Monday, October 18, 2010

Why British Raj was Not that Bad for India?

|British Raj was good for India because it catapulted India to a state of self exploration.

Britain ruled India from 1757 to 1947. When Indians look at this part of history they get infuriated. But if Indians see the positive side of it, they would realize that, they have achieved so much from this period! This post is dedicated to all those Indians who still think that whatever happened during British Raj should have never happened. 

My purpose here is not to provide an Utopian picture of India, but to make the point that beside many social issues here and there; India has emerged slowly but firmly from a state of anarchy to a state of democracy, where state is secular and where people have freedom of speech. This picture is still in evolutionary would take more time to complete...but one thing is clear: this evolution is forward! 

These are some of the things that I find India has gained from the British Raj:

1. It provided a reasons to be united 

British Raj gave Indians a reason to be united, whether one is Hindu or Muslim, whether he is from southern or from northern state. Indians found British as their common enemy. Had India been ruled by several different powers instead of only one (British), the situation would have been totally different today!
2. Eliminated the monarchies

British Raj destroyed the monarchies in India completely. It ended the period where people had to follow an incompetent King and where people were loyal to their own small individual states. All Indians know it very well on how kings of that time used to rule. They were morally corrupt, power centric, and always in fear of attacks by the neighboring kings. After 1947, India got an opportunity to rebuild itself from scratch; where people of the state not the monarchs have the power, where people peacefully live with common Indian identity in their minds.

3. Natural leaders emerged

As monarchic power were completely destroyed by the time India got its freedom, an opportunity for leaders based on their merit emerged and India created leaders like Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, and Azaad; who wrote the vision for futuristic India.

4. Democracy evolved

After 1947, Indian realized the need to have a democratic system in place, and today its world's largest democracy. India would never have been able to develop it by its own, without British intervention. 
5. Power of Religious dogmas reduced

This period also provided an opportunity to come out of the control of religious dogmas. With the formation of a secular state philosophy, Indians are able to earn their faiths rightfully. 

6. India became open to the outside world

India stopped being a self centered state and it become more open to the foreign countries in terms of trade, culture, ideas etc...

7. Science received its well deserved place

With rise of educated Indian society, people started focusing more on science for their welfare. They stopped sitting on the laurels of their golden (but divided) past. Today we produce a large number of engineers and scientists as any other developed country in the world. 

Read other posts on Indian History here.

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow him on twitter.
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