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indirect rule definition

Date : 26-02-2023

Indirect rule is a system of governance in which a colonial power delegates authority to local rulers or traditional leaders to govern their own people on behalf of the colonial power. The colonial power retains ultimate control and authority over the territories, but allows local rulers to maintain some degree of autonomy and traditional practices.

Indirect rule was a common method of colonial governance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in Africa and Asia. It was often used by European powers, such as the British and the French, who relied on existing local power structures to administer their colonies rather than imposing their own administrative systems.

Indirect rule was intended to be a more cost-effective way to govern colonies, as it relied on existing structures and personnel, but it often led to abuses of power and exploitation by local rulers who were incentivized to cooperate with the colonial power in exchange for power and resources. It also contributed to the entrenchment of traditional power structures, which sometimes hindered the development of modern, democratic systems of governance in post-colonial states.