The Slavery of Bharatiyas(Indians) by the British- The case of Forced Labour in British India (Part 1)

Before launching into the article, I would like to remember the legendary historian of Bharata -Sri Dharampal. Readers will probably be familiar with his ground-breaking work on Bharatiya society on the eve of British occupation.

Over the course of decades, he diligently collected original material on British India and brought to light how the Christian British destroyed our industry, education system, distorted our culture and subverted Hinduism for their own ends. Most the material he collected from the India Office records ( stored in the British Library in London) in the United Kingdom. Without any prospect of remuneration or financial support he laboured on due to his love for the motherland.

This is what Claude Alvares, a scholar and publisher, whose publication house has brought out several of Dharampal’s works, has to say about the tapasya of Dharampal:

He did not have much of an income. There was also a family to support. But notwithstanding all this, he became a regular visitor to the India Office and the British Museum. Photocopying required money. Oftentimes, old manuscripts could not be photocopied. So he copied them in long hand, page after page, millions of words, day after day. Thereafter, he would have the copied notes typed. He thus retrieved and accumulated thousands of pages of information from the archival record. When he returned to India, his most prized possession was these notes, which filled several large trunks and suitcases.[i]

 From anecdotes on Twitter, his last years were particularly hard in terms of financial assistance towards his research. Not surprising, for the fate of gyana margi people in today’s Bharata is usually one of financial penury and societal neglect. When time permits, I will post the translation of a lament by G.H.Khare, an eminent historian (in the correct sense, unlike the Christo-Islamo-fascist eminences who pass for scholars) on the hardships he faced throughout his life.

A lot of the material Sri Dharampal selected has been put online by Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai. This amounts to nearly 15,500 pages of original British era records like Commissioners reports, collector reports, judicial reports etc. These have been very neatly categorized by the topic and size of the documentation. For every page Dharampal selected from the British archives, he would have to go through at several irrelevant pages. A lot of these he copied by hand and typed them up. Quite a few were cyclostyled by him.

Over the coming years I will be going through all this material and publish my analysis online and in book form.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.