History of Modern India :- The end of the ancient era and the start of the medieval era
The end of the ancient era and the start of the medieval era are regarded as the times when the feudal social system starts to take root in the society. Ideally, the end of the medieval era and the start of the modern era are regarded as the time when the feudal social system is abandoned and the social system based on capitalism starts to take hold. Of obviously, social orders do not shift suddenly. As a result, both periods’ traits are present during the transitional period between two eras. According to the aforementioned criteria, it is challenging to pinpoint the beginning of the modern era in India.
The Indian modern period spans the years from the inception of British control in Bengal to the end of the Nehru era, however historians vary as to when it first began. The Northern Mughal era, which served as the required backdrop for the establishment of British rule, must of course be studied in this context. Four distinct eras can be identified within modern history: the East India Company’s control (1757–1857); the development of Indian nationalism (1857–1855); the Indian National Movement (1885–1947); and the Nehru Era (1947-1964). In the section of this article titled “Post-Independence Consolidation of India,” let’s talk about the Nehru era.
From a trading company to a mercantile-military-political institution, the East India Company underwent a transformation in India. The corporation developed a military persona as a result of the unsteady political climate. Plassey and Buxar are at odds because of the company’s political meddling in Bengal and extensive use of Free Passes. The Company became a significant political force in Bengal politics as a result of the Battle of Plassey, and in North India as a result of the Battle of Buxar. The company’s morale is raised by these battles. They must be examined not just as battles but also in the light of their larger implications.
The first stage of the East India Company’s ascent to power must be viewed in terms of “the Company’s power being consolidated in Bengal.” Attempts were made to establish a government in Bengal by Robert Clive, Warren Hastings, and Cornwallis. The dual system of government (split between power and accountability) of Robert Clive’s era, as well as its consequences and modifications to corporate governance, must be studied. Reforms in the judiciary and the revenue administration experiment by Warren Hastings are significant considerations. Many of Cornwallis’s changes, particularly his judicial code, necessitate a careful examination of the existing system of income management.
The period of these three marks the evolution of the Company’s administrative system in Bengal. Of course, one must keep in mind the fact that this system is a colonial system.
The altered context must be taken into consideration for the company’s second phase of power. It made sense for the Company to safeguard Indian territories in light of Napoleon’s push through Europe and the newly arising French threat. However, the British strategy in this case is important. This strategy involves a plan to control all of India in order to make it impossible for the French to invade, going beyond merely safeguarding the current possessions. Wellesley, who is familiar with Napoleon and French strategy, is chosen as the governor for this. By implementing the Tanati Fauja Treaty, Wellesley established the Company’s “military supremacy” over all of India.
Lord Hastings transformed this military authority into ‘political sovereignty’ and transformed the Company into the largest dominion in the Indian subcontinent.
The first part of the East India Company’s rise to power has to be seen in terms of ‘the consolidation of the Company’s power in Bengal’. Robert Clive, Warren Hastings and Cornwallis tried to give Bengal an administration. One has to study the dual system of government (divorce between power and responsibility) during Robert Clive’s time, its side effects and changes in corporate governance. Warren Heistgs’ experiment in revenue administration and its side effects, reforms in judiciary are important factors. Many of Cornwallis’s reforms, especially his judicial code, require a thorough study of the permanent system of revenue administration. The period of these three marks the evolution of the Company’s administrative system in Bengal. Of course, one must keep in mind the fact that this system is a colonial system.
In the third stage of company power, relatively more peace and stability is felt. That is why the social reforms of Bentinck’s time, the beginning of modern education (Macaulay Committee) and the reforms in administration become important in this period. Dalhousie’s period after this is important because of his colonial ambitions and the modernization he brought about. Dalhousie was a pure expansionist and Khalsaist. His aim was to destroy the Indian establishment by advancing various causes (refusal of adoption, failure to pay tribute, forced labor, etc.) or finally by war. Dalhousie is partly responsible for the uprising of 1857. The other side of the Dalhousie administration was modernization. It includes infrastructure such as railways, telegraphs, roads, canals, ports and improvements in military, administration and education. Of course, there is no doubt that this modernization was inspired by colonialism, for the consolidation of colonialism. Admittedly, through modernization, Dalhousie laid a solid foundation for suppressing the uprising of 1857. 2013 Main Exam Question – ‘In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India.
Elaborate’- expects the above analysis.
The uprising of 1857 was characteristic. There are many differences of opinion regarding the nature of this uprising. There is variation from the view that it was only a soldier’s mutiny (the European view) to the view that it was India’s first war of independence (the radical nationalists like Savarkar). A thorough study of the exact nature of this uprising, the causes of the uprising, the reasons for the failure of the uprising and the outcome of the uprising is important. There are many reasons of political, social, economic, religious, military nature of this uprising and they have to be found in the period of 100 years of company power. This uprising ended the Company’s power and transferred power to the British Parliament. From the point of view of the British, the challenge of Indian feudalism ends and the new challenge of the intellectual middle class educated by modern education inspired by national thought.
The next important period is the ‘period of rise of Indian nationalism’. The nascent Indian nationalism of the Uprising of 1857 grew from 1858 to 1885 and began to express itself through the Indian National Congress formed in 1885. Lord Layton’s and Lord Ripon’s times contribute to the growth of Indian nationalism in different ways. Indian nationalism grew out of the ‘created reaction’ to Layton’s unjust policies, total disregard and insult to Indian opinion. Although Layton’s period was humiliating, difficult and bad for Indians, there is no doubt that Indian nationalism gained strength from it (Boon in Disguise). Lord Ripon’s view, however, was completely different. He came to India inspired by the ‘India Mission’. He overruled many of Layton’s unjust policies. Ripon devised many good policies. Ripon’s efforts in the context of education, revenue administration, media, local self-government, judiciary (Ilbert Bill Controversy) are very important. Rather than whether his policies were successful or not, it is more important that his efforts raised Indian aspirations and initiated political life in India. Lord Curzon’s time parallels that of Layton and Dalhousie. Its colonial approach appears to be counter-productive to its very purpose. In an effort to end the emerging Indian nationalism, Curzon sought to break through the partition of Bengal by considering nationalism in Bengal as the root of Indian nationalism.
Due to this, Indian nationalism became stronger and Jahal nationalism faced the British power
A new challenge arose. In addition, the study of Curzon’s reforms in many departments of government becomes important.
In this article we have reviewed the main thread of the period from 1757 to 1885. Of course, a thorough bibliographic study of this becomes important. Studying the bibliography after understanding the outline is more beneficial. In the next article let us review the other threads of this period and the Indian national movement. (first half)