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Days of the Raj Being Numbered

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Submitted By Jay786
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“Study sources R, S and T. How far do these sources suggest that the days of the Raj were numbered?”
The Raj refers to the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 until India’s independence in 1947. Thus the days of the Raj were ‘numbered’. The word ‘numbered’ refers to the idea that the British rule in India was limited; hence the imperialist powers were being eradicated gradually. Due to Indian rebellion against the British rule, Britain’s slowly diminished their political and military battle with India.
The British had introduced various new things for India, i.e. democracy. Before the British rule, India was governed by the Mughal Emperors who were essentially dictators. The British introduced a system of multi-party democracy for India’s various state councils and regional legislatures, whereby the people’s representatives were elected by popular vote. Britain introduced a Western style infrastructure to all aspects and levels of Indian affairs, which was fare more sophisticated and efficient than the Mughal period. Britain subsequently modernised India in terms of rail networking, electricity and infrastructure.
Source R suggests that issue of inequality is prevalent as the Indians “despised the local British”… implying the Indians already developed an element of dislike for the British people. Thus the term “despised” portrays the negative attitude towards the British and essentially the unwillingness of adopting the ways of the British culture in to their own. The origins of this source could be questioned as it was written from unknown Indian’s perspective (1951), after India’s independence in 1947. Nirad Chaudhuri recalls his childhood spent in Calcutta. He explains that he wasn’t interested in “hobnobbing with the English in India” this in effect enforces the idea of the Indians not liking the English as socialisation was limited as well. The term ‘hobnobbing’ is used to stress the idea of Indians being able to use their own ability to make decisions of their own accord; and thus no integration amongst the two races were apparent due to hatred. Therefore to some extent this source could be unbiased. The purpose of this source implicates a decree of inequality which was being faced by the Indian people. The British portrayed a lack of equality showing their negative attitude towards Indians. As a result of this the Indians were seen as inferior and had a lower social class in society compared to the British. This principally led to the days of the Raj being numbered as the Indians had started rebelling against British rule, again adapting back to the ways of the Indian culture.
Source S also portrays the issues of inequality similar to Source R in which the Indians face the imperialist ruling of the English. This source implicitly describes the English as “thieves” and talks about the ruling of India. This effectively shows the British as ‘profit making thieves’. The term “thieves” enforces the frustration faced by the Indians. The use of rhetorical questions is used excessively to question the British ways, almost accusing them of “dooming them to hunger fever and plague”. This focuses on the tax which is input on the Indians, therefore implying that people don’t like taxes so the masses will be able to understand what the anonymous person is saying. The origin of this source is from an anonymous leaflet portraying the Indian attitude towards the British in 1907. This source may be reliable as it’s from an anonymous Indian’s perspective, which may not be biased if they’re not part of the British Raj. Clearly the purpose of this source is perhaps the ever changing attitude of the Indians towards the English. The use of rhetorical questions is used to perhaps question the morality of the British and also to awaken the masses from this imperialist ruling. As a result of this it may lead to a form of retaliation against the British Raj. Due to this ‘rebellion’ it is prominent that the power of the British Raj were being eroded as this oppression had led to the Indians being able to increase their consciousness of the inequality and in effect fighting for their independence.
Source T is also similar to both Source R and S as this focuses on the issue of inequality, it mainly focuses on the idea of the ‘British supremacy’ and the hierarchal status of English compared to an Indian. This source was indeed a warning of a new change in the relationships between the Raj and the Indian people were going to come. By the 1900, the British entrenched in India as separate, elite class. Most of them regarded it as their right to rule India. However, opinions differed as to whether this was in the interests of the Indians or the British. Among the Indians, many of whom owed their livelihoods to the British. There was a growing resentment of what they were going to regard as an alien rule. This source explains how the Indians were an “instrument of their own oppression” suggesting how controlling the British truly are. The Indians were “clerks” so they had a lower status, thus their status was diminished and the element of hierarchy was prevalent. This portrayed the Indians as “ignorant and blind” which justified the reasons for the British to ‘teach’ them to be civilised. This source is somewhat explaining the Indians to wake up and realise what is happening. As the Englishmen know they are a “mere handful” compared to the Indians so they could unite together and defeat the Raj. It stresses the importance of the Indian citizens to be educated and become independent thus convincing the Indians to be more aware. The origin of the source is from an address made by Bal Gangadhar Tilak to the Indian National Congress in 1907. Which is during the British Raj, so in effect could be a step to defeating the Raj if the Indians became aware and retaliated.
In conclusion to this all the sources are against the British Raj, portraying them as negative which led to the days of the Raj being numbered. Therefore one could argue that according to all the sources the power of the Raj was eradicated slowly which led to India’s independence in 1947, where the Indian people untied as one nation to defeat the imperialistic authority of the Raj and be an independent country.

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