Ahmedabad: British colonisation and social deterioration through trade 2

Although it has been recorded in history that the British tried to colonise the Gujurat with respect of the veneer establishments, and that they claimed to have done practically nothing but observe for half a century before making changes to improve the place. However, “The impact of this foreign method of administration without making room for the existing
patterns of claim can be seen and felt in the physical form of the city” (Sejpal, 1987), be it the municiple ruling of the area, or the physical changes to the workings of the city. It is inevitable that as a colony of the British empire, the local had to suffer as a collective to make way for profits as well as conform to the administrative restructuring which was “formalised by the British“(Sejpal, 1987), as oppose to previously where the entire city functioned more as a community.

Directly influenced by the administration of the city, “serious structural changes associated with the rise of British power: the breaking of government’s financial dependence on local merchant… undoubtedly caused by excessive company revenue demands on the countryside;…” (Haynes, 1991) means that the city is first and most foremost a tool for income under British rule. The city fabric in terms of socially and economically has been sacrificed and used for profits and although it may seem on paper that the city is prospering, the benefits bypasses the locals to the British and perhaps the East India Company, resulting in the expenditure of the local resources and deterioration of the residential.

those who control a place should have the motives, information and power to do it well, a commitment to the place and to the needs of other persons and creatures in it, a willingness to accept failure and to correct it.“(Lynch, 1984). As such, it does seem that the British rule is rather a damage to the city rather than the benefits that urbanisation and modernisation could bring.


Predominant trade in Ahmedabad through the years
Predominant trade in Ahmedabad through the years


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