How Did British Affect India

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Right from the beginning of their relationship with India, the British, who had come as traders and had become rulers and administrators, had influenced the economic and political systems of the country. Their impact on the cultural and social life of India was, however, gradual. Till 1813, they followed a policy of non-interference in the social and cultural life of the Indians. Yet, changes were taking place in these fields (the social life of Indians). These changes related to education, the condition of women, the caste system and various social practices. In the 19th century, certain social practices like female infanticide, child marriage, sati, polygamy and a rigid caste system became more prevalent. Women were discriminated…show more content…
For example, the practice of sati was banned in 1829 by Lord Bentinck, the then Governor General. Widow Remarriage was permitted by a law passed in 1856. A law passed in 1872, sanctioned inter-caste and inter-communal marriages. Some of the Britishers believed that Western ideas were modern and superior, while Indian ideas were old and inferior. This was, of course, not true. Indians had a rich traditional learning that was still relevant. By this time in England there was a group of Radicals who had a humanistic ideology towards Indians. They wanted India to be a part of the modern, progressive world of science. But the British government was cautious in undertaking rapid modernization of India. They feared a reaction among the people if too much interference took place with their religious beliefs and social customs. The English wanted perpetuation of their rule in India and not a reaction among the people. Hence, though they talked about introducing reforms, in reality very few measures were taken and these were also half-hearted. Though the British followed a half-hearted education policy in India, English language and western ideas also had some positive impact on the society. Many reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra
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