Britain has created a popular narrative that it did not benefit from colonising India. In fact, they feel that India was a huge administrative cost. It was just owing to the benevolence of Great Britain that they had sustained their empire and contributed to the development process of India.

However, Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare brings your attention to a recent research by Utsa Patnaik, which has proved otherwise. She calculated that just between the period of 1765 to 1938, Britain has drained $45 trillion from India. India was deprived of its earnings, foreign exchange and even its gold. In fact, this drain accounted for 26% to 36% of the budget. India’s per capita income also remained stagnant from 1900 to 1946 despite being the second largest export earner from 1889 to 1929.

India was pushed into extreme poverty and impoverishment. The worst statistic was perhaps that the per capita consumption of food grains went down from 200kg in 1900 to 137kg by 1946. That is the lowest for any country till date.

Also read: Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare: The secret of Establishment 22 which helped India win the 1971 war

The balance of payment deficits of Britain were met by stealing gold and forex from its colonies, mostly India. Every added or extraordinary expenditure was also added to India’s budget as well and whatever India was unable to fulfil would be accounted as a debt for which interest was charged. One third of India’s revenue was not spent on its development but was kept aside as “Expenditure Abroad”.

Not just Britain, a lot of western countries have flourished on this looted money from India. Britain as a nation could not soak in the entire money they stole from India. This is the reason they became the largest capital exporter. This helped many countries including Continental Europe, The United Stated of America and even Russia. The huge infrastructural developments and the many revolutions that happened in these countries were from India’s stolen money.

This colonial drain has helped a lot of countries to prosper. The entire capitalist world that exists today, every region where the European population has settled and thrived have developed on stolen money from colonized nations. Now, it is time for these nations to give back to these countries who are still struggling to cope with this loss. They have left behind a broken fragile economy which is still struggling to stand. They should set aside a portion of their GDP every year and transfer it unconditionally to the developing countries, especially distribute among the poorest nations. Britain particularly owes a lot to India. Who can forget the death of 3 million civilians who were a victim of an engineered famine?