The colonial period is often oversimplified but Dalit intellectuals like Iyothee Thass have argued that the colonial period brought some freedom from the tyranny of upper castes.
When the use of coffee first spread across India under British rule, many Tamil Brahmins strongly opposed it. But by the time India became independent, they had wholeheartedly embraced coffee, infused it with their own characteristics, and had begun to wield it as a marker of their social superiority.
In the early decades of the 19th century, British India witnessed a heated debate over the question of whether the practice of sati should be legally permitted. The debate had little to do with modern concepts such as human rights. Its real point was discovering and restoring “true Hindu tradition.”
When the British legalized widow remarriage, it caused chaos in communities where it was already practiced. The major courts of India added to the confusion with contradictory judgements.