While going for an outing, Soham saw a man in white uniform was controlling heavy traffic on the road.
He asked his father “ who is that man controlling the traffic? His father replied he is the traffic police.
Soham asked, ‘Why do we need traffic police? His father told him that we need him for better management of vehicles on roads.
His father told him that the traffic police is the part of a larger administrative set up who are responsible for the management of our society.
Soham asked his father how was this administrative system formed. Soham’s father told him that it’s origin lies in the administrative system set up by British East India Company.
Soham got curious and asked his father to tell him more about it.
What was administration about?
When Britishers expanded their rule to all over India, they felt the need of strong administration for smooth running of country matters.
The first governor general Warren Hastings set the foundation of administrative system that we have today.
The company had 3 main cities of the country in their control. They were made presidencies.
The Company brought remarkable reforms in 4 branches of administration. Those were Judiciary, Army, Civil Services and Police.
Let us discuss about Judicial System
The Judicial system was introduced in 1772. Each district had to have 2 separate courts: Civil Court & Criminal Court.
The District Collectors presided over the civil courts. The Maulvis and Hindu pandits interpreted the Indian laws for them
The Criminal Courts were under the Qazi and a Mufti but under the supervision of the Collector.
Later on both the Hindu laws and Muslim laws were codified to make it easy for the British judges.
In 1773, the Supreme court was set up in Calcutta . A court of appeal called the Sadar Nizamat Adalat was also set up .
The Superintendent of Police was the head of District Police. The district was divided into Thanas headed by the Inspectors.
In towns there were kotwals and in villages Chowkidars were responsible for law and order.
The power of British rule rested upon their military strength. They wanted to protect themselves from inside and outside attack.
The East India Company hired people from villages and established a sepoy army.It trained them to be Professional Soldiers.
It equiped them with modern guns like Muskets and Matchlocks.
The soldiers were given European style training. The drill and the discipline regulated their lives more than before.
This often created problems because the caste feelings were ignored while building professional soldiers.
The Sepoys felt terrible and it hurt their sentiments, which later became a major cause of 1857 revolt.
Lord Cornwallis is considered as Father of Civil Services in India. He introduced separation of powers.
The company needed young educated men who could carry out the day today administration of the company.
They recruited the young men, trained them and appoint them as Civil Servants. Later, the exam was conducted to recruit Civil Servants.
Let us now take a short recap on Company’s administration
After capturing the territories of India British started the administrative system comprising 4 pillars : Judiciary, Army, Police and Civil Services.
There were civil and criminal courts and later Supreme Court was established in Calcutta.
To maintain law and order Police system was also set up and each district was divided into thanas under Inspector.
They also built a strong army with Indian soldiers to protect the country from internal and external attack. And finally they set up Civil Services for the proper administration of the country.