Daniel Halliday
Dec 30 · Last update 1 mo. ago.
Should Britain pay reparations for colonialism in India?
The effect of British colonialism is mixed and consequently hotly debated, but with the many negative effects taking such a massive economic and human toll in India, is it time for the UK government to start paying some form of reparations for the exploitative British colonisation of India? Picture: Taken during the Bengal famine 1943, Source: Wikipedia
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No, it is too complex a history to pay reparations for
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Reparations need to be made
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No, it is too complex a history to pay reparations for

The long history of British colonial involvement in India is complex, and it is therefore hard to put a price to something such as the damages caused by British imperialism. This issue is made more complicated by the fact that British rule in India wasn’t entirely a negative exchange, with culture moving both ways and modernisation and infrastructure being put into place under the British Raj also. In addition it wasn’t the case of British East India Company and the subsequent British Crown setting up an exploitative colonial system, but merely taking over a rigid exploitative class system from the previous Mughal Empire.

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Reparations need to be made

The British Empire from the onset of East India Company rule of the region and throughout the time of the British Raj caused massive levels of economic, social and humanitarian damage to the country. Failed economic and agricultural policies of British Rule in India lead to a series of famines that claimed the lives of 15 to 55 million people. Combined with the direct violence carried out through land acquisition, social mismanagement worsening ethnic tensions, and the economical aggression of debt slavery; there was a very direct human and economic cost to British Imperialism in India. Reparations to compensate for this dark region in Indian and British history should unquestionably be made, if not to repay for damages made then at least as a symbol of British recognition of this crime of history.

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