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Rape of India by the British - Civilizing the Heathens - White Man's Burden?

The Wealth of India

"While we hold onto India, we are a first rate power. If we lose India, we will decline to a third rate power. This is the value of India."  

 -  So spoke Lord Curzon in 1901, one of 11 viceroys of British India (from 1898 to 1905) who was educated at Eton College, one of England's top private schools.

India Britannica - By Geoffrey Moorhouse  c. prologue). Refer to QuickTime trailer and Part One of the film The God Awful Truth.


Britannia, a lion at her feet, examines a string of pearls she has taken from a cushion held up by an Indian woman.

Soon India would be depicted as a naked black female submissively offering her rich jewels to Britania.

  India now entered in the cataclysmic epoch which has left few native cultures of the world intact – the era of colonialism. The Indians, bearers of the world’s oldest civilizations were treated like children by people who thought themselves as superior race.

(image source: British Library. Refer to India: Empire of the Spirit - By Michael Wood).


American Historian Will Durant (1885-1981) would like the West to learn from India, tolerance and gentleness and love for all living things. He has observed:

"British rule in India is the most sordid and criminal exploitation of one nation by another in all recorded history. I propose to show that England has year by year been bleeding India to the point of death, and that self-government of India by the Hindus could not within any reasonable probability, have worse results than the present form of alien domination."  

"I went to India to help myself visualize a people whose cultural history I had been studying for The Story of Civilization. I did not expect to be attracted by the Hindus, or that I should be swept into a passionate interest in Indian politics. But I saw such things in India as made me feel that study and writing were frivolous things in the presence of a people – one fifth of the human race – suffering poverty and oppression bitterer than any to be found elsewhere on the earth. I was horrified. I had not thought it possible that any government could allow its subjects to sink to such misery.

I came away resolved to study living India as well as the India with the brilliant past; to learn more of this unique Revolution that fought with suffering accepted but never returned; to read the Gandhi of today as well as the Buddha of long ago. 

The civilization that was destroyed by British guns has lasted for more than fifteen centuries has produced saints from Buddha to Gandhi; philosophy from the Vedas to Schopenhauer and Bergson, Thoreau and Keyserling, who take their lead and acknowledge their derivation from India . ( India , says Count Keyserling, “has produced the profoundest metaphysics that we know of”; and he speaks of “the absolute superiority of India over the West in philosophy”); poetry from the Mahabharata, containing the Bhagavad-Gita, “perhaps the most beautiful work of the literature of the world. And how shall we a civilization that created the unique and gigantic temples of Ellora, Madura and Angkor ?  

The more I read the more I was filled with astonishment and indignation at the apparently conscious and deliberate bleeding of India by England throughout a hundred and fifty years. I began to feel that I had come upon the greatest crime in all history. I know how weak words are in the face of guns and blood; how irrelevant mere truth and decency appear beside the might of empires and gold. For I know of nothing in the world that I would rather do than to be of help to India .  

The British conquest of India was the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company utterly without scruples or principle, careless of art and greedy of gain, overrunning with fire and sword a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career of illegal and “legal” plunder which has now gone on ruthlessly for one hundred and seventy-three years, and goes on at this moment while in our secure comfort we write and read.  

Aurangzeb, the Puritanic Moghul emperor who misgoverned India for fifty years when he died the realm fell to pieces. It was a simple matter for a group of English buccaneers, armed with the latest European artillery and morals to defeat the petty princes. It was the wealth of 18th century India which attracted the commercial pirates of England and France . This wealth was created by the Hindus’ vast and varied industries and trade. It was to reach India of fabulous wealth that Columbus sailed the seas. It was this wealth that the East India Company proposed to appropriate. Already in 1686 its Directors declared their intention to “establish …a large, well grounded, sure English dominion in India for all time to come.”  

(source: The Case for India - By Will Durant Simon and Schuster, New York. 1930 p.1 - 17).  

Lord Robert Clive was penniless and in debt when he first set foot in India as a clerk in the East India Company in 1743, but within 20 years he had become one of the richest men in England. Part of that wealth was the collection of decorative arts and jewelled objects he had assembled as an officer of the East India Company army.

Most of the foreigners came to India in search of her fabulous wealth. Ernest Wood, in the book "A Foreigner defends Mother India" states, "In the middle of the eighteenth century, Phillimore wrote that 'the droppings of her soil fed distant regions'. No traveler found India poor until the nineteenth century, but foreign merchants and adventurers sought her shores for the almost fabulous wealth, which they could there obtain. 'To shake the pagoda tree' became a phrase, somewhat similar to our modern expression 'to strike oil'."


Sir William Curzon Wyllie as "one of the old unrepentant foes of India who had fattened on the misery of the Indian peasantry."

Yale University and the Wealth from India 

Yale University in the United States was founded in 1718 with the help of a cargo of gift raised in India by Elihu Yale, who was a governor of Madras.

For more on Elihu Yale refer to chapter on Glimpses VIII.

Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) a Bombay Parsi who sat in the British House of Commons, also called the The Grand Old Man of India, presented to the British people the "Drain Theory", which put before them the facts and figures illustrating systematic bleeding of the wealth and resources of India. 

His ideas were put into a volume called "Poverty and UnBritish rule in India". He wrote in 1901:

"I need only say that the people of India have not the slightest voice in the expenditure of the revenue, and therefore in the good government of the country. The powers of the Government being absolutely arbitrary and despotic, and the Government being alien and bleeding, the effect is very exhausting and destructive indeed."

Naoroji said this on the Debate on the Indian famine that took place at Kennington , UK :

“When the British people first obtained territorial power in India , bad seeds were unfortunately sown. The Company went there solely for the sake of profit, greed was at the bottom of everything they did, and the result was that corruption, oppression and rapacity became rampant.  

One result was that there was a heavy drain of wealth from India , and the Europeans who went there were so anxious to acquire riches that they did not wait until they had earned or deserved them, but they seized them in defiance of all economic principles. That was one cause of India ’s trouble.  

Everything expended upon the formation of the British Empire in India had been extracted from the Indian people, and, in addition to that, the Natives had shed their blood freely – and to a much greater extent than Englishmen – in order to insure the maintenance of the British supremacy."

(source: Poverty and Un-British Rule in India - By Dadabhai Naoroji - p. ix-x and p. 578 – 579).

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1893) philosopher, thinker, visionary, inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, cosmologist, inventor of the geodesic dome, once said:  

"The British were perhaps the most successful pirates in history. They came to India, pillaged the country in the name of trade and then enslaved it in the name of civilization."

(source: Indian Express  - Flair  8/5/2001) Refer to Jesus Christ: Artifice for Aggression - By Sita Ram Goel

Another Englishman, the late H. M. Hyndman, after detailing the proof that taxation in India was far heavier than in any other country, though its population is poorer, entitled his book The Bankruptcy of India

(source: The Case for India - By Will Durant Simon and Schuster, New York. 1930 p. 22).

By the 19th century, the distant territory (India) shone as the brightest jewel in the British Crown. When the traders from England's East India Company arrived on the subcontinent of India in the 17th century, they found a fascinating land of pungent spices and luxurious textiles, magnificent art and architecture, and impressive works of literature and science. India was an "El Dorado" for enterprising young men in search of fortune. By the 19th century, the distant territory shone as the brightest jewel in the crown. It remained a prize beyond comparison, valued so highly that, as British viceroy Lord Curzon stated in 1900, "We could lose all our dominions and still survive, but if we lost India, our sun would sink to its setting."

Almost overnight India changed her position from being a jewel in the British crown to her present position as a part of the Third World. The concept of the Third World and the contempt which goes along with this concept was acquired recently.

For more on the Imperial Plunder refer to chapter on Glimpses VIII.

India 's Amazing Contribution to the World Economy Throughout History -- Until the British Came..
Overnight India becomes a 'Third World' Nation...

"Consumers in most major cities of the world can buy Indian jewelry and clothing. This statement is true today, but it would also have been true four thousand years ago. Goods, ideas, and religious concepts "made in India" have been exported to markets around the world since the people of the subcontinent built their first cities in the Indus Valley in the third millennium B.C.E."

"The enormous manufacturing and trade balance advantages that India had enjoyed for some 2,500 years were slowly wiped out as a result of British colonial control of the subcontinent. In 1750, with the start of significant British presence in the north, India at the end of Mughal power was still producing about one-fourth of the world's manufactured goods. It was not until the nineteenth century that British manufacturers could cheaply produce cotton cloth that equaled Indian quality. By using Indian-grown cotton to make cloth by machine at home, they finally ended India 's superiority. With increasing political control, the British were even able to force Indian consumers to buy inferior British fabrics."

"By 1850, with the establishment of British control over political and economic life, India 's share of world manufacturing had sunk to a mere 8.6 percent of world production. At the time of India 's independence from England, India was producing only 1.5 percent of world manufactures. Clearly colonialism had "underdeveloped" India as an economic giant."

(source: India in World History –


Age of Enlightenment and Imperialism

"The strongest claim by the West on modernity is derived from ideas and concepts generally grouped under the category of The Enlightenment. It was at the time that the idea of progress gained popular acceptance in the West. It was a time when Europeans emerged from a long twilight, from which the past was considered barbaric and dark. It most serious shortcoming was the assumption that European values derived from European experience were universal truth and that such truth gave license to world dominance: the rest of the world, to escape domination and exploitation, must adopt Western ways of militarism and exploitation. "

"It's one of the great paradoxes of modern history that during the Age of Enlightenment, at the same time that Europeans were becoming conscious of the basic rights of man, they were also capturing, brutalizing..."

(source: The Enlightenment and modernity - and Blood, sweat and tears - Radio Netherlands).


Indians as Inferior Race?  Racism in British India.

Lord Mayo (1822 - 1872) declared, "We are all British gentlemen engaged in the magnificent work of governing an inferior race in India."

(Note: The legacy of Western civilization to the world - Dark Ages, Crusades, The Inquisition, Witch Hunt, Slavery, Colonization of Africa, Asia, America and Australia, Imperialism, World Wars, Holocaust, Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Conversion and destruction of Native cultures to Christianity, Drugs, School shootings in American schools, Gun violence, Racism, Clergy sex Abuse, Viagra spamming American Capitalism, quest for individualism, Iraq war …. ). 

(image source: Imperial Lives in the Victorian Raj - By David Gilmour). 

 For more refer to Aryan Invasion Theory. Refer to Loot: in search of the East India Company - By Nick Robins and How India became poor -


Cecil Rhodes and the British Empire

One of the wealthiest, most influential man, Cecil Rhodes (1853 - 1902) who wrote in a document called Confession of Faith:  

“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that  the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race..."

“Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?  "  

Africa is still lying ready for us, it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes: that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human, most honourable race the world possesses

(source: The New Environmentalist Eugenics: Al Gore’s Green Genocide).  

Sir William Joynson-Hicks (1865 – 1932) Home Secretary in the Baldwin Government, candidly expressed that:  

“I know it is said in missionary meetings that we conquered India to raise the level of the Indians. That is cant. We conquered India as an outlet for the goods of Great Britain. We conquered India by the sword, and by the sword we shall hold it.”

(source: The Case for India - By Will Durant Simon and Schuster, New York. 1930  p. 163 – 164).

Injustice and Brutality of the Colonial system

The British tend to get so carried away with Raj nostalgia as to imbue it with a rosy hue. They forget that the Raj was hateful and oppressive to the many millions who had to bear its brunt. It is not just that these millions had to suffer alien rule but also that its self-interested interventions led to the country's economic ruin and cultural degradation. The Raj is but an instance of colonialism that held sway over many parts of the globe till about the middle of the last century. The colonial system had much inbuilt injustice and brutality, largely concealed as victims were often voiceless. In parts of North and South America , it led to a sustained genocide that wiped out entire civilisations over a few centuries. British colonial enterprise in India never got so vicious. This is not because the rulers were benign but because the country had a large population and was civilisationally advanced. The British in India knew well the limits of their power and took care not to exceed the tolerance levels of the people. It was precisely the fear of events like that of 1857 that kept them in check. However, colonialism in India did have its dark side, such as repression, racism and institutionalised exclusion. Indeed, with its stress on racism, the system was anything but admired though it may have been feared or used by those who chose to be co-opted. In any event, colonialism, for all its presumed benefits for those who were colonised, does not merit praise; it is considered a dark chapter of our history.

(source: Relics of the Raj - The Pioneer Edit Desk September 26, 2007 Wednesday). Refer to Oppose Christian Missionaries and Radical Christian Missionaries in Iraq . How do we know that Christians are delusional?

For Cruelty inflicted by Christianity - Watch Constantine's Sword movie - By Oren Jacoby and Stolen Kingdom: An American Conspiracy - By Budnick, Rich (1992). Honolulu : Aloha Press.

Caring Colonialism?
Church of England Head lauds and justifies British Raj

The spiritual head of the Church of England has launched an extraordinary defence of the British Raj, saying it was benign to India compared with cack-handed American neo-imperialism in Iraq.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who officially leads nearly 80 million Anglicans worldwide, told a British Muslim lifestyle magazine that the British experiment in India was an example of caring colonialism.  

Refer to Islam – Christianity’s angry sibling? - and The Jesus Police. Refer to Oppose Christian Missionaries and Radical Christian Missionaries in Iraq .

(Refer to All religions are not same - By Swami Aksharanand - The concept that “All religions are one” as propagated by Gandhi incessantly is the most destructive concept that is affecting us all. It is not only silly but dangerous fallacy to propagate the idea that all religions are one. Hindus, who are under severe attacks every day by the same forces of Allah and Christ. Hinduism and other religions can’t be equated and called same because “religions” of the world have been born in the environment of hostility).

Refer to It's Imperialism, Stupid - By Noam Chomsky. Refer to Iraq: The Hidden Cost.

Watch Why we fight (2005) documentary - Imperial and technological arrogance of world's Super power: describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex and its involvement in the wars led by the United States during the last fifty years, and in particular in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The film alleges that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been told a lie to bring it into war to fuel the military-economic machine, which in turn maintains American dominance in the world.

Watch No end in sight documentary (2007) and refer to The Looting of Baghdad museum: US government implicated in planned theft of Iraqi artistic treasures - The pillaging of the Baghdad Museum is a tragedy that has no parallel in world history; it is as if the Uffizi, the Louvre, or all the museums of Washington D.C. had been wiped out in one fell swoop. Some compare the event to the burning of the Alexandria Library. Eight thousand years of human history has been erased in two days. Prince Andrew rebukes US on Iraq He said the US should have learned lessons from British colonial history and he added that there had been "occasions when people in the UK would wish that those in responsible positions in the US might listen and learn from our experiences". 

Also refer to Despoliation and Defaming of India – By Dharampal and The Raj Syndrome: A Study in Imperial Perceptions - By Suhash Chakravarty. Penguin Books. 1991 and Late Victorian Holocausts - By Mike Davis and Year 501: The Conquest Continues - By Naom Chomsky.

On Sunday, the comments were criticised by observers as a patronising justification of imperial Britain 's grip on India. Sources said it was surprising that Williams, a long-term critic of the Anglo-American 2003 invasion of Iraq, was getting into dangerous historical territory such as the British Raj.

(source: Church of England head lauds British Raj -  November 25, 2007.Refer to Iraq: The Hidden Cost and Iraq ’s erasure and Asian racial delusions - By Dr Gautam Sen - The Americans set out to destroy Iraq , which is why they began a calculated genocidal war against it. The mere removal of Saddam Hussein, whom they themselves had put into power decades earlier and nurtured cynically, was clearly inadequate for their goal of dismantling Iraq comprehensively. The moment the Americans destroyed Iraq ’s museums and libraries it was clear that the contemporary descendants of the Mongol scourge, Hulegu (destroyer of Baghdad in 1251AD) had arrived. The killing of Iraqis on a massive scale by Bush and his Leftist British minions has been accompanied by the targeted elimination of professionals. The destruction of Iraqi civilisation is being completed by erasing its historical records and cultural artefacts, the conduits of collective historic memory. The brutal Romans, though more civilised than modern Americans, would have recognised the imperial logic of scorched earth to secure rule).

Refer to Loot: in search of the East India Company - By Nick Robins and How India became poor -

Note:  Ironically, Dinesh D'souza (dubbed the Uncle Tom - Uncle Tom is a pejorative for a black person who is perceived by other blacks as subservient to white authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation. The term Uncle Tom comes from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel  Uncle Tom's Cabin), much like Clarence Thomas who sold their souls for a few bucks or a coveted job) author of The End of Racism (wrote that in his book: "The American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well.")

Refer to It's Imperialism, Stupid - By Noam Chomsky and Year 501: The Conquest Continues - By Naom Chomsky. For Cruelty inflicted by Christianity - Watch Constantine's Sword movie - By Oren Jacoby

Refer to Iraq: The Hidden Cost and Missionary Diplomacy - Laura Bush’s Burma crusade, driven by a moral and religious calling, has increasingly pushed that strategically located country into China ’s strategic lap while undercutting Indian interests. Also referto Why do Christian missionaries love natural disasters? - in China and Mynmmar.

Dinesh D'souza, an Indian Christian and the Cheerleader of the British Imperialism, has observed: 

"The West did not become rich and powerful through colonial oppression in and that the descendants of colonialism are better off than they would be if colonialism had never happened...:, in his article - Two Cheers for Colonialism). The article is a racist piece of historical revisionism that regurgitates unoriginal and trite arguments, which are reminiscent of discussions on the merits of the "white man's burden" 

A few pages of Mike Davis's "Late Victorian Holocausts" describing the Indian famines of the early 20th century is enough to puncture any colonialist's puffed up balloon of claim to managerial skill or social responsibility. An analysis of India's GDP and vital statistics 1750-1947 will show you how British rule impoverished India. Please refer to Dharampal's book -  Beautiful Tree and you will learn how the primary educational system in India worked when the East India Company began to take over India).

The sheer scope of their rapine is staggering. Capital removed, societies destroyed. As a single example of the social cost, historian William Digby - Prosperous British India estimated that the population of Dhaka dropped from 200,000 to 79,000 between 1787 and 1817; the export of Dacca muslin to England amounted to 8,000,000 rupees in 1787; in 1817, nil. The fine textile industry, the livelihoods of thousands, and the self-sufficient village economy, were systematically destroyed. 


A strong case has been made by William Digby quoting Brooks Adams that the Industrial Revolution (circa 1760) could not have happened in Britain had it not been for the loot that came in from India. It is indeed a curious coincidence: Plassey (1757); the flying shuttle (1760); the spinning jenny (1764); the power-loom (1765); the steam engine (1768). Look at some individuals and their 'East Indian Fortunes' (P J Marshall)--all numbers in pounds: Robert Clive estimated in 1767 that his net worth was 401,102. John Johnston had 300,000. Richard Smith amassed in 1764-1770 a fortune of 250,000 pounds. Note that these company officers' average salary was between 1,000 and 5,000 per year. Marshall estimates a total of 18,000,000 pounds as the *private* fortunes of these officers in the period 1757-1784. This, of course, in addition to official East India Company pillage. Digby estimated in 1901 that the total amount of treasure extracted from India by the British was 1,000,000,000 pounds--a billion pounds. Considering the looting from 1901 to 1947 and the effects of inflation, this is probably worth a trillion dollars in today's money. Serious money, indeed. Shouldn't we ask for some reparation?

(source: Rajeev Srinivasan Refer to QuickTime trailer and Part One of the film The God Awful Truth.

The wealth of the colonies returned to Britain, creating huge fortunes. By 1700, the East India Company accounted for "above half the trade of the nation," one contemporary critic commented. Through the following half-century, Jphn Keay writes, its shares became the "equivalent of a gilt-edged security, much sought after by trustees, charities and foreign investors." The rapid growth of wealth and power set the stage for outright conquest and imperial rule. British officials, merchants, and investors "amassed vast fortunes," gaining "wealth beyond the dreams of avarice."  

Two English historians of India, Edward Thompson and G. T. Garrett, described the early history of British India as:

"perhaps the world's high-water mark of graft": "a gold-lust unequalled since the hysteria that took hold of the Spaniards of Cortes' and Pizzaro's age filled the English mind. Bengal in particular was not to know peace again until she has been bled white."

The fate of Bengal brings out essential elements of the global conquest. Calcutta and Bangladesh are now the very symbols of misery and despair. In contrast, European warrior-merchants saw Bengal as one of the richest prizes in the world. An early English visitor described it as "a wonderful land, whose richness and abundance neither war, pestilence, nor oppression could destroy." Well before, the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta had described Bengal as "a country of great extent, and one in which rice is extremely abundant. Indeed, I have seen no region of the earth in which provisions are so plentiful." In 1757, the same year as Plassey, Clive described the textile center of Dacca as "extensive, populous, and rich as the city of London"; by 1840 its population had fallen from 150,000 to 30,000, Sir Charles Trevelyan testified before the Select Committee of the House of Lords, "and the jungle and malaria are fast encroaching... Dacca, the Manchester of India, has fallen from a very flourishing town to a very poor and small town." It is now the capital of Bangladesh.

After the British takeover, British traders, using "every conceivable form of roguery," "acquired the weavers' cloth for a fraction of its value," English merchant William Bolts wrote in 1772: "Various and innumerable are the methods of oppressing the poor weavers...such as by fines, imprisonments, floggings, forcing bonds from them, etc." "The oppression and monopolies" imposed by the English "have been the causes of the decline of trade, the decrease of the revenues, and the present ruinous condition of affairs in Bengal."


Here is a picture from a book written by a distinguished British civilian who had a long service in India and knew Indian situation from the inside. Mr. W. S. Lily
in his - India and Its Problems, writes as follows:

"During the first 80 years of the 19th century 18,000,000 of the Indian people perished of famine. In one year alone - the year when Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, assumed the title of the Empress, - 5,000,000 of the people of Southern India were starved to death. In the District of Bellary, with which I am personally acquainted - a region twice the size of Wales - 1/4 of the whole population perished in the famine of 1876-77. I shall never forget my own famine experience; how, as I rode out on horseback, morning after morning, I passed crowds of wandering skeletons, and saw human corpses by the roadside, unburied, uncared for, half devoured by dogs and vultures; and how - still sadder sight - children, 'the joy of the world' as the old Greeks deemed them, had become its ineffable sorrow there, forsaken even by their mothers, their feverish eyes shining from hollow sockets, their flesh utterly wasted away, only gristle and sinew and cold shivering skin remaining, their heads mere skulls, their puny frames full of loathsome disease engendered by the starvation... Everyone who has been in India in famine times, and has left the beaten track of western made prosperity, knows how true a picture this is"

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland p. 11-12).


Curzon's Delhi Durbar (1903): Such assemblies announced both the grandeur and the political might of British rule in India.

Refer to Loot: in search of the East India Company - By Nick Robins and How India became poor -


The supremacy of the British over most of India was left with little challenge, and they could now embark in right earnest on their set task: the draining of India's fabulous wealth. Writing to the future King Charles I in 1616, England's first ambassador to the court of the Mughal Jahangir expressed his amazement at the "jewellshe sawthere. Hee isthe treasury of the world," wrote Sir Thomas Roe (1568-1644) the first British ambassador, stays at the Mughal court, breathlessly, "buyeing all that comes, and heaping rich stones as if hee would rather build than weare them."

While most eighteenth-century European travelers to India described her as "flourishing," less than a century later she had sunk into depths of dismal misery. One British historian noted in 1901: "Time was, not more distant than a century and a half ago, when Bengal was much more wealthy than was Britain."

The English historians of India, Edward Thompson and G. T. Garrett, tell us that 

"a gold-lust unequalled since the hysteria that took hold of the Spaniards of Cortes and Pizarro's age filled the English mind.  Bengal in particular was not to know peace again until she had been bled white." 
For the monstrous financial immorality of the English conduct in India for many a year after this, Robert Clive was largely responsible. Clive, the great empire-builder, whose statue faces the India Office in London today."

(source: Rise and Fulfillment of British rule in India - By Edward Thompson and G. T. Garrett London, 1935).

Jawaharlal Nehru has observed: " It was pure loot. The 'Pagoda Tree' was shaken again and again till the most terrible famines ravaged Bengal. This process was called trade later on but that made little difference. Government called this so-called trade, and trade was plunder. There are few instances in history of anything like it. And it must be remembered that this lasted, under various names and under different forms, not for a few years but for generations. It is significant that one of the Hindustani words which has become part of the English language is 'loot.'

(source: The Discovery of India - By Jawaharlal Nehru.  p.297).

Koh-i-noor Diamond - a lost property or a colonial swindle?

The most famous diamond in the world, the Kohinoor or Padshahnama, was found in the Godawari River in South India some 4,000 years ago. In 1849 it was taken by the British East India Company as partial indemnity after the Sikh Wars and was presented to Queen Victoria. At the time, its value was estimated at $700,000. 

In 1851 Victoria decided to recut the Kohinoor. This undertaking required 38 days at a cost of $40,000 and the extraordinary stone was reduced to 108 carats. In 1911 a new crown was made for the coronation of Queen Mary with the KOH-I-NOOR as the center stone. In 1937, it was transferred to the crown of Queen Elizabeth (now Queen Mother) for her coronation. 

Today, the Kohinoor is still part of the British crown jewels and is displayed in the Tower of London under heavy security cover. 

According to Brooke Adams, the American writer: "Possibly since the world began, no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder, because for nearly fifty years Great Britain stood without a competition." 

(source: The Law of Civilization and Decay - By Brooke Adams 1928 p. 259-60).

The British would often think of their conquest in India as fortuitous. It gratified a cherished conceit about the Englishman's amateurish innocence and it obviated the need to confront awkward questions - like how such aggression could be justified.

(source: India: A History - By John Keay p. 383). 

Imperialism was born out of and maintained by (primarily) economic and racial self-interest. 

Another even asserted that Britain's Industrial Revolution could not have taken off without the influx of money that followed the conquest of Bengal: "Very soon after Plassey [in 1757], the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London, and the effect appears to have been instantaneous, for all the authorities agree that the 'industrial revolution'... began with the year 1760.... Possibly since the world began no investment has ever yielded the profit reaped from the Indian plunder."


"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."? - Matthew 5:5 (Holy Bible)


Madras Famine 1877-1878
Willoughby Hooper - Album print private collection

(image source: Indian Art - By Vidya Dehejia  p. 399-402).

"According to British history, there was no freedom movement in India, no man made famines, no transfer of huge resources from India to Britain , no destruction of Indian industries and agriculture by the British rule, but only a very benign and benevolent British rule in India ."


Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire (1694-1774) France's greatest writers and philosophers, was a theist, and a bitter critic of the Church, too, had painted the motives for Europe's interest in India in stark language:

"No sooner did India begin to be known to the Occident's barbarians than she was the object of their greed, so when these barbarians became civilized and industrious, and created new needs for themselves..."

(source: Fragments historiques sur l'Inde - By Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire p. 383). For more on Voltaire refer to chapter on Quotes. Refer to Jesus Christ: Artifice for Aggression - By Sita Ram Goel and Refer to QuickTime trailer and Part One of the film The God Awful Truth.

But unlike the Portuguese, the British were anxious to clothe their greed in lofty ideals: the "white man's burden" of civilizing (and, naturally, Christianizing) less enlightened races, the "divinely ordained mission" of bringing to India the glory of Europe's commercial and industrial civilization, and so forth.

The ideology of empire: the concept of civilizing mission, material profit, the triumph of civilization over barbarism,  was ardently supported by the missionary organizations. Articles, pamphlets, speeches, thick volumes began pouring forth by the hundreds year after year in praise of the "tremendous task of rescuing India" from the darkness into which she had fallen. Understandably, the recognition of India's far more ancient and refined civilization made such noble motives untenable. Thus began a systematic campaign to disparage not only this civilization, its culture and society, but the very roots of Hinduism. 

(Please refer to the poem White Man's Burden - By Rudyard Kipling. "White man's burden" as a euphemism for imperialism. Also refer to Late Victorian Holocausts - By Mike Davis).  

(source: The Invasion That Never Was - By Michel Danino and Sujata Nahar p. 16). Refer to Jesus Christ: Artifice for Aggression - By Sita Ram Goel

It is in such a context, that a man like Voltaire considered India "famous for its laws and sciences" and deplored the mounting European preoccupation (both individual and national) of those in India with the amassing of "immense fortunes." This quest for riches intensified the struggles, plunder, etc. during his own time, and made him remark that "If the Indians had remained unknown to the Tartars and to us, they would have been the happiest people in the world."

(source: Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century: Some Contemporary European Accounts - By Dharampal Impex India. 1971. p. LXIII).


Inevitably the English in India became dishonest on a scale which astounded compatriots who visited them. Robert Clive told the court of directors of the East India Company in 1765 of the conditions he found:

"The sudden and among many the unwarrantable acquisition of riches had introduced luxury in every shape, and its more pernicious aspect...everyone thought he had the right to enrich himself, at all events, with as much expedition as possible...The sources of tyranny and oppression, which have been opened by the European agents acting under the authority of the Company's servants...."

The excesses of high officials, nicknamed the 'nabobs' provoked outrage. The poet William Cowper (1731-1800) expressed it with passion in 1781:

"Hast thou, though suckled at fair freedom's breast,
Exported slav'ry to the conquer'd East
Pull'd down the tyrants India serv'd with dread
And rais'd thyself a greater, in their stead?

It was none the less undeniable that commerce with India had done wonders for England's comfort and well-being. As with the ownership of slave plantations in the West Indies, the eastern trade was hugely rewarding. It helped London become a financial center and funded the building of many stately homes. 

(source: Empires of the Monsoon: A history of the Indian ocean and its invaders - By Richard Hall p. 328-329).

After the British conquest, India lay prostrate at the feet of her cruel conqueror. 

Many historians, such as Frenchman Guy Deleury, have documented the economic rape of India by the British : 

"Industrially the British suffocated India, gradually strangling Indian industries whose finished products, textiles in particular, were of a quality unique in the world which has made them famous over the centuries. Instead they oriented Indian industries towards jute, cotton, tea, oil seeds, which they needed as raw materials for their home industries. They employed cheap labor for the enterprises while traditional artisans were perishing. India, which used to be a land of plenty, where milk and honey flowed started drying" 

(source: Le Modele Indou, by Guy Deleury. Hachette, le Temps & les hommes. 1978).

Claude Alvares in his book, Decolonizing History: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West 1492 to the Present Day, states that before the East India Company arrived in the sub-continent, there was nothing produced in Europe which India needed. It's own industrial techniques, of great antiquity, had a richness and subtlety far superior to any which European traders had to offer. Such self reliance could not be permitted to endure. And the arrival of the East India Company at Surat in Gujrat in 1608 swiftly ensured that it would not do so. The incursions into Asia - Indonesia, India and China - by what it has become cliché to call "the first transnational " became a story of predatory and coercive violence, in which places were indeed traded: India forfeited its vast superiority in handicrafts and manufactures, and was compelled to open its markets to inferior products from Britain.

By 1620, 50,000 pieces of chintz reached England; in 1720, this reached 600,000 pieces. The muslins, calicoes and chintzes astonished with their craftsmanship, sophistication and sheer beauty. So much, that there were complaints against the imports of Indian fabrics from the very beginning. By 1700, Acts were passed which prohibited the introduction of printed calicoes for domestic use, either as apparel or furniture, under a penalty of £200 on the wearer or seller. There was no demand in India for Manchester cottons, though these were forced on India with the ending of the Company's monopoly in 1813, any more than there was "demand" in China for opium: the destruction of the indigenous weaving industry was described by 'Governor - General' William Bentinck (1774-1839) as a misery without parallel in the history of Commerce. "The bones of the cotton weavers are blanching plains of' India. 

(source: Independence and illusion of equality - By Jeremy Seabrook).

Hindusthan was always a proverbially rich country. Now, Mother Theresa has made it something of a synonym with poverty. But this poverty cannot be blamed on Hindu culture. After the Muslims had blindly plundered large parts of the country and destroyed so much, the British made an even more systematic and profound attack on India's natural prosperity. They reorganized its economy to suit their own ends, integrating it in their colonial trade system, again to the country's detriment. When the British arrived, India was one of the most industrialized countries in the world, and one of its top exporters. The British economical policies, coupled with the world-wide impact of modern industry on the pre-modern economies, destroyed much of India's prosperity and economical; self-reliance.

(source: Ayodhya and After - By Koenraad Elst).

This new imperialism tries to justify itself with a story about Britain's introduction of free trade, the rule of law, democracy and western civilization across the globe. "No organization has done more to impose western norms of law, order and governance around the world." That story is a fable dreamt up by 19th-century propagandists to sell the benefits of empire to an uncertain public back home.

Instead of enriching the world, the British empire impoverished it. Far from being backward and uncivilized, India exported high quality manufactured goods to Britain's fashionable society. Aristocrats had Indian chintz on their walls and Indian cloth on their tables. British manufacturers often labeled poorer quality British imitations as "Indian" to dupe customers into buying their own shoddy goods. After all, why were the British interested in trading with Asia at all? 

It was to make money out of a wealthy society - not to invest and civilize.

(source: Revisionist TV history of Britain's empire is an attempt to justify the new imperial order - by Jon E Wilson - Guardian).

According to British records, one million Indians died of famine between 1800 and 1825, 4 million between 1825-1850, 5 million between 1850-1875 and 15 million between 1875-1900. Thus 25 million Indians died in 100 years ! The British must be proud of their bloody record. It is probably more honorable and straightforward to kill in the name of Allah, than in the guise of petty commercial interests and total disregard for the ways of a 5000 year civilization. Thus, by the beginning of the 20th century, India was bled dry and there were no resources left.

(source: India's Self Denial - By Francois Gautier)  

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote that those parts of India which had been longest under British rule were the poorest: Bengal once so rich and flourishing after 187 years of British rule is a miserable mass of poverty-stricken, starving and dying people.

India was sometimes called the 'milch cow of the Empire', and indeed at times it seemed to be so regarded by politicians and bureaucrats in London.

Educated Indians were embittered when India was made to pay the entire cost of the India Office building in Whitehall. They were further outraged when in 1867 it was made to pay the full costs of entertaining two thousand five hundred guests at a lavish ball honoring the Sultan of Turkey.


India Must Be Bled

Lord Robert Arthur Salisbury, (1830-1903) as Secretary of State for India, in a Minute said:

"As India must be bled the lancet should be directed to the parts where the blood is congested or at least sufficient, not to those (the agricultural people) which are already feeble from the want of it."

But the drain is not all. All the wars by which the British Indian Empire is built up have not, only been fought mainly with Indian blood, but every farthing of expenditure incurred in all wars and proceedings within and beyond the frontiers of India by which the Empire has been built up and maintained up to the present day has been erected from the Indian people. Britain has spent nothing. 

What would Britain's condition be under a similar fate?

(source: Poverty and Un-British Rule in India - By Dadabhai Naoroji - p. ix-x).

In the case of the former foreign conquests, the invaders (Islamic) either retired with their plunder and booty, or became the rulers of the country. When they plundered, and went back, they made, no doubt, great wounds; but India, with her industry, revived and healed the wounds. With the English the case is peculiar. They are the great wounds of the first wars in the burden of the public debt, and those wounds are kept perpetually open and widening, by draining the life-blood in a continuous stream. The former rulers were like butchers hacking here and there, but the English with their scientific scalpel cut to the very heart, and yet, lo! there is no wound to be seen, and soon the plaster of the high talk of civilization, progress, and what not, covers up the wound! The English rulers stand sentinel at the front door of India, challenging the whole world, that they do and shall protect India against all comers, and themselves carry away by a back-door the very treasure, they stand sentinel to protect.

(source: Poverty and Un-British Rule in India - By Dadabhai Naoroji  p. 211-213).

Said one of the great host of retired Indian civilians, R. N. Cust, himself on pension, drawing from India annually the income of well-nigh seventeen hundred people:

"There is a constant drawing away of the wealth of India to England, as Englishmen grow fat on accumulations made in India, while the Indian remains as lean as ever...Every post of dignity and high emolment, civil and military, is held by a stranger and a is the jealousy of the middle-class Briton, the hungry Scot, that wants his salary, that shuts out all Native aspirations....The consequence will be terrible."

These are among the reasons why India is poor, and, being poor, is - by the standard of the age - necessarily and irredeemably inferior."

(source: 'Prosperous' British India: A Revelation from Official Records - By William Digby  p. 211-212).

Sir Henry Cotton has said: "Even the Russian Government, which we are accustomed to look upon as the ideal of autocracy, is not such a typical autocracy as the Government of India."

(source: India And Her People - By Swami Abhedananda p. 164).

After the second Anglo Sikh war, the British exiled the boy Duleep Singh to Fatehgarh, in the care of a British guardian. Unlike previous British rulers, Lord Dalhousie wished to transform India, towards which end he promoted and supported the work of Christian missionaries: Fatehgarh just happened to be a mission. John Login and his wife, who had taken on the parental role in the boy's life, just happened to be devout Christians. Duleep was encouraged to have two English boys as his closest friends, one of whom just happened to be the son of a missionary. The textbooks he was given just happened to be full of Christian messages. His servant, Bhajan Lal, just happened to be a Christian convert. And Bhajan Lal just happened to read from the Bible to the boy every night. Duleep Singh was, in fact, totally dependent on the goodwill of his prisoners and limited to living in the center of Christian missionary activity.

What happened next?

Exactly what can be expected when missionaries shower the weak with their mercies: The last Sikh ruler of the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh was surreptitiously converted to Christianity, dispatched to England and resettled near Cambridge, thereby minimizing all chances of his becoming a rallying point for the people of Punjab.

Ranjit  Singh’s golden chair along with boxes full of jewels was also dispatched for the Board of Directors of the East India Company and the Queen. To ensure that young Duleep Singh, the last Sikh ruler of the kingdom of Ranjit Singh, should not become a rallying point for the people of Punjab, he was surreptitiously converted to Christianity and hurriedly sent to England. To minimise all chances of his return to Punjab and claiming sovereignty after becoming of age, he was made to marry princess Victoria Gouramma of Coorg, also an Indian convert to Christianity and settled in Elveden Estate, near Cambridge especially purchased for him. Next, "A facade of a ceremony was arranged in which the young prince was made to present the famous Koh-i-Noor to Queen Victoria and 13 most valuable relics pertaining to Maharaja Ranjit Singh to the Prince of Wales.

The remaining jewellery in the Toshkhana of the Maharaja was either taken over by the British officials or auctioned to public thus putting to an end the glory and grandeur of the mighty empire of a mighty ruler of Punjab" (The Tribune, April 8, 2001).  

Some of the artifacts belonging to Maharaja Ranjit Singh's regime have been displayed at Victoria Albert Museum, Osborne House and several other museums of Scotland and Britain. In fact, the British Government has been under tremendous pressure from several of the sovereign nations, which were once a part of its Imperial Empire, to return the artifacts and other valuable items of their historic interest, which the British had forcibly taken from the then rulers as a "gift" or otherwise. Besides India and Greece, even Ethiopia, China and Italy have been pressing the British Government to return their artifacts. The World Jews Congress has been demanding 160 artifacts now displayed in various museums in Scotland.

(source: and Towards Balkanisation, III: Missionaries - Varsha Bhosle -




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