During the era of the contemporary state, politics was the most significant issue. Contemporary India was undergoing a political transformation. After the mutiny and the revolts, India faced a political renewal with its reversion to crown rule. The political scene dramatically changed and India returned to British rule once again. Another significant political event during the era was the transformation of the political economy. The economic system in south East Asia faced a transition from feudalism to capitalism then to modernity, which depended on the prevailing political powers. The Political transformation played a great part in determining the economic system.
The second most significant issue that characterized this era in India and South East Asia was the Economy. India’s economy was facing a transformation. The economic system of choice changed severally from feudalism to mercantilism then to capitalism and modernity. The changes in economic systems were influenced by the political institutions of the time. Policies enacted by the political rulers favored these economic transitions. Crown rule also came with several economic benefits chief of which was the development of basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, railways and telecommunications (Stein 248). This enabled agriculture to grow into a profitable economic venture.
Politics and economics influenced the lives of Indian folk a great deal. The new political systems for instance, created Status classes among the people. In most of the rural areas there existed distinct landlord and laborer classes. The political system also favored the involvement of Indians in government. In 1824, Thomas Munro while governing Madras called for the inclusion of more locals in the government. The inclusion of Indians in government was meant to enhance governance and service delivery. It contributed greatly to the greater economic and social performance of the Indian people (Stein 233). Economic changes also led to increased export oriented trade that in turn led increased textile production. These developments contributed extensively to the economic development of individual Indians and the industrial sector. The politics of the day did very little to change the welfare of Indian citizens. Indians and missionaries for instance, were the ones concerned with the provision of education rather than the government. The political association between India and Britain increased technological development such as railway transport and telecommunications and enhanced commercial activities especially where cotton was involved. The incomes of native Indians therefore increased considerably (Stein 245).
If I were writing a novel, the kind of character that would best represent this era in India’s history would be an Indian Merchant working in the textile industry in one of India’s developing cities. Most educated Indians were taking advantage of the change in economic climate and the increased export trade hence a typical Indian landlord would try to venture into the textile business. This middle-aged man would also be an absentee landlord owning large farmlands in rural India subjected to agricultural use. Due to the increasing economic growth, landowners during the time preferred to move to urban towns and cities. While at the city, this Indian man lives lavishly in suburban areas and goes to exclusive clubs while maintaining a close relationship with people of the same class. It was about the time when the caste system was becoming stronger among urban Indians. The merchant would be specializing in Textile exports while at the same time managing the labor in his farms in rural India. This middle class Hindu had been educated in a British University since India had very few at the time. He ascribed to the Hindu religion and always gave alms and donations to the religious Hindu Brahmans.
Stein, Burton. “The Crown Replaces the Company” A History of India. 2nd ed. Oxford: England: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 1998. 227-253. Print.
Thapar, Romila, and Thomas G. P. Spear. A History of India. London: Penguin Books, 1990. Print.