The 1800s were a century of reform for Hindustan


The Enlightenment was brought to Hindustan along with new technologies. This also spread ideas about elected officials and elected houses.

Grand Vizier

The Grand Vizier was the equivalent of a Prime Minister in the Ottoman Empire. However, the Padishah, having a hard time ruling Hindustan, created the role of Grand Vizier in Hindustan as well. The Grand Vizier that was appointed was Ranjit Singh, a Sikh, and he also established the Haq-e-Insan in 1820. Gradually, the Grand Vizier gained power as the Padishah lost power.

Religious Revolutions

Grand Vizier Ranjit Singh hated castes in Hinduism. He set up a team of scholars who were studying ancient Hindu texts and customs in Hindustani antiquity. In 1826, they discovered that, in pre-medieval times, castes were nothing more than occupations. He was quick to an pass the Hindu Restoration Act, which reformed the caste system and the castes became nothing more than occupations. In the 1828 census, almost all Hindus in Hindustan were found to be part of the Shudra, or labourer, caste. This caused an industrialization movement by Hindustani officials.

Meanwhile, in Islam, people were allowed to have multiple wives. Vizier Singh hated this as well and put into law that someone may only have one spouse. Unlike the Hindu Restoration Act, this caused a massive rebellion in the Islamic provinces of Hindustan. The rebellion was taken care of, and Muslim Hindustanis submitted to the law.


The new Diwan established a charter of human rights, the Haq-e-Insan (Rights of Man). The nobility heard this and declared rebellion. However, the nobles were killed off by the Diwan and Padishah to be replaced with fairer ones. This transition was complete by 1850.

Lok Sabha

Looking to the highly successful United States system of democratic governance, the Grand Vizier established a house similar to the House of Representatives, but being the only house. The Grand Vizier gave it the term Lok Sabha, from Sanskrit. By 1880, the Grand Vizier held greater power than the Padishah.


However, a prime achievement of these reforms also occurred. In 1880, the Hindustani Democracy League was formed. Under Motilal Nehru, the league finally pressed the Grand Vizier to establish democracy and in 1898, he was elected as Grand Vizier.

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