British Imperialism in India Essay

Words: 1747
Pages: 7

"All the leadership had spent their early years in England. They were influenced by British thought, British ideas, that is why our leaders were always telling the British "How can you do these things? They're against your own basic values.". We had no hatred, in fact it was the other way round - it was their values that made us revolt."
<br>-Aruna Asaf Ali, a leader of the Indian National Congress.
<br>(Masani, quoted in Wood, 32, 1989)
<br>There is no doubt that British imperialism had a large impact on India. India, having previously been an group of independent and semi-independent princedoms and territories, underwent great change under British administration. Originally intended to consolidate their hold on India by establishing
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Even so, a nationalist organisation such as this would not have been possible had it not been for the fact that the British acquainted a group of Indians with European political principles (Cowie 27, 1994).
<br>As well as the moderate nationalism that grew within the Indian National Congress, extreme nationalism was also becoming prevalent. Aside from more violent protesters such as Tilak, nonviolent opposition to British imperialism emerged in protesters such as Gandhi
. In response to the Rowlatt Acts, which enabled a protester or suspected terrorist to be imprisoned without trial, and the Amritsar massacre, in which 379 unarmed anti-British demonstrators were killed, Gandhi advocated a return to traditional Indian simplicity as opposed to Western materialism (Cowie 41, 1994). This dislike of materialism was owed in part to his experiences in England studying law, where "he discovered his Indian heritage through the work of 19th century British scholars who had re-created ancient Indian history and revived interest in ancient Indian literature and language" (Cowie 164, 1982). Gandhi also gained insight into his culture through "discussion with English friends on religion, both Christianity and Hinduism, which he now began to discover on a philosophical level" (Masselos, 121, 1972).
's Western education allowed him to develop his radical technique of ‘satyagraha' or ‘truth force', whereby laws were opposed with the force of