Top 10 books about the British in India | Books | The GuardianEnter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Classic on the Mutiny, Indian political and colonial history.
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Jump to navigation. The British in their colonial rule were reasonably good masters and the Indian masses did not care whether they had Indian or British tyrants ruling them, as long as they were left alone. They treated the Indians with a reasonable amount of courtesy and did not interfere in the social, cultural or religious life of the people. Come-down: This mutual tolerance continued till the coming of the 19th century when the treatment given to the Indians steadily deteriorated and the Indian came to be considered a pagan good-for-nothing "nigger", as the British commonly referred to the Indian. The culture was no longer respected, temples and mosques desecrated, religion considered heathen, social customs and caste which were the essence of Indian life ridiculed, and the native was treated like a pariah. Bible toting missionaries, evangelistic social reformers and Lord Dalhousie's land reforms and his treatment of the Indian princes caused the first stirrings of the revolt. The people in the country felt that they would be better off with their Indian rulers than with the Christian firinghis who were insensitive to the caste and religion of the people.
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F or the past five years I have been bewitched by the story of the British in India. But then I was drawn into the wider history of this extraordinary enterprise. How did the British come to be ruling the most populous nation on earth? What did they think they were there for? Did they genuinely believe that the empire would last forever? I have tried to go beyond the breathtaking rush of events, the terror and the cruelty and the heroism, to get to the doubts and flashes of understanding which some of them had now and then, none more so than John Low, the family patriarch, who was famous for his love of native rule; yet who helped to depose three rajas and was ultimately blamed for the outbreak of the Great Mutiny. The books I have chosen illustrate these melancholy paradoxes of empire.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. In a large part of the Indian army rebelled against the British authorities; the ensuing bloodshed sent shockwaves throughout colonial Britain. What lessons were learned and how did the rebellion shape modern India?
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