Economic Analysis of British Rule – UPSC GS1

Which names stand out among the large number of Indians who initiated and carried out the economic analysis of British rule during the years 1870-1905? Analyse how they interpreted colonialism and what impact their analyses had on India’s national movement. (200 Words)

Initially, Indians intellectuals looked upon British Raj with a positive attitude, with the hope that the highly developed nation of that time, will also help in the advancement of India.
But gradually, such hopes began to fade away with the discriminatory export-import policies of the Britishers, which deprived many Indian workers from their ancestral livelihood, and the economy of the nation began to crumble.
Dadabhai Naoroji was the first person to look through the plans of the Raj. He wrote the book “Poverty and Unbritish Rule in India”. In this, he exposed the economic policies of the govt, which were detrimental to the countrymen, in the form of the Drain theory.
Another person, R C Dutt, published the book “Economic History of India”, in which he wrote about the entire economic system of the nation under Britishers, since the Battle of Plassey (1757).
Others like, G Subramaniyam Iyer and Gopal Krishna Gokhale, along with many others, worked together to analyse every aspect of the nation’s economy under the colonial rule.
The result of all the analysis was that, all the thinkers began to interpret colonialism as the drain of nation’s wealth, to fill the coffers of the foreign rulers. They understood that the imperialism was being sustained by subordinating India’s economy to Britain’s economy.
Due to these revelations, this period served as the seed time of the national struggle, where the people began to see the real face of the colonial masters. This prepared the base for the more vigorous movements that were to come in the future.



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