Sociological Imagination: Western’s Undergraduate Sociology Student Journal

Article Title

British Raj: The Legacy of Colonialism in India


Prior to the British colonization of India, racism and violence existed long before Britain's intrusion during the 19th century. The author validates his claims in a fourth part process. First, definitions of race, ethnicity, and nationalism are all explained in relation to primordialism to explain racism that came as a result of the social caste system. Next, the Hindu religion is assessed through Durkheim and Marx to prove its oppressive nature. However, British colonizers incited racist and violent conduct through the rape of Indian women and control over their educational system. Through said acts, Indians fell victim to feelings of inferiority. However, they were unable to convert Indians to their Christian beliefs due to their strong devotions. The author then points to race-based violence in India between Muslims and Hindus, especially the underlying hierarchy apparent in the Hindu caste system. Violence is also cited between the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims and is explained through the ideas of Frantz Fanon. Decolonization efforts were also met with extreme violence as a result of the Sikh separatist movement in the late 20th century.

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