Who was behind the rise of British Power?

The entire debate of “Who we are?” is based on the absence or presence of “horse “available on a few archaeological sites. It is a well known fact that, colonizers plundered too much from our motherland but we are unaware of the fact that they corrupted our “psyche” to the core. They divided us on “Religious” lines and the entire world knows about it. But we are unaware of the fact that they also divided us on the lines of “Aryan, non-Aryan and Dravidian base”.

I asked university students, how they look at India as a nation in pre-independence and post-independence eras. They replied with enthusiasm “India is just a geographic phenomenon. It is only the British who united us. But in second breath they say the British ruled by policy of “Divide and Rule”. These intellectuals even fail to understand that if they united us “How come India and Pakistan are now two separate Nations?”

They fail to understand that “The British decided that India and Pakistan shall be two, and so they are”.

Speak to any graduate of an Indian University, of the ideals of the Mahabharata – he will hasten to display his knowledge of Shakespeare; talk to him of religious philosophy – you find that he is an atheist of the crude type common in Europe a generation ago, talk to him of Indian dress – he will tell you that they are uncivilized and barbaric..He is indeed a stranger in his own land.

They fail to understand their motherland in her true sense as they always perceive her with Western eyes. “The land, its mountains and rivers are venerated in the Rig Veda, in the Arthava Veda in the very manner they are in Bankim’s “Vande Mataram” or Tagore’s “Jana-Gana Mana”. The land is celebrated and venerated from those ancient times not just because of the great bounties it bestows on us but because it is seen as the Karma-Bhumi. It has been a place where the greatest souls revered by the people have performed great deeds – of nobility, of valour – where they have attained the deepest insights. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana describe warring states but they are the epics of one people.

Adi Shankaracharya traverses the country. He is received with the same reverence everywhere – in Dwaraka in the West King Sudhanva attends his discourses along with his court nobles; when Shankara visits the royal court, the King washes his feet and makes him sit on an elevated dias; in Nepal in the North he is received as a royal guest; in Kanchi in the South he consecrates a yantra; his maths established in distant parts of the country remain places of pilgrimage throughout the centuries to this day.” –as quoted by Arun Shourie.

With great pain and agony, I need to say that they are nothing but pall-bearers of Lord Macaulay’s dream of Indian Education which eventually destroyed our wisdom.

Sir George Birchwood truly says: “Our education has destroyed their love of their own literature, the quickening soul of a people, and their delight in their own arts and worst of all, their repose in their own traditional and national religion. It has brought discontent in every family so far as its baneful influences have reached.”

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy scholar and art historian has said appropriately: “One of the most remarkable features of British rule in India has been the fact that the greatest injuries done to the people of India have taken the outward form of blessings. Of this Education is a striking example; for no more crushing blows have ever been struck at the root of Indian National evolution than those which have been struck often with other, and the best intentions, in the name of Education.

It is sometimes said, by friends of India, that the National movement is the natural result of English education, and one of which England should be proud, as showing that, under ‘civilization’ and the Pax Britannica, Indians are becoming, at last, capable of self-government. The facts are otherwise. If Indians are still capable of self-government, it is in spite of all the anti-national tendencies of a system of education that has ignored or despised almost every ideal informing the national culture. “

British gifted us an Education system which poisoned the successive generations about its past, present and future. Colonial education produces in the minds of many English-speaking Indians, the belief that India is nothing more than a savage civilization.

Are we really a savage Civilization? Let us evaluate the ascent of the British as a prime military power in the World. What was behind the rise of British Power?  The question of Indian conquest by Islamic forces in 12th century AD and English invasions has never been answered, even after spending millions of rupees. From facing the Moughal invasion for the first time during 12th century AD till date, we have difficulty in understanding invasions, expansion and loot etc from our historical prospective. British Raj sympathizers and Communist Historians backed by Western Historians often presented these invaders as our Savior.

Indian still ‘acknowledges’ that the British must have had something special to rule Indians. Few claim that they had guns and canons in their arsenal as compared to Indian bows and arrows. They also carry the burden of their favorite proof to back their claim or so called argument “After all, how could Robert Clive with 400 English soldiers, defeat Siraj-ud-Dowla’s armies of 60,000?”

 The perplexed Indian

The question of Indian subjugation by Islamic and English invasions has rarely been answered with any balance.

For instance, with reluctant admiration, some Indians ‘acknowledge’ that the British must have had something special. After all, how could Robert Clive with 400 English soldiers, defeat Siraj-ud-Dowla’s armies of 60,000? This left the ordinary, disbelieving Indian with the second assumption. Indians must have been fighting with bows and arrows, while the English had guns and cannons.

Now both these answers are wrong – because in 1857, India had equally good ship-building docks (if not better) and gun smiths. The best steel in the world came from India – as did the raw material for gun-powder, saltpeter.

Who was behind the rise of British Power? Few people credit those that are known for “Great Governance”.  If their governance was so great, then how the “Supreme Empire” of the world tumbles down in less than 70 years? They will fail to answer, because they never discussed the root cause. No blame game after all the Western academia and historians produced a class of Indians of who are Indian in skin color only.

Lord Macaulay once said “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, –a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”

Really we are incredible Indians; we worked very hard to prove him true as a result of the British mental, social & educational invasion. Western History and education corrupted our psyche to the core, India was uncultured as per few elite Indian’s view and they still sign songs of British or Western Block or more explicitly Anglo-Saxon Block.

The result of this propaganda; we are uninformed about our own history and we fail to take decisions regarding our own future. We remain unaware regarding our Economic system, Political system and Social system. Desert-block techniques of governance, politics and social systems become the epitome of success. They cry “Western Economics is Universal Economics”, “Western model of Governance is the only model of Governance”, “Globalization is Westernization” or “Wealth creation is Westernization”. But dear friends if you will not take trouble to analyze who we are and what we can do without exploiting anyone; I can only say “Sorry; good economics is not “Westernization”, scientific progress is not “Westernization”. Wealth creation is not “westernization”.

Are they (British) civilized? A claim which is worth examining.

Land Tax during British Rule caused Death of Millions of Indians

For the British elite, the British were great human beings and liberal people. They came here from their far-off land to liberate us. They even ignored the British misrule and often credit them with making us civilized citizens to live along with the entire World. But if we clearly try to understand what British did during their stay at in India, the story is little different. A terrible famine in 1768 CE took nearly 10 million lives. What did the British do to save these lives? Nothing they kept on collecting taxes and exploiting Indians.

In Warren Hastings own words, “Notwithstanding the loss of at least one-third of the inhabitants of the province, and the consequent decrease of the cultivation, the net collections of the year 1771 exceeded even those of I768. It was naturally to be expected that the diminution of the revenue should have kept an equal pace with the other consequences of so great a calamity. That it did not was owing to its being violently kept up to its former standard.”

What did the British do to save people from famine? They forced farmers to sell their seeds which were required for next season’s crops, to earn profit by manipulating prices.

What was happening on the Indian side? The Largest World Economy was tumbling downwards on the world stage.


~Figure  Gross Revenue Collected during the Bengal Famine of 1768 (source: R C Dutt, The Economic History of India Under Early British Rule. From the Rise of the British Power in 1757 to the Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Vol. I, page 46)~

The Scenario was even worse.

1. Farmers were forced to grow cotton, opium and indigo. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce regulated and controlled the growth of cotton in Maharashtra (Vidarbha). In the year 1877 CE Social system of Vidarbha was destroyed by implementing the tyrant system known as “khatedari”. The capitalists from Britain wanted to secure their source of raw cotton and breakdown the raw cotton supply from USA. They made massive profits due to raw materials produced by Indian farmers, that too without sharing a penny with the producers of raw cotton.
Increasing debt forced farmers to sell their lands to British Land Revenue Officers and the lands went into the hands of a few ultra rich people. The farmers turned from small size entrepreneurs to obedient laborers. The same story continued from Vidarbha to Bihar covering the entire length and breadth of India.

2. Massive Taxation

Taxes levied on Indian farmers almost accounted for 33% of gross produce. Apart from the 33% taxes, other taxes too were levied on the same farmers. Various methods like food confiscation were deployed by Brtishers during tax collection. RC Dutts quoted in “Famine and Land Assessments” about the high level of debt on Indian farmers due to massive amounts of taxes levied on Indian farmers.

“Murar the Patel, a young man, farms sixty acres, but there has been no produce this year. The farm is mortgaged to the extent of about 3000 rupees. He estimates his last year’s produce at 375 rupees, of which he paid 104 rupees to Government. He had to buy four bullocks for 100 rupees, and pay 40 rupees for servants, and was therefore unable to pay anything to the money-lender. The other expenses of cultivation amounted to nearly 60 rupees. He kept the rest for himself, his wife, uncle, and two children. He has been served with notice of assessment. He had six bullocks, and has lost four”.

Farmers were now in very deep debt and the British demand for high taxes kept on increasing day by day. It is evident from the remnants of the Maratha Empire conquered by British in 1817 CE. The amount of revenue collected from these parts, which was around 80 Lakhs a year, crossed the 115 Lakhs mark in 1818 and in a few years it went to 150 Lakhs. There was a whopping increase of 43% between 1817 and 1818. The net effect of heavy taxation on farmers brought down their saving capacity in years when the harvest was good.

In the words of A K Connell:- “Against this calamity (drought) the cultivator, when unable to get a permanent water-supply from wells, tanks, canals, or rivers, has provided from, time immemorial by the storage of grain in air-tight pits or earthen ware jars. If war or taxation, levied in excess, or at times of distress, has depleted these stores, then the worst horrors of famine have swept over the land;”

Natural Question “Where did all this revenue extracted by the British murderers go?”  Every year 20-30 million sterling pounds was sent to Britain, excluding massive amounts paid as salaries to British employees in India. Another substantial amount spent to maintain gigantic British Army and overseas war efforts. This amount also included complete control over Indian gun powder manufacturers, Indian ship building and man power to support its logistics operations.

3. Killing by British Raj

“85 million” innocent Indians killed by British Raj [*]. Straight from the heart a question to those who set our educational syllabus, why IS this holocaust eliminated from our History books?   Why “eminent Historian” from JNU (Jawaharlal University, Delhi) with their eminent methods and technology in their deceit has erased the holocaust of Indians by British? And they claim with cry “British came here to civilized us”. If the estimate to be prepared for the number of Indians killed by British Raj, it will cross the account of killings by communist regime led by Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot and Nazi regime led by Hitler.

*Due to constraints of space, detailed breakup of 85 million deaths is not possible here. To understand various accounts of death under British Raj due to starvation and other demonic methods employed by them, please read below mentioned books, irrespective of whether you like history or not. This is much to ask from the reader, but since decisions for motherlands best interest tomorrow must be based upon understanding of her past. This is my earnest request that at least go through analysis of various accounts to understand British misrule.

Essential Reading:

  • Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World, Mike Davis, Verso Books.
  • Famines and Land Assessments in India”, Romesh Chunder Dutt.
    Available for free download from : http://www.archive.org/stream/faminesandlanda00duttgoog
  • The Economic History of India Under Early British Rule. From the Rise of the British Power in 1757 to the Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Vol. I, Romesh Chunder Dutt.
  • The Economic History of India in the Victorian Age. From the Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Commencement of the Twentieth Century, Vol. II, Romesh Chunder Dutt.
  • Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Forgotten Indian Famine of World War II, Madhusree Mukherjee, 2010.
  • Digby,William.Prosperous British India
  • Grove, Richard H. (2007), “The Great El Nino of 1789–93 and its Global Consequences: Reconstructing an Extreme Climate Event in World Environmental History”, The Medieval History Journal 10 (1&2)
  • Fieldhouse, David (1996), “For Richer, for Poorer?”, in Marshall, P. J., The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • A Maharatna, The Demography of Famine. quoted by Mike Davis,Late Victorian Holocausts,El Nino Famines and Making of the Third World.
  • R Seavoy,Famine in Peasant Societies,New York 1986,quoted by Mike Davis,Late Victorian Holocausts,El Nino Famines and Making of the Third World
  • Bengal Tiger and British Lion: An Account of the Bengal Famine of 1943,Richard Stevenson
  • Famines in Bengal:1770-1943,K C Ghosh
  • Famine Inquiry Commision Report,1943

 4. Destruction of Indian Economy

The Mughals built the world’s largest treasury even after spending a substantial part of it on futile war efforts – and even after that, India was a major economic power.

The Deccan conquest of Aurangzeb can be considered one of the longest and largest conquest in the history of mankind. Due to the longevity and scale of the Deccan conquest, the Indian economy fell down to  number two position in the world and eventually, China took over India in the competition. British Raj was not different from Mughals “After the end of Mughal power in 1857, in the next 100 years of the British Raj, we see India become a starving, naked and homeless population.

By: Ekaki

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Sanjay awasthi

    But I really fail to understand as to how British could subjugate with handful people the vast country of a continent size, travelling thousands of miles on a land totally strange and foreign,and unknown to them.this is enigma that could baffle any self respect loving race.

    1. says: Aditya Thakur

      I feel India was subjugated with so much ease because it wasn’t united. In 1947 when India got independence and Pakistan was also created there were 562 princely states that were given the choice of joining with either India or Pakistan. That means even at that time, the British Empire in India contained 562 princely states. When the British came, they didn’t defeat a large country called India, they defeated small empires throughout India.

      All European nations justified colonisation as their attempt at civilizing the rest of the world. The whole world was looted from the Americas to Africa and Asia and even Australia. Christian missionary zeal to convert people to their religion just because they felt all other religions were barbaric helped in fueling colonisation. The christian religious leaders helped the European royalty and businessmen who it as a great opportunity to make money. Today’s so called first world countries are rich only because of colonisation.

      Colonisation was one of the worst parts of Human history. To understand how British ruled over India we have to understand how Europe ruled over the whole world. Divide and rule was the key. It was the struggle for independence that united India. Democracy came to India for the first time and saying that India was formed in 1947 doesn’t mean giving all credit to the British. India was formed despite all efforts of the British.

  2. says: Ekaki

    Dear ADITYA THAKUR you are looking at Bharat in Political term derived from western or more appropriately say anglo-saxon block definition their polity their economy their method of governance. Yes we have different states before 1947 or long before anyone subjugated us…different empire at different time expanded ….lost their territory…but same thing never imposed any threat to general public of this country by and large. Still people of this country connected in every direction ….and we have cultural harmony (Cultural Nationalism we can call it). 🙂

    P.S.:- This is very good topic to work and we can take different parameter to look into issue.
    Few Points as per my understand:- Indian Nationalism Vs Desert Block
    Idea of our polity vs Desert Block Polity
    Education system as per British record in India(We can take Dharmpal Research and document for the same) vs British idea.
    Cultural unity vs Political as well as Geographical unity

    P.S.:- No doubt academic studies highly influence by Desert block parlance(so we need to work hard and look into our own method first).

    Long Live Bharat

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