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Aftermath of War of Independence 1857

The War of Independence was a major turning point in the history of the subcontinent.
Muslims were the first and obvious target of British revenge. They were hanged with or
without summary courts of the British army. They were fired from the government jobs.
Cultural and religious centers were closed down. Their properties were confiscated for
supporting the War of Independence. Same was the case with Hindus but on small scale.
After the introduction of “The Indian Councils Act 1858” the British East India
Company was abolished and replaced with direct rule under the British Crown in this
way India became part of the British Empire. The British government seriously reviewed
its policies and tried sincerely to avoid any such conflicts in future. The British
government introduced a number of reforms in all spheres of life. Important reforms
were:

 Constitutional reforms.
 Educational reforms.
 Administrative reforms.

The British government introduced Constitutions to run system of government in India.


These constitutions are called “Indian Council Act.” First Act was introduced in 1858 to
announce formal start of British rule in India. Two new posts were announced ‘Viceroy’
and ‘Secretary of State.’ The first Viceroy was Lord Viscount Canning and the first
Secretary of State was Lord Stanley. Later Indian Councils Acts were introduced in 1861,
1892, 1909 and 1919. These acts granted many Civil rights to Indians such as they were
allowed to become government officers and can join the Viceroy Council.

The British government was keenly interested in spreading British style education in
India to make more and more people loyal to the Crown. Lord Macaulay’s education
policy had been adopted in 1835 and Wood’s dispatch of 1854 was a complete analysis
of the requirements of British education system for Indians. After the war of
Independence government called rich, famous and influential people from all corners of
India and offered them to open schools and colleges to spread British style modern and
scientific education there. Wood’s dispatch had recommended that new schools and
colleges should be opened with government funding. They were also offered the piece of
land and funds to construct and run the new schools. MAO school which was opened by
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan is the best example of this policy.

Viceroy Lord Reppon appointed ‘Hunter Commission’ in 1882 for public education. The
Commission submitted following recommendations:

 Provincial government should be made responsible for all monitory matters of


government schools in the respective province.
 Model ‘Textbooks’; should be prepared for school and colleges.
 Physical education should be imparted to students.
 Secondary education should be privatized wherever possible.
Similarly the Viceroy Lord Curzon set another Commission on education called ‘Raleigh
Commission 1902’ to improve standard of higher education in India. The Commission
submitted following recommendations:
 The legal power of universities to issue degree should be increased.
 Teaching classes should also be started in all universities.
 Rules of affiliation with universities should be framed.
 Residence should be provided to students.
 More ‘optional’ subjects should be introduced.

Similarly the Viceroy Lord Chelmsford set another Commission on education called
“Sadler Commission 1919” to improve standard of higher education in India. The
Commission submitted following recommendations:
 Board of Secondary education should be setup.
 Special attention should be given to female education.
 Vocational and professional institutions should be opened.
 A new university should be opened at Dhaka.

Many existing administratives and economic policies remained virtually unchanged in the
posts-1857 period. But several administrative modifications were introduced, beginning
with the creation of two new highest administrative posts The Viceroy and the Secretary
of State. The offices of both of them were set in Calcutta to run the administration in
India. Beneath the Governer-General were the governors of provinces of India, assisted
by executive and legislative councils who held power over the division and district
official, who formed the lower establishment of the Indian civil service.

For decades the Indian Civil service was the exclusive of the British-bom, as were the
superior ranks in such other professions as law and medicine. This continued until a small
but steadily growing number of “native-born Indians:” educated in British schools in the
subcontinent or in Britain were able to assume such positions. However a proposal by
viceroy Reppon in 1883 that Indian members of the civil service should have full rights
to reside over trials involving white defendant in criminal cases. This sparked an ugly
backlash among whites who thought themselves superior. Thus an attempt to further
include Indians in the system and give them a greater stake in the Raaj, ironically, instead
exposed the racial gap that already existed, sparking even greater Indian nationalism and
reaction against British rule.

Other than these reforms British government provided Indian people basic facilities of the
city life. They started a number of new systems and programs across India. Some of them
are as under:

 The Railway System


 Postal system
 Telegraph communication system
 Canal system
 Press and publication system
In the light of all above discussed matter we can say that the War of Independence
was a great turning point in the history of India which brought Indians out of slum
ignorance and impracticality. They gave up armed struggle and submitted themselves.
They willingly learned British etiquettes and manners to get full benefit of emerging
world. Therefore within a short of period of twenty five years they were in all
government offices and formed and joined first political party The Indian ‘National
Congress.’ On the other hand the British government hard and learned to avoid any
further conflict.