British Rule
  • British... vandhaargaL.... venRaargaL..romba naaL kaziththu senRaargaL. avvaLavuthaan.

    There was a say in African countries now a days. When Europian landed in Africa, the bible was with White and the land and wealth was with black. After some time it was reverse.

    In India, as Venkatesh rightly said, our so called numerous rajaas have welcomed them with both their hands and allowed them to conquer their 'enemies' portion. It happened not only in Tamil speaking 'nations' but also other areas including Andhra and Bengal. Do any one know that there were twenty two independent kingdoms during 19th century in the so called vengi (present east and west godavari districts) and south Kalingas? Even to day the raajaas of Bobbili and Vizianagaram kings were enemies only.
    (Vizianagaram and Bobiili distance is just 30 kms)There were so many situatuions that led to their darling queens to sacrifice their lives by falling into fire just for fear on atrocity on them by rival kings. I agree it has happened in Tamilnadu too but not like northern areas of Tamilnadu.

    One way we can treat British as 'saviours' but at the same time we have to agree the dirty truth that we needed a centralised ruler like British. British played a Monkey role in distributing eatable to poor cats of local kings. Every individual king kept quiet during British rule and ofcourse happy too. Even in TN history we had prosperous during centralised rule of RRC/Kuloththungha but when chola empire weakened everything gone. Still we are praying at the temples of more than 800 years old only.

    But Rahul arguement are little diverted, I feel. Even without the so called help of British we would have had all the modern facilities. We need not compare ourselves with African countries. There was a joke in London (May be Sri knows that) while riding a sardar's taxi, a proud British was castigating the Indian sardar that if no british in India there were no rajabhaattaas (highways), there were no trains like that. The Indian Sardar hit back with the words that everything was laid by British for selfish sake as they wanted a route to export things to British. The highways and trains led to harbours only and take every Indian thing to London (Tea, cotton, tobacco and minerals and ofcourse gold too)

    Our Indians are peculiar in nature. They fight each other but when common enemy comes they join together. Recently we have all seen during Kargil war period. We will have to count British also to that extent. And Saint Arvindar who vehemently waged a war against British suddenly got the enlightenment and he shifted his knowledge towards spirituality. Perhaps, he might have told Barathi about the future independent India - perhaps Bharati who had the insight of that feeling and sang 'aaduvOmE paLLu paaduvOmE.. aanandha sudhanthiram adainthu...

  • Hi all

    there are 2 stages in british rule
    pre 1857 and post 1857
    east india company and pax brittanica
    east india company was often led by free booters who did what
    pleased them
    the take over by the royal family did wonders for us.
    even if gandhi had failed in getting us freedom, i feel we would be
    as developed as australia or new zealand being under the crown.

  • I disagree there Venketesh.. All said and done we were not White and hence
    the Brits would not have wasted their resources making us as "developed" as
    australia or new zealand. I am glad we got the Brits out.. it is OUR country
    and we ought to rule it. But let us be fair to them I say. If we can call a
    murderous invader from Afghanistan as ours.. then heck even Robert Clive was
    ours what?;)
  • -India was a mad house in tht period
    so many guys striving to get a share of their cake.

    lets take the example of gingee fort
    such a small place so far away from everything
    had mughals, free lancing turks,rajputs, marattas, british and
    french vying for it.
    so to term one good and one bad isnt right.
    akbar killed 50 000 surrenderd rajputs in one night. a deed not even
    surpassed by aurangazeb. then why this differential treatment
  • Exactly my point venketesh. :) I think we are on the same page on this one!
    To me, if the English are to be seen as outsiders who stripped this land...
    so were the Delhi Sultans and the Mughals..

  • whatever be the reasons behind i sincerely beleive the british tried
    to voluntarily improve india

    which no other invader tried here
    nor the british try in any of their conquered colonies( other than
    settled colonies like australia)

    why should an invader develop a system of education knowing very
    well it would turn against him at one time.
    the number of universities, colleges and scietific research at that
    starting from bitish scientists like ronald ross to indian ones like
    cv.v raman flourished in the ideal scientific temper that prevailed.
    india still has some of the oldest colleges in the world.

    the civil service and judiciary had started inducting indians.

    all this was promoting free thought the british knew but yet did it.

    what do you think would have been our status if germans or portugese
    ruled us instead.
    please remember the last 10 years of british rule was spent in
    negotiating tables like gentle men do.the last 10 years were not the
    most violent as is the case in most of the countries which attain

    definitely the british were a class apar from the rest of maruading
    tribes. though you cant compare him to your favourite uncle(thats my

  • The British did quite a number of good things to our society. Education was
    really the jewel in that. We are still reaping the benefits of having the
    largest English literate society outside the countries which have English as
    their mother tongue. They were far better rulers than the Mughals,etc.
    But the issue is that would India have been such a vibrant economy without
    the British rule? I am saying we would still have been all these things with
    or without the British.
  • Agreed... Indonesia and all had to flight a bloody war against the Dutch...
    I think the Brits in a sense were fairer than most (although we are
    comparing thieves here :)).
  • Yeah. I will also thank those missionaries who offered
    to sell hooks & buttons ( inspire of protest from
    upper cast hindus) to women of those underprevilaged
    castes without which they wouldnt have worn a jacket.
  • -what about sati banning

    what did they bother about a few indians less

    and rahul, at that point there was no alternative to the british.
    one senile poet was sitting within the walls of delhi not even able
    to come out n the mornings. he was supposedly the emperor of india.

    its not a question of being great even without the british. would we
    have been one entity.
    most of us tamils except people like sps( born in pudukottai)would
    not have had any major impact.
    we would have been in the country caled india. but just imagine a
    state like hyderabad aligned with pakistan or any equivalent state
    on your borders. with all the kings aligning and breaking up so
    it would have been a political bhel puri
    the british were bad but their sense of fair play prevailed in the
    gandhi was the first man to realise that. he played on their sense
    of fair play and got what he wanted.
    coukd he have succeeded witht he dutch, germans or the mughals.
    the earlier sikh gurus offered an equivalent of sathagraha only.
    what happened?
  • I think they also brought in very good system of
  • vanakkam,

    I am fresh from completing "Freedom at Midinight" jus yesterday! I
    shld really thank Venket n Satish for talking abt this book earlier.
    It is one of the best books I've ever read.....

    Both my paternal n maternal grandfathers were freedom fighters. I
    also cannot stand the sight of British at times. But, I think the
    major effect of British Rule was the emergence of a single entity
    called India!

    RRC, Kulothunga Chozhan, Akbar all of them did provide Central rule,
    but I never thought it had the salient features of a united nation!

    Education... yes we got western education, but I wouldn't term it as
    the biggest benefit. I think by the end of the II World War, Britian
    had come to a position wherein it felt, it better leave India before
    it becomes too late. People like Churchill - the old warhorse, were
    the only ones against it, not even the king!

    Whether the British rule has done more good or bad to us is a
    question for which there is no absolute answer, it is always

  • Hi All,

    This is Venkatesh from Pondicherry. I would like to add my views on this interesting subject.

    The technological development happened in the 19th 20th century was a world wide phenomenon which would have been there in India whether Brits were there or not.

    The best part of British Rule is consolidation of Indian Territory be it as a bunch of princely states. Thanks to the Iron Man who did the finishing Job.

    I would like to say, British Rule was more a Blessing in Disguise than anything else.
  • we have started quite a arguement havent we!!? As Mrs Swetha said all these
    arguements can only be relative as what has happened has happened. For all
    the specifics from Mr Venkatesh (both of them and one more from Pondy) it
    really does hurt when people say the British rule was more beneficial than
    the opposite. The reason it hurts more is that we are a 4000 year old
    culture and we are on the point of agreeing that a mere 200 year rule by an
    outsider turned us into a vibrant nation. I dont know about you guys but i
    really cant digest it.
    Mr Venkatesh explained very well abut Hyderabad being aligned with Pakistan
    and the likes. Maybe all this could have happened and maybe we would have
    been a better nation (you guys must agree that there could also have been a
    better India). We really would never know and hence the arguement continues.
    I still stick by my point that we would have been a vibrant nation with or
    without the stupid Queen.
  • Hi all,
    We have hatred towards the British people because it is a recent
    past. We are hearing stories abt the freedom struggle from our
    immediate ancestors.We have living witnesses for those incidents.But
    in the Mughals case it's a history a bit older than this.
    What we know about the Mughals are not well documented.
    I go with the people who claim that British was responsible fot
    uniting India as one nation.
    With regards
  • There is a post in my blog called "An Indian
    Identity". It is about something similar. Hope Mr Venkatesh and co like it.
    I will be posting something about his arguement soon.
    Please dont pay too much attention to the other 3 posts they are irrelevant
    to our group.
  • Rahul,

    I doubt if anyone is suggesting that in all our long history, the British
    rule was the best. I certainly am not suggesting that. I was merely trying
    to compare British vs Muslim rule and why our attitudes towards both these
    outsiders are very different. I still believe that for the Hindus in India,
    the British rule was a blessing in disguise.
  • >> I still stick by my point that we would have been a vibrant nation
    with or without the stupid Queen.

    No Rahul. I doubt whether we would have been a nation at all, if for
    the britishers!

    I don't glorify them but, I feel in more aspects than one, we did
    benefit from them.

    BTW, am not Mrs!!!
  • Mr Arun;

    You are right is saying that the British rule is much appreciated by the
    Hindus especially by my Brahmin community. I wanted to mention this in my
    very first post but dint for not wanting to hurt sentiments unecessarily.
  • Well said Rahul!

    I want to add just one more point to this very interesting discussion.

    The Britishers had the audacity to introduce an "Anti-nautch" movement
    wherein, dancers and musicians were banned from performing in temples
    and in public. They thought they are teaching us civilisation. They
    equated "Devadasis" to prostitutes and saw to it that Poojas donot
    happen in public! What arrogance!

    Venkatesh, when we were in Thanjavur, remember seeing the long wall of
    Kalvettu with the names of dancers! Does that not show how advanced we
    were in civilisation. Art like dance is a complete art which comprises
    of music, body movements, sentiments, literature, story-telling,
    instruments, stage presentation skills, costume, jewellery, make-up
    etc. etc. The fact that more than 100 expert dancers got the honour of
    getting invited to Thanjavur to dance in the presence of Peruvudaiyar
    itself shows how many more such dancers were there! It shows, how
    advanced our people were! It shows how happy and prosperous they were,
    so that they can afford to spend time, effort and money on art!

    The anti-nautch movement made all these wonderful artists go into
    hiding and they were reduced to utter poverty and many took up
    prostitution as a means to survive! How sad! My hearts crys for those
    artists who had to hide their art from barbarians!

    Mr.Krishna Iyer and Mrs.Rukmini Devi Arundale went searching for
    devadasis, who had become almost extinct by then, and learnt the art
    in closed doors and slowly brought it to auditoriums! That is a long
    story again.

    I would never be able to excuse the Britishers - the looters - the
    barbarians - all they did was to do something, which was primarily in
    their own interest and also to propagate Christianity. I wonder
    whether they did anything for the common man !

    Our people, our culture, tradition, survived inspite of them is the
    victory! Today we conduct Natyanjali in Chidambaram shows we are not
    like Australians who had to live on the mercy of the Queen!

    The period of 300 years under British was a cursed period for the
    glorious history our nation had - remember the word "Bharata Varshe
    Bharatha Kande" in our mantras - we did not have a political unit
    called India till then - but the concept of a nation, people of a
    country did exist!
  • Dear "Not Mrs" Swetha; :):)

    Please dont try to convince me otherwise. We really would never know which
    of us is true. So i think we will keep argueing and gain more knowledge from
    more learned people like Mr Venkatesh,Mr SPS,etc
    BTW sorry about that "Mrs" issue!
  • Hi all,
    Got a chance to go thru this.Felt like sharing with you people.

    """Origin of the Subversive Agenda In India:
    It was February 1835, a time when the British were striving to take
    control of the whole of India. Lord Macaulay, a historian and a
    politician, made a historical speech in the British Parliament,
    commonly referred to as 'The Minutes', which struck a blow at the
    centuries old system of Indian education. His words were to this

    "I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not
    seen 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 would 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 education system, her culture, for if the Indians think
    that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their
    own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and
    they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."
    (Source: The Awakening Ray, Vol. 4 No. 5, The Gnostic Centre)
    Reproduced in Niti issue of April, 2002 at p. 10 - a periodic
    publication of Bharat Vikas Parishad, Delhi.

    The history behind this writing is as follows:
    When Lord Macaulay was traveling with some troops, which was headed by
    an Indian, the young Indian stopped in the middle, got off his horse
    and touched the feet of an old man. When asked, why he did this, the
    soldier said is is my guruji (teacher). This made him believe that the
    culture that respects teacher (no matter what physical / economic
    condition and that too after such a long time, will be difficult to
    conquer, unless you remove the roots."""

    With regards
  • my god
    not switched on the computer for some time and

    "oru puyal adichu Onchiruchu"

    1. we should first ask ourselves. was it possible for this land
    spread of india to be one nation but for british intervention?

    the answer is no.
    we are still breaking at the seams are we not. states wanting to
    break away and so on.
    before the british intervened tamilnadu was a muslim state,
    karnataka was muslim state, andhra was a muslim state.

    2. were the british a major factor of christian conversion.
    no madam Uma. if the portugese were here you wouldnt have a single
    temple around. they would have knocked off every stone of it.
    three of our holiest shrines kapali temple mylapore, kedeshwaram
    and koneeshwaram in lanka were razed to the ground by the portugese
    because they were in places where their writ ran.
    the british even spared kalayar koil( so near your home town)
    inspite of it being used as a fort against them.
    the british inspite of the horns rahul paints on them were gentlemen.
    remember the trials of all congressmen, the INA trials, the dilution
    of the penalties. I am sure the british had mentally decided to
    leave by 1940 itself

    my guess is that even tamil nadu wouldnt have been one country. what
    are political parties today would have been raging armies
  • dear venkataraman dhivakar

    positive thinking is all good at individual levels
    but at the mega level murphy's law takes place

  • I didnt check my mails for just four days and voila...more than 100
    mails. It took me nearly 2 hours to walk through the entire topic.
    Good discussions.

    A very good mail from Vidhya, vanished in the floods of mails. No
    one noticed this? I think I wrote about this long back...whatever
    WRONGs we see in our system, let it be religion, education or was created by the westerners to divide and rule.
    Though casteism or such things existed prior to British India, I
    suppose it was not as it is was blown out of proportion
    by the westerners and now being used effectively by our politicians.

    The mission is clear....break the backbone....and what is Indias
    backbone...was it our education system, our culture, our socio-
    economic was our religion...whatever Indians do,
    its attributed to religion...and if you want to break this, you have
    to shake the vedic system...and for this the Aryan Invasion theory
    was created. Do you think an education system which invented '0', a
    country which wrote about heliocentric solar system centuries before
    the europeans discovered, a country which produced great
    mathematical titles like Baskara,leelavati, etc etc..lacked anything
    in Education? And if we belive that we lacked education, how come
    engineering marvals like the big temple or the konark temple come
    up? How come a lingam stand up in the air in Somnath temple?

    As rightly said by Arun et al, eriyara kollila ethu nalla kollinu
    patha...Britishers were better. Europeans primary aim was looting
    and secondary aim is conversion. As rightly put by Dan Brown in
    Angels and Demons, the idea of conversion is not to change the
    system, keep the system intact and replace the god. Thats why
    G.U.Pope Translated Tiruvasakam and Max Muller translated Vedas.
    Only if they can learn our things and pose to be sholars, they can
    criticise those things and find fault with it...which will pave easy
    way for conversion.

    I have heard that, every now and then old bibles will be taken back
    and new bibles will be distributed to Bible is subject
    to revision every now and then, depeding on the current socio-
    economic show that their ancient scriptures still
    hold good for the current conditions..I think this was also brought
    out by Dan Brown.

    To concur with Arun, when we brand Britishers as foreigners, why
    didnt we react to the british invasion? Again the reason is
    ignorance laid down by the 800 year of Islamic rule, which created a
    fear in the minds of People. Our backbone was shattered by unheard
    barbaric acts..and it was easily broken down by Britishers. Even
    then we waited for Anne Besant and like minds to come and tell
    us "hey idiots you need freedom. fight for it".

    nallatho kettatho, we got used to the system that only if a white
    skin tells us we will accept.

    But all my vote goes to the Britishers for the wonderful Railway
    network. I bet without them Indian Railways is not what we have
    today.Even though it was built for thier selfishness to transport
    goods out of India and bring in their things into helps
    us a lot today.
    The only government system in India, as far as I am concerned, is
    fool proof to the common public today..meaning not much of bribery
    by common people to use the service...
    (namma makkal than ellathilayum killadi ache..intha systathayum
    odachitanga..these days its common to bribe and get tickets.You can
    get ticket even a few hours before the train departs)

    I think I have exceede my limits. let me stop here.
  • Dear Venkatesh
    Thats very true

    a few interesting facts there were 50 million native Indians in americas before the
    the westerner settled there same in australia nad yet their native live in reserves in small numbers....
    but Indians overcame all the portuguese,dutch and british and still are a majority

    Moreover one of the biggest features of Indial elite which impressed the british was their ability to adapt and trading quality and fighting abilities esp the Jats and Gurkhas

    Hence The Indians entered ICS and were shipped worldwide as dubashis administraters and workers to africa,and west indies,,burma and malysia

    we have gained immencely as well as lodt as well due to british rule

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