Thanks to you for your in-numerous contribution to India. You were the first to tag us collectively as ‘Indus’ (because of the Indus Valley Civilisation), which eventually became ‘Hindus’ – a mammoth umbrella that sucked in and nurtured all the other belief systems except Islam and Christianity.
You were successful in keeping our country ‘secular’ and intact until the time you ‘quit’ India. Religious intolerance has become an eternal problem since then, and we are still suffering due to the dominance of the majority against the minorities.
You indeed left behind your legacy in many ways – English, pants and shirts, ties, suits and shoes, spoons and forks to name a few.
The language you left behind, even today, is the only skill or tool that helps us Indians manage a decent living in India and abroad. The education system you established in India in the name of convents is still the most sort after. The dressing style you inculcated in us is what gets us respect within India and also outside our country.
We somehow managed to wear a thick coat and suit in spite of our tropical weather. And when we sweat and our socks start to stink, we switch our air conditioners ‘on’ of course. Even today a man wearing a tie is trusted and respected more than a man who wears a ‘vesthy’. That is the permanent impact you have etched in our lives.
Under your guidance and blessings we made tea and coffee as our vital beverages – just that we add sugar and milk to it to kill the authentic taste. With our cheap labour we also succeeded in becoming the largest exporter of tea, when China refused to pay heed to your orders.
Your brains succeeded in connecting 85% of India through the railway network you constructed, which we eventually named after our great Kings who lost to you.
The Mughals defeated the local kings, sealed the sub-continent’s border, named it ‘Hindustan’ – and ruled for close to 450 years without looting the country. You guys defeated the Mughals, and named the land mass ‘India’ and ruled over it for close to 100 years after – of course looting the country as the history goes. But still Indians hate the Mughals more than you Whites. The atrocities you inflicted on India was forgotten way faster and even today possessing a UK passport is one of the impossible dreams an Indian harnesses.
We won our Nobel prizes for Literature (Rabindranath Tagore – 1913) and Physics (C V Raman – 1930) under your tyranny and post that neither our literature evolved internationally nor did we walked on the path of science. We instead started to walk backwards prioritising fictitious characters from religious doctrines.
And of course you made us forget about all our local sports and take major pride in playing the ‘Gentleman’s game’, which you invented. If ‘English’ happens to be our first language, cricket is considered as our 2nd religion that keeps our country united and countrymen sane helping us stride against all odds with patriotism overloaded.