I write and feel as a legislator for the Hindus, and as I believe many enlightened Hindus think and feel. The rigorous operations under Sleeman led to capture of 1400 Thugs who were hanged by the government or transported for life. Definitel y William Bentinck made an excellent impression on the native Indians who are indebted to him for his timely and useful reforms. The land revenue settlement of North Western Provinces also yielded more revenue. Later, when the young raja assumed full control of the government he proved incompetent. In the 19th century, the ritual of sati pratha was dominantly practised in Bengal.
In 1807, the directors of the English East India Company had decided that Lord Bentinck, then the youthful governor of Madras, was personally responsible for a mutiny among Indian soldiers, or sepoys, in the British Indian army in Vellore, Madras, over the issue of European headgear that was thought to infringe on Hindu religious customs. The Regulation was extended to the Madras and Bombay Presidencies in 1830. The Raja was deposed in 1834 and the state was annexed. This superstitious practice was a social evil. According to the recommendations of the Committee, Bentick reduced the high salary of the civil Servants. The reason of this success was the awareness creation by the Government. Immediately on receiving intelligence that the sacrifice declared illegal by this regulation is likely to occur, the police darogha shall either repair in person to the spot, or depute his mohurrir or, jamadar, accompanied by one or more burkundazes of Hindu religion, and it shall be the duty of the police-officers to announce to the persons assembled for the performance of ceremony, that it is illegal; and to endeavour to prevail on them to disperse, explaining to them that in the event of their persisting in it they will involve themselves in a crime, and become subject to punishment by the criminal courts.
Relations with Ranjit Singh:Lord William Bentinck was the first Governor-General to visualize a Russian threat to India. Only after 1813, when the British felt politically safe and secured they stopped forward for introducing changes for transformation or modernization of Indian society and culture. The Privy Council upheld the ban in 1832. These thugs belonged to a section of the society which descended from Assassin's and robbers who preyed on travellers. Social Reforms The social reforms of William Bentinck made his name immortal in the history of British India.
I purposely select his opinion because, independently of his vast knowledge of Oriental literature, it has fallen to his lot, as secretary to the Hindu College, and possessing the general esteem both of the parents and of the youths, to have more confidential intercourse with natives of all classes than any man in India. In 1833 he became the first governor-general of after the East India Company Charter Act. For this he attracted a lot of admirers even from the Indian society. The conservative Hindu society did not recognize remarriage of a Hindu widow and she had to remain unmarried throughout her life. He reorganised the law and order of the country and established several new laws and reforms. He launched the revenue settlements of the North West Province under the control of R. Lord Bentinck had had enough of these petty crimes and hence decided to deal with this problem once and for all.
Even in matters of revenue Bentinck left his mark. Once, King Daksha had organized an event at his house. They went about in small groups of fifty to hundred posing as commercial gangs or pilgrims 'strangling and robbing peaceful travellers'. Bentiek was a man of peace, discipline and of economy. It is a very important fact that, though representations have been made by the disappointed party to superior authority, it does not appear that a single instance of direct opposition to the execution of the prohibitory orders of our civil functionaries has ever occurred. Before Lord Bentinck initiated the process for the introduction of anti-Sati laws, he collected data about all the prominent cases which had emerged at that time and took the opinions of army officers, the judges of the nizamat Adalat and the superintendent of the police which represented different provinces in Bengal.
Although his tenure of office covered only a short span of seven years, it saw a period of enduring reforms. This sort of dedicated work liberated India from different social evils. He himself was an advocate of new ideas and always marched ahead with progressive thought. He continued as Governor-General from 1828 to 1835 in India. When the Mughal Empire fell, the administration of Bengal was left in ruins which directly led to an increase in the number of thieves and thugs. Killing of girl babies was pretty common in those days and it was mostly popular among the Rajput. Under the present position of the British empire moreover, it may be fairly doubted, if any such underhand proceeding would be really good policy.
They were largely responsible for the huge arrears of cases. In the military department, he abolished the system of double batta. The Indians were paid less salaries in comparison to their European Counterparts. With deep desire to enjoy heaven as Sati many widows died on the funeral pyre of their husbands willingly. A similar treaty was also concluded with the Amirs of Sind.
Lord Bentinck tried to change several cruel rituals of the Hindu society which included sati pratha and killing of infants. But this course is clearly not open to government, bound by parliament to rule by law, and not by their good pleasure. It is hereby declared, that after the promulgation of this regulation all persons convicted of aiding and abetting in the sacrifice of a Hindu widow, by burning or burying her alive, whether the sacrifice be voluntary on her part or not, shall be deemed guilty of culpable homicide, and shall be liable to punishment by fine or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court of circuit, according to the nature and circumstances of the case, and the degree of guilt established against the offender; nor shall it be held to be any plea of justification that he or she was desired by the party sacrificed to assist in putting her to death. Bentinck was moved by the horrors of Sati system and by a regulation in 1829 the practice of Sati was declared illegal. In Sambad Kaumudi he wrote articles and showed that it was not written in any Veda or epics to commit this crime. While the solution of this question is appalling from the unparalleled magnitude of its possible results, the considerations belonging to it are such as to make even the stoutest mind distrust its decision. The Hindu society steeped in conser vati sm, looked down upon them, giving least importance to their physical and mental well being.
This seven years period was an epoch for administrative reforms in India. Initially this regulation was only applied in the Bengal presidency but later on in 1830, this regulation was also applied in different forms to Madras and Bombay Presidencies. They found India the most attractive one. He subsequently saw action in the Mediterranean, commanding the British forces in Sicily 1811 and conducting a successful expedition against 1814. This too was done for the British popularity. William Bentink objectively worked for legislative, financial and educational reforms while giving less priority to administrative reforms.
The matter went to the Privy Council in London. Lord Macauley, the law member of the Council gave a definite shape to the controversy. Bentinck, by law of 1830, imposed death penalty on the Thugs. Bentinck was greatly distressed when he received a report of 800 cases of sati in a single year and that from Bengal. It was on 4 December 1829, when the practice was formally banned in all the lands under Bengal Presidency by Lord William Bentinck. By the 1820s the East India Company, which had not intervened, had come to the conclusion that sati was not only repulsive but was not necessarily voluntary. When governor of Madras, I saw, in the mutiny of Vellore, the dreadful consequences of a supposed violation of religious customs upon the minds of the native population and soldiery: I cannot forget that I was then the innocent victim of that unfortunate catastrophe, and I might reasonably dread, when the responsibility would justly attach to me in the event of failure, a recurrence of the same fate.