British Influences on India

Length: 5 Pages 1363 Words

There is no doubt that British imperialism had a large impact on India. India, having previously been a group of independent territories, underwent great change under British administration. Originally intended to consolidate their hold on India by establishing a population that spoke the same language as their rulers, the British decision in the 1830s to educate Indians in a Western fashion, with English as the language of instruction, was the beginning of a chain of events, including a rise in Indian nationalism, that led to Indian resentment of British imperialism and ultimately to the loss of British control over India. One of the most important factors in the British loss of control over India was the establishment of English as a unifying language. Prior to British colonisation, India was fragmented and multi-lingual, with 15 major languages and around 720 dialects. English served as a common ground for Indians, and allowed separate cultural and ethnic groups to identify with each other, something which had rarely if ever occurred before. Although it was mainly educated Indians who belonged to a higher caste who spoke English, these were the most influential people in terms of acting as leaders for nationalist ideas to be Continue...

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This approach, though mostly a Hindu philosophy, in part got it's inspiration from Christianity, and the idea of turning the other cheek and drew upon humanist and radical strands in Western thought. Many individual events associated with Ghandi's satyahara approach, such as the Salt March in 1930 which demonstrated defiance of the British monopoly on salt manufacturing, and Ghandi's "Quit India" campaign that lasted throughout the 1920s and 1930s, led to the eventual independence of India in 1947. The one movement that showed singular acts of patriotism was the nationalist movement, led by Mahatma Ghandi. Many magazines and journals written in English also had great influence on the rise of Indian nationalism. This knowledge of principles such as freedom naturally led to many Indians desiring this for their own nation, understandable since it appeared that the world's greatest and most powerful nations were self-governing democracies, and this system was obviously successful. Following the Mutiny of 1857, Indian nationalism gained much more momentum than had previously existed in the first part of the century. In 1921, Ghandi called for all Indians to boycott paying taxes on farming tools to the British, a strategy to have a negative effect on the economy. This movement consisted mostly of British-educated intellectuals, and ironically was made possible by the British encouragement of higher education, originally intended to create a middle management that could carry out simple administration jobs. This showed a great lack of cultural and religious sensitivity on the part of British officers. In response to the Rowlatt Acts, which enabled a protester or suspected terrorist to be imprisoned without trial, and the Amritsar massacre, in which 379 unarmed anti-British demonstrators were killed, Ghandi advocated a return to traditional Indian simplicity as opposed to Western materialism. Indian soldiers in the army were required to bite the ends off gun cartridges that contained pig fat and cow fat, which offended both Muslims and Hindus. This Western education led to educated Indians learning about European principles such as human rights, freedoms of speech, travel and association, and liberalism. Ghandi's Western education allowed him to develop his radical technique of 'satyagraha' or 'truth force', where laws were opposed with the force of truth and moral consciousness instead of violence. The movement, however, was quite successful in terms of uniting the country in a movement under one leader because of resentment of British rule. During the 1920s and 1930s the Indian nationalist movement continued with strength.


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to live and work on the British plantations during What-ever the number of influences on Gandhi and actions." When the Mahatma returned to India the struggle (2003 8 )

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open land and sea passages to India, struggles with to establish post-war spheres of influences in the Egypt, which had been under British domination since (1913 8 )