.

    So it must be clear to anyone who has patiently read this that we need two thing in our country right now - HOPE and CHANGE. [It sounds awfully like US President Obama's campaign, but I swear my conclusions haven't in the least been influenced by that] And unless both of these things develop in the hearts of the people, they won't be able to develop in the country... Because of a simple logic most of us refuse to accept: The country is nothing but the people and every nation is only as great as its citizens are.

    I'm positive I'm trying to be the change I want to see in my country [I'll write about how I've changed or trying to change in another post someday]. Frankly speaking, I don't care for an India that is a superpower or one which all nations fear. Nor do I want an India like any other country [US, UAE, UK, etc.] in the future. I'm a simple town girl who dreams of a country that is happy, beautiful and free. And I am hopeful... What about you? :)
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.  

    ~ From Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem 'Ulysses' ~

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    18 comments:

    1. Wow!!! what a aim Meenu ... I am impressed ... Wow again ... U made me spell bound ... :) :) I am crying inside my heart ... :)

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    2. This makes me feel that we can change anything that we want to ... I really feel proud about U ... :) :)

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    3. தோழி,
      தங்கள் கருத்துக்கள் நன்றாக உள்ளன.
      தங்கள் ப்ளாக்கை தமிழில் எழுதினால் இன்னும் நன்றாக இருக்குமே.
      நன்றி.
      veram-thilay.blogspot.com
      வீரம் தில்லை.
      மதுரை.

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    4. நண்பரே,
      தாங்கள் சொல்வது போல் இந்த ப்ளாக்கை தமிழில் எழுத முயற்சிக்கிறோம். தங்களது யோசனைக்கு நன்றி. :)
      மீனாக்ஷி
      மதுரை

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    5. Hey did anyone think about me... Nan tamilae eluthuvaene but yaralaium athaei purungikae mudiyathu... :)

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    6. ரேச்சல், நா ஒரு புது ப்ளாக்க create செஞ்சிருக்கேன் : http://changemakers123tamil.blogspot.com/ அது full ஆவே தமிழ்ல தா எழுதனு. இந்த வெப்சைட்டுக்கு போய் பாரு. http://www.google.com/transliterate/ அப்புறம் practice பண்ணி பண்ணி சரியாய் வந்திடும் :)

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    7. hey meenu...really nice reading this...i still have hope one day India will surely grow...may be i wont be there to watch it :D ha...ha..

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    8. No It is not a boon.as the British stolen lots of wealth from India.Before that India was known as the Golden Sparrow.so i don't think that British Rule is a boon.

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    9. The British Rule was not Consider as boon.as the British stole the whole wealth from the India.

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    10. your article is worth a salute

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    11. awesome article

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    12. i totally agree with you.British rule was far from being a boon.It killed so many people.India was capable of developing on its own.British were not needed.

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    13. i totally agree with you.British rule was far from being a boon.It killed so many people.India was capable of developing on its own.British were not needed.

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