Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Colonial Past

It is common knowledge that India was exploited by the British during its Colonial period. The story is really interesting and came out in the class on Indian Economy that I am sitting in right now. What seems extremely surprising to me is that there doesn't seem to be commonly circulated and discussed literature on this topic. Rough estimates show that if the amount of monetary exploitation through revenues and such were put in current terms it would amount to about $700 billion approximately in current value. I am slightly skeptical about this figure until I am shown hard facts about it. It is an interesting aspect of studies on India, and I am storing this away in some deep recess of my mind to be pulled out later when I have more time to think about working on it.


yogijp said...

I don't know how true these are, hence good candidates for research.

"Angus Maddison's The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective. India, the richest country in the world for a millennium and a half (per Maddison's data from 0 CE to 1500 CE), was systematically plundered (of some $10 trillion in today's money) and reduced to penury."

"The Christian State is infamous for how it looted five to ten trillion (yes, that is trillion, 1,000,000,000,000) dollars from India to the UK. I am certain, and the British historian William Digby ('Prosperous' British India) and the Indian historian Rajni Palme Dutt (India Today) would agree, that the Industrial Revolution would not have taken place had it not been for the 'venture capital' provided by loot from Bengal. Note the amazing coincidence: the Battle of Plassey, 1757. The spinning jenny, 1764; the water frame, 1769; the steam engine, 1785. Money chased innovations -- and the innovations appeared."

"This ranking of India is based on Angus Maddison's
calculations of GDP. Based on what I have heard in
off the record conversations with various people, we
should probably take these numbers with a grain of
salt. As we go further and further back in time, the
number of statistical sources we can use to estimate
GDP gets smaller and smaller, leading to larger
statistical biases."

yogijp said...

Oops.. wrong link.. here is the correct one