By Upendra Baxi
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The planters were losing money heavily and required all the soothing they could get. 145 But Grant's minute was not worded to calm ruffled tempers. The planters objected to what they believed to be its tone of prejudice and claimed to see little prospect of British capital being again invested in Lower Bengal. 146 Grant reiterated in reply that throughout the time of trouble he had had but two principles in mind: equal justice to both parties and every effort to make the inevitable disintegration of an unsound system as little of a calamity as possible.
166 This was not the end of the indigo question. 167 'I think5, commented Wood, 'Peacock ought to be whipped for the inconsiderate folly of what he has done. No man is justified, especially a Chief Justice, in throwing out doubts on the legality of titles to land or property. 172 But the decision of Peacock seemed likely to cause a revolution in land tenures in India by extinguishing the rights of subholders, confirmed by the Tenancy Act of 1859, which had recognized a right of occupancy on the basis of continuous holding for twelve years and had limited the landlord's rights to enhance rents or to evict his tenants.
He felt that Grant's language to the planters 'has been to say the least unlucky'. 152 Canning, with the wind blowing in his favour, now took a more direct interest in indigo affairs. In an official despatch to the Secretary of State in December i860, he agreed with Grant that the administration of the law had not been impartial and the raiyats had not been adequately defended against the planters and their agents. If the Indigo Enforcement Act of April i860 had not 27 British Policy in India, 1858-1905 been temporary, it would have been unjust to the raiyats.