British imperialism in india

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A British scholar describes three achievements of British rule in India:

“British rule brought with it from the west certain standards of humanity that Indian society had not yet reached. Early action was taken to stop female infanticide (the killing of girl babies). The gangs of Thugs, who strangled harmless travelers in the service of the goddess Kali (Hindu goddess of death), were broken up. Human sacrifice, which was still being carried on in some primitive hill districts, was stamped out. The slave trade was ended and the owning of slaves was forbidden.

One result of the new order was a steady rise in the value of India’s export trade. In 1834, it had been under 8 million (English) pounds (about $38 million). In 1928, it was 250 million pounds. The value of India’s imports rose beside that of its exports. In 1834, it was roughly 4.5 million pounds. In 1928, it was 190 million.”
Adampted from Sidney Schwartz and John R. O’Connor, Imperialism and the Emergin Nations (New York: Globe Book Company, Inc., 1976) pg 26-27.
Jawaharlal Nehru, An Indian Nationalist, disagrees:

“With developments in industrial techniques in England a new class of industrialists arose. These businessmen demanded a change in British policy and they got it. To begin with, Indian goods were kept out of Britain by laws. This was followed by attempts to restrict and crush Indian manufactured goods. At the same time, British goods could enter India [tax free]. The Indian textile industry collapsed, affecting large numbers of weavers and artisans. Other old Indian industries – shipbuilding, metalwork, glass, paper, and crafts were also destroyed.

The economic development of India was stopped, and the growth of new industry was prevented. As a result, India became a farming colony of industrial England. It supplied raw materials and provided new markets for England’s industrial goods. The destruction of Indian industry led to huge unemployment. With unemployment grew the poverty of India.”
Adapted from Mounir A. Farah et al. Global Insights: People and Cultures (Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, 1980) p. 74

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