For an average Indian, or we are raised that way, the two days that bring out our patriotic spirits are 15th August and 26th January – the Independence day and Republic Day. And yes, there is one more patriotic times for us. When there is a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
We Indians, not all of us, but most of us, always talk about the freedom movement and how our nation became independent. About the hard times caused during the British Era. About their atrocities. After these many years of gaining independence from the Colonial Rule, have we sought after the internal problems within our country? We are on the path of becoming one of the world super powers. For a change, let us just take a peep into the positive impacts of the British Rule in India. How India has benefited from the British Raj.
1. English Language
India being a country of different languages spoken in different regions, the people remained divided. However, the British introduced compulsory English in the Educational system throughout the country with the aim of getting clerical staff among Indians. This helped them reduce the cost of administration. They also believed, the Indians educated through their system would gradually come to believe in their ideology. However, this benefited the Indians in a totally different manner. India had a common language for communication. Indians began to have a better outlook of the world, society and systems. It overall help modernize the people of India.
2. Indian Railways
The means of transportation in India, was bullock carts and other pack animals, before the coming of the British. The British, for their benefits of transportation of Raw materials from their place of origin to the ports, to transport their imported good to be marketed in India, to move their men and materials, they established a wide network or roadways and railways. The development of an efficient Railway and Transportation system, helped not only the British government. But also the Indians, who started to move from places to places and in turn helped bring unity among different parts of the country.
The army that we are so proud of currently was formed in the British era. A lot of the army practices and etiquettes still persist.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Smallpox spread as an epidemic in India, and due to lack of sanitary knowledge among the Indians, the British knew the situation could escalate quickly. They passed a Compulsory Vaccination Act passed in India in 1892 to prevent smallpox. They also set up ‘Sanitary Commissioners’ in the various regions to keep a check on the disease by setting up dispensaries.
5. Social reforms
They banned sati, untouchability, and child marriage, also encouraged widow’s re-marriage. Can’t even remotely imagine how it would be if these practices still excited.
6. India census
British started the census in 1871, the census is taken once in 10 years to collect the statistical data of age, gender, religion, caste, occupation, education of the population. As of 2011, the decennial Census of India has been conducted 15 times.
7. Surveying India
In 1851 they set up the department of Geographical Survey of India, the institution surveyed villages, cities, and made maps of India. Using many advanced surveying instruments, the British surveyed every inch of the India and created maps. Many places use the same maps which were made during the British time.