We want to find out what caused poverty in India? I would like to point out 2 works, this is Angus Madison who is a historical economist in Netherlands. He studied the economies of the world from the turn of the current era. One all the way to 2003, he shows that the Indian GDP as a percentage of the world GDP, India had one of the highest percentages, around 33% of the share of the world GDP. Followed by China around 25% or so and Western Europe was all the way down here about 15 % or so. India went through a period of decline during through the invasion periods, the Muslims periods and so on reaching a bottom over here and rising somewhat at this inflection point which corresponds to the colonialists coming to India 1700 current era.
After that what he sees is a rapid decline in the fortunes of India, the same time at which western Europe went up. Also United States went up with slavery and other such thing. You can also see this. Now this is not incidental to our talk. This is more than incidental. This downfall correlating with this shows a transference of wealth from India into western Europe caused widespread poverty. I would like to point out the work by Will Durant, he has written an excellent book called ‘Case for India’. So I strongly urge everybody in this audience to get this from Google, its a free book, and try to read it.
He came to India around 1930 and he was not sympathetic to the British cause. He was an American. So he came and saw what the British had done and he was horrified and he wrote this powerful book, ‘The Case for India’. So he shows, he tells what we already know, Robert Clive who traded money for guns and favor, East India Company, forcing Indians to sell cheap, buy exorbitantly. Extracted hundreds of millions of dollars, Indians were taxed at two times the people in England and three times in Scotland. All the costs of British conquests, developments and administration in India was charged to Indians, including the first World war, second world war, all the French battles that they had, everything was charged to Indians.
The British incurred a debt for Indians of 35 million in 1792. I believe these, the dollar figure is as of 1930, when Will Durant wrote this book. By 1860, it would become 500 million dollars by 1929 when Will Durant left India it was 3.5 billion dollars. After that was second world war and so on. So, this figure had doubled or tripled by the time the British left India. So this is the debt that the British left India with. So one of, any of us have got any doubts about what caused poverty in India. These two graphs very powerfully show us what happened to India in the recent times in the last 300 years or so.