An Era of Darkness
The British Empire in India
(Hardcover)

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In 1930, the American historian and philosopher Will Durant wrote that Britain’s ‘consciousand deliberate bleeding of India… [was the] greatest crime in all history’. He was not theonly one to denounce the rapacity and cruelty of British rule, and his assessment was notexaggerated. Almost thirty-five million Indians died because of acts of commission andomission by the British—in famines, epidemics, communal riots and wholesale slaughterlike the reprisal killings after the 1857 War of Independence and the Amritsar massacreof 1919. Besides the deaths of Indians, British rule impoverished India in a manner thatbeggars belief. When the East India Company took control of the country, in the chaos thatensued after the collapse of the Mughal empire, India’s share of world GDP was 23 percent. When the British left it was just above 3 per cent.The British empire in India began with the East India Company, incorporated in 1600, byroyal charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in silk, spices and other profitableIndian commodities. Within a century and a half, the Company had become a power toreckon with in India. In 1757, under the command of Robert Clive, Company forces defeatedthe ruling Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal at Plassey, through a combination of superiorartillery and even more superior chicanery. A few years later, the young and weakenedMughal emperor, Shah Alam II, was browbeaten into issuing an edict that replaced hisown revenue officials with the Company’s representatives. Over the next several decades,the East India Company, backed by the British government, extended its control over mostof India, ruling with a combination of extortion, double-dealing, and outright corruptionbacked by violence and superior force. This state of affairs continued until 1857, whenlarge numbers of the Company’s Indian soldiers spearheaded the first major rebellionagainst colonial rule. After the rebels were defeated, the British Crown took over powerand ruled the country ostensibly more benignly until 1947, when India won independence.In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccableresearch, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besidesexamining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drainof national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making andshipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes thearguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits ofBritish rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways.The few unarguable benefits—the English language, tea, and cricket—were never actuallyintended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of thecolonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve tocorrect many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.

In 1930, the American historian and philosopher Will Durant wrote that Britain’s ‘conscious and deliberate bleeding of India… [was the] greatest crime in all history’. He was not the only one to denounce the rapacity and cruelty of British rule, and his assessment was not exaggerated. Almost thirty-five million Indians died because of acts of commission and omission by the British—in famines, epidemics, communal riots and wholesale slaughter like the reprisal killings after the 1857 War of Independence and the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Besides the deaths of Indians, British rule impoverished India in a manner that beggars belief. When the East India Company took control of the country, in the chaos that ensued after the collapse of the Mughal empire, India’s share of world GDP was 23 per cent. When the British left it was just above 3 per cent. The British empire in India began with the East India Company, incorporated in 1600, by royal charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in silk, spices and other profitable Indian commodities. Within a century and a half, the Company had become a power to reckon with in India. In 1757, under the command of Robert Clive, Company forces defeated the ruling Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal at Plassey, through a combination of superior artillery and even more superior chicanery. A few years later, the young and weakened Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, was browbeaten into issuing an edict that replaced his own revenue officials with the Company’s representatives. Over the next several decades, the East India Company, backed by the British government, extended its control over most of India, ruling with a combination of extortion, double-dealing, and outright corruption backed by violence and superior force. This state of affairs continued until 1857, when large numbers of the Company’s Indian soldiers spearheaded the first major rebellion against colonial rule. After the rebels were defeated, the British Crown took over power and ruled the country ostensibly more benignly until 1947, when India won independence. In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways. The few unarguable benefits—the English language, tea, and cricket—were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.

AuthorShashi Tharoor
BindingHardcover
EAN9789383064656
EditionLatest
ISBN938306465X
Height984 mm
Length118 mm
Width591 mm
Weight110 g
LanguageEnglish
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages360
Package Quantity67
Product GroupBook
Publication Date2016-10-27
PublisherAleph Book Company
StudioAleph Book Company
Sales Rank64
Legal DisclaimerFresh Copy, Brand New, Unused, mostly Dispatched same day, Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.

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General information about An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India
  • The author associated with An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Shashi Tharoor.
  • The EAN for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 9789383064656.
  • The edition for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Latest.
  • The ISBN for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 938306465X.
  • The height for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 984 mm.
  • The length for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 118 mm.
  • The width for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 591 mm.
  • The weight for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 110 g.
  • The language for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is English.
  • The legal disclaimer for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Fresh Copy, Brand New, Unused, mostly Dispatched same day, Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed..
  • The binding of An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Hardcover.
  • The number of pages for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India are 360.
  • The quantity for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India in a package is 67.
  • An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is grouped in Book group of products.
  • The publication date for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 2016-10-27.
  • The publisher for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Aleph Book Company.
  • The producer for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is Aleph Book Company.
  • The sales rank for An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is 64.