Friday, September 17, 2010

“The emergence of new social classes in British India was the direct consequence of the establishment of new social economy, new state system, administrative machinery and Western education.” Discuss. (CSE 2008)

When British entered India, it was not a unitary state. There were presences of many Princely states. Some states were prosperous and some were not. Indian over all social, economic condition had not developed.

British introduced many social reform measures like abolition of sati in 1829, Widow Remarriage Act 1856 and etc. created infrastructure like introducing railways in India. These railways helped industries to get access to the market and also the raw material centers.

British introduced a new system of administration in India. Modern judiciary came up. It emphasizes for decentralized type of government. They introduced a Rule of Law in the territories. A natural corollary to the principle of equality before the law. This certainty was a novel feature in caste-ridden society.

The western education introduced by British helped Indian middle class to get English education. Because of modern education, this introduced English language helped to unite the country.

Apart from all these benefits, British new type of education, administration and social policies created new social classes in India. Earlier Indian society was divided on the basis of the caste, now it was divided on the basis of class.

The people who were able to enter the British administration system were elite class. They got the benefit of British education system and entered the administrative system of British. These people were loyal to the Britishers. Other people who were loyal to British were Zamindars.

One more class was middle educated class. But this section of people was not loyal to British. They took the help of British policies. They are the people who created national awakening among the people. They also worked to remove the social evils of the society.

One more and the last class was the people who are exploited by the British. They are not getting the benefits of the British policy. These people are the agrarian class people. These people are exploited by the Zamindars.

Therefore, we can say that British new education system, economic development created a class society.


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