Impoverished India

On this eve of Independence, when the world will sleep and India will awaken to life and freedom. (Shri.J.l.Nehru)
I would like to highlight some surprising statistics and state of economy during period of Colonization.
The British rule and conquest had a paltriness impact on Indian economy.
After British imposed a policy of one-way free trade on India after 1813 which leads to sanctions imposed on India artisans , handicrafts  and million of peasants who had supplemented their income by part time spinning and weaving and millions of artisans lost their traditional livelihood and become agricultural laborers or petty tenants as a result-
" Acc to Census reports, between 1901 and 1941 alone the percentage of population dependent on agriculture increased from 63.7% to 70%."   
  After policy of Robert Clive and Warren Hastings of extracting to largest possible of Land revenue had led to devastation as a result-
"Land revenue demand went on increasing year after year from Rs. 15.3 Crore in 1857-58 to Rs. 35.8 Crore "
  After failing to fulfill such high demands of revenue peasants their debt increased to many folds as a result -
"In 1911 the total rural debt was estimated at Rs.300 Crore . By 1937 it amounted to Rs. 1800 Crore

The pressure of taxation and growing poverty pushed the cultivators into debt which in turn increased their poverty.Thus the peasantry was crushed under triple burden of the Government, the Zamindar/ Landlord and the money lender as a result-
" It has been calculated that in 1950-51 land rent and money lenders interest amounted to Rs. 1400 Crore  or roughly equal to 1/3rd of total agriculture produce for the year." 

Over crowding of agriculture , excessive  land revenue demands  and increase in subinfuedation led to subdivision and fragmentation of land in to small holdings. Government of India couldn't help agriculture and had spent by 1905 over 360 crores of rupees on railways demanded by British business interest , it spent less than 50 crores in irrigation  

Indian agriculture was technology stagnated.
 For example, In 1951, there were only 930,000 iron ploughs where 31.8 Million wooden ploughs were used. In 1922-23 only 1.9% of all cropped land was under improved seeds which rose to only 11% by 1938-39. In 1939 there were onlt 6 agricultural colleges with 1306 students. 

British favors de-industrialisation of India and an important development in the second half of the 19th century  is industrialization.The machine age in India started when cotton textile , jute and coal mining industries were started in the 1850's. The first textile mill was started in Bombay by Cowasjee Nanabhoy in 1853and first Jute mill in rushra, Bengal in 1855.In 1879 there were 56 cotton textile mills in India employing nearly 43,000 persons.In 1882 there were 20 jute mills employing 20,000 persons. By 1905, India had 206 cotton mills employing 1,96,000 persons. 

The paltriness of this India Industrialization is brought out by the fact that out of the population of 357 Millions in 1951 only about 2.3 millions were employed in modern industries .The Indian Planning commission has calculated that the number of persons engaged in processing and manufacturing fell from 10.3 million in 1901 to 8.8 million in 1951 even though population was increased by  nearly 40 %.

India was rich in cash which can  be jusified by this. In 1914, foreign banks  held over 70% of all banks deposits in India ; by 1937 their share had decreased to 57 %.

According to William Digby , a british writer , has calculated that , in all , over  28,825,000 people died during famines from 1854 to 1901.

India presented the paradox of a poor people living in a rich country.



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