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Thread: British Raj did more harm than good in Indian subcontinent: UK Supreme Court debate

  1. #61
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    defcon,

    I find it fascinating that people over here are trying to find some leg to stand on desperately to justify the cruelty of their ancestors who murdered, raped, stole and enslaved millions in India, Americas and Australia. Even something as laughable as it was for better sanitation and railways.
    i advise you not to go about throwing personal insults like that. MY ancestors actually happened to be colonized by several rather more savage powers than the British. i'm a citizen of a country that WAS a colony of the british.

    for that matter so is BF.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    defcon,

    i advise you not to go about throwing personal insults like that. MY ancestors actually happened to be colonized by several rather more savage powers than the British. i'm a citizen of a country that WAS a colony of the british.

    for that matter so is BF.
    How is that a personal insult? If you think that was a personal insult, well how do you think we feel when we are being told that the British were good for us in the same way that other countries would be told how good it was under USSR rule or Japanese rule. We would be completely within our rights to say that is a personal insult.

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    BM,

    here's the personal insult in what defcon said:

    "people over here are trying to find some leg to stand on desperately to justify the cruelty of their ancestors"

    i don't think either myself or BF are trying to JUSTIFY anything. we're not out to clear the names of our ancestors, lol. we're trying to EXPLAIN something, which is a different kettle of fish.

    nor are we saying that the "British were good for Indians", as i think both of us have said that imperialism is Not a Good Thing. over and over. and when we DO mention the positive roles the British may have played, we always add multiple qualifiers.
    Last edited by astralis; 05 Oct 14, at 01:52.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    No, my statement stands. It referred to India inheriting a particular form of government from Britain. Not even someone as terminally wedded to selective interpretation of facts and cherry picking as you can deny that (try as you might). India didn't develop democratic structures out of thin air, they were adopted from the colonizer. That doesn't mean Britain gets any credit for India still being a democracy in 2014, but it does get most of the credit for India being a democracy in 1947.
    The credit I think goes to British experiences developing representative govts in the US and Canada. Had there been no such precedent, evolution of self-rule in British India would have been very different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    The credit I think goes to British experiences developing representative govts in the US and Canada. Had there been no such precedent, evolution of self-rule in British India would have been very different.
    The British never developed representative governments in the US. That was the US's biggest reason for the Revolutionary War and why US separated from Britain. Canada and Australia were granted Dominion status in the late 1800s or on the onset of 20th century. Dominion status was not even on the cards for India because of the "white man's burden" complex crap. And we very well saw how that "white man's burden" turn out to be.

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    BM,

    Dominion status was not even on the cards for India because of the "white man's burden" complex crap.
    note that even for the "white" Dominions they did not achieve full parity with Britain until the Imperial Conference of 1926.

    Dominion status for India had been only discussed seriously in India (among the new class of educated middle class Indians like Gokhale) since the 1890s. the IDEA of it actually spread pretty fast-- by 1917 Balfour was already talking about Dominion status and by 1919 the British Parliament had already laid out the groundwork for the Indian Dominion (Government of India Act 1919 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    absent the Nazi threat in the 1930s followed by WWII, there was probably a pretty good chance that India would have become an independent Dominion by the late-1930s.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    BM,

    here's the personal insult in what defcon said:

    "people over here are trying to find some leg to stand on desperately to justify the cruelty of their ancestors"

    i don't think either myself or BF are trying to JUSTIFY anything. we're not out to clear the names of our ancestors, lol. we're trying to EXPLAIN something, which is a different kettle of fish.
    You most definitly are, you need to read your own posts.
    nor are we saying that the "British were good for Indians", as i think both of us have said that imperialism is Not a Good Thing. over and over. and when we DO mention the positive roles the British may have played, we always add multiple qualifiers.
    You need to read the thread title.

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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    absent the Nazi threat in the 1930s followed by WWII, there was probably a pretty good chance that India would have become an independent Dominion by the late-1930s.
    That is an interesting twist, the freedom movement pushed for self rule in the 20s. So the idea was to get independence much before the war began. Without WW2, i don't see the Brits agreeing to it. Dominion would have been a compromise of sorts i suppose. But would it have been enough. maybe in the short term.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Oct 14, at 13:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    The British never developed representative governments in the US. That was the US's biggest reason for the Revolutionary War and why US separated from Britain. Canada and Australia were granted Dominion status in the late 1800s or on the onset of 20th century. Dominion status was not even on the cards for India because of the "white man's burden" complex crap. And we very well saw how that "white man's burden" turn out to be.
    Dominion status for Canada was a result of British losing their American colonies after refusing to grant them self-govt. Dominion status for India was being discussed since 1915 until 1930s. Our nationalist leaders initially demanded dominion status, not full independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    The British never developed representative governments in the US.
    Yes they did. All Lower Houses in the Colonies were elected.
    Chimo

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    The British were not ideal - no imperialist is- but we were arguably the most humane of the major imperial powers. Imagine swathes of India resembling Belgian Congo..awful to contemplate in human terms. Some of the British respected Indian culture, and in retrospect Parliamentary democracy has turned out to be one of the most stable, inclusive and beneficial systems imaginable for India.

    It will be interesting to watch India develop further as it crosses a key inflexion point in its' history, still retaining a British paradigm of government. That (semi-liberal) Parliamentary system has spawned the growth of a massive bourgeois class that will tremendously boost Indian economic and military power in the years ahead; you will rebase your nominal GDP to Germany-sequel size, next year I believe, for example. The key question is whether this offsets the spectres of poverty, famine and religious cleavage of India immediately post 1947.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    BM,



    note that even for the "white" Dominions they did not achieve full parity with Britain until the Imperial Conference of 1926.

    Dominion status for India had been only discussed seriously in India (among the new class of educated middle class Indians like Gokhale) since the 1890s. the IDEA of it actually spread pretty fast-- by 1917 Balfour was already talking about Dominion status and by 1919 the British Parliament had already laid out the groundwork for the Indian Dominion (Government of India Act 1919 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
    On paper it sounded nice but in reality it wasn't put into practice. The British would put in so many qualifiers as you called it and it became worthless not even worth the paper it was printed on. It was just a nice piece of legal fiction or propaganda put forth by the British to feel good about themselves and justify their actions.

    absent the Nazi threat in the 1930s followed by WWII, there was probably a pretty good chance that India would have become an independent Dominion by the late-1930s.
    That was a myth along the same lines as the "Lost Cause" propagated by the South.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by cataphract View Post
    Dominion status for Canada was a result of British losing their American colonies after refusing to grant them self-govt. Dominion status for India was being discussed since 1915 until 1930s. Our nationalist leaders initially demanded dominion status, not full independence.
    Yes they did only to realize that dominion status was worthless when they realized that the British wasn't gonna let them run their way. It was a classic case of "Do as I say, not what I do".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duellist View Post
    The British were not ideal - no imperialist is- but we were arguably the most humane of the major imperial powers. Imagine swathes of India resembling Belgian Congo..awful to contemplate in human terms.
    Sorry that was a myth along the lines of the "Lost Cause". There is a long line of atrocities done by the British that never came to light until recently. You were no different from any other imperial power.

    Some of the British respected Indian culture, and in retrospect Parliamentary democracy has turned out to be one of the most stable, inclusive and beneficial systems imaginable for India.
    It wasn't decided by the British to have a parliamentary system for India. Indians decided that after 1947. It took India three years of debate to come up with a constitution. The British didn't draft the Indian constitution. Indians did that. For that matter, during the 3 years, there was heavy debate as for what version of democracy to go for, Presidential style or Parliamentary style. So I fail to see how British can derive credit for that.

    It will be interesting to watch India develop further as it crosses a key inflexion point in its' history, still retaining a British paradigm of government. That (semi-liberal) Parliamentary system has spawned the growth of a massive bourgeois class that will tremendously boost Indian economic and military power in the years ahead; you will rebase your nominal GDP to Germany-sequel size, next year I believe, for example. The key question is whether this offsets the spectres of poverty, famine and religious cleavage of India immediately post 1947.
    Nice to able to say that you can take credit for all the hard work done by the Indians. Look at other former colonies and they have similar parliamentary systems and see how well they are doing. Most of them not so well with the exception of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda.

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