Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
How British Rule Ruined the Life of of Artisans and Craftsman in India

From the very day, the British won the Battle of Plassey, the East India Company and its servant's exploited the craftsmen of Bengal. The British pursued the policy of coercion and terror. The artisans were forced to sell their products below the market price. The price was determined by the Company and it was not profitable for the craftsmen. The services and the labour of the craftsmen were hired at very low wages. It was impossible for the craftsmen to adopt their traditional profession.

So they were force to abandon those crafts. The worst affected were the weavers of Bengal and textile industry of Bengal was virtually closed. It was said that the thumbs of the weavers were cut off. Actually it meant that thousands of weavers were made jobless due to closure of weaving industry.

    "While such fine skilled craftsmanship was much relevant in the middle ages. With the coming of mechanization, and mass production, craftsmanship became irrelevant and a waste of manpower. Whenever the British saw competition from craftsmen, it suppressed their arts as in the case of the cutting off the thumbs of the skilled superfine saree weavers of Bengal." [Source: link]

The India that achieved its freedom at midnight on August 14-15, 1947, was the product of several thousand years of history and civilization and, more immediately, of just under two hundred years of British colonial rule. Learned British econometricians have tried to establish that the net result of this experience was neutral--that the British put about as much into India as they took out. The negative side of the ledger is easily listed: economic exploitation (often undisguised looting of everything from raw materials to jewels); stunting of indigenous industry (symbolized by the deliberate barbarity with which, on at least two occasions, the British ordered the thumbs of whole communities of Indian weavers chopped off so that they could not compete with the products of Lancashire).
Source: India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond
Chapter 2 - Two Assassinations and a Funeral: The Death of a Dynasty
by Shashi Tharoor

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2013 at 10:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series