Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children The Beginnings of a British India

India will forever be influenced by England's long-term occupation of the country. The atrocities committed against Indians and the way that the British tried to erase the country's culture will take decades to overcome. However, England's first introduction to India was not through sheer violence. Instead, the British East India Company worked with the Mughal Empire to provide a mutually beneficial relationship with the country during the 1600s.

One hundred years later, the Mughal Empire began to crumble. Provinces pulled their support of the royal family and began squabbling about power and land titles. Because the Mughal Empire was losing its footing, it could do nothing to stop the skirmishes in India.

The Company, which was currently losing money due to the fighting, decided that it would take matters into its own hands. They banded together with the French and conquered the feuding country in 1757. The British East India Company remained in power for just over one hundred years. They also amassed a great deal of land during that time, ultimately taking over the whole country.

To keep the Indians under control, the British employed the use of sepoys, or Indian soldiers, to keep the peace. This lead to a divide among the Indians; there were many who believe that India should be free, but Britain's supporters were trained and heavily armed by Britain. Peaceful marches became massacres, revolutionaries were murdered; it was impossible for India to break free from English control.

Setting up a British economy was a shrewd move on England's part. Forcing Indians to buy British-made goods and suffocating local businesses kept money flowing through England. It also made the Indians reliant on England for all their supplies. If they protested, they would lose their ability to purchase food and supplies for their homes.

By forcing Indians to adapt to British rules and then making other Indians enforce these customs, the British Empire was able to create a culture of self-sustaining imperialism. There was no way for Indians to break free from the cycle without harm coming to them and their family; so instead, they adjusted to life under British rule.