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         regarded as a land of magnificent promise, a land of great for- tune, because of its treasure of brilliant knowledge and match- less affluence. Genuine knowledge seekers from around the world used to visit India in search of truth. However, greedy and power-hungry eyes from across the world always had a villainous desire to rule this land. Such evil forces repeatedly attacked our land, and eventually, could penetrate the bulwark a few centuries ago. These forces pushed the entire country into the state of subjugation by assuming power.
It has been observed in the course of history that there are three main motives that spurred the invasions — a demon- ic desire to rule, a brutal frenzy to spread self-religion and culture through its forceful imposi-
But, acquisition of wealth was not the sole aim of the British Empire. The Oxford History of the British Empire has explic- itly described the other ‘higher’ aim. In the introduction of its fifth volume, the editor-in-chief Wm. Roger Louis writes, ‘Ma- caulay held arrogant but representative views on England’s cultural ascendancy in the world and what he believed to be the benevolent impact of British rule in India and elsewhere. The controversial Minute on Education, written in India in 1835, managed to reconcile British realpolitik and idealism in a way that left a lasting mark on subsequent interpreta- tions of British rule: ‘It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters
tion, and the acquisition of wealth through ruthless plunder. Out of several invaders who attacked India, the last one — the British, too had similar goals. However, compared to previous invaders, the British had distinctly unconventional schemes, methods and tools to realise these goals. The distinctness and uncon- ventionality of tools or methods was due to the newly born ‘science’ in England. The expansion and con- solidation of British rule, first by the East India Company and later by the British crown, was achieved by exercising ‘science’. Surpassing all bounds of previous invasions, in terms of magnitude and consequenc- es, the British invasion turned out to be the most devastative, patently be- cause of ‘science’.
A painting of JC Bose by one of modern India’s most well-known artists, Bikash Bhattacharjee (1940 - 2006)
East India Company earned enormous money through its newly gained stately authority in Bengal. Evidently, that money was utilised as a crucial capital to foster the industrial revolution.
between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.’ It is crystal clear that the ‘higher’ aim was to obliterate the In- dian identity and replace that with British ideas and ideals. This was an attack on the very identity, i.e., ‘swa’ of the nation. The most effective tool to achieve this ‘higher’ goal, obvi- ously, was ‘science’.
British rulers used to claim cul- tural, civilizational, intellectual and racial ‘superiority’, because of the phenomenal success in the develop- ment of reason-based science and technology. The claim of ‘superi-
ority’ gets justified unquestionably when one puts a tag of ‘inferiority’ on the conquered people. Colonisers started defacing Indians as irratio- nal, uncivilized people completely immersed in the pool of weird su- perstitions. The foul play of colonis- ers based on ‘science’ has been ex- posed by renowned scholar Ashish Nandy. He writes, ‘The reader may remember popular anecdotes about colonial adventurers, or scientifical- ly-minded explorers who sometimes scared off or impressed the natives of Asia and Africa with new forms
 The British rule in India began
with their victory against the Nawab
of Bengal at Plassey, in June 1757.
The beginning of the first industrial
revolution in England around 1760
coincided with this episode. East In-
dia Company earned enormous mon-
ey through its newly gained stately
authority in Bengal. Evidently, that
money was utilised as a crucial capi-
tal to foster the industrial revolution.
Another essential factor for the growth of industries is natural resources.
of black magic based on the discoveries of modern science. The civilizing mission of colonialism thrived on this folklore of encounter between western science and savage supersti- tions. But in each such instance, it was science that was put to the use of the colonial state; the state was not put to the use of science.’ It was a serious attempt of British rulers to conquer the ‘swa’ of India by using ‘science’. This was a life- threatening attack. Indians were shaken to the core. It was
Without losing much time, the Company established the Survey of India in 1767 to explore and map the natural riches of Indian territory in a scientific manner. The science was thus administered for the first time to plunder India’s natural wealth. It has been established today that Britain stole around worth $45 trillion from India during its rule of 190 years.
        Image Courtesy: Birla Academy of Art and Culture

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