India since Independence: Talking it Over

India since Independence: Talking it Over

India since Independence: Talking it Over

India since Independence: Talking it Over

Excerpt

BRITISH HISTORIANS REFER TO THE INDIAN uprising of 1857 as "The Indian Mutiny" or "The Sepoy Rebellion." Indians call it "The First War for Independence." Had the uprising succeeded, the outcome might have been the restoration of rulers who wanted to revive the past, and Gandhi and Nehru might have emerged in history as leaders of a revolution against an indigenous tyranny instead of a foreign ruler. In any case the British, by holding on for another 90 years, bequeathed many assets to independent India.

Britain ruled India with a handful of men. Indians were trained to fill the ranks of the foreigner's army and to man his civil services. A network of roads, many of them of first-class construction, linked every corner of the country. Railroads and telegraph services were started a hundred years ago, just before the uprising that failed to drive the British out. Indian legislative, judiciary and executive bodies were trained in the British tradition. Schools and health services functioned under Indian experts with British degrees. From top to bottom, in all departments, Indians were prepared to take over the administration of their country when the British left in 1947. Independence may have been long delayed, but when it came, it was built on a solid basis.

The British are both praised and criticized for the manner of . . .

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