Dr Shashi Tharoor raised some points at the Oxford Union about British rule in India. He pointed out that how British exhausted India resources for British Empire gain. We present 15 points which will prove that Dr. Tharoor spoke truth nothing more nothing less.
1. “The whole of the public debt of India, built up in a century of the company’s rule, was created by debiting India with the expenses incurred in England. India’s “Gift” of One Hundred Million Pounds to England. Since the above was put in type our work fears have come to be true .The British Government of India has decided, with the sanction of the secretary of state for India, to float a war loan in India of an unlimited amount The idea is to make a gift of $100,000,000 (or $500,000,000) to the British Exchequer. The amount of the loan , or as much is raised, will be made over to the Government of Great Britain and liability for the rest will be accepted by the Government of India. The British cabinet have , with the sanction of The house of commons, accepted this “gift” and in lieu therefore allowed the Indian Government to raise their customs duty on the imports of cotton goods by four percent.ad valorem. This transaction involves an additional burden of $6000,000 a year (or$30,000,000) on the Indian tax payer. It is expected that out of this some $1,000,000 will be recovered by the additional duty on cotton imports and the rest will be raised by additional taxation.
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2. The net amount remitted to England by representatives of East India Company on account of revenue, after defraying all the civil and military charges from 1765 to 1771 amounted to a little over four million pounds sterling. The total amount raised totalled a little over thirteen million pounds. Most of what constituted civil and military charges also went to England in one shape or another.
3. “India in the Victorian Age,” Dutt quotes the opinion of Colonel Sykes, a distinguished director of the East India Company, who “spoke of the economic drain from India of £3,300,000 to £3,700,000 a year” and remarked that “It is only by the excess of exports over imports that India can bear this tribute.”
4. Mr. A. J. Wilson, in an article in the Fortnightly Review, of March, 1884, wrote: “In one form or another we draw fully £30,000,000 a year from that unhappy country (India), and there the average wages of the natives is about £5 per annum, less rather than more in many parts. Our Indian tribute, therefore, represents the entire earnings of upwards of six millions heads of families — say of 30,000,000 of the people. It means the abstraction of more than one tenth of the entire sustenance of India every year.”
5. “The Truth About ‘The Drain,’ ” published and distributed free by the East India Association of London (April, 1909) : “What are the facts about the drain of India’s wealth into Great Britain? It has been assumed that there is a drain, but the nature and extent of this drain has been highly exaggerated, and sometimes grossly misrepresented. The official ‘drain’ is included in what are known as the ‘home charges,’ and these ‘Home charges’ for the three years from 1904 to 1907 amount on the average to £19,000,000 a year, reduced to about £18,000,000 by deducting sundry receipts. These £18,000,000 can roughly summarised and grouped under the following heads:
7. By 1844-45 the total debt of India had reached the figure of forty three and one-half million pounds. This included the enormous expense of the Afghan war to which England contributed only a small part of the fifteen millions expended, although in the words of John Bright, the whole of this expenditure “ought to have been thrown on the taxation of the people of England, because it was a war commanded by the English cabinet, for objects supposed to be English.”
8. Montgomery Martin wrote in 1838: “ This annual drain of £3,000,000 on British India, compounded in thirty years at 12 per cent. (the usual Indian rate) compound interest to the enormous sum of £723,997,917 sterling; . . . So constant and accumulating a drain even on England would soon have impoverished her; how severe then must be its effects on India, where the wages a labourer is from two-pence to three-pence a day?
9. Mr. Digby says: “ Estimates have been made which vary from £500,000,000 to nearly £1,000,000,000. Probably between Plassy and waterloo the last mentioned sum was transferred from Indian hoards to English banks. “ In estimating the loss to India in the nineteenth century the start must be made with Mr. Martin’s figures: “ Loss to India, prior to 1834-35 compound interest, at twelve per cent. £723,000,000 “The average annual loss, taking the trade tables alone, has been shown to be about £7,500,000.
10. “ Even leaving out the profit and taking no account of the opium monopoly, India has sustained a drain of nearly £280,000,000 in the twenty years. The exports for 1876-77 were £65,000,000, and the imports, exclusive of bullion, were £37,427,000, with bullion, nearly £49,000,000.”
11. It is to be noted that in 1905-06 the public debt of India was classified as follows:- Railways, Irrigation and Ordinary was £149,035,455 £27,050,799 and £54,425,226.
12. “We give the following instances: 1. Lord Lytton’s Afghan Wars — ‘India bleeds silenly.’ 2. In 1890, our wars of pinpricks cost six or seven million pounds sterling. Once more, ‘India bleeds silently.’ 3. An agent trails his coat in Chitral, a war follows, India pays and the agent is Knighted and promoted. 4. The events of August 2 , 1897, take place beyond the Khyber Pass a serious war follows. Once more, India bleeds, — this time, happily, not quite in silence”.
13. The following Copper “ Copper ore is likewise widely distributed over the country, especially in the north, but it is nowhere now worked profitably, whereas the importation of copper amounts to nearly £2,000,000.”
Extract from an article by A. Yusaf Ali, a retired Indian Civil Servant, published in The Nineteenth Century and After for February, 1917: “ The Indian Income Tax brings within its net only 3323,900 persons out of a of 244 millions in British India, the exemption limit being as low as 66 pounds (that is $330). Only 13,000 persons have an income of 666 pounds ($3,330) or over in British India.”
14. Extracts from an article by Mr. Manohar Lal, B. A. (Cantab), late Minto Professor of Economics in the University of Calcutta, published in the Indian Journal of Economics for July, 1916: “ The average income per head has remained the same (that is $10 a year) during the last thirty years and more …. It is a fact that deserves careful study at the hands of all students that with signs of growing prosperity everywhere, with an undoubted advance in the whole apparatus of industrial life, the average Indian income has remained stationary.
15. How the Villager: Live in the Madras Presidency — An Article from the Tribune of Lahore of January 19, 1917. In England and other European countries the study of the condition of the working classes has led to their improvement. A similar study of the condition of the Indian people is necessary to devise measures for their economic improvement. The Government were asked several times to hold such enquiries in villages exposed to frequent famines. But they thought that it would serve no useful purpose to do so. In England private individuals and public associations have aroused sympathy for the working classes and Government have readily adopted necessary reforms. It would be useful if similar work was undertaken by individuals and associations in India.
Says Mr. A. J. Wilson (“An Empire in Pawn”), p. 26: “The Indian people pay altogether more now than ever they did. More of the net prooeeds of their labour goes every year to pay the foreign debt charges under one head or another, because the aggregate of these charges increases.”
Source of all the points