15 Shocking Truths About The British Raj, The Period That Destroyed India. It’s been over 400 years since we first saw the British on our lands.
They came, they divided and they conquered. India was the gold mine everyone wanted to benefit from. The ones who took most advantage of the country were the British. Most of us are familiar with the basic history of their rule. However, here are a few shocking facts about the British Raj in India that you probably didn’t know:
#1. India’s share to the world economy was 23% at the beginning of the 21st century, as large as all of Europe put together. It decreased to less than 4% by the time the British left the country.
#2. By the end of the 19th century, India was the world’s biggest purchaser of British exports and a source of highly paid employment to British civil employees. That money belonged to India.
#3. Britain’s Industrial Revolution developed because the Indian industry – known for cloth production – was de-industrialised. Indians were forced to import British products and hence, gave support to their revolution.
#4. As Britain ruthlessly exploited India, between 15 and 29 million Indians died tragic deaths from starvation.
#5. Some four million Bengalis died in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 after Winston Churchill deliberately ordered the diversion of food from starving Indian civilians to British soldiers and European stockpiles.
#6. No Indian in the colonial era was ever allowed to feel like a citizen. All Indians were merely subjects for the British.
#7. The construction of Indian Railways was for the benefit of the British. Firstly, the railways solved the problem of transporting British goods from ports to all of India and secondly, British shareholders made absurd amounts of money by investing in the railways, where the government guaranteed extravagant returns on capital, paid for by Indian taxes.
#8. Thanks to British rapacity, a kilometre of Indian railways cost double that of a kilometre in Canada and Australia.
#9. India contributed more soldiers to British forces fighting the First World War than Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa combined.
#10. Two and a half million Indians fought for British forces in the Second World War. At the end, Britain owed £1.25bn of the total £3bn war debt to India – merely the tip of the iceberg of colonial exploitation.
#11. The cost of the English army was paid for from the revenues of India, and it amounted to £19,000,000 a year – an exorbitantly high and unjust amount.
#12. At an estimate, a trillion dollars were roughly looted, not counting the gems and other jewels.
#13. The British Raj destroyed our native, Indian languages. They adopted the use of English, even when they had a choice to learn and continue to administer in our languages. Today, all our traditional languages are at the verge of extinction, primarily because of the British Raj.
#14. “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?” – Churchill infamously had said, referring to the Bengal famine.
#15. The Koh-i-Noor diamond belongs to India. It was stolen and it now rests on the royal crown of England. The British do not return what they take.