Examine the policy of Lord William Bentinck towards the Indian states:
William Bentinck adopted a policy of non-intervention and non- aggression with Indian states. If at all he interfered in the affairs of the Indian states, it was only to end any form of misgovernment and never to annex any territory.
In Mysore, Hindu rule under Krishnaraja III was restored by Wellesley. In the beginning, the young Raja functioned well along with his able minister Puranaiya.
Later, when the young raja assumed full control of the government he proved incompetent. The peasantry of the state suffered from many grievances. There was no redressal, consequently, a revolt of the peasants broke out in 1830 and it was suppressed with the help of an army from Madras. Nonetheless, the British authorities took over the administration of Mysore state and placed it under the control of a commissioner. The Raja was given a pension.
Cachar and Jaintia:
The Principality of Cachar lying in the North East Frontier came under the protection of the British
in accordance with the Treaty of Yandaboo concluded at the end of’the first Burmese war. The Raja of this small state was assassinated in 1832 but there was no heir to succeed him. Bentinck annexed this state at the wish of the people. Jaintia was one of the territories brought under the custody of the British after the first Anglo-Burmese War.
The ruler of the small country behaved in an unruly way by abducting a few subjects off British India with the evil intention of sacrificing then to the goddess Kali. Therefore, the governor general acted promptly to avert any recurrence of such cruel abhorrent act and annexed this country.
Vira Raja was a ruthless ruler of Coorg who treated his people with savage barbarity and killed all his male relatives. Lord William Bentinck decided to deal with him effectively and sent Colonel Lindsay to capture Mercara, the capital of the Coorg state. The Raja was deposed in 1834 and the state was annexed.
Relations with Ranjit Singh:
Lord William Bentinck was the first Governor general to visualize a Russian threat to India. Hence, he was eager to negotiate friendly relations both with the ruler of Punjab, Maharajah Ranjit Singh and also with the Amirs of Sind. His earnest desire was that Afghanistan should be made a buffer state between India and any possible invader. As an initial measure, an exchange of gifts took place between Lahore, the capital of Punjab and Calcutta, the seat of governor general.
It was than followed by the meeting of Bentink and Ranjit Singh on 25 October, 1831 at Rupar on the bank of the river Sutlej amidst show and splendor. The Governor general was successful in winning the friendship of Ranjit Singh and the Indus Navigation. Treaty was concluded between them. This treaty opened up the Sutlej for Navigation. In addition, a commercial treaty was negotiated with Ranjit Singh. A similar treaty was also concluded with the Amirs of Sind. .