British Colonialism and Its Effects on Shaping Pakistani Culture

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British Colonialism and Its Effects on Shaping Pakistani Culture

By | October 2005
Page 1 of 4
3. British colonialism and its effects on the shaping of Pakistani culture

The culture of a nation (a complex structure of unsaid dos and don'ts) is determined by their emotive sensitivities and intellectual development at a given stage in history. The form of social order and its institutions are a reflection of this culture. Pre-British India was on a declining path vis-à-vis these factors. Hence conditions were ripe for the invaders to encourage and establish a culture of collaboration. And they were greatly helped in this process by people who willingly forsake the responsibility of leadership in favor of the colonists who represented a culture on dominance.

The advent of the British in India, unlike the previous invading forces, was an encounter of two fundamentally different civilizations, i.e., the crumbling structure of Indian feudalism and the emerging new civilization wrought by the Industrial Revolution taking place in Europe. Drawing upon their experience of previous invasions, the Hindu Indian princes accepted the British as a military and administrative power replacing the Moghals as new overlords of India. The British, however, had their own imposing agenda that was rooted first in ensuring favorable terms of trade with the colonies and later using them as cheap sources of raw materials and as markets for their finished products. That is why despite British presence on the subcontinent for over two hundred years; India never became native for them as it did for the Afghan and Moghal kings. "It always remained a Jewel in the Crown" Due to the unsettled social, political and economic conditions of pre-colonial India, its colonization proved to be unique in the whole of the British colonial empire. The British rulers were welcomed with open arms. Not only did they bring law and order but ‘instant' prosperity too for those who collaborated with them. Thereby creating a whole ethos wherein the principal measure of one's nobility (without...