Indian culture has been significantly affected by Western culture, primarily due to British Colonialism in India for over 300 years. In the 1660s, The British East India Company organised trading posts in India. Gradually, the empire expanded its role in India, eventually controlling Indian industry and commerce. Most scholars and historians blame the British colonists for degrading and dividing Indian society. However, Western culture positively impacted Indian culture, although some of the positive effects were not realised until India achieved its independence in 1947.
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During British occupation, India was modernised and industrialised. British industrialists invested huge amounts of capital in the region. The British East India Company built the world's third-largest railroad network, which connected regions and enabled the country to develop a modern economy. Western culture also improved Indian culture with the development of a road network, telephone and telegraph lines, many dams and bridges and irrigation canals. During British occupation, these developed systems of transportation and communication benefited the British, rather than Indians. But they were put in place for Indian culture to take advantage of when the country finally achieved its independence.
Due to Western influence, Indian culture benefited from improved sanitation and public health. Many Western doctors emigrated to India and introduced the region to Western medicine. Further, many wealthier Indians were trained and educated abroad in Western medicine and then returned to their home country to practice. Western medicine significantly reduced disease and sickness, in large part because health care became accessible.
The presence of Western traders in India increased the demand for goods and services in India. As a result of the British living in India, Indian artisans, weavers and craftsmen were steadily employed. Although they were deprived of the full profits of their labours, these artisans and craftsman grew in numbers, and the Indian labour force became more skilled and handy. By the time the British left the subcontinent, a greater percentage of Indians had acquired skills to make a living.
Indian culture benefited from Western culture in the area of education. During British occupation, many schools and colleges were built throughout India. Literacy increased and, for the first time, the poorest classes of society had access to knowledge.
Prior to British colonisation, India was ruled by the Mughal Dynasty. In fact, it was only when that empire began to collapse that the British were able to gain control over the subcontinent. India was afflicted by much infighting for and against the dynasty. The British troops cleared India of many bandits and ended local warfare between the country's competing political rules. The British also introduced India to parliamentary democracy, upon which the independent nation was eventually founded.
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