We are analysing some very important aspects coming in the way of India’s growth, because of its past legacy. Need to understand that we have followed the left-over footsteps from British who had ruled for over 200years on a master slave relation.Also we need to analyse how their own systems collapsed from being the largest Empire to a relatively tiny one all because of their policies. We need to start overhauling these if we should not collapse like them but grow as now India has started overtaking them in all major activities starting with the slogan that Sun never sets on British Empire to Sun never sets on Overseas Indian. Let us understand these properly to judiciously start the reorganization. The slogan for this should be India to be Global Soft Superpower.Here things need to be initiated for some catalysing sectors Political, Admin, Legal including Police immediately to be followed by others.
Introduction – British Empire
In the 16th Century, Britain began to build its empire – spreading the country’s rule and power beyond its borders through a process called ‘imperialism ‘. This brought huge changes to societies, industries, cultures, and the lives of people all around the world.Empire is a term used to describe a group of territories ruled by one single ruler or state. Empires are built by countries that wish to control lands outside of their borders. Those lands can be close by or even thousands of miles away. For example, the Roman Empire (1st – 5th Centuries A.D.) stretched all the way from Britain to Egypt.
Throughout history, empire builders have introduced new people, practices and rules to their ‘new’ lands and used its resources for their own gain, at the expense of the indigenous people – the people that inhabited the land first. This process is called ‘colonialism ‘. This was no different with the British Empire. The British Empire is a term used to describe all the places around the world that were once ruled by Britain. Built over many years, it grew to include large areas of North America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa, as well as small parts of Central and South America, too.
The size of the British Empire
The size of the British Empire – the amount of land and number of people under British rule – changed in size over the years. At its height in 1922, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen, covering around a quarter of Earth’s land surface, and ruling over 458 million people.
The 16th Century is often referred to as the ‘Age of Discovery ‘– new thinking about the world and better shipbuilding led to more exploration and the discovery of new lands.England, in what is now Britain, wanted more land overseas where it could build new communities, known as colonies. These colonies would provide England with valuable materials, like metals, sugar and tobacco, which they could also sell to other countries.The colonies also offered money-making opportunities for wealthy Englishmen and provided England’s poor and unemployed with new places to live and new jobs. But they weren’t alone. Other European countries were also exploring the world, discovering new lands and building empires, too – the race was on, and England did not want to be left behind.
The map below shows the overseas Indians in over 200 countries contributing to each of the countries propriety and growth along with contributing to India’s growth.
The British Empire and Indigenous Peoples
The power and wealth that Britain gained as it built its empire came at a price, and tragically, the price was paid largely by the indigenous peoples – tribes and communities who had lived in Britain’s so-called ‘new’ lands for centuries.The unjust treatment of indigenous peoples ran the course of the British Empire. For example, in North America, local people were taken advantage of by greedy traders, robbed of their land and even faced violence and death at the hands of British settlers.
During the Second World War, India suffered some of the worst famines (lack of food) in human history, partly caused by the British government taking vital supplies away from the Indian people to support the war effort elsewhere – causing the death of millions.Indigenous peoples in Africa were affected in their millions. The British took valuable materials like gold, salt and ivory out of Africa and sent it back to Britain, and elsewhere. The British were also heavily involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade in West Africa – more on that, in the next section.
Many indigenous peoples, including Indigenous Australians, lost not just their land, food and possessions, but their traditions, too. When British settlers arrived, they forcibly replaced the beliefs, language, and traditions of indigenous populations with their own, removing their cultural identities.Governments and settlers drew up new borders and land boundaries that split the local people into new countries and categories that didn’t represent them or reflect their heritage, history, and customs. In some countries, these changes are still a source of conflict, even now. Today, many indigenous communities are trying to reconnect with the heritage the British tried to erase, by celebrating their cultural identities and protecting them for the future.
Slavery and the British Empire
One of the most horrific parts of the history of the British Empire was its involvement in the trade of enslaved people – people who were made the property of others and forced to obey their owners’ demands.Throughout history, slavery has existed on all continents and in many societies, but when the European imperialists arrived in Africa in the 15th Century, they began the most organised slave operation the world had ever seen – the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Over the next 400 years, European traders bought and sold an estimated 12 million African people, who were forcibly taken from their homes and shipped across the ocean to the Americas and Europe, where their buyers forced them to work.
Of those 12 million Africans, British slave traders are estimated to have bought and sold over 3 million people – although only 2.7 million are believed to have survived the journey – during which they were cruelly packed onto ships in crowded, dirty conditions. Many enslaved people were only children and were separated from their parents and siblings.Slavery made Britain incredibly wealthy. It provided slave owners with unpaid labour to farm expensive items like sugar, tobacco and cotton, which they could sell for huge profits – at the expense of the enslaved people and their homelands. It also largely funded Britain’s Industrial Revolution, which only went on to make Britain richer.
India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world and is expected to be one of the top three economic powers in the world over the next 10-15 years, backed by its robust democracy and strong partnerships.India’s real GDP to record a growth of 11% in 2021-22 and nominal GDP by 15.4%the highest since independence. The V-shaped economic recovery is supported by the initiation of a mega vaccination drive with hopes of a robust recovery in the services sector and prospects for robust growth in consumption and investment. India remained a preferred investment destination in FY 2020-21 with FDI pouring in amidst global asset shifts towards equities and prospects of quicker recovery in emerging economies. Net FPI inflows recorded an all-time monthly high of US$ 9.8 billion in November 2020, as investors’ risk appetite returned, with a renewed search for yield, and US dollar weakened amid global monetary easing and fiscal stimulus packages. India was the only country among emerging markets to receive equity FII inflows in 2020.India is the fourth-largest unicorn base in the world with over 21 unicorns collectively valued at US$ 73.2 billion, as per the Hurun Global Unicorn List. By 2025, India is expected to have ~100 unicorns by 2025 and will create ~1.1 million direct jobs.India needs to increase its rate of employment growth and create 90 million non-farm jobs between 2023 and 2030’s, for productivity and economic growth according to McKinsey Global Institute. Net employment rate needs to grow by 1.5% per year from 2023 to 2030 to achieve 8-8.5% GDP growth between 2023 and 2030.
According to data from the Department of Economic Affairs, as of August 27, 2021, foreign exchange reserves in India reached US$ 633.5 billion mark.Numerous foreign companies are setting up their facilities in India on account of various Government initiatives like Make in India and Digital India. Make in India initiative with an aim to boost country’s manufacturing sector and increase purchasing power of an average Indian consumer, which would further drive demand and spur development, thus benefiting investors. The Government of India, under its Make in India initiative, is trying to boost the contribution made by the manufacturing sector with an aim to take it to 25% of the GDP from the current 17%. Besides, the Government has also come up with Digital India initiative, which focuses on three core components: creation of digital infrastructure, delivering services digitally and to increase the digital literacy.
Rising Inclusiveness & Cultural Diversity
Awareness on diversity and inclusiveness has grown in leaps and bounds recently, along with the understanding of the benefits an inclusive workforce brings to an enterprise and the economy.
The migration of the large youth population to cities which are the centres of employment will add to the country’s cultural diversity. Given the rapid urbanization and employment opportunities, young people from rural areas often move to urban conglomerates. This culturally diverse population will bring various language skills, shared languages, new ways of thinking, innovative ideas and creative solutions to the table, creating a more productive workforce.
There was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. That’s long gone, but the grubby legacy of imperialism remains in Asia. The European and the British traders initially came to India for trading purposes. The Industrial Revolution in Britain led to the increase in demand for raw materials for the factories there. At the same time, they also required a market to sell their finished goods. India provided such a platform to Britain to fulfill all their needs. The 18th century was a period of internal power struggle in India and with the declining power of the Mughal Empire, the British officials were provided with the perfect opportunity to establish their hold over Indian Territory. They did these through numerous wars, forced treaties, annexations of and alliances with the various regional powers all over the country. Their new administrative and economic policies helped them consolidate their control over the country. Their land revenue policies help them keep the poor farmers in check and get huge sums as revenues in return. They forced the commercialisation of agriculture with the growing of various cash crops and the raw materials for the industries in the Britain. With the strong political control, the British were able to monopolise the trade with India. They defeated their foreign rivals in trade so that there could be no competition. They monopolised the sale of all kinds of raw materials and bought these at low prices whereas the Indian weavers had to buy them at exorbitant prices. Heavy duties were imposed on Indian goods entering Britain so as to protect their own industry. Various investments were made to improve the transport and communication system in the country to facilitate the easy transfer of raw materials from the farms to the port, and of finished goods from the ports to the markets. Also, English education was introduced to create a class of educated Indians who would assist the British in ruling the country and strengthen their political authority. All these measures helped the British to establish, consolidate and continue their rule over India. They also started interfering
in the political affairs of the Indian rulers.
The main aim of the British was to transform India into a consumer of British goods. As a result, textile, metal work, glass and paper industries were soon out of work. By 1813, the Indian handicrafts lost both their domestic as well as foreign market. Indian goods could not compete with the British factory-made products where machines were used. These markets were now captured and monopolised by Britain by means of war and colonisation. From an exporter India became an importer of these goods. They extracted money from the Indian rulers, merchants, zamindars and even the common people. Added to this drain were the profit made through trade and the salaries of the officials. It was evident that their economic policies were meant to serve the interests of the East India Company and later the British Empire.
Though some of Britain’s most powerful political leaders became secretaries of state for India in the latter half of the 19th century, actual control over the government of India remained in the hands of British viceroys—who divided their time between Calcutta (Kolkata) and Simla (Shimla)—and their “steel frame” of approximately 1,500 Indian Civil Service (ICS) officials posted “on the spot” throughout British India. British sympathy for and understanding of Indian life and culture were, for the most part, replaced by suspicion, indifference, fear, the third was the tax on salt, also jealously guarded by the crown as its official monopoly preserve. An individual income tax was introduced for five years to pay off the war deficit, but urban personal income was not added as a regular source of Indian revenue until 1886.
The discontentment of rules and policies that resulted from British Rule gave rise to a series of resistance movements against the British. The adverse impact of the British rule on the political, economic, and social spheres resulted in sharp reaction of the Indian people against the foreigners. It is to be noted that all basic policies which were introduced as rulers are still in place with minor modification. In Admin we still have policy where all are tied up in various levels and progress is stagnated which is what British wanted. In Political system all parties have become enemies rather than partners in progress which is in earlier part of Indian history. In Legal system things are totally in mess with crores of cases in various levels and layers with Police criminal justice system which is taken from the British in shambles. These can easily be corrected in a phased manner. The Political system can be taken to a better mode in 2 years, Administration in 5 years and Legal and Police in 10 years.And these would start showing results immediately as Indians are sensitive and sincere in getting good things in place as they could preserve the good old heritage for 8 centuries and ready for such reforms.
The economic growth and economic sustainability of any place depends on the general peace and order in that area. Which can instill confidence in the minds of investor who are ready to take risk on a long-term basis.
Unfortunately, we inherited the criminal justice system which was designed by Britishers to serve their interests. Police who’s is one of the most important part of criminal justice system was and still is the strong arm of government and identified as DANDA police. Despite the freedom of country, the society or the administration is not able to free the mindset and still operating with same law and procedures which were conceived by Britishers to serve their cause. Therefore, we need immediate police reforms and need a police of free India who can serve the cause and interest of people and not of rulers (politician) who people can accept as their friends and interest server and can respect and not get feared.
Secured Governance for seamless National growth
We need a system to integrate economic interdependence in today’s modern societies which not only decreases uncertainty regarding where risks begin and end, but also help in judicious planning and development of new empowered, transparent, and interdependent Governance systems with higher degree of society participation in nation building Process.
Secured Governance offers a strategy for the government to get all the basic infrastructure development with a negligible investment, through a centralized selection process developer or set of developers (through private participation) will develop a “Techno Economic HUB” along with development of the primary sector in defined intervals divided in various clusters which includes infrastructures such as Residential complexes, Official and Industrial Facilities, Power and Water, Banking, Educational Institutes, Transport facilities and infrastructures , Healthcare, Hospitality Sectors, Retail Market, and many more.Various sets of criteria serve as an evaluation tool to identify areas with potential for development and opportunities within each of the Secured Governance Hubs depending upon its nature. Forward and backward linkages within the economy should also be strengthened, and a unique opportunity exists for utilizing the by-products of different economic sectors, for beneficiation and value-adding.
Post pandemic there are New Norms which would sweep the world and India has to take the lead in the Renaissance as expectations from India is very high. There are necessities because of the uniqueness of India’s situation and position. There are great opportunities to be tapped finance problem and local difficulties to be solved and in this the biggest one in the carried forward British legacy a system from a failed economy where a country ruling half of the world crashed to nil in a short time all because of its policies and framework. These are also left behind in India and being a large country needs to be changed on a time bound manner in an accelerated way as the government has started this from a different angle. These changes should start with Political process to be taken in 2 years, administration in 5 years, Legal in 10 years along with the most important Policing. Here the continuity has to be maintained as also minimising immediate and major changes to ensure continuity. By this India would get back its well-deserved premier position as a Global leader and a knowledge hub to be the Global Soft Superpower.
Dr. P. Sekhar, Chairman,
Global Smart City Panel,
Mr. K P Raghuvanshi, IPS
Ex – Strategic security Adviser RBI,
Adviser security HPCL