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Gandhi and his Critics$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195633634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.001.0001

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The Two Faces of Imperialism

The Two Faces of Imperialism

(p.42) Chapter 7 The Two Faces of Imperialism
Gandhi and his Critics

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

Some critics of Mahatma Gandhi ask whether it is fair to judge the British record in India by the massacre of Amritsar in 1919, which they think is an aberration. They also argue that British rule in India was just and beneficial, with most of those who served in the government of India having shown devotion to justice and welfare of the people. Indeed, British administration in India was not characterised by terrorism and brutality. The East India Company, for example, extended its rule over the Indian subcontinent by taking advantage of the weaknesses and rivalries of the Indian princes. However, the Indian rebellion of 1857 was a testament to the British’s vindictive and barbarous tendencies when challenged. In reality, British military policy in India was dominated by the idea of ‘division’ and ‘counterpoise’. Although some Indian patriots showed admiration for the British, they still saw the bad side of imperialism.

Keywords:   British rule, imperialism, East India Company, British military policy

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