Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Young India - An interpretation and a history of the nationalist movement from within
Author: Rai, Lajpat
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Young India - An interpretation and a history of the nationalist movement from within" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                              YOUNG INDIA

                         _BY THE SAME AUTHOR_

                 AN ECONOMIC HISTORY OF BRITISH INDIA

                               $2.00 net

               [Illustration: DADABHAI NAOROJI]



                              YOUNG INDIA

                  AN INTERPRETATION AND A HISTORY OF
                       THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT
                              FROM WITHIN

                              LAJPAT RAI

                     FOREWORD BY J. T. SUNDERLAND

                              ILLUSTRATED

                       [Illustration: colophon]

     “The people of India are capable of administering their own affairs
     and the municipal feeling is deep rooted in them. The village
     communities, each of which is a little republic, are the most
     abiding of Indian institutions.”

     (LORD LAWRENCE, once Viceroy and Governor-General of British
     India).

                               NEW YORK
                             B. W. HUEBSCH
                                 1917

                          Copyright, 1916, by
                             B. W. HUEBSCH

                      First edition, August, 1916
                      Second edition, April, 1917

                          Printed in U. S. A.



                               DEDICATED
                                  TO
                    THE MEMORY OF MY DEAREST FRIEND
                           THE LATE LAMENTED
                   DWARKA DASS, M. A. OF THE PUNJAB
                  WHO DIED OF A BROKEN HEART, AT THE
                      COLLAPSE OF PUBLIC LIFE IN
                         HIS NATIVE PROVINCE,
                            (OCTOBER 1912)
              AS AN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO HIS UNCOMPROMISING
                   ATTITUDE TOWARDS PUBLIC LIFE, HIS
                    LOFTY PRINCIPLES, AND HIS NOBLE
                           ADVOCACY OF THEM



FOREWORD


Mr. Lajpat Rai, the author of this book, is one of the most widely
known, most honoured and most influential public men in India. For more
than twenty years he has been a leading member of the bar in Lahore, the
capital city of the large province of the Punjab, and has long been
prominent in public affairs both local and national.

From almost the beginning of the National Indian Congress he has been an
active leader in that body, which is the most important political
organization in the country. The last time I was in India (two and a
half years ago) I found that he was being widely talked of for the
Presidency of the Congress at its approaching yearly meeting.

Conspicuous in Indian educational work and a founder of the large and
flourishing Anglo-Vedic College in Lahore, he has for a dozen years or
more held the position of either Vice-President or Honourary Secretary
of the College, and also that of Lecturer in History.

He started _The Punjabee_, a leading paper in the province, published in
English, and has edited a monthly magazine and a weekly paper printed in
the vernacular, besides writing for other Indian periodicals and for
reviews in London.

The Arya Samaj, an important, fast growing and influential movement of
religious reform in India, which rejects idolatry and caste and is
active in promoting education, social reforms and the elevation of
woman, counts Mr. Rai among its honoured leaders.

He has organized relief work during periods of famine in India, and has
for some years led in an extensive movement for the elevation of the
“Depressed Classes,” that is, the forty millions of “outcasts” or
“untouchables” whose condition is so miserable. Several years ago I
attended a National Conference to promote this work, at which he
presided and delivered a powerful address.

Mr. Lajpat Rai has made three or four extended visits to England and
three to America. In England he has spoken in many cities as a delegate
from the National Indian Congress, for the purpose of acquainting the
British public with the real condition of things in India, and to urge
upon the British Government the granting to the Indian people of certain
important political reforms. In America he has made a careful study of
our history and institutions, our industrial and social movements, our
political and religious life, and especially our schools and
universities, and our educational systems and methods. He is impressed
with the leadership which the United States is attaining in the world of
education, particularly education in scientific, industrial,
technological and agricultural directions, and he finds much here which
he desires to see introduced into his own country.

From the beginning of the New National Movement in India, Mr. Rai has
been one of its most prominent leaders. He is an ardent patriot, is
proud of his country, her civilization, her literature and her great
place in the world’s history, and he believes she is destined to have a
great future, commensurate with her great past. But now she is a subject
land, ruled by a foreign power, her own people having practically no
voice in the direction of their own national affairs or the shaping of
their future destiny. This deeply grieves and galls him, as it does a
large part of the Indian people. The Nationalist Movement, of which he
gives an account in this book, is a protest against present political
conditions, and a demand for larger freedom and independence. Indeed,
its aim is self-rule; not necessarily severance of connection with the
British Empire, but partnership in the Empire,--home rule inside the
Empire like that enjoyed by Canada, Australia and South Africa.

The British Government of India frowns upon this Nationalist Movement,
tries to suppress it, and places its leaders under ban. This is the way
despotic governments always treat subject peoples as soon as they grow
restive in their bonds and try to loosen them or throw them off. Mr.
Lajpat Rai has had to pay heavily for his patriotism. In 1907 he was
seized by the Government and, without trial or even being told what was
his offence, was secretly sent away to prison in Burmah, and kept there
six months. He was suspected of disloyalty and sedition, but not the
slightest evidence was found against him. His only crime was that he was
a Nationalist, and was working in perfectly open and legal ways to
secure greater liberty for his country. After his release from prison,
he brought legal suits against two newspapers, one in India and one in
London, that had published charges of sedition against him; and,
notwithstanding the fact that the powerful influence of the Government
was on the side of the papers, he won both suits,--so clear was his
case.

For a full dozen years India has been seething with unrest, seething
with dissatisfaction over present political conditions. During the past
ten years there has been not a little bomb throwing and not a few signs
of revolution. When the present European war broke out there were at
once increased outward expressions of loyalty; but the unrest has
remained. When the war is over what will happen? That will depend, Mr.
Lajpat Rai believes, upon the course pursued by the British Government.
If the Government in a generous spirit meets India’s just demands, there
will be no revolution. If the Government blindly and obstinately
refuses, the worst may happen.

While Mr. Rai is an ardent and uncompromising advocate of the
Nationalist Cause, he has always counselled procedure by evolutionary
and not by revolutionary measures, by vigorous and determined agitation
and not by bomb throwing. Throughout his entire career he has striven by
every means, through speech and the press, in India and in England, to
move the British Government to prevent revolution, in what he believes
is the only possible way, namely, by inaugurating and carrying out
honestly a policy of justice to the Indian people.

There is in sight an Indian _Renaissance_. There is a “New India in the
Making.” Indeed the stirrings of new life in India are hardly less
marked, less profound or less revolutionary, than in Japan or China. Of
this the book gives a vivid and reliable picture,--and, what is of great
importance, a picture from the inside.

We have many books which portray Indian conditions as foreigners see
them,--particularly as they are seen by Christian missionaries and by
the British rulers of the country. At last we have a book which gives us
the life, the experiences, the wrongs, the sufferings, the hopes, the
aims, the motives, and, what at the present time is most important of
all, the political ideals and ambitions of the Indian people themselves,
portrayed by one of their own number, a leader who has been in the very
heart of the struggle from the beginning, and who has felt it all in his
own life and his own soul.

It is a message to every man and woman in America, and in Great Britain,
too, who loves justice and hates oppression, and who wants to know about
one of the most heroic struggles for liberty now going on in the world.

My own intimate acquaintance with India for many years gives me a
greatly increased sense of the value of Mr. Rai’s book. Perhaps nothing
in the volume will be found more surprising or more interesting to
Americans than the overwhelming evidence of the dissatisfaction of India
with her present political condition, and the fact that the Indian
people want home rule, want it more earnestly than they want anything
else, and that probably nothing less than this will keep them loyal to
Great Britain. This feeling, which had been growing fast for years
before the war broke out, has since sprung into a passion. And we may be
sure that the flame will not burn with less intensity when the soldiers
return who have been risking their lives for Great Britain in Turkey and
Egypt and France, and who have been learning new lessons of
self-reliance, freedom and independence from their contact with the
great world.

It is hardly possible today to take up an Indian periodical of any kind,
Hindu or Mohammedan, secular or religious (I myself regularly subscribe
for and read nine, two of the number making a specialty of a monthly
summary of Indian press opinion), without being brought upon some
expression of this universal desire for self-rule. The people are
disposed to be patient and considerate, and make no demands upon the
Government that will be embarrassing so long as the war lasts. But
everything indicates that when peace comes they will be in no mood to be
treated like children and put off with the usual vague and meaningless
promises.

Since India has borne faithfully and loyally her part in the war, one of
the distinct stipulations in the treaty of peace at the end should be
the granting to her of home rule. This is as much her right as is
autonomy the right of Belgium or Poland. This right is recognized by not
a few Englishmen; it should be recognized by the whole nation, and put
into effect generously, freely, without waiting for struggle and
bloodshed. The advantage to Great Britain would be incalculable. It
would remove from her as a nation her most threatening danger, and it
would give to her Empire a solidity and permanent strength such as it
cannot otherwise secure.

While India wants freedom to shape her own affairs, her wisest minds do
not desire separation from England. They recognize many strong ties
between the two countries which they would not see broken. While they
are determined not much longer to lie prostrate beneath England’s feet,
they would gladly stand by her side, arm in arm with her, firmly united
for great ends of mutual welfare and mutual strength. An Anglo-Indian
Empire is one of the splendid possibilities of the future, binding
Britain and her colonies and her great Asiatic possession together into
a powerful world-spanning federation of free peoples. Something like
this is the dream of India’s greatest leaders, as it is also the dream
of not a few of Britain’s most far-seeing minds.

When this world-revolutionizing war is over, Great Britain must reshape
after a larger and more adequate pattern her whole scheme of Imperial
Government. She must become a Federated Empire. There must be
self-government at home, not only for Ireland but also for Scotland,
Wales and England. And there must be self-government abroad, not only
for Canada, Australasia and South Africa, but, as not less imperative
and not less wise, for India also, to be followed in time, as conditions
can be made favourable, by self-rule more or less complete for all of
Britain’s more important dependencies.

The danger is that Britain may forget India or thrust her aside, as in
the past, to the position of a mere dependency. If she does this she
will plant a cancer in the heart of her Empire, she will create a
volcano under her throne. It will take courage and large statesmanship
to give India home rule, as it took large statesmanship and courage to
give home rule to South Africa. But the splendid venture must be made.
And, made in the right spirit, it will succeed as perfectly as it did in
South Africa.

Has Great Britain statesmen sufficiently far-sighted, with adequate
genius and courage, to do to India the splendid justice of giving her
the home rule which is her right, and then to create a world-circling
federation of free peoples with India a partner in it,--a real
Anglo-Indian Empire? It would be the most brilliant, constructive and
noble work of statesmanship known to the modern world.

Now that Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans as
well as Englishmen, Scotchmen, Welshmen and Irishmen have fought side by
side with the soldiers of India, shedding their blood in a common cause,
why should they not all gladly welcome those heroic and loyal men of the
East to a place by their side in the Empire which they have helped to
save?

Need England shrink from the risk? This is her path of least risk. Under
present conditions India is her peril. The one thing that will transform
India from a source of ever-increasing danger to a bulwark of strength,
is to trust her as South Africa has been trusted. She is certainly as
worthy of trust as South Africa was. Thus to trust her, and to lift her
up to a responsible place in the Empire, will appeal to India’s pride as
it has never been appealed to, will create in her an enthusiasm of
loyalty equal to anything seen in any of the self-ruling colonies, will
bind her to Great Britain with bands of steel.

Is it said that India is incapable of ruling herself? That was said of
South Africa; that was said of Canada; that was said of the American
Colonies when they broke off from Great Britain and set up a Government
of their own; that is what England has long been saying of Ireland. That
is what every nation that loves power always says of every section of
its people that wants more liberty.

The truth is, the safest Government in the world for every people of any
intellectual and moral development at all (and India is advanced, both
intellectually and morally) is self-government. No rule so completely
destroys the fibre of a nation as rule by a foreign power. India can
rule herself far better than any foreign nation can rule her.

If India is incapable of self-government today, what an indictment is
that against England! She was not thus incapable before England came.
Has one hundred and fifty years of British tutelage produced such
deterioration? India was possessed of a high civilization and of
developed Governments long before England or any part of Central,
Western or Northern Europe had emerged from barbarism. For three
thousand years before England’s arrival in the Orient, Indian Kingdoms
and Empires had held leading places in Asia, and that means in the
world. Some of the ablest rulers, statesmen, generals and financiers
known to history, as well as many of the greatest thinkers and writers
of mankind, have been of India’s production. How is it, then, that she
suddenly becomes imbecile and unable to stand on her own feet or conduct
her own affairs as soon as England appears on the scene?

To be sure, at the time when England came, India was in a peculiarly
disorganized and unsettled state; for it should be remembered that the
Mogul Empire was just breaking up and new political adjustments were
everywhere just being made,--a fact which accounts for England’s being
able to gain political power in India at all. But everything indicates
that if India had not been interfered with by European nations, she
would soon have been under competent Governments of her own again.

A further answer to the assertion that India cannot govern
herself--surely one that should be conclusive--is the fact that, in
parts, she is governing herself now, and governing herself well. It is
notorious that the very best Government in India to-day is not that
carried on by the British, but that of several of the Native States,
notably Baroda and Mysore. In these States, particularly Baroda, the
people are more free, more prosperous, more contented, and are making
more progress, than in any other part of India. Note the superiority of
both these States in the important matter of popular education. Mysore
is spending on education more than three times as much per capita as is
British India, while Baroda has made her education free and compulsory.
Both of these States, but especially Baroda, which has thus placed
herself in line with the leading nations of Europe and America by making
provisions for the education of all her children, may well be contrasted
with British India, which provides education, even of the poorest kind,
for only one boy in ten and one girl in one hundred and forty-four.

The only ground at all that exists for the claim that the Indian people
are not able to govern themselves lies in the fact that the British
Government during all its history in the land has deprived them, and
still continues to deprive them, against their constant protest, of
practical experience in Government management. They had such experience
before the British came, but since that time they have been robbed of it
to their great injury. Of course, under present conditions, if the
British should leave India in a day, with no body of men trained to take
their places, for a time there would be confusion, just as there would
be confusion in England if everybody there accustomed to Government
management should leave that country in a day.

But the Indian people do not ask England to leave India in a day, or to
leave at all; what they ask is for England to associate with herself the
competent men of India in the government of their own country, and thus
give them the experience in self-rule which is their right and of which
they never ought to have been deprived. With such opportunities for
practical experience extended to them for twenty years, or even for ten
years, they would be ready for the full responsibilities of home rule.

Among the tens of thousands of India’s educated men, and men of natural
capacity for leadership, there is no lack of material to fill, and fill
well as soon as they are given experience, every kind of official
position. Many of the highest judgeships are now filled with great
efficiency by Indians. In no department of the Government where Indians
have been adequately tried have they been found wanting.

The truth is, not one single fact can be cited to show that India cannot
govern herself well if given a chance. It would not be difficult to form
an Indian Parliament today, composed of men as able and of as high
character as those that constitute the fine Parliament of Japan. India
has public men who, if they lived in England and belonged to the English
race, would unhesitatingly be adjudged not only of Parliamentary but of
Cabinet rank. For twenty years before his recent lamented death Mr.
Gokhale was confessedly the equal in intellectual ability and in moral
worth of any Englishman in India, not excepting the three Viceroys under
whom he served. It is no exaggeration to declare that Mr. Justice Renade
had qualifications fully fitting him for the position of Viceroy, or if
he had lived in England, fitting him for the position of Premier.

This is only another way of saying that among the leaders of the various
States and Provinces of India there is abundant material to form
National and Provincial Governments little, if at all, inferior in
ability and in moral character to the Governments of the Western world.

J. T. SUNDERLAND.
New York, June, 1916.



CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

Foreword, by J. T. Sunderland                                        vii

Preface to the Second Edition                                      xxvii

Introduction                                                           1

I. THE GENERAL VIEWPOINT OF THE INDIAN NATIONALIST                    67

First Invasion of India                                               68

Chandra Gupta and Asoka                                               69

India Practically Independent Up to the Twelfth Century               70

Muslim Rule                                                           71

Muslim Rule in India not Foreign                                      73

India Under the British                                               76

Political Disqualification of the Indians                             78

Indians May not Carry Arms                                            80

Loyalty of Ruling Chiefs                                              90

Middle Class Desires Political Freedom                                92

II. INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857                                           95

Conflict of French and English in India                               96

How British Rule in India Was Established                             96

Methods of Consolidation of British India                             97

British Public Ignorant of Facts                                      98

Conquest of India Diplomatic, not Military                           100

The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857                                      101

How the Mutiny Was Put Down                                          102

III. INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905                                         109

Part I. From 1857 to 1885.

The Bengalee Babu                                                    109

Forces Resisting Denationalisation                                   114

Political Disappointments                                            115

Lord Ripon                                                           118

Lord Dufferin                                                        121

Part II. The Birth of the Indian National Congress.

Indian National Congress an English Product                          122

Hume, a Lover of Liberty                                             124

Congress to Save British Empire from Danger                          126

The Congress Lacked Essentials of a National Movement                138

Hume’s Political Movement                                            141

Congress Overawed                                                    142

Congress Agitation in England                                        144

Causes of Failure of the Congress                                    145

Part III. The Birth of the New Nationalist Movement.

Swadeshi and Swaraj                                                  148

Men Who Have Inspired the Movement                                   152

Lord Curzon and Indian Education                                     156

Lord Curzon’s Secret Educational Conference                          158

Indians and Lord Curzon at Cross Purposes                            158

The Congress Deputation to England in 1905                           159

The Congress of 1905                                                 160

Object of the Passive Resistance Movement                            162

IV. THE FIRST YEARS OF THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT                      167

Partition of Bengal                                                  167

Boycott of British Goods                                             167

Government’s Reply                                                   170

The Second Move of the Bengalees: The National
University                                                           170

Arabinda Ghosh                                                       172

The Nationalist Press                                                176

Military Measures against Boycotters                                 177

Lord Minto                                                           179

Indian Press Gagged                                                  180

Deportation of Lajpat Rai                                            181

Disaffection Driven Underground                                      183

Lord Hardinge Bombed                                                 184

V. TYPES OF NATIONALISTS                                             187

The Extremists                                                       187

A Few Nihilists                                                      189

Religious Extremists                                                 189

The Mother Worshippers                                               190

Vedantists                                                           191

Advocates of Organised Rebellion                                     195

Har Dayal                                                            195

Hardayalism: Advocation of Full Swaraj                               199

Political Freedom the First Condition of Life                        200

Arabinda Ghosh--Vedantist and Swarajist                              205

Ganesh Vináyak Savarkar                                              210

The Terrorists                                                       211

Advocates of Constructive Nationalisation                            212

Independence, but not at Once                                        212

Preparing the Nation for Freedom                                     213

Preparatory Work from Below                                          214

Brahmo Samaj; Arya Samaj; Ramakrishna Mission                        215

The Moderates                                                        216

Gokhale                                                              216

Congress Leaders                                                     219

Passive Resisters                                                    219

VI. INDIAN NATIONALISM AND THE WORLD-FORCES                          221

Inspiration through European Nationalism                             221

History of Modern Europe Tabooed in Universities                     221

Italian-Turko War                                                    222

Interpretation of India to Western World                             223

Tagorism                                                             223

VII. THE RELIGIOUS AND THE COMMUNAL ELEMENTS IN
INDIAN NATIONALISM                                                   225

Mohammedan Revulsion of Feeling against the British                  226

Disaffection among the Sikhs                                         228

VIII. THE FUTURE                                                     230

Change in Indian Life and Depth of Nationalism                       230

Nationalism Fertilised by Blood of Martyrs                           232

Wave of Indian Nationalism is on                                     233

Propitiation and Petty Concessions Futile                            234

Internal Division no Valid Plea for Continuance of
British Rule                                                         235

Illiteracy the Fault of the British and no Bar to Self-government    237

Internal Troubles                                                    238

Unfitness of Orientals for Representative Institutions               238

Nationalism Has Come to Stay                                         238

Curzons, Macdonnels, Sydenhams, Responsible for
Bombs and Revolvers                                                  240

A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS IN ENGLISH                             241

APPENDICES

Feudatory Chiefs Powerless                                           243

Gross Insults to Indians                                             243

Industrial Ruin of India; Gokhale                                    244

India a Mere Possession; Gokhale                                     244

Masses Starved; Sir C. A. Elliot, Sir W. W. Hunter,
William Digby                                                        244

Seventy Million Continually Hungry People in British
India; William Digby                                                 245

Total Area under Cultivation                                         245

Famines of Money; not Food; Lord George Hamilton                     245

Causes of Famines                                                    246

Drain; Montgomery Martin and Digby                                   246

Enormous Foreign Tribute; Rev. J. T. Sunderland                      246

Government Assessment too High; Sir W. Hunter                        246

The Ryot; Herbert Compton                                            246

Indian Plunder; Adam Brooks                                          247

Swami Abhedananda                                                    247

Alfred Webb                                                          247

“Narrow and Shortsighted Imperial Policy;” Sir A.
R. Colquehoun                                                        248

Taxation; Lord Salisbury                                             248

Plague, Deaths from                                                  249

Death Rate                                                           249

Indian Finance                                                       249

Land Tax                                                             249

Income Tax                                                           250

Customs                                                              250

Trade Figures for 1913 to 1914                                       251

Personnel of the Government                                          251

Figures About Education and Literacy                                 253

The Flogging of Political Prisoners                                  253



ILLUSTRATIONS


  Dadabhai Naoroji         _Frontispiece_

  Ram Mohan Roy          FACING PAGE 111

  Swami Vivekananda         “    “   115

  Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak      “    “   162

  Arabinda Ghosh            “    “   172

  Lajpat Rai                “    “   181

  Har Dayal                 “    “   195

  G. K. Gokhale             “    “   216



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION


Considering that in August, 1916, when this book was published, I was
only a stranger in this country, known only to a few individuals, with
almost no credentials of any kind to command the attention of the
reading public, it is extremely gratifying that the first edition should
have been sold out in less than six months. The fact can only be
explained by the broad-minded sympathy of the American public for the
“under dog.” I had a story to tell which the American public decided was
worthy of being heard. So they heard it and now that they have heard it
they want more of it.

In launching a second edition I take the opportunity of thanking the
American press for their most generous and kindly appreciation of my
little work. To the London Liberal press represented by the _Nation_ and
the _New Statesman_ also I pay my acknowledgments. Their kindly
reception shows the genuineness of their liberalism which, by the by, is
the most valuable asset of English public life. Compare with this the
treatment that has been accorded to me and my book by the British Indian
Government. The first thing they did to injure me was to get the High
Court at Lahore to cancel my license as a lawyer in the Punjab, India,
on the ground of my being the author of a pamphlet called “Some
Reflections on the Political Situation in India,” to which they
objected and which they barred from entry into British India. This order
is of course illegal; but the High Court of the Punjab has not a high
reputation for its legal attainments and is always a willing instrument
of the Executive. Then came the order barring this book. This by itself
ought to be sufficient to show off the amount of political freedom we
enjoy in India, but the year 1916 has been made memorable in the
political history of India by other events of even a more significant
character. Throughout the year, the Government in India continued to
prosecute an English lady of world-wide fame, for the simple reason that
that lady had the audacity of identifying herself with the “Home Rule of
India” movement. Mrs. Annie Besant is an English woman of international
fame. She is one of the most accomplished and eloquent platform speakers
which the English speaking nations possess. She is a distinguished
author and the revered head of the Theosophical Society which has
ramifications all over the world. In addition to her religious and
social and literary activities Mrs. Annie Besant has for some years been
taking an active interest in the Indian Nationalist movement. She owns
and edits two papers, one a daily and the other a weekly, both written
in English and published at Madras, India, in the interests of Indian
Nationalism. She is the founder and President of an Indian Home Rule
League. She is an outspoken critic of the Russian methods of repression,
suppression and confiscation that are in vogue in the Indian
Administration. During Lord Hardinge’s viceroyalty her criticism was
tolerated, as the Head of the Government was known to be friendly to
her. As soon, however, as Lord Hardinge turned his back on India, Mrs.
Besant’s good luck abandoned her and down came the hand of the Madras
Government. The first order against her demanded security for her daily
paper, _New India_. This security was duly furnished and has since been
confiscated and a new security of a much larger sum has been demanded.
Mrs. Besant has complied with these orders also, though under protest
and is contesting them in the courts. One court has rejected her appeal,
holding that though the order of the Government was illegal, the
statutes gave them no power to give relief. She is now appealing to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in London, and the matter rests
there. Two other Provincial Governments, those of Bombay and the Central
Provinces, took action to restrict her liberty of movement, by
prohibiting her entry into their respective jurisdictions, under the
Defence of India Act. All this has made a sensation and Mrs. Annie
Besant is one of the most popular persons in India at the present
moment. She is considered a heroine and the Nationalist party is backing
her up fully. Her financial losses have been made up to her and her
papers are flourishing. Her Home Rule League is spreading.

Mrs. Annie Besant has not, however, been the only recipient of
Government attention during the course of the year. The Nationalist
leader, Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak, has been persecuted in various ways. A
Magistrate was found to adjudge some of his speeches in favour of Home
Rule as seditious and on the basis of that adjudication, Mr. Tilak was
ordered to deposit security of over $13,000 for good behaviour for a
year, the object being to gag him. On Mr. Tilak appealing to the High
Court the Judges quashed the order, holding that the speeches, read as a
whole, did not violate the law. He is, however, still being followed and
persecuted otherwise.

_Press Act._ The following resolution passed by the Council of the
Bombay Presidency Association in connection with the proceedings taken
by the Government against Mrs. Besant’s _New India_ speaks for itself:

     “Having regard to the arbitrary character of the provisions of the
     Press Act of 1910 and the manner in which it has been enforced in
     the case of several newspapers, and recently in the case of _New
     India_, thereby causing public dissatisfaction and discontent, this
     Council is of opinion that a representation should be submitted to
     the Government by the Association pointing out the oppressive
     character of the Act and its administration and asking for its
     appeal. The Council, therefore, resolves, that a committee
     consisting of Sir Narayan Chandavarkar, Messrs. B. G. Horniman, D.
     N. Bahadurji, A. M. Jinnah and the Honorary Secretaries be
     appointed to draft a memorial for the purpose and submit it to the
     Council within a fortnight.”

_Political Crime in Bengal._ In Bengal there has been no falling off in
the activities of the Revolutionary party in spite of the fact that the
powers taken by the Government under the Defence of India Act have been
ruthlessly exercised. The following extracts taken from a press comment
on the Resolution of the Government of Bengal relating to the working of
the Police Department in 1915 may be of some interest in this
connection:

     “The Resolution of the Bengal Government on the Report of the
     Police administration in the Presidency for 1915 says that the
     criminal record of the year was a black one. Serious crime of all
     kinds except rioting showed considerable increase, which was most
     marked in the case of offences against property. True cases of
     dacoity increased from 289 in 1914 to 643 in 1915, burglary cases
     from 30,294 to 39,812 and theft cases from 17,730 to 31,552. The
     increase in theft and burglary may be ascribed mainly to the
     unfavourable economic conditions caused by partial crop failures in
     many districts of the province and by a heavy fall in the price of
     jute. In the case of dacoity, however, there appears to be good
     reason for attributing the increase almost entirely to the state of
     unrest caused by the war.

     “Referring to revolutionary crime in Bengal the resolution says:
     The outbreak of revolutionary crime in the early part of the year
     was followed by a lull after the introduction of the Defence of
     India Act in April. The latter part of the year was, however,
     marked by renewed activity on the part of the revolutionary party
     and the total number of cases believed to be connected with the
     movement was 36 as compared with 12 in the previous year. These
     cases included 34 dacoities, 2 attempted dacoities, 9 murders and
     one attempted bomb outrage.

     “With regard to the circulation of seditious literature, the report
     of the Inspector General of Police says: Increased activity in the
     circulation of seditious leaflets came to notice about June and
     continued throughout the year. Under the existing law mere
     possession of seditious matter is not an offence and consequently
     there are no means of checking the serious evil at the fountain
     head. It is only after the seditious and inflammatory matter has
     been circulated and mischief done that the law can be put in
     motion. There is convincing evidence that the revolutionary party
     in Bengal depend largely upon seditious literature to recruit their
     ranks and several youths have confessed that they were drawn into
     the movement through reading leaflets issued by the revolutionists.
     Penalising the possession of seditious matter may not be a complete
     cure for the evil, but it will materially assist to check it.”

As recently as December 11, 1916, the Governor laid renewed emphasis
upon the continued existence of serious political crime in Bengal and of
their failure to check or extirpate it.

Since then a new ordinance has been promulgated making the mere
possession of seditious literature penal.

_In the Punjab_ the Government prosecuted a third batch of persons on
charges of political conspiracy, six of whom have since been sentenced
to death and the others to varying terms of imprisonment and
transportation.

_The united demand for autonomy._ The most significant political event
of the year, however, is the presentation to the Viceroy of a joint
memorandum of post-war reforms signed by nineteen out of twenty-two
elected members of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council. In the opinion of
the signatories this is the minimum which will satisfy Indian public
opinion _for the present_. The demands are not far-reaching enough on
the way to autonomy but the document is remarkable as a symbol of unity
between the different religious communities and castes of the Indian
population, on the so-called lack of which the British Imperialist so
much relies, in justification of denying self-government to India.
Coming from men of varying shades of political opinion, pledged by their
oath of allegiance to loyalty to the British Government and by their
connection with the latter, the document is the most conclusive and
scathing condemnation of the existing system of Government in India. We
make no apology for giving the document in full.

     MEMORANDUM submitted to H. E., the Viceroy, by the undersigned
     elected Additional Members of the Imperial Legislative Council with
     regard to Post-War reforms.

     There is no doubt that the termination of the war will see a great
     advance in the ideals of government all over the civilised world
     and especially in the British Empire, which entered into the
     struggle in defence of the liberties of weak and small
     nationalities and is pouring forth its richest blood and treasure
     in upholding the cause of justice and humanity in the international
     relations of the world. India has borne her part in this struggle
     and cannot remain unaffected by the new spirit of change for a
     better state of things. Expectations have been raised in this
     country and hopes held out that, after the war, the problems of
     Indian Administration will be looked at from a new angle of vision.
     The people of India have good reasons to be grateful to England for
     the great progress in her material resources and the widening of
     her intellectual and political outlook under British rule, and for
     the steady, if slow, advance in her national life commencing with
     the Charter Act of India of 1833. Up to 1909, the Government of
     India was conducted by a bureaucracy almost entirely non-Indian in
     its composition and not responsible to the people of India. The
     reforms of 1909 for the first time introduced an Indian element in
     the direction of affairs in the administration of India. This
     element was of a very limited character. The Indian people accepted
     it as an indication on the part of the Government of a desire to
     admit the Indians into the inner counsels of the Indian Empire. So
     far as the Legislative Councils are concerned, the number of
     non-official members was merely enlarged with increased facilities
     for debate and interpellation. The Supreme Legislative Council
     retained an absolute official majority, and in the Provincial
     Legislative Councils, where a non-official majority was allowed,
     such majority included nominated members and the European
     representatives. In measures largely affecting the people, whether
     of legislation or taxation, by which Europeans were not directly
     affected, the European members would naturally support the
     Government, and the nominated members, being nominees of
     Government, would be inclined to take the same side. Past
     experience has shown that this has actually happened on various
     occasions. The non-official majorities, therefore, in the
     Provincial Councils have proved largely illusory and give no real
     power to the representatives of the people. The Legislative
     Councils, whether Supreme or Provincial, are at present nothing but
     advisory bodies without any power of effective control over the
     Government, Imperial or Provincial. The people or their
     representatives are practically as little associated with the real
     government of the country as they were before the reforms, except
     for the introduction of the Indian element in the Executive
     Councils, where again the nomination rests entirely with the
     Government, the people having no voice in the selection of the
     Indian members.

     The object which the Government had in view in introducing the
     reforms of 1909 was, as expressed by the Prime Minister in his
     speech in the House of Commons on the second reading of the Indian
     Councils Bill (1st April, 1909), that “it was most desirable in the
     circumstances to give to the people of India the feeling that these
     Legislative Councils are not mere automatons the wires of which are
     pulled by the official hierarchy.” This object, it is submitted,
     has not been attained. Apart from this question of the Constitution
     of the Legislative and Executive Councils, the people labour under
     certain grave disabilities, which not only prevent the utilisation,
     but also lead to the wastage, of what is best in them, and are
     positively derogatory to their sense of national self-respect. The
     Arms Act which excludes from its operation Europeans and
     Anglo-Indians and applies only to the pure natives of the country,
     the disqualification of Indians for forming or joining Volunteer
     corps, and their exclusion from the commissioned ranks of the Army,
     are disabilities which are looked upon with an irritating sense of
     racial differentiation. It would be bad enough if these were mere
     disabilities. Restrictions and prohibitions regarding the
     possession and use of arms have tended to emasculate the civil
     populations in India and expose them to serious danger. The
     position of Indians in India is practically this, that they have no
     real part or share in the direction of the government of the
     country, and are placed under very great and galling disabilities
     from which the other members of the British Empire are exempt and
     which have reduced them to a state of utter helplessness. The
     existence, moreover, of the system of indentured emigration gives
     to the British Colonies and the outside world the impression that
     Indians, as a whole, are no better than indentured coolies, who are
     looked upon as very little, if at all, above the slave. The present
     state of things makes the Indians feel that, though theoretically
     they are equal subjects of the King, they hold a very inferior
     position in the British Empire. Other Asiatic races also hold the
     same, if not a worse, view about India and her status in the
     Empire. Humiliating as this position of inferiority is to the
     Indian mind, it is almost unbearable to the youth of India whose
     outlook is broadened by education and travel in foreign parts where
     they come in contact with other free races.

     In the face of these grievances and disabilities, what has
     sustained the people is the hope and faith inspired by promises and
     assurances of fair and equal treatment which have been held out
     from time to time by our Sovereigns and British statesmen of high
     standing. In the crisis we are now going through, the Indian people
     have sunk domestic differences between themselves and the
     Government and have faithfully and loyally stood by the Empire. The
     Indian soldiers were eager to go to the battlefields of Europe, not
     as mercenary troops but as free citizens of the British Empire
     which required their services, and her civilian population was
     animated by one desire, namely, to stand by England in the hour of
     her need. Peace and tranquillity reigned throughout India when she
     was practically denuded of British and Indian troops. The Prime
     Minister of England, while voicing the sentiments of the English
     people in regard to India’s part in this great war, spoke of
     Indians as “the joint and equal custodians of one common interest
     and future.” India does not claim any reward for her loyalty, but
     she has a right to expect that the want of confidence on the part
     of the Government, to which she not unnaturally ascribes her
     present state, should now be a thing of the past and that she
     should no longer occupy a position of subordination but one of
     comradeship. This would assure the Indian people that England is
     ready and willing to help them to attain self-government under the
     ægis of the British Crown, and thus discharge the noble mission
     which she has undertaken and to which she has so often given
     voluntary expression through her rulers and statesmen. What is
     wanted is not merely good government or efficient administration,
     but government that is acceptable to the people because it is
     responsible to them. This is what India understands would
     constitute the changed angle of vision.

     If, after the termination of the war, the position of India
     practically remains what it was before, and there is no material
     change in it, it will undoubtedly cause bitter disappointment and
     great discontent in the country, and the beneficent effects of
     participation in common danger, overcome by common effort will soon
     disappear, leaving no record behind save the painful memory of
     unrealised expectations. We feel sure that the Government is also
     alive to the situation and is contemplating measures of reform in
     the administration of the country. We feel that we should avail
     ourselves of this opportunity to respectfully offer to Government
     our humble suggestions as to the lines on which reforms should
     proceed. They must, in our opinion, go to the root of the matter.
     They must give to the people real and effective participation in
     the government of the country, and also remove those irritating
     disabilities as regards the possession of arms and a military
     career, which indicate want of confidence in the people and place
     them in a position of inferiority and helplessness. With this view,
     we would take the liberty to suggest the following measures for
     consideration and adoption:

     1. In all the Executive Councils, Provincial and Imperial, half the
     number of members should be Indians; the European element in the
     Executive Councils should, as far as possible, be nominated from
     the ranks of men trained and educated in the public life of
     England, so that India may have the benefit of a wider outlook and
     larger experience of the outside world. It is not absolutely
     essential that the members of the Executive Councils, Indians or
     Europeans, should have experience of actual administration, for, as
     in the case of Ministers in England, the assistance of the
     permanent officials of the departments is always available to them.
     As regards Indians, we venture to say that a sufficient number of
     qualified Indians, who can worthily fill the office of members of
     the Executive Council and hold portfolios, is always available. Our
     short experience in this direction has shown how Indians like Sir
     S. P. Sinha, Sir Syed Ali Imam, the late Mr. Krishnaswami Iyer, Sir
     Shams-ul-Huda and Sir Sankaran Nair have maintained a high level of
     administrative ability in the discharge of their duties. Moreover,
     it is well known that the Native States, where Indians have
     opportunities, have produced renowned administrators like Sir Salar
     Jang, Sir T. Madhava Rao, Sir Sheshadri Ayer, Dewan Bahadur
     Raghunath Rao, not to mention the present administrators in the
     various Native States of India. The statutory obligation, now
     existing, that three of the members of the Supreme Executive
     Council shall be selected from the public services in India and
     similar provisions with regard to Provincial Councils should be
     removed. The elected representatives of the people should have a
     voice in the selection of the Indian members of the Executive
     Councils and for that purpose a principle of election should be
     adopted.

     2. All the Legislative Councils in India should have a substantial
     majority of elected representatives. These representatives, we feel
     sure, will watch and safeguard the interests of the masses and the
     agricultural population, with whom they are in closer touch than
     any European officer, however sympathetic, can possibly be. The
     proceedings of the various Legislative Councils and the Indian
     National Congress and the Moslem League bear ample testimony to the
     solicitude of the educated Indians for the welfare of the masses
     and their acquaintance with their wants and wishes. The franchise
     should be broadened and extended directly to the people,
     Mohammedans or Hindus, wherever they are in a minority, being given
     proper and adequate representation, having regard to their
     numerical strength and position.

     3. The total number of the members of the Supreme Council should be
     not less than 150, and of the Provincial Councils not less than 100
     for the major provinces, and not less than 60 to 75 for the minor
     provinces.

     4. The Budget should be passed in the shape of money bills, fiscal
     autonomy being conceded to India.

     5. The Imperial Legislative Council should have power to legislate
     on, and discuss and pass resolutions relating to, all matters of
     Indian administration, and the Provincial Councils should have
     similar powers with regard to Provincial administrations, save and
     except that the direction of military affairs, of foreign
     relations, declarations of war, the making of peace, and the
     entering into treaties, other than commercial, should be vested in
     the Government of India. As a safeguard, the
     Governor-General-in-Council or the Governor-in-Council, as the case
     may be, should have the right of veto, which, however, should be
     exercised subject to certain conditions and limitations.

     6. The Council of the Secretary of State should be abolished. The
     Secretary of State should, as far as possible, hold in relation to
     the Government of India a position similar to that which the
     Secretary of State for the Colonies holds in relation to the
     Colonies. The Secretary of State should be assisted by two
     permanent Under-Secretaries, one of whom should be an Indian. The
     salaries of the Secretary and the Under-Secretaries should be
     placed on the British estimates.

     7. In any scheme of Imperial Federation, India should be given
     through her chosen representatives a place similar to that of the
     self-governing dominions.

     8. The Provincial Governments should be made autonomous, as stated
     in the Government of India’s despatch dated 25th August, 1911.

     9. The United Provinces, as well as the other major provinces
     should have a Governor brought from the United Kingdom and should
     have an Executive Council.

     10. A full measure of local self-government should be immediately
     granted.

     11. The right to carry arms should be granted to Indians on the
     same conditions as to Europeans.

     12. Indians should be allowed to enlist as volunteers and units of
     a territorial army established in India.

     13. Commissions in the Army should be given to Indian youths under
     conditions similar to those applicable to Europeans.

  MANINDRA CHANDRA NANDY OF KASIMBAZAR.
  D.E. WACHA.
  BHUPENDRANATH BASU.
  BISHAN DUTT SHUKUL.
  MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA.
  K. V. RANGASWAMIENGAR.
  MAZHARUL HAQUE.
  V. S. SRINIVASAN.
  TEJ BAHADUR SAPRU.
  IBRAHIM RAHIMTOOLA.
  B. NARASIMHESWARA SARMA.
  MIR ASAD ALI.
  KAMINI KUMAR CHANDA.
  KRISHNA SAHAY.
  R. N. BHANJA DEO OF KANIKA.
  M. B. DADABHOY.
  SITA NATH ROY.
  MOHAMED ALI MOHAMED.
  M. A. JINNAH.



It might be noted that the demands are extremely moderate and
accompanied by rather exaggerated acknowledgments of the effects of
British rule in India. They proceed from a body of professed loyalists.
They have received wide support from representative organisations of
Hindus and Mahommedans as well as from representative men of all
classes, castes and denominations.

_India in England._ In England the exigencies of the war have left no
time for the British Parliament to devote to the meagre discussions of
Indian affairs that followed the presentation of East India accounts
once a year. The requirements of the law in this respect have been
conveniently ignored. In the press too, while every expression of
loyalty is lauded to the skies and even cabled to America, the demands
for rights and reforms are silently ignored or hooted with contempt. The
reactionary Lord Sydenham has, however, sounded a note of alarm urging
the “immediate and final” rejection of the demands made by the nineteen
members of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council. The London _Nation_ and
the _New Statesman_ have come out with sympathetic articles.

_India in America._ Here in the United States of America the attention
paid to Indian affairs by the American press, has elicited long
statements by British statesmen in connection with their rule in India.
The Secretary of State for India, the Under Secretary of State for
India, the Viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, the Finance
Minister have all granted interviews to American correspondents,
assuring the latter of the marvellous progress India is making under
British rule, of the prosperity and loyalty of India and of the extreme
unimportance of the Nationalist party. Judged from these interviews
India must be a very paradise on earth--a garden of Eden. Most of the
statements are vague and misleading, containing half truths and
suppressing important facts. I will pick up one statement for purposes
of illustration. The Finance Minister of India is reported to have
said:

     “So far from the people of India groaning under an enormous burden
     of taxation India is one of the most lightly taxed countries on the
     face of the earth.... The total Revenue, Imperial and Provincial,
     for the current year amounted to £86,500,000 and this sum
     distributed among the 244,000,000 people of British India gave a
     resultant contribution per capita of only seven shillings.”

Now at best this is only a half truth. The Finance Minister should have
added that the total income of India is about £600,000,000 a year,
bringing the average per capita to £2 a year. Seven shillings out of £2
a year is perhaps the heaviest tax paid by any country on the face of
the earth. Equally misleading are other statements about land tax, etc.,
which I am noticing in my new book dealing with Economic Effects of
British Rule in India which is going to the press soon.

The writer is also establishing a kind of Bureau in New York, where all
kinds of information, political, economic, legal, commercial, etc.,
relating to India will be supplied to the American public.

LAJPAT RAI.

New York,

19th January, 1917.

P. S. Since the above was written the newspapers have reported that the
British Government have decided to raise a war loan of $500,000,000 in
India as a “free gift” to Great Britain. Free gift, indeed! Where the
donor and the donee are the same--a free gift by a people vast numbers
of whom do not get two meals a day and have an average income of ten
dollars a year. Imperialism, wonderful are thy feats!!!

     NOTE: The _Manchester Guardian_, March 13, 1917, comments as
     follows upon the war loan mentioned in the above P. S., the italics
     being mine:

     “Why was this question of a financial contribution from India
     raised now? _For our own part we have the gravest doubt as to the
     wisdom or justice of taking any financial contribution from India._
     We believe that this is not the best way for India and for the
     Empire, in which India can serve the common cause, and _that the
     loss it represents to an extremely poor population like that of
     India is very much greater than the gain it represents to England_.
     If we really are seriously concerned that India ‘should develop in
     every way the vast potentialities of her indigenous products’ it
     would be better to spend 100 millions [£] on developing her
     resources than to take that money from India and in exchange give
     Bombay a tariff.”

LAJPAT RAI.

18th March, 1917.



INTRODUCTION


I

During my travels in the world, the one point that has struck me most
forcibly and most painfully, is the lack of true knowledge about the
affairs of India among the “civilised” nations of the globe. Even the
best educated among them know very little about India and what little
they know is not always right. The sources from which the ordinary
stay-at-home Westerner derives his knowledge about India are the
following: (a) missionaries who have been to India, (b) English writers
of the class of Rudyard Kipling and Sir Valentine Chirol, (c) British
officials, (d) serious students of Indian history or Indian literature
like the late Professor Max Müller, the late Miss Noble, and the late
Professor Goldstucker.

Now unfortunately for India most of these people, except those coming
under the last heading, have generally an axe to grind and can not be
accepted as disinterested, well-informed, impartial authorities. Their
reading of Indian history is often perverted and their observations of
Indian life partial and distorted. They go to India with definite aims,
look at persons and things from their own particular angle, and pose as
authorities on matters far beyond the scope of their observations and
studies. With rare exceptions most of the Westerners who go to India go
with the presumption that the people of India belong to an inferior
level of society; that they are heathens, worshippers of stocks and
stones; that they are hopelessly divided into castes and classes; that
these castes and classes are always at each other’s throats; that they
have never had a settled or civilised form of government; that the
British have for the first time in their history given them a settled
government; and that India would go to pieces if British government were
to withdraw.

Writers about India may again be broadly subdivided into two classes:
(a) those of British origin, (b) those of non-British origin. Those of
British origin are in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred tainted with
the imperial bias. They can only look at things from the imperial or
British point of view. Even the best and the most fair-minded of them do
not altogether succeed in freeing themselves from this bias. The bias
acts even against their will. The second class of writers are affected
by the racial and the colour bias. Moreover, nine out of ten amongst
them are made to look at things from the British point of view. As soon
as they land at an Indian port, they are taken in hand by the British
residents, officials and non-officials, and practically the whole of
their trip is arranged for them by the latter. They only see things
which the ruling community want them to see and they only hear and know
what these allow them to hear or know. The few who resolutely refuse to
be thus “programmed” do sometimes see things in their true light, as
the late Mr. Keir Hardie, M.P., and Mr. H. W. Nevinson did.

In this connection I think the following remarks of the latest American
writer on India, Professor Pratt of Williams College, Massachusetts, in
his book on “India and Its Faiths” are very pertinent. Professor Pratt
begins by warning the reader against “the point of view of the native”
himself, as well as against “those European writers who seek to give an
ultra ‘sympathetic’ picture of India.” But his observations about the
other two of the four sources of information mentioned by him are
extremely interesting. He says:

“Much greater is the danger that we, with our Western ideals and customs
so different from those of India, should go to the other extreme and
take one of the two remaining points of view that I referred to above.
One of these is that which characterises a certain type (now happily
decreasing) of earnest but narrow-minded missionary.” The fourth source
of information, which, according to Professor Pratt, “one should regard
with distrust,” comprises “the superficial tourist or the non-missionary
European resident in India.” In his opinion this source is particularly
dangerous, for “it is so natural to suppose that one of our own race who
has travelled in India (and especially one who has lived there
‘twenty-two years’) will be in a position to know all about it.... The
tourist’s ignorance is not surprising, but it is not easy to understand
the ignorance of the average European resident in India.” Professor
Pratt’s remarks about the “average European resident,” who has been
“twenty-two years” in India, are prefaced by an eulogistic tribute to
the British administration of justice in India, which may be accepted
with a little salt. The administration of justice in India is impartial
and as fair as it can be under the circumstances, except when one party
is a native and the other a Britisher. What concerns us here, is
Professor Pratt’s opinion about the resident Englishman’s knowledge of
India. In his opinion “most of the Englishmen” whom he met seemed to him
“singularly lacking in curiosity or interest” about “Indian thought,
religion, traditions and ways of viewing things.” “The Anglo-Indian,”
adds he, “is surprisingly indifferent towards almost everything native.”
Professor Pratt illustrates his conclusions by actual facts which came
under his observation. One English gentleman who had lived in Calcutta
and other parts of the East for many years, said to the professor: “The
natives are all just a lot of animals, don’t you think so?” No wonder
that the professor had to say that his impression was quite different.
For him it was hard to conceive how one “could stay any time among them
without finding them a truly lovable people, and without imbibing
genuine respect and admiration for the simple dignity of their lives,
the quiet courtesy of their manners, their uncomplaining endurance of
hardships, their unbounded hospitality, and the feeling for spiritual
value, which in spite of gross superstitions is unmistakable in the
Indian atmosphere.” Professor Pratt’s “Englishman” had never heard of a
Dr. Bose, “one of the greatest botanists living,” and he did “not think
much” of Tagore’s poetry. “This lack of interest in native life as
such,” continues Mr. Pratt, “and the proud manifestation of conscious
superiority that goes with it, shows itself in the coarser natures _in a
contempt for the ‘black man’_ and ‘a constant swagger of putting him in
his place.’ As a result of this indifference to and _contempt for the
natives_, most of the Anglo-Indians that I know anything about are very
ignorant concerning the religions of India, and _decidedly prejudiced
against them_. Personally I think that the opinions of nine Englishmen
out of ten on the subject of Indian religions are _entirely
untrustworthy_.”[1]

Professor Pratt only speaks of the English residents’ ignorance of
Indian religion, but I am disposed to add that the opinions of
ninety-nine out of every hundred Anglo-Indians on the nature and effects
of British rule in India and the capacity of Indians to manage their own
affairs are equally “_untrustworthy_.” Hence the colossal ignorance
which prevails in the West about what is happening in India politically
and economically. Just think of an honest, fair-minded British writer,
like Lowes Dickinson, presuming to write about political life in India
without discussing the economic effects of British rule.

India being only a dependency, her affairs do not attract that attention
which they would if she were a self-governing country. The British
Parliament disposes of the Indian affairs by an annual discussion of a
few hours in an extremely thin house. The last time the British House of
Commons discussed an important measure affecting India, viz.: one by
which it was proposed to suspend the Indian Civil Service examination
pending the war and to authorise the Secretary of State in Council to
make appointments by nomination, the maximum attendance, it is said,
never exceeded 28. This measure was condemned by the unanimous voice of
the Indian native press, yet there was nobody in the House to give
expression to their views in the matter. The author, himself, has
attended the sittings of the House in different years, when the India
budget was under _discussion_ and can testify from personal knowledge
that the attendance was _always_ very scanty and the speeches, often,
poor.

Yet the fact that India is inhabited by about one-fifth of the whole
human race and that her trading capacity is simply unlimited, entitles
her to a fuller consideration at the hands of the civilised world.
Leaving aside her past, it can not be doubted that she is destined to
play a great part in the development of the near future. As such, the
writer has presumed that the following brief account of the rise and
development of the Indian Nationalist Movement may not be devoid of
interest to British and American readers. The book is of course open to
the objection that it is written by a “native,” but in the eyes of
impartial investigators that should be its merit. The writer has been
closely associated with the movement for the last thirty-three years of
his life, in almost all its phases, religious, social, educational,
industrial and political. It was in 1888 that he joined the Indian
National Congress, the official organisation of the “constitutional”
nationalists, i.e., only four years after it was started.

In the following pages he has tried to give as faithful an account of
the origin and progress of the movement as is possible under the
circumstances. The one fact which qualifies him to interpret the Indian
Nationalist Movement is that his position has always been more or less
detached. He has generally had the confidence of all sections as far as
the broad outlines of their policy were concerned, without identifying
himself with each and every item of their respective programmes.
Whenever occasionally or incidentally he has happened to know of any
projected violence, without exception he has used his influence toward
restraint. By a timely exercise of his influence he once (1908)
succeeded in saving the lives of one Lieutenant Governor and one College
Principal. The conduct of the British in India and their denial of the
fundamental rights of the people, however, continue to add fuel to the
fire and make it impossible for the friends of the constitutional
movement to stop or effectually check the employment of physical force.
Personally the writer is disposed to agree with the Lieutenant Governor
of the Punjab, who said the other day, that open rebellion was morally
less heinous than a campaign of underhand violence by bombs and
revolvers; but what the Lieutenant Governor forgot to notice was that
open rebellion by a subject people must always, in the nature of things,
be preceded by secret propaganda and secret preparations. Secret
preparations in a country like India, access to which is on all sides
controlled by the British, are bound to bring in the use of explosives
and the taking of measures which might paralyse the administration and
weaken its hold on the people. If a Government muzzles its people, shuts
out all open avenues of political propaganda, denies them the use of
firearms and otherwise stands in the way of a free agitation for
political changes, it is doubtful if it can reasonably complain of
secret plots and secret propaganda as distinguished from open rebellion.

The American press has of late been giving out different versions of the
political situation in India. One version affirms that India is on the
point of rebellion; the other that India is devotedly loyal. Both
statements are partially true and both are partially false. India is not
devotedly loyal, yet to all appearances she is so. Nor is India on the
verge of rebellion, though she is full of rebellious spirit. It is
preposterous to contend that her expressions of loyalty on the outbreak
of the war are proof that she is satisfied with British rule as it is.
The anti-British movement is spreading and gaining strength every day,
and it is impossible for the British Government without the aid of the
Indian people to uproot what the British are pleased to characterise as
“Anarchism.”


II

Among other criticisms, to which this book may be subjected, I
anticipate one or two on historical grounds which I would like to answer
beforehand. It may be said that I have painted the early history of
India as “a golden age”; that my references to Chandra Gupta and Asoka
show only the bright side of the shield and that I have throughout
assumed that India is, and has always been, a political unity. Now in
considering this criticism, it should be borne in mind that my sole
object in referring to the past history of India is to show to my reader
that India was not a barbarous country when the British obtained
possession of her, that she has had a long and in some respects a
glorious history; that she was never before governed by foreigners from
without in the political and economic interests of a nation not living
within her territorial limits, as she has been and is being governed
under the British. Whatever may be my personal opinions about ancient
India and her civilisation, I have sufficient knowledge of the Occident
to understand that the Western reader is liable to have some hesitancy
about accepting them in all cases as historical truths. I have therefore
carefully avoided making any statements for which I can not cite good
authority. The statements made may be roughly divided into three kinds:
(1) those relating to pre-Buddhist India, (2) those relating to India of
500 B. C. to about 1000 A. D., (3) those relating to India of Mohammedan
domination.

Now, as regards the first, we have no strictly historical data and the
statements are based on the contents of the literature of the period,
viz., the religious treatises, the law books of the Hindus, and the
epics. There is enough in this mass of literature to justify the modest
statements made in the first chapter of this book about that period of
Indian history, and, if necessary, I would be able to quote good
authority for every statement made by me. Coming to the next period,
viz., from 500 B. C. to 1000 A. D., we have enough historical data in
the writings of the Greeks, the Chinese and the Mohammedans to justify
the general statements made. It may be that my statements about this
period are not complete, but that is because I am not writing a history
of the period. I am only making an incidental reference for the purposes
of this volume. For these purposes it is not necessary to trace the
origin of Chandra Gupta’s rule, or to state his motives for instituting
a department of commerce or a department of vital statistics. Chandra
Gupta himself may have been a “villain,” but there is ample historical
data for an historian like Vincent Smith[2]--a retired Indian Civil
Servant by no means partial to India[3]--to conclude that “the foregoing
review of the civil and the military system of government during the
reign of Chandra Gupta proves clearly that Northern India in the time of
Alexander the Great had attained to a high degree of civilisation
_which must have been the product of evolution continued through many
centuries_.”[4]

As for Asoka, Vincent Smith has discredited the stories of his having
been guilty of excesses ascribed to his early career by other
historians. In any case, all historians are unanimous about the
excellence of his administration. “The lofty moral tone of these edicts”
(_i.e._, Asoka’s edicts), says Rawlinson (page 27 of “Indian Historical
Studies”), “indicates clearly enough that India in the third century B.
C. was a highly civilised country; it must, indeed, have compared
favourably with the rest of the world of the time; for Greece was
sinking fast into a state of corrupt decadence, and Rome, in the throes
of her struggle with Carthage, had scarcely yet emerged from barbarism.”
No Indian need make any higher claim than this for the India of the
third century B. C. Finally, as about the political unity of India in
the past, let it be noted that I do not claim that India was _always_
united under one political authority or even under one political system.
At the same time it is equally untrue that India was never a political
unity. Most of the British writers are disposed to deny that there has
been or is any kind of unity in India. This may be disposed of by the
following quotation from Vincent Smith’s “Early History of India” (page
5): “India, encircled as she is by seas and mountains, is indisputably a
geographical unit, and, as such, is rightly designated by one name. Her
type of civilisation, too, has many features which differentiate it
from that of all other regions of the world, while they are common to
the whole country, or rather sub-continent, in a degree sufficient to
justify its treatment as a unity in the history of the social, religious
and intellectual development of mankind.”[5] He adds, however, that “the
_complete_ political unity of India under the control of a permanent
power, wielding unquestioned authority, is a thing of yesterday, barely
a century old. The most notable of her rulers in the olden time
cherished the ambition of universal Indian dominion, and severally
attained it in a greater or lesser degree; not one of them, however,
attained it completely.” The point admits of great controversy and
anything like a proper discussion would add to the bulk of this book so
much as would be out of proportion to its bearing on the main subject.
Mr. Vincent Smith admits that Asoka’s Empire included the whole of India
proper except a tiny bit of the Southern peninsula lying between Nellore
and Cape Comorin. (See map of Asoka’s Empire in his history, between
pages 162-163.) The exclusion of this bit is based not on any positive
evidence that this part was not included within his empire, but on the
absence of positive evidence to the contrary. It is as if men living two
thousand years after our day should expect it to be proved to their
satisfaction by positive documentary evidence that every bit of India
was included in the British Empire under Queen Victoria. Again, the fact
that Asoka’s Empire did not include the Southernmost part of the Indian
Peninsula was more than compensated by the inclusion of almost the whole
of Afghanistan and Beluchistan and Nepal in his dominions. The
territories comprising the kingdom of Nepal are not included in the
British Empire, although they constitute a necessary part of India. Yet
even Vincent Smith does not doubt that India is a political unity
to-day.

Then again it is only very recently that he and other historians have
found out the data for a history of the Gupta Empire from 320 to 455 A.
D., about the extent of which he says:

“The dominions under the direct government of Samundra Gupta in the
middle of the fourth century thus comprised all the populous and fertile
countries of Northern India.... Beyond those wide limits the frontier
kingdoms of Assam and the Gangetic delta as well as those on the
southern slopes of the Himalayas and the free tribes of Malwa and
Rajputana were attached to the Empire by bonds of subordinate alliance;
while almost all the kingdoms of the South had been overrun by the
Emperor’s armies and compelled to acknowledge his irresistible might.

“Whatever may have been the exact degree of skill attained by Samundra
Gupta in the practice of the arts which graced his scanty leisure, it is
clear that he was endowed with no ordinary powers; and that he was in
fact a man of genius, who may fairly claim the title of the Indian
Napoleon.

“By a strange irony of fate this great king--warrior, poet, and
musician--who conquered nearly all India, and whose alliances extended
from the Oxus to Ceylon--was unknown even by name to the historians
until the publication of this work.[6] His lost fame has been slowly
recovered by the minute and laborious study of inscriptions and coins
during the last eighty years.”

It may be mentioned, in passing, that monarchs of the Samundra Gupta
type, who may be compared easily with a Charlemagne, a Frederick or a
Peter the Great, have flourished in India almost every second
generation. Hindu folk-lore has known them as Vikramadityas (Suns of
Power) and has invested their names with “the halo of Arthurian
romance.” And this was a time in the history of the world when Egypt and
Babylon had already passed away, when China was in a state of “anarchy,”
when the Roman Empire was under the heels of the barbarians, and when
the Saracenic Empire (Caliphate) had not yet come into existence.
England, France and Germany were simply _non est_.

Now, the history of India before 1000 A. D. has not yet been completely
constructed, and who knows but that by future researches some other
Samundra Guptas may be discovered? But in any case, the point is not so
very important. In that sense even now, India may not be called a
complete political unity. It was not so in 1830 A. D. Up till 1849 the
Punjab was independent and so were the other provinces annexed by Lord
Dalhousie. So Vincent Smith’s claim, that it has been so since 1818 A.
D.[7] is not well founded. What is more important for our purpose is the
present and the future. It is claimed that under the British, India is a
political unity though Nepal is still independent.

The critics of Indian aspirations are very unfair, when they compare the
India of the seventeenth or the eighteenth or even of the nineteenth
century with Great Britain, Germany, France and United States of the
twentieth. They forget that the political nations known by these names
are only the growth of yesterday. India is as big as the whole of Europe
excluding Russia. Yet what was Europe before the nineteenth century? It
was a big camp of warring nations and warring religions, engaged in
exterminating and persecuting each other alternately. India was more or
less a political unity when Great Britain was smarting under the heels
of the Romans. It took the British over 1600 years to establish their
present political unity. Compare the following account of “England under
foreign rule” (1013-1204), given by Green in his “Short History of the
English People,” with the condition of things in India from the time of
Samundra Gupta onwards.

“Britain had become England in the five hundred years that followed the
landing of Hengest, and its conquest had ended in the settlement of its
conquerors.... But whatever titles kings might assume, or however
imposing their rule might appear, Northumbrian remained apart from West
Saxon, Dane from Englishman.

“Through the two hundred years that lie between the flight of Aethelred
from England to Normandy and that of John from Normandy to England our
story is a story of foreign rule. Kings from Denmark were succeeded by
kings from Normandy, and these by kings from Anjou. Under Dane, Norman,
or Angevin, Englishmen were a subject race, conquered and ruled by
foreign masters; and yet it was in these years of subjection that
England first became really England.... The English Lords themselves
sank into a middle class as they were pushed from their place by a
foreign baronage who settled on English soil.”

“In 800 A. D.,” says Mr. West, in his modern history, revised edition,
page 4, “Europe was still sunk deep in the barbarism that followed the
long anarchy of the invasions, and the brief revival of Charlemagne had
not gone far toward restoring civilisation. Schools and learning were
almost extinct; commerce hardly existed; communication between district
and district was almost impossible; money was so scarce that revenue had
to be collected in produce; and manners and morals were alike
deplorable.” There has been hardly any period in the history of India
about which anything so disparaging can be said. Again says Mr. West,
“From 814 to about 1100, Europe had three centuries of ‘Dark Ages,’
caused by a new series of barbarian invasions and continued by ‘feudal’
violence of the local military organisation that society adopted to ward
off these invasions.” In fact Europe was in constant war right up to
1870, and the idea of nationhood had not developed till late in the
nineteenth century. It is then not right to taunt the Indians with the
absence of a perfected nationality in their country. Yet it can not be
denied that the idea of nationhood is being developed pretty fast in
India, even on modern lines. In fact I maintain that fundamentally India
has been a nation for the last 2000 years, in spite of the fact that at
times it has been divided into several kingdoms and principalities,
sometimes under a common empire and in other times independent of each
other.

But even if the worst happens and India is split up into a number of
political units, what then? To me this does not appear to be so
appalling as it may seem to others. Some Indians think that in any case
it is better to be _men_ fighting their own battles than to be mere
_creatures_ always in the leading strings of others. They have no faith
in “peace at any price” or in “peace under any circumstances.”


III

This book was written when I was travelling in the United States from
January to May, 1915. It was ready for the press in June, 1915. Its
publication has been delayed by causes which need not be stated.

Since then much has happened in India which bears upon the subject and
might briefly be referred to here.

Early in 1915 something like organised anarchy and disorder broke out in
the Southwestern districts of the Punjab, resulting in the free looting
of many villages in several districts. This lawlessness was due to war.
It is said that the police and the officers were overtaken by panic and
order was not restored until strong measures were taken from the
headquarters. About 4000 persons were arrested in connection with these
disturbances and some 800 of them were sentenced to different terms of
imprisonment, the rest being acquitted for want of evidence.

Towards the end of 1914 and in the first few months of 1915 the Punjab
was the scene of many dacoities and murders, committed by and under the
inspiration of Indians who had returned to India from abroad to take
advantage of the war situation for political purposes. Some of these
persons had gone from Canada; some from China; and some from the Pacific
Coast of the United States. Amongst them were a large number of those
who had been refused admission into Canada by the Canadian authorities
and who had suffered enormously by their trip to Canada and back. The
first clash between the latter and the Government took place at Budge
Budge,[8] in Bengal, where the returned emigrants from Canada landed in
order to proceed to their homes in the Punjab. The Government wanted to
restrict their freedom of movement and would not let them go to
Calcutta, whither a number of them wanted to proceed. These persons had
concealed arms in their possession, and it appears that there was a free
fight between them and the police, resulting in fatal casualties on both
sides. About this time or a little later, the Government of India passed
a special law, authorising officials to intern or imprison any person or
persons in British India without trial, on mere suspicion of his or
their being dangerous to the tranquillity of the country. Under this law
they began to intern a large number of those who had returned from
Canada and the United States and other places outside India, until the
number reached to thousands. Most of them, perhaps, were kept only under
surveillance. Yet a good many of them managed to put themselves into
communication with the revolutionary party in India and eventually
organised a “widespread conspiracy” to subvert British rule. The
Government discovered this conspiracy by means of spies, who entered
into the designs of the conspirators as “_agents provocateurs_.” It
appears from the evidence subsequently given before the special tribunal
appointed to try those who were arrested in connection with this
conspiracy, that their plans were laid out on a comprehensive scale,
with everything organised in a perfect way; that full provision had been
made for finances as well as arms, and that the army had been approached
with more or less success at different places in Northern India. At
first a batch of about 65 were placed for trial before the special
tribunal consisting of two English judges and one Indian. This tribunal
was formed under the special law referred to above, and its decision was
to be final in the sense that no appeal could be made from it to any
other superior court. The tribunal eventually found that the conspiracy
was seditious in its nature, and but for its timely discovery would have
resulted in “widespread disaster.” The proceedings of the tribunal were
not open to the public nor to the press. A brief report of the
proceedings was issued from day to day under the authority of the
tribunal. Some of the accused could not be found. Out of the 61 charged,
only 4 were acquitted, 6 were sentenced to various terms of
imprisonment, 27 to transportation for life,[9] and 24 to death.[10]
Commenting on this trial, the Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab observed
in the course of a speech made in the Punjab Legislative Council held on
September 25, 1915, that “these crimes did all over the Central Punjab
from November, 1914, to July, 1915, create a state not only of alarm and
insecurity, but of terror and even panic, and if they had not been
promptly checked by the firm hand of authority and the active
co-operation of the people, would have produced in the province as was
intended by the conspirators a state of affairs similar to that of
Hindustan in the mutiny[11]--paralysis of authority, widespread
terrorism and murder not only of the officers of the Government but of
loyal and well disposed subjects.” What is significant is, that the
leader, Rash Behari Bose, a Bengalee, who had organised several such
conspiracies, escaped. Commenting upon the same trial, the _Times of
India_, an influential Anglo-Indian paper published in Bombay, remarked:

“If this conspiracy had been disclosed in ordinary times there might
have been a tendency to regard the members as representative of a
considerable class of India ... but, as it is, the revolutionary party
stands out a mere fraction of the population, a dangerous and determined
section of the population perhaps, yet so small that it can not command
any chance of success while the sentiment of the country remains what it
has been so splendidly proved to be.”

Commenting upon the severity of the sentences inflicted, the Indian
press took occasion to point out the grievous wrongs under which the
country suffered at the hands of the British. After the conclusion of
this case, over 100 persons more were indicted at Lahore[12] and a large
number at Benares, in connection with the same conspiracy. Besides, a
number of men belonging to the military were tried and convicted in
different stations in Northern India.

In Bengal political crime was rampant in a virulent form throughout
1915. The Bengalee revolutionaries have kept the Government pretty busy
all along the line, murdering police officials, looting treasuries, and
committing dacoities, sometimes under the very nose of the police in the
heart of the metropolis, resulting occasionally in so-called pitched
battles between the police and the revolutionaries. Numberless trials
have been going on in special tribunals constituted under the Defense of
India Act, as well as in the ordinary courts. Large numbers of persons
have been punished and equally large numbers are still undergoing trial.

There was a serious rising in Singapore, which was eventually put down
with the help of the Japanese and French troops, and in connection with
which a good many European lives were lost. Similarly, men smuggling
arms and seditious literature, or attempting to smuggle arms, or
otherwise carrying on anti-British propaganda, have been discovered,
arrested and held in Burma, Singapore, Hongkong, Shanghai and Ceylon. A
large number of Indians are in internment in Hongkong. Two Indian
revolutionaries were deported from Japan, at the instance of the British
Government, and several have been, I hear, interned in Java by the
orders of the Dutch Government. Har Dayal and several others have been
active in Europe and Asia Minor. The Hindu revolutionaries in the United
States have also been busy in their propaganda. It is said that the
Germans have been helping the Indians with funds and arms. How far they
did render any substantial help in this matter is not known, but the
conclusion of the Lahore Special Tribunal, that it was known to the
leaders of the “Gadar” party in San Francisco in 1914, that a war
between the British and Germans was on the _tapis_ in August of that
year, appears to be without foundation. The Indians who left the United
States in 1914 to organise a rebellion in India, were neither financed
nor otherwise inspired by the Germans. They went of their own accord,
with their own money and on their own hook. Some of them were men of
means. It may be true, however, that the Germans have helped the Indian
revolutionaries with money and arms since. So much about the
revolutionaries.


IV

Now something about the activity of the other wing of the Indian
nationalists. When the war started, all of them declared for England,
some sincerely, others for reasons of expediency. All were influenced by
hopes of advancing their cause. For a time the appreciation in
England--in and out of Parliament--amply justified their expectations.
The first shock came when the British War Office refused to accept the
offers of the Indian students in British universities to enlist in the
army or as volunteers. The same fate met the offers of educated Indians
in India. The offers made by some native princes and in a few cases by
other members of the aristocracy for personal service were accepted,
otherwise no relaxation in favour of any Indian was made in the rules
for enlistment in the regular army or in the volunteers. The following
extracts from the two leading Indian dailies of Calcutta and Allahabad
will explain what I mean. The _Bengalee_ of Calcutta said:

“When the war suddenly broke out in Europe there was a great outburst of
feeling in India to serve the Empire in any capacity. There was a
widespread desire among the more ardent spirits in this country to fight
in defence of the Empire, and in Bengal, at any rate, there was an eager
rush to enlist as volunteers. These young men were willing to cast aside
their attitude of aloofness from what was primarily England’s concern.
They set before themselves a new ideal, the ideal of national
self-realisation. By their participation in this struggle they felt they
would be fighting the battles of their own freedom. It was the highest
tribute the Government could expect from the people of this country of
their loyalty and devotion to the throne. But the chill air of official
scepticism nipped the scheme in the bud. We were told at the time not to
embarrass the Government in any way; but we still lived in hopes that
some means might be devised which would enable our young men to
participate in this struggle so that from comradeship in arms there
might arise comradeship in life leading to the necessary elevation of
our status in the Empire. But a bureaucracy, with its instinctive
disregard of others’ feelings and interests, not only threw cold water
on this salutary scheme but applied its mind to forging new fetters of
repression. Thus the Defense of the Realm Act came to be passed, which
is far more drastic and stringent than the similar statute in England.
Internments have since become the order of the day. The whole thing
offers a painful illustration of the psychology of the bureaucratic mind
in its endeavour to breed loyalty and prevent disaffection. For while
the spontaneous offer of our people, which was the outcome of a generous
impulse and of genuine sentiments of loyalty and devotion, has been
refused, fresh doses of repression are being applied to the wound thus
inflicted on the minds of the people. But the crisis is not yet over,
nor has the rising tide of feeling in this country completely subsided.
There is a demand for men, always for more men, at the front. It seems
we can not have too many men or too much of munitions if we desire a
crushing victory. All the factories of England--and every available
factory has been utilised for the manufacture of munitions of war--are
working at top speed for the production of powder and shells for cannon.
As regards men, volunteers are pouring forth from Canada, Australia, New
Zealand and the mother country itself, in fact from all parts of the
British Empire, except India. Can any one say why this invidious
distinction is yet maintained? Why, while gifts of every sort from us
are gladly accepted, the most precious gift of all, that of personal
service with all the attendant risk that it implies, continues to be so
unwelcome? Lord Kitchener is still calling for men. Mr. Bonar Law’s
recent speech at Shrewsbury indicates that even conscription may have to
be resorted to. Why not then accept the offers of our men? The regular
troops in the fighting line have earned no end of praise from the
highest authorities for the display of their martial qualities. The
Ambulance Corps shows the latest potentialities in our young men that
are capable of development under proper guidance and training. We have
not the slightest doubt that our volunteers would prove themselves
equally fit and capable, no matter what the duties they are called upon
to discharge. This war is said to be a war of democracy against
militarism and autocracy, a holy war of justice and righteousness
against the violation of international morality and the independence of
small nations. Are these assertions strictly consistent with the refusal
of our loyal offer, which also amounts to a denial of our equality of
status with the rest of the Empire? If, during the heat of the war and
in the midst of the crisis, there be yet observed and maintained this
patent inequality of treatment and this assertion of racial superiority,
how can we expect that they will be altogether forgotten or cast aside
after the war when the readjustment comes to be made? Repression, we
repeat for the hundredth time, is a disintegrating force. It alienates
sympathies, destroys union and throws people into camps. Co-operation on
the other hand is a healing and a cementing principle. But without
equality of treatment there can not be any co-operation, and without
co-operation there can not be any prospect of permanent peace. By
accepting our offer the Government may give an earnest of future reforms
and concessions. It will sensibly ease and improve the situation both
here and at the front. But bureaucracy has so far failed to realise the
situation and avail itself of the opportunity. Let not the words ‘too
late’ be written by the future historian, regarding the action of the
bureaucracy in this chapter of the history of India.... India wants
equality of status with the rest of the Empire, and as a means to this
end her sons want to fight as volunteers in this war; and if what Burke
has said be true of Englishmen, neither the one nor the other of India’s
claims can be justly denied to her.”

In its issue of September 8, 1915, the _Leader_, of Allahabad, said:

“The not unkindly critics of John Bull have often remarked that he has
got a stolid temperament and an unemotional nature. The occasions are
few and far between when he allows himself to be swayed by any strong
outburst of passion. One such exception to this general course of
conduct was furnished last year at the outbreak of the war.... When Lord
Hardinge wired to England the message of India, her ungrudging and
whole-hearted response to the call of the hour, its announcement in the
House of Commons touched the deepest chords in the hearts of Englishmen.
Then, for once, they let themselves go. There was almost a storm of
English emotion. Even the _Times_ thought that it foreshadowed a great
change in the relations of India and England. ‘Asiaticus’ joined the
chorus and swelled the pæan of the praise of Indian loyalty. He recanted
his words of former days. He even praised Mr. Tilak. Mr. Roberts spoke
of a change in the angle of vision. Other statesmen and other papers
uttered the same language of joy and hope. All this naturally raised the
hopes of India. Some, more imaginative than others, conjured up visions
of glory. They imagined they could see the distant gleam of
self-government. Others again, with a less imaginative nature, thought
that even if self-government was still a far-off dream, they might yet
see better days. The landing of Indian troops on the European soil was
the signal for the outburst of another demonstration of feeling. Their
heroic deeds, their unquestioning devotion to duty, formed the theme of
sketch writers and leader writers in the English press. And yet to any
one who has closely followed the course of events during the last six or
seven months and studied the writings of the English press and the
utterances of notable Englishmen in England and India, nothing is more
clear than that an ominous reserve has again overtaken the English mind.
Mr. Bonar Law talks of a consultation with the colonies, and forgets the
very existence of India. Mr. Austen Chamberlain, since the day he
assumed his office, has put a seal on his lips, and, whatever may flow
beneath the surface from Downing Street to Delhi or Simla, nothing has
fallen from his lips that can inspire confidence or kindle hope. The
House of Lords have already given their reply to a sympathetic Viceroy,
when, in the name of avoiding controversial issues, they shelved the
question of an Executive Council for these provinces, which is another
way of saying that they strangled it. Lord Curzon, Lord MacDonnel and
Lord Sydenham are not likely to learn the wisdom which the force of
events would teach to more plastic minds. If Indian students in England
approach the higher authorities with a prayer that they may be admitted
to the Officer’s Training Corps, they are told to wait--indefinitely. If
Sir George Scott Robertson, with imprudent enthusiasm, suggests the
creation of an Indian guard, he is roundly told that he is impatient.
‘Asiaticus’ has again frankly gone back upon his short-lived liberalism,
and Sir Valentine Chirol is no better. Convenience suggests the
postponement of discussion of the Indian Budget, and the statute allows
it. Out here in India the doctrine of unconditional loyalty is held up
to us. We are told that it is a folly, if not a crime, to talk of what
may come to India when the time for readjustment comes. Meanwhile Indian
speculation, so natural to a nation of speculators, is roaming free.
Hopes spring up only to give place to fears....

“There are not wanting men among us also who have only one counsel to
give, and that is, wait and see. No doubt the virtues of patience are
great, but we think that so far as patience alone is concerned India may
easily throw out a challenge to any nation in the world. If India will
not help herself she will have little reason to grumble if others will
not help her. Let us distinctly tell England that the time for half
measures and gingerly reform has gone and that for bold and courageous
steps has come.”


V

The Indian National Congress, the official organisation of the
constitutional party, held its annual session at Madras in December,
1914. In the course of his speech, the President remarked:

“If English rule in India meant the canonisation of a bureaucracy, if it
meant perpetual domination and perpetual tutelage, and increasing
dead-weight on the soul of India, it would be a curse to civilisation
and a blot on humanity.”

Again he asks complainingly:

“The right to carry arms, the right to bear commissions in the Army and
lead our men in the cause of the Empire, the right to form volunteer
corps in the defence of hearth and home, how long will these be denied
to the Indian people? How long will India toddle on her feet, tied to
the apron-strings of England? It is time she stood on her own legs. If
England were obliged, as was Imperial Rome in her day, to abandon India
in the hour of some great danger, what could be more humiliating to
England and to India alike, than for India to be left unarmed and
untrained in the use of arms, as her civil population now is, a prey to
internal anarchy and external aggression? What a commentary would it be,
on 150 years of British rule in India, that England found the people
strong though disunited and left them helpless and emasculated?”

At Christmas, 1915, the Congress again met under the presidency of Sir
S. P. Sinha, who was in 1908 the first Indian appointed to be a member
of the Governor General’s Executive Council, the British Cabinet in
India. In the words of an Indian magazine, the speech delivered by him
as coming from a man who has obtained “wealth, high position and honour”
from the British connection and who has been “in the inner Councils of
the Government,” is most significant in its ideals as well as demands.
His ideal of a government for India has been borrowed from Abraham
Lincoln of the United States, viz., “Government of the people, _by the
people_, for the people.” He says:

“What I do say is that there should be a frank and full statement of the
policy of Government as regards the future of India, so that hope may
come where despair holds sway and faith where doubt spreads its
darkening shadow, and that steps should be taken towards self-government
by the gradual development of popular control over all departments of
Government and by removal of disabilities and restrictions under which
we labour both in our own country and in other parts of the British
Empire.”

Among the definite reforms and remedial and progressive measures which
he demands are:

“Firstly--The grant of commissions in the army and military training for
the people.

“Secondly--The extension of local self-government.

“Thirdly--The development of our commerce, industries and agriculture.”

Regarding the first he goes into details as follows:

“1st. We ask for the right to enlist in the regular army, irrespective
of race or province or origin, but subject only to prescribed tests of
physical fitness.

“2nd. We ask that the commissioned ranks of the Indian army should be
thrown open to all classes of His Majesty’s subjects, subject to fair,
reasonable and adequate physical and educational tests, and that a
military college or colleges should be established in India where proper
military training can be received by those of our countrymen who may
have the good fortune to receive His Majesty’s commission.

“3rd. We ask that all classes of His Majesty’s subjects should be
allowed to join as volunteers, subject of course to such rules and
regulations as will ensure proper control and discipline, and

“4th. That the invidious distinctions under the Arms Act should be
removed. This has no real connection with the three claims, but I deal
with it together with the others as all these disabilities are justified
on the same ground of political expediency.”

As to the reasons why we should have self-government, he said:

“A British Premier early in this century very truly observed, ‘Good
government can not be a substitute for self-government.’ Says a recent
writer in a well-known British periodical, ‘Every Englishman is aware
that on no account, not if he were to be governed by an angel from
heaven, would he surrender that most sacred of all his rights, the right
of making his own laws.... He would not be an Englishman, he would not
be able to look English fields and trees in the face, if he had parted
with that right. Laws in themselves, have never counted for much. _There
have been beneficent despots and wise law-givers in all ages who have
increased the prosperity and probably the contentment and happiness of
their subjects but yet their government has not stimulated the moral and
intellectual capacity latent in citizenship or fortified its character
or enlarged its understanding. There is more hope for the future of
mankind in the least and faintest impulse towards self-help,
self-realisation, self-redemption, than in any of the laws that
Aristotle ever dreamt of._[13] The ideal, therefore, of self-government
is one that is not based merely on emotion and sentiment, but on the
lessons of history.”

What is, however, most significant, is his reply to the criticism often
made by ignorant and prejudiced Englishmen and others as to what would
be the fate of India if England were to withdraw from India and as to
the Indians’ fitness to manage their affairs or to fight their battles.
He observes:

“I take leave to point out, therefore, that it is not correct, at any
rate at the present time, to assert of any sections of the Indian people
that they are wanting in such physical courage and manly virtues as to
render them incapable of bearing arms. But even if it were so, is it not
the obvious duty of England so to train them as to remove this
incapacity, especially if it be the case, as there is some reason to
believe, _that it is English rule which has brought them to such a
pass_? England has ruled this country for considerably over 150 years
now, and surely it cannot be a matter of pride to her at the end of this
period that the withdrawal of her rule would mean chaos and anarchy and
would leave the country an easy prey to any foreign adventurers. There
are some of our critics who never fail to remind us that if the English
were to leave the country to-day, we would have to wire to them to come
back before they got to Aden. Some even enjoy the grim joke that were
the English to withdraw now, there would be neither a rupee nor a virgin
left in some parts of the country. I can conceive of no more scathing
indictment of the results of British rule. A superman might gloat over
the spectacle of the conquest of might over justice and righteousness,
but I am much mistaken if the British nation, fighting now as ever for
the cause of justice and freedom and liberty, will consider it as other
than discreditable to itself _that after nearly two centuries of British
rule India has been brought to-day to the same emasculated condition as
that of the Britons in the beginning of the fifth century_[14] when the
Roman legions left the English shores in order to defend their own
country against the Huns, Goths and other barbarian hordes.”

The reader may well compare this with the following observation made by
the present writer in a pamphlet[15] recently issued by him on the
political situation in India.

“The whole world is free to keep arms and use arms. Every civilised
nation is interested in giving a military training to her boys and
citizens and in teaching them the use of arms and other military
tactics. Some countries do this by conscription, others do it on a
voluntary basis. No government entitled to be called sane thinks of
denying arms to such of its people as want to use them for legitimate
purposes. The free possession of arms and free training in military
tactics for purposes of individual and national defence is the
birthright of every son of a mother. Even the Amir of Kabul does not
deny that to his people. Nations are vying with each other in their
military preparations and in giving military training to their citizens.
Even China is thinking of introducing conscription. In Japan military
training is compulsory. In some places even the girls learn the use of
arms and practise fencing. In the United States as well as in the other
States of America the negroes and the American Indians can keep arms and
receive military training. But the Indians of India can not keep arms.
Every nation is interested in the manufacture of arms and ammunition and
in inventing effective methods of dealing with their enemies.
Governments give every encouragement to those who invent new arms or
improve old ones. All this is denied to the Indians.[16] Why? Because
they are a subject people. Their government cannot trust them. The
strength of the native army in India cannot exceed a certain proportion
of the British army; they cannot handle the artillery; and numerous
other restrictions are imposed upon the possession and use of arms by
them. Why? Are they not fit to handle arms? Are they not brave? Are they
intemperate? None of these things can be said of them. Yet no Indian can
get a commissioned rank, however high by birth or social position,
however fit by education. No Indian can be admitted into a military
college in India or in Great Britain. Why? Are they unfit, or
intellectually and physically imbeciles? The truth is that the
Government of India, not being their _own_ government, they cannot be
trusted. They can be enrolled as mere soldiers and that only in certain
numbers. Beyond that they cannot get any military training or military
rank. Nor can the civil population be trusted to keep arms, much less
to manufacture them. Much fuss has been made over the Indians having
been allowed to participate in the European War. The Indians have gone
mad over the incident, as if that were the greatest boon that could be
conferred on them. The truth is that the step was actuated by and taken
purely in British interests. Without the Indian contingent Great Britain
could not send a decent expeditionary force to France. The whole of the
white army could not be removed from India. In removing large numbers of
them, it was necessary to remove proportionately large numbers of the
native army also. The British Government is always distrustful of the
native army. No amount of false statements and fallacious reasoning can
conceal the fact that the British in India cannot allow the Indians to
manufacture or carry arms, cannot give them a military training, cannot
even keep a large native army (more than double the strength of the
permanent British garrison) because, being foreigners, they cannot trust
them. They fear that some day the arms or military training given them
may be used against themselves. Looking at it from their point of view,
perhaps, it cannot be said that they may not be right. But then, why ask
the Indians to accept the pretence that the Government is national, and
that they are the equal subjects of the crown; why hide the truth and
make false and hypocritical declarations to the contrary? The British
know the weakness of their rule in India, and in the disarming of the
people they see the best guarantee of the continuance of their own rule
and power. In the matter of arms, the present situation in India is
this. One may steal arms; one may smuggle them; one may illicitly
purchase them, from those who have the freedom of possessing, for the
purpose of committing crime, but one cannot have them for defending his
life and property, or the life and honour of his family (wife, mother,
sisters, and daughters).[17]

“It is this which gives awful power to the lawless portions of society
and which explains the losses and hardships of those who have suffered
from the depredations of the latter and are suffering from dacoities and
robberies and murders in Bengal and Punjab and elsewhere. There are
plenty of arms in the country for the criminal, but none for the
peace-loving (who only want them for defensive purposes). All this
because the Government of India is a foreign government which cannot
trust its subjects and which does not believe in their loyalty. In the
light of this fact, all talk about the extraordinary outburst of loyalty
becomes stale. So long as this state of things continues, it is useless
for the Government to expect that the people can accept it and treat it
as if it was their own national government. Never before, since the
introduction of British rule in India, was the sense of helplessness,
that arises out of the consciousness of being a disarmed people,
brought home to the people of India so vividly and strongly as during
the war. A new fear has dawned on the public mind. Suppose the British
lose, we are lost, says the Indian. The Germans may come or the Russians
or even the Amir of Kabul, we cannot even make a show of resistance. A
people so helpless and dependent deserve to be despised by the world.
The war has made the Indian feel that, as a British subject, he is
really a despicable creature entitled to no consideration at the hands
of the other people of the world. Even the negroes (whether in Africa or
America) are much better placed than he is. The prayers of Indian C. I.
E.’s and Rai Bahadurs and Khan Bahadurs notwithstanding, the British
cannot be invincible forever. The time is to come when their prowess in
arms will decay. What will then be the fate of India and Indians? Will
they be transferred like sheep? If they are not actually transferred by
agreement, the nation replacing the English as the world power will take
possession of India. The very idea is disquieting and crushingly
humiliating. But this is not the only circumstance which constantly
reminds the Indian people that their Government is an alien Government,
whose interest in them is only secondary.”

I will give one more quotation on this subject, and this time from the
speech of a Parsi gentleman of extremely moderate views. Says Mr. Wacha:

“In connection with this war there is one serious disappointment to
which I cannot refrain from making reference in this place. Many an
enlightened and intelligent person, irrespective of caste and creed, in
every province of the Indian Empire, has applied, from the very date of
the declaration of war, to go to the front and fight side by side with
the soldiers of the regular Indian army. Even to-day thousands on
thousands are willing and ready to take up arms in the great cause for
which the Allies are fighting. But unfortunately, the permanent
bureaucracy of the land has sternly, if politely, refused those
applications, the why and the wherefore of which has never been made
known. It is this attitude of the Government, in the midst of the great
tragic crisis, that has caused the bitterest disappointment to which
many a leading organ of public opinion has given full expression.
Russia, which has millions of population but less numerous than that of
India, has already raised and is still raising a popular army full of
ardour and patriotism to overcome the forces of the modern Vandals who
are such enemies of liberty and freedom. The British Colonies are
similarly raising corps after corps to give succour to the mother
country, but strange to say, that while millions in India are on the qui
vive to offer their services, a kind of proscription has gone forth from
the governing authorities that they shall not be enrolled. This is
indeed an un-English attitude which is unreconcilable with the entire
policy of British administration in every other part of the Empire. I am
only echoing the universal sentiments and feelings of my countrymen when
I venture to say in this place that the Rulers of India still seem to
mistrust the people.”

Comparing the policy of the British with Imperial Rome, Mr. Wacha
concludes:

“We all devoutly hope that profiting by this great achievement, Great
Britain will not deny any further to the Indian people the exercise of
arms, _the want of which for so many years has led to their
emasculation_.”[18]

This word “emasculation” affords the key to the situation in India from
the purely Indian point of view. Political, physical and economic
“emasculation” is the keynote of British rule there, and however they
may cloak it with wrappings of pleasant and golden words, and however
they may conceal it in finely woven sentences, like the cloven feet it
emerges at almost every step. The _Modern Review_ puts it well when it
says:

“Under bureaucratic rule, India is the poorest, the most unhealthy and
the most ignorant among civilised countries, and her poverty and
unhealthiness are not diminishing, and education is spreading at a
slower pace than that of the snail. The remedy is Home Rule.”

There is another brief quotation which I will give, from the speech of
the President of the last session of the Indian National Congress, viz.,
the one relating to the poverty of India. He says: “Whatever differences
of opinion may exist as to whether India is growing richer or poorer
under the British rule, there is none with regard to her extreme
poverty. And there can never be political contentment without material
prosperity, shared in by all classes of the people. What the District
Administration Committee of Bengal quotes with approval as regards
Bengal, that our industrial backwardness is a great political danger,
applies in reality to the whole of India.

“No one will be disposed to question the fact of this amazing
backwardness. _Rich in all the resources of nature, India continues to
be the poorest country in the civilised world._”[19]


VI

I do not propose to burden this preface with other complaints which the
Indian politicians make against the British Government, but I can not
refrain from giving one more quotation from my own pamphlet on the
question of Education:

“Let us look at education in India. India has been under British rule
now for a century and a half in some parts, for over a century in
others, and for at least 65 years in the Punjab. Yet the percentage of
illiteracy is well nigh 95 per cent., taking the whole of India.
Greatest ignorance prevails among the peasantry and the military
classes, the two great bulwarks of British rule in India. What has the
Government done to educate these classes? Nothing. Some maintain that
they have been deliberately kept out of education because, once
educated, they may no longer be such willing tools as they are now.

“Agriculture in India, as elsewhere, is the least paying of industries,
and it is not at all strange that large numbers of sturdy Punjabees
prefer to labour in other countries rather than rot on their farms in
the Punjab. In the early years of British rule the educated and the
trading classes flourished and became prosperous, but now they are
thoroughly discontented. The native traders are no longer happy under
British rule, (1) because the railways and foreign import and export
offices dealing directly with the producer and the consumer have ruined
their business, (2) because the facilities available to them in the
early days of British rule have disappeared, (3) because the bureaucracy
is always inciting the agricultural and military classes against them
and heaping insults on their devoted heads both by word and deed. In
almost every province, special legislation has been enacted professedly
in the interests of the agricultural classes but really directed against
the Indian trader or money lender. On the other hand, what has the
Government done to open non-agricultural pursuits to them? Nothing. In
the whole length and breadth of the country there is not a single
technological institute. The private or aided technological institutes
are called by that name only by courtesy. In these days of international
trade there is no provision in any of the Indian universities for the
teaching of modern languages. While Germans, Austrians, Italians,
Americans and Japanese can learn Hindustanee and English in their own
countries in order to further their trade with India, the Government of
India has never given a thought to the necessity of making a provision
for the teaching of German, French, Japanese, &c., to the Indians and of
encouraging Indians to learn these languages. The best part of a boy’s
student life is compulsorily spent in acquiring excellence in the use of
the English language. Indians are not supposed to know other languages
or to trade with other countries, because the English do it for them. It
is not the concern of the British to encourage the native to have direct
commercial transactions with foreign countries. There is not a single
place in India where an Indian student can do research work in chemistry
or other sciences. While the country is full of mines, there is no place
to learn mining. Hundreds of steamers come and go from Indian ports, but
there is no place in India where an Indian youth can qualify himself
even for the merchant marine, not to speak of the navy. In the whole of
India with its splendid resources, there is not a single place where
ships can be built. The Indian Government has never given a thought to
these questions because they do not concern them, because they are not
interested in the development of the indigenous industries and in
raising the status of the people. They have done a lot to encourage the
produce of raw materials necessary for their industries or for their
food (cotton, wheat, oil, seeds, etc.), but almost nothing to encourage
manufacturing industries. Originally they wanted to preserve the Indian
markets for themselves only, but their policy of free trade stood in
the way, and latterly the Germans and now the Japanese are sharing that
market with them. But to teach the Indian to manufacture for his own
consumption has never entered the thought of those responsible for the
administration of India. Perhaps it is not right to say that it never
entered their thought. They are too intelligent and shrewd not to know
that they had not done their duty to India in these matters, but the
interest of their own people was paramount and that they could not set
aside.

“The British Government in India can not go in for universal elementary
education, as there is danger of even greater disaffection resulting
therefrom; they can not give technical education of a high order, as
that might interfere with British industries; they can not protect
Indian industries for the same reason; they can not provide for real
high class commercial education with a teaching of foreign languages and
a knowledge of seafaring and navigation, as they do not want the Indians
to directly engage in oversea trade and contract relations with other
nations. They can not protect and subsidise Indian industries, as that
is opposed to free trade and detrimental to British industries. Yet they
want the Indians to believe that the British Government in India is
primarily conducted in the interests of India.

“The people of India must remain ignorant, illiterate and industrially
and commercially dependent because that benefits England and is for the
advantage of her people.

“But that is not all. The Government of India can not even provide for
high class education in sciences, in engineering, and in medicine, for
the simple reason that the higher positions in these professions they
want to reserve for their own people. Of late the number of Indians,
educated and trained in these departments of knowledge in British and
other foreign universities, has so increased as to become rather
embarrassing to the Government of India. They can not utilise them
without reducing the number of Britishers in these services. This they
do not desire. The result is that there are numbers of trained Indians
in India with high class British and European qualifications who have to
be contented with subordinate positions under Britishers of lesser
qualifications, and perhaps, at times, of no qualifications. The
competitive examinations for higher services are held in England, which
in itself is a great injustice; but this year on account of the war,
there being fewer qualified Britishers to compete for these services,
the Government has resolved to discontinue[20] some of the examinations,
for fear lest a larger number of Indians than is desirable might get
into them. Can they still say that the Government of India is as good as
or perhaps better than a national government? The truth is that they do
not want a larger number of Indians in the higher services because they
can not trust them. For the same reason they distrust private
educational institutions and insist upon the employment of Britishers as
inspectors of schools and as professors in the educational service. They
will allow a certain number of Indians in the higher offices but that
number must not be so large as to make it even remotely possible for
them to create trouble for the Government. The same fear underlies the
administration of local bodies and the constitution and powers of the
Councils. It is simply begging the question to argue that Indians are
not yet ready or fit for representative institutions. The real question
is the dread of power passing from the Britishers into Indian hands.[21]
It is this dread that is the dominating influence in the policy of the
British Government in India. India is a possession and a dependency and
must be administered in the best interests of the master. Many credulous
Indians talk of the liberty-loving traditions of the British democracy,
but they forget that the application of these traditions to India would
make such big holes in their safes, purses, and incomes, that they as
men swayed by self-interest and love of power and glory, can never think
of enforcing these principles in India. The British are good people. In
all personal dealings they are honest, frank, and reliable. But when
national interests are at stake and when the interests of the nation
dictate a different line of policy, they can not help following the
latter, however much injustice and hardship they may inflict upon others
in doing so. The English political moralist and thinker believes and
preaches that the state exists for the people, that state and people are
really interchangeable words, and that the teachings of Treitschke, that
the state is greater than the people and that the latter exists for the
former, is immoral and vicious. In Great Britain and the Colonies the
British act as they believe, but in India they follow the doctrines of
the German professor. The state in India is an authority imposed from
without and is therefore distinct from and independent of the
people.[22] The state in India is the British people, and therefore the
interests of the latter must override those of the Indian people.
Everything in India is judged by that standard. The English may be good,
benevolent, just, kind, and fair-minded, but all these virtues are
dominated by the supreme test mentioned above. All the real troubles of
India arise from this circumstance. Everything connected with India is
looked at from this angle. Unless this angle changes there is no
possibility of any such changes taking place in the system and the
policy of the Government of India as are likely to satisfy the
self-respect of the Indian or to remove the disadvantages from which the
country suffers.”

VII

The most significant development of Nationalism, however, that has taken
place in the last year, is the unity between the Hindus and the
Mohammedans on the question of self-government. It is remarkable how the
war has united the Hindus and the Mohammedans, not only in their
expressions of loyalty to the Government, but also in their demand for
Home Rule and in their dissatisfaction with the prevailing political
conditions in India. For the first time in the history of Indian
Nationalism, the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim
League have met in the same city. This was opposed with the whole of
their might by the Ultra-Loyalists among the Mohammedans under the
inspiration of their Anglo-Indian masters. The younger generation of the
Mohammedans, however, is so thoroughly filled with the idea of
Nationalism that they carried the day and succeeded in holding a very
successful session of their league at Bombay in the same week in which
the Indian National Congress was holding its session in that city. The
result was that the members of both organisations met, compared notes,
exchanged civilities, and found out that there was practical unity among
them on all the important questions bearing upon their relations with
the Government. The Muslim League President made pronouncements
demanding self-government, free compulsory education, governmental help
in industrial development, removal of restrictions against the progress
of Indian industries, in almost the same terms and with the same
emphasis, if not even greater, than the Indian National Congress did.
Both the organisations appointed a joint committee to draw up a scheme
of Home Rule which would meet the needs and the approval of both the
great religious communities inhabiting that great country.

During the last year a scheme has been floated by Mrs. Annie Besant, the
president of the Theosophical Society, a woman of great ability and of
world-wide fame, who has adopted India as her home, but who at the same
time is a patriotic Englishwoman, to organise a Home Rule League for
India, separate from and independent of both the Indian National
Congress and the All-India Muslim League. This proposal has met with the
approval of the advanced members of both the Hindu and Mohammedan
communities. Some leaders of the Indian National Congress, however, see
a danger to their Congress in the growth and development of the Home
Rule League. But it is wonderful how the idea has caught hold of the
public mind. Practically the whole of the Nationalist press and the
Nationalist platform, with a few minor exceptions, have declared in
favour of the proposal. The supporters of the Home Rule League met at
Bombay to formally decide the question of giving practical effect to the
idea which has received the joint support of both the Hindus and the
Mohammedans. Mrs. Besant, however, herself, has shrunk from organising
it just now, out of deference to the opinions of some of the leaders of
the Indian National Congress, pending the report of the joint committee
formed to formulate a scheme of Home Rule suited to India. Indian
Nationalism has thus advanced very much during the last year. We have
the two movements--one representing force, the other peaceful
agitation--side by side, as has been the case in the history of similar
movements in other countries. One movement represents the more virile
section of the population who believe in force, violence and terrorism;
the other, those who depend upon appeal to reason, justice and
conscience. The combined force of both, however, produces a momentum
which is sure to become irresistible in the course of time. What is
extremely hopeful is the entirely changed attitude of the Mohammedan
community. The British wished for and tried to create an _Ulster_ among
the Mohammedans of India. They had well nigh succeeded, but the last
three or four years have brought about a complete change. The Mohammedan
masses had really never joined the educated Mohammedan Separatists, but
even the latter have now found out that the policy of separation from
the Hindus which was in their minds for some time, can not eventually
bring any lasting good to their community. With their Hindu countrymen
they feel that India must occupy the first place in their affections and
thoughts, and that it was not inconsistent for them to be Mohammedans in
religion and Indians in politics. Similarly, the Hindu sentiment, that
was growing somewhat anti-Mohammedan on account of the Mohammedan
sentiment of separation, has been greatly softened. The Mohammedans
have begun to feel that they can share in the ancient glory of India
without an outrage to their Mohammedanism. The Hindus have come to
realise that after all the Mohammedan rule in India was not so bad or
tyrannical and oppressive as they were told it was by interested
historians. The Mohammedans feel that they can be as proud of the Hindu
heroes, Rama and Krishna, of the Hindu Epics, the Ramayana and the
Mahabharta, of Hindu science and Hindu philosophy, as the Hindus
themselves are, without being false to their religion or to their
community. Similarly the Hindus feel that they can be as proud of a Sher
Shah and an Akbar and a Shah Jahan, of Alberuni, of Ibn Batuta, of Abul
Fazal, Faizi and Gálib, as the Mohammedans can be. Nay, they can go a
step further and say that even Aurangzeb was not, after all, so bad as
they had supposed him to be. The Hindus and Mohammedans have discovered
that they can take part in their respective festivals and take pride in
their respective past, without in any way being traitors to their
respective religions and communities.


VIII

That the above statements are not mere creations of my own brain, but
are based on fact, will be easily seen from the following extracts which
I make from the speech of the President of the last session of the
All-India Muslim League held at Bombay in December, 1915.

First, about the representative character of the assembly, Mr.
Mazhar-ul-Haq remarked:

“Please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks for the great honour you
have done me by electing me the President of the All-India Muslim League
this year. It is a proud privilege to preside over and guide the
deliberations of this distinguished gathering, where representatives of
seventy millions of his Britannic Majesty’s Indian Muslim subjects are
assembled in conference for the betterment of their condition, and for
counsel and consultation together on the affairs of their country.”

About the difficulties of the times he says:

“Times are most unpropitious for expressing views and convictions which,
in normal times of peace, there would have been no harm in frankly and
unreservedly putting _before our community and our Government_. The
present terrible conflict of nations enjoins upon us the paramount duty
of saying or doing nothing which would embarrass or weaken the hands of
our Government by producing undesirable excitement in the people, or
lead to any impression upon foreign nations that we are in any way
inimical or even indifferent to the best interests of the Empire.”

As to how Islam established itself in India, how it spread and what is
the present position of the Mohammedans of India, he speaks as follows:

“The first advent of the Muslims in India was along these very
coasts[23] in the form of a naval expedition sent by the third Khalif in
the year 636 A. D. This was more than four hundred years before William
the Conqueror defeated the Saxons at the battle of Hastings. After many
vicissitudes, into the details of which it is unnecessary to go, the
Muslim Empire was firmly established in India. These invaders made India
their home and did not consider it a land of regrets. They lived amongst
the people of the country, mixed with them freely and became true
citizens of India. As a matter of fact they had no other home but India.
From time to time their number was strengthened by fresh blood from
Arabia, Persia and other Muslim lands, but their ranks were swollen
mainly by additions from the people of the country themselves. It is
most interesting to know that out of the present seventy millions of the
Muslim population, those who have claimed their descent from remote
non-Indian ancestors amount only to eight millions. Whence have the
remaining millions come, if not from Indian ranks? The Muslims enriched
the hoary civilisation of India with their own literature and art,
evolved and developed by their creative and versatile genius. From the
Himalayas to Cape Comorin the entire country is studded with those gems
of art which remind one of the glorious period of Muslim rule. The
result was a new civilisation which was the outcome of the combined
efforts of all the peoples of India and the product of the two great
civilisations in the history of the world. During Muslim times all
offices were equally opened to all, without any distinction of class,
creed or colour. The only conditions were fitness and efficiency.
So we have the spectacle of a Hindu prime minister, a Hindu
commander-in-chief, a Hindu finance minister, and a Hindu governor of
Kabul. Ethnology and folklore of India speak eloquently of manners and
customs showing the influence of one people upon the other. The only
link which the Muslims kept with the countries outside India was the
spiritual link of their religion. This was under the circumstances
inevitable. This short historical retrospect may be succinctly expressed
in two words which fully and clearly describe the elements and
conditions of our existence in India. We are Indian Muslims. These
words, ‘Indian Muslims,’ convey the idea of our nationality and of our
religion, and as long as we keep our duties and responsibilities arising
from these factors before our eyes, we can hardly go wrong.

“Indian Muslims are Indians first!

“About what we owe to our non-Muslim fellow subjects I have never
concealed my opinion, and I can only repeat here what I have often said.
I am one of those who have never taken a narrow and sectarian view of
Indian politics. When a question concerning the welfare of India and of
justice to Indians arises I am not only an Indian first, but an Indian
next and an Indian to the last, an Indian and an Indian alone, favouring
no community and no individual, but on the side of those who desire the
advancement of India as a whole without prejudice to the rights and
interests of any individual, much less of any community, whether my own
or another.

“Policies and principles of a nobler kind may be laid down by higher
authorities, but their value is determined by those who have to carry
them out. Thus it has often been the case in India that noble intentions
have degenerated into pious wishes and even into harmful actions. If the
Indian people were real partners in the actual governance of the
country, the Indian point of view would have prevailed, much that is now
admitted to have been mistaken would have been avoided, the country
would have progressed and the ruling classes would have been spared the
bitter and sometimes undeserved criticisms hurled against them. Unless
and until India has got a national government and is governed for the
greatest good of the Indian people, I do not see how she can be
contented. India does not demand ‘a place in the sun’ in any aggressive
sense, but she does require the light of the Indian sun for her own
children.

“Gentlemen, let us descend a little from the generalities into details
and see how the policy of the past has worked not only to our detriment,
but to the positive weakening of the British rule itself. Let us see
what small share we have in the larger life of the Empire. I have
already said that we have no share in laying down the policy upon which
India is ruled. Have we any share even in the different Services of the
country? Are we allowed to serve our own land and the Empire to the best
of our capacity and ability? In every country the three premier Services
are considered to be the Military, the Naval and the Diplomatic.

“Let us begin with the Military. In spite of the numerous martial races
who inhabit India in millions, no Indian can rise above the
non-commissioned ranks. We can not hope to gain a higher position than
that of a Subadar-Major or a Risaldar-Major. Every position that would
give us an independent command is closed to us. The regular army is
limited in number, no volunteers are taken from our ranks and the
general population is rigorously disarmed. The Arms Act perpetuates
invidious distinctions on grounds of colour and creed--distinctions most
humiliating to the people of the country. Going about their ordinary
daily occupations our people may be attacked by dacoits and evilly
disposed persons or even by wild beasts, but they can not defend
themselves. Even _lathis_[24] have been held by some judicial
authorities to be dangerous weapons. Newspapers and official communiques
tell us that ordinary Naiks of our Indian Army have on the battlefield
conducted themselves most bravely and have led their companies with
conspicuous gallantry and ability at times when all the English officers
were either killed or disabled. If our men are capable of such
initiative and valiant deeds on the actual field of battle, why, Indians
naturally ask, should they not be trusted in the piping times of peace?
Had they only been trained and allowed to serve, millions and millions
would have sprung to the side of England at her slightest call in this,
the hour of her need. Indeed, no other nation of the world has such an
inexhaustible source of strength as Great Britain has in the teeming
masses of India, but India has been so maimed and crippled in her
manhood that she can help neither herself nor Great Britain. The idea is
galling and humiliating that, if a time came when India was in danger,
her own sons would not be able to save their hearths and homes, or the
honour and lives of their wives and children, but would have to look to
foreign nations like Japan and Russia for help and succour. Peace and
order are the first requisites of a settled government and without them
there would be mere chaos; but unlimited and long-continued peace has a
tendency to enervate and emasculate people. To make a living nation,
higher qualities are required. A spirit which will not bow before any
adverse wind, an internal strength which will bear all toils and
troubles, a determination which will flinch from no task, however
impossible it may appear, a discipline which will love and be happy in
the service of the country and the Empire, are qualities necessary for
the attainment of that life which I call a full life. These moral forces
can only come into play when people are free and unrestricted in the
exercise of all their faculties. The profession of arms is perhaps one
which breeds this spirit and brings out these potential forces more than
any other. To close it to any portion of humanity is to turn them into
lifeless machines.

“In the Navy, we cannot rise above the rank of a lascar. Attempts are
often made to keep us out even of this lowly position. India has a vast
seaboard, peopled by seafaring nations. To refuse them their birthright
is to waste so much good material which would have gone to increase the
strength of the Empire. Why not have a few Indian dreadnaughts and
cruisers manned by Indians and commanded by their own countrymen? It is
said that the Indians are not fit for the Navy. Having not trained and
tried them, it is not just or fair to say so. Try them first and, if
found wanting, then you have a right to reject them. The history of
ancient India proves that naval capacity is here; but it lies dormant
for want of sufficient opportunity.

“Now I pass on to the Diplomatic Service. Here we are conspicuous by our
entire absence from it. What prevents the Government from utilising the
intellect, the ability and the energy of our people in this direction, I
fail to understand. Why should not some of the numerous posts of
Political Residents and Agents of India be opened to them?

“In India, the Civil Service is considered to be the premier public
service of the country. Here, too, we are circumscribed and hedged in by
rules and regulations which make it for our people, if not altogether
impossible, at least very difficult to enter. The examination which is
the only possible way of entry for an Indian is held in London, 7,000
miles away from his home. Those educated youths who can not bear the
cost and expenses of such a journey, are entirely debarred from it,
however brilliant they may be. The fortunate few, who can afford to
compete with Englishmen, have to do so in a language absolutely foreign
to them. Why the examinations should not be held both in England and
India to give the youths of both countries equal chances is an anomaly
which passes my comprehension. For a number of years the country has
been loudly demanding this much delayed justice, but instead, we get the
recent Indian Civil Service Act which has entirely abolished the
competitive system. No doubt the operation of the Act is temporary, but
a wrong precedent has been created, and no one knows to what further
developments it will lead.

“In the minor services of the country, such as Police, Forest,
Education, the higher places have been reserved for Europeans and the
children of the soil have been told that the doors have been shut
against them. One would have expected that at least in these minor
places Indians would not have failed, but all our protests and
entreaties have been of no avail so far.

“Gentlemen, I pass on now to the economical development of the country.
Let us see what progress we have made in this direction. Admittedly
India is an agricultural country and its real life and strength is in
the teeming millions of humanity who live in the villages, principally
by agriculture. Has anything really been done to raise them from their
poverty-ridden and helpless condition? In spite of the jugglery of
figures in which the hearts of statisticians delight, what is the state
of the country and its peasantry? Statistics are supposed to prove every
theory advanced by men anxious to prove their case, but our eyes are
our best witnesses and can not deceive us. India is a country rich in
natural resources--resources which are not inferior to any other country
in this wide, wide world. Her land bears every variety of crops from
cotton and jute to wheat and mustard. Her mines produce every kind of
metal from gold and iron ores down to the best coal, and not excluding
numerous precious stones. She has a climate ranging from the bitterest
cold to the intensest heat. Her rivers and forests are full of life and
materials useful to man. In short, India is a self-contained, miniature
world. In such a country what is the condition of her inhabitants? No
toil or trouble is spared for the cultivation of their fields by the
wretched and over-worked peasantry. All that manual labour can do is
done, but because of the want of scientific methods and other causes
beyond their control, the profits which ought to have been theirs are
lost to them. Side by side with green, minutely and industriously
cultivated fields, we find tiny and dilapidated mud hovels thatched with
old and rotten straw. In these hovels there are neither windows nor
floor-cloths, and the only furniture that they boast of is a few earthen
vessels and perhaps a _chatai_.[25] Human beings and cattle herd
together with no arrangements for sanitation. Such are the conditions in
which the great majority of our people pass their miserable existence.

“In commerce and industry we are no better off. Our old indigenous
industries have been killed by foreign competition and new attempts are
crippled in the interests of other peoples than those of India. The
instance of the cotton excise duties is before us--duties which have
been imposed in the interests of Manchester and Lancashire.

“I now pass on to two of the recent repressive measures, the Press Act
and the Defence of India Act. These acts have worked harshly and told
heavily upon the persons and the properties of some leaders of our
community. Musalmans are intensely agitated, and I should be grossly
negligent in the discharge of my duties as the spokesman of Muslim
India, if I failed to give voice to their feelings on the subject. On
principle and by sentiment I object to repression and coercion, be it
from the Government or from any section of a disaffected people.

“I remember well, how and under what conditions the Press Act was
passed. The members of the Imperial Council gave their consent to the
passing of the bill on the express understanding that the law was
intended for the anarchists and would never be applied in the case of
peaceful citizens anxious to enlighten Government officers as to the
sentiments and feeling of the people. But what is the result? _All the
independent Muslim papers have either been wiped out or are dragging on
a lifeless and miserable existence._[26] The _Comrade_ is gone, _The
Hamdard_ has been strangled to death, the _Muslim Gazette_ ceased to
exist long ago, _Al-Hilal_ is no more, the _Zamindar_ is carrying on its
colourless existence with a sword of Damocles always hanging over its
head. Whoever thought that the Press Act would be applied in this
fashion? Is it possible for the people not to resent such treatment and
are their feelings to be treated so lightly?”

The reader will notice that there is nothing in this book which is in
any way stronger either in language or in sentiments than what the
President of the All-India Muslim League has said in the quotations
given above. Along with these expressions of discontent are also found
in his address very strong declarations of loyalty to the Government and
of appreciation of what they have done for India. The task of appraising
the exact value of both kinds of statements may better be left to the
reader.

This is the dawn of a new day in India which the British will have to
reckon with. We know that they are very skilful in _divide et impera_,
but the Indian people are now awake and that policy may not succeed so
well in the future as it has in the past.

The Indians have no desire to do anything which might in any way injure
or harm the position of Great Britain as a world power. They would much
rather gain Home Rule in India by peaceful means and remain a part of
the British Empire than subvert British authority in India by force or
seek the assistance of any other foreign power to gain their end. But in
case the British continue to trample upon their rights and to humiliate
them and to exploit them as they have done in the past, then there is no
knowing what they might not be tempted or forced to do. What is clear
is this, that the number of such Indians is growing larger and larger
every day who are willing and ready to sacrifice their careers, their
prospects, their happiness and their life at the altar of what they
consider to be their duty to their country.

There are others who think that their patience has been well nigh
exhausted; who can not wait and would strike for their liberty at once,
saying “Our trust is in God.”


IX

Before concluding this introductory part of my study of the Nationalist
Movement in India, I desire to tender my heartfelt thanks to Professor
A. U. Pope, of the University of California, for the encouragement and
advice he has given me in the preparation of this book, and to Dr. J. T.
Sunderland, of New York, for having read my manuscript and written a
Foreword for me.

The reader will, I hope, excuse me for certain repetitions. They are
unavoidable in a book of this kind, where it is desirable to show that
the different communities and classes of the Indian population think on
the same lines in national affairs.

Lastly, I have to beg the pardon of the reader for certain personal
references which may seem to be self-laudatory. I have indulged in this
weakness only when it was absolutely necessary for the continuance of
the thread of the narrative. In one chapter I have retained the third
person singular so as to avoid being understood that I was speaking of
myself.

I am also conscious of the meagreness of certain chapters. The book is
too short to be called a History of the National Movement. It is written
more with the object of drawing the attention of the civilised world to
what is happening in India, than to prepare a complete record of the
movement. The foreign reader can not be expected to be interested in
details. Moreover, he may never read a long and expensive book. Hence
the studied brevity kept in view all through. Nor do I propose to
discuss the fitness of Indians for immediate self-government as that
would largely add to the bulk of the book, but for a brief and able
discussion of the matter I may refer the reader to an article by the
Editor in the _Modern Review_ of Calcutta for February, 1916.

Then again it is to be regretted that the illustrations are so few. I
would have liked to add many more. Many prominent Nationalists find no
place for the simple reason that at the time of sending the book to the
press I have not been able to get their pictures. Originally there was
no idea of having any illustrations. It is too late now to delay the
publication of the book pending the receipt of pictures from India.
Indeed the mail facilities, just now, are so dubious that one can not be
certain of getting them at all so long as the war lasts.

LAJPAT RAI.

Berkeley, California, U. S. A.,
1st of March, 1916.



YOUNG INDIA

AN INTERPRETATION AND A HISTORY OF THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT FROM WITHIN



CHAPTER I

THE GENERAL VIEWPOINT OF THE INDIAN NATIONALIST


Indian History rolls back to thousands of years before the Christian
Era. Much of it is still enveloped in mystery. What little is known has
been discovered and put in shape within the last hundred years. The
materials, from which the early History of India has been prepared, have
long been in existence, but little of them were known to the Western
people.

It can not be said that a complete history of Ancient India has been
fully and finally constructed. What is known has been discovered bit by
bit. Much yet remains to be found and put in order. It is quite unsafe,
therefore, to dogmatise about the deficiencies of Ancient Indian
civilisation. Yet this much can be said with certainty, that centuries
before the birth of Christ India possessed a marvellous civilisation, a
wonderful literature, a well organised social system, a conception of
government based on law and on the legal rights of subjects _inter se_,
as well as against the ruling monarch.[27]

We have, besides, ample evidences in the ancient literature of India, as
translated and interpreted by Western scholars, to the effect that
democratic institutions were not unknown to Ancient India.[28] Nor can
it be said that the idea of universal sovereignty over the whole of
India under one permanent power was unknown to the Hindus. How often it
was realised and for how long, can not be said with any certainty.[29]

_First Invasion of India_. The first political and military invasion of
India known to history was that of Alexander the Great in 326 B. C.
Alexander was no doubt victorious up to a certain point, but he never
conquered India, nor did he occupy it. He did not reach even so far into
the interior as Delhi on the Jumna. He is said to have left behind him
some officers to administer the affairs of the conquered province, but
it is a well established historical fact that in the conflict between
Chandra Gupta, the Hindu, and Seleucus, the Greek, who was the chief
ruling authority in Babylon after the death of Alexander, Seleucus was
practically worsted and a peace was concluded by which the independence
of India was fully realised. Chandra Gupta ruled over the whole of India
north of Vindhyachal. Bengal as far east as Assam, and the Punjab as
far west as Afghanistan, were among his provinces. Fortunately for us,
we have enough independent testimony in the writings of Megasthenes, the
Greek Ambassador at the court of Chandra Gupta, and other
contemporaneous Greek writers, as to the state of India at that time.

_Chandra Gupta and Asoka._ Megasthenes’ account of the Government of
Chandra Gupta and of the details of the administration under him, is
enough to fill every Indian with pride. Chandra Gupta’s organisation[30]
included almost every form of governmental activity known to modern
Europe. There was a separate department of labour under him, a separate
registrar of births, deaths and marriages, a minister who looked after
public charities, another in charge of trade and commerce, one in charge
of agriculture, and so on. He had a great army, a currency and a navy.
Even then the system of commercial papers was well known to Indians, who
had a great name for honesty and truthfulness. Their word was better
than a bond. Chandra Gupta was followed by Asoka, perhaps the greatest
and noblest Emperor India has had during the historical period. Under
him the whole country was consolidated under one imperial sway. He ruled
not by force, but by love. His love extended even to animals. He is
known to have organised hospitals for the treatment of animals. All this
happened before Christ was born. Between 326 B. C. and the middle of
the eighth century A. D., India knew no foreign masters, in the sense
that it was never ruled for any length of time from without. A few of
the nomadic tribes of Central Asia did penetrate into India, only to be
absorbed and assimilated by the mass of the Aryans already settled and
in power there.

The next foreign invasion of India, which was to leave a permanent mark
on the history and institutions of India and with which starts an
altogether separate epoch in Indian history, was by Abul Qasim in the
middle of the eighth century. For full 400 years the Mohammedans knocked
at the door of India before they could establish a kingdom there. The
first Mohammedan King of Delhi was Kutb-ud-din Aibak, who established a
dynasty in 1206 A. D. The Mohammedans were in possession of some parts
of Sindh and the Punjab between the eighth and the twelfth centuries,
but India was not conquered nor the Hindus beaten until Prithvi Raj, the
last Rajput King of Delhi, was defeated by the treachery of a brother
Rajput chief in the year 1193 A. D.

_India Practically Independent up to the Twelfth Century._ It will be
thus seen that India was practically independent up to the beginning of
the thirteenth century A. D. By independent, I mean that no foreign rule
had been imposed upon it from without. Some parts of the northwestern
provinces of the Punjab and Sindh had been for some time under Muslim
domination, but the main territory was under native rulers and native
laws. As said before, the tribes that overran the northwestern parts of
India between the invasion of Alexander the Great and that of Abul
Qasim, came to settle. Once settled there, they adopted the religion and
the social life of the country and were merged with the natives.
Thenceforth there was no distinction between them and the other Indian
people.

_Muslim Rule._ The Mohammedan rule over India lasted for six centuries
with varying vicissitudes of fortune. For three centuries, from the
thirteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century, their rule was
practically confined to Northern India. Deccan, Rajputana and Central
India were always more or less independent until Akbar consolidated the
whole country under his flag; though even he failed to vanquish Partap,
the invincible Rana of Udeypore (Rajputana).[31] Partap was defeated,
was driven out of his capital, was pursued and harassed, but he did not
make his submission to the Mogul. Akbar won over to his side almost all
the other Rajput chiefs, some by his prowess, others by friendship, but
the Sessodia[32] chief would not bend his knee. His countrymen simply
worshipped him. So strong was the feeling of patriotism and the love of
independence among the Hindus, even then, that when Akbar one day
announced in the Durbar that he had received a petition of submission
from Partap, the Rajputs present in the Durbar refused to believe him.
It is well known how one of them, Prithvi Raj, a poet, wrote to Partap
of the indescribable grief the report had caused them, and telling him
that the Hindu sun would set forever if Partap would yield; and how he
received an answer that the report was wrong and that Partap would never
yield and would keep the flag flying. That shows how a Hindu servant of
Akbar, who had made his submission and accepted the service of the
Mogul, felt in the matter. Although beaten himself, he would not
acknowledge that the Hindus had been finally beaten so long as Partap
was resisting the Mogul arms. It speaks very highly of the
broad-mindedness of Akbar that, so far back as the sixteenth century, he
allowed one of his Hindu captives and servants to speak out so boldly
and plainly of his love of Hindu independence. Akbar, we must remember,
had succeeded in making alliances with almost all the other important
Rajput houses. The proud Rahtores[33] had given him a daughter for a
bride, and the _Kutchwahas_,[33] Bikanir[33] and Boondi[33] had also
submitted. So Partap had to fight the combined forces of Akbar and his
own brother-Rajput chiefs, some of whom were related to him by the
dearest ties of blood and marriage. Yet single-handed, for a quarter of
a century, did he withstand the efforts of the mighty empire over which
Akbar ruled to force his submission. In the words of Colonel Tod, it is
worthy “the attention of those who influence the destinies of states in
more favoured climes to estimate the intensity of feeling which could
arm Partap to oppose the resources of a small principality against the
then most powerful empire in the world, whose armies were more numerous
and far more efficient than any ever led by the Persians against the
liberties of Greece.”

On his deathbed Partap made his successor swear to eternal conflict
against “the foes of his country’s independence.” This was in the
sixteenth century, four hundred years after the first Muslim king had
ascended the throne of Delhi. But a hundred years had hardly gone by
after the event when the Hindus again questioned Muslim supremacy. The
Sikhs in the Punjab, the Rajputs in Central India, and the Mahrattas in
the Deccan, had started their campaigns before Aurangzeb died in 1707 A.
D. The Muslim supremacy was destroyed by the Hindus and not by the
British.

_Muslim Rule in India not Foreign._ Yet it is not right to say that the
Muslim rule in India was a “foreign rule.” The Muslim invaders were no
doubt foreign in their origin, just as the Normans and Danes were when
they came to England, but as soon as they settled in India, adopted the
country, made it their home, married and raised children there, they
became the sons of the soil. Akbar and Aurangzeb were as much Indians as
are to-day the Moguls and Pathans in Delhi or elsewhere. Sher Shah and
Ibrahim Lodi were no more foreigners in India than were the descendants
of William the Conqueror or the successors of William of Orange in Great
Britain. When Timur and Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali attacked India,
they attacked a kingdom which was ruled by Indian Muslims. They were as
much the enemies of the Mohammedan rulers of India as of the Hindus.

The Muslims, who exercised political sovereignty in India from the
thirteenth up to the middle of the nineteenth century A. D., were
Indians by birth, Indians by marriage, and Indians by death. They were
born in India, they married there, there they died, and there they were
buried. Every penny of the revenues they raised in India was spent in
India. Their army was wholly Indian. They allowed new families from
beyond the borders of Hindustan to come and settle in India, but they
very rarely, if at all, employed people who were not willing to stay in
India for good and to make it their home. Their bias, if any, against
the Hindus was religious, not political. The converts to Islam were
sometimes treated even with greater consideration than the original
Muslims. Akbar, of course, did away with that distinction, but even the
most bigoted and the most orthodox Mohammedan ruler of India was not
possessed of that kind of social pride and social exclusiveness which
distinguishes the British ruler of India to-day. If the racial question
ever came into prominence during Mohammedan supremacy in India, it was
not between Hindus and Mohammedans, but between Mohammedans and
Mohammedans, as for instance between _Tuglaks_ and _Pathans_, or between
_Moguls_ and _Lodis_.[34]

In the reign of rulers like Sher Shah, Akbar, Jehangir, and Shah Jahan,
the Hindus were eligible for the highest offices under the crown next
after the princes of royal blood. They were governors of provinces,
generals of armies, and rulers of districts and divisions. In short, the
distinctions between the Hindus and Muslims were neither political nor
social. Looked at from the political and the economic point of view, the
Government was as much indigenous as under Hindu rule. The Muslims never
attempted to disarm the population; nor did they prohibit the
manufacture or import of arms. They did not recruit their servants from
Arabia, or Persia, or Afghanistan. They had no Lancashire industries to
protect, and were under no necessity of imposing excise duties on
Indian-made goods. They brought their own language and literature with
them. For a time, perhaps, they transacted all government business
through that language, but eventually they evolved a language which is
as much Indian as any other vernacular spoken in India to-day. The
groundwork of this language, which is now called Urdu or Hindustani, is
purely Indian. The Muslim rulers of India had no anxiety for, and were
in no way concerned with, the prosperity of the labouring classes of
Persia or Afghanistan. If any one sought their patronage, he had to come
to and settle in India. So their government was an Indian government
and not a foreign government.

History does not record a single instance of India being ruled from
without, by a people of purely non-Indian blood and in the interests of
another country and another people, before the British.[35] India was
always an empire by herself. She was never a part of another empire,
much less a dependency. She had her own army, her own navy, her own
flag. Her revenues were spent for her own benefit. She had her
industries and manufactured the goods she consumed. Any one wanting the
privilege of trading with India under special terms had to obtain the
sanction of her government, as the East India Company did. There was no
India Office in Arabia or in Persia or in Kabul, to which the people of
India looked for initiative in the affairs of their native land.


INDIA UNDER THE BRITISH

India under the British is, however, entirely different.[36] For the
first time in history she becomes a part of another empire. India
to-day is not an empire by herself, but a part of the British Empire, as
Britain once was a part of the Roman Empire. For the first time in
history she has been reduced to the position of a dependency. For the
first time in her history she is ruled from the outside. For the first
time the Indians have been reduced to the position of a subject people,
governed by an alien race residing in a different and far-off country.
For the first time she is ruled by a sovereign who does not live in
India, who sends out every five years a viceroy to administer the
affairs of the country under the authority of a minister in a foreign
land. For the first time her affairs are managed by people who come and
go, under laws made outside of India.[37] All the chief offices of
state, the direction and control of armies, the administration of
revenues, of divisions, of districts, the coining of money, the
administration of justice, the imposing of taxes, etc., are generally in
the hands of foreigners who have absolutely no interest in the country
except as servants of the crown, persons whose interests in the country
cease with the expiration of their term of service. These servants are
recruited and appointed out of India. Indians as such are virtually
ineligible for many of these offices. During the 150 years of British
rule in India, no Indian has been appointed to the governorship of any
province. Indians are ineligible for commissions in the army; they
cannot be enrolled as volunteers. In order to qualify for the Civil
service of their own country, they have to travel six thousand miles, to
take the chance of succeeding once in a while.

_Political Disqualification of the Indians._ For the first time in the
political history of India it has become a political disqualification to
be an Indian. The offspring of an Englishman, domiciled in India and
married to an Indian lady, loses in rank and status by that fact; nor
does the issue of an Indian gentleman from an Englishwoman gain anything
thereby. So the inferiority in both ways lies in Indian blood and Indian
origin. The Muslim who married in India, or the Indian who married a
Persian or Afghan, were not affected thereby in their political
privileges in the Mohammedan régime. An Indian convert to Christianity
is in no better position in India than a Hindu or a Muslim. Thus it is
not a religious inferiority or a religious distinction, upon which the
political disabilities of an Indian are based, but the fact of his being
an Indian by blood and by birth. Never before was India governed by a
handful of officers, military and civil, who came to rule for a period,
going away when that period was over, only to be replaced by another set
equally temporary. India thus loses all or most of what these receive in
the shape of money; she loses all the experience which they gain in the
different spheres of activity that engages them during the period of
their service in India; last but not least, she is deprived of the
satisfaction and pride of claiming these men as her sons, who would in
their turn take pride in her and feel as sons should for their mother.
They come as her rulers, and till the end remain the same. Their sons
and grandsons also may in their turn come as rulers, but never as sons.
The sons of India, who gain the rank of officials, are only servants of
the British. Their position in the Indian services is generally that of
drawers of water and hewers of wood for their British masters.

_All Europeans, Eurasians including Armenians and Jews can carry arms
free of license; not so the Indians._ In India, the Indians only are
forbidden to carry arms except by special permission of their masters;
and permission is of course granted very sparingly and as a matter of
favour, as a special concession and not as a right. The highest, the
noblest, and the purest among the Indians has to be _excepted_ from the
operation of the Arms Act, as an act of mercy on the part of his foreign
rulers. In the hills of his own native country, where his parents,
grandparents, and great grandparents before him were born, where they
perhaps ruled or held positions of trust, where they died, where they
fertilised the soil with their blood, and where within less than a
century they enjoyed absolute freedom, he, their immediate descendant,
must not carry an umbrella over his head to give him shelter from rain
or sun without the risk of being kicked to death or being insulted by
the lowest among the foreign masters of his country.[38] The hoary
Himalayas, the beloved abode of his most respected divinities, are in
some places virtually shut against him because the “white gods” have
developed a fancy for them.

But that is not all. Even outside India he carries the badge of
political subjection with him. The British colonies, more than any other
country, bang their doors on him. He is a pariah all over the world.
Considering that this is his position in his home, he could hardly be
anything else outside. The British Government does not like his going
abroad except as an indentured coolie to the British colonies. He may go
to England on a pleasure trip, but they do not want Indians there in any
numbers. They particularly dislike his going to America and settling
there. The reason is obvious. Travelling abroad gives him opportunities
of comparing British rule in India with the forms of government
prevailing in other countries. Free atmosphere and free environment
raise aspirations which are dangerous, at any rate inconvenient to
British supremacy in India. Moreover, they effectively break down the
hypnotism which has so far enthralled the Indian mind in its judgments
regarding British character. On his return to India, a travelled Indian
becomes a centre of discontent. In the course of their travels some
Indians meet the free-thinkers and revolutionaries of Europe and learn
their methods. All this is naturally disliked by the British.

Therefore, of late, the British have been taking steps to discourage
foreign travelling on the part of Indians. They have been trying to keep
Indian students out of Great Britain by imposing conditions which are
repellent. They have raised the educational standards which had formerly
secured them admission into British universities and British Inns of
Court. They have organised an official bureau in London which,
ostensibly acting as their guardian and adviser, discourages them from
entering British universities, keeps a vigilant eye on their movements,
reports on their conduct to the authorities at home, and insists upon
their seeking admission to British educational institutions through
it.[39] At all Indian ports there are police officers present, who note
down the names of, and particulars relating to, every Indian who leaves
Indian shores. Thenceforth two eyes are almost always watching him, go
wherever he may.

To him, the British embassies in the different countries of the world
mean nothing. He is afraid of seeking their help, first for fear of
getting a rebuff and being insulted, second because he is afraid of
circumstances being created which might force his early departure from
that country. His wrongs are nobody’s wrongs. He may be assaulted, nay,
even killed, or insulted, or robbed, or ill-treated, yet he has no
government to look to his interests. The British Government does not
resent other countries’ excluding him; they are rather happy at it and
in some cases are understood to have exercised their influence against
his entry into foreign countries. The self-governing dominions of the
British Empire have built a solid wall of most revolting and inhuman
laws and regulations against his entry into those dominions. He cannot
go there, even on a pleasure trip or for study, except by submitting to
impossible tests or most revolting conditions.

In this respect he is much better treated by non-British countries. Till
recently he could come and go there quite freely. No European country
bars his visits. Of late the United States, it is said, at the instance
of the British Government, has been following a policy of exclusion. But
once in the country, all universities and institutions receive him,
provided he fulfils their conditions and complies with their
regulations. That much, however, cannot be said of Great Britain. It is
true that Great Britain imposes no restrictions on his coming and going,
as she imposes no restrictions on any one else’s coming and going, but
there are British institutions which would not admit him as a student,
however high his social position or status may be. Even those
institutions which admit him for study, discriminate against him in the
matter of military drill. They would not admit him into their volunteer
corps; nor would they take him as a boy scout. A great many of the
British clubs would have nothing to do with him. The only British club
of note, which has a fairly good number of Indians on its rolls and
which accords them a welcome, is the National Liberal Club. This club is
a noble exception.

Now the British must be an extremely unimaginative people, if they think
that all this does not make the Indian feel the inferiority of his
position. The latter, naturally, ascribes all this to the fact of his
country’s having no national government of her own to protect him and to
advance his interests. All this reminds him most forcibly of the fact
that he belongs to a subject race, that his country does not count in
the world because she is not free and has no embassies, that she has no
flag of her own, nor consular representatives to back her sons, and that
in the great mass of civilised humanity he is a mere cypher. All this
naturally tells on his nerves and he becomes an extremist. He feels that
anything would be preferable to this life of shame and dishonor.

It is difficult for people who have never been placed in a similar
position to realise the sense of humiliation and shame involved in this
condition of things. Let the British for a moment imagine themselves
under similar circumstances, and they may then be in a position to
appreciate the point of view of an Indian nationalist. Let us suppose
for a moment that the Germans conquer England and impose their rule on
the British race. How would the British like their country being
administered by a viceroy of the Kaiser selected by the German
Chancellor, with the help of a council consisting of Germans and of a
bureaucracy recruited almost exclusively from Prussia, with only a
sprinkling of native Britishers? No one can question the efficiency of
the German system. The strong hand of Germany might keep Ireland in
peace and prevent the suffragists and the socialists and the Roman
Catholics disturbing public tranquillity. They might even employ a whole
army of Britishers in the subordinate posts, might pay them handsomely
for military and police duty, might confer decorations and titles on
them, might build even greater engineering works for them than they had
ever done, and might let them retain their language for elementary
education or for religious or domestic purposes. Would the English be
satisfied and would they be contented? Would they consider German rule
to be a blessing and judge it by trade returns? Never![40] Why then,
should they question the patriotism or good sense of the Indians who
want self-government for India? Did not Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman say
that good government could never be a substitute for self-government?

The fact is, that it is impossible for a free-born citizen of a free
country to put himself in the position of a political subject and
realise fully and properly the sense of humiliation and shame involved
therein. The feeling is unknown to him, and he has not sufficient
imagination to place himself in that position. Why cannot a Britisher
see that every Indian, visiting foreign countries, has to hang his head
in shame?

British statesmen, politicians, publicists and journalists all talk of
the blessings of British rule in India, of what the British have done
there in establishing peace and order, in making railways and canals, in
imparting education, in stimulating trade, in administering impartial
justice, in fostering industries, in organising the postal and the
telegraph systems, and in opening the country to the world. They cannot
see why the Indian should wish to get rid of the British. The British
have done so much for him, have brought civilisation to his door, have
raised him from “obscurity,” have given him their language and their
institutions, have opened to him the gates of knowledge, have provided
for him security from both domestic and foreign dangers, and have put
him on the road to ever-increasing prosperity and “_happiness_.” Let us
assume for the moment that all this is wholly true, but can it
compensate for the loss of manhood which is involved in political
bondage? Chains are chains, no matter if gilded. Can the wealth of the
whole world be put in the scales over against liberty and honour? What
would it avail if one were to get the sovereignty of the world but lose
his own soul? A subject people has no soul, just as a slave can have
none. Subjects and slaves are not even the masters of their bodies.

An Indian leader, a high-class Bengali lawyer, who is now one of His
Majesty’s judges in the High Court of Calcutta, once said, while
presiding over a conference in Bengal before he became a judge, that a
subject people could have no politics. A people who have no politics
have no soul. A man without a soul is a mere animal. A nation without a
soul is only a herd of “dumb driven cattle,” and such are the Indians of
the present day. It is a base calumny, and a mean falsehood to say in
reply, that they have been so from time immemorial, that they have
never been free, that they have never cared who ruled over them, that
they have never been patriotic, or that patriotism and a feeling of
nationality are new growths due to contact with the West, and that the
Indian people do not sympathise with the aspirations of the
nationalists. Of course, there are some people in India, as elsewhere,
who, through rolling in wealth, living in purple, inheriting long
pedigrees, carrying high titles, bearing proud names, seem to be happy
and contented under the existing conditions. For them, the security from
molestation they have, the freedom of enjoyment they possess, the
comforts and luxuries which they command, the pleasure which is born of
inactive, lazy, parasitic, debauched lives, is all in all. Any change
may bring all this edifice down; it may spell ruin to them and their
children. The immunity from work, which they at present enjoy, may all
disappear by a change of political conditions. The British Government
has guaranteed them not only their possessions, but also their right to
live and thrive on the ignorance, the superstitions, and the mental and
moral slavery of their followers and subjects.

Such are some of the Nabobs and Maharajas of India. Many of them might
have to cut stones and make roads to earn their living, if they were not
protected by British bayonets. Their harems consisting of numerous
innocent women doomed to life-long imprisonment, to lives of barrenness
and shame and emptiness, their big cellars full of the choicest and the
oldest of whiskies, brandies, and champagnes, their stables full of the
swiftest and the noblest of race horses, their drawing rooms decorated
with gold, silver, silk and velvet, all that money can buy and art can
embellish, their dining tables laden with all inviting dishes and
delicacies which the best paid _cuisine_ in the world can produce, their
ability to travel in special trains and gorgeous saloons, and to command
a new woman and a new wine every day of the year, and to move in the
most fashionable circles,--all depend on the continuance of the existing
conditions. For them, this is life. They do not know what honour is. For
them, struggle, strife, duty, political change, mean a dislocation of
everything dear to them. It would be practical death to them. Yes, it
may be true that such people do not care for political liberty, for
freedom, for independence, for patriotism. For them, their present life
is bliss and they do not want to be molested either by the politician or
by the patriot.

But their number is not large. Some of the ruling chiefs may not speak
out, but in their heart of hearts many of them feel the humiliation of
the situation. A Maharana of Udeypore may not be in a position to assert
his independence and take the chance of losing his State, but even _he_
may not consent to walk behind a Curzon in a coronation procession in
honour of the King of England and the foreign Emperor of India. A
Gaekwar of Baroda may be powerless as against the British army and
British navy, but even he, in a moment of exalted self-respect, may
forget to make an abject obeisance to the King of England. Such men and
even many of less worth and nobility, cannot put up with a Lord Curzon.
It is good for their sense of self-respect and also for the country at
large to have a Curzon for a viceroy. It reminds them, as nothing else
perhaps would, of their degradation and fall.

It is very interesting to observe how the Indian Chiefs writhe and fret
and foam when a Curzon threatens their privileges, tries to limit their
freedom, and otherwise trespasses upon their rights. It is then that a
wave of shame sweeps over them and touches some lingering sense of
self-respect and pride in their hearts. But the infamous, lazy,
debauched lives which some of them have led make it impossible for them
to maintain this indignation long enough for it to goad them to any
sustained effort to throw away their thraldom and assert their manhood.
The injecting of an electric current may temporarily revive a dead body,
may produce some kind of activity even in a parasite, but it cannot put
_life_ into it.

But after all, as compared with the number of people who are alive to
the sense of self-respect and honour, the parasitical crowned heads or
priests or noblemen (Nabobs, Rajas, and Maharajas) are only a few. They
are a mere drop in the ocean, though they possess the means of keeping
themselves in the public eye and of having their trumpets blown and
praises sung by the press and from the platform both in India and in
England. The British too are interested in keeping them at the front, in
parading their loyalty and devotion to the empire, and in magnifying
their importance and greatness.

There are few among the nobility of India who command any real respect
either from the educated section of their countrymen in general, or even
from their own subjects and dependents. Of course there are noble
exceptions to this statement. And yet it is true that a large number of
ruling chiefs are mere figureheads in their states. Their policy is
either dictated or guided or controlled by the British Resident or the
British Political Agent through his creatures or through persons, who,
though not quite his creatures, are afraid of his displeasure. In some
states, the Resident interferes in almost everything, and all the
details of administration pass through his fingers either directly or
indirectly. In others, the Resident watches the administration from a
distance and lays down the broad outlines of policy. There are few
native states, their number may be counted on one’s fingers, where the
ruling chief has a will or capacity to really assert himself, to stand
on his dignity, and to maintain his independence. Even the most
enlightened and the most independent Prince is compelled to consult the
wishes of the Resident and the wishes of the Government of India as
expressed by him.

_Loyalty of Ruling Chiefs_. It would be quite wrong to conclude, as some
people do, that all the ruling chiefs are sincerely loyal to the British
supremacy, or that their acts displaying loyalty are free and
independent expressions of their minds or their will.[41] Some of them
are devoid of any real sense of honour, or are lost to it by habitual
submission or habitual debauchery. They are quite contented to be left
alone to enjoy. There are others, however, who would be only too glad to
throw away the British yoke, if they could only see a way of
successfully doing so. They are not prepared to take their chances. It
should be distinctly understood, therefore, that the Nationalist Party
does not count upon their help or sympathy. A good many perhaps
sympathise with the party of violence, and chuckle at their successes,
but none of them dare do anything to help them in any shape. A few
openly sympathise with the “constitutional” party, but even they cannot
and would not give them any monetary or other kind of help as it might
easily be construed into an act of unfriendliness towards the Paramount
Power, and might mar their relations with that.

The smaller fry, the wealthy banker, the great landlord, the Bengal
Zemindar, and the Oudh Talukdar, are almost completely in the hands of
the British officials. The sympathy of the British officials benefits
them materially. Their antipathy or dislike or aversion would ruin them
financially. The British collector or magistrate holds complete sway
over their souls. They would rather go out of their way to propitiate
him and win his pleasure, than risk the slightest suspicion of an
independent attitude, or of any conduct which even by stretch of
imagination could be construed into independence. Yet there are some,
in Bengal at least, who do sympathise with, and give active help to, the
Revolutionary Party. There are others who sympathise with, and give
occasional monetary assistance to, the Constitutional Party. The latter
class does not count for much in Indian politics, and anything said or
done by them cannot be said to represent the attitude of any very large
section of the Indian community.

Men of wealth and men of means have nowhere led the revolutionary or the
political movements in the history of freedom in this world of ours.
Their interests as a class are opposed to change. Sometimes there does
arise from among their ranks a man of courage, a man endowed with an
adventurous nature or fired by ambition, who leads the movement for
change, in the hope of either establishing a dynasty, or otherwise
leaving a name in history; and sometimes one comes across a wealthy man
who, out of regard for principle, and from conviction, is a patriot, and
joins the patriotic party deliberately, and risks his possessions and
position; but such instances are always few and far between in all
countries.

_Middle Class Desires Political Freedom._ The desire for political
independence, the sense of shame and humiliation born of being a subject
race, of being a political pariah, must from the nature of things be
confined largely to the educated middle class. Even the masses could not
be expected to take a very deep interest in the movement for political
independence. Their ignorance, their illiteracy, but most of all the
hard struggle they have to carry on for barest existence, prevents them
from devoting time or thought to the question. Their time and thought
are given to the fight against hunger and want, against disease and
distress, against misery and wretchedness. They are easy to please. A
slight act of kindness or of charity or of consideration makes them
happy. They are easily confused on fundamental issues. This is true even
in Europe and America, where the common people have received the
benefits of school education, and where they have had a training in
democratic thought for a century or more. The masses are easily led
astray by governments or by classes in league with governments. In every
country it is the educated middle class that leads the movement for
political independence or for political progress. It is the strength of
their convictions, their earnestness, their capacity to suffer for their
convictions, their willingness to sacrifice themselves for principles
and for truth, coupled with the extent and amount of their influence
over the masses, which determines the fate of the movement for liberty.

A movement of that nature never dies. “The battle of freedom once begun
is carried on from father to son,” is as good to-day as it ever was. Yet
the movement may be delayed, or its issue may be confused, or the
contrary, according to the wisdom or the folly of its advocates, or the
amount of earnestness they put in it, or the amount of influence they
have over the masses, as well as by the wisdom or shortsightedness or
cunning of those who oppose it. All the world over, progressive
political movements have had vicissitudes of fortune, stages of
development, times of reactions, defeats and reverses. Governments
always begin by ignoring such movements. Then comes a period of
ridicule, followed by repression. But their efforts are futile. The food
on which the tender plant of liberty thrives is the blood of the martyr.
The rope of the hangman, the axe of the executioner, or the shot of the
gunner, extinguishes individual life, only to make the desire for
corporate life keener and stronger. Banishments, deportations,
imprisonments, tortures and confiscations, are the usual weapons of the
tyrant to strangle liberty, to extirpate those that are after it, but
they have so far proved ineffectual to kill it. Conciliation is
sometimes more successful than repression, but conciliation delayed or
concessions forced have been proved to be worse than useless. The
Nationalist Movement in India has passed through some of these stages,
and is passing through the rest. We presume it will be of some interest
and use to trace its development, and to make a retrospective review of
its successes and failures so far.[42]



CHAPTER II

INDIA FROM 1757 TO 1857 A. D.


Aurangzeb, the 6th Mogul Emperor of India, died in 1707 A. D. Within
fifty years of his death, the Mogul sovereignty in India was reduced to
its last gasp. The seeds sown by his bigotry, fanaticism, and suspicious
nature were ripening and bringing to his successors a harvest of
dissensions and discords, of rebellions and revolts. In the North as
well as the South, forces had been generated which threatened the end of
the Mogul rule. The martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, the Sikh Guru, who
was foully murdered at Delhi, where he had gone on a mission of peace,
had sunk deep into the hearts of his followers, and his son, Guru Govind
Singh, was organising forces which were destined to supplant Mogul rule
in the Land of the Five Rivers.[43] In the Deccan, Sivaji’s[44] standard
and throne had become the rallying point of the fighting forces of
Southern India.

By 1757 A. D., the Sikhs in the Punjab and the Mahrattas in the Deccan
had succeeded in undermining the foundations of the Mogul rule, which
was now steadily disintegrating. The Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Nawab
of Mysore had asserted their independence and were disputing the
mastery of the Deccan with the Mahrattas. Similarly the Nabobs of Bengal
and Oudh owed only nominal allegiance to the King of Delhi. The greater
part of the peninsula, Central India, was under the Mahrattas.

_Conflict of French and English in India._ The political fate of India
was hanging in the balance, when a power arose to take advantage of the
disturbed conditions of things. The French and the English both entered
the arena, taking different sides, and began to shuffle their cards.
They sold their help to the highest bidder, and at the conclusion of
every game, or even in the midst of it, changed partners as often as
they could in the interest of their respective masters. The first
military achievement of note, which gave decisive advantage to the
British, was at the battle of Plassey in 1757. That practically gave
them the key to the sovereignty of India. From 1757 to 1857 was the
century of struggle, both military and diplomatic. The one end kept in
view was the making of the Empire and the amassing of wealth.

_How British Rule in India was Established._ Hindus were played against
the Mohammedans, and vice versa, states and principalities against
states and principalities, Jats against Rajputs, and Rajputs against
Jats, Mahrattas against both, Rohillas against Bundelas, and Bundelas
against Pathans, and so on. Treaties were made and broken without the
least scruple, sides were taken and changed and again changed without
the least consideration of honour or faith. Thrones were purchased and
sold to the highest bidder. Military support was purchased and given
like merchandise. Servants were induced to betray their masters,
soldiers to desert flags, without any regard to the morality of the
steps taken. Pretences were invented and occasions sought for involving
states and principalities in wars and trouble. Laws of all kinds,
national and international, moral and religious, were all for the time
thrown into the discard. Neither minors nor widows received any
consideration; the young and the old were treated alike. The one object
in view was to loot, to plunder, and to make an empire. Everything was
subordinated to that end. One has only to read Mill and Wilson’s
“History of British India,” Burke’s “Impeachment of Warren Hastings,”
Torrens’ “Our Empire in Asia,” Wilson’s “Sword and Ledger,” Bell’s
“Annexation of the Punjab” to find out that the above is a bare and
moderate statement of truth.

_Methods of Consolidation of British India._ Policies (fiscal,
industrial, religious, educational) were all discussed and formulated
from one point of view, viz., the establishing of British authority, the
consolidation of British rule, and pecuniary gain to the East India
Company. If one were to pile up “scraps of paper” which the British
destroyed or disregarded in the making of their Indian empire, one could
fill a decent sized box therewith. The administrations of Wellesley and
Dalhousie alone would furnish sufficient material for the purpose. We
do not know of anything in Indian history which could be compared with
the deeds of this century. It was a century of consistent, prolonged,
and deliberate spoliation, subtle and scientific sometimes, in the
pursuance of which all laws of morality, humanity, and fairness were
tossed aside, and the object in view was persistently and doggedly kept
in view and achieved. It was not the doing of this man or that man, but,
with some noble exceptions, of the whole body of Administrators sent by
the East India Company to manage their affairs in the East. The policies
and doings of the various rulers that were sent from England to
administer the affairs of India differed in degree only.

_British Public Ignorant of Facts._ It is true that the British people
as a whole had no notion of what was going on in India. They were as
ignorant of it, then, as they are to-day of the doings of their
countrymen in that vast “continent.” It sufficed for them to know that
their countrymen were carving an empire there, conquering provinces and
bringing millions of alien people under British rule; as it suffices for
them to know to-day that they have an empire in India. India brought
them wealth and material prosperity. Individuals became fabulously rich
and their wealth filtered downward and filled the whole British nation.
The nation became rich by the dividends of the East India Company, and
by the enormous profits which British manufacturers and British traders
made by the fact of British supremacy in India. That was enough for the
nation. Even when their moral sense was at times shocked by certain
disclosures, which by chance found their way into the press or into the
literature of the country, it was soon calmed and set at rest by the
speeches made by the statesmen at the helm of affairs, who explained
them away, excused their authors on political grounds, and laid down in
high, grandiloquent terms that the general aim of British rule in India
was beneficent, and that this aim was steadily being pursued. The
impeachment of Warren Hastings by Burke should have opened the eyes of
the British public as to what was happening in India; but the eventual
acquittal of that famous pro-consul set matters at rest. And Warren
Hastings was by no means the worst offender. What happened then is
happening every day in India, only in a different way and on a different
scale.

Yet I am not disposed to criticise the British public. Democracies have
no time for the critical examination of the affairs of other countries
and other people. They have their own trouble, enough and to spare. They
look to material benefits, and their imagination is fired and their mind
is thrilled by the fact of so many millions being under their rule. In
the case of the British, both combined make them proud of their
countrymen, who rule and administer India in their name. They have no
reason to be critical. Human nature is human nature after all. Ordinary
human nature is not inclined to be critical at gains, especially when it
does not directly feel the iniquity of the methods by which those gains
are made. But this is only by the way.

To continue the thread of my narrative: the history of British
“conquest” of India from 1757 to 1857 A. D. is a continuous record of
political charlatanry, political faithlessness, and political
immorality. It was a triumph of British “diplomacy.” The British
founders of the Indian empire had the true imperial instincts of
empire-builders. They cared little for the means which they employed.
Moral theorists cannot make empires. Empires can only be built by
unscrupulous men of genius, men of daring and dash, making the best of
opportunities that come to their hands, caring little for the wrongs
which they thereby inflict on others, or the dishonesties or treacheries
or breaches of faith involved therein. Empires can only be conceived by
Napoleons, Bismarcks, Disraelis, Richelieus, and Machiavellis. They can
only be built by Clives, Hastings, Wellesleys, and Dalhousies. Burkes
and Gladstones cannot do that work, nor can Morleys, though they may
connive at others doing it, and might accept it as _fait accompli_.

_Conquest of India Diplomatic, not Military._ The British conquest of
India was not a military conquest in any sense of the term. They could
not conquer India except by playing on the fears of some and the hopes
of others, and by seeking and getting the help of Indians, both moral
and material. The record is as black as it could be; but nothing
succeeds like success, and all that is largely a forgotten page so far
as the present generation of Indians is concerned. Only one feels
disposed to smile when one hears of Indian nationalists being charged in
British-Indian courts with attempting to subvert “the government
established by law.” One is inclined to ask “By what law?” and “Who made
that law?”

_The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857._ We have, however, referred to this
story in these few words only to introduce the great Indian mutiny of
1857, as the first Indian political movement of the nineteenth century.
_The movement was national as well as political. The underlying causes
and the contributory forces were many._ The union of the Hindus and
Mohammedans, the thoroughness of the organisation which preceded the
mutiny, the stubbornness with which the mutineers fought, and the
comparatively few treacheries that characterised the mutinous campaign,
all point to the same conclusion.

The mutiny, however, failed because the people on the whole had no faith
in the constructive capacity of the mutineers. The mutineers had no
doubt agreed to postpone the question of the constructive ends in view,
until after they had turned out the British, but the people could not.
The people’s patience had been exhausted by the military activities of
the preceding century and the accompanying disorder and anarchy, and
they saw before them the possibility of a recurrence of the same in the
case of success attending the arms of the mutineers. They hated the
British; the Indian nobility and aristocracy, as well as the Indian
people, hated them. They sympathised with the mutineers; but they
helped them only half-heartedly. They had no faith in them. The ruling
families of India, the aristocracy and the nobility, were perhaps more
dreaded and hated by the people than were the British. There was no one
to rally them to one standard.

_How the Mutiny was Put Down._ Here again it was British “diplomacy”
that saved the British situation. The British rallied to their support
the newly born aristocracy of the Punjab,--the Sikhs. The Sikhs had been
persecuted and oppressed by the Mohammedans. They were not in a mood to
look favourably at the chance of Mohammedan supremacy being
re-established in India. They had had enough of the “Turk,” as they
called every Mohammedan; and they threw the whole weight of their
recently gathered virility on the side of the British. They were told
and they believed, that in crushing the Mohammedan power, they were
revenging themselves on the slayers of Guru Teg Bahadur, the oppressors
of Guru Govind Singh, and the murderers of his sons. It was the thought
of Sirhind and the incidents associated with the name of that cursed
place,[45] that goaded them to the destruction of the last chance of
Mohammedan supremacy in India.

The mutiny failed, but its course showed with what intensity the
mutineers hated the British. The Indians are a very kind-hearted
people; they would not injure even an ant, much less a human being, if
they could help it, but some of them were guilty of the most cruel
excesses during the mutiny. The British, too, in their turn did not
spare the Indians in any way either during the mutiny or after it.
Innocent and guilty alike were placed before the cannon and shot in
lots.[46] In their marches through the country, British soldiers
tortured men, women, and children,[47] and sometimes hung their heads
or carcasses on the trees.[48] Both sides vied with each other in their
cruelties.

The victors have immortalised the reprisals (or say, the iniquities) of
the vanquished by building permanent memorials on the spots where they
were perpetrated; their own, they have forgotten, and so have perhaps
the descendants of those who were the objects thereof, though they are
recorded in history.

The impression which a visit to these memorials leaves on the mind of an
English visitor can be better realised by the following extract from an
account published in _The Outlook_ (the English journal) on the 3rd of
April, 1915, over the signature of one F. G. A. Speaking of the mutiny
memories and monuments of Lucknow and Cawnpore, the writer remarks:

“Their mutiny memories are quite distinct, as are the impressions they
leave on the pilgrim to these shrines of heroism and devilry. The
battered ruins of Lucknow, testifying to a heroism so splendid as to rob
even death of its sting, bring an inspiration that is almost joyous.
Every crumbling gateway and every gloomy cellar has its tale of heroic
endurance and magnificent defence, and the final relief of the
beleaguered garrison wrote such a finis to the story as erased much of
its earlier bitterness....

“None of this forgiveness is conceivable in those who visit Cawnpore.
Even the sculptured angel over the unspeakable Well bears, on one
profile at any rate, an expression of stern condemnation that holds out
no promise of pardon. The atmosphere of historic Cawnpore is one of
haunting horror and a sadness that will not pass with the years. Time
seems powerless to heal this rancour. I care not whether the pilgrim
wanders through the beautiful Memorial Gardens (in which, significantly,
no native is allowed to enter), feasting his eyes on the _blaze
Bougainvillæa_, or resting them in the shade of the peepul and the
banyan, or whether he lingers in the strangely Italian-looking Memorial
Church and reads the roll of honour that fills a series of mural
tablets; everywhere his soul will be filled with gloom and will cry for
eternal vengeance on the authors of the massacre and on those who threw
the dying with the dead into the awful blackness of the pit. These
memories hold nothing but hate and horror, without one redeeming chapter
to leaven them with comfort or forgiveness.”[49]

The English are mistaken if they think that a reading of the history of
the mutiny and the excesses and cruelties indulged in by the British
does not excite similar feeling in the minds of the Indians. The
British can express their feelings freely. The Indians cannot; their
feelings must be repressed.

It would, however, be better for both parties to try to wipe off the
past in a spirit of mutual trust and mutual good will, which is only
possible if England were to cease to pursue a policy of exploiting India
and to establish her connection with India on a basis of equality,
honesty and justice. That can only be done by treating her as a partner
in the Empire and not as a mere “dependency” or “possession.”



CHAPTER III

INDIA FROM 1857 TO 1905


PART I--FROM 1857 TO 1885

The mutiny was quelled. The ringleaders among the mutineers were killed,
hanged or shot, and with them a lot of those who were innocent. Many of
the rank and file were pardoned, as no government could shoot or hang
all those who had taken part in the mutiny. Their number was legion. The
British Empire in India was saved, but the East India Company was gone.
The system of open pillage was ended. The crown assumed the direct
government of India. The Queen’s Proclamation and the policy of “mercy
and reconciliation” inaugurated by Canning calmed the country.

_The Bengalee Babu._ The only parts of the country which had received
some education on modern lines were the provinces of Bengal, Bombay and
Madras. The number of educated men even in these provinces was small. In
the work of settlement that followed the mutiny, these educated men
found ample scope for their ambition. Men who knew English had the
advantage over those who did not. Men with a knowledge of English were
few. The posts requiring a knowledge of that language were many.
Consequently, the English-knowing Indians were in great demand and
secured ample salaries to make them “happy and loyal.” The
English-knowing Bengalees spread over the whole of Northern India,
lately the scene of mutiny, and materially helped in bringing about
settled conditions of life. They were the pioneers in every department
of governmental activity and were looked to, both by the rulers and the
people, for advice and guidance. The Bengalee is a sentimental being.
His position under the Government filled him with pride and his
gratitude and loyalty were overflowing. The British also liked him
because he was useful, intelligent, keen, shrewd, ready to serve, and
willing to be of use. He relieved the British officer of much of his
intellectual work, and left him ample time for play and rest. Many a
departmental head ruled the country with the brain of the “Bengalee
Babu.” The Bengalee Babu worshipped the Feringhee[50] as _Mai Bap_,[51]
and began to imitate him in his tastes. He began to live as the
Britisher lived; English life, English manners and customs, became his
ideal. Gradually he became very fond of English literature and began to
think as an Englishman thought. The Bengalees were the first to send
their sons to England for their education and to compete for the I. C.
S. (Indian Civil Service) and the I. M. S. (Indian Medical Service).
They with the Parsees were the first to qualify for the English bar. In
England they lived in an atmosphere of freedom.

[Illustration: RAM MOHAN ROY]

With freedom in drinking and eating they also learned freedom of thought
and expression.

The first generation of the Bengalees was thus Anglicised through and
through. They looked down upon their own religion; they thought poorly
of Indian society. They knew nothing of their own past history, and they
glorified in being “Sahibs.”[52] Some of them became Christians. Alarmed
at this transformation, Ram Mohan Roy and a few others resolved to stem
the tide. For a time they succeeded, but only partially. Be it said to
the credit of the Bengalees that a fairly good number refused to be
carried down-stream, and in spite of their English education stuck to
their own religion and their own customs. They saw a good deal in their
society which needed reform; but they declined to make sweeping changes
and would not imitate. These veterans laid the foundations of the modern
Bengalee literature. They wanted to pour their knowledge, derived from a
study of English language and literature, into their own mother tongue,
and in order to enlarge the vocabulary of the latter for their work,
they had to study Sanskrit. Thus in spite of the Anglification of the
first generation of Bengalees, there grew up a class of men imbued with
nationalistic tendencies. Ram Mohan Roy, the founder of Brahmo Samaj,
was the first nation-builder of Modern India.

For a time the field that was opened for the employment of
English-educated Bengalees in Upper India (in the then N. W. Provinces,
in the Punjab, in Behar, in Central India, in Rajputana, even in Sindh)
checked the growth of these tendencies. The feeling of gratitude and
contentment was supreme. The Bengalee was indispensable in almost every
department. The reins of practical management were mostly in Bengalee
hands, whether it was a court of justice, or a Revenue Commissioner’s
office, or a commissariat depot, of an adjutant’s camp, or the
department of land survey, or education. The heads of departments were
always English, but the heads of ministerial establishments were
generally Bengalees. The English could not do without them. The former
did not know the language of the country, nor did they know the
character of the people. The Bengalees were thus an absolute necessity.
With the spread of a knowledge of the English language, the first
generation of English-knowing Indians in every province came to occupy
an important position. While the old-fashioned Pandit or Moulvie sulked,
the English-knowing Hindu or Mohammedan basked in sunshine and
flourished. The British laid down policies and gave orders; the
English-knowing Indian saw that they were carried out. They thus came to
enjoy the confidence of their masters and imitated their vices.

But what was most important was that they began to think like their
English masters. The English read their newspapers; so the Indians
started their newspapers. The English met in clubs and churches. So the
Indians started Samajes and Sabhas and debating clubs. For a time the
English-knowing Indian prided himself in imitating his master. He took
his dress, he took his cheroot and pipe, and also his cup and beefsteak.
He began to live in houses built and furnished in the English way. He
detested Indian life and took pride in being Anglicised. Everything
Indian was odious in his eyes. The Indians were barbarians; their
religion was a bundle of superstitions; they were dirty people; their
customs and manners were uncivilised; they were a set of narrow-minded
bigots who did not know that man was born free. So the English set the
fashion for them in everything. If their English masters went to church
and read the Bible, they did the same. If the English masters indulged
in free-thinking, they did the same. They wanted to be like their
English masters in every way. Their ambition, however, soon met a check.
They could equal the British in drinking and in free-thinking, but they
could not aspire to his position and place in the government of the
country. Some of them decided to try this in the case of their sons.
They sent them to England. A few passed the Indian Civil Service and the
Indian Medical Service examinations, others became barristers. Both
found out by bitter experience that, however able and clever they might
be, whatever their intellectual acquirements, no matter if they were
Christians, or semi-Christians, or free-thinkers, there was a limit to
their aspirations both in service and out of it. That was the first
eye-opener.

In the meantime, the thoughtful among the Indians, who had not taken to
English manners, were anxiously watching the flow of the current. They
saw the disintegrating and denationalising forces that were at work;
they saw that their national edifice was crumbling down brick by brick;
everything which they had valued and held sacred was being devastated
and treated with contempt and reduced to ashes. Their own children were
deserting the old banners to which innumerable generations before them
had clung with love and reverence. They saw all this; they were sorry;
they wept tears of blood; but they could do nothing. They were powerless
before the tide. They tried palliatives, but failed. What was fatal to
their pious wishes was that they could not themselves resist the fruits
which English education brought in the shape of emoluments and rank and
position. They wanted these fruits without the thorns. They soon found
that that was impossible, and so they gave up the struggle in despair
and became reconciled to the inevitable. What they failed to achieve
was, however, brought about by a combination of circumstances which we
will briefly enumerate below.

_Forces Resisting Denationalisation._ 1. The English education imparted
in schools and colleges established by the British, and the Christian
missions (in some instances supplemented by Indian agencies), opened the
gates of Western thought and Western literature to the mass of educated
Indians.

2. Some of the British teachers and professors who taught in the schools
and colleges consciously and unconsciously inspired their pupils with
ideas of freedom as well as nationalism.

[Illustration: SWAMI VIVEKANANDA]

3. The over-zeal of the missionaries in their attacks upon Indian
religions and Indian thought suggested to Indian minds a closer and
deeper study of their own religion and thought.

4. In this they were materially helped by the awakening of Europeans to
the thought of the East. The labours of the European savants and their
appreciation of Eastern thought kindled a fresh fire in the bosom of
Hindus and Mohammedans.

5. The writings of Ram Mohan Roy, Debendra Nath Tagore, Rajendra Lal
Mitra, in Bengal, those of Ranade, Vishnu Pandit and others in
Mahrashtra, of Swami Dayanand and Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Upper India, of
Madam Blavatsky and the other Theosophists in Madras, brought about a
new awakening, which afterwards received an even stronger impetus from
the writings and speeches of Mrs. Annie Besant and Swami Vivekananda.
This was on the religious and social side mainly, but its national
character was unmistakable.

_Political Disappointments._ The current produced by these causes met
another current, which was generated by political disappointments. The
aspirations of the educated Indian had met a check. The few successes
gained by Indians in the Indian Civil Service examinations alarmed the
British, and they sought for means of keeping them out. One of the means
adopted was to require that the candidates should not be more than 19 to
21 years of age at the time of examination, an age so young as made it
impossible for Indians to come over to England and successfully compete.
This raised a howl and cry in Bengal, and the rest of the country
followed Bengal. Then came other measures like the Vernacular Press Act
of Lord Lytton, and the remission of cotton duties,[53] and so on. The
generation educated in England had some experience of the methods of
political agitation in that country, and they soon began to organise on
those lines. Political agitation on modern lines thus became a fact of
Indian life, and English-educated Indians began to talk of liberty and
self-government.

Thus were laid the foundations of the national awakening, of which so
much has been heard of late. The methods of the English Government in
India, their educational system, their press, their laws, their courts,
their railways, their telegraphs, their post-offices, their steamers,
had as much to do with it as the native love of country, of religion and
nation, which had received a temporary check by the crushing defeat of
the mutineers in 1857, and by the Indian people’s too ready acquiescence
in the political and social domination of the foreigner which ensued.

This time, however, the movement was brought into existence by those who
had received their inspiration from Europe. Within less than twenty
years after the great mutiny, the Nationalist Movement of India was
born, almost at the same time and place at which Lord Lytton was
presiding at the great Imperial Durbar, and announcing that the great
Queen of England was assuming the title of Empress of India. The Durbar
reduced the chiefs of India from the position of allies to that of
feudatories, but it quite unconsciously and against the intentions of
its authors raised in theory the status of the Indian subjects of the
Queen to that of citizens of the British Empire. Little did the authors
of that Durbar realise the inner significance of the move they were
making. That Durbar, we may say, marked the beginning of the movement
which filled the educated Indian with the idea of obtaining his rightful
place in the Empire. He became articulate and began to assert himself.
He was no longer satisfied with the minor positions which he held in the
Government of India. He claimed his country as his own, and raised the
cry of “India for the Indians.” His cry gained strength when he found
that the India which he looked down upon in the fifties or sixties, the
system of thought and life which he considered barbarous, primitive and
old fashioned, and the past which he despised, were after all not so bad
as he had thought.

The latter was the contribution of the Brahmo Samaj, the Theosophical
Society, the Society for the Resuscitation of Sanskrit Literature, the
Bengal Sahitya Parishad, the Maharastra Sabha, the Arya Samaj, the
Sanatan Sabhas and other societies of a similar nature. The Bengali and
the Mahratta writers, who had carried on researches in Indian history
and unearthed valuable documents and written in their respective
vernaculars, contributed materially to the growth of this feeling. The
Theosophical Society began to praise and justify every Hindu institution
and to find science in every custom. In fact, for a time, the
thoughtful began to fear lest the pendulum was swinging the other way
and we were in the midst of a wave of reaction.

_Lord Ripon._ India was in this state of fermentation, religious, social
and political, when Lord Ripon was appointed to the viceroyalty of
India. Lord Ripon was an exceedingly kind man and commanded a broad
outlook. He was very lucky in having come on the heels of an exceedingly
unpopular Viceroy like Lord Lytton. Lord Lytton was a Tory of pronounced
imperial tendencies. Under the inspiration of Disraeli, he had by an
unworthy trick on the ruling chiefs of India changed their position from
that of allies to that of feudatories; he had gagged the vernacular
press by his press legislation; he had blundered into a bloody Afghan
war and was responsible for several other reactionary measures. Lord
Ripon started by undoing most of what Lord Lytton had done. He repealed
the Vernacular Press Act, which at once set the seal of popular approval
on his administration. The most important of his achievements were,
however, constructive. He formulated a policy of local government, and
thus laid the foundations of representative institutions in India; he
substituted merit for patronage and jobbery in filling public services,
by organising competitive examinations for filling a certain number of
posts in the higher branches of the subordinate services; last but not
least, he resolved to so alter the criminal law as to place the European
and the Indian on an equal footing in the matter of trials.

All this aroused the bitterest anger of the Anglo-Indian officialdom.
The Anglo-Indians opposed every one of these measures. They ridiculed
the idea of introducing any measure of local self-government in India,
and predicted that that must be the beginning of the end. They called
the measure rash and ill-advised and impracticable. The natives were
incapable of self-government, they said. Their religious and social
differences made it impossible. Officialdom was equally opposed to the
filling of any posts in government service by open competition. This
would bring in the “Babu,” and the “Babu” they had now begun to hate and
look down upon. The “Babu” was a “low-caste hybrid,” who wrote bad
English and talked of liberty and equality, who lacked in qualities of
docility and submissiveness, which had so far characterised persons
appointed by selection. This interfered materially with the prestige of
the Lord of the District, as people could now get “high” appointments
under the Government independently of him. Why should the people respect
him any more? His was a government by prestige, and measures like these
of Lord Ripon would destroy it. So prophesied the heaven-born “white
Brahmins.” But the worst offence of Lord Ripon was the “Ilbert
Bill,”[54] which aimed at placing the European and the Indian on an
equal footing in the eyes of the law, and would remove the disabilities
of the Indian Magistrate in the matter of the trial of the white men.
“Shall we be judged by the Nigger?” “shall he send us to jail?” “shall
he be put in authority over us? Never! It is impossible! Better that
British rule in India should end than that we be obliged to submit to
such humiliating laws.” The whole tribe of the Anglo-Indians (official
and non-official) opposed the measure most vehemently, and attacked Lord
Ripon as never viceroy was attacked before by his own countrymen in
India. They called him insulting names, passed resolutions condemning
his administration wholesale, proposed his recall before the expiration
of his period of office, and did everything possible to make him feel
that they hated him.

His unpopularity among the Anglo-Indians made him popular among the
Indians. The press and the platform sang his praise. The country was
ablaze with excitement. Never before under British rule had the country
been so enthusiastic in political matters. In Lord Ripon, they thought,
they had found a political Messiah. They gave him addresses, unharnessed
the horses from his carriage, in many places, and otherwise showed their
love and regard for him, which exasperated the European community beyond
measure. The Europeans saw in all this a menace to their power, and the
beginning of the end of imperial despotism in India. They thought they
were on the verge of losing India. In Lord Ripon the Indians recognised
the first British viceroy who was prepared to make an honest attempt at
giving effect to the pledges given and the promises made by Queen
Victoria in her famous proclamation of 1858, when the administration of
India passed into the hands of the regular British Government. Lord
Ripon lost the battle on the particular measure which had aroused the
anger of the European community more than anything else, viz., his
proposed amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code. A compromise was made
by which the principle of the bill was really abandoned. But he had
raised hopes and aspiration which were, so to say, the beginning of
political life in India. On the expiration of his term of office, the
Indians agitated for an extension of his term, which was not granted.
However, they gave him a farewell which still rings in the ears of the
older generation of Indians who took part in it, in Calcutta, in Bombay,
in Benares, and other places.

Lord Ripon left a permanent impression on the minds of the Indians. Lord
Hardinge has won a great deal of popularity, but it is doubtful if he is
so universally loved and honoured as Lord Ripon was.

_Lord Dufferin._ However, the point of the story is, that when Lord
Ripon left India, the country was in a state of perturbation. There was
a great deal of tension still lingering between the Indian and the
European communities. The fire was still smouldering when Lord Dufferin
took charge of the office of viceroyalty. He had been brought up in
diplomacy. To him diplomacy was like mother’s milk. He was a diplomat by
birth as well as by training. His mission was to appease the anger of
the governing class and in a quiet way to undo what Lord Ripon had done.
But he thought that perhaps it might be dangerous to go at it straight.
The cry of political liberty and political equality had been raised. It
was impossible to satisfy it; yet it might be dangerous to strangle it
by force. It was impossible to revive the Vernacular Press Act of Lord
Lytton. It was impossible to stifle political life which had sprung up
in the atmosphere created by Lord Ripon’s policy, and which was making a
rather precocious growth. The more it was opposed, ridiculed and
despised, the more it thrived. So he decided to guide it and to make it
as innocuous as it could be without rousing the suspicions of those who
were to be the tools.


PART II. THE BIRTH OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS

_Indian National Congress an English Product._ It is an undisputed
historical fact, that the idea of the Indian National Congress was a
product of Lord Dufferin’s brain; that he suggested it to Mr. Hume,[55]
and that the latter undertook to work it out. We have no means of
knowing whether Mr. Hume communicated the fact to all the Indian leaders
who joined hands with him in organising it, but in all probability he
told some of them. It leaked out, however, in Lord Dufferin’s lifetime,
was published in the press, brought to his notice and never denied by
him. Nor did Mr. Hume, who died only in 1912, ever deny it. It has since
been admitted to be true by his biographer, another veteran Congress
leader, Sir William Wedderburn.[56] Sir William says on page 59 of his
life of Mr. Hume: “_Indeed in initiating the National Movement, Mr. Hume
took counsel with the viceroy, Lord Dufferin; and whereas he was himself
disposed to begin his reform propaganda on the social side, it was
apparently by Lord Dufferin’s advice that he took up the work of
political organisation as the first matter to be dealt with._” We have
no hesitation in accepting the accuracy of the statement made by Sir
William Wedderburn as to what Lord Dufferin told Mr. Hume, because we
have no doubt of Mr. Hume’s sincerity of purpose. Lord Dufferin did
evidently tell Mr. Hume that “as head of the Government, he had found
the greatest difficulty in ascertaining the real wishes of the people;
and that for purposes of administration it would be a public benefit, if
there existed some responsible organisation through which the Government
might be kept informed regarding the best Indian public opinion.” Sir
William Wedderburn assures us that “these kindly counsels (_i. e._,
those given by Lord Dufferin) were received with grateful appreciation
by all concerned,” and “indeed so cordial were the relations” between
the officials and the Congress leaders that “Lord Dufferin was
approached with a view to the first Congress being held under the
presidency of Lord Reay, then Governor of Bombay.” We are told that Lord
Dufferin welcomed the proposal as showing the desire of the Congress to
work in complete harmony with the Government, but he saw many
difficulties in accepting the proposal, and so the idea was abandoned.
“None the less the first Congress was opened with the friendly sympathy
of the highest authorities.”

So this is the genesis of the Congress, and this alone is sufficient to
condemn it in the eyes of the advanced Nationalists. There is no
parallel to this in the history of the world. Who has ever heard of a
movement for political liberty being initiated by a despotic government,
which is foreign in its agency and foreign in its methods?

_Hume, a Lover of Liberty._ It is obvious that when Lord Dufferin
expected a political organisation to represent the best Indian opinion,
it was far from his mind to suggest an organisation that would demand
parliamentary government for India, or self-government even on colonial
lines. What he evidently aimed at was a sort of an innocuous association
which should serve more as a “safety valve” than as a genuine
Nationalist organisation for national purposes. Mr. Hume may have meant
more. He was a lover of liberty and wanted political liberty for India
under the _ægis_ of the British crown. He was an English patriot and as
such he wanted the continuance of British connection with India. He saw
danger to British rule in discontent going underground, and one of his
objects in establishing the Congress was to save British rule in India
from an impending calamity of the gravest kind which he thought was
threatening it at that time. In his reply to Sir Auckland Colvin,[57] he
admitted that “a safety valve for the escape of great and growing
forces generated by” British “connection, was urgently needed, and no
more efficacious safety valve than” the “Congress movement could
possibly be devised.” This correspondence between Sir Auckland Colvin,
then Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces, and Mr. Hume, reveals
the whole genesis of the Congress movement, and is so clear and
illuminating that no student of Indian politics can afford to neglect
it.

It leaves no doubt whatsoever that the immediate motive which underlay
the idea of starting the Congress was to save the Empire from “the
danger” that loomed ahead “tremendous in the immediate future,” “the
misery of the masses acted on by the bitter resentment of individuals
among the educated class.” In the words of Mr. Hume, “no choice was left
to those who gave the primary impetus to the movement. The ferment, the
creation of Western ideas, education, invention, and appliances, was at
work with a rapidly increasing intensity, and it became of paramount
importance to find for its products an overt and constitutional channel
for discharge, instead of leaving them to fester as they had already
commenced to do, under the surface.” Mr. Hume further adds that though
“in certain provinces and from certain points of view the movement was
premature, _yet from the most important point of view, the future
maintenance of the integrity of the British Empire_, the real question
when the Congress started, was, not is it premature, but is it too late?
will the country now accept it?” Indeed, by that test, the events have
proved that the Indian National Congress has been a great success, and
that either Mr. Hume’s reading of the political situation was
exaggerated, or that his remedy has been amply justified.

_Congress to Save British Empire from Danger._ But one thing is clear,
that the Congress was started more with the object of saving the British
Empire from danger than with that of winning political liberty for
India. The interests of the British Empire were primary and those of
India only secondary, and no one can say that the Congress has not been
true to that ideal. It might be said with justice and reason that the
founders of the Indian National Congress considered the maintenance of
British rule in India of vital importance to India herself, and
therefore were anxious to do everything in their power, not only to save
that rule from any danger that threatened it, but even to strengthen it;
that with them the redress of political grievances and the political
advance of India was only a by-product and of secondary importance. If
so, the Congress has been true to its ideal, and no one can find fault
with it.

On the strength of an illuminating memorandum found among his papers,
Hume’s biographer has stated the nature of the evidence that “convinced”
Mr. Hume at the time (_i.e._, about 15 months before Lord Lytton left
India) that the British were “in immediate danger of a terrible
outbreak.” We will give it in Mr. Hume’s own words.

“I was shown seven large volumes (corresponding to a certain mode of
dividing the country, excluding Burmah, Assam, and some minor tracts)
containing a vast number of entries; English abstracts or
translations--longer or shorter--of vernacular reports or communications
of one kind or another, all arranged according to districts (not
identical with ours), sub-districts, sub-divisions, and the cities,
towns and villages included in these. The number of these entries was
enormous; there were said, at the time, to be communications from over
thirty thousand different reporters. I did not count them, they seemed
countless; but in regard to the towns and villages of one district of
the Northwest Provinces with which I possess a peculiarly intimate
acquaintance--a troublesome part of the country, no doubt--there were
nearly three hundred entries, a good number of which I could partially
verify, as to the names of the people, etc.” He mentions that he had the
volumes in his possession only for about a week; into six of them he
only dipped; but he closely examined one covering the greater portion of
the Northwest Provinces, Oudh, Behar, parts of Bundelkund and parts of
the Punjab; and so far as possible verified the entries referring to
those districts with which he had special personal acquaintance. Many of
the entries reported conversations between men of the lowest
classes,[58] “all going to show that these poor men were pervaded with a
sense of the hopelessness of the existing state of affairs; that they
were convinced that they would starve and die, and that they wanted to
do _something_, and stand by each other, _and that something meant
violence_,” (for innumerable entries referred to the secretion of old
swords, spears and matchlocks, which would be ready when required. It
was not supposed that the immediate result, in its initial stages, would
be a revolt against the Government, or a revolt at all in the proper
sense of the word. What was predicted was a sudden violent outbreak of
sporadic crimes, murders of obnoxious persons, robbery of bankers,
looting of bazaars). “In the existing state of the lowest half-starving
classes, it was considered that the first few crimes would be the signal
for hundreds of similar ones, and for a general development of
lawlessness, paralysing the authorities and the respectable classes. It
was considered also, that everywhere the small bands would begin to
coalesce into large ones, like drops of water on a leaf; that all the
bad characters in the country would join, and that very soon after the
bands obtained formidable proportions, a certain small number of the
educated classes, at the time desperately, perhaps, unreasonably, bitter
against the Government, would join the movement, assume here and there
the lead, give the outbreak cohesion, and direct it as a national
revolt.”

To this, Sir William Wedderburn adds further from his own personal
knowledge:

“The forecast of trouble throughout India was in exact accordance with
what actually occurred, under my own observation, in the Bombay
Presidency, in connection with the Agrarian rising known as the Deccan
riots. These began with sporadic gang robberies and attacks on the
money lenders, until the bands of dacoits, combining together, became
too strong for the police; and the whole military force at Poona, horse,
foot, and artillery, had to take the field against them. Roaming through
the jungle tracts of the Western Ghauts, these bands dispersed in the
presence of military forces, only to reunite immediately at some
convenient point; and from the hill stations of Mahableshwar and
Matheran we could at night see the light of their campfires in all
directions. A leader from the more instructed class was found, calling
himself Sivaji, the Second, who addressed challenges to the Government,
offered a reward of 500 rupees for the head of H. E. Sir Richard Temple
(then Governor of Bombay), and claimed to lead a national revolt upon
the lines on which the Mahratta power had originally been founded.”

So in the words of these two leaders, the immediate motive of the
Congress was to save the British Empire from this danger. There is,
however, one difficulty in believing outright that this was the
immediate reason of the birth of the Congress. Mr. Hume is said to have
seen this evidence at the time he was in the service of the Government,
viz., fifteen months before Lord Lytton left India. Between then and the
first meeting of the Congress in 1885 intervened a period of about seven
years. During this time Lord Ripon was viceroy for five years. The idea
of starting a political organisation on the lines of the Congress is
said to have originated with Lord Dufferin.

This is a little inconsistent with the theory that the Congress was
founded out of fear of a political outbreak and only in the nature of a
safety valve. Nor is the latter theory consistent with Mr. Hume’s first
political manifesto addressed to the graduates of the Calcutta
University in March, 1883. This document is so manly in its
outspokenness, so true in its principles, that we will quote the whole
of it (or at least as much of it as is given in Mr. Hume’s biography).
Addressing the graduates of the university, Mr. Hume said:

“Constituting, as you do, a large body of the most highly educated
Indians, you should, in the natural order of things, constitute also the
most important source of all mental, moral, social, and political
progress in India. _Whether in the individual or the nation, all vital
progress must spring from within, and it is to you, her most cultured
and enlightened minds, her most favoured sons, that your country must
look for the initiative._ In vain may aliens, like myself, love India
and her children, as well as the most loving of these; in vain may they,
for her and their good, give time and trouble, money and thought; in
vain may they struggle and sacrifice; they may assist with advice and
suggestions; they may place their experience, abilities and knowledge at
the disposal of the workers, but they lack the essential of nationality,
and the real work must ever be done by the people of the country
themselves.” “Scattered individuals, however capable and however well
meaning, are powerless singly. What is needed is union, organisation and
a well defined line of action; and to secure these an association is
required, armed and organised with unusual care, having for its object
to promote the mental, moral, social and political regeneration of the
people of India. Our little army must be _sui generis_ in discipline and
equipment, and the question simply is, how many of you will prove to
possess, in addition to your high scholastic attainments, the
unselfishness, moral courage, self-control, and active spirit of
benevolence which are essential in all who should enlist?”

Even truer and nobler are the sentiments in the final appeal which ended
this letter and which runs thus:

“As I said before, you are the salt of the land. _And if amongst even
you, the élite, fifty men can not be found with sufficient power of
self-sacrifice, sufficient love for and pride in their country,
sufficient genuine and unselfish heartfelt patriotism to take the
initiative, and if needs be, devote the rest of their lives to the
cause, then there is no hope for India._ Her sons must and will remain
mere humble and helpless instruments in the hands of foreign rulers, for
‘_they who would be free, themselves must strike the blow_.’ And if even
the leaders of thought are all either such poor creatures, or so
selfishly wedded to personal concerns, that they dare not or will not
strike a blow for their country’s sake, then justly and rightly are they
kept down and trampled on, for they deserve nothing better. _Every
nation secures precisely as good a government as it merits._ If you, the
picked men, the most highly educated of the nation, can not, scorning
personal ease and selfish ends, _make a resolute struggle to secure
freedom for yourselves and your country_, a more impartial
administration, a larger share in the management of your own affairs,
then we, your friends, are wrong, and our adversaries right; then are
Lord Ripon’s aspirations for your good, fruitless and visionary; then,
at present, at any rate, all hopes of progress are at an end, and India
truly neither lacks nor deserves any better government than she now
enjoys. Only, if this be so, let us hear no more factious, peevish
complaints that you are kept in leading strings, and treated like
children, for you will have proved yourselves such. _Men know how to
act._ Let there be no more complaints of Englishmen being preferred to
you in all important offices, for if you lack that public spirit, that
highest form of altruistic devotion that leads men to subordinate
private ease to the public weal, that true patriotism that has made
Englishmen what they are, then rightly are these preferred to you, and
rightly and inevitably have they become your rulers. And rulers and
taskmasters they must continue, let the yoke gall your shoulders ever so
sorely, until you realise and stand prepared to act upon the eternal
truth, _whether in the case of individuals or nations, self-sacrifice
and unselfishness are the only unfailing guides to freedom and
happiness_.”

The capitals and italics are, except in two cases, ours. In the original
there are only two italics, (1) the word _themselves_ in the sentence
“they who would be free, _themselves_ must strike the blow,” and, (2)
“_Men_ know how to act.” Now these are not the words of a diplomat, much
less those of a hypocrite. Mr. Hume was too noble not to mean what he
said, and the present writer has no doubt but that Mr. Hume was
absolutely sincere in what he said. He had a passion for liberty. His
heart bled at the sight of so much misery and poverty as prevailed in
India, and which according to him was preventable by good government. He
burned with indignation at the “cowardly” behaviour of his countrymen
towards Indians, and he could not help feeling ashamed at the way in
which pledges given and promises made were being ignored. He was an
ardent student of history and knew full well that no government, whether
national or foreign, had conceded to popular demands without pressure
from below. In the case of an alien government, the chances were even
still more meagre. He therefore wanted the Indians “to strike” for their
liberty if they wanted it. The first step was to organise. So he advised
organisation.

Nor are we prepared to believe that men like Ranade, Tilak, Naoroji, W.
C. Bonnerjea, Ajudhia Nath, and Tyabji, were only tools in the hands of
the Britishers. No, we do not think so. They were all true and good
patriots. They loved their country and they started the Congress with
the best of motives. It is possible that with some British sympathisers,
the interests of the British Empire were primary, and they sided with
the Congress because they believed that thereby they could best secure
the Empire; but the writer of this book knows from personal experience
how deeply the love of humanity and liberty is embedded in the hearts of
some Britishers, and he is compelled to believe that at least some of
those who showed their sympathy with the Congress were of that kind.

The Imperialist Junker and Jingo calls such men “Little Englanders,” but
the truth is that their hearts are too big to be imperial. They believe
in humanity, and in liberty being the birthright of every human being.
In their eyes a tyrant, one who robs others of their liberty, one who
bases his greatness on the exploitation of others, or deprives them of
their rights by might or clever diplomacy, does not cease to be so by
the fact of his being their countryman. They are patriots themselves and
will shed the last drop of their blood in the defence of their liberty,
and in the defence of their country’s liberty and independence, but
their patriotism does not extend to the point of _applauding_ their
country’s robbing others of theirs. Yes, there are Britons who are
sincere friends of the cause of liberty all over the globe. They deplore
that their country should be ruling India at all, and if it were in
their power, they would at once withdraw from India. Some of these
sympathise with the Indian Nationalists in all sincerity, and have done
so ever since the Indian National Congress was started, or even from
before that time. It is no fault of theirs, if the Indian Nationalist
Movement has not been such a success as they would have wished it to be,
and if it has not been able to achieve anything very tangible. The
fault is purely that of the Indians, and of the Indians alone, or of the
circumstances.

Mr. Hume was quite sincere in his motives, but he forgot that a
political organisation started at the instance or even with the approval
of the rulers whose power and emoluments it proposed to curtail, whose
despotism and principles it questioned, in short, whom it proposed to
displace and dethrone, was an anomaly; it was unnatural. In their desire
to have an easy and unopposed start, the Indian founders of the National
Congress forgot their history, and consequently ignored the truth that
“those who wanted to be free must themselves strike the blow,” and that
it was monstrous to expect those against whom the blow was aimed to
bless the striker and the striking. We do not agree with Mr. Gokhale
that “no Indian could have started the Indian National Congress” and
that “if the founder of the Congress had not been a great Englishman and
a distinguished ex-official, such was the official distrust of political
agitation in those days that the authorities would have at once found
some way or other to suppress the movement.”

First, political agitation did not start with the Congress. It had been
started before and no attempt to suppress it had succeeded. Second, the
distrust of political agitation in India was not greater in those days
than it is now and has been during the life of the Congress. But if it
be true that the movement could not have been started by an Indian or by
the combined efforts of many Indians, all we can say is that that itself
would be proof of its having been started before time and on wrong
foundations.

Had not Mr. Hume said that “whether in the individual or the nation, all
vital progress must spring from within,” and that it was “to her own
sons that the country must look for the initiative?” Did not Mr. Hume
say in his manifesto of 1883 that “in vain may aliens like myself love
India ... in vain may they struggle and sacrifice ... they may assist
with advice and suggestion, but they lack the _essential_ of
nationality, and the real work must ever be done by the people of the
country themselves?”

These may be only truisms, but they are fundamental and any political
effort made in defiance of them must be futile and impotent. The Indian
leaders of the Congress have never fully realised the absolute truth of
these principles and the result is the comparatively poor record of the
Congress. In his original manifesto issued in 1883, Mr. Hume wanted
fifty Indians “with sufficient power of self-sacrifice, sufficient love
for and pride in their country, sufficient genuine and unselfish
heartfelt patriotism to take the initiative and if needs be to devote
the rest of their lives to the cause.”

Of course there were many times fifty men of that kind in the country,
even then, who were devoting their lives to the service of their
country, but not in the political line. It took the Congress and the
country, by working on Congress lines, more than twenty years to produce
fifty, many times fifty, such men to devote their lives to the political
cause. But unfortunately these are neither in the Congress, nor of the
Congress. Barring Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji and the late Mr. Gokhale, who
among the living Congress leaders can be said to have devoted their
lives, in the way Mr. Hume wanted them to do, to the Congress cause?
Within the last thirty years India has produced many noble sons who have
given their all in the service of the Motherland. They come from all
provinces, all religions, all denominations, and all castes. But very
few of them have ever been active in the Congress or for the Congress.
Within the same period many Indians have given away many hundreds of
thousands of rupees, some the whole earnings of a lifetime, in aid of
education or for other public or charitable purposes; but the Congress
work has always languished for want of funds. The British Committee of
the Indian National Congress, located in London, have never had
sufficient money to do their work decently. The expenses of the British
Committee have largely fallen on Sir William Wedderburn. He and Mr. Hume
between them spent quite a fortune on the movement. No single Indian is
said to have spent even a fraction of that. The question naturally
arises,--why has it been so? The answer is obvious. The movement did not
appeal to the nation. The leaders lacked that faith which alone makes it
possible to make great sacrifices for it.

In the early years of the Congress there was a great deal of enthusiasm
for it among the English educated Indians. So long as no attempts were
made to reach the masses and carry on the propaganda among the people,
the officials expressed their sympathy with the movement. Lord Dufferin
even invited the members as “distinguished visitors” to a garden party
at Government House, Calcutta, when the Congress held its second session
in that city in 1886. In 1887 the Governor of Madras paid a similar
compliment to them at Madras,[59] but in 1888 when Mr. Hume adopted the
methods and tactics of the Corn-Law Leaguers of England, down came the
hand of the Government; and then the Congress movement at once adopted
an apologetic tone and abandoned the only method by which it could make
itself heard with effect. Why? Because, in the words of Mr. Hume, there
were no “_men_ who could act.”

_The Congress Lacked Essentials of a National Movement._ Ever since then
the Congress has cared more for the opinion of the Government and the
officials than for truth or for the interests of the country. Again the
question arises, why? And the reply is, because the leaders had neither
sufficient political consciousness nor faith. They had certain political
opinions, but not beliefs for which they were willing to suffer. They
were prepared to urge the desirability of certain reforms in the
government of the country, even at the risk of a certain amount of
official displeasure, but they were not prepared to bear persecutions,
or suffer for their cause. Either they did not know they had a cause,
or they were wanting in that earnestness which makes men suffer for a
cause. Or, to be charitable, they thought that the country was not
prepared for an intense movement and considered it better to have
something than nothing. They perhaps wanted to educate the country in
political methods and bring about a political consolidation of all the
national forces, before undertaking an intensified movement. But with
the greatest possible respect for the founders of the Indian National
Congress, or for those who a few years ago took up the control of the
movement, we cannot help remarking that by their own conduct they showed
that their movement lacked the essentials of a national movement.

A movement does not become national by the mere desire of its founders
to make it so. In the opinion of the writer it is a mistake to start a
_national political movement_ unless those who start it are prepared to
make great sacrifices for it. A halting, half-hearted political movement
depending on the sympathy and good will of the very class against whom
it is directed, consulting their wishes at every step, with its founders
or leaders trembling for their safety and keeping their purse strings
tight, only doing as much as the authorities would allow and as would
not interfere in any way with their own personal interests and comforts
and incomes, is from its very nature detrimental to real national
interests. A political movement is mischievous in its effects if its
leaders do not put a sufficient amount of earnestness into it to evoke
great enthusiasm among their followers, such as would prepare them for
great sacrifices for the cause on the one hand, and on the other,
produce a certain amount of fear of unpleasant consequences in those
against whom it is directed. For this it is necessary that the leaders
should be prepared to suffer for the cause. The sacrifice of money is
the least proof of earnestness which a believer in any cause can give.

It is a fact that the English friends of the movement showed more
earnestness than many of the Indian leaders. They spent their own money
over it and they incurred the displeasure of their countrymen and the
odium of being called traitors to their own country. Mr. Hume was “in
deadly earnest.” He started the movement with the good will of the
authorities and waited for results for two years. When, however, he
found that “the platonic expressions of sympathy by the authorities were
a mockery,” that nothing was done to lessen the “misery of the masses”
and to relieve their sufferings and redress their grievances, he decided
to put more intensity into the movement. He undertook to instruct the
Indian nation and rouse them to a sense of their right and to a sense of
the wrong that was being done to them. In his opinion, “the case was one
of extreme urgency, for the deaths by famine and pestilence were counted
not by tens of thousands or by hundreds of thousands, but by
millions.”[60] He concluded that “in order to _constrain the Government_
to move, the leaders of the Indian people must adopt measures of
exceptional vigour, following the drastic methods pursued in England by
Bright and Cobden in their great campaign on behalf of the people’s
food.” So, like Cobden, Hume decided that since the attempt of the
Congress leaders to instruct the Government had failed and since the
Government had refused to be instructed by them, the next step was “to
instruct the nations, the great English nation in its island home, _and
also the far greater nation_ of this vast Indian continent, so that
every Indian that breathes upon the sacred soil of this our motherland,
shall become our comrade and coadjutor, our supporter and if need be
_our soldier, in the great war that we, like Cobden and his noble band,
will wage for justice, for our liberties and our rights_.”[61]

_Hume’s Political Movement._ Now these were noble words, pointing out
the only political weapon that ever succeeds against autocratic
governments. We are told by Mr. Hume’s biographer that “in pursuance of
such a propaganda in India, Mr. Hume set to work with his wonted energy,
appealing for funds to all classes of the Indian community, distributing
tracts, leaflets and pamphlets, sending out lecturers and calling
meetings both in large towns and in country districts. Throughout the
country over one thousand meetings were held, at many of which over five
thousand persons were present, and arrangements were made for the
distribution of half a million pamphlets, translations into twelve
Indian languages being circulated of two remarkable pamphlets, showing
by a parable the necessary evils of absentee state landlordism, however
benevolent the intention.”[62]

That was true political work, done with a real political insight. If it
had been persevered in, the history of the Congress would have been
different and perhaps the revolutionary party would never have been born
or would have been born earlier. In either case the country would have
been farther ahead in politics than it is now. What, however, actually
happened was that the Government was at once moved to hostility. Lord
Dufferin spoke of the Congress in terms of contempt “as the
infinitesimal minority,” at a Calcutta dinner. Sir Auckland Colvin
stirred up the Mohammedans, organised an Anti-Congress Association and
denounced the Congress in no measured terms, as mischievous, disloyal,
and much before the time.

_Congress Overawed._ Mr. Hume started to explain in an apologetic tone.
It was at this time that he came out with the “safety valve” theory. The
propaganda was at once abandoned, never to be resumed in the history of
the movement. The movement in England failed for want of funds. The
movement in India collapsed for want of perseverance, vigour and
earnestness. Here again we are disposed to think that Mr. Hume’s
subsequent conduct was influenced more by the fears and half-heartedness
of the Indian leaders than by his own judgment. If the Indian leaders
had stuck to their guns and pushed on their propaganda, the country
would have supplied funds and would have rallied round them. Perhaps
there might have been a few riots and a few prosecutions. But that would
have drawn the attention of the British public to Indian conditions more
effectively than their twenty-eight years of half-hearted propaganda in
England did. The political education of the people would have been more
rapid and the movement would have gained such a strength as to make
itself irresistible. It is possible, nay, probable, that the Government
would have suppressed the movement. But that itself would have been a
victory and a decided and effective step in the political education of
the people. The revolutionary movement would have come earlier and the
Government would have seen the wisdom of conciliating the moderates much
earlier than 1909. What was given to us in 1909 might have been given
twenty years earlier. The Mohammedans would have been happy to get in
1889 what they got in 1909. The Indian leaders, however, thought that
they were not sufficiently strong and that the movement stood the chance
of being suppressed. They gave in and abandoned the only effective
weapon they had forged to get redress of political grievances.

No nation and no political party can ever be strong enough to make their
voice effective, unless and until they put forward a sufficient amount
of _earnestness_ (not bluff) to convince their opponents that in case
their demands are trifled with, the consequences might be serious to
both parties. The history of political advance in self-governed
countries like England, Germany, France, etc., amply proves this. No
political agitation need be started unless those who are engaged in it
are prepared to back it by the power of the purse and the power of
conviction.

_Congress Agitation in England._ The Congress overawed in 1888 and 1889,
failed in both respects. So far as the first is concerned, why, that has
been a theme of lamentation, appeals, and wailings from year to year.
Friends in England, whether in or outside the British Committee, have
lamented it in pathetic terms. The Congress agitation in England has
never been effective. The Congress has had precious little influence on
English public opinion, and although the British Committee of the
Congress have had an office and an organ in London for the last 25 years
or more, their influence in English politics has been almost nil. But
for the generosity of Mr. Hume and Sir William Wedderburn, the Congress
office in London might have been long ago closed. The leaders of the
Congress have talked very much of their implicit faith in the English
nation; they have held out hopes of our getting a redress of our wrongs
if we could only inform the British people of the condition of things
prevalent in India; yet the efforts they have put forward to achieve
that end have been puerile and paltry. There is a party of Indian
politicians who do not believe in agitation in England, but the leaders
of the Congress and those who have controlled the organisation in the
last 30 years do not profess to belong to that party. We shall now try
to explain why this has been so.

_Causes of Failure of the Congress._ (1). The movement was neither
inspired by the people nor devised or planned by them. It was a movement
not _from within_. No section of the Indian people identified themselves
with it so completely as to feel that their existence as honourable men
depended on its successful management. The movement was started by an
Englishman, at the suggestion of an English pro-consul. The Indians, who
professed to lead it, were either actually in government service or in
professions allied to government service and created by the Government.
A good many of the latter aspired to offices under the Government or to
a recognition of their merit and public spirit by the Government. They
were patriotic enough to give a part of their time and energy to the
movement, so long as it did not clash with their own interests, so long
as they were not required to mar their careers for it, or so long as it
did not demand heavy sacrifices from them. We do not question either
their motives or their patriotism, but it was not sufficiently intense
to induce them to stake their _all_ on it.

(2). The movement lacked the essentials of a popular movement. The
leaders were not in touch with the people. Perhaps they did not even
want to come in touch with them. Their propaganda was confined to a few
English-educated persons, was carried on in English and was meant for
the ears of the authorities rather than for the people. The leaders
always felt shy of the masses, made no efforts to reach them, and
systematically discouraged the younger men from doing the same. Some of
them have openly opposed efforts in this direction.

(3). The leaders failed to inspire enthusiasm among the people, either
by their own failure to make sacrifices, or by the triviality of their
sacrifices. Their ordinary life, their income, their prosperity, and
their luxuries were in no way affected by the movement. There were only
two exceptions to this, viz., Dadabhai Naoroji and Gokhale. The
sacrifices of Messrs. Hume and Wedderburn shamed the people, but failed
to appeal to their imagination. In fact, they roused the anger of the
people against the leaders and created distrust. The spectacle of
leaders accepting high offices they were offered under the Government
added to this distrust.

(4). The movement was neither confined to a select few, nor open to all.
While the people were expected to add to the spectacular side of the
show by their presence in large numbers, by crowded meetings, by cheers
and applause, they were never given a hand in the movement. Differences
of opinion were always discouraged and free discussion was never
allowed. It was neither a public forum, nor a private meeting of the
select few. In the latter case it would have been less expensive and
would have saved money for work in England. In the former case it would
have been more effective.

(5). A national movement, demanding only a few concessions and not
speaking of the liberties of the nation and of its ideals, is never an
effective movement. It is at best an opportunist movement. It is
mischievous in so far as it diverts attention from substantial _nation
building_ and _character making_. It brings fame without sacrifice. It
opens opportunities for treacheries and hypocrisies. It enables some
people to trade in the name of patriotism. No political movement can be
entirely free from these disadvantages, but the greatest mischief which
a political movement lightly handled and led does, is that it delays the
development of the people on normal lines by raising hopes which are
baseless and can never be realised by means recommended and methods
adopted.


PART III. THE BIRTH OF THE NEW NATIONALIST MOVEMENT

The National Movement in India continued on its placid and humdrum
course until Lord Curzon’s ridicule of the movement convinced the people
that the political methods of the Congress were quite powerless to bring
them any relief against the despotism that trampled upon all their
rights and sensibilities. This led to a deeper and a closer study of the
political problem on the part of men who had convictions as
distinguished from opinions, who had faith as against opportunism, who
wanted a soul for their people, rather than a few more posts under the
Government. They discovered that the movement had suffered not only by
the adoption of wrong methods and by want of sacrifice on the part of
leaders, but by their failure to grasp principles and to formulate
ideals. Hence the cry of _Swadeshi_ and _Swaraj_.[63]

_Swadeshi and Swaraj._ No sooner was the cry raised than the country was
swept by a wave of political activity which deeply and intimately
influenced the proceedings of the Congress in 1905 and 1906. Calcutta
might have witnessed in 1906 what Surat did in 1907, but for the
sagacity and patriotism of Dadabhai, who rose equal to the occasion and
blessed the cry for self-government. He declared in the words of Sir
Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the British Premier, that good government
could never be a substitute for self-government. So far good government
had been the ideal of the Congress. At the Calcutta session of 1906 it
was changed to self-government,--and from the mouth of a man who had
devoted his whole life to the political cause. That is the date of the
birth of the real National Movement in India.

The _Surat Fiasco_[64] was, among other causes, brought about by the
fear that the so-called moderate leaders wanted to go back past what had
been done in 1906. There is no doubt that they had gone back in spirit,
though perhaps not in letter. The enthusiasm, created by popular
propaganda of the Congress in 1888, was killed by the reaction that
followed in subsequent years. The same thing would have happened in 1907
but for the fact that this time the movement was sufficiently intense
to claim its martyrs.

The high ideals embodied in Swadeshi and Swaraj were the ideals worked
out by the sons of India: the miseries of the motherland had given an
impetus to the idea, but the idea itself stood on higher ground. It was
not the redress of grievances that filled the mind of the people, but
the desire for liberty. It was not concessions they wanted, but liberty.
Liberty is not a thing of the earth, and therefore it can neither be
given nor accepted as a gift. It has to be won. People felt that, and
were prepared to realise that in their lives.

After more than twenty years of more or less futile agitation for
concessions and redress of grievances, they had received stones in place
of bread. Lord Ripon was succeeded by a Curzon. People saw that a sort
of mist, a deep, covering fog, had prevented them from seeing ahead.
They had been wandering in pursuit of vain things. The haven had been
concealed from their vision and the result was that their tiny bark had
been following a wrong course. The waters were stormy and the sea was
heavy, but no ship could reach its destination unless the mariners and
sailors in charge knew what their goal was, and unless they were
prepared to put forth all they had in them to carry the bark through. So
far, the bark had been sailing under misleading stars, without a compass
to guide the captain. Now the compass was found and with the finding of
the compass the aspect changed. Ideas inspire men. Ideals prepare them
to breast martyrdom. The ideal of Swaraj found men ready to suffer for
it, to meet death like martyrs. The new movement has inspired a class of
men whose life is filled with that idea and that idea alone. They are
the worshippers of Swaraj; they love their motherland above everything
else. They do not want office, or incomes, or recognition, or applause.
What they want is liberty, not for themselves, because that they might
get perhaps by settling in other countries, but for their beloved
country. High Court Judgeships, Civil Service, Councils, mean nothing to
them.

The founders of the Indian National Congress began their movement under
inspiration of government and under the shadow of the high offices they
held or aspired to under that government, but the founders and inspirers
of the National Movement started their propaganda by boycotting
government and government patronage. The former wanted high offices, the
latter despised those who held them. The former asked for concessions,
the latter rejected them. The former wanted Councils, the latter would
have nothing to do with them. The former appealed to the British
Government and the British nation, the latter appealed to their own
people and to their own patriotism and to their God. The former were led
by the British, the latter by pure Indians. The former would not do
anything which would mar their careers, the latter threw away their
chances like poisoned bread. The former lived in bungalows, revelled in
drawing rooms, velvet-covered chairs, were attended by liveried
servants, ate at well-furnished tables, entertained governors and
magistrates; the latter gave up even the little comforts they had,
changed trousers for _dhotis_, coats for _chapkans_ or _kurtas_
(shirts), overcoats for blankets, and boots for ordinary Swadeshi shoes.
The former owed their prosperity in life, their positions, and their
comforts, to the British system, and were therefore under obligation to
the British; but the latter chose the path of poverty and destitution to
avoid obligations. They threw away their chances deliberately and with
the conviction that that was the right thing to do. The former cared for
wines, for children, and for home. The latter gave up all, to devote
themselves completely to the cause and to the motherland. The former had
produced only two full time workers for the cause in the course of 22
years, the latter produced virtually hundreds and thousands in less than
two years. The former worked under the best auspices, the latter started
their work under overhanging clouds, which soon burst and swept away
many of them into prisons.

Is it any wonder that under such inspiration the movement spread like
wildfire and assumed wide proportions? Life met life. Forces met forces.
Conflict and clash resulted in fatal accidents to either party. The
casualties on the side of the Nationalists have been tremendously heavy
and out of all proportion to their number, but judging the conflict by
the resources, no one need hesitate in saying that the moral victory
lies with the Nationalists. Within less than five years of their
propaganda, they forced the hand of the Government to make concessions
which could not be even thought of in 1905. The Congress leaders claim
credit for themselves and so does the Government; but the verdict of
impartial and unbiased historians will be otherwise.

Lord Morley would rally the moderates because there were extremists in
the land. In the absence of the so-called extremists, the moderates were
extremists and the Government and its agents looked down upon them. The
Anglo-Indian statesman and his confidant, the moderate Congress leader,
say that the extremists are few, that most of them are those
good-for-nothings, who could do nothing at the universities, or with
their lives; that they are maniacs and men who have lost all sense of
right and wrong.

_Men who have Inspired the Movement._ But look at the men who have
inspired the movement, some of whom are leading it even to-day. Is
Arabinda Ghosh a failure? Is Har Dayal a failure? Were the nine
deportees from Bengal failures? How many high-class graduates have been
hanged; how many are in jail! Look at their university records and look
at their prospects, and then say if you can call them “malcontents” or
men who have arisen against the Government because they could not
prosper under it. Their propaganda has compelled the Government to adopt
the severest repressive measures open to a foreign government. The penal
code has been amended to make the definition of sedition more
comprehensive. The criminal procedure code has been amended to
facilitate convictions and to accelerate trials. Provisions have been
added to enable magistrates to award summary imprisonment for failure to
give security for good behaviour asked for on political grounds. A
Seditious Meetings Act has been enacted to make open propaganda
impossible. An Explosives Act has been placed on the statute book. A
Press Law has been passed to muzzle the press. Spies and detectives have
been employed out of number. Teachers, professors, friends, pupils,
class-fellows, parents, have all been requisitioned to crush the
movement. The number of publications confiscated under the Press Act,
the convictions for sedition, for seditious murders, for dacoities and
for keeping arms, the sentences for failure to find securities for good
behaviour, all continue to grow. The cry is, “Still they come!” In
prisons the political prisoner has been subjected to horrible treatment;
one committed suicide and another lost his senses in the Andamans. Many
a tale of misery and wretchedness, of torture and of insults comes from
the prisons in India, but still the movement is far from being crushed.

There is evidence that new recruits join the secret propaganda every
year and take the place of those hanged or imprisoned. A number has
exiled themselves and are carrying on their propaganda in distant lands
under very discouraging and depressing circumstances. The man who says
that the movement is dead or dying must be a liar or a fool. The
movement is alive and possibly as vigorous as it ever was. It has
captured the imagination of the younger generation. And at least 75 per
cent. of the students in India and in England sympathise with this
party. Almost all are Anti-Congress. Even those who are not Nationalists
do not like the Congress and feel no obligation towards it, because the
Congress failed to communicate high principles and lay down high ideals,
and because it failed to create that spirit of self-sacrifice, that
willingness to suffer, without which no national movement can grow,
prosper, and inspire.

The failures of the Congress evolved the Nationalist Movement. The
Congress did its work that way. It brought conviction home that no
amount of prayers, resolutions, protests, memorials, could move the
autocratic bureaucracy in India, and no amount of petitions were likely
to make any impression upon the people in England. The fact that the
Congress leaders would not make sacrifices for the Congress cause,
though they would give large amounts of money for educational purposes
and other charities, forced people to think that they themselves had no
faith in the Congress propaganda or in the Congress methods, though they
lacked the courage to say so or to change their methods. It was perhaps
unreasonable to expect that of the kind of men that led the Congress.
Most of them loved their country and were public spirited; they had
given proof of it, good and sufficient, in other sides of national
activity, in the cause of social reform, in the cause of public
education, in industrial propaganda. Outside the Congress they have done
enough to create an atmosphere which was bound to bring about the
development of the political movement along the lines on which it
eventually did develop in 1905.

The Nationalist child was, so to say, brought up on the lap of the old
Congress man and fed on the food provided by him; though, strange
enough, this bringing up and this feeding produced results for which the
Congressman was not prepared and which shocked him a bit. The first
shock over, some of them were happy to have lived to see the day, and
blessed the movement. Some made up their minds to throttle it, but soon
found that it was not in their power to do so. The worst they could do
was to condemn it and to denounce it. All they could achieve was to cut
the new movement, shake off all responsibility for it, and thus secure
their own safety. We do not say that they did it to save their skins.
But fortunately for them their convictions led them the way their safety
lay. In their heart of hearts they blessed the new movement and were
heartily glad that it came. It acted and reacted on their own movement.
It made it possible for them to put strength and force into their
demands for concessions. Whenever an extremist leader recanted or used
compromising language, they were sorry. They wanted the movement to
continue and to live, though they would not join it and though they
believed that it was harmful to the country in some respects. They
deplore the lack of enthusiasm and sacrifice in their own ranks, but
they admire the selflessness of the extremists and respect their real
leaders. An Arabinda Ghosh and a Tilak simply compel their admiration
and respect. Whatever the shortcomings of Har Dayal may be, he is a
unique personality.

We have stated wherein the new movement differed from the old, and we
have also stated what its dominant note is. We would now like to examine
how it intended to proceed and how its hands were forced to do the
things it has done since.

_Lord Curzon and Indian Education._ We have already hinted that Lord
Curzon’s policy and his utterances helped a great deal in the birth of
the new movement. When Lord Curzon came to India, he formulated a rather
ambitious programme of reforms to be introduced into the administration
of the country. One of these reforms related to education.

Every one in the country, who has had anything to do with education in
India, was of opinion that the country was very backward in education
and that the system of education there in vogue was defective. It laid
too great stress on the literary side and did not fit people for the
battle of life; it gave undue importance to the English language and
Western modes of thought, at the cost of the vernaculars and the
indigenous civilisation of the country; it encouraged “cram” at the cost
of real merit; it produced a class of imitators and left little scope or
none for originality; it invited third class men from England to fill
the highest positions in the educational service of the country, and
placed the best native intellect and talent under them to starve and rot
for want of opportunities; it did not recognise the duty of the
Government to look after the education of the child from the beginning
until he was fit to fight his own way in the world.

The educational system of the country required radical changes, but what
was most needed was that the Government should be prepared to spend
adequate sums of money for its spread and in order to make it efficient.
Lord Curzon’s pronouncements and programme therefore raised great hopes
in the minds of the people. His University Commission was simply flooded
with suggestions and statements from Indians and Anglo-Indians. The two
classes, however, discussed the matter from entirely different
standpoints: The Indians wanted greater facilities for education, more
schools, more colleges, more masters, more stipends, an extension of
primary school education, abler and better-paid teachers, freedom of
private enterprise, ample provision for technical and industrial
education; but what they wanted most and cared for most was that
education should be more nationalised and humanised. The Anglo-Indians
wanted a curtailment of the educational opportunities, a greater and
stricter control of private enterprise, a raising of university
standards, and a system of education which would curb the rising
generation and make them more easily amenable to discipline and
obedience.

Lord Curzon did go into all these questions, but the decision arrived at
convinced the educated Indians that the motive which underlay Lord
Curzon’s policy was the tightening of government control, the strangling
of all independence in matters educational, and the eventual weakening
of all national movement and national sentiment.

_Lord Curzon’s Secret Educational Conference._ The fact that he admitted
no Indian to the meeting of the Secret Educational Conference held at
Simla, when he formulated the government policy, strengthened that idea.
His University Legislation shocked the country beyond measure and left
no doubt whatsoever that what he aimed at was a complete official
control of all education in India. Educated Indians read between the
lines and concluded that it was a mistake to look to the Government to
do things or to follow a policy which might quicken the national pulse,
strengthen the Nationalist sentiment, or add to the efficiency of the
people so as to fit them to stand on their legs and desire to get rid of
the leading strings in which they were held by the British.

_Indians and Lord Curzon at Cross Purposes._ Indians saw that they and
Lord Curzon were at cross-purposes. They aimed at self-government and
freedom; Lord Curzon aimed at prolongation of the period of their
bondage and the permanence of the existing political conditions. We
wanted independence; he wanted us to be dependent on the British. We
wanted to quicken the pace of national advance; he wanted to slacken it.
We wanted to be assertive and self-reliant; he wanted us to be
submissive and in permanent control and tutelage. We wanted to go
forward, he mistrusted us. We wanted a policy of honest confidence;
instead of that he inaugurated a policy of suspicion. We wanted unity,
he proceeded to bring into existence fresh causes of friction between
community and community. We wanted the marshalling of our forces in the
common cause, he proceeded to divide us and to keep us apart. We wanted
consolidation, and he started active disintegration. We wanted an
extension of representative government, Lord Curzon did his best to
discredit the institutions that had been granted and to set back the
hands of the clock.

_The Congress Deputation to England in 1905._ The leaders of the Indian
National Congress saw all this; they resisted Lord Curzon’s policy
rather boldly; they spoke with courage; they sought his patronage and
sent their president to wait on him. Lord Curzon refused to see him and
thus slapped the Congress in the face. He characterised their activities
as the letting off of “gas.” Their resolutions he looked upon with
contempt because, as he said, nothing had ever come out of them. The
leaders felt offended, they fretted and foamed. But all they resolved to
do was to appeal to the British public. So a deputation was sent to
England in 1905 to place the grievances of India before the British
public.

This deputation was composed of Messrs. Gokhale and the writer of this
book. They addressed a large number of meetings in Great Britain, made
many friends, saw some politicians; but they were not very hopeful as to
the results. One of them on his return (the present writer) struck an
unmistakable note of despondency. He frankly told his people that the
British democracy was too busy with their own affairs to do anything for
them, that the British press was not willing to champion Indian
aspirations, that it was hard to get a hearing in England, and that the
influence and the credit of the Anglo-Indians was too strong to be met
successfully by the necessarily inadequate agitation which the Congress
could set up in England. On his return to India the message which he
brought to his people was, that if they really cared for their country,
they would have to strike the blow for freedom themselves, and that they
would have to furnish unmistakable proofs of their earnestness.

His message was in no way different from what Mr. Hume had told the
graduates of the Calcutta University in 1883, or in his pamphlets “The
Star in the East” and the “Old Man’s Hope.”

_The Congress of 1905._ This was the first time that an Indian publicist
had spoken in that strain. The _swadeshi_ and _boycott_ had already been
started in Bengal during his absence from India. Even Mr. Gokhale
approved of the boycott as a political weapon. So the message which he
brought fell on willing and sympathetic ears. The country was in a mood
to listen to it, and it did listen. The Congress Session of 1905, held
at Benares,[65] gave an opportunity for comparing notes and for settling
a programme. The reception accorded to Mr. Gokhale and the rather
uproarious meetings of the Subjects Committee afforded ample evidence of
the temper of the people. Gokhale was cautious, careful, but
enthusiastic. His presidential address was inspiring, though strictly
moderate. His Bombay friends, however, would not let him go sufficiently
far. The very first night the Subjects Committee sat, it appeared that a
split was inevitable and the proceedings could not be as unanimous and
harmonious as was customary. The old Congress leaders were accustomed to
unanimity, but the younger generation soon convinced them that unanimity
on the old lines was impossible.

When the meeting of the Subjects Committee broke up after its
deliberation on the first night, no unanimity had been reached with
regard to a resolution welcoming the visit of the Prince of Wales (the
present King) to India. The dissentionists threatened to oppose it in
the Congress. The reception committee and the older leaders were all
furious, threatened all sorts of retributions, and predicted all sorts
of evil consequences, but the younger men would not listen. The whole of
the morning was spent in efforts to induce them to withdraw their
opposition, but young Bengal refused to agree. The meeting was delayed;
Gokhale then made a personal appeal to the Mahratta and the Punjab
leaders, and they prevailed on their Bengalee friends to absent
themselves from the meeting and let the resolution be passed in their
absence. The resolution relating to Swadeshi,[66] boycott, and national
education, again evoked lively discussion resulting in compromise,
wherein the principles for which the Nationalists stood were conceded.

In the Congress camp, the younger generation had met in open conference
to discuss their future programme. It was then that Mr. Tilak gave out
the idea of passive resistance. No formal resolutions were passed, but
the better mind of the people present decided to inaugurate an era of
self-help and self-reliance based on an active boycott of government
service and of the semi-government institutions.

_Object of the Passive Resistance Movement._ The object was two-fold.
(1). To destroy the hypnotism that had caused the people and the country
to have faith not only in the omnipotence of their rulers, but also in
their altruism. In the words of one of the leaders of the Nationalist
thought (Babu B. C. Pal,[67] “The Spirit of Indian Nationalism,” page
42), the people had been hypnotised to believe in the altruism of their
foreign rulers:

“Untrained in the crooked ways of civilised diplomacy, they had believed
what their rulers had said, either of themselves or of their subjects,
as gospel truth. They had been told that the people of India were
unfitted to manage their own affairs, and they believed it to be true.
They had been told that the people were weak and the Government was
strong. They had been told that India stood on a lower plane of humanity
and England’s mission was to civilise ‘the semi-barbarous native.’ The
Nationalist school took it upon themselves to expose the hollowness of
all these pretensions. They commenced to make what are called
counter-passes in

[Illustration: BAL GANGA DHAR TILAK]

hypnotism, and at once awoke the people to a sense of their own
strength, an appreciation of their own culture.”

In the second place, the object was to create a passionate love of
liberty, accompanied by a spirit of sacrifice and readiness to suffer
for the cause of the country. This was to be done more by example than
precept. What the programme was may better be stated in the words of the
leader whom we have quoted above:

“Boycott both economic and political, boycott of foreign and especially
British goods, and of all honorary associations with the administration,
national education implying a withdrawal of the youths of the nation
from the officialised universities and government-controlled schools and
colleges, and training them up in institutions conducted on _national_
lines subject to _national_ control and calculated to help the
realisation of the _national_ destiny, national civic volunteering,
aiming at imparting a healthy civic training to the people by the
voluntary assumption of as much of the civic duties, at present
discharged by official or semi-official agencies, as could be done
without any violation of the existing laws of the country,--duties, for
instance, in regard to rural sanitation, economic and medical relief,
popular education, preventive police duties, regulation of fair and
pilgrim gathering,--settlement of civil and non-cognisable, criminal
disputes by means of arbitration committees:--these were the proclaimed
methods of the Nationalist school.”

As to the objects of this scheme, we will again quote the same writer:

“The evident object was to create in the first place a strong civic
sentiment in the people with the help of co-operative organisations for
the furtherance of the common good, and thus to train them gradually for
the larger and heavier responsibilities of free citizenship, and in the
next place, to cover the whole country with a net-work of active,
political organisations which would place the leaders in direct and
living touch with the people, and enable them to bring, from time to
time, the irresistible pressure of organised public opinion to bear upon
the Government, helping thereby the gradual expansion of popular
rights.”

Now it should be noted here in passing, that with the exception of
boycott and volunteering, every other item in the above propaganda had
been more or less tried and with varying success in all parts of the
country, but more particularly in the Punjab and Maharashtra before
this. The Deccan education Society and the Poona Fergusson College were
the offshoots of the desire to further the cause of education by
self-imposed sacrifices, with the underlying motives of quickening the
patriotic impulse and the Nationalist spirit. Similarly Swadeshi,
co-operative organisations, and private arbitration courts had been
thought of and tried. The motives underlying these attempts were
absolutely patriotic, combining an element of philanthropy in them. The
private colleges in Bengal, started by Vidyasagar and others, were also
due to the same impulse, and so was the Pachaipiya College at Madras.
Bombay had its own schemes and was ahead of the rest of India in purely
Indian industrial and trade organisations. Similarly in the Punjab the
idea of swadeshi had been started as early as 1877. The motives were
economic and patriotic. The idea of national education had found
expression in the D. A. V. (Dayanand Anglo-Vedic) College, and that of
national co-operative organisations in the “Punjab National Bank,” the
“Bharat Insurance Company” and other joint stock concerns. Religious and
philanthropic motives had brought into existence the Hindu orphan
movement, the famine relief movement, and so on. A little volunteering
had also been attempted in connection with the famine relief movement
and the Kangra earthquake relief movement. Long before 1905, the Punjab
had a network of privately organised, privately financed, unaided
schools and other charitable institutions, over which the Government had
little effective control. Patriotism and philanthropy were the
underlying motives of these institutions, but _not politics_.[68]

The ruling bureaucracy did not quite like these activities, but they
could not suppress them. Individual officers sometimes sympathised and
even helped these movements. So far Bengal had been rather backward in
the matter of national development on these lines. So, when Lord Curzon
proclaimed the partition of Bengal, attacked the veracity of the
orientals in his Calcutta University convocation speech, and on other
occasions called them cowards, windbags, unpractical talkers, and mere
frothy patriots, the Bengalees awoke to a consciousness of their
weaknesses, and resolved to revenge themselves upon Lord Curzon, and
prove to the world at large that Lord Curzon was a liar. What followed
may be briefly stated in a separate chapter.



CHAPTER IV

THE FIRST YEARS OF THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT


_Partition of Bengal._ It was on the 16th of October, 1905, that the old
Province of Bengal was partitioned by Lord Curzon. On that day “immense
numbers of people in the two divisions of the partitioned province
abstained from lighting their kitchen fire, went about barefooted,
performed ceremonial baths in rivers or sacred tanks,[69] and tied on
one another’s wrist the sacred _rakhi_, a piece of silk or cotton
thread, as a symbol of fraternal or national unity.” On the 7th of
August, 1905, the leaders of Bengal, in public meeting assembled, in the
Calcutta Town Hall, under the presidency of Maharaja Mannidra Chandra
Nundy of Cossimbazar,[70] had already declared “a general boycott of
British goods as a practical protest against the proposed partition.”

_Boycott of British Goods._ The original idea was to resort to boycott
as a temporary measure, and therefore in the pledges drawn up in the
early days, a time limit was put in. The boycott was to last until “the
partition was withdrawn.” In the words of a Bengalee politician, the
idea was to cause pecuniary loss to the British manufacturer and thus
enlist his sympathy and help for the purpose of getting the measure
cancelled. But it was soon discovered that the boycott might be an
effective economic weapon, to be used as a measure of protection against
the economic exploitation of the country by the foreigner.

To quote the same writer, “The pledges sent from Calcutta came back,
duly signed by large numbers of people, but with the conditional
sentence, ‘until Partition is withdrawn,’ scored through. The boycott
was a great success for some time. ‘The Lucky Day’ of October, 1905, on
which generally a very large number of forward contracts in Manchester
goods are made at Calcutta, passed without any business being done.
Simultaneously with this decline in foreign goods, many indigenous
industries began to revive. There was a boom in handlooms all over
India. Provinces outside of Bengal did not adopt a policy of active
boycott, but the cry of Swadeshi[71] was taken up by all the country,
whereby a great impetus was given to indigenous manufacturers. The
significance of the movement in Bengal, where it was rigorously pursued,
lay in the fact that prince and peasant, capitalist and labourer,
literate and illiterate, educated and uneducated, all joined hands.” For
some time the boycott was so effective that _The Englishman_, an
Anglo-Indian newspaper published in Calcutta, declared: “It is
absolutely true that Calcutta warehouses are full of fabrics that can
not be sold. In the earlier days of the boycott it was the fashion to
assert that depression in piece goods trade was due to this or the other
economic cause.

“Many prominent Marwari[72] Firms have been absolutely ruined and a
number of the biggest European import houses have had either to close
down their piece goods branch or to put up with a very small business,
where they previously had a large one. As for stocks in warehouses, they
tend to grow larger, as Marwari and Indian buyers who had given forward
orders, now state that they can not afford to take delivery. These facts
are now so well known that it is idle to attempt to hide them. Indeed
the time has come when all injuries inflicted on trade by boycott should
be made fully known. There is no question of encouraging the boycotters,
as they need no encouragement. But there is the question of thoroughly
awakening the public at home and the Government of India to the fact
that in boycott the enemies of the Ráj have found a most effective
weapon for injuring British interests in the country.”

The triumph of the boycotters was testified to by the following remarks
of _The Englishman_, with which the article ended: “The question however
is, what is the Government going to do about it? _Boycott must not be
acquiesced in, or it will more surely ruin British connection with India
than an armed revolution._” [The italics are ours.]

_Government’s Reply._ In reply to this move on the part of the Bengalee
leaders,--a move in which all Bengal was united, including the present
moderates,--the Government started a crusade against the students whom
the boycotters had enlisted in their service. The bureaucracy thought
that the more active part of the propaganda was carried on by them.
According to Mr. B. C. Pal, “the success of the boycott, especially in
the earlier stages before the sentiment had time to settle down into the
conscience and consciousness of the people, depended almost entirely
upon picketing.” Mr. Pal assures us that “their method was uniformly
intellectual and moral,” and that “there was no intimidation, no
violence, no appeal to physical fear, none of the things that
characterise picketing among the robuster people of the West.”

The British, of course, do not accept this statement as true. But
whatever its nature, the Government did not like picketing. They thought
they could not stand by and let a movement of that kind gain strength.
“Their first move was to make it penal for the young student population
to participate in any way in the nationalist activities. Students who
attended public meetings were threatened with various punishments to the
extent even of expulsion from school, college, or university.”

_The Second Move of the Bengalees: The National University._ The
Bengalee leaders then put their heads together and resolved to start a
National University, wherein education would be given independent of
government control. The educational policy of Lord Curzon had already
set people to thinking along that line. The measures now adopted to
strike at the boycott movement by punishing the students who
participated therein “accentuated the need and called forth actual
measures to meet it.” This movement also, like the boycott, met the
universal support of United Bengal. The actual leadership of it fell on
Sir Gurdas Bannerjea, late Judge of the Calcutta High Court, who had
been vice-chancellor of the Calcutta University for some time and whose
loyalty and moderation had never been questioned by friend or foe.
Besides, he had sat on the University Commission appointed by Lord
Curzon and had written a note of dissent from the policy recommended by
the majority of its members. “Under his guidance, the Bengal Council of
National Education proposed to work, independent of, but by no means in
opposition to, the Government Education Department. And this independent
activity was justified on the ground that the education hitherto
imparted under official supervision lacked a vital reference to the
thoughts, the sentiments, the traditions, the religions, and even the
outer physical and biological environments of the people. The object of
the new movement was to organise a thoroughly national system of
education, both scientific and literary, as well as technical, on
_national lines_ and under _national control_.”

Besides making an ample provision for literary, scientific, and
technical education, the National Council of Education at once reduced
English to the status of a secondary language, the first place being
given to Bengalee and Sanskrit, and in the case of Mohammedans to Urdu,
Persian, and Arabic.

The National Education Movement in Bengal was in no way an
anti-government movement. Though it owed its “initiation to the threats
of the Government to close the doors of the official schools and
colleges and universities against those who would take any part in, even
to the extent of simply attending, any political meeting or
demonstration, the National Education Movement in Bengal sought to avoid
all open causes of friction with the authorities and proposed to work
_independent of_, but not in _opposition to_, the Government. Political
in its origin, it tried to avoid all conflicts with the authorities by
assuming an absolutely non-political attitude.”

_Arabinda Ghosh._ To this movement, Indian Nationalism owes the emerging
into prominence of a quiet, unostentatious, young Hindu, who was till
then comparatively obscure, holding his soul in patience and waiting for
opportunities to send currents of the greatest strength into the
nation’s system. He was gathering energy. His name was Arabinda Ghosh.
Arabinda had received first class education in England. The headmaster
of the school, where he studied before joining the university, is
reported to have said that during the 25 to 30 years he had been in
charge of the school, Arabinda Ghosh was by far the most richly endowed
in intellectual capacity of any of the students that had come under his
charge.

At Cambridge he distinguished himself in European classics and took
first class honours. He

[Illustration: ARABINDA GHOSH]

passed the Indian Civil Service examinations with credit, but failed in
the test for horsemanship. Never did a failure prove more a blessing
than in his case.

He was in the service of His Highness, the Maharaja of Baroda,[73]
drawing a salary of about 500 pounds sterling, when his country’s call
came to him. He listened to it readily, gave up his post and agreed to
be the principal of the National College on ten pounds a month. We are
told by one who worked with him for some time that he did not support
the “declaration of the National Council of Education” about their
non-political attitude. He could not appreciate this needless dread, as
they thought, of offending official susceptibilities. He, however,
accepted the verdict of the majority and began his work. But his
position as “the nominal head of the National College, controlled by
men” who “differed from him in their political views and opinions,
became almost from the very beginning anomalous.” This was rather
unfortunate. Arabinda Ghosh had received the best modern education that
any man of his country and generation could expect to have. He had for
some years been a teacher of youth in Baroda and had acquired
considerable experience in his art. He had clearly realised the spirit
and actualities of the life of his nation, and knew how the most
advanced principles of pedagogy could be successfully worked into a
thoroughly national system of education in India. He knew that the
foundations of national independence and national greatness must be
laid in a strong and advanced system of national education. He had a
political ideal, no doubt; but politics meant to him much more than is
ordinarily understood by the term. It was not a game of expediency, but
a “school of human character” which acted and reacted on the life of the
nation. “Education could no more be divorced from politics,” in his
opinion, “than it could be divorced from religion and morals. Any system
of education that helps such isolation and division between the various
organic relations of life is mediæval and not modern.”[74]

The monied leaders of the National Council of Education movement,
however, could not accept Arabinda’s principles. “They were not free
from the fear of possible official opposition, which, if once aroused,
would make their work, they thought, absolutely impossible. They had a
real dread of the bureaucracy” whom they were not prepared to defy.
Experience has shown that they were quite mistaken if they thought they
could develop their scheme of education without rousing the fears and
the bitterest opposition of the bureaucracy, even after declaring the
non-political character of their scheme.

Never before in the history of the human race was it so well realised as
now that the school is the nursery of the man and the citizen. Lord
Curzon realised it in full and it was his aim to curtail or, if
possible, crush the nationalist influences in the schools and colleges
managed and conducted by Indian agencies. It was his desire to introduce
the English element in all these institutions and to put them under
English control. He had invited European missionaries to the Secret
Educational Conference at Simla, but not a single Indian, Hindu or
Mohammedan. He could not trust them (_i. e._, the Indians) with his
ideas. Hence the need of secrecy. The National Council of Education was
supposed to be working against the spirit of his policy. He was gone,
but the bureaucracy who were identified with his wishes, views and
schemes, were there. It was impossible that they would let the
Bengalees, whoever they might be, build up a system of education and a
network of educational institutions, that not only would owe nothing to
the Government but were also to be quite free of official or English
control and of English influence.

Then, the very circumstances under which the National College was born
and the National Schools affiliated to it were opened, gave them a
political character. The Government and the bureaucracy were opposed to
the students taking any part in the boycott movement; the Bengalee
leaders wanted them to do so, and hence the National College and the
National Schools. It was an open challenge--a revolt. Arabinda Ghosh was
identified with this revolt, and with him were associated a whole group
of powerful writers and speakers, all men of high individuality and
lofty ideals and of pure character. They accepted the decision of the
majority about the non-political character of the college, but no one
could deprive them of the use of their pen and tongue. Any attempt to do
that might have been fatal to the scheme. They started journals and
preached the gospel of political and economic and educational
independence in the clearest language. They were all men of education
and knew their history well. They fully realised what the consequences
were likely to be, and they were prepared for it. They were prepared to
suffer for their propaganda, but they were not yet prepared for
violence.

_The Nationalist Press._ They started a number of papers in Bengalee and
also in English, in which they gave their ideas to the people. The
_Sandhya_ and the _Bande Mátaran_, as two of the new papers were called,
became their classrooms. In a few months the face and the spirit of
Bengal was changed. The press, the pulpit, the platform, the writers of
prose and poetry, composers of music and playwrights, all were filled
with the spirit of nationalism. Bande Mataram (Hail Motherland) was the
cry of the day. It was chanted in schools, in colleges, in streets, in
houses, in public squares, almost everywhere. Even the government
offices and the compounds of the private residences of European
officials resounded with it.

_Sabhas_ and _Samitis_ and _Akharas_[75] leaped into existence by
hundreds, where the Bengalee young men began to take lessons in fencing
and other games. This was their reply to those who taunted them as
cowards; for the famous, or rather infamous, remarks of Macaulay about
Bengalees were often hurled at their heads by the Anglo-Indians, or new
language was used to express the same thoughts.

The boycott had created an unheard of situation in some of the districts
in Eastern Bengal. In one district--Barisal--the Superintendent of
Police and the Collector had both failed to be able to buy a piece of
Manchester shirting for one of their friends, as no trader would sell it
except by permission of the gentleman who was the leader of the
boycotters. This leader happened to be a man who had made his influence
by his character and by service. He was, so to say, the uncrowned king
of his district. That was a crusher to the bureaucracy. No foreign
bureaucracy could tolerate it. Sir William Bamfylde Fuller, on whom had
fallen the first Lieutenant Governorship of Eastern Bengal, was
bewildered by the strength of the movement and the new character which
the Bengalees were developing. The people refused to show him the
customary honours. Even the presence of the Lieutenant Governor in the
town did not prevent the people from giving ovations to anti-partition
propagandists and making anti-partition demonstrations. At one place it
is said that even the railway porters refused to touch his baggage,
which had to be carried by police constables. This was more than he
could bear.

_Military Measures against Boycotters._ After consultation with Lord
Curzon, he resolved to use force. The first step taken was the despatch
of a hundred Gurkha troops to Barisal, followed by a demand for the
withdrawal of a circular issued by the local leaders advising the people
of the legality of a peaceful boycott of British goods. It was evident
that a refusal meant a physical conflict, which the leaders were yet
anxious to avoid. So the leaders decided to withdraw and the governor
was mollified. The Gurkhas are said to have committed numerous outrages
on the people, but the leaders kept the latter under control, as they
did not want the Government to get a handle to crush the movement by
force.

In April, 1906, the Provincial Conference, which was attended by the
most prominent leaders of the two Bengals, was broken up by order of the
Magistrate “almost at the point of the bayonet.” A procession of some
800 or 900 delegates from the different districts of the two provinces,
“including almost every prominent leader in the country, was dispersed
by the police, who made a free use of their quarterstaffs and broke more
than one head under the very eyes of the District Superintendent of
Police.” The people, however, did not retaliate. So far, they were
determined not to use force even against force. With every display of
force on the side of the Government, the nationalist movement gained
ground in popularity and in strength, until the masses, the women and
children, all were saturated with it.

This was the birth of a new life in Bengal, which found its reflection
in every phase of public activity, religious, social, economic,
educational, or political. What was done in Bengal found its echo in
the rest of the country. So far the Nationalist party was united. The
elder people, who had been born and bred and had lived in a different
atmosphere, were not in full accord with the younger party and
remonstrated with the latter, when they indulged in intemperate
language. Some people in other provinces did not quite approve of the
wholesale boycott, inaugurated and declared by the Bengalees, but
otherwise the nation was united, and the best mind of the nation was
rather gratified at the turn things had taken.

_Lord Minto._ With the advent of Lord Minto (in 1905), however, things
began to assume a different shape. The first serious difference in the
Nationalist party occurred over the presidentship of the Indian National
Congress at Calcutta in 1906, but an actual split was avoided by a
clever and diplomatic move of the leaders of the new moderate party, who
obtained the consent of Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji[76] to accept the
presidentship, if offered to him. The Congress session of 1906 was
rather an uproarious session, but eventually the spirit of compromise
and conciliation prevailed and the so-called extremists practically
gained all their points so far as the principle of them was concerned.

But it was clear, even to a superficial observer, that a split was
inevitable; Lord Minto had succeeded Lord Curzon as Viceroy, and a
visible change was coming in the policy of the Government. Lord Curzon
was for a policy of repression; Minto inaugurated a reign of
conciliation with repression. The movement might have succumbed if the
Government had been courageous enough to annul or modify the Partition
of Bengal, as they subsequently did in 1912. But that was not to be. On
that point the Government would not yield, though otherwise they were in
favour of making concessions.

_Indian Press Gagged._ The years 1905, 1906, and 1907 were years of
passive resistance. The nationalists indulged in strong language,
carried on a vigorous anti-British propaganda by means of the press and
the platform, used their pen and tongue rather freely, but did not think
of using force. Editor after editor, and publisher after publisher was
sent to prison without any diminution of the campaign. The years 1906
and 1907 saw a regular “tug of war” between the Government on the one
side and the nationalists on the other. A large number of prosecutions
were launched against the members of the press in Bengal and Bombay,
Punjab and the United Provinces, Madras and the Central Provinces, and
many persons were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. A complete
boycott, economic, political and social, was openly preached, and
picketing was again resorted to. Some of the judicial trials were only
farcical, the judges being influenced by political considerations, and
convictions and sentences being foregone conclusions. Yet such was the
people’s regard for law, that so long as the procedure of an open trial
was not attacked, they did not think of employing

[Illustration: LAJPAT RAI

_From a painting by Mrs. Rieber, Berkeley, Cal._]

force for purposes of revenge. Even ill-treatment, either in lock-ups,
during trial, or in prisons, after conviction, failed to incite the
people to force. Political prisoners were applauded, glorified, and
otherwise supported and backed, but no thought of revenge entered
anybody’s head.

_Deportation of Lajpat Rai._ The sudden deportation of Lajpat Rai,
however, in May, 1907, changed the whole current of thought and action.
The nationalists concluded that the movement for passive resistance
required to be supported by secret propaganda as well as the use of
force against force. In the words of the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale,
in a speech delivered in the Council of the Governor General after the
deportation of Lajpat Rai, the latter was a religious, social, and
educational reformer and was loved and respected by large classes of his
countrymen all over the country. He was one of the persons whom the
extreme Nationalists claimed as their own, whom the moderate
Nationalists also respected, and whom the populace “liked for his
philanthropic and educational activities.” The sudden capture of this
man, without trial, without charge, and without notice, drove the young
Nationalists to frenzy.[77] Even the sober and the thoughtful among the
Nationalists were in despair.

The Anglo-Indian press all over the country, however, was in jubilation.
The leading semi-official daily published at Lahore, the headquarters
of Lajpat Rai, described him as the leader of a deep-laid revolutionary
movement, every detail of which passed through his fingers. He was said
to have a following of “100,000 desperadoes.” _The Englishman_, at
Calcutta, charged him with having tampered with the loyalty of the
Indian army, and having incited the King of Afghanistan to invade India.
As a result of adding, as they did, insult to the injury of deportation,
the country was ablaze with indignation. The step was condemned by the
unanimous voice of the people. All differences of opinion were forgotten
and the whole country joined in protest. The extreme wing of the
nationalists, however, decided to take the next step. They decided to
use force and began to think of bomb and revolver and of a guerilla
warfare against the established despotism. The older people, though they
sympathised, would not agree to take any part in the movement using
physical force, nor would they give their sanction to such a course.

It is possible that some sort of secret organisation existed in Bengal
in 1906, but force did not enter into their programme till after May,
1907, i.e., until after the deportation of Lajpat Rai. The deportation
decided them. Yet the first shot was not fired until December, 1907, and
the first bomb was not thrown until April or May, 1908. The split[78] at
Surat in December, 1907, irrevocably divided the Nationalists into two
parties, and confirmed the younger party in their programme of force.
The extremists saw the hand of the Government in the split. Within a
few months almost all the leaders were seized and thrown into prison. At
Surat, Lajpat Rai, having thrown in his lot with the moderates, was for
a time left alone, but Bal Ganga Dhar Tilak, the Mahratta leader, was
prosecuted and sentenced to six years’ transportation. Arabinda Ghosh
was also seized and prosecuted for conspiracy to wage war against the
King, though he was afterwards acquitted for want of evidence. Bepin
Chandra Pal was also seized and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment;
Chidambaran Pillai, a Madras leader, to six years; a Mohammedan leader
of the United Provinces, Abul Hasan Hasrat Mohani, to one year. In
December, 1908, nine of the Bengal leaders were seized in their homes
and imprisoned by an administrative order without trial and without
charge.

_Disaffection Driven Underground._ These persecutions and sentences
exasperated the younger party and drove disaffection underground.
Undaunted by the loss of leaders, they continued their propaganda and
made several attempts on the lives of high officials. The life of the
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal was attempted no less than three times,
once in open daylight, when he was presiding at a certain state
function. The life of the viceroy, Lord Minto, was also attempted, at
Ahmedabad. The political secretary of Lord Morley, then Secretary of
State, was shot in London; a collector was murdered at Nasik, and many
other “outrages” were committed. Publications suppressed and condemned
were published and circulated secretly; arms were smuggled and stolen;
and attempts were made to wreck railways and otherwise terrorise the
Government. Throughout the year 1908 and 1909 the movement was kept up
at high pressure. Then in 1910 there was a comparative lull, though the
revolutionary activities did come up to the surface occasionally.

The year 1911 was perhaps the dullest year from the revolutionary point
of view. That was the year of the King’s visit to India. The King
modified the Partition of Bengal and ordered the transfer of the capital
to Delhi. For a time there was a great rejoicing in the country, not so
much because the Partition had been annulled, but because it was a
virtual triumph of the Nationalist agitation.

_Lord Hardinge Bombed._ In December, 1912, again, the revolutionary
party gave conclusive evidence of their existence and strength. A bomb
was thrown at Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy, when he was passing in
procession midst thousands of troops and hundreds of thousands of
spectators, making his first state entry into the new capital of British
India, the Delhi of the Moguls. Lord Hardinge was wounded, members of
his entourage killed and the procession broken up. The culprit escaped,
and in spite of offers of huge rewards[79] and unprecedented police
activity has remained undetected up to the present time. This is
considered to be the supreme achievement of the revolutionaries.
Throughout 1913 and 1914 the revolutionaries were active, and the scanty
news that has filtered but from India during the war gives ample reason
to think that they are very active now.

Within the last seven or eight years, the Government has tried every
form of repression, and has also planned a programme of partial
reconciliation, but they have so far failed to crush the extreme wing of
the Nationalist party, the wing that believes in force and that has
taken to all the methods of guerilla warfare against a foreign
government based on force.

The country is in such circumstances now that every step which the
Government takes to repress and crush the movement or to punish the
offenders, strengthens the spirit of revolt, adds to the volume and
intensity of the desire for revenge, adds to the number of those who are
prepared to suffer or even die for the cause. From the classes, the
movement has spread to the masses; from the non-fighting masses it is
now gaining ground and winning adherents among the fighting classes. In
1907 the charge of tampering with the army, laid at the door of Lajpat
Rai, was ridiculous. Perhaps there was a certain amount of disaffection
among the Punjab regiments due to the Agrarian legislation undertaken by
the Punjab Government, which deeply and detrimentally affected the
classes from which the army was recruited. When the legislation objected
to was vetoed, that cause of disaffection was removed; but since then
fresh causes have affected at least certain sections of the army also,
so that it cannot be said that the whole army is free from disaffection.
The riot at Singapore, caused by the revolt of one of the Indian
regiments stationed there, and certain happenings in the Punjab, amply
prove this.



CHAPTER V

TYPES OF NATIONALISTS


We will now see how many types of Nationalists there are in India. From
what follows in the chapter, the reader should not conclude that the
Indian Nationalists are disunited. So far as the goal is concerned there
is practical unanimity in all ranks. Even those who stand for complete
independence would be glad to have self-government within the Empire, if
that were promised in the near future. As to methods, there is the usual
cleavage to be found in all struggles for freedom in all countries. One
party stands for the use of physical force, the other for peaceful
means. The Indian Nationalists, too, are divided into two parties, the
physical force party and the moderate party. The following account of
the types is intended to show the different lines of their thinking.
Complete unanimity in principles and methods can only be expected of a
collection of machine-made clogs of wood.

_The Extremists._ (1) To take up the extremists first: There are some
who do not recognise the British Government at all. They think that the
Government of the British in India is founded on force and fraud. They
have therefore no scruples to use force as well as fraud against the
Government. In their eyes every one who is helping the Government in
India either by accepting their service or otherwise by willing
co-operation, abets the crime of which the Britishers are guilty. They
do not recognise British laws nor their courts. They have no respect or
use for either. They believe that their nationalism gives them the right
of removing every one who stands in the way of their propaganda, whether
by force or fraud. In their heart of hearts they are against every one
who supports the British Government in India, but in the prosecution of
their object they do not desire to strike at all of them. But if need be
they are prepared to strike at any one. They have declared war against
the British Government. Their leaders have assumed the right of passing
sentences against those who are of the enemy. They judge and deal
severely with those whom they think guilty of treason against them. They
also consider themselves entitled to collect taxes as they call them,
and make impositions on people in India. Acting on the principle that
the safety of the state is the first consideration for all those who
form the state, and that in case of necessity the state has a right to
use the property of every private individual who is included in the body
politic, they are prepared to exact their impositions by force. The fact
that the British Government is the enemy against whom they have declared
war, gives them the right to loot British treasuries and injure their
property wherever and whenever they can.

The other principle stated above justifies in their eyes the taking by
force of the property or wealth of those who would not give it willingly
or voluntarily for the safety of the state as conceived by them. Hence
the “dacoities.”

_A few Nihilists._ The men engaged in those dacoities are of two kinds:
There are those who have no moral or religious scruples. They are
“_nihilists_.” But their number is exceedingly small. They are not
immoral people. For their own self or for private persons, they would
not do anything which in any way contravenes the prevailing code of
morality; they would neither steal nor rob, nor kill nor injure any
person. But for the purpose of their movement they would do anything.
Their number however is, as we said above, exceedingly small. Then there
are those who are extremely religious and spiritual. Some of them are
the followers of the “_Kali_”[80] cult as it is understood in Bengal;
others are Vedantists. There are some who are deists or theists.

_Religious Extremists._ In every case, however, they believe that the
British are the enemies of their Motherland and also of their religion.
They would not touch one hair of any one simply because that person
belonged to a religion different from theirs; but they would not scruple
to kill any one who interferes with their religion. They believe that
they owe their lives to the Motherland, whom they worship as the means
of enabling them to be worthy of the worship of the Supreme Mother of
the Universe. We will once more quote Mr. Pal[81] to explain what we
mean, or rather how he puts the idea:

_The Mother Worshippers._ “The so-called idolatry of Hinduism,” he says,
“is also passing through a mighty transfiguration. The process started
really with Bankim Chandra,[82] who interpreted the most popular of the
Hindu goddesses as symbolic of the different stages of national
evolution. _Jagatdhatri_--riding a lion which has the prostrate body of
an elephant under its paw, represented the motherland in the early
jungle-clearing stage. This is, says Bankim Chandra, the mother as she
was. _Kali_, the grim goddess, dark and naked, bearing a garland of
human heads around her neck,--heads from which blood is dripping,--and
dancing on the prostrate form of Shiva, the God--this, says Bankim
Chandra, is the mother as she is, dark, because ignorant of herself; the
heads with dripping blood are those of her own children, destroyed by
famine and pestilence; the jackals[83] licking these drippings are the
symbol of desolation and decadence of social life, and the prostrate
form of Shiva means that she is trampling her own God under her feet.
_Durga_, the ten-headed goddess, armed with swords and spears in some
hands, holding wheat-sheaves in some, offering courage and peace with
others, riding a lion, fighting with demons; with Sarasvati, or the
goddess of Knowledge and Arts, supported by Ganapati, the god of
Wisdom, on her one side, and Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth, protected
by Kartikeya, the leader of the Heavenly army, on the other side--this,
says Bankim Chandra, is the mother as she will be. This interpretation
of the old images of gods and goddesses has imparted a new meaning to
the current ceremonialism of the country, and multitudes, while
worshipping either _Jagatdhatri_, or _Kali_, or _Durga_, accost them
with devotion and enthusiasm, with the inspiring cry of Bande Mataram.
All these are the popular objects of worship of the Indian Hindus,
especially in Bengal. And the transfiguration of these symbols is at
once the cause and the evidence of the depth and the strength of the
present movement. This wonderful transfiguration of the old gods and
goddesses is carrying the message of new nationalism to the women and
the masses of the country.”

_Vedantists._ “Behind this mighty transfiguration of the old religious
ideas and symbols of the country stands, however, a new philosophy of
life. Strictly speaking, it is not a new philosophy either, but rather a
somewhat new application of the dominant philosophical speculations of
the race. Behind the new nationalism in India stands the old Vedantism
of the Hindus. This ancient Indian philosophy, divided into many
schools, has one general idea running through it from end to end. It is
the idea of the essential unity of man and God. According to this
philosophy, Substance is one though expressed through many forms.
Reality is one though appearances are multitudinous. Matter, in the eye
of this philosophy, is not material, but essentially spiritual, the
thought of God concretised. Man is the spirit of God incarnated. The
meaning of cosmic evolution is to be found, not in itself, but in the
thought of the Absolute. It is, to adopt the Hegelian dictum, the
movement of the Self away from itself, to return to itself, to be
itself. The Absolute, or Brahman, is the beginning, the middle, and the
end of this evolutionary process. He is the Regulative idea. He is
cosmic evolution. He is progressively revealing himself through the
world process. In man, the Divine idea, or the Logos, comes slowly to
consciousness of itself. The end of human evolution is the fullest
realisation of man’s unity with God. Long, especially in what may be
called the middle ages in India, this essential unity between God and
man was sought to be realised through metaphysical abstractions, by
negation of the social and civic life. There was an undue emphasis on
the Subjective and the Universal to the neglect of the realities
(however relative they might be) of the Objective and the Particular.
Protests had, however, been made from time to time against these monkish
abstractions, but in spite of these abstractions the dominant note
continued to be that of Abstract Monism. Neo-Vedantism, which forms the
very soul and essence of what may be called Neo-Hinduism, has been
seeking to realise the old spiritual ideals of the race, not through
monkish negations or mediæval abstractions, but by the idealisation and
the spiritualisation of the concrete contents and actual relations of
life. It demands, consequently, a social, an economic, and a political
reconstruction, such as will be helpful to the highest spiritual life of
every individual member of the community. The spiritual note of the
present Nationalist Movement in India is entirely derived from this
Vedantic thought.

“Under the influence of this Neo-Vedantism, associated to a large extent
with the name of the late Swami Vivekananda, there has been at work a
slow and silent process of the liberalisation of the old social ideas.
The old bigotry that anathematised the least deviation from the rules of
caste, or the authority of custom, is openly giving way to a spirit of
new tolerance. The imperious necessities of national struggle and
national life are slowly breaking down, except in purely ceremonial
affairs, the old restrictions of caste. In the new movement, old and
orthodox Brahmins are rendering open obeisance to the heterodox and
non-Brahmin teachers. There is an evident anxiety to discover spiritual
and traditional authority for even the outrages that some of these have
committed against the old social and sacerdotal order. And where no such
authority could be found, their personal freedom of thought and action
is being condoned on the principle that those who are to be the saviours
of their nation stand, like the mendicant and the holy man, above all
law. And all this is a proof of the strange hold that the new
nationalist propaganda has got on the real mind and soul of the people.”

To these two classes, the Mother worshippers, and the Vedantists, belong
the great bulk of the Bengal Nationalists. They are neither “nihilists”
nor “anarchists.” They are patriots who have raised their patriotism to
the pitch of a religion. Their religion remarkably fits in with their
patriotism and makes the latter indescribably intense and alive. Their
whole life is permeated with it. They realise their “duty” every moment
of their life and they are prepared to do anything and take any and
every risk in the performance of that duty. They live on little; their
food is abstemious; they scrupulously avoid liquor; they clothe
themselves scantily; luxury they do not know. They can fast for days and
go without sleep for days. Generally they are men of their word, men of
honour, imbued with a strong idea of self-respect, true to their vows;
men who are not swayed by lust or passion.

To this class belonged most of the Maniktolah party, Barendra and his
friends. But it is evident that there are some theists among them,
_i.e._, theists in the Western sense of the term. The man who shot
Gossain, the first _approver_[84] in Bengal, was a

[Illustration: HAR DAYAL]

Brahmo (member of the Brahmo Samaj). They have some Mohammedans and some
Christians, too, among them. _Brahm Bhandu Bandhopadhyai_[85] was a
Christian at one time. These people have followers and adherents
throughout India, in the Punjab, in the United Provinces, in Maharastra,
in Gujrat, in Behar, in Rajputana, even in Madras.

_Advocates of Organised Rebellion._ (2) Next in order come those who
differ from the first in so far as they do not believe in individual
murders or dacoities. For traitors and approvers even they have no
mercy, but they would not murder individual British officers or Indians
in the service of the Government; nor would they rob private persons.
They are for organised rebellion, for tampering with the army, for
raising the standard of revolt, and for carrying on a guerilla war. For
the purposes of this rebellion or war they may do and will do anything
that is necessary to be done; but otherwise they would neither murder
nor loot.

_Har Dayal._ To this class, I think, belongs Har Dayal. It is very
interesting to note the development of this man. He comes from a
Kayastha family of Delhi and received his education in a mission school
and a mission college under Christian influence. He was a member of the
Young Men’s Christian Association when he graduated. Then he came to
Lahore and joined the government college there, as a stipend holder,
where he took his Master of Arts degree in 1903, standing at the top of
the list. His subject was “English language and literature” and so
thorough was his mastery of the language that in some papers he obtained
full marks. He continued there for another year and took his M.A. degree
a second time in History. All this time he was a cosmopolitan, more of a
Brahmo than a Hindu or a Nationalist. Then he left for England, having
secured a Government of India scholarship, and joined the St. John’s
College at Oxford. It is needless to say that even here he maintained
his reputation for brilliant scholarship, but what is remarkable is,
that it was here that he became a Nationalist. He is a man of strong
impulses. For him, to believe is to act. It appears that within a short
time he developed ideas of a rather extreme type. He came to believe
that the English were undermining Hindu character; that their
educational policy and methods had been designed to destroy Hinduism and
to perpetuate the political bondage of the Hindus, by destroying their
social consciousness and their national individuality. He studied the
history of the British rule and British institutions in India from
original documents, parliamentary blue books and varied other sources,
and came to the conclusion that the British were deliberately
Anglicising the Indians with a view to destroying their nationalism and
to impressing them with the inferiority of their institutions, so that
they might value the British connection and become Britishers. He
thought it wrong to study in their institutions, take their degrees, and
otherwise benefit from anything which they did as rulers of India. As we
have said above, for him to believe was to act. As soon as he formed
the above opinions, he made up his mind to resign his stipend, give up
his studies, and return to India, which he did towards the end of 1907.
Even before he reached India, he gave up English dress and began to
eschew all the peculiarities of English life. He took to Indian shoes,
Indian cap, Indian Kurta (shirt), Indian Pajama (trousers) and wrapped
himself in an Indian shawl. He would not even mix with Mohammedans and
Christians. For a time he was a strict Hindu in form, though not in
religion. When his old master, Principal Rudra of the Delhi St.
Stephen’s College, called on him at Lahore, he would not shake hands
with him nor offer him a seat on his mat, because he was a Christian (he
had no chairs). His cult at that time was a wholesale and complete
boycott of British government and British institutions. He aimed to
establish an order of Hindu ascetics to preach his ideas and to spread
his propaganda. With that view he collected about half a dozen young men
about him, who, under his inspiration, left their studies as well as
their homes and showed their readiness to do as he would wish them to
do. He lived a life of purity and wanted others to do the same. At that
time he did not believe in or preach violence. He discussed, argued,
preached, and wrote for the press. His writings began to attract
attention, and so did his activities, and it was feared that the
Government would soon find some means of putting him out of the way. So
he decided to leave the country, and in the beginning of the second half
of the year 1908 left India for good. He went to England, with the idea
of preaching his gospel among the Indian students in England. He stayed
there for some time and found out that there was not much scope for his
type of nationalism. He also feared that the British Government might
arrest him. So he left England and for about two years travelled, to and
fro, to find a place where he could live very cheaply and without fear
of molestation from the British Government and carry on his propaganda.
He was for over a year in France, where he came in contact with the best
political thought of Europe. Here he made friends with Egyptian
nationalists and Russian revolutionists. His knowledge of the French
language was good. He could not only speak that language fluently, but
could compose in it. He used to write occasionally for the French press.
He can use the German language also. Eventually he came to America and
settled here. The contributions that he made to the Indian press during
the first year of his sojourn in the United States did not indicate any
very great change in his views on Nationalism, but a year after he was
quite a different man. His political nationalism remained the same, but
his views on social questions, on morality, on Hindu literature and
Hindu institutions, underwent a complete metamorphosis. He began to look
down upon everything Hindu and developed a great admiration for
Occidental ideas of freedom. There is, however, one thing about him that
has stuck fast, and that is his hatred of British rule in India. His
present cult is to dissuade Indians from engaging in any work except
that of political propaganda. We are told by him (that was what he said
to American journalists at the time of his arrest in San Francisco as an
undesirable alien) that he is not an anarchist and that he does not
advocate the use of bomb and of revolver for private murders or for the
murders of individuals. We have no reason to disbelieve him. Nobody,
however, knows what changes are yet to take place in his views. He is a
quite uncertain item. He is an idealist of a strange type. He is simple
in his life and apparently quite indifferent to the opinions of others
about him. He does not court favour at the hands of any one and would go
out of his way to help others. He is loved and respected by hundreds and
thousands of his countrymen, including those who do not agree with his
views or his propaganda or his programme. Even the late Mr. Gokhale
admired him.

_Hardayalism._ Har Dayal is an advocate of open rebellion; he does not
advocate the use of the bomb or the revolver for killing individuals,
but he admires and glorifies those who have risked their lives using the
same.[86]

Neither of these classes is prepared to make any compromise with the
British. They stand for absolute independence; full _Swaraj_. They know,
perhaps, that they have a very difficult task before them, but they have
confidence in themselves and believe that the difficulties are not
insuperable. They do not believe that in order to gain Swaraj, India
should have more widespread education, or that social reform and social
consolidation must precede political freedom. They consider that these
are all fads, ideas with which the British have inoculated the Indians
in order to keep them busy with non-political activities and to keep
down their manhood. It is a part of the imperial game that the rulers
should manage to fill the ruled with the idea of their own incompetence
to manage their affairs, of their inability to unite, of many
differences and divisions among them, and of their incapacity to win
their freedom. These nationalists deprecate communal or sectional
activities. They do not countenance the organisations engaged in
religious and social reform. In their opinion all these so-called reform
organisations are doing positive mischief in keeping the nation engaged
in less important matters and in directing the nation’s mind from the
all important question of national freedom. They want to concentrate the
nation’s mind on this one point.

_Political Freedom the First Condition of Life._ According to them life
in political bondage or in political subjection is a negation of life.
Life signifies power and capacity to grow and progress. A slave, a
bondsman, is not free to grow. His interests are always subordinate to
those of his master. He must give the best in him to the service of the
latter. His will must always be under his master’s will, who is
practically his conscience’s keeper. No man can grow to the full stature
of his manhood; no man can rise to the best in him; no man can make the
best use of his faculties and opportunities; no man can develop either
his body or his soul according to his liking, under these circumstances.
Whatever he does, he does for his master, in his name and in his
interest. The credit and the glory and the benefit of it, all accrue to
him.[87] If this is true of an individual slave, it is equally true of a
nation in political bondage.

As a proof of the truth of their statements, they point to the history
and activities of the Indian National Congress. The Congress people ask
for Universal Primary Education; the Government says no. They can not
find money for it; “the country is not prepared for it; nor is it good
for the people at large.” If the masses are educated, they might become
discontented and create trouble for the Government. The Congress wants a
repeal of the Arms Act; the Government says no. The people might use the
arms against the Government, and that is a calamity to be avoided. The
Congress desires that Indians be enrolled as volunteers; the Government
says no. It is not desirable to give military training to the Indians.
They might use it against the Government. It is not desirable to have
companies of volunteers composed of Indians only, as they might conspire
against the reigning power. It is equally undesirable to force them on
European and Eurasian companies against their wishes, as that would
wound their social and imperial susceptibilities. The Congress
politician wants to protect Indian industries; the Government says no.
That will injure Lancashire. The Congress wants more of technical
education; the Government says, the country does not need it and they
can not spare funds for it. The Congress wants national schools and
national universities; the Government says no, “you may misuse them.”
The keynote of the situation is, that India must exist in the interests
of England and Englishmen; or at any rate England and English
politicians know what is good and useful for India, how much she should
and how much she should not have; in what line she should advance and in
what she should not. India and Indians have no right to think for
themselves. Anything they think or decide to do must be tested by
Englishmen according to their standards and in the way they think it is
likely to further the interests of their empire.

These nationalists therefore maintain that the first condition of
life,--life with respect and honour, life for profit and advantage, life
for progress and advancement,--is political freedom. Life without that
is no life. It is idle therefore to think of matters which are
manifestations or developments or embellishments of life.

Education can only profit a living being. A human being instructed on
the lines on which certain beasts or animals are instructed, can, like
the latter, only respond to the calls of his master. The master wants
them to salute; they salute. The master wants them to dance; they dance.
The master wants them to do any other job for him; they do it. Their
will and intellect are always subordinate to the master. Independent of
the master, they have neither will nor intellect. Education under these
circumstances, they maintain, is a degrading of human faculties, and a
travesty. In their opinion it would be best for their people to remain
uneducated, rather than be educated only for the benefit and use of
their masters.

Similarly they think that all the schemes for social reform, for
sectarian advancement, for commercial interests, are nothing more than
so many devices for dividing the nation and keeping them engaged in
never-ending internecine quarrels. They consider this to be a misplaced
dissipation of energies and a misuse of opportunities. They wish that
every man and woman in India should for the present think of nothing
else but political freedom. The first thing is to get rid of the
foreigner. Who will rule India and how, what shape will the government
of the country take, how will the different religions and different
interests be represented therein?--these and other cognate questions do
not trouble them. They believe that as soon as England leaves India,
some one will rise sphinxlike who will establish some form of national
government. The time will produce the man. It would be then time to
think and discuss how to improve it. They do not mind if the Hindus or
the Mohammedans or the Sikhs or the Gurkhas rule India; nor whether it
is the Maharaja of Nepal or that of Odeypore, or that of Baroda, or that
of Patiala, or the Nawab of Hyderabad, or that of Bhawalpore, who
becomes supreme; nor whether the form of government is monarchical or
oligarchic, or republican. These questions do not trouble them. They do
not, of course, want any foreign government, but if the way of eventual
national freedom lies that way, they do not mind even that. Anything
would be better than the present government. The British Government is
slowly dissolving the nation. If they have to die, they would rather die
of plague or cholera, than of typhoid or consumption. The apprehensions
of disturbances of peace do not frighten them. They are sick of peace.
Peace under existing conditions has unmanned the nation; it has
emasculated the people and sapped their manhood. Anything rather than
peace at such price. The desire for peace on any terms, has been the
curse of British rule. It has done them more harm than disorder or
anarchy ever did. Blessed was the disorder that preceded the rise of the
Mahratta power or the establishment of the Sikh commonwealth. Blessed
were the conditions of life that produced a Partap, a Sivaji, a Durga
Dass, and a Govind Singh.[88] Cursed are the conditions of peace that
can only produce Daffadars and Jamadars or at the most Risaldars[89] or
Kaiser-Hind-medallists.

This is Hardayalism. Most of the Nationalists of the two classes
described above belong to this school, but there are some among them who
do not wholly fall in with this view. They are prepared to agree that
the political question must always be in the forefront, and that nothing
should be done which may in any way overshadow this or relegate it to a
secondary position; but they do not believe that politics alone should
usurp the whole thought and life of the nation. It would not be right to
conclude from the above description that the Indian Nationalists have no
_constructive_ programme for the future, but it is obvious that in the
absence of freedom and opportunities to discuss it openly, opinions on
the subject can not be crystallised.

_Arabinda Ghosh--Vedantist and Swarajist._ It is difficult to say to
which of these classes, if to either at all, Arabinda Ghosh belonged or
still belongs. At one time it was believed that he belonged to the first
class, to which most of the other Bengalee extremists belonged, but
whether that belief was right and whether he still thinks on the same
lines, it is difficult to say. One thing is certain, that he was and is
quite unlike Har Dayal in his line of thought. In intellectual acumen
and in scholastic accomplishments he is perhaps superior to Har Dayal,
but above all he is deeply religious and spiritual. He is a worshipper
of Krishna and is a high-souled Vedantist. Even simpler and more ascetic
in his life and habits than Har Dayal, he is for an all-around
development of Indian Nationalism. His notions of life and morality are
pre-eminently Hindu and he believes in the spiritual mission of his
people. His views may better be gathered from an interview, which he
recently gave to a correspondent of _The Hindu_, of Madras. We quote the
interview almost bodily and in the words of the interviewer.

“But what do you think of the 1914 Congress and Conferences?” I
insisted.

He spoke almost with reluctance but in clear and firm accents. He said:
“I do not find the proceedings of the Christmas Conferences very
interesting and inspiring. They seem to me to be mere repetitions of the
petty and lifeless formulas of the past and hardly to show any sense of
the great breath of the future that is blowing upon us. I make an
exception of the speech of the Congress President which struck me as far
above the ordinary level. Some people, apparently, found it visionary
and unpractical. It seems to me to be the one practical and vital thing
that has been said in India for some time past.”

He continued: “The old, petty forms and little narrow, make-believe
activities are getting out of date. The world is changing rapidly around
us and preparing for more colossal changes in the future. We must rise
to the greatness of thought and action which it will demand from the
nations who hope to live. No, it is not in any of the old formal
activities, but deeper down that I find signs of progress and hope. The
last few years have been a period of silence and compression, in which
the awakened _Virya_[90] and _Tejas_ of the nation have been
concentrating for a greater outburst of a better directed energy in the
future.

“We are a nation of three hundred millions,” added Mr. Ghosh,
“inhabiting a great country in which many civilisations have met, full
of rich material and unused capacities. We must cease to think and act
like the inhabitants of an obscure and petty village.”

“If you don’t like our political methods, what would you advise us to do
for the realisation of our destiny?”

He quickly replied: “Only by a general intellectual and spiritual
awakening can this nation fulfil its destiny. Our limited information,
our secondhand intellectual activities, our bounded interests, our
narrow life of little family aims and small money getting have prevented
us from entering into the broad life of the world. Fortunately, there
are ever-increasing signs of a widened outlook, a richer intellectual
output and numerous sparks of liberal genius which show that the
necessary change is coming. No nation in modern times can grow great by
politics alone. A rich and varied life, energetic in all its parts, is
the condition of a sound, vigorous national existence. From this point
of view also the last five years have been a great benefit to the
country.”

I then asked what he thought of the vastly improved relations that now
exist between the Briton and the Indian in our own country and
elsewhere.

“It is a very good thing,” he said, and he explained himself in the
following manner: “The realisation of our nationhood separate from the
rest of humanity was the governing idea of our activities from 1905 to
1910. That movement has served its purpose. It has laid a good
foundation for the future. Whatever excesses and errors of speech and
action were then disclosed, came because our energy, though admirably
inspired, lacked practical experience and knowledge.

“The idea of Indian nationhood is now not only rooted in the public
mind, as all recent utterances go to show, but accepted in Europe and
acknowledged by the Government and the governing race. The new idea that
should now lead us is the realisation of our nationhood not separate
from, but in, the future scheme of humanity. When it has realised its
own national life and unity, India will still have a part to play in
helping to bring about the unity of the nations.”

I naturally put in a remark about the Under-Secretary’s “Angle of
Vision.”

“It is well indeed,” observed Mr. Ghosh, “that British statesmen should
be thinking of India’s proper place in the Councils of the Empire, and
it is obviously a thought which, if put into effect, must automatically
alter the attitude of even the greatest extremists towards the
Government and change for the better all existing political relations.

“But it is equally necessary that we, Indians, should begin to think
seriously what part Indian thought, Indian intellect, Indian nationhood,
Indian spirituality, Indian culture have to fulfil in the general life
of humanity. The humanity is bound to grow increasingly on. We must
necessarily be in it and of it. Not a spirit of aloofness or of jealous
self-defence, but of generous emulation and brotherhood with all men and
all nations, justified by a sense of conscious strength, a great
destiny, a large place in the human future--this should be the Indian
spirit.”

The oneness of humanity is a topic dear to the heart of Babu Arabinda
Ghosh and when I (_i.e._, the interviewer) suggested to him that
Vedantic ideas would be a good basis for unity, his reply was full of
enthusiasm:

“Oh, yes,” he said, “I am convinced and have long been convinced that a
spiritual awakening, a reawakening to the true self of a nation is the
most important condition of our national greatness. The supreme Indian
idea of the oneness of all men in God and its realisation inwardly and
outwardly, increasingly even in social relations and the structure of
society is destined, I believe, to govern the progress of the human
race. India, if it chooses, can guide the world.”

And here I said something about our “four thousand” castes, our
differences in dress and in “caste marks,” our vulgar sectarian
antipathies and so on.

“Not so hard, if you please,” said Mr. Ghosh with a smile. “I quite
agree with you that our social fabric will have to be considerably
altered before long. We shall have, of course, to enlarge our family and
social life, not in the petty spirit of present day Social Reform,
hammering at small details and belittling our immediate past, but with a
larger idea and more generous impulses. Our past with all its faults and
defects should be sacred to us. But the claims of our future with its
immediate possibilities should be still more sacred.”

His concluding words were spoken in a very solemn mood:

“It is more important,” he said, “that the thought of India should come
out of the philosophical school and renew its contact with life, and the
spiritual life of India issue out of the cave and the temple and,
adapting itself to new forms, lay its hand upon the world. I believe
also that humanity is about to enlarge its scope by new knowledge, new
powers and capacities, which will create as great a revolution in human
life as the physical science of the nineteenth century. Here, too, India
holds in her past, a little rusted and put out of use, the key of
humanity’s future.

“It is in these directions that I have been for some time impelled to
turn my energies rather than to the petty political activities which are
alone open to us at the present moment. This is the reason of my
continued retirement and detachment from action. I believe in the
necessity at such times and for such great objects, of _Tapasya_,[91] in
silence for self-training, for self-knowledge and storage of spiritual
force. Our forefathers used that means, though in different forms. And
it is the best means for becoming an efficient worker in the great days
of the world.”

_Ganesh Vináyak Savarkar._ At this stage we might mention the name of
another Nationalist, who exercised a vast influence on young Indians in
England for a number of years and is now serving a life-term in the
Andamans. We mean Ganesh Vináyak Savarkar. In the simplicity of his life
he was of the same class as Arabinda Ghosh and Har Dayal. In the purity
of his life he was as high as either. In politics he fell in the first
category minus their religious fervour. In his general views he was more
or less what Har Dayal is, minus his denunciation of those who are
engaged in non-political activities. Savarkar had extremely fine
qualities of a leader. He has been caught because he was reckless; he
never cared about his personal safety; he had the dash of the old
warrior who always put himself in the post of danger. Har Dayal keeps
himself in the background and avoids danger. Arabinda stands midway
between the two.

_The Terrorists._ (3) The third class of Nationalists consists of those
who would like absolute independence, but who do not believe that it is
possible in the near future. They approve of the occasional use of bomb
and revolver for terrorist purposes; especially now when no other method
has been left of carrying on a propaganda of freedom. The press has been
gagged; the platform has been dismantled. Any vigorous political
propaganda, including strong criticism of the Government and its
methods, is out of the question. No one can point out the political and
economic disasters of foreign rule, much less discuss it with reference
to actual facts and figures. There is no other way of reminding the
people at home and abroad of the standing and colossal wrong which the
British Government is guilty of in keeping India under her yoke. In
their opinion, the occasional use of the bomb and the revolver is the
only way to assert their manhood and their desire for freedom, and to
announce their dissatisfaction and discontent. It attracts attention all
over the world. It makes people think of India. At home it reminds
people of the wrongs they have suffered and are suffering at the hands
of the Government. At first it shocks the people, but then it stirs them
to think. The bomb has entered Indian life, perhaps never to leave it.
They abhor it, but they are getting accustomed to it. They do not now
think so badly of those who use the bomb as they once used to.

_Advocates of Constructive Nationalisation._ (4) In the fourth class are
comprised those who want independence, but not _at once_. They would
rather consolidate the nation, raise its intellectual and moral tone,
increase its economic efficiency, before they raise the standard of
revolt. They do not believe that England will ever free them or give
them even Colonial Self-Government except under very great pressure.
They do not believe that nations let things go out of their grip or hold
if they can help it, and unless their own safety demands it. In their
opinion the Congress as well as the bomb have come rather early. They
would have the nation apply herself wholeheartedly to the work of
education and consolidation.

_Independence, but not at once._ They do not want the British to go
until the people of India are sufficiently strong to turn them out by
force, and are able to protect themselves and to maintain their
independence and their liberties against the outside world. They
recognise the force of the argument that the British may never allow
them to grow so strong as to be able to win their liberty, and by
waiting they might lose all conscious desire for political freedom and
might become permanent parasites. They, however, think that they can
guard against such possibilities by keeping their nationalism alive and
by occasionally suffering for it. Driven to this corner, they admit that
now that the Congress and the bomb have come, they might stay. In the
opinion of some both are useful in their own way. They would not
advocate the use of the bomb and the revolver; in fact they might in all
seriousness dissuade people from using them, but when they are used,
they would not give up the offenders even if they knew who they were.
They would approve the use of the bomb and the revolver against
individual tyrants or against people who insult Indian manhood and
womanhood, as in the present state of racial and political feeling in
India no other way is open to bring them to book and get justice against
Englishmen, but they do not like the use of the bomb and the revolver
for general political purposes or for terrorising. These people believe
in a propaganda of selfless social service. The people must be
approached and won over by service and love, before any political
upheaval is attempted.

_Preparing the Nation for Freedom._ Nothing can be achieved without the
help of the people. “We must have the people with us,” say they. “And in
order to win the people to our side, we must show them conclusively
that we have their interests at heart, that we love them perhaps more
than we love ourselves, that we are disinterested and public spirited
and that we are in every respect better and more honourable than the
foreign rulers. Our moral superiority over the agents of the foreign
government must be ever present in the minds of the people in order to
enable them to support us and back us in the coming political struggle.”
In their eyes the Congress propaganda has no other value but
educational. They have no faith in the benevolence of British statesmen
and they do not believe that the Congress would achieve anything
substantial. They are very uncertain about the future, and therefore to
them, the best course open is to engage in educational and social work.
They are neither dreamers nor idealists, but practical patriots, who are
content to do the spade work and sow the seed. They confess that they
can not see far ahead and are therefore afraid of the demoralising
influences of the bomb and the revolver. Nor can they justify political
robberies and dacoities. They think that, this time, independence should
come never to be lost again, and in their judgment that is only possible
if independence is not won by a few but by the whole united nation. In
the meantime they would wait and build up their nation.

_Preparatory Work from Below._ The Congress has failed, they say,
because it has been trying to get political concessions from above. The
right policy is to work from below. They do not believe in “mendicancy”;
nor do they place any reliance in “benevolence and philanthropy in
politics.” On the other hand, they differ from the extremists in their
methods, as they believe in a steady development of the national mind
and the national will and have no faith in heroic remedies. They do not
care to run the risk of “relapses.” They contain in their number some of
the noblest sons of India, whose life is a record of continuous selfless
service in the field of social work. They should not be confounded with
the “resolution” patriots of the Social Conferences or other
conferences; nor should they be judged by the length of their speeches
or their fluency or capacity to deliver long orations in English. They
are generally modest people who do not claim erudite scholarship or
great statesmanship. They do not go in for any recognition, whether from
the Government or from the people. The satisfaction of their own
conscience and undisturbed work are the only rewards they seek.

_Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission._ They are to be found in
all sections of the great Indian nation, in all religions, and in all
communities. They live simply on simple fare, in simple and scanty
garments and in simple houses. They earn in order to give. They live in
order to serve. To this class belong _some_ of the Bengalee deportees,
and to this class belong a great many members of the Brahmo Samaj, the
Arya Samaj, and the Ramakrishna Mission. They have large followings, but
yet their number is by no means great. They are well known in their
respective circles, but are not so well known outside, as the
“extremists” and “moderates” are. The C. I. D. (Criminal Investigation
Department) of the Government keeps a close watch over them; the
government officers keep themselves informed of their movements and
doings. They want to be left alone and allowed to do their work quietly
and unostentatiously, but the Government will not leave them alone and
suspects them of deep designs and secret propaganda.

_The Moderates._ (5) We now come to the moderates. There are some who
would not advocate the use of the bomb or the revolver, but who do not
desire the total disappearance of the extremist party; and the
occasional use of the bomb and the revolver gives a point to their
organisation which they would not lose. Lacking the intelligent support
of the masses in their propaganda, being too lazy to court it by
legitimate means, or too self-centred to run the risk involved therein,
they are heartily glad of the existence of a party in the country which
has raised their importance in the eyes of the Government and the
British public. Of course they do not say so and their abhorrence and
detestation of the bomb and the revolver is quite genuine, yet they
would be very sorry if the extremist party were extirpated altogether.

_Gokhale._ The noblest and the best of the Congress type from the
Nationalist point of view was represented by Mr. Gokhale. Mr. Gokhale
loved his country quite sincerely and lived and worked for it. With the
exception of Dadabhai Naoroji, he was the only Congressman of reputation
and name that

[Illustration: G. K. GOKHALE]

lived for his country only and gave his all to her service. His life was
fairly simple; his patriotism was of the highest type; yet he was not
the type of man fitted to be a hero. He had the qualities of
statesmanship, but lacked those of generalship. He objected to people
designating his policy as one of mendicancy, or questioning his
political ideals. He used to remonstrate and say in the most touching
way: “Do you think, my friend, we are so devoid of self-respect and so
base as to be happy at our country being under foreign domination; do
you think we wish that it should always remain under foreign yoke? No,
you do us great injustice if you think so. I would have my country be
free to-day if that were possible. But is it possible? Can we work on
that basis? In politics you must consider what is practical and what is
unpractical. We can in no way bind the future generations. Who are we to
bind them irrevocably? We are doing what we in our own times consider
best and practicable. We are not beggars and our policy is not that of
mendicancy. We are ambassadors of our people at a foreign court, to
watch and guard the interests of our country and get as much for her as
we can. That is our position.” Mr. Gokhale believed in the work of
consolidation and in the work for increasing the social efficiency of
the people of India regardless of caste, creed, or colour. He had a
great deal in common with class number (4). But he had great faith in
political agitation on moderate lines. He was fully conscious of the
weakness of the Congress methods and extremely disliked the behaviour
of some of the leaders. He quite bemoaned their lack of enthusiasm,
their want of self-sacrifice, their intolerance, the lack of spirit of
true comradeship in them, their self-sufficiency and, last but not
least, their luxurious lives. He often compared the type of human
material which found its way into the Congress with those who joined the
ranks of the extremists. He admired the spirit of the latter, their
devotion to the cause, their asceticism and their selflessness. He
wished he had some of that stuff to work for the Congress. He admired
Arabinda and Har Dayal. He used to say that he could not see very far
ahead and therefore he preferred to work for the immediate future. A few
days before his departure from England he said to two of his most
intimate friends (husband and wife) that India would be free in 25
years. What he meant by freedom we do not know. Probably he meant “as
free as the self-governed colonies.” Of late he was losing faith in
English liberalism. He noticed the lack of great minds among the
liberals, but he said they were the only people with whom we could work.
His experiences on the Royal Commission for Public Services saddened the
last days of his life. He could not bear the insults that witness after
witness (from among the Anglo-Indians) heaped on his countrymen, their
character, their honesty, and their capacity. He objected to the
extremists calling themselves nationalists to the exclusion of the
people of his ways of thinking. He said we were all nationalists. He was
by far the noblest of the moderates. There is no one who is even half
so good and noble as he was.

_Congress Leaders._ A great many Congress leaders are true patriots, but
they have such an abnormal love of peace and luxury, that they can not
even think of methods which might even remotely result in disturbances
of peace, in riots, and in disasters. Hence their detestation of the
extremist methods and their distrust of carrying on a propaganda among
the masses. They would proceed very, very slowly. Of course, there are
some among them who are cowards, some who are self-seekers, who hanker
after judgeships, memberships, knighthoods, and so on, but we do not
count them as nationalists, and history knows of no political party
which was absolutely free from such weaknesses. There are some among the
Congressmen who are moderates by profession, but extremists in their
ways of thinking, lacking the courage of identifying themselves with the
latter; just as there are some who are Congressmen in name, but are
really out and out loyalists seeking opportunities of advancing their
own interests. Then there are some who favour constitutional agitation,
but want to make the Congress more self-assertive and self-sufficient.
They would pass resolutions on current topics but would have no
petitioning or praying or memorialising.

_Passive Resisters._ There are others who would go even farther and
inaugurate a campaign of passive resistance and boycott. The Congress
thus claims as many types of nationalists as the extremists. The Passive
Resisters are likely to come to the front if Mr. Gandhi, the great
Hindu Passive Resister, undertakes to organise them.

For obvious reasons we can not classify the living Indian Nationalists
in India by name.



CHAPTER VI

INDIAN NATIONALISM AND THE WORLD-FORCES


_Inspiration through European Nationalism._ There can be no doubt that
Indian nationalism is receiving a great deal of support from the
world-forces operating outside of India. On the political side it has
been inspired and strengthened by the forces of European
nationalism--the struggles and successes of the English proletariat, the
sufferings and the eventual triumph of the French revolutionists, the
efforts and victories of the Italians, the continued struggle of
Russians, Poles, Finns, Hungarians, and others. The Indian nationalist
is an ardent student of the history of Modern Europe, of England,
France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Austria, and last but not
least, of Turkey and the Balkan States. The Nationalist Calendar of
great men followed by young India contains such names as those of
Washington, Cavour, Mazzini, Bismarck, Kossuth, Emmet, Parnell, by the
side of Partap, Ram Das, Guru Govind Singh, Sivaji, Tipú Sultan, and the
Rani of Jhansi.

_History of Modern Europe tabooed in Universities._ The Indian
Government is conscious of this, and some people think this is what is
influencing the policy of the Indian universities in tabooing the
history of Modern Europe from the courses of studies.

American literature and American events are also playing their own part
in the influences that are feeding Indian nationalism. The leaders are
and have ever been close students of American literature and the history
of the American Federation. Asia, however, is playing a greater part in
moulding and influencing Indian nationalism. The Russo-Japanese War
thrilled India to its core. The recognition of Japan as a great power by
the Concert of Europe is regarded by Young India as the potent factor in
Indian Nationalism. An awakening current passed through the country
electrifying the most inert, inarticulate and otherwise unapproachable
sections of the populations. Then came the events in Turkey, in Russia,
and in China.

_Italian-Turko War._ Turkey’s war with Italy, followed by her struggle
with the Balkan States, has done wonders in nationalising the Indian
Mohammedans. At the present moment the Mohammedans perhaps feel even
more intensely than the Hindus.

Indian patriots travelling abroad study the current problems of the
various countries through which they pass, and note their bearing on
their own national problems. But what is most important is, that they
seek and get opportunities of meeting and conversing with the
nationalists of other countries. Some of them are in close touch with
the Egyptian and Irish nationalists, others with Persians, and so on.
Indian nationalism is thus entering on an international phase which is
bound to strengthen it and bring it into the arena of world forces.

_Interpretation of India to Western World._ Indian thought, Indian
history, and Indian culture are receiving a great deal more attention
now than they ever did before. There is hardly an important contribution
to the thought of the world which does not notice and consider the
Indian view of the matter under discussion. But India is seen by the
world only through Western spectacles. Some Indians are doing valuable
work in interpreting India to the Western world, and their work is
attracting notice; but a great deal yet remains to be done and Indian
scholars should make it an item of their programme to open India and
Indian thought to the outsiders and thus bring India into the vortex of
world forces.

_Tagorism._ While Rabindra Nath Tagore is to some degree losing in the
estimation and affection of his own countrymen by somewhat sacrificing
nationalism to art, he is gaining in world reputation. Tagorism is
becoming a cult and he is at the present moment perhaps the most popular
and most widely read and widely admired literary man in the world. It
was a mere chance that his work attracted the notice of the trustees of
the Nobel prize trust. He himself did nothing to attract their notice.

The Indian publicist has so far lived in a world of his own. He has
ignored or paid very scanty attention to the forces operating in the
world for progress, for liberty, and for advance in democratic ways. The
leaders of the National Congress have never tried to enlist sympathy
for their cause anywhere outside England. They have never realised the
value of the world forces and the great sensitiveness of the English as
to what the world thinks and says of them.

The Indian Nationalist would do well to note this. He should begin to
think and act internationally. It is impossible to separate India
altogether from the rest of the world, however the British might try and
whatever they might do. For her sons to try to do that is to strengthen
their chains and add to the weight which is crushing their country.
Nothing could be more suicidal or more short-sighted.



CHAPTER VII

THE RELIGIOUS AND THE COMMUNAL ELEMENTS IN INDIAN NATIONALISM


For a time the Mohammedan minority was the hope of the British
Government in India. As far back as 1888, Lord Dufferin[92] and Sir
Auckland Colvin had successfully appealed to their fears, and won them
over by promises of preferential treatment. That policy has been
consistently followed since then, and so far has been a great success.
The bulk of the educated Mohammedans has opposed the Congress, in order
to please the Government and win their gratitude; they also opposed the
_Swadeshi_ Movement, although the success of the _Swadeshi_ was likely
to benefit them very materially, since the handloom industry was
principally in their hands. In return, they received substantial
benefits in the shape of large grants of money for educational purposes,
a larger percentage of posts in government service, a larger number of
titles and honours, a separate and larger representation in the
councils, and so on. Lord Morley confirmed this policy of preference by
making it a special feature of his Reform scheme in 1908. So the
Mohammedans were in very high spirits in 1908. The Nationalist party in
Bengal had a large number of friends and sympathisers among the
Mohammedans, but as compared with the Separatist party, their number was
very small and meagre. In its inception and for some time thereafter the
Nationalist movement in India was thus a pre-eminently Hindu movement.

_Mohammedan Revulsion of Feeling against the British._ The world events
of the last four years, however, have changed the whole aspect of
affairs in India. The events in Turkey, in Tripoli, in Egypt and in
Persia have affected the Mohammedans deeply and have brought about a
revulsion of feeling against the British. The Muslims are a virile and
proud people. The attitude of Britain towards Turkey has offended their
deepest susceptibilities and they have begun to think that the British
in India wanted to bribe them into silent acquiescence in what was
happening to the Muslim people in the other parts of the globe. For the
last four years the Muslim press has been carrying on a strong, vigorous
pan-Islamic propaganda. The Mohammedan classes as well as masses are
full of veiled and subdued hatred of the British. Sometimes this finds
expression on the platform, in the press, and in permanent literature
also. In the last Balkan war and during Turkey’s conflict with Italy
about Tripoli, the Mohammedan mosques rang with loud prayers for the
victory of Turkey, and with strong and open denunciation of their
Christian enemies. There is a perceptible and clear change in the
political pronouncements of the Muslim League,[93] but the political
influence of the Muslim League among the people was, so far, little as
compared with the influence of the Pan-Islamic party. This Pan-Islamic
party is the extreme wing of the Mohammedan Nationalists.

The number of forfeitures of the Moslem papers and publications under
the Press Act, the nature of those publications and the continued
support given to the papers that have been more than once forfeited and
punished by the Government, the change in the tone of the Moslem papers
in their comments on government measures, and the newly born _entente_
between the Hindus and Mohammedans, of which there is unmistakable proof
in the press as well as in actual life, all point in the same direction.
There is every chance of the Hindu extremists and Muslim extremists
making an alliance and joining hands, while even the Mohammedan
moderates are coming nearer the Hindu moderates.[94] The former may not
actually join the Congress in large numbers, but they are thinking and
acting the same way. The Mohammedan moderates are wiser than the Hindu
moderates. They use their extreme party as a trump card in their
negotiations with the Government more effectively than the Hindus do or
have ever done. The Mohammedan extremist receives more substantial
support and sympathy from his moderate co-religionist than the Hindu
extremist does from the Hindu moderates. The Mohammedan moderate is
more outspoken in his criticism of government measures that injuriously
affect the Mohammedans; he is less lavish in his praises of the British
Raj; he is a more skilful negotiator and a decidedly better and more
successful diplomat.

The educated Mohammedans, outside India, are almost to a man identified
with Indian Nationalism. So the Indian Mohammedan’s changed sentiments
towards the British are likely to be a source of great strength to the
national cause and make the situation more hopeful from the point of
view of Indian Nationalism.

_Disaffection among the Sikhs._ But the Mohammedans were not the only
people whom the Britishers had succeeded in keeping aloof from the Hindu
Nationalists. The Sikhs had also so far kept aloof. The treatment of the
Sikhs in Canada, the _Komagata Maru_[95] incident and the influence of
Har Dayal and the Gadar party on the Pacific Coast of America formed by
him, have affected a great change of feeling among the Sikhs also. The
Government may try to win them back by making concessions and conferring
preferments, but a move like the one recently made in giving Mr. K. G.
Gupta’s seat on the Secretary of State’s Council in London to Sirdar
Daljit Singh, a Sikh nobleman, is likely to make them look even more
ridiculous than before. The Britisher’s lack of imagination is
colossal, but we did not know that the war was likely to affect even his
sense of humour.



CHAPTER VIII

THE FUTURE


It is both difficult and risky to predict, especially concerning a
country situated as India is to-day. It is always the unexpected that
happens in human affairs. This is particularly true where human affairs
are so complicated and complex as in India. It is perhaps easier to
predict the future of America or England, than that of India. The Indian
nationalists of the nineties, or even of the early days of the new
century, could hardly have imagined the developments of the last fifteen
years. It is true that India is rather immobile; its masses are rather
inert; and perhaps of all peoples the least affected by changes in the
outside world. They have been under the benumbing influence of a
philosophy of life which keeps them contented even under adverse
circumstances, even when they are starving and have no clothes to hide
their nakedness.

_Change in Indian Life and Depth of Nationalism._ But this is only
partially true of modern India. There is a great deal of exaggeration
about the immobility of Indian people. There may be millions in India
who are as unaffected by modern conditions of life and modern ideas as
they were fifty years ago, but then there are millions who have
consciously awakened. Their strength is not to be judged by the
attendance at Congresses and conferences or other public meetings or
demonstrations, nor by the circulation of newspapers or books. Popular
demonstrations organised in honour of popular leaders, and the increase
in the circulation of newspapers give indications of a great change in
Indian life, but the actual change is even much greater. Read the poetry
of the country or its prose, read the rough versifyings of the
half-educated or even uneducated men and women (including some who are
even illiterate), listen to the talk in the village park or square or
other meeting places, see the games which the children of rustics and
the poorest classes play, attend to the patterings of children, examine
the popular songs or the music that is now in demand, then you will see
how deeply nationalism has pervaded Indian life and what a strong hold
it has gained in the thoughts of the people. No foreigner can realise
that; only an Indian can properly understand it. Examine the vernacular
press--the most sober and the most loyal papers, and underlying the
expressions of deepest loyalty, you would assuredly come across genuine
tears of blood, shed for the misfortune of the country, its decline, its
present wretched and miserable condition. From the Indian press we hear
a never-ceasing lamentation. Listen to the utterances of the most wanton
chief, and the most callous millionaire, bring him out from his
isolation or retirement, put him on the public platform, and you will
notice a vein of nationalism in his thoughts and in his words. But if
you can know what he talks in private to friends from whom he keeps no
secrets, you will see and notice a great deal more. The writer has not
so far met a single Indian of any class--he has met Indians of all
classes and of all shades of opinions, educated, uneducated, prince and
peasant, moderate and extremist, loyalist and seditionist,--who was
genuinely sorry at the outbreak of this war. A number of Indians are
fighting at the front. They are sincerely loyal and true to their oath
of allegiance. They would leave nothing undone to win, but in their
heart of hearts lurks something which in moments of reflection or when
they are off duty, reminds them of the wrongs which they and their
countrymen are suffering at the hands of England. Nationalism is no
longer confined to the classes. It promises to become a universal cult.
It is permeating the masses. Only those Indians realise it who mix with
the people and do not derive their knowledge from works written by
Englishmen or by other arm-chair politicians. No foreigner, however kind
and sympathetic, however great his knowledge of the language of the
country, can ever realise it fully. Even the dancing girls are affected
by it. They will sing political or national songs if you so wish. Even
the wandering minstrel with his rude, one-stringed instrument, knows the
song that is likely to bring him help.

_Nationalism Fertilised by Blood of Martyrs._ No amount of repression or
espionage can stop it. No amount of official terrorism and no devices,
invented or followed to inculcate loyalty, can stop or check the flow
of the new feeling of patriotism and nationalism which is being
constantly fed by the sentences of death and transportation that the
British courts are passing on beardless youths. The Government can not
help it. They must punish the offender and the criminal. They must hunt
up the seditionist. They would not be a government if they would do
otherwise, but India is now in that stage and Indian nationalism is in
that condition when repression, death sentences, and imprisonments are
more beneficial to it than otherwise. The more it is repressed and
suppressed, the more this spirit grows and spreads. It is a seed that is
richly fertilised by the blood of martyrs. The people do not argue, they
do not reason, they do not analyse; they feel that good, well-connected,
healthy, beautiful boys are dying in the country’s cause and to get a
redress of the country’s wrongs. When a bomb is thrown, the people
genuinely condemn the bomb thrower, are sincere in their detestation,
but when he is hanged or transported, they are sorry for him. Their
original abhorrence changes into sympathy and then into love. They are
martyrs of the national cause. They may be misguided, even mad, but they
are martyrs all the same. The moralist and the legalist and the loyalist
and the constitutionalist, all condemn their deeds, but the doers
themselves, they adore, and their names they enshrine in their hearts.

_Wave of Indian Nationalism is on._ Such is human psychology, and such
is the psychology of nations in the making. The Indian mind has entered
on that phase. No amount of sweet speeches by the Viceroy or by the
Lieutenant Governors or by the commissioners or deputy commissioners, no
amount of honours and titles or rewards to individuals, no amount of
preferment of one community as against another, no amount of
canal-making or railway-developing, can change the tide that has begun
to flow, or retard the sweep, much less turn it to ebb.

_Propitiation and Petty Concessions Futile._ This is the supreme fact of
Indian life which every one who has anything to do with India, official
or non-official, statesman or layman, politician or publicist, must
recognise and face. Nations and individuals, filled with their own
importance, drunk with power and resources, accustomed to mould things
and forces in their own way, determined to keep what they have got, may
not see things which are unpleasant to look at or to think about. But
facts are facts and do not wait for their action on the pleasure of
those who do not like them. Canute-like they may command the waves, but
the waves will not listen to them. The wave of Indian nationalism is on
and no amount of tinkering with Indian administration, or sweet phrases,
or promises can check it. “We are the subjects of the same sovereign,”
“citizens of the same empire,” “brothers in arms,” “comrades,” and so
on,--these are kind words spoken by people who perhaps mean well. But in
the light of past experience they do not carry much weight; they may
befool some soft-hearted people, but they would not affect the general
mind of the nation so long as they remain unaccompanied by deeds. An
Executive Council for the United Provinces, a High Court for the Punjab,
a High Court and a University for Behar, a Charter to the Hindu
University, liberal grants to Islamic schools and colleges, may please
some barristers and pleaders, but they will not satisfy the nation, so
long as the Arms Act is on the statute book, so long as the Indian
Councils are a farce, so long as the fiscal policy is laid down in the
interests of Lancashire, and so long as hundreds and thousands of Indian
boys fail to earn a decent living, while the country is being ruled and
exploited by the few fortunate foreigners. Indians want to go to Canada,
to South Africa, to the United States of America, because the wages to
be earned in India are so low, because the life at home is so miserable,
so helpless and so hard and so humiliating. Even abroad the Indian is
kicked and insulted at almost every step, but then that is more easily
borne than the kicks and insults of Englishmen in India.

_Internal Division no Valid Plea._ India has and can produce enough to
feed her own children,[96] nay to spare, provided she were free to make
her own laws, spend her own revenues, and protect her industries. Those
who plead that Indians are too hopelessly divided into religions,
communities, sects, castes, and languages, to be able to form a
government of their own, forget that the English have been in India only
for the last century and a half and that before that India governed
herself. The India of to-day is in no way happier than it was before
pre-British days. The India of Akbar was happier than the England of
Elizabeth and even more prosperous. The India of Asoka was infinitely
happier and more prosperous than the England of Alfred the Great. The
India of Aurangzeb may perhaps have been miserable, but surely not more
miserable than the England of Henry VIII, or the England of James I, or
the Scotland of Mary, or the Ireland of Cromwell, or the France of Henry
IV, or the Holland of Philip. We have the testimony of English
historians and observers that subjects of the East India Company were in
no way happier or more prosperous than when they were under Native
rule,[97] and the subjects of Native States in India governed by Natives
are on the whole in no way worse off than British subjects under the
direct rule of the British.

Look at the United States, how the varied races, sects, religions, and
communities have merged their differences and live under one national
government; look at the number of languages spoken in the United
States--in their schools and in their factories. Look at Switzerland,
what a tiny little country it is! How many languages are spoken and
taught in its schools and how many languages are spoken and used in its
councils, and how many religions are professed by the people of the
country!

The same remarks may be made about the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary,
where the form of government is largely representative in spite of the
diversity of races, sects and languages.

The number of religions, sects and languages in India has been grossly
exaggerated. With every census the number goes up by hundreds, though
the country and the people are the same.

_Illiteracy the Fault of the British and no Bar to Self-government._
Again it is sometimes said that India cannot be self-ruling because of
its illiteracy. This argument does not come with good grace from the
Britishers because it is they who are responsible for the appalling
illiteracy of the Indian population. In Japan, where the work of
education was begun late in the last century, 28 per cent. of the
children of school age were at school in 1873; by 1902-1903 the
percentage had risen to 90. In India, after 150 years of British rule,
the percentage is 19.6. The Indian Nationalists have for a number of
years been asking for compulsory universal education, but the Government
would not listen. The late Mr. Gokhale’s Compulsory Elementary Education
Bill was strongly opposed by the Government and thrown out. But what is
even worse is that the Government would not let the people open their
own schools and colleges because of the unreasonably high standard set
up by the Department for their recognition as public schools.

However, universal literacy of the people is not an indispensable
pre-requisite of self-rule. In Japan, where 50 years ago representative
government was set up, only the _Samurai_ were literate. In India, too,
the higher classes are educated to a considerable extent.

England has enjoyed parliamentary government for centuries, but
universal education was only introduced in 1870.

_Internal Troubles._ As for internal troubles following the withdrawal
of the British or the grant of self-government we ask, “Is there any
country on the face of the earth which is free from internal troubles?”
Even Great Britain is not; much less are the self-governing colonies.
Yet nobody questions their right to govern themselves. Only the other
day President Wilson considered the existence of internal disorder in
Mexico to be no justification for the United States interfering in its
affairs.

_Unfitness of Orientals for Representative Institutions._ As for the
unfitness of Orientals for democratic institutions, why the ancient
history of India refutes it almost conclusively. India was the home of
democratic institutions long before England and France had any notion of
what democracy implied. But if any further proof of the absurdity of
this plea was needed that has been furnished by Japan.

_Nationalism has come to Stay._ Let England try an experiment by
repealing the Arms Act and giving a parliamentary government to India
and see if these considerations effectively stand in the way of
progress. Be that as it may, however, one thing seems to be assured and
certain, that Indian nationalism can neither be killed nor suppressed
by repression, nor by minor concessions. Nationalism has come to stay
and will stay. What will be the upshot is only known to the Gods.
England may win or lose in the great war in which she is engaged. Indian
nationalism will gain in either case. We need not consider how India
will fare if England loses. She may come under Mohammedan domination, or
the Germans may take possession of her; the English would be gone and
then India would enter upon a new life. India does not want it. She will
resist it with all her strength. But if it comes she can’t help it and
Great Britain would be responsible for having brought it. In case,
however, England wins, as she is likely to, the Indian nationalism will
still gain. There will be a demand for political advance, for a change
in the political status of the country and in its relations towards
England and her colonies. From what we know of English temper, of
English political machinery, of English political methods, of English
ways and of English history, that demand is sure to be refused. Some
minor, petty concessions may be made, but they would be disproportionate
to the sacrifices of men and money that India is making in the war. They
will not satisfy the country. Disaffection and discontent will grow and
that is the kind of food on which nationalism thrives and prospers. So
long as there are Curzons, Macdonnels, and Sydenhams in the English
Parliament, Indian nationalism will not starve for want of congenial
food. And we have no reason to think that these dignitaries of the
British Government are likely to disappear.

_Curzons, Macdonnels, Sydenhams, responsible for Bombs and Revolvers._
These persons are directly responsible for the appearance of bombs and
revolvers in Indian political life. The young men who use them are mere
tools of circumstances. If any persons deserve to be hanged for the use
of these destructive machines by Indian nationalists, it is they. It is
a pity that while the latter are dying by tens on the scaffold, the
former should be free to carry on their propaganda of racial
discrimination, racial hatred, and social preferment. But the ways of
Providence are inscrutable. It is perhaps some higher dispensation that
is using these miserable Junkers for its own purposes. Indians have
faith in Providence and they believe that what is happening is for the
best. 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 more sustained.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS IN ENGLISH

             BOOKS BY ENGLISHMEN


     “New Spirit in India” by H. W. Nevinson.

     “The Awakening in India” by J. Ramsay MacDonald, M.P.

     “India, Impressions and Suggestions” by J. Keir Hardie, M.P.

     “New India” by Sir Henry Cotton (once an M.P.), late of the Indian
     Civil Service.

     “Allen Octavian Hume” by Sir W. Wedderburn, late of the Indian
     Civil Service (once an M.P.).

     “Prosperous British India” by Mr. William Digby, C.I.E.

     “India and the Empire” by Mrs. Annie Besant.

     “Indian Nationalism” by Edwyn Bevan.

     “Bureaucratic Government” by Bernard Houghton (late of the Indian
     Civil Service).

     “Lord Curzon a Failure” by C. J. O’Donnell (late of the Indian
     Civil Service).

     “Causes of Indian Discontent” by C. J. O’Donnell (late of the
     Indian Civil Service).

     “The Indian Ryot” by Sir W. Wedderburn.

     “The Skeleton at the Jubilee Feast” by Sir W. Wedderburn.

     “Congress Green Books” (84, 85, Palace Chambers, Westminster,
     London).


     “The New Nationalist Movement in India,” by Dr. J. T. Sunderland.

     “Indian Famines and Their Cause” by Dr. J. T. Sunderland, 423 West
     120th Street, New York.


                 BOOKS BY INDIANS

     “Poverty or Un-British Rule in India” by Dadabhai Naoroji.

     “India Under Early British Rule” by R. C. Dutt, C.I.E.

     “India in the Victorian Age” by R. C. Dutt, C.I.E.

     “Famines and Land Assessment” by R. C. Dutt, C.I.E.

     “England and India” (Indian Progress, 1785-1885) by R. C. Dutt,
     C.I.E.

     “The Civilization of India” by R. C. Dutt, C.I.E.

     “Speeches of the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale.”

     “The Swadeshi, a Symposium.”

     “Recent Indian Finance” by Wacha.

     “The National Evolution” by A. C. Mazumdar.

     “The Indian National Congress.”

     “Speeches of Sir P. M. Mehta.”

     “The Story of My Deportation” by Lajpat Rai.

     “The Alipore [Bomb Case] Trial.”


               PERIODICALS

     _The Modern Review_ (monthly). Calcutta.

     _The Indian Review_ (monthly). Madras.

     _The Hindustan Review_ (monthly). Allahabad.

     _India_ (the British Organ of the Indian National Congress,
     weekly). London.



APPENDICES

I

EXTRACTS FROM SIR HENRY COTTON’S “NEW INDIA.”


_Feudatory Chiefs Powerless._ “It would perhaps be ungenerous to probe
too narrowly the dependent position and consequent involuntary action of
the feudatory chiefs. They are powerless to protect themselves. There is
no judicial authority to which they can appeal. There is no public
opinion to watch their interests. Technically independent under the
suzerainty of the Empire, they are practically held in complete
subjection. Their rank and honours depend on the pleasure of a British
Resident at their Court, and on the secret and irresponsible mandates of
a Foreign Office at Simla” (page 34).

_Gross Insults to Indians._ “That intense Anglo-Saxon spirit of
self-approbation which is unpleasantly perceptible in England itself,
and is so often offensive among vulgar Englishmen on the Continent, very
soon becomes rampant in India.

“There are innumerable instances in which pedestrians have been abused
and struck because they have not lowered their umbrellas at the sight of
a sahib on the highway. There are few Indian gentlemen even of the
highest rank who have not had experience of gross insults when
travelling by railway, because Englishmen object to sit in the same
carriage with a native” (pages 68-69).


II

SOME OPINIONS ABOUT BRITISH INDIA

_Industrial Ruin of India. Gokhale._ “When we come to this question of
India’s Industrial domination by England, we come to what may be
described as the most deplorable result of British rule in this country.
In other matters there are things on the credit side and things on the
debit side.... But when you come to the industrial field, you will find
that the results have been disastrous. You find very little here on the
credit side and nearly all the entries on the debit side. Now this is a
serious statement to make, but I think it can be substantiated.”

_India a Mere Possession. Gokhale._ “India formed the largest part of
the Empire, but was governed as a mere possession of the British people.
Three features showed that it had no part or lot in the Empire. In the
first place, the people were kept disarmed; it was thought to be
dangerous to allow them to carry arms. Secondly, they had absolutely no
voice in the government of their own country; they were expressly
disqualified from holding certain high offices, and practically excluded
from others. Lastly, they were not allowed a share in the privileges of
the Empire in any portion outside British India, except a limited one in
the United Kingdom itself.”--MR. GOKHALE.

_Masses Starved. Sir C. A. Elliott._ “I do not hesitate to say that half
our agricultural population never know from year’s end to year’s end
what it is to have their hunger fully satisfied.”--SIR C. A. ELLIOTT,
one-time Lieut.-Governor of Bengal.

_Sir W. W. Hunter._ In 1880. “There remain forty millions of people who
go through life on insufficient food.”--SIR W. W. HUNTER.

_William Digby._ In 1893. The _Pioneer_ sums up Mr. Grierson’s facts
regarding the various sections of the population in Gaya: “Briefly, it
is that all the persons of the labouring classes, and ten per cent. of
the cultivating and artisan classes, or forty-five per cent. of the
total population, are insufficiently clothed, or insufficiently fed, or
both. In Gaya district this would give about a million persons without
sufficient means of support. If we assume that the circumstances of Gaya
are not exceptional,--and there is no reason for thinking otherwise--it
follows that nearly one hundred millions of people in British India are
living in extreme poverty.”

In 1901. “The poverty and suffering of the people are such as to defy
description. In fact, for nearly fifteen years there has been _a
continuous famine in India_ owing to high prices.”

70,000,000 _Continually Hungry People in British India. W. Digby._
“Since Sir William Hunter’s remarks were made the population has
increased (or is alleged to have increased) by nearly thirty millions.
Meanwhile the income of the Empire has greatly decreased during this
period. Wherefore this follows: that is, if with the same income, in
1880 forty millions were insufficiently fed, the additional millions
cannot have had, cannot now have, enough to eat; this, again, ensues:--

40,000,000 plus, say, 30,000,000, make 70,000,000; and _there are this
number of continually hungry people in British India at the beginning of
the Twentieth Century_.”--WILLIAM DIGBY, C. I. E.

_Deaths from Famine or Consequent Diseases, 1891 to 1900 alone_:
estimated by a correspondent of the _Lancet_, 19,000,000.

_Total area under cultivation._ In the year 1911-12, the _total area_
under _food grains_ was over 195 _million acres_, plus 7.5, _i.e._ over
202½ _million acres_. In 1912-13, India _exported foodstuffs_ of the
value of over 260 million dollars.

In 1913-14 she exported about 216 million dollars’ worth of foodstuffs.

_Famines of Money, not Food. Lord G. Hamilton._ “The recent famines are
famines of money, and not of food.”--LORD G. HAMILTON, former Secretary
of State.

_Causes of Famines._ 1. National industries deliberately crushed by the
East India Co. cannot revive under existing conditions.

2. Annual drain of India.

3. Lack of such education as will enable people to develop their
resources.

_Drain. Montgomery Martin._ “The annual drain of £3,000,000 from British
India has mounted in thirty years, at 12 per cent. (the usual Indian
rate) compound interest, to the enormous sum of £723,900,000
sterling.”--MONTGOMERY MARTIN. (In 1830.)

_Digby._ “During the last thirty years of the century the average drain
cannot have been far short of £30,000,000 per year, or, in the thirty
years, £900,000,000, not reckoning interest!”--SIR WILLIAM DIGBY.

_Enormous Foreign Tribute. Rev. J. T. Sunderland._ Rev. J. T. Sunderland
in his work “The Causes of Famine in India,” like all impartial writers,
has conclusively proved that neither “failure of rains” nor “over
population” is the cause of famines in India. He has stated that the
real cause of famine is the extreme, the abject, the awful poverty of
the Indian people caused by “_Enormous Foreign Tribute_,” “British
Indian Imperialism” and the destruction of Indian industries.


_Government assessment too high. Sir W. Hunter._ “The government
assessment does not leave enough food to the cultivator to support
himself and his family throughout the year.”--SIR WILLIAM HUNTER, K. C.
S. I., in the Viceroy’s Council, 1883.

_The Ryot. Herbert Compton._ “There is no more pathetic figure in the
British Empire than the Indian peasant. His masters have ever been
unjust to him. He is ground until everything has been expressed, except
the marrow of his bones.”--MR. HERBERT COMPTON in “Indian Life,” 1904.

Hindustan is an extensive agricultural country and the average land
produces two crops a year, and in Bengal there are lands which produce
thrice a year. Bengal alone produces such large crops that they are
quite sufficient to provide _all the population of Hindustan for two
years_.

_Indian Plunder. Adam Brooks._ Adam Brooks says, (“Laws of Civilization
and Decay,” page 259-246) “Very soon after the Battle of Plassey (fought
in 1757) the Bengal Plunder began to arrive in London and the effect
appears to have been almost instantaneous. Probably since the world
began, no investment has yielded the profit reaped from the Indian
plunder. The amount of treasure wrung from the conquered people and
transferred from India to English banks between Plassey and Waterloo (57
years) has been variously estimated at from $2,500,000,000 to
$5,000,000,000. The methods of plunder and embezzlement, by which every
Briton in India enriched himself during the earlier history of the East
India Company, gradually passed away, but the drain did not pass away.
The difference between that earlier day and the present is, that India’s
tribute to England is obtained by “indirect methods,” under forms of
law. It is estimated by Mr. Hyndman that at least $175,000,000 is
drained away every year from India, without a cent’s return.”

_Swami Abhedananda._ “India pays interest on England’s debt, which in
1900 amounted to 244 millions sterling, and which annually increases.
Besides this, she pays for all the officers, civil and military, and a
huge standing army, pensions of officers, and even the cost of the India
Building in London, as well as the salary of every menial servant of
that house. For 1901-2 the total expenditure charged against revenue was
$356,971,410.00, out of which $84,795,515.00 was spent in England as
Home Charges, not including the pay of European officers in India, saved
and remitted to England.--SWAMI ABHEDANANDA (“India and Her People”).

_Alfred Webb_ (late M.P.): “In charges for the India Office (in
London); for recruiting (in Great Britain, for soldiers to serve in
India); for civil and military pensions (to men now living in England,
who were formerly in the Indian service); for pay and allowances on
furloughs (to men on visits to England); for private remittances and
consignments (for India to England); for interest on Indian debt (paid
to parties in England); and for interest on railways and other works
(paid to shareholders in England), there is annually drawn from India
and spent in the United Kingdom, a sum calculated at from £25,000,000 to
£30,000,000 (Between $125,000,000 and $150,000,000).”

“_Narrow and Shortsighted Imperial Policy._” _Sir Archibald R.
Colquehoun._ “The present condition of affairs undoubtedly renders the
struggle for existence a hard one, as may be realized when it is
considered that a vast population of India not only from the inevitable
droughts which so frequently occur, _but also from a narrow and
shortsighted imperial policy which places every obstacle in the way of
Industrial development and imposes heavy taxes on the struggling
people_. According to various authorities, Russia’s demand upon
landowners in her Central Asian possession are not so exacting as ours
in India, _for the British Government insists on a fifth of the produce,
making no allowance for good or bad years; while Russia is said to ask
only a tenth and allow for variation of production_.” (Pages 135-6,
“Russia Against India,” by SIR ARCHIBALD R. COLQUEHOUN, Gold Medalist,
Royal Geographical Society.)

_Taxation. Lord Salisbury._ The British policy of bleeding Indian
people. “The injury is exaggerated in the case of India where so much of
the revenue is exported without a direct equivalent. As India must be
bled, the lancet should be directed to the parts where the blood is
congested or at least sufficient, not to those already feeble for the
want of it.”--LORD SALISBURY.


III

FACTS AND FIGURES

_Plague, Deaths from._ Plague[98] deaths from 1897-1913: 7,251,257.

_Death Rate._ Death rate was: 34.28 for the year 1907-11; 32 for the
year 1911, and 29.71 for the year 1912.

Rural from 41.8 to 23.5.

Urban from 47.6 to 22.7.

_Indian Finance._ The budget figures of the government of India for
1914-15 show the total estimated income for the year to be slightly over
85 millions sterling, of which more than 17 millions are given out as
railway receipts and about 4½ millions for irrigation work, thus leaving
the pure revenue to be about 63 millions.

_Land Tax._ The principal source of revenue is the land tax, which alone
furnishes a little over 21½ millions of pounds, of which, if we deduct 9
millions shown as the “direct demand on the revenues” only 12½ millions
are left for general purposes.

The military expenses alone are estimated at about 22 millions, which is
even in excess of the gross total receipts from the land tax, and is
more than one-third of the total revenues from all sources.

The figures for income are a little misleading, because out of a total
of about 17 millions (17 millions and 33 thousand) shown as railway
receipts about 13 millions (13,409,000) shown as paid for interest and
other miscellaneous charges on the expenditure side, should be deducted.
Similarly about 4½ millions are shown as receipts under the head of
irrigation, and over 3½ millions are shown against that head as
expenditure.

Among the other heads of income, excise brings slightly over 9
millions. Income tax is included under “Other Heads,” which show a total
figure of slightly over 5 millions.

_Income Tax._ The income tax, which is levied on incomes other than
those derived from agriculture, is only 6½d. in a pound on incomes of
£133 or more, a year, and almost 5d. a pound on incomes below that
figure. The minimum taxable income is £66 a year, which shows that all
incomes of between 5-6 pounds a month, or between 25-30 dollars a month,
are taxed. The large fortunes made by Europeans and Indians by trade,
speculation, manufacture, and unearned increments of valuation, are thus
easily let off. The principle burden of taxation falls on the poor
_ryot_.

Income from agriculture is supposed to be taxed at the rate of 50 per
cent. of the net income of the landlord, or at the rate of 20 per cent.
of the gross produce of the ryot, under the ryotwari system. In some
cases it exceeds these proportions and is as high as 65 per cent. (See
Lord Morley’s reply to C. T. O’Donnell.)

_Customs._ Customs, which furnish the principal source of revenue in the
United States and Germany, in India only yield about less than 7½
millions. The imports are charged _ad valorem_ duty of 5 per cent. with
special conditions as to textiles, and “a large free list.” The textile
woven goods pay a duty of 3½ per cent. and Lancashire is protected by a
corresponding excise duty on textile goods produced in the country. Iron
and steel pay only a nominal duty of one per cent.

The other principal source of revenue is the drink traffic, from which
the government of India makes an income of about _nine millions_
sterling. How much loss in morals it inflicts thereby on the country may
better be imagined. That however is another story.


TRADE FIGURES FOR 1913 to 1914

  Imports (manufactured articles forming
  80 per cent. of the total):                 £127 millions

  _Treasure_:                                   29 millions
                                              -------------
                                              £156 millions

  _Exports_ (chiefly raw produce and articles
  of food):                                   £163 millions

The shipping is entirely in European hands and it would be interesting
to enquire how much does India pay for the shipping of its imports and
exports, and how much do the foreigners make by way of insurance and
other charges. The exact gain to Great Britain and other European
countries from Indian trade is simply incalculable. The great bulk of
the foreign trade on both sides is in the hands of foreigners.


PERSONNEL OF THE GOVERNMENT

     SECRETARY OF STATE and all Under Secretaries, as well as Assistant
     Under Secretaries:


                       _British_
  COUNCIL:  _British_  _Indians_  _Total_
                8          2         10

All Office Establishment and Secretaries: _British_.

All salaries and other expenses paid by India.

GOVERNOR GENERAL AND COUNCIL _and staff_ (i.e., the British Indian
Cabinet).

     Members of the _Executive Council_: British 7; one only is an
     Indian.

     REVENUE AND AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT: All Secretaries down to the
     Superintendent of the Office: British. (Total strength, 7.)

     FINANCE DEPARTMENT: 21; all British except that one Assistant
     Secretary is an Indian, and one Superintendent is an Indian.

     FOREIGN DEPARTMENT: 6; all British except that one Attaché is an
     Indian.

     EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: 8; one Assistant Secretary is an Indian.

     LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT: 7; only one Legal Assistant an Indian.

     ARMY DEPARTMENT: 10; one Office Superintendent an Indian.

     PUBLIC WORKS: 15; no Indian.

     COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY: 11; 3 Office Superintendents are Indians.

     RAILWAY BOARD: 4, no Indian.

     POST OFFICE AND TELEGRAPH DEPARTMENT: no Indian.

     INDO-EUROPEAN TRADE DEPARTMENT: no Indian.

     SURVEY: no Indian.

     GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: 5; no Indian.

     BOTANICAL DEPARTMENT: 5; no Indian.

     ARCHÆOLOGICAL SURVEY: 9; one Indian.

     MISCELLANEOUS APPOINTMENTS: 39; one Indian.

     THE INDIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL:--

     Total strength 67, out of which 35, besides the Governor General
     are always officials, only one of which is an Indian; of the
     remaining 32, 28 are Indian members, including 3 nominated by the
     Government, i.e., a total of 20 out of 67.

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT:

     All Governors, Lieutenant Governors, and Chief Commissioners of
     Provinces are British.

     In Provinces having Executive Councils of three or more, one is an
     Indian.

     Secretaries and Heads of Departments are all Britishers. Of the
     large army of Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, perhaps
     one in each Province is an Indian.

SERVICES:

     _Army_: No Indian is eligible to a commissioned rank.

     _Indian Civil Service_: (on the first of April, 1913) out of a
     total cadre of 1318, only 46 were Indians.

     _Indian Medical Service_: Little over 5 per cent. are Indians.

     _In Provincial Legislative Councils_ having very restricted powers
     of legislation, the _elected_ Indians are in a minority everywhere.


FIGURES ABOUT EDUCATION AND LITERACY:

(Figures taken from the Year Book of 1914)

  Area, 1,773,168 square miles.
  Population, 315,132,537.
  Universities in British India, 6.

  Number of High Schools for males                 1273
  Number of High Schools for females                144

  Primary schools for males                     113,955
      i.e., not even 1 for every 10 miles.
  Primary schools for females                    13,694

  Literally.
  Males, 106 per 1000, i.e., about 10½ per cent.
  Females, only 10 per 1000, i.e., about 1 per cent.

All these figures are taken from the Indian Year Book, published by the
Times of India Press, Bombay, for the years 1914 and 1915.


IV

THE FLOGGING OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

(An extract from _New India_, a paper edited by Mrs. Annie Besant.)

The tragedy of Mr. Ramcharan Lal, the ex-editor of the _Swaraj_,
continues. Mr. Macleod, the city magistrate of Nagpur, has sentenced him
to an additional six months of rigorous imprisonment after his sentence
has expired for ‘refusing to work.’ Our readers will remember the case.
This unfortunate political prisoner--whose analogues in foreign
countries have been welcomed and protected on British soil--under-going
a sentence of imprisonment, was so brutally flogged for refusing to do
work, which he says was more than he could do, that the prison doctor
admits that he would have been unable to work for four days after the
flogging, and six weeks after it the skin was still discoloured and two
serious scars remained. Now he has a heavy sentence of six months’
additional imprisonment. Is this British treatment of a political
prisoner? Why did Britons protest against the use of the knout on
political prisoners in Russia? Is there no one in the House of Commons
who will ask a question on this case, and demand an enquiry into the
treatment of political prisoners in India?



INDEX


A

Abul Fazal, 52

Abul Qasim, 70

Ahmad Khan (Sir Syed), 115

Akbar, 71, 72, 73, 74

Alberuni, 52

Alexander the Great, 68

Al-Hilal, 62

Asoka, 9, 11, 12, 69

Aurangzeb, 52, 73, 95


B

Ball, Charles (Indian Mutiny), 105

Bankim, Chandra, 190, 191

Bannerjea (Sir G.), 171

Bonnerjea, W. C., 133

Barendra, 194

_Bengalee_ (newspaper), 24

Besant, Annie, 50, 115

Blavatsky, 115

Burke, Edmund, 76, 77, 99


C

Chamberlain, Austen, 28

Chirol (Sir V.), 1, 29

Colvin (Sir A.), 124

Comrade, 62

Curzon (Lord), 29, 88, 89, 147, 156, 158, 159, 239, 240


D

Dalhousie, 97

D. A. V. College, 165

David, Rhys, 68

Dayal, Har, 152, 156, 195 to 199, 211

Dayanand (Saraswati), 115

Dickinson (Lowes), 5

Dufferin (Lord), 121, 122, 138, 142


E

Englishman (The), 168, 169, 182


F

Faizi, 52

Fergusson College, 164

Fuller (Sir W. B.), 177


G

Gaekwar (Baroda), 88

Gálib, 52

Ghosh, Arabinda, 152, 155, 172 to 175, 183, 205, 209, 211

Gokhale, G. K., 135, 137, 159 to 161, 181, 199, 216, 237

Gossain (Narendra), 194

Govind (Singh), 95, 102

Greece, 11

Gupta Empire, 13

Gupta, Chandra, 9, 10, 68, 69

Gupta, Samundra, 13, 14


H

Hamdard, 62

Hardinge (Lord), 121, 184

Hastings, Warren, 99

Havell, E. B., 12

Holmes (History of the Sepoy War), 104;
  (History of the Indian Mutiny), 105

Hume (A. O.), 122, 124 to 127, 130, 135, 137, 140, 144


I

Ibn, Batuta, 52

Ilbert (Bill), 119


K

Kali, 189, 190

Kaye (History of the Mutiny), 103, 104, 106

Kipling, Rudyard, 1


L

Lancashire, 62, 75

Law, Bonar, 28

_Leader_ (newspaper), 27

Lincoln, Abraham, 31

Lytton, Lord, 116, 118


M

Macdonald, J. Ramsay, 181, 182

Macdonnel, Lord, 29, 239, 240

Malleson (History of the Mutiny), 103, 104, 106

Manchester, 62

Mazhar-ul-Haq, 53

Megasthenes, 69

Mill (History of Br. India), 68

Minto (Lord), 179

Mohani, Abul Hasan Hasrat, 183

Müller, Max, 1

Muslim League, 49, 52

_Muslim Gazette_, 62


N

Naoroji Dadabhai, 133, 137, 179

Nath, Ajudhia, 133

National Council of Education, 171

National Congress, Indian, 122-145

National College, 173

Nepal, 13

Nevinson, H. W., 181, 182

Noble, Miss, 1


P

Pal, B. C., 162, 183, 190

Partap, Rana, 71, 72, 73

Pillai, Chidambaran, 183

Plassey, 96

Pratt, 3

Prithvi, Raj, 70


R

Rai, Lajpat, 181, 183

Ramakrishna Mission, 215

Ranade, 115, 133

Rawlinson, 10, 11

Reay, Lord, 123

Ripon, Lord, 119 to 122

Roberts (Charles), 28

Robertson, Sir G. Scott, 29

Roy, Ram Mohan, 111


S

Samaj, Arya, 117, 215

Samaj, Brahmo, 111, 215

Savarkar, 210, 211

Seleucus, 68

Sher Shah, 52, 73

Shah Jahan, 52

Sikhs, 73, 102

Sinha, Sir S. P., 31

Smith, Vincent, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15

Sivaji, 95, 129

Surat, 148

Swadeshi, 148, 168

Swaraj, 148

Sydenham, Lord, 29, 239, 240


T

Tagore, 5

Teg, Bahadur Guru, 95, 102

Theosophical Society, 117

Tilak (Bal Ganga Dhar), 28, 133, 155, 162, 183

Tod, Colonel, 73

Tyabji, 133


V

Victoria, Queen, 13

Vidyasagar, 164

Vikramadityas, 14

Vivekananda, 115, 193


W

Wacha, 39, 41

Wedderburn (Sir W.), 122, 128, 137, 144

Wellesly, Lord, 97.

Wilson (History of India), 94


Z

_Zamindar_ (newspaper), 62

       *       *       *       *       *

                              YOUNG INDIA

                             BY LAJPAT RAI

                    _COMMENTS ON THE FIRST EDITION_


NEW YORK EVENING POST:

“He must be indifferent or unimaginative indeed who can read unmoved the
pages of this volume. They are so instinct with passion of a consuming
emotion, so fired with the force of a national conviction, that it is
impossible to believe they can fail to impress all to whom liberty is
more than a name and country more than a mere geographical expression.
Of the facts and aspirations they so vividly record, few are more
competent to speak than their author, for Lajpat Rai has long been in
the forefront of the Indian Nationalist movement, and has suffered as
well as striven in the promotion of its cause.”

THE NEW STATESMAN (London):

“This is emphatically a book to be read by the Secretary of State for
India himself, as well as by the members of the Council and the clerks
in the India Office. It ought to be pondered over by every Indian
civilian. It is not that it brings any new indictment against British
rule in India, though much that Mr. Lajpat Rai says is very
uncomfortable reading; but it reveals, alike to the Indian bureaucracy
and to the British public, how unexpectedly acute and well-informed is
the criticism to which our somewhat slow and stupid Administration is
subjected, how completely it is out of touch with the thought of
educated ‘Young India;’ how far we are from getting into sympathetic
accord with the feelings and aspirations of the educated classes,
Mussulman as well as Hindoo.... Those who read Mr. Lajpat Rai’s very
significant volume (Will the Indian Government even allow it to enter
India?) will not agree with all his statements or proposals. But they
deserve to be widely read and carefully weighed. Every Briton would be
the better for reading them. And they deserve an answer--not merely a
reasoned refutation by the India Office of that which it thinks
erroneous or perverse, but, what is much more important, a prompt reform
of all that the India Office does not venture to defend.”

REEDY’S MIRROR (St. Louis):

“The book is profoundly interesting as showing what the native thinks of
British rule in India. Heretofore we have seen almost wholly through
Caucasian eyes--mostly the eyes, of Englishmen, members of the
government bureaucracy or missionaries, who have represented England as
the great benefactor of India. Through the eyes of Mr. Rai we see an
entirely different India--an India under a perfect despotism, in the
main a benevolent despotism, but which does not hesitate to use the
mailed hand when opposed.”

THE NATION (London):

“The whole book is a definite and we believe an accurate statement of
the present feeling among a rapidly increasing body of young and
educated Indians who have learnt the value of political freedom and the
difficulty of winning or retaining it.”

       *       *       *       *       *

                _WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR (IN ENGLISH)_

THE ARYA SAMAJ

An account of its origin, doctrines and activities, with a Biographical
Sketch of the Founder. With an Introduction by Professor Sidney Webb,
LL.B., of the London School of Economics and Political Science
(University of London.) With 10 Illustrations. _Crown 8vo. pp. xxvi+305,
price, $1.75 net._ Professor Sidney Webb in the Preface which he has
written to this book says--“I believe that this is the first book
dealing with what may possibly prove to be the most important religious
movement in the whole of India.” The author, Mr. Lajpat Rai, gives a
biographical account of the Swami Dayananda, who was the founder of the
Arya Samaj, and died in 1883. Since then the organization which
Dayananda founded has increased enormously, and numbered 243,000 members
in 1911, having more than doubled since 1901.

The Arya Samaj aims at a thorough reformation of the religion of
Hinduism. It advocates the abolition of the worship of Idols and desires
that the Hindu religion should be restored to the pure and lofty
Monotheism of the Vedas which it believes to be the sole source of
religious truth. Mr. Blunt, I.C.S., in the census report for the United
Province for 1911 calls it “the greatest religious movement in India of
the past half century.”

     _New York Times_:--It is quite impossible for any one possessed of
     imagination to close this book without feeling that it has
     introduced him to a movement of very great importance ... (a)
     fascinating book.

     _Unity_:--J. T. Sunderland, D.D. “An interesting, well written,
     reliable book.”

     _Journal of Religious Psychology_:--A very interesting account.

     _Boston Transcript_:--Very remarkable book.

     _Christian Intelligence_:--Fascinating in style and matter.

     _Literary Digest_:--More interesting to Americans.

     _Outlook_:--It (the Arya Samaj) deserves wide attention.

     _Christian Work_:--“Carefully thought out and selected material”
     framed “into well-expressed phrases.”

     _London Times_:--A remarkable book.

     _London Daily News_:--An indispensable book.

     _London_ “_India_”:--A historic book.

Very favorable reviews given by the (London) Nation, the (London) New
Statesman, the Pall Mall Gazette and other English and American papers
in lengthy notices.


REFLECTIONS ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN INDIA

_A pamphlet, 25 cents._

To be had of the author, care of B. W. Huebsch, 225 Fifth avenue, New
York.


THE STORY OF MY DEPORTATION
Second Edition in Course of Preparation


FOOTNOTES:

 [1] The italics everywhere in this quotation are mine.

 [2] See Vincent Smith’s “Early History of India,” third edition, p.
 135.

 [3] “Mr. Vincent Smith is always anxious to deprive India of the
 credit of all her achievements in art and literature.” Indian
 Historical Studies by Prof. H. D. G. Rawlinson, p. 227.

 [4] The italics in the above quotation are mine.

 [5] See also Mr. E. B. Havell’s Ideals of Indian Art, pp. 11-12. Mr.
 Havell’s conclusion is: “We may see if we have eyes to see, that all
 India is one in spirit, however diverse in race and in creed.”

 [6] First Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1905.

 [7] See footnote to p. 5, of his “Early History of India,” 3rd ed.

 [8] A town on the Eastern Coast of India.

 [9] Some of these sentences have been reduced.

 [10] In 16 cases these sentences have been commuted to life-long
 imprisonment not out of mercy as the Viceroy has himself officially
 pointed out, but in consideration of the evidence.

 [11] The great mutiny of 1857, of which more hereafter.

 [12] Six of them have been sentenced to death, 45 to transportation
 for life, some to imprisonment and some have been acquitted.

 [13] The italics are mine.

 [14] The italics are mine.

 [15] Some Reflections on the Political Situation in India, by Lajpat
 Rai, pp. 24-27.

 [16] The ludicrous extent to which the prohibition to keep and use
 arms has been carried will be better illustrated by the following
 incident reported by the _Bengalee_ of Calcutta.

 “A five year old boy of Munshi Ganj Road, Kidderpore, had a toy pistol
 purchased for one anna. On the 8th of August last the child was
 playing with it but could not explode the paper caps. A thirteen year
 lad showed him how to do it. The boy was at once arrested by a beat
 constable and marched off to the Wat Ganjthana with the fire arm. The
 boy was eventually sent up for trial at Alipur and the Court fined him
 three rupees.”

 [17] Commenting on the annual report of the issue of licenses the
 Indian press have made similar statements. The _Punjabee_ says “while
 the ruffians bent on crime have been able to secure fire arms by foul
 means, the law abiding section of the community have for the most part
 continued helpless owing to the difficulties of obtaining licenses for
 fire arms.” See also _Bengalee_ of the 6th Oct. 1915.

 [18] The italics are mine.

 [19] The italics are mine.

 [20] The examinations have not been discontinued but statutory
 provision has been made for a large proportion of the appointments
 formerly filled by examination to be now filled by nomination.

 [21] Mr. Lowes Dickinson, an English Professor who has largely
 travelled in India, has practically admitted the truth of this remark.
 (P. 23, An Essay on the Civilisation of India, China, and Japan. See
 also pp. 27 and 28.)

 [22] The _Pioneer_ of Allahabad, a semi-official organ of the
 Anglo-Indians, has in a recent issue said that “The safety of the
 State is and must be of far greater importance than the rights of the
 individuals.”

 [23] The Western Coast.

 [24] Heavy wooden sticks.

 [25] A straw mat.

 [26] The italics are mine.

 [27] “The Raja (_i.e._, the king) was not above the law.” See Wilson’s
 note on p. 203, vol. I of Mill’s British India.

 [28] See Rhys David’s “Buddhist India.”

 [29] See an account of Yudhishthira’s _Rajsuya yajna_ in the
 Mahabharata.

 [30] For an account of Chandra Gupta’s Government see Early History of
 India by Mr. Vincent Smith.

 [31] It is true that parts of Deccan had been from time to time
 overrun by the Mohammedans and at least one Muslim kingdom had
 been founded there even before Akbar’s time, but still the general
 statement in the text stands good.

 [32] The tribal name of the House to which Partap belonged.

 [33] Names of Rajput ruling families in Akbar’s time.

 [34] The history of Europe up to the 18th century is full of parallel
 disputes on racial and religious grounds.

 [35] It is said that for a short time a small portion of Northwest
 India formed a province of the Empire of Darius and paid tribute to
 that monarch, but the government was all the same native.

 [36] “The Asiatic conquerors very soon abated their ferocity, because
 they made the conquered country their own. They rose or fell with the
 rise and fall of the territory they lived in. Fathers there deposited
 the hopes of their posterity; the children there beheld the monuments
 of their fathers. Here their lot was finally cast; and it is the
 normal wish of all that their lot should not be cast in bad land.
 Poverty, sterility, and desolation are not a recreating prospect to
 the eye of man, and there are very few who can bear to grow old among
 the curses of a whole people. If their passion or avarice drove the
 Tartar hordes to acts of rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough,
 even in the short life of man, to bring round the ill effects of the
 abuse of power upon the power itself. If hoards were made by violence
 and tyranny, they were still domestic hoards, and domestic profusion,
 or the rapine of a more powerful and prodigal hand, restored them to
 the people. With many disorders and with few political checks upon
 power, nature had still fair play, the sources of acquisition were
 not dried up, and therefore the trade, the manufactures, and the
 commerce of the country flourished. Even avarice and usury itself
 operated both for the preservation and the employment of national
 wealth. The husbandman and manufacturer paid heavy interest, but then
 they augmented the fund from whence they were again to borrow. Their
 resources were dearly bought, but they were sure, and the general
 stock of the community grew by the general effect.

 “But under the English Government all this order is reversed. The
 Tartar invasion was mischievous, but it is our protection that
 destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship. Our
 conquest there, after twenty years, is as crude as it was the first
 day. The natives scarcely know what it is to see the grey head of an
 Englishman; young men, boys almost, govern there, without society, and
 without sympathy with the natives. They have no more social habits
 with the people than if they still resided in England; nor, indeed,
 any species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a
 sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement. Animated with all
 the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in
 one after another, wave after wave, and there is nothing before the
 eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new flights
 of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for
 a food that is continually wasting. Every rupee of profit made by an
 Englishman is lost forever to India.” (Edmund Burke in a speech made
 in the House of Commons in 1783 A. D. The reflections
 are as good, to-day, as they were then.)

 [37] The constitution of the Government of India is settled by laws
 made by the Parliament of Great Britain, in which India is not
 represented.

 [38] See Sir Henry Cotton’s New India (1907), pp. 68, 69 and 70.

 [39] In England this is the view of the bulk of the Indian student
 community. The Government, of course, repudiates that view.

 [40] In this connection we may refer the reader to an excellent
 article published in the _New Statesman_ (London) dated April 1, 1916,
 called, “If the Germans conquered England.” With the alteration of
 England for Germany and India for England the article would make an
 excellent exposition of the position of the Indian Nationalist.

 [41] See New India by Sir Henry Cotton, 1907, p. 34.

 [42] It should be noted that the evils complained of in this chapter
 are the evils of the system which, in the words of John Stuart Mill,
 is unnatural, and the unnaturalness of which is recognised in full by
 many fair-minded Britishers. It was recognised so far back as 1835 by
 the British historian Wilson in his concluding remarks in the last
 chapter of his monumental History of British India.

 [43] The Punjab.

 [44] Sivaji was the founder of the Mahratta Empire in India.

 [45] Sirhind is a small town on the road to Delhi, where the Muslim
 governor of the time tortured the two minor sons of Guru Govind Singh
 to death by placing them between two brick walls.

 [46] See Kaye and Malleson, vol. II, p. 367. “In respect to the
 mutineers of the 55th, they were taken fighting against us, and so
 far deserve little mercy. But, on full reflection, I would not put
 them all to death. I do not think that we should be justified in the
 eyes of the Almighty in doing so. A hundred and twenty men are a large
 number to put to death. Our object is to make an example to terrify
 others. I think this object would be effectually gained by destroying
 from a quarter to a third of them. I would select all of those against
 whom anything bad can be shown--such as general bad character,
 turbulence, prominence in disaffection or in the fight, disrespectful
 demeanor to their officers during the few days before the 26th, and
 the like. If these did not make up the required number, I would then
 add to them the oldest soldiers. All these should be shot or blown
 away from the guns, as may be most expedient. The rest I would divide
 into patches: some to be imprisoned ten years, some seven, some five,
 some three.”

 [47] History of Indian Mutiny, Kaye and Malleson, vol. II, p. 203.
 “Martial law had been proclaimed; those terrible Acts passed by
 the Legislative Council in May and June were in full operation;
 and soldiers and civilians alike were holding Bloody Assize, or
 slaying natives without any Assize at all, regardless of sex or age.
 Afterwards the thirst for blood grew stronger still. It is on the
 records of our British Parliament, in papers sent home by the Governor
 General of India in Council, that the aged, women, and children,
 are sacrificed, as well as those guilty of rebellion. They were not
 deliberately hanged, but burnt to death in their villages--perhaps now
 and then accidently shot. Englishmen did not hesitate to boast, or to
 record their boastings in writings, that they had ‘spared no one,’ and
 that ‘peppering away at niggers’ was very pleasant pastime, ‘enjoyed
 amazingly,’ It has been stated in a book patronised by high class
 authorities, that ‘for three months eight dead-carts daily went their
 rounds from sunrise to sunset to take down the corpses which hung at
 the cross-roads and market-places,’ and that ‘six thousand beings’ had
 been thus summarily disposed of and launched into eternity.”

 [48] See Kaye and Malleson’s History of the Mutiny, vol. II, p. 177.
 “Already our military officers were hunting down the criminals of
 all kinds, and hanging them up with as little compunction as though
 they had been pariah-dogs, or jackals, or vermin of a baser kind. One
 contemporary writer has recorded that, on the morning of disarming
 parade, the first thing he saw from the Mint was a ‘row of gallowses.’
 A few days afterwards the military courts or commissions were sitting
 daily, and sentencing old and young to be hanged with indiscriminate
 ferocity. On one occasion, some young boys, who, seemingly in mere
 sport, had flaunted rebel colours and gone about beating tom-toms,
 were tried and sentenced to death. One of the officers composing the
 court, a man unsparing before an enemy under arms, but compassionate,
 as all brave men are, towards the weak and the helpless, went with
 tears in his eyes to the commanding officer, imploring him to remit
 the sentence passed against these juvenile offenders, but with little
 effect on the side of mercy. And what was done with some show of
 formality either of military or of criminal law, was as nothing, I
 fear, weighed against what was done without any formality at all.
 Volunteer hanging parties went out into the districts, and amateur
 executioners were not wanting to the occasion. One gentleman boasted
 of the numbers he had finished off quite ‘in an artistic manner,’ with
 mango-trees for gibbets and elephants for drops, the victims of this
 wild justice being strung up, as though for pastime, in ‘the form of a
 figure of eight.’”

 On mock trials see Holmes’ History of the Sepoy War, p. 124.
 “Officers, as they went to sit on the court martial, swore that they
 would hang their prisoners, guilty or innocent.... Prisoners condemned
 to death after a hasty trial were mocked at and tortured by ignorant
 privates before their execution, while educated officers looked on and
 approved.” “Old men who had done us no harm, and helpless women with
 sucking infants at their breasts felt the weight of our vengeance, no
 less than the vilest malefactors.” Again see History of the Siege of
 Delhi quoted by Savarkar in his “War of Indian Independence,” p. 111,
 by an officer who served there, how, on the way from Umbala to Delhi,
 thousands were placed before a court martial in rows after rows and
 condemned to be hanged or shot. In some places cow’s flesh was forced
 by spears and bayonets into the mouths of the condemned. (All Hindus
 abhor cow’s flesh and would rather die than eat it.)

 See Charles Ball’s Indian Mutiny, vol. I, p. 257. “One trip I enjoyed
 amazingly; we got on board a steamer with a gun, while the Sikhs and
 the fusiliers marched up to the city. We steamed up throwing shots
 right and left till we got up to the bad places, when we went on the
 shore and peppered away with our guns, my old double-barrel bringing
 down several niggers. So thirsty for vengeance I was. We fired the
 places right and left and the flames shot up to the heavens as they
 spread, fanned by the breeze, showing that the day of vengeance had
 fallen on the treacherous villains. Every day we had expeditions to
 burn and destroy disaffected villages and we had taken our revenge.
 I have been appointed the chief of a commission for the trial of all
 natives charged with offences against the Government and persons. Day
 by day, we have strung up eight or ten men. We have the power of life
 in our hands and, I assure you, we spare not. A very summary trial is
 all that takes place. The condemned culprit is placed under a tree,
 with a rope around his neck, on the top of a carriage, and when it is
 pulled off he swings.”

       *       *       *       *       *

 “In the Punjab, near Ajnala, in a small island, many a Sepoy who
 had simply fled away from a regiment which was working under the
 reasonable fear of being disarmed and shot by the Government for
 suspicion, was hiding himself. Cooper with a loyal body of troops
 took them prisoner. The entire number, amounting to two hundred
 and eighty-two, were then conveyed by Cooper to Ajnala. Then came
 the question what was to be done with them. There was no means of
 transporting them to a place where they could be tried formally. On
 the other hand, if they were summarily executed, other regiments
 and intending rebels might take warning by their fate, and thus,
 further bloodshed might be prevented. For these reasons, Cooper,
 fully conscious as he was of the enormous responsibility which he
 was undertaking, resolved to put them all to death. Next morning,
 accordingly, he brought them out in tens and made some Sikhs shoot
 them. In this way, two hundred and sixteen perished. But, there still
 remained sixty-six others who had been confined in one of the bastions
 of the Tahsil. Expecting resistance, Cooper ordered the door to be
 opened. But not a sound issued from the room; forty-five of them were
 dead bodies lying on the floor. For, unknown to Cooper, the windows
 had been closely shut and the wretched prisoners had found in the
 bastion a second Black-Hole. The remaining twenty-one were shot, like
 their comrades. 1--8--’57. For this splendid assumption of authority,
 Cooper was assailed by the hysterical cries of ignorant humanitarians.
 But Robert Montgomery unanswerably vindicated his character by proving
 that he had saved the Lahore division.”--Holmes’s History of the
 Indian Mutiny, p. 363.

 “It is related that, in the absence of tangible enemies, some of our
 soldiery, who turned out on this occasion, butchered a number of
 unoffending camp-followers, servants, and others who were huddling
 together in vague alarm, near the Christian church-yard. No loyalty,
 no fidelity, no patient good service on the part of these good people
 could extinguish, for a moment, the fierce hatred which possessed
 our white soldiers against all who wore the dusky livery of the
 East.”--Kaye and Malleson’s Indian Mutiny, vol. II, p. 438.

 [49] It should be noted that this visit took place during the present
 war and the observations recorded above were penned after the “unique”
 outburst of loyalty on the part of the Indians in connection with the
 Great War.

 [50] A native term equivalent for Europeans.

 [51] This is a native expression signifying the highest respect of the
 speaker towards one whom he considers his superior. Literally it means
 mother and father.

 [52] _I. e._, like the English.

 [53] In the interests of Lancashire goods.

 [54] Mr. Ilbert was the Law member of the Council of the Governor
 General and the bill came to be named after him.

 [55] Mr. Hume was an ex-secretary-of the Government of India who had
 retired from service.

 [56] Sir William Wedderburn is also a retired member of the Government
 of Bombay, India.

 [57] Sir Auckland Colvin was the Lieutenant Governor of the then North
 Western Provinces (now the United Province of Agra and Oudh).

 [58] The quotations from Hume are taken out of W. Wedderburn’s Allan
 Octavian Hume, the parts enclosed in parenthesis are Wedderburn’s.

 [59] These compliments have been renewed of late. The Congress held at
 Madras in 1914 was attended by the British Governor of the Presidency.

 [60] Mr. Hume’s biography by Sir William Wedderburn, p. 62.

 [61] Mr. Hume’s biography by Sir W. W., p. 63.

 [62] Biography, p. 63.

 [63] Swadeshi means country-made, and Swaraj means self-government or
 self-rule.

 [64] The Congress session held at Surat in December, 1907, ended in a
 split preceded by a disorderly meeting.

 [65] Presided over by the Honourable Mr. G. K. Gokhale, a member of
 the Viceroy’s Council.

 [66] Swadeshi means the cult of home industries, _i.e._, the use of
 the articles made in the country.

 [67] An eminent Bengalee writer.

 [68] Moreover the keynote of these organisations was association and
 co-operation with Government, and not independent self-assertion.

 [69] These are signs of mourning in India.

 [70] An eminent nobleman and landlord of Bengal.

 [71] India made goods.

 [72] Wholesale piece goods merchants belonging to Upper India are
 known in Calcutta by that name.

 [73] A ruling chief in the Bombay Presidency.

 [74] In my opinion there has never been any time in human history when
 religion and morals were successfully divorced from politics, either
 in Ancient India or anywhere else.

 [75] Societies, Associations and Gymnasiums.

 [76] A leader universally respected and loved by all classes of people
 throughout India. See frontispiece.

 [77] See Mr. H. W. Nevinson’s New Spirit in India, p. 295; also pp.
 133, 233, etc.; see also Mr. J. Ramsay Macdonald’s Awakening of India.

 [78] For an account of this split see H. W. Nevinson’s New Spirit in
 India, Chap. XIII.

 [79] A reward of one hundred thousand Rupees equal to 33,000 dollars
 was offered for information leading to the arrest of the culprit or
 culprits.

 [80] Name of a religious sect. See Pratts’ India and Its Faiths, p. 13.

 [81] The Spirit of Indian Nationalism, by Mr. B. C. Pal. p. 36.

 [82] A great Bengalee writer of fiction who composed the well-known
 nationalist song, “Bande Mataram” or Hail Motherland.

 [83] Or the foreign exploiters.

 [84] It was in the first half of the year 1908 that the first bomb
 was thrown at Muzaffarpur, Behar. It was meant for a Magistrate who
 had been passing sentences of whipping on nationalist youths, but by
 mistake it struck a quite innocent person. The investigation of this
 case resulted in the discovery of a big conspiracy. The trial of this
 conspiracy is known by the name “Maniktolah Bomb Case” from the fact
 that the headquarters of this conspiracy were alleged to have been in
 the Maniktolah gardens, Calcutta. One of the conspirators Narendra
 Nath Gossain became an approver. After the case had been committed
 for trial before the Sessions Court and when the approver and the
 accused were both lodged in jail at Alipore, one of the leaders of the
 conspiracy shot the approver dead with a rifle which had been smuggled
 into the jail premises by their friends.

 [85] A great Nationalist leader of Bengal, now dead.

 [86] One of his followers in San Francisco has told me that this
 description of him, viz., that he does not advocate the use of the
 bomb or the revolver is not correct.

 [87] This is illustrated in Indian official life day in and day out.
 It is not a rare occurrence that the British heads of the Departments
 get credit for what has been achieved by the genius, intelligence and
 labour of their Indian subordinates.

 [88] Indian heroes.

 [89] Non-commissioned officers of the native Indian army.

 [90] Force, energy and vitality.

 [91] Life of meditation and self-denial.

 [92] Lord Dufferin was the Governor General of India and Sir A.
 Colvin was the Lieutenant Governor of what were then the Northwestern
 Provinces, now the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

 [93] The organisation of the Pro-British Muslims.

 [94] See the Introduction.

 [95] Komagata Maru is the name of a Japanese steamer, which a number
 of Sikh emigrants chartered in Hong Kong in 1914 a. d. in order to
 take them to Canada. They were not allowed to land and were forced
 to return to India, under circumstances which have created a bitter
 anti-British feeling among the Indians all over the world.

 [96] During her most dreadful famines hundreds of thousands of tons of
 foodstuffs were shipped out of India.

 [97] See Mill’s History of British India, Vol. VI, pp. 149, 150, Vol.
 VII, p. 388, and p. 393, Vol. IX, pp. 207, 209. See Bishop Heber’s
 description of India in 1824 quoted in Mill and Wilson’s History of
 India, Vol. IX, p. 376. Also that of Mr. Shore in 1833.

 [98] We do not mean to say that British Rule in India is responsible
 for the plague, but with better management of resources, i.e., better
 sanitation, the plague could have been prevented or eradicated sooner
 than has been attempted.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Young India - An interpretation and a history of the nationalist movement from within" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home