Can Warren Hastings be called the architect of British rule in India?


Describe the fiscal reforms of Governor General Warren Hastings

Can Warren Hastings be called the architect of British rule in India?

Although an efficient administrator, it is true that the main aim of Warren Hastings' administration was to protect and promote the interests of the company. He realized that if the administration could not be made efficient and corruption free, the interest of the company would not be protected. In fact, by efficient and corruption-free governance he wanted—

(1) To increase the company's commercial income and revenue collection.

(2) To fulfill the social interest of the company and

(3) To increase various opportunities and facilities for the English people coming to India. Moreover, the Nawabi administration in Bengal was completely broken due to the disaster in the battle of Palashi and Buxar. Moreover, the Mughal emperor's rash decision to acquire 'Dewani' as a result of the East India Company's 'dual rule' led to the political and economic situation in Bengal becoming very precarious. Self-interested employees of the company take advantage of this uncertainty and chaos. They abandoned the interests of Bengal and the company and focused on their own interests. Manvantar of the seventies turned Bengal into a crematorium. As a result of the dishonesty of the company's employees, the company's income also decreases a lot. In this situation, Warren Hastings came to India with the responsibility of Governor (1772 AD). He was styled the 'Governor General' by promulgating the Regulating Act the following year. He tried hard to protect the status of this new honor.

Warren Hastings' Administrative Reforms

He was already aware of the evils of 'dual rule'. So Hastings came to India and put an end to the dual rule by an order (1772 AD) and took over the responsibility of collecting revenue directly from the company. Reza Khan and Sitab Roy, the two tyrannical heroes of dual rule, were impeached and deposed, and the posts of Naib and Suba were abolished. He reduced the Nawab's annual allowance from 32 lakh taka to 16 lakh taka. Government treasury was shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta. The headquarters of the company is Kolkata. As a result, the political importance of Calcutta began to increase from now on.

Warren Hastings' Revenue Reforms

Hastings made several reforms to make the revenue system fair and regular. His object was to fix the amount of land revenue for a certain period on the basis of just claims, so that the zamindars and companies. Both can be sure about the revenue they receive and pay. For this he took some measures. It is decided that the land will be settled for five years. A traveling committee (Committee of Circuit) was formed to appear in each district and settle with the landlords. Earlier there was an employee called 'Supervisor' to oversee the revenue affairs of the company. Hastings renamed them 'Collector' or 'Collector'. These white collectors were entrusted with the responsibility of revenue collection. The highest authority and responsibility in civil matters is given to a meeting called Board of Revenue. The Board of Revenue is constituted with two members of the Council and three senior officials. In 1773, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were divided into six regions, each under a Provincial Council. An Indian Dewan was appointed to assist each Council. In order for the members of the council to be free from corruption, their monthly salary is fixed at three thousand rupees.

One house settlement

Hastings thought that the Panchshala system would benefit real zamindars and ensure revenue collection. But it was seen that instead of the real zamindar, many vagrants got land settlement. Company employees are also involved in Zamindari scholarship. Tyranny has increased on the farmers. In this situation, Hastings canceled the previous decision and introduced the system of settlement (Ekshala) again for one year. The traveling committee had already become corrupt. So he abolished this committee and also abolished the Provincial Council and entrusted all revenue related authority to the Board of Revenue. The post of 'Collector' has to be terminated for being corrupt. Then (1776 AD) Hastings appointed the 'Amin Commission' to inquire into the revenue affairs.

Warren Hastings' Trade Reforms

To increase the company's trade, Hastings introduced the 'Dastak' practice (1773 AD). As a result, the possibility of the company's employees and agents to engage in illegal trade is reduced. Only salt, betel nuts and tobacco are retained by the Company, and trade in other products is open to all. For this reason all Indians or Europeans are asked to pay duty at the rate of 2.5%. Landlords' own duty collection bases were closed. As a result, movement of goods became easy in the entire province. He maintains only 5 Customs Houses. These are Murshidabad, Hooghly, Kolkata, Patna and Dhaka. He issued strict instructions to ensure that weavers are not tortured. To improve trade, Hastings sent trade delegations led by George Beagle to Bhutan and Tibet. He was also interested in currency reform.

Warren Hastings' Judiciaryrenovation

Hastings was particularly interested in eliminating corruption in the judiciary and making the judicial system fair, healthy and just. At the time of his arrival in this country, the judicial system had almost collapsed due to dual rule. Nawab was responsible for conducting criminal justice. Because according to the customs of that time, the revenue and judicial departments were inextricably linked. But due to lack of real power, Nawab could not perform his duties properly. As a result, the justice system was also broken like in other areas. Hastings understood that corruption in the country cannot be eradicated unless the judicial system is reformed. And if corruption is not removed, the commercial as well as financial and administrative interests of the company will not be fulfilled. Therefore, he avoided the complex judicial system of the Mughal period and took initiative to formulate the European modern judicial system.


Hastings divided the entire Bengal into 35 districts in order to make the judicial system accessible and public-oriented. Each district is considered as the lowest unit of civil and criminal (nizamti) justice. According to the recommendation of the traveling committee, one Mafhaswal civil court and Mafhaswal criminal court were established in each district. 'Hindu Law Code' was compiled with the help of Hindu scholars. The Collectors administered the civil court trials. Hindu scholars and clerics used to help them in the trial. On their advice, judicial proceedings were conducted according to Hindu and Muslim laws. Qazis and muftis conducted trials in district criminal courts. Collectors supervised whether criminal trials were conducted with proper evidence. Above it was the 'Sadar Civil Court' and 'Sadar Nizamat Adalat'. These two courts were established in Calcutta and Murshidabad respectively. Appeals could be made against the judgments of civil and criminal courts in civil and civil courts respectively. The District Criminal Court could not execute anyone without the approval of the Sadar Nizamat Court. The representative of the Nawab and the chief Qazi conducted the proceedings in the Sadar Nizamat Court. The Governor General and his Council supervised the work of this court.

Judicial Rules

During the reign of Hastings, several rules were introduced in the judiciary. On his orders, the system of maintaining documents related to litigation was introduced in every court. It is a rule that if the case is filed within twelve years, it will become null and void. Government surveillance is also increased to keep interest rates under control. Hastings' major contribution in the field of justice is that he tried to establish the theory of equal rights of all before the law and tried to make the judicial system somewhat fair and credible rather than depending on the whim of the judge.

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