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Social Legislation of the East India Company

Social Legislation of the East India Company
Public Justice versus Public Instruction

First Edition


December 2010 | 460 pages | SAGE India

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.

Law, Order and Power: Thagi, Dacoity and Sorcery
Law as a Weapon Against Child Sacrifice, Sati, Female Infanticide and Meriah Sacrifice
The Legal Rights of Coolies, Slaves and Emigrant Workers
Civil Law and the Policy of Religious Toleration
Abkarry and Pilgrim Taxes: Excise as a Regulating Instrument
Public Instruction Begets Indian Agency, Free Press, and Trial by Jury
Conclusion: Social Legislation in the Arena of Public Instruction versus Public Justice
Some Key Pieces of Social Legislation

A must for all readers…. Deeply insightful and engaging, this book would be of interest for students and academics of history, politics and legal studies.


The Tribune

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ISBN: 9789353881962
ISBN: 9788132105152