Britishlegacyofindia part3-090527204435-phpapp01


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Reality of British Rule in India

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  2. 2. Famine in British Ruled India
  3. 3. One of the most extraordinary example of such whitewashing of history is the sustained, continuing deletion of two centuries of massive, recurrent, man-made famine in British India from British and world history …… in contrast to the response to the Jewish Holocaust, these events have been almost completely written out of history and removed from general perception and there has been no apology nor amends made. Dr. Gideon Polya, La Trobe University, Australia. Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History: Bengali Famine (
  4. 4. ... this two-century holocaust in British India that commenced with the Great Bengal Famine of 1769-1770 (10-million victims) and concluded with the World War 2 Bengal Famine (4-million victims) and took tens of millions of lives in between …… and was accompanied by a multitude of horrors, not the least being massive civilian and military sexual abuse of starving women and young girls….. Dr. Gideon Polya, La Trobe University, Australia. Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History: Bengali Famine (
  5. 5. " In one year alone - the year when Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, assumed the title of the Empress, - 5,000,000 of the people of Southern India were starved to death. In the District of Bellary, with which I am personally acquainted - a region twice the size of Wales - 1/4 of the whole population perished in the famine of 1876-77 …. as I rode out on horseback, morning after morning, I passed crowds of wandering skeletons, and saw human corpses by the roadside, unburied, uncared for, half devoured by dogs and vultures… Mr. W. S. Lily in his ‘India and Its Problems’,
  6. 6. 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). … .. In ‘ Late Victorian Holocausts’ , Mike Davis points out that there were 31 serious famines in 120 years of British rule compared to 17 in the 2000 years before British rule. The Colonial Legacy - Myths and Popular Beliefs
  7. 7. In 1901, before the famine (in Gujarat) had run its course, the Lancet suggested that a conservative estimate of 'excess mortality' in India from starvation and hunger-related disease during the previous decade was 19 million . Even in the macabre denouncement of the Gujarat famine, the Government announced that 'the revenue must at all costs be gathered in', an act which Vaughan Nash denounced as 'picking the bones of the people.. Mike Davis, Sunday February 11, 2001, The Observer.,6903,436495,00.html
  8. 8. 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. What Happened To India When The British Arrived? How India Was Drained Of Its Wealth; India:`milch Cow Of The Empire`
  9. 9. ..the greatest disaster to befall the country in the 20th century: the Bengal Famine of 1943-44 …. the product of food shortages brought about by the war …… Not only were no steps taken to provide against famine, but India continued exporting food grains to Iran at the rate of 3,000 tons a month throughout 1942. The result was a terrible death toll from starvation and disease in 1943-44 that totaled more than 3.5 million men and women. John Newsinger, Senior Lecturer, Bath Spa University, UK, in his book, The blood never dried: A people’s history of the British Empire.
  10. 10. How did these famines occur? The main reason was not bad weather or natural causes but rather the breaking up of India's indigenous crop patterns. The British replaced food crops such as rice and wheat and instead forced Indian farmers to produce jute, cotton, tea and oil seeds, which they needed as raw materials for their home industries . The implication of this in times of shortages was catastrophic, as the famine figures show. Was the British Raj good for India? By Amit Mehta
  11. 11. First, India’s indigenous textile industries were destroyed by London’s high tariffs and the import of cheap British manufactured products, impoverishing millions of town dwellers, who were forced into the countryside to compete for dwindling land . Second, India’s traditional granary reserve system, designed to offset the impact of bad harvests, was dismantled . Third, India’s peasants were pressured into growing crops for export, making them dependent on fluctuating world market prices for their means of subsistence. These famines were not caused by shortages of food. They took place at the very same time that annual grain exports from India were increasing. Benefits of the British Rule in India
  12. 12. “ In the wake of British spoilation, famine struck and in 1770 alone took the lives of an estimated one-third of Bengal's peasantry .... What finally roused the British parliamentary concern over the state of Bengal was not the plight of India's peasantry, but the company's professed inablility to pay a promised annual tax of 400,000 pounds to the treasury in 1767 . ...” Stanley Wolpert's A New History of India, fifth edition, 1997.
  13. 13. The British refused to provide adequate relief for famine victims on the grounds that this would encourage indolence. Sir Richard Temple, who was selected to organize famine relief efforts in 1877, set the food allotment for starving Indians at 16 ounces of rice per day--less than the diet for inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp for the Jews in Hitler’s Germany. Benefits of the British Rule in India
  14. 14. Madras Famine 1877-1878 Willoughby Hooper - Album print private collection
  15. 15. The Myth of British legacy: the intellectual denial
  16. 16. The history of India that we read and memorize for our examinations is really a nightmarish account of India . Some people arrive from somewhere and the pandemonium is let loose. Rabindranath Tagore TAGORE ON INDIAN HISTORY THAT WE LEARN
  17. 17. Not only the (Indian) state but the elite of the society too consider it unnecessary to look into the theories and concepts taught during British period and even now through media. These theories and concepts are accepted unchallenged and have become too sacred to even question them …. Anyone who dares to do it is called as regressive and also chosen abuses are showered on him. Nivedita Kum INTELLECTUAL DENIAL
  18. 18. Nobody wants to talk about it now. Maybe it is politically incorrect. But what the British did to India is very apparent. There was a time …. when Columbus sailed to look for India and landed in America, 500 years back. Then came Vasco da Gama who landed in India, eventually, from Europe and the world became exposed to India. That was a time when India was called …. a golden bird. That’s why all these fellows were looking for India. Not searching for America or anybody else. Then, the British stepped in to India and when they left India was a poverty-stricken country. That is the legacy of Britain. Devinder Sharma, distinguished writer, thinker, and researcher INTELLECTUAL DENIAL
  19. 19. An extraordinary feature of the appalling record of British imperialism with respect to genocide and mass, worldwide killing of huge numbers of people (by war, disease and famine) is its absence from public perception . There is no mention of famine in India or Bengal in the British textbooks of history. New historians in India are now putting the blame on the victims. Meghnad Desai in his article in Cambridge History of India puts the blame on the Indian speculators; Amartya Sen suggested (in ‘Ingredients of Famine Analysis’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol XCVI, 1981) that people in that area had eaten too much to create the famine. Benefits of the British Rule in India INTELLECTUAL DENIAL
  20. 20. Colonialism did not just colonize the land but it also colonized the body, mind, thought and culture of the conquered people . Independence to the Indian people was supposed to have come over fifty seven years ago but they are not free because of the brown sahibs` surrender and denial of their self and their dominance in politics, media and public discourse. Their ignorance over the years has created insecure borders and weak defenses against aggressive neighbors. Their self hatred has resulted in the subjugation of their fellow people’s religion and culture. Their refusal to look at their own past is paving the way for impending disaster in the future. Brown Sahib`s Burden, By: Venkat Lakshminarayan INTELLECTUAL DENIAL
  21. 21. Indian civilization is in greater danger of extinction today than any other time in history, in greater danger than the times of Islamic invasions and European conquest, a danger because the policies and actions of the brown sahibs. This is a burden carried by the mainstream Indian who wants to preserve his way of life, a burden imposed upon him by the brown sahibs. Brown Sahib`s Burden By: Venkat Lakshminarayan INTELLECTUAL DENIAL
  22. 22. CONCLUSION: That was (British) Civilization!
  23. 23. Winston Churchill "I do not admit ...that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race... has come in and taken its place." THE IMPERIAL ATTITUDE
  24. 24. Toward the end of the British reign in India, Mahatma Gandhi was asked, "What do you think of Western civilization?" He replied, "I think it would be a good idea." GANDHI ON WESTERN CIVILIZTION
  25. 25. It is worth noting that General Dyer, who ordered the firing at Jallianwallah Bagh at an unarmed and peaceful crowd, was felicitated by the British parliament; he was given an honourable discharge, a purse of 80,000 pounds and a bejewelled sword inscribed 'Saviour of the Punjab'. 1,650 bullets, 1600 casualties -- a day that will truly live in infamy--and they gave him an award! Rajeev Srinivasan
  26. 26. Indian soldiers serving under the British Raj were used as guinea pigs to test the effects of poison gases on humans by scientists from the world's oldest chemical warfare research installation here in the UK, according to newly-released archival documents. The Indian soldiers suffered severe burns from the gas as part of the trials, which started in the early 1930s and lasted almost through to Indian independence. The trials were part of a study by British scientists to ascertain if the poison gas inflicted greater damage on colored skins than on white Caucasians. Britain used Indian troops as guinea pigs 2 Sep 2007, The Times of India.
  27. 27. "Various and innumerable are the methods of oppressing the poor weavers...such as by fines, imprisonments, floggings, forcing bonds from them, etc…..The oppression and monopolies…. have been the causes of the decline of trade, the decrease of the revenues, and the present ruinous condition of affairs in Bengal." English merchant William Bolts wrote in 1772:
  28. 28. It is the commonest thing,” says an American missionary , “to see Indian scholars and officials, of confessedly high ability, of very fine training, and of long experience, serving under young Englishmen who in England would not be thought fit to fill a government or a business position above the second or third class. “ Eminent Hindu physicians and surgeons,” says Ramachandra Chaterjee, “are compelled to spend the best years of their lives in subordinate positions as ‘assistant’ surgeons, while raw and callow youths lord it over them and draw four to five times their pay.”
  29. 29. For eighty years, between 1838 and until the abolition of indentures in 1917, the plantation economies in countries ranging from Sri Lanka in South Asia to Surinam (formerly Dutch Guiana) in South America survived by the hard labour of these Indian labourers or `Coolies'. …. nearly half a million labourers came to various Caribbean islands and South American colonies . ….. Several thousands perished during their journey through Kalapani, the dark waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and later on through the inhuman working conditions of plantations. THE INDENTURED LABOUR / SLAVERY
  30. 30. … it is well documented that before the British arrived, Indians had a system of immunisation against smallpox, in which cowpox was used to inoculate against smallpox. The British doctor J Z Holwell wrote a book in 1767 describing the system, accepting that it was safe and effective….. Inoculation against smallpox became a part of Western medicine by 1840. No sooner did that happen that the British in India banned the older method of vaccination, denouncing it as barbaric …. Smallpox in India became a greater scourge than before. This is not the only example in which the British undermined and even banned indigenous systems of knowledge, particularly medicine….. Was the British Raj good for India? By Amit Mehta
  31. 31. In 1947 the annual death rate in India under the British was a genocidal 3.5% but over 6 decades of post-Independence this has shrunk to a current 0.85% in India, (2003 data)   Gideon Polya, in India & Pakistan Independence: Huge Cost of Anglo Imperialism & Hegemony
  32. 32. At the end of British colonial rule, life expectancy in India was 27 years and literacy 8 percent; after fifty years of independence, life expectancy is 62 years, and literacy 52 percent . British colonial rule in India was the organized banditry that financed England's Industrial Revolution C. J. S. Wallia: reviewer of ‘ Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India by Lawrence James’
  34. 34. Thank you.