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International Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies

Vol. 2, Issue 1, Part A (2020)

The British flag on both sides of Indian Ocean: Coloniser’s rational


Simakando Silongwa


In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British established themselves as the major power in the Indian Ocean Region, a position won by aggressive commercial activity, maritime power, and incessant fighting against indigenous polities and European ‘great power’ rivals. Indian sub-continent was ruled by the British East Indian Company for hundred years whose eventual end was precipitated by the Indian mutiny of 1857. The following year the British crown assumed control over India using both direct and indirect methods, until 1947. Now on East Africa side, British formal acceptance of a sphere of influence on the main land was brought many new responsibility, opportunity and problems. As a signatory of the Berlin Conference in 1885, Britain was obligated to Africans, stop out the slave trade, and open the continent for commercial development and missionary enterprise. Historians have argued that the British acquired not only an opportunity to augment her imperial real to settle a new area with British people and to build another great British dominion but also an opportunity to ease the burden of administration in India by providing an overseas outlet for Indian burgeoning population. To develop Africa along with the responsibility of India, Indians were encouraged and transported to east Africa by their colonial master as railway workers, artisans, small traders and as soldiers. Famous British colonial administrator F.D. Lugard argued that the railway construction to east Africa would promote India immigration to East Africa who would be involved to develop Africa. However, the Europeans rulers boasted of themselves as remaining the rulers of Africa, and lowly categorized Indians as developers and the African as labourers. The article therefore, examines the role of Indians who were accorded by their colonial masters to develop East Africa. Further this, this would even critically asses the role of British policies towards the racial differences between two communities, Indians and Africans. Finally, it will uncover the British desire who tactfully raised their national flag on both sides of Indian Ocean.

Pages: 26-32  |  1238 Views  504 Downloads

International Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies
How to cite this article:
Simakando Silongwa. The British flag on both sides of Indian Ocean: Coloniser’s rational. Int. J. Arts Humanit. Social Stud. 2020;2(1):26-32. DOI: 10.33545/26648652.2020.v2.i1a.18
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