IO S 60
A STUDY OF THE Y.M.G.A
INDIA, BURMA & CEYLON
-,_ '""*"' "si-
Made as an integral part
of the International Survey
DR; A. E. BOLT
.:- ' -:..-: -. -. -
MESSRS. K. K. KUiRUVILLAi&^K. E. BECKNELL
NATIONAI, COUNCIL Y.M.C.A., INDIA, BURMA & CEYLON
5, RUSSELL STREET, CALCUTTA
Clbc $lmver.sU\> of Chicago
A STUDY OF THE Y.M.C.A.
INDIA, BURMA AND CEYLON
A STUDY OF THE Y.M.C.A,
INDIA, BURMA & CEYLON
Made as an integral part
of the International Survey
DR. A. E. HOLT
MESSRS. K. K. KURUVILLA & H. E. BECKNELL
NATIONAL COUNCIL Y.M.C.A., INDIA, BURMA & CEYLON
5, RUSSELL STREET, CALCUTTA
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT . . . . . . ' . . vii
FINDINGS OP THE T.M.C.A. COMMISSION .... ... xii
PAET I. THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
IN ITS ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING
CHAPTER 1. Main Trends in the Historical Develop-
ment of the Y.M.C.A. of India, Burma
and Ceylon . . . . . . 3
CHAPTER 2. The Y.M.C.A. in Bombay, Calcutta and
Eangoon . . . . . . 10
CHAPTER 3. The Y.M.C.A. in Colombo, Lahore and
Madras . . . . . . 24
CHAPTER 4. The Y.M.C.A. in the Mof ussil Towns , . 32
CHAPTER 5. The Y.M.C.A. in Travancore and Cochin 40
PAET II. THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION AS
A FUNCTIONING AGENCY
CHAPTER 6. Organization and Administration . . 51
CHAPTER 7. Questions of Finance . . . . 72
CHAPTER 8. The Indian Secretaryship . . . . 99
CHAPTER 9. Membership . . . . . . 113
CHAPTER 10. The Work of the Local Associations . . 120
PAET III. THE WORK OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
INTRODUCTION TO PART III . . . . . . 135
CHAPTER 11. The Programme in Physical Education . . 136
CHAPTER 12. The Projects in Social Welfare Omitted.
CHAPTER 13. Literature and Lectures .. .. 143
CHAPTER 14. The Indian Students' Union and Hostel in
London . . . . Omitted.
CHAPTER 15. The Distinctive Contribution of the Y.M.C.A.
to India . . . . . . . . 145
PART IV. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND EVALUATIONS
CHAPTER 16. General Conclusions of Part I and Part II 159
CHAPTER 17. Problems of Administration growing out
of Social Conditions . . . . 168
CHAPTER 18. Psychological Conditions bearing on the
Extension of the Associations Omitted.
CHAPTER 19, Lines of Cleavage in Y.M.C.A. Policy . . 173
CHAPTER 20. Opportunities for Extension . . . . 195
- A survey might be defined as an analysis on the basis of
which plans are to be built for the future. It is not a venture
in programme building but a preliminary step in that process.
Opinions differ as to what type of analysis is most useful as a
basis for programme building. In this case an attempt has been
made to present, not so much a cross section of the present situa-
tion, as a genetic picture revealing the growth and development
of the two Christian Associations in India, Burma and Ceylon,
down through the years. The value of the present study lies
more in what light has been thrown on the nature and genius
of the movements than in any detailed description of all their
activities. The interest has been more in the life history of the
Associations than exclusively in what they were doing at the
time the survey was made. It is the belief of the survey staff
that both the T.M.C.A. and the Y.W.C.A. are entering a period
during which the process of building with Indian resources, both
as to funds and personnel, will be increasingly emphasized. It
is also a time when the need for clear distinction between the
essential Association and the good things it does will be very
real. It is hoped that the present survey will be of service in
The survey of the Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. of India, Burma
and Ceylon is part of a world-wide enterprise in co-operation.
The Foreign Divisions of the North American Associations and
those movements in other countries which they are assisting
with funds and personnel have together produced an inter-
national survey under the supervision of a special committee
chosen for this purpose in New York. This committee was made
up 'of the following persons :
Daniel J. Fleming, Chairman.
William F. Eussell, Vice-Chairman.
Mrs. John H. Finley, Secretary.
William M. Kingsley, Treasurer.
Miss Clara C. Benson.
Mrs. Harry Emerson Fosdick.
Eufus M. Jones.
William H. Kilpatrick.
- Miss Florence M. Bead,
The underlying purpose of the entire enterprise will be best
conveyed by the following quotations from the preliminary plan
drawn up for the International Survey Committee :
"According to the terms of reference under which the
present project was launched the planning of the survey
was to be guided by the following general considerations :
(1) Emphasis shall be laid upon the study of the work
and of the fields of opportunity of the two organ-
izations from the point of view of the largest
statesmanship, with a view to discovering what
curtailments, modifications, or advances in policies
and programme promise the largest release of
the constructive forces within each country and
(2) The survey shall also make a study of the supporting
constituency in this country (U.S. A.), including
the objectives of the work as seen by them, and
the measure of their prospective support.
(3) Since the work in all the countries in which the
Young Women's Christian Association and the
Young Men's Christian Association are co-operat-
ing is in the hands of autonomous national move-
ments, the study is to be carried forward from
the beginning with the fullest participation of
(4) To the degree that the method is consistent with
sound procedure, the leaders of the communities
and Associations studied are to be given an
active part in the process of survey and appraisal
in order that the results and methods may be
built into the life of the national and local organ-
"Perhaps the most significant of these guiding principles
is that the foreign work of the two Christian Associations
is to be studied 'from the point of view of the largest states-
manship'. This clearly means that the meticulous examina-
tion into mechanical efficiency, which has so commonly
marked social and educational surveys, is not to be stressed.
While data bearing on the narrower aspects of efficiency
should be gathered, the emphasis must be placed elsewhere.
The major object of the survey is to provide the most funda-
mental possible appraisal of a great social enterprise."
The same document laid down the following five major
lines of inquiry to serve as guides for the several national
(1) What are the basic assumptions, presuppositions,
and purposes underlying and controlling the
foreign work of the North American Associations ?
(2) In what respects is the present work of the national
Associations indigenous to those areas to which
the North American Associations have gone, and
to what extent have the North American elements
become naturalized in those areas I
(3) What results have followed the work of the Associa-
tions in the several countries *?
(4) How efficient is the administration of the foreign
work of the North American Associations and
of the work of the Associations in the several
(5) How is the work of the Associations supported ?
When the staff representative of the International Survey
Committee, known as the regional consultant for India, Burma
and Ceylon, reached India he was presented with a questionnaire
from the Indian Y.M.C.A. which reflected a different viewpoint
from that contained in the five questions just enumerated. The
Indian questionnaire assumed that the study should be made of
the Indian Association, with special emphasis on its own admin-
istrative problems, rather than as part of a wider fellowship. The
New York plan assumed that the distribution of resources was
a matter of concern only to North American and Indian officials
of the Christian Associations. There are, however, at least three
other parties interested in the affairs of the Indian Associations :
the Indian community, the European community in India, and
the supporting constituency of the North American secretaries.
The greater part of the so-called increase in indigenous support
of the Indian Associations is actually an assumption of increased
financial responsibility on the part of the European population.
The donors in India have been taking over the burden from the
donors in North America and are therefore to be considered when
policies are drawn up. It seemed best, therefore, to confine
the present study to the work in India on the assumption that
what the New York Committee really wanted was a clear picture
of this work on the basis of which future plans of co-operation
could be built. Fortunately, the outline as drawn up by the
North. American Survey staff lent itself very readily to the study
contemplated by the Indian Y.M.C.A.
After consultation with representatives of the Indian
Christian Associations, in the fall of 1929, two national com-
missions were set up to take charge of the proposed surveys.
The personnel of these commissions was as follows :
For the Y.M.C.A. : Eev. S. K. Chatterji, M.A.
Clifford Manshardt, B.D., Ph.D.
P. O. Phillip, B.A.
Prof. E. Ahmed Shah, M.A.
Eev. T. G. P. Spear.
J. H. Gray, M.D.
K. T. Paul, O.B.E., B.A.
B. L. Eallia Earn, B.SC., B.T.
For the T.W.C.A. : Mrs. K. M. MacDonald.
Miss H. Bose.
Mrs. F. Burnett.
Miss P. Madden.
Mrs. V. M. Elahibaksh.
Miss O. Lawrence.
These commissions met early in October, 1929, and appointed
the following staff :
National Consultants : K. K. Kuruvilla, M.A., B.D.
Elizabeth Z. Kuruvilla.
Technical Associate : H. E. Becknell, B.A., M.A.
Special Eesearch Associate : Bernice Becknell, B.A., M.A.
This staff, part of which was unable to start work before
January, 1930, has sought to build up a picture of Association
work in India on the basis of official census records (unfortunately
the 1921 Census was the latest available), Association records,
observations and interviews. Extensive photographs were taken
of the work and the negatives filed with the Foreign Divisions
in New York.
The staff has, with one or two exceptions, visited every
important Association in India, Burma and Ceylon, and desires
to bear witness to the courtesy and co-operation encountered
everywhere. The officers of the Associations have given unspar-
ingly of their time and have patiently filled out schedules and
questionnaires. It is the deepest hope of the survey staff that
this report, and similar ones now under way, may serve to furnish
guidance and help to organizations that have been able to com-
mand the loyalties of so splendid a body of men and women.
There is no way to record by scientific analysis that complex
of courage, patience, sympathy and insight which lies at the
foundation of any movement. The staff simply wishes to take
this opportunity to record its knowledge of the existence of these
imponderables and of the essential part they have played in the
history of the Association movements of India, Burma and
FINDINGS OF THE Y.M.C.A. COMMISSION.
The Commission in receiving the report prepared by the
survey staff on the work of the Young Men's Christian Association
in India, desires to acknowledge the great value of the material
assembled and presented therein. While the time available for
studying the report in detail was limited, the main issues that
emerge from a study of the report were carefully considered by
the Commission as a whole and the following findings were
(1) There has been a great development of pioneering
projects, which for the most part have done valuable work, e.g.,
rural reconstruction, students' hostel in London, lecture depart-
ment, Association Press, physical education and industrial welfare
(2) Although the total membership of the Association
has increased, active membership has remained stationary, and
active members are taking a diminishing share in the control
and work of the Association.
(3) The Associations in the smaller centres have not received
an adequate share of men or money as compared with the Associa-
tions in larger centres.
(4) The paid secretaries have increasingly come to dominate
and become the soul of the Association movement.
(5) It would seem that the Y.M.C.A. has felt constrained
to work on too wide a front in relation to its available leadership
and financial resources.
(6) We would recommend that the Y.M.C.A. should now
enter upon a period of consolidating the work in hand and mak-
ing it really effective.
(7) We would recommend a period of looking in, of self-
purification, that the work of the Association may be the more
(8) We would recommend the transferring of such work
as can now be carried on by other agencies, and the strengthening
of those areas in which the Y.M.C.A. can make a definite and
unique contribution to the building of Christian character. We
would recommend that no new work should be entered into with-
out a full consideration of the relation of the new to the existing
programme and that the immediate governing principle in the
future should be effective intensification rather than expansion.
(9) We would recognize the validity of the present aims
of the Association, but we recommend that care should be taken
to divide in due proportions the Association's resources of men,
money and energy amongst the different spheres of work.
(1) We recommend that steps be taken to revive the idea
of membership as a "fellowship for service," which should be
parallel to and supplementary to the existing fellowship of paid
secretaries as a "fellowship for expert service". In order to
secure this we suggest :
(a) That only one class of membership equally open
to both Christians and non-Christians be estab-
lished, subject to the articles infra on Organiza-
tion, from which it will be seen that the final
control of material and personnel rests with those
who sign the Paris Basis ;
(6) That secretaries should particularly endeavour to
direct the energies of Christian members to the
service of the Christian Church as well as to the
general community ;
(c) That attempts be made to provide definite outlets
for the non-Christian members.
We consider that a central organization such as the National
Council is necessary for the cohesion and development of the
Association in the existing conditions in India and that on the
whole it is exercising a necessary and beneficial influence.
(1) We recommend that the measures be considered for
securing the active participation of a larger number of the
National Council in the work of the Council.
(2) We recommend that where local conditions make it
possible (a Christian population, local initiative, etc.), regional
councils which would be closely related to the National Council
may be set up to develop work in that area. (Beginnings might
be made in Madras, Ceylon and Travancore.)
(3) We would recommend that the same principle be
observed in regional councils as is recognized in (1) above for the
(4) We would recommend that the possibility be considered
either of sending to the National Council representatives re-
sponsible to regional committees, or of dividing the work of the
National Council among special committees working in specific
areas in specialized departments of activity, touch being main-
tained with the National Council by means of travelling secretaries.
(5) We recommend that in local Associations the organiza-
tion shall be that of a board of trustees to hold property, appoint
secretaries and pass budgets, and that the membership of the
board shall consist of Christians who accept the Paris Basis of
membership. Further, there shall be a board of management,
which shall be elected by all the members, and shall conduct
the active affairs of the Association.
(6) We recommend that the Association study the possibility
of securing more Indian representation on the boards of Associa-
tions in the leading port cities.
(1) We suggest that security of tenure of secretaries might
be increased by following up a preliminary period of probation
of three years with admission to the permanent staff on longer
contract, and that some means of decreasing the hazard of un-
employment should be studied.
(2) We would express the following principle with relation
to foreign financial assistance. Self-support does not necessarily
mean full self-support. It may mean increasing local support
and control. A continuance of foreign gifts is not to be dis-
paraged if it can be looked upon as a basis of fellowship and not
as a charity.
(3) In the interest of further developing self-support on
the part of the Indian Association we recommend the appoint-
ment of an Indian revenue secretary (in addition to the present
revenue secretary) who, realizing the magnitude of the task
before him, shall accept the long time task of mobilizing Indian
resources for Association support.
(4) We recommend that the general secretaryship of local
Associations be reserved for Indians.
(5) To enable local Associations to employ Indian general
secretaries of sufficiently high standard we recommend that
foreign money be sent in the place of foreign secretarial personnel.
(6) We believe that foreign secretaries, for specialized posts
are still needed in India.
(7) We recommend that the requirement that every foreign
secretary should learn an Indian language should be strictly
(8) We suggest that the possibility be explored of recruit-
ing foreign short-term secretaries on a smaller salary basis than
that of the permanent staff.
(9) We consider that large city and town Associations
using foreign personnel should make a larger contribution to
the National Council by way of compensation, that the smaller
Associations may profit therefrom.
(10) We recommend the raising of endowments as an added
source of support for the work of the local Associations and specific
We recommend that non-student hostels be separated from
the general work of the T.M.C.A. and operated as Y.M.C.A.
hotels. These hotels may be run either on Indian or European
lines, but must not be racially exclusive.
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHKISTIAN ASSOCIATION IN ITS
MAIN TRENDS IN THE HISTOEICAL DEVELOPMENT
OF THE T.M.C.A. OF INDIA, BURMA AND CEYLON.
The following discussion is not presented as a thorough-going
history of the Y.M.C.A. movement in India, Burma and Ceylon,
but rather as a general introduction to the more detailed treat-
ment of the various topics within the scope of this survey found in
the ensuing chapters. It is an attempt to .summarize the salient
features of the organization's development in its broad outlines.
In this development three distinct phases are to be discerned.
The first falls roughly in the period 1850-1890 and is characterized
by spasmodic, unco-ordinated activity in various cities of India
and Ceylon. The second, dating from 1890 to the World War,
represents the period of unification and consolidation during which
the work was extended to Burma and was largely dominated
everywhere by the ideal of the building-centred " four -fold "
programme. During the last period, since the World War, the
conception of the Y.M.C.A. as a service agency has been developed
and given expression mainly through elaborate projects in social
service carried on by the central organization on a national scale.
The work of the first period represents the initiative of British
and North American missionaries and businessmen, who had
known the Association movement at home and attempted to
develop similar work in the country of their adoption. There was
no unity of action between the various centres, and indeed very
few of them knew of the existence of the others. Some idea
of the range and number of these early Associations will be deriv-
ed from the following tabulation, on which they are listed accord-
ing to the date of organization. No account is taken in the
records of the casualties, of which there were not a few. For
instance, both Calcutta and Colombo suffered temporary set-
backs at times, and many of the smaller centres passed completely
out of existence.
The First Y.M.C.A.'s by Date of Organisation.
Year. India. Ceylon.
1854 .. Calcutta.
1861 .. Kandy.
1875 . . Bombay.
Bombay (Grant Road).
Tanjore. India (Contd.)
Karachi High School,
These early Associations were carried on entirely under
volunteer leadership. The membership was made up for the
most part of small groups of young men, either Europeans away
from home on business and in need of a stabilizing factor, or
young Indians, usually Christians in those days, in whom these
pioneer progenitors of the movement proper had a friendly interest
or toward whom they felt a sense of obligation. The activities
were not greatly diversified, consisting in weekly or semi-weekly
Bible classes and prayer meetings, with an occasional charitable
undertaking of some sort, in addition, such as feeding the poor
or conducting Sunday school classes for children.
The year 1890 may be said to mark the beginning of a new
era. On January 9th the first employed foreign secretary, Mr.
David McConaughy, arrived in India and started work in Madras.
This event inaugurated the official co-operation of the Indian
Associations with Y.M.C.A. movements in other lands and also
1}he rise of an employed secretariat, which are both trends that
have characterized the movement ever since. At the same time
other tendencies were set in motion. There developed a move-
ment towards national cohesion and organization, and together
with the almost precipitate rise of the " four-fold " programme an
associate, or non-Christian, membership slowly grew up and large
buildings of the institutional kind were erected. Types of work
were undertaken that demanded more and more financial support
from both India and abroad, and all the problems incidental to
consolidation and expansion were introduced. This second
period lasted until about 1915. Then came the war with its
abnormal impetus to the work and the undertaking of new pro-
jects with the troops in India, France and the Near East. The
few years of the war represent a period of transition, for by 1920
the emphasis had shifted away from the " four-fold " programme
to a type of activity that may be classified as social service.
It will of course be understood that no hard and fast lines
can be drawn between the three periods here outlined. The
changes in organization and programme emphasis did not take
place abruptly but shaded into one another so gradually as to
make the problem of setting dates a difficult one. The three
periods, however, do represent in it general way the main stages
of development of the Indian Y.M.C.A.
Mr. McConaughy's arrival in India was the direct outcome
of efforts in South India and Ceylon. The Y.M.C.A. at Jaffna
College, founded in 1884 immediately applied for affiliation with
the STorth American movement. A few vea<rs later, an American
student secretary, Mr. L. D. Wishard, made a world tour in the
interests of Association work and included India among the coun-
tries he visited. He was able to arouse considerable interest in
behalf of the work in India on his return to ISTorth America. In
1888, a missionary conference at Madras officially requested
the Worth American International Committee to send out a secre-
tary to work with the students of that city. As a result of these
various efforts, Mr. McConaughy was finally appointed to India
but given freedom of choice as to the field in which he was to work
and the type of programme he was to develop. He arrived in
Madras at a time when Mr. Wishard happened to be there again
and they at once laid plans together for the advancement of the
In less than a year after Mr. MeConaughy's arrival, plans
were under way for the first national convention " in response
to suggestions received from ten or more Associations in India "
(National Convention Report. 1891, p. 4). The wording of the
call to this convention reveals the strong sense of evangelistic
responsibility felt by these pioneers towards " the millions of
perishing young men in this great land " (Opus citatum, p. 6).
The convention assembled at Madras in 1891, with a delegation
composed of twenty-six Indians, seven Europeans and two
Anglo-Indians. The chief topic of discussion was the best means
by which the existing Associations might co-operate. There
was general agreement as to the desirability of some sort of union,
but opinion differed as to whether this should be by districts or
on national lines. The latter plan was finally adopted and the
first national committee elected. The convention, furthermore,
defined the function of the Association as work with, for, andJby
young men. While reserving the control of the organization for
the active membership, determined by affiliation with the Chris-
tian church, the ranks of the associate membership were opened
to all young men of good moral character.
Central in the programmes of the Associations, during this
period, was the religious work. The real purpose for which the
organization existed was held to be that of leading young men
into closer relationship with Christ. While non-Christians were
welcomed into the general membership, it was never forgotten that
all works and all active members had a distinct duty of evan-
gelization towards these young men. At the same time, other phases
of the "four-fold" programme were not neglected. Physical work
was begun in Calcutta, in 1896, and developed in all the leading
Associations, as the buildings were erected. Student work received
especial attention in the earlier years of this period ; in 1896 there
arrived three secretaries for such work : Mr. Frank Clark to serve
in Bombay, Mr. Campbell White in Calcutta and Mr. Sherwood
Eddy on the National Council. In 1895, the first Indian em-
ployed, secretary, Mr. V. S. Asariah, was appointed for work among
the Tamil-speaking students. While boys' work was an early
concern of the pioneers, as appears from resolutions passed at
national conventions, it has been promoted on the initiative of
local Associations more than by the national organization. It
has consequently not been very well developed, on the whole,
except perhaps in Calcutta where there has been a boys' work
secretary consecutively since 1904. Educational lectures and
courses were developed in all leading Associations, and a monthly
magazine, Young Men of India, was early started as a national
Principles governing financial support were laid down by the
first conventions. While it was recognized that foreign secretaries
would be needed to build up the work in India and that large
buildings were desirable to house the movement, it was felt that
foreign gifts would be necessary to finance both. On the other
hand, it was agreed that workers recruited in India, Burma and
Ceylon should be supported by funds raised in those countries,
and that local Associations had a certain responsibility for the
support of the national organization. (National Convention
Report, 1896, pp. 49-50.)
The work steadily expanded along these lines until the war,
and increased in membership, personnel, financial resources and
buildings. While evangelism was recognized as the avowed
mission of the movement, during this period, church relationships
were carefully maintained and the Y.M.C.A. sought to make clear
its desire to supplement the activities of the church rather than to
compete with them. At the beginning of 1,902, Mr. McConaughy
returned to North America and his place as general secretary was
filled in 1904 by Mr. E. Ci Carter. While the " four-fold " pro-
gramme was the basis of the work, other tendencies were begin-
ning to make themselves felt which were to receive greater
development after the war. In 1913, for instance, a department
of rural -work was added to the national programme when an
Indian secretary, Mr. K. T. Paul, joined the staff as associate
general secretary. At about the same time Mr. J. N. Farquhar
retired from student work, which had hitherto engaged his
attention, and devoted himself to the organization of a literature
department. In 1912 the student Y.M.C.A.'s separated from the
city movement and formed an organization of their own. Since
that time such work among students as has been done by the
Y.M.C.A. of India, Burma and Ceylon has been limited largely
to non-Christians. In 1910 a small training school for secretaries
was opened in Calcutta and moved to Bangalore, in- 1912.
Unfortunately, it had to be discontinued, in 1921, mainly for
financial reasons and because of the difficulty in securing students.
Then came the war and with it such expansion as had not
been thought possible even a few years before. Funds poured
into the treasury both from India and from abroad. The war
years mark the peak of the building era, as will appear in a later
chapter. Special war work was carried on in France, Mesopo-
tamia, British East Africa, Palestine and Egypt as well as in
India itself. A lecture department was established which found
its greatest usefulness in the closing years of the war.
As a result of this war activity important changes were
brought about within the Y.M.C.A. movement. In the first
place, no conventions could be held between 1910 and 1920, a
circumstance which inevitably weakened the interest of the lay
leadership. Furthermore, the national organization had been
called upon to promote large undertakings and so not only became
greatly interested in social service projects, but also became a
more powerful agency. It greatly increased the prestige of the
whole movement in the eyes of the general public and tended
to give it the character of an agency for community service.
Just after the close of the war a physical training school was
started in Madras, under the leadership of Mr. H. C. Buck. The
school is well known all over India for its training of leaders in
community athletics and recreation programmes. In 1919 a project
in industrial work was started in Eagpur in co-operation with the
Empress Cotton Mills. A similar project was started in Bombay
early in 1925 . The programme in rural reconstruction was develop-
ed in Southern India. Anew enterprise in religious work was
the establishment of an ashram at Puri by the Rev. B. C. Sircar,
which in its method of approach differed greatly from the
energetic evangelism of the earlier days. A department of Anglo-
Indian work was created by the national executive, during this
period, and a study of the Anglo-Indian situation was completed
by Mr. W. Hindle in 1926. However, nothing further seems to
have been done along this line.
The financial situation of the movement, and particularly
of the national organization, has been a difficult one since the
war. Not only were the special war funds gradually exhausted,
but world-wide economic depression has forced the friends of the
Indian movement, both at home and abroad, to curtail their con-
tributions in drastic fashion. There has been a steady decrease,
accordingly, in funds and personnel sent from other movements.
The same period has, however, witnessed the development
of indigenous leadership, and again especially in the national
organization. The brilliant achievements of this body are asso-
ciated especially with the names of Mr. K. T. Paul and Dr. S. K.
Datta, men who have made the Y.M.C.A. known and respected
not only in India but also in Europe and North America.
Such then, in brief outline, has been the history of the
Y.M.C.A. of India, Burma and Ceylon. Space has not permitted
adequate mention of the dominant personalities that have shaped
its course ; indeed such a task would be an impossible one in any
case, for there have been many devoted workers and the con-
tribution of most of them can never properly be measured. An
idea of the general development, as suggested by- the membership,
buildings, and personnel, may be derived from the following table.
Unfortunately, full figures were not available later than 1925.
Development of the Y.M.C.A. between 1890 and 1925.
Number of Asso-
ciations . . 35
Total Number of
Members .. 1,896
of Active Mem-
bers . . 1,01(3
Number of Build-
ings Owned . . 2
Value in Rupees
in Rupees . . 15,067
ed Staff . . 1
Staff .. 2
*Figure for 1907.
fFigure for 1913.
6,17,200 16,51,856 32,74,862 35,82,181
58,041 3,72,310 3,78,409 9,07,819
12 57 f 70 43
7 29f 153 84
Sources for this Chapter : Worman, Clark : " Early History of
the Y.M.C.A., 1854-1900," and "National Convention
THE Y.M.C.A. IN BOMBAY, CALCUTTA AND
A. THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND.
That the Young Men's Christian Association is essentially
the product of the modern commercial or industrial city is a fact
so widely recognized that it scarcely need be argued here. With
the introduction of steam and machinery into the manufacture
of goods, workers were uprooted from their scattered villages,
the world over, and drawn into the great urban centres. These
workers were, for the most part, young unmarried men, unused
to the complexity of city life, and unprepared to meet the moral
hazards created by the congestion of their new surroundings.
The modern city opened up a new frontier in the world of morals
and made heavy demands on personal character. Former social
customs and usages, based on the simple life of village and farm,
could not stand the stress put upon them and new ones had to be
created. Life in the new city presented a definite challenge to
organized religion ; such organizations as the Y.M.C.A., the
Salvation Army, and others, were the reply of the Protestant
Christian forces in England, the continent of Europe and North
America. The history of the Association movement in the West
is a vivid story of the attempts of dedicated religious men to
grapple with the moral problems of modern youth.
A study of the map of India, Burma and Ceylon will at once
suggest that what has taken place in the West has been repeated
with perhaps even greater emphasis in the East. Before the
coming of the British, with commerce as their chief concern, the
great urban centres of India were in the interior. Even the great
Moghul Emperors showed comparatively little interest in their
coasts and ports. The important cities of pre-British India
Lahore, Delhi, Patna, Hyderabad, Madura, Kandy, Mandalay,
to name only a few of them were largely significant for the con-
centration of political power which they represented. To-day
these ancient centres are, for the most part, of secondary impor-
tance to the life of the country. It is only within recent years
that the political headquarters of British India have been moved
from Calcutta to Delhi, thus restoring to the latter city "some of
its ancient prestige. Others in this group of formerly great cities
retain significance as religious centres or as places of historic
Cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Eangoon and a few others
along the coast represent a new type in India. They are the
product of British commerce and industry. Before the coming
of the British the three cities named above were small villages
of no importance ; to an invading commercial group, however,
they offered strategic points of vantage from which the trade of
the country might be controlled. Calcutta and Eangoon are
located at the mouths of important waterways to the interior,
the Ganges and Irawaddy rivers, by means of which produce could
be transported to the sea and out to foreign" markets. With con-
trol of these waterways, the economic exploitation of the
country was made comparatively easy. The development of
Bombay, which has an excellent harbour but no great river con-
nection with the interior, was dependent on the extension of other
means of transportation.
Calcutta, Bombay and Eangoon are to-day the three leading
cities of the British Indian Empire and the nerve centres of its
commercial life. From the point of view of economic develop-
ment, 'Calcutta is both the oldest and largest ; it claims indeed
to be the second city of the British Empire itself. In 1921 it had
a population of 1,327,547. Bombay was next in line with
1,175,914. The population of Bombay has greatly increased in
recent years and the total number of persons within the corpora-
tion of the city is now considerably larger than that within the
corporation of Calcutta. The population of Calcutta, however,
has been able to spread to the suburbs in a manner not possible
in Bombay, which is situated on an island. Unlike conditions
in Bombay, there are few large mills and factories in Calcutta
itself, and less than half the number in the whole industrial area
of which Calcutta is the centre are located even within the
suburban municipalities. They are spread for thirty miles along the
banks of the Hugli, the most important branch of the Ganges
delta. The third of the cities here under consideration, Eangoon,
has grown faster than Calcutta but is still small in comparison.
In 1921 the total population was only 341,962. An interesting
fact about the population of this city is the surprisingly large
Hindu element. In 1921 there were 125,002 Hindus as compar-
ed with 111,571 Buddhists. This situation, in the Buddhist
country of Burma, is caused by the heavy migration of South
Indians to Eangoon. These are usually Hindu men, either un-
married or without their families, who are attracted to the v city
by the economic opportunities there offered.
The population in these three cities is racially complex, but
it is characteristic of nearly all groups that the male element
strongly predominates. The proportion is two to one for the
total population in Calcutta and Rangoon, and only slightly less
in Bombay. This seems to indicate that large numbers of men
are being attracted, who do not regard the city as home but
rather as an exceptional opportunity for economic improvement.
There is of course a tendency for certain groups to settle perma-
nently in the city. This is particularly true of the Anglo-Indians,
among whom the proportion between the sexes is roughly equal. .
The Anglo-Indian is the product of white and Indian inter-mar-
riage and may be regarded characteristically as native to the
Indian city. His taste and manner of life are urban. The group
which most nearly approximates the Anglo-Indian community,
with respect to settled habits, is represented by the Indian Chris-
tians. The chief movement within the population of these great
cities occurs among the non-Christian Indians and the Euro-
peans. Many of the former own land and homes outside
the city, where their women folk remain and to which they can
return when employment is scarce. The Europeans are likewise
usually only temporary residents ; the term " home " for most
of them connotes England or the continent of Europe. In the
opinion of experienced observers, this tendency of Europeans to
regard India as only a transient dwelling place is actually on the
increase. It will be seen from these considerations that life in
the great cities of India is unsettled and restless. The various
racial groups remain as such, but the individuals especially with-
in the dominant ones are constantly changing. The atmosphere
is that of a camp rather than of an established home.
Another significant aspect of the population situation, in
these cities, is the fact that the several racial groups tend to follow
marked lines of economic differentiation. Broadly speaking, the
Europeans represent the moneyed and controlling class ; they
are usually the employers. The Indians are, on the whole, the
employees. There is a slight exception to this general rule in
Bombay, where an Indian employing class is developing, consist-
ing of wealthy Parsees who have been remarkably successful
in the cotton industry. The point to be noted, however, is that
the European is generally regarded in the public mind as the
employer and the Indian as the employee. This situation is of
course reinforced by the political system, according to which
Europeans occupy the major positions and the authority of the
British Parliament is supreme.
The racial composition of the three cities here studied is
roughly the same. There are three main ethnic groups, each of
which is subdivided by socio-economic factors. In the first place,
there are the Europeans and allied peoples, among whom three
classes are to be distinguished. At the top of the social scale
are the commercial, professional, military and government groups;
they maintain clubs for their own use and tend to move in exclu-
sive circles. Trades people and skilled artisans make up a middle
class, and lower in the social scale than these is a third group con-
sisting of domiciled Europeans, British soldiers and Anglo-
Indians. This grouping cannot be regarded as absolute, for ex-
ceptions and variations do exist, but it is a useful classification
for the purposes of this report. The second large racial element
consists of the Hindu population. Social standing within this
group is still controlled more by the caste system, albeit relaxing
in many ways, than by economic considerations. Prom the
standpoint of the Y.M.C.A. and its interests, however, they may
be classified as students, clerical workers, professional and busi-
ness men, and unskilled labourers. The Mussulman community
represents the third significant racial group. Social distinctions
are not so marked among them as in the other two cases. As a
group they are just emerging from illiteracy and as yet have only
a small student and professional class. The Mussulman masses,
in these cities, are unskilled labourers ; they tend, however, to
take up semi-skilled occupations as soon as possible, and in Cal-
cutta nearly dominate the situation in the simple handicrafts
such as carpentry, masonry and others. This element of the
population does not figure very largely in the life of the Associa-
Before closing this section, special mention should be made of
the missionary group. Although numerically small and of limited
means, their social standing is nevertheless good in the European
community and their influence on the work of the Associations
important. As a class they are respected by their fellow-country-
men in business and government, and receive from them support
for their work.
B. THE HISTORY OF THE LOCAL Y.M.C.A.'s.
The Y.M.C.A.'s of Bombay, Calcutta and Rangoon were
founded by young Englishmen in search of an opportunity for
fellowship, mutual improvement and religious service. The
Association of Calcutta was the first to be organized in India.
The first such enterprise on record was started in 1822 by the
Bev. John Lawson and others, and was known as the Calcutta
Christian Juvenile Society. In 1854 another organization was
founded bearing the name of Y.M.C.A. It seems to have had a
library and reading room, and the list of officers and committee
members suggests that the work was intended for the benefit
of young Europeans in the more fashionable parts of the city.
Whatever may have been its origin and purpose, the organization
soon went out of existence. (<7/. J. N. Farquhar, "Old Stal-
warts of Bow Bazar ".) In 1850, the name of the Calcutta Chris-
tian Juvenile Society was changed by vote of the members to the
Young Men's Christian Association ; it was able to maintain itself
without interruption until 1882. It is of interest to point out,
in this connection, that George Williams and his friends started
their work in London in 1844 ; only six years later the movement
had clearly taken root in Calcutta. From this may be seen how
close was the relationship between the English community in
India and the home country.
Between 1850 and 1882, the Calcutta Association was strongly
evangelistic in character. The activities consisted of prayer
meetings in private houses, a "literary" class, a circulating
library, a reading room, and a Sunday school. The programme was
intended for young Europeans and Anglo-Indians living in the
congested sections of the city. The atmosphere of these early
days is reflected in the onicial reports. For instance, the objects
of the Association are denned as " the spiritual and intellectual
improvement of young men, the extension of Christian truth,
and the promotion of religious interest". The membership was
open to all young men who " profess to be followers of Christ".
The secretary of the organization wrote of it in 1860 as follows :
"It is a glorious thing for those who desire to make the
world better, happier and holier than it is, by spreading the
Kingdom of the Redeemer, and to refresh themselves with
each other's presence, opening their hearts freely, and
kindling a brighter flame on the altar of devotion than
might otherwise burn there."
It is probable that the growth of ordinary missions in the
city deprived the Y.M.C.A., in 1882, of its reason for existence
and its financial support. The Association was reopened in 1890
when Mr. L. D. Wishard, of the North American movement,
visited India. With the co-operation of the Calcutta Missionary
Society, Mr. Wishard was able to secure, in 1893, the services of
Mr. J. C. White of the United States as the first employed officer
of the Association. From this time on the Y.M.C.A. moved for-
ward rapidly. By 1898 the "four-fold" programme was approved
as is reflected in the restatement of purpose : " to promote the
spiritual, intellectual, social and physical interests of the young
men of Calcutta." Active, that is to say, voting, membership was
restricted to members in good standing of the Protestant
churches, but all other privileges of the Association were open to
" any young man of good character".
The Association of Bombay was started in 1875 by a group
of young Englishmen, who, in the words of their first report, felt
"At a time when unbelief under many forms and from
many quarters is making attacks on Christian faith, in a
land where idolatry has acquired immense power over many
millions of the human race, in obedience to the teaching of
the Word of God, much may be done by Christian young
men in the sphere in which God has placed them to bear
witness to the truth. Let it be the aim of all who join the
Association, in consistent dependence upon the strength
and guidance of God, to manifest by life and word that they
are followers of Christ."
This fellowship was in close relationship with the church, and
its meetings, like those of the Calcutta group, were essentially
for the purpose of deepening anii extending the Christian life.
The early development of the Bombay Y.M.C.A. presents
one of the finest examples of effective lay leadership to be found
in any Association in India, throughout the history of the move-
ment. For twenty years it was directed on a volunteer basis by
the earnest men who founded it ; during this period it developed
from a small Bible class to a strong "four-fold " work housed in
three branches, practically those now operating, and with a mem-
bership of 463 of whom nearly two-thirds (62.4 per cent) were
in the " active " class. Mr. Frank J. Clark, the Association's
Honorary Secretary, attributed their success to three things, of
which he said :
" The first needs no remark. Without prayer no one
could expect any success whatever. As regards the second,
it lies in the old proverb : ' If a thing is worth doing at all,
it is worth doing well.' Thirdly, the plan for getting hold
of young men was to make friends with them." (Worman,
" Early History of the Y.M.C.A.".)
As far as Eangoon is concerned, it so happened that in April
1893 a young Englishman came to this city from Madras. His
name was Gradiner and he seems to have made the transfer for
business reasons. In Madras he had been a member of the Y.M,C.A,
and had come under the influence of Mr. David McConaughy.
the first General (i.e., National) Secretary on full time. Mr. Gra-
diner immediately set about organizing an Association in Eangoon,
the object of which he defined in his first report as being " to lead
young men to the Saviour through the instrumentality of young
men." He quoted one of his friends as saying :
"I do not like to hear the remark that the Association
does a work which the churches cannot do. Church mem-
bers working through this or any other Association repre-
sent the Church at work."
After the turn of the century, these three Y.M.C.A.'s enter-
ed upon the policy of employing a trained staff, both Indian and
foreign, to build up and carry on the work. The following table
throws light on the development in this regard :
Trends in Leadership.
Calcutta 1901 1919 1926
Honorary Secretaries . . 1 2
Employed Foreign Secretaries 2 5 5
Employed Indian Secretaries . . . 8 5
Honorary Secretaries . . 2
Employed Foreign Secretaries 1 2 5
Employed Indian Secretaries . . 4 3
Honorary Secretaries . . . .
Employed Foreign Secretaries 1 4 3
Employed Indian Secretaries 1 2 2
It will be seen that the tendency is clearly away from volunteer
leadership and that, in more than half of the above instances,
the foreigners outnumbered the Indians on the employed staff.
Interesting changes were taking place at the same time with-
in the membership, as may be seen from the following figures
for Calcutta and Bombay. The record for Eangoon is too inac-
curate to be included but suggests substantially the same trend.
Proportions between Active and Associate Membership.
Membership Changes in regard to Racial Composition.
European. Indian. Total. European. Indian. Total.
The steady rise to complete dominance of the associate and Indian
memberships, respectively, will be noted. The data for the three
preceding tables were compiled from the national convention
reports. If the figures on the approximate value of buildings and
property, as given in the same documents, may be relied on, then
significant increases are to be noted, as will be seen in the follow-
ing table :
Values of Buildings and Property Owned by the Y.M.C.A.
Calcutta. Bombay. Rangoon. Total.
2,500 25,800 .. 28,300
1,09,083 43,015 9,308 1,61,406
5,46,000 2,15,000 1,50,000 9,11,000
9,57,475 5,40,793 3,06,352 18,04,620
After 1919 these Associations acquired no new buildings except
a small hut for industrial work in Bombay.
The implications of the rapid increase in material posses-
sions, above indicated, were reflected somewhat in the preceding
tables on leadership and membership. The Associations became
more complex organizationally and offered greatly more diversi-
fied programmes. The young men who first worked as volunteers,
especially in Calcutta and Bombay, later took their places on the
boards of directors. As they became successful in business, they
wished to see the Associations firmly established and helped to
secure funds for the buildings and equipment. The questions
that confronted them at this stage had to do with finances and
administration. The programme was entrusted to full time employ-
ed officers. It would appear to be self-evident that these Asso-
ciations came to lose their character as intimate, informal socie-
ties of deeply religious comrades, and grew into general agencies
for social service. These Associations were greatly aided in their
desire for expansion by the missionary spirit of the movements
in England and North America. After about 1900 these fellow-
Associations, and particularly the latter, began sending to India
both experienced secretaries, whose salaries were paid abroad,
and increasingly large amounts of money for buildings.
0. PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE LOCAL Y.M.C.A.'s.
The organization of the three Associations here under consi-
deration consists of a board of directors in charge of the entire
work in each city and subordinate committees of management
to supervise the individual branches. The racial composition
of the three city boards in 1928, appears below :
Boards of Directors Analysed by Race.
Calcutta .... 5 .15
Bombay . . . . 3 31
Eangoon . . . . 10 11
It is indeed only to be expected that in these cities where the
Association is a traditional adjunct of the European community,
especially in Calcutta and Bombay, this element of the popula-
tion should predominate on the controlling boards. On the
branch committees there is a marked tendency to follow the same
racial pattern as obtains in the general membership. This will
be clear from the following table :
Committees of Management Analysed by Race.
Calcutta Members. Members.
Bhowanipore (Indian) . . . . 8 3
Boys' Branch (Indian) . . . . 9 1
College Branch (Indian) . . . . 13 2
Central Branch (European) . . . . 12
Bombay Members. Members.
Proctor (Anglo-Indian) . . . . 8
Byculla (Cosmopolitan) . . . . 9 4
Central Branch (European) . . . . 10
Central Branch (European) . . . . 15
Town 'Branch (Indian) . . 18
The boards of directors are the ultimate authority in the
affairs of the Associations. They hold the property, control the
distribution of funds, and appoint the employed officers. The
latter act as their agents in carrying out the details of administra-
tion and conducting the programme. The chief point of interest
about the present secretariat of these three Associations is the
proportionately large number of foreigners among them. Of the
nineteen secretaries at present sent from abroad for service in the
local Associations of India, nine or nearly half of them are on the
staffs in Calcutta, Bombay and Rangoon . Each of these Associations
has had the services of a North American physical director for a
number of years ; these men devote considerable time to organ-
izing community playground work in their respective cities. The
majority of general secretaries, on the other hand, have been
Englishmen. This has been the case particularly since the war.
The membership in 1929 totalled 2,039 in Calcutta, 577 in
Bombay, and 786 in Rangoon. Over sixty per cent of them were
students and clerks, a circumstance easily accounted for by the
character of these cities as university and commercial centres.
The group of business and professional men was likewise consi-
derable. Of special interest is the fact that, in all three Associa-
tions, the nucleus of the Indian branches is formed by groups
of young Madrassi Christians, who came to the great cities in
much the same way and with much the same outlook as did the
groups of young Englishmen who founded the European branches.
This is particularly true of Calcutta (Bhowanipore Branch)
and of Rangoon (Town Branch). As was to have been
expected, the bulk of the Anglo-Indian membership of the
entire Indian movement is to be found in these three cities.
The programme is substantially the same in all three of these
Associations. It is almost entirely building-centred and
institutional in character. The most significant community ser-
vice is the work done by the physical directors in developing
public playgrounds and in organizing community athletics. The
most valuable part of the building programme is the student hostels
maintained in all three cities under the supervision of a secre-
tary on full time. Another distinctive feature in Calcutta and
Bombay, and especially the former, has been the work for Anglo-
Indians. The three central branches for Europeans, on the other
hand, have experienced great difficulty in interesting their
members. They have become little more than inexpensive
hotels with very meagre social and lecture programmes ; the secre-
taries in charge all express the greatest discouragement at the
existing lack of response.
In the matter of physical equipment, the Calcutta T.M.C.A.
owns four large buildings and an army hut, the latter erected in
1917. The oldest building was purchased in 1896 and houses
not only the college institute, but also a branch for Bengali boys
and a schoolboys' hostel. It is in very bad condition but the
site is of considerable value. The other buildings were erected
in 1902 (Central Branch), 1915 (University Student Hostel) and
1916 (Anglo-Indian Branch). In 1928 the board rented a large
building for the work with Indians. All buildings are fairly well
located from the point of view of accessibility to their several
constituencies. For some years the question has been under
consideration of the advisability of selling the central building
and putting up a less pretentious structure on a less expensive
The Bombay Y.M.C.A. owns four buildings, namely, the
Central Branch erected in 1906, the Byculla and Proctor Branches
in 1913, and the student building put up in 1911. The central
building is well located near the Fort for the class of men it is
designed to serve. The close proximity of the Proctor and Byculla
buildings can only be justified on the grounds that one serves Anglo-
Indians and the other an Indian constituency, the assumption being
that the two groups cannot be attracted to the same quarters.
The student building is near Wilson College.
The Rangoon T.M.C.A owns three buildings, the oldest and
largest being the Central Branch, erected in 1905 and accommodat-
ing an institute, a hostel and a boys' department. It serves a
European and Anglo-Indian constituency and is beginning to
show signs of serious deterioration. In 1913 the Association
built a hostel which can accommodate a warden and his family
as well as forty high school boys. The third building and its site
were recently purchased for the Association by the English
Y.M.C.A. It is not a very convenient house that had been
previously rented by the Bangoon Association for its work
among Indian immigrants.
The fact already indicated that these three Associations
receive nearly half the assignments in foreign personnel, made to
local centres, is of considerable importance from the point of view
of finances. It practically means that the bulk of their personnel
budgets is being met from abroad. The average cost of main-
taining a foreign secretary in India is estimated to be Es. 12,700
a year. By representing the foreign secretaries actually on the
staff in terms of rupees on this basis, an attempt is made in the
following table to suggest the financial significance of the contri-
bution made to these Associations :
Financial Equivalents of Assignments in Foreign Personnel.
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Calcutta . . 50,800 50,800 50,800 50,800 50,800
Bombay . . 12,700 38,100 38,100 25,400 12,700
Rangoon .. 38,100 25,400 25,400 25,400 25,400
Total Rs. . . 1,01,600 1,14,300 1,14,300 1,01,600 88,900
The contributions made by these Associations to the Indian
National Council, during the same period, will be of interest in
Contributions made to the National Council.
Total Rs. . . 16,744 11,620 10,159 8,253 8,679
It will be seen that the Associations have not been able to make
comparable returns to the National Council for the assistance they
have received. Instead of building up their own resources and
being able to make larger contributions to the national work
they have actually had to decrease the amounts sent in by fifty
per cent in five years.
The three main sources of support on which these Associa-
tions depend are public contributions predominantly from the
European community, membership dues, and earnings in the
form of fees and rentals. The trends taking place in this matter
may be studied in the following tables :
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Calcutta .. 1,20,975 1,12,025 1,26,538 1,36,049 1.67,692
Bombay .. 1,46,720 1,41,037 1,31,305 1,32,928 1,27,568
Rangoon .. 94,725 90,801 96,266 86,432 1,06,008
The contribution income, it will be seen, has rapidly decreas-
ed during the five year period, and especially so in Bombay ; in
Rangoon, on the other hand, the amount has not varied signi-
ficantly since 1925. With regard to membership dues the situa-
tion has been fairly stable, on the whole, but the tendency is to-
wards decrease in Rangoon and especially in Bombay. In earn-
ings there have been notable increases except in the case of
Bombay. This Association, it will be seen, is fast losing ground
financially on all three counts. Apart from the subsidies re-
ceived in the form of personnel from abroad, these Associations
are tending towards self-support. Calcutta claims to meet ex-
penses with regular fees and dues to the extent of about 92 per
cent ; Bombay about 90 per cent ; and Rangoon 85 per cent.
From the standpoint of investments, membership and em-
ployed leadership, the Y.M.C.A. movement of India is strongest
in the great port cities of Calcutta, Bombay and Rangoon. These
cities are the products and nerve centres of foreign commerce and
British rule : they have consequently been the focal centres of the
European population. They are, moreover, regarded by both
Indians and Europeans as places in which to make a living rather
than in which to establish homes. The result is a general pre-
dominance of the male population with the notable exception
of the Anglo-Indian communities. Social distinctions are clear-
ly drawn as between races and within each ethnic group ; there is
in fact a definite tendency for class lines to become accentuated
in the cities of India.
The Y.M.O.A. in these cities is rooted in the life of the Euro-
pean commercial community. Not to understand this fact is
not to understand the present problems of these Associations.
The movement was started by Englishmen and originally con-
ducted almost entirely for English and Anglo-Indian young men.
The Associations functioned at first as religious fellowships, with
out paid leadership or elaborate equipment. The programme was
distinctively religious. After 1900 large buildings were secured,
trained personnel employed, the programme diversified, and a large
associate membership developed. The better class Europeans
came to lose interest in the Associations as fellowships, preferring
their own exclusive clubs, and now regard the work primarily
as a charity for lower class Europeans, Anglo-Indians and Indians.
The central buildings in all three cities are dedicated to work
with Europeans and the leading secretaries are British and North
American. The most outstanding aspects of the programme are
the community recreation work, the student hostels, and the
institutes for Anglo-Indians. It is important to emphasize the
fact that the European community, hitherto the main-stay of
these Associations, has been markedly defecting in recent years.
The European membership is not interested in the programme and
aspiration of the Y.M.C.A., and the income from contributions
has decreased sharply.
THE Y.M.C.A. IN COLOMBO, LAHOKE AND MADEAS.
A. THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND.
There is but one good reason for grouping together three
such diverse cities as Colombo, Lahore and Madras, but that
reason has an important bearing on the structure of the local
Y.M.C.A.'s. These cities have attained roughly the same degree
of commercial and industrial development and are to be ranked,
from this point of view, immediately below the leading cities of
Calcutta, Bombay and Bangoon. The European community
has consequently been smaller and less influential, in this second
group, a circumstance which has resulted in a more advanced
stage of Indianization in the Associations. It has also influenced
the type of secretary called from abroad. While Associations
with predominantly European boards and memberships have
shown a marked preference for Canadian and British secretaries
those in which the Indian element preponderates have usually
found the American point of view more congenial.
In their historic development these cities have been very
different but have tended to resemble each other increasingly under
British rule. Colombo, with a population in 1921 of 244,000, is
the main city of Ceylon, an island inhabited by more than four
and a half million people. It is essentially the product of British
occupation and its modern development is to be dated from the
opening of the harbour in 1885.
The population of Ceylon still bears the traces of the many
invasions, from peoples differing widely in race and religious affilia-
tion, to which the island has been subjected in the past. The
earliest conquerors were the Sinhalese from North India, in the
sixth century B.C. About 300 years later, the island was convert-
ed to Buddhism and at the same time the first challenge to Sin-
halese rule was presented by Tamil warriors. This inaugurated
a state of almost continuous warfare between the two factions
that lasted until the arrival, in 1505, of the Boman Catholic Portu-
guese. By 1656 more than 900 Portuguese families of noble
birth are said to have been living in Colombo ; the large number
of Boman Catholics in the present population may be traced to
this source. In 1602 the first Dutch ship arrived ; after a conflict
lasting fifty years, these new Protestant invaders gained
supremacy over all previous ones and formally took possession of
Colombo. The Dutch were primarily concerned with develop-
ing trade and, in contrast with the Portuguese, adopted a policy
of conciliation with the native inhabitants. Their practice of
recognized inter-marriage has given to the resulting, so-called
"Burgher", population a social standing not generally accorded
Eurasians anywhere. In 1796, the island changed hands for the
last time when the Dutch ports were ceded to the British ; six
years later Ceylon was declared a " crown colony," the original
policy of administering it from India having proved unsuccessful.
Under the new order the interior of the island was opened up to
commerce by the construction of roads and the development of
coffee, tea and rubber plantations.
Lahore occupies in the north a commanding position similar
to that of Colombo in the south. It lies in the centre of the
Punjab, which bore the brunt of the great Mahommedan thrust
into India. Its recorded history goes back thirteen centuries,
during which time it has repeatedly changed hands in the
struggle for supremacy between Hindu and Mahommedan, Sikh
and Christian. To this day the city is the headquarters for many
religious movements within Hinduism and Islam.
Since the British occupation, in 1855, Lahore has shared the
fate of the entire Punjab, which is described as follows in the 1921
census : "The years 1855-1860 represent a period of resilient
recovery from oppression expressed by an unusual rate of
increase in the population. During 1860-1881 this rate of increase
declined, at first under normal conditions but in the later years
accelerated by poverty and disease. The decade 1881-1891 was
one of good crops and relative prosperity, subsequently checked,
however, by pressure on available resources. In 1896 the Punjab
was visited for the first time by the plague. After 1911, disas-
trous harvests and the unparallelled loss of life in the influenza
epidemic of 1918 renewed, in modern times, the region's
age-long struggle against poverty and pestilence. In 1921, the
population of Lahore was 281,781."
Madras, with a population in 1921 of 526,911, is the port
city of Southern India. It grew up as a result of the British oc-
cupation, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and has
been called the birth-place of British India. An enthusiastic
writer has expressed this idea as follows :
" Possibly some day a gifted sculptor will typify the birth
of the British Indian Empire in some such way as this : in
the centre a globe ; to the west of it, Queen Elizabeth sign-
ing the charter incorporating the Honourable East India
Company ; on the opposite side, the Maharajah of Vizia-
nagram sanctioning the gold-plated haul conveying Madras
to the merchants. At the feet of the two sovereigns the
sculptor might well place an English trader of the seventeenth
century, yard measure in hand, and an Indian weaver deli-
vering the stipulated length of stamped calico."
The concessions made to the East India Company by the Rajah
of Chingleput included the stipulation that it was to be custom
free at the port of Madras and that only half the usual custom
was to be paid on goods transported through his territory. Under
these advantageous conditions, the Madras trade rapidly attained
After this diversity in historic development, the three cities
here studied present certain similarities in general structure that
are of interest. In the first place, the relatively low stage of
Industrialization is probably responsible for the fact that they
are one-centre cities. They have not as yet taken on that
diversity characteristic of the more active cities, in which one
section is developed for educational purposes, another for
business, industry, residence, and so on. Nor are class lines
drawn with the same rigidity as yet. However, in both Madras
and Lahore the beginnings of diversification have manifested
themselves in the projected plans to move the educational institu-
tions to the suburbs.
Mention has already been made of the smaller European com-
munities in these cities, as compared with those studied in the
preceding chapter. If grouped, however, according to the
relative size of the Christian community, the six cities would be
ranked as follows :
Relative Size of Christian Communities (1921).
Colombo . . 65,462 or 268 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Madras . . 44,161 84
Bangoon .. 25,309 74
Bombay . . 68,170 58
Lahore . . 11,287 40
Calcutta .. 41,226 31
The strength of Christianity in South India is at once revealed
by the above table ; it will be remembered, moreover, that there
is a heavy migration from this part of the continent to Eangoon.
Accordingly in comparing the work of the several associations,
throughout this report, it should be borne in mind that those of
the south have a distinct advantage over the others in this respect.
With the exception of Calcutta, these cities follow the same order
when ranked according to the degree of literacy in English attain-
ed by the total population, as will be seen below :
Relative Number of Literates in English (1921).
Colombo . . 37,927 or 155 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Calcutta . . 175,275 132
Madras . . 65,079 124
Rangoon . . 40,551 119 ,, ,,
Bombay . . 110,540 94
Lahore . . 25,717 91
By way of summary, it can be said that Colombo, Madras and
Lahore are alike in the degree of industrialization attained, in
their structure as one-centre cities, and in the size of the European
communities. The two former, however, reflect the wider distri-
bution of Christianity in South India and exhibit a larger group
of literates in English than is the case in Lahore. The materials
out of which to build an Association are accordingly more at
hand in Colombo and Madras.
B. HISTORY OF THE LOCAL Y.M.O.A.'s.
The early history of all three of the Y.M.C.A.'s here under
consideration is closely connected with the missionary community.
It was in response to the request of a missionary conference in
Madras, in 1888, that the first North American secretary was sent
to India, and it was in Madras that he made his headquarters.
Many missionaries joined the first Y.M.C.A. in Colombo, organ-
ized in 1882, and played a conspicuous part in its early develop-
ment. The Lahore Y.M.C.A. came into being as the result of a
revival meeting conducted by the Eev. Summerville ; from the
very start Forman College played an important part in its
While the Y.M.C.A. of Lahore originally had a European
membership, which, however, rapidly became predominantly
Indian after 1894, the Associations of Colombo and Madras ap-
parently always have had a prevailingly indigenous constituency.
Early membership analyses are available for the two latter As-
sociations and will illustrate this point.
Membership of the Madras Y.M.C.A. Analysed by Race (1893).
Indian . . . . . . 141
Eurasian . . . . . . '81
British . . . . . . 19
American . . . . . . 4
Armenian . . . . . . 2
Portuguese . . . . . . 1
Membership of the Colombo Y.M.G.A. Analysed by Race (1901).
Sinhalese . . . . 104
Tamil .. .. .. 40
Malay . . . . . . 3
JrctTSGQ * _L
Burgher . . . . . . 91
European . . . . . . 44
Australian . . . . . . 3
American . . . . . . 1
Moor . . . . . . 1
That there was at first a tendency at Lahore to follow the
Association pattern evolving in Calcutta and Bombay, is further in-
dicated by the fact that for the first twenty years the affairs of the
organization were managed by British volunteer secretaries, and
subsequently until 1912 by employed secretaries from Scotland.
At Madras and Colombo there were employed secretaries almost
from the beginning and they have been very largely from the
United States. On the other hand, while the chief employed
officer in these two latter Associations is till a foreigner, the general
secretary at Lahore, between 1925 and 1930, was an Indian.
C. PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE LOCAL Y.M.C.A.'s.
The boards of directors in charge of these three Associations
are cosmopolitan in personnel, as may be seen in the following
Boards of Directors Analysed by Race (1928).
Colombo. Madras. Lahore.
Indians 23 10 9
Anglo-Indians 6 1
Britishers . . 8 5
Americans 1 2
The total membership, in 1929, at Colombo was 1,404 ; at
Madras 1,207 ; and at Lahore 544. The cosmopolitan character
of the Associations is interestingly reflected in the membership
distribution according to religious affiliation.
Membership Analysis according to Religion (1929).
Colombo. Madras. Lahore.
Christians .. 950 210 110
Hindus .. 163 500 291
Mahommedans 55 49 92
No Data .. 91 448
The bulk of the membership (over 70 per cent in each case) was
found to be between twenty and forty years of age, with the em-
phasis on the late twenties and early thirties. The occupational
distribution was as follows :
Membership Analysis by Occupations (1929).
Colombo. Madras. Lahore.
Clerks .. 678 115 80
Business Men .. 228 179 62
Professionals .. 225 164 45
Students .. 38 223 84
Govt. Officials 28 46
All Others 9 50
Unemployed . . 1 31 164
1,207 712 531
No Data .. 199 495 13
The " four-fold " programme is probably receiving nowhere
more thorough recognition than in the three Associations here
studied. Colombo, with its modern building, conducts an active
gymnasium work and is carrying on a very creditable enterprise
in adult education, especially with regard to training for citizen-
ship. The Government of Ceylon has given official recognition
to this last project. Lahore, in addition to its vocational courses,
conducts a well-rounded educational programme on religious and
cultural subjects. Madras has made a speciality of lecture courses
on a wide range of topics. It likewise operates an outdoor
gymnasium and actively co-operates in religious services that are
broad and vital in outreach. However, careful observation
indicates that a new interest is emerging in these Associations,
especially at Madras, which is coming to represent the main driv-
ing force in the work. The educational and athletic programmes are
being made increasingly to serve a wider social goal than hitherto
and by affording different racial and social groups an experience
of associated living are being used productively in the interests
of Christian brotherhood. The individual is being integrated into
a new corporate life. The general secretary at Madras has exhibit-
ed the skill and insight of an artist in his ability to manipulate
Association machinery towards this end.
The funds with which the work is financed are derived princi-
pally from public contributions, membership dues, and fees and
rentals for services. The trends may be studied in the following
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Colombo .. 65,086 110,846 139,027 142,390 163,448
Madras .. 18,820 17,275 21,965 22,902 23,333
Lahore .. 7,465 7,131 8,638 8,518 9,288
It will be seen that these Associations have been able to maintain
better financial condition, during the five year period, than was
true in Calcutta, Bombay and Eangoon. All three have been
gaining ground, but especially Colombo with its modern build-
ing. Lahore derived an additional income from shop rentals
that increased from Es. 2,520 in 1924 to Es. 7,453 in 1928. The
falling off since 1926 in the contribution income of the Madras
Y.M.C.A. is to be attributed to the absence on furlough of the
general secretary. The contribution income of all three Associa-
tions is derived from indigenous sources to a considerably larger
extent than is true in the leading cities, and the number of donors
of this type, especially at Colombo, is on the increase.
The fact that the cities of Colombo, Madras and Lahore are
less advanced industrially than the great cities of the Indian
Empire, has meant that they have possessed smaller European
communities, which in turn has entailed a more cosmopolitan
constituency for the Associations there. The local Y.M.C.A.'s
have attained a relatively high degree of Indianization with re-
spect to lay leadership, membership and financial support. These
Associations are in good condition, both from the economic and
from the functional point of view. There is an interesting trend,
especially at Madras, in the direction of using the resources of the
Association creatively to the end of significant corporate living.
THE Y.M.C.A. IN THE MOFUSSIL TOWNS.
A. THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND.
The so-called " Mofussil " towns of Hyderabad, Bangalore,
Madura, Trivandrum and Coimbatore were of importance before
the coming of the British, when the Indian States were at the
height of their power, and before trade was deflected to the great
port cities. They are all situated in the south of India and, with
the exception of Trivandrum, in the interior of the country.
During the decade 1911-1921, the population either decreased or
increased only slightly in Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Coim-
batore, as well as in other towns of this type. The greater in-
creases in Bangalore and Madura can be explained by special
circumstances. The 1921 census report affirms : " There is no
tendency in the south of India towards the growth of genuine
Hyderabad was once the seat of the viceroys of the Moghul
empire ; it is now the capital city of the native state of the same
name, a territory with a population of 12,435,627 (1921). In
addition to being the headquarters for all the state departments,
Hyderabad is important as an educational centre. There are
two colleges of liberal arts, nine high schools, a law school and
a medical school ; about 5,000 students attend these institutions.
Situated off the chief lines of transportation, the city is isolated
from the main streams of commerce and industry.
Bangalore is the capital of the native state of Mysore, one
of the most progressive in India. Like Hyderabad, it is the seat
of the government and an important educational centre. Since
the Maharaja lives in the city of Mysore, however, Bangalore
loses some of its prestige and importance as the capital of the
State. The town is built in two sections, the city proper and the
cantonment. In the latter are stationed a number of European
troops, and the twenty-five per cent increase in the population,
during 1911-1921, is largely accounted for by the soldiers sent
there after the war. The government is trying to develop the few
local industries ; there is some manufacture of cotton, woollen and
silk fabrics, and also some weaving of gold and silver lace.
Madura was once the capital of the ancient kingdom of
Pandya, and is now the second city in the Madras Presidency.
It is the administrative and judicial centre of the government
for two districts. Two colleges and six high schools are among
its educational institutions. Situated in the heart of the cotton
growing area, Madura is unlike most other mofussil towns in that
it has a thriving spinning and weaving industry. The Madura
Mills & Co. is a concern employing about 5,000 people, and there
are in addition some 1,800 active handlooms in the place. Addi-
tional handicrafts are represented by wood-carving, dyeing, and
the making of gold and silver threads. Madura is furthermore
the site of some of the oldest organized Christian enterprise. The
Jesuits were the pioneers in the seventeenth century ; the
most important among the subsequent Protestant undertakings
has been the work of the American Mission.
Coimbatore is likewise an important town in the Madras
Presidency, being one of the political centres in the
southern part. Like Madura, it is situated in the cotton area
and 3,750 people are employed in its three spinning and weaving
mills. There is a small coffee business, in addition. While there
are only a few educational institutions, students come from all
over the presidency to its agricultural college. About 1,500 boys
attend the high schools. Coimbatore has long been a centre of
missionary activity, and four organizations are at work there
now ; these are the Eoman Catholic Church, the London Mission-
ary Society, the Church of England and the Lutheran Church.
Trivandrum is the capital of the native state of Travancore
at the very tip of the continent. It is the residence of the Maharaja
as well as the seat of the administration. Its four colleges and
numerous high schools attest to its importance as an educational
centre and are attended by some 5,000 students. The town is
considered to be the special field of the London Missionary Society,
but there are likewise Anglican and Syrian congregations there.
The social structure of life in these towns is not advanta-
geous to Association development. While the six cities first
studied have considerable industrial population, these towns can
claim practically none. Madura, the most important in this
respect, has 6,000 or 7,000 workers at the most in its local indus-
tries. As a result the European population is also very small.
The relatively large proportion of Europeans at Hyderabad and
Bangalore, consists largely of soldiers stationed in the canton-
ments. There are not more than a dozen or so Europeans in the
other towns. In regard to the Christian community, comparison
with the other cities studied so far indicates that, while many of
the mofussil towns rank high proportionately, the actual num-
bers concerned are so small as to put them at quite a disadvan-
tage. This may be verified in the following table :
Relative Size of Christian Communities (1921).
Colombo . . 65,462 or 268 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Trivandrum . . 9,525 131
Madura . . 7,332 ,, 99 ,,
Madras . . 44,161 84
Coimbatore . . 6,392 82 ,,
Eangoon . . 25,309 ,. 74 -
Bombay . . 68,170 ,, 58
Bangalore (City) 4,945 42
Lahore . . 11,287 ,, 40
Hyderabad . . 13,717 34
Calcutta . . 41,226 31
Bombay and Hyderabad appear to be exceptions to the general
rule, established for the Y.M.C.A.'s of India, that a correlation
exists between the strength of the Christian community and the
strength of a local Association. While the Christian population
of Bombay is substantial, the Y.M.C.A. there is a steadily losing
ground ; in Hyderabad there are actually more Christians than
in Lahore, but the local Association is not half as strong. This
indicates, of course, that while the Christian community has an
important influence on the growth of an Association, it is not the
only factor in the situation.
Since the work of the Y.M.C.A. is confined to the English-
speaking element of the population, the mofussil towns are again
at a disadvantage as will be seen below. Full figures for Coim-
batore and Trivandrum were unfortunately not available ; as
regards the male population, however, there were respectively
2,400 and 6,249 literates in English in these towns in 1921.
Relative Number of Literates in English (1921).
Colombo . . 37,927 or 155 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Calcutta . . 175,275 132
Madras .. 65,079 124
Eangoon . . 40,551 119
Bangalore (City) 13,167 111
Bombay . . 110,540 94
Lahore . . 25,717 91
Madura . . 8,946 64
Hyderabad . . 22,451 56
The English-speaking communities of Hyderabad and Bangalore
are relatively large for mofussil towns, and may be attributed
to the influence of the military cantonments established there.
By way of summary it can be said that the mofussil towns of
South India are not in the main stream of the commercial and
industrial life of the modern empire. As a result, the local Asso-
ciations are rather at a disadvantage in that they have not large
communities of Christians, literates in English, or wealthy Euro-
peans to draw on for the general maintenance and support of their
work. On the other hand, the importance of these towns as educa-
tional centres represents a real opportunity for work among young
B. THE LOCAL Y.M.C.A.'s.
As was found to be the case with the Associations studied
in the preceding chapters, these T.M.C.A.'s owe their origin
largely to missionary influence. The Association at Trivandrum
was started in 1873, by a Miss Mary Bourne, a member of the
Church of England Zenana Mission and supported by the London
Missionary Society. The Madura Association had its beginning
in 1886 at Pasumalai College, a mission enterprise. The work in
Hyderabad was started by a man who had seen the Bombay
Association in action. While there is no record of the origin of the
Bangalore and Coimbatore Associations, the strong probability
is that they were started by missionary effort also.
While there was, in the very beginning, a European and
Anglo-Indian membership at Bangalore and Hyderabad, all five
of these Associations have, throughout most of their history, at-
tracted a preponderantly Indian constituency. In the course
of tune, the same increase of the associate over the active member-
ship took place that was recorded in the larger Associations. This
will be clear from the following table :
Trends in Membership.
Hyderabad 1891 1901 1907 1919 1929
Active .. 106 75 64 19 141
Associate .. 6 2 6 64 344
Total .. 112 77 70 83 485
Active .. 38 30 75 101 357
Associate 15 118 343 83
Total .. 38 45 193 444 440
Trivandrum 1891 1901 1907 1919 1929
Active .. 14 33 32 80 129
Associate . . 9 22 38 128 212
Total .. 23 55 70 208 341
Active . .. 30 47 89
Associate . . 22 50 226
Total . . 52 97 315
Active .. 40 25 28 14
Associate 3 21
Total .. 43 25 28 35
(NoTE. : -The figures for 1929 really distinguish between "Christian"
and "non-Christian" members, but may be taken to represent the
difference between "active" and "associate". Unfortunately the records
for Coimbatore and Madura were incomplete.)
Before 1900, all of these Associations were managed by
volunteer leadership. In the new century, the shift to employed
officers took place, as was true of the whole Association move-
ment, but very few foreign secretaries came to these mofussil
towns. In 1929 there was one such secretary at Hyderabad and,
ten years earlier, there was one each in this city and at Bangalore.
Otherwise, the. employed staffs of these Y.M.C.A.'s have been
Indian during the last decade. The total staff, in 1929, numbered
three at Hyderabad, two each at Bangalore and Trivandrum, and
one each at Madura and Coimbatore.
The lay leadership in these Associations is apparently made
up of Europeans and Indians in equal numbers, but nearly all of
the former are at Bangalore j and more especially Hyderabad,
where the military cantonments are located. The details, so
far as they are available, appear in the following table :
Boards of Directors Analysed by Race (1928).
Hyderabad . . . . 8 27
Bangalore . . . . 7 7
Trivandrum . . 14 3
Coimbatore . . 11 3
The distinctive contribution of these Y.M.C.A.'s from the
point of view of programme, is that they function as community
centres for social life. The general secretary at Coimbatore has
had training in physical education and so is able to enrich the local
programme by introducing sports and games for both the member-
ship and the community.
The fundamental problem of the mofussil Associations is
financial. Between 1912 and 1928, they all acquired buildings
of their own largely through contributions from abroad. These
buildings were modelled after the larger structures in the cities
without proper account having, been taken of the fact that there
was no comparable industrial and wealthy European community
on which to fall back for financial assistance. As a result, most
of these Associations are in difficulty over the expenses of main-
tenance. They are likewise embarrassed by the charges involved
in employing professional secretaries. The National Council
has sought to remedy the situation by making annual appropria-
tions to the work of the mofussil Associations. The trends within
the, main sources of income for these Y.M.O.A.'s during the
period 1924-1928, may be studied in the following tables :
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Hyderabad 4,647 5,117 6,604 4,039 5,158
Bangalore 2,298 1,819 2,698 2,401 2,254
Trivandrum 915 482 717 1,071 349
Coimbatore 695 277 350 533 456
Madura 372 30 977 1,062 1,130
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Hyderabad 1,320 1,180 1,249 1,295 1,361
Bangalore 987 1,358 1,169 1,362 1,568
Trivandrum 749 671 419 610 668
Coimbatore 725 650 670 645 648
Madura 800 727 829 1,176 1,006
1924 . 1925 1926 1927 1928 .
Hyderabad . 6,785 .11,970 54,431 < 82,635 1,23,884
16,842 17,992 15.204 13,046 17,312
732 1,259 1,624 538 1,659
3,118 3,285 3,069 3,075 4,025
" 87 342 1,194 2,455 2,
National Council Grants.
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Hyderabad .. .. 2,368 2,500 1,770 1,300
Bangalore .. 4,266 3,422 4,600 2,500 3,600
Trivandrum .. 1,260 945 1,260 1,200 1,151
Coimbatore .. 667 672 672 550 412
Madura .. 2,400' 2,340 2,440 2,060 1,960
While the trends are spasmodic and uneven, it will be seen that
the earnings are nevertheless distinctly on the increase, and that
the contributions and dues are in general holding their own, albeit
with difficulty. The grants from the National Council have been
on a diminishing scale. Although no cash subsidies have been
granted, during this period, to the six large Associations, the
National Council has helped them with foreign personnel, which
means a very much larger financial contribution than anything
given to the mofussil Associations. This may be seen in the
next table, in which the foreign personnel have been expressed
in terms of rupees, at the rate of Es. 12,700 a year each.
Total Grants from the National Council.
Cash to Mofussil
Personnel to Mofussil
21,293 22,447 24,232 20,780 21,123
Personnel to 2nd
Group Cities . . 1,27,000 1,14,300 88,900 76,200 76,200
Personnel to 1st
Group Cities . . 1,01,600 1,14,300 1,14,300 1,01,600 88,900
The mofussil towns were of greater importance under pre-
British India than is now the case. They are now centres for the
local administration and for education, but do not participate
to any great extent in the modern commercial life of the empire.
Wealthy Europeans therefore are not attracted to these towns
and there are relatively small communities of literates in English.
This is not quite so true of Bangalore and Hyderabad, where large
numbers of European troops are stationed.
While there is a real field for the Y.M.C.A. in these towns,
especially among students, the local Associations are handicapped
financially in carrying on their work. This is primarily due to the
fact that they all own buildings that presuppose a wealthier sup-
porting constituency than can be developed. The present pro-
gramme is valued particularly for its social aspect ; the Associa-
tions are functioning in these towns as informal community centres.
THE Y.M.C.A. IN TRAVANCOEE AND COCHIN.
A. THE SOCIAL BACKGROUND.
Travancore and Cochin are the two largest of the Madras
States, and are situated at the south-western tip of India. They
occupy a combined area of 9,104 square miles, somewhat isolated
from the rest of the continent by high mountains, on the east,
and by the ocean, on the west. The combined population, in
1921, was 4,985,142 and the bulk of it (over 80 per cent) was in
the larger state of Travancore. That this is one of the most
densely populated areas of India is indicated by the fact that
Travancore ranks seventeenth in point of area, among Indian
states and agencies, and only third in point of population.
The inhabitants of this area are predominantly rural. The
1921 census classified 90 per cent of the population of Travancore
and 87 per cent of that of Cochin as in this category. There were
3,956 villages (karas)* in Travancore and 38 towns. The popula-
tion of these states has certain common features that differen-
tiate it somewhat from the rest of India.
In the first place, Travancore and Cochin are the site of the
oldest Christian enterprise in the empire. Indeed, there are
more Christians proportionately (in 1921 as many as 1,429,071
or 29 per cent of the total population) in these states than anywhere
else in India or, in fact, Asia. They are numerically stronger
than the caste Hindus. More than hah 5 (53.6 per cent) belong
to the Syrian Church, just under a third (30. 4 per cent) are Roman
Catholics, and the rest (16 per cent) are distributed among the
various sects of Protestantism. These Christians are, on the
whole, a very conservative group ; their religious life expresses
itself more often in devout personal experience than in service
From the point of view of literacy, these states rank very
high. Within the Indian empire, Travancore is second only to
Burma in this respect. If 15 per cent of the total may be taken
approximately to represent the population of school age, then
*A kara is a former land division representing an area of 1 . 93 square
miles and a population of 924 ; the present sub-division is called a
pakuthi and represents an area of 17.5 square miles and a population of
71 per cent of this group actually are at school in Travancore.
In the total Madras States (only slightly larger than Travancore
and Cochin combined) the degree of literacy is 212 per 1,000 in-
habitants, and even higher (294 per 1,0.00) within the Christian
community. Literacy in English, on the other hand, is not very
widespread, being only 14 per 1,000 inhabitants in the total popu-
lation, and 21 per 1,000 among Christians. The state devotes
one-fifth of the gross revenue. to promoting education.
Women enjoy a much better social position in Travancore
than anywhere else in India. This state ranks first in the empire
with respect to female literacy. The circumstance that inheri-
tance has been traced through the female line, for the past several
hundred years, has given to the women of this area a real economic
importance, and so has served to make them self-reliant and
Throughout Travancore and Cochin, the so-called "commu-
nal" problem one of the most acute with which rural India
is faced -is in evidence. The several villages are welded into
self-contained and exclusive groups by communal loyalty. It
is difficult to raise the spirit of the people to the concept of a wider
fellowship. This feeling exists not only between communities of
different religions, but also between those belonging to different
sects of the same religion. It is particularly strong between
groups of Christians. The rivalry between communities is in-
tensified by economic pressure. From the point of view of agri-
culture, the area is already over-populated. In addition, while
the many schools and colleges have produced a number of educat-
ed men of average ability, these individuals are extremely reluc-
tant to leave the country and seek a living elsewhere. Conse-
quently, there is great competition among them for state appoint-
ments and other posts. Public office is determined to a large
degree by communal favouritism and petty politics, a circumstance
that has made the situation in Travancore and Cochin particularly
The question of land tenure in Travancore is unusually com-
plicated. For the purposes of this report, however, it will suffice
to say that, broadly speaking, holdings are of two kinds : those
owned by the state and leased to the peasant cultivators (the
ryots), and those owned by the high caste Nambudiri Brahmins
and cultivated by their tenants. Disputes over payments and
constant litigation have been marked features of relationships,
in the latter case. An additional twist is given to the situation
in recent times, because of the circumstance that Christians who
have acquired means through commerce and industry are now
buying the ancient proprietary rights from the Brahmins.
The peasants are, as everywhere in India, exceedingly anxious
to gain access to the land, although capital invested in proprie-
tary rights does not yield an interest of more than three per cent.
Few people, however, own sufficient ready money to make such a
purchase. This means that recourse is had to the money-lender,
a recognized "institution" of rural India. The phenomenal
increase in the number of banks all over Travancore is likewise
indicative of this state of affairs. An authority on Indian rural
life estimates that three-quarters of the population are in debt.
(Slater: "Some South Indian Villages.") The fact that the
already dense population is still rapidly increasing, in this area,
means that the land is being constantly sub -divided and is suf-
fering deterioration. Agriculture is being rendered profitless.
The census report of 1921 estimated that even
" With favourable monsoon and land breezes, the state
cannot produce sufficient paddy to maintain the population
for seven months in the year."
To sum up briefly, the population of Travancore and Cochin
may be thought of as unusual in the Indian empire on account
of the high degree of literacy attained, especially by the women,
and on account of the strength of the Christian community. The
inhabitants live for the most part in small villages and country
towns. Between such groups communal rivalry is very intense
on account of both religious differences and economic competition.
The area is too densely populated for the proper support of its
B. THE HISTORY OF THE Y.M.C.A. MOVEMENT.
The communal conflicts and the litigations over land tenure,
prevalent in Travancore and Cochin, led devout Christians to
withdraw from the field and to give themselves up to the
cultivation of their spiritual life. Prayer unions were con-
sequently organized and evangelistic activities promoted. In
this atmosphere the Y.M.C.A. came into being, in about 1870.
The first Association to be organized was that of Trivandrum, the
capital of Travancore, in 1873 ; the history and structure of this
organization were treated in the preceding chapter.
The history of the Y.M.C.A. in Travancore and Cochin may
be divided into four periods. During the years 1870-1889, a few
isolated Associations were founded through individual effort.
During the next decade, the several Associations came into rela-
tionship one with another, especially through the efforts of
Mr. McConaughy who visited Travancore in 1892. The number of
Associations increased from six to thirteen, during this time.
Between 1898 and 1913, the work in Travancore and Cochin was
placed under the guidance of a district union, and assigned to
the care of a travelling secretary, appointed on full tune. The
arrangement was not very successful, however, although many
Associations came into being at this time. In 1913, out of a total
of 160 local Y.M.C.A.'s in all India, 83 or more than half were in
The modern period may be said to have begun with the
appointment of an Indian to the national general secretaryship and
the arrival of a foreign secretary in Travancore, Mr. L. A. Dixon.
The latter's work was interrupted during the war, when he was
called to service in Mesopotamia. It was after the war that Mr.
K. T. Paul, the National General Secretary, conceived the idea
of a project in rural reconstruction, which had a direct bearing
on the Associations of Travancore. In 1924, a demonstration
centre was organized and a rural programme developed by Dr.
Hatch with the co-operation of Mr. Manuel and Mr. Jesudas.
This centre is part of the general project in rural reconstruction
promoted by the National Council, and is described in detail in
a separate report of this survey.
The importance of the work in this area from the point of
view of developing an indigenous movement, was early recogniz-
ed by a secretary of the district union, previously described, a
Mr. G. Alexander. Sections of his report for 1909 are worth
quoting at this point.
" Travancore and Cochin are the most Christian countries
in all India If the Y.M.C.A. movement had been develop-
ed in Travancore and Cochin with anything like the care and
solicitude bestowed on it in other, parts of India, one cannot
help thinking that it would have created a great missionary
zeal and have become the means of sending forth the Chris-
tian young men, in these countries, with God's message of
Salvation to other parts of India In Travancore and
Cochin, owing to the large number of Christians to be found
everywhere, there is no difficulty in forming Y.M.C.A.'s by
scores, but these Associations have to be carefully watched,
repeatedly visited and sympathetically nurtured in their early
years, otherwise they will soon lose all vitality and become
"It is a well-known fact that a large proportion of the
Christians in Travancore and Cochin are Syrians of the Jaco-
bite persuasion, and to them the present definition of 'voting'
membership is unacceptable. It is therefore very much to
be desired that what is known as the Paris Basis should be
adopted for India and Ceylon, or at least for Travancore and
Cochin.* With this change in the test for membership,
with the appointment of a general secretary for all Travan-
core and Cochin, and with the erection of large buildings in
important and strategic centres, there is a glorious future
for the Y.M..C.A. movement in these states, and through
it to the glorious cause of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
and not only in these our countries but in all India ....'*
C. PRESENT STRUCTURE OF THE LOCAL T.M.C.A.'s.
In addition to the Y.M.C.A. of Trivandrum, already describ-
ed, there are Associations in the towns of Alleppey, Kottayam,
Kunnamkulam and Quilon. The bulk of the movement in this
area, however, consists of the little village Associations ; there are
about one hundred of these, exclustive of those related to the
demonstration centre at Marthandam. The control and leader-
ship of the movement is almost entirely in the hands of Indians,
and largely on a volunteer basis. While the National Council
subsidizes two foreign and six Indian employed secretaries for
this area, largely in connection with the demonstration centre, and
while there are in addition three Indian employed officers locally
maintained, most of the work is in the hands of some 1,900 Indian
volunteers, acting as secretaries or on boards and committees.
On the financial side, the National Council is making heavy
contributions to the work in Travancore and Cochin. This is
chiefly in connection with the demonstration centre at Marthan-
dam, that receives some Es. 7,000 out of the total of Es. 9,000
which is annually contributed. Only about Es. 1,000 of this
amount is raised in Travancore itself, mainly from European
planters. It has not been possible to raise more locally for several
reasons. In the first place, the Christian community in this area,
as indeed everywhere in India, is in relatively humble circum-
stances. Moreover, each denomination makes heavy demands
on its members for its own work. Non-Christian sentiment,
which in other parts of India liberally supports the work of the
Y.M.C.A., has not been enlisted in Travancore and Cochin owing
to the evangelistic emphasis and limited appeal of the programme.
*The Y.M.C.A.'s of India, Burma and Ceylon, in convention
assembled, adopted the Paris Basis in 1920.
It will be interesting to discuss, general conditions in the
town and village Associations separately. In the four towns of
AUeppey, Kottayam, Kunnamkulam and Quilon, the local Associ-
ations are now housed in substantial buildings of their own. These
have, in each case, been made possible by grants from the National
Council. For many years the local secretary at Alleppey was like-
wise subsidized by the National Council, but is now supported
locally. This has meant an increase in local sense of responsi-
bility .and has had beneficial effects on the work. During the
past two years the hostel has been full to capacity, and a con-
tinuous programme of diversified activities has been maintained.
The affairs of the Kunnamkulam Association became so involved,
in 1926, that the management was taken over by the National
Council. Two years later, conditions had improved to such an
extent that the work was entrusted to a new board of directors.
At about the same time, the National Council was obliged to dis-
continue the annual subsidy, and with it the services of the employed
officer, whose place was taken by a volunteer. The record of
the Kottayam Association has been one of steady, unpretentious,
but effective service, under the direction of Mr. M. C. Samuel.
This gentleman was subsidized by the National Council until
1929, when his place was taken by a secretary whose support
was met locally. The boys' hostel and the programme of games,
religious and educational activities have shown a steady increase
in patronage. In general, the trend in these town Associations
appears to be in the direction of greater local responsibility for
The village Associations are run entirely by volunteers and,
except in a few cases, without any buildings of their own. Meet-
ings are held in churches, schools, or private houses. The typical
programme is predominantly religious, with devotional and study
periods, but also includes games, talks on various subjects, night
classes, and social service. While all of these Y.M.C.A.'s define
their aim in terms of meeting the " needs of young men and boys,
spiritual, physical, intellectual, social and economic," the actual
plans for meeting these needs vary all the way from a weekly
prayer meeting to more elaborate and pretentious programmes
than can be considered feasible for these organizations. Yet,
small as the average village Associations are, their vitality is not
to be denied nor their importance in the aggregate minimized.
Much might be accomplished through them if the right leader-
ship could be found to co-ordinate their efforts. An illustration
of what can be done is afforded by the work of the demonstration
centre at Marthandam.
The work of the rural reconstruction project is confined to
an area roughly within a five mile radius of Marthandam. This
is not a hard-and-fast boundary, of course, and a few of the village
Y.M.C.A.'s related to the project are as many as fifteen miles
away from the centre. The section is situated in south Travancore
and is one of the poorest in the country. This is due both to the
hilly, unfertile soil and to the dense population. The village
Associations in this area carry on much the same programme
as that of the other village Associations, but, in addition serve
as distributing agents for the information given out at the
centre. They are the means whereby the principles of the pro-
gramme in rural economics may be spread and made available
to large numbers of people. It was most fortunate that these
Associations preceded the organization of the centre, for they
have given the work a distinct advantage over similar enter-
prises of the government that suffer from inadequate publicity.
The Association members and secretaries are experienced and
also imbued with the spirit of service, so that they become
the most effective kind of demonstrators. They spread
knowledge both by example and by active propaganda. It is
largely through the Y.M.C.A. village organization that, during
the last few years, improved varieties of poultry have been
distributed through the area, with the result that these poor
country people can now ship eggs twice a week to their co-
operative society at the centre. Other cottage industries that
have benefitted by the work are bee-keeping, weaving, gardening,
and cattle raising. Information has also been spread on rural
sanitation, temperance, physical education, and similar topics of
general interest. The village Associations in this area, often
referred to as the "rural" Associations, enjoy membership in
the circulating library maintained at the demonstration centre.
Each is allowed ten books a month, and is supplied with a tin
receptacle for its own use.
The possibility of work through the village Associations of
Travancore and Cochin, similar to that done in the interests of
rural reconstruction, is very great and only awaits adequate
vision and leadership. Nothing is being done at present by the
local Y.M.C.A. movement in behalf of the 300,000 outcastes living
right in their midst. The Christian fellowship itself could only
be enriched and deepened by being set to work productively in
behalf of these depressed classes. Similar lines of organization,
largely dependent on volunteer leadership, as obtain at Mar-
thandam, could be relied on to co-ordinate the efforts of the local
Associations. The problem of intercommunal reconciliation is
another very urgent matter, in this area, and one of peculiar
interest to the Y.M.C.A. The marked vitality of these little
village Associations indicates their importance to the whole
movement in India, from the point of view of making the ideals
of the T.M.C.A. known and real to the indigenous population.
The Y.M.C.A. movement in Travancore and Cochin is estab-
lished in the capital, Trivandrum, and in four additional towns,
but is particularly identified with the numerous little village
Associations scattered throughout the country. The wide spread
of literacy and of Christianity render these states exceptionally
propitious for Association enterprise under indigenous leadership.
Equally great opportunities for real service are offered by the
depressed economic condition of most of the people, crowded as they
are into an over-populated area that cannot adequately support
them. Significant beginnings have been made, both towards
meeting these opportunities and in demonstrating the possibili-
ties of co-ordinated effort among these Associations, by the work
of the Marthandam demonstration centre of the National Council's
project in rural reconstruction. There are similar opportunities
for ministering to the depressed classes, for deepening the life
of the Christian community by altruistic service, and for striking
at the acute communal problems of these states that might be
explored by similar co-operative effort. The T.M.C.A.'s of
Travancore and Cochin are impressive demonstrations of the
ability of Indian leadership to carry on programmes of interest
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHKISTIAN ASSOCIATION AS A
OEGANIZATION AND ADMINISTBATION.
The growth of the Young Men's Christian Associations of
India, Burma and Ceylon, in terms of membership, property and
personnel, has been attended by an increasing complexity of
organization and an intensifying of the problems of administration.
The extent of this growth has been discussed in other chapters
of this report, but for the purpose of visualizing the attendant
difficulties in the field of control, a short recapitulation will be
in order. The summary table, given at the end of Chapter 1 and
compiled from the National Convention Beports, is herewith
repeated in somewhat amplified form.
Development of the 7.M.C.A. between 1890 and 1925.
1890 1901 1910 1920 1925
Number of Associa-
tions .. 35 151 158 241 66
Total Membership .. 1,896 6,556 12,100 10,463 10,759
Active Membership 1,016 2,381 4,035* 2,164
ship .. 93 2,154 4,081* 8,595
Number of Buildings
Owned .. 2 16 26 57 42
Value in Rupees .. 6,47,20016,51,85632,74,86235,82,181
Debt in Rupees
(on Buildings) 2,51,340 98,062 50,685
in Rupees .. 15,667 58,041 3,72,310 3,78,409 9,07,819
* Figure for 1907.
t Figure for 1913.
These figures indicate that up to 1920, the local Associations
grew enormously in number, in equipment, in current expendi-
tures, in employed staff, and in total membership. (The decrease
between 1910 and 1920 in membership is due to the secession
of the college Associations.) The period 1920-1925 witnessed
the readjustment and retrenchment after the war. It will be
noticed that, while there is little change in the total membership
during these years, there are increases in the associate member-
ship, in the value of buildings owned, and markedly in the
current expenditures. The employed staff decreased considerably
at the same time.
Two major conclusions may be drawn from the above facts.
In the first place, the largest increase in buildings,
employed staff and (presumably) associate membership took place
between 1910 and 1920. Secondly, the retrenchments made
necessary by financial difficulties after the war resulted in a reduc-
tion of staff. In other words, the net result of the phenomenal
growth of the organization prior to 1920, was to leave the Associa-
tion with a huge physical equipment and a large non-voting mem-
bership on its hands, and with a staff only sufficient, in many
places, to take care of the business management.
B. THE NATIONAL COUNCIL: FIRST PERIOD (1891-1920).
An understanding of the present administrative system will
be best conveyed by a consideration of the most significant steps
in its evolution. As indicated in the foregoing chapters, the
first Y.M.G.A.'s 6f India were formed by groups of European
young men who had probably had some contact with the move-
ment started in London by George .Williams. The structure of
the early Associations was naturally patterned after the parent
'organization. There is evidence, however, that some of these
first groups had no very definite aim, or conception of qualifica-
tion for control, and suffered many vicissitudes in consequence.
Mr. David McConaughy, the American pioneer secretary in
Madras, discussed the subject of membership basis at some length,
at the first national convention in 1891. Extracts from his
address are worth quoting at this point.
"It is not to be wondered at, perhaps, that in the early
stages of their development, some Associations should have
been diverted into general evangelistic meetings in hos-
pitals, and jails, and homes for old women, in fact into almost
every sort of work except that for which the Young Men's
Christian Association was expressly designed, mz. t the work
of reaching and winning the young men of the '
to Christ. :
" Shall we not avail ourselves of the ripe experience that
has been gleaned through many and expensive experiments
by those who have been before us .?. . . .We stand uppn the
shoulders of the pioneers of George Williams of England,
and Pastor Cook of France, and George H. Stuart of America,
and other noblemen who met at the First World's Confer-
ence at Paris in 1855, and wrought out the international
"Our first duty is to our members .... (but) our basis
should be a broad basis, as regards the scope of the work-
load enough to extend its privileges to all deserving young
men, absolutely without distinction of race or creed or occupa-
tion Broad as our basis ought to be as to the classes we
seek to reach and as to the methods we employ, it should at the
same time be a restricted basis as concerns the control .of the
Association. The right to vote and hold office should be
carefully kept within the hands of the Active members, who
must be communicant members of Christian Protestant
Churches. This is the vital point our loyal allegiance to
the Church of Christ ; not apart from, but apart of, her com-
munion ; not an auxiliary to the Church, much less a substi-
tute for the Church in any sense or in any degree ; not even
undenominational the Association is in fact the Church
at work in a definite direction, for the young men of the world.
" Hence our basis should be fixed unchangeably, not only
(as to) the rights of voting and holding office, but also (as
to) the possession of property . (which should be) in the hands
of those who belong to the Christian Church and who re-
present, the beliefs of those who founded the Association.
Only Active members should serve on Committees. This
rule should apply also to the Boards of Trustees, as these are
required and created, to hold property that will be acquired.
Here a temptation may arise, to enlist men because of their
business ability, social position, wealth, or influence in the
community, even though not really Christian men. Nothing
will be lost but much gained by .adhering loyally to the
principle of retaining the control of the organization entirely
within the Christian Church. While the right of manage-
ment is vested in .the Active membership thus exclusively,
the privileges should be extended, alike to all."
Mr, McConaughy further stated that, while the constitution of
the Madras Y.M.C.A. provided that any young man who was a
"member in good standing of a Christian Protestant Church "
.might become an active member, the practice of the Association
tended to prevent any from being so classified unless they agreed
to act in some capacity in connection with the work. The test
was one of service as well as of church membership.
The address of Mr. McConaughy at the 1891 convention
is quoted at such length because of its very direct bearing
on the subsequent development of the movement in India. The
principles there set forth were to become the foundation stones
of the entire Association. The convention unanimously adopted
the Paris Basis for active membership with the following addi-
tional qualifications :
" That the Active membership of such Associations (as
wish to attend future national conventions) shall be composed
of young men who are members in full communion of Chris-
tian Protestant Churches ; and we hold these Churches to
be Christian Protestant, which do maintain the Scriptures
to be the only rule of faith and practice, and do believe in
the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father,
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, in whom dwelleth all the
fullness of the God-head, Who was made sin for us though
knowing no sin, and Who bare our sins in His own body on
the tree, and that His name is the only name under Heaven
among men whereby we must be saved from everlasting
Mr. McConaughy submitted to this convention a model con-
stitution, which embodied his principles and which he suggested
for the use of local Associations, especially in small towns. A
copy of this document is appended to the report of the conven-
tion. The early records indicate that this constitution was
generally adopted, with only occasional slight alterations to suit
The convention of 1891 likewise marked the launching of a
national organization of the Y.M.C.A/S of India. In a paper
entitled : " How can the existing Associations best co-operate
to extend our work to reach the young men of India .?" Dr. E.
Sargood Fry, a lay delegate, argued the need for "a practical
knowledge of and sympathy with each other and each other's
work " and also for some "means of communication one with
another when we return to bur several stations and homes". His
proposed solution was a national committee with a secretary " who
shall not confine his work simply to one Association, but wh6
shall serve all". As regards the necessary finances, he had hopes
" that the strong Associations of England and America might be
willing to increase the help they are already giving".
There was some discussion after this speech. Mr. Frank
J. Clark, the veteran volunteer secretary of the Bombay Y.M.C.A.,
pointed out the fact that a " district union " had recently been
formed in the Bombay Presidency and suggested a similar plan
for the Madras area. Another delegate felt " that the sugges-
tion to form district unions was no doubt practicable, but there
should be something more than that". He called attention to
the fact that the national convention was a reality and advocated
the creation of a national committee. Mr. McConaughy, who
subsequently became the first national secretary, argued for such
a committee in the interests of extending the work throughout
India. He believed, on the basis of his experience, that district
organization would grow naturally from national organization.
Mr. Clark opposed the suggestion on the grounds that " here in
India the distances were too great for one secretary," and favoured
organization by presidencies with a secretary for each.
Mr. McConaughy a'hswered that, although the members of such
a national committee would live all over the country, the difficulty
of transacting business could be overcome by having the annual
meeting at the same time as the convention and disposing of such
additional matters as required the concurrence of the whole com-
mittee by mail ; the ordinary routine would be entrusted to a sub-
committee, as was the practice in England and North America,
the personnel of which would all live in one place, or vicinity, so
as to make frequent meetings easy.
The upshot was that the convention preferred the national
organization and formally resolved that
" With a view to extending the Young Men's Christian
Association's work throughout India, an Indian National
Committee be appointed by this Convention, for the pur-
pose of mutual encouragement and co-operation and that
the Committee be empowered to add to its members."
The committee was accordingly organized and Mr. McConaughy
appointed secretary; The North American International Com-
mittee subsequently assumed responsibility for the suppbrt of an
additional secretary for the Madras Association. .
By the time of the national convention of 1894, .this national
committee had so commended itself that the decision was reached;
to form a national union. An elaborate constitution was adopted
for this organization and its management entrusted to a National
Council, composed of twenty-one members representing all parts
of India and Burma. Representation on the Council was deter-
mined by the proportion of active members, in a given area, to
the total active membership of the Indian movement. The con-
stitution recognized from the beginning the existence of district
unions and the possibility of others being formed, .but treated
them on the same basis as a local Association. In other words,
the constitution tacitly approved of district unions but gave
them no definite status in the national organization. In this
way, the idea of district unions was incorporated but was not
sufficiently defined to ensure its usefulness. The constitution
further stated that a fundamental principle of the Indian national
union should be the recognition and promotion of the complete
autonomy of each local Association and each district union, in
India and Burma. As will appear, however, from the discussion
of the allocation of foreign personnel and funds to these units,
a process which has always been effected through the National
Council, this "complete autonomy" must be liberally interpreted.
Finally, in order to carry on its routine business, the Council
was authorized, by the constitution to " elect froin its members
an executive committee, consisting of five or more members resid-
ing in the same locality."
Notwithstanding the vagueness of the relationship between
district unions and the national organization, earnest attempts
were made to establish such unions in various parts of India.
As already noted, there was an organization of this type in the
Bombay Presidency even before the appointment of the national
committee. There are records of similar organizations in the
Punjab and in Travancore and Cochin, The functions of the
Punjab union. included arranging for periodical district conven-
tions', promoting inter-visitation between local Associations, pre-
paring the way for and establishing new Associations, and
co-operating with the National Council in assisting the Associations
by means of correspondence and publications. The union for
Travancore ' and Cochin was entrusted particularly with co-ordinat-
ing and extending the work of the village; Associations. At the
natio'nal convention of 1901, reports were received from both of
these latter district unions, out no mention is made of , the Bombay
! In 1907, the local Associations of 'Ceylon formally joined
the national union and the Council was enlarged to thirty mem-;
It was stipulated that these men should represent all parts
of India, Burma and Ceylon and that not more than two of them
should be from Ceylon. Several proposals were also made at this
.convention to change the membership basis. The desire was
manifest to enunciate a formula that would be acceptable to the
Jacobite Christians and the Anglican High-Churchmen, who
objected to the word "Protestant". Owing to the great differences
of opinion, however, no decision was reached, and since there were
no conventions between 1910 and 1920, the matter was not settled
until that time. The convention of 1920 adopted the relatively
simple Paris Basis which does not require church membership.
; The National Council's report for 1920 covers the entire
decade 1910-1920. It records the fact that, in the absence of con-
ventions during this period, vacancies had been filled, as consti-
tutionally authorized, by the Council itself and that, as a result,
it had not been practicable " to ensure the adequate representa-
tion of the different parts of India, Burma and Ceylon." Due
to force of circumstances incident to the war, the work of the
National Council had been carried on largely by the executive
committee and a great centralization of authority had taken place
at the headquarters in Calcutta. The Convention of 1920 pro-
ceeded to deal with the question of decentralization. As re-
corded in the official report, it
"considered that the time had come to establish regional
committees, with a view to closer supervision and to de-
centralization at the national headquarters ; and to include
a clause in the constitution empowering and instructing the
National Council to arrange for the formation of such com-
mittees and the appointment of regional secretaries, when-
ever the Council, in consultation with the local Associations
concerned, should consider the time ripe for such a step."
The constitution was further amended to provide that the National
Council should meet at least once a year, in addition to the monthly
meetings of the executive committee.
From the standpoint of organization^ the most significant
step taken was the proposal for regional committees. This may
be regarded as an inheritance from the idea of district unions.
It should be noted, however, that whereas the district unions were
autonomous and voluntary organizations in a given area, with
greatly diversified functions, the proposal of 1920 was for regional
committees appointed by the National Council, to which the
Council would delegate, at its discretion, "any or all of its respective
responsibilities in the respective areas." The work was to
supervisory and would naturally involve the services of an
employed officer who would take his orders from the national
general secretary. The influence of " war-time " psychology
may be observed in this arrangement ; it was essentially a mili-
tary organization with chief authority at the top. In no real
sense of the word can the proposal be interpreted as " decen-
tralization "; it merely called for a delegation of responsibilities
that were still primarily vested in the national agency.
C. THE NATIONAL COUNCIL : SECOND PERIOD (1920-1930).
The convention of 1920 marked the close of a distinct epoch
in the life of the Y.M.O.A. of India, Burma and Ceylon. Prior
to this date, the Association had passed through two phases.
The period of 1891-1910 witnessed the growth and development
of an essentially lay organization. As noted earlier, during the
decade of 1910-1920 the Association grew tremendously with
respect to buildings and equipment, membership, and employed
staff. Owing to the exigencies of war-time administration, the
movement practically handed over complete authority to the
National Council. The most significant point to be made, however,
is that authority actually passed into the hands of tne employed
secretaries. As will appear in the chapter on personnel, it was
during this time that the professional secretaryship gained ascend-
ancy over the honorary secretaryship, in the local Associations.
In other words both the difficulties involved in managing a com-
plex war programme and the growth of institutional equipment
brought it about that the actual, albeit never the legal, control
was transferred from laymen to employed officers.
The story of the readjustment after 1920 abundantly sub-
stantiates this point. As will appear in the chapter on finance,
the years immediately following the war were burdened with
terrific financial problems among the local Associations. By
1922, the state of affairs had become so acute that drastic action
was called for. The group that faced the situation in all its
aspects was a conference of secretaries, which met in January of
that year. This conference reached three important decisions
which were later adopted by the National Council and are of signi-
ficance for the movement to-day.
In the first place, they agreed upon some general principles
of strategy that may be briefly summarised as follows. Qua-
lity of service was to be emphasized rather than extent of an
activity or occupation of the field. In actual practice, this meant
curtailment of . the existing work and .concentration on certain
activities that might serve as "beacon lights " or demonstration
centres. Strategic areas of activity recommended for such con-
centrated effort included work with the educated classes in towns
and cities, high-grade rural work in a few centres, boys' work,
and model centres for army work.
The second decision had to do with organization. In contra-
distinction to the action taken by the national convention of
1920, two years previously, the secretaries favoured instead of
regional organizations the appointment of associate national
secretaries, who should assist the national general secretary in
developing the local Associations. In order to facilitate the
administration, these associates were to be located permanently
in selected areas outside of Calcutta, the national headquarters.
This was obviously a further step in centralized control, for the
associate secretaries were to be in no way responsible either to
the local Associations or to a . regional committee; they were
simply the subordinates of the general secretary. The third
momentous decision reached at this time was to the effect that
" an advisory committee of five secretaries should be
appointed by .the National Council to co-operate with the
National Council in its revenue work and report back to the
next Secretaries' Conference."
During the twelve months following this conference, the
principles of curtailment and concentration were put into effect.
The burden of making the decisions with regard to staff reductions
or closing work was actually carried by this " advisory committee",
officially designated as the revenue commission. Their decisions
were submitted for approval to the executive of the National
Council. By the end of 1923, the revenue commission had become
so powerful that it formally requested the executive committee
to refer to it " all important changes having financial implica-
tions before finally passing them." While this proposal
caused some discussion in the executive committee, it was finally
That this development caused some consternation, in certain
quarters, may be seen from the following letter written by an
administrative officer of the North American International
Committee to one of his colleagues :
" I have also read the report of the revenue commission.
I am positively alarmed at the way in which this commis-
sion is dealing with questions which, it seems to me, only
partially belong within its sphere. If the Indian National
Council does not look out, it will have a powerful secre-
tarial commission operating alongside of the Executive, and
a commission which has too large a foreign personnel. It
is important to get the money, but what is the use of getting
it if, after it is secured, it has weakened the Indian move-
ment in the process. I feel pretty strongly about this and
hope that some steps may be taken to point out the danger."
(B.C. Jenkins to F. V. Slack, May 13th, 1924.)
The revenue commission acknowledged the criticism and tried
to meet it, in their meeting of November 12th, 1924. The consti-
tution was altered to enlarge the staff and include laymen, as
may be seen from the following extracts from the minutes.
" The Commission shall be composed of sixteen representa-
tives who shall be selected as follows :
" Eight members to be elected by the Secretaries'
ference, four secretarial members to be nominated by the
National Executive, four members who shall be laymen to
be nominated by the National Executive. It shall be open
to the local Associations to recommend the names of suitable
" The Chairman and Honorary Treasurer of the National
Executive shall be ex-offioio members of the Revenue Com-
'' The Commission shall elect a working Committee of five,
three at least of whom shall be local representatives, to
attend to necessary business apart from the annual meeting."
(Revenue Commission Minutes, 1924.)
However, no real change in the situation was effected by this
constitutional amendment, for of the seventeen persons that
attended the next annual meeting all were employed secretaries."*
Further changes were then proposed and, as finally adopted by
the next secretaries 1 conference, provided that the revenue com-
mission should consist of the honorary treasurer of the National
Council and fifteen other members secretaries and laymen eight
to be appointed by the secretaries' conference and seven by the
national general secretary, " with a view to representing all
interests, as far as it may be possible." The provision for a
working committee was dropped.
* The revenue commission threw open its annual meeting, by special
invitation, to interested individuals.
The outcome of the new arrangements was that at the next-
meeting of the commission, in 1926, the attendance was twenty
twelve being secretaries on the commission, one the honorary
treasurer (a layman), and seven secretaries on the national staff.
The record since 1926 indicates that there never has been more
than one layman on this important commission. It was ac-
cordingly not found possible to check the increasing power of the
secretariat. The power of the revenue commission itself, how-
ever, was curtailed two years later. In November, 1928, the
national secretary for finance raised the question of abolishing
the commission and entrusting its functions to another body.
The action taken on this suggestion was to change the name to
" budget reviewing committee " and to limit its competency to
financial questions exclusively.
It should be said, in all fairness, that sincere efforts were made
to have lay representatives on the revenue commission. But
even the few who were induced to accept appointment did not
find it possible to attend meetings. This difficulty is experi-
enced by nearly all similar organizations, in these days of many en-
gagements and complex business relationships, and is especially
common among such societies in India as try to work through
representatives from all parts of the empire. A meeting of the
revenue commission usually involved a week's time, including
the travel period ; moreover, the expense attached to such
attendance was frequently prohibitive.
Eeference has often been made, in the foregoing pages, to
the Secretaries' Conference. This institution parallelled the
Revenue Commission, after 1920, and in a very real sense came to
exercise that guidance of the whole movement that rightfully
belongs only to the national conventions.
It will be seen from the discussion so far, in this section,
that instead of effecting decentralization, the Association has
actually made little progress in bringing local and national work
into productive relationships. The attempts to give the local
Associations some share in the control of the movement have
resulted in vesting too much power in the employed secretariat.
With the growth and strengthening of the national organization,
the regional or district units have been relegated. Among the
by-products of centralization, albeit influenced by other causes
as well, has been the loss, to the Association movement as a whole,
of that interest among laymen which was once so vigorous in
India. That there has been considerable appreciation of the
dangers in the present administrative system may be gathered
from the abortive attempts at decentralization, recorded above.
Further evidence is afforded by a memorandum submitted by
the Secretaries' Conference to the National Convention of
1926, and recorded in the official report of that gathering as
"At the Secretaries' Conference held at Waltair a proposal
was made to recommend to the Executive certain very
important and fundamental changes in the constitution.
Our experience after working on the constitution has shown
that the control of the Association movement in India ....
largely lies in the hands of a few, and that we have failed so
far to link up the local Associations in the general work of
the National Council. The reasons may be stated to be
as follows :
" The National Council is elected at a Convention to be
representative of all Indian interests ; the constitution does
not specifically state Association interest. Being a body
thus constituted, it consists of persons who are unusually
absorbed in their own work, and have little or no time to
give to the work of the National Council. Among them are
included quite a substantial number of persons whose con-
nections with the local Associations, or even the Associa-
tion movement generally, is remote. The result has been
that it has not been possible to obtain a National Council
that would really function."
The report then indicates that certain constructive proposals
were made calculated to ensure the direct representation of
local Associations, either individually or in groups, with power
to fill vacancies or send substitutes vested .in the local
Associations rather than in the National Council. The report
" The Executive has not had sufficient time at its disposal
for enquiry, nor is it in possession of sufficient facts, to be
able to make a recommendation to the Convention, but it
believes that it would be well to investigate the advisability
of these changes in the constitution, which would bring about
direct representation of the local Associations. They trust
that these changes, if undertaken, may result in the interest
of all Associations in the general movement being enhanced,
and that the local Associations will thereby undertake more
fully the responsibility which ought to lie on them."
(National Convention Report, 1926, p. 20.)
D. THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.
Because of the requirements for affiliation in the national
union, and also owing to the fact that model constitutions were
made available to the early Associations, practically no varia-
tion exists in the organization of the local centres. Legal author-
ity for the management and policy of the work is everywhere
vested in a board of directors, made up of laymen, and all proper-
ties are held by boards of trustees, likewise volunteer in per-
sonnel. The National Council, early in its development, made
the provision that there should not be more than one Association
in each city or town. Accordingly, the various branches in a
given centre are organized under one central board of directors ;
the branches are in the hands of separate committees of manage-
ment, limited in power and responsible to the central board.
The personnel of these committees is sometimes appointed by
the board and sometimes elected by the active membership of
the branch in question.
As indicated earlier in this report, the growth of the asso-
ciate membership has had an important bearing on the adminis-
tration of the T.M.C.A. Not only has the active membership lost
its significance as a controlling force, but the fact that elaborate
privileges have been extended to the large associate membership
has entailed organizational problems of such magnitude as to put
a premium on good business judgment and financial experience,
so far as the boards and committees are concerned. It is a
matter of common observation that the great institutions
developed by the Y.M.C .A. have compelled the movement to retain
on its boards men who can give it status with the wealthy com-
munity. As a result, the present situation is often such that a
wealthy group of directors are managing affairs in behalf of a
large, unrepresented associate membership. Furthermore, while
the membership is largely Indian or Anglo-Indian, the tendency,
especially in the great port cities, is for the boards to be Euro-
pean, to a considerable extent, as may be seen in the following
Boards of Directors Analysed by Race (1928).
Calcutta 5 15
Bombay 3 31
Bangoon 10 11
Colombo 36 1
Madras 11 8
Lahore . . 9 7
Hyderabad .. 8 27
Bangalore 7 7
Trivandrum 14 3
Coimbatore 11 3
In general, the tendency is for the boards to become increasingly
indigenous as the Associations become smaller ; the little village
Y.M.O.A.'s are almost completely in the hands of Indians. The
Colombo Association is an exception to the general rule, with an
almost entirely indigenous board in one of the larger organiza-
tions. The large European element at Bangalore and, more
especially, at Hyderabad is to be attributed to the presence in these
towns of the European military cantonments.
As regards the racial composition of the branch committees,
information is available only for four of the larger Associations.
The facts are given below :
Committees of Management Analysed by Race (1928).
Associations in 1st Group
Branches for Nationals . . 57 10
European and Anglo-Indian
Branches . . . . . . . . 45
An Association in 2nd Group 14 1
It will be seen that, in the cities of the first group, where Euro-
peans are in control of the boards of directors, they are also com-
pletely in control of the European and Anglo-Indian branches!
However, branches in which the membership is indigenous are
almost entirely in the hands of nationals. Since the board has
complete authority over the branches, it will be seen that the
racial situation offers opportunities for friction between the board
and a branch.
Additional information is available for a sampling of the
lay leadership in the larger Associations. The data are
presented first 011 the number of years these men have been in
Length of Service of Lay Leadership (1928).
r On Boards and On Non-European
European Branches Branches
Nationals Europeans Nationals Europeans
1 2 years
1 1 FC
J- J.J ,,
No Data . .
It will be observed that the nationals tend to remain in service
somewhat longer than do the Europeans. Possibly the fact that
Europeans generally do not remain in India for long periods may
account for this circumstance.
The record of attendance at meetings does not show much
variation as between the different groups. On the whole, no
great interest on the part of the majority is indicated.
Attendance at Meetings qf Lay Leadership (1928).
On Boards and On Non-European
European Branches Branches
Nationals Europeans Nationals Europeans
..5 9 4
..7 7 14
..5 10 1
..' 2 11 7
..6 6 3 1
..5 4 3
..16 30 13 1
No Data . .
The data with regard to age are more complete than on the
other matters presented so far. It will be. observed that the lay
leaders are, in more than half the cases, over forty-one years of
Age of Lay Leadership (1928).
On Boards and On Non-European
European Branches Branches
Nationals Europeans Nationals Europeans
20 years and less .... . . 1 2
21 25 years .... . . 2 1
2630 ..2 7 11 3
3135 ..8 8 13
3640 ..14 20 12 1
41 years and over 45 57 36 7
69 92 75 14
No Data . . 17 12 3
The general secretaries at the branches concerned were asked
to rate their laymen as to their contact with the ordinary member-
ship. The results are presented in the following table :
Estimated Contact of Lay Leadership with the Membership (1928).
On Boards and On Non-European
European Branches Branches
Nationals Europeans Nationals Europeans
None .. ..1 13 7 1
Bare .. ..13 26 12 2
Occasional .. 10 36 36 6
Frequent . . 30 16 16 1
Regular . . 17 13 5 2
71 104 76 12
No Data . . 15 . . 2 2
It will be noticed that, while the membership contacts of the
nationals serving on the boards appear to be more frequent than
those of the European leaders, neither group was thought to be
in very close touch in the branches. This suggests that the
branch committees may be rather nominal in character and have
no very deep interest in the work.
Information with regard to the professional occupations of
the lay leadership was available for the board members of the
Mofussil Associations as well as for those analysed above. The
data are as follows :
Lay Leadership Analysed by Occupations (1928).
T.M.O.A.'s Group Mofussil Total
Ministers ..24 6 16 46
Other Professions .. 93 31 53 177
Government Servants . . 7 . . 7
Industrial Executives 10 . . 1 11
Business Executives 43 7 7 57
Business Employees 20 8 1 29
All Others 5 5 2 12
Eetired . . . . 2 . . 2
No Data .... . . . . 21
It will be seen that all groups of Associations draw heavily on
the professional classes for their lay leadership. In Calcutta,
Bombay and Kangoon there is likewise good representation from
the business world, and especially of executives. It will be
recalled that these are the Associations that have the most
extensive physical equipment.
As was indicated in the foregoing section of this chapter,
the local Associations are not adequately represented on the
National Council. The interests of the larger centres in national
affairs are taken care of only through the general secretaries of
these Associations. The smaller units are represented either by
a district secretary, as in the case of Travancore and Cochin, or
by some staff member of the National Council who has travelled
in the mofussil area and knows the local situation. This is parti-
cularly serious for the Mofussil T.M.C.A.'s because they are very
heavily dependent on the National Council for support ; it has
even been suggested recently that the salaries of the employed
officers of these Associations be paid from Calcutta. This was
because the local boards have sometimes been irregular in their
payments, due -to financial difficulties, and have thereby in some
cases caused actual hardship for the secretaries. The plan sug-
gested was that the boards should pay back an equivalent sum to
the National Council. The result of such an arrangement would
of course be a further centralization of power in Calcutta.
The lay leaders of the local Associations take very little
interest in the affairs of the national movement. In fact, lay
representation from all quarters, at the National Conventions,
does not more than roughly equal that of the employed staff.
In 1923, there were 68 delegates at the Convention of whom 36
were secretaries ; in 1926, there were 31 secretaries out of a total
attendance of 67. On the latter occasion, the situation was
formally recognized and regretted in the following terms :
" Recognizing that the Association movement, from its
earliest years, has been maintained through voluntary leader-
ship, and that the importance and necessity of a trained
and consecrated secretariat to meet ever-expanding needs
does not in any sense decrease the necessity of the leader-
ship of laymen, but rather increases it, the Conference would
reiterate its abiding conviction that sacrificial voluntary
leadership in all departments, branches and activities is
essential to the fulfilment of the Association's great responsi-
bility to the boys and young men of the world. The
Conference recommends that in the composition and leader-
ship of committees, and in the attendance at and participation
in conferences, both national and international, there should
always be a much larger proportion of laymen than of secre-
taries." (National Convention Report, 1926, p. 224.)
E. CO-OPERATION WITH FOREIGN MOVEMENTS.
The extent to which the Young Men's Christian Associations
in other countries, particularly in England and North America,
have aided the development of the movement in India has been
set forth in other chapters of this report. The records of the
Association bear ample testimony to the anxiety of these co-
operating Y.M.C.A.'s not to let their contributions in any way
hamper the development of the Indian movement. In 1892,
with a view to extending the work throughout India, an ' appeal '
for men and funds to support them was very carefully prepared
and addressed to the English National Council, the North Ame-
rican International Committee, and the Australian Intercolonial
Council, " with the request that it be published as widely as
possible and circulated among the Associations." (National Con-
vention Report, 1892, p, 87.) The response to this appeal was
almost immediate from all three groups and subsequently con-
tinued to grow in volume, especially as far as the International
Committee was concerned.
In 1913, the Indian National Council took the following
" RESOLVED that we believe it would facilitate the work
of the Y.M,C,A. in India and Ceylon, if the foreign Councils
and Committees of Y.M.C.A.'s doing work in India would
regard the National Council of India and Ceylon as their agent
for all work in India and Ceylon. At present, many of the
foreign Councils deal directly with the local Associations
with reference to secretaries, finance, etc., and do not inform
the National Council of what they are doing. Yet, when
there is any difficulty, when a secretary resigns or is
invalided, the burden is placed on the National Council."
The report of the 1920 National Convention records (p. 20) that
this minute, on being sent to the organizations concerned, " re-
ceived their hearty assent and has ever since been loyally obeyed."
The Indian National Council now theoretically makes all assign-
ments of foreign personnel and allocates all foreign subsidies.
It has, however, departed from this rule in some instances and
granted the privilege of assigning secretaries to specific centres
to some councils " whose foreign work is in that stage of develop-
ment which makes it desirable to have a special place on which
to focus its giving."
Both the English National Council and the North American
International Committee follow the practice of appointing one
of the men they send out as " senior secretary," whose function
it is "to act for and speak on behalf of the Committees in
appropriate matters, the authority of the National Council and of
the entire staff being suitably guarded." (National Convention
Report, 1920, p. 21.) The following recommendations con-
cerning the relationship of the North American senior secretary
to the National Councils of the movements to which they are
sent, were drawn up, in 1926, at a conference at Lake Placid in
the United States, and were subsequently accepted by the
executive committee of the Indian National Council :
" The Foreign Committee of the National Councils of the
U. S. A, and Canada sends out a secretary to another country
as a member of its employed staff, and enters into an under-
standing with him on the basis of which understanding he
goes abroad to serve another Association movement. While
maintaining this relationship, the Foreign Committee allo-
cates him to a national movement for service as a secretary
of such movement for periods of time specified in its under-
standing. During these periods, the secretary is respon-
sible as a secretary to the National Committee, but the
Foreign Committee is still responsible for him in the same
sense that it is responsible for members of its home staff,
in all respects, except within the range of duties which are
involved in the original allocation to and understanding with
the National Committee.
" The following are included in this continuing responsi-
bility which the Foreign Committee sustains to its
To pay his salary.
To provide allowances for his children.
To provide him with a suitable residence.
To safeguard the health of himself and members of his
To provide for necessary vacations.
To make satisfactory provision for the education of his
To provide furloughs at times specified in the original
understanding. If a furlough appears to be necessary
at any time other than as specified in the original under-
standing, the time for such furlough shall be subject
to negotiation between the Foreign Committee and the
" In the matter of the original assignment of the secretary
to his post, and in the matter of his transfer from one place
to another, the Foreign Committee is involved in the same
way as it would be in North America, when one of its secre-
taries is transferred from one place to another, that is, it
should be satisfied that such conditions as safeguard the
health of himself and members of his family are acceptable
to the secretary himself, and furthermore that the funds
necessary for a satisfactory transfer are provided.
" In order to enable the Foreign Committee fully to carry
out its obligation to its secretaries, whose services have been
allocated to a National Committee, it is to the advantage of
the Foreign Committee and the National Committee con-
cerned that there should be a special secretary of the Foreign
Committee within the intimate coTincils of the National
Committee, who will be explicitly entrusted by the Foreign
Committee with the responsibilities for its obligations to its
secretaries on tKe field. Within this scope his' responsibi-
lity is final, and he is answerable to the Foreign Committee
for his actions.
" Whenever the discharge of these obligations, referred to
above as belonging explicitly to the Foreign Committee, has
implications affecting the policy or programme of the National
movement, these should be shared fully with the national
general secretary ; likewise, when the policy and programme
of the National movement have implications which may
involve the discharge of obligations borne by the Foreign
Committee, these should be shared fully by the national
" Whenever questions arise which are not fully included
in the specified list of obligations of the Foreign Committee,
as indicated above, such questions shall be taken up with
the national general secretary ; and it shall be the respon-
sibility of the national general secretary to decide finally,,
after -consultation, whether the question at issue is, or is
not, included within the list of obligations mentioned above.
If the question at issue is likely to prove a precedent, then
whether or not it should be included in the list of obligations
mentioned above, should be dealt with by negotiations
between the National Committee and the Foreign Com-
mittee, and either added to the list of obligations indicated
above, or omitted from that list, in which latter case it shall
no longer be within the scope of the responsibilities of the
" The secretary of the Foreign Committee responsible for
the above, will also, when. explicitly so charged, act as its
agent in the disbursements of its funds and in the acquisi-
tion, sale and use of its property."
The foregoing facts and general discussion indicate that the
chief administrative problems now confronting the Young Men's
Christian Association of India, Burma and Ceylon may be for-
mulated as follows :
How. is the active membership to be made more effective
in the control of the local Associations ?
How may the local Associations, especially in the large
cities, be released from the present unfortunate racial situa-
tion in which they find themselves, whereby national branch
committees are subordinated to European boards of directors?
How may the lay leadership be induced to take greater
responsibility for the control of the movement ?
How may the National Council be rendered more ade-
quately representative of the local Association ?
How may foreign contributions in personnel and funds be
distributed more equitably among the Associations ?
How may the relationship and service of the National
Council to the local Associations properly be defined ?
QUESTIONS OF FINANCE.
It should be obvious that any comprehension of the financial
problems of the Young Men's Christian Association of India,
Burma and Ceylon demands an acceptance of the fact that the
movement is essentially a missionary enterprise. As such it has
created difficulties for itself that are common to all missionary
endeavour. Some of the most important centre about the ques-
tion of self-support. There are those who would test the degree
to which an organization has become indigenous by the extent
to which it is able to care for its financial maintenance from local
sources. They would say that the interest of the community may
be measured by its willingness to bear the cost.
The Y.M.C.A. of India faced the problem of self-support,
with all its implications, from the very beginning. It is the pur-
pose of this study to reveal the financial problems which the
leaders of the Association encountered during the course of its
development, to describe the methods used in attempting to
solve these problems, and to evaluate the financial situation in
the Association to-day. It is hoped that by means of this review
of the past and evaluation of the present, soine light may be
thrown on the question of meeting the problems of the future.
B. EARLY FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. [Omitted.]
C. TRENDS REGARDING BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT.
The following table sets forth at a glance the extent to which
the various groups of local Associations have acquired property,
by five-year periods, since 1896. The data were extremely diffi-
cult to secure, in the absence of systematic record keeping, and
were compiled from old documents belonging to the local Associ-
ations. The survey is indebted to Mr. 8. S". Barling, of the
National Council staff, for the excellent work done.
The figures do not represent present values, but of neces-
sity only the original cost. Furthermore, the data were compiled
for all local Associations and not simply for those studied by this
survey. While the "first group " centres are the same as in the
preceding chapters, there are four Y.M.C.A.'s in the -""second
. . 232,000
. . 513,544
. . 188,325
. . 544,216
. . 362,166
. . 1,847,642
group" below, twenty-five Mofussil Associations, and twenty -
one village Associations, in addition to the four army centres.
Association Building Record by Groups of Y.M.C.A.'s and
by Five-Year Periods.
As was to have been anticipated, the table indicates that the
building programme started in the large cities and then spread
out to the smaller centres. Generally speaking, the equipment
of the Associations in the first group was put up before the war.
Of the figure shown for this group, during the period 1916-1920,
the greater part (Es. 2,06,166 out of the total Es. 3,62,166) was
used for the national headquarters building in Calcutta ; the
balance was for the Anglo-Indian branch of the Calcutta Associa-
tion. The building period for the centres in the second group
really started in 1916, although Madras owned a structure costing
Es. 1,88,513 as early as 1900. These Associations acquired the
bulk of their property between 1916 and 1925. As far as the
Mofussil centres are concerned, two building periods are indicat-
ed ; one between 1911 and 1920 and the second since 1926. The
amount spent on the village Associations is not large and was
made chiefly during the years 1911-1915 and again since 1926.
The expenditure for army buildings took place during the war :
the sum of Es. 1,57,915 shown for the period 1926-1930 was for
the Simla Association which is only partially planned for army
The following figures indicate the proportion of the total
property acquired an each five-year period :
1896-1900 .. .. 9.9
1901-1905 .. ..12.2
1906-1910 .. .. 4.5
1911-1915 .. ..23.5
1916-1920 .. ..22.8
1921-1925 .. ..11.9
1926-1930 .. ..15.2
As previously noted in this report, the above percentages clearly
indicate that the decade 1911-1920 was the most active period
of building construction in the history of the Indian movement.
Nearly half (46 . 3 per cent) of the present equipment was acquired
at that time. This is especially noteworthy since the period
includes the four years of the Great War, when conditions gene-
rally were very unsettled. The years 1921-1925, on the other
hand, represent a relatively quiescent period. This was a parti-
cularly difficult time, as will be apparent from the discussion to
follow. The only building of any consequence to be erected was
the large central plant at Colombo. In conclusion, it will be
interesting to note the proportionate distribution of the total
property among the several groups of Associations, in each five-
year period, as may be done in the following table :
Percentage Distribution of Buildings and Equipment among
Groups of Associations by Five-Year Periods.
First Second Mofussil Village Army
Group Group Group Group Group Total
Percent. Percent. Percent. Percent. Percent. Percent.
. . * *
The funds, with which the Association's buildings were
erected, are analysed according to source in the following table.
Unfortunately the data available did not always reveal the
necessary detail. The classification " Other Sources " includes
gifts from interested individuals outside the locality, money from
the sale of old property, debentures, and in a few cases gifts from
other foreign Associations than those listed. It is felt, however,
that the record is sufficiently complete to convey the essentials
in the situation.
Total Building Funds Analysed according to Source.
Es. Per cent.
Local Contributions .. 9,76,474 or 23.2
Government Subsidies .. 4,85,364 11.5
Indian National Council .. 1,84,500 4.4
English National Council .. 2,72,565 6.4
International Committee .. 15,10,922 35.8
Other Sources .. .. 7,86,904 18.7
Total ..42,16,729 or 100.0
The situation within each group of Associations is given below in
percentage form :
Total Building Funds Analysed according to Source and
Groups of Associations.
First Second Mofuasii Village Army
Group Group Group Group Group
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
Local Contributions .. 27.3 22.1 19.9 22.3 12.1
Government Subsidies .. 14.1 18.4 2.7
Indian National Council 0.9 3.0 19.1 34.7
English National Coun-
cil . . 14 . 8 .... .... .... ....
International Committee. 27.7 41.2 63.2 21.8 9.1
Other Sources .. 16.1 17.4 11.2 34.8 44.1
Total .. 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
As was to have been expected, the Associations that derived
the largest proportion from local contributions are the strong
centres in Calcutta, Bombay and Eangoon. Government subsi-
dies have been granted to only the larger Associations, those in
the second group having received a greater proportion. The
English National Council has made its building contributions
exclusively to the three leading Associations. It is interesting
to note that, while the North American International Committee
has given the Associations in the first group more than a quarter
of their building funds* it has financed the buildings in the second
group to the extent of 41 . 2 per cent, and in the Mof ussil towns,
to the extent of 63.2 per cent, of their respective totals. The
English National Council has not sent any funds for buildings
to India since 1915 ; the International Committee, on the other
hand, has contributed the major portion of its gifts for this
purpose since that date.
The two preceding tables indicate that the largest sources
for building funds have been local contributions and the North
American International Committee. It will be interesting to
study the proportions derived from these sources by the several
groups of Associations, in each of the five-year periods. The
following table presents the facts regarding the local contribu-
Proportions of Building Funds derived from Local
. * *
> * *
Prior to 1911, the construction of buildings was confined to
the Associations in the first group and to Madras, among those
in the second group ; it will be seen that the trend was in the
direction of greater proportions of funds from local contributions.
Between 1911 and 1920, most of the buildings in the second group
and in the Mofussil towns were erected, as well as many of those
owned by the three leading Associations. It will be noted that
the proportions derived from local contributions have been on
a diminishing scale, after an original rather high figure. This
is largely due to the fact that very much more expensive build-
ings have been put up since 1911 than was true before that time.
While the local contributions secured in the leading cities and
the Mofussil towns have been on a diminishing scale since 1911,
in actual rupees, this has not been the case for the Associations
in the second group. As far as the latter are concerned, the sums
received in the periods 1916-1920 and 1921-1925 were approxi-
mately the same and each more than double the amount secured
during 1911-1915. The significant fact remains, however, that
instead of erecting buildings within the limits of even growing
local resources, these Associations have preferred to put up more
expensive structures with greatly increased outside aid.
In the following table the facts are presented in the same
form with respect to the contributions of the International Com-
Proportions of Building Funds derived from the
Village Army T . ,
Group Group lotal
Percent. Percent. Percent.
. . . ..
56.2 10.3 55.4
This table supplements the information on the preceding one
and clearly establishes the point that the Indian Associations
have depended on North America for their building funds in
greatly increasing proportions, especially since 1915. In actual
rupees, the contributions have been as follows, for the period
1911-1915 .. 3,13,168
1916-1920 .. 4,03,416
1921-1925 .. 2,51,131
1926-1930 .. 5,51,694
The two tables together indicate that the International Com-
mittee has helped to put up buildings, particularly in the centres
of the second group and in the Mofussil towns, that were well
beyond the means of the local constituency. This is especially
to be regretted in the former instance, because local contribu-
tions were on the increase in these centres, as already indicated.
But while local contributions increased from Bs. 40,000 to
Es. 84,255, during the period 1911-1925, the corresponding in-
crease in the gifts of the International Committee was from
Es. 15,000 to Es. 2,00,000. It was only to be expected that fi-
nancial difficulties would be the inevitable result by such a state of
affairs. The matter of upkeep and maintenance, once a building
is erected, is an additional question that calls for careful study
before such an undertaking is launched. The present financial
situation in the local Associations, which has resulted primarily
from their buildings, will be discussed in detail in a later section
of this chapter.
D. THE NATIONAL COUNCIL.
1. Sources of Income.
The main sources of income for the National Council are
indicated in the following table, for every other year, during the
period 1900-1928 :
Sources of Income and the Total Expenditure
of the National Council.
It should be said at once that, owing to the way in which
the records are kept, it was not possible to separate out from the
" Other Sources " the contributions of the International Com-
mittee prior to 1920, or any of the contributions from the English
National Council and other foreign movements. That the Indian
National Council had received revenue from these movements,
however, is acknowledged in the Convention Report for 1920.
" Prior to the outbreak of the War, the National Council
secured its funds from local Associations, grants from a few
bodies in India in recognition of services rendered, grants
from foreign Councils and Committees, and private sub-
scriptions secured by personal solicitation." (p. 23.)
ITI_ J. rt l
"Steady and most generous support came (during the war
period) from foreign Association Movements, especially the
English National Council and the International Committee
of North America. On March 1st, 1916, the English National
Council began giving a grant of a thousand pounds per men-
sem, later increased to two thousand pounds, besides which
it carried a large amount of expenditure for Indian troops
in France, and sent various special gifts to India from time
to time. The International Committee contributed $ 2,000
a month, from January 1916 for two years, then increas-
ing the amount to % 6,000. It also gave a special grant of
$ 250,000 in July, 1919, toward the expenses of work among
Indian troops." (p. 24.)
Perhaps the most striking thing in the above table is the
total derangement during the war of the trend in the contribu-
tions received in India. This international catastrophe upset
the Association's finances completely. The movement was called
upon to handle an extensive emergency programme, at a time
when it was undergoing its greatest development in the regular
work. Because of the need for united and quick action, during
these years, the financial affairs and general control of the entire
movement, both local and national, were put into the hands
of the National Council. Instead of conducting individual
financial campaigns, therefore, as had been the practice before,
the local Associations joined the national organization, and all
together went before the public for funds. The situation is
described in the Convention Eeport for 1920 as follows :
" On the outbreak of the War, it was decided to make a
special appeal for the Army Work, separate from the civilian
funds, and during 1914 and 1915 this was carried out. Cer-
tain grave difficulties arose, however, with this plan. It
separated the emergency from the regular work so decidedly,
and so much effort for army funds had to be spent by those
responsible also for the administration of the Civilian Work,
that it seemed essential to find some more satisfactory
method. This was made all the more necessary by the need
of local Associations to keep their own regular activities
going, and a wide canvas for Army Work funds soon showed
that very serious results might come thus to the various local
Associations. After much consideration, therefore, the
principle of the Joint Financial Campaign was adopted, by
which the local Associations and the National Council pooled
the amounts they needed for their respective budgets, under
all heads, and approached the public jointly for the entire
sum." (p. 23.)
By 1924, these special war-time arrangements had been
given up ; it will be seen that the local Associations were able to
make substantially larger contributions to the National Council
after the war, albeit on a steadily diminishing scale than had
been the case before that time.
The contributions from individuals increased in the main,
it will be noted, until the war period. In 1916, a striking increase
took place, which was nearly doubled two years later. The eight
lakhs of rupees, in 1916, and the nearly sixteen lakhs, in 1918,
bear eloquent testimony to the public confidence of India in the
Association's war service programme. The steady decrease in
contributions, since 1922, on the other hand, is disturbing.
Information is available on the number of Indian and Euro-
pean contributors to the National Council, and of the specific
amounts given by them, for the years 1927, 1928 and 1929. Prior
to 1927 the detail is not recorded. The period covered is how-
ever of special interest because there occurred, in 1927, an attack
on the Y.M.C.A. by another organization, known as the Euro-
pean Association, and an unfavourable effect on public contribu-
tions was expected to result from this action. The facts are
presented in the following table. Attention is called to the cir-
cumstance that the donors here studied contributed to the
National Council only ; the facts for the local Associations are
Contributions to the National Council Analysed by Race and
Size .of Gifts.
1927 1928 1929
Us.*, Indians Europeans Indians Europeans Indians Europeans
The total amounts received within each gift bracket are given
in the next table.
'^ D /o
Gifts received by the National Council Analysed by Size
and Race of the Donors.
1927 1928 1929
Es. Indians Europeans Indians Europeans Indians Europeans
" 11 20
It will be seen that, in 1928, there was a decided falling off
both in the number of donors and in the amounts received, among
Indians and Europeans alike, but more especially among the
former. In 1929, there was a complete rally as far as the Euro-
pean donors are concerned, but an additional decrease among
the Indian donors. It will be noted further that the bulk of con-
tributors, Indian and European alike, make only small annual
gifts of Es. 10 or less. In 1929, as many as two-thirds of the
total number were subscribers in this class. What the process
of money raising means to the National Council, particularly
since the donors are scattered over wide areas of territory, is sug-
gested by this fact. It will be of interest to discover what parts
of the country have been particularly affected by the changes.
This may be gathered from the following table :
Contributors to the National Council Analysed
Total Indian. Total European.
1927 1928 1929 1927 1928 1929
Assam .. .. .. 7 10 5 207 164 189
Bengal .. . . ..12 6 6 115 243 295
Bihar and Orissa . . 47 55 43 155 162 102
Bombay Presidency ..24 10 5 21 12 39
Central India and Rajputana 2 4 1 1
Central Provinces . . 36 . . 42 7 . . 46
Madras Presidency . . 157 120 79 92 84 68
Punjab .. .. .. 89 60 46 84 86 63
Travancore and Cochin* . . 6 . . . . 55
380 261 230 737 751 803
United Provinces . . . . 48 15 14 115 42 53
.Miscellaneous .. .. 14 .. 11 30 .. 29
Grand Total 442 276 255 882 793 885
It will be seen that, with the exception of the considerable
numbers in the Central Provinces and Central India, no net in-
crease is recorded among the Indian contributors anywhere.
Among the European donors, there were slight increases in the
Bombay Presidency and the Central Provinces and a very sub-
stantial increase in Bengal. In view of the fact that the attack
from the European Association took place in Calcutta (Bengal),
it would seem evident that the effects of this hostility were not
very far-reaching. Other considerations probably had far more
to do with the changes recorded. One of the most important
factors was undoubtedly the degree of effort in soliciting made
by the Y.M.C.A. For instance, a special attempt was made,
in 1928, to cultivate the region of the "Dooars " in Bengal, an
area formerly not visited by revenue secretaries. In the Madras
Presidency, on the other hand, the North American secretary
was on furlough, during this period, and the area was accordingly
not cultivated as thoroughly as usual. There are, however, three
very significant facts that emerge from the above figures. In
the first place, while there were, in 1927, twice as many European
as Indian contributors to the National Council, the ratio in 1929
was 3.5 to 1, in favour of the Europeans. Then, a very definite
relationship is indicated between the number of contributions
received and the effort put forth to get them. Finally, it has
been demonstrated that the Association's revenue secretaries
can go into a new area and cultivate it with good results, even
when the movement is under public criticism.
At the close of the war, the Indian National Council was
faced with the problem of demobilising its army work and re-
adjusting itself to normal times. The great increase in buildings
and equipment which the Associations had experienced between
1911 and 1920, together with the brilliant success of the war
service programme, made the leaders of the 1920 Convention look
forward to the future with optimism and large plans. The national
general secretary was able to secure a special gift of over eight
laMs of rupees, in 1920, with which the National Council paid
off its war deficits and established a working capital of two lakhs
for its regular work.
The period of 1920 to 1924 represents the most trying time
in the history of the Y.M.C.A. in India. Despite the optimism
of 1920, the movement encountered difficulties too complex for
it to master. These are set forth, to some extent, in the Conven-
tion Eeport of 1923 :
" The Convention (of 1920) saw an Association Movement
at the crest of a great wave of a universally appreciated enter-
prise of service, with a far-flung network of activities, and
saw also a wide public who were joyously participating in
those activities and looking to our Movement for large and
varied services, which they were willing to support financially.
The work of the Calcutta Convention (1920) reflects an
attitude in the minds of the leaders which bears little corres-
pondence to the actual history of the three years which followed
it. The causes are not far to seek. Like the rest of the world,
India had to experience an unprecedented depression of
business, which had a much greater and much more sudden
effect than was anticipated on the Association's revenue,
and consequently on its staff. But more, the course of
public events in India took on revolutionary aspects, and
their various currents necessarily brought a Movement like
ours, which deals with the young manhood of the nation,
opportunities as well as trials which could not have been
anticipated, and for which it was not adequately prepared.
The general course of the triennium may, therefore, be de-
scribed as a struggle on the one hand at continual adjustment
to rapidly decreasing resources, and at the same time at a
determined endeavour to render the best and the most timely
service demanded for the vital interests of the Kingdom in
India." (National Convention Report, 1923, p. 5.)
As already indicated in the preceding chapter, the Secretaries'
Conference of 1922 was the first group " to face seriously the
problem of National Council revenue and to accept responsibi-
lity for it." This Conference authorized the revenue secretary
to appoint an advisory committee of five secretaries (the pre-
cursor of the well-known revenue commission), which should study
the problem of revenue from the point of view of both the local
Associations and the National Council, should guide the revenue
department in forming its policy, and should seek to justify the
Council's budget to the local Associations. The National Council
officially recognized this committee and charged it with making
recommendations to the executive committee of the Council and
to the Secretaries' Conference.
The advisory committee worked out a policy entitled " A
Ratio Plan of Revenue " and also submitted a second memo-
randum on the question of subsidies to local Associations. As
the discussion on these two documents progressed, the necessity
was felt of one body to consider the whole problem of revenue
In all its aspects, including the policy of grants-in-aid to local
Associations, subsidies in foreign personnel, the size of the Coun-
cil's annual budget, methods of raising money, and similar mat-
ters. Accordingly, a revenue commission was appointed to
consist, as finally constituted in 1924, of sixteen members all but
one of whom were professional secretaries.
The revenue commission decided at its first meeting on very
drastic cuts in the budget of the National Council, on the accep-
tance of the ratio plan in general outline, and on a list of local
Associations to receive subsidies for their current budgets. The
executive committee accepted these recommendations practi-
cally in their entirety. At subsequent meetings, the revenue com-
mission worked out the ratio plan in detail. The scheme called
for a classification of the local Associations in order to effect an
equitable distribution of the financial burden. Associations in
the first class were asked to give to the National Council four
annas of each rupee received from the public. Associations in
the second class were asked to give two annas of each rupee so
contributed. A third class of Associations was designated as
" self-supporting " and was required to make no contribution to
the National Council, but at the same time was to receive no sub-
sidy from this body. The Associations in the fourth and last group
were those in need of grants-in-aid from the National Council.
The minutes of the revenue commission record the complete
failure of this ratio plan because of the inability of the Associations
in the first two classes to meet their own expenses with the balance
of their contribution income, after making their payment to the
National Council. The commission was forced to reduce and re-
adjust the assessments every year. The following table indicates
the proportion of its contribution income assigned each year to
the Associations studied by this survey, for the period 1923-1927.
After 1927 the scheme had broken down completely and no as-
signments were made. It should be noted that the classification
of the local Associations adopted by the revenue commission are
not those agreed upon for the purposes of the survey :
Number of Annas of each Rupee of Contribution Income
Assessed from the Local Associations.
1923 1924 1925 1926 1927
Bombay 4 4 3 33
Calcutta ..4 4 3 3 2i
Madras ..4 2 22 2
Bangoon '.. .. 2 2 . 2 2 . .\
may be noted in the following table :-
1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Bombay 6,397 5,913 3,865 2,970 2,227 2,272
Calcutta 7,000 8,831 5,380 5,189 4,026 4,407
Madras 2,763 1,483 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,250
Rangoon 2,000 2,375 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Lahore 700 500 500 500 700 500
Colombo 500 2,600 2,000 2,000 2,000
Coimbatore 25 50
Bangalore 100 225 .. 210
Hyderabad .. 450 365 292 350
Madura 50 65 .. 100 120
Trivandrum 200 80 50 50
Since 1927, the local Associations have been paying simply
what they could without any regular allotment. Similarly, the
grants-in-aid have come to be assigned by special arrangement
of each case rather than according to a ratio plan. By the early
part of 1928, the whole question of contributions from some local
Associations and grants-in-aid to others had become so involved,
and the whole situation so unsatisfactory, that proposals were
made for an intensive restudy of the whole problem. This prob-
lem may be regarded as the most acute with which the National
Council is faced to-day. In the following table are set forth some
interesting facts bearing on the matter :
Financial Relationships of the National Council and
the Local Associations.
Cost of Buildings, etc.
Receipts from local Associations
% * *
The strain of contributing to the National Council experi-
enced by the local Associations is indicated to some extent by the
fact that, while their contributions to the National Council in-
creased nearly three times as much as did the cost of the build-
ings and equipment they acquired during this period, their total
membership actually decreased by quite a substantial amount,
at the same time. The increase in the receipts from local Asso-
ciations comes within 100 per cent of equalling the increase of
the total expenditures of the National Council.
2. Avenues of Expenditure.
As the supervisory agent of all the Y.M.C.A.'s of India,
Burma and Ceylon, the National Council has not only had the
responsibility of making grants-in-aid to such Associations as
could not finance themselves without assistance, but has also
conducted projects of general interest to the movement and
carried on certain programmes of its own. While the income of the
National Council is not specifically earmarked for given purposes,
it is usually understood that the funds received are to be used
more or less definitely for those undertakings that most interest
the donors. In the following table the expenses of the National
Council are classified according to the funds from which they
are expected to be met :
Class " A " ; to be met from the contributions of foreign
Salaries of the National Staff.
Class " B " ; to be met from investments of the National
Department for Eeligious Work.
Class " C " ; to be met from local subsidies and contribu-
Grants-in-Aid to Local Associations.
Class " D " ; wholly self-supporting :
In the following tables, the actual amounts needed for the several
departments, together with the amounts received for their main-
tenance, are given for the years 1922-1929, which represent the
period of post-war readjustment.
Class "A " : Expenditures and Income from Foreign Associations.
Genera] Salaries Rural
1922 36,189 61,074 38,095
1923 33,304 43,437 30,096
1924 26,520 42,606 30,048
1925 32,226 46,943 31,239
1926 35,638 46,254 30,498
1927 30,017 50,149 32,301
1928 20,991 37,412 29,797
1929 26,187 26,883 29,199
It will be seen that the most substantial reductions were made
with respect to salaries and general administration. The ex-
penses of the rural department were cut in 1923, but since that
time have varied only slightly. The amounts spent by the lec-
ture department have been most irregular, from year to year.
Class " B " : Expenditures and Income from
National Council Investments.
The departments in this class require only small annual expendi-
tures and might be grouped together as part of the general office
and miscellaneous expense of the National Council, rather than
as separate projects. The (Indian) staff reductions made neces-
sary by financial difficulties, after 1922, took place largely with-
in these departments. The work of the literature department
is carried on by a foreign secretary ; the religious work has been
entrusted as an additional responsibility to the revenue secre-
tary, likewise a foreigner ; the training department is now under
the direction of the Madras Physical Training School, in the
hands of two physical directors from abroad ; and the building
department has been closed since 1929.
At the risk of burdensome repetition, attention is called to
the fact that the funds obtained by the National Council are in
no way designated by the donors for the purposes here indicated.
The classification was made on the basis of the prevailing under-
standing of how the several funds are used. Thus it is generally
supposed that the money received from "unoccupied" areas
(i.e., where there are no local Associations) is given largely to the
army work, and that the receipts from the stronger Associations
are used for the grants-in-aid required by the others. In the
case of the Government grants, an exception to the general rule
is encountered, for these funds are definitely specified for use in
student work, and particularly for the Indian student hostel in
England. The figures for the Class " C " expenditures are given
in the following table, together with the appropriate sources of
income. The expenses of the revenue department are added to
those of the army work,
Class " C " : Expenditure and Income from Local Sources.
It will be seen that, after substantial decrease between 1922 and
1925, the expenditures for army work have been on the increase
again, during the last four years. The grants to local Associa-
tions, on the other hand, increased up to 1925 and then steadily
declined. The decreased expenditures for student work during
1922-1925 were practically reversed during 1926-1929.
The industrial projects are taken care of by grants made
by the companies whose workers are being served. The Associa-
tion Press is self-supporting.
By way of brief summary of the foregoing material, it may
be said that in a general way the contributions received from
Associations abroad, the bulk of which come from the Inter-
national Committee, are used to pay the expenses of the general
administration of the National Council, of the rural work, and
of the annual deficit on the lecture department. On the other
Local Associations. S2*,^,*
hand, funds are secured in India to cover the cost of the army
work, the student work, and the subsidies to local Associations.
The other items of expenditure are not very considerable.
.The above figures do not, of course, include the additional
subsidies made by foreign Associations to India in the form of
personnel. Exact equivalents in rupees for such assistance cannot
be computed, but it is estimated that the sum of Es. 12,700 per
annum approximately represents the cost to the foreign Associa-
tions of maintaining the average secretary in India. On
this basis, the foreign staff of the National Council, during the
period under consideration, is expressed in terms of rupees, in
the f ollowing table :
Foreign 8taff of the National Council Expressed.
Type of Secretary
Regional . .
Building . .
Lecture . .
Eevenue . .
Training . .
General . .
Eegional . .
Building . .
Eevenue . .
Training . .
Total .. 1,65,100 1,27,000 1,14,300 1,27,000
*Provides his own support.
f * .
One of the secretaries in the above list designated as a regional
secretary is giving his time to the rural area and might possibly
be called a rural secretary.
In concluding this section of the chapter, the following table
is presented in which are indicated the channels into which the
National Council directed its resources, in 1929 :
National Council Disbursement of Resources (1929).
Training and Physical Work
1,66,445 100.0 2,92,100 100.0 4,58,545 100.0
36.3% 63.7% 100.0%
* Includes regional administration and income production.
t The Secretary provided his own support.
It will be seen that the National Council used about a
quarter of its total resources for its administrative expenses, and
another two-fifths were assigned to the local Associations. As
pointed out in part one of this report, however, the relatively
small cash subsidies are made to the smaller Associations, while
the bulk of the personnel subsidy (all but Es. 25,400 in the above
table) goes to the six strongest Associations.
B. THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.
The discussion of the financial situation in the local Associa-
tions will be confined to the five-year period, 1924-1928, which
represents fairly normal conditions after the reorganization in-
troduced by the revenue commission. The study will further-
more be concerned only with those local Associations selected by
the survey for special investigation, and will make use of the same
classification followed in part one of this report. By way of re-
capitulation, it will be in order to reproduce this classification
at this point.
First Group Associations . . Calcutta, Bombay and Eangoon.
Second Group Associations . . Colombo, Lahore and Madras.
Mofussil Town Associations . . Hyderabad, Bangalore, Tri-
vandrum, Coimbatore and
The Associations in the first two groups are the six leading cen-
tres in the T.M.C.A. movement of India, Burma and Ceylon ;
it is felt that the five selected among the smaller units are fairly
typical, as far as general problems are concerned, of this class
of Association as a whole.
1. Sources of Income.
There are three main sources of income common to all three
groups of Associations here studied, namely : public contributions,
membership dues, and earnings in the shape of rentals and fees
for the services offered. The following table will serve to indi-
cate the trend in regard to contributions :
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
First Group .. 87,809 67,101 62,932 51,798 49,068
Second Group .. 25,768 25,543 30,179 27,566 31,757
Mofussil Assns. .. 8,927 7,725 11,346 9,106 9,347
It will be seen that there has been a steady decline in contribu-
tions for the three leading Associations, during this period, a
smaller increase for the Associations in the second group, and
some fluctuation for the Mofussil centres resulting in roughly
the same amounts in 1927 and 1928 as were received in 1924.
For further detail within each group of Associations, reference
is made to the appropriate chapters in part one.
The contributions received from the public come from private
individuals and also from business corporations. In the follow-
ing table, the number of donors in each class is given for every
year, in the period studied, and for each group of Associations :
Donors to the Local Associations.
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Indians .. 296 191 223 245 229
Europeans .. 311 225 265 215 239
Corporations . . 330 229 247 231 239
Corporations . .
Corporations . .
1925 1926 1927
* Includes figures for the Kottayam Association in addition to the five
here regularly studied.
In general, the corporations may be taken as being European,
especially in the leading cities. It will be seen that the greatest
decline, in the first group, took place among the European
donors and especially among the business corporations. Not-
able increases, on the other hand, are recorded for the Indian
donors to the other two groups of Associations. A further analy-
sis of the donors, according to the size of their gifts, will be of
interest at this point.
The situation will be presented first for the Associations in
Calcutta, Bombay and Rangoon.
Individual Donors to the Associations of the First Group
Analysed by Race and 8ize of Gifts.
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur.
Total .. 296 311 191 225 223 265 245 215 229 239
It will be seen that the greatest decreases took place among those
contributing ten rupees and less, and especially so among the
Europeans, and again among those whose gifts ranged from forty
to one hundred rupees, in both groups. The figures for the cor-
poration donors follow: . ;
Corporation contributing to the Association* of the First Group
Analysed by Size of Gifts.
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
125 .. 69 36 51 45 64
26 50 ..94 44 50 56 52
51100 .. 65 51 54 54 55
101250 .. 62 58 57 45 40
251500 .. 19 21 19 19 19
5011,000 ..15 13 12 9 7
Over 1,000 .. 6 6 4 3 2
Total .. 330 229 247 231 239
It will be seen that the corporations represent the large donors
to these Associations and that significant decreases have been
taking place especially in the highest bracket. The total de-
crease noted in the contribution income of these centres, for the
period under consideration, is to be attributed therefore largely
to the decrease in gifts from this source.
Turning to the Associations in Colombo, Madras and Lahore,
the facts are again first presented for the individual donors.
Individual Donors to the Associations of the Second Group
Analysed by Race and Size of Gifts.
Rupees 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur.
Total ..,88 120 226 189 283 177 325 171 291 150
Very remarkable, in the above table, are the substantial increases
in the higher brackets and especially among the Indian donors.
The figures for the corporation donors follow.
Corporations contributing to the Second Group Associations
Analysed by Size of Gifts.
Es. 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
125 . . 31 36 43 42 41
26 50 39 51 53 57 42
51100 . . 15 19 19 21 23
101250 ..5 4 6 8 9
251500 .... 5 62 4
Total . . 90 115 127 130 119
It will be seen that, while the corporations of these cities have
not contributed such large amounts to the Associations as did
the firms of Calcutta, Bombay and Eangoon, no gift being record-
ed higher than Es. 500, they have nevertheless increased in
number, during the period studied, and notably in the higher
brackets. The total increase in contribution income noted above
for these Associations is derived largely, it would appear, from
corporations and Indian private individuals.
Finally, the facts are here presented for the donors to the
Individual Donors to the Mofussil Associations Analysed by
Race and Size of Gifts.*
Rupees 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur. Ind. Eur.
Total .. 153 63 335 43 357 58 371 56 371 53
* Includes figures for the Kottayam Association in addition to the five here
These Associations are clearly supported primarily by Indian
donors ; increases are to be noted for these contributors in all
brackets. Gifts from corporations are received in very small
numbers, by these centres, and with one exception all such gifts
were of Es. 100 or less, during the period studied.
So much for the contribution income. The trend in regard
to membership dues may be studied on the following table :
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
First Group .. 31,705 32,256 30,608 28,195 27,639
Second Group .. 10,933 13,957 20,625 24,309 20,742
Mofussil Associations 4,581 4,586 4,336 5,088 5,251
It will be seen that, while the revenue from this source steadily de-
clined in the leading Associations, the reverse was true among the
other centres and especially among the Associations of the second
group. Further detail on this head will be readily obtained in
the appropriate chapters of part one.
By far the largest single source of revenue for all local Asso-
ciations is the earnings from fees and rentals, in connection with
the regular services. The trends may be studied below :
1924 1925 1926 1927 1928
First Group .. 3,62,420 3,43,863 3,54,109 3,55,409 4,01,268
Second Group . 91,371 1,35,252 1,69,630 1,73,810 1,96,069
Mofussil Assns. 27,564 34,848 75,522 1,01,749 1,49,379
These earnings represent receipts from hostels, restaurants,
educational classes, socials and similar features. Among the
Mofussil Associations, Bangalore and Hyderabad both include
the revenue from their army canteens under this head. While
there is some variation as between individual Associations, as
may be noted in part one, there have been on the whole substan-
tial increases in this category, in all groups. It is of special in-
terest to observe that, while the income from membership dues
has been declining in the leading Associations, during the period
studied, the reverse is true of the income from earnings. This
seems to indicate that the Associations in question are developing
as "service agencies " more than they are as " fellowships ".
Additional sources of income for some of these Associations
are Government grants, endowments, and subsidies from the
National Council. Government grants have been made regular-
ly to the Associations in Calcutta, Bombay, Eangoon and Lahore
(the latter on a diminishing scale), during the period studied,
and somewhat irregularly to the Associations in Hydera-
bad, Madura and Trivandrum. Calcutta and Lahore are the
only Associations with endowments, that of the latter being con-
siderably smaller. Subsidies from the National Council are made
only to the Mofussil Associations.
In concluding this section, the sources of revenue above
discussed will be presented in relation one to another, in the follow-
ing table, in percentage form. The figures are for the year 1928
and are presented separately for each group of Associations. In-
asmuch as the Hyderabad Association derives an unusually large
income from earnings, for this class of Association, the Mofussil
group will be presented in two forms, with and without the
Hyderabad centre, for purposes of comparison.
Sources of Income of the Local Associations (1928).
p Dues .
2. Avenues of Expenditure.
Owing to the fact that the local Associations do not keep
uniform records, the data secured from them on expenditures
are confused and on the whole not very satisfactory. Some Asso-
ciations reporting no outlay under the heads of " Compensation "
and " Commodities " clearly misunderstood the terms, and others
were confused between "Commodities" and "Miscellaneous Ser-
vices." The tables are therefore not very reliable and are not
reproduced in this report. They may be consulted, however,
in the files of the International Survey.
The bulk of expenses for all Associations, as was to have
been anticipated, comes under the head of general maintenance
and salaries. Only the larger Associations make regular contri-
butions to the National Council, as will be recalled from the dis-
cussion of the revenue commission's ratio plan of assessment.
The Associations in Calcutta, Bombay, Eangoon, Madras, Banga-
lore and Hyderabad have been paying relatively substantial sums
in interest on loans, during this period, and the Madura centre
has done so since 1927. All three of the leading Associations,
moreover, are carrying accumulated debts on operating expenses,
and four of the Mofussil Associations are similarly encumbered.
This indebtedness is covered, in the first instance, by overdrafts
on the security of their property and investments, and, in the
second case, chiefly by grants or loans from the National Council.
In 1928, the indebtedness of these centres was as follows :
Calcutta .. .. .. 35,000
Bombay . . . . . . 17,871
Eangoon . . . . . . 15,000
Hyderabad .. .. .. 20,000
Bangalore . . . . . . 2,265
Madura . . . . . . 1,200
Trivandrum . . . . . . 330
According to statements secured from the general secretaries
of these Associations, budgets are regularly prepared in all centres.
The procedure followed is substantially the same in all cases ; the
secretary of the branch or department prepares the first draft
for presentation to the committee ; this body, after scrutiniz-
ing the document, hands it on to the board of directors for final
sanction. Nearly all of the Associations here studied have been
experiencing difficulty in accurately estimating their regular in-
come and expenditure for the subsequent year. All accounts
are, apparently, submitted to a thorough-going audit once a year.
Whenever there is more than one branch in a given city, the ac-
counts are centralized. The six leading. Associations own their
buildings, land and equipment, but the National Council holds in
trust the property of the Mofussil centres. The general secre-
taries, on the whole, reported a favourable attitude on the part
of the community towards the Association's business methods.
In the foregoing discussions of the financial situation of the
Y.M.C.A. movement in India, Burma and Ceylon, the major
facts have been presented with regard to the sources of income
and avenues of expenditure of the National Council and the
local Associations. From these facts there emerge certain im-
portant questions that may be formulated as follows :
What sources of revenue are open to the Young Men's
Christian Association in India ?
What are the conditions necessary for self-support, as
far as both the National Council and the local Associa-
tions are concerned H
What distribution of the contributions from abroad will
be most advantageous for the movement as a whole ?
It is not within the scope of this study to answer these questions,
that being the proper function of the administration of the move-
ment itself. Valuable opinion on this subject will be found in
Appendix B of this report, from persons intimately associated
with the Association's financial problems. This appendix prob-
ably embodies the best informed judgment available on the
THE INDIAN SECEETARYSHIP.
In the present organization of the Young Men's Christian
Association in India, Burma and Ceylon, the employed secre-
tary plays a very important part. That this has not always been
the case will be recalled from earlier chapters of this report. Even
to-day a large amount of work is being done by volunteer, or
honorary, secretaries in the smaller centres. In the towns and
cities, however, and in the work of the national organization,
the employed secretary occupies the place of major leadership.
A study of the problems of this group is accordingly in order.
The purpose of this investigation is to discover such areas
of friction and maladjustment as may exist in the personnel
situation, and to appraise the significance of the secretaryship
to the movement as a whole. A study of this kind must neces-
sarily be confined to broad issues and fundamental policies. It
should also be pointed out that personnel studies are likely to
bring to the surface more criticism and bitterness than the situa-
tion actually warrants. By this process, however, defects in
policy and sources of maladjustment may also be indicated. Cer-
tainly to get at the root cause of personnel difficulties is to dis-
close some of the factors that determine the success or failure of
the organization itself.
In the following table, the trend away from honorary secre-
taries and towards the use of employed officers may be studied :
Trends in T.M.C.A. Leadership.
Honorary Employed Employed Total
Staff Indian Foreign Employed
1891 .. ..35 2 1 3
1892 .. ..41 2 1 3
1894 .. ..69 4 4 8
1896 .. ..60 7 7 14
1899 .. ..107 9 15 24
1901 .. ..116 7 12 19
1903 .. ..82 4 24 28
Honorary Employed Employed Total
Staff Indian Foreign Employed
1905 .. .. 50 4 28 32
1907 .. ..59 16 35 51
1910* .. .... .. .. 60
1920 .. .. 19 153 70 223
1921 .. ..24 91 72 169
1922 .. .. 24f 103 52 155
1923 .. .. 24f 81 47 128
1924 .. ..32 80 45 125
1925 . . 35 84 43 127
1926 .. ..34 80 42 122
1927 .. ..40 SO 38 118
1928 .. ..44 69 33 102
1929 .. .. 48 70 36 106
* Incomplete record.
It will be seen that the number of honorary secretaries
consistently increased between 1891 and 1901. The first period of
Association history in India was clearly one of volunteer leader-
ship. However, from the year 1891 onwards, the employed staff
was likewise on the increase. At this time the Association had
become self-conscious as a national organization and was holding
national conventions regularly every three years. The opinion
is warranted that these employed secretaries, who were giving
their full time to the work, were coming more and more to domi-
nate the policies of the movement. It will have been noted above
that, beginning with 1903, the number of honorary secretaries
declined while the employed secretariat increased enormously.
By 1920, only 19 honorary secretaries are recorded while the em-
ployed officers numbered 223.
The years 1920-1924 were critical ones for the Association
and took heavy toll of the personnel. The Indian employed staff
dropped from 153 to 80, during this period, which represents a
decrease of 52.3 per cent. At the same time there was a drop
from 70 to 45 on the foreign employed staff, or a decrease of 64.3
per cent. These were abnormal years of readjustment after the
war period. Many secretaries had been engaged for temporary
war service and were released after 1920. By 1925, the situation
had about returned to normal. At that time there were 35
honorary and 127 employed secretaries on the staff. Since then,
there has been a slight increase in the former group, and a con-
tinued decrease in the latter group. The financial curtailments
forced upon the movement, at this time, are reflected in this
situation. The financial difficulties of the Associations abroad
are likewise seen in the steady withdrawal of foreign personnel.
While the following analysis of the staff relates to an abnor-
mal period, it does serve to indicate the way in which economic
pressure influenced the readjustment of the Association's affairs.
Racial Composition of the Employed .Staff (1920-1924).
Indians .. ..150 79
Anglo-Indians . . 3 1
North Americans . . 28 24
British .. ..40 20
Swiss . . . . 2 1
It will be seen that, while reductions took place all along the line,
the most drastic cut occurred among the Indian secretaries, and
the second largest cut among the British secretaries.
An interesting development in recent years has been the
fact that other foreign Associations besides those of England and
North America have been sending secretaries to India. During
the period 1926-1928, the movements in Australia, New Zealand,
Denmark and Sweden each sent a representative to serve the
Indian Association. The Danish and Swedish secretaries were
sent to special centres related to the fields served by the mission-
aries from these countries.
On January 1st, 1930, there were 107 secretaries on the
employed staff of the Association, and 43 honorary secretaries.
Of the former, 36 came from abroad and were supported by foreign
movements. The remaining 71 secretaries were Indians, Anglo-
Indians, Ceylonese and a few locally supported Englishmen.
From many points of view, the Indian employed officers number-
ing 55 in all are the most significant group on the staff. This
study is confined to a consideration of their problems only.
B. THE PRESENT INDIAN STAFF.
In August, 1920, after prolonged investigation and study,
the National Council adopted a plan for standardizing the Indian
secretaryship. These rules have guided the personnel policies
of the National Council ever since.
With these regulations in mind, it will be of interest to survey
the present situation among the Indian secretaries. Information,
with varying degrees of completeness under the several heads,
was available for all but five of the present Indian staff.
1. General Characteristics and Background.
The educational attainment of the present staff is given in
the following table :
Education of the Indian Staff (1930).
High School only . . 7
1 2 years of College . . 11
3 4 years of College without
graduating . . . . . . 7
B.A. Degree . . . . . . 18
M.A. Degree . . 6
B.D. Degree . . 1
Of the eighteen holding B.A. degrees, seven had also done some
post-graduate studying without taking advanced degrees. It
will be noted that half of the above group had had less than a
full college education. In this connection, it will be of interest
to compare the present staff with former Indian secretaries, in
ragard to educational attainment. Information is available
on nineteen men who have left the work since 1924, and is given
Education of Former Indian Secretaries.
High School only . . 8
Some College Education . . 1
B.A. Degree . . 5
M.A. Degree . . 2
B.D. Degree . . . . 1
Technical Degrees . . 2
Nearly half the number, it will be seen, had had only a high school
education. While no generalization is warranted from such small
figures, the opinion may nevertheless be hazarded that some col-
lege education tends to enhance a man's chances of succeeding
in the secretaryship.
Nearly two-thirds (65.8 per cent) of the present staff have
had additional formal training in Association methods. Of these,
28.9 per cent were sent to North America for training either in
the Association Colleges or in the local Associations ; the remain-
ing 36.9 per cent have taken courses either at the former secre-
tarial school at Bangalore or at the present school for physical
education at Madras.
Seventeen (the 28.9 per cent above mentioned) of the pre-
sent Indian employed officers went to North America for train-
ing, at the time indicated below :
Period when the Indian Staff Trained in North America.
Between 1910 and 1920 . . 8
1920 1923 .. 4
1923 1926 .. 3
Since 1926 .. 2
Of these seventeen, three have since left the Association. Two are
at present at Dr. Eabindranath Tagore's institution at Santi-
niketan, Bolpur, one being principal of the college and the other
principal of the high school. The third is charity commissioner
in Colombo, Ceylon. Of the fourteen who are still in Associa-
tion work, three are wardens of Indian student hostels in England
and Scotland, five are general secretaries in local Associations,
two are doing welfare work, one is a physical director, one is in
rural work, one has charge of the Association Press book store,
and one is in charge of a branch for boys. The record of these
seventeen men is of practical significance, in. that a considerable
outlay of money was required for their education, and in that
they were sent to North America specifically for training. It
should be said at this point that a number of the other Indian
secretaries on the present staff have had the advantage of foreign
experience, either in connection with war service or as secre-
taries of the English and Scotch hostels for Indian students.
The data on church membership, so far as available, are given
in the next table. It will be seen that, while there is rather a
wide distribution between the various Protestant sects, there is
also a great predominance of Anglicans.
Church Membership of the Indian Staff (1930).
Anglican . . . . 30
Presbyterian . . 4
Lutheran . . 3
Wesleyan . . . . 3
Mathoma . . . . . 2
Methodist Episcopal 2
Baptist . . . . 1
Congregational . . 1
Scotch Episcopal . . 1
No Data . . . . 3
Information is available for thirty-nine secretaries as to their
activities in the church before taking up Association work. Of
this number, twenty-eight had been Sunday school teachers,
sixteen had served as lay preachers, and fifteen had been members
of the church board.
The present age of the Indian staff is given in the following
Age of Present Indian Staff (1930).
Under 30 years . . . . 4
31 35 years . . 5
3640 .. ..19
4150 .. ..6
51 55 . . 4
No Data . . . . 12 .
It will be seen that the modal age group is the later thirties, and
that most of the secretaries are over thirty -five, with a consider-
able proportion over forty. This indicates either that very few
new secretaries are being recruited or else that older men are
being admitted. As will appear later, the first alternative is more
nearly the case, a situation of serious import for the Association.
Information on age at the time of entering the secretaryship was
available for the entire present Indian employed staff, and is pre-
sented in the next table :
Age of Indian Staff on Entering the Work:
Under 21 years . . 4
2125 years . . . . 23
2630 .. ..14
31 35 ,, . . 13
OO ,, . . . JL
It will be seen that most of the secretaries were under twenty-
five when they first entered the work, and that the modal age
group is the early twenties. The mean (or weighted average)
age is between twenty -four and twenty-five. On the other hand,
there was also quite a high proportion that joined the work after
thirty. The latter probably trained first for some other voca-
tion, possibly teaching, and became interested in the Associa-
The record is not so complete with regard to place of birth,
as may be seen from the following table :
Place of Birth of the Indian Staff.
South India and Travancore 22
Bengal . . 5
Punjab . . 4
Bombay Presidency . . 3
Ceylon and Miscellaneous . . 4
No Data . . . . 12
Of special interest is the obvious preponderance of South India
and Travancore as the region from which Indian secretaries are
recruited. This fact is easily understood in view of the strength
of the Christian community, in that part of the empire, and in
view of the many spirited local Associations.
By way of further indication of the background from which
these men came, it will be of interest to consider the vocations
of their fathers. By far the greater number are the sons of pro-
fessional men, and notably of pastors, as may be seen below :
Occupations of the Fathers of the Indian Staff.
Pastors . . . . 12
Teachers . . . . 7
Other Professions . . . . 10
Business Employees 5
Miscellaneous . . 4
No Data . . . . 12
Some information was secured on the vocations followed
by the present staff before they joined the secretariat. The
material is presented in the following table :
Previous Occupations of the Indian Staff.
Teachers . . . . 19
Business Employees . . 9
Students . . 8
Lecturer . . . . 1
No Data . . . . 13
It is interesting to note that, while the educational world is clear-
ly the best field for recruiting, as many as nine (or nearly a
quarter) of the above number came to the Association from busi-
Of special significance is the fact that as many as twenty-
eight of the present Indian staff (71.9 per cent) had been mem-
bers of the Association before taking up the work as a profession.
Twenty-three had taught Bible classes for the Association, and
twenty-four had been lay delegates to national conventions.
Eighteen had served first as honorary secretaries. Others had
been camp leaders, chairmen of committees, or teachers of the
educational programme. Seventeen had lived in Association hos-
tels. These men had thus had considerable contact with the
movement before they actually became employed officers.
2. Conditions of Work.
Significant light on the personnel situation within the organ-
ization will be thrown by a consideration of the length of time
the present staff has been in service. The figures are given below
as of January 1st, 1930.
Length of Service of the Indian Staff.
: 1 5 years . . . . 5
5 : 110 . . . . 6
10 : 115 . . . . 25
15 : 120 . . . . 11
20 : 125 . . 3
The above table clearly indicates that younger men are not being
attracted to the work in the right proportions ; only five of the
present number have served less than five years. As many as
thirty -nine, or nearly four-fifths, of the above group have been in
the work ten years or more. The average term of service is about
The following table is a record of the number of centres
served by most of these secretaries. Changes due to war service
or training are not included :
Number of Centres Served by the Indian Staff.
17 secretaries worked in 1 centre only.
8 ,,2 centres.
55 55 55
2 J) 55 7 55
1 55 55 " 55
5 No Data.
Two general modes of behaviour are indicated by the above
figures. On the one hand there is a considerable group, the
larger numerically, that tends to remain in one Association for a
long time. Seventeen men have served the same organization
since entering the work, and twenty-five have served only one
or two Associations. On the other hand, as many as fourteen
secretaries have been employed by four to eight different centres.
It will be recalled (see preceding table) that no period of service
exceeds twenty-five years in all. The conclusion is warranted
that real cause of maladjustment must have existed in some of
Further light on this problem is shed by the following table,
on which the length of time served in any one Association, exclu-
sive of war service and training, is indicated. From the preceding
tabulation it appears that the forty-five secretaries together served
123 different terms, or periods in one centre. These periods are
analysed below according to their duration :
Periods of Service Analysed by Length of Time Served.
37 periods, or 30.0 per cent of the total, lasted : 6 1 yrs.
8 6.5 1:11:6
13 10.5 1:72
7 5.7 ,,2:12:6
11 9.0 2:73
16 13.0 ,,3: 1 5
22 18.0 5:110
9 7.3 over 10
The average length of service in any one centre rendered by the
group of forty-five secretaries was between two and three years.
Slightly more than half of the terms analysed lasted two and a
half years or less.
In the next table a rough comparison is made between the
range of income of the above forty-four Indian secretaries and a
similar range for nineteen North American secretaries. Accord-
ing to the statement of the senior secretary of the English National
Council, the range of income of foreign secretaries other than
North American would be about the same as that here indicated
for the representatives of the International Committee.
Total Income of Indian and North American Secretaries
Es. Indians Americans
501 1,000 . . 2
1,001 2,000 . . 6
2,001 3,000 . . 9
3,001 4,000 . . 9
4,0015,000 .. 2
5,001 6,000 . . 7
6,001 7,000 . . 4 1
7,001 8,000 . . 3 1
8,001 9,000 . . 1
Carried over 43 2
Es. Indians Americans
Brought forward 43 2
10,00111,000 . . .. 3
11,00112,000 ,.1 1
12,00113,000 .. .. 2
14,00115,000 .. .. 1
15,00116,000 .. .. 4
16,00117,000 .... 3
17,00118,000 .. .. 2
Over 18,000 .... 1
It will be seen that, while the income for the middle fifty per cent
of the Indian secretaries ranged from Es. 2,000 to Es. 6,000, the
income for the corresponding group of North Americans ranged
from Es. 10,000 to Bs. 16,000.
There has been a " Secretaries Provident Fund " in operation
since 1923 and open to all secretaries on the regular cadre.
Forty-six members of the Indian staff now participate in the
arrangement. The plan calls for an annual payment of 6 per
cent of a member's salary each from the secretary himself and
from the employing body. At the age of fifty-five, the secre-
tary is entitled to the full amount standing to his credit with
interest. If he leaves the work before attaining that age, the
amount due to him is determined by a series of rules covering all
D. ATTITUDES OF THE INDIAN STAFF TOWARD THEIR WORK.
Thirty-two of the Indian secretaries filled out a question-
naire dealing with the satisfactions and dissatisfactions of their
work. Among other things, they were asked to rate eight items
pertaining to the secretaryship on a scale of six points, ranging
from "very unsatisfactory " to " very satisfactory ". The com-
posite answer was as follows :
Chances for personal growth . . . . Fairly satisfactory.
Chances for professional development . . Fairly satisfactory.
Chances to participate in the work . . Satisfactory.
Chances for education . . . . Fairly unsatisfactory.
Chances for leisure, recreation, etc. . . Fairly unsatisfactory.
Staff relationships . . . . . . Satisfactory.
Salary situation . . . . . , Fairly satisfactory.
The secretaryship as a profession . . Fairly satisfactory.
It will be seen that the group as a whole considered the chances
offered for participating in the real work of the Association and
the staff relationships to be satisfactory. The chances for per-
sonal growth and professional development, the salary situation,
and the secretaryship as a profession were rated as only fairly
satisfactory, while the chances for education and recreation were
thought to be fairly unsatisfactory. There were of course indivi-
duals whose opinion differed considerably from the group opinion
as here stated.
There were on the questionnaire sub-questions pertaining
to each of the main items already listed, which were designed to
elucidate further the secretary's general evaluation. With re-
gard to the first item, nearly all agreed that work in the Associa-
tion definitely contributes something to their personal develop-
ment. They stated that the work took about all the energy they
had, but some added that perhaps it released more energy, on the
whole, than it took. Nearly everyone agreed that they were
better, more alive and bigger persons for being in the Y.M.O.A.
Most of the secretaries seemed to feel optimistic about their
chances for professional development in the Association, but
opinion was divided as to the value of Association experience as
a preparation for other vocations, in case a transfer became
necessary. While most of the secretaries felt they had ample
opportunities for participating in the work, and were conscious of
being a part of the national and world movements, eleven out
of the twenty-eight recording the fact said that they were not
doing the work for which they felt themselves best fitted.
As indicated above, the majority were not very happy about
their chances to keep up their mental development. If they found
any period for study, it was on their own time. They said there
was no provision in their schedules for systematic study and that
the National Council gave them no help in this respect. Similarly,
most of the group indicated that they had very little time to
themselves or for recreation. The work called them away from
home at the times when their families might be together. A good
many said they were so closely tied to their work that they could
not participate in the life of the general community as much as
they would like to.
While the majority opinion indicates that staff relationships
are on the whole good, a number mentioned the fact that they
hardly ever see the national secretaries. A number also report-
ed that they had very little in common, in a social way, with the
foreign secretaries. Nevertheless, the men filling out this ques-
tionnaire did feel that, on the whole, their working relationships
With regard to the salary situation, the comments varied
greatly. Fourteen out of the twenty-eight answering this ques-
tion said they were not satisfied with the present arrangement.
Some of them said the scale itself was satisfactory, but since there
was no pension or adequate retirement fund they felt insecure
about the future. A few mentioned that, though they were on
a definite scale, they had not received the increment due them
because their local Association was in financial difficulties.
Generally speaking, the group was of the opinion that the
secretaryship ranks high among the vocational opportunities
open to Indian Christians, but that the uncertainty of Association
finances introduces an element of insecurity with respect to the
future and to old age. It is possible that the effect of the drastic
staff reductions made necessary after the war is reflected in this
The staff was further asked to estimate their average number
of working hours per week. Eeplies were received from thirty-
seven secretaries. The group average estimate was a working
week of fifty-seven hours, distributed among the following acti-
40 per cent of the time was given to administrative routine,
25 per cent to conference with individuals,
20 per cent to committee work,
10 per cent to study and preparation for the work,
5 per cent to actual class work.
100 per cent.
This is the composite rating for the entire group ; it should, of
course, be emphasized, representing administrative as well as
programme secretaries. The above distribution does, however,
indicate to some extent the proportion in which the Association
makes use of the various talents of its staff.
The secretaries were likewise asked to estimate the distri-
bution of their time according to the people with whom it was
spent. According to the judgment of the group :
40 per cent of their time was spent alone,
20 per cent with members individually,
15 with members in groups,
10 per cent with members of the community as individuals,
10 per cent with members of the community in groups,
5 per cent with their colleagues on the staff.
100 per cent.
One measure of a secretary's contact with the movement as
a whole, not mentioned so far, is his membership on Association
committees. Only fourteen of the forty-three answering this
question indicated that they were serving on any such com-
mittees. Three of these were members of the secretaries pro-
vident fund committee, two were serving on the budget reviewing
committee (the former revenue commission), and one each was
on the secretaries alliance committee and on the boys' work com-
mittee. The other committees represented were in connection
with the local work.
From the foregoing facts and discussions, the following ques-
tions emerge for special consideration :
In whom should responsibility and control be vested for
recruiting, training, placing and transferring the indigenous
What principles should govern the relationship of the
foreign secretary to the present work ?
What principles should govern the standards for the salary
and allowances of the Indian and foreign employed staffs ?
CHAPTER 9. . [
The time, and funds at the disposal of this survey did not
permit any official count and analysis of the present membership
of the Young Men's Christian Association. The following brief
study was compiled from the reports of the national conventions,
supplemented by statements and records from the leading local
Associations. For the period 1910-1920, which included the
emergency war service, no reports are available/
The trend in membership, as indicated in the following table,
shows a fairly steady increase between 1891 and 1910 with rela-
tively little change after that year. The decrease recorded for
1920 was due to the separation of the student Associations from
the city movement, which took place in 1912.
Trend in Membership.
Total Number of
1891 .. .. 1,896 35
1892 . . . . 2,219 45
1894 . . . . 3,793 78
1896 ..- .. 4,600 74
1899 .-. .. 5,265 131
1901 .. .. 6,558 151
1903 .-. .. 6,957 110
1905 .. .. 6,937 108
1907 .. .. 8,502 120
1910 . . . . 12,100 158
1920 . . . . 10,463 242
1925 .. .. 10,759 66
Information is available for studying the individual growth
between 1901 and 1929 of all the local Associations selected for
special attention by this survey, with the exception of Madras.
The material is presented below :
Growth of Membership in Ten Local Associations.
1901 1907 1919 - 1925 1929
Bangalore . . 45 193 444 426 440
Bombay . . 376 550 646 - 821 357
Calcutta .. 471 732 1,489 1,967 2,139
1901 1907 1919 1925 1929
Coimbatore .... 52 97 241 515
Colombo . . 288 .. 377 1,015 1,406
Hyderabad .. 77 70 183 451 485
Lahore .. 73 59 428 532 544
Madura . . 25 28 35 140
Eangoon .. 433 562 968 776 786
Trivandrum .. 55 70 208 215 341
The classification of the total membership is not complete
for all Associations, but enough information is available to indi-
cate the general trend. In the following table the membership
is analysed according to " active " and " associate " classes.
Trend in Active and Associate Memberships.
1910 .. .. .. 12,100
1920 .. .. .. 10,463
1925 .. 2,164 7,270 1,325
It will be seen that the active membership far outnumbered the
associate class between 1891 and 1901, that the two groups were
roughly equal during the period 1901-1907, but that when the
record is resumed in 1925 the associate membership had out-
grown the active group more than three times. The latter
had, moreover, substantially decreased in actual numbers.
The classification by races is more complete, on the whole,
and is given in the next table.
Trend in Racial Composition of the Membership.
Indian, etc. European and No Data
1891 .. 1,074 813 9
1892 .. 1,096 1,057 66
1894 .. 1,935 1,482 376
1896 ... * 4,600
Indian, etc. European and No Data
1899 .. 3,978 1,287
1903 .. 5,379 1,578
1905 .. 3,268 2,313 1,356
1907 .. 5,502 2,729 271
1925 .. 7,130 1,376 2,253
While the European and Anglo-Indian membership has grown
only slightly, during this period, and has apparently been on the
decrease since 1907, the indigenous membership has grown enor-
mously. Some of the Associations that were originally intend-
ed for Europeans are now serving an Indian constituency. This is
especially the case in the Mofussil towns and to a large extent in
Lahore. The data were unfortunately not sufficiently complete
to furnish an analysis according to religious affiliation.
The 1929 membership of the eleven local Associations
especially studied by this survey was analysed more in detail. In
the first table are presented the facts with regard to the length
of time the present members have been in the Association.
Length of Present Membership in Eleven Local Associations
4,572 959 5,531 or 100.0
The fact that over two-thirds of the members studied (68.5 per
cent) have not been in the Association longer than two years sug-
gests a fairly rapid turnover in the group as a whole. No signi-
ficant difference on this head appears to exist between the hostel
members and the ordinary programme participants. The distri-
bution according to age is as follows :
Age of Members in Eleven Associations (1929).
5 10 years old . . . . 85 or 1.6
1115 .. ..419 7.9
1620 . . .. 897 17.0
2125 . ,, .. .. 1,244 23.6
2630 .. .. 1,117 ,,21.2
3140 .. .. 941 17.8
Over 40 .. ..575 10.9
5,278 or 100:0
No Data . . . . 253
It will be seen that nearly half of the group studied were in the
twenties, and more especially in the early twenties. From the
following analysis according to vocation it will be noted that
over half are business employees and students.
Vocations of Members in Eleven Associations (1929).
Business Employees .. .. 1,842 or 35.4
Students (all types) .. .. 1,073 20.6
Business Executives .. .. 781 15.0
Professional Men .. .. .. 721 14.0
Government Officials . ; .. 273 5.3
Artisans and Mechanics .. .. 143 2.7
Domestic Servants and Unskilled
Labourers .. .. .. 104 ,, 2.0
Artists and Journalists .. .. 37 0.7
Unemployed .. .. .. 222 4.3
5,196 or 100.0
No Data . . . . . . 335
It will be recalled from the tables dealing with the income
from membership dues and from earnings in Chapter 7, E, that
while the receipts from dues are decreasing in the leading
Associations, they are on the increase in the other centres studied.
The income from earnings is markedly on the increase in all groups
of Associations. The indication is that people are making use
of the privileges offered by the Y.M.C.A. and are apparently satis-
fied with what they receive ; in the strongest Associations a grow-
ing tendency is evident to regard the Y.M.C.A. as an agency from
which services can be bought rather than as a fellowship to be
There are other indications of the waning significance of
Association membership itself and the growing interest in service
features. As indicated earlier in this chapter, the active member-
ship is now far outnumbered by the associate class. Further-
more, it is at present the practice to make no demands on active
members that are not also made on the associate members. In
former times they were called on to make special pledges concern-
ing their conduct, such as keeping the morning watch, but no such
requests are made now. There is moreover little evidence to show
that active members take their voting privilege very seriously.
The effect on the programme of this change in emphasis has
been marked. Members are left a good deal to themselves while
activities are planned with a wider audience in mind. Association
secretaries are becoming community servants. That the movement
itself is aware of this state of affairs, and questions its value to
some extent, will be seen from the following quotation from the
National Convention Report for 1924-1926 :
" The National Executive would point out to the Conven-
tion that the whole question of membership and its signi-
ficance will have very shortly to be re-examined ; for, in spite
of the increased importance (i.e., numerically) in member-
ship, the non-membership activities of the Association for
quality of work it would appear are still among the best
achievements of the Association. A statement like this
needs explanation before its significance can be appreciated.
"In a number of the local Associations there are activi-
ties, for which the local Boards are responsible and yet which
have no membership features ; these are a form of service to
the community in which the ordinary membership of the
Association does not share. Dr. A. G. Noehren, in his report
on the Physical Department, has pointed out very clearly
that the Physical Directors most of whom are recruited by
the Foreign Committee of the U.S.A. and Canada* for
*This body succeeded .the International Committee in 1925 ; it was a joint com-
mittee of the independent National Councils of the two North American movements.
service in India nave served the local Associations not by
a particular service to the membership so much as by a ser-
vice to the community in general. For example, in the
Bombay Association most, if not all, of the time of the Phy-
sical Director has been given to developing a programme for
physical education among the students in the training col-
leges, or (to) helping the University with the physical educa-
tion of their students .... In some other parts of India, the
local Physical Director has become the chief adviser on
physical education to the Education Department of the local
" In another city in India a secretary, who was set aside
for work in an Anglo-Indian centre, soon was led into the
community itself, and was enabled thereby to devote his
time and his energies to serve that community in a wider
manner than would have been possible if he had devoted
himself to the specific task of administering the particular
centre, of which he was in charge. As we have already indi-
cated, some of these services to the community at large
would appear to be of extreme value, but it has raised the
question and will continue to raise the question as to how
far, in a country like India where doors of opportunity are
opening up in all directions, the Association movement
should confine itself and its workers to a membership pro-
The hostels form an important part of the Y.M.C.A. activi-
ties. They serve to increase the Association membership and
are also a source of income to the organization. But among the
residents there are very few, perhaps ten per cent, who take any
real interest in the programme. From answers to a questionnaire
circulated among hostel residents, it appears that very few attend
the religious services offered. Not one expressed a word of ap-
preciation for them nor felt the need for such activities. One
secretary in charge of a hostel said he had given up the idea of
running a religious programme. On the other hand, almost every-
body apparently makes some use of the facilities for physical
activities. Appreciation was also expressed for the social and
lecture programmes. The feature of the work most often cited for
approval was the opportunity provided for meeting men of
different provinces and countries on a level of equality and
The sum total of the opinion secured, however, indicated, as
noted above, that the hostel membership as a whole was rather
indifferent to the programme offered. This is partly due to the
transient nature of the group, as suggested earlier in this chapter
by the fact that the majority of the present membership have not
been in the hostels for more than a year or two. Another factor
in the situation is the circumstance that the hostels are managed
largely by junior secretaries or young assistants who are not
always the equal of the residents in intellectual attainments.
Under these conditions, the best purposes of the Association can
obviously not be achieved.
THE WOKK OF THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS.
Owing to the restrictions on this survey, in terms of time,
and also to the fact that qualified investigators were not easy to,
secure, no formal study or appraisal were undertaken of the pre-
sent programme in the local Associations. Studies of the major
projects of the National Council are presented in part three of this
report, to follow. In this chapter are brought together briefly
certain considerations that will throw light on the work done in
the local centres.
A. HISTORICAL NOTES.
In the first place, there is valuable insight to be derived
from a study of the historical records. It will be recalled from
earlier chapters that certain well-defined phases are to be dis-
cerned in the evolution of the typical Association. The first
stage has often been called the Bible study period because of the
prevailing almost exclusive emphasis on formal religious activi-
ties. Then followed a period when the curriculum was enlarged
to take account of the individual's full personality. The next
step was to enlarge the range of the Association's field and to
extend the work to include welfare and service projects affecting
Christians and non-Christians alike. The tendency at this stage
was to reach out from the building into the community at large.
Finally, there is at present discernible in certain Associations,
notably Madras, a tendency to shift the emphasis away from
formal instruction towards education through graded social ex-
perience. According to this conception, character is built through
successful experience in associated living ; life in the Association
itself constitutes an education. ,The following brief summaries
of the life history of the representative local Associations will
illustrate the general trend.
The History of an Association in a Leading Port City.
This Association started as a religious fellowship amongst
spiritually minded Europeans. It carried on for twenty years
with an unpretentious equipment and volunteer leadership. Its
active membership at this time was roughly twice as large as the
associate membership. So far as can be deduced from the records
responsibility for the extension and growth of the work rested
on the general membership, led by a few important committees.
The same group controlled the policies of the Association. Dur-
ing this period, branches were established in various parts of the
city and a rather notable extension programme was maintained.
The equipment was limited to a lecture hall and a coffee room.
Finances were taken ^care of from the pockets of the members.
After twenty years, an employed secretary was secured on
full time and he soon began to agitate for a larger building. In
due time such a building was acquired, followed in the course
of years by other buildings and the employment of additional
secretaries. Subtle but real changes occurred in the control of
the Association. The functions of the board of directors increas-
ed in importance and this body caine to be elected less from the
general membership and more from the large interests of the city.
Government and municipal officials were chosen, for instance,
as well as representatives of the city's business and industrial
life, and other leading citizens of the same calibre. The clergy-
men on the board were made honorary vice-presidents of the or-
ganization. Furthermore, the budget increased in size, and finan-
cial support was secured less from the members and more from the
general public. The associate membership grew to equal the
active class, which in turn increased only slightly during this
time. One gets the very definite impression tha.t active member-
ship came to mean less and less, and that control went by default
to the employed staff and the board of directors. The Associa-
tion at this stage was primarily an educational institution and
only secondarily a fellowship. There was an emphasis on equip-
ment and such features as can be served by equipment. The
success of the work was tested by the numbers brought to the
The second period lasted approximately until the war years
of 1914-18: Certain developments took place during the actual
war period that left, the Association a different organization when
it was over. The'Y.M.C.A. then began to call itself a service
agency and to send its employed officers out from the buildings
into the communitv. The Association movement now became
largely identified with the personnel of trained experts in physical
education, community service and welfare work, who were fur-
nished on request to the government, to business corporations
and to public institutions, or who were sent into ^ given neigh-
bourhood to work for social betterment. The key to service
was the need of the community. The necessary funds were fur-
nished by the government and the general public, and secured
by the board of directors now chosen quite largely for their ability
to secure the desired backing for the trained staff. At this time,
the Association established five community centres and adver-
tised its work as part of a world-wide community service. Active
membership had become quite ineffective ; only insignificant
sums were received in membership contributions. The term
" member " was applied to those individuals who had come
together to receive the services of the staff ; they were the bene-
ficiaries of the programme. This period may be characterized as
the stage of social service under the leadership of trained secre-
The third stage in the development of the Association under
consideration has not been superseded by any newer practice.
The life of the organization, as a matter of fact, is visibly becom-
ing weaker. One branch is facing dissolution for lack of moral
stamina, another is in financial straits, and the constituency of
a third is dwindling. Fellowship appears to be at a very low ebb.
This particular Association exhibits very little courage in the face
of opposition from certain community groups. Only slight
financial and moral support is secured from the membership at
large. The basic difficulty appears to lie in the fact that the As-
sociation is trying to do social work but is not itself a socially
significant entity. It tries to teach what it cannot exemplify
and is limited by the moral neutrality of its own members.
The History of an Association in one of the Cities
of the Second Group.
This Association was founded expressly to meet the spiritual
loneliness of young Europeans away from home. In the words
of one of the annual reports, the original hope was that " by
God's grace it might be used to secure Christian fellowship and
kindly interest between those who love the same Master." The
organization functioned for nearly twenty years with very little
equipment and with volunteer leadership. The programme was
almost entirely religious in nature and for the immediate benefit
of the founders and members themselves. In fact, one of the
conditions of membership was attendance at certain Bible read-
The original life impetus of this Association had worked it-
self out after roughly twenty years and the work was closed.
Within a year, however, it was reopened under new management
and with a new purpose. The organization was then carried on
primarily for the Indian population and put into the hands of an
employed officer from abroad. Between this time and the war
years occurred the institutional development typical of the Asso-
ciation movement as a whole. The four-fold programme was in-
troduced, buildings were acquired, and branches developed in
various parts of the city.
After the war period the Association continued to develop
primarily as an educational institution rather than as a social
service agency. It attained an advanced stage of Indianization,
in regard both to lay leadership and financial support, and its
employed staff became dominantly Indian. This Association
is noted for its active student work and also for its programme for
boys, as well as for the more ordinary features of the typical As-
sociation programme. A significant development in very recent
times has been the emphasis on racial and religious tolerance.
Hindus, Moslems and Christians alike are admitted to the boys'
camps, for instance, where religious services are conducted both
for the entire group together and for the followers of each faith
separately. To quote another annual report :
" As a Christian Association, the T.M.C.A. is firmly loyal
to its Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, and to the Way of Life
as taught by Him. But without, deflecting in any way from
its fundamental loyalty to Him, it stands for a broad-minded
policy of tolerance and mutual respect for each other's point
B. PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE WORK op THE LOCAL ASSOCIA-
Group and individual interviews wore secured all over India,
by the survey staff, on the general subject of the work and func-
tion of the local Associations. Some 200 people, representing
the Associations and also the several communities, participated
in the group discussions, which are briefly summarized below :
Question No. 1 : " What is the most useful and valuable thing
about the T.M.C.A. in your community f "
Answers received in the leading port cities :
The programme in physical education . . 5
It promotes internationalism . . . . 2
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
It promotes inter-communal friendship . . 3
It is a non-proselytizing institution . . 2
It promotes internationalism . . . . 2
It provides an opportunity for social ex-
perimentation . . . . . . 2
It spreads the Christian outlook on life . . 1
The hostels . . . . . . . . 1
The programme in physical education . . 1
It furnishes club life inexpensively . . 1
It is a non-political institution . . 1
It has a big building . . . . 1
It stimulates the community because it
is a new venture . . . . 1
The personal work with individuals . . 1
Answers received in the Mofussil towns :
It acts as a town social centre . . 4
It promotes inter-communal friendship . . 2
It promotes internationalism . . . . 2
The rural work . . . . . . 1
The programme in physical education . . 1
Its freedom in social experimentation . . 1
Answers received in rural Travancore :
The work in religious evangelism . .. 15
It promotes inter-denominational friend-
ship . . . . . . 4
It promotes inter-communal friendship . . 2
It furnishes a platform for lecturers . . 2
The programme in physical education . . 2
It organizes small religious groups . . 1
It spreads the Christian outlook on life . 1
It promotes internationalism . . . . 1
It keeps the children out of mischief . . 1
The Sunday schools .. ... . . 1
Quite striking in the above analysis is the recurrent emphasis
on the Association's function as an agent of reconciliation. While
certain programme features are praised more in some parts Of the
country than others (this is notably the case with respect to the
religious work of the Travancore village Associations), the bulk
of the answers from all over the country have to do with the way
in which the Association cuts across social barriers of one kind
or another. In the port cities, where perhaps significantly little
was offered in praise of the movement, it was at least given credit
for being to some extent international. In the cities of the second
group, the term used most often was " inter-communal " ; in the
Mofussil towns the Association was thought of as a " community
centre " ; in rural Travancore the emphasis was on " inter-deno-
minationalism " and " inter-communal friendship ". Every-
where, moreover, much the same idea is to be noted back of the
praise for the Association's ability as a social pioneer and for
its purpose of spreading the Christian outlook on life.
Since the Madras Association represents the place where the
principle of reconciliation has perhaps so far received the greatest
development and expression, the testimony of some of the friends
and members of this Association will be of interest at this point.
"I consider the striking and enduring contribution of
the T.M.C.A. to be two-fold :
1. It shows that the Christian spirit must of necessity
express itself in love and service, apart from any question
of response from society. The Christian filled with the love
of Christ is attracted to the suffering, the needy, to the
lovable and the glorious, even if a single soul is not con-
verted. Christian life operates without a thought to the fruit
or returns. This aspect of Christian life appeals to the Hindu
who is taught to appreciate, in the Gita, ' unmotivated love
and work '.
2. The T.M.C.A. disarms the persistent suspicion against
proselytising movements, that behind all philanthropy of
the Christian Church is the one predatory motive of captur-
ing men for the community and for the church. The
Y.M.C.A. does not preach Christ in ' words ' nor engage
in invasions of non-Christian society. It spreads Christ
by contagion, by living a free, natural, spontaneous Chris-
tian life with others. There is a Christianity of which the
symbol is not an angler's rod or fisherman's net. That
Christianity India needs and the Y.M.C.A. gives.
" I have been a member of the Y.M.C.A. for over fifteen
years and a member of the hostel for over ten years. I have
also taken part in the activities of the Association through-
out. I did not join the Y.M.C.A. with an extraordinary
expectation of what the Y.M.C.A. can do for men like myself,
No one is, however, more surprised than myself when I find
that the services that the Y.M.C.A. renders to the young
men in the city are far more than what I expected it to be
capable of doing. The Y.M.C.A. has been regarded as a
foreign institution, in this country, and in these days of grow-
ing nationalism all institutions that have a foreign origin are
looked upon with a certain amount of prejudice and suspicion.
I decided not to look at the activities of the Association with
prejudice, and that helped me to form a correct estimate
of what the Association has done for the country. It has
been a powerful factor in cementing the bonds of fellow-
ship between the various communities, in this Presidency,
and has helped them to cultivate a spirit of brotherhood in
the true sense of the term. One of the reasons why it suc-
ceeded in enlisting the sympathy and support of the men
of other religions and races appears to me to be the fact that
it avoided the narrowness and formalism connected with
orthodox Christianity, and at the same time it held true to
the fundamental principles of Christianity, such as love,
service, etc. It did not attempt to promote evangelism and
thereby create, in the minds of men of other religions, a
sense of fear. By the adoption of this policy, it has won the
support and co-operation of young men of other religions,
and has helped them to appreciate Christ better. I am
thankful to the T.M.C.A. for the very great services it has
rendered to men like myself, and for forgiving whatever
ingratitude they may have shown toward the Association.
" All religions, in their pure essence, may not differ in their
spirit or tendencies, but the teachings of Christ are within
easy grasp of an average man, who often lacks the acumen
to predicate his God and the value of his life through the
intricate rituals and doctrines that abound in some other
religions, such as Hinduism. To him the T.M.C.A. is a
source of healthy influence, inasmuch as Christ's ideals are
made familiar to him without direct preaching or propaganda.
The frank and genial atmosphere of the Association, created
and maintained by successive secretaries with an earnestness
to be of real service to humanity, wins many to sobriety of
purpose and ways of service. It is no mean privilege for any-
body to be associated with the work of the Y.M.C.A., which
is the one and only institution in the city that affords opportu-
nities for cordial and effective service. They that do not
utilize the institution, but by preference or habit spend
their evenings in several clubs, whose tendencies are not
always commendable, are to be pitied.
" The Y.M.C.A. may not have achieved anything very
spectacular, but it has achieved a thing of solid worth and
value. It has helped tremendously to create an atmosphere
which makes it possible for leaders of thought, in the different
religions, to come together on a footing of perfect equality
and intelligent and sympathetic understanding, to discuss
seriously without rancour and animosity questions of the
ultimate values in religious experience. Free from the ob-
session of denominationalism and the prejudices of sectari-
anism, it has succeeded in providing a thoroughly cosmopolitan
platform, where serious-minded persons belonging to any
religion, who possess spiritual experience of value, may dis-
course on the great issues of life. This, to my mind, is the
best contribution of the Y.M.C.A. in this country.
"Christian literature here thirty or forty years ago was
very hostile, almost bellicose, in its attitude towards the
great religions of India. Now there is a great change in
the angle of vision, there is more sympathetic understand-
ing and intelligent appreciation. This change is due to a
great extent to the influence of the Y.M.C.A. movement."
The second question asked in the group interviews had to do
with the main criticisms brought against the local Associations.
The answers were as follows :
Question No. 2 : " What is the chief criticism brought against the
Y.M.C.A. in your community ? "
Answers received in the leading port cities :
The big buildings are too expensive . . 6
The lack of ethical freedom . . . . 5
The hostels are merely cheap rooming
houses . . .... 5
The Y.M.C.A. yields to race prejudice . . 4
The religious work is neglected . . 3
There is no objective . . . . 2
It has lost the European community . . 2
It restricts political discussion . . 1
The boys' work is neglected .. .. 1
The controlling board is out of touch
with the members . . . . . . 1
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
The big buildings are too expensive . . 2
The leadership is too transient . . 2
It encourages the formation of expen-
sive habits . . . . . . 1
It is restricted in political activity . . 1
It violates distinctions of taste . . 1
It has lost the European community . . 1
Too much work for 'natives ' . . . . 1
Answers received in the Mofussil towns :
The Y.M.C.A. is controlled only by
Christians . . . . . . 2
It encourages the formation of expensive
and idle habits .. .'. .. 1
It depends too much on the personality
of the secretary . . . . . . 1
It mixes in politics .. .. .. 1
It restricts discussion on industrial and
political problems . . . . . . 1
The Y.M.C.A. is too expensive . . 1
Answers received in rural Travancore :
The big buildings are too expensive . . 2
Inadequate attention given to rural work 1
The programme has become stale . . 1
It fosters expensive habits . . . . 1
It neglects the religious work . . . . 1
It does not reach out into the country . . 1
It will be seen, in the first place, that there was more criti-
cism in the leading port cities than anywhere else. The criti-
cisms brought against the movement everywhere, furthermore,
fall into two general categories : those that are obviously the
complaints of partisans and that, consequently, may be regarded
to some extent as indirect testimony to the reconciling activity
of the work, and those that question the value of the big build-
ings and their tendency to foster expensive habits.
Several questions were asked in these group discussions that
had to do with the functioning of the Association's machinery.
Since matters of this sort have a direct bearing on the work an
organization is doing, the answers will be introduced at this point.
It will be of interest in this connection to bear in mind the detailed
discussions in the foregoing chapters.
Question IsTo. 3 : " What is the matter with the Secretaryship as
a Profession ?"
Answers received in the leading port cities :
The discrimination in salaries between
European and Indian secretaries . . 5
The lack of equipment for the Indian
staff . . . . . . 3
There is little fellowship between Secre- :
ta.ries. . . ... . . 3
Specialists are not allowed to do their
work . . . .. . . 2
There is no security for the Indian staff . 1
The Indian secretaries are not trained . . 1
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
There is no security for the Indian staff. 5
The prestige of the white secretaries in
the community is harmful to the
Indians . . . . . . 3
The hours are too long ; insufficient re-
creation . . . . . . 3
There is little security for the European
staff . -. . . . . 1
Specialists are not allowed to do their
work . . . . . . 1
There is not enough good fellowship . . 1
Answers received in the Mofussil towns :
The Indian staff is at a disadvantage
because it has to depend on local
subscriptions for its salary . . . . 1
Answers received in rural Travancore :
Specialists are not allowed to do their
work . . . . . . 1
The Indian secretaries are not trained . . 1
The Indian secretaries are subordinated
to the foreign secretaries . . . . 1
The use of honorary secretaries is in-
advisable . . . . . . 1
European secretaries are still needed . . 1
Question No. 4 : " What obstacles are preventing the 'Y.M.C.A.
from becoming Indian or from taking root in the country !"
Answers received in the leading port cities :
The high salaries of the secretariat . . 1
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
The high salaries of the secretariat . . 1
The Indian lack of initiative . . . . 1
No answers were received in the Mofussil towns.
Answers received in rural Travancore :
The inability of the Indians to support it. 3
The big buildings . . . . . . 3
The general public is not aware of it . . 1
The people are not educated up to its
ideals . . . . . . 1
Question No. 5 : " What changes would you advocate in the
organization of the ~X.M.C.A.V
Answers received in the leading port cities :
Decentralization of the National Council. 4
More Indians on the boards of directors . 2
Making the National Council function
more in local communities . . . . 1
Abandon the European work . . . . 1
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
Decentralization of the National Council . 3
Make the National Council function in
the local community . . . . 3
(Maintain the National Council as it is) 2
More Indians on the boards of directors . 2
Decentralization of the local Associations. 1
Answers received in the Mofussil towns :
Decentralization of the National Council . 1
Answers received in rural Travancore :
Decentralization of the National Council . 1
Make the National Council function in the
local community . . . . . . 1
Question No. 6 : " What are the special financial problems of the
Answers received in the leading port cities :
The inability of the Indians to raise
money . . . . . . 1
Answers received in the cities of the second group :
The unwillingness of the Indians to
raise money . . . . . . 2
The inability of the Indians to get money 1
The Y.M.C.A. is not supported enough
by its members . . . . - . . 1
No answers were received in the Mofussil towns.
Answers received in rural Travancore : .
The unwiUingness of the Indians to raise
money . . . . . . 1
There is no Indian secretary for finance 1
The failure to study Indian methods of
financing . . . . . . 1
Indian Christians support a large number
of other causes . . . . . . 1
(Western financial aid is justified
because of the existence of Western
exploitation) . . . . . . 1
C. OBSERVATION AND APPRAISAL OF THE FOURFOLD PROGRAMME
BY THE SURVEY STAFF.
The following brief comments are based on visits, extensive
conversations, and the returns from questionnaires to members.
They are not offered as thorough-going studies but simply as
suggestions, for what they may be worth.
The so-called four-fold programme still appears to be the con-
scious policy of most local Associations, but there is evidence
that enthusiasm for it is on the decline. The real driving force
appears to be elsewhere. This is particularly the case, perhaps,
in the Associations of the second group in Madras, Colombo
and Lahore where the four-fold work is in a more flourishing
condition and is more extensively patronized than in most Associa-
tions, but where the vitality of the organization is increasingly
finding expression in the new emphasis on education through the
experience of group reconciliation and associated living. Brief
statements on the several aspects of the programme will be in order
at this point.
Educational Worlc. Programmes in this field are of two kinds.
There are formal classes in commercial and related subjects, which
are a source of income to the Association, and which are appar-
ently meeting a real need of the community. In addition, tne
average Association offers to its members the opportunity to hear
speakers, often distinguished visitors from abroad, lecture on
various topics usually of an inspirational or cultural nature.
These lectures seem to be very much appreciated especially by
older men. But there is room for more informal education of this
kind on a more systematic basis. At present, lectures are seldom
arranged in series nor are forum discussions much encouraged.
The choice of topics is often rather opportunistic and determined,
more than anything else, by the chance availability in the city
of men whose names have publicity value. The suggestion is
offered that, in this field of informal education by well-planned
lectures and discussions, the Association has a real opportunity
and one more closely related to the fellowship aspect of the move-
ment, to its function as an agent of reconciliation, than are the
formal classes of a vocational nature.
Physical Work. It will be recalled that this department
came in for considerable favourable comment in the group dis-
cussions. It is perhaps the most popular aspect of the whole
programme, as far as the membership is concerned. Towards even-
ing, in almost every local Association, the courts are full of young
men taking part in games of one sort or another. Most of the
Associations were found to be well equipped for indoor exercises,
but many have no secretaries in charge of the work. There are
physical directors at Bangalore, Calcutta, Coimbatore, Colombo,
Madras and Rangoon, but their activities are largely confined
to the general community and very little, if anything, is done
for the members at the buildings.
Religious Work. The programme under this head consists of
Bible study circles, discussion groups, Sunday meetings, and
special lectures. The latter have already been commented upon
under the head of educational work, and are the only popular
items on the list. The other activities are not well attended.
Some secretaries report that they have given up Bible classes and
religious programmes because of the indifference of the members.
Social Activities. This is a popular and very important part
of the Association programme. By means of picnics, dinner parties,
dramatics and other pleasant social occasions, individuals of
differing races and religions can be, and often are, brought
together in good fellowship. Members and other volunteers are
offered opportunities for social service through the Association's
programme of night schools, evening classes, and lantern lectures
in outlying villages, or through hospital visitation and similar
THE WORK OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE
YOUNG MEN'S CHEISTIAN ASSOCIATION
INTRODUCTION TO PAET III.
The major projects now being conducted by the National
Council of the Y.M.C.A. of India, Burma and Ceylon are in phy-
sical education, rural reconstruction and social welfare work.
There are in addition departments dealing with literature and
publications and with lectures, in India, and the important work
for Indian students in London. In the following chapters are
presented reports by experts on the programmes in physical educa-
tion and social welfare. A similar report on the project in rural
reconstruction was necessarily too extensive for inclusion here.
It accompanies this report in a separate volume. Less formal
accounts of the remaining activities of the National Council will
be found after the report on the work in social welfare.
It will be of interest to introduce, at this point, the remarks
of a distinguished friend of the Indian movement. Sir Ewart
Greaves, member of the British" delegation to the League of
Nations, former president of the National Council of the Y.M.C.A.,
and generally prominent in the affairs of Calcutta, observed that,
in his opinion, the greatest achievement of the Indian Y.M.C.A.'s
consisted in their technical ability in developing recreation for
the individual through Association activities and through civic
playgrounds. When the city of Calcutta planned its system
of public playgrounds, it had been obliged to turn to the Y.M.C.A.
for an outline because no other organization knew how to do such
work. The training school in Madras was the key to the further
development of Association activity in this field. A second line
of successful endeavour, according to Sir Ewart, was the project
in rural reconstruction. " Cities in India are an excrescence,"
he observed; "the basic life of India is in the villages." The
government's educational system had helped people get out of
the villages but had not helped the villages themselves. In
attempting to meet this problem, under the leadership of Mr.
K. T. Paul, Sir Ewart felt that the Y.M.C.A. had embarked upon
an enterprise which deserved every encouragement, and to the
possibilities of which there were no limits.
THE PROGRAMME IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION.
A Y.M.C.A. LEADER'S EVALUATION OF THE PROGRAMME
IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION.
With reference to the Indian Y.M.C.A.'s work in physical
education, it must be said that only those local Associations have
done anything worth while in this field that have had foreign
physical directors on their staffs. We are just making a begin-
ning with Indian physical directors. At present I would say that
Madras, Calcutta, Rangoon, Lahore, Colombo, Bangalore and
Coimbatore are the only Associations doing real work in physical
education. Of these, Calcutta, Colombo and Bangalore now
have Indian physical directors j Rangoon has a foreign physical
director ; Madras has both an Indian and a foreigner on its staff
for this work ; and at Coimbatore the Indian general secretary
has also been trained as a physical director. In any case, whether
the Associations now have, or have had, either type of leadership,
the major portion of the work has been for the community at
large and very little, if any, exclusively for Y.M.C.A. members.
As a matter of fact, if both types of work are to be done, and they
should be, the local Associations will be obliged to employ two
men, one for developing a programme in the building, and another
for community service.
The greatest contributions which the Y.M.C.A. has made in
the field of physical education, in India, have been in the service
rendered to the several governments in developing programmes in
schools and colleges throughout entire provinces ; in introducing
the idea of public playgrounds and getting them started in
various cities ; in training indigenous leadership to carry on these
various activities ; in launching the Olympics and giving an
impetus to the "play for everybody" programme ; in establishing
scientific physical education in the country; in improving the
standard of performance and of sportsmanship ; in giving dignity
to the profession of physical education ; and in placing a Chris-
tian emphasis on competitive activities.
Our mistake has been, and still is, in depending too much
upon foreign personnel. Our local Associations must come to a
realization of the value of strengthening the physical work for
their members. This they must do both by employing Indian
physical directors and by raising the necessary funds for it. Com-
munity service must also be continued but likewise under Indian
leadership, paid for by the Y.M.C.A. with the assistance of liberal
grants from municipal and provincial governments. The school
of physical education at Madras must be continued to meet the
growing demand for trained leadership throughout this large
country, but it must be improved to such an extent that it will
no longer be necessary for Indians to go abroad in order to pre-
pare for work as physical directors.
The physical work of the T.M.C.A. in India has, from its
inception, held a prominent place in the Association's develop-
ment. The assumption back of the work from the start was that
the great mission to India, in this field, lay in trying to present
the Christian interpretation of the body to non-Christian Indians,
rather than in simply building a department into the Association
movement and thus completing the triangle. It has therefore
never been restricted by the usual departmental regulations or
by membership limitations. Physical directors have always
aimed at the interpretation of their ideals, and at the exploitation
and advancement of them, in the widest possible field. From the
first, they have always enjoyed official or semi-official contacts
with the government, through the departments of education
and other departments, and have found through this means a
wide and fertile field for the exemplification of their ideas and the
demonstration of their methods. By making demonstrations
in schools, by training teachers, by writing text-books, by planning
programmes, by advice and guidance in official circles, as well as
by developing and conducting physical education programmes in
the buildings of local Associations, we believe that we have had a
real part in awakening India to a partial realization of her physical
needs, and in pointing the way to a programme for national physical
regeneration which carries with it an additional value in building
character, and which is a really new thing in Indian life as we
This consideration of the work will be divided into three
sections, dealing with the pioneering stage of 1908-1919, with the
period of stabilization between 1920 and 1929, and with some
suggestions to govern future policy.
1. The Period of Pioneering (1908-1919).
: The first ten years were frankly experimental years and the
work was promotional in character. To say that we were emi-
nently successful would not be beyond the bounds of modesty.
To watch a work develop from a single demonstration in a local
Association to a city -wide programme, to a province-wide pro-
gramme, to a nation-wide programme, has been something that falls
to the lot of few men. To meet the crest of this rising wave of
expansion came the World War with all its attendant upheaval. For
a time it had no restraining effect on the work bnt rather stimulated
it. In the year 1918, the Association had more men in the field,
was covering more territory, was receiving more money in govern-
ment grants for its physical activities (some Es. 50,000), than
at any time in its history before or since. In this development
the local Associations kept pace fairly well ; they were assisted
by the respective provincial physical directors and every
effort was made to see that men related to the local govern-
ments as advisors were also loyal to the Association and its
After the war the period of demonstration and promotion
was about complete. India had taken to physical education.
The work was a going concern. But the rapid development had
also created problems. In some ways, the physical work had
out-stripped the other phases of the Association programme so that
there was some tendency to separate it from the movement and
to develop it as an enterprise by itself. Furthermore, the move-
ment was often embarrassed by the fact that a desire for the
physical programme was expressed at points where no local Associa-
tions existed, and that the beginnings of the organization of a
centre were undertaken that could not be followed up. It also
became evident that the work as carried on by the North Ameri-
cans was so very unusual, from the Indian viewpoint, both in
scope and in the demands made on the directors that it would
not be possible to transfer it on the existing basis to Indian leader-
ship. Clearly a period had been reached when a change in leader-
ship and a new emphasis were called for.
2. The Period of Stabilisation (1920-1929).
From what I can gather, in the absence of written records,
the department of physical education went through the same
changes that characterized the whole movement, at this time,
but in less drastic fashion. The special war work leadership was
demobilized, there was a retrenchment on the Indian staff, and
the general programme was consequently reduced. Aside from an
annual all-India competition in physical activities, which was
subsequently abandoned, there was little in the way of inter-
Association programme that might bind the local centres together.
The programme in the local Associations appears to have emphasized
revenue-producing features, at this time, such as tournaments
and other entertainments. There has been a certain revival,
recently, in a few places of interest in activities between groups
in the same city. The provincial organization for the Olympics
is still in Association hands, in most cases. Government con-
tacts have often been lost or materially weakened, due generally
to the fact that a government wanted more service than the
Association secretaries were free to give. Political changes
also affected relationships, and the old basis of ' adviser to
government in physical education' came, generally speaking,
to an end.
In the country itself, however, important changes with
regard to physical work took place during these years. India
nationally espoused the cause of physical education when it in-
cluded such work as a necessary item in its platform of reform.
Physical exercise is now regarded as basic to proper living by all
in India. Demands have been made in most states and pro-
vinces for compulsory physical education in the schools and col-
leges, and the municipalities have realized the value of public
playgrounds. There has also arisen a most encouraging demand
for trained Indian leadership of high grade. In other words,
the movement for modern physical education has advanced by
leaps and bounds. The limited Association staff has endeavour-
ed as best it could to cope with this advance, but the old leader-
ship of the T.M.C.A. is being challenged at various points.
Several important activities in this field are still in opera-
tion and call for mention at this point. The Indian Olympic
Association was originally organized by the Y.M.C.A. and is still
active. Through the hasty action of one of its secretaries,
however, the movement has lost some of its prestige in this enter-
prise. The city -wide programmes of the Calcutta and Hyderabad
Associations have placed physical education on a sound basis
and in an advantageous position in these cities. Through its
magazine " Vyayam," the Y.M.C.A. is able to make itself felt in
many quarters and is provided with a good medium for talks on
physical education. The organization and successful adminis-
tration of the school of physical education, in Madras, represents
an undertaking that bids fair to have wider influence than any
other single thing the Y.M.C.A. has done. It represents the
best contribution to physical education the movement has
made and the one which most aptly expresses the spirit of the
3. Suggestions to govern Future Developments.
With regard to foreign leadership in physical education, it
is suggested that only a limited number shall be recruited in future
and for specialized pieces of work. The policy of supplying
T.M.O.A. secretaries to provincial or other state governments
should in general be discouraged, and no attempt should be made
to enter relationships with additional governments on the basis
developed in the past. The National Council needs a regular
staff of five physical directors from abroad to undertake the
general administration and promotion of the work, throughout
the movement, and to conduct the school of physical education
With regard to Indian leadership in this field, it is suggested
that indigenous staffs be encouraged everywhere. To this end,
it is necessary to raise the standards of the school to the highest
potential, from the professional viewpoint, so that men may be
turned out that are the equals of any trained abroad.
In the matter of programme, it is urged that the local Associa-
tions continue the broad attitude of the past and make the ser-
vices of their staffs available to the general community as well
as to the building membership. It is further suggested that no
attempt be made to standardize the programmes in all of the local
centres, but rather to encourage each Association to work out a
programme for itself in consultation with the representatives of the
national staff. The entire movement should back the school of
physical education wholeheartedly as the best single expression
of its ideals and services to India, in this field. Other projects
worthy of the consideration and support of the movement are
the further development and administration of athletics, sports
and games generally in India ; the development of a national
stadium in Delhi ; and the promotion of a state-wide programme
in such a state as Mysore. All means that further the cause of
physical education in India, and the best good of the Indian
people are to be commended for support to the Young Men's
THE NATIONAL Y.M.C.A. SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION.
The following data on the school of physical education in
Madras were secured by the survey staff in consultation with
those most familiar with the work. In an appeal to the Govern-
ment of Madras, in 1929, the officers of the school recounted the
growth of the institution in these terms :
In 1920 we had five students, in 1929-1930 we have
seventy-five. These were selected from a list of 125 appli-
cations, many of those refused being well qualified to take
the course but (having to be). .. .barred because we had
not the facilities to accommodate them, thus delaying for
two years the starting of the work in the colleges and schools
from which they were deputed."
The school claims as its field of service the training of men
for professional activities in the line of health education, indivi-
dual and public recreation, public sanitation, the physiology of
exercise, and the physical side of the Association's fourfold pro-
gramme. It expects to find a place for its graduates in local
T.M.C.A.'s, missions, and schools of all grades and types such as cor-
poration schools, district boards, government and private schools.
Most of the students in training at the time of the survey were
deputed to the school on stipends from educational institutions.
The officers expected the number of independent students to in-
crease in the future, however. Additional fields open to the
graduates were given as municipal or corporation (especially
railroad) playgrounds, colleges and universities. Men were being
trained for playground work in Calcutta, Colombo, Bombay and
Madras. The universities of India are gradually introducing
compulsory physical education. The University of Madras re-
quested the principal of the Y.M.C.A. school to make a survey of
the situation with regard to physical activities among the consti-
tuent colleges. As a result of this study, the university substi-
tuted compulsory physical education for compulsory military
training. In 1929 the requirement was that each college have
a full time physical director, of the grade of college professor, on
its staff by June 1930. These are to be men with B.A. degrees
and likewise with diplomas from the Y.M.C.A. school. There
were at the time of the survey fifty students in the school prepar-
ing for work at the university.
The officers of the school feel that more work is crowded into
the one school year, on the present basis, than is consistent with
thoroughness. The health instruction, for instance, they consi-
dered to be only about a quarter of what it ought to be. This
was due to the meagre equipment, however, as much as to the
crowded schedule. The existing facilities are too primitive even
for demonstration purposes. It is impossible for the students
to be neat or to carry out the principles of hygiene they are
taught in the lectures. The housing and eating arrangements
are hard on morale. In one year, students develop skill as players
but are not adequately trained to be good teachers and coaches,
The period is too short for normal practice and for proper reading
With better equipment, a larger staff, and a longer period of
study the school could not only do its present work more
thoroughly, in the opinion of those actually conducting it, but
could also enlarge its scope. The lectures on sex hygiene might
be expanded to include some treatment of the problems of popu-
lation increase. Indigenous activities and resources for recrea-
tional programmes could be investigated and more adequately
drawn on. The school is still too largely built on American
standards and ideals. On the other hand, the school has developed
the only eclectic programme in physical education in India, having
chosen the best from all other existing systems. The officers claim
to be working in behalf of physical education itself rather than
of any system of physical education.
THE PEOJECT8 IN SOCIAL WELFARE.
LITEEATUEB AND LECTURES.
The National Council maintains two departments that con-
cern themselves with the subject of informal public education.
The department of literature and publication has sought, among
other things, to provide the more thoughtful element of the Chris-
tian community in India with valuable religious literature, and
the department of lectures has aimed to spread information by
means of carefully prepared series of lantern slides. The salient
information on these two departments is brought together in the
following brief statements.
THE DEPARTMENT OF LITERATURE AND PUBLICATION.
Seldom has the characteristic T.M.C.A. policy of giving
free rein to strong men been more thoroughly justified than in
the case of this department. Dr. J. N. Farquhar's achievement,
represented particularly in his Religious Quest of India series of
books, will long be remembered as an outstanding event in the
religious development of India.
The department was founded in 1911 under the leadership
of Dr. Farquhar. An idea of its growth between 1912 and 1919
will be conveyed by the following table :
Growth of the Department of Literature and Publication.
1912 .. ..6 13,000
1913 .. ..9 15,000
1914 .. ..12 18,000
1915 .. .. 9 23,000
1916 .. ..25 67,000
1917 .. ..35 173,000
1918 .. ..31 161,000
1919 . . . . 42 220,000
The marked increase in the latter years was largely due to the
fact that, during the war, the department furnished considerable
literature for the Y.M.C.A. army work, all over the country and
even abroad. Many books were imported, at the same time,
and for the same purpose. Between October 1918 and Sep-
tember 1919, a total of 324,276 books, magazines .and pamphlets,
both in English and the vernacular, to the value of Es. 1,07,934-2-9
were supplied to army centres in India and overseas.
At the present time, the department has achieved self-sup-
port. Of the total sales during the months Of May, June, October
and November, 1929, which amounted to Es. 17,705 including
both cash and credit sales, roughly 17 per cent were made to the
Young Men's Christian Association and roughly 63 per cent were
made to the various missions.
THE INDIAN STUDENTS' UNION AND HOSTEL
THE DISTINCTIVE CONTBIBUTION OF THE T.M.C.A.
In the preceding chapters of this whole report, the various
aspects of the programme and functioning of the Young Men's
Christian Association have been discussed in considerable detail.
In concluding this part, and before taking up the general conclu-
sions and evaluations of the survey, it will be of interest to indi-
cate briefly the special place which the Association movement
has occupied in the life of India. This will be done in two ways :
First will be presented a short appreciation, by an Indian mem-
ber of the survey staff, of the outstanding contributions to India
made by the Y.M.C.A. Following this statement, notes will be
introduced for purposes of comparison with regard to the main
features of the leading indigenous societies of India, engaged in
A. AN APPRECIATION OP THE Y.M.C.A. MOVEMENT BY A MEM-
BER OF THE SURVEY STAFF.
The preceding chapters have dealt with the several aspects
of the work of the Y.M.C.A. in India. Such an analysis, like
the dissection of a flower, destroys the general impression of
beauty. It is desirable in that it helps discover the strength and
weakness of a given organization, but if subsequently no glance
at the whole is taken, the very life of the organization will be
missed. In the following paragraphs an attempt is made to indi-
cate the chief areas in which the Y.M.C.A. movement has made a
definite contribution to the life and thought of India.
The Y.M.C.A. came to India at a time when the country
was just beginning to recover from the tragic experiences of the
Indian Mutiny. Some of the most important local religious or-
ganizations were founded during the last quarter of the nineteenth
century. The Arya Samaj was established in 1875, the Theoso-
phical Society in 1875. the Deva Samaj in 1887, and the Eama-
krishna Mission in 1897. All these organizations attempted to
revive ancient Hinduism. During this same period, the small
Y.M.C.A.'s scattered over the country were consolidated into a
national movement (1891) with a distinctively Christian message.
While the other societies preached renunciation, the Y.M.C.A.
presented the Christian ideal of personality. Its characteristic
fourfold programme emphasized the potential value of the whole
man. Thus, at a time when Hinduism was seeking afresh the
truths of its own religion, Christianity was able to supplement
these through the Y.M.C.A. in a way which the missions did not.
Together with this increased religious interest, there develop-
ed in India an increased national and social consciousness. The
first expression of this second movement was in the Indian National
Congress of 1885. Definite organizations to embody and further
its ideals subsequently arose, one after the other, from the
beginning of the twentieth century down to the present day.
Eabindranath Tagore developed his father's ashram (religious
retreat) into an educational institution in 1901 ; G. K. Gokhale
founded the Servants of India Society in 1905 ; Behramji Mala-
bari and Dayaram Gidurnal started the Seva Sadan in 1908 ;
Lala Lajput Eai founded the precursor of the Servants of the
People Society in 1920 ; and Mahatma Gandhi organized the All-
India Spinners' Association in 1925.
When many of the above organizations, in response to the
widespread popular interest in the victory of Japan over Eussia
and to the public indignation over the partition of Bengal, follow-
ed the path of intense nationalism, the Y.M.C.A. proclaimed in
India its message of the universal Kingdom of God. This
message of the Kingdom has had two aspects ; it has been concerned
with improving conditions here on earth, and also with develop-
ing the spirit of brotherliness.
With respect to the first aspect, the Y.M.C.A. has made com-
mon cause with all organizations in India that stood for the social
and material welfare of the people. In this attempt to further
the Kingdom, the movement not only strengthened the work it
had previously engaged in, but discovered new fields of endeavour
as well. After the war, the project in rural reconstruction was
started a work that affects the lives of some 200,000 people.
The literature department presented a new approach to Hinduism
and opened up a fresh avenue for the study of comparative reli-
gion. The lecture department, with its stereopticon slides, has
carried on its educative work for social betterment in many parts
of India. Physical and health education have developed tre-
mendously in India through the Y.M.C.A. Projects in social
welfare among industrial workers have been started, and the
importance of work with boys, as well as with young men, has
In its work the Y.M.C.A. has not only joined forces with the
indigenous organizations, but it has also been a pioneer in guiding
others into paths of useful service. Its hostels and various under-
takings, the most important of which have been indicated,
have been reproduced by other organizations. Mrs. Annie
Besant, before starting the Young Men's Indian Associa-
tion, visited the T.M.C.A. and closely studied its methods. In
a recent memorandum submitted by the Madras representatives
of this later movement to the local government, the Y.M.C.A.
is pointed to as the model they wish to follow. The Y.M.C.A.
has introduced new methods of adult education that have found
ready acceptance in many parts of India.
But, as already indicated, the Kingdom of God posits not
only the social and economic welfare of a nation, but also the
spirit of brotherliness and fellowship among its people in their
relationships with each other and with other peoples. The chil-
dren of the earth are to live as members of one family. In pro-
claiming this ideal, the Y.M.C.A. has made one of its most notable
contributions to India. The movement may be regarded as perhaps
the greatest apostle of reconciliation in the country. Where the
Christian church is divided, the Y.M.C.A. stands as a healer of
divisions. In Travancore, it is the only organization that has
any chance of bringing the different Christian communities
together. Where Brahman conflicts with non-Brahman, where
Hindu clashes with Mahomedan, the Y.M.C.A. offers to all a
platform where they can meet. Local Associations, like those
in Madras and Lahore, have become great community centres
where every group is given the chance to hold meetings, and
where various elements of the population Hindu, Mahomedan,
European, and Anglo-Indian are brought together socially.
The Y.M.C.A. has, furthermore, definitely contributed to
the up-building of the Indian Christian church. While non-
Christians had opportunities for self-expression and leadership
in their own organizations, no such field was open to Indian
Christians in their denominational activities, since responsible
positions were filled by Western missionaries. The Y.M.C.A.
was almost the first organization to advocate the development
of indigenous leadership in Christian institutions. In accordance
with this principle, when Mr. E. C. Carter retired from the national
general secretaryship in 1913, the Y.M.C.A. invited an Indian
Mr. K. T. Paul to succeed him. Mr. Paul guided the affaks
of the movement from 1913 to 1930, when he was succeeded by
another Indian general secretary, Mr. B. L. Ballia Earn, who had
rendered distinguished service as the chief executive of the Lahore
Association Closely associated with Mr. Paul, furthermore,
was Dr. S. K. Datta ; under the leadership of these two gentle-
men most of the activities outlined above were inaugurated and
The Y.M.C.A. has been of assistance to the Indian Christian
church in another way as well. There are serious young men
within the church who have come under the influence of modern
ideas and who feel the need of discussing the implications for their
spiritual life. These young men have frequently found a sym-
pathetic friend in the Y.M.C.A., where they were given the op-
portunity of sharing their thoughts with others of the same type
of mind, and of hearing notable speakers discuss some of their
B. NOTES ON THE LEADING SOCIAL AND EELIGIOUS ORGANIZA-
TIONS OF INDIA.
1. The Young Men's Indian Association.
This organization was founded by Mrs. Annie Besant and is
carrying on a work very similar to that of the Y.M.C.A. in Madras.
It has a membership of 666 and is able to collect annually some
Es. 3,000 in public subscriptions. The income from all sources
amounted, in 1929, to Es. 62,813-8-2 and the expenditure to
2. The Servants of India Society.
This society was started in 1905 by GL K. Gokhale, C.I.E.,
for the purpose of recruiting and training men who would dedi-
cate their lives to the cause of the country, and of promoting by
all constitutional means the national interests of the Indian
people. The organization is managed by a president, or " first
member," assisted by a vice-president and a general council.
Ordinary members are required to serve for five years under
training before they attain full status. Members in training are
classified as "associates," " attaches " and "probationers".
Every member in training is granted an allowance of Es. 65
a month for the first two years, and of Es. 75 a month for the
remaining three years. Every full member is granted an allow-
ance of Es. 90 a month for the first five years of service, of
Es. 110 a month for the next five years, and of Es. 125 a month
thereafter. Small allowances for rent and medical attention are
likewise made, and the life of each member is insured for Es. 3,000.
In addition to their regular political and social work, the mem-
bers act as promoters for various other organizations in their
vicinity. There were, in 1929, twenty-one full members in the society,
two " associates " in training, one " attache ", three " proba-
tioners ", and two permanent assistants. The total amount ex-
pended for salaries and allowances, in 1929, amounted to
Us. 30,538. The main sources of income are given below :
Income of the Servants of India Society (1929).
Contributions from Individuals . . 13,142
Public Collections . . . . . . 6,000
Fire Fund Collections . . . . 28,289
Members' Earnings . . . . 7,623
Permanent Income . . 55,054
Additional Income . . 33,472
Grand Total .. .. 88,526
3. The Servants of the People Society.
This society was formally opened in October 1921, by
Mahatma Gandhi. Its constitution is modelled on that of the
Servants of India Society, the chief difference between the two
being their attitude towards the present political situation. While
the Servants of the People is extreme in its views, the Servants
of India is liberal. In December, 1920, a Tilak school of poli-
tics had been opened by Lala Lajput Eai ; two years later its
activities were stopped when the National College was founded
to carry on the same work. When, in turn, the college was closed
a few years later, its activities were transferred to the Servants
of the People.
The " probationers " of this society are given a monthly
allowance of Es. 50. Members in training receive the same
amount during the first year, and Es. 60 a month during the re-
maining two years of the training period. An additional allow-
ance of Es. 10 a month is given to married men. After the
period of training, the monthly allowance for single men is Es. 75
for the first five years, Es. 90 for the next five years, and Es. 100
thereafter. Married men are given an additional Es. 10 a month
for each child up to a family of four, and, if quarters are not avail-
able on the premises, a monthly rent allowance of Es. 25 to Es. 40.
The total income, in 1929, amounted to Es. 22,635-5-0 of
which Es. 16,334 was derived from endowments. The total
expenditure was Es. 23,282-14-4 of which Es. 13,404-10-9 was
spent for salaries and allowances.
4. The All-India Spinners' Association.
This organization was founded in 1925 by Mahatma Gandhi.
It is an integral part of the national congress organization, but
exists as an entity in itself with full power to administer its funds
and follow its own policies. The association is managed by a
central office which supervises and advances funds to the twelve
provincial centres that cover a field of 2,655 villages. The general
policy is to run only such centres as are likely to become self-
supporting. There are, in addition to the provincial centres, some
private centres to which loans are advanced from headquarters.
Membership in the association is open to all men, eighteen
years of age and over, who habitually wear Jchaddar (home-spun
and home- woven cloth), and who deposit regularly every month
with the treasurer, or any duly appointed agent, 1,000 yards of
self -spun yarn, well twisted and even. In 1929, the member-
ship exclusive of the " associate " and " life associate " classes
totalled 2,011. During the same year there were 642 workers
employed by the association, who received an average salary of
Es. 25 a month. The total amount spent for salaries and allow-
ances was Es. 1,91,022-1-2. The main sources of income were
as follows :
Income of the All-India, Spinners' Association (1929).
Public Subscriptions .. .. 1,26,892
Individual Gift . . .. .. 66,501
Total Donations . . . . 1,93,393
Additional Income . . . . 7,733
Grand Total .. .. 2,01,126
5. The Seva Sadan.
The Seva Sadan is a non-sectarian welfare organization
founded by Behramji Malabari and Dayaram Gidurnal, in 1908.
Several Indian ladies were also associated with the work from
the beginning. The society is managed by a committee elected
by the members. About 170 is the estimated figure for the total
membership in 1929. The total income, in the same year, was
Es. 43,549-11-8 of which Es. 5,770-7-3 was spent for general
The work of the Seva Sadan includes welfare projects of
various kinds. Classes for teachers in primary schools were
started and eventually developed into a regular training college,
with courses preparing up to the examination for the final certi-
ficate granted by the Poona Government Training College.
Classes in domestic education are provided for married women
and older girls who are prevented from attending the ordinary
schools by social barriers and other difficulties. Subjects taught
include English, the vernacular languages, singing, home nursing,
and hygiene. In order to equip very poor and illiterate women
with some means of supplementing the meagre family income,
an industrial department is maintained to give instruction in
sewing, laundry work, cane weaving, knitting, and other home
industries. Finally, there is a home for sheltering absolutely
destitute women and children.
6. The Arya Samaj.
This society may be defined as a reformed, liberal movement
within Hinduism, It was founded in 1875 by a Gujarati Brahman
named Dayanand Saraswati. In 1892, the Samaj split into two
factions known as the college (or cultured) party, and the vege-
tarian (or Mahatma Gandhi's) party. The work is managed by
a system of local centres and provincial assemblies that culminate
in an all-India assembly. Eepresentatives to the various units
are elected by the members. All members must be eighteen
years of age or over and are expected to contribute at least one
per cent of their income to the funds of the society.
The work maintained is extensive and varied ; it includes
religious, educational, social and political activities. This pro-
gramme is carried out by missionaries and preachers, some of whom
are on salary and some of whom work as volunteers. Most of
the employed workers were originally Hindu pandits (learned
Brahmans) and most of the volunteers have had an English educa-
tion. Lala Lajput Eai said of one of their colleges :
" The Principal is honorary (i.e., a volunteer) and has
held the post with remarkable success. On the staff are
several of its alumni, working in a missionary spirit on mere
7. The Brahma Samaj.
This society is another religious organization that, like the
Arya Samaj, represents a liberal, reformed development from
ancient Hinduism. It was founded in 1828 by Eajah Earn
Mohun Eoy, and has undergone several sub-divisions in the
course of its history. In 1842, the movement divided into two
sections under the leadership respectively of Devendranath
Tagore and Keshub Chunder Sen. Another split occurred in
1878, when a third organization the Sadarana Brahma Samaj
came into being. This last society commands the greatest
following and is the best organized of the three.
There are about 200 local centres in all, of which about 20
belong to the original movement (known now as the Adi Brahma
Samaj), about 40 to Chunder Sen's party, and about 140 to the
Sadarana Brahma Samaj. In the case of the third movement,
each centre is managed by a committee elected by the members,
and each governing committee appoints the local staff, not all of
whom are on salary. The whole Samaj is controlled by a general
committee of 100 members elected both from Calcutta, the head-
quarters of the movement and from the provinces. This body
appoints and supervises the " missionaries " of the movement.
The latter are paid from Es. 20 to Bs. 100 a month. Support
for the work is derived from public collections, individual dona-
tions and endowments.
8. SantiniJcetan and Sriniketan.
In 1863, Devendranath Tagore acquired a plot of ground in
Bolepur and founded an ashram (religious retreat) there which he
called Santiniketan. His son, Babindranath Tagore, started a
school at this place in 1901. It developed into a college by 1914,
a school of arts was added in 1918, and a research institute in 1921.
For some of the village people, Tagore has developed another
institution in the same vicinity, known as Sriniketan, where there
are a demonstration farm, a rural school, and activities in mass
education. Workers from Sriniketan go out into the villages in
order to assist the people with their economic problems and to
give instruction in general subjects and health education.
A life of simplicity is insisted on for the workers in both
institutions. The whole enterprise has the status of a registered
body with a regular membership and a constitution. Members
are of three classes : " ordinary ", " life " and " honorary ".
The assets of the institution amount to Bs. 7,03,884-8-3.
9. The Deva Samaj.
This Samaj is an organization for religious, social and educa-
tional work and was founded in 1887 by Bagawan Deva Atma.
Its affairs are administered by an executive council elected by
the 32 members of the " representative body ", which is in turn
elected by the general membership. In 1929, there were 69
workers carrying on the business of the organization, of whom
17 are classified as " whole time " workers. This designation is
given to those who have consecrated their entire lives to the
Samaj, either as volunteers or on a nominal salary fixed by the
administration. The amount received in subscriptions, in 1928,
totalled Bs. 1,00,128 and the total expenditure was Es. 81,803.
10. The Eamakrishna Mission.
Sri Eamakrishna (1834-1886) was a Hindu saint who,
through his piety and devotion, attracted a large number of
young men. Among his followers was a young man named
Swami Vivekananda, who founded the Eamakrishna Order of
Sanyasins (ascetics) and the Eamakrishna Mission, in 1897.
The object of the mission is to spread the truths of the Vedas
through the sanyasis and to co-operate with the public in the
service of humanity.
The Order of Sanyasins is a monastic institution with several
branches both in India and abroad, which are known as mutts
and ashrams. In a good many centres, the mutt and the mission
branch are housed in the same building and make use of the
same personnel. There are now in all 64 organizations in the
movement, of which seven are in the United States of America
and one is in the Malay States. The management of the central
organization is vested in the board of trustees " for the time being
of the Indenture of Trust " ; this body appoints the local com-
mittees and has the right of supervision over them.
The funds for the work are derived from private donations
from friends and devotees of the order and from the general
public. The private donations are designated for the mainte-
nance of worship services, for the celebration of sacred festivals,
and for the sustenance of monks undergoing spiritual discipline.
The gifts from the general public are used for permanent philan-
thropic and educational institutions, for a provident relief fund
to meet sudden emergencies, for a poor fund with which to alle-
viate individual distress, and for a general fund to defray the
general expenses of administration. Money raised in a given
centre is used only for that centre. In 1925, the total income
was some Es. 30,000.
Membership in the organization is open to all followers of ?
Eamakrishna, whether lay or monastic, subject to election at a
meeting or to appointment by the governing body. Associate
membership, subject to the same conditions, is open to all persons,
irrespective of colour, creed or caste, who sympathize with all or
any of the objects of the movement. Monastic members are not
required to pay any admission fee or regular subscription. Lay
and associate members are charged an admission fee of Es. 5 and
an annual subscription fee of the same amount. The latter may
be commuted by the payment of Es. 100.
11. The TheosopMcal Society.
This society was founded in JSTew York City, U.S.A., in 1875.
Henry Steele Olcott was its first president and Mme. H. P. Bla-
vatsky its first secretary. After Colonel Olcott's death in 1879,
Mrs. Annie Besant became president and has since that time
been the leading figure in the movement.
The organization is now a world-wide enterprise with head-
quarters in India. Its objects are the promotion of universal
human brotherhood, of the study of comparative religion and
philosophy, and of systematic investigation into what is usually
termed "occultism". There are branch units in forty-seven
countries, at the present time, and responsibility for sanction-
ing these " national societies " rests with the president of the
world organization. National societies are authorized in coun-
tries where there are not less than seven lodges, or basic units,
which in turn must consist of not less than seven members who
accept the ideals of the society. Each lodge or national society
has the power to make its own rules, but these do not become
valid until they have been confirmed by the president of the
world organization. The world organization consists of a presi-
dent, vice-president, treasurer, recording secretary, and the
general secretaries of the national societies. It meets annually
in India. A world congress of the movement must be held every
seven years outside of India.
The expenses of the headquarters in 1929 amounted to
Es. 71,219 and the income to Es. 92,887, leaving a balance of
Bs. 21,668. The amount spent on wages and salaries was only
Es. 8,373. The organization's secretary said that most workers
were self-supporting volunteers;
* * * *
From this brief review of the Indian organizations engaged
in activities similar to those of the Y.M.C.A., certain facts stand
out very clearly.
Generally speaking, these societies are able to collect large
sums of money, with greater or less difficulty, from the public
for their current expenses. This clearly indicates that there
are plenty of resources in India waiting to be tapped. India has
its wealthy men in the local princes, chetties (shopkeepers, espe-
cially in South India), banias (merchants, especially in foreign
trade), and tatas (village chiefs). How far these resources are
open to the Y.M.C.A. is of course doubtful. Much depends on
the policy to be adopted. If the T.M.C.A. should publicly declare
itself as an inter-religious, or as a non-religious, organization,
and should ally itself with a progressive political party, then it
might secure more Indian support. If it adheres to its original
ideal of a fellowship with a Christian body of control, it will not be
able to draw much on the wealth of India.
Another striking thing about the organizations reviewed is
the fact that only very small proportions of the budget are spent
in salaries for the workers. There are large numbers of volunteers
in most instances, who discharge their duties faithfully and well.
The small amounts required to meet the needs of the employed
staff are often derived from endowments. The endowment
system is an old one in India and is adhered to by modern organiza-
The objectives of these societies are clear and easily defined.
Welfare organizations like the Seva Sadan do not engage in poli-
tical or religious activities. The circumstance that the founders
of many of these movements are still alive, and that the memory
of those who have died is still fresh, may account to some extent
for this clarity of purpose.
In conclusion, mention must be made of an interesting and
significant circumstance in connection with these indigenous
societies, which has not been indicated in the preceding notes.
Most of them have received, or are now receiving, assistance from
Europeans in the form of funds or personnel. The founder of
the Bamakrishna Mission had as his assistant Miss Margaret
Noble, known as Sister Mvedita, and at the headquarters in
Bellur to-day there lives a Western woman. Tagore's enterprise
at Sriniketan is largely supported by an American lady. Mrs.
Annie Besant is a British woman. When Mahatma Gandhi start-
ed on his non-violent political campaign, he entrusted the ad-
ministration of his ashram to a Miss Slade, and the assistant
editorship of his paper Young India to a young Englishman.
It will be seen that India still feels that Western people have their
contribution to make and is eager for their help ; the only
objection is to any concomitant assumption of authority and
GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND EVALUATIONS
GENEEAL CONCLUSIONS OF PAETS I AND II.
1. Main Trends in the Historical Development of the Y.M.C.A.
Important dates in the history of the Young Men's Christian
Association, suggestive of the three characteristic phases of its
development, are :
1875 : The founding of the Bombay Association, a reli-
1890 : The coming of David McConaughy, inaugurating
the period of the " fourfold " programme.
1914 : The outbreak of the World War, introducing
the phase when the Y.M.C.A. functioned as a
service agency on a large scale.
While other religions entered India by land, Christianity
came by water along with the commercial European population.
The Association was first planted in the port cities and its strength
is still in these centres. Social conditions that have proved
favourable to the growth of strong Associations include : a large
Christian population, a large European population, widespread
literacy in English, a large number of students and business em-
ployees, and a population movement of incoming Christians.
2. The Y.M.C.A. in Bombay, Calcutta and Rangoon.
From the standpoint of material investment, membership
and paid leadership, the Y.M.C.A. is strongest in the leading port
cities of Bombay, Calcutta and Eangoon. These cities are the
product of foreign commerce and inland trade. They are like-
wise the nerve centres of British rule and consequently the focal
points of the European population. The class distinctions of
English social life have been transferred to these Indian cities
and, in some cases, have been even more strictly drawn than in
These cities, furthermore, attract large numbers of people of
all kinds that increasingly tend to organize in communal groups.
The great cities of India are, at present, places where both Indians
and Europeans go to make a living but not to establish homes.
The consequence is a predominance of males in the population
as a whole, and a general state of transiency throughout the life
of the city. The two sexes are roughly equal in distribution,
however, among the Anglo-Indians, an element of the popula-
tion that is essentially the product of urban life. Eacially they
represent the inter-marriage of Indians and Europeans. While
essentially European in manner of life and loyalties, Anglo-
Indians do not enjoy a very high place in the European social
scale. Recent population movements have brought to these
large port cities certain vigorous Indian Christian groups, notably
from South India, that have been a significant factor in the de-
velopment of Indian branches of the Y.M.C.A. in these centres.
The Y.M.C.A. movement originated in the European com-
munities of the large cities. The work was almost entirely for
English or Anglo-Indian young men. The Association was es-
sentially a religious fellowship of young Europeans of good social
standing. For about the first twenty years the work was carried
on with unpaid leadership and with small equipment. The mem-
bership was predominantly of the " active " class. The
programme was essentially religious.
The following thirty years brought the increasing use of paid
leadership, the acquisition of buildings, the decline in significance
of " active " membership, and the multiplication of " associate "
members, or privilege buyers. Early during this period there
arrived the foreign employed secretary ; in contrast with the
situation in the other cities and towns of India, this officer has
usually been British in Bombay, Calcutta and Rangoon.
At the present time, the European community has deserted
the Association as a fellowship and prefers its own exclusive social
clubs. It continues to sponsor the work, however, as a charity
for lower class Europeans and Anglo-Indians, and as a mission
for Indians. The central buildings, representing the administra-
tive headquarters of the Association, are reserved for non-Indian
service. The control of these metropolitan Associations is in the
hands of the commercial European community, and over sixty
per cent of the general membership consists of business employees
and students. These Associations have always enjoyed a large
proportion of the services of the foreign secretariat in India. The
programme is almost entirely institutional ; the most significant
community service is represented by the work of the physical
directors in developing city playgrounds and promoting com-
munity athletics and sports. Financial support is derived chiefly
from membership fees and dues, and from public contributions ;
the latter have been markedly decreasing since 1925. Exclusive
of the subsidy represented by foreign personnel, which is indeed
a substantial amount, these Associations are largely self-supporting.
3. The 7.M.C.A. in Colombo, Lahore and Madras.
These three cities are more advanced in industrialization
than the Mofussil towns but less so than Bombay, Calcutta and
Bangoon. Under the stimulus of modern commerce and industry
Colombo, Lahore and Madras have developed new cities along-
side of the ancient Indian centres. This is especially true of
Lahore. In their present development, all three are the product
of British influence. Madras came into prominence as the first
foothold of British: occupation ; Colombo grew in importance
when a new harbour was built ; the modern business city of Lahore
is almost entirely distinct from the old walled city.
The Y JVLC. A. in these cities has attained an advanced stage of
Indian control as a result of several considerations . In the first place,
there was a relatively small foreign community on which to draw ;
then, the interest of the local, comparatively strong missionary
group was in the direction 'of developing indigenous leadership ;
and finally, the secretaries sent from abroad to these centres have
been likewise in favour of indigenous control. On the other hand,
the advanced stage of " Europeanization " of the local Indian
or Ceylonese populations has made it easy for the Y.M.C.A. to
become established on its own terms rather than in accord with
primarily indigenous patterns.
The local Associations in these cities rank high in the esteem
of the general public. Since Lahore, Madras and Colombo are
still essentially " one centre " cities, the community can be served
from one central building more easily than is the case in Calcutta,
Bombay and Bangoon. Personal leadership has its best opportu-
nity in the cities here under consideration ; it is confronted with
neither the conservatism of the villages nor the impersonal rela-
tionships of the great cities. It is possible to establish the nucleus
of a real fellowship. Generally speaking, American foreign secre-
taries have gone to these cities rather than to the port cities in
the first group. These Americans have, however, not usually
held the chief administrative positions. The programme in these
centres is relatively strong with respect to general education and
religious work, but very little is being done in physical education.
Summer camps are maintained by the Associations of Lahore
and Madras, and the former centre is likewise noted for its pro-
gramme in adult education.
Financial support in the shape of public contributions is
derived from the European and the indigenous populations in
about equal proportions. In Colombo, Ceylonese secretaries
find it possible to solicit both groups. All three centres derive
the bulk of their necessary funds from membership dues and fees.
The Lahore Association secures additional income from shop
rentals, and the Colombo Association is at an advantage on
account of its recently erected building.
4. The Y.M.C.A. in the Mofussil Toivns.
The Y.M.C.A. is limited in the Mofussil towns by the follow-
ing environmental conditions : there is only a small industrial
community and a small European population ; there is also only
a relatively small body of business employees and students ; and
the rate of literacy in English is lower. In addition, these As-
sociations have received less help for the maintenance of their
work than have the six leading centres from the Indian National
Council and from abroad. They were planned according to the
pattern of the city Associations, but in a setting that could not
furnish the requisite financial support.
The Y.M.C.A. in these towns offers a service as a community
centre which is much appreciated. The buildings were erected
largely with North American money and before the Associations
had attained self -consciousness as a fellowship. The consequence
has been that the Associations have been badly handicapped
financially by top-heavy equipment.
5. The T.M.C.A. in Travancore and Cochin.
If an indigenous Association is to be defined as one in which
indigenous leadership can secure indigenous support for a pro-
gramme interesting to the indigenous population, then the rural
Associations of Travancore and Cochin (together with some of
the smaller centres in Ceylon) are the only ones in the Indian
movement that can lay claim to the title. The Y.M.C.A. has its
best opportunity for work in rural reconstruction in Travancore,
because the welfare programme can be rooted in the religious will
to live as expressed in the village Associations, and in the wide-
spread literacy promoted and maintained by the Christian church.
6. Organization and Administration.
The theory of organization among the Associations of India
is that of local autonomy. That is to say, while subscribing to
certain common general principles as to purpose and membership
basis, the local centres manage their internal affairs themselves
and develop their programmes according to individual ability and
the needs of the membership groups. In theory, control is
vested in the " active " membership. The actual executive
control is, in the larger centres, in the hands of the local boards
of directors ; the personnel of these boards is markedly European
and dominantly so in Calcutta and Bombay. In Colombo the
directors are predominantly indigenous and the trend is apparent-
ly moving in the same direction in Madras and Lahore. The
smaller Associations are to a large extent controlled by the
National Council as a result of their financial condition. The
Council erected buildings for them with foreign money, now holds
their property in trust, and determines the annual cash subsidies
to be granted.
The theory of the national organization is that the local
Associations, through their representatives at the national con-
ventions, elect a National Council to look after the work in its
national aspects. In theory a smaller group, called the executive
committee, is derived from the Council to carry on the routine
business. In practice the National Council, as such, seldom meets
and the executive committee has little first-hand knowledge of
many important issues that come up for decision. Since 1922
there has been functioning a group, known as the revenue com-
mission, composed virtually only of secretaries, which has exer-
cised considerable influence and indirect control. The power of
the revenue commission has however recently been considerably
In the past various schemes of district or regional organization
have been discussed and sometimes attempted. But, with the
possible exception of the area organization in Travancore and
Cochin, they have never succeeded very well. This failure may
be attributed to the fact that these regional units had no real
power as compared with the national organization. The con-
stant emphasis on the necessity of building up the " national
movement " has retarded the development of district or regional
As already noted, the boards of directors in the large centres
are composed largely of Europeans. The Indian branches, on
the other hand, are run by committees of management that are
almost entirely Indian in personnel. Ultimate control is, how-
ever, vested in the board. Europeans are in the minority, both
on the boards of directors and on the branch committees, in most'
of the Mofussil Associations.
7. Questions of Finance.
The expenses of the early Associations in India were met
wholly from membership dues and the gifts of local friends. The
amounts involved were not great. The acquisition of extensive
buildings and equipment precipitated financial problems that
caused the Association to look outside its own membership to
the community for aid.
The building of Association equipment started in the large
cities and then spread out to the smaller cities, towns and villages.
The : buildings of Calcutta, Bombay and Rangoon were nearly all
put up before the war (1915). In the case of the Associations in
the second group, the bulk of the equipment was secured between
1916 and 1925. The buildings in the Mofussil towns were put
up chiefly during two periods : between 1911 and 1920, and again
since 1926. The war years represent the most active construc-
tion period for the movement as a whole.
The funds with which the buildings were erected came from
the following sources : 23 . 2 per cent from local contributions ;
11.5 per cent from government subsidies in India ; 35.8 per cent
from the International Committee of the North American Associa-
tions ; 6.4 per cent from the English National Council ; 4.4 per
cent from the Indian National Council ; and 19 . 7 per cent from
other sources. The total investment has been distributed among
the entire number of local Associations in the following proportions :
43 . 8 per cent to Bombay, Calcutta and Eangoon ; 26 . per cent
to Colombo, Karachi, Lahore and Madras ; 18 . per cent to the
twenty-five Mofussil Associations ; 4.0 per cent to twenty-one
of the village Associations ; and 8.2 per cent to the four army
The contributions from the English National Council have
been used exclusively for buildings in the leading port cities. T v he
International Committee 'has contributed over one quarter of the
necessary funds for the buildings of Bombay, Calcutta and Ban-
goon ; over two-fifths in the case of the Associations in the second
group ; and nearly two-thirds in the case of the Mofussil Associa-
tions. The gifts of the English National Council for buildings
had practically ceased by 1915, while those from the International
Committee have nearly all been made since that date. The
tendency has been definitely towards a decrease in the propor-
tion of local contributions secured for Association buildings. This
is particularly true in the Mofussil towns where only a fraction
of the cost has been borne by the local community.
In 1929, the Indian National Council derived 57.2 per cent
of its required income from foreign Associations, 10.0 per cent
from government grants, 19.1 per cent from areas in which there
were no local Associations, 7.8 per cent from the strong local'
Associations, and 5.9 per cent from investments. The grants
from foreign Associations cover the Administration expenses
and the requirements of the rural, lecture and publication de-
partments. The government subsidies are designated for the
student work. The gifts from the "unoccupied" areas meet the
requirements of the army work, and the contributions of the
strong Associations cover the grants made to the weaker
The National Council retains nearly a third of the foreign
secretariat for its own service. The rest go almost entirely to the
six leading Associations. Cash subsidies are made to the Mofussil
The income from public contributions to the National
Council and to some of the larger centres is seriously on the de-
crease. The total number of Indian donors to the work is largest
in the Mofussil towns, and this number is also increasing. How r
ever, the actual amounts received in contributions are larger in
the National Council and the leading Associations than in the
Mofussil towns. The income derived from earnings in the shape
of rentals and service fees is on the increase almost everywhere
with the notable exception of the Bombay Association. Member-
ship fees as such, on the other hand, are decreasing in Calcutta.
Bombay and Rangoon, but usually increasing in the other centres.
The local Associations decreased their annual contributions to
the National Council between 1922 and 1927, but have remained
fairly constant since that date.
8. TJie Indian Secretaryship.
There is a widespread feeling of insecurity among the Indian
secretaries attributable to several causes. For instance, local
boards have shown a preference for foreijgn personnel, among
other reasons, because their salaries are paid from abroad rather
than from local resources. Then, Indian secretaries have little
prestige in government circles. Consequently, when retrench-
ment becomes necessary, the tendency is to start at the Indian
secretary's end of the work. Conditions in India call for per-
manency of tenure more than is the case in Western countries,
because professional efficiency ends at a comparatively early
age, as far as Association work is concerned, and no alternate
occupations present themselves for older men. The problem of
maintenance during old age is thus not provided for. Moreover,
the possibility of promotion within the Association is seriously
limited at present by the fact that foreign secretaries are retain-
ed to supervise the work.
The morale of the Indian Secretariat also suffers from the
practice of outside promotional agencies of exalting certain out-
standing individuals for publicity purposes. The difference in
the salary scale, allowances and equipment, is another source of
difficulty. The predominance of European influence in the larger
Associations, expressed on the boards and through the public
contributions, limits the Indian secretary in the expression of his
convictions on social problems. The immediate requirements
of the work itself are so heavy that the Indian secretaries find
little time for self-improvement, nor do they receive much gui-
dance from their superiors in this regard.
In general, the " senior secretary " is thought of as represent-
ing foreign movements rather than the secretarial force of the
Indian Y.M.C.A. The increased use of paid leadership during
the war lost to the Association the practice of enlisting honorary
secretaries for carrying on its work.
The total membership of the Indian Associations has not
increased substantially during the last decade. During the half
century of Y.M.C.A. history to date, the " active " membership
has sunk into insignificance ; the control once exercised by this
group and the programme devised in its interest have likewise
lost their original importance.
10. The Work of the Local Associations.
The programme of the Indian Associations has passed through
three stages. At first, the Associations were religious fellowships
and the work was designed to give inspiration and spiritual dis-
cipline to the active membership. Then followed the period of the
fourfold programme, which was a religiously motivated educational
approach to the individual in all phases of his being. Since the
war, the Association has become known and has increasingly
functioned as a service agency. The programme is now designed
to interest the public.
The religious programme has become very small as compared
with the other activities. While the educational work is ap-
parently meeting a real need, it is rather opportunistic in nature.
The formal classes in vocational subjects are in general fulfilling
the purpose for which they were offered, but the possibilities in
informal adult education are as yet largely unrealized by the
movement. The programme in social service, as far as the local
Associations are concerned, is largely entrusted to men who are
poorly equipped for the task. The same is, on the other hand,
distinctly not the case with respect to the promotion of com-
munity athletics and playgrounds carried on by the Association's
trained physical directors. The National Council is doing not-
able work in its several undertakings, namely, in physical educa-
tion, rural reconstruction, industrial welfare work, literature and
publications, and stereopticon lectures. The only question about
them is as to how far the movement can afford to maintain such
work for a constituency primarily and very largely outside the
PEOBLEMS OF ADMINISTRATION GEOWING OUT OF
A. IMPLICATIONS OF THE ORIGIN OF THE ASSOCIATION MOVE-
MENT IN INDIA.
Christianity entered India in two ways ; it came as a mission-
ary movement carried by men like William Carey and his friends
and successors, and it came as the religion of the European popu-
lation. The entrance of this latter type was at the port centres.
These port centres are the product of European occupation and
commercial development and here the European population
planted the institutions with which it was familiar. The Young
Men's and Young Women's Christian Associations were among the
This twofold origin created certain problems of administra-
tion for the Christian Associations which it is necessary to
understand. Because the Associations entered with the Europeans
at the port centres, they are widely scattered geographically.
If the local language were employed, there are not two of
these centres which would cany on in the same tongue. They
are not naturally a unit of administration. Each one is more
provincial than national in its consciousness. ,
Furthermore, the fact that the movements came in two ways
created two types of Association which are marked in their diffe-
rences. Those which were planted as missionary undertakings passed
.easily into indigenous control. Of such the rural Y.M.C.A.'s in
Travancore and Jaffna are examples. Those which came in with
the European population have carried on in two ways. Some have
passed after a transition period, and sometimes after a struggle,
into Indian hands. Others have carried on as European Associa-
tions and have administered certain projects for Anglo-Indians
and Indians. Of such undertakings the Proctor Branch in
Bombay is a good example for the Y.M.C.A.
In the Y.W.C.A., the missionary Associations were those
formerly classified under the vernacular department. In 1919
there .were 40 such Y.W.C.A.'s with a combined membership of
1,478 ; work was carried on among Indian women in six languages.
Of the second type were those Associations organized in the city
department which in 1919 numbered 54 with a combined member-
ship of 5,049'. The object of this department, in the words of the
annual report for 1917, was :
" To work for the welfare of all girls and young women
not more suitably cared for by the vernacular and student
departments. In practice this comes to mean that the city
department works mainly among Europeans and Anglo-
By one of the strange chances of history this city department,
together with the college department, became practically the
whole Young Women's Christian Association in India. Two
events brought this about. The first was the visit of representa-
tives of the World's Committee and the ISTational Board of the
Y.W.C.A. of the United States, shortly after the war. On this
occasion, it was recommended that:
"Work be not organized so that Indian and non-Indian
work become separate departments, valuing the importance
of fostering intercourse between the two and the fact that
there were so many Indians in present City Branches."
The second event was the " retrenchment without warning "
order which came from ~New York in 1924. Under pressure of
retrenchment, the vernacular department was dropped and the
Young Women's Christian Association became co-extensive with
what had been the student and city departments in 1919. The
Y.W.C.A. thus became, with the exception of the college work,
practically identified with the non-Indian group of young women
in India. -
But both Associations, as their work becomes more thorough-
ly indigenous, will have to adapt themselves to the language and
customs of the differing areas, and will find themselves confront-
ed with an increasingly difficult problem of central administra-
tion. The survey finds in this circumstance good reason for the
systems of provincial control advocated from time to time by the
Young Men's Christian Association.
B. DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
FOB, THE ASSOCIATIONS.
.1. Literacy in English.
Classifying the total number of literates according to sex, a
heavy preponderance appears in favour of the men.
Turning to the question of literacy in English, the same
general trends are to be noted but the proportions are much
smaller. Literacy in English is confined quite largely to urban
areas and more especially to port cities. In the total population,
160 males and 18 females per ten thousand are literate in English.
One is impressed with the limitations which are imposed on
the Young Women's Christian Association because of the com-
paratively small number of Indian women who are literate in
English in the cities in which the Association is located.
2. The European and Anglo-Indian Communities. [Omitted.]
3. The Christian Community.
A map showing the distribution of the Christian population
and the Christian Associations would indicate a close relation-
ship between the two. The Christian community seems to fur-
nish a large share of the people who are predisposed towards the
Association and a large supply of voluntary workers. The Tra-
vancore centres, for instance, carry on a large proportion of their
work with honorary secretaries and this state has a higher pro-
portion of Christians in the total population than any other in
India. A large Christian population carries with it a high per-
centage of literacy in English and this has in turn worked to the
advantage of the Associations, since they have carried on their
activities in English. The Associations appear to be very de-
pendent on the Christian church to create the soil in which they
4. Present-day Internal Movements of the Population.
The distribution of the major communal groups in India
indicates that their present geographic outlines follow approxi-
mately the contours of the great racial thrusts which from time to
time have penetrated India. It is not true that religions always
coincide with race, but in general outline the distribution of Maho-
medanism represents the projection for the central Asiatic Aryan
thrust into India from the north-west,' while the Hindus hold the
great central plains of India and are flanked by Mahomedanism on
the one side and by Buddhism on the other. The latter evidently
represents a backwash from Mongolian territory.
In present times there are two population movements which
are worthy of the attention of Christian statesmen ; one is the
movement to the industrial centres and the other is a movement
with a similar motive to the tea plantations of India, Burma and
Ceylon. Both are having a marked effect on the religious distri-
bution of the population.
Under the influence of these modern movements a new dis-
persion of Christian forces is taking place. There is a record of
2,264 Christians from a single place, Ahmednagar, moving to
Bombay. The migration to the tea plantations of Ceylon has
taken 25,000 South Indian Christians to Ceylon. The migration
of Madrassi Christians, to Calcutta and Rangoon has furnished the
nuclei of two Y.M.C.A. branches in those cities. The migration
of Travancore Christians to Bombay has established two groups
of Malayalam-speaking Christians there.
In the .following table are recorded those Y.M.C.A. branches
in India in which migrants from the Madras Presidency consti-
tute a significant group :
7.M.C.A. Membership Groups from the Madras Presidency.
Student Hostel in London . . 144 out of 548
Bhowanipore Branch, Calcutta . . 99 141
College Branch, Calcutta . . 33 566
Trivandrum Y.M.C.A. 23 341
Town Branch, Rangoon . . 16 361
Byculla Branch, Bombay .. 10 36
Hostel, Colombo . . 4 39
It will be seen that Associations are likely to be benefited when
they are situated in the course of the natural flow of population
from South India.
In other places the population migration offers a challenge
to the Associations which is as yet unmet. In 1921 the migra-
tion from South India to Ceylon was 460,760, to Burma 270,993
and to Mysore 269,675 and in each case the group was made up
of plantation labour. Much has been done by the government to
take the hazard for the workers out of such migration but since
the Christian church does so much of its work among the depressed
classes, which constitute the great bulk of this migratory popu-
lation, the question may well be asked whether this is not a field
in which Christian forces should seek to co-operate. Why work
for migratory labour in North America and neglect it in India 1
Of this opportunity, Mr. F. E. James, Secretary of the United
Tea Planters' Association, and a former secretary of the Y.M.C.A.,
has said :
" A new field is open to the Association which it is not
accepting. There is an opportunity for service in connection
with the large migration of workers to the tea plantations.
The companies have offered to finance welfare workers if the
Association will furnish them."
A third aspect of the present-day internal migrations is the
change being brought about in the religious statistics of the large
cities like Bombay and Calcutta. These are rapidly becoming
Hindu strongholds. At the time of the 1921 census the Hindus
constituted 71 per cent of the population of Calcutta. This fact
in itself might have been expected, but the surprising thing is
that during the previous twenty years, while the city increased
by 14 . 7 per cent, the Hindu population increased by 23 . 9 per cent.
The Mahomedans who represented, in 1921, 24.5 per cent of the
population actually lost ground, during the same period, both in
percentage and in total numbers. The Christians gained only by
5 . 8 per cent or at a rate of just a little more than one-third as fast
as that of the city itself. The Hindus are increasing almost twice
as fast as the city. The explanation of this fact is not to be
found in accessions by conversion from other faiths, but in the
nature of the population movement which is flowing into the city
to supply Calcutta and its mills with labour. Of the 1,327,547
inhabitants of the city in 1921, 75 . 13 per cent were born elsewhere.
Of this number one in every five, or twenty per cent, came from
Bihar and Orissa where there were eight Hindus to every Maho-
: 5. The Natural Constituency of the Associations.
A vocational analysis of the Y.M.C.A. memberships in eleven
leading cities brought out the fact that, of the total number in
1929, 35.4 per cent were business employees and 20.6 per cent
were students. An additional 15.0 per cent was made up of
business executives. A similar analysis of the memberships of
five Y.W.C.A. centres indicated that, of the total number, 26 . 5
per cent were students and 21.6 per cent were business girls.
The largest single group in the women memberships 3 7.1 per cent
of the total was made up of "professionals," presumably for
the most part teachers.
The conclusion seems clear that the natural constituency of
the Associations, so far as the general membership is concerned,
is the business and student population. It should be borne in
mind that the Student Associations of the Y.M.C.A. were not
included in this study, and that the students referred to above
were discovered in the regular city memberships.
LINES OF CLEAVAGE IN Y.M.C.A. POLICY.
A. PROBLEMS OF FUNCTION AND FIELD.
It is useless to try to hide from tlie friends of the Association
the strain which the organization is under because of conflicting
stages of programme development which are out of harmony with
the original plan and purpose of the Association. In the outline
of the three stages of Y.M.C.A. work given below there is an at-
tempt to make clear these conflicting theories. The scheme is
doubtless open to the criticism that certain lines have been over-
emphasized. If so, it has been with the purpose of making clear
the fact that the Association has moved from one stage to another
and has not taken the trouble either to reconstruct its original
theories in accordance with its present practice or to change the
structure of the Association in accordance with the need of its
present ideals. , x
SUCCESSIVE STAGES OP Y.M.C.A. DEVELOPMENT.
The Religious Fellowship Stage : 1875-1900.
Basis of Association . . Common belief and shared re-
Motive for joining . . Sense of responsibility for in-
creasing the body of believers.
Control . . . . By the active membership ; secre-
taries chiefly honorary.
Purpose of programme " . . To give members religious disci-
pline and to make new con-
Financial support . . Contributions chiefly from mem-
The Stage oj Institutional Education : 190.0-1920.
Basis of Association ... Student-teacher relationship.
Motive for joining . . Teaching in the case of a few,
learning in the case of the
Control . . . . By the staff faculty and the
boards of directors ; active
members have practically no
Purpose of programme . . To educate the public and to
serve privilege buyers.
Financial support . . . . Public contributions, endow-
ments, membership dues and
fees, government grants.
The Service Agency Stage: 1920-1930.
Basis of Association . . Giver-receiver relationship.
Motive for joining . . Giving service in the case of a
few, receiving service in the
case of many.
Control . . . , By social service experts and
the boards of directors ; per-
sons being served cannot be
given much control.
Purpose of programme . . Service to the needy (hostel
childhood and youth) and
public service ; only slight ser-
vice to the active member-
Financial support . . Public contributions (the As-
sociation is regarded as a
charity), endowments, fees, gov-
ernment grants, and foreign
The strain in the present structure appears in the follow-
ing ways. With regard to the basis of association, the original
fellowship relationship is in conflict with the latter giver-receiver
relationship. With respect to motive for joining, neither giving
nor receiving service possesses sufficient dynamic to create a
movement such as originally existed. The original democratic
theory of control is out of harmony with the highly centralized
control which appears to be inherent in the administration of
concerns on a large scale. The active membership, having be-
come insignificant, can no longer be called upon for collective
acting and thinking. The original purpose of the programme to
discipline the active membership by means of Bible study, prayer
meetings, and the like, is in conflict with the purpose developed
later to educate and interest the public. The movement which
was originally financed on a democratic basis is now forced to
depend on the gifts of wealthy friends, European and Indian, on
government grants, fees for services, and foreign assistance.
1. The Programme of Reconciliation.
The programme, objective and a structure of the Y.M.C.A.
are inextricably intertwined. The objective of the Association,
stated in general terms, is to lead the members of the fellowship
in a continuous experience of reconciliation between God and
man, and between man and other men. This experience is de-
pendent on the structure and programme of the Association and
constitutes the criterion by which both must be evaluated. The
structure of the Association is important because through this
means men are being given an experience in associated living ;
the nature of the association either furthers the individual's ex-
perience of brotherhood or thwarts it. In the same way the
programme is to be judged by its capacity to develop the experience
of fellowship between God and man, and between man and other
men. It is at this point that the fourfold programme is inade-
quate for the following reasons.
The philosophy of the fourfold work was based on the ex-
perience of the individual. It was something a man could, to a
large extent, have by himself. It was a statement in terms of
the character development of an isolated person, but the true
Christian statement is richer in social content than this. Those
who were committed to the fourfold programme were unconscious
of too many group relationships which complicate the develop-
ment of personality. Personality is more of a group product
than they were able to recognize. A poorly conceived Associa-
tion relationship thwarted even the social outlook of the four-
fold programme. A programme more socially conscious would
have faced the necessity of dealing with these conditions.
While recognizing that the fourfold programme for the educa-
tion of the individual still has elements of validity, there is evi-
dence that new fields are opening up which are likely to over-
shadow the former emphasis. Wherever the survey staff went in
its investigations, it asked the question, "'What is the best work
the T.M.C.A. has done in your community?" With certain
variations that only emphasize the essential agreement, the
answers have been everywhere the same. They have all centred
around the one word " reconciliation". In Travancore it was
said that the Association has been a force for inter-denominational
reconciliation ; in the Mofussil towns the Association seemed to be
taking its place as a community centre; in Madras, Lahore and
Colombo it was a force for inter-communal reconciliation ; and in
the leading port cities, which seemed almost too much for the
Association, the people interviewed at least felt that the Y.M.C.A.
was responsible to some extent for overcoming race prejudice
and in promoting inter-communal understanding. This, .then,
seems to be the field which the public is assigning to the Associa-
tion. The fourfold programme is still maintained, but it is no longer
in the front windows. The Y.M.G.A. is publicly recognized as
having a mission of reconciliation in India.
But an organization cannot teach what it cannot exemplify.
If the Association is to send people out to recommend a certain
good life to other social entities such as villages, industries, and
the like, it must first have achieved in itself that which it would
recommend to ,others. The fellowship groups of the Association
become then the test of whether it can expound the fellowship
message to the world. The failure of the Association, when such
there is, ! lies in the moral neutrality of the membership. If it Is
to integrate a great city, that integration must take place first
of all within the groups which the Association calls : together in
its institutes and hostels. Here are its first responsibilities.
It is the major objective of all its marching and counter-marching,
and if it fails here it fails completely.
- , 2. The Field of the Association.
In its interviews with various Association groups in India,
the survey staff found a great deal of diversity of opinion as to
what is the proper field of Association work. In its original mani-
festos the Y.M.C.A. declares itself to be an association of Chris-
tian young men for such service as it can render to young men.
If this is its function the Association might be looked upon as a
flying squadron, operating on a particular sector for the church,
a sector represented by young men. But the Association in
India does not seem to have confined itself to this sector. It is
rather like a flying squadron commissioned to operate on all
fronts : rural life, industrial work, literature, and physical educa-
tion. Perhaps this general commission to operate on all fronts can
be justified because the Y.M.C.A. is in missionary territory
where relief and welfare agencies are not as numerous as in the
West. But the fact that the Association in India has carried
on this widespread activity must be recognized. *It has often
been the Bed Cross of India in times of flood and community
suffering. It' is entirely possible that as Western institutions
multiply in India the T.M.C.A. will be compelled to divide with
other agencies the territory which it has hitherto occupied largely
The distinctive characteristic of the Y.M.C.A. is not found
in its philosophy, its theology, its ethics nor its methods of work.
All of these can be found in other Christian organizations. In
fact it seems everywhere to be something of a register of the rising
and falling tides of the more liberal Christian element in a given
community. Its distinctive characteristic is that it is a man's
organization working for men and boys.
3. The Religious Emphasis of the Association.
A great many reasons have been given for the loss of religious
emphasis in the Association programme. With the point of view
which finds religous values in all useful activities the survey staff
is in sympathy. The loss of interest in the distinctively religious
is not something peculiar to the Association. The situation is a
general one and affects the church as well as all other religious
agencies. This situation can be roughly characterized as follows :
Religious people have lost courage for their cause. They have
courage only when they are conferring some kind of secular benefit
on society. They have courage when they are building colleges,
promoting better agriculture and offering people the benefits of
a comfortable hospital. The church knows how to create crises
in the minds of people which send them to these places. It says
to a small boy, " You emaciated little rascal, why don't you de-
velop some muscle?" and the small boy runs to a gymnasium.
It says to another, " Your ignorance is colossal," and the boy
hurries to a college. All religious institutions to-day seek to live
by serving men in these secular needs to which the church calls
attention. But neither the church nor the Association knows
how to create a crisis which sends men to religion and the church.
This is nothing short of calamitous for religion and religious
programmes. The remedy is not an easy one. Someday there will
be a rediscovery of the individual in religion and with that event
will take place a discovery of the crisis in human living which
sends men to religion and religious ministry. Until that time
comes we may expect that men will go on trying to rationalize
non-religious programmes as religious. When evangelism was the
major enthusiasm of the Christian church the Association was
evangelistic. The T.M.C.A. followed the humanitarian move-
ment into social service. Wow that the humanitarian move-
ment is rediscovering the individual we may expect to see this
movement also reflected in the Association.
The Association is not the church and is not to be compared
with the church. It belongs to that group of " middle organiza-
tions " which have been generated by the church for dealing with
specific problems in society. Other organizations of a similar
character are the Christian colleges, the Anti-Saloon League,
the Christian neighbourhood houses, the American Sunday School
Union and similar organizations. The Association was devised
to deal with problems in a specific area which required certain
special types of equipment. By the same token the Association
ought not to be set over against the church. It is probably true
that the Association does work which the church does not do. It
would be meaningless if it did not.
A good deal of unnecessary friction grows out of the rela-
tionship between the church and the Association. The Associa-
tion leaders claim to believe in the church, but their declarations
indicate that the kind of church in which they believe is one which
is so weak that it needs an Association alongside to help it. The
reverse is however true, for the Association is very dependent on
the church. If one compares the distribution of Associations
in India, with the distribution of the Christian population one is
impressed with the degree to which they coincide. The church
seems to furnish the Association with conditions favourable to its
growth, as indicated in the preceding chapter and Part I of this
report. On the other hand, the Association has had the right
of way, and has developed the skill, in work among men and boys
which the church could not claim. It has been, furthermore,
a meeting place for all churches. This service in a very real way
strengthens the church as a whole. When either the church or
the Association enter into a competitive relationship there results
a fragmentation of the cultural process which is most unfortunate.
4. The Association Movement and Its Hostels.
A psychologist or a biologist would say that it is impossible
to draw a distinction between an organism and its activities, but
some degree of separation is sometimes necessary for the preser-
vation of the organism. It appears to be necessary to the inte-
grity of the Association movement, and to its freedom of action, to
separate it out from the midst of the good things which it does..
The Association, for instance, conducts hostels, but the move-
ment is hampered when the ordinary residents in a hostel are
regarded as members of the Association. Many of them have
little interest in its activities outside of a desire for an inexpen-
sive room. As one hostel group said to its secretary :
"The trouble with the management of this place is that
you assume that we are interested in the activities of the
Association, whereas we are interested in getting a room
as cheaply as possible. Whenever you include us in the
Association it irritates us."
This attitude, so frankly expressed, is apparently not an unusual
There are four possible ways of regarding the work of the
(1) They are a source of revenue and provide income ;
(2) They are a contribution to the housing opportunities
for people of inadequate income and ought not to
be looked upon as income producing features ;
(3) They are a place of residence for a small group of
people who assume special voluntary responsibi-
lities, along with the secretaries, in the Association
(4) They are places where young men have a successful
experience in social living and are to be valued
from the standpoint of social and cultural training .
Probably all of the hostels have some features which might
classify under each of the four heads mentioned above. The survey
staff has been impressed with the fact that if the hostel work is to
rise to the best level, its highest possibilities must be taken seriously,
and there must be more adequate personnel for this type of work.
It might help to clarify the issue if the non-student hostels were
called hotels conducted by the Association, and were thus dis-
entangled from the Association movement proper.
5. The Training School and Physical Education.
The Young Men's Christian Association occupies a recognized
place in India as a leader in physical education. The work which
it first did in civic centres and for the Government is gradually
being absorbed by the city and other Government agencies. But
the training school has been recognized as a centre of all these in-
terests. Here men come for the more thorough-going training that
jg not yet available in other places, Jt would appear that a school
which has for a number of years been running with scarcely any
equipment and has acquired a standing before the Indian public
such that the 1928 Indian Year Book published by the Govern-
ment calls it " the leading venture of its kind in India" might
well be put on a more substantial financial foundation. Funds
placed at the disposal of the present leaders in this enterprise
could be wisely used. The enthusiasm of the survey staff for the
school is unqualified.
6. Active Membership and Control.
The development of the Association from an early religious
fellowship has been traced elsewhere in this report. The growth
of buildings and equipment, and of paid personnel has also been
indicated. But the most important of all the changes has been
the shift that has taken place in the meaning of Association mem-
bership. The significance of active membership in the Associa-
tion has been consistently reduced.
The active membership was once called upon for collective
planning and thinking, and was the real life of the whole move-
ment. It elected officers and directed policies. It was a fellow-
ship of men and boys held together by a certain ideal of life.
Buildings and equipment were accessories but rather unimportant
accessories. Trained employed secretaries were useful but the
Association carried on for years without them. In the develop-
ment of the Association the importance of this fellowship of active
members suffered gradual displacement. With the multiplica-
tion of equipment there came to the forefront those who could
use equipment and those who wished to take advantage of ser-
vices such as hostels, gymnasia, and the like. The importance of
a Christian fellowship group as the centre of the Association de-
clined ; control of the Association, nominally still vested in the
active membership, passed to a paid secretary and to a board of
directors chosen from prominent people in the community to ad-
minister the institution. The programme once designed to disci-
pline the membership came to be something to interest the
public. It shifted as the public shifted. The Association lost
faith in its real genius and began to define itself as something
which could only be realized with large equipment and large funds.
It became not a common man's religious fellowship but in many
cases a rich man's charity.
As a by-product of this development, the Association found
itself not something which the Indians, with their genius for re-
ligious fellowship, could administer but something very much
dependent on European and Forth American benevolence, In
times of transition like the present this becomes a great source
of embarrassment. There grew up the fiction that a building
could grow a fellowship in place of the experienced fact that a
fellowship could grow a building.
It is the belief of the survey staff that there is need first of
all for disentangling the real Association from the good things it
does and for releasing it for a career in accordance with its genius,
expressed in terms and under circumstances in harmony with
Indian life. It is not thought that this calls for a return to any
one of the three phases through which the Association in India
has passed, it is rather thought that each one of these phases
made some contribution to the life of the Association and that the
Association is richer because of each.
From the first stage comes the idea of the Association as a
fellowship which can be called upon for collective action and think-
ing ; from the fourfold programme comes the idea of the well-round-
ed individual ; and from the post-war period the thought of the
social environment as the object of redemption along with the
fourfold development of the individual. From all of these, there
are contributing factors to a common ideal of a religious fellow-
ship united in the search for the "good way" of personal and
social life using such equipment as is available for the accomplish-
ment of the task.
It is not to be denied that the historic equipment of hostel,
gymnasium and social rooms have been tools with which the real
Association has enriched its ministry, but the attainment of the
essential goal is not dependent on these and is in many cases
realizable without them. It is not the identifying of the Association
programme with some conventional kind of expensive equipment
that has hindered the Association in its development in India.
All around the Y.M.C.A. are movements which are offering to
Indians the chance to join in sacrificial service ; they are rally-
ing men by slogans which call for Indians to assume responsi-
bility in programmes of national welfare. They are compelling in
their opportunities for sacrificial living. In this field lies the
real genius of the Association and in many places it exemplifies
it splendidly. In these cases the active membership gathers
together a group of men to assume collective responsibility in self-
discipline and in public service. Such membership groups were
found in the village T.M.C.A.'s in Travancore, in some of the
student groups, and also in some of the city Associations. These
fellowships of men constitute the real Association and their num-
bers should be multiplied. These groups can use equipment
but they are not dependent on it. In fact the heavy overhead
involved in equipment was often found to obscure the goal and
limit the freedom of the group.
It is the belief of the survey staff that the essence of the
Association consists in a group of men who are together experienc-
ing reconciliation with God and man, that this fellowship is the
heart and core of the Association and should be in control of it,
and that any tendency which obscures this fact sooner or later
deflects the Association into unfortunate channels. It is the
belief of the staff that the Association in India needs evangelists
who can dramatize before Indian youth the call for self-develop-
ment and national service under the historic banner of the Chris-
tian way of life. This call can be heard alike by men in great poverty
and in great wealth. It can move in buildings and out of them.
It can make use of churches and schools, it can thrive in the great
out-of-doors. Its benefits will be the old historic benefits of a new
status and fellowship in service. Such a movement can make use
of all the equipment there is in India and more, but without this
movement the present equipment will continue to disintegrate
because there are not those who can bear the burden of its upkeep.
The Association faces the necessity of understanding itself in
the light of its avowed purpose to be a movement for ethical and
spiritual leadership among young men. This objective should
be conceived as in contrast to : (a) an Association built upon
secretarial leadership j this is a modified type of clericalism ; (&)
social service activities performed by a paid secretariat and using
Western funds ; activities like playgrounds, rural centres, the
Association Press and others, are admittedly good but are in no
way the product of, or a substitute for, a more basic Indian de-
velopment ; (e) the identification of the Association movement
with a membership gathered together by the desire to be served,
in short with privilege buyers ; (d) the benevolent activity of a
supporting constituency to whom the Association means very
little as a fellowship but rather an outlet for charity.
B. PROBLEMS OF FREEDOM.
It cannot be denied that religious organizations are under a
great strain during a time of political upheaval such as that now
going on in India. In the first place, there is the demand from
the British Government that those organizations which have
received Government grants should support it and fight the Indian
National Congress movement. In addition to this, there is the
unofficial demand of the supporters of the Y.M.C.A., such as that
made by the European Association in Calcutta. There is also the
pressure from the British members on the boards of directors.
From the other side, there is the pressure from Indian groups as
illustrated by the attitude of the Indian students in London and
recorded in Chapter 14.
The Association has denned its task to include education for
citizenship. It has sought to avoid partisan politics ; it is how-
ever hard to define the discussion of British and Indian view-
points as engaging in partisan politics. There appears to be
little doubt that fear of trouble has kept the Y.M.C.A. silent and
inactive, in India, even in or<linary matters that would not arouse
suspicion. The committee of management of the London hostel,
on the other hand, has tried to draw a line that will allow consi-
derable freedom of discussion but will, at the same time, not permit
members to use the name of the Y.M.C.A. for propaganda. This
appears to be the course of wisdom.
In such situations there is a certain obligation on both sides.
The Association is manifestly under the obligation of keeping to
its historic function as a religious organization. On the other
side, there is an ethical obligation on the part of the Government
not to require of the Association a political loyalty which vio-
lates the conscience of individual members.
The Y.M.C.A. of India, Burma and Ceylon is faced with the
necessity of thinking through its future in the face of possible
exigencies in its social environment. If things continue much
as at present the North American and British support will go on
diminishing and the present small Indian support will have to
grow larger. In this case, the organization should employ an
Indian finance secretary who will accept responsibility for culti-
vating an Indian constituency. It should further give attention
to the acquisition of buildings that will produce income, by means
of shop rentals or room rentals. Endowments should be raised
for some of the special programme features such as the industrial
work, the publication department, the training school, and the
rural work. Simpler types of programme should also be developed
that will have value without being expensive. Finally, more of
the burden of self-support should be put upon the six leading
Some of the outstanding problems of institutional freedom
and its relation to control and financial support will be discussed
in the following sections:
1. Religious Freedom and Religious Institutions.
Religious institutions are governed by the following elements :
(1) the formal and informal control exercised by the group that
projects them ; (2) the recognized leaders, either elected or self-
appointed, who serve the institution ; (3) the people who give-
money and so furnish the support ; (4) the prevalent public opinion
that surrounds the institution; and (5) the participants in the pri-
vileges of the institution.
The question of control is generally discussed in terms of
numbers one and two and there is a failure to recognize how much
three, four and five enter into the modification of the ideas of
those who are nominally at the head. Very frequently leaders
break with the authority of number one by encouraging the
authority of three, four, and five. If the above analysis is accept-
ed, a point of view is developed by which to establish the futility
of any discussion of the question as to whether or not a foreign
cultural or religious movement has really taken root in a country,
which takes into consideration only one kind of control.
This question of indigenousness is generally discussed upon
the promise that the chief hindrance is Western Christianity re-
presented in soine form of denominational control or, as is the
case with the Y.M.C.A., in the form of the dominance of the
American idea or the North American movements. But there
are other kinds of control no less insidious.
An investigation of some of the organizations which most
loudly proclaim their freedom from the control of Western Chris-
tianity Indicates that they are very much under the influence of
the European community which furnishes most of the members
of the local committees of control and the bulk of the financial
support. Sometimes it is a Government subsidy which provides
the funds, and Governments often have ways of dictating terms
to those to whom they give. It is an interesting fact that the
Missouri Lutherans in South India have been one of the first of
the missionary bodies to forego Government funds in their schools
because they. would not accept the terms which the Government
imposed. Furthermore, an investigation of the forces of control
might well indicate that although Western influences had been
abandoned an institution had become, so sensitive to general
public opinion, and especially to that of the non-Christian ele-
ment, that a very subtle but real non-Christian control had been
Now the fact that any agency is a possible source of control
means also that it is a possible source of power, and the question
of swaraj (self-government) in religion is a problem of the fusion
of these forces and influences. The problem stated in terms of
an educational institution is this: Can a faculty, governing
boards and a body of students, be enlisted in a venture in which
teaching and learning may have right of way ? In a religious
institution it is a question whether or not a present religious
fellowship is an end in itself, and its traditions, building equip-
ment, governing boards, and institutional programmes its servants.
It is a question whether the members are a group of privilege-
buyers who exercise rights, or a fellowship of men who have
Is it not often seen that just in proportion as an institution
over-emphasizes one side of its work, it complicates the problem
of freedom ? Mr. Grugg, in a book entitled " The Economics of
Khaddar," points out that if India tries tobuildher industry out
of the power which is in machines, she will probably fail, but if
India realizes the power which she has in men, she will probably
succeed. There is a hint there which may be of value for swaraj
in religion. Large buildings and heavy equipment are a rich
man's game. If poor people try to play it, they land in slavery.
On the other hand, brotherly fellowship, personal helpfulness
is a game which the poor can play. In such material India is
rich. Swaraj in religion and swaraj in economics may be made
successful by the discovery of new kinds of energy and a new
principle of organization.
2. Institutional Organization and ihe Experience of Freedom.
The people of India are committed to the cause of national
freedom in objective, organization and programme. As at present
visualized, the organization is not complete and the programme is
not complete. For the religious and welfare agencies this means
an opportunity to provide them with a knowledge of the experi-
ence of freedom in associated living. Stated in another way,
the missionary institutions are under obligation to give those
in whom they are interested an experience which increases their
power of self-government.
Inconsistent with this objective is an experience of depen-
dence oh charity or an institutional life so large that any kind of
self-determination on the part of those being helped is impossible.
This is illustrated by Calvert's remarks about the British Govern-
ment to the effect that it had become so perfect that the Indians
could not take it over. Miller said that his schools at Madura
were beyond the Indians' ability to manage for another hundred
years. The maintenance of the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion, which is the product of Is orth American and European bene-
volence, is in some places entirely beyond the reach of Indians
and keeps them ever at the feet of the European community.
The conclusion, therefore, is that institutions which are local
administrative agencies must give some experience of democratic
control to those whom they seek to help. This principle is in-
consistent with control by administrative agencies from abroad,
with control by benevolent providers of funds inside the country
(whether they be Europeans or any other people to whom the
Association means nothing as a fellowship), and with exclusive
control by secretaries or boards of directors. It means a fusion
of the five determining sources of control with the emphasis on
the authority of the people of the country.
In regard to programme, this ideal means that the kind of help
which is given shall be such as can be appropriated by those for
whom the experience in self-government is desired. It demands
that that help must be given which will be really helpful to some
one who is to be made increasingly free. This necessarily raises
the question of the value of institutional missions and such pro-
grammes as require large equipment.
Benevolent missions have been going through a period in
which the emphasis has been on the giving of material equipment.
Without doubt the large schools, hospitals and central Y.M.C.A.
buildings have been acceptable, but their deficiencies are begin-
ning to be apparent in times when the emphasis is on freedom.
Most of the large equipment is simply non-transferable. Its
maintenance perpetuates an experience of dependence. Another
criticism of it is that it accumulates a constituency who are not
interested in an experience of freedom but are content with de-
pendence. This condemns all missionary venture of this type
to mediocrity. Control of a spiritual movement cannot be
transferred to a group of privilege buyers.
Viewed from the standpoint of the givers, the institutional
mission is something which the rich can give to the poor: Are we
not ready for a revaluation of missions from the standpoint of
freedom ? Will not such revaluation bring to the forefront a
new appreciation of the rare experience derived from giving a
man that very intangible reality a Christian vocation ?
Briefly stated from this standpoint, the following types of
missionary work will recede into the background : Social welfare
institutions and settlements, medical missions, agricultural mis-
sions, educational missions and the large institutions of the Chris-
tian Associations. Many of these organizations become the basis
for a disbelief in the Oriental's capacity for self-government.
Consequently he is on the defence against them.
On the positive side, the new evaluation of missions from the
standpoint of freedom would bring to the forefront that mis-
sionary appeal which holds out the allurement of the Christian voca-
tion of the assumption of responsibility in the pursuit of the uni-
versal community, and of fellowship with Christ in seeking the
kingdom of righteousness. This experience can be transferred
by the use of the simplest symbols. Large institutional life may
be an encumbrance.
Gandhi's whole programme which is a mighty challenge to his
people to join with him in a great spiritual venture successfully
scorns large equipment. It relies most on the appeal of the
heroic. It speaks the language of symbols. It invites its mem-
bers to spiritual discipline in j>rayer, meditation, clear thinking,
and personal sacrifice. Missions under similar conditions would
deal not with cultural deficiencies but with those old revolution-
izing realities such as personal dignity, self-respect, freedom
and the sense of mission in society.
There is room for a transition period in which an attempt
should be made to salvage the products of the period of institu-
tional missions by raising endowments for those institutions which
have been established ; by seeking to make the large institutions
as democratic as possible through encouraging members and pri-
vilege users to participate in management ; by gradually disen-
tangling the religious movements from the institutional agencies,
and organizing them under separate boards of directors, and the
like ; and by demonstration work in certain fields where social
work is still in its infancy. This latter should, however, be tem-
porary in nature. A beginning can be made in the organization
of free religious and social fellowships which will form the nuclei
of the larger religious fellowships of the future.
3. The Relative Merits of various kinds of Support from the
Standpoint of Freedom.
The chief sources of financial support for private institutions
dedicated to religious, social and educational ends may be enu-
merated as follows : Government subsidies, subscriptions from
abroad, public contributions inside the country, subsidies from
business corporations, and membership fees and donations. The
relative advantages and disadvantages of each will be enumerat-
ed below :
(a) Government Subsidies. The advantage consists in the
availability of large amounts of money for expensive projects ;
in fact, where the practice of private benevolence is undeveloped,
Government grants are the only possible source of income. This
method of financing welfare work is commonly accepted in coun-
tries under British rule.
The disadvantages, however, are serious. Without a doubt
the practice accentuates the communal struggle. The British
Government augments communal feeling by making grants to
communal institutions, and then uses the existence of the com-
munal problem to justify its continuance in India. Similarly,
the missions and Y.M.C.A.'s participate in the system which
accentuates the struggle and then, in turn, justify their existence
in India because of the communal problem. Furthermore, a
State-supported religious or educational body never acquires the
right to criticise the State. Whenever it permits itself such dis-
cussion it is accused of political tendencies. Finally, the possi-
bility of acquiring large funds for buildings tends to emphasize
the equipment side of the work to the detriment of other sides,
as may be illustrated, for instance, by the overdevelopment of
the hostel work in the Y.M.C.A.
(6) Subscriptions from Abroad. Among the advantages
must be mentioned the circumstance that the sharing of wealth
by Christians in one part of the world with Christians in other
parts does make possible the development of institutions and the
extension of projects which would otherwise not be undertaken
at all. Furthermore, this sharing of goods becomes the channel
through which spiritual gifts may be shared to the benefit of both
parties. Money given in this way relieves institutions from the
necessity of applying to the Government for subsidies. The pro-
motion of institutional growth in anticipation of future spiritual
development appears to be a fairly well-recognized procedure in
all missionary enterprise.
The most significant disadvantage lies in the danger that
the case with which such funds can be secured from abroad may
warp the development of a religious movement in a given country.
This may take place in the following ways : A type of leadership
may be developed that spends its time cultivating contacts abroad
rather than in developing resources, both spiritual and financial,
at home. Since most of the money is administered through the
national headquarters, undue power may be lodged in this body
and democratic development be thwarted. Foreign subsidies
are often spent for the projects of special interest to the individual
securing them, rather than for the basic needs of the movement
as a whole. The development of the movement may be deter-
mined by the wishes of the foreign donors more than by the needs
of the indigenous population. Another disadvantage to be
pointed out lies in the danger that such foreign subsidies may
come to be the basis for buying entrance into a country in an
economic or political sense.
(o) Public Contributions inside the Country. This type of
support is one stage nearer free, indigenous support than either
Government grants or foreign subsidies. It represents the volun-
tary interest of people that know the movement. Moreover,
it is a source of income that can be developed and that grows
as the movement grows. The practice also serves to educate in
public-mindedness those from whom donations are solicited.
Causes that seek such support shoulder, to some extent, the burden
of public education in that they create public opinion intelligent
as to their work.
Among the disadvantages must be mentioned the fact that
too great a reliance on public support may lodge real control
outside the movement. The tendency is developed to live for
the general public rather than according to the true genius of the
movement. A spiritual and social fellowship tends towards
institutionalism and may become a public charity. One way to
make religion conservative is to load it down with institutions
that can only be supported by the general public and more es-
pecially by the business world.
(d) Subsidies from Business Corporations. The advantages
of such subsidies for welfare projects consist in the fact that large
amounts are secured for expensive undertakings and that the skill
and techniques of an organization like the Y.M.C.A. are put at
the disposal of workers who need help. The disadvantages lie
in the circumstance that the corporations control the funds and
that consequently very little freedom is possible in developing
the work. A sudden chance of policy may terminate the enter-
prise at any time and leave the equipment and working staff
(e) Membership Fees and Donations. This source of income
contains the only real basis for swaraj. A movement so financed
can be free in its relations to the State and to society. Control
is lodged inside the movement and true self-determination is
possible. If self -support is substantial it is still possible to secure
additional income from shop rentals, endowments, or similar
sources, without lodging control outside the movement. The
movement which has won its freedom can ask others to co-operate
on its own terms. For these reasons, this source of income is
to be preferred to all others.
The disadvantage of support from membership sources lies
in the fact that poverty is always the price of freedom in religion.
A movement so financed will probably have to manage with small
-equipment, particularly in the early stages. Furthermore, a
heavy burden is put on the leaders of the movement. Unless
men of real ability and devotion are developed, a movement will
not progress very far without the accessories which money can
In presenting the above considerations, no suggestion is in-
tended that the Association confine itself to any one source of
financial support. The purpose was rather to assess the advan-
tages and disadvantages of each so that the Association might
be in a position to evalute their relative values in the light of its
own best interest. The Y.M.C.A. shares with all institutions
and private individuals the obligation to consider the source of
its support with reference to the effect of such support on its own
soul as well as on its own body, especially in times of crisis.
0. PROBLEMS OF CO-OPERATION WITH NORTH AMERICA.
Systematically from one end of India to the other, the survey
staff asked the question : Has the T.M.O.A. taken root in
India H This question was interpreted to mean : If foreign
support were withdrawn has the Association developed enough
momentum to carry on with such Indian resources as it can com-
mand 1 While the answers indicated a very widespread good-
will toward the Y.M.C.A., among Christians and non-Christians,
the conviction appeared to be very definite that the withdrawal
of foreign support would substantially reduce the effectiveness
of the Association although it would not kill it. The Y.M.C.A.
is established in the Buropeanized sections of the country. It
is most securely launched in the indigenous population in the
southern part of India. The great weakness in the present situa-
tion lies in the fact that Indians have thought of the Y.M.C.A. as
a rich organization which did not need their small gifts and which
was so far beyond the reach of indigenous support that they have
developed no sacrificial attitude toward it. Buildings, equip-
ment and salary scales have been approyed. on so high a level
that, with, the exception of some of the small places in South
India, public support of the Association has not been seriously
contemplated by the Indian population.
As one reviews the development of the Indian T.M.C.A.,
one is impressed with the progress that has been made toward
indigenous control. The appointment of Indian national secre-
taries and the gradual increase in the number of Indian secre-
taries in the local Associations are all milestones on the road of
progress. But one is also impressed with the fact that there has
been no similar progress in indigenous support. Control and
support are so clearly associated that this becomes a very serious
matter. As will be recalled from the discussion in Chapter 7,
there has been in recent years a decrease in subsidies from abroad'
and also a decrease in contributions from Europeans in India,
with no corresponding increase in amounts secured from Indian
donors. The maintenance of the present plant and programme
appears to be beyond the capacity of the Indian constituency.
If this continues to be true, the Association in India will be faced,
and increasingly so, with a very critical problem. If truly indi-
genous control is desired, the difficulty cannot be met by attempt-
ing to finance the movement by means of large gifts from
1. The Problem of Buildings.
Of all the contributions received for Association buildings
in India, 35.8 per cent has come from North America and only
23 .2 per cent from local donors. These buildings are not modern,
in 1930, and some are entering a stage of disrepair. Local funds
are not forthcoming with which to restore them.
There is no wisdom in bemoaning the size of a building. Size
is a relative matter. A building with ample dormitory space
might be self-supporting. A large building with an adequate
supporting constituency might be much more economical than a
small one. But there is wisdom in declaring that the size of a
building ought to bear some relation to the extent of the avail-
able financial support. One cannot escape the conviction that
the Y.M.C.A. has not faced the fact that the efficiency of a build-
ing must finally be tested by the ability of the Indian community
to maintain it. Judged on this basis, the building programme
in India has far out-distanced available resources.
In the local Associations, there seems to be a widespread
difference of opinion as to the relative merits of one central build-
ing and of many small builcUngs. Opinion is also divided as to
whether a large building helps or hinders the work. There does
not seem to be any doubt that large equipment is an importation
from the West and represents Western benevolence. Nothing
appears to embarrass the Indian public quite so much as the fact
that here is something they can neither reproduce nor support.
Furthermore, as already indicated, many of the present buildings
are showing signs of age. The survey staff is inclined to believe
that a simpler, less expensive type of work which makes larger
use of human resources and lays less emphasis on equipment, is
essential to the success of the Y.M.O.A. movement in India.
The survey staff is quite clear in its judgment that the North
American movement is under obligation to assist the Indian
movement in reconstructing and simplifying its equipment. In
some cities it will be possible to effect economy by combining
the work of several branches in one centre. With a small amount
of outside help, one modern building could be erected with the
receipts from the sale of several out-dated buildings now in exis-
tence. In other places endowments might be secured in the form
of shops or offices to be rented. There are still other cases where
it will be better to sell the equipment and start work without
any building in place of the present programme . All such measures
will be constructive, however, only as a new type of work is visu-
alized which is less dependent than the present programme on
2. North American Participation in the Indian Movement.
North American participation in the affairs of the Indian
Y.M.C.A. has taken the form of contributions in funds and per-
sonnel. The extent of such contributions has been set forth
in the preceding chapters of this report. It is the judgment of
the survey staff that this participation has been of great value,
and that it has in each period of development been justified by
the special circumstances. The question to be considered now is
the kind of participation that will be of most value in the future.
There has been in operation, during recent years, a general
policy of North American assistance known as the " light house "
policy. According to this plan certain outstanding enterprises
have been launched in India with liberal aid from North America ;
sometimes it was a city Association, sometimes a rural welfare
centre, or something of the kind. While the survey staff is con-
vinced of the value of such " demonstration " projects, it believes
them open to the following criticism ; They are maintained chiefly
by large foreign subsidies and, like any venture similarly financ-
ed, do not "demonstrate" anytMng permanent. What they
do make clear is simply that unusual people can do unusual things
if they have unusual means with which to do them. Whatever
may once have been the justification for such demonstrations,
what is needed at the present time is the development of plans
that rely more heavily on Indian resources in funds and leader-
ship. North American donors to work in India should scruti-
nize their experiments from the standpoint of the amount of self-
reliance developed by them among Indians. Projects that further
this end, even though they exhibit many imperfections, may
rightly be classed as pertaining to a new " light house " policy.
In addition to launching projects that develop self-reliance
and to assisting in the process of salvaging the present building
equipment, probably the most useful form which North American
participation can take is in the field of leadership training. To
this end the training school in Madras deserves every encourage-
ment. A policy of " training on the job " should also be encour-
aged and may be counted on for good results.
The role of the foreign secretary in India will, in future, be
less and less that of captain of the team and increasingly that
of coach and team strategist. In other words, the general secre-
taryship both national and local will be reserved for Indians.
Of course, no Indian should be put in such a position just because
he is an Indian. The task is to find and train Indians capable
of doing the necessary work.
The foreign secretary is at present the necessary go-between
for the Association and the European community in India. He
also introduces the international element and prevents the move-
ment from becoming exclusively Indian. On the other hand,
he is a liability in that his salary and standard of living are so high
above the Indian standard that he conveys to the public the im-
pression that little sacrificial living prevails in the Association
and that Indian support is not needed. His standards of living
are unconsciously absorbed, to some extent, by the Indian secre-
taries and they also tend to live above the scale of other Indians
D. PROBLEMS OF ADMINISTRATION.
An issue very much to the forefront at the present time is
that of the relationship between the local Associations and the
National Council. The arguments in favour of a strong, cen-
tralized national organisation are as follows : There are certain
kinds of work that cannot be handled by local Associations, such
as the rural reconstruction project or the Association Press.
Then there are certain relationships that can only be maintained
through a central headquarters. Foreign missionaries or the
Government must have some agency through which to address
the Y.M.C.A. of India.
Those who press for decentralization, on the other hand,
argue that the National Council is of no great service to the local
Associations and withholds from them funds which they could
better use. With more responsibility and power vested in the
local situation, more ability would be released that is now locked
up. The strength of the Y.M.C.A. is now concentrated in eight
cities which differ among each other in language, customs and
local loyalties. Some kind of provincial administration could
deal better with this situation than the National Council. If
there is to be a national organization, however, it should repre-
sent the different areas and be responsible to them. At present
there is no check on the central committees through any kind
of provincial election. Finally, it is claimed that the Y.M.C.A.
of India will be judged in the long run by the vitality of its local
Associations and not by the work of its National Council. For
this reason nothing should be allowed to hide from Association
leaders the importance of perfecting the work in the local com-
The survey staff agrees with those persons who point out that
these two points of view are not mutually exclusive. It is of the
opinion that a more thoroughgoing, attempt should be made in
the future than has been made in the past to create responsible
provincial units that will elect' representatives to the central or-
ganization, which, in turn, will speak for all of the Associations in
OPPOETUNITIES FOE EXTENSION.
A. THE PORT CITY AS THE CENTRE OF CULTURAL CONFLICT
IN THE ORIENT.
Some of us went to the Orient thinking that the term " cul-
tural conflict " connoted a rather academic dispute between
Western theological convictions and Oriental standards in ethics
and religion. Gradually it dawns upon one that cultural conflict
is as widespread as the activities of human beings and that it
is a clash not only of the intellect but also of all the competing
interests in society. This struggle comes to a focus in the port
cities of the Orient. It might better be called a conflict due to
lack of culture rather than a cultural conflict.
In the port city, which is the product of the sea-trader eco-
nomy of the West and the old agricultural economies of the Orient,
we find not only a diversity of ethical views but also competi-
tion for business success. We find racial conflict. We find a
struggle of nationalisms. And finally, and sometimes most bitter
of all, there is the struggle of labour for the meagre opportunities
to gain a living. Here East and West are often in deadly con-
flict. The interpreter has a function to perform. He is already
at work seeking to win favourable public opinion for chambers of
commerce. He mixes in the gossip of the social club. He finds
a voice in the editorial of the daily press. If the Christian Asso-
ciations have anywhere in the world an opportunity to perform
a work of interpretation and reconciliation, it is in these port cities
of the Orient. A certain amount of good work has been done^
but the task has never been approached with the seriousness
which it should command. If it was worthwhile for the Associa-
tion Press in India to outline a programme of research and publica-
tion, interpreting the great religious faiths of India to each other,
it might be still more worthwhile to direct the work of the Associ-
ation Press toward the task of interpreting these social conflicts
which come to a focus in the port city. A field exists here which
has 'as yet been unclaimed and if the Association Press was right
in undertaking the work it did under Mr. Farquhar, it would be
equally justified in entering this field. It would require some-
thing of a research staff, but this was also required for the pre-
vious enterprise. The whole realm of communal and racial con-
flict exists in India as it exists in few other places so that India
might be regarded as a natural laboratory for tlie world in the
investigation of such problems. Another line of attack in behalf
of reconciliation presents itself in the hostel work. If it is worth-
while to put up an international house alongside of a great uni-
versity in America, it might be a great deal more worthwhile to
equip institutions prepared to do similar work in the gateways
to the Orient.
B. THE RTIRAL FIELD AS THE. KEY TO INDIAN LIFE.
Somewhere in the world it was meet that there be staged
a fight for the life, the dignity and the worth of the small com-
munity. There are reasons why this fight should be made in
India, Out of a total of 316 million recorded by the 1921 census,
283 million were classified as rural people living in 700,000 villages.
The annual increase of the total population is about one and a
quarter million, but the urban population increases at a rate
sufficient to appropriate most of the industrial opportunities created
by urban life, with the result that the rural population, year
after year, maintains about the same proportion to the whole.
There is an increase of population in centres like Bombay
and Calcutta, but it is apparently recruited from the smaller cities.
While the population of Bombay is growing, it is at the expense
of the market towns which have not kept up proportionately
with the increase in the country as a whole. Furthermore there
seems to be a lack of permanency in India's urban population.
A surprisingly large number of the immigrants to the city are
urban by concevSsion rather than conviction and leave their fami-
lies at home. In both Bombay and Calcutta there were in 1921
about two males to one female. The ratio of females among the
immigrants to Bombay from the Punjab is 199 per thousand. In
many of the industrial towns the workers in the factories live in
the villages and either walk or come in to work by bus. The
Indian thinks of the village as home. He makes a living in the
city, but he goes to the village to make a life. This predisposi-
.tion toward the village will be to the advantage of any movement
that aims to preserve the dignity and worth of village life.
But not only is India committed to village life in fact and
by preference, but her present culture bears the indelible stamp
of village-mindedness. A new comer in India. is impressed with
a certain preference for a personal face-to-face way of getting
-things done. The Indian personalizes causes and movements.
He conducts his business in a small but personal way. His land
and his shops are divided up into small units. The small shop-
keeper may be seen to do homage as he locks his account book in
his safe at night and the ryot to worship the little clod of earth at
the corner of the field as he begins to plough for the new crop. Even
cities like Bombay and Calcutta, with cows sleeping in the post
office and on the sidewalk in front of the most exclusive hotels,
show a friendliness for animal life which was born in the villages.
: But all this might be the survival of a never-to-be-revived
past and unless there are movements which express the vitality
of present village life our thesis cannot be maintained. Such-
movements, however, do exist.. Any far-reaching policy of re-
construction must deal with the economic side of life. Business is
a matter of needs and the chance to satisfy them . A stable nation is
one in which people want what they ought to want and can get what
they want. In India the approach to village life is manifold. There
are the forces of the Government which promote village welfare by
means of schemes for education, sanitation, better crop production,
better credit, and better marketing. Closely associated with the
Government are voluntary organizations such as the Young Men's
Christian Association which enlist the people in co-operative
effort for self -betterment.
India is unique at present in that a widespread effort is being
made to revive a village form of .government. There is a tradi-
tion of self-government in the Indian village. Village headmen
have felt a sense of social responsibility and the village dweller
a sense of loyalty. The latter has historically looked to the
leaders for guidance. The panchayet movement is an attempt
to carry swaraj to the basic community in Indian life. It is a form
of self-government that means accepting responsibility for all
phases of village life. The encouraging fact about this move-
ment is that the people seem to be grasping it as a part of a general
programme of swaraj. In the Indian State of Mysore over 8,000
villages have organized their pancJiayets since the movement
started. If the tendency increases the time may well come when
political power and experience may return to the smaller com-
But no social renaissance advances very far without leaders
and a social philosophy of life. Here India is not lacking. To a
Westerner the two best known names in this field are those of
Gandhi and Tagore. Gandhi, of course, is interested in the free-
dom of all of India, but again and again he comes back to the
statement that he wants swaraj for the villager more than for any
one else. He wants to see the ryot free from his burden of debt.
On one side Gandhi has all the hatred of the money-lenders, which
Jennings Bryan had of Wall Street. There is a certain.
similarity between the authority exercised by Bryan among the
farmers of the West and that of Gandhi among the villagers of
India. It is a moral authority, linked on the one hand to reli-
gion and on the other to a Benjamin-Franklin doctrine of: work
hard, be frugal, take care of your health, and discipline your pas-
sions a doctrine which "Poor Eichard's Almanac" carried to the
rural populations of America in an earlier period. Gandhi claims
that the only person who ever beats this modern game is the
person who makes himself independent of it. He is the leader of
a revolt of the smaller community against the tyranny of a big
Tagore also sees in the life of the village the hope of India's
regeneration. He deplores the decadence which has come, a
decadence due to the forces which have robbed the village of its
significance. In his programme of education carried on at Santi-
niketan he has made a large place for village reconstruction. He
writes of the village as follows :
" Villages are like women. In their keeping is the cradle
of the race. They are nearer to nature than towns, and are
therefore in closer touch with the fountain of life. They have
the atmosphere which possesses a natural power of healing.
It is the function of the village, like that of woman, to pro-
vide people with their elemental needs, with food and joy,
with the simple poetry of life, and with those ceremonies
of beauty which the village spontaneously produces and in
Which she finds delight. But when constant strain is put
upon her through the extortionate claim of ambition, when
her resources are exploited through the excessive stimulus of
temptation, then she becomes poor in life ; her mind becomes
dull and inactive and from her time-honoured position of the
wedded partner of the city she is degraded to that of maid-
, servant. While in its turn the city, in its intense egotism
and pride, remains unconscious of the devastation it con-
stantly works upon the very source of its life and 'health and
joy." (Gity and Village.)
But Tagore sees what Gandhi does not appear to see that
the village needs the city to complement its own development.
The village cannot bear the burden of population which it pro-
duces. A certain amount of social drainage from the villages
is wholesome. The village needs the city to consume its products,
to stimulate its outlook.
" The very factory of which I was complaining, though
it has been the instrument of much wrong-doing ? is not a thing
of which we may say we would be rid. The machine is also
an organ of oun vital force ; it is man's very own. If we
have caused our hands to commit robbery, the remedy does
not lie in cutting them off. They must be purged of then-
sin. To try to improve ourselves by crippling ourselves is
a counsel of cowardice. All the powers of man seek develop-
ment and expansion ; we have not the right to ignore any of
them. From the earliest times man has sought to make
tools. No sooner has he discovered any new secret of nature
than he has tried to capture it with the help of some machine
and make it his own, whereby his civilization has entered on
each successive stage." (Ibid.)
Thus the moral and social forces of India are mobilizing for
an attack on a problem of world-wide significance. Even the
Protestant churches, which since the days of John Calvin have
been sitting at the feet of urban gods, have just imported from
America a rural leader of international reputation to guide them
in their service to the villages. If they can join hands with the
Indian leaders in this great cause, swaraj in the village may become
The Y.M.O.A. has not only pioneered in this field, as indicat-
ed in the special report on the rural work, but it has adopted a
certain unique philosophy of education in its attempt to place
knowledge at the disposal of the Indian village leaders. This
education of key people who are subsequently able to accomplish
the uplift of the community as a whole, is something rather unique
in educational practice.
Conventional education places knowledge at the disposal of
people who want to escape from the community in which they are
living. As a result our conventionally educated people are
afflicted with the " climbing disease ". The bad effects of this
are not so apparent in a land which has a big frontier to which
the "climbers" may go. But in a country like India the climb-
ers accumulate. In some way a new chapter in educational
practice must be written. Not only must people be educated to
want what they ought to want, but communities must be built
in which people who want what they ought to want can get what
they want. In the village of Eamanathapuram the Y.M.C.A.
has a man trying to write this chapter. His name is Jayakaran,
and he is placing knowledge at the disposal of people who intend
to live in the communities in which they now are.
The Eajah Naidu is president of the village board at Bama-
nathapurara, His fathers and he have been " head men " of these
villages for generations. He himself owns about forty acres of
land which he rents out to tenants at the rate of about Rs. 400
per acre. The Rajah STaidu is a well set-up, intelligent man,
who would pass for a leader in a rural group almost anywhere in
the world. He has built a new home on a part of his land which
he hopes will be the beginning of a model village. Across the
road from the house he has set aside five acres and built there a
travellers' rest house, a Hindu temple, and a community hall
in one. The income from the five acres is used for the upkeep
of the hall. It is a beautiful spot, well planted with fruit-bearing
trees and shrubbery. The local board has supervision over the
schools, roads, street lighting, and sanitation. Streets are lighted
when there is no moon. One gets the impression that these vil-
lages are far above the average in general development.
The Rajah Naidu and Jayakaran are great friends. They
smoke and hold long conversations about the welfare of the vil-
lage ; they are guarding the community will to live. The survey
staff asked the Rajah Naidu and his relatives about the contri-
bution which Jayakaran has made to the village. Briefly stated,
they enumerated the following : All agreed that the coming of
this leader had advanced the village peace. Controversies over
land were less frequent: All agreed that Jayakaran had enlarg-
ed the range of the villagers' interests. New industries, better
streets, and contacts with the outside world had thrown into the
background certain controversies which used to be in the fore-
front. These things had done much to lessen the importance of
caste distinctions. Although the depressed classes were still
educated in a separate school, there was a different attitude on
the part of the village as a whole. The Rajah Naidu had become,
so liberal in his own disregard of caste lines that he was looked
upon with suspicion by some of the old villagers.
0. THE Y.M.G.A. AND THE PROBLEM OF OVER-POPULATION.
It is the belief of the survey staff that the Y.M.C.A., work-
ing through its departments of physical education and rural work,
is in a position to make a distinct contribution to the problem
of over-population in India. Before presenting the suggestion
in detail, however, it will be in order to analyse the problem it-
A map of India on which the density of population is indicat-
ed would establish the fact that the greatest concentration per
square mile occurs in the Ganges valley and in the coastal area
of the south. This immediately recalls to mind ? however,
0-Ver-population is simply the reverse side of the economic situa-
tion ; in a famine area ten people might conceivably constitute
over-population. Famine areas accordingly are produced when
both over-population and under-production are present. But
social customs,- political laws and religious sanctions all play
their part in producing economic conditions even as they do in
increasing the population. Since over-population is a matter of
the balance between available resources for food and other neces-
sities of life, on the one hand, and the people dependent on these
on the other, anything that unduly contributes to an increase of
the population may be regarded as a factor in over-population.
The following discussion falls naturally into two parts : an enu-
meration of the Causes which decrease the national food supply,
and an enumeration of the factors that increase the population
dependent on this supply.
On examining into the forces that increase or decrease the
national food supply, one is immediately impressed with the small
number that can be .classified as purely natural. The American
Indian walked over the same rich soil as the American white man,
and the larger returns collected by the latter may be attributed
to the economic, social, moral and religious resources which the
white man brought to bear upon the situation. Therefore, in
enumerating the forces that determine the food supply in India,
one must consider first of all the natural factors, such as: the
extent and quality of the food-producing soil, the climate, the
native plant and animal stocks, and the mountain and river
systems. But it immediately becomes evident that what these
signify is determined by economic and social factors, such as :
the prevalent system of property holding ; available types of
machinery for farming ; the system of barter, exchange or credit ;
the labour supply ; and the organization of capital. These eco-
nomic and social factors cannot be separated, however, from
certain factors of a political kind, such as : the security of person
and property, governmental co-operation with private enter-
prise, and governmental control of credit, tariffs and transporta-
After enumerating the natural, economic and political factors,
one becomes immediately aware bf the fact that they all root in
a complex of human attitudes that can only be classified as moral
and spiritual. Under this head are such matters as : habits of
work and thrift ; scientific knowledge of the laws of nature ; capa-
city for self-criticism and social evaluation ; freedom from inhi-
biting superstitions ; the co-operative mind that makes for col-
lective action ; .social imagination that can visualize -better ways
of doing things and can state objectives, devise policies and for-
mulate programmes ; awareness of spiritual, moral and intellectual
issues ; and sincerity and purity of heart. In the light of such
enumerations, the old saying that there is more in the men than
there is in the land takes on increased meaning ; what there is
in the man is that total equipment, personal and social, with
which he confronts nature. Therefore, whatever increases this
equipment thereby increases the available food supply in a given
Turning now to the factors that increase or decrease the
population, one is again impressed with the relatively small part
played by forces classifiable as purely natural. Such factors
include : the proportion of women of child-bearing age, the phy-
sical urge of both men and women, and such climatic and other
natural conditions that are favourable to child bearing. But these
conditions are all modified by certain social and economic factors
of greater importance in the situation, such as : the prevalent
family system (joint or single families), the approved age for
marrying for girls, the existence of concubinage, and the parti-
cipation of women in activities outside the home. Additional
modifying factors are to be found in the political arrangements
of the country. Conditions of war or peace determined the carry-
ing out of the functions of married life. The State establishes
the legal age for marriage, as for instance through the Sarda Act.
The State punishes violations of the marital code. The State co-
operates in protecting the health of women and children.
But the more one studies the functions of home life, the more
one is impressed with the fact that most of its activities are
carried on in a realm which is more intimately personal than
either business or politics. The real control roots in the intel-
lectual, moral and spiritual eqiiipment which human beings bring
to this experience. Under this head such considerations are to be
classified as : religious sanctions and customs, moral standards
as to sex relations among the unmarried, social imagination that
visualizes experiences beyond those of the moment, the ability
to exercise self-restraint and to organize one's life with reference
to socially valuable ends, scientific knowledge of the laws of
health and sanitation, ideals as to types which control in the
world of sentiment, competing desires that struggle for supre-
macy with the desire for sex gratification, and ideals of physical
fitness or of discipline of the body.
If this analysis is approximately correct, then it may be
asserted that a high birth-rate is not something naturally inherent
in any racial group so much as a product of social, economic and
cultural factors, all of which it is possible to modify. It is espe-
cially true that religious ideas and sanctions can influence the
available food supply and also the population dependent on it.
The approach of religion and ethics to the problem, then, is
through the modification of those religious ideas that are an in-
tegral part of the whole process whereby over-population is
What, more in detail, is then to be the contribution of reli-
gion in bringing about an adjustment of the population to avail-
able resources ? First of all, there should be a clear-cut recogni-
tion of the fact that the problem is a religious one and of concern
to religious people. There should take place a revival of the
doctrine of the sanctity of the soil and its resources. Other reli-
gions are probably more sensitive than Christianity to feelings
of this kind. Both Chinese and Indians have a feeling for land,
water and animals which the Christians have largely lost. The
ideal of a productive life, as over against lazy, wasteful living,
must be made alluring and desirable. Communities must be
developed and their resources explored, in which people have
the chance to live not in luxury but with the satisfactions that
come from having enough, along with the chance to enjoy fellow-
ship in wholesome tasks. The possibilities of the continent life
must be explored, in contrast to the life of sensual sexual en-
joyment. If there are. satisfactions and resources in life beyond
sexual enjoyment, then these satisfactions must be made real
Turning to a somewhat wider field, the will of God must be
presented as made manifest in co-operative social planning. The
adequate organization of society must be made a matter of reli-
gious enthusiasm. The communist enthusiasm for the reign
of the engineer is worthy of a wider acceptance. The socially
fit should be encouraged to become the bearers of racial stock.
There must be a scientific attack on the problem of social drain-
age which will include : (a,) the training of people for fields of
service in which skill and intelligence are required ; (&) making
available to Indians access to other parts of Asia where the popu-
lation is not so concentrated ; and (c) increasing population
mobility and removing the hazards involved by social safeguards.
Finally, whatever there is of value in birth control should be
made a matter of common knowledge.
It is not necessary to point out that the programme here visual-
ized calls for the co-operative attack of all social forces, private
and public, on the problem under consideration. It may be well
to indicate, however, that such an institution as the Young Men's
Christian Association, with its publicly acclaimed reputation in
physical welfare and rural reconstruction, is in somewhat of a
unique position to furnish leaders who will think constructively
along the lines of eugenics and the improvement of the natural
food supply. It is entirely possible that an enlargement of the
programme of the Y.M.C .A. in this direction would be the spearhead
thrust for larger .national efforts.
214-33 Printed at The Bangalore Press, Mysore Road, Bangalore City
A study of the Y.M.G.
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