Company Symbolic of British Colonialism

As a Land of
Desires, India has been a fundamental element of World History. From ancient
times, all nations have directed their desires and ambitions to find the way to
reach this land with the most precious, miraculous treasures the earth has to
offer: [This country] pearls, diamonds, perfumes, rose essences, elephants,
lions… Etc. [it is overflowing with] treasures of wisdom as well as natural
treasures. These treasures have now passed to the West. [Owning the treasures
of India] has always been a matter of world-historical significance and
[always] remained dependent on the fate of nations. These demands were
recognized. This Land of Desires was obtained; There is no great Eastern nation
or modern European Westerner who has not acquired a small or a large piece of
it. In the ancient world, Alexander the Great was the first ruler to advance
into India, but he could only touch it. The Europeans of the modern world
entered this wonderland where they could enter directly, indirectly: by the sea
route. And as it was said, they became the general unifier of this country. The
British, or rather the East India Company, are the masters of the country.¹

As can be understood from Hegel's sentences,
India has been a center of attraction for humanity throughout history. With its
riches, it whetted the appetites of both the ancient civilizations of human
history and the Western colonial empires of the modern period. Those who
invaded India got richer and used a trump card to have power over other
nations, and India itself got poorer with each passing century.

The British first wanted to enter the East
Indies (Indonesia, Malaysia) where the commercial potential was very high in
the early 1600s. However, the Netherlands and Portugal have already established
their dominance in this region. The British, who did not want to face the Dutch
East India Company and the Portuguese, who had their own armies, turned their
direction to Continental India.

We can attribute the British domination over
India to the Battle of Plasey against the French in 1757. With the approval of
the British Crown in 1757, the company, which was founded in 1600 on maritime
affairs, first became an army owner, then a colony owner, and then a state
owner. The company, which expanded its lands on the one hand and exploited
India on the other, caused more than 10 million people to starve to death in
Bengal during this period.

After the company consolidated its dominance
in the north, it began to dominate South India. First they abolished the
Principality of Mysore, then the Principality of Maratha. By 1799, the British
East India Company was in control of 3/5 of India. Continuing its colonial
policy, the company became dominant in the whole of India in 1858.

Thus, England officially became the sole ruler
of India with a company it established without committing any massacre,
genocide, invasion or rape. (No one could accuse Britain of invasion. Company
made the invasion. No one could accuse Britain of massacre and genocide, they
were made by companies. But there was a fact: India had become a colony... The
adventure that started in 1640 by selling a handful of land was 200 years
later. ended in complete extinction.)

The sipahi uprising that broke out in 1858 was
the most important event of 19th century India in terms of its results, the
rebellion was suppressed by the British. Although this was a victory for the
British, it created a nationalist movement among the Indian people, the main
problem of the post-revolt British administration was the preservation of the
Anglo-Indian Empire. For this, the British went to the path of reorganization
and implemented a series of religious and social reforms. This nationalist
movement initiated by the Indian people soon became a political force. With the
massive actions of Gokhale, Tilak, Nehru and especially Mahatma Gandhi, the
Indian people became more conscious. On August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan
emerged as two separate states, and the British administration decided to hand
over the administration to the Indian Government in June 1948.

 ¹  George Willhelm Frederick Hegel, The
Philosophy of History, Ing. Trc.: 1. Sibree, (New York: Dover Publication,
Inc., 1956), s. 142-143.