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What did the British ever do for us?

An extract from an article by an Indian writer in the Hindustan Times:

"The British Raj made us conscious of being Indian. We were Punjabis, Awadhis, Biharis, Bengalis, Oriyas Andhras, Tamils, Malayalis, Maharashtrians, Rajputs — also Hindu, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. We remained all these but also became Indians. All of us had one passport — Indian.

The British built us telegraph, connected our cities by roads, railways, laid networks of canals, dams to produce hydro-electricity. They started the process of industrialisation. They also introduced democratic institutions like municipalities, states and Central legislatures. During the British rule, there was more respect for the law. There were fewer riots, bandhs, and gheraos; blocking roads and rail traffic, burning buses and trains. Smashing of cars etc. was little heard of. There was less corruption. Rarely did English officers indulge in bribery. Now it is rare to find an honest, civil servant who can’t be bribed. Ask any Indian of my generation and he will confirm that life and property were safer in British times than in India today.

...

The British did not divide us to rule, as is often alleged by nationalist historians. Maulana Mohammed Ali was right in holding ‘We divide and they rule.” The British did not break up India when they left, they did their best to keep it together. It was our leaders who split it as they failed to get on with each other. The British left the country with good graces. They did not have to be pushed out as other European colonists like the French, Dutch & Portuguese. That is why many Indians have nostalgic memories of the Raj".


Interesting, no?

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Blogger CityUnslicker said... 2:17 pm

will we say the same of the EUSSR one day soon I wonder?  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:28 pm

A reasonable point, but I don't think said organisation can claim to have given us better governance.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:41 am

Sounds to me like he is just trying to preserve the UK's substantial dollop of annual aid money.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 9:34 am

Anon - Quite likely, although if so the chap is writing in the wrong organ.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:22 am

Can you forward this item to the Guardian and New Statesman and suggest they keep it on file

Fenman  



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