(Last Updated on : 19/11/2012)
Impact of British rule in India had been widespread throughout the country and affected the cultural, technological, religious, social, political and economic state of India. India had persistently tolerated the British rule for 190 prolonged years, with their everlasting impression been forever etched upon the succeeding Indian citizens.
Impact of British rule in India, in this context, is one that had perhaps emerged forth right from the 16th century, when British missionaries had sailed to eastern soil to spread Christianity, much before the British East India Company. The negative impact of British rule in India was mostly visible in the economic aspect which occurred as a result of de-industrialization and destruction of rural economy. Impact of British rule upon India
and Indians both constitutes superior and appalling elements that still in use in present times.
Initial Impact of British Rule in India
British invasion on India was not the first of its kind; India has prior to British arrival, been host to pellets of ruthless foreign invasions. The British, in this regard, were the last to arrive in India. However, when it came to the power game, it undoubtedly was the British and the British East India Company
, who completely captured Indian power and people. They covertly and efficiently expanded their empire with the competent aid of Indian soldiers.
Indian soldiers had joined the East India Company army solely for the reason that they received salary on the first day of every month, very much unlike the Indian emperors and their system of reign. As such, impact of British rule in India already had begun to have its impact, with the very first Christian missionaries arriving to India, with the intention to turn a majority of population into Christians. They tried to cast Christianity in the light of a better religion and with economic inducements convinced the poor Indians into Christianity.
Religious Impact of British Rule in India
The very foremost impact of British rule on India was the religious impact, as was established by the missionaries and their establishment of churches in every possible corner of the country. In this regard, the port cities like Kolkata
gained enough importance, due to their accessibility for navigational purposes. They were later turned into the 3 cardinal presidency towns.
The keen attempt of British Christians to turn several bunches of Indians into a complete unfamiliar religion was successful, though only in parts. Some had gladly accepted it, in fear of inviting the rage of the company, while others had turned hostile, in turn giving rise to collisions and difference of opinion.
Socio-Cultural Impact of British Rule in India
The socio-cultural impact of British rule upon India was also another intense impression that had lasted throughout their rule, never for once losing their significant status. From every field of living, be it in education, art, architecture, painting, literature, poetry, drama, novels or even Indian religion and philosophy, the whole Indian set-up had suffered a gradual change.
The conventional and simple society, prevalent in India, respected and dreaded the British rulers. British aristocrats travelled throughout India in separate "Europeans Only" First-Class Railway Carriages. They had for themselves separate waiting rooms in most of the major railway stations.
The British also came to set up elite schools for their children. In most of the theatre halls, the balcony was earmarked for the whites and the regional maharaja. Their significant passionate pastime, during late 19th and early 20th centuries, appeared to be hunting animals and birds in Indian jungles. As such, the population of tigers, lions and elephants slumped down because of indiscriminate hunting.
Economic Impact of British Rule in India
Impact of British rule in India however was not restricted only to these spheres; the economic impact was yet another domain which practically had drained out the native populace, creating a forever draught in 1947. The chief aim of these settlers was to make India an agrarian country that would supply an industrialised England. As such, the Indian farmers suffered with their land revenue, most of which were ruthlessly being seized by the hyperbolic Zamindar class that is the feudal lords in India . Each passing year further tightened the economy, making Indians go insane to the nerve; Indian local-manufactured products were sold in tremendously cheap rates in Britain, making the native money-making policy even harder.
The world-over societal degradation also had spilled in India, like the World War I or the Great Depression of the 1930s and also in during the time of Second World War. The situation had become so very dreadful that there could not be found any out of such an entangled mess. This was the economic impact of the British rule in India
from 1757 to 1947.
Constructive Impact of British Rule in India
Amidst all these alarming states and conditions, the imperial rule were compassionate enough to introduce European education in India. This ground-breaking impact of British rule in India truly has benefited India in the long run, carving out a prestigious position of India in the world map. Knowledge of English was essential to earn a job in the British bureaucracy, in the British trading firms and of course in the British Army in the officer's level. Many dignified concepts like parliamentary democracy, the European scientific ideas, industrialisation and liberal human philosophy permeated into the Indian brain.
The British had introduced the system of Railways (From Mumbai
to Thane at First) in a chain method, with the whole of the country staying witness to placing of railways tracks, railway platforms and railway carriages. Indeed India's railways, postal services, legal and judicial systems and other government-based services have all been derived primarily from the British administration.
British rule in India virtually had helped unify India, which till then was quite fragmentary. The in-built inferiority complex was the characteristic trademark of the mass of the native population, till Mahatma Gandhi
and many other nationalist leaders like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
, Jawaharlal Nehru
arrived onto the scene. The bulk of Indian students who set sail to England for higher studies were at first profoundly shocked in seeing white men and women performing lowly jobs in England.
Even though the impact of British rule upon India has mostly been adverse and affected the country negatively, there was still a feeble attempt to maintain equilibrium in Indian society and the country as a whole.