Where is the East India Company today that looted India for 200 years?


In the year 1579, a traveler named Francis Drake discovered the route through which one could reach India. He discovered the Spice Islands. This place is located in the North East of Indonesia. He brought spices from here to Britain in 1580 and became a hero of Britain because he had earned 5000 times the profit from this deal.

The East India Company which looted India for 200 years. (Symbolic picture)

The British ruled our country for a total of 190 years. Out of this, we were looted by the British Crown for 90 years. Apart from this, in the remaining 100 years, a company ruled over us. The East India Company, formed in the year 1600, is the one due to which the British Crown captured not only India but also Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, and many countries of Southeast Asia. This company had its army. It had its ships. It had immense support from the British Crown. Not only this, at one time it had an army larger than Britain's army. It had as much money as many countries. Then something happened this company was closed down.

In the year 1579, a traveler named Francis Drake discovered the route through which India could be reached. Drake discovered the Spice Islands. This place is located in the North East of Indonesia. He brought spices from here to Britain in 1580 and became the hero of Britain because he got 5000 times the profit from this deal. Seeing this profit, the merchants of London filed a petition to trade in the Indian Ocean.

The East India Company came into existence on 31 December 1600

Later in 1599, many big traders of Britain together recommended to British Queen Victoria I to open a company with an investment of 30 thousand Euro Pounds. The purpose of forming the company was to trade with the countries of Southeast Asia and earn maximum profit from there. In this way, the East India Company came into existence on 31 December 1600. The company was given a monopoly for the next 15 years. That is, without taking permission from the company, no trader from Britain will be able to trade with the countries of South East Asia.

Along with this, the company also had permission to keep its own army. In its initial years, the company was limited to the Maluka States and traded spices. Captain William Hawkins reached India in the year 1608. At this time Jahangir was ruling the Mughal throne. The Dutch and Portuguese were already trading with India. That means they had come to India before Britain. The Mughals were very powerful at that time. They had an army of 40 lakhs.

In 1613, Shah Jahan permitted to open a factory in Surat

Hawkins had understood one thing that he could not do anything in India without the permission and support of the Mughals. Now Jahangir did not pay attention to Hawkins, but his prince Shah Jahan allowed the British East India Company to open a factory in Surat in 1613. After this, in the next 50 years, the British started their factories in Bombay, Madras, and Bengal. The company's traders would buy cotton, indigo, potassium nitrate, and tea from India and then sell them abroad at high prices and make huge profits.

At that time, whatever the company bought, it paid for it in silver. In return, it also paid taxes to the Mughals. Despite this, it was making a lot of profit. Both Britain and the Mughals were benefiting from this. From Jahangir to Shah Jahan's time, the company did not face any problems. During 1690, the company got a big lesson, when the company clashed with Aurangzeb. Due to this, for a time it seemed that the company would now be almost out of India and would never be able to come back.

Aurangzeb drove the British out of Bengal

This war is known as Child's War. Aurangzeb won this war and he closed all the factories of the company in Bengal and expelled all the British from Bengal. The same was done in Surat and Bombay. Although the company was later pardoned in 1690, the company learned from this incident and started expanding its factories. These were factories in name but in reality, they used to be forts and cantonments. Due to these, the company was going to make a big upheaval in the future.

The coming 18th century was going to be very important for both the East India Company and India. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had died in India. Since then, Mughal power has weakened. Bengal, Madras, Nizam, and Marathas had started running their governments in the country. Wars were also going on among themselves. The East India Company was waiting for this time. The army that it had prepared in its factories was now going to benefit the British.

The company won the Battle of Plassey in the year 1757

Gradually the company started interfering in the affairs of the princely states. Sometimes it gave troops on rent to someone and sometimes it lent money to someone. This company, which did trade in this way, became a major part of Indian politics. All this happened due to the mutual fighting between the princely states and Indian kings. All this ended when the company won the Battle of Plassey in the year 1757. Gradually the company did the same with the rest of the princely states of the country, i.e. Nizam, and Marathas, all came under this company.

The company had started looting India. It was a very profitable deal for them to levy as much tax as possible and to buy Indian goods with the money from that tax and sell them abroad. Along with this, by forcing indigo farming, the company brought many parts of the country to the point of starvation. Meanwhile, there were terrible famines in Bengal and Madras. There were 34 famines in the entire country during the 100 years of rule. Instead of doing relief work, the company increased taxes and continued to occupy the princely states.

Protests against the company began in England

By the year 1800, the company had conquered almost all the princely states except Punjab, but in the meantime, protests against the company had started in England as well. Adam Smith, known as the father of economics, had talked about a free economy at this time, which was having an impact in England. That is why in the year 1813, the monopoly of the company was abolished by bringing a charter. This means that now any British company or citizen could trade in India even without the permission of the company.

Now this charter was the beginning of the end of this company because many claimants started to stand up to challenge the company. This was also exposing the corruption of the company. The company did everything in India to earn profit, due to which people kept getting harassed but it never made any difference to it. The textile center and handloom industry of the country were all ruined. Earlier the company used to take all these goods from India and sell them in England, the same company now started selling cheap goods made in England's factories in India.

This rebellion gradually spread to a large part of North India

This material was so cheap that India's industries could not compete with it and were ruined. Governor General William Bentinck wrote in his 1834 report that no such dire situation can be found in history, the earth has become white with the bones of Indian weavers. The company was already being opposed in England, a part of the Bengal Regiment, troubled by British policies in India, revolted in 1857.

This rebellion gradually spread to a large part of North India. Due to this, the company's condition became weak. While suppressing the rebellion, the company hanged thousands of people in the markets and on the streets. It is said that this was the biggest massacre in colonial British history. In the year 1858, Queen Victoria of Britain abolished all the rights of the company and took the reins of governance directly into her hands.

The company's army was merged with the British army and the navy was completely abolished. Finally, in the year 1874, this company was completely abolished. In 2005, Sanjeev Mehta bought the title of this East India Company and now this company sells tea, coffee, chocolates biscuits, and luxury gift hampers.