British Colonialism in India

Based on this weeks readings and lectures, one major thing stuck  out and interested me. That  was the fact that the way that Britain  controlled India was not necessarily  by putting excessive force into ruling, but rather using stereotypes to help fuel a class divide and make Indians  rule themselves.

I think that Cohn in “Colonialism and its forms of Government” very well explains the  reasonings behind liberalism fell in India. This was due to the fact that British forces attempted to change long-standing traditions and ideals in Indian society, which led to revolts such as the Sepoy massacre, which ended in bloodshed. I found it interesting that once the massacre occurred, the British saw it as a failure  in leadership and changed their entire scheme, now focussing on ruling based off Orientalism and Traditionalism. In class, I found it ironic that the rigid caste system that the British used was also used by the Indian society to their advantage as they could identify  themselves on a higher caste and  progress in life.

Finally,  I would like to recognize the theme that I have seen in class. This is the theme of colonized/imperialized areas and the turmoil that follows their imperialization. In the Gilmartin reading, we can see this turmoil through the partition of India and Pakistan and the current violence that is happening on the boarder. He discusses that because of British rule, there  was an  increase in divide between Muslims and Hindus which caused and still  causes a lot of religious based violence today.

Overall, I think that South  Asia is a very interesting region to look at because of the way in which it was colonized. It would be interesting to see what the outcomes would be if there was a continued and more direct rule on the part of Britain.

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