Sunday, 13 May 2012

How were the British able to conquer India?

The colonization of India by Britain started when the East India Company was formed by some British traders, who saw an opportunity in India and took it. To store the goods they had they built many warehouses, which gave them an excuse to build forts and build up armies to "protect" them. Britain saw how well India was in the trading business, and wanted to take control of it to have all the trading posts for themselves.
During the time of the colonization, the many kingdoms were fighting with each other for many different reasons; they would also do whatever they could to gain some ground on the other kings. So when Britain saw what a great opportunity they had in front of them, they took it; this gave them a great advantage over the other kingdoms with the power and wealth they gained. They also took advantage of the people, training them to be soldiers and employing them for the British army; the new army was better trained and more disciplined than the smaller ones that they had come from. After time, the British were able to conquer very many large parts of India. They made treaties with most of the kings to keep them satisfied so that they would not try and fight against the British.
Recently I came across a review written in 1893 (March 19) in New York Times of book “The Rise of the British dominion in India” by Sir Alfred Lyall. The piece describes the view of the “other side” on how British came to conquer India. Some of the observations are very potent – especially with regards to how the local Armies would fight battles against the British. It is apparent that the Indian rulers were nothing more than a bunch of megalomaniacs and rich idiots who had no more than rag tag group being called as an Army.

It is obvious that these rulers would have only anticipated fighting dacoits and / or neighborhood Maharaja, who themselves were nothing great. Under the patronage of the Mughals – while acting subservient to them and gaining their protection – these Maharajas didn’t even think that defense was a major subject. What is exceptionally amazing is that any person of ordinary sense of defense and understanding of threats that existed around the world, would have known or understood that having small and thin armies over many rulers was far inferior to having one confederate army of the many rulers. And yet, there was no one to bring about the alliance?!

With the help of the Indian soldiers, the British were able to capture India; however, they in no way treated the Indians properly. Despite the abilities they continued to show, they were not able to rise to any higher position than being a soldier. To other British colonies, they were treated as slaves, and therefore acted like slaves. They did not care about them, so the education system that they had used for years "suffered under the British rule." In the year of 1857, the power that the East India Company had shifted to the British government, and then India was a British colony. They were forced to fight with each other; in fact, there were a total of 111 wars that the British caused, always making their Indian troops fight the Indian kingdoms that did not want to be subjugated to England. Only when the British had control of most of the country did they allow the people of India to stop fighting their brothers.
After they had managed to capture much of India, they told the people that they were to trade only with them, and anyone caught doing otherwise was punished. Even the people that weaved cottons and silks were made to sell and trade with the British, at a price that was not of their own choosing. Before the British had come, a price had had to be paid if you were going to bring goods into India; the British told them that the rule no longer applied to them and started to import many of their goods for free. The "India cottage industry" was probably what suffered the most; India had it's own handloom industry that was quite large, but in England there were many cotton textile mills. They needed a large amount of cotton for the mills, so they started to purchase the cotton at very low prices and send them to England; in exchange, they sent a lot of cloth over to India to be sold. This put many of the people that worked at the cottage industry out of work; the newly unemployed people had to buy the much more expensive cloth that was being sent in from England. All the wealth collected from the cloth merchants were sent back to England, starting the vicious cycle again.
"The Indian farmers, weavers, traders, kings, Nawabs, craftsmen were all unhappy and this discontent led to the mightiest revolts in 1857 which was also joined by Sanyasis, Fakirs, disbanded soldiers and British soldiers too." As the quote says, the people of India were not happy at all with the things they were forced to do.
This absolutely teaches a stringent lesson that

"A disintegrated society weakens the nation and ultimately it will lead to enslave its own citizens to others"
Hence we must be united first as Indians and forget all the nasty fundamentalist thoughts dictated by some evil elements through caste and religions by which we are Greedily segregated.

Best Regards,

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