Chapter

Hindu Law of Property and Inheritance and the East India Company Officials, 1698–1772

Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda

in Appropriation and Invention of Tradition

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195690484
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195690484.003.0002
Hindu Law of Property and Inheritance and the East India Company Officials, 1698–1772

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This chapter examines the growing concern among British officials of the Company in Bengal regarding an understanding of indigenous societal institutions. The first compilation of the Hindu ‘laws’ of property and inheritance — the Vivādarṇavasetu — its translation into — A Code of Gentoo Laws, and the latter's codification were direct products of this concern. The first section of this chapter discusses the early formulation of the Company's policy. The second part of this chapter discusses how the first Governor-General, Warren Hastings, made use of the knowledge supposedly accumulated over the years in order to compile and codify the ‘laws of the Hindus’ as also the compulsions that informed his initiative.

Keywords: Bengal; indigenous societal institutions; Hindu laws; property and inheritance; Vivādarṇavasetu

Chapter.  19663 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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