March 31, 2004
Good Things, the
British Left Behind in India
How Did India Get so Poor
Benefits of the British Rule in India
Drain of Wealth during British Raj
India Shining and the British Media
UK: It’s the Policies, Stupid!
India Shining campaign is not sitting well with the Western media. British
press in particular has again taken the lead to negate this assertion. The
Americans have also followed the suit a bit more cautiously. The
“Economist” of London did not like the new slogan of progress and
prosperity in India and wrote a major article on “India Not Shinning”.
It would appear that this conservative British weekly has taken the role
of the opposition in the upcoming Indian elections. The opposition parties
(more specifically the Congress) has lost the propaganda war ahead of
elections, hence have come out critically against the India Shinning
campaign. The Economist just reflected their views. The US weekly “Time”
also wrote a similar article in its last issue, but was less critical as
compared to the Economist. If you read the two articles together, they
appear to be the pen work of two people sitting side by side and using
same notes to pooh-pooh the India shining assertion.
Let us examine the roots of these unpleasant British feelings. The
mentality of the British Raj never left British public psyche. They wish,
they were the rulers and had taken the credit for India Shinning. Since
India is independent, they just cannot believe that India can shine
without them. The Economist has discovered other malaise with the Indian
economy, even though the economy is doing very well. The new British
mantra about the state of Indian economy is, widening fiscal deficit and
unemployment. These have always been there with India and have wrecked
havoc with most of the Western Economies including British from time to
time. Still the nations prosper. So why target India to highlight this
The point is that in-spite of weaknesses, India is moving ahead faster and
smarter. Then, why can the British media report the reports as they are
and not editorialize them? The fact is that it is difficult for them to
digest the facts. British opinion of India is very low. India’s culture,
our intellectuals our achievements are regarded as inferior. The media has
bread the public opinion with negative stereotypes. Ask an average
Englishman or woman on the streets of London about India. They will say,
India is a nation of Snake Charmers, Sadhus, Rajas, and Beggars etc. You
have to remind them that the person who runs their computer system in
their office is an Indian and a highly qualified person from India.
Why do they hold these views?
These views have their origin in British rule of India. A sense of
superiority engulfed the British mindset during this period. They wished
to be treated next to the Gods. Viceroys, who arrived in India to rule for
100 years, drilled in Indian mindset a sense of slavery. The Viceroys and
their cohorts, whenever they had time from transferring money from India
to Britain, joined in a few activities like hunting tigers or entertaining
Rajas or throwing state banquets to the visiting royalty or just ride
their gilded buggy thru, The Mall in Shimla. All this was done to imbibe a
spirit of master over the slave. They felt no shame in erecting signs
“Dogs and Indian Not Allowed”. This they continued for 100 years.
Subverting the culture was left to the scholars and missionaries. The
latter made a failed attempt to make India dump its cultural heritage of
8,000 years and become Christian. This attempt failed in 1857. The new
British administration, which took over from the East India Company,
removed the missionaries from India but invited a fresh horde of scholars.
The new scholars came to India to subvert the culture from within. One
such scholar was Friedrich Max Muller. He was German by birth and a
missionary by training. His main objective was to encircle the mighty
fortress of the religion & culture in India and undermine it and then
storm it with the soldiers of the cross for a complete victory. To this
affect he became a Sanskrit scholar and translated Vedas and other ancient
Indian treatise into English, not for study and appreciation but to find
faults. The main damage of his scholarly pursuits was not the translations
but what he told his Oxford audience about India as a professor of Indian
philosophy. Scholars like him poured like never before. Rudyard Kipling
could not find anything better other than creating stories of Jungle Boy
or rare custom of Satee. Monier Williams held, a Max Muller type views and
committed himself to denigrate India’s cultural heritage. They all
succeeded in one thing - to strengthen master – slave relationship and
permanently alter the British mindset.
Likes of Max Muller had a Profound affect on How British Think Today
Max Muller was a German Born missionary. He went to Oxford very early in
life and studied Sanskrit to translate Vedas into English. To a poor
German student at Oxford this was a way to make money and get a
scholarship from East Indian Company. This scholarship was his
stepping-stone to fame. He side stepped the available evidence and
authored the thesis that “Aryans” came from outside. He has dated Aryan
culture much later than what Indian scholars believe, because he could not
predate the Indian culture before the commonly held Christian belief of
creation of world around 4000BC.
The greatest effect on the British mindset, he exercised, was during his
lengthy stay at Oxford. He instructed for 30 years the graduating class of
Indian Civil Service (Imperial Civil Service at that time) on India and
Indian culture. What he taught them was what he believed in i.e. Indian
cultural fortress is to be undermined. All his graduating class went to
rule India with that mind set. They could never like India and could never
consider Indian an equal. They stayed aloof and became self-centered. In
turn developed the habits of over-lordship. A parade of Viceroys like
Ripon and Curzon followed. The latter were masters of divide and rule.
Irwin and Mountbatten came later. They talked softly but carried their
prejudged prejudices. On return, they spread stories and gossip of strange
customs and practices they have seen in India. They could never bring
themselves to believe that they may have had dealings with a superior
culture. To put crudely “ Indians were writing philosophy when the British
were swinging from trees”.
Successive scholars, viceroys, civil servants maintained this
differentiation. Army officers were no exception. This policy ultimately
started the end of British occupation of India. Within fifty years, after
the rule began, resentment grew high and next fifty years were spent in
ejecting them out peacefully.
The returned overlords from India became business leaders, politicians,
media moghuls, historians, intellectuals, civil servants, and intelligence
agents and set in motion their opinions, which are resonating today.
India’s miserable performance on the economic front for the first 40 years
after independence made them much bolder. They could say anything, write
anything or support anything they liked. The present crop of reporters in
India and their masters in England have grown up with this mind set hence
cannot truly report anything the way they found it. They must introduce
their pre-judged opinions. Sensationalizing trivia has become their hobby.
Conducting Business With Briton
In the late 20th century and in this century, colonizing distant lands is
no longer possible. Hence, national prosperity is assured by avoiding war,
encouraging international trade, servicing each other’s economy,
technology etc. Briton has a pre-eminent position in technology, service
and trade. Its products are much valued in India and elsewhere. In return,
Briton imports from India only basic products. The trade is unbalanced in
favor of Britain. Only in a last little while technological servicing from
India has become a staple item for Britons. This is assuring prosperity
for young men and women of India who provide IT and other services to
Corporate Briton. As Indians collect money in hard currencies, they tend
to spend it. Guess, where will they spend it and what will they buy.
Possibly, purchasing British products. In this scenario prosperity is
assured for both the nations. Is it not wonderful, that British businesses
have additional outlet for its goods and Indian young men and women have
jobs providing them services inexpensively. Then how come media does not
catch on to this environment of mutual prosperity and change its ways?
Why is Media failing its readers by Mis-reporting?
Question need to be asked is, how is media getting the win-win scenario
wrong. Are the journalists truly exercising their judgments or official
cues are behind them. If the latter is true then the scientific journalism
is taking a back seat to the politicians. Is the current crop of British
politicians descendants of the British Raj rulers of India? Is the
government manipulating the media? Then it begs a new question i.e. why is
the British establishment hell bent on misleading its public. Even if the
establishment puts out its version of events, scientific journalistic
reporting requires that the story be weighed in with other requirements of
the day including asking themselves that – what if the facts are on both
sides of the equation. Should it be given a positive slant or negative
slant? In case of India Shinning, it was definitely a negative slant.
What British Gave to India Is Still Valued
Yes, there are a lot, which the British left behind in India, which is
positive. We must compliment them for leaving their language behind, which
is going to propel India in this technological age ahead of China in next
20 years. Then the civil service, parliamentary system of democracy etc.
are all gifts of British Raj to India. The greatest of all gifts is
ejecting the Muslim rule out of India. Muslim had made a home in India for
800 years and would still be around had the British not defeated them.
With all these good things, why is the British establishment and its media
hell bent on spoiling the party. Every negative report about India
published or broadcast in the British media does not sit well with any
self respecting Indians. They fume every time but are unable to do
anything. This is a pitiful situation.
Steps needed to Remedy the present Situation
To the West and Briton:
Do not send, India haters as reporters to India. Also remove India haters
from your editorial boards. Treat India as a great business opportunity.
Do whatever a salesman does to promote its goods and services. Try not to
mess with politicians in opposition. The latter have one simple motive
i.e. malign the current government. If the local press is not helping
their cause they turn to the Western press to get their message across.
For western reporter posted for a short duration, it is important to check
the story for its positives and negatives. Stay away from national
politics. The latter is the business of the locals. Save your pen from
stereotyping with pre-judged notions.
In return, India’s gratitude for all the economic opportunities Britain
and the West is offering is to be appreciated. If British are prepared to
amend their ways then India should lay the past to rest. Corrective steps
could begin by recalling the errand reporters. Alternatively a positive
outlook in future issues of the media could play the same role of
In concluding remarks, I should say that in this environment of peace and
prosperity, room for stereotype does not exist. It has to be finally laid
to rest. What better time than now.
The author is a retired Vice
President from C-I-L Inc. and has lived in Canada for the past 34 years. A
graduate of Punjab University and University of Missouri; Rolla, USA, the
author is a former investment strategies analyst and international
relations manager. The Views expressed are his own. email-
Do you wish to reach IndiaCause readers?
Write @ IndiaCause
Copyright and Disclaimer:
The author is solely responsible for the contents of the
opinion/column/letter. IndiaCause does not represent or endorse the
accuracy, completeness or reliability of any opinion, statement, appeal,
advice or any other information in the article. Our readers are free to
forward this page URL to anyone. This column may NOT be transmitted or
distributed by others in any manner whatsoever (other than forwarding or
weblisting page URL) without the prior permission from
IndiaCause and the author.
BPO - Serving America and the
West with Pleasure
March 09, 2004
Any International Laws, That
Could Prosecute A Q Khan?
February 28, 2004
Has America Gained Control of
Their Nuclear Weapons?
February 22, 2004
Disband US State Department"s
Nuke Proliferation Lobby
February 12, 2004
End Muslim Terrorism by Ending
Wahabism Influence in SA February 01, 2004
BPO Backlash in USA & UK and
Elections Year Politics
January 25, 2004
India, Pakistan Dialogue – Who
could spoil the Party? January 16,
Iran’s Disclosure of Pak’s Aid
and Ceasefire in Kashmir
January 08, 2004
Strategic Importance of
Pakistan August 23, 2003
India - The Strategic Partner
July 19, 2003
US Aid and Mood of the Masses in Pakistan
July 12, 2003