Hindus support for British Raj.

Aug 2019
34
India
Punjabis benefited the most. The only reason the region is as prosperous as it is today is because the British invested so much into making the region fertile through the canal colonies. They were also willing servants to the British army.
That's true, even their support to British Raj during mutiny was second to none. InterestinglyBritish paid handsomely to Sikh with massacre in Amritsar.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Eh, I'm not too sure about that. Rebellion were somewhat common. Some examples include the various tribal uprisings such as the Santhal rebellion, the Paika rebellion in Odisha, Rampa rebellion, Bihar zamindar revolt of 1781, Nagar revolt, Travancore rebellion etc.

You are right though that the Marathas and Sikhs were keen allies off the British.
Marathas were not "allies":

In 1818, all major Marathas kingdoms went down fighting against the British in Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818) - Peshwa at Pune, Scindia at Gwalior, Bhonsle at Nagpur, and Holkar at Indore. The only exception were Gaekwads of Baroda who had aligned early with British and "never raised sword against British".

1857 began as a mutiny in British Army because of persecution of Indian sepoys and . But soon the leadership was taken by erstwhile Maratha, Mughals, and Rajputs. Among Marathas were Nana Sahib, Tatya Tope, Lakshmi Bai, and a few others.

Lull of 25 Years:

There was severest suppression / repression in 1857-58 which include things like tying Indians to cannons & blowing them. Exterminating complete villages . This was followed by disarming Indians (gun licensing), banning martial sports (Kalaripattu in Kerala, Pikas in Odisha). So there was a lull for about 25 years.

Begins Afresh:

Since the Indians were disarmed, struggle for independence revived in the only form it could - religious movements among Hindus and Muslims, and formation of Congress in 1885. While a few of the prominent leaders of these several movements had western education, they were mostly manned by the masses.
 
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Oct 2015
1,138
India
Hindus supported Muslims and Muslims supported Hindus - Not new:

There was nothing special about British colonial rulers which made the Hindus serve in their military or civil administration. Such service & practice was common place in India for many centuries before arrival of British.

The Mughal Empire and Deccan Sultanates had Muslims rulers but had many Hindus in their military & civil administration. Same can be said of Hindu rulers of Vijaynagar kingdom and Maratha Empire. They had Muslims in their military & civil administration.

Main reason for being able to colonize & beneficiaries thereof:

The main power behind British colonial rule was in their military superiority. Further the main beneficiary of the colonial rule were the rulers themselves & their parent country. Military power as basis and economic exploitation as a consequence were clear to the pioneer rulers. Here is a statement dated 1839 from General Tod who had fought against the Marathas and the Rajputs:

“I may conclude these reflections with one more, obviously exemplifying the real nature of our government of the sword.” [1]

Historiography:

In later historiography deliberately changed it with stories like Railways were brought for benefit of Indian etc. IN other words, the raw facts were hidden under all sorts of grammar and wanderings of imagination.

Reference:

[1] Tod, Lt. Colonel James, Travels in Western India. Wm. H. Allen & Co., London. 1839. Reprinted by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Limited, New Delhi. page-66
 
Jan 2019
200
Valencia
In 1818, all major Marathas kingdoms went down fighting against the British in Third Anglo-Maratha War
Sikhs also went down fighting. Most of India did. Doesn't change the fact that Marathas and Sikhs were allied with the British establishment. Just note how many Maratha/Marathi states were afforded princely salute status by the British.

1857 began as a mutiny in British Army because of persecution of Indian sepoys and . But soon the leadership was taken by erstwhile Maratha, Mughals, and Rajputs. Among Marathas were Nana Sahib, Tatya Tope, Lakshmi Bai, and a few others.
The 1857 mutiny was spread throughout most of Northern/Central India and was scattered and disorganised. There was no unified leader as you noted but rather a collection of different local chiefs, most of whom were not Maratha, Mughal or Rajput.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,780
USA
With the western education introduced by the Europeans, enlightenment began to spread among the Indian elite. In the mean time, discoveries of Indian history made by the British also began to spread among them. British were introducing modern secular civil institutions too, and the idea of the separation of religion and state. Indians were Hindu or Muslim, religions where the religious and temporal aspects were fused. All these revolutionary ideas, changes and education instilled among Indians a self awareness of themselves as a unified people, a sense of pride, and more importantly a longing for controlling their own destiny. Still such attitudes were scattered.

It took the initiative of another British, Allen Octavian Hume, to bring it into fruition, by bringing together the western educated Indians for a unified purpose of gaining a greater share of the British Indian government. This body, called Indian national congress, slowly evolved to become political, that in turn eventually led to Indian independence.

Btw, what happened in India is not unique. The same thing, more or less, took place in almost all European colonies, and regions under their influence, though in different ways.
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,396
Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
A great saint of Hinduism, Tulsidas wrote of the people in his "Ramcharit Manas" - 'Kohu bhaye raja hamein ka hani' (whoever is the king, what loss it is that to us'? All kings ask for tax. If it was not and Indian King or Nawab, it were the British. The general mass of people except in Bengal during the company days were not greatly affected by it. They lived in nearly self-sufficent societies.
Tempering with tradition was looked at more seriously, not the rulers. Interfering with tradition cost the 1857 Mutiny and loss to Indira Gandhi in 1977 (Sanjay trying to control population forcibly, vesectomy/nas-bandi) :)
Thank you for the insights!
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Sikhs also went down fighting. Most of India did. Doesn't change the fact that Marathas and Sikhs were allied with the British establishment. Just note how many Maratha/Marathi states were afforded princely salute status by the British.
Word "allies" means groups joining together to fight a common enemy (eg World War-II). Marathas did not fight together with British in this sense of the word.

Many Hindus (and Sikhs, and Muslims) served in British armies which does not make them "allies". Because such service was common in India: Hindus often served in armies of Muslim rulers and Muslims also served in armies of Hindu rulers.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
With the western education introduced by the Europeans, enlightenment began to spread among the Indian elite. In the mean time, discoveries of Indian history made by the British also began to spread among them. British were introducing modern secular civil institutions too, and the idea of the separation of religion and state. Indians were Hindu or Muslim, religions where the religious and temporal aspects were fused. All these revolutionary ideas, changes and education instilled among Indians a self awareness of themselves as a unified people, a sense of pride, and more importantly a longing for controlling their own destiny. Still such attitudes were scattered.

It took the initiative of another British, Allen Octavian Hume, to bring it into fruition, by bringing together the western educated Indians for a unified purpose of gaining a greater share of the British Indian government. This body, called Indian national congress, slowly evolved to become political, that in turn eventually led to Indian independence.

Btw, what happened in India is not unique. The same thing, more or less, took place in almost all European colonies, and regions under their influence, though in different ways.
If one is unwilling or unable to acknowledge and/or discuss the motivations behind the British actions then above conclusions may be correct.
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Education: The introduction of education was to hire local labour for East India Company which came at 10-15% of the cost of hiring a British national in India. It was not aimed at 'enlightening'.
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Study of History: Motivation behind studying Indian history often were to understand the Indian milieu to be able to rule them more securely. Below is opening para of Duff's Preface to History of Marathas (1826 CE). He is clearly interested in understanding rise of British power.
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AO Hume: He was punished and hounded by the mainstream British administration in India. If I remember correctly, he was demoted. His fault? Empathy towards Indians seeing poor treatment by colonial government. See more details in article on him in Wikipedia. Hume was an exception, not the rule. Purpose of Congress, which was created with approval of the Viceroy, was to hear Indian grievances against British rule (before they reached the bursting level).
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Interpreting British actions without reference to the motivations behind those actions, creates an incorrect perspective or, as some say, false narrative.

While some good did come out of contact with British during colonial rule, but a wider picture must encompasses the negative fallouts as well. There were obviously some good and god-fearing men who came as rulers to India. But there were rogues & greedy guys as well. We need to take the broad perspective.

Even the British do not subscribe to one-sided picture today. William Dalrymple's book on East India Company is due for release. Shashi Tharoor has also written a book on British Rule as a whole. There are few more ones as well - on how cotton industry of India was destroyed, on 'shameful withdrawal' in 1947. Old paradigm in history is exactly that - old and outdated.
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kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,780
USA
If one is unwilling or unable to acknowledge and/or discuss the motivations behind the British actions then above conclusions may be correct.
....
Education: The introduction of education was to hire local labour for East India Company which came at 10-15% of the cost of hiring a British national in India. It was not aimed at 'enlightening'.
....
Study of History: Motivation behind studying Indian history often were to understand the Indian milieu to be able to rule them more securely. Below is opening para of Duff's Preface to History of Marathas (1826 CE). He is clearly interested in understanding rise of British power.
....
AO Hume: He was punished and hounded by the mainstream British administration in India. If I remember correctly, he was demoted. His fault? Empathy towards Indians seeing poor treatment by colonial government. See more details in article on him in Wikipedia. Hume was an exception, not the rule. Purpose of Congress, which was created with approval of the Viceroy, was to hear Indian grievances against British rule (before they reached the bursting level).
....
Interpreting British actions without reference to the motivations behind those actions, creates an incorrect perspective or, as some say, false narrative.

While some good did come out of contact with British during colonial rule, but a wider picture must encompasses the negative fallouts as well. There were obviously some good and god-fearing men who came as rulers to India. But there were rogues & greedy guys as well. We need to take the broad perspective.

Even the British do not subscribe to one-sided picture today. William Dalrymple's book on East India Company is due for release. Shashi Tharoor has also written a book on British Rule as a whole. There are few more ones as well - on how cotton industry of India was destroyed, on 'shameful withdrawal' in 1947. Old paradigm in history is exactly that - old and outdated.
....
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No one says that British rule didn't have negative aspects, but its positive aspects are so overwhelming that the negatives don't stand out. There are those who stay focused on the negatives, and exaggerate them. Those efforts come from Indian nationalists who are extremely jealous of what the British, a foreign people, had been able to accomplish in India, that their own ancestors could not. Such views are not accepted as real history except by like minded people. They are also blind to the fact that Indians have a long history of treating other Indians a lot worse than British ever did.

My views are based on generally accepted Indian history, and not on conspiracy or revisionist history created for nationalist reasons.