(Last Updated on : 29/07/2011)
Lord Dalhousie was one of the Indian Viceroys and Governor Generals of British ruled India. Lord Dalhousie was born in Scotland in the year 1812, as James Andrew Broun Ramsay. He was appointed in the year 1848 and his eight year of ruling is termed as one of the greatest periods. His annexation policy was a strong weapon of invasion that raised the British East India Company`s rule to the stature of success. Under the rule of Lord Dalhousie various reforms were administered for improving the conditions of the country. Lord Dalhousie`s policy mainly focussed on seizure of different regions of India, which had still not come under the dominion of the British. In 1848, Satara
was annexed, Sambalpur
was captured in 1849 and in 1853 Jhansi
was captured. Punjab was annexed to the British Rule in the year 1849. Dalhousie had an amazing enthusiasm and energy. He initiated the setting up of the main Railway Lines, Telegraph Network and pioneered several modifications in the Secretariat and parts of Administration. He also worked for the establishment of Universities at Calcutta (Kolkata
), Madras (Chennai
) and Bombay (Mumbai
Early Life of Lord Dalhousie
James Andrew Broun-Ramsay was born on April 22nd, 1812 to the parents George Ramsay and Christina Broun. His father, George Ramsay, was the 9th Earl of Dalhousie. Lord Dalhousie spent the most of his childhood in Canada, along with his parents. In the year 1825, he was admitted to Harrow school. In 1829, we joined Christ Church, Oxford, and passed with distinction with his efforts.
Reform Policies of Lord Dalhousie
Various reforms were brought during the rule of Lord Dalhousie to improve the conditions of India. The policy of annexation known as the Doctrine of Lapse
was based on the forfeiture of the right to rule in the absence of a natural heir. In the year 1850, of Sikkim
, Indian state, was annexed due to the alleged reasons of mistreatment and abuse of British officials. After the death of the Raja of Nagpur in 1853, Nagpur
too was annexed through this policy of Lord Dalhousie. Dalhousie proved his worth in the matters of administration by the demarcation of various departments of the administrative machinery and appointment of Lieutenant Governor for Bengal. He introduced the non-regulation system under which the non-regulation provinces were to be under a Chief Commissioner responsible to the Governor-General in council. Punjab
, Oudh, Burma were a few non-regulating provinces.
Dalhousie also introduced Railways and Telegraph in India with a purpose to improve communication, which was essential to administer the far, flung areas of this vast country. He also reformed the postal system. To undertake works for the public benefit he introduced the public works department. In the educational field, Dalhousie`s introduced system of vernacular education that was praise worthy. Anglo Vernacular Schools were established. In the matters of commerce the policy of free trade was introduced by declaring free ports. The military reforms of Dalhousie included the shift of the Bengal Artillery from Kolkata
The Army head quarter shifted to Shimla
from Kolkata. After recognising the dangers of the increasing Indian troops he proposed reduction of Indian soldiers. He encouraged the inclusion of Gorkhas to the Indian Army
and organised an irregular force for Punjab. Dalhousie policy of annexations and reforms only appealed to the English interests in India and this is said to have formed the grounds for a growth of the Indian opposition, which came forward as the Sepoy Mutiny
of 1857. Though it was started by the Sepoys of the Indian Army, it gave an opportunity for the unhappy Indian rulers to express their dissatisfaction. It also was an effort aimed at eradicating the British rule from the country. Before the revolt of 1857 several revolts preceded reflecting the Indian opposition to the British domination. After Lord Dalhousie, Lord Lytton
took the charge as the Governor General in the year 1876.
Death of Lord Dalhousie
In the year 1856, Lord Dalhousie returned to England, where he died on December 19th 1860, in the Dalhousie Castle.