1. The expansion of the British rule during the Governer-Generalship of Lord Wellesley resulted in the East India Company becoming a paramount power in India. Discuss.
Many of you have written extensively on Lord Wellesley’s conquests and achievements. But the question simply asks you to discuss that the expansion of British Rule under his reign resulted in EIC’s paramount power.
Just give small description on methods adopted by Wellesley and his objectives, because of which he could bring as many Indian states subordinate to the paramount authority of the Company.
Explain because of his policies the Indian powers were forced to suspend non – British European officers, which advantaged only East India Company to gain control of the province’s trade (monopoly) and become a paramount power in India.
Lord Wellesley was already a member of the British Parliament for several years and of the Board of Control over Indian affairs, when he was appointed as Governor General of India (GGI). This enabled him to rule over India effectively as GGI from 1798-1805 AD.
He came to India when the British were locked in a life-and- death struggle with France all over the world. In his eyes, India was a threat in the world war with France and he was a statesman who feared the conquests of Napoleon.
The main objective of Wellesley was to
expand British rule in India and to extend the trade relationship of the East India Company
bringing as many Indian states as possible under British control
prevent Indian rulers allying with the French or other European competitors.
Therefore, he reversed the policy of non-intervention and adopted the policy of Subsidiary Alliance. By this policy the Indian powers were forced to come under British protection by suspending non – British European officers.
To achieve his political aims Wellesley relied on three methods: the system of ‘Subsidiary Alliances’, outright war, and the assumption of the territories of previously subordinated rulers. He used these methods to subordinate the Indian states to the paramount authority of the Company.
His term of office for seven years introduced an important phase in the development of British power in India and his policy allowed him to remove all kinds of French influence from India and to make the British the paramount power of the subcontinent. He succeeded in his job by implementing wars as well as by peaceful annexations.
Wellesley was an important figure who has contributed a lot in extending the British power in India. To ensure this he took some necessary steps that showed his complete sensory mind. He concluded alliances with the weaker native rulers. The company made itself responsible for the defence of the state and gained control of the province’s trade. He also conquered the whole of the Carnatic on the east coast and large areas around Bombay on the west coast.
The expansion of the British rule during his reign resulted in the East India Company becoming a paramount power in India. At the time of his returning home Wellesley left the British absolutely supreme in India.
Best answer: Vikrant Madhusudhan Parab
Wellesley came to India with a determination to launch strong forward policy and to make “British Empire in India” to “the British Empire of India”
The period when he came to India was marked with major threats form Marathas, Mysore and Nizam of Hyderabad. Napolean Expansion Policy towards East was also threat to British in India.
He came with a policy of Subsidary Alliance. The main reason for its introduction was threat form Napolean and Native states. Under this, treaty was signed between EIC and Native States in which EIC would assume responsibility from Internal and External Threats and in return Native States will give up their claim on Defence and External Affaris. (This marked the turning point and process of British empire of India begun as Native States gave up their claims)
Fourth Anglo Mysore War 1799 and Second Maratha War 1803 also marked success for EIC and helped them to expand its territory.
Wellesley strictly ordered Native States not to recruit any Foreigners in the Service which further closed the door for outsiders particularly France.
With victories in Wars, control in Internal /External Affairs, Diplomacy etc helped EIC to have a good hold over Indian territories and thus EIC became paramount power in India and Wellesley became one of the greatest Empire Builders that England had ever produced.
2. Give an account of the land revenue policy of the British in India. How did the settlement systems introduced by the British lead to impoverishment of the Indian economy in general and agriculture in particular? Explain.
British came to India as traders to earn maximum profit. The same tendency reflected in their revenue policy.
Three major systems of land revenue collection existed in India. They were – Zaminidari (permanent settlement), Ryotwari and Mahalwari.
Zamindari System– introduced by Cornwallis / Zamindars were given ownership rights of the land / in Bengal, Bihar, Odissa and parts of United Provinces. / Out of collected amount 1/11 share of zamindar and 10/11 of East India company.
Ryotwari System– introduced by Thomas Munro/ tax directly collected from peasants/ in Madras, Bombay, parts of Assam and Coorg / tax rate- 50% of produce in dry areas and 60% in irrigated areas.
Mahalwari System– introduced during William Bentick / Mahals comprised of 2-3 villages. Tax was collected from village committees/ in Central Province, North-West Frontier, Agra, Punjab, Gangetic Valley, etc of British India.
Effects on Indian Economy:
Self sustainable economy of Villages called Jajmani system was destroyed.
De-industrialisation, as raw materials were not provided to industries.
Life expectancy reduced, under nourishment and malnourishment caused a weak workforce.
High tax rates resulted into low capital in the hands of Indians.
Caused large scale famines.
Effects on Agriculture:
Tax money was not invested in agriculture and was siphoned out. This made even the most productive lands barren.
Commercialisation of agriculture. Farmers were forced to grow indigo and opium.
In a large part of country, peasants were left as tenants on their own lands.
No finance facility by government caused money lenders to charge exorbitant rates pushing farmers into a vicious circle of poverty.
Farmers started migrating to cities to look for petty labour jobs, leaving farming.
(Although so many other points can be given, it is important to restrict yourself to some important ones. Do not write essays. Remember preciseness is one of the qualities which examiners look for. Crossing the world limit creates a very bad impression and you end up losing marks rather than earning them. In questions like this, you can save time by making a diagram, using slashes, or flowchart.)
(There were other answers as well which covered the topic comprehensively. But they are not selected because it not an essay writing competition.)
3. The steps taken by the British post 1813 to transform Indian society and culture were driven mainly by the capitalist interests back home in Britain. Critically comment.
(These are just the guidelines to write a better answer. Points are given for Indicative purpose and for knowledge point of view. You should cut short them and select the best ones while writing in the exam.)
Your introduction should reflect following points.
Till 1813, Britishers followed the policy of non-interference in Indian Society and culture.
Post 1813, Mercantile capitalism was turned into Industrial capitalism or Free trade
Changes in England’s socio-economic setup was the driving force of those changes in India
What was the demand of an Industrialized England?
Raw material – Earlier India used to export their products but Industrial Revolution changed the scenario. Now the demand for Raw material had increased in England. Various taxes etc had been
Market share to others – Charter Act 1813 ended the monopoly of East India company which gave access to other businessmen from England which led to intense competition and resulted into exploitation. Charter Act 1833 made it a totally free market by ending company rule.
Labour – Macaulay Minute, Wood’s dispatch etc – to create educated Indians which can be used as a cheap labour and would also help in better administration.
Transport and Communication – Movement of Raw material, labour, better administration etc had forced Company and Crown to invest in Railways, Telegraph
Market to sell – Christian missionaries were encouraged to promote their religion among the tribals with the aim to keep them at their sides and exploit the vast forest resources for their own benefits. New ideas in name of Scientific Ideas and rational thinking was promoted to change the preferences and tastes of Indian society to create a market of their products.
However, apart from that, few positive changes also happened due to various other factors.
When the British came to India, they brought new ideas such as liberty, equality, freedom and human rights from the Renaissance, the Reformation Movement and the various revolutions that took place in Europe. These ideas appealed to some sections of our society and led to several reform movements in different parts of the country
At the forefront of these movements were visionary Indians such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Aruna Asaf Ali and Pandita Ramabai. These movements looked for social unity and strived towards liberty, equality and fraternity. Many legal measures were introduced to improve the status of women. For example, the practice of sati was banned in 1829 by Lord Bentinck, the then Governor General. Widow Remarriage was permitted by a law passed in 1856. A law passed in 1872, sanctioned inter-caste and inter-communal marriages. Sharda Act was passed in 1929 preventing child marriage. The act provided that it was illegal to marry a girl below 14 and a boy below 18 years. All the movements severely criticized the caste system and especially the practice of untouchability.
Your conclusion should say that even though largely the changes were done as per the need of the capitalist class but other factors were equally important and had a long lasting impact on socio economic status of the country.
Best answer: Shernizaad
Till 1813, British followed the policy of non-interference in Indian society and culture. However, the charter act of 1813 opened up the gates of transformation for India driven by different values and interests: –
1) Britain was blooming under Industrial revolution and therefore to expand the markets, India had to be transformed and made modern at least partially for serving the capitalist interests. And hence, monopoly of EIC was ended increasing trade and commerce in India.
2) Christian missionaries were encouraged to promote their religion among the tribals with the aim to keep them at their sides and exploit the vast forest resources for their own benefits.
3) modern education through woods dispatch was promoted to establish cadre of Indians which would understand British psyche and help them in their administration.
4) promotion of railways and telegraphs was done with the motive of expanding British trade to each nook and corner of India.
However, there are also examples which show that only capitalistic interests were not behind these developments. Renaissance gave values of humanism and reasons which could be found in the administration under William Bentick and Dalhousie who abolished sati, promoted widow remarriage and increased minimum age of marriage, etc with help of Indian reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Moreover, few Britishers considered it as their duty under “white man’s burden” theory to civilize Indian society thus promoting Indian universities and Schools.
Overall the steps taken post 1813 were driven by mixed values while keeping British interests at the top most level.
4. What do you understand by net neutrality? Recently, the social media giant- Facebook launched its ‘Free Basics’ service. Does it violate net neutrality? Examine.
You can directly start with a definition of Net Neutrality and give a basic info about the free basic related controversy.
What is Net Neutrality?
It is the principle that ISP (Internet Service Provider) and governments should treat all the data which is available on the internet equally rather than discriminating or charging differentially by user, site, content, platform, application, mode of communication or type of attached equipment
According to Facebook, it is an open platform that gives Indian developers the opportunity to make their services and websites available free of cost to those who cannot afford internet access. However, this free access is limited to partner websites and applications. It was launched two years ago globally in partnership with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera Software, Nokia and Qualcomm.
Demand of Pro Net Neutrality Section:
No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
Voices against Free basics:
Issue with Zero Rating model: With zero rating, telcos insert themselves into a previously direct relationship between a site and user. Some sites made cheaper versus others. Said it earlier, saying it again. Problem with zero rating is that it gives telcos the right to play kingmaker through pricing. So Net Neutrality battle isn’t just about Facebook. It’s about telcos lobbying for differential pricing and revenue share from Internet companies.
Issue with usage of data: Critics has questioned Facebook on what they will do with personal information collected with Free Basics, whether they would allow aGoogle or Twitter to join the platform. He’s also asked if the service will be restricted only to those who can’t afford Internet data packs.
Voices in favour of Free basics:
Free Basics opens up full internet for many. Globally-50% move to full net in 30 days. Data should win the argument. On improving Internet access for all, it can’t be left to just governments and that one needs to look at “public and private” models “to make faster gains.”
a total ban might not be the ideal solution and one should look at the platforms on a case by case basis.
Your conclusion should be a balanced one which should argue in favour of Net neutrality but also be optimistic for Private players and their participation in digital world.
5. In India, Section 377 of the IPC was introduced not as a reflection of existing Indian values and traditions, but rather, it was imposed upon Indian society due to the moral values of the colonisers. Indian society prior to enactment of the IPC had a much greater tolerance of homosexuality.
Section 377 of IPC ,by lord Macaulay, was introduced to criminalise “Unnatural sex”. Surprisingly, the term is used only in the connotation of homosexuality.
The section was introduced by the British Government to impose their own morality and values over Indians, who had been, till then, very open about the idea of homosexuality.
British Value: UK was an orthodox society with deep Christian value. They had blasphemy laws and Homosexuality was considered a sin, a crime against God, with severe punishment. Indian society in their opinion was uncouth and uncivilized, and they believed it to be a White man’s burden to civilize it and impose modern values. i.e. their values.
Many examples can be cited from Indian history which shows that Indians inherently were not against the idea of homosexuality:
Many erotic sculptures of ancient and medieval temples, especially Khajuraho, showing people involved in homosexuality.
Vatsyayan’s Kamasutra, which is considered to be a standard work on sexual behavior, devotes a whole chapter on homosexual sex.
There are accounts, that many queens, facing being neglected by their Rajas, turned towards same sex partners.
There are evidences in epics and religious scriptures about tansgenders as well, Ardhanarishwar avatar of Shiva, Shikhandi in Mahabharata are some of them.
In Medieval times, many Nawabs were known to have same sex partners.
Conclusion: (Can be written in your way) However now, UK has changed its law against homosexuality, India is still carrying forward the British legacy.
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