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To what extent, British policies alone were responsible for ruining of traditional handicrafts industries? Explain and give reasons in support of your answer.

Topic : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. To what extent, British policies alone were responsible for ruining of traditional handicrafts industries? Explain and give reasons in support of your answer. (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian History by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way and to what extent British policies alone were responsible for ruining of traditional handicrafts industries.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly narrate the timeline of ruin of traditional handicrafts industry in India during the British period.

Body:

The Indian handicrafts that had made the country famous, collapsed under the colonial rule. This was mainly due to the competition posed by the machine made goods that were imported from Britain. The ability of mass production of goods helped Britain to flood the Indian markets with cheap products especially cotton textiles.

The railways facilitated the reach of these goods to remotest parts in India and the procurement of raw materials from these parts. The traditional handicrafts industry faced a tough competition from these goods produced in bulk.

The policy of free trade followed by the East India Company helped them to dictate terms of trade. They compelled the Indian craftsmen to sell their goods below market price and they hired their services at below the prevailing wages etc.

Conclusion:

This destroyed the self-sufficient village economy as the destruction of the traditional industries led to overcrowding in the agrarian sector. De-industrialization had far reach­ing effects in different sectors of the economy.