Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good Things, the British Left Behind in India

British deserve to be complimented for integrating all the ethnically diverse but culturally similar principalities in the South Asian sub-continent into one nation. Today we call it, India.

Within ten years of the British takeover in 1857, the country had been pacified and rule of law & justice established. People’s confidence in the new master soared. T.B. Macauly"s education system began to pay dividends. Lower rank administrative jobs were filled with English educated Hindus and they became the backbone of the Raj. Early freedom fighter like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Krishan Gokhale made resurgent Hindu power as the basis of their self-rule demand.

With the return of most foreign soldiers from India, Very cleverly the British selected politically reliable communities. They designated them the “Martial Classes”. The newly organized army safeguarded the Indian border and also provided the internal security. This highly trained army became the backbone of future India. Today, British have been gone for sixty years but the Indian Army still follows the British organization, training and fighting methods.

By early 1890s, the civil and military organization was as follows. The British “Sahib” sat at the top, but allowed Hindu clerk to run things for him. Judicial system was exclusively British and very fair. Young men of aristocratic background were educated in England in the intricacies of the English judicial system. Back home they provided the necessary legal basis for the justice system

In one hundred years of the British Crown rule over India until 1947, they introduced the British legal and justice system, organized a formidable civil service, provided modern military training and organization to a largely medieval army, re-organized the antiquated tax system which had continued since Emperor Akbar (circa 1600), set-up an export and import system largely for their own benefit but never the less as a basis for future trade, built one of the world’s greatest water irrigation system in Pakistani Punjab, created a rail and road network to facilitate transportation but also to feed the growing import/export trade, extended the T B Macaulay’s education system to include universities and colleges of higher learning and introduced the western dress code which has become universal in India.

British also failed miserably in few areas like food grain output, which resulted in huge famines, killed the industry and commerce for their own benefit, failed to include social welfare in their agenda, took anything of value out of India and left India on tender hooks when they finally vacated the seat of power.

India"s eternal thanks will always be due for all the good things the British left behind. On the contrary the economic devastation they perpetuated over an otherwise prosperous nation cannot be forgotten.

No comments:

Post a Comment