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British India Economy

I am doing a school paper, and I would like some feed back from users on this board.

When Britain was in India (around 1850-1930) did they help the economy of India or ruin it?

Can you please place links of your source/idea.

My thought: Ruin the economy - 1. Cottage Industry 2. Monopoly

European Crusades, Christianisation, and Colonisation
Before British rule, there was no private property in land. The self-governing village community handed over each year to the ruler or his nominee a share of the years produce. East India Company put a stop to this and introduced a new revenue system superseding the right of the village community over land and creating two new forms of property on land - landlordism and individual peasant proprietorship. It was assumed that the State was the supreme landlord. Fixed tax payments were introduced based on land whereby payment had to be made to the government whether or not crop had been successful. As one British put it we have introduced new methods of assessing and cultivating land revenue which have converted a once flourishing population into a huge horde of paupers. Indeed the first effect was the reduction in agricultural incomes by 50% thereby undermining the agrarian economy and self-governing village.

In 1769 the Company prohibited Indians from trading in grain, salt, betel nuts and tobacco and discouraged handicraft. Company also prohibited the home work of the silk weavers and compelled them to work in its factories. Weavers who disobeyed were imprisoned, fined or flogged. Company's servants lined their own pockets by private trading and bribery and extortion. Goods were seized at a fraction of their price and resold to their owners at five times their price.

In 1770s one writer said of Bengal : one continued scene or oppression. Systematic plunder led to a famine in which 10 million people perished. Bengal was left naked, stripped of its surplus wealth and grain. Famine struck in 1770 and took the lives of an estimated one third of Bengal's peasantry. A Commons Select Committee report in 1783 said that natives of all ranks and orders had been reduced to a State of Depression and Misery.

In 1787 a former army officer wrote: In former times the Bengal countries were the granary of nations, and the repository of commerce, wealth and manufacture in the East...But such has been the restless energy of misgovernment, that within 20 years many parts of those countries have been reduced to desert. The fields are no longer cultivated, extensive tracks are already overgrown with thickets, the husbandman is plundered, the manufacturer (handicraftsman) oppressed, famine has been repeatedly endured and depopulation ensured.

<b>As India became poor and hungry, Britain became richer. </b>Colossal fortunes were made. Robert Clive arrived in India penniless - activities of Company investigated by House of Commons. The Hindi word loot was introduced into English language because of the plunder of India. Colossal fortunes helped fund Britain's Industrial Revolution e.g.:

1757 - Battle of Plassey
1764 - Hargreaves spinning jenny
1769 - Arkwright's water frame
1779 - Crompton mule (whatever that is)
1785 - Watt's steam engine

When British first reached India they did not find a backwater country. A report on Indian Industrial Commission published in 1919 said that the industrial development of India was at any rate not inferior to that of the most advanced European nations. India was not only a great agricultural country but also a great manufacturing country. It had prosperous textile industry, whose cotton, silk, and woollen products were marketed in Europe and Asia. It had remarkable and remarkably ancient, skills in iron-working. It had its own shipbuilding industry in Calcutta, Daman, Surat, Bombay and Pegu. In 1802 skilled Indian workers were building British warships at Bombay. According to a historian of Indian shipping the teak wood vessels of Bombay were greatly superior to the oaken walls of Old England. Benares was famous all over India for its brass, copper and bell-metal wares. Other important industries included the enamelled jewellery and stone carving of Rajputana towns as well as filigree work in gold and silver, ivory, glass, tannery, perfumery and papermaking.
All this altered under the British leading to the de-industrialisation of India - its forcible transformation from a country of combined agriculture and manufacture into an agricultural colony of British capitalism. British annihilated Indian textile industry because a competitor existed and it had to be destroyed.

Shipbuilding industry aroused the jealousy of British firms and its progress and development were restricted by legislation. India's metalwork, glass and paper industries were likewise throttled when British government in India was obliged to use only British-made paper.

The vacuum created by the contrived ruin of the Indian handicraft industries, a process virtually completed by 1880, was filled with British manufactured goods. Britain's industrial revolution, with its explosive increase in productivity made it essential for British capitalists to find new markets. India turned from exporter of textile or importer. British goods had to have virtually free entry while entry into Britain of India goods was met with prohibitive tariffs. Direct trade between India and the rest of the world had to be curtailed. Horace Hayman Wilson in 1845 in The History of British India from 1805 to 1835 said the foreign manufacturer employed the arm of political injustice to keep down and ultimately strangle a competitor with whom he could not have contended on equal terms.

While there was prosperity for British cotton industry there was ruin for millions of Indian craftsmen and artisans. India's manufacturing towns were blighted e.g. Decca once known as the Manchester of India, and Murshidabad-Bengal's old capital which was once described in 1757 as extensive, populous and rich as London. Millions of spinners, and weavers were forced to seek a precarious living in the countryside, as were many tanners, smelters and smiths.

India was made subservient to the Empire and vast wealth was sucked out of the subcontinent. Economic exploitation was the root cause of the Indian people's poverty and hunger. Under Imperial rule the ordinary people of India grew steadily poorer. Economic historian Romesh Dutt said half of India's annual net revenues of £44m flowed out of India. The number of famines soared from seven in the first half of 19th Century to 24 in second half. According to official figures, 28,825,000 Indians starved to death between 1854 and 1901. The terrible famine of 1899-1900 which affected 474,000 square miles with a population almost 60 million was attributed to a process of bleeding the peasant, who were forced into the clutches of the money-lenders whom British regarded as their mainstay for the payment of revenue. The Bengal famine of 1943, which claimed 1.5million victims were accentuated by the authority's carelessness and utter lack of foresight.

Rich though its soil was, India's people were hungry and miserably poor. This grinding poverty struck all visitors - like a blow in the face as described by India League Delegation 1932. In their report Condition of India 1934 they had been appalled at the poverty of the Indian village. It is the home of stark want...the results of uneconomic agriculture, peasant indebtedness, excessive taxation and rack-renting, absence of social services and the general discontent impressed us everywhere..In the villages there were no health or sanitary services, there were no road, no drainage or lighting, and no proper water supply beyond the village well. Men, women and children work in the fields, farms and cowsheds...All alike work on meagre food and comfort and toil long hours for inadequate returns.

<b>Jawarharlal Nehru wrote that those parts of India which had been longest under British rule were the poorest:Bengal once so rich and flourishing after 187 years of British rule is a miserable mass of poverty-stricken, starving and dying people.</b>

India was sometimes called the 'milch cow of the Empire', and indeed at times it seemed to be so regarded by politicians and bureaucrats in London. Educated Indians were embittered when India was made to pay the entire cost of the India Office building in Whitehall. They were further outraged when in 1867 it was made to pay the full costs of entertaining two thousand five hundred guests at a lavish ball honouring the Sultan of Turkey.

In India, the hunger and poverty experienced by the majority of the population during the colonial period and immediately after independence were the logical consequences of two centuries of British occupation, during which the Indian cotton industry was destroyed, most peasants were put into serfdom (after the British modified the agrarian structures and the tax system to the benefit of the Zamindars - feudal landlords) and cash crops (indigo, tea, jute) gradually replaced traditional food crops. Britain's profits throughout the 19th century cannot be measured without taking into account the 28 million Indians who died of starvation between 1814 and 1901.

In 2020.AD- Britain will be poor and hungry, India will be richer
British Empire in India--India -Company Rule, 1757-1857
Check this book - your will get complete history how Britain raped India.
*<b>Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World </b>by Mike Davis

Some reference you can find in this book.
<b>Clash of Civilization</b> by Sam Huntington
<!--QuoteBegin-patrick+May 8 2004, 04:42 PM-->QUOTE(patrick @ May 8 2004, 04:42 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I am doing a school paper, and I would like some feed back from users on this board.
Patrick, Welcome to the forum. It would be nice to see your own research on this topic so far. Or you can use the thread to bounce off a few thoughts or ideas with other forum members.

Someone else had created a thread on this topic a while back which basically went nowhere. As a thread creator, you if you provide some more material in getting the topic going, it'll help your cause.
<!--QuoteBegin-patrick+May 9 2004, 02:12 AM-->QUOTE(patrick @ May 9 2004, 02:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> Hello,

I am doing a school paper, and I would like some feed back from users on this board.

from where are you?
Dharampal has chronicled the slow strangulation of Indian science and technology ubder the british in his book 'Indian Science and Technology' published by Other india press.
Dharampal (author), Indian Science & Technology in the Eigteenth Century. Mapusa: Other India Press.
Excerpts from the book are available the following link

A book review: Across time and geography

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Across time and geography

LANDSCAPES OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER — Swedish Ironmakers in India 1860-1864: Jan af Geijerstam; Pub. by Jernkontorets Bergshistoriska, Skirftserie-42. Distributed by Jernkontoret/The Swedish Steel Producers' Association, Box 1721, Se-111, 87 Stockholm, Sweden. Price not mentioned.

THE STORY that this brilliantly written book tries to tell is fairly simple. Three Swedes come to India in the early 1860s to set up charcoal based ironworks at two locations — Dechauri in the Kumaon hills and Burwai in the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh.

After a lot of hardship and after solving a variety of technical, social, logistic and other problems, Julius Ramsay and Gustaf Wittenstrom set up a large state-of-the-art charcoal based plant at Dechauri while Mitander started a much smaller plant at Burwai. The Burwai plant, in spite of an excellent design, encountered problems during its first production run. It closed down and never operated again.

The Kumaon plant after its erection operated in fits and starts at various times during 1860-80 before it was finally shut down.

<b>The book tries to answer certain basic questions related to these two case histories. Why were the plants set up and abandoned without really giving them a fair trial? Can these two case histories be used to understand why it took India such a long time to establish a viable steel industry? How did the two abandoned projects affect the subsequent development of the two locations?</b>

Though the questions themselves are fairly simple the way in which these have to be researched and answered is complex. Understanding connections between technology and society is neither simple nor obvious. The unique feature of the book is that the author manages to unravel this complicated chain of cause and effect rather well.

Technology and society

Through use of archived material, field visits, interviews with local people, plans, photographs and drawings from various sources, the author reconstructs the physical and social setting of these two projects.

Starting from the macro context of the Empire and the history of iron making, the book moves effortlessly into the micro detail of the setting up of the plants and their operations. The origin of the projects, the choice of technology and the social networks within which they arose and were implemented are described vividly.

The parts played by key actors at various stages of the project, especially the Swedes, are particularly well captured. Tables of inputs and outputs that benchmark the Indian plants against their global counterparts, for example, provide a detailed insight into the technical capabilities of the two plants.

Such snippets placed at appropriate positions in the book connect the micro and the macro in an easy to understand way.


The final chapters relate the two cases to the larger social, economic and political context of the British colonisation of India.

<b>The conflicts between local development of resources arising from the resident British and the local Indian interests, and the imperatives of the British manufacturing and trading class to capture and monopolise the Indian market that finally leads to the abandonment of the two projects are well-researched and well-presented. </b>
One of the elements of the Burwai plant set up by Mitander was a scaled down Bessemer converter. If the projects had become operational India would have been reasonably close to the state-of-the-art in steel making.

<b>By abandoning the two plants India missed a window of opportunity for internalising the technology transfer and producing iron and steel products that could compete globally. This delayed the emergence of the Indian steel industry considerably. This comes through very logically and convincingly. </b>

Lots of references, footnotes and explanations including details of traditional Indian iron making technologies embellish the book and reinforce the key points the author wishes to make.

The book can and should be read by all. It will be of particular interest to people interested in the history of technology and the relationship between technology and society.


Warning: This link may contain virus, hence posting it in full.
colonial legacy

The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
While few educated South Asians would deny that British Colonial rule was detrimental to the interests of the common people of the sub-continent - several harbor an illusion that the British weren't all bad. Didn't they, perhaps, educate us - build us modern cities, build us irrigation canals - protect our ancient monuments - etc. etc. And then, there are some who might even say that their record was actually superior to that of independent India's! Perhaps, it is time that the colonial record be retrieved from the archives and re-examined - so that those of us who weren't alive during the freedom movement can learn to distinguish between the myths and the reality.

Literacy and Education

Several Indians are deeply concerned about why literacy rates in India are still so low. So in the last year, I have been making a point of asking English-speaking Indians to guess what India's literacy rate in the colonial period might have been. These were Indians who went to school in the sixties and seventies (only two decades after independence) - and I was amazed to hear their fairly confident guesses. Most guessed the number to be between 30% and 40%. When I suggested that their guess was on the high side - they offered 25% to 35%. No one was prepared to believe that literacy in British India in 1911 was only 6%, in 1931 it was 8%, and by 1947 it had crawled to 11%! That fifty years of freedom had allowed the nation to quintuple it's literacy rate was something that almost seemed unfathomable to them. Perhaps - the British had concentrated on higher education ....? But in 1935, only 4 in 10,000 were enrolled in universities or higher educational institutes. In a nation of then over 350 million people only 16,000 books (no circulation figures) were published in that year (i.e. 1 per 20,000).

Urban Development

It is undoubtedly true that the British built modern cities with modern conveniences for their administrative officers. But it should be noted that these were exclusive zones not intended for the "natives" to enjoy. Consider that in 1911, 69 per cent of Bombay's population lived in one-room tenements (as against 6 per cent in London in the same year). The 1931 census revealed that the figure had increased to 74 per cent - with one-third living more than 5 to a room. The same was true of Karachi and Ahmedabad. After the Second World War, 13 per cent of Bombay's population slept on the streets. As for sanitation, 10-15 tenements typically shared one water tap!

Yet, in 1757 (the year of the Plassey defeat), Clive of the East India Company had observed of Murshidabad in Bengal: "This city is as extensive, populous and rich as the city of London..." (so quoted in the Indian Industrial Commission Report of 1916-18). Dacca was even more famous as a manufacturing town, it's muslin a source of many legends and it's weavers had an international reputation that was unmatched in the medieval world. But in 1840 it was reported by Sir Charles Trevelyan to a parliamentary enquiry that Dacca's population had fallen from 150,000 to 20,000. Montgomery Martin - an early historian of the British Empire observed that Surat and Murshidabad had suffered a similiar fate. (This phenomenon was to be replicated all over India - particularly in Awadh (modern U.P) and other areas that had offered the most heroic resistance to the British during the revolt of 1857.)

The percentage of population dependant on agriculture and pastoral pursuits actually rose to 73% in 1921 from 61% in 1891. (Reliable figures for earlier periods are not available.)

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....." Adding that the Company was unconcerned if people died of famine, or if they lacked roads and water.

Nothing can be more revealing than the remark by John Bright in the House of Commons on June 24, 1858, "The single city of Manchester, in the supply of its inhabitants with the single article of water, has spent a larger sum of money than the East India Company has spent in the fourteen years from 1834 to 1848 in public works of every kind throughout the whole of its vast dominions."

Irrigation and Agricultural Development

There is another popular belief about British rule: 'The British modernized Indian agriculture by building canals'. But the actual record reveals a somewhat different story. " The roads and tanks and canals," noted an observer in 1838 (G. Thompson, "India and the Colonies," 1838), ''which Hindu or Mussulman Governments constructed for the service of the nations and the good of the country have been suffered to fall into dilapidation; and now the want of the means of irrigation causes famines." Montgomery Martin, in his standard work "The Indian Empire", in 1858, noted that the old East India Company "omitted not only to initiate improvements, but even to keep in repair the old works upon which the revenue depended."

The Report of the Bengal Irrigation Department Committee in 1930 reads: "In every district the Khals (canals) which carry the internal boat traffic become from time to time blocked up with silt. Its Khals and rivers are the roads end highways of Eastern Bengal, and it is impossible to overestimate the importance to the economic life of this part of the province of maintaining these in proper navigable order ....... " "As regards the revival or maintenance of minor routes, ... practically nothing has been done, with the result that, in some parts of the Province at least, channels have been silted up, navigation has become limited to a few months in the year, and crops can only be marketed when the Khals rise high enough in the monsoon to make transport possible".

Sir William Willcock, a distinguished hydraulic engineer, whose name was associated with irrigation enterprises in Egypt and Mesopotamia had made an investigation of conditions in Bengal. He had discovered that innumerable small destructive rivers of the delta region, constantly changing their course, were originally canals which under the English regime were allowed to escape from their channels and run wild. Formerly these canals distributed the flood waters of the Ganges and provided for proper drainage of the land, undoubtedly accounting for that prosperity of Bengal which lured the rapacious East India merchants there in the early days of the eighteenth century.. He wrote" Not only was nothing done to utilize and improve the original canal system, but railway embankments were subsequently thrown up, entirely destroying it. Some areas, cut off from the supply of loam-bearing Ganges water, have gradually become sterile and unproductive, others improperly drained, show an advanced degree of water-logging, with the inevitable accompaniment of malaria. Nor has any attempt been made to construct proper embankments for the Gauges in its low course, to prevent the enormous erosion by which villages and groves and cultivated fields are swallowed up each year."

"Sir William Willcock severely criticizes the modern administrators and officials, who, with every opportunity to call in expert technical assistance, have hitherto done nothing to remedy this disastrous situation, from decade to decade." Thus wrote G. Emerson in "Voiceless Millions," in 1931 quoting the views of Sir William Willcock in his "Lectures on the Ancient System of Irrigation in Bengal and its Application to Modern Problems" (Calcutta University Readership Lectures, University of Calcutta, 1930)

Modern Medicine and Life Expectancy

Even some serious critics of colonial rule grudgingly grant that the British brought modern medicine to India. Yet - all the statistical indicators show that access to modern medicine was severely restricted. A 1938 report by the ILO (International Labor Office) on "Industrial Labor in India" revealed that life expectancy in India was barely 25 years in 1921 (compared to 55 for England) and had actually fallen to 23 in 1931! In his recently published "Late Victorian Holocausts" Mike Davis reports that life expectancy fell by 20% between 1872 and 1921.

In 1934, there was one hospital bed for 3800 people in British India and this figure included hospital beds reserved for the British rulers. (In that same year, in the Soviet Union, there were ten times as many.) Infant mortality in Bombay was 255 per thousand in 1928. (In the same year, it was less than half that in Moscow.)

Poverty and Population Growth

Several Indians when confronted with such data from the colonial period argue that the British should not be specially targeted because India's problems of poverty pre-date colonial rule, and in any case, were exacerbated by rapid population growth. Of course, no one who makes the first point is able to offer any substantive proof that such conditions prevailed long before the British arrived, and to counter such an argument would be difficult in the absence of reliable and comparable statistical data from earlier centuries. But some readers may find the anecdotal evidence intriguing. In any case, the population growth data is available and is quite remarkable in what it reveals.

Between 1870 and 1910, India's population grew at an average rate of 19%. England and Wales' population grew three times as fast - by 58%! Average population growth in Europe was 45%. Between 1921-40, the population in India grew faster at 21% but was still less than the 24% growth of population in the US!

In 1941, the density of population in India was roughly 250 per square mile almost a third of England's 700 per square mile. Although Bengal was much more densely inhabited at almost 780 per square mile - that was only about 10% more than England. Yet, there was much more poverty in British India than in England and an unprecedented number of famines were recorded during the period of British rule.

In the first half of the 19th century, there were seven famines leading to a million and a half deaths. In the second half, there were 24 famines (18 between 1876 and 1900) causing over 20 million deaths (as per official records). 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.

Not surprising, since the export of food grains had increased by a factor of four just prior to that period. And export of other agricultural raw materials had also increased in similar proportions. Land that once produced grain for local consumption was now taken over by by former slave-owners from N. America who were permitted to set up plantations for the cultivation of lucrative cash crops exclusively for export. Particularly galling is how the British colonial rulers continued to export foodgrains from India to Britain even during famine years.

Annual British Government reports repeatedly published data that showed 70-80% of Indians were living on the margin of subsistence. That two-thirds were undernourished, and in Bengal, nearly four-fifths were undernourished.

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."

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..."

This in spite of the fact that in 1922 - an 11 hour day was the norm (as opposed to an 8 hour day in the Soviet Union.) In 1934, it had been reduced to 10 hours (whereas in the Soviet Union, the 7 hour day had been legislated as early as in 1927) What was worse, there were no enforced restrictions on the use of child labour and the Whitley Report found children as young as five - working a 12 hour day.

Ancient Monuments

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".

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."

The Mughal fort at Allahabad (one of Akbar's favorite) experienced a fate far worse. Virtually nothing of architectural significance is to be seen in the barracks that now make up the fort. The Deccan fort at Ahmednagar was also converted into barracks. Now, only its outer walls can hint at its former magnificence.

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....."

"At an earlier date, when picnic parties were held in the garden of the Taj, related Lord Curzon, a governor general in the early twentieth century, "it was not an uncommon thing for the revellers to arm themselves with hammer and chisel, with which they wiled away the afternoon by chipping out fragments of agate and carnelian from the cenotaphs of the Emperor and his lamented Queen." The Taj became a place where one could drink in private, and its parks were often strewn with the figures of inebriated British soldiers..."

Lord William Bentinck, (governor general of Bengal 1828-33, and later first governor general of all India), went so far as to announce plans to demolish the best Mogul monuments in Agra and Delhi and remove their marble facades. These were to be shipped to London, where they would be broken up and sold to members of the British aristocracy. Several of Shahjahan's pavilions in the Red Fort at Delhi were indeed stripped to the brick, and the marble was shipped off to England (part of this shipment included pieces for King George IV himself). Plans to dismantle the Taj Mahal were in place, and wrecking machinery was moved into the garden grounds. Just as the demolition work was to begin, news from London indicated that the first auction had not been a success, and that all further sales were cancelled -- it would not be worth the money to tear down the Taj Mahal.

Thus the Taj Mahal was spared, and so too, was the reputation of the British as "Protectors of India's Historic Legacy" ! That innumerable other monuments were destroyed, or left to rack and ruin is a story that has yet to get beyond the specialists in the field.

India and the Industrial Revolution

Perhaps the most important aspect of colonial rule was the transfer of wealth from India to Britain. In his pioneering book, India Today, Rajni Palme Dutt conclusively demonstrates how vital this was to the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Several patents that had remained unfunded suddenly found industrial sponsors once the taxes from India started rolling in. Without capital from India, British banks would have found it impossible to fund the modernization of Britain that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In addition, the scientific basis of the industrial revolution was not a uniquely European contribution. Several civilizations had been adding to the world's scientific database - especially the civilizations of Asia, (including those of the Indian sub-continent). Without that aggregate of scientific knowledge the scientists of Britain and Europe would have found it impossible to make the rapid strides they made during the period of the Industrial revolution. Moreover, several of these patents, particularly those concerned with the textile industry relied on pre-industrial techniques perfected in the sub-continent. (In fact, many of the earliest textile machines in Britain were unable to match the complexity and finesse of the spinning and weaving machines of Dacca.)

Some euro-centric authors have attempted to deny any such linkage. They have tried to assert that not only was the Industrial Revolution a uniquely British/European event - that colonization and the the phenomenal transfer of wealth that took place was merely incidental to it's fruition. But the words of Lord Curzon still ring loud and clear. The Viceroy of British India in 1894 was quite unequivocal, "India is the pivot of our Empire .... If the Empire loses any other part of its Dominion we can survive, but if we lose India the sun of our Empire will have set."

Lord Curzon knew fully well, the value and importance of the Indian colony. It was the transfer of wealth through unprecedented levels of taxation on Indians of virtually all classes that funded the great "Industrial Revolution" and laid the ground for "modernization" in Britain. As early as 1812, an East India Company Report had stated "The importance of that immense empire to this country is rather to be estimated by the great annual addition it makes to the wealth and capital of the Kingdom....."

Unfair Trade

Few would doubt that Indo-British trade may have been unfair - but it may be noteworthy to see how unfair. In the early 1800s imports of Indian cotton and silk goods faced duties of 70-80%. British imports faced duties of 2-4%! As a result, British imports of cotton manufactures into India increased by a factor of 50, and Indian exports dropped to one-fourth! A similiar trend was noted in silk goods, woollens, iron, pottery, glassware and paper. As a result, millions of ruined artisans and craftsmen, spinners, weavers, potters, smelters and smiths were rendered jobless and had to become landless agricultural workers.

Colonial Beneficiaries

Another aspect of colonial rule that has remained hidden from popular perception is that Britain was not the only beneficiary of colonial rule. British trade regulations even as they discriminated against Indian business interests created a favorable trading environment for other imperial powers. By 1939, only 25% of Indian imports came from Britain. 25% came from Japan, the US and Germany. In 1942-3, Canada and Australia contributed another 8%. In the period immediately before independence, Britain ruled as much on behalf of it's imperial allies as it did in it's own interest. The process of "globalization" was already taking shape. But none of this growth trickled down to India. In the last half of 19th century, India's income fell by 50%. In the 190 years prior to independence, the Indian economy was literally stagnant - it experienced zero growth. (Mike Davis: Late Victorian Holocausts)

Those who wish India well might do well to re-read this history so the nation isn't brought to the abyss once again, (and so soon after being liberated from the yoke of colonial rule). While some Indians may wax nostalgic for the return of their former overlords, and some may be ambivalent about colonial rule, most of us relish our freedom and wish to perfect it - not gift it away again.

References: Statistics and data for the colonial period taken from Rajni-Palme Dutt's India Today (Indian Edition published in 1947); also see N.K. Sinha's Economic History of Bengal (Published in Calcutta, 1956); and "Late Victorian Holocausts" by Mike Davis

Bibliography: (For further research into this area)

M. M. Ahluwalia, Freedom Struggle in India,
Shah, Khambata: The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India
G. Emerson, Voiceless India
W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce in Modern Times
Brooks Adams, The Law of Civilization and Decline
J. R. Seeley, Expansion of England
H. H. Wilson, History of British India
D. H Buchanan, Development of Capitalist Enterprise in India
L. C. A Knowles: Economic Development of the Overseas Empire
L. H. Jenks: The Migration of British Capital


Related articles:

European Domination of the Indian Ocean Trade

From Trade to Colonization - Historic Dynamics of the East India Companies

The Revolutionary Upheaval of 1857

The 2-Nation Theory and Partition

Also see the sections on colonization in: History of Orissa: An introduction and Adivasi Contributions to Indian Culture and Civilization

For an insight into colonial machinations in the Middle East (and it's implications for the Indian subcontinent), see Colonization and Control of the Oil Wealth in the Middle East


For an anti-imperialist view from the US, see British Rule in India by William Jennings Bryan, as it appeared in the New York Journal, Jan. 22, 1899:-

"Wherever it was possible to put in an Englishman to oust a native an Englishman has been put in, and has been paid from four times to twenty times as much for his services as would have sufficed for the salary of an equally capable Hindoo or Mohammedan official. *** At the present time, out of 39,000 officials who draw a salary of more than 1,000 rupees a year, 28,000 are Englishmen and only 11,000 natives. Moreover, the 11,000 natives receive as salaries only three million pounds a year; the 28,000 Englishmen receive fifteen million pounds a year. Out of the 960 important civil offices which really control the civil administration of India 900 are filled with Englishmen and only sixty with natives."

We may well turn from the contemplation of an imperial policy and its necessary vices to the words of Jefferson in his first inaugural message: "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question."


Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism

Two centuries of colonial rule have also had a strong impact in the cultural and educational arena. Much of Western historiography has been shaped by thinly veiled colonial attitudes that continue to dominate the intellectual and philosophical space in the field of Indology, comparative studies and in anthologies of world history and culture. India continues to be represented in a form that is often a caricature of Indian reality. Even when the Indian historical record is not treated with outright contempt, condescension and superficiality taint mainstream writings on India.

While India was often a source of admiration (or grudging envy) prior to colonization, the British victory in India led to a sea change in how India came to be viewed and characterized in the west. Not only was India's physical wealth expropriated by colonization, Western social scientists, philosophers and historians attempted to do the same in the cultural and intellectual space.

See British Education in India
Posting in full as some things must be...

British Education in India

British Education in India

As has been noted by numerous scholars of British rule in India, the physical presence of the British in India was not significant. Yet, for almost two centuries, the British were able to rule two-thirds of the subcontinent directly, and exercise considerable leverage over the Princely States that accounted for the remaining one-third. While the strategy of divide and conquer was used most effectively, an important aspect of British rule in India was the psychological indoctrination of an elite layer within Indian society who were artfully tutored into becoming model British subjects. This English-educated layer of Indian society was craftily encouraged in absorbing values and notions about themselves and their land of birth that would be conducive to the British occupation of India, and furthering British goals of looting India's physical wealth and exploiting it's labour.

<b>In 1835, Thomas Macaulay articulated the goals of British colonial imperialism most succinctly: "We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, words and intellect." As the architect of Colonial Britain's Educational Policy in India, Thomas Macaulay was to set the tone for what educated Indians were going to learn about themselves, their civilization, and their view of Britain and the world around them. An arch-racist, Thomas Macaulay had nothing but scornful disdain for Indian history and civilization. In his infamous minute of 1835, he wrote that he had "never found one among them (speaking of Orientalists, an opposing political faction) who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia". "It is, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgments used at preparatory schools in England".</b>

As a contrast to such unabashed contempt for Indian civilization, we find glowing references to India in the writings of pre-colonial Europeans quoted by Swami Vivekananda: "All history points to India as the mother of science and art," wrote William Macintosh. "This country was anciently so renowned for knowledge and wisdom that the philosophers of Greece did not disdain to travel thither for their improvement." Pierre Sonnerat, a French naturalist, concurred: "We find among the Indians the vestiges of the most remote antiquity.... We know that all peoples came there to draw the elements of their knowledge.... India, in her splendour, gave religions and laws to all the other peoples; Egypt and Greece owed to her both their fables and their wisdom

But colonial exploitation had created a new imperative for the colonial lords. It could no longer be truthfully acknowledged that India had a rich civilization of its own - that its philosophical and scientific contributions may have influenced European scholars - or helped in shaping the European Renaissance. Britain needed a class of intellectuals meek and docile in their attitude towards the British, but full of hatred towards their fellow citizens. It was thus important to emphasize the negative aspects of the Indian tradition, and obliterate or obscure the positive. Indians were to be taught that they were a deeply conservative and fatalist people - genetically predisposed to irrational superstitions and mystic belief systems. That they had no concept of nation, national feelings or a history. If they had any culture, it had been brought to them by invaders - that they themselves lacked the creative energy to achieve anything by themselves. But the British, on the other hand epitomized modernity - they were the harbingers of all that was rational and scientific in the world. With their unique organizational skills and energetic zeal, they would raise India from the morass of casteism and religious bigotry. These and other such ideas were repeatedly filled in the minds of the young Indians who received instruction in the British schools.

<b>All manner of conscious (and subconscious) British (and European) agents would henceforth embark on a journey to rape and conquer the Indian mind.</b> Within a matter of years, J.N Farquhar (a contemporary of Macaulay) was to write: "The new educational policy of the Government created during these years the modern educated class of India. These are men who think and speak in English habitually, who are proud of their citizenship in the British Empire, who are devoted to English literature, and whose intellectual life has been almost entirely formed by the thought of the West, large numbers of them enter government services, while the rest practice law, medicine or teaching, or take to journalism or business."

Macaulay's strategem could not have yielded greater dividends. Charles E. Trevelyan, brother-in-law of Macaulay, stated: " Familiarly acquainted with us by means of our literature, the Indian youth almost cease to regard us as foreigners. They speak of "great" men with the same enthusiasm as we do. Educated in the same way, interested in the same objects, engaged in the same pursuits with ourselves, they become more English than Hindoos, just as the Roman provincial became more Romans than Gauls or Italians.."

That this was no benign process, but intimately related to British colonial goals was expressed quite candidly by Charles Trevelyan in his testimony before the Select Committee of the House of Lords on the Government of Indian Territories on 23rd June, 1853: "..... the effect of training in European learning is to give an entirely new turn to the native mind. The young men educated in this way cease to strive after independence according to the original Native model, and aim at, improving the institutions of the country according to the English model, with the ultimate result of establishing constitutional self-government. They cease to regard us as enemies and usurpers, and they look upon us as friends and patrons, and powerful beneficent persons, under whose protection the regeneration of their country will gradually be worked out. ....."

Much of the indoctrination of the Indian mind actually took place outside the formal classrooms and through the sale of British literature to the English-educated Indian who developed a voracious appetite for the British novel and British writings on a host of popular subjects. In a speech before the Edinburgh Philosophical Society in 1846, Thomas Babington (1800-1859), shortly to become Baron Macaulay, offered a toast: "To the literature of Britain . . . which has exercised an influence wider than that of our commerce and mightier than that of our arms . . .before the light of which impious and cruel superstitions are fast taking flight on the Banks of the Ganges!"

However, the British were not content to influence Indian thinking just through books written in the English language. <b>Realizing the danger of Indians discovering their real heritage through the medium of Sanskrit, Christian missionaries such as William Carey anticipated the need for British educators to learn Sanskrit and transcribe and interpret Sanskrit texts in a manner compatible with colonial aims. That Carey's aims were thoroughly duplicitous is brought out in this quote cited by Richard Fox Young: "To gain the ear of those who are thus deceived it is necessary for them to believe that the speaker has a superior knowledge of the subject. In these circumstances a knowledge of Sanskrit is valuable. As the person thus misled, perhaps a Brahman, deems this a most important part of knowledge, if the advocate of truth be deficient therein, he labors against the hill; presumption is altogether against him."

In this manner, India's awareness of it's history and culture was manipulated in the hands of colonial ideologues.</b> Domestic and external views of India were shaped by authors whose attitudes towards all things Indian were shaped either by subconscious prejudice or worse by barely concealed racism. For instance, William Carey (who bemoaned how so few Indians had converted to Christianity in spite of his best efforts) had little respect or sympathy for Indian traditions. In one of his letters, he described Indian music as "disgusting", bringing to mind "practices dishonorable to God". Charles Grant, who exercised tremendous influence in colonial evangelical circles, published his "Observations" in 1797 in which he attacked almost every aspect of Indian society and religion, describing Indians as morally depraved, "lacking in truth, honesty and good faith" (p.103). British Governor General Cornwallis asserted "Every native of Hindostan, I verily believe, is corrupt".

Victorian writer and important art critic of his time, John Ruskin dismissed all Indian art with ill-concealed contempt: "..the Indian will not draw a form of nature but an amalgamation of monstrous objects". Adding: "To all facts and forms of nature it wilfuly and resolutely opposes itself; it will not draw a man but an eight armed monster, it will not draw a flower but only a spiral or a zig zag". Others such as George Birdwood (who took some interest in Indian decorative art) nevertheless opined: "...painting and sculpture as fine art did not exist in India."

Several British and European historians attempted to portray India as a society that had made no civilizational progress for several centuries. William Jones asserted that Hindu society had been stationary for so long that "in beholding the Hindus of the present day, we are beholding the Hindus of many ages past". James Mill, author of the three-volume History of British India (1818) essentially concurred with William Jones as did Henry Maine. This view of India, as an essentially unchanging society where there was no intellectual debate, or technological innovation - where a hidebound caste system had existed without challenge or reform - where social mobility or class struggle were unheard of, became especially popular with European scholars and intellectuals of the colonial era.

It allowed influential philosophers such as Hegel to posit ethnocentric and self-serving justifications of colonization. Arguing that Europe was "absolutely the end of universal history", he saw Asia as only the beginning of history, where history soon came to a standstill. "If we had formerly the satisfaction of believing in the antiquity of the Indian wisdom and holding it in respect, we now have ascertained through being acquainted with the great astronomical works of the Indians, the inaccuracy of all figures quoted. Nothing can be more confused, nothing more imperfect than the chronology of the Indians; no people which attained to culture in astronomy, mathematics, etc., is as incapable for history; in it they have neither stability nor coherence." With such distorted views of India, it was a small step to argue that "The British, or rather the East India Company, are the masters of India because it is the fatal destiny of Asian empires to subject themselves to the Europeans."

Hegel's racist consciousness comes out most explicitly in his descriptions of Africans: "It is characteristic of the blacks that their consciousness has not yet even arrived at the intuition of any objectivity, as for example, of God or the law, in which humanity relates to the world and intuits its essence. ...He [the black person] is a human being in the rough."

Such ideas also shaped the views of later German authors such Max Weber famous for his "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," (1930) who in his descriptions of Indian religion and philosophy focused exclusively on "material renunciation" and the "world denying character" of Indian philosophical systems, ignoring completely the rich heritage of scientific realism and rational analysis that had in fact imbued much of Indian thought. Weber discounted the existence of any rational doctrines in the East, insisting that: "Neither scientific, artistic, governmental, nor economic evolution has led to the modes of rationalization proper to the Occident." Whether it was ignorance or prejudice that determined his views, such views were not uninfluential, and exemplified the euro-centric undercurrent that pervaded most British and European scholarship of that time.

Naturally, British-educated Indians absorbed and internalized such characterizations of themselves and their past. Amongst those most affected by such diminution of the Indian character was the young Gandhi, who when in South Africa, wished to meet General Smuts and offer the cooperation of the South African Indian population for the Boer war effort. In a conversation with the General, Gandhi appears as just the sort of colonized sycophant the British education system had hoped to create: "General Smuts, sir we Indians would like to strengthen the hands of the government in the war. However, our efforts have been rebuffed. Could you inform us about our vices so we would reform and be better citizens of this land?" to which Gen.Smuts replied: "Mr. Gandhi, we are not afraid of your vices, We are afraid of your virtues". (Although Gandhi eventually went through a slow and very gradual nationalist transformation, in 1914 he campaigned for the British war efforts in World War I, and was one of the last of the national leaders to call for complete independence from British rule.)

<b>British-educated Indians grew up learning about Pythagoras, Archimedes, Galileo and Newton without ever learning about Panini, Aryabhatta, Bhaskar or Bhaskaracharya. The logic and epistemology of the Nyaya Sutras, the rationality of the early Buddhists or the intriguing philosophical systems of the Jains were generally unknown to the them. Neither was there any awareness of the numerous examples of dialectics in nature that are to be found in Indian texts. They may have read Homer or Dickens but not the Panchatantra, the Jataka tales or anything from the Indian epics. Schooled in the aesthetic and literary theories of the West, many felt embarrassed in acknowledging Indian contributions in the arts and literature. What was important to Western civilization was deemed universal, but everything Indian was dismissed as either backward and anachronistic, or at best tolerated as idiosyncratic oddity. Little did the Westernized Indian know what debt "Western Science and Civilization" owed (directly or indirectly) to Indian scientific discoveries and scholarly texts. </b>

Dilip K. Chakrabarti (Colonial Indology) thus summarized the situation: "The model of the Indian past...was foisted on Indians by the hegemonic books written by Western Indologists concerned with language, literature and philosophy who were and perhaps have always been paternalistic at their best and racists at their worst.."

Elaborating on the phenomenon of cultural colonization, Priya Joshi (Culture and Consumption: Fiction, the Reading Public, and the British Novel in Colonial India) writes: "Often, the implementation of a new education system leaves those who are colonized with a lack of identity and a limited sense of their past. The indigenous history and customs once practiced and observed slowly slip away. The colonized become hybrids of two vastly different cultural systems. Colonial education creates a blurring that makes it difficult to differentiate between the new, enforced ideas of the colonizers and the formerly accepted native practices."

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, (Kenya, Decolonising the Mind), displaying anger toward the isolationist feelings colonial education causes, asserted that the process "...annihilates a peoples belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves".

<b>Strong traces of such thinking continue to infect young Indians, especially those that migrate to the West. Elements of such mental insecurity and alienation also had an impact on the consciousness of the British-educated Indians who participated in the freedom struggle.</b>

In contemporary academic circles, various false theories continue to percolate. While some write as if Indian civilization has made no substantial progress since the Vedic period, for others the clock stopped with Ashoka, or with the "classical age" of the Guptas. Some Islamic scholars have attempted to construct a more positive view of the Islamic reigns in India, but continue to concur with colonial scholars in seeing pre-Islamic India as socially and culturally moribund and technologically backward. A range of scholars persist in basing their studies on views of Indian history that not only concentrate exclusively on its negative traits, but also fail to situate the negative aspects of Indian history in historical context. Few have attempted to make serious and objective comparisons of Indian social institutions and cultural attributes with those of other nations. Often the Indian historical record is unfavorably compared with European achievements that in fact took place many centuries later.

Unable to rise above the colonial paradigms, many post-independence scholars of Indian history and civilization continue to fumble with colonially inspired doctrines that run counter to the emerging historical record. Others more conscious of British distortions and frustrated by the hyper-critical assessment of some Indian scholars, go to the other extreme of presenting the Indian historical record without any critical analysis whatsoever. Some have even attempted to construct artificially hyped views of Indian history where there is little attempt to distinguish myth from fact. Strong communal biases continue to prevail, as do xenophobic rejections of even potentially useful and valid Western constructs, even as Western-imposed hegemonic economic systems and exploitative economic models continue to dominate the Indian economic landscape and often find unquestioning acceptance.

<b>Thus, one of the most difficult tasks facing the Indian subcontinent is to free all scholarship concerning its development and its relationship to the world from the biased formulations and distortions of colonially-influenced authors. At the same time, Indian authors also need to study the West and other civilizations with dispassionate objectivity - eschewing both craven and uncritical admiration and xenophobic skepticism and distrust of the scientific and cultural achievements made by others.</b>

<b>Growth of Wealth: Revenue and Debt</b>
At the Begining of 19th Century the revenue of the outlying portions of the Empire amounted to 31 millions, and of this total India contibuted the bulk; not more than 3.5 millions representing the revenue from various colonies.
<span style='color:red'>
Whole Empire = 75 millions
UK contributed 50 millions
Indian and Colonial Empire = 25 millions

India was = 27.5 millions
other British possessions = 3.5 millions

Total Empire amount = 225 millions
UK less than half = 110 millions
India 62.5 millions
Australasia, Canada and Africa = 52.5 millions</span>
<!--QuoteBegin-patrick+May 9 2004, 02:12 AM-->QUOTE(patrick @ May 9 2004, 02:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hello,

I am doing a school paper, and I would like some feed back from users on this board.

When Britain was in India (around 1850-1930) did they help the economy of India or ruin it?

Can you please place links of your source/idea.

My thought: Ruin the economy - 1. Cottage Industry 2. Monopoly


So Patrick,

When you do submit this "school paper" please acknowledge the material and opinions of India-Forum members.

But by now you must be in college or working?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->they focused on the rich agricultural areas; grabbed others through the no doubt divinely ordained 'doctrine of lapse'; and left their dominions far worse off.

this much we knew, but here's concrete economic evidence from the harvard business school's lakshmi iyer.


is this a question to ask?? did the brits ruin the indian economy or not??

go read the paper by HIER (harvard institute of economic research) about how india's industrial output came down from 25% (of the global output) in 1800 to less than 2% in 1900.
India’s De-Industrialization Under British Rule :
New Ideas, New Evidence

David Clingingsmith
Jeffrey G. Williamson
Harvard University

India was a major player in the world export market for extiles in the early 18th century, but by the middle of the 19th century it had lost all of its export market and much of its domestic market. Other local industries also suffered some decline, and India underwent secular de-industrialization as a consequence. While India produced about 25 percent of world industrial output in 1750, this figure fell to only 2 percent by 1900. We use an open, specific-factor model to organize our thinking about the relative role played by domestic and foreign
forces in India’s de-industrialization. The construction of new relative price evidence is central to our analysis.We document trends in the ratio of export to import prices (the external terms of trade) from 1800 to 1913, and that of tradable to non-tradable goods and own-wages in the tradable sectors going back to 1765. With this new relative price evidence in hand, we ask how much of the de-industrialization was due to local supply-side influences (such as the demise of the Mughal empire) and how much to world price shocks (such as world market integration and rapid productivity advance in European manufacturing), both of which had to deal with
an offset – the huge net transfer from India to Britain before 1815. Whether the Indian de-industrialization shocks and responses were big or small is then assessed by comparisons with other parts of the periphery.

David Clingingsmith
Department of Economics
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138

Jeffrey G. Williamson
Department of Economics
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138
and NBER

<b>DOWNLOAD </b>
But ofcourse, CPM blames Queen for Muslim backwardness
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE CPM has blamed the colonial legacy for the abysmal status of Muslims in West Bengal. Blaming the British, Partition and immigration for the dismal state of Muslims, as found by the Sachar committee, the Left party admitted new initiatives were needed to change the scenario.

The party quoted figures from a 1871 study, Our Indian Musalmans, showing Muslims in government jobs in Bengal province - assistant engineers (three grades): Hindu 14, Muslim 2; sub-engineers and supervisors: Hindu 24, Muslim 1; overseers: Hindu 63, Muslim 2; accounts department: Hindu 50, Muslim 0; registered legal counsel: Hindu 239, Muslim 1 and so on. "However, there is nothing on record to show any concrete steps were ordered to correct this imbalance . Modern day Bengal has inherited this legacy," CPM polit bureau member Sitaram Yechury said. The study was conducted when viceroy Lord Meo asked William Hunter to study the causes of Muslim unrest.

reply by a reader:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hon'ble Yechury ji comes to the rescue of the beleaguered Sonar Bangla.

Ask for reparations for the colonial loot also, Hon'ble Yechury ji. Don't forget the Bengal famine which was also caused by the Queen (aka Her Majesty's Government).
Post 16:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ask for reparations for the colonial loot also, Hon'ble Yechury ji.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Tangentially related to this:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Greek pupils demand Elgin Marbles</b> 

Photo caption: Organisers plan similar protests in London and elsewhere 

Greek schoolchildren have demonstrated at the Acropolis in Athens to demand that the UK returns marble sculptures taken by Lord Elgin 200 years ago.
Wearing orange jackets bearing campaign logos, about 2,000 pupils formed a human chain around the monument.

The marbles are part of the Parthenon, a 2,500-year-old temple.

Greece has long campaigned for the marbles' return. But the British Museum says they are better off in London, safe from pollution damage in Athens.   <!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Organisers said the marbles were Greece's pride and dignity. They said the symbol of Greek democracy had lain mutilated for two centuries.

Campaigners have collected 65,000 signatures and sent 900 letters of protest to the head of the British Museum in London.

The marbles were removed by British envoy Lord Elgin at the beginning of the 19th Century.

The Greek government has for years campaigned for their return, saying they were illegally removed.

The museum says it is not at liberty to give them back, and believes they are well looked after and available for millions of visitors to see in London.

It says the marbles are safe from Athens's pollution that has damaged those still there.

An organiser of Tuesday's protest said campaigners would soon stage a similar event at the British Museum.

Other cities which hold pieces of the temple to the goddess Athena include Paris, Vienna, Palermo and Munich, according to the Greek culture ministry.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->India should do the same. Get Iran to give our Peacock Throne back, and more particularly, get the British to return all our jewels, diamonds (but the Hope diamond is at Smithsonian in US), religious and historic artefacts. This will also raise awareness of christo-colonial theft in India and make the ignoramuses who harp on about India's 'Hinduism-inflicted poverty' realise what <i>really</i> caused the poverty.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Heroin, opium and slave trade... made Britain wealthy!
by Vijaya Perera

Around two centuries ago Britain became the world's wealthiest nation, mainly on its income from the slave trade and the opium trade.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is reported to be holding services to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, mainly due to the activities of William Wilberforce. The BBC news bulletin which announced this casually mentioned that the Anglican church became rich on its income from the slave trade.

My concern in this paper is to speak of Britain's other source of wealth, namely the opium trade.

The UK Attorney General recently complained that 90% of the heroin consumed in Britain came from Afghanistan. The Attorney General disapproves of trafficking in opium. It was Britain that started the dirty business and battened on it.

Opium was a huge source of income for Britain and it actually had an Opium Service in India for career officers, just like the Civil Service and the Police Service. Eric Blair (whom we know as George Orwell) set sail from Liverpool in October 1922 to start a career in British India, in the footsteps of his father who had, after a long spell of working in the Bengali Opium Service, attained the rank of Sub-Opium Agent Class 1. Eric Blair worked for 5 years in the
Imperial Police Service before he left in disgust to return to an uncertain future in England much to the dismay of his parents.

At the beginning of the 19th century the British started forcibly to sell opium to the Chinese people and built up such a lucrative trade that the British government set up an official Opium Service in India. It was considered a quite respectable occupation for a middle class English gentleman to seek a career in. The purpose of the Service was to forcibly sell opium to Chinese , creating thousands of addicts and drawing in millions of pounds in profits.

When things got out of control, the weak Chinese government tried to stop the trade and confiscated all the opium warehoused at Canton by British merchants. Around this time some drunken British sailors killed a Chinese villager. The British government refused to hand over the sailors to the Chinese courts for trial. This led to a war which went on for three years but the Chinese were badly defeated.

There was in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking, followed by the British Supplementary Treaty of the Bogue in 1843. Devastating, humiliating, crushing terms were imposed by the British on the Chinese. China was compelled to pay a huge sum of money (which was called an 'indemnity') to the British as well as cede five Chinese ports for British trade and residence. China had also to agree that British citizens committing offences in China would not be tried by Chinese courts. Soon other western countries demanded and were given similar privileges.

In 1856, the British found an excuse to revive hostilities when some Chinese officials boarded the British ship 'Arrow' and lowered the British flag. France saw an opportunity to get in on the act, alleging that a French missionary had been killed somewhere in the interior of China. The joint British-French armies began military operations in late 1857 and by 1858 forced the Chinese to sign the Treaties of Tientsin which provided residence in Peking for foreign envoys, the opening of several new ports to western trade and residence, the right of foreigners to travel in the interior of China, and freedom of movement for Christian missionaries. The importation of opium into China was legalized.

The Chinese however refused to ratify the treaties and the allies recommenced their hostilities. They captured Peking and burned the emperor's summer palace. In 1860 the Chinese were compelled to sign the Peking Convention which agreed to observe the Treaties of Tientsin.

British military might have kept China crushed, humiliated and exploited well into the 20th century, and it took two world wars to reduce Britain to a has-been military bully, giving China a chance to get back on its feet as a communist power.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In 1597 AD, Libavius, a metallurgist in England received some quantity of Zinc metal and named it as Indian/Malabar lead.[61] <b>In 1738, William Champion is credited with patenting in Britain a process to extract zinc from calamine in a smelter, </b>a technology that beared strong resemblance to and was probably inspired by the process used in the Zawar zinc mines in Rajasthan.[62] <b>His first patent was rejected by the patent court on grounds of plagiarising the technology common in India. </b>However, he was granted the patent on his second submission of patent approval. Postlewayt's Universal Dictionary of 1751 still wasn't aware of how Zinc was produced.[63]  wiki/History_of_metallurgy_in_the_Indian_subcontinent<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
From the people's paper tehleka: VS Naipaul

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->“And in England too?”

“Yes, England too. But English people see England as a great success – the complete reordering of a society which was shocking a hundred or so years ago. Dickensian England. The people were in rags, without fuel to keep warm. Berlin, St. Petersburg – they were the same – they all had sinks of appalling poverty. They’ve altered all that. It’s a great achievement. They are now happy.”

For once I can’t tell whether he is being ironical.

“You think they are happy?”

“Oh yes, they are happy. The only people who may be happier are the Bangladeshis. The outside world sees Bangladesh as a place of calamity. They have typhoons and floods and natural disasters. But when all these settle down and they rebuild the huts and houses in their villages, and the muezzin calls for prayers from the minaret in the evening, they know in their hearts that the infidel has been chased out of the land – and they are happy.”<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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