What were the reasons for the discontent of the Indians against the British rule?


a. Introduction:

During the two hundred years of rule of the British they brought about various changes in the different aspects of the Indian life, be it social, economic or political But the changes effected by the British hardly did any good to the people of India.

Rather it may be said without any fear of contradiction that under the British rule all the classes of Indian people-from the educated middle class to the peasants and labourers-suffered degeneration.


b. Despondency of the Educated Unemployed:

The introduction of the English education under the British rule in course of time led to the emergence of a section of the people who developed modern outlook.

But they found that their education could not provide them any employment. Their material condition remained same as before.

Naturally they felt dejected. Also those who had somehow got a job were subjected to discriminatory treatment.


c. Distress of the Peasantry:

The burden of taxes imposed upon the peasants was unbearable to them, yet they were not accorded any right on the soil.

In such a situation the peasantry considered the British rule to be the cause of their sufferings.

d Distress of the Indigo Cultivators :


The greatest example of the distress of the peasantry suffered under the British rule was that of the indigo cultivators.

Forcible employment of the peasants to grow indigo and deprivation of the cultivators of their legitimate wages formed the background of the Indigo Rebellion of 1859.

e. Distress of the Craftsmen, etc.:

Under the British colonial economy the self-sufficiency of villages came to an end, the village community also had shattered.


The village artisans left their villages to become city-workers. Thus like peasantry the artisans also were discontented against the British rule.

f. Drain of Wealth:

India’s poverty due to the drain of wealth was an important factor that caused discontent among the Indian people.

They were amazed to see how India was made a country that supplied only raw materials to feed the British industrial houses.


This realization of the people helped them to sink their mutual differences and unite against the British imperialist rule.

g. Racial Arrogance of the British:

Another important factor that aroused discontent against the British rulers was the policy of racial discrimination adopted by the British in their dealings with the Indians.

In fact, the British rulers treated their Indian subjects as sub- humans.

Thus when discontent of the Indians loomed large the British government imposed various restrictions one after another curbing the rights Indians had been enjoying for long.

As a consequence the Indian people gradually built up a strong anti-British movement that eventually led to their expulsion from the country.

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