The idea that British rule over India was a force for good is not uncommon in Britain and even in certain sections of westernised Indian elite. Read right-of-centre British newspapers and you will regularly find articles and columns that glorify Britain’s colonial past, giving the impression that Britain was spreading the light of Western Civilisation to the dark corners of the world. Many British history books still do their best to highlight the benefits that British rule brought to the numerous colonies, rather than the hardships.
Recently in an interview with the BBC, Niall Ferguson, a British historian who has recently produced a six-part documentary series for Channel 4, and also works in a research department at Oxford University, said that British Raj greatly benefited the ruled nations and people.
To be sure, many white Britons, perhaps even the majority, think that the colonial era is not something to…
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