STORY OF INDIA’S ECONOMIC DOWNFALL – 6 (Post No.8312)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8312

Date uploaded in London – – – 9 July 2020   

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

INDIA WAS NOT POOR

STORY OF INDIA’S ECONOMIC DOWNFALL – 6

R. Nanjappa

Henry St.George Tucker, who had retired to England with rich Indian experience, and who had become a director of the company, condemned the company policy in this regard in strong terms. He wrote that England had discouraged Indian goods in England and exported their own produce, including cotton manufactures. “India is thus reduced from the state of a manufacturing to that of an agricultural country.”

  • Perhaps the most important witness examined by the Committee was our old friend Sir Thomas Munro. He said that Indians were good manufacturers and were likely to imitate English goods. Asked whether Hindu women were not slaves of their husbands, he said that they had as much influence as the English ladies had in their own country. Asked whether, introduction of open trade would not improve the civilisation of Hindus, Munro made one of his most memorable submissions:
    •  
  • I do not understand what is meant by the civilisation of the Hindus; in the higher branches of science, in the knowledge of the theory and practice of good government, and in education which, by banishing prejudice and superstition, opens the mind to receive instruction of every kind, from every quarter, they are much inferior to Europeans. But if a good system of agriculture, unrivalled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to convenience or luxury; schools established in every village for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic,; the general practice of hospitality and charity amongst each other; and above all a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilised people, then Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe; AND IF CIVILISATION IS TO BECOME AN ARTICLE OF TRADE  BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES, I AM CONVINCED THAT THIS COUNTRY (ENGLAND) WILL GAIN BY THE IMPORT CARGO. 
  • Sir Thomas Munro said that the excellent quality of Indians’ own manufactures would stand in the way of their buying from England and mentioned that he had used an Indian shawl for seven years and found very little difference, and that he had never seen an European shawl like that.

Henry St.George Tucker, who had retired to England with rich Indian experience, and who had become a director of the company, condemned the company policy in this regard in strong terms. He wrote that England had discouraged Indian goods in England and exported their own produce, including cotton manufactures. “India is thus reduced from the state of a manufacturing to that of an agricultural country.”

Historian H.H.Wilson delivered a scathing verdict on what England had done. He pointed out how England imposed a duty of 70-80% on Indian cotton and silk goods, to make English manufactures cheaper!  

“Had this not been the case, had not such prohibitory duties and decrees existed, the mills of Paisley and Manchester would have been stopped in their outset, and could scarcely have been again set in motion, even by the power of steam. They were created by the sacrifice of the Indian manufacture. Had India been independent, she would have retaliated…. This act of self defence was not permitted her; she was at the mercy of the stranger. British goods were forced upon her without paying any duty,and the foreign manufacturer employed by the arm of political  injustice to keep down and ultimately strangle a competitor with whom she could not have contended on equal terms.”

The enquiry in 1813 had a strange effect. In their eagerness to increase English exports to India, England abolished the monopoly of the company with the renewal of the charter in 1813. It increased the ferocity of the imports. And they resorted to new methods. The weaving of fabrics by Indians was discouraged,. Indians were spinning their own yarn; gradually company agents started supplying the yarn. “Men who had worked on their own capital,produced commodities in  their own homes and villages, and obtained their own profits, were now dependent on the Company’s Residents…The factories demanded raw produce; the people of India provided the raw produce; forgot their ancient manufacturing skill; lost the profits of manufacture.


Indian superiority in Agriculture

Indian superiority in almost all spheres of economic activity had been noted by keen observers. Not only in manufactures, even in agriculture, this was admitted by experts. Giving evidence before the committee of the House of Commons in 1832, Dr. Wallick, who was the Superintendent of the Botanical Garden in Calcutta said about Bengal agriculture:

The husbandry of Bengal has in a great measure been misunderstood by the Europeans out of India.  

The Bengal husbandry, although in many respects extremely simple and primeval in mode and form, yet is not quite as low as people generally suppose…very sudden innovations in them have never led to any good results. European iron ploughs introduced into Bengal…. what has been the result? That the soil which is extremely superficial,…. which was  intended to be torn up, has generally received the admixture of the under soil which has deteriorated it very much.

***  to be continued

TAGS – INDIA’S,  ECONOMIC DOWNFALL – 6 

 THANKS FOR THE PICTURES

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: