Friday, April 4, 2014
Essay on Karl Marx and British Rule of India
Marx and British India
Critical in understanding the writing of Marx in India is somewhat preference to the British rule in India. At one point, he even attributed the event as a positive way to reinforce the advancement of progress in Hindustan. Here, the aspect of colonialism remains to be essential because the British rule introduces a new system that India can seek to pursue. Contrary to the ascetic economy that India has continued to practice before British occupancy, Marx sees further in the potential to expand from this point moving forward. Using the arguments of Iqbal, “Marx writing shows the distinctive problems of Asiatic economy, especially in India and China, the effects of the impact of European capitalism upon it, and the conclusion to be drawn for the future development as well as for the emancipation of the Indian people” (1). From this context it can be argued that Marx advances the context of colonialism if it would create a drastic change, a revolution where traditional ideals can transition and undergo changes.
Equally important is how Marx criticizes the English village system. He particularly challenges the current system and how such feature were exploited by the British in its efforts to acquire resources in its colony. It remains to be primitive and lack the necessary central control that would effectively manage and allocate resources. The entry of the British and introduction of a new economic system shattered the village system of India as it became a force of control on how process of production and economic means are met. Arguably, Marx sees this as instrumental because it opened up ways for radical change to happen.
However, this does not mean that Marx continues to support the British rule in India. Included in his essays about India are the atrocities and destructive role of colonialism. Specifically, emphasis related to the East India Company alongside its monopoly and continued exploitation of resources is clearly highlighted in his accounts. Here, he also targets the development of British capitalism as destructive as it misplaced old towns as the bourgeois took most out of India (Iqbal, 1). Equally, Marx also laments to the destruction and suffering of the people affected by the British rule. The village system that was embedded in the identity and culture of India underwent significant change. All these bring have been influenced by the entry and colonization of the British.
Based on the viewpoints above, Marx then delineates the orientalist construction of Indian history. From his vantage point, the idea of preserving identity and culture of a country like India remains to be essential. The context of oriental construction must focus on creating an identity as a whole where specific cultural norms are patterned according to development and continued pursuit towards growth. India should use its history, including that of the British rule to overcome the struggles of colonialism and develop a system of practices that achieves liberation from the ideologies brought forward by capitalism (Rawat, 15).
At the same time, Marx also believes that it is also the people of India that would provide the tool for their emancipation. “He made clear that imperialism was laying down the material conditions for new advance. But that new advance could only be realized by the Indian people themselves on conditions that they won liberation from imperialist rule, either by their own successful revolt, or by the victory of the industrial working class in Britain, carrying with it the liberation of the Indian people” (Iqbal, 1). It is through this context that Marx sees how change would become manifested and overcome the impact of colonialism to India.
Iqbal, Jamil. ‘Indian Independence (Part 1) – Marx and Indian history’ In Defence of Marxism.
2007 Web Available from < http://www.marxist.com/indian-independence-marx-history270607.htm>
Rawat, Rajiv. ‘Marx on British Rule in India Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’
Department of Geography York University. 2005 Web Available from <http://prayaga.org/documents/paper-marx.pdf>