The colonization of India by the British was the consequence of business potentiality found and proved by the East India Company.
IN HIS ADDRESS TO BRITISH PARLIAMENT ON FEBRUARY 2,1835 Lord Macaulay said
‘I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and have not come across one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre that I do not think we could ever conquer this country unless we break the very backbone of this nation which is her spiritual and cultural heritage. And therefore I propose that we replace her old and ancient educational system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, a truly dominated nation.’
This rule was qualitatively different than the earlier foreign rules of Moguls etc., where for conquering a country, changing of religion and custom of its society was essential; for the British rule over India, economic control and generating revenue was a pre-requisite. During the age and prior to the Mogul empire, the main source of the economy was agriculture, for which human labour and craft skills were most important. Therefore, there was a necessity for the rulers to impose their religion and culture on the masses to control manpower through the emotional chord. That was cultural colonization.
During British rule, there was a torrential rain of inventions and mechanization in Europe. The industrial revolution started churning out the production of tones and tones of steel, cement etc, and in thousand of bales of textile yarn and fabric. All this enormous quantity of industrial production required market. For Great Britain, India – with a vast population was a captive market. In an economic sense, keeping control of India was more a business strategy than a political one. All the steps taken, policies made and actions taken by the British rulers were of a perfect businessman. For them, India was a factory to earn and remit to its head office in London.
Notwithstanding offering full regards and gratitude’s to Indian freedom fighters, for their heroic sacrifices, the economic factor had equally contributed to the freedom of India in 1947. The British economy was crashing after two world wars, was unable to support them, and there was political turmoil voting in the Labour Party defeating Conservatives’ Churchill Government. The British treasury was indebted to India for a huge amount, which was required by India to maintain her industrial progress. The British opted to leave India in the similar manner in which a businessman abandons his factory after finding it no longer economically feasible.
Shri Palkhivala has very correctly pointed out that the British Raj had conferred Six valuable gifts to Indians at the time of independence:
Integration of states: Never before so many states were under one rule, one currency and sovereignty and only after 1858 A.D. Indian sub-continent became one country, one nation.
English language, though an alien language, but a matter of fact, is the only official language in which inter-action with some states like Tamil Nadu, Nagaland is possible. This alone is providing an advantage for India in comparison to china in our race to Globalization.
Civil and Criminal laws: Appropriate to the circumstances, Common to all such varied classes of Indian society detailed and exhaustive law providing code of conduct in every possible activity of the country were scripted during that time. The idea of the volume can be gauged by the fact that Independent government till 50 years. The education imparted in interpretations of those laws could produce thinkers of the stature of Dadabhai Noroji, Gandhi Nehru and most of the crusaders of the independence struggle.
Administrative structure: Undoubtedly, India is having a unique battery of administration. From diplomats, bureaucrats, collectors, and magistrates to right up to an orderly in government has been given its custom-built role, duties and responsibilities, and most important is the system manual and code of conduct for each of them. This is really a marvel for any management school, this has withstood the time of partition in 1947, emergency in 1976 and repetitive elections in 95-99 producing hung parliament and coalition government. This system has also proved to be a great insulator in the transformation of the growth and development of the country. Besides this, the dinosaur size has also become the harbinger of the mouth eating the foundation of Nation – Corruption.
Institution of Armed Forces: This has kept of the Nation’s pride, and restraining itself from indulging in politics have earned them repute and respect. For Indian masses, this is one of hope and a saviour.
Free Democratic Republic: The principles of democracy were sown during the period much before independence. The British could have initiated the Kingdoms for their reliving after their departure, but The British relied more on people’s representation and thus gave more value and importance to leaders of the masses than the representatives of the Maharajas and Nawabs.