Thursday, September 8, 2011

Racial and Religious discrimination of the British rule administered unity amongst Indians

The centralised administration of the British Government and modern methods of rapid communication like the railways fostered a sense of Indian unity.Some of the evils of British rule to the contemporary Indians appeared as a blessings in disguise in the long run.
One such evils was the naked racial arrogance of the British. Racial discrimination among Indians which was unmistakably present in the Cornwallis code at the end of the 18th century, rapidly crystallised in the 19th century.Racial doctrines openly preached the predestined superiority of the whites and the permanent subjugation of the non-whites like Indians to the white supremacy. As a result not only did the British enjoy numerous exemptions and privileges but also they were so far brutalised as to insult, assault and even murder Indians with impunity. This naturally moved self-respecting Indians to challenge the the odious alien rule.
Secondly, in 1826, a Jury act was passed which introduced religious discrimination in the law courts. Under it Hindus and Muslims could be tried by European or Indian Christians, but no Christians whether whether European or Indian, could be tried by Hindu or Muslim juriors .
Rammohan submitted a petition against the Act submitted both by Hindus and Muslims to the British parliament . In Bombay and Madras also there was public protest against the act. Under the presure of the Indian public opinion the Jury act was amended in 1832, abolishing the discriminatory provision of the Act of 1826. 
When Rammohan Roy visited England (1830), he submitted before the Parliamentary Select Committee, to consider the question of renewal of the East India Company's Charter, a number of important demands like the separation of the Judicial and executive functions of the in the administration of criminal justice and the consultation of  Indian public opinion before enacting legislation. Although his demands did not bear fruit immediately, they surely focussed public attention on important public issues. He also keenly aware of the miserable condition of the peasants and the serious drain on India's economy.