The British Loot Of India: Myths And Facts

By Anang Pal Malik

Malviya Bridge, inaugurated in 1887, over Ganga at Varanasi.
Malviya Bridge, inaugurated in 1887, over Ganga at Varanasi.

Man does not realise what humungous falsehoods can be fed to him. Without distortion of a single fact, a totally false conclusion  can be arrived at, and that conclusion them can be promoted as a fact in itself. This false-conclusion-as-fact can then so permeate the whole narrative that it becomes to people what water is to fish: their whole world. They never examine false-conclusion-as-fact, they are born into it, they live in it, and they bequeath it to their children.

For example:

  1. India’s share in world GDP in 1700 AD was 24.4%-Fact
  2. India’s share in world GDP in 1952 AD was 03.8%-Fact
  3. So the British looted India-Conclusion (which is patently false)

This conclusion, which is patently false, is now considered a sacred fact. It is most curious that this blatant lie goes unexamined. But if we note that those who control the narrative also manufacture facts which keep the narrative going, it becomes evident why this flagrant lie has never been challenged. This lie suits the Indian Left. The Indian Left controls the narrative in India. So this lie has become a sacred fact.

Before we expose this humungous lie, consider certain facts:

  1. India’s current share in the world GDP is 03.1% (US$2 trillion out of total US$64 trillion), that is down from 03.8% in 1952.
  2. India’s agriculture sector GDP is 17.95% of the total GDP of India, which comes to US$360 billion.
  3. Agriculture sector GDP of the world is 6% of the total world GDP, which comes to US$3840 billion.
  4. Agriculture sector GDP of the US is 4.6% of the total US GDP, which comes US$835 billion.
  5. Agriculture sector GDP of the Latin America is 25% of its total GDP, which comes to US$750 billion.

So the share of Indian agriculture sector in the world agriculture sector is 09.375%. If we deduct the US and the Latin American agriculture sector share from the world agriculture sector GDP, the result is US$2255 billion, and the share of Indian agriculture sector share in it becomes 15.96%.

Now note that industrial revolution began around 1750. Had there been no industrial revolution, India’s current share in world economy would have been 09.375%. India’s share in world economy was almost the same in both, 1500AD and 1700AD: 25%. Since till that time the US and the Latin America had not been settled into an agricultural economy of any consequence, so if we deduct there present share in the world agriculture sector GDP, India’s share in the world agriculture sector economy becomes 15.96% as noted above. Since calculations in 1700AD and 1500AD included present day Pakistan (agriculture sector GDP 25% of the total, which comes to US$72 billion) and Bangladesh (agriculture sector GDP 15% of the total, which comes to US$33 billion) also, if we include their agriculture sector GDP, the current share of Indian sub-continent agriculture sector share in the current world agriculture sector GDP becomes 20.68%.

India is a country blessed with a climate that makes it possible to have three crops every year. Before industrial revolution, it can be safely assumed that this advantage of India was even bigger when compared with China, Europe, and the rest of the Old World. Had there been no industrial revolution, but a British rule and Independence in 1947, India’s share in world economy would have been same today as in 1500AD or in 1000AD: in the range of 25% to 30%, without including even Pakistan and Bangladesh.

So the use of figures showing share of Indian GDP in the world GDP, without correcting them for the effect of Industrial revolution, to prove that the British looted India is the molestation of Statistics by the Indian Left.

Why has such a flagrant lie become a sacred truth?

It is in the human nature that if a lie fits in our worldview, we never examine it. If the lie furthers or supports an ideology, and the followers of the ideology control the narrative, they make sure it is never examined. If the lie exonerates a ruling elite that is otherwise thuggish and perfidious, it broadcasts the lie as a sacred mantra day in and day out.

The lie of the British loot of India is one such lie.

We would never know what would have become of India had the British not come. What we certainly know is what became of India because of them, and what has become of India after them.

The British may have taken the wealth of the Indian rulers and the rich in the cities. In the rural area, there was not anything to take away. There are no stories of wholesale loot of the treasuries of the Indian kings by the British, nor of the loot of the cities.

The British could be alleged to have taken away the mineral wealth of India. Timber was certainly taken away, but what wealth it constituted is dubious. The Indians earned in the cutting of trees which the British took away as timbers. Gold mines were almost exhausted by the time the British came. Same was the case for silver. Copper was not much in trade at that time. Britain had enough of its coal and iron ore.

The British earned in trading Indian products with the Europe. But Indians producers also earned in producing them, which were mainly agricultural products like spices, cotton, etc.

At the same time, the British made huge Capital investment in India. Railway, Road, Telegraph, Universities, Court Houses, Military infrastructure, military hardware production facilities, irrigation systems. They put in place a banking system, a currency that was considered one of the best in the world between 1890 to 1940, and a very robust free market system. They initiated industrialisation of India, and in 1947, India was one of the major industrial economies, with a population with modern education, and the population that respected rule of law, and a very strong Common Law system in place.

So why is this lie of the British loot not exposed, not challenged?

The lie of the British loot is used by the Indian Left to cover its own crimes. Indian left has not only blocked further industrialisation of India, it has destroyed much of what was achieved by the British. It imposed socialism on India in 1947, and has as a result destroyed India’s industrial base, its banking, its education, work ethics and morality and integrity of its people, its justice delivery system, and debased its currency close to junk. In 70 years since 1947, it has brought share of India in world GDP down from 3.8% to 3.1%, though there are no Britishers around.

The US is rich because the share of crops in its GDP is 1%, and only 1% of its population is engaged in growing crops. India is poor because the share of crops in its GDP is 11.77%, but 22% of its population is engaged in growing crops. India is poor because, if we take agriculture sector as a whole, it generates 17.95% of our GDP but employs 57% population to do that. This has happened because  socialism, the ruling philosophy of India, has not only blocked modernisation of Indian economy which could have moved population from agriculture to industries and services, it has in fact only managed to destroy much of what the British achieved.

India is not poor because the British looted us.

Indian Left promotes this lie because it doesn’t want to answer why socialism has led to all round destruction of India, instead of ushering the utopia the Left promised in 1947.