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Sample Research Paper on Post-Colonial Theory and the Indian Experience

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Sample Research Paper on Post-Colonial Theory and the Indian Experience


Postcolonialism refers to the period that developed after colonialism. During this period, colonial countries acquired independence and became free from the previous colonial masters. However, the effects of post-colonial rule remain in such countries In fact, in countries where the colonial masters managed to exert a lot of influence, people being colonized totally lost their culture and adopted the culture practiced by their colonial masters. Intermixing of some cultures also emerged. The term post-colonialism was first coined in the 20th century after most countries had gained their independence. Postcolonialism also refers to ways in which culture, ethnicity, and human identity were expressed. Providing of political independence to most of these countries never meant that they were going to become economically independent. The withdrawal of the British never had significant economic effects in a country like India.  Most aspects of post-colonialism have been kept in major historical books across different library sections. A new term that followed post-colonialism was decolonization. It aimed to transfer independence from the colonial masters. It also refers to the deconstruction of various old-fashioned perceptions in people as well as their attitudes linked to oppression and power. East India Company emerged as one of the areas that were under the control of the British. The British came as traders before finally making inroads to other parts of India. They then established the East Indian Company, which became their major base of operations for many years on end. The East Indian Company managed to change the Indian community practices long after giving independence to India.

History of East India Company

East India Company was known by various different names including English East India Company, United Company of Merchants of England Trading, to Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading before finally being referred to as East India Company (Philips, 2013). The company had its origin in England and had been incorporated into the royal charter by December 31. The company started as a monopolistic group that slowly evolved to become one of the major powerhouses in politics acting much as like an agent of British Imperialism in India.  This period was from the 18th century to mid 19th century (Lawson, 2014). The activities of the company rubberstamped all activities that were commonly practiced by the British people and their tendencies across all areas of the world. The sole purpose of forming the company was to provide spice trade to share the monopoly that had initially been started by Portugal and Spain (Erikson, 2014). Nevertheless, the trounce of the Spanish Armada in 1588 gave the country a major reason as to why England would soon take over the business. The company had been previously engaged in the voyage business for a number of years.

The representative of the company had initially met with Dutch representatives who were occupying the mainland Indonesia. Similar talks were held with the Portuguese.  The Dutch became excluded in the from the treaty immediately they attacked English soldiers in the area (Prakash, 2014). Additionally, the defeat of the Portuguese by the English won the hearts of the Mughals Empire affirming their position in the market (Erikson, 2014). Finally, the company was able to settle down in areas where silk goods and cotton were sold. In the early 1620s, the company began using slave labor and transporting a lot of people from the Africa continent and more specifically from both East Africa. Large scale transportations of slaves had become the major issues at the starts of the 18 century (Khan, 2015).  After the mid-eighteenth century, there was a decline in cotton trade since competition from other products such as tea from China had increased substantially (Müller & Hodacs, 2015). However, the company opted to export opium instead of the tea. This creates what was to be known as the Chinese – British war with the eventual winners being British. Ultimately they gained trading privileges in most areas across India. The company had now established a total monopoly of all activities in the market, and soon an uprising emerged. As a result, two rival companies were established but later fused under one banner that was commonly referred to as United Company of Merchants (Dalrymple, 2015). The new company had a total of 24 directors working in different committees. When the company finally acquired another area known as Bengal, they exercised total rights on the purchase of all shares. They also formulated laws that slowly lost both political and commercial control. The commercial monopoly that ad initially began broke down by 1834 making it an agency of the British government. However, the Indian Mutiny that started in 1857 made significant changes in the country (Dalrymple, 2015). It finally ceases being part of the company and became a British colony.  However, it never took long before revolutions began in the country advocating for democratic practices and systems of governance.

Post-Colonialism in East India Company

            By the start of the sixteenth century, most European countries began small parts of India. Different European nations jostled for the country due to the strategic nature of the Indian Ocean and the good farmlands that were being provided by the country as a whole (Dalrymple, 2015).  Soon enough India fell into the arms of the British empire after the failed Indian mutiny started by different parties. The First war of the Indian Independence, the Indian Mutiny, and the Sepoy rebellion are prominent examples of attempts by Indians to overcome the effects of British colonial imperialism (Dalrymple, 2015). All of these effects initiated by the British had serious concerns on the lives of the Indian people. They finally overcome colonial effects led by the famous Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru Jawaharlal (Dalrymple, 2015) . Nevertheless, their cultures were not spared during this period. The British influence had a huge impact of what became the East Indian Company. The British ensured that they destroyed the social system in place while promoting their culture to be part and parcel of the Indians.

            Most people tend to forget that their mindset and lifestyle have been influenced by the colonial systems that have been in place for many years on end. The British influence exerted on different countries has had far-reaching consequences in changing the culture of different people within the society. Colonization results to coercion of people to leave their cultures and follow their master’s rules and principles. The reality of the matter is that colonial government creates an attitude of self-hate towards the native population (Khan, 2015). The truth of the matter vestiges the same; colonialists will use divide and rule tactics to ensure they have an upper hand on all issues that relate to cultures. The case is  was never different for the Indians under East Indian Company.  When New Delhi fell to the company in the year 1803, most Indians became motivated to fight for their political freedom (Khan, 2015). Political awareness among the elite communities motivated the native population to take up arms and fight against the colonizers. However, the fight was never going to be easy as the colonizers came up with elaborate plans that significantly changed the outcome of the war. Some plans formulated by colonizers had long term effects on the society for long periods of time.

            In the first instance, they came up with an effective plan that essentially classified all people in India basing on their color. In doing so, the British government ensured that they broke any thread if the life that linked the Indian people to their cultures. They even went forth to replace the leadership that was in place with people who were considered to be friendlier to the actions of the British (Khan, 2015). Therefore, they managed to divide and rule numerous communities in India by ensuring that the communities were disgruntled due to different factors that affect the society. all people in New Delhi that were in one way or another perceived to be rebels were replaced by the more friendly scholars people who came from a different class (Lawson, 2014). This was the common form of behavior noticeable among the different members of the British community. This, in essence, formed the foundation of what eventually came to be known as the class system. The British effects have been noted long after their invasion of countries such as India as more people have become discriminated due to the formation of a class system which segregates people depending on the level of income.

            The East Indian Company also decided to establish different schools across the country. The sole agenda was never to provide education but to ensure that they wiped out any issue associated with freedom especially in the minds of young Indians. Most of the institutions presented opted to use the British system of governance and the British model of education (Erikson, 2014). This new model was more never interested in preserving the needs of the community. Instead, it was aimed at establishing what was to be known as white supremacy across the country.

            People were taught ion how to look more modern in today’s world instead of learning about their history and sacrifices that had been made by their people in order to get any form of independence from the white people in the society. In other words, this

system was similar to an exploitative system that was aimed at completely interested in destroying the culture of the Indian people (Erikson, 2014). The education also provided in a language that was foreign. The education also emphasized on training people to obey their masters instead of providing them with the  necessary skills to change their lives for the better.

             A deeper look at the colonial system of education applied to  people living in East Indian Company at this period revealed that the white majority was more concerned with teaching the native subjects that related to humanities and social studies in the society. This was to crash essentially any form of a dream that such people had concerning their identity (Erikson, 2014). If the system in place had taken an initiative to teach the people about their political organizations, then they could have been said that they were essentially preserving the culture of the natives. However, by denying them an opportunity to learn about their political movement, the East Indian Company was firmly planting the roots for lack of identity in a population living in their country.

Though the new system of different education classes of people easily emerged. Those who received this form of education and language soon formed part of Pakistan and ran the colonial machinery in their country. This is the class said to have read books relating to  Milton and Shakespeare (Müller & Hodacs, 2015). This group emerged as the best alternative to the Raj British system which was more interested in keeping the class order even after independence had been granted. Today graduates are produced by the country. Most of these graduates have no information concerning their real position and identity in the world.

The self-denigration that had initially been started by the white community that advanced many issues that related to their education played a key role in eradicating the confidence the  youth initially had in their system (Müller & Hodacs, 2015). The colonies seemed to have a different story version being told to the people of India. Such version included the notion that pluralism was accepted within their society and that Muslim leaders across countries like India were an example of people who had been just. The colonizers were more interested in comparing the different forms of religions and creating an unnecessary war that had never existed between the Indians and the Muslim (Robins,2013). It is these differences that resulted in the battle between the Hindus and the Muslims in different parts of India. Before translating all their energies to the transformation process of their different countries, the colonial system of education became established through their minds that they became people who were more interested in the western modern education than practicing some of their important beliefs that had guided them well before the entry of any different party in the society (Müller & Hodacs, 2015).

Most information that has been passed from one generation to another has been erroneous. Important details that highlight the importance of the British people have been neglected on several occasions. Undue credit has been given to the colonial masters for engaging in acts they never played a part in. A prominent example is in the case of King Edward being claimed to have built  a medical college for commemorating the passing on of the once famous wife, Shah Jahan. The medical college is what soon became known as the Taj Mahal. In essence, the colonial system main aim to take credit for all activities that happened (Hutchins, 2015). Separate papers indicate that the wife of the king spent a lot of time in extravagance and had no intent on ruling the people of East Indian Company. It is also claimed that ruling families at that period of time were more interested in starving the native populace and did nothing to ensure that people had become educated or knowledgeable (Müller & Hodacs, 2015). This was a key feature of most nations colonized by the British, and the East Indian company was in no way an exception.

Several practices in today’s India that are believed to have originated from the East India company are still practiced. Some of them have been put forth by different scholars to show how post-colonialism still remains a big factor in today’s world. When Mughals were ruling over India in the ancient times, the economy was totally dependent on trade and agriculture. If a verdict were to be delivered on whether the Mughals played a role in starving or eradicating famine  and business in the area, then a deep analysis of policies that were in place during this period become important (Hutchins, 2015). Agriculture greatly flourished during this period. Most historical documents attempt to explain why no heavy taxes were ever set forth on the native population. The main purpose was to ensure that the whole country was food secure. It is estimated that a farmer in the 17thcentury was wealthier compared to farmers in the twentieth century (Hutchins, 2015). When India was granted independence most of the agricultural exports to another part of the world solely came from India. It is estimated that India exported the same amounts of product as what is being exported today by countries such as China (Hutchins, 2015). Most of the agricultural practices  in place had been borrowed from the traditional British community. This might have been one of the greatest lessons and practices that were taken up by the Indians even after its colonization.

Before colonization, Indian and other countries were considered to be a knowledge-less  and primitive society. However, after the colonization by the British factions, it gained enormous knowledge from commerce, economics, ship-building and cartography (Hutchins, 2015). Most of these practices had been learned from the traditional East Indians who had dominated their areas for years on end (Müller & Hodacs, 2015). A few years after colonizers left the country, the booming trade sales and other important trade activities reduced substantially showing that majority practices had been set forth and managed by the British.

The British have also argued that most universities around India and the rest of the world have been building monuments that have never won any historical or international award or even a national acclaim yet the Indian society has been filled with different edifices that have been recognized across the world.  It can only imply that all these was made possible by the British system and that India is still recognized to hold such great pieces of work courtesy of the East Indian Company and partly the direct rule by colonizers.


            East Indian Company started as trading company In India before it slowly took over and became a political force that played a huge role in colonizing the people of India. Once present in the country, they established a trading monopoly across the region and used it to safeguard all their activities. Due to rises in different mutinies by different parties , the East Indian Company exerted its rule in India. The consequences of have been felt to date. Most of the practices established destroyed the cultural practices of the Indian people and affirmed that  most countries would still succumb to post-colonial activities even after they gained independence. The company completely changed the face of India and that of its people. cultural practices that were originally practiced by the Indians were changed. Similarly, the education system were changed ensuring that more of the Britons cultural practices were done by the Indians. All in all, it is accurate to state that countries like India have felt the effect of  colonialism on their society.










Dalrymple, W. (2015). The East India Company: The original corporate raiders. Wednesday 4th     March.

Erikson, E. (2014). Between Monopoly and Free Trade: The English East India Company, 1600   1757. Princeton University Press.

Hutchins, F. G. (2015). The illusion of permanence: British imperialism in India. Princeton            University Press.

Khan, S. A. S. (2015). The East India Trade in the 17th Century, in Its Political and Economic      Aspects. Forgotten Books.

Lawson, P. (2014). The East India Company: A History. Routledge.

Müller, L., & Hodacs, H. (2015). Chests, Tubs, and Lots of Tea: The European Market for            Chinese Tea and the Swedish East India Company, c. 1730-1760.

Philips, C. H. (2013). The East India Company 1784-1834. Read Books Ltd.

Prakash, O. (2014). The Dutch East India Company and the Economy of Bengal, 1630-1720.        Princeton University Press.

Robins, N. (2013). The East India Company and Religion, 1698-1858. Asian Affairs, 44(3), 451    453.

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