depended on the recognition of the proprietary rights of the zamindars, the
great landholders; and indeed, landed property is the kernel of the Whig
conception of political society.
Cornwallis’s Minutes in a way, reflected John Locke’s classic statement of
the Whig theory. He sought to give concrete form to the rule of law in the
Bengal Code of Regulations of 1793. In this spirit, Cornwallis undertook a
sweeping Anglicization of the British power, removing Indians from all but
the petty offices, and taking away from the great Bengal landholders, their
last quasi-political power, the right to keep armed retainers and to police their
He sought to establish an impersonal government of law; and he resorted to
the classic Whig division of the powers, with its separation of the judiciary
and executive. In each district of the Bengal territory, a Collector was
appointed, who was supposed to do merely what his name implied—not to be
an all-powerful discretionary official, but a mere collector of fixed public
dues. He was given no political or magisterial authority, and was not even
entrusted with the control of the district police.
The great figure in the district, the basic unit of the British administrative
system, was meant to be the District Judge and Magistrate; it was he who was
empowered to administer the impersonal law system of the Cornwallis Code
of Regulations, even, if need be, against the collector himself in his official
capacity. The district judge was given the control of the police, and a status
and salary superior to that of the collector.
Wellesley’s Contribution Wellesley, the next important figure among the
Governors General (1798–1805), was a great admirer of these English
principles. He declared that the British constitution had provided the model
of Cornwallis’s work, and felt that he was carrying this work to its proper
completion by divesting the Governor General’s Council of its function as the
high court of the Company’s judicial system, and establishing instead, a
separate Court of Sadr Diwani and Nizamat Adalat.
Indian School or Paternalists
Attitude of Munro School The opposition to this policy of applying
British constitutional principles    to the Indian administration came rather