‘Divide and rule policy” in India before and after the independence Issue
Quite often it is alleged that Indian society is ‘highly stratified’ ‘disintegrated’ and ‘discriminatory’ society. How it had happened, is quite interesting to know. It was not so all the time. Rift has been purposely created in the society of India for political purposes. Why, when, how and by whom rift has been created in Indian society and has pushed the nation on the verge of disintegration? British domination in India
India was a great centre of attraction for British Empire. It was amazing to see how a small number of British troops led to the downfall of Mughal Empire, achieved the conquest andruled over India for such a long time. For British rulers, India symbolized Imperial grandeur. They believed that Britain’s superpower status for most of the nineteenth century and some of the twentieth depended on their control over India. Viceroy Lord Curzon had expressed it clearly in 1901, “As long as we rule India, we are the greatest power in the world. If we lose it we shall drop straightway to a third rate power”. Quite early, British realized that as long as they adroitly exploited the religious, linguistic and historical divisions that marked Indian society they were relatively safe. British rulers were clear and firm about their aims and objectives. British Rulers inflamed the differences, that were already existent in the society because of the diverse backgrounds of its people. They established their Empire in India by playing off one part against the other. Ideological attack
Initially in order to justify their domination over dark races of the globe and imperial rule in India, British propagated theories of racial the superiority of ‘White-race’. Afterwards, British rulers, missionaries, philosophers, writers and Historians like Mill, Wilson or Ward vehemently denounced the culture, character and social structure of the native people. This mental doze had affected minds of many educated Indians so densely that they considered native practices indefensible. The British launched an ideological attack on Brahmins in their effort to secure a reasonable combination of various races and castes in administration and other modern callings. On one hand, to counter Brahmins hold in education and other areas, they slighted the role of Brahmins as Indian intelligentsia and reformers and on the other, portrayed them as oppressors and exploiters of others, especially the poor and minorities. The rulers created venom in the hearts of Muslims and non-Brahmin castes and encouraged them to resist vociferously the dominance of Brahmins in modern callings. Stages of British rule
British rulers knew well that they had established their Empire firmly in India by taking advantage of the diversities of Indian people and by playing them against one another – princes against people; Hindu against Muslims; caste against castes; and provinces against provinces. * Period of 1756-1858 was the period of conquest, annexation and consolidation. * From 1858 to1905, was the time of apparent association under British Government in India. * From 1905 to 1940, British rulers adopted the policy of “Divide and rule”. * After 1940, they decided to quit India.
Period of annexation (1756-1858)
Period of 1756-1858 – With the start of British rule over India, the old relation of conqueror and conquered prevalent in India since 10th century, came to an end. It was the period of conquest, annexation and consolidation for British. Initially, the East India Company of Britain conquered and established British Empire in India by taking advantage of the diversities of Indian people. The Government adopted “Laissez-faire” as the principle of governance. Hence, it did not indulge itself into any welfare or social service activity. The only objective was to rule the country to its own advantage. Period of “Apparent...
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