Did the British help Indians in the field of education and medicine? Did they work to develop India ?
Before you disagree agree with me, if not for the British you and me wouldn’t be able to communicate in a common language.
Education in India
Shashi Tharoor in an questionnaire claims that India was a country with a good gdp before the British, the British exploited the country and they didn’t improve the educational system in India.
One can’t deny the fact that the British exploited India but was India actually rich and there was no one poor before they invaded ? Was everyone educated and rich irrespective of caste and Creed? The answer is no, India is a country where casteism has been rooted in our minds and society for generations.
Before the British era, women and dalits were denied education. Widowed women were burnt alive. Unmarried women were taken as devadasis. It was Lord William Bentinck who abolished sati in 1829.
Before the British invasion the education was commenced under the supervision of Guru in Gurukhuls and the medium of education was Sanskrit which on purpose limited it to the elites and excluded the lower caste people.
Yes, lower caste people of those days were denied the right to education. The medium of education in India before the British era was Sanskrit and Persian as we all know it is limited to people of particular set. It was Sir Thomas James Babington Macaulay who converted the medium of education from Sanskrit/ Persian to English. A language alien to all. There were people called Orientalists who argued the medium should be Sanskrit or Persian and not English. William Bentinck denied that and supported the English medium system.
The missionaries built Schools based on English medium with the idea of education to all. The educational policy of the British eventually increased the literacy rate. Literacy rates in accordance to British in India rose from 3.2 per cent in 1881 to 7.2 per cent in 1931 and 12.2 per cent in 1947.
However it wasn’t easy for the women and lower caste people to get their education. Women were still denied their right. Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy was the first women doctor in India. If not for the British we wouldn’t have Dr. Ambedkar and Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy (the iron lady who abolished devadasi system in Tamil Nadu). I believe I don’t have to explain the hardships they would have undergone.
The British improved the educational system and made it to a global standard. You may say Indians built IIT and IIM that wouldn’t have been possible without Nehru who was educated in the English way of education. You wouldn’t be reading this what I write if we didn’t have a common language (English). Mr. Tharoor
You wouldn’t be able to give speeches in Oxford and Cambridge if not for the English educational system.
Secondly you were talking about the average life expectancy which was 27 by the time British left India. Well yes that was completely not the time of modern medicine our children are going and pursuing education in modern medicine because of the English educational system. Look back in history we would have migrated from town to town every time an epidemic broke out and if not for vaccines we wouldn’t have been here talking about it.
I am not saying that the British era was a golden age and they worked for developing India. Everything they did was for their selfish reasons and there was greater good in that selfish reason
Finally.. not everything can be stated in the name of facts and data. One has to learn to read between the lines to understand ground reality. Hope those who do the research for you understand and I hope that you would not base arguments without understanding ground reality of those times.