How many years did the British rule India?


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Ray Dart answered

This is not as simple a question as you might imagine.

We all know when the Britsh handed over power - that was in 1947, but India was invaded, subjugated, absorbed into the Empire gradually.

These are the sorts of start dates you can work with. The East India company arrived in the early 17th century and was the dominant commercial organisation within 20 years. It was also militarily strong by 1750 - it is usually considered to have started to "rule" India around that time (although the Dutch. Portuguese and French were also there). The company handed over power to the British Colonial service ("the Raj") in 1858. So, in actuality, India was only ACTUALLY officially a British Empire Sovereign State for 89 years - but in reality, the British were MAINLY in control for about 200 years.

Around 40  years ago, a working colleague, and an Indian National, told me with a straight face, that he belonged to a society that was campaigning for the British to return.  He was extremely rude about Gandhi (and Indira Gandhi, who was then the Prime Mlnister), and reckoned that India had been better off, with less starvation and lower crime under the British.

He was an old man with the wisdom of years, but he was probably wearing rose-tinted spectacles.

I got some of the dates from Google - my memory is not THAT good.

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