The British Raj in India lasted from 1858 to 1947, when the country gained independence and partitioned into India and Pakistan. The British Raj extended over almost all present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Economist Utsa Patnaik has now come out with a figure on the wealth that Britain drained from India during this period. She calculated a total of $45trillion from the period 1765 to 1938.
She calculated the amount of money extracted during each period and then compounded it to at about 5% per cent middle of each period to the present.
It’s a huge amount. $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.
Dr Jason Hickel who is an academic at the University of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts explains how Britain stole $45 trillion from India.
Britain made a profit from Indian goods when they were sold for export. Exportation of Indian goods all over the world helped to fuel the Industrial Revolution as many strategic materials like iron came from the subcontinent.
The British Raj introduced a complex system that governed how Indian goods could be purchased. They issued “Council Bills”, a form of paper currency that had to be bought from the Crown in gold or silver.
Indian producers were paid in the Bills, while the gold and silver remained in London. Indian people were then paid in rupees when they cashed the bills, the same money that had been collected from them in taxes.
Also watch Dr Shashi Tharoor’s speech at Oxford Union on Britishers,
Courtesy: Al Jazeera