Who Played a Prominent Role in the Development of the Legal Sphere in British India

Imperial economic exploitation, however, proved to be an excellent nationalist catalyst – as, for example, when Gandhi mobilized the peasant masses of the Indian population behind the Congress Party during his famous salt march against the salt tax in March-April 1930, which was the prelude to his second national Satyagraha. The British government`s monopoly on the sale of salt, which was heavily taxed, has long been an important source of income for the Raj, and walking from his ashram at Sabarmati near Ahmadabad (now in the state of Gujarat) to the sea at Dandi, where he illegally collected salt from the sand on the shore, Gandhi mobilized millions of Indians. to follow it and thus break the law. It was an ingeniously simple way to break a British law in a non-violent way, and by the end of the year, prison cells across India were again filled with satyagrahis. The conquest of Burma (Myanmar) by British India was completed during this period. The Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852) had made the Kingdom of Ava (Upper Burma; see Alaungpaya dynasty) independent of British India, and during the reign of King Mindon (1853–78), who built his capital at Mandalay, steamboats were welcomed carrying British residents and private traders from Yangon to the Irrawaddy River. Mindon, best known for convening the Fifth Buddhist Council at Mandalay in 1871 (the first such council in about 1,900 years), was succeeded by a younger son, Thibaw, who celebrated his accession to the throne in February 1879 by slaughtering 80 siblings. Thibaw refused to renew his father`s treaty agreements with Britain, turning instead to trade relations with the French, who then advanced to his kingdom from their base in Southeast Asia. Thibaw sent emissaries to Paris, and in January 1885 the Frenchman signed a commercial treaty with the Kingdom of Ava and sent a Frenchman consul to Mandalay. This envoy hoped to establish a French bank in Upper Burma to finance the construction of a railway and the general commercial development of the kingdom, but his plans were foiled. Viceroy Lord Dufferin (reigned 1884-88) – impatient with Thibaw for delaying a treaty with British India, spurred on by British traders in Rangoon and provoked by fears of French intervention in the British “sphere”—sent an expedition of some 10,000 troops to the Irrawaddy in November 1885. The Third Anglo-Burmese War ended in less than a month with the loss of barely 20 lives, and on January 1, 1886, Upper Burma, a kingdom larger than Britain and a population of about 4,000,000, was annexed by proclamation of British India.

Parliament plays an important role in the adoption of laws. Different social groups have also played their part, increasing their need for a particular law. An important role of Parliament is to be sensitive to people`s problems. The issue of domestic violence has been brought to the attention of Parliament and proceedings have been initiated to bring the issue into force. The Domestic Violence Act of 2005 has also been implemented by the Constitution to protect women from abuse and injury by men. In Britain, the Liberal Party`s electoral victory in 1906 marked the beginning of a new era of reform for British India. Although hampered by the Viceroy Lord Minto, the new Secretary of State for India, John Morley, was able to introduce several important innovations into the legislative and administrative apparatus of the British Indian government. First, he acted to implement Queen Victoria`s promise of racial equality, which since 1858 had served only to assure Indian nationalists of British hypocrisy.

He appointed two Indian members to his Whitehall council: a Muslim, Sayyid Husain Bilgrami, who had played an active role in founding the Muslim League; and the other a Hindu, Krishna G. Gupta, the oldest Indian on the ICS. Morley also persuaded the reluctant Lord Minto to appoint the first Indian member, Satyendra P. Sinha (1864-1928), to the Viceroy`s Executive Council in 1909. Sinha (later Lord Sinha) had been called to the bar at Lincoln`s Inn in 1886 and was Advocate General of Bengal before being appointed a member of the Viceroy, a post he was forced to resign in 1910. He was elected president of the Congress Party in 1915 and became Parliamentary Secretary of State for India in 1919 and governor of Bihar and Orissa (now Odisha) in 1920. The large and powerful Sikh population of Punjab would have been placed in a particularly difficult and anomalous position, as Punjab as a whole would have belonged to Group B, and much of the Sikh community had become anti-Muslim since the Mughal emperors began persecuting their gurus in the 17th century. Sikhs played such an important role in the British Indian Army that many of their leaders hoped that at the end of the war, the British would reward them with special help in carving their own country into the rich heart of the fertile Punjab Channel colonies, where the kingdom was once ruled by Ranjit Singh (1780-1839). Most Sikhs lived. Since World War I, Sikhs had opposed the British Raj just as vehemently, and although they never constituted more than 2% of India`s population, they had as disproportionate a number of nationalist “martyrs” as they did army officers.

A Sikh Akali Dal (“Party of the Immortals”), founded in 1920, led militant marches to rid the Gurdwaras (“Guru`s Gates”; Sikh places of worship) of corrupt Hindu rulers. Tara Singh (1885-1967), the main leader of the powerful Sikh political movement, first called for his own Azad (“Liberate”) Punjab in 1942. In March 1946, many Sikhs called for the creation of a Sikh nation-state, alternatively called Sikhistan or Khalistan (“Land of the Sikhs” or “Land of the Pure”). However, the cabinet`s mission did not have the time or energy to focus on Sikh separatist demands and found the Muslim League`s demand for Pakistan equally impossible to accept. Many young Indians educated in post-mutiny English emulated their British mentors by seeking employment in ICS, legal services, journalism and education. The universities of Bombay, Bengal and Madras had been founded in 1857 as the cornerstone of the East India Company`s modest policy of selectively promoting the introduction of English education in India. At the beginning of Crown Rule, the first graduates of these universities, who grew up with the works and ideas of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Macaulay, were looking for positions that would help them improve themselves and society at the same time. They were convinced that with the education they had received and proper training for hard work, they would eventually inherit the apparatus of the Anglo-Indian government. Few Indians, however, were accepted into the ICS, and among the first to be elected, one of the wisest, Surendranath Banerjea (1848-1925), was disgraced under the first pretext, moving from loyal participation in government to active nationalist agitation against them. Banerjea became a university professor in Calcutta, then editor of The Bengalee and founder of the Indian Association in Calcutta. In 1883, he convened the first Indian National Conference in Bengal and anticipated the birth of the Congress Party on the other side of India by two years. After the first partition of Bengal in 1905, Banerjea gained national fame as the leader of the Swadeshi (“Our Own Country”) movement, which promoted Indian-made products and the movement to boycott British industrial products.

Britain`s most important contribution to India`s economic development during the days of Crown rule was the railway network, which spread so rapidly across the subcontinent after 1858, when there were barely 200 miles (320 km) of track throughout India.