by reactionary ones in the administration of
Meaning and Nature
During the 200 years of British rule India had to pay a very heavy price for
what she got from England. The price which India had to pay for the British
contribution to India’s political, economic and social progress was not only
out of proportion to what India received, but it was also so heavy that the
British rule in India left ‘poverty amidst plenty’. The British siphoning
system adopted to take away India’s resources and wealth has come to be
appropriately called by economists like R. C. Dutt, Dadabhai and others ‘the
Economic Drain’.
    The Theory of Drain was developed by the Indian nationalist thinkers
mainly with a view to analyse one of the main causes of poverty in India. The
Drain referred to “the unrequited surplus of exports over imports that was
transferred to England.” The drain was typically “a phenomenon of the
colonial rule.”
    The transfer of resources (i.e. unrequited exports) from India to England
either without getting anything in return or getting only a disproportionately
small part of such a transfer of resources has come to be described as the
Drain on India’s resources.
    The person to draw pointed attention to this drain of resources from India
to England was Dadabhai Naoroji in his book Poverty and Un-British Rule in
India (1871).
    Dadabhai Naoroji made an attempt, in his book, to explain the causes of
the drain, to measure the amount of the drain flowing from India to England,
and to trace the consequences of such drain.
    Dadabhai tried to prove that the prevailing mass poverty in India was the
direct consequence, among other reasons, for the drain of resources from
India to England.
Forms of Drain
According to Dadabhai Naoroji, the following forms of drain can be