The British rule in India was undoubtedly a treacherous one that lasted for almost two centuries. We were exploited to the worst possible extent in all aspects by the English. Our wealth looted, our leaders prisoned, our men tortured, and our nation crippled. However, the English invasion of our nation did not fail to benefit us in some ways. Every coin has two sides. Well, in this case, only one side of the coin happens to remain predominant, let us not completely ignore the other tiny side.
Here it is! Keep reading.
1. The Language
We were taught ENGLISH! Though this was done to meet their personal needs, it also served as a platform of communication in a country as multilingual as ours. People across the length and breadth of India, who had reserved languages of their own, could communicate with each other, share ideas, and fight for a common cause. Well, it is not every day that you find a person from South speaking Hindi, is it? And so, a common language was needed.
Okay, would you ask what good that is to the present generation? Well, how else do you reckon we could understand Harry Potter or any of Hercule Poirot’s mysteries? Wooh…Hooh…
2. Unification Of Several Princely States
Remember the days when there were many small kingdoms, instead of one big chunk of a country? Oops…! Since you are reading this, it is obvious that you don’t. Yes, what we see today on the map as India was once a cluster of empires – the Mahrattas, the Kakatiyas, the Pandyas, the Kalingas, the Nizams, the Mughals, etc. It was the English who actually unified all these princely states and brought them under one rule.
3. Introduction Of Railways
This again was done for their personal interests, but it was advantageous to our leaders who traveled all over the country and mobilized the masses. The first such passenger train in India ran between Bombay and Thane on April 16, 1853.
4. An End To Aristocracy
The advent of Western Education had been a major blow upon the then prevalent social norms, where education was a gift only to people belonging to the upper classes. Though the Brahmin gurus and Muslim Maulvis of the time strongly opposed the growth of missionary schools and
learning centers established by the British, it ruled out the notions that education should belong only to aristocrats, and made sure it belonged to people from all sects of society.
5. Abomination Of Certain Practices.
The government issued stringent laws that abolished practices like Sati and child marriages. Our good old ancestors objected these bans as well, claiming that their religion was being intruded by the English only to be replaced by the Christian faith, failing to realize that such practices were nothing but superstitions that broke the harmony in our society. Though some intellectual minds like those of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Dayananda Saraswati fought for the
abomination of such social evils, the passage of laws that
criminalized them hastened the movement.
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