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  1. #1
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    Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India

    Chronicling the evils of British imperialism is imperative given the impact and legacy of that imperialism, and given the dishonest and selective nostalgia about it, not to mention downright ignorance. Almost 60 per cent of Britons were proud of the British Empire and almost 50 per cent thought it had made the colonies better off – a manifestation of what the scholar Paul Gilroy has termed postcolonial melancholia – according to a YouGov poll in 2014.
    (...)
    Tharoor sets out energetically, bluntly and hurriedly the litany of exploitation and theft, and the support given to the East India Company. This was before the Government of India Act of 1858 led the British crown to assume direct control. The company had a private army of 260,000 at the start of the 19th century, and the champions of the British industrial revolution plundered India’s thriving manufacturing industries.

    Under British rule India’s share of world manufacturing exports fell from 27 per cent to 2 per cent as East India employees made colossal fortunes. The marquess of Salisbury, secretary of state for India in the 1870s, remarked that “India is to be bled”, and by the end of the 19th century it was Britain’s biggest source of revenue.
    (...)
    India’s native newspapers were also devoured. In 1875 an estimated 475 newspapers existed, most owned and edited by Indians, but severe restrictions were placed on their operations and editors. British racial theories were in full flow in relation to railway matters, with legislation making it impossible for Indian workshops to design and manufacture locomotives.
    (...)
    Up to 35 million died unnecessarily in famines; London ate India’s bread while India starved, and in 1943 nearly four million Bengalis died. It was their own fault, according to the odious Churchill, for “breeding like rabbits”. Collectively, these famines amounted to a “British colonial holocaust”.
    (...)
    http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo...ndia-1.2981299

  2. #2
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    but..but.. the subcontinent would not have been as developed if we were not colonized. We would all still be savages and uncivilized. We needed them to enslave us...

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    They brought the subcontinent under one rule and brought peace of sorts

    Earlier there always were 100 different empires fighting perennial wars against each other.

    The Mughal empire for its whole existence was in a state of war for eg

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    When we talk about the glorious British empire, we have to bear in mind it was pretty glorious if you were British, although i'm not sure how much of that filtered down to the common man.

    India wasn't called the jewel in the crown for no reason. In fact it literally still is, many Indians still demand the Kohi noor diamond back from her majesty's crown, demands which the British dismiss without much serious consideration.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

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    its always a useless exercise to judge empires from earlier centuries by standards of today

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackanhyellow View Post
    but..but.. the subcontinent would not have been as developed if we were not colonized. We would all still be savages and uncivilized. We needed them to enslave us...
    It's for all to see who acted like savages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    They brought the subcontinent under one rule and brought peace of sorts

    Earlier there always were 100 different empires fighting perennial wars against each other.

    The Mughal empire for its whole existence was in a state of war for eg
    When I was Hinduphobe I had your prejudices. Then I read Dharampal, Gandhi's disciple : basically there was not "one rule" for the simple reason that India has always been heavily decentralized ; that's the reason why one region didn't produce 80% of all the economy/culture like for instance Paris for France or London in England. "Centralization", like the very notions of "nationalism" or "States" are Eurocentric notions (thus "Islamic" and "Hindu" nationalisms are indeed quite comical).

    Also can you give me few examples of "different empires fighting perennial wars against each other" ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    its always a useless exercise to judge empires from earlier centuries by standards of today
    The British Empire was dislocated less than a century ago.

  8. #8
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    Tharoor's speeches on this topic are excellent.

    And here there is another gem from AIB podcast to which british people are reacting to...eventhough it was presented in a funny manner most of them seems offended by the way we picture "the Great Britain"...




    Last edited by Muhammad10; 5th March 2017 at 18:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    When we talk about the glorious British empire, we have to bear in mind it was pretty glorious if you were British, although i'm not sure how much of that filtered down to the common man.
    Certainly none to me. My grandparents were crash-poor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Certainly none to me. My grandparents were crash-poor.
    I think the money was hogged by the gentry, there was no middle class back then and the working classes didn't seem to have seen much benefit of the glorious empire. Wasn't Victorian England the era when the chimney sweeps used to send little boys up the chimneys to dislodge the soot?


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    I think the money was hogged by the gentry, there was no middle class back then and the working classes didn't seem to have seen much benefit of the glorious empire. Wasn't Victorian England the era when the chimney sweeps used to send little boys up the chimneys to dislodge the soot?
    Let's image you're a father with many children : you received a million of dollars, but not your sons and daughters... "technically", they'll remain "poor"... but your money would be used for them too, right ?

    I'm using this quite contingent example to say something : you hear many British (or French) say "yeah but my ancestors didn't want this nor participated in it" - even though they're proud of the empire LOL - but ultimately, the influx of capital from India which impoverished the Indians eventually enriched the whole State, which used the money to develop the nation from which ALL benefited IN THE LONGER RUN.

    If tomorrow you multiply the prices of the iPhones you'll find hordes of Americans protesting ; but when it's about to re-elect a lying warmongering politician G.W. Bush, what happens ? HE GET BACK TO THE WHITE HOUSE... of course, in 100 years, you'll hear Americans say "yeah but my ancestors didn't want this nor participated in it"... Iraqi children become "collateral damages" (500 000 children died when the population was 20 millions because of the embargo/sanctions ; Ward Churchill said it was 20-25% of the TOTAL children demographics) but apparently Westerners are immunized when it comes to collective responsibilities EVEN WHEN THEY VOTE.
    Last edited by enkidu_; 5th March 2017 at 16:20.

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    What I always find myself wondering is how a mickey mouse Island with 5 million people managed to colonize an empire spread out over an area the size of Europe and a population of 200 million odd with only 50'000 odd boots on the ground at its peak, that too thousands of miles away. Surely there was already a massive gulf between the technological progress between the two when colonization happened or something like this should not have been possible in the first place which leads me to question whether those who present the picture of a prosperous pre colonization India aren't just as full of it as those who glorify the empire and wax lyrical about the benefits it supposedly brought. Keep in mind that being the largest economy at the time was not comparable to the same status today because productivity differences between the richest and poorest states/empires were very low compared to today(the richest countries back then would be around twice as rich in per capita terms, now it's something like 25-35 times).
    Last edited by DW44; 5th March 2017 at 16:26.


    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Military and mullah
    *Redacted*

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    What I always find myself wondering is how a mickey mouse Island with 5 million people managed to colonize an empire spread out over an area the size of Europe and a population of 200 million odd with only 50'000 odd boots on the ground at its peak, that too thousands of miles away. Surely there was already a massive gulf between the technological progress between the two when colonization happened or something like this should not have been possible in the first place which leads me to question whether those who present the picture of a prosperous pre colonization India aren't just as full of it as those who glorify the empire and wax lyrical about the benefits it supposedly brought. Keep in mind that being the largest economy at the time was not comparable to the same status today because productivity differences between the richest and poorest states/empires were very low compared to today(the richest countries back then would be around twice as rich in per capita terms, now it's something like 25-35 times).
    You're using social Darwinism to what happens to be theft on industrial scale. I hope you talk the same way of the TTP which is terrorising a whole country. The British developed technology because they needed it for the industrial revolution ; but there's not necessarily a caused effect between this and killing peoples all over the world. China was the technological powerhouse for centuries, it had wars in South East Asia, where it proposed its civilization the rest absorbed so much (there's no Vietnamese/Korean/Japanese civilizations without China), but it wasn't about colonies, and when centuries later Zheng He made expeditions in Asia/Africa, the Chinese didn't impose power anywhere ; contrast with his near contemporary, a certain Columbus.

    But anyway if it's about technology, let cheer for US imperialism in the Middle East and the civilization it promotes there (democracy, MacDonald's, Lady Gaga, ...) and let's even give them invitation cards and byriani.

    What you're referring to by at the end is the usual explanation, "that India was left behind because it didn't industrialize" ; there's now enough literature to show that it couldn't because it has methodically been de-industrialized by the British. India as an old civilization could easily have catch up, if, like in China, all was not done to make it sure its agrarian and manufacturial economy was able to transit into a capitalistic system - and the sings were there than an "indigenous" bourgeoisie was developing, but the British, again, made sure it was limited to few families (Tata's, ...) and not to the wider State.

    If the Belgians of all peoples could Indians were as able if not more.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by enkidu_ View Post
    You're using social Darwinism to what happens to be theft on industrial scale. I hope you talk the same way of the TTP which is terrorising a whole country. The British developed technology because they needed it for the industrial revolution ; but there's not necessarily a caused effect between this and killing peoples all over the world. China was the technological powerhouse for centuries, it had wars in South East Asia, where it proposed its civilization the rest absorbed so much (there's no Vietnamese/Korean/Japanese civilizations without China), but it wasn't about colonies, and when centuries later Zheng He made expeditions in Asia/Africa, the Chinese didn't impose power anywhere ; contrast with his near contemporary, a certain Columbus.

    But anyway if it's about technology, let cheer for US imperialism in the Middle East and the civilization it promotes there (democracy, MacDonald's, Lady Gaga, ...) and let's even give them invitation cards and byriani.

    What you're referring to by at the end is the usual explanation, "that India was left behind because it didn't industrialize" ; there's now enough literature to show that it couldn't because it has methodically been de-industrialized by the British. India as an old civilization could easily have catch up, if, like in China, all was not done to make it sure its agrarian and manufacturial economy was able to transit into a capitalistic system - and the sings were there than an "indigenous" bourgeoisie was developing, but the British, again, made sure it was limited to few families (Tata's, ...) and not to the wider State.

    If the Belgians of all peoples could Indians were as able if not more.
    Comprehension clearly isn't one of your stronger suits if you took any part of my post to be supporting or justifying colonization, I was simply highlighting an anomaly without taking a position on the matter. One can be opposed to colonialism and still stick to the facts instead of making exaggerations like we were this and that and then they destroyed us. While colonialism can not be justified morally, and just so we're clear I feel the same way about the Islamic empires too which somehow spread all the way from India to Spain, it is also a bit of a self serving lie that India was doing great until it was colonized because if it were, it wouldn't have gotten colonized. The moral aspect is a different matter and the two can be considered in isolation if there's no agenda to push.


    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Military and mullah
    *Redacted*

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    Comprehension clearly isn't one of your stronger suits if you took any part of my post to be supporting or justifying colonization, I was simply highlighting an anomaly without taking a position on the matter. One can be opposed to colonialism and still stick to the facts instead of making exaggerations like we were this and that and then they destroyed us. While colonialism can not be justified morally, and just so we're clear I feel the same way about the Islamic empires too which somehow spread all the way from India to Spain, it is also a bit of a self serving lie that India was doing great until it was colonized because if it were, it wouldn't have gotten colonized. The moral aspect is a different matter and the two can be considered in isolation if there's no agenda to push.
    Listen, you're a decent poster for an atheist and didn't want to turn in confrontation, but like many ex colonized you still suffer from an inferiority complex when it comes to the West. What you said was exactly like the paindoo reflection of "why she was out alone at night" when we hear of a woman being raped.

    You clearly endorsed social Darwinism, unless you don't write your posts, which was obviously taking a position, basically that of reducing civilization to technology : that's a modernist point of view. India as a civilization developed metaphysics and pure mathematics like very few ever did ; it's not because it didn't came up with the car or the iPhone that it deserved to be plundered by satanic White marauders from miles away. That's what your post explicitly implied. And why don't you respond to my query on US imperialism ? If the US invades VietNam or Iraq it's benefitial to the indigenous populations, right, because they'll find democracy and American civilization ?

    As for the "Islamic empires" meme it's obviously a not so subtle way on your part to try to corner me, but : Islamic imperialism was not "colonialism" ; a simple question : why you don't hear modern Indians bash Greeks or Persians ? For a simple reason : their imperialism was cultural and decentralized ; British (and more generally European) colonialism was economic and centralized. Islamic imperialism was the same. It talked in terms of provinces. If the British did the same, that they ruled from London but keeping native sociology/anthropology/economy intact and with their own input (in technology), no one would have criticized them - in fact, the opposite. The Mughals came, assimilated and built the Taj Mahal not in Uzbekistan, but in India, they were imperialists ; the British, on the other hand, made sure India went from around 20% of world GDP to 2% at independence, because they were there to steal the capital, to transfer the plus value to back home.

    Now, thinking of it, the only reasonable point in your early post was about population and how the GDP wasn't telling the whole story (even though scholars like Dharampal wrote dozens of books, but let's forget). So let's see how the civilized British influenced the GDP/capita, then ?

    If the history of British rule in India were to be condensed into a single fact, it is this : there was no increase in India's per capita income from 1757 to 1947. Indeed, in the last half of the nineteenth century, income probably declined by more than 50 percent. There was no economic development at all in the usual sense of the term.
    Mike Davis, "Late Victorian Holocausts", pp. 311

    How you'll spin it now ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Certainly none to me. My grandparents were crash-poor.
    But the money the wealthy acquired from India was in turn used to build their mansions, estates, canals, roads, railways and industries back in the UK. It also provided the government with the means to build the navy and army to safeguard the shipping routes. That meant labour, employment, servants for the rich, soldiers and sailors for the forces, plus all the other support services. ie in one way or another all that acquired wealth benefited the country as a whole, meaning the rest of the population of the UK benefited to varying extents.


    “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    They brought the subcontinent under one rule and brought peace of sorts

    Earlier there always were 100 different empires fighting perennial wars against each other.
    Ah, so the British did it all for the benefit of the Indians? How magnanimous of them.




    Last edited by Muhammad10; 5th March 2017 at 19:14.


    “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    I think the money was hogged by the gentry, there was no middle class back then and the working classes didn't seem to have seen much benefit of the glorious empire. Wasn't Victorian England the era when the chimney sweeps used to send little boys up the chimneys to dislodge the soot?
    Yup. Charles Dickens stories depict that..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    I think the money was hogged by the gentry, there was no middle class back then and the working classes didn't seem to have seen much benefit of the glorious empire. Wasn't Victorian England the era when the chimney sweeps used to send little boys up the chimneys to dislodge the soot?
    That's right. It was not until 1945 when the country had been bled white by WW2 and was losing grip on Empire that things started to get better for ordinary people.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Certainly none to me. My grandparents were crash-poor.
    My fully British ones were, but my ones who lived in British India weren't.

    The whole thing is ludicrous. The British working class was treated no better than Indians were, but we don't play the victim card.

    You only had a vote in Britain if you owned land prior to 1918. Indians (and I include Pakistanis in that genus) tend not to know this.

    Yes, it was hard and exploitative. But the UK and India now share the jewel which is the rule of law. And not law twisted by religion like the poor Pakistanis have to suffer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    What I always find myself wondering is how a mickey mouse Island with 5 million people managed to colonize an empire spread out over an area the size of Europe and a population of 200 million odd with only 50'000 odd boots on the ground at its peak, that too thousands of miles away.
    Because the British revolution was relatively bloodless, while our European competitors damaged themselves with internecine strife.

    Because Britain struck a balance between religion, philosophy and the development of science and technology.

    Because the Royal Navy had swept all opposition from the oceans by 1805, due to superior crew training and tactics.

    Then the British Army, honed by decades of warfare in Europe and the Americas was able to punch above its weight.

    Then there was an excellent diplomatic and administrative class to divide the enemy factions and set them against each other, then manage the colonial legal and commercial systems.

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    So whilst the Empire expoited its colonies, the lesson to learn is that it was purely the fault of the upper class gentry? The lower class Brit had it no better than the subjects the motherland was exploiting?

    The single greatest event that enabled the growth of the lower and later middle class in Britain was the industrial revoloution - something which was financed by India, and enabled by Britain's manipulation in their colonies' trade. Generations of Indians were impoverished to enable the upliftment of Mother England. And this is something which people want to defend?

    What the Sub Continent, and any other colony of the Europeans, could have achieved without them will never be known. But to say we are better off having been colonised is disgusting, and only goes to show how well the British have ensured that colonial history is one sided. Well done to Shashi Tharoor for trying to give a voice to the other side of the arguement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    My fully British ones were, but my ones who lived in British India weren't.

    The whole thing is ludicrous. The British working class was treated no better than Indians were, but we don't play the victim card.

    You only had a vote in Britain if you owned land prior to 1918. Indians (and I include Pakistanis in that genus) tend not to know this.

    Yes, it was hard and exploitative. But the UK and India now share the jewel which is the rule of law. And not law twisted by religion like the poor Pakistanis have to suffer.
    Again vintage social Darwinism. Indians could roam naked with mushrooms on their head the English had no moral right to travail thousands of miles to "civilize" them, let alone make sure that for two centuries their standards of living committing suicide. Indians were an advanced civilization when British were seen so much as barbarians that Cicero told to some of his friend, in a letter, to "not take them as slaves, because they're too dumb". Yet Indians would have never admitted such vision because they believed in ahimsa (non violence) and the essential unicity of all human beings, mere reflections of a divine Supreme Self (paramatman). The British (and French), on the other hand, with their militant capitalism and toxic liberalism reversed this trend ; and with the advent of a twisted vision of Darwinism that the main concerned himself repudiated, Herbert Spencer, fathering social Darwinism, far from proposing an unitary vision of mankind, pushed forward that the mightier is always right ; that further justified colonialism, and in fact was justified by some of its victims themselves (the famous "we have been colonized because we were colonizable" of the London-educated Gandhi is nothing else).

    But do you want me to be more cynical with you and all those others who adopt such rhetoric ?

    If we follow you, why can't we propose eugenics, which was mainstream in the whole West decades back ? I means, if Indians had to be colonized, then mentally ill had to be finished off as well, considering it was the logical conclusion of such ideology.

    Also, the "British working class was treated no better than Indians" meme is getting tiring : if the British working class was suffering from their own people and it was their internal matters no one should have business in ; the Indians were a foreign civilization being economically drained, culturally repressed and military oppressed by foreigners.

    And as many mentioned, the "average" British profited from the overall economic prosperity brought by colonial predation ; also, it's still the "average" British which prides itself in the British Empire today.

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    Of course Britain profited enormously as a nation from the colonies - that was the whole point. All of Europe was battling over resources in the east, if it wasn't the British, it would have been the French or the Dutch. I daresay many Brits even today would prefer that we could continue to profit but without the pesky foreigners coming over here in return, hence Teresa May's hardline stance over issuing visas to Indian workers on her recent trip over there.

    Interestingly, following Brexit, officials in Whitehall are planning an updated version called Empire 2.0 which has made the news just in the last 24 hours:

    https://www.rt.com/uk/379574-liam-fox-new-empire/




    Officials are planning a return to privileged trade with former British colonies in an attempt to replace the agreements which will be lost with Brexit, a project some have criticized as being ‘Empire 2.0’.
    Trade Minister Liam Fox will lead the charge to recreate special free trade relations with New Zealand, Canada, Australia and a variety of African nations the UK once dominated.

    Members of the 52-nation network will meet in London on Thursday and Friday and officials will launch a charm offensive in a bid to replace the EU.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Certainly none to me. My grandparents were crash-poor.
    really? are you sure about that? Britain's welfare system and industrial might was built on the backs of our ancestors. And then you invited their children to save & rebuild your country again after you nearly wiped yourselves out. Britain owes everything to the subcontinent. The only reason you got a free education is because a fat sociopath from wales managed to swindle his way to subcontinental riches.

    As for being poor, lol you people have no concept of what poor was in the subcontinent after the might British empire left or during its tenure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Of course Britain profited enormously as a nation from the colonies - that was the whole point. All of Europe was battling over resources in the east, if it wasn't the British, it would have been the French or the Dutch. I daresay many Brits even today would prefer that we could continue to profit but without the pesky foreigners coming over here in return, hence Teresa May's hardline stance over issuing visas to Indian workers on her recent trip over there.

    Interestingly, following Brexit, officials in Whitehall are planning an updated version called Empire 2.0 which has made the news just in the last 24 hours:
    lol the Empire is going to receive a rude awakening!!

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    im not sure why there is any attempts at all to deny what happened during that time and why anyone seems to be belittling the reality of a relevant historic illustration of plunder, capitalism at its most extreme, and an undeniable implementation of eugenics.

    ive never really studied much of this topic until recently when i began reading about the slave trade, and about revisionist history - i suppose the original precursor to todays 'fake news'.

    as someone utterly ignorant of the transatlantic slave trade, i was under the impression as i would imagine most lay people are, that white europeans went over to a bunch of grass skirt wearing african savages who ate grubs and dirt, enslaved them for a while, but now have apologised and so alls well that ends well. apparently, according to the book im reading drawing heavily on the british national archive records, this couldnt be farther from the truth.

    i suspect much of what am reading will be echoed in a colonial history of india which is why i have ordered the book in the op, and i think to some degree the same principles and more importantly, the same slave masters' eugenics mentality is playing out todays world in the theatre of global division, appropriation and puppeteering.

    from the little that i have read so far there were a few things in my ignorance i found interesting: there was a region of west africa labelled senegambia that most people even in african scholarship are not familiar with: in a largely french controlled area, in the late 18th century the british attempted to create a new 'cheasapeake river' type valley region with plantations and so on - this was consequently buried in history apparently because the british had their ***** handed to them by abolishinist movements and slave revolts that were native and indigenous - not as advertised a function of white european pangs of guilt or elightenment. its on the back of that the accusation of buried history that ive ordered some further reading on the reality of revisionism.

    in addition, i was surprised to read that pre-european africa was heavily sophisticated: that women made up a third of students in schools, five to ten times the proportion in europe at that time, that women featured amongst the most prominent and proficient scholars in the area, that the atlantic slave trade was not imposed on the people there, but was only possible in conjunction with african slave kings and traders, and that the british policy was to buy their loyalty and business by way of bribes of rare goods, money and military prowess. the slave trade was a centrifugal force that tore the societies there apart by pitting one tribe against another with british help to destroy political adversaries. there are reports by british writers at the time talking about how the ideas of emancipation, liberty, humanism were all far more actively deployed in african society far ahead of anything in europe states.

    im not sure if anyone else sees distinct parallels with the way the world is today. for me, the importance of reading this history is not to revel in victimhood, but to identify repetitive patterns and precedence in order to try to work out what is truth about what we are told and what is a slave trader's conciliatory rhetoric to suppress agitation.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Great Khan View Post
    really? are you sure about that? Britain's welfare system and industrial might was built on the backs of our ancestors. And then you invited their children to save & rebuild your country again after you nearly wiped yourselves out. Britain owes everything to the subcontinent. The only reason you got a free education is because a fat sociopath from wales managed to swindle his way to subcontinental riches.

    As for being poor, lol you people have no concept of what poor was in the subcontinent after the might British empire left or during its tenure!
    Yes, I am sure @the Great Khan. A lot of money came into the hands of a very few Britons. But much of that was lost in 1929. Most of the stately homes of England are owned by the National Trust after impoverished aristocrats had to give them up and get jobs.

    By 1945 the nation was close to bankruptcy and had to borrow heavily to set up the Welfare State, only paying the debt off by massive industrial exports during the 1960s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Yes, I am sure @the Great Khan. A lot of money came into the hands of a very few Britons. But much of that was lost in 1929. Most of the stately homes of England are owned by the National Trust after impoverished aristocrats had to give them up and get jobs.

    By 1945 the nation was close to bankruptcy and had to borrow heavily to set up the Welfare State, only paying the debt off by massive industrial exports during the 1960s.
    If a thief steals money and accidently burns it all, it doesnt mean he isn't guilty of stealing anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DW44 View Post
    What I always find myself wondering is how a mickey mouse Island with 5 million people managed to colonize an empire spread out over an area the size of Europe and a population of 200 million odd with only 50'000 odd boots on the ground at its peak, that too thousands of miles away. Surely there was already a massive gulf between the technological progress between the two when colonization happened or something like this should not have been possible in the first place which leads me to question whether those who present the picture of a prosperous pre colonization India aren't just as full of it as those who glorify the empire and wax lyrical about the benefits it supposedly brought. Keep in mind that being the largest economy at the time was not comparable to the same status today because productivity differences between the richest and poorest states/empires were very low compared to today(the richest countries back then would be around twice as rich in per capita terms, now it's something like 25-35 times).
    Max weber has explained the growth of capitalistic spirit among europeans on the basis of Protestant ethics. According to him, The European Christians thought that its a service to God if they work hard and make a valuable contribution in any field of life. This drove them forward and ignited enthusiasm in them.

    I think same can be said about Muslims of the past too. Nowadays our lot is just full of lazy bums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    If a thief steals money and accidently burns it all, it doesnt mean he isn't guilty of stealing anymore.
    I agree. My point is that the Victorian thief's swag didn't filter down to the likes of me.

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    In UK schools the role of the British Empire in India is rarely mentioned. We were constantly taught stories of WW1 and WW2. Churchill who was a racist is shown in great light as some sort of Messiah, hero who took on the Nazi's with HIS allies and won.
    @enkidu_ Which kingdoms/king/rulers were the biggest allies of the British in India from the beginning?


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

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    Shashi Tharoor seems pretty gangster. have watched a couple of his speeches. does he have a Pakistani counterpart that is as eloquent and intelligent?

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    Tharoor is a clever chap - genuinely clever as opposed to the many faux and pseudo intellectuals we see on tv these days. He comes across as a decent and genuine man too. He could have done anything after leaving the UN (an easy and well paid position at a top British or American University for example) however he chose to return to India and serve in parliament - we could do with more politicians like him.

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    Funny thing is that most Indians love the British despite what they did to them. However, they hate the invading Muslim armies who enhanced their culture much more then the Brits did. This is not to suggest that the Moghul's were all saints or representatives of Islam.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    Funny thing is that most Indians love the British despite what they did to them. However, they hate the invading Muslim armies who enhanced their culture much more then the Brits did. This is not to suggest that the Moghul's were all saints or representatives of Islam.
    Invading Mughal army should be compared with invading British army, not "British"? Besides, Mughal rulers like Akbar and Shah Jahan are still remembered positively, while all British occupation gets is hate.

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    Ah the ignorance in this thread.Do you white anglo saxon folks even have the slightest idea about what being poor actually means? The essence of British imperialism lay in subordination of the Indian economy to the British economy.Indians were 'drained off' their wealth by the hands of mighty empire.Brits completely destroyed the local handicrafts businesses .Highly skilled Indian craftsmen were deprived of their source of income and were forced to look for alternate source of income that hardly existed.This created not only massive unemployment in India but also new demand in the Indian consumer market which was now deprived of the supply of locally made goods.This demand was profitably met by increasing imports of cheap manufactured goods from Britain. They cleverly transformed the Indian economy into a net supplier of raw materials and consumer of finished industrial products from Britain.Their policy of free trade did nothing to promote industrialisation in the country, in fact it forced the infant and under developed modern industries into a premature and unequal hence unfair and disastrous competition with the highly organized and developed industries of the west. British policies such as revenue settlement etc brought nothing but misery to peasants who were treated worse than slaves.The taxation on crops actually doubled from that prevalent during mughal times.Officers of company only cared about filling their own pockets and piling up as much gold as they can for their masters sitting in London.Millions of people died because of the famines and droughts which were result of British policies in the subcontinent.Oh but since they built railways and united us who cares.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak_Fan View Post
    Invading Mughal army should be compared with invading British army, not "British"? Besides, Mughal rulers like Akbar and Shah Jahan are still remembered positively, while all British occupation gets is hate.
    What? Modi and his fascist government remember Akbar etc positively? You gotta be kiddin' me, most Indian non Muslim's still suffer from what Muslim's did to them that cam be seen in their comments no matter how much they try to hide them. I don't question Jodha's love for Akbar though.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TM Riddle View Post
    Ah the ignorance in this thread.Do you white anglo saxon folks even have the slightest idea about what being poor actually means?
    Not knowing where your next meal is coming from and having no shelter for the night. Being starved out of your own country and having to move to another. That sort of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    What? Modi and his fascist government remember Akbar etc positively? You gotta be kiddin' me, most Indian non Muslim's still suffer from what Muslim's did to them that cam be seen in their comments no matter how much they try to hide them. I don't question Jodha's love for Akbar though.
    You don't know what you are talking about. And why is Modi and his govt. even relevant to what I said?

    As for the widespread dislike for Islam in comments, it isn't really exclusive to India, is it? The only historical hatred Indians have against Islam is when it came to invaders who plundered and left, or Aurangzeb. Rest of the Mughals left a positive or neutral mark in Indian history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    What? Modi and his fascist government remember Akbar etc positively? You gotta be kiddin' me, most Indian non Muslim's still suffer from what Muslim's did to them that cam be seen in their comments no matter how much they try to hide them. I don't question Jodha's love for Akbar though.
    Go read Indian history text books and you would realize most of them show mughals in good light except may be Aurangzeb but even then he has been described as a good strategist and brilliant military commander.Old NCERT text books are full of praise of mughal emperors and sultanate rulers.


    Tazimi Sirdar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Not knowing where your next meal is coming from and having no shelter for the night. Being starved out of your own country and having to move to another. That sort of thing.
    No I would tell you what poverty actually means.It's being made to feel like worst than a slave in your own country.To work 24/7 like a mule in a land that has been snatched from you by some foreigner who don't even speak the language and has audacity to lecture you on morality and civilization.Being poor is going days and sometime weeks without any food whatsoever.Being poor is getting exploited at every stage of life.Indian peasants from 18th century would have gladly switched positions in a heartbeat with your apparently poor great grandfather.


    Tazimi Sirdar

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    I think the British did exploit India and while exploiting It, they cobtributed to it's development. The intention was obviously not a pious one though. The railways were built in order to transport the raw materials which belonged to India but those railways helped India even after Independence. Modern education was introduced in order to recruit Indians in administration which helped the empire. I know Indians had made some advancements in science and other fields but the spread of education under Britishers was wider and touched fields which were unknown to Indians. That education went a long way to help India gain its Independence and run the country thereafter. These were just side effects for the british empire. I guess we would never know how quickly Indians would have caught up with the rest of the world in terms of modern development had Britishers never set foot in India. Some of you may think that India didn't even need such education and developments to keep pace with the world and they would have done it their own way but thats a wrong way of thinking imo.

    Having said that, Indians didn't ask for any of such "development" and there is no moral ground to justify what the Britishers did. They came in as traders thanks to jehangir, saw that Indians were already divided on various lines and exploited this weakness by pitting one against another.

    Indian rulers' ineptness and greed also contributed to their downfall. Everybody looked to save himself rather than fight the common enenmy. The ones like Tipu sultan (not a popular figure for correct reasons) tried hard to unite the various maharajas and nizams and also made allies with french and dutch but he was backstabbed by the Marathas and other rulers of India who supported British when they should have done the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I agree. My point is that the Victorian thief's swag didn't filter down to the likes of me.
    If you walk or drive on a well made concrete road, if you use that flyover which takes you to your office, if you board that train which offers cheap travel, if you boast about how developed your country is, if you get paid more than an an equally educated Indian in India, it has filtered down to you in one way or the other.

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    @Madplayer : the first thinker to have envisioned infrastructure building (railways, roads, ...) as part of industrialization was the French socialist thinker Saint-Simon, who wanted the State to catch up with England, the French lagging behind since the 1789 "French revolution", which was certainly a British cabal against France (and no wonder its aristocracy had been decimated, which made up its marine, assuring the British will be the unique sea power and thus the global empire that it'd be) ; the quinquennial plans of Stalin (basing himself on Lenin's "state capitalism" theory) in the Soviet Union during the 20s-30s and Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward" followed such policies.

    The difference with the British in the Raj ? They were indigenous : they were accompanied with industrialization, thus were "holistic", benefiting all the masses ; in the Raj, it was about to connect few isolated cities to transport goods in British favour (no wonder that the Swadeshi movement targeted Bombay - where the British - a road like the "Shakespeare Sarani" in Bengal's Kolkotta still has this "colonial" feel). The British, contrarily to what Saint-Simon wanted for France or what Stalin and Mao did for their respective nations, didn't invest capital into India, but outsourced it - the difference is phenomenal. The British destroyed Indian manufacture and effectively implemented policies leading to de-industrialization - when you don't have industrialization, and sociological phenomena like urbanization and the birth of petite bourgeoisie, to build roads or ports is like to give an alchemical book where it's written how to make god to a child who hasn't learn how to read (even if we forget that this infrastructure targeted few cities.)

    As for education, a disciple of Gandhi, Dharampal, wrote dozens of volumes on how traditional education in India (for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs) was a potent civilizational force : the only criticism would have been to upgrade the curriculum, but not to destroy a traditional educational system which was as free as it was intellectually challenging ; I remember William Dalrymple in his book The Last Mughal quoting a British officer in the early 1800s who said that an Indian educated traditionally wasn't less than an Oxford graduate.

    Again, it could have been upgraded but not destroyed : if you can't take the fruits of a tree, you elevate yourself, you don't burn it down totally ; if the Indians did the same with the British (who, by the way, began their scientific tradition quite late, with Roger Bacon/Grossetête in the 13th century), that is destroying the local élite which made education affordable, broke the cultural dynamics, etc then you wouldn't have English parts in NW Euro. scientific dominance from the 17th century onwards.

    I mean, India has some 30 millions of manuscripts, and as Dominik Wujastyk stated, we don't talk here, like in the West, of little literary fragments with sometimes few lines in theology ; no, the towering majority of them are full books in metaphysics, mathematics, medicine, etc Kim Plofker in her book on Indian mathematics - a still understudied field - said that there alone the manuscripts are counted into the 100 000s. It's an incomparable intellectual heritage (only the Chinese and Arabic languages, latter with 5 million of manuscripts - many of them from Muslims of the SC by the way - comes close) which can only come from a refined civilization ; and, obviously, its educational system.

    You could have refined it without destroying it - and the civil exams were a way to transform potential Indian scientists into mere functionaries... why would the British want Indians to go into pure research in physics, mathematics, chemistry, ... when they can be useful slaves.

    PS : I disagree with Weberian sociology, which is bourgeois, and like Marx I think it's more the economic changes which secretes a religious world-view than the other way around.
    Last edited by enkidu_; 7th March 2017 at 07:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak_Fan View Post
    You don't know what you are talking about. And why is Modi and his govt. even relevant to what I said?

    As for the widespread dislike for Islam in comments, it isn't really exclusive to India, is it? The only historical hatred Indians have against Islam is when it came to invaders who plundered and left, or Aurangzeb. Rest of the Mughals left a positive or neutral mark in Indian history.
    You are the one who does not have a clue of what he is saying! It is relevant because Modi is a fascist, is that clear enough for you?? Well having Muslim name does not make you a believer in Islam, okay?? Most westerners are wrongly called Christians when in reality they are atheists.
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 7th March 2017 at 14:44.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TM Riddle View Post
    Go read Indian history text books and you would realize most of them show mughals in good light except may be Aurangzeb but even then he has been described as a good strategist and brilliant military commander.Old NCERT text books are full of praise of mughal emperors and sultanate rulers.
    I have read some of your history, don't have the time to read zillions of zillions of pages of your boring analysts. Historians do not represent the views of the people, this is something that is beyond the understanding of people like you. Moghuls have an equal number of critics as well as admirers in Bharat depending on what side of the fence you are standing on.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    You are the one who does not have a clue of what he is saying! It is relevant because Modi is a fascist, is that clear enough for you?? Well having Muslim name does not make you a believer in Islam, okay?? Most westerners are wrongly called Christians when in reality they are atheists.
    Learn to debate before you quote me with more nonsense again.

    You claimed that Indians demonize Mughals while they love British. Me and Riddle told you it wasn't the case. Mughals are mostly shown in a positive light. So, do you have anything to counter my claim or are you happy with this pointless rambling?
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 7th March 2017 at 14:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PakLFC View Post
    I have read some of your history, don't have the time to read zillions of zillions of pages of your boring analysts. Historians do not represent the views of the people, this is something that is beyond the understanding of people like you. Moghuls have an equal number of critics as well as admirers in Bharat depending on what side of the fence you are standing on.
    How do you know about that, did you conduct a survey or something? And nothing wrong with having critics of the empire.Mughals shouldn't be immune to criticism.Like every ruling dynasty they had both good and bad things about them.In a democratic society people have right to criticize whoever they want, doesn't make them bigots.


    Tazimi Sirdar

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    When I read such sort of threads the glaring thing that strikes me is this.

    "No one can do anything to anyone, till we own up to our responsibilities".

    If the glorious Muslim and Hindu civilizations fell, it was because of our own incapability to withstand the changes of time and progress.

    The easiest cop out in the world is this.

    "Foreign powers destroyed us".

    "Imperialism destroyed us".

    Where was our mind when it was happening?

    Right.

    Zilch.

    But they destroyed us.


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    When I read such sort of threads the glaring thing that strikes me is this.

    "No one can do anything to anyone, till we own up to our responsibilities".

    If the glorious Muslim and Hindu civilizations fell, it was because of our own incapability to withstand the changes of time and progress.

    The easiest cop out in the world is this.

    "Foreign powers destroyed us".

    "Imperialism destroyed us".

    Where was our mind when it was happening?

    Right.

    Zilch.

    But they destroyed us.
    Exactly doctor, but wait for others to accuse you of victim shaming. If anything the Brits brought us railways, education and civilization.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    When I read such sort of threads the glaring thing that strikes me is this.

    "No one can do anything to anyone, till we own up to our responsibilities".

    If the glorious Muslim and Hindu civilizations fell, it was because of our own incapability to withstand the changes of time and progress.

    The easiest cop out in the world is this.

    "Foreign powers destroyed us".

    "Imperialism destroyed us".

    Where was our mind when it was happening?

    Right.

    Zilch.

    But they destroyed us.
    Things aren't as black and white as you are trying to portray them here.No one is suggesting India was a nation full of riches(actually come to think of it, it really was, but the gulf between the poor and rich was quite huge) but that Brits destroyed whatever was left of it through their extreme policies and exploitation.And don't forget they are chiefly the reason behind why there is so much enmity between Hindus and Muslims now.It was their policy of divide and rule which led to both quoms developing hatred against each other which wasn't the case earlier.Many dumb ones hail Babar as soldier of Islam and try to show things as if the battle of Khanwa between him and Rana Sanga was battle between believers and infidels which of course wasn't the case at all as Rana's vanguard was led by none other than Hasan Khan Mewati, the brave sardar from Alwar.Same was the case during battle of Haldighati when Akbar's forces were commanded by Raja Man Singh of Amber while Rana Pratap had substantial no of pahtuns fighting for him.My point is Hindus and Muslims in general lived quite peacefully with each other and there was no communal rivalry at all.It was only after entry of British that seeds of hatred were sown by them to protect their vested interests and rest we know is history.


    Tazimi Sirdar

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    @Robert has previously noted the chip on my shoulder about Middlesex County Cricket Club and the British establishment. But I'll reveal a bit more about myself now.

    My maternal grandfather was a Yorkshire greengrocer, but his grandfather and earlier generations were Yorkshire miners. I had ancestors both who were born and who died in the Workhouse, and any of you unfamiliar with the term should look it up.

    So please forgive my refusal to accept that "we British" oppressed and exploited "you Indians".

    My British ancestors were oppressed, exploited and lived and died in misery thanks to the same British ruling elite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    @Robert has previously noted the chip on my shoulder about Middlesex County Cricket Club and the British establishment. But I'll reveal a bit more about myself now.

    My maternal grandfather was a Yorkshire greengrocer, but his grandfather and earlier generations were Yorkshire miners. I had ancestors both who were born and who died in the Workhouse, and any of you unfamiliar with the term should look it up.

    So please forgive my refusal to accept that "we British" oppressed and exploited "you Indians".

    My British ancestors were oppressed, exploited and lived and died in misery thanks to the same British ruling elite.
    It is one thing being exploited by your own people. Quite another to be expolited to another level by someone else.

    I still can't quite get this argument. One of the most fertile regions on the planet was ravaged by famine. Millions of people were allowed to die as their food stocks were taken elsewhere. Would the British do this to their own subjects back home? No. But fine to do it on the brown folks in India.

    Tough luck your grandfather had to work in the mines.

    My great grandfather was left with no form of employment at all once the British destroyed the native textile industry to promote their own.

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    That same British ruling elite is the reason why you have been so successful and advanced as a nation and economy for last couple of centuries thanks to the robbing of wealth and looting they did in their colonies and esp in subcontinent


    Tazimi Sirdar

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    Britian should comeback because right now sub continent is an utter failure. All former British colonies managed by the English became successful and rest of them turned into backward places. They are slowing down the humanity from moving forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahid87 View Post
    I still can't quite get this argument. One of the most fertile regions on the planet was ravaged by famine. Millions of people were allowed to die as their food stocks were taken elsewhere. Would the British do this to their own subjects back home? No. But fine to do it on the brown folks in India.
    I refer you to the Irish Potato Famine. A million starved, five million more left for the new world and the population of Ireland fell by 90%. Just because the Lord Lieutenant wanted to keep the price of spuds up on the London Stock Exchange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I refer you to the Irish Potato Famine. A million starved, five million more left for the new world and the population of Ireland fell by 90%. Just because the Lord Lieutenant wanted to keep the price of spuds up on the London Stock Exchange.
    lmao yes the English genocided (to use "famine" is cynical) the Irish (Ireland has yet to recover its population of 200 years ago ; even Jews did it recently !) but how does that answer any point brought by @Zahir87 ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by enkidu_ View Post
    but how does that answer any point brought by @Zahir87 ?
    That the British ruling class presided over a famine of white people in their own land, or course. It had been under British rule since around 1180 CE.

    'Genocide' is inaccurate as none of these events were deliberate extermination policies. Gladstone tried to alleviate the Potato Famine with a different type of crop, but the Irish didn't plant much of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enkidu_ View Post
    @Madplayer : the first thinker to have envisioned infrastructure building (railways, roads, ...) as part of industrialization was the French socialist thinker Saint-Simon, who wanted the State to catch up with England, the French lagging behind since the 1789 "French revolution", which was certainly a British cabal against France (and no wonder its aristocracy had been decimated, which made up its marine, assuring the British will be the unique sea power and thus the global empire that it'd be) ; the quinquennial plans of Stalin (basing himself on Lenin's "state capitalism" theory) in the Soviet Union during the 20s-30s and Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward" followed such policies.

    The difference with the British in the Raj ? They were indigenous : they were accompanied with industrialization, thus were "holistic", benefiting all the masses ; in the Raj, it was about to connect few isolated cities to transport goods in British favour (no wonder that the Swadeshi movement targeted Bombay - where the British - a road like the "Shakespeare Sarani" in Bengal's Kolkotta still has this "colonial" feel). The British, contrarily to what Saint-Simon wanted for France or what Stalin and Mao did for their respective nations, didn't invest capital into India, but outsourced it - the difference is phenomenal. The British destroyed Indian manufacture and effectively implemented policies leading to de-industrialization - when you don't have industrialization, and sociological phenomena like urbanization and the birth of petite bourgeoisie, to build roads or ports is like to give an alchemical book where it's written how to make god to a child who hasn't learn how to read (even if we forget that this infrastructure targeted few cities.)

    As for education, a disciple of Gandhi, Dharampal, wrote dozens of volumes on how traditional education in India (for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs) was a potent civilizational force : the only criticism would have been to upgrade the curriculum, but not to destroy a traditional educational system which was as free as it was intellectually challenging ; I remember William Dalrymple in his book The Last Mughal quoting a British officer in the early 1800s who said that an Indian educated traditionally wasn't less than an Oxford graduate.

    Again, it could have been upgraded but not destroyed : if you can't take the fruits of a tree, you elevate yourself, you don't burn it down totally ; if the Indians did the same with the British (who, by the way, began their scientific tradition quite late, with Roger Bacon/Grossetête in the 13th century), that is destroying the local élite which made education affordable, broke the cultural dynamics, etc then you wouldn't have English parts in NW Euro. scientific dominance from the 17th century onwards.

    I mean, India has some 30 millions of manuscripts, and as Dominik Wujastyk stated, we don't talk here, like in the West, of little literary fragments with sometimes few lines in theology ; no, the towering majority of them are full books in metaphysics, mathematics, medicine, etc Kim Plofker in her book on Indian mathematics - a still understudied field - said that there alone the manuscripts are counted into the 100 000s. It's an incomparable intellectual heritage (only the Chinese and Arabic languages, latter with 5 million of manuscripts - many of them from Muslims of the SC by the way - comes close) which can only come from a refined civilization ; and, obviously, its educational system.

    You could have refined it without destroying it - and the civil exams were a way to transform potential Indian scientists into mere functionaries... why would the British want Indians to go into pure research in physics, mathematics, chemistry, ... when they can be useful slaves.

    PS : I disagree with Weberian sociology, which is bourgeois, and like Marx I think it's more the economic changes which secretes a religious world-view than the other way around.
    Saint simon and his colleague/disciple Auguste comte, who also happens to be the father of sociology, have contributed massively to the field of sociology but they wanted to study society on scientific lines in order to construct a better society at a time when there was a bit of a void left after the french revolution. I agree that their ideas of infrastructure building were directed towards a holistic development of the society whearas in british raj, any such development was done to enhance the exploitation and hasten it. That's why i said their intentions were anything but pious. The fact remains though, these railways and roads were used by Indians even after independence. Its a different question whether Indians would have done it on their own or not.

    I also agree that the destruction of Indian educational system wasn't a correct thing to do. An upgrade could have been done within the ambit of existing system which had already produced a lot of scholars and scholarly works over the centuries. Western Education did spread wider horizontally during the raj, the intentions again were to manufacture educated slaves. This again went a long way in helping Indians in their quest for independence because it was the educated elite which stood up to the Raj by raising the correct questions and propagating relevant ideologies which Britishers couldn't discard openly. Although it wasnt the intention of britishers when they spread western education allowing Indians to learn about the popular ideas of liberty and universal equality , one cannot deny that it did happen.

    Lastly, whether it is weberian sociology (which is basically phenomenology) or positivism, which includes functionalist perspective (emile durkheim, spencer etc) and conflict perspective (marx), i personally think the ideas cannot be applied rigidly to every society.

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    @enkidu_ any more references for what India was exporting and if it was really 27% of world exports? I find that claim difficult to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I refer you to the Irish Potato Famine. A million starved, five million more left for the new world and the population of Ireland fell by 90%. Just because the Lord Lieutenant wanted to keep the price of spuds up on the London Stock Exchange.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    That the British ruling class presided over a famine of white people in their own land, or course. It had been under British rule since around 1180 CE.

    'Genocide' is inaccurate as none of these events were deliberate extermination policies. Gladstone tried to alleviate the Potato Famine with a different type of crop, but the Irish didn't plant much of it.
    You can't have it both ways Robert. The British were either rulers/occupiers of Irish land, and thus the 'foreign' rulers over the peoples of Ireland, regardless of how long the rule, or the peoples living on the island of Ireland were part and parcel of 'the British'.

    If the former, then it was not 'their own land', and the British did to the Irish similar to what they did to the Indians.

    If the latter, then there's no comparison with what the British did to the Indians, since anything that was done to the Irish was an internal affair and not something brought about by 'foreigners'.


    “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule”

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    Quote Originally Posted by TM Riddle View Post
    How do you know about that, did you conduct a survey or something? And nothing wrong with having critics of the empire.Mughals shouldn't be immune to criticism.Like every ruling dynasty they had both good and bad things about them.In a democratic society people have right to criticize whoever they want, doesn't make them bigots.
    Did I say there is anything wrong in having critics of any empire? I have read some surveys in newspapers over the years and spoken to your countrymen on this matter. Many are neutral where as some hate them and others love them. Do you think that the ones following Hindu terror groups like the current government would be madly in love with the Muslim Mughals?? You are right, threatening to always do this or that to minority groups in India at all times is not bigotry but just freedom of expression for your people. Way to go!


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    When I read such sort of threads the glaring thing that strikes me is this.

    "No one can do anything to anyone, till we own up to our responsibilities".

    If the glorious Muslim and Hindu civilizations fell, it was because of our own incapability to withstand the changes of time and progress.

    The easiest cop out in the world is this.

    "Foreign powers destroyed us".

    "Imperialism destroyed us".

    Where was our mind when it was happening?

    Right.

    Zilch.

    But they destroyed us.
    All very true and I do often wonder the same thing myself, in fact I said earlier in the thread, if Britain hadn't done it, The Dutch, French or the Portuguese would have. India was full of riches, the Europeans knew how to extract those riches for their own benefit, which isn't that different to how the world works today in reality.

    The only thing is, this also raises an uncomfortable question in my mind: couldn't the same argument be made for slavery when thousands and thousands of Africans were captured and transported to the Americas in order to be the unpaid workhorses build the New World? Where were the African minds? Probably colluding in some shape or form I dare to say.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    All very true and I do often wonder the same thing myself, in fact I said earlier in the thread, if Britain hadn't done it, The Dutch, French or the Portuguese would have. India was full of riches, the Europeans knew how to extract those riches for their own benefit, which isn't that different to how the world works today in reality.

    The only thing is, this also raises an uncomfortable question in my mind: couldn't the same argument be made for slavery when thousands and thousands of Africans were captured and transported to the Americas in order to be the unpaid workhorses build the New World? Where were the African minds? Probably colluding in some shape or form I dare to say.
    The Africans were exploited because they had no great civilization at that time when they were used to build the New World. They were cheap, they were present at the right time, and they had no success or education of any sort as far as I know.

    The Mughal Dynasty on the other hand was a huge dynasty which fell when the British established foothold. That Dynasty had high levels of riches and had high levels of education with people who could think for themselves.

    The real reason for demise of the Mughal Empire and finally Muslim civilization in India was not British Imperialism.

    Bluntly said, it was their own ineptness and their interest in wines, singing and dancing that caused them to lose control.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    The Africans were exploited because they had no great civilization at that time when they were used to build the New World. They were cheap, they were present at the right time, and they had no success or education of any sort as far as I know.

    The Mughal Dynasty on the other hand was a huge dynasty which fell when the British established foothold. That Dynasty had high levels of riches and had high levels of education with people who could think for themselves.

    The real reason for demise of the Mughal Empire and finally Muslim civilization in India was not British Imperialism.

    Bluntly said, it was their own ineptness and their interest in wines, singing and dancing that caused them to lose control.
    It's the same thing just on a different scale. The Africans were just inept on a different level to the Mughal ineptitude, which in turn must have been on a different scale to Hindu civilisation ineptitude.

    You could justify slavery in the same way is my point - the Africans had it coming and the blame can't really be laid on those who took advantage of it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    (...)
    Lastly, whether it is weberian sociology (which is basically phenomenology) or positivism, which includes functionalist perspective (emile durkheim, spencer etc) and conflict perspective (marx), i personally think the ideas cannot be applied rigidly to every society.
    Like in philosophy, Westerners are crap in sociology, apart from the "élite theory" (Pareto and Michels).

    I advise you to read Ali Shariati, more particularly his little book, "Marxism and other Western fallacies" (even though I'm a fan of the pre-The German ideology Marx), it's available as free PDF.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    The Africans were exploited because they had no great civilization at that time when they were used to build the New World. They were cheap, they were present at the right time, and they had no success or education of any sort as far as I know.

    The Mughal Dynasty on the other hand was a huge dynasty which fell when the British established foothold. That Dynasty had high levels of riches and had high levels of education with people who could think for themselves.

    The real reason for demise of the Mughal Empire and finally Muslim civilization in India was not British Imperialism.

    Bluntly said, it was their own ineptness and their interest in wines, singing and dancing that caused them to lose control.
    Basically that's social Darwinism again.

    If your 12 years old cousin trashes your 7 years old in order to play Mario it's bad, very bad.

    If your "more civilized", though, you have a free licence to basically kill/enslave millions.

    Typical capitalistic, liberal and bourgeois mindset !

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    Quote Originally Posted by enkidu_ View Post
    Like in philosophy, Westerners are crap in sociology, apart from the "élite theory" (Pareto and Michels).

    I advise you to read Ali Shariati, more particularly his little book, "Marxism and other Western fallacies" (even though I'm a fan of the pre-The German ideology Marx), it's available as free PDF.



    Basically that's social Darwinism again.

    If your 12 years old cousin trashes your 7 years old in order to play Mario it's bad, very bad.

    If your "more civilized", though, you have a free licence to basically kill/enslave millions.

    Typical capitalistic, liberal and bourgeois mindset !
    More civilized?

    I would have thought when it came to Mughals their success level was higher than a couple of British bourgeois that came to India to set up the East India Company.

    Why then get fooled by those empty promises?

    And if you do get fooled by those empty promises, then why not own up to it instead of blaming the invader for your travails?


    And I get so high.. And I just can't feel it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Bassim View Post
    More civilized?

    I would have thought when it came to Mughals their success level was higher than a couple of British bourgeois that came to India to set up the East India Company.

    Why then get fooled by those empty promises?

    And if you do get fooled by those empty promises, then why not own up to it instead of blaming the invader for your travails?
    I don't think the Mughals blamed the invader, they took them on in battle and lost. That was the matter settled. If you are talking about the current victim mentality being expressed by today's Indians like the author Shashi Tharoor, then yes, it's a valid point. Especially if you consider that many Indians will have fought for the British against the Mughals.


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    Tharoor in The Guardian :

    'But what about the railways ...?' ​​The myth of Britain's gifts to India

    (...)
    Crimes committed by whites against Indians attracted minimal punishment; an Englishmen who shot dead his Indian servant got six months’ jail time and a modest fine (then about 100 rupees), while an Indian convicted of attempted rape against an Englishwoman was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. In the entire two centuries of British rule, only three cases can be found of Englishmen executed for murdering Indians, while the murders of thousands more at British hands went unpunished.
    (...)
    In their very conception and construction, the Indian railways were a colonial scam. British shareholders made absurd amounts of money by investing in the railways, where the government guaranteed returns double those of government stocks, paid entirely from Indian, and not British, taxes. It was a splendid racket for Britons, at the expense of the Indian taxpayer.

    The railways were intended principally to transport extracted resources – coal, iron ore, cotton and so on – to ports for the British to ship home to use in their factories. The movement of people was incidental, except when it served colonial interests; and the third-class compartments, with their wooden benches and total absence of amenities, into which Indians were herded, attracted horrified comment even at the time.
    (...)
    Racism combined with British economic interests to undermine efficiency. The railway workshops in Jamalpur in Bengal and Ajmer in Rajputana were established in 1862 to maintain the trains, but their Indian mechanics became so adept that in 1878 they started designing and building their own locomotives. Their success increasingly alarmed the British, since the Indian locomotives were just as good, and a great deal cheaper, than the British-made ones. In 1912, therefore, the British passed an act of parliament explicitly making it impossible for Indian workshops to design and manufacture locomotives. Between 1854 and 1947, India imported around 14,400 locomotives from England, and another 3,000 from Canada, the US and Germany, but made none in India after 1912. After independence, 35 years later, the old technical knowledge was so completely lost to India that the Indian Railways had to go cap-in-hand to the British to guide them on setting up a locomotive factory in India again. There was, however, a fitting postscript to this saga. The principal technology consultants for Britain’s railways, the London-based Rendel, today rely extensively on Indian technical expertise, provided to them by Rites, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways.

    The process of colonial rule in India meant economic exploitation and ruin to millions, the destruction of thriving industries, the systematic denial of opportunities to compete, the elimination of indigenous institutions of governance, the transformation of lifestyles and patterns of living that had flourished since time immemorial, and the obliteration of the most precious possessions of the colonised, their identities and their self-respect. In 1600, when the East India Company was established, Britain was producing just 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was generating some 23% (27% by 1700). By 1940, after nearly two centuries of the Raj, Britain accounted for nearly 10% of world GDP, while India had been reduced to a poor “third-world” country, destitute and starving, a global poster child of poverty and famine. The British left a society with 16% literacy, a life expectancy of 27, practically no domestic industry and over 90% living below what today we would call the poverty line.
    (...)
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ys-myths-gifts

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    While there is no denying the adverse consequences of the British empire, nevertheless, it is also important to remember that some Indians played a crucial role in sustaining the empire, a point completely ignored by Tharoor.

    Take the East India Company in the eighteenth century. It relied on Indian agents obtaining commodities, on Indian merchants and bankers providing loans and capital. Some historians have even suggested that Britain was sometimes drawn into territorial control at the invitation of wealthy Indian merchants. The support of Indian bankers – in particular the Benares bankers - was also crucial in ensuring the army was paid. The bulk of the British army consisted of Indian personnel. East India’s Company officials also relied on local agents – Bengali banians of Calcutta, Tamil dubashes of Madras and Parsee brokers in Bombay. These brokers acted as interpreters and translators, as secretaries and supervisors, as moneylenders and intermediaries between 'native' Indians and Company personnel.

    By the twentieth century Britain may have become more firmly entrenched but they continued to rely on a network of alliances. There could be no other way, for there was a minuscule British physical presence. The census of 1921 indicated a population of 247 million in British India. The European population was just under 157,000. The imperial state depended on alliances with princely rulers and other key groups such as landed magnates. Take the alliance with the elites of Punjab, Sindh and the Frontier. Britain distributed land, chairs at darbars, certifications of appreciation written in gold or silver lettering, lunghis, guns and swords. In return, landlords ensured order, collected revenue, helped provide manpower for the army, assisted with the capture of criminals and were involved in arranging a workforce to work on roads and canals.

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    Also whilst it is quite right to point to the callousness, racism, violence and coercion that so often accompanied the British empire, we should not forget how awfully South Asian states have often treated ‘their’ own citizens since gaining independence. I am reminded of Perry Anderson’s cutting remark, that ‘moral indignation is too precious an export to be wasted at home’.

    For Pakistan, we can point to many instances but 1971 stands out, when in Ayesha Jalal’s words, ‘the golden hues of eastern Bengal’s lush green landscape had been turned red with the steely might of oppression’.

    For India, ‘the cold truth’ writes Perry Anderson, ‘is that the British massacre at Amritsar which ignited the first great mass movement of the independence struggle was a bagatelle compared with the accumulated slaughter by the Indian army and paramilitary forces of their fellow citizens, or those deemed such, since independence’.

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    @KB : I'm deeply saddened that superficially "enlightened intellectuals" - only "educated" in elusive Western canons - defend colonialism by using insidious moralism with subterranean ideological perversities of which they're generally unaware.

    Firstly, of course there were "native collaborators", as chairman Mao said, imperialists will always found them - it's nearly natural. But what percentage did few local bankers make out of the whole population ? Right ! By the way, you probably know that 100 000s individuals of Jewish descent served in the Wermacht... but why do I hit the Godwin point ? Because all these attempts at "rationalizing" the British "Victorian Holocausts" would be deemed criminal in many countries when it comes to the Jewish Shoah.

    Secondly, the whole mantra of "but Indians treated their own way worse" doesn't work : again to take a minor example, if your neighbour beats his child, you'd have the right to go kill him and take possession of the house ? In the real world, that'd be both ludicrous and immoral. But apparently the British can do it... on a wider level !

    Native informants here defend the "empire" more than actual English ! But, well, enjoy your roads (that is, look at dead bodies).

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    Quote Originally Posted by enkidu_ View Post
    @KB : I'm deeply saddened that superficially "enlightened intellectuals" - only "educated" in elusive Western canons - defend colonialism by using insidious moralism with subterranean ideological perversities of which they're generally unaware.

    Firstly, of course there were "native collaborators", as chairman Mao said, imperialists will always found them - it's nearly natural. But what percentage did few local bankers make out of the whole population ? Right ! By the way, you probably know that 100 000s individuals of Jewish descent served in the Wermacht... but why do I hit the Godwin point ? Because all these attempts at "rationalizing" the British "Victorian Holocausts" would be deemed criminal in many countries when it comes to the Jewish Shoah.
    I shall leave aside the snide appellations (“superficially ‘enlightened intellectual,” “only ‘educated’ in elusive Western canons,” “native informant”) and clarify what I meant.

    I am certainly no defender of British colonialism and I agree with many of the criticisms that Tharoor makes. At the same time, I am not for overlooking historical complexity. That some (mainly very elite, as should be clear from my original post) Indians played a key role in sustaining the empire needs to be pointed out. Nowhere did I suggest that this support encompassed the whole Indian population (in the same way as no one has suggested that whole of the British population conquered and subjugated India.) Elites in both countries played a crucial role in maintaining the empire. To think that this somehow justifies British colonialism is to make a rather wild leap.

    To use another example, Tharoor states that Britain ‘fomented communal division’ and points to British efforts at leaning on differences amongst Indians to buttress the empire – ‘Divide and rule’. Of course he has a point. The British perceived India as a religiously segmented society. As Gyanendra Pandey has shown, conflict in India was often reduced in British narratives to being communally driven when in fact the causes were far more complex. For the British ‘communalism’ reflected the 'bigoted', 'tribal' and 'primitive' nature of Indian society, which justified the continuance of ‘rational’ and ‘civilizing’ colonial rule. Such self-serving perceptions in fact reinforced/created divisions. Attention also needs to be drawn to the political structure and how this shaped certain responses from Indian elites. One needs to take into account, as David Page has instructed us to do so, how the British seeking to maintain control, sought to strengthen provincial interests to undercut the growing nationalist movement. Centrifugal tendencies inherent in the reforms of 1919 were matched by a centripetal stance by Congress. Congress authoritarianism, which alienated many Muslims, therefore was partly a result of the structure of politics, which the British constructed.

    But if Tharoor is correct up to a point, it is not the whole story either. We can hardly deny Indian agency in sharpening distinctions. The role of Hindu revivalism, Muslim revivalism, the role of ideas drawn of Muslim history, the pervasive use of religious symbolism even within the ostensibly secular Congress, all contributed to ‘communal’ division and have been documented extensively by historians. And if we accept what the late Chris Bayly wrote about communalism in India, then it would appear that there were 'fault-lines' even before colonial era. This is indeed to complicate the picture, not to rationalize and downplay colonial rule.

    Secondly, the whole mantra of "but Indians treated their own way worse" doesn't work : again to take a minor example, if your neighbour beats his child, you'd have the right to go kill him and take possession of the house ? In the real world, that'd be both ludicrous and immoral. But apparently the British can do it... on a wider level !
    I do not differ from what is stated here, it is just in large part irrelevant to the point I made. Of course the way South Asian states have treated their own citizens does not justify the British empire. It in no way minimises or rationalises the crimes committed under British rule.

    My point is that given the criticisms of empire, it is rather depressing that South Asian states have treated ‘their’ citizens with such callousness and we should not forget this, as all too often individuals are falling over themselves to defend 'their nation'.

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    Excellent post KB.


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