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Which one of the following Governor-General was impeached by the British parliament?
A) Lord Curzon
B) Warren Hastings
C) Lord Canning
D) William Bentinck

Last updated date: 22nd Jul 2024
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Hint: Between 1787 and 1795, the Parliament of Great Britain threatened to impeach the first Governor-General of Bengal. During his time in Calcutta, he was accused of wrongdoing, especially mismanagement and personal corruption.

Complete answer:
Now let us look into the given options:
Option A) Lord Curzon: Lord Curzon, India's Viceroy from 1899 to 1905, was one of the most divisive and consequential figures in the country's history. One of Curzon's most criticised decisions was the division of the undivided Bengal Presidency in 1905. Hence, this option is incorrect.

Option B) Warren Hastings: From 1772 to 1785, English statesman Warren Hastings was the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William, the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thus the first de facto Governor-General of Bengal. He was a reformer and activist with a lot of energy. He commanded the East India Company's forces against a powerful alliance of native states and the French from 1779 to 1784.

In the end, the well-organized British alliance prevailed, while France's dominance in India was diminished. He was impeached and charged with corruption in 1787 but was cleared in 1795 following a lengthy hearing. Hence, this is the correct option.

Option C) Lord Canning : In 1856, Lord Canning was declared governor-general of India by Lord Palmerston's government after serving as postmaster general under Lord Aberdeen (1853–55). After the British East India Company was transferred to the crown, Canning presided over the reorganisation of the Indian government. In 1859, he was awarded an earldom. Hence, this option is incorrect.

Option D) William Bentinck: From 1828 to 1835, William Bentinck was Governor-General of India. He is credited with major social and educational changes in India, including the abolition of sati and the prohibition of female infanticide and human sacrifice. Hence, this option is incorrect.

Hence, the correct option is B) Warren Hastings.

Note: Warren Hastings, the most curious and knowledgeable about Indian culture of all Britain's colonial proconsuls, famously proclaimed, "I love India a little more than my own country." He spoke Bengali fluently, had a working knowledge of Urdu and Persian, and was a driving force behind the revival of Sanskrit.