There are thousands of books, articles and speeches about the british rule in india. They explain and describe the levels of exploitation of our resources and manpower which went into Britain. These authors and freedom fighters never talk about the actual perpetrators of the atrocities. Similarly, another school of thought is claiming attention about the Muslim rule in India. Propagandists of this thought also do not speak about the actual people who implemented the schemes of rulers.
The landlords who controlled land and other resources.
They were indian and they never perceived themselves as Indians. They only acted as lords of those who serve them in their professions. It is they who actually ruled the countryside and villages. They controlled agriculture, what might have constituted trade or industry through their money, manpower and politics. They were in fact the Kings of the area and called so. While the British rulers notified the amount, it is only the landlords who exploited the peasants. Yes, many fought against the British but not against the oppression but for their freedom of oppressing the serfs under their control. Yes they were also under the hammer of british authority. They had their own compulsions. They were part of history just as the British soldier, or Collector or Governor General was part of history. While, many including Shashi Tharoor eloborately describe the roles played by the Empire, Emperors, Governors General and their coharts, the role played by the local kings, jamindars are not mentioned clearly or even mentioned in their discourses against the British for their rule. Those locals who aided and abetted the British rule are also guilty of cooperation and committing the same atrocities as the British. If britain and muslim rulers are to be blamed then their associates have also to be blamed.
This way even the so called worst rulers, had their accomplices in indian aristocracy. Without their active cooperation, it would not have been possible for British even to conceive of their rule. It is right time we also talked about the accomplices in the crimes committed by the British Empire.
Yes many historians have published books on the exploitation of peasants during british rule. But at the popular level our politicians and media have not highlighted this aspect as they had highlighted the british government oppression.
Our own masters, landlords, kings and their satraps were more in number than the number of britishers, who opporessed. Highlighting this may be treated as ‘anti-nationalism’. That apart, if we treat our fellow citizens, no foreign oppressor can hold us down for long.
Who will educate Indians that our own brothers were the worst kind of oppressors, even today?