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Think India should be grateful for colonialism? Here are 5 reasons why you're unbelievably ignorant

MST

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4 to 7 Million Bengali speaking Indians were dead during the second world war because of famine which let to the changing of population equation

A map of the British Indian Empire in 1909 during the partition of Bengal (1905–1911


and then partition further more divided our lands :(
Deaths due to famine is tragic. And the British were responsible for it. But famine happened in other places too and also before British came.

I see the partition more as a buffer from radicals from the west. Throughout our history we have been invaded mostly from west. Now nuclear Pakistan will protect us - and they are doing it so well defeating the Taliban
 

Hindustani78

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Deaths due to famine is tragic. And the British were responsible for it. But famine happened in other places too and also before British came.

I see the partition more as a buffer from radicals from the west. Throughout our history we have been invaded mostly from west. Now nuclear Pakistan will protect us - and they are doing it so well defeating the Taliban
What were the reasons behind Fakir-Sanyassi rebellion ? Why the first partition of bengal was rejected by the people and why during the second world war the same policy ?

4 to 7 million during second world war were perished in Bengal belt , Partition would have never took place nor our lands would become more smaller , dont you think so ?

it was because of lucrative trade and brits monopolised the trade... spanish made similar fortune in south america.
No my friend , It was to left Indian nation divided into pieces.

Partition was done to not give compensation to the Bengal people and from where we saw fights among Indian nation on the basis of religion.





Irrawaddy region is having oil and gas reserves.
 

livingdead

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What were the reasons behind Fakir-Sanyassi rebellion ? Why the first partition of bengal was rejected by the people and why during the second world war the same policy ?

4 to 7 million during second world war were perished in Bengal belt , Partition would have never took place nor our lands would become more smaller , dont you think so ?



No my friend , It was to left Indian nation divided into pieces.

Partition was done to not give compensation to the Bengal people and from where we saw fights among Indian nation on the basis of religion.





Irrawaddy region is having oil and gas reserves.
I doubt british started it.. the division was there, british tried to use it.
 

ArsalanKhan21

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India is called Golden bird even before the colonialism because of the ancient civilization.
Not really. India exported spices, cotton and other products while imported very little. So foreign traders had nothing to barter and had to pay in gold for Indian products. Even the Roman Empire was drained of gold while trading with India. That is why it was call Golden Bird.
 

Hindustani78

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I doubt british started it.. the division was there, british tried to use it.
The unity was always showed by Indians . be it Fakir sanyassi rebellion or the 1857 war or the first Bengal Partiton or the Khilafat Movement or the Quit India Movement and even the second world war.

Not really. India exported spices, cotton and other products while imported very little. So foreign traders had nothing to barter and had to pay in gold for Indian products. Even the Roman Empire was drained of gold while trading with India. That is why it was call Golden Bird.
 

dadeechi

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The Remarkable Raj: Why Britain should be proud of its rule in India
IT TOOK the fragile ships five arduous months to navigate the treacherous seas around the Cape of Good Hope and reach the vast sub-continent of India. They returned laden with spices and tea to delight British palates, and cotton and silk to provide clothes for British backs.
By Adrian Lee
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sat, Jun 22, 2013


British rule has paved the way for India's economic prosperity according to Dr Kartar Lalvani
The period of colonial rule, spanning some 200 years, is routinely depicted as the systematic plundering of a nation. The popular view is that the Empire stripped India of its natural resources and gave little in return, leaving the place all but destitute when independence was finally granted in 1947.

Now, however, a new book written by an Anglo-Indian challenges this notion. It asserts that in fact Britain laid the foundations for modern-day India and the prosperity that it enjoys today.

The girders for every bridge, the track for every mile of railway and the vast array of machinery required for India's infrastructure were all carried there by the same ships that helped exploit a land thousands of miles away. The engineers who laid the cornerstones for India's development from Third World nation to burgeoning industrial superpower were British.

"The indisputable fact is that India as a nation as it stands today was originally put together and created by a small, distant island country," says Dr Kartar Lalvani, founder of the vitamins company Vitabiotics and a former Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, in the book he has spent the past eight years writing, The Making Of India: A Story Of British Enterprise. It comes out later this year.

He adds: "The 'sins' of the Empire have been widely and frequently written about while the other positive side of the imperial coin, of which Britain can be proud and which laid the foundations for modern-day India, has always been overlooked. This is the first book of its kind to recognise Britain's vast contribution to India's social, civil and physical infrastructure provided during two centuries of colonial rule."

THE British administration of India, a country then with a population of 500 million, diverse religions and spread over 17,000 square miles, was "superbly efficient", he argues. Dr Lalvani was born in Karachi, in 1931, where his father was a successful pharmacist and the family lived comfortably. But in 1947 the partition of India forced them to flee to Bombay, where they had to start their lives from scratch. With that background he is better placed than most historians, who have judged India from afar. He claims that India's success as the world's largest democracy, during a period when many other fledgling nations have endured strife, is largely down to imperial rule. It established the framework for India's justice system, civil service, loyal army and efficient police force.

Dr Lalvani, who came to the UK in 1956 to study, believes that both nations benefited from the trade links that were firmly established in the 17th century and continued under the often maligned East India Company, which founded its first trading post in Surat, on the west coast of India, in 1613. Within 40 years it had another 22 bases, supplying the motherland with everything from salt to opium. At the time India, a country of disparate states, had no uniform government and it seemed that France might gain control as it also sought to expand its empire overseas. That prospect was ended by the victory of Robert Clive over French forces at Plassey, in Bengal, in 1757.

It paved the way for the British Raj to rule India for almost two centuries, for the East India Company to thrive and for fortunes to be made by individuals.

There were cases of corruption and greed and cruel reprisals against opponents but Dr Lalviani says: "It is important to note that there is a substantial list on the credit side.

"They include railways, roads, canals, mines, sewers, plantations and the establishment of English law and language.

"Great cities including Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were built and some of the finest universities and museums in India were founded. The first definitive atlas of India was drawn and there were great social reforms, such as the eradication of thugee (violent highway robbery), the banning of the custom of suttee (the burning of widows on the husband's funeral pyre) and female infanticide.

"Perhaps most innovative of all was the bringing together of several different states into one unified India."

Gradually the power of the East India Company was eroded to be replaced by more direct British government of India, leading to more investment. The Indian Army was formed and its top officers trained in new military academies, modelled on Sandhurst.

At the heart of India's development was the expansion of the rail network, originally built to secure the colonial hold, which still prospers.

Within 25 years, 10,000 miles of track were laid joining distant parts of the nation. By independence, 136,000 bridges had been constructed.

Today Indian Railways is the world's largest employer, with a staggering 1.6 million workers on the payroll. By the mid-19th century India had a postal system, the spread of the English language allowed communication between people from different backgrounds, and the arts were thriving.

Wildlife and ancient buildings, such as the Taj Mahal, were protected.

As long ago as 1905 India's first national park was opened, in Assam state, to allow the endangered rhinoceros to flourish unmolested by hunters.
An Indian railway tunnel pictured in 1883
The positive side of the Imperial coin has been overlooked
Dr Kartar Lalvani
By 1914, the Indian mining industry, which was built from nothing by the British, was producing nearly 16 million tons of coal a year. Health and life expectancy both improved dramatically, particularly because malaria was tackled and vaccination against smallpox introduced. Dr Lalvani adds: "The 200-year window of British governance was perhaps the only period in a thousand years of Indian history to date when the minorities and people of different religions felt more secure and less discriminated against, with a notable absence of killings, conflicts and persecutions."

As the links between the two countries were established, wealthy young Indians were packed off to Britain to study and returned home well-trained, bristling with new ideas and instilled with a British sense of fair play. The mutual respect among Indians and Britons meant the transition from colonial rule to independence was peaceful.

According to the author, by the time it happened India had a headstart over many former colonies and that was largely thanks to the Raj.

The French, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish all did much less for their former foreign outposts.

Dr Lalvani believes some of the advantage was squandered by the first Prime Minister of independent India. He claims Jawaharlal Nehru erroneously ran the country along socialist lines, aligning India with the Soviet Union.

Consequently, India missed out on the post-war economic boom and it took many years for the nation to become powerful. Millions of people were destined to live in poverty.

"Nehru betrayed his nation by keeping a misplaced proud distance from the economically successful and friendly Western democracies of the free world and their capital markets," says Dr Lalvani. When India belatedly embraced the global economy, about 20 years ago, it made huge strides. Now, 50 Indians are included on the annual lists of world billionaires - but the wealth has not filtered down to the country's poorest citizens.
Dr Lalvani insists India had a headstart over many other formoer colonies
Despite these problems, India inherited political stability while another legacy of British rule is enduring good relations between the two distant nations.

He says: "Although there were wrongs committed by the British against India, as widely recognised by the British themselves, there was much more that was and remains positive. The sheer audacity and scale of such an endeavour, the courage and enterprise have no parallel in world history."

Dr Lalvani says he despairs that some Indian politicians still insist on attacking its former ruler and disparaging Britain's significant role in the country's development. Instead they should acknowledge the benefits and work to preserve and foster the special relationship between the two nations.

Or, in other words, Dr Lalvani believes that no Indian should today pose the question: "What did the British ever do for us?"

The Remarkable Raj: Why Britain should be proud of its rule in India | UK | News | Daily Express

To suggest that Britain was a benevolent colonial power, as the historian Andrew Roberts has done, is an offensive myth that must be de-bunked



Left: A family of semi-starved Indians who have arrived in Calcutta in search of food, during the famine of 1943. Right: The Koh-i-Noor stone in the Queen Mother's crown Rex Features Getty Images/Rex

The Koh-i-Noor diamond, otherwise known as the Mountain of Light, is worth around £100 million, and according to the British Monarchy has "legendary" status within their collection of Crown jewels. Set in the Queen Mother's platinum crown for her 1937 coronation, it's a dazzling symbol of the Royal Family and its history. But there's a catch – India wants it back. A collection of Indian businessmen and Bollywood actors have begun legal proceedings to have the diamond returned home.



Such news has been met with outcry in some quarters. Responding to the legal proceedings, the historian Andrew Roberts defended Britain's right to keep the diamond. "Those involved in this ludicrous case should recognise that the British Crown Jewels is precisely the right place for the Koh-i-Noor diamond to reside, in grateful recognition for over three centuries of British involvement in India," he said. "[This period] led to the modernisation, development, protection, agrarian advance, linguistic unification and ultimately the democratisation of the sub-continent.”

Robert's argument is borne out of colonial apologism and ignorance. To suggest that Britain was a benevolent colonial power is an offensive myth that must be de-bunked.

Here are five things Britain did that show why Indians have nothing to be grateful for:

1) Partition

Britain's most lasting and damaging colonial legacy in the sub-continent was the partition of India into three countries: India, Pakistan and (eventually) Bangladesh. Relations between these countries have been fraught ever since.

The partition led to one of the largest migrations in history, as many moved from India to Pakistan and vice-versa. It displaced 15 million people, and killed more than one million. When tensions boiled over in 1971, and Bangladesh fought for it's Independence from Pakistan, 500,000 people died.

The legacies of colonialism can still be felt today, as Pakistan and India remain at loggerheads, despite a shared history which was shattered by British divide and rule policies.

2) The Bengal Famine

Rather than benevolently ruling India as Roberts suggests, Britain oversaw some of the worst famines in human history. The famine of Bengal on 1943 was so bad that it's been likened to a genocide. Three million Indians starved to death. The policies of Winston Churchill, who was prime minister at the time, were largely to blame for the suffering. Britain exported huge amounts of food from India, all for its own consumption. 70,000 tonnes of rice left the sub-continent between January and July 1943.

Still not convinced? Churchill said this about the Bengal famine of 1943: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

3) The Amritsar Massacre

In April 1919 thousands of peaceful protesters demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar. They ended up being blocked into the walled Jallianwala Gardens. Once there, British troops led by General Dyer opened fire indiscriminately on the crowds, killing up to 1000 protesters. General Dyer was laterlauded a hero by the British public, which afterwords raised £26,000 for him as a thank you.



4) British assistance in Operation Blue Star

Britain's negative impact on India didn't end after colonialism. Presenting itself as a great ally of the region, Britain continued to meddle in Indian politics. The most significant example of this was in 1984, when the British government advised the Indian government over Operation Blue Star. The operation saw the Indian government raid the Golden Temple – a holy site for Sikhs – which left hundreds dead. Such an attack would be the equivalent of the Britain advising the Italian government on attacking the Vatican.

The aftermath of this led to Indira Gandhi's assassination, and subsequent backlashes against the Sikh populations of India that led to 2,000 Sikhs being killed in Delhi. Only last year did Britain admit its role in it all.

5) The British seizure of Delhi in 1857

Britain's bloody rule of India was best encapsulated by the September 1857 seizure of Delhi during the now infamous Sepoy Mutiny. The British troops murdered sepoy troops, as well as indiscriminately massacring civilians. One young officer was apparently recorded as saying "the orders were to shoot every soul... it was literally murder."
Partition was the right plan but the execution was a failure.

Operation Blue Star was India's failure just like the LTTE movement. Both were initiated by India but were hijacked by other agencies. There is no point in finding a scape goat.
 

vayuputhra

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Many say they built , roads, rail, ports, but have forgotten that they were organized syndicate, a gang of hoodlums, they made all arrangement in the best possible way to loot India, its like a monkey had a diamond in its hand not knowing its value, the clever jackal asked the monkey that what would you do with that dimond, will it fill your stomach? Instead give it to me I will give you a tasty piece of bread, monkey thought for a while and came to the conclusion that what the jackal said was correct, he gave his diamond and took the piece of bread.
 

vsdoc

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The British and the Muslims before them totally buggered our views on sex.

I blame them both for my people not being able to enjoy the full unfettered pre-Islamic Indian sexuality.

Not that I suffered greatly, but there's always that yearning for what could have been. Over past in the receding horizon.
 

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