Source: Russian MFA
Speculations about the alleged positive impact of the British colonial rule on various London-controlled territories, including in Asia, regularly turn up in the media and the internet. In this connection, we noted a report that was recently published on multipolarista.com: the article has references to the work by economic anthropologist Jason Hickel and his colleague Dylan Sullivan “Capitalism and extreme poverty: A global analysis of real wages, human height, and mortality since the long 16th century,” published by the World Development academic journal.
Using average statistical data and comparative analysis, the authors conclude that around 100 million Indians fell victim to London’s deliberate policy from 1880 to 1920, which is considered to be the peak of the British colonial rule in India. The census data conducted by the British during that period indicate the growth of mortality from 37.2 per 1,000 people in the 1880s to 44.2 in the 1910s, as well as life expectancy among Indians dropping from 26.7 to 21.9 years, respectively.
The article stresses that Hickel and Sullivan’s study does not take into account data about millions of Indians who died as a result of the anthropogenic famine engineered by the British in Bengal in 1943. That humanitarian catastrophe was a direct result of the decisions by the colonial administration and personally British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who ordered for grain to be shipped out of India to cover the needs of the home country. Those criminal actions took the lives of at least 3 million Indians who starved to death.
Against this background, Winston Churchill’s statements about the horrifying developments in Bengal look openly racist: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The British prime minister justified the lack of measures to fight the famine by the fact that Indians “will always breed like rabbits.”
In addition, the article quotes Indian economist Utsa Patnaik as saying that during the colonial period, the British empire siphoned out £9.2 trillion ($45 trillion) of wealth from India, calculated in the prices of that time.
The material published by multipolarista.com provides further evidence of the misanthropic imperialist policy conducted by London during its colonial rule. The figures cited in the article clearly show how the British got wealthier at the expense of India, how they exploited and caused the deaths of the local people, whom they deeply despised. The current London’s democracy games look cynical and toxic against this background.