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Title: Indian Unrest
Author: Chirol, Valentine, Sir, 1852-1929
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Indian Unrest" ***

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INDIAN UNREST

By

VALENTINE CHIROL


A Reprint, revised and enlarged, from "The Times,"
with an introduction by Sir Alfred Lyall


   _We have now, as it were, before
   us, in that vast congeries of peoples
   we call India, a long, slow march
   in uneven stages through all the
   centuries from the fifth to the twentieth._

   --VISCOUNT MORLEY.



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON

1910

DEDICATED BY PERMISSION

TO

VISCOUNT MORLEY

AS A TRIBUTE
OF PRIVATE FRIENDSHIP AND
PUBLIC RESPECT

CONTENTS

   CHAPTER                                         PAGE

   INTRODUCTION. BY SIR ALFRED C. LYALL            VII

   I. A GENERAL SURVEY                               1

   II. SWARAJ ON THE PLATFORM AND IN THE PRESS       8

   III. A HINDU REVIVAL                             24

   IV. BRAHMANISM AND DISAFFECTION IN THE DECCAN    37

   V. POONA AND KOLHAPUR                            64

   VI. BENGAL BEFORE THE PARTITION                  72

   VII. THE STORM IN BENGAL                         81

   VIII. THE PUNJAB AND THE ARYA SAMAJ             106

   IX. THE POSITION OF THE MAHOMEDANS              118

   X. SOUTHERN INDIA                               136

   XI. REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS OUTSIDE INDIA   145

   XII. THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS               154

   XIII. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS                    162

   XIV. THE DEPRESSED CASTES                       176

   XV. THE NATIVE STATES                           185

   XVI. CROSS CURRENTS                             198

   XVII. THE GROWTH OF WESTERN EDUCATION           207

   XVIII. THE INDIAN STUDENT                       216

   XIX. SOME MEASURES OF EDUCATIONAL REFORM        229

   XX. THE QUESTION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION         238

   XXI. PRIMARY EDUCATION                          246

   XXII. SWADESHI AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS            254

   XXIII. THE FINANCIAL AND FISCAL RELATIONS
   BETWEEN INDIA AND GREAT BRITAIN                 271

   XXIV. THE POSITION OF INDIANS IN THE EMPIRE     280

   XXV. SOCIAL AND OFFICIAL RELATIONS              288

   XXVI. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA                   306

   XXVII. CONCLUSIONS                              319

   NOTES                                           335

   INDEX                                           361

_The numerals above the line in the body of the book refer to notes at
the end of the volume._



INTRODUCTION.

BY SIR ALFRED C. LYALL.


The volume into which Mr. Valentine Chirol has collected and republished
his valuable series of articles in _The Times_ upon Indian unrest is an
important and very instructive contribution to the study of what is
probably the most arduous problem in the politics of our far-reaching
Empire. His comprehensive survey of the whole situation, the arrangement
of evidence and array of facts, are not unlike what might have been
found in the Report of a Commission appointed to investigate the causes
and the state of affairs to which the troubles that have arisen in India
may be ascribed.

At different times in the world's history the nations foremost in
civilization have undertaken the enterprise of founding a great European
dominion in Asia, and have accomplished it with signal success. The
Macedonian Greeks led the way; they were followed by the Romans; and in
both instances their military superiority and organizing genius enabled
them to subdue and govern for centuries vast populations in Western
Asia. European science and literature flourished in the great cities of
the East, where the educated classes willingly accepted and supported
foreign rulership as their barrier against a relapse into barbarism; nor
have we reason for believing that it excited unusual discontent or
disaffection among the Asiatic peoples. But the Greek and Roman Empires
in Asia have disappeared long ago, leaving very little beyond scattered
ruins; and in modern times it is the British dominion in India that has
revived and is pursuing the enterprise of ruling and civilizing a great
Asiatic population, of developing the political intelligence and
transforming the ideas of an antique and, in some respects, a primitive
society.

That the task must be one of prodigious difficulty, not always free from
danger, has been long known to those who watched the experiment with
some accurate foresight of the conditions attending it. Yet the recent
symptoms of virulent disease in some parts of the body politic, though
confined to certain provinces of India, have taken the British nation by
surprise. Mr. Chirol's book has now exhibited the present state and
prospect of the adventure; he has examined the causes and the
consequences of the prevailing unrest; he has collected ample evidence,
and he has consulted all the best authorities, Indian and European, on
the subject. His masterly analysis of all this material shows wide
acquaintance with the facts, and rare insight into the character and
motives, the aims and methods, of those who are engaged in stirring up
the spirit of revolt against the British Government. He has pointed to
instances where the best intentions of the administrators have led them
wrong; his whole narrative illustrates the perils that beset a
Government necessarily pledged to moral and material reform, which finds
its own principles perverted against its efforts, and its foremost
opponents among the class that has been the first to profit by the
benefits which that Government has conferred upon them.

The nineteenth century had been pre-eminently an era of the development
of rapid and easy communication between distant parts of the world,
particularly between Europe and Asia. So long as these two continents
remained far apart the condition of Asia was unchanged and stationary;
if there was any change it had been latterly retrogressive, for in
India at any rate the eighteenth century was a period of abnormal and
extensive political confusion. In Europe, on the other hand, national
wealth, scientific discoveries, the arts of war and peace, had made
extraordinary progress. Population had increased and multiplied; and
partly by territorial conquests, partly by pacific penetration, the
Western nations overflowed politically into Asia during the nineteenth
century. They brought with them larger knowledge, novel ideas and
manners, which have opened the Asiatic mind to new influences and
aspirations, to the sense of needs and grievances not previously felt or
even imagined. The effect, as can now be clearly perceived, has been to
produce an abrupt transition from old to new ways, from the antique
order of society towards fresh models; and to this may be ascribed the
general unsettlement, the uneasy stir, that pervade Asia at the present
moment. Its equilibrium has been disturbed by the high speed at which
Europe has been pushing eastward; and the principal points of contact
and penetration are in India.

Moreover, towards the latter end of the nineteenth century and in the
first years of the present century came events which materially altered
the attitude of Asiatic nations towards European predominance. The
defeat of the Italians by the Abyssinians in 1896 may indeed be noted as
the first decisive victory gained by troops that may be reckoned
Oriental over a European army in the open field, for at least three
centuries. The Japanese war, in which Russia lost battles not only by
land, but also at sea, was even a more significant and striking warning
that the era of facile victories in Asia had ended; since never before
in all history had an Asiatic navy won a great sea-fight against
European fleets. That the unquiet spirit, which from these general
causes has been spreading over the Eastern Continent, should be
particularly manifest in countries under European Governments is not
unnatural; it inevitably roused the latent dislike of foreign rule,
with which a whole people is never entirely content. Precisely similar
symptoms are to be observed in the Asiatic possessions of France, and in
Egypt; nor is Algeria yet altogether reconciled to the _régime_ of its
conquerors.

That in India the British Government has found the centres of active
disaffection located in the Maratha country and in Lower Bengal, is a
phenomenon which can be to a large extent accounted for by reference to
Anglo-Indian history. The fact that Poona is one focus of sedition has
been attributed in this volume to the survival among the Maratha
Brahmins of the recollection that "far into the eighteenth century Poona
was the capital of a theocratic State in which behind the Throne of the
Peshwas both spiritual and secular authority were concentrated in the
hands of the Brahmins." The Peshwas, as their title implies, had been
hereditary Ministers who governed in the name of the reigning dynasty
founded by the famous Maratha leader Sivajee, whose successors they set
aside. But before the end of the eighteenth century the secular
authority of the Peshwas had become almost nominal, and the real power
in the State had passed into the grasp of a confederation of chiefs of
predatory armies, whose violence drove the last Peshwa, more than a
century ago, to seek refuge in a British camp. The political sovereignty
of the Brahmins had disappeared from the time when he placed himself
under British protection; and the Maratha chiefs (who were not Brahmins)
only acknowledged our supremacy after some fiercely contested battles;
with the result that they were confined to and confirmed in the
possession of the territories now governed by their descendants. But it
is quite true that to the memory of a time when for once, and once only,
in Indian history, their caste established a great secular dominion, may
be ascribed the tendency to disloyalty among the Maratha Brahmins.

The case of Bengal is very different. Poona and Calcutta are separated
geographically almost by the whole breadth of India between two seas;
yet the historical antecedents of the Bengalees and Marathas are even
further apart. The Marathas were the leaders of revolt against the
Moghal Empire; they were formidable opponents to the rise of the British
power; their chiefs fought hard before yielding to British authority. On
the other hand, Lower Bengal belonged to a province that had fallen away
from the Moghal Empire, and which was transferred from its Mahomedan
Governor to a British General by the result of a single battle at
Plassey. The Bengalees took no part in the contest, and they had very
good reason for willing acquiescence in the change of masters.

In a comparison, therefore, of the Marathas with the people of Bengal,
we have a remarkable instance of the production of similar effects from
causes very distinct and dissimilar. In the former case their present
unrest may be traced, in a large degree, to the memories of early
rulership and to warlike traditions. In the latter case there can be no
such recollections, military or political, for the country has had no
experience whatever of a state of war, since Lower Bengal is perhaps the
only considerable province of India which has enjoyed profound peace
during nearly 150 years. It is no paradox to suggest that this prolonged
tranquillity has had some share in stimulating the audacity of Bengalee
unrest, for the literary classes seem to have no clear notion that the
real game of revolutionary politics is necessarily rough and
dangerous--certain, moreover, to fail whenever the British Government
shall have resolved that it is being carried too far, and must end.

But it is beyond question that the promoters of disaffection on both
sides of India have been making strenuous exertions to enlist in the
movement the influence of Brahminism; and upon this point the book
rightly lays particular stress.

The position and privileges of the Brahmins are rightly compared to
those of the Levites; they are the depositories of orthodox tradition;
they preside over and hold (not exclusively) a monopoly for the
performance of the sacred rites and offices; and ritual in Hinduism, as
in most of the ancient religions, is the essential element; it is
closely connected with the rules of caste, which unite and divide
innumerable groups within the pale of Hinduism. And in India the
peculiar institution of caste, the strict regulation of social
intercourse, particularly in regard to inter-marriage and the sharing of
food, prevails to an extent quite unknown elsewhere in the world. The
divisions of caste have always operated to weaken the body politic in
India, and thus to facilitate foreign conquest; but, on the other hand,
they have opposed a stiff barrier to the invasion of foreign religions,
to the fusion of alien races with the Hindu people, and to any success
in what may be called national unification.

One can easily understand the formidable power invested by this system
in the Brahmins, and the enormous obstacles that it might raise against
the introduction of Western ideas, manners, and education. Nevertheless
we all know, and we have seen it with real satisfaction, that the
Brahmins, very much to the credit of their intelligence and sagacity,
have been forward in accepting the new learning, the expansion of
general knowledge, offered to them by English schools and Universities;
they have acquired our language, they have studied our sciences; they
are prominent in the professions of law and medicine, which the English
have created; they enter our civil services, they even serve in the
Indian Army. Yet their readiness to adopt secular culture does not seem
to have abated their religious authority, or to have sensibly weakened
their influence over the people at large. And indeed the fact that the
Brahmins, with others of the educated classes, should have been able,
for their own purposes, to appeal simultaneously to the darkest
superstitions of Hinduism and to extreme ideas of Western democracy--to
disregard caste rules personally and to stir up caste prejudices among
the masses--will not greatly surprise those who have observed the
extraordinary elasticity of practical Hinduism, the fictions and
anomalies which can be invented or tolerated at need. But the beliefs
and practices of popular Hinduism are obviously irreconcilable with the
principles of modern civilization; and the various indications of a
desire to reform and purify their ancient religion may be partly due to
the perception among educated Hindus that so contradictory a position is
ultimately untenable, that the incongruity between sacrifices to the
goddess Kali and high University degrees is too manifest.

The course and consequences of the measures taken by the British
Government to promote Western education in India has been attentively
studied by the author of this volume. It is a story of grave political
miscalculation, containing a lesson that has its significance for other
nations which have undertaken a similar enterprise. Ignorance is
unquestionably the root of many evils; and it was natural that in the
last century certain philosophers should have assumed education to be
the certain cure for human delusions; and that statesmen like Macaulay
should have declared education to be the best and surest remedy for
political discontent and for law-breaking. In any case it was the clear
and imperative duty of the British Government to attempt the
intellectual emancipation of India as the best justification of British
rule. We have since discovered, by experience, that, although education
is a sovereign remedy for many ills--is indeed indispensable to healthy
progress--yet an indiscriminate or superficial administration of this
potent medicine may engender other disorders. It acts upon the frame of
an antique society as a powerful dissolvent, heating weak brains,
stimulating rash ambitions, raising inordinate expectations of which the
disappointment is bitterly resented. That these effects are well known
even in Europe may be read in a remarkable French novel published not
long ago, "Les Déracinés," which, describes the road to ruin taken by
poor collegians who had been uprooted from the soil of their humble
village. And in Asia the disease is necessarily much more virulent,
because the transition has been more sudden, and the contrast between
old ideas of life and new aspirations is far sharper. From the report of
an able French official upon the Indo-Chinese Colonies we may learn that
the existing system of educating the natives has proved to be
mischievous, needing radical reform. Of the Levantine youths in the
Syrian towns, the product of European schools, a French traveller writes
(1909), "C'est une tourbe de déclassés"; while in China some leaders of
agitation for democratic changes in the oldest of all Empires are said
to be those who have qualified by competitive examination for public
employ, and have failed to obtain it. In every country the crowd of
expectants far outnumbers the places available. If, indeed, the
Government which introduced Western education into Bengal had been
native instead of foreign, it would have found itself entangled in
difficulties no less grave than those which now confront the British
rulers; and there can be little doubt that it would probably have broken
down under them.

The phases through which the State's educational policy in India have
passed during the last fifty years are explained at length in this
volume. The Government was misled in the wrong direction by the reports
of two Commissions between 1880 and 1890, whose mistakes were discerned
at the time by those who had some tincture of political prudence. The
problem is now to reconstruct on a better plan, to try different lines
of advance. But some of us have heard of an enterprising pioneer in a
difficult country, who confidently urged travellers to take a new route
by assuring them that it avoided the hills on the old road. Whether the
hills were equally steep on his other road he did not say. And in the
present instance it may not be easy to strike out a fresh path which may
be clear from the complications that have been suffered to grow up
round our system of Indian education; while no one proposes to turn
back. The truth is that in India the English have been throughout
obliged to lay out their own roads, and to feel their way, without any
precedents to guide them. No other Government, European or Asiatic, has
yet essayed to administer a great Oriental population, alien in race and
religion, by institutions of a representative type, reckoning upon free
discussion and an unrestricted Press for reasonable consideration of its
measures and fair play, relying upon secular education and absolute
religious neutrality to control the unruly affections of sinful men. It
is now seen that our Western ideas and inventions, moral and material,
are being turned against us by some of those to whom we have imparted an
elementary aptitude for using them. And thus we have the strange
spectacle, in certain parts of India, of a party capable of resorting to
methods that are both reactionary and revolutionary, of men who offer
prayers and sacrifices to ferocious divinities and denounce the
Government by seditious journalism, preaching primitive superstition in
the very modern form of leading articles. The mixture of religion with
politics has always produced a highly explosive compound, especially in
Asia.

These agitations are in fact the symptoms of what are said by
Shakespeare to be the "cankers of a calm world"; they are the natural
outcome of artificial culture in an educational hothouse, among classes
who have had for generations no real training in rough or hazardous
politics. The outline of the present situation in India is that we have
been disseminating ideas of abstract political right, and the germs of
representative institutions, among a people that had for centuries been
governed autocratically, and in a country where local liberties and
habits of self-government had been long obliterated or had never
existed. At the same time we have been spreading modern education
broadcast throughout the land, where, before English rule, learning had
not advanced beyond the stage of Europe in the middle ages. These may
be taken to be the primary causes of the existing Unrest; and meanwhile
the administrative machine has been so efficiently organized, it has
run, hitherto, so easily and quietly, as to disguise from inexperienced
bystanders the long discipline and training in affairs of State that are
required for its management. Nor is it clearly perceived that the real
driving power lies in the forces held in reserve by the British nation
and in the respect which British guardianship everywhere commands. That
Indians should be liberally invited to share the responsibilities of
high office is now a recognized principle of public policy. But the
process of initiation must be gradual and tentative; and vague notions
of dissolving the British connexion only prove incompetence to realize
the whole situation, external and internal, of the country. Across the
frontiers of India are warlike nations, who are intent upon arming
themselves after the latest modern pattern, though for the other
benefits of Western science and learning they show, as yet, very little
taste or inclination. They would certainly be a serious menace to a weak
Government in the Indian plains, while their sympathy with a literary
class would be uncommonly slight. Against intruders of this sort the
British hold securely the gates of India; and it must be clear that the
civilization and future prosperity of the whole country depend entirely
upon their determination to maintain public tranquillity by strict
enforcement of the laws; combined with their policy of admitting the
highest intellects and capacities to the Councils of the State, and of
assigning reasonable administrative and legislative independence to the
great provinces in accord with the unity of a powerful Empire.

A.C. LYALL



CHAPTER I.

A GENERAL SURVEY.


That there is a lull in the storm of unrest which has lately swept over
India is happily beyond doubt. Does this lull indicate a gradual and
steady return to more normal and peaceful conditions? Or, as in other
cyclonic disturbances in tropical climes, does it merely presage fiercer
outbursts yet to come? Has the blended policy of repression and
concession adopted by Lord Morley and Lord Minto really cowed the forces
of criminal disorder and rallied the representatives of moderate opinion
to the cause of sober and Constitutional progress? Or has it come too
late either permanently to arrest the former or to restore confidence
and courage to the latter?

These are the two questions which the present situation in India most
frequently and obviously suggests, but it may be doubted whether they by
any means cover the whole field of potential developments. They are
based apparently upon the assumption that Indian unrest, even in its
most extreme forms, is merely the expression of certain political
aspirations towards various degrees of emancipation from British
tutelage, ranging from a larger share in the present system of
administration to a complete revolution in the existing relations
between Great Britain and India, and that, the issues thus raised being
essentially political, they can be met by compromise on purely political
lines. This assumption ignores, I fear, certain factors of very great
importance, social, religious, and economic, which profoundly affect, if
they do not altogether overshadow, the political problem. The question
to which I propose to address myself is whether Indian unrest represents
merely, as we are prone to imagine, the human and not unnatural
impatience of subject races fretting under an alien rule which, however
well intentioned, must often be irksome and must sometimes appear to be
harsh and arbitrary; or whether to-day, in its more extreme forms at any
rate, it does not represent an irreconcilable reaction against all that
not only British rule but Western civilization stands for.

I will not stop at present to discuss how far the lamentable
deficiencies of the system of education which we have ourselves
introduced into India have contributed to the Indian unrest. That that
system has been productive of much good few will deny, but few also can
be so blind as to ignore the fact that it tends on the one hand to
create a semi-educated proletariate, unemployed and largely
unemployable, and on the other hand, even where failure is less
complete, to produce dangerous hybrids, more or less superficially
imbued with Western ideas, and at the same time more or less completely
divorced from the realities of Indian life. Many other circumstances
also which have helped the promoters of disaffection I must reserve for
subsequent discussion. Some of them are economic, such as the remarkable
rise in prices during the last decade. This has seriously enhanced the
cost of living in India and has specially affected the very classes
amongst whom disaffection is most widespread. The clerk, the teacher,
the petty Government official, whose exiguous salaries have remained the
same, find themselves to-day relatively, and in many cases actually,
worse off than the artisan or even the labourer, whose wages have in
many cases risen in proportion to the increased cost of living. Plague,
which in the course of the last 14 years has carried off over 6,000,000
people, and two terrible visitations of famine have caused in different
parts of the country untold misery and consequent bitterness. On the
other hand, the growth of commerce and industry and the growing interest
taken by all classes in commercial and industrial questions have led to
a corresponding resentment of the fiscal restraints placed upon India by
the Imperial Government for the selfish benefit, as it is contended, of
the British manufacturer and trader. Much bad blood has undoubtedly been
created by the treatment of British Indians in South Africa and the
attitude adopted in British Colonies generally towards Asiatic
immigrants. The social relations between the two races in India
itself--always a problem of infinite difficulty--have certainly not been
improved by the large influx of a lower class of Europeans which the
development of railways and telegraphs and other industries requiring
technical knowledge have brought in their train. Nor can it be denied
that the growing pressure of office work as well as the increased
facilities of home leave and frequent transfers from one post to another
have inevitably to some extent lessened the contact between the
Anglo-Indian official and the native population. Of more remote
influences which have indirectly reacted upon the Indian mind it may
suffice for the present to mention the South African War, which lowered
the prestige of our arms, and the Russo-Japanese War, which was regarded
as the first blow dealt to the ascendency of Europe over Asia, though it
may be worth noting that in his novel, "The Prince of Destiny," Mr. Surat
Kumar Ghosh lays repeated emphasis on the impression produced in India
some years earlier by the defeat of the Italian forces in Abyssinia.
Each of the above points has its own importance and deserves to be
closely studied, for upon the way in which we shall in the future handle
some of the delicate questions which they raise will largely depend our
failure or our success in coping with Indian unrest--that is, in
preventing its invasion of other classes than those to which it has been
hitherto confined. But the clue to the real spirit which informs Indian
unrest must be sought elsewhere.

Two misconceptions appear to prevail very widely at home with regard to
the nature of the unrest. The first is that disaffection of a virulent
and articulate character is a new phenomenon in India; the second is
that the existing: disaffection represents a genuine, if precocious and
misdirected, response on the part of the Western educated classes to the
democratic ideals of the modern Western world which our system of
education has imported into India. It is easy to account for the
prevalence of both these misconceptions. We are a people of notoriously
short memory, and, when a series of sensational dastardly crimes,
following on a tumultuous agitation in Bengal and a campaign of
incredible violence in the native Press, at last aroused and alarmed the
British public, the vast majority of Englishmen were under the
impression that since the black days of the Mutiny law and order had
never been seriously assailed in India, and they therefore rushed to the
conclusion that, if the _pax Britannica_ had been so rudely and suddenly
shaken, the only possible explanation lay in some novel wave of
sentiment or some grievous administrative blunder which had abruptly
disturbed the harmonious relations between the rulers and the ruled.
People had forgotten that disaffection in varying forms and degrees of
intensity has existed at all times amongst certain sections of the
population, and under the conditions of our rule can hardly be expected
to disappear altogether. Whether British statesmanship has always
sufficiently reckoned with its existence is another question. More than
30 years ago, for instance, the Government of India had to pass a Bill
dealing with the aggressive violence of the vernacular Press on
precisely the same grounds that were alleged in support of this year's
Press Bill, and with scarcely less justification, whilst just 13 years
ago two British officials fell victims at Poona to a murderous
conspiracy, prompted by a campaign of criminal virulence in the Press,
closely resembling those which have more recently robbed India of many
valuable lives.

To imagine that Indian unrest has been a sudden growth because its
outward manifestations have assumed new and startling forms of violence
is a dangerous delusion; and no less misleading is the assumption that
it is merely the outcome of Western education or the echo of Western
democratic aspirations, because it occasionally, and chiefly for
purposes of political expediency, adopts the language of Western
demagogues. Whatever its modes of expression, its main spring is a
deep-rooted antagonism to all the principles upon which Western society,
especially in a democratic country like England, has been built up. It
is in that antagonism--in the increasing violence of that
antagonism--which is a conspicuous feature of the unrest, that the
gravest danger lies.

But if in this respect the problems with which we are confronted appear
to me more serious and complex than official optimism is sometimes
disposed to admit, I have no hesitation is saying that there is no cause
for despondency if we will only realize how strong our position in India
still is, and use our strength wisely and sympathetically, but, at the
same time, with firmness and consistency. It is important to note at the
outset that the more dangerous forms of unrest are practically confined
to the Hindus, and amongst them to a numerically small proportion of the
vast Hindu community. Not a single Mahomedan has been implicated in,
though some have fallen victims to, the criminal conspiracies of the
last few years. Not a single Mahomedan of any account is to be found in
the ranks of disaffected politicians. For reasons, in fact, which I
shall set forth later on, it may be confidently asserted that never
before have the Mahomedans of India as a whole identified their
interests and their aspirations so closely as at the present day with
the consolidation and permanence of British rule. It is almost a
misnomer to speak of Indian unrest. Hindu unrest would be a far more
accurate term, connoting with far greater precision the forces
underlying it, though to use it without reservation would be to do a
grave injustice to the vast numbers of Hindus who are as yet untainted
with disaffection. These include almost all the Hindu ruling chiefs and
landed aristocracy, as well as the great mass of the agricultural
classes which form in all parts of India the overwhelming majority of
the population. Very large areas, moreover, are still entirely free from
unrest, which, except for a few sporadic outbreaks in other districts,
has been hitherto mainly confined to three distinct areas--the Mahratta
Deccan, which comprises a great part of the Bombay Presidency and
several districts of the Central Provinces, Bengal, with the new
province of Eastern Bengal, and the Punjab. In those regions it is the
large cities that have been the real hot-beds of unrest, and, great as
is their influence, it must not be forgotten that in India scarcely
one-tenth of the population lives in cities, or even in small townships
with more than 5,000 inhabitants. Whereas in England one-third of the
population is gathered together in crowded cities of 100,000 inhabitants
and over, there are but twenty-eight cities of that size in the whole of
India, with an aggregate population of less than 7,000,000 out of a
total of almost 300,000,000.

That a movement confined to a mere fraction of the population of India
has no title to be called a "national" movement would scarcely need to
be argued, even if the variegated jumble of races and peoples, castes
and creeds that make up the population of India were not in itself an
antithesis to all that the word "national" implies. Nevertheless it
would be equally foolish to underrate the forces which underlie this
movement, for they have one common _nexus_, and a very vital one. They
are the dominant forces of Hinduism--forces which go to the very root of
a social and religious system than which none in the history of the
human race has shown greater vitality and stability. Based upon caste,
the most rigid of all social classifications, Hinduism has secured for
some 3,000 years or more to the higher castes, and especially to the
Brahmans, the highest of all castes, a social supremacy for which there
is no parallel elsewhere. At the same time, inflexibly as they have
dominated Hinduism, these higher castes have themselves preserved a
flexibility of mind and temper which has enabled them to adapt
themselves with singular success to the vicissitudes of changing times
without any substantial sacrifice of their inherited traditions and
aspirations. Thus it is amongst high-caste Hindus that for the last
three-quarters of a century English education has chiefly spread, and,
indeed, been most eagerly welcomed; it is amongst them that British
administration has recruited the great majority of its native servants
in every branch of the public service; it is amongst them also that are
chiefly recruited the liberal professions, the Press, the
schoolmasters--in fact all those agencies through which public opinion
and the mind of the rising generation are most easily moulded and
directed. That it is amongst them also that the spirit of revolt against
British ascendency is chiefly and almost exclusively rife constitutes
the most ominous feature of Indian unrest.



CHAPTER II.

SWARAJ ON THE PLATFORM AND IN THE PRESS.


Before proceeding to describe the methods by which Indian unrest has
been fomented, and to study as far as possible its psychology, it may be
well to set forth succinctly the political purpose to which it is
directed, as far as there is any unity of direction. One of the chief
difficulties one encounters in attempting to define its aims is the
vagueness that generally characterizes the pronouncements of Indian
politicians. There is, indeed, one section that makes no disguise either
of its aspirations or of the way in which it proposes to secure their
fulfilment. Its doctrines are frankly revolutionary, and it openly
preaches propaganda by deed--i.e., by armed revolt, if and when it
becomes practicable, and, in the meantime, by assassination, dynamite
outrages, dacoities, and all the other methods of terrorism dear to
anarchists all over the world. But that section is not very numerous,
nor would it in itself be very dangerous, if it did not exercise so
fatal a fascination upon the immature mind of youth. The real difficulty
begins when one comes to that much larger section of "advanced"
politicians who are scarcely less bitterly opposed to the maintenance of
British rule, but, either from prudential motives or lest they should
prematurely alarm and alienate the representatives of what is called
"moderate" opinion, shrink from the violent assertion of India's claim
to complete political independence and, whilst helping to create the
atmosphere that breeds outrages, profess to deprecate them.

The difficulty is further enhanced by the reluctance of many of the
"moderates" to break with their "advanced" friends by proclaiming, once
and for all, their own conviction that within no measurable time can
India in her own interests afford to forgo the guarantees of internal
peace and order and external security which the British _Raj_ alone can
afford. Hence the desire on both sides to find some common denominator
in a nebulous formula which each can interpret as to time and manner
according to its own desires and aims. That formula seems to have been
discovered in the term _Swaraj_, or self-rule, which, when
euphemistically translated into Colonial self-government for India,
offers the additional advantage of presenting the political aspirations
of Indian "Nationalism" in the form least likely to alarm Englishmen,
especially those who do not care or wish to look below the surface and
whose sympathies are readily won by any catchword that appeals to
sentimental Liberalism. Now if _Swaraj_, or Colonial self-government,
represents the _minimum_ that will satisfy Indian Nationalists, it is
important to know exactly what in their view it really means.
Fortunately on this point we have some _data_ of indisputable authority.
They are furnished in the speeches of an "advanced" leader, who does not
rank amongst the revolutionary extremists, though his refusal to give
evidence in the trial of a seditious newspaper with which he had been
connected brought him in 1907 within the scope of the Indian Criminal
Code. Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal, a high-caste Hindu and a man of great
intellectual force and high character, has not only received a Western
education, but has travelled a great deal in Europe and in America, and
is almost as much at home in London as in Calcutta. A little more than
three years ago he delivered in Madras a series of lectures on the "New
Spirit," which have been republished in many editions and may be
regarded as the most authoritative programme of "advanced" political
thought in India. What adds greatly to the significance of those
speeches is that Mr. Pal borrowed their keynote from the Presidential
address delivered in the preceding year by the veteran leader of the
"moderates," Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, at the annual Session of the Indian
National Congress. The rights of India, Mr. Naoroji had said, "can be
comprised in one word--self-government or _Swaraj_, like that of the
United Kingdom or the Colonies." It was reserved for Mr. Pal to define
precisely how such _Swaraj_ could be peacefully obtained and what it
must ultimately lead to. He began by brushing away the notion that any
political concessions compatible with the present dependency of India
upon Great Britain could help India to _Swaraj_. I will quote his own
words, which already foreshadowed the contemptuous reception given by
"advanced" politicians to the reforms embodied in last year's Indian
Councils Act:--

   You may get a High Court judgeship here, membership
   of the Legislative Council there, possibly an Executive
   Membership of the Council. Or do you want an expansion
   of the Legislative Councils? Do you want that a few Indians
   shall sit as your representatives in the House of Commons?
   Do you want a large number of Indians in the Civil Service?
   Let us see whether 50, 100, 200, or 300 civilians will make
   the Government our own.... The whole Civil Service
   might be Indian, but the Civil servants have to carry out
   orders--they cannot direct, they cannot dictate the policy.
   One swallow does not make the summer. One civilian,
   100 or 1,000 civilians in the service of the British Government
   will not make that Government Indian. There are traditions,
   there are laws, there are policies to which every civilian, be
   he black or brown or white, must submit, and as long as
   these traditions have not been altered, as long as these principles
   have not been amended, as long as that policy has not
   been radically changed, the supplanting of European by
   Indian agency will not make for self-government in this
   country.

Nor is it from the British Government that Mr. Pal looks for, or would
accept, _Swaraj_:--

   If the Government were to come and tell me to-day "Take
   _Swaraj" I would say thank you for the gift, but I will not
   have that which I cannot acquire by my own hand....
   Our programme is that we shall so work in the country,
   so combine the resources of the people, so organize the forces
   of the nation, so develop the instincts of freedom in the community,
   that by this means we shall--_shall_ in the imperative--compel
   the submission to our will of any power that may set
   itself against us.

Equally definite is Mr. Pal as to the methods by which _Swaraj_ is to be
made "imperative." They consist of _Swadeshi_ in the economic domain,
i.e., the encouragement of native industries reinforced by the boycott
of imported goods which will kill British commerce and, in the political
domain, passive resistance reinforced by the boycott of Government
service.

   They say:--Can you boycott all the Government offices?
   Whoever said that we would? Whoever said that there
   would not be found a single Indian to serve the Government
   or the European community here? But what we can do is this.
   We can make the Government impossible without entirely
   making it impossible for them to find people to serve them.
   The administration may be made impossible in a variety of
   ways. It is not actually that every deputy magistrate
   should say: I won't serve in it. It is not that when one
   man resigns nobody will be found to take his place. But
   if you create this spirit in the country the Government service
   will gradually imbibe this spirit, and a whole office may go
   on strike. That does not put an end to the administration,
   but it creates endless complications in the work of administration,
   and if these complications are created in every
   part of the country, the administration will have been brought
   to a deadlock and made none the less impossible, for the
   primary thing is the prestige of the Government and the
   boycott strikes at the root of that prestige.... We
   can reduce every Indian in Government service to the position
   of a man who has fallen from the dignity of Indian citizenship....
   No man shall receive social honours because he is a
   Hakim or a Munsiff or a Huzur Sheristadar.... No law
   can compel one to give a chair to a man who comes to his
   house. He may give it to an ordinary shopkeeper; he may
   refuse it to the Deputy Magistrate or the Subordinate Judge.
   He may give his daughter in marriage to a poor beggar,
   he may refuse her to the son of a Deputy Magistrate, because
   it is absolutely within his rights, absolutely within legal
   bounds.

   Passive resistance is recognized as legitimate in England.
   It is legitimate in theory even in India, and if it is made
   illegal by new legislation, these laws will infringe on the primary
   rights of personal freedom and will tread on dangerous
   grounds. Therefore it seems to me that by means of the boycott
   we shall be able to do the negative work that will have
   to be done for the attainment of _Swaraj_. Positive work
   will have to be done. Without positive training no self-government
   will come to the boycotter. It will (come)
   through the organization of our village life; of
   our talukas and districts. Let our programme
   include the setting up of machinery for popular administration,
   and running parallel to, but independent of, the existing
   administration of the Government.... In the Providence
   of God we shall then be made rulers over many things.
   This is our programme.

But Mr. Pal himself admits that even if this programme can be fulfilled,
this _Swaraj_, this absolute self-rule which he asks for, is
fundamentally incompatible with the maintenance of the British
connexion.

   Is really self-government within the Empire a practicable
   ideal? What would it mean? It would mean either no
   real self-government for us or no real overlordship for England.
   Would we be satisfied with the shadow of self-government?
   If not, would England be satisfied with the shadow of overlordship?
   In either case England would not be satisfied
   with a shadowy overlordship, and we refuse to be satisfied
   with a shadowy self-government. And therefore no compromise
   is possible under such conditions between self-government
   in India and the overlordship of England. If self-government
   is conceded to us, what would be England's
   position not only in India, but in the British Empire itself?
   Self-government means the right of self-taxation; it means
   the right of financial control; it means the right of the
   people to impose protective and prohibitive tariffs on foreign
   imports. The moment we have the right of self-taxation,
   what shall we do? We shall not try to be engaged in this
   uphill work of industrial boycott. But we shall do what
   every nation has done. Under the circumstances in which
   we live now, we shall impose a heavy prohibitive protective
   tariff upon every inch of textile fabric from Manchester,
   upon every blade of knife that comes from Leeds. We shall
   refuse to grant admittance to a British soul into our territory.
   We would not allow British capital to be engaged in
   the development of Indian resources, as it is now engaged.
   We would not grant any right to British capitalists to dig
   up the mineral wealth of the land and carry it to their own
   isles. We shall want foreign capital. But we shall apply
   for foreign loans in the open market of the whole world,
   guaranteeing the credit of the Indian Government, the
   Indian nation, for the repayment of the loan, just as America
   has done and is doing, just as Russia is doing now, just as
   Japan has been doing of late. And England's commercial
   interests would not be furthered in the way these are being
   furthered now, under the conditions of popular self-government,
   though it might be within the Empire. But what
   would it mean within the Empire? It would mean that
   England would have to enter into some arrangement with
   us for some preferential tariff. England would have to come
   to our markets on the conditions that we would impose
   upon her for the purpose, if she wanted an open door in
   India, and after a while, when we have developed our resources
   a little and organized our industrial life, we would want the
   open door not only to England, but to every part of the
   British Empire. And do you think it is possible for a small
   country like England with a handful of population, although
   she might be enormously wealthy, to compete on fair and
   equitable terms with a mighty continent like India, with
   immense natural resources, with her teeming populations,
   the soberest and most abstemious populations known to any
   part of the world?

   If we have really self-government within the Empire, if
   we have the rights of freedom of the Empire as Australia
   has, as Canada has, as England has to-day, if we, 300 millions
   of people, have that freedom of the Empire, the Empire
   would cease to be British. It would be the Indian Empire,
   and the alliance between England and India would be absolutely
   an unequal alliance. That would be, if we had really
   self-government within the Empire, exactly the relation as
   co-partners in a co-British or anti-British Empire of the
   future; and if the day comes when England will be reduced
   to the alternative of having us as an absolutely independent
   people or a co-partner with her in the Empire, she would
   prefer to have us, like the Japanese, as an ally and no longer
   a co-partner, because we are bound to be the predominant
   partner in this Imperial firm. Therefore no sane Englishman,
   politician or publicist can ever contemplate seriously the
   possibility of a self-governing India, like the self-governing
   colonies, forming a vital and organic part of the British
   Empire. Therefore it is that Lord Morley says that so
   long as India remains under the control of Great Britain
   the government of India must continue to be a personal
   and absolute one. Therefore it seems to me that this ideal,
   the practically attainable ideal of self-government within the
   Empire, when we analyse it with care, when we study it in
   the light of common human psychology, when we study
   it in the light of our past experience of the racial characteristics
   of the British people, when we study it in the light of past
   British history in India and other parts of the world, when
   we study and analyse this ideal of self-government within
   the Empire, we find it is a far more impracticable thing to
   attain than even our ideal _Swaraj_.

I have quoted Mr. Pal's utterances at some length, because they are the
fullest and the most frank exposition available of what lies beneath the
claim to Colonial self-government as it is understood by "advanced"
politicians. No one can deny the merciless logic with which he analyses
the inevitable results of _Swaraj_, and Englishmen may well be grateful
to him for having disclosed them so fearlessly. British sympathizers who
are reluctant to look behind a formula which commends itself to their
peculiar predilections, naturally dislike any reference to Mr. Pal's
interpretation of Indian "self-government," and would even impugn his
character in order the better to question his authority. But they cannot
get over the fact that in India, very few "moderate" politicians have
had the courage openly to repudiate his programmes, though many of them
realize its dangers, whilst the "extremists" want a much shorter cut to
the same goal. It is only by pledging itself to _Swaraj_ that the Indian
National Congress has been able to maintain a semblance of unity.

Moreover, if any doubt still lingers as to the inner meaning of _Swaraj_
and _Swadeshi_, and other kindred war-cries of Indian Nationalism, the
language of the Nationalist Press remains on record to complete our
enlightenment. However incompatible with the maintenance of British rule
may be the propositions set forth by Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal, they contain
no incitement to violence, no virulent diatribes against Englishmen. It
is in the Press rather than on the platform that Indian politicians,
whether "extreme" or merely "advanced" are apt to let themselves go.
They write down to the level of their larger audiences. So little has
hitherto been done to enlighten public opinion at home as to the gravity
of the evil which the recent Indian Press law has at last, though very
tardily, done something to repress that many Englishmen are still
apparently disposed to regard that measure as an oppressive, or at least
dubious, concession to bureaucratic impatience of criticism none the
less healthy for being sometimes excessive.[1] The following quotations,
taken from vernacular papers before the new Press law was enacted, will
serve to show what Lord Morley meant when he said, "You may put picric
acid in the ink and the pen just as much as in any steel bomb," and
again, "It is said that these incendiary articles are 'mere froth.' Yes,
they are froth, but froth stained with bloodshed." Even when they
contain no definite incitement to murder, no direct exhortation to
revolt, they will show how systematically, how persistently the wells of
Indian public opinion have been poisoned for years past by those who
claim to represent the intelligence and enlightenment of modern India.
Only too graphically also do they illustrate one of the most
unpleasantly characteristic features of the literature of Indian
unrest--namely, its insidious appeals to the Hindu Scriptures and the
Hindu deities, and its deliberate vilification of everything English.
Calumny and abuse, combined with a wealth of sacred imagery, supply the
place of any serious process of reasoning such as is displayed in Mr.
Pal's programme with all its uncompromising hostility.

In the first place, a few specimens of the hatred which animates the
champions of _Swaraj_--of Indian independence, or, at least, of Colonial
self-government. The _Hind Swarajya_ is nothing if not plain-spoken:--

   Englishmen! Who are Englishmen? They are the present
   rulers of this country. But how did they become
   our rulers? By throwing the noose of dependence round our
   necks, by making us forget our old learning, by leading us
   along the path of sin, by keeping us ignorant of the use of
   arms.... Oh! my simple countrymen! By their
   teaching adultery has entered our homes, and women have
   begun to be led astray.... Alas! Has India's golden
   land lost all her heroes? Are all eunuchs, timid and afraid,
   forgetful of their duty, preferring to die a slow death of torture,
   silent witnesses of the ruin of their country? Oh!
   Indians, descended from a race of heroes! Why are you afraid
   of Englishmen? They are not gods, but men like yourselves,
   or, rather, monsters who have ravished your Sita-like beauty
   [Sita, the spouse of Rama, was abducted by the demon
   Ravana, and recovered with the help of the Monkey God
   Hanuman and his army of monkeys]. If there be any Rama
   amongst you, let him go forth to bring back your Sita. Raise
   the banner of Swadesh, crying Victory to the Mother! Rescue
   the truth and accomplish the good of India.

The Calcutta _Yugantar_ argues that "sedition has no meaning from the
Indian standpoint."

   If the whole nation is inspired to throw off its yoke and
   become independent, then in the eye of God and the eye of
   Justice whose claim is more reasonable, the Indian's or the
   Englishman's? The Indian has come to see that independence
   is the panacea for all his evils. He will therefore even
   swim in a sea of blood to reach his goal. The British
   dominion over India is a gross myth. It is because the Indian
   holds this myth in his bosom that his sufferings are so great
   to-day. Long ago the Indian Rishis [inspired sages] preached
   the destruction of falsehood and the triumph of truth. And
   this foreign rule based on injustice is a gross falsehood. It
   must be subverted and true _Swadeshi_ rule established. May
   truth be victorious!

The _Gujarat_ hails the Hindu New Year which is coming "to take away the
curse of the foreigners":--

   Oh noble land of the Aryas, thou who wert so great art like
   a caged bird. Are thy powerful sons, Truth and Love, dead?
   Has thy daughter Lakshmi plunged into the sea? or art
   thou overwhelmed with grief because rogues and demons
   have plundered thee? ["Demons" is the term usually affected
   by Nationalist journalists when they refer to Englishmen.]

The _Shakti_ declares that:--

   By whatever names--anarchists, extremists, or seditionists
   --those may be called who are taking part in the movement
   for independence, whatever efforts may be made to humiliate
   and to crush them, however many patriots may be sent to
   jail, or into exile, yet the spirit pervading the whole atmosphere
   will never be checked, for the spirit is so strong and spontaneous
   that it must clearly be directed by Divine Providence.

The following appears In the _Kal_ (Poona):--

   We Aryans are no sheep. We have our own country, our
   religion, our heroes, our statesmen, our soldiers. We do
   not owe them to contact with the English. These things
   are not new to us. When the ancestors of those who boast
   to-day of their enterprise and their civilization were in a
   disgusting state of barbarism, or rather centuries before then,
   we were in full possession of all the ennobling qualities of
   head and heart. This holy and hoary land of ours will surely
   regain her position and be once more by her intrinsic lustre
   the home of wealth, arts, and peace. A holy inspiration
   is spreading, that people must sacrifice their lives in the
   cause of what has once been determined to be their duty.
   Heroes are springing up in our midst, though brutal imprisonment
   reduce them to skeletons. Let us devote ourselves
   to the service of the Mother. A man maddened by
   devotion will do everything and anything to achieve his
   ideal. His strength will be adamantine. Just as a widow
   immolates herself on the funeral pyre of her husband, let
   us die for the Mother.

The _Dharma_ (Calcutta) emphasizes specially the religious side of the
movement:--

   We are engaged in preaching religion and we are putting
   our energy into this agitation, looking on it as the principal
   part of our religion.... The present agitation, in its
   initial stages, had a strong leaven of the spirit of Western
   politics in it, but at present a clear consciousness of Aryan
   greatness and a strong love and reverential spirit towards
   the Motherland have transformed it into a shape in which
   the religious element predominates. Politics is part of religion,
   but it has to be cultivated in an Aryan way, in accordance
   with the precepts of Aryan religion.

Nowhere is the cult of the "terrible goddess," worshipped under many
forms, but chiefly under those of Kali and Durga, more closely
associated with Indian unrest than in Bengal. Hence the frequency of the
appeals to her in the Bengal Press. The _Dacca Gazette_ welcomes the
festival of Durga with the following outburst:--

   Indian brothers! There is no more time for lying asleep.
   Behold, the Mother is coming. Oh Mother, the giver of all
   good! Turn your eyes upon your degraded children. Mother,
   they are now stricken with disease and sorrow. Oh Shyama,
   the reliever of the three kinds of human afflictions, relieve
   our sorrows. Come Mother, the destroyer of the demons,
   and appear at the gates of Bengal.

The Barisal _Hitaishi_ refers also to the Durga festival, in which the
weird and often horrible and obscene rites of _Skakti_ worship not
infrequently play a conspicuous part:--

   What have we learnt from the _Shakti Puja_? Sooner or
   later this great _Puja_ will yield the desired results. When the
   Hindus realize the true magnificence of the worship of the
   Mother, they will be roused from the slumber of ages, and
   the auspicious dawn of awakenment will light up the horizon.
   You must acquire great power from the worship of the Mother.
   Ganesh, the god who grants success, has his seat assigned
   to him on the left of the great Mother. Why should you
   despair of obtaining success? Look at Kartiki, the god
   who is the chief commander of the armies of the gods, who
   has stationed himself to the right of the Mother; he is
   coming forward with his bow, to assist you against the demons
   of sin, who stand in the way of your accomplishing that great
   object, and as he is up in arms, who can resist?

The _Khulnavasi_ breaks out into poetry:--

   For what sins, O Mother Durga, are thy sons thus dispirited
   and their hearts crushed with injustice? The demons
   are in the ascendant, and constantly triumphing over godliness.
   Awake, Oh Mother, who tramplest on the demons!
   Thy helpless sons, lean for want of food, worn out in the
   struggle with the demons, are, struck with terror at the way
   in which they are being ruled. Famine and plague and
   disease are rife, and unrighteousness triumphs. Awake, Oh
   Goddess Durga! I see the lightning flashing from the
   point of thy bow, the world quaking at thy frowns, and
   creation trembling under thy tread. Let a river of blood
   flow, overwhelming the hearts of the demons.

The _Kalyani_ chides the Hindus for breaking their _Swadeshi_ vows to
Durga:--

   You have made all sorts of vows to stick to Swadeshi,
   but you are still using _bilati_ [foreign] salt, sugar, and
   cloths which are polluted with the blood and fat of animals.
   You swear by the Mother, and then you go and disobey her
   and defile her temples. Do you know that it is owing to your
   sins that Mother Durga has not come to accept your worship
   in Bengal this year? In fact, she is heaving deep sighs of
   sorrow--sighs which will bring a cataclysmic storm upon you.
   If you still care to save your country from utter ruin, mend
   your ways and keep your promises to the Mother.

In other provinces where other deities are more popular it is they who
are similarly called in aid. The _Bedari_ of Lahore, for instance,
reproduces from the Puranas the story of the tyrant Rajah Harnakath, who
brought death on himself at the hands of Vishnu for attempting to kill
his son Prahlad, whose offence was that he believed in God and
championed the cause of justice, in order to liken British statesmen and
Anglo-Indian officials to the wicked Rajah and the Indians to Prahlad.
As most British statesmen and their representatives abroad are the
enemies of liberty and justice and support slavery and oppression, the
fall of Great Britain is near at hand, and India will then pass into the
possession of her own sons.

The _Prem_ of Firozpur is inclined even to give Mr. Keir Hardie a niche
in the Hindu Pantheon. Its editor dreamt he was at a meeting in a free
and contented country. It was attended by some other Indians, and one of
them recited verses bewailing the condition of India, which was once a
heaven on earth and was now converted into a hell by its foreign rulers,
&c. After prayers had been recited for India, some heavenly beings
appeared, one of whom swore to do his best to relieve the sufferings of
Indians. The editor learnt on inquiry that the dream country was
England, the Indian speaker Bepin Chandra Pal, and the heavenly being
Mr. Keir Hardie!

The _Sahaik_, of Lahore, furnishes an apt illustration of the scurrilous
abuse and calumny which constitute one of the favourite weapons of Hindu
writers. Referring to the Malaria Conference held last year, it begins
by remarking that when a famine occurs--

   relief works are opened only when the sufferings of the famine-stricken
   become acute, and their supervision is entrusted
   to a fat-salaried Englishman who swallows up half the collections,
   which amount could have fed hundreds of the poor
   people. Thus also with the forthcoming inquiries concerning
   malarial fever, which is spreading all over the country.
   Every Indian knows that, like the plague, this form of fever
   is due to the poverty and consequent physical weakness
   of the people. It is, however, to the mosquito that the
   authorities went for the causes of the disease, just as to
   the rats for the causes of plague. Different medicines
   and instruments were invented for extirpating the insect,
   doctors were also employed, and rewards paid for the writing
   of books. In this way crores of rupees went into the pockets
   of English shopkeepers and others. A trial is now being
   given to quinine, and lakhs-worth sold to Indians, English
   quinine manufacturers being thus enriched. Again a commission
   is about to sit on the heights of Simla. The commissioners
   will enjoy feasts and dances and drink brandy which
   will cost poor natives lakhs of rupees, and afterwards they
   will devise means to develop the trade in quinine or other
   drugs.

The Ranjpur _Vartabaha_ writes that in the local charitable dispensary a
surgical operation was performed on a patient who died in two hours, and
that a similar operation on a pregnant woman resulted in her death. It
adds, with delicate sarcasm, that "the Chief Medical Officer should get
his salary increased." The idea that Englishmen deliberately want to
depopulate India is one that is sedulously propagated. Thus the _Jhang
Sial_ jeers at British "generosity" which has "converted India, one of
the richest countries in the world, into the land of the starving," and
British "wisdom" for wishing to "starve out the natives and reign over
empty brick and mortar buildings."

The _Akash_ (Delhi), referring to the pension granted to the widow of
Sir W. Curzon Wyllie, asks whether "the English can hold up their heads
after this. Even their widows are fed by India. A nation whose widows
are fed by another should never boast that it is an Imperial and
self-respecting nation."

In the same spirit another Punjab paper argues ironically from the
speech of a Mahomedan member of the Punjab Legislative Council in
condemnation of Dhingra that "all the white-skinned Europeans, including
the English rulers of India, must be the lowest born people in the
world, seeing that they are in the habit of killing natives every day."

No public servants who venture to discharge their duty loyally fare
worse at the hands of the Nationalist Press than Judges--especially if
they are Indians. Mr. Justice Davar was the Parsee Judge who sentenced
Tilak. The _Kesari_ declared that "he had already settled the sentence
in his own mind after a careful consideration of external
circumstances," and "had made himself the laughing-stock of the whole
world, like the meddlesome monkey in the fable who came to grief in
trying to pull out the peg 'from a half-sawed beam,'" Now the _Kesari_
was Tilak's own paper, and he was convicted on two seditious articles
that had appeared in its columns, but the _Kal_, another Poona sheet,
also maintained that everything was done on a prearranged plan. "There
is no sense in saying that Mr. Tilak was sentenced according to law.
There was mockery of justice, not justice." It added that "if the Hindus
are to suppose Mr. Tilak guilty because an English Court of Justice had
condemned him, Christians will have to forswear Christ because He was
crucified by a Roman Court." The _Karnatak Vaibhau_ recalled the story
of the notorious washerman who, by scandalizing Rama, had been
immortalized in the Ramayana. In the same way the names of Strachey--who
sentenced Tilak at his first trial in 1897--and Davar would be
remembered as long as history endured.

Quotations could be multiplied _ad infinitum_ and _ad nauseam_ from the
same papers--I have given only one from each--and from scores of others.
These will suffice to show what the freedom of the Press stood for in
India, in a country where there is an almost superstitious reverence
for, and faith in, the printed word, where the influence of the Press is
in proportion to the ignorance of the vast majority of its readers, and
where, unfortunately the more violent and scurrilous a newspaper
becomes, the more its popularity grows among the very classes that boast
of their education. They are by no means obscure papers, and some of
them, such as the _Kal_ the _Hind Swarajya_, and especially the
_Yugantar,_ which became at one time a real power in Bengal, achieved a
circulation hitherto unknown to the Indian Press. Can any Englishman,
however fervent his faith in liberty, regret that some at least of these
papers have now disappeared either as the result of prosecutions under
the Indian Criminal Code or from the operation of the new Press Law? The
mischief they have done still lives and will not be easily eradicated.
It is the fashion in certain quarters to reply:--"But look at the
Anglo-Indian newspapers, at the aggressive and contemptuous tone they
assume towards the natives of India, at the encouragement they
constantly give to racial hatred." Though I am not concerned to deny
that, in the columns of a few English organs, there may be occasional
lapses from good taste and right feeling, such sweeping charges against
the Anglo-Indian Press as a whole are absolutely grotesque, and its most
malevolent critics would be at a loss to quote anything, however
remotely, resembling the exhortations to hatred and violence which have
been the stock-in-trade not only of the most popular newspapers in the
vernaculars, but of some even of the leading newspapers published in
English, but edited and owned by Indians.

Even such extracts as I have given above from vernacular newspapers do
not by any means represent the lengths to which Indian "extremism" can
go. They represent merely the literature of unrest which has been openly
circulated in India. There is another and still more poisonous form
which is smuggled into India from abroad and surreptitiously circulated.



CHAPTER III.

A HINDU REVIVAL


Thirty years ago, when I first visited India, the young Western-educated
Hindu was apt to be, at least intellectually, _plus royaliste que le
roi._ he plucked with both hands at the fruits of the tree of Western
knowledge. Some were enthusiastic students of English literature, and
especially of English poetry. They had their Wordsworth and their
Browning Societies. Others steeped themselves in English history and
loved to draw their political inspiration from Milton and Burke and John
Stuart Mill. Others, again, were the humble disciples of Kant and
Schlegel, of Herbert Spencer and Darwin. But whatever their special
talent bent might be, the vast majority professed allegiance to Western
ideals, and if they had not altogether-and often far too
hastily-abjured, or learned secretly to despise, the beliefs and customs
of their forefathers, they were at any rate anxious to modify and bring
them into harmony with those of their Western teachers. They may often
have disliked the Englishman, but they respected and admired him; if
they resented his frequent assumption of the unqualified superiority,
they were disposed to admit that it was not without justification. The
enthusiasm kindled in the first half of the last century by the great
missionaries, like Carey and Duff, who had made distinguished converts
among the highest classes of Hindu society, had begun to wane; but if
educated Hindus had grown more reluctant to accept the dogmas of
Christianity, they were still ready to acknowledge the superiority of
Western ethics, and the Brahmo Samaj in Bengal, the Prarthana Samaj in
Bombay, the Social Reform movement which found eloquent advocates all
over India, and not least in Madras, and other agencies of a similar
character for purging Hindu life of its more barbarous and superstitious
associations, bore witness to the ascendancy which Western standards of
morality exercised over the Hindu mind. Keshub Chunder Sen was not
perhaps cast in so fine a mould as Ram Mohan Roy or the more
conservative Dr. Tagore, but his ideals were the same, and his
life-dream was to find a common denominator for Hinduism and
Christianity which should secure a thorough reform of Hindu society
without denationalizing it.

Nor were the milder forms of political activity promoted by the founders
of the Indian National Congress inconsistent with the acceptance of
British rule or with the recognition of the great benefits which it has
conferred upon India, and least of all with a genuine admiration for
Western civilization. For many of them at least the political boons
which they craved from their rulers were merely the logical corollaries
of the moral and intellectual as well as of the material boons which
they had already received. The fierce political agitation of later years
denies the benefits of British rule and even the superiority of the
civilization for which it stands. It has invented the legend of a golden
age, when all the virtues flourished and India was a land flowing with
milk and honey until British lust of conquest brought it to ruin. No
doubt even to-day there are many eminent Hindus who would still rely
upon the older methods, and who have sufficiently assimilated the
education they have received at the hands of Englishmen to share
wholeheartedly the faith and pride of the latter in British ideals of
liberty and self-government, and to be honestly convinced that those
ideals might be more fully realized in the government of their own
country if British administrators would only repose greater confidence
in the natives of India and give them a larger share in the conduct of
public affairs. But men of this type are now to be found chiefly amongst
the older generation.

No one who has studied, however scantily, the social and religious
system which for the sake of convenience we call Hinduism will deny the
loftiness of the philosophic conceptions which underlie even the
extravagances of its creed or the marvellous stability of the complex
fabric based upon its social code. It may seem to us to present in many
of its aspects an almost unthinkable combination of spiritualistic
idealism and of gross materialism, of asceticism and of sensuousness, of
over-weening arrogance when it identifies the human self with the
universal self and merges man in the Divinity and the Divinity in man,
and of demoralizing pessimism when it preaches that life itself is but a
painful illusion, and that the sovereign remedy and end of all evils is
non-existence. Its mythology is often as revolting as the rigidity of
its caste laws, which condemn millions of human beings to such social
abasement that their very touch--the very shadow thrown by their
body--is held to pollute the privileged mortals who are born into the
higher castes. Nevertheless, Hinduism has for more than thirty centuries
responded to the social and religious aspirations of a considerable
fraction of the human race. It represents a great and ancient
civilization, and that the Hindus should cling to it is not surprising.
Nor is it surprising that after the first attraction exerted by the
impact of an alien civilization equipped with all the panoply of
organized force and scientific achievements had worn off, a certain
reaction should have ensued. In the same way it was inevitable that,
after the novelty of British rule, of the law and order and security for
life and property which it had established, had gradually worn away,
those who had never experienced the evils from which it had freed India
should begin to chafe under the restraints which it imposed. What is
disheartening and alarming are the lengths to which this reaction has
been carried. For among the younger generation of Hindus there has
unquestionably grown up a deep-seated and bitter hostility not only to
British rule and to British methods of administration, but to all the
influences of Western civilization, and the rehabilitation of Hindu
customs and beliefs has proceeded _pari passu_ with the growth of
political disaffection.

Practices which an educated Hindu would have been at pains to explain
away, if he had not frankly repudiated them thirty years ago, now find
zealous apologists. Polytheism is not merely extolled as the poetic
expression of eternal verities, but the gods and goddesses of the Hindu
pantheon are being invested with fresh sanctity. The Brahmo Saniaj is
still a great influence for good, but it appears to be gradually losing
vitality, and though its literary output is still considerable, its
membership is shrinking. The Prarthana Samaj is moribund. The fashion of
the day is for religious "revivals," in which the worship of Kali, the
sanguinary goddess of destruction, or the cult of Shivaji-Maharaj, the
Mahratta chieftain who humbled in his day the pride of the alien
conquerors of Hindustan, plays an appropriately conspicuous part. The
Arya-Samaj, which is spreading all over the Punjab and in the United
Provinces, represents in one of its aspects a revolt against Hindu
orthodoxy, but in another it represents equally a revolt against Western
ideals, for in the teachings of its founder, Dayanand, it has found an
aggressive gospel which bases the claims of Aryan, _i.e._, Hindu,
supremacy on the Vedas as the one ultimate source of human and Divine
wisdom. The exalted character of Vedantic philosophy has been as widely
recognized among European students as the subtle beauty of many of the
Upanishads, in which the cryptic teachings of the Vedas have been
developed along different and often conflicting lines of thought to
suit the eclecticism of the Hindu mind. But the Arya-Samaj has not been
content to assert the ethical perfection of the Vedas. In its zeal to
proclaim the immanent superiority of Aryan civilization--it repudiates
the term Hindu as savouring of an alien origin--over Western
civilization, it claims to have discovered in the Vedas the germs of all
the discoveries of modern science, even to wireless telegraphy and
aeroplanes.

Just as the political agitation in India has derived invaluable
encouragement from a handful of British members of Parliament and other
sympathizers in Europe and America, so this Hindu revival has been
largely stimulated and to some extent prompted by Europeans and
Americans. Not only the writings of English and German scholars, like
Max Müller and Deutsch, helped enormously to revive the interest of
educated Hindus in their ancient literature and earlier forms of
religion, but it was in the polemical tracts of European writers that
the first protagonists of Hindu reaction against Christian influences
found their readiest weapons of attack. The campaign was started in 1887
by the Hindu Tract Society of Madras, which set itself first to inflame
popular fanaticism against the missionaries, who, especially in the
south of India, had been the pioneers of Western education. Bradlaugh's
text-books and the pamphlets of many lesser writers belonging to the
same school of thought were eagerly translated into the vernacular, and
those that achieved the greatest popularity were books like "The Evil of
Continence," in which not only Christian theology, but Christian
morality was held up to scorn and ridicule. The advent of the
theosophists, heralded by Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, gave a
fresh impetus to the revival, and certainly no Hindu has done so much to
organize and consolidate the movement as Mrs. Annie Besant, who, in her
Central Hindu College at Benares and her Theosophical Institution at
Adyar, near Madras, has openly proclaimed her faith in the superiority
of the whole Hindu system to the vaunted civilization of the West. Is it
surprising that Hindus should turn their backs upon our civilization[2]
when a European of highly-trained intellectual power and with an
extraordinary gift of eloquence comes and tells them that it is they who
possess and have from all times possessed the key to supreme wisdom;
that their gods, their philosophy, their morality are on a higher plane
of thought than the West has ever reached? Is it surprising that with
such encouragement Hinduism should no longer remain on the defensive,
but, discarding in this respect all its own traditions as a
non-proselytizing creed, should send out missionaries to preach the
message of Hindu enlightenment to those still groping in the darkness of
the West? The mission of Swami Vivekananda to the Chicago Congress of
Religions is in itself one of the most striking incidents in the history
of Hindu revivalism, but it is perhaps less wonderful than the triumph
he achieved when he returned to India accompanied by a chosen band of
eager disciples from the West.

There are, indeed, endless forms to this revival of Hinduism--as endless
as to Hinduism itself--but what it is perhaps most important for us to
note is that, wherever political agitation assumes the most virulent
character, there the Hindu revival also assumes the most extravagant
shapes. Secret societies place their murderous activities under the
special patronage of one or other of the chief popular deities. Their
vows are taken "on the sacred water of the Ganges," or "holding the
sacred Tulsi plant," or "in the presence of Mahadevi"--the great
goddess who delights in bloody sacrifices, Charms and amulets,
incantations and imprecations, play an important part in the ceremonies
of initiation. In some quarters there has been some recrudescence of
the _Shakti_ cultus, with its often obscene and horrible rites, and the
unnatural depravity which was so marked a feature in the case of the
band of young Brahmans who conspired to murder Mr. Jackson at Nasik
represents a form of erotomania which is certainly much more common
amongst Hindu political fanatics than amongst Hindus in general.

By no means all, however, are of this degenerate type, and the _Bhagvat
Gita_ has been impressed into the service of sedition by men who would
have been as incapable of dabbling in political as in any other form of
crime, had they not been able to invest it with a religious sanction.
There is no more beautiful book in the sacred literature of the Hindus;
there is none in which the more enlightened find greater spiritual
comfort; yet it is in the _Bhagvat Gita_ that, by a strange perversion,
the Hindu conspirator has sought and claims to have found texts that
justify murder as a divinely inspired deed when it is committed in the
sacred cause of Hinduism. Nor is it only the extremists who appeal in
this fashion to Hindu religious emotionalism. It is often just as
difficult to appraise the subtle differences which separate the
"moderate" from the "advanced" politician and the "advanced" politician
from the extremist as it is to distinguish between the various forms and
gradations of the Hindu revival in its religious and social aspects. But
it was in the courtyard of the great temple of Kali at Calcutta in the
presence of "the terrible goddess" that the "leaders of the Bengali
nation," men who, like Mr. Surendranath Banerjee, have always professed
to be "moderates," held their chief demonstrations against "partition"
and administered the _Swadeshi_ oath to their followers. Equally
noteworthy is the part played by the revival of Ganpati celebrations in
honour of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, perhaps the most popular of
all Hindu deities, in stimulating political disaffection in the Deccan.

Hand in hand with this campaign for the glorification of Hinduism at the
expense of Western civilization there has been carried on another and
far more invidious campaign for the vilification of everything British.
The individual Englishman is denounced as a bloodsucker and a tyrant;
his personal integrity is impugned and derided; his methods of
administration are alleged to be wilfully directed to the
impoverishment, and even to the depopulation, of India; his social
customs are traduced as depraved and corrupt; even his women-folk are
accused of common wantonness. This systematized form of personal calumny
is a scarcely less significant feature of the literature of Indian
unrest than its appeals to the Hindu scriptures and to the Hindu deities
and its exploitation of the religious sentiment for the promotion of
racial hatred. _Swadeshi_ and _Swaraj_ are the battle-cries of this new
Hindu "nationalism," but they mean far more than a mere claim to fiscal
or even political independence. They mean an organized uplifting of the
old Hindu traditions, social and religious, intellectual and moral,
against the imported ideals of an alien race and an alien civilization,
and the sincerity of some, at least, of the apostles of this new creed
cannot be questioned. With Mr. Arabindo Ghose, they firmly believe that
"the whole moral strength of the country is with us, justice is with us,
nature is with us, and the law of God, which is higher than any human
law, justifies our action."

This is a grave phenomenon not to be contemptuously dismissed as the
folly of ill-digested knowledge or summarily judged and condemned, in a
spirit of self-righteousness, as an additional proof of the innate
depravity and ingratitude of the East. It undoubtedly represents a deep
stirring of the waters amongst a people endowed with no mean gifts of
head and heart, and if it has thrown up much scum, it affords glimpses
of nobler elements which time may purify and bring to the surface. Nor
if our rule and our civilization are to prevail must we be unmindful of
our own responsibility or forget that our presence and the influences we
brought with us first stirred the waters.

The part played by Brahmanism in Indian unrest is far more conspicuous
in some parts of India than in others, and for reasons which are
generally not far to seek. Wherever it has been most active, it connotes
perhaps more than anything else the reactionary side of that unrest.
Though there have been and still are many enlightened Brahmans who have
cordially responded to the best influences of Western education, and
have worked with admirable zeal and courage to bridge the gulf between
Indian and European civilization, Brahmanism as a system represents the
antipodes of all that British rule must stand for in India, and
Brahmanism has from times immemorial dominated Hindu society--dominated
it, according to the Hindu Nationalists, for its salvation. "If," writes
one of them, "Mother India, though reduced to a mere skeleton by the
oppression of alien rulers during hundreds of years, still preserves her
vitality, it is because the Brahmans have never relaxed in their
devotion to her. She has witnessed political and social revolutions.
Famines and pestilence have shorn her of her splendour. But the Brahmans
have stood by her through all the vicissitudes of fortune. It is they
who raised her to the highest pinnacle of glory, and it is they whose
ministrations still keep up the drooping spirits of her children."

The Brahmans are the sacerdotal caste of India. They are at the same
time the proudest and the closest aristocracy that the world has ever
seen, for they form not merely an aristocracy of birth in the strictest
sense of the term, but one of divine origin. Of the Brahman it may be
said as of no other privileged mortal except perhaps the Levite of the
Old Testament: _Nascitur non fit_. No king, however powerful, can make
or unmake a Brahman, no genius, however transcendent, no services,
however conspicuous, no virtues, however pre-eminent, can avail to raise
a Hindu from a lower caste to the Brahman's estate. In early times the
caste laws must have been less rigid, for otherwise there would only be
Aryan Brahmans, whereas in the South of India there are many Brahmans
of obviously Dravidian stock. But to-day not even the Brahmans
themselves can raise to their own equal one who is not born of their
caste, though by the exercise of the castely authority they can in
specific cases outcaste a fellow-Brahman who has offended against the
immutable laws of caste, and, except for minor transgressions which
allow of atonement and reinstatement, when once outcasted he and his
descendants cease for ever to be Brahmans. The Brahmans might be at a
loss to make good their claim that they date back to the remote ages of
the Vedas. But a good deal more than two thousand years have passed
since they constituted themselves the only authorized intermediaries
between mankind and the gods. In them became vested the monopoly of the
ancient language in which all religious rites are performed, and with a
monopoly of the knowledge of Sanskrit they retained a monopoly of
learning long after Sanskrit itself had become a dead language. Like the
priests who wielded a Latin pen in the Middle Ages in Europe, they sat
as advisers and conscience-keepers in the councils of every Hindu ruler.
To the present day they alone can expound the Hindu scriptures, they
alone can approach the gods in their temples, they alone can minister to
the spiritual needs of such of the lower castes as are credited with
sufficient human dignity to be in any way worthy of their ministrations.

In the course of ages differences and distinctions have gradually grown
up amongst them, and they have split up into innumerable septs and
sub-castes. As they multiplied from generation to generation an
increasing proportion were compelled to supplement the avocations
originally sacred to their caste by other and lowlier means of
livelihood. There are to-day over 14 million Brahmans in India, and a
very large majority of them have been compelled to adopt agricultural,
military, and mercantile pursuits which, as we know from the Code of
Manu were already regarded as, in certain circumstances, legitimate or
excusable for a Brahman even in the days of that ancient law-giver. In
regard to all other castes, however, the Brahman, humble as his worldly
_status_ may be, retains an undisputed pre-eminence which he never
forgets or allows to be forgotten, though it may only be a pale
reflection of the prestige and authority of his more exalted
caste-men--a prestige and authority, be it added, which have often been
justified by individual achievements. How far the influence of
Brahmanism as a system has been socially a good or an evil influence I
am not concerned to discuss, but, however antagonistic it may be at the
present moment to the influence of Western civilization, it would be
unfair to deny that it has shown itself and still shows itself capable
of producing a very high type both of intellect and of character. Nor
could it otherwise have survived as it has the vicissitudes of
centuries.

Neither the triumph of Buddhism, which lasted for nearly 500 years, nor
successive waves of Mahomedan conquest availed to destroy the power of
Brahmanism, nor has it been broken by British supremacy. Inflexibly as
he dominates a social system in all essentials more rigid than any
other, the Brahman has not only recognised the need of a certain
plasticity in its construction which allows for constant expansion, but
he has himself shown unfailing adaptability in all non-essentials to
varying circumstances. To the requirements of their new Western masters
the Brahmans adapted themselves from the first with admirable
suppleness, and when a Western system of education was introduced into
India in the first half of the last century, they were quicker than any
other class to realize how it could be used to fortify their own
position. The main original object of the introduction of Western
education into India was the training of a sufficient number of young
Indians to fill the subordinate posts in the public offices with
English-speaking natives. The Brahmans responded freely to the call, and
they soon acquired almost the same monopoly of the new Western learning
as they had enjoyed of Hindu lore through the centuries. With the
development of the great administrative services, with the substitution
of English for the vernacular tongues as the only official language,
with the remodelling of judicial administration and procedure on British
lines, with the growth of the liberal professions and of the Press,
their influence constantly found new fields of activity, whilst through
the old traditional channels it continued to permeate those strata of
Hindu society with which the West had established little or no contact.

Nevertheless the spread of Western ideas and habits was bound to loosen
to some extent the Brahmans' hold upon Hindu society, for that hold is
chiefly rooted in the immemorial sanctity of custom, which new habits
and methods imported from the West necessarily tended to undermine.
Scrupulous--and, according to many earnest Englishmen, over-scrupulous--as
we were to respect religious beliefs and prejudices, the influence of
Western civilization could not fail to clash directly or indirectly with
many of the ordinances of Hindu orthodoxy. In non-essentials Brahmanism
soon found it expedient to relax the rigour of caste obligations, as for
instance to meet the hard case of young Hindus who could not travel across
the "black water" to Europe for their studies without breaking caste, or
indeed travel even in their own country in railways and river steamers
without incurring the pollution of bodily contact with the "untouchable"
castes. Penances were at first imposed which had gradually to be lightened
until they came to be merely nominal. Graver issues were raised when such
ancient customs as infant  marriage and the degradation of child widows
were challenged. The ferment of new ideas was spreading amongst the
Brahmans themselves. Some had openly discarded their ancestral faith, and
many more were moved to search their own scriptures for some interpretation
of the law less inconsistent with Western standards. It seemed at one
moment as if, under the inspiration of men like Ranade in the Deccan and
Tagore in Bengal, Brahmanism itself was about to take the lead in purging
Hinduism of its most baneful superstitions and bringing it into line with
the philosophy and ethics of the West. But the liberal movement failed to
prevail against the forces of popular superstition and orthodox bigotry,
combined with the bitterness too frequently resulting from the failure
of Western education to secure material success or even an adequate
livelihood for those who had departed from the old ways. Though there
have been and still are many admirable exceptions, Brahmanism remained
the stronghold of reaction against the Western invasion. Of recent
years, educated Brahmans have figured prominently in the social and
religious revival of Hinduism, and they have figured no less
prominently, whether in the ranks of the extremists or amongst the
moderate and advanced politicians, in the political movement which has
accompanied that revival.



CHAPTER IV.

BRAHMANISM AND DISAFFECTION IN THE DECCAN.


Fundamental as is the antagonism between the civilization represented by
the British _Raj_ and the essential spirit of Brahmanism. It is not, of
course, always or everywhere equally acute, for there is no more
uniformity about Brahmanism than about any other Indian growth. But in
the Deccan Brahmanism has remained more fiercely militant than in any
other part of India, chiefly perhaps because nowhere had it wielded such
absolute power within times which may still be called recent. Far into
the eighteenth century Poona had been the capital of a theocratic State
in which behind the throne of the Peshwas both spiritual and secular
authority were concentrated in the hands of the Brahmans. Such memories
are slow to die and least of all in an ancient and conservative country
like India, and there was one sept of Brahmans, at any rate, who were
determined not to let them die.

The Chitpavan Brahmans are undoubtedly the most powerful and the most
able of all the Brahmans of the Deccan. A curious legend ascribes their
origin to the miraculous intervention of Parashurama, the sixth Avatar
of the god Vishnu, who finding no Brahmans to release him by the
accustomed ritual from the defilement of his earthly labours, dragged on
to shore the bodies of fourteen barbarians that he had found washed up
from the ocean, burnt them on a funeral pyre and then breathed life and
Brahmanhood into their ashes. On these new made Brahmans he conferred
the name Chitpavan, which means "purified by fire," and all the land of
the Konkan from which, by a bolt from his arrow, he caused the sea for
ever to recede. Every Chitpavan to-day claims descent from one or other
of the fourteen divinely Brahmanized barbarians, whom some believe to
have been hardy Norsemen driven in their long ships on to the sandy
shores of what is now the Bombay Presidency. At any rate, as has been
well said of them, Western daring and Eastern craft look out alike from
the alert features and clear parchment skin and through the strange
stone-grey eyes of the Chitpavan. It was not, however, till about two
centuries ago that the Chitpavan Brahmans began to play a conspicuous
part in Indian history, when one of this sept, Balaji Vishvanath Rao,
worked his way up at the Court of the Mahratta King Shahu to the
position of Peshwa, or Prime Minister, which he succeeded even in
bequeathing to his son, the great Bajirao Balaji, who led the Mahratta
armies right up to the walls of Delhi. Bajirao's son not only succeeded
as Balaji II., but on the death of King Shahu disposed of his Royal
master's family by a bold Palace conspiracy and openly assumed sovereign
powers. The crushing defeat of Panipat brought him to his grave, and
though the dynasty was still continued, and regained some of its lustre
under Madhao Rao I., the Peshwas subsequently became little more than
_rois fainéants_ in the hands of their Ministers, and especially in
those of the great Regent Nana Phadnavis. He, too, was a Chitpavan
Brahman, and it was under his reign that his fellow caste-men acquired
so complete a monopoly of all the chief offices of State that the
Mahratta Empire became essentially a Chitpavan Empire. The British arms
ultimately defeated the dreams of universal dominion which, in the then
condition of India, the Chitpavans might well have hoped to establish
on the ruins of the great Moghul Empire. But British rule did not
destroy their power. They were quick to adapt themselves to new
conditions and above all to avail themselves of the advantages of
Western education. Their great administrative abilities compelled
recognition, and Chitpavans swarm to-day in every Government office of
the Deccan as they did in the days of Nana Phadnavis. They sit on the
Bench, they dominate the Bar, they teach in the schools, they control
the vernacular Press, they have furnished almost all the most
conspicuous names in the modern literature and drama of Western India as
well as in politics. Of the higher appointments held by natives in the
Presidency of Bombay, the last census tells us that the Hindus held 266
against 86 held by Parsees and 23 held by Mahomedans, and that out of
those held by the Hindus, more than 72 per cent. were held by Brahmans,
though the Brahmans form less than one-fourteenth of the total Hindu
population of the province. All Brahmans are not, of course, Chitpavans,
but the Chitpavans supply an overwhelming majority of those Government
officials, and their ascendency over every other Brahman sept in
Maharashtra is undisputed. From the Deccan, moreover, their influence
has spread practically all over India and, especially, in the native
States, which have recruited amongst the Chitpavans some of their ablest
public servants. Amongst Chitpavans are to be found many of the most
enlightened and progressive Indians of our times and many have served
the British _Raj_ with unquestioned loyalty and integrity. But amongst
many others--perhaps indeed amongst the great majority--there has
undoubtedly been preserved for the last hundred years from the time of
the downfall of the Peshwa dominion to the present day, an unbroken
tradition of hatred towards British rule, an undying hope that it might
some day be subverted and their own ascendency restored. Not to go back
to the exploits of Nana Sahib, himself a Chitpavan, and his followers
during the Mutiny, or to the Ramoshi rebellion round Poona in 1879, it
was in Poona that the native Press, mainly conducted by Brahmans, first
assumed that tone of virulent hostility towards British rule and British
rulers which led to the Press Act of 1879, and some of the worst
extracts quoted at that time by the Government of India in support of
that measure were taken from Poona newspapers. It was in Poona that some
years later the assassination of two English officials by a young
Chitpavan Brahman was the first outcome of a fresh campaign, leading
directly to political murder. It was by another Chitpavan Brahman that
Mr. Jackson was murdered last December at Nasik; his accomplices were
with one exception Chitpavan Brahmans, and to the same sept of Brahmans
belong nearly all the defendants in the great conspiracy trial now
proceeding at Bombay.

But if there were already, more than 20 years ago, wild and
irreconcilable spirits bent on fomenting disaffection, there were
amongst the Deccanee Brahmans themselves a small intellectual _élite_
who, though by no means servile apologists of British rule, fully
realized that their primary duty was not to stir up popular passion
against alien rulers, but to bring Hindu society into closer communion
with the higher civilization which those rulers, whatever their
shortcomings, undoubtedly represented. Conspicuous amongst such men was
Mahadev Govind Ranade. Equally conspicuous in the opposite camp was a
man of a very different stamp, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who was destined to
become one of the most dangerous pioneers of disaffection. It was a
Hindu gentleman and a Brahman who told me that if I wanted to study the
psychology of Indian unrest I should begin by studying Tilak's career.
"Tilak's onslaught in Poona upon Ranade, his alliance with the bigots of
orthodoxy, his appeals to popular superstition in the new Ganpati
celebrations, to racial fanaticism in the 'Anti-Cow-killing Movement,'
to Mahratta sentiment in the cult which he introduced of Shivaji, his
active propaganda amongst schoolboys and students, his gymnastic
societies, his preaching in favour of physical training, and last but
not least his control of the Press and the note of personal violence
which he imparted to newspaper polemics, represent the progressive
stages of a highly-organized campaign which has served as a model to the
apostles of unrest all over India." This was a valuable piece of advice,
for, if any one can claim to be truly the father of Indian unrest, it is
Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The story of his initial campaign in the Deccan,
though it dates back to the closing decades of the last century, is
still well worth studying, and has, in fact, never received adequate
attention, for on the one hand it pricks the shallow view that Indian
unrest is merely an echo of the Japanese victories in Manchuria, and, on
the other hand, it illustrates clearly the close connexion that exists
between the forces of Indian political disaffection and those of social
and religious reaction, whilst the methods which he employed and the
results which attended his activity have been reproduced with singular
fidelity in subsequent phases of the movement.

When Tilak entered upon public life in the early eighties, the Brahmans
of the Deccan were divided into two camps, one of which, headed at first
by the late Mr. Justice Ranade, consisted of a small intellectual
_élite_, who held, without forgoing their right to criticize British
administrators or to promote political reforms by constitutional
methods, that Indians of all creeds, including the Hindus, should begin
by reforming their own social institutions, and bring them into greater
harmony with Western standards. Tilak, a Chitpavan Brahman of
considerable erudition, who had graduated with honours at Bombay, had,
however, inherited his full share of Chitpavan hostility to British
ascendency. He was also by temperament and ambition impatient of all
restraint, and jealous of the commanding authority which a man like
Ranade owed quite as much to the nobility of his character as to his
social position and force of intellect. In opposition to Ranade, with
whom he had at first co-operated as an educationist, Tilak drifted
rapidly into the reactionary camp. The battle was first engaged over the
control of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and the Education Society, two
progressive associations which, though mainly composed of Brahmans,
included a sprinkling of Mahomedans and of non-Brahman Hindus. Tilak had
thrown himself into journalism, and after the repeal of the Indian Press
Law on the return of a Liberal Administration to office at home in 1881,
he had been amongst the first to revive the incendiary methods which it
had temporarily and very successfully checked. His first onslaught upon
Ranade's position, however, failed, and instead of supplanting him, it
was he who was compelled in 1890 to sever his connexion with the
Education Society.

Tilak's defeat was short lived. The introduction of the Age of Consent
Bill, in 1890, to mitigate the evils of Hindu child-marriage, gave him a
fresh opening. Ranade, discouraged and alarmed by the violence of the
Tilak party, had by this time retired from the forefront of the fray,
but in Dr. Bhandarkar, Mr. Justice Tilang, Mr. A.K. Nulkar, Mr. (now Sir
N.G.) Chandavarkar, and other courageous Hindu reformers, with whom Mr.
Gokhale was always ready to co-operate against the forces of religious
superstition, he had left disciples ready to carry on the good fight.
Tilak raised against them a storm of passion and prejudice. In the
columns of the _Kesari_, of which he had become sole proprietor, he
denounced every Hindu who supported the measure as a renegade and a
traitor to the cause of Hinduism, and thus won the support of
conservative orthodoxy, which had hitherto viewed with alarm some of his
literary excursions into the field of Vedantic exegesis. With the help
of the brothers Natu, who were the recognized leaders of Hindu
orthodoxy, he carried his propaganda into the schools and colleges in
the teeth of the Moderate party, and, proclaiming that unless they
learnt to employ force the Hindus must expect to be impotent witnesses
of the gradual downfall of all their ancient institutions, he proceeded
to organize gymnastic societies in which physical training and the use
of more or less primitive weapons were taught in order to develop the
martial instincts of the rising generation.

If amongst many Brahmans of Maharashtra hatred of the British is the
dominant passion, amongst the Mahratta population at large whatever
there is of racial and religious jealousy is mainly directed against the
Mahomedans. This is partly, no doubt, a legacy of the old days of
Mahomedan supremacy. In 1893 some riots in Bombay of a more severe
character than usual gave Tilak an opportunity of broadening the new
movement by enlisting in its support the old anti-Mahomedan feeling of
the people. He not only convoked popular meetings in which his fiery
eloquence denounced the Mahomedans as the sworn foes of Hinduism, but he
started an organization known as the "Anti-Cow-Killing Society," which
was intended and regarded as a direct provocation to the Mahomedans,
who, like ourselves, think it no sacrilege to eat beef. In vain did
liberal Hindus appeal to him to desist from these inflammatory methods.
Their appeals had no effect upon him, and merely served his purpose by
undermining the little authority they still possessed. Government had
forbidden Hindu processions to play music whilst passing in front of
Mahomedan mosques, as this was a fertile cause of riotous affrays. Tilak
not only himself protested against this "interference with the liberties
of the people," but insisted that the Sarvajanik Sabha should identify
itself with the "national" cause and memorialize Government for the
removal of a prohibition so offensive to Hindu sentiment. The Moderates
hesitated, but were overawed by popular clamour and the threats of the
Tilak Press. The Mahomedans and a few other members repudiated the
memorial and resigned. Tilak, though not yet in absolute control of the
Sabha, became already practically its master. No one knew better than he
how to compel submission by packed meetings and organized rowdyism.

Tilak's propaganda had at the same time steadily assumed a more and more
anti-British character, and it was always as the allies and the tools of
Government, in its machinations against Hinduism, that the Hindu
reformers and the Mahomedans had in turn been denounced. In order to
invest it with a more definitely religious sanction, Tilak placed it
under the special patronage of the most popular deity in India. Though
Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, is the god of learning whom Hindu
writers delight to invoke on the title-page of their books, there is
scarcely a village or a frequented roadside in India that does not show
some rude presentment of his familiar features, usually smeared over
with red ochre, Tilak could not have devised a more popular move than
when he set himself to organize annual festivals in honour of Ganesh,
known as Ganpati celebrations, and to found in all the chief centres of
the Deccan Ganpati societies, each with its _mela_ or choir recruited
among his youthful bands of gymnasts. These festivals gave occasion for
theatrical performances[3] and religious songs in which the legends of
Hindu mythology were skilfully exploited to stir up hatred of the
"foreigner"--and _mlenccha_, the term employed for "foreigner," applied
equally to Europeans and to Mahomedans--as well as for tumultuous
processions only too well calculated to provoke affrays with the
Mahomedans and with the police, which in turn led to judicial
proceedings that served as a fresh excuse for noisy protests and
inflammatory pleadings. With the Ganpati celebrations the area of
Tilak's propaganda was widely increased.

But the movement had yet to be given a form which should directly appeal
to the fighting instincts of the Mahrattas and stimulate active
disaffection by reviving memories of olden times when under Shivaji's
leadership they had rolled back the tide of Musulman conquest and
created a Mahratta Empire of their own. The legends of Shivaji's prowess
still lingered in Maharashtra, where the battlemented strongholds which
he built crown many a precipitous crag of the Deccan highlands. In a
valley below Pratabghar the spot is still shown where Shivaji induced
the Mahomedan general, Afzul Khan, to meet him in peaceful conference
half-way between the contending armies, and, as he bent down to greet
his guest, plunged into his bowels the famous "tiger's claw," a hooked
gauntlet of steel, while the Mahratta forces sprang out of ambush and
cut the Mahomedan army to pieces. But if Shivaji's memory still lived,
it belonged to a past which was practically dead and gone. Only a few
years, before an Englishman who had visited Shivaji's tomb had written
to a local newspaper calling attention to the ruinous condition into
which the people of Maharashtra had allowed the last resting-place of
their national hero to fall. Some say it was this letter which first
inspired Tilak with the idea of reviving Shivaji's memory and converting
it into a living force. Originally it was upon the great days of the
Poona Peshwas that Tilak had laid the chief stress, and he may possibly
have discovered that theirs were not after all names to conjure with
amongst non-Brahman Mahrattas, who had suffered heavily enough at their
hands. At any rate, Tilak brought Shivaji to the forefront and set in
motion a great "national" propaganda which culminated in 1895 in the
celebration at all the chief centres of Brahman activity in the Deccan
of Shivaji's reputed birthday, the principal commemoration being held
under Tilak's own presidency at Raighar, where the Mahratta chieftain
had himself been crowned. What was the purpose and significance of this
movement may be gathered from a _Shlok_ or sacred poem improvised on
this occasion by one of Tilak's disciples who to acquire sinister
notoriety.

   Let us be prompt like Shivaji to engage in desperate enterprises.
   Take up your swords and shields and we shall cut
   off countless heads of enemies. Listen! Though we shall
   have to risk our lives in a national war, we shall assuredly
   shed the life-blood of our enemies.

It was on the occasion of the Shivaji "coronation festivities" that the
right--nay, the duty--to commit murder for political purposes was first
publicly expounded. With Tilak in the chair, a Brahman professor got up
to vindicate Shivaji's bloody deed:--

   Who dares to call that man a murderer who, when only
   nine years old, had received Divine inspiration not to bow
   down before a Mahomedan Emperor? Who dares to condemn
   Shivaji for disregarding a minor duty in the performance
   of a major one? Had Shivaji committed five or fifty
   crimes more terrible, I would have been equally ready to
   prostrate myself not once but one hundred times before the
   image of our lord Shivaji ... Every Hindu, every
   Mahratta must rejoice at this spectacle, for we too are all
   striving to regain our lost independence, and it is only by
   combination that we can throw off the yoke.

Tilak himself was even more outspoken:--

   It is needless to make further researches as to the killing
   of Afzul Khan. Let us even assume that Shivaji deliberately
   planned and executed the murder. Was the act good or
   evil? This question cannot be answered from the standpoint
   of the Penal Code or of the laws of Manu or according
   to the principles of morality laid down in the systems of the
   West or of the East. The laws which bind society are for
   common folk like you and me. No one seeks to trace the
   genealogy of a Rishi or to fasten guilt upon a Maharaj. Great
   men are above the common principles of morality. Such
   principles do not reach to the pedestal of a great man. Did
   Shivaji commit a sin in killing Afzul Khan? The answer to
   this question can be found in the Mahabharata itself. The
   Divine Krishna teaching in the Gita tells us we may kill
   even our teachers and our kinsmen, and no blame attaches
   if we are not actuated by selfish desires. Shivaji did nothing
   from a desire to fill his own belly. It was in a praiseworthy
   object that he murdered Afzul Khan for the good of others.
   If thieves enter our house and we have not strength to drive
   them out, should we not without hesitation shut them in,
   and burn them alive? God has conferred on the _mlencchas_
   (foreigners) no grant of Hindustan inscribed on imperishable
   brass. Shivaji strove to drive them forth out of the land of
   his birth, but he was guiltless of the sin of covetousness.
   Do not circumscribe your vision like frogs in a well. Rise
   above the Penal Code into the rarefied atmosphere of the
   sacred Bhaghavad Gita and consider the action of great men.

In the reflected blaze of this apotheosis of Shivaji, Tilak stood forth
as the appointed leader of the "nation." He was the triumphant champion
of Hindu orthodoxy, the high-priest of Ganesh, the inspired prophet of a
new "nationalism," which in the name of Shivaji would cast out the hated
_mlencchas_ and restore the glories of Mahratta history. The Government
feared him, for people could put no other construction on the official
confirmation of his election when he was returned in 1895 as a member of
the Bombay Legislative Council--above all, when inside the Council-room
he continued with the same audacity and the same impunity his campaign
of calumny and insult. His activity was unceasing. He disdained none of
the arts which make for popularity. His house was always open to those
who sought in the right spirit for assistance or advice. He had absolute
control of the Sabha and ruled the municipality of Poona. In private and
in public, through his speeches and through his newspapers, he worked
upon the prejudices and passions of both the educated and the
uneducated, and especially upon the crude enthusiasm of the young.
Towards the end of 1896 the Deccan was threatened with famine. Hungry
stomachs are prompt to violence, and Tilak started a "no-rent" campaign.
Like all Tilak's schemes in those days it was carefully designed to
conceal as far as possible any direct incitement to the withholding of
land revenue. His missionaries went round with a story that Government
had issued orders not to collect taxes where the crops had fallen below
a certain yield. The _rayats_ believed them, and when the tax-gatherer
arrived they refused payment. Trouble then arose. Outrages such as the
mutilation of the Queen's statue at Bombay, the attempt to fire the
Church Mission Hall, the assaults upon "moderate" Hindus who refused to
toe the line, became ominously frequent. Worse was to follow when the
plague appeared. The measures at first adopted by Government to check
the spread of this new visitation doubtless offended in many ways
against the customs and prejudices of the people, especially the
searching and disinfection of houses, and the forcible removal of
plague-patients even when they happened to be Brahmans. What Tilak could
do by secret agitation and by a rabid campaign in the Press to raise
popular resentment to a white heat he did. The _Kesari_ published
incitements to violence which were put into the mouth of Shivaji
himself[4]. The inevitable consequences ensued. On June 27, 1897, on
their way back from an official reception in celebration of Queen
Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, Mr. Rand, an Indian civilian, who was
President of the Poona Plague Committee, and Lieutenant Ayerst, of the
Commissariat Department, were shot down by Damodhar Chapekur, a young
Chitpavan Brahman, on the Ganeshkind road. No direct connexion has been
established between that crime and Tilak. But, like the murderer of Mr.
Jackson at Nasik last winter, the murderer of Rand and Ayerst--the same
young Brahman who had recited the _Shlok_, which I have quoted above, at
the great Shivaji celebration--declared that it was the doctrines
expounded in Tilak's newspapers that had driven him to the deed. The
murderer who had merely given effect to the teachings of Tilak was
sentenced to death, but Tilak himself, who was prosecuted for a
seditious article published a few days before the murder, received only
a short term of imprisonment, and was released before the completion of
his term under certain pledges of good behaviour which he broke as soon
as it suited him to break them.

Thus ended the first campaign of Indian unrest, which, in its details,
has served as an incitement and a model to all those who have conducted
subsequent operations in the same field.

The Poona murders sent a thrill of horror throughout India and caused a
momentary sensation even in England. But though Government was not
wholly blind to the warning, it could not decide what ought to be done,
and beyond tinkering at one or two sections of the Criminal Code bearing
on Press offences, it did nothing until history had repeated itself on a
much larger scale. Tilak was generously released from prison before the
expiration of his sentence, and his release was construed in the Deccan
as a fresh triumph. He was acclaimed by his followers as a "national"
martyr and hero. After a short "rest-cure" in a sanatorium Tilak
returned to the _Kesari_, which, in the hands of his co-adjutors, two
other Chitpavan Brahmans, Mr. Kelkar and Mr. Khadilkar, had lost nothing
of its vitriolic pungency in his absence. The celebration with renewed
pomp in 1900 of Shivaji's "birthday" at Raighar marked the resumption of
Tilak's operations. I need not stop to recount all the incidents of this
second campaign in the Deccan, in which Ganpati celebrations, Shivaji
festivals, gymnastic societies, &c., played exactly the same part as in
the first campaign. For three or four years the Tai Maharaj case, in
which, as executor of one of his friends, Shri Baba Maharaj, a Sirdar of
Poona, Tilak was attacked by the widow and indicted on charges of
forgery, perjury, and corruption, absorbed a great deal of his time,
but, after long and wearisome proceedings, the earlier stages of the
case ended in a judgment in his favour which was greeted as another
triumph for him, and not unnaturally though, as recent developments have
shown, quite prematurely,[5] won him much sympathy, even amongst those
who were politically opposed to him. But throughout this ordeal Tilak
never relaxed his political activity either in the Press or in the
manifold organizations which he controlled.

His influence, moreover, was rapidly extending far beyond, Poona and the
Deccan. He had at an early date associated himself with, the Indian
National Congress, and he was secretary of the Standing Committee for
the Deccan. His Congress work had brought him into contact with the
politicians of other provinces, and upon none did his teachings and his
example produce so deep an impression as upon the emotional Bengalees.
He had not the gift of sonorous eloquence which they possess, and he
never figured conspicuously as an orator at the annual sessions of
Congress. But his calculating resourcefulness and his indomitable
energy, even his masterfulness, impressed them all the more, and in the
two memorable sessions held at Benares in 1905 and at Calcutta in 1906,
when the agitation over the Partition of Bengal was at its height, his
was the dominant personality, not at the tribune, but in the lobbies. He
had been one of the first champions of _Swadeshi_ as an economic weapon
in the struggle against British rule, and he saw in the adoption of the
boycott, with all the lawlessness which it involved, an unprecedented
opportunity of stimulating the active forces of disaffection. As far as
Bengal was concerned, an "advanced" Press which always took its cue from
Tilak's _Kesari_ had already done its work, and Tilak could rely upon
the enthusiastic support of men like Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal and Mr.
Arabindo Ghose, who were politically his disciples, though their
religious and social standpoints were in many respects different, Mr.
Surendranath Banerjee, who subsequently fell out with Tilak, had at
first modelled his propaganda very largely upon that of the Deccan
leader. Not only had he tried to introduce into Bengal the singularly
inappropriate cult of Shivaji, but he had been clearly inspired by
Tilak's methods in placing the _Swadeshi_ boycott in Bengal under the
special patronage of so popular a deity as the "terrible goddess" Kali.
Again, he had followed Tilak's example in brigading schoolboys and
students into youthful gymnastic societies for purposes of political
agitation, Tilak's main object at the moment was to pledge the rest of
India, as represented in the Congress, to the violent course upon which
Bengal was embarking. Amongst the "moderate" section outside Bengal
there was a disposition to confine its action to platonic expressions of
sympathy with the Bengalees and with the principle of _Swadeshi_--in
itself perfectly legitimate--as a movement for the encouragement of
native industries. At Benares in 1905 the Congress had adopted a
resolution which only conditionally endorsed the boycott, and the
increasing disorders which had subsequently accompanied its enforcement
had tended to enhance rather than to diminish the reluctance of the
Moderate party to see the Congress definitely pledged to it when it met
at the end of 1906 in Calcutta. The "advanced" party led by Mr. Bepin
Chandra Pal had put forward Tilak's candidature to the presidency, and a
split which seemed imminent was only avoided by a compromise which saved
appearances. Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, a leading Parsee of Bombay, who had
been drawn into co-operation with the Congress under the influence of
the political Liberalism which he had heard expounded in England by
Gladstone and Bright, played at this critical period an important part
which deserves recognition. He was as eloquent as any Bengalee, and he
possessed in a high degree the art of managing men. In politics he was
as stout an opponent of Tilak's violent methods as was Mr. Gokhale on
social and religious questions, and he did perhaps more than any one
else to prevent the complete triumph of Tilakism in the Congress right
down to the Surat upheaval. Thanks largely to his efforts, the veteran
Mr. Naoroji was elected to the chair at Calcutta. None could venture
openly to oppose him, for he was almost the father of the Congress,
which in its early days had owed so much to the small group of liberal
Parsees whom he had gathered about him, and his high personal character
and rectitude of purpose had earned for him universal respect.
Nevertheless, a resolution as amended by Tilak was adopted which,
without mentioning the word "boycott," pledged the Congress to encourage
its practice. But there was considerable heartburning, and the Moderates
were suspected of contemplating some retrograde move at the following
annual session. Tilak was determined to frustrate any such scheme, and
before the Congress assembled at Surat he elaborated at a Nationalist
conference with Mr. Arabindo Ghose in the chair, a plan of campaign
which was to defeat the "moderates" by demanding, before the election of
the president, an undertaking that the resolutions of the Calcutta
conference should be upheld. The plan, however, was only half
successful. The first day's proceedings produced a violent scene in
which the howling down of Mr. Surendranath Banerjee by the "advanced"
wing revealed the personal jealousies that had grown up between the old
Bengalee leader on the one hand and Tilak and his younger followers in
Bengal on the other. The second day's proceedings ended in still wilder
confusion, and after something like a free fight the Congress broke up
after an irreparable rupture, from which its prestige has never
recovered.

Tilak's own prestige, however, with the "advanced" party never stood
higher, either in then Deccan or outside of it. In the Deccan he not
only maintained all his old activities, but had extended their field.
Besides the _Kal_, edited by another Chitpawan Brahman, and the
_Rashtramadt_ at Poona, which went to even greater lengths than Tilak's
own _Kesari_, lesser papers obeying his inspiration had been established
in many of the smaller centres. A movement had been set on foot for the
creation of "national" schools, entirely independent of State support,
and therefore of State supervision, in which disaffection could, without
let or hindrance, be made part and parcel of the curriculum. Such were
the schools closed down last year in the Central Provinces and this year
at Telegaon. The great development of the cotton industry during the
last ten years, especially in Bombay itself--which has led to vast
agglomerations of labour under conditions unfamiliar in India--had given
Tilak an opportunity of establishing contact with a class of the
population hitherto outside the purview of Indian politics. There are
nearly 100 cotton spinning and weaving mills, employing over 100,000
operatives, congregated mostly in the northern suburbs of the city.
Huddled together in huge tenements this compact population affords by
its density, as well as by its ignorance, a peculiarly accessible field
to the trained agitator. Tilak's emissaries, mostly Brahmans of the
Deccan, brought, moreover, to their nefarious work the added prestige of
a caste which seldom condescends to rub shoulders with those whose mere
contact may involve "pollution." In this, as in many other cases,
politics were closely mixed up with philanthropy, for the conditions of
labour in India are by no means wholly satisfactory, and it would be
unfair to deny to many of Tilak's followers a genuine desire to mitigate
the evils and hardships to which their humbler fellow-creatures were
exposed. Prominent amongst such evils was the growth of drunkenness, and
it would have been all to his honour that Tilak hastened to take up the
cause of temperance, had he not perverted it, as he perverted everything
else, to the promotion of race-hatred. His primary motives may have been
excellent, but he subordinated all things to his ruling anti-British
passion, whilst the fervour of his philanthropic professions won for him
the sympathy and co-operation of many law-abiding citizens who would
otherwise have turned a deaf ear to his political doctrines. He must
have had a considerable command of funds for the purposes of his
propaganda, and though he doubtless had not a few willing and generous
supporters, many subscribed from fear of the lash which he knew how to
apply through the Press to the tepid and the recalcitrant, just as his
gymnastic societies sometimes resolved themselves into juvenile bands of
dacoities to swell the coffers of _Swaraj_. Not even Mr. Gokhale with
all his moral and intellectual force could stem the flowing tide of
Tilak's popularity in the Deccan; and in order not to be swept under he
was perhaps often compelled like many other Moderates to go further than
his own judgment can have approved. Tilak commanded the allegiance of
barristers and pleaders, schoolmasters and professors, clerks in
Government offices--in fact, of the large majority of the so-called
educated classes, largely recruited amongst his own and other Brahman
castes; and his propaganda had begun to filter down not only to the
coolies in the cities, but even to the rayats, or at least the head-men
in the villages.

More than that. From the Deccan, as we have already seen in his
relations with the Indian National Congress, his influence was projected
far and wide. His house was a place of pilgrimage for the disaffected
from all parts of India. His prestige as a Brahman of the Brahmans and a
pillar of orthodoxy, in spite of the latitude of the views which he
sometimes expressed in regard to the depressed castes, his reputation
for profound learning in the philosophies both of the West and of the
East, his trenchant style, his indefatigable activity, the glamour of
his philanthropy, his accessibility to high and low, his many acts of
genuine kindliness, the personal magnetism which, without any great
physical advantages, he exerted upon most of those who came in contact
with him, and especially upon the young, combined to equip him more
fully than any other Indian politician for the leadership of a
revolutionary movement.

The appeal which Tilak made to the Hindus was twofold. He taught them,
on the one hand, that India, and especially Maharashtra, the land of the
Mahrattas, had been happier and better and more prosperous under a Hindu
_raj_ than it had ever been or could ever be under the rule of alien
"demons"; and that if the British _raj_ had at one time served some
useful purpose in introducing India to the scientific achievements of
Western civilisation, it had done so at ruinous cost, both material and
moral, to the Indians whose wealth it had drained and whose social and
religious institutions it had undermined, and on the other hand he held
out to them the prospect that, if power were once restored to the
Brahmans, who had already learnt all that there was of good to be
learnt from the English, the golden age would return for gods and men.
That Tilak himself hardly believed in the possibility of overthrowing
British rule is more than probable, but what some Indians who knew him
well tell me he did believe was that the British could be driven or
wearied by a ceaseless and menacing agitation into gradually
surrendering to the Brahmans the reality of power, as did the later
Peshwas, and remaining content with the mere shadow of sovereignty. As
one of his organs blurted it out:--"If the British yield all power to us
and retain only nominal control, we may yet be friends."

Such was the position when, on June 24, 1908, Tilak was arrested in
Bombay on charges connected with the publication in the _Kesari_ of
articles containing inflammatory comments on the Muzafferpur outrage, in
which Mrs. and Miss Kennedy had been killed by a bomb--the first of a
long list of similar outrages in Bengal. Not in the moment of first
excitement, but weeks afterwards, the _Kesari_ had commented on this
crime in terms which the Parsee Judge, Mr. Justice Davar, described in
his summing up as follows:--"They are seething with sedition; they
preach violence; they speak of murders with approval; and the cowardly
and atrocious act of committing murders with bombs not only meets with
your approval, but you hail the advent of the bomb into India as if
something had come to India for its good." The bomb was extolled in
these articles as "a kind of witchcraft, a charm, an amulet," and the
_Kesari_ delighted in showing that neither the "supervision of the
police" nor "swarms of detectives" could stop "these simple playful
sports of science," Whilst professing to deprecate such methods, it
threw the responsibility upon Government, which allowed "keen
disappointment to overtake thousands of intelligent persons who have
been awakened to the necessity of securing the rights of _Swaraj_."
Tilak spoke four whole days in his own defence--21-1/2 hours
altogether--but the jury returned a verdict of "Guilty," and he was
sentenced to six years' transportation, afterwards commuted on account
of his age and health to simple imprisonment at Mandalay.

The prosecution of a man of Tilak's popularity and influence at a time
when neither the Imperial Government nor the Government of India had
realized the full danger of the situation was undoubtedly a grave
measure of which a weaker Government than that of Bombay under Sir
George Clarke might well have shirked the responsibility. There were
serious riots after the trial. From the moment of his arrest Tilak's
followers had put it about amongst the mill-hands that he was in prison
because he was their friend and had sought to obtain better pay for
them. Some of his supporters are said to have declared during the trial
that there would be a day's bloodshed for every year to which he might
be sentenced by the Court, and, as a matter of fact, he was sentenced to
six years' imprisonment and the riots lasted six days. The rioting
assumed at times a very threatening character. The European police
frequently had to use their revolvers, and the troops had several times
to fire in self-defence. But rigorous orders had been issued by the
authorities to avoid as far as possible the shedding of blood, and both
the police and the military forces exercised such steady self-restraint
that casualties were relatively few, and the violence of the mob never
vented itself upon the European population of the city. The gravity of
the disturbances, however, showed the extent and the lawless character
of the influence which Tilak had already acquired over the lower classes
in Bombay, and not merely over the turbulent mill-hands. In the heart of
the city many Hindu shops were closed "out of sympathy with Tilak," and
the most violent rioting on one day occurred amongst the Bhattias and
Banias employed in the cloth market, who had hitherto been regarded as
very orderly and rather timid folk. The trouble in Bombay was certainly
not a sudden and spontaneous outburst of popular feeling. It bore
throughout the impress of careful and deliberate organization. By a
happy combination of sympathy and firmness Sir George Clarke had,
however, won the respect of the vast majority of the community, and
though he failed to secure the active support which he might have
expected from the "moderates," there were few of them who did not
secretly approve and even welcome his action. Its effects were great and
enduring, for Tilak's conviction was a heavy blow--perhaps the heaviest
which has been dealt--to the forces of unrest, at least in the Deccan;
and some months later one of the organs of his party, the _Rashtramat_,
reviewing the occurrences of the year, was fain to admit that "the
sudden removal of Mr. Tilak's towering personality threw the whole
province into dismay and unnerved the other leaders."

The agitation in the Deccan did not die out with Tilak's disappearance,
for he left his stamp upon a new generation, which he had educated and
trained. More than a year after Tilak had been removed to Mandalay, his
doctrines bore fruit in the murder of Mr. Jackson, the Collector of
Nasik--a murder which, in the whole lamentable record of political
crimes in India, stands out in many ways pre-eminently infamous and
significant. The chief executive officer of a large district, "Pundit"
Jackson, as he was familiarly called, was above all a scholar, devoted
to Indian studies, and his sympathy with all forms of Indian thought was
as genuine as his acquaintance with them was profound. His affection for
the natives was such as, perhaps, to blind him to their faults, and like
the earliest victims of the Indian Mutiny he entertained to the very
last an almost childlike confidence in the loyalty of the whole people.
Only a few days before his death he expressed his conviction that
disaffection had died out in Nasik, and that he could go anywhere, and
at any hour without the slightest risk of danger. That he was very
generally respected and even beloved by many there can be no doubt, and
there is no reason to question the sincerity of the regrets which found
expression on the announcement of his impending transfer to Bombay in a
series of farewell entertainments, both public and private, by the
inhabitants of the city. Only two days before the fatal 21st of
December, an ode in Marathi addressed to him at a reception organized by
the Municipal Council dwelt specially upon his gentleness of soul and
kindliness of manner.

Yet this was the man whom the fanatical champions of Indian Nationalism
in the Deccan singled out for assassination as a protest against British
tyranny. The trial of the actual murderer and of those who aided and
abetted him abundantly demonstrated the cold-blooded premeditation which
characterized this crime. Numerous consultations had taken place ever
since the previous September between the murderer and his accomplices as
to the manner and time of the deed. It was repeatedly postponed because
the accomplices who belonged to Nasik were afraid of rendering active
assistance which might compromise them, though they were ready enough to
arm the hand of the wretched youth from Aurungabad who had volunteered
to strike the blow. Ready as he was to kill any Englishman, he himself
had some misgivings as to the expediency of selecting a victim whose
personal qualities were so universally recognized, and these misgivings
were only allayed by the assurance that all that was mere hypocrisy on
poor Jackson's part. It was the news of Jackson's approaching departure
for Bombay that finally precipitated the catastrophe. The murderer
practised carefully with the pistol given to him and other precautions
were taken so that, even if the first attempt was foiled, Jackson should
not escape alive from the theatre--the native theatre which he had been
asked to honour with his attendance. So the young Chitpavan Brahman,
Ananta Luxman Kanhere, waylaid the Englishman as he was entering, shot
him first in the back, and then emptied the contents of his revolver
upon him, as he turned round. Mr. Jackson fell dead in front of the
friends who were accompanying him, two young English ladies and a young
civilian of his staff, who had only joined a month before from England
and faced without flinching this gruesome initiation into the service.
It all happened in a moment, and the native Deputy Collector, Mr.
Palshikar, who leapt forward to Mr. Jackson's assistance, was only able
to strike down the murderer and tear from him the second weapon with
which he was armed. Thanks also to Mr. Palshikar's presence of mind,
information was at once sent to the railway station, and the escape of
some of the accomplices prevented, whose confessions materially helped
in promoting the ends of justice.

But besides the facts which were brought out in evidence during the
trial at Bombay, there are some features connected with the crime to
which attention may be usefully directed, as they lie outside the
province of the Law Courts. In the first place, it must be noted that
not only the murderer but the majority of those implicated in the crime
were Chitpavan Brahmans, and at the same time they were the strange
products both of the Western education which we have imported into India
and of the religious revivalism which underlies the present political
agitation. They were certainly moral, if not physical, degenerates, and
most of them notoriously depraved, none bearing in this respect a worse
character than the actual murderer. I happened, when at Nasik, to see
the latter whilst he was performing his ablutions in front of the
Government building in which he was confined. Four policemen were in
charge of him, but he seemed absolutely unconcerned, and after having
washed himself leisurely, proceeded to discharges his devotions, looking
around all the while with a certain self-satisfied composure, before
returning to his cell. His appearance was puny, undergrown, and
effeminate, and his small, narrow, and elongated head markedly
prognathous, but he exercised over some of his companions a passionate,
if unnatural, fascination which, I have been told by one who was present
at the trial, betrayed itself shamelessly in their attitude and the
glances they exchanged with him during the proceedings. Distorted pride
of race and of caste combined with neuroticism and eroticism appear to
have co-operated here in producing as complete a type of moral
perversion as the records of criminal pathology can well show.

What are the secret forces by which these wretched puppets were set in
motion? Their activity was certainly not spontaneous. Who was it that
pulled the strings? There is reason to believe that the revolver with
which the murder was committed was one of a batch sent out by the Indian
ringleaders, who until the murder of Sir W. Curzon-Wyllie, had their
headquarters at the famous "India House," in Highgate, of which Swami
Krishnavarma was originally one of the moving spirits. Upon this and
other cognate points the trial of Vinayak Savarkar, formerly the London
correspondent of one of Tilak's organs and a familiar of the "India
House," and of some twenty-five other Hindus on various charges of
conspiracy which is now proceeding in the High Court of Bombay, may be
expected to throw some very instructive light.

The atmosphere of Nasik was no doubt exceptionally favourable for such
morbid growths. For Nasik is no ordinary provincial town of India. It is
one of the great strongholds of Hinduism. Its population is only about
25,000, but of these about 9,000 belong to the Brahmanical caste, though
only about 1,000 are Chitpavan Brahmans, the rest being mainly Deshastha
Brahmans, another great sept of the Deccanee sacerdotal caste. It is a
city of peculiar sanctity with the Hindus. The sacred Godavery--so
sacred that it is called there the _Ganga_--i.e. the Ganges--flows
through it, and its bathing _ghats_ which line the river banks and its
ancient temples and innumerable shrines attract a constant flow of
pilgrims from all parts of India. Indeed, many of the great Hindu
houses of India maintain there a family priest to look after their
spiritual interests. Nasik was, moreover, a city beloved of the Peshwas,
and, next to Poona preserves, perhaps, more intimate associations with
the great days of the Mahratta Empire than any other city of the Deccan.
But though no doubt these facts might account for a certain latent
bitterness against the alien rulers who dashed the cup of victory away
from the lips of the Mahrattas, just as the latter were establishing
their ascendency on the crumbling ruins of the Moghul Empire, they do
not suffice to account for the attitude of the people generally in
presence of such a crime as the assassination of Mr. Jackson. For if
murder is a heinous crime by whomsoever it may be committed, it ranks
amongst Hindus as specially heinous when committed by a Brahman. How is
it that in this instance, instead of outcasting the murderer, many
Brahmans continued more or less secretly to glorify his crime as "the
striking down of the flag from the fort"? How is it that, when there was
ample evidence to show that murder had been in the air of Nasik for
several months before the perpetration of the deed, not a single
warning, not a single hint, ever reached Mr. Jackson, except from the
police, whose advice, unfortunately, his blindly trustful nature led him
to ignore to the very end? How is it that, even after its perpetration,
though there was much genuine sympathy with the victim and many eloquent
speeches were delivered to express righteous abhorrence of the crime, no
practical help was afforded to the authorities in pursuing the
ramifications of the conspiracy which had "brought disgrace on the holy
city of Nasik"?

All this opens up wide fields for speculation, but there is one point
which a statement solemnly made by the murderer of Mr. Jackson has
placed beyond the uncertainties of speculation. In reply to the
magistrate who asked him why he committed the murder, Kanhere said:--

   I read of many instances of oppression in the _Kesari_, the
   _Rashtramat_ and the _Kal_ and other newspapers. I think
   that by killing _sahibs_ [Englishmen] we people can get justice.
   I never got injustice myself nor did any one I know. I now
   regret killing Mr. Jackson. I killed a good man causelessly.

Can anything be much more eloquent and convincing than the terrible
pathos of this confession?[6] The three papers named by Kanhere were
Tilak's organs. It was no personal experience or knowledge of his own
that had driven Kanhere to his frenzied deed, but the slow persistent
poison dropped into his ear by the Tilak Press. Though it was Kanhere's
hand that struck down "a good man causelessly," was not Tilak rather
than Kanhere the real author of the murder? It was merely the story of
the Poona murders of 1897 over again.

Other incidents besides the Nasik tragedy have occurred since Tilak's
conviction to show how dangerous was the spirit which his doctrines had
aroused. One of the, gravest, symptomatically, was the happily
unsuccessful attempt to throw a bomb at the Viceroy and Lady Minto
whilst they were driving through the streets of Ahmedabad during their
visit to the Bombay Presidency last November. For that outrage
constituted an ominous breach of all the old Hindu traditions which
invest the personal representative of the Sovereign with a special
sanctity.

But in spite of spasmodic outbreaks, of which we may not yet have seen
the end, aggressive disloyalty in the Deccan has been at least
temporarily set back since the downfall of Tilak. The firmer attitude
adopted by the Government of India and such repressive measures as the
Press Act, combined with judicious reforms, have done much; but it was
by the prosecution of Tilak that the forces of militant unrest lost
their ablest and boldest leader--perhaps the only one who might have
concentrated their direction, not only in the Deccan, but in the whole
of India, in his own hands and given to the movement, with all its
varied and often conflicting tendencies, an organization and unity which
it still happily seems to lack.



CHAPTER V.

POONA AND KOLHAPUR.


It is not, after all, in British India (i.e., in that part of India
which we directly administer) that the Brahmanical and reactionary
character of Indian unrest, at any rate in the Deccan, can best be
studied. There it can always be disguised under the "patriotic" aspects
of a revolt against alien rule. To appreciate its real tendencies we
must go to a Native State of the Deccan about 100 miles south of Poona.
Kolhapur is the most important of the Native States under the charge of
the Bombay Government, and its ruler is the only ruling Mahratta chief
who can claim direct descent from the great Shivaji, the
"Shivaji-Maharaj" whose cult Tilak made one of the central features of
his political propaganda. He is the "Chhatrapati Maharajah," and is
acknowledged to be as such the head of the Mahratta Princes of India.
One would have thought that such a lineage would have sufficed in itself
to invest the Maharajah of Kolhapur with a certain measure of sanctity
in the eyes of Tilak and his followers. Far from it. His Highness is an
enlightened ruler and a man of great simplicity of character. He takes a
keen interest in the administration of his State, and has undertaken, at
no small cost to his Exchequer, one of the most important irrigation
works yet attempted in any Native State. But he committed what Tilak
and his friends regarded as two unforgivable offences: he fought against
the intolerance of the Brahmans and he is a faithful friend end ally of
the British _Raj_. Hence they set in motion against him, the descendant
of Shivaji, in his own State, exactly the same machinery of agitation
and conspiracy which they have set in motion against British rule in
British India.

It is a curious and most instructive story. There had been long
minorities in Kolhapur, and, especially during the more or less nominal
reign of the present Maharajah's predecessor, Shivaji IV., who
ultimately went mad, the Prime Minister, a Chitpavan Brahman of
Ratnagiri, acquired almost supreme power in the State, and filled every
important post with his fellow caste men, of whom he introduced more
than a hundred into the public service. Under Chitpavan rule the
interests of the people of the soil were systematically neglected in
Kolhapur, as they had been throughout the Deccan in the later days of
the Chitpavan theocracy at Poona, and privileges and possessions were
showered upon members of the favoured caste. On his accession in 1894
the present Maharajah appointed as his Prime Minister, with a view to
very necessary reforms in the administration, a Kayastha Prabhu, Rao
Bahadur Sabnis, who, though a high-caste Hindu, was not a Brahman. There
has long been great rivalry between the Brahmans and the Prabhus, who
belong mostly to the moderate progressive school of Hinduism. The
appointment of Mr. Sabnis, besides portending unpalatable reforms, was
therefore in itself very unwelcome to the Kolhapur Brahmans, amongst
whom one of the most influential, Mr. B.N. Joshi, the Chief Judge, was a
personal friend of Tilak. Consternation increased when the young
Maharajah announced his intention of promoting to positions of trust
such non-Brahmans as should be found capable of filling them and
actually started educating non-Brahmans for the purpose. In order to put
pressure upon their ruler, the Brahmans had recourse to one of the most
powerful weapons with which the semi-religious, semi-social structure of
Hinduism has armed them. They questioned his caste and refused to recite
at certain religious ceremonies in his family the Vedic hymns, to which
as a Kshatriya (i.e., as a member of the "twice-born" caste ranking
next to the Brahmans) his Highness claimed to be traditionally entitled.
The stalwart Brahmans of the Deccan allege, it seems, that in this _Kali
Yuga_, or Age of Darkness, there can be no Kshatriyas, since there is no
room or a warrior caste in the orthodox sense under an alien rule, and
that therefore the Hindus who are neither Brahmans nor pariahs can at
best be Shudras--a "clean" caste, but not even entitled to wear the
"sacred thread" reserved for the highest castes.

The Maharajah remained firm, for this insult, though aimed chiefly at
him, affected equally all high-caste Mahrattas who were not Brahmans. To
their credit be it said, several of the more progressive Brahmans,
braving the pressure of their fellow caste-men at Poona and in Kolhapur
itself, stood by his Highness. The dispute was aggravated when the
Rajpadhya--the family priest of the Kolhapur ruling family--himself
refused the Vedic ritual to his Highness, even when two Judges, both
Brahmans, who were appointed to form with him a committee of three to
decide the issue, pronounced in favour of the Maharajah's claim. His
Highness then took the case to the Sankeshwar Shankaracharya, the
highest religious authority with jurisdiction in such matters. But the
feud only grew the more bitter, as, owing to the death of the incumbent
of that high office, rival candidatures were put forward to the
succession by the Maharajah's supporters on the one hand and by Tilak
and his friends on the other. To the present day the feud continues, and
the present Shankaracharya is not recognized by the Poona school of
Brahmans. Nor is he likely to be, as he has had the unique courage
publicly to condemn as a Brahman the murder of Mr. Jackson by Brahmans.

I have already remarked with reference to the Nasik tragedy that, if
murder is a heinous crime by whomsoever committed, it ranks amongst
Hindus as specially heinous when committed by a Brahman; and I have
asked several Brahmans how it is that instead of outcasting the murderer
many Brahmans continue more or less secretly to glorify his crime. Some
have admitted that there is a strong case for the public excommunication
of Brahmans guilty of political murder, some have regretted that no such
action has ever been taken by the caste authorities, some have argued
that caste organization has been so loosened that any collective action
would be impracticable. Only in Kolhapur has a Brahman, qualified to
speak with the highest religious authority in the name of Hindu sacred
law, been found to have in this respect the courage of his convictions.
This Brahman was no less a personage than the Shankaracharya of the
Karveer Petha, who took the very noteworthy step of issuing a
proclamation solemnly reprobating the murder committed by a Brahman "in
the holy city of Nasik" as "a stain on the Brahmanical religion of mercy
emphatically preached by Manu and other law-givers." After paying a warm
tribute to Mr. Jackson's personal qualities and great learning, and
quoting sacred texts to show that "such a murder is to be condemned the
more when a Brahman commits it," and renders the murderer liable to the
most awful penalties in the next world, the proclamation proceeded to
declare that "his Holiness is pleased to excommunicate the wicked
persons who have committed the present offence, and who shall commit
similar offences against the State, and none of the disciples of this
Petha shall have any dealings with such sinful men."

Amongst the majority of Brahmans in Kolhapur and elsewhere this
proclamation, I fear, found no echo, for their hostility towards their
own Maharajah had often assumed or encouraged criminal forms of
violence. It had certainly not remained confined to the spiritual
domain, and it became absolutely savage when, in 1902, his Highness
declared that he would reserve at least half the posts in the State for
qualified men of the non-Brahman communities. Under the constant
inspiration of Poona, the Tilak Press waged relentless war against his
Highness, preaching disaffection towards his Government, just as it
preached disaffection towards the British _Raj_; and the agitation in
Kolhapur itself was reinforced by the advent of a large number of Poona
Brahmans who, in consequence of a recrudescence of plague, fled from
that city to the Maharajah's capital. They flung themselves eagerly into
the fray, and had the audacity even to start a mock "Parliament." But
the Maharajah was determined to be master in his own State, and in Mr.
Sabnis he had found a Prime Minister who loyally and courageously
carried out his policy for the improvement of the administration and the
spread of education amongst the non-Brahman castes. The Maharajah
realizes that Brahman ascendency cannot be broken down permanently
unless the non-Brahman castes are adequately equipped to compete with
them in the public services. Amongst these there is plenty of loyalty to
the ruling chief, for his Mahratta subjects have not wholly forgotten
the tyranny of Chitpavan Brahman rule either under Shivaji IV.'s Prime
Minister or in the less recent times of the Poona Peshwas. One of the
most interesting institutions in Kolhapur is a hostel specially endowed
for non-Brahman, Mahratta, Mahomedan, and Jain youths who are following
the courses of the Rajaram College. The control of education plays in
Kolhapur as conspicuous a part as at Poona in the struggle between the
forces of order and disorder, and it is amongst the Kolhapur youth that
the latter have made their most strenuous exertions and with the same
lawless results.

The first organization started at Kolhapur in imitation of Poona was a
Shivaji club, with which were associated bands of gymnasts, Ganpati
choirs, an anti-cow-killing society, &c., all on the lines of those
founded by Tilak. It was suppressed in 1900 as several of its members
had been implicated in the disturbances at Bir, where a young "patriot"
had proclaimed himself Rajah and collected a sufficient number of armed
followers to require a military force to suppress the rebellion. The
disturbances at Bir were, in fact, the starting point of that new form
of political propagandism which takes the shape of dacoities or armed
robberies for the benefit of the "patriotic" war-chest. After the
suppression of the Kolhapur Shivaji Club, many of its leading members
disappeared for a time, but only to carry on their operations in other
parts of India, where they entered into relations with secret societies
of a similar type. Three years later the club had been practically
revived under the new name of "Belapur Swami Club," so called in honour
of the late Swami of Belapur, to whose wooden slippers the members of
the club were in the habit of doing worship, whilst his shrine was used
as a sanctuary for sedition-mongers and a store-house for illicit
weapons. "Political" dacoities were soon in vogue again, and in 1905
there was an epidemic of house-breaking in and around Kolhapur, which
enriched the club with several thousands of rupees and a few arms. Seven
members were finally arrested and some made full confessions. All of
these except one were Brahmans and mostly quite well connected. But even
those who were convicted got off with light sentences, and the campaign,
which clearly had powerful aiders and abettors both inside Kolhapur and
outside, was only temporarily checked.

Nor was it to stop at dacoities. A regular semi-military organization
was introduced, and bands of young men used to go out into the country
to carry out mimic manoeuvres. It is of no slight significance that
photographs have been discovered of groups of these young men--some of
whom were subsequently convicted for serious offences--with Tilak
himself in their midst. They were in constant communication with Poona,
and when the Poona extremists began to specialize on bombs they were
amongst the neophytes of the new cult. A conspiracy was hatched of which
the admitted purpose was to murder Colonel Ferris, the Political Agent,
at the wedding of the Maharajah's daughter on March 21, 1908, but, if it
had been carried out successfully, the Maharajah himself and many of his
other guests would almost inevitably have been killed at the same time.
For, as was disclosed in the subsequent trial, a bomb was prepared and
despatched from Poona which was to have been hurled into the wedding
_pandal_ or enclosure railed off in the courtyard of the Palace for the
Maharajah and his family and the principal guests, including Colonel
Ferris. Fortunately the bomb, which was subsequently discovered, did not
reach Kolhapur in time. The conspirators had to fall back upon less
potent weapons. Thanks to the Arms Act, which is one of the favourite
grievances of Indian Nationalism, they had great difficulty in obtaining
arms, but they secured a few, and on April 16, 1908, when Colonel
Ferris, who was retiring, left Kolhapur, some of the conspirators
followed him into the train, and, alighting at one of the stations,
attempted to shoot him, but, again fortunately, their cartridges missed
fire. A few weeks later placards giving formulae for the making of bombs
were actually posted up on the doors of schools and other buildings, and
this was followed by a theft of dangerous chemicals from a Kolhapur
private school. Finally ten youths, nine of whom were Brahmans, were
committed for trial on these offences before a special Sessions Judge,
lent by Government, and eight of them were convicted.

Quite as much as these convictions the downfall of Tilak helped to quell
the forces of unrest in the State of Kolhapur as well as in the rest of
the Deccan. For in Kolhapur, as in Poona, it was the Brahman Press
controlled by Tilak that familiarized the rising generation with the
idea of political murder. In the year which preceded the Kolhapur
conspiracy, and just after the first dastardly bomb outrage at
Muzafferpur to which Mrs. and Miss Kennedy fell victims, an article
appeared in the _Vishvavritta_, a Kolhapur monthly magazine, for which
its editor, Mr. Bijapurkar, a Brahman, who until 1905 had been Professor
of Sanscrit at the Rajaram College, was subsequently prosecuted and
convicted. The article, which was significantly headed "The potency of
Vedic prayers," recalled various cases in which the Vedas lay down the
duty of retaliation upon "alien" oppressors. "To kill such people
involves no sin, and when Kshatriyas and Vaidhyas do not come forward to
kill them, Brahmans should take up arms and protect religion. When one
is face to face with such people they should be slaughtered without
hesitation. Not the slightest blame attaches to the slayer." Moreover,
lest these exhortations should be construed merely as a philosophic
treatise on Vedic teaching, the writer was careful to add that "these
doctrines are not to be kept in books, but must be taught even to babes
and sucklings."

Thus in a Native State of the Deccan, just as in British-administered
Deccan, we find the same methods and the same doctrines adopted by the
Brahmans, with the same demoralizing results, in pursuance of the same
purpose, now under one guise and now under another, the maintenance or
restoration of their own theocratic power, whether it be threatened by a
Hindu ruler of their own race, or by "alien" rulers and the "alien"
civilization for which they stand.



CHAPTER VI.

BENGAL BEFORE THE PARTITION.


It is a far cry in every sense from the Deccan to Bengal. There is a
greater diversity of races, languages, social customs, physical
conditions, &c., between the different provinces of India than is often
to be found between the different countries of Europe. Few differ more
widely than the Deccan and Bengal--the Deccan, a great table-land raised
on an average over 2,000ft. above sea level, broken by many deep-cut
river valleys and throwing up lofty ridges of bare rock, entirely
dependent for its rainfall upon the south-west monsoon, which alone and
in varying degrees of abundancy relieves the thirst of a thin soil
parched during the rest of the year by a fierce dry heat--Bengal, a vast
alluvial plain, with a hot, damp climate, watered and fertilized by
great rivers like the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, which drain the
greater part of the Himalayas. The Deccan is thinly populated; it has no
great waterways; there are few large cities and few natural facilities
of communication between them, but the population, chiefly Mahratta
Hindus, with a fair sprinkling of Mahomedans, survivors of the Moghul
Empire, are a virile race, wiry rather than sturdy, with tenacious
customs and traditions and a language--Marathi--which has a copious
popular literature. Maharashtra, moreover, has historical traditions, by
no means inglorious, of its own. It has played, and is conscious of
having played, a conspicuous part in the history of India down to
relatively recent times; and the Brahmans of Maharashtra, who were once
its rulers, have preserved to the present day the instincts and the
aspirations of a ruling race, combined with great force and subtleness
of intellect. In Bengal, on the other hand, there is a dense population,
concentrated in part in large towns and cities along the great
waterways, but also spread over the whole surface of the rich plains and
deltas. The Bengalees are a quick-witted, imaginative, and warm-hearted
people who have been the victims rather than the makers of history. The
tide of conquest has swept over them again and again from times
immemorial, but generally without leaving any lasting impression upon
their elastic and rather timid temperament. With all his receptive
qualities, his love of novelty and readiness to learn, his retentive
memory, his luxuriant imagination, his gift of facile eloquence, the
Bengalee has seldom shown himself to be a born ruler of men.

All these differences are reflected in the unrest in Bengal, though on
the surface it presents a close resemblance to the unrest in the Deccan,
and there have been constant contact and co-operation between the
leaders. Except as a geographical expression, Bengal is practically a
creation of British rule and of Western education. The claim of the
modern Bengalees to be regarded as a "nation" has no historical basis.
The inhabitants of Bengal are of mixed Dravidian, Mongolian, and Aryan
origin, and in no other speech of India, writes Sir H. Risley, is the
literary language cultivated by the educated classes more widely
divorced, not only from the many popular dialects spoken in the
province, but from that of ordinary conversation. Literary Bengalee is
not even an altogether indigenous growth. It owes its birth mainly to
the labours of English missionaries, like Carey, in the first half of
the last century, assisted by the Pundits of Calcutta. Yet it is upon
this community of language that the Bengalees mainly found their claim
to recognition as a "nation"; or, to put it in another form, their claim
rests upon education as they understand it--i.e., upon the high
proportion of literacy that exists in Bengal as compared with most parts
of India. Education is unquestionably a power in Bengal. It has not
superseded caste, which in all essentials is still unbroken, but it has
to some extent overshadowed it.

The Brahmans of Bengal have never within historical times been a
politically dominant force. They did not condescend to take office even
in the remote days when there were Hindu Kings in Bengal, and still less
under Mahomedan rule. They were content to be learned in Sanscrit and in
the Hindu Scriptures, and they left secular knowledge to the Kayasthas,
or writer caste, with whom they preserved, notwithstanding certain rigid
barriers, much more intimate relations than usually exist between
different Hindu castes. There is a tradition that the highest Brahman
septs of Bengal are the descendants of five priests of special sanctity
whom King Adisur of Eastern Bengal in the ninth century attracted to his
Court from the holiest centres of Hinduism, and that the servants who
accompanied them founded the septs to which precedence is still accorded
amongst the Kayasthas of Bengal, and both have been at pains to preserve
the purity of their descent by a most exclusive and complicated, and
often unsavoury, system of matrimonial alliances known as Kulinism.
Hence in Bengal the Brahmans share their social primacy to an extent
unknown in other parts of India with the Kayasthas, and also with
another high caste, the Vaidhyas, who formerly monopolized the practice
of Hindu medicine. The _nexus_ is education, and that _nexus_ has been
strengthened since the advent of British rule and of Western education.
When the educational enterprise of the early British missionaries was
followed up, under the impulse of Dr. Duff, the greatest figure in the
missionary annals of India, and of Ram Mohun Roy, the most learned and
earnest of all reforming Brahmans, by the famous Government Minute of
March 7, 1835, many distinguished members of all these three castes
responded to the call and began to qualify for employment under
Government and for the liberal professions that were opening out in the
new India we were making. They were first in the field, and, though
other castes have followed suit, it is they who have practically
monopolized the public offices, the Bar, the Press, and the teaching
profession. It was they who were the moving spirits of the Brahmo Samaj
and of Social Reform when progressive ideas seemed to be on the point of
permeating Hinduism. But when the reaction came which first found public
expression in the resistance provoked by the Age of Consent Act of 1891
for mitigating the evils of Hindu child marriage, and the spirit of
reform was deflected from the social and religious into the political
domain, it was they again who showed the most aptitude to clothe the new
political movement in all the forms of Western political activities. It
was Mr. W.O. Bonnerjee, an able Bengalee lawyer of moderate and
enlightened views, who presided over the first Indian National Congress
at Bombay and delivered an opening address of which the moderation has
rarely been emulated, and though the Congress movement originated in
Bombay rather than in Bengal, the fluent spokesmen of Bengal very soon
had the satisfaction of feeling that for the first time in Indian
history Bengal might claim to be marching in the van.

Owing to his greater plasticity and imagination, the Bengalee has
certainly often assimilated English ideas as few other Indians have.
None can question, for instance, the genuine Western culture and sound
learning of men like Dr. Ashutosh Mookerjee, the Vice-Chancellor of the
Calcutta University, or Dr. Rash Behari Ghose, than whom the English Bar
itself has produced few greater lawyers; and it would be easy to quote
many other names of scarcely less distinction amongst the many highly
educated Bengalees who have served and are still serving the State with
undoubted loyalty and ability. With the spread of English education,
habits of tolerance have grown up, at any rate as to externals; and
though on the crucial point of inter-marriage caste law has lost hardly
anything of its rigidity, religion, in the ordinary intercourse of life,
seems to sit almost as lightly upon educated Hindu society in Calcutta
as upon English society in London. Another result of English education,
combined with the absence of such traditions of Brahman supremacy as are
still recent and powerful in the Deccan, has been to invest the
political aspirations of the Bengalees with that democratic tinge which
has won the sympathies of English Radicals; and, even if the tinge in
most cases be very slight, the Bengalee's own adaptability enables him
to clothe his opinions with extraordinary skill and verisimilitude in
the form which he intuitively knows will best suit an English audience.
Of any real democratic spirit amongst the educated classes of Bengal it
is difficult to find a trace, for they are separated from the masses
whom they profess to represent by a social gulf which only a few of the
most enlightened amongst them have so far even recognized the necessity
of making some attempt to bridge if they wish to give the slightest
plausibility to their professions. It would be less far-fetched, though
the analogy would still be very halting, to compare the position of the
Bengalee "moderates" with that of the middle classes in England before
the Reform Bill of 1832, who had no idea of emancipating the masses, but
only of emancipating themselves to some extent from the control of a
close oligarchy. From this point of view there are undoubtedly, and
especially amongst the elder generation, many educated Bengalees who are
convinced that in claiming by political agitation a larger share in the
administration and government of the country they are merely carrying
into practice the blameless theories of civic life and political
activity which their reading of English history has taught them. Their
influence, however, has been rapidly undermined by a new and essentially
revolutionary school, who combine with a spirit of revolt against all
Western authority a reversion to some of the most reactionary
conceptions of authority that the East has ever produced, and,
unfortunately, it is this new school which has now got hold of the
younger educated classes.

Education, to which in its more primitive forms the Bengalees owed
whatever influence they retained under Mahomedan rule, has given them
under British rule far larger opportunities which they have turned to
account with no mean measure of success. I must reserve the thorny
question of education for separate treatment. All I need say for the
present is that, had it grown less instead of more superficial, had it
been less divorced from discipline and moral training as well as from
the realities of Indian life, the results might have been very
different. As it is, in the form given to it in our Indian schools and
colleges, which have been allowed to drift more and more into native
hands, English education has steadily deteriorated in quality as the
output has increased in quantity. The sacrifices made by many Bengalees
in humble circumstances to procure for their sons the advantages of what
is called higher education are often pathetic, but the results of this
mania for higher education, however laudable in itself, have been
disastrous. Every year large batches of youths with a mere smattering of
knowledge are turned out into a world that has little or no use for
them. Soured on the one hand by their own failure, or by the failure of
such examinations as they may have succeeded in passing to secure for
them the employment to which they aspired, and scorning the sort of work
to which they would otherwise have been trained, they are ripe for every
revolt. That is the material upon which the leaders of unrest have most
successfully worked, and it is only recently that some of the more
sober-minded Bengalees of the older generation have begun to realize the
dangers inherent in such a system. When in 1903 Lord Curzon brought in
his Universities Bill to mitigate some of the most glaring evils of the
system, there was a loud and unanimous outcry in Bengal that Government
intended to throttle higher education because it was education that was
making a "nation" of Bengal. Subsequent events have shown that that
measure was not only urgently needed, but that it came too late to cure
the mischief already done, and was, if anything, too circumscribed in
its scope. The storm it raised was intensified shortly afterwards by
Lord Curzon's famous Convocation speech, into which the sensitive and
emotional Bengalee hastened to read a humiliating indictment of the
"nation." Such a storm showed how heavily laden was the atmosphere with
dangerous electricity.

For some years past the influence of Tilak and his irreconcilable school
had been projected from the Deccan into Bengal, and nowhere did it make
itself so rapidly felt as in the Press. The _Calcutta Review_ has been
publishing a very instructive history of the Indian Press by Mr. S.C.
Sanial, a Hindu scholar who has had the advantage of consulting
authentic and hitherto unpublished documents. His erudite work shows how
the native Press of India first grew up in Bengal as the direct product
of English education, and faithfully reflected all the fluctuations of
educated Bengalee opinion, many of the most influential native
newspapers continuing to be published in English, side by side with, and
often under the same control as, more popular papers published in the
vernacular. Among the "advanced" journalists of Bengal, none had fallen
so entirely under the spell of Tilak's magnetic personality as Mr. Bepin
Chandra Pal and Mr. Arabindo Ghose, and the former's _New India_ and the
latter's _Bande_ also published in English, soon outstripped the
aggressiveness of Mr. Surendranath Banerjee's _Bengalee_. For though
not immune from the reaction against Western influences and in favour of
Hinduism as a religious and social system, the school represented by Mr.
Banerjee confined itself at first mainly to political agitation and to
criticism of British methods of administration. The new school
represented, perhaps most conspicuously, by Mr. Arabindo Ghose scarcely
disguised its hostility to British rule itself and to all that British
ascendancy stands for. Hinduism for the Hindus, or, as they preferred to
put it, "Arya for the Aryans," was the war-cry of zealots, half
fanatics, half patriots, whose mysticism found in the sacred story of
the _Bhagvat Gita_ not only the charter of Indian independence but the
sanctification of the most violent means for the overthrow of an alien
rule. With this "Aryan" reaction, having to a great extent the force of
religious enthusiasm behind it, orthodoxy also recovered ground, and
Brahmanism was not slow to show how potent it still is even in Bengal
when it appeals to the superstitions of the masses. In one form or
another this spirit had spread like wildfire not only among the students
but among the teachers, and the schools of physical training to which
young Bengal had taken, partly under the influence of our British love
of sports and partly from a legitimate desire to remove from their
"nation" the stigma of unmanliness, were rapidly transforming themselves
into political societies modelled upon the bands of gymnasts which
figured so prominently in Tilak's propaganda in the Deccan. Among the
older men, some yielded to the new spirit from fear of being elbowed out
by their youngers, some were genuinely impatient of the tardiness of the
constitutional reforms for which they had looked to the agency of the
Indian National Congress; a few perhaps welcomed the opportunity of
venting the bitterness engendered by social slights, real or imaginary,
or by disappointments in Government service.

Such appears to have been the _état d'âme_ of Bengal when the
Government of India promulgated the measure of administrative
redistribution known as the Partition of Bengal.



CHAPTER VII.

THE STORM IN BENGAL.


The merits or demerits of the Partition of Bengal have already been
discussed to satiety. As far as its purpose was to promote
administrative efficiency it is no longer on its defence. Bengal proper
is still the most populous province in India, but it has been brought
within limits that at least make efficient administration practicable.
The eastern districts, now included in the new province, which had been
hitherto lamentably neglected, have already gained enormously by the
change, which was at the same time only an act of justice to the large
Mahomedan majority who received but scanty consideration from Calcutta.
The only people who perhaps suffered inconvenience or material loss were
absentee landlords, pleaders, and moneylenders, and some of the
merchants of Calcutta, Anglo-Indian as well as native, who believed
their interests to be affected by the transfer of the seat of provincial
government for the Eastern Bengal districts to Dacca. Nevertheless the
Partition was the signal for an agitation such as India had not hitherto
witnessed. I say advisedly the signal rather than the cause. For if the
Partition in itself had sufficed to rouse spontaneous popular feeling,
it would have been unnecessary for the leaders of the agitation to
resort in the rural districts to gross misrepresentations of the objects
of that measure. What all the smouldering discontent, all the
reactionary disaffection centred in Calcutta read into the Partition was
a direct attack upon the primacy of the educated classes that had made
Calcutta the capital of the Bengalee "nation." The Universities Act of
1904, it was alleged, had been the first attempt on the part of a
masterful Viceroy to reduce their influence by curtailing their control
of higher education. Partition was a further attempt to hamper their
activities by cutting half the "nation" adrift from its "intellectual"
capital. This was a cry well calculated to appeal to many "moderates,"
whom the merely political aspects of the question would have left
relatively unmoved and it certainly proved effective, for in Calcutta
feeling ran very strong. Whilst "monster" demonstrations were organized
in Calcutta and in the principal towns of the _mofussil_, the wildest
reports were sedulously disseminated amongst the rural population.
Partition was meant to pave the way for undoing the Permanent Settlement
which governs the Land Revenue in Bengal, and, once the Permanent
Settlement out of the way, Government would screw up the land tax. As
for the creation of the new province, it was intended to facilitate the
compulsory emigration of the people from the plains, who would be driven
to work on the Englishmen's tea plantations in the far-off jungles of
Assam. Reports of this kind were well calculated to alarm both the
_Zemindars_, who had waxed fat on the Permanent Settlement, and the
credulous _rayats_, whose labour is indispensable to the _zemindar_
squirarchy. In the towns, on the other hand, the masses were told that
Partition was an insult to the "terrible goddess" Kali, the most popular
of all Hindu deities in Bengal, and, in order to popularize the protest
amongst the small townsfolk, amongst artisans and petty traders, the cry
of _Swadeshi_ was coupled with that of _Bande Mataram_.

The spirit of revolt against Western political authority had been for
some time past spreading to the domain of economics. _Swadeshi_ in
itself and so far as it means the intelligent encouragement of
indigenous is perfectly legitimate, and in this sense the Government of
India had practised _Swadeshi_ long before it was taken up for purposes
of political agitation by those who look upon it primarily as an
economic weapon against their rulers. It was now to receive a formidable
development. _Swadeshi_ must strike at the flinty heart of the British
people by cutting off the demand for British manufactured goods and
substituting in their place the products of native labour. At the first
great meeting held at the Calcutta Town Hall to protest against
Partition, the building was to have been draped in black as a sign of
"national" mourning, but the idea was ostentatiously renounced because
the only materials available were of English manufacture. Not only did
the painful circumstances of the hour forbid any self-respecting
Bengalee from using foreign-made articles, but some means had to be
found of compelling the lukewarm to take the same lofty view of their
duties. So the cry of boycott was raised, and it is worth noting, as
evidence of the close contact and co-operation between the forces of
unrest in the Deccan and in Bengal, that at the same time as it was
raised in Calcutta by Mr. Surendranath Banerjee it was raised also at
Poona by Tilak who perhaps foresaw much more clearly the lawlessness to
which it would lead. For, though the cry fell on deaf ears in Bombay,
the boycott did not remain by any means an idle threat in Bengal. The
movement was placed under the special patronage of Kali and vows were
administered to large crowds in the forecourts of her great temple at
Calcutta and in her various shrines all over Bengal. The religious
character with which the leaders sought to invest the boycott propaganda
showed how far removed was the _swadeshi_ which they preached from a
mere innocent economic propaganda for the furtherance of native
industries. For a description of the Tantric rites connected with
_Shakti_ worship I must refer readers to M. Barth's learned work on "The
religions of India," of which an English translation has been published
by Messrs Trübner in their Oriental series. In its extreme forms
_Shakti_ worship finds expression in licentious aberrations which,
however lofty may be the speculative theories that gave birth to them,
represent the most extravagant forms of delirious mysticism. Yet such
men as Mr. Surendranath Banerjee[7], who in his relations with
Englishmen claims to represent the fine flower of Western education and
Hindu enlightenment, did not hesitate to call the popularity of _Shakti_
worship in aid in order to stimulate the boycott of British goods. To
prevent any blacksliding the agitators had ready to hand an organization
which they did not hesitate to use. The gymnastic societies founded in
Bengal for physical training and semi-military drill on the model of
those established by Tilak in the Deccan were transformed into bands of
_samitis_ or "national volunteers," and students and schoolboys who had
been encouraged from the first to take part in public meetings and to
parade the streets in procession as a protest against Partition, were
mobilized to picket the bazaars and enforce the boycott. Nor were their
methods confined to moral suasion. Where it failed they were quite ready
to use force. The Hindu leaders had made desperate attempts to enlist
the support of the Mahomedans, and not without some success, until the
latter began to realize the true meaning both of the Partition and of
the agitation against it. Nothing was better calculated to enlighten
them than another feature introduced also from the Deccan into the
"national" propaganda. In the Deccan the cult of Shivaji, as the epic
hero of Mahratta history, was intelligible enough. But in Bengal his
name had been for generations a bogey with which mothers hushed their
babies, and the Mahratta Ditch in Calcutta still bears witness to the
terror produced by the daring raids of Mahratta horsemen. To set Shivaji
up in Bengal on the pedestal of Nationalism in the face of such
traditions was no slight feat, and all Mr. Surendranath Banerjee's
popularity barely availed to perform it successfully. But to identify
the cause of Nationalism with the cult of the Mahratta warrior-king who
had first arrested the victorious career and humbled the pride of the
Mahomedan conquerors of Hindustan was not the way to win over to it the
Mahomedans of Bengal. In Eastern Bengal especially, with the exception
of a few landlords and pleaders whose interests were largely bound up
with those of the Hindus, the Mahomedans as a community had everything
to gain and nothing to lose by the Partition. For those amongst them who
were merchants the boycott spelt serious injury to their trade and led
in some instances to reprisals in which the Hindus fared badly. Whenever
it happened in this way that the biter was bit, the Bengalee Press
accused the Government of encouraging the revival of sectarian strife,
just as it denounced every measure for the maintenance of order which
the Government was compelled to take in the discharge of one of its most
elementary duties, as brutal repression and arbitrary vindictiveness,
and any mistake of procedure made by some subordinate official under the
stress of a very critical situation was distorted and magnified into a
gross denial of justice. But it was out of the punishments very properly
inflicted upon the misguided schoolboys and students whom the
politicians had put in the forefront of the fray that the greatest
capital was made. Whilst the politicians themselves prudently remained
for the most part in Calcutta, making high-sounding speeches and writing
inflammatory articles, or were careful in their own overt demonstrations
not to overstep the extreme bounds of legality, they showered telegrams
and letters of congratulation on the young "martyrs" who had been duly
castigated.

The leaders of the movement had also another string to their bow which
they used with considerable effect. Never before had there been such
close contact between Indian politicians and certain groups of English
politicians. Lord Curzon's fall and the extremely injudicious
references to Partition made by Mr. Brodrick, the then Secretary of
State, in the correspondence published after the resignation of the
Viceroy, had from the first given a great stimulus to the anti-Partition
campaign, Mr. Brodrick's remarks led the Bengalees to form a very
exaggerated estimate of the personal part played by Lord Curzon in the
question of Partition, and they not unnaturally concluded that, if the
Secretary of State had merely sanctioned the Partition in order to
humour the Viceroy, he might easily be induced to reconsider the matter
when once Lord Curzon had been got out of the way. Their hopes in that
quarter were, it is true, very soon dashed, but only to be strung up
again to the highest pitch of expectancy when the Conservative
Government fell from power, and was replaced by a Liberal
Administration, with Mr. John Morley at the India Office and an
overwhelming majority in the House of Commons, in which the Radical
element was very strongly represented. Several of the leading Radical
organs in England had for a long time past joined hands with the
Bengalee Press in denouncing Lord Curzon and all his works, and, most
fiercely of all, the Partition of Bengal. The Bengalee politicians,
moreover, not only had the active sympathy of a large section of Radical
opinion at home, but they had in the House itself the constant
co-operation of a small but energetic group of members, who constituted
themselves into an "Indian party," and were ever ready to act as the
spokesmen of Indian discontent. Some of them were of that earnest type
of self-righteousness which loves to smell out unrighteousness in their
fellow countrymen, especially in those who are serving their country
abroad; some were hypnotized by the old shibboleths of freedom, even
when freedom merely stands for licence; some were retired Anglo-Indians,
whose experience in the public service in India would have carried
greater weight had not the peculiar acerbity of their language seemed to
betray the bitterness of personal disappointment. Every invention or
exaggeration of the Bengalee Press found its way into the list of
questions to be asked of the Secretary of State, who, with less
knowledge than he has since acquired, doubtless considered himself bound
to pass them on for inquiry to the Government of India. A large
proportion of these questions were aimed at Sir Bampfylde Fuller, who,
as the first Lieutenant-Governor of the new province of Eastern Bengal,
had been singled out for every form of vituperation and calumny, and no
subject figured more prominently amongst them than the disciplinary
treatment of turbulent schoolboys and students. It is so easy to appeal
to the generous sentiments of the British public in favour of poor boys,
supposed to be of tender years, dragged into police courts by harsh
bureaucrats for some hasty action prompted by the generous, if foolish,
exuberance of youth, especially when the British public is quite unaware
that in India most students and many schoolboys are more or less
full-grown and often already married. Every one of these questions was
duly advertised in the columns of the Bengalee Press, and their
cumulative effect was to produce the impression that the British
Parliament was following events in Bengal with feverish interest and
with overwhelming sympathy for the poor oppressed Bengalee.

Nevertheless, there came a moment when the first feverish excitement
seemed to wane. Time had gone on, and though there was a new Viceroy in
India and a new Secretary of State at Whitehall, the Partition had
remained an accomplished fact. The visit of the Prince and Princess of
Wales to Calcutta had temporarily exercised a restraining influence on
the political leaders, and the presence of Royalty in a country where
reverence for the Throne is still a powerful tradition seemed to hush
even the forces of militant sedition. In Eastern Bengal, where the
agitation had been much fiercer than in Bengal proper, the energy and
devotion displayed by the Lieutenant-Governor in fighting a serious
threat of famine had won for him the respect of many of his opponents,
and the situation was beginning to lose some of its acuteness when it
was suddenly announced that Sir Bampfylde Fuller had resigned. The
effect was instantaneous. The points at issue between Sir Bampfylde
Fuller and the Government of India have been fully and frequently
debated, and it is needless to discuss here the reasons given for his
resignation, or for its prompt acceptance by the Viceroy. What I am
concerned with is the effect produced by that incident. It was immediate
and disastrous. The Bengalee leaders took heart. They claimed Sir
Bampfylde's downfall as their triumph--theirs and their allies' at
Westminster. Those, on the other hand, who imagined that it was Sir
Bampfylde's methods that had intensified the agitation and that his
removal would restore peace--even the sort of half peace which had been
so far maintained in Bengal proper under the milder sway of Sir Andrew
Fraser--were very soon undeceived. For if for a short time Sir Bampfylde
Fuller's successor was spared, the Government of Eastern Bengal was
compelled before long to take, more vigorous measures than he had ever
contemplated, and the agitation, which had hitherto refrained from
exhibiting its more violent aspects in Bengal proper, not only ceased to
show any discrimination, but everywhere broadened and deepened. The
veteran leaders, who still posed as "moderates," ceased to lead or,
swept away by the forces they had helped to raise, were compelled to
quicken their pace like the Communist leader in Paris who rushed after
his men exclaiming:--_Je suis leur chef, il faut bien que je les suive_.
The question of Partition itself receded into the background, and the
issue, until then successfully veiled and now openly raised, was not
whether Bengal should be one unpartitioned province or two partitioned
provinces under British rule, but whether British rule itself was to
endure in Bengal or, for the matter of that, anywhere in India.

The first phase of unrest in Bengal, at any rate in its outward
manifestations, had been mainly political, and on the whole free from
any open exhibition of disloyalty to the British _Raj_. With the
Partition of Bengal it passed into a second phase in which, new economic
issues were superadded to the political issues, if they did not
altogether overshadow them, and the _Swadeshi_ movement and the boycott
soon imported methods of violence and lawlessness which had hitherto
been considered foreign to the Bengalee temperament. This phase did not
last for much more than a year after the Partition, for, when once
started on the inclined plane of lawlessness, the agitation rapidly
developed into a much wider and deeper revolt, in which _Swadeshi_ held
its place, but only in a subordinate position. The revolt began rapidly
to assume the revolutionary complexion, in the religious and social as
well as in the political domain, which Tilak had for years past, as we
have seen, laboured to impart to his propaganda in the Deccan, and, as
far as his personal influence and counsels availed, in every part of
India with which he was in contact. The ground had already been prepared
for this transformation by spadework in the Bengalee Press conducted by
two of Tilak's chief disciples in Bengal. One was Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal,
the bold exponent of _Swaraj_, whose programme I have already quoted.
The other was Mr. Arabindo Ghose, one of the most remarkable figures
that Indian unrest has produced. Educated in England, and so thoroughly
that when he returned to India he found it difficult to express himself
in Bengali, he is not only a high-caste Hindu, but he is one of those
Hindu mystics who believe that, by the practice of the most extreme
forms of _Yoga_ asceticism, man can transform himself into a super-man,
and he has constituted himself the high priest of a religious revival
which has taken a profound hold on the imagination of the emotional
youth of Bengal. His ethical gospel is not devoid of grandeur. It is
based mainly on the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna as revealed in the
_Bhagvad Gita_, and I cannot hope to define its moral purpose better
than by borrowing the following sentence from Mrs. Besant's introduction
to her translation of "The Lord's Song":--

   It is meant to lift the aspirant from the lower levels of
   renunciation where objects are renounced, to the loftier
   heights where desires are dead and where the Yogi dwells
   in calm and ceaseless contemplation, while his body and
   mind are actively employed in discharging the duties that
   fall to his lot in life.

This reading of the _Bhagvad Gita_ differentiates the newer Indian
conception of renunciation, which does not exclude but rather prescribes
the duty of service to society, from the older conception, which was
concerned merely to procure the salvation of the individual by his
complete detachment from all mundane affairs. With this gospel of active
self-sacrifice none can assuredly quarrel, but it is the revolutionary
form which Mr. Arabindo Ghose would see given to such activity that,
unfortunately, chiefly fascinates the rising generation of Bengalees.
For him British rule and the Western civilization for which it stands
threaten the very life of Hinduism, and therefore British rule and all
that it stands for must go, and in order that they may go every Hindu
must be up and doing. That Mr. Arabindo Ghose himself holds violence and
murder to be justifiable forms of activity for achieving that purpose
cannot be properly alleged, for though he has several times been placed
on his trial and in one instance for actual complicity in political
crime--namely, in the Maniktolla bomb case--and though he is at present
a fugitive from justice, the law has so far acquitted him. But that his
followers have based upon his teachings a propaganda by deed of the most
desperate character is beyond dispute. It has been openly expounded with
fanatical fervour and pitiless logic in a newspaper edited by his
brother, Barendra Ghose, of which the file constitutes one of the most
valuable and curious of human documents.

Of the three Bengali newspapers that came into the field soon after
Partition as the explicit champions of revolution--- the _Sandhya_, the
_Navasakti_, to which Mr. Arabindo Ghose was himself a frequent
contributor, and the _Yugantar_--the last named achieved the greatest
and most startling popularity. It was founded in 1906 by Barendra Kumar
Ghose, a brother of Arabindo, and by Bhupendranath Dutt, only brother of
the celebrated Swami Vivekananda, who visited Europe and America as the
missionary of the Hindu revival and has been revered in India, since his
premature death in 1905, as a modern _rishi_ and a no less great one
than those of ancient Vedic times. Barendra Ghose, who had studied
history and political literature at Baroda, where Arabindo was a
Professor in the Gaekwar's College, had originally intended to start a
religious institution, and whilst he edited the _Yugantar_ he founded a
hostel for youths attending "National" schools. The _Yugantar_ set
itself to preach revolution as a religious even more than a political
movement. Its profession of faith is to be found in an article headed
"The Age of the Gita again in India":--

   God (i.e., Khrisna in the Gita) has said, "Oh, descendant
   of Bharata, whenever there be a decline of righteousness and
   the rise of unrighteousness, then I shall become incarnate
   again. I shall be born in every Yuga [era] to rescue the good,
   to destroy the wrongdoer, and to establish righteousness."

   In the _Dwapara-Yuga_ [the era which preceded the present
   _Kali-Yuga_, or era of darkness] when righteousness was on
   the wane and unrighteousness was springing up in the sacred
   land of India under the hands of Duryyodhana and other
   miscreants engaged in wickedness, then God, by becoming
   incarnate again and awakening his favourite disciple Arjuna
   to duty, re-established the kingdom of righteousness in India.
   At the present time righteousness is declining and unrighteousness
   is springing up in India. A handful of alien robbers is
   ruining the crores of the people of India by robbing the wealth
   of India. Through the hard grinding of their servitude,
   the ribs of this countless people are being broken to pieces.
   Endless endeavours are being made in order that this great
   nation by losing, as an inevitable result of this subjection,
   its moral, intellectual and physical power, its wealth, its
   self-reliance, and all other qualities, may be turned into the
   condition of the beasts of burden or be wholly extinguished.
   Why, oh Indians, are you losing heart, at the sight of many
   obstacles in your path, to make a stand against this unrighteousness?
   Fear not, oh Indians. God will not remain
   inactive at the sight of such unrighteousness in His kingdom.
   He will keep His word. Placing firm reliance on the promise
   of God, invoke His power, and He will descend in your midst
   to destroy unrighteousness. Do not be afraid. "When the
   lightning of heaven flashes in their hearts, men perform
   impossible deeds."

The article closes with a lyrical vision of the India of the future,
with "the independent flag of righteousness" unfurled, her virtues
restored, plague and famine banished, her industries brought to the
highest pitch of scientific development, her armies and fleets going
forth "to use the unlimited strength, knowledge, and righteousness of
India for the benefit of the whole world."

The _Yugantar_ at the same time set forth in a series of articles the
scheme by which the enfranchisement of India was to be achieved--a
scheme which was little more than a reasoned exposition of the methods
already adopted in the previous decade by Tilak in the Deccan. These
articles form a manual of directions for "the army of young men which is
the _Nrisinha_ and the _Varaha_ and the _Kalki_ incarnation of God,
saving the good and destroying the wicked"--the _Kalki_ incarnation
being that in which Vishnu is to come and deliver India from the
foreigner. To shake off slavery the first essential is that the educated
classes shall learn to hate slavery. Then the lower classes will soon
follow their lead. "It is easy to incite the lower classes to any
particular work. But the incitement of the educated depends on a firm
belief." Therefore the "poisonous" effects of slavery must be constantly
brought home, and "we must always be trying to destroy the present
unnatural liking for a state of servitude." The aspiration for freedom
must be converted into a firm resolve, and to divert the Bengalee "from
the unfailing attraction of a livelihood" to the cause of freedom "his
mind must be excited and maddened by such an ideal as will present to
him a picture of everlasting salvation." Public opinion must be built up
by the newspapers, "which must be filled with the discussion of the
necessity of independence and revolution," by soul-stirring musical and
theatrical performances, glorifying the lives of Indian heroes and their
great deeds in the cause of freedom, and by patriotic songs. "When in
the Mahratta country the high-souled Shivaji stood up for independence
the songs of the bards helped powerfully in his work." Above all, the
materials for "a great sacrifice for liberty" must be prepared. "The
stratagems known as resorting to cover in English military tactics are
very necessary in all political endeavour," and "the enemy" must be kept
constantly occupied by them. "A _Bande Mataram_ procession to-day, a
conference or congress to-morrow, a flourish of _Swadeshi_ speeches the
day after, and so on." A "great commotion may with advantage be made
over small incidents," but "it must always be remembered that these do
not constitute our real effort, and are very trifling accompaniments"
which serve to keep the enemy busy and the country awake "whilst we are
training," and the training consists in the organization, discreetly and
silently, of bands of young men "with power to conceal secret counsel"
and "to remain under complete obedience." Every band must "recognize the
cultivation of physical strength as a principal means of attaining our
object." Each band, working down from the chief town of the district,
must be connected with other bands, and all must be initiated in the
_Shakti mantra_--that _Shakti_ worship which constitutes one of the most
powerful and popular appeals to the sensuous side of Hindu mysticism. As
for arming the bands, there are different ways of collecting arms, and
in this business "there can be no considerations of right or wrong, for
everything is laid at the feet of the goddess of independence." Bombs
can be manufactured in secret places, and guns can be imported from
foreign countries, for "the people of the West will sell their own
Motherland for money," or they can be obtained from the native troops
who, "though driven by hunger to accept service under Government, are
men of our own flesh and blood," or, perhaps, even "secretly" from other
Great Powers. Funds also can be collected in similar ways. Much money is
required, and amongst other things for "secret preachers at home and
abroad." It can be obtained "by voluntary donations," or "by the
application of force," which is perfectly justifiable since the money is
to be taken and used "for the good of society." Thefts and dacoities
are, under normal conditions, crimes because they destroy the sense of
social security, but "to destroy it for the highest good is no sin, but
rather a work of religious merit." The taking of blood is, in the
circumstances, equally praiseworthy. "The law of the English is
established on brute force, and if to liberate ourselves we too must use
brute force, it is right that we should do so." Nor is this doctrine
merely stated in general terms:--

   Will the Bengali worshippers of _Shakti_ shrink from the
   shedding of blood? The number of Englishmen in this
   country is not above one lakh and a half, and what is the
   number of English officials in each district? If you are firm
   in your resolution you can in a single day bring English rule
   to an end. Lay down your life, but first take a life. The
   worship of the goddess will not be consummated if you sacrifice
   your lives at the shrine of independence without shedding blood.

These are the doctrines of revolutionary Hinduism expounded day by day
for nearly two years by a group of highly educated young Bengalees, the
effectiveness of whose appeal to sacred traditions was enhanced by
remarkable qualities of style. I have before me a letter from a Hindu
scholar who certainly has no sympathy with the methods advocated by the
_Yugantar_--"Nothing like these articles ever appeared before in Bengali
literature." "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,"
and this was essentially true in the case of the _Yugantar_. The
Government translator confessed in the High Court that he had never
before read, in Bengali, language so lofty, so pathetic, and so
stirring, that it was impossible to convey it in an English translation.
Yet, the writers had never learnt to write Bengali in their school-days,
and the organ tone of Milton, which was distinctly audible in the
Bengali, betrayed their English education. The sale was unbounded. The
circulation of the _Yugantar_ rose to over 50,000, a figure never
attained before by any Indian newspaper, and sometimes when there was a
special run upon a number the Calcutta newsboys would get a rupee for a
single copy before the issue was exhausted. So great indeed was the
demand that the principal articles, forming a complete gospel of
revolution, were republished in a small volume, entitled _Mukti con
pathe_: "Which way does salvation lie?" Not only were these appeals to
racial and religious passion reflected in many other papers all over
Bengal, but the most lamentable fact of all was that scarcely any native
paper, even amongst those of an avowedly moderate complexion, attempted
to counteract, or ventured to protest against, either the matter or the
tone of these publications. Their success, on the other hand, induced
not a few to follow suit. What is forgotten in England by the
uncompromising champions of the freedom of the Press is that in a
country like ours, with its party system fully represented in the public
Press, even the newspapers which either party may consider most
mischievous find their corrective in the newspapers of the other party.
In India that is not the case. There is no healthy play of public
opinion. The classes whose confidence in the British _Raj_ is still
unshaken are practically unrepresented in the Press, which is mostly in
the hands of the intellectuals, of whom the majority are drifting into
increasing estrangement, while the minority are generally too timid to
try to stem the flowing tide. Nor, if the "moderates" in Bengal were
overawed by the violence of the new creed, can the whole blame be laid
upon their shoulders when one remembers how little was being done by
Government, and how ineffective that little was to check this
incendiarism. Though there were many Press prosecutions, and action was
repeatedly taken against the _Yugantar_ in respect of particular
articles, the limited powers possessed by Government were totally
inadequate, and it was not till the Indian Newspapers (Incitement to
Offences) Act was passed in June, 1908, that the _Yugantar_ was
suppressed. In the meantime it had left an indelible mark on Indian
history, and many innocent victims paid with their lives for the
extraordinary supineness displayed during those first disastrous two
years of Lord Minto's administration.

The list of outrages and deeds of violence which had begun in Bengal in
1907 grew heavier and heavier as 1908 wore on, but none perhaps created
such a sensation there as the murder of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy, who were
killed at Muzafferpur on April 30, 1908, by a bomb intended for the
Magistrate, Mr. Kingsford. The bomb had been thrown by a young Bengalee,
Khudiram Bose, and it was the first occasion on which an Indian had used
this product of modern science with murderous effect. The excitement was
intense. The majority of the Bengalee papers, it is true, were fain to
reprobate or at least to deprecate this particular form of propaganda,
but such comments were perfunctory, whilst they generally agreed to cast
the whole responsibility upon an alien Government whose resistance to
their "national" aspirations goaded impatient patriotism to these
extremes. Even amongst many who did not actually sympathize with the
murderer there seems to have been a lurking sense of pride that it was a
Bengalee who had had the courage to lay down his life in the striking of
such a blow. Khudiram Bose at any rate was not "lily-livered." Khudiram
Bose at any rate had shown that "determination" with the lack of which
the writers in the _Yugantar_ had so often taunted their fellow-countrymen.
So for the Nationalists of Bengal he became a martyr and a hero. Students
and many others put on mourning for him and schools were closed for two or
three days as a tribute to his memory. His photographs had an immense sale,
and by-and-by the young Bengalee bloods took to wearing _dhotis_ with
Khudiram Bose's name woven into the border of the garment.

Bomb explosions followed in quick succession in Calcutta itself, and a
secret manufacture of explosives was discovered in a suburban garden.
Norendranath Gosain, who had turned approver in this last case, was shot
dead in Alipur Gaol, and a Hindu police-inspector in the streets of
Calcutta. Four attempts made upon the life of the Lieutenant-Governor of
Bengal, Sir Andrew Fraser, showed how little effect leniency had upon
the growing fierceness of the revolutionists. Scarcely a month and often
not a week passed without adding to the tale of outrages. I need not
recite them in detail. Perhaps the most significant feature was the
double purpose many of them indicated of defeating the detection and
punishment of crime and of striking terror into Indians who ventured to
serve the British, _Raj_[8]. Thus, on February 10, 1909, Mr. Ashutosh
Biswas, the Public Prosecutor and a Hindu of high character and
position, was shot dead outside the Alipur Police Court, and, in like
manner nearly a year later, Mr. Shams-ul-Alam, a Mahomedan Inspector of
the Criminal Investigation Department in the High Court itself of
Calcutta. Sedition was seething over the greater part of both Bengals,
and though the agricultural population remained for the most part
untouched or indifferent, there were few even of the smaller towns and
larger villages that were not visited by the missionaries of revolution.
_Swadeshi_ and the boycott were now merely an accompaniment to the
deeper and more menacing trumpet-call of open revolt, but they helped
"to keep the country awake" even where the true spirit of _Swaraj_ had
not yet been kindled. The _mofussil_ was honeycombed with secret
societies, whose daring dacoities served not only to collect the sinews
of war, but to impress the timid and recalcitrant with the powerlessness
of the State to protect them against the midnight raider. Truly the
teachings of the _Yugantar_ were bearing fruit, even to the laying down
of life and the taking of life. Unlike the majority of Bengalee
agitators, the writers in the _Yugantar_, it must be admitted, did not
flinch from the danger of practising what they taught. Most of them came
ultimately within the grasp of the Criminal Code, and Barendra Ghose,
who was arrested in connexion with the manufacture of bombs in the
Maniktolla garden, was sentenced to death, though subsequently
reprieved. His brother, Arabindo, on the other hand, though arrested at
the same time, had the good fortune to be acquitted. The work done by
the _Yugantar_ lived, nevertheless, after it, and is still living.

A very heavy responsibility must at the same time attach to those
responsible both at home and in India for the extraordinary tolerance
too long extended to this criminal propaganda. For two whole years it
was carried on with relative impunity under the very eyes of the
Government of India in Calcutta. Month after month they must have seen
its audacity grow in direct proportion to official apathy. They must
have seen a reign of lawlessness and intimidation spread steadily over a
great part of the Metropolitan province. The failure of the ordinary
machinery of justice to check these crying evils was repeatedly brought
home to them. Yet it was not until 1908 that the necessity of
exceptional measures to cope with an exceptional situation was tardily
and very reluctantly realized. The Indian Explosive Substances Act and
Summary Justice Act of 1908, together with the Press Act of the same
year and the more drastic one enacted last February, have at last to
some extent checked the saturnalia of lawlessness that continued, though
with signs of abatement, into the beginning of this year. The Press Act
of 1910, especially, seems to have really arrested the poisonous flow
of printer's ink and with it the worst forms of crime to which it
maddened the feverish blood of Bengal. But some of those who are most
intimately acquainted with the inner workings of the revolutionary
movement hold strongly that none of these enactments had such an
immediately sobering effect as the deportation of the nine prominent
Bengalees who were arrested at the end of 1908. Such a measure is, I
know, very repugnant to British traditions and British sentiment, and in
this particular instance it unfortunately included two men whose
criminal guilt was subsequently believed not to be altogether beyond
doubt, though it may well have been argued that by financing and
administering a dangerous organization such as the _Anusilan Samiti_
they made themselves responsible for the deeds of its members.
Nevertheless, the deportation struck just at that type of agitator whose
influence is most pernicious because it is most subtle, and whose
responsibility is greatest because of his more experienced years and
greater social position. Such a measure, however, is only warranted in
extreme circumstances and cannot be transformed into indefinite
detention. The grounds on which Government announced the release of
these deportees last winter were even more unhappily chosen than the
moment for the announcement, but the event seems so far to have
justified Lord Minto's confidence, though one of the deported agitators,
Pulin Bahari Das, of Dacca, has had to be rearrested and is now under
trial at Dacca for conspiracy of a most serious character. There is
still much lawlessness in both Bengals.[9] The continued prevalence of
political dacoities, and especially the difficulty experienced in
securing legal evidence against them, are distinctly unfavourable
symptoms. There are many peaceful citizens who will give private
information as to the outrages committed by these bands, consisting
mainly of youths of respectable connexions, but that so few have the
courage to face terrorism by going into the witness-box shows that the
secret societies which inspire such terror have not yet been broken up.
The extent to which disaffection is rampant in the native Bar also
hampers the administration of justice, for whilst there is an eager
competition for earning political notoriety by an eloquent defence of
political prisoners, it is sometimes difficult to find pleaders who will
undertake to conduct prosecutions. On the other hand, it is all to the
good that many of those who were ready to coquet with sedition in its
earlier stages or who had not the moral courage to speak out against it
seem now to be taking heart, and in this respect the reforms embodied in
the Indian Councils Act have usefully supplemented the sobering effect
of repressive legislation. For one of the stock arguments of "advanced"
politicians has been the failure of the "moderates" to obtain any
recognition from Government, and the enlargement of the Legislative
Councils took the sting out of that taunt. Independently, however, of
the reforms, the extreme violence of language and of methods which had
come into vogue was bound to produce some reaction. Amongst the educated
classes, many respectable fathers of families, whatever their political
opinions may be, have taken fright at the growth of turbulence and
insubordination in schools and colleges, which were often carried into
the home circle; for when once the principle of authority has been
undermined the parent's authority cannot remain unshaken. In the same
way some even of the "advanced" leaders have been alarmed by the
development of secret societies which often attract young men of very
good connexions, and they have proposed to use for the detection and
suppression of dacoities the local bands of "national volunteers" whom
they formerly helped to organize for the purpose of enforcing the
boycott and stimulating unrest. How far, even if unreservedly exercised,
the influence of such men as Mr. Surendranath Banerjee will be as potent
for checking the mischief as it was for promoting it remains to be
seen. For the present also the boycott is being discountenanced in the
same quarters, though Mr. Banerjee, presumably to "save his face,"
professes to have agreed only to a suspension pending the revision of
Partition. But his paper, the _Bengalee_, is almost the only one that
pretends to regard the Partition as still an open question. It has been
eclipsed by far graver issues, of which the further development cannot
yet be foreseen.

The return to more sober counsels seems to be confined unhappily to the
older generation, and the older generation, even if we include in it the
middle-aged, must before long pass away. What we have to reckon with,
especially in Bengal, is the revolt of the younger generation, and this
revolt draws its inspiration from religious and philosophical sources
which no measures merely political, either of repression or of
conciliation, can reach. It often represents a perversion of the finest
qualities, as, apparently, in the case of Birendranath Gupta, who
murdered Shams-ul-Alam in the Calcutta High Court last January. An
English missionary who knew him well assured me that in his large
experience of Indian youths he had never met one of more exemplary
character or higher ideals, nor one who seemed more incapable of
committing such a crime. The oaths and vows administered on initiation
to secret societies are not directed only to political ends. They impose
on the initiates in the most explicit terms a life of self-denial, and
sometimes celibacy; and though these vows do not always avail against
some of the worst forms of sensuality, it would be foolish and wrong to
generalize from unworthy exceptions. In its moral aspects the revolt of
young Bengal represents very frequently a healthy reaction against sloth
and self-indulgence and the premature exhaustion of manhood which is
such a common feature in a society that has for centuries been taught to
disregard physiological laws in the enforcement of child marriage. To
this extent it is a revolt, though in the name of Hinduism, against
some of the worst results of the Hindu social system, and that it has
spread so largely amongst the Brahmans of Bengal shows that it has
affected even the rigidity of Brahmanism. Thus, whereas we have seen in
Kolhapur the Brahmans of the Deccan assert that in this "age of
darkness" there can be no Kshatriyas, their fellow-caste-men in Bengal
are quite willing to invest Kayasthas with the sacred thread, on the
ground that they are really of Kshatriya descent, in order to stimulate
martial virtues amongst the Bengalees by reviving for their benefit the
old Vedic caste of warriors. Equally significant is the propaganda that
has been carried on by Brahmans amongst the Namasudras, a large and
mainly agricultural caste, chiefly located in the Jessor district of
Bengal and the Faridpur district of Eastern Bengal. The purpose of the
propaganda was political, but the inducement offered to the Namasudras
in order to stimulate their Nationalism was that the Brahmans would
relax the rigour of caste in favour of those who took _the Swadeshi_
vow, and it is stated that, in several villages where they succeeded in
making a large number of converts, the Brahman agitators marked their
approval by condescending to have their "twice-born" heads shaved by the
village barber--an act which, however trivial it may seem to us,
constituted an absolutely revolutionary breach with a 3,000 years-old
past.

On the other hand, the constant invocation of the "terrible goddess,"
whether as Kali or as Durga, against the alien oppressors, shows that
Brahmanism in Bengal is equally ready to appeal to the grossest and most
cruel superstitions of the masses. In another of her forms she is
represented holding in her hand her head, which has been severed from
her body, whilst the blood gushing from her trunk flows into her open
mouth. A very popular picture of the goddess in this form has been
published with a text to the effect that the great goddess as seen
therein symbolizes "the Motherland" decapitated by the English, but
nevertheless preserving her vitality unimpaired by drinking her own
blood. It is not surprising that amongst extremists one of the favourite
euphemisms[10] applied to the killing of an Englishman is "sacrificing a
white goat to Kali." In 1906 I was visiting one of the Hindu temples at
Benares and found in the courtyard a number of young students who had
come on an excursion from Bengal. I got into conversation with them, and
they soon began to air, for my benefit, their political views, which
were decidedly "advanced." They were, however, quite civil and friendly,
and they invited me to come up to the temple door and see them sacrifice
to Kali a poor bleating kid that they had brought with them. When I
declined, one of them who had already assumed a rather more truculent
tone came forward and pressed me, saying that if I would accompany them
they would not mind even sacrificing a white goat. There was a general
shout of laughter at what was evidently regarded by the others as a huge
joke. I turned away, though I did not then understand its grim humour,
as I do now.

The blind hatred of everything English with which the younger generation
is so largely saturated can only, in most cases, be the result of the
teachings that have impressed upon them the existence of a fundamental
antagonism between Hindu ideals and ours. Like the wretched Kanhere at
Nasik, they would have to admit that they never suffered injustice
themselves nor knew of any one who had. A great many have never come
into contact with a single Englishman, and their ignorance even of the
system of government under which they live is profound. Not the least
ominous symptom is that this spirit of revolt seems to have obtained a
firm hold of the zenana; and the Hindu woman behind the _purdah_ often
exercises a greater influence upon her husband and her sons than the
Englishwoman who moves freely about the world. Absolute evidence in such
matters is difficult to obtain, but there was a very significant and
quite authentic case last year, which I may as well quote here, though
it occurred in the Bombay Presidency. Two Brahman ladies of good
position from Bombay were discovered at Kolhapur wearing the garb of
_sanyasis_, i.e., mendicant ascetics. They confessed that they had left
their homes, to which the police wisely restored them, to invoke the
assistance of a great ruling chief of Southern India in a plot to
exterminate the hated foreigner, and their main object in starting upon
this insane venture had been to regain their hold upon their husbands'
affections by a great "patriotic" achievement. That real _sanyasis_ are
frequently the missionaries of sedition is certain, and their reputed
sanctity gives them access to the zenana. In Bengal even small boys of
so tender an age as still to have the run of zenanas have, I am told,
been taught the whole patter of sedition, and go about from house to
house dressed up as little _sanyasis_ in little yellow robes preaching
hatred of the English.

The question is, can we extricate the better elements from this tangle
of passion and prejudice? There are many foul spots in the Hindu revival
in Bengal, apart even from tendencies which we cannot but regard as
politically criminal. At the same time there runs through it a strain of
idealism which probably constitutes its real force, and also our danger.
For strangely emotional and often a creature of his senses, the Bengalee
is accessible to spiritual influences with which the worldly-ambitious
Brahmanism of the Deccan, for instance, is rarely informed. He is always
apt to rush to extremes, and just as amongst the best representatives of
the educated classes there was in the last century a revolt against the
Hindu social and religious creed of their ancestors which tended first
towards Christianity or at least the ethics of Christianity and then
towards Western agnosticism, so the present revolt may be regarded in
some of its aspects as a reaction against these earlier tendencies; and
in spite of its extreme violence it may not be any more permanent. The
problem is still full of unknown quantities; but the known quantities
are at any rate sufficient to make us appreciate its gravity.



CHAPTER VIII

THE PUNJAB AND THE ARYA SAMAJ.


The Punjab, the Land of the Five Rivers, differs as widely both from the
Deccan and from Bengal as these two differ the one from the other. It
has been more than any other part of India the battlefield of warring
races and creeds and the seat of power of mighty dynasties. Among its
cities it includes Imperial Delhi and Runjit Singh's Lahore. It is a
country of many peoples and of many dialects. It is the home of the
Sikhs, but the Mahomedans, ever since the days of the Moghul Empire,
form the majority of the population, and the proportion of Hindus is
smaller than in any other province of India, except Eastern Bengal.
Owing to the very small rainfall, its climate is intensely dry--fiercely
hot during the greater part of the year, and cold even to freezing
during the short winter months. Nowhere in India has British rule done
so much to bring peace and security and to induce prosperity. The
alluvial lands are rich but thirsty, and irrigation works on a scale of
unparalleled magnitude were required to compel the soil to yield
beneficent harvests. At the most critical moment in the history of
British India it was against the steadfastness of the Punjab, then under
the firm but patriarchal sway of Sir John Lawrence, that the Mutiny
spent itself, and until a few years ago there seemed to be no reason
whatever for questioning the loyalty of a province which the forethought
of Government and the skill of Anglo-Indian engineers were gradually
transforming into a land of plenty. Least of all did any one question
the loyalty of the Sikhs. Many of them believed that British rule was
the fulfilment of a prophecy of one of their martyred _gurus_, and the
Sikh regiments were regarded as the flower of the Native Army.

Yet it was in the Punjab, at Lahore and at Rawal Pindi, that the first
serious disturbances occurred in 1907 which aroused public opinion at
home to the reality of Indian unrest, and stirred the Government of
India to such strong repressive measures as the deportation of two
prominent agitators under an ancient Ordinance of 1818 never before
applied in such connexion. Local and temporary causes may to some extent
have accounted for those disturbances. An increase in the land revenue
demanded in the Rawal Pindi district was very strongly resented. The
regulations issued with regard to the tenure of land in some of the new
irrigation colonies were probably unwise and carried out with some
harshness. Famine in the unirrigated tracts, and especially the plague,
which had desolated parts of the province, had created much misery and
bitterness. Other and more remote causes of a social and economic
character had also been at work. Nowhere had Anglo-Indian legislation
and the introduction of elaborate forms of legal procedure produced
results more unfortunate and less foreseen by their authors than in the
Punjab. The conversion of the occupants of the land into full
proprietors was intended to give greater stability and security to the
peasant ownership of land, but the result was to improve the position of
the moneylender, who, owing to the thriftlessness of the Indian _rayat_
and the extravagant expenditure to which he is from time to time driven
by traditional custom in regard to marriages, funerals, and other family
ceremonies, has always played a disastrously important part in village
life. As M. Chailley remarks in his admirable study of these problems,
"the agricultural debtor had now two securities to offer." He had
always been able to pledge his harvest, and now he could pledge also his
land. On the other hand, "a strict system of law and procedure afforded
the moneylender the means of rapidly realizing his dues," and the
pleader, who is himself a creation of that system, was ever at the elbow
of both parties to encourage ruinous litigation to his own professional
advantage. Special laws were successively enacted by Government to check
these new evils, but they failed to arrest altogether a process which
was bringing about a veritable revolution in the tenure of land, and
mainly to the detriment of an essentially peaceful and law-abiding class
that furnished a large and excellent contingent to the Native Army. The
wretched landowner who found himself deprived of his land by legal
process held our methods rather than his own extravagance responsible
for his ruin, and on the other hand, the pleaders and their clients, the
moneylenders, who were generally Hindus, resented equally our
legislative attempts to hamper a process so beneficial to themselves.

But all these were only contributory causes. There were still deeper
influences at work which have operated in the Punjab in the same
direction as the forces of unrest in the Deccan and in Bengal, but
differ from them nevertheless in their origin and in some of their
manifestations. In the Punjab too the keynote of unrest is a spirit of
revolt not merely against British administrative control, but, in theory
at least, against Western influence generally, though in some respects
it bears very strongly the impress of the Western influence which it
repudiates. The motive force is not conservative Brahmanism as in the
Deccan, nor does it betray the impetuous emotionalism of Bengal. It is
less rigid and purely reactionary than the former, and better
disciplined than the latter.

Orthodox Hinduism ceased to be a dominant factor in the Punjab when the
flood of Mahomedan conquest swept over the land of the Five Rivers. Even
Islam did not break the power of caste, and very distinct traces of
caste still survive amongst the Mahomedan community itself. But nowhere
has caste been so much shaken as in the Punjab, for the infinity of
sub-castes into which each caste has resolved itself gives the measure
of its disintegration. Sikhism still represents the most successful
revolt against its tyranny in the later history of Hinduism. Hence the
relatively slight ascendency enjoyed by the Brahmans in the Punjab
amongst the Hindus themselves, even the Brahmans having split up into so
many sub-castes and sub-sub-castes that many a non-Brahman Hindu will
hardly accept food cooked by the lower order of Brahmans--and, next to
inter-marriage, food is the great test of caste. Nevertheless it is
amongst the Hindus of the Punjab that one of the earliest apostles of
reaction against the West has found the largest and most enthusiastic
body of followers. Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya
Samaj, was a Brahman of Kathiawar; he was not born in the Punjab, and it
was not in the Punjab but in Bombay, where, however, it struck no roots,
that he founded the Arya Samaj. Only in the later years of his life did
the Punjab become the chief centre of his activities. The doctrines he
taught were embodied by him in his _Satyarath Prakash_, which has become
the Bible of his disciples, and in his _Veda Bashya Basmika_, a
commentary on the Vedas. He had at an early age lost faith in the Hindu
Pantheon, and to this extent he was a genuine religious reformer, for he
waged relentless war against the worship of idols, and whether his
claims to Vedantic learning be or be not conceded, his creed was "Back
to the Vedas." His ethical code, on the other hand, was vague, and he
pandered strangely in some directions to the weaknesses of the flesh,
and in others to popular prejudices. Nothing in the Vedas, for instance,
prohibits either the killing of cattle or the eating of bovine flesh.
But, in deference to one of the most universal of Hindu superstitions,
Dayanand did not hesitate to include cow-killing amongst the deadliest
sins. Here we have in fact the keynote of his doctrines. The sanctity of
the cow is the touchstone of Hindu hostility to both Christian and
Mahomedan, and the whole drift of Dayanand's teachings is far less to
reform Hinduism than to rouse it into active resistance to the alien
influences which threatened, in his opinion, to denationalize it. Hence
the outrageously aggressive tone of his writings wherever he alludes
either to Christianity or to Mahomedanism. It is the advent of
"meat-eating and wine-drinking foreigners, the slaughterers of kine and
other animals," that has brought "trouble and suffering" upon "the
Aryas"--he discards the word Hindu on account of its Persian
origin--whilst before they came into the country India enjoyed "golden
days," and her people were "free from disease and prosperous and
contented." In fact, "Arya for the Aryans" was the cry that frequently
predominated in Dayanand's teachings over that of "Back to the Vedas,"
and Lajpat Rai, one of his most zealous disciples, has stated
emphatically that "the scheme of Swami Dayanand has its foundation on
the firm rock of _Swadeshi_ and _Swajati_."

Since Dayanand's death the Arya Samaj has split up into two
sections--the "vegetarians" who with regard to religious doctrine may be
described as the orthodox, and the "meat-eaters," as the
latitudinarians. It is difficult to differentiate between the precise
tendencies of these two sections, whose feuds seem to be waning. In both
are to be found not a few progressive and enlightened Aryas who,
whatever their political activities may be, have undoubtedly applied
themselves with no small success to the carrying out of that part of
Dayanand's gospel which was directed to the reforming of Hinduism. Their
influence has been constantly exerted to check, the marriages between
mere boys and almost infant girls which have done so much physical as
well as moral mischief to Hindu society, and also to improve the
wretched lot of Hindu widows whose widowhood with all that it entails of
menial degradation often begins before they have ever really been wives.
To this end the Aryas have not hesitated to encourage female education,
and the Girls' Orphanage at Jalandhar, where there is also a widows'
home, has shown what excellent social results can be achieved in that
direction. Again in the treatment of the "untouchable" low-castes, the
Arya Samaj may claim to have been the first native body to break new
ground and to attempt something akin to the work of social reclamation
of which Christianity and, in a lesser degree, Islam had hitherto had
the monopoly. Schools and especially industrial classes have been
established in various districts which cannot fail to raise the _status_
of the younger generation and gradually to emancipate the lower castes
from the bondage in which they have been hitherto held. These and many
other new departures conceived in the same liberal spirit at first
provoked the vehement hostility of the orthodox Hindus, who at one time
stopped all social intercourse with the Arya reformers. But whereas in
other parts of India the idea of social reform came to be associated
with that of Western ascendency and therefore weakened and gave way
before the rising tide of reaction against that ascendency, it has been
associated in the Punjab with the cry of "Arya for the Aryans," and the
political activities of the Arya Samaj, or at least of a number of its
most prominent members who have figured conspicuously in the
anti-British agitation of the last few years, have secured for it from
Hindu orthodoxy a measure of tolerance and even of good will which its
social activities would certainly not otherwise have received. That the
Arya Samaj, which shows the impress of Western influence in so much of
its social work, should at the same time have associated itself so
intimately with a political movement directed against British rule is
one of the many anomalies presented by the problem of Indian unrest.

Many Aryas, indeed, deny strenuously that the Samaj is disaffected, or
even that it concerns itself with politics, and the president of the
Lahore branch, Mr. Roshan Lal, assured me that it devotes itself solely
to moral and religious reform. I do not question that assurance, as far
as Mr. Roshan Lal is himself personally concerned, and it may be true
that the Samaj has never committed itself as a body to any political
programme, and that many individual members hold aloof from politics;
but the evidence that many others, and not the least influential, have
played a conspicuous part in the seditious agitation of the last few
years, both in the Punjab and in the neighbouring United Provinces, is
overwhelming. In the Rawal Pindi riots in 1907 the ringleaders were
Aryas, and in the violent propaganda which for about two years preceded
the actual outbreak of violence none figured more prominently than Lala
Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh, both prominent Aryas. The immediate effect
produced by their deportation in restoring order is in itself
corroborative evidence of the share they were believed to have taken in
producing lawlessness. Ajit Singh himself is at the present moment a
fugitive from justice, against whom proceedings _in absentia_ were
instituted this winter in Lahore for translating and publishing
seditious books that dealt with the making of bombs, the taking of life,
the destruction of buildings, &c. In the course of these proceedings
letters from Lajpat Rai were produced in Court showing that just about
the time of the disturbances he had been in communication with Shyamji
Krishnavarma, of _Indian Sociologist_ fame, for a supply of books
"containing true ideas on politics" for the students of Lahore, as well
as for assistance towards defraying the cost of "political
missionaries." In one of these letters also Lajpat Rai, after remarking
that "the people are in a sullen mood" and that "the agricultural
classes have begun to agitate," adds significantly that his "only fear
is that the bursting out may not be premature." Lajpat Rai's
correspondent was another prominent Arya, Bhai Parmanand, who, whilst he
was Professor at the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, was found in
possession of various formulae for the manufacture of bombs, including
the same manual that was discovered in the Maniktola Garden at
Calcutta.

In Patiala, one of the Sikh native States of the Punjab, Aryas
constituted the great majority of defendants, 76 in number, and many of
them officials and persons of position, who were put on their trial last
December for seditious practices. So seriously were the charges felt to
reflect upon the Arya Samaj as a whole that one of its leading legal
members was briefed on its behalf for the defence. From the speech made
by counsel for the prosecution in opening the case it appears that some
of the defendants were schoolmasters, who were charged with preaching
revolutionary doctrines in their schools and carrying on correspondence
of the same character with old pupils; others were charged with
circulating papers of the _Yugantar_ and _Swarajiya_ type; others with
holding secret meetings and delivering inflammatory lectures; others
again with distributing pictures and photographs of well-known
revolutionists, including Khudiram Bose, the Muzafferpur murderer. Not
only were most of these defendants Aryas, but they were very prominent
Aryas, who had founded local branches of the Samaj or been members of
committees in the State of Patiala. How far the evidence outlined by
counsel would have borne out these charges it is impossible to say,
though one may properly assume it to have been of a very formidable
character, for after the case had been opened against them the
defendants hastened to send in a petition invoking the clemency of the
Maharajah. They expressed therein their deep sorrow for any conduct open
to misconstruction, tendered their unqualified apology for any
indiscreet acts they might have committed, and testified their "great
abhorrence and absolute detestation" of anarchists and seditionists and
their diabolical methods. His Highness thereupon ordered the prosecution
to be abandoned, but at the same time banished the defendants from his
State and declared their posts to be forfeited by such as had been in
his service, and only in a few cases were these punishments
subsequently remitted.

The large number of Aryas who have unquestionably taken part in the
political agitation of the last few years certainly tends to corroborate
the very compromising certificate given only two years ago to the Samaj
by Krishnavarma himself in his murder-preaching organ. He not only
stated that "of all movements in India for the political regeneration of
the country none is so potent as the Arya Samaj," but he added that "the
ideal of that society as proclaimed by its founder is an absolutely free
and independent form of national Government," and Krishnavarma, it must
be remembered, had been appointed by Dayanand to be a member of the
first governing body in the lifetime of the founder and, after his
death, one of the trustees of his will.

What makes the question of the real tendencies of the Arya Samaj one of
very grave importance for the future is that it has embarked upon an
educational experiment of a peculiar character which may have an immense
effect upon the rising generation. One of its best features is the
attention it has devoted to education, and to that of girls as well as
of boys. But it was not till 1898 that the governing body of the Samaj
in the Punjab decided to carry into execution a scheme for restoring the
Vedic system of education which Dayanand had conceived but had never
been able to carry out. Under this system the child is committed at an
early age to the exclusive care of a spiritual teacher or _guru_, who
stands to him _in loco parentis_ and even more, for Manu says that "of
him who gives natural birth, and of him who gives knowledge of the
Vedas, the giver of sacred knowledge is the more venerable father, since
second or divine birth ensures life to the twice-born, both in this
world and eternally." In the _gurukuls_ or seminaries founded by the
Arya Samaj pupils or _chelas_ are admitted between the ages of six and
ten. From that moment they, are practically cut off from the outer world
during the whole course of their studies, which cover a period of 16
years altogether--i.e., ten years in the lower school and six years in
the upper, to which they pass up as _Brahmacharis._ During the whole of
that period no student is allowed to visit his family, except in cases
of grave emergency, and his parents can only see him with the permission
of the head of the _gurukul_ and not more than once a month. There are
at present three _gurukuls_ in the Punjab, but the most important one,
with over 250 students, is at Kangri, in the United Provinces, five
miles from the sacred city of Hardwar, where the Ganges flows out of a
gorge into the great plain. A large and very popular _mela_ or fair is
held annually at Kangri, and it is attended by the _Brahmacharis,_ who
act as volunteers for the maintenance of order and collect funds for the
support of their _gurukul_. The enthusiasm is said to be very great, and
donations last year are credibly reported to have exceeded 300,000
rupees.

Life in the _gurukuls_ is simple and even austere, the discipline
rigorous, the diet of the plainest, and a great deal of time is given to
physical training. As the _chelas_ after 16 years of this monastic
training at the hands of their _gurus_ are to be sent out as
missionaries to propagate the Arya doctrines throughout India, the
influence of these institutions in the moulding of Indian character and
Indian opinion in the future cannot fail to be considerable. Some five
years more must elapse before we shall be able to judge the result by
the first batch of _chelas_ who will then be going forth into the world.
For the present one can only echo the hope tersely expressed a few
months ago by Sir Louis Dane, the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, in
reply to assurances of loyalty from the President of the Arya Samaj,
that "what purports to be a society for religious and social reform and
advancement may not be twisted from its proper aims" and "degenerate
into a political organization with objects which are not consonant with
due loyalty to the Government as established." But neither the spirit of
Dayanand's own teachings nor the record of many of his disciples,
including some of those actually connected with the _gurukuls_, is in
this respect encouraging.

There has been, however, no recurrence of serious disturbances in the
Punjab since 1907, and if the native Press lost little of its virulence
until the new Press Act of this year, and numerous prosecutions bore
witness to the continued prevalence of sedition, the province has been
free from the murderous outrages and dacoities which have been so
lamentable a feature of the unrest in Bengal and in the Deccan. None the
less there is still a very strong undercurrent of anti-British feeling.
It has partly been fostered in the large cities by Bengalee immigrants
who have come into the Punjab in considerable numbers, and thanks to
their higher education have acquired great influence at the Bar and in
the Press, but it is rife wherever the Arya Samaj is known to be most
active, and the Arya Samaj has already proved a very powerful
proselytizing agency. Its meeting houses serve not only for religious
ceremonies, but also as social clubs for the educated classes in all the
larger towns where they congregate. Access to them is readily given to
Hindus and Sikhs who have not actually joined the Samaj. They are
attracted by the political discussions which are carried on there with
great freedom, and having no such resorts of their own, they are soon
tempted to obtain the fuller privileges of membership. In this way the
Samaj has made many converts among the educated classes and even among
native officials. But its influence is by no means confined to them. It
makes many converts among the Sikhs, and not a few among _Nau-Muslims_
or Mahomedans who have embraced Islam in relatively recent times and
mainly for the purpose of escaping from the tyranny of caste. For the
same reason it attracts low-caste Hindus, for though it does not
ostentatiously denounce or defy caste, it has the courage to ignore it.
Though the Arya leaders are generally men of education and sometimes of
great culture, they know how to present their creed in a popular form
that appeals to the lower classes and especially to the agricultural
population. One of the most unpleasant features has been the propaganda
carried on by them among the Sepoys of the Native Army, and especially
among the Jats and the Sikhs, with whom they have many points of
affinity. The efforts of the Aryas seem to be chiefly directed to
checking enlistment, but they have at times actually tampered with the
loyalty of certain regiments, and their emissaries have been found
within the lines of the native troops. Sikhism itself is at the present
day undergoing a fresh process of transformation. Whilst it tends
generally to be reabsorbed into Hinduism, the very remarkable movement
for sinking the old class distinctions--themselves a survival of
caste--and recognizing the equality of all Sikhs, is clearly due to the
influence of the Arya Samaj. The evolution of the Arya Samaj recalls
very forcibly that of Sikhism, which originally, when founded by Nanak
in the early part of the 16th century, was merely a religious and moral,
reform movement, and nevertheless within 50 years developed under Har
Govind into a formidable political and military organization. It is not,
therefore, surprising that some of those who know the Punjab best and
the sterner stuff of which its martial races are made look upon it as a
potentially more dangerous centre of trouble than either the Deccan or
Bengal. One of the most mischievous results of the Aryan propaganda, and
one which may well cause the most immediate anxiety, is the growing
antagonism which it has bred between Hindus and Mahomedans, for the
Mahomedans are convinced that the Arya Samaj is animated with no less
bitter hostility towards Islam than towards British rule.



CHAPTER IX.

THE POSITION OF THE MAHOMEDANS.


Whilst I was at Delhi one of the leading Mahomedans of the old Moghul
capital drove me out one afternoon to the great Mosque which still bears
witness, in the splendour of its surviving fragments quite as much as in
the name it bears, _Kuwwat ul Islam_, or Power of Islam, to the ancient
glories of Mahomedan rule in India. Two or three other Mahomedan
gentlemen had come out to meet us, and there, under the shadow of the
Kutub Minar, the loftiest and noblest minaret from which the Musulman
call to prayer has ever gone forth, we sat in the Alai Darwazah, the
great porch of red sandstone and white marble which formed the south
entrance to the outer enclosure of the Mosque, and still presents in the
stately grandeur of its proportions and the infinite variety and
delicacy of its marble lattice work, one of the most perfect monuments
of early Mahomedan art, and discussed for upwards of two hours the
future that lies before the Mahomedan community of India. It is a scene
I shall never forget, so startling was the contrast between the racial
and religious pride of power which those walls had for centuries
reflected and the note of deep and almost gloomy apprehension to which
they now rang. For if the burden of my friends story was reasoned
loyalty to the British _Raj_, it was weighted with profound anxiety as
to the future that awaited the Mahomedans of India, either should our
_Raj_ disappear or should it gradually lose its potency and be merged in
a virtual ascendency of Hinduism under the specious mantle of Indian
self-government. They spoke without bitterness or resentment. They
acknowledged freely the shortcomings of their own community, its
intellectual backwardness, its reluctance to depart from the ancient
ways and to realize the necessity of equipping itself for successful
competition under new conditions, its lack of organization, due to an
inadequate sense of the duty of social service, and the selfishness and
jealousy often displayed by different sections and classes. They were
beginning to awaken to the dangerous consequences of their shortcomings,
but would time be given to them to repair them? The British _Raj_ had
always claimed that its mission in India was to hold the balance evenly
between the different races and creeds and classes, and to exercise its
paternal authority equally to the detriment of none and for the benefit
of all. That the Hindus had from the beginning secured a considerably
larger share in Government employment of all kinds was, no doubt,
inevitable, as they had shown much greater alacrity to qualify
themselves by education on Western lines than the Mahomedans,
unfortunately, had until much more recently begun to show. But so long
as Government _employés_ were merely the servants of Government, and
Hindus had no more influence than the Mahomedans in shaping the policy
of the Government, the Mahomedans had no serious grievance, or, at any
rate, none for which they had not themselves very largely to blame. But
of late years they had seen the policy of the British Government itself
gradually yielding to the pressure of Hindu agitation and the British
_Raj_ actually divesting itself of some of the powers which it had
hitherto retained undiminished for the benefit, in fact if not in
theory, of certain classes which, however loudly they might claim to be
the representatives of the Indian people, represented with few
exceptions nothing but the political ambitions of aggressive Hinduism.
The Mahomedans, they assured me, recognized quite as fully as, and
perhaps, more sincerely than, the Hindus the generous spirit which had
inspired the British Government to grant the reforms embodied in the
Indian Councils Act, but they also realized what it was far more
difficult for Englishmen to realize, that those reforms must inevitably
tend to give the Hindus a predominant share, as compared with the
Mahomedans, in the counsels of Government. In its original shape the
scheme of reforms had indeed threatened the Mahomedans with gross
unfairness and the wrath which its subsequent modification in deference
to Mahomedan representations had roused among the Hindu politicians was
in itself enough to betray to all who had eyes to see and ears to hear
the purpose to which they had hoped to turn the excessive predominance
they had claimed and expected. That purpose was to advance the political
ascendency of Hinduism which was the goal of Hindu aspirations, whether
under the British _Raj_ or without it.

The whole tendency of the Hindu revival, social, religious, and
political, during the last 20 years had been as consistently
anti-Mahomedan as anti-British, and even more so. Some of the more
liberal and moderate Hindu leaders no doubt honestly contemplated the
evolution of an Indian "nation" in which Mahomedan and Hindu might sink
their racial and religious differences, but these were leaders with a
constantly diminishing body of followers. Even among the Extremists not
a few would gladly have purchased by pious professions of good will a
temporary alliance with the Mahomedans against the British _Raj_,
subject to an ulterior settlement of accounts for their own benefit. But
the Mahomedans, with their many close points of contact with the Hindus,
knew, as Englishmen could not know, what were the real sentiments and
hopes of the advanced leaders into whose hands passed the control of
militant Hinduism. They had noted the constant exhortation of the Hindu
Nationalist Press that the youth of India must prepare for the coming
Lalki incarnation of Vishnu when the _mlencchas_--i.e., the infidels,
Moslem as well as British--should be driven out of India. The attitude
of the Hindus towards the Mahomedans of Eastern Bengal, after the
Partition, had shown how they resented the position that the creation of
the new province gave the Moslem element. Nor had the Mahomedans in the
Punjab been left without a foretaste of what was to come. In every
Government office, in every profession, the Hindus were banding
themselves closer and closer together against their few Mahomedan
colleagues. The Mahomedans had refused to join in the boycott of British
goods, and in Delhi, in Lahore, and in many other cities the word had
been passed round among the Hindus not to deal with Mahomedan shops, not
to trade with Mahomedan merchants. Some of the more violent spirits were
even prepared to challenge the Mahomedans in places where the Mahomedan
element is strong and excitable, in order that the inevitable
intervention of the British troops for the restoration of order should
lead to the shedding of Mahomedan blood, and thus perhaps drive the
Mahomedans themselves in to disaffection. What educated Mahomedans, they
told me, chiefly feared, and the Hindus themselves chiefly hoped--for
new of them probably believed in any speedy overthrow of British
rule--was that the British Government and the British people would be
wearied by an agitation of which it was difficult for Englishmen to
grasp the real inwardness into making successive concession to the
Hindus which would gradually give them such a controlling voice in the
government of the country that they would actually be in a position to
achieve their policy of ascendency under the aegis of the British _Raj_.
Such fears might seem exaggerated, but the Mahomedans could not but take
note of the extent to which the Hindu politicians had already secured
the ear of an important section of the British Press and of not a few
members of the British Parliament, whilst in those same quarters the
Mahomedan case never even obtained a hearing, and when the Mahomedans at
last realized the necessity of creating an organization for the defence
of their legitimate interests they were denounced for reviving racial
and religious hatred. For 20 years and more the educated Mahomedans had
strictly followed the advice of their revered leader, Sir Syed Ahmed,
and had put their trust in the sense of justice of the British
Government and the fair-mindedness of the British people instead of
plunging into political agitation. They had not lost their faith in the
British Government or in the British people if their case was properly
put before them, but they felt that if they were not to become the
victims of organized misrepresentation they must have an organization of
their own which should speak for them with authority. Moreover, it was
impossible for the Mahomedans to stand any longer completely aloof from
politics, since the general trend of events in India and the enlargement
of the Indian Councils had thrust new responsibilities upon the leaders
of their community. Of those responsibilities none was more fully
realized than that of showing their loyalty to the British _Raj_--a
loyalty all the more unalterable in that it was based upon their growing
conviction that the maintenance of the British _Raj_ was essential to
the welfare, and even to the existence, of the Mahomedans of India.

As I write I have before me a letter from another Mahomedan friend, a
man both of European education and very wide knowledge of his Indian
co-religionists, with whom he enjoys exceptional credit. I was so much
impressed with the prevalence of this form of fatalism that I wrote and
asked him for his opinion. This is his answer:--

   Moslems feel that while at present the Government in India
   is British in spirit as well as in name, there are already indications
   that it might gradually become Hindu in fact, though
   the British form might remain. The whole object of the
   advanced Congress Party and of the leaders of the Nationalist
   movement is not the overthrow of British rule in name, but in
   fact. You may say that this is a wild apprehension, and that
   the Government is not foolish enough or weak enough to
   degenerate into a mere form. That may be the attitude
   of an Englishman who is in India only as a bird of passage
   (and all Englishmen are there as birds of passage, for only those
   whose children belong to the country are permanently bound
   up with it). For us who live here, and whose children are to
   live here, the distant as well as the immediate future is of
   essential importance. Now what is the tendency of Government?
   Can any one deny that, taken as a whole, it is towards
   Hindu predominance in the long run? English observers
   must not forget that there is throughout India amongst Hindus
   a strong tendency towards imitating the National movements
   that have proved successful in European history. Now,
   while _vis-à-vis_ the British the Hindu irreconcilables assume
   the attitude of the Italian patriots towards the hated Austrian,
   _vis-à-vis_ the Moslems there is a very different European
   model for them to follow. Not only Tilak and his school in
   Poona, but throughout the Punjab and Bengal the constant
   talk of the Nationalists is that the Moslems must be driven
   out of India as they were driven out of Spain.

   This is no invention of ours. Nor is it quite so wild as it
   appears at first sight. I have gone into the matter carefully
   and I can certainly conceive circumstances--50 or 100 years
   hence--that would make India intolerable for our upper middle
   classes; and once you get rid of the intelligent and wealthy
   Moslems the masses could be reduced to absolute subjection
   in the hands of Hindu rulers. Far be it from me to say that
   all Hindus are of this purpose or that the school of "liberal
   Nationalism" to which Gokhale belongs has ceased to exist.
   But the other school predominates, and as our very existence
   is at stake we Moslems do not want to take any risks or to see
   even the very first steps taken towards transforming the
   British into a Hindu _raj_. Yet those steps are now being taken,
   though not quite so fast as we at one time feared and Hindus
   expected. That the sad and terrible fate which our people
   had in Spain may still be ours in India is a proposition that
   sounds extravagant at first, but I for my part (and most
   thoughtful Moslems agree with me) consider it quite possible,
   and in a matter of such moment we must take possibilities
   as well at probabilities into consideration.

   The Imperial problem in India is not to get this or that law
   changed, or so and so many troops increased, or such and such
   measures of repression or concession adopted. It is to bring
   about a new mental and spiritual attitude, and to replace
   the narrow "Nationalism" of the present day by a broad
   and truly liberal Imperialism in the practical sense of securing
   general recognition for India's difficulties and divisions, and for
   the natural and necessary maintenance of the British connexion
   and of British rule. The statesman who can suggest
   practical means for carrying out this intellectual conversion
   will certainly have saved England and India much unhappiness
   and disaster.

On the other hand, I am bound to say that there are also many Mahomedans
who, though professing similar apprehensions, show no disposition
towards fatalistic resignation. For they believe that, whatever may be
the fate of the British _raj_, the future must belong to the more virile
peoples of India, and certainly those who do not merely put their trust
in the fighting traditions of a conquering race may find a good deal of
encouragement for the faith within them from the vital statistics of
Hindus and Mahomedans respectively in India.

Whilst it is most important that nothing should be done to give colour
to the idea sedulously promoted by the Hindu politician that Government
intend to favour, or, as he generally puts it, to "pamper," the
Mahomedans at the expense of the Hindus, it is equally important that
Government should do nothing to strengthen the apprehensions entertained
by so many intelligent and educated Mahomedans. Those apprehensions are
no doubt exaggerated, and may even be quite unfounded; but they
correspond exactly with what I have been told were Tilak's hopes and
anticipations, and if we will only take the trouble to try to see things
as they may well strike an Indian Mahomedan we can hardly dismiss them
as wholly unreasonable.

The antagonism between the two communities is not the creation or the
result of British rule. It is the legacy of centuries of conflict before
British rule was ever heard of in India. It has been and must be one of
the chief objects of British statesmanship to compose this conflict, and
the Mahomedans do not deny that their British rulers have always
desired to deal as fairly with them as with the Hindus. They hold,
however, that, as a matter of fact, British rule has in many ways worked
out to the relative detriment of Mahomedan influence and to the greater
advantage of the Hindus. Nor is that fact rendered any more palatable to
the Mahomedans because it is mainly due to the greater adaptability and
suppleness displayed by the Hindus ever since India has been brought
into contact with Western education and Western methods. The
establishment of English as the official language of the Law Courts and
of all public Departments necessarily favoured the Hindus by displacing
Persian and the vernaculars in which the Mahomedans were most
proficient. At the present day the vast majority of Indians employed in
every branch of the Government service are Hindus, and this majority is
entirely out of proportion to the numerical preponderancy of the Hindu
community at large[11]. According to the last Census Report the Hindus
of Bengal (which was then unpartitioned), though only twice as numerous
as the Mahomedans, held 1,235 higher appointments under Government in
Bengal, as against only 141 held by Mahomedans. In the Bombay Presidency
the Hindus held 266 such appointments, as against 23 held by Mahomedans;
and in the Central Provinces 339, as against 75. Of the provinces in
reference to which the report furnishes detailed statistics the United
Provinces alone failed to show the same disparity, the number of posts
held by the Mahomedans, 453, against 711 held by Hindus, being actually
and very largely in excess of their proportion to population. The
Mahomedans, moreover, complain that where Mahomedans are employed as
clerks in Government Departments the head clerks, who are almost always
Hindus and alone have direct access to the English superior officers,
use their influence with the latter to prejudice them against their
Mahomedan subordinates. Education has passed very largely from our own
hands into those of Hindu teachers. In all the liberal professions, at
the Bar, in the Press, the preponderance of Hindus is greatly out of
proportion even to the numerical preponderance of the Hindu population
as a whole. Intelligent Mahomedans are conscious that all this is to a
great extent the result of the backwardness of their community, but
hardships are none the less hardships because they are largely of one's
own making. Again, the principal seat of the Government of India and
those of the two great Presidency Governments are in centres of Hindu
life where the voice of the Mahomedan element does not make itself
easily heard.

Then Mahomedans who watch public opinion in England note that one of the
two great parties in the State has for many years past professed to
recognize in the views of Hindu politicians a commendable affinity to
its own political principles, whilst the memory of its greatest leader,
Mr. Gladstone, is chiefly associated in India with a violent hostility
to Turkey, which, at any rate amongst many of his followers, degenerated
into violent denunciations of Islam in general. By his personal
qualities Lord Ripon, the most pronounced Liberal ever sent out in our
time as Viceroy, endeared himself to many Mahomedans as well as to the
Hindus, but he never made any secret of his political sympathies with
Hindu aspirations. Whilst Unionist Governments were in office, with only
one short break during a period of nearly 20 years, and especially
whilst Lord Curzon was Viceroy, the alliance between the Hindu leaders
and Radical politicians at home became more and more intimate. The Hindu
National Congress, which the Mahomedans had come to regard as little
more than a Hindu political organization, was not only generally
acclaimed by English newspapers of an advanced complexion as the
exponent of a new-born Indian democracy, but it had founded[12] in
London an organ of its own, _India_, subsidized out of its funds, and
edited and managed by Englishmen, which may not have a very large
circulation at home, but is the chief purveyor of Indian news to a large
part of the Liberal Press. When Radical members of Parliament visited
India the views they chiefly cared to make themselves acquainted with or
reproduced when they went home were the views of Hindu politicians, and
when the latter visited England they could always depend upon the
demonstrative hospitality not only of Radical clubs and associations but
also of the Radical Press for their political propaganda.

When the Liberal Party returned to power at the end of 1905 the majority
in the new House of Commons included a very active group that identified
itself wholeheartedly with a campaign which, in Bengal, soon assumed a
character of scarcely less hostility to the Mahomedans than to the
British Administration, and the new Government announced their intention
of preparing a scheme of reforms which, whatever its merits, was greeted
in India as a concession to Hindu rather than to Mahomedan sentiment.
For the Mahomedan has always been a believer in personal rule, and one
of the objects of the reforms scheme was to diminish to some extent that
element in the Indian Administration. Moreover, when it was first
outlined by the Secretary of State, the scheme contained provisions
which seemed to the Mahomedans to be at variance both with principles of
fair and equal treatment for all races and creeds and classes upon which
British rule had hitherto been based, and with the specific pledges
given by the Viceroy to the Mahomedan deputation that waited upon him
four years ago at Simla when the reforms were first contemplated. The
new representation in the enlarged Indian Councils was based
proportionally upon a rough estimate of the populations of India which
credited the Hindus with millions that are either altogether outside the
pale of Hinduism or belong to those castes which the majority of
educated Hindus of the higher castes still regard as "untouchable." The
effect would have been to give the Hindus what the Mahomedans regarded
as an unfairly excessive representation. Happily, though, the question
trembled for a long time in the balance, Lord Morley listened to the
remonstrances of the Mahomedans, and in its final shape the Indian
Councils Act made very adequate provision for the representation of
Mahomedan interests. But the Mahomedans saw in the angry disappointment
of the Hindu politicians when the scheme was thus modified ample
justification for the fears they had entertained. Even as it is--and the
Mahomedans recognize both the many good points of the scheme and Lord
Morley's desire to deal fairly with them--these new reforms may well
seem to the Mahomedans to have enured mainly to the benefit of the
Hindus. The Mahomedans appreciate as warmly as the Hindus the
appointment of an Indian member to the Viceroy's Executive Council, and
if the first Indian member was to be a Hindu they admit that Mr. Sinha
had exceptional qualifications for the high post to which he was called.
The Indian members added under the now Act to the Executive Councils of
Bombay and Madras are also both Hindus, and another Hindu will almost
certainly be nominated in like manner to the Executive Council of
Bengal. None of these appointments may be open to objection, but the
fact nevertheless remains that it is the Hindus and not the Mahomedans
who will have had the immediate benefit of this new departure to which
Indian opinion attaches the greatest importance.

The fact is that the more we delegate of our authority in India to the
natives of India on the principles which we associate with
self-government, the more we must necessarily in practice delegate it to
the Hindus, who form the majority, however much we may try to protect
the rights and interests of the Mahomedan minority. This is what the
Mahomedans know and fear. This is what explains their insistence upon
separate electorates wherever the elective principle comes into play in
the composition of representative bodies. It is not merely that they
have yet to learn the elementary business of electoral organization, in
which the Hindus, on the contrary, have shown great proficiency, and
that they have consequently fared badly even in local bodies where their
numbers ought to have secured them more adequate representation. Many
Mahomedans realize the disadvantage of locking up their community in a
watertight compartment, but they regard it as the lesser evil. It is,
they contend, an essential safeguard not only against an excessive Hindu
predominance in elective or partly elective bodies, but also against the
growing disposition which they note amongst those who claim to be the
spokesmen of the rising British democracy to accelerate the rate at
which political concessions should be made to Hindu opinion, and also to
disregard the claim of the Mahomedan minority to be protected against
any abuse by the Hindus of the power which a majority must necessarily
wield.

My object is to explain the views actually held by the leaders of the
Indian Mahomedan community, rather than to endorse or to controvert
them. Even if the construction they place upon the attitude of their
Hindu fellow-countrymen and of an influential section of British public
opinion be wholly unreasonable, the fact that that attitude is liable to
such a construction is one which we ought to bear in mind. Nor can it be
disputed that, however generous the sentiments that prompt us to
delegate some part of our authority to elective or partly elective
assemblies, it must to some extent diminish the power of the Executive
to ensure that equality of treatment for all races and creeds and
classes by which we have hitherto justified our rule in India. Our sense
of equity should make us, therefore, all the more scrupulously careful
to adjust the balance as evenly as possible under the new conditions
which we are ourselves creating, and to err, if at all, in favour of the
protection of minorities. Elementary considerations of statesmanship
impose the same obligation upon us.

The Mahomedans of India form more than a fifth of the whole population.
They are not racially any more homogeneous than the Hindus, and except
towards the north-western frontier, where they are to be found chiefly
amongst the half-tamed tribes of the Indian borderland, and in the
Punjab and United Provinces, where there are many descendants of the
Moslem conquerors, they consist chiefly of converted Hindus who accepted
Islam as a consequence of Mahomedan rule. But whatever racial
differences there may be amongst them, they are now bound together by a
creed which has an extraordinary welding power. That there are also
explosive potentialities in their creed the Wahabi rising in Bengal
little more than 30 years ago and the chronic turbulence of the tribes
and frequent exploits of _ghazis_ on the north-western frontier are
there to show. But amongst the large body of Mahomedans scattered
through India, and especially amongst the higher classes, Islam has in a
great measure lost its aggressive character. Surrounded on all sides by
an overwhelming majority of Hindus, whose religion he regards as
detestably idolatrous, the Indian Moslem is inclined to sink his
hostility to Christianity and to regard us less as "infidels" than as
fellow-believers in the central article of his monotheistic faith, the
unity of God. We, too, in his eyes are a "People of the Book," though
our Book is not the Koran, but the Bible, of which he does not
altogether deny the sacred character. Other things also often draw him
towards the Englishman. The Englishman to him represents a ruling race,
and to such an one he feels that he who also represents a once ruling
race can yield a more willing allegiance than to any one of a race which
he himself ruled over. Equally his fighting and his sporting instincts
also appeal to many Englishmen. Hence both Englishmen and Mahomedans in
India frequently feel that they have more in common than either of them
has with the Hindu. The Mahomedans, moreover, consisting very largely of
the most virile races in India, have always furnished some of the best
contingents of the British Indian Army. Their loyalty has never wavered
except during the Mutiny, and modern Indian writers of the Nationalist
school are themselves at pains to show that, though the mutineers
rallied round the feeble descendant of the Moghul Emperors as the only
available figurehead, and many Mahomedans proved themselves good
"patriots," it was Hindus like Nana Sahib and Tantia Tope and the Ranee
of Jhansi who were the real heroes and moving spirits of that "War of
Indian Independence."

In our day the British connexion has had no stouter and more convinced
supporter than the late Sir Syed Ahmad, than whom no Mahomedan has
deserved or enjoyed greater influence over his Indian co-religionists.
Not only does his educational work, based on the English public school
system, live after him in the college which he founded at Aligarh, but
also his political faith which taught the vast majority of educated
Mahomedans to regard their future as bound up with the preservation of
British rule. The revival of Hinduism has only served to strengthen that
faith by bringing home to the Mahomedans the value of British rule as a
bulwark against the Hindu ascendency which in the more or less remote
future they have unquestionably begun to dread. The creation of a
political organization like the All-India Moslem League, which is an
outcome of the new apprehensions evoked by Hindu aspirations, may appear
on the surface to be a departure from the teachings of Sir Syed Ahmad,
who, when the Indian National Congress was appealing in its early days
for Mahomedan support, urged his people to hold altogether aloof from
politics and to rely implicitly upon the good will and good faith of
Government. But things have moved rapidly since Sir Syed Ahmad's time,
and when the British Government themselves create fresh opportunities
for every Indian community to make its voice heard in political counsel,
the Mahomedans hold that none can afford to stand back.

The Moslem League founded by the Aga Khan, one of the most broad-minded
and highly-educated of Indians, with the full approval of the late Nawab
Mohsin-ul-Mulk, the confidant and successor of Sir Syed Ahmad, is
moreover not merely or even chiefly a political organization. It is
intended to serve as a centre for the maintenance and consolidation of
the communal interests of the Mahomedans all over India in their social,
educational, and economic as well as political aspects. Its programme
was unfolded at the annual meeting of the League held in January last at
Delhi both in an address read on behalf of Mr. Ameer Ali, who was
detained in England by his duties on the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council, and in a speech delivered by the Aga Khan, the recognized
leader of the whole community. The programme of the Moslem League puts
forward no such ambitious demands as self-government for India. All it
asks for is "the ordered development of the country under the Imperial
Crown." It accepts the reforms with much more gratitude and enthusiasm
than were displayed by the spokesman of the Indian National Congress at
Lahore, and it accepts them in no narrow or sectarian spirit. The Aga
Khan was in fact at special pains to indicate the various directions in
which Mahomedans and Hindus might and ought to act in harmonious
co-operation. The functions of the Mahomedan representatives on the new
Councils would, the Aga Khan said, be threefold.

   In the first place they must co-operate as representative
   Indian citizens with other Indians in advancing the well-being
   of the country by working wholeheartedly for the
   spread of education, for the establishment of free and universal
   primary education, for the promotion of commerce and
   industry, for the improvement of agriculture by the establishment
   of co-operative credit and distribution societies, and
   for the development of the natural resources of India. Here,
   indeed, is a wide field of work for Hindus and Mahomedans
   acting together. In the second place our representatives
   must be ready to co-operate with the Hindus and all other
   sections of society in securing for them all those advantages
   that serve their peculiar conditions and help their social
   welfare, for although the two sister communities have developed
   on different lines, each suffers from some peculiar
   weakness in addition to the misfortunes common to
   general economic and educational backwardness. And then
   our representatives must watch and promote social measures
   required exclusively for the benefit of their Moslem co-religionists,
   with the co-operation, we hope, of the Hindu
   members, for we too have needs that are not known to them
   and which we alone can fully understand.

No language could be more generous or more statesmanlike. The Aga Khan
doubtless realizes that, whatever the more or less remote future may
have in store for the two communities, their increasing antagonism in
consequence of the aggressive tendencies, displayed by Hindu
"nationalism" during the last few years is pregnant with immediate
danger, and nowhere more so than in the Punjab where he was speaking.
Not only have the preachers of the Arya Samaj, taking their cue from the
writings of their apostle Dayanand, frequently indulged, both in the
Press and on the platform, in outrageous attacks upon the Mahomedans'
religion, but the militant Hindus have visited upon the Mahomedans their
refusal to join in an anti-British agitation by enforcing against them a
commercial and social boycott, none the less oppressive and damaging
because it is not openly proclaimed. The bitterness thus engendered
found vent in serious riots this year at Peshawar, just as it did in
Eastern Bengal, when the boycott campaign there was at its height. Even
in Hyderabad, the capital of the Nizam's dominions, where, under the
wise administration of a great Mahomedan ruler whose Prime Minister is a
Hindu, the relations between Moslem and Hindu have hitherto been quite
harmonious, a change is gradually making itself felt under the
inspiration of a small group of Bengali Hindus who have brought with
them the Nationalist cry of "Arya for the Aryan." The animosity which
has always existed between the Mahomedans and the Hindus, especially
amongst the lower orders, has been a constant source of anxiety to
Anglo-Indian administrators. As far as it springs from the clash of
religious beliefs, social customs, and historical traditions, it can
only be eradicated by the slow process of education. The most trivial
incident, the meeting of rival processions, the maltreatment of a cow,
so sacred to the Hindus, some purely personal quarrel suddenly leads to
violent affrays in which the whole populace on both sides joins in
without knowing even what it is all about. The danger must be enormously
heightened if one community begins to believe that the other community
is compassing deep-laid schemes for the promotion of its own ultimate
ascendancy. The political agitation conducted by the Hindus has for some
time past tended to create such a belief amongst the Mahomedans. As far
back as 1893, at the time of the Bombay riots and of Tilak's
"anti-cow-killing" propaganda in the Deccan, which spread sporadically
to other parts of India, the Bombay Government reported "an uneasy
feeling among Mahomedans that they and their faith were suffering at the
hands of the Hindus, that they were being gradually but surely edged out
of the position they have hitherto held, and that their religion needed
some special protection." That uneasy feeling has gradually ripened
since then into a widespread and deep-rooted conviction--not the least
of the many deplorable results of a movement that claims to be called
"national."

It would be an evil day for the internal peace of India if a people
still so proud of their history, so jealous of their religion, and so
conscious of their virile superiority as the Mahomedans came to believe
that they could only trust to their own right hand, and no longer to the
authority and sense of justice of the British _Raj_, to avert the
dangers which they foresee in the future from the establishment of an
overt or covert Hindu ascendancy. Some may say that it would be an
equally evil day for the British _Raj_ if the Mahomedans came to believe
in the futility of unrequited loyalty and joined hands with its enemies
in the confident anticipation that, whatever welter might follow the
collapse of British rule, they could not fail sooner or later to fight
their way once more to the front. Certainly at no time since we have
ruled India has greater circumspection been needed in holding the
balance between the two communities. It would be as impolitic to forget
that the Mahomedans have held steadfastly aloof from the anti-British
movement of the last few years and represent on the whole a great
conservative force, as to create the impression amongst the Hindus at
large, of whom the vast majority are still our friends, that we are
disposed to visit upon them the disloyalty of what is after all a small
section of their community by unduly favouring the Mahomedans at their
expense.



CHAPTER X.

SOUTHERN INDIA.


Unrest in its most dangerous forms has hitherto been almost entirely
confined to the Deccan, Bengal, and the Punjab. It has spread to some
extent from the Bombay Presidency into the Central Provinces, which,
indeed, include part of the Deccan, and it has overflowed both from
Bengal and from the Punjab into some of the neighbouring districts of
the United Provinces. But thanks very largely to the firm and
experienced hands in which the administration of the Central Provinces
under their Commissioner, Mr. Craddock, and that of the United Provinces
under their Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Hewett, have rested during
these troublous years, the situation there has never got seriously out
of hand. Except in Peshawar, where the political propaganda of a
somewhat militant colony of Bengalees has stimulated the latent
antagonism between Hindus and Mahomedans, our difficulties in the new
Frontier Province, as well as along the whole North-West frontier, are
of quite a different order, and though the turbulence of Pathan tribes
and the occasional outbreaks of Moslem fanaticism amongst them are a
cause of constantly recurring anxiety to the Government of India, it is
not amongst those hardy and only half-tamed hillsmen that the cry of
_Swadeshi_ and _Swaraj_ from Bengal or of "Arya for the Aryans" from the
Punjab is likely to elicit any response. Such echoes of far away
sedition as may reach their mountain fastnesses provoke only vague
wonder at the forbearance and leniency of British rulers, and if ever
the British _Raj_ were in jeopardy, Pathan and Baluch would be the first
to sharpen their swords and shoulder their rifles either in response to
our call or in order to descend on their own account, as their forbears
have done before, into the fair plains of Hindustan and carve out
kingdoms for themselves from the chaos that would follow the collapse of
British power. Along the North-East frontier British India marches with
semi-independent States that have little or nothing in common with the
rest of India. Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim are Himalayan highlands
inhabited chiefly by Mongolian Buddhists, who have far more affinity
with Tibetans and Chinese than with their Indian neighbours to the
south. Assam is little more than an administrative dependency of Eastern
Bengal, whilst Burma has been even more accurately described as a mere
appendage of India, attached for purposes of administrative convenience
to our Indian Empire, but otherwise as effectively divided from it by
race, religion, customs, and tradition as by the waters of the Bay of
Bengal and the dense jungles of the Patkai Mountains.

In none of these borderlands has Hinduism ever struck root, and in none
of them, therefore, is Indian Nationalism, which is so largely bound up
with Hinduism, likely to find a congenial soil. But that Southern India
where Hinduism is supreme should have remained hitherto so little
affected by the political agitation which has swept across India further
north from the Deccan to Bengal may at first sight cause some surprise.
Yet the explanation is not far to seek, if one bears in mind the
profound differences which nature itself has imposed upon this vast
sub-continent. Southern India, which may be defined as including the
whole of the Madras Presidency and the three native States of Mysore,
Cochin, and Travancore, differs, indeed, almost immeasurably from
Central and Northern India. South of the high, sun-scorched plateau of
the Deccan, from the mouth of the Kistna to the Indian Ocean, the great
Indian peninsula rapidly narrows. Tempered by more frequent rains and
the moist breezes which sweep across it from both the Malabar and the
Coromandel coasts, the climate is more equable and the heat, though more
continuous, is less fierce. The whole character of the country is
luxuriantly tropical, and though the lowlands are not more fertile than
the matchless delta of the Ganges, the more varied prodigality of nature
shows itself alike in the waving forests of cocoanut, which are common
all along the coast, in the rich tobacco-fields of Madura and
Coimbatore, in the plantations of cinchona, pepper, cardamoms, and other
spices on the slopes of the Nilgiri highlands, and in the splendid
growths of teak, ebony, and sandalwood that clothe the Western Ghats.
The population, which in some parts attains extraordinary density and
lives almost exclusively on the fruits of the soil, is of the old
Dravidian stock, industrious and frugal as in other parts of India, and
of a placid and gentle temper. Nowhere else in India does one come into
such close contact with its original non-Aryan peoples; and nowhere else
has the earliest type of religious and social institutions evolved by
the superior civilization of the Aryans been so completely preserved
from the disturbing influences of later ages. And yet--such are the
curious contrasts which abound in this strange country--nowhere else
does one find so many living survivals of the intercourse which occurred
from time to time between India and the West, many centuries before
Europe turned her eyes towards that Terra Incognita. Nowhere, for
instance, has Christianity made more converts of recent years, perhaps
because in Southern India there may still be found indigenous Christian
communities which trace their origin back to the first centuries of the
Christian era. Even if there be no historical foundation for the
tradition that it was St. Thomas the Apostle who himself first
evangelized Southern India, and was ultimately martyred at St. Thomas's
Mount near Madras, there is good authority for believing that
Christianity was imported not many centuries later into Southern India
by the Nestorian or Chaldæan missionaries from Persia and Mesopotamia,
whose apostolic zeal ranged all over Asia, even into Tibet and Tartary.
According to the Saxon chronicle, our own King Alfred sent alms to India
in 883 for St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew, and at that date there
certainly existed, besides some small Christian communities on the
Coromandel coast, two flourishing communities on the Malabar coast,
where the so-called Syrian Church has maintained itself to the present
day. Another curious and perhaps equally ancient link with the West may
still be seen to survive to-day in the small community of white Jews at
Cochin, which, according to their own tradition, was founded when their
forefathers were driven out of Palestine after the destruction of the
second Temple. To the charter which they still have in their possession,
inscribed, like most west coast title deeds, on copper plates, the date
assigned by the best authorities is about 700 A.D., and the powers and
privileges which were specifically conferred upon their ancestors show
that at that period already they had acquired in a remarkable degree the
confidence and friendship of the Hindu Kings of Malabar. The decline of
both Christian and Jewish communities seems to have begun, indeed, with
the appearance of the first Portuguese invaders from Europe, whose
incursions destroyed the peace and tolerance which Christian and Jew had
enjoyed in the days of undisturbed Hindu rule.

To what period the subjection of the old Dravidian stock to the superior
civilization of the Aryans dates back, or in what manner it was
continued, there is little as yet to show. All that is actually known is
that at some very remote period Aryan Hinduism was imported into
Southern India by Brahmans from the north, who established it in the
first place probably by force, and whose descendants have ever since
maintained the claims of their sacred caste to a position of religious
and social pre-eminence even greater than that which any other Brahmans
of the present day have succeeded in retaining. Nowhere else in India
does the Brahman, as such, wield the power and assert the prerogatives
which the Namputri Brahman enjoys on the Malabar coast. Even the
Maharajahs of Travancore, who by birth belong to the Kshatrya or warrior
caste, have to be "born again" by a peculiar and costly ceremony into
the superior caste before they ascend the throne, and one sept of the
Namputri Brahmans successfully exacts in the person of the head of the
Azhvancheri family recognition of its spiritual overlordship by personal
homage from the Maharajah once in every six years. Nothing, perhaps,
conveys more graphically the extraordinary sanctity which attaches to
the Brahman caste than the uncompromising manner in which all along the
Malabar coast they have enforced and maintained the laws of ceremonial
"pollution." Nowhere else have such stringent rules been enacted to fix
the precise distance at which the bodily presence of a member of the
lower castes is held to defile the sacred person of the Brahman. A Bazar
may approach, but must not touch him; a Chogan may not approach him
within 24 feet, nor a Kanisan within 36, nor a Pulayan within 64, nor a
Nayadi within 72 feet. Equally definite and elaborate are the manifold
restrictions on marriage, commensality, occupation, food, ceremonial
observances and personal conduct which affect the mutual relations not
only between the different castes but also between the innumerable
sub-castes into which the higher castes especially have in turns split
up. The laws which govern marriage, descent, and inheritance amongst the
more important castes throw a peculiarly interesting light on the
archaic type of society which has survived in Southern India. Under the
matriarchal system of _Manumakkathayam_, which on the Malabar coast
obtains to the present day, descent is traced only through the female
line. The male member of the family inherits, but he does so only as
the son of a female member of the family through whom he may justly
claim kinship, or, to put it in another form, a man's natural heir is
not his son, or his brother's son, or the descendant of a common male
ancestor, but his sister's, or his sister's daughter's son, or the
descendant of a common female ancestress. In the event of failure of
heirs through the female line, adoption is permissible, but the adoption
must be of females, through whose subsequent offspring the line of
natural descent may be carried on. With this ancient system are bound up
forms of matrimonial union and tenure of property into the complicated
and peculiar nature of which I need not enter here.

In the wild hill countries weird remnants of the most primitive races
still survive that have not yet been brought within the pale of
Hinduism, and here and there a sprinkling of Mahomedans remains as a
reminder of the shortlived incursions of Moslem conquerors from the
north. But ninety per cent. of the population consists of Hindus, and
the social and religious supremacy of Hinduism has never been seriously
assailed. Nowhere has Hindu architecture taken such majestic shape, the
massive pylons of Madura and Tanjore recalling the imperishable grandeur
of the noblest Egyptian temples on the Nile. Southern India is in fact a
land of stately shrines which dominate the whole country just as our own
great cathedrals dominated England in the Middle Ages. Yet in Southern
India, Hinduism has not assumed the aggressive character which it has
developed in other regions. Perhaps it feels too secure of the
unchallenged supremacy which it has enjoyed through the ages as a social
and religious force without ever aspiring to direct political
ascendancy. Perhaps the admixture of Dravidian blood has imparted to it
a more serene tolerance. Perhaps it appreciates more fully the relief
from the turmoils strife, and bloodshed which was brought to Southern
India by the advent of British rule. Compare the legend of a pre-British
"golden age" propagated by Tilak and his disciples in the Deccan and in
Bengal with the remarkable picture of the condition of Southern India at
the time when the British power first appeared on the scene which was
drawn by a Madras Brahman, the late Mr. Srinivasaraghava Iyangar:--

   Southern India had been devastated by wars, famines,
   and bands of plunderers; the cultivating classes were ground
   down by oppressive taxation, by the illegal exactions of the
   officers of Government, of the renters employed to collect
   the Government dues, and of the sowkars without whose
   assistance the ryots could not subsist and carry on their
   calling, and who kept them in a state little removed from
   perpetual bondage; trade was hampered by insecurity of
   property, defective communications, and onerous transit
   duties; the vast majority of the population suffered extreme
   hardships when there was even a partial failure of crops in
   small tracts, owing to the great difficulty and cost of obtaining
   supplies of grain from more favoured regions; the peasantry
   and even possessors of considerable landed property, when not
   holding office under Government themselves, were cowering
   before the pettiest Government officer and submitting to
   tortures and degrading personal ill-treatment inflicted on the
   slightest pretext; persons who had chanced to acquire
   wealth, if they belonged to the lower classes, dared not openly
   use it for purposes of enjoyment or display for fear of being
   plundered by the classes above them; the agricultural classes
   as a whole had few wants beyond those imposed by the
   necessity for bare subsistence, no ambition or enterprise to
   try untrodden ways, and no example to stimulate them to
   endeavour to better their condition, while the rigid usages
   of castes and communities in which society was organized
   repressed all freedom of action and restricted the scope for
   individual initiative. To understand the full significance
   of the change which has come over the country one has to
   contrast what he sees at present, unsatisfactory as it may
   appear from some points of view, with the state of things
   described above.... Remembering that methods of
   progress calculated to evoke national feeling and religious
   enthusiasm are unavailable under the conditions of the case,
   the progress that has been made ... is little short of
   marvellous.

It was from Madras that the British power set forth on its
unpremeditated course of conquest which was destined ultimately to
reach from Tuticorin to the Himalayas. Since the beginning of the
nineteenth century the Madras Presidency has been in the fortunate
position of having no history. Its northern rivals call it despitefully
the "benighted" Presidency. No epithet, however, could be more
undeserved, for if its annals for the last hundred years have been
unsensational, its record in respect of education, intelligent
administration, material prosperity, and all that goes with peaceful
continuous progress would entitle it rather to be called the "Model"
Presidency. The Native States of Southern India, and above all Mysore,
which was for many years under direct British administration, will
equally bear favourable comparison with any of the Native States of
Central or Northern India. From the standpoint of education, Southern
India has long held and probably still holds the lead, thanks in a great
measure to the large Christian communities which comprise more than
two-thirds of the whole Christian population of India. But in the
statistics of literacy based on the last census, the Brahmans figure at
the head of all the Hindu castes with the very creditable proportion of
578 males and 40 females per mille. The Western-educated classes in
Southern India, whilst as progressive as in any other part, show greater
mental balance than in Bengal, and less reactionary tendencies than in
the Deccan. Western education has been a steady and perhaps on the whole
a more solid growth in Southern India. It has produced a large number of
able and distinguished public servants of unimpeachable loyalty to the
British _raj_. The harvest yielded by the ingermination of Western ideas
has produced fewer tares. Educated Hindus of the higher castes have
played an important part in social reform, and many of them have been
associated with the moderate section of the Indian National Congress.
The enthusiastic reception given to Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal, during his
short crusade at Madras three years ago on behalf of _Swaraj_, showed
that, especially amongst the younger generation, there is at least an
appreciable minority who are ready to listen to the doctrines of
advanced Nationalism, and the existence of inflammable materials was
revealed in the riots which occurred not long afterwards at Tinnevelly
and Tuticorin, and again a year later at Guntur. But these appear to
have been merely sporadic outbreaks which were promptly quelled, and the
undisturbed peace which has prevailed since then throughout Southern
India, at a time when whole provinces in other parts have been
honeycombed with sedition, is one of the most encouraging features of
the situation. There is in the Hinduism of Southern India a peculiar
element of conservative quietism to which lawlessness in any form seems
to be repugnant. Probably also the racial cry of "Arya for the Aryans"
raised in the North of India as the watchword of an anti-British
movement is not calculated to rouse the blood of a purely Dravidian
population, however powerful the ties created by a common social and
religious system.



CHAPTER XI.

REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS OUTSIDE INDIA.


It required nothing less than the shock of a murder perpetrated in the
heart of London to open the eyes of those in authority at home to the
nature of the revolutionary propaganda which has been, and is still
being, carried on outside India in sympathy, and often in connivance,
with the more violent leaders of the anti-British agitation in India
itself. Even now it may be doubted whether they fully realize the
importance of the support which the extremists receive from outside
India. I am not alluding to the moral countenance which the Hindu
reaction has received from eccentric Americans and Europeans on the look
out for any novel religious sensation, or which "advanced" politicians
have derived from sympathetic members of Parliament and journalists in
England[13], but to the secret organizations established in Europe and
in America by the Indian extremists themselves as a base for hostile
operations against the British _Raj_. However loudly the extremists
protest against the importation of Western influences into India they
have certainly not been too proud to borrow the methods of Western
revolutionists. They have of all Indians been the most slavish imitators
of the West, as represented, at any rate, by the Irish Fenian and the
Russian anarchist. Their literature is replete with references to both.
Tilak took his "No-rent" campaign in the Deccan from Ireland, and the
Bengalees were taught to believe in the power of the boycott by
illustrations taken from contemporary Irish history. When the informer
Gosain was shot dead in Alipur gaol the Nationalists gloried in the
deed, which had far excelled that of Patrick O'Donnell, who shot dead
James Carey, the approver in the Phoenix Park murders, inasmuch as
Gosain had been murdered before he could complete his "treachery,"
whereas the murder of Carey had been only a tardy "retribution" which
could not undo the past. The use of the bomb has become the common
property of revolutionists all over the world, but the employment of
amateur dacoits, or armed bands of robbers, for replenishing the
revolutionary war-chest has been directly taken from the revolutionary
movement in Russia a few years ago. The annals of the Italian
_risorgimento_ have also been put under contribution, and whilst there
is no Indian life of Cavour, Lajpat Rai's Life of Mazzini and Vinayak
Savarkar's translation of Mazzini's Autobiography are favourite
Nationalist text-books of the milder order. European works on various
periods of revolutionary history figure almost invariably amongst
seizures of a far more compromising character whenever the Indian police
raids some centre of Nationalist activity. Hence in the literature of
unrest one frequently comes across the strangest juxtaposition of names,
Hindu deities, and Cromwell and Washington, and celebrated anarchists
all being invoked in the same breath.

Equally foreign in its origin has been the establishment of various
centres of revolutionary activity outside of India. In America there
appear to be two distinct organizations both having their headquarters
in California, and branches in Chicago, New York, and other important
cities. The Indo-American Association runs an English periodical, _Free
Hindustan_, which was originally started in Canada and thence
transferred to Seattle when it began to attract the attention of the
Canadian authorities. The moving spirits are students, chiefly from
Bengal, who have found ready helpers amongst the Irish-American Fenians.
They have also been able to make not a few converts amongst the
unfortunate British Indian immigrants who suffered heavily from the
anti-Asiatic campaign along the Pacific slope, and some of these
converts, being Sikhs and old soldiers, were of special value, as
through them direct contact could be established with the regiments to
which they had belonged, or, at any rate, with the classes from which an
important section of the native army is recruited. Large quantities of
seditious leaflets, circulated broadcast three years ago amongst Sepoys,
were printed in America. The other organization, called the Young Indian
Association, with "head centres" and "inner" and "outer circles" that
have a genuine Fenian ring, is even more "extreme," and is connected
with the "Indian Red Flag" in India, to which Khudiram Bose, who
murdered Mrs. and Miss Kennedy at Muzafferpur, and other young fanatics
of the same type belonged. The Young Indian Association seems to devote
itself chiefly to the study of explosives and to smuggling arms into
India. In Anglo-Indian official circles extreme reticence is naturally
observed in these matters, but from other sources I have seen evidence
to show that both these associations were in frequent communication with
the seditious Press all over India, in the Deccan as well as in Bengal
and in the Punjab.

The emergence of Japan has created so powerful an impression in India
that one is not surprised to find the Indian revolutionaries, who live
for the most part in the dreamland of their own ignorance, looking in
that quarter for guidance and even, perhaps, for assistance. But they
have been sorely disappointed. Indian students are well received in
Japan, but they are in nowise specially petted or pampered, and when
they begin to air their political opinions and to declaim against
British rule they are very speedily put in their place. Crossing the
Pacific from Japan to America last year I met one who had spent two or
three years at Tokyo and was going on to continue his technical studies
in the United States. He was a pleasant and intelligent young fellow,
and confessed to me that what he had seen in Japan had very much
modified the views he had held when he left Bengal as to the ripeness of
his fellow-countrymen for independence or self-government. He had
received a great deal of kindness from his Japanese professors, but the
general attitude of the Japanese was by no means friendly, and there was
no trace of sympathy with the political agitation in India. There is an
Indo-Japanese Society in Tokyo, but it has no connexion with politics,
and the Indians complain that it is run for the benefit of the Japanese
rather than for theirs. Those who have joined it in the hope of using it
as a base for anti-British operations have certainly got very little for
their pains. They occasionally write articles for the very few Socialist
papers of Japan, but their effective contribution to the cause is of
trifling account.

The most dangerous organization outside India was unquestionably that
which had its headquarters at the "India House" at Highgate. It was
there that Dinghra appears to have concocted the plot which resulted in
the murder of Sir W. Curzon Wyllie and Dr. Lalcaca, and though the
London correspondent of the _Kal_, Vinayak Savarkar, who was arrested
this year in London to take his trial on the gravest charges at Bombay,
magnified the success of the plot by describing its chief victim as "the
eyes of the Secretary of State through which he saw all Indian affairs,"
there is some reason to believe that Dinghra expected to find at the
reception another Anglo-Indian official whom the "extremists" were
particularly anxious to "remove," and only in his absence struck at Sir
W. Curzon Wyllie. There is reason, too, to believe that it was from this
"India House" also that came both the idea of murdering Mr. Jackson and
the weapons used by the murderer. Though students from all parts of
India were enticed into the "India House," the organization seems to
have been controlled by Deccan Brahmans, and in the first instance by
Shyamji Krishnavarma, who founded scholarships in connexion with it to
honour the Indian "martyrs" executed for murderous outrages in India.
When the authorities in London very tardily awoke after the murder of
Sir W. Curzon Wyllie to the dangerous nature of this organization, to
which _The Times_ first drew attention in the spring of 1908, it was
still controlled from the Continent by Krishnavarma, who had retreated
to Paris long before, leaving his lieutenants to carry on his campaign
amongst the young Indian students. The _Indian Sociologist_ itself
continued to be openly published in London and to advocate assassination
until the tragedy at the Imperial Institute led the authorities to take
woefully-belated action in prosecuting successively two printers of the
sheet, which was then transferred to Paris.

That altogether considerable quantities of incendiary literature have
been produced abroad and imported into India through these various
organizations is beyond doubt. Sometimes books like Savarkar's "War of
Indian Independence of 1857"--in its way a very remarkable history of
the Mutiny, combining considerable research with the grossest
perversions of facts and great literary power with the most savage
hatred--were bound in false covers as "Pickwick Papers," or other
equally innocuous works. Other seditious leaflets besides those for the
incitement of mutiny in the native army appear to have come from
America, whilst newspapers like the _Talvar_ and the _Bande Mataram_,
which preach the same gospel of murder as Krishnavarrna's _Indian
Sociologist_, are printed on the Continent of Europe. These papers are
either smuggled into India in large parcels or sent through the post in
envelopes addressed by name to students in schools and colleges, as well
as to schoolmasters, pleaders, Government _employés_--in fact, to all
sorts and conditions of people who, for some reason or other, are
supposed to be suitable recipients. They naturally fall sometimes into
quite the wrong hands.

The importance which the "extremists" attach to the maintenance of these
channels of communication with India appears from the following extract
from the March issue of the _Bande Mataram_, which purports to be
published in Geneva, and calls itself "a monthly organ of Indian
independence":--

   We must recognize at present that the importation of
   revolutionary literature into India is the sheet-anchor of
   the party. It keeps up the spirit of all young men, and
   assures them that the party is living. We must therefore
   try to strengthen all groups of workers outside India. The
   centre of gravity of political work has been shifted from
   Calcutta, Poona, and Lahore to Paris, Geneva, Berlin, London,
   and New York. The Wahabi conspiracy of 1862 was completely
   crushed because there was no centre in foreign
   countries where the work could be carried on during the period
   of persecution. We must take this lesson to heart, that if
   we desire to hear more of the murder of British officials as
   a token of the progress and vitality of the party we must
   strengthen and establish centres of work in many foreign
   countries. The circulation of revolutionary leaflets, journals,
   and manifestoes should be looked upon as a sacred duty
   by all patriots. We are not exaggerating the importance
   of this work when we use that expression. Let us look upon
   every leaf of revolutionary literature with almost superstitious
   veneration and try to make it reach India by all
   means in our power. For it is the seed of life of our
   people, &c.

As to the importation of arms into India, the murder of Mr. Jackson,
"another Nationalist fête celebrated at Nasik amidst the rejoicings of
all true patriots," furnishes an occasion for similar exultation:--

   We know that the hero possessed Browning pistols. Now
   these pistols are not manufactured in India, but in Europe.
   How have they been imported by the revolutionaries? It
   is clear that this fact is a testimony to the efficiency of our
   organization and the secrecy of our activity. Besides, the
   imported arms are not the only weapons on which we have
   to rely. Daggers can be manufactured in India out of sharp
   nails to stab all vile agents of the British Government, English
   or Indian.

Increased vigilance in this country as well as in the Indian Customs and
Post Offices is, however, beginning to check these importations, and
only two months later the _Bande Mataram_ was already compelled to
strike a less exuberant note. It declares, of course, that "our movement
cannot be repressed so long as there are patriotic Indians living under
other flags than the Union Jack," but it recognizes that the situation
"gives rise to anxious thought," and it winds up in a somewhat depressed
tone:--

   We admit that for the present all active propaganda among
   the young men of India with a view to the acquisition of new
   workers is exceedingly difficult. But there are hundreds of
   patriotic Indian students in America and Japan who can be
   inspired with apostolic fervour if only some capable workers
   are sent among them. The harvest is plenteous, but the
   labourers are few. We should now realize that, even if the
   Government succeeds in checkmating us in India at every
   step, there is ample scope for work for several years among
   Indians living abroad. We should reflect that steady work
   is its own reward. We must not imagine that the Idea
   is not making progress because our particular journal cannot
   be circulated, or because those workers whom we know
   personally have been lost. Again, we must not fancy that if
   heroic exploits of political assassination do not occur every
   week the movement will die out.

It is not only in regard to the introduction of poisonous literature or
of weapons into India that the activity of these organizations deserves
to be closely and continuously watched. One of their main objects, as
the _Bande Mataram_ points out, is to gain over young Indians who go
abroad, especially those who go abroad for purposes of study. The India
Office has recognized the necessity of establishing some organization in
London to keep in touch with them and to rescue them from unwholesome
influences, political and other. This is a step in the right direction,
but much more will require to be done, and not only in London.
Committees should be formed in other centres, and public-spirited
Englishmen abroad could not do more useful work than by social service
of this kind. If we want to do any real and permanent good we must
spread our nets as wide as the revolutionists have spread theirs. In
Paris, for instance, Krishnavarma has set up, since he migrated to the
other side of the Channel, an organization for waylaying and
indoctrinating young Indians on their way to England, so as to induce
them to hold aloof from those who would wish to be their friends when
they arrive in London. The number of Indian students abroad is bound to
go on increasing, especially with the growing demand for scientific and
technical education for which the provision hitherto made in India is
regarded as inadequate. Indian parents and Indian associations that
ought to know better are apt to think that, if they can only provide for
a youth's travelling expenses, he will somehow be able afterwards to
shift for himself. It is not infrequently the misery and distress to
which he thus finds himself reduced abroad that drive the young Indian
into political recklessness, or, at least, render him peculiarly liable
to temptation. British manufacturers might also render valuable
assistance. Indian parents complain that, owing to the resentment which
crimes like the murder of Sir W. Curzon Wyllie have provoked there is
great reluctance now on the part of British firms to admit Indians as
apprentices to their works, and that in consequence they are compelled
to go to other countries where they are treated with less suspicion.
This reluctance is perhaps in reality more often due to the fear lest
young Indians should afterwards turn their knowledge to too good an
account, as the Japanese have often done, in the promotion of competing
industries in their own country. However that may be, the results are
certainly regrettable. For, if there is one thing that has impressed
itself on me during my last visit to India, it is that, if we want to
retain our hold, not only upon the country, but upon the people, we must
neglect no opportunity of arresting the estrangement which is growing up
between us and the younger generation of Indians. It is upon this
estrangement that the revolutionary organizations outside of India
chiefly rely for the success of their propaganda, and nothing helps them
more than the bitterness with which young Indians who come abroad often
return to India ready for any desperate adventure[14].



CHAPTER XII.

THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS.


It is impossible to acquit the Congress of having contributed to the
growth of active and violent unrest, though the result may have lain far
both from the purpose of its chief originators and from the desire of
the majority of its members. Western education has largely failed in
India because the Indian, not unnaturally, fails to bring an education
based upon conceptions entirely alien to the world in which he moves
into any sort of practical relation with his own life. So with the
Indian politician, who, even with the best intentions, fails to bring
the political education which he has borrowed from the West into any
sort of practical relation with the political conditions of India.

The Indian National Congress assumed unto itself almost from the
beginning the functions of a Parliament. There was and is no room for a
Parliament in India, because, so long as British rule remains a reality,
the Government of India, as Lord Morley has plainly stated, must be an
autocracy--benevolent and full of sympathy with Indian ideas, but still
an autocracy. Nor would the Congress have been in any way qualified to
discharge the functions of a Parliament had there been room for one. For
it represents only one class, or rather a section of one class--the
Western educated middle, and mainly professional, class, consisting
chiefly of lawyers, doctors, schoolmasters, newspaper men; an important
and influential class, no doubt, but one which itself only represents an
infinitesimal fraction--barely, perhaps, one-hundredth part--of the
whole population. To what extent it is really representative even of
that small section it is impossible to say, as the members are not
returned by any clearly defined body of constituents or by any formal
process of election. Originally it attracted the support of not a few
non-Hindus, though the Hindu element always largely preponderated, and a
small group of distinguished Parsees, headed by Mr. Dadhabai Naoroji,
together with a sprinkling of Mahomedans, helped to justify its claim to
be called National, in so far as that appellation connoted the
representation of the different creeds and races of India. But gradually
most of the Mahomedans dropped out, as it became more and more an
exponent of purely Hindu opinion, and the Parsees retained little more
than the semblance of the authority they had at one time enjoyed.

On broader grounds still the Congress could never be called National in
the Western democratic sense of the term, for whatever exceptions it may
have been willing to make in favour of individuals, there can be no
question of popular representation in India so long as the Hindu caste
system prevails, under which whole classes numbering millions and
millions are regarded and treated as beyond the pale and actually
"untouchable." From time to time a few enlightened Hindus recognize the
absurdity of posturing as the champions of democratic ideals so long as
this monstrous anomaly subsists, but, whilst professing in theory to
repudiate it, the Indian National Congress has during the whole course
of its existence taken no effective step towards removing it. Nor is the
Congress any more representative of the toiling masses that are not
"unclean." No measures have been more bitterly assailed in the Congress
than those which, like the Punjab Land Alienation Act of 1900, were
framed and have operated for the benefit of the agricultural and other
humbler classes--i.e., of the real "people of India," in whose name
the Congress speaks so loudly and with so little title.

An earlier generation of Hindus had fully recognized the urgency of
social problems, like that of the "depressed" castes, and had realized
that, until Indians had brought their own customs and beliefs to some
extent into line with the social customs and beliefs of the West, they
could not hope to raise their political life on to the Western plane.
The Indian National Congress, unfortunately, succumbed to the specious
plea put forward in an evil hour many years ago by a distinguished
Hindu, afterwards a Judge of the Bombay High Court, Mr. K.T. Telang, who
was himself unquestionably an enlightened social reformer, that the
"line of least resistance" was to press for political concessions from
England where they had "friends amongst the garrison," instead of
fighting an uphill battle for social reforms against the dead-weight of
popular ignorance and prejudice amongst their own people. That many
members of the Congress take part also in social reform conferences and
are fully alive to the importance of social reform cannot alter the fact
that, by turning its corporate back upon the cause they have at heart,
the Indian National Congress has arrested instead of promoting one of
the most promising movements to which Western education had given birth.

Do not, however, let us throw the blame wholly upon the Congress. For,
like Mr. Telang, it has been induced to put its trust in "the friends
amongst the garrison"--Englishmen often of widely different types and
characters, like Bradlaugh and Hume and Webb and Sir William Wedderburn,
and in more recent days Sir Henry Cotton and Mr. Mackarness--and upon
them must rest no small responsibility for the diversion of many of the
best talents and energies of educated India from the thorny path of
social reform into the more popular field of political agitation.

What has been the result? A self-constituted body of Indian gentlemen
who have no title to represent the people and a very slender title to
represent the upper classes of Indian society, but who, as I have
already said, doubtless represent to some extent a considerable and
influential section of Western educated opinion, might have given very
useful assistance to Anglo-Indian legislators and administrators had
they devoted themselves to the study of those social problems in the
solution of which it is peculiarly difficult and dangerous for an alien
Government to take any initiative. Instead of that, they set before
themselves a task that was impossible because they had no _status_ to
perform it. They were fighting all the time in the air, and their
proceedings therefore lacked reality. The Congress was not only an
irresponsible body, but it was never steadied by a healthy divergency of
opinions and the presentation of conflicting arguments. It was not even
a debating society, for all represented practically the same interests,
held the same views, made the same speeches, which there was no one to
question or to refute. Hence the monotony of the proceedings, the
sameness of the speeches, sometimes marked with great ability, and
generally delivered with much eloquence and fervour, at the short annual
sessions. The proceedings were usually controlled by a small caucus who
drew up long-winded resolutions, often embodying half a score of
resolutions carried in previous sessions. Some one delivered a
soul-stirring oration, and then the "omnibus" resolution, which was not
even always read out, was put to the vote and passed unanimously. Every
one knew beforehand that every speaker would attack the policy of
Government, whether he dealt with the ancient stock grievances or with
some new question raised by the legislative and administrative measures
of the current year; and every one knew also that all the others would
applaud. There was no other way of bidding for popularity and making a
mark than by achieving pre-eminence in the arts of pungent criticism and
exuberant rhetoric. Behind the scenes there were, doubtless, often
fierce fights and jealousies, and the struggles _in camera_ are reported
to have been sometimes very violent and bitter. But an unbroken front
was maintained to the outside world, and the divisions which ultimately
almost shipwrecked the Congress very rarely showed themselves on the
surface of its proceedings till nearly 20 years after its birth.

The attitude of Government who had accepted the Congress's assurances of
loyalty, and recognized its aims, as defined by it, to be "perfectly
legitimate in themselves," was laid down for the first time officially
in 1890, under Lord Lansdowne's Viceroyalty, in terms that were
certainly not hostile:--

   The Government of India recognize that the Congress
   movement is regarded as representing in India what in Europe
   would be called the more advanced Liberal Party as distinguished
   from the great body of Conservative opinion which
   exists side by side with it. They desire themselves to maintain
   an attitude of neutrality in their relations with both
   parties, so long as these act strictly within constitutional limits.

To the principles of that declaration the Government of India has
strictly adhered ever since, even when, as in 1905, the Congress might
have been deemed to have over-stepped those constitutional limits by
endorsing the Bengalee doctrine of boycott.

Though the majority of the Congress probably glided unconsciously or
without any deliberate purpose from, its earlier attitude of
remonstrance and entreaty into violent denunciation of Government and
all its works, there had always been a small group determined to drive
or to manoeuvre their colleagues as a body into an attitude of open and
irreconcilable hostility. That group was headed by Tilak, the strongest
personality in Indian politics, who was gradually making recruits among
the more ardent spirits all over India. On one occasion, as far back as
1895, when the Congress held its annual session in his own city of
Poona, he had attempted to commit it to the aggressive doctrines which
he was already preaching in the Deccan, but he soon discovered that the
temper of the majority was against him. He was, however, far too
tenacious ever to accept defeat. He bided his time. He knew he had to
reckon with powerful personal jealousies, and he remained in the
background. His opportunity did not come till ten years later when he
pulled the strings at the two successive sessions held in 1905 at
Benares and in 1906 at Calcutta. It was then that the Congress passed
from mere negative antagonism into almost direct defiance of Government.
It must have been a proud moment for Tilak when the very man who had
often fought so courageously against his inflammatory methods and
reactionary tendencies in the Deccan, Mr. Gokhale, played into his
hands, and from the presidential chair at Benares got up to commend the
boycott as a political weapon used for a definite political purpose. A
year later, it is true, Mr. Gokhale and the "moderate" party in the
Congress, who had seen in the meantime to what lawlessness the boycott
was leading, were anxious to undo or to mitigate at the Calcutta session
what they had helped to do at Benares. But again, by dint of lobbying
and even more by threatening to break up the Congress, Tilak carried the
day, and a resolution was passed in the form upon which he insisted to
the effect that the boycott movement was legitimate. It was not till the
following year at Surat, after the preaching of lawlessness had begun to
yield its inevitable harvest of crime, that the "moderates" recoiled at
last from the quicksands into which the "extremists" were leading them.
Tilak, however, carried out his threat, and he and his friends wrecked
that session of the Congress amidst scenes of disgraceful riot and
confusion.

Yet even after this the "moderates" lacked the courage of their
convictions. The breach has never been altogether repaired, but there
have been frequent negotiations and exchanges of courtesies. In the very
next year at Madras a man as incapable of promoting or approving
criminal forms of agitation as Dr. Rash Behari Ghose was holding out the
olive branch to "the wayward wanderers" who had treated him so
despitefully at Surat; and last year at Lahore, when Pandit Mohan
Malavya was expounding from the chair the latest formula adopted by
Congress as a definition of its aims, his chief anxiety seemed to be to
prove that it offered no obstacle to the return of the Surat insurgents
to the fold. This formula, it may be mentioned, lays down that "the
objects of the Indian National Congress are the attainment by the people
of India of a system of Government similar to that enjoyed by the
self-governing members of the British Empire and a participation by them
in the rights and responsibilities of the Empire on equal terms." This
is a formula which many "moderates" no doubt construe in a spirit of
genuine loyalty, but it does not exclude the construction which more
"advanced" politicians like Mr. Pal place upon _Swaraj_.

The last session of the Congress at Lahore, in December last, is
generally admitted to have aroused very little enthusiasm, and there are
many who believe that, weakened as it has been by recent dissensions, it
will scarcely survive the creation of the new enlarged Councils. These
Councils have been so constituted that they will be able to discharge
usefully the functions which the Congress arrogated to itself without
any title or authority. Perhaps it was the consciousness that the
Congress would at any rate be henceforth overshadowed by the new
Councils that led Pandit Malavya to inveigh so bitterly in his
presidential address at Lahore against the shape ultimately given to the
reforms. What one may hope above all is that the Councils will help to
give the Indian "moderates" a little more self-reliance than they have
hitherto shown. The Indian National Congress has at all times contained
many men of high character and ability, devoted to what they conceived
to be the best interests of their country, and at first, at any rate,
quite ready to acknowledge the benefits of British rule and to testify
to their conviction that the maintenance of British rule is essential to
the welfare and safety of India. Many of them must have seen that the
constant denunciation of Government by men who claimed to represent the
intelligence of the country must tend to stimulate a spirit of
disaffection and revolt amongst their more ignorant and inexperienced
fellow-countrymen. Yet not one of them had the courage to face the risk
of temporary unpopularity by pointing out the danger of the inclined
plane down which they were sliding, until they actually saw themselves
being swept hopelessly off their feet at Surat. It was then too late to
avert the consequences of pusillanimity or to shake off their share of
responsibility for the evils which the tolerance they had too long
extended to the methods of their more violent colleagues had helped to
produce. One of the main purposes of the Indian National Congress has
avowedly been to set up a claim for the introduction of representative
government in India. Yet it has itself seldom escaped the control of a
handful of masterful leaders who have ruled it in the most irresponsible
and despotic fashion. The Congress has, in fact, displayed exactly the
same feature which has been so markedly manifested in the case of
municipalities, namely, the tendency of "representative" institutions in
India to resolve themselves into machines operated by, and for the
benefit of, an extremely limited and domineering oligarchy.



CHAPTER XIII.

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS.


When Lord Minto closed at the end of March the first Session of the
Imperial Council, as the Viceroy's Legislative Council, enlarged under
the Indian Councils Act of 1909, is now officially designated, in
contradistinction to the enlarged Provincial Councils of Provincial
Governments, his Excellency very properly described it as "a memorable
Session." It was, indeed, far more than that. Even to the outward eye
the old Council Chamber at Government House presented a very significant
spectacle, to which the portrait of Warren Hastings over the Viceregal
Chair always seemed to add a strange note of admiration. The round table
at which the members of the Viceroy's Legislative Council used to
gather, with far less of formality, had disappeared, and the 59 members
of the enlarged Council had their appointed seats disposed in a double
hemicycle facing the Chair. They sat for the most part according to
provinces, and the features as well as, in some cases, the dresses, of
the Indian members showed at a glance how representative this new
Council really was.

The tall burly frame of the Kuvar Sahib of Patiala was only more
conspicuous than that of the Maharajah of Burdawan because the former
wore the many-folded turban and brocaded dress of his Sikh ancestry,
whereas the latter, like most Bengalees of the upper classes, has
adopted the much more commonplace broadcloth of the West. The bold,
hawk-like features of Malik Umar Hyat Khan of Tiwana in the Punjab were
as characteristic of the fighting Pathan from the North as were the
Rajah of Mahmudabad's more delicate features of the Mahomedan
aristocracy of the erstwhile kingdom of Oudh. The white _swadeshi_
garments affected by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, from the United
Provinces--who opened the last meeting of the Indian National Congress
at Lahore with a presidential address which lasted for two hours and a
quarter, and wound up with an apology for its brevity on the ground that
he had had no time to prepare it--testified, at any rate more loudly, to
the sternness of his patriotic convictions than the equally _swadeshi_
homespun, cut at least in European fashion, of another "advanced"
politician, Mr. Bhupendranath Bose, of Bengal. More worthy of attention
was the keen, refined, and intellectual face of Mr. G.K. Gokhale, the
Deccanee Brahman with the Mahratta cap, who, by education, belongs to
the West quite as much as to the East, and, by birth, to the ruling
caste of the last dominant race before the advent of the British _Raj_.
The red fez worn by the majority of Mahomedan members showed that their
community had certainly not failed in this instance to secure the
generous measure of representation which Lord Minto spontaneously
promised to them three years ago at Simla. The peculiar glazed black
headdress of the Parsee and the silk kerchief of the Burman in turn
indicated the racial catholicity of the assembly in which Sir Sassoon
David, of Bombay, worthily represents, by his authority as a financier,
the small Jewish community of India.

Nor were the different interests and classes, with two important
exceptions, less adequately represented than the different races and
creeds. Besides the great territorial magnates, of whom I have already
mentioned two or three by name, there were not a few other well-known
representatives of the landed interests which, in a country like India
where agriculture is still the greatest of all national industries, have
a special claim to respectful hearing, even though they have hitherto
for the most part held aloof from the fashionable methods of political
agitation. There was indeed a good deal of disappointment among the
urban professional classes, in whose eyes a Western education--or rather
education on what are, often quite erroneously, conceived to be Western
lines--should apparently constitute the one indispensable qualification
for public life. But they too had secured no inconsiderable number of
seats, and if the voice of the Indian National Congress did not
predominate it had certainly not been reduced to silence.

Doubts were freely expressed among Englishmen before the meetings of the
new Councils as to the competence of the Anglo-Indian officials for the
novel duties allotted to them in these assemblies. It was argued, not
unreasonably, that men who had never been trained or accustomed to take
part in public discussions might find themselves at a disadvantage in
controversial encounters with the quick-witted Hindu politician. It is
generally admitted now that the first Session at any rate of the
Imperial Council by no means justified any such apprehensions. Not a few
official members, it is true, were inclined at first to rely exclusively
upon their written notes, and there was indeed, from beginning to end,
but little room for the rapid thrust and skilled parry of debate to
which we are accustomed at Westminster. Most of the Indian members
themselves had carefully prepared their speeches beforehand, and read
them out from typed or even printed drafts before them. In many cases
the speeches had been communicated two or three days ahead to the Press,
and sometimes a speech was printed and commented upon in the favoured
organ of some honourable member, though he had ultimately changed his
mind and preserved silence, without, however, informing the editor of
the fact. In other cases a speech was published without the
interruptions and calls to order which had compelled the orator to drop
out some of his most cherished periods. As it was the custom for Indian
members to communicate also to the departments immediately concerned the
gist of the remarks which they proposed to make, the official members
were tempted at first to frame their replies on similar lines and to
read out elaborate statements bristling with figures, which would have
been much more suitable for circulation as printed minutes. But
gradually many of them took courage and showed that they could speak
easily and simply, and quite as effectively as most of the Indian
members.

Indeed, one of the best speeches of this kind was that delivered on the
last day but one of the Session by Mr. P.C. Lyon, a nominated member for
Eastern Bengals, in reply to the fervid oration of Mr. Bupendranath Bose
on the threadbare topic of Partition. On this, as on other occasions,
the florid style of eloquence cultivated by the leaders of the Indian
National Congress fell distinctly flat in the calmer atmosphere of the
Council-room, as indeed Mr. Gokhale warned some of his friends it was
bound to do. During the last two days discussion was allowed somewhat
needlessly under the new rules, to roam at large over all manner of
irrelevant subjects, but on this occasion it served at least one useful
purpose. If it were not that the Bengalee politician has no other
grievance to substitute for it, the question of the Partition of Bengal
should, one would think, have received its _quietus_, for two excellent
speeches, delivered with much simple force by Maulvi Syed Shams ul Huda,
Mahomedan member for Eastern Bengal, and by Mr. Mazhar-ul-Haq, another
Mahomedan who sits for Bengal, completed the discomfiture which poor Mr.
Bose had already experienced at Mr. Lyon's hands.

Needless to say that amongst the Indian members it was the politician,
and especially the more "advanced" politician, who figured most
prominently in the discussions. The more conservative Indians were
usually content to listen, with more or less visible signs of weariness,
to the facile and sometimes painfully long-winded eloquence of their
colleagues. When they did intervene, however, their speeches were
usually short and none the less effective. In most of the divisions that
were taken they supported the Government, and in no single instance was
the Government majority hard pressed. The minority in support of any
resolution resisted by Government never reached 20, and generally
fluctuated somewhere between 16 and 20. The only resolution which would
have certainly combined all the native members in support of it was Mr.
Gokhale's resolution with regard to the position of British Indians in
South Africa, but, as it was accepted by Government, it was passed _nem.
con._ without a division.

That in these circumstances the official members who are at the same
time heads of the most important administrative and executive
departments should be kept in constant attendance during debates in
which many of them, are not in any way directly concerned, and that they
should thus be detained in Calcutta at a season when their presence
would be far more useful elsewhere, constitutes one of the most serious
of the many practical drawbacks of the new system for which a remedy
will have to be found. It is as if not only the Parliamentary
representatives but the permanent officials of our own great public
departments were expected to sit through the debates in the House of
Commons, without even the facilities which the private rooms of
Ministers, the library, and the smoking rooms at Westminster afford for
quiet intervals of work between the division bells. Nor is that all. The
Council sat during the very months of the short "cold weather," when it
is customary and alone practicable for heads of departments to undertake
their annual tours of inspection. The _reductio ad absurdum_ is surely
reached in the case of the Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of the
Staff. Though the Imperial Council is itself debarred from dealing with
Army questions, they could be seen any day sitting through the debates
merely because their votes might conceivably be required to maintain the
official majority, and, except for one or two short excursions in the
intervals between the meetings of Council, they were tied to Calcutta
when they ought to have been travelling about the country and inspecting
the troops. Yet, it is generally admitted that at no period since the
Mutiny has it been more important for the Commander-in-Chief to maintain
the closest possible contact with the native army--especially when the
Commander-in-Chief is as popular with the Indian soldier as Sir O'Moore
Creagh.

Another obvious drawback of the present arrangements is the
inconvenience to which members of Council from the provinces were
subjected by the irregular intervals at which the Council held its
actual sittings. Either they had to waste their time at Calcutta during
the intervals, to the detriment of their interests at home, or they had
to spend days in railway carriages rushing backwards and forwards from
their homes to the capital, for in a country of such magnificent
distances there are few journeys that take less than 24 hours, and from
Calcutta, for instance, either to Madras or to Bombay takes the best
part of 48 hours. Unless arrangements are remodelled so as to enable the
Council to transact its business, whether _in pleno_ or in committee,
either in one session or in two short sessions, but in any case
continuously, many of its most valuable members, who have important
business, of their own which they cannot afford to neglect, will cease
to attend, and the Council will not only lose much of the representative
character, which is one of its best features at present, but will fall
inevitably under the preponderating influence of the professional
politician. In his closing speech Lord Minto outlined a scheme which
would in some measure meet this difficulty, but it is doubtful whether
it will prove by any means adequate. Another point which requires
consideration is whether it is desirable for the Viceroy to preside
himself over the deliberations of the Council. Even if he could properly
afford the time for it, it seems hardly expedient that the immediate
representative of the King-Emperor should be drawn into the arena of
public controversies. Proceedings are bound to grow more and more
contentious, and delicate questions of procedure will arise and have to
be settled from the chair. These are all matters in which the Viceroy
should not be committed to the premature exercise, on the spur of the
moment, of his supreme authority.

One of the chief purposes which the creation of the new Councils is
intended to achieve is that of enlightening Indian opinion throughout
the country by means of the enlarged opportunities given for the
discussion of public affairs. But that purpose will be defeated unless
the discussions receive adequate publicity. They certainly did not do so
this winter. Not only is the art of gallery reporting still in its
infancy, but many of the Indian newspapers have still to learn that "it
is not cricket" to report only the speeches of their political friends
and to omit or compress into a few lines the speeches of their
adversaries. A glaring instance of this shortcoming was afforded by the
_Bengalee_. The Nationalist organ published Mr. Bupendra Nath Bose's
speech on the partition of Bengal _in extenso_, as he had intended to
deliver it, without taking the slightest notice of the fact that he was
repeatedly called to order by the Viceroy and had in consequence to drop
out whole passages of his oration, and it published practically nothing
else--though perhaps no other indictment of the Government during the
whole session was more successfully refuted, both by the official
spokesman, Mr. Lyon, and by other Indian members. Apart, however, from
any such deliberate unfairness, the communication of speeches in advance
to the Press should be strenuously discountenanced. Many official
members showed that they could perfectly well dispense with the
doubtful advantage of knowing beforehand exactly what their critics were
going to say, and, if once this practice is stopped, newspapers,
relieved from the temptation of giving undue preference to easy "copy,"
will learn to cultivate and to rely upon more legitimate methods of
reporting. It is to be hoped also that the _Gazette of India_, which
publishes the official verbatim reports, will not in future lag so far
behind the actual proceedings.

All these are minor points. The dominant feature of the Session was that
in spite of wide divergences of views, the proceedings were generally
dignified, sometimes even to the verge of dulness, and with one or two
exceptions they were marked by good feeling on all sides. It would be
unfair not to give to Mr. Gokhale his full share of credit for this
happy result. Though often an unrelenting critic of the Administration,
he struck from the first a note of studied moderation and restraint to
which most of his political friends attuned their utterances. He
naturally assumed the functions of the leader of his Majesty's
Opposition, and he discharged them, not only with the ability which
every one expected of him, but with the urbanity and self-restraint of a
man conscious of his responsibilities as well as of his powers. His was,
amongst the Indian members, not only the master mind, but the dominant
personality. The European members, on the other hand, showed themselves
invariably courteous and good-tempered, and not a few awkward corners
were turned by a little good-humoured banter. Nor was it unusual to see
the Englishman come and sit down by the side of the Indian member to
whose indictment he had just been replying, and in friendly conversation
take all personal sting out of the controversy. As Lord Minto aptly put
it, the Council-room "has brought people together. Official and
non-official members have met each other. The official wall which of
necessity to some extent separated them has been broken down. They have
talked over many things together." From this point of view, if future
sessions fulfil the promise of the first one, the Imperial Council may
grow into a potent instrument for good.

Of the deeper significance which underlay the meeting of this remarkable
assembly it is still perhaps premature to speak. But cautious and
tentative as was the attitude of all parties concerned, and free as,
from beginning to end, the proceedings were from any startling
incidents, no one can have watched them without being conscious of the
presence of new forces of vast potentiality which must tend to modify
very profoundly the relations between the governors and the governed in
India itself, and possibly even between India and the Mother Country.
They are the forces, largely still unknown, which have been brought into
play by Lord Morley's Constitutional reforms, and though they made
themselves naturally more conspicuously felt in the Imperial Council at
Calcutta, they were present in every one of the enlarged Legislative
Councils of the Provincial Governments.

It is no part of my purpose to recount in detail the long, though
generally dispassionate, controversy to which these reforms gave rise.
We may not all be agreed as to the necessity or wisdom of some of the
changes embodied in them, and some may think that we are inclined to
travel too fast and too far on a road which Indians have not up to the
present shown themselves qualified to tread without danger. But there
are few Englishmen either at home or in India who do not recognize the
statesmanlike spirit in which Lord Morley, loyally seconded throughout
by Lord Minto, has approached the very difficult problem of giving to
the people of India a larger consultative voice in administration as
well as in legislation without jeopardizing the stability or impairing
the supremacy of British control. The future alone can show how far
these far-reaching changes will justify the generous expectations of
their author, but taken as a whole they undoubtedly represent a
constructive work which is fully worthy of the fine record of British
rule in India.

How very far-reaching they are the merest indication of their most
salient features will suffice to indicate. For the sake of convenience,
though they form a homogeneous whole, they may be divided roughly into
two categories--those that affect the Executive Councils and those that
have remodelled the Legislative Councils. To the former category
belong:--

(1) The appointment of an Indian member to the Viceroy's Executive
Council. Mr. S.P. Sinha, a Bengalee barrister in large practice, was
appointed to be legal member, and the ability and distinction with which
he discharged the duties of his high office have gone far to remove the
misgivings of many of those who were at first opposed to this new
departure. It is the more to be regretted that his services will be lost
to the new Viceroy, as he has announced his intention of retiring, for
personal reasons, at the end of Lord Minto's Viceroyalty[15].

(2) The appointment of one Indian member to the Executive Councils of
the Governors of Madras and Bombay. The Rajah of Bobbili has been
appointed in Madras and Mr. M.B. Chaubal in Bombay. An Indian will also
be appointed to the Executive Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of
Bengal as soon as that body has been finally constituted[16], and
similar appointments will be made to the Executive Councils of the chief
Indian provinces when the powers taken to create those bodies shall be
put into operation.

(3) The appointment of two Indians, one a Hindu and the other a
Mahomedan, to be members of the Council of the Secretary of State,
generally known as the India Council, in Whitehall. Mr. K.G. Gupta and
Mr. Husain Bilgrami were appointed by Lord Morley in 1907. Mr. Bilgrami
retired early in 1910 owing to ill-health and his place has been taken
by Mr. M.A. Ali Baig.

In principle, the introduction of natives of India into these inner
lines of the British Executive power undoubtedly constitutes, as Lord
Lansdowne has said, a "tremendous innovation," but it may be doubted
whether in practice the consequences will be as considerable as those of
the changes effected by the India Councils Act of 1909 in the
composition and attributions of the Imperial and Provincial Legislative
Councils. These changes are of a twofold character. In the first place
the total number of members has been very materially increased--e.g.,
in the Imperial Legislative Council from 21 to a _maximum_ of 60; in the
Madras and Bombay Legislative Councils from 24 to a _maximum_ of 50; in
the Bengal Legislative Council from 20 to 50, &c. Room has thus been
made for the introduction of a much larger number of elected members, of
whom there will be in future not less than 135 altogether in the
different Legislative Councils, as against only 39 under the old
statutes. Still more important than the mere increase in the number of
elected members is the radical change in the proportion they will bear
to official members. Except in the Imperial Council, where, at the
instance of Lord Morley, a small official majority has been retained
which Lord Minto himself was willing to dispense with, there will no
longer be any official majority. The regulations determining the
electorates and the mode of election have been framed with praiseworthy
elasticity in accordance with local requirements, and care has been
taken to provide as far as possible for an adequate representation of
all the most important communities and interests. In view of the
manifold and profound lines of cleavage which exist in Indian society,
it is extremely improbable that all the elected members will ever
combine against the official minority except in such rare and improbable
cases as might produce an absolute consensus of Indian opinion, and in
such cases it is even more improbable that Government would ignore so
striking a manifestation. Nevertheless, as a safeguard against the
possibility of factious opposition, the right of veto has been reserved
to the Provincial Executives and in the last resort to the
Governor-General in Council.

Thus the Indian Councils Act of 1909 cannot be said to have actually
modified the position of the Indian Legislatures. With regard to the
most important of them--viz., the Imperial Council--Lord Morley was
careful to make this perfectly clear in his despatch of November 27,
1908, in which he reviewed the proposals put forward in the Government
of India despatch of October 1. "It is an essential condition of the
reform policy," the Secretary of State wrote, "that the Imperial
supremacy should in no degree be compromised. I must therefore regard it
as essential that your Excellency's Council, in its legislative as well
as in its executive character, should continue to be so constituted as
to ensure its constant and uninterrupted power to fulfil the
constitutional obligation that it owes, and must always owe, to his
Majesty's Government and to the Imperial Parliament." The Indian
Executive therefore remains, as hitherto, responsible only to the
Imperial Government at home, and the Imperial Council can exercise over
it no directly controlling power. The same holds good, _mutatis
mutandis_, of the Provincial Executives and their Councils.

Indirectly, however, the Indian Councils Act of 1909 materially modifies
the relations between the Legislative Councils and the Executive by
giving to elected and non-official members opportunities which they have
never enjoyed before of discussing public policy and making their voices
heard and their influence felt on both administrative and legislative
matters. The revised rules of procedure, under which supplementary
questions may be grafted on to interpellations, and resolutions can be
moved not only in connexion with the financial statements of Government,
but, with certain specified reservations, on most matters of general
public interest, are undoubtedly calculated to afford a vastly larger
scope than in the past to the activities of Indian Legislatures, and it
will depend very much upon the ability and resourcefulness of members
themselves to what extent they may utilize these facilities for the
purpose of ultimately creating real powers of control. In an extremely
interesting and dispassionate study of the Indian Constitution, and of
the effects which the new reforms may have upon it, Mr. Rangaswami
Iyengar, a Hindu journalist of Madras, comes to the conclusion that "if
the powers now entrusted to the Councils are used with care, wisdom, and
discrimination, precedents and procedure analogous to those of the House
of Commons might gradually grow up, and might serve as a useful means if
not of directly controlling the Executive--a power which under the
present constitutional arrangement of the Government of India it is
impossible that the Council should possess--at least of directing the
Executive into correct and proper channels in regard to administrative
policy and administrative action." Not the least important of the
changes are those made in regard to Budget procedure. Indian
Legislatures will no more than in the past have power to vote or to veto
the Budget, but they will have henceforth an opportunity of setting
forth their views before the Budget has assumed its final shape. Members
will be able to discuss beforehand any changes in taxation, as well as
any new loans or additional grants to local governments, and they will
be taken into the confidence of Government with regard to the
determination of public expenditure. No doubt important heads of revenue
are still excluded from the purview of the Councils, but members will
have the right of placing on record their views in the form of
resolutions on all items not specifically excluded from their
cognisance, and the Finance Member will be bound to explain the reasons
why Government declines to accept any resolution that may have been
passed in the first two stages of the Budget. Much will depend upon the
reasonable and practical use which members make of these novel
opportunities, for, to quote Mr. Iyengar again, "the progress of
constitutional government is not dependent so much upon what is
expressly declared to be constitutional rights as upon what is silently
built up in the form of constitutional conventions."

In the great speech in which Lord Morley gave the House of Lords the
first outline of his Indian reforms scheme there was one singularly
pregnant passage. "We at any rate," he said, "have no choice or option.
As an illustrious member of this House once said, we are watching a
great and stupendous process, the reconstruction of a decomposed
society. What we found was described as a parallel to Europe in the
fifth century, and we have now, as it were, before us in that vast
congeries of people we call India, a long, slow march in uneven stages
through all the centuries from the fifth to the twentieth. Stupendous
indeed, and to guide that transition with sympathy, political wisdom,
and courage, with a sense of humanity, duty, and national honour, may
well be called a glorious mission." Whether we succeed in that mission
must depend largely upon the loyal assistance we receive from those
Indians who claim, in virtue of their superior education, to represent
this twentieth century. Lord Morley has fulfilled in no niggardly spirit
his pledge to associate the people of India with the Government far more
closely than has hitherto been the case in the work of actual day-to-day
administration as well as in the more complex problems of legislation.
It rests now with the Indian representatives both in the Executive and
Legislative Councils to justify Lord Morley's expectations by using the
new machinery which he has placed in their hands not for purposes of
mere destructive criticism and malevolent obstruction, but for
intelligent and constructive co-operation with the British rulers of
India, to whom alone, whatever may be their shortcomings, India owes it
that the spirit of the twentieth century has spread to her shores.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE DEPRESSED CASTES.


The only classes in British India for whom no real representation has
been devised in the enlarged Indian Councils are the millions of humble
toilers who constitute what are known as the "depressed castes." Under
present social conditions in India, this was probably inevitable.
Though, rather unreasonably, the vast majority of them go to swell the
numbers of the Hindu population in the census upon which Hindu
representation ought, according to Hindu politicians, to be based, those
politicians have certainly not as yet shown any title to speak on their
behalf. For there is no more striking contrast to the liberal and
democratic professions of a body which claims, as does the Indian
National Congress, to represent an enlightened, progressive, and
national Hinduism than the fact that in the course of its 25 years'
existence it has scarcely done anything to give practical effect to its
theoretical repudiation of a social system that condemns some 50
millions out of the 300 millions of the Hindu population of India to a
life of unspeakable degradation. For a long time to come, the depressed
castes will probably find, as in the past, their truest friends and best
qualified representatives among the European members of Council, who,
just because they are aliens, are free from all the influences, whether
of interest or of prejudice, which tend to divide Hindu society into so
many watertight compartments. Let any one who has any doubts on this
point read some of the documents published in the Blue-books on the
reforms--petitions from low-caste communities imploring Government not
to commit the defence of their interests to the Hindu Brahman, but to
continue to them the direct and unselfish protection which they have
hitherto enjoyed at the hands of British administrators.

The "depressed classes" of whom we generally speak as Pariahs, though
the name properly belongs only to one particular caste, the Pareiyas in
Southern India, include all Hindus who do not belong to the four highest
or "clean" castes of Hinduism, and they are therefore now officially and
euphemistically designated as the Panchamas--i.e., the fifth caste.
Many of the Panchamas, especially in Southern India, are little better
than bonded serfs; others are condemned to this form of ostracism by the
trades they ply. Such are not only the scavengers and sweepers, but also
the workers in leather, the Chamars and Muchis of Northern and Central
India, and the Chakilians and Madigas of Southern India, who with their
families number 14 or 15 million souls; the washermen, the
_tadi_-drawers and vendors of spirituous liquors, the pressers of oil,
and, in many parts of the country, the cowherd and shepherd castes, &c.
They are generally regarded as descendants of the aboriginal tribes
overwhelmed centuries ago by the tide of Aryan conquest. Some of those
tribes, grouped together in the Indian Census under the denominational
rubric of "Animists" and numbering about 8-1/2 millions, have survived
to the present day in remote hills and jungles without being absorbed
into the Hindu social system, and have preserved their primitive
beliefs, in which fetish worship, and magic are the dominant elements.
Low as is their social _status_, it is but little lower than that of the
Panchamas who have obtained a footing on the nethermost rung of the
social ladder of Hinduism without being admitted to any sort of contact
with its higher civilization or even to the threshold of its temples.

Hinduism with all its rigidity is, it is true, sufficiently elastic to
sanction, at least tacitly, a slow process of evolution by which the
Panchama castes--for there are many castes even amongst the
"untouchables"--gradually shake off to some extent the slough of
"uncleanness" and establish some sort of ill-defined relations even with
Brahmanism. For whilst there is on the one hand a slowly ascending scale
by which the Panchamas may ultimately hope to smuggle themselves in
amongst the inferior Sudras, the lowest of the four "clean" castes, so
there is a descending scale by which Brahmans, under the pressure of
poverty or disrepute, sink to so low a place in Brahmanism that they are
willing to lend their ministrations, at a price, to the more prosperous
of the Panchamas and help them on their way to a higher _status_. Thus
probably half the Sudras of the present day were at some more or less
remote period Panchamas. Again, during periods of great civil commotion,
as in the 18th century, when brute force was supreme, not a few
Panchamas, especially low-caste Mahrattas, made their way to the front
as soldiers of fortune, and even carved out kingdoms to themselves at
the point of the sword. Orthodox Hinduism bowed in such cases to the
accomplished fact, just as it has acquiesced in later years when
education and the equality of treatment brought by British rule have
enabled a small number of Panchamas to qualify for employment under
Government.

But these exceptions are so rare and the evolutionary process is so
infinitely slow and laborious that they do not visibly affect the
yawning gulf between the "clean" higher-caste Hindu and the "unclean"
Panchama. The latter may have learned to do _puja_ to Shiva or Kali or
other members of the Hindu Pantheon, but he is not allowed within the
precincts of their sanctuaries and has to worship from afar. Nor are the
disabilities of the Panchama merely spiritual. In many villages he has
to live entirely apart. He is not even allowed to draw water from the
village well, lest he should "pollute" it by his touch, and where there
is no second well for the "untouchables," the hardship is cruel,
especially in seasons of drought when casual water dries up. In every
circumstance of his life the vileness of his lot is brought home to the
wretched pariah by an elaborate and relentless system of social
oppression. I will only quote one or two instances which have come
within my own observation. The respective distances beyond which
Panchamas must not approach a Brahman lest they "pollute" him differ
according to their degree of uncleanness. Though they have been laid
down with great precision, it is growing more and more difficult to
enforce them with the increasing promiscuity of railway and street-car
intercourse, but in more remote parts of India, and especially in the
south, the old rules are still often observed. In Cochin a few years ago
I was crossing a bridge, and just in front of me walked a
respectable-looking native. He suddenly turned tail, and running back to
the end of the bridge from which we had both come, plunged out of sight
into the jungle on the side of the road. He had seen a Brahman entering
on to the bridge from the other end, and he had fled incontinently
rather than incur the resentment of that high-caste gentleman by
inflicting upon him the "pollution" of forbidden proximity as the
bridge, though a fairly broad one, was not wide enough for them to pass
each other at the prescribed distance. In the native State of Travancore
it is not uncommon to see a Panchama witness in a lawsuit standing about
a hundred yards from the Court so as not to defile the Brahman Judge and
pleaders, whilst a row of _peons_, or messengers, stationed between him
and the Court, hand on its questions to him and pass back his replies.

No doubt the abject ignorance and squalor and the repulsive habits of
many of these unfortunate castes help to explain and to perpetuate their
ostracism, but they do not exculpate a social system which prescribes
or tolerates such a state of things. That if a kindly hand is extended
to them, even the lowest of these depressed can be speedily raised to a
higher plane has been abundantly shown by the efforts of Christian
missionaries. They are only now beginning to extend their activities to
the depressed castes of Northern India, but in Southern India important
results have already been achieved. The Bishop of Madras claims that
within the last 40 years, in the Telugu country alone, some 250,000
Panchamas have become Christians, and in Travancore another 100,000.
During the last two decades especially the philanthropic work done by
the missionaries in plague and famine time has borne a rich harvest, for
the Panchamas have naturally turned a ready ear to the spiritual
ministrations of those who stretched out their hands to help them in the
hour of extreme need. Bishop Whitehead, who has devoted himself
particularly to this question, assures me that, in Southern India at
least, the rate at which the elevation of the depressed castes can be
achieved depends mainly upon the amount of effort which the Christian
missions can put forth. If their organizations can be adequately
strengthened and extended so as to deal with the increasing numbers of
inquirers and converts, and, above all, to train native teachers, he is
convinced that we may be within measurable distance of the reclamation
of the whole Panchama population. What the effect would be from the
social as well as the religious point of view may be gathered from a
recent report of the Telugu Mission, which most lay witnesses would, I
believe readily confirm:--

   If we look at the signs of moral and spiritual progress
   during the last 40 years, the results of the mission work have
   been most encouraging. It is quite true that naturally the
   Panchamas are poor, dirty, ignorant, and, as a consequence
   of many centuries of oppression, peculiarly addicted
   to the more mean and servile vices. But the most hopeful
   element in their case is that they are conscious of their
   degradation and eager to escape from it. As a consequence,
   when formed into congregations under the care of earnest
   and capable teachers, they make marked progress materially,
   intellectually, and morally. Their gross ignorance disappears;
   they become cleaner and more decent in their persons
   and homes; they give up cattle poisoning and grain stealing,
   two crimes particularly associated with their class; they
   abstain from the practice of infant marriage and concubinage,
   to which almost all classes of Hindu society are addicted;
   they lose much of the old servile spirit which led them to
   grovel at the feet of their social superiors, and they acquire
   more sense of the rights and dignity which belong to
   them as men. Where they are able to escape their
   surroundings they prove themselves in no way inferior,
   either in mental or in moral character, to the best of their
   fellow-countrymen. Especially is this the case in the Mission
   Boarding Schools, where the change wrought is a moral
   miracle. In many schools and colleges Christian lads of
   Panchama origin are holding their own with, and in not a
   few cases are actually outstripping, their Brahman competitors.
    ... In one district the Hindus themselves
   bore striking testimony to the effect of Christian teaching on
   the pariahs, "Before they became Christians," one of them
   said, "we had always to lock up our storehouses, and were
   always having things stolen. But now all that is changed,
   We can leave our houses open and never lose anything."

In the heyday of the Hindu Social Reform Movement, before it was checked
by the inrush of political agitation, the question of the elevation of
the depressed castes was often and earnestly discussed by progressive
Hindus themselves, but it is only recently that it has again been taken
up seriously by some of the Hindu leaders, and notably by Mr. Gokhale.
One of the utterances that has produced the greatest impression in Hindu
circles is a speech made last year by the Gaekwar of Baroda, a Hindu
Prince who not only professes advanced Liberal views, but whose heart
naturally goes out to the depressed castes, as the fortunes of his own
house were made in the turmoil of the eighteenth century by a Mahratta
of humble extraction, if not actually of low-caste origin. His Highness
does not attempt to minimize the evils of the system.

   The same principles which impel us to ask for political
   Justice for ourselves should actuate us to show social justice
   to each other.... By the sincerity of our efforts to
   uplift the depressed classes we shall be judged fit to achieve
   the objects of our national desire.... The system which
   divides us into innumerable castes claiming to rise by
   minutely graduated steps from the pariah to the Brahman
   is a whole tissue of injustice, splitting men equal by nature
   into divisions high and low, based not on the natural standard
   of personal qualities but on accidents of birth. The eternal
   struggle between caste and caste for social superiority has
   become a constant source of ill-feeling.... Want of
   education is practically universal amongst the depressed
   classes, but this cannot have been the cause of their fall, for
   many of the so-called higher classes in India share in the
   general ignorance. Unlike them, however, they are unable
   to attend the ordinary schools owing to the idea that it is
   pollution to touch them. To do so is to commit a sin offensive
   alike to religion and to conventional morality. Of
   professions as a means of livelihood these depressed classes
   have a very small choice. Here, too, the supposed pollution
   of their touch comes in their way. On every hand we find
   that the peculiar difficulty from which they suffer, in addition to
   others that they share with other classes, is their "untouchableness."

After a powerful argument against the theory of "untouchableness" and
against priestly intolerance, the Gaekwar urges not only upon Hindus,
but upon Government the duty of attacking in all earnestness this
formidable problem.

   A Government within easy reach of the latest thought,
   with unlimited moral and material resources, such as there
   is in India, should not remain content with simply asserting
   the equality of men under the common law and maintaining
   order, but must sympathetically see from time to time that
   the different sections of its subjects are provided with ample
   means of progress. Many of the Indian States where they
   are at all alive to the true functions of government, owing
   to less elevating surroundings or out of nervousness, fear to
   strike out a new path and find it less troublesome to follow
   the policy of _laisser faire_ and to walk in the footsteps of the
   highest Government in India, whose declared policy is to let
   the social and religious matters of the people alone except
   where questions of grave importance are involved. When
   one-sixth of the people are in a chronically depressed and
   ignorant condition, no Government can afford to ignore
   the urgent necessity of doing what it can for their elevation.

Can the Government of India afford to disregard so remarkable an appeal?
The question is not merely a social and moral question, but also a
political one. Whilst some high-caste Hindus are beginning to recognize
its urgency, the more prosperous of the socially depressed castes
themselves are showing signs of restlessness under the ostracism to
which they are subjected. From almost all of these castes a few
individuals have always emerged, who acquired wealth and the relative
recognition that wealth brings with it, and the numbers of such
individuals are increasing. In some cases a whole caste has seen its
circumstances improve under new economic conditions entirety beyond its
own control--like the Namasudras of Bengal, who, as agriculturists, have
had their share of the growing agricultural prosperity of that region.
They are materially better off than they used to be, and so they are no
longer content with their old social _status_ of inferiority. Not only
Christian but Mahomedan missionaries have been at work amongst them, and
though the vast majority remain Hindus, they note, like the Panchamas
all over India must note, the immediate rise in the social scale of
their fellow-caste-men who embrace either Christianity or Islam. For it
is one of the anomalies of this peculiar conception that the most
untouchable Hindu ceases to be quite as untouchable when he becomes a
Christian or a Mahomedan. The Bengalee politician was quick to see the
danger of losing hold altogether of the Namasudras, and he set up a
propaganda of his own, which I have already described, with the object
of winning them over to his side and to his methods of agitation by
promising them in return a relaxation of caste stringency. The question
with which we are confronted is whether we shall ourselves take a hand
in the elevation of the depressed castes or whether we shall leave it to
others, many of whom would exploit them for their own purposes. Is not
this an opportunity for the Government of India to respond to the
Gaekwar's invitation and depart for once from their traditional policy
of _laisser faire_? In the Christian Missions they have an admirable
organization ready to hand which merely requires encouragement and
support. Though there are manifold dangers in giving official
countenance to proselytizing work amongst the higher classes of Indian
society, none of those objections can reasonably lie to co-operating in
the reclamation of whole classes which the orthodox Hindu regards as
beyond the pale of human intercourse. From the religious point of view,
this is a matter which should engage the earnest attention of the great
missionary societies of this country. The hour seems to be at hand when
a great and combined effort is required of them. From the moral and
social point of view they may well claim in this connexion the sympathy
and support of all denominations and no-denominations that are
interested in the welfare and progress of backward races. From the
political point of view the conversion of so many millions of the
population of India to the faith of their rulers would open up prospects
of such moment that I need not expatiate upon them.



CHAPTER XV.

THE NATIVE STATES.


One of the chief features of the original scheme of constitutional
reforms submitted to the Secretary of State by the Government of India
was the creation of an Imperial Advisory Council composed of ruling
chiefs and territorial magnates. The proposal gave rise to a variety of
objections, the most serious one being the difficulty of adjusting the
relations to the Government of India of a Council in which the most
conspicuous members could have had no definite _locus standi_ in regard
to the internal affairs of British India--i.e., of the larger part of
our Indian dependency under direct British administration. The
difficulty was evaded by dropping the proposal. But to evade a
difficulty is only to postpone it. Though the constitutional reforms are
confined, in their immediate application, to British India, measures of
such far-reaching importance must react more or less directly upon the
whole of our Indian Empire. Is it therefore politic, or, indeed,
possible, to leave out of account the Native States, which occupy
altogether about one-third of the total area of India and have an
aggregate population of over 68 millions, or to ignore the rulers
charged with their administration?

The Native States of India vary in size and importance from powerful
principalities like the Nizam's State of Hyderabad, with an area of
82,000 miles--nearly equal to that of England and Wales and Scotland---
and a population of over 11 millions, down to diminutive chiefships,
smaller than the holdings of a great English landlord. Distributed
throughout the whole length and breadth of the peninsula, they display
the same extraordinary variety of races and creeds and castes and
languages and customs and traditions as the provinces under the
immediate governance of the Viceroy, and their rulers themselves
represent almost every phase and aspect of Indian history. The Princes
of Rajputana, headed by the Maharana of Udaipur, with genealogies
reaching back into the mythical ages, have handed down to the present
day the traditions of Hindu chivalry. In the south of India, the rulers
of Mysore and Cochin and Iravancore, who also claim Rajput blood, still
personify the subjection of the older Dravidian races to the Aryan
invaders from the north. Mahratta chiefs like Scindia and the Gaekwar
date from the great uplifting of the Mahratta power in the eighteenth
century, whilst the Maharajah of Kolhapur is a descendant of Shivaji,
the first Mahratta chieftain to stem the tide of Mahomedan conquest more
than a century earlier. The great majority of the ruling princes and
chiefs are Hindus, but besides the Nizam, the most powerful of all,
there are not a few Mahomedan rulers who have survived the downfall of
Moslem supremacy, just as the Sikh chiefs of Patiala, Nabha, and
Kapurthala, in the Punjab, still recall the great days of Ranjit Singh
and the Sikh confederacy. In some of the Native States the ruling
families are neither of the same race nor of the same creed as the
majority of their subjects. The Nizam is a Sunni Mahomedan, but most of
his subjects are Hindus, and of the Mahomedans some of the most
influential are Shias. The Maharajah of Kashmir, a Hindu Rajput, rules
over many Mongolian Buddhists, whilst there are but few Mahrattas in
Gwalior or Indore, though both Holkar and Scindia are, Mahratta
Princes.

In all the Native States the system of government is more or less of the
old patriarchal or personal type which has always obtained in the East,
but in its application it exhibits many variations which reflect
sometimes the idiosyncrasies of the ruler and sometimes the dominant
forces of inherited social traditions. In Cochin and Travancore, for
instance, the ancient ascendency of the Northern Brahmans over the
Dravidian subject races survives in some of its most archaic forms.
Udaipur and Jaipur have perhaps preserved more than any other States of
Rajputana the aristocratic conservatism of olden days, whilst some of
the younger Rajput chiefs have moved more freely with the times and with
their own Western education. The Gaekwar has gone further than any other
ruling chief in introducing into his State of Baroda the outward forms
of what we call Western progress, though his will is probably in all
essentials as absolute as that of Scindia, another Mahratta chief, whose
interest in every form of Western activity is displayed almost as much
in his physical energy as in his intellectual alertness. Some no doubt
abandon the conduct of public affairs almost entirely to their Ministers
and prefer a life of easy self-indulgence. Others, on the contrary, are
keen administrators, and insist upon doing everything themselves. As
masterful a ruler as any in the whole of India is a lady, the Begum of
Bhopal, a Mahomedan Princess of rare attainments and character. The
Nizam, on the other hand, though an absolute ruler, has recently placed
it on record that he attributes the peaceful content and law-abiding
character of his subjections to the liberal traditions he has inherited
from his ancestors. "They were singularly free from all religious and
racial prejudices. Their wisdom and foresight induced them to employ
Hindus and Mahomedans, Europeans, and Parsees alike, in carrying on the
administration, and they reposed entire confidence in their officers
whatever religion and race they belonged to." To those principles his
Highness rightly claims to have himself adhered.

Again, though the relationship of the Supreme Government to all these
rulers is one of suzerainty, it is governed in each particular case by
special and different treaties which vary the extent and nature of the
control exercised over them. In some of its aspects, the principles of
our policy towards them were admirably set forth in a speech delivered
in November, 1909, by Lord Minto at Udaipur. "In guaranteeing their
internal independence and in undertaking their protection against
external aggression, it naturally follows that the Imperial Government
has assumed a certain degree of responsibility for the general soundness
of their administration, and would not consent to incur the reproach of
being an indirect instrument of misrule. There are also certain matters
in which it is necessary for the Government of India to safeguard the
interests of the community as a whole, as well as those of the Paramount
Power, such as railways, telegraphs, and other services of an Imperial
character." At the same time the Viceroy wisely laid great stress on the
fact that, in pursuance of the pledges given by the British Crown to the
rulers of the Native States, "our policy is with rare exceptions one of
non-interference in their internal affairs," and he pointed out that, as
owing to the varying conditions of different States "any attempt at
complete uniformity and subservience to precedent" must be dangerous, he
had endeavoured "to deal with questions as they arose with reference to
existing treaties, the merits of each case, local conditions, antecedent
circumstances, and the particular stage of development, feudal and
constitutional, of individual principalities." It is obviously
impossible to enforce a more rigid control over the feudatory States at
the same time as we are delegating larger powers to the natives of India
under direct British administration. This is a point which Lord Minto
might indeed have emphasized with advantage. For there seems to be a
growing tendency, probably at home rather than in India, to ignore our
responsibilities towards the ruling chiefs, and to regard them as more
or less negligible quantities in the constitutional experiments we are
making in our Indian Empire. When an emergency arises such as a frontier
war or a military expedition in the Sudan or in China, we appeal
unhesitatingly to the loyalty of the Princes of India, and so far they
have cheerfully borne their share in these Imperial enterprises though
they were never drawn into consultation beforehand, and their own
material interests were not directly involved. On the other hand,
questions which do involve their material interests, questions which
necessarily affect the well-being of their States quite as much as that
of British India, questions of tariff and of currency that react upon
the economic prosperity of the whole of India are settled between
Whitehall and Government House at Calcutta without their opinion being
even invited. Sometimes even decisions are taken without their knowledge
on matters that directly affect their own exchequers, as in the matter
of the opium trade with China. Some of the native States are the largest
producers of the Indian poppy, and in order to satisfy the
susceptibilities, very meritorious in themselves, of our national
conscience, we lightheartedly impose upon them, without consultation or
prospect of compensation, the sacrifice, which costs us nothing, of one
of the most valuable products of their soil and chief sources of
revenue. Can they do otherwise than draw unfavourable comparisons
between the harsh measure meted out to them in this matter and the
generous treatment of the West Indies by the Mother Country when
£20,000,000 were voted out of the Imperial Exchequer towards
compensation for the material losses arising out of the abolition of
slavery?

How important it is to associate the Princes of India with the purposes
of our Indian policy has seldom been more clearly shown than during
these last troublous years when the forces of disaffection have revealed
themselves as a serious public danger. The principle of authority
cannot be attacked in British India without suffering diminution in the
Native States. They are not shut up in watertight compartments and
sedition cannot be preached on one side of a border, which in most cases
is merely an administrative boundary line, without finding an echo on
the other side. The prestige of an Indian Prince in his own land is
great. It is rooted in most cases in ancient traditions to which no
alien rulers can appeal. Nevertheless some of the most experienced and
enlightened of the ruling chiefs showed a much earlier and livelier
appreciation of the subversive tendencies of Indian unrest than those
responsible for the governance of British India. Some of them, like the
Maharajahs of Kolhapur and of Patiala, have been brought face to face
with the same violent, and even with the same criminal, methods of
agitation as the Government of India has had to deal with in provinces
under British administration. The Maharajah of Jaipur and Maharajah
Scindia felt themselves constrained just about a year ago to enact
vigorous measures on their own account against sedition and against the
importation into their States of seditious literature which was still
allowed to circulate with impunity in British India, whilst the State of
Bikanir was the first to introduce an Explosive Substances Act
immediately after the epidemic of bomb-throwing had broken out in
Bengal. Other States have also taken strong preventive measures, but
many have fortunately been spared so far any serious trouble within
their own borders, and their rulers have been able to study the problem
merely as interested observers and from the point of view of the general
welfare of the country.

On August 65 1909, the Viceroy took the unusual step of communicating
direct with all the principal ruling Princes and Chiefs of India on the
subject of the Active unrest prevalent in many parts of the country, and
invited an exchange of opinions "with a view to mutual co-operation
against a common danger." Some doubts were then expressed as to the
wisdom of such a course, on the ground that it might create in the
protected States an impression of exaggerated alarm. 'But the tone and
substance of the replies which his Excellency's communication elicited
showed that there was no reason for any such apprehensions. The Ruling
Chiefs, on the contrary, appreciated and reciprocated the confidence
reposed in them, and their replies, indeed, constitute an exceptionally
interesting and instructive set of documents; for the very diversity of
origin and traditions and influence gives peculiar weight to the
position assumed by the rulers of the Native States towards the forces
of active unrest in India. Had those forces merely been engaged in a
legitimate struggle for the enlargement of Indian rights and liberties,
it is scarcely conceivable that the Ruling Princes and Chiefs should
have passed judgment against them with such overwhelming unanimity.

It may be argued that in replying to a Viceregal _Kharita_, the Ruling
Chiefs could hardly do less than recognize the existence of the "common
danger" to which Lord Minto had drawn their attention. But the careful
analysis of the influences behind the agitation and the practical
suggestions for dealing with it which the majority of the replies
contain, prove that their opinions are certainly not framed "to order."
They represent the convictions and experience of a group of responsible
Indians better situated in some respects to obtain accurate information
about the doings and feelings of their fellow-countrymen than any
Anglo-Indian administrators can be. The language of the Nizam is
singularly apt and direct, "Once the forces of lawlessness and disorder
are let loose there is no knowing where they will stop. It is true that,
compared with the enormous population of India, the disaffected people
are a very insignificant minority, but, given time and opportunity,
there exists the danger of this small minority spreading its tentacles
all over the country and inoculating with its poisonous doctrines the
classes and masses hitherto untouched by this seditious movement." The
Maharana of Udaipur, speaking with the authority of his unique position
amongst Hindus as the premier Prince of Rajputana, not only condemns an
agitation "which is detrimental to all good government and social
administration," but declares it to be "a great disgrace to their name
as also to their religious beliefs that, in spite of the great
prosperity India has enjoyed under the British _régime_, people are
acting in such an ungrateful way." No less emphatic is the Mahratta
ruler of Gwalior:--"The question is undoubtedly a grave one, affecting
as it does the future well-being of India," and "it particularly behoves
those who preside over the destinies of the people and have large
personal stakes to do all in their power to grapple with it vigorously."
The Maharajah of Jaipur, one of the wisest of the older generation of
Hindu rulers, agrees that "only a small fraction of the population has
been contaminated by the seditious germ," but he adds significantly that
"that fraction has, it seems, been carefully organized by able, rich,
and unscrupulous men," and he does not hesitate to declare that "an
organized and concerted campaign, offensive and defensive, against the
common enemy is what is wanted."

According to the Rajah of Dewas, one of the most enlightened of the
younger Hindu chiefs, "it is a well known fact that the endeavours of
the seditious party are directed not only against the Paramount Power,
but against all constituted forms of government in India, through an
absolutely misunderstood sense of 'patriotism,' and through an
attachment to the popular idea of 'government by the people,' when every
level-headed Indian must admit that India generally has not in any way
shown its fitness for a popular government." He goes so far even as to
state his personal conviction that history and all "sound-minded" people
agree that India cannot really attain to the standard of popular
government as understood by the West.

It is another Hindu ruler, the Rajah of Ratlam, who points out the close
connexion, upon which I have had to lay repeated stress, between
religious revivalism and sedition. He recognizes that "Hindus, and for
the matter of that all Oriental peoples, are swayed more by religion
than by anything else." Government have hitherto adopted, and rightly
adopted, the policy of allowing perfect freedom in the matter of
religious beliefs, but as the seditionists are seeking to connect their
anarchical movement with religion, and the political _Sadhu_ is abroad,
it is high time to change the policy of non-interference in so-called
religious affairs. The new religion which is now being preached, "with
its worship of heroes like Shivaji and the doctrine of India for India
alone," deserves, this Hindu Prince boldly declares, to be treated as
Thuggism and Suttee were treated, which both claimed the sanction of
religion. "It pains me," he adds, "to write as above, but already
religion has played a prominent part in this matter, and religious books
were found in almost every search made for weapons and bombs. The _rôle_
of the priest or the _Sadhu_ is most convenient, and rulers have bowed,
and do bow, to religious preachers. These people generally distort the
real import of religious precepts, and thereby vitiate the public mind.
The founders are sly enough to flatter the Government by an occasional
address breathing loyalty and friendship, but it is essential to check
this religious propaganda."

The rulers of the Native States are not content merely to profess
loyalty and reprobate disaffection. With the exception of the Gaekwar,
whose reply, without striking any note of substantial dissent, is,
marked, by a certain coolness that has won for him the applause of the
Nationalist Press, they respond heartily to the Viceroy's request for
suggestions as to the most effective measures to cope with the evil.
Most of them put in the very forefront of their recommendations the
necessity of checking the licence of the Indian Press, to which they
attribute the main responsibility for the widening of the gulf between
the rulers and the ruled. And it should be remembered that these
opinions were expressed some months before the Imperial Government and
the Government of India decided to introduce the new Press Act. The
Nizam holds that newspapers publishing false allegations or exaggerated
reports should be officially called upon "to print formal contradiction
or correction as directed." For, in his Highness's opinion, "it is no
longer safe or desirable to treat with silent contempt any perverse
statement which is publicly made, because the spread of education on the
one hand has created a general interest in the news of the country, and
a section of the Press, on the other hand, deliberately disseminates
news calculated to promote enmity between Europeans and Indians, or to
excite hatred of Government and its officers in the ignorant and
credulous minds." Several Chiefs recommend more summary proceedings and
less publicity in the case of political offences, as, though such
measures may appear arbitrary at first sight, "they are quite suited to
the country." Several agree that a closer watch should be kept on
"religious mendicants" who go about in the guise of _Sadhus_ preaching
sedition, and that a more intimate exchange of secret intelligence
should take place with regard to the seditious propaganda between the
different States and the Government of India. Others believe in the
creation of counter-organizations to inform and encourage the loyal
elements.

But it is perhaps on the question of education that some of the Ruling
Chiefs speak with the greatest weight and authority, and there is
nothing they more deeply deplore than the divorce of secular instruction
from religious and moral training, which they hold responsible for much
of the present mischief. "Strange as it may sound," says the Rajah of
Dewas, "it is a well-known fact that the germs of the present unrest in
India were laid by that benefactor of the human race, education."
Another Chief is of opinion that, as the formation of character is the
highest object of education, all public schools should be graded by the
results they achieve in this direction rather than by high percentages
in examinations; whilst others strongly recommend the extension of the
residential college system and greater care in the selection of good
teachers.

One may possibly not agree with all the opinions expressed or with all
the recommendations made in this correspondence, but their general
uniformity cannot fail to carry weight. It certainly carried weight with
both the Government of India and the Imperial Government. Not only did
it admittedly contribute to the enactment of the Indian Press Bill of
February last, but it has probably also contributed to bring about a
more general recognition of the urgency of the Indian educational
problem. The effect produced in India itself by the publication of the
views held by the rulers of Native States, many of whom enjoy great
prestige and influence far beyond the limits of their immediate
dominions, was naturally considerable. The "extremists" were lashed to
fury, and none of the seditious leaflets directed against the "alien"
rulers and "sun-dried bureaucrats" was more violent than one issued in
reply to these utterances of the rulers of their own race. One of the
ruling Chiefs to whom it had been sent gave me a copy of it as "a
characteristic document." It is headed: "Choose, O Indian Princes." It
begins, it is true, by assuring them that there is not as yet any
cut-and-dried scheme for dealing with them.

   No one but the voice of the Mother herself will and can
   determine when once She comes to herself and stands free
   what constitution shall be adopted by Her for the guidance
   of Her life after the revolution is over. ... Without
   going into details we may mention this much, that whether
   the head of the Imperial Government of the Indian Nation
   be a President or a King depends upon how the revolution
   develops itself ... The Mother must be free, must
   be one and united, must make her will supreme. Then it
   may be that She gives out this Her will either wearing a kingly
   crown on Her head or a Republican mantle round Her sacred
   form.

But after being exhorted in impassioned accents either to sacrifice
themselves in the great national struggle now at hand, or at the very
least to stand back and keep the ring, they are warned as to the
consequences of disregarding these admonitions:--

   Forget not, O Princes! that a strict account will be asked
   of your doings and non-doings, and a people newly-born
   will not fail to pay you in the coin you paid. Every one
   who shall have actively betrayed the trust of the people,
   disowned his fathers, and debased his blood by arraying
   himself against the Mother--he shall be crushed to dust
   and ashes.... Do you doubt our grim earnestness!
   If so hear the name of Dhingra and be dumb. In the name
   of that martyr, O Indian Princes, we ask you to think
   solemnly and deeply upon these words. Choose as you will
   and you will reap what you sow. Choose whether you shall
   be the first of the nation's fathers or the last of the nation's
   tyrants.

In some less rabid quarters an attempt has been made to decry the views
of the native rulers as emanating from petty Oriental despots, terrified
by the onward march of the new Indian democracy. If so it is strange
that whilst these "despots" make no secret of their attitude towards
disaffection, they are equally outspoken on the necessity of a liberal
and progressive policy. The Nizam himself states emphatically that he is
"a great believer in conciliation and repression going hand in hand to
cope with the present condition of India. While sedition should be
localized and rooted out sternly, and even mercilessly, deep sympathy
and unreserved reliance should manifest themselves in all dealings with
loyal subjects without distinction of creed, caste, and colour."
Unfortunately it requires at the present day more courage for an Indian
to hold such language as that than to coquet, as many politicians do,
with violence and crime. Indians in high position are peculiarly
sensitive to printed attacks, perhaps because behind such attacks there
often lurk forms of social pressure, rendered possible by their caste
system, with which we, happily for ourselves, are totally unfamiliar.
One of the most discouraging features of the present situation is that
so few among the "moderate" politicians who are known to share and
approve the views expressed by the Princes of India have had the moral
courage to endorse them publicly.

The fearless response made by the ruling Chiefs to Lord Minto's appeal
for advice and support in the repression of sedition conveys at the same
time another lesson which we may well take to heart. The Government of
India consulted them after the danger had arisen and become manifest. Is
it not possible that, had we maintained closer touch with them in the
past, had we appreciated more fully the value of their knowledge and
experience, the danger might never have arisen or would never have
attained such threatening proportions? At any rate, now that the
consciousness of a common danger has drawn Princes and Government closer
together, no time should be lost in establishing some machinery which
would secure for the future a more sustained and intimate co-operation
between them.



CHAPTER XVI

CROSS CURRENTS


The political aspects of Indian unrest have compelled me to dwell
chiefly upon the evil forces which it has generated. But contact with
the West has acted as a powerful ferment for good as well as for evil
upon every class of Indian society that has come more or less directly
under its influence. Were it otherwise we should indeed have to admit
the moral bankruptcy of our civilization. The forces of unrest are made
up of many heterogeneous and often conflicting elements, and even in
their most mischievous manifestations there are sometimes germs of good
which it should be our business to preserve and to develop. Largely as
the classes touched, however superficially, by Western education have of
late years been invaded by a spirit of reaction and of revolt against
all for which that education stands, they have not yet by any means been
wholly conquered by it. It is the breath of the West that has stirred
the spiritual and intellectual activity of which Hindu revivalism and
political disaffection, glorified under the name of Nationalism, are
unfortunately the most prominent and the most recent but not the only
outcome. Another and much healthier outcome is the sense of social duty
and social service which has grown up amongst many educated Indians of
all races and creeds, and amongst none more markedly than amongst the
Hindus. Traditions of mutual helpfulness are indeed deep-rooted in
India as in all Oriental communities. Mutual helpfulness is the best
feature of the caste system, of the Hindu family system, of the old
Indian village system, and it explains the absence in a country where
there is so much poverty of those abject forms of pauperism with which
we are compelled at home to deal through the painful medium of our Poor
Laws. But until the leaven of Western ideas had been imported into India
mutual helpfulness was generally confined within the narrow limits of
distinct and separate social units. It is now slowly expanding out of
watertight compartments into a more spacious conception of the social
inter-dependence of the different classes of the community. This
expansion of the Indian's social horizon began with the social reform
movement which had kindled the enthusiasm, of an older generation in the
'70's and '80's of the last century. Far from being, as some contend, a
by-product of the more recent Nationalism, which had never been heard of
at that period, its progress, as I have already shown, has been hampered
not only by the reactionary tendencies of this Nationalism in religious
and social matters, but by the diversion of some of the best energies of
the country into the relatively barren field of political agitation.

Though social reform has been checked, it has not been altogether
arrested, nor can it be arrested so long as British rule, by the mere
fact of its existence, maintains the ascendency of Western ideals.
Happily there are still plenty of educated Indians who realize that the
liberation of Indian society from the trammels which are of its own
making is much more urgent than its enfranchisement from an alien yoke.
Even amongst politicians of almost every complexion the necessity of
removing from the Indian social system the reproach of degrading
anachronisms is finding at least theoretical recognition. Alongside of
more conspicuous political organizations devoted mainly to political
propaganda, other organizations have been quietly developing all over
India whose chief purpose it is to grapple with social, religious, and
economic problems which are not, or need not necessarily be, in any way
connected with politics. Their voices are too often drowned by the
louder clamour of the politicians pure and simple, and they attract
little attention outside India. But no one who has spent any time in
India can fail to be struck with the many-sided activities revealed in
all the non-political conventions and conferences and congresses held
annually all over the country. Within the last 12 months there have been
philanthropic and religious conferences like the All India Temperance
Conference, the Christian Endeavour Convention, the Theosophical
Convention, social conferences like the Indian National Social
Conference, the Moslem Educational Congress, and the Sikh Educational
Conference, economic conferences like the Industrial Conference held at
Lahore in connexion with the Punjab Industrial and Agricultural
Exhibition, not to speak of many others, such as the Rajput Conference,
the Hindu Punjab Conference, the Kshatrya Conference, the Parsee
Conference, &c., which dealt with the narrower interests of particular
castes or communities, but nevertheless gathered together
representatives of those interests from all parts of India, or any rate
from a whole province. Some of these meetings may be made to subserve
political purposes. Others, like the Parsee Conference, betray
reactionary tendencies in the most unexpected places, for the Parsee
community, which has thriven more than any other on Western education
and has prided itself upon being the most progressive and enlightened of
all Indian communities, is the last one in which one would have looked
for the triumph, however temporary, of a strangely benighted orthodoxy.
But the majority of these gatherings represent an honest and earnest
attempt to apply, as far as possible, the teachings of Western
experience to the solution of Indian problems, and to subject Indian
customs and beliefs to the test of modern criticism. They apply
themselves, moreover, chiefly to questions in which no alien Government
like that of India can take the initiative without serious risk of being
altogether ahead of native opinion and arousing dangerous antagonism. As
Mr. Lala Dev Raj, the chairman of the last Social Conference at Lahore,
for instance, put it:--

   The reforms advocated here strike at those harmful and
   undesirable customs which are purely of our own creation and
   which must be bidden farewell to, as our eyes are being opened
   to them. If we cannot do that, we can hardly call ourselves
   a living community.

The results of all this activity may not so far have been very marked,
but the mere fact that the supreme sanction of tradition, which was
formerly almost undisputed, is now subjected to discussion is bound to
make some impression, even upon those whose political concepts are
based, upon the immanent superiority of Hinduism. The new interpretation
of the _Baghvat Gita_, though sometimes distorted to hideous ends, has
itself been inspired by a broader appreciation of social duty than there
was room for in the Hindu theory of life before it had been modified by
Western influences. So long as the spirit of social endeavour kindled by
men like Ram Mohun Roy and Keshab Chunder Sen and Mahadev Govind Ranade
is kept alive, even though by much lesser men, we may well hope that the
present wave of revolt will ultimately spend itself on the dead shore of
a factious and artificial reaction, incompatible with the purpose to
which their own best efforts were devoted, of bringing the social life
of India into harmony with Western civilization.

A phenomenon, which may prove to have a deep significance is that, side
by side with these larger organisations for the promotion of social
reform which only claim incidental service from their members, a number
of smaller societies are growing up of which the members are bound
together by much closer ties and more stringent obligations, and in
some cases even by solemn vows to renounce the world and to devote
themselves wholly to a life of social service. Many of them present
features of special interest which deserve recognition, but I must be
content to describe one of them to which the personality of its founder
lends exceptional importance. This is the society of "The Servants of
India," founded by Mr. Gokhale at Poona. Mr. Gokhale's career itself
exemplifies the cross-currents that are often so perplexing a feature of
Indian unrest. He is chiefly known in England as one of the leading and
certainly most interesting figures in Indian politics. A Chitpavan
Brahman by birth, with the blood of the old dominant caste of
Maharashtra in his veins, he has often been, both in the Viceroy's
Legislative Council and in that of his own Presidency, a severe and even
bitter critic of an alien Government, of which he nevertheless admits
the benefit, and even the necessity, for India. On the other hand,
though he proclaims himself a Nationalist, and though, on one occasion
at least, when he presided over the stormy session of the Indian
National Congress at Calcutta in December, 1906, which endorsed the
Bengalee boycott movement, he lent the weight of his authority to a
policy that was difficult to reconcile with constitutional methods of
opposition, his reason and his moral sense have always revolted against
the reactionary appeals to religious prejudice and racial hatred by
which men like Tilak have sought to stimulate a perverted form of Indian
patriotism. Highly educated both as a Western and an Eastern scholar, he
approaches perhaps more nearly than any of his fellow-countrymen to the
Western type of doctrinaire, Radical in politics and agnostic in regard
to religion, but with a dash of passion and enthusiasm which the Western
doctrinaire is apt to lack. When Tilak opened his first campaign of
unrest in the Deccan by attacking the Hindu reformers, he found few
stouter opponents than Mr. Gokhale, who was one of Ranade's staunchest
disciples and supporters. Nor did Tilak ever forgive him. His newspapers
never ceased to pursue him with relentless ferocity, and only last year
Mr. Gokhale had to appeal to the Law Courts for protection against the
scurrilous libels of the "extremist" Press.

His own experiences in political life since he resigned his work as a
professor at the Ferguson College in Poona in order to take a larger
share in public affairs have probably helped to convince Mr. Gokhale
that his fellow-countrymen for the most part still lack many essential
qualifications for the successful discharge of those civic duties which
are the corollary of the civic rights he claims for them. He does not,
it is understood, desire to seek re-election to the Imperial Council at
Calcutta after the expiry of its present powers, two years hence, as he
wishes to devote himself chiefly to the educational work, which, in one
form or another, has perhaps always been the most absorbing interest of
his life. When he was a professor at the Ferguson College teaching was
with him a vocation rather than a profession, and, if one may judge by
his practice, he believes that only those who are prepared to set an
example of selflessness and almost ascetic simplicity of life can hope
to promote the moral and social as well as the political advancement of
India. It is on these principles that he founded five years ago the
"Servants of India" Society, recruited in the first instance amongst a
few personal followers and supported hitherto by the voluntary
contributions of his admirers. The objects of the Society as laid down
by its promoters are "to train national missionaries for the service of
India and to promote by all constitutional means the true interests of
the Indian people." Its members "frankly accept the British connexion as
ordained, in the inscrutable dispensation of Providence, for India's
good," and they recognize that "self-government within the Empire and a
higher life generally for their countrymen" constitute a goal which
"cannot be attained without years of earnest and patient effort and
sacrifices worthy of the cause." As to its immediate functions, "much of
the work," it is stated, "must be directed towards building up in the
country a higher type of character and capacity than is generally
available at present," and to this end the Society "will train men
prepared to devote their lives to the cause of the country in a
religious spirit." The constitution of the Society recalls in fact that
of some of the great religious societies of Christendom, and not least
that of the Jesuits, though with this cardinal difference, that it is
essentially non-sectarian and substitutes as its ideal the service of
India for the service of God, much in the same way as the Japanese have
to a large extent merged their religious creeds in an idealized cult of
Japan.

Every "Servant of India" takes at the time of admission into the society
the following seven vows;--

   (a) That the country will always be first in his thoughts,
   and that he will give to her service the best that is in him.

   (b) That in serving the country he will seek no personal
   advantage for himself.

   (c) That he will regard all Indians as brothers and will
   work for the advancement of all, without distinction of caste
   or creed.

   (d) That he will be content with such provision for himself
   and his family, if any, as the society may be able to make,
   and will devote no part of his energies to earning money for
   himself.

   (e) That he will lead a pure personal life.

   (f) That he will engage in no personal quarrel with any one.

   (g) That he will always keep in view the aims of the society
   and watch over its interests with the utmost zeal, doing all
   he can to advance its work and never doing anything inconsistent
   with its objects.

The head of the society, called the First Member--who is Mr. Gokhale--is
to hold office for life, and its affairs are to be conducted in
accordance with by-laws framed for the purpose by the First Member, who
will be assisted by a council of three, one of whom will be his own
nominee, whilst two will be elected by the ordinary members. The powers
assigned to the First Member are very extensive and include that of
recommending the names of three ordinary members, one of whom, when the
time comes, shall be chosen to succeed him. His authority is, in fact,
the dominant one, whether over the probationers under training for a
period of five years, three of which are to be spent at the society's
home in Poona, or over the ordinary members admitted to the full
privileges of the society, or over those who, as _attachés_, associates,
and permanent assistants, are very closely affiliated to it without
being actually received into membership. The scheme is, of course, at
present in its infancy, as the society still numbers only about 25, the
majority of whom have not yet completed their term of probation. Mr.
Gokhaie, however, hopes very soon to have 50 probationers constantly in
residence, and he has already gathered together in the well-appointed
buildings of the society's home just outside Poona, in close proximity
to the Ferguson College, a group of young men, to some of whom he kindly
introduced me, who have evidently caught the fervour of his enthusiasm.
One of the latest recruits was by birth a Mahomedan, of whom Mr. Gokhale
was specially proud, as he is very anxious that the society shall be, in
fact as well as in theory, representative of all castes and creeds.

One of the first questions which this remarkable experiment suggests is
whether the ideals which Mr. Gokhale sets before the "Servants of India"
will suffice to supply the necessary driving power. Hitherto some form
of religious faith and the hope of some heavenly reward have alone
availed to induce men to renounce the world and all its material
interests and surrender themselves to a life of rigorous and selfless
discipline in the service of their fellow-creatures, or rather in the
service of God through their fellow-creatures. Mr. Gokhale's society
makes no claim to any religious sanction. Though Indian asceticism has
from the most remote times found devotees willing to lead a life of far
more complete self-annihilation than any that the most rigorous
monastic orders of Christendom have ever imposed, or that, for the
matter of that, Mr. Gokhale seeks to impose upon his followers, it has
always been inspired by some religious conception. Will the "Servants of
India" find the same permanent inspiration in the cult of an Indian
Motherland, however highly spiritualized, that has no rewards to offer
either in this world or in any other? On the political as well as other
potentialities of such an organization as Mr. Gokhale contemplates there
is no need to dwell. For the "Servants of India," moulded by one mind
and trained to obey one will, are to go forth as missionaries throughout
India, in the highways and by-ways, among the "untouchables" as well as
among the higher classes, preaching to each and all the birth of an
Indian nation.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE GROWTH OF WESTERN EDUCATION.


The rising generation represent the India of the future, and though
those who come within the orbit of the Western education we have
introduced still constitute only a very small fraction of the whole
youth of India, their numbers and their influence are growing steadily
and are bound to go on growing. If we are losing our hold over them, it
is a poor consolation to be told that we still retain our hold over
their elders. I therefore regard the estrangement of the young Indian,
and especially of the young Hindu who has passed or is passing through
our schools and colleges, as the most alarming phenomenon of the present
day, and I am convinced that of all the problems with which British
statesmanship is confronted in India none is more difficult and more
urgent than the educational problem. We are too deeply pledged now to
the general principles upon which our educational policy in India is
based for even its severest critics to contemplate the possibility of
abandoning it. But for this very reason it is all the more important
that we should realize the grave defects of the existing system, or, as
some would say, want of system, in order that we may, so far as
possible, repair or mitigate them. There can be no turning back, and
salvation lies not in doing less for Indian education, but in doing
more and in doing it better.

Four very important features of the system deserve to be noted at the
outset:--(1) Following the English practice, Government exercises no
direct control over educational institutions other than those maintained
by the State, though its influence is brought in several ways indirectly
to bear upon all that are not prepared to reject the benefits which it
can extend to them; (2) Government has concentrated its efforts mainly
upon higher education, and has thus begun from the top in the
over-sanguine belief that education would ultimately filter down from
the higher to the lower strata of Indian society; (3) instruction in the
various courses, mostly literary, which constitute higher education is
conveyed through the medium of English, a tongue still absolutely
foreign to the vast majority; and (4) education is generally confined to
the training of the intellect and divorced not only, absolutely, from
all religious teaching, but also, very largely, from all moral training
and discipline, with the result that the vital side of education which
consists in the formation of character has been almost entirely
neglected.

To make the present situation intelligible, I must recapitulate, however
briefly, the phases through which our Indian system of education has
passed. The very scanty encouragement originally given, to education by
the East India Company was confined to promoting the study of the
Oriental languages still used at that time in the Indian Courts of Law
in order to qualify young Indians for Government employment and chiefly
in the subordinate posts of the judicial service. After long and fierce
controversies on the rival merits of the vernaculars and of English as
the more suitable vehicle for the expansion of education, Macaulay's
famous Minute of March 7, 1835, determined a revolution of which only
very few at the time foresaw, however faintly, the ultimate
consequences. Lord William Bentinck's Government decided that "the
great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of
English literature and science, and that all the funds appropriated for
the purpose of education would be best employed in English education
alone."

Another influence--too often forgotten--had at least as large a share as
Macaulay's in this tremendous departure. That was the influence of the
great missionary, Dr. Alexander Duff, who inspired the prohibition of
suttee and other measures which marked the withdrawal of the countenance
originally given by the East India Company to religious practices
incompatible, in the opinion of earnest Christians, with the sovereignty
of a Christian Power. Duff had made up his mind, in direct opposition to
Carey and other earlier missionaries, that the supremacy of the English
language over the vernaculars must be established as a preliminary to
the Christianization of India. He had himself opened in 1830 an English
school in Calcutta with an immediate success which had confounded all
his opponents. His authority was great both at home and in India, and
was reflected equally in Lord Hardinge's Educational Order of 1844,
which threw a large number of posts in the public service open to
English-speaking Indians without distinction of race or creed, and in
Sir Charles Wood's Educational Despatch of 1854, which resulted in the
creation of a Department for Public Instruction, the foundation of the
three senior Universities of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, the
affiliation to them of schools and colleges for purposes of examination,
and the inauguration of the "grant-in-aid" system for the encouragement
of native educational enterprise by guaranteeing financial support
according to a fixed scale to all schools that satisfied certain tests
of efficiency in respect of secular instruction. Duff's influence had
assured the supremacy of English in secular education, but he never
succeeded in inducing Government to go a step beyond neutrality in
regard to religious education, and though the remarkable successes which
he had in the meantime achieved, not only as a teacher but as a
missionary, amongst the highest classes of Calcutta society no doubt led
him to hope that, even without any active co-operation from Government,
the spread of English education would in itself involve the spread of
both Christian ethics and Christian doctrine, he never ceased to preach
the necessity of combining religious and moral with secular education or
to prophesy the evils which would ensue from their divorce.

The system inaugurated by the Educational Minute of 1835 and developed
in the Educational Orders of 1854 began well. The number of young
Indians who took advantage of it was relatively small. They were drawn
mostly from the better classes, and they were brought into direct
contact with their English teachers, many of them very remarkable men
whose influence naturally, and often unconsciously, helped to form the
character of their pupils as well as to develop their intellect--and
most of all, perhaps, in the mission schools; for the Christian missions
were at that time the dominant factor in Indian educational work. In
1854 when there were only 12,000 scholars in all the Government schools,
mission schools mustered four times that number and the rights they
acquired, under the Orders of 1854, to participate in the new
"grants-in-aid" helped them to retain the lead which in some respects,
though not as to numbers, they still maintain. For more than 50 years
after the Minute of 1835, and especially during the two or three decades
that followed the Orders of 1854, the new system produced a stamp of men
who seemed fully to justify the hopes of its original founders--not
merely men with a sufficient knowledge of English to do subordinate work
as clerks and minor _employés_ of Government, but also men of great
intellectual attainments and of high character, who filled with
distinction the highest posts open to Indians in the public service, sat
on the Bench, and practised at the Bar, and, in fact, made a mark for
themselves in the various fields of intellectual activity developed by
contact with the West. It is much to be regretted that no _data_ have
ever been collected to show what proportion men of this stamp bore to
the aggregate number of students under the new system. The proportion
was certainly small, but it was at any rate large enough to reflect
credit upon the system as a whole and to disguise its inherent defects.
It is characteristic of the narrowness of official interest in
educational questions that, whereas abundant statistics are forthcoming
on all subjects connected with material progress, no attempt seems to
have been made to follow the results of Western education statistically
into the after-life of high school pupils and college students. We know
that a certain number have emerged into public distinction, but there is
nothing to show, except in the most, general way, how many have turned
their education to humbler but still profitable account, or how many
have turned it to no account at all.

Paradoxical as it may sound, it is the eagerness of young India to
respond to our educational call that has led to the breakdown of the
system in some of the most important functions of education. In its
earlier stages those who claimed the benefit of the new system were
chiefly drawn from the intellectual _élite_--i.e., from the classes
which had had the monopoly of knowledge, though it was not Western
knowledge, before the introduction of Western education. With the
success which the new system achieved the demand grew rapidly, and the
quality of the output diminished as it increased in quantity. On the one
hand education came to be regarded by the Indian public less and less as
an end in itself, and more and more as merely an avenue either to
lucrative careers or to the dignified security of appointments, however
modest, under Government, and, in either case, to a higher social
_status_, which ultimately acquired a definite money value in the
matrimonial market. The grant-in-aid system led to the foundation of
large numbers of schools and colleges under private native management,
in which the native element became gradually supreme or at least vastly
predominant, and it enabled them to adopt so low a scale of fees that
many parents who had never dreamt of literacy for themselves were
encouraged to try and secure for some at least of their children the
benefit of this miraculous Open Sesame to every kind of worldly
advancement. Much of the raw material pressed into secondary schools was
quite unsuitable, and little or no attempt was made to sift it in the
rough. Numbers therefore began to drop out somewhere on the way,
disappointed of their more ambitious hopes and having acquired just
enough new ideas to unfit them for the humbler work to which they might
otherwise have been brought up[17]. On the other hand, whilst schools
and colleges, chiefly under private native management, were multiplied
in order to meet the growing demand, the instruction given in them
tended to get petrified into mechanical standards, which were appraised
solely or mainly by success in the examination lists. In fact, education
in the higher sense of the term gave way to the mere cramming of
undigested knowledge into more or less receptive brains with a view to
an inordinate number of examinations, which marked the various stages of
this artificial process. The personal factor also disappeared more and
more in the relations between scholars and teachers as the teaching
staff failed to keep pace with the enormous increase in numbers.

All these deteriorating influences, though they were perhaps not then so
visible on the surface, were already at work in the 80's, when two
important Government Commissions were held whose labours, with the most
excellent intentions, were destined to have directly and indirectly, the
most baneful effects upon Indian education. The one was the Education
Commission of 1882-83, appointed by Lord Ripon, with Sir William Hunter
as President, and the other the Public Service Commission of 1886-87,
appointed by Lord Dufferin, with Sir Charles Aitchison as President. It
is quite immaterial whether the steps taken by the Government of India
during the subsequent decade were actually due to the recommendations of
the Education Commission, or whether the Report of the Commission merely
afforded a welcome opportunity to carry into practice the views that
were then generally in the ascendant. The eloquence of the Commission,
if I may borrow the language appropriately used to me by a very
competent authority, was chiefly directed towards representing the
important benefits that would be likely to accrue to Government and to
education by the relaxation of Government's control over education, the
withdrawal of Government from the management of schools, and the
adoption of a general go-as-you-please policy. Amongst the definite
results which we undoubtedly owe to the labours of that Commission was
the acclimatization in India of Sir Robert Lowe's system of "payment by
results," which was then already discredited in England. Just at the
time when the transfer of the teacher's influence from European into
native hands was being thus accelerated, the Public Service Commission,
not a single member of which was an educational officer, produced a
series of recommendations which had the effect of changing very much for
the worse the position and prospects of Indians in the Educational
Department. Before the Commission sat, Indians and Europeans used to
work side by side in the superior graded service of the Department, and
until quite recently they had drawn the same pay. The Commission
abolished this equality and comradeship and put the Europeans and the
Indians into separate pens. The European pen was named the Indian
Educational Service, and the native pen was named the Provincial
Educational Service. Into the Provincial Service were put Indians
holding lower posts than any held by Europeans and with no prospect of
ever rising to the _maximum_ salaries hitherto within their reach. To
pretend that equality was maintained under the new scheme is idle, and
the grievance thus created has caused a bitterness which is not allayed
by the fact that the Commission created analogous grievances in other
branches of the public service. Nor was this all the mischief done. It
quickened the impulse already given by the Education Commission by
formally recommending that the recruitment of Englishmen for the
Education Department should be reduced to a _minimum_, and, especially,
that even fewer inspectors of schools than the totally inadequate number
then existing should be recruited from England. It is interesting to
note in view of subsequent developments that, whilst this recommendation
was tacitly ignored by the Provincial Governments in some parts of
India, as in Madras and in Bombay, it was accepted and applied in
Bengal--i.e., in the province where our educational system has
displayed its gravest shortcomings.

From that time forward the dominant influence in secondary schools and
colleges drifted steadily and rapidly out of the hands of Englishmen
into those of Indians long before there was a sufficient supply of
native teachers fitted either by tradition or by training to conduct an
essentially Western system of education. Not only did the number of
native teachers increase steadily and enormously, but that of the
European teachers actually decreased. Dr. Ashutosh Mookerjee, the
Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University, told me, for instance, that
when he entered the Presidency College about 1880 all the professors,
except a few specialists for purely Oriental subjects, were English, and
the appointment, whilst he was there, of an Indian for the first time as
an ordinary professor created quite a sensation. Last year there were
only eight English professors as against 23 Indians, though, during the
same 30 years, the number of pupils had increased from a little over 350
to close on 700--i.e., it had nearly doubled. The Calcutta Presidency
College is, even so, far better off in this respect than most colleges
except the missionary institutions, in which the European staff of
teachers has been maintained at a strength that explains their continued
success. Out of 127 colleges there are 30 to-day with no Europeans at
all on the staff, and these colleges contain about one-fifth of the
students in all colleges. Of the other colleges 16 have only one
European professor, 21 only two, and so forth. In the secondary schools
the proportion of native to European teachers is even more overwhelming.
From the point of view of mere instruction the results have been highly
unsatisfactory. From the point of view of moral training and discipline
and the formation of character they have been disastrous.



CHAPTER XVIII.

THE INDIAN STUDENT.


The fundamental weakness of our Indian educational system is that the
average Indian student cannot bring his education into any direct
relation with the world in which, outside the class or lecture room, he
continues to live. For that world is still the old Indian world of his
forefathers, and it is as far removed as the poles asunder from the
Western world which claims his education. I am not speaking now of the
relatively still very small class amongst whom Western ideas are already
sufficiently acclimatized for the parents to be able to supplement in
their own homes the education given to their children in our schools and
colleges. Nor am I speaking of the students who live in hostels under
the superintendence of high-minded Englishmen, and especially of
missionaries such as those of the Oxford Mission in Calcutta, or the
Madras Christian College, who have to reject scores of applicants for
want of space. Those also form but a small minority. In Calcutta, for
instance, out of 4,500 students barely 1,000 live in hostels, and not
all hostels are by any means satisfactory. In the Indian Universities
there is no collegiate life such as English Universities afford, and in
India most of the secondary schools as well as colleges are
non-residential. The majority of those who attend them, unless they live
at home, have therefore to board out with friends or to live in
promiscuous messes, or, as is too often the case, in lodgings of a very
undesirable character, sometimes even in brothels, and almost always
under conditions intellectually, morally, and physically deleterious.

Lest I may be accused of exaggeration or bias, I will appeal here to the
testimony of Dr. Garfield Williams, a missionary of the highest repute
and experience, and in profound sympathy with the natives of India.
Speaking at the Missionary Conference at Calcutta last winter, he
said:--

   The conditions and environment of the student in Calcutta
   are such as to make the formation of character almost impossible....
   He is not a student in the best sense of
   the word, for he has not the scholarly instincts of a student--
   I speak, of course, of the average student, not of the exceptional
   one. His parents send him to the University to pass
   one or two examinations, and these have to be passed in order
   to enable him to attain a higher salary.... His work
   is sheer "grind." The acquisition of good notes for lectures
   is the first essential for him, and the professor who gives
   good clear-cut notes so that a man can dispense with any
   text-books is the popular professor--and for two reasons:
   first of all, it saves the expense of buying the text-book,
   and then, of course, it helps to get through the examination.
   That is a reason why two boys of the same village will go
   to different colleges because they can then "swap" notes.
   It is a very rare thing for a student to have money enough
   to buy more than one of the suggested books on a given
   subject for examination. He learns by heart one book
   and the notes of lectures of two or three of the favourite
   professors in Calcutta. There is many a man who has even
   got through his examinations without any text-book of any
   kind to help him, simply by committing to memory volumes
   of lecture notes.... I know of no student who labours
   more strenuously than the Bengalee student. The question
   is how to prevent this ridiculous wastage of students;
   how to prevent the production of this disappointed man
   who is a student only in name. He never had any desire
   to be a student in nature; he was brought up without that
   desire ... and indeed, if he be a boy with real scholarly
   instincts, and he happens to fail in his examinations, it makes
   it all the worse, for his parents will not recognize those
   scholarly instincts of his--all they want is a quick return
   for the money spent on his education, and he will have to
   make that return from a Rs.30 salary instead of a Rs.50 one.

Can there be anything more pathetic and more alarming than the picture
that Dr. Williams draws of the student's actual life?--

   He gets up about 6, and having dressed (which is not a
   long process) he starts work. Until 10, if you go into his
   mess, you will see him "grinding" away at his text-book,
   under the most amazing conditions for work--usually stretched
   out upon his bed or sitting on the side of it. The room is
   almost always shared with some other occupant, usually
   with two or three or more other occupants, mostly engaged
   in the same task if they are students. At 10 the
   boy gets some food, and then goes of to his college for about
   four or five hours of lectures. A little after 3 in the afternoon
   he comes home to his mess, and between 3 and 5 is usually
   seen lounging about his room, dead tired but often engaged
   in discussion with his room-mates or devouring the newspaper,
   which is his only form of recreation and his only bit of excitement.
   At 5 he will go out for a short stroll down College-street
   or around College-square. This is his one piece of
   exercise, if such you can call it. At dusk he returns to his
   ill-lighted, stuffy room and continues his work, keeping it up,
   with a short interval for his evening meal, until he goes to
   bed, the hour of bed-time depending upon the proximity
   of his examination. A very large percentage when they
   actually sit for their examinations are nothing short of
   physical wrecks.

Dr. Williams proceeds to quote Dr. Mullick, an eminent Hindu physician
who has devoted himself to helping young students:--

   The places where the students live huddled up together
   are most hurtful to their constitutions. The houses are
   dirty, dingy, ill-ventilated, and crowded. Even in case of
   infectious sickness ... they lie in the same place as
   others, some of whom they actually infect. Phthisis is getting
   alarmingly common among students owing to the sputum of
   infected persons being allowed to float about with the dust
   in crowded messes.... Most of them live in private
   messes where a hired cook and single servant have complete
   charge of his food and house-keeping, and things are stolen,
   foodstuffs are adulterated, badly cooked and badly served.

Dr. Williams, who states emphatically that "it is not exaggeration to
say that the student is often half-starved," goes on to deal with the
moral drawbacks of a life which is under no effective supervision and is
not even under the restraints, implied in the term "good form," that
play so important a part in Universities where there is a real
collegiate life.

   When you segregate your young men by thousands in the
   heart of this "city of dreadful night," amid conditions of
   life which are most antagonistic to moral and physical well-being...
   the result is a foregone conclusion, and it
   does not only mean physical degeneration, it also means moral
   degeneration, and it becomes a most potent predisposing
   factor in political disease. Of that there can be no shadow
   of doubt.

The material conditions are not, it is true, nearly so bad in many other
parts of India as they are in Bengal, and especially in Calcutta (though
the Bengalees claim the intellectual primacy of India), and it is on the
moral and physical evils produced by those conditions that Dr. Garfield
Williams chiefly dwells. But the intellectual evils for all but a small
minority are in their way quite as grave, and they are inherent to the
system. Take the case of a boy brought up until he is old enough to go
to school in some small town of the _mofussil_, anywhere in India, by
parents who have never been drawn into any contact, however remote, with
Western ideas or Western knowledge. From these purely Indian
surroundings his parents, who are willing to stint themselves in order
that their son may get a post under Government, send him to a secondary
school, let us say in the chief town of the district, or in a University
city. There again he boards with friends of his family, if they have
any, or in more or less reputable lodgings amidst the same purely Indian
surroundings, and his only contact with the Western world is through
school-books in a foreign tongue, of which it is difficult enough for
him to grasp even the literal meaning, let alone the spirit, which his
native teachers have themselves too often only, very partially imbibed
and are therefore quite unable to communicate[18]. From the secondary
school he passes for his University course, if he gets so far, in
precisely the same circumstances into a college which is merely a higher
form of school. Whilst attending college our student still continues to
live amidst the same purely Indian surroundings, and his contact with
the Western world is still limited to his text-books. Even the best
native teacher can hardly interpret that Western world to him as a
trained European can, and unless our student intends to become a doctor
or an engineer, and has to pass through the schools of medicine or
engineering, where he is bound to be a good deal under English teachers,
he may perfectly well, and very often does, go through his whole course
of studies in school and in college without ever coming into personal
contact with an Englishman. How can he be expected under such conditions
to assimilate Western knowledge or to form even a remote conception of
the customs and traditions, let alone the ideals, embodied in Western
knowledge?

Try and imagine for a moment, however absurd it may seem, what would
have been the effect upon the brains of the youth of our own country if
it had been subject to Chinese rule for the last 100 years, and the
Chinese, without interfering with our own social customs or with our
religious beliefs, had taken charge of higher education and insisted
upon conveying to our youth a course of purely Chinese instruction
imparted through Chinese text-books, and taught mainly by Englishmen,
for the most part only one degree more familiar than their pupils with
the inwardness of Chinese thought and Chinese ethics. The effect could
hardly have been more bewildering than the effect produced in many cases
similar to that which I have instanced on the brain of the Indian youth
when he emerges from our schools and colleges.

It may be said that such cases are extreme cases, but extreme as they
are, they are not exceptional. The exceptions must be sought rather
amongst the small minority, who, in spite of all these drawbacks,
display such a wonderful gift of assimilation, or, it might perhaps be
more correctly termed, of intuition, that they are able to transport
themselves into a new world of thought, or at any rate to see into it,
as it were, through a glass darkly. But the number of those who possess
this gift has probably always been small, and smaller still, with the
reduction of the European element in the teaching staff, is the number
growing of those who have a fair chance of developing that gift, even if
nature has endowed them with it. A comparison of the Census Report of
1901 with the figures given in the Educational Statistics for 1901-2
shows that the total number of Europeans then engaged in Indian
educational work was barely, 500, of whom less than half were employed
by Government, whilst that of the Indians engaged in similar work in
colleges and secondary schools alone was about 27,500. As the number of
Indian students and scholars receiving higher education amounts to
three-quarters of a million, it is obvious that so slight a European
leaven, whatever its quality--and its quality is not always what it
should be--can produce but little impression upon so huge a mass.

Our present system of Indian education in fact presents in an
exaggerated form, from the point of view of the cultivation of the
intellect, most of the defects alleged against a classical education by
its bitterest opponents in Western countries, where, after all, the
classics form only a part, however important, of the curriculum, and
neither Latin nor Greek is the only medium for the teaching of every
subject. From the point of view of the formation of character according
to Western standards, and even from that of physical improvement, the
case is even worse. In Western countries the education given in our
schools, from the Board school to the University, is always more or
less on the same plane as that of the class from which the boys who
attend them are drawn. It is merely the continuation and the complement
of the education our children receive in their own homes from the moment
of their birth, and it moves on the same lines as the world in which
they live and move and have their being. In India, with rare exceptions,
it is not so, but exactly the reverse.

On the deficiencies of the system, from the moral point of view, a new
and terribly lurid light has been shed within the last few years. There
has been no more deplorable feature in the present political agitation
than the active part taken in it by Indian schoolboys and students. It
has been a prominent feature everywhere, but nowhere more so than in the
Bengal provinces, where from the very outset of the boycott movement in
1905 picketing of the most aggressive character was conducted by bands
of young Hindus who ought to have been doing their lessons. That was
only the beginning, and the state of utter demoralization that was
ultimately reached may be gathered from the following statements in the
last Provincial Report on Education (1908-9), issued by the Government
of Eastern Bengal:--

   On the 7th of August [1908] most of the Hindu students
   abstained from attending the college and high schools at
   Comilla as a demonstration in connexion with the boycott
   anniversary. Immediately afterwards, on the date of the
   execution of the Muzafferpur murderer, the boys of several
   schools in the province attended barefooted and without
   shirts and in some cases fasting.... At Jamalpur the
   demonstration lasted a week.... Later in the year, on
   the occasion of the execution of one of the Alipur murderers,
   the pupils of the Sandip Cargill school made a similar demonstration.

The report adds, in a sanguine vein, that, as a result of various
disciplinary measures, a marked improvement had subsequently taken
place, but quite recent events, during the great conspiracy trial at
Dacca, show that something more than disciplinary measures is required
to eradicate the spirit which inspired such occurrences.

The heaviest responsibility rests on those who, claiming to be the
intellectual leaders of the country, not only instigated its youth to
take part in political campaigns, but actually placed them in the
forefront of the fray. However reprehensible from our British point of
view other features of a seditious agitation may be, to none does so
high a degree of moral culpability attach as to the deliberate efforts
made by Hindu politicians to undermine the fundamental principles of
authority by stirring up the passions or appealing to the religious
sentiment of inexperienced youth at the most emotional period of
life.[19] Even the fact that political murders have been invariably
perpetrated by misguided youths of the student class is hardly as
ominous as the homage paid to the murderers' memories by whole schools
and colleges. Most ominous of all is the tolerance, and sometimes the
encouragement, extended to such demonstrations by schoolmasters and
professors. These are symptoms that point to a grave moral disease
amongst the teachers as well as the taught, which we can only ignore at
our peril and at the sacrifice of our duty towards the people of India.
In his last two Convocation speeches, Dr. Ashutosh Mookerjee has himself
felt constrained to lay special stress on the question of teachers and
politics. Alluding in 1909 to "the lamentable events of the last 12
months," he maintained, "without hesitation," that "the most strenuous
efforts must be unfalteringly made by all persons truly interested in
the future of the rising generation to protect our youths from the hands
of irresponsible people who recklessly seek to seduce our students from
the path of academic life and to plant in their immature minds the
poisonous seeds of hatred against constituted Government." This year he
was even more outspoken, and laid it down that even the teacher "who
scrupulously abstains from political matters within his class-room, but
at the same time devotes much or all of his leisure hours to political
activities and agitation, and whose name and speeches are prominently
before the world in connexion with political organizations and
functions," fails in his duty towards his pupils; for "their minds will
inevitably be attracted towards political affairs and political
agitation if they evidently constitute the main life-interest and
life-work of one who stands towards them in a position of authority."
Teachers should therefore avoid everything that tends "to impart to the
minds of our boys a premature bias towards politics."

A most admirable exhortation; but I had an opportunity of estimating the
weight that it carried with some of the political leaders of Bengal when
I accepted an invitation from Mr. Surendranath Banerjee to meet a few
Bengalee students in an informal way and have a talk with them. They
were bright, pleasant lads, and, if they had been left to themselves, I
might have had an interesting talk with them about their studies and
their prospects in life, but Mr. Banerjee and several other politicians
who were present insisted upon giving to the conversation a political
turn of a disagreeably controversial character which seemed to me
entirely out of place.

The mischievous incitements of politicians would not, however, have
fallen on to such receptive soil if economic conditions, for which we
are ourselves at least partly responsible, had not helped to create an
atmosphere in which political disaffection is easily bred amongst both
teachers and taught. The rapid rise in the cost of living has affected
no class more injuriously than the old clerkly castes from which the
teaching staff and the scholars of our schools and colleges are mainly
recruited. Their material position now often compares unfavourably with
that of the skilled workman and even of the daily labourer, whose higher
wages have generally kept pace with the appreciation of the necessaries
of life. This is a cause of great bitterness even amongst those who at
the end of their protracted, course of studies get some small billet
for their pains. The bitterness is, of course, far greater amongst those
who fail altogether. The rapid expansion of an educational system that
has developed far in excess of the immediate purpose for which it was
originally introduced was bound to result in a great deal of
disappointment for the vast number of Indians who regarded it merely as
an avenue to Government employment. For the demand outran the supply,
and the deterioration in the quality of education consequent upon this
too rapid expansion helped at the same time to restrict the possible
demand. F.A.'s (First Arts) and even B.A.'s are now too often drugs in
the market. Nothing is more pathetic than the hardships to which both
the young Indian and his parents will subject themselves in order that
he may reach the coveted goal of University distinctions, but
unfortunately, as such distinctions are often achieved merely by a
process of sterile cramming which leaves the recipients quite unable to
turn mere feats of memory to any practical account, the sacrifices prove
to have been made in vain. Whilst the skilled artisan, and even the
unskilled labourer, can often command from 12 annas to 1 rupee (1s. to
1s. 4d.) a day, the youth who has sweated himself and his family through
the whole course of higher education frequently looks in vain for
employment at Rs.30 (£2) and even at Rs.20 a month. In Calcutta not a
few have been taken on by philanthropic Hindus to do mechanical labour
in jute mills at Rs.15 a month simply to keep them from starvation.
Things have in fact reached this pitch, that our educational system is
now turning out year by year a semi-educated proletariat which is not
only unemployed, but in many cases almost unemployable. A Hindu
gentleman who is one of the highest authorities on education told me
that in Bengal, where this evil has reached the most serious dimensions,
he estimates the number of these unemployed at over 40,000. This is an
evil which no change in the relative number of Europeans and natives
employed in Government and other services could materially affect. Even
if every Englishman left India, it would present just as grave a problem
to the rulers of the country, except that the bitterness engendered
would not be able to vent itself, as it too often does now, on the alien
rulers who have imported the alien system of education by which many of
those who fail believe themselves to have been cruelly duped.

Similar causes have operated to produce discontent amongst the teachers,
who in turn inoculate their pupils with the virus of disaffection. It
was much easier to multiply schools and colleges than to train a
competent teaching staff. Official reports seldom care to look
unpleasant facts in the face, and the periodical reports both of the
Imperial Department of Public Education and of the Provincial
Departments have always been inclined to lay more stress upon the
multiplication of educational institutions and the growth in the numbers
of pupils and students than upon the weak points of the system.
Nevertheless, there is one unsatisfactory feature that the most
confirmed optimists cannot ignore. Hardly a single one of these reports
but makes some reference to the deficiencies and incapacity of the
native teaching staff. The last quinquennial report issued by Mr.
Orange, the able Director-General of Public Education, who is now
leaving India, contains a terse but very significant passage. "Speaking
generally," he writes, "it may be said that the qualifications and the
pay of the teachers in secondary schools are below any standard that
could be thought reasonable; and the inquiries which are now being made
into the subject have revealed a state of things that is scandalous in
Bengal and Eastern Bengal, and is unsatisfactory in every province."
Very little information is forthcoming as to the actual qualifications
or pay of the teachers. It appears, however, from the inspection of high
schools by the Calcutta University that out of one group of 3,054
teachers over 2,100 receive salaries of less than 30 rupees (£2) a
month. One cannot, therefore, be surprised to hear that in Bengal "only
men of poor attainments adopt the profession, and the few who are well
qualified only take up work in schools as a stepping-stone to some more
remunerative career." That career is frequently found in the Press,
where the disgruntled ex-schoolmaster adds his quota of gall to the
literature of disaffection. But he is still more dangerous when he
remains a schoolmaster and uses his position to teach disaffection to
his pupils either by precept or by example.

I have already alluded to the unfortunate effect of the recommendations
of the Public Service Commission of 1886-7 on the native side of the
Education Service. But if it has become more difficult to attract to it
the right type of Indians, it has either become almost as difficult to
attract the right type of Europeans, or the influence they are able to
exercise has materially diminished. In the first place, their numbers
are quite inadequate. Out of about 500 Europeans actually engaged in
educational work in India less than half are in the service of the
State. Many of them are admittedly very capable men, and not a few
possess high University credentials. But so long as the Indian
Educational Service is regarded and treated as an inferior branch of the
public service, we cannot expect its general tone to be what it should
be in view of the supreme importance of the functions it has to
discharge. One is often told that the conditions are at least as
attractive as those offered by an educational career at home. Even if
that be so, it would not affect my contention that, considering how
immeasurably more difficult is the task of training the youth of an
entirely alien race according to Western standards, and how vital that
task is for the future of British rule in India, the conditions should
be such as to attract, not average men, but the very best men that we
can produce. As it is, the Education Department cannot be said to
attract the best men, for these go into the Civil Service, and only
those, as a rule, enter the Educational Service who either, having made
up their minds early to seek a career in India, have failed to pass the
Civil Service examinations, or, having originally intended to take up
the teaching profession in England, are subsequently induced to come out
to India by disappointments at home or by the often illusory hope of
bettering their material prospects. When they arrive they begin work
without any knowledge of the character and customs of the people. Some
are employed in inspection and others as professors, and the latter
especially are apt to lose heart when they realize the thanklessness of
their task and their social isolation. In some cases indifference is the
worst result, but in others--happily rare--they themselves, I am
assured, catch the surrounding contagion of discontent, and their
influence tends rather to promote than to counteract the estrangement of
the rising generation committed to their charge. Some men, no doubt,
rise superior to all these adverse conditions and, in comparing the men
of the present day with those of the past, one is apt to remember only
the few whose names still live in the educational annals of India and to
forget the many who have passed away without making any mark. The fact,
however, remains that nowadays the Europeans who have the greatest
influence over their Indian pupils are chiefly to be found amongst the
missionaries with whom teaching is not so much a profession as a
vocation.



CHAPTER XIX.

SOME MEASURES OF EDUCATIONAL REFORM.


Though already in 1889, when Lord Lansdowne was Viceroy, an important
resolution, drafted by Sir Anthony (now Lord) MacDonnell as Secretary to
Government, was issued, drawing attention to some of the most glaring
defects of our educational system from the point of view of intellectual
training and of discipline, and containing valuable recommendations for
remedying them, it seems to have had very little practical effect. A
more fruitful attempt to deal with the question was made during Lord
Curzon's Viceroyalty. He summoned and presided over an Educational
Conference, of which the results were embodied in a Government
Resolution issued on March 11, 1904, and in the Universities Act of the
same year. They were received at the time with a violent outburst of
indignation by Indian politicians, who claim to represent the educated
intellect of the country. The least that Lord Curzon was charged with
was a deliberate attempt to throttle higher education in India. This
factious outcry has now died away, except amongst the irreconcilables,
and Dr. Ashutosh Mookerjee, an authority whom even Hindu partisanship
can hardly repudiate, declared in his last Convocation speech that the
new regulations which are now being brought into operation, far from
bearing out the apprehensions of "alarmist prophets," have been
distinctly beneficial to the better and stronger class of students.

To summarize very briefly the work of the Conference, it recognized in
the first place the importance of the vernaculars as the proper medium
for instruction in the lower stages of education, whilst maintaining the
supremacy of English in the higher stages. It sought to give a more
practical character to high-school training by promoting the "modern
side," hitherto overshadowed by a mainly literary curriculum, and it
endeavoured to make the school courses self-sufficing and self-contained
instead of merely a stepping-stone to the University courses. To this
end secondary schools were encouraged to give more importance to School
Final Examinations as a general test of proficiency and not to regard
their courses as almost exclusively preparatory to the University
Entrance Examination. Great stress was also laid upon the improvement of
training colleges for teachers as well as upon the development of
special schools for industrial, commercial, and agricultural
instruction. Nor were the ethics of education, altogether forgotten in
their bearings upon the maintenance of healthy discipline. Government
emphasized the great importance of a large extension of the system of
hostels or boarding-houses, under proper supervision, in connexion with
colleges and secondary schools, as a protection against the moral
dangers of life in large towns; and whilst provision was made for the
more rigorous inspection of schools to test their qualifications both
for Government grants-in-aid and for affiliation to Universities,
certain reforms were also introduced into the constitution and
management of the Universities themselves.

The results already achieved are not inconsiderable. The provision of
hostels, in which Lord Curzon was deeply interested, has made great
progress, and one may hope that the conditions of student life described
by Dr. Garfield Williams in Calcutta are typical of a state of things
already doomed to disappear, though at the present rate of progress it
can only disappear very slowly. In Madras there is a fine building for
the Presidency College students and also for those of the Madras
Christian College. In Bombay Government are giving money for the
extension of the boarding accommodation of the three chief colleges. In
Allahabad, Agra, Lucknow, Meerut, Bareilly, Lahore, and many other
centres old residential buildings are being extended or new ones
erected. The new Dacca College, in the capital of Eastern Bengal, is one
of the most conspicuous and noteworthy results of the Partition. In
Calcutta itself little has been done except in the missionary
institutions; and it is certainly very discouraging to note that an
excellent and very urgent scheme for removing the Presidency College,
the premier college of Bengal, from the slums in which it is at present
in every way most injuriously confined, to a healthy suburban site has
been shelved by the Bengal Government partly under financial pressure
and partly because of the lukewarmness of native opinion. What is no
doubt really wanted is the wholesale removal of all the Colleges
connected with the Calcutta University altogether from their present
surroundings, but to refuse to make a beginning with the Presidency
College is merely to prove once more that _le mieux est l'ennemi du
bien_.

In regard to the University Entrance Examinations, the latest Madras
returns, which were alone sufficiently complete to illustrate the effect
of the new regulations, showed that the increased stringency of the
tests had resulted in a healthy decrease in the number of
matriculations, whilst the standard had been materially raised. In
Calcutta the University inspection of schools and colleges and the
exercise by the Universities of their discretionary powers in matters of
affiliation have grown much more effective. That the powers of the
University Senates have not been unduly curtailed is only too clearly
shown on the other hand by the effective resistance hitherto offered at
Bombay to the scheme of reforms proposed by Sir George Clarke. To the
most important features of the scheme, which were the provision of a
course of practical science for all first-year students, a systematic
bifurcation of courses, the lightening of the number of subjects in
order to secure somewhat more thoroughness, and compulsory teaching of
Indian history and polity, no serious objection could be raised, but the
politicians on the Senate effectively blocked discussion.

A great deal still remains to be done, and can be done, on the lines of
the resolution of 1904. The speed at which it can be done must, no
doubt, be governed in some directions by financial considerations. The
extension of the hostel system, for instance, which is indispensable to
the removal of some of the worst moral and physical influences upon
education, is largely a matter of money. So is too to some extent the
strengthening of the educational staff, European and native, which is
also urgently needed. The best Indians cannot be attracted unless they
are offered a living wage in some measure consonant with the dignity of
so important a profession, and our schools and colleges will continue to
be too often nursery grounds of sedition so long as we do not redress
the legitimate grievances of teachers on starvation wages. But though
improved prospects may attract better men in the future, the actual
inefficiency of a huge army of native teachers, far too hastily
recruited and imperfectly trained, can at best be but slowly mended. We
want more and better training colleges for native teachers, but that is
not all. The great Mahomedan College at Aligarh, one of the best
educational institutions in India, partly because it is wholly
residential, has obtained excellent results by sending some of its
students who intend to return as teachers to study Western educational
methods in Europe after they have completed their course in India. The
same practice might be extended elsewhere.

To raise the standard of the Europeans in the Educational Service
something more than a mere improvement of material conditions is
required. Additions are being made to both the teaching and the
inspecting staff. But what is above all needed is to get men to join who
regard teaching not merely as a livelihood, but as a vocation, and to
inform them with a better understanding both of the people whose
children they have to train and of the character and methods of the
Government they have to serve. This can hardly be done except by
associating the Educational Service much more closely with what are now
regarded as the higher branches of the public service in India. No
Englishmen are in closer touch with the realities of Indian life than
Indian civilians, and means must be found to break down the wall which
now rigidly separates the Educational Service from the Civil Service.
Opportunities might usefully be given to young Englishmen when they
first join the Educational Service in India to acquire a more intimate
knowledge of Indian administrative work, as well as of the character and
customs and language of the people amongst whom their lot is to be cast,
by serving an apprenticeship with civilians in the _mofussil_. The
appointment of such a very able civilian as Mr. Harcourt Butler to be
the first Minister of Education in India may be taken as an indication
that Lord Morley realizes the importance of rescuing the Educational
Service from the watertight compartment in which it has hitherto been
much too closely confined. We can hardly hope to restore English
influence over education to the position which it originally occupied.
There are 1,200 high schools for boys in India to-day, of which only
220 are under public management, and, even for the latter, it would be
difficult to provide an English headmaster apiece. What we can do is to
follow up the policy which has been lately resumed of increasing the
number of high schools under Government control, until we have at least
one in every district, and in every large centre one with an English
headmaster which should be the model school for the division.

A much vexed question is whether it is impossible to raise the fees
charged for higher education with a view to checking the wastage which
results from the introduction into our schools and colleges of so much
unsuitable raw material. The fees now charged for the University course
are admittedly very low, even for Indian standards. The total cost of
maintaining an Indian student throughout his four years' college course
ranges from a _minimum_ of £40 to a _maximum_ of £110--i.e., from £10
to £27 10s. per annum. The actual fees for tuition vary from three to
twelve rupees (4s. to 16s.) a month in different colleges. Very large
contributions, amounting roughly to double the total aggregate of fees,
have therefore to be made from public funds towards the cost of
collegiate education. Is it fair to throw so heavy a burden on the
Indian taxpayer for the benefit of a very small section of the
population amongst whom, moreover, many must be able to afford the
whole, or at least a larger proportion, of the cost of their children's
education? Is it wise by making higher instruction so cheap to tempt
parents to educate children often of poor or mediocre abilities out of
their own plane of life? Would it not be better at any rate to raise the
fees generally and to devote the sums yielded by such increase to
exhibitions and scholarships for the benefit of the few amongst the
humbler classes who show exceptional promise?

Against this it is urged that it would be entirely at variance with
Indian traditions to associate standards of knowledge with standards of
wealth, and, in practice, education has, I understand, been found to be
worst where the fees bear the greatest proportion to the total
expenditure. The same arguments equally apply for and against raising
the fees in secondary schools. In regard to the latter, however, the
opponents of any general increase of fees make, nevertheless, a
suggestion which deserves consideration. In many schools the fees begin
at a very low figure--eight annas (8d.) a month in the lowest forms and
rise to three, four, and even five rupees (4s. 5s. 4d. and 6s. 8d.) a
month in the highest forms. It is this initial cheapness which induces
so many thoughtless parents to send their boys to secondary schools
without having considered whether they can afford to keep them through
the whole course, whilst it fosters the notion that badly paid and badly
qualified teachers are good enough for the early, which are often the
most important, stages, of a boy's education. To obviate these evils it
is suggested that the fees for all forms should be equalized.

I shall have occasion later on to point out the immense importance of
giving greater encouragement to scientific and technical education.
Government service and the liberal professions are already overstocked,
and it is absolutely necessary to check the tendency of young Indians to
go in for a merely literary education for which, even if it were more
thorough than it can be under existing conditions, there is no longer
any sufficient outlet. The demand which is arising all over India for
commercial and industrial development should afford an unrivalled
opportunity of deflecting education into more useful and practical
channels.

Some better machinery than exists at present seems also to be required
to bring the Educational Service into touch with parents. Education can
nowhere be a question of mere pedagogics, and least of all in India. Yet
there is evidently a strong tendency to treat it as such. To take only
one instance, the tasks imposed upon schoolboys and students by the
exigencies of an elaborate curriculum are often excessive, and there
have been cases when the intervention of other authorities has been
necessary to bring the education officers to listen to the reasonable
grievances of parents. If in these and other matters parents were more
freely consulted, they would probably be more disposed to give education
officers the support of their parental authority. There are many points
upon which native opinion would not be so easily misled by
irreconcilable politicians if greater trouble were taken to explain the
questions at issue.

What is evidently much wanted is greater elasticity. In a country like
India, which is an aggregation of many widely different countries, the
needs and the wishes of the people must differ very widely and cannot be
met by cast-iron regulations, however admirable in theory. It is
earnestly to be hoped that the creation of a separate portfolio in the
Government of India will not involve the strengthening of the
centralizing tendencies which have been the bane of Indian education
since the days of Macaulay, himself one of the greatest theorists that
ever lived. We cannot afford to relax the very little control we
exercise over education, but education is just one of the matters in
which Provincial Governments should be trusted to ascertain, and to give
effect to, the local requirements of the people. In another direction,
however, the creation of a Ministry for Education should be all to the
good. If any real and comprehensive improvements are to be carried out
they will cost a great deal of money, and in the ordinary sense of the
term it will not be reproductive expenditure, though no expenditure, if
wisely applied, can yield more valuable results. As a member of
Council--i.e., as a member of the Government of India--Mr. Butler must
carry much greater weight in recommending the necessary expenditure than
a Director-General of Public Education or than a Provincial Governor,
especially as the expenditure will probably have to be defrayed largely
out of Imperial and not merely out of Provincial funds. If the
educational problem is the most vital and the most urgent one of all at
the present hour in India, it stands to reason that no more disastrous
blunder could be made than to stint the new department created for its
solution.



CHAPTER XX.

THE QUESTION OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION.


There remains one vital aspect of the educational problem which was left
untouched by the Educational Resolution of 1904, and has been left
untouched ever since we entered three-quarters of a century ago on an
educational experiment unparalleled in the world's history--a more
arduous experiment even than that of governing the 300 millions of India
with a handful of Englishmen. Many nations have conquered remote
dependencies inhabited by alien races, imposed their laws upon them, and
held them in peaceful subjection, though even this has never been done
on the same scale of magnitude as by the British rulers of India. We
alone have attempted to educate them in our own literature and science
and to make them by education the intellectual partners of the
civilization that subdued them. Of the two tasks, that of government and
that of education, the latter is not by any means the easier. For good
government involves as little interference as possible with the beliefs
and customs and traditions of the people, whereas good education means
the substitution for them of the intellectual and moral conceptions of
what we regard as our higher civilization. Good government represents
to that extent a process of conservation; good education must be
partially a destructive, almost a revolutionary, process. Yet upon the
more difficult and delicate problems of education we have hitherto, it
is to be feared, bestowed less thought and less vigilance than upon
administrative problems in India. The purpose we have had in view is
presumably that which Dr. Ashutosh Mookerjee admirably defined in his
last address to the University of Calcutta as "the raising up of loyal
and honourable citizens for the welfare of the State." But is it a
purpose which those responsible for our Indian system of education have
kept steadily before them? Is it a purpose that could possibly be
achieved by the _laisser faire_ policy of the State in regard to the
moral and religious side of education? If so, how is it that we have had
of late such alarming evidence of our frequent failure to achieve it?

The divorce of education from religion is still on its trial in Western
countries, which rely upon a highly-developed code of ethics and an
inherited sense of social and civic duty to supply the place of
religious sanctions. In India, as almost everywhere in the East,
religion in some form or another, from the fetish worship of the
primitive hill tribes to the Pantheistic philosophy of the most cultured
Brahman or the stern Monotheism of the orthodox Moslem, is the dominant
force in the life both of every individual and of every separate
community to which the individual belongs. Religion is, in fact, the
basic element of Indian life, and morality apart from religion is an
almost impossible conception for all but an infinitesimal fraction of
Western-educated Indians. Hence, even if the attempt had been or were in
the future made to instil ethical notions into the minds of the Indian
youth independently of all religious teaching, it could only result in
failure. For the Hindu, perhaps more than for any other, religion
governs life from the hour of his birth to that of his death. His birth
and his death are in fact only links in a long chain of existences
inexorably governed by religion. His religion may seem to us to consist
chiefly of ritual and ceremonial observances which sterilize any higher
spiritual life. But even if such an impression is not due mainly to our
own want of understanding, the very fact that every common act of his
daily life is a religious observance, just as the caste into which he is
born has been determined by the degree in which he has fulfilled similar
religious observances in a former cycle of lives, shows how completely
his religion permeates his existence. The whole world in which he lives
and moves and has his being, in so far as it is not a mere illusion of
the senses, is for him an emanation of the omnipresent deity that he
worships in a thousand different shapes, from the grotesque to the
sublime.

Yet in a country where religion is the sovereign influence we have, from
the beginning, absolutely ignored it in education. It is no doubt quite
impossible for the State in a country like India with so many creeds and
sects, whose tenets are often repugnant to all our own conceptions not
only of religion but of morality, to take any direct part in providing
the religious instruction which would be acceptable to Indian parents.
But was it necessary altogether to exclude such instruction from our
schools and colleges? Has not its exclusion tended to create in the
minds of many Indians the belief that our professions of religious
neutrality are a pretence, and that, however rigorously the State may
abstain from all attempts to use education as a medium for Christian
propaganda, it nevertheless uses it to undermine the faith of the rising
generations in their own ancestral creeds? Even if they acquit us of any
deliberate purpose, are they not at any rate entitled to say that such
have been too often the results? Did not the incipient revolt against
all the traditions of Hinduism that followed the introduction of Western
education help to engender the wholesale reaction against Western
influences which, underlies the present unrest?

Few problems illustrate more strikingly the tremendous difficulties that
beset a Government such as ours in India. On the one hand, Indian
religious conceptions are in many ways so diametrically opposed to all
that British rule stands for that the State cannot actively lend itself
to maintain or promote them. On the other hand, they provide the ties
which hold the whole fabric of Indian society together, and which cannot
be hastily loosened without serious injury and even danger to the State.
This has been made patent to the most careless observer by the events of
the last few years that have revealed, as with a lurid flash of
lightning, the extent to which the demoralization of our schools and
colleges had proceeded. If any Englishman has doubts as to the connexion
in this matter of cause and effect, let him ask respectable Indian
parents who hold aloof from politics. They have long complained that the
spirit of reverence and the respect for parental authority are being
killed by an educational system which may train the intellect and impart
useful worldly knowledge, but withdraws their youths from the actual
supervision and control of the parents or of the _guru_, who for
spiritual guidance stood _in loco parentis_ under the old Hindu system
of education, and estranges them from all the ideas of their own Hindu
world[20]. That parents often genuinely resent the banishment of all
religious influence from our schools and colleges appears from the fact
that many of them prefer to Government institutions those conducted by
missionaries in which, though no attempt is made to proselytize, a
religious, albeit a Christian, atmosphere is to some extent maintained.
It is on similar grounds also that the promoters of the new movement in
favour of "National Schools" advocate the maintenance of schools which
purchase complete immunity from Government control by renouncing all the
advantages of grants-in-aid and of University affiliation. They have
been started mainly under the patronage of "advanced" politicians, and
have too often turned out to be mere hot-beds of sedition, but their
_raison d'être_ is alleged to be the right of Hindu parents to bring up
Hindu children in a Hindu atmosphere.

From the opposite pole in politics, most of the ruling chiefs in their
replies to Lord Minto's request for their opinions on the growth of
disaffection call attention to this aspect of education, and the Hindu
princes especially lay great stress on the neglect of religious and
moral instruction. I will quote only the Maharajah of Jaipur, a Hindu
ruler universally revered, for his high character and great
experience:--

   My next point has reference to the neglect there seems to
   be of religious education, a point to which I drew your
   Excellency's attention at the State banquet at Jaipur on the
   29th October, 1909. I must say I have great faith in a system
   of education, in which secular and religious instruction are
   harmoniously combined, as the formation of character
   entirely depends upon a basework of religion, and the noble
   ideals which our sacred books put before the younger generation
   will, I fervently hope, make them loyal and dutiful
   citizens of the Empire. Such ideals must inevitably have
   their effect on impressionable young men, and it is perhaps
   due to such ideals that sedition and anarchy have obtained
   so small a footing in the Native States as a whole. In the
   Chiefs' College Conference, held at the Mayo College in 1904,
   I impressed upon my colleagues the necessity of religious
   education for the sons of the chiefs and nobles of Rajputana,
   and it should be one of the principal objects in all schools for
   the Pandits and the Moulvies to instil in the minds of their
   pupils correct notions as to the duty they owe to the community
   they belong to and to their Sovereign.

In this respect the ruling chiefs unquestionably reflect the views which
prevail amongst the better-class Indians in British India as well as in
the Native States. The Government of India cannot afford to disregard
them. The Resolution of 1904, it is true, laid it down again definitely
that "in Government institutions, the instruction is and must continue
to be exclusively secular." But much has happened since 1904 to reveal
the evils which our educational system has engendered and to lend
weight to the representations made by responsible exponents of sober
Indian opinion in favour of one of the remedies which it is clearly
within our power to apply. Nor need we really depart from our
time-honoured principle of neutrality in religious matters. All we have
to do is to set apart, in the curriculum of our schools and colleges,
certain hours during which they will be open, on specified conditions,
for religious instruction in the creed in which the parents desire their
children to be brought up. There is no call for compulsion. This is just
one of the questions in which the greatest latitude should be left to
local Governments, who are more closely in touch than the Central
Government with the sentiment and wishes of the different communities. I
am assured that there would be little difficulty in forming local
committees to settle whether there was a sufficiently strong feeling
amongst parents in favour of a course of religious instruction and to
determine the lines upon which it should be given. Some supervision
would have to be exercised by the State, but in the Educational Service
there are, it is to be hoped, enough capable and enlightened
representatives of the different creeds to exercise the necessary amount
of supervision in a spirit both of sympathy for the spiritual needs of
their people and of loyalty to the Government they serve. It may be
objected that there are so many jarring sects, so many divisions of
caste, that it would be impossible ever to secure an agreement as to the
form to be imparted to religious instruction. Let us recognize but not
overrate the difficulty. In each of the principal religions of India a
substantial basis can be found to serve as a common denominator between
different groups, as, for instance, in the Koran for all Mahomedans and
in the Shastras for the great majority of high-caste Hindus. At any
rate, if the effort is made and fails through no fault of ours, but
through the inability of Indian parents to reconcile their religious
differences, the responsibility to them will no longer lie with us.

Another objection will probably be raised by earnest Christians who
would hold themselves bound in conscience to protest against any
facilities being given by a Christian State for instruction in religious
beliefs which they reprobate. Some of these austere religionists may
even go so far as to contend that, rather than tolerate the teaching of
"false doctrines," it is better to deprive Indian children of all
religious teaching. To censure of this sort, however, the State already
lays itself open in India. There are educational institutions--and some
of the best, like the Mahomedan College at Aligurh--maintained by
denominational communities on purpose to secure religious education. Yet
the State withdraws from them neither recognition nor assistance because
pupils are taught to be good Mahomedans or good Hindus. Why should it be
wrong to make religious instruction permissive in other Indian schools
which are not wholly or mainly supported by private endeavour? Is not
the "harmonious combination of secular and religious instruction" for
which the Maharajah of Jaipur pleads better calculated than our present
policy of _laisser faire_ to refine and purify Indian religious
conceptions, and to bring about that approximation of Eastern to Western
ideals, towards which the best Indian minds were tending before the
present revolt against Western ascendency?

Here is surely a question bound up with all the main-springs of Indian
life in which we may be rightly asked "to govern according to Indian
ideas." Can we expect that the youth of India will grow up to be
law-abiding citizens if we deprive them of what their parents hold to be
"the keystone to the formation of character"? Can we close our eyes to
what so many responsible Indians regard as one of the chief causes of
the demoralization which has crept into our schools and colleges? The
State can, doubtless, exact in many ways more loyal co-operation from
Indian teachers in safeguarding their pupils from the virus of
disaffection. It can, for instance, intimate that it will cease to
recruit public servants from schools in which sedition is shown to be
rife. It can hold them collectively responsible, as some Indians
themselves recommend for crimes perpetrated by youths whom they have
helped to pervert. But these are rigorous measures that we can hardly
take with a good conscience so long as our educational system can be
charged with neglecting or undermining, however unintentionally, the
fabric upon which Indian conceptions of morality are based. So long as
we take no steps to refute a charge which, in view of recent evidence,
can no longer be dismissed as wholly unfounded, can we expect education
to fulfil the purpose rightly assigned to it by Dr. Mookerjee--"the
raising up of loyal and honourable citizens for the welfare of the
State?"



CHAPTER XXI.

PRIMARY EDUCATION.


It is too late in the day now to discuss whether it was wise to begin
our educational policy as we did from the top and to devote so much of
our energies and resources to secondary at the expense of primary
education. The result has certainly been to widen the gulf which divides
the different classes of Indian society and to give to those who have
acquired some veneer, however superficial, of Western education the only
articulate voice, often quite out of proportion to their importance, as
the interpreters of Indian interests and desires. One million is a
liberal estimate of the number of Indians who have acquired and retained
some knowledge of English; whilst at the last census, out of a total
population of 294 millions, less than sixteen millions could read and
write in any language--not fifteen millions out of the whole male
population and not one million out of the whole female population--and
this modest amount of literacy is mainly confined to a few privileged
castes.

With the growth of a school of Indian politicians bent upon undermining
British rule, the almost inconceivable ignorance in which the masses are
still plunged has become a real danger to the State, for it has proved
an all too receptive soil for the calumnies and lies of the political
agitator, who, too well educated himself to believe what he retails to
others, knows exactly the form of calumny and lie most likely to appeal
to the credulity of his uninformed fellow-countrymen. I refer
especially to such very widespread and widely believed stories as that
Government disseminates plague by poisoning the wells and that it
introduces into the plague inoculation serum drugs which destroy
virility in order to keep down the birth-rate. No one has put this point
more strongly than Lord Curzon:--

   What is the greatest danger in India? What is the source
   of suspicion, superstition, outbreaks, crime---yes, and also
   of much of the agrarian discontent and suffering amongst
   the masses? It is ignorance. And what is the only antidote
   to ignorance? Knowledge.

Curiously enough, it was one of Lord Curzon's bitterest opponents who
corroborated him on this point by relating in the course of a recent
debate how, when the Chinsurah Bridge was built some years ago over the
Hughli, "the people believed that hundreds and thousands of men were
being sacrificed and their heads cut off and carried to the river to be
put under the piers to give the bridge stability, so that the goddess
might appreciate the gift and let the piers remain." And he added:--"I
know that ignorant people were afraid to go out at nights, lest they
might be seized and their heads cut off and thrown under the piers of
the Hughli Bridge."

It was, however, on more general consideration, as is his wont, that Mr.
Gokhale moved his resolution in the first Session of the Imperial
Council at Calcutta last winter for making elementary education free and
compulsory, and for the early appointment of a committee to frame
definite proposals.

   Three movements [he claimed] have combined to give
   to mass education the place which it occupies at present
   amongst the duties of the State--the humanitarian movement
   which reformed prisons and liberated the slave, the
   democratic movement which admitted large masses of men
   to a participation in Government, and the industrial movement
   which brought home to nations the recognition that
   the general spread of education in a country, even when it
   did not proceed beyond the elementary stage, meant the
   increased efficiency of the worker.

The last of these three considerations is, perhaps, that which just now
carries the most weight with moderate men in India, where the general
demand for industrial and commercial development is growing loud and
insistent, and Mr. Gokhale's resolution met with very general support
from his Mahomedan, as well as from his Hindu, colleagues. But, in the
minds of disaffected politicians, another consideration is, it must be
feared, also present, to which utterance is not openly given. It is the
hope that the extension of primary schools may serve, as has that of
secondary schools to promote the dissemination of seditious doctrines,
especially amongst the "depressed castes" to which the political
agitator has so far but rarely secured access.

Whatever danger may lie in that direction, it cannot be allowed to
affect the policy of Government, who gave to Mr. Gokhale's resolution a
sufficiently sympathetic reception to induce him to withdraw it for the
present. To the principle of extending primary education the Government
of India have indeed long been committed, and increased efforts were
recommended, both in the Educational Despatch of 1854 and by the
Education Commission of 1883. Stress was equally laid upon it by the
Resolution of 1904 under Lord Curzon, who already, in 1902, had caused
additional grants, amounting to more than a quarter of a million
sterling, to be given to provincial Governments for the purpose. Under
Lord Minto's administration Government seemed at one moment to have gone
very much further and to have accepted at any rate the principle of free
education, for in 1907 the Finance Member conveyed in Council an
assurance from the Secretary of State that "notwithstanding the absence
of Budget provision, if a suitable scheme should be prepared and
sanctioned by him, he will be ready to allow it to be carried into
effect in the course of the year, provided that the financial position
permits." It was rather unfortunate that hopes should be so prematurely
raised, and it would surely have been wiser to consult the local
Governments before than after such a pronouncement. For when they were
consulted their replies, especially as to the abolition of fees, were
mostly unfavourable, and this year also Government, whilst expressing
its good will, felt bound to defer any decision until the question had
been more fully studied and the financial situation had improved.

The present situation is certainly unsatisfactory. In 1882 there were
85,000 primary schools in India recognized by the Educational Department
which gave elementary education to about 2,000,000 pupils. In 1907,
according to the last quinquennial report, the total attendance had
increased to 3,631,000; but though the increase appears very
considerable, the Director-General of Education had to admit that,
assuming progress to be maintained at the present rate, "several
generations would still elapse before all the boys of school age were in
school." And Mr. Gokhale's resolution applies, at least ultimately, to
girls as well as to boys! Now in British India--i.e., without counting
the Native States--the total number of boys of school-going age on the
basis of the four years' course proposed for India would be nearly 12
millions, and there must be about an equal number of girls. The total
cost to the State according to the estimates of local Governments would
be no less than £15,000,000 per annum, whilst non-recurring expenditure
would amount to £18,000,000. The fees at present paid by parents for
primary education, which is already free in some parts of India and in
certain circumstances, make up only about £210,000 per annum. The whole
of the enormous difference would, therefore, be thrown upon the Indian
taxpayers, who now have to find for primary education less than £650,000
per annum. Even Mr. Gokhale does not, of course, propose that this
educational and financial revolution should be effected by a stroke of
the pen, and one of his Hindu colleagues held that, it would be contrary
to all Hindu traditions for parents to avail themselves of free
education if they could afford to pay a reasonable sum for it.

But even if the state of Indian finances were likely within any
appreciable time to warrant an approximate approach to such vast
expenditure, or if Government could entertain the suggestions made by
Mr. Gokhale for meeting it, partly by raising the import duties from 5
to 7-1/2 per cent, and imposing other taxes, and partly by wholesale
retrenchment in other departments, the financial difficulty is not the
only one to be overcome. Model schoolhouses could no doubt be built all
over India, if the money were forthcoming, instead of the wretched
accommodation which exists now, and is so inadequate that in the Bombay
Presidency alone there are said to be 100,000 boys for whom parents
want, but cannot obtain, primary education. But what of the teachers?
These cannot be improvised, however many millions Government may be
prepared to spend. There is an even greater deficiency of good teachers
than of good schoolhouses, and, in some respects, the value of primary
education still more than that of secondary education depends upon good
teachers--teachers who are capable of explaining what they teach and not
merely of reeling off by rote, and imperfectly, to their pupils lessons
which they themselves imperfectly understand. The total number of
teachers engaged in primary education exceeds 100,000, but their
salaries barely average Rs.8 (10s. 8d.) a month. So miserable a pittance
abundantly explains their inefficiency. But there it is, and a new army
of teachers--nearly half a million altogether--would have to be trained
before primary education, whether free and compulsory, as Mr. Gokhale
would have it, or optional and for payment, as others propose, could be
usefully placed within the reach of the millions of Indian children of a
school-going age.

In this as in all other matters, the Government of India cannot afford
to stand still, and will have to take Indian opinion more and more into
account. But whilst there is a very general consensus that more should
be done by the State for primary education, there is no unanimity as to
its being made free and compulsory. Various Indian members of Council
have expressed themselves against it on different grounds. Some contend
that many parents cannot afford, as bread-winners, to be deprived of the
help of their children. According to others, there is already much
complaint amongst parents that school-going boys do not make good
agriculturists and affect to consider work in the fields as beneath
their dignity. Others, again, ask, and with some reason, who is going to
care for boys of that age who may have to leave their homes and be
removed from parental control in order to attend school. There is,
doubtless, something in all these objections. Assuming that Government
can do more than it has hitherto done to further primary education, the
wisest course would be to improve the quality rather than the quantity,
and, most of all, the quality of the teachers. Here, again, uniformity
should be avoided rather than ensued. No primary curriculum can be
evolved which will meet the needs alike of the rural population and of
the townsfolk, or of the different parts of India with their varying
conditions of climate and temperament. Even more than with regard to
secondary schools, the needs of parents must be consulted, and the
greatest latitude given to provincial Governments to vary the system in
a practical spirit and in accordance with local requirements. Nor can
the opinion, strongly held by many parents, be overlooked that religious
instruction cannot be safely excluded from the training of such young
children. Some of the objects to be kept specially in view have been
well stated by Mr. Orange, the Director-General of Public Education:--

   We desire to see, if not in every village, within reach of
   every village, a school, not an exotic, but a village school,
   in which the village itself can take pride, and of which the
   first purpose will be to train up good men and women and good
   citizens; and the second; to impart useful knowledge, not
   forgetting while doing so to train the eye and the hand so
   that the children when they leave school, whether for the
   field or the workshop, will have begun to learn the value of
   accurate observation and to feel the joy of intelligent and
   exact manual work.

This is undoubtedly the goal towards which primary education should be
directed, but it can only be reached by steady and continuous effort
spread over a long term of years. Otherwise we shall discover, again too
late, that, as in the case of secondary education, most haste is worst
speed.

I shall not attempt to deal with the question of female education,
either primary or secondary, for it is so intimately bound up with the
peculiarities of Indian, and especially Hindu, society, that it would be
difficult for the State to take any vigorous initiative without running
a great risk of alarming and alienating native opinion[21]. Owing to
Indian social customs and to the practice of early marriage or at least
of early seclusion, for girls, their education presents immense
practical difficulties which do not exist in the case of boys. Hence the
slow progress it has made. At the last census only eight per thousand
women could read and write; and in the whole of India only about half a
million girls, or four out of every 100 of a school-going age,--even on
the basis of a four years' course, are receiving any kind of education.
Of such as do go to school nine out of ten only go to primary schools.
Mr. Gokhale himself has abandoned the idea of making primary education
compulsory for girls as well as for boys. Female education is just one
of the questions upon which Indian opinion must be left to ripen,
Government giving, in proportion as it ripens, such assistance as can be
legitimately expected. It has long engaged the attention of enlightened
Indians, and in some communities, especially amongst the Aryas of the
Punjab, some headway is being made. The Parsees, of course, as in all
educational and philanthropic developments, have always been in the
van. With the growth of Western education the Indian woman of the higher
classes cannot indefinitely lag behind, and, if only to make their
daughters more eligible for marriage, the most conservative Indian
parents will be compelled to educate them, as some have already done, so
that they shall not be separated from their male partners by an
unfathomable gulf of intellectual inferiority. In Calcutta, in Bombay,
in Madras, and indeed in all the principal cities of India, one may
already meet native ladies, both Hindu and Mahomedan, of education and
refinement, who, however few their numbers, are shining examples of what
Indian womanhood can rise to when once it is emancipated from the
trammels of antiquated custom.



CHAPTER XXII.

SWADESHI AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS.


Was it not Talleyrand who said that speech had been given to man in
order to enable him to disguise his thoughts? Indian politicians are no
Talleyrands, but they sometimes seem to have framed their vocabulary on
purpose to disguise political conceptions which most of them for various
reasons shrink from defining at present with decision. We have already
seen how elastic is the word _Swaraj_, self-government, or rather
self-rule. In the mouth of the "moderates" of the Indian National
Congress it means, we are assured, only a pious aspiration towards the
same position which our self-governing Colonies enjoy within the Empire.
For the "advanced" politician _Swaraj_ means a transition stage which he
hopes and believes must infallibly lead to a complete severance of the
ties that unite India to the Empire. For the "extremists" it means the
immediate and violent emancipation of India from British rule, and
absolute independence. So it is with the term _Swadeshi_, which means
anything from the perfectly legitimate and commendable encouragement of
Indian trade and industry to the complete exclusion of foreign, and
especially of British, goods by a "national" and often forcible
"boycott" as part of a political campaign against British rule.

Political _Swadeshi_ bases itself upon a Nationalist legend that a
"golden age" prevailed in India before we appeared on the scene, and
that British rule has deliberately drained India of her wealth. Even if
we have to, admit that Indian home industries have suffered heavily from
the old commercial policy of the East India Company and from the
formidable competition of the organized and scientific processes of
British industry, this legend hardly deserves to be treated seriously.
The _reductio ad absurdum_ of the argument has certainly been reached
when Mr. Keir Hardie alleges that Indian loans raised in England
constitute "a regular soaking drain upon India because the interest is
paid to bondholders in this country [England], and is not therefore
benefiting the people from whom it is taken." I can only commend this
sapient contention to our self-governing Colonies, who have all had
recourse in turn to British capital for the development of their
resources, and paid interest on their loans to British bondholders
without being apparently conscious of any "soaking drain." The supposed
"drain" is estimated in various ways, but a common method adopted is to
lay stress upon the excess of exports over imports[22]. Lord Curzon has
rightly pointed out that economically this test is quite fallacious; and
that in the richest country in the world, America, the value of the
exports exceeds the imports by over £100,000,000 per annum. Home charges
represent three-fourths of the "drain," and these may be calculated at
about £18,000,000 annually. Of this sum, £6,750,000 is paid in interest
on railway capital; but the railways are a source of profit, and the
payment comes from the railway passenger. Moreover, in course of time,
the Indian railways will become, and are becoming, a property of
enormous value to the State. The interest on India's public debt is
£3,000,000, but it has to be remembered how much India has benefited by
expenditure which has proved reproductive. Sir Bampfylde Fuller has
stated that the lowest estimate of the increase in produce obtained
through irrigation works alone is estimated at £30,000,000 annually. In
the last 50 years the total volume of Indian trade, imports and exports,
has increased from £40,000,000 to £200,000,000. The remaining items are
roughly, home military charges, £2,000,000; India Office, &c., £250,000;
leave allowances, £750,000; pensions, £4,000,000. A considerable part of
these pensions represent merely deferred pay. Moreover, unlike some
other countries, e.g., the United States, where £32,000,000 are spent
on pensions, mostly unearned, India has had good value, brimming over,
for her pensions. The private remittances to England, which must be
added to these sums, are not treated in any other country as an economic
loss. No American economist would so regard the enormous annual sums
remitted by immigrants to Ireland, Italy, and other European countries,
or the vast annual expenditure of American tourists in Europe. Indian
immigrants remit £400,000 annually to India from the Straits Settlements
and Malay States alone, and considerable sums must be sent from East and
South Africa and Ceylon, as well as smaller sums from Mauritius and the
West Indies. Yet these colonies do not apparently complain about a
"drain" to India.

What India is entitled to ask is whether Indian loans have been expended
for the benefit of the Indian people, and the answer is conclusive.
India possesses to-day assets in the shape of railways, irrigation
canals, and other public works which, as marketable properties,
represent more than her total indebtedness, without even taking into
account the enormous value of the "unearned increment" they have
produced for the benefit of the people of India. If, therefore, we look
at the Government of India for a moment as merely a board of directors
conducting a great development business on behalf of the Indian people,
they can certainly show an excellent balance-sheet. Let us admit that
some of the "home charges" may be open to discussion, and I shall have a
word or two or say about them later on. But taken altogether they may
fairly be regarded as the not unreasonable cost of administering a
concern which, if we wished to liquidate it and to retire from business
to-morrow, would leave a handsome surplus to India after paying off the
whole debt contracted in her name. The case was stated very fairly by
the late Mr. Ranade, whose teachings all but the most "advanced"
politicians still profess to reverence, when he delivered the inaugural
address at the first Industrial Conference held just 20 years ago at
Poona:--

   There are some people who think that as long as we have
   a heavy tribute to pay to England which takes away nearly
   20 crores of our surplus exports, we are doomed, and can
   do nothing to help ourselves. This is, however, hardly a
   fair or manly position to take up. A portion of the burden
   represents interest on moneys advanced to, or invested in,
   our country, and so far from complaining, we have reason
   to be thankful that we have a creditor who supplies our needs
   at such a low rate of interest. Another portion represents
   the value of stores supplied to us, the like of which we cannot
   produce here. The remainder is alleged to be more or less
   necessary for the purpose of administration, defence, and
   payment of pensions, and, though there is good cause for
   complaint that it is not all necessary, we should not forget
   the fact that we are enabled by reason of this British connexion
   to levy an equivalent tribute from China by our opium
   monopoly.

If India must now forgo this tribute from China, it is not at any rate
the fault of the Government of India that the whole cost of the
awakening of the national conscience in England to the iniquity of the
opium traffic is being thrown upon India.

The question is not whether we have done well, but whether we might not
have done better, and whether the economic development of India,
industrial, commercial, and agricultural, has kept pace with that of the
rest of the world. If the answer in this case is more doubtful, we have
to bear in mind the idiosyncrasies of the Indian people and especially
of the educated classes. Indians have been as a rule disinclined to
invest their money in commerce or industry or in scientific forms of
agriculture. It is estimated that the hoarded wealth of India amounts,
at a conservative calculation, to £300,000,000, and this probably
represents gold alone. The annual absorption of gold by India is very
great. Lord Rothschild remarked to the Currency Commission that none of
the smooth gold bars sent to India ever came back. There is, in
addition, an enormous sum hoarded in silver rupees and silver ornaments.
It is no uncommon sight, in the cities of Upper India, to see a child
wearing only one ragged, dirty garment, but loaded with massive silver
ornaments. Indians who have money and do not merely hoard it prefer to
lend it out, often at usurious rates of interest, to their needy or
thriftless fellow-countrymen. Until quite recently the educated classes
have held almost entirely aloof from any but the liberal professions.
Science in any form has been rarely taken up by University students, and
for every B.Sc. the honours lists have shown probably a hundred B.A.'s.
The Indian National Congress itself, as it represented mainly those
classes, naturally displayed the same tendencies, and for a long time it
devoted its energies to so-called political problems rather than to
practical economic questions. Hence the almost complete failure of the
Western-educated Indian to achieve any marked success in commercial and
industrial undertakings, and nowhere has that failure been more complete
than in Bengal, where it would be difficult to quote more than one
really brilliant exception. Hence also no doubt some of the political
bitterness which those classes display. Within the last few years,
however, the politician has realized that, whilst commercial and
industrial development was steadily expanding and the demand for it was
increasing on all sides, he was left standing on a barren shore. He has
done his best, or rather his worst, to convert _Swadeshi_ into a
political weapon. His efforts have only been temporarily and partially
successful. But we may rest assured that long after this spurious
political _Swadeshi_ has disappeared, the legitimate form of _Swadeshi_
will endure--the _Swadeshi_ that does not boycott imported goods merely
because they come from England, but is bent on stimulating the
production in India of articles of the same or of better quality which
can be sold cheaper, and can, therefore, beat the imported goods in the
Indian markets.

To this form of _Swadeshi_ it is undoubtedly the duty and the interest
of the Government of India to respond. We are bound as trustees for the
people of India to promote Indian trade and industry by all the means in
our power, and we are equally bound to help to open up new fields of
activity for the young Indians whom our educational system has diverted
from the old paths, and who no longer find for their rapidly increasing
numbers any sufficient outlet in the public services and liberal
professions which originally absorbed them. No reforms in our
educational system can be permanently effective unless we check the
growth of the intellectual proletariat, which plays so large a part in
Indian unrest, by diverting the energies of young India into new and
healthier channels. At the same time there can be no better material
antidote to the spread of disaffection than the prosperity which would
attend the expansion of trade and industry and give to increasing
numbers amongst the Western-educated classes a direct interest in the
maintenance of law and order. There are amongst those classes too many
who, having little or nothing to lose, are naturally prone to fish in
the troubled waters of sedition.

In regard to agriculture, which is, and is bound to remain, the greatest
of all Indian industries, for it supports 70, and perhaps 80, per cent,
of the whole population, the Government of India have no reason to be
ashamed of their record. Famines can never be banished from a country
where vast tracts are entirely dependent upon an extremely uncertain
rainfall, and the population is equally dependent upon the fruits of the
soil. But besides the scientific organization of famine relief, the
public works policy of Government has been steadily and chiefly directed
to the reduction of famine areas. Not only has the construction of a
great system of railways facilitated the introduction of foodstuffs into
remote famine-stricken districts, but irrigation works, devised on a
scale and with a skill which have made India the premier school of
irrigation for the rest of the world, have added enormously both to the
area of cultivation and to that where cultivation is secured against
failure of the rainfall. The arid valley of the Indus has been converted
into a perennial granary, and in the Punjab alone irrigation canals have
already added 8,000,000 acres of unusual fertility to the land under
tillage, and have given to 5,000,000 acres more the protection against
drought in years of deficient rainfall which they formerly lacked.
Plantations of tea, coffee, cinchona, &c., and the cultivation of jute
have added within the last 25 years some £30,000,000 a year to the value
of Indian exports. Jute alone covers the whole of the so-called "drain."

The fact, nevertheless, cannot be denied, though it is an unpleasant
admission, that a large proportion of the immense agricultural
population of India have remained miserably poor. Indian, politicians
ascribe this poverty to the crushing burden of the land revenue
collected by Government--a burden which has been shown to work out only
to about 1s. 8d. per acre of crop and is being steadily reduced in
relation to the gross revenue of the country--but they say nothing about
the exactions of the native landlord, who has, for instance in Bengal,
monopolized at the expense of the peasantry almost the whole benefit of
the Permanent Settlement. Some very significant facts with regard to
_rayatwari_ landlords were brought out in a debate this year in the
Legislative Council of Madras, when Mr. Atkinson, in reply to one of his
Hindu colleagues who had been denouncing the Government assessments in
certain villages, produced an overwhelming array of figures to show
that in those very villages the rents exacted by native landlords varied
between eight and eleven times the amount which they paid to Government.
Nor do Indian politicians say much about the native moneylender, who is
far more responsible than the tax-gatherer for the poverty of the
peasant. Still less do they say about the extravagance of native
customs, partly religious and partly social, which makes the peasant an
easy prey to the moneylender, to whom he is too often driven when he has
a child to marry or a parent to bury or a Brahman to entertain.
Indebtedness is the great curse of Indian agriculture, and the peasant's
chief necessity is cheap credit obtained on a system that will not cause
him to sink deeper into the mire. Here again it is not Indian
politicians, but the British rulers of India who have found a solution,
and it is of such importance and promise that it deserves more than mere
passing mention.

It has been found in the adaptation to Indian requirements of the
well-known Raffeisen system. Sir William Wedderburn was, I believe,
actually the earliest advocate of this movement, but the first practical
experiments were made in Madras as a result of exhaustive investigation
by Sir Frederick Nicholson and in the United Provinces when Sir Antony
(now Lord) MacDonnell was Lieutenant-Governor, and one of the many
measures passed by Lord Curzon for the benefit of the humbler classes in
India, with little or no support from the politicians and often in
despite of their vehement opposition, whilst Nationalist newspapers
jeered at "a scheme for extracting money from wealthy natives in order
that Government might make a show of benevolence at other people's
expense," was an Act giving legal sanction to the operations of a system
of co-operative banks and credit societies. It found a healthy basis
ready made in the Indian village system, and though it would never have
succeeded without the informing energy and integrity of "sun-dried
bureaucrats" and the countenance given to it by Government, it has had
the cordial support of many capable native gentlemen. It is now only
eight years old, but it has begun to spread with amazing rapidity. The
report of the Calcutta Conference of Registrars last winter showed that
the number of societies of all kinds had risen from 1,357 in the
preceding year to 2,008, and their aggregate working capital from 44
lakhs to nearly 81 (one lakh or Rs.100,000=£6,666). The new movement is,
of course, still only in its infancy, but it is full of promise. The
moneylender, who was at first bitterly hostile, is beginning to realize
that by providing capital for the co-operative banks he can get, on the
whole, an adequate return with much better security for his money than
in the old days of great gains and, also, great losses. One of the
healthiest features is that, notwithstanding the great expansion of the
system, during the last twelve months, the additional working capital
required was mainly provided by private individuals and only a very
small amount by Government. Another hopeful feature is that the money
saved to the peasant by the lower interest he has to pay on his debts
pending repayment is now going into modern machinery and improved
methods of agriculture. The new system appeals most strongly to poor and
heavily indebted villages, and in the Punjab, where the results are
really remarkable, especially in some of the backward Mahomedan
districts, it is hoped, that within a few years nearly half the peasant
indebtedness, estimated at 25 to 30 millions sterling, will have been
wiped off.

Practical education is, however, as urgently needed for Indian
agriculture as for any other form of Indian industry. The selection of
land and of seeds, the use of suitable manures, an intelligent rotation
of crops, the adoption of better methods and less antiquated implements
can only be brought about by practical education, and the demand for it
is one that Government will hear put forward with growing insistency by
the new Councils on which Indian landowners have been wisely granted
the special representation that the agricultural interests of India so
abundantly deserve.

It was the "sun-dried bureaucrat" again who in regard to Indian
industries as well as to Indian agriculture preached and practised sound
_Swadeshi_ before the word had ever been brought into vogue by the
Indian politician. The veteran Sir George Birdwood, Sir George Watt, Sir
Edward Buck, and many others have stood forth for years as the champions
of Indian art and Indian home industries. As far back as 1883, a
Resolution was passed by Government expressing its desire "to give the
utmost encouragement to every effort to substitute for articles now
obtained from Europe articles of _bona fide_ local manufacture or
indigenous origin." In 1886, a special Economic Department was created
to keep up the elaborate survey of the economic products of India which
Sir George Watt had just completed under State direction. But the most
important administrative measure was the creation under Lord Curzon of a
separate portfolio of Commerce and Industry in the Government of India,
to which a civilian, Sir John Hewett, was appointed with very
conspicuous success. It was also under Lord Curzon that the most
vigorous impulse was given to technical education of which the claims
had already been advocated by many distinguished Anglo-Indian officials,
such as Sir Antony MacDonnell and Sir Auckland Colvin. The results of an
exhaustive inquiry conducted throughout India by a Committee of
carefully selected officers were embodied in the Educational Resolution
of 1904. Particular stress was laid upon the importance of industrial,
commercial, and art and craft schools as the preparatory stages of
technical education, for which, in its higher forms, provision had
already been made in such institutions as the engineering colleges at
Sibpur, Rurki, Jubbulpore, and Madras, the College of Science at Poona,
and the Technical Institute of Bombay. Until then the record of
technical schools had too often resembled the description which Mr.
Butler, the new Minister of Education, tersely gave of that of the
Lucknow Industrial School--"a record of inconstant purpose with breaks
of unconcern." Not only did the question of technical education receive
more systematic treatment, but a special assignment of Rs.244,000 a year
was made in 1905 by the Government of India in aid of the provincial
revenues for its improvement and extension. It was not, however, until
the liberality of the late Mr. J.N. Tata and his sons, one of the best
known Parsee families of Bombay, recently placed a considerable income
for the purpose at the disposal of Government that steps have been taken
to establish an "Indian Institute of Science" worthy of the name, to
which the Mysore Government, who have given a site for it in Bangalore,
as well as the Government of India, have promised handsome financial
assistance.

Whilst the encouragement given to Indian technical education has until
quite lately proceeded far more from the British rulers of India than
from any native quarter, it has been also until quite lately British
capital and British enterprise that have contributed mostly to the
development of Indian industry and commerce. The amount of British
capital invested in India for its commercial and industrial development
has been estimated at £350,000,000, and this capital incidentally
furnishes employment for large numbers of Indians. Half a million are
employed, on the railways alone. Another half million work on the tea
estates. The Bombay and Ahmedabad cotton mills represent at the present
day the only important and successful application of Indian capital and
Indian enterprise to industrial development. The woollen, cotton, and
leather industries of Cawnpore, which has become one of the chief
manufacturing centres of India, and the great jute industry of Bengal
were promoted almost exclusively by British, and not by indigenous
effort. Real _Swadeshi_, stimulated by British teaching and by British
enterprise, was thus already in full swing when the Indian politician
took up the cry and too often perverted it to criminal purposes, and,
though he may have helped to rouse his sluggish fellow countrymen to
healthy as well as to mischievous activity, it may be doubted whether
any good he has done has not been more than counterbalanced by the
injurious effect upon capital of a violent and often openly seditious
agitation. Mr. Gokhale himself seems to have awakened to this danger,
when in an eloquent speech delivered by him at Lucknow, in support of
_Swadeshi_ in 1907, he protested, rather late in the day, against the
"narrow, exclusive, and intolerant spirit" in which some advocates of
the cause were seeking to promote it, and laid stress upon the
importance of capital as well as of enterprise and skill as an
indispensable factor of success. British investments are large, but not
so large as they might and should be, and the reluctance to invest in
India grows with the uneasiness caused by political unrest.

That an immense field lies open in India for industrial development need
scarcely be argued. It has been explored with great knowledge and
ability in a very instructive article contributed last January to the
_Asiatic Quarterly Review_ by Mr. A.C. Chatterjee, an Indian member of
the Civil Service. Amongst the many instances he gives of industries
clamouring for the benefits of applied science, I will quote only the
treatment of oil seeds, the manufacture of paper from wood pulp and wood
meal, the development of leather factories and tanneries, as well as of
both vegetable and chemical dyes, the sugar industry, and metal
work--all of which, if properly instructed and directed, would enable
India to convert her own raw materials with profit into finished
products either for home consumption or for exportation abroad. It is at
least equally important for India to save her home industries, and
especially her hand-weaving industry, the wholesale destruction of
which under the pressure of the Lancashire power loom has thrown so
many poor people on to the already over-crowded land. Here, as Mr.
Chatterjee wisely remarks, combination and organization are badly
needed, for "the hand industry has the greatest chances of survival when
it adopts the methods of the power industry without actual resort to
power machinery." The articles on the Indian industrial problem in
_Science Progress_ for April and July, by Mr. Alfred Chatterton,
Director of Industries, Madras, are also worth careful attention. He
remarks quite truly that her inexhaustible supplies of cheap labour are
"India's greatest asset"; but he too wisely holds that the factory
system of the West should only be guardedly extended and under careful
precautions. The Government of India have at present under consideration
important legislative measures for preventing the undue exploitation of
both child and adult labour--measures which are already being denounced
by the native Press as "restrictive" legislation devised by the "English
cotton kings" in order to "stifle the indigenous industries of India in
their infancy"!

What Government can do for the pioneering of new industries is shown by
the success of the State dairies in Northern India and of Mr.
Chatterton's experiments in the manufacturing of aluminium in Madras.
There is an urgent demand at present for industrial research
laboratories and experimental work all over India, and above all for
better and more practical education. But it would seem that, in this
direction, the impetus given by Lord Curzon has somewhat slackened under
Lord Minto's administration, owing, doubtless, to the absorbing claims
of the political situation and of political reforms.

In speaking in the Calcutta Council on a resolution for the
establishment of a great Polytechnic College, the Home Member was able
to point to a fairly long list of measures taken at no small cost by the
State to promote technical education in all parts of India, and he
rightly urged that there would be little use in creating a sort of
technical University until a larger proportion of students had qualified
for it by taking advantage of the more elementary courses already
provided for them. His answer would, however, have been more convincing
could he have shown that existing institutions are always adequately
equipped and that considered schemes which have the support of the best
Indian as well as of the best official opinion are not subjected to
merely dilatory objections at headquarters. Three years ago, after the
Naini Tal Industrial Conference, the most representative ever perhaps
held in India, Sir John Hewett, who had been made Lieutenant-Governor of
the United Provinces after having been the first to hold the new
portfolio of Commerce and Industry, developed a scheme for the creation
of a Technological College at Cawnpore, which met with unanimous
approval. Nothing has yet been done to give effect to it, and it was not
only the Indian but many of the European members, official as well as
unofficial, of the Viceroy's Legislative Council who sympathized with
Mr. Mudholkar's protest when he asked with some bitterness what must be
the impression produced in India by the shelving of a scheme that was
supported by men of local experiences by the head of the Provincial
Government, and by the Government of India, because people living 6,000
miles away did not consider it to be absolutely flawless.

In one direction at any rate, India can rightly demand that Government
should be left an entirely free hand--namely, in regard to the very
large orders which have to be placed every year by the great spending
departments. It has now been laid down by the Secretary of State that
Indian industry should supply the needs of Government in respect of all
articles that are, in whole or in part, locally manufactured. But Indian
industry would be able to supply much more if the Government of India
were in a position to give it more assured support. The case of the
Bengal Iron and Steel Company has been quoted to me, which was
compelled to close down its steel works and to reduce the number of its
iron furnaces in blast from four to two because the promises of support
received from Government when the company took over the works proved to
be largely and quite inexcusably illusory. For works of this kind cannot
be run at present in India unless they can depend upon the hearty
support of Government, which, through the Railways and Public Works
Department, is the main, and, indeed, the only, consumer on a large
scale.

At the present moment, Messrs. Tata are making a truly gigantic
endeavour to acclimatize the iron and steel industry in India by the
erection of immense works at Sakti in Bengal, where they have within
easy reach a practically unlimited supply of the four necessary raw
materials iron ore, coking coal, flux, and manganese ore. To utilize
these, plant is being set up of a yearly capacity of 120,000 tons of
foundry iron, rails, shapes, and merchant bars, and plans have been
drawn out for an industrial city of 20,000 inhabitants. The enterprise
is entirely in Indian hands with an initial share capital of £1,545,000
administered by an Indian board of directors, who have engaged American
experts to organize the works. Government has granted various railway
facilities to the company and has placed with them an order for 200,000
tons of rails for periodical delivery. Upon the future of these works
will probably depend for many years to come the success of the
metallurgical and other kindred industries of India, and it is to be
hoped that Government will be allowed to give them all reasonable
assistance without interference from home. Another purely Indian
enterprise--also under the auspices of Messrs. Tata--is a great scheme
for catching the rainfall of the Western Ghats and creating a
hydro-electric supply of power which will, amongst other uses, drive
most of the Bombay mills.

In regard to minor Indian industries, hints have, I am assured, too
frequently been sent out from England that the claims of British
industry to Government support must not be forgotten. Even now no change
has been made in the regulations which compel the Government of India to
purchase all articles not wholly or partly manufactured in India through
the Stores Department of the India Office. The delay thus caused in
itself represents a serious loss, for it appears to take an average of
nine months for any order through that Department to be carried out, and
further delays arise whenever some modification in the original indent
is required. Nowadays merchants in India keep for ordinary purposes of
trade such large collections of samples that in nine cases out of ten
Government Departments could settle at once upon what they want and
their orders would be carried out both more quickly and more cheaply.
The maintenance of these antiquated regulations, which are very
injurious to Indian trade, is attributed by Indians mainly to the
influence of powerful vested interests in England.

The time would also seem to, have arrived when, with the development of
Indian trade and industry, private contracts might with advantage be
substituted for the more expensive and slower activities of the Public
Works Department. Work done by that Department is bound to be more
expensive, for its enormous establishment has to be maintained on the
same footing whether financial conditions allow or do not allow
Government to embark on large public works expenditure, and when they do
not, the proportion of establishment charges to the actual cost of works
is ruinous. When the Calcutta Port Trust and other institutions of the
same character put out to contract immense works running every year into
millions, why, it is asked, should not Government do the same? Some
works like irrigation works may properly be reserved for the Public
Works Department, but to mobilize the Department whenever a bungalow has
to be built or a road made by Government, is surely ridiculous.

Indian opinion is at present just in the mood when reasonable
concessions of this kind would make an excellent impression; and, if
they are not made spontaneously, the enlarged Indian Councils will soon
exert pressure to obtain them.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE FINANCIAL AND FISCAL RELATIONS BETWEEN INDIA AND GREAT BRITAIN.


When Lord Morley introduced his Indian reforms scheme, a section at
least of the party to which he belongs supported it not only on general
grounds, but more especially in the belief that it would strengthen the
hands of the Imperial Government in dealing with the hide-bound
officialism of which the Government of India is in the eyes of some
British Radicals the visible embodiment. None of them, probably,
anticipated that the boot would be on the other leg. If the Government
of India have sometimes sacrificed Indian interests to British
interests, it has been almost exclusively in connexion with the
financial and fiscal relations between the two countries, and often
against the better judgment and sense of justice of Anglo-Indian
officials. In this respect the enlarged Indian Councils will lend far
greater weight than in the past to any representations which the
Government of India may make at Whitehall.

Even in the course of its first session at Calcutta the Imperial Council
has given abundant indications of its attitude. In the Budget debate,
Sir Vithaldas Thackersey, one of the Indian elected members from Bombay,
remarked very pointedly that "there is an impression abroad that, in
deciding most important questions of economic and financial policy, the
Government are obliged to be guided by political exigencies." Official
secrets have a way of leaking out in India, and Sir Vithaldas knew what
he was talking about when he added with regard to the Budget under
discussion--"It is generally believed that, if the Government of India
had had a freer hand, they would have preferred the raising of the
general tariff or a duty on sugar, which would have been less
objectionable than the levying of the proposed enhanced duties in the
teeth of the practically unanimous opposition of the non-official
members of this Council and of the public generally".

It is certainly unfortunate that on the first occasion on which the
Government of India had to lay a financial statement before the enlarged
Council, Indian members should have come to the conclusion that the
unpopular Budget submitted to them was not the one originally proposed
by the Indian Finance Department, but that it had been imposed upon that
Department by the Secretary of State in deference to the exigencies of
British party politics. Equally unfortunate is it that the financial
difficulties which this Budget had to meet were mainly due to the loss
of revenue on opium in consequence of the arrangements made by Great
Britain with China, in which Indian interests had received very scant
consideration. Not only had Sir Edward Baker, when he was Finance
Minister three years ago, given an assurance that the new opium policy
would be carried out without any resort to extra taxation, but there is
a strong feeling in India that the praiseworthy motives which have
induced the Imperial Government to come to terms with China on the
subject of the opium trade would be still more creditable to the British
people had not the Indian taxpayer been left, with his fellow-sufferers
in Hong-Kong and Singapore, to bear the whole cost of British moral
rectitude. The Imperial Council did not confine itself, either, to
criticism of what had happened. Sir Vithaldas Thackersey had probably
every Indian and many official members with him when he made the
following very clear intimation as to the future:--"We are prepared to
bear our burdens, and all that we ask is that the country should be
allowed greater freedom in choosing the methods of raising revenue. I am
unable to see how it will be injurious to the interests of Government if
this Council is allowed a more real share as regards what articles shall
be taxed and what duties shall be paid."

It is upon such questions as these that the voice of the enlarged
Councils will in future cause much more frequent embarrassment to the
Imperial Government than to the Government of India, and I shall be much
surprised if they have not to listen to it in regard to various "home
charges" with which the Government of India have from time to time very
reluctantly agreed to burden Indian finance at the bidding of Whitehall.
The Indian Nationalist Press has not been alone in describing the recent
imposition on the Indian taxpayer of a capitation allowance amounting to
£300,000 a year to meet the increased cost of the British soldier as
"the renewed attempt of a rapacious War Office to raid the helpless
Indian Treasury," and even the increase in the pay of the native
soldier, which Lord Kitchener obtained for him, does not prevent him and
his friends from drawing their own comparison between the squalor of the
quarters in which he is still housed and the relatively luxurious
barracks built for Tommy Atkins under Lord Kitchener's administration at
the expense of the Indian taxpayer. It is no secret that the Government
of India have also frequently remonstrated in vain when India has been
charged full measure and overflowing in respect of military operations
in which the part borne by her has been governed less by her own direct
interests than by the necessity of making up with the help of Indian
contingents the deficiencies of our military organization at home. It
was no Indian politician but the Government of India who expressed the
opinion that:--

   The Imperial Government keeps in India and quarters
   upon the revenues of that country as large a portion of its
   army as it thinks can possibly be required to maintain its
   dominion there; that it habitually treats that army as a
   reserve force available for Imperial purposes; that it has
   uniformly detached European regiments from the garrison
   of India to take part in Imperial wars whenever it has been
   found necessary or convenient to do so; and, more than this,
   that it has drawn not less freely upon the native army of
   India, towards the maintenance of which it contributes
   nothing, to aid in contests outside of India with which the
   Indian Government has had little or no concern.

All these are, however, but secondary issues to the much larger one
which the creation of the new Councils must tend to bring to the front
with all the force of the increased weight given to them by the recent
reforms. For that issue will raise the whole principle of our fiscal
relations with India, if it results in a demand for the protection of
Indian industries against the competition of imported manufactures by an
autonomous tariff. It must be remembered that the desire for Protection
is no new thing in India. Whether we like it or not, whether we be Free
Traders or Tariff Reformers, we have to reckon with the fact that almost
every Indian is a Protectionist at heart, whatever he may be in theory.
The Indian National Congress has hitherto fought shy of making
Protection a prominent plank of its platform, lest it should offend its
political friends in England. Yet as far back as 1902 a politician as
careful as Mr. Surendranath Banerjee to avoid in his public utterances
anything that might alienate British Radicalism, declared in his
inaugural address at the 18th session of the Congress that "if we had a
potential voice in the government of our own country there would be no
question as to what policy we should follow. We would unhesitatingly
adopt a policy of Protection." This note has been accentuated since the
political campaign in favour of militant Swadeshism, and when English
Radicals sympathize with the _Swadeshi_ boycott as a protest against
the Partition of Bengal, they would do well to recollect that, before
Indian audiences, the most violent forms of _Swadeshi_ are constantly
defended on the ground that British industrial greed, of which Free
Trade is alleged to be the highest expression, has left no other weapons
to India for the defence of her material interests. Mr. Lala Lajpat Rai,
who has the merit of often speaking with great frankness, addressed
himself once in the following terms to "those estimable gentlemen in
India who believe in the righteousness of the British nation as
represented by the electors of Great Britain and Ireland, and who are
afraid of offending them by the boycott of English-made goods":

   If there are any two classes into which the British nation
   can roughly be divided they are either manufacturers or
   the working men. Both are interested in keeping the Indian
   market open for the sale and consumption of their manufactures.
   They are said to be the only friends to whom we
   can appeal against the injustice of the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy.
   Offend them, we are told, and you are undone. You
   lose the good will of the only classes who can help you and
   who are prepared to listen to your grievances. But, boycott
   or no boycott, any movement calculated to increase the manufacturing
   power of India is likely to incur the displeasure
   of the British elector. He is a very well-educated animal,
   a keen man of business, who can at once see through things
   likely to affect his pocket, however cleverly they may be
   put or arranged by those who hold an interest which is really
   adverse to his. He is not likely to be hoodwinked by the
   cry of _Swadeshi_ minus the boycott, because, really speaking,
   if effectively worked and organized, both are one and the
   same thing.

That _Swadeshi_ as understood by educated Indians of all classes and of
all political complexions means in some form or other Protection was
made clear even in the Imperial Council. The Finance Member, Sir
Fleetwood Wilson, was himself fain to pay homage to it, but his sympathy
did not disarm Mr. Chitnavis, an Indian member whose speech deserves to
be recorded, as it embodied the opinions entertained by 99 out of every
1,000 Indians who are interested in economic questions and by a very
large number of Anglo-Indians, both official and non-official:--

   The country must be grateful to him [the Finance Member]
   for his sympathetic attitude towards Indian industries.
   "I think _Swadeshi_ is good, and if the outcome of the changes
   I have laid before the Council result in some encouragement
   of Indian industries, I for one shall not regret it." For a
   Finance Minister to say even so much is not a small thing
   in the present state of India's dependence upon the most
   pronounced and determined Free Trade country in the
   world.... At the same time we regret the absence
   of fiscal autonomy for India and the limitations under which
   this Government has to frame its industrial policy. We
   regret that Government cannot give the country a protective
   tariff forthwith. However excellent Free Trade may be for
   a country in an advanced stage of industrial development,
   it must be conceded that Protection is necessary for the
   success and development of infant industries. Even pronounced
   protagonists of Free Trade do not view this idea
   with disfavour. That Indian manufacturing industry is
   in its infancy does not admit of controversy. Why should
   not India, then, claim special protection for her undeveloped
   industry? Even countries remarkable for their industrial
   enterprise and excellence protect their industries. The
   United States and Germany are decidedly Protectionist. The
   British Colonies have protective tariffs... protective
   in purpose, scope, and effect. They are not like the Indian
   import duties, levied for revenue purposes. The Indian
   appeal for Protection cannot in the circumstances be unreasonable.
   The development of the industries is a matter
   of great moment to the Empire, and the popular leanings
   towards Protectionism ought to engage the sympathy of
   Government. The imposition of import duties for revenue
   purposes is sanctioned by precedent and principle alike.
   ... And yet for a small import duty of 3-1/2 per cent,
   upon cotton goods a countervailing Excise duty upon home
   manufactures is imposed in disregard of Indian public opinion,
   and the latest pronouncement of the Secretary of State has
   dispelled all expectations of the righting of this wrong.

No measure has done greater injury to the cause of Free Trade in India
or more permanent discredit to British rule than this Excise duty on
Indian manufactured cotton, for none has done more to undermine Indian
faith in the principles of justice upon which British rule claims, and,
on the whole, most legitimately claims, to be based. In obedience to
British Free Trade principles, all import duties were finally abolished
in India at the beginning of the eighties, except on liquors and on
salt, which were subject to an internal Excise duty. In 1894, however,
the Government of India were compelled by financial stress to revive the
greater part of the old 5 per cent tariff on imports, excluding cottons,
until the end of the year when cottons were included and under pressure
from England. Lord Elgin's Government had to agree to levy a
countervailing Excise duty of 5 per cent on cotton fabrics manufactured
in Indian power mills. After a good deal of heated correspondence the
Government of India were induced in February, 1896, to reduce the duty
on cotton manufactured goods imported from abroad to 3-1/2 per cent., with
the same reduction of the Indian Excise duty, whilst cotton yarns were
altogether freed from duty. This arrangement is still in force.

Rightly or wrongly, every Indian believes that the Excise duty was
imposed upon India for the selfish benefit of the British cotton
manufacturer and under the pressure of British party politics. He
believes, as was once sarcastically remarked by an Indian member of the
Viceroy's Legislative Council, that, so long as Lancashire sends 60
members to Westminster, the British Government will always have 60
reasons for maintaining the Excise duty. To the English argument that
the duty is "only a small one" the Indian reply is that, according to
the results of an elaborate statistical inquiry conducted at the
instance of the late Mr. Jamsetjee N. Tata, a 3-1/2 per cent Excise duty on
cotton cloth is equivalent to a 7 per cent duty on capital invested in
weaving under Indian conditions. The profits are very fluctuating and
the depreciation of plant is considerable. Equally fallacious is
another argument that the duty is in reality paid by Englishmen. The
capital engaged in the Indian cotton industry is, it is contended, not
British, but almost exclusively Indian, and a large proportion is held
by not over-affluent Indian shareholders.

There is nothing to choose between the records of the two great
political parties at home in their treatment of England's financial and
fiscal relations with India, and English Tariff Reformers have as a rule
shown little more disposition than English Free Traders to study Indian
interests. In fact, until Mr. M. de P. Webb, a member of the Bombay
Legislative Council, published under the title of "India and the Empire"
an able exposition of the Tariff problem in relation to India, very few
Tariff Reformers seemed even to take India into account in their schemes
of Imperial preference. I hope, therefore, to be absolved from all
suspicion of party bias in drawing attention to a question which is, I
believe, destined to play in the near future a most important--perhaps
even a determining--part in the relations of India to the British
Empire.

One of the first things that struck me on my return to India this
year--and struck me most forcibly--was the universality and vehemence of
the demand for a new economic policy directed with energy and system to
the expansion of Indian trade and industry. It is a demand with which
the great majority of Anglo-Indian officials are in full sympathy, and
it is in fact largely the outcome of their own efforts to stimulate
Indian interest in the question. There is very little doubt that the
Government of India would be disposed to respond to it speedily and
heartily on the lines I have already briefly indicated. Will the
Imperial Government and the British democracy lend them a helping hand
or even leave a free hand to them? If not, we shall assuredly find
ourselves confronted with an equally universal and vehement demand for
Protection pure and simple by the erection of an Indian Tariff wall
against the competition of imported manufactures. I need hardly point
out how the rejection of such a demand would be exploited by the
political agitator or how it would rally to the side of active
disaffection some of the most conservative and influential classes in
India. For if, as those Englishmen who claim a monopoly of sympathy with
the people of India are continually preaching, we must be prepared to
sacrifice administrative efficiency to sympathy, how could we shelter
ourselves on an economic issue behind theories of the greater economic
efficiency of Free Trade? If we are to try "to govern India in
accordance with Indian ideas"--a principle with which I humbly but fully
agree--how could we justify the refusal to India, of the fiscal autonomy
for which there is a far more widespread and genuine demand than for
political autonomy?



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE POSITION OF INDIANS IN THE EMPIRE.


The problems of Indian administration are in themselves difficult enough
to solve, but even more difficult are some of the problems connected
with the relations of India and her peoples to the rest of the Empire.
One of these has assumed during the last few years a character of
extreme gravity, which neither the Imperial Government nor the British
public seems to have at all adequately grasped.

"I think," said Mr. Gokhale in moving his resolution for the prohibition
of Indian indentured labour for Natal, "I am stating the plain truth
when I say that no single question of our time has evoked more bitter
feelings throughout India--feelings in the presence of which the best
friends of British rule have had to remain helpless--than the continued
ill-treatment of Indians in South Africa."

Every Indian member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council who spoke
during that debate, whatever race or creed or caste he represented,
endorsed the truth of Mr. Gokhale's statement, and had a vote been taken
on the resolution it would have had what no other resolution moved
during the whole session would have secured--the unanimous support of
the whole body of Indian members and the sympathy of every English
member, official as well as unofficial. The Government of India wisely
averted a division by accepting the resolution. Not a single attempt was
made either by the Viceroy in the chair or by other representatives of
Government to controvert either Mr. Gokhale's statement or the
overwhelming array of facts showing the nature and extent of the
ill-treatment of Indians in South Africa, which was presented by the
mover of the resolution and by every Indian speaker who followed him.
The whole tone of the debate was extremely dignified and
self-restrained, but no Englishman can have listened to it without a
deep sense of humiliation. For the first time in history the Government
of India had to sit dumb whilst judgment was pronounced in default
against the Imperial Government upon a question which has stirred the
resentment of every single community of our Indian Empire. It was the
one question which called forth very deep feeling in the Indian National
Congress at Lahore last December, where subscriptions and donations
flowed in freely to defray the expenses of a campaign throughout India,
and it figured just as prominently in the proceedings of the All-India
Moslem League, which held its annual meeting there in the following
month. In fact, Mahomedans have the additional grievance that the laws
of the Transvaal discriminate by name against those of their faith.
There is scarcely a city of any importance in India in which public
meetings have not testified to the interest and indignation which the
subject arouses in every class of Indian audience.

This is a very grave fact. I need not enter into the details of the
question. They are well known. There may be some exaggerations, Indian
immigrants may not always be drawn from desirable classes, there may be
differences of opinion as to the wisdom of the attitude taken up by some
of the Indians in South Africa, and Englishmen may sympathize with the
desire of British and Dutch colonists to check the growth of another
alien population in their midst. But that the Indian has not received
there the just treatment to which he is entitled as a subject of the
British Crown, and that disabilities and indignities are heaped upon him
because he is an Indian, are broad facts that are not and cannot be
disputed. The resolution adopted by the Imperial Council, with the
sanction of the Government of India, was formally directed against Natal
because it is only in regard to Natal that India possesses an effective
weapon of retaliation in withholding the supply of indentured labour
which is indispensable to the prosperity of that colony. But the Indian
grievance is not confined to Natal; it is even greater in the Transvaal.
Still less is it confined to the particular class of Indians who
emigrate as indentured labourers to South Africa. What Indians feel most
bitterly is that however well educated, however respectable and even
distinguished may be an Indian who goes to or resides in South Africa,
and especially in the Transvaal, he is treated as an outcast and is at
the mercy of harsh laws and regulations framed for his oppression, and
often interpreted with extra harshness by the officials who are left to
apply them. This bitterness is intensified by the recollection that,
before the South African War, the wrongs of British Indians in the
Transvaal figured prominently in the catalogue of charges brought by the
Imperial Government against the Kruger _régime_ and contributed not a
little to precipitate its downfall. In prosecuting the South African War
Great Britain drew freely upon India for assistance of every kind except
actual Indian combatants. Not only was it the loyalty of India that
enabled the British troops who saved Natal to be embarked hurriedly at
Bombay, but it was the constant supply from India of stores of all
kinds, of transport columns, of hospital bearers, &c., which, to a great
extent, made up throughout the war for the deficiencies of the British
War Office. There are monuments erected in South Africa which testify to
the devotion of British Indians who, though non-combatants, laid down
their lives in the cause of the Empire. Yet, as far as the British
Indians are concerned, the end of it all has been that their lot in the
Transvaal since it became a British Colony is harder than it was In the
old Kruger days, and the British colonists in the Transvaal, who were
ready enough to use Indian grievances as a stick with which to beat
Krugerism, have now joined hands with the Dutch in refusing to redress
them. The Government of India have repeatedly urged upon the Imperial
Government the gravity of this question, and Lord Curzon especially
pressed upon his friends, when they were in office, the vital importance
of effecting some acceptable settlement whilst the Transvaal was still a
Crown Colony, and, therefore, more amenable to the influence of the
Mother Country than it would be likely to prove when once endowed with
self-government. Yet the Imperial Government after a succession of
half-hearted and ineffective protests have now finally acquiesced in the
perpetuation and even the aggravation of wrongs which some ten years ago
they solemnly declared to be intolerable.

Apart from the sense of justice upon which Englishmen pride themselves,
it is impossible to overlook the disastrous consequences of this _gran
rifiuto_ for the prestige of British rule in India. One of the Indian
Members of Council, Mr. Dadabhoy, indicated them in terms as moderate as
they were significant:--

   In 1899 Lord Lansdowne feared the moral consequences
   in India of a conviction of the powerlessness of the British
   _Raj_ to save the Indian settlers in the Transvaal from oppression
   and harsh treatment. That was when there was peace all
   over this country, when sedition, much more anarchism,
   was an unheard-of evil. If the situation was disquieting then,
   what is it now when the urgent problem of the moment
   is how to put down and prevent the growth of unrest In the
   land? The masses do not understand the niceties of the
   relations between the Mother Country and the Colonies;
   they do not comprehend the legal technicalities. The British
   _Raj_ has so far revealed itself to them as a power whose influence
   is irresistible, and when they find that, with all its traditional
   omnipotence, it has not succeeded in securing to their countrymen
   --admittedly a peaceable and decent body of settlers who
   rendered valuable services during the war--equal treatment
   at the hands of a small Dependency, they become disheartened
   and attribute the failure to the European colonist's influence
   over the Home Government. That is an impression which is
   fraught with incalculable potentialities of mischief and which
   British statesmanship should do everything in its power
   to dispel. The present political situation in India adds
   special urgency to the case.

No comments of mine could add to the significance of this warning.

The measure contemplated by Mr. Gokhale's resolution may have some
direct effect upon Natal, whose leading statesmen have repeatedly
acknowledged the immense value of Indian indentured labour to the
Colony, and may indirectly affect public opinion in the Transvaal. But
behind the immediate question of the worse or better treatment of
Indians in South Africa stand much larger questions, which Mr. Gokhale
did not hesitate to state with equal frankness:--

   Behind all the grievances of which I have spoken to-day
   three questions of vital importance emerge to view. First,
   what is the _status_ of us Indians in this Empire? Secondly,
   what is the extent of the responsibility which lies on the
   Imperial Government to ensure to us just and humane and,
   gradually, even equal treatment in this Empire? And,
   thirdly, how far are the self-governing members of this
   Empire bound by its cardinal principles, or are they to share
   in its privileges only and not to bear their share of the disadvantages?

These issues have been raised in their most acute form in South Africa,
but they exist also in Australia, and even in Canada, where many Indians
suffered heavily from the outburst of anti-Asiatic feeling which swept
along the Pacific Coast a couple of years ago. They involve the position
of Asiatic subjects of the Crown in all the self-governing Dominions and
indirectly in many of the Crown Colonies, for they affect the relations
of the white and coloured races throughout the Empire. Here, however, I
must confine myself to the Indian aspects. I have discussed them with a
good many Indians, and they are quite alive to the difficulties of the
situation. Though they resent the colour bar, they realize the strength
of the feeling there is in the Colonies in favour of preserving the
white race from intermixture with non-white races. It is, in fact, a
feeling they themselves in some ways share, for, in India the
unfortunate Eurasian meets with even less sympathy from Indians than
from Europeans. Indian susceptibilities may even find some consolation
in the fact that Colonial dislike of the Indian immigrant is to a great
extent due to his best qualities. "Indians," said Mr. Mudholkar,
appealing to Lord Minto, "are hated, as your Lordship's predecessor
pointed out, on account of their very virtues. It is because they are
sober, thrifty, industrious, more attentive to their business than the
white men that their presence in the Colonies is considered
intolerable." Educated Indians know how little hold the Mother Country
has over her Colonies in these matters. They know that both British and
Anglo-Indian statesmen have recognized their grievances without being
able to secure their redress, and it is interesting to note how warm
were the tributes paid in the Imperial Council to the energy with which
Lord Curzon had upheld their cause, by some of those who were most
bitterly opposed to him when he was in India. They know, on the other
hand, that though the British Labour Party can afford to profess great
sympathy for Indian political aspirations in India, it has never
tried--or, if it has tried, it has signally failed--to exercise the
slightest influence in favour of Indian claims to fair treatment with
its allies in the Colonies, where the Labour Party is always the most
uncompromising advocate of a policy of exclusion and oppression, and
they know the power which the Labour Party wields in all our Colonies.

They are, therefore, I believe, ready, to reckon with the realities of
the situation and to agree with Lord Curzon that "the common rights of
British citizenship cannot be held to override the rights of
self-protection conceded to self-governing Colonies"--rights which,
moreover, are often exercised to the detriment of immigrants from the
Mother Country itself. They will, on the other hand, urge the
withholding of Indian labour if the Colonies are unwilling to treat it
with fairness and humanity, and they argue rightly enough, that India,
to whom the emigration of tens of thousands of her people is not an
unmixed advantage, will lose far less than Colonies whose development
will be starved by the loss of labour they cannot themselves supply. An
influential Indian Member stated in Council that they have accepted the
view that complete freedom of immigration is beyond the pale of
practical politics, and is not to be pressed as things stand. All that
they ask, he added, in the Transvaal is for the old Indian residents to
be allowed to live peaceably, as in Cape Colony for instance, without
being treated like habitual criminals, and for men of education and
position to be allowed to come in, so that they may have teachers,
ministers of religion, and doctors for themselves and their people. In
Natal they ask for the maintenance of the rights and privileges they
have had for years and years. On such lines a practical working
arrangement with the Colonies should not be beyond the bounds of
possibility. But what Indians also demand is that laws and regulations
of an exceptional character which may be accepted in regard to
immigration shall not be applicable to Indians who merely wish to travel
in the Colonies. An Indian of very high position whom every one from the
King downwards welcomes when he comes to England, wished a few years ago
to visit Australia, but before doing so he wrote to a friend there to
inquire whether he would be subjected to any unpleasant formalities. The
answer he received discouraged him. These are the sort of difficulties
which Indians claim should be removed, and one practical suggestion I
have heard put forward is that, on certain principles to be laid down by
mutual agreement between the Imperial Government, the Governments of
the Dominions, and the Government of India, the latter should have power
to issue passports to Indian subjects which would be recognized and
would exempt them from all vexatious formalities throughout the Empire.

The whole question is one that cannot be allowed to drag on indefinitely
without grave danger to the Empire. It evidently cannot be solved
without the co-operation of the Colonies. Next year the Imperial
Conference meets again in the capital of the Empire. If, in the
meantime, the Imperial Government were to enter into communication with
the Government of India and with the Crown Colonies, so many of whom are
closely interested in Indian labour, they should be in a position to lay
before the representatives of the Dominions assembled in London next
March considered proposals which would afford a basis for discussion
and, one may hope, for a definite agreement. A recognition of the right
of Colonial Governments to regulate the conditions on which British
Indians may be allowed admission as indentured labourers or for
permanent residence ought to secure guarantees for the equitable and
humane treatment of those who have been already admitted, or shall
hereafter be admitted, and also an undertaking that Indians of good
position armed with specified credentials from the Government of India,
travelling either for pleasure or for purposes of scientific study or on
business or with other legitimate motives, would be allowed to enter and
travel about for a reasonable period without let or hindrance of any
sort. That is the _minimum_ which would, I believe, satisfy the best
Indian opinion, and it is inconceivable that if the situation were
freely and frankly explained to our Colonial kinsmen they would reject a
settlement so essential to the interests and to the credit of the whole
Empire in relation to India.



CHAPTER XXV.

SOCIAL AND OFFICIAL RELATIONS.


On few subjects are more ignorant or malevolent statements made than on
the attitude of Englishmen in India towards the natives of the country.
That social relations between Englishmen and Indians seldom grow
intimate is true enough, but not that the fault lies mainly with
Englishmen. At the risk of being trite, I must recall a few elementary
considerations.

The bedrock difficulty is that Indian customs prevent any kind of
intimacy between English and Indian families. Even in England the
relations between men who are excluded from acquaintance with each
other's families can rarely be called intimate, and except in the very
few cases of Indian families that are altogether Westernized, Indian
habits rigidly exclude Englishmen from admission into the homes of
Indian gentlemen, whether Hindu or Mahomedan. Intercourse between Indian
and English ladies is in the same way almost entirely confined to formal
visits paid by the latter to the zenana and the harem, and to so-called
_Purdah_ parties, given in English houses, in which Indian ladies are
entertained as far as possible under the same conditions that prevail in
their own homes--i.e., to the total exclusion of all males. So long as
Indian ladies are condemned to a life of complete seclusion the
interests they have in common with their English visitors must
necessarily be very few. On the other hand, it is not surprising that
Englishmen, knowing the views that many Indian men entertain with regard
to the position of women, do not care to encourage them to visit their
own houses on a footing of intimacy that would necessarily bring them
into more or less familiar contact with their English wives and sisters
and daughters. There is very much to admire in the family relations, and
especially in the filial relations, that exist in an Indian home,
whether Hindu or Mahomedan, but it is idle to pretend that Indian ideas
with regard to the relations between the sexes are the same as ours. In
these circumstances any social fusion between even the better classes of
the two races seems to be for the present out of the question.

Very sincere and creditable efforts are now, it is true, being made on
both sides to diminish the gulf that divides English and Indian society,
and I have been at various gatherings which were attended by Englishmen
and Englishwomen and by Indians, among whom there was sometimes even a
sprinkling of Indian ladies. But the English host and hostess invariably
found it difficult to prevent their Indian guests forming groups of
their own, and each group seemed to be as reluctant to mingle with other
Indian groups of a different class or caste as with their English
fellow-guests. Indian society has been for centuries split up by race
and caste and creed distinctions into so many watertight compartments
that it does not care for the Western forms of social intercourse, which
tend to ignore those distinctions. It is Indians themselves who regard
us, much more than we regard ourselves, as a separate caste. Moreover,
for the ordinary and somewhat desultory conversation which plays so
large a part in Western sociability the Indian has very little
understanding. He always imagines that conversation must have some
definite purpose, and though he has far, more than most English men, the
gift of ready and courteous speech, and often will talk for a long time
both discursively and pleasantly, it is almost always as a preliminary
to the introduction of some particular topic in which his personal
interests are more or less directly involved. A question which causes a
good deal of soreness is the rigid exclusion of Indians from many
Anglo-Indian clubs. But though a little more elasticity as to the
entertainment of Indian "guests" might reasonably be conceded to Indian
susceptibilities, a club is after all just as much as his house an
Englishman's castle, and it is only in India that any one would venture
to suggest that a club should not settle its rules of membership as it
thinks fit. In the large cities at least there should, however, be room
for clubs which, like the Calcutta Club at Calcutta, serve the very
useful purpose of bringing together by mutual consent the higher classes
of Indians and Englishmen, official and non-official. Yet even there the
exigencies of caste observances, especially in the case of Hindus,
militate against the more convivial forms of intercourse which the
Englishman particularly affects. There are not a few Hindu members who
will talk or play bridge with their English fellow-members into the
small hours of the morning, but who consider themselves bound in
conscience not to sit down to dinner with them; whilst some will
doubtless feel obliged to perform ceremonial ablutions when they go
home. Others again, for similar reasons, would decline to join any
European club. They are no more to be blamed than Englishmen who prefer
to reserve membership of their clubs to Europeans, but the fact remains
and has to be reckoned with.

The best and most satisfactory relations are those maintained between
Englishmen and Indians who understand and respect each other's
peculiarities. No class of Englishman in India fulfils those conditions
more fully than the Indian Civil Service. It is, I know, the _bête
noire_ of the Indian politician, and even Englishmen who ought to know
better seem to think that, once they have labelled it a "bureaucracy,"
that barbarous name is enough to hang it--or enough, at least, to lend
plausibility to the charge that Anglo-Indian administrators are arrogant
and harsh in their personal dealings with Indians and ignorant and
unsympathetic in their methods of government.

That the English civilian goes out to India with a tolerably high
intellectual and moral equipment can hardly be disputed, for he
represents the pick of the young men who qualify for our Civil Service
at home as well as abroad, and in respect of character, integrity, and
intelligence the British Civil Service can challenge comparison with
that of any other country in the world. Why should he suddenly change
into a narrow-minded, petty tyrant as soon as he sets foot in India? A
great part at least of his career is spent in the very closest contact
with the people, for he often lives for years together in remote
districts where he has practically no other society than that of
natives. He generally knows and speaks fluently more than one
vernacular, though, owing to the multiplicity of Indian languages--there
are five, for instance, in the Bombay Presidency alone--- he may find
himself suddenly transferred to a district in which the vernaculars he
has learnt are of no use to him. Part of his time is always spent "in
camp"--_i.e._ moving about from village to village, receiving petitions,
investigating cases, listening to complaints. Perhaps none of the
ordinary duties of administration bring him so closely into touch with
the people as the collection of land revenue, for it is there that his
sense of fairness comes most conspicuously into play and wins
recognition. Hence, for instance, in Bengal one of the bad results of
the "Permanent Settlement" of the land revenue, which leaves no room for
the Collector's ordinary work, has been that the people and the civilian
know generally less about each other than in other parts of India. Few
Indians venture to impugn the Englishman's integrity and impartiality in
adjudging cases in which material interests are concerned, or in
settling differences between natives; and nowhere are those qualities
more valuable and more highly appreciated than in a country accustomed
for centuries to every form of oppression and of social pressure for
which the multitudinous claims of caste and family open up endless
opportunities. As he has no permanent ties of his own in India, it does
not matter to him personally whether the individual case he has to
settle goes in favour of A or of B, or whether the native official, whom
he appoints or promotes, belongs to this or to that caste. The people
know this, and because they have learned to trust the Englishman's sense
of fair play, they appeal, whenever they get the chance, to the European
official rather than to one of their own race. But it is especially in
times of stress, in the evil days of famine or of plague, that they turn
to him for help. Nowhere is the "sun-dried bureaucrat" seen to better
advantage than in the famine or plague camp, where the "bureaucrat"
would come hopelessly to grief, but where the English civilian, not
being a "bureaucrat," triumphs over difficulties by sheer force of
character and power of initiative. It is just in such emergencies, for
which the most elaborate "regulations" cannot wholly provide, that the
superiority of the European over the native official is most
conspicuous. If "Padgett, M.P.", would go out to India in the hot rather
than in the cold weather, and instead of either merely enjoying the
splendid hospitality of the chief centres of Anglo-Indian society, or
borrowing his views of British administration from the Indian
politicians of the large cities, would spend some of his time with a
civilian in an up-country station and follow his daily round of work
amidst the real people of India, he would probably come home with very
different and much more accurate ideas of what India is and of what the
relations are between the Anglo-Indian official and the natives of the
country.

Far from having flooded India, as is often alleged, with a horde of
overpaid officials, we may justly claim that no Western nation has ever
attempted to govern an alien dependency with a smaller staff of its own
race, or has admitted the subject races to so large a participation in
its public services. The whole vast machinery of executive and judicial
administration in British India employs over 1,250,000 Indians, and only
a little more than 5,000 Englishmen altogether, of whom about one-sixth
constitute what is called _par excellence_ the Civil Service of India.
Not the least remarkable achievement of British rule has been the
building up of a great body of Indian public servants capable of rising
to offices of great trust. Not only, for instance, do Indian Judges sit
on the Bench in the High Courts on terms of complete equality with their
European colleagues, but magisterial work all over India is done chiefly
by Indians. The same holds good of the Revenue Department and of the
much, and often very unjustly, abused Department of Police; and, in
fact, as Anglo-Indian officials are the first to acknowledge, there is
not a department which could be carried on to-day without the loyal and
intelligent co-operation of the Indian public servant. There is room for
improving the position of Indians, not only, as I have already pointed
out, in the Educational Department, but probably in every branch of the
"Provincial" service, which corresponds roughly with what was formerly
called the "Un-covenanted" service. As far back as 1879 Lord Lytton laid
down rules which gave to natives of India one-sixth of the appointments
until then reserved for the "Covenanted" service, and we have certainly
not yet reached the limit of the number of Indians who may ultimately
with advantage be employed in the different branches of the public
service; but few who know the defects as well as the good qualities of
the native will deny that to reduce hastily the European leaven in any
department would be to jeopardize its moral as well as its
administrative efficiency. The condition of the police, for instance, is
a case in point, for any survival of the bad old native traditions is
due very largely to the insufficiency of European control. Mr. Gokhale
has himself admitted as one of the reasons for founding his society of
"Servants of India" the necessity of "building up a higher type of
character and capacity than is generally available in the country." For
the same reason we must move slowly and cautiously in substituting
Indians for Europeans in the very small number of posts which the latter
still occupy. That the highest offices of executive control must be very
largely held by Englishmen so long as we continue to be responsible for
the government of India is admitted by all but the most "advanced"
Indian politicians, and it is to qualify for and to hold such positions
that the Indian Civil Service--formerly the "Covenanted" service--is
maintained. It consists of a small _élite_ of barely I,200 men, mostly,
but not exclusively, Englishmen, for it includes nearly 100 Indians. It
is recruited by competitive examinations held in England, and this is
one of the chief grievances of Indians. But in order to preserve the
very high standard it has hitherto maintained, it seems essential that
Indians who wish to enter it should have had not only the Western
education which Indian Universities might be expected to provide, but
the thoroughly English training which India certainly does not as yet
supply.

In the eyes of the disaffected Indian politician the really unpardonable
sin of the Civil Service is that it constitutes the bulwark of British
rule, the one permanent link between the Government of India and the
manifold millions entrusted to their care. I have already had occasion
to show, incidentally, how unfounded is the charge that, through
ignorance and want of sympathy, the British civilian is callous to the
real interests and sentiments of the people in dealing with the larger
problems of Indian statesmanship. The contrary is the case, for to him
belongs the credit of almost every measure passed during the last 50
years for the benefit of the Indian masses, and passed frequently in the
teeth of vehement opposition from the Indian politician. Nor is it
surprising that it should be so. For the Indian politician--generally a
townsman--is, as a rule, drawn from and represents classes that have
very little in common with the great bulk of the people, who are
agriculturists. The British civilian, on the other hand, often spends
the best years of his life in rural districts, seldom even visited by
the politician, and therefore knows much more about the needs and the
feelings of the people among whom he lives and moves. In the best sense
of the word he is in fact the one real democrat in India. The very fact
that he is a bird of passage in the country makes him absolutely
independent of the class interests and personal bias to which the
politician is almost always liable. Moreover, the chief, and perfectly
legitimate, object to which the Anglo-Indian administrator is bound to
address himself is, as Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal once candidly admitted, to
capture "the heart, the mind of the people ... to secure, if not the
allegiance, at least the passive, the generous acquiescence of the
general mass of the population." To make his meaning perfectly clear,
Mr. Pal instanced the rural reforms, the agricultural banks and other
things which had been done in Lord Curzon's time, "to captivate the mind
of the teeming masses," and he added that "he is a foolish politician in
India who allows the Government to capture the mind of the masses to the
exclusion of his own influence and his own countrymen." Mr. Pal is from
his point of view perfectly logical, and so were the writers in the
_Yugantar_, who, when they elaborated their scheme of revolutionary
propaganda, declared that the first step must be to undermine the
confidence of the people in their rulers and to destroy the spirit of
contentedness under an alien yoke. But could there be a more striking
tribute to the intelligent and sympathetic treatment of the interests of
the Indian masses by their British rulers than such admissions on the
part of the enemies of British rule?

From this point of view nothing but good should result from the larger
opportunities given by the recent reforms for the discussion of Indian
questions in the enlarged Councils, so long as the Indian
representatives in these Councils are drawn, as far as possible, from
the different classes which, to some extent, reflect the different
interests of the multitudinous communities that make up the people of
India. The British civilian will have a much better chance than he has
hitherto had of meeting his detractors in the open, and, if one may
judge by the proceedings last winter, when the Councils met for the
first time under the new conditions, there is little reason to fear, as
many did at first, that he will be taken at a disadvantage in debate
owing to the greater fluency and rhetorical resourcefulness of the
Indian politician. It was not only in the Imperial Council in Calcutta
that the official members, having the better case and stating it quite
simply, proved more than a match for the more exuberant eloquence of
their opponents. On the contrary, the personal contact established in
the enlarged Councils between the Anglo-Indian official and the better
class of Indian politician may well serve to diminish the prejudices
which exist on both sides. It is, I believe, quite a mistake to suppose
that the British civilian generally resents the recent reforms, though
he may very well resent the spirit of hostility and suspicion in which
they were advocated and welcomed in some quarters, as if they were
specially directed against the European element in the Civil Service. A
practical difficulty is the heavy call which attendance in Council will
make upon Civil servants who have to represent Government in these
assemblies. Already for many years past the amount of work, and
especially of office work, has steadily increased and without any
corresponding increase of the establishment. Hence the civilian has less
time to receive Indian visitors, and he is often obliged to curtail the
period he spends during the year in camp. Hence also the growing
frequency of transfers and of officiating or temporary appointments.
There are, in fact, to-day barely enough men to go round, and,
obviously, the more frequently a man is moved, the less chance he has of
getting thoroughly acquainted with the people among whom he has to work
in a country such as India, where within the limits of the same province
you may find half a dozen widely different communities speaking
different languages and having different creeds and customs. Perhaps,
too, for the same reasons, there is a tendency towards over-centralization
in the "Secretariats" or permanent departments at the seat of government,
whether in Simla or in the provincial capitals, and the less favoured
civilian who bears the heat and burden of the day in the _mofussil_ is both
more dependent upon them and more jealous of the many advantages they
naturally enjoy. Posts and telegraphs and the multiplying of "regulations"
everywhere tend to weaken personal initiative. Nor can it be denied that
with the increased facilities of travel to and from Europe civilians no
longer look upon India quite so much as their home. The local _liaisons_,
not uncommon in pre-Mutiny days, are now things of the past, and the
married man of to-day who has to send his children home for their
education, and often his wife too, either on account of the climate or
to look after the children, is naturally more disposed to count up his
years of service and to retire on his pension at the earliest opportunity.
The increased cost of living in India and the depreciation of the rupee
have also made the service less attractive from the purely pecuniary point
of view, whilst in other ways it must suffer indirectly from such changes
as the reduction of the European staff in the Indian Medical Department.
The substitution of Indian for European doctors in outlying stations where
there are no European practitioners is a distinct hardship for married
officials, as there is a good deal more than mere prejudice to explain the
reluctance of Englishwomen to be treated by native medical advisers. Nor
is it possible to disguise the soreness caused throughout the Indian Civil
Service by the recent appointment of a young member of the English
Civil Service to one of the very highest posts in India. No one
questions Mr. Clark's ability, but is he really more able than every one
of the many men who passed with him, and for many years before him,
through the same door into the public service and elected to work in
India rather than at home? No Minister would have thought of promoting
him now to an Under-Secretaryship of State in England, and apart from
the grave reflection upon the Indian Civil Service--- and the belief
generally entertained amongst Indians that it was meant to be a
reflection upon the Indian Civil Service--his appointment to a far
higher Indian office implies a grave misconception of the proper
functions of a Council which constitutes the Government of India.

None of these minor considerations, however, will substantially affect
the future of the Indian Civil Service if only it continues to receive
from public opinion at home, and from the Imperial Government as well as
from the Government of India, the loyal support and encouragement which
the admirable work it performs, often under very trying conditions,
deserves. An unfortunate impression has undoubtedly been created during
the last few years in the Indian Civil Service that there is no longer
the same assurance of such support and encouragement either from
Whitehall or from Simla, whilst the attacks of irresponsible partisans
have redoubled in intensity and virulence, and have found a louder and
louder echo both on the platform and in the Press at home. The loss of
contact between the Government of India and Anglo-Indian administrators
has been as painfully felt as the frigid tone of many official
utterances in Parliament, which have seemed inspired by a desire more
often to avoid party embarrassments at Westminster than to protect
public servants, who have no means of defending themselves, against even
the grossest forms of misrepresentation and calumny, leading straight to
the revolver and the bomb of the political assassin. The British
civilian is not going to be frightened by one more risk added to the
vicissitudes of an Indian career, but can you expect him to be proof
against discouragement when many of his fellow-countrymen exhaust their
ingenuity in extenuating or in casting upon him the primary
responsibility for the new Indian gospel of murder which is being
preached against him? Mr. Montagu was well inspired in protesting
against such "hostile, unsympathetic, and cowardly criticism" as was
conveyed in Mr. Mackarness's pamphlet; but this pamphlet was mere sour
milk compared with the vitriol which the native Press had been allowed
to pour forth day after day on the British official in India before any
action was taken by Government to defend him.

The new Viceroy, who himself belongs to one of the most important
branches of the British Civil Service, may be trusted to display in his
handling of the British civilian the tact and sympathy required to
sustain him in the performance of arduous duties which are bound to
become more complex and exacting as our system of government departs
further from the old patriarchal type. Our task in India must grow more
and more difficult, and will demand more than ever the best men that we
can give to its accomplishment. The material prizes which an Indian
career has to offer may be fewer and less valuable, whilst the pressure
of work, the penalties of exile, the hardship of frequent separation
from kith and kin, the drawbacks of an always trying and often
treacherous climate, will for the most part not diminish. But the many
sided interests and the real magnitude and loftiness of the work to be
done in India will continue to attract the best Englishmen so long as
they can rely upon fair treatment at the hands of the Mother Country. If
that failed them there would speedily be an end not only to the Indian
Civil Service, but to British rule itself. For the sword cannot govern,
only maintain government, and can maintain it only as long as government
itself retains the respect and acquiescence of the great masses of the
Indian peoples which have been won, not by generals or by Secretaries of
State, or even by Viceroys, but by the patient and often obscure
spadework of the Indian Civil Service--by its integrity, its courage,
its knowledge, its efficiency, and its unfailing sense of justice.

Complaints of the aloofness of the British civilian very seldom proceed
either from Indians of the upper classes or from the humbler folk. They
generally proceed from the new, more or less Western-educated middle
class whose attitude towards British officials is seldom calculated to
promote cordial relations; and they are also sometimes inspired by
another class of Indian who, one may hope, will before long have
vanished, but whom of all others the civilian is bound to keep at arm's
length. There are men who would get a hold upon him, if he is a young
man, by luring him into intrigues with native women, or by inveigling
him into the meshes of the native moneylender, or who, by less
reprehensible means, strive to establish themselves on a footing of
intimacy with him merely in order to sell to other Indians the influence
which they acquire or pretend to have acquired over him. Cases of this
kind are no doubt rare, and growing more and more rare, as social
conditions are passing away which in earlier days favoured them. Less
objectionable, but nevertheless to be kept also at arm's length, is the
far more numerous class of natives known in India as _umedwars_, who are
always anxious to seize on to the coat tails of the Anglo-Indian
official in order to heighten their own social _status_, and, if
possible, to wheedle out of Government some of those minor titles or
honorific distinctions to which Indian society attaches so much
importance.

In other branches of the public service selection has not always
operated as successfully as the competitive system for the Civil
Service. Men are too often sent out as lawyers or as doctors, or even,
as I have already pointed out, to join the Education Department, with
inadequate qualifications, and they are allowed to enter upon their
work without any knowledge of the language and customs of the people.
Such cases are generally the result of carelessness or ignorance at
home, but some of them, I fear, can only be described as "jobs"--and
there is no room in India for jobs. The untravelled Indian is also
brought into contact to-day with an entirely different class of
Englishman. The globe-trotter, who is often an American, though the
native cannot be expected to distinguish between him and the Englishman,
constantly sins from sheer ignorance against the customs of the country.
Then, again, with railways and telegraphs and the growth of commerce and
industry a type of Englishman has been imported to fill subordinate
positions in which some technical knowledge is required, who, whatever
his good qualities, is much rougher and generally much more strongly
imbued with, or more prone to display, a sense of racial superiority.
Nor is he kept under the same discipline as Tommy Atkins, who is
generally an easy-going fellow, and looks upon the native with
good-natured, if somewhat contemptuous, amusement, though he, too, is
sometimes a rough customer when he gets "above himself," or when his
temper is ruffled by prickly heat, that most common but irritating of
hot-weather ailments. In this connexion the remarkable growth of
temperance among British soldiers in India is doubly satisfactory.

On the whole, the relations between the lower classes of Europeans and
natives in the large cities, where they practically alone come into
contact, seldom give rise to serious trouble; and it is between
Europeans and natives of the higher classes that, unfortunately,
personal disputes from time to time occur, which unquestionably produce
a great deal of bad blood--disputes in which Englishmen have forgotten
not only the most elementary rules of decent behaviour, but the
self-respect which our position in India makes it doubly obligatory on
every Englishman to observe in his dealings with Indians. Some of these
incidents have been wilfully exaggerated, others have been wantonly
invented. Most of them have taken place in the course of railway
journeys, and without wishing to palliate them, one may reasonably point
out that, even in Europe, people, when travelling, will often behave
with a rudeness which they would be ashamed to display in other
circumstances, and that long railway journeys in the stifling heat of
India sometimes subject the temper to a strain unknown in more temperate
climates. In some cases, too, it is our ignorance of native customs
which causes the trouble, and the habits of even high-class Indians are
now and then unpleasant. A few months ago, I shared a railway
compartment one night with an Indian gentleman of good position and
pleasant address, belonging to a sect which carries to the most extreme
lengths the respect for all forms of life, however repulsive. Had I been
a stranger to India and ignorant of these conscientious eccentricities,
I might well have objected very strongly to some of the proceedings of
my companion, who spent a good deal of his time in searching his person
and his garments for certain forms of animal life, which he carefully
deposited in a little silver box carried for this special purpose.
Nevertheless it must be admitted that there have been from time to time
cases of brutality towards natives sufficiently gross and inexcusable to
create a very deplorable impression. I have met educated Indians who,
though they have had no unpleasant experiences of the kind themselves,
prefer to avoid entering a railway carriage occupied by Europeans lest
they should expose themselves even to the chance of insulting treatment.
On the other hand, speaking from personal experience as well as from
what I have heard on unimpeachable authority, I have no hesitation in
saying that there are evil-disposed, Indians, especially of late years,
who deliberately seek to provoke disagreeable incidents by their own
misbehaviour, either in the hope of levying blackmail or in order to
make political capital by posing as the victims of English brutality.
But even when Englishmen put themselves entirely in the wrong, there is
perhaps a tendency amongst Anglo-Indians--chiefly amongst the
non-official community--to treat such cases with undue leniency, and it
is one of the curious ironies of fate that Lord Curzon, whom the
Nationalist Press has singled out for constant abuse and denunciation as
the prototype of official tyranny, was the one Viceroy who more than any
other jeopardized his popularity with his fellow countrymen in India by
insisting upon rigorous justice being done where Indians had, in his
opinion, suffered wrongs of this kind at the hands of Europeans.

It is a lamentable fact that, amongst Indians, the greatest bitterness
with regard to the social relations between the two races often proceeds
from those who have been educated in England. There is, first of all,
the young Indian who, having mixed freely with the best type of
Englishmen and Englishwomen, finds himself on his return to India quite
out of touch with his own people, and yet has to live their life. Cases
of this kind are especially pathetic, when, having imbibed European
ideals of womanhood, he is obliged to marry some girl chosen by his
parents, with whom, however estimable she may be, he has nothing in
common. Such is the contrariety of human nature that he usually visits
his unhappiness, not on the social system which has resumed its hold
upon him, but on the civilization which has killed his belief in it.
Then there is the very mischievous type of young Indian who, having been
left to his own devices in England, and without any good introductions,
brings back to India and retails there impressions of English society,
male and female, gathered from the very undesirable surroundings into
which he has drifted in London and other large cities. It is he who is
often responsible for one of the most deplorable features in the
propaganda of the seditious Press--namely, the scandalous libels upon
the character of English domestic life, and especially upon the morality
of English womanhood--by which it is sought to undermine popular
respect for and confidence in the Englishman. But our own responsibility
must also be very great, so long as we allow the young Indian who comes
to England to drift hopelessly, without help or guidance, among the
rocks and shoals of English life. Men of our own race, and carefully
picked men, come from our oversea Dominions to study in our colleges,
and we have a special organization to look after their moral and
material welfare. For years past we have allowed young Indians to come
and go, and no responsible hand has been stretched out to save them from
the manifold temptations of an entirely alien society in which isolation
is almost bound to spell degradation and bitterness.

Considering, however, the many inevitable causes of friction and the
inherent imperfections of human nature, whether white or coloured, one
may safely say that between Englishmen of all conditions and Indians of
all conditions there often and, indeed, generally exist pleasanter
relations than are to be found elsewhere between people of any two races
so widely removed. They are never closer than when special circumstances
help to break down the barriers. The common instincts and the common
dangers of their profession create often singularly strong ties of
regard and affection between the sepoy of all ranks and his British
officers--especially on campaign. In domestic tribulations, as well as
in public calamities, Indians, at least of the lower classes, will often
turn more readily and confidently for help to the Englishman who lives
amongst them than to their own people. I need not quote instances of the
extraordinary influence which many European missionaries have acquired
by their devoted labours amongst the poor, the sick, and the suffering,
and in former times, perhaps more than in recent times, even with
Indians of the higher classes. In ordinary circumstances we have to
recognize the existence of both sides of obstacles to anything like
intimacy. Many Indian ideas and habits are repugnant to us, but so also
are many of ours to them. Indians have their own conceptions of dignity
and propriety which our social customs frequently offend. If Englishmen
and Englishwomen in high places in India would exert their influence to
invest the social life of Europeans in the chief resorts of Anglo-Indian
society with a little more decorum and seriousness, they would probably
be doing better service to a good understanding between the two races in
social matters than by trying to break down by sheer insistence, however
well meant, the barriers which diametrically opposite forms of
civilization have placed between them.



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.


In the very able speech in which, on July 27, Mr. Montagu, the new
Under-Secretary of State for India, introduced the Indian Budget in the
House of Commons, one passage referred to the relations between the
Secretary of State and the Viceroy in terms which have deservedly
attracted very great attention[23]. Differences of opinion, sometimes of
an acute character, have at intervals occurred between Secretaries of
State and Viceroys as to their relative attributions. Mr. Montagu's
language, however, would seem to constitute an assertion of the powers
of the Secretary of State far in excess not only of past practice but of
any reasonable interpretation of legislative enactments on the subject.
After congratulating Lord Minto on the completion of, a "difficult
reign," Mr. Montagu said:--

   The relations of a Viceroy to the Secretary of State are
   intimate and responsible. The Act of Parliament says
   "That the Secretary of State in Council shall superintend,
   direct, and control all acts, operations, and concerns which in
   any way relate to or concern the government or revenues of
   India, and all grants of salaries, gratuities, and allowances,
   and all other payments and charges whatever out of or on
   the revenues of India." It will be seen how wide, how far
   reaching, and how complete these powers are. Lord Morley
   and his Council, working through the agency of Lord Minto,
   have accomplished much.... I believe that men of
   all parties will be grateful that Lord Morley remains to carry
   out the policy he has initiated.

It is to be regretted in the first place that Mr. Montagu should not
have been more careful to make his quotation accurate. For, as quoted by
him, the Act would make it obligatory upon the Secretary of State to
supervise practically every act of the Government of India, whereas the
powers of the Secretary of State, who has succeeded to the powers of the
old Board of Control of the East India Company, are discretionary
powers. The statute from which the Secretary of State actually derives
his powers is the Government of India Act, 1858, which under section 3
declares that the Secretary of State "shall have and perform all such or
the like powers and duties in any wise relating to the government or
revenues of India and all such or the like powers over all officers
appointed or continued under this Act as might or should have been
exercised or performed" by the Company and Board of Control, and those
powers and duties are defined in the following terms in the Act of 1833
(3 and 4 William IV., c. 85, sec. 25), which Mr. Montagu would seem to
have had in his mind, though he quoted it imperfectly: "The said Board
[of Control] shall have and be invested with full power and authority to
superintend, direct, and control all acts, operations, and concerns,
&c." The difference, as has been very properly pointed out in the
_Manchester Guardian_, no unfriendly critic of the present
Administration, is "between exercising control and the power to exercise
control, between 'shall' and 'may.' If these words of the Act were to be
abbreviated, the right abbreviation would have been 'may.' This is the
word used by Sir Courtenay Ilbert in his summary of the Secretary of
State's powers (The Government of India, p. 145);--'... the Secretary
of State may, subject to the provisions embodied in this digest,
superintend, direct, and control all acts, operations, and concerns,
&c.' This difference between 'shall' and 'may' is, of course, vital.
'Shall' implies that the Secretary of State is standing over the Viceroy
in everything he does; 'may' simply reserves to him the right of control
where he disapproves. 'Shall' imparts an agency of an inferior order;
'may' safeguards the rights of the Crown and Parliament without
impairing the dignity of the Viceregal office."

Of greater importance, however, is the construction which Mr. Montagu
places on these statutes. There are three fundamental objections to the
doctrine of "agency" which he propounds in regard to the functions of
the Viceroy. In the first place, it ignores one of the most important
features of his office--one, indeed, to which supreme importance
attaches in a country such as India, where the sentiment of reverence
for the Sovereign is rooted in the most ancient traditions of all races
and creeds. The Viceroy is the direct and personal representative of the
King-Emperor, and in that capacity, at any rate, it would certainly be
improper to describe him as the "agent" of the Secretary of State. From
this point of view, any attempt to lower his office would tend
dangerously to weaken the prestige of the Crown, which, to put it on the
lowest grounds, is one of the greatest assets of the British _Raj_. In
the second place, Mr. Montagu ignores equally another distinctive
feature of the Viceroy's office, especially important in regard to his
relations with the Secretary of State--namely, that, in his executive as
well as in his legislative capacity, the Viceroy is not a mere
individual, but the Governor-General in Council. Mr. Montagu omitted to
quote the important section of the Act of 1833, confirmed in subsequent
enactments, which declared that:--

   The superintendence, direction, and control of the whole
   civil and military government of all the said territories and
   revenues in India shall be and is hereby vested in a Governor-General
   and Councillors to be styled "the Governor-General
   of India in Council."

The only title recognized by statute to the Viceroy is that of
Governor-General in Council, and how material is this conjunction of the
Governor-General with his Council is shown by the exceptional character
of the circumstances in which power is given to the Governor-General to
act on his own responsibility alone, and by the extreme rareness of the
cases in which a Governor-General has exercised that power.

Thus, on the one hand, Mr. Montagu forgets the Crown when he talks of
the Secretary of State acting through the agency of the Viceroy; and, on
the other hand, he forgets the Governor-General in Council when he talks
of the relations between the Viceroy and the Secretary of State--whose
proper designation, moreover, is Secretary of State in Council, for,
like the Governor-General, the Secretary of State has a Council
intimately associated with him by statute in the discharge of his
constitutional functions. Though the cases in which the Secretary of
State cannot act without the concurrence of the Council of India, who
sit with him at the India Office, are limited to matters involving the
grant or appropriation of revenues, and in other matters he is not
absolutely bound to consult them and still less to accept their
recommendations, the Act of Parliament quoted by Mr. Montagu clearly
implies that, in the exercise of all the functions which it assigns to
him, he is expected to act generally in consultation and in concert with
his Council, since those functions are assigned to him specifically as
Secretary of State in Council.

Now, as to the nature of the relations between the Governor-General in
Council and the Secretary of State in Council as above defined by
statute. The ultimate responsibility for Indian government, as Mr.
Montagu intimated, rests unquestionably with the Imperial Government
represented by the Secretary of State for India, and therefore, in the
last resort, with the people of the United Kingdom represented by
Parliament. The question is, What is in theory and practice the proper
mode of discharging this, "ultimate responsibility" for Indian
government? It is not a question which can be authoritatively answered,
but, if we may infer an answer from the spirit of legislative enactments
and from the usage that has hitherto prevailed, it may still be summed
up in the same language in which John Stuart Mill described the function
of the Home Government in the days of the old East India Company--"The
principal function of the Home Government is not to direct the details
of administration, but to scrutinize and revise the past acts of the
Indian Governments; to lay down principles and to issue general
instructions for their future guidance, and to give or refuse sanction
to great political measures which are referred home for approval." This
seems undoubtedly to be the view of the relations, inherited from the
East India Company, between the Secretary of State and the Government of
India which has been accepted and acted upon on both sides until
recently. Nor is any other view compatible with the Charter Act of 1833,
or with the Government of India Act of 1858, which, in all matters
pertinent to this issue, was based upon, and confirmed the principles of
the earlier statute. The Secretary of State exercises general guidance
and control, but, as Mill laid it down no less forcibly, "the Executive
Government of India is and must be seated in India itself." Such
relations are clearly very different from those of principal and agent
which Mr. Montagu would apparently wish to substitute for them.

Besides the special emphasis he laid on his definition of the relations
between the Viceroy and the Secretary of State, other reasons have led
to the belief that the Under-Secretary, who spoke with a full sense of
his responsibility as the representative of the Secretary of State, was
giving calculated expression to the views of his chief. I am not going
to anticipate the duties of the historian, whose business it will be to
establish the share of initiative and responsibility that belong to Lord
Morley and Lord Minto respectively in regard to the Indian policy of
the last five years. Whilst something more than an impression generally
prevails both at home and in India that Mr. Montagu's definition does in
fact very largely apply to the relations between the present Viceroy and
the Secretary of State, and that every measure carried out in India has
originated in Whitehall, it is only fair to bear in mind that Lord
Morley has never himself put forward any such claim, nor has Lord Minto
ever admitted it. The Viceroy, on the contrary, has been at pains to
emphasize on several occasions his share, and indeed to claim for
himself the initiative, of all the principal measures carried out during
his tenure of office, and especially of the new scheme of Indian
reforms, of which the paternity is ascribed by most people to Lord
Morley.

The Secretary of State's great personality may partly account for the
belief that he has entirely overshadowed the Viceroy, all the more in
that he has certainly overshadowed the Council of India as never before.
But if Lord Minto has reason to complain, of the prevalence of this
belief, he cannot be unaware that he too has helped to build it up by
neglecting to associate his own Council with himself as closely as even
his most masterful predecessors had hitherto been careful to do.

Lord Minto's position has no doubt been one of very peculiar difficulty,
and no one will grudge him the warm tribute paid to him by Mr. Montagu.
Whatever the merits of the great controversy between Lord Curzon and
Lord Kitchener, the overruling of the Government of India by the Home
Government on a question of such magnitude and the circumstances in
which Lord Curzon was compelled to resign had dealt a very heavy blow to
the authority and prestige of the Viceregal office in India. Within a
few weeks of Lord Minto's arrival in India the Unionist Government who
had appointed him fell, and a Liberal Government came into power who
could not be expected to display any special consideration for their
predecessors nominee unless he showed himself to be in sympathy with
their policy. Lord Minto's friends can therefore very reasonably argue
that his chief anxiety was, quite legitimately, to avoid any kind of
friction with the new Secretary of State which might have led to the
supersession of another Viceroy so soon after the unfortunate crisis
that had ended in Lord Curzon's resignation. If this was the object that
Lord Minto had in view, his attitude has certainly been most successful,
for Lord Morley has repeatedly testified to the loyalty and cordiality
with which the Viceroy has constantly co-operated with him. That the
Secretary of State and the Viceroy have, nevertheless, not always seen
eye to eye with regard to the interference of the India Office in the
details of Indian administration appears clearly from a telegram read
out by Lord Morley himself in the House of Lords on February 23, 1909.
In the course of this telegram, which acknowledged in the most generous
terms the strong support of the Secretary of State in all dealings with
sedition, the Viceroy made the following curious admission:--"The
question of the control of Indian administration by the Secretary of
State, mixed up as it is with the old difficulties of centralization, we
may very possibly look at from different points of view." The curtain
fell upon this restrained attempt to assert what Lord Minto evidently
regarded eighteen months ago as his legitimate position, and to the
public eye it has not been raised again since then. But in India
certainly the fear is often expressed in responsible quarters that,
notwithstanding the courageous support which Lord Morley has given to
legislative measures for dealing with the worst forms of seditious
agitation, their effect has been occasionally weakened by that
interference from home in the details of Indian administration of which
Lord Minto's telegram contains the only admission known to the public.

It is difficult to believe that Lord Minto's position would not have
been stronger had he not allowed the Governor-General in Council to
suffer such frequent eclipses. The Governor-General's Council during
Lord Minto's tenure of office may have been exceptionally weak, and
there will always be a serious element of weakness in it so long as
membership of Council is not recognized to be the crowning stage of an
Indian career. So long as it is, as at present too frequently happens,
merely a stepping-stone to a Lieutenant-Governorship, it is idle to
expect that the hope of advancement will not sometimes act as a
restraint upon the independence and sense of individual responsibility
which a seat in Council demands. In any case, the effacement of Council
during the last few years behind the Viceroy has not been calculated to
dispel the widespread impression that, both in Calcutta and in
Whitehall, there has been a tendency to substitute for the
constitutional relations between the Governor-General in Council and the
Secretary of State in Council more informal and personal relations
between Lord Minto and Lord Morley, which, however excellent, are
difficult to reconcile with the principles essential to the maintenance
of a strong Government of India. Private letters and private telegrams
are very useful helps to a mutual understanding, but they cannot safely
supplant, or encroach upon, the more formal and regular methods of
communication, officially recorded for future reference, in consultation
and concert with the Councils on either side, as by statute established.

There is a twofold danger in any eclipse, even partial, of the
Governor-General in Council. One of the remarks I have heard most
frequently all over India, and from Indians as well as from Englishmen,
is that "there is no longer any Government of India"; and it is a remark
which, however exaggerated in form, contains a certain element of truth.
To whatever extent the Viceroy, in his relations with Whitehall,
detaches himself from his Council, to that extent the centre of
executive stability is displaced and the door is opened to that constant
interference from home in the details of Indian administration which is
all the more to be deprecated if there appear to be any suspicion of
party pressure. Lord Morley has so often and so courageously stood up
for sound principles of Indian government against the fierce attacks of
the extreme wing of his party, and he has shown, on the whole, so much
moderation and insight in his larger schemes of constructive
statesmanship, whilst Lord Minto has won for himself so much personal
regard during a very difficult period, that criticism may appear
invidious. But the tone adopted, especially during the first years of
Lord Morley's administration, in official replies to insidious
Parliamentary questions aimed at Indian administrators, the alacrity
with which they were transmitted from the India Office to Calcutta, the
acquiescence with which they were received there, and the capital made
out of them by political agitators when they were spread broadcast over
India contributed largely to undermine the principle of authority upon
which, as Lord Morley has himself admitted, Indian government must rest.
For the impression was thus created in India that there was no detail of
Indian administration upon which an appeal might not be successfully
made through Parliament to the Secretary of State over the head of the
Government of India. Now if, as Lord Morley has also admitted,
Parliamentary government is inconceivable in India, it is equally
inconceivable that Indian government can be carried on under a running
fire of malevolent or ignorant criticism from a Parliament 6,000 miles
away. That is certainly not the sort of Parliamentary control
contemplated in the legislative enactments which guarantee the "ultimate
responsibility" of the Secretary of State.

At the same time the effacement of the Viceroy's Executive Council has
weakened that collective authority of the Government of India without
which its voice must fail to carry full weight in Whitehall. Every
experienced Anglo-Indian administrator, for instance, had been quick to
realize what were bound to be the consequences of the unbridled licence
of the extremist Press and of an openly seditious propaganda. Yet the
Government of India under Lord Minto lacked the cohesion necessary to
secure the sanction of the Secretary of State to adequate legislative
action, repugnant to party traditions at home, until we had already
begun to reap the bloody harvest of an exaggerated tolerance, and with
the Viceroy himself the views of the ruling chiefs seem to have carried
greater weight in urging action on the Secretary of State than the
opinions recorded at a much earlier date by men entitled to his
confidence and entrusted under his orders with the administration of
British India.

Even if one could always be certain of having men of transcendent
ability at the India Office and at Government House in Calcutta, it is
impossible that they should safely dispense with the permanent
corrective to their personal judgment and temperament--not to speak of
outside pressure--which their respective Councils have been created by
law to supply. Let us take first of all the case of the Viceroy. His
position as the head of the Government of India may be likened to that
of the Prime Minister at home, and the position of the Viceroy's
Executive Council to that of the Ministers who, as heads of the
principal executive Departments, form the Cabinet over which the Prime
Minister presides. But no head of the Executive at home stands so much
in need of capable and experienced advisers as the Viceroy, who
generally goes out to India without any personal knowledge of the vast
sub-continent and the 300 million people whom he is sent out to govern
for five years with very far-reaching powers, and often without any
administrative experience, though he has to take charge of the most
complicated administrative machine in the world. Even when he has gone
out to India, his opportunities of getting to know the country and its
peoples are actually very scant. He spends more than six months of the
year at Simla, an essentially European and ultra-official hill-station
perched up in the clouds and entirely out of touch with Indian life, and
another four months he spends in Calcutta, which, again, is only
partially Indian, or, at any rate, presents but one aspect of the
many-sided life of India. It takes a month for the great public
departments to transport themselves and their archives from Calcutta to
Simla at the beginning of the hot weather, and another month in the
autumn for the pilgrimage back from the hills to Calcutta. It is only
during these two months that the Viceroy can travel about freely and
make himself acquainted with other parts of the vast Dependency
committed to his care, and, though railways have shortened distances,
rapid journeys in special trains with great ceremonial programmes at
every halting point scarcely afford the same opportunities as the more
leisurely progress of olden days, when the Governor-General's camp, as
it moved from place to place, was open to visitors from the whole
surrounding country. Moreover, the machinery of administration grows
every year more ponderous and complicated, and the Viceroy, unless he is
endowed with an almost superhuman power and quickness of work, is apt to
find himself entangled in the meshes of never-ending routine. It is in
order to supply the knowledge and experience which a Viceroy in most
cases lacks when he first goes out, and in some cases is never able to
acquire during his whole tenure of office, that his Executive Council is
so constituted, in theory and as far as possible in practice, that it
combines with administrative experience in the several Departments over
which members respectively preside such a knowledge collectively of the
whole of India that the Viceroy can rely upon expert advice and
assistance in the transaction of public business and, not least, in
applying with due regard for Indian conditions the principles of policy
laid down for his guidance by the Home Government. These were the
grounds upon which Lord Morley justified the appointment to the
Viceroy's Executive Council of an Indian member who, besides being
thoroughly qualified to take charge of the special portfolio entrusted
to him, would bring into Council a special and intimate knowledge of
native opinion and sentiment. These are the grounds upon which, by the
way, Lord Morley cannot possibly justify the appointment of Mr. Clark as
Member for Commerce and Industry, for a young subordinate official,
however brilliant, of an English public Department cannot bring into the
Viceroy's Executive Council either special or general knowledge of
Indian affairs. Such an appointment must to that extent weaken rather
than strengthen the Government of India.

The same arguments which apply in India to the conjunction of the
Governor-General with his Council apply, _mutatis mutandis_, with
scarcely less force to the importance of the part assigned to the
Council of India as advisers of the Secretary of State at the India
Office.

If we look at the Morley-Minto _régime_ from another point of view, it
is passing strange that the tendency to concentrate the direction of
affairs in India in the hands of the Viceroy and to subject the Viceroy
in turn to the closer and more immediate control of the Secretary of
State, whilst simultaneously diminishing _pro tanto_ the influence of
their respective Councils, should have manifested itself just at this
time, when it is Lord Morley who presides over the India Office. For no
statesman has ever proclaimed a more ardent belief in the virtues of
decentralization than Lord Morley, and Lord Morley himself is largely
responsible for legislative reforms which will not only strengthen the
hands of the provincial Governments in their dealings with the
Government of India, but will enable and, indeed, force the Government
of India to assume on many vital questions an attitude of increased
independence towards the Imperial Government. The more we are determined
to govern India in accordance with Indian ideas and with Indian
interests, the more we must rely upon a strong, intelligent, and
self-reliant Government of India. The peculiar conditions of India
exclude the possibility of Indian self-government on colonial lines, but
what we may, and probably must, look forward to at no distant date is
that, with the larger share in legislation and administration secured to
Indians by such measures as the Indian Councils Act, the Government of
India will speak with growing authority as the exponent of the best
Indian opinion within the limits compatible with the maintenance of
British rule, and that its voice will therefore ultimately carry
scarcely less weight at home in the determination of Indian policy than
the voice of our self-governing Dominions already carries in all
questions concerning their internal development.

The future of India lies in the greatest possible decentralization in
India subject to the general, but unmeddlesome, control of the
Governor-General in Council, and in the greatest possible freedom of the
Government of India from all interference from home, except in regard to
those broad principles of policy which it must always rest with the
Imperial Government, represented by the Secretary of State in Council,
to determine. It is only in that way that, to use one of Mr. Montagu's
phrases, we can hope successfully to "yoke" to our own "democratic"
system "a Government so complex and irresponsible to the peoples which
it governs as the Government of India."



CHAPTER XXVII.

CONCLUSIONS.


No Viceroy has for fifty years gone out to India at so critical a moment
as that at which Lord Hardinge of Penshurst is about to take up the
reins of government. In one respect only is he more favoured than most
of his predecessors. The Anglo-Russian agreement, of which he himself
helped to lay the foundations when he was Ambassador at St. Petersburg,
has removed the greatest of all the dangers that threatened the external
security of India and the peace of Central Asia during the greater part
of the nineteenth century. It does not, however, follow that the
Government of India can look forward with absolute confidence to
continued immunity from all external troubles. Save for the Tibetan
expedition and one or two small punitive expeditions against Pathan
tribes, there have been no military operations on the Indian frontier
since the Terai campaign was brought to a close in 1898. But signs are,
unfortunately, not wanting of a serious recrudescence of restlessness on
the North-West Frontier, where the very necessary measures taken to cut
off supplies of arms from the Persian Gulf have contributed to stimulate
the chronic turbulence of the unruly tribesmen. There is no definite
evidence at present that they are receiving direct encouragement from
Cabul, but it is at least doubtful whether the somewhat exaggerated
deference shown to the Ameer on the occasion of his visit three years
ago to India has permanently improved our relations with him, and though
he is no longer able to play off Russia and England against each other,
he has not yet brought himself to signify his adhesion to the Convention
which defined our understanding with Russia in regard to Afghan affairs.
The condition of Persia, and especially of the southern provinces, has
created a situation which cannot be indefinitely tolerated, whilst the
provocative temper displayed by the Turkish authorities under the new
_régime_ at various points on the Persian Gulf is only too well
calculated to produce unpleasant complications, however anxious we must
be to avoid them, if only in view of the feeling which any estrangement
between Mahomedan Powers and Great Britain inevitably produces amongst
Indian Moslems. The high-handed action of China in Tibet, and, indeed,
all along the north-eastern borderland of our Indian Empire, has
introduced a fresh element of potential trouble which the Government of
India cannot safely disregard, for we are bound not only to protect our
own frontiers, but also to safeguard the interests of Nepal and Bhutan,
where, as well as in Sikkim, the fate of Tibet and the flight of the
Dalai Lama have caused no slight perturbation. In Nepal especially,
which is one of the most valuable recruiting grounds of the Indian Army,
Chinese ascendency cannot be allowed to overshadow British influence.
Lord Hardinge is by profession a peacemaker, and how efficient a
peacemaker he proved himself to be at St. Petersburg during the
Russo-Japanese war will only be fully known when the historian has
access to the secret records of that critical period of Anglo-Russian
relations. But it must not be forgotten that the maintenance of peace
along such a vast and still largely unsettled borderland as that of
India may at any moment be frustrated by disturbing forces over which
the most peacefully disposed Viceroy has little or no control.

Peace and sound finance, which is inseparable from peace, have certainly
never been more essential to India than at the present juncture. For
without them the difficulty of solving the most absorbing and urgent of
the internal problems of India will be immeasurably enhanced. There is a
lull in the storm of unrest, but after the repeated disappointments to
which official optimism has been subjected within the last few years, he
would be a sanguine prophet who would venture to assert that this lull
presages a permanent return to more normal conditions. Has the creation
of a new political machinery which gives a vastly enlarged scope to the
activities of Indian constitutional reformers, definitely rallied the
waverers and restored courage and confidence to the representatives of
sober and law-abiding opinion, or will they continue to follow the lead
of impatient visionaries clamouring, as Lord Morley once put it, for the
moon which we cannot give them? Have the forces of aggressive
disaffection been actually disarmed by the so-called measures of
"repression," or have they merely been compelled for the time being to
cover their tracks and modify their tactics, until the relaxation of
official vigilance or the play of party politics in England or some
great international crisis opens up a fresh opportunity for militant
sedition? To these momentous questions the next five years will
doubtless go far to furnish a conclusive answer, and it will be
determined in no small measure by the statesmanship, patience, and
firmness which Lord Hardinge will bring to the discharge of the
constitutional functions assigned to him as Viceroy--i.e., as the
personal representative of the King Emperor, and as Governor-General in
Council--i.e., as the head of the Government of India.

I have attempted, however imperfectly, to trace to their sources some of
the chief currents and cross-currents of the great confused movement
which is stirring the stagnant waters of Indian life--the steady impact
of alien ideas on an ancient and obsolescent civilization; the more or
less imperfect assimilation of those ideas by the few; the dread and
resentment of them by those whose traditional ascendency they threaten;
the disintegration of old beliefs, and then again their aggressive
revival; the careless diffusion of an artificial system of education,
based none too firmly on mere intellectualism, and bereft of all moral
or religious sanction; the application of Western theories of
administration and of jurisprudence to a social formation stratified on
lines of singular rigidity; the play of modern economic forces upon
primitive conditions of industry and trade; the constant and unconscious
but inevitable friction between subject races and their alien rulers;
the reverberation of distant wars and distant racial conflicts; the
exaltation of an Oriental people in the Far East; the abasement of
Asiatics in South Africa--all these and many other conflicting
influences culminating in the inchoate revolt of a small but very active
minority which, on the one hand, frequently disguises under an appeal to
the example and sympathy of Western democracy a reversion to the old
tyranny of caste and to the worst superstitions of Hinduism, and, on the
other hand, arms, with the murderous methods of Western Anarchism, the
fervour of Eastern mysticism compounded in varying proportions of
philosophic transcendentalism and degenerate sensuousness.

In so far as this movement is directed to the immediate subversion of
British rule, we need not exaggerate its importance, unless the British
Empire were involved in serious complications elsewhere which might
encourage the seditious elements in India to break out into open
rebellion. We are too often, in fact, inclined to underrate the strength
of the foundations upon which our rule rests. For it alone lends--and
can within any measurable time lend--substantial reality to the mere
geographical expression which India is. A few Indians may dream of a
united India under Indian rule, but the dream is as wild to-day as that
of the few European Socialists who dream of the United States of Europe.
India has never approached to political unity any more than Europe has,
except under the compulsion of a conqueror. For India and Europe are
thus far alike that they are both geographically self-contained
continents, but inhabited by a great variety of nations whose different
racial and religious affinities, whose different customs and traditions,
tend to divide them far more than any interests they may have in common
tend to unite them. We have got too much into the habit of talking about
India and the Indians as if they were one country and one people, and we
too often forget that there are far more absolutely distinct languages
spoken in India than in Europe; that there are far more profound racial
differences between the Mahratta and the Bengalee than between the
German and the Portuguese, or between the Punjabee and the Tamil than
between the Russian and the Italian; that, not to speak of other creeds,
the religious antagonism between Hindu and Mahomedan is often more
active than any that exists to-day between Protestants and Roman
Catholics, even, let us say, in Ulster; and that caste has driven into
Indian society lines of far deeper cleavage than any class distinctions
that have survived in Europe.

We do not rule India, as is sometimes alleged, by playing off one race
or one creed against another and by accentuating and fostering these
ancient divisions, but we are able to rule because our rule alone
prevents these ancient divisions from breaking out once more into open
and sanguinary strife. British rule is the form of government that
divides Indians the least. The majority of intelligent and sober-minded
Indians who have a stake in the country welcome it and support it
because they feel it to be the only safeguard against the clash of rival
races and creeds, which would ultimately lead to the oppressive
ascendency of some one race or creed; and the great mass of the
population yield to it an inarticulate and instinctive acquiescence
because it gives them a greater measure of security, justice, and
tranquillity than their forbears ever enjoyed.

There are only two forces that aspire to substitute themselves for
British rule, or at least to make the continuance of British rule
subservient to their own ascendency. One is the ancient and reactionary
force of Brahmanism, which, having its roots in the social and religious
system we call Hinduism, operates upon a very large section--but still
only a section--of the population who are Hindus. The other is a modern
and, in its essence, progressive force generated by Western education,
which operates to some extent over the whole area of India, but only
upon an infinitesimal fraction of the population recruited among a few
privileged castes. Its only real _nexus_ is a knowledge, often very
superficial, of the English language and of English political
institutions. Though both these forces have developed of late years a
spirit of revolt against British rule, neither of them has in itself
sufficient substance to be dangerous. The one is too old, the other too
young. But the most rebellious elements in both have effected a
temporary and unnatural alliance on the basis of an illusory
"Nationalism" which appeals to nothing in Indian history, but is
calculated and meant to appeal with dangerous force to Western sentiment
and ignorance.

It rests with us to break up that unnatural alliance. We may not
reconcile aggressive Brahmanism to Western civilization, but we can
combat the evil influences for which it stands and which many
enlightened Brahmans have long since recognized; and we can combat them
most effectively by rallying to our side the better and more progressive
elements which, in spite of its many imperfections, Western education
and the contact with Western civilization have already produced. To that
end we must shrink from no sacrifices to improve our methods of
education. The evils for which we have to find remedies have been of
slow growth, and they can only be slowly cured. But they can be cured by
patient and sustained effort, and by carrying courageously into practice
the principle, which none of us will challenge in theory, that the
formation of character on a sound moral basis, inseparable in India from
a sound religious basis, is at least as important a part of the
educational process as the development of the intellect.

That, however, is not all. If we are to save and to foster the better
elements, we must stamp out the worse. Do not let us be frightened by
mere words. To talk, as some do, of the Indian Press being "gagged" by
the new Press Act is absurd. It is as free to-day as it has always been
to criticize Government as fully and fearlessly, and, one may add, often
as unjustly, as party newspapers in this country are wont to criticize
the Government of the day. It is no longer free to preach revolution and
murder with the cynical audacity shown in some of the quotations I have
given various Nationalist organs. "Repression" in India, whether of the
seditious press, or of secret societies, or of unlawful meetings, means
nothing more cruel or oppressive than the application of surgery to
diseased growths which threaten to infect the whole organism--and
especially so immature and sensitive an organism as the
semi-Westernized, semi-educated section of Indian society to-day
represents. This surgical treatment will probably also have to be
patient and sustained, for here too we have to deal with evils of no
sudden growth, though some of their worst outward manifestations have
come suddenly upon us. Even if the improvement be more rapid than we
have any right to expect, do not let us throw away our surgical
instruments, but rather preserve them against any possible relapse. We
have to remember not only what we owe to ourselves, but what we owe
equally to the many well-meaning but timid Indians who look to us for
protection against the insidious forms of terrorism to which the
disaffected minority can subject them[24]. The number of our active
enemies may be few, but great is the number of our friends who are of
opinion that we are more anxious to conciliate the one sinner who may or
may not repent than to encourage the 99 just who persevere.

We want the Western-educated Indian. We have made him, and we cannot
unmake him if we would. But we must see that he is a genuine product of
the best that Western education can give, and not merely an Indian who
can speak English and adapt his speech to English ears in order to lend
plausibility to the revival in new forms of ancient religious or social
tyrannies. We must remember also that even the best type of
Western-educated Indian only speaks at present for a minute section of
the population of India, and that, when he does not speak, as he often
naturally does, merely in the interests of the small class which he
represents, he has not yet by any means proved his title to speak for
the scores of millions of his fellow-countrymen who are still living in
the undisturbed atmosphere of the Indian Middle Ages. One of the dangers
we have to guard against is that, because the Western-educated Indian is
to the stay-at-home Englishman, and even to the Englishman whose
superficial knowledge of India is confined to brief visits to the chief
cities of India, the most, and indeed the only, articulate Indian, we
should regard him as the only or the most authoritative mouthpiece of
the needs and wishes of other classes or of the great mass of his
fellow-countrymen with whom he is often in many ways in less close touch
than the Englishman who lives in their midst.

The weak point of the recent political reforms is that they were
intended to benefit, not wholly, but mainly, that particular class. In
so far as they may help to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the
moderate Indian politician they deserve praise; and in that respect, as
far as one can judge at this very early stage, they are not without
promise. In effect they have also helped to give other important
interests opportunities of organization and expression. Apart from the
great Mahomedan community, whose political aspirations are largely
different from, and opposed to, those of Hinduism, there are
agricultural interests, always of supreme importance in such a country
as India, and industrial and commercial interests of growing importance
which cannot be adequately represented by the average Indian politician
who is chiefly recruited from the towns and from, professions that have
little or no knowledge of or sympathy with them. The politician, for
instance, is too often a lawyer, and he has thriven upon a system of
jurisprudence and legal procedure which we have imported into India with
the best intentions, but with results that have sometimes been simply
disastrous to a thriftless and litigious people. Hence the suspicion and
dislike entertained by large numbers of quiet, respectable Indians for
any political institutions that tend to increase the influence of the
Indian _vakeel_ and of the class he represents. Our object, therefore,
both in the education and in the political training of Indians, should
be to divert the activities of the new Western-educated classes into
economic channels which would broaden their own horizon, and to give
greater encouragement and recognition to the interests of the very large
and influential classes that hold entirely aloof from politics but look
to us for guidance and help in the development of the material resources
of the country. We have their support at present, but to retain it we
must carefully avoid creating the impression that political agitation is
the only lever that acts effectively upon Government, and that in the
relations of India and Great Britain--and especially in their fiscal and
financial relations--the exigencies of party politics at home and the
material interests of the predominant partner must invariably prevail.

Whilst, subject to the maintenance of effective executive control, we
have extended and must continue steadily to extend the area of civil
employment for Indians in the service of the State, there would
certainly seem to be room also for affording them increased
opportunities of military employment. It is a strange anomaly that, at a
time when we have no hesitation in introducing Indians into our
Executive Councils, those who serve the King-Emperor in the Indian Army
can only rise to quite subordinate rank. A good deal has no doubt been
done to improve the quality of the native officer from the point of view
of military education, but, under present conditions, the Indian Army
does not offer a career that can attract Indians of good position,
though it is just among the landed aristocracy and gentry of India that
military traditions are combined with the strongest traditions of
loyalty. By the creation of an Imperial Cadet Corps Lord Curzon took a
step in the right direction which was warmly welcomed at the time, but
has received very little encouragement since his departure from India.
Something more than that seems to be wanted to-day. Some of the best
military opinion in India favours, I believe, an experimental scheme for
the gradual promotion of native officers, carefully selected and
trained, to field rank in a certain number of regiments which would
ultimately be entirely officered by Indians--just in the same way as a
certain number of regiments in the Egyptian Army have always been wholly
officered by Egyptians. Indeed, we need not go outside India to find
even now, in the Native States, Indian forces exclusively officered by
Indians. The effect upon the whole Native Army of some such measure as I
have indicated would be excellent; and though we could never hope to
retain India merely by the sword against the combined hostility of its
various peoples, the Native Army must always be a factor of first-rate
importance, both for the prevention and the repression of any spasmodic
outbreak of revolt. It is no secret that reiterated attempts have been
made to shake its loyalty, and in some isolated cases not altogether
without success. But the most competent authorities, whilst admitting
the need for vigilance, deprecate any serious alarm, and it is all to
the good that British officers no longer indulge in the blind optimism
which prevailed among those of the old Sepoy regiments before the
Mutiny.

One point which Englishmen are apt to forget, and which has been rather
lost sight of In the recent political reforms, is that more than a fifth
of the population of our Indian Empire--about one third of its total
area--is under the direct administration not of the Government of India,
but of the Ruling Chiefs. They represent great traditions and great
interests, which duty and statesmanship equally forbid us to ignore. The
creation of an Imperial Council, in which they would have sat with
representatives of the Indian aristocracy of British India, was an
important feature of the original scheme of reforms proposed by the
Government of India. It was abandoned for reasons of which I am not
concerned to dispute the validity. But the idea underlying it was
unquestionably sound, and Lord Minto acted upon it when he drew the
Ruling Chiefs into consultation as to the prevention of sedition. Some
means will have to be found to embody it in a more regular and permanent
shape. If we were to attempt to introduce what are called democratic
methods into the government of British India without seeking the
adhesion and support of the feudatory Princes, we should run a grave
risk of estranging one of the most loyal and conservative forces in the
Indian Empire. The administrative autonomy of the native States is
sometimes put forward as an argument in favour of the self-government
which Indian politicians demand. It Is an argument based on complete
ignorance. With one or two exceptions, far more apparent than real, the
Native States are governed by patriarchal methods, which may be
thoroughly suited to the traditions and needs of their subjects, but are
much further removed than the methods of government in British India
from the professed aspirations of the Indian National Congress. Just as
the Ruling Chiefs rightly complained of the effect upon their own people
of the seditious literature imported into their States from British
India before we were at last induced to check the output of the
"extremist" Press, so they would be justified in resenting any grave
political changes in British India which would react dangerously upon
their own position and their relations with their own subjects. When we
talk of governing India in accordance with Indian ideas, we cannot
exclude the ideas of the very representative and influential class of
Indians to which none are better qualified to give expression than the
Ruling Chiefs. One further suggestion. The policy of annexation has long
since been abandoned, and the question to-day is whether we might not go
further and give ruling powers to a few great chiefs of approved loyalty
and high character, who possess in British India estates more populous
and important than those of many whom we have always recognized as
Ruling Chiefs. The objections to so novel a departure are, I know,
serious, and may be overwhelming--foremost among them being the
reluctance hitherto shown by the people themselves whenever, for
purposes of administrative convenience, any slight readjustment of
boundaries has been proposed that involved the transfer to a native
State of even a few villages until then under British Administration.

The political reforms with which Lord Minto's Viceroyalty will remain
identified are only just on their trial. All that can safely be said at
present is that they are full of promise, and it would be rash to
predict whether and when it may be safe to proceed further in the
direction to which, they point. It is difficult even to say yet awhile
what share they have had, independently of the "repressive" measures
that accompanied them, in stemming at least temporarily the tide of
active sedition. Time is required to mature their fruits whether for
good or for evil. One may hope that, though they address themselves
only to the political elements of the present unrest, they will tend to
facilitate the treatment of the economic and social factors of the
Indian problem. It is these that now chiefly and most urgently claim the
attention of the British rulers of India. To rescue education from its
present unhealthy surroundings and to raise it on to a higher plane
whilst making it more practical, to promote the industrial and
commercial expansion of India so as to open up new fields for the
intellectual activity of educated Indians, to strengthen the old ties
and to create new ones that shall bind the ancient conservative as well
as the modern progressive forces of Indian society to the British _Raj_
by an enlightened sense of self-interest are slower and more arduous
tasks and demand more patient and sustained statesmanship than any
adventures in constitutional changes. But it is only by the successful
achievement of such tasks that we can expect to retain the loyal
acquiescence of the Princes and peoples of India in the maintenance of
British rule.

The sentiment of reverence for the Crown is widespread and deep-rooted
among all races and creeds in India[25]. It is perhaps the one tradition
common to all. It went out spontaneously to Queen Victoria, whose length
of years and widowed isolation appealed with a peculiar sense of lofty
and pathetic dignity to the imagination of her Indian peoples. It has
been materially reinforced by the pride of personal acquaintance, since
India has been twice honoured with the presence of the immediate
successor to the Throne. The late King's visit to India has not yet
faded from the memory of the older generation, and that of the present
King-Emperor and his gracious Consort is, of course, still fresh in the
recollection of all. How powerful is the hold which the majesty of the
Crown exercises upon Princes and peoples in India was very strikingly
shown by the calming effect, however temporary, which the presence of
the Prince and Princess of Wales had in Bengal four years ago, at the
very moment when political agitation in that province was developing
into almost open sedition; and it was shown once more this year by the
hush of subdued grief that passed over the whole of India at the sudden
news of King Edward's death. Only such rabid papers as Tilak's old
organ, the _Kesari_, ventured an attempt to counteract the deep
impression produced by that lamentable event, and it could only attempt
to do so, very ineffectively, by a spiteful and ignorant depreciation of
the position and personality of the Sovereign, and of the part played by
him in a Western democracy.

In spite of the traditional prestige attaching to the Crown, we cannot,
however, reasonably look for loyalty from India in the sense in which we
look for it from our own people or from our kinsmen beyond the seas.
There can never be between Englishmen and Indians the same community of
historical traditions, of racial affinity, of social institutions, of
customs and beliefs that exists between people of our own stock
throughout the British Empire. The absence of these sentimental bonds,
which cannot be artificially forged, makes it impossible that we should
ever concede to India the rights of self-government which we have
willingly conceded to the great British communities of our own race. And
there is another and scarcely less cogent reason. The justification of
our presence in India is that it gives peace and security to all the
various races and creeds which make up one-fifth of the population of
this globe. To introduce self-government into India would necessarily be
to hand it over to the ascendency of the strongest. That we are debarred
from doing by the very terms on which we hold India, and that is what
Lord Morley must have had in his mind, when, in supporting the Indian
Councils Act last year, he specifically excluded all possibility of such
assemblies ever leading to the establishment of Parliamentary government
in India. The sooner that is made perfectly clear the better. But just
because executive self-government is inconceivable in India so long as
British rule is maintained, we must recognize the special
responsibility that consequently devolves upon us not only to do many
things for India which we do not attempt to do for our self-governing
Dominions, but, above all, not to force upon India things which we
should not dream of forcing upon them, and especially in matters in
which British material interests may appear to be closely concerned. We
must continue to govern India as the greatest of the dependencies of the
British Crown, but we must do our utmost to satisfy Indians of all
classes and castes and beliefs that we govern them as none of their race
could govern them, with an equal and absolutely impartial regard for all
law-abiding communities, with an intelligent appreciation of their
peculiar interests, and with genuine consideration for all their ideas,
so long as those ideas are compatible with the maintenance and security
of British rule.

       *       *       *       *       *

The retirement of Lord Morley has been announced just as these last
pages are going to press. The announcement has been received with
genuine and widespread regret at home, where criticism of certain
details and aspects of his administration has never detracted from a
genuine recognition of the lofty sense of duty and broad and courageous
statesmanship which he has displayed throughout a very critical period
in the history of our Indian Empire. It will assuredly be received with
the same feeling in India by all those who have at heart the destinies
of the British _Raj_ and the interests of the countless peoples
committed to our charge. Lord Morley's tenure of office will remain for
all times memorable in Anglo-Indian annals. He has set for the Indian
ship of State a new course upon which she will be kept with increasing
confidence in the future if we keep steadily before us the wise words
which, with his own singular felicity of speech, he addressed two years
ago to the Indian Civil Service:--"We have a clouded moment before us
now. We shall get through it--but only with self-command and without any
quackery or cant, whether it be the quackery of blind violence disguised
as love of order, or the cant of unsound and misapplied sentiment,
divorced from knowledge and untouched by any cool consideration of
facts."



NOTES

NOTE 1.

THE NATIVE PRESS.

Not a single Indian member of the Imperial Council made any serious
attempt to controvert the following description given by Sir Herbert
Risley of the demoralization of the native Press when he introduced the
new Press Bill on February 4, 1910:--We see the most influential and
widely-read portion of the Indian Press incessantly occupied in
rendering the Government by law established odious in the sight of the
Indian people. The Government is foreign, and therefore selfish and
tyrannical. It drains the country of its wealth; it has impoverished the
people, and brought about famine on a scale and with a frequency unknown
before; its public works, roads, railways, and canals have generated
malaria; it has introduced plague, by poisoning wells, in order to
reduce the population that has to be held in subjection it has deprived
the Indian peasant of his land; the Indian artisan of his industry, and
the Indian merchant of his trade; it has destroyed religion by its
godless system of education; it seeks to destroy caste by polluting
maliciously and of set purpose, the salt and sugar that men eat and the
cloth that they wear; it allows Indians to be ill-treated in British
Colonies; it levies heavy taxes and spends them on the army; it pays
high salaries to Englishmen, and employs Indians only in the worst paid
posts--in short, it has enslaved a whole people, who are now struggling
to be free.

My enumeration may not be exhaustive but these are some of the
statements that are now being implanted as axioms in the minds of rising
generation of educated youths, the source from which we recruit the
great body of civil officials who administer India. If nothing more were
said, if the Press were content to--

"let the lie Have time on its own wings to fly" things would be bad
enough. But very much more is said. Every day the Press proclaims,
openly or by suggestion or allusion, that the only cure for the ills of
India is independence from foreign rule, independence to be won by
heroic deeds, self-sacrifice, martyrdom on the part of the young, in any
case by some form of violence. Hindu mythology, ancient and modern
history, and more especially the European literature of revolution, are
ransacked to furnish examples that justify revolt and proclaim its
inevitable success. The methods of guerilla warfare as practised in
Circassia, Spain, and South Africa; Mazzini's gospel of political
assassination; Kossuth's most violent doctrines; the doings of Russian
Nihilists; the murder of the Marquis Ito; the dialogue between Arjuna
and Krishna in the "Gita," a book that is to Hindus what the "Imitation
of Christ" is to emotional Christians--all these are pressed into the
service of inflaming impressionable minds. The last instance is perhaps
the worst. I can imagine no more wicked desecration than that the
sacrilegious hand of the Anarchist should be laid upon the Indian song
of songs, and that a masterpiece of transcendental philosophy and
religious ecstasy should be perverted to the base uses of preaching
political murder.

The consequences of this ever-flowing stream of slander and incitement
to outrage are now upon us. What was dimly foreseen a few years ago has
actually come to pass. We are at the present moment confronted with a
murderous conspiracy, whose aim it is to subvert the Government of the
country and to make British rule impossible by establishing general
terrorism. Their organization is effective and far-reaching; their
numbers are believed to be considerable; the leaders work in secret and
are blindly obeyed by their youthful followers. The method they favour
at present is political assassination; the method of Mazzini in his
worst moods. Already they have a long score of murders or attempted
murders to their account. There were two attempts to blow up Sir Andrew
Fraser's train and one, of the type with which we are now unhappily
familiar, to shoot him on a public occasion. Two attempts were made to
murder Mr. Kingsford, one of which caused the death of two English
ladies. Inspector Nanda Lal Banerji, Babu Ashutosh Biswas, the Public
Prosecutor at Alipore, Sir William Curzon-Wyllie, Mr. Jackson, and only
the other day Deputy Supdt. Shams-ul-Alum have been shot in the most
deliberate and cold-blooded fashion. Of three informers two have been
killed, and on the third vengeance has been taken by the murder of his
brother in the sight of his mother and sisters. Mr. Allen, the
magistrate of Dacca, was shot through the lungs and narrowly escaped
with his life. Two picric acid bombs were thrown at His Excellency the
Viceroy at Ahmedabad, and only failed to explode by reason of their
faulty construction. Not long afterwards an attempt was made with a bomb
on the Deputy Commissioner of Umballa.

These things are the natural and necessary consequence of the teachings
of certain journals. They have prepared the soil in which anarchy
flourishes; they have sown the seed and they are answerable for the
crop. This is no mere general statement; the chain of causation is
clear. Not only does the campaign of violence date from the change in
the tone of the Press, but specific outbursts of incitement have been
followed by specific outrages.

And now, Sir, I appeal to the Council in the name of all objects that
patriotic Indians have at heart to give their cordial approval to this
Bill. It is called for in the interests of the State, of our officers
both Indian and European, and most of all of the rising generation of
young men. In this matter, indeed, the interests of the State and the
interests of the people are one and the same. If it is good for India
that British rule should continue, it is equally essential that the
relations between Government and the educated community should be
cordial and intimate, and that cannot long be the case if the organs of
that community lay themselves out to embitter those relations in every
sort of way and to create a permanent atmosphere of latent and often
open hostility. In the long run people will believe what they are told,
if they are told it often enough, and if they hear nothing on the other
side. There is plenty of work in India waiting to be done, but it will
be done, if the energies of the educated classes are wasted in incessant
abuse and suspicion of Government. As regards the officers of Government
the case is clear. At all costs they must be protected from intimidation
and worse. And it is our Indian officials who stand in most need of
protection, for they are most exposed to the danger. The detailed work
of investigation and detection necessarily falls upon them, and they are
specially vulnerable through their families. They have done most
admirable work during the troubles of the last few years, and have
displayed under most trying conditions courage and loyalty that are
beyond all praise. We are bound in honour to protect them from threats
of murder and outrage which sooner or later bring about their own
fulfilment.

To my mind, Sir, the worst feature of the present situation is the
terrible influence that the Press exercises upon the student class. I
was talking about this about a month ago with a distinguished Indian who
is in close touch with schools and colleges in Bengal. He took a most
gloomy view of the present state of things and the prospects of the
immediate future. According to him the younger generation had got
entirely out of hand, and many of them had become criminal fanatics
uncontrollable by their parents or their masters.

I believe. Sir, that this Bill will prove to be a wholesome and
beneficial measure of national education, that it will in course of time
prevent a number of young men from drifting into evil courses and
ruining their prospects in life, and that in passing it this Council
will earn the lasting gratitude of many thousands of Indian parents.

NOTE 2

THE SUPERIORITY OF HINDU CIVILIZATION. In an "Open Letter to his
Countrymen," published at the Sri Narayan Press in Calcutta, Mr.
Arabindo Ghose has in so many words proclaimed the superiority of Hindu
to Western civilization. "We reject," he writes, "the claim of aliens to
force upon us a civilization inferior to our own or to keep us out of
our inheritance on the untenable ground of a superior fitness."

NOTE 3

SEDITIOUS PLAYS.

One of the most popular of these plays is _The Killing of Kichaka
(Kichaka-vadd)_. The author, Mr. Khadilkar, was assistant editor of the
_Kesari_ until Tilak was arrested and convicted in 1908, and he then
took over the chief editorship. The play has been acted all over the
Deccan as well as in Bombay City to houses packed with large native
audiences. The following account of it appeared in _The Times_ of
January 18 last: Founded upon the Mahabharata, _The Killing of Kichaka_
seems at first sight a purely classical drama. It will be remembered by
Oriental students that Duryodhan, jealous of his cousin Yudhistira,
Emperor of Hastinapura and the eldest of the five Pandava brothers,
induced him to play at dice with a Court gambler called Sakuni. To him
the infatuated monarch lost his wealth, his kingdom, his own and his
brother's freedom, and lastly that of Draupadi, the wife of all the
brothers. Eventually, at the intercession of Duryodhan's father, it was
agreed that the Emperor, in full settlement of his losses, should with
his brothers and Draupadi abandon Hastinapura to Duryodhan for 13 years.
Of these 12 were to be spent in the forest and one in disguise in some
distant city. Should, however, the disguise of any be penetrated, all
would be obliged to pass a further 12 years in the forest. When the 12
years had expired, the brothers fixed on Viratnagar, the capital of
Virata, King of the Malyas, in which to spend their year of concealment.
Yudhistira took the name of Kankbhat, a professional dicer, and Bhima
that of Ballava, a professional cook. Under their pseudonyms all five
brothers obtained posts in the King's service, while Draupadi, styling
herself a _sairandhri_ or tirewoman, entered the service of the Queen
Sudeshna. Before the year of concealment ended Kichaka, the brother of
Queen Sudeshna and commander-in-chief of the Malya forces, returned from
a visit to Duryodhan at Hastinapura. Duryodhan had given him as presents
Yudhistira's regalia and Draupadi's jewels, and Kichaka boasted that, as
Duryodhan's friend, he would one after the other kill the five Pandavas
in single combat and then wed their queen. While telling King Virata's
Court of his reception, his eye fell on Draupadi, and learning that she
was a _sairandhri_ and being struck with her beauty, he formally
requested the King Virata that she might be sent to his harem. The King
consenting, Yudhistira was faced with the dilemma of suffering his
queen's dishonour or of revealing his identity. Eventually his brother
Bhima solved the difficulty by secretly killing Kichaka.

It is out of this story that Mr. Khadilkar has sought for the materials
of his play. It opens with the return of Kichaka to Viratnagar and his
passion for the beautiful _sairandhri_. The latter seeks in turn the
protection of the King and his queen, and of Kichaka's wife Ratnaprabha;
but Kichaka, who as commander-in-chief and on account of the number of
his followers is all-powerful in Malya, becomes daily more insistent. He
reminds the King of his past exploits, and threatens to leave his
service, taking his followers with him. Finally, Virata is driven to
make a feeble compromise. He will not himself hand over the _sairandhri_
to Kichaka, but he will have her sent to a temple of Bairoba outside the
town, washing his hands of all responsibility as to subsequent events.
All this time the rescue of Draupadi has been repeatedly discussed
between Yudhistira and his brother Bhima. The former is all for mild
methods, feeling sure that justice will ultimately prevail. The mighty
Bhima wishes to strangle Kichaka regardless of consequences. At last
Bhima and Draupadi together extract from him a most reluctant
permission. Bhima goes secretly to the Bairoba temple, and removing from
its stand the god's idol, he takes its place. So hidden, he is present
when Draupadi, abandoned by the King's guards, is seized upon by
Kichaka. In vain Draupadi appeals to the latter for mercy. He laughs
alike at tears and menaces, and is about to carry her off in triumph
when the god Bairoba is seen to rise from his pedestal. It is Bhima. He
seizes the terrified Kichaka, hurls him to the floor, and strangles him
at Draupadi's feet.

ITS ALLEGORICAL MEANING.

These things are an allegory. Although his name is nowhere uttered on
the stage or mentioned in the printed play every one in the theatre
knows that Kichaka is really intended to be Lord Curzon, that Draupadi
is India, and that Yudhistira is the Moderate and Bhima the Extremist
Party. Every now and again unmistakable clues are provided. The
question, indeed, admits of no doubt, for since the play first appeared
in 1907 the whole Deccan has been blazoning forth the identity of the
characters. Once they have been recognized, the inner meaning of the
play becomes clear. A weak Government at home, represented by King
Virata, has given the Viceroy a free hand. He has made use of it to
insult and humiliate India. Of her two champions, the Moderates advocate
gentle--that is, constitutional--measures. The Extremists, out of
deference to the older party, agree, although satisfied of the
ineffectiveness of this course. Waiting until this has been
demonstrated, they adopt violent methods, and everything becomes easy.
The oppressor is disposed of without difficulty. His followers--namely,
the Anglo-Indians--are, as it is prophesied in the play and as narrated
in the Mahabharata, massacred with equal ease. And the Extremists boast
that, having freed their country, they will be able to defend it against
all invaders, thus averting the calamities which, according to Lord
Morley, would overtake India on the disappearance of the British.

It may be said that all this is mere fooling. But no Englishman who has
seen the play acted would agree. All his life he will remember the
tense, scowling faces of the men as they watch Kichaka's outrageous
acts, the glistening eyes of the Brahmin ladies as they listen to
Draupadi's entreaties, their scorn of Yudhistira's tameness, their
admiration of Bhima's passionate protests, and the deep hum of
satisfaction which approves the slaughter of the tyrant.

NOTE 4

SHIVAJI'S EXHORTATIONS.

In the _Kesari_ just a week before the Poona murders, the following
verses were put into the mouth of Shivaji:

   "I delivered my country by establishing 'Swaraj' and saving religion.
   I betook myself to the Paradise of Indra to shake off the great
   exhaustion that came upon me from my labours. Why, O my beloved ones,
   have you awakened me? I planted in the soil of Maharashtra virtues that
   may be likened to the Kalpavriksha (one of the five trees of Indra's
   Paradise that yields whatsoever may be desired); sublime policy based
   on strong foundations, valour in the battlefield like that of Karma,
   patriotism, genuine unselfishness, and unity, the best of all. ... Alas,
   alas! all I see now is the ruin of my country. Those forts of mine to
   build which I poured out money, to acquire which torrents of fiery blood
   streamed forth, from which I sallied forth to victory roaring like a
   lion--all those are crumbling away. What a desolation is this!
   Foreigners are dragging out Lakshmi (the goddess of Good Fortune) by the
   hand of persecution. Along with her Plenty has fled, and with Plenty,
   Health. The wicked Akabaya (the goddess of Misfortune) stalks with
   Famine at her side through the country, and relentless Death scatters
   foul diseases."

   "Say, where are those splendid ones who promptly shed their blood
   on the spot where my perspiration fell? They eat bread once in a day,
   but not even enough of that. They toil through hard times by tightening
   up their bellies. O People, how have you tolerated in the sacred places
   the carrying off to prison of those holy preceptors, those religious
   teachers of mine, those saintly Brahmans whom I protected--who, while
   they devoted themselves to their religious practices in times of peace,
   exchanged the Darbah (sacrificial grass) in their hands for weapons
   which they used manfully when occasion required. The cow, the
  foster-mother of babes when their mother leaves them, the mainstay of the
  hard-worked peasant, the importer of strength to my people, whom I
  worshipped as my mother and protected more than my life, is taken
   daily to the slaughter-house and ruthlessly butchered by the
   unbelievers.... How can I bear this heartrending spectacle? Have
   all our leaders become like helpless figures on the chess-board? What
   misfortune has overtaken the land!"

NOTE 5

TILAK IN THE CIVIL COURTS.

The Tai Maharaj case came up once more in September on the Appellate
side of the Bombay High Court on appeal against the decision of the
Lower Courts. It was contended on behalf of Tai Maharaj, the widow, that
her adoption of one Jagganath was invalid owing to the undue influence
brought to bear upon her at the time by Tilak and one of his friends and
political associates, Mr. G.S. Khaparde, who were executors under the
will of her husband, Shri Baba Maharajah. Mr. Justice Chandavarkar, in
the course of his judgment reversing the decisions of the Lower Courts,
said that on the one hand they had a young inexperienced widow, with a
right of ownership but ignorant of that right, and led to believe that
she was legally subject to the control of the executors of her husband's
will as regarded the management of the estate which she had by law
inherited from her son, prevented from going to Kolhapur even to attend
a marriage in a family of relations, and anxious to adopt a boy from
Kolhapur as far as possible. On the other hand they had two men of
influence learned in the law, taking her to an out-of-the-way place
ostensibly for the selection of a boy, and then, as it were, hustling
her there by representing that everything was within, their discretion,
and thereby forcing her to adopt their nominee. In these circumstances
they came to the conclusion that the adoption was not valid, because it
was brought about by means of undue influence exercised over Tai Maharaj
by both Tilak and Khaparde.

Mr. Justice Chandavarkar is a Hindu Judge of the highest reputation, and
the effect of this judgment is extremely damaging to Tilak's private
reputation as a man of honour, or even of common honesty.

NOTE 6

KHUDIRAM BOSE'S CONFESSION.

A similar confession was made by Khudiram Bose, the author of the fatal
bomb outrage at Muzafferpur. When he was brought before the District
Magistrate on May 1, 1908, within twenty-four hours of the crime, he
stated: I came to Muzafferpur five or six days ago from Calcutta to kill
Mr. Kingsford. I came of my own initiative, having read in various
papers things which incited me to come to this determination. These
papers were the _Sandhya, Hitabadi, Jugantar_ and many others. They
wrote of great _Zoolum_ done to India by the English Government. Mr.
Kingsford's name was not specially mentioned, but I determined to kill
him because he put several men in gaol. Besides reading the papers I
heard the lectures of Bpin Pal, Surendranath Banerjee, Gisputty
Kabyatirtha, and others. There were lectures in Beadon-square and
College-square [in the student quarter of Calcutta], and they inspired
me to do this. There is also a Sanyasi who lectures in Beadon-square,
who is very strong.

NOTE 7


RELIGION AND POLITICS

On this point a very important piece of evidence has been recently
produced in Court in the course of the Dacca Conspiracy trial. It is a
letter, of which the authenticity is beyond dispute, written by Mr.
Surendranath Banerjee to one of the extremist leaders, in which he
suggests means for carrying out the proposed celebration of the
"boycott" anniversary on August 7 in spite of the prohibition of public
meetings under the Seditious Meetings Act. "My suggestion," writes this
distinguished politician, who is also the head of Ripon College, one of
the most popular colleges in Calcutta, "is that you should organize a
religious ceremony on the 7th of August such as _Shakti-puja_ and
_Kali-puja_, and have _Swadeshi kalka_ or _jatra_ and _Swadeshi_
conversation by having a sort of conference. Give a religious turn to
the movement. As for the Muhammedans, if you can get them to your side,
why not have a _wuz_ followed by _Swadeshi_ preaching? Kindly let me
know what you do. But something must be done." _Shakti_ rites and the
worship of Kali are associated with some of the most libidinous and
cruel of Hindu superstitions. The simultaneous attempt to attract
Mahomedans by grafting "_Swadeshi_ preaching" on to one of their
accustomed religious services betrays Mr. Surendranath Banerjee's
cynical indifference to any and every form of religious creed so long as
it can be exploited in the interest of his political creed.

NOTE 8

THE "REMOVAL OF INFORMERS."

Shortly after the murder of Shams-ul-Alam, the following "Appeal" was
printed and issued in Calcutta with reference to the "removal of
informers":

   HATYA NOY JAGNA.
   (Not Murder but Sacrifice.)
   Cash price: the head of a European or the heads of two Informers.
   50th issue Calcutta, Sunday, 6th Chaitra, 1316.

Tempted by gold, some native devils in form of men, the disgrace of
India--the police--arrested those great men Barendra Ghose and others
who worked for the freedom of their country by sacrificing their
interests and dedicating their lives in the performance of the sacred
ceremony of _Jagna_, preparing bombs. The greatest of these devils in
human form, Ashitosh Biswas, began to pave for these heroes the way to
the gallows. Bravo, Charu! [the murderer of Biswas] all honour to your
parents. To glorify them, to show the highest degree of courage,
disregarding the paltry short span of life, you removed the figure of
that monster from the world. Not long ago, the Whites by force and
trick, filched India from the Mahomedans. That mean wretch
Shams-ul-Alam, who espoused the cause of the enemies of Alamghir
Padshah, who put a stain on the name of his forefathers for the sake of
gold--to-day you have removed that fiend from the sacred soil of India.
From Nuren Gossain to Talit Chakravarti, all turned approvers through
the machinations of that fiendish wizard Shams-ul-Alam and by his
torture. Had you not removed that ally of the monsters, could there be
any hope for India?

Many have raised the cry that to rebel is a great sin. But what is
rebellion? Is there anything in India to rebel against? Can a Feringhee
be recognized as the King of India, whose very touch, whose mere shadow
compels Hindus to purify themselves?

These are merely Western Robbers looting India.... Extirpate them, ye
good sons of India, wherever you find them, without mercy, and with them
their spies and secret agents. Last year 19 lakhs of men died of fever,
smallpox, cholera, plague, and other diseases in Bengal alone. Think
yourselves fortunate that you were not counted amongst those, but
remember that plague and cholera may attack you to-morrow, and is it not
better for you to die like heroes?

When God has so ordained, think ye not that at this auspicious moment it
is the duty of every good son of India to slay these white enemies? Do
not allow yourselves to die of plague and cholera, thus polluting the
sacred soil of Mother-India. Our _Shastras_ are our guide for
discriminating between virtue and vice. Our _Shastras_ repeatedly tell
us that the killing of these white fiends and of their aiders and
abettors is equal to a great ceremonial sacrifice _(Asyamedh Jagna_.)
Come, one and all. Let us offer our sacrifice before the altar in
chorus, and pray that in this ceremony all white serpents may perish in
its flames as the vipers perished in the serpent slaying ceremony of
_Janmajob_. Keep in mind that it is not murder but _Jagna_--a
sacrificial rite.

NOTE 9

BENGALEE LAWLESSNESS.

A very striking, and at the same time sober, picture of the conditions
produced by Bengalee methods of agitation is to be found in the speech
delivered at the opening of the Provincial Legislature of Eastern Bengal
at Dacca on April 6, 1910, by Sir Lancelot Hare, the Lieutenant-Governor
appointed in succession to Sir Bampfylde Fuller. "We have had abundant
experience," he said, "in the last three years that the advocacy of the
boycott at public meetings is invariably followed by acts of tyranny and
brutality and illegal interference with the rights of a free people to
buy and sell as they, and not as a particular set of agitators, prefer.
No district officer anxious to maintain the peace of his district can
allow a recrudescence of these disturbances. I have seen it denied that
there have been such cases, but the state calendar of crime is there to
refute such an assertion; and you and I well know that the cases which
have been brought to trial bear a very small proportion to the cases
which have arisen but which the raiyats have been afraid to press home.
When we remember the enormous power of the zemindar following from the
unfortunate absence of any record of right upon which the tenant can
lean, and rely, we can well understand how a raiyat hesitates to oppose
his landlord's will. I have seen, it claimed that such advocacy of the
boycott is a constitutional right. The extraordinary fallacy of this
assertion hardly needs refuting. With a democratic Government an appeal
to the public is an appeal to the Government, as it is an appeal to the
voter who appoints the member of Parliament who appoints the Government.
Such a condition does not exist in this country, and when an agitator
who wishes to press his views on Government says that the boycott will
be preached until Government takes a particular course which Government
has decided is not for the good of the people, and has announced that it
will not adopt, such an appeal is not a constitutional act nor an appeal
to Government but an act of defence and open resistance to Government.
This Government now as always will do what it believes to be in the best
interests of the people. It will always give such regard as it can to
respectful representations, even when they come from a small minority
only of the population; but appeals to force and violence, appeals to
the mob for race hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, do not
constitute constitutional agitation. I would say a few words on the
mischief of the boycott agitation. The boycott agitation has been the
curse of this province for the past five years, causing endless
suffering and unrest, obstructing the path of progress, exciting
ill-feeling between Government and the people, and hindering their
co-operation in the work of reconstitution and reform. The agitation has
displayed itself in many evil forms, all tending to oppression, and
lawlessness."


"MANY-HEADED MISCHIEF."

It is difficult to review this many-headed mischief in a few words, but
its main features may readily be brought to mind. First there is the
economic disturbance which resulted from the enforcement of the boycott
whether by persuasion, or by intimidation or by force. This has been a
very real mischief and a very real suffering in many parts of the
country where the cultivators found themselves unable to obtain the
products to which they were accustomed at prices which they could afford
to pay. Next is to be noted the violent scenes in the bazaars, where the
sale of British goods was sought to be obstructed by organized force.
The deplorable riot at Jamalpore, with its terrible sequel, is only one
among many such scenes. A closely allied evil was the picketing of the
bazaars by students and other young men, which became an intolerable
nuisance until it was put down with a strong hand. The case at
Jhalakati, where the young boycotters practically took possession of the
bazaar, is a prominent typical instance. Then followed the numerous
cases of interference with individuals with the accompaniment of assault
and mischief and criminal restraint. The long list of crimes of this
nature that have been punished in due course would be wearisome to
repeat. No less mischievous and perhaps even more widespread and more
common have been the cases of criminal intimidation, in which notices
have been posted, or letters have been sent, threatening vendors or
purchasers individually or collectively with arson or murder or other
outrage. Wealthy zemindars and bankers, shopkeepers of all grades, and
villagers and townsfolk have alike prayed to be protected from such
interference in the lawful pursuit of their ordinary avocations; and too
often it has been impossible to afford this protection. That these
threats were not mere idle extravagance has been proved to the hilt by
the grave incidents that have actually taken place. More widespread,
more difficult to deal with, and causing even greater suffering than
these violent methods has been the social persecution which has been
exercised upon those who have failed to bow down to the orders of the
boycotters. This is one of the most serious chapters in the whole
history of the agitation, and Government has again had to deplore the
sufferings to which quiet and law-abiding persons have been subjected.
The constitution of Hindu society lends itself with great readiness to
this form of compulsion, and no weapon is more feared than social
ostracism when ruthlessly used in pursuance of a political object.
Another most grave aspect of the boycott agitation has been the constant
attempt to excite disaffection against Government by public meetings,
speeches, propagandist tours, newspapers, pamphlets, songs, flaunting
and noisy processions, and dramatic performances. Every effort has been
made to try and persuade the people that the Government is hostile,
callous, and neglectful and that boycott, and its kindred measures, are
the means by which to bring it to a better course. Some of the worst
offenders have been prosecuted under the law and have paid the penalty
of their crimes, but it is impossible by such means to counteract or
nullify the mischief that they and others have caused.


YOUTHS AND POLITICS.

There remains another point which is at the present time of the most
sinister significance. The promoters of the agitation conceived the
deplorable idea that their propaganda might best be spread, and that
their designs might best be carried out by the youths of the country.
From this selection has arisen what is now the worst feature of the
situation. It is impossible to condemn too strongly the use of the
students and other youths to foster political aims. It has resulted in a
wave of excitement amongst immature and impressionable minds throughout
the affected districts. In this province in the first instance this evil
exhibited itself in the constant appearance of youths in the forefront
of political demonstration, however hostile and objectionable in
character. This phenomenon was naturally accompanied by numerous
instances of indiscipline among students which Government has repeatedly
been obliged to denounce. The effect on the minds of the most
impressionable youths, and especially among those who had a ready means
of livelihood and an available occupation, has reached a pitch which was
doubtless never contemplated by the more sober among those who initiated
this regrettable movement. Nevertheless a series of crimes in which
youths belonging to the respectable classes have been known to
participate must be regarded as directly attributable to the excitement
of political agitation. It is impossible to avoid mentioning in this
connexion the system of national schools which was to be lauded in all
three of the prohibited Conferences, and which has been encouraged in
other similar meetings that are taking place.

During the past few years in this Province the record of these schools
is an evil one. They were established in open hostility to the State
system of education, which is the true national system, and several of
the most important were opened for the purpose of receiving boys
expelled from or punished in other schools for taking part in political
demonstrations of a most reprehensible character. Their subsequent
history has accorded with the spirit in which they were founded and
their close connexion with forms of political agitation most unhealthy
for young minds has been evinced in many a regrettable incident.

THE OUTLOOK.

If we review the present position we find that during the past year
there has been some subsidence of the acute stage of the malady, or
rather it has taken a different turn. The bulk of the reasonable
inhabitants have become wearied of the senseless agitation which brings
annoyance and suffering without doing them good. There is less active
boycott and the ordinary citizen has become less amenable to the leaders
of the agitation. But in spite of this, two circumstances stand
out--first, the local leaders have not in general abated one tittle of
their efforts to enforce the boycott, and where in any locality they
showed signs of resting, their chiefs are ready to urge them forward;
secondly, the perversion of our young men has reached a most alarming
stage, not merely from the point of view of the crime and the sense of
insecurity that it engenders, but also from the more general aspect of
the character and prospects of the rising generation. Many parents have
most bitter reason to lament their failure to guide, control, and
restrain their children. On the 7th August boycott celebrations occurred
at the headquarters of each district of the Dacca division, and at a
number of places in the interior. The boycott vow was everywhere renewed
and at several meetings speeches were delivered, the tendency and object
of which was to excite renewed disaffection and to stir up zeal for the
cause. The observances for the 16th October were prescribed in an order
of the chiefs published in the Calcutta papers, and the local leaders
did their best to carry out these instructions. Rakhibandan bathing,
abstinence from cooked food, and the solemn renewal of the boycott vow
were the principal features. In some places public meetings were held
and again the tone of several speakers was most reprehensible. District
conferences and other similar meetings played their usual important part
in the year's programme. In the Dacca division, Jhalakati, Faridpur, and
Pangsa were selected as the theatres of those performances. The
resolutions were varied in character, but however guarded and mild their
phraseology, the speeches advocated boycott in its most blatant form,
and sentiments were expressed tending to keep alive the most pernicious
and dangerous characteristics of the political and social situation.
Similar conferences, in which the boycott played a prominent part, and
in which ill-feeling against the Government was excited, were held in
August and September at Pabna and Dinajpur, and in the Sylhet district
in October a series of meetings took place. In a portion of the Faridpur
district, the unsettled condition of which has for some time been a
cause of anxiety, the inhabitants are mostly Namasudras. The ostensible
object of these meetings was to raise the social condition of the
people, but it appears from the accounts published in the Press that the
Anti-Partition agitation and the boycott of foreign goods were urged and
the promise of social privilege was only made as a reward or return for
promising to take the boycott vow. This condition of affairs could not
be permitted to continue indefinitely, and it became evident that sooner
or later--and the sooner the better--the mischief must be stopped and
the people of the province given the opportunity which they need and
desire to settle down to their normal life and to co-operation with the
Government for their material and moral progress.


NOTE 10

SACRIFICING "WHITE GOATS"

The term occurs, for instance, in one of the most violent fly-sheets
issued only a few months ago from a clandestine press in India, under
the heading _Yagantar_, killing no murder:--

Rise up, rise up, O sons of India, arm yourselves with bombs, despatch
the white _Asuras_ to Yana's abode. Invoke the mother Kali; nerve your
arm with valour. The Mother asks for sacrificial offerings. What does
the Mother want? The cocoanut? No. A fowl or a sheep or a buffalo? No,
She wants many white _Asuras_. The Mother is thirsting after the blood
of the Feringhees who have bled her profusely. Satisfy her thirst.
Killing the Feringhee, we say, is no murder. Brother, chant this verse
while slaying the Feringhee white goat, for killing him is no murder:
With the close of a long era, the Feringhee Empire draws to an end for
behold! Kali rises in the East.


NOTE 11

HINDUS AND MAHOMEDANS IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

Some statistics have been collected lately by the Moslem League with
reference to the relative numbers of Hindus and Mahomedans employed in
Government service in India. The figures are still subject to revision,
and therefore can only be given as approximately correct. Moreover, the
classification adopted does not seem to have been precisely the same in
the different provinces. But even if a considerable margin is allowed
for discrepancies which may yet have to be rectified, the figures quoted
below for several important branches of the service are instructive:--

   EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE RANK OF DEPUTY COLLECTORS, DEPUTY
   MAGISTRATES, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS, &c.

                                        Hindus.   Mahomedans.
   ----------------------------------+----------+--------------
   Bombay     ..     ..     ..     ..|    53    |       9
   Madras     ..     ..     ..     ..|    61    |       7
   Bengal     ..     ..     ..     ..|   265    |      59
   Eastern Bengal    ..     ..     ..|   136    |      49
   Central Provinces ..     ..     ..|    60    |      24
   United Provinces  ..     ..     ..|   125    |      98
   Punjab     ..     ..     ..     ..|    74    |      68


   SUB-DEPUTY COLLECTORS, SUB-DEPUTY MAGISTRATES, &c.

                                        Hindus.   Mahomedans.
   ----------------------------------+----------+--------------
   Bombay     ..     ..     ..     ..|   186    |       3
   Madras     ..     ..     ..     ..|   151    |      11
   Bengal     ..     ..     ..     ..|   165    |      33
   Eastern Bengal    ..     ..     ..|   107    |      39
   Central Provinces ..     ..     ..|    52    |      16
   United Provinces  ..     ..     ..|   122    |     106
   Punjab     ..     ..     ..     ..|   142    |      90


   SUB-DEPUTY JUDGES AND MUNSIFFS

                                        Hindus.   Mahomedans.
   ----------------------------------+----------+--------------
   Bombay     ..     ..     ..     ..|   109    |       2
   Madras     ..     ..     ..     ..|   132    |       1
   Bengal     ..     ..     ..     ..|   195    |      17
   Eastern Bengal    ..     ..     ..|    21    |       1
   Central Provinces ..     ..     ..|   117    |       6
   United Provinces  ..     ..     ..|   111    |      35
   Punjab     ..     ..     ..     ..|    81    |      52

   EDUCATIONAL DEPARTMENT.

                                        Hindus.   Mahomedans.
   ----------------------------------+----------+--------------
   Bombay     ..     ..     ..     ..|    39    |      17
   Madras     ..     ..     ..     ..|   127    |      10
   Bengal     ..     ..     ..     ..|   110    |      16
   Eastern Bengal    ..     ..     ..|    56    |      15
   Central Provinces ..     ..     ..|    23    |       2
   United Provinces  ..     ..     ..|    58    |       5
   Punjab     ..     ..     ..     ..|    53    |       6

NOTE 12

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS SUBSIDIES TO ITS SUPPORTERS IN ENGLAND.

The following resolutions passed by the Indian National Congress show
that considerable financial support has been regularly given by that
body towards the expenses of its London organ, _India_, and of the
British committee it co-operates with.

MADRAS, 1898.

"That a sum of Rs.60,000 be assigned for the expenses of the British
Committee and the cost of the Congress publication _India_, and also for
the expenses of the Joint-General Secretary's Office, and that the
several circles do contribute, as arranged, either now or hereafter in
Committee for the year 1899."

AHMEDABAD, 1902.

"That with a view to meet the balance required to defray the expenses of
_India_ and the British Committee a special delegation fee of Rs.10 be
paid by each delegate in addition to the usual fee now paid by him with
effect from 1902."

MADRAS, 1903.

"That a sum of Rs.10,500 be assigned for the expenses of the British
Committee and that the several Congress circles do contribute the amount
allotted to each."

BOMBAY, 1904.

"That a sum of £700 be assigned for the expenses of the British
Committee and that the several Congress circles do contribute the amount
allotted to each."

NOTE 13

AN ENGLISH SOCIALIST "MANIFESTO."

The support given to Indian Nationalists by a certain class of
politicians in England goes sometimes to such lengths that the tolerance
extended to them is open to very serious question. For instance, in a
London newspaper which calls itself "the Organ of Social Democracy,"
_Justice_ there appeared on August 27 a "Manifesto" headed "The Infamies
of Liberal Rule in India," which contained, along with much
indiscriminate denunciation of British tyranny, the outrageous statement
that Savarkar, who is now undergoing trial in Bombay on grave charges,
including the abetment of murder, had been arrested in England "for an
alleged political offence, and in order that he might not have a fair
trial defended by Council, and safeguarded by public opinion in this
country, he was sent back to India, where, innocent or guilty, his
condemnation could be officially ensured." In conclusion, it was
stated:--"We, at any rate, shall take care that this little manifesto of
ours shall be distributed in the native languages throughout Hindustan,
in order that the population of that great Empire may know that there is
an active and growing party in this island which has neither part nor
lot in the outrages and crimes committed by our rulers, and that its
members heartily sympathize with the legitimate efforts of Indians of
all races, castes, and creeds to emancipate themselves finally from the
monstrous domination under which they suffer to-day."

Many loyal Indians, and indeed the disloyal ones too, may very
reasonably ask whether it is right and just to allow language of this
kind to be used and circulated with impunity in this country when, if it
were used and circulated in India, it would at once give rise to a
criminal prosecution.

NOTE 14

INDIAN STUDENTS IN ENGLAND.

An Indian Correspondent of _The Times_ who has made a special study of
the condition of his fellow-countrymen studying in England writes that
it would be almost impossible for an Englishman who has never been in
the East to realize the enormous difference between the life to which
the student has been used and the life to which he has come. In many
instances his home is in some far off lonely village. He may have been
to some town to study in a Government or missionary school or college.
But that has not given him an insight into English life. In the
Government institution he sees little of his English teacher or
professor outside lessons or lecture hours. He never has the chance of
knowing an English lady. The student has little time for more than his
studies, so numerous are the subjects and the prescribed text-books for
Indian examinations. In the vacations the Professors go to the hills, or
sail for England, and the student goes back to his village. He has
acquired little or no knowledge of the English. He comes to England
feeling there is a gulf between the East and the West, save in the case
of a missionary interest in his soul. He is by nature extremely
sensitive. On board ship he and his brother Indians keep together. The
English passengers, fatigued after a period of hard work in a hot
climate, have no energy left for the effort of trying to draw out and
know this batch of silent Orientals. So the gulf gapes wide. If they
tarry in Marseilles or Paris there are those who are anxious and ready
to widen this gulf between the Indians and English. Then the student
arrives in London, where a man can be more lonely than anywhere in the
world. Here he has to find a dwelling. The man from a dreamy, lonely,
Eastern village, from the land of the sun has to select an abode in
London. Hotels and boarding houses and lodgings there are in abundance;
but the hotel or boarding house or lodging suitable to this man's
need--fitted to introduce him to English life, may exist, but how is he
to find it? He is not only bewildered, he is terribly home-sick. His
wish to come to England has been, gratified, but oh! for a sight of his
own people and, his simple home. He must drown this longing as best he
may. There are many ways of drowning it in London. There are many who
will assist him to forget what he had better never forget--his village
home. But after all there are some English people who will know him. He
has found lodgings, and the landlady and her family make themselves most
agreeable. He knows no other English people. He wants friendliness so
far away from home, so these and theirs become his friends.

In London the majority of Indian students gain admission to the Inns of
Court. The new regulations, which come into force in January next, were
intended to render admission more difficult to attain; but they will
fail of their purpose, for success in the Oxford and Cambridge senior
local examinations is a qualification for admission, and these
examinations are held in various parts of India. Students will in future
avoid entering the Indian Universities, but will get private coaching,
and sit for these examinations in India, with a view to gaining
admission to one or other of the Inns. It never seems to have occurred
to the Honourable Societies of the Inns to take any steps to look after
the well-being of these numberless students, who bring hundreds of
pounds to their coffers every year. So different is their position from
that of the English student that their case merits special attention. To
look after them might be unusual, it would certainly be expedient. The
eating of a few dinners and attendance at certain lectures are no tax on
the student's time. He puts off real study to the last moment. It is so
easy to learn all the subjects just before each examination. With a few
exceptions the English and Indian students do not speak to each other.
So the Inns do not provide the Indian with society. A youth from the
East, dwelling in a London lodging, finding himself for the first time
in command of a banking account, with abundance of leisure, and no
English friends of his own standing--can he become a loyal, useful
citizen of our Empire?

Some of them go to Oxford and Cambridge. They have heard in India, from
some Indians who were up at these Universities from ten to fifteen years
ago, how delightful the life is--how sociable the undergraduates, how
hospitable the dons. Surely then at these ancient seats of learning they
will find friendliness, and will come to know the English. They go up
only to find disappointment. The numbers have largely increased and all
sorts and conditions of men come. Colleges are reluctant to admit them.
The English undergraduate accepts any man who is good at games and ready
to enter into the University life, but leaves severely alone the man of
any nationality who has had no opportunity of learning English games,
and who is too shy and sensitive to show what he is worth. Those who are
good at games get on, the others are far from being happy. A few gain
admission to colleges, the rest are "unattached." Lodging-house
existence at Oxford or Cambridge is preferable to that in London; but it
does not assist to a knowledge of the English. Foreigners at the
Universities take the trouble to try and know the Indian, and extend to
him that friendship which the English undergraduate, through youthful
lack of thought, withholds. The Imperial instinct is lacking in the
youth of to-day; else would they realize that it is an important duty to
try and know fellow-subjects from a distant part of the Empire. There is
nothing that Orientals will not do to make the stranger to their country
feel at home. They cannot understand the reserved Occidental who leaves
the stranger to his Western country all alone. Some of the Indian
students think that the only way to bid for the English undergraduate's
acquaintance is by a lavish expenditure on wine parties; and so he
spends largely, and acquires an acquaintance, but not with the typical
Englishman. If Indian students at the old Universities are only to know
each other or foreigners, how are they to be bound by a loyal attachment
to England? At Edinburgh the gulf is wide indeed. A number of Colonial
students help to make it wider. The two sides seldom or never meet.
They just tolerate each other's presence. So the Indian student is
tempted to seek for company in circles which do not help his education
or tend to elevate him. Should such a state of things continue?

Engineering and medical students are in better case than others. Their
work is so hard and exacting, if they do it aright, they have no time to
feel solitude. The one complaint of engineering students is that they
find it enormously difficult to gain opportunities for learning the
practical side of their work. Firms are most reluctant to admit them as
apprentices. France and Germany welcome them, and Continental firms
extend to them the aid the English firms deny. Is it always to be so?
Other nations gaining that esteem and gratitude which England should so
jealously acquire and guard. Americans, too, are winning the good will
of the Indian student both in India and abroad. They have well-equipped
schools and colleges all over India. They spare no efforts to make the
Indian student feel they are there solely for him. They are with him in
and out of school and college hours. They inspire him with their
enthusiasm. Wherever they meet him they give him a grip of the hand
which leaves him in no doubt as to their frank friendliness. Yet it is
not to America nor to any other nation that India belongs, but to
England. But there is no security in mere possession. The only safety
lies in the constant effort to hold--to hold pleasantly, gaining the
heart and head.

Surely the fact that many influences are at work systematically striving
to estrange these students from England should rouse the English to
effort. It may not be an easy task to gain these men. It will need
patience and zeal. There must be no touch of patronage in the attempt.
Their deep-rooted belief that no real friendship can exist between the
English and the Indian has to be overcome; the much misrepresentation
which has made the Indian student misjudge the English character has to
be counteracted and set right. It must be remembered that he is a being
far away from home, excessively sensitive, situated in extremely unusual
surroundings and in most cases having lost that religious belief without
which no Oriental is really happy or able to live and be his best. He
is, in truth, not himself. Such is the student who is to be won to
attachment. The difficulty of the task should appeal to the English
nature.

What is required is not a sudden and indiscriminate rush to seek out and
know the Indian student. That would not last and would lead to much
disappointment on both sides. The great need of the present is workers
who know both sides and who will judiciously draw them together.
Connecting links to bring the right Indians into touch with the right
English. They will need very special qualifications, these workers, if
they are to succeed. There is enough to be done to employ the full time
of exceptionally energetic men. Wonders could be worked if England only
realized her duty to these men. The Indian student would return to his
home at any rate with no feeling of bitterness. He would have his chance
of seeing the real English, and of being influenced aright.
Misconceptions would be banished. He would live in an atmosphere better
adapted to hard work. He would attain a higher standard in his studies
and examinations. He would be better fitted to be a useful citizen.
Friendliness would, at any rate, have blunted antagonistic tendencies.
And what a difference it would make to his people! The father who has
spent so much on him would no longer feel that his son has lost and not
gained by crossing the seas. The mother who, though behind the purdah,
has eagerly been watching his career, dwelling lovingly on the weekly
news, counting the days to his return, would no longer need to weep that
it is not well with her son, who has come back so different from all she
had hoped. Whole families would bless the England which had made their
member manly, upright, better for his sojourn there, fitted to earn a
living honourably, and possessed of grit to strive to do his best. And
he, the student, stirred, by memories of kindness in the West, would win
those with whom he comes in contact to a friendlier feeling for the
British race. The seditionist would find no soil here ready for his
seed. Could anything be better worth accomplishing?


NOTE 15

THE VICEROY'S EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.


A Mahomedan gentleman, Mr. Ali Imam, has been appointed to succeed Mr.
Sinha as Indian member of the Viceroy's Executive Council. He too is a
leading member of the Bengal Bar, and, like Mr. Sinha, will take charge
of the Legal Department. Though the selection of a Mahomedan in
succession to a Hindu cannot fail to gratify Indian Moslems, Mr. Ali
Imam's appointment should not be altogether unacceptable to the Hindus.
For when the details of the reforms' scheme were being worked out in
India, he adopted, on the subject of separate electorates for the
Mahomedan community, a line of his own which was applauded by the
Hindus, but was very much resented by the vast majority of his
co-religionists. The Government of India seemed inclined to favour his
proposals, and he proceeded to England to press them upon Lord Morley.
But the Secretary of State wisely decided that the pledges originally
given by Lord Minto to the Indian Mahomedans must be scrupulously and
fully redeemed, so as to secure to them substantial representation in
the new Councils.


NOTE 16

The first Indian Member of the Bengal Executive Council is expected to
be Mr. R.N. Mookerjee, a partner in the well-known Calcutta firm of
Messrs. Martin and Co., to whom I have referred (page 258) as "the one
brilliant exception" amongst Western-educated Bengalees, who has
achieved signal success in commerce and industry and has shown the
possibility and the advantages of intelligent and business-like
co-operation in those fields between Englishmen and Indians.


NOTE 17

THE WASTAGE IN INDIAN UNIVERSITIES.

The most striking feature about the number of graduates at the Indian
Universities is not the magnitude of their total or any increase in it,
but the very high proportion of wastage. It takes 24,000 candidates at
Matriculation to secure 11,000 passes, it takes 7,000 candidates at the
Intermediate examination to secure 2,800 passes, and it takes 4,750
candidates for the B.A. degree to secure 1,900 passes.

There are 18,000 students at college in order to supply an annual output
of 1,935 graduates. This means that a very large number fall out by the
way without completing successfully their University career. The
phenomenon, peculiar to India, of candidates for employment urging as a
qualification that they have failed at a University examination (meaning
that they have passed the preceding examination and added thereto some
years of study for the next) is due to two causes, the large number of
students whom the University rejects at its examinations before it
grants the B.A. degree to the remainder, and the dearth of graduates.
_(Quinquennial Report on the Progress of Education in India for_
1902-1907, by Mr. H.W. Orange, Director-General of Education.)



NOTE 18

ENGLISH HISTORY IN INDIAN SCHOOLS.


At the opening of an Educational Conference held last April in Bombay
under the joint auspices of the Director of Public Instruction and of
the Teachers' Association, the Governor, Sir George Clarke, alluded to
some of the effects of Western education on the younger generation of
Indians:--"It is widely admitted by the thoughtful Indians that there
are signs of the weakening of parental influence, of the loss of
reverence for authority, of a decadence of manners and of growing moral
laxity. The restraining forces of ancient India have lost some of their
power; the restraining forces of the West are inoperative in India.
There has thus been a certain moral loss without any corresponding gain.
The educated European may throw off the sanctions of religion; but he
has to live in a social environment which has been built up on the basis
of Christian morality, and he cannot divest himself of the influences
which have formed his conscience. The educated or partially educated
Indian who has learned to look on life and the affairs of men from a
Western standpoint has no such environment and may find himself morally
rudderless on an ocean of doubt. The restraints of ancient philosophies,
which have unconsciously helped to shape the lives of millions in India
who had only the dimmest knowledge of them, have disappeared from his
mental horizon. There is nothing to take their place. Ancient customs,
some of them salutary and ennobling, have come to be regarded as
obsolete. No other customs of the better sort have come to take their
place, and blindly to copy the superficial customs of the West is to
ignore all that is best in western civilization."

Commenting on his Excellency's speech, the Bombay _Examiner_, a weekly
paper very ably conducted in the interests of the Roman Catholic
missions, drew attention, in the following terms to some of the causes
of the mischief.

(1) The study of English history in schools reveals a gradual transition
from an unlimited monarchy to a limited monarchy differing barely from a
republic, the gradual transfer of political power from kings and
aristocracy through the barons and then through the burghers and finally
to the whole people. In reality this process took almost a thousand
years, but in the schoolroom it is compressed into a term. The
gradualness of the process, the long preparation of each class of
citizens, the slow political education of the masses, all of which forms
a long historical perspective, is through the medium of the text-book
thrown upon, the screen at once as a flat picture. It may not occur
perhaps to the young mind to apply the precedent to his own country; but
as soon as he falls under the influence of the political agitator the
question, suggests itself: If the English people thus fought their way
to supremacy, why should not the Indian people do the same? Losing
sight of the perspective of history, it seems to him feasible that India
should achieve in one bound what it took nearly a thousand years for the
English people to bring about.

(2) In studying political economy and social science he meets with such
principles as these--that the ruler is merely the delegate and
representative of the people, from whose will he derives all his power.
This power is to be exercised for the well-being of the people who have
conferred it, and according to their will in conferring it. The old idea
that all power, even that conferred through the people, is ultimately
derived from God and exercised in His Name, is of course never heard of.
The ruler is a public servant of the collective nation, and that is all.
To introduce this notion among a people whose idea of government has run
for thousands of years on the lines of absolute monarchy and hereditary
if not divine right is nothing short of revolutionary. All idea of the
sacredness of authority is at once gone. The Government is a thing to be
dictated to by the people, to be threatened and bullied and even
exterminated if it does not comply with the nation's wishes. Hence as
soon as the political agitator appears on the scene nothing seems more
plausible to the raw mind of the student than an endeavour to upset the
existing order of things. This cannot, of course, all be done at once;
but at least a beginning can be made. Let us agitate for the redress of
this or that grievance, for the increase of native appointments, and the
like; and if we do not at once get what we ask for, let us try what
bullying and intimidation can do--aspiring ultimately to substitute a
representative for a monarchical form of government, and having secured
this, wait the opportune moment for driving the foreigner into the sea.
Thus a change which, to be successful, would require the gradual
education of the people for generations, is to be forced on at once; and
"if constitutional means are not sufficient to achieve our ambition, why
not try what unconstitutional means will do?"

NOTE 19

A SHAMELESS APPEAL.

Perhaps the most audacious defence of the enlistment by Hindu
politicians of schoolboys and students in the service of a lawless
propaganda occurs in an article in the _Bengalee_ of August 2, 1906,
shamelessly appealing to the language of Christ. The _Bengalee_, which
is published in English, is Mr. Surendranath Banerjee's organ:--

"In all great movements boys and young men play a prominent part, the
divine message comes first to them; and they are persecuted and they
suffer for their faith. 'Suffer the little children to come unto Me,'
are the words of the divinely-inspired Founder of Christianity; and the
faith that is inseparable from childhood and youth is the faith which
has built up great creeds and has diffused them through the world. Our
boys and young men have been persecuted for their _Swadeshism_; and
their sufferings have made _Swadeshism_ strong and vigorous."

_NOTE 20 (page_ 241).

THE BRAHMANS AND WESTERN EDUCATION.

The special caste grievances of Brahmans against Western education are
very frankly set forth in a speech on "The Duties of Brahmans,"
delivered in Bombay at the beginning of this year to his fellow
caste-men by Rao Sahib Joshi, a distinguished and very enlightened,
member of the Yajurvidi Palshikar sept of Brahmans. Mr. Joshi, who laid
great stress upon the duty of loyalty to the British _Raj_, began by
recalling the patent conferred upon them by a British Governor of Bombay
at the beginning of the eighteenth century for the protection of their
privileges, especially in connexion with the teaching of medicine. But
their community had gradually lost ground from various causes, and
amongst those which he enumerated, he laid the chief stress upon the
diffusion of secular education. He fully recognized the benefits of
English education, but "all education being of a secular character, it
made the new generation a class of sceptics. People brought up with
English ideas, and in the atmosphere of secular education, now began to
pay less respect to their Gurus and hereditary priests. In former days
when the Guru or head priest came to one's house people used to say:--'I
bow down to the Guru; the Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru
is Shiwa; verily the Guru is the Sublime Brahma!' This idea, this
respect the secular English education shattered to pieces, and so the
income and importance of the hereditary priests dwindled down."


NOTE 21

FEMALE EDUCATION.

In his quinquennial review of the progress of education in India, Mr.
H.W. Orange quotes the following remarks by Mr. Sharp, Director of
Public Instruction in Eastern Bengal, on the position of female
education, adding that they describe the prevailing, if not quite
universal, state of affairs:--

"All efforts to promote female education have hitherto encountered
peculiar difficulties. These difficulties arise chiefly from the customs
of the people themselves. The material considerations, which have formed
a contributing factor in the spread of boys' schools, are inoperative in
the case of girls. The natural and laudable desire for education as an
end in itself, which is evinced by the upper and middle classes as
regards their sons, is no match for the conservative instincts of the
Mahomedans, the system of early marriage among the Hindus, and the rigid
seclusion of women which is a characteristic of both. These causes
prevent any but the most elementary education from being given to girls.
The lack of female teachers and the alleged unsuitability of the
curriculum, which is asserted to have been framed more with a view to
the requirements of boys than those of girls, form subsidiary reasons or
excuses against more rapid progress. To these difficulties may be added
the belief, perhaps more widely felt than expressed, that the general
education of women means a social revolution, the extent of which cannot
be foreseen. 'Indian gentlemen,' it has been well said, 'may thoroughly
allow that when the process has been completed, the nation will rise in
intelligence, in character and in all the graces of life. But they are
none the less apprehensive that while the process of education is going
on, while the lessons of emancipation are being learnt and stability has
not yet been reached, while, in short, society is slowly struggling to
adjust itself to the new conditions, the period of transition will be
marked by the loosening of social ties, the upheaval of customary ways,
and by prolonged and severe domestic embarrassment.' There is, it is
true, an advanced section of the community that is entirely out of
sympathy with this view. In abandoning child-marriage they have got rid
of the chief obstacle to female education; and it is among them,
consequently, that female education has made proportionately the
greatest progress in quantity and still more in quality. But outside
this small and well-marked class, the demand for female education is
much less active and spontaneous.... In fact the people at large
encourage or tolerate the education of their girls only up to an age and
up to a standard at which it can do little good, or, according to their
point of view, little harm."


NOTE 22

THE THEORY OF THE "DRAIN."

The Master of Elibank, then Under-Secretary of State, included in his
Indian Budget speech on Aug. 5, 1909, a brief but effective refutation
of the "drain" theory:--

"If the House will allow me, I wish to digress for a moment to deal with
a charge that is constantly made, and has recently been repeated, to the
effect that there is poverty in India which is largely due to the
political and commercial drain on the country year by year, the
political, it is asserted, amounting to £30,000,000 and the commercial
to £40,000,000. These figures have been placed even higher by those who
wish to blacken the Indian Administration in order to bolster up a
malicious agitation against this country. I think it is incumbent upon
the representative of the Indian Government in this House to deal with
the statement. I may at once say that it has no foundation in fact.
(Hear, hear.) Its origin is to be found, no doubt, in the fact that
India makes annually considerable payments in England in return for
services rendered, such as the loan of British capital; but there is no
justification for describing these payments as a drain, and their amount
is only a fraction of the figures which I have just quoted. Let me deal
first with the question of amount. As the method by which India makes
her payments in England is that she exports more than she imports, all
calculations as to the amount of payments must necessarily be based on
the returns of Indian trade, which show by how much the Indian exports
exceed her imports. If the trade returns are examined for 1904, 1906,
and 1906, after making due allowance for the capital sent to India in
connexion with Government transactions, the average excess of exports
over imports, or in other words payments by India to England for
services rendered, is £23,900,000 per year during the three years that
have been mentioned. This payment is made up of, first, £21,200,000,
being the average annual amount of the Government remittance during
three years, which corresponds to the alleged political drain of
£30,000,000; and, secondly, £2,700,000, the average annual amount of
private remittances during the same period, which total has been most
carefully examined and corresponds to the alleged commercial drain of
£40,000,000. Now let us examine for a moment the nature of these two
remittances. The Government remittance is mainly for the payment of home
charges--namely, those charges in England which are normally met from
revenue. These charges, in the three years to which I have referred,
averaged £18,250,000, made up in the following manner:--Interest on
debt, £9,600,000; payments for stores, ordered and purchased in this
country, which cannot be manufactured in India, £2,500,000; pensions and
furlough pay to civil and military officers, £5,000,000; and
miscellaneous, £1,250,000. It will thus be seen that alter deducting
£5,000,000 for pensions and furlough pay, the bulk of the remittance
represents interest for railway developments and other matters with
which the interests of the peoples of India are intimately bound up.
Besides the home charges proper, certain sums were remitted to England
by the Government to defray capital charges. These bring the Government
remittances to the total of £21,200,000 already mentioned. Now let us
turn for a moment to the supposed commercial drain of £40,000,000 per
year, which, as I have endeavoured to show, is in reality £2,700,000,
being the difference during the period referred to between the private
remittances from India, representing private profits, savings, &c., sent
home to England, and the private remittances to India representing the
transmission of English capital to that country. We can therefore say
definitely that whatever India may have sent to England within the three
years, she received from England as capital a sum falling short of that
amount by £2,700,000 a year; and perhaps I might incidentally remind the
House that at the end of 1907 the capital outlay on railways alone in
India amounted to £265,000,000 sterling, the bulk of which is British
capital, but by no means represents the full amount of British capital
invested in India, which has taken its part in commercially developing
its resources and providing employment for the masses of people in that
great continent. Hon. members who have followed a recent discussion in
the pages of the _Economist_ as to whether £300,000,000 or £500,000,000
was the amount of British capital invested in India for its commercial
and industrial development and for providing employment of the people in
that land, will agree that the sum could not be placed lower than
£350,000,000."

NOTE 23


THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND THE VICEROY.

This issue was raised, for instance, during the Viceroyalty of Lord
Northbrook, when Lord Salisbury was Secretary of State, Mr. Bernard
Mallett's memoir of Lord Northbrook contains the following noteworthy
remarks upon the subject by Lord Cramer, who, as Major Baring, was
Private Secretary to Lord Northbrook:--

There can be no doubt that Lord Salisbury's idea was to conduct the
government of India to a very large extent by private correspondence
between the Secretary of State and the Viceroy. He was disposed to
neglect and, I also think, to underrate the value of the views of the
Anglo-Indian officials ... This idea inevitably tended to bring the
Viceroy into the same relation to the Secretary of State for India as
that in which an Ambassador or Minister at a foreign Court stands to the
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ... Lord Northbrook's general
view was the exact opposite of all this, and I am strongly convinced
that he was quite right ... He recognized the subordinate position of
the Viceroy, but he held that Parliament had conferred certain rights
not only on the Viceroy but on his Council which differentiated them in
a very notable degree from subordinate officials such as those in the
diplomatic service ... Lord Northbrook regarded the form of government
in India as a very wise combination which enabled both purely English
and Anglo-Indian experience to be brought to bear on the treatment of
Indian questions. He did not by any means always follow the Indian
official view; but he held strongly, in the first place, that to put
aside that view and not to accord to the two Councils in London and
Calcutta their full rights was unconstitutional in this sense that,
though the form might be preserved, the spirit of the Act of Parliament
regulating the government of India would be evaded. In the second place,
he held that for a Viceroy or a Secretary of State without Indian
experience to overrule those who possessed such experience was an
extremely unwise proceeding, and savoured of an undue exercise of that
autocratic power of which he himself was very unjustly accused.


NOTE 24

THE DIFFICULTIES OF LOYAL HINDUS.

A Hindu gentleman who has taken a considerable part in the struggle
against Brahmanical disloyalty and intolerance in the Deccan has sent me
a copy of a letter addressed to the _Times of India_ in which he
explains the peculiar difficulties with which loyal Hindus find
themselves confronted:--

Englishmen hardly appreciate the true magnitude of the difficulties we
have to contend with in any attempt to expose sedition. All the social
forces that exist in Hindu society run counter to anti-Brahminical
movements. The influence which the Brahmins exercise on the popular mind
is still considerable. A man who is damned by the village-priest or the
Brahmin kulkarni is doomed for good. Loyalty has been rendered odious to
the ordinary mind by this as well as by many other influences. Loyalty
is flattery. This is a dictum now almost universally recognized in the
Deccan. A supporter of the Government is a "Johukum," a "hireling," or a
"traitor." The Press has of late become sufficiently powerful to make or
mar the reputation of a man so far as the native public is concerned.
Every advocate of Government measures--even of the best of them--is held
up to ridicule by the Press. This is immediately reflected in the most
exaggerated form in what we may call public opinion in the land.
Certainly very great courage is necessary in one who is called upon to
bear calumny such as this from his society and his castemen. But there
are other forces more threatening still. The rowdier section of the
people never fails to hoot the man out on every possible occasion and
even the women of his family may be subjected to indignities. The vakils
are a very powerful class in the Deccan. Many of them do not openly
dabble in politics; but you can hardly find many among them who do not
sympathize with extremist politics. The landholders, traders and
agriculturists in general are always in need of the services or, as they
think, of the favour of the legal profession whose prejudices will never
be wounded by the classes mentioned. The vakils, I may say, are to be
propitiated by every one who wishes to conduct any public movement. But
a loyal movement can never save itself from condemnation at the hands of
this powerful class.

Although reluctantly, I must add that the lower services of the
Government are filled by men who passively help extremism. They form the
bulk of the total constituency of our public Press. That is a fact to
show their political inclinations. Even they do not hesitate to use
their little arts to worry a man known to be "anti-political" whenever
he happens to come in contact with them. An agriculturist friend of mine
who belonged to the caste to which I have the honour to belong once
came to me and asked me why I was taking a particular step connected
with the political movements in Kolhapur. The reason he gave for his
attempt to dissuade me from participation in any anti-Brahmanical
movement was that every Jain would be put to immense trouble in his
dealings with pleaders and clerks simply because another Jain (in this
instance myself) was against the leaders of their caste! Another class
which always forms a check on a pro-government man is composed of the
chiefs, sirdars, landholders, &c., who belong to the agitators' caste
and who certainly cherish admiration for the doings of the "patriots."
Many of us have to come in contact with some one or other belonging to
this class and if he be known to favour anything against the great
figures of the city-politics, his business is sure to be spoilt.

This is in brief the doleful tale of the loyalist in the Deccan. I shall
briefly touch upon one or two things with reference to what will
strengthen the hands of the loyal citizen. The first thing is that the
Government should boldly come forward to help on the coming into
existence of a bigger class of educated men among the backward or lower
classes of the Deccan. The suspicion that they too will join hands with
the agitator must vanish once for all. The half-heartedness due to such
lurking suspicion gives a fine tool in the hands of Government's
enemies. The English people should realize the probable danger of this
and should use their vast resources to create a strong body of educated
men from the ranks of the loyal castes. H.H. the Maharaja of Kolhapur,
in his attempts to break down Brahmanical supremacy, found nothing so
useful as the bringing into being of such a class and for this he is
doing the best he can. Unless this example is followed by the
Government, there is no hope of a strong loyal party coming forth to
combat the evil work done by Extremists. The strengthening of the loyal
Press such as it exists and adding to it is another measure the
Government might wisely adopt.


NOTE 25

HINDU THEORIES OF GOVERNMENT.

Englishmen are apt to ignore the hold which ancient Hindu traditions
concerning the rights and duties of kingship and the old Hindu theories
of government derived from the sacred books of Hinduism still have on
the Indian mind. They have been recently reviewed in an article
contributed to _The Times_ from a very scholarly pen.

The ancient Hindu theory of government is fully disclosed in the
_Mahabharata_, the most majestic work ever produced by the human
intellect, a work, too, which is to-day as popular with Indians as when
40 centuries ago it was chanted to instruct the youth and beguile the
tedium of the princes of Hastinapura. Unlike all systems of government
known to the West, the Hindu system contains no popular element
whatever. In it we find no Witanagemote in which the nobles may advise
the monarch; still less has it any place for a _comitia centuriata_,
with its stormy masses of spearmen, to scrutinize and control the
encroachments of the Royal prerogative. In the kingdoms described In the
_Mahabharata_ the inhabitants are rigidly divided into four wholly
distinct and separate classes (_Udhyog Parva_, p. 67, Roy's
translation). First come the Brahmans whose duty it is to study, to
teach, to minister at sacrifices--receiving in return gifts from,
"known" or, as we should say, respectable persons. Then follow the
_Kshattriyas_ or the warrior class, whose whole life has to be spent in
fighting and in warlike exercises. Thirdly come the _Vaisyas_ who
acquire merit by accumulating wealth through commerce, cattle-breeding,
and agriculture. Fourthly, we have the _Sudras_, or serfs, who are bound
to obey the other three classes, but who are forbidden to study their
scriptures or partake in their sacrifices.

High over all classes is the King. He is the living symbol of strength
and power. He is "the tiger among men," the "bull of the Bharata race,"
and his form and features bear the visible impress of the Most High. The
whole arduous business of government rests on his shoulders. He cannot
appeal to his subjects to help him in carrying out good administration
nor can he leave his duties to others. For to beseech and to renounce
are both against the laws of his order (_Vana Parva_, p. 457). At the
utmost he can employ counsellors to advise him, but their numbers must
never exceed eight (_Çanti Parva_, p. 275). In any case they only tender
advice when asked (_Udhyog Parva_, p. 100), and the full responsibility
of all acts rests on the King only. It is he who must keep up the
arsenals, the depôts, the camps, the stables for the cavalry, the lines
for the elephants, and replenish the military storehouses with bows and
arrows. It is he who must maintain in efficient repair his six different
kinds of citadels--his water citadels, his earth citadels, his hill
citadels, his human citadels, his forest citadels, and his mud citadels
(_Çanti Parva_, p. 277). It is he who must see that the capital has
abundant provisions, impassable trenches, impenetrable walls; that it
teems with elephants, cavalry horses, and war chariots. He must maintain
an efficient staff of spies to ascertain the strength of neighbouring
monarchs and do his utmost to cause dissension among their servants
(_Çanti Parva_, p. 224). The War Office and the Foreign Office are alike
under his immediate headship. It is for him to conclude treaties, to
lead to battle his armies, and during peace to keep them prepared for
war (_Çanti Parva_, p. 228). But the duty which comes before all others
is to protect his subjects. That, indeed, is imposed on him as a
religious duty. "For having protected his Kingdom a King becomes
sanctified and finally sports in Heaven" (_Çanti Parva_, p. 68).
"Whether he does or does not do any other religious acts, if only he
protects his subjects he is thought to accomplish all religion."
(ibid., p. 193).

In return for the proper discharge of his innumerable tasks, he is
regarded by his subjects as the incarnation of Indra. He is entitled to
a sixth share of the gross revenue of the country. Fearful penalties
attach to the infringement of his rights. "That man who even thinks of
doing an injury to the King meets with grief here and Hell hereafter"
(_Çanti Parva_, p. 221). "He will be destroyed like a deer that has
taken poison." On the other hand, should the King fail to meet his
obligations--and above all, if he does not protect his subjects--he
offends grievously, "These persons should be avoided like a leaky boat
on the sea, a preceptor who does not speak, a priest who has not studied
the Scriptures, a King who does not grant protection" (_Çanti Parva_, p.
176). "A King who does not protect his kingdom takes upon himself a
quarter of its sins" (_Drona Parva_, p. 625). In the last resort his
subjects will be freed from their allegiance. "If a powerful King
approaches kingdoms torn by anarchy from desire of annexing them to his
dominions the people should go forward and receive the invader with
respect."

In a similar manner the entire civil administration must be conducted
by the King. He must see to it that wide roads, shops, and water
conduits are constructed. He must look after the streets and by-paths.
He must treat all classes impartially, and, above all, scrutinize
carefully the work of the Courts of Justice. "The penal code properly
applied by the ruler maketh the warders [i.e., Judges] adhere to their
respective duties, and leadeth to an acquisition by the ruler himself of
virtue." (_Udhyog Parva,_ p. 383). But although the subjects have the
right to expect justice they cannot expect kindness or even easy
condescension. "The heart of a King is as hard as thunder" _(Çanti
Parva,_ p. 57). "Knowledge makes a man proud, but the King makes him
humble" _(Çanti Parva,_ p. 223). "When the King rules with a complete
and strict reliance on the science of chastisements, the foremost of
ages called the Kirta is said to set in" (ibid., p. 228). "The King
must be skilful in smiting" (ibid., p. 174). "Fierceness and ambition
are the qualities of the King" (ibid., p. 59). "The King who is mild
is regarded as the worst of his kind, like an elephant that is reft of
fierceness" (ibid., p. 171). Indeed, failure to treat subjects with
rigour is visited with penalties as tremendous as failure to protect
them. "They forget their own position and most truly transcend it. They
disclose the secret counsels of their master; without the least anxiety
they set at nought the King's commands. They wish to sport with the King
as with a bird on a string" (ibid., p. 172). And in the end they
destroy him. "The King should always be heedful of his subjects as also
of his foes. If he becomes heedless they fall on him like vultures upon
carrion" (_Çanti Parva,_ p. 289).

Here we have commended as a pattern of administration a despotism such
as the West has never experienced. It is inquisitorial,
severe--sometimes, perhaps, wantonly cruel. But from the fearful
pitfalls that encompass weakness it is certain to be sleeplessly
vigilant and in the highest degree virile, forceful, and efficient. Now
it will be asked what bearing the doctrines of a work four thousand
years old have on the problems of the present day. But it must be
remembered, as that eminent scholar, the late Mr. Jackson, the victim of
the abominable Nasik outrage, pointed out, that Hindu civilization and
Hindu thought are at bottom the same now as in the days of Yudhisthira.

The _Mahabharata_ is the constant companion from youth to age of every
educated Indian. Its tales have provided matter for the poetry, the
drama, and the folk-songs of all ages and of all languages. No Hindu
will live in a house facing south, as it is there that lives Yama, the
god of death. No Hindu will go to sleep without murmuring _Takshaka_ as
a preventive against snake-bite. For Takshaka rescued the snakes from
the vengeance of Janamajaya, the great-grandson of the _Mahabharata_
hero Arjuna. The independent Indian Princes conduct their administration
exactly on the lines indicated in the _Mahabharata_, and even States as
enlightened as Baroda and Kolhapur still adhere to the Council of eight
Ministers recommended in that immortal work. Indeed, its teachings
really explain the puzzle of Indian loyalty to the British Government.
According to Western ideas, no amount of _pax Britannica_ would
compensate the conquered for foreign rule. The Poles still sigh for the
bad old days of independence and misrule, and are in no way comforted by
the efficiency of German administration. But the Indian's allegiance to
his native kings was, as the _Mahabharata_, lays down, released by their
weakness, and he readily transferred his loyalty to those who, although
foreign, had yet shown that they could govern vigorously.



INDEX

   Acts of Parliament:
     Age of Consent Act (1891),42, 75.
     Charter Act (1833), 307, 308, 310.
     Explosive Substances Act (1908), 98.
     Government of India Act (1858), 307, 310.
     Indian Councils Act (1909), 10, 100, 120, 162-175.
     Indian Newspapers (Incitement
     to Offences) Act, (1908), 96, 98.
     Press Act (1910), 15, 98-99,335-337.
     Punjab Land Alienation Act (1900), 156.
     Summary Justice Act (1908), 98.
     Universities Act (1904), 78,2, 229.

   Administration of British India,
     comparison of the total
     number of Englishmen and
     Indians employed in, 293.

   Aga Khan, 132, 133.

   Age of Consent Act, 1891,42, 75.

   Agriculture, the greatest of
     all Indian industries, 259;
     need for practical education in, 262.

   Ahmad, Sir Syed, 122, 131.

   Aitchison, Sir Charles, 213.

   Ajit Singh, proceedings against, 112.

   _Akash_, newspaper, Delhi, 21.

   Ali, Mr. Ameer, 132.

   All-India Moslem League, 131,132, 281.

   All-India Temperance Conference, 200.

   America, Indian revolutionary
      organizations in, 146, 147.

   Anglo-Russian Agreement, 319.

   "Animists," 177.

   Anti Cow-killing Society, founded by Tilak in 1893, 43.

   _Anusilan Samiti_ Society, 99.

   Army, Indian, position of Indians in, 328.

   Arya Samaj, 27; founded by  Swami Dayanand, 109; work
     of, 110-112; seditious activity of its members, 112-114;
     its scheme for restoring the Vedic system of education, 114;
     Sir Louis Dane  on, 115;
     a powerful proselytizing agency, 116;
     propaganda in the Native Army, 117;
     hostile to Islam as to British rule, 117.

   _Asiatic Quarterly Review_ cited, 265.

   Atkinson, Mr. (Madras), on _ryotwari_ landlords, 260.

   Ayerst, Lieut., murder of, 48.

   Baig, Mr. M.A. Ali, 171.

   Baker, Sir Edward, 272.

   _Bande Mataram_, newspaper, 78, 149, 150, 151.

   Banerjee, Mr. Surendranath, 30, 50, 52, 79, 83, 84, 88,
     01, 224, 274, 341, 353.

   Banks, co-operative, 261-262.

   Bannerjee, Mr. W.C., President of the first Indian
    National Congress, 75.

    Bar, Native, disaffection in, 100.

   Baroda, Gaekwar of, on the   elevation of the depressed
    castes, 181-183;
    on the unrest, 193.

   Baroda, State of, 186, 187

   _Bedari_, newspaper, Lahore, 19.

   Bekanir, State of, 190.

   Belapur Swami Club, 69.

   Bengal, before the Partition, 72-80;
    compared with the Deccan, 72-73;
    education in, 77, 214;
    Brahmanism in, 74, 102;
    the storm in, 81-105;
    outrages in, 96;
    deportation of nine prominent agitators, 99;
    disaffection in the native Bar, 100;
    comparison of the number of Hindus and Mahommedans
    in Government employ, 125;
    Sir Lancelot Hare on the lawlessness in, 342-345.

   Bengal, Partition of, agitation against, 50;
    the signal rather than the cause of agitation, 81.

   Bengal Iron and Steel Company, 268.

   _Bengalee_, newspaper, 79, 101, 168, 353.

   Besant, Mrs. Annie, influence of, 28-29.

   _Bhagvat Gita_, 30, 79, 90, 201.

   Bhandarkar, Dr., 42.

   Bhopal, State of, 187.

   Bijapurkar, Mr., 71.

   Bilgrami, Mr. Husain, 171.

   Bir, disturbances at, 69.

   Birdwood, Sir George, 263.

   Biswas, Mr. Ashutosh, murder of, 97.

   Blavatsky, Mme., 28.

   Bobbili, Rajah of, 171.

   Bombay, comparison of the  number of Hindus and Mahommedans
    in Government employ, 125.

   Bombay Technical Institute, 264.

    Bose, Mr. Bhupendranath, 163, 165, 168.

   Bose, Khudiram, murderer of Mrs. and Miss Kennedy, 96,
    97, 147, 340, 341.

   Brahmanism, the system and its influences, 32-33;
    the stronghold of reaction, 36;
    most militant in the Deccan, 37;
    part played in the unrest in the Deccan, 37-63;
    in Bengal, 74, 102;
    in the Punjab, 109;
    in Southern India, 140-141;
    one of the two forces which aspire to
    substitute themselves for British rule, 324.

   Brahmans, number in India,  33;
    number holding higher Government appointments in
    Bombay Presidency, 39;
    their  grievances against Western education, 353-354.

   Brahmo Samaj, 25, 27, 75.

   Brodrick, Mr. (now Viscount Midleton), 86.

   Buck, Sir Edward, 263.

   Budget, Indian, and the new Councils, 174.

   Burdwan, Maharajah of, 162.

   Butler, Mr. Harcourt, first Minister of Education, 233,
    237, 264.

   Calcutta Presidency College, comparison of the
    number of English and Indian professors, 214.

   _Calcutta Review_, 78.

   Capital, British, invested in India, 264.

   Carey, Rev. Eustace, 24, 73, 209.

   Cawnpore, proposal to establish  a Technological College at,
    267.

   Central Hindu College, Benares, 28.

   Central Provinces, comparison of the number of Hindus and
    Mahommedans in Government employ, 125.

   Chailley, J., _Administrative Problems of British India_, 107-108.

   Chakilians, 177.

   Chamars, 177.

   Chandavarkar, Mr. Justice (Sir N.G.), 42, 340.

   Chapekur, Damodhar, murderer of Rand and Ayerst, 48.

   Charter Act of 1833, 307, 308, 310.

   Chatterjee, Mr. A.C., 285, 260.

   Chatterton, Mr. Alfred, Director of Industries, Madras, 266.

   Chaubal, Mr. M.B., 171.

   Chitnavis, Mr., 275, 276.

   Chitpavans, most powerful and most able of the Brahmans, 37-38.

   Christian Endeavour Convention, 200.

   Civil Service, Indian, 290-301.

   Clark, Mr., Minister for Commerce and Industry, 298, 317.

   Clarke, Sir George S., 56, 57, 232, 352.

   Clubs, Anglo-Indian, exclusion of Indians from, 290.

   Cochin, State of, 186-187.

   Colvin, Sir Auckland, 263.

   Commerce and Industry, Portfolio of, 263.

   Cost of living, increase during last decade, 2;
     effect on teaching profession, 224.

   Cotton, duties on, 277.

   Cotton, Sir Henry, 156.

   Council of India, 171, 317.

   Craddock, Mr. B.H., 136.

   Creagh, Sir O'Moore, 167.

   Credit societies, 261-262.

   Cromer, Lord (then Major Baring), on the relations between
    the Secretary of State and the Viceroy, 356-357.

   Crown, influence of the, 331.

   Curzon, Lord, 126, 229, 231, 266, 286, 295, 303;
     his Universities Bill (1904), 78;
     effect of his fall on the anti-Partition campaign, 86;
     on ignorance in India, 247;
     on primary education, 248;
     on the excess of imports over exports, 255;
     on co-operative banks and credit societies, 261;
     on technical education, 263;
     creation of a separate portfolio of Commerce and Industry, 263;
     on the ill-treatment of Indians in South Africa, 283;
     tributes to his attitude on the question of the _status_
     of Indians in the Empire, 285;
     controversy with Lord Kitchener, 311;
     creation of Imperial Cadet Corps, 329.

   DACCA COLLEGE, 231.

   Dacca Conspiracy Trial, 341.

   _Dacca Gazette_, 18.

   Dadabhoy, Mr., 283.

   Dairies, State, in Northern India, 266.

   Dane, Sir Louis, 115.

   Das, Pulin Bahari, 99.

   Davar, Mr. Justice, 22, 55.

   David, Sir Sassoon, 163.

   Dayanand, Swami, founder of the Arya Samaj, 27, 109, 110.

   Deccan, unrest in, 37-63; compared with Bengal, 72-73.

   Deportation, of nine prominent Bengalee agitators (1908), 99;
    of two agitators from the Punjab (1907), 107.

   Depressed castes, 167-134.

   Dewas, Rajah of, on the unrest, 192, 194-195.

   _Dharma_, newspaper, Calcutta, 18.

   Dhingra, murderer of Sir W. Curzon Wyllie, 21, 148.

   "Drain," the, 255, 355-356.

   Duff, Dr. Alexander, 24, 75, 209.

   Dufferin, Lord, 213.

   Durga, worship of, 18, 102.

   Dutt, Mr. Bhupendranath, 91.

   Economic Department, creation of (1886), 263.

   Economic progress of India, 254-270.

   Education:--
    _General_.--Deficiencies of the system, 2;
    effect on the Bengalees, 77;
    most difficult and most urgent problem in India, 207;
    four important features of the system, 208;
    system displays its gravest shortcomings in Bengal, 214;
    greater elasticity wanted, 236;
    grievances of Brahmans against Western education, 353-354.

    _History of System_: Macaulay's Minute (1835), 208-210;
    Lord Hardinge's Educational Order (1844), 209;
    influence of Dr. Alexander Duff, 209;
    Sir Charles Wood's Educational Dispatch (1854),209-210;
    Education Commission (1882-1883), 212;
    Public Service Commission (1886-87), 212;
    Sir Antony MacDonnell's resolution (1889), 229;
    Government  Resolution (March 11, 1904), 229, 263;
    Conference presided over by Lord Curzon, 229-230.

    _Primary_, 246-253; number of scholars in Government
    schools (1854), 210; Mr.
    Gokhale's resolution for free and compulsory education, 247;
    Educational Dispatch (1854), 248;
    Education Commission(1882-83), 248;
    Government Resolution (1904), 248;
    present situation, 249;
    cost of making primary education free, 249;
    difficulty of finding teachers, 250;
    Mr. Orange on the aims to be kept in view, 251-252.

    _Higher_: Universities Bill (1904), 78, 82, 229;
    Europeans on staff of secondary schools and colleges, 215;
    the Indian student, 216-221;
    Dr. Garfield Williams on the Indian student, 217-219;
    provision of hostels for students, 231;
    question of raising fees charged for higher education, 234;
    wastage in Indian Universities, 351-352.

    _Female_, 252-253;
    views of  Mr. Sharp, 354-355.

    _Scientific and Technical_:  need of encouragement, 235;
    technical education, 263-267;
    proposal to establish a Technological College at Cawnpore, 267.

    _Religious_, 238-245;
    the Maharajah of Jaipur on the need of religious education, 242.

    _Service_: total number of Europeans in, 221;
    effect of rise in the cost of living on the teaching profession, 224;
    deficiencies of the native teaching staff, 226;
    pay of teachers, 226-227;
    effect of Public Service Commission (1886-87) on the native side of
    the service, 227;
    need of more and better training colleges for teachers, 232;
    teachers must be brought into touch with parents, 235-236.

    _"National" Schools, 241-242.

    _Vedic System_, 114-115.

   Education, Minister of (Mr. Harcourt Butler), 233, 237, 264.

   Elibank, Master of, on the "drain" theory, 355-356.

   Empire, _status_ of Indians in the, 284.

   Engineering Colleges, 263.

   _Evil of Continence, The_, translated into the vernacular, 28.

   _Examiner_, newspaper, Bombay, 352-353.

   Executive Councils, reforms in, 171.

   Explosive Substances Act (1908), 98.

   Famines, 3; reduction of famine areas, 260.

   Ferris, Col., conspiracy to murder (1908), 70.

   Financial and fiscal relations between India and Great
    Britain, 271-279.

   Fraser, Sir Andrew, 88, 97.

   _Free Hindustan_, newspaper, Seattle, 147.

   Fuller, Sir Bampfylde, 87, 88,  255.

   Ganesh, celebrations in honour of, 30, 44.

   Ganpati celebrations, in honour of Ganesh, 30, 44.

   _Gazette of India_, 169.

   Ghose, Mr. Arabindo, 50, 52, 78, 79, 89, 90, 98, 337.

   Ghose, Mr. Barendra Kumar, 90, 91, 98.

   Ghose, Dr. Rash Behari, 75, 160.

   Ghosh, Mr. Surat Kumar, 3.

   Gladstone, Mr., attitude towards Mahommedanism, 126.

   Gokhale, Mr. G.K., 42, 53,159, 163, 165, 169, 181,
    202-206, 247, 252, 265, 280, 284, 294.

   Gosain, Norendranath, murder of, 97, 146.

   Government of India, 306-318;
    respective powers of the Secretary of State and
    Viceroy, 306-310;
    Government of India Act (1858), 307, 310;
    Charter Act (1833), 307, 308;
    Sir Courtenay Ilbert's summary of the powers of the Secretary
    of State, 307-308;
    "Governor-General in Council," 308;
    "Secretary of State in Council," 309;
    ultimate responsibility with the people of
    the United Kingdom represented by Parliament, 309;
    John Stuart Mill on the function of the Home Government, 310;
    twofold danger in any eclipse of the Governor-General
    in Council, 313-314;
    Council of India, 317;
    need  for decentralization in India, 318.

   _Government of India, The_, by Sir C. Ilbert, 307-308.

   _Gujarat_, newspaper, 17.

   Guntur, riots in, 144.

   Gupta, Birendranath, murderer of Mr. Shams-ul-Alam, 101.

   Gupta, Mr. K.G., 171.

   _Gurukuls_, in the Punjab, 114-115.

   Gwalior, Maharajah of, on the unrest, 192.

   Gwalior, State of, 186, 187, 190.

   Hardie, Mr. Keir, 20, 255.

   Hardinge, Lord, Educational Order (1844), 209.

   Hardinge, Lord (present Viceroy), 299, 319, 320, 321.

   Hare, Sir Lancelot, on the lawlessness in Bengal, 342-345.

   Hewett, Sir John, 136, 263, 267.

   _Hind Swarajya_, newspaper, 16.

   Hinduism, loftiness of its philosophic conceptions, 26;
    Western allies of, 28;
    theory of government, 358-360.

   Hindu revival, the, 24-36;
    as consistently anti-Mahommedan as anti-British, 120-121, 133-134;
   leaders allied with Radical politicians, 126-127.

   Hindus, most dangerous forms of unrest confined to, 5;
    number holding Government appointments, 39, 125, 346-347;
    difficulties of loyal Hindus, 357-358;
    their antagonism to Mahommedans, 120-121, 133-134;
    this antagonism not the creation or the result of British rule,
    124-125.

   Hindu women, influence of, 103-104.

   Hindu Punjab Conference, 200.

   Hindu Tract Society of Madras, campaign against missionaries, 28.

   _Hitabadi_, newspaper, 340.

   _Hitaishi_, newspaper, Barisal, 18.

   Hunter, Sir William, 212.

   Hyderabad, State of, 186-187.

   Ilbert, Sir Courtenay, _The Government of India_, 306.

   Imam, Mr. Ali, appointed member of Viceroy's Council, 351.

   Imperial Advisory Council, proposal to establish, 185.

   Imperial Cadet Corps, created by Lord Curzon, 329.

   Imperial Council, first session of, 162; drawbacks to, 166-167;
    reporting of debates, 163-169;
    can exercise no directly controlling power over Executive, 173;
    Mr. Gokhale's resolution in regard to elementary education, 247;
    resolution in regard to the ill-treatment of Indians in South Africa,
    280.

   India, financial and fiscal relations with Great Britain, 271;
    relations with the rest of the Empire, 280.

   _India_, newspaper, 126, 347.

   _India and the Empire_, by Mr. M. de P. Webb, 278.

   "India House," Highgate, 60, 148.

   Indians, British, treatment of in South Africa, 3, 166;
    _status_ of in the Empire, 287;
    question urgently calls for settlement, 287.

   Indian Councils, duties of Anglo-Indian officials in, 164.

   Indian Councils Act (1909), 10, 100, 120, 162-175.

   Indian Institute of Science, 264.

   Indian newspapers (Incitement to Offences) Act (1908), 96.

   "Indian Red Flag" organization, 147.

   _Indian Sociologist_, newspaper, 112, 149.

   Indo-American Association, 147.

   Indore, State of, 187.

   Industrial Conference, 200, 267.

   Iron and steel industry in India, 268.

   Irrigation, 260.

   Iyangar, Mr. Srinivasaraghava, 142.

   Iyengar, Mr. Rangaswami, 174-175.

   Jackson, Mr., murder of, 30, 40, 48, 57-59, 67, 150.

   Jaipur, Maharajah of, on the unrest, 192;
    on the need for religious education, 242, 244.

   Jaipur, State of, 187, 190.

   Japan, attitude towards Indian agitators, 148.

   _Jhang Sial_, newspaper, 21.

   Joshi, Mr. B.N., 65.

   Joshi, Rao Sahib, 354.

   Jubbulpore Engineering College, 263.

   _Justice_, newspaper, 347-348.

   _Kal_, newspaper, Poona, 17, 22, 52, 148.

   Kali, worship of, 18, 27, 102;
    sacrifice of "white goats" to, 103, 345-346.

   Kanhere, Ananta Luxman, murderer of Mr. Jackson, 58, 62, 103.

   Kapurthala, State of, 188.

   _Karnatak Vaibhav_, newspaper, 22.

   Kashmir, State of, 186.

   Kayasthas, 102.

   Kelkar, Mr., on the staff of the _Kesari_, 49.

   Kennedy, Mrs. and Miss, murder of, 55, 96, 147.

   _Kesari_, newspaper, 22, 42, 48, 49, 52, 382, 337, 339.

   Khadilkar, Mr., on the staff of the _Kesari_, 49, 337.

   Khataiyas, 102.

   _Khulnavasi_, newspaper, 19.

   _Killing of Kichaka, The_, play  by Mr. Khadilkar, 337-339.

   Kingsford, Mr., magistrate at Muzafferpur, 96.

   Kitchener, Lord, 273, 311.

   Kolhapur, State of, 64, 69, 186, 190.

   Kolhapur, Maharajah of, 64, 65, 66.

   Kolhapur Shivaji Club, suppressed, 69.

   Krishnavarma, Shyamji, 60, 112, 114, 149, 152.

   Kshatrya Conference, 200.

   Lahore, disturbances at (1907), 107.

   Lal, Mr. Roshan, President of the Lahore branch of the
    Arya Samaj, 111-112.

   Lalcaca, Dr., murder of, 148.

   Lansdowne, Lord, 158, 172, 229.

   Legislative Councils, reforms in, 172.

   Literacy, in Southern India, 143;
    in India generally, 246;
    amongst Indian women, 252.

   Lyon, Mr. P.C., 165, 168.

   Lytton, Lord, 293.

   MacDonnell, Sir Antony, 261, 263.

   Mackarness, Mr., 156, 299.

   Madigas, 177.

   Madras, Bishop of, 180.

   Madras Engineering College, 263.

   _Mahabharata_, 358-360.

   Mahmudabad, Rajah of, 163.

   Mahommedan College, Aligarh, 233, 244.

   Mahommedans, not implicated in the unrest, 5;
    Number holding Government appointments, 39, 125, 346-347;
    everything to gain from the Partition of Bengal, 85;
    difficult position of, 118-135; Hindu antagonism to, 120-121, 133-134;
    representation in the Indian Councils, 127-128;
    desire separate electorates, 128;
    number in India, 130.

   Malaria Conference, (1909), 20.

   Malavya, Pandit Mohan, 160, 163.

   Maniktolla bomb outrage, 90, 98.

   Manu, Code of, 33.

   _Manumakkathayam_ system, in Southern India, 140-141.

   Mazhar-ul-Haq, Mr., 165.

   Mazzini, _Autobiography_ translated by Vinayak Savarkar, 146;
   _Life of_, by Lajpat Rai, 146.

   Mehta, Sir Pherozeshah, 51.

   Military charges, on the Government of India, 273-274.

   Minto, Lord, 1, 90, 99, 163, 167,169, 170, 172, 138, 197, 248, 266, 306,
    311, 313, 314, 315, 329;
    attempted assassination of, 62;
    relations with Lord Morley, 311-312.

   _Mlenccha_, term applied by Hindus equally to Europeans and Mahommedans,
    44.

   Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Nawab, 132.

   Moneylenders, influence of, 107, 108, 261.

   Montagu, Mr. E.S., Under-Secretary of State for India, 299, 306-311, 313.

   Mookerjee, Dr. Ashutosh, 75, 214, 223, 230, 239, 245.

   Mookerjee, Mr. E.N., 351.

   Morley, Lord, 1, 15, 86, 128, 154, 172, 173, 175, 233, 271, 306, 311,
    313, 314, 316, 317, 321, 332;
    constitutional reforms, 170-175;
    relations with Lord Minto, 311-312;
    retirement of, 333-334.

   Moslem Educational Congress, 200.

   Muchis, 177.

   Mudholkar, Mr., 267, 285.

   _Mukti con pathe_ ("Which way does salvation lie?"), reprinted from the
   _Yugantar_, 95.

   Mullick, Dr., on the Indian student, 218-219.

   Mysore, State of, 143, 186.

   Nabha, State of, 186.

   Namasudras, Brahman agitation among, 102; rise of, 183.

   Naoroji, Mr. Dadabhai, 10, 51, 155.

   Nasik, murder of Mr. Jackson at, 57; a great stronghold
    of Hinduism, 60.

   Natal, Indian indentured labour for, 280.

   National Congress, Indian, 154-161;
    ideas of founders, 25;
    subsidies to supporters in England, 347;
    meetings of: Poona (1895), 159;
    Benares (1905), 50, 51, 159;
    Calcutta (1906), 50, 51, 159, 202;
    Surat (1907), 52, 159;
    Madras (1908), 160;
    Lahore (1909), 160, 163, 281.

   "National" schools, 241-242.

   National Social Conference, Indian, 200.

   Native Princes, on the unrest, 190-196;
    influence of, 329-330.

   Native States, 185-197;
    total population of, 185;
    proposal to establish an Imperial Advisory Council, 185;
    no voice in questions of tariff, &c., 189;
    Lord Minto on our policy towards, 188;
    their action in regard to the unrest, 190.

   Natu, the brothers, allied with Tilak, 42.

   _Navasakti_, newspaper, 91.

   _New India_, newspaper, 78.

   Nicholson, Sir Frederick, 261.

   Nizam, of Hyderabad, 186-187;
    on the unrest, 191-192, 194, 196.

   Northbrook, Lord, 356-357.

   Nulkar, Mr. A.K., 42.

   Official relations between Englishmen and Indians, 290-301.

   Olcott, Col., 28.

   Opium policy, 189, 272.

   Orange, Mr. H.W., 226, 251, 352, 354.

   Oxford Mission, Calcutta, 216.

   Pal, Mr. Bepin Chandra, 9, 10-14, 50, 51, 78, 89, 143-144, 160, 295.

   Palshikar, Mr., 59.

   Panchamas, 177-184, 180-181.

   Parciyas, 177.

   Parmanand, Bhai, 112.

   Parsee Conference, 200.

   Parsees, number holding higher Government appointments in
    Bombay Presidency, 39.

   Patiala, Kur Sahib of, 162.

   Patiala, State of, 113, 186, 190.

   "Permanent Settlement" in Bengal, 260, 291.

   Poona College of Science, 263.

   Prarthana Samaj, 25, 27.

   _Prem_, newspaper, Firozpur, 20.

   Press, Indian, 325, 335-337.
    _Akash_ (Delhi), 21.
    _Bande Mataram_, 78, 149, 150, 151.
    _Bedari_ (Lahore), 19.
    _Bengalee_, 79, 101, 168, 353.
    _Calcutta Review_, 78.
    _Dacca Gazette_, 18.
    _Dharma_ (Calcutta), 18.
    _Examiner_ (Bombay), 352-353.
    _Free Hindustan_ (Seattle), 147.
    _Gazette of India_, 169.
    _Gujarat_, 17.
    _Hind Swarajya_, 16.
    _Hitabadi_, 340.
    _Hitaishi_ (Barisal), 18.
    _India_, 126, 347.
    _Indian Sociologist_, 112, 149.
    _Jhang Sial_, 21.
    _Justice_, 347-348.
    _Kal_ (Poona), 17, 22, 52, 148.
    _Karnatak Vaibhav_, 22.
    _Kesari_, 22, 42, 48, 49, 52, 332, 337, 339.
    _Khulnavasi_, 19.
    _Navasakti_, 91.
    _New India_, 78.
    _Prem_ (Firozpur), 20.
    _Rashtramat_ (Poona), 52, 57.
    _Sahaik_ (Lahore), 20.
    _Sandhya_, 91, 340.
    _Shakti_, 17.
    _Swarajiya_, 113.
    _Talvar_, 149.
    _Vartabaha_ (Ranjpur), 21.
    _Vishvavritta_, 71.
    _Yugantar_ (Calcutta), 16, 91-96, 98, 113, 295, 340.

   Press Act (1908), 96, 98.

   Press Act (1910), 15, 98-99;
    Sir H. Risley's speech on its introduction, 335-337.

   _Press, History of the Indian_, by Sir. G.C. Sanial., 78.

   _Prince of Destiny, The_, by Mr. S.K. Ghosh, 3.

   Protection, Indian desire for, 274.

   Public Service Commission (1886-1887), 212, 227.

   Public Instruction, Department of, 209.

   Public Works Department, 289.

   Punjab, 106;
    deportation of two prominent agitators (1907), 107;
    Brahmanism in, 109;
    _gurukuls_ in, 114-115;
    free from outrages and dacoities, 116.

   Punjab Land Alienation Act (1900), 156.

   Raffeisen System, the, 261.

   Rai, Mr. Lala Lajput, 110, 112, 146, 275.

   Raj, Mr. Lala Dev, 201.

   Rajput Conference, 200.

   Ranade, Mahadev Govind, 36, 40, 41, 201, 257.

   Rand, Mr., murder of, 48.

   _Rashtramat_, newspaper, Poona, 52, 57.

   Ratlam, Rajah of, on the unrest, 193.

   Rawal Pindi, disturbances at (1907), 107, 112.

   Religion, the basic element of Indian life, 239-240.

   Ripon, Lord, 126, 212.

   Risley, Sir H., on the language of Bengal, 73;
    on the demoralization of the Native Press, 335-337.

   Roy, Ram Mohun, 25, 75, 201.

   Rurki Engineering College, 263.

   Sabnis, Rao Bahadur, 65, 68.

   _Sahaik_, newspaper, Lahore, 20.

   Salisbury, Lord, 356.

   _Samitis_, or "national volunteers," 84.

   _Sandhya_, newspaper, 91, 340.

   Sanial, Mr. G.C., _History of the Indian Press_, 78.

   Sanyasis, 103.

   _Satyarath Prakash_, by Swami Dayanand, 109.

   Savarkar, Vinayak, 60, 146, 148, 140.

   _Science Progress_, 266.

   Secretary of State for India, powers of, 306-310;
    position in regard to Viceroy, 356-357.

   Sen, Keshub Chunder, 25, 201.

   "Servants of India" society, 202-206, 294.

   Shakti worship, 18, 29, 83-84, 93.

   _Shakti_, newspaper, 17.

   Shains-ul-Alam, Mr., murder of, 97, 101, 341-342.

   Shams-ul-Huda, Maulvi Syed, 165.

   Sharp, Mr., on female education, 354-355.

   Shivaji-Maharaj, cult of, 27, 45, 84, 339-340.

   Sibpur Engineering College, 263.

   Sikh Educational Conference, 200.

   Sikhs, loyalty of, 107.

   Sinha, Mr. S.P., 128, 171.

   Social reform in India, 198-206.

   Social relations between Englishmen and Indians, 3, 288-305.

   South Africa, ill-treatment of British Indians in, 3, 281-282.

   Southern India, position in, 137-144.

   Strachey, Mr. Justice. 22.

   Student, the Indian, 216-228.

   Sudras, 178.

   Summary Justice Act (1908), 98.

   _Swadeshi_, 11, 30, 31, 83, 254-270, 275.

   _Swaraj_, 9, 10-14, 31, 254.

   _Swarajiya_, newspaper, 113.

   Tagore, Dr., 25, 36

   Tai Maharaj case, 49, 340.

   _Talvar_, newspaper, 149.

   Tata, Mr. Jamsetjee N., 264, 277.

   Tata, Messrs., and the iron and steel industry. 268.

   Telang, Mr. K.T., 156.

   Telugu Mission, work among the Namasudras 180-181.

   Thackersey, Sir Vithalda, 271-273.

   Theosophists, influence on Hindu revival, 28.

   Tilak, Bal Gangadhar, a Chitpavan Brahman, 40;
    the father of Indian unrest, 41;
    initial campaign in the Deccan, 41-48;
    compelled to sever his connexion with the Poona Educational Society,
    42;
    denounces the Age of Consent Bill, 42;
    forms the Anti Cow-killing Society, 43;
    organizes Ganpati celebrations, 44;
    becomes master of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, 44;
    revives the memory of Shivaji, 45-46;
    returned as member of the Bombay Legislative Councils 47;
    "no-rent" campaign, 47;
    imprisoned (1897), 48;
    the Tai Maharaj case, 49, 340;
    begins second campaign in the Deccan, 49;
    associates himself with the Indian National Congress, 50;
    one of the first champions of _Swadeshi_, 50;
    starts movement for the creation of "national" schools, 52;
    influence on the cotton operatives in Bombay, 53;
    twofold appeal to Hindus, 54;
    arrested (1908), 55;
    riots in Bombay following his sentence, 50;
    his conviction a heavy blow to the forces of unrest, 57;
    the _Kesari_ and the _Kal_ on his sentence, 22;
    his connexion with the Indian National Congress, 159-160.

   Tilang, Mr. Justice., 42.

   Tinnevelly, riots in, 144.

   Tiwana, Malik Umar Hyat Khan of, 163.

   Travancore, State of, 186-187.

   Tuticorin, riots in, 144.

   Udaipur, Maharana of, on the unrest, 192.

   Udaipur, State of, 186-187.

   United Provinces, comparison of the number of Hindus and
    Mahommedans in Government employ, 125.

   Universities, Indian, wastage in, 351-352.

   Universities Act (1904), 78, 82, 229.

   _Vartabaha_, newspaper, Ranjpur, 21.

   _Veda Bashya Basmika_, by Swami Dayanand, 109.

   Vedic system of education, 114-115.

   Viceroy of India, powers of, 306-310;
    position in regard to the Secretary of State, 356-357.

   _Vishvavritta_, newspaper. 71.

   Vivekananda, Swaini, 29, 91.

   _War of Indian Independence of 1857_, by Savarkar, 149.

   Watt, Sir George, 263.

   Webb, Mr. M. de P., 278.

   Wedderburn, Sir William, 261.

   Whitehead, Dr., Bishop of Madras, 180.

   Williams, Dr. Garfield, on the Indian Student, 317-219.

   Wilson, Sir Fleetwood, 275.

   Wood, Sir Charles, Educational Dispatch (1854), 209.

   Wyllie, Sir W. Curzon, murder of, 21, 148-149.

   Young India Association, 147.

   _Yugantar_, newspaper, Calcutta, 16, 91-96, 98, 113, 295, 340.





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