Almost unthinkable today, but when the British came, India was a sober nation! Durant tell us…Instead of encouraging education, the government encouraged drink.

The temperance of the people, said Warren Hastings, “is demonstrated in the simplicity of their food and their total abstinence from spirituous liquors and other substances of intoxication.”

With the first trading post established by the British, salons were opened for the sale of rum, and the East India Company made a handsome profit from the trades.

When the Crown took over India it depended on the salons for a large part of its revenue: the license system was so arranged as to stimulate drinking and sales.

The government revenue from such licenses was increased sevenfold in the last 40 years: in 1922 it stood at $60 million annually – three times the appropriation for schools and universities.

The book #CaseforIndia which should be compulsory reading for Indians remains completely out of our view. It gives us a blow-by-blow account of almost every excruciating detail of the evilest Empire the world has ever seen.

In this series, we look at how it all unfolded, in bite-size facts.
#MondayMail #PostcardtoBharat

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