Is British Raj was good for India before revolt of 1857 ?
Debate Rounds (3)
India"s economy collapsed as a result of the British taxes and revenue administration. The company"s trade policy destroyed Indian handicrafts. Huge numbers of Indians were thrown out of employment. Indian weavers lost their trade due to factory-made goods, and farmers were forced to grow cotton which resulted in famines. Cotton was took from the farmers at a very low price and could be classified as stealing. Exploitation of the Zamindars and peasants resulted in many people losing their homes. Thus the artisans and peasantry joined hands with the sepoys in the mutiny.
There was a great disparity in salaries between the Indian and European soldiers. The Indian sepoys were treated with contempt by their European officers. The sepoys were sent to distant parts of the empire, but were not paid any extra allowance.Indian sepoys were refused promotion in service as like their European counterparts. Out of such discon"tent the Indian sepoys led to a mutiny.
Moreover, the racial attitude of the British lowered the confidence of the Indians and set a mindset that white people were superior to them. There was lot of discrimination between Indians and foreigners in any field.
Unification of India
Introduced Railway Service
Channelised postal service
Perhaps the only thing we can thank the Britishers for: cricket. The British Rule bought cricket to the country, and today, it is perhaps the only thing that has the power to bring almost the entire nation together.
English language and education
The language I am writing in, and you are reading in, is surely a gift of the British. Lord William Bentinck, who was the Governor-General from 1828-1835, saw the difficulty in administration of economy, law, justice and cooperation due to the lack of a uniform language.
Eradicating systems like "Sati" and finishing "Thugs"
The Dufferin Bridge, the Howrah Bridge, The Sutlej bridge (now in Pakistan), the Victoria bridge, Fort William, Fort St. George, India Gate, Teen Murthi House, Parliament House, Victoria Memorial, and several other monuments, which exist even today, were built during the British Raj. The Britishers gave India some excellent infrastructure that the country prides upon today.
Another point to add would be poverty. Historians say that if the British hadn't looted India, we would have been an economically stronger nation and the majority of the population would not be in poverty like it is today. More than 60 percent of the Indian population are below the middle class.
Also, it is known that French rule was more lenient than British, and would have given us the same benefits without so many losses. The South of India had a French influence and it can be seen that its literacy rate is higher than of the North.
British rule was mainly based on acquiring cotton and opium for their industries. Tea, gold, silver, spices etc. were important trade items as well. Heavy taxes were applied on Indian merchants and they were forced to sell their goods to the British at a loss. The handicrafts and weaver industries suffered terribly as well, not because they were inefficient, but due to the mindset that white people and their products were superior. Most weavers weren't allowed to sell their products without heavy taxes. For those who say weavers aren't efficient, then tell me why hand-made cloth has started selling again in India. The tailors still exist in india, and charge lesser than the normal brands.
The East India Company shouldn't have taken control over India, or if they had taken control, they should have ruled it like it was their own nation and worked for its development rather than its exploitation. The railways and postals mainly served the British, as railways transferred goods and British officers and postal services allowed them to communicate faster. Some Indians benefitted from it, but these small perks are outweighed by the cruelty inflicted by the British upon us.
ptraj forfeited this round.
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