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Speech on The East India Bill | Edmund Burke

Speech on The East India Bill | Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke makes a fiery speech in the British parliament on the Speech on the East India Bill. So, in the following content we are going to discuss Speech on the East India Bill summary. Let’s enjoy the content.

Speech on The East India Bill Writer’s intro

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is an Anglo- Irish statesman and political writer of the 18th century. He is the member of the British parliament for thirty years. During this time, he makes a speech called “Speech on the East India Bill” where he severely criticizes Warren Hastings and his lieutenants. In the following content, we are going to discuss speech on the east india bill summary.

Summary of Speech on The East India Bill

Speech on the east india bill summary

In 1783, the “House of Commons” of the British Parliament sent the British Queen a bill called the “East India Bill.” It was about how the East India Company was misunderstood and how cruel it was to the people of the Indian subcontinent.

People call the bill England’s “Second Magna Carta.” This bill is an important piece of English writing about Indians because it was written by a British person on behalf of the Indian subcontinent.

In 1540, the British India East company was opened for business in India. They spent about a hundred years there. It started out as a small business. From the year 1600, the business looked into their business. At the Battle of Palashi in 1757, the East India Company beat Nawab Sirajuddaula. This was the start of the East India Company’s rule over Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Over the course of a hundred years, they slowly spread their kingdom across India. They killed the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, in 1774, and started to rule the whole Indian subcontinent while they were in charge.

The second part of summary

Warren Hastings (1732-1818) is the first British governor general of India. He dominates Indian affairs form 1772 to 1785. Burke depicts him as the villain and the prime accomplice in the East India Company’s mal-administration in India. He accompanied by his lieutenants is the symbol of despotism, tyranny, autocracy, corruption and arbitrariness.

Hastings is not a born enemy of Burke. At first Burke considers him to be an abler person in dealing the Indian affairs. Later, he goes against the East India Company because it violates the principle of natural justice and law of England. Burke is indignant against Hastings because he notices that Hastings is the so-called superior of all the East India Company’s Holdings. Burke in fact, considers Hastings to be a symbol of lawless power. He strongly feels that something is needed to stop the evil doings of the corrupt East India Company led by Hastings.

The third part of speech on the east india bill summary by Burke

Burke presents Hastings as a destructive force. He follows bad policies and maintains despotic style of governing. It brings nothing but destruction. His insolent and tyrannous acts also bring about the destruction of the Rajah of Benares. Hastings is a man devoid of sympathy and humanity. He does not show justice to any Indians. In 1773, he sold Shah Alam, the de facto Emperor for his own profit. Hastings made his lose his power. In 1774, Hafiz Rahmet Khan, a leading Rohilla chief, was slain and his head was cut off and delivered for money to a barbarian. His wife and children were seen begging for handful rice through the English Camp. Hastings continues a terrible massacre in India and the country becomes a dreary desert and jungles.

He is a money monger who is seen to be a man of insatiable avarice. Hastings’ temptation for money is depicted in his treatment of the Begums of Oude who were ruthlessly and hypocritically plundered and pillaged by the lieutenants of Hastings. Their jewels and other personal possessions were taken and were sold pout at auction. The money monger Hastings makes them sufferers by the corrupt company.

The fourth section of the short summary

Breaching of treaties is another brutal activity of Hastings. The company has broken the treaty with the Mogul in terms of paying him 260000 pounds annually. But the company did not pay him a shilling. They even promised to the Nawabs of Bengal after the Treaty of Allahabad to pay 4,00,000 pounds a year but they did not keep their promise.

As the soldier Najaf Khan had sided with the British, he has been granted a pension of two lack of rupees in 1765 but the company broke the Article. They broke their treaties with the Nizam and with Hyder Ali. They also broke many treaties with the Marathas.

Hastings spares none who has opposed him and who meet with the applauses of the Directors. Colonel Manson is a good man and receives the applauses of the Directors. General Cleavering also receives applause. They have opposed Hasting on the supreme council. As a result, they get ruined by Hastings.

The fifth part of the complete summary

His motto was also to present the importance of India’s largest colony for the queen. 75% of the British national income comes from India. Thus, Edmund Burke urged the Queen to replace Warren Hasting with a new Vice-Rye in his service because Burke considers Hastings to be the image of predatory animal who brings about a massive destruction in India by launching his company. He turns the innocent Indian people into his prey.

As a result, the new Vice-British would rule India in accordance with the British royal family’s rules. Burke’s speech served two purposes for the Indian people’s success:

  1. i) Get a good government for them
  2. ii) To persuade the Indian people that British imperialism has nothing to do with what the dictatorship has done to them.

The final part of the summary

This bill advocates for liberty, brotherhood, and equality. We believe that this bill influenced the minds of patriotic Indians such as Mahatma Gandhi, Shubh Basu, and others, and that it created a sense of liberation in the Indian people a century later.

The brutality of Hastings and his lieutenants is the only cause of destroying the beautiful India, socially, economically and politically taking the advantages of his so-called East India Company. Burke treatment of Hastings reminds the villain of the morality play. In the “Speech on the East India Bill” Burke severely criticizes Warren Hastings and his lieutenants for their activities in the name of the East India Company.

Thank you for reading our content Speech on the East India Bill Summary. We hope you’ve enjoyed the summary. If you want to read more summaries of Hons 3rd Year, please check the following articles:
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