Tuesday, February 07, 2006

reposting atlantic monthly article from 1908 on british rape of india

feb 7th


this gives a graphic picture of what the brits did.

since the american guy did not have much of an axe to grind, one has to assume he was being candid and truthful. and other evidence, eg. mike davis ('late victorian holocausts') supports what he says. the reason the british are still prosperous is because they raped india.

india is not poor because it doesn't have the ability to generate capital -- look at the capital formation there in just the last five years -- but because it was just *taken away* by the british then (and now by other white guys like quattrochi and lots of politicans who stash it away in numbered swiss accounts eg. natwar singh).

interestingly, india's growth is driven principally by domestically generated capital, unlike china's. also india uses its capital a lot more effectively -- that is, factor productivity is much greater -- than china.


KapiDhwaja said...

and lots of politicans who stash it away in numbered swiss accounts eg. natwar singh

And paid mercenary columnists like Raja Mohan, Shekar Gupta...

KapiDhwaja said...

who have no qualms in pimping their motherland.

iamfordemocracy said...

Rajeev, you are ignoring the capital inflows due to politicians and religious entities of various kind. The communists got FCI (Foreign Capital Inflows) as per Mitrokhin.. The evangelists continue to get huge sums, and the Muslims, too are getting huge FCI for their agenda. Who says all these are anti-nationals?

habc said...

Fresh News Rajeev

Toshiba bought off Westinghouse's nuke business for $5billion


Anonymous said...
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indianpatriot said...

The status of Bellary described by the author caught my attention. It was the capital of Vijayanagara empire. Here is the description of how fertile and rich Vijayanagar empire in early 15th century. First the city was pillaged by Mohammadons and then british.

Domingo Paes

Of all the foreign travellers to the Vijayanagara Empire, Domingo Paes' recordings are of unique values as they provide first hand vivid and graphic account of his personal experiences. He was at the Hindu capital at the period of its highest grandeur and magnificence. Paes visited the capital under the rule of Krishna Deva Raya, the most powerful king Vijayanagara Empire ever had. He witnessed not just the wealth of Vijayanagara but also the most gallantly fought battles in the history of Vijayanagara - The Battle of Raichur between the grand army of Krishna Deva Raya consisting of about a million and Adil Shah of Bijapur.

Domingo Paes was a Portuguese traveller who visited Vijayanagara Empire around the year 1520. He, for the first time, accompanied Christovao de Figueiredo, a Portuguese factor.

About the ports under the rule of Vijayanagara, Paes writes: "The said kingdom has many places on the coast of India; they are seaports with which we are at peace, and in some of them we have factories, namely, Amcola, Mirgeo, Honor, Batecalla, Mamgalor, Bracalor, and Bacanor."

Writing about the irrigation, "The land has plenty of rice and Indian-corn, grains, beans, and other kind of crops which are not sown in our parts; also an infinity of cotton. Of the grains there is a great quantity, because, besides being used as food for men, it is also used for horses, since there is no other kind of barley; and this country has also much wheat, and that good. This country wants water because it is very great and has few streams; they make lakes in which water collects when it rains, and thereby they maintain themselves."

About the marketplace, he writes "Going forward, you have a broad and beautiful street, full of rows of fine houses and streets of the sort I have described, and it is to be understood that the houses belong to men rich enough to afford such. In this street live many merchants, and there you will find all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls, and seed-pearls, and cloths, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you may wish to buy. Then you have there every evening a fair where they sell many common horses and nags, and also many citrons, and limes, and oranges, and grapes, and every other kind of garden stuff, and wood; you have all in this street."

About the city "The size of this city I do not write here, because it cannot all be seen from any one spot, but I climbed a hill whence I could see a great part of it; I could not see it all because it lies between several ranges of hills. What I saw from thence seemed to me as large as Rome, and very beautiful to the sight; there are many groves of trees within it, in the gardens of the houses, and many conduits of water which flow into the midst of it, and in places there are lakes; and the king has close to his palace a palm-grove and other rich-bearing fruit-trees."

"This is the best provided city in the world, and is stocked with provisions such as rice, wheat, grains, Indian-corn, and a certain amount of barley and beans, MOONG, pulses, horse-gram, and many other seeds which grow in this country which are the food of the people, and there is large store of these and very cheap; but wheat is not so common as the other grains, since no one eats it except the Moors."

solarpetal said...

i just cant understand why this great indian holocaust, the greatest ever in human history, is barely mentioned. by contrast, sati, with an estimated 600 deaths annually, gets trumpeted ever so often.
but we are to blame ourselves. our pm, in his official capacity, went to britain and thanked them for civilizing us.

nIlagrIva said...

Thank you for bringing this article to my notice.

Though I had more than an inkling of the injustice meted out by Britain to India, I had not read an article from those ages which talked about the conditions then. Since the article is by an American, I would think that this article is unbiased and very close to the truth. I can say that this article re-opened my eyes.

Someone commenting on this blog mentioned the Prime Minister's Doctorate acceptance speech at Oxford. He thinks that English was the greatest gift to India. If not for the British and their "rule" of India, we would have been using some other language - it might have been English again - but that would be by our own choice and not by coercion. The British taught us English because they wanted middlemen between the rulers and the masses - period. Whatever the British did to India (of course, there were exceptions) was to strengthen their foothold in India and ease the looting of India. We should have enough common sense to not call such a thing a gift !

Mr. PM mentions that modern Indian schooling was the next greatest legacy! And who said that Indian schooling is the greatest ? I for one do not think so. With everything focused on a day's exam, many futures are made or ruined in just a day! Isn't learning more important than a 95% in the exam? The British schooling system ( at least the version of it that we have in India) is guilty of making marks more important than learning.

In my opinion, British/Western values were forced on Indian minds with some what the same effect as putting a round peg in a square hole. It just doesn't fit. The Indian value system is just so different from the Western one and it is quite unfair to both systems if seen through each others' eyes.

In addition, the Indian schooling system with its emphasis on Western values and thinking has managed to create generations of self-loathing people who would rather kill themselves before admitting that their ancestors were not just some casteist and superstitious people but were a very noble and civilized lot.

I can find lots of mistakes in the starry-eyed PM's evaluation of the British Raj's - but I don't want to go there. I doubt if Manmohan Singh has read any work by Kalidasa in the original.

Rajeev, I want to thank you for showing this article and those who actually published it and re-published it. I'll spend the next few minutes mailing the link to this article to a few people.

Thank you,