Originally posted by Polki_Zofi
Yes natives were killed by the British, this is hideous and its with opposing. They did same in Australia. But they also developed the place. Those were the times when one nation would attack and conquer other nation to accumulate wealth, power and nobility. India was such aswell. There were kings in India who fought and died for the same. The British were only more powerful and their strategies were better.
That many Indians were killed by the British is not why colonialism was problematic. The British colonialism in India was primarily about systematic suction of the country's wealth through exploitative agrarian and trade policies. Great Britain wanted to transform India into an expansive market to sell their home-grown products and also to use India's natural resources as free supply of raw material. To achieve this end, the colonial rulers took great care to demolish the traditional Indian cottage industries and practically monopolized the Indian market. And all that money went straight to GB, and was spent mostly for their development. The medieval Indian kings engaged in several wars among themselves, but this method of mechanical and ruthless economic exploitation was probably unknown to them.
However, here India surprises me. Indians accept everything Anglo Saxon, but also talk about their oppression and denial of British. This conflicts. This is not the same in Europe. Each European country have a different way of dressing, architecture, language. We are still distinct, but for that you need to be European to detect our change. We have many common things across Europe so its not easy for a foreigner to see the difference which is still present in every little thing of ours. It tells about our identity. European but also national.
The British had uprooted the traditional learning systems in India, and had introduced 'English' education, which included the study of modern science, geography, philosophy, history and European literature. One of its outcomes was the establishment of English cultural hegemony over the Indians. It produced a sense of inferiority among the educated Indians, so much so that many of them completely denounced their ethnic identities and became brown sahibs. Even though things changed rapidly in the succeeding decades, the inferiority complex was too deep-rooted to go away completely. But, this is definitely not true for all Indians, or should I say that this is only a small part of the picture. India, in spite of British subjugation, had for long remained faithful to her culture. Although, some amount of 'Englishness' was naturally assimilated into India's already composite culture, after the centuries long association. However, the recent wave of westernization has more to do with global economy, rather than India's colonial past.
I welcome India's choice, but then to say that they never liked British conflicts here. They prefer to speak in their language aswell. They wish to go there. To become educated, noble or respected, the Indian person must give more and more European identity than being Indian. I asked my husband and he says that "India" is also a British given name!
Indians do not need to go to England to become 'educated, noble or respected'. All of that can be very well achieved without ever setting foot outside of India. What living in England can offer are better career opportunities and a more afflunent lifestyle. For the origin of the name 'India', you can see this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India#Etymology
Gandhi alone was an Indian who showed the world that Indians can live happily with their natural outlook without any interference from west. Gandhi behaved more Indian than any Indian today I think. He also founded an Indian way of expressing his feelings. He raised a cultural awareness and a new way towards freedom. How can he be equated to others?
While other Indians looked towards the Soviets or the Colonialists for inspiration, Gandhi took inspiration from selflessness, non violence and true Indian feeling!
This is what makes Gandhi special. There is reason why the world appreciate Gandhi so much and don't know the name even of others.
Gandhi was neither the first, nor the only Indian leader to champion nationalism and self-reliance. His methods of peaceful resistance were applied in other mass-struggles even before his arrival in the Indian political scene. What Gandhi did was to integrate rural India into the national movement led so far by sophisticated, urban Indians. I agree with the bit in blue. But Gandhi's anti-industry and anti-urbanization stance did not stand a chance in independent India, and it does not stand a chance in today's world. And it is not reasonable either to turn away from Western technology on narrow nationalistic grounds. Scientific knowledge and inventions are for all humans, no country or culture can have monopoly over them.