Can you find a specific scene in Indian Ink where imperialism is seen affecting the Indian culture and/or government?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You might want to think about this question in relation to the cultural imperialism of the British in their conquest of "The Raj." This term is used to refer to the conquest of one culture by another and how the indigenous culture is suppressed or ignored as a result. One way that this is explored in the play is through the British educational system, which taught English art and literature and resulted in educated Indians learning more about such foreign culture than they knew about their own indigenous culture.

Consider how this is reflected when Flora and Das argue about the love Das has of English literature. Flora argues that he should have more love for his own culture than the culture of a power that has subjugated his people. Likewise, when Anish and Mrs. Swan talk about this, Mrs. Swan rather arrogantly compares the colonisation of India to what happened to Britain at the hand of the Romans and the way that Roman culture and practices were imposed on the Britons. Note how Anish responds to this suggestion:

We were the Romans! We were up to date when you were a backward nation. The foreigners who invaded you found a third-world country! Even when you discovered India in the age of Shakespeare, we already had our Shakespeares. And our science—architecture—our literature and art, we had a culture older and more splendid, we were rich!

From Anish's perspective, the Britains came only to plunder and steal the great wealth--cultural and material--that the Indians had accumulated, and this is what lay beneath the motives of the creation of the Raj. 

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