OAS Mains-2019 Daily Answer Writing-29/03/2020

Revolt 1857

Paper:  General Studies Paper-I

Section: History of Modern India

Topic: Revolt 1857, Economic Impact of British Rule

MOdern India by Bipin Chandra

Question 1

Examine the Democratic sentiments of the mutineer of 1857.

Sample Answer

Following are the Democratic Sentiments of the Mutineers:

1. Democratic Institutions-

  1. In Bengal, Bengal Army sepoys formed representative bodies; they chose to call them councils and elected their peers.
  2. In Delhi, they acknowledge the titular emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, but actually constituted a “Court of Administration” consisting the representatives of different rebel contingents to administer Delhi.
  3. In Lucknow too sepoys insisted on constituting a similarly representative court or council.

Thus, the Bengal army sepoys not only had a concept of modern organization, but also put stress on the important question of representation by election.

2. Patriotic Sentiment in the form of Hindu-Muslim unity

          A patriotic color was sought to be given to the slogan of religion. An argument put forth by the rebels was that Hindus and Muslims were monotheists while Christians believed in the trinity. Thus, Muslims and Hindus had common religious values, which they did not share with the English. But beyond this was the idea that both Hindus and Muslims were loyal to India and the English were people of a different race who insulted and exploited Indians.

One can indeed gauge the kind of notions prevalent among the rebels from news papers that were issued during the four months of the rebel regime at Delhi.

3. Use of a language comprehensible to the mass

       The proclamations were generally in spoken Hindustani. For example, the initial proclamation of Prince Birjis Qadr in July 1875 is a printed ne that has Urdu script on the right and Nagari on the left. The texts are nearly identical in both columns, but the Urdu one has very few Persian words and the Nagari has an obliviously to use a language comprehensible to the common people.

Though at that time democratic development were in dormant stage but still the representative bodies they formed were worth prize.


Question 2

What do you understand by the Drain of Wealth during British Rule? Examine its effect on Indian Economy.

Sample Answer

Understanding Drain of Wealth

India was exploited economically by British Empire which drained its wealth in all possible forms viz. manpower, material and resources to serve colonial interests. It transformed Indian economy into dependent and under developed economy. Dadabhai Naoroji and R.C. Dutta through their writing and books (Poverty and Un-British rule in India and Economic History of India respectively) highlighted this process of draining of India’s wealth by British Empire.

There are two main sources of Drain of Wealth:

  1. Direct Drain of wealth by way of salaries and allowances of British officers and soldiers and payment of salaries and allowances of Secretary of State and his offices in London.
  2. Indirect Drain of wealth through export of Indian raw material and import of industrially produced goods, British capital investment in India in shipping and railways, etc. under guarantee scheme in which interests were remitted every year. Thus, trade was biggest source of drain of wealth.

Effect on Indian Economy:

Exposure of true nature of British rule by Dadabhai Naoroji and others aroused Indian against their exploitation. This arousing fully reflected at the time of partition of Bengal when Indian Nationalist decide to wage a economic war against partition in the form of Swadeshi and boycott which remain a permanent weapon till independence.

Thus, Drain of wealth provided a cause as well as weapon (in form of Swadeshi and boycott) to fight against colonial rule.

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