British and Post-Independence governance in India…


Come to think of governance of post independent India and one thing is pretty evident, India is still being governed by “Divide and Rule” policy. Now I don’t really have to explain why I used “still” in the above statement, but still I will go ahead and explain the cause.

It is a well known fact that British entered in India via Bengal route and with a cause of running “East India Company”. And soon it became clear that they wanted to rule India but the then India was divided in so many small dynasties that little could have been achieved to stop the course of action. And the rest is history.

It is very interesting to know that British didn’t just come to India because they felt like it. They were prepared and studied. They studied about the “social built-up” of India and used it to their benefit. They suppressed those who had might to fight back and encouraged those who had no idea what this could lead to and would be loyal to them. British were very cunning in using Indian “class” based setup to capture India.

They knew “Marathas” from Maharashtra were already fighting the “Mughals” on the basis of ideologies and were quite successful in the same. So basically people from “Konkan” side and Maharashtrians were “threat” to them. Bengalis later joined the Maharashtrians to fight the British, but it’s a different subject altogether.

What British did was suppressed the brainy, rebelious people from entering their armed forces. They wanted loyal soldiers and hence they selected people were completely oblivious to what was happening in their surroundings. Thus using “Divide and rule” strategy British captured India.

Now coming back to post-independent India, what we see today isn’t different from what British did to us. Today too, Indian bureaucrats are using this “Divide and rule” strategy to rule India. Since some years it has been obvious that the government, though from behind the curtain, are straining Hindu and Muslim relations to create a divide and capitalize on it.

Is it any different from what British did?

The answer is NO and YES at the same time.

NO – because we see the same traits in governance that we saw in British governance.

YES – because British actually did something good while ruling India. They brought railway in India. They built dams and canals to spread the water in a better way. They built strong buildings and bridges that helped India in growing. Not just infrastructure but they even tried to bring developments in India. They eradicated some of the ancient and troubling laws/customs in India.

Do we see the same happening post independence? I know it is not that easy to bring about changes in the society and it’s a long, cumbersome process to bring them, but we don’t even see the government taking steps towards it. What we see is, they are taking step towards making bigger and bigger scams of lakhs of crores of rupees, to create even bigger divide in Indian caste system and religions, to exploit the people in various ways, no steps towards creating a better infrastructure and the list is never ending.

Some people, of course those who have seen British rule (and now even those who studied history) say that British rule was better (even if you say a bit better than current Indian rule). And we can see why they would make such a statement.

Disclaimer: These are my own views. Also I am not saying this post-independence governance is a complete crap. They have done some good work too, but the amount is very small is what I mean. And instead of moving towards stable and better India, we are going moving backwards again.

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