Was British rule in India mostly benevolent or malevolent?

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Colonization is never a benevolent process. Colonization inherently involves violating the consent of the people who become colonized. The British East India Company forced the English language upon Indians, with the goal of creating a small class of bi/multilingual Indians who would play a managerial/pacifying role in Indian society. In...

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Colonization is never a benevolent process. Colonization inherently involves violating the consent of the people who become colonized. The British East India Company forced the English language upon Indians, with the goal of creating a small class of bi/multilingual Indians who would play a managerial/pacifying role in Indian society. In a horrific 1835 letter from a member of the Board of Control Secretary to the Board of Control Lord Macaulay, the Governor-General was encouraged to teach English to a minority of Indians. The letter expresses,

We must do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.

The British also denied Indians access to riding in first-class compartments of train cars. In the mid-1800s, thousands of Indian workers died building railroads that primarily served to steal resources such as coal, iron ore, cotton, and jute from India and send them to British factories. Indians paid financially, in labor, and in the loss of thousands of lives for the construction of these railroads, and once they were created, first-class compartments were labeled, "Dogs and Indians are not allowed."

Under British colonial rule, Indian farmers had their rice fields stolen from them, and the British rulers forced them to grow jute for textile production. This act from the British created a horrific famine between 1943 and 1944 that resulted in the deaths of over four million people. When Indians petitioned the British government for aid, the Prime Minister refused to provide aid and instead sent ships providing grains to Australia right by India without stopping to drop off any aid. When the British finally did provide a meager amount of food, they forced starving, exhausted Indians to walk ten miles (which the British called "the distance test") to the relief camp, where they received far under daily nutritional requirements.

These are just three specific examples of how horrible British colonial rule over India was.

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