Answer & Enrich Your Learning:
In manufacturing, India could not develop a sound industrial base under the colonial rule. Even as the country’s world famous handicraft industries declined, no corresponding modern industrial base was allowed to come up to take pride of place so long enjoyed by the former. The primary motive of the colonial government behind this policy of systematically deindustrialising India was two-fold.
- The intention was, first, to reduce India to the status of a mere exporter of important raw materials for the upcoming modern industries in Britain and, second, to turn India into a sprawling market for the finished products of those industries so that their continued expansion could be ensured to the maximum advantage of their home country — Britain.
- In the unfolding economic scenario, the decline of the indigenous handicraft industries created not only massive unemployment in India but also a new demand in the Indian consumer market, which was now deprived of the supply of locally made goods.
- This demand was profitably met by the increasing imports of cheap manufactured goods from Britain. During the second half of the nineteenth century, modern industry began to take root in India but its progress remained very slow. Initially, this development was confined to the setting up of cotton and jute textile mills.