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Title: The Political Future of India
Author: Rai, Lajpat
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.

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       *       *       *       *       *



    _An Interpretation and a History of the Nationalist Movement
    from Within_
    Price $1.50 net


    _A Historical Narrative of Britain's Fiscal Policy in India_
    Price $2.00 net


    Price 25 cents net


    _An Account of its Origins, Doctrines and Activities_
    Price $1.75 net


       *       *       *       *       *





New York
B. W. Huebsch

Copyright, 1919, by B. W. Huebsch
Printed in U.S.A.



My book, _Young India_, was written during the first year of the war and
was finally revised and sent to the press before the war was two years
old. It concluded with the following observation:

    "The Indians are a chivalrous people; they will not disturb
    England as long as she is engaged with Germany. The struggle after
    the war might, however, be even more bitter and sustained."

The events that have happened since have amply justified the above
conclusion. India not only refrained from disturbing England while she
was engaged in war with Germany, but actively helped in defeating
Germany and winning the war. She raised an army of over a million
combatants and supplied a large number of war workers, and made huge
contributions in money and materials. She denied herself the necessities
of life in order to feed and equip the armies in the field though within
the last months of the war, when scarcity and epidemic overtook her, she
lost six millions of her sons and daughters from one disease
alone--influenza. This was more than chivalry. This was self-effacement
in the interests of an Empire which, in the past, had treated her
children as helots. How much of this effort was voluntary and how much
of it was forced it is difficult to appraise. Great Britain, however,
has unequivocally accepted it as voluntary and has attributed it to
India's satisfaction with her rule. That India was not satisfied with
her rule she has spared no pains to impress upon the British people as
well as the rest of the world. Reading between the lines of the report
of the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy has established the
fact of that dissatisfaction beyond the possibility of doubt, but if any
doubt still remained it has been dispelled by the writings and
utterances of her representative spokesman in India, in Great Britain
and abroad. The prince and the peasant, the landlord and the ryot, the
professor and the student, the politician and the layman--all have
spoken. They differ in their estimates of the "blessings" of British
rule, they differ in the manner of their profession of loyalty to the
British Empire, they sometimes differ in shaping their schemes for the
future Government of India but they are all agreed:

(1) That the present constitution of the Government of India is
viciously autocratic, bureaucratic, antiquated and unsatisfying.

(2) That India has, in the past, been governed more in the interests of,
and by the British merchant and the British aristocrat than in the
interests of her own peoples.

(3) That the neglect of India's education and industries has been
culpably tragic and

(4) That the only real and effectual remedy is to introduce an element
of responsibility in the Government of India.

In the report of the Secretary of State and the Viceroy, so often quoted
and referred to in these pages, the truth of (1), (3), and (4) is
substantially admitted and point (2) indirectly conceded. In the
following pages an attempt is made to prove this by extracts from the
report itself. Ever since the report was published in July, 1918, India
has been in a state of ferment,--a ferment of enthusiasm and criticism,
of hope and disappointment. While the country has freely acknowledged
the unique value of the report, the politicians have differed in their
estimates of the value of the scheme embodied therein. Yet there is a
complete unanimity on one point, that nothing _less_ than what is
planned in the report will be accepted, even as the first step towards
eventual complete responsible Government. This is the minimum. Even the
ultra-moderates have expressed themselves quite strongly on that point.
Speaking at the Conference of the Moderates held at Bombay on November
1, 1918, the President, Mr. Surendranath Banerjea, is reported to have
said: "our creed is co-operation with the Government wherever
practicable, and opposition to its policy and measures when the supreme
interests of the mother-land require it.... I have a word to say ... to
the British Government. I have a warning note to sound.... If the
enactment of the Reform proposals is unduly postponed, if they are
whittled down _in any way_ ... there will be grave public discontent and
agitation." A little further in the same speech he asked if "by the
unwisdom of our rulers" India was "to be converted into a greater
Ireland." In less than six months from the date of this pronouncement,
the rulers of India gave ample proof of their "unwisdom" by actually
converting India into a "greater Ireland" and in establishing the
absolute correctness of the prognostication made by the present writer
in the concluding sentence of his book _Young India_. The manifesto of
the Moderate Party issued over the signatures of the Moderate leaders
all over the country contained the following warning: "We must equally
protest against every attempt, by whomever made and in whatever manner,
at any mutilation of the Montagu-Chelmsford proposals. We are
constrained to utter a grave warning against the inevitable disastrous
effects of such a grievous mistake on the future relations of the
British Government and the Indian people which will result in discontent
and agitation followed by repression on the one side and suffering on
the other side." Little did they know when they uttered the warning that
repression would come even before the Reform Scheme was discussed in
Parliament and "mutilated" there. British rule in Ireland has been for
the last twenty years a wearisome record of mixed concessions and
coercions. Every time a concession was made it was either preceded or
accompanied by strong doses of coercion. One would have thought that
British statesmen were wiser by their experience of Ireland, but it
seems that they have learnt nothing and that they have no intention of
doing in India anything different from what they have been doing in
Ireland. The history of British statesmanship in relation to Irish
affairs is repeating itself almost item by item in India.

Lord Morley's reforms were both preceded and followed by strong measures
of repression and suppression. As if to prove that British statesmanship
can never in this respect set aside precedent even for once, Mr.
Montagu's proposals have been followed by a measure of coercion unique
even for India. Mr. Montagu's proposals for the reconstruction of
Government in India are yet in the air. They are being criticised and
examined minutely by numerous British agencies both in India and in
England as to how and in what respects they can be made innocuous.
Certain other reforms promised by the report, such as the scheme for
Local Self Government and the policy in relation to the Arms Act, have
already been disposed of in the usual masterly way of giving with one
hand and taking back with the other. Similarly the "great" scheme of
opening the commissioned ranks of the Army to the native Indians has
practically (for the present at least) ended in fiasco. But the policy
underlying the Rowlatt laws has surpassed all. In the chapters of this
book dealing with the Revolutionary movement the reader will find a
genesis of the Rowlatt laws of coercion.

On the sixteenth of January in the _Gazette of India_ was published a
draft of two bills that were proposed to be brought before the
Legislative Council of India (which has a standing majority of
Government officials). These bills were to give effect to the
recommendations of the committee presided over by Mr. Justice Rowlatt of
the High Court of England, for the prevention, detection and punishment
of sedition in India. Their introduction into the Legislative Council
was at once protested against by all classes of Indians with a unanimity
never before witnessed in the history of India. All sections of the
great Indian population from the Prince to the peasant, including all
races, religions, sects, castes, creeds and professions joined in the
protest. Hindus, Mohammedans, Indian Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists,
Parsees--all stood up, to a man, to oppose the measure. All the
political parties, Conservatives, Liberals, Moderates and Extremists
expressed themselves against it. The measure was opposed by all the
non-official Indian members of the Legislative Council. All methods of
agitation were resorted to in order to make the opinion of the country
known to the Government and to warn the latter against the danger of
defying the united will of the people. The press, the pulpit and the
platform all joined in denouncing the measures, meetings of protest were
held in all parts of the country and resolutions wired to the
Government. A few days before the final meeting at which these bills
were to be passed into law a number of prominent citizens, male and
female, pledged themselves to passive resistance in case the measures
were enacted. The passive resistance movement was inaugurated and led by
Mr. M. K. Gandhi, a man of saintly character, universally respected and
revered in India, the same who stood for the Government during the war
and rendered material help in recruiting soldiers, raising loans and
procuring other help for its prosecution. The following is the text of
the pledge that was signed by hundreds and thousands of Indians
belonging to all races and religions and hailing from all parts of the

    "Being conscientiously of opinion that the bills known as the
    Indian Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill No. 1 of 1919 and No. 2 of
    1919 are unjust, subversive of the principle of liberty and
    justice and destructive of the elementary rights of individuals on
    which the safety of the community as a whole and the State itself
    is based, we solemnly affirm that, in the event of these bills
    becoming law, we shall refuse civilly to obey these laws and such
    other laws as a committee to be hereafter appointed may think fit
    and we further affirm that in this struggle we will faithfully
    follow truth and refrain from violence of life, person or

The passive resistance movement was not approved by the country as a
whole, and influential voices were raised against it even in its early
stages but the fact that Mr. Gandhi had taken the responsibility of
initiating and leading it and that many women had signed the pledge
should have opened the eyes of the Government as to the intensity of the
feeling behind it. Besides this threat of passive resistance the Indian
members of the Council showed their solid opposition to the measure by
using all the historic obstructive methods so well known to the student
of Parliamentary debates in the House of Commons as associated with the
Irish Nationalist party under the leadership of Parnell. The debates in
the Legislative Council of India do not ordinarily last for more than
one day, consisting, at the most, of eight hours. The debate on this
bill lasted for three days; one sitting lasted "from 11 o'clock in the
morning ... until nearly half past one the following day with
adjournments for luncheon and dinner." The officials were determined to
pass the bill at that sitting and so they refused to rise until the
amendments on the agenda had been disposed of and the bill passed into
law. The non-officials proposed no less than 160 amendments but by the
application of closure methods they were all disposed of in three days
and the bill passed (on the 18th of March). The Government made a few
minor concessions but on the whole the bill remained as it had been
drafted, a monument of Governmental shortsightedness and stupidity. The
consideration of the other bill was postponed. As soon as the news
reached Bombay that the first bill had become law "the market was closed
as a protest" and "posters in English and the vernacular, were displayed
throughout the city urging the non-payment of taxes and asking the
people to resist the order of a tyrannical Government." (London _Times_,
April 2.) Similar manifestations of anger were made throughout the
country and the movement for passive resistance was definitely
inaugurated. It spread like wild fire. Thousands joined it and the
relations between the people and the Government became very strained.
However, no violence was resorted to, nor was any harm done to life and
property. Several members of the Legislative Council resigned their
offices. One of them a Mohammedan leader, wrote the following letter to
His Excellency the Viceroy:

    "Your Excellency, the passing of the Rowlatt Bill by the
    Government of India and the assent given to it by your Excellency
    as Governor-General against the will of the people has severely
    shaken the trust reposed by them in British justice. Further, it
    has clearly demonstrated the constitution of the Imperial
    Legislative Council which is a legislature but in name, a machine
    propelled by a foreign executive. Neither the unanimous opinion of
    the non-official Indian members, nor the entire public opinion and
    feeling outside has met with the least respect. The Government of
    India and your Excellency, however, have thought it fit to place
    on the statute-book a measure admittedly obnoxious and decidedly
    coercive at a time of peace, thereby substituting executive for
    judicial discretion. Besides, by passing this Bill, your
    Excellency's Government have actively negatived every argument
    they advanced but a year ago when they appealed to India for help
    at the War Conference, and have ruthlessly trampled upon the
    principles for which Great Britain avowedly fought the war.

    "The fundamental principles of justice have been uprooted and the
    constitutional rights of the people have been violated, at a time
    when there is no real danger to the state, by an overfearful and
    incompetent bureaucracy which is neither responsible to the
    people, nor in touch with real public opinion and their whole plea
    is that 'powers when they are assumed will not be abused.'

    "I, therefore, as a protest against the passing of the Bill and
    the manner in which it was passed, tender my resignation as a
    member of the Imperial Legislative Council, for I feel that, under
    the prevailing conditions, I can be of no use to my people in the
    Council, nor, consistently with one's self respect, is coöperation
    possible with a Government that shows such utter disregard for the
    opinion of the representatives of the people in the Council
    Chamber and the feelings and sentiments of the people outside.

    "In my opinion, a Government that passes or sanctions such law in
    times of peace forfeits its claim to be called a civilized
    Government and I still hope that the Secretary of State for India,
    Mr. Montagu, will advise his Majesty to signify his disallowance
    to this Black Act.

                                              "Yours truly,
                                                       "M. A. Jinnah."

The leaders of the passive resistance movement declared 30th March as
"the National protest day." The protest was to be made by all the
traditional methods known to India for ages, viz., by fasting, stopping
business, praying, and meeting in congregations in their respective
places of worship. The only Western method contemplated was passing
resolutions and sending telegrams to the authorities in India and
England. The 30th of March was thus observed as a national protest day
throughout India and there was only one clash between the people and the
Government, viz., at Delhi, the national capital.

Delhi has been the national capital of India from times immemorial. It
was the chief capital city of the Moguls. It has a mixed population of
Hindus and Mohammedans, almost evenly divided. The European population
there is not very large. There is a British garrison stationed in the
Mogul fort. Besides being the capital of British India, Delhi is a very
important trade center and the terminus of several railway lines. All
business was stopped, shops closed and the city gave an appearance of a
general strike. A mass meeting attended by 40,000 people, according to
British estimates, and presided over by a religious ascetic, passed
resolutions of protest and cabled them to the Secretary of State for
India in London. It was at Delhi and on this day as already stated that
the first clash occurred between the authorities and the people. It is
immaterial how it came about but it may be noted that rifles and machine
guns were freely used in dispersing the mobs at the railway station and
other places. According to official estimates fourteen persons were
killed and about sixty wounded. The non-official estimates give larger
figures. Evidently nothing serious happened between March 30th and April
6th which last was observed as a day of mourning throughout British
India from Peshawar to Cape Comorin and from Calcutta to Karachi and
Bombay. People held meetings, made speeches, marched in processions,
took pledges of passive resistance, closed shops, suspended business,
bathed in the sea, joined in prayer and fasted. No violence of any kind
was reported. In the words of a correspondent of the London _Times_,
"the distinguishing feature of many of these demonstrations [meaning
thereby passive resistance demonstrations] made on the 6th of April,
specially at Delhi, Agra, Bombay and Calcutta, is the Hindu and Moslem
fraternization, Hindus being freely admitted to the mosques, on
occasions occupying the Mihrab (the niche indicating the direction of
Mecca)." In a message dated April 7th the same correspondent cabled "an
unprecedented event in the shape of a joint Moslem-Hindu service at the
famous Juma Masjed at Delhi, at which a Hindu[1] delivered a sermon."
The Juma Masjed is one of the jewels of Mogul architecture and probably
the biggest mosque in India.

On April 9th Sir Michael O'Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab,
dwelt with pride on the fact that the province ruled by him with an iron
hand for the last five years "had raised 360,000 combatants during the
war." "Dealing with the political situation he declared that the
Government of the province was determined that public order which was
maintained during the war, should not be disturbed during peace. Action
had therefore been taken under the Defence Act against certain
individuals who were openly endeavoring to arouse public feeling against
the Government." It was this action, viz., the summary arrest of
leaders at Amritsar and the order of prohibition against Mr. Gandhi's
contemplated visit to the Punjab, that set fire to the accumulated
magazine. It exasperated the people and in a moment of despair the
intense strain of the last few weeks found relief in attacks on
Government buildings and stray persons of European extraction. What
actually happened in different places no one can definitely tell just at
this stage but it is clear that at places so widely distant as Amritsar
and Lahore in the Punjab and Viramgam in the Gujerat (Western
Presidency) railway stations, telegraph offices and some other public
buildings were burned, railway traffic interrupted, tram cars stopped
and some Europeans killed and attacked. At Amritsar three banks were
burnt down and their managers killed. Telegraphing on April 15th and
again on the 16th of April, the correspondent of the London _Times_
remarked that "the Punjab continued to be the principal seat of trouble"
which was probably due to the extremely brutal methods which the Punjab
Government had followed in repressing and suppressing not only the
present 'riots' but also all kinds of political activity in the
preceding six years. It appears that in about a week's time almost the
whole province was ablaze. The Government used machine guns in
dispersing meetings, showered bombs from aeroplanes and declared martial
law in several towns, extended the seditious meetings prevention Act and
other emergency laws in districts, marched flying military columns from
one end to the other, accompanied by travelling courts martial to try
and punish on the spot all arrested for offences committed in connection
with the passive resistence movement. Leaders were arrested and
deported without trial of any kind; papers were suppressed and all kinds
of demonstrations prohibited.

Among the leaders arrested are the names of some of the most
conservative and moderate of the Punjab public men--men whose whole life
is opposed to extremism of any kind. Those men were subjected to various
indignities, handcuffed and marched to jail. They have been held in
ordinary prison cells and all comforts have been denied to them as if
they were criminals. Counsel engaged for them from outside the Province
have been refused admission into the Province. Machine guns and
aeroplanes have been used in dispersing unarmed mobs and crowds were
fired at in many places. At Lahore the General Officer Commanding gave
notice "that unless all the shops were re-opened within 48 hours all
goods in the shops not opened will be sold by public auction." As to the
causes of the upheaval, the Anglo-Indian view is contained in a
telegraphic message to the London _Times_ bearing date April 20th. Below
we give a verbatim copy of this message:


    "Bombay, April 20.--We have passed through the most anxious ten
    days that India has known for half a century. We have further
    anxious days in store, for although in Bombay conditions are
    improving and Mr. Gandhi has publicly abandoned the passive
    resistance movement, while men of weight are rallying to the
    support of the Government, the situation in Northern India is

    "We may pause to enquire into this widespread manifestation of
    violence. How came it that passive resistance to the Rowlatt
    Act--never likely to be applied to the greater part of India,
    especially to Bombay, and nominally confined to the sale of
    proscribed literature of doubtful legality, which was
    waning--suddenly flamed into riot, arson, and murder at Delhi,
    Ahmedabad, Viramgam, Amritsar, and other parts of the Punjab on
    the prevention of Mr. Gandhi's entry into Delhi? All day on April
    11 Bombay stood on the brink of a bloody riot, averted only by the
    Governor, Sir George Lloyd's prudent statesmanship and the great
    restraint of the police and military in face of grave provocation.

    "The movement seems to have been twofold. In part it was the
    expression of the prevailing ferment. India is no less affected
    than other parts of the world by the social and intellectual
    revolution of the war, by expectations based on the destruction of
    German materialism and by ambitions for fuller partnership in the
    British Empire.


    "The disruptive effect of these ideals is accentuated by
    prevailing conditions. The prices of food are exceedingly high,
    supplies are scanty, while efforts to control prices are hampered
    by the profiteering and trade trickery unfortunately never absent
    from this country. [As if it was absent from other countries.]

    "India having been swept bare of foodstuffs, to meet the
    exigencies of the war, the people feel that the home Government is
    lukewarm in releasing supplies from outside, and resent
    particularly that the Shipping Controller is maintaining high
    freights on fat and rice from Burma. These severe sufferings are
    superimposed on the devastating influenza and cholera epidemics.
    So much for the social and economic situation.

    "Then the activities of the Indo-British Association created grave
    doubts whether Parliament will deal fairly with India when the
    reform scheme is considered. The Rowlatt Act was precipitated into
    this surcharged atmosphere.

    "The Act was wickedly perverted by the Extremists until among the
    common people it became the general belief that it gave plenary
    powers to a police which was feared and distrusted. Among educated
    people, few of whom studied the report or the Act, it was bitterly
    resented as a badge of India's subjection after loyal
    participation in the war, at a time when the strongest feeling in
    the country was craving for its self-respect in the eyes of the
    nations. Further, it was regarded as prejudicing the cause of
    political reform.

    "Another powerful contributory cause was the ferment amongst the
    Moslem community. Everywhere the Moslems believe that the Peace
    Conference is bent on the destruction of Islam. There is no
    confidence in British protection after our declared policy in
    regard to Turkey and the undoing of the settled fact in Eastern
    Bengal in 1911.

    "This feeling is the more dangerous because it is inchoate. Moslem
    officers returned from Palestine and Arabia, and acquainted with
    the realities of Turkish rule, have expressed astonishment at the
    strength of this feeling among their co-religionists here.
    Mohamedans have been foremost in the work of riot and destruction
    in Ahmedabad and Delhi, and the lower elements were ripe for
    trouble in Bombay. I am unable to say how far this ferment
    affected the outbreaks in the Punjab.

    "This seething Moslem unrest is the most menacing feature of
    Indian politics to-day. It explains the unprecedented admission of
    Hindus to the Mosques of Delhi and Aligarh....


    "So much for the general situation. In Northern India the
    outbreaks were nakedly revolutionary. They are unconnected with
    the Rowlatt Act or with passive resistance, which probably
    precipitated a movement long concerted. There is abundant evidence
    of the organized revolutionary character of the disturbances in
    the systematic attacks on railways, telegraphs, and all means of
    communication, and its definitely anti-British character is
    apparent from the efforts to plunge the railways into a general

    "There are signs of the inter-connection of the Punjab
    revolutionaries with the Bombay revolutionaries who organized
    attacks on communications at Ahmedabad and Viramgam, derailed
    trains, cut telegraphs, and sent rowdies from Kaira to take part
    in the work of destruction. There is evidence also of some outside
    inspiration, but whether Bolshevist or otherwise is obscure.

    "Whilst in the Punjab the soil was fruitful, owing to economic
    conditions, the ravages of influenza, and the pressure of last
    year's recruiting campaign, the revolutionary origin of the
    disturbances is unquestioned...."

As usual the message is a mixture of truth and imagination. At most it
is a partisan view. Be the causes what they may, the events in our
judgment amply justify the following conclusions:

(_a_) That India is politically united in demanding a far reaching
measure of self-determination.

(_b_) That she will not be satisfied with paltry measures of political
reform which do not give her power to shape her fiscal policy in her own
interests, independent of control from London.

(_c_) That it is useless to further harp on the "cleavages" of race,
religion and language, in dealing with the problem of India.

(_d_) That the country is no longer prepared to let measures of coercion
pass and take effect without making their protest and dislike known to
the authorities in a manner, the significance of which may not be open
to misunderstanding.

The Indian members of the Legislative Council while opposing the Rowlatt
Bills spoke in sufficiently clear and strong language of the grave
situation the Government was creating by its ill-considered policy. They
knew their people. The bureaucracy evidently dismissed it as bluff or,
if it knew what was likely to happen, encouraged it in the hope that the
outbreak might justify their opposition to, and dislike of, the
Montagu-Chelmsford scheme. In doing that they have had to hatch the eggs
they themselves laid. These events have, besides, proved (_a_) that the
lead of the country has passed from the hands of the so called "natural
leaders," the aristocracy of land, money and birth; (_b_) that even the
moderate leaders have considerably lost in prestige and influence; (_c_)
that the lead has definitely passed into hands that openly and frankly
stand for self-determination and self-government within the Empire and
are prepared for _any sacrifice_ to achieve that end; (_d_) that the old
methods of governing India must now be discarded once for all and the
charge of provinces taken away from sun-dried bureaucrats of the type of
Sir Michael O'Dwyer and Sir Reginald Craddock.

The bloodshed in the Punjab, which outdid all other Provinces in sending
help during the war both in men and money, pointed to the administration
or mal-administration of Sir Michael O'Dwyer as responsible for the
nature and intensity of the outbreak. If ever there was a British ruler
of India who deserved impeachment it is Sir Michael O'Dwyer. He was not
only a tyrant and a snob of the worst order but he was incompetent also.
One of the two things must have happened: Either he was out of touch
with public feeling in the province or he deliberately provoked this
disaster by a policy of strength. In either case he deserves to be
publicly impeached and condemned for incompetence or brutality or
possibly for both.

The following Summary of the orders passed by the officer commanding
shows the nature of the martial law administered in the "most loyal"
province in India, a province which has so far been considered to be the
right arm of British Ráj in India.

I have italicised some words and sentences for special attention. The
reader I hope will note the exceptions in favor of the Europeans and the
Indian servants in the employ of the Europeans and also the
reasonableness of the other orders, threatening punishment upon the
owners of certain properties and requiring "all students," and all male
persons belonging to private Colleges in Lahore to attend four times a
day at a particular place for roll call. Order No. 14 is a gem of great

I have omitted order No. 6 as unimportant. Orders from 8 to 12 inclusive
are not available. What has been given above, however, is quite
sufficient to show the nature of the martial law that has been applied
to the Punjab, after five years of unquestioned and unrivalled loyalty
to the British Empire, in the period of greatest danger that had
overtaken it. Such is the reward of "loyalty."

    NO. 1

    Whereas the Government of India has for good reasons proclaimed
    Martial Law in the districts of Lahore and Amritsar; and

    Whereas superior military authority has appointed me to command
    troops and administer Martial Law in a portion of the Lahore
    district, ... and whereas Martial Law may be briefly described as
    the will of the Military Commander in enforcing law, order and
    public safety:

    I make known to all concerned that until further orders by me the
    following will be strictly carried out:

    1. At 20·00 hours (8 o'clock) each evening a gun will be fired
    from the Fort, and from that signal till 05·00 hours (5 o'clock)
    on the following morning no person _other than a European_ or a
    person in possession of a military permit signed by me or on my
    behalf will be permitted to leave his or her house or compound or
    the building in which he or she may be at 20 hours. During these
    prohibited hours no person other than those excepted above will be
    permitted to use the streets or roads, and any person found
    disobeying this order will be arrested, and if any attempt is made
    to evade or resist that person will be liable to be shot.

    This and all other orders which from time to time I may deem
    necessary to make will be issued on my behalf from the water-works
    station in the city, whither every ward will keep at least four
    representatives from 6 A.M., till 17·00 hours (5 P.M.) daily to
    learn what orders, if any, are issued and to convey such orders to
    the inhabitants of their respective wards. _The onus of
    ascertaining the orders issued by me will rest on the people
    through their representatives._

    2. Loyal and law-abiding persons have nothing to fear from the
    exercise of Martial Law.

    3. In order to protect the lives of his Majesty's soldiers and
    police under my command, I make known that if any firearm is
    discharged or bombs thrown at them the most drastic reprisals will
    instantly be made _against property surrounding the scene of the
    outrage_. Therefore it behooves all loyal inhabitants to see to it
    that no evil-disposed agitator is allowed on his premises.

    4. During the period of Martial Law I prohibit all processions,
    meetings or other gatherings of more than 10 persons without my
    written authority, and any such meetings, gatherings or
    processions held in disobedience of this order will be broken up
    by force without warning.

    5. I forbid any person to offer violence or cause obstruction to
    any person desirous of opening his shop or conducting his business
    or proceeding to his work or business. Any person contravening
    this order will be arrested, tried by a summary court and be
    liable to be shot.

    6. At present the city of Lahore enjoys the advantage of electric
    lights and a water-supply; but the continuance of these supplies
    will depend on the good behaviour of the inhabitants and their
    prompt obedience to my orders.

    NO. 2

    All tongas and tum-tums, (horse carriages) whether licensed for
    hire or otherwise, will be delivered up to the Military Officer
    appointed for that purpose at the Punjab Light Horse ground by
    17·00 (5 P.M.) to-day--Tuesday, 15th April. Drivers will receive
    pay and horses be rationed.

    NO. 3

    All motor-cars or vehicles of any descriptions will be delivered
    to the Military Officer appointed for that purpose at the Punjab
    club by 17·00 (5 P.M.) this day.

    NO. 4

    By virtue of the powers vested in me I have prohibited the issue
    of third or intermediate class tickets at all railway stations in
    the Lahore Civil Command, _except only in the case of servants
    travelling with their European masters or servants or others in
    the employ of the Government_.

    NO. 5

    Whereas, from information received by me, it would appear that
    shops, generally known as Langars, for the sale of cooked food,
    are used for the purpose of illegal meetings, and for the
    dissemination of seditious _propaganda_, and whereas I notice that
    all other shops (particularly in Lahore city) have been closed as
    part of an organized demonstration against his Majesty's
    Government, now, therefore, by virtue of the powers vested in me
    under Martial Law, I order that all such Langars or shops for the
    sale of cooked food in the Lahore civil area, except such as may
    be granted an exemption in writing by me shall close and cease to
    trade by 10·00 hours (10 A.M.) tomorrow, Wednesday, the 16th
    April, 1919.

    Disobedience to this order will result in the confiscation of the
    contents of such shop and the arrest and trial by summary
    procedure of the owner or owners.

       *       *       *       *       *

    NO. 7

    Whereas I have reason to believe that certain students of the D.
    A. V. College in Lahore are engaged in spreading seditious
    _propaganda_ directed against his Majesty's Government, and
    whereas I deem it expedient in the interests of the preservation
    of law and order to restrict the activities of such students, I
    make the following order:--

    _All students of the said college_ now in this Command area will
    report themselves to the Officer Commanding Troops at the
    Bradlaugh Hall daily at the hours specified below and remain there
    until the roll of such students has been called by the principal
    or some other officer approved by me acting on his behalf, and
    until they have been dismissed by the Officer Commanding Troops at
    Bradlaugh Hall.

      07·00 hours. (7 A.M.)
      11·00 hours. (11 A.M.)
      15·00 hours. (3 P.M.)
      19·30 hours. (7.30 P.M.)

    NO. 8

    Whereas some evilly-disposed persons have torn down or defaced
    notices and orders which I have caused to be exhibited for
    information and good government of the people in the Lahore
    (Civil) Command.

    In future all orders that I have to issue under Martial Law _will
    be handed to such owners of property as I may select and it will
    be the duty of such owners of property to exhibit and keep
    exhibited and undamaged in the position on their property selected
    by me all such orders_.

    The duty of protecting such orders will therefore devolve on the
    owners of property and failure to ensure the proper protection and
    continued exhibition of my orders will result in severe

    _Similarly, I hold responsible the owner of any property on which
    seditious or any other notices, proclamations or writing not
    authorized by me are exhibited._

       *       *       *       *       *

    NO. 13

    Whereas information laid before me shows that a martial law notice
    issued by me and posted by my orders on a property known as the
    Sanatan Dharam College Hostel on Bahawalpur road, has been torn or
    otherwise defaced, in contravention of my Martial Law Notice No. 8.

    Now, therefore, by virtue of the powers vested in me under martial
    law, I order the immediate arrest of _all male persons domiciled
    in the said hostel and their internment in the Lahore Fort_
    pending my further orders as to their trial or other disposal.

    NO. 14

    Whereas practically every shop and business establishment in the
    area under my command has been closed in accordance with the
    _hartal_ or organized closure of business directed against his
    Majesty's Government.

    And whereas the continuance or resumption of such _hartal_ is
    detrimental to the good order and governance of the said area.

    And whereas I deem it expedient to cause the said _hartal_ to
    entirely cease:

    Now therefore by virtue of the powers vested in me by martial law
    I make the following order, namely:--

    By 10·00 hours (10 A.M.) tomorrow (Friday), the 18th day of April,
    1919, every shop and business establishment (except only _langare_
    referred to in martial law notice No. 5, dated 15th April, 1919)
    in the area under my command, shall open and carry on its business
    _and thereafter daily shall continue to keep open and carry on its
    business_ during the usual hours up to 20·00 hours (8 P.M.) in
    exactly the same manner as before the creation of the said

    And likewise I order that every skilled or other worker will from
    10·30 hours (10.30 A.M.) tomorrow, resume and continue during the
    usual hours his ordinary trade, work or calling.

    And I warn all concerned that if at 10·00 hours (10 A.M.)
    tomorrow, or at any subsequent time I find this order has been
    without good and valid reason disobeyed, the persons concerned
    will be arrested and tried under the summary procedure of martial
    law, and shops so closed will be opened and kept open by force,
    any resultant loss arising from such forcible opening will rest on
    the owners and on occupiers concerned.

    And I further warn all concerned that this order must be strictly
    obeyed in spirit as well as in letter, that is to say, that to
    open a shop and then refuse to sell goods and to charge an
    exorbitant or prohibitive rate, will be deemed a contravention of
    this order.

    [Note: Shops had evidently remained closed for seven days.]

    NO. 15

    Whereas it has come to my knowledge that the present state of
    unrest is being added to and encouraged by the spreading of false,
    inaccurate or exaggerated reports or rumours:

    Now, therefore, by virtue of the powers vested in me by martial
    law I give notice that _any person_ found guilty of publishing,
    spreading or repeating, false, inaccurate or exaggerated reports
    in connection with the military or political situation, will be
    arrested and summarily dealt with under martial law.

    NO. 16

    Whereas I have reason to believe that certain students of the Dyal
    Singh College in Lahore are engaged in spreading seditious
    propaganda directed against his Majesty's Government and whereas I
    deem it expedient in the interest of the preservation of law and
    order to restrict the activities of such students, I make the
    following order:--

    _All students of the said college_ now in this command area will
    report themselves to the officer commanding troops at the
    telegraph office daily at the hours specified below and remain
    there until the roll of such students has been called by the
    principal or some other officer approved by me acting on his
    behalf, and until they have been dismissed by the Officer
    Commanding Troops at the telegraph office:--

      07·00 hours. (7 A.M.)
      11·00 hours. (11 A.M.)
      15·00 hours. (3 P.M.)
      19·00 hours. (7 P.M.)

    First parade at 11·00 hours (11 A.M.) on the (?) April, 1919.

    "The latest order under martial law passed today makes it unlawful
    for more than two persons to walk abreast on any constructed or
    clearly defined pavement or side-walk in such area. Disobedience
    to this order will be punished by special powers under martial
    law. It shall also be illegal for any male person to carry or be
    found in possession of an instrument known as a _lathi_. All
    persons disobeying this order will be arrested and tried by
    summary proceedings under martial law."

       *       *       *       *       *

    NO. 24

    Whereas I deem it expedient to make provision for the preservation
    of health and the greater comfort of British troops stationed in
    the area under my command,

    And whereas a number of electric fans and lights are required in
    the buildings in which some of such troops are quartered,

    Now therefore by virtue of the powers vested in me by martial law
    I authorize any officer appointed by me for that purpose to enter
    any college, public building, hostel, hotel, private or other
    residence or building and remove such number of electric lights
    and fans required for the purpose aforesaid,

    And any attempt to obstruct such removal, or to hide, or to damage
    or to impair the immediate efficiency of any such fans or lights,
    will be summarily dealt with under martial law,

    But nothing in this order shall authorize the removal of any fan
    or light from a room usually inhabited by a woman.

    These are only a few of the orders we have been able to obtain.

    For weeks the Punjab was in a state of terror. Almost all of the
    Native papers were either directly or indirectly suppressed or
    terrorized into silence. Numerous persons were arrested and placed
    for trial before military commissioners. Among them were a large
    number of the most honored men in the province. Legal counsel from
    outside the province was denied to them, and admission of
    newspapermen into the province barred. In punishing the persons
    found guilty the military commissioners have awarded sentences,
    the parallel of which can only be found in the history of Czarism
    in Russia. Flogging in the public was resorted to in more than one
    place. In short, a complete reign of terror was established. So
    great was the terrorism that the whole country was thrown into
    such a paroxysm of rage, anger and despair as to make the people
    forget the desire for a political constitution at this terrible

Just as I am writing these lines I learn from the London _Times_ that
the reports of the two committees that were sent to India to inquire
into (_a_) questions connected with the franchise and (_b_) the division
of functions between the Government of India and local governments, and
between the official and the popular elements in the local governments,
have been published in Great Britain. In one of the Appendices is given
a rather brief and inadequate summary of the recommendations of these
committees published by the London _Times_. At this stage it is
impossible to make any comments except that the franchise is by no
means as broad as it could have been, the restriction of local residence
on candidates for the provincial Legislative Councils extremely
unreasonable, and the strength of the Provincial Councils very meagre.
The recommendations are unsatisfactory in other respects also, specially
the power granted to the Governor to dismiss ministers.

The question, however, is, "Will the Cabinet stand by these
recommendations or will they allow them to be whittled down?" Mr.
Montagu's bill, which is promised to be introduced in the House of
Commons early in June, will answer the question.

In conclusion, I have to tender my thanks to my friend Dr. J. T.
Sunderland for having read my proofs.

  _June 2, 1919._

                                                          LAJPAT RAI


[1] This Hindu happened to be the leader of a section of the Arya
Samaj--an organization known for its bitter attitude towards


        PREFACE, v
     IV THE STAGES, 36
      X THE PROPOSALS, 110
        APPENDIX A, 209
        APPENDIX B, 225
        APPENDIX C, 231

The Political Future of India



    Now we are faced with the greatest and the grimmest struggle of
    all. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, not amongst men, but amongst
    nations--great and small, powerful and weak, exalted and
    humble,--equality, fraternity, amongst peoples as well as amongst
    men--that is the challenge which has been thrown to us.... My
    appeal to the people of this country, and, if my appeal can reach
    beyond it, is this, that we should continue to fight for the great
    goal of international right and international justice, so that
    never again shall brute force sit on the throne of justice, nor
    barbaric strength wield the sceptre of right.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "Causes and Aims of the War." Speech delivered
                        at Glasgow, on being presented with the freedom
                        of that city, June 29, 1917

We are told that the world is going to be reconstructed on entirely new
lines; that all nations, big or small, shall be allowed the right of
self-determination; that the weaker and backward peoples will no longer
be permitted to be exploited and dominated by the stronger and the more
advanced nations of the earth; and that justice will be done to all.
"What we seek," says President Wilson, "is the reign of law, based upon
the consent of the governed and sustained by the organized opinion of

The Indian people also form a part of the world that needs
reconstructing. They constitute one-fifth of the human race, and inhabit
about two million square miles of very fertile and productive territory.
They have been a civilized people for thousands of years, though their
civilization is a bit different from that of the West. We advisedly say
"a bit different," because in fundamentals that civilization has the
same basic origin as that of Greece and Rome, the three peoples having
originally sprung from the same stock and their languages, also, being
of common descent. For the last 150 years, or (even) more, India has
been ruled by Great Britain. Her people have been denied any determining
voice in the management of their own affairs. For over thirty years or
more they have carried on an organized agitation for an autonomous form
of Government within the British Empire. This movement received almost
no response from the responsible statesmen of the Empire until late in
the war. In the meantime some of the leaders grew sullen and
downhearted, and, under the influence of bitter disappointment and
almost of despair, took to revolutionary forms. The bulk of the people,
however, have kept their balance and have never faltered in their faith
in peaceful methods. When the war broke out the people of India at once
realized the world significance of this titanic struggle and in no
uncertain voice declared their allegiance to the cause of the Allies.
Our masters, however, while gratefully accepting our economic
contributions and utilizing the standing Indian army, spurned our offers
for further military contributions. In the military development of the
Indians they saw a menace to their supremacy in India.

The Russian Revolution first, and then the entry of the United States
into the War, brought about a change in the point of view of the British
statesmen. For the first time they realized that they could not win the
war without the fullest coöperation of the people of India, both in the
military and the economic sense and that the fullest coöperation of the
United States also required as a condition precedent, quite a radical
revision of their war aims. President Wilson's political idealism, his
short, pithy and epigrammatic formulas compelled similar declarations by
Allied statesmen. The British statesmen, at the helm of affairs, found
it necessary to affirm their faith in President Wilson's principles and
formulas if they would not let the morale of their own people at home
suffer in comparison. In the meantime the situation in India was
becoming uncomfortable. The Nationalists and the Home Rulers insisted on
a clear and unequivocal declaration of policy on the lines of President
Wilson's principles. The British statesmen in charge of Indian affairs,
at Whitehall, were still temporizing when the report of the Royal
Commission on the causes of the Mesopotamia disaster burst out on the
half-dazed British mind like a bombshell. To the awakening caused by the
report and its disclosures a material contribution was made by the
outspoken, candid and clear-cut speech of a younger statesman, whose
knowledge of the working of the Indian Government could not be
questioned. When the Parliament, press and platform were all ablaze with
indignation and shame at the supposed incompetence of the Indian
Government, to whose inefficiency and culpable neglect of duty were
ascribed the series of disasters that ended with the surrender of a
British force at Kut-el-amara, Mr. Edwin Samuel Montagu, who had been an
Under Secretary for India under Lord Morley and was at the time of the
Mesopotamia disaster Minister of Munitions, came out with a strong and
emphatic condemnation of the system and the form of Government under
which the "myriads" of India lived and had their affairs managed. Mr.
Montagu's opinion of the machinery of the Indian Government was
expressed as follows:

    "The machinery of Government in this country with its unwritten
    constitution, and the machinery of Government in our Dominions has
    proved itself sufficiently elastic, sufficiently capable of
    modification, to turn a peace-pursuing instrument into a
    war-making instrument. It is the Government of India alone which
    does not seem capable of transformation, and I regard that as
    based upon the fact that the machinery is statute-ridden
    machinery. The Government of India is too wooden, too iron, too
    inelastic, too antediluvian, to be any use for the modern purposes
    we have in view. I do not believe that anybody could ever support
    the Government of India from the point of view of modern
    requirements. But it would do. Nothing serious had happened since
    the Indian mutiny, the public was not interested in Indian
    affairs, and it required a crisis to direct attention to the fact
    that the Indian Government is an indefensible system of

Regarding the Indian Budget Debates in Parliament, he said:

    "Does anybody remember the Indian Budget Debates before the War?
    Upon that day the House was always empty. India did not matter,
    and the Debates were left to people on the one side whom their
    enemies sometimes called "bureaucrats," and on the other side to
    people whom their enemies sometimes called "seditionists," until
    it almost came to be disreputable to take part in Indian Debates.
    It required a crisis of this kind to realise how important Indian
    affairs were. After all, is the House of Commons to be blamed for
    that? What was the Indian Budget Debate? It was a purely academic
    discussion which had no effect whatever upon events in India,
    conducted after the events that were being discussed, had taken

He held that the salary of the Indian Secretary of State should be paid
from the British Treasury, and then there would be real debates:

    "How can you defend the fact that the Secretaries of State for
    India alone of all the occupants of the Front Bench, with the
    possible exception of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster,
    are not responsible to this House for their salaries, and do not
    come here with their Estimates in order that the House of Commons
    may express its opinion....

    "What I am saying now is in the light of these revelations of this
    inelasticity of Indian government. However much you could gloss
    over those indefensible proceedings in the past, the time has now
    come to alter them.

    "The tone of those Debates is unreal, unsubstantial and
    ineffective. If Estimates for India, like Estimates for the
    Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and the Colonial Secretary
    were to be discussed on the floor of the House of Commons, the
    Debates on India would be as good as the Debates on foreign
    affairs. After all, what is the difference? Has it even been
    suggested to the people of Australia that they should pay the
    salary of the Secretary of State for the Colony? Why should the
    whole cost of that building in Charles Street, including the
    building itself, be an item of the Indian taxpayer's burden rather
    than of this House of Commons and the people of the country?"

Can and does the House of Commons control the India Office? Here is Mr.
Montagu's answer.

    "It has been sometimes questioned whether a democracy can rule an
    Empire. I say that in this instance the democracy has never had
    the opportunity of trying. But even if the House of Commons were
    to give orders to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State
    is not his own master. In matters vitally affecting India, he can
    be overruled by a majority of his Council. I may be told that the
    cases are very rare in which the Council has differed from the
    Secretary of State for India. I know one case anyhow, where it was
    a very near thing, and where the action of the Council might
    without remedy have involved the Government of India in a policy
    out of harmony with the declared policy of the House of Commons
    and the Cabinet. And these gentlemen are appointed for seven
    years, and can only be controlled from the Houses of Parliament by
    a resolution carried in both Houses calling on them for their
    resignations. The whole system of the India Office is designed to
    prevent control by the House of Commons for fear that there might
    be too advanced a Secretary of State. I do not say that it is
    possible to govern India through the intervention of the Secretary
    of State with no expert advice, but what I do say is that in this
    epoch now after the Mesopotamia Report, he must get his expert
    advice in some other way than by this Council of men, great men
    though, no doubt, they always are, who come home after lengthy
    service in India to spend the first years of their retirement as
    members of the Council of India.

    "Does any Member of this House know much about procedure in the
    India Office? I have been to the India Office and to other
    offices. I tell this House that the statutory organization of the
    India Office produces an apotheosis of circumlocution and red tape
    beyond the dreams of any ordinary citizen."

His own idea of what should be done at that juncture was thus expressed:

    "But whatever be the object of your rule in India, the universal
    demand of those Indians whom I have met and corresponded with, is
    that you should state it. Having stated it, you should give some
    instalment to show that you are in real earnest, some beginning of
    the new plan which you intend to pursue, that gives you the
    opportunity of giving greater representative institutions in some
    form or other to the people of India....

    "But I am positive of this, that your great claim to continue the
    illogical system of Government by which we have governed India in
    the past is that it was efficient. It has been proved to be not
    efficient. It has been proved to be not sufficiently elastic to
    express the will of the Indian people; to make them into a warring
    Nation as they wanted to be. The history of this War shows that
    you can rely upon the loyalty of the Indian people to the British
    Empire--if you ever before doubted it! If you want to use that
    loyalty, you must take advantage of that love of country which is
    a religion in India, and you must give them that bigger
    opportunity of controlling their own destinies, not merely by
    Councils which cannot act, but by control, by growing control, of
    the Executive itself. Then in your next War--if we ever have
    War--in your next crisis, through times of peace, you will have a
    contented India, an India equipped to help. Believe me, Mr.
    Speaker, it is not a question of expediency, it is not a question
    of desirability. Unless you are prepared to remodel, in the light
    of modern experience, this century-old and cumberous machine,
    then, I believe, I verily believe, that you will lose your right
    to control the destinies of the Indian Empire."

The quick and resourceful mind of Premier Lloyd George at once grasped
the situation. He lost no time in deciding what was needed. Probably
over the head of his Tory colleagues, possibly with their consent, he
gave the Indian portfolio to Mr. Montagu, and told him quietly to set to
business. Mr. Montagu's first step was the announcement of August 20,
1917. On that date he made in the House of Commons the following
memorable statement:

    "The policy of His Majesty's Government, with which the Government
    of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing
    association of Indians in every branch of the administration and
    the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view
    to the progressive realisation of responsible government in India
    as an integral part of the British Empire. They have decided that
    substantial steps in this direction should be taken as soon as
    possible, and that it is of the highest importance as a
    preliminary to considering what these steps should be that there
    should be a free and informal exchange of opinion between those in
    authority at home and in India. His Majesty's Government have
    accordingly decided, with His Majesty's approval, that I should
    accept the Viceroy's invitation to proceed to India to discuss
    these matters with the Viceroy and the Government of India, to
    consider with the Viceroy the views of local Governments, and to
    receive with him the suggestions of representative bodies and

    "I would add that progress in this policy can only be achieved by
    successive stages. The British Government and the Government of
    India, on whom the responsibility lies for the welfare and
    advancement of the Indian peoples, must be judges of the time and
    measure of each advance, and they must be guided by the
    co-operation received from those upon whom new opportunities of
    service will thus be conferred and by the extent to which it is
    found that confidence can be reposed in their sense of

    "Ample opportunity will be afforded for public discussion of the
    proposals which will be submitted in due course to Parliament."

It is obvious that the content of the second sentence of paragraph two
in the above announcement is in fundamental opposition to the right of
every nation to self-determination, a principle now admitted to be of
general application (including, according to the British Premier, even
the black races inhabiting the Colonies that were occupied by Germany
before the War, within its purview). The people of India are not on the
level of these races. Even if it be assumed that they are not yet in a
position to exercise that right, fully and properly, it is neither right
nor just to assume that they shall never be in that position even
hereafter. The qualifications implied in that sentence are, besides,
quite needless and superfluous. As long as India remains "an integral
part of the British Empire" she cannot draft a constitution which does
not meet with the approval of the British Parliament and the British
Sovereign. It is to be regretted that the British statesmen could not
rise equal to the spirit of the times and make an announcement free from
that spirit of autocratic bluster and racial swagger which was entirely
out of place at a time when they were making impassioned appeals
to Indian manhood to share the burdens of Empire by contributing
ungrudgingly in men and money for its defence. This attitude is
somewhat inconsistent with the statements in paragraph 179 of the
Montagu-Chelmsford Report, wherein, after referring to the natural
evolution of "the desire for self-determination," the distinguished
authors of the Report concede that "the demand that now meets us from
the educated classes of India is no more than the right and natural
outcome of the work of a hundred years."

In spite of this uncalled for reservation in the announcement, it is
perfectly true that "the announcement marks the end of one epoch and the
beginning of a new one." What makes the announcement "momentous,"
however, is not the language used, as even more high-sounding phrases
have been used before by eminent British statesmen of the position of
Warren Hastings, Macaulay, Munroe, Metcalf and others, but the fact that
the statement has been made by the Secretary of State for India, as
representing the Crown and the Cabinet who, in their turn, are the
constitutional representatives of the people of Great Britain and
Ireland. The statement is thus both morally and legally binding on the
British people, though it will not acquire that character so far as the
people of India are concerned, unless it is embodied in a Statute of
Parliament. Is it too much to hope that when that stage comes the second
sentence of the second paragraph might be omitted or so modified as to
remove the inconsistency pointed out above?

We have no doubt, however, that the language of the announcement
notwithstanding, the destiny of India remains ultimately in the hands of
the Indians themselves. It will be determined, favorably or unfavorably,
by the solidity of their public life, by the purity and idealism of the
Indian public men to be hereafter entrusted with the task of
administration, by the honesty and intensity of their endeavor to uplift
the masses, both intellectually and economically, by the extent to which
they reduce the religious and communal excuses that are being put forth
as reasons for half-hearted advance, and by the amount of political
unity they generate in the nation. The well known maxim that those who
will must by themselves be free, is as good today as ever. They will
have to do all this in order to persuade the British Parliament to
declare them fit for responsible Government. Once they show their
fitness by deeds and by actual conduct, no one can keep them in

Coming back to the announcement itself, would it not be well to bear in
mind that what differentiates this announcement from the statutory
declarations of the Act of 1833 and the Royal proclamation of 1858 is
not the language used but the step or steps taken to ascertain Indian
opinion, to understand and interpret it in accordance with the spirit of
the times and the frankness and fairness with which the whole problem is
stated in the joint report of the two statesmen, who are the present
official heads of the Government of India. Nor can it be denied that the
announcement and the report have received the cordial appreciation of
the Indian leaders.

We, that is, the Indian Nationalists, have heretofore concerned
ourselves more with criticism of the British administration than with
the problem of construction, though our criticism has never been merely
destructive. We have always ended with constructive suggestions.
Henceforth, if the spirit of the announcement is translated into deeds
it will be our duty to coöperate actively in constructive thought. Not
that we refused coöperation in the past, but the conditions and the
terms on which we were asked to coöperate made it impossible for us to
make an effective response.

Several British critics of the Indian Nationalists have from time to
time charged them with lack of constructive ability. They ignore the
fact that political conditions in India were an effective bar to any
display of ability.

The first attempt at constitution making was made by the Congress in
1915, and as such was bound to be rather timid and half-hearted. The
situation since then has considerably improved and the discussions of
the last twelve months have enabled the Secretary for India and the
Viceroy to claim that, in certain respects, at least, their scheme is a
more effective step towards responsible Government than the scheme
promulgated jointly by the Congress and the Muslim League. How far that
claim can be substantiated remains to be seen. This much is, however,
clear: come what may, along with the rest of the world, India cannot go
back to the pre-war conditions of life. The high functionaries of the
British Government in India are also conscious of that fact, as one of
them, the present Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces of Agra
and Oudh, a member of the Indian bureaucracy, remarked only recently in
a speech at Allahabad:

"Nothing will ever be the same," said Sir Harcourt Butler; "this much is
certain, that we shall have to shake up all our old ideals and begin
afresh ... we have crossed the watershed and are looking down on new
plains. The old oracles are dumb. The old shibboleths are no more heard.
Ideals, constitutions, rooted ideas are being shovelled away without
argument or comment or memorial.... Our administrative machine belongs
to another age. It is top-heavy. Its movements are cumbrous, slow,
deliberate. It rejoices in delay. It grew up when time was not the
object, when no one wanted change, when financial economy was the ruling
passion of Governments, imperial and provincial. Now there are the
stirrings of young national life, and economic springtime, a calling for
despatch, quick response, bold experiment. Secretariats with enormous
offices overhang the administration. An eminent ecclesiastic once told
me that Rome had, by centuries of experience, reduced delay to a
science; he used to think her mistress of postponement and
procrastination, but the Government of India beat Rome every time. Only
ecclesiatics could dare so to speak of the Government of India. I, for
one, will not lay audacious hands on the chariot of the sun."

Coming, as it does, from a member of the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy, this
statement means much more to the Indian people than even the words of
the British Premier. If this statement is not mere camouflage, but
represents a genuine change of heart on the part of the British
bureaucracy in India, then it is all the more inexplicable to us why the
new scheme of the Secretary for India and the Viceroy should breathe so
much distrust of the educated classes of India. Any way, we have nothing
but praise for the spirit of frankness and fairness which generally
characterizes the report. However we might disagree with the conclusions
arrived at, it is but right to acknowledge that the analysis of the
problem and its constituting elements is quite masterly and the attempt
to find a solution which will meet the needs of the situation _as
understood by them_ absolutely sincere and genuine. This fact makes it
all the more necessary that Indian Nationalists of all classes and all
shades of opinion should give their best thought to the consideration of
the problem in a spirit of construction and coöperation, as
distinguished from mere fault-finding. Nor should it be forgotten for a
moment that Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford were all the time, when
drawing their scheme, influenced by considerations of what, under the
circumstances, is practicable and likely to be accepted, not only in
India by the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy and the non-official European
community, but by the _conservative_ British opinion at home. It is the
latter we have to convince and win over before the scheme has a ghost of
a chance of being improved upon. When we say _conservative_ opinion we
include in that expression the Liberal and Labour Imperialists also. We
should never forget that it is hard to part with power, however
idealistic the individual vested with power may be, and it is still
harder to throw away the chances of profit which one (and those in whom
one is interested) have gained by efforts extending over a century and a
half, and in the exercise of which one sees no immediate danger. I am of
the opinion that hitherto Indian representation in England has been
extremely meagre, spasmodic and inadequate to the needs of the
situation. Outside England, India's voice has been altogether unheard.
We have so far displayed an almost unpardonable simplicity in failing to
recognise that the world is so situated these days that public opinion
in one country sometimes reacts quite effectively on public opinion in
another. It is our duty, therefore, to increase our representation in
England and to keep our case before the world with fresh energy and
renewed vigour, not in a spirit of carping denunciation of the British
Government of India, but with a desire to educate and enlist liberal and
right-minded opinion all over the world in our favor. In the following
pages an attempt is made to examine the Montagu-Chelmsford report in a
spirit of absolute candour and fairness, with practical suggestions for
the improvement of the scheme in the light of Indian and British
criticism thereupon.



    A nation that can sing about its defeat is a nation which is

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "Serbia." Speech delivered at the Serbian
                        Lunch (Savoy Hotel), August 8, 1917.

Before we take up the report of the Secretary for India and the Viceroy
we intend to clear the ground by briefly meeting the almost universal
impression that prevails in educated circles in the West, that
democratic institutions are foreign to the genius of the Asiatic peoples
and have never been known in India before. The latest statement to this
effect was made by Mr. Reginald Coupland of the _Round Table Quarterly_,
in an article he contributed to the _New Republic_ (September 7, 1918)
on "Responsible Government in India." We have neither the time nor the
desire to go into the question as it relates to other Asiatic countries,
though we might state, in general terms, that an impartial study of
Asiatic history will disclose that in the centuries preceding the
Reformation in Europe, Asia was as democratic or undemocratic as Europe.
Since then democracy has developed on modern lines in Europe. While Asia
has gradually disintegrated and fallen under foreign domination, Europe
has progressed towards democracy. As regards India, however, we intend
to refer briefly to what historical evidence is available.

Firstly, we wish to make clear what we understand by "democracy." There
is no desire to enter into an academic discussion of the subject nor to
burden this book with quotations from eminent thinkers and writers. In
our judgment, the best definition of democracy so far has been furnished
by Abraham Lincoln, viz., "the government of the people, by the people
and for the people," regardless of the process or processes by which
that government is constituted. One must, however, be clear minded as to
what is meant by "the people." Does the expression include all the
people that inhabit the particular territory to which the expression
applies, regardless of sex, creed, color and race, or does it not? If it
does, we are afraid there is little democracy even in Europe and America
today. Until recently half of the population was denied all political
power in the State by virtue of sex. Of the other half a substantial
part was denied that right by virtue of economic status or, to be more
accurate, by lack of economic status considered necessary for the
exercise of political power. Even now the Southern States of the United
States, Amendment XV to the American Constitution notwithstanding,
effectively bar the colored people from the exercise of the franchise
supposed to have been accorded to them by the amendment. In Europe,
religious and social bars still exist in the constitutions of the
different states. As Great Britain is supposed to be the most democratic
country in Europe, we cannot do better than take the history of the
growth of public franchise in that country as the best illustration of
the growth of democracy in the terms of President Lincoln's formula.

Travelling backwards, the earliest democratic institutions known to
Europe were those of Greece and Rome. In applying the term "democratic"
to the city republics of Greece and Rome it is ignored that these
"republics" were in no sense democratic. "Liberty," says Putnam Weale,
"as it was understood in those two celebrated republics of Athens and
Sparta meant abject slavery to the vast mass of the population, slavery
every whit as cruel as any in the Southern States of the American Union
before the war of Liberation.... In neither of these two republics did
the freemen ever exceed twenty thousand, whilst the slaves ran into
hundreds of thousands, and were used just as the slaves of Asiatics were
used.[1] Thus the Greek republics were simply cities in which a certain
portion of the inhabitants, little qualified to exercise them, had
acquired exclusive privileges, while they kept the great body of their
brethren in a state of abject slavery."[2] Discussing the nature of
Roman citizenship Putnam Weale remarks (p. 25) that "in spite of the
polite fiction of citizenship, the destinies of scores of millions were
effectively disposed of by a few thousands." This was true not only with
regard to the outlying parts of the Empire but even as to Italy itself.
"Roman liberty," continues Putnam Weale, "though an improvement on Greek
conceptions, was like all liberty of antiquity confined really to those
who, being present in the capital, could take an active part in the
public deliberations. It was the liberty of city and not of a land. It
was therefore exactly similar in practise, if not in theory, to the kind
of liberty, which has always been understood in advanced Asiatic
states--the system of Government by equipoise and nothing else. The idea
of giving those who lived at a distance from the capital any means of
representing themselves was never considered at all; and so, it was the
populace of the capital (or only a part of it), aided by such force as
might be introduced by the contesting generals or leaders, which held
all the actual political power. _Representative Government_--the only
effective guarantee of liberty of any sort--_had therefore not yet been
dreamt of_." [The italics are ours.]

Alison in his _History of Europe_, Vol. I, says: "The states of
Florence, Genoa, Venice and Pisa were not in reality free; they were
communities _in which a few individuals had usurped_ the rights, and
disposed of the fortunes, of the great bulk _of their fellow citizens,
whom they governed as subjects or indeed as slaves_. During the most
flourishing period of their history, the citizens of all Italian
republics did not amount to 20,000, and these privileged classes held as
many million in subjection. The citizens of Venice were 2500 and those
of Genoa 4500, those of Pisa, Siena, Lucca and Florence taken together,
not above 6000." [Italics ours.] Coming to more modern times we find it
stated by Morse Stephens in his _History of Revolutionary Europe_ that
"the period which preceded the French Revolution and the era of war from
the troubles of which Modern Europe was to be born may be characterised
as that of the benevolent despots. The State was everything, the nation
nothing." Speaking of the eighteenth-century conditions in Europe,
Stephens remarks that "the great majority of the peasants of Europe were
throughout that century absolute serfs"; also that "the mass of the
population of Central and Eastern Europe was purely agricultural and in
its poverty expected naught but the bare necessaries of existence. The
cities and consequently the middle classes formed but an insignificant
factor in the population." These quotations reveal the real character of
the European democracy in ancient and mediæval and even in early modern
Europe up to the end of the eighteenth century, or, to be more accurate,
to the time of the French Revolution. Compare this with the following
facts about the political institutions of India, during the ancient and
mediæval times:

(1) First we have the testimony of ancient Brahmanic and Buddhistic
literature, preserved in their sacred books, about the right of the
people to elect their rulers; the duty of the rulers to obey _the law_
and their obligation to consult their ministers as well as the
representatives of the public in all important affairs of State.

The Vedic literature contains references to non-monarchial forms of
Government,[3] makes mention of elected rulers and of assemblies of
people, though the normal as distinguished from universal form of
Government according to Professor Macdonald was by Kings, "a situation
which, as in the case of the Aryan invaders of Greece and of the German
invaders of England, resulted almost necessarily in strengthening the
monarchic element of the constitution."[4]

In the _Aitreya Brahmana_ occur terms which are translated by some as
representing the existence of "self-governed" and "kingless" states.
These authorities have been collected, translated and explained by K. P.
Jayas Wal and Narendranath Law in a series of articles published in the
_Modern Review_ of Calcutta.

The _Mahabharata_, the great Hindu epic, makes mention of kingless
states or oligarchies. "In fact," says Mr. Banerjea, "all the Indian
nations of these times possessed popular institutions of some type or

Professor Rhys Davids has said, in his _Buddhist India_, that "the
earliest Buddhist records reveal the survival side by side with more or
less powerful monarchies, of republics with either complete or modified
independence." He names ten such republics in Northern India alone. In
regard to the system of Government effective within one of the tribes
that constituted a republic of their own, the same scholar observes:
"The administrative and judicial business of the clan was carried out in
public assembly, at which young and old were alike present in their
common Mote Hall. A single chief--how and for what period chosen we do
not know--was elected an officeholder, presiding over the sessions, or,
if there were no sessions, over the State. He bore the title of _Raja_,
which must have meant something like the Roman Consul or the Greek
Archon."[6] There is no evidence of the existence of slaves or serfs in
these communities. Evidently all were freemen.

(2) We have the evidence of Greek historians of the period who
accompanied Alexander in his Asiatic Campaign, or who, after Alexander's
death, represented Greek monarchs at the courts of Indian rulers. "Even
as late as the date of Alexander's invasion," says Mr. Banerjea, "many
of the nations of the Punjab lived under democratic institutions."
Speaking of one of them called Ambasthas (Sambastai), the Greek author
of _Ancient India_ says: "They lived in cities in which the democratic
form of Government prevailed." "Curtius," adds Mr. Banerjea, "mentions a
powerful Indian tribe, where the form of Government was democratic, and
not regal."[7] Similarly Arrian, another Greek writer, is quoted as
mentioning several other independent, self-governing tribal communities
who lived under democratic forms of government and bravely resisted the
advance of Alexander. One of them, when making submission to Alexander,
told him that "they were attached more than any others to freedom and
autonomy, and that their freedom they had preserved intact from the time
Dionysos came to India until Alexander's invasion."[8] There were some
others which had an aristocratic form of Government. In one of them
mentioned in _Ancient India_, "the administration was in the hands of
three hundred wise men."

Another Greek writer, Diodoros, speaks of _Patala_ as "a City of great
note with a political constitution drawn on the same lines as the
Spartan." It may safely be presumed that the Greek meant what he said.
Chanakya, the author of a great treatise on political science, mentions
many powerful oligarchies that existed down to the fourth century A. D.
In one of the inscriptions, said to be of the sixth century A. D., the
_Malavas_ are referred to as living under a republican form of

(3) Even when kingship became an established institution the idea that
the King was only a servant of the people survived for a long time. His
"remuneration" was fixed at one-sixth of the produce. His subjects had
the right to depose him or to turn him out if he failed in his duty. The
authorities on these points are collected by Mr. Banerjea on pp. 72 and
73 of his book.

(4) Similarly many authorities are quoted by Mr. Banerjea on pp. 74 and
75 of his learned work showing that, according to Hindu ideals practised
in ancient times, the king was not above the law. He was not an
autocrat. He was as much bound by the law as his subjects. Laws were not
made by kings. "Legislation was not among the powers entrusted to a
king," says Mr. Banerjea. "There is no reference in early Vedic
literature to the exercise of legislative authority by the king, though
later it is an essential part of his duties," says Prof. Macdonell.[10]

(5) Assemblies and councils are quite frequently mentioned both in the
Rig and the Atharva Vedas. "The popular assembly was a regular
institution in the early years of the Buddhistic age (500 to 300 B.C.)"
Chanakya mentions that in the King's Council the decision of the
majority should prevail.[11] Sukraniti lays down elaborate rules of
procedure for the conduct of business in these assemblies. "The Council
was the chief administrative authority in the kingdom. The King was
supposed not to do anything without the consent of the Council."[12] In
_Kerala_ State, South India, during the first and second centuries of
the Christian Era, there were five assemblies one of which consisted of
"representatives of the people summoned from various parts of the
State."[13] "From the Ceylon inscriptions we learn that in that island
all measures were enacted by the King in Council, and all orders were
issued by and under the authority of the Council."

While all this is true of Ancient India, we cannot claim the existence
of the same system of Government for mediæval India. Even as regards
Ancient India, all that is claimed is that it possessed as much
democracy, if not more, as Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome. The
non-existence of slavery in Northern India gives it therefore a superior
character to that of the Ancient republics of Greece and Rome. In the
South, it is believed slavery did exist. Coming to mediæval times
generally known as the Mohammedan period of Indian History consisting of
two epochs, from 400 to 1200 A.D. and from 1200 to 1800 A.D., we notice
that the country enjoyed a durable kind of government, cities under
absolute rule, and villages, as before, self-governed. The absolute rule
was a benevolent or malevolent despotism according to the character of
the Hindu or Moslem sovereign who reigned. But in the villages India
maintained a democratic form of government right up to the beginning of
British rule; and though under British rule, it has been practically
superseded by the rule of the officials, yet in some parts of the
country the spirit is still alive, as will appear from the following
testimony recorded by Mr. Sidney Webb in his Preface to Mr. John
Matthai's volume, _Village Government in British India_:

    "One able collector of long service in Central India informed me
    that he had been, until a few months before, totally unaware that
    anything of the sort existed in any of the villages over which he
    ruled. But being led to make specific inquiries on the subject, he
    had just discovered, in _village after village, a distinctly
    effective if somewhat shadowy, local organization, in one or other
    form of panchayat, which was, in fact, now and then giving
    decisions on matters of communal concern, adjudicating civil
    disputes, and even condemning offenders to reparation and fine_.
    Such a Local Government organization is, of course, 'extra-legal'
    and has no statutory warrant, and, in the eyes of the British
    tribunals, possesses no authority whatever. But it has gone on
    silently existing, possibly for longer than the British Empire
    itself, and is still effectively functioning, merely by common
    consent and with the very real sanction of the local public

Mr. Matthai has also made a similar remark in Paragraph 22 of his book

Village councils ordinarily called village _panchayats_ have often been
confounded with caste panchayats and that fact has been emphasised to
prove that these Indian _panchayats_ were or are anything but
democratic. Mr. Sidney Webb and Mr. John Matthai both have controverted
that position and upon good evidence. Says Mr. Webb:

    "One suggestion that these fragments of indigenous Indian Local
    Government seem to afford is that we sometimes tend to exaggerate
    the extent to which the cleavages of caste have prevailed over the
    community of neighbourhood. How often is one informed, 'with
    authority,' that the _panchayat_ of which we catch glimpses must
    be only a caste _panchayat_! It is plain, on the evidence, that
    however frequent and potent may be the _panchayat_ of a caste,
    there have been and still are _panchayats_ of men of different
    castes, exercising the functions of a Village Council over
    villagers of different castes. How widely prevalent these may be
    not even the Government of India can yet inform us. But if people
    would only look for traces of Village Government, instead of
    mainly for evidences of caste dominance, we might learn more on
    the subject."

Later on in the same paragraph Mr. Webb remarks that, even where caste
exists it has, in fact, permitted a great deal of common life, and that
it is compatible with active village councils.

Besides the evidence furnished by the texts of Hindu codes, law books
and political treatises (like the _Arthasastra_ of _Kautalaya_), and
Nítí Shástrá, etc., other good evidence has been produced by Mr. Matthai
in support of the above-mentioned proposition.

In Paragraph 23 he refers to the _Madras Epigraphic Report_, 1912-13, in
support of the statement that "there were village assemblies in South
India in the tenth century A.D., which 'appear to have consisted of all
the residents of a village including cultivators, professionals and

    "In the _Private Diary of Anandaranga Pillay_, who served as agent
    to Dupleix, the French Governor in South India in the middle of
    the eighteenth century, there is an entry referring to a village
    meeting to consider a case of desecrating the village temple 'in
    which people of all castes--from the Brahman to the Pariah--took

In Paragraph 24, he points out that a village council (_Panchayat_)
might either be an assembly of all the inhabitants of the village or
only a select committee consisting of representatives selected on some
recognized principle. The first are common among less developed
communities like those of the aboriginal tribes and the latter in more
highly organized communities.

Evidences of bigger assemblies consisting of representatives of more
than one village, sometimes of more than one district, to decide cases
of importance or dispute between whole villages are also cited in
Paragraphs 26 and 27 and 32. On the strength of certain South Indian
Inscriptions relating to the Tamil Kingdoms of the 10th century A.D., it
is stated that the administration of the village was carried on by no
less than five or six committees, each vested with jurisdiction relating
to certain definite departments of village life, though there was no
fixed rule on the point. In Paragraphs 33 and 34 the mode of election to
the committees and the qualifications for membership are set down in
detail. The procedure seems to have been quite elaborate, though suited
to the level of intelligence of the people concerned. These village
councils and committees looked after education, sanitation, poor relief,
public works, watch and ward, and the administration of justice. To
describe the methods by which these departments of village life were
administered by the village councils requires too much space, but we
give two excerpts from Chapter II on education:

    "The history of village education in India goes back perhaps to
    the beginnings of the village community. The schoolmaster had a
    definite place assigned to him in the village economy, in the same
    manner as the headman, the accountant, the watchman, and the
    artisans. He was an officer of the village community, paid either
    by rent-free lands or by assignments of grain out of the village

    "The outstanding characteristics of the schools of the Hindu
    village community were: (1) that they were democratic, and (2)
    that they were more secular than spiritual in their instruction
    and their general character.... Nevertheless, when we speak of the
    democratic character of these early Hindu schools, it is to be
    understood that they were democratic only in this sense, that they
    were open not merely to the priestly caste but to all the four
    superior castes alike. There was never any question of admitting
    into the schools those who lay outside the regular caste system
    whose touch would have meant pollution, nor to the great
    aboriginal populations of the country."

    "This is very similar to the public schools in the Southern
    States, in the United States, where schools for the white children
    are closed to coloured children and vice versa."

From what has been stated above it appears that the general impression
that democratic institutions are _entirely_ foreign to India is nothing
but the survival of a prejudice originally due to ignorance of Indian
history. In collecting his evidence Mr. Matthai has principally drawn
upon South Indian sources. There can be no doubt that abundant evidence
of a similar kind is available as regards North India and is waiting to
be collected, collated and sifted by other Matthais. We do not contend
that India had the same kind of representative institutions as Modern
Europe has. In fact no part of the world had. They are all recent
developments. The democratic nature of an institution does not depend on
the methods of election but on the people's right to express their will,
directly, or through their representatives, in the management of their
public affairs. It is clear that that idea was never altogether absent
from Indian life either in theory or in practise. Even under the most
absolute autocracies, the bulk of the people managed their collective
affairs themselves. They organised and maintained schools; arranged and
paid for sanitation; built public works; provided for watch and ward;
administered justice, and for all these purposes raised revenues and
spent them in a democratic way. They did so, not only as regards the
internal affairs of a village, but applied the same principles in the
larger life of their district or districts. Such a people cannot be said
to have _always_ lived a life dictated and held together by force. Nor
can it be said with justice that the introduction of modern democratic
methods in such a country, among such a people, would be the
introduction of an exotic plant, with the spirit and working of which it
will take them centuries to be familiar.


[1] It is extremely doubtful if there were any slaves in India in the
corresponding period of Indian history. At least, Megasthenes, the Greek
ambassador at the Court of Chandra Gupta, did not find any in northern
India, though his opinion is not accepted as quite correct. It is said
that slavery did exist in a mild form in the southern peninsula.

[2] _The Conflict of Colour_, by PUTNAM WEALE, The Macmillan Co., New
York, 1910, pp. 20-21.

[3] _Public Administration in Ancient India_, by P. BANERJEA, Macmillan,
London, 1916, p. 42.

[4] _Vedic India_, by MACDONNELL & KEITH. Vol. II. p. 210.

[5] BANERJEA, p. 43.

[6] _Buddhist India_, p. 9.

[7] _Ancient India_, _Alexander's Invasion_ (MCCRINDLE, p. 292), quoted
by Mr. BANERJEA. p. 44.

[8] ARRIAN, _Anabasis_ (MCCRINDLE), p. 154; quoted by Mr. BANERJEA, p.
154. If the Greek writers were familiar with the conceptions of
democracy and republicanism they knew what they meant by the use of
these terms in relation to Indian institutions.

[9] BANERJEA. p. 46.

[10] MACDONELL & KEITH, _Vedic Index_, Vol. II, p. 214.

[11] BANERJEA. p. 95.

[12] Footnote, _Ibid._, p. 96. Original authority quoted by Mr. BANERJEA
in footnote on p. 103.

[13] _Ibid._, p. 104.



    The wishes, the desires, and the interests of the people of these
    countries [speaking of German colonies] themselves must be the
    dominant factor in settling their future government.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "Causes and Aims of the War." Speech delivered
                        at Glasgow, on being presented with the freedom
                        of that city, June 29, 1917.

Every nation has a fundamental right to determine, fix and work out her
own ideals. Any interference with this right by individuals or nations
of foreign origin is unnatural and unjust. The consent of the governed
is the only logical and just basis of governments. These principles have
been reiterated with added force and masterly eloquence by President
Wilson in his addresses during the War. They have been accepted and
adopted by the Allied statesmen. No statesman or publicist of standing
in any of the Allied countries can dare question the principles. The
difficulty, however, arises when we come to apply them practically. At
this point the practical politician's genius for diplomacy discovers
flaws that provide excuses for the non-application of those principles
if such course seems helpful to his nation or his sovereign.

President Wilson has asseverated that "the day of conquest and
aggrandisement is gone," which, in plain language, means that the day of
Imperialism is over. And, in conformity with the principle stated in the
Declaration of Independence, that "All nations have the right to assume
among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which
the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them," President Wilson has
also said that "every people have a right to choose the sovereignty
under which they shall live"; that "national aspirations must be
respected, and that 'self determination' is not a mere phrase; it is an
imperative principle of action, which statesmen will henceforth ignore
at their peril." Yet as _practical men_ we must not ignore the facts of
life. The world is not at once going to be an ideal place to live in
even if it may become one. It may be that the advanced nations of the
earth which just now divide the political and economic control of the
world between themselves may accept the underlying policy of the
following statement (of President Wilson) that

    "This war had its roots in the disregard of the rights of small
    nations and of nationalities which lacked the union and the force
    to make good their claim to determine their own allegiance and
    their own forms of political life."

and the proposed League of Nations might see that a continuance of the
injustice thus far done to small or backward nations is no longer
permitted. Being practical men, however, we cannot build on the
assumption that at the end of this war the world is at once to be
transformed into a paradise and that full justice will be done to all
nations and all peoples alike. We already notice a tendency to restrict
the application and the enforcement of these principles to the nations
of Europe by the more frequent use of the term "free nations." "Free
nations" do not need to be freed. It will be wise, therefore not to be
carried off our feet by these declarations and statements. Mr. Montagu
and Lord Chelmsford have pointedly reminded us of the Indian saying,
"hanoz Delhi Dúr Ast" (i.e. "Delhi is yet far away"). But even if they
had not done so we were not so simple as to be swept away by the mere
language of the war declarations. The wording of the announcement of
August 20, 1917, itself did not leave us in doubt about the truth of the
saying quoted by Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford. We have, therefore, to
test our ideals and aspirations by the touchstone of practicability and
expediency. Happily for us there is, in theory, at least, a full
agreement between the political goal set up by the Indian Nationalists
of the Congress school (since endorsed by the Home Rulers) and that set
up by the authors of the announcement of August 20th. This goal is
"Self-Government within the Empire on terms of equality with the other
parts of it," in the language of the Congress school or, "Responsible
Government as an integral part of the British Empire," in the language
of the announcement. There is a party of Indian politicians who want
complete independence, but at present their number is so limited that we
need not take serious consideration of their position in the matter. The
vast bulk of the educated classes are agreed:

    (_a_) That they are content to remain within the British Empire if
    they are allowed a status of equality with the self-governing
    dominions of the Empire.

    (_b_) That what they want is an autonomous Government on the lines
    of Canada, Australia and the South African Union.

    (_c_) That they do not want any affiliation with any other Foreign

Much has been written and said about the loyalty of the people of India
to the British Government. Opinions, however, differ as to its nature.
Some say it is the loyalty of a helpless people or, in other words, a
loyalty dictated by fear or force. Others say it is the loyalty of
opportunism. The British maintain that the loyalty is the outcome of a
genuine and sincere appreciation of the blessings of the British Empire.
Be that as it may, it is in the interest of both to bring about
circumstances and conditions which would transform this loyalty whatever
its nature into one of genuine affection and interest. The announcement
of August 20, 1917, may be considered as a first step towards the
creation of such loyalty, but much will depend on the steps that are
taken to give practical effect to the policy embodied in the said
announcement and on the spirit in which the proposed reforms are carried
out. Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford's conception of the "eventual
future of India is a sisterhood of states, self-governing in all matters
of purely local or provincial interest, in some cases corresponding to
existing provinces, in others perhaps modified in area according to the
character and economic interests of their people. Over this congeries
of States should preside a Central Government increasingly
representative of and responsible to the people of all of them; dealing
with matters, both internal and external, of common interest to the
whole of India; acting as arbiter in interstate relations and
representing the interests of all India on equal terms with the
self-governing units of the British Empire."[1] The only changes that we
would propose in the language of this statement are (i) the omission of
the word "increasingly" which is rather misplaced in the conception of
an ideal, and (ii) the substitution of the word "Commonwealth" in place
of "Empire." His Highness the Aga Khan considers the use of the term
"responsible" government instead of "self-government" in the
announcement as unfortunate because it carries the technical meaning of
a government responsible for its existence to an assembly elected by the
people. On the other hand, self-government can comprise many and varied
forms of expression of the popular will. Further, he is convinced that
the words "responsible government" were used in order to carry with the
Secretary of State and the Prime Minister some more conservative members
of the small war cabinet. It was camouflaged so that the Executive
government hereafter might contain Englishmen, while at the same time
the administration became sufficiently liberal to be responsible to the
people. With due respect to the Aga Khan we do not see the logical
connection between the two. Responsible government may or may not
involve the necessary inclusion of Englishmen in the Cabinet. Although
we may not approve of the interpretation of the expression
"responsible" government given to it by the authors of the report, in
our judgment its use as an ideal to be attained expresses more forcibly
the right of the people to choose their government than the use of the
general term "self government" would.


[1] Paragraph 349 of the _Report_.



    There is no protection for life, property, or money in a State
    where the criminal is more powerful than the law. The law of
    nations is no exception, and, until it has been vindicated, the
    peace of the world will always be at the mercy of any nation whose
    professors have assiduously taught it to believe that no crime is
    wrong so long as it leads to the aggrandisement and enrichment of
    the country to which they owe allegiance.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "No Halfway House." Speech delivered at Gray's
                        Inn, December 14, 1917.

In the chapter on ideals we have shown that there is almost complete
agreement between the bulk of Indian educated men and the British
authorities as to the immediate goal of Government in India. There is no
such agreement, however, as regards the stages by which that goal is to
be reached, nor on the steps which should be immediately taken to carry
us to the first stage. The four formulas by which Mr. Montagu and Lord
Chelmsford profess to be guided in their recommendations are not
accepted in their entirety by the spokesmen of the Indian people. These
formulas are:

    (1) There should be as far as possible complete popular control in
    local bodies and the largest possible independence for them of
    outside control. (Paragraph 188.)

    (2) The provinces are the domain in which the earlier steps
    towards the progressive realization of responsible government
    should be taken. Some measure of responsibility should be given at
    once, and our aim is to give complete responsibility as soon as
    conditions permit. This involves at once giving the provinces the
    largest measure of independence, legislative, administrative, and
    financial, of the Government of India which is compatible with the
    due discharge by the latter of its own responsibilities.
    (Paragraph 189.)

    (3) The Government of India must remain wholly responsible to
    Parliament, and saving such responsibility, its authority in
    essential matters must remain indisputable pending experience of
    the effect of the changes now to be introduced in the provinces.
    In the meantime the Indian Legislative Council should be enlarged
    and made more representative and its opportunities of influencing
    government increased. (Paragraph 190.)

    (4) In proportion as the foregoing changes take effect, the
    control of Parliament and the Secretary of State over the
    Government of India and provincial Governments must be relaxed.
    (Paragraph 191.)

There is no difficulty in accepting the first and the fourth formulas.
There is some complaint that the actual steps recommended for immediate
adoption to give effect to the policy of the first formula are not in
keeping with the spirit of the formula and are inadequate. But this we
can reserve for future consideration.

No objection can be taken to the first and the last sentences of the
second formula; though there is a great divergence of opinion as regards
the content of the second. It is maintained by some, and their number
is by no means small,[1] that full responsibility should be conceded to
the provinces at once and that there is nothing in the conditions
mentioned in the report which justifies the postponement thereof.

The third formula, however, is the one about which there is not even a
semblance of agreement. All political parties and all qualified persons
in India (we mean, of course, Indians of Indian origin) are agreed that
the assumptions and presumptions upon which this formula is based are
wrong and unacceptable. Native Indian opinion is fairly unanimous on the

There are some who claim full autonomy at once. There are others who
claim full autonomy except as regards foreign relations, the control of
native States, the Army and the Navy. All insist that a beginning of
responsible Government must be made in the Central Government also, and
point out the absolute necessity of conceding some measure, even if not
full, of fiscal autonomy. They can see no reason why "the Government of
India must remain wholly responsible to Parliament" and why "its
authority must remain indisputable." On these matters Indian opinion
joins issue with the distinguished authors of the report. We will revert
to the subject in another chapter.


[1] The non-official members of Bengal, Bombay and the United Provinces
have made that demand, which has been endorsed by the Indian National
Congress and the All-Indian Muslim League.



    Let us, at any rate, make victory so complete that national
    liberty, whether for great nations or for small nations, can never
    be challenged. That is the ordinary law. The small man, the poor
    man, has the same protection as the powerful man. So the little
    nation must be as well guarded and protected as the big nation.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "The Pan-German Dream," Speech delivered at
                        Queen's Hall on the third anniversary of the
                        Declaration of War, August 4, 1917.

The eminent authors of the report have devoted an entire chapter to a
consideration of what they call the "conditions of the problem." These
may be considered under two different heads: (a) those that necessitate
a rather radical reorganisation of the Government of India; (b) those
that prevent the authors from recommending immediate responsible
government and justify the limitations of their scheme.


Before we take up the two sets of facts relied upon by them in support
of either position we may express our general agreement with them as
regards the gravity of the task and the immensity of the problem. The
size of the country and the vastness of its population are the measure
of the extent of the problem. The existence of powerful vested interests
at present possessed by the ruling race which may be interfered with by
extended changes in the system of Government are the measure of its
gravity. "The welfare and happiness of hundreds of millions of people,"
which the authors say are in issue cannot be adequately provided for by
any autocratic system of Government however benevolent its purpose, and
however magnificent its organisation. An "absolute government" is an
anachronism, but when it is foreign it is doubly so. To bring out "the
best in the people" for their own "welfare and happiness" as well as for
that of mankind in general, it is necessary that the people should be
free to develop on their own lines, manage their own affairs, evolve
their own life, subject only to such restrictions as the general
interests of humanity demand; and subject to such guidance as the better
placed and more experienced people of the earth can furnish.

The people of India are willing to be guided in their development
towards modern democracy by the people of Great Britain and they would
be grateful for their coöperation in this difficult task, but they must
be made to realize that the task is their own and that they should
undertake it in a spirit of courageous faith--faith in their destiny,
faith in their ability to achieve it, and faith in the friendship of the
great British nation. The test of all measures in relation to the
Government of India in future should be, not how far the people of
India can coöperate, how far they can be entrusted with responsibility,
but how far it is necessary _in their interests_ to control and check
them. The difference between the two points of view is fundamental and
important. Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford have looked at the problem
from the former point of view; the Indian leaders want them to look at
it from the latter. They want the great British nation to recognise the
justice of India's claim to manage her own affairs, and to keep in their
hands in future only such control as is absolutely necessary (a) to
enable the Indian people to conduct their business efficiently and
successfully, (b) to make them fulfill their obligations to the great
Commonwealth of nations of which they hope soon to be a component part.
As long as British statesmen insist on looking at the problem from the
former point of view, they will make mistakes and raise a not entirely
unreasonable suspicion of their motives. The moment they adopt the other
point of view, they remove all grounds of distrust and create an
atmosphere of friendliness in which they can deal with the problem in a
spirit of mutual trust, absolute frankness and candid perspicacity.
There are many contentions of the British statesmen which the educated
Indians would gladly admit to be valid and necessary were they sure that
their admission would not be used against them by the power whom they
habitually regard as their adversary. There is much in this report which
could at once be struck out if both parties were actuated by feelings of
mutual trust and friendliness. It cannot be denied that many of the
proposed restrictions on the power of the popular assemblies and the
would-be Indian Administrators are the outcome of distrust. It is no
wonder then that the Indian leaders in their turn are not quite sure of
the face value of the many professions of good will that characterise
the scheme. It is for the removal of this distrust that we appeal as
earnestly as we can to the better mind of Great Britain.

In looking at the conditions of the problem, there is another fallacy
which underlies the oft-exaggerated estimates of the blessings of
British rule in India by British statesmen and British publicists. They
compare the India of today with the India of 1757 and at once jump to
the conclusion that "the moral and material civilisation of the Indian
people has made more progress in the last fifty years than during all
the preceding centuries of their history." The proper comparison is of
the Great Britain, the France, the United States, the Germany, the Italy
and the Japan of 1757, with the India of that year and of India's
progress within the last century and a half, or even within the last 50
years, with the progress of these countries in the same period. We have
no desire to withhold credit for what Great Britain has done in India,
but what she has misdone or could have done but failed to do, by virtue
of her rule in India being absolute and thus necessarily conditioned by
limitations inevitable in a system of absolute rule, should not be

The Indian critics of British rule in India have repeatedly pointed out
that what they condemned and criticised was the _system_ and not the
personnel of the Government, and the distinguished authors of the Report
"very frankly recognise that the character of political institutions
reacts upon the character of the people" and that the exercise of
responsibilities calls forth capacity for it (Paragraph 130), which
mainly accounts for the conditions that serve as reasons for withholding
responsible government from the Indian people. In discussing "the basis
of responsibility" Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford very properly point
out that the qualities necessary for it are only developed by exercise
and that though "they are greatly affected by education, occupation and
social organisation" "they ultimately rest on the traditions and habits
of the people." "We cannot go simply to statistics for the measure of
these things." Yet, unfortunately, it is exactly these statistics that
seem to have influenced them largely in the framing of their
half-hearted measures. The two dominating conditions which obsess them
are (1) that the immense masses of the people are poor, ignorant and
helpless far beyond the standards of Europe; and (2) that there runs
through Indian society a series of cleavages--of religion, race and
caste--which constantly threaten its solidarity.

We admit the existence of these conditions, but we do not admit that
they are an effective bar to the beginnings of responsible government
even on that scale on which European countries had it when the
conditions of life in those countries were no better than they are now
in India.

It is said that 226 of 244 millions of people in British India live a
rural life: "agriculture is the one great occupation of the people" and
"the proportion of these who even give a thought to matters beyond the
horizon of their villages is very small." We ask did not similar
conditions exist in Great Britain, France and Germany before the
inauguration of the Industrial Revolution, and if they did, did they
stand in the way of their people getting responsible government or
parliamentary institutions? Everyone knows what the conditions in France
were in years immediately preceding the Revolution. Italy was no better
off in the middle of the nineteenth century. Perhaps it is not much
better even today. The masses of the people in these and other countries
of Europe, including Great Britain, were far more ignorant, poor and
helpless when these countries obtained parliamentary government than
they are in India today. And the authors of the report are not unaware
that similar concerns are perhaps the main interests of the population
of some country districts in the United Kingdom even today. In several
of the Balkan States, Roumania, Serbia and Bulgaria--in Italy and in the
component parts of Russia--the conditions are no better, yet their right
to autonomous government, nay, even to absolute independence, is hardly
questioned. Moreover, as has been pointed out by Mr. Sidney Webb,

    "It is a mistake to assume that a land of villages necessarily
    means what is usually implied by the phrase, a people of
    villagers. In truth, India, for all its villages, has been also,
    at all known periods, and to-day still is, perhaps, to a greater
    extent than ever before, what Anglo-Saxon England, for instance
    was _not_ or the South African Republic in the days before gold
    had been discovered, and what the Balkan peninsula even at the
    present time may perhaps not be, namely a land of flourishing
    cities, of a distinctly urban civilization, exhibiting not only
    splendid architecture, and the high development of the
    manufacturing arts made possible by the concentration of
    population and wealth, but likewise--what is much more
    important--a secretion of thought, an accumulation of knowledge,
    and a development of literature and philosophy which are not in
    the least like the characteristic products of villages as we know
    them in Europe or America. And to-day, although the teeming crowds
    who throng the narrow lanes of Calcutta or Benares, Bombay or
    Poona, Madras or Hyderabad, or even the millions who temporarily
    swarm at Hardwar or Allahabad or Puri may include only a small
    percentage of the whole population, yet the Indian social order
    does not seem to be, in the European understanding of the phrase,
    either on its good or on its bad side, essentially one of the
    villagers. The distinction may be of importance, because the Local
    Government developed by peoples of villages, as we know of them in
    Anglo-Saxon England, in the early days of the South African
    Republic, and in the Balkan States, is of a very different type
    from that which takes root and develops, even in the villages, in
    those nations which have also a City life, centers of religious
    activity, colleges and universities, and other 'nodal points,'
    from which emanate, through popular literature, pilgrimages, and
    the newspaper press, slow but far-spreading waves of thought and
    feeling, and aspirations which it is fatal to ignore."[1]

We have also quoted, in the chapter on "Democracy in India," the
statement of Morse Stephens, about the condition of the people of Europe
in the eighteenth century.


"The Educational returns," remark the authors of the Report, "tell us
much the same story," viz., the appalling dissimilarity of conditions
in Europe and in India. While it is painfully true that the percentage
of illiteracy in India is greater than in any of the countries of
Europe, we cannot admit that that fact is a fatal bar to the beginnings
of responsible government in India or to the granting of a democratic
constitution to the country. Literacy is, no doubt, a convenient, but by
no means a sure index of the intelligence of the people, even much less
of their character. The political status of a country is determined more
by intelligence and character than by literacy. In these the people of
India are inferior to none. By that we do not mean that they are
possessed of the same kind of political responsibility as the people of
the United Kingdom or of France or of Germany or of the United States,
but only that by intelligence and character they are quite fitted to
start on the road to responsible government, at least to such kind as
was conceded for the first time to Canada, Australia, Italy, the Balkan
States, Austria, Hungary, etc. The illiteracy of the masses may be a
good reason for not introducing universal suffrage, but it is hardly a
valid reason for refusing a kind of constitution which may place India
in the same position, in the matter of responsible Government, as Great
Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy and the United States were when
those countries showed the same percentage of illiteracy. Literacy has
nowhere been the test of political power. Burma had almost no illiteracy
when the British took possession of it; its population was absolutely
homogeneous and the solidarity of the nation ran no risk from "cleavages
of religion, race and caste." Even today Burma has the highest figures
of literacy in the whole of British India. In that respect it occupies
a higher position than Roumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, many of the
Russian States and perhaps even Italy and Hungary and possibly some of
the South American Republics. In the matter of race and religion, too,
its position is better than that of the countries mentioned, yet the
authors of the Report do not propose to concede to it even such
beginnings of responsible government as they are prepared to grant to
the other provinces of India. The fact is that mere literacy does not
play an important part in the awakening of political consciousness in a
people. It is a useful ingredient of character required for the exercise
of political power but by no means essential.


The argument based on poverty is of still less force. On the other hand,
it is the best reason why the people of India should have the power to
determine and carry out their fiscal policy. We hope the admissions made
in Paragraph 135 of the Report which we bodily reproduce[2] will once
for all dispose of the silly statement, so often repeated even by men
who ought to know better, that materially India has been highly
prosperous under British rule. If so, how is it that in the language of
the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy "enormous masses of the
population have little to spare for more than the necessaries of life"?
What about the prosperity of a province, one of the biggest in India
(the United Provinces), in which the number of landlords (not tenants
and farmers) whose income derived from their proprietary holdings
exceeds £20 ($100 a year, which comes to 30 cents a day for the whole
family), is about 126,000 out of a population of 48 millions!

Acceptance of the argument of poverty as sufficient to deprive people of
political right is putting a premium on it which is hardly creditable to
the political ethics of the twentieth century. It is the poorest and the
most ignorant in the community who most egregiously suffer at the hands
of autocracy. It is they who require protection from it. The wealthy and
the educated know how to placate the bureaucrat and get what they want.
It is the poor who pay the penalty of political helplessness, yet,
curiously, it is for them and in their interest that the English
Government in India proposes to withhold the power of the purse from the
proposed Indian Councils and insists on denying the Indian people even
the elements of responsible government. While we admit the general
justice and accuracy of the observations made under the head of "extent
of interest in political questions," "political capacity of the rural
population," we fail to see anything in them which justifies the
conclusion that the interests of the classes not politically minded will
be safer in the hands of the British officer, and on the whole better
protected by him than by his educated countrymen who are likely to get
the power in case of responsible government being conceded now. In our
judgment no greater argument for the immediate grant of a substantial
step in the direction of complete responsible government throughout
India and in all spheres of government, could be advanced than what is
involved in the following observation of the authors of the joint

    "The rural classes have the greatest stake in the country because
    they contribute most to its revenues; but they are poorly equipped
    for politics and do not at present wish to take part in them.
    Among them are a few great landlords and a larger number of yeoman
    farmers. They are not ill-fitted to play a part in affairs, but
    with few exceptions they have not yet done so. But what is perhaps
    more important to appreciate than the mere content of political
    life in India is its rate of growth. No one who has observed
    Indian life during even the past five years can doubt that the
    growth is rapid and is real. It is beginning to affect the large
    landholders: here and there are signs of its beginning to affect
    even the villages. But recent events, and above all the war, have
    given it a new earnestness and a more practical character. Men are
    coming to realise more clearly that India's political future is
    not to be won merely by fine phrases: and that it depends on the
    capacity of her people themselves to face difficulties and to
    dispose of them. Hence comes the demand for compulsory education,
    for industries, for tariffs, for social reform, for social, public
    and even military service."

In the next paragraph, the authors approvingly give an extract from an
official report in which it is frankly admitted that the rural
population "may not be vocal, but they are certainly not voiceless." The
last meeting of the Indian Congress was attended by 700 farmer
delegates. Thousands of farmers have joined the Home Rule Leagues. The
statement that "hitherto they have regarded the official as their
representative in the Councils of the Government" is entirely devoid of
any truth. In their eyes the official is the Government itself. Some of
them may think that the official _represents_ the Government, but to say
that they regard the official as "_their representative_ in the Councils
of the Government" is a mere travesty of truth. The paragraph on the
"interests of the ryot" bristles with so many unwarranted assumptions
that we must enter an emphatic protest against its misleading nature.

But it gives us pleasure to accord our whole-hearted support to the
following statement with which the paragraph opens:

    "It is just because the Indian ryot is inarticulate and has not
    been directly represented in our deliberations that we feel bound
    to emphasise the great claim he has upon our consideration. The
    figure of the individual cultivator does not often catch the eye
    of the Governments in Simla and Whitehall. It is chiefly in the
    mass that they deal with him, as a consumer of salt or of
    piece-goods, or unhappily too often as the victim of scarcity or

It is true that "the district officer and his lieutenants" are in a
position to know the difficulties that beset the ryot and his very human
needs. But of what good is this knowledge of the district officer and
his lieutenants to him if it has neither provided for the education of
his children nor made any provision for his employment in occupations
other than agriculture; nor saved him from the intricacies of the law;
nor protected him from the ubiquitous salt tax; nor raised his wages
proportionately to the increase of prices; nor yet put him in a position
to assert his human rights and to obtain redress for his human, too
human, wrongs. If we examine a little more carefully the merits of what
is claimed to have been done for him so far by "an official Government,"
we will find that the claim is by no means established.

We have no desire to deny that among the foreign officers of the British
Government in India there are and have been a great many who were
genuinely anxious to help the ryot and do all which is claimed to have
been done for him in this paragraph, but that they have been unable to
do anything worth mentioning will be admitted by every right-minded
official.[3] The reasons for their failure were not of their making. The
laws of the land made by the British legislators fresh from the Inns of
Court, the spirit of the administration and the system of land taxation
have effectively prevented them from doing many of the things which they
might otherwise have liked to do. We are sorry that the eminent
statesmen responsible for the report should have been the unconscious
instruments of producing an entirely wrong impression by the statements
in this paragraph. If the statements are true, India must be a veritable
paradise and the lot of the Indian ryot enviable. But we know, and the
authors of the Report knew it as well, and they have stated in so many
words that it is not so. We can quote any number of authorities to show
that the Indian ryot is the most pitiable figure in the whole length
and breadth of India, if not in the whole world. This is not the place
to quote the easily accessible opinions of eminently qualified and
highly trustworthy British writers and administrators on the subject.[4]
The English official Government has no doubt _professed_ to do all it
claims to have done for the ryot, but how far it has benefited him in
these directions is another story. To ask credit for having provided him
with a system of law "simple, cheap and certain," or for having
established schools and dispensaries within reasonable distance of his
residence; or for even having looked after his cattle, by the provision
of grazing lands; or for having supplied wood for his implements is to
run violently in the face of facts to the contrary. These are verily his
principal complaints against British rule. The official Government is
certainly entitled to some credit for having started the coöperative
credit societies and a few coöperative rural banks for the benefit of
the peasantry, but the reform is so belated and at present plays such an
insignificant part in the rural economy of India that it seems hardly
worth mentioning or discussing.[5]

But even assuming that the official Government has so far done all that
for the ryot, what reason is there to insinuate that the Government of
the people will fail to do it for him in the future or will not do it so
well as or even better, than has been heretofore done by the
bureaucracy? It is quite a gratuitous assumption that in future he will
be required to do all these things for himself. Even in the most
advanced democracies in the world the peasantry or the masses of the
people do not do these things for themselves. Most of these things are
done by officials. The only difference is that in a responsible
government the officials are the servants of the people while in an
absolute government they are their masters. We are really surprised at
the presumption of the British bureaucrat, in posing as the special
friend of the Indian masses as against their own educated countrymen.
The experience of the past does not support the claim and there is
absolutely no reason to assume that it will be different in the future.
A mere cursory glance at the resolutions of the Indian National Congress
passed continuously for a period of thirty years, will show how
persistently and earnestly the educated classes have been pleading
_inter alia_ for (a) compulsory and free education, (b) for technical
instruction in vocations, (c) for the reduction of the salt tax and the
land tax, (d) for the raising of the minimum incomes liable to income
tax, (e) for the provision of pasture lands, (f) for the comforts of the
third-class railway travelling public, (g) for the milder administration
of the forest laws, (h) for the reform of the Police, etc. All these
years the bureaucracy did nothing for the ryot and now they pose as his
special friends, whose continuance in power and in office is necessary
for his protection from the politically minded middle classes. We are a
friend neither of the landlord nor of the capitalist. We believe that
the ryot and the working men in India as elsewhere are being exploited
and robbed by the classes in possession of the means of production and
distribution. We would wholeheartedly support any scheme which would
open a way to a just and righteous distribution of wealth and land in
India and which would insure the ryot and the working man his rightful
place in the body politic. We would not mind the aid of the foreign
bureaucracy toward that end if we could be sure that the bureaucracy
would or could do it. But we have no doubts in the matter that it cannot
be done. The bureaucracy has so far played into the hands of the
plutocrat. They have served first their own capitalists and then the
capitalists and landlords of India. Some among them have tried to do a
little for the submerged classes, the poor ryot and the ill-paid sweated
laborer, but their efforts were of no consequence. They have failed and
their failure is writ large on the face of the ryot. We are not sanguine
that the politically minded classes when they get power will immediately
rehabilitate the ryot and give him his due. We have no hope of that
kind. Yet we unhesitatingly support the demand of the politically minded
classes for a responsible government in India. In our judgment, that is
the only way to raise the masses to a consciousness of their rights and
responsibilities. The experience of the West tells us that in that way
and in that way alone lies salvation. Political consciousness must
travel from the classes to the masses and the longer the inauguration of
popular Government is delayed, the greater the delay in the awakening of
the ryot and the working man. Absolutism must first give way and
transfer its power to the politically minded classes, then will come the
turn of the masses to demand their rights and compel compliance. We can
see no risk of a greater harm or injury to the masses of India from the
transference of power from the hands of a close bureaucracy of
foreigners into the hands of the educated and propertied oligarchy of
their own countrymen. Even in countries like Great Britain, America and
France it is the educated and the propertied classes who rule. Why then
this hubbub about the impropriety and danger of giving power to the same
classes in India? Why are the representatives of landlordism and
capitalism in the British House of Lords and among the ranks of Imperial
Anglo-Indians so solicitous of the welfare of the Indian masses, when
they have for so long persistently denied justice to the proletariat of
their own country? It is a strange phenomenon to see the champions of
privilege and status, the defenders of capitalism and landlordism, the
advocates of the rights of property, the upholders of caste in Great
Britain, spending so much powder and shot to _protect_ the Indian ryot
from the prospective exploitation of him by the Indian Brahmin and the
Indian Banya[6] (the priest and the capitalist). Let the British Brahmin
and the British Banya first begin by doing justice to the proletariat of
their own country and then it will be time for them to convince the
Indian of their altruism and honesty of purpose in obstructing the
inauguration of responsible government in India in the interests of the
Indian proletariat. In this connection the authors of the Report make
some pertinent observations which deserve to be quoted. After speaking
of "religious animosities and social cleavages" and the duty of
discouraging them the authors say:

    "Nor are we without hope that the reforms will themselves help to
    provide the remedy. We would not be misunderstood. Representative
    institutions in the West, where all are equal at the ballot box,
    have checked but not abolished social exclusiveness. We do not
    make a higher claim for similar institutions in India than that
    they will help to soften the rigidity of the caste-system. But we
    hope that these incidents of it which lead to the permanent
    degradation and ostracism of the lowest castes will tend to
    disappear in proportion to the acceptance of the ideas on which
    the new constitution rests. There is a further point. An
    autocratic administration, which does not share the religious
    ideas of the people, obviously finds its sole safe ground in
    leaving the whole department of traditional social usage severely
    alone. In such matters as child-marriage, it is possible that
    through excess of caution proper to the regime under which it
    works, it may be actually perpetuating and stereotyping customs
    which the better mind of India might be brought, after the
    necessary period of struggle, to modify. A government, in which
    Indians themselves participate, invigorated by a closer touch with
    a more enlightened popular opinion, may be able with all due
    caution to effect with the free assent or acquiescence of the
    Indians themselves, what under the present system has to be
    rigorously set aside."

Nor are the authors unmindful of the effect of free institutions on the
character of the people as they themselves over and over again

    "Free institutions have, as we have said, the faculty of reacting
    on the adverse conditions in which the start has to be made. The
    backwardness of education may embarrass the experiment at the
    outset; but it certainly ought not to stop it, because popular
    government in India as elsewhere is sure to promote the
    progressive spread of education and so a widening circle of
    improvement will be set up."[7]

Among the authors' reasons for what they call a gradual advance they
state the following also: (a) "We find it freely and widely admitted
that they (i.e. the Indians) are not yet ready." This admission may
legitimately be used against the total withdrawal of all control of
Indian affairs by the Parliament. Firstly, it is questionable whether
any such admission is really "freely and widely" made. Secondly, the
admission justifies the retention of the powers of vital, general
supervision and general control and also the retention of some Europeans
in the higher services, but not the total denial of all responsibility
for maintaining law and order and of all power to control the central
Executive. (b) That the responsibility of India's defence is the
ultimate burden which rests on the Government of India; and this duty is
the last which can be intrusted to inexperienced or unskilful hands.

    "So long as India depends for her internal and external security
    upon the army and navy of the United Kingdom, the measure of
    self-determination which she enjoys must be inevitably limited. We
    cannot think that Parliament would consent to the employment of
    British arms in support of a policy over which it had no control
    and of which it might disapprove. The defence of India is an
    Imperial question: and for this reason the Government of India
    must retain both the power and the means of discharging its
    responsibilities for the defence of the country and to the Empire
    as a whole."

The defence of India involves, (a) men for the army and the navy, (b)
officers, (c) war materials and war ships, (d) experts in strategy, (e)
money. That India pays for her defense and also contributes towards the
defence of the Empire are facts which cannot be questioned. That she
shall continue to do so in the future may also be assumed. That it is
extremely desirable that in the matter of war supplies she should be
self-dependent has been freely admitted. The permanent Indian army as
constituted in pre-war days contained two-thirds Indians and one-third
British. If the present strength of the Indian army be examined it will
be found that the proportion of British troops is still smaller. There
is absolutely no need of British soldiers in India for the purposes of
defence, but if the British Government wants to keep them as safeguards
against mutiny among the purely Indian army or against the spirit of
rebellion that at any time may exhibit itself among the Indian people,
then the British exchequer must pay for them as it did in the case of
British garrison in South Africa or as the United States does in the
case of American troops in the Philippines. It is adding insult to
injury to argue that we should not only pay for British troops but that
the fact that British troops form a constituent element of the Indian
army should be used against us for denying us full responsibility even
in civil affairs. The armies of the various Asiatic Governments
surrounding India have no European elements in them and the Indian
soldier is as efficient a fighter as is needed as a protection. That the
Indian army should be almost exclusively officered by the British is a
survival of the policy of mistrust, jealousy and racial discrimination
which has hitherto prevailed. It is time that the Indian army should in
future be mainly officered by the Indians. Until that is achieved it
must continue as a tentative measure to be officered by the British,
and the Indian Revenues must bear the burden. But that is hardly any
reason for denying us full responsible government even on the civil
side. The Indians do not desire nor demand the transfer of the control
over the Army or the Navy until the Army is principally officered by the
Indians and an Indian Navy has been built to supplement the Imperial
Navy. From this criticism of the reasons advanced by the authors for a
very mild "advance" (called "gradual") it is with pleasure that we turn
to the brighter side of the picture showing the favorable features of
the situation. The position of the educated Indian is described fairly
and squarely in Paragraph 140.

    "The old assumption that the interests of the ryot must be
    confided to official hands is strenuously denied by modern
    educated Indians. They claim that the European official must by
    his lack of imagination and comparative lack of skill in tongues
    be gravely handicapped in interpreting the thoughts and desires of
    an Asiatic people.... Our educational policy in the past aimed at
    satisfying the few, who sought after English education, without
    sufficient thought of the consequences which might ensue from not
    taking care to extend instruction to the many. We have in fact
    created a limited _intelligentsia_, who desire advance; and we
    cannot stay their progress entirely until education has been
    extended to the masses. It has been made a reproach to the
    educated classes that they have followed too exclusively after one
    or two pursuits, the law, journalism or school teaching: and that
    these are all callings which make men inclined to overrate the
    importance of words and phrases. But even if there is substance in
    the count, we must take note also how far the past policy of
    Government is responsible. We have not succeeded in making
    education practical. It is only now, when the war has revealed
    the importance of industry, that we have deliberately set about
    encouraging Indians to undertake the creation of wealth by
    industrial enterprise, and have thereby offered the educated
    classes any tangible inducement to overcome their traditional
    inclination to look down on practical forms of energy. We must
    admit that the educated Indian is a creation peculiarly of our
    own; and if we take the credit that is due to us for his strong
    points we must admit a similar liability for his weak ones. Let us
    note also in justice to him that the progressive Indian appears to
    realise the narrow basis of his position and is beginning to
    broaden it. In municipal and university work he has taken a useful
    and creditable share. We find him organising effort not for
    political ends alone, but for various forms of public and social
    service. He has come forward and done valuable work in relieving
    famine and distress by floods, in keeping order at fairs, in
    helping pilgrims, and in promoting co-operative credit. Although
    his ventures in the fields of commerce have not been always
    fortunate, he is beginning to turn his attention more to the
    improvement of agriculture and industry. Above all, he is active
    in promoting education and sanitation; and every increase in the
    number of educated people adds to his influence and authority."

The authors also say:

    "We must remember, too, that the educated Indian has come to the
    front by hard work; he has seized the education which we offered
    him because he first saw its advantages; and it is he who has
    advocated and worked for political progress. All this stands to
    his credit. For thirty years he has developed in his Congress and
    latterly in the Muslim League free popular convocations which
    express his ideals. We owe him sympathy because he has conceived
    and pursued the idea of managing his own affairs, an aim which no
    Englishman can fail to respect. He has made a skilful, and on the
    whole a moderate, use of the opportunities which we have given him
    in the legislative councils of influencing Government and
    affecting the course of public business, and of recent years, he
    has by speeches and in the press done much to spread the idea of a
    united and self-respecting India among thousands who had no such
    conception in their minds. Helped by the inability of the other
    classes in India to play a prominent part he has assumed the place
    of leader; but his authority is by no means universally
    acknowledged and may in an emergency prove weak."

In face of these observations about the politically minded classes of
India it is rather unkind of the authors to insinuate later on that in
the interests of the foreign merchant, the foreign missionary and the
European servants of the state it is necessary that the Government of
India should yet remain absolute and that, in the provinces as well,
important branches of the administration should be excluded from the
jurisdiction of the popular assemblies.

To sum up, while we are prepared to concede that the conditions of the
problem may justify the withholding of absolute autonomy,--political,
fiscal, and military,--for some time, there is nothing in them which can
in any way be deemed sufficient to deny full political, and, if not
complete, at least substantial fiscal autonomy to the Indian people at


[1] _Village Government in British India_, by JOHN MATTHAI. Preface by

[2] "The Indian Government compiles no statistics showing the
distribution of wealth, but such incomplete figures as we have obtained
show that the number of persons enjoying a substantial income is very
small. In one province the total number of persons who enjoy an income
of £66 a year derived from other sources than land is 30,000; in another
province 20,000. The revenue and rent returns also show how small the
average agricultural holding is. According to one estimate, the number
of landlords whose income derived from their proprietary holdings
exceeds £20 a year in the United Provinces is about 126,000, out of a
population of forty-eight millions. It is evident that the curve of
wealth descends very steeply, and that enormous masses of the population
have little to spare for more than the necessaries of life."

[3] See _Punjab in Peace and War_, by S. S. THORBORN, London, 1904.

[4] They are collected in _England's Debt to India_, by the present
author. New York, B. W. Huebsch, 1917.

[5] See Sir D. HAMILTON, _Calcutta Review_, July, 1916.

[6] "Banya" in Hindustan means "trader."

[7] In this connection the pertinent observations of the AGA KHAN in his
book _India in Transition_ may be read (Chapter XXV), Putnam, New York.



    The governing consideration, therefore, in all these cases
    [speaking of German colonies] must be that the inhabitants should
    be placed under the control of an administration acceptable to
    themselves, one of whose main purposes will be to prevent their
    exploitation for the benefit of European capitalists or

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "The War Aims of the Allies." Speech delivered
                        to delegates of the Trades Unions, at the
                        Central Hall, Westminster, January 5, 1918.

Until now the European servants of the British Government have ruled
India quite autocratically. The powers delegated to and the discretion
vested in them have been so large that they could do almost anything
they liked. They could make or mar the fortunes of millions; they could
further their happiness or add to their misery by the simple fiat of
their will. The only limitation on their power was their own sense of
duty and justice. That some of them did let themselves go is no wonder.
The wonder is that the instances of unbridled oppression and tyranny
were not more numerous than they have actually been. Speaking of the
European services generally, we have nothing but admiration for their
general character. The particular branch of the Public Services that has
been all along entrusted with the general administration of the country
is known as the Indian Civil Service. It is recruited in England and is
overwhelmingly European in personnel. On April 1, 1913, only forty-six
of the 1319 civilians on the _cadre_ were natives of India.

Speaking of the executive organizations that have so far ruled India,
the eminent authors of the Report for the reorganization of the
Government of India remark that it may "well be likened to a mere system
of official posts, actuated _till_ now by impulses of its own, but
affected by the popular ideas which impinge on it from three
sources--the British Parliament, the legislative councils and the local
boards." The sentence would have been correct if in place of "but
affected" the authors had said "and affected but little." "The system,"
they add, "has in the main depended for its effectiveness on the
experience, wisdom and energy of the services themselves. It has, for
the most part, been represented by the Indian Civil Service which,
though having little to do with the technical departments of government,
_has for over 100 years in practice had the administration entrusted to
its hands, because, with the exception of the offices of the Governor
General, Governors, and some members of the executive councils, it has
held practically all the places involving superior control_. It has been
in effect much more of a government corporation than of a purely civil
service in the English sense. It has been made a reproach to the Indian
Civil Service that it regards itself as the Government; but a view
which strikes the critic familiar with parliamentary government as
arrogant is little more than a condensed truth." [The italics are ours.]

The Indian Civil Service has thus developed all the characteristics,
good and bad, of a caste. It has been a powerful bureaucracy, as
exclusive, proud, arrogant and self-sufficient,--if not even more
so,--as the original Brahmin oligarchy of the land, except that while
the Brahmin oligarchy had ties of race, religion and culture with the
rest of the population, the Indian Civil Service is almost entirely
composed of aliens. The ancient Brahmins were, however, kept in check by
the military caste. The mutual jealousies of these two castes afforded
some kind of protection to the people in general. But in the case of the
British Indian Civil Service, the military have given entire support to
their civilian fellow-countrymen and have been completely under their

The Brahmins of India have left a monumental record of their labors.
They produced great thinkers, writers, legislators, administrators and
organizers. In their own time they were as wise, energetic and
resourceful as any bureaucracy in the world has ever been or will ever
be. Yet the system of life they devised cut at the roots of national
vitality. It dried almost all the springs of corporate national life. It
reduced the bulk of the population to a position of complete
subservience to their will, of blind faith in their wisdom, of absolute
dependence on their initiative. It deprived the common people of all
opportunities of independent thought and independent action. It brought
about a kind of national atrophy. And this, in spite of the fact that
they began by imposing a rigorous code of self-denial on themselves and
their class. For themselves they wanted nothing but a life of poverty
and asceticism. Their economic interests were never in theory or in
practice in conflict with those of the rest of the body politic.

A Brahmin was forbidden to engage in trade or otherwise accumulate
wealth. His life was a life of strict self-abnegation. This cannot be
said of the Indian Civil Servant. He receives a handsome salary for his
services, expects and receives periodic promotion until he reaches a
position which, from an economic point of view, is not unenviable. After
retirement he is free to engage in trade and otherwise accumulate
wealth. But over and above this, what distinguishes an Indian Civil
Servant from an old Brahmin bureaucrat is the fact that in India he
represents a nation whose economic interest may not always be in harmony
with those of the people of India. He is thus supposed to be the
guardian of the interests of his countrymen, and is expected to further
them as much as he can without altogether endangering the safety of
British rule in India. Looked at from this angle, we have no hesitation
in saying that the work of the Indian Civil Service, too, has in its
way, been monumental. As a rule, they have proved capable
administrators, individually honest, hardworking and alert. They have
organized and tabulated India in a way, perhaps, never done before. But
after all has been said in their praise, it cannot be denied that they
have done India even more harm than the Brahmin oligarchy in its time,
did, by the support they lent to economic exploitation of the country by
men of their own race and religion. Now, in this latter respect, we
want to guard against being misunderstood. The Indian Civil Service has,
in the course of about a century, produced a fairly good number of men
who have honestly and fearlessly stood for the protection of Indian
interests against those of people of their own race and religion. In
doing so they have sometimes ruined their own prospects of promotion and
advancement. Whenever they failed in their self-imposed task, and more
often they failed than not, they failed because the authorities at the
top were forced by considerations of domestic and imperial policy to do
otherwise. On the whole, the defects of the bureaucratic administration
were more the defects of the system than of the individuals composing

The Indian Civil Servant, like the old Brahmin, is autocratic and
dictatorial. He dislikes any display of independence by the people put
under his charge. He discourages initiative. He likes to be called and
considered the _Mai bap_ (mother and father) of his subjects. On those
who literally consider him such he showers his favors. The others he
denounces and represses. This has, in the course of time, led to
national emasculation. That is our chief complaint against the Indian
Civil Service. Of the other services we would rather not speak. They
have by no means been so pure and high-minded as the I. C. S., nor
perhaps so autocratic and dictatorial. The number of men who misused
their powers and opportunities to their own advantage has been much
larger in services other than the I. C. S. Yet they all have done a
certain amount of good work for India; whether one looks at the
engineering works designed and executed by them, or the researches they
have made in the science of healing and preventing disease, or the
risks they have run in preserving order or maintaining peace one cannot
but admire their efficiency and ability. The grievances of the Indian
Nationalists against the Public Services in India may be thus

(_a_) That the services monopolize too much power and are practically
uncontrolled by and irresponsible to the people of the country.

(_b_) That the higher branches of the services contain too many

(_c_) That these are recruited in England, and from some of them the
Indians are altogether barred.

(_d_) That even when doing the same work Indians are not paid on the
same scale as the Europeans.

(_e_) That the Government has often kept on men of proved inefficiency
and of inferior qualities.

(_f_) That, considering the economic conditions of India, the higher
servants of the Government are paid on a scale unparalleled in the
history of public administration in the world.

(_g_) That the interests of the services often supersede those of the
country and the Government.

(_h_) And last, but not least, that by the gathering of all powers of
initiative and execution in their hands they have emasculated India.

As regards (_a_) we have already quoted the opinion of the eminent
authors of the report. The principle laid down in the announcement of
August 20, and the scheme proposed are supposed to do away with the
element of irresponsibility. It is obvious that with the introduction of
the principle of popular control into the Government, the power of
individual servants of the executive will not remain what it is now, or
has been in the past. Much that is vested in and done by the service
will be transferred to public bodies elected by popular vote. This will
naturally affect (_b_) and (_c_) also. We will here stop to quote again
from the Report:

    "In the forefront of the announcement of August 20 the policy of
    the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the
    administration was definitely placed. It has not been necessary
    for us, nor indeed would it have been possible, to go into this
    large question in detail in the time available for our inquiry. We
    have already seen that Lord Hardinge's Government was anxious to
    increase the number of Indians in the public services, and that a
    Royal Commission was appointed in 1912 to examine and report on
    the existing limitations in the employment of Indians.... The
    report was signed only a few months after the outbreak of war, and
    its publication was deferred in the hope that the war would not be
    prolonged. When written, it might have satisfied moderate Indian
    opinion, but when published two years later it was criticised as
    wholly disappointing. Our inquiry has since given us ample
    opportunity of judging the importance which Indian opinion
    attaches to this question. While we take account of this attitude,
    a factor which carries more weight with us is that since the
    report was signed an entirely new policy toward Indian government
    has been adopted, which must be very largely dependent for success
    on the extent to which it is found possible to introduce Indians
    into every branch of the administration."

The authors of the Report then proceed to state the limitations of the
process, subject to the general remark that at the present moment there
are few Indians (we do not admit this) trained in public life, who can
replace the Europeans, and thus to alter the personnel of a service
must be a long and steady process. They admit that:

    "If responsible government is to be established in India there
    will be a far greater need than is even dreamt of at present for
    persons to take part in public affairs in the legislative
    assemblies and elsewhere; and for this reason the more Indians we
    can employ in the public services the better. Moreover, it would
    lessen the burden of Imperial responsibilities if a body of
    capable Indian administrators could be produced. We regard it as
    necessary, therefore, that recruitment of a largely increased
    proportion of Indians should be begun at once."

In the next paragraph they state why, in their judgment, it is necessary
that a substantial portion of the services must continue to be European.
Their reasons may be gathered from the following:

    "The characteristics which we have learned to associate with the
    Indian public services must as far as possible be maintained and
    the leaven of officers possessed of them should be strong enough
    to assure and develop them in the service as a whole. The
    qualities of courage, leadership, decision, fixity of purpose,
    detached judgment and integrity in her public servants will be as
    necessary as ever to India. There must be no such sudden swamping
    of any service with any new element that its whole character
    suffers a rapid alteration."

On these grounds they make the following recommendations:

    "I. That all distinctions based on race be removed, and that
    appointments to all branches of the public service be made without
    racial discrimination" (Paragraph 315).

    "II. That for all the public services, for which there is
    recruitment in England open to Europeans and Indians alike, there
    must be a system of appointment in India, ... and we propose to
    supplement it by fixing a definite percentage of recruitment to be
    made in India."

    "III. We have not been able to examine the question of the
    percentage of recruitment to be made in India for any service
    other than the Indian Civil Service. The Commission recommended
    that 25 per cent. of the superior posts of that service should be
    recruited for in India. We consider that changed conditions
    warrant some increase in that proportion, and we suggest that 33
    per cent. of the superior posts should be recruited for in India,
    and that this percentage should be increased by 1-1/2 per cent.
    annually until the periodic commission is appointed which will
    re-examine the whole subject.... We have dealt only with the
    Indian Civil Service, but our intention is that there should be in
    all other services now recruited from England a fixed percentage
    of recruitment in India, increasing annually."

Now we must admit that this is certainly a distinct and marked advance
on the existing situation. The Indian Constitutional party, however,
wants to have the percentage of recruitment in India fixed at 50 per
cent., retaining at the same time the annual increase suggested. In our
opinion, this difference is not material, provided the number of posts
to which the rule of percentage is to be applied is substantially
reduced. We may state our position briefly.

We are of the opinion that the system of administration in India is much
more costly than it should be, considering the sources and the amounts
of Indian revenues. Unless the industries of the country are developed
we can see no new sources of increased taxation. Consequently, to us,
it seems essential that some economy should be effected in the various
departments of the administration. The only way to effect that economy
is to substantially reduce the number of posts on which it is considered
necessary to retain a certain percentage of Europeans. In speaking of
the machinery of the Government of India, the authors of the Report say:

    "_We think we have reason for saying that in some respects the
    machinery is no longer equal to the needs of the time._ The normal
    work of the departments is heavy. The collective responsibility of
    the Government is weighty, especially in time of war. There is
    little time or energy left for those activities of a political
    nature which the new situation in the country demands. A
    legislative session of the Government of India imposes a serious
    strain upon the departments, and especially on the members in
    charge of them. But apart from the inevitable complexities of the
    moment, the growing burden of business, which results from the
    changing political conditions of the country, is leading to an
    accumulation of questions which cannot be disposed of as quickly
    as they present themselves. We find the necessity for reforms
    admitted, principles agreed upon, and decisions taken, and then
    long delays in giving effect to them. Difficulties are realized,
    enquiries are started, commissions report, and then there is a
    pause. There is a belief abroad that assurances given in public
    pronouncement of policy are sometimes not fulfilled. On this
    occasion, therefore, we have taken steps to guard against such
    imputations, and to provide means for ensuring the ordered
    development of our plans."


    "267. The main fault for the clogging of the machine does not, we
    think, lie altogether with its highly trained engineers. What is
    chiefly wanted is some change of system in the directions of
    simplicity and speed. _How does it happen that announcements are
    made that arouse expectations only to defeat them?_ We know that
    it is not from any intention of deluding the public. We suggest
    that it is because the wheels move too slowly for the times; the
    need for change is realized, but because an examination of details
    would take too long, promises are made in general terms, which on
    examination it becomes necessary so to qualify with reservations
    as to disappoint anticipations, and even to lead to charges of
    breach of faith. We suspect that a root-cause of some political
    discontent lies in such delays. Now, so far as the provinces are
    concerned, we believe that our proposals _for freeing them to a
    great extent from the control of the Government of India and the
    Secretary of State will improve matters. But the Government of
    India are in the worst case_." [The italics are ours.]

These observations raise an apprehension in our mind that it is proposed
to add to the strength of the services under the Government of India.
We, for ourselves, do not see how it can be otherwise. With the steady
admission of the popular element into the Government of India the
activities of the latter are likely to increase rather than diminish;
the secretarial work of the different departments will expand rather
than contract. The question of questions is how to meet the increased

The remedy is the same as was suggested many years ago by Sir William
Hunter, the official historian of India. He said:

"If we are to give a really efficient administration to India, many
services must be paid for at lower rates even at present. For those
rates are regulated in the higher branches of the administration by the
cost of officers brought from England. You cannot work with imported
labor as cheaply as you can with native labor, and I regard the more
extended employment of the natives, not only as an act of justice, but
as a financial necessity. If we are to govern the Indian people
efficiently and cheaply, we must govern them by means of themselves, and
pay for the administration at the market rates for native labor."

Now, whatever may be said about the necessity of maintaining a strong
European element in the departments which require initiative, courage,
resourcefulness and all the other qualities of "leadership" they are
certainly not a _sine qua non_ for efficiency in secretarial work. We
can see no reason why, then, the different secretariats of the
Government of India cannot be manned mainly, if not exclusively, by
Indians. Their salaries need not be the same as those now paid to the
Europeans engaged in these departments. May we ask if there is any
country on earth where such high salaries are paid to the secretarial
heads of departments as in India? Secretaries to the Government of India
in the Army and Public works and Legislative departments receive 42,000
Rs. each ($14,000, or £2800 a year); Secretaries to the Government of
India in the Finance, Foreign, Home, Revenue, Agriculture, Commerce and
Industry and Education departments get Rs. 48,000 a year each ($16,000
or £3,200); Educational Commissioners from 30 to 36,000 Rs. ($10,000 to

These secretarial officers are not of Cabinet rank. Besides their
salaries they get various allowances, and the purchasing value of the
rupee in India is much higher than that of 33 cents in the United States
or of 16d. in the United Kingdom, the exchange equivalents of an Indian
rupee. The same remarks may be made about Provincial Secretariats. We do
not ignore the fact that a European who cuts himself away from his
country and people for the best part of his life cannot be expected to
give his time, energy and talents for the compensation he might accept
in his own country, nor that, if the best kind of European talent is
desired for India, the compensation must be sufficiently attractive to
tempt competent men to accept it. In Paragraphs 318 to 322, both
inclusive, the Secretary of India and the Viceroy have put forward a
forceful plea for improvement in the conditions of the European Services
by (_a_) increment in their salaries, (_b_) expediting promotions, and
(_c_) grant of additional allowances, and also by bettering the
prospects of pensions and leave. We are afraid the only way to obtain
the concurrence of Indian public opinion in this matter, if at all, is
by restricting the number of posts which _must_ be held by Europeans.
The _cadre_ of services to which the rule of percentage is to apply must
be reduced in strength, and if Europeans are required for posts outside
these they should be employed for short periods and from an open market.
For example, it seems inconceivable to us why professional men like
doctors, engineers and professors should be recruited for permanent
service. Nor is there any reason why the recruitment should be confined
to persons of British domicile. The Government of India must be run on
business principles. With the exception, perhaps, of the higher posts in
the I. C. S. and in the Army, all other offices should be filled by
taking the supply on the best available terms for short periods and from
open market. By reducing the number of higher posts to which the rule of
percentage should apply, the Government would be reducing the number of
Indian officers who could claim the same salary as is given to their
European colleagues. In our humble opinion, the latter claim is purely
sentimental, and the best interests of the country require that the
administration should be as economical as is compatible with efficiency.
The strength of the different permanent services should be reduced as
much as possible and the deficiency made up by the appointment of the
best persons available at the price which the administration may be
willing to pay, whether such persons be European, Indian or American.
Take the Indian Educational Service, for example. The members start with
a salary of 6000 Rs. a year ($2000 or £400) and rise to about 24,000 Rs.
a year ($8000 or £1600). In the United States, to the best of our
knowledge, few professors, if any, get a salary higher than $7000 or
21,000 Rs. a year. High-class graduates of Harvard, Yale and Columbia
start their tutorial careers at $2000 to $3000 a year, many at $1500 a
year. These men would refuse to go to India on a similar salary. On the
other hand, if a salary of $4000 to $10,000 were offered to a select
few, the services of _the men at the top_ might be had for a short
period. Surely, in the best interests of education, it is much better to
get first-class men on high salaries for short periods than permanently
to have third-class men beginning with smaller salaries and eventually
rising to high salaries and ensuring to themselves life long pensions.
What is true of the Educational Service is similarly, if not equally,
true of the Medical, the Engineering and other scientific services. At
the present time we have men in these technical services who received
their education about twenty or twenty-five years ago and whose
knowledge of their respective sciences is antiquated and rusty.
Apothecaries, absolutely innocent of any knowledge of modern surgery,
are often appointed to the post of Civil Surgeons. No sensible Indian
desires that the present incumbents should be interfered with, except
where it is possible to retire them under the terms of their service.
All engagements should be met honorably. What is needed is that in
future there should be a radical departure in the practice of appointing
non-Indians to responsible posts in India. We do not want to deprive
ourselves of the privilege of being guided in our work by European
talent, nor should we grudge them adequate compensation for their
services. What we object to is (1) racial discrimination; (2) excessive
power being vested in individual officers; (3) the employment of more
than a necessary number of persons of alien origin; (4) the crippling of
the country's resources by burdening its finances with unnecessary
pensions and leave allowances; (5) the continuance of men on service
lists long after their usefulness has disappeared; (6) the filling of
appointments by jobbery, as is now done in the so-called non-regulation
provinces. We, in the Punjab, have been "blessed" by the rule of several
generations of Smiths, Harrys and Jones. Those who failed to pass the I.
C. S. joined the _cadre_ by the back door and received the same
emoluments as those who entered it by competition. It is they who block
the avenues of promotions and not the sons of the soil.


On the subject of the cost of administration it will be instructive to
compare the annual salaries allowed to the highest public servants in
India, the United States and Japan.

The President of the United States, who ranks with the great royalties
of the world in position, gets a salary of $75,000, without any other
allowance. The Prime Minister of Japan gets 12,000 yen, or $6000. The
Viceroy and the Governor General of India gets 250,000 rupees, or
$83,000, besides a very large amount in the shape of various allowances.
The Cabinet Ministers of the United States get a salary of $12,000 each,
the Japanese 8000 yen or $4000, and the Members of the Viceroy's
Council, $26,700 each.

In the whole Federal Government of the United States there are only
three offices which carry a salary of more than $8000. They are:

  The President of the General Navy Board     $13,500
  Solicitor General                           $10,000
  Assistant Solicitor General                  $9,000

All the other salaries range from $2100 to $8000. In the State
Department all offices, including those of the secretaries, carry
salaries of from $2100 to $5000. In the Treasury Department the
Treasurer gets $8000, three other officers having $6000 each. All the
remaining officials get from $2500 to $5000. In the War Department there
are only two offices which have a salary of $8000 attached: that of
Chief of Staff and that of Quartermaster General. The rest get from
$2000 to $6000. In the Navy Department, besides the President of the
General Board mentioned above, the President of the Naval Examination
Board gets $8000 and so does the Commandant of the Marine Corps. All the
rest get from $6000 downwards. In the Department of Agriculture there is
only one office carrying a salary of $6000. All the rest get from $5000
downwards. The Chief of the Weather Bureau, an expert, gets $6000. In
the Commerce Department four experts get $6000 each, the rest from $5000

In Japan the officials of the Imperial Household have salaries ranging
from $2750 to $4000. Officials of the Higher Civil Service get from
$1850 to $2100 a year; the Vice-Minister of State, $2500; Chief of the
Legislative Bureau, $2500; the Chief Secretary of the Cabinet, $2500;
and the Inspector General of the Metropolitan Police, $2500; President
of the Administrative Litigation Court, $3000; President of the Railway
Board, $3750; President of the Privy Council, $3000; Vice-President of
the Privy Council, $2750, and so on.

When we come to India we find that the President of the Railway Board
gets from $20,000 to $24,000 and that two other members of the Railway
Board get $16,000. Secretaries in the Army, Public Works, and
Legislative Departments get $14,000. Secretaries in Finance, Foreign,
Home, Revenue, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry Departments get
$16,000. The Secretary in the Education Department gets $12,000; Joint
Secretary, $10,000; Controller and Auditor-General, $14,000;
Accountant-General, from $9,000 to $11,000; Commissioner of Salt
Revenue, $10,000; Director of Post and Telegraph, from $12,000 to

Among the officers directly under the Government of India there are only
a few who get salaries below $7000. Most of the others get from that sum
up to $12,000.

The United States includes forty-eight States and territories. Some of
them are as large in area, if not even larger, than the several
provinces of India. The Governors of these States are paid from $2500 to
$12,000 a year. Illinois is the only State paying $12,000; five States,
including New York and California, pay $10,000; two, Massachusetts and
Indiana, pay $8000; one pays $7000, and three pay $6000. All the rest
pay $5000 or less. There is only one territory, the Philippines, which
pays a salary of $20,000 to its Governor-General.

In India the Governors of Madras, Bombay and Bengal each receive
$40,000, besides a large amount for allowances. The Lieutenant-Governors
of the Punjab, the United Provinces, Bihar and Burma get $33,000 each,
besides allowances. The Chief Commissioners receive $11,000 in Bihar,
$18,700 in Assam, $20,700 in the Central Provinces, and $12,000 in
Delhi. The Political Residents in the native States receive from $11,000
to $16,000, besides allowances.

In Japan the governors of provinces are paid from $1850 to $2250 per
year, besides allowances varying from $200 to $300.

The Provincial services in India are paid on a more lavish scale than
anywhere else in the world. In Bengal the salaries range from $1600 for
Assistant Magistrate and Collector to $21,333 to Members of the
Council, and this same extravagance is also true of the other provinces.

Coming to the Judiciary, we find that Justices of the Supreme Court of
the United States get a salary of $14,500 each, the Chief Justice
getting $15,000; the Circuit Judges get a salary of $7000 each; the
District Judges, $6000. In the State of New York the Judges of the
Supreme Court, belonging to the General Sessions, get from $17,500 and
those of the Special Sessions from $9000 to $10,000 each. City
Magistrates get from $7000 to $8000. In India the Chief Justice of
Bengal gets $24,000; the Chief Justices of Bombay, Madras and the United
Provinces, $20,000 each. The Chief Judges of the Chief Court of the
Punjab and Burma get $16,000 each and the Puisine Judges of the High
Courts the same amounts.

The Puisine Judges of the Chief Courts receive $14,000. In the Province
of Bengal the salaries of the District and Session Judges range from
$8,000 to $12,000. District Judges of the other provinces get from about
$7000 to $12,000. The Deputy Commissioners in India get a salary in the
different provinces ranging from $6000 to $9000 a year. The
Commissioners get from $10,000 to $12,000.

In Japan the Appeal Court Judges and Procurators get from $900 to $2500
a year. Only one officer, the President of the Court of Causation, gets
as much as $3000. The District Court Judges and Procurators are paid at
the rate of from $375 to $1850. It is needless to compare the salaries
of minor officials in the three countries. Since the Indian taxpayer has
to pay so heavily for the European services engaged in the work of
administration, it is necessary that even Indian officers should be paid
on a comparatively high scale, thus raising the cost of administration
hugely and affecting most injuriously the condition of the men in the
lower grades of the government service. The difference between the
salaries of the officers and the men forming the rank and file of the
government in the three countries shows clearly how the lowest ranks in
India suffer from the fact that the highest governmental officials are
paid at such high rates.

In New York City the Chief Inspector gets $3500 a year; Captains, $2750;
Lieutenants, $2250; Surgeons, $1,750; and Patrolmen, $1,400 each. In
Japan the Inspector General of the Metropolitan Police gets $2500. The
figures of the lower officials are not available. But the minimum salary
of a Constable is $6.50 a month, besides which he gets his equipment,
uniform and boots free. In India the Inspectors General get from $8000
to $12,000, the Deputy Inspectors General from $6000 to $7200, District
Superintendents of Police from $2666 to $4800, Assistants from $1200 to
$2000, Inspectors from $600 to $1000, Sub-inspectors from $200 to $400,
Head Constables from $60 to $80, Constables from $40 to $48.

We have taken these figures from the _Indian Year Book_, published by
the _Times of India_, Bombay. We know as a fact that the
Police-Constables in the Punjab are paid from $2.67 to $3.33 per
month--that is, from $32 to $40 per year. The reader should mark the
difference between the grades of salaries from the highest to the lowest
in India as compared with the United States and Japan. While in India
the lowest officials are frightfully underpaid, the highest grades are
paid on a lavish scale. In the other countries of the world this is not
the case.


In the United States (we quote the figures of New York) the lowest grade
school teachers get a salary of $720, rising to $1500 a year. In the
upper grades salaries range from $1820 to $2260. Principals of
elementary schools receive $3500 and assistants $2500. In the High
Schools salaries range from $900 to $3150, in training schools from
$1000 to $3250. Principals of High Schools and Training Schools receive
$5000 and the same salary is paid to the District Superintendent. The
Commissioner of Education in New York gets $7500.

In Japan the Minister of Education, who is a Cabinet Minister, gets
$4000, and the lowest salaries paid to teachers range from $8 to $9 per
month. In the United States College Professors make from $3000 to $5000
per year, a few only getting higher sums. In Japan salaries range from
$300 to $2000. Coming to India we find that while the Administrative
officials and even the College Professors get fairly high salaries, the
teachers in the schools are miserably underpaid.

Even the _Times of India_, an Anglo-Indian newspaper published in
Bombay, has recently commented on the colossal difference between the
salaries allowed at the top and those allowed at the bottom. Yet
recently the Secretary of State has been sanctioning higher leave
allowances to the European officers of the Indian Army.

The Secretary of State for India in Council has approved, with effect
from January 1, 1919, the following revised rates of leave pay for
officers of the Indian Army and Indian Medical service granted leave out
of India:


                                      per annum
  On appointment                           £200
  After completion of 3 years' service      250
    "       "         6    "      "         300
    "       "         9    "      "         350
    "       "        12    "      "         400
    "       "        15    "      "         450
    "       "        18    "      "         500
    "       "        21    "      "         550
    "       "        24    "      "         600
    "       "        27    "      "         650
    "       "        29    "      "         700


  On appointment                            300
  After completion of 3 years' service      350
    "       "         6    "      "         400
    "       "         9    "      "         450
    "       "        12    "      "         500
    "       "        15    "      "         550
    "       "        18    "      "         600
    "       "        21    "      "         650
    "       "        24    "      "         700



    The real enemy is the war spirit fostered in Prussia. It is an
    ideal of a world in which force and brutality reign supreme, as
    against a world, an ideal of a world, peopled by free democracies,
    united in an honourable league of peace.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "The Destruction of a False Ideal." Speech
                        delivered at the Albert Hall on the launching
                        of the New War Economy Campaign, October 22,

    When the Indian troops first arrived in October, 1914, the
    situation was of so drastic a nature that it was necessary to call
    upon them at once to re-enforce the fighting front and help to stem
    the great German thrust. Their fine fighting qualities, tenacity,
    and endurance were well manifested during the first Battle of Ypres
    before they had been able to completely reorganize after their
    voyage from India.

                                              LORD FRENCH, the First
                                              Commander-in-Chief of
                                              British forces on the
                                              Western front.

    The full story of the Palestine victory still remained to be told,

                                              LORD CHELMSFORD, the
                                              Governor-General of India,
                                              on September 26, 1918.

    As is usual in our history, we have triumphed after many sad
    blunders and in the end we have defeated Turkey almost
    single-handed, though our main forces have throughout the war been
    engaged with another foe. In fact, IT IS TO INDIA THAT OUR RECENT

                                              MAJOR GENERAL SIR
                                              FREDERICK MAURICE in
                                              _The New York Times_,
                                              November 6, 1918.

The present Governor of the Punjab (his precise designation is
Lieutenant Governor), who is the most reactionary, self-complacent and
conceited of all the provincial rulers of India, has in the course of
his appeals for recruits for the present war said more than once that
the right of self-government carries with it the responsibility of
defending the country. The distinguished authors of the Report have also
remarked in one place that so long as the duty of defending India rests
on Great Britain, the British Parliament must control the Government of
India. Now let us see what the facts are.

(1) The first thing to be remembered in this connection is that during
the whole period of British rule in India, not a penny has been spent by
Great Britain for Indian defence. The defence of India has been well
provided for by Indian Revenues. On the other hand India has paid
millions in helping Great Britain not only in defending the Empire, but
in extending it.[1] Whatever protection has been afforded to India by
the British Navy--and that has by no means been small--has been more
than repaid by India's services to the Empire in China, Egypt, South
Africa and other parts of the world. As to the military forces of India,
they consist of two wings: (_a_) the British and (_b_) the Indian. The
pre-war Indian army consisted of 80,000 British and 160,000 Indians.
Indian public opinion has for decades been protesting against the denial
to Indians of officers' commissions in the Indian army, as also against
the strength of the British element therein. Every British unit of the
Indian army from the Field Marshal to the Tommy is paid for his services
by India. India pays for these services not only during the time they
form part of the Indian army but also for their training and equipment.
It pays all their leave, transfer and pension charges. It even pays for
whatever provision is made in England for their medical relief, etc. In
the line of the military and naval defence of India, Great Britain has
not done as much for India as she has done for the dominions and
self-governing colonies. Under the circumstances it is adding insult to
injury to insinuate that India has in any way shirked the duty of
providing for her defence. We will say nothing of India's services
during the war.

In the military defence of India, the contribution of the Punjab has
always been the greatest. If the British provinces are considered
singly, it will be found that the Punjab has been supplying the largest
number of units for the Indian army, not only in the ranks of the
fighters, but also in the ranks of auxiliaries. During this war, too,
the Punjab made the largest contribution of both combatants and
non-combatants. Yet, if we compare the civil status of the people of the
Punjab with that of other provinces, we will find that they have been
persistently denied equality of status with Bengal, Bombay and Madras.
The Punjab peasantry, which supplies the largest number of soldiers to
the army, is the most illiterate and ignorant of all the classes of
Indian population. Their economic and legal position may better be
studied in Mr. Thorborn's _The Punjab in Peace and in War_. The
Municipal and Local Boards of the province do not possess as much
independence as has been conceded in the other provinces. The judicial
administration of the province is as antiquated as it could possibly be
under British rule. Instead of a High Court we have still a Chief
court.[2] Captains and Majors and Colonels are still performing judicial
functions as magistrates and judges. The trial by jury in the cases of
Indians is unknown. Until lately the Punjab was stamped with the badge
of inferiority by being called a non-Regulation province. Even in this
report the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy have spoken of
it as a backward province. It will thus be seen that the contribution of
the Punjab to the military strength of the Empire has in no way
benefited her population in getting better opportunities for civil
progress or greater civil liberties. But recently the President of the
Punjab Provincial Conference uttered hard words against the Provincial
administration's policy of repression and coercion. He said that their
"cup of disappointment, discontent and misery, in the Punjab, at any
rate, was full to overflowing."

So much about the discharge of obligations for military defence carrying
with it the right of self-government. The Indians have no desire to
shirk their responsibility for the military defence of India; nor do
they want to balk their contribution to the Imperial defence. Their
demands in this respect may be thus summarised:

    (1) That the Indian Army should be mainly officered by the

    (2) That as much as is possible of the arms and ammunition
    equipment, and the military stores required for the Indian army be
    produced in India.

    (3) That the strength of the British element be considerably

    (4) That the nature of the Indian army, which is at present one of
    hired soldiers, be converted into that of a National Militia with
    a small standing army and a great reserve.

    (5) That in order to do it, some kind of compulsory military
    training be introduced. All young men between the ages of 17 and
    21 may be required to undergo military training and put in at
    least one year of military service.

    (6) That as a preliminary step towards it the existing Arms Act be
    repealed and, under proper safeguards, the people be allowed to
    carry and possess arms in peace and war, so as to be familiar with
    their use.

    (7) That slowly and gradually, as funds can be spared from the
    other demands more urgent and pressing, an Indian Navy be built.

Having explained the position of the Indian Nationalist in this matter,
we will now see what Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford say on this matter
in their report. In Paragraph 328 they state the "Indian wishes" and
point out that "for some years Indian politicians have been urging the
right of Indians in general to bear arms in defence of their country";
and that "we have everywhere met a general demand from the political
leaders for extended opportunities for military service," but that the
subject being more or less outside the scope of their enquiry and
"requirements of the future" being dependent "on the form of peace which
is attained," they "leave this question for consideration hereafter with
the note that it must be faced and settled."

In Paragraph 330 they deal with the question of "British Commissions for

    "The announcement of his Majesty's Government that 'the bar which
    has hitherto prevented the admission of Indians to commissioned
    rank in His Majesty's Army should be removed' has established the
    principle that the Indian soldier can earn the King's commission
    by his military conduct. It is not enough merely to assert a
    principle. We must act on it. The services of the Indian army in
    the war and the great increase in its numbers make it necessary
    that a considerable number of commissions should now be given. The
    appointments made so far have been few. Other methods of
    appointment have not yet been decided on, but we are impressed
    with the necessity of grappling with the problem. We also wish to
    establish the principle that if an Indian is enlisted as a private
    in a British unit of His Majesty's Army its commissioned ranks
    also should be open to him."

The "other methods of appointment" that have been announced since the
report was signed are far from satisfactory. It has been said that the
responsibility for this niggardly policy in the matter of admitting
Indians to the Commissioned ranks of the army rests with the Home
Government and that the Indian Government's recommendations were much
more liberal. Now, as practical men, we fully realize that for some time
to come, at least until British suspicion of India's desire to get out
of the Empire is completely removed by the grant of responsible
government to India, India's military policy and the Indian army must be
controlled by the British executive. On that point all the parties in
India are agreed. But it is absolutely necessary that some steps be at
once taken to remove the stigma of military helplessness from India's
forehead. Let the British retain the control and the command, but let us
share the responsibility to some extent and let our young men be trained
for the future defence of their Motherland. To deprive them of all means
of doing that, to charge them with neglect of that paramount duty and
then to urge it as a disqualification of civil liberties, is hardly


[1] See chapter on "How India has helped England make her Empire," in
_England's Debt to India_, by the present author.

[2] It has now been converted into a High Court.



    The old world, at least, believed in ideals. It believed that
    justice, fair play, liberty, righteousness must triumph in the
    end; that is, however you interpret the phrase, the old world
    believed in God, and it staked its existence on that belief.
    Millions of gallant young men volunteered to die for that divine
    faith. But if wrong emerged triumphant out of this conflict, the
    new world would feel in its soul that brute force alone counted in
    the government of man; and the hopelessness of the dark ages would
    once more fall on the earth like a cloud.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "No Halfway House." Speech delivered at Gray's
                        Inn, December 14, 1917.

A whole section of the Report has been devoted to a consideration of the
claims of the European Community in India. It is said:

    "We cannot conclude without taking into due account the presence
    of a considerable community of non-official Europeans in India. In
    the main they are engaged in commercial enterprises; but besides
    these are the missions, European and American, which in furthering
    education, building up character, and inculcating healthier
    domestic habits have done work for which India should be grateful.
    There are also an appreciable number of retired officers and
    others whose working life has been given to India, settled in the
    cooler parts of the country. When complaints are rife that
    European commercial interests are selfish and drain the country of
    wealth which it ought to retain, it _is well to remind ourselves
    how much of India's material prosperity is due to European
    commerce_." [The italics are ours].

We have no desire to raise a controversy over the assumption which
underlies the last statement in the above extract. The authors are
themselves cognizant of it when they remark, later on, that the
"benefit" which India has received by her commercial development in
European hands is "not less because it was incidental and not the
purpose of the undertaking." These are matters on which the Indian
Nationalist may well hold his own opinion and yet endorse the spirit of
the following observations:

    "Clearly it is the duty of British Commerce in India to identify
    itself with the interests of India, which are higher than the
    interests of any community; to take part in political life; to use
    its considerable wealth and opportunities to commend itself to
    India; and having demonstrated both its value and its good
    intentions, to be content to rest like other industries on the new
    foundation of Government in the wishes of the people. No less is
    it the wish of Indian politicians to respect the expectations
    which have been implicitly held out; to remember how India has
    profited by commercial development which only British capital and
    enterprise achieved; to bethink themselves that though the capital
    invested in private enterprises was not borrowed under any
    assurance that the existing form of government would endure, yet
    the favourable terms on which money was obtained for India's
    development were undoubtedly affected by the fact of British rule;
    and to abstain from advocating differential treatment aimed not so
    much at promoting Indian as at injuring British commerce."

We must say that the last insinuation is perfectly gratuitous. Nor is it
correct to say even by implication that the non-official European
community has hitherto abstained from taking part in politics. The fact
is that Indian politics have hitherto been too greatly dominated by the
British merchant both at home and in India. The British merchant doing
business in India had to submit to the prior claims of the British
manufacturers in Great Britain in matters in which their interests did
not coincide, but otherwise their interests received the greatest
possible attention from the Government of India. In proportion to their
incomes derived from India by the employment of Indian labour on terms
more or less guaranteed to them by the Indian Government's special
legislation they have made the smallest possible contribution to the
Indian Revenues; yet they have been the greatest possible hindrance in
the development of Indian liberties. They have all the time owned a
powerful press which has employed all the resources of education and
enlightenment, all the powers of manipulating facts and figures in
maintaining and strengthening the rule of autocracy in the country. We
do not propose to open these wounds. But we cannot help remarking that
so far they have exercised quite a disproportionate influence in the
decisions of the Government of India. Those of them who are domiciled in
the country are our brothers and no Indian has the least desire to do
anything that will harm them in any way. Their importance must, in
future, be determined not by their race or colour or creed but by their
numbers, their education and their position in the economic life of the
country. They must no longer lord it over the Indians simply because
they are of European descent. They should claim no preferences or
exemptions because of that fact. As an integral part of the Indian body
politic they are entitled to all the consideration which they deserve by
virtue of their intellectual or economic position. They should
henceforth be Indo-British both in spirit and in name. They will find
the Indians quite ready to forget the past and embrace them as brothers
for the common prosperity of their joint country.

As regards the other European merchants who are not domiciled in India
but are there just to make money and return to spend it in their native
land, they are no more entitled to any place in the political machinery
of the Indian Government than the Hindus who trade in the United States
or in England. So far every European, of whatever nationality he might
be, has occupied a position of privilege in India. He was granted rights
which were denied to the sons of the soil. Every German or Austrian or
Bulgarian could keep or carry any number and kind of arms he wanted
without any license, while the natives of India, even of the highest
position, could not do so unless exempted either by virtue of their rank
or by the favour of the Administration. Jews and Armenians, Turks and
Russians, Scandinavians, Danes, Italians and Swiss all enjoyed the
privilege. When charged with any serious offence punishable by
imprisonment for more than six months, they could claim trial by a jury
having a majority of Europeans on it, while no Indian outside the
Presidency towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras had that right. Even
there, the jury trying an Indian could include a majority of Europeans.
In the famous trial of Mr. B. G. Tilak in 1908, the jury was composed of
seven Europeans and two Parsees. It is obvious that these
discriminations in favour of the Europeans must cease and that no
European not domiciled in India should enjoy a position of special
privilege. Indians are noted for their hospitality and chivalry. Their
own codes of honor effectively prevent them from doing any harm or
injury to a foreigner. Every European doing business in India or on any
other errand is a guest of honor and entitled to that treatment,
provided he does not assume racial superiority and look down upon the
people of the country and take advantage of their being subjects of a
European power. No Indian will be so foolish as to injure the commercial
development of his country by scaring the foreign trader or the foreign
capitalist. All that he wants is freedom to lay down the terms on which
that trade will be carried on consistently with the interests of India's
millions. What he stands for is equality and reciprocity. As other
peoples are free to name the conditions on which the foreign trader may
do business in their countries, so must the Indians be. Nothing more and
nothing less than this is demanded.

As regards the citizens of the British Empire also, the same right of
reciprocity is demanded. We are glad that the representatives of the
Dominions have recognized the justice of that claim and expressed their
willingness to concede it.

Coming to the Missions, European and American, the advice given is
rather gratuitous. The Indians have left nothing undone to show their
gratitude to them for the good work done by them in spite of the fact
that they, too, in the past, have not hesitated to use the fact of their
race and colour for the benefit of their propaganda. The person of a
religious man is sacred in the eyes of an Indian, regardless of his
particular creed. The Christian missionary has so far enjoyed a unique
position of safety and freedom in the country even to a greater extent
than the Hindu or the Moslem priest. The latter have often quarrelled
amongst themselves, but the former they have always respected and
honored. There is absolutely no reason to think that this is likely to
change in any way by the grant of political liberty to the Indians.

It is possible, however, that, with the growth of free thought in India,
religious teachers of all denominations may not continue to be the
recipients of the same honour as has been paid to them in the past by
virtue of their religious office. Dogmatic religion, whether it be
Hinduism, Mohammedanism or Christianity is in a state of decay. In that
respect India is feeling the reaction of world forces and no amount of
political coercion or repression can stop it. In my humble judgment the
average Indian has thus far been more tolerant of and more considerate
to the Christian missionary than the latter has been to the Indian. Even
in the matter of gratitude the Christian missionary may with advantage
learn from the Hindu. The instances are not rare in which all the
hospitality, respect and honor which a Christian missionary has
received during his stay in India have been repaid by the latter's
freely traducing the character of the Indians in his home land. To no
small degree is the Christian missionary responsible for the feeling of
contempt with which the Indian is looked down upon in America and other
countries of the West. We do not object to his speaking the truth, but
it is not the truth that he always speaks. Of gratitude, at least, he
gives no evidence.

    The European Community in India is divided into two classes: (a)
    pure Europeans, who number a little less than 200,000 in the total
    population of 315,000,000. (178,908 in the British provinces and
    20,868 in the native States.)

    (b) Anglo-Indians, hitherto called Eurasians, who number about
    83,000 (68,612 in British territories and 15,045 in the Native
    States). Thus the whole European community in India is less than



The Native States of India constitute one of the anomalies of Indian
political life. They are the honored remnants of the old order of
things--an order in which personal bravery, resourcefulness and
leadership with or without capacity for successful intrigue enabled
individuals to carve out kingdoms and principalities for themselves and
their legal successors.

In the case of some of these Native States the genealogies of the ruling
houses go back to the early centuries of the Christian era by historical
evidence and to pre-Christian times by tradition. Their origin is
somewhat shrouded in mystery. In popular belief they are the descendants
of gods--gods of light and life, the Sun and the Moon. Next to the Royal
family of Japan, they are perhaps the only houses among the rulers of
the earth which can claim such an ancient and unbroken lineage of
royalty with sovereignty of one kind or another always vested in them.
There have been times in their history when the royal heads of these
states had no house to live in and no bed to sleep on, much less a
territory to rule and an army to command. This was, however, a part of
their royalty. In struggles against powerful enemies, sometimes of their
own race and religion, but more often foreign aggressors of different
blood and creed, they were many a time worsted and driven to extreme
straits of poverty and helplessness. In peace or in war, in prosperity
or in misery, they never gave up the struggle. Their right to lead their
people and to rule their country they never yielded for a moment. It is
true that sometimes they submitted to the superior power of the enemy
and accepted a position of subordination, though in one case, at least,
even this was done only for a short time under the Moguls. In the darker
days of Indian history, when the military devastation of foreign
invaders left nothing but tears and blood, ruin and ashes, defeat and
misery in their track, these houses kept the lamp of hope burning. For
full ten centuries they carried on a struggle of life and death,
sometimes momentarily succumbing before the overwhelming force of their
adversaries, but only to rise again in fresh vigor and life to reclaim
their heritage and preserve their own and their country's independence.

The _Sessodias_ of Mewar called the _Ranas_ of Mewar (Udaipur) and the
Rahtores of Marwar (including Jodhpur, Bikaner, Rutlam, Kishangarh and
Alwar) have written many a glorious page of Mediaeval Indian history and
dyed it with their own blood as well as that of their adversaries. Not
only their men but their women have made themselves immortal by their
bravery, chivalry, purity and self-immolation. The one thing which
distinguishes the Indian Rajput from the peoples of other lands is that
he has never waged war against the poor, the helpless and the
defenceless. Numberless men gave their lives freely and ungrudgingly not
only in protecting the lives of their own women and children but also in
doing the same service to the women and children of their enemies. The
Rajput never fought an unfair fight. He never took advantage of the
helplessness of his enemy and always gave him right of way and the use
of his best weapons for a free and fair fight in the open. Anyone
desirous of knowing their deeds may read them in that poem in prose,
known as the Annals of Rajhasthan by Col. Todd. Col. Todd has drawn a
most faithful and thrilling picture of Rajput bravery and Rajput
chivalry in a language worthy of the best traditions of English
literature. Here and there in matters of minor details his authority has
been questioned; otherwise the results of his monumental labors still
remain the best picture of Rajput India. The Rajput States of India are
thus the objects of reverent honor to the 220 million Hindus of that
country. Next to the Rajput States comes the native ruling family of
Mysore as the representative of a very ancient Hindu Kingdom. The
Mahratta States are the remnants of the Mahratta Empire and the Sikhs
those of the Sikh Commonwealth. The biggest of all the Indian Native
States, Hyderabad, arose out of the ruins of the Mogul Empire and is
supposed to be the most powerful guardian of Moslem culture and
tradition. From this description the reader will at once see why the
Native States are so dear to the peoples of India and why the Indian
educated party has always stood by the Native States, whenever either
their treaty rights or the personal dignity and status of their chiefs
was threatened by the British authorities. Lord Dalhousie's policy of
annexation by lapse was so much resented by the people of India that it
had almost cost the British their Indian Empire. Only in the Native
States do the Indians see remaining traces of their former
independence. That fact alone covers all the defects of native rule or
misrule in the States, in their eyes. Some of these Native States have
been so well administered that in education, social reform and
industrial advancement they are far ahead of the neighboring British
territories. But their chief merit lies in the fact that ordinarily the
people get enough food to eat and are seemingly happier than British
subjects. This fact has been noticed by several competent observers of
contemporary Indian life, among them the Right Honorable Mr. Fisher,
President of the Board of Education in England. In his book _The Empire
and the Future_ he has observed:

    "My impression is that the inhabitants of a well governed native
    state are on the whole happier and more contented than the
    inhabitants of British India. _They are more lightly taxed_; the
    pace of the administration is less urgent and exacting; their
    sentiment is gratified by the splendor of a native court and by
    the dominion of an Indian government. They feel that they do
    things for themselves instead of having everything done for them
    by a cold and alien benevolence." (Italics are ours)

But after all that is favourable to the Native States of India has been
said, their existence in their present form remains a political anomaly.
As at present situated, they are an effective hindrance to complete
Indian unity. Although "India is in fact as well as by legal definition,
one geographical whole," yet these Native States, occupying about
one-third of the total area of the country and with a population of
about 70 million will, for a long time, prevent its becoming a
homogeneous political whole. Thus a circumstance which was hitherto
looked upon as a piece of good luck will operate as a misfortune.

    "The Native States of India are about 700 in number. They embrace
    the widest variety of country and jurisdiction. They vary in size
    from petty States like Rewa, in Rajputana, with an area of 19
    square miles, and the Simla Hill States, which are little more
    than small holdings, to States like Hyderabad, as large as Italy,
    with a population of thirteen millions."[1]

The general position as regards the rights and obligations of the Native
States has been thus summed up by the distinguished authors of the joint
Report (Lord Chelmsford and Mr. Montagu):

    "The States are guaranteed security from without; the paramount
    power acts for them in relation to foreign powers and other
    States, and it intervenes when the internal peace of their
    territories is seriously threatened. On the other hand the States'
    relations to foreign powers are those of the paramount power; they
    share the obligation for the common defence; and they are under a
    general responsibility for the good government and welfare of
    their territories."

As regards the assimilation of the principles of modern life, it is
remarked in the same document:

    "Many of them have adopted our civil and criminal codes. Some have
    imitated and even further extended our educational system.... They
    have not all been equally able to assimilate new principles. They
    are in all stages of development, patriarchal, feudal or more
    advanced, while in a few states are found the beginnings of
    representative institutions. The characteristic features of all of
    them, however, including the most advanced, are the personal rule
    of the Prince and his control over legislation and the
    administration of justice."

Under the circumstances the question of questions is how these
territories are going to fall into line with the British controlled area
in the matter of the development of responsible Government. We will once
more quote the opinion of the Secretary of State for India and the
Viceroy, who say:

    "We know that the States cannot be unaffected by constitutional
    development in adjoining provinces. Some of the more enlightened
    and thoughtful of the Princes, among whom are included some of the
    best known names, have realised this truth, and have themselves
    raised the question of their own share in any scheme of reform.
    Others of the Princes--again including some of the most honored
    names--desire only to leave matters as they are. We feel the need
    for caution in this matter. It would be a strange reward for
    loyalty and devotion to force new ideas upon those who did not
    desire them; but it would be no less strange, if out of
    consideration for those who perhaps represent gradually vanishing
    ideas, we were to refuse to consider the suggestions of others who
    have been no less loyal and devoted. Looking ahead to the future
    we can picture India to ourselves only as presenting the external
    semblance to some form of 'federation.' The provinces will
    ultimately become self-governing units, held together by the
    central Government which will deal solely with matters of common
    concern to all of them. But the matters common to the British
    provinces are also to a great extent those in which the Native
    States are interested--defence, tariffs, exchange, opium, salt,
    railways and posts and telegraphs. The gradual concentration of
    the Government of India upon such matters will therefore make it
    easier for the States, while retaining the autonomy which they
    cherish in internal matters, to enter into closer association with
    the central Government if they wish to do so. But though we have
    no hesitation in forecasting such a development as possible, the
    last thing that we desire is to attempt to force the pace.
    Influences are at work which need no artificial stimulation. All
    that we need or can do is to open the door to the natural
    developments of the future."

In Paragraphs 302 to 305 the authors of the Report state the process by
which this development may be expedited. Disavowing any intention of
forcibly altering treaty rights, they propose to classify the States
into (_a_) those that have "full authority over their internal affairs,"
(_b_) those "in which Government exercises through its Agents large
powers of internal control," (_c_) those who are really no more "than
mere owners of a few acres of land." It is further pointed out that
hitherto the

    "general clause which occurs in many of the treaties to the effect
    that the Chief shall remain absolute Ruler of his country has not
    in the past precluded and does not even now preclude 'interference
    with the administration by Government through the agency of its
    representatives at the Native Courts.' We need hardly say that
    such interference has not been employed in wanton disregard of
    treaty obligations. During the earlier days of our intimate
    relations with the States British agents found themselves
    compelled, often against their will, to assume responsibility for
    the welfare of the people, to restore order out of chaos, to
    prevent inhuman practices, and to guide the hands of a weak or
    incompetent Ruler as the only alternative to the termination of
    his rule. So too, at the present day, the Government of India
    acknowledges as trustee, a responsibility (which the Princes
    themselves desire to maintain) for the proper administration of
    States during a minority, and also an obligation for the
    prevention or correction of flagrant misgovernment."

And also that:

    "the position hitherto taken up by Government has been that the
    conditions under which some of the treaties were executed have
    undergone material changes, and the literal fulfilment of
    particular obligations which they impose has become impracticable.
    Practice has been based on the theory that treaties must be read
    as a whole, and that they must be interpreted in the light of the
    relation established between the parties not only at the time when
    a particular treaty was made, but subsequently."

On these grounds it is proposed to establish a Council of Princes to
which questions which affect the States generally or are of concern to
the Empire as a whole, or to British India and the States in common, may
be referred for advice and opinion. So long as the Princes do not
intervene either formally or informally in the internal affairs of
British India, we have no objection to the scheme. On the other hand, we
do hope some method will be found by which, with the consent of the
parties interested the smaller principalities scattered all over the
country may, for administrative purposes, be merged either in the
British area or in the bigger Native States which possess full power of
autonomy over their internal affairs. In the long run it will be
comparatively easy to convert the latter to an acceptance of the modern
principles of government if the number of Native States is reduced and
their people achieve that solidarity which comes by community of
interests and ideas. In this connection it is a happy augury for the
future that some of the highest Chiefs like those of Mysore, Baroda,
Gwaliar, Indore, Kashmir, Bikaner, Jodhpore, Alwar, and Patiala are
alive to the importance of marching with the times. The people of
British India owe them a great debt of gratitude for the moral support
they have given to their claim for responsible Government by coming out
openly and freely in favour of the proposed advance. We are sure that
these Princes will in due time take measures to bring their own
territories in line with the British provinces and thus strengthen the
ties that bind them to their own peoples as well as to the other people
of India. After all, there can be no manner of doubt, as the authors of
the report predict,

    "that the processes at work in British India cannot leave the
    States untouched and must in time affect even those whose ideas
    and institutions are of the most conservative and feudal

It is the path of wisdom and sagacity to recognise the world forces that
are at work. No amount of ancient prestige can prevent the people from
coming into their own. The age of despotism is gone and the autocrats of
today must sooner or later hand over their powers to the people. The
more they conciliate them the longer perhaps they may be able to lead
them. They may continue as leaders for a long time, but as autocratic
dispensers of favours and fortunes they cannot remain, perhaps not even
for their life time.

In our judgment this part of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report is no less
important for the future of Indian democracy than the others that
directly deal with British India, and we hope that whatever might be
the policy as regards the existing States the new law will make it
impossible for the Government of India and the Secretary of State to
create any new States in the future. It is monstrous to transfer
millions of human beings from one kind of political rule to another like
so many cattle, as was done in 1911. The present rule of any Indian
Maharaja may be as good or as bad as that of a British Governor or
Lieutenant Governor, but the latter has in it greater democratic
potentialities than the former, for the mere fact, if for no other,
that, while the British are more or less amenable to world opinion, the
rulers of Native States are not. It is inhuman, and not in accord with
modern ideas of right and wrong to reward somebody's loyalty by giving
him power of life and death over numerous fellow beings, otherwise than
in due course of law. Even the mighty British Government is not the
owner of the bodies and souls of its subjects in India. How, then, can
it assume the right of abandoning them to the absolute rule of a single
individual, however worthy or loyal he may be? We hope this stupid way
of rewarding loyal services may be ended by an express provision to that
effect in the statute which will be passed relating to the
reorganization of the Government of India.

In this connection the following observations made in a leading
editorial of the _Servant of India_, Poona (February 16, 1919), are
worthy of attention:

"A hundred years ago, it was decidedly in the interests of British rule,
and probably also in the interests of the people of India generally,
that the small, ill-governed, and eternally fighting states of India
should come under the suzerainty of a single powerful power. It may be
regarded as a historical misfortune that this power happened then to be
foreign, though many regard this contact with a virile civilization as
the making of India. This suzerainty could then be established duly by
entering into treaties with these states and guaranteeing them certain
rights and privileges. But these treaties have now assumed in the eyes
of the descendants of the original princes an air of inspiration; they
have become a kind of perpetuity. They always come in the way of any
improvement. When any new policy is proposed to them, they are always
prepared to say, 'This is not in the bond.' One may be allowed to
speculate as to how many of these Highnesses would have survived to this
day to put forward this claim in the absence of the suzerain power.
Thrones in ancient days were as unstable as they are becoming now in
Europe. It is hardly possible that the present popular wave in Europe
would not have touched our Native States. The subjects of the states
would have clamoured for a recognition of their rights, and they would
have had their way. But now the princes feel quite secure. Have they not
got their treaties? As a result there is no political life at all in the
Native States. The most ardent advocate of Home Rule would be most
violently against migration to a Native State. The real problem of the
Native States is how to get over the treaties when they conflict with
the interests of their subjects. The questions discussed at the Chiefs'
Conference leave us comparatively cold, as they entirely neglect the
people most concerned. The questions of the rights of the chiefs and
their salutes or precedence are in our opinion of a very secondary
importance. A renowned statesman in Europe gave at the utmost a life of
a dozen years to the most solemn treaty between two countries, for in
that period circumstances alter and the solid foundation for the treaty
cracks. Is it not high time that the treaties with the chiefs should be
revised after over a hundred years? It would indeed redound to their
credit if the chiefs themselves come forward to submit to such
readjustment. Perhaps their autocratic and irresponsible power may have
to suffer some diminution. But if they consent to that diminution so as
to give it to their subjects in the modern democratic spirit, the real
power and influence of the Native States will increase incalculably. It
is in this direction we wish to see a solution of the problem of the
Native States which are nowadays working as a brake on our national


[1] The _Indian Year Book_ for 1918, p. 81.



    There are epochs in the history of the world when in a few raging
    years the character, the destiny, of the whole race is determined
    for unknown ages. This is one.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "Sowing the Winter Wheat." Speech delivered
                        at Carnarvon, to a meeting of constituents,
                        after becoming Prime Minister, February 3,

Part II of the Report contains the scheme which Mr. Montagu and Lord
Chelmsford propose for the solution of the problem which they had set
themselves to solve in Part I. In giving their reasons for a new policy
they observe:

    "_No further development (on old lines) is possible unless we are
    going to give the people of India some responsibility for their
    own government._ But no one can imagine that no further
    development is necessary. _It is evident that the present
    machinery of government no longer meets the needs of the time; it
    works slowly and it produces irritation_; there is a widespread
    demand on the part of educated Indian opinion for its alteration;
    and the need for advance is recognised by official opinion also."
    [Italics are ours.]

The new policy sketched by them is, in their judgment, "the logical
outcome of the past. Indians must be enabled, in so far as they attain
responsibility, to determine for themselves what they want done

    "... such limitations on powers as we are now proposing are due
    only to the obvious fact that time is necessary in order to train
    both representatives and electorates for the work which we desire
    them to undertake; and that we offer Indians opportunities at
    short intervals to prove the progress they are making and to make
    good their claim, not by the method of agitation but by positive
    demonstration, to the further stages in self-government which we
    have just indicated."

That is the only basis on which they maintain they can hope to see in
India "the growth of a conscious feeling of organic unity with the
Empire as a whole." With these and a few more prefatory remarks about
the educational problem and the attitude of the ryot and the enunciation
of the general principles on which their proposals are based they
proceed to formulate their scheme, starting first with the provinces.


The proposals relating to Provincial Government may be noticed under the
following heads:

(_a_) _Financial devolution_: It is proposed that henceforth there
should be a complete separation of the provincial finances from those of
the Government of India; that, reserving certain sources of revenue for
the Government of India, all others should be made over to the
Provincial Governments with the proviso that the first charge on all
Provincial revenues will be a contribution towards the maintenance of
the Government of India, considered necessary and demanded by the
latter. A certain amount of power to impose fresh taxes and to raise
loans is also conceded to the provincial Governments subject to the veto
of the Government of India.

(_b_) _Legislative devolution_: "It is our intention," say the authors
of the report, "to reserve to the Government of India a general
overriding power of legislation for the discharge of all functions which
it will have to perform. It should be enabled under this power to
intervene in any province for the protection and enforcement of the
interests for which it is responsible; to legislate on any provincial
matter in respect of which uniformity of legislation is desirable,
either for the whole of India or for any two or more provinces; and to
pass legislation which may be adopted either _simpliciter_ or with
modifications by any province which may wish to make use of it. We think
that the Government of India must be the sole judge of the propriety of
any legislation which it may undertake under any one of these
categories, and that its competence so to legislate should not be open
to challenge in the courts. Subject to these reservations we intend that
within the field which may be marked off for provincial legislative
control the sole legislative power shall rest with the provincial
legislatures." It is not proposed to put a statutory limitation on the
power of the Government of India to legislate for the provinces, but it
is hoped that "constitutional practice" will prevent the central
Government interfering in provincial matters unless the interests for
which the latter is responsible are directly affected.

(_c_) _Provincial Executive_: Article 220 gives the Governor the power
to appoint "one or two additional members of his Government as members
without portfolio for purposes of consultation and advice."

These, in substance, are the proposals of the Secretary of State and the
Government of India for the future government of the provinces into
which India is divided. Some of these latter and some other tracts are
expressly excluded from the operation of these recommendations. It will
be at once observed that this is neither autonomy nor home rule. It is a
kind of hybrid system with final powers of veto and control vested in
the Government of India. The provision as to Provincial Legislatures
make it still more complicated.

    "Let us now explain how we contemplate in future that the
    executive Governments of the provinces shall be constituted. As we
    have seen, three provinces are now governed by a Governor and an
    Executive Council of three members, of whom one is in practice an
    Indian and two are usually appointed from the Indian Civil
    Service, although the law says only that they must be qualified by
    twelve years' service under the Crown in India. One province,
    Bihar and Orissa, is administered by a Lieutenant-Governor with a
    council of three constituted in the same way. The remaining five
    provinces, that is to say, the three Lieutenant-Governorships of
    the United Provinces, the Punjab and Burma and the Chief
    Commissionerships of the Central Provinces and Assam are under the
    administration of a single official Head. We find throughout India
    a very general desire for the extension of Council government....
    Our first proposition, therefore, is that in all these provinces
    singleheaded administration must cease and be replaced by
    collective administration.

    "In determining the structure of the Executive we have to bear in
    mind the duties with which it will be charged. We start with the
    two postulates; the complete responsibility for the government
    cannot be given immediately without inviting a breakdown, and that
    some responsibility must be given at once if our scheme is to have
    any value. We have defined responsibility as consisting primarily
    in amenability to constituents, and in the second place in
    amenability to an assembly. We do not believe that there is any
    way of satisfying these governing conditions other than by making
    a division of the functions of the Government, between those which
    may be made over to popular control and those which for the
    present must remain in official hands.... We may call these the
    'reserved' and 'transferred' subjects respectively. It then
    follows that for the management of these two categories there must
    be some form of executive body, with a legislative organ in
    harmony with it....

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We propose therefore that in each province the executive
    Government should consist of two parts. One part would comprise
    the head of the province and an executive council of two members.
    In all provinces the head of the Government would be known as
    Governor.... One of the two Executive Councillors would in
    practice be a European qualified by long official experience, and
    the other would be an Indian. It has been urged that the latter
    should be an elected member of the provincial legislative council.
    It is unreasonable that choice should be so limited. It should be
    open to the Governor to recommend whom he wishes.... The Governor
    in council would have charge of the reserved subjects. The other
    part of the government would consist of one member or more than
    one member, according to the number and importance of the
    transferred subjects, chosen by the Governor from the elected
    members of the Legislative council. They would be known as
    ministers. They would be members of the executive Government but
    not members of the Executive Council; they would be appointed for
    the life-time of the legislative council, and if reelected to that
    body would be re-eligible for appointment as members of the
    Executive. As we have said, they would not hold office at the will
    of the legislature but at that of their constituents.

    "The portfolios dealing with the transferred subjects would be
    committed to the ministers, and on these subjects the ministers
    together with the Governor would form the administration. On such
    subjects their decision would be final, subject only to the
    Governor's advice and control. We do not contemplate that from the
    outset the Governor should occupy the position of a purely
    constitutional Governor who is bound to accept the decisions of
    his ministers."

(_d_) _Provincial Legislatures_: "We propose there shall be in each
province an enlarged legislative council, differing in size and
composition from province to province, with a substantial elected
majority, elected by direct election on a broad franchise, with such
communal and special representation as may be necessary."

The questions of franchise and special and communal representation have
been entrusted to a special committee the report of which is shortly
expected. The same committee will also decide how many official members
there will be on each Legislative Council. It is provided that the
Governor shall be the President of the Council and will have the power
to nominate a Vice-president from the official members. As to the effect
of resolutions it is said that "we do not propose that resolutions,
whether on reserved or transferred subjects should be binding."

The classification of the reserved and transferred subjects was also
left to a special committee which has since concluded its labours and
whose report is awaited with interest.

_Legislation on reserved subjects_:

    "For the purpose of enabling the provincial Government to get
    through its legislation on reserved subjects, we propose that the
    head of the Government should have power to certify that a Bill
    dealing with a reserved subject is a measure 'essential to the
    discharge of his responsibility for the peace or tranquillity of
    the province or of any part thereof, or for the discharge of his
    responsibility for the reserved subjects.'... The Bill will be
    read and its general principles discussed in the full legislative
    council. It will at this stage be open to the council by a
    majority vote to request the Governor to refer to the Government
    of India, whose decision on the point shall be final, on the
    question whether the certified Bill deals with a reserved subject.
    If no such reference is made, or if the Government of India decide
    that the certificate has been properly given, the Bill will then
    be automatically referred to a Grand Committee of the council. Its
    composition should reproduce as nearly as possible the proportion
    of the various elements in the larger body ... the grand committee
    in every council should be constituted so as to comprise from 40
    to 50 per cent. of its strength. It should be chosen for each
    Bill, partly by election by ballot, and partly by nomination. The
    Governor should have power to nominate a bare majority exclusive
    of himself. Of the members so nominated not more than two-thirds
    should be officials, and the elected element should be elected _ad
    hoc_ by the elected members of the council on the system of the
    transferable vote."

    "On reference to the grand committee, the Bill will be debated by
    that body in the ordinary course, if necessary referred to a
    select committee, to which body we think that the grand committee
    should have power to appoint any member of the legislative council
    whether a member of the grand committee or not. The select
    committee will, as at present, have power to take evidence. Then,
    after being debated in the grand committee and modified as may be
    determined, the Bill will be reported to the whole council. The
    council will have the right to discuss the Bill again generally,
    but will not be able to reject it, or to amend it except on the
    motion of a member of the executive council. The Governor will
    then appoint a time limit within which the Bill may be debated in
    the council, and on its expiry it will pass automatically. But
    during such discussion the council will have the right to pass a
    resolution recording any objection which refers to the principle
    or details of the measure (but not, of course, to the certificate
    of its character), and any such resolution will accompany the Act
    when, after being signed by the Governor, it is submitted to the
    Governor General and the Secretary of State."

    _Provincial Budget_: "... the provincial budget should be framed
    by the executive Government as a whole. The first charge on
    provincial revenues will be the contribution to the Government of
    India; and after that the supply for the reserved subjects will
    have priority. The allocation of supply for the transferred
    subjects will be decided by the ministers. If the revenue is
    insufficient for their needs, the question of new taxation will be
    decided by the Governor and the ministers. We are bound to
    recognise that in time new taxation will be necessary, for no
    conceivable economies can finance the new developments which are
    to be anticipated. The budget will then be laid before the council
    which will discuss it and vote by resolution upon the allotments.
    If the legislative council rejects or modifies the proposed
    allotment for reserved subjects, the Governor should have power to
    insist on the whole or any part of the allotment originally
    provided, if for reasons to be stated he certifies its necessity
    in the terms which we have already suggested. We are emphatically
    of opinion that the Governor in Council must be empowered to
    obtain the supply which he declares to be necessary for the
    discharge of his responsibilities. Except in so far as the
    Governor exercises this power the budget would be altered in
    accordance with the resolutions carried in council."

    _Modification of the Scheme by the Government of India._ "After
    five years' time from the first meeting of the reformed councils
    we suggest that the Government of India should hear applications
    from either the provincial Government or the provincial council
    for the modification of the reserved and transferred lists of the
    province; and that, after considering the evidence laid before
    them, they should recommend for the approval of the Secretary of
    State the transfer of such further subjects to the transferred
    list as they think desirable. On the other hand, if it should be
    made plain to them that certain functions have been seriously
    maladministered, it will be open to them, with the sanction of the
    Secretary of State, to retransfer subjects from the transferred to
    the reserved list, or to place restrictions for the future on the
    minister's powers in respect of certain transferred subjects....
    But it is also desirable to complete the responsibility of the
    ministers for the transferred subjects. This should come in one of
    two ways, either at the initiative of the council if it desires
    and is prepared to exercise greater control over the ministers, or
    at the discretion of the Government of India, which may wish to
    make this change as a condition of the grant of new, or of the
    maintainance of existing, powers. We propose, therefore, that the
    Government of India may, when hearing such applications, direct
    that the ministers' salaries, instead of any longer being treated
    as a reserved subject, and, therefore, protected in the last
    resort by the Governor's order from interference should be
    specifically voted each year by the legislative council; or,
    failing such direction by the Government of India, it should be
    open to the councils at that time or subsequently to demand by
    resolution that such ministers' salaries should be so voted, and
    the Government of India should thereupon give effect to such

    _Periodic commissions_: ... Ten years after the first meeting of
    the new councils established under the Statute a commission should
    be appointed to review the position. Criticism has been expressed
    in the past of the composition of Royal Commissions, and it is our
    intention that the commission which we suggest should be regarded
    as authoritative and should derive its authority from Parliament
    itself. The names of the commissioners, therefore, should be
    submitted by the Secretary of State to both Houses of Parliament
    for approval by resolution. The commissioners' mandate should be
    to consider whether by the end of the term of the legislature then
    in existence it would be possible to establish complete
    responsible government in any province or provinces, or how far it
    would be possible to approximate it in others; to advise on the
    continued reservation of any departments for the transfer of which
    to popular control it has been proved to their satisfaction that
    the time had not yet come; to recommend the retransfer of other
    matters to the control of the Governor in Council if serious
    maladministration were established; and to make any
    recommendations for the working of responsible government or the
    improvement of the constitutional machinery which experience of
    the systems in operation may show to be desirable....

    "There are several other important matters, germane in greater or
    less degree to our main purpose, which the commission should
    review. They should investigate the progress made in admitting
    Indians into the higher ranks of the public service. They should
    examine the apportionment of the financial burden of India with a
    view to adjusting it more fairly between the provinces. The
    commission should also examine the development of education among
    the people and the progress and working of local self-governing
    bodies. Lastly the commission should consider the working of the
    franchise and the constitution of electorates, including the
    important matter of the retention of communal representation.
    Indeed, we regard the development of a broad franchise as the arch
    on which the edifice of self-government must be raised; for we
    have no intention that our reforms should result merely in the
    transfer of powers from a bureaucracy to an oligarchy...."

    "In proposing the appointment of a commission ten years after the
    new Act takes effect we wish to guard against possible
    misunderstanding. We would not be taken as implying that there can
    be established by that time complete responsible government in the
    provinces. In many of the provinces no such consummation can
    follow in the time named. The pace will be everywhere unequal,
    though progress in one province will always stimulate progress
    elsewhere; but undue expectations might be aroused, if we
    indicated any opinion as to the degree of approximation to
    complete self-government that might be reached even in one or two
    of the most advanced provinces. The reasons that make complete
    responsibility at present impossible are likely to continue
    operative in some degree even after a decade."


The proposals regarding the Government of India called the Central
Government may be thus summed up:

    (_a_) _General_: "We have already made our opinion clear that
    pending the development of responsible government in the provinces
    the Government of India must remain responsible only to
    Parliament. In other words, in all matters which it judges to be
    essential to the discharge of its responsibilities for peace,
    order, and good government it must, saving only for its
    accountability to Parliament, retain indisputable power."

    (_b_) _The Governor General's Executive Council_: "We would
    therefore abolish such statutory restrictions as now exist in
    respect of the appointment of Members of the Governor General's
    Council, so as to give greater elasticity both in respect to the
    size of the Government and the distribution of work."

At present there is one Indian member in the Viceroy's Executive Council
consisting of six ordinary members and one extraordinary besides the
Viceroy. This scheme recommends the appointment of another Indian.

    (_c_) _The Indian Legislative Council_.

    I. Legislative Assembly: "We recommend therefore that the strength
    of the legislative council, to be known in future as the
    Legislative Assembly of India, should be raised to a total
    strength of about 100 members, so as to be far more truly
    representative of British India. We propose that two-thirds of
    this total should be returned by election; and that one-third
    should be nominated by the Governor General, of which third not
    less than a third again should be non-officials selected with the
    object of representing minority or special interests.... Some
    special representation, we think, there must be, as for European
    and Indian commerce, and also for the large landlords. There
    should be also communal representation for Muhammadans in most
    provinces and also for Sikhs in the Punjab."

    II. The Council of State: "We do not propose to institute a
    complete bi-cameral system, but to create a second chamber, known
    as the Council of State, which shall take its part in ordinary
    legislative business and shall be the final legislative authority
    in matters which the government regards as essential. The Council
    of State will be composed of 50 members, exclusive of the Governor
    General, who would be President, with power to appoint a
    Vice-President who would normally take his place: not more than 25
    will be officials, including the members of the executive council,
    and 4 would be non-officials nominated by the Governor General.
    Official members would be eligible for nomination to both the
    Legislative Assembly and the Council of State. There would be 21
    elected members of whom 15 will be returned by the non-official
    members of the provincial legislative councils, each council
    returning two members, other than those of Burma, the Central
    Provinces and Assam which will return one member each....

    "Inasmuch as the Council of State will be the supreme legislative
    authority for India on all crucial questions and also the revising
    authority upon all Indian legislation, we desire to attract to it
    the services of the best men available in the country. We desire
    that the Council of State should develop something of the
    experience and dignity of a body of Elder Statesmen; and we
    suggest therefore that the Governor General in Council should make
    regulations as to the qualification of candidates for election to
    that body which will ensure that their status and position and
    record of services will give to the Council a senatorial
    character, and the qualities usually regarded as appropriate to a
    revising chamber."

    III. Legislative procedure: "Let us now explain how this
    legislative machinery will work. It will make for clearness to
    deal separately with Government Bills and Bills introduced by
    non-official members. A Government Bill will ordinarily be
    introduced and carried through all the usual stages in the
    Legislative Assembly. It will then go in the ordinary course to
    the Council of State, and if there amended in any way which the
    Assembly is not willing to accept, it will be submitted to a joint
    session of both Houses, by whose decision its ultimate fate will
    be decided. This will be the ordinary course of legislation. But
    it might well happen that amendments made by the Council of State
    were such as to be essential in the view of the Government if the
    purpose with which the Bill was originally introduced was to be
    achieved, and in this case the Governor General in Council would
    certify that the amendments were essential to the interests of
    peace, order, or good government. The assembly would then not have
    power to reject or modify these amendments, nor would they be open
    to revision in a joint session.

    "We have to provide for two other possibilities. Cases may occur
    in which the Legislative Assembly refuses leave to the
    introduction of a Bill or throws out a Bill which the Government
    regarded as necessary. For such a contingency we would provide
    that if leave to introduce a Government Bill is refused, or if the
    Bill is thrown out at any stage, the Government should have the
    power, on the certificate of the Governor General in Council that
    the Bill is essential to the interests of peace, order, or good
    government, to refer it _de novo_ to the Council of State; and if
    the Bill, after being taken in all its stages through the Council
    of State, was passed by that body, it would become law without
    further reference to the Assembly. Further, there may be cases
    when the consideration of a measure by both chambers would take
    too long if the emergency which called for the measure is to be
    met. Such a contingency should rarely arise; but we advise that in
    cases of emergency, so certified by the Governor General in
    Council, it should be open to the Government to introduce a Bill
    in the Council of State, and upon its being passed there merely to
    report it to the Assembly."

    IV. Powers of dissolution, etc.: "The Governor General should in
    our opinion have power at any time to dissolve either the
    Legislative Assembly or the Council of State or both these bodies.
    It is perhaps unnecessary to add that the Governor General and
    the Secretary of State should retain their existing powers of
    assent, reservation, and disallowance to all Acts of the Indian
    legislature. The present powers of the Governor General in Council
    under section 71 of the Government of India Act. 1915, to make
    regulations proposed by local Governments for the peace and good
    government of backward tracts of territory should also be
    preserved; with the modification that it will in future rest with
    the Head of the province concerned to propose such regulations to
    the Government of India."

    V. Fiscal legislation: "Fiscal legislation will, of course, be
    subject to the procedure which we have recommended in respect of
    Government Bills. The budget will be introduced in the Legislative
    Assembly but the Assembly will not vote it. Resolutions upon
    budget matters and upon all other questions, whether moved in the
    Assembly or in the Council of State, will continue to be advisory
    in character."

    (d) Privy Council: "We have a further recommendation to make. We
    would ask that His Majesty may be graciously pleased to approve
    the institution of a Privy Council for India.... The Privy
    Council's office would be to advise the Governor General when he
    saw fit to consult it on questions of policy and administration."

    (e) Periodic commissions: "At the end of the last chapter we
    recommended that ten years after the institution of our reforms,
    and again at intervals of twelve years thereafter, a commission
    approved by Parliament should investigate the working of the
    changes introduced into the provinces, and recommend as to their
    further progress. It should be equally the duty of the commission
    to examine and report upon the new constitution of the Government
    of India, with particular reference to the working of the
    machinery for representation, the procedure by certificate, and
    the results of joint sessions."



The principal proposals under this head may be thus summarized;

    "We advise that the Secretary of State's salary, like that of all
    other Ministers of the Crown, should be defrayed from home
    revenues and voted annually by Parliament. This will enable any
    live questions of Indian administration to be discussed by the
    House of Commons in Committee of Supply.... It might be thought to
    follow that the whole charges of the India Office establishment
    should similarly be transferred to the home Exchequer; but this
    matter is complicated by a series of past transactions, and by the
    amount of agency work which the India Office does on behalf of the
    Government of India; and we advise that our proposed committee
    upon the India Office organization should examine it and taking
    these factors into consideration, determine which of the various
    India Office charges should be so transferred, and which can
    legitimately be retained as a burden on Indian revenues.

    "But the transfer of charges which we propose, although it will
    give reality to the debates on Indian affairs, will not ensure in
    Parliament a better informed or a more sustained interest in
    India. We feel that this result can only be accomplished by
    appointing a Select Committee of Parliament on Indian affairs."

The above in substance is the proposed scheme. In India it has met with
varied response. The European community does not approve of it. They
think it is too radical. The European Services have struck a note of
rebellion threatening to resign in case of its acceptance by Parliament.
The Indian politicians are divided into two camps. Their views are best
represented by the following tabular statement which we reproduce from
the Indian newspapers.


_Ordinary Rights of Citizens_


  Resolution IV. The Government of    (V) This Conference urges that
  India shall have undivided          legislation of an exceptional
  administrative authority on         character having the effect of
  matters directly concerning         curtailing ordinary rights such
  peace, tranquillity and defence     as the freedom of the press and
  of the country subject to the       public meetings and open
  following:                          judicial trial, should not be
                                      carried through the Council of
  That the Statute to be passed by    State alone, or in spite of the
  Parliament should include the       declared opinion of the
  Declaration of the Rights of the    Legislative Assembly of India,
  people of India as British          except in a time of war or
  citizens:                           internal disturbance, without
                                      the approval of the Select
  (a) That all Indian subjects of     Committee of the House of
  his Majesty and all the subjects    Commons proposed to be set up
  naturalized or resident in India    under the Scheme unless such
  are equal before the law, and       legislation is of a temporary
  there shall be no penal nor         character and limited to a
  administrative law in force in      period of one year only, the
  the country whether substantive     said legislation being in any
  or procedural of a                  case made renewable without such
  discriminative nature.              approval in the last resort.

  (b) That no Indian subject of
  his Majesty shall be liable to        10
  suffer in liberty, life,
  property or of association, free    (c) All racial inequalities in
  speech or in respect of writing,    respect of trial by jury, the
  except under sentence by an         rules made under the Arms Act,
  ordinary Court of Justice, and      etc. should be removed and the
  as a result of a lawful and open    latter should be so amended as
  trial.                              to provide for the possession
                                      and carrying of arms by Indians
  (c) That every Indian subject       under liberal conditions.
  shall be entitled to bear arms,
  subject to the purchase of a        (d) A complete separation of
  licence, as in Great Britain,       judicial and executive functions
  and that the right shall not be     of all district officers should
  taken away save by a sentence of    be made, at least in all major
  an ordinary Court of Justice.       provinces, at once, and the
                                      judiciary placed under the
  (d) That the Press shall be         jurisdiction of the highest
  free, and that no licence nor       court of the province.
  security shall be demanded on
  the registration of a press or a

  (e) That corporal punishment
  shall not be inflicted on any
  Indian serving in his Majesty's
  Army or Navy save under
  conditions applying equally to
  all other British subjects.

_Fiscal Autonomy_

  Resolution V. This Congress         (VI) Saving such equal and
  is strongly of opinion that         equitable Imperial obligations
  essential for the welfare of the    as may be agreed upon as resting
  Indian people that the Indian       on all parts of the Empire, the
  Legislature should have the         Government of India, acting
  same measure of fiscal autonomy     under the control of the
  which the self-governing dominions  Legislature, should enjoy the same
  of the Empire possess.              power of regulating the fiscal
                                      policy of India as the Governments
                                      of the self-governing dominions
                                      enjoy of regulating their fiscal

_Reform Proposals_

  Resolution VI. That this            (III) 'This Conference cordially
  Congress appreciates the earnest    welcomes the Reform Proposals of
  attempt on the part of the Right    the Secretary of State and the
  Hon. the Secretary of State and     Viceroy of India as constituting
  his Excellency the Viceroy to       a distinct advance on present
  inaugurate a system of              conditions as regards the
  responsible government in India,    Government of India and the
  and, while it recognizes that       Provincial Governments and also
  some of the proposals constitute    a real step towards the
  an advance on the present           progressive realization of
  conditions in some directions,      "responsible government" in the
  it is of opinion that the           Provincial Government in due
  proposals are as a whole            fulfillment of the terms of the
  disappointing and                   announcement of August 20, 1917.
  unsatisfactory, and suggests the    As such this Conference accords
  following modifications as          its hearty support to those
  absolutely necessary to             proposals, and, while suggesting
  constitute a substantial step       necessary modifications and
  towards responsible government:     improvements therein, expresses
                                      its grateful appreciation of the
                                      earnest effort of Mr. Montagu
                                      and Lord Chelmsford to start the
                                      country on a career of genuine
                                      and lasting progress towards the
                                      promised goal.'

                                      (V) 'This Conference regards all
                                      attempts at the condemnation or
                                      rejection of the Reform Scheme
                                      as a whole as ill advised, and
                                      in particular protests
                                      emphatically against the
                                      reactionary attitude assumed
                                      towards it by the Indo-British
                                      Association and some European
                                      public bodies in this country
                                      which is certain to produce, if
                                      successfully persisted--in, an
                                      extremely undesirable state of
                                      feeling between England and
                                      India and imperil the cause of
                                      ordered progress in this
                                      country. This Conference,
                                      therefore, most earnestly urges
                                      his Majesty's Government and
                                      Parliament of the United Kingdom
                                      to give effect to the provisions
                                      of the Scheme and the suggestion
                                      of its supporters in regard
                                      thereto as early as possible by
                                      suitable legislation.'

_Government of India_

  (1) That a system of reserved       (V) (a) 'This Conference, while
  and transferred subjects similar    making due allowance for the
  to that proposed for the            necessities or drawbacks of
  provinces, shall be adopted for     transitional scheme, urges that,
  the Central Government.             having regard to the terms of
                                      the announcement of August 20,
  (2) That the reserved subjects      1917, and in order that the
  shall be foreign affairs            progress of India towards the
  (excepting relations with the       goal of a self-governing unit of
  colonies and dominions) army,       the British Empire may be
  navy, and relations with Indian     facilitated and not unduly
  Ruling Princes, and subject to      delayed or hampered, as also
  the declaration of rights           with a view to avoid the
  contained in resolution IV, the     untoward consequences of a
  matters directly affecting          legislature containing a
  public peace, tranquillity and      substantially elected popular
  defence of the country, and all     element being allowed merely to
  other subjects shall be             indulge in criticism unchecked
  transferred subjects.               by responsibility, it is
                                      essential that the principle of
  (3) The allotments required for     responsible government' should
  reserved subjects should be the     be introduced also in the
  first charge on the revenues.       Government of India,
                                      simultaneously with a similar
  (4) The procedure for the           reform in the provinces. There
  adoption of the budget should be    should, therefore, be a division
  on the lines laid down for the      of functions in the Central
  provinces.                          Government into 'reserved' and
                                      'transferred' as a part of the
  (5) All legislation should be by    present instalment of reforms
  Bills introduced into the           and the Committee on division of
  Legislative Assembly, provided      functions should be instructed
  that, if, in the case of            to investigate the subject and
  reserved subjects, the              make recommendations.
  Legislative Council does not
  pass such measures as the           (b) While, as suggested above,
  Government may deem necessary,      some measures of transfer of
  the Governor General-in-Council     power to the Indian Legislature
  may provide for the same by         should be introduced at the
  regulations, such regulations to    commencement, provision should
  be in force for one year but not    be made for future progress
  to be renewed unless 40 per         towards complete responsible
  cent. of the members of the         government of the Government of
  Assembly present and voting are     India by specifically
  in favour of them.                  authorizing the proposed
                                      periodic Commissions to inquire
  (6) There shall be no Council of    into the matter and to recommend
  State, but if the Council of        to Parliament such further
  State is to be constituted, at      advance as may be deemed
  least half of its total strength    necessary or desirable in that
  shall consist of elected            behalf.
  members, and that procedure by
  certification shall be confined     (c) The power of certification
  to the reserved subjects.           given to the Governor-General
                                      should be limited to matters
  (7) At least half the number of     involving the defence of the
  Executive Councillors (if there     country's foreign and political
  be more than one) in charge of      relations, and peace and order
  reserved subjects should be         and should not be extended to
  Indians.                            'good government' generally or
                                      'sound financial
  (8) The number of members of the    administration.'
  Legislative Assembly should be
  raised to 150 and the proportion    (e) This Conference recommends
  of the elected members should be    that the composition of the
  four-fifths.                        Council of State should be so
                                      altered as to ensure that one
  (9) The President and the           half of its total strength shall
  Vice-President of the               consist of elected members.
  Legislative Assembly should be
  elected by the Assembly.            (f) The Indian element in the
                                      Executive Government of India
  (10) The Legislative Assembly       should be one-half of the total
  should have power to make or        number of that Government.
  modify its own rules of business
  and they shall not require the
  sanction of the Governor

  (11) There shall be an
  obligation to convene meetings
  of the Council and Assembly at
  stated intervals, or on the
  requisition of a certain
  proportion of members.

  (12) A statutory guarantee
  should be given that full
  responsible government should be
  established in the whole of
  British India within a period
  not exceeding 15 years.

  (13) That there should be no
  Privy Council for the present.

_Provincial Governments_

  1. There should be no additional    (e) The proposal to appoint an
  members of the Executive            additional Member or Members
  Government without portfolios.      from among the senior officials,
                                      without portfolios and without
  2. From the commencement of the     vote for purposes of
  first Council the principle of      consultation and advice only,
  responsibility of the ministers     but as _Members of the Executive
  to the legislature shall come       Government_, in the provinces
  into force.                         should be dropped.

  3. The status and salary of the     (1)
  ministers shall be the same as
  that of the members of Executive    (a) The status and emoluments of
  Council.                            Ministers should be identical
                                      with those of Executive
  4. At least half the number of      Councillors, and the Governor
  Executive Councillors in charge     should not have greater power of
  of reserved subjects (if there      control over them than over the
  be more than one) should be         latter.
                                      (b) Whatever power may be given
  5. The Budget shall be under the    to the Governor-in-Council to
  control of the Legislature          interfere with the decisions of
  subject to the contribution to      the Governor and Ministers on
  the Government of India, and        the ground of their possible
  during the life-time of the         effects on the administration of
  reformed Councils, to the           the reserved subjects,
  allocation of a fixed sum for       corresponding power should be
  the reserved subjects; and          given to the Governor and
  should fresh taxation be            Ministers in respect of
  necessary, it should be imposed     decisions of the
  by the provincial Governments,      Governor-in-Council affecting
  as a whole for both transferred     directly or indirectly the
  and reserved subjects.              administration of the
                                      transferred subjects.
                                      (d) Heads of provincial
  1. While holding that the people    Governments in the major
  are ripe for the introduction of    provinces should ordinarily be
  full provincial autonomy the        selected from the ranks of
  Congress is yet prepared with a     public men in the United
  view to facilitating the passage    Kingdom.
  of the Reforms, to leave the
  departments of Law, Police and      (e) No administrative control
  Justice, (prisons excepted) in      over subjects vested in
  the hands of the Executive          provincial Governments should be
  Government in all provinces for     'reserved' in the central
  a period of six years. Executive    Government particularly in
  and Judicial Departments must be    respect of 'transferred' heads.
  separated at once.
                                      (f) The Government of India
  2. The President and the            should have no power to make a
  Vice-President should be elected    supplementary levy upon the
  by the Council.                     provinces; they may only take
                                      loans from the latter on
  3. That the proposal to             occasions of emergency.
  institute a Grand Committee
  shall be dropped. The Provincial    (2) This Conference recommends
  Legislative Council shall           that the largest possible number
  legislate in respect of all         of subjects should be included
  matters within the jurisdiction     in the 'transferred' list in
  of provincial Government,           every province as the progress
  including Law, Justice and          and conditions of each province
  Police but where the Government     may justify and that none
  is not satisfied with the           mentioned in the Illustrative
  decision of the Legislative         List No. 11 appended to the
  Council in respect of matters       Report should, as far as
  relating to Law, Justice and        possible, be 'reserved' in any
  Police, it shall be open to the     province.
  Government to refer the matter
  to the Government of India. The     IX (c) The Legislative Councils
  Government of India may refer       should have the right to elect
  the matter to the Indian            their own Presidents and
  Legislature and the ordinary        Vice-Presidents.
  procedure shall follow. But if
  Grand Committees are instituted,    VIII (b) The elected element in
  this Congress is of opinion,        the Provincial Legislative
  that not less than one-half of      Councils should be four-fifths
  the strength shall be elected by    of the total strength of the
  the Legislative Assembly.           Councils at least in the more
                                      advanced provinces.
  4. The proportion of elected
  members in the Legislative          IX. 1 (a) It should be provided
  Council shall be four fifths.       that when a Council is dissolved
                                      by the Governor, a fresh
    ELECTIONS                         election should be held and the
                                      new Council summoned not later
  5. Whenever the Legislative         than four months after the
  Assembly, the Council of State,     dissolution.
  or the Legislative Council is
  dissolved, it shall be              VIII (a) The Franchise should be
  obligatory on the Government as     as wide and the composition of
  the case may be, to order the       the Legislative Council should
  necessary elections, and to         be as liberal as circumstances
  resummon the body dissolved         may admit in each province, the
  within a period of three months     number of representatives of the
  from the date of dissolution.       general territorial electorates
                                      being fixed in every case at not
  6. The Legislative Assembly         less than one-half of the whole
  should have power to make or        council.
  modify its own rules of business
  and they shall not require the      (c) The franchise should be so
  sanction of the                     broad and the electorates so
  Governor-General.                   devised as to secure to all
                                      classes of tax-payers their due
  7. There should be an obligation    representation by election and
  to convene meetings of the          the interests of those
  Council and Assembly at stated      communities or groups of
  intervals, or on the requisition    communities in Madras and the
  of a certain proportion of          Bombay Deccan and elsewhere who
  members of the Assembly.            at present demand special
                                      electoral protection should be
  8. No dissolution of the            adequately safeguarded by
  legislature shall take place        introducing a system of plural
  except by way of an appeal to       constituencies in which a
  the electorate and the reason       reasonable number of seats
  shall be stated in writing          should be reserved for those
  countersigned by the Ministers.     communities.

                                      (e) In the case of any community
                                      for which separate special
                                      electorates may be deemed at
                                      present necessary, participation
                                      in the general territorial
                                      electorates, whether as voters
                                      or candidates, should not be

                                      (f) It shall be left to the
                                      option of an individual
                                      belonging to a community which
                                      is given separate representation
                                      to enrol himself as a voter
                                      either in the general or the
                                      communal electorate.

_Parliament and India Office_

  (e) The control of Parliament       (XI) This Conference, while
  and of the Secretary of State       generally approving of the
  must only be modified as the        proposals embodied in the Report
  responsibility of the Indian and    regarding the India Office and
  provincial Governments to the       Parliamentary control, urges:--
  electorates is increased. No
  power over provincial               (a) That the administrative
  Governments now exercised by        control of Parliament over the
  Parliament and by the Secretary     Government of India exercised
  of State must be transferred to     through the Secretary of State
  the Government of India, save in    should continue except in so far
  matters of routine                  as the control of the
  administration until the            legislature on the spot is
  latter is responsible to            substituted for the present
  the electorates.                    Parliamentary control.

  (d) No financial or                 (d) That until the India Council
  administrative powers in regard     can be abolished by substituting
  to reserved subjects should be      Indian control for the control
  transferred to the provincial       of Parliament over the affairs
  Governments until such time as      of India, it should be a mere
  they are made responsible           advisory body with its strength
  regarding them to electorates,      reduced to 8 members, four of
  and until then the control of       whom should be Indians.
  Parliament and the Secretary of
  State should continue.              (c) That at least a major part
                                      of the cost of the India Office
  (b) The Council of India shall      should be borne by the British
  be abolished, and there shall be    Exchequer.
  two permanent Undersecretaries
  to assist the Secretary of State    (b) That Indian opinion should
  for India, one of whom shall be     be represented on the Committee
  an Indian.                          appointed to report upon the
                                      organisation of the India Office
  (c) All charges in respect to       and the evidence of Indian
  the India Office establishment      witnesses invited.
  shall be placed on the British

  (d) The committee to be
  appointed to examine and report
  on the present constitution of
  the Council of India shall
  contain an adequate Indian

_Mahomedan Representation_

  Resolution VII. The proportion      (VIII) (d) Mahomedan
  of Mahomedans in the Legislative    representation in every
  Council and the Legislative         legislature should be in the
  Assembly as laid down in the        proportions mentioned in the
  Congress-League Scheme must be      Scheme adopted by the Congress
  maintained.                         and the Muslim League at
                                      Lucknow in 1916.

_Army Commissions_

  Resolution XII. This Congress       (b) This Conference strongly
  places on record its deep           urges that Indians should be
  disappointment at the altogether    nominated to 20 per cent.,
  inadequate response made by the     to start with, of King's
  Government to the demand for the    commissions in the Indian Army
  grant of commissions to Indians     and that adequate provision for
  in the army, and is of opinion      training them should be made in
  that steps should be immediately    this country itself.
  taken so as to enable the grant
  to Indians at an early date of
  at least 25 per cent. of the
  commissions in the army, the
  proportions to be gradually
  increased to 50 per cent. within
  a period of ten years.

_Public Services_

  Resolution XVII. That this          X (a) This Conference thanks the
  Congress is of opinion that the     Secretary of State and the
  proportion of annual recruitment    Viceroy for recommending that
  to the Indian civil service to      all racial bars should be
  be made in England should be 50     abolished and for recognizing
  per cent. to start with, such       the principle of recruiting of
  recruitment to be by open           all the Indian public services
  competition in India from           in India and in England instead
  persons already appointed to the    of any service being recruited
  Provincial Civil Service.           for exclusively in the latter

_Franchise for Women_

  Resolution VIII. Women possessing
  the same qualifications as are
  laid down for men in any part
  of the Scheme shall not be
  disqualified on account of sex.

  Resolution XIII. That, so far as
  the question of determining the     9 (b) Some provision should be
  franchise and the constituence      made for the appointment and
  and the composition of the          cooperation of qualified Indians
  Legislative Assemblies is           on the periodic commission
  concerned, this Congress is of      proposed to be appointed every
  opinion that, instead of being      ten or twelve years and it
  left to be dealt with by            should further be provided that
  Committees, it should be decided    the first periodic commission
  by the House of Commons and be      shall come to India and submit
  incorporated in the statute to      its recommendations to
  be framed for the constitution      Parliament before the expiry of
  of the Indian Government.           the third Legislative Council
                                      after the Reform Scheme comes
  Resolution XIV. That as regards     into operation and that every
  the Committee to advise on the      subsequent periodic commission
  question of the separation of       should be appointed at the end
  Indian from provincial functions    of every ten years.
  and also with regard to the
  Committee if any for the
  consideration of reserved or an
  unreserved department, this
  Congress is of opinion that the
  principle set forth in the above
  resolution should apply _mutatis
  mutandis_ to the formation of
  the said Committee.


  In the alternative; if a
  Committee is appointed for the
  purpose, the two non-official
  members of the Committee should
  be elected--one by the All-India
  Congress Committee and the other
  by the Council of the Moslem
  League while the coopted
  non-official for each province
  should be elected by the
  Provincial Congress Committee
  of that province.

The All-India Muslim League is in substantial accord with the
resolutions of the Special Congress. It will be easily seen that Indian
opinion, of both Hindus and Mussulmans, is substantially in accord in
their demands for the democratization of the Central government and in
their criticism of the rest of the scheme. The Indians have thus
exercised their right of self-determination through their popular bodies
and are entitled to get what they demand. After all, what they ask for
is only a modest instalment of autonomy under British control.

In the appendices the reader will find a comparative table showing (a)
the present Constitution of Government in India (b) the proposals of the
Secretary of State and the Viceroy (c) and the Congress League Scheme.



    ... for equality of right amongst nations, small as well as
    great, is one of the fundamental issues this country and her
    allies are fighting to establish in this war.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "The War Aims of the Allies." Speech delivered
                        to delegates of the Trade Unions, at the Central
                        Hall, Westminster, January 5, 1918.

    I beg to record my strong opinion that in the matter of Indian
    industries we are bound to consider Indian interests firstly,
    secondly, and thirdly. I mean by "firstly" that the local raw
    products should be utilised, by secondly, that industries should be
    introduced and by "thirdly" that the profits of such industry
    should remain in the country.

                                         SIR FREDERICK NICHOLSON

                        Quoted on page 300, Report of the Indian
                        Industrial Commission, 1916-1918.

Economic bondage is the worst of all bondages. Economic dependence, or
the lack of economic independence, is the source of all misery,
individual or national. A person economically dependent upon another is
a virtual slave, despite appearances. He who supplies food and raiment
and the necessities of life is the real master.

The desire for gain dominates the world and all its activities. Even
religion, as ordinarily understood, interpreted and administered, is a
game of pounds and shillings, say what one may to the contrary. There
are exceptions to this statement, but they are few and far between. The
world does not subsist by bread alone, but without bread it cannot exist
even for a minute. The generality of the world cares more for bread than
for anything else, though there are individuals and groups of
individuals who would not stoop to obtain bread by dishonorable means
and those also who would die rather than obtain bread by the violation
of their soul.

There are numerous ways in which a subject nation feels the humiliation
and helplessness of her position, but none is so telling and so
effective as the subordination of her economic interests to those of the
dominant power. This is especially true in these days of free and easy
transportation, of quick journeys, and of scientific warfare. In any
struggle between nations, the victory eventually must rest with the one
in possession of the largest number of "silver bullets." It is true that
silver bullets alone will not do unless there are brains and bodies to
use them, but the latter without the former are helpless.

A nation may be the greatest producer of food; yet she may die of hunger
from lack of ability to keep her own produce for herself. Food obeys the
behest of the silver bullets. The law of self-preservation, therefore,
requires only that nations be free to regulate their own household,
subject to the condition that thereby they do not violate the rules of
humanity or trample upon the rights of any human being.

Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford have, in parts of their Report, been
extremely candid. The value of their joint production lies in this
candidness. In no other part, perhaps, have they been so candid as in
the one dealing with "Industries and Tariff." In Paragraph 331 they
frankly admit the truth of the following observation of the late Mr.
Ranade on the economic effects of British rule in India:

    "The political domination of one country by another attracts far
    more attention than the more formidable, though more unfelt,
    domination which the capital, enterprise and skill of one country
    exercise over the trade and manufactures of another. This latter
    domination has an insidious influence which paralyses the springs
    of all the various activities which together make up the life of a

In the course of a letter addressed to the _Westminster Gazette_ in
1917, Lord Curzon said that "the fiscal policy of India during the last
thirty or forty years has been shaped far more in Manchester than in
Calcutta." This candid admission about "the subordination of Indian
fiscal policy to the Secretary of State and a House of Commons
powerfully affected by Lancashire influence," is the keynote of the
Indian demand for Home Rule. The authors of the Montagu-Chelmsford
Report say so quite frankly and fairly in Paragraphs 332 to 336 of their
report, from which we make the following extracts:

    "The people are poor; and their poverty raises the question
    whether the general level of well-being could not be materially
    raised by the development of industries. It is also clear that the
    lack of outlet for educated youth is a serious misfortune which
    has contributed not a little in the past to political unrest in
    Bengal. But perhaps an even greater mischief is the discontent
    aroused in the minds of those who are jealous for India by seeing
    that she is so largely dependent on foreign countries for
    manufactured goods. They noted that her foreign trade was always
    growing, but they also saw that its leading feature continued to
    be the barter of raw materials valued at relatively low prices for
    imported manufactures, which obviously afforded profits and
    prosperity to other countries industrially more advanced.
    Patriotic Indians might well ask themselves why these profits
    should not accrue to their country: and also why so large a
    portion of the industries which flourished in the country was
    financed by European capital and managed by European skill."

    "The fact that India's foreign trade was largely with the United
    Kingdom gave rise to a suspicion that her industrial backwardness
    was positively encouraged in the interests of British
    manufactures, and the maintenance of the excise duty on locally
    manufactured cotton goods in the alleged interests of Lancashire
    is very widely accepted as a conclusive proof of such a purpose.
    On a smaller scale, the maintenance of a Stores Department at the
    India Office is looked upon as an encouragement to the Government
    to patronize British at the expense of local manufacturers."

There can thus be no autonomy without fiscal autonomy. In fact, the
latter alone is the determining characteristic of an autonomous

The one national trait which distinguishes the British from other
nations of the world is their habit of truthfulness and frankness. When
we say that we do not thereby mean that all Britishers are equally
truthful--to the same extent and degree. But we do mean that on the
whole the British nation has a larger percentage of truthful and candid
persons in her family than any other nation on the face of the earth.
Where their interests clash with those of others, they can be as hard,
exacting and cruel as any one else in the world. But repentance
overtakes them sooner than it does the others. They have a queer but
admirable faculty of introspection which few other people possess to the
same extent and in the same numbers. This is what endears them even to
those who are never tired of cursing their snobbishness and masterful
imperialism. The faculty of occasionally seeing themselves with the eyes
of others, makes them the most successful _rulers of men_. They are as a
nation lacking in imagination, but there are individuals amongst them
who can see, if they will, their own faults; who can and do speak out
their minds honestly and truthfully, even though by so doing they may
temporarily earn odium and unpopularity.

The remarks and observations of the eminent authors of the Report
relating to the fiscal relations of India and England reflect the
honesty of their purpose and the sincerity of their mind as no other
part of the Report does. They have entered upon the subject with great
diffidence and, though expressing themselves with marked candor and
fairness, have refrained from making any definite recommendations.

In this respect it will be only fair to acknowledge the equally candid
opinion of Mr. Austin Chamberlain, who, in 1917, made a most significant
confession by stating on an important occasion that "India will not
remain, and ought not to remain content to be a hewer of wood and a
drawer of water for the rest of the Empire."

To our simple minds, not accustomed to the anomalies of official life,
it seems inexplicable how, after these candid admissions, the authors
could have any hesitation in recommending the only remedy by which
India's wrong could be righted and her economic rights secured in the
future--viz., fiscal autonomy.

In Paragraph 335 the authors of the report give the genesis of the
Swadeshi boycott movement of 1905, and very pertinently observe that "in
Japanese progress and efficiency" the educated Indians see "an example
of what could be effected by an Asiatic nation free of foreign control,"
or in other words, of what could be achieved by India, if she had a
national government of her own interested in her industrial advance. Mr.
Montagu and Lord Chelmsford thus rightly observe that "English theories
to the appropriate limits of the State's activity are inapplicable in
India" and that if the resources of the country are to be developed the
Government must take action.

"After the war," add the authors, "the need for industrial development
will be all the greater unless India is to become a mere dumping-ground
for the manufactures of foreign nations which will then be competing all
the more keenly for the markets on which their political strength so
perceptibly depends. India will certainly consider herself entitled to
claim all the help that her Government can give her to enable her to
take her place as a manufacturing country; and unless the claim is
admitted it will surely turn into an insistent request for a tariff
which will penalize imported articles without respect of origin."

Further on the Report states:

    "We are agreed therefore that there must be a definite change of
    view; and that the Government must admit and shoulder its
    responsibility for furthering the industrial development of the
    country. The difficulties by this time are well-known. In the
    past, and partly as a result of recent _swadeshi_ experiences,
    India's capital has not generally been readily available; among
    some communities at least there is apparent distaste for practical
    training, and a comparative weakness of mutual trust; _skilled
    labour is lacking_, and although _labour is plentiful, education
    is needed to inculcate a higher standard of living and so to
    secure a continuous supply; there is a dearth of technical
    institutions; there is also a want of practical information about
    the commercial potentialities of India's war products_. Though
    these are serious difficulties, they are not insuperable; but they
    will be overcome only if the State comes forward boldly as guide
    and helper. On the other hand, there are good grounds for hope.
    India has great natural resources, mineral and vegetable. She has
    furnished supplies of manganese, tungsten, mica, jute, copra, lac,
    etc., for use in the war. She has abundant coal, even if its
    geographical distribution is uneven; she has also in her large
    rivers ample means of creating water-power. There is good reason
    for believing that she will greatly increase her output of oil.
    Her forest wealth is immense, and much of it only awaits the
    introduction of modern means of transportation, a bolder
    investment of capital, and the employment of extra staff; while
    the patient and laborious work of conservation that has been
    steadily proceeding joined with modern scientific methods of
    improving supplies and increasing output, will yield a rich
    harvest in the future. We have been assured that Indian capital
    will be forthcoming once it is realized that it can be invested
    with security and profit in India; a purpose that will be
    furthered by the provision of increased facilities for banking and
    credit. Labor, though abundant, is handicapped by still pursuing
    uneconomical methods, and its output would be greatly increased by
    the extended use of machinery. We have no doubt that there is an
    immense scope for the application of scientific methods.
    Conditions are ripe for the development of new and for the revival
    of old industries, and the real enthusiasm for industries which is
    not confined to the ambitions of a few individuals but rests on
    the general desire to see Indian capital and labour applied
    jointly to the good of the country, seem to us the happiest

The views of educated India about fiscal policy have been very
faithfully reproduced in Paragraphs 341 and 342, which also we reproduce
almost bodily:

    "Connected intimately with the matter of industries is the
    question of the Indian tariff. This subject was excluded from the
    deliberations of the Industrial Commission now sitting because it
    was not desirable at that juncture to raise any question of the
    modification of India's fiscal policy; but its exclusion was none
    the less the object of some legitimate criticism in India. The
    changes which we propose in the Government of India will still
    leave the settlement of India's tariff in the hands of a
    government amenable to Parliament and the Secretary of State; but
    inasmuch as the tariff reacts on many matters which will
    henceforth come more and more under Indian control, we think it
    well that we should put forward for the information of His
    Majesty's Government the views of educated Indians upon this
    subject. We have no immediate proposals to make; we are anxious
    merely that any decisions which may hereafter be taken should be
    taken with full appreciation of educated Indian opinion.

    "The theoretical free trader, we believe, hardly exists in India
    at present. As was shown by the debates in the Indian Legislative
    Council in March, 1913, educated Indian opinion ardently desires a
    tariff. It rightly wishes to find another substantial basis than
    that of the land for Indian revenues, and it turns to a tariff to
    provide one. Desiring industries which will give him Indian-made
    clothes to wear and Indian-made articles to use, the educated
    Indian looks to the example of other countries which have relied
    on tariffs, and seizes on the admission of even free traders that
    for the nourishment of nascent industries a tariff is permissible.
    We do not know whether he pauses to reflect that these industries
    will be largely financed by foreign capital attracted by the
    tariff, although we have evidence that he has not learned to
    appreciate the advantages of foreign capital. But whatever
    economic fallacy underlies his reasoning, these are his firm
    beliefs; and though he may be willing to concede the possibility
    that he is wrong, he will not readily concede that it is our
    business to decide the matter for him. He believes that as long as
    we continue to decide for him we shall decide in the interests of
    England and not according to his wishes; and he points to the
    debate in the House of Commons on the differentiation of the
    cotton excise in support of his contention. So long as the people
    who refuse India protection are interested in manufactures with
    which India might compete, Indian opinion cannot bring itself to
    believe that the refusal is disinterested or dictated by care for
    the best interests of India. This real and keen desire for fiscal
    autonomy does not mean that educated opinion in India is unmindful
    of Imperial obligations...."

These admissions should put India's claims for fiscal autonomy beyond
the range of doubt and dispute, but so strange are the ways of modern
statesmanship that consistency and logic are not the necessary
accompaniments thereof.

The authors have advanced another very strong argument for the economic
development of India, viz., "military value," which makes the case
conclusive. This argument has been supplied by the Great War and is so
well known that we need not state it in their words.

If India is to prosper and take her legitimate place in the British
Commonwealth, and in the great family of Nations of the World, it is
absolutely necessary that she should be given complete fiscal freedom to
manage her own affairs, develop her own industries and do her own
trading. Considering her size and resources, it wounds her self-respect
and makes her feel exceedingly mean and small to go begging for alms and
charity every time there is a failure of rains and the cry of famine is

For a nation of 315 millions of human beings living in a country which
nature has endowed with all its choicest blessings, rich and fertile
soil, plenty of water and sun, an abundant supply of metals and coal,
willing labor, artistic skill and a power of manipulating for beauty and
elegance unexcelled in the world--to exist in pitiful economic
dependence is a condition most deplorable and most pathetic. We want no
charity, no concessions, no favors, no preference. What we most
earnestly beg and ask for is an _opportunity_.

    For a synopsis of the findings and recommendations of the
    Industrial Commission mentioned in this chapter see appendix 1.



In December, 1917, the Government of India appointed a committee of
three Englishmen and two Indians (1) "to investigate and report on the
nature and extent of the criminal conspiracies connected with the
revolutionary movements in India, (2) to examine and consider the
difficulties that have arisen in dealing with such conspiracies and to
advise as to the legislation, if any, necessary to enable the government
to deal effectively with them." Of the three English members, Mr.
Justice Rowlatt of the King's Bench Division, England, was appointed as
president, and of the other two, one was a judge in the service of the
Government and the other a member of a Board of Revenue in one of the
Indian Provinces. Of the two Indians, one was a judge and the other a
practicing lawyer.

This committee submitted its report in April, 1918, which was published
by the Government of India in July of the same year. The president, Mr.
Justice Rowlatt's letter covering the report gives the nature of the
evidence upon which their report is based, which is as follows:
"Statements have been placed before us with documentary evidence by the
Governments of Bengal, Bombay, Bihar and Orissa, the Central Provinces,
the United Provinces, the Punjab and Burmah as well as by the
Government of India. In every case, except that of Madras, we were
further attended by officers of the government, presenting this
statement, who gave evidence before us. In the two provinces in which we
held sittings, namely, Bengal and Punjab, we further invited and secured
the attendance of individuals, or as deputed by associations, of
gentlemen who we thought might give us information from various
non-official points of view."

It is clear from this statement that the investigation of the committee
was neither judicial nor even semi-judicial; it was a purely
administrative inquiry conducted behind the backs of the individuals
concerned, without the latter having any opportunity of cross-examining
the witnesses or giving their explanations of the evidence against them.
While the different Governments in India were fully represented in each
case by the ablest of their servants, the individuals investigated were
not. We do not want to insinuate that either the Governments or the
officers deputed by them were unfair in their evidence. All that we want
to point out is that the other side had no opportunity of putting their
case before the committee. Consequently, it is no wonder that one comes
across many traces of political and racial bias both in the introduction
and the Report.

The very first paragraph of the introduction betrays either ignorance on
the part of the committee about the ancient history of India, or a
deliberate misrepresentation of the nature of the Hindu State. The
committee says: "Republican or Parliamentary forms of governments as at
present understood were neither desired nor known in India until after
the establishment of British rule. In the Hindu State the form of
government was an absolute monarchy, though the monarch was by the Hindu
Shastras hedged round by elaborate rules for securing the welfare of his
subjects and was assisted by a body of councillors, the chief of whom
were Brahmin members of the priestly class which derived authority from
a time when the priests were the sole repositories of knowledge and
therefore the natural instruments of administration." The statements
made in this paragraph do not represent the whole truth.

The committee ignores the fact that Republican or Parliamentary forms of
Government "_as at present understood_" were neither desired nor known
in any part of the world, except perhaps England itself until _after_
the establishment of British rule in India.[1] Then the committee has
altogether ignored that, in the Hindu State, the form of government was
not an absolute monarchy _always and in all parts of India_. There is
ample historical evidence to prove that India had many Republican
States, along with oligarchies and monarchies at one and the same period
of her history. The second part of the second sentence is also not
correct, because the priestly class derived its authority from a time
when the priests were not the sole repositories of knowledge. The
several Hindu political treatises belong to a period when the whole
populace was highly educated and could take substantial part in the
determination of the affairs of their country.

Equally misleading is the last sentence of the introduction where the
committee says that it is among the Chitpavan Brahmins of the Poona
district that they first find indications of a revolutionary movement.
This statement is incorrect, if it means that after the establishment of
British rule in India no attempt had been made to overthrow it prior to
the Revolutionary movement inaugurated by the Poona Brahmins. The
statement ignores three such attempts which are known to history; viz.,
(_a_) the great Mutiny of 1857, (_b_) the Wahábee Rebellion of Bengal,
and (_c_) the Kúká Rebellion of the Punjab; not to mention other minor
attempts made in other places by other people.

Yet we think that this report is a very valuable document, giving in one
place the history and the progress of the Revolutionary Movement in
India. The findings and the recommendations of the committee may not be
all correct, but the material collected and published for the first time
is too valuable to be neglected by anyone who wants to have an
intelligent grasp of the political situation in India, such as has
developed within the last twenty years.

The committee gives a summary of its conclusions as to the conspiracies
in Chapter XV, which we copy verbatim:

    "In Bombay they have been purely Brahmin and mostly Chitpavan. In
    Bengal the conspirators have been young men belonging to the
    educated middle classes. Their propaganda has been elaborate,
    persistent and ingenious. In their own province it has produced a
    long series of murders and robberies. In Bihar and Orissa, the
    United Provinces, the Central Provinces and Madras, it took no
    root, but occasionally led to crime and disorder. In the Punjab
    the return of emigrants from America, bent on revolution and
    bloodshed, produced numerous outrages and the _Ghadr_ conspiracy
    of 1915. In Burma, too, the _Ghadr_ movement was active, but was

    "Finally came a Mohammedan conspiracy confined to a small clique
    of fanatics and designed to overthrow British rule with foreign

    "All these plots have been directed towards one and the same
    objective, the overthrow by force of British rule in India.
    Sometimes they have been isolated; sometimes they have been
    interconnected; sometimes they have been encouraged and supported
    by German influence. All have been successfully encountered with
    the support of Indian loyalty."

In this general summary the committee has made no attempt to trace out
the causes that led to the inauguration of the revolutionary movement
and its subsequent progress. A chapter on that subject would have been
most illuminating.

In chapters dealing with provinces they have selected some individuals
and classes on whom to lay blame for "incitements" to murders and
crimes, but have entirely failed to analyze the social, political and
economic conditions which made such incitements and their success

It is clear even from this summary that the only two provinces where the
revolutionary propaganda took root and resulted in more than occasional
outrages were Bengal and the Punjab.

In the Bombay Presidency, revolutionary outrages did not exceed three
within a period of 20 years (from 1897 to 1917), two murders and one
bomb-throwing. Besides, three trials for conspiracies are mentioned all
within a year (1909-1910), two in Native States and one in British
territory. Altogether 82 men were prosecuted for being involved in these
conspiracies. The total result comes to this, that in the course of 20
years about 100 persons were found to be involved in a revolutionary
movement in a territory embracing an area of 186,923 square miles and a
population of 27 million human beings. This is surely by no means a
formidable record justifying extraordinary legislation such as is
proposed.[2] The net loss of human life did not exceed three, though
unfortunately all three victims were Europeans.

Bihar and Orissa formed part of the province of Bengal during most of
the period covered by the revolutionary movement of Bengal, viz., from
1906 to 1917. It was in Bihar which was then a part of Bengal, that in
1908, the first bomb was thrown. The only other revolutionary outrage
that took place in Bihar was one in 1913, resulting in the murder of two

In the United Provinces of Agra and Oude, the only tangible evidence of
revolutionary activity recorded by the committee is the Benares
Conspiracy that came to light in 1915-1916. The only outrage noted is
that of the alleged murder of a fellow revolutionary by a member of the
same gang.

To the Central provinces the committee has given a practically clean

In Madras the revolutionary outrages consisted of one murder (of a
European Magistrate) and one conspiracy involving nine persons.

The conspiracies and intrigues detected in Burma are ascribed to people
of other provinces and not a single outrage from that province itself is

So we find that in the period from 1906 to 1907, both inclusive,
outside the provinces of Bengal and the Punjab, the revolutionary crime
was limited to three outrages and three conspiracies in the Bombay
Presidency, one outrage in Bihar, one outrage and one conspiracy in the
United Provinces, one outrage and one conspiracy in Madras and some
intrigues and conspiracies during the war in Burma. Thus the only two
provinces in which the revolutionary movement established itself to any
appreciable extent was Bengal and the Punjab.

In the Punjab, again, the first revolutionary crime took place in
December, 1912, and the second in 1913 and the rest all during the War.
Cases of seditious utterances and writings are not included in the term
"revolutionary crime" used in the above paragraphs. It was from Bengal,
then, that before the War revolutionary propaganda was carried on to any
large extent, revolutionary movements organized and revolutionary crimes
committed. About half of the Report deals with Bengal and the general
findings of the committee may be thus summarized:

(1) That the object of the movement was the overturning of "the British
government in India by violent means" (p. 15 and also p. 19).

(2) That the class among whom the movement spread was comprised of the
_Bhadralok_ (the respectable middle class). The committee says:

    "The people among whom he (i.e., Barendra, the first Bengali
    revolutionary propagandist) worked, the _bhadralok_ of Bengal,
    have been for centuries peaceful and unwarlike, but, through the
    influence of the great central city of Calcutta, were early in
    appreciating the advantages of Western learning. They are mainly
    Hindus and their leading castes are Brahmins, Kayasthas and
    Vaidyas; but with the spread of English education some other
    castes too have adopted _bhadralok_ ideals and modes of life.
    _Bhadralok_ abound in villages as well as in towns, and are thus
    more interwoven with the landed classes than are the literate
    Indians of other provinces. Wherever they live or settle, they
    earnestly desire and often provide English education for their
    sons. The consequence is that a number of Anglo-vernacular
    schools, largely maintained by private enterprise, have sprung up
    throughout the towns and villages of Bengal. No other province of
    India possesses a network of rural schools in which English is
    taught. These schools are due to the enterprise of the _bhadralok_
    and to the fact that, as British rule gradually spread from Bengal
    over Northern India, the scope of employment for English-educated
    Bengalis spread with it. Originally they predominated in all
    offices and higher grade schools throughout Upper India. They were
    also, with the Parsees, the first Indians to send their sons to
    England for education, to qualify for the Bar, or to compete for
    the higher grades of the Civil and Medical services. When,
    however, similar classes in other provinces also acquired a
    working knowledge of English, the field for Bengali enterprise
    gradually shrank. In their own province _bhadralok_ still almost
    monopolize the clerical and subordinate administrative services of
    Government. They are prominent in medicine, in teaching and at the
    Bar. But, in spite of these advantages, they have felt the
    shrinkage of foreign employment; and as the education which they
    receive is generally literary and ill-adapted to incline the
    youthful mind to industrial, commercial or agricultural pursuits,
    they have not succeeded in finding fresh outlets for their
    energies. Their hold on land, too, has weakened, owing to
    increasing pressure of population and excessive sub-infeudation.
    _Altogether their economic prospects have narrowed, and the
    increasing numbers who draw fixed incomes have felt the pinch of
    rising prices. On the other hand, the memories and associations
    of their earlier prosperity, combined with growing contact with
    Western ideas and standards of comfort, have raised their
    expectations of the pecuniary remuneration which should reward a
    laborious and, to their minds, a costly education._ Thus as
    _bhadralok_ learned in English have become more and more numerous,
    a growing number have become less and less inclined to accept the
    conditions of life in which they found themselves on reaching
    manhood. _Bhadralok_ have always been prominent among the
    supporters of Indian political movements; and their leaders have
    watched with careful attention events in the world outside India.
    The large majority of the people of Bengal are not _bhadralok_ but
    cultivators, and in the eastern districts mainly Muhammadans; but
    the cultivators of the province are absorbed in their own
    pursuits, in litigation, and in religious and caste observances.
    It was not to them but to his own class that Barendra appealed.
    When he renewed his efforts in 1904, the thoughts of many members
    of this class had been stirred by various powerful influences."
    [The italics are ours.]

We have given this lengthy extract as it shows conclusively (_a_) that
the movement originated and spread among people who had received Western
education, most of the leaders having been educated in England and (_b_)
that the root cause of the movement was _economic_.

(3) That various circumstances occasioned by certain Government measures
"specially favored the development" of the movement (p. 16). Among the
measures specially mentioned are (_a_) the University law of Lord Curzon
"which was interpreted by politicians as designed to limit the numbers
of Indians educated in English and thus to retard national advance";
(_b_) the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon. "It was the agitation
that attended and followed on this measure that brought previous
discontent to a climax."

(4) That the revolutionary movement received a substantial impetus by
the failure of constitutional agitation for the reversal of the policy
that decided on partitioning Bengal into two divisions. This failure led
to two different kinds of agitation, open and secret: (_a_) open
economic defiance by _Swadeshi_ and boycott--_Swadeshi_ was the
affirmative and boycott the negative form of the same movement.
_Swadeshi_ enjoined the use of country made articles; boycott was
directed against English imports, (_b_) open propaganda by a more
outspoken and in some instances violent press, (_c_) open control of
educational agencies by means of national institutions, (_d_) open
stimulus to physical education and physical culture, (_e_) nationalistic
interpretation of religious dogma and forms (open), (_f_) organization
of secret societies for more violent propaganda, for learning and
teaching the use of firearms, for the manufacture of bombs, for illicit
purchase and stealing of firearms, for assassination and murder, (_g_)
secret attempts to tamper with the army, (_h_) conspiracies for
terroristic purposes and for obtaining sinews of war by theft, robbery
and extortion.

The following two extracts which the committee has taken from one of the
publications of the revolutionary party called _Mukti Kon Pathe_ (what
is the path of salvation) will explain clauses (_f_) and (_g_) and

    "The book further points out that not much muscle was required to
    shoot Europeans, that arms could be procured by grim
    determination, and that weapons could be prepared silently in
    some secret place. Indians could be sent to foreign countries to
    learn the art of making weapons. The assistance of Indian soldiers
    must be obtained. They must be made to understand the misery and
    wretchedness of the country. The heroism of Sivaji must be
    remembered. As long as revolutionary work remained in its infancy,
    expenses could be met by subscriptions. But as work advanced,
    money must be extracted from society by the application of force.
    If the revolution is being brought about for the welfare of
    society, then it is perfectly just to collect money from society
    for that purpose. It is admitted that theft and dacoity are crimes
    because they violate the principle of good society. But the
    political dacoit is aiming at the good of society, "so no sin but
    rather virtue attaches to the destruction of this small good for
    the sake of some higher good. Therefore if revolutionaries extort
    money from the miserly or luxurious members of society by the
    application of force, their conduct is perfectly just."

    _Mukti Kon Pathe_ further exhorts its readers to obtain the "help
    of the native soldiers.... Although these soldiers for the sake of
    their stomach accept service in the Government of the ruling
    power, still they are nothing but men made of flesh and blood.
    They, too, know (how) to think; when therefore the revolutionaries
    explain to them the woes and miseries of the country, they, in
    proper time, swell the ranks of the revolutionaries with arms and
    weapons given them by the ruling power.... Because it is possible
    to persuade the soldiers in this way, the modern English Raj of
    India does not allow the cunning Bengalis to enter into the ranks
    of the army.... Aid in the shape of arms may be secretly obtained
    by securing the help of the foreign ruling powers."

(5) That except in five cases the idea of private gain never entered
into the activities of the revolutionaries and of the five persons
referred to three were taxi-cab drivers either hired or coerced to
coöperate in revolutionary enterprise (p. 20).

(6) That "the circumstances that robberies and murders are being
committed by young men of respectable extraction, students at schools
and colleges, is indeed an amazing phenomenon the occurrence of which in
most countries would be hardly credible."

(7) That "since the year 1906 revolutionary outrages in Bengal have
numbered 210 and attempts at committing such outrages have amounted to
101. Definite information is in the hands of the police of the
complicity of no less than 1038 persons in these offences. But of these,
only 84 persons have been convicted of specified crimes in 39
prosecutions, and of these persons, 30 were tried by tribunals
constituted under the Defence of India Act. Ten attempts have been made
to strike at revolutionary conspiracies by means of prosecutions
directed against groups or branches. In these prosecutions 192 persons
were involved, 63 of whom were convicted. Eighty-two revolutionaries
have rendered themselves liable to be bound over to be of good behaviour
under the preventive sections of the Criminal Procedure Code. In regard
to 51 of these, there is direct evidence of complicity in outrages.
There have, moreover, been 59 prosecutions under the Arms and Explosives
Acts which have resulted in convictions of 58 persons."

We wish the committee had also supplemented this information by a
complete record of the punishments that were imposed on persons
convicted of revolutionary crime in the ten years from 1906 to 1917. We
are sure such a statement would have been most informing and
illuminating. It would have conclusively established the soundness of
the half-hearted finding that "the convictions ... did not have as much
effect as might have been expected in repressing crime." In fact they
had no effect. They only added fuel to the fire.

(8) That persons involved in revolutionary crime belonged to all castes
and occupations and the vast bulk of them were non-Brahmins. They were
of all ages, from 10-15 to over 45, the majority being under 25. The
committee has in an appendix (p. 93) given three tables of statistics as
to age, caste, occupation or profession of persons convicted in Bengal
of revolutionary crimes or killed in commission of such crimes during
the years 1907-1917. This clause is based on these statistics.

We are afraid, however, that these statistics do not afford quite a
correct index of the age, caste, occupation and position of all the
people in Bengal that were and are sympathetically interested in the
revolutionary movement of Bengal.

In investigating reasons for failure of ordinary machinery for the
prevention, detection and punishment of crime in Bengal, the committee
has assigned six reasons: (_a_) want of evidence, (_b_) paucity of
police, (_c_) facilities enjoyed by criminals, (_d_) difficulty in proof
of possession of arms, etc., (_e_) distrust of evidence, (_f_) the
uselessness, in general, of confession made to the Police. These
reasons, however, do not represent the whole truth. Some of the most
daring crimes were committed in broad daylight, in much frequented
streets of the metropolis and in the presence of numerous people.
Moreover, the Government did not depend on ordinary law. Measure after
measure was enacted to expedite and facilitate convictions.
Extraordinary provisions were made to meet all the difficulties pointed
out by the committee and extraordinary sentences were given in the case
of conviction. Yet the Government failed either to extirpate the
movement or to check it effectively or to bring the majority of
offenders to book.

The members of the committee have frankly admitted: "That we do not
expect very much from punitive measures. The conviction of offenders
will never check such a movement as that which grew up in Bengal unless
the leaders can be convicted at the outset." They pin their faith on
"preventive" measures recommended by them. It was perhaps not within
their scope to say that the most effective preventive measure was the
removal of the political and economic causes that had generated the
movement. The committee has studiously avoided discussing that important
point, but now and then they have incidentally furnished the real clue
to the situation. Discussing the "accessibility of Bengal schools and
colleges to Revolutionary influences," they quote a passage from one of
the reports of the Director of Public Instruction in Bengal. We copy
below the whole of this paragraph, as, to us, it seems to be very
pertinent to the issue.

    "_Accessibility of Bengal Schools and Colleges to Revolutionary
    Influences._--Abundant evidence has compelled us to the conclusion
    that the secondary English schools, and in a less degree the
    colleges, of Bengal have been regarded by the revolutionaries as
    their most fruitful recruiting centres. Dispersed as these
    schools are far and wide throughout the Province, sometimes
    clustering in a town, sometimes isolated in the far-away villages
    of the eastern water-country, they form natural objects for
    attack; and as is apparent from the reports of the Department of
    Public Instruction, they have been attacked for years with no
    small degree of success. In these reports the Director has from
    time to time noticed such matters as the circulation of seditious
    leaflets, the number of students implicated in conspiracy cases
    and the apathy of parents and guardians. But perhaps his most
    instructive passages are the following, in which he sets out the
    whole situation in regard to secondary English schools. 'The
    number of these schools,' he wrote, 'is rapidly increasing, and
    the cry is for more and more. It is a demand for tickets in a
    lottery, the prizes of which are posts in Government service and
    employment in certain professions. _The bhadralok have nothing to
    look to but these posts_, while those who desire to rise from a
    lower social or economic station have their eyes on the same goal.
    _The middle classes in Bengal are generally poor, and the
    increased stress of competition and the tendency for the average
    earnings of certain careers to decrease_--a tendency which is
    bound to follow on the increased demand to enter them, _coupled
    with the rise in the cost of living and the inevitable raising in
    the standard of comfort--all these features continue to make the
    struggle to exist in these classes keener_. Hence the need to
    raise educational standards, to make school life a greater
    influence for good and the course of instruction more thorough and
    more comprehensive. A need which becomes more and more imperative
    as life in India becomes more complicated and more exacting is
    confronted by a determined though perfectly natural opposition to
    the raising of fees.... _Probably the worst feature of the
    situation is the low wages and the complete absence of prospects
    which are the fate of teachers in the secondary schools...._ It is
    easy to blame the parents for blindness to their sons' true good,
    but the matriculation examination is the thing that seems to
    matter, so that if his boy passes the annual promotion
    examinations and is duly presented at that examination at the
    earliest possible date, the average parent has no criticism to
    offer. This is perfectly natural, but the future of Bengal depends
    to a not inconsiderable extent on the work done in its secondary
    schools, and more is required of these institutions than an
    ability to pass a certain proportion of boys through the Calcutta
    University Matriculation examination.... The present condition of
    secondary schools is undoubtedly prejudicing the development of
    the presidency and is by no means a negligible feature in the
    existing state of general disturbance. It is customary to trace
    the genesis of much sedition and crime to the back streets and
    lanes of Calcutta and Dacca, where the organizers of anarchic
    conspiracies seek their agents from among University students.
    This view is correct as far as it goes, but it is in the high
    schools, with their underpaid and discontented teachers, their
    crowded, dark and ill-ventilated classrooms, and their
    soul-destroying process of unceasing cram, that the seeds of
    discontent and fanaticism are sown." [The italics are ours.]

Yet for years nothing was done to improve education, to make it
practical and creative and productive. In fact nothing has been done up
till now.

Let the reader read with this the report of the Indian Industrial
Commission recently issued under the authority of the Government of
India and he will at once find the true causes which underlie the
revolutionary movement in India. These causes are not in any way
peculiar to Bengal or to the Punjab; they are common to the whole of
India, but they have found a fruitful soil in these provinces on account
of the rather intense natures of the people of these two provinces. The
Bengali is an intensely patriotic and emotional being, very sensitive
and very resentful; the Punjabee is intensely virile, passionate and
plucky, having developed a strong, forceful character by centuries of
resistance to all kind of invasions and attacks. Of the Punjab, however,
we will speak later on. For the present we are concerned with Bengal
only. The amazing phenomenon mentioned by the committee on p. 20 and
referred to by us before is easily explained by the facts hinted in the
Directors' report quoted above. And this notwithstanding the fact that
in the matter of Government patronage Bengal has been the most favored
province in India, throughout the period of British rule. To the
Bengalis have gone all the first appointments to offices that were
thrown open to the natives of the soil. They have been the recipients of
the highest honors from the Government. Bengal is virtually the only
province permanently settled where the Government cannot add to the Land
tax fixed in 1793. The Bengalis are the people who spread over India,
with every territorial extension of the British Raj. They have been the
pampered and favored children of the Government and for very good
reasons, too. They are the best educated and the most intelligent of all
the Indian peoples. They know how to adapt themselves to all conditions
and circumstances, they know how to enjoy and also how to suffer. They
have subtle brains and supple bodies. The British Government could not
do without them. It cannot do without them even now. Yet it was this
most loyal and most dutiful, this most westernized and the best educated
class which laid the foundations of the revolutionary movement and has
been carrying it on _successfully_ in face of all the forces of such a
mighty Government as that of the British in India. What is the reason?
It is the utter economic helplessness of the younger generation, aided
by a sense of extreme humiliation and degradation. The Government never
earnestly applied itself to the solution of the problem. They did
nothing to reduce poverty and make education practical. Every time the
budget was discussed the Indian members pressed for increased
expenditure on education. All their proposals and motions were rejected
by the standing official majorities backed by the whole force of
non-official Europeans including the missionaries. The Government thus
deliberately sowed the wind. Is there any wonder that it is now reaping
the whirlwind?

The cause is economic; the remedy must be economic. Make education
practical, foster industries, open all Government careers to the sons of
the soil, reduce the cost on the military and civil services, let the
people determine the fiscal policy of the country and the revolutionary
movement will subside. Die it will not, so long as there is foreign
domination and foreign exploitation. Even after India has attained Home
Rule it will not die. It has come to stay. India is a part of the world
and revolution is in the air all the world over. The effort to kill it
by repression and suppression is futile, unwise and stupid.


[1] The beginnings of British rule in India were made in 1757 A.D.

[2] Since enacted.



We may now consider the case of the Punjab. Lord Morley's verdict
notwithstanding, it is abundantly clear that the troubles of 1907, with
which the history of unrest in the Punjab begins, were principally
agrarian in their origin. Lord Morley's speech in the House of Commons
(in 1907) as to the root of the trouble was based on reports supplied to
him by the Government of the Punjab and we know from personal knowledge
how unreliable many of these reports are. We may here illustrate this
point by a few extracts from these documents.

    (1) Lord Morley stated that: "There were twenty-eight meetings
    known to have been held by the leading agitators in the Punjab
    between 1st March and 1st May. Of these five only related, even
    ostensibly, to agricultural grievances; the remaining twenty-three
    were all purely political."

The number of meetings held from March 1 to May 1, 1907 was, at the
lowest calculation, at least double of 28, or perhaps treble, and _most
of them_ related "even ostensibly to agricultural grievances"; the
number of purely political meetings could not have exceeded ten or

(2) On p. 61 the committee writes that "Chatarji's father too had
ordered him home on discovering that he was staying with Hardayal in the
house of Lajpat Rai." The whole of this statement is absolutely false. I
am prepared to swear and to prove that Chatarji did not stay in my house
even for a single night. He came there a few times with Hardayal.
Hardayal was at that time living in a house he had rented for himself in
the native city about one mile from my place which is in the Civil
Station on the Lower Mall.

On the same page the committee has approvingly quoted a sentence from
the judgment of the Sessions Judge in the Delhi Conspiracy Case.
Speaking of Amir Chand, one of the accused in that case who was
sentenced to death, the Sessions Judge describes him as "one who spent
his life in furthering murderous schemes which he was too timid to carry
out himself." Now I happen to have known this man for about 20 years
before his conviction. I have no doubt that he was rightly convicted in
this case but I have no doubt also that this description of him by the
Sessions Judge was absolutely wrong. Up till 1910 the man had led an
absolutely harmless life, helping students in their studies and
otherwise rendering assistance, according to his means, to other needy
people. No one ever credited him with violent views. His revolutionary
career began in 1908. Before that he could not and would not have
tolerated even the killing of an ant, much less that of human beings.

In governments by bureaucracies one of the standing formulas of official
etiquette is never to question the findings of facts arrived at by your
superiors or predecessors. This naturally leads to the perpetuation of
mistakes. A wrong conclusion once accepted continues to be good for all
times to come. The Rowlatt Committee has studiously acted on that
formula throughout its present inquiry. They have invariably accepted
the findings of executive and judicial authorities preceding them about
the incidents that happened since 1907, without making any independent
inquiry of their own. Hence their opinion about the original or the
principal cause of the unrest of 1907 in the Punjab is not entitled to
greater weight than that of the Punjab officials whose mishandling of
the affairs of the province produced the unrest. One ounce of fact,
however, is of greater weight in the determination of issues than even a
hundred theories. The fact that the Government of India _had_ to veto
the Punjab Government's Land Colonies Act in order to allay the unrest
proves conclusively that the unrest was due to agrarian trouble.

The unrest of 1907 subsided after the repeal of the land legislation of
1907, but the legacy it left is still operative.

The Sikhs and the Mussulmans of the Punjab, as well as the military
classes among the Hindus, the Rajputs and the Jats, are the most virile
portions of the population. They have fought the battles of the Empire.
In the interests of the Empire they have travelled far and wide. Yet we
find that educationally, as well as economically, they have suffered
most. They have the largest numbers of illiterates among them. They are
the least developed and the least progressive of all the classes in the
Punjab. They are heavily in debt. The Government has occasionally
recognised it and has tried to satisfy them by preferential treatment
in the filling of Government posts, or in the bestowal of titles or in
nominating their supposed leaders to Legislative Councils. These
ridiculous palliative measures, however, have failed in their objective.
The classes disaffected do not get any satisfaction by these palliative
measures. They need opportunities of education and economic betterment.
These could not be provided without making education general and without
a more equitable distribution of land among the agricultural classes and
the inauguration of industries other than agriculture. This the
Government never cared to do. The Sikhs and the Mussulmans naturally
directed their attention to emigration.

The opportunities they found in other parts of the Empire whetted their
appetites. They compared the conditions abroad with conditions at home
and drew their own conclusions. Having helped in the expansion and
development of the Empire they thought they were entitled to benefit
therefrom. They demanded fair treatment. Instead they found the doors
shut upon them. Even those that had been admitted were made to feel the
humiliation of their position. Deliberate, active, concerted measures
were taken to drive them away or to make life for them intolerable.
Their wives and children were refused admittance and various pretexts
were invented to keep them out or to drive them away. The revolutionary
movement in the Punjab amounted to nothing until it was reinforced by
the return of the Sikh members of the Ghadr party during the war. The
Committee has failed to answer the question: Why did the Sikhs of
Vancouver and California readily fall in with the schemes of Hardayal
and Barkat Ullah, the alleged founders of the revolutionary party of
California? These latter had nothing in common with the Sikhs. In
language and religion, by habits and associations, they were poles apart
from each other. Why did then Hardayal's propaganda find such a ready
soil among the Sikhs of Vancouver B. C. We quote from the report:

    "The doctrines which he preached and circulated had reached the
    Sikhs and other Indians resident in British Columbia. At a meeting
    in Vancouver in December, 1913, a poem from the Ghadr newspaper
    was read, in which the Hindus were urged to expel the British from
    India. The main grievance of the Vancouver Indians was the
    Canadian immigration law under which every intending Asiatic
    immigrant, with a few particular exceptions, has to satisfy the
    Canadian authorities that he is in possession of 200 dollars and
    has travelled by a _continuous_[1] journey on a through ticket
    from his native country to Canada. In 1913 three Sikh delegates
    visited the Punjab. They had come from America and were members of
    the Ghadr party who had come to reconnoitre the position. Their
    real purpose was recognised after their departure. They addressed
    meetings at various towns on the subject of the grievances of
    Indians in Canada and caused resolutions of protest to be passed
    in which all communities joined."

Again, tracing the origin of the Budge-Budge riot, the Committee

    "The central figure in the narrative is a certain Gurdit Singh, a
    Sikh of the Amritsar district in the Punjab, who had emigrated
    from India 15 years before, and had for some time carried on
    business as a contractor in Singapore and the Malay States. There
    is reason to believe that he returned to this country about 1909.
    He was certainly absent from Singapore for a space; and when he
    returned there, going on to Hong Kong, he interested himself in
    chartering a ship for the conveyance of Punjabis to Canada.
    Punjabis, and especially Sikhs, frequently seek employment in the
    Far East, and have for some time been tempted by the higher wages
    procurable in Canada. But their admission to that country is to
    some extent impeded by the immigration laws which we have
    described already.

    "There were already in Canada about 4,000 Indians, chiefly
    Punjabis. Some of these were revolutionists of the Hardayal
    school, some were loyal, and some had migrated from the United
    States on account of labour differences there. The Committee of
    Enquiry, which subsequently investigated the whole affair,
    considered that Gurdit Singh's action had been much influenced by
    advice and encouragement received from Indian residents in Canada.
    At any rate, after failing to secure a ship at Calcutta, he
    chartered a Japanese vessel named the _Komagata Maru_ through a
    German agent at Hong Kong. He issued tickets and took in
    passengers at that post, at Shanghai, at Moji and at Yokohama. He
    certainly knew what the Canadian law was, but perhaps hoped to
    evade it by means of some appeal to the courts or by exercising
    political pressure. It is equally certain that many of his
    passengers had no clear comprehension of their prospects. The
    Tribunal that subsequently tried the first batch of Lahore
    conspirators held that probably Gurdit Singh's main object was to
    cause an inflammatory episode, as one of the witnesses stated that
    Gurdit Singh told his followers that should they be refused
    admission, they would return to India to expel the British. On
    April the 4th, 1914, the _Komagata Maru_ sailed from Hong Kong. On
    the 23rd of May the _Komagata Maru_ arrived at Vancouver with 351
    Sikhs and 21 Punjabi Muhammadans on board. The local authorities
    refused to allow landing except in a very few cases, as the
    immigrants had not complied with the requirements of the law.
    Protests were made, and, while negotiations were proceeding, a
    balance of 22,000 dollars still due for the hire of the ship was
    paid by Vancouver Indians, and the charter was transferred to two
    prominent malcontents.... A body of police was sent to enforce the
    orders of the Canadian Government that the vessel should leave;
    but with the assistance of firearms, the police were beaten off,
    and it was only when a Government vessel was requisitioned with
    armed force that the _Komagata Maru_ passengers, who had prevented
    their Captain from weighing anchor or getting up steam, were
    brought to terms. On the 23rd of July they started on their return
    journey with an ample stock of provisions allowed them by the
    Canadian Government. _They were by this time in a very bad temper
    as many had staked all their possessions on this venture, and had
    started in the full belief that the British Government would
    assure and guarantee their admission to a land of plenty._ This
    temper had been greatly aggravated by direct revolutionary

    "During the return voyage the War broke out. On hearing at
    Yokohama that his ship's company would not be allowed to land at
    Hong Kong, Gurdit Singh replied that they were perfectly willing
    to go to any port in India if provisions were supplied. The
    British Consul at Yokohama declined to meet his demands, which
    were exorbitant; but the consul at Kobe was more compliant, and
    after telegraphic communication between Japan and India, the
    _Komagata Maru_ started for Calcutta. At neither Hong Kong nor
    Singapore were the passengers allowed to land. This added to their
    annoyance, as, according to the findings of the Committee, many
    had not wished to return to India at all."

    The Committee found that most of the passengers were disposed to
    blame the Government of India for all their misfortunes. "It is
    well known," states the Report, "that the average Indian makes no
    distinction between the Government of the United Kingdom, that of
    Canada, and that of British India, or that of any colony. To him
    these authorities are all one and the same. And this view of the
    whole _Komagata Maru_ business was by no means confined to the
    passengers on the ship. It inspired some Sikhs of the Punjab with
    the idea that the Government was biased against them; and it
    strengthened the hands of the Ghadr revolutionaries who were
    urging Sikhs abroad to return to India and join the mutiny which,
    they asserted, was about to begin. Numbers of emigrants listened
    to such calls and hastened back to India from Canada, the United
    States, the Philippines, Hong Kong and China." [The italics are

We have given this extract to show the real cause of the growth of the
revolutionary movement among the Sikhs. Let the reader omit, if he can,
for a moment, all references to active revolutionary propaganda and he
will find that the underlying cause of this trouble was _economic_. Why
did the Sikhs want to emigrate to Canada? Why did they stake all their
possessions on the venture? Why were they unwilling to return to India
at all? Because the economic conditions at home were so bad and the
prospects abroad so good. At home their lands were not sufficient to
absorb all their energies, the income was not sufficient to keep body
and soul together and, in a majority of cases, what they made from land
was hardly more than sufficient to pay Land Revenue to the Government
and interest to the money-lender. There was nothing to bind them to
their homes except the love of home land and the domestic ties. These
melted away in the presence of dire necessity. In extreme need they
left their homes to make more money to be able to pay their debts, to
redeem their lands, if possible to purchase more land and to make life
bearable and tolerable. When they came in the open world they found
insurmountable barriers between them and plenty. They had helped in
making the empire; the empire had enough land for all her sons and
daughters; men were urgently needed to bring land into cultivation and
otherwise to develop the empire; men of other races and colours were not
only welcome but were being induced to come and settle by offers of all
kinds. They, and they alone, were unwelcome and barred.

Add to this the attitude and the record of the Punjab Government towards
political agitation and political agitators, to use their own favorite
expressions. The Punjab Government was the first to resuscitate the old
Regulation III of 1818 for the purpose of scotching a legitimate
agitation against an obnoxious legislative measure. A wise and sagacious
Government would have dropped the legislation which it was eventually
found necessary to veto to maintain peace. The deportations drove the
seeds of unrest deeper. The other contributory causes may be thus summed

(1) The Punjab Government has been the most relentless of all local
governments in India in suppressing freedom of speech and press.

(2) The Punjab Government at one time was very foolishly zealous in
persecuting the Arya Samajists and in making a mountain out of a
molehill about the letters found in the possession of Parmanand.

(3) The sentences which the Punjab Courts have passed in cases of
seditious libel are marked by such brutality as to make them notably
unique in the history of criminal administration in India.

(4) The strangulation of all open political life by direct and indirect
repression led to the adoption of secret methods.

(5) The sentences passed in the Delhi Conspiracy case were much more
severe than those given in Bengal in similar cases. In this case four
men were hanged, two of them only because of membership in the secret
conspiracy and not for actual participation in the outrage that was the
subject of the charge, and two others were sentenced to seven years
rigorous imprisonment each.

(6) The Budge-Budge riot and the considerable loss of life that resulted
therefrom was another case of stupid management and utter incapacity to
handle a delicate situation.

(7) For the Lahore Conspiracy 28 persons were hanged, and about 90
sentenced to long terms of imprisonment and transportation for life. But
for the interference of Lord Hardinge the hangings would have exceeded
50. In addition some mutinous soldiers of two regiments were tried by
Court Martial and a few murderous robbers and train-wreckers were dealt
with by the ordinary courts. The reader may well compare this with the
record of convictions relating to Bengal.

Now, we have not the slightest intention of justifying the conduct of
those who conspired to overthrow the Government by force, or who
committed murders, robberies or other offences in the furtherance of
that design. In our judgment only madmen, ignorant of the conditions of
their country, could have been guilty of such crimes. Nor are we
inclined to blame the Government much for the sharp steps they took to
preserve order and maintain their authority during the war. But, after
all has been said, we must reiterate that the underlying causes were
economic and were the direct result of Government policy.


[1] There never was a continuous steamer service between India and



The Committee has said all that it could against individual publicists,
Indian public movements and the native press. They have found no fault
with the Anglo-Indian press and the Government. The whole force of their
judicial acumen has been applied in recommending fresh measures of
repression and suppression which they have divided into two kinds:

    Punitive Measures, Permanent, (_a_) Points of General Application.
    The measures which we shall submit are of two kinds, viz.,
    Punitive, by which term we mean measures better to secure the
    conviction and punishment of offenders, and Preventive, i.e.,
    measures to check the spread of conspiracy and the commission of

    We may say at once that we do not expect very much from punitive
    measures.[1] The conviction of offenders will never check such a
    movement as that which grew up in Bengal unless all the leaders
    can be convicted at the outset. Further, the real difficulties
    have been the scarcity of evidence due to various causes and the
    want of reliance whether justified or not, on such evidence as
    there has been. The last difficulty is fundamental and cannot be
    remedied. No law can direct a court to be convinced when it is

    Punitive Measures (Permanent).

    Legislation directed better to secure the punishment of seditious
    crime may take the shape either--

    (_a_) of changes in the general law of evidence or procedure which
    if sound would be advisable in regard to all crime, or

    (_b_) changes in the substantive law of sedition or modifications
    in the rules of evidence and procedure in such cases designed to
    deal with the special features of that class of offence.

The recommendation under (_a_) does not amount to much and we will not
mention it.

Under (_b_) they recommend:

    In the first place we think that a permanent enactment on the
    lines of Rule 25A under the Defence of India Act is required. That
    rule provides for the punishment of persons having prohibited
    documents (which may have to be defined anew) in their possession
    or control with (as we read the effect of the words used) intent
    to publish or circulate them....

    We also recommend that the principle of section 565 of the Code of
    Criminal Procedure (which provides for an order requiring
    notification of residence after release in the case of persons
    convicted a second time for certain offences) should be extended
    to all persons convicted of offences under Chapter VI of the Penal
    Code (offences against the State) whether previously convicted or
    not. Such persons might be ordered to give security for a period
    not exceeding two years for good behaviour so far as offences
    under Chapter VI are concerned, and in default be directed to
    notify their residence to Government, who should have power to
    restrict their movements for the period of two years after their
    release and prohibit them from addressing public meetings,--the
    term "public meetings" including in its scope political subjects
    as in section 4 of the Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act of

    Lastly, we think that in all cases where there is a question of
    seditious intent, evidence of previous conviction for seditious
    crime or association (of an incriminating kind, of course) with
    persons so convicted should be admissible upon written notice to
    the accused with such particulars and at such a time before the
    evidence is given as might be fair. What we have called seditious
    crime would of course have to be accurately defined.

Now it is evident that after such legislation all liberty of speech and
action becomes extinct. These recommendations will we fear directly lead
to secret propaganda and secret action.

Under the head of emergency punitive measures the committee recommends:

    Emergency Provisions for Trials. Coming now to the measures
    themselves, we are of opinion that provision should be made for
    the trial of seditious crime by Benches of three Judges without
    juries or assessors and without preliminary commitment proceedings
    or appeal. In short, the procedure we recommend should follow the
    lines laid down in sections 5-9 inclusive of the Defence of India
    Act. It should be made clear that section 512 of the Code of
    Criminal Procedure (relating to the giving in evidence under
    certain circumstances of depositions taken in the absence of an
    absconding accused) applies to these trials, it having, we
    understand, been questioned whether section 7 of the Defence of
    India Act has that effect.

    We think it necessary to exclude juries and assessors mainly
    because of the terrorism to which they are liable. But terrorism
    apart, we do not think that they can be relied upon in this class
    of cases. They are too much inclined to be affected by public

We omit the detailed discussion of these provisions in which the
committee has attempted to soften the sting of these recommendations by
giving their reasons and by suggesting certain safeguards against their
abuse. The most startling of their recommendations are however made
under the head of emergency preventive measures.

    Emergency Preventive Measures. We have been forced to the
    conclusion that it is necessary, in order to keep the conspiracies
    already described under control in the future, to provide for the
    continuance after the expiry of the Defence of India Act (though
    in the contingent form explained and under important limitations)
    of some of the powers which that measure introduced in a temporary
    form. By those means alone has the conspiracy been paralysed for
    the present and we are unable to devise any expedient operating
    according to strict judicial forms which can be relied upon to
    prevent its reviving to check it if it does revive, or, in the
    last resort, to suppress it anew. This will involve some
    infringement of the rules normally safeguarding the liberty of the
    subject. We have endeavored to make that infringement as small as
    we think possible consistently with the production of an effective

    Existing Temporary Powers. The powers at present temporarily
    possessed by the Government are so far as material for the present
    purpose to be found in rules 3-7 inclusive and 12A under the
    Defence of India Act, 1915. We do not refer for the present to
    the Foreigners Ordinance, 1914, or the Ingress into India
    Ordinance, 1914.... Shortly stated, their effect is to give power
    to require persons by executive order to remain in any area to be
    specified or not to enter or remain in any such area, with
    penalties for breach of such requirements. These orders may be
    made and served on the person affected, whereupon they become
    binding upon him, or the person may be arrested without warrant
    and detained for a period not exceeding in all one month, pending
    an order of restriction. There is also a power of search under
    search warrant. It will be observed there is no provision for an
    examination of the cases of such persons. The decision lies solely
    with the Local Government. There is also the power of confinement
    under Regulation III of 1818.


    "Two Grades of Powers Desirable.--We now proceed to elaborate ...
    the scheme we suggest.

    "We think, as we have already indicated, that the powers to be
    acquired should be of two grades capable of being called into
    operation separately, possibly under different forms of

    "The first group of powers should be of the following nature:--

    "(i) to demand security with or without sureties;

    "(ii) to restrict residence or to require notification of change
    of residence;

    "(iii) to require abstention from certain acts, such as engaging
    in journalism, distributing leaflets or attending meetings;

    "(iv) to require that the person should periodically report to the

"The second group of powers should be--

    "(i) to arrest;

    "(ii) to search under warrant;

    "(iii) to confine in non-penal custody.

"In Article 196 they provide "that in respect of acts committed before
the Defence of India Act expires (or an earlier date if preferred) and
danger apprehended by reason of such acts in the future it should be
lawful to proceed against any person under any of the provisions which
we have outlined without any notification. In other words, the new law
is to be deemed to be operative for that purpose immediately."

Articles 198 and 199 suggest measures for restricting "Ingress into
India" and also for regulating and restricting "Inter-Provincial

Need it be said that if these recommendations are accepted there will be
no liberty of press or speech in India and the Reform will fail to
suppress the revolutionary movement at all. Indian opinion is unanimous
in condemning these recommendations as has been proved by the unanimous
opposition of all sections of Indians in the Viceroy's Legislative
Council to the bills that have been introduced to give effect to them.


[1] The Government of India have been on the inclined plane of
repression as a remedy of discontent, which sometimes leads to crime,
for now more than twenty years. They have in the interval placed on the
Statute Book the Penal and Criminal Procedure Codes, the Post Office
Amendment Acts, the Official Secrets Act, the Seditious Meetings Act,
the Incitement to Offences Act, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, the
Press Act, the Conspiracy Act, and the Defence of India Act. Have they
attained their object? The very introduction of the two new Bills ... is
the eloquent answer. What is it but a confession of failure?...
_Leader_, Allahabad.



    Revolution is a fever brought about by the constant and reckless
    disregard of the laws of health in the government of a country.

                                              DAVID LLOYD GEORGE

                        "Causes and Aims of the War." Speech delivered
                        at Glasgow, on being presented with the freedom
                        of that city, June 29, 1917.

The authors of the report remark:

    "There exists a small revolutionary party deluded by hatred of
    British rule and desire for the elimination of the Englishman into
    the belief that the path to independence or constitutional liberty
    lies through anarchical crime. Now it may be that such persons
    will see for themselves the wisdom of abandoning methods which are
    as futile as criminal; though if they do not, the powers of the
    law are or can be made sufficient for the maintenance of order.
    But the existence of such people is a warning against the possible
    consequences of unrestrained agitation in India. We are justified
    in calling on the political leaders, in the work of education that
    they will undertake, to bear carefully in mind the political
    inexperience of their hearers; and to look for further progress
    not to fiery agitation which may have consequences quite beyond
    their grasp, but to the machinery which we devise for the
    purpose. In every country there will be persons who love agitation
    for agitation's sake or to whom it appeals like an intoxicant. It
    is the duty of the leaders of Indian opinion to remember the
    effect on people not accustomed to weighing words of fiery and
    heated speeches. Where ignorance is widespread and passions are so
    easily aroused, nothing is easier than for political leaders to
    excite a storm; nothing harder for them than to allay it. Breaches
    of the peace or crimes of violence only put back the political
    clock. Above all things, when the future of India depends upon
    co-operation among all races, attacks upon one race or religion or
    upon another jeopardise the whole experiment. Nor can the
    condemnation of extremist and revolutionary action be left only to
    the official classes. We call upon all those who claim to be
    leaders to condemn with us and to support us in dealing with
    methods of agitation which drive schoolboys to crime and lead to
    religious and agrarian disturbance. Now that His Majesty's
    Government have declared their policy, reasonable men have
    something which they can oppose successfully to the excitement
    created by attacks on Government and by abuse of Englishmen,
    coupled with glowing and inaccurate accounts of India's golden
    past and appeals to race hatred in the name of religion. Many
    prominent Indians dislike and fear such methods. A new opportunity
    is now being offered to combat them; and we expect them to take
    it. Disorder must be prejudicial to the cause of progress and
    especially disorder as a political weapon."

We are in general agreement with the sentiments expressed in this
extract but we will be wanting in candour if we fail to point out that,
though the revolutionary movement in India is mainly political, it is
partly economic and partly anarchic also. In the first two aspects it is
at present the product of purely local (Indian) conditions. In the
last, it is the reaction of world forces. While we are hoping that the
change in the policy, now announced, will remove the political basis of
it, we are not quite sure that that will ensure the extermination of the
party or the total destruction of the movement. The growth of democratic
political institutions in India must inevitably be followed by a
movement for social democracy. The spirit of Revolution which is now fed
by political inequalities will, when these are removed, find its
sustenance in social inequalities. That movement may not be
anti-British; perhaps it will not be, but that it will have some
revolutionary element in it may be assumed. The lessons of history make
it clear that the most effective way to prevent its falling into
channels of violence is to have as little recourse to coercion as may be
consistent with the preservation of general order and peace. The
preservation of order and the unhindered exercise of private rights by
all citizens is the pre-requisite condition to good government. Every
government must see to it. It is their duty to use preventive as well as
punitive methods. There are, however, ways of doing these things. One is
the British, the American and the French way.[1] The other is what was
heretofore associated with the name of the late Czar. The third is the
German way. We hope the lessons of Czarism will not be lost on either
party. The governments have as much to learn from it as the peoples. The
best guarantee against the abnormal growth of a revolutionary movement
is to adopt and follow the British methods and to avoid scrupulously
and without fail any approach to the discredited Russian or Prussian

The Indian soil and the Indian atmosphere are not very congenial for
revolutionary ideas and revolutionary methods. The people are too
docile, gentle, law-abiding and spiritually inclined to take to them
readily. They are by nature and tradition neither vindictive nor
revengeful. Their general spirit is opposed to all kinds of violence.
They have little faith in the virtues of force. Unless they are
provoked, and that too terribly, and are face to face with serious
danger they do not like the use of force, even when recourse to it may
be legal and morally defensible.

One of the causes of the growth of the revolutionary movement in India
has been the insolence and the incivility of the European Community
towards the Indian Community. The charges of cowardice so often hurled
against the Bengali have played no insignificant part in the genesis of
the Bengal revolutionary. The distinguished authors have put it rather

    "If there are Indians who really desire to see India leave the
    empire, to get rid of English officers and English commerce, we
    believe that among their springs of action will be found the
    bitterness of feeling that has been nurtured out of some
    manifestation that the Englishman does not think the Indian an
    equal. Very small seeds casually thrown may result in great
    harvests of political calamity. We feel that, particularly at the
    present stage of India's progress, it is the plain duty of every
    Englishman and woman, official and non-official, in India to avoid
    the offence and the blunder of discourtesy: and none the less is
    it incumbent on the educated Indian to cultivate patience and a
    more generous view of what may very likely be no more than
    heedlessness or difference of custom."

We admire the dignified way in which they have addressed their advice to
the educated Indian. But we hope they do not ignore that except in a few
scattered instances heretofore the chief fault has lain with the ruling
class. The proceedings of the Royal Commission on the Public Services of
India are full of that racial swagger which the authors of this report
have mildly condemned in the above extract and it is an open secret that
that spirit was one of the dearly cherished articles of faith with the
bureaucracy. We hope the war has effected a great change in their temper
and both parties will be disposed to profit from the advice given to
them in the report.

As to the duty of the educated leaders in the matter of suppressing the
growth of the revolutionary movement in future, we beg to point out that
all depends on how much faith the governing classes place in the
professions of the popular leaders. Open public speeches and meetings
appealing to racial or religious animosities have not played any
important part in the development of the revolutionary spirit. It is not
likely that the educated leaders will in any way consciously and
voluntarily digress from the limits of reasonable criticism of
Government policy, nor have they very often done so in the past. What
has so far prevented the educated leaders from exercising an effective
check on the growth of the revolutionary movement is their inability to
associate on terms of friendship with the younger generation. This has
been due partly to a false idea of dignity and partly to the fear that
any association with hot-headed young men might bring discredit on them
or might land them in hot water if, sometime or other, any one of their
friends might do anything violent. Public speeches denouncing the
revolutionary propaganda and the revolutionary activities or public
condemnation of the latter in the press are good in their own way, but
they are not quite effective. The revolutionist may ascribe it to fear,
timidity, or hypocrisy. What is needed is that educated leaders of
influence should be free to mix, socially and otherwise, with the
younger generation so as to acquire an intimate knowledge of their trend
of thought and bent of mind. It is in these intimate exchanges of views
that they can most effectively exercise their powers of argument and
persuasion and use their influence effectively. They will not succeed
always, but in a good many cases they will. This cannot be done,
however, unless the Executives and the Police relax their attentions
toward them.

The bureaucrats' want of confidence in any Indian leader reached its
limit in the attentions which the agents of the secret service bestowed
on such men as the late Mr. Gokhale. It is an open secret that the
secret service records have assigned a particular number to every public
leader in India. Religious preachers and teachers of the type of Lala
Hansraj and Lala Mûnshi Rám receive as much attention in the records as
the writer of this book or Mr. B. G. Tilak or Mr. Bepin Chandra Pal. The
"Servants of India" are as much the objects of solicitation on the part
of the secret service men as the members of the Arya Samaj. Of course,
agitators are agitators. All the great progressive souls of the world
have had to agitate at one time or another in their lives. Agitation is
the soul of democracy. There can be no progress in a democracy without
agitation. Sir Denzil Ibbetson could pay no greater compliment to the
Arya Samaj than by his remark in 1907 that, according to his
information, wherever there was an Arya Samaj it was a centre of unrest.
We hope the Governments are now convinced that the Arya Samaj has never
been revolutionary. It is one of the most conservative, restraining
forces in the social life of the country. Yet it cannot be denied that
its propaganda has been and will continue to be one of the most
disturbing factors in the placid waters of Indian life. The bureaucracy
could not look upon it with kindness. Any attempt to persist in this
kind of control or check or persecution will be fatal to the success of
the appeal which Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford have addressed to the
public men of India in the extract given above.

In our judgment the most effective way to check the growth of the
revolutionary movement is by freeing the mind of the leaders of the fear
of being misunderstood if they should mix freely with the younger
generation and yet fail to prevent some of them from becoming
revolutionists. A revolutionary prospers on exclusiveness. Secrecy is
his great ally. Cut off a young man from open, healthy influences and he
will be attracted by the mystery of secrecy. Thenceforth he is doomed.
After that he may be weaned only by kindness and friendliness and not by
threats or persecution. Most of the youths attracted by revolutionary
propaganda have proved to be quite ignorant of the real conditions of
their country. No attempt has been made to instruct them in politics.
They have been fed on unsound history and unsound politics. Reactionary
Imperialism has harmed them more than exaggerated nationalism. They have
had few opportunities of discussion with people who could look upon
things in right perspective. They could not open their minds to their
European teachers. In the few cases in which they did they repented.
Somehow or other, the free confidential talks they had with their
professors found an entry in the police records. It brought a black mark
against their names, to stand and mar their careers forever. The Indian
teacher and professor is afraid of discussing politics with them. So
they go on unrestrained until the glamour of prospective heroism, by a
deed of violence, fascinates one of them and he is led into paths of
crimes of a most detestable kind. Unscrupulous advisors lead him toward
falsehood, hypocrisy, treachery, treason and crime by dubious methods.
One of the things they preach is that morality has nothing to do with
politics. They insinuate that the violence of militarism and Imperialism
can be effectively met and checked only by violence. Poor misguided
souls! They enforce their advice by the diplomatic history of Europe.
They forget that once a youth is led into the ways of falsehood and
unscrupulousness he may as easily use it against his friends as against
his enemies. If he has no scruples about killing an enemy he may have
none about killing a friend. If he has no scruples about betraying the
one, he may have none about betraying the other. Once a man starts
toward moral degeneration, even for desirable or patriotic ends, there
is no knowing whither his course might take him. The most idealistic
young men starting with the highest and purest conceptions of patriotism
have been known to fall into the most ignoble methods of attacking first
their enemies and then their friends. When they reach that stage of
moral corruption they can trust no one, can believe in the honesty of no
one. Their one idea of cleverness and efficiency is to conceal their
motives from everyone, to give their confidence to no one, to suspect
and distrust everyone and to aspire toward the success that consists in
imposing upon all.

The remedy against this lies in encouraging an open and frank discussion
of politics on the part of the younger generation, with such indulgences
as are due to their youth and immaturity of judgment; a systematic
teaching of political history in schools and colleges; a free and open
intercourse with their teachers on the clearest understanding that
nothing said in discussion or in confidence will ever be used either
privately or publicly against them, and an equally free and intimate
intercourse with the leaders of thought and of public life in the
country. These latter must be freed from the attentions of the secret
service if it is intended that they should effectually coöperate in
counteracting revolutionary propaganda. Besides, the younger generation
must be brought up in habits of manly and open encounter with their
adversaries, in a spirit of sport and fair play. Repression,
suppression, and suspicion do not provide a congenial climate for the
development of these habits and they should be subordinated as much as
possible in the present condition of chaotic conflict between social
interests and social ideals.


[1] By this we do not mean those that were adopted during the war.



In the previous chapters we have embodied and discussed the important
parts of the Report of Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford. In this chapter
we give a summary of what they say about education. The statements of
fact made by the two distinguished statesmen are so lucid and fair that
we make no apology for copying the whole article embodying the same.

    "There is, however, one aspect of the general problem of political
    advance which is so important as to require notice in some detail.
    We have observed already that one of the greatest obstacles to
    India's political development lies not only in the lack of
    education among its peoples taken as a whole, but also in the
    uneven distribution of educational advance. The educational policy
    of Government has incurred much criticism from different points of
    view. Government is charged with neglect, because after sixty
    years of educational effort only 6 per cent. of the population is
    literate, while under 4 per cent. of the total population is
    undergoing instruction. It is charged, on the other hand, with
    having given to those classes which welcomed instruction a system
    which is divorced from their needs in being purely literary, in
    admitting methods of unintelligent memorising and of cramming, and
    in producing, far in excess of the actual demands of Indian
    conditions, a body of educated young men whose training has
    prepared them only for Government service or the practice of law.
    The system of university education on Western lines is
    represented as cutting off the students from the normal life of
    the country, and the want of connection between primary education
    in the vernaculars and higher education in English is regarded as
    another radical defect."

The period of sixty years mentioned is evidently counted from 1858, the
year in which the rule of the East India Company ceased and the Crown
assumed direct responsibility for the Government of India. British rule
in India however began in 1757 A.D. and the foundation of public
education in India under the British might well be considered to have
been laid by Warren Hastings in 1781, in which year the Calcutta
Madrassa was established. For a period of almost 50 years the discussion
whether the Indians should be instructed in English or not went on until
it was settled in 1835 by Lord Macaulay's famous minute in favour of
English and the European system. In 1824 there were 14 public
institutions in Bengal imparting education on Western lines.

In the same year, i.e., in 1824, Monstuart Elphinstone formulated a
similar policy for the Bombay presidency.

To the remarks made in the above quotation about the extent and kind of
education imparted in India till now, the distinguished authors of the
report add:

    "From the economic point of view India had been handicapped by the
    want of professional and technical instruction: her colleges turn
    out numbers of young men qualified for Government clerkships while
    the real interests of the country require, for example, doctors
    and engineers in excess of the existing supply. The charge that
    Government has produced a large _intelligentsia_ which cannot find
    employment has much substance in it: it is one of the facts that
    lie at the root of recent political difficulties. But it is only
    of late years and as part of the remarkable awakening of national
    self-consciousness, that the complaint has been heard that the
    system has failed to train Indians for practical work in
    manufactures, commerce, and the application of science to
    industrial life."

After making a few general observations on the so called difficulties in
the way of a general spread of education "the chief needs at present"
are thus pointed out:

    "Primary education, as we have seen, is already practically in the
    hands of local bodies, but secondary education was deliberately
    left at the outset almost entirely to private agencies. The
    universities, despite their connection with Government, are
    largely non-official bodies with extensive powers.[1] The main
    defect of the system is probably the want of co-ordination between
    primary and higher education, which in turn reacts upon the
    efficiency of the secondary institutions and to a great extent
    confines university colleges to the unsatisfactory function of
    mere finishing schools. The universities have suffered from having
    been allowed to drift into the position of institutions that are
    expected not so much to educate in the true sense as to provide
    the student with the means of entering an official or a
    professional career. Thus a high percentage of failures seems to a
    large body of Indian opinion not so much a proof of the faultiness
    of the methods of teaching as an example of an almost capricious
    refusal of the means of obtaining a living wage to boys who have
    worked for years often at the cost of real hardship to secure an
    independent livelihood. The educational wastage is everywhere
    excessive; and analysis shows that it is largely due to
    under-payment and want of proper training in the case of teachers.
    The actual recruits for normal schools are too often ill-prepared,
    and the teaching career, which in India used formerly to command
    respect, does not now offer adequate inducements to men of ability
    and force of character. The first need, therefore, is the
    improvement of teaching. Until that is attained it is vain to
    expect that the continuation of studies from the primary stage can
    be made attractive. But while the improvement of primary and
    middle schools is the first step to be taken, very much remains to
    be done in reorganising the secondary teachers and ensuring for
    the schoolmaster a career that will satisfy an intelligent man.
    The improvement of ordinary secondary education is obviously a
    necessary condition for the development of technical instruction
    and the reform of the university system. It is clear that there is
    much scope for an efficient and highly trained inspectorate in
    stimulating the work of the secondary schools and in helping the
    inspectorate of the primary schools maintained by the local
    bodies. We believe that the best minds in India, while they feel
    that the educational service has not in the past been widely
    enough opened to Indians trained at British universities, value
    the maintenance of a close connection with educationists from the
    United Kingdom.

    "This survey of educational problems will show how much room there
    is for advance and improvement, and also how real the difficulties
    are. The defects of the present system have often been discussed
    in the legislative councils, but, as was inevitable so long as the
    councils had no responsibility, without due appreciation of
    financial difficulties, or serious consideration of the question
    how far fresh taxation for educational improvement would be
    acceptable. As we shall show, it is part of the political advance
    that we contemplate that the direction of Indian education should
    be increasingly transferred to Indian hands. Only so, we believe,
    can the stimulus be forthcoming which will enable the necessary
    money to be found. The weak points are recognised. A real desire
    for improvement exists. Educational extension and reform must
    inevitably play an important part in the political progress of the
    country. We have already made clear our conviction that political
    capacity can come only through the exercise of political
    responsibility; and that mere education without opportunities must
    result in serious mischief. But there is another important
    element. Progress must depend on the growth of electorates and the
    intelligent exercise of their powers; and men will be immensely
    helped to become competent electors by acquiring such education as
    will enable them to judge candidates for their votes, and of the
    business done in the councils. No one would propose to prescribe
    an educational qualification for the vote; but no one can deny the
    practical difficulties which make a very general extension of the
    franchise impossible, until literacy is far more widely spread
    than is the case at present. Progress was temporarily interrupted
    by uncertainty as to the distribution of financial resources which
    would result from the constitutional changes; but the imminence of
    these has given a new importance to the question and its
    consideration has been resumed. We trust that impetus will thus be
    given to a widespread movement which will be taken up and carried
    forward boldly by the reformed councils."

The subject has been so fairly dealt with, the defects of the present
system so frankly recognised and the need of wider dissemination of
education so forcibly explained that we need add nothing.

In our judgment the circumstances and conditions under which it is
proposed to transfer the direction of Indian education to Indian hands
are extremely unfair. It is admitted that under the present economic
conditions of the Indian people, there is little scope for further
taxation. If so, there are only two ways to find money for education,
(_a_) by economy in the other departments of public administration,
(_b_) by loans.

The recommendation made by the Secretary of State and the Viceroy for an
increase in the emoluments of the European services hardly leaves any
room for (_a_). We have discussed the matter at some length in another
chapter. The only other source left, then, is by incurring debt.
Education is so important and so fundamental to the future progress of
the country that in our judgment the ministers should feel no hesitation
in having recourse to it, but the problem is so gigantic that, lacking
material reduction in the cost of administration in other departments,
it will be extremely difficult to meet the situation without an
unreasonable increase in the public debt. Anyway, under the scheme
recommended, the Government cannot divest itself of the fullest
responsibility in the matter. The scheme gives no vital power to the
electorates or their representatives. The authority of the Executive in
the matter of appropriations remains unaffected and so long as it
retains the final say in the making of the Budget, the Indian ministers
cannot, handicapped by so many restrictions, be held responsible if the
progress is slow.

Our views on the problem of education in India have been expressed in a
separate book to which interested readers are referred.[2] We hold that
it is the duty of the Government to provide free and wholesome education
to every child at public cost, that education should be compulsory up to
the age of 18. The policy of the English Education Act of 1918 ought to
be applied to India, and if it cannot be done from current funds, loans
should be raised for the purpose. It is a matter which brooks of no
delay. The whole future of India depends upon it. Nay, the future of
humanity as a whole is affected by it. The world cannot be safe for any
kind of democracy, nor can the world make progress towards a better
order without the active coöperation of three hundred and fifteen
million Indians forming one-fifth of the human race. Not only is the
world poorer by reason of India's inability to coöperate in the work of
progress but its present educational backwardness is a serious handicap
to the rest of humanity going forward.


[1] We do not accept this statement. The Government controls the policy
of the universities to such an extent as virtually to make them official

[2] National Education in India.



We have so far discussed the Report and such remarks as we have made
have been by way of comment. In this chapter we propose to give in brief
outline our own view of the problem.

Let us first be clear about the exact nature of the Indian problem.
Political institutions are, after all, only a reflection of the national
mind and of national conditions. What is the end? The end is freedom to
live and to live according to our own conception of what life should be,
to pursue our own ideals, to develop our own civilization and to secure
that unity of purpose which would distinguish us from the other nations
of the world, insuring for us a position of independence and honor, of
security from within and non-interference from without. We have no
ambition to conquer and rule other peoples; we have no desire to exploit
foreign markets; not even to impose our "kultur" and our "civilization"
on others. At present we are counted among the backward peoples of the
earth mainly because we are a subject people, governed by a foreign
power, protected by foreign bayonets and schooled by foreign teachers.
The condition of our masses is intellectually deplorable and
economically miserable; our women are still in bondage and do not enjoy
that freedom which their Western sisters have won; our domestic
masters, the prince and priest, are still in saddle; caste and privilege
still hold some sway, yet it is not true that, taken all in all, we are
really a backward people. Even in these matters we find that the
difference between us and the "advanced" nations of the world is one of
degree only. Caste and privilege rule in the United States as much as in
India. There is nothing in our history which can be put on the same
level as the lynching of Mr. Little, the deportation of Bisbee miners,
the lynching of the Negroes, and other incidents of a similar nature
indicative of race hatred and deep rooted colour prejudice. No nation in
the world can claim an _ideal state of society_, in which everything is
of the best. On the other hand, there are certain matters in which
comparison is to our advantage. Even with the advance of drunkenness
under British rule we are yet a sober nation; our _standards_ of
personal and domestic hygiene are much higher than those of the Western
people; our standards of life much simpler and nobler; our social ideals
more humane; and our spiritual aspirations infinitely superior. As a
nation we do not believe in war or militarism or evangelism. We do not
force our views on others; we have greater toleration for other people's
opinions and beliefs than has any other nation in the world; we have not
yet acquired that craze for possessions and for sheer luxurious and
riotous life which marks the modern Pharisee of the West. Our people,
according to their conceptions, means and opportunities are kindly,
hospitable, gentle, law-abiding, mutually helpful, full of respect for
others, and peace loving. It is, in fact, the abnormal extent in which
these qualities exist that has contributed to our political and
economic exploitation by others. In India capitalism and landlordism
have not yet developed as fully as they have among the civilized nations
of the West. The West is in revolt against capitalism and landlordism.
We do not claim that before the advent of the British there was no
capitalism or landlordism in India. But we do contend that, though there
was a certain amount of rivalry and competition between the different
castes, within the castes there was much more coöperation and
fellow-feeling than there has ever been in the West. Our native
governments and their underlings, the landlords, did exact a high price
from the village communities for the privilege of cultivating their
lands but within the village there was no _inter se_ competition either
between the tillers of the soil or between the pursuers of crafts. The
gulf between the rich and the poor was not so marked as it is to-day in
the West.

Under the British rule and since its introduction, however, things have
changed considerably. Without adopting the best features of modern life,
we have been forced by circumstances, political and economic, to give up
the best of our own. Village communities have been destroyed; joint and
corporate bargaining has given place to individual transactions; every
bit of land has been separately measured, marked and taxed; common lands
have been divided; the price of land and rent has risen abnormally. The
money-lender who, before the advent of British rule, held an extremely
subordinate position in the village community, has suddenly come to
occupy the first place. He owns the best lands and the best houses and
holds the bodies and souls of the agriculturalists in mortgage. The
villages which were generally homogeneous in population, bound to each
other by ties of race, blood and religion, have become heterogeneous,
with nondescript people of all races and all religions who have acquired
land by purchase. Competition has taken the place of coöperation. A
country where social coöperation and social solidarity reigned at least
within castes, within villages and within urban areas has been entirely
disrupted and disintegrated by unlimited and uncontrolled competition.
India never knew any poor laws; she never needed any; nor orphan
asylums, nor old age pensions and widow homes. She had no use for
organized charity. Rarely did any man die for want of food or clothing,
except in famines. Hospitality was open and was dispensed under a sense
of duty and obligation and not by way of charity or kindness. The
survival of the fittest had no hold on our minds. We had no factories or
workshops. People worked in their _own_ homes or shops either with their
own money or with money borrowed from the money-lender. The artisans
were the masters of the goods they produced and, unless otherwise agreed
with the money-lender, sold them in the open market. The necessities of
life, being cheap and easily procurable the artisans cared more for
quality than quantity. Their work was a source of pleasure and pride as
well as of profit to them. Now everything has gone, pleasure, pride, as
well as profit. Where profit has remained, pleasure and pride are gone.
We are on the high road to a "distinctly industrial civilization." In
fact, the principal complaint of our political reformers and free trade
economists is that the British Government has not let us proceed on
that road at a sufficiently rapid pace and that, in preventing us, they
have been dominated by their own national interests more than by our own
good. We saw that other nations were progressing by following the laws
of industrial development, and quite naturally we also wanted to prosper
by the same method. This war has opened our eyes as it has opened those
of the rest of the world and we have begun to feel that the goal that we
sought leads to perdition and not salvation. This makes it necessary for
the Indian politicians and economists to review their ideas of political
progress. What are we aiming at? Do we want to rise, in order to fall?
Do we want to copy and emulate Europe even in its mistakes and blunders?
Does the road to heaven lie through hell? Must we make a wreck of our
ship and then try salvage? The civilization of Europe, as we have known
it, is dying. It may take decades or perhaps a century or more to die.
But _die it must_. This War has prepared a death bed for it from which
it will never rise. Upon its ruins is rising, or will rise, another
civilization which will reproduce much of what was valuable and precious
in our own with much of what we never had. The question that we want to
put to our compatriots is, shall we prepare ourselves for the coming
era, or shall we bury ourselves in the débris of the expiring one. We
have no right to answer it for others, but our answer is clear and
unequivocal. We will not be a party to any scheme which shall add to the
powers of the capitalist and the landlord and will introduce and
accentuate the evils of the expiring industrial civilization into our
beloved country.

We are not unaware that, according to the judgment of some thinkers,
amongst them Karl Marx, a country must pass through the capitalistic
mill, before the proletariat comes to its own. We do not believe in the
truth of this theory, but even if it be true we will not consciously
help in proving it to be true. The existing social order of Europe is
vicious and immoral. It is worm eaten. It has the germs of plague,
disease, death and destitution in it. It is in a state of decomposition.
It is based on injustice, tyranny, oppression and class rule. Certain
phases of it are inherent in our own system. Certain others we are
borrowing from our masters in order to make a complete mess. Wisdom and
foresight require that we be forewarned. What we want and what we need
is not the power to implant in full force and in full vigour the
_expiring_ European system, but power to keep out its development on
vicious lines, with opportunities of gradually and slowly undoing the
evil that has already been done.

The Government of India as at present constituted is a Government of
capitalists and landlords, of both England and India. Under the proposed
scheme the power of the former will be reduced and that of the latter
increased. The Indo-British Association does not like it, not because it
loves the masses of India for which it hypocritically and insincerely
professes solicitude, but because in their judgment it reduces the
profits of the British governing classes. We doubt if the scheme really
does affect even that. But if it does, it is good so far.

The ugly feature of the scheme is not its potentiality in transferring
the power into the hands of the Brahmins (the power of the Brahmin as
such, is gone for good), but in the possibility of its giving too much
power to the "profiteering" class, be they the landlords of Bengal and
Oudh, or the millionaires of Bombay. The scheme protects the European
merchants; it confers special privileges on the small European
Community; it provides special representation for the landlords, the
Chambers of Commerce, the Mohammedans and the Sikhs. What is left for
the general tax-paying public is precious little. The authors of the
scheme say that to withhold complete and immediate Home Rule is in the
interest of the general masses, the poor inarticulate ryot and the
workingman. We wish we could believe in it. We wish it were true.
Perhaps they mean it, but our past experience does not justify our
accepting it at its face value.

There is, however, one thing we can do. We can ask them for proofs by
insisting on and agitating for the immediate legislative relief of the
ryot and the middle classes. We should adopt the aims of the British
Labour Party as our own, start educating our people on those lines and
formulate measures which will secure for them _real freedom_ and not the
counterfeit coin which passes for it. It will require years of education
and agitation but it has to be done, no matter whether we are ruled by
the British or by our own property holders. We are not opposed to Home
Rule. Nay, we press for it. In our judgment the objections urged against
giving it at once are flimsy and intangible. The chief obstacles are
such as have been created or perpetuated by the British themselves. The
caste does not prevent us from having _at least_ as much home rule as is
enjoyed by the people of Italy, Hungary, the Balkan States and some of
the South American Republics. But if we cannot have it at once and if
the British must retain the power of final decision in their hands, we
must insist upon something being immediately done not only to educate
the ryot but to give him economic relief. So long as the British
continue to refuse to do that we must hold them responsible for all the
misery that Indian humanity is suffering from.

We want political power in order to raise the intellectual and political
status of our masses. We do not want to bolster up classes. Our goal is
real liberty, equality and opportunity for all. We want to avoid, if
possible, the evils of the class struggle. We will pass through the mill
if we must, but we should like to try to avoid it. For that reason we
want freedom to legislate and freedom to determine our fiscal
arrangements. That is our main purpose in our demand for Home Rule.



Thus far we have discussed the Indian question from the internal or
national point of view. But it has an international aspect also. It is
said, and we hope that it is true, that the world is entering into an
era of new internationalism and that the old exclusive chauvinistic
nationalism is in its last gasps. This war was the greatest social
mix-up known to history. It has brought about the downfall of many
monarchs and the destruction of four empires. The armies of the
belligerents on both sides contained the greatest assortment of races
and nations, of religions and languages that were ever brought together
for mutual destruction. Primarily a fight between the European
Christians, it drew into its arena Hindus, Mohammedans, Buddhists,
Shintos, Jews and Negroes of Africa and America.

The war has produced a revolution in Russia, the like of which has never
been known. It is now said openly that the Russian Revolution had as
much influence on the final _debacle_ of the Central Powers as the
strength of the Allies and the resources of America. The revolution has
spread to Germany and Austria and threatens to engulf the whole of
Europe. It has given birth to a new order of society, aglow with the
spirit of a new and elevated kind of internationalism. This
internationalism must have for its foundation justice and
self-determination for all peoples, regardless of race or religion,
creed or color. In the new understanding between nations coöperation
must be substituted for competition and mutual trust and helpfulness for
distrust and exploitation of the weaker by the stronger. The only
alternatives are reaction, with the certainty of even greater war in the
near future, and Bolshevism.

Now, nobody knows what Bolshevism represents. The Socialists themselves
are divided over it. The advanced wing is enthusiastic, the moderates
are denouncing it. The Liberals and Radicals are freely recognizing that
it has brought into the affairs of men a new spirit which is going to
stay and substantially influence the future of the world. The
stand-patters denounce it in the strongest possible terms. They
calumniate it to their heart's content and move heaven and earth to
exterminate it. But we feel that only radical changes in the existing
order will stem its tide. The Socialists and Radicals want to make the
most of it, while the Imperialist Liberals and Conservatives want to
give as little as is compatible with the safety of the existing order in
which they are supreme. The struggle will take some time, but that it
will end in favor of the new spirit no one doubts.

The only way to meet Bolshevism is to concede rights to the different
peoples of the earth now being bled and exploited. Otherwise the
discontented and exploited countries of the world will be the best
breeding centres for it. India must come into her own soon, else not
even the Himalayas can effectually bar the entry of Bolshevism into
India. A contented, self-governing India may be proof against it; a
discontented, dissatisfied, oppressed India perhaps the most fertile
field. We hope the British statesmen are alive to the situation.

But that is not the only way to look at the international importance of
India. By its geographical situation it is the connecting link between
the Near East and the Far East and the clearing house for the trade of
the world. Racially, it holds the balance between the European Aryan and
the yellow races. In any military conflict between the white and the
yellow races, the people of India will be a decisive factor. In a
conflict of peace they will be a harmonising element. Racially they are
the kin of the European. By religion and culture they are nearer the
Chinese and Japanese.

With 70 million Moslems India is the most important centre of Mohammedan
sentiment. With Christians as their present rulers, the Hindus and
Mohammedans of India are coming to realise that their best interests
require a closing up of their ranks. There is no doubt that, come what
may, their relations in future will be much more cordial, friendly and
mutually sympathetic than they have been in the past. The Hindus will
stand by their Mohammedan countrymen in all their efforts to revive the
glory of Islam, and to regain political independence for it. There is no
fear of a Pan-Islamic movement if the new spirit of internationalism
prevails. If, however, it does not, the Pan-Islamic movement might find
a sympathetic soul in India. Islam is not dead. It cannot and will not
die. The only way to make it a force for harmony and peace is to
recognise its potentialities and to respect its susceptibilities. The
political independence of Islamic countries is the basic foundation for
such a state. We hope that the statesmen of the world will give their
most earnest thought to the question and sincerely put into practice the
principles they have been enunciating during the war. The case of India
will be an acid test.

A happy India will make a valuable contribution to the evolution of a
better and more improved humanity. An unhappy India will clog the wheels
of progress. It will not be easy for the masters of India to rule it on
old lines. If not reconciled it might prove the pivot of the next war. A
happy India will be one of the brightest spots in the British
Commonwealth. A discontented India will be a cause of standing shame and
a source of never ending trouble.

With a republican China in the northeast, a constitutional Persia in the
northwest and a Bolshevist Russia in the not remote north, it will be
extremely foolish to attempt to rule India despotically. Not even the
gods can do it. It is not possible even if the legislature devotes all
its sittings to the drafting and passing of one hundred coercion acts.
The peace of the world, international harmony and good-will, the good
name of the British Commonwealth, the safety of the Empire as such,
demand the peaceful introduction and development of democracy in India.



A bureaucracy has the fatal tendency of perpetuating itself and of
making itself indispensable. As a result, we find that the prospects and
powers of the bureaucracy become more important than even the purposes
for which it exists. It is a commonplace of politics that a state exists
for the people comprising it, and that the servants of the state are the
servants of the people. They are the tools which the body politic uses
for its corporate life. Even in self-governed countries the tendency of
glorifying the state and the servants of the state at the cost of the
people is not uncommon, though the fact is not, or rarely, if at all,
admitted in so many words. In dependencies and countries governed by a
foreign bureaucracy, however, this fact is undisguisedly kept before the
people and they are openly and frankly told that the powers and
prospects of the servants of the government are of greater consequence
and importance than the wishes and welfare of the people. This is amply
illustrated by the extravagant scale on which the government of India
pays its European servants and goes on adding to their privileges under
all sorts of pretences and excuses. People may live or they may die for
want of food, for lack of knowledge of the ordinary laws of hygiene, for
lack of employment, but the bureaucrats must enjoy their princely
salaries, their hill allowances, their furlough, and travelling and
leave perquisites, promotions and pensions. If the cost of living
increases, they must get a raise in their salaries, no matter how the
increased cost of living affects the general body of the people.
Besides, they must have their pensions, as their children are infinitely
more important than those of the tax-payer.

We have already reproduced and discussed the recommendations of the
Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy, about the European members
of the Indian services. The Viceroy has only recently emphasized the
importance of a substantial increase in their salaries, although there
is a deficit of 20 million dollars in the budget estimates for the next
year. That is an old story, however. What we are immediately concerned
with are the recommendations of the Indian Industrial Commission, in
favor of creating a new branch of public service divided into the
inevitable Imperial and Provincial branches, for furthering the
industrial development of the country. Our meaning will be clear as we

The Indian Industrial Commission was appointed by the Government of
India "to examine and report upon the possibilities of further
industrial development in India and to submit its recommendations with
special references to the following questions:--

  (_a_) whether new openings for the profitable employment of Indian
  capital in commerce can be indicated.

  (_b_) whether, and if so, in what manner, government can usefully
  give direct encouragement to industrial development,

    1. by rendering technical advice more freely available;

    2. by the demonstration of the possibility, on a commercial scale,
    of particular industries;

    3. by affording, directly, or indirectly, financial assistance to
    industrial enterprise; or

    4. by any other means which are not incompatible with the existing
    fiscal policy of the government of India."

The tariff question was excluded from the scope of the Commission's
inquiries, though it was expressed that the "building up of industries
where the capital, control and management should be in the hands of the
Indians" was the "special object" which the government had in view. The
Government spokesman in the meeting of the Legislative Council at which
the appointment of the Commission was announced further emphasized "that
it was of immense importance, alike to India herself and to the Empire
as a whole, that Indians should take a larger share in the industrial
development of their country." He "deprecated the taking of any steps,
if it might merely mean that the manufacturer who now competes with you
from a distance would transfer his activities to India and compete with
you within your boundaries."

The Commission has now submitted its report which has been published as
a Parliamentary blue book in a bulky volume of about 500 pages including
a separate lengthy note by one of the leading Indian members of the
Commission. The note is, in our judgment, very valuable, as it gives the
Indian point of view of the industrial problem in such a lucid and
exhaustive way as to leave no room for doubt as to what articulate India
thinks in the matter. The note does not express only the personal
opinion of the author but the considered views of the Indian Nationalist

Both the report and the note have been the source of much personal
gratification to us as they corroborate and confirm to an extraordinary
extent what the author said in his book "England's Debt to India,"
though the report is by no means free from fallacies and one-sided
statements of fact and opinions.


In the words of the summary prefixed to the report:

"The first chapters of the report deal with India as an industrial
country, her present position, and her potentialities. They show how
little the march of modern industry has affected the great bulk of the
Indian population, which remains engrossed in agriculture, winning a
bare subsistence from the soil by antiquated methods of cultivation.
Such changes as have been wrought in rural areas are the effects of
economic rather than of industrial evolution. In certain centers the
progress of Western industrial methods is discernible; and a number of
these are described in order to present a picture of the conditions
under which industries are carried on, attention being drawn to the
shortage and to the general inefficiency of Indian labor and to the lack
of an indigenous supervising agency. Proposals are made for the better
exploitation of the forests and fisheries. In discussing the industrial
deficiencies of India, the report shows how unequal the industrial
development of our industries has been. Money has been invested in
commerce rather than industries, and only those industries have been
taken up which appeared to offer safe and easy profits. Previous to the
war, too ready reliance was placed on imports from overseas, and this
habit was fostered by the Government practice of purchasing stores in
England. India produces nearly all the raw materials necessary for the
requirements of a modern community; but is unable to manufacture many of
the articles and materials necessary alike in times of peace and war.
For instance, her great textile industries are dependent upon supplies
of imported machinery and would have to shut down if command of the seas
were lost. It is vital, therefore, for the Government to ensure the
establishment of those industries in India whose absence exposes us to
grave danger in event of war. The report advocates the introduction of
modern methods of agriculture and in particular of labor-saving devices.
Greater efficiency in cultivation, and in the preparation of produce for
the market would follow; labor now wastefully employed would be set free
for industries and the establishment of shops for the manufacture and
repair of machinery would lead to the growth of a huge engineering

The summarized statements will be made more clear by the following
extracts from Chapter I on rural India.

"Famine connotes not so much a scarcity or entire absence of food as
high prices and a lack of employment in the affected areas.... The
capital in the hands of the country traders has proved insufficient to
finance the ordinary movements of crops and the seasonal calls for
accommodations from the main financial centers are constantly
increasing. This lack of available capital is one cause of the high
rates that the ryot has to pay for the ready money which he needs to buy
seed and to meet the expenses of cultivation. On the other hand, money
is largely invested in the purchase of landed property, the price of
which has risen to very high figures in many parts of the country....
But the no less urgent necessity of relieving the ryot from the enormous
load of debt with which he has been burdened by the dearness of
agricultural capital, the necessity of meeting periodic demands for rent
and his social habits, has hitherto been met only to a very small extent
by co-operative organization. The farmer, owing partly to poverty and
partly to the extreme sub-division of the land, is very often a producer
on so small a scale that it is practically impossible for him to take
his crops to the larger markets where he can sell at current rates to
the agents of the bigger firms.... A better market system, co-operative
selling, and education are the promising remedies."

Coming to the industrial centers of the country apart from the rural
areas, the report says:

"A characteristic feature of organised industry and commerce in all the
chief Indian centers is the presence of large agency firms which, except
in the case of Bombay, are mainly European. In addition to participating
in the export and import trade, they finance and manage industrial
ventures all over the country, and often have several branches in the
large towns. The importance of these agency houses may be gauged by the
fact that they are in control of the majority of the cotton, jute and
other mills as well as of the tea gardens and the coal mines."

The general remarks about the industrial deficiency of the country will
be better understood from the following extracts:

"We have already referred to the dependence of India on outside sources
of sulphur and the necessity for insisting on the local smelting of her
sulphide ores. In the absence of any means for producing from purely
Indian sources sulphuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acids, and alkalis,
our manufactures, actual or prospective, of paper, drugs, matches, oils,
explosives, disinfectants, dyes and textiles are dependent upon imports
which under war conditions, might be cut off. Sources of raw materials
for heavy chemicals are deficient. The output of saltpeter could be
raised to 40,000 tons per annum and supplementary supplies of nitrates
could be produced, if necessary, from atmospheric nitrogen; but for this
again, cheap electric power is needed. Salt occurs in abundance and the
establishment of caustic soda manufacture, preferably by an electric
process, that would also yield chlorine, is a necessary part of our
chemical programme. There are available in the country, in fair
quantity, many other raw materials necessary for heavy chemical
manufacture, in addition to those referred to under other heads; among
them may be mentioned alum, salts, barytes, borax, gypsum, limestone,
magnesia, phosphates of lime and ochres. The installation of plants for
the recovery of by-products in coking has recently been undertaken, but
for the recovery of tar and ammonia only. The recovery of benzol and
related products has so far not been attempted nor has anything been
done to utilise the tar by re-distillation or other chemical treatment.

"Although India exported raw rubber valued in 1917-1918 at 162 lakhs,
rubber manufacture has not been started in the country and goods to the
value of 116 lakhs were imported in 1917-1918. This industry is one of
those that are essential in the national interest and should be
inaugurated, if necessary, by special measures.

"Though textile industries exist on a large scale, the range of goods
produced is still narrow, and we are dependent upon foreign sources for
nearly all of our miscellaneous textile requirements. In addition to
these, the ordinary demands of Indian consumers necessitate the import
of some Rs. 66 crores worth of cotton piece-goods, and interference with
this source of supply has caused serious hardship. Flax is not yet grown
in appreciable quantities and the indigenous species of so-called hemp,
though abundantly grown, are not at present used in any organized Indian

"Our ability to produce and to preserve many of our foodstuffs in
transportable forms or to provide receptacles for mineral or vegetable
oils depends upon the supply of tin plates which India at present
imports in the absence of local manufactures.

"Our few paper factories before the war stood on an uncertain basis and
we are still dependent upon foreign manufacture for most of the higher

India produces enormous quantities of leather on a relatively small
scale by modern processes; and the village tanner supplies the local
needs only, and with a very inferior material. To obtain the quantities
and standards of finished leather which the country requires, it will be
necessary to stimulate industries by the institution of technical
training and by the experimental work on a considerable scale.

"Large quantities of vegetable products are exported for the manufacture
of drugs, dyes and essential oils, which in many cases are re-imported
into India.

"The blanks in our industrial catalog are of a kind most surprising to
one familiar only with the European conditions. We have already alluded
generally to the basic deficiencies in our iron and steel industries
and have explained how, as a result, the many engineering shops in India
are mainly devoted to the repair or to the manufacture of, hitherto
mainly from imported materials, comparatively simple structures, such as
roofs, bridges, wagons and tanks. India can build a small marine engine
and turn out a locomotive provided certain essential parts are obtained
from abroad but _she has not a machine to make nails or screws, nor can
she manufacture some of the essential parts of electrical machinery_.[1]

"Electrical plant and equipment are still, therefore, imported, in spite
of the fact that incandescent lamps are used by the millions and
electric fans by the tens of thousands. India relies on foreign supplies
of steel springs and iron chains and for wire ropes, a vital necessity
of her mining industry. We have already pointed out the absence of any
manufacture of textile mill accessories. The same may be said of the
equipment of nearly all industrial concerns. The list of deficiencies
includes all kinds of machine tools, steam engines, boilers and gas and
oil engines, hydraulic presses and heavy cranes. Simple lathes, small
sugar mills, small pumps, and a variety of odds and ends are made in
some shops, but the basis of their manufacture and the limited scale of
production do not enable them to compete with imported goods of similar
character to the extent of excluding the latter. Agriculturists' and
planters' tools such as ploughs, _mamooties_, spades, shovels and
pickaxes are mainly imported as well as the hand tools of improved
character used in most cottage industries, including wood-working tools,
healds and reeds, shuttles and pickers. Bicycles, motor cycles and motor
cars cannot at present be made in India though the imports under these
heads were valued at Rs. 187 lakhs in 1913-1914. The manufacture of
common glass is carried on in various localities, and some works have
turned out ordinary domestic utensils and bottles of fair quality, but
no attempt has been made to produce plate or sheet glass or indeed any
of the harder kinds of commercial glass, while optical glass manufacture
has never even been mooted. The extent of our dependence on imported
glass is evidenced by the fact that in 1913-1914 this was valued at Rs.
164 lakhs. Porcelain insulators, good enough for low tension currents,
are manufactured, but India does not produce the higher qualities of
either porcelain or china....

"The list of industries which, though their products are essential alike
in peace and war, are lacking in this country, _is lengthy and almost
ominous_.[2] Until they are brought into existence on an adequate scale,
Indian capitalists will, in times of peace, be deprived of a number of
profitable enterprises; whilst in the event of war which renders the sea
transport impossible, India's all-important existing industries will be
exposed to the risk of stoppage, her consumers to great hardship, and
her armed forces to the gravest danger."

In discussing the part played by Indians of all classes in the
industrial development of the Country the Commission observes:

"It is obvious that the great obstacles are the lack of even vernacular
education and the low standard of comfort. The higher grade of worker,
the mechanical artisan, in the absence of adequate education has been
prevented from attaining a greater degree of skill. He finds himself
where he is, less by deliberate choice than by the accident of his
obtaining work at some railway or other engineering shop, or by the
possession of a somewhat more enterprising spirit than his fellows.
There is at present only very inadequate provision for any form of
technical training to supplement the experience that he can gain by
actual work in an engineering shop, while the generally admitted need
for a more trustworthy and skillful type of man is at present met by
importing charge-men and foremen from abroad."

In short, the industrial deficiencies of India are directly due to

    (_a_) lack of education, general, scientific, and technical.

    (_b_) lack of encouragement by the Government which has so far
    deliberately purchased most kinds of stores needed for government
    requirements from England.

The agricultural deficiencies are due to the same causes plus the
poverty of the ryot and his inability to secure the capital necessary
for improvements on reasonable terms of interest. Yet, in spite of this
we find the Commission laying unwarranted emphasis upon the creation of
new posts divided into Imperial and Provincial branches for Industrial,
Agricultural, and scientific experts. One should have thought that the
first recommendation should be the immediate inauguration of general
education throughout the country with adequate provision for technical,
scientific, agricultural and commercial instruction.

The industrial development of the country needs these things: (1)
general education, (2) cheap capital, (3) skilled labor, (4) protection
against improper foreign competition. Expert advice and research are
needed very much, but no amount of research or expert advice will
advance the cause of industries unless the level of general intelligence
has been raised and some provision made for cheap capital and skilled
labor. Says the Honorable Malaviya in his separate note:

"If the industries of India are to develop, and Indians to have a fair
chance in the competition to which they are exposed, it is essential
that a system of education at least as good as that of Japan should be
introduced in India. I am at one with my colleagues in urging the
fundamental necessity of providing primary education for the artisan and
laboring population. No system of industrial and technical education can
be reared except on that basis. But the artisan and laboring population
do not stand apart from the rest of the community; and therefore if
this _sine qua non_ of industrial efficiency and economic progress is to
be established it is necessary that primary education should be made
universal. I agree also in urging that drawing and manual training
should be introduced into primary schools as soon as possible. In my
opinion, until primary education is made universal, if not compulsory,
and until drawing is made a compulsory subject in all primary schools,
the foundation of a satisfactory system of industrial and technical
education will be wanting. Of course this will require time. But I think
that that is exactly why an earnest endeavor should be made in this
direction without any further avoidable delay."

In support of his opinion he quotes the following pertinent observation
of Mr. Samuelson:

"In conclusion, I have to state my deep conviction that the people of
India expect and demand of their government the design, organization and
execution of systematic technical education and there is urgent need for
it to bestir itself, for other nations have already sixty years' start
of us, and have produced several generations of educated workmen. Even
if we begin to-morrow the technical education of all the youths of
twelve years of age, who have received sound elementary education, it
will take seven years before these young men can commence the practical
business of life and then they will form but an insignificant minority
in an uneducated mass. It will take fifteen years before those children
who have not yet begun to receive an elementary education shall have
passed from the age of 7 to 21 and represent a completely trained
generation; and even then they will find less than half of their
comrades educated. In the race of nations, therefore, we shall find it
hard to overtake the sixty years that we have lost. To-morrow, then let
us undertake with all our energy our neglected task; the urgency is
twofold--a small proportion of our youth has received elementary
education, but no technical education: for that portion let us at once
organize technical schools in every small town, technical colleges in
every large town and a technical university in the metropolis. The rest
of the rising generation has received no education at all, and for them
let us at once organize elementary education, even if compulsory."

To provide for a new department of experts on a lavish scale before
making an adequate provision for general education is putting the cart
before the horse. This has been pointed out in a very able article by
one of our premier scientists (who has taken a leading part in the
development of Indian industries) published in the _Modern Review_,
Calcutta, for March, 1919.

Says Sir P. C. Roy:

"We always begin at the wrong end. I should be the last person to
disparage the necessity for scientific research. The simple fact is,
however, overlooked that our agricultural population, steeped in
ignorance and illiteracy and owning only small plots and scattered
holdings, are not in a position to take advantage of or utilize the
elaborate scientific researches which lie entombed in the bulletins and
transactions of these Institutes. Mr. Mackenna very rightly observes:
The Famine Commissioners, so long ago as 1880, expressed the view that
no general advance in the agricultural system can be expected until the
rural population had been so educated as to enable them to take a
practical interest in agricultural progress and reform. These views were
confirmed by the Agricultural Conference of 1888. The most important and
probably the soundest proposition laid down by the Conference was that
it was most desirable to extend primary education amongst agricultural
classes. Such small countries as Denmark, Holland and Belgium are in a
position to send immense supplies of cheese, butter, eggs, etc., to
England, because the farmers there are highly advanced in general
enlightenment and technical education and are thus in a position to
profit by the researches of experts. The peasant proprietors of France
are equally fortunate in this respect; over and above the abundant
harvest of cereals they grow vine and oranges and have been highly
successful in sericulture; while the silk industry, in its very cradle,
so to speak, namely Murshidabad and Malda, is languishing and is in a
moribund condition.

"Various forms of cattle plague, e.g., render pest, foot and mouth
disease, make havoc of our cattle every year and the ignorant masses
steeped in superstitions, look helplessly on and ascribe the visitations
to the wrath of the Goddess Sitala. It is useless to din Pasteur's
researches into their ears. As I have said before, our Government has
the happy knack of beginning at the wrong end. An ignorant people and a
costly machinery of scientific experts ill go together.

"The panacea recommended for the cure and treatment of all these ills is
the foundation or re-organization of costly bureaus and Scientific and
Technical services, the latter with the differentiation of "Imperial"
and the 'Provincial' Services, which are in reality hotbeds for the
breeding of racial antipathies and sedition. For the recruitment of the
Scientific Services the Commissioners coolly propose that not only
senior and experienced men should be obtained at as early an age as
possible, preferably not exceeding 25 years. What lamentable ignorance
the Commissioners betray and what poor conception they have of this
vital question is further evident from what they say:

"'We should thus secure the University graduate, who had done one or
perhaps two years' post-graduate work whether scientific or practical,
but would not yet be confirmed in specialization. We assume that the
requisite degree of specialization will be secured by adopting a system
whereby study leave will be granted at some suitable time after three
years' service, when a scientific officer should have developed the
distinct bent.' In other words, secure a dark horse and wait till he
develops a distinct bent! The writer of this article naturally feels a
little at home on this subject and it is only necessary to cite a few
instances to illustrate how, under the proposed scheme Indians will
fare. At the present moment there are four young Indian Doctors of
Science of British universities, three belonging to that of London. Two
of them only have been able to secure Government appointments, but these
only temporary, drawing two-thirds of the grade pay. One has already
given up his post in disgust because he could get no assurance that the
post would be made permanent. In fact, both of them have been given
distinctly to understand that as soon as the war conditions are over,
permanent incumbents for these posts will be recruited at "home." In
filling up the posts of the so-called experts one very important factor
is overlooked. As a rule, only third rate men care to come out to India.
The choice lies between the best brains of India and the mediocres of
England and yet the former get but scant consideration and justice....
The creation of so many Scientific "Imperial" services means practically
so many close preserves for Europeans."

In the chapter dealing with Industrial and Technical training the
Commission observes:

"The system of education introduced by the Government was, at the
outset, mainly intended to provide for the administrative needs of the
country and encouraged literary and philosophic studies to the neglect
of those of more practical character. In the result it created a
disproportionate number of persons possessing purely literary education,
at a time when there was hardly any form of practical education in
existence. Naturally, the market value of the services of persons so
educated began eventually to diminish. Throughout the nineteenth century
the policy of the Government was controlled by the doctrine of
_laissez-faire_ in commercial and industrial matters, and its efforts to
develop the resources of the country were largely limited to the
provision of improved methods of transport and the construction of
irrigation works. Except in Bombay, the introduction of modern methods
of manufacture was almost entirely confined to the European community.
The opportunities for gaining experience were not easy for Indians to
come by, and there was no attempt at technical training for industries
until nearly the end of the century, and then only on an inadequate
scale. The non-existence of a suitable education to qualify Indians for
posts requiring industrial or technical knowledge was met by the
importation of men from Europe, who supervised and trained illiterate
Indian labor in the mills and factories that were started. From this
class of labor it was impossible to obtain the higher type of artisan
capable of supervisory work."

After pointing out the lamentable deficiency and comparative failure of
the half-hearted measures so far taken by the Government to provide some
kind of technical education the Commission makes certain recommendations
for meeting the needs of the situation, which are supplemented by some
pertinent suggestions made by the Honorable Malaviya in his minority
report. The aforesaid summary concludes with the following paragraph:

"To sum up, the Commission finds that India is a country rich in raw
materials and in industrial possibilities, but poor in manufacturing
accomplishments. The deficiencies in her industrial system are such as
to render her liable to foreign penetration in time of peace and to
serious danger in time of war. Her labor is inefficient, but for this
reason capable of vast improvement. She relies almost entirely on
foreign sources for foremen and supervisors; and her intelligentsia have
yet to develop the right tradition of industrialism. Her stores of money
lie inert and idle.[3] The necessity of securing the economic safety of
the country and the inability of the people to secure it without the
co-operation and stimulation of Government impose, therefore, on
Government policy of energetic intervention in industrial affairs; and
to discharge the multifarious activities which this policy demands,
Government must be provided with a suitable industrial equipment in the
form of imperial and provincial departments of Industries."


[1] Italics are ours.

[2] Italics are ours.

[3] Are there any such stores? If so, where?




_Under the Government of India Act, 1915_ (5 & 6 Geo. 5, c. 61).


(1) His Majesty's Secretary of State for India superintends, directs,
and controls all acts relating to the government or revenues of India.
He is responsible to Parliament. He or his Council has no legislative

(2) The Council of India consists of 10 to 14 members, appointed by the
Secretary of State for a term of seven years; and the majority of
Council must sanction expenditure of revenue and certain other specified
matters. In practice two of the members have been Indians since 1907.

(3) The salaries of the Secretary of State, the Under-Secretaries and
the Office establishment are paid out of Indian revenues.


(1) _General._--The Governor-General of India is appointed by the Crown.
He has the absolute power of adopting, suspending or rejecting measures
affecting safety, tranquillity and interest of India.

(2) _Executive Council._--The Executive Council consists of five or six
ordinary members appointed by the Crown generally for five years, with
the Commander-in-chief as an extraordinary member. Governor-General in
Council is the supreme autocratic authority in India in all
administrative matters, and it directly administers certain Imperial
Departments. One member of Council is now an Indian.

(3) _Legislative Council._--For the purpose of legislation the Council
consists of all Executive members with 60 additional members, of whom
only 27 are elected by specified electorates by a method of indirect
election. There is separate representation for Mohammedans. The
Governor-General is the President of the Council.

The members of the Legislative Council can discuss the Budget, move
resolutions or ask questions, but the Executive Government is not bound
thereby. In other words the Legislative has no control over the purse or
the acts of the Executive.

Every act of the Legislative requires the assent of the
Governor-General, and the Crown may also disallow the same. Besides in
cases of emergency the Governor-General has the power to promulgate laws
in the shape of ordinances, without reference to the Legislative
Council, on his own initiative or on the recommendation of Provincial
Governments. These ordinances to be in force for six months.



(1) His Majesty's Secretary of State to be retained, but his salary to
be transferred to British Estimates.

(2 & 3) A Committee is appointed to examine and report on the present
constitution of the Council of India as well as the Office
establishment. (The report of the Committee is not yet made.)

(4) The House of Commons to be asked to appoint a Select Committee for
Indian affairs.

(5) Control of Parliament and the Secretary of State to be modified.


(1) _General._--The Government of India to preserve indisputable
authority on all matters relating to peace, order, and good Government.
It is to remain fully autocratic as at present.

A Privy Council to be established in India.

(2) _The Executive Council._--To continue as before with maximum limit
removed, but the Indian element is to be increased to two members.

Government to be empowered to appoint a limited number of members (not
necessarily elected) of the Legislative Council as Under-Secretaries,
similar to Parliamentary Under-Secretaries in England.

(3) _Legislative Council._--There will be two legislative Bodies. One to
be called _Legislative Assembly_ (with elected majority), and the other
the _Council of State_ (with official majority).

The Legislative Assembly is to consist of 100 members, two-thirds of
whom would be elected. Of the nominated not less than one-third should
be non-officials. President to be nominated by the Governor-General.

The Council of State to consist of 50 members, of whom 21 are to be
elected. The Governor-General is to be the President.

Bills passed by the Assembly must also be referred to the Council of
State, the differences, if any, being settled by a joint session. But in
cases where the interests of peace, order and good Government, including
sound financial administration, are concerned, Governor-General shall
have powers to refer a Bill to the Council of State and it will become
law in the form approved by the Council of State even though it is not
acceptable to the Assembly.

Legislative Assembly and the Council of State may discuss the Budget,
ask questions, and pass resolutions, but they are not binding on the

The Governor-General to retain his power of assenting to Acts and
promulgating ordinances on his own authority. The Crown may disallow any

The Montagu-Chelmsford Scheme proposes periodical (decennial)
Parliamentary inquiries to revise the constitution, both for the Central
and the Provincial Governments.



(1) The Secretary of State to be retained. But his salary to be
transferred to British Estimates.

(2) The Council of India be abolished.

(3) There should be two permanent Under-Secretaries, one of whom should
be an Indian. The charges of the Indian Office establishment should be
transferred to British Estimates.

(4) The proposed Select Committee of the House of Commons is not
objected to.

(5) The Secretary of State for India should eventually occupy the same
position as the Colonial Secretary. The control of Parliament and
Secretary of State be modified only with the transfer of responsibility
of the Government of India to the electorate.


(1) _General._--The Government of India shall have undivided authority
in matters concerning Peace, Tranquillity and Defence of the Country;
but _subject to a Statutory Declaration_ of the rights of the people of
India as British citizens, viz., that all Indians are equal before law,
equally entitled to a licence to bear arms and to have the freedom of
speech, writing, and meeting, and also the freedom of the Press, and
that no one be punished or deprived of his liberty except by a sentence
of a Court of Justice.

That the principle of Responsible Government should be applied to the
Central Administration by dividing the subjects into (1) reserved (2)
transferred. The reserved subjects to be administered by Government
without popular control. The reserved subjects shall be Foreign affairs
(except relations with Colonies, and Dominions), Army, Navy, and
relations with Indian Ruling Princes, as well as matters affecting
public peace, tranquillity, defence of the country subject to the
Declarations of Rights mentioned above. All other subjects should be
transferred subjects--_i.e._, transferred to the popular control
exercised by the enlarged Legislative Assembly.

There should be no Privy Council.

(2) _Executive Council._--The Executive Council shall consist partly of
Ministers, from the Elected members of tie Legislative Council, and in
charge of the transferred subjects; and other members nominated by the
Government in charge of the reserved subjects. When there are two or
more members in charge of the reserved subjects, half the number shall
be Indians.

(3) _Legislative Council._--There should be no Council of State, but only
one Legislative Assembly composed of 150 members, four-fifths of whom
should be elected directly by the people. The Franchise should be as
broad as possible without distinction of sex, but with a proportional
and communal representation for Mohammedans as settled at Lucknow. The
Assembly should have an elected President. (The Moslem League does not
object to the Council of State if at least half the members thereof
would be elected).

The Legislative Assembly should have the same measure of fiscal autonomy
as Self-Governing Dominions, and should control the Budget, excepting
the reserved subjects, the allotment for which shall be a first charge
on the Revenues. All Bills must be introduced and passed in the

Provided that in the case of reserved subjects if the Legislative
Assembly does not pass measures desired by Government, the
Governor-General in Council may provide for the same by regulations.
Such regulations will remain in force for one year, and shall not be
renewed unless 40 per cent (two-fifths of the members) of the
Legislative Assembly present and voting are in favour of them.

The Governor-General to retain his existing power of making ordinances
and the Governor-General in Council the power of passing regulations.
The Governor-General and the Crown to have also power of assent,
reservation or disallowance.

The Congress-League scheme objects to periodical Commissions for
revising the Constitution, and asks for a Statutory declaration that the
transfer of responsibility should be completed in a period not exceeding
15 years, when India should be placed on a footing of equality with the
other self-governing parts of the Empire.


(1) _General._--India, including Burma, is divided into 14 provinces,
each of which has its own Provincial Government.

By a system of decentralisation, revenues are allotted to all these
provinces by the Government of India. The Provincial Governments
administer, under the general supervision of the Central Government,
without being responsible to the Local Legislatures in any way.

(2) _Executive._--Bombay, Bengal, and Madras have each a Governor sent
from England and three (one of whom is, in practice, an Indian)
Executive Councillors appointed by the Crown, with a Legislative

Bihar and Orissa governed by a Lieutenant-Governor with Legislative and
Executive Councils; United Provinces, Punjab and Burma by a
Lieutenant-Governor with only a Legislative Council; Central Provinces
and Assam by a Chief Commissioner with only a Legislative Council, and
the remaining by Chief Commissioners without any Councils.

(3) _Legislative._--The Provincial Legislative Councils enjoy limited
powers for legislation in the provinces. The Governor is the President
of the Council.

The elected members of the Legislative Council are elected by
constituencies formed of Municipal and Local Boards, and Landlords with
a separate constituency for Mohammedans. They are in a minority except
in Bengal, where they have at present only a small majority. The
Legislative Councils have no control over the Executive or the Budget.

The Acts of the Provincial Legislature must be assented to first by the
Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or the Commissioner as the case may be,
and then by the Governor-General subject always to disallowance by the


Recruitment, examination, and other matters relating to Indian services
are at present under the control of the Indian Government and the
Secretary of State, with no statutory limit for recruitment in India.


Half the members of Municipalities and Local Boards are generally
elected, but the bodies are under official control.


(1) _General._--All Provinces having Legislative Councils at present
(except Burma) should have a Governor with Executive and Legislative
Councils. A complete separation will be made between Indian and
Provincial Revenues. Provincial Governments are to have certain powers
of taxation and borrowing.

Responsible Government is to be introduced in the Provinces by a
division of departments into reserved (for Government) and transferred
(to popular control) subject to a revision after five years. (A
Committee is appointed to settle which subjects should be transferred.
The report is not yet out.)

(2) _The Executive_ would be a kind of Diarchy, consisting of the
Governor and two members (one of whom is to be an Indian) who will be in
charge of the reserved subjects, and responsible only to Government; and
a Minister or Ministers, nominated by the Governor from the elected
members of the Council, who will be in charge of the transferred
subjects and responsible not to the Legislature, but to the electors who
may not elect him next time. There may also be additional members
without Portfolios for the purpose of consultation.

Ministers to have no voice in decisions concerning reserved subjects or
about the supply for them in the Budget.

There will be Under-Secretaries and Standing Committees from the members
of the Legislative Councils to assist the Executive.

(3) _Legislative Councils._--These would be practically two Provincial
Legislative Bodies: (1) Legislative Council. (2) Grand Committee.

The Legislative Council will have a substantial elected majority,
elected on a broad franchise with Governor as President. (A Commission
is appointed to inquire into the question of franchise and the
composition of the Council, but the report is not yet out.)

The Grand Committee will comprise only from 40 to 50 per cent of
Legislative Council, and its members will be partly elected by a ballot
and partly appointed by nomination.

All Legislation and the Budget for transferred subjects only must be
passed in the Legislative Councils.

But when the Governor certifies that a bill dealing with reserved
subjects is essential he may refer the Bill to the Grand Committee and
have it finally passed there.

The members of the Legislative Council can ask questions and pass
resolutions, but the latter are not binding on the Executive, except
resolutions on the Budget for the transferred subjects.

All Provincial Legislation requires the assent of the Governor and the
Governor-General, and is also subject to disallowance by His Majesty.


Racial bars should not exist. In addition to recruitment in England a
system of appointment to all public services be established in India
with an increasing percentage of recruitment. In the case of Indian
Civil Service the percentage should be 33 of the superior posts, with
annual increment of 1-1/2 per cent.


Complete popular control in Local Bodies to be established as far as


(1) _General._--There should be a complete separation of the Provincial
from the Imperial Revenues. All Provincial Governments should have
certain powers of taxation and borrowing.

(2) _Executive._--Full responsible Government should be introduced into
the Provinces. The Executive will thus consist of the Governor and
Ministers responsible to the Legislature. There should be no distinction
of transferred or reserved subjects.

(3) _Legislative._--There should be only one Legislative Council, having
four-fifths of its members elected on a broad franchise without
distinction of sex, but with a proportional and communal representation
for the Mohammedans. The Legislative Council should elect its own
President, and must have control over the Budget. All Bills must be
introduced and passed in this Legislative Council.

The Governor to retain his power of assent, and the Governor-General and
the Crown the power of assent or disallowance.


Services should be recruited in India in a fixed and progressive
proportion. The annual recruitment in India for the Indian Civil Service
should be 50 per cent to start with, and that Indians be granted at
least 25 per cent of the Commissions in Army and the proportion be
gradually increased. There should be no racial distinctions.


Municipal and Local Bodies should be completely under popular control.



(_London Times_ May 13, 1919)

    The reports of the two Committees which sat in India from early in
    November to the end of February last to fill out the framework of
    the Montagu-Chelmsford Report published last July were issued last

    The Franchise Committee, of which Lord Southborough was chairman,
    recommend a scheme of territorial constituencies, urban and rural,
    the latter based on the existing land revenue districts, together
    with communal representation for Mohammedans and Sikhs (as
    contemplated in the original scheme) and for Indian Christians,
    Europeans, and Anglo-Indians: and the representation of special
    interests, including commerce and industry.

    The other Committee, of which Mr. R. Feetham was chairman, make
    detailed recommendations as to the division of functions between
    the Government of India and the provincial Governments, and also
    between "reserved" and "transferred" subjects in the provinces.
    Proposals are made for the modification in some important respects
    (notably in the powers conferred on the Governor) of the
    "diarchial" system in the provinces set forth in what is
    conveniently called the "Joint Report."

As was indicated in _The Times_ on April 5, Lord Southborough's
Committee have not accepted the appeals addressed to them in the
interest of woman suffrage. They found it advocated "rather on general
grounds than on considerations of practicability." They are satisfied
that the social conditions of India would make such a step now
premature. They are of opinion, however, that at the revision of the
constitutions of the councils proposed in the Joint Report 10 years
after their reconstitution the matter should be reconsidered in the
light of the experience gained and of social conditions as they then


The general proposals for the franchise are based upon the principle of
residence and the possession of certain property qualifications. In
addition the enfranchisement of all retired and pensioned officers of
the Indian Army, whether of commissioned or non-commissioned rank, is
recommended. This step was universally and strongly recommended in the
Punjab, and it is to extend to all provinces. The property qualification
is adapted to local conditions and is guided by the principle that the
franchise should be as broad as possible, consistently with the
avoidance of any such inordinate extension as might lead to a breakdown
of the machinery of election through weight of numbers. The large
proportion of illiterate voters, in the absence of a literary test, may
cause difficulty, but it has already been faced successfully in
municipal elections in India by the use of coloured ballot-boxes and
other like devices.

No rigid uniformity of property qualification has been sought, but the
committee have proposed the same qualification for all communities
within the same area. A substantially higher proportion of the urban
than of the rural population will be enfranchised. At present the total
number of electors for the provincial councils is 33,007, and of these
no fewer than 17,448 are Mohammedans, since that community enjoys direct
representation on an individual basis. The number of voters will be
raised under the scheme to 5,179,000, being 2.34 per cent of the total
population in the eight provinces, which is nearly 220,000,000.

The long established administrative unit of the "district" is made the
territorial area for constituencies but the relatively few cities with
large populations are to be separately represented. Occasionally towns
are grouped into separate urban constituencies. Single-member
constituencies are the general rule, but latitude is left to the local
Governments. Plural voting is to be forbidden, but this does not apply
to electors in constituencies formed for the representation of special


In conformity with the recognition of the Joint Report that separate
Mohammedan representation cannot be abandoned, the scheme provides for
Mohammedan constituencies. The compact of the joint session of the
National Congress and the Moslem League at Lucknow in December, 1916, is
accepted as a guide in allocating the proportion of Mohammedan seats. In
the Punjab this facility is to be extended to the Sikhs. Beyond this the
framers of the Joint Report did not propose to go; but Lord
Southborough's Committee recommend separate electorates, where the
numbers justify that course, for Indian Christians, Europeans, and the
domiciled "Anglo-Indians"--_i.e._, country-born Europeans and Eurasians.
It is observed that candidates belonging to these communities would have
no chance of being elected by general constituencies. The hope is
expressed that it will be possible "at no very distant date to merge all
communities into one general electorate."

Other claims for separate electorates are not conceded. Regret is
expressed that the organized non-Brahmans of the Madras Presidency
refuse to appear before the Committee. It is pointed out that there the
non-Brahmans (omitting the depressed or "untouchable" classes) outnumber
the Brahmans by about 22 to one; and on the basis of enfranchisement
taken in Madras the non-Brahmans would be in the proportion of four to
one. It is held to be unreasonable to adopt the proposed expedient for a
community which has an overwhelming electoral strength.

The alternative of reserving a considerable number of seats for
non-Brahmans in plural member constituencies did not commend itself to a
section of the non-Brahmans, though evidence went to show that such a
proposal might be accepted by the Brahmans "if it were the price of an
enduring peace." It is suggested that his Majesty's Government might
afford the parties to the controversy an opportunity, before the
electoral machinery for the Presidency is completed, of agreeing upon
some solution--_e.g._, the provision of plural member constituencies and
of a certain proportion of guaranteed non-Brahman seats.

The separate representation of zamindars and landholders granted under
the Morley-Minto scheme is extended and provision made for university
seats. The election by accredited bodies of representatives of commerce
and industry is also continued and amplified. There is to be nomination
for the representation of the "depressed classes," for in no case was it
found possible to provide an electorate on any satisfactory system of
franchise. Labour is to be represented by nomination where the
industrial conditions seem likely to give rise to labour problems. The
majority of the Committee are of opinion that dismissal from Government
service should constitute a bar to candidature if it has taken place in
circumstances which, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, involve
moral turpitude; but Lord Southborough, Mr. S. N. Bannerjea, and Mr.
Sastri dissent, considering it improper to limit the choice of the
electorate by a disqualification based on the decision of an executive

The size of the Provincial Legislatures will vary from 53 in Assam to
125 in Bengal. The eight Councils will comprise 796 members, made up as

  Elected by general constituencies, 308.
  By communities, 185.
  By landholders, 35.
  By universities, 8.
  By commercial, industrial, and planting interests, 45.
  The nominated representatives will number 47, and the officials, 128.


For the Indian Legislative Assembly, the Committee propose 80 elected
members, instead of the 68 suggested in the Joint Report. Fourteen
representatives appointed by nomination and 26 officials (including
seven _ex-officio_ members) will bring up the total, exclusive of the
Governor-General, to 120, as compared with 68 at present. A statement of
the manifold difficulties in the way of direct election for this
All-India body leads to the conclusion that there must be indirect
election for all general and communal seats by the members of the
Provincial Legislatures. "We trust that, in progress of time, a growing
sense of political organization will enable indirect election to be
superseded by some direct method."

A scheme for the creation of the "Council of State" on the lines of the
Joint Report is set forth, on the basis of election thereto by
non-official members of the Provincial Councils. There would be 24
elected and 32 _ex-officio_ or nominated members, exclusive of the
Governor-General. The electors should be left free to choose any person
qualified to be a member of a Provincial Legislature.


    The first duty of Mr. Feetham's Committee was to consider what were
    the services to be appropriated to the provinces, all others
    remaining with the Government of India. The Committee proceeded on
    the basis that there is to be no such statutory demarcation of
    powers as to leave the validity of Acts passed to be challenged in
    the Courts. In other words, no alteration is proposed in the system
    under which the All-India Legislature as regards British India, and
    each of the Provincial Legislatures as regards its own province,
    have in theory concurrent jurisdiction over the whole legislative

In framing the lists the Committee have treated as All-India subjects
certain large general heads, such, for instance, as commerce and laws
regarding property, but have taken out of these and allotted to the
provinces important sections--_e.g._, in the case of the first Excise,
and in the case of the second laws regarding land tenure. Any matter
included in the provincial list is to be deemed to be excluded from any
All-India subject of which otherwise it would form part. Subjects not
expressly included in either list are regarded as All-India subjects,
but the Governor-General in Council may add to the provincial list
"matters of merely local or private interest within the province." It is
claimed that the scheme has been devised on such a basis as to leave the
way open for the process of development.

The list of subjects to be transferred to Indian Ministers is on the
whole more extensive than the suggested list attached to the Joint
Report. With certain reservations University education is to be
transferred, as well as primary, secondary, and technical, on the ground
that the educational system must be regarded as an organic whole. But
European and Anglo-Indian education, which is organized on a separate
basis is excluded from the transfer.

The decision of the functions of the Provincial Government, popularly
known as diarchy, has been criticized as likely to lead to friction, and
sometimes to deadlock. To mitigate these difficulties, the Committee
propose important changes in the relations of the Governor with both
sections of the Government. It is to be the duty of the Governor in
Council in the case of reserved departments, and of the Governor and
Ministers in the case of transferred departments, to take care that the
administration is so conducted as not to prejudice or occasion undue
interference with the working of any department falling in the other
category. The Governor has to decide whether a particular matter falls
within the scope of a reserved or a transferred department, and to take
care that any order given by the Governor-General in Council is complied
with by the department concerned.


In the case of disagreement between the Executive Council and Ministers
as to action which appears to the Governor to affect both a reserved and
a transferred department, the Governor is to give such decision as the
interests of good government may seem to require, provided that, in so
far as circumstances admit, before such decision is given the matter
should be considered by both sections of the Government sitting
together. If the Minister remains obdurate, it will be for the Governor
to dismiss and find another Minister.

If, owing to a vacancy, there is no Minister in charge of a transferred
department, the Governor will certify that such emergency exists and
that immediate action is necessary. On such certificate being given, the
Governor in Council will have authority to take action, subject to the
obligation of reporting to the Governor-General in Council. In other
words there will be re-entry for a temporary and limited purpose during
an interregnum. This is a considerable departure from the proposal of
the Joint Report that Ministers shall hold office for the lifetime of
the Legislative Council. The power of the Governor to dismiss a
Minister, says the report, "seems essential if deadlocks are to be
avoided." The over-ruling of a minister will depend in the last resort
on the Governor's personal judgment of the situation.


The Committee felt themselves precluded from considering any
modification of the proposals of the Joint Report for the separation of
the finances of the Government of India and of Provincial Governments.
No opinion is expressed on memoranda received at a late stage from Sir
James Meston making proposals for substantial departure from the plan of
dealing with provincial finance set forth in the Joint Report.

It may be recalled that Mr. Montagu and Lord Chelmsford proposed that,
if the residue of the provincial revenues is not sufficient, it should
be open to Ministers to suggest fresh taxation. The Committee take the
view that when any new provincial tax or any proposed addition to an
existing tax requires legislation to give effect to it, the decision
whether that legislation should be undertaken must rest with the
Governor and Ministers. Since the whole balance of the revenues of the
province will be at the disposal of the Ministers for the administration
of the transferred departments, the Committee consider that when an
existing tax cannot be reduced or remitted without legislation, the
decision whether legislation should be undertaken must also rest with
the Governor and Ministers. To that extent taxation for provincial
purposes should be regarded as a transferred subject.

The assessment or collection of the tax would be reserved or
transferred, according as the agency employed belonged to a reserved or
to a transferred department. The view is also taken that, when
alterations in taxation can be effected without any change in the law,
the decision whether any alteration should in fact be made must be
recognized as resting with the Governor in Council if the department is
reserved, and with the Governor and Ministers if it is transferred.

In respect to the powers of borrowing on the sole credit of provincial
revenues which are to be conferred, the Committee propose that, if after
joint deliberation there is a difference of opinion between the
Executive Council and the Ministers, the final decision whether a loan
should be raised and as to the amount of the loan must rest with the


Detailed proposals are made in relation to the public services, to be
classified as Indian (All-India), provincial and subordinate, No service
is to be included in the first of these categories without the sanction
of the Secretary of State, while the demarcation between the provincial
and subordinate services is to be left to the provincial Governments.

General approval is given to a scheme prepared by the Government of
India providing that legislation should be undertaken in Parliament to
declare the tenure and provide for the classification of the public
service. It should secure the pensions of the All-India services, and
should empower the Secretary of State to make rules for their conduct
and rights and liabilities, and to fix their pay and regulate their
allowances. Similar legislation should be passed by the Government of
India in respect to the provincial services, and to empower the
provincial Governments to make rules for the subordinate services. The
Committee does not express any opinion on the proposal of the Government
of India to set up a statutory Public Service Commission on lines
somewhat wider than those of the Civil Commission in Great Britain.

Among the clauses suggested for insertion in the instructions for each
provincial Governor is one enjoining him to "protect all members of the
public services in the legitimate exercise of their functions and
enjoyment of all recognized rights and privileges."

The instructions are to charge him with the duty of safeguarding the
legitimate interests of the Anglo-Indian or domiciled community, and "to
take care that no change in educational policy, affecting adversely
Government assistance afforded to existing institutions maintained or
controlled by religious bodies, is adopted without due consideration."
The Governor is also to be instructed that he "shall not sanction the
grant of monopolies or special privileges to private undertakings which
are inconsistent with the public interest, nor shall he permit any
unfair discrimination in matters affecting commercial or industrial

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