This book studies colonial law in India by surveying how the East India Company, guided by principles of public justice and public instruction, created a body of legislation that is of significance to us even in the present time. It dwells on the legislation it formulated in many areas like criminal justice; women, religion, and social reform; caste and untouchability; religious endowments; and land, inheritance, and property law.
The book traces the journey of the small group of merchants, enviously guarding their sometimes piratical commercial interests, becoming a burgeoning nation state. It shows how, as they embraced their expanding administrative responsibilities, they confronted contentious issues embedded in Indian society and responded through reform initiatives. It also underlines how the Company hoped that state-funded educational institutions would help disseminate liberal influence of Western education in the Indian society.