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Why did British Introduced Railways in India?

British and India have been on the Contrary for decades. Everyone in India has had different aspects of British rule. But the main question is “When and Why British came to India? What did they do in India?”

India was known as the Golden Bird in the medieval period. Indians had gold, different spices, and textiles no one even heard about. And most importantly Indians have unity, honesty, and integrity, which made it difficult for them to rule us right away. Before British India was ruled by Mughals, with Akbar’s dynasty the British invaded India asking for permission to set up the company. They were granted permission with some limitations.

British came to India in 1858 and devoured it till 1947. They first came to India as traders with East India Company banner. Gradually they started setting up more and more trading centers. In 1668 Charles II married Catherine of Braganza and English was gifted with Bombay. They initially started setting up a company by asking the permission of native rulers.

At that time Mughals were ruling India. This period was known as Company rule and the British were looking forward to Crown rule. After they were having disputes with native rulers, they had to fight the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and this brought them Crown rule. They had a term for India at their rule “British India”.

Every move taken by the British government was for their good. By seeking their benefit while introducing railway in India, the British did something incredible for us but at their terms of benefit.

British was struggling with transportation problem and they came up with the idea of the introduction of railways. They felt that after the introduction of railway transportation of raw material will be faster and it will also bring economical development to the country. The railway has become a source of surplus to their capital and they were gaining 5% of the return of the investment. Though it did help them on different levels.

Impact of railways in British India

british railway

British introduced the first passenger train on 16 April 1853, from Mumbai to Thane. And till now Indian Railways has earned its position to be the 4th largest in the world.

Introduction of the railway have profited British India in many ways like:

  • It helped them in economic development of India by benefiting government with a return of 5% of its investment.
  • It reshaped the status of both domestic and foreign trades in India by quick transportation of raw and agricultural goods.
  • It became forerunner of industrial development by widening the market to the international level.
  • It increased the agricultural output, export, import of grains and took agricultural to a commercial level.
  • It decreased the transportation costs on everything and made it easy for everyone to avail of goods at a reasonable price.
  • It opened up employment opportunities for rural people by providing them jobs at different levels.

So, British India was definitely benefited by railway in every sector.

History of British Rail

George Stephenson the “father of trains” gave British Rail a practical outcome. In ritain railway was started in 1825 and first rail ran across Stockton to Darlington. It was to use steam locomotive and was only for carrying mineral. By 1830 the British railway developed to public railway carrying both passenger and goods, it was opened by The Manchester and Liverpool Railway. By 1870, the railroad was evolved to the extent of 13500 miles.

Myth of Britain's gifts to India

indian railways history

British had used every resources of India but in the argument, everyone use the phrase that even though British plundered our health, wealth and most probably peace they left us railway, cricket, education and tea. But this is just one if the myth because it was not a gift at all, just like English language was not a gift.

Railway was opened to benefit them. It was just a colonial scam ran by British government. They invested just to get back all the surplus to their capital. Even the taxes were paid by Indians. Indians were not even given jobs in a good position they all were reserved for British people only. The only job given to Indian was as mechanics. They only gave us railway to exploit it as much as they could. It was not a thoughtful gift at all by them.

Brief history of Indian Railways:

The first commercial train in India ran between Bombay to Thane on 16 April 1853. It was all dedicated to the former governor-general of India Lord Dalhousie. The train had 14 carriage and was carrying 400 passengers. It had 3 locomotive named: Sultan, Sindh and Sahib. The length covered by the train was around 21 miles and it ran for approximately 45 mins. The British introduced Indian Railway for their own cons and it did benefit them to the extent.

Frequently Asking Questions

Q. Why did the British built railways in India?

A. The East India company setup by British government was going through a lot of trouble in communication and transportation. The railway seems to the answer of every difficult they were going through. They introduced railway to ease their own transportation and faster supply of raw materials.

Q. When did the British built railways in India?

A. 17 August 1849 was the date when they finalized construction of railway in India. It was based on “guarantee system” in which they were provided free land in return of 5% rate of return to private British companies. The name given to the railway was “the Great Indian Peninsular Railway”.

Q. When did British introduced railways to India?

A. 16 April 1853, was the date when first rail ran in India by British. The first commercial train ran between Mumbai to Thane.

Q. Who introduced the railways in India?

A. Jaganath Shunkershet was the one who introduced railways association to India along with Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. Lord Dalhousie is known as father of Indian Railways, he got home authorities to agree with the needs of railway in India and he was the one who laid the ground of The Indian Railway.

Q. Who is known as father of railway in British time?

A. George Stephenson, an English civil engineer, and mechanical engineer is known as father of railway in British time. He built the first locomotive and passenger train.

Q. When did British Railways change to British Rail?

A. In 1994, The British Railways was privatised and changed into British Rail.

Q. Where was the railway first introduced?

A. First Railway in the world was started in Stockton to Darlington, England in 1825. The first train was built by a British Engineer Richard Trevithick. He was born in Cornwall. Later George Stephenson made it possible and designed steam locomotive.

Q. Who built the first train India?

A. Jaganath Shunkershet was the one who introduced railways association to India along with Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy built the first train in India.

Q. Who is known as father of Indian Railways?

A. Lord Dalhousie, the former governor general of India is known as father of Indian Railways, because he was the one who got agreement of home authorities on introduction of railway in India.