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British Legacy Of India Part 1


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British Legacy Of India Part 1

  2. 2. On British conquest of India
  3. 3. Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland, in ‘India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom’. The British themselves never tire of "pointing with pride" to what they claim to have done and to be doing for the benefit of the Indian people. What knowledge we have…….regarding the matter, comes almost wholly from British source, and hence the majority of us do not suspect that there is another side to the story.
  4. 4. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1893) philosopher and thinker The British were perhaps the most successful pirates in history. They came to India, pillaged the country in the name of trade and then enslaved it in the name of civilization.
  5. 5. Rev. C. F. Andrews, missionary, professor and publicist “ Our whole British talk about being ' trustees of India' and coming out to ' serve' her, about bearing the 'white man's burden' about ruling India 'for her good,' and all the rest, is the biggest hypocrisy on God's earth.”
  6. 6. How rich was pre-colonial India?
  7. 7. Lord Curzon, the late Viceroy of India "Powerful Empires existed and flourished here (in India) while Englishmen were still wandering painted in the woods, and while the British Colonies were a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe." in an address delivered at the great Delhi Durbar in 1901
  8. 8. Manouchi - the Venetian, chief physician to Aurangzeb (17th century) "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 Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  9. 9. Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta (1304-1368), on Bengal “ I have seen no region of the earth in which provisions are so plentiful." Tavernier writing in the 17th century in his ‘Travels in India’ “ . .even in the smallest villages rice, flour, butter, milk, beans and other vegetables, sugar and sweetmeats can be procured in abundance ....” The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  10. 10. François Bernier, French physician and traveler, (17th century) "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." The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  11. 11. Robert Clive: Speech in Commons on India,  1772 The country of Bengal is called, by way of distinction, the paradise of the earth..….. The silver of the west and the gold of the east have for many years been pouring into that country, and goods only have been sent out in return. This has added to the luxury and extravagance of Bengal.
  12. 12. …… 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..." (quoted in Indian Industrial Commission Report of 1916-18). The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  13. 13. At the end of the 17th century, the silk and wool merchants of France and England were unwilling to put up with the competition from Indian textiles which had become the rage in the new bourgeoisie societies of Europe.. South Asian History Pages From The History Of India: The British East India Company And Colonization Http://Members.Tripod.Com/~INDIA_RESOURCE/Eastindia.Html
  14. 14. How India became poor and 'third world'
  15. 15. Perhaps the most important aspect of colonial rule was the transfer of wealth from India to Britain….. . 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. The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  16. 16. “ Between 1757 and 1859… … . Officials of the East India Company… tapped the productive people and resources of Bengal and the eastern Gangetic valley to fund the protracted military campaigns necessary to conquer India. ….. these same resources also supplied the wherewithal for a century-long transfer of wealth from India to Great Britain ….”   John F Richards, Duke University “Imperial Finance Under the East India Company 1762-1859”
  17. 17. Every penny the British spent on conquest was billed to the conquered Indian people themselves as national debt. In 1792 this amounted to $ 35 million—a huge sum for those days. It became $ 150 million in 1829, rose to $ 215 million in 1845, to $ 500 million in 1860 and finally to $ 3,500 million in 1929 . 1857: And the government is frightened to tell the whole truth (
  18. 18. During the First World War, India coughed up $ 500 million to the British war effort … .. Besides, India provided 1,338,620 soldiers to fight Britain’s war, though not one Indian was granted a Commission. Indian soldiers outnumbered soldiers provided by the combined White Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 1857: And the government is frightened to tell the whole truth (
  19. 19. 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 ….creating ……landlordism and individual peasant proprietorship. It was assumed that the State was the supreme landlord. Fixed tax payments were introduced ……whereby payment had to be made to the government whether or not crop had been successful …… What Happened To India When The British Arrived? How India Was Drained Of Its Wealth; India:`milch Cow Of The Empire`
  20. 20. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of British India in 1894, “ 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 ." In 1812, an East India Company Report " 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.. ..." The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  21. 21. ..Hence, for almost 200 years, there was a systematic transfer of wealth from India to Europe. ….. The industrial revolution and the development of modern capitalism was based on the colonization of India and the rest of the world. It was the forced pauperization of the colonized world that allowed nations such as Britain, or the US to industrialize and "modernize". South Asian History - Pages From The History Of India: The British East India Company And Colonization Http://Members.Tripod.Com/~INDIA_RESOURCE/Eastindia.Html
  22. 22. Until the end of the Napoleonic wars, cotton manufactures had been India’s main export ….. and in 1813 they still amounted to £2 million…. Thirty years later, half of Indian imports were cotton textiles from Manchester’ In 1824 the export of British muslins to India hardly amounted to 1,000,000 yards, while in 1837 it surpassed 64,000,000 of yards. Benefits of the British Rule in India
  23. 23. " Industrially the British suffocated India, gradually strangling Indian industries … Instead they oriented Indian industries towards jute, cotton, tea, oil seeds, which they needed as raw materials for their home industries….. They employed cheap labor for the enterprises while traditional artisans were perishing. India, which used to be a land of plenty, where milk and honey flowed, started drying ."  Le Modele Indou, by Guy Deleury
  24. 24. ...the population of Dhaka dropped from 200,000 to 79,000 between 1787 and 1817 (30yrs) ...the export of Dacca muslin to England amounted to 8,000,000 rupees in 1787; in 1817 it was nil. ...the fine textile industry, the livelihoods of thousands, and the self-sufficient village economy, were systematically destroyed.   Historian William Digby in ‘Prosperous British India’
  25. 25. In 1750 , Indians had a similar standard of living to people in Britain. Now , average Indian incomes are barely a tenth of the British level in terms of real purchasing power. It is no coincidence that 200 years of British rule occurred in the intervening time. Jon E Wilson, Saturday February 8, 2003, The Guardian,2763,891543,00.html
  26. 26. 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... The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  27. 27. … ..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. The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs LIFE EXPECTANCY UNDER BRITISH RULE
  28. 28. … .. throughout that 'glorious imperial half century' from 1871 to 1921, the life expectancy of ordinary Indians fell by a staggering 20 per cent. Mike Davis, Sunday February 11, 2001, The Observer.,6903,436495,00.html LIFE EXPECTANCY UNDER BRITISH RULE
  29. 29. "If the history of British rule in India were to be condensed to a single fact, it is this: there was no increase in India’s per-capita income from 1757 to 1947… … . 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 Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino famines and the making of the Third World by M. Davis, London, Verso Books, 2001 ECONOMIC GROWTH UNDER BRITISH RULE
  30. 30. Viceroy Richard Southwell Bourke Mayo (1822 – 1872) We are determined as long as sun shines in heaven to hold India. Our national character, our commerce, demand it; and we have, one way or another, £250 millions of English capital fixed in the country'. Lord Curzon (viceroy of British India,1898 to 1905): While we hold onto India, we are a first rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third rate power. This is the value of India . INDIA: THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN
  31. 31. Robert Clive estimated in 1767 that his net worth was 401,102. John Johnston had 300,000. Richard Smith amassed in 1764-1770 a fortune of 250,000 pounds. Note that these company officers' average salary was between 1,000 and 5,000 per year. Marshall estimates a total of 18,000,000 pounds as the *private* fortunes of these officers in the period 1757-1784. This, of course, in addition to official East India Company pillage . Look at some individuals and their 'East Indian Fortunes' (P J Marshall - all numbers in pounds): Quoted by, Rajeev Srinivasan
  32. 32. Robert Clive: “ When I think, of the marvelous riches of that country, and the comparatively small part which I took away, I am astonished at my own moderation .”
  33. 33. “ The exploitation of other portion of the world, through military plunder, unequal trade and forced labor, has been the one great indispensable condition in the growth of European capitalism.”  John Atkins Hobson (1858 - 1940), historian of Imperialism, 1902.
  34. 34. “ The fundamental principle of the English has been to make the whole Indian nation subservient, …. it has always been our boast how greatly we have raised the revenue above that which the native rulers were able to extort. The Indians have been excluded from every honor, dignity or office which the lowest Englishman could be prevailed upon to accept.” F. J. Shore, British administrator in Bengal, to the House of Commons in 1857
  35. 35. William Digby (author of Prosperous British India, 1901), … .. the Industrial Revolution (circa 1760) could not have happened in Britain had it not been for the loot that came in from India. It is indeed a curious coincidence: Plassey (1757); the flying shuttle (1760); the spinning jenny (1764); the power-loom (1765); the steam engine (1768). Quoted by Rajeev Srinivasan
  36. 36. William Digby ( author of Prosperous British India, published in 1901), estimated that the total amount of treasure extracted from India by the British was 1,000,000,000 pounds--a billion pounds. Considering the looting from 1901 to 1947 and the effects of inflation, this is probably worth a trillion dollars in today's money. Rajeev Srinivasan
  37. 37. It is significant that one of the Hindustani words which has become part of the English language is ‘ loot’…
  38. 38. “ India was a major player in the world export market for textiles 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… While India produced about 25 percent of world industrial output in 1750, this figure had fallen to only 2 percent by 1900 . ”   “ India’s Deindustrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries” by David Clingingsmith, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Harvard University, August 2005
  39. 39. “ India’s Deindustrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries” by David Clingingsmith, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Harvard University, August 2005
  40. 40. The conquered province was left devastated by war and high taxation, and stricken by the famine of 1769. Its wealth rapidly drained into British bank accounts, while its prosperous weavers and artisans were coerced like so many slaves by their new British masters, and the markets flooded with British manufactures. Enchantment Of Riches, by William Dalrymple
  41. 41. … . in 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8% of the world's GDP, while India was producing 22.5%. By 1870, at the peak of the Raj, Britain was generating 9.1%, while India had been reduced for the first time to the epitome of a Third World nation, a symbol across the globe of famine, poverty and deprivation ……. Why India's Rise is Business As Usual By William Dalrymple, Aug. 02, 2007,29239,1649060_1649046_1649026,00.html