Indian society’s negotiation of Western influences and pressures under company raj is a matter of wide disagreement between nineteenth-century writers and contemporary scholars, and also among modern historians of the subcontinent. The old model of studying European impact and Indian response has been replaced by approaches more attentive to Indian initiative and agency. The nineteenth-century expectation that powerful forces of Westernization would remould Indian social institutions and thought permeated earlier historical writing on the subject. From the early nineteenth century in particular, three potent forces of change were thought to have been unleashed on Indian society. First, the heady doctrine of free trade was supposed to jerk Indian society and economy out of their insularity and immobility. Second, the ideology of utilitarianism through the enactment of good laws was expected to do away with backward, if not evil, Indian social customs. Third, the impulse of evangelism was to have struck a powerful blow to established Indian religions, Hinduism and Islam alike, and Christianized and uplifted hapless colonial subjects.