Lord Mayo, excellent admistrator and reformer British India

Lord Mayo. of British India.en.wikipedia.org
Statue Lord Mayo( in the town of Cockermouth en.wikimedia.org

Lord Mayo was the fourth Viceroy of India who held office from  12 January, 1869 to 8 February,1872.  He was a statesman and prominent member of the British Conservative Party from Dublin, Ireland. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he was appointed as the Viceroy of British India by Benjamin Disraeli.

The retaliatory missions against the indigenous tribes that inhabited the frontiers of Indian Territory were also a constant cause of worry to the Viceroy. The administrative policies of Lord Mayo were quite relevant to the then prevailing conditions in British India. He reorganized the  country's  weak finances and made some fiscal reforms.

The following are the important reforms he made for better administration:
01. First ever Census that was conducted in India in 1871 under his patronage.

02. He gave importance to the promotion of irrigation, railways, forests and other essential public works.

03. He  established local boards under the direct control of the government to solve numerous local problems.

04.He was also instrumental in arranging a Statistical Survey of India during his tenure.

05. With respect to the railways,he emphasized the extension of railways with aids from government funds instead of privatization,

06. His public reforms included allocation of  funds to the local or provincial governments for  public works, medical facilities and education. They in their turn were expected to rely on local taxation. He was of the view  the  localization of fund would promote growth of self-government and at the same time facilitate a close association between the citizens of the Indian provinces and the British.

06. Based on his  reforms with respect to local administration, Madras North-West Province,Punjab and West Bengal  introduced municipal taxes.

07.His administration introduced salt tax and increased income tax. Mayo reduced unnecessary military expenses and other civil expenses.

08. His fiscal polices and reforms, due to prompt and proper implementation  netted more tha five million rupees.

09. Mayo   gave priority to primary education among the Indian citizens. Special attention  was given to promotion of education among the Muslim population.

10. He was the major  benefactor of the Rajkumar College in Kathiawar and prominently, the Mayo College of Ajmer, Rajasthan.

11. He introduced disciplinary guidelines  for the convicts who were imprisoned in the Cellular Jail located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. His codified laws,  covering convicts aimed at betterment of the prisoners

12.The European-oriented Mayo College at Ajmer was founded by him for the education of young Indian chiefs, with £70,000 being subscribed by the chiefs themselves.

13 On 19 August, 1875 a statue of Lord Mayo was unveiled in the town of Cocker mouth in the center of the main street through public subscription.

14. In 2007 a statue of Lord Mayo was unearthed in Jaipur, India, after being buried for six decades. This statue had earlier been installed on the premises of Mayo Hospital, currently known as the Mahilya Chikatsalya, Jaipur. The 9-foot-tall (2.7 m) cast-iron statue was sent to Mayo College, in Ajmer, India, where it is installed now.

Mayo in 1872 went on a trip to Anadaman to see how his prison reforms were implemented by the jailers there. It was a fatal  a journey that cost him his life. On 8th February, 1872, Lord Mayo was brutally assassinated by a convict named  Sher Ali Afridi, an Afridi Pathan convict who used a knife. His pre- meditated murder appeared to be  caused only by a sense of injustice at his own imprisonment, and had resolved to kill a high-ranking colonial official. Sher Ali was hanged to death.  Mayo's body was brought home to Ireland and buried at the medieval ruined church in Johnstown, County Kildare, near his home at Palmerstown House.  Ireland.

His unexpected and untimely death marked the end of an era of superb government reforms for the welfare of the people and administrative excellence in British India in late 1800s.