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Forum LockedThe British in India

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scaevola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The British in India
    Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 11:15
It seems to me that although many decry the British rule of India as oppressive and exploitative, there would be no India at all if Britain hadn't conquered it. Wasn't it the case that the Indian subcontinent was nothing more than a plurality of warring principalities before Britain conquered (and unified) it? I know for a fact that English is the single consistently spoken language and throughout the subcontinent (probably a good thing for India and Pakistan on the world stage) and that the second most prominently spoken is Hindi, which is not nearly as prevalent. India, it seems to me, would still be a highly balkanized and unimportant region of the world (if infact it could have retained its sovereignty in a disunited state for so long) if it weren't for the British occupation and unification of the country.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 12:01
The British were not the first ones to unite S Asia. The Mauryans, the Khiljis, the Mughals etc. ANd BTW there is still no India, it has what 17 insurgencies going on right now. The only thing new S Asia got out of British rule were railroads and syphallis. And I suspect it would have gotten both anyhow.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 12:12
Plus when it started a good efficient and incorrptible civil service and a founding in democracy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 13:13

Efficient? Incorruptible? The civil service? And democracy? Ah yes, British India was never democratic.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 14:25
How is it that India is knows as one of the biggest democracies around ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 15:12
A nice train set to play with, some tea to export and a two hundred year gap in history where none of the divisions that cripple India today were addressed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 15:24
What were these divisions and how should they have been addressed ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 18:42
Originally posted by Paul

A nice train set to play with, some tea to export and a two hundred year gap in history where none of the divisions that cripple India today were addressed.


in what way is division crippeling? it obviously didn't crippled europe...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 18:48
Originally posted by Peteratwar

How is it that India is knows as one of the biggest democracies around ?
Debatable whether they are a democracy, and even if they are; that was not one of England/Great Britain/United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland/ United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland\s contributions. India was ruled by a Govonor General/ Viceroy answerable to London.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 19:32
Originally posted by Temujin

Originally posted by Paul

A nice train set to play with, some tea to export and a two hundred year gap in history where none of the divisions that cripple India today were addressed.


in what way is division crippeling? it obviously didn't crippled europe...
 
Europe doesn't quite have a caste system. Poverty on the level of Calcutta. Extreme religious divides.


Edited by Paul - 31-Jan-2008 at 19:33
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 23:50
India, it seems to me, would still be a highly balkanized and unimportant region of the world (if infact it could have retained its sovereignty in a disunited state for so long) if it weren't for the British occupation and unification of the country.

I think that's the wrong way around. If Britian hadn't conqured india, britian would have remained an unimportant region of the world.

Every empire in history that can control a reasonable portion of the subcontinent becomes rich and powerful. Those that can control all of it become unequalled in their age. Its not for nothing that the word Mogul means a rich and powerful person.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scaevola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 00:30
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

India, it seems to me, would still be a highly balkanized and unimportant region of the world (if infact it could have retained its sovereignty in a disunited state for so long) if it weren't for the British occupation and unification of the country.

I think that's the wrong way around. If Britian hadn't conqured india, britian would have remained an unimportant region of the world.

Every empire in history that can control a reasonable portion of the subcontinent becomes rich and powerful. Those that can control all of it become unequalled in their age. Its not for nothing that the word Mogul means a rich and powerful person.
 
I think that is entirely wrong. While India was certainly an important an influential colony, one can not say that Britain would have been unimportant without having conquered it. British influence in world affairs, regardless of their colonial activities, was very very real and substantial. Also keep in mind that India was only one of Britain's colonies; in her prime, the British Empire controlled one-fourth of the world's total land mass, and India was only a portion of that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 03:32

Most of Britains revenue was linked to India, and more than half her colonies, like Egypt, Aden, Singapore, and later Iraq were made to secure India.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 05:38
And most of the troops who captured those territories for England were Indian. How do you think Britian had such a small army, and yet captured so much territory? Because the boots on the ground were sepoys.

British colonialism largely revolved around keeping India, and the routes from England to India, safe. During the latter stages of the Great Game, Russia considered that India was Britians "achilles heel" and positioned an army just north of Afghanistan to invade India if war ever broke out between Russia & Britian.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote creek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 01:04

India had lots of labor power for the British. also it wwas rich in natural resources

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 11:39
 
Originally posted by Sparten

Efficient? Incorruptible? The civil service? And democracy? Ah yes, British India was never democratic.

British India was never democratic because India wasn't democratic before the British came. As was usual for them, the British inserted themselves into the existing local power structures and continued to maintain them.
 
So India remained an aristocratic, autocratic empire just with (in the beginning) British tax collectors and (in the end) a British Emperor.
 
But the last George for instance was no less democratic than, say, Shah Jehan. Certainly though under his reign as Emperor there was growing political freedom among the Indian educated middle classes at least.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 12:02
Actually, GLCE2003, British rule in India can be divided into three statges, i) company raj, which was brutal, extermely brutal even by the standards of the age as attested by contemporys, ii) crown rule from circa 1860-1914, which was chracterised by a "pretend we are not here"approach, the British let the locals do whatever, if they got too big for their boots lauch a punative expedition/measures depending on area, iii) 1914 to 1947, characterised by repression like the Defense of India Act and the Rowlett Act, though incidentally it was only here that the Brits wanted India to take a role of its own, as evidenced by the creation of a national flag, and Indian embassys/ missions in most countrys. So ironically, the time when Britain wanted India more independant was when the rule was even more repressive.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mughal e Azam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 17:44
What the British Empire did for India:
 
1. British/European Technology - Railroads, telegraphs, telephones, automobiles, etc
2. English Language, coincidentally only vital because America, Canada, Australia speak English; access to trade. Also keeps them united.
3. Unite Principalities and Kingdoms inadvertently by giving them belief in common cause. For example, the word "Hindu" or "Hinduism" is a British invention; designed to make it easier to talk about the various philosophies and sects and schools of thought within Hinduism as just one entity. Meaning the Pre-British Indians did not consider themselves as Hindus rather one group would call themselves "Shiva worshipper" and look down on another group who would fashion themselves "Hanuman Devotees", etc.
Originially Indians called their religion "Dharma Shastra" or "Philosophies". Indians have been a spiritual people for a long time, and their religion for all practicable persuasions can be considered what the Abrahamic Axis considers Paganism or Ancestor Worship (making rulers, princes, and kings objects of worship).
4. European Knowledge - knowledge of the Europeans; technical know how, etc.
 
What the British did wrong with the Indians:
1. Carelessness towards their beliefs: caused the Siphai Mutiny of 1857
2. Oppression: towards the beginning they were physically brutal no less than native or Tukic Empires
3. Lack of forecasting growth: Meaning the British treated India as a personal breadbasket and kept Industrialization from coming to them. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, when India gained Independence in 1947 it was only 2% of the world economy; whereas under the Mughal Empire in 1700 it was roughly 27%. Research in Software and other CSE departments in the 1980s was because of the ingenuity of the Indian to realize the future was in computers.
4. Wealth went to foreign lands: The British bred manufatured or grew their supplies in India, but sent the wealth made from business to London. Whereas other invaders would distribute the wealth in the native lands, the Indians were doing work to improve an Island nation most of them have never seen before.
 
People like to criticize China and India for its dirt and rust, but they forget that even Britain in 1880s was cloaked with hazy clouds of pollution. London of the late 1880s did not look like the London of the 1980s. And various British authors write about it, one comes to mind: Scrooge and the Three Ghosts.
 
Lastly, the British were made because of the Indians, not the other way around. China, Thailand, Tukey, Iran have shown that you dont need to be under a foreign conqueror to be culturally transfuse technology and science from them. In essence, the Indians would have gotten such technology anyways. It certainly did not help them to work for peanuts as all wealth was transported to the Kingdom.
 
Also, yes, the Indians are today because the British united them. However i dont believe they will stay that way. Looking at the habits of the South Asians, they have the highest or most extreme and prevalent forms of social stratification in the world. They also operate in bridaries or clans/guilds/groups/tribes. They are known to war with each other than act united.
 
Mostly because India has 25 major ethnicities and 18 major languages, hard to be united. English serves as a uniting force of communication.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 01:35
  Mughal just looking at your base text "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US ", am i mistaken if i think that it is taken from that Gensis shooter game which was famous for murdering the English language.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bilal_ali_2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 01:37
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

And most of the troops who captured those territories for England were Indian. How do you think Britian had such a small army, and yet captured so much territory? Because the boots on the ground were sepoys.

 
               In world war I and II Indian soliders amassed the highest number of military honours for foreign troops.
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