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The aim of introducing history lessons in a mix of comic + bullet point sequences is not to reinvent the wheel. We know that most of you would anyway go through the regular history books but here’s an attempt to reinforce the essentials and make things interesting.
A lot had happened before Warren Hastings arrived at the scene in India (or shall we say, Fort William in Bengal). He was not the first governor under the company’s rule (that was Robert Clive) but he was one of the most imposing figures in our entire pre-independence history after East India Company started expanding in size.
Quick trivia: EIC used to have agents till before. Think of EIC as a private company in Britain along with many many other companies. These guys would show up in a Mughal court and with all the diplomatic wisdom intact and ask for tiny-miny concessions, financial discounts etc etc. all in the good faith of trade and commerce! One such guy, Job Charnock in 1690, purchased the city of Kalikatta which then became Calcutta (english swag!) and he fortified it with Fort William.
You know, you will be able to appreciate some of these systems which evolved since the time and are carried in the present day India. Of course there were more additions and subtractions over time and we who has what part to play in later stages!
We see the British Govt further tightening their grip on company matters.
They establish the Board Of Control (BOC). The BOC had 6 members including the Secretary Of State (Morley of Morley Minto, etc).
We don’t want to sweep you with the technicalities but what essentially happens now is that British government adds one more layer between the company’s director and itself.
In the next chapter of this series, we will read more about this Pitt’s Act and see what happens next.
PS: Feel free to ask questions or add important information down in the comments which can make this initiative more engaging.