These scholars not only highlighted the classical glory of India produced by
as India needed to be rescued from the predicament of its own creation and
guided to a desired state of progress as achieved by Europe.
Influence of Whig Philosophy and Anglicization Hastings’s policy was
therefore, discarded by Lord Cornwallis, who launched greater Anglicization
of the administration and the implementation of the Whig principles of the
British government. Lord Wellesley generally encouraged these attempts, the
aim of which was to limit government interference by abandoning the
supposedly despotic aspects of Indian political tradition and ensuring a
separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive. The state
would play the minimalist role of protecting individual rights and private
property. The policy came from a consistent contempt for “Oriental
despotism”, from which Indians needed to be liberated. Despotism
supposedly distinguished the Oriental state from its European counterpart;
but ironically, it was this very logic that gave an “implicit justification” for
the “paternalism of the Raj”.
From the beginning of British conquest, the Company officials tried to
contain the influence of the local remnants of the Mughal state for facilitating
a free flow of trade and steady collection of revenues.
And apparently, for that same reason, it went for careful surveying and
policing the territory and insisted on the exclusive control over the regalia of
power, e.g., flag, uniform, badges and seals.
This suggested the rise of a strong state, based on the assumption that natives
were not used to enjoying freedom and needed to be freed from their corrupt
and abusive feudal lords.
Men like William Jones exemplified such paternalist attitude exhibited by
many British officers at that time. Radical at home, but attracted to the
glorious past of India and its simple people, they became nonetheless the
upholders of authoritarian rule in India.
Commonalities of Rival Systems Thus, both the systems were apparently
based on the same fundamental principles of centralised–sovereignty, sanctity
of private property, to be protected by British laws. This authoritative
paternalism naturally opposed the idea of direct political participation by
Indians. Respect and paternalism, therefore, remained the two
complementing ideologies of the early British empire in India. Besides, it was