The Legacy of British Colonization in South Asia

Sixteen stories about the British empire, the royal family, and how they changed the subcontinent.

The Juggernaut Editorial Team

September 13, 2022

The Legacy of British Colonization in South Asia
Queen Elizabeth II perches in a howdah on the back of an elephant at Benares, during her tour of India, 25th January 1961. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Thursday, September 8. She was 96 and reigned for 70 years. While people worldwide mourned her passing, for South Asians — and other nationals of British colonies — the Queen was a symbol of the Britain’s imperial past. Neither the Queen, the royal family, nor the U.K. government has officially apologized for colonial atrocities or for plundering riches from subjugated territories, such as the famed Koh-i-noor diamond, which remain in the U.K. Britain’s colonial legacy in South Asia over hundreds of years includes arbitrarily partitioning the country along religious lines, the Bengal Famine, exporting slaves to other territories, and looting trillions of dollars of wealth. Today, we bring you a roundup of our stories on colonization and its effects. Read about how much wealth the British stole from the Indian subcontinent, the impact of Partition, and how imperial policies affect South Asian health to this day. Here are 16 stories about the British empire, the royal family, and how they changed the subcontinent.