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Abstract

This article utilizes a three-pronged analytical model to examine the mechanics of British colonialism and its socioeconomic and political consequences in India. Those three elements are divide and rule, colonial education, and British laws. The British took some reformative initiatives that ostensibly deserve appreciation such as the development of a predictable legal system, investment in infrastructure development, and education in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. However, most colonial policies and reforms were against the will and welfare of the people of India. The British took away India’s resources and introduced the English educational system to create an educated and elite buffer class for its own interests. It also introduced positivistic and predictable laws and repressive and discriminatory measures, including force, to control the natives and prevent anti-British agitation, protests, and armed uprisings in India. Although the consequences of British colonialism in India has been explored from various disciplines, the legacy of British colonialism to present day Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan has not been examined from the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) lens. Johan Galtung’s (1990) violence triangle framework helps us to understand the different forms of colonial violence, and the need for positive peacebuilding in the post-colonial context. This paper argues that the current educational policy, the legal framework, and the ethno-religious-cultural diversity of today, exhibiting the structural, cultural, and direct violence, are a continuation of the legacy of the British Raj.

Author Bio(s)

Aziz Rahman is a PhD Candidate in the PACS Ph.D. Program at the University of Manitoba. He is the recipient of a number of scholarships including the Joseph Bombardier Canada Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Scholarship. He was a lecturer at the Department of Criminology and Police Science, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University (MBSTU) in Bangladesh. He is the author of three books and thirty-two peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

Mohsin Ali recently completed an MA in Education, and an MA in Globalization and International Development at the University of Ottawa. The focus of his research is on immigrant education in Canada and the role of BRAC in non-formal education in Bangladesh.

Saad Khan is a PACS PhD student at the Mauro Centre at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on exploring the causes that result in the radicalization of second-generation immigrants to inform peacebuilding strategies to counter the rise of radicalization.

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