What were the benefits of colonialism to India?

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All in all, India suffered under the exploitation of British imperialism much more than it benefited. If we put aside the great damage that was done, we can still point to a few examples of what might be considered to be benefits.

One thing the British changed in India was...

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All in all, India suffered under the exploitation of British imperialism much more than it benefited. If we put aside the great damage that was done, we can still point to a few examples of what might be considered to be benefits.

One thing the British changed in India was an educational system that permitted both boys and girls to attend. While education for boys still outpaced that of girls, and many communities never had any access to schooling at all, overall rates of literacy expanded throughout India during British rule.

Many view the English legal system as a benefit to India. The current legal system of India owes much of its existence to the legacy of the one left by the British. This includes an independent judiciary and a series of appellate courts that function separately from the political apparatus of the state. The British also outlawed infanticide and the suttee (the immolation of widows).

The British also left behind a large degree of infrastructure that post-colonial India has benefitted from. The railway is chief among these. The extensive system of railroads that connect nearly all parts of the country runs along many of the same tracks first laid out by British engineers. Furthermore, the British connected much of India through a system of roads and bridges that span the Himalayas in the North to the backwaters of Kerala in the South. The British also improved communication throughout India with an extensive system of telegraph lines.

Today, India is the world's largest democracy. The political system of the country is a direct legacy of British rule. It should be acknowledged that during its time as a colony, the British political system was frequently imposed upon Indians through coercion and violence aimed at dismantling traditional power structures. However, the British still left a system in place that effectively brings democracy to a nation of over one billion people.

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