Mr. Cook Makes A Strong Case

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Mr. Cook makes a strong case in his attempt to understand the causes and contributing factors behind the segregation along race, class and gender lines which were so prevalent in British ruled India, but also strictly observed within Britain and her other colonies. In “Conflicting Ideologies in British India, 1875-1900” he cites factors both specific to India, in particular the suppressed revolt of 1857, and those more external, like the “hardening racism” in Europe. The substantial losses, both financial and in human lives, associated with the revolt of 1857 resulted in a significant decline in trust and an increasing hesitancy to risk “antagonizing Indian sensibilities”. Since the revolt was viewed as retaliation for British attempts to Westernize India, this fearful reluctance to continue along the path previously envisioned by some which ultimately resulted in Britain’s empowerment, modernization and civilizing of the native Indians to a place of independent governance and administration, became less appealing but also served as additional justification for European society’s changing perception of race. The elite Anglicized Indians had not only dared to challenge British authority and administrative processes, but they had dared to utilize their Western teachings to do so. This clearly barbaric application of treasured knowledge, which the British perceived they had bestowed upon the fortunate Indians as a gift, was viewed as further proof of the inability to
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