Latest posts by Bilna Sandeep (see all)
Today being the Republic Day of India, the Indian citizen in me is awakened by the memories of a beautiful childhood, when we went to schools wearing white to celebrate the Republic Day of our country. For an average Indian, or we are raised that way, the two days that bring out our patriotic spirits are 15th August and 26th January – the Independence day and Republic Day. And yes, there is one more patriotic times for us. When there is a cricket match between India and Pakistan. 😛
We Indians, not all of us, but most of us, always talk about the freedom movement and how our nation became independent. About the hard times caused during the British Era. About their atrocities. After these many years of gaining independence from the Colonial Rule, have we sought after the internal problems within our country? We are on the path of becoming one of the world super powers. For a change, let us just take a peep into the positive impacts of the British Rule in India. How India has benefited from the British Raj.
How India benefited from British Rule?
1. Transportation and Communication System
The means of transportation in India, was bullock carts and other pack animals, before the coming of the British. The British, for their benefits of transportation of Raw materials from their place of origin to the ports, to transport their imported good to be marketed in India, to move their men and materials, they established a wide network or roadways and railways.
The first rail opened in 1853, between Bombay and Thane. The vast network of Rails witnessed today , were built in the 19th century. The development of an efficient Railway and Transportation system, helped not only the British government. But also the Indians, who started to move from places to places and in turn helped bring unity among different parts of the country.
- The First Railway Line was the Red Hill Railroad Line, madras. Opened in 1837 and was used for the transportation of granite stone.
- The First Passenger Railwayline run from Mumbai to Thane in 1853.
- The postal service was introduced in 1853.
2. Educational System & The English Language
India being a country of different languages spoken in different regions, the people remained divided. However, the British introduced compulsory English in the Educational system throughout the country with the aim of getting clerical staff among Indians. This helped them reduce the cost of administration. They also believed, the Indians educated through their system would gradually come to believe in their ideology. However, this benefited the Indians in a totally different manner. India had a common language for communication. Indians began to have a better outlook of the world, society and systems. It overall help modernize the people of India.
3. Architecture and Construction
The Britishes left behind a large number of public buildings proud of it architectural splendor. The Rashtrapathi Bhavan, The Parliament House, Gateway of India and many more buildings.
They also introduced the modern methods and means of construction to the country.
4. Culture, Fashion and Cricket
They left behind a culture that we even are influenced in our every day life today. The dressing fashion, the pants, tie, suits etc. we wear today are the leftovers of the British Rule.
Another important influence being, the Cricket. It is more of a religion in India. 50% of the people love cricket and another 30% are addicted to it. This was a game introduced by the Britishes to our country.
5. Modern Technology and Ideals
India took the ideas of liberty, equality, human rights, science and technology from the Britishes. Together with a well planned education system, this paved the way for modernisation in the country. A country that was unaware of the modern developments that was happening in the world.
Many legal measures were adopted to improve the status of women in India.
- Sati, the system in which the widow was to commit suicide by burning herself in her husband’s funeral fire, was banned in 1829.
- Sharda Act was passed in 1929 to prevent child marriage.
6. Irrigation and Agriculture
Agriculture in India was commercialized, with the introduction of crops like tea, coffee, opium, indigo, cotton, sugarcane etc.
Many of the dams and canal irrigation systems, that we use even today were built during the British Era.
7. Modern India and Indians
India is a country of rich cultural and social heritage. A country that was ruled by many a number of rulers and invaders, from different parts of the world, she has adopted various social and cultural reforms. The modern India that we see today have been built through ages.
Our everyday life sees the influence of the British rule. The dresses we wear, to the bread and cakes we eat are all left over traditions of the Colonial rule.
An Indian who has had his basic education communicates in English. He survives and earns his bread outside his country with the English he knows. The Supreme court and the High courts pass their judgments in English.
They Came, they Saw and they Conquered – Not just our Lands, but our lives, thoughts and hearts forever!