UNIT 2 IMPERIALISM: ITS EFFECTS Structure 2.0 Objectives 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Theories of Colonialism 2.2.1. European Views 2.2.2 Indian Nationalists' Views 2.3 Effects of Colonialism 2.3.1 De-industrialisation 2.3.2 Famines in Colonial India 2.3.3 Commercialisation of Agriculture 2.3.4 Impact of Commercialisation on Rural Society 2.4 Modern Industry and Indian Capitalist Class 2.5 The Colonial State 2.6 Let Us Sum Up 2.7 Key Words 2.8 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 2.0 OBJECTIVES In this Unit we intend to study the impact of Colonialism on Indian society in details and spell out the economic, social and political effects of the British colonial rule in India. This unit shows that the colonial state was a serviceable instrument not so much for the modernisation of Indian economy and society as for maintaining the logic of colonial state. After reading this unit, you will be able to learn : the various theories of colonialism, both European as well as those formulated by Indian nationalists, the impact of colonialism on Indian economy in terms of de-industrialisation and commercialisation of agriculture, how modem industry emerged in India and the role of capitalist class, and some of the political aspects of the colonial process. 2.1 INTRODUCTION In order to understand the nature of colonialism and its economic, social and political impact on India, it is necessary to comprehend colonialism in a world perspective. If we look at India alone we shall fail to understand the structural logic of imperialism and a good deal of what happened might appear to be due to the "bad policies" or from another point of view "good policies" of certain individual figures among the ~rit"lsh rulers and policy framers in India. A great deal of historical criticism in the past has been done in these terms; how a misguided Governor General or a bad administrator or a negligent public opinion in England allowed or brought about bad things to happen to Indian People. The apologists for the empire have invariably repeated the same discourse on goodlbad policies. Even the nationalist leaders of the early days were not entirely free from this type of superficial thinking about the empire. They were able to build a convincing case against the exploitative and oppressive aspects of British rule; but lacked the broader perspective which enabled the later-day critics including those influenced by Marxism to locate colonialism within the context of capitalist imperialism or the capitalist world system, and thus enhanced our understanding of the historical developments within its coii~punent part, the Indian Elnpiie. The iatrcl dpproech rc the phenomenon of colonial expansion can be traced back to some early twentieth century critics of imperialism; Hobson, Hilferding, Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin. In India this approach was developed by, among others, M.N. Roy, Jawaharlal Nehru and R.P.