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TN Textbook Class XIl History SIVA PRASAD
LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK (1828-1835)
Abolition of Sati . The practice of sati, the age old custom of burning of widows alive on the funeral pyre of their husbands was prevalent in India from ancient times. This inhuman social custom was very common in northern India more particularly in Bengal. B entinck was greatly distressed when he received a report of 800 cases of sati in a single year and that from Bengal. He determined to abolish this practice which he considered an offence against natural justice. Therefore, he became a crusader against it and promulgated his Regulation XVlI on 4 December 1829 prohibiting the practice of sati. . Those who practiced sati were made liable for punishment by law courts as accessories to the crime. The Regulation was extended to the Madras and Bombay Presidencies in 1830
Suppression of Thugs . Thugs were hereditary robbers. They went about in small groups of fifty to hundred posing as commercial gangs or pilgrims 'strangling and robbing peaceful travellers'. They increased in number in central and northern India during the 18th century when anarchy reigned after the disintegration of the Mughal Empire. . A campaign was systematically organised by Colonel Sleeman from 1830 against the thugs . During the course of five years nearly 2000 of them were captured. A greater number of them were exterminated and the rest were transported to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. . For his role in the suppression of thugs, Sir William Sleeman was known as "Thugee Sleeman".
Female Infanticide Female infanticide was one of the horrible and heartless deeds committed even by civilized people. . This practice killing female infants was very much prevalent in places like Rajputana, Punjab, Malwa and Cutch. Bentinck took effective steps to prevent the ritual of child sacrifice at Saugar Island in Bengal. . He not only prohibited female infanticide but declared them as punishable crime
Introduction of English Education The introduction of English Education was a significant event of Lord William Bentinck's administration. . He appointed a committee headed by Lord Macaulay to make recommendations for the promotion of education. . In his report, Macaulay emphasized the promotion of European literature and science through English medium to the people of India. This recommendation was wholeheartedly accepted by William Bentinck. The Government Resolution in 1835 made English the official and literary language of India In the same year, William Bentinck laid foundation of the Calcutta Medical College
After Bentick After William Bentinck, Lord Auckland (1836-42) became Governor-General. The First Afghan War (1836-42) was fought during his administration. Due to his failure in Afghanistan he was recalled in 1842. Lord Ellenborough succeeded him and ended the Afghan War. He also annexed the Sindh. His successor, Lord Hardinge (1844-48) fought the first Anglo-Sikh War (1845-46) and concluded the Treaty of Lahore.