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Spectrum's A brief history of Modern India Brief Notes on Some Aspects of British Rule
wishing. stop start doing Star Educator Topper from Delhi University Top Educator on Unacademy Plus Pursuing P.G 2 Years of teaching experience of General Studies for competitive examination
BRITISH SOCIAL AND CULTURAL POLICY IN INDIA Till 1813 The British followed a policy of non-interference in social, religious and cultural life of the country. After 1813, measures were taken to transform Indian society and its cultural environs because of the emergence of new interests and ideas in Britain of the nineteenth century in the wake of significant changes in Europe during the 18th and the 19th centuries. Some of these changes were Industrial Revolution which began in the 18th century and resulted in the growth of industrial capitalism. The rising industrial interests wanted to make India a big market for their goods and therefore required partial modernisation and transformation of Indian society Intellectual Revolution which gave rise to new attitudes of mind, manners, and morals. French Revolution which with its message of liberty, equality and fraternity, unleashed the forces of democracy and nationalism Characteristics of New Thought Rationalism which advocated faith in reason and a scientific attitude. Humanism which advocated love of man-the belief that every man is an end in himself and should be respected and prized as such. No man has a right to look upon another man as a mere agent of his happiness. These ideals gave rise to liberalism, socialism and individualism Doctrine of Progress according to which nothing is static and all societies must change with time. Man has the capacity to remodel nature and society on just and rational lines.
BRITISH SOCIAL AND CULTURAL POLICY IN INDIA Till 1813 Schools of Thought These new currents of thought caused conflicts among administrators and produced different schools of thought: Conservatives They advocated introduction of as few changes as possible. Indian civilisation, they felt, was different from the European one but not necessarily inferior to it. Many of these thinkers respected Indian philosophy and culture. If at all, Western ideas and practices were to be introduced gradually and cautiously. Social stability was a must, they felt. Early representatives of this school of thought were Warren Hastings and Edmund Burke and later ones included Munro, Metcalfe, and Elphinstone. The Conservatives remained influential throughout and most of the British officials in India were generally of a conservative persuasion. Paternalistic Imperialists They became influential especially after 1800. They were sharply critical of Indian society and culture and used to justify economic and political enslavement of India
Radicals They went beyond the narrow criticism and imperialistic outlook of the Conservatives and the Imperialists and applied advanced humanistic and rational thought to the Indian situation. They thought that India had the capacity to improve and that they must help the country do that. They wanted to make India a part of the modern progressive world of science and humanism and therefore advocated the introduction of modern western science, philosophy and literature. Some of the British officials who came to India after 1820 were Radicals. They were strongly supported by Raja Rammohan Roy and other like-minded reformers. But predominantly, the ruling elements in the British Indian administration continued to be imperialistic and exploitative. They thought that the modernisation of India had to occur within broad limits imposed by the needs of an easier and more thorough exploitation of its resources. In this respect, often the Radicals also towed a conservative line. They desired most of all the safety and perpetuation of the British rule in India; every other consideration was secondary Dilemma Before the Government The Government feared that too much modernisation might generate forces hostile to their interests; thus it was thought to be appropriate to opt for partial modernisation introducing it in some respects and blocking it in others, in other words, a colonial modernization
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