British India

The history of British India is one that all Indians are familiar with. The Rebellion or Mutiny of 1857 showed how discontent the Indian population were with company rule in India. Long standing mismanagement and exploitation by the East India Company of the Indian population and their sentiments had created growing resentment which ultimately sparked the rebellion of 1857.

Once the mantle was passed from the East India Company to the British Government, it was easier for them to manage India according to set standards and policies which were already in place or proven in other places governed. As a result the Indian Civil Servant became an efficient means of administering India.

At its zenith was the Viceroy who had tenure of four to five years. Under him, there were governors of different provinces like Bombay, Madras or the Punjab. Under the governors were civil servants, law officers, police chiefs and various other ranks. By the end of the Victorian age in 1901, the viceroy was one of the most powerful rulers in the world. He ruled over some 300 million subjects and at his disposal was one of the finest armies in the world, the Indian Army.

In 1877, Queen Victoria was named Empress of India though she never visited India which was called the ‘the brightest jewel in the imperial crown’. During this period, India experienced a lot of famines and loss of lives.

A number of common people rose up against the British as a mark of revolt against the British. Leaders such as Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Mahatma Gandhi are known throughout British Indian history. Under the leadership of Gandhi and the Congress, Indians rebelled and achieved independence in 1947, bringing the rule of the British to an end.

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