Critical examination of the role of British rule in the birth of Indian Nationalism
When Indian Nationalism emerged on the scene the British colonial rulers made every possible offered to suppress it. And when the British could not succeed in their design, they started claiming that Indian Nationalism was the product of changes brought by them.
British Scholars, Richard Copeland emphasized that Indian Nationalism was the child of the British Raj. This opinion was supported by other English Scholars because the interpretation was in tune with the needs of the British colonial Empire. It was attacking the ethical Indian moral Foundation of Indian Nationalism.
British rule in India was Colonial in character. It was guided by British interest. It was just despotic, unfeeling, and insensible. The British never thought about Indian welfare and progress.
Whatever the reforms the British initiated in India, all of them were guided by British interest. None of their positive work was aimed at the betterment of Indians.
Political unification was carried out to establish an extensive British colonial Empire.
Uniform Administration and model legal system were introduced to rule India effectively. There this was not aimed at strengthening the sense of unity among Indians.
Modern means of communication such as Railways, Postal systems, telegram, etc. were introduced to meet the strategic and economic needs of the British colonial Empire. The railways were introduced to facilitate the export of raw materials and import of British manufactured goods.
Modern Western education was introduced to create a class of Indians that would be “Indians in color but Europeans in taste”. So that the market of the British goods could be expanded.
Similarly, the modern press was introduced to carry out the westernization of India.
Growth and sense of unity and Awakening among Indians were indirect and unintended outcomes.
Colonialism and nationalism are anti-thesis to each other. Colonialism can never be the father of nationalism. Therefore it is not correct to say that Indian Nationalism was a child of British rule because the British did nothing to facilitate the birth of Indian Nationalism.