Q. Who among the following followed the policy of Ring-fence during the conquest of India?

[A] Lord Hastings

[B] Wellesley

[C] Dalhosie

[D] Warren Hastings

Answer: D

Warren Hastings took charge as the governor-general at a critical period of British rule when the British were to encounter the powerful combination of the Marathas, Mysore and Hyderabad.

· He followed a policy of ring-fence which aimed at creating buffer zones to defend the Company’s frontiers.

· Broadly speaking, it was the policy of defence of their neighbours’ frontiers for safeguarding their own territories.

· This policy of Warren Hastings was reflected in his war against the Marathas and Mysore.

· The chief danger to the Company’s territories was from the Afghan invaders and the Marathas.

· To safeguard against these dangers, the Company undertook to organise the defence of the frontiers of Awadh on the condition that the Nawab would defray the expenses of the defending army.

· The defence of Awadh constituted the defence of Bengal during that time. Thus the states brought under the ring-fence system were assured of military assistance against external aggression—but at their own expense.

· Wellesley’s policy of subsidiary alliance was, in fact, an extension of the ring-fence system which sought to reduce the Indian states into a position of dependence on the British government.

Source: Spectrum’s A Brief History of Modern India.