Complete Post-independence History for UPSC CSE resented Palak Sharma uryru
Colonialism and capitalism led to a complex integration of colonies into world economy in a subservient manner. Indian raw material was cheaply exported and finished goods were expensively imported which also destroyed domestic industries, handicrafts and handlooms. Ruined artisans failed to find alternative employment and crowded agriculture as sharecroppers and laborers. Modern industries that were developed were guided colonial interest and they were also stunted in their growth. They couldn't even replace the erstwhile homegrown cottage industries, handlooms and handicrafts Before 1900, cotton, jute and tea dominated and before 1930s, cement, sugar and paper dominated. Hallmark of backwardness of Indian industry was virtual absence of capital goods and machinery industry and equipment were largely imported Further, industrial development was highly uneven in spread. Modern industry contributed a meager 8% of national income at the time of independence. Similarly, electricity and banking was also grossly ignored.
This subservient and disadvantaged position led to extremely poor domestic savings-less than 3% of GNP, as compared to 33% today Even this chunk of savings was misappropriated by the colonial rulers in form of economic drain, military and administrative spending From 1890 to 1947, military spending amounted 50% of total government budget. State support to industries was zero in contrast to most of the European countries at that time. While free trade was established with India no tariff protection was givern to fledgling Indian industry which was done aggressively at home. Similarly, currency policy was manipulated in colonial favor. Further, tax structure was highly iniquitous, as peasantry was heavily taxed and upper class like bureaucrats, landlords etc paid hardly any tax. In 1900, land revenue alone contributed more than 50% of government revenues and salt tax another 16% As a result, poor investment and lack of modernization of agriculture lead to poor produce and stagnation. "
Moneylenders, landlords and middlemen made the situation worse and they too find exploitation of sharecroppers, tenants and laborers easier than investing in agriculture Prime agricultural land was diverted to commercial crops leading to problems of food security as well. At the time of independence, 70% land was with landlords and landlessness was at historic high level of 28% at time of independence. Land holdings had fragmented to uneconomical sizes Better means of communication like railways were used not for development of hinterlands, but to make inroads for exports of rural goods. "Railway freights rates were discriminatory and discouraged internal movement of goods and promoted external trade. India suffered many famines despite good connectivity. Last major famine was Bengal famine of 1943 which took toll of more than 30 lakh lives
Another hallmark of backwardness was high proportion of rural population which stood at more than 80% at the time of independence. Dependency on agriculture increased from 67% in 1901 to more than 70% in 1947 Education was also underdeveloped and technical education was even worse with only 7 engineering colleges at the time of independence. Similarly, health facilities were also poor and there were just 10 medical colleges by 1947 and epidemics were a regular phenomenon. Life expectancy was hardly 30 years. Medium of higher education was English throughout the country. It stifled development of local languages and created a gulf between educated intelligentsia minority and unlettered masses creating a social divide. Learning by rote was promoted at the expense of rational inquiry. Mass education and girls' education were grossly neglected.
By 1947, almost 50% bureaucrats were Indians, but top positions were still manned by nonlndians. Further, bureaucracy was replete with elite class and caste and posed a major challenge in desired social change after independence with its rigid and conservative outlook. "Though ICS officers were largely upright, lower level officials were notoriously corrupt and corruption reached great heights during Second World War as government tried to increase control and taxes. It led to massive black-marketing and corruption. There were some positive features of colonial rule as well. Communication means were well developed. Indian capitalist class also grew after 1914 and by end of Second World War, more than 60% of industry was driven by Indian capital. Indian capitalist class was more enterprising and took bold steps after 1914 Similarly, Indian capital had also made significant inroads in banking and insurance sector. Further, colonial rule also established modern principle Of rule of law and judiciary was also relatively independent despite the fact that judicial system was expensive and detrimental to the poor
Further, for a long time judicial and administrative functions were not separated and bureaucracy wielded enormous power. Several liberties were also extended and press was also modernized. Constitutional reforms were started after 1857, though real power vested with colonial powers. Only 3% of Indians were able to vote by 1919 and just 15% by 1939 British also led administrative unification of India and through a uniform educational, judicial and civil structure they achieved union of India. But paradoxically, they simultaneously also pursued their divide and rule policy as well which culminated into participation and communalization of Indian society. Just a few months before his death, Thakur Rabindranath wrote in 1941 The wheels of fate will someday compel the English to give up their empire. But what kind of India will they leave behind, what stark misery? When the stream of their centuries' administration run dry at last, what a waste of mud and filth will they leave behind them
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