It has been 69 years of independence when our freedom fighter had raised their voice against the cruel British Raj of 200 years. The British Raj or British East India Company came to India during the year of 1757 but came into force on 1858 after the First War of Independence which was fought during the year of 1857 and lasted till the year of 1947. During, the British Raj India had faced many problems but side by side during the British rule in India the country’s infrastructure and education also had evolved and improved. Though it is quite a bitter experience for India to had British ruling over the country and making use of country resources without any restriction. There were many reforms, Act, and expedition that British government had made during which was boon or bane for countrymen. The structure of the constitution, policies, the introduction of the governorship, princely states, communication and education are some reforms act that British had made during their rule. But those are dated back now India is a democratic country whose constitution are based on selected group of country constitutions.
It is really important to make a note that British may have ruled for more than 200 years but also have given something in return. They have exploited the resources of the country but in return have shown the path of development. There will be several controversies whether the British Raj is a boon or bane but below comparison will give a clear picture but that will also not validate the British raj in India,
Advantages of British raj in India
- Social Reforms: British raj in India had done various social activities for the country for instance abolition of The Sati Pratha and introduction Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, Child marriage restraint Act, Act against child labor and many other acts for improving the social tradition and custom for the betterment of humanity.
- Education reforms: During the British Raj only India existing education changed with the introduction of English as the mandatory subject and official language. During British Raj only University of Bombay, Kolkata and Madras were established during the year of 1857 just before the rebellion. The university is still present and being run by the modern Independent India as a most prestigious university.
- Employment Scheme: The British government also introduces the Indian Civil Service for the various prestigious posts under the government. The Imperial Civil Service at present is known as the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) which is conducted by UPSC.
- Irrigation scheme: The government also structured various canals and dams for the improvement of irrigation condition in India.
- Infrastructure development: During the regime of British government the India communication and transport facility were developed. The government established the India’s first railways service in the year of 1853-54 in the region of Bombay and Calcutta by the two railways companies i.e. Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) and East Indian Railway (EIR). After 5 years in the year of 1859, the first passenger railway line opened in North India between Allahabad and Kanpur.
- Monuments, Legal Tenders, Heritage Site: The government had also introduced the legal tender as an official medium of exchange at the time trading. Also they had built many heritage sites and monuments among them Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, Victoria Terminus (now termed as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus), The Gateway Of India, Viceroy’s House (now called as Rashtrapati Bhavan), Asiatic Society of India in order to preserve the Indian monuments, literary script and many more.
Contribution towards public health: The government made a significant contribution towards the crucial diseases namely plague that significantly hit the country. The government released many beneficial reforms and vaccine to cure the diseases.
There was much more working that government made during their rule in India which still being praised by the countrymen. Apart, from this the British Raj in India also have made crucial effect on the Indian people due to their indispensable tax structure, different approach and treatment towards Indian people, divide and rule policy and many more that significantly resulted in catastrophic events such as Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Partition of Bengal, strict regulation, and formation of tax on peasants and merchants. It is true that the freedom from the British government was the ultimate end during that time which resulted in losses of many patriotic allies along with renowned freedom fighters like Rani Lakshmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad, Subhas Chandra Bose and lots of more.
Disadvantage/Drawbacks of British Raj in India
- Divide and Rule policy: The former rule of Divide and rule was the first that the government made to rule and govern all the major British provision states and Indian princely states. The rule first came into existence during the Lord Curzon viceroy, who divided the Bengal province into three parts i.e. Eastern Bengal and Assam as the Muslim majority states and also Hindu majority province of West Bengal, which had a huge blow for the country as because it led and created significant outrage among the countrymen. Not only this the biggest divide and rule policy that appeared at the time of independence when the country divided into two parts one is India and another one is Pakistan the burden of which still being seen during the conflict between Indo-Pak war.
- Impalement of Tax structure: The government imposed illiberal tax structure and used to collect high taxes and also greater return on profits. However, the burden of which levies on small peasants, farmers, and small traders.
- Loss of lives: The regime of British government the country suffered the loss of many lives such as in Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, the rebellion of 1857, etc. During the World, War government used to recruit many Indian citizens to join the troops even if they are not interested which results in loss and loss of lives. The government didn’t care about the people; they only care about their reputation and prestige and making marks in world history.
- Exploitation of resources: The government duly exploited the resources of the country and traded them in another country in order to earn revenue and capture the trade market.
However, it has been very much crucial days for the country and for the people where one side they have gained but also suffered a huge blow. But, at present India is the fastest growing economy in the world after passing the 69 years of independence. There are more achievements to come in coming years. So, dear countrymen step up and became a part of glorious India.