Read this article to learn about the decline of industries and changing conditions of artisans in India during British rule:
All the policies implemented by the British government had a deep impact on the Indian economy.
It completely changed the traditional structure of the economy and made it a colonial economy designed to meet the needs of the newly emergent industrialized economy of Britain. The different sectors of the economy that were affected by the British policies are as follow:
Ruin of Indian handicrafts industry and artisans:
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.
This forced many a craftsman to abandon their ancestral trade. The British exported raw materials from India like cotton. As a result the Indian weaver had to buy these materials at higher prices. This in turn raised the cost of Indian handicrafts as compared to the machine made goods. Indian goods were also subjected to high tariffs in the English market whereas the British goods gained duty free access into the Indian markets.
As a result of these policies Indian handicrafts faced a severe challenge from the foreign goods. India now became the exporter of raw materials to British industries and an importer of ready-made goods from Britain. This phenomenon of the ruination of Indian handicrafts industries is most well known as Deindustrialization.
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.