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India – United Kingdom relations

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The Indian–British relations are foreign relations between the Republic of India and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. India has a high commission in London and two consulates-general in Birmingham and Edinburgh.[1] The United Kingdom has a high commission in New Delhi and five deputy high commissions in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.[2] Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Historically, the UK ruled India for nine decades before Indians gained independence in 1947.

Indo-British relations
Map indicating locations of UK and India

United Kingdom

India
Envoy
High Commissioner Dominic Asquith High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha
The British Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a joint address in New Delhi; November 2016.

The UK has an ethnic Indian population of over 1.4 million. Former the UK prime minister David Cameron described Indian – British relations as the "New Special Relationship" in 2010.[3][4]

Contents

HistoryEdit

East India Company (1600–1857)Edit

Trade was established between Tudor England and Mughal India in 1600 when Elizabeth I granted the newly formed East India Company a royal charter. After the Mughal Empire's decline in 1707, India was a leading manufacturing country in the world in the early 18th century. It had 22.6 percent share of the world's GDP, by the time British left the country its GDP was near 4%. During 18th century East India Company began to gain greater influence in India. The Battle of Plassey in 1757 led to the conquest of Bengal while by 1857, following various treaties and wars with Indian kingdoms (such as the Anglo-Mysore Wars with Tipu Sultan, the Anglo-Maratha Wars and the Anglo-Sikh wars), the East India Company controlled most of the Indian subcontinent. Following the Indian Mutiny of 1857, where Indian sepoys rebelled against their British officers, the East India Company was dissolved the following year. The assets of the British East India Company became so huge that the British government decided to step in. India served as the main base for the British Empire's expansion across Asia and would remain the empire's most important colony until independence. Queen Victoria became Empress of India in 1858. From a small trading outpost, India became the jewel in the British crown.

British Raj (1858–1947)Edit

In 1858, the British Government assumed direct control of the territories and treaty arrangements of the former East India Company. In 1876, the area, which included modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, became "the Indian Empire" (often known historically as the "British Raj") with British Monarch Queen Victoria proclaimed as "Empress of India" (a title held by her successors until 1947). The British Indian Army was established and assisted Britain in many wars, including the Anglo-Afghan Wars, the Anglo-Gurkha Wars, the Anglo-Burmese Wars, the First and Second Opium Wars, and both World Wars.

End of the British RajEdit

The Indian independence movement gained traction following the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[5] Opposition to British rule increased, both through violent revolutions (as exemplified by Sardar Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose) and through nonviolent resistance (as exemplified by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) eventually led to Indian independence in 1947. Partition of India created new entities out of the erstwhile British Raj : India & Pakistan.

Dominion of India (1947–1950)Edit

Independence came in 1947 with the Partition of India into the union of India, and the Dominion of Pakistan, within the Commonwealth of Nations. King George VI, who as British Monarch had been "Emperor of India", abandoned this title in 1947, and served as India's ceremonial head of state as 'King of India' (in much the same way, he also served as 'King of Pakistan'). In 1950 India became a Republic and the link with the British crown was severed.

The Dominion was part of the Sterling Area (the Republic of India finally leaving in 1966).

Republic of India (since 1950)Edit

India decided to remain in the Commonwealth of Nations after becoming a Republic. Both Britain and India have since pursued quite divergent diplomatic paths.

In particular, India became a major force within the Non-Aligned Movement, which initially sought to avoid taking sides during the Cold War. This contrasted with Britain's position as a founding member of NATO, and key ally of the United States.

Political and diplomatic relations between the two countries have generally been cordial but lacking in depth. Former Indian Prime-Minister I. K. Gujral made a scathing assessment of Britain's relationship with India saying that the UK was a third rate power not worth cultivating.[6]

EconomyEdit

India is the third largest foreign investor in the UK. While UK ranks 18th as a trading partner of India and third after USA and Japan as an investor in India.[7] There are many bilateral trade agreements between the two nations designed to strengthen ties. For example, in 2005, the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was inaugurated in New Delhi aimed at boosting two-way bilateral investments.

The growth of India's multinational companies contributed greatly to UK's business and economy. As of 2014, Indian companies in the UK generated over 19 billion pounds.[8] Also, they have employed more than 100,000 people in the UK. Tata group alone employed over 55,000 people in the UK.[8] This kind of phenomenon, where non-Western countries impact the West, has been commented on by sociologist Anthony Giddens as "reverse colonialism." At a dinner on 15 August 1947, held to mark 70 years of India's independence, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "We in the UK are the beneficiaries of reverse colonialism." Johnson said the Jaguar car made in Castle Bromwich and exported back to India “in ever growing numbers” incarnated the “commercial role reversal” between India and the UK. [9] The British government has chosen India as one of its most influential trade partners because it is one of the "fastest growing economies in the world."[10] In 2013, Cameron formed the biggest trade delegation by accommodating more than 100 representatives that varied from multinational corporations, medium-to-small-sized corporations, and universities to India.[11] Compared to the 2010 trade mission, the UK and India negotiated to double the trade volume by 2015.[12] Following the trade delegation, total UK goods and services exports to India increased by 14% from January to September 2013. Between November 6 and 8, current British PM Theresa May would visit India for a bilateral trip.[13] The key topic of discussions would be May's plan for post-Brexit relations with India. Discussion on a possible free-trade agreement is also in the agenda. According to a MEA(Ministry of External Affairs, India) spokesperson, there is "substantial scope for further strengthening bilateral cooperation across a range of sectors, including science & technology, finance, trade & investment, and defense & security."

Following a meeting between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at the 9th UK-India economic and financial dialogue, Jaitley announced that the two countries had agreed to discuss a bilateral free trade agreement. However, Jaitley stated that a formal dialogue on the agreement would only begin post-Brexit.[14]

In September 2017 the High Commission of India in the UK, with the support of the UK India Business Council, announced the Access India programme, a unique scheme set up to help many more UK SMEs export to India. Whilst many large UK companies have a presence in India, small and medium sized British companies do not. India hopes that the Access to India programme will not only encourage British SMES to export to India but also inspire them to manufacture in India fulfilling the aims of the Make in India initiative. [15]

EducationEdit

Various Indian students have gone to the UK to attain higher levels of education. From 2004 to 2009, the number of Indian students studying in the UK doubled from 10,000 to over 20,000.[16] By 2009, India was one of the top ten countries sending students to study in the UK.[17] Because the number of students grew, the British government and the Indian government agreed to cooperate.

During the 2010 UK-India Summit, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and India came into agreement to support education by implementing the India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). In this summit, Cameron stated that "Education is an area where India and the UK could pool some of the advantages for mutual benefit." He continued by stating that a higher quality of education would lead to providing opportunities for all, thus encouraging economic growth and overcoming poverty for India.[18] However, after its implementation, the number of Indian students studying in the UK did not increase as expected by both governments. In 2010, the then Home Secretary Theresa May announced a stricter immigration law. This included tighter rules for international students. Students were forced to return to their homeland after earning their degree.[19] Since the immigration law, there has been a rapid decrease of 25% in the number of first year students from India during the year 2012-2013.[20] Theresa May's action has been criticised by people such as historian Edward Acton. Acton stated that this action is "butchering" the Anglo-Indian friendship because it is "treating university students as immigrants."[20] The continuous drop in the number of international students, including Indians, has become controversial. Business leaders such as Sir James Dyson have commented that forcing international students to move back to their homeland can be detrimental to the British economy in the long term.[21] In March 2015, Phillip Hammond stated during an interview with DD News that Theresa May's policy has been cancelled. Starting from 2015, Indian students are able to stay in the UK for six months after their graduation.[22]

Boris Johnson told Times of India in 2017 that "the number of Indian students in the UK continues to rise. Our most recent figures show a 10% increase in Indian students gaining visas - and 91% of these applications are successful. We want the brightest and best Indian students to attend our great universities; there is no limit to the number of genuine Indian students who can study in Britain," he said in the interview.[23]

PoliticalEdit

Politically, relations between India and the UK occur mostly through the multilateral organisations of which both are members, such as the Commonwealth of Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the Asian Development Bank.

Three Presidents of India have paid state visits to the United Kingdom: Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in June 1963,[24] Ramaswamy Venkataraman in October 1990,[24] and Pratibha Patil in 2009.[24]

HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom paid state visits to India in November 1963, April 1990, and in October 1997.[25][26]

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the UK in 2006.

After becoming the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Cameron was actively involved in enhancing the Indian-British relationship on various dimensions, such as "business, energy security, climate change, education, research, security and defense, and international relations."[27] His effort could be seen in his political visits in India on February 18–20, 2013 [28] and on November 14, 2013.[29] Following his visit, other politicians such as Former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited India to accomplish a trade mission in July 2014.[30] During their visit, Osborne announced that a statue of Gandhi would be erected in London's Parliament Square to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's return to India from South Africa. Upon unveiling the statue on March 14, 2015, Cameron stated that "Our ties with India have remained close throughout history and continue to go from strength to strength – through mutual respect as equals, through cooperation, trade, and of course through the one-and-a-half million Indian diasporas living in Britain today who bring our two nations closer, to the benefit of both." He further commented that the statue will "enrich the firm bond of friendship between the world's oldest democracy and its largest."[31]

In terms of political forces behind economic development, Western powers look to India as a case study contrasting democracy-led growth and state-guided growth, the latter of which has been the modus operandi for China.[32]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UK from 12–16 November 2015. During the visit, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to address the British Parliament.[33] The Times of India reported that agents from Mossad and MI5 were protecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was heading to the 2015 G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey. The paper reported that the agents had been called in to provide additional cover to Modi's security detail, composed of India's Special Protection Group and secret agents from RAW and IB, in wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks.[34][35]

Prime Minister Theresa May visited India on 6 November 2016 in her first bilateral visit to a non-European country since becoming Prime Minister. Explaining the decision, May said, "It [the visit] matters now more than ever. India is the fastest-growing major economy." May had previously referred to India as a "key strategic partner" in the aftermath of Britain voting to leave the European Union. She was accompanied by Trade Secretary Liam Fox and a delegation of 33 business leaders aiming to boost trade and investment between the India and the United Kingdom.[36][37]

At a dinner held to mark 70 years of Indian independence and 70 years of the Indian Journalists' Association on 15 August 2017, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: "We in the UK are the beneficiaries of reverse colonialism." He gave as an example the Jaguar car made in Castle Bromwich and exported back to India, as well as the Hawk jets which are made by BAE Systems and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Of the Jaguar, he said the car incarnated "the commercial role reversal" between India and the UK. [38]

At the same dinner the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the UK was working "ever more closely" with India to bring peace and stability to the Asia Pacific region, that the UK was increasingly co-operating in intelligence sharing with India and had no hesitation in sharing advanced technologies with India. [39]

In 2017 Times of India reported Boris Johnson as saying that in the first half of the year Britain gave nearly 500,000 visas to Indians - an eight per cent rise on the previous year. "Britain issues more visas to Indians than any other country in the world, apart from China." Mr Johnson said. [40]

2017 UK-India Year of CultureEdit

 
UK-India Year of Culture official launch

Her Majesty The Queen hosted the official launch of the UK India Year of Culture on 27 February 2017 at Buckingham Palace with Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley representing Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The British Council worked with the Palace and British-Indian start-up Studio Carrom to project a peacock, India's national bird, onto the facade of Buckingham Palace.[41]

The programme for the year was announced by UK Minister of State for Digital and Culture Rt Hon Matt Hancock, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom HE Mr Sinha and British Council Deputy Chair Rt Hon Baroness Prashar CBE PC, at the British Film Institute on 28 February 2017.[42] The programme includes an exhibition from the British Museum and The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai,[43] the first exhibition on Indian innovation at the UK’s Science Museum, London,[44] and the restoration of 1928 Indian movie, Shiraz, by the British Film Institute with a new score by British-Indian musician Anoushka Shankar.[45]

 
British Council Delhi Launch of Mix The City Delhi, 6 April 2017

The British Council inaugurated the Year of Culture in India on 6 April 2017 projecting elements of the Buckingham Palace Studio Carrom peacock onto the British Council’s Delhi building and launching an interactive music app Mix the City Delhi.[46]

According to the results of 2014 BBC World Service poll, 43% of Indian people view the United Kingdom's influence as positive and 23% view as negative. In contrast only 45% of British view India as positive and 46% of British view India as negative.

See alsoEdit

PerceptionsEdit

BBC World Service Country Rating Poll Data for UK & IndiaEdit

According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 43% of Indians view the United Kingdom's influence positively, 30% neutral and 27% expressing a negative view, while 45% of the British view India's influence positively, 9% neutral and 46% expressing a negative view.[47]

Results of 2014 BBC World Service poll.
Views of India's influence by country[48]
Sorted by Pos-Neg
Country polled Positive Negative Neutral Pos-Neg
  Germany 16 68 16 -52
  Pakistan 21 58 21 -37
  Spain 20 50 30 -30
  Israel 9 34 57 -25
  Mexico 26 37 37 -11
  South Korea 36 47 17 -11
  France 40 49 11 -9
  China 27 35 38 -8
  Canada 38 46 16 -8
  Peru 26 31 43 -5
  Australia 44 46 10 -2
  United Kingdom 45 46 9 -1
  United States 45 41 14 4
  Brazil 41 36 23 5
  Turkey 35 29 36 6
  Chile 35 21 44 14
  Indonesia 47 24 29 23
  Japan 34 9 57 25
  Kenya 53 23 24 30
  Ghana 53 22 25 31
  India 56 22 22 34
  Russia 45 9 46 36
  Nigeria 64 22 14 42
Results of 2014 BBC World Service poll.
Views of the United Kingdom's influence by country[48]
Sorted by Pos-Neg
Country polled Positive Negative Neutral Pos-Neg
  Pakistan 39 35 26 4
  Spain 41 36 23 5
  Turkey 39 30 31 9
  China 39 26 35 13
  Mexico 40 25 35 15
  India 43 27 30 16
  Germany 51 34 15 17
  Peru 41 21 38 20
  Brazil 45 25 30 20
  Russia 44 16 40 28
  Chile 45 15 40 30
  Indonesia 59 26 15 33
  Israel 50 6 44 44
  Japan 47 2 51 45
  Nigeria 67 22 11 45
  United Kingdom 72 23 5 49
  France 72 20 8 52
  Australia 73 18 9 54
  South Korea 74 14 12 60
  Kenya 74 10 16 64
  Ghana 78 9 13 69
  Canada 80 9 11 71
  United States 81 10 9 71

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ High Commission of India in the UK Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "British High Commission New Delhi". 
  3. ^ Morris, Chris (27 July 2010). "Does India want a 'special relationship' with UK?". BBC News. 
  4. ^ Nelson, Dean (7 July 2010). "Ministers to build a new 'special relationship' with India". The Daily Telegraph. 
  5. ^ Thorn, Gary (2001). End of empires : European decolonisation 1919-80 (1. publ., [Nachdr.]. ed.). London: Hodder & Stoughton. pp. 23,24,38–46. ISBN 9780340730447. 
  6. ^ "Trade is booming; will diplomacy follow?". The Hindu. 3 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "UK to end financial aid to India by 2015". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Anuj Chande, "India meets Britain, Tracking the UK's top Indian companies" "Grant Thorton" Retrieved April 6, 2015
  9. ^ Naomi Canton (17 August 2017). "We're beneficiaries of reverse colonialism: Boris". Times of India. 
  10. ^ UK Government Website [1] Retrieved March 31, 2015
  11. ^ Nicholas Watt, "David Cameron's India trade delegation: who's in it" "The Guardian" February 18, 2013
  12. ^ George Parker,"Cameron bats for British trade in India" "FT" February 18, 2013
  13. ^ "India, UK to explore free trade deal during Theresa May's trip". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  14. ^ India, Press Trust of (4 April 2017). "Brexit impact: India, UK may look at free trade agreement". Business Standard India. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Naomi Canton (28 September 2017). "India to roll out red carpet to UK SMEs". Times of India. 
  16. ^ "Non-UK domicile students" "Higher Education Statistics Agency" Retrieved April 4, 2015
  17. ^ "Why students prefer to study in UK Colleges or Universities" "The Sunday Times" May 30, 2010
  18. ^ UK Government Website [2] Retrieved April 5, 2015
  19. ^ Tom Whitehead "Tens of thousands of foreign students face the axe to the cut immigration numbers" "The Telegraph" November 22, 2010
  20. ^ a b Chris Parr "Anglo Indian ties have been butchered by May" "Times Higher Education" January 23, 2014
  21. ^ John Bingham "Sir James Dyson: Theresa May risks ‘long-term economic decline’ over foreign students" "The Telegraph" January 4, 2015
  22. ^ "British Foreign Secy Philip Hammond endorses 'Make in India' ""DD News" March 13, 2015
  23. ^ Naomi Canton (23 October 2017). "More Indian students choosing to go to UK: Boris Johnson". Times of India. 
  24. ^ a b c "Ceremonies: State visits". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 6 November 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008. 
  25. ^ "OUTWARD STATE VISITS MADE BY THE QUEEN SINCE 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2008. 
  26. ^ "OUTWARD STATE VISITS MADE BY THE QUEEN SINCE 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  27. ^ UK Government website Retrieved April 1, 2015
  28. ^ "David Cameron in India" Retrieved April 2, 2015
  29. ^ "David Cameron's visit to India 14 November 2013". 
  30. ^ "William Hague and George Osborne visit India" Retrieved April 3, 2015
  31. ^ UK Government Website "Gandhi statue to be unveiled in Parliament Square on March 14" Retrieved March 31, 2015
  32. ^ Eric Deville, Op-Ed: Cameron’s visit to India — Pounds, rupees and democracy, Digital Journal, 20 February 2013
  33. ^ "India's message from Jaguar factory before PM Modi's UK visit: 'We are job makers, not job takers'". 11 November 2015. 
  34. ^ "Mossad, MI5 roped in to shield Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Turkey?". 
  35. ^ "Mossad may be protecting Modi at Turkey G20 summit, paper claims". 
  36. ^ "May Flies to India to Prepare for Trade Deal After Brexit". 6 November 2016 – via www.bloomberg.com. 
  37. ^ MacLellan, Kylie. "UK PM Theresa May seeks to boost trade ties with India before Brexit". 
  38. ^ Naomi Canton (17 August 2017). "We're beneficiaries of reverse colonialism: Boris". Times of India. 
  39. ^ Naomi Canton (17 August 2017). "UK keen on working with India to check North Korea, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson say". Times of India. 
  40. ^ Naomi Canton (23 October 2017). "More Indian students choosing to go to UK: Boris Johnson". Times of India. 
  41. ^ Prasun Sonwalkar (28 February 2017). "Indian colours, peacock light up the Buckingham Palace as British Queen plays host to India". Hindustan Times. 
  42. ^ Prasun Sonwalkar (28 February 2017). "Himanshu Rai's 1928 film Shiraz restored for UK-India Year of Culture". Hindustan Times. 
  43. ^ Poorva Joshi (3 February 2017). "An exhibition will showcase 5,000 years of Indian history in 9 stories". Hindustan Times. 
  44. ^ Aditi Khanna (5 February 2017). "India season kicks off in Britain". Hindustan Times. 
  45. ^ Suresh Chabria (3 April 2017). "Restored classic 'Shiraz' is as timeless as the Taj Mahal monument that inspired it". scroll.in. 
  46. ^ Chanpreet Khurana (6 April 2017). "A world of sounds: A new site invites you to play DJ, with Delhi and Mumbai as your muse". scroll.in. 
  47. ^ 2014 World Service Poll BBC
  48. ^ a b "BBC World Service poll" (PDF). BBC. 3 June 2014. 

External linksEdit