Spectrum: Summary of Survey of British Policies in India Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

UPSC: Spectrum: Summary of Survey of British Policies in India Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

The document Spectrum: Summary of Survey of British Policies in India Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

Administrative Policies 

Contrary to their pre-1857 intentions of trying to modernize India on progressive lines, now the administration adopted blatantly reactionary policies on the pretext that Indians were not fit for self-governance and needed British presence in their lives.

Divide and Rule

  • Determined to avoid a united mass action challenging their authority, the British rulers in India decided to practice a naked policy of divide and rule.

Hostility Towards Educated Indians: 

  • At a time when the nationalist movement was born (Indian National Congress was founded in 1885), the British interpreted the moves as a challenge to their authority and adopted a hostile attitude to such leadership.

Attitude Towards the Zamindars: 

  • In their pursuit of reactionary policies and hope to expand their social base, the British looked for alliances with the most reactionary of social groups—the princes, zamindars, etc.

Attitude Towards Social Reforms: 

  • Having decided to side with the reactionary elements of Indian society, the British withdrew support to social reforms,

Underdeveloped Social Services: 

  • A disproportionately large expenditure on army and civil administration and the cost of wars left little to be spent on social services

Labour Legislations The Indian Factory Act, 1881 dealt primarily with the problem of child labor (between 7 and 12 years of age).

  • Its significant provisions were:
    (i) Employment of children under 7 years of age prohibited.
    (ii) Working hours restricted to 9 hours per day for children.
    (iii) Children to get four holidays in a month.
    (iv) Hazardous machinery to be properly fenced off.

The Indian Factory Act, 1891

  • Increased the minimum age (from 7 to 9 years) and the maximum (from 12 to 14 years) for children,
  • Reduced maximum working hours for children to 7 hours a day,
  • Fixed maximum working hours for women at 11 hours per day with a one-and-a-half-hour interval (working hours for men were left unregulated),
  • Provided weekly holiday for all.Various Factory ActsVarious Factory Acts

Restrictions on Freedom of the Press

  • Lytton, fearing an increased influence of the nationalist press on public opinion, imposed restrictions on Indian language press through the infamousVernacular Press Act, 1878. This Act had to be repealed under public protest in 1882.

White Racism

  • The notion of white superiority was maintained very carefully by the colonial rulers by systematically excluding the Indians from higher grades of services— both civil and military.

British Social and Cultural Policy in India

Till 1813, the British followed a policy of non-interference in the social, religious, and cultural life of the country.

After 1813, measures were taken to transform Indian society and its cultural environs because of the emergence of new interests and ideas in Britain of the nineteenth century in the wake of significant changes in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of these changes were

➢ Industrial Revolution 

  • Which began in the 18th century and resulted in the growth of industrial capitalism. The rising industrial interests wanted to make India a big market for their goods and therefore required partial modernization and transformation of Indian society.

➢ Intellectual Revolution

  • Which gave rise to new attitudes of mind, manners, and morals. French Revolution which with its message of liberty, equality, and fraternity, unleashed the forces of democracy and nationalism.

➢ Characteristics of New Thought-Some of the characteristics of the new wave of thought were

  • Rationalism advocated faith in reason and a scientific attitude.
  • Humanism advocated the love of man. These ideals gave rise to liberalism, socialism, and individualism.
  • The doctrine of Progress according to which nothing is static and all societies must change with time.

➢ Schools of Thought

  • Conservatives advocated the introduction of a few changes as possible.
  • Paternalistic Imperialists were sharply critical of Indian society and culture and used to justify the economic and political enslavement of India.
  • Radicals went beyond the narrow criticism and imperialistic outlook of the Conservatives and the Imperialists and applied advanced humanistic and rational thought to the Indian situation.

➢ Indian Renaissance

  • There were many Indians who instigated social reform and caused legislation to be brought about so as to control and eradicate social evils embedded in so-called tradition.

➢ Dilemma Before the Government

  • The government feared that too much modernization might generate forces hostile to their interests

➢ Role of Christian Missionaries

  • The missionaries regarded Christianity to be a superior religion and wanted to spread it in India through westernization. Towards this end, the Christian missionaries
  • supported the Radicals whose scientific approach, they believed, would undermine the native culture and beliefs;
  • supported the Imperialists since law and order and the British supremacy was essential for their propaganda; and
  • Sought business and the capitalist support holding out the hope to them that the Christian converts would be better customers of their goods.

British Retreat

The Indians proved to be apt pupils and shifted rapidly towards modernization of their society and assertion of their culture.

➢ British Policy Towards Princely States

  • Subordination of princely states to British authority was completed when the fiction of Indian states standing in a status of equality with the Crown as independent, sovereign states ended with the Queen adopting the title of Kaiser-i- Hind (Queen Empress of India) in 1876, to emphasize British sovereignty over entire India.

➢ British Foreign Policy in India

  • The pursuance of a foreign policy led to India’s conflicts with neighboring countries. These conflicts arose due to various reasons. 
  • Firstly, political and administrative consolidation of the country. Secondly, the British Government had as its major aims in Asia and Africa protection of the invaluable Indian empire; expansion of British commercial and economic interests; Keeping other European imperialist powers, whose colonial interests came in conflict with those of the British, at an arm’s length in Asia and Africa.
The document Spectrum: Summary of Survey of British Policies in India Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
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