8 minutes of reading ⌚
What did the British do to India?
Most Indians today still feel that the truth about the British "occupation" is somewhat distorted.
They want to understand if the Indians could have done anything to stop this from happening and much more!
Shashi gives a critical look at the events that shaped India's historical curve and uses data to illustrate a point!
Let's dig into it!
Who should read “Inglourious Empire”? It's because?
There is rarely a person in the world who does not know anything about the history and wealth of India.
Our main boy in India,Guilherme Petrínwho lives in Bangalore, tells us a lot about the amazing aspects of Indian culture and history.
Precisely for this reason, we feel compelled to urge all English-speaking Indians to read this summary and perhaps purchase the book in the language that suits them best.
About Shashi Tharoor
among the Indians,Shashi Tharooris described as the voice of reason. As an author, politician and diplomat, he has achieved a good vantage point of where he can oversee political processes in India.
Shashi is the author ofwhy am i hindu&an age of darkness.
“inglorious empireSummary in PDF”
Plundering of India on a Large Scale
A passionate young American philosopher Will Durant, who first landed on the shores of India in 1930, discovered the economic calamities induced by the British East India Corporation. This commercial venture was supposed to help the Indians recover their national identity, but it was all just a cruel game.
Bribery, theft, embezzlement, extortion, forced labor, murder, were the main tools that led to the need for reforms!
The British took advantage of the collapse of the Mughal Empire and imposed their interests on India.
A culturally, financially rich and resourceful country was placed under the control of a strong military force. Before the "hidden" invasion, India was considered the world's biggest superpower with 23% of the world's GDP.
Many industries flourished because Indian products were in high demand across the world. Textiles, ceramics, jewelry making, gemstone cutting and shaping, clothing to name a few.
The entire operation began under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I on the 17thhecentury. It was disguised as a commercial effort to maximize the spice and silk trade. To protect their trading posts, the British increased their military presence in India and began conquest.
In August 1765, Shah Alam II was forced to abdicate his throne and hand over his authority to the Company. The provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa fell under British rule and India was practically commercialized.
Meanwhile, a new phenomenon also known as the de-industrialization of India took place. India's most profitable industries have slumped to their lowest levels due to heavy taxes, high tariffs and mostly corruption.
The destruction of the textile industry will be remembered as the first significant de-industrialization of the modern era.
This economic impasse imposed on the Indian people was due to England's unwillingness to pay for goods transported to Europe. It was just withdrawal!
Colonialists like Robert Clive, the last survivor of the Battle of Plassey in 1757, returned to England with the spoils of the conquest, making him one of the richest people in Europe at the time.
The extent of resource diversion can only be seen through the lens of acquired wealth! To make matters worse, the East India Corporation has also devised a plan to destroy much of the shipbuilding industry.
As an illustration of this calamity, we thought it appropriate to mention that the fleet of 4,000-5,000 was reduced to 1/10 of that number. It was really an orchestrated disaster that gained momentum in the mid-18th century.
Shashi even mentions that the British East India Corporation employed only 2.5 million during his reign, leaving millions on the verge of extinction.
The problem with the British shipping companies was the fee. In other words, they couldn't compete with the low freight rates offered by the Indian shipping and maritime industry, so they urged Parliament to close it down.
This led to open discrimination and the enforcement of laws that undermined years of hard work. Furthermore, prohibition compounded by corrupt imperialist policies simply brought down the shipbuilding industry in the 1850s.
The same mentality applied to the steel industry. India was considered a superpower in steel production that had the capacity to supply the rest of the world. "Wootz", the crucible-shaped steel is an Indian creation, to say the least.
The first forms of challenge
The first waves of independence came in many shapes and forms. Jamsetji Tata, one of India's most renowned businessmen, attempted to create India's first modern steel mill at the height of discriminatory politics.
He tried to get around the bureaucratic part, but he was forced to ask the British for permission! The inept handling of this potential innovation increased hostility in the region.
Production finally began in 1912 under the direction of his son Dorabji.
As with most other things, production was closely monitored and the company was denied access to global markets. In other words, they were forced to use the surplus to avoid expansion.
Some of the critics like to believe that theunitfrom India was a conceived idea delivered from the hands of the British. We don't know if this is a way of justifying the embezzlement of the region, but it is certainly not true.
Why? – Because even non-Indians like Arabs, Africans and Asians refer to India as a unified country.
India was never perceived as just one part of the whole fallacy. The argument raised here is groundless, as the history of the subcontinent has always been intertwined with the idea of unity.
Not even Hindus are directly responsible for this but Indians who come from different regions.
When the British packed up and left in 1947; They laid the foundations of democratic Indian society. From the beginning, India had some difficulties with the Muslim League, but they decided to deal with the problem through democratic means.
The rule of law has become India's strongest attribute since the day it declared independence.
But that's a story for another day!
Historian Jon Wilson has stated that India's political role and economic potential were weakened in part because of the multisocial ruling in which stalemate between the rulers of different provinces was a common threat.
In such a structure, it is difficult to move forward in any negotiation or bargaining process.
The author also tells us a lot about India's involvement in the conflicts that plague Europe.
A strong Indian sub-army organized into divisions and brigades was engaged on the Mediterranean coast, East Africa, Central Europe and elsewhere. Approximately 80,000 Indians died during World War I fighting under Crown symbol and repelling the German advance on Ypres.
Furthermore, the Indians were among the first victims of the trench horrors, a disaster which caused many casualties.
India's massive support for the British in these times of crisis should have paid off as promised. In exchange for supplies, the British were granted greater freedom and self-government.
Even Gandhi advocated a greater military presence and support for the UK. However, the British reneged on their pre-war promise and India was plunged into another institutional crisis.
The plan backfired for the Indians when Britain passed the oppressive Rowlatt Act in 1919. The Act was to restrict free speech and governance. It was not the outcome the Indians had hoped for after shedding blood in the first major conflict.
The law even gave British authorities the right to prosecute Indians on mere suspicion. The law was voted on in the British Parliament and the Indian people reacted fiercely with thoughts of peaceful retribution.
The massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians at Jallianwala Bagh will reverberate throughout history as a human call to democracy.
Angered by British treachery, Indian nationalists came to the conclusion that self-government can never be achieved by peaceful and legal means. A struggle was inevitable to realize this dream!
Apparently, some people believe that Britain should be given credit for introducing the Free Press to India. But there is a wrinkle! – Indians were not only deprived of sharing their opinions with their fellow citizens, they were also arrested and brutally punished for criticizing the British authorities.
Fearing possible opposition and scrutiny, Lord Wellesley proposed and then passed the Press Censorship Act in 1799. Indian newspapers were allowed to publish his columns, but under strict control by the authorities.
Although the Portuguese were the first to introduce the idea of a free press, Britain can take credit for the system they created. Indians were forced to cater to a privileged few whose interests were on a larger scale than those of an entire nation.
For example, we challenge the idea of the "Free Press" because there is nothing liberating about publishing columns dictated by your colonial rulers.
The principle of divide and rule
The British realized that the only way to guarantee the obedience and loyalty of their subjects was to continue fomenting hatred between Hindus and Muslims.
When the British saw a united Indian rebellion (Hindus and Muslims fighting together) in 1857, they feared a full-scale escalation. They fear the idea of a monarchy that could eclipse their authority in years to come.
Not raised enough to be labeled as onecoup.
So, you must be wondering: what was the role of Nehru or Gandhi in this political revolution?
The great Indian reformer, socialist, spiritual leader, anti-colonial advocate, Mahatma Gandhi, used unique means to show defiance against rulers. He realized that the contempt for the indigenous people had turned unbearably violent and cruel, so he took action.
Gandhi feared that violence would cause more violence, so it could never be the answer. His determination and uniqueness would later be emulated by anti-apartheid and freedom fighters such as Nelson Mandela.
It is fair to dispute Britain's motives for taking over India and imposing its imperialist ideals, but one needs to look at things with a critical eye.
On the selfish side, Britain plundered the country and destroyed India's thriving industries. On the positive side, they challenged the anarchist government and eventually introduced law and order.
Key Lessons from “The Inglourious Empire”
1.Learn history never to repeat it again
2. difference in policy
3. Understand the political struggle.
Learn history never to repeat it again
Sometimes people forget the terrible aspects of the story, and the so-called "glory" is often linked to some kind of oppression.
We have to behave in a way that fits 21calle19th century thought and take into account the twists and turns of history.
difference in policy
In this lesson, we're going to delve into the difference between French and British influence.
Generally speaking, Africans were encouraged to call themselves French; while Indians obtained "second-class" citizenship and were often treated in the same way.
Understand the political struggle.
Today, we witness an ideological dispute that imposes subtle restrictions and influences public opinion.
If we get into that bubble, we could end up trapped and explode without warning or clues!
Keep your eyes peeled for the flash!
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"Dating Inglourious Empire"The continuing decline, increasing poverty and meanness of much of Thatcher's Britain encourage many Britons to look back wistfully on the lost hour of their precedence.click to tweetAngus Maddison - There was no denying that there was a substantial match that lasted 190 years.click to tweetWill Durant – Hypocrisy met brutality as the theft continued.click to tweetAlmost every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world, almost every kind of creation of man's brain and hand, existing anywhere and prized for its usefulness or beauty, had long been produced in India.click to tweet
Undoubtedly, British rule took a toll on Indian society, which struggles to recover to this day. Furthermore, it would be ignorant to make hasty comments about the East India Corporation and show possible bias.
Therefore, we try not to get involved in any kind of political knot and to perceive the impasse from an impartial point of view.
With that being said, India is now an independent and powerful economy on the rise!
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What is the summary of Shashi Tharoor speech? ›
Tharoor argued that the economic progress of Britain from the 18th-century onwards was financed by the economic exploitation and deindustrialisation of British India, including the destruction of the Indian weaving industry.
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, first published in India as An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India, is a work of non-fiction by Shashi Tharoor, an Indian politician and diplomat, on the effects of British colonial rule on India. The book has received mixed reviews.Why was it called British Raj? ›
The British Raj (/rɑːdʒ/; from Hindi rāj: kingdom, realm, state, or empire) was the rule of the British Crown on the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia; it is also called Crown rule in India, or Direct rule in India, and lasted from 1858 to 1947.Did the British give India political unity? ›
The British gave political unity to India. This had now become possible owing to the development of communications and transport. It was a unity of a common subjection, but it gave rise to the unity of a common nationalism. The idea of a united and a free India gripped the people.What does it mean to owe reparation? ›
compensation in money, material, labor, etc., payable by a defeated country to another country or to an individual for loss suffered during or as a result of war: The U.S. government eventually disbursed reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned during World War II.Why was India referred to as the jewel in the crown? ›
India's cotton was of exceptional quality and its value increased from 40 million rupees to 60 million rupees in 20 years. Thus, the British considered India to be its “Jewel in the Crown” because of its location, resources and population, out of which they could earn huge amounts of revenue.What is the message of Inglourious Basterds? ›
Violence aside, the central message of Inglourious Basterds is one that should motivate all of us, Jewish or not, to prevent hate from taking over. As Dreyfus hijacks the movie premier and her face fills our screen, surrounded by flames, she exclaims, “This is the face of Jewish vengeance!”What were the negative effects of British Raj? ›
Negative Effects of British Colonialism
The British restricted Indian industries, such as textiles. An emphasis on cash crops resulted in the loss of self-sufficiency for many villagers. The conversion to cash crops reduced food production, which caused famines.
Hugo Stiglitz may not have been real, but that doesn't mean there weren't real Germans working against Hitler on the inside.How many Indians were killed by British? ›
In the report, the scholars estimated that India suffered 165 million excess deaths due to British colonialism between 1880 and 1920. “This figure is larger than the combined number of deaths from both World Wars, including the Nazi holocaust,” they noted.
Why did the Indians always blame the British for their suffering? ›
Solution : As the colonial system has enervated and exhausted them and had induced in them and infinite excuse against work and so against helping themselves, they always blamed the British for their suffering.How did the British treat the Indian people? ›
Indians were looked down upon by the British and Indian culture was treated as inferior to European culture. The British were ETHNOCENTRIC. Indian workers provided the British with inexpensive (cheap) labor – worked long hours, often under terrible working conditions.Why didn t Indians unite against British? ›
The Indians could not unite against the British due to weak leadership and serious splits between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus did not want the Muslim Mughal Empire restored. Indeed, many Hindus preferred British rule to Muslim rule. Most of the princes and maharajahs who had made alliances with the East India.Is India still under British? ›
India as a free and independent dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations (its title changed in 1949 to "Commonwealth of Nations") came into existence on 15 August 1947 under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947 which had received royal assent on 18 July 1947.Who Save Our India from British? ›
India won its freedom from British colonial rule in 1947, after many decades of struggle. Mohandas Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi, joined the fight in 1914 and led the country to independence, using his method of non-violent protest known as satyagraha.What is the movie Inglorious Bastards based on? ›
This is the incredible true story behind Quentin Tarantino's film Inglourious Basterds; a group of Jewish-American refugees of Nazi Germany who boldly went behind enemy lines for vengeance.Why is the title of Inglourious Basterds misspelled? ›
Tarantino didn't misspell the title to differentiate his film from the 1978 movie by the same name. He said it instead was a creative decision which he initially refused to explain, simply saying that “Basterds” was spelled as such because “that's just the way you say it”.Why is Inglorious Basterds a great movie? ›
Inglourious Basterds works as fantasy – killing Hitler is on everyone's list of what to do if you could time travel – but its accomplishment as cinema is even more dazzling. The film signals from the start that it is a fiction and an homage to World War Two movies.Is Inglorious Basterds a funny movie? ›
Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino's Holocaust comedy, and if that sounds gauche, it's nothing compared to the film itself.