The Future of Democracy in South Asia
Establishing political control in South Asia, was something that the British was able to accomplish in the late 70s and early 80s. The British saw certain opportunities that led for them to start trading and commerce from India to outside world. The British had plans for India, which later led to collection of revenues on behalf of the Mughal Emperor, resulting decline of power by the Mughals side.
The expansion of the British into newer territories, it was to keep the allies at a distance.
As for the Ryotwari system in India that played a role as land revenue systems before-hand, after the British came along. It affected India because the ownership of the land was given to the peasants and the British government collected the tax which demonstrated not fair to the peasants. The revenue rates as per the Ryotwari system were 50% with land being dry and irrigated with 60%.
The Zamindars were never the owners of their own land and the rent collectors would not be fair towards them. The British were able to establish political control in South Asia because of confusion created by the decline in power of the Mughal Empire, the compulsion to take over new territories, and the implementation of the Ryotwari system over India.
During the 1700s, the Mughal Empire had a significant decline in power, and was unable to directly govern or control its territories. Afterwards, the local rulers, called the Raja’s and Sultan’s, greedy for power over India made claims to power causing trouble and violence to spread over local territories .This caused confusion within India’s government because, the Raja’s and Sultans were not able to clearly identify their territories and rules.
For example, Bernard Cohn’s essay on the Banaras region clearly marked that “it was precisely because there were always ‘many sharers in the dignity and power of kingship with overlapping rights and obligations that ’empire and ‘state’ represented ‘limited political entities in India'” (11). Resulting with no leadership or general politics which were formed at critical movements that highlights the causes of decline and it was important for the structure of the Mughal administrative system.
Adding to the British control over the political establishment for South Asia, the peasants and the zamindars from the northern and the westerns part of India were added towards this problem. For the British, it was easier to target the zamindars for collecting revenues, as they show loyalty and mostly were the powerful class of a local populations. The zamindars were enjoying the given power from the British, as they would collect money from the peasants and the British government officials would take money from zamindars.
The zamindars would have to pay a fixed revenue towards to the government officials as their fees. The book states, “The Ryotwari system defined the state itself as the supreme zamindar and vested a ryot with individual proprietary rights in land in return for annual cash payment or revenue assessments to the government (ibid.)” (73). The revenue that was collected by the zamindar was fixed and to be collected from each village.
Focusing on empire-building for India, it ended up being under the rule of the British. British took advantage of India in ways of getting everything flushed out. By being in control for their profits from raw material goods and the fact of having larger populations and the diversity towards the markets. Later, after they had settled for some time the British took interest in Indian economy where the focus was to grow.
The book had mentioned about Europeans traders to have strong control over the Mughal Empire, and that later on had faced decline and the British took advantage of that decline to make their win other territories within India. Because the British took the rejection of the Mughal empire, India was regulated by the British government and had developed all over India.
The successful established of the British within India was the occurrence of these events that took place because India was lacking unity within the political section at that time period. British rule not only took over the political but also the economy, textiles industries, and the import; export of the products from India to other countries around the world, leading to get more profits and take in-charge of the nation.