Canadian and Indian Similarities Boiled Down
by MarcSirois on April 1, 2014 - 11:34pm
Formerly part of the great British Empire, Canada and India/Pakistan, share many similarities, but there are also discrepancies in their individual histories. The main similitude of colonial Canada and colonial India is the purpose of their colonisation. The goal of the British, in both cases, was to establish trade. They exploited the natives of each land, the First Nations in the Americas and the inhabitants of India, by buying large quantities of raw materials such as beaver fur/timber or cotton. These were then brought to Great Brittan, where they were turned into finished goods (hats and clothing, respectively) and then resold to the natives at a much higher price than what they had paid to obtain the resources. Although this process seems to be exactly the same in both colonies, it is important to note that in India, it is the Hindu and Muslim population that is being exploited, whereas in Canada, the indigenous were exploited, but today they are a minority in our culture.
Henceforth, when India revolted and obtained its independence, it was by the doing of the population who had been exploited for many, many years, whereas Canadian independence was obtained not for the natives who had been exploited more than the colons, but by these colons who had participated in the exploitation of the first inhabitants of the country. Today, the natives live in Indian reserves and are supported by the government by lack of education, caused by discrimination and the forming of these reserves in the early 20th century. Though they seem very selfish, the colons’ did not have a government that was free from the British who imposed many taxes that were thought to be unnecessary. Though a very passive independence, as is our nature, Canada did obtain independence long before India did as the main reason for exploitation was no longer a viable means of making money.
This brings up another point. Both former colonies have had strong nationalist movements after their liberation from Great Britain. It is well-known that in India, the Muslim population and the Hindu population did not get along. Cultural differences were too great to overcome and kept causing conflict after conflict. Muslim nationalist movements resulted in the creation of Pakistan, a territory in India that was very Muslim that received independence from the Hindu country. This is similar to what has been recently happening in Canada, in the last half-century there has been a nationalist movement of sovereignty where a part of the French Canadian population of Quebec believes that the province would be better off as a country. This conflict is not a recent one; it has been raging since the first Canadian government. With political Parties aiming to make Québec a country, referendums were held, but both of them failed. Recently, the debate has resurged and the nationalist movement is still present today. Amongst others related to language, it is a favorite topic of the Parties hoping to be elected in one week.