Britain's Great Indian Takeaway
Three Centuries of Domination, Appropriation and Exploitation
- Andrew Hyde
15th October 2022
Demolishing the myth that British rule was on the whole advantageous to India, Andrew Hyde shows how Britain’s pursuit of profit brought about the deindustrialisation and impoverishment of the country over centuries and how its celebrated feats of engineering incurred tremendous financial, social and ecological cost.
India’s industries were suppressed and manufacturers subjected to unfair competition and tariffs. Wealth was drained first by the East India Company, and then the Crown. Indians were impeded from participation in administration, allowing Britain to pursue its policies almost without restraint. Ultimately, this dependency meant the masses became poorer and more susceptible to famines.
After the end of British rule, problems remained, with India and Pakistan emerging as heavily armed states and engaging in frequent wars that continue to absorb much of their national income. Today’s concerns include attitudes to religious minorities, self-determination, and freedom of speech, along with the continuing crisis in Kashmir.