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Difference Between Muslim Rule and British Rule in India

Muslim Rule vs British Rule in India

India has been under various empires and rulers from all over the world. Presently, India is categorized as one of the underdeveloped countries, but the rich heritage and culture of the past still resides in India. There were two main empires in its history which changed the whole face of India. One was the Muslim empire which ruled India for over 250 years. The other was the British Empire, which lasted for 100 years or so. Let us closely look at each one by one.

Muslim Rule

Around 1528, a great empire crossed the Indian subcontinent from far west Baluchistan to Bengal in the east and from the top of Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri Basin in the south. Muslim rule stretched across the centuries while being ruled by the Khilji, Tughlaq, Lodhi and Mughal dynasties.

The Mughal Empire was politically very strong and ruled the country for the longest duration. It provided a system of government that shared many ideas with the Sultanate as well as bringing its own vast ideas. The Mughal Empire came with new developments in India. Many of today’s architecture was built by the great Muslim empires like the Taj Mahal which is a world heritage monument. The extraordinary and spectacularly detailed monuments all came from within the Mughal Empire. Indian economy flourished during Mughal rule. The Muslim rule followed Islam and was culturally intolerant towards any other religion.

British Rule

In 1858, after the British invaded India, Queen Victoria was made to be the Empress of India. The British Indian Empire consisted of two divisions: British India and the Native States or Princely States. In the Princely States, the British did not directly rule over the states, but a separate ruler would make sure that the places were still under their eyes. There were 565 Princely States when the Indian subcontinent became independent from Britain in August, 1947.

The British Empire was politically very strong. It made laws binding on the native people which, of course, were acted upon very seriously. The British rulers were very dominant towards the Indian people.

The British Empire brought many industrial developments into India. Although criticized, the most popular East India Company was one of the biggest silk and cotton industries at that time. Railway services and new roads were developed under the British rule. The economy faced a decline under their rule. The British Empire was never accepted by the native Indians. The British Empire left India in 1947.


1.Muslim rule followed in India for more than 200 years while British rule for nearly 100 years.
2.Muslim rule consisted of over 50 rulers from various dynasties while the British had 20 viceroys at their time.
3.Muslim rule had religious intolerance towards all other religions while the British showed no such inclinations.
4.The Muslim rulers made various cultural developments which still exist in the country while British rule focused on industrial and trade developments.
5.The economy blossomed in the latter half of the Muslim rule while it declined under British rule.

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