-Aruna Asaf Ali, a leader of the Indian National Congress.
(Masani, quoted in Wood, 32, 1989)
There is no doubt that British imperialism had a large impact on India. India, having previously been an group of independent and semi-independent princedoms and territories, underwent great change under British administration. Originally intended to consolidate their hold on India by establishing a population that spoke the same language as their rulers, the British decision in the 1830s to educate Indians in a Western fashion, with English as the language of instruction, was the beginning of a chain of events, including a rise in Indian nationalism, that led to Indian resentment of British imperialism and ultimately to the loss of British control over India.
One of the most important factors in the British loss of control over India was the establishment of English as a unifying language. Prior to British colonisation, India was fragmented and multi-lingual, with 15 major languages and around 720 dialects. English served as a common ground for Indians, and allowed separate cultural and ethnic groups to identify with each other, something which had rarely if ever occurred before on a grand scale. Although it was mainly educated Indians of a privileged caste who spoke English, these were the most influential people in terms of acting as facilitators for nationalist ideas to be communicated throughout the populace. The publication of magazines and journals in English was also a great influence on the rise of Indian nationalism. Although most Indians received nationalist ideas orally, these journals allowed Indians... [continues]
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