Charter Act of 1813

The Charter Act, 1813 bore the hallmark of thinking of evangelists like CHARLES GRANT( Chairman of EIC) and imperialists like JAMES MILL. Unlike the erstwhile ORIENTALISTS like Warren Hastings and his friend Charles Wilkins (Translator of Geeta), William Jones( founded Asiatic Society of Bengal), these two gentlemen were openly contemptuous of Indian civilization and culture. Grant was an evangelist who “saw Indian society as not only heathen, but also as corrupt and uncivilised. He was appalled by such native customs as exposing the sick, burning lepers, and sati. He believed that Britain’s duty was not simply to expand its rule in India and exploit the subcontinent for its commercial interests, but to civilise and Christianise”. Mill too was out to prove the CIVILIZING MISSION of the British in India.

They lobbied to include many provisions in the Act. Among which, two were to pave the way for westernization of India.

  1. Company Govt accepted its responsibility towards educating the natives. Education was sanctioned Rs. 1 lakh. In this provision lies the germ of English education in India, which became the conduit for western thoughts to Indians.
  2. Missionaries were allowed to proselytize in India. The onslaught of Missionaries on Hindu religion gave urgency to the efforts Hindu reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy to reform Hindu religion. Western concepts like humanism and rationalism became the leitmotif of this movement.