Europeans in South Asia - The British Impact



The cultural and political impact of the British over the past two centuries in South Asia has been vast and extremely pervasive. Numerous histories of the "British period" testify to this, and it is an influence referred to in the Introduction to this volume. Space does not permit even a brief review of the administrative, legal, religious, educational, public health, military, agricultural, industrial, sporting, and communicational developments that occurred during the period of British administration of most of the subcontinent.

We may instead highlight the contribution of Europeans from India to the arts. Best known of course is the literary contribution of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), one of two Indian-born writers to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (the other was Rabindranath Tagore). Of numerous professional artists to work in India, the most outstanding was the Anglo-German painter John Zoffany, who worked there from 1783 to 1790. The artistic impact of the British on Indian architecture was vast, and well documented: witness only the official buildings of New Delhi. Less recognized during the present century has been the impact of this relatively small ethnic group on the British film industry. Julie Christie, Vivien Leigh, Margaret Lockwood, Merle Oberon, and Several other actors, as well as the director Lindsay Anderson, were all born and at least partly brought up in British India. One might wonder whether the ubiquity of school plays and amateur dramatic societies in that era had something to do with these careers.

User Contributions:

1
Jevon Richardson
Report this comment as inappropriate
Feb 29, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
I used the first paragraph for a paper on India and got an A+ thanks for putting up something that people can actually read and understand.

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA