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GIFT OF 

HORACE W. CARPENTER 





AMONG INDIAN 
RAJAHS AND RYOTS 



NEW AND RECENT BOOKS 

aiff Casttea and Cave Z>welliiigB 
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By S. Baring-Gould, M.A., Aatlior 
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01U Myths of the Middle Ajzes,** S^ 
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6^ With an Introduction by the 
Rev. John Pbrham, formerly Arch* 
deacon of Sbgapore. With 40 Illna^ 
trations and a Map. Demy Bva, x68. 

: the Rajahs and Ryots of 

A Civil Savant's Recollections and 
Impressions of Thirtyseven Years of 
Work and Sport in the Central Pro- 
▼inoes and Biengal. By Sir Andsbw 
H. L. Frasb8,K.C.S.I^M.A., LL.D., 
late Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. 
With x4 Illustratioas and a Map. 
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"The general reader will find 
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Indian Idols 

Mahadeva T'lbe Great God ") Siva (the Destroyer and Reproducer) and his wife Parvati riding on 
the Sacred Bull. This image is at the Bamra State headquarters.^ Parvati is also called Durga. Both 
the God and Goddess are usually represented as terrible, but this is the most pleasant representation 
of them. 



AMONG INDIAN 
RAJAHS AND RYOTS 



A CIVIL SERVANTS RECOLLECTIONS flT IMPRESSIONS 

OF THIRTT-SEVEN TEARS OF WORK isT SPORT 

IN THE CENTRAL PROVINCES isT BENGAL 



BY 

SIR ANDREW H. L. FRASER, K.C.S.I. 

M.A., LL.D., LiTT.D. 
Ex-Lieutenant-GoTeroor of Bengal 



WITH 33 ILLUSTRATIONS » A MAP 



PHILADELPmA 
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 

LONDON: SEELEY &> CO. Limited 
1911 



D 3 4-19 
■ I 
F75f^.3 



GAAPfiNTIEft 



• • • N • - • 






TO MY WIFE 

WHO SHARED MY WORK 

FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 

IN INDIA 



M177429 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

rAOB 

EARLY DAYS ... 1 



CHAPTER n 
EUROPEAN OFFICERS OF MY PROVINCE . . . IS 

CHAPTER in 
MORE ABOUT CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS . 95 

CHAPTER IV 
INDIAN OFFICERS OF MY PROVINCE . . 87 

CHAPTER V 

JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS OF OUR 
OFFICERS ... 47 

CHAPTER VI 
SOME INDIAN FRIENDS . . . 60 

CHAPTER VII 
THE INDIAN PEOPLES ... 75 

CHAPTER Vin 
INDIAN LADIES . ... 94 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IX 



PAGB 

GRAIN RIOTS IN THE NAGPUR DISTRICT . IH 



CHAPTER X 
THE KHOND RISING IN THE KALAHANOI STATE . 1S6 

CHAPTER XI 
THE FEUDATORY STATES OF CHHATTISGARH . . 189 

CHAPTER Xn 
CHRISTMAS WITH WILD ELEPHANTS . . 150 

CHAPTER XIH 
WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME . . l64 

CHAPTER XIV 
THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY AND DEBT . .179 

CHAPTER XV 
THE FINANCING OF AGRICULTURISTS . . . 198 

CHAPTER XVI 
LOCAL INQUIRIES . ... SOS 

CHAPTER XVII 
THE POLICE . . . 2«1 

CHAPTER XVm 
EDUCATION ... 240 

CHAPTER XIX 
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS . . . . «60 



CONTENTS xi 



CHAPTER XX 



PAGB 



INDIAN UNREST: ITS CAUSES . . 277 

CHAPTER XXI 
INDIAN UNREST: ITS LIMITATIONS . . S90 

CHAPTER XXII 

I 

MEASURES OF REPRESSION AND REFORM . 308 

CHAPTER XXra 
THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" . . . 312 

CHAPTER XXIV 
THE AMBER OF AFGHANISTAN . . . 327 

CHAPTER XXV 
THE HUMOURS OF ADMINISTRATION . . 339 

CHAPTER XXVI 
THE LAST ... 354 

INDEX . ... 864 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



INDIAN IDOLS 



A BOMBAY STREET 



FroiUitpiece 



rAoac PAGB 
4 



A NAGPUB GARDEN 



10 



A DARBAB PANDAL 



. 30 



THE GOLA (GRANARY) AT BANKIPUR 



FAMINE COOUES STARTING WORK 



. 68 
68 



THE HON. SIR BIPIN KRISHNA BOSE 



70 



THE HON. MR. GAN6ADHAR MADHO CHITNAVIS, CLE. 70 



KHAN BAHADUR AULAD HUSSAIN, CLE. 



70 



RAO BAHADUR BHARGO RAO 



70 



A SUBURBAN TEMPLE 



COOLIE AT WORK UNDER HIS UMBRELLA HAT 



88 



SAT! (SUTTEE) STONE 



xUi 



96 



xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGB 

THE BARDWAN FAMILY . . . . 106 

A RAJAH ON HIS JOURNEY . . ISO 

RAJAH KANHAYA LALL . . . 140 

THE LATE FEUDATORY CHIEF OF CHHUIKHADAN . 140 

A BODYGUARD OF BOYS . . ... 148 

A GRAVEYARD OF THE ABORIGINES, CHOTA NAGPUR 142 

A GROUP TAKEN ON TOUR AMONG THE CHIEFS 

OF ORISSA ... 144 

A DARBAR ... 146 

A PROCESSION OF ELEPHANTS AWAITING THEIR 
RIDERS . . . 158 

MY CAMP AS DISTRICT OFFICER . . . 152 

AWAITING THE TIGER . . . . l66 

RAJA SULAIMAN SHAH AND HIS TROPHY . 170 

FISHING-BOATS IN THE SUNDERBANS .176 

A GROUP OF BAIGAS IN BALAGHAT . . 176 

THE SACRED OLD TOWN OF NAWADWIP . 842 

WAITING AT THE FERRY. . . 248 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xv 

PAGB 

AN INDIAN KIRK SESSION AT NAGPUR . . . 262 

"BELVEDERE" . . . Sl6 

THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN . . . 328 

KINCHINJANGA FROM DARJEELING . . 344 



AMONG INDIAN 
RAJAHS AND RYOTS 



CHAPTER I 
EARLY DAYS 

I WENT out to India impressed with the dignity of our 
Service, an impression derived from some of my European 
friends whose lives had been spent in India, from my 
intercourse with Indian gentlemen who were my fellow-proba- 
tioners, and from reading about the life and work of those 
who had been employed in the making and maintenance of 
our Indian Empire. I found myself in a novel atmosphere 
and among strange and unaccustomed surroundings. I well 
remember the sense of loneliness which possessed me at the 
first. I went out at a somewhat early date so that I might 
spend a little time at Poona, before reporting myself for duty. 
I suppose it may have been due to this fact that no orders 
had been received in Bombay as to my destination. AU that 
I was able to find out there was that, as I was posted to the 
North- West Provinces of India, I must first of all report myself 
at Allahabad. 

Accordingly, after a short visit to Poona, I went to Allaha- 
bad, and there reported myself to the Chief Secretary. I 
arrived about the end of October, when Allahabad was ex- 
ceedingly hot and uncomfortable. Being still unacquainted 
with Indian ways, I walked over from the hotel to the Secret 
tariate at eleven o'clock. I found the Chief Secretary a most 



A! i-i ..•:•••■ -EARLY DAYS 

genial, courteous, and kindly man. After we had talked some 
time about the Service, and when I was rising to leave, he 
offered to call my trap. I told him that I had walked over 
from the hotel. He warned me seriously that at that season 
it was by no means a wise thing for a European to walk about 
in the sun, and insisted on sending for a trap for me. The 
trap came, and I drove in it to the Fort to visit two young 
officers whom I had known at home and who were stationed 
at Allahabad. 

After I had seen them, and lunched with them, I drove to 
the hotel ; and with some difficulty made the driver of my trap 
understand that I wanted to know how much I had to pay him 
as his fare. To my horror he told me that he was not an 
ordinary cab-driver, but the servant of the Chief Secretary. 
I had therefore the chagrin of writing a humble apology to 
that officer for having used his trap so long, an apology 
which required some care ; for this entailed an explanation 
how his elegant conveyance had been mistaken by a miserable 
^' griffin " for one that was for hire. A very kindly letter was 
received in return, informing me that I was posted to Nag- 
pur in the Central Provinces, and asking me to dine at the 
Oub that evening. 

I proceeded the next day by train to Nagpur. This second 
journey took somewhat over thirty hours by rail. My knocking 
about and my exposure had made me feel rather indisposed ; 
and I was huddled up in a comer of a commodious first-class 
carriage, such as they supply for long journeys in India, when 
a gentleman entered the train at Jubbulpore. He at once 
began to talk to me ; for Europeans are still very kindly to 
one another in India, and were even more so then than now. 
He was soon in possession of the facts that I ^as one of the 
new batch of civilians, that I had already made a long journey 
to Allahabad, and that I was posted to the Central Provinces. 
I asked him about the hotel accommodation in Nagpur. He 
told me that there was no hotel, but that there was a Dak (or 
Travellers') Bungalow. 



EARLY DAYS 8 

It was thus that I became acquainted with Mr. J. W. 
Chishobn, who» though considerably my senior, has been my 
friend throughout my service, and is my friend to this day. 
He told me that he was the District Magistrate of Jubbul- 
pore, and had just been appointed to take up the newly- 
created Excise Commissionership. He said that he was going 
to stay with BIr. J. W. Neill, the Chief Secretary, that he 
would probably be at the station to meet him, and that 
he was sure that I should not be allowed to go to the 
Dak Bungalow. So it turned out, for Mr. Neill took me into 
his house, offered me the choice of my first District, and, 
finding that I knew nothing about the Central Provinces, 
advised me to ask for the District of Jubbulpore. The officiating 
Chief Conmiissioner, Col. Keatinge, posted me to Jubbulpore 
accordingly ; and, after a few pleasant days spent with Mr. 
Neill, I had another journey of twenty-four hours back to that 
station. 

It was in the beautiful station of Jubbulpore that I began my 
long Indian career. It has had much variety of experience and 
of interest, and has afforded me unique opportunities of be- 
coming acquainted with India and its peoples. I served the 
Crown for thirty-seven years, of which over a quarter of a 
century was spent in the Central Provinces, of which I have 
(perhaps on that account only) the most pleasant memories. 
I spent a whole year in visiting every province in India and 
almost every important Native State, as a member of the 
Commission appointed to inquire into the use and abuse of 
intoxicating drugs, of which my friend. Sir Mackworth Yoimg, 
was the President. After that I served with the Government 
of India as Secretary in the Home Department. Then after 
a few years as Chief Commissioner of my old Province, I was 
appointed by Lord Curzon's Government to be President of 
the Police Commission, which again took me to every Province 
in India, On the conclusion of the labours of that Commission, 
I was appointed laeutenant-Govemor of Bengal, and gave 
the last five years of my service to that province. 



4 EARLY DAYS 

To return to the old days, the somewhat lofty ideas that 
I held regarding the Service which I had joined were dissipated 
to a certain extent when I found myself gazetted as a magis- 
trate of the third class, the greater part of my work being to 
try cases of assault and petty theft. I was also informed that 
I had still examinations to pass in languages, in criminal, 
civil, and revenue law and procedure, and in the practice of the 
treasury and accounts. I was fortunately placed under a 
District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner, who took con- 
siderable interest in his subordinates. Mr. Girdleston, of the 
Political Department, had been appointed to be Deputy 
Commissioner of Jubbulpore ; and when he was transferred 
to be resident at the Court of Nepal he was succeeded by 
Col. Saurin Brooke ; and these two were my superiors during 
my first year of service. Mr. Girdleston was animated by the 
highest traditions of the Civil Service, and was especially 
anxious to train me in frank and friendly relations with the 
people, and to impress on me the necessity for passing my 
examinations in the higher standard with the least possible 
delay, so that I might soon be qualified for full work as a 
member of the Service. 

Col. Saurin Brooke was devoted to mimicipal and local work ; 
and it was a pleasure to him to take me round and show me 
the working of the Jubbulpore Mimicipality, and of the Dis- 
trict Councils in the interior. Nothing could have been better 
for me than the training which these ofiicers gave me« I had 
also among my fellow-assistants two men who were very 
anxious to do all they could to help me to acquire a knowledge 
of my profession. The one was an Englishman, Mr. W. A. 
Nedham, a man of considerable Indian experience and of the 
kindliest disposition and manners. He advised and assisted 
me in many ways, both in the preparation for my examination 
and also in the work that was given me to do. The other was 
Aulad Hussain, a Mohammedan officer, who was afterwards 
made a Khan Bahadur and a CLE. for his excellent services. 
He was senior to me in the Commission, and took great delight 




^H0€» »y 



yokiistoM ir- Hoffmann, Calcuffa 



A Bombay Street 

Null Bazar. 



EARLY DAYS 5 

in helping me in my work, and in endeavouring to show me 
how best to understand the people, and to find my way to 
their hearts. To all these men, and to many such as they among 
the officers of the Central Provinces, I owe a great debt of 
gratitude. Throughout my service, I believe, it was the re- 
membrance of what I owe to them that made me anxious to 
attend to the training of young civiUans on their first arrival 
in India. 

I very soon b^an to have friends among the people. I re- 
member well the dignified and courteous old Rajah of Sagar, 
who was then living as a pensioner in Jubbulpore, and 
became a constant visitor at my house, from whom I learned 
a great deal about the people. I remember Baijanath Pande, 
an influential Brahman malguzar (or land-holder) in Bijera- 
ghogarh, a Parganah of the Murwara Tahsil (subdivision), with 
whom I was brought into contact in connection with inquiries 
into a local scarcity in that part of the Jubbulpore District. 
My intimacy with these and many others gave me opportunities 
of talking in the vernacular to men of good position, and of 
acquiring those niceties of courtesy in speech which charac- 
terise the communications between natives of India of high 
class, and the ignorance of which on the part of some Euro- 
pean officers tends to uncomfortable relations with some of the 
best disposed Indians. 

One thing was above all others impressed on my mind by 
my kindly advisers, and my own experience proved it, namely, 
that almost the worst thing that a European officer can do 
in his intercourse with Indians with whom he is brought into 
contact is to lose his temper. They are extremely sensitive in 
regard to their dignity and in regard to the manner in which 
they are treated; and an officer who loses his temper and 
acquires the reputation of being sometimes violent in his 
language creates a complete and practically impassable barrier 
between himself and the people of the country. They do not 
know at what time an irascible officer may use language to 
them which may expose them to the ridicule of their fellow- 



6 EARLY DAYS 

countrymen, whether they be their equals or their inferiors. 
An important lesson for a young officer in India to learn is, 
that courtesy, always desirable in the communications of life, 
is much more than desirable — ^it is absolutely essential — ^in 
communications with Indians. 

In my early days the cases which I had to try — ^the small 
assault and petty theft cases — ^were generally conducted by 
police prosecutors and junior members of the Bar, who in those 
days, in the Central Provinces at least, did not profess a know- 
ledge of English. Some of them, indeed, knew EngUsh well 
enough to understand ordinary remarks made to them in that 
tongue ; but they did not know English well enough to speak 
the language in court ; and they were certainly not encouraged 
by the Central Provinces officers of those days to do so. The 
English officers were determined, in accordance with the fine 
traditions of the Service, and especially on account of their 
constant association with the people in Revenue, Settlement, 
and other departments of executive work, to conduct their 
coiu-t work in the vernacular. It is now far too common to see 
work in court conducted entirely in the English language ; but 
there is practically still no part of India where this can be done 
without grave disadvantage, except perhaps in the Provincial 
High Courts. The great mass of the people do not know 
English ; and it is not fair to the parties or to the witnesses 
that their cases should be conducted in a language which they 
do not understand. The judge should himself be able to 
understand what any ordinary witness brought before him is 
saying, and to ask such a witness in his own vernacular ques- 
tions which will elucidate his statement. 

The great majority of the cases which I had to try when I 
first joined the Service in Jubbulpore had to be tried in a small 
room, where I sat at a table, without even the dignity of a dus, 
and had in front of me the parties, the witnesses, and the 
counsel, all talking in the vemacidar. I admit that I have a 
painful recollection of the length of time that it took me in the 
earlier of these cases to understand all that was said to me. 



EARLY DAYS 7 

and to make counsel and witnesses understand all that was in 
my mind. But the training was invaluable ; and the patience 
of the people and courtesy of the Bar made a deep impression 
on my mind. It is really much to be regretted that the progress 
of the knowledge of English among the learned professions, 
and their desire to conduct their cases in that language, have 
released the yoimg civilian of the present day from the necessity 
of submitting to these somewhat trying, but exceedingly 
valuable, experiences. 

The prevalence of English in our courts is undoubtedly due 
in part to the pressure of work* and to the not unnatural desire 
of officers, not well acquainted with the vernacular, to get 
through their cases more easily and more quickly ; but it is 
also undoubtedly due to the reluctance of members of the Bar 
to address the court in the vernacular. There are, indeed, 
many practitioners at the Bar now, who frankly declare their 
incapacity to deliver an address in the vernacular. This is 
greatly to be regretted. It is not just to the people to have 
court business conducted in a foreign language ; and it is 
deplorable in its effect on the members of the Service ; for 
there b no qualification in an officer which will wholly com- 
pensate for want of knowledge of the vernacular. 

In my very early days I broke down utterly, and had to 
take leave within eighteen months of my arrival in India. 
This was entirely due to want of knowledge, and want of 
advice, regarding the dangers to which the European is exposed 
in India from climate and from insanitary conditions. It has 
often seemed to me most deplorable that young men should be 
allowed to start life in that country without the necessary 
advice and warning. Lady Wilson, the wife of Sir James 
Wilson, of the Punjab Service, has published an excellent 
little pamphlet of advice to the young men setting out. on an 
Indian career ; and Surgeon-General Lukis, the present Director- 
General of the Indian Medical Department, when he was 
Principal of the Medical College in Calcutta, wrote at my 
request another most usefiil pamphlet, containing practical 



8 EARLY DAYS 

hints for the preservation of health in India. These two little 
works should, I think, be placed by the India Office in the 
hands of young men joining the Indian Services. They might 
save many a breakdown, and so obviate much trouble and 
anxiety to officers and much expense to Government. 

In my early London days the probationers for the Indian 
Civil Service were grossly neglected. We had, indeed, very 
clear instructions given to us as to the lines of study which we 
should follow ; and in that respect our training was excellent. 
I think that, in one or two respects, it was better than the 
training now given to probationers. In the first place, it was 
a two years' course of probation instead of only one, as at 
present. This was of great advantage to us in two respects. 
It gave us a better opportunity of grounding ourselves in the 
language and literature of the East than probationers now have ; 
and, as it is very difficult in India to secure good scientific 
tuition in the vernaculars, it was a great benefit to have 
secured this at home. There is no doubt that, when we 
reached India, we had a great deal to learn of the colloquial 
use of the vernaculars, of correct pronunciation, and of 
adaptation of our speech to the varying circumstances and 
dialects of the people among whom we had to work ; but 
we had a far better basis than the present system gives, on 
which to build up a useful knowledge of the Eastern languages 
current among the people of the Province to which each of us 
was sent. 

In the second place, there is no doubt that our two years* 
training was far more useful to us in respect of the history of 
India, the principles of political economy, and our knowledge 
of law. As regards the last, we had not only to study law books, 
and to pass examinations on them ; but we were compelled, 
also, to attend police courts for criminal law, county courts 
for civil law, and the higher courts for both ; to report cases 
to the Commissioners ; and to write intelligent notes on the 
practice of the courts, and the principles of the law of evidence 
as illustrated in these cases. That practical work in the English 



EARLY DAYS 9 

courts gave us a conception of the methods used in our courts, 
and a respect for the administration of justice there, which it is 
difficult to believe the young civilians of the present day can 
acquire without such training. This portion of our work was 
of special interest to us, and was, I think, also of much value. 
It is greatly to be regretted that this part of the training of 
civilians should have been abandoned. 

There is no doubt a difficulty, now that the age for entrance 
into the service has been raised, in giving a two years' course 
of probation ; but I am very far from thinking that the raising 
of the age for the Competitive Examination, and the reduction 
of the period of probation, have secured a better class of men, 
from the point of view of the interests of India, than the system 
under which I entered the Service. In my time the maximum 
age was twenty-one. Every candidate was bound to be over 
nineteen and under twenty-one when he appeared for the 
Competitive Examination. That left it possible for men to 
complete a university education and take a degree before^ 
appearing for examination, though it must be admitted that 
a large number of those who did appear had sacrificed their 
University training for special preparation for the Competitive 
Examination. At the same time, the men who came up for the 
Competitive Examination then differed from those who appear 
for it now in that, being somewhat younger, their ideas were not 
so completely set, and they were more capable of adapting 
themselves to the circumstances and requirements of the 
career which they had selected. 

They entered on that career without having acquired 
cxrtain tastes and habits of life which, while thoroughly suitable 
to a scholarly career at home, and even to the general life of 
this country, are not such as make a man very ready to adapt 
himself to the circmnstances of a new country, and to enter 
easily and without effort into co-operation with his fellow- 
subjects of different race, and in many respects of different 
character. I am sure that there are tnany advantages in having 
men thoroughly well educated, and possessed of high University 



10 EARLY DAYS 

qualifications before they enter on any career of life ; but I 
am not sure that the training and life of an English University 
are easily exchanged by the man who has settled down to them 
for the peculiar life which the civilian has to lead in India. 
In any case, to secure the advantages which the present system 
is believed to bestow, the efficient and adequate training of the 
probationers is to a great extent sacrificed. 

The great defect of the old system was undoubtedly this, 
that the probationers for the Service were practically compelled 
to come and live in London, without any supervision or control 
over their lives. It is true that men were permitted to conduct 
their studies where they liked ; some actually did pass their 
probationary period in Ekiinburgh or Dublin, or some other 
centre of British University life ; and they were allowed to 
report Scottish or Irish as well as English cases. At the same 
time, the facilities for tuition in the subjects prescribed tor the 
study of the probationers, and for the further examinations, 
were much greater in London than elsewhere. Study in London 
was undoubtedly the best training then available ; and, had 
there been any attempt to guide the yoimg men, and to save 
them from the temptations and dangers of life in the great 
capital, the system would not practically have been open 
to criticism. But that so many of the probationers passed 
without stain through the period of probation, was due far 
more to their own good fortune or good sense than to any 
influence exerdsed over them by the authorities. One or two 
cases there were of young men who threw away their oppor- 
tunities, and sacrificed all the expense and trouble involved 
in their education, by the tollies of their life in London ; and 
one can only say in their defence that the fault lay as much 
with those who ought to have made better provision for 
the supervision and regulation of their life in town, as with 
the young men themselves. 

In my time there was a good number of men who devoted 
themselves to the study of law at one or other of the Inns of 
Court ; and there were certain barristers who gave themselves 




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EARLY DAYS li 

to teaching young civilicins with special reference to Indian 
Law, and the circumstances of Indian practice and service. 
This was an enormous advantage. The personal acquaintance 
with an honourable, upright, and able member of the Bar, the 
private intercourse with him, the acquisition of his ways of 
looking at questions involving the principles of law and justice, 
and the communication by him of the high traditions of the 
English Bar, were of very great advantage. 

Directly and pecuniarily, the legal training which I received 
in London may not manifestly have been of much use to me in 
my Indian career. It is true that I was posted to a Non- 
regulation Province, in which the distinction between Executive 
and Judicial functions had not then been made, and that I 
therefore had Judicial work not only as a magistrate in the 
earlier part of my career, when Assistant Commissioner and 
Deputy Commissioner, but also later on as a Sessions Judge, 
when Commissioner ; but I did not belong at any part of my 
career to the Judicial Department as a separate department. 
All the same, my legal training was of great advantage to me. 
Some such training is necessary for all civilians, for in every 
branch of the Service they have to apply the principles of 
law, and to be animated by the impartial spirit of the English 
judges. 

But it is, of course, particularly for the Judicial Department 
that special legal training is now clearly and undoubtedly 
essential ; where that is not given fully in the probationary 
period of service, it ought to be supplemented by careful and 
expert tuition at later periods ; and for this the Government 
of India ought to make, and are now beginning to make, some 
provision. Even in my own case, the legal training that I had, 
and the position which I held in India, as a member of the English 
Bar, was of no Uttle advantage. Legal practitioners in India 
sometimes showed more consideration in their treatment of me, 
and were more willing to pay respect to my views, and to my 
decisions, when they knew that I was a member of what is in 
India the highest branch of the legal profession. In one 



12 EARLY DAYS 

particular case, where I was Commissioner and Sessions Judge, 
the local Bar appointed me to be the Honorary President of the 
Bar Association, and accepted my assistance and co-operation 
in helping them to get rid of certain abuses. I have therefore 
had no reason whatever to regret the time that I spent at the 
Middle Temple, and my call to the Bar. 



CHAPTER II 

EUROPEAN OFFICERS OF MY PROVINCE 

V 1 THEN I joined the Central Provinces, that part of India 
W was officered largely by men belonging to what was 
* * then known as the Staff Corps, consisting of officers of 
the Indian Army who had elected for Staff employment. 
The greater nmnber of the Districts were in the hands of these 
officers, along with a sprinkling of members of the Indian 
Civil Service ; but the Conmiissionerships and Secretariate 
appointments were practically in the hands of the Civil Service. 
The men who held these high appointments were men from 
other Provinces, whose services had been specially asked tor by 
Sir Richard Temple, who was the real fowider of the Province, 
and Sir John Morris, who was the first Chief Commissioner 
after Sir Richard to hold the Province tor any length of time. 
Both these officers were well known to be mmsually f ortwiate 
in the selection of their subordinates ; and some of the Com- 
missioners and heads of departments serving in the Province 
when I joined were men of great distinction, such as Sir Alfred 
Lyall, Sir Charles Bernard, and Sir Charles Elliott. 

Among the military officers employed in Districts, and occa- 
sionally in Commissionerships, there were a few men of really 
exceptional ability, who commanded the respect of all who 
eame into contact with them, and especially of those who served 
under them ; but there were others — ^and they were, I think, 
the majority — who never could have claimed to be men of any 
special ability, or to be well trained in law and the principles 
of administration. Yet they were thoroughly sensible men, and 
wen suited for the work of a new and backward Province. 

13 



14 EUROPEAN OFFICERS 

They would have found themselves very much out of their 
element, and probably not infrequently in hot water, had they 
served in a Province such as Bengal, with its teeming Bar, 
and the crowd of critics rather inclined to a hostile attitude ; 
but in the Central Provinces they ruled happily over a happy 
people. The distinguishing characteristic of these men was that 
they knew the Province. They had learned it in the work they 
had done in the different grades of the Settlement Department, 
and in the constant camp life which was the tradition of the 
Province in those early days ; and they were for the most part, 
not only sensible men, but men animated by justice and by 
kindliness. 

Some of these men displayed their good sense by a clear 
understanding of their own limitations. I remember serving 
under one as his assistant when I joined the District as a 
somewhat junior officer. He asked me to come and see him 
and talk over the division of the work. He told me that he 
felt that he knew a great deal about forest work, about local 
works, which were ordinarily in the charge of the Municipal 
Committees and District Council, and also about police work. 
He said that he would retain these matters in his own charge, 
in addition to the court work, which, as District Magistrate, he 
was bound to do ; but he would be very glad, with a view to 
my own training, to let me see as much of the work in con- 
nection with them as I found time to examine. 

He added that he imderstood that I was a University man 
and also a barrister-at-law, and that he would therefore like 
me to take full charge of education and kindred matters, and 
also to prepare for him the records in the revision and appellate 
work of his court. I found my time with him most valuable as 
a training. I devoted myself with diligence to the departments 
which he had allotted to me ; and, as I was able to assist him 
considerably in his appellate and revision case work, I found him 
very willing to assist me and instruct me in regard to the de- 
partments which he had retained in his own control and in the 
miscellaneous work of the District ; and he discussed freely 



OF MY PROVINCE 15 

all questions of any interest connected with the administration 
of the District. 

I think that this was a very typical case. The ^' Military 
Deputy Commissioner,'* as we used to call him, knew very well 
what he himself was fit for, and he recognised the qualifications 
of the specially trained civilian for certain work which he did 
not think he was altogether as well qualified to perform. The 
result was that, though the more highly trained civilians 
sometimes thought a little lightly of some of these men, the 
administration of the Province was on the whole well conducted 
by them. 

I remember an officer whom I had not had the pleasure of 
meeting before I entered the Secretariate. He was a District 
Magistrate in another part of the Province from that in which 
I had been serving. He was in charge of an important District, 
and had an excellent reputation as a sensible and efficient officer. 
In the Secretariate I f oimd that his reports were clear and 
interesting ; that his answers to matters referred to him as 
well as to other local officers were often especially useful ; and 
that he was able, apparently, to get through a surprising 
amount of work. I thought of him as an able and, perhaps, even 
brilliant man. 

I acc(»npanied the Chief Commissioner on tour, the Secretary 
in the Public Works being also with us. We came to the District 
of which this Magistrate was in charge. After a day or two 
with him, I found that he was distinctly not brilliant, and 
that he could hardly be called able. In the course of con- 
versation I mentioned to the Secretary in the Public Works 
what my impression had been, and that I was somewhat 
disi^pointed, on personal acquaintance, with the officer of 
whom I had formed so high an opinion. My colleague, who 
knew him well, replied : *^ There are two classes of men who deal 
with business in two different ways. A man of the one class, 
when he has a difficult piece of work to do, scratches his head 
thoughtfuDy, and says to himself, ^ How on earth am I to 
dothisf? A man of the other class, imder similar circumstances. 



16 EUROPEAN OFFICEES 

also scratches his head thoughtfully, but says, ' Who on $arth 
am I to get to do this ? ' Our friend is of the second class. He 
is not a very able man ; but he has a qualification which 
compensates fully for the lack of personal ability, namely, 
a capacity for choosing the subordinate best fitted to do any 
particular work for him.*' 

There is no doubt that one of the most valuable character- 
istics of an officer in a responsible position is the good sense 
which enables him to know whom to trust, and whom to select 
for any particular piece of work. After all, what we want is 
to have the work well done, and it is less important who it is 
that does it. It is as useless as it is unwise for any man who has 
a heavy charge, and who is supplied with a good staff, to try to 
do everything for himself. It is decidedly of advantage that 
he should be able to do things well for himself, when it is 
desirable that he should do them at all ; and it is necessary 
that he should be able to know whether the work of his sub- 
ordinates is good or not ; but it is also essential to efficient 
work that he should be ready to give a reasonably full share 
of the work to his subordinates, so as to leave himself time 
for initiation and general supervision, without an imdue burden 
of details. 

I have often found a thoroughly able man administering a 
charge with less success than many officers inferior in capacity 
to himself, because of the want of the power to call upon his 
colleagues and his subordinates for loyal and hearty co-operation. 
This is sometimes due merely to a blimdering desire to push 
forward, no matter how high the pressure, with any piece of 
work that happens to come into one's hand. It is sometimes, 
however, due to a characteristic which is, I think, in India 
regarded with very special dislike and contempt — ^I mean the 
suspicion of subordinates. An officer undoubtedly ought to 
exercise close and keen supervision to prevent mistakes and 
carelessness, and to obviate the possibility of dishonesty ; but 
he ought quickly to know whom he can trust, and he ought 
never to show suspicion of an officer who has won his way 



OF MY PROVINCE 17 

into a position of trust unless such suspicion has very serious 
justification. It is wonderful how general throughout the 
Services is the honourable feeling of confidence on the part 
of superiors, and loyalty on the part of subordinates ; but there 
are some men whose characters are so framed that they are full 
of suspicion on every side. I do not think that there is any 
class of o£Eicers more unfit for the delicate and responsible 
positions into which men are called in the Executive Service 
in India. 

On one occasion I was walking round Pachmarhi with my old 
chief. Sir John Morris, and there was with us another officer of 
the Province, a civilian of great ability, who afterwards rose 
to very high distinction. This officer was pressing on Sir 
John Morris the desirability of getting rid, gradually no doubt, 
but as speedily as possible, of the military element in the 
Commission. He was urging that the time had come when they 
should be relegated to the military service for general duty or 
placed on pension, so as to make way for more fully trained 
men belonging to the Civil Service. He was insisting on the 
view that these men were not really fit for their appointments ; 
that many of them might commit serious mistakes unless they 
were carefully watched ; and that they should therefore be 
removed. 

Sir John Morris took up two positions in regard to these men. 
The one was that they were of more value than their previous 
truning might have led one to expect, owing to their real know- 
ledge of the country, and the kindly and sympathetic relations 
which had grown up between them and the people ; the other, 
that it was essential to maintain good faith with any class of 
oflEusers, if the Government was to continue to receive the con- 
fidence of its subordinates and to secure loyal and efficient service. 
He was therefore opposed to any drastic measure of change. 
At the dose of the argument he made use of an expression 
which was entirely typical of the character of his administration. 
He said : " It would no doubt be easy to administer a Province, 
if every officer were thoroughly well qualified for the post 



18 EUROPEAN OFFICERS 

which he holds ; but it is a better test of administrative capacity 
to be able to secure really good all-round service from a some- 
what inferior staff." 

This was a principle which lay at the very root of Sir John's 
administration. He kept his eyes and ears open wherever he 
went ; he discussed matters in the fullest and frankest way 
with all officers whom he met» and especially with those who 
were nearest to himself in position ; and he strongly advised 
the Commissioners of Division and the heads of departments 
to travel about throughout their charges and discuss all ques- 
tions freely and frankly with their subordinates. The result of 
this was twofold. In the first place, it secured an administra- 
tion throughout the Province that was really measured in 
efficiency by the possibilities of the best men and not of the 
worst ; and in the second place, it secured those kindly and 
confidential relations between officers which led officers from 
other Provinces to describe the Central Provinces Adminis- 
tration as " a happy family." I have often heard men from 
other parts of India speak in the strongest terms of this 
characteristic, which remains an effective tradition in the 
Province to this day. 

It is wonderful how little capacity some thoroughly practical 
men have of conveying to others the information of which they 
are full. I remember the Provincial head of one of our important 
departments, who knew more about the details of his depart- 
ment than almost any officer I ever met. He was devoted to 
his work, full of knowledge and full of energy ; but it was very 
difficult to get him to reply to official references or to submit in 
writing a report at all worthy of himself. 
• On one occasion when I was Secretary there were some 
dozen or score of important references from the Secretariate 
pending in his office. The Government was at its hill station. 
This officer, in the course of a tour, visited the place. He was 
at once told that he must not leave until all these cases had been 
disposed of. He telegraphed for the necessary papers and 
sat down with me and went into all the questions one by one. 



OF MY PROVINCE 19 

I never saw a man so full of valuable information^ when one 
set to work to pump him systematically. And in a few days 
we had entirely disposed of the whole budget of arrears and 
taken the orders of the Head of the Government on every case. 
This officer afterwards served under a less sensible and con- 
siderate Chief than we then had, and his heart was nearly broken 
by the harshness of the communications which he received. 

On one occasion I was taking up to another of the Chiefs 
under whom I served a draft in which I had clearly stated 
the facts of a case in which one of the officers of the 
Province had seriously blundered. My draft was full and 
dear, and, on the whole, just, except that it took no cogniz- 
ance of the fact that the officer in question was a con- 
scientious, hard-working officer, who was highly esteemed by 
the people of his District. The tone of the letter was there- 
fore too severe. My Chief was Mr. W. B. Jones, C.S.I., a 
Central Provinces officer who had, some time before, gone for 
a time into the Political Department as Resident at Hyderabad 
(Deccan), and had just returned to his old Province as its Chief. 

He talked the draft over with me, and, while acknowledging 
the completeness and accuracy of the statement of the case, 
pointed out the undue severity of tone. With great courtesy 
he made it clear to me that a censure couched in considerate 
language was, in the case at least of a loyal and conscientious 
officer, at least as effective as one that was harsh in tone. 
It was a good lesson to learn, and well worth being carefully 
taught. I never forgot it, though I daresay I did not always 
act fully in accordance with it. 

Another incident lives in my memory. I was a very young 
officer, and Under (then called " Assistant ") Secretary to the 
Chief Commissioner. The roof of my room required repairs, 
and I had to sit for a few days at another table in the same 
room with the Chief Secretary, Mr. Lindsay Neill. This was 
one of the hardest working officers I ever met. He could work 
all day long without rest or recreation for weeks on end ; and 
he loved his work. His principal defect seemed to me to be that 



20 EUROPEAN OFFICERS 

he did far too much with his own hand. I have often known 
him to refuse help in the mere clerical drudgery of a case he 
was dealing with : he liked to deal wholly with a case ^^ from 
start to finish." 

One day an ofiScer of a somewhat nervous character, but 
very capable, came driving up to the door. Mr. Neill could see 
from where he sat who it was that was driving up. Immediately 
a drawer was pulled open and a yellow-backed novel taken out, 
and up went Mr. Neill*s legs on a comer of the open drawer, 
as he lay back in his chair. The officer was announced, and 
came forward, saying, " Are you busy ? '* Mr. Neill rephed, 
" No," laid the yellow-back face downwards on the table, 
and placed his feet below his chair. The officer said all he had 
to say, got all the advice he wanted, and went away. 

I ventured to ask Mr. Neill the meaning of the production 
of the yellow-back, which I was confident he never read. 
He replied, " There are one or two good men who are horribly 
nervous if they think they are interrupting a busy man. They 
never can state their case in a hurry. The statement of such a 
man is less effective, and takes ever so much more time, unless 
you put him at his ease and make him believe that he has 
caught you at a slack hour." This was quite like Mr. Neill, 
who was an observer of men and very considerate. I have 
never slavishly imitated his plan of having an unreadable 
novel at hand for the piupose, but I have often adopted his 
wise habit of letting men state their case in their own way, and, 
as far as possible, letting them take their own time in the 
statement. 

I recall another incident of a somewhat touching character 
in connection with Mr. Neill, which was to some extent 
indicative not only of the kindliness of his own disposition, 
but also of the simple and kindly relations that existed 
in those days between the people and even very senior 
officers. After some time spent in district and depart- 
mental work away from the Secretariate, I was called on to 
take over charge of the office of Chief Secretary from Mr. 



OF MY PROVINCE 21 

Neill. In giving over charge he told me that there were two 
helpless old men, to each of whom he made a regular allowance 
of one rupee a week. They received their allowances on two 
different days near the Secretariate. They were both men who 
had lost their reason through civil htigation. They did not 
understand oiu* system; each believed that the Civil Courts 
had done him grievous wrong, and had too much of the old 
Oriental notions to understand that the highest authority in 
the land could not interfere on his behalf. So he had petitioned 
the Chief Commissioner. Mr. Neill had seen them both, had 
ascertained that nothing could be done, gauged the gentle and 
inoffensive mental weakness, and made up his mind not to 
pass orders which might extinguish hope. 

So each week each of these two old men was told that no 
order had yet been passed, and that he must come up again 
next week, but that one rupee had been allowed as ^' khurak.'' * 
They lived quietly in Nagpur city, and their neighbours have 
told me how they would talk about the justice of the Chief 
Commissioner. These neighbours guessed what the old men 
did not know, that the kindly Chief Secretary was making 
their sad lives a little brighter by an ingenious method of 
extending help which would otherwise have been refused. This 
device, at small cost to the thoughtful and sympathetic officer, 
enabled these two old men to live, peacefully, and without much 
sense of bitterness, until their sad lives ended at Gk)d's behest. 
I do not belittle the action of my friend when I add that it 
was not wholly exceptional in those days, but rather char- 
acteristic of the relations between many of the officers of my 
old Province and the people among whom they lived. 

I once heard an Indian friend of my own speak with intense 
enthusiasm of the action of an officer, then a young man though 
now holding a position of some importance. There was cholera 
prevalent in the District where Mr. Napier was serving, and he 
was out in camp with his tents. News reached him that Mr. 
Chatterjee, the District Forest Officer, who was in camp some 
* Sabsisteiice allowance or diet money. 



22 EUROPEAN OFFICERS 

miles offy was down with cholera. Mr. Chatterjee was a fine 
man, straight, upright, and capable. Mr. Napier knew him a 
little then, and they became great friends afterwards. On 
receipt of this news, Mr. Napier galloped off at once to Mr. 
Chatterjee's camp, fomid him desperately ill, far from help 
and with no one near him who had any idea of what to do 
in such an emergency. He settled down determinedly, as he 
would have done for his own brother or old friend, and 
nursed him over the crisis and back to health. It was well to 
have been ready to seize such an opportunity : such an act 
of recognition of our common humanity and its obhgations is 
of immense value. 

Mr. Chatterjee, like many Indians, was liberal in the use of 
his means : he delighted in founding scholarships and giving 
gifts to dispensaries, schools, and libraries : a good number of 
these benefactions were afterwards made by him in the name 
of his devoted brother officer of another race. Mr. Chatterjee 
was one of my friends in the Central Provinces, and many an 
opportunity he gave me of knowing his inmost thoughts. 
It was with great regret that I heard of his death after years of 
excellent service for which the prompt action of Mr. Napier 
was the means of sparing him. 

This incident reminds me of an occasion when, at the very 
beginning of my service, I was sent out to deal with the most 
appalling outbreak of that terrible epidemic wi^ch I have 
heard of during all my Ufe in India. I had to take with me a 
staff of police and vaccinators who were deputed for sanitary 
work in connection with the epidemic. We found that blind 
panic had seized the villagers, causing them to desert their 
houses and property and take to flight into the jungle with a 
ruthless disregard of the sick and the dying. These were often 
locked up in their cottages and left, with nothing but a jar of 
water, to meet their fate. 

As I was starting on this expedition I telegraphed to my 
friend. Dr. Joseph Barter, who was then acting as Sanitary 
Conunissioner, to send me as soon as he could any brief directions 



OF MY PROVINCE 28 

which might suggest themselves to him as of possible service to 
me. He sent me some papers regarding the treatment of 
epidemics ; and with them he sent a sensible letter, containing 
a few practical suggestions. Some of these were purely medical 
and need not be recorded ; for sanitary science has certainly 
made great strides of late years in India. Others were the 
sage counsels of a kindly Irishman who had lived much among 
the people and understood them well. Among these was a 
reconunendation that I should myself smoke, and also permit 
my subordinates to smoke if they desired. As regards myself, 
he said that some thought tobacco a disinfectant, and that in 
any case smoking was a cheery habit. As regards my sub- 
ordinates, to understand the meaning of his instruction it is 
necessary to remember that although many of the natives of 
that part of India use tobacco freely, yet, as a rule, the native 
does not consider it correct to smoke in the presence of his 
superior. But it appeared to my adviser that for me distinctly 
to inform my men that they might smoke without regard to 
this sentiment, would produce a feeling of camaraderie^ and an 
atmosphere of geniality and intimacy, in which the sense of 
danger would be minimised, and most effective work would be 
done. 

His second piece of advice was equally useful. It was that I 
should never enter on work in an infected village while hungry, 
nor aUow my subordinates to do so. He urged me to carry 
with me a good supply of provisions for the whole camp, and to 
select, at some distance from the village we might be visiting, 
a spot where there was least risk of infection, and there partake 
myself, and insist on my staff partaking of a hearty meal. 
In this way, he said, the body is fitted to resist infection, 
and there is a vigour and cheerfulness about work which is 
very important under the circumstances of an epidemic. 

His third piece of advice was that of a courageous Irish 
gentleman. It was that I should myself work with the men, 
and let the men work with me, and that I should never send 
them to any place where I was unwilling to go myself, nor call 



24 EUROPEAN OFFICERS 

on them to do any work which I was unwilling to do. If dis- 
infecting had to be done, if the sick had to be tended, if bodies 
of the dead had to be removed and burned, I was to be with 
the men in all such operations. I found the advice valuable at 
the time ; and it was with intense gratitude to my adviser that 
I returned, at the close of our work, with a complete staff, 
not one of my men having taken the disease during our opera- 
tions. 

The advice, valuable on this occasion, was never forgotten 
under similar circumstances, and my respect for my adviser, 
who still lives in an honourable retirement at home, and will 
long live in the memory of many simple people throughout the 
Districts of the Central Provinces, has remained undiminished 
through all our years of friendship. 



CHAPTER III 

MORE ABOUT CENTRAL PROVINCES 
OFFICERS 

I HAVE perhaps sufficiently indicated that one important 
feature of official life in the Central Provinces in the old 
days was the importance attached to th^ training of 
young officers. I have the liveliest recollection of the great 
kindness almost invariably shown to me in my early service 
by the officers of all grades under whom I had the privilege 
of serving. This made life more pleasant^ and was therefore 
worthy of commendation from the point of view of our common 
humanity. It was also praiseworthy from the official point of 
view. It made work not only smoother, but far more efficient. 
We were taught from the very first to take an interest in 
our work, and were encouraged to do our very best to dis- 
charge our duties honestly and efficiently. We talked frankly 
about our work to our superiors. When we made mistakes 
these were pointed out to us with deamess and precision, but, 
as a rule, with kindness also. It was only the man who de- 
liberately scamped his work, or who showed " add " * in his 
work, that got into really hot water. When work was good, it 
received commendation which was all the more frank that it 
¥ras entirely unofficial. 

It is impossible to overestimate the effect of kindly and wise 
treatment of young officers by those who have had much 
experience, and occupy comparatively high positions. The 
memory of what I owed to many of my superiors has, I think, 

* **Zid" is a well-known word in India; it indicates an implacaUe perse- 
cuting spirit of personal qnte. 

26 



26 MORE ABOUT 

influenced me in my treatment of young officers since I attained 
to the higher offices in the Service. My wife and I made it a 
practice to receive newly joined civilians at Grovemment 
House, Nagpur, when I was Chief Commissioner of the Central 
Provinces, and at Belvedere, when I was Lieutenant-Governor 
of Bengal. They spent their first few days with us. 

This enabled my wife to talk to them freely about their 
life in India, and to give them many hints which not a 
few of them have spoken of as of great value. It also 
enabled me to get some knowledge of them, and to give 
them hints about their work in a more effective way than 
by mere circular orders. It had another good effect. These 
young officers realised that the head of the province desired 
to be on friendly terms with them, and that they had not 
settled down entirely among strangers who were indifferent to 
their welfare, and inclined to ignore them and their work. 
My wife and I have had many kindly intimations, sometimes 
after several years, of how much the young men appreciated 
this treatment. 

My chief officers and I used to consider with anxious care to 
what District each of these young officers should be sent. 
The District was selected from various considerations, of which 
the healthiness of the climate was one. It is wasteful as well 
as cruel to send an dfficer to an unhealthy station unless the 
interests of the Service demand it. These interests rarely, if ever, 
require that a young man, who is under training, should be 
sent to any particular place : the place for him is the place 
where he can best prepare himself for the work of his life. 

Another consideration was the kind of work which was being 
carried on in the different Districts. We tried to choose a Dis- 
trict the work of which afforded the best chances of a soimd 
training. But perhaps the most important consideration of 
all was the officers who were in charge of the most likely Dis- 
tricts. We wanted to send the young officer to be UQder a 
District officer who was a sound and sensible workman, who 
cared for the people, who was likely to take an interest in his 



CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 27 

young subordinate, and who would devote himself to training 
him in the manner best fitted to make him a useful officer in 
his turn. 

When we had selected the District to which a young officer 
was to be sent, I wrote privately to the officer under whom he 
was to serve. I happen to have a copy of one of the letters 
which I issued. It may be quoted here as indicating both 
what my experience had been as a young officer, and what 
I thought might be done for men in similar circumstances. The 
letter is marked '^Confidential"; it is dated Calcutta, 12th 
December, 1907, and runs as follows : — 

'* I am sending to you A. B. from among the civilians who 
have just passed their examinations and come out from home 
posted to this province. It is because I think that your in- 
fluence over him will be good, that you will be kind to him, and 
that you will assist him in preparing for his future career that 
I send him to you. 

*^I should like you very carefully and earnestly to advise 
him to give his best efforts to passing his examinations. You 
know how important it is for men to become qualified at once 
to take thdr place in district administration. Until he passes, 
he is very much less useful to Government ; and his position 
is not a pleasant one for himself. The sooner he gets rid of 
the burden of examinations, and acquires the knowledge which 
examinations are intended to test, the better for him and for 
the service. 

** A. B. should be employed in assisting you in any way that 
yoo think right, subject to this limitation, that he should not 
ordinarily be called upon to do more work than is required to 
give him some experimental knowledge of work and so assist 
him in his examinations and in acquiring fitness for the duties 
of an Assistant. I shall not reduce your staff at all in conse- 
quence of his being sent to you, so that it may be possible 
for you to utilise his services only so far as will be of advantage 
to him in his training. My idea is that he dxould be regarded 



28 MORE ABOUT 

as an extra man» so that he may have plenty of time for study 
for his examinations ; and I look to you not to allow him to 
forget the necessity for passing his examinations quickly. 

^^A. B. should be stationed at the head-quarters of your 
district. If you think fit to take him into camp, you 
should be careful that this is not allowed to interfere with 
his studies and other work, and that he is not allowed to 
fall into the erroneous notion that a tour in the interior of 
a district is undertaken merely for sport and recreation. While 
he is under training, he should be required to visit the various 
institutions which are available for him (schools, pounds, police 
posts, dispensaries, municipalities, roads and buildings, the 
various Government offices and the like), so that he may become 
acquainted with the general administration of the district ; 
and, of course, he ought to be placed some time during his 
training, as the rules require, in joint charge of the Treasury, 
so that he may learn Treasury work. 

^^ As soon as you think him fit, he may be nominated a 
member of the head-quarters Municipal Committee or of the 
District Board, so that he may acquire a knowledge of the 
manner in which the members transact business and get into 
the way of courteous discussion and co-operation with them. 
He ought also to look into sanitation and local works and make 
special inquiries and reports for you. I think it essential that 
in everything that the young civilian is called upon to do, 
he should be made to realise that a Government officer has 
serious responsibility resting upon him. If he is the member, 
for example, of a local body, he ought to realise that he is not 
only nominally a member, that he is bound to take his share 
in the work, and that he is boimd to keep the District Office 
thoroughly acquainted with all that is going on. He should 
be shown the best means of making himself useful ; and the 
District Officer ought to be able to judge, from the reports 
which he receives from him, and from conversation with him, 
whether he is making the best use of his opportunities. 

'" I would ask you from the very first earnestly to impress 



CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 29 

upon A. B. the duty of kindly, sympathetic and courteous 
treatment of Indians of all classes and of working cordially with 
Indian gentlemen. Everything depends upon how a young 
o£Bc» begins in this respect. Let him understand from the 
first that firmness commands the true respect of the ordinary 
Indian only when accompanied by real kindness, and that the 
one thing above all which the ordinary Indian desires is to be 
heard. If he is heard and realises that his case has been fully 
considered, there is seldom any discontent with the order finally 
passed, no matter what that order may be. 

^^ Impress on A. B. also the necessity for treating Indian 
gentlemen as gentlemen. There is no one that is more sensi- 
tive nor more observant in regard to courtesy and gentlemanly 
treatment than the Indian gentleman. Keep A. B. in mind 
that an Indian gentleman ought to be treated as a European 
gentleman should be treated. Courtesy in receiving him and 
in intercourse with him is very important. To keep him waiting 
without real necessity, or to let him wait in an unsuitable place, 
is a galling but imfortunately not an unusual discourtesy ; and 
harshness and rudeness of speech are as much to be avoided 
with the Indian as with the European. The use of the proper 
forms of address to the Indian gentleman is a mark both of 
breeding and of sound education in the vernacular. 

^^ In regard to his intercourse with the common people, 
let A. B. remember that they are to be treated as a gentleman 
treats common people at home. If he is animated towards them 
by kindliness and sympathy, returns their salutations, and 
shows an interest in their affairs, he will do well. For this pur- 
pose yon should encourage him to acquire a thorough know- 
ledge of Indian customs and of the vernacular. This will help 
him m his dealings with Indians of all classes. It is the tra- 
dition of our service that the officers of the Indian Civil 
Service, on the whole, treat the Indians well. This is due 
to the fact that they know and understand them at least 
as well as any body of men in the country. I earnestly 
trust that the young men who are now coming out will be 



80 MORE ABOUT 

trained to regard this as one of the very highest traditions 
of the service, 

^^ You will also see that A. B. understands the discipline 
of the service and the usual marks of respect which ought to 
be shown to senior officers. The service is stronger and more 
efficient if discipline is well maintained. Let him also under- 
stand that courtesy and heartiness in co-operation must always 
characterise his relations with officers of other departments. 
Hi-manners which tend to friction are a great defect in a Grovem- 
ment servant. 

" I would also ask you to keep your eye on A. B. in regard 
to his friends, and try to prevent his being on too intimate 
terms with undesirable persons. You know as well as I do, that 
there are in Bengal special dangers in this respect, and that it 
is very necessary that a young officer should be kept out of 
familiar intercourse with undesirable society and especially 
out of any undesirable matrimonial entanglement. I have 
ventured to speak to A. B. about the danger that exists in 
club life, in taking alcohol when it is by no means required. 
He is a thoroughly temperate man ; and I hope that this will 
continue to be his character. 

^^ One other matter remains, namely, the matter of health. 
I certainly do not wish any of our young civilians to become 
nervous about his health and to be constantly thinking about 
it. But you know the dangers that arise from ignorance 
amongst our young men. I daresay that, like me, you have 
had experience of cases of men who have lost much in having 
to take early leave in their service, and also one or two cases of 
early death, due only to ignorance of danger and disregard of 
• symptoms which ought to have been immediately attended to. 
A. B. should be warned to consult the doctor at once in regard 
to any derangement of his digestive system and in regard to 
fever. In this connection I would express the hope that he 
will also show himself a good physical man, and join in the 
athletic recreations of the station. 

'" I hope that you will not think that I am unduly inclined 




•• 4•• 



2 I 

< -J 

< o 

m ** 

< .2 



CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 81 

to lecture ; but I want you to understand my object in specially 
selecting you to start A. B. in his career." 

It is curious how little some men who have been long in India 
realise the importance of courtesy to the common people in 
town or country. The Indian has a special faculty of recognis- 
ing a gentleman. Some men fail to see this. I remember 
about seventeen years ago driving round Lahore with a very 
senior officer. He was dilating on the change of attitude towards 
Europeans which was» he said^ coming over the people of the 
town. He especially complained that, though they knew him, 
hardly any saluted him. I told him that if I were an Indian I 
should not salute him, because I had observed that he did not 
return salutations. He replied that he thought that the people 
did not expect an officer to do so 1 As a fact, an Indian regards 
the failure to return his salute not only as a discourtesy, but also 
very often as an ill omen. It is both discourteous and unkind. 
The European who treats the Indian of any rank without due 
courtesy separates himself from them and tends to prejudice 
their relations to all the members of his own race. 

In the old days in the Central Provinces oiu* officers had a good 
habit of doing much of their work in friendly consultation, in- 
stead of leaving all discussion to be carried on in writing. This 
did not at all interfere with the direct responsibility of the local 
officer. An officer, who had come from another Province and 
had taken over charge of one of our Divisions as a Commissioner, 
once said to me, ^' The office of Commissioner here is altogether 
difFerent in character from that of a Commissioner in my old 
Province. There the Commissioner merely supervises the work 
of his District officer. Here I find myself less a Commissioner 
and rather the Collector or Deputy Commissioner of five Dis- 
tricts.*' I endeavoured to show him that he had failed to under- 
stand the genius and traditions of the Province. The Com- 
missioner was expected frequently to visit, and to be constantly 
in touch with, his District officers ; but he was not to do their 
work. He was to know all that they were doing, and to give 



82 MORJS ABOUT 

his advice freely : when questions of importance were under 
discussion, the discussion should not be allowed to continue 
too long a mere matter of writing, but should at the right point 
terminate in a frank and exhaustive consultation, the final 
results of which should be reduced to writing either by the 
District officer or by the Commissioner, to form part of the 
Record. 

Sometimes such a discussion might be between the Com- 
missioner and one Deputy Commissioner regarding a matter 
concerning one District only. The Deputy Commissioner 
would state his case in writing. The Commissioner would give 
a written statement of his views on it, as then advised. This 
secured at the initial stage that accuracy which careful perusal 
of documents and the restraint of writing ordinarily tend to 
produce. But it would be absurd to go on for weeks with a 
written discussion which was apt to develop into controversy. 
So, if the Deputy Commissioner still had difficulties, these 
would be discussed at an early meeting with the Commissioner. 
The whole subject would be talked over in a frank and friendly 
spirit. And then, in the great majority of cases the Deputy 
Conmiissioner would write a letter beginning with a reference 
to the last letter on the subject, ^^ and our subsequent consul- 
tation," and put the whole matter on record with all his 
proposals in detail as now agreed on. A brief letter from the 
Commissioner expressing his concurrence closed the corre- 
spond^ice. The Deputy Commissioner was responsible through- 
out : he had to do the work, and he did it ; but he had in the 
doing of it the best advice, the intelligent concurrence and the 
support of his Commissioner. 

I learned that style of work from my old Chief, Sir John 
Morris. When I took up the appointment of Chief Secretary 
to his Administration, he had been long enough in the Province 
to kifow every District and almost every question likely to 
arise. In certain cases he had to give time and labour of his 
own to the papers. But in the great majority of cases, I used 
to study the files, take notes of points on which I was uncertain 



CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 88 

or thought that his orders were necessary. We would discuss 
these cases from my notes, perhaps, as we took an early walk 
together in Pachmarhi, or from camp to camp on tour, or 
during the hour appointed for bringing up papers to his ofiBice. 
After such a discussion I went home and set to work at once 
to write out the conclusions we had arrived at in the form of 
a note. 

In the great majority of cases he merely appended his initials, 
with perhaps the words ^^ I concur." If any man looking at 
old files, and seeing the words, '^ I concur. J. H. M." on many 
of them thinks that my old Chief was perfunctory in his 
work, he makes a great mistake. Nothing could be further 
from the truth. It was Sir John that really made the 
Central Provinces what they are, by ^his Settlement work 
and his long tenure of the office of Chief Commissioner ; 
he ruled the Province effectively and wisely; and I doubt 
whether his name will ever be forgotten. It is over a quarter 
of a century since he retired ; and I do not think there is any 
name more widely known and respected to this day. 

This habit of frank and friendly consultation was not limited 
to questions between two officers only. When I was appointed 
Commissioner of Chhattisgarh, I at once saw how important 
it would be to have the officers of different Districts meet for 
discussion and consultation regarding many questions which 
more or less affect the administration of aU Districts. 

The last Saturday of the month was an office holiday, if the 
state of business aUowed. All the Deputy Commissioners used 
to come up, as soon as railway facilities made that possible, 
to spend that day and the Sunday following with me, as regu- 
larly as circumstances would allow. These monthly ^* week- 
ends " have often been spoken of by the Deputy Commissioners 
as of great value to them. We sometimes had special questions 
marked for discussion, in regard to which local difficulties had 
been experienced, or advice had been asked for by the Chief 
Commissioner. To obtain on such questions the light of ex- 
perience not only of the Commissioner, but also of every other 



84 MORE ABOUT 

Deputy Commissioner, was fdt to be of great importance. The 
relief from the monotony and loneliness of District work and 
the sense of the sohdarity of the work of the Division were also 
much appreciated. Many officers have spoken to me of the 
great advantage of such opportunities of conference. To me 
they were always deeply interesting, and of inestimable value. 

When I became Chief Commissioner, I extended the system 
by introducing annual conferences during the hot weather for 
two or three weeks at Pachmarhi, the provincial sanitorium. 
Men were not at that season of the year too much occupied 
locally to be able to come up to Pachmarhi, where, of course, 
they could do their routine work ; and they were glad to come. 
All the Commissioners of Division were invited ; and when 
they met in conference, the heads of the departments con- 
cerned, and the Secretaries interested, in the questions under 
discussion were also present. Many questions regarding which 
written opinions had been given during the year were thrashed 
out and settled in conference. The saving of time was enor- 
mous ; and it was most surprising to find how often decisions 
were arrived at which commended themselves to the unanimous 
judgment of all the officers present. The spirit of mutual under- 
standing and confidence which these conferences produced 
between the Head of the Province and his colleagues in all 
departments and Divisions, as well as amongst these officers 
themselves, was universally recognised. 

When I was touring through Bengal, as President of the 
Police Commission, one of the Commissioners of that Province, 
who has since been promoted %o higher office, asked me about 
these conferences, and expressed a great desire to see them 
introduced. At that time there was no thought of my going 
to Bengal as Lieutenant-Grovemor. But when, a year later, 
I was sent to that office, one of the first communications I got 
was a letter asking me to introduce the system. I did so, 
and our experience was that it was a great success. In course of 
time it was expanded to this extent that, in the discussion of 
certain questions, we secured the presence of European and 



CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 85 

Indian non-officials whose assistance we found of much value. 
These conferences are more valuable to those taking part in 
them, and in some respects to the administration generally, 
than even the Legislative Councils ; because they are con- 
fidential, and absolutely frank and friendly. But, of course, 
they cannot in any way take the place of the Legislative 
Councils in respect of questions, the discussion of which must 
be public. The two ought to coexist, each in its own sphere. 

It seems to me that the true theory of government in the 
East is to be found in a system which combines decentralisation 
in work, with thorough understanding and confidence between 
superior and inferior authority. The centre of District ad- 
ministration is the District Magistrate : the people should 
know him as the man who does the work and is responsible for it. 
The Commissioner should know what the District officer is 
doing : he should give him the best advice, and help him to 
avoid mistakes ; but he should regard it as essential to avoid, 
as far as possible, pushing himself to the front, or weakening the 
authority of the District officer in his District. 

Precisely in the same way, the responsibility for the work of 
a Division or of a department should be recognised as resting 
on the Conunissioner, or head of the department. The Local 
Government shoidd know clearly what is going on, and be in 
constant touch with these high officers, but ought, as far as 
possible, to avoid weakening their authority or interfering 
with their work. A practice of sending me confidential ^^ demi- 
official " letters twice a month was loyally carried out by all 
Commissioners and heads of departments in Bengal, and 
was spoken of as of great value to them : it certainly was so to 
me. And again, before the people the head of the Province 
ought to be always recognised as the responsible authority 
in provincial work : undue interference with him by the 
Government of India cannot but be disastrous. 

With all respect, and with some diffidence, as one that judges 
the matter not from personal knowledge of the relations in 
question, but from the effect produced by certain impressions 



86 CENTRAL PROVINCES OFFICERS 

regarding these relations on outsiders and the people generally, 
I should say that the same is true of the relations between the 
Secretary of State in Council and the Government of India. 
Government in India ought to be recognised as vested in 
H.E. the Viceroy in Coundl. The Secretary of State in 
Council must supervise, and, when necessary, control the work 
of the (xovemment of India. This he does under his re- 
sponsibility to Parliament, which, after all, is the supreme 
authority in the Empire. And he ought to be in constant 
touch with the Gk>vemment of India, and in a position to 
understand, and, when necessary, to explain and justify its 
action. But he ought not unduly to interfere with that 
Grovemment, or weaken its authority. To transfer the seat 
of government in India to London seems to me not only con- 
trary to the traditions of our rule, but necessarily unwise 
and even disastrous. 



CHAPTER IV 
INDIAN OFFICERS OF MY PROVINCE 

r? was in the early days of the Central Provinces that I 
joined the Service ; and at that time a good number of 
the Indian officers employed there, men who were doing 
the work of Assistant Magistrates and Deputy Collectors, were 
midoubtedly suspected of susceptibility to inducements to 
deviate from upright and righteous action. In these early days, 
when these men were appointed to the Service, the Province 
was young, and there was a greater demand for officers than the 
supply could well meet. A good niunber of them were, conse- 
quently, either ill-trained and sometimes even ill-conditioned 
natives of the Province itself, or men who had been obtained 
from other Provinces, and were sometimes far from being good 
bargains. We had certainly some excellent Ick^al men, of good 
position, and trained in the few local institutions we then had 
which were capable of training men well. But these were not the 
majority of the local men. The majority were men of inferior 
training and social position, often recruited from the ministerial 
ranks. 

Similarly there were one or two Provinces that undoubtedly 
shot their rubbish into the Central Provinces; but there 
was one Province that treated us exceptionally well, the 
Presidency of Bombay. A man happened to be in high position 
there, who took a great interest in the future of his deserving 
subordinates; and, as the Central Provinces offered a fine 
field for good work, and quick promotion to deserving men, 
he sent us some of his very best. The names of men like Bapu 
Bao Patwardhan, Rambhaji Rao, and others, occur to me as 

37 



88 INDIAN OFFICERS 

amongst the very best Indian officers that I have ever met 
in the whole course of my service. They were men loyal to the 
Government, and devoted to their work, and to the interests of 
the people, men who talked freely and frankly to us about 
any matter which they thought ought to be brought to our 
notice, whether it was immediately within their own department 
of work or not, and who were therefore most valuable advisers 
in regard to the interests and feelings of the people. 

There was a man who served with me, as Assistant Magistrate 
and Deputy Collector, in the first District I ever held for 
any length of time. He was a Brahman from the Konkana, 
but had been educated in Poona. I was struck with the fact 
that he talked EngUsh with a slight Scottish accent, and dis- 
covered that he had been educated in a Scottish Missionary 
Institution. He took an early opportunity of telling me that 
the people of India had a great regard for religion, and did not 
understand how religious spirit could exist apart from religious 
observance. So he always regretted to see any professedly 
Christian officer hving without some public profession of his 
religion. 

At the head-quarters of the District in which we were serving 
there was no chaplain, though there was a church ; and he 
urged that some arrangement might be made that the pro- 
fessedly Christian community might meet on their sacred day. 
It was interesting to hear this good old Brahman pressing this 
out of regard to his old missionary teachers, and for the religion 
which they had taught him to respect, though not to embrace. 
He was a very straightforward man, and did not hesitate to 
bring abuses to my notice, and to offer me frank advice. 

On one occasion he mentioned to me that unusually excellent 
services rendered by a Brahman of Orissa had not been ade- 
quately recognised. I asked him what business it was of his. 
His reply was, " None whatever. I have never met the man ; 
and he is, of course, not of my caste. But your Government 
is always just when it is fully informed ; and I do not like to 
hear men speaking of a case that does not seem to show that 



OF MY PROVINCE 89 

spirit of justice. Although the matter does not concern you, 
you might bring it to the notice of the Chief Commissioner.'' 
A solitary incident like that might have been capable of some 
Gfpecial explanation, but it was so characteristic of my friend that 
there was no explanation possible except that he was loyal and 
straightforward. 

A comparatively young Indian had been just appointed to the 
Judicial Service, and posted to a District where he was for a 
time very much overworked. He was a Brahman from Bombay. 
A petition was filed against him before one of the appellate 
courts, stating that he had publicly given a decision orally 
for the plaintiff in a case, that he had refused for a long time 
to give any copy of his judgment, and that at last, after a 
month or so had elapsed, he had aUowed a copy to be obtained, 
when it was found that the judgment was in favour of the 
defendant. It was urged that this was undoubtedly due to the 
fact that he had awaited illegal gratification, and that when 
he had received that he had given judgment in favour of the 
person who had tendered it. 

His defence was that he had been very much overwhelmed 
with work, and had got into arrears ; that he kept an ofiBice 
box in which he put cases for the writing of judgments at home ; 
that, unfortunately, he never turned the box upside down, 
and had consequently only reached this case when all his 
arrears were worked off, which was not until a month after the 
case had been heard. He admitted that inquiry from the 
court ofiBk^ials disclosed the fact that his oral decision had been 
in favour of the plaintiff ; but he denied that there had been 
any cause, except forgetfulness, for his giving his final decision 
in favour of the defendant. I knew the man, and was sent down 
to conduct a final inquiry on behalf of the Chief Commissioner, 

There was no doubt whatever left in my mind as to the 
striughtforwardness of the defence; and the case in which 
the mistake had occurred was one in which, dealing at all 
events with the record alone, without seeing the parties and the 
witnesses, there was every ground for doubt as to which side 



40 INDIAN OFFICERS 

ought to win. My young friend Bhargo Rao, however, fell 
more or less under the general suspicion with which Indian 
ofiBicers of the Provincial Service were then regarded, and it 
was therefore less easy to persuade his superiors to take my 
view of the case. They did so, however, and his future career 
justified their decision. He rose to the very top of the Pro- 
vincial Service, was trusted on all hands, received from the 
Government the high title of Rao Bahadur, and retired from 
the Service full of honour. 

On the other hand, there were men about whom there was 
always the gravest suspicion, and there was always a desire on 
the part of litigants and others to have some other officer to 
deal with their cases. At a very early stage in my service I 
was sent urgently to a somewhat remote district to report 
myself to the District officer As soon as I arrived I was ordered 
to take charge of all the official papers belonging to an Indian 
officer of the District staff. He was suspended and ultimately 
ptmished for corruption. It was an exceedingly trying but 
useful experience. 

There were certain Districts where senior officers were less 
watchful than elsewhere, and in some of these corruption was 
undoubtedly very common. On one occasion when, as Under 
Secretary, I was travelling with the Chief Commissioner, a man 
of good position and high character as a good landlord offered 
me a very considerable bribe to induce me to place before my 
Chief a certain view of a pending case. It was a view very 
much to the benefit of the landlord in question, but not likely 
to inffict direct injury of any kind on any one else. It was, 
in fact, the view which I had been inclined to take. I related 
the circumstances to my Chief, and asked his advice as to how 
I should act. He decided not to prosecute the man, who had 
borne a good character, but to take other steps to mark our 
sense of the gross impropriety of his conduct. The man felt 
very much the position in which he had placed himself, and 
recognised that he might have been the subject of a criminal 
prosecution. He made no defence, jjexcept that he was ^' an 



OF MY PROVINCE 41 

ignorant rustic.'* But an Indian officer of high character, who 
knew the District well, said that the man's action had been 
due to the prevalence of corruption among prominent officials 
in that District. 

It was not only in respect to the bad tradition prevailing in 
some quarters about the acceptance of illegal gratifications that 
some of the Indian officers were distrusted in those days. 
Some of them also showed themselves prejudiced and unjust 
towards members of certain sections of the conmiunity. There 
were men like Khem Bahadur Aulad Husain, Rao Bahadur 
Bapu Rao Patwardhan, Rambhaji Rao, and others who were 
able to hold the balance fairly between men of different race, 
caste or creed, in a way that won the respect and admiration 
alike of Europeans and Indians. But there were others who 
were well known to be unfair and often hostile to those of 
different caste or creed from themselves. One of these was 
a Kayasth, whose hatred of Muhammadans was well known, 
and led in one case to one of the saddest incidents that I can 
recall in my service, the assassination of a popular officer 
who threw himself too much into the hands of his Assistant. 

Ik was assassinated by a fanatic Muhammadan, whose in- 
tention was to take the life of the Kayasth Assistant, and who 
fired on the District Magistrate when the latter stepped for- 
ward to interfere. The assassin fled, threatening with his re- 
volver any who should attempt his arrest. He was seized by 
a native, a brave foreman of railway (coolie) labourers, who held 
him until help came, though he was himself fatally wounded 
and died almost immediately. It is marvellous how, among the 
natives of India, courage and devotion are found where one 
would hardly think of looking for such qualities. 

One more reminiscence concerning the Indian officer is worthy 
of record. During my early days in the Province there was 
one battle which we were constantly fighting : that was the 
fight against the t^dency of Indians to surround themselves 
with men of their own caste or of their own race. The offices 
were constantly being packed with men of one class. Thus, 



42 INDIAN OFFICERS 

for example, if a Chitpawan Brahman from Bombay became 
head of an office as Clerk of Court, his tendency was within a 
surprisingly short period to have every post in that office of 
any importance filled by people of his own caste. Those of 
other castes had generally their lives made so uncomfortable 
to them that they applied for transfer. Failing to turn out 
men in this way, the head of the office would patiently wait 
until vacancies occurred and then fill them with men of his 
own class. It became absolutely essential to control constantly 
and vigorously the appointment of men to office. Perhaps 
certain castes like the Poona Brahmans were more addicted 
to this than others ; but I am not sure that this can be said. 
The tendency is human and especially Oriental. 

This indicates one of the difficulties which arise in adminis- 
tration from the employment of Indians. We have now, in- 
deed, many Indians who have by their training acquired a 
much more impartial way of doing business ; but the difficulty 
has not yet nearly passed away ; and there is no doubt that 
the simpler natives of India generally prefer to have in places 
of authority men who are free from this tendency, and from 
any connection with local castes and races. Of course, it must 
be borne in mind that, in some cases at least, this tendency 
on the part of Indian officers was due to the fact that they had 
more confidence in their own caste-fellows than in other Indians ; 
and I have known some few Europeans who seem to think that 
no one is to be trusted except a European. This is a frame of 
mind, in Indian and European alike, which is altogether incon- 
sistent with the sound administration of the coimtry. 

In the early days of my service in the Central Provinces 
any officer of experience who was asked what was the character 
of the Indians in the Service would have probably said : *^ Aulad 
Husain and Bapu Rao Patwardhan and one or two others may 
be trusted in every way ; but the great majority are corrupt 
and untrustworthy." If the same question were asked now, 
the answer would probably be ; " A and B and one or two more 
are certainly open to suspicion ; but the vast majority may 



OF MY PROYINCE 48 

be implicitly trusted." Several causes have undoubtedly con- 
tributed to this most remarkable change. Education has 
greatly advanced in the Central Provinces ; and it has been 
possible, much more generally than formerly, to employ local 
officers. There is no doubt that this is a great advantage. We 
have had among our very best officers in the Central Provinces 
some men from other Provinces ; but this is undoubtedly not 
the rule. 

Indians do not, as a rule, care to leave the Province to which 
they belong and work among strangers ; and the volimtary 
immigration of men from other Provinces is therefore generally 
confined to men who have not the capacity to make a good 
position for themselves nearer home. In only a few cases we 
have examples of youthful energy and enterprise which have 
given us some of our very best men. At the same time it has 
been a comparatively rare experience to find another Local 
Government willing to send to our help any other than its some- 
what inferior or, at least, mediocre officers. 

Another cause of the change has been that very much greater 
care has recently been taken in the selection of the Indian 
officers for the Judicial and Executive appointments of the 
Provincial Service. Such greater care has become possible, as 
the diffusion of education has made the field of selection wider. 
The Service has also been made much more attractive. The 
officers have begun to realise more that they are the comrades 
and coadjutors of the European officers with whom they work j 
and their sense of the dignity of their position is in some re- 
elects increased. Their salaries have also been raised; and 
much higher offices are now open to Indians than at the time 
when I joined the Service. 

I have no doubt whatever that in the Central Provinces 
the remarkable change which has taken place in the character 
of our officers is also due in great measure to the excellent 
teachers whom we have had in our colleges. One of the most 
influential colleges in the Central Provinces is the Nagpur Hislop 
CoDege, manned by Scotch missionaries of high character and of 



44 INDIAN OFFICERS 

sound education. For these men their students have always 
had the highest respect, and many of them, even while they 
do not embrace Christianity, have imbibed the moral principles 
of their teachers. I have already referred to the interesting 
fact that some of our best officers in the Central Provinces 
had something of a Scottish accent. I attribute this to the 
fact that some of them came from Bombay, where they 
had been educated (as I ascertained) by Scotch missionaries 
in Bombay and Poona. Others were educated in the Missionary 
College at Nagpur; and a few more had had a considerable 
part of their training from a Scottish teacher, who, for a long 
time, was the head of the only other college in the Central 
Provinces, that at Jubbulpore ; and my experience is that these 
men who talked with a Scottish accent had received an edu- 
cation which included training in high principles. 

I remember the Honourable Mr. Justice Asutosh Mukerji, 
now Vice-chancellor of the Calcutta University, speaking in 
the Viceroy's Council in the strongest terms of the injury which 
education in Bengal had received from the substitution of 
cheaper and inferior professors for the fine men who used to 
come from our own country ; and I am persuaded that University 
education might have produced very much higher results in 
India if men of sound home training and good conmionsense 
had been more generaUy employed in our colleges. The injury 
which has resulted from false economy on the one hand, and 
carelessness in the selection of professors on the other, cannot be 
calculated. 

It is not education alone, however, that has effected the 
change to which I refer. It is the opening out of a more dig- 
nified career to Indian officers of the Provincial Services. This 
has been steadily kept in view. It has been a constant policy 
based on the desire to fulfil a noble promise. In his admirable 
address on "" The Place of India in the Empire,'* delivered before 
the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution in October, 1909, Lord 
Curzon referred to the scope for participation of Indians them- 
selves in the government of their country. He laid before his 



OF MY PROVINCE 45 

audience certain facts and incidents of a very illuminative 
character. He said, for example, *^ The Englishman proceeding 
to India may expect to see his own countrymen everywhere, 
and above all in the ofBces and buildings of Government, in the 
Law Courts, and on the Magisterial Bench. As a matter of fact, 
except in the great cities, he will rarely come across an English- 
man at aU. I once visited a city of eighty thousand people, 
in which there were only two official Englishmen, both of 
whom happened to be away." A fact like this would deeply 
impress a man of keen observation and thoughtful mind. 
The influence of England in India is now, one may say, for the 
most part exercised locally through Indian officers. 

Lord Curzon proceeded to give important figures. He said, 
"When we assumed the Government of India, the Native 
Agency was so injuriously inefficient and corrupt that the 
British were obliged to take control of all branches of the 
administration. But ever since there has been a progressive 
reduction of the European and increase of the Native element, 
until Indians now fill by far the greater number of the Executive, 
Magisterial, and Judicial posts, entire classes of appointments 
being reserved for them, either by definite rule, or by unbroken 
practice. Figures were published when I was in India which 
showed that out of twenty-eight thousand three hundred 
Government servants drawing more than £60 a year — ^a high 
salary in India — ^twenty-one thousand eight hundred were 
Indian or Eurasian inhabitants of the country. Below that 
figure the Indians practically sweep the board ; and I have 
seen the total number of Government employees in India 
given as one million five hundred thousand Indians to ten 
thousand Europeans." 

These figures are no doubt very noteworthy, but they do not 
bring into prominence the real point in the question of the 
employment of Indians, as contemplated and discussed by 
the educated and ambitious classes in India. These classes 
aim at the appointment of Indians, as largely as possible, to 
the higher posts in the Executive Service of Government. 



46 INDIAN OFFICERS 

Lord Curzon, indeed, refers to this, and states a principle which 
has been, to the honour of our Government in India, recognised 
by the Government of India, and by Local Grovemments ever 
since Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria took over, on behalf 
of the British nation, the government of that great dependency 
from the old East India Company. Lord Curzon's words are 
these : ^^ No one would impose or defend a merely racial bar. 
The question at issue is rather not what is the maximum 
number of offices that can safely be given to Indians, but what 
is the minimum number that must of necessity be reserved 
for Europeans." Lord Curzon did not go on to say how that 
principle has been applied in the past ; and this is after all 
the crucial question in regard to this matter. 

Judicial appointments are not much prized by the educated 
classes, or, I ought tp say by the Congress party, or the 
Nationalists among these educated classes. It is in respect of 
the higher Executive appointments that there has been the 
strongest agitation. It is power that is desired ; and power is in 
the Executive officer. The record of the Government policy and 
action in regard to this matter is one of which the Government 
may well be proud. That record does not in any way require 
to be kept in the background, but really indicates a high- 
principled and determined effort to meet the just claims of the 
people of the country. I shall refer to this in fuller detail in 
dealing with recent unrest. I mention it here as one of the 
causes which have led to the great improvement among our 
Indian officers. 

Better training has fitted Indians for higher office, and the 
throwing open of higher and more responsible offices has made 
Indians more proud of their service, and more anxious to dis- 
charge their duties in an honotirable and worthy way. There 
are no finer men now than some of the Indians of old days ; 
but the Provincial Service, as a whole, is immeasurably im- 
proved. 



CHAPTER V 

JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS 
OF OUR OFFICERS 

THESE reminiscences of officers serving in my old 
Province recall to my mind what I saw there of the 
introduction of a more elaborate system of adminis- 
tration. When I joined the Province there was no demarcation 
between Executive and Judicial functions at aU, except in 
rq;ard to the heads of the two departments. The Chief Com- 
missioner was the head of the Local Government generaUy, and 
the head of the Executive Service in particular. The Judicial 
Commissioner was the head of the Judicial department. The 
latter was subordinate to the Chief Commissioner in one respect 
only, that is, that he had to report on his work and the ad- 
ministration of his department to the Chief Commissioner, 
and that the latter was theoretically, at least, entitled to 
express either satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the work. 
But there was no appeal from the Judicial Commissioner in 
any civil or criminal case ; nor had the Chief Commissioner 
any power of direct interference in the work of the Judicial 
Commissioner except such as may be held to be involved in 
the exercise of the royal prerogative of mercy. The Judicial 
Commissioner sat alone as a High Court, the highest court 
in the Province in both civil and criminal cases, exercising 
in both classes of cases the powers of revision and appeal. 
From his decision in any criminal case no appeal lay ; but in 
civU cases there was, under certain limitations, an appeal to 
the Privy Council. 
The origiiial dvil and criminal work was done by the Com- 

47 



48 JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE 

missioners (each in charge of a Division), the Deputy Com- 
missioners (each in charge of a District), and the Tahsildars 
(each in charge of a Subdivision of a District), and by assistants 
to some of these officers, and by Honorary Magistrates. The 
Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Tahsildars were 
responsible for Executive and Judicial (both civil and criminal) 
work within their respective charges, and with, of course, 
powers according to their position. This was all very well 
in the early days of the Province, when the work was not 
heavy, when cases were not intricate, and when the people 
found, under the kindly common sense of their new rulers, a 
considerable improvement on anything that they had hitherto 
experienced ; but such a system could not last. It was manifest 
that the work of the Civil Courts could not be done by officers 
charged with the Executive administration. 

There were indeed advantages attached to the trial of civil 
cases by Executive officers which are of very considerable 
importance in India. The knowledge of the people which the 
Executive officers possessed, and the custom of fixing civil 
cases very often to be tried on the spot, were very considerable 
advantages in the old system ; and there are many thoughtful 
and sensible Indians who are found to deplore the absence of 
these two advantages under the present system. It does not 
seem to be a necessary feature of the present system that the 
judges should be ignorant of the people, or even that they should 
entirely abandon local inquiries, but if not a necessary feature, 
it is undoubtedly a very common characteristic of the present 
system. 

There were undoubtedly, on the other hand, grave dis- 
advantages in having dvil cases tried by Executive officers. 
These have been very much enlarged on by some of the best 
Anglo-Indian officers, who struggled for what they then called 
the separation of the Judicial and Executive functions. 
Perhaps one of the worst features of the old system was this, 
that Executive work, on the efficiency of which depends in 
large measure the happiness of the great mass of the oommumty , 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICERS 49 

was sacrificed to civil Judicial work. This was only natural. , 
CSvil cases very soon began to be more and more a burden on 
the oflScers of the Province. They had to be tried regularly 
and punctually. If parties and witnesses were called up from 
great distances to attend the court, it was intolerable that they 
should be turned away and compelled to come back another 
day, merely because the officer presiding in the court had 
argent Executive work to do. A sense of the great incon- 
venience involved in making these people take long journeys 
in vain led officers to give civil judicial work the first place in 
the day's routine; and this tendency was emphasised by the 
fact that the Judicial Commissioner scrutinised most carefully 
the returns of civil judicicd work, and was inclined to be some- 
what unsparing in his censure when cases were delayed. 

The consequence of this was that when such cases occupied 
a far longer portion of the day than had been anticipated, 
other work was pushed aside, and the Executive duties of these 
officers were often neglected or perfimctorily performed. The 
Executive Government, seeing this, began to appoint separate 
officers for the trial of civil cases. Naib (assistant) Tahsildars 
were appointed to relieve the Indian Revenue officer in charge 
of the Subdivision of his Judicial work, so that he might be 
free to travel all round his Tahsil and keep himself in touch with 
the people. The same principle had to be extended to the 
District officer and to the Commissioner, and I well recall the 
great satisfaction with which, as a Commissioner of Division, 
I handed over the trial of civil cases to an officer specially 
appointed to this work. These cases had often been very in- 
teresting, but the extent to which they interfered with the 
efficient discharge of Executive work was altogether incalculable. 

As things developed further in the Province, as the Province 
itself advanced in wealth and in civilisation, the work continued 
to increase, and the staff of officers had to be considerably 
reinforced. Gradually it became necessary to give District 
Magistrates assistance in the trial of criminal cases, and a 
natural desire for that efficiency which springs from the division 



50 JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE 

of labour led to the appointing of special officers to take the 
great bulk of the criminal case work of the Districts into their 
hands. At the same time the Commissioners^ whose work had 
greatly increased, were reUeved of the trial of sessions cases, 
and of the hearing of criminal appeals from Magistrates, 
and these cases were given over to men who were known as 
*^ Additional Commissioners," and who developed into the 
Divisioncd and Sessions Judges of the present day. Here, also, 
there was undoubtedly a great improvement in administration. 
Practice and training produced a more efficient performance 
of court work. 

At the same time the District Ma^strate, though relieved of 
the drudgery of the trial of cases, many of which occupied days 
together, and prevented him from exercising that constant 
supervision over all the interests of the District which is 
undoubtedly necessary, was still left responsible for the peace 
of his District. To my mind this is at the present time an 
essential feature of sound Indian administration. 

There is on the part of the ^* National Congress " a demand 
constantly reiterated for what they call ^^the separation of 
Executive and Judicial functions.'' They quote the utterances 
of some of the finest men, the ablest ofiAcers that India has 
seen, either ignorant of, or distinctly and deliberately mis- 
representing, the real facts. The utterances that they quote 
refer to the separation of Executive functions from the trial of 
civil cases. The men from whom they quote never dreamed 
of the entire separation of Executive functions from the criminal 
administration of a District, for which the ^^ National Congress " 
clamours. I do not profess that the present system which 
exists all over India must never be altered ; but I am clearly of 
opinion that it ought not to be altered out of deference to 
garbled or misapplied quotations from the utterances of great 
men, for whose judgment it is right that the highest respect 
should be shown, but who were dealing with a question alto- 
gether different from that which is now under consideration 
Above all» it ought not to be altered without carefully con- 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICERS 51 

sidering the effect which any alteration may have on the 
responsibility of the District officer for the peace of his District, 
and on the possibility of the efficient discharge of that re- 
sponsibility. 

There is one argument which is frequently used in favour of 
taking from the District officer all magistericd work, and all 
responsibility for the Judicial criminal work of his District. 
It has been thus expressed : ^^ There is an unconscious bias in 
favour of conviction entertained by the Ma^strate who is 
responsible for the peace of the District, or by the Magistrate 
who is subordinate to the District Magistrate, and sees with his 
eyes." This seems to me a most mischievous statement. It 
is an exaggerated statement, and constitutes a Ubel upon a 
distinguished body of men, the Magistrates of our Districts, 
who belong both to the Indian Civil Service and to the Pro- 
vincial Service. It is surely also contrary to the evidence 
of statistics to say that unduly severe sentences and convictions 
cm inadequate evidence arise from any bias on the part of the 
Magistrates ; for it is found that, even in cases which have 
involved police inquiry beforehand, the proportion of con- 
victions is under sixty per cent. 

On the other hand, it ought to be emphasised that there 
are no courts in India which have aimed as the magisterial 
courts have done at unearthing and punishing false cases. 
There is no public feeling in favour of punishing false evidence 
and of putting down false cases. In the dvil courts it is often 
found difficult to persuade judges, even when the falsity of a 
case has been established, to revise their original decision, or to 
take steps against the fabricator of false evidence. With the 
Bar, and with those who frequent the courts, any attempt to 
punish false evidence is undoubtedly met generally by more 
or less active opposition. It is too often practically regarded 
by the people generally as a natural and suitable weapon 
when one comes to court. It is a matter of simple experience 
in the interior that the magistrates alone make any real effort 
towards putting down this terrible abuse, whereby the courts 



62 JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE 

are to a large extent losing the confidence of the people of the 
country. 

Besides, it must be borne in mind that one of the most fre- 
quent forms of the miscarriage of justice is the discharge or 
acquittal of the guilty. This is often a serious danger to the 
public peace. It is too customary in India to speak as though 
an acquittal must be regarded as always absolutely innocuous, 
if not really meritorious. It would be a very serious thing if 
such a view came to be accepted by the courts and by the 
Government. There is in India a natural tendency to acquit 
(a) from aversion to give pain ; (b) from aversion to take the 
trouble to solve a doubt: the accused is often **^ven the 
benefit of a doubt " which ought to have been faced and settled, 
and (c) from a desire to avoid appeal. This tendency would be 
greatly strengthened if the salutary control over the subordinate 
courts by the District Magistrate were removed ; for that 
officer realises his responsibility for the peace of his District, 
and is compelled, by a sense of that responsibility, to take the 
necessary trouble to inquire effectively into such cases. 

Another argument used is that although blunders arising 
from ** unconscious bias " do not frequently occur, they give 
rise amongst an advanced people, of whom the educated are 
expert in law and ready to assert their rights, ** to a general 
distrust in the impartiality of the Magistrates.*' I am bound 
to admit that there is on the part of many educated men in 
certain parts of India, and especially in the legal profession, 
a great jealousy, though not, I believe, any distrust of the 
criminal courts. I have no doubt that this is in large measure 
due to the great care taken by so many District Magistrates in 
really getting at the facts of the case, and preventing the 
poorer people from being oppressed by processes of law. It 
is not true that there is any real distrust of the magistracy as a 
body among the people generally. It is the rarest thing possible 
to meet with any such feeling. Pleaders make such allegations 
to their clients and to the superior courts. This is only in the 
way of their business, as they understand it. 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICERS 58 

I know, however, and expression has been given to this fact 
by many of the most experienced and thoughtful of our Indian 
fellow-subjects, that there are not many villages in which 
the civil courts are known, where the people do not often dis- 
cuss them in terms of strong condemnation and distrust. The 
reason for this is, that under the present system the civil 
judges are too often out of touch with the people, and are occu- 
pied only in the consideration of what is laid before them and 
of what takes place within the tour walls of the courts. Their 
subservience to technicality and legal formalities leads fre-^ 
quently to injustice with which dissatisfaction is often strongly 
expressed, and which, were it not for the fatalistic dis- 
position of the people, would often have added very much 
to the discontent and violent resistance to the action of 
these courts of which we have had unfortunately too much 
experience. 

The argument connected with the theory of a bias on the 
part of the Magistrate is also to a large extent the survival 
of the memory of former times, when the Magistrate had not 
only to exercise magisterial funcions, but was also the actual head 
of the police, the true prosecutor in the case, a state of things 
which has long since passed away. 

Besides this, it is a matter of personcd knowledge that not 
even in England does any man Uke to go to court, either as the 
accused in a criminal case or as the defendant in a civil case. 
There is no doubt that this natural feeling has been interpreted 
by some as indicating the belief in a bias on the part of the 
presiding Magistrate or Judge. It is inconsistent with this 
alleged distrust of the District Magistrate, and it is a very 
wonderful and satisfactory experience of life in India, to find 
that everywhere the District Magistrate is regarded as the 
friend of the weak and the oppressed. They come to him on 
every occasion in criminal matters; and they do not often 
came to him in vain. In civil cases they find him unable to 
give help of any kind; and they do not understand it. It 
would be very dangerous if he were equally helpless in criminal 



54 JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE 

cases. We should be handing the weak over entirely to the 
tender mercies of the strong. 

Another reason for the strong desire to separate Executive 
and Judicial functions is the idea that these functions are 
entirely separate in England, and that their union is only 
appropriate to a comparatively primitive stage of civilisation. 
It is forgotten that in England,^ Executive (or, as they are 
sometimes called ^^ Administrative ") and Judicial functions 
are actually united in the same officers. Justices of the Peace 
have large powers of both kinds. In their Judicial capacity 
they sit to try indictable offences at quarter sessions, and exer- 
cise their summary jurisdiction in their petty sessional divisions. 
In the exercise of their administrative powers they issue 
warrants and summonses, hold preliminary examinations in 
the case of indictable offences, take surety of the peace and 
good behaviour, or dispose of the police and other power at 
their command for the suppression of unlawful assemblies and 
riots. Thus the same dual system exists in principle in England 
as exists in India. Surely it cannot be urged that a system in 
force in England is too primitive and backward for India. As 
a mere matter of fact it is, in the opinion of the vast majority 
of all classes of officers, and of all those with any stake in the 
country, who were consulted on the subject some years ago, 
absolutely essential in India. 

The Government of India took up this question during Lord 
Curzon's administration, in connection with a very misleading 
but influentially signed memorial on the subject. The me- 
morial was misleading, in the first place, because it quoted in 
this connection certain utterances of distinguished men on the 
question of the removal of the trial of cases involving civil 
rights from the hands of the officers entrusted with Executive 
functions and the criminal administrations of their charge. 
These utterances were, as I have abeady shown, entirely irre- 
levant to the present question. It was also misleading, because 
it referred to about a score of cases in which an alleged failure 
of justice had taken place, without pointing out, on the one 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICEBS 55 

hand, that these cases extended over about twenty years, and 
were not more numerous than those which are pilloried in 
^^ Truth " ; nor, on the other hand, that most of them had 
been set right on appeal or on revision. The Government of 
India consulted Local Governments and their officers, including 
not only the Executive officers, but also the highest Judicial 
authorities* The preponderance of opinion among both was 
decidedly against any change ; and it might well have been 
hoped that the matter had been set at rest for at all events a 
considerable ntunber of years. It is distinctly unfortunate 
that it should have been revived. 

Reference is sometimes made to the views of a certain section 
of educated opinion. It is most important that such a reference 
should be carefully tested. I shall show, in dealing with the 
matter of political unrest, how very small a proportion of the 
population of India are entitled to be regarded as educated, and 
it win not do to attach too much importance to their opinion 
m r^ard to a matter which affects far more the interests of 
those who are not educated. It is also necessary to inquire 
what proportion of that small educated section of the com- 
munity holds the views which are quoted. 

I had occasion within two or three days of my finally leaving 
India to meet a conference regarding a certain question which 
was at the time attracting considerable attention. At that 
conference an Indian of high standing declared that the move- 
ment in favour of the separation of Judicial and Executive 
functions, to which reference happened casually to be made, 
was engineered by lawyers ; that they were largely animated 
by self-interest ; and that they practically coerced many men 
characterised by weakness or inertia to advocate, if not to 
accept, their views. He was supported in this statement by all 
the Indian gentlemen present; and there is no doubt that 
some allowance has to be made for the facts, both that there 
are many educated Indians who strongly oppose this scheme 
of the separation of Executive and Judicial functions, and that 
the main supporters of the scheme are the lawyers. I have 



56 JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE 

received strong pronouncements against the scheme by the 
leading and most influential Muhanunadan and Hindu noble- 
men and gentry 9 the planters of Behar, the Anglo-Indian' 
Association, and the District Magistrates who are responsible 
for the preservation of the public peace. 

The most serious result of the proposed separation would 
be the loss of the control exercised at present by the District 
Magistrate over the criminal administration, by his inspection 
• of courts and his supervision of their work. It is notorious 
that in the civil courts cases are sometimes carelessly disposed 
of, that great inconvenience is caused to parties and witnesses, 
that unfair advantage is gained by the party with the long 
purse, and that injustice is too often done, merely from the 
want of inspection by an officer with real knowledge of, and 
interest in, the circumstances of the District. Removed from 
the control of the District Magistrate, the criminal courts 
might well become the instruments of more frequent and more 
serious injustice and oppression than the civil courts. The 
latter must at least come to a definite finding on the issues 
between the parties ; but a lazy or unscrupulous magistrate 
can discharge or acquit an accused person on vague groimds of 
dissatisfaction with the evidence for the prosecution. The 
fate ol whole villages may hang on the successful prosecution 
of an oppressive bravo or a brutal landlord; and length of 
purse may prevent success before an unsupervised and Vakil- 
ridden magistrate. 

One matter which really lies at the bottom of this agitation 
is this, that the criminal courts do not make a distinction 
between the Bhadralog * and the poor. It is undoubtedly a 
current opinion with certain sections of the community who 
can make their voices heard, that a well-to-do man should be 
allowed to compromise even such offences as dacoity or brand- 
ing. This is a fact which shows how little real advancement 
in true sentiment there is among many of the so-called educated 
classes in certain parts of India. The controlling authority 
* Middle class, literally respectable people. 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICERS 67 

must be strong, and in touch with the circumstances of the 
locality to prevent such compromises. 

This view of the agitation is, of course, closely associated with 
the cognate explanation^ namely, the desire to advance the 
pleaders and to make the Judicial department all-powerful. 
No one doubts that the pleaders are at the bottom of the 
agitation ; and they themselves clearly state that what they 
desire to see is the criminal courts made the same as the civil. 
The reason for this is that the Munsif (local civil judge) is out 
of touch with the district, and is confined to what he hears 
within the four walls of his court, so that the pleaders on the 
one side or the other have it all their own way. There is no 
particular check over him, so long as his record reads correctly. 

Now this is a matter which requires serious consideration. 
It is the Bar and the Bar '^ Libraries " or Associations which 
have been clamouring for this change. They all speak from 
the theoretical rather than from the practical point of view. 
Many of them cdso speak from a purely selfish view of the case. 
They want a change which will increase their power. It is 
not a change required nor desired by people generally. 

Throughout the country there is a growing distrust of what is 
called the '* Vakil Raj " (the rule of the lawyers). This power 
of the Bar is r^^arded by the people generally as a power 
which undermines the prestige and diminishes the beneficence 
of British rule. Loyal men fear it ; and many, who, without 
being very enthusiastically loyal, have a stake in the country, 
resent it exceedingly. The ^^ Vakil Raj " has been advanced, 
aceording to the Indians who think in this way, by several of 
the measures of Government. One of these is our Civil Pro- 
cedure, with its technicalities and its abounding lawyers. The 
whole power in the civil courts rests with munsif s^ subordinate 
judges, and others who belong to the legal profession and have 
been trained merely as lawyers, who are genercdly out of touch 
with the people, educated in the city law colleges, full of little 
else than technicalities, and absolutely without sympathy. 
The only voice that is heard within the courts is the voice of 



58 JUDICIAL Amy EXECUTIVE 

the lawyer. No one who comes into court without a lawyer 
feels that he has the slightest chance of getting justice, and all 
that many lawyers (though there are distinguished exceptions) 
care about is the fees they win and whatever will make for the 
winning of the particular case in which they are at the time 
engaged. This is a somewhat harsh description of what pre- 
vails over the whole country ; but I do not give it as my own. 
It is a description which would be given by most non-pro- 
fessional Indians who discuss the matter in the interior. 

Besides this, the lawyers have had a disastrously undue 
influence given to them in the unsuitable local self-government 
franchise prevailing in many parts of India. They have taken 
into their hands, wherever the elective principle has been 
introduced, virtually the whole conduct of local affairs. The 
Honourable the Maharajah of Darbhanga, the wealthiest and 
one of the most influential nobles of Bengal, said to me one 
day, when I was urging him to state his opinion on a certain 
matter publicly and boldly, ^*It is your policy which is to 
blame for the unwillingness of the Zamindars to take their 
place and state their opinions publicly. You have thrown 
all the power into the hands of the pleaders. They rule the 
coiurts ; they have all the power of the local bodies ; and they 
have a practical monopoly of the Legislative Councils. We 
cannot oppose them." These considerations present a very 
serious view of the state of affairs, and if the separation of the 
Executive and Judicial functions in respect of the criminal ad- 
ministration of our Districts is carried out, whatever advantages 
theoretically or practically may be secured, there is no doubt 
of this, that it will extend this system and increase the power 
of the lawyers, which is far too great already. For one 
ordinary Indian who honestly holds any view in favour of 
the separation of Executive and Judicial functions, there are 
ten who merely wish to see the courts and the office of the 
magistrate in the hands of the ^* vakil '' (lawyer). There 
never was a more purely class agitation. 

To any one who knows India and the necessity for safe- 



FUNCTIONS OF OUR OFFICERS 59 

guarding in India the interests of the weak, the '^ Vakil Raj " 
constitutes a real danger ; and the separation of Eicecutive and 
Judicial functions calls for serious consideration and hesitation. 
This is especially the case at the present time. The effect of 
the measure, no matter what may be plausibly said to the 
contrary, would necessarily be to reduce to some extent the 
proper authority and power for good of the Executive, as 
represented by the District officer; and the power of the 
Executive ought not to be reduced at the present time. There 
are foolish sneers about ^* the prestige " of the District 
Magistrate, as though the District Magistrate desired prestige 
merely in his own personal interest or for his own selfish satis- 
faction and pride. The prestige of the District officer means 
his power to maintain the interests of the weak against the 
strong, and to carry out the administration of his District 
in the interests of all parties alike. 

If there ever was a time when it was necessary to strengthen 
the Executive rather than to weaken it, it is the present time ; 
and this measure, of more than doubtful expediency at any 
time, is specially inopportune now. The Maharajah Sir Prodyot 
Tagore well said, ** Executive authority should, under existing 
circumstances, be strengthened and not weakened ; and means 
ought to be taken to increase its prestige and not to diminish 
it." I have cdlowed myself to deal at some length with this 
subject because it is one the decision of which cannot fail to be 
fraught with grave consequences in the administration of India. 



CHAPTER VI 
SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

rTDIAN Society in Nctgpur when I was first posted there, 
in the beginning of 1877» was not of a very high type. 
It was only a few years since the Bhonsia Dynasty had 
been set aside by Lord Dalhousie, owing to the failure of the 
Rajah of Nagpur to adopt an heir. The Nagpur territories had 
been added to the British Crown ; and the adopted son of the 
widowed Rani had been made a political pensioner, very much, 
I fancy, in the best interests of the territories themselves and 
of the people. There were still a number of the old hangers-on 
of the court, none the better for their enforced idleness, and 
the influence which they exercised in Nagpur Society was cer- 
tainly not of the best. There were one or two distinguished 
exceptions. One of these was Madho Rao Chitnavis, whom I 
first knew as a dignified and courteous Maratha gentleman 
who was on friendly terms with the Local Government officers, 
and engaged earnestly in municipal work, to which he was 
attracted by his great interest in the welfare of the town. 
He was much esteemed among the people, especially amongst 
the better classes, and also regarded with respect and confidence 
by the Government. He was a man of very attractive manners, 
though of somewhat blimt speech. 

I became acquainted with him first in 1874-6,' when I was a 
young Assistant Commissioner in Bhandara, forty miles east of 
Nagpur, where he had large estates. He was a good land- 
lord, and his relations with his tenants were most cordial. 
He very often visited Bhandara, and hardly ever came there 
without coming to see me. Sometimes when I was touring 

60 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 61 

among his villages he was with me for days together. We 
struck up a real friendship, though there was a great disparity 
in our years. I cannot help thinking that he was very anxious 
that I should enter into such kindly relations with the people 
as might influence my treatment of them during the whole of 
my service. 

He had two sons, both of whom were educated in Nagpur, 
and sent in due time to the Bombay University to complete 
their education. His anxious and wise provision for their 
training was a striking indication of his character. After some 
years the Government of India gave to the Central Provinces 
two appointments in the Statutory Service, which had been 
devised by Lord Lytton. This service was intended to be 
composed of Indians of good social position, high character, 
and sound education, who would hold offices hitherto reserved 
for members of the Indian Civil Service. The then Chief Com- 
missioner, Mr. W. B. Jones, C.S.L, determined to give the two 
appointments — one to a Muhammadan, a son of Khan Bahadur 
Aulad Hussain, and the other to a Hindu, one of the two sons 
of Madho Rao Chitnavis. 

A day or two after this decision had been arrived at, and 
before it had been publicly announced, I received an urgent 
message from my kind old friend, telling me that he believed 
his end was drawing near, and that he desired to see me once 
more before he died. I drove down to the city ; and on the 
way I called in at the old Government House, or as it was then 
called, in memory of the political days of the late Bhonsla rule, 
" the Residency," and asked Mr. Jones whether he would permit 
me to tell my friend what had been decided about his second 
son. Mr. Jones willingly agreed^ and sent by me a kind message 
to Madho Rao. 

When I reached his house I foijnd my friend very ill indeed. 
His two sons were present with him ; and after talking to me 
for a few minutes in the kindly, thoughtful way which had 
always characterised him, he told me that one of his objects 
in sending for me had been to ask me to be a friend to his 



62 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

sons, as I had been his friend. He took my hands and laid 
them on his sons' heads in the old Oriental patriarchal way. 
I told him that, while his eldest son would succeed him in 
the management of the great family estates, the younger son 
was destined to hold office under the Crown as a member of 
the Statutory Civil Service ; and I promised that, so long as they 
permitted it, I should be their friend and should endeavour to 
do for them what he would have done, so far as a stranger can 
discharge a father's part. He expressed his deep gratitude to 
the Chief Commissioner for his kind thought of his second son 
and thanked me for the promise I had given ; and so we parted. 
Soon after he breathed his last ; and from that time his two 
sons have been amongst the most honoured of my Indian 
friends. 

Gangadhar Madho Chitnavis, C.I.E., the elder son, has served 
the Government and the people well as President of the Nagpur 
Municipality, as chairman of the District Council, and as 
member of the Legislative Council of His Excellency the Viceroy. 
He is now a member of the enlarged Council. Shankar Madho 
Chitnavis, the second son, is now Deputy Commissioner and 
District Magistrate of one of the Districts of the Chhattisgarh 
Division of the Central Provinces, and has acted as Com- 
missioner. He has carried one District through a grievous 
famine and another through a severe visitation of the plague. 
He served on the Labour Commission appointed by the Govern- 
ment of India, and he has throughout maintained a high 
character and earned the respect of all who knew him. They 
are both of them worthy men ; and it is my firm belief, which 
I trust is not a delusion, that I have understood them well 
and have been on really intimate terms with them for over a 
quarter of a century. 

In the very beginning of the sixth year of my service, I 
was called to Nagpur early in 1877, as Under Secretary to the 
Chief Commissioner. There I very soon made the acquaintance 
of Babu (now Sir) Bipin EJrishna Bose, a Bengali, who had 
come to practise at the Nagpur Bar. I made his acquaintance 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 68 

first in a Literary Society attended by both Europeans and 
Indians. He read a very able paper on *^ Utilitarianism " ; 
and I made a full criticism of the paper, differing largely from 
him in his principles and conclusions. This was the beginning 
of a friendship between us, just as it might have been the 
banning of a friendship between two men of Western birth. 
His is a very beautiful character. If it has a defect it is an 
excess of gentleness ; but he is very far from a weak man. 
He is a man of large capacity, of thorough uprightn,ess» and 
of great public spirit. He has been a member of the Viceroy's 
L^slative Council ; and after long and honourable service as 
Government Advocate in Nagpur he is now a judge of the local 
High Court, as ** Additional Judicial Commissioner." 

We had opportunities of doing much work together in Nagpur 
in the old days, and in Calcutta since, and we have seen much of 
each other during the many years of our friendship. He has 
come to me often to talk over the most private concerns 
of his life ; and I have obtained from him friendly advice and 
assistance in many cases of difficulty. I do not know how to 
speak of my friendship for him in language other than I should 
use in speaking of my friendship for a friend in the West, and 
I believe that we know and understand each other well. I 
attribute much of any knowledge that I have of the people, 
and of any good work that I have been able to do among them, 
to my intimate friendship with Sir Bipin Krishna Bose. His 
affectionate sympathy in certain times of trial, his hearty con- 
gratulation in respect of anything that might be regarded as 
good fortune, and at the end the kindliness of his farewell when 
I left India, can never be forgotten. 

To one other friend I must make reference. When I went 
to Bengal in 1008 as laeutenant-Govemor, I found that the 
young Maharajadhiraja Bahadur Bijay Chand Mahtab had just 
been installed as Zamindar of Burdwan, to which position he 
had succeeded to his adoptive father while still a minor. He 
was then, of course, just over twenty-one years of age. This 
young man had been well educated in his own home. His own 



64 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

father had brought him up and had inculcated in his mind 
lessons of wisdom and of loyalty to the Government. He was 
intensely desirous to take his proper place, and discharge the 
duties of his station. He wished to be a good landlord and 
to do what he could to advance the interests of the people of 
India generally and of his own people in particular. I 
very soon became acquainted with him ; and, despite the 
difference in our years, our acquaintance rapidly developed 
into sincere friendship. I do not think that there is any man 
on the earth, either in the East or in the West, who has spoken 
to me so freely about matters of vital concern and interest to 
him ; for he has treated me almost as his father ; and it has 
been the greatest delight to me to see him more and more 
take his place as a wise and strong leader of the people in 
progress and in good works. He is the senior Hindu nobleman 
of Bengal, having the highest hereditary dignity and titles, 
though not the greatest wealth, amongst these noblemen. 

He was a member of the Council of Bengal while I was 
Lieutenant-Crovernor ; and under the new regulations he has 
recently, since I left India, been elected by the Zamindars of 
Bengal to the enlarged Legislative Councils, both of the Viceroy 
and of the Lieutenant-Governor. His Maharani, like the wife 
of my friend Mr. Shankar Madho Chitnavis, has with quiet 
dignity emerged from behind the parda, to take her place 
alongside of her husband in great social functions, and to assist 
him as a good wife can in the great work of his life. Every- 
where she is received with respect and cordiality ; and the 
relations which exist, in public as well as in private, between 
these two, are indicative of the excellent character of both and 
are honourable to the Indian people. 

There was one incident which occurred just before I left India 
which gave him a unique opportimity of proving the devotion 
of his friendship. On the 7th of November, 1908, just about a 
month before I left India for good, an attempt was made on my 
life, which is described in detail in the chapter dealing with 
'' Unrest in India : its limitations." There the Maharajadhiraja 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 65 

Bahadur distinctly placed himself between me and the pistol 
of a would-be assassin, and offered his own life to save mine. 
It is miserable to think of the fatuous folly and wicked crime 
into which the wretched student who attempted my life was 
led by the advice of some whose voices are still heard in India. 
It was pleasant, however, to see how utterly out of sympathy 
he was with the public generally ; and it is a thing never to be 
forgotten that this brave young nobleman deliberately offered 
bis life to save the life of his friend. If he had done it for his 
own father it would have been an act of signal filial devotion ; 
that he did it for me constitutes an act which it is impossible 
for me adequately to describe, and which will form an in- 
dissoluble bond of friendship between us forever. 

These are some among the Indian friends whom I have 
learned to love as we love our friends at home. There are others 
whom I could name, some of them perhaps not quite of the 
same high character as some of these — ^for in all countries our 
friends are human and have their own weaknesses or defects — 
bat all of them men whom it has been a privilege to call friends, 
and in my friendship with whom, in the East as in the West, 
I have found that **' as iron sharpeneth iron so the face of a man 
his friend." 

It is the experiences which I have been describing that have 
formed my opinions of the relations between Europeans and 
Indians. There is a very interesting and instructive book by 
Mr. Meredith Townsend, entitled ^^ Asia and Europe," which 
contains a great deal of valuable matter regarding the East 
and its connection and relations with the West. But there is 
one chapter in that book entitled '" The Mental Seclusion of 
India " which contains what seems to me errcmeous and even 
mischievous teaching. I regard much of the teaching of it 
as erroneous ; because it seems to me to be contrary to my 
own experience and that of many Anglo-Indians whom I 
have known. I regard it as nuschievous, because it lays down 
authoritatively principles and recites so-called facts which, 
if accepted, would certainly not make it easier for the East 



66 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

and the West to work together. As the book is undoubtedly one 
which is much sought after by young men going to India, and 
as this particular teaching is not such as can render their 
work either easier or more worthy, I deeply regret to find it in 
the volume. 

It is not easy to understand precisely how it is that Mr. 
Meredith Townsend has acquired the experience on which he 
bases his statementsi I have not been able to ascertain how 
extensive his knowledge of India really is, and how far it is 
limited to the town of Calcutta. My impression, however, is 
that Meredith Townsend knew little of India outside the capital. 
Now it is perfectly clear that this knowledge of India is very 
defective. India as a whole is a land of agriculturists dwelling 
in small villages and hamlets. A great city where the three 
prevailing interests and modes of life are Government Secre- 
tariates, law courts and merchants' offices, and where the 
most important and influential sections of the community are 
largely either Asiatic or European foreigners, can hardly be 
said to represent India at all. I have heard it said, and I am 
inclined to regard the statement as true, that there is no one 
who knows less of India than the man whose experience is 
confined to Calcutta. 

There is another point also which must be borne in mind, 
namely, that in Calcutta we have sharp Indian business men 
meeting smart Europeans in rivalry and competition ; that their 
interests conflict one with another ; that they inhabit different 
sections of the capital ; and that they have, until quite recently, 
shown little disposition to co-operate or to cultivate friendship 
with one another. I have never in all my experience of India 
seen anything to compare with the aloofness of Europeans and 
Indians which I found when I went some years ago to take up 
my residence in Calcutta. Perhaps, also, it is to be borne in 
mind that there have for many years been influences at work 
in Calcutta which did not tend to the promotion of kindly 
feeling between the races ; that the Europeans have not laid 
themselves out to understand the Indians, and that the 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 67 

Indians have been in a strangely sensitive manner jealous of 
Europeans. 

Mr. Meredith Townsend makes the following statement : 
** That Europeans are, with personal exceptions, by nature and 
the will of God stupid, is the single broad idea which has ever 
clearly emerged from the sea of the native mind." This is 
certainly an extraordinary statement to make in view of the 
eagerness with which practically all sections of the community 
desire to have European Executive officers in preference to 
Indians, the readiness with which they accept, even on Mr. 
Meredith Townsend's own saying, the principles which animate 
Europeans in the government and administration of the 
coimtry, and the devotion and loyalty with which Indians will 
follow Europeans to danger or death. I am persuaded that there 
is no one who has had to do with the people of India generally, 
and especially of the interior, who will not regard this statement, 
which might have been made by the most superficial of Anglo- 
Indian novelists, as quite unworthy of the generally thoughtful 
character of Mr. Meredith Townsend's book. 

It cannot be pretended that the mere understanding of the 
people who are governed leads to successful government, and 
Mr. Meredith Townsend is right when he says that the fact 
that the " great Civilian " has understood " justice, toleration, 
mercy and the use of firmness, and has applied those principles 
steadily, fearlessly and with a certain respect for logic, seldom 
displayed by his own caste in Europe," is the best explanation 
of his success as a governor. At the same time, he seems to me 
to be quite mistaken when he says that it is impossible for the 
£iux>pean to understand the Asiatic ; and his teaching in this 
respect is mischievous, for the duty which the " great Civilian " 
impresses most earnestly on his subordinates is to use every 
endeavour to arrive at such an imderstanding. 

Mr. Meredith Townsend says : " The Civilian or adventurer 
does not reside among the Indian people at all, but only on 
the spot where the Indian people also abide — a very different 
thing. There he is and there are they ; but they are fenced 



68 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

off from each other by an invisible, impalpable, but impassable 
wall, as rigid and as inexplicable as that which divides the 
master from his dog, the worshipping coach-dog from the 
worshipped horse, the friendly spaniel from the acquiescent cat. 

^^ The wall is not as we believe difference of manners or of 
habits or of means of association, for those difficulties have 
been conquered by officers, travellers, missionaries and others, 
in places like China, where the external difference is so much 
greater. They have, indeed, been conquered by individuals 
even in India itself, where many men, especially missionaries, 
who are not feared, do live in as friendly and as frequent inter- 
course with Indians as they would with their own people at 
home. The wall is less material than that, and is raised mainly 
by the Indian himself who, whatever his profession or grade 
or occupation, deliberately secludes his mind from the European 
with a jealous, minute, and persistent care of which no man not 
gifted with an insight like that of Thackeray could succeed in 
giving even a remote idea." 

There is no doubt a considerable amount of truth in this 
statement ; but it is very far from being the whole truth ; and 
the measure of truth which it contains hardly renders it less 
mischievous, but does perhaps render it more difficult to 
controvert. It is undoubtedly true that there are many Euro- 
peans who live in juxtaposition to the Indians not only without 
understanding them, but without knowing anything about 
them. It is also true that the Indian has a great capacity for 
keeping the mere acquaintance, with whom he has no con- 
fidential relations, quite out of touch with himself, and of 
secluding from him his thoughts and feelings. I have known 
Orientals who were quite unintelligible to me: their minds 
and feelings were a sealed book to me : I dfid not know them. 
Without any discourtesy they kept me outside. 

The Oriental has great reserve and can easily, when he 
chooses to do so, refrain from unlocking his mind, revealing 
his real thoughts and manifesting his true character. It would 
be a strange thing if the Englishman, whose habitual reserve is 




The Gola (Granary) at Bankipur in the Patna District 

This was erected as part of a general plan ordered by the Governor General in Council in 1784 for 
the prevention of famine. It was to be filled from above : hence the footway to the top. It was 
never used, but remains "the monument of a mistake." It has a wonderful reverberating echo, 
which can carry a whisper round the walls, and can at one point in the middle produce from a 
whimper the impression of many voices. 




Famine Coolies starting Work 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 69 

proverbial, failed to understand this characteristic. It was an 
Oriental philosopher — Semitic, however, not Aryan — ^who said 
that, ** the heart knoweth its own bitterness, and the stranger 
doth not intermeddle with its joy." To admit this, however, is 
not the same thing as to say that the Western cannot miderstand 
the Eastern, and that their hearts and minds cannot come into 
touch. It is altogether contrary to the experience of some of us 
to say that the Eastern and the Western are divided from 
one another by such a wall as divides the master from his dog, 
the coach-dog from the horse, or the spaniel from the cat. 

It is no cant sentiment with men who have spent their lives 
among Eastern peoples, that ^^ God has made of one blood all 
nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth.'' Human 
hearts, human needs, human sentiments are much the same 
in the East and in the West. Circumstances, traditions, and 
environments are different ; but, when these have been taken 
into accoimt and have had due allowance made for them, it is 
found that human hearts come together in the East just as they 
can in the West. It is true that the history of India supplies 
an explanation of the tendency of the Indian to keep the 
stranger, especially if he be a representative of the governing 
body, out of his confidence. This undoubtedly makes it more 
difficult ^to overcome the shyness and sedusiveness which is 
to be found more or less in every man ; but though there may 
be difficulties in the task it is well worth performing. 

When I went to the Central Provinces in 1871 I found 
myself the youngest officer in a Commission, almost all the 
senior officers of which had been engaged in Settlement work. 
There is no work like this for bringing the European officers 
into intimate contact with the people of the country. The 
Settlement Officer went out into camp for about six or eight 
months of the year. All that time he wandered about from 
viUage to village with his tents, his camels, his horses, and his 
csattle. He lived not only alongside of the people, but also 
among them. He pitched his tent for several days at|a time 
at a particular village, and learned all that he could about it. 



70 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

He met the people in groups in their fields, and discussed with 
them the capacity of the soil and the character of the crops 
which were grown on it. He talked with them familiarly 
round the camp fire at night, when the day's work was over. 
Perhaps he may have begun by thinking that the people were 
distinguished above all the people of the earth that he had 
known for falsehood and fraud ; but he very soon changed 
his mind. The village people were very different from the 
litigants and witnesses in court. He found that, when he got 
alongside of them in their own homes, and talked to them 
in front of their own people, they were wonderfully truthful ; 
and it was surprisingly easy to arrive at right conclusions 
with regard to the important matters about which he was 
inquiring. He found rich and poor alike inclined to be frank 
and friendly. 

He soon began to understand that the people, when dragged 
to the courts by litigation, felt that they were entering upon 
a struggle with their enemies, that all things were fair in war, 
and that if one can circumvent his enemy even by false state- 
ments, he must be a somewhat silly person not to do so. There 
is a good deal of the same sort of spirit among litigants every- 
where. It is perhaps, however, especially characteristic of 
the Oriental to believe that anything which secures victory 
over an enemy is permissible and desirable ; and that, where 
power seems to give advantage on one side, deceit may well 
be practised on the other. This is in accordance with the 
traditions and history of India. It is quite otherwise when 
the people are visited in their own hamlets, and their affairs 
are discussed in front of their friends and neighbours. It 
is one of the first lessons which a well-trained civilian learns, 
from his valuable experience in camp, that the one way to 
arrive with some definite assurance at the truth is to make 
an inquiry on the spot. 

The Settlement Officer, however, learned far more than 
this. He got alongside of the people in respect of the interests 
that most vitally concerned them ; he spoke to them frankly 





The Hon. Sir Bipin Krishna Bosr 

Government Advocate, Nagpur, Central Provinces. 



The Hon. Mr. Gangadhar Madho 
Chitnawis, CLE. 

Representative of the Central Provinces in the 
Legislative Council of the Viceroy. 





Khan Bahadur Aulad Husain, CLE. 

Long a Settlement Officer in the Cenlral Provinces. 



Rao Bahadur Bhargo Rao 

Judge of the Small Cause Court at Nagpur. 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 71 

and plainly about these things ; and the common humanity 

of the Eastern mind responded, as a rule, to his frankness. 

There were, no doubt, many who did their best to conceal 

the truth; but the people as a whole were honest and open 

in their dealings with him, as he was frank with them. Their 

frankness was not confined to business. If he were, as he 

could hardly fail to become, a sympathetic man, he very soon 

became acquainted with the private history and concerns 

of a great number of the people with whom he was brought 

into contact. He had private talks with them ; he knew 

their family concerns, the little hopes that buoyed them up 

in life, and the cares and interests that depressed them ; he 

found simple and kindly ways, such as he had associated more 

with the Western peoples whom he had up to this time known 

so much better, but which he was glad to recognise as existing 

in those whom he was now making his new friends. The 

sentiments he had entertained regarding the Indian peoples 

from a mere knowledge of them in the law courts and oflBces 

of the head-quarters station, very speedily gave way to a 

broad human way of regarding those who were after all men 

of like passions with himself. 

There is perhaps nothing in India that brings men more 

into touch with the people of the country than such work 

as Settlement ; * there is nothing that enables a man more 

to understand them ; and there is nothing that produces 

better relations between European officers and the people, 

or tends to the better government of the country. The tone 

of the officers of the Central Provinces Commission, when 

I joined the Province, was the result of having been engaged 

in such work for years. At the head of the Province was 

Mr. (now Sir John) Morris, himself an old Settlement Officer 

and Settlement Commissioner ; and imder him were working 

in every district men who had been trained under his kindly 

* The Settlement Officer is the officer who, subject to appeal to and revision by 
higher autliority, records the rights of the different membiers and classes of the 
▼illage community and settles the conditions and terms imder which they shall 
hM. their lands. The settlement is made after careful public inquiry on the spot 



72 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

and sympathetic example in the same kind of work and with 
the same regard for the people. The Settlement that had 
been made was a lenient, judicious, and righteous Settlement ; 
and the Province advanced by leaps and bounds during the 
succeeding years under its influence. 

But what I am concerned with at present is the spirit which 
animated the men whose training had been in the carrying 
out of this work of Settlement. They were not all distinguished 
officers. Some of them were very ordinary men. A large 
number of them were miUtary officers who had joined the old 
Staff Corps, and entered civil employ in what was called a 
** Non-regulation Province " ; but with few exceptions they 
were men imbued with a strong sense of duty, a great know- 
ledge of the country, and a deep sympathy with the people 
in all their most vital concerns. It is this spirit which the 
best Anglo-Indian officers, the ^^ great Civilians" of whom 
Meredith Townsend speaks, desire to see reproduced in the 
succeeding race of Grovemment officers. They fotmd no diffi- 
culty, after their long experience among the people, in under- 
standing them, in knowing the men whom they might trust, 
and in selecting from among them some to whom they accorded 
indeed no partial or unfair treatment in their relations with 
the Government, but whom they regarded undoubtedly as 
their friends. 

Among my most intimate friends in the earlier part of my 
service were some of these officers. Sir John Morris himself. 
Sir Charles Bernard, Sir Charles Crosthwaite, Mr. J. W. Neill, 
Mr. J. W. Chisholm, Col. Henry Ward, and others were among 
them. These men gave me the advantage of their own ex- 
perience among the people. With these men I had the privilege 
to serve. I was several seasons, early in my service, in camp 
on the staff of Sir John Morris, the Chief Commissioner; 
and later I became his Chief Secretary. I shared the same 
bungalow at different times for several monUis together, 
first with Sir Charles Bernard, and then with Sir Charles 
Crosthwaite, when their wives were at home. I served for 



SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 78 

years under Mr. Neill and Mr. Chisholm in the Secretariate, 
and under Col. Ward as his assistant in District work. From 
all of them I learned to regard the Indians as fellow-men, 
and not as a different kind of animal altogether, and to see in 
them the attractive qualities which have called forth the most 
devoted work and kindliest feelings of generations of British 
officers. I also had among my friends kindly and devoted 
missionaries such as the Rev. John and Mrs. Cooper of Nagpur, 
who knew the people and loved them, and had the greatest 
delight in telling all that they could to their advantage. 

Not less valuable to me at that time were some of the friend- 
ships which I formed amongst Indians. One of my best friends 
at the very beginning of my service was the late Khan Bahadur 
Aulad Hussain, CLE. When I went to Jubbulpore, which 
was the first station to which I was posted, he was Senior 
Assistant Conmiissioner there. He and I struck up an acquaint- 
ance very soon ; and he took great delight in teaching me my 
work. I had from the very first a great admiration for him. 
He could read English ; but he spoke little of it. He was of 
the old school, a scholarly man in Persian and Arabic, and 
a devout Muhammadan. He did all his work in the vernacular, 
and strongly urged on me the importance of acquiring a know- 
ledge of the vernacular languages, so that I might be able 
to have free intercourse with the people. He helped me very 
materially in important duties, which were somewhat early 
thrust upon me, owing to the exigencies of the service and 
the inadequate supply of officers. His high religious character, 
the great reputation for probity and justice which he had 
amongst all classes of the people, the great confidence reposed 
in him by the Government, and his own singularly attractive 
manners and great strength of character, won my heartiest 
esteem. 

He soon became my friend ; and there was scarcely a subject 
at all which we did not discuss freely with one another. I 
knew all the details of his family life, was introduced to every 
member of his family, and saw as much of them as the customs 



74 SOME INDIAN FRIENDS 

of the country allowed. I was in camp with him alone» some- 
times for weeks, and I acquired as intimate knowledge of his 
character as I have ever had in respect of a Western friend. 
The lessons which I mainly learned from him in regard to 
official work were the importance of knowing the people well ; 
the desirability of restraining one's temper in the presence of 
the people, so as never to allow them to feel that there was 
any risk of their dignity and self-esteem being injiu*ed publicly 
by words or actions of one's own ; the absolute necessity for 
being always straightforward and outspoken with the people, 
and never attempting, under any circumstance, to meet guile 
with guile ; and a devotion to duty which his example in- 
spired. I can only express my relations with the Khan 
Bahadur in such language as I should use in speaking of the 
best and most esteemed and most intimate of my Western 
friends. It cannot be wondered at that, with such an eariy 
education and training, I should feel deep regret at the par- 
ticular sentiments which I have quoted from Meredith Town- 
send's otherwise valuable book. 



CHAPTER VII 
THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

IT is not altogether easy for an Indian officer, who has 
been accustomed to deal only with Indian questions in 
India, to convey an accurate impression of his views to 
people at home, because of certain ways of looking at India 
which he has acquired from experience, and which have from 
habit become to him a second nature. He has a tendency to 
forget both his first impressions and also the course of ex- 
perience and discipline by which these were displaced by a 
fuller knowledge of India and its peoples. In one of his ex- 
cellent papers, collected and published under the title of 
** Twenty-one days in India," Aberigh Mackay suggests the 
following conundrum : ^' Q. What is it that the travelling M.P. 
treasures up and the Anglo-Indian hastens to throw away ? 
A. Erroneous, hazy, distorted first impressions." There is 
a great deal of truth in this, and it is a common subject of 
ridicule in India that men, who visit the country for a few days, 
consider themselves qualified to pronounce opinions about the 
most difficult questions of Indian administration and life. At 
the same time, crude first impressions are worth remembering, 
if for nothing else than for this purpose, that they may enable 
an Anglo-Indian to understand the mental attitude of one 
who does not know the coimtry. Without some such under- 
standing, it is difficult to communicate information. 

One of the difficulties in understanding Indian questions 
undoubtedly arises from the enormous area of the peninsula 
and the vast and varied populations which it contains. India 
is not one country ; and there is no " Indian nation." This 

76 



76 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

is generally admitted and so far recognised at home ; but it 
is difficult for one who has looked at Indian questions from 
afar» and does not know India itself, to realise how vast the 
peninsula is, and how varied are its peoples. One often hears 
such a question as this : ^^ I hear you have come from Lahore, 
which is, I believe, in India. Do you know my friend Mr. 
Jones who is in business in Madras ? " Well, over a thousand 
miles of space lie between the two places as the crow flies ; and 
there is little communication in the way of business between 
the Punjab, of which Lahore is the capital, and the Presidency 
of Madras. Yet, your friend is disappointed that you should 
not have met Mr. Jones, and not have been acquainted with 
him. One might almost as well say, ^' I hear you have come 
from Edinburgh. Do you know my friend, who is employed 
in a bank in Paris ? " 

The vastness of the Indian Empire may be understood more 
or less by any one who grasps this simple fact, that its area 
is almost, and its population is just, equal to the area and the 
population of Europe without Russia. As to its peoples, they 
are diverse in almost every respect in which one people can be 
separated from another. They have languages not only differing 
as much as the Latin tongues differ among themselves, but also 
differing in family as the language of Germany differs from that 
of France. There are the Aryan languages of the north of India 
and the Dravidian languages of the south, as well as a large 
number of dialects and languages used by the aboriginal tribes 
and races in Central India. As the languages differ, so do the 
manners and modes of thought. It is of great importance to 
remember that the Bengalis do not differ from the Marathas 
of Bombay less than the Italians differ from the French ; nor 
the men of Agra and Oudh from the Madrasis less than the 
Germans from either of these two Latin races. 

The races of India differ in physique, as between the powerful 
and martial Punjabi and the weaker and less courageous Ben- 
gali. They differ in history, as in the case of the north-country 
Muhammadan or the Bombay Brahman who looks back on 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 77 

a past full of memories and traditions of power, and the great 
majority of the peoples of the south and the east, whose 
history was one of subjection and oppression. They differ 
in religion. The difference is not only between Muhammadans 
and Hindus, but also, for example, between those who worship 
Shiva and Kali and the votaries of Vishnu and Krishna, or 
between both these forms of Hinduism and the Fetish worship 
of many of the aboriginal tribes. Even races calling them- 
selves Hindus are often not really of the same religion ; for 
while Hinduism cannot receive the individual into its bosom 
on account of the impossibility of finding him a place in any of 
its castes, it can receive, and has often received, a whole tribe 
as a separate caste, requiring not the renunciation of the old 
gods, but only the recognition of the special privileges and 
sanctity of the Brahmans. 

If one were able to read what he sees in the first day spent 
in Bombay, in the light of the knowledge that comes to him in 
later years, he would understand at a glance how distinct are 
the races and peoples of India. He sees men in varied costume 
with divers head-dresses ; and he lumps them all up together into 
a very great nation of strange manners and costumes. He has 
to learn that these different dresses and manners indicate 
different races and nations, representatives of which are to be 
found gathered together for commerce and business in Bom- 
bay, but which belong to different parts of the country and are 
divided from one another by all that divides nations anywhere. 
Very soon, too, the man who arrives in India, to begin the 
work of his life, is made acquainted with the fact that India 
is a land of far distances. 

I had to take a thirty hours' journey by rail from Bombay 
to Allahabad, and was then sent thirty hours from Allahabad 
to Nagpur, and back again twenty-four hours to Jubbulpore 
before I settled in my first station. I had thus early begun to 
realise the great distances that one has to travel ; but it was 
not until I was appointed, in 1898, to the Hemp Drugs Com- 
mission, and travelled over the whole of India during that 



78 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

Commission's full year of work, visiting every Province and 
several of the Native States, that I realised the differences that 
exist among the peoples of India, and the enormous area of 
the peninsula itself. That experience and my experience nine 
years later as President of the Police Commission, which also 
took me all over India to all Provinces and to one or two 
Native States, was valuable to me as giving me opportunities 
of seeing India, which, I suppose, are quite imique. 

When one is listening to a man who professes to speak from 
personal knowledge on any Indian subject, he ought first of all 
to endeavour to ascertain where the speaker has obtained his 
experience, and what qualifications he has for speaking on the 
subject under consideration. If the subject is one concerning 
only a part of India, and if the speaker's experience belongs 
wholly to another part, it may be at least very doubtful 
whether he is entitled to speak with authority at all. No 
length of residence in Bengal will entitle a man to speak, 
with the authority of one who has seen things for himself, in 
regard to any question affecting Bombay. Study of books 
and papers or information given by friends and acquaintances 
may enable a man to speak usefully about that which he has 
not seen ; but his claim to be heard depends in that case on 
the trustworthiness of the source from which he has received 
his information, and does not depend on his own experience 
or observation. This distinction is most necessary to bear in 
mind in regard to India and its interests ; and it arises from 
the differences between Provinces and races which I have en- 
deavoured to make clear. 

In this connection it may be observed that there is nothing 
more misleading than to accept as authoritative the statements 
about India and its peoples, which are made by those who 
base their claim to be heard on a long residence in Calcutta, 
or any other Presidency town. It has to be borne in mind that 
India, with all the differences that exist between different 
parts of the country, has this common feature throughout, that 
it is an agricultural country, consisting mainly of villages. 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 79 

smaller or greater, scattered over its hills and plains. In the 
Presidency towns one sees, no doubt, many Indians gathered 
together ; but they have separated themselves, either recently 
or at a more remote period of their family history, from the 
great occupations and interests of the people of India. They 
have come together, some of them, for the acquisition of 
Western learning which the great mass of their countrymen 
do not value and are inclined to think as little suited to an 
Indian as the peacock's feathers to the jackdaw of the fable. 

Some of them have come for the study and practice of law, of 
which the great mass of their fellow-countrymen are ignorant 
and suspicious ; some of them for the sake of conmierce, in which 
the great mass of their countrymen have no intelligent interest 
or direct concern. Their habits of life in the town are altogether 
different from the habits of the country ; and there is no tie 
that binds the professional and conunercial classes of the capital 
cities to the people of the country generally. The former do not 
understand the latter ; and the latter, while they may, where 
necessity compels them, utilise the services of the former, are by 
no means as a rule in frank and intelligent sympathy with them. 

It is a common saying among people in Bengal that there is 
no one more ignorant of the people of the interior and of their 
affairs than the man whose training and career are confined 
to Calcutta ; and I daresay the statement is true. The man 
who lives a town life in Great Britain generally keeps up some 
connection with the country. He pays periodical visits and tries 
to live the country life and get into touch with the country 
people and their concerns ; he spends there many of his week- 
ends and sometimes weeks at a time ; and when there he throws 
himself deliberately into the life of the country, and lives 
as if himself of its people. On the other hand, the man whose 
life work is done in the Indian Presidency town, ordinarily 
goes to the country far too little ; and, even when he does 
go there, he lives apart from the people in the aloofness which 
his sense of educational superiority and want of community of 
interest lead him to adopt. He has not, and does not care 



80 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

to have, much sympathy with or knowledge of the country and 
the country people. 

When this great barrier between the people of the town and 
the people of the country is taken into consideration, as well 
as the great differences of races and religion that exist through- 
out India, one begins to realise something of the difEiculty of 
dealing with Indian questions* The sources of information to 
the man who does not travel about and live among the people 
of the country, who, as a rule, are silent and invisible to those 
who do not make an effort to hear and see them, are the news- 
papers and orators of the great cities. These men talk as 
freely and as fully in regard to matters of which they are 
entirely ignorant as in regard to matters with which they may 
claim some acquaintance. 

I remember hearing a missionary in a public meeting in 
Scotland setting himself to correct what he stated to be a 
popular fallacy in regard to Indian temples. He said that 
people coming from India spoke of the beauty and picturesque- 
ness of Indian temples ; and on the authority of his own long 
residence in India he assured his audience that this was pure 
sentiment or misrepresentation. He had seen many temples ; 
and they were nothing but squalid shrines. I found that 
his experience was limited to Calcutta ; and I was able to make 
some allowance for his statement. But there rose to my mind 
pictures of many temples which I had seen in many parts 
of India, beautiful for situation and capable, so far as their 
outward appearance went, of being the joy of the whole land. 
I recalled the reaches of the sacred Narbada, beautified by 
the temples and shrines which the piety of many generations of 
simple people had erected on its banks, or temples with fair 
walls and battlements on the tops of hills and even mountains, 
to which the piety of simple pilgrims lead them for quiet and 
secluded worship. 

I have heard men tell of the state of feeling in India, of the 
jealousy of the people in respect of the British Government 
and its officers ; and I have foimd that they have been simply 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 81 

qaoting the utterances of some of the carping and even seditious 
native papers of Calcutta. Not only do these newspapers 
themselves mistake ^* the cackle of their bourg for the great 
wave that murmurs round the world " ; but there are many 
also who are deceived by the arrogant and authoritative tone 
of these papers into accepting their ebullitions as the expression 
of the feelings of the great mass of the people. A friend of 
mine, who is rightly regarded as competent to speak on many 
Indian questions, once said to me, when I was appointed 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, that it was no use attempting 
to get into touch with the people of that Province. " For," he 
said, ** to put it in a word, we have lost Bengal." He explained 
that in his opinion we had lost all touch with the people of that 
Province ; that their afifections had become alienated from us ; 
and that we could not rely on their good will. \ 

It was not many weeks after this, when, in the course of a 
tour in the Province, I was passing through a railway station 
in the interior. My special train arrived there about 6 a.m., 
and halted for a few minutes. In accordance with my old 
Central Provinces custom, I had risen early, and was fully 
dressed. I stepped out of the train to enjoy the cool morning 
air, a man altogether unknown to any one on the platform. 
None of my staff even looked out of their windows. The poUce 
who lined the platform judged that I must be connected with 
the Lieutenant-Governor, and stood at attention; but they 
did not present arms, as they would have done had they recog- 
nised me. I saw a large crowd at one end of the platform, 
near an over-bridge which crossed the Une. Some of the crowd 
had come up the steps of the over-bridge, as far as the point 
where another flight of steps from the platform joined it; 
but they did not attempt to enter the station, and stood looking 
at the scene from the position they had taken up. I went up 
to the over-bridge and began to talk to those who were in 
front of the crowd. I could not speak Bengali ; but I talked 
to them in Hindustani, which seemed to be known to many in 
the crowd. 



82 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

In the course of oiir conversation I asked them what they 
had come for; and they said they had come to see the 
Lieutenant-Governor (or as they called him, the ** Lord Sahib ") 
passing. Li reply to my inquiry whether they expected to see 
the Lieutenant-Governor, they said that they did not, as the 
hour was so early ; but they hked all the same, they said, 
to see his train and to think that he was in it. I talked to 
them about their affairs, about the season and the crops, 
the municipal administration of the town, and the like. After 
we had talked for some time, and when the train was about 
to move on, I said, " Would you not Uke to see the Lieutenant- 
Governor ? " An intelligent old grey-beard, who seemed 
to have some position among the crowd, promptly said, ^^ Are 
you the new Lieutenant-Governor ? " When I replied in the 
affirmative, he at once shouted the announcement to the 
crowd ; and I received as hearty an ovation as I should have 
received perhaps in any part of India. 

The experience of that morning was corroborated by all my 
subsequent experience in Bengal. It is not true that " we have 
lost Bengal." We have certainly not the same opportunities 
of getting into touch with the people that we have in the 
temporarily settled* districts of other Provinces, where the 
agricultural interests of the people are largely identical with* 
those of the Government, and where this community of interests 
binds the Government and the people together ; but, if we make 
the effort, we can get into touch and have sympathy with the 
people of Bengal to a very great extent, if not quite as fully 
as in the rest of India. Everywhere I found the people friendly 
and pleased to find me accessible to them. 

The people all over the country are anxious to know the 
officers who govern them ; and it is too often the fault of oiu* 
officers themselves if they are not on good terms with the 
people. It is true that mischievous relations may very easily 

* In other Provinces the land revalue payments to the Govemment are 
periodically revised ; in the greater part of Bengal they were permanently fixed by 
Lord Comwallis. 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 88 

be produced between the people and the Government by mis- 
representation. The people are ignorant and superstitious ; 
and appeals to their ignorance and superstition find them ex- 
citable. They can be misled, and they have» in certain localities 
and at certain times, been misled, to their own loss and to the 
injury of the administration ; but as a whole they are loyal 
to those who rule, and affectionate in their loyalty to the rulers 
who show themselves friendly. There is no general antipathy 
to, or jealousy of, the British Government or its officers. The 
contrary is the case. The Government is regarded with loyalty ; 
and British officers are often asked for as District Officers, and 
when they visit any locality are received with acclamation. 

It is pitiable, in view of all one's experience in India, to see 
how the expressions of a certain section of the comparatively 
educated classes are received as though they constituted the 
voice of the peoples of India, or, as it is called, ^' the national 
voice." I recall an unfortunate incident which occurred in the 
course of a confidential conference at which I was presiding. 
The conference consisted of a number of Government officers, 
some representatives of the Hindu and Muhanmiadan com- 
munities, some feudatory chiefs, noblemen, and landowners, 
and some business and professional men, as representative a 
gathering as could be got together at the time. We sat down 
to discuss the matter before us. Just opposite me was seated a 
Bengali, an old member of what is called ^^ the National Con- 
gress " ; and beside me was seated a Chief of much influence 
and high character. The gentleman opposite, in some remark 
he made, used the expression *^ the national opinion." The Chief 
asked what he meant by ^^ the national opinion." ^* Is it your 
own opinion," he said, " or mine, which dififers from yours ? " 
More or less apologetically the man opposite said, '^ Everybody 
knows what I mean. I mean the congress view." The matter 
dropped. Again a little later the same man used the same 
expression. The Chief somewhat lost his temper at this per- 
sistence, and demanded, ^^ What do you mean by the national 
opinion ? Do you not know that there is no Indian nation. 



84 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

that, if the British authority were removed, some of the races 
of India might be at your throats at once» and that the rule 
and authority of Bengahs would not be tolerated out of Bengal?" 

The man opposite sank back in his chair, not a little unsettled 
by this ebullition of temper. I intervened, and pointed out 
to the Chief that this was scarcely language to be used in a 
friendly and confidential conference, and that the matter to 
which he referred was scarcely relevant to the question which we 
were considering. The Chief frankly concurred and apologised. 
The fact remains that there was some truth in what he had 
said. There is no Indian nation. What may be in the future 
none can tell. Our own history shows the possibility of welding 
different races into one nation, but only when they live to- 
gether within the same area. It is not so in India ; and at present, 
at least, there is no Indian nation. Indian races are not in 
sympathy with one another ; and British rule is necessary for 
the maintenance of peace and for the progress of the country. 
If we ever have anything like full self-government in India, 
it is as hkely to be self-government of separate Provinces as 
that of the whole of the vast and varied Peninsula. 

It must specially be remembered and realised that India 
is not a country of great cities. Scarcely one-tenth of the 
population live in cities or even in small towns or large viUages 
with more than six thousand inhabitants. In England we have 
one-third of the population gathered together in crowded cities 
of one hundred thousand inhabitants ; but over the whole 
of the vast Peninsula of India we have only twenty-eight 
cities of that size, with a total city population of only seven 
millions out of the three hundred millions of its inhabitants. 
It is worth while to remember that it is almost exclusively in 
the large cities that we have anything of unrest, except where 
by the propagation of false statements temporary disturbances 
have been created among the villagers. 

There is a great distinction between town life and coimtry life 
in India. There is a great distinction between town and 
country everywhere ; but in India it is very much more marked 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 85 

and more important than in any comitry with which I am at all 
acquainted. The city life of India, in such cities, I mean, as 
Bombay or Calcutta, where there is great conmiercial activity, 
is altogether dififerent from the Ufe of the interior. Such cities 
are only Indian in the sense that they are in India. The life 
of the vast peninsula is, as a whole, village or rural life. The 
people in their own homes are still, despite railways and post 
offices and many of the agencies of Western civilisation, very 
much the same as they were centuries ago. The standard of 
comfort has no doubt risen to a certain extent. A number of 
the people in the villages have seen things of which their 
fathers had no conception ; but their life and their modes of 
thought are essentially the same still. The foreigners in India 
are after all comparatively few, and their influence except 
in respect that it has made for peace and stability, has not 
very materially affected the lives of the people. The city 
life is a foreign life. There are proportionately far more 
foreigners working in the city, and the people who are working 
with them are far more affected by foreign influence. As 
I have already said, they are, to an extent which we in the 
West cannot easily understand, out of touch with their own 
countrymen in the interior. 

There are large tracts in India about which one may travel 
day after day and see even still the simple Arcadian life that 
the old classical Indian books very beautifully portray. No- 
thing is more delightful than such work as this, to march 
for a month or two on end through the villages of a District 
or Division or Province, bringing the Government into contact 
with the people in respect of the matters in regard to which 
the people wish to come into contact with the Government ; 
seeing the people in their own homes; ascertaining their 
circumstances and especially their troubles and calamities ; 
and seeking quietly, in personal contact with them, to improve 
their condition and to secure their easily won gratitude and 
affection. It will be a long time before the personal influence 
of the individual officer of Government ceases to be one of 



86 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

the most important features of life in the interior of India, 
and any failure on the part of Government Officers to treat 
the people with sympathy, kindness, and consideration, and 
at the same time with justice and temper, militates more 
against the interests of Government than perhaps any other 
active influence on inter-racial feeling. 

Grenerally speaking, the officers of the Civil Service who 
are accustomed to travel among the people, especially in 
these Provinces where the temporary character of the Revenue 
Settlements leads necessarily to a desire to obtain a thorough 
insight into agricultural conditions, treat the people well, 
and in fact acquire a great affection for them, and in no part 
of the world, I believe, is kindly treatment and afifection more 
fully returned than in the interior of India. But there are 
Europeans, sometimes of a class from whom, despite their 
youth, better things might be expected, but more generally 
Europeans of low breeding and defective education, who 
treat their Indian fellow-subjects in a way which leads to 
bitterness of feeling which it is most difficult to eradicate. 

Ignorance of the manners and customs of the people and of 
their real sensitiveness under an unmoved exterior very often 
leads to this sort of thing. I have known even an officer high 
up in a Conuuission who appointed an hour at which to receive 
Indian visitors, and left them to sit on a bench outside his 
door with his menial servants, or to rest on the coping-stone 
of the well in his compound, until he was at leisure to receive 
them. He had a good reputation for office work; but it 
would have been a great blessing to the Province to have 
been able to deport him and to keep him out of all influential 
work among the people of the country. I have seen an officer 
assault country carters, and actually beat them severely, 
because they allowed their carts to stray down the middle 
and on both sides of the road, so as to block his way while 
he was driving his carriage and pair. That officer, when I 
reprimanded him for his ccmduct, told me that he thought 
we were losing the country owing to such sentiments as mine ; 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 87 

but there can be no doubt that a few cases of such violence 
and injustice do more harm than can be calculated. 

I have known men who maintain that the old Indian proverb, 
** pU par maro pet na maro^^ * shows that the people generally 
regard it as quite reasonable that at least a master should 
be allowed to beat his servant. This merely indicates an 
absolute failure to recognise that men are the same all the 
world over, and that right-minded men in the East are 
as much disgusted with physical violence as right-minded men 
in the West. 

The effect on Indian gentlemen of the sight of physical 
violence used by a European towards an Indian menial servant 
is just precisely what it would be amongst ourselves if we 
could conceive of it. They tolerate it amongst some of their 
own princes and big men, because they do not expect 
from these particular persons anything approaching to justice 
or to a recognition of the dignity of humanity ; but they are 
shocked at any such exhibition on the part of the members 
of a race with the superior classes of which at least they have 
been accustomed to associate thoughts of better things. Such 
cases as I have indicated are within the experience of some 
of us; but they are distinctly exceptional. Exceptional 
as they are, however, they do incalculable damage ; and they 
should be regarded with strong condenmation, and, wherever 
possible, repressed with rigour. There is no doubt that a 
great deal of good might be done by pointing out to young 
men who are destined for work in India that they must act 
there on the first principles of Christian gentlemanliness. 

To return to the people of the interior — ^what a delight 
it is to see them in their ordinary life, to take part with them 
in little functions or ceremonies where that can be done with- 
out prejudice to the principles of religion. Formerly the 
officers of Government were not averse from taking part even 
in the religious ceremonies of the people. I do not think that 

* Thatis, *< Strike me on the back, not on the stomach "s does it mean, <* Beat 
me rather than fine me"? 



88 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

this could be done without sacrifice of Christian principle 
and without producing a false impression among the people ; 
and I entirely sympathise with the condemnation of the practice 
and with its authoritative repression ; but I regret that in 
many places this change has led to a standing aloof from the 
people which is undoubtedly to be regretted. 

Often when I have gone to a village, especially in my earlier 
days when I could go about amongst the country people 
without the pomp and circumstance of the head of a Province, | 
I have slipped into the home of an agriculturist during a i 
marriage ceremony or on some other festal occasion. I have 
never sought to do this where there would be any risk of ' 
raising any caste question ; but if one asks of a host whether 
there is any objection, he will point out the time when you 
can come without raising any such difficulty, and he will 
welcome the presence of an officer of Government as being 
most auspicious. That officer, on his part, will see something 
of the customs of the people, and of their kindly life which 
may well be useful to him in framing his conception of the 
character of those among wh(Hn he is called to work. The 
enthusiasm of such a reception is sometimes very great. The 
interest that the people show in our affairs, in our customs 
and life, when we show our interest in theirs, is surprising ; 
and the bond of loyalty between the people and the Govern- 
ment is greatly strengtheiied by such mutual interest. 

A man who only knows the towns and great cities knows 
nothing really of the life of India, To know the real India 
well one has to move about among the people in their village 
homes. What a delightful life it is I There is no part of his 
life in India that the Executive officer enjoys so much as his 
life in camp among the people ; and there is no part of his 
life that is more important and useful both to him and to 
them. That he should know them in their own fields and 
homes, and in their own every-day life, is absolutely essential 
to efficient administration. An officer on tour has two sets 
of tents. He pitches one set at one place ; and, while he is 




Coolie at Work under his Umbrella-Hat 

These curious shelter hats are worn during the rains, and are made entirely of leaves, 
which are fastened together by their own stalks 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 89 

occupied there, the other set moves on to his next camp» 
perhaps about ten miles off. During the day he is occupied 
with mulakais * with those who are entitled to that courtesy, 
with informal talks at his tent doors or in the fields with the 
villagers generally, with the inspection of any local institutions 
and the conduct of any local inquiries, with the discharge 
of his office duties, and with efforts to make himself acquainted 
with all the circumstances and conditions of the village. It 
is a busy day; and by nightfall he finds himself ready for 
rest. At daybreak he is up again mounted on his horse, and 
on his way to his next camp. He does not go direct across 
country, but wanders round, taking in all the villages within 
reach, seeing groups of people, and perhaps inspecting schools, 
police stations, and other institutions on the way. Arriving 
at the next camp, he sets himself to very much the same 
line of work as occupied him the previous day ; and so in the 
course of a tour he becomes intimately acquainted with a 
considerable portion of his charge. 

I have sometimes been three or four months on tour, seldom 
meeting a single European or speaking a word of English, 
but living among the people and talking to them in their 
own vemaculiff . Often in the evening they would come round 
the camp fire and sit beside me and talk to me about their 
affairs, telling me stories of their daily life or old legends con- 
nected with the coimtry, and acquiring that kindly familiarity 
with a British officer which camp life induces, and which is 
so valuable in the administration of India. Often, too, a 
man of sufficient standing invites the British officer to his 
house to some small family entertainment or social function. 
For my part I not infrequently went to the houses of people 
who would not themselves have laid claim to a visit, simply 
for the sake of getting to know something of their home life. 
It is a grievous error so to increase the drudgery of office work, 
or so to reduce the European staff, that the European officers 
are unable to give a large amount of time to this camp life. 

* Fonnal interriewB. 



90 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

The calamities which too often fall upon the peoples of India 
are themselves sometimes a means of drawing the races together. 
Nothing binds officers and people together more than sym- 
pathy between them, and co-operation with one another, 
in dealing with calamity. A visitation of plague or cholera, 
in which. the European officer sets himself to explain the 
measures of prevention and repression which have been adopted 
after careful inquiry and wide experience, and in which he 
associates himself closely with the people in dealing with 
the calamity, does more to bind the races together than any 
mere talk, however kindly. It is wonderful how he will lead 
the people, if he is himself careful indeed in regard to dis- 
infection, but fearless in his attitude towards the disease. Their 
spirits are cheered, and they realise that Government is doing 
at least [all that human power can do to mitigate the horrors 
of the situation. 

My experience of famine has been very extensive. As Com- 
missioner of Nagpur, I had to deal with the famine of 1896, 
and as Chief Commissioner I had to deal with the even more 
terrible famine of 1899-1900. I do not propose to record the 
sad experiences of those famines ; but I think it worth while 
to note that the work which we then had to do brought us more 
closely into touch with the feelings, customs, and resources of the 
people than perhaps anything else in my Indian experiences. 

We did not deal with famine in the way adopted by Joseph 
in the great Egyptian calamity. In Bengal, at Patna, there is 
a strange structure called the "" (^ola," which was built as a 
storehouse for grain to provide against famine. It is now used 
for little else than echo experiments. Railways and easy com- 
munication with the markets of the world have obviated the 
necessity for such measures against famine. We rush the grain 
into the affected area by the mere operation of the law of supply 
and demand. We provide work for able-bodied adults that 
they may earn the money to buy the grain, and only the sick 
and infirm and little children are gratuitously fed. 

The simplicity of the country people, their confidence in the 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 91 

officers whom they had learned to trust, their patient endurance 
of the severest trials, and their deep gratitude for all that was 
done for them, made an impression on our minds whidi wiU 
never be effaced. It was also delightful to find how cordially 
many of the best Indians, official and unofficial, threw them- 
selves into the work of famine relief. One learned to appreciate 
not only the patience of the common people, but also the 
devotion and pluck of many of those in influential positions. I 
remember Mr. Craddock, then my famine secretary and now 
Chief Conmiissioner of the Central Provinces, telling me that 
he agreed with me that some of our most valued friendships 
with Indian gentlemen were formed during the famine. 

There is one thing which we must not allow the recent 
deplorable ebullition of anarchy to prevent, namely, our inter- 
course with the people. When passing through a town in 
Bengal soon after an abortive attempt had been made on my 
life, I was struck by the emptiness of the streets. Cursory 
observation led me to see great crowds gathered at points some 
little distance down the side streets, so that they might just 
catch a glimpse of my carriage as it passed along the main road. 
I inquired the meaning of it, and found that the local police 
had cleared the streets and kept the people at a distance so as 
to secure my safety. I issued orders to the effect that this was 
never to be done again : the police might take what precautions 
they deemed necessary in the way of having officers in plain 
clothes scattered about among the crowds that lined the streets ; 
but I felt that we could not tolerate any prevention of the 
people from becoming acquainted with their ruler and showing 
him respect. 

When we are unable to meet the people freely and frequently, 
we shall be unable to exercise the most potent influence for 
loyalty ; and the impression created on the minds of the people, 
when they seem to be suspected as a whole merely because of the 
existence of a few miserable criminals among them, is deplorable. 
One of the great reasons why it is absolutely essential to 
suppress sedition and anarchy by the most effective measures. 



»2 THE INDIAN PEOPLES 

however severe, is that it is the essence of sound administration 
in India that the officers of Government should mingle freely 
with the people. People at home, even the authorities at home» 
do not adequately understand the necessity for this. The 
Indian Government itself sometimes seems hardly to realise it ; 
but I think that there is no local government — at all events 
there are exceedingly few officers with long and valuable Indian 
experience — ^who have any doubt of the vital importance of 
having officers going about freely among the people and learning 
at first hand their sentiments, their needs, and their condition. 

The loyalty of the people of the interior is a very strong 
sentiment indeed. It is distinctly personal in its character. 
The vague abstraction of Grovemment is not much regarded 
by the people of the interior. Their loyalty is to the King on 
the throne, and to the officers serving under him, especially 
perhaps to those with whom they come most in contact. It 
was the necessity of the case that obliged His Majesty, when 
as Prince of Wales he visited India in 1904, to confine his tour 
mainly to the great cities of India, and his intercourse with the 
people mainly to the chiefs and nobles. But the common 
people eagerly took advantage of every possible opportunity 
of seeing their future king. The enthusiasm with which Their 
Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales were re- 
ceived everywhere was unbounded ; and amongst those who 
displayed most enthusiasm were many of the people of the 
interior. They had to make very considerable sacrifices and 
endure considerable hardships to gratify their loyal desire to 
see the royal visitors. 

I remember a large party of several hundreds of people from 
the interior being found seated one evening on the Calcutta 
maidan,'^ well supplied with parched com, and evidently 
determined to spend the night there. They were asked what 
their purpose was. They said that they had come hundreds 
of miles to see their Royal Highnesses, that they had heard 
that they were to pass in procession along Chowringhee the next 
* The great open meadow betw e en Ghowringhee Road and the river. 



THE INDIAN PEOPLES 98 

day» and that they were taking up their place on the maidan 
8o as to secure to themselves a sight of the Royal visitors. 
The kindly Conmiissioner of Police, Mr. Halliday, entered 
sympathetically into their wishes, and took care that they 
had the privilege which they desired. This was typical of the 
action of thousands and thousands of village people, who 
flocked to the towns for the sake of seeing the Prince and 
Princess of Wales. 

The impression created among the people generally by this 
visit was of the greatest value. The affections of those who came 
into contact with the Prince and Princess were won by their 
unvaried kindliness and courtesy. Every utterance of the 
Prince was marked by sympathetic appreciation of the feelings 
of the people and a deep interest in their welfare. The conunon 
people were delighted with that readiness to receive and 
graciously to acknowledge their acclamations, which has 
characterised the Royal House of England for at least three 
generations. The political effect of the Royal visit will not 
soon pass away. The visit of Their Majesties seven years ago 
may have been of benefit in preparing them for the exalted 
position which they now occupy. It was certainly not less 
important in its effect on the peoples of India. Their resolve 
to visit India and hold there a coronation darbar seems to me 
a splendid inspiration. I can hardly imagine the feelings of 
delight with which the announcement must have been received. 
Indian friends have written to me about it with unrestrained 
enthusiasm. 



CHAPTER VIII 
INDIAN LADIES 

THE Zenana system exists to a very large extent in India. 
The farther north one goes the more he finds of that 
system. In the south there is less of it. The Zenana is 
simply the vernacular name for that part of the house which 
is occupied by the women; and the Parda* is that which 
divides the women's quarters from the rest of the house. 
The lady who occupies the Zenana is a parda nashin^ or one 
who sits behind the curtain. Where the Zenana system pre- 
vails men, other than the head of the house and his sons» 
are not allowed to see the ladies. The ladies do not come 
into public life ; and the worst feature of the system is that 
their influence is confined to the family circle, and does not 
reach society. It reaches even the family circle only within 
the home ; the ladies cannot directly influence the men out- 
side the house. Where it is strictly enforced, it goes even 
further than this ; ladies themselves are not allowed into the 
Zenana of other ladies, unless they are very intimate friends 
indeed. My wife has always made it a practice to visit the 
ladies of any house with the head of which I have been on 
friendly terms. In several instances her first visit was paid 
to the lady with the same formalities as mine might have been ; 
she sat outside the parda an^ conversed with the lady inside ! 
Sometimes two or three visits were conducted in this fashion ; 
and it was only when she became more intimate that she was 
asked to go inside the parda. There are several Indian ladies 

* A parda is a curtain or screen. 
94 



INDIAN LADIES 95 

who had never received any European lady at all until they 
received my wife. 

No doubt this tends to make intimate relations between 
Europeans and Indians more difficult. The influence of ladies 
on society is wanting, where this system prevails. But at the 
same time it must be borne in mind that the 2^nana excludes 
Indian gentlemen and ladies just as much as it excludes Euro- 
peans ; and yet social relations between Indians are perfectly 
frank and simple. It will not do therefore to say that while 
this system prevails, any intimacy between Europeans and 
Indians is impossible. Above all, it must be ever remembered 
that the 2^nana system is not in any way indicative of a low 
opinion of women, or of their want of influence. The system 
is not a part of the ancient Hindu life at all. It has been 
prevalent among Muhammadans ; and it came into India 
in troublous times. 

It undoubtedly sprang from an imworthy conception of 
the relations that ought to exist between the sexes. It owes 
its rise in great part at least to lawlessness, to dangers arising 
at a time when might was right, and to a jealousy of women, 
who did not take an equal place in family and social life, nor 
were regarded as fit to do so. It must not, however, be thought 
that, where the system is now practised, these views of women 
necessarily exist. The troublous times in which the system 
took its rise and laid its powerful grasp on the society of certain 
communities and of certain parts of India, have left behind 
them this survival of the distrust and anxiety by which they 
were characterised ; and it is not easy in India to get rid of 
any system which has once laid hold of the popular mind. 
It is not true, however, that Indians have a low opinion of 
women. There are men in all countries whose estimate of 
women is tainted by the stain of their own impure minds ; 
and these may perhaps be more common in India than in 
a Christian country. But the men who are worth knowing 
in India have no such views. They despise some women; 
and they view some forms of behaviour in women with grave 



96 INDIAN LADIES 

suspicion. But for good women, whether European or Indian, 
they have a chivakous respect and admiration. 

Let it not be forgotten that the women who are secluded 
under the Zenana system are, as a rule, at least as much in 
favour of that system as the men who are related to them. 
They have been trained for generations to think that it is 
a mark of respectability and dignity. They do not indeed 
misjudge the freedom of European ladies. As a rule these 
latter are regarded by the simple Indian ladies of the interior 
as strange indeed in their customs, and as possessing powers 
and privileges which, however consistent with their own 
surroundings, are altogether unintelligible to Indians. They 
no more despise the European lady for her freedom from tiie 
Zenana system than they despise her for her want of Hindu 
caste ; but amongst themselves they hold that it is a mark 
of their social superiority that they are thus carefully 
secluded. 

It is a curious fact that some of the strongest supporters, 
male and female, of the patda system object not only to the 
visits of men from outside, but even to the visiting of ladies 
amongst themselves, and to the reception by the parda nashin 
of European lady visitors, or even Indian ladies who do not 
belong to their family. No doubt this arises from an instinctive 
feeling that the influence of the system may be destroyed by 
the enlargement of view which arises from contact with the 
outer world in any form. At the same time it must be borne 
in mind that the system receives as strong support from the 
ladies of India themselves as from the men. It is therefore 
wrong to endeavour to hasten the throwing aside of the parda 
and the opening of the doors of the Zenana. Nothing is good 
for a race which does violence to the modesty and self-respect 
of its women ; and until the ladies of India themselves begin 
to see the evils of the system, and that it is not essential to 
endure these evils for the sake of propriety of conduct and 
reputation, it will be impossible, without injury, to abolish 
the system. The remedy lies in the preservation of the peace, 




fhotoby 



Johnston &• Hr/fimintt, Calcutta 



Sati (Suttee) Stone 



INDIAN LADIES 97 

the inculcation of respect for the rights and honour of women, 
and the education of the women themselves. 

It is, indeed, a sad system. To illustrate it, let me recall 
a visit to an Indian friend with whom I was on most confi- 
dential relations. I drove up to his house. He came to receive 
me at the outer gate of his residence, with the delightful courtesy 
of a Hindu gentleman. Taking my hand in his, he led me into 
the public apartments of his house. I was seated with great 
respect in his audience chamber ; he called the members of 
his family together that he might introduce them to me. 
His sons, some of whom had reached manhood, came one by 
one and were introduced. Of his daughters, only the very 
little girls, imder, perhaps, nine or ten years of age, were 
allowed to come. The other ladies of the family were behind 
the parda. The little girls were bright and intelligent, and 
at least as susceptible to friendly overtures as the boys, as 
bright and cheery and happy as the boys, and more inclined 
to conversation, comparing with the boys just as girls generally 
do all over the world. Their intelligent interest in anything 
that one had to show them or say to them was very marked. 
It was sad to think that in a short time they would be within 
the 2^nana. This was not because their father had any less 
regard for them than for his sons ; for, whatever theory may 
exist of the comparative value of sons and daughters, human 
nature is the same everywhere ; and the father has very often 
as proud and as tender an affection towards his girls as to- 
wards the boys. It was merely because custom demands 
their seclusion. 

Lady Fraser has told me that the 2^nana quarters are very 
frequently most comfortably furnished; and the ladies are 
provided with all that love and care can devise for them. 
But, as one can see by visiting the 2^nana of an empty house, 
the windows looking out upon the world are high up, so that 
there may be no temptation to the ladies to make themselves 
acquainted with that which is outside. The doors and windows 
which are lower down open only on court-yards or gardens, 



98 INDIAN LADIES 

into which no one is admitted who would not be permitted 
to enter the room itself; and every precaution is taken to 
keep the ladies from contact with the outer world. The se- 
clusion is most strict ; the life is practical imprisonment. 

Early in my service I had a civil case before me in which 
a lady of considerable property was required to give evidence. 
As she was a parda nashifiy it was possible, under the law» 
to appoint a commission to examine her at her house ; but 
this would have involved considerable expense in sending 
counsel for both parties to attend while she was under examina- 
tion. The party producing her as a witness was of common 
interest with her ; and it was determined, with regard to that 
conmion interest, that she should be examined in the court. 
A day was fixed, and she was brought to court. She came in 
a palJd or palanquin, which, despite its name, was nothing 
else than a very small and uncomfortable box carried on a 
bamboo pole. One could hardly understand how it was possible 
for her to be in it without great discomfort. It had been carried 
into a room of the Zenana and laid down. After all the men 
had gone away, she had come, attended by her women, and 
had stepped into it. The thick curtain that covered one side 
of the box (all the rest being of wood) was then dropped and 
securely fastened. Her nearest male relative stood by while 
the box was removed from her room, and walked with it through 
the streets. 

When it was brought into the court, it was laid down, but 
not opened. I asked the counsel on both sides whether they 
were satisfied that the lady inside the box was the witness 
whom it was desired to examine. After conversing with 
those who had accompanied her, €md addressing a question or 
two to the lady, they replied that they were satisfied. I then 
put certain questions to her ; and she answered them — clear, 
intelligent answers, in a sweet, low-toned voice. I never saw 
her ; no one in the court saw her. She returned through the 
streets to her seclusion in the Zenana, having seen nothing 
all the time during which she was out of it. I have had 



INDIAN LADIES 99 

male criminals brought before me from the jail to give evidence ; 
and they have indicated their interest in the occasion by 
attending to what was going on aromid them to a degree 
which made it difficult to extract their evidence ; and they 
went back to their penal confinement, no doubt, inclined to mark 
that day as a red-letter day in the period of their imprison- 
ment. It was not so with this innocent parda nashin lady. She 
had experienced nothing but discomfort, and had seen nothing 
of interest. 

These ladies who are thus secluded are often very far from 
unintelligent. One knows this, not only on the testimony of 
the English and other ladies who visit them, but also from the 
fact that they are able, from their seclusion, to administer 
affairs of very considerable importance. I have in several cases 
had to discuss important business with parda-naskm ladies. 
I had, for example, on one occasion to visit a lady who was ad- 
ministering one of the small Native States on behalf of her 
minor son. He received me ; €md intimation was sent to the 
Rani that I had come. When she announced that she was ready, 
I was led through several doors and corridors to a room in which 
a chair of state was placed for me. This chair was in front 
of a thick curtain which hung at one end of the room. On the 
other side of that curtain, I was informed, the Rani was sitting 
awaiting the interview. Her son and any one in attendance on 
him would not sit while she was thus in presence, though unseen. 
I exchanged friendly greetings with the Rani, and solemnly 
saluted in the direction of the curtain, believing that she was 
making a friendly salutation to me on the other side. I pro- 
ceeded to discuss with her the affairs of the State. I found 
that she had a very intelligent grasp of them, and thoroughly 
understood what it was she wanted. 

I made it a practice as far as possible, to take my wife with 
me to such interviews, so that she might sit on the other side 
of the parda with the Rani, as she was acquainted with her. 
This was at least a security that the right lady was conversing 
with me. To me there was always a feeling of dissatisfaction, 



100 INDIAN LADI£S 

in that neither of us, in the course of our conversation, was able 
to look the other in the face, and receive that light upon our 
interchange of views which the human countenance so often 
gives. I recall one case in which that feeling was evidently 
shared by the lady herself. She turned to Lady Fraser and asked 
her in a whisper, which I did not hear, whether there was 
any objection to her slightly putting the curtain aside with her 
finger, just so far as to permit her to get a view of my face, 
so as to see whether I was giving kindly attention to the ex- 
pression of her views. My wife, of course, said that there was 
no objection ; and, although I was unaware of it, the old lady 
saw my face, and then expressed herself as more confident that 
I would give careful and friendly consideration to her wishes. 

It must not be considered that the ladies look upon their 
position as in any way deplorable, or as oppressive ; but it is 
impossible for them to feel other than a sense of great de- 
privation, however necessary or honourable they may consider 
that deprivation to be. Ladies of Lidia are brave and self- 
sacrificing. Nothing perhaps shows this more clearly than the 
old and awful system of Satti. This word, which perhaps may be 
translated " constant " or " faithful," was the name given 
to the Hindu widow who, in the depth of her sorrow, and 
in the determination not to live the lonely and, in some 
respects, accursed life of a widow, but to accompany her 
husband into the unseen, laid herself on his funeral pyre and 
died by the fire which consumed his remains. Has awful 
system was abolished by the British Grovemment, and any one 
abetting a satti is now liable to conviction for abetment of 
suicide or murder. This stringent law has tended to abolish the 
practice of this dreadful rite. The law was enacted in opposition 
to the sense of large and influential sections of the community; 
and, in view of the prohibition of widow remarriage by Hindu 
law and custom and the estimation in which widows are held, 
these stricken women lead lives of sorrow and humiliation. 

Satti is not even now entirely unknown. I remember that, in 
the end of 1908, in the village of Kaltaki in the District of Gaya, 



INDIAN LADlES-:^.ii*X*:i":j-.ioji:\ 

in Bengal, a Brahman named Damodhar died of fever. His 
widow, a woman of about forty-five years of age, was frantic 
with grief. Some time in the afternoon of the day of her 
husband's death, his kinsmen came to remove his dead body 
to the burning ground, which was about five hundred yards 
from her house. The widow became extremely violent ; and, 
seizing the feet of the corpse, she solemnly cursed them for 
seeking to take it from her. She threatened to cut her throat if 
they did not leave her in possession of the body. They left it 
for a while in the room where the man had died, and the widow 
sat down beside the body. 

The story is that there was no one else in the room except 
an old woman, a widowed sister-in-law of the deceased ; and 
this woman gave evidence that suddenly she saw smoke coming 
out of the waist of the widow, her sari (or shawl) appearing to 
be on fire. The widow ran out of the room, and as she went 
she shook her sari so as to increase the flames. She threw 
herself down in front of the house on some wood lying near, 
which took fire. Seeing that she was dead, and that her body 
was being consumed, the relatives brought out her husband's 
corpse and set fire to it, heaping up wood and straw which lay 
at hand. Both bodies were thus consumed to ashes. When the 
poUce arrived the fire was stiD burning, and people were throw- 
ing ghi * on it. Not less than sixteen persons were ultimately 
committed to the Court of Session charged with an offence 
under Section 806 of the Penal Code, which deals with the 
abetment of suicide. I cannot recall the precise results of 
the trial ; but to me the important points established were 
the determination of the woman to give her life on her husband's 
funeral pyre, the failure of her relatives to see any reason why 
this desire of hers should be frustrated, and the general approval 
of the conununity as indicated in their adding oil or ghi to the 
flames. 

Another case occurred in the Patna District a year later, 
where a Brahman having died, preparations were made to 

* Clarified butter. 



W • : y. • : BSDIAN LADIES 

cremate his body in the usual way, close to a sacred and wide* 
spreading pipal ♦ tree, and near the shrine of the village deity. 
The widow, accompanied by about a hundred wonien and 
children, followed the litter, and went on to the river about a 
himdred yards from the funeral pyre. There she bathed and 
dressed herself in new clothing, the women putting sindur and 
tikulis on her head. She then walked back to the funeral pyre, 
climbed on to it, and sat facing the east with her husband's 
head in her lap. Then her own son appUed fire to the mouth 
of the deceased ; and he and other Brahmans set fire to the 
pile by placing sticks soaked in ghi and oil in the Uttle fire- 
places underneath. It was alleged that the woman took fire 
by spontaneous combustion. She stood up with her clothes on 
fire, and then sank down again and died. There were said to 
have been from two to four thousand persons present, crying 
out, '^ Ram, Ram, Sita Ram." 

The nearest police station was eight miles off ; and informa- 
tion was not given there until, two days later, a report was made 
by a man who seemed to think that he was risking his life by 
informing. On the District Superintendent arriving at the 
spot, he found the pile still red-hot, and people coming in 
hundreds from long distances to worship at the place. A lamp 
was kept burning as at a shrine ; flowers and sweetmeats were 
being offered ; and temporary shops had been erected under 
the pipal tree. Among the articles in evidence in the case 
there was an invitation issued by the son to the sraddha,t 
in which it was stated that his father was dead and his mother 
had become a satti. Another docimient showed the line of 
defence to be taken in case of prosecution. The last satti that 
had occurred in this village was about eighty years before. 

These melancholy stories are indications of the manner 
in which superstition stiU prevails in India despite the education 
of which we hear so much, but which, in reality, has affected 
directly only a very small fraction of the Indian peoples 

* The pipal is the sacred fig tree, 
t The sraddha is a funeral ceremony. 



INDIAN LADIES 108 

They indicate also, how old customs, however cruel and con- 
trary to human nature, may survive even after they have been 
made punishable by law, and have fallen into desuetude for 
years. We learn undoubtedly in India that human nature is 
in many respects the same all the world over; but we also 
learn that it is not very diflBcult to persuade men, under the 
name of religion, to practices which cannot be soberly regarded 
as any other than inhuman ; and we must never allow ourselves 
to think that those practices, which have received the sanction 
of religion for ages, can be easily eradicated from the minds and 
lives of the people. On the other hand, these sad stories 
elicit an altogether different characteristic of Indian life which 
it is well that we should not forget, namely, the courage and 
devotion of the Indian women, their determinaion and capacity 
to endure anything and make any sacrifice that their religion 
and their family duty may require. 

If any one is under the impression that because the Indian 
ladies live in a Zenana, secluded behind the parda, they have 
no influence on the Uves of their relatives and are looked down 
upon by them, he makes a great mistake. He does not under- 
stand human nature. I have heard much from my wife and 
others of the dignified bearing and attractive manners of 
Indian ladies ; and I have heard my Indian friends speak with 
the deepest respect of their mothers and sisters, and with the 
deepest gratitude of the debt they owed to them for their 
influence on their lives. I may add that I have also known 
many a man who, when in society in the outside world, had 
strong things to say about his freedom from what he called 
the superstitions and bonds of his old religion : he talked 
Ughtly and flippantly, and even contemptuously, of the gods 
which his people worshipped; yet in his own house he 
prostrated himself before the images of these very gods and 
practised the rites and made the o£Ferings required by that 
religion. The reason was that the ladies of his family wished it, 
and he had not the courage of his professed convictions. An 
old friend of mine once said to me that what India most wanted 



104 INDIAN LADIES 

was " a new grandmother." He meant that, as every man who 
knows the peoples of India knows, the influence of the ladies in 
the house was great, and that the older the lady the greater 
her influence. The mother in the family has a place not unlike 
the mother elsewhere ; but her mother-in-law, the grand- 
mother in the house, has an altogether exceptionally honourable 
place in the Hindu family. She rules among the women ; and 
the women rule in the house. 

It is a very hopeful thing to think of this influence of women 
in India when one sees the growing desire on the part of both 
men and women to have the women educated, and to see 
women take their place alongside of their husbands in the 
work of life, and become a real influence, not only in the 
home, but in the social circle and in the life of the people. No 
doubt there are not yet very many who have broken free from 
the parda and taken their place as helps to their husbands in 
their social and public hfe ; but there are not a few such 
ladies, and they are a growing company. 

Many years ago, when I was Commissioner in Nagpur, I 
went on tour with my wife in the Balaghat District, and the 
Deputy Commissioner, my highly esteemed friend Mr. Shankar 
Madho Chitnawis, then a young officer, accompanied us on 
tour. As we were all three together riding along one morning, 
we passed a tonga, or little Indian cart, drawn by fast-trotting 
bullocks. There was manifestly a lady inside, because there 
were curtains carefully drawn as we passed. These were so 
constructed that she could put them aside to see the country 
but could draw them at any time to exclude the gaze of 
outsiders. I asked my friend, Mr. Chitnawis, whether he knew 
who the lady was. He told me that it was his wife ; that 
she was very anxious not to be dissociated from his life ; 
and as he had to go so much into camp, she had made up her 
mind to endure all the trouble of marching with him rather than 
leave him without the comforts and society of home life during 
the months he had to spend in his tents away from head-quarters. 
This was, at that time, very unusual action on the part of an 



INDIAN LADIES 106 

Indian lady. It excited the admiration of my wife, who very 
soon, in the course of that tour, became an intimate friend of the 
Deputy Conomissioner's wife. 

Some time after this, when I visited Balaghat head-quarters 
on Sessions duty, Mr. Chitnawis asked me whether Lady Fraser 
and I would dine with his wife and him at their house. He 
told me that his wife was anxious to know some of her husband's 
friends, and that he thought it would be an excellent thing for 
her to see something of our social customs. He said apolo- 
getically that he would not ask any one to meet us, as she was 
still shy about meeting strangers, and desired only to see a 
lady who had become her friend, and an officer who had been so 
long a friend of her husband. Of course, we agreed. 

I took the lady into dinner, and talked with her at one side 
of the table in Marathi ; for she knew no English. On the 
other side of the table, her husband was talking to my wife 
in English ; for my wife did not know Marathi. Sometimes 
the conversation became general in Hindustani, which was 
known, more or less, to all four of us. It was one of the most 
interesting evenings that I have ever spent. It was a delight 
to see the intelligent interest that this Indian lady took in all 
the affairs which concerned her husband, in the administration 
of the District and in life generally ; and to understand some- 
thing of the earnest desire she had to play her proper part as 
the wife of a man holding such a responsible office among his 
people was a very instructive experience. Our pleasant inter- 
views were repeated not infrequently. Then I left Nagpur, 
broken down with famine work, in which one of my most 
trusted fellow-workers had been Mr. Chitnawis himself ; and 
when I returned from leave I was sent to the head-quarters 
of the Grovemment of India as Secretary for the Home Depart- 
ment, so it was not till after some years that we met again. 

We next met, all four of us together, when I was Chief 
Commissioner of the Central Provinces, and Mr. Chitnawis 
was Deputy Commissioner of Wardha. I visited the station 
with my wife, and the Deputy Conunissioner asked us to a 



106 INDIAN JADBES 

station dinner. He told us that all the officers in the station 
would be there with their wives ; that his wife now knew all his 
colleagues and their families. We accepted the invitation. It 
is the Indian custom, that, when the head of the Local Grovem- 
ment comes to dinner, all the company have already assembled, 
and are ready to proceed at once to the dining-room. We, there- 
fore, had only time to shake hands, and then went straight to 
dinner. I sat down beside our hostess and began at once 
to speak to her in Marathi. She answered me in English, 
good, ladylike English, pronounced with wonderful accuracy. 
I said to her, *^ Siurely you did not make me talk to you in 
Marathi when you knew English so well ? " She answered that 
in the old days when we used to meet in Balaghat she did not 
know English ; but she had since set herself to learn it. She 
had regular lessons from the station-master's wife and lessons 
at least once a week from the wife of the missionary, and had 
given her mind to the matter, so that she had made what they 
regarded as very creditable progress. She said that her reason 
for this was that her husband had made up his mind to visit 
England, and that she felt that she must go with him ; because, 
as she added, ^' It is not good for a husband to live a life, €md 
to know people and plctces, from which the wife is altogether 
shut out." 

This plucky lady was still an orthodox Hindu, and partook 
at the table of nothing but fruit and such light food as her 
religion allowed her to eat in the presence of strangers ; but 
she was determined that she would live alongside of her husband 
as far as possible in all his life, and be a help to him after the 
manner of some of the good English ladies that she knew, and 
after the manner also of some of the famous ladies of early 
Indian story. She did go to England with her husband. She 
thoroughly enjoyed her visit to that country ; and she set 
herself to write a little book in Marathi to explain to the women 
of her country the life of England as she had seen it. 

Curiously enough this history was practically repeated in the 
life of another Indian lady who was a great friend of my wife 



his 
It 
n- 

to 

t 
t 

e 
s 







'it 
is 

il" 

2! 



1:1 



INDIAN LADIES 107 

in Bengal. The Maharani Adhirani of Bardwan, when she 
found that her young husband was determined to take his 
proper place in social and political life as the senior Hindu 
nobleman of Bengal, determined also for herself that she would 
take her place beside him and render him all the assistance in 
her power. She applied herself to the study of English manners 
and the English language ; and in a wonderfully short time 
had stepped out in all dignity and modesty from her accustomed 
seclusion into the social life of Bengal. She has been the hostess 
at great entertainments, at which His Excellency the Viceroy 
and Lady Minto, the Lieutenant-Grovemor of Bengal, and other 
notable persons in Bengal life, along with their wives, and along 
with the leaders of both European and Indian society, have 
been gathered together. She takes the deepest interest in all 
her husl^and's doings ; and the relations in which they stand 
to one another, and the manner in which they treat one another 
and live their lives before the public are an example to all the 
people. Let this movement but go on, and one cannot doubt 
that the progress of social enlightenment and moral elevation 
of the people wiD proceed with ever-increasing rapidity ; for 
the principal defect in the social system of India for these many 
years past has been this, that the women's cause has not 
developed equally with the men's. 

The education of women is still deplorably backward. The 
most recent figures show that education has reached only a 
fringe of the female population. The figures of the last census 
in Bengal show only '67 per cent of women, against 11*86 of 
men, as *' literates." This is fairly typical of the state of 
things throughout India. For the size of the community 
it need hardly be said that the Christian natives of India 
have a vast preponderance of educated women ; but the 
general desire for the education of women is spreading, not 
only among themselves, but, what is far more important, 
among the men. The men have hitherto, to a very large extent, 
been either wholly indifferent, or even antagonistic, to the 
education of women The best of them are beginning to change 



108 INDIAN LADIES 

their minds on the subject, and to realise how important it is 
for their own work and for the development of the peoples 
of India that the women should be educated. The number 
of female students in institutions of all kinds is increasing 
more rapidly every year. 

In the parts of India where the parda system prevails, it was 
naturally an almost insuperable barrier to the progress of educa- 
tion among the women. Only the intimate and sympathetic 
knowledge of the people possessed by the missionaries led them 
to adopt and advocate what is known as the Zenana System of 
education. The late Dr. Thomas Smith, then a missionary in Cal- 
cutta, was the first earnestly and determinedly to advocate that 
system. It was surrounded with difficulties ; but he saw that 
they were not insuperable. It was clear to his mind that 
agents for the education of these women must be themselves 
women ; and, through the kindly relations which the mani- 
festation of the spirit of the Christ by the missionaries estab- 
lished between them and the people of the country, it became 
possible for the lady teachers sent out or employed by the 
t]!hristian Churches to find their way into the seclusion of the 
Zenanas. They undertook the great task of enlightening their 
Indian sisters, and interesting them in matters of vital moment 
with which they had hitherto been unacquainted. The pro- 
gress of education within the Zenanas has been of the utmost 
importance; €md it has been successful to a degree which 
could hardly have been anticipated by any ordinary thinker, 
and was certainly very far from being anticipated by many 
who were called on to judge the system and to give it their 
countenance. 

Side by side with this system of Zenana instruction the 
girls' schools which had been started before that system was 
evolved have been continued and extended ; but, beneficial 
as they were, they were quite inefficient without the Zenana 
System, inasmuch as the little girls who had acquired a certain 
amount of education in the schools were carried off at far too 
early an age to the seclusion and ignorance of the Zenana. 



INDIAN LADIES 109 

There they found an atmosphere altogether hostile to the 
maintenance and development of their education. The elder 
ladies, with whom they were brought into contact, were too 
often entirely ignorant and even despised the education of 
which they had none themselves, and the necessity for which 
they failed to understand. 

When these girls were pursued into the Zencmas by the 
Zenana teachers, and when the elder ladies themselves were 
subjected to the kindly enlightening influence of these teachers, 
things began greatly to improve ; and the progress of education 
among the women is much greater than the statistics them* 
selves can show. There is great reluctance to make known the 
facts connected with Zenana life. Perhaps the highest tribute to 
the system which the missionaries introduced was paid when the 
Indian gentlemen of Bengal, during my time, urged the Govern- 
ment to press forward with female education, and emphatically 
declared that the system to be adopted was the system which 
the missionaries had proved to be so successful. It is earnestly 
to be hoped that the Grovemment will, in the system of aided 
female education, give full and fair play to the great missionary 
agencies to which the people of India already owe so much. 

There was one very melancholy feature of that part of the 
recent unrest in Bengal which was tinged with sedition, namely, 
that the influence of the ladies of the family was sometimes 
exercised against the peace. I do not know that this was by 
any means very extensive. I am inclined to think that it 
was not ; but where it existed it was very strongly marked. 
We knew from our secret information that there were some- 
times ladies* meetings held, in which sympathy was extended 
even to anarchists who had been guilty of murder, and in 
which ladies gathered together in the Zenanas were urged 
to do all that they could to advance the cause of the wicked 
and mischievous propaganda. 

I was once talking to a friend of mine who, though a member 
of what is called the National Congress, was not an extremist ; 
for he was very clearly of opinion that in the interests of India it 



110 INDIAN LADIES 

was necessary for an indefinite period to maintain British rule. 
I mentioned to him this information that we had, and he told 
me that there was some truth in it. I asked him for an ex- 
planation. He said that it was due to three causes. First, 
there was the generally: impressionable character of women, 
especially when they were uneducated and unacquainted with 
the life of the world. Secondly, there was the natural sympathy 
of a woman with a mother whose son had been laid hold of 
by the law for a crime into which he had been led by senti- 
ments, however mistaken and perverse, of love of country, 
and by which his life had become forfeit to the law. Thirdly, 
it was due to forgetfulness of what they owe to the British 
Government. On this last point his statement was very strong. 
He told me that, though now an elderly man, he remembered 
weU how his mother and grandmother had impressed on him 
in his youth the sense of peace and security which the British 
Grovemment had brought to the homes of the people, how 
they spoke with strong affection of that Government, and of 
the great lady who ruled over the British Empire in her home 
across the black water. He also expressed strongly his regret 
that these memories were passing away, and that misrepre- 
sentations of the character cmd results of British rule were 
being introduced into the homes of the people. No man who 
knows anything of human nature generally, or of human 
nature in India in particular, will fail to realise how great is a 
mother's influence over her children under anything like normal 
conditions of family life, and how great is the importance of 
securing that influence in favour of that which is in the highest 
interests of the people. It is one of the saddest facts connected 
with the writings of a seditious press, that they are often all 
that the son of a proud Hindu mother has to read to her in her 
seclusion. The poison spreads farther and sinks deeper than 
we sometimes realise. 



CHAPTER rX 
GRAIN RIOTS IN THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 

IN the end of September, 1896, when I was Commissioner 
of the Nagpur District, we had grain riots in the city 
of Nagpur and in different parts of the District, which 
were in their origin and principal features of a somewhat 
interesting and instructive nature. There was famine in the 
north of the Province, that is in the Jubbulpore Division, 
as well as in the adjoining parts of the North-west Provinces. 
There was no famine in the Nagpur Division, but the prices of 
grain were very high. The reason of this was partly the demand 
for the export of grain from that part of the Province to the 
famine-stricken parts, and partly the determination of the 
.grain merchants to hold up their grain in hope of still 
higher prices when the famine elsewhere should have de- 
veloped. There i^as some distress occasioned by these high 
prices. People with fixed incomes found it hard to pur- 
chase for themselves even the necessaries of life; and there 
was a great deal of ill-feeling in the community against the 
grain merchants. 

It was ascertained in the inquiries which were made later 
that a number of the badnuuhes^ of Nagpur had set them- 
selves to foment this ill-feeling and to incite the people to rise 
against the grain-sellers and take their stock by force. The 
object of these badmashes was to stir up a riot and incite an 
attack on the grain merchants' shops, in the hope that, while 
the rioters were possessing themselves of grain, they might 
take advantage of the disturbance of the peace to break into 

* Badma'ash is a man of evil life, alio a habitual criminal. 
Ill 



112 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

the treasuries and secure the bullion and valuables belonging 
to the merchants. The rumour was very carefuUy and secretly 
circulated among the people that the Government would be 
favourable to any measure* the object of which was to bring 
the grain merchants to their senses. It was stated that the 
paternal Government deeply sympathised with the people in 
the distress occasioned by high prices, and reprobated the 
selfish and unprincipled conduct of the grain merchants in 
seeking to make large profits out of the misery of their fellow- 
countrymen. The people were told that Government would 
not tolerate any prolonged disturbance, but was quite willing 
to have the grain dealers robbed of a certain amount of their 
grain, provided that the disturbance did not last more than 
two or three hours, by which time it would be possible to give 
them a sound lesson without too seriously injuring them. 
These extraordinary statements were received without doubt 
by a large number of ignorant persons ; and riots in Nagpur city 
and in several towns in the District were the result. 

On Saturday, 10th September, there was an unimportant 
fracas in the Sanichari Bazar. There were only two policemen 
present, and they fled. The rioters had a noisy quarrel with 
the grain-sellers and seized some grain and then dispersed. 
The far more important Bazar, the Itwari^ Bazar, was held 
on the following day and passed off without disturbance. No 
particular importance was therefore attached by the District 
officers to what had occurred on the Saturday, and it is probable 
that the incitements to general rioting were more systematically 
given after that date, and that Monday, 28th September, was 
fixed for simultaneous risings throughout the District. I was 
at the time on a visit to the Balaghat District of the Division, 
where there were some signs of approaching distress. The 
Deputy Commissioner of that District had invited me to come 
and consult with him as to the measures to be taken there. 

* Sanfchor is Satiuday, and Itwar is Sunday. The basars are named from the 
day on which the weekly market is hekl or used to be held when the baiar was 
named. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 118 

The Nagpur District was in the hands of a very junior oflScer. 
Mr. Needham, the permanent incumbent of the office of Deputy 
Commissioner, was away on " privilege leave/' ♦ As the 
vacancy was a very temporary one the senior assistant, Mr. 
Blenkinsop, a civilian of about three years standing, had been 
placed in charge of the District. He was then a young officer 
of great promise, which has since been manifestly fulfilled in 
several important posts under Gk^vemment ; and he showed 
by his tact and judgment throughout the trying experiences 
of the riots that he was even then not unfit for the charge of 
an important District at a critical time. 

In consequence of the disturbance on Saturday the 19th, 
and of the reports which he received regarding the high prices 
of grain in the Bazar and the consequent irritation of the 
• people, especially of the Koshtis (or weavers), Mr. Blenkinsop 
agreed to meet the merchants and some leading representatives 
of the other classes at the Town Hall on Wednesday, 28rd 
September, to discuss the state of affairs. When he reached 
the Town Hall he found all the leading Baniyasf and about 
six or seven hundred people assembled. There was also a very 
considerable crowd outside the Hall. The meeting was held in 
view of the Budhwari:^ Bazar which was established in the 
open space in firont of the Town Hall, and not in the Budhwari 
Mahallaf itself. Mr. Blenkinsop, who had previously written 
to me for advice on the subject, explained that he as the 
representative of Government could not interfere with trade ; 
but he suggested that it might be well for both parties to 
appoint representatives and discuss the matter with a view to 
an amicable understanding. This was done, and certain rates 
were voluntarily fixed for that day. Every one seemed satisfied 
with this voluntary arrangement, and the Bazar passed off 
without any sign of trouble. 

The arrangement did not, however, work well for more than 

• " Privilege leave " is ehoft leave or holiday on full pay. 

t Baniya is a shopkeeper, usually a grain-dealer. 

t Budhw&r is Wednesday. 

} Mahalla is a ward or part of a town. 

I 



114 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

a day or two. Complaints were soon heard that the middle 
men were not adhering to the prices that had been fixed and 
were also adulterating their grain, and wetting it. These com- 
plaints were submitted to the Deputy Commissioner personally, 
and by post to myself. I had seen Mr. Chitnavis, C.I.E., Presi- 
dent of the Municipality, and one or two other leading citizens, 
and we had consulted as to the best means of relieving such 
distress as existed, and allajing irritation. 

The native gentlemen generally advocated the compulsory 
reduction of rates by Government, and the prohibition of the 
export of grain. They were told that such measures, though 
certainly consistent with oriental ideas, were entirely opposed 
to the policy of Government, and could not be adopted. We 
discussed the propriety of having relief works for those who 
could not earn enough to secure the necessaries of life at current 
prices; but the unanimous opinion of our Indian advisers 
was that there was no such distress as to require this measure, 
and that those who were most discontented would certainly not 
come to the relief works. It was ultimately decided by the 
Deputy Commissioner, in consultation with his Indian advisers, 
to hold a small meeting of the leading citizens and merchants 
on Monday, the 28th, to discuss the matter after further inquiry 
and consideration. I was informed of this decision and agreed 
to be present at the proposed meeting. I therefore returned to 
head-quarters on Saturday, 26th September. 

On the morning of the following day the Tahsildar informed 
the Deputy Commissioner that irritation was very acute, and 
that disorder was apprehended at the Itwari Bazar. At 
breakfast the Deputy Commissioner received a letter from Mr. 
Chitnavis, saying that the grain merchants had abstained 
from opening their shops in the Itwari Bazar, and that there 
was much discontent in consequence. No doubt the merchants 
were afraid of violence ; but their action increased the irritation 
of the people by making it impossible for them to secure the 
necessary supplies of grain. A good number of people came to 
the Deputy Commissioner's house along with the letter. Mr. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT lis 

Chitnavis suggested that the Municipal Committee might buy 
grain and sell it to the people. There had also been a proposal 
that some well-to-do merchants should bring in large consign- 
ments of grain and try to break up the alleged combination 
of grain-sellers to raise prices and to keep them high. In his 
letter, Mr. Chitnavis said that he would await the Deputy 
Commissioner's reply at the Town Hall^ which was about 
two miles from the Deputy Commissioner's house. Mr. Blen- 
kinsop went down as soon as he could ; but Mr. Chitnavis had 
gone home to breakfast. 

News was brought to Mr. Blenkinsop at the Town Hall that 
there was a threatening of grain looting at the Budhwari 
Mahalla, where there was no open Bazar that day, but where 
there were many important merchants' houses and shops. 
He rode off in that direction with the City Superintendent of 
Police. They learned, however, that the rioters had moved off 
towards the Itwari Bazar, the unopened shops in which were 
understood to be full of grain which had been brought in for 
that day's market. They therefore pushed on to that Bazar. 
When they got there, they were met by an angry crowd demand- 
ing that grain should be supplied. They had come to the 
Bazar to buy, and there was no grain on sale. Mr. Blenkinsop 
despatched a messenger to the District Superintendent of 
Police to bring up some of the Special Reserve Police to protect 
the Bazar, and, meanwhile, he promised the people that he 
would try to make arrangements to have grain in the market 
by 4 p.m. if they would have patience. This promise was 
undoubtedly required, for there was no grain available. It was 
also quite a reftsonable promise ; for the mercihants professed 
themselves to be qiiite willing to bring grain if they were 
protected from violence. It was because they had heard very 
credible rumours of an intention to plunder the Bazar that they 
had not opened their shops. 

It was very much to be regretted that, instead of adopting 
this course, which they must have known to be likely to cause 
intense public irritation, they did not inform the Deputy 



116 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

Commissioner of the rumour and of their intention. Owing to 
their failure to do so, he had no chance of taking the necessary 
precautions to prevent lawlessness. The police were too remiss 
or too sympathetic with the people to give any warning. It 
is a very striking thing how often in India serious trouble 
may be brewing without any one going out of his way to inform 
the authorities. Experience of this kind was met with in 
the north of India during the cow-killing riots, in Behar during 
the tree-marking disturbances, and in Lower Bengal during the 
incidents of the boycott movement. European officers and 
their most trustworthy Indian subordinates of superior rank 
require themselves to live among the people and in dose touch 
with them, if they are to be ready for any mischief that may 
arise. 

Some time after Mr. Blenkinsop had reached the Itwari 
Bazar a large crowd, headed by three or four young men 
brandishing lathis ^ marched into the Bazar, down the main 
road through the city. On finding the Deputy Conunissioner 
there, these laihiyals'\ lowered their clubs and appeared to mix 
with the crowd. Mr. Blenkinsop remained patiently at the 
Itwari Police outpost, awaiting the arrival of the District 
Superintendent of Police. The latter officer, Mr. Stuart, 
arrived soon after 8 p.m. with about twenty of the Reserve 
Police. Before it was possible to begin sales, however, news 
was brought that plundering had begun in the Shukrwari:^ 
Bazar ; and Mr. Blenkinsop sent Mr. Stuart there with some 
of the Reserve men, remaining himself to maintain order in the 
Itwari Bazar. At the same time, he sent me a note suggesting 
that troops might be called out to maintain order. I did not 
receive this note until hours later, when I was myself at work 
suppressing the disorder in the Shukrwari Bazar. Mr. Blenkin- 
sop did not think then that the people in the Itwari Bazar 
would proceed to extreme measures ; for they had listened to 

* L&th! is a heavy club often moanted and weighted with metaL 

t L&thlyal is a man armed with a club, generally a professional raflSan. 

t Shukrwar is Friday. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 117 

him quietly, and had apparently accepted his advice to exercise 
a little patience. Soon afterwards he received a report to the 
effect that there was a rising in the Budhwari Mahalla, and that 
the City Superintendent had been killed. The latter statement 
was not true ; but it was true that there was serious rioting 
at Budhwari. He therefore sent a messenger direct to the 
Fort urging the immediate despatch of a detachment of Madras 
Infantry to his assistance. 

Meanwhile, at 8.80 p.m. a messenger had come to me from 
Mr. Chitnavis with a hurried note saying that there were 
crowds of discontented and riotous persons led by laihiyals 
threatening to plunder the town, and that his own house was 
in danger. At the same time several grain merchants from the 
town drove at express speed into my compound with the 
information that the city people had risen against the mer- 
chants. At that moment I was talking to Mr. Coxon, Deputy 
Commissioner of Chanda, and Mr. Mitchell, Inspector of Schools, 
who were in Nagpur at a Conference,- and were staying at my 
house. They offered to come with me to the city, which was 
about two miles distant. We started as soon as my wagonnette 
could be got ready, for only two of my horses had returned from 
camp. On the way we met Chuni Lall (the Agent of Rai 
Bahadur Bansilal Abirchand, the great Kamptee banker) 
in a pony tonga, Seth Agyaram's messenger in a carriage, and 
several other terrified merchants, who told us that the shops 
in New Shukrwari Bazar were being broken into, that the 
pohce had fled, and that the whole of that part of the city was 
in the hands of a mob led by laihiyals and badmashes. This 
Bazar is the richest in Nagpur and contains the business 
residences of some of the most important money-lenders and 
grain dealers. It was evident that there was a rising of some 
importance in the city. 

I turned into the Bank of Bengal, which we were just 
passing. It lies at the foot of the hill on which the Sitabaldi 
Fort stands, about half a mile from the Conunissioner's old 
house, and between it and the city. There I wrote a note to 



118 GRAIN RIOTS m 

Lieutenant Jeffcoat, in command of the detachment of Madras 
Infantry, to send down men to my assistance at once. We then 
drove on to the city as fast as we could, leaving the troops to 
follow. At the end of the new Shukrwari road, as we entered the 
city by the Juma Darwaza,^ soon after 4 p.m. we found a small 
body of about twelve or sixteen unarmed Indian police huddled 
together in terror. The road was crowded with a vast concourse 
of people, among whom could be seen men armed with lathis. 
I inquired where the Deputy Commissioner was, and was in- 
formed that he was with the District Superintendent of Police 
in the Itwari Bazar dealing with a similar rising there. I 
left a note with one constable for Lieutenant Jeffcoat asking 
him to send half of his men on to the Deputy Conmiissioner, 
and half into the Shukrwari Bazar after me. I then shouted 
to the police, so that many of the people heard me, informing 
them that the military were on their way to the city, and order- 
ing them to form up behind me and follow my carriage at the 
double. 

I drove my carriage at full speed down the street to where 
the shops had been broken into and were being plundered. 
The crowd, in a somewhat friendly manner, opened out before 
us. Many of them recognised me and saluted quite respect- 
fully, even some of those who were carrying away little bundles 
of grain. Meeting with no resistance, we were soon at the 
grain merchants' quarter. We found the shops broken open, the 
doors even smashed off their hinges, the rioters in undisputed 
possession, and some of the shops completely plundered. The 
work of spoliation was making rapid progress when we arrived. 
The rioters thought that we had a large force behind us, for 
the information I had given to the police spread like wild-fire. 
We leaped from the carriage and rushed into several shops 
which were entirely in the hands of the looters. Wherever 
we appeared panic seized them. We knocked down a number 
of the ringleaders, tied them up in their own pagaris f and 

* Jum'S is the Muhammadan name for Friday. DarwSca means gate (or door), 
t Pagar! is a long doth wound round the head, a turban. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 119 

deposited them in the strong room of a shop, in custody of 
some of the police imtil assistance should arrive. The noise 
in the street prevented people in one shop knowing what was 
being done in another, and we had forty or fifty prisoners by 
the time assistance came. At least ^one half of these were 
ringleaders armed with lathis, and carrying not grain, but 
bidlion and jewels as their booty. All of them were strong, 
well-nourished men. By this time we had emptied the shops 
of the looters and closed them, and were proceeding to clear 
the street. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Stuart, who had been sent by the Deputy 
Commissioner to this Bazar, arrived. We made over charge 
of the prisoners to him, and as there had been no signs of 
organised resistance we determined to leave him there and 
push on to the help of the Deputy Commissioner. As soon, 
however, as we had turned to go, a determined attack was 
made by the street rioters on the District Superintendent. We 
fortunately heard the alarm and turned back. We fastened 
the prisoners to each other by their own head-dresses and by 
ropes, and then fastened the foremost of them to the carriage. 
We directed about half a dozen of the small force of Reserve 
Police to remain as a guard in Shukrwari, and the rest (about 
six men) to follow close behind the prisoners with fixed bayonets 
and loaded rifles ; and in this order we drove off to the Kot- 
wali.* The crowd opened up to make way for my wagonette 
and the strange procession of prisoners, whom the wagonette 
in front and the armed police behind ke|)t at a smart trot all 
the way. 

The Kotwali was not far from the Shukrwari Bazar, and 
we soon deposited our prisoners in the cells, from whence they 
were removed the next day to the Central Jail under charge 
of a military escort. By this time it was about 5 p.m., and the 
men of the Madras In&ntry, who had started with great 
promptitude, under Captain Jeffcoat, joined us here. While 

« The Kotwal is tiie Chief Police Officer of the dtj ; and tiie KotwaU is his 



120 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

we were putting our prisoners in the cells we received news 
that a mob led by lathiyals was marching on Mr. Chitnavis' 
house. We left some of the Madras Infantry men to guard 
the Kotwaliy and took as many as we could (about a dozen) 
in my wagonette. I requested Lieutenant Jeffcoat, meanwhile^ 
to march directly to the relief of the Deputy Commissioner. 
We drove off straight to the Shukrwari Bazar as fast as my 
horses could gallop. The sight of the Sepoys with us was, 
however, quite enough, and we only saw the mob disperse and 
the lathiyals vanish. 

We left a few of our men as a guard at Mr. Chitnavis' house 
and went the shortest way to the Itwari Bazar. We found that 
organised looting had started there, about half an hour before 
^ our arrival. The Deputy Commissioner had not sufficient force 
to prevent it throughout the Bazar, though he had kept the 
peace at the part where he was. While he kept the peace in 
one place the plunderers were at work in another. The leaders 
were armed with lathis and house-breaking instruments, but 
only a few shops had been opened. We passed into the Bazar 
just ahead of Lieutenant Jeffcoat and his men. We formed 
up all together, rushed the Bazar and arrested some ring- 
leaders. The police, seeing that they had European officers 
with them and that the troops were close behind, soon quelled 
the disturbance without any bloodshed. 

There was, however, a grave risk that the rioters, whose 
defeat had been due to panic, might rally and give very serious 
trouble. No one who has seen the large bodies of men armed 
with lathis, who were the main agents in the disturbances, or 
the sympathetic attitude assumed for the most part by the 
crowd, could have doubted that the danger was decidedly 
serious. We therefore asked Lieutenant Jeffcoat to send as 
many men as he could spare of the Lancashire regiment, a 
small detachment of which was at the Fort, to assist in main- 
taining the peace of the city. He sent us twenty-five men. 
These were kept at the Kotwali as a reserve and to guard 
the prisoners, who now numbered ninety men. The men of 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 121 

the Madras Infantry detachment were picketed in the principal 
markets for the night. No further looting occurred. 

On Monday morning disturbances broke out in various parts 
of the city, and mobs armed with lathis were seen to be ready 
for mischief. Meanwhile, if the outbreak had been renewed, it 
would, in all probability, have been more serious than be- 
fore. The mob would have come prepared to resist. Mr. 
Blenkinsop therefore asked Major Graves and Captain Bid- 
dulph to bring out such of the Bengal Nagpur Railway Rifles 
and Nagpur Volunteer Rifles respectively as they could. These 
were sent down most promptly to assist us. At the same time 
Mr. Blenkinsop, with my concurrence, telegraphed to Kamptee 
to the General Officer commanding the District to send some 
men of the Lancashire regiment and of the Madras Infantry 
to relieve the men from Sitabaldi, whom it was undesirable 
to keep away from the Fort. Patrols moved about the city all 
night ; the mob was overawed, and all remained quiet. On 
Tuesday we sent back the European troops and Volunteers, and 
retained only a few of the Native Infantry as guards in the 
principal Bazars, with a reserve at the Kotwali. From this 
time there was no renewal of the disturbance. All was quiet 
in the city. 

The main causes of the disturbance were undoubtedly : (1) 
the discontented state of the Koshti^ population, whom the 
mills had deprived of a great part of the profits of their own 
peculiar calling, and who did not readily turn to any other ; 
(2) the rise in prices owing to the want of rain and the demand 
for food grains from the North- Western Provinces and parts 
of B^igal ; (8) the export of grain which led the people to fear 
that there would soon be no grain at all in Nagpur ; and (4) 
the efforts of the badmashea to fan the flame of resentment 
against the grain-sellers and rich merchants, so as to create for 
themselves an opportunity for robbery. It was very curious 
to find on later inquiry that the principal prisoners arrested 
were all of bad character, some of them having several previous 
* The Koahtf caste is the great weaying caste of the Nagpur territory. 



122 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

convictions against them, and that one of the principal pro- 
moters of the disturbance was an ill-conditioned distant relative 
of the old Bhonsla family of Nagpur, who was well known for 
encouraging crime and reaping proJ5.t from it. 

On the whole, the rioters were to all appearance fairly 
well nourished. There was no exceptional distress in the town. 
Attention had been drawn very particularly to destitute 
people from distant famine-stricken parts of the country passing 
through the town ; but there was no local distress of an ex- 
ceptional character, and nothing that private charity was un« 
able fully to meet. Almost all the arrests made in putting 
down the riots were of able-bodied and well-fed men, mainly 
Koshtis, low-class Musstilmans, and professional bad charac- 
ters. There were many poor people and women following in the 
wake of these, but we drove them away without arresting 
them. The rioters were mainly ill-disposed persons bent on 
plunder. But for the prompt action of the military authorities, 
and the fact that the civil officers engaged in restoring peace 
were generally well known and popular among the people, 
there would undoubtedly have been determined resistance and 
probably considerable loss of life. As it was, there was really 
very little violence. Not a shot was fired or a bayonet used. 
The only death that occurred was that of an old and feeble 
grain merchant, who was seized by a fit owing to his terror, and 
passed away. Our sudden arrival on the scene, speedily 
followed by the troops, created a panic and quelled the dis- 
turbance in the city in an incredibly short space of time. 

Although it was promptly quelled in the city, however, the 
disturbance spread to surrounding villages. There seems little 
doubt, indeed, as subsequent inquiry showed, that plans were 
made for a simultaneous rising in several towns on a later day 
in the week, and that the rising in the city on the Sunday was 
fortunately premature. When I was in the Kotwali shortly 
^ter noon on Monday, news was brought of shops being 
plundered in Paldi, a beautiful old village of considerable 
wealth, about three or four miles along the Great Eastern Road. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 128 

I started off at once with a small body of Bengal Nagpur Rail- 
way Rifles ; but we were too late to prevent the plundering of 
the shops of one or two Marwari grain merchants, and unfor- 
tunately as we had no mounted troops or police we were un- 
able to follow the rioters across country. This was the only 
serious plundering that occurred near Nagpur. There was 
also an attempt to plunder the Bazar in Kamptee, which was 
frustrated by the military authorities. 

On Tuesday the 29th, a telegram from the Tahsildar of 
Ramtek, a subdivision about twenty-seven miles from Nagpur, 
was received about noon at the Kotwali, reporting a rising 
there with serious danger to the Government Treasury, Mr- 
Cleveland, the Commissioner of Excise, was with the Deputy 
Conunissioner and me at the time. He kindly consented to go 
oft to Ramtek at once with any mounted men that the 
General Officer commanding at Kamptee could spare. A 
telegram was at once despatched to that officer, who placed 
twenty-five men from the Battery at our disposal. This 
he did, no doubt, with the more alacrity, because there 
were then one or two European officers and ladies taking 
a holiday at the beautiful Bungalow on the top of Ramtek 
HiU. 

Kamptee lies on the way to Ramtek, and Mr. Cleveland, 
who had driven out in my dogcart, found the men ready with 
an empty saddle for himself, and before night he was clearing 
the streets of Ramtek of the rioters. He found that the town 
had been entirely in the hands of a mob of some fifteen himdred 
persons. The attack on the shops had been deliberately planned. 
Their doors had been broken open and in some cases removed 
bodily. They had been plundered of grain, sugar, oil and 
money. The police had been unable to repress disorder, and 
the merchants had been panic-stricken and unable to defend 
their property. Nineteen ringleaders were quietly arrested, 
some of whom were prepared for further action next day. More 
arrests were made subsequently. Mr. Cleveland summarily 
punished some of the less important rioters, and kept the rest 



124 GRAIN RIOTS IN 

for more severe punishment afterwards. Amongst the arrests 
made were two Tahsili Chaprasis.^ 

Similar risings occurred at practically the same time in 
Khapa, Umrer, Katol, and other towns of the district, and 
officers of different departments were despatched with police 
officers in tongasf to restore peace. Some well-to-do people 
were among the ringleaders. In Khapa two members of the 
Municipal Committee were amongst those arrested for having 
incited the mob and led them in their plundering. The officers 
sent out were instructed to arrest the ringleaders in the riots, 
and either to punish them summarily or to reserve them for 
punishment ; to direct the police to take special precautions 
against plundering in the Bazars ; to urge the malguzars (or 
village head men) and villagers to defend their property, 
and especially their seed grain ; and to do all they could 
to restore order and confidence. No doubt the rioting in 
the interior of the district was partly planned beforehand, 
and partly due to exaggerated and coloured reports of 
what had occurred in Nagpur. The people were generally 
alarmed, and the ill-disposed were encouraged in lawless- 
ness. 

The subordinate police failed in their duty in not giving 
warning of what was about to occur, and were quite inadequate 
to suppress the disturbances. They were ignorant of what 
was about to occur, or perhaps somewhat sympathetic. They 
were wanting in courage, and not imf avourable to the rioters. It 
is very seldom that the police fail in this way ; but the cir- 
cumstances were such as fully to explain in the East the 
rapidity with which disorder spread, and the measure of diffi- 
culty that was found in restoring the peace. The sudden raid 
of Mr. Cleveland on Ramtek with a body of mounted European 
troops removed the impression that these plunderers could 
commit crimes with impunity in the remoter parts of the 
District, and the visit of European officers to all parts of the 

* Cftoprof is a badge. A eAoproH is an orderly or mesaenger. 

t Tonga {or tanj^) is a light two-wheded cart drawn by ponies or bullocks. 



THE NAGPUR DISTRICT 125 

District had an excellent effect. No plundering worth men- 
tioning occurred after the dOth. 

It was somewhat painful to see how thoroughly panic-stricken 
the most respectable people of Nagpur, and especially the 
merchants, were in presence of these disturbances. One does 
not blame them for some anxiety, for the aspect of the mob 
was undoubtedly at times very serious ; but what surprises one 
is that there was hardly any real attempt made by any one 
to defend his property where the riots occurred. This is due, 
partly, no doubt, to a certain want of courage and vigour on 
the part of these classes in India generally, and also, and 
even more, to their distinctly law-abiding character, the 
objection, if not fear, that they have to take the law into their 
own hands, and the natural inclination to look to the Govern- 
ment for protection. This is a feature of Indian life that we 
have to take into accoimt at every turn. If we want the peace 
to be maintained we must maintain it ourselves. 

Sometimes we do succeed in getting men to defend themselves 
against dacoits^ and robbers ; but as a rule they look to us in 
every respect for their defence. There are always some dis- 
tinguished exceptions, and there were some on this occasion. 
I well remember several Indian gentlemen to whom public 
acknowledgment was made of their plucky and devoted 
assistance. Two of these especially recur to my mind, both 
of them Brahmans from the Bombay side, Rao Bahadur 
Bhargo Rao, an Extra Assistant Commissioner, and Rao 
Bahadur Bapurao Dada, a leading legal practitioner and 
Vice-President of the Municipality. These two men and others 
were present throughout the riotous scenes in the city, did 
their best to keep the people quiet and to restore order, and 
were indefatigable in the assistance they rendered to their 
European brother officers and friends. It is well worthy of 
record that neither of them suffered in the least, either in his 
profession or in his social popularity, by the vigour and loyalty 
which he displayed. 

* Dacoit (or dakaii) is a member of a band of robbers. 



CHAPTER X 
THE KHOND RISING IN KALAHANDI 

WHEN the territories of Nagpur came under our rule, 
owing to the failure of Rajah Raghoji Bhonsia to 
adopt an heir, it was determined by the Government 
of India to form a new Non-regulation Province consisting of 
these territories with the addition of certain adjoining tracts. 
This Province was called "the Central Provinces/* and was 
formed by the union of the old Nagpur Province and the Sangor 
and Nerbudda Territories. It included the Vindhyan table-land 
Districts, the Nerbudda Districts with their great wheat-field, 
the Nagpur plain with its cotton and rice, and the Chhattisgarh 
Division, a low plateau of red soil forming the Districts of 
Raipur and Bilaspur, to which was added the Uriya District of 
Sambalpur. Of this Division I was appointed Commissioner in 
1888, in succession to my old friend Mr. J. W. Chisholm, who 
had been Settlement Officer of the Bilaspur District, and, 
therefore, knew that District as intimately as it was possible for 
any man to know his charge. He had also, as is the manner 
of men trained in the Settlement school, a very intimate 
knowledge of the vernacular dialects of that part of the country, 
a great belief in moving about among the villages in camp, and 
a thorough and sympathetic acquaintance with the people. 

The Chhattisgarh Division consisted of two great parts, the 
one being the British territory consisting of the three Districts 
above named, and the other the Feudatory Territories of four- 
teen ruling Chiefs, each of whom was then nominally attached for 
purposes of supervision to one or other of these three Districts. 
The area of the British territory was 25,000 square miles, 

126 



THE KHOND RISING 127 

and that of the fourteen Feudatory States 26»000 square miles. 
There were no railways in those days over any part of the 
Division, the only railway communication being a narrow-gauge 
line, opened about five years earlier, between Raj-Nandgaon 
(the capital of the Feudatory State of Nandgaon, which is in the 
extreme west of the Chhattisgarh Division) and Nagpur the 
capital of the Province. The whole of this vast territory of over 
50,000 square miles was, therefore, under the «ole charge of 
the Conunissioner of Chhattisgarh, assisted by three District 
Magistrates, until events occurred which led to the appointment 
of a political officer to the charge of the Feudatory States. 
The Division was then remote and backward, sparsely populated 
for the most part, and little known. It was spoken of in 1866 by 
Sir Richard Temple, the first Chief Commissioner of the Central 
Provinces, as " the trackless wilderness of Chhattisgarh " ; 
and he justly prided himself on having made the first road 
with any right to claim such a name running from West to East, 
that is, continuing the Nagpur-Raipur road down to Sambalpur, 
a hundred and sixty miles off. 

It was impossible for any of the District Magistrates or 
** Deputy Commissioners " to become acquainted with the real 
condition of things in the Feudatory States attached to his 
District, if he was effectively to do his duty and discharge his 
responsibility as Magistrate of the British District committed 
to his charge ; and it was equally impossible for the Com- 
missioner to do more than pay a fiying visit to a few out of the 
fourteen Native States in the course of each year. The result 
was that, although a good deal was known of these States in a 
general way, there was little intimate acquaintance with them. 
The Chiefs, indeed, not infrequently came up to the head- 
quarters of the District to which they were attached, and of 
the Division itself, to meet the Commissioner or Deputy Com- 
missioner and talk over things with him in a friendly way. But 
on the whole the administration of the Feudatory States was 
unsystematic and not very effective ; and what the people had 
of comfort and fairly satisfactory administration was due rather 



128 THE KHOND KISING 

to the remoteness of the jungle villages, the simplicity of their 
manners, and the smallness of their requirements, than to any 
other cause. 

At the time when the Central Provinces came under our 
rule, the present clearly defined distinction between Feuda- 
tories and Zamindars did not exist. All the petty chieftains of 
Chhattisgarh constituted a great class of more or less inde- 
pendent rulers. Their powers and privileges were by no means 
equal. These depended largely on the degree of remoteness of 
the territory of the chief in each case from the centre of sovereign 
authority at Nagput; but the States were all alike in this, 
that while the most important of them was not wholly outside 
of the authority of the permanent power, the least important 
was not in every respect subject to that authority. When the 
authority of the British Government was established in these 
tracts the chieftains were divided into Feudatory Chiefs and 
Zamindars, according to the degree of their powers, as far as 
these could be ascertained by the inquiries instituted under 
the orders of Sir Richard Temple, and also personally under- 
taken by him with his usual energy. 

The Feudatory Chiefs were left to rule their States. The more 
remote among them, having been the most powerful, were 
given authority subject only to the condition that they 
should generally administer their States under the supervision, 
and subject to the advice, of the Chief Commissioner of the 
Central Provinces, and especially that they should not execute 
any sentence of death without his sanction. The western and 
smaller States had similar authority ; but in the exercise of 
their criminal powers any sentence of over seven, years* im- 
prisonment required the confirmation of British authority. 
The authority of all the Chiefs was thus to a greater or less 
degree politically circumscribed and controlled; but from 
the point of view of the law their independence is practically 
absolute, and they are not British subjects. 

The ordinary Zamindars, on the other hand, are British 
subjects, though as a class they have special privileges. Owing 



m KALAHANDI 129 

to the exigences of the administration they were long allowed 
a number of extraordinary privileges, some of which appear at 
first sight incompatible with the position of an ordinary British 
subject; but it is noteworthy that, whenever attention has 
been drawn (as in the matter of police and excise) to the fact 
that any such privilege was inconsistent with the due adminis- 
tration of the law, it has invariably been held that it must be 
either withdrawn or legalised. The whole question of the 
relation of these two classes of Chiefs to the Government 
was generally decided in Sir Richard Temple's time on the 
principle indicated above, namely, that one clear line of demar- 
cation was drawn between those who on account of their high 
powers and privileges under native rule should be regarded as 
more or less independent rulers, under the general control of 
their feudal superior, and those who, though possessing cer- 
tain special privileges, were not rulers at all ; but details were 
worked out, and have continued to be worked out, in accord- 
ance with any later light thrown on the matter and the 
developing requirements of the case. 

As I have said, the authority and control of the British 
Government over the internal administration of the Native 
States was exercised through the Commissioner of the Division 
and the Deputy Commissioner of the District, until certain 
events which occurred in 1878 and 1879. On the 1st January, 
1877, Lord Lytton's great Imperial Durbar was held at Delhi 
for the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India. 
The native chiefs, small and great, from all parts of India were 
invited to be present at this Durbar ; and Chhattisgarh chiefs 
went up to Delhi with the rest. 

Various honours were distributed at Delhi amongst the 
chiefs, and the Chhattisgarh Chief selected for distinction was 
the Rajah of Kalahandi. His is a somewhat important Uriya 
State. He himself was a man of/excellent manners, and of 
more capacity and education than the Chiefs of Chhattisgarh 
generally possessed. He was a man who, on the whole, meant 
well; and he had some idea of administration and a great 



180 THE KHOKD RISING 

desire to improve the status and develop the revenue of his 
State. He was believed to have administered it welU and he 
was recommended for the honour of a salute of nine guns ; to 
which honour none of the Chiefs of Chhattisgarh had up to 
that time been entitled. The recommendation was accepted, 
and the honour bestowed. 

It was not long after this that the Rajah died, and Mr. 
Frederick Berry, of the Indian Civil Service, was appointed 
to go down and inquire into the circumstances of the State 
and report what measures should be taken for its adminis- 
tration during the minority of the heir. Immediately on 
the death of the Rajah, whose personal influence seems to 
have been great, and just as Mr. Berry was taking over 
charge of the State, a deplorable insurrection occurred. 

Subsequent inquiry showed that the measures in the Rajah's 
administration which led up to this rising had been of some 
standing. The cause of the rising was the despair and rage 
with which the simple Khonds, who had been the pioneer 
cultivators of the soil in certain parts of Kalahandi, found 
themselves over-reached and superseded by a far more efficient 
class of agriculturists, known as the Kultas. The Khonds 
are a hardy, war-like race of men, well accustomed to jungle 
life. Their pluck in the presence of wild beasts and their skill 
as hunters are well known ; but their style of agriculture is 
primitive and desultory. They were quite content to live in 
the simplest maimer and from hand to mouth, doing only as 
much as the necessities of the hour seemed to demand. 

The Eultas, on the other hand, were very successful agri- 
culturists of somewhat timid character and of frugal habits. 
They were naturally in many respects much more desirable 
tenants than the Khonds. They were more easily squeezed in 
the matter of rents, so long as the squeezing was done some- 
what judiciously ; and they were able themselves to get a 
great deal more out of the land. The Rajah therefore en- 
couraged them, and gradually the Khonds found themselves 
ousted from the possession of their old villages and fields by 




z 

Pi 

D 
O 



< 



' • • •• 






IN KALAHAM)! 181 

these interlopers of superior agricultural capacity. This led to 
a strong agrarian hatred and jealousy. 

In the middle of May, 1878, a meeting was held at Balwaspur, 
which was attended by a large number of the leading Khonds. 
They determined unanimously to massacre the Kultas. From 
natural reverence for their Chief, whom they indeed wor- 
shipped as an embodiment of the Divinity, they had been 
prevented from entertaining or manifesting any personal 
animosity against him ; but they planned to attack the Euro- 
pean Superintendent of the State, Mr. Berry, and either murder 
him or at least restrain him from interference with their de- 
signs to wreak their vengeance on the Kultas themselves. They 
swore to carry out these designs, and kissed the sacrificial 
tangi (or axe) in token of their resolve. 

The execution of this purpose was remitted to the various 
representatives that each might carry it out in his own neigh- 
bourhood. The result was that over a hundred Kultas were 
murdered, and many more would have perished but for the 
prompt measures taken by the Government and on the spot 
by Mr. Berry, who acted under the supervision and with the 
support of Col. Ward, Commissioner of the Division, and 
dispersed the armed bands of Khonds and rescued the captured 
Kultas. 

In the village of Kalamgaon twenty Kultas were murdered. 
This is a typical case, and the circumstances may be related. 
Four days after the meeting above referred to, news was 
received in Kalamgaon of the murder of Ishwar Gaontiya of 
Asargarh, a leader of the Kultas ; and his fellow caste-men were 
filled with alarm and jHrepared to fiee. They found, however, 
that they were surrounded by armed Khonds, chiefly belonging 
to their own and the neighbouring villages. They were cap- 
tured and huddled together in a house in the village, which 
was guarded all night. Besides placing a strong guard on the 
house, the leading Khonds present promised that, though the 
Kultas might be deprived of their ill-gotten lands and wealth, 
their lives would be spared. Next morning the number of 



182 THE KHOND RISING 

Khonds had largely increased. The number of Kulta prisoners, 
including women and children, was about forty. 

Early on the morning of the 20th May the leading Khonds 
came in and demanded the surrender of all the property 
that the Kultas had. When this had been given up, the 
Khonds prepared to remove their prisoners from the house. 
The latter, who were now convinced that their lives would 
be taken, tried to hide themselves where they could, but 
one after another they were pulled from their hiding-places and 
hurried outside. Here they found hundreds of Khonds collected, 
armed with axes and bows and arrows. The wretched prisoners 
fell at the feet of the leading Khonds and begged them to spare 
their lives ; but they were told that none of the men among 
them would be spared. In the confusion one or two men did 
succeed in effecting an escape to the hills, and their story was 
told before Col. Ward when he made a judicial inquiry into 
the circumstances. The women, however, and most of the 
children were spared. The harrowing details of what followed 
were furnished to Col. Ward by the bereaved women and by 
the Khond prisoners themselves; for the latter were far too 
simple to deny their guilt, and gave what were shown to be 
clear and accurate accounts of what had occurred. 

Twenty Kultas were murdered in cold blood. There may 
have been more ; but twenty murders were proved. One old 
Kulta who had got a little way out of the thickest of the 
confusion was discovered by some of the Khonds. He came 
towards the foremost among their leaders in an attitude of 
supplication, holding grass in his mouth as a token of abject 
submission. The fierce Khond struck off the old man's head 
with one stroke of his axe and filled a small vessel he carried 
with the blood. This he intended to pour upon some of the 
fields belonging to himself and some of his friends, as an 
offering to the earth to secure her boimtiful response to their 
agricultural efforts. The other men were not murdered at 
once ; but the leading Khonds from the various villages 
which they represented were allowed to select victims, who 



IN KALAHANDI 188 

were lewpaay in different directions to be slaughtered in these 
villages. 

One woman, Musamat Sari, the widow of one of the murdered 
Kultas, thus described the capture of herself and family, and 
the events which followed : " My boy Madho was carrying a 
Banghy* on his shoulder ; my husband was carrying our little 
girl ; and my brother-in-law had a basket of our goods. I was 
also carrying a little girl. We were running away from our 
village of Kalamgaon, when we were surrounded by several 
Khonds, led by Ude Khond, all of whom were armed with axes. 
They seized all the things we had with us which they thought 
worth taking; and we were separated and taken in different 
directions, two or three men going with each of us. We begged 
for our lives ; but the men said they were going to kill all the 
Kulta men, and that I would not see my son or my husband 
again. Afterwards I heard that they had taken my husband 
to BiUaikoni and killed him there in the idol's shrine. When 
the men had been carried off the man Ude came to me and asked 
me what I had in my basket. In hopes that he would save my 
boy, I gave him two saris,t some silver jewels, a silver waist- 
bdt, Rs.l08 in cash, and some other things. I gave them to 
him, and implored him to save my boy ; but he took them all 
and ran away ; and my boy was killed. 

** Not knowing what to do, I returned to the village ; but the 
Khonds turned me out saying I was not to go crying about the 
place; so I went away to the nullah, j: Towards night I returned, 
but they again turned me out, saying that the widows would not 
be allowed to remain in the village. I got shelter for the night 
in one of the tolas.§ I never saw my husband or my boy again. 
When my boy was taken away to be killed my two other little 
children were taken from me, but they were afterwards re- 
covered by the Tahsildar of Bhawani Patna. Being very young 
girls they had not been killed." 

* A bamboo pole, with a bundle at each end, carried across the shoulder. 

t A sari 18 a woman's dress or shawl. 

t A nuUah is the bed of a stream or the stream itself. 

i A tola is the hamlet attached to a Tillage. 



184 THE KHOND RISING 

This is a sad story told in simple language, with no attempt 
to enlarge on the miserable details. The widow simply tells 
how she and her family were intercepted in their panic-stricken 
flight ; how the little property they had hurriedly put together 
was offered in vain as the ransom of her son's life ; how her 
husband and son were carried off from before her eyes and killed ; 
and how she was not even allowed to weep for them. It would 
be hard indeed to find a record of greater barbarity, more con- 
temptuous ill-faith, and more ruthless cruelty ; but practically 
the same story was repeated in every case that came before 
the courts in reference to the murder of the Kultas in this 
rising. It will be observed also that the woman particularly 
mentioned that her husband was killed in the shrine of the idol 
of the village to which he was taken. This was characteristic 
of the rising, and was a detail established in almost all the 
cases. 

The rising was not only agrarian ; it was also partly animated 
by superstition and religious fanaticism. The old ceremonies 
connected with human sacrifice which had been common among 
the Khonds in former days, and had been put down with 
difficulty by officers of the British Government some years 
before, were revived in connection with this rising. The men 
were murdered solemnly in cold blood, after having been duly 
anointed and prepared for sacrifice. The huge and terrible 
sacrificial axe was ordinarily used ; and the murderers struggled 
to dip their axes in the blood, and to secure small fragments of 
the bodies of their victims to bury in their fields as an offering 
to the powers of the earth. These details are given to indicate 
the character of the rising. As has been already stated, about 
one hundred Kultas were proved to have been murdered in this 
way ; and there were no doubt many more whose cases did not 
come before the Commissioner and Superintendent of the 
State (Mr. Berry) for inquiry. 

The Khonds determined to attack the camp of the Super- 
intendent, who was marching through the State accompanied 
only by a small body of police. A large number of Khonds set 



IN KALAHANDI 185 

out to attack his camp and take it by surprise. They were 
fortunately met by Gopinath Guru, who had been appointed 
to the post of Tahsildar of Bhawani Patna, the head-quarters 
subdivision of the State. This gentleman was an Uriya Brah- 
man of the highest caste, and of priestly sanctity. He had 
been an officer of the British District of Sambalpur, and was 
selected on account of his administrative capacity and high 
character for the important post to which he had been ap- 
pointed under Mr. Berry. He was a man of distinguished cour- 
age and resource as well as of high probity. 

When he met this armed band of Khonds he was a few miles 
distant from the camp of Mr. Berry. As soon as they came 
in sight, he suspected that they intended to attack that camp. 
He had with him an orderly mounted on a pony. He im- 
mediately dispatched this man to Mr. Berry's camp to warn 
him, and meantime he went out with great courage to meet the 
Khonds and hold them in parley. During that parley he ob- 
served that several of them kept their bows with their poisoned 
arrows on the string, ready to loose the fatal shafts at him should 
he attempt to leave them. He asked them what their intentions 
were; and they told him that they were going to the camp of 
the Superintendent Sahib to take him in charge and prevent 
him from interfering with their vengeance on the Kultas. 

He endeavoured to dissuade them from this purpose and from 
their murderous designs, the folly as well as the wickedness of 
which he tried to impress upon them. The only result was that 
their demeanour towards him became threatening ; but when 
he reminded them of his sanctity and of the danger which, 
according to their own superstition, must be involved in taking 
the life of so high caste a Brahman as he, they desisted from 
their attempt on his life. The result was that an hour or two 
were lost to them. The Superintendent had time to prepare 
for their attack, and they were defeated. The Superintendent 
then sent word to head-quarters to obtain necessary assistance, 
and with such forces as he could collect, proceeded to put down 
the rising. Police, followed soon after by a small detachment of 



186 THE KHOND RISING 

troops, were sent down to his assistance ; an4 the rising was 
suppressed and the ringleaders punished. 

The inquiries which followed indicated such serious discontent 
throughout the State as led the Government to continue the 
deputation of Mr. Berry to Kalahandi, and to set about making 
an Agricultural (or Land Revenue) Settlement in the State and 
providing for its administration with due respect to the existing 
rights of all classes of the population, including the aborigines. 
Those who were actually convicted of murder were, of course, 
punished according to law, due regard being paid to all the cir- 
cumstances in each case ; but when the law had been vindicated 
and peace restored, it was found by no means a difficult task 
for an officer of Mr. Berry's tact and capacity to carry out the 
necessary reforms in the administration. The services which 
he rendered were recognised by Her Majesty, and he was 
created a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, while 
his brave and capable subordinate, Gopinath Guru, received 
the title of Rai Bahadur. 

Soon after this, the Maharajah of the neighbouring State of 
Patna having died and his heir being a child, that State also 
was taken under management by the British Government. 
An Indian gentleman, also an Uriya Brahman of high character 
and proved administrative capacity, was appointed to the 
direct charge of the State under the immediate supervision and 
control of Mr. Berry. When these two States had been settled, 
and their administration had been reformed and raised to as 
satisfactory and efficient a condition as was consistent with 
their resources and with the character of their peoples, it was 
found possible to employ Mr. Berry's services more widely 
among the States of Chhattisgarh. The great capacity which he 
had shown in dealing with the wild tribes and simple peoples in 
these two States marked him out as the very officer required to 
help the Government in setting right abuses which more careful 
attention and more accurate information discovered in almost 
all the States. 

The settlement of these two States and the improvement 



IN KALAHANDI 187 

of their administration took some years of patient and un- 
wearying labour ; but when this work had been accomplished 
it was found possible to leave the charge of them to the Indian 
officers who had assisted in that work, and nothing more was 
required from Mr. Berry but careful supervision and somewhat 
frequent visits to the States. Details were left entirely to the 
Indian officers; and the administration was carried on in such 
a manner and with such expenditure as might reasonably be 
maintained by the llajahs when they received charge of their 
States. Efforts were meanwhile made to train the Rajahs 
for the responsible position which they were to be called upon 
to fill. 

Mr. Berry^s services being thus available, it was determined 
by the Chief Conunissioner of the Central Provinces, with the 
sanction of the Government of India, to appoint him Political 
Agent for the Chhattisgarh Feudatory States. He was to have 
his head-quarters at Raipur, the head-quarters of the Division, 
and he was to exercise on behalf of Government the super- 
vision which it was entitled to exercise over the Feudatory 
States of the whole Division. He was to spend all the open 
season in touring among the States, and so becoming acquainted 
with the Chiefs themselves, with the character of their adminis- 
tration, and with the condition of the people resident in the 
States. His instructions were not to interfere unduly and im- 
necessarily with the power and authority of the Rajahs, and not 
to encourage the people to disregard that power and authority. 
He was instructed to be a friend and adviser to the Chiefs, to 
invite them to meet him at his head-quarters, to visit their 
head-quarters, and to take them with him sometimes on tour, 
so that he might become intimate with them, discuss with them 
freely and fully the principles of administration, and advise 
them in regard to any measures which they were carrying out 
in their States. 

Going about freely among the people, he could ascertain 
whether there was any feeling of discontent, or whether there 
was practical injustice being done. He was not to encourage 



188 THE KHOND RISING 

complaints ; but he was to keep his ears open ; and he was to 
endeavour to soothe discontent, to explain to people smarting 
under a sense of injustice the steps which they should take to 
have the matter righted by the Rajah or his officers, and to 
bring these cases to the notice of the Rajah privately and in a 
friendly way, explaining to him that the parties had been 
referred to him for redress. He was only to take up himself 
gross eases of injustice in which the Rajah had refused to do 
right, and grave cases of general maladministration which 
necessitated interference. 

The two principles on which he was instructed to carry on 
his work were these, that on the one hand the Rajah as the 
ruler must be supported in his authority ; and on the other hand 
that, as the British Government prevented the people from 
setting their Rajah aside or asserting their rights by force, the 
Rajah must consent to administer his State in a way which 
justified that measure of coercion of the people by the Govern- 
ment. The Government could not use its power to maintain the 
Rajah in his rule over the people, without being responsible that 
that rule was reasonably just and consistent with their interests. 
In all his work the Political Agent was under the control of 
the Commissioner of the Division, and both of these officers 
were specially instructed to exercise their authority and super- 
vision in a friendly and tactful manner. No officer could have 
been found more fitted than Mr. Berry to inaugurate and carry 
out this wise policy of the Government ; and during the years 
that he held the office of Political Agent a system of administra- 
tion was introduced over the Feudatory States which has 
rendered it an easy matter for the Government, through a 
succession of political officers, to maintain that policy and 
generally to secure at once the friendship of the Chiefs and 
the general well-being of the people. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE FEUDATORY STATES OF 
CHHATTISGARH 

IT was a deplorable misfortune which prematurely de- 
prived the administration of Mr. Berry's services. He 
was stricken down by one of those sudden and terrible 
strokes of which we have experience in India. He was riding 
out on a Wednesday morning in May, 1889» in the neighbour- 
hood of Raipur and came to a village where he met several 
funeral processions following one another. In his kindly way 
he drew up bende one of them and asked the bearers about the 
death. They told him that there was cholera in the village, 
and he made inquiry as to the violence of the visitation, and 
found that many were dying. 

It was a dry day in the hot weather, and he was to leeward 
of the body. There seems little doubt that more or less desic- 
cated matter laden with germs was carried to him by the strong 
hot wind. It suddenly occurred to him that this might be 
so. He rode home and bathed and changed before he allowed 
his wife and child to meet him. He wrote and told me (for I 
was in camp) about this outbreak of cholera, and related 
all the circumstances of his meeting the biers to a friend in 
Raipur. All went well until the Saturday morning, when he 
sudd^y felt ill ; and by evening he was dead. Seldom, indeed, 
has the death of so comparatively young an officer evoked 
such widespread grief among the people of a province. Many 
chiefs and tribes and people of diverse races mourned with his 
European friends and brother officers over his imtimely death. 

I had held, for more than a year, the Commissionership of 

139 



140 THE FEUDATORY STATES 

Chhattisgarh by the time that he died» and I had visited 
all the fourteen Native States. Those that were accessible to 
head-quarters of districts I had visited by forced marches 
from these head-quarteirs when I was there on sessions or in- 
spection work. The others I had visited in the course of a 
long cold-weather tour. In that tour through the southern 
and eastern States, and in one or two of my flying visits to the 
other States, I had been accompanied by Mr. Berry. It was 
deeply interesting to visit these States, to see their administra- 
tion, to make the acquaintance both of the Rajahs and of the 
people, and to find how fully Mr. Berry had won the confidence 
of both during his ten years* work among them. They were in 
those days even more interesting, perhaps, than they are now ; 
though Chhattisgarh is still, I should think, one of the most 
interesting charges in India. They were more interesting then, 
perhaps, because the Chiefs had still about them more of the 
old-world spirit and barbaric pomp and circumstance, accom- 
panied by a certain uncivilised simplicity, the combination of 
which made their durbars or courts of very great interest. 

The people, too, were for the most part unsophisticated, wild, 
simple, impulsive jungle tribes, with some residents of more 
cultivated country, far removed from the great centres of 
civilisation. At the same time there was the deep interest 
arising from the coming of the railway, the construction of 
which had by that time begim, the railway that was to 
cross the whole of the Chhattisgarh Division, running straight 
from Bombay to Calcutta by way of Nagpur. Many strange 
experiences came to us as the old-world life of Chhattisgarh 
began to give way before advancing civilisation. 

In the course of one of his tours, Mr. Berry travelled with 
horses and camels by a moimtain tract direct from the head- 
quarters of the Sonpur State to those of the Rairahkol State. 
As he crossed the boundary he found that there was a long- 
standing boundary dispute. He found that the Rairahkol 
people were constantly crossing over what the Sonpur people 
regarded as the boimdary, and removing timber and other 



OF CHHATTISGARH 141 

forest produce ; and so with the people of Sonpur. The value 
of the produce was not of much consequence ; but there were 
constant fights between the people of the two States on each 
side of the border».and not infrequently lives were lost. It 
reminded one of old stories of border warfare in countries 
nearer home ; but it had a weird sound to us, who are accus- 
tomed to the pax BrUannica in India, and were surprised 
to find such a state of things unreported and unknown. We 
obtained (under the rules) the sanction of the Government for 
the settlement of that boundary dispute by the Political Agent, 
under the supervision of the Conunissioner; and we determined 
to settle it in the coi^rse of that cold-weather tour. 

We called on the two Chiefs to meet us on the boundary of 
the two States as near to the disputed tract as the hilly and 
jungly character of the country would permit. The Rajah of 
Sonpur wrote a very courteous private letter to Mr. Berry, 
pointing out that, if he met the Rajah of Rairahkol, it would be 
necessary for the latter to comply with certain formalities which 
had been observed at the last meeting of the rulers of the two 
States, when the then Rajah of Rairahkol had, nearly a century 
before, prostrated himself before the Rajah of Sonpur and 
received a Khillat (robe of honour) from his hand. The Rajah 
of Rairahkol was asked about this; and he replied, also in 
a courteous private letter, that he had no record of the 
alleged meeting, and that in any case he could not possibly 
comply with that formaUty now. 

Mr. Berry and I talked the matter over. We determined, a 
little perhaps in jest, but more in earnest, to adopt the following 
expedient. We arranged to pitch our camp one day in the 
nearest village on the Sonpur side, where the river formed an 
undisputed part of the boundary. The Rajah of Sonpur was 
to have his camp in the neighbouring village of that State ; and 
the Rajah of Rairahkol was to have his in the nearest village 
on the other side. The Rajah of Sonpur was to come and 
pay me a formal visit in my tent, Mr. Berry being also present ; 
and, while the Rajah of Sonpur was there, the Rajah of Rairahkol 



142 THE FEUDATORY STATES 

was to arrivey also to pay me a visit. Finding themselves to- 
gether in the presence of the Commissioner, as they had not 
infrequently done in durbars at Raipur, the two Chiefs were 
to be introduced solenmly to one another, and were to make 
the usual Eastern salaam and then shake hands ^Mike English 
gentlemen.*' 

The next day we were to pitch our camp on the other side of 
the river in the territory of Rairahkol ; and the ceremony was 
to be repeated mutatis mutandis. The Rajah of Rairahkol was to 
visit me ; the Rajah of Sonpur was to arrive while he was there ; 
and again they were to shake hands ^* like English gentlemen.'* 
After this double introduction, they were to sit down along 
with their diwans (chief ministers) and discuss the boimdary 
question with Mr. Berry and me. The details of this arrange- 
ment were communicated privately by Mr. Berry to both the 
Rajahs, and were accepted by both as a perfectly satisfactory 
settlement of the important question of etiquette. 

Accordingly we had our meeting ; and it was always men- 
tioned afterwards among the officers of Raipur as the ^^ field 
of the cloth of gold.** Both Rajahs got together as many ele- 
phants as they could and hunted out, from all their treasuries 
and throughout their States, as many gold-brocaded cloths as 
they could find, and had them as trappings for the elephants 
and hangings for their tents, and even as carpets inside and 
outside of their tents, so that the scene was one of really con- 
siderable splendour. Our discussion ended in the appointing of 
two persons to represent (one for each) the two Rajahs. Natur- 
ally enough the men appointed were the diwans. These men, 
accompanied by any villagers or experts that they chose to 
bring as witnesses or assessors, were to go round the boundary 
with us so that it might be demarcated at once. A number of 
the inhabitants of both States were also got together, to be 
ready immediately to put up, on the spot, boundary pillars along 
the line as laid down by us. Mr. Berry and I, accompanied by the 
diwans, went out very early in the morning, riding as far as it 
was possible to ride, and accompanied by a very considerable 




A Graveyard of thk Aborigines ix Chota Nagpur 




A Bodyguard of Boys 

A number of the sons of State policemen and other servants formed by the Feudatory Clii' f ot 
Patna into a bodyguard for my son while we marched through his State : a fairly accurate reproduc- 
tion of his own guard except as regards the age of its mem^rs. 



OF CHHATTISGARH U8 

number of hardy» jungle people, on foot. We dismounted at the 
beginning of the disputed line ; and we walked over it for six 
or eight hours on end. 

The diwans and the people, seeing that we were in earnest to 
settle the matter, and that the boundary we favoured was clearly 
indicated by the banks of mountain streams and the ridges of 
the hills, set themselves also to help us ; and the matter was 
settled in two days' hard walking from about six in the morning 
till after midday. The boundary pillars were put up as we 
went along ; and the dispute was finally settled in a perfectly 
amicable way. 

This may be taken as an illustration of the methods generally 
adopted in our work among the Chiefs. We got hold of them 
and of the people, and simply worked alongside of them. During 
the course of work like this, we could not fail to get into the 
most friendly and intimate relations with our fellow-workers ; 
and everything that we had to do, in the way of settling disputes, 
investigating cases and arranging points of State administration, 
tended to cement our friendship and strengthen the bonds that 
united us in our relations with one another. 

The Rajah of Sonpur at that time was a very fine old man ; 
and as his State contains a very considerable amount of first- 
rate agricultural land, as well as a good deal of valuable jungle, 
and is situated on the banks of the river Mahanadi, it was a 
State that was capable of great development ; and to this he 
and his worthy successors devoted themselves with very con- 
siderable success. The present Chief has done so well that 
the Viceroy has given him as a personal distinction the higher 
title of Bfaharajah. The old Chief of Rairahkol was a man 
who had i.'^icceeded to his State as a mere boy, and was by that 
time in the eighth decade of his life. He had, therefore, been 
longer a ruler than probably any other ruler in the world. 
During all that time, without any great intellectual capacity 
or education, he had proved himself a good strong man. He 
was vigorous in constitution, temperate in habits, upright in 
character, and generally desirous to do justice and right. It 



144 THE FEUDATORY STATES 

was quite a pleasant experience to make these two men 
friends. 

Our work was not always so pleasant. We sometimes found 
a Chief abusing his power, and permitting the adnwiistration of 
his State to become anything but a blessing to his people. 
Sometimes this arose from pure selfishness, from a desire on 
the part of the Chief to wring from the toil-hardened hands of 
his people as much as he could, in order to spend it on his own 
personal pleasure and comfort. Sometimes it arose from ignor- 
ance and indolence, and from the fact that the chief was entirely 
in the hands of bad advisers. I remember the case of a very 
genial but stupid highland Chief of pompous but courteous 
manner, and of great hospitality and kindliness. As the railway 
came into the neighbourhood of his State, that State became 
the refuge and stronghold of bad characters from all parts of the 
country. They had their head-quarters under his protection, 
and from this safe retreat they raided British territory and the 
neighbouring States, leaving the people of the State in which 
they resided generally unmolested. 

It was difficult to move the Rajah to take a serious view of 
these facts. Neither he nor his people suffered much from these 
scoundrels ; and it was in his opinion the duty of the Govern- 
ment and of the other States to take measures for their own 
protection. To put his own police into an efficient state so as 
to co-operate with them in restraining these criminals would 
necessitate the removal of men who had long been in hereditary 
office, and to incur expenditure the clear advantage of which 
he did not see. It was true also that on all hands he was being 
robbed, and his revenue was being embezzled by untrustworthy 
subordinates, some of whom unfortunately were dismissed 
Government officials, and that his people were largely sub* 
jected to petty forms of oppression and exaction ; but of this 
he was kept largely in ignorance by the unworthy men by 
whom he was siurounded and in whom he had misplaced 
confidence. 

The Political Agent (both Mr. Berry and his successors) and 




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OF CHHATTISGARH US 

I made many attempts to convince the Rajah of the necessity 
of reform ; but, though courteous to us durmg his interviews 
with us, he was obstinately immovable in regard to his policy. 
On the occasion of my fourth or fifth interview with him on 
the subject, I warned him that, if he did not comply with the 
requirements of the Central Provinces Government, and carry 
out the necessary reforms, he would find that the Government 
would be compelled to remove him temporarily from the State, 
and undertake the management of it until the reforms were 
carried out. His reply, given courteously enough, but sen- 
tentiously, was to the effect that he had seen Commissioners 
come and go, but he himself had gone on for ever. I pointed 
out to him that there had already been one or two cases 
of the temporary supersession of Rajahs who had grossly 
mismanaged their States ; but these were tales of what to 
him were remote and unknown places, and he did not give 
much heed. 

On the next occasion he received a great shock. All his mis- 
demeanours had been from time to time duly reported to the 
Government, and the Chief Commissioner (the late Sir Alex- 
ander Mackenzie) had seen the necessity for serious action. I 
wrote to Sir Alexander privately, and told him I believed that, 
if he would give me a private autograph letter stating that 
the Rajah must be set aside for a time, all might be satisfactorily 
arranged without his being formally dealt with. Sir Alexander 
gave me the necessary letter. I went down to visit my mis- 
guided friend. He came to see me in my tent, and I took care 
that no one was within hearing. I then reminded him of the 
warning I had given him, and I said to him, '^ What I told 
you has come true. Here is a letter authorising me to set 
you aside.*' He was very much moved, and, adopting the 
Oriental forms of supplication, he besought me not to set him 
aside, because even were he ultimately restored he would 
find his authority over his people lost. 

Knowing the character of the people I recognised fully the 
truth of his statement^. I therefore said to him, ^^ I do not wish 



146 THE FEUDATORY STATES 

to injure you in any way, but these reforms are absolutely neces- 
sary. They must be carried out ; you yourself cannot do this, 
and the authority must be given to one friendly to you who will 
carry them out on your behalf. The best plan will be this. 
You have not yet taken your father's ashes to the Ganges, and 
it would be regarded as very reasonable for you to do so. 
If you will go now, I shall lend you the services of an ex- 
perienced Indian officer of good family, whom I can fully trust 
and whom I can cordially recommend to you as a loyal and 
kindly friend. You can summon a Durbar of the principal 
residents of your State, and you can explain to them that it 
will be necessary for you to be absent for a certain number 
of months, and that you have obtained the services of an able 
and experienced officer who will administer your State for 
you in your absence, to whom tkey must give the same loyal 
obedience as they would render to yourself. You will then 
give him a Sanad,* signed by yourself, accompanied by a 
Khil'atf of office." The good old man gratefully accepted this 
proposal. 

I left the State and soon sent up the officer appointed in 
time for the date fixed by the Chief for his Durbar. The Chief 
went off to the Ganges as arranged, and through this officer's 
earnest work, under the supervision and advice of the Political 
Agent, the Augean stables were cleansed. The worst of the 
local officials were removed; trustworthy men were put in 
their place ; and the necessary reforms were introduced. As 
soon as the work was finished, the Rajah was informed, and 
he returned. His pleasure at finding things so much improved, 
and his loyalty to Government were both evidenced by the 
fact that, with my consent spontaneously solicited, he ap- 
pointed this Indian officer to be his own diwan, and continued 
the administration of his State on the lines laid down. The 
Chief remained my friend long after I left Chhattisgarh, and 
many were the kindly letters which I received from him after 

* Sanad is a deed or document 
t Ktiil'at is a robe of honour. 



OF CHHATnSGARH 147 

my direct connection with him was severed. When I returned 
many years afterwards on a visit to Chhattisgarh, as Chief 
Commissioner of the Province, my old friend had passed 
away ; but his son was continuing the administration of the 
State in accordance with the later policy of his worthy old 
father. 

We were not always quite so fortunate in our dealings with 
the Chiefs ; but it is wonderful how cordial and kindly were 
the relations between them as a body and the officers of Govern- 
ment with whom they were connected. A very striking illus- 
tration of this occurred at the time of the modification of the 
boundaries of Bengal in 1904, when the Chiefs of the Uriya 
States of Chhattisgarh (Central Provinces) objected to their 
proposed transfer to Bengal mainly because they would thus 
be deprived of the immense advantage of the friendship and 
guidance of the Political Agent. They put their views on 
record in a remarkable petition, to which I shall refer more 
fully when discussing what has been caUed ^^ the partition of 
Bengal.'' 

The Native Chiefs are loyal to the British Government : not 
only the less important and influential Chiefs of the smaller 
States, such as those of Chhattisgarh, but also those of the larger 
Native States. It is very important for us to retain the loyalty of 
these Chiefs, both great and small. There is not the slightest 
doubt that they realise on their part the untold advantages which 
they derive from British rule. They have no desire to go back 
to the tempestuous times which preceded that rule, nor to 
enter into a ceaseless and precarious struggle for existence. 
They understand the benefits of peace both for themselves 
and for their people; and there is nothing that can alienate 
them from us, so long as we respect their position and are 
manifestly strong enough to secure it for them. Weakness in 
the administration of our own Empire fills them with disquiet, 
while needless interference with their own administration, 
disregard of their dignity, and unsympathetic or bullying 
treatment fill them with disgust. As a rule they have been 



148 THE FEUDATORY STATES 

particularly fortunate in the political officers whom Government 
has sent to them, gentlemen of high tone and courteous manners 
and of sound judgment. Only such men should ever be ap- 
pointed to political office in any native state, however 
small* 

An interesting fact came to my notice in the course of a 
tour in the Bilaspur District of the Central Provinces. On 
the border of that district there is a beautiful hill called 
Amarkantak, which was transferred to the neighbouring 
Rewah State as a reward for the loyalty of its Chief. This 
hill is 8500 feet high and has a very pleasant climate. It is 
greatly beloved by the people, especially of that part of India, 
as containing the source of the sacred river Nerbudda. Many 
shrines have been erected there, and it is a place of pilgrimage. 
On this account it has been greatly valued by the Rewah 
Durbar. 

I went to visit it on one occasion and was much struck 
with the beauty of the place. On my way back to head- 
quarters I passed through the Zamindari of Laffa. The Chief 
was an old Kanwar, a fine jungle lord of thoroughly sporting 
character. I went out with him to a general beat, which he 
organised for big game of all sorts ; and on my way back I 
talked to him about the beauty of Amarkantak. He told me 
that he was going there in the course of a few days. He said 
that the Rewah Maharajah was to pay his annual visit in state 
to Amarkantak, and that as many of the Hindu Chiefs of 
Bilaspur as were able to attend would go there to receive 
him and do him honour. 

This struck me as very remarkable. The Rewah Chief 
had no authority over the Chiefs or Nobles of Bilaspur ; but 
their respect for his ancient position, and the fact that he 
was one of their own race or clan, led them in a loyal way to 
go and associate themselves with his formal worship at Amar- 
kantak. This loyalty of the native Chiefs was entirely con- 
sistent with their loyalty to the British Government. There 
never was a Chief more loyal to our rule, nor more cordial in his 



OF CHHATTISGAKH 149 

relations with British officers, than this good old Laffa Chief, 
for whose memory I have a great regard, and in whose friend- 
ship, while he lived, I had great delight. The loyalty of the 
Chiefs of the Indian States is in my opinion very important, on 
account not only of the great extent of the territory--one third 
of the area of India— over which they bear rule, but also of the 
influence which they have beyond their own borders. 



\ 



CHAPTER XII 
CHRISTMAS WITH WILD ELEPHANTS 

THERE is no part of my service on which I look back 
with greater pleasure than on my tenure of the office 
of Conunissioner of Chhattisgarh, of which I took charge 
in 1888. It must be one of the most interesting divisions 
in the whole of India. There were at that time three British 
districts under the Commissioner, in two of which the official 
language was Hindi, of which most of the people in the 
interior spoke the Chhattisgarhi dialect. In the third the 
official language and that of the people was Uriya. The people 
were simple, for they had lived remote. Even the ordinary 
village life had, I think, more of attraction for me than that 
of most other parts of the Province. There were also the 
fourteen Native States, of which I have already said enough, 
and there were many Zamindaris. These were large estates, 
the owners of which were British subjects. At the same time 
the remoteness of their estates, and the peculiar history of 
this part of the country, had given these Zamindars rights and 
customs which placed them in a position midway between the 
ordinary British subject and the Feudatory Chief. The 
Zamindars exercised authority over their people to a far 
greater extent than is the case with proprietors, even more 
wealthy and more powerful, in other parts of the country ; and 
they exercised certain powers and rights in the police, excise, 
forest, and other departments such as were not possessed by 
Zamindars in other parts of the Central Provinces. Some of 
the most interesting work of the Division was done amongst 

160 



WILD ELEPHANTS 151 

the Zamindaris. In this chapter, however, I shall speak of 
sport rather than of work. 

The Matin Zamindari to the north of the Bilaspur District is 
a wild, hilly tract of about 600 square miles, with a sparse 
population. This estate had, owing to the minority of the 
young chief, come under the Court of Wards, and was directly 
managed by the Commissioner of Chhattisgarh and the Deputy 
Commissioner of Bilaspur. During the Ufetime of the last 
Zamindar the estate had become overrun with wild elephants^ 
and many of the people had been driven from their villages. 
In the course of a tour in the Bilaspur District, I visited this 
Zamindari, and I found whole villages depopulated. 

The elephants came down, kicking the houses and the 
granaries to pieces and consuming the grain. Sometimes Uves 
were lost of those who inadvertently fell in the way of the 
elephants, or who might be attempting to defend their property 
against them. It was manifest that measures must be taken 
for the capture of these elephants. I accordingly wrote to Mr. 
Sanderson, of the Government Kheddah Department, and 
asked him whether he could arrange to conduct operations. 
I told him that, from the best information I could get, there 
were about sixty elephants in the herd which had taken posses- 
sion of the estate. He replied that for him to bring up all the 
men and tame elephants required for the capture of this herd, 
and to carry through the operations against them, would 
involve very considerable cost on the small and far from 
wealthy Zamindari. But he advised me to secure the services 
of the neighbouring Maharajah of Sirguja for this purpose. He 
said that the young Maharajah was a plucky and exceedingly 
capable man, whom he had himself trained in Kheddah work ; 
that he might be trusted to carry through the business just as 
well as he could do it himself, and that far from the operations 
being costly to the estate, the Maharajah would gladly pay 
to the Zamindar one-fourth of the value of all the elephants he 
might capture, as provided by law. 

The border of the Matin Zamindari is the old Central Pit>- 



152 CHRISTMAS WITH 

vinces boundary, and on the other side from us was the territory 
(including the Feudatory State of Sirguja) administered by the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. The Maharajah of Sirguja, 
although he was my immediate neighbour, had hitherto been 
quite unknown to me, as he belonged to a different Province* 
I wrote to him, laid the whole case before him, and told him 
what Mr. Sanderson had said. I received a courteous and 
cordial reply, stating that he was quite willing to undertake 
the operations ; that he would take care to do no avoidable 
injury to the jungle ; that he would begin his operations at 
once, and that he would let me know when he was ready to 
operate against the elephants, so that I might, if I chose, 
join his camp and satisfy myself that the operations were 
being conducted with due regard to the interests of the 
Zamindari. 

Some months later Mr. Cleveland, then a young civilian of two 
or three years' standing, was in camp with me on special duty in 
the south-west of the Bilaspur District in the neighbourhood of 
the Kawardha Feudatory State. We had been compelled to re- 
fuse invitations to more than one Christmas Camp, and had been 
pressed with work right over Christmas Day, 1889. We arrived 
in the course of our tour at the town of Bilaspur two days 
after Christmas, and found the station absolutely empty. 
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Meiklejohn, was in camp in 
the direction of Matin, and every one else had gone off to some 
Christmas party. We settled down to a quiet life, but a tele- 
gram from the Maharajah disturbed us. It was brief, but 
momentous. "Thirty-four elephants are surrounded. Can 
you come at once to Basan ? " The telegram was from Pendra, 
over forty miles along the Umaria branch of the Bengal Nagpur 
Railway, which was then under construction. We got down the 
map, and found that Basan was about sixty-five miles off as 
the crow flies, and eighty miles by village tracks round the hills. 
Telegraphing that we should arrive in two days, we sent off 
two elephants, one carrjring a very limited kit, about thirty 
miles towards Basan. Next morning we overtook our elephants, 




Mv Camp as District Officer 

The illustration shows the well*traiaed riding (sawari) camel, and also the burden-bearing camels. 




A Procession of Elephants awaiting their Riders 



WILD ELEPHANTS 158 

driving part of the way and riding the rest. After a hurried 
breakfast we pushed on between twenty or thirty miles more, 
slept the night at a little village rest-house, and next morning 
reached the elephant country. 

At Jatga, the present capital of the Matin Zamindari, we 
first came on the trace of the huge quarry. We found their 
marks close to the hamlet and at the very door of the manager's 
office. Under a tree in front of the office lay the huge 
bleached skuU of a wild elephant that had died some time 
before. We heard melancholy tales of the ravages of these 
monsters. Again and again as, map in hand, we mentioned 
villages which were marked on our proposed route the remark 
was, '' Deserted : no one lives there. The jungle elephants 
have driven man out.*' The Jatga Gaontya (or head man of 
the village) pointed, with a strange mixture of awe and 
triumph, to a sheer precipice near the Setgarh Hill about 
eight miles off, over which four out of a herd of five wild ele- 
phants, rushing along in panic, had fallen and been dashed to 
pieces. Forsyth tells the story in his '' Highlands of Central 
India." 

We pushed on over the hills through magnificent sal jungle 
and the wild hill scenery to Kudri, where, weary enough with 
our long and trying elephant ride, we gladly saw Mr. Meikle- 
john*8 tents and received his cheery welcome. Kudri is about 
three miles short of Basan, to which we had been summoned. 
Our telegram had been received after a whole day's delay, as is 
the manner of these parts; and Mr. Meiklejohn had then 
started off for Basan, taking all his belongings with him and 
driving his camels before him like an Old Testament patriarch, 
because the servants feared to march without him. Suddenly, 
in the middle of the jungle, in grass about six feet high, his 
camels halted. He demanded an explanation. *'This is 
Basan," said the guide. Basan had been deserted : the ele- 
phants had taken possession and warned off the human claim- 
ants of the village. Kudri was the nearest habitation of man, 
so he had pitched the tents there. 



154 CHRISTMAS WITH 

Maharajah Raghonath Saran Singh Deo Bahadur of Sirguja 
was in tents nearer to the immediate scene of the proposed 
operations. He had come out with a host against the wild 
elephants. About one thousand men and thirty-three tame 
elephants, most of them trained *' Kumkis/' accompanied him. 
He had foimd two herds of wild elephants, in all about thirty- 
five, at the Bahmani Nadi (River) about fifteen or twenty 
miles off. He had set to work with all expedition to run up a 
light fence about six miles in circumference, enclosing a valley 
and part of two hills below Setgarh. Round this he had 
posted at intervals eight or nine hundred men, mostly armed 
with matchlocks and provided with blank cartridges. Into this 
enclosure he had quietly driven all these elephants through 
fifteen miles of glen ; and there they were surrounded by 
silent watch fires and sentries constantly on duty. The wild 
elephants wandered about unmolested within this large en- 
closure, but were not allowed to pass the guards ; and near 
one side of it he had constructed a strong stockade, only about 
two hundred feet square. Having completed these arrange- 
ments, the Maharajah had courteously informed us that all was 
ready, and that we might join his camp if we cared to do so. 

Next morning we set off to visit the Maharajah, whose tents 
were not much more than a mile from ours. He told us that one 
very large male elephant had been decoyed into the stockade 
the day before, and was there tied up and ready to be taken out. 
We started at once to see the process. We seated ourselves 
on the top of the broad wall of the stockade and saw the huge 
tusker. He was a splendid animal. His fore quarters were 
much heavier than in the tame elephant, and his figure was so 
massive that we did not think him so tall as we afterwards 
found him to be. A day or two later we had him measured 
by a man on a tame elephant. He set a bamboo against his 
shoulder ; and we found that he measured 9ft. lOins. He was 
not standing quite straight, and must have been full 10ft. high 
at the shoulder. 

This huge warrior had lost half his tail in some hill fight, and 



WILD ELEPHANTS 155 

had a great scar on his trunk. We found him tied to some trees 
in the stockade. By careful manoeuvring they slipped five 
cables round his neck, fastening the other end of each cable 
round the body of a tame elephant ; thus there were five tame 
elephants in front of him. Similarly they fastened each hind 
leg to two elephants. The hind legs were also tied together 
by a rope which, while leaving him free to walk, prevented 
anything like a long stride. Having thus securely bound him 
to nine tame elephants, each of which carried a mahout (driver), 
they undid the ropes which fastened him to the trees within the 
stockade and prepared to lead the forest freebooter away. 

When he saw the gate of the stockade open he went out 
as fast as his captors would allow ; but when he found outside 
that he was not to be permitted to choose his own path 
he began to show fight. He halted. The five elephants in 
front put forth all their strength, but could not move him. 
They roared and pulled, but he stood steady, leaning slightly 
backwards as in a tug-of-war. Then, suddenly, he swung his 
great body round, and dragged back the five for a little space, 
roaring as they came with rage and perhaps with fear. Then 
they recovered and the tug-of-war began again. A sharp 
discharge of blank cartridge behind him drove him on a little 
way. This scene was repeated several times. Occasionally 
the blank cartridge had to give way to a speciaUy prepared 
cartridge with about a dozen snipe shot which tickled his 
fat flanks, and sent him gaily along for a time, his pace being 
kept moderate by the drag of the elephants behind. At last 
he was tied up to trees near the Maharajah's tents, about five 
hundred yards from the stockade. There, poor fellow, he raged 
awhile, kneeling down and pushing his formidable tusks into 
the ground, a grievous representation of Samson bound among 
his enemies. 

Next day as there was nothing doing at the stockade we 
determined to have a look at the elephants in their own jungle 
haunts. Divus Augustus (as Mr. Cleveland translated the ^' Deo 
Bahadur'' of Sirguja's name), after some hesitation on the 



156 CHRISTMAS WITH 

score of risk to ourselves^ permitted us to go into the jungle 
on foot under the guidance of two of the most trustworthy 
of his trained men. They led us quietly through the forest by 
the paths cleared by the elephants. At last, with a gesture, 
they stopped us and pointed silently ahead. We peered through 
the trees and just caught sight of one large elephant. We 
heard others behind him and saw dark masses, the forms of 
which were undistinguishable, moving behind the trees. We 
indicated our desire for a nearer view; but the men had 
evidently been warned against this by the Maharajah, who was 
no doubt nervous lest any harm should come to us. As we 
did not wish to lead them to disr^ard his instructions, we 
returned to the camp, resolved, however, to have a good view 
of these elephants for ourselves. By the aid of a compass we 
carefully marked the direction we took. When we arrived at 
the stockade, we took leave of ^he Maharajah and went off in 
the direction of our tents. 

As soon as we got out of sight, we turned sharply into the 
jungle. We went on along the elephants' tracks for a consider- 
able distance. Suddenly we came to an open glade, and as we 
looked across it we saw the tusks of a great monarch of the 
herd gleaming through the trees. I had my elephant with me, 
and four of us, besides the Mahout, were seated on it, Mr. 
Meiklejohn, Mr. Cleveland, my trusty servant Ramanah, and 
myself. It seemed to us that the elephants were going to cross 
the glade, so we pushed on to cut them off and get a clearer 
view. In the centre of the glade there stood a large solitary 
tree. As we reached it, the leader of the herd came out to 
look at us. We halted under the shadow of the tree. He came 
towards us, followed by fifteen elephants of all sizes. As he 
drew near, the situation seemed a little serious, and we pre- 
pared to do what we could to defend ourselves from attack. 
But after the elephants had stood for a moment looking at us 
and waving their trunks, as we remained motionless, the leader 
turned round and slowly crossed the glade to the other side, 
followed by the herd. Then, as they were about to disappear 



WILD ELEPHANTS 157 

in the jungle he suddenly changed his mind» turned slowly on 
his tracks, and solemnly led them past again. The elephants 
thus marched twice across the open glade within twenty or 
thirty yards of us — a splendid spectacle. Moved by inresis* 
tible impulse, we followed them a little way ; but when they 
got into the jungle again they quickened their pace and dis- 
appeared. We shall not readily forget that majestic proces- 
sion, witnessed among the wild scenery of the sal-clad hills. 

That night we spent some hours on the top of the stockade. 
We lay concealed among the branches of trees, which were 
placed on the top of the broad wall, that we might see some- 
thing of the operations of the tame elephants which were 
employed to seduce the wild elephants into the stockade. 
The tame elephants had been well trained to their work. 
They came along through the jungle, grumbling to one another 
about the want of any reaUy luscious food, till they reached 
the gate of the stockade. Then two of them turned in there 
and foimd sugar-cane laid down for their consumption. They 
attacked it with great gusto, and called to one another in 
triumphant tones about their great find. The wild elephants 
heard them, and one or two walked quietly into the stockade. 
There were men over the gateway who had orders to remain 
inactive as long as the elephants were going in, and to drop the 
portcullis as soon as any elephant made as though it would 
attempt to leave the stockade. Eight wild elephants walked 
in before any thought of going out. At the first indication of 
such an intention down came the portcullis. 

The elephants then began to feel the walls of the stockade with 
their trunks to see whether it was possible to demolish it. Men 
were seated along the wall at intervals, armed with long bamboos 
with short, sharp needles at the end of each, with which an 
elephant could be pricked without being hurt. As soon as an 
elephant came to try the wall, the needle was applied to his head 
or trunk, and he started back, convinced, apparently, that he 
might undoubtedly injure himself if he attempted to run his 
head against the wall ; and gradually they settled down in the 



168 CHRISTMAS WITH 

middle of the stockade by the sugar-cane, with the two tame 
elephants on the most friendly terms. It must be admitted 
that these tame elephants showed the most extraordinary tact 
and intelligence in inducing the wild elephants to enter the 
stockade, and in their relations with them after they got inside ; 
but one could not help feeling a certain sense of irritation at 
their treachery to their own kind. 

After slipping off the wall of the stockade and having a few 
hours* rest» we returned to the scene of operations soon after 
dawn. The elephants were very much in the same position as 
when we left them. Through little portholes in the stockade, 
beside which the two trained elephants had taken up their 
position, two men, armed with the needle-pointed bamboos 
to which reference has been made, slipped in and, mounting 
each on his elephant, moved toward the gate of the stockade. 
From there with their spears they gently dove the wild ele- 
phants to the further end. The gate was then raised a little 
way and fifteen trained elephants, led by two huge tuskers, 
came in. 

The process of tying up then began. About a dozen of the 
trained elephants surrounded the particular elephant to be 
operated on and hustled him into a comer. The two tuskers, 
meanwhile kept the others off. The trained elephants moved 
backwards on the selected elephant, and planted their hind 
quarters against him firmly on all sides so that he could hardly 
move. He and they formed one compact, oscillating mass, 
which reminded one strongly of a football scrimmage. A man 
slipping through one of the portholes of the stockade and be- 
tween the legs of one of the tame elephants, got a rope round 
the hind leg of the wild elephant and dashed out again. This 
rope had been fastened to a tree outside the stockade. As 
soon as the elephant felt the rope he struggled with the tame 
elephants and shook them off, but he could not free himself 
from the rope. The operation was repeated until he was tied 
up by all four legs to trees in four different directions. It was 
very rarely that the first attempt to fast:en the rope on any 



WILD ELEPHANTS 159 

of the elephant's legs failed ; and a very striking fact was this, 
that no wild elephant of them all attacked a tame elephant. 
Occasionally, one would lift his trunk inquiringly towards the 
head of the tame elephant where the Mahout (or driver) crouched 
with a black cloth round his waist, himself painted black and 
seeming part of the beast he rode ; but a touch of the needle 
made the elephant lower his trunk and abandon his inquiry. 
The men who came in on foot to fasten the ropes sometimes, 
however, seemed to have a narrow escape for their lives. 

On one occasion the elephant that was being tied up was a 
young one, about half-grown. Its mother seemed much agi- 
tated and alarmed about the treatment her son was receiving, 
and once or twice she charged past the two huge tuskers that 
were keeping the wild elephants off. Each time she scattered 
the elephants that were round her cub. At last the Maharajah 
gave the order to " knock her down." The larger of the two 
tuskers drew back until his hind quarters touched the wall of the 
stockade. The female elephant was occupied in anxiously 
watching her son and was sideways to the great male. Sud- 
denly he charged straight at her, caught her on the side with 
the flat of his forehead with aU the force he could, and 
knocked her down on her left side. She staggered tremblingly 
to her feet, and he stood over her, waving his trunk, as 
though to warn her that any action on her part in the way 
of interference in the work that was going forward would lead 
to a repetition of the punishment. She accepted the warning 
and stood perfectly still. 

All the elephants were thus tied up. They were then taken 
out. The process was simply to fasten ropes from their neck to 
a certain number of tame elephants in front, and from the 
hind legs to a certain number of the tame elephants behind, 
the number being fixed according to the size of the wild ele- 
phant. The ropes that fastened them to the trees were then 
undone, and they were conducted in a most extraordinary 
procession to the camp of the Maharajah, where they were tied 
up. There they were approached gradually by men who gave 



160 CHRISTMAS WITH 

them long pieces of sugar-cane from their own hands ; and it 
was very striking to see how soon these elephants, receiving 
their food only from these men, became accustomed to their 
presence and reconciled to the altered circumstances. It was 
touching to see the anxiety of one of the female elephants 
about her two young ones. As she stood bound, the one about 
a year old would come running to her and she would quietly 
suckle him, he screwing his trunk out of the way in a most 
ludicrous manner. Meanwhile she would throw her trunk over 
his elder brother, some two or three years older, with a soothing 
and protecting air. When she was led out, the two young ones 
trotted before her; and she went without a murmur. The 
infant ^* Mouse,*' as we called him, would sometimes become 
excited, raise his little trunk and open his mouth and shriek 
louder than any of the herd. Once he caused great amusement 
by rushing at a rope drawn tight about two feet from the ground 
and taking it at a leap. The natives called the elder brother 
** Babu " ; and many a time and oft he scattered groups of 
them as he charged about in wild excitement. 

Next day we saw a beat which, though unsuccessful, was 
very exciting. We occupied a position on the top of the stock- 
ade with the Maharajah, apiong the leaf -covered branches. We 
sat there in silence for hours as the elephants were being 
quietly driven towards the wings of the stockade ; then we 
heard the sound of the beating together of sticks, by which 
sound they were driven, and the elephants came crashing 
slowly through the jungle. Then matchlocks, loaded with 
blank cartridges, were fired ; shouting began and ten or twelve 
wild elephants rushed into view, accompanied by as many 
trained ones. They came on at the pace of racing ponies. 
They dashed towards one wing, then across to the other, again 
and again. Two tame elephants near the gate then ran in ; 
but apparently the wild elephants did not see them, or perhaps 
they did not see the gate. In any case they did not follow. 
The tame elephants came out again. The wild d^hants 
apparently thought that the tame elephants were rushing in 



WILD ELEPHANTS 161 

the direction from which they had come. They faced about 
and made a dashing charge through the beaters into the jungle. 
The whole scene did not occupy many seconds, but such 
excitement and commotion we had never witnessed. 

Next day Mr. Cleveland and I took our departure for Bilaspur, 
leaving the Maharajah to his elephants an4 the Deputy Com- 
missioner to continue his tour among the Wards' Estates. 
We had sent on our elephants twenty miles the day before, 
and came that distance on two kindly lent us by the Maharajah. 
We determined to push across country in a practically straight 
line, instead of going from village to village. We had one or 
two Gond guides, who knew the hills well. We passed through 
dense jungle for about forty miles, and descended on the plain 
over the Laffa Ghat by a path that only one European was 
known to have traversed before. We spent the night in a police 
outpost, and reached Bilaspur next forenoon. I had sent off 
a letter to announce my coming the day before I started. It 
arrived three days after us. It had been delightful, though 
almost uncanny, to be so far from post-bags and telegrams and 
official life. We had compressed into about half of the Christmas 
public holidays enough of excitement to last for months. We had 
passed over miles of wild mountains and forest, and had taken 
part in scenes such as we coidd hardly hope to witness again. 
We carried with us the most pleasant recollections of the 
Maharajah and the home of the elephants. Of these he man- 
aged, before the operations were concluded, to capture, if my 
memory serves me right, no fewer than forty-two. This brought 
some money into the coffers of the Matin Zamindar, and re- 
lieved his people from a terrible visitation. 

The Maharajah of Sirguja, who is still alive, was then quite a 
young man. His State was one of the five Hindi Feudatory States 
handed over from Bengal to the Central Provinces in 1904. I 
have seen him several times of later years, and he continues to 
be quite happy in his relations with Government. He is most 
hospitable and friendly, and it is a pleasure to visit him, for he 
has a delightful family. His only defect is that he is]]too^easily 



162 CHRISTMAS WITH 

led or influenced by subordinates. He was a splendid sports- 
man in his youth, and continues still to take interest in sport 
and in his jungles. He is a humane and sensible man ; he has 
a large number of captured elephants, and his system is to 
accustom them for a considerable period of the year to jungle 
life and for a few months only to his service. In the jungle they 
wander about quite freely, except that each wears a chain 
fastened to one hind leg, which serves to tie him up when neces- 
sary. They are in charge of men who periodically feed them with 
sugar-cane and other luxuries ; and at certain periods they 
are led by these men to any part of the State where their 
services are required for burden-bearing or for assistance in 
forest work. The system works well, and the Maharajah and 
his elephants get on well together. 

Before leaving the subject of elephants, I may mention an 
incident which occurred some time later than this in the Sonpur 
State to the south of the Sambalpur District in Orissa. I was 
on tour in the Feudatory States, and had several Rajahs and 
Zamindars assembled to meet me and discuss the affairs of 
that part of the country. Many of them had elephants with 
them, and one of these went mad. He had killed his own 
Mahout, who was, I fancy, not a great credit to his profession, 
and another man had barely escaped with his life from an 
attack made on him. The elephant was in the neighbourhood 
of our camp, and we slept all night with our rifles loaded in case 
he should attack our tents. We had arranged that in the morn- 
ing we should go after a tiger in the neighbourhood, and our 
servants slipped into our tents before dawn and carried off 
our rifles to the spot where the beat for the tiger was to take 
place. All the weapons in the camp were thus carried off 
except my shot-gun. 

In the morning I left the camp accompanied by a large 
retinue of Rajahs and one or two European gentlemen, of whom 
one was a very old man paying me a visit. About two miles 
from the camp, as we turned roimd the high embankment of 
a tank, we suddenly came face to face with the mad elephant. 



WILD ELEPHANTS 168 

He charged straight at us, and we all fled ; but there was no 
place of refuge near. It was manifest that we could not all 
escape with our lives. The use which the Maharajah of Sirguja 
had made of specially prepared snipe cartridges and their won- 
derful effect on the elephants occurred to my mind. I seized 
a Chaprasi (orderly) who was rushing past me and took out of 
the bag that he carried two of my No. 1 cartridges. I thrust 
them into my gun and turned round suddenly face to face 
with the elephant. I fired point-blank into the light-coloured 
spot at the top of his trunk. He roared with pain and swung 
round on his hind legs. I inunediately gave him the second 
barrel behind, and he dashed off and disappeared in the jungle. 
He was afterwards captured and cured. 

On this occasion I had one of many illustrations of the pluck 
and devotion often shown by the Indian gentleman. Among 
our niunber that day was Rai Gopinath Guru Bahadur, the 
Uriya Brahman Tahsildar, who received the title of Rai 
Bahadur for his splendid conduct during the Kalahandi insur- 
rection. When the elephant first charged at us our impulse 
was, of course, to run away, which we all did. I did not notice 
that the Rai Bahadur kept close to me, but when I stopped 
to fire at the elephant, I heard him shout in Uriya, '' Stand, all 
of you, the sahib is standing." When all was over, I turned to 
find him standing alone beside me, unarmed. He was my 
friend, and I was his Chief. He could do nothing to save me ; 
but he could not leave me in danger : that was all. It was a 
wonderful escape ; there is no doubt that some lives would 
have been lost but for my opportune recollection of my ex- 
periences among the elephants in the Matin Zamindari. 



CHAPTER XIII 
WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

LIFE in the jungles is exceedingly interesting and 
delightful. The jungle people charm us with their 
simplicity and friendliness ; and our admiration is called 
forth by their resourcefulness and pluck. A number of illus- 
trations might be given of the great skill they acquire in dealing 
with the wild beasts and birds, and in replenishing their larder. 
When I was on tour in the Sambalpur District very many 
years ago, I made arrangements for duck-shooting in one of 
the many excellent tanks in that district. On the day of 
my arrival, however, I had a slight attack of fever, and was 
unable to go out. In the afternoon a Gond Malguzar (or head 
man of the village) came to my tent with a present of one or 
two duck. With the kindly consideration of his class, he had 
refrained from shooting them, as that might have frightened the 
birds and interfered with my sport next day ; but he had cap- 
tured them. I asked him how he had done it. He explained 
the process, and agreed to show it to me. 

I accordingly went with him on the following day at noon 
to one of the tanks in the neighbourhood. There I saw one 
or two inverted clay garras* floating quietly with the wind 
in the direction of the duck, which were gathered in the middle 
of the pond. They floated amongst the duck, which looked at 
them with slight suspicion ; but seeing that they were only 
clay garras took no further notice. After one or two had 
passed, however, there floated by another garra which had 
been constructed with so wide a mouth that it could be 

* A j^arra or ganoa is a roand wmter-pot with a small opeoing at the top. 

164 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 165 

placed over the head and on the shoulders of one of the 
Gonds. It had two small holes in it through which it was 
possible for him to see. He swam quietly with the garra on 
his head into the midst of the duck, and as he passed he put up 
his hand and pulled one after another under the water, until he 
had three. Each duck, as it went down, made a slight flutter, 
but it was only momentary; and this garra^ like the rest, 
passed through the midst of the birds and came gdntly toward 
the other side of the tank. Near the edge it went under water, 
and did not reappear. Instead, a man stepped out of the water 
under cover of the reeds, carrying the three duck in his hand. 
In this way the Gonds are able, without the necessity for a gun 
or a gun licence, and without expenditure on powder and shot, 
to replenish their larder. 

In the Balaghat District I was walldng into camp with a 
Baiga* after a good ride from my last camp. As I came 
near my tents, I saw a pipal (fig) tree, with a number of 
green pigeons feeding on the fruit. I said to my companion 
that I must come in the evening and get one or two of 
these. In a very short time he turned up at my tent with 
half a dozen green pigeon in his hand. They were alive, 
but imable to fly. His plan was to take some bird-lime of his 
own private manufacture, and smear with it one or two of the 
branches of the pipal near the fruit. A bird would step on this 
lime, and then, feeling that there was something sticky and 
uncomfortable on its foot, clean the foot against the feathers 
of its breast. The result was that the wings of the bird adhered 
to the breast feathers. After this had been going on for a short 
time, the Baiga and his friends raised a sudden shout below 
the tree. The birds inunediately raised their feet and attempted 
to fly away. Those whose feathers had been smeared found 
that their wings would not act, and fell like lifeless bodies to 
the ground where the Baiga made them prisoners. My com- 
panion had not been accustomed to meeting European officers, 

* The Balgas are a wild tribe with certain priestly functions among the 
aborigines. 



166 WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

and did not know their preference for shooting their own game, 
so he brought these to me to save me trouble. 

I had a more amusing illustration once of the kindly desire 
of the simple Indian, resident in the jungle, to meet what he 
believed to be the wishes of his European guest. I was passing 
through a small and remote Native State on a somewhat hurried 
journey towards head-quarters. I had to halt for a day to allow 
my camp followers to overtake me. The Chief told me that a 
panther had killed a goat very near my camp, and that he had 
arranged for a beat so that I might get the panther. The beat 
was unsuccessful ; and when it was over the Chief asked me if I 
could not stay until the next day, in which case, he said, he was 
perfectly certain that I would get the beast. I expressed regret 
that I must leave at a very early hour in the morning. Next 
morning he was present to say good-bye, and with him he had 
brought the panther in a cage-like trap mounted on wheels. 
It had been caught in the night ; and he suggested that I should 
shoot the beast through the bars of the cage. He was somewhat 
disappointed when I declined to take that step ; but his 
disappointment passed away when I told him that I should 
prefer to take the panther with me and present it to the small 
zoological garden at Nagpur. 

The jungle tribes have a great variety of traps for wild animals. 
One of these is a little enclosure of thick bamboo fencing, within 
which a goat is tied near a spear firmly fixed in the ground at a 
particular angle. The goat bleats in the night, and so attracts 
the panther. The fence is just too high to allow the panther 
to see over, but is low enough to form an easy jump. The 
panther gathers himself for a spring, clears the fence, and is 
transfixed by the spear. 

Another trap is to place a poisoned arrow in a fixed bow 
against a rock or a tree in such a position as to command the 
path by which a tiger is accustomed to come and go. To 
this bow are attached four strings, two on each side. The 
first on the right hand is a string high enough to be touched 
by the neck or body of a bullock, or of a man who may be 



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Awaiting the Tiger 

The sportsman may be seen in hb "machan" Oiterally, raised seat or platform) awaiting the 
anproach of the beat. He may see a large number of wild beasts of many kinds pass below him, but he 
wiD not fire till the tiger comes. 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 167 

passing through the jungle. If either of these touches this 
high string, the arrow is discharged harmlessly ; for it is past 
before he reaches that spot in the path which it commands. 
The tiger» however, crouches low in walking and would pass 
below that string, and would come to a second string, which, as 
he touched it with his foot, would release the arrow just at the 
right time to catch him behind the shoulder. The poison would 
begin to work immediately, and he would be found dead next 
day within a reasonable distance. The strings on the other 
side were precisely of the same character, so that any man or 
bullock coming from that side would be equally safe, and any 
tiger coming from that side would be equally likely to pay 
the penalty. 

I once had a delightful tour through the Bastar State, a 
wild State with great possibilities of development, the name of 
which has been recently associated in the Press with a rising 
of some of the aborigines. I came to a certain village where they 
told me that they had been much harassed by a man-eating 
tiger; but that they had succeeded in catching it in a 
trap. They took me to see the trap, and, as one's nose 
bore witness, the tiger was lying dead within it. It was 
constructed in the following manner. A great tree had been 
cut down ; its branches had been lopped off, and the trunk 
had been placed in a deep cutting into which it almost exactly 
fitted. The one end of the tree was on the ground in this 
cutting. The other end was raised by means of a prop which 
had been placed about half-way down the trunk within the 
cutting. To this prop a small goat had been securely tied. 
This goat bleated plaintively at night and attracted the notice 
of the cruel marauder. He turned in, seized the goat, and 
began dragging it out. The prop gave way, and the heavy tree 
fell upon his back, lying with dead weight upon him from head 
to tail ; and so he was secured and left to die. 

The villagers came together and lifted the tree in my presence. 
It was a strange sight to see the great tiger stretched out 
dead at the bottom of this cutting. The marks made by his 



168 WITH TIGEKS AND BIG GAME 

claws on the ground showed the struggle that he had made ; 
and one could not help feeling some pity for the awful sufferings 
which must have preceded his death. This feeling somewhat 
passed away when a post mortem examination exposed some 
of the contents of his stomach. Amongst these was the bangle 
of a young Maria woman, who had been among his victims. 
Her relatives pressed this sad memorial of the incident upon me, 
and were much pleased to receive more than its value in return. 
The man-eating tiger is a terrible visitation in a countryside. 
The tiger does not ordinarily attack man. I have myself, 
when imarmed, met a tiger face to face in the jungle, and he 
has turned away growling at the disturbance, but altogether 
disinclined to enter the lists with me, not knowing his advantage. 
Ordinarily the tiger confines his attention to the lower animals, 
making a satisfactory meal or two on a good plump deer, or one 
of the cattle of a herd grazing in the jungle. The man-eater is 
generally one which finds himself imable, from some cause or 
other, to hunt with success. It may be that he has been wounded 
in a way that has maimed him without taking his life. It is gener- 
ally due to the act of some Indian Shikari (hunter) provided with 
a very inferior weapon. From the hind leg of one man-eater of 
this class I extracted a slug which had broken a bone and 
rendered it impossible for the tiger to make his usual spring at 
his prey. Ordinarily one finds that the man-eater is either an 
old, mangy, worn-out animal, or one that has been injured in 
this way. He takes to killing men and women when he finds 
that he cannot otherwise satisfy his hunger. 

There is another class, however, I beheve : those trained as 
cubs by a man-eating mother to feed on men. I remember going 
out after such a man-eater in one of the little hill Zamindaris 
in the east of the Raipur District. The Zamindar came out 
, with me, and kindly took me to the scene of operations on an 
elephant. I took up my position in a tree which he had prepared 
beforehand, and the beat was organised. The beat came on 
over the hill for a considerable distance, and then stopped. 
From the place where I was awaiting the advent of the tigress, 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 169 

I could hear the shouts of the men, the blowmg of the horns, 
and the beating of their drums ; but the beat did not come 
any nearer. At last a man came running to me and said that 
the tigress had taken refuge in a cave. I sent to the 2Samindar 
for the elephant, which he assured me was very staunch and 
would face any tiger. I took a large quantity of dry hay, aiid 
some grass a little damper, and pushed the elephant up towards 
the mouth of the cave, threw down the hay and grass, and flung 
into it a piece of lighted fuel (cow-dung cake). The wind was 
blowing into the mouth of the cave. I pushed the elephant 
back, and took my station a few yards off, with my rifle levelled 
at the mouth of the cave to shoot the brute as she came out. 
She put out her head and looked ; but seeing me, she withdrew 
into the recesses of the cave. As I waited, still pointing my 
rifle at the cave mouth, I heard a sound somewhat between a 
cough and a growl on my right rear. Turning round, I saw that 
the beast must have slipped out by some other exit from the 
cave. 

The elephant, which was supposed to be staunch, had begun 
to tremble so that my rifle was moving like a ship on a choppy 
sea. Doing my best, however, to steady it, I fired at the 
retreating tigress. I hit her, but I hit her low. I inflicted a 
severe wound on her stomach, and she turned on me at once. 
The elephant fled, and I had a few unpleasant minutes with the 
elephant tearing along, as fast as he could, and the tigress 
bounding along neck and neck with him just a few yards up 
the hill. I could not reload the barrel which I had just dis- 
charged, for I felt that the tigress might leap on to the elephant 
at any moment, and I was bound to keep the second barrel for 
her. For the same reason, I dared not risk firing the second 
barrel ; for my aim would have been very uncertain, and I 
should have been left unarmed. 

Fortunately for me, the elephant tripped and nearly came 
down. Nothing terrifies an elephant more than the fear of a 
fall ; so he steadied himself and paused in his panic-stricken 
flight. The tigress shot ahead, and, finding herself ahead, went 



170 WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

straight on. The elephant turned round and fled in the opposite 
direction. It was some little time before the Mahout (driver) 
could stop him ; but nothing that we could do would turn him 
in the direction of the tigress ; so I got down. I fortunately 
knew the country well, and judged that she had gone over a 
little knoll, and was probably lying cooling her wound in a 
soft, marshy piece of ground on the other side. Giving orders 
to all the natives to get into or remain in trees, I pushed cau- 
tiously forward up the knoll to a bush which was at the top of it. 
I peered through this and saw the tigress lying below as I had 
anticipated. Fortimately she was to windward of me. I pushed 
my rifle gently through the outermost branches of the bush, 
and levelled it at her. Just as I got my fore sight on her, she 
raised her head and looked round suspiciously. This gave me 
a splendid target ; and I fired and shot her in the neck, breaking 
the spine and killing the beast. 

I do not think that I have ever seen greater enthusiasm 
than marked our return to camp. The victims had for the most 
part been women, who were seized by the tigress as they were 
gathering the mohwa berries, which are used both for food and 
for the preparation of a spirituous liquor ; and there were tales 
of about thirty-five deaths within a short period before. We 
took a charpai (village bed) for the tiger's bier, and it was 
carried shoulder high into the camp eight or ten miles away. 
All the beaters danced round it ; and as we drew near the 
camp they were reinforced by the villagers on every side. 
When we reached the tents there were hundreds, if not thou- 
sands, dancing round it and shouting, ^' Jai ! Sirkar ki jai ! " 
(Glory or victory to the Government), We found that the cave 
had many human remains ; and it was apparently satisfactorily 
established that the tigress had been in the habit of carrying 
her victims alive to the cave and teaching two little cubs to 
kill them there. We were fortunately able, next day, to secure 
the two cubs, which had slimk away while we were dealing with 
their mother, but whose cries of hunger led to their discovery. 

One other man-eating story may be told as an illustration 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME I7l 

of courage and devotion not at all unusual among these brave 
simple jungle people. I have in my possession a tiger's skin 
which has no mark on it, except a cut on its hind quarters. 
I had placed a young Assistant Conmiissioner on special 
duty after several man-eaters in the State of Elawardha in 
the cold weather of 1889-90. These man-eaters were holding 
the ghats (passes) between the plains of Chhattisgarh and the 
hill country of Mandla, and absolutely stopped the traffic 
which was carried by pack bullocks. I was engaged in inspecting 
Settlement work in the State. I fell in with my young friend 
one day as he was preparing to beat for one of the man-eaters. 
We had just organised the beat and placed our " stops ** * in 
certain trees, near which we had taken up our position. 

As we were about to send orders to the distant beaters to 
begin operations, a woman came running to us, and cried out 
that her son, a grown lad, had been carried off by the tiger from 
the village hard by. We at once set off for the spot, taking with 
us the few men whom we had retained as " stops." We found 
that the tiger had just carried off the lad into a narrow strip of 
jungle, which formed a sort of spur to the main forest. As we 
got near this strip, we met the lad's father returning with his 
boy's body. The poor lad had his skull smashed, and was quite 
dead ; but the brave old Gond had attacked the tiger with his 
little axe, and had inflicted so severe a wound on his hind 
quarters that the brute had dropped his prey and turned on 
the man. The latter had stepped up fearlessly towards him, 
and the brute had turned away and slipped into the strip of 
jimgle. 

We sent our small body of men round the fields to the far 
end of this strip, and we told them that when they got there 
they were to stand and shout, and make as much noise as they 
could without entering the jungle. Meanwhile we each got 
astride the branch of a tree. These two trees were at a little 
distance from one another, and commanded practically the 

* " Stops " are men placed in trees near the ^ns to tap on the branches and 
torn the tiger towards the guns, if he tries to pass out of the line. 



172 WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

whole of the end of the narrow strip communicating with the 
main jungle. Hearing the noise behind him» the tiger naturally 
made for the dense forest. He came out looking to right and 
left in an angry and defiant way, right under the tree occu- 
pied by my friend, who raised his heavy twelve-bore gun to 
his shoulder. The animal saw the movement and paused to 
look up. My friend took advantage of this opportunity and 
fired. He struck the brute full in the chest. It did not move 
from its position ; but its legs simply gave way under it, and 
it sank to the ground. There was only one buUet mark in the 
skin, and that was in the middle of the chest. When the skin 
was removed the operating Chamar (worker in skin and leather) 
cut through this hole. There was therefore no mark left on 
the skin at all except a long wound in the hind quarters, where 
we found that the blow of the axe had penetrated to the bone. 
Mr. Cleveland, who was successful in killing all the man-eaters, 
kindly left this skin in my possession as a memorial of the 
prowess of the brave old father. 

Many years ago, when I was Commissioner at Chhattisgarh, 
I had to go out to Khariar (about one hundred miles from 
Raipur) to settle some urgent matters connected with that 
Zamindari. I took with me Mr. Chapman, a young civilian 
who had just joined. We wrote to the Zamindar, a Chauhan 
Chief, giving him notice of our visit, despatched our tents and 
kit, and followed them a few days later. With relays of horses 
we rode straight out to the Khariar border. There the Zamindar 
met us. He was an enthusiastic sportsman, and eagerly 
offered to show us tiger, buffalo and bison, in the intervals of 
our work. We marched with him in five short stages to his 
capitfid, discussing en route the business about which I had 
come down. 

At Petiapali we had news of buffalo. My own Shikaris 
had been left at Suarmar to mark down the man-eating 
tigress above referred to, which I was determined to get on 
the way back; but the Zamindar, who, by the way, had 
the title of Rajah, preferred that we should have his own 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 178 

people as trackers. He thought that this would prevent 
friction with the country folk. Dugari Majhi was the head 
man of a little village near Petiapali and was a well-known 
Gond tracker. He led us through fine sal jungle with here and 
there a thick clump of bamboos, and here and there a green 
glade with a little rippling brook, not dry in these jungles even 
at the end of April. We went a mile or two on my elephant, 
and then dismounting followed our guide on foot. We had two 
other Gonds with us, one of whom carried a chagal * of water, 
to most men indispensable in jungle work. After a while we 
came on the tracks of a herd. A little further forward we came 
on a solitary Gond who had been left to try and keep the herd 
in view. Not a word was uttered, but he pointed forward 
towards a low-lying part of the forest which was still fresh and 
green. We pushed on with eager but suppressed excitement. 
A small Gond soon after swarmed up a tree and peered cau- 
tiously round. Coming down, he stepped out rapidly but 
silently, and soon stopped and pointed forward. Then we got 
our first glimpse of the herd just across a nullah, about three 
hundred yards to windward of us. 

Dugari, who knew the jungle well, led us quickly off to the 
right. He calculated that the herd, which was quietly grazing, 
would move down the bank of the nullah, and that we should 
be able to cut it off. He was right ; we came on them suddenly, 
face to face. The monarch of the herd was about one hundred 
yards off and facing us. Suddenly the herd took fright, turned 
round and dashed off. I could not resist firing at the bull as 
he fled, for I knew that there was no hope of any more stalking 
of the herd that day. I hit him in the hipd quarters, but did 
not wound him severely. He separated from the herd, however, 
and we followed his lonely track. On a hard piece of ground we 
lost it, and sat down for a while to demolish a sandwich or two, 
while Dugari and his friends scattered to pick up the track 
again. They soon found it; and we immediately set forth. 
It was marvellous to see Dugari step out, touching lightly with 
* A large akio bottle carried by a strap oyer the^shoulder. 



174 WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

his stick, as he went, faint tracks that were sometimes ahnost 
invisible to us even when pointed out. 

We had walked about half a mile, Dugari in front followed 
by me, Chapman, cuid another Gond in that order, when sud- 
denly the second Gond touched Chapman on the shoulder and 
pointed into a nursery of young trees. There was the bull 
stranding not fifty yards off, rubbing his head against a yoimg 
sal sapling. There were two thick bushes between us and him, 
but we saw him very distinctly. Chapman fired both barrels 
of his rifle, and I fired one of mine. We aimed at his neck, and 
thought that we must have finished him. He disabused our 
minds immediately. As we foimd out later, he had not been 
touched. All Ehree bullets had been deflected. He turned and 
charged us with all his strength. Fortunately I was the nearest 
of the group with one bullet still in my rifle. I waited tiU he 
dashed out from among the bushes, having my rifle levelled at 
him as he came. His head was down, one horn almost sweeping 
the ground, and he presented a fine target. As soon as I got a 
clear view of it, I gave him my remaining bullet in the middle 
of the forehead just above the eyes, at about ten yards' dis- 
tance, and leapt aside. I heard a tremendous crash and turned 
round to see him lying dead. The whole thing was over before 
we had time to think. 

As we stood beside him I said to Chapman that it was a very 
foolish thing to be standing with empty rifles beside so large 
an animal simply because we supposed him to be dead. I then 
opened the breech of my rifle, and to my surprise I found both 
barrels loaded. I must have loaded them instinctively as I 
leapt aside, and would, I hope, have been ready for the buffalo 
if he had charged again ; but as the necessity had passed away 
I had forgotten the instinctive act. We were fairly excited, 
especially Chapman, who had up to this seen nothing of sport ; 
but Dugari was calm and immoved. I asked him whether he 
was not delighted. He replied, " It was not written that you 
were to be killed by this buffalo ; and I think that the Rajah 
will give me a silver bangle because you are safe." 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 175 

Next day we had a long weary hunt. We had done office 
work from dawn till noon, when we got news of a herd. We were 
led up close to it by the faithful Dugari. At last we saw a fine 
bull in the distance ; but he also saw us and vanished like a 
ghost in the thick jungle, taking the herd with him. We fol- 
lowed their tracks a long way, and then lost them and began to 
make our way wearily towards the camp. When we were close 
to the tents we met the Zamindar with some villagers who 
gave us news of a great buU that had taken possession of the 
water supply of a village about four miles off. He was a crusty 
old solitary bull, and would allow no one near ; so the villagers 
had to go a mile or two instead of two hundred yards for their 
daily supply of water. 

It was by this time nearly five o*clock, so we rode off as fast 
as we could, taking no one with us, but trusting to get a guide 
at the little jungle village of Babupali, where the buffalo was. 
We found a man willing to guide us, who also told us that 
another man was posted in a tree close to the place where the 
buffalo was lying. We were told that he would point out where 
the beast was. We went on foot from the village. Within 
half a mile we came to the nullah with a strip of jungle like a 
spur from the neighbouring hill. We separated and moved 
stealthily towards the water supply from different directions. 
At last we heard the animal, slowly beating with his tail as 
he lay among the long grass and shrubs in the bed of the nullah. 
We tried to get sight of him, but could not. He heard us, how- 
ever, and with a warning bellow came up to turn us off his 
preserve. He had to come out of the nullah sideways. We 
gave him two bullets in the neck and one in the triangle under 
the ribs as he came out. This troubled him terribly and the 
fight was soon over. His horns were the largest I had seen, 
and measured ten feet eight inches. 

During our short stay with the Rajah we got three fine 
buffaloes, a tiger, a bear and a man-eating tigress — ^no mean 
bag. Tracking the buffalo is much more interesting than 
tiger shooting ; but it is very rarely that it gives the same 



176 WITH TIG£RS AND BIG GAME 

satisfaction to one's conscience. When the tiger is killed, there 
is a destroyer the less, either of man or of his possessions. It is 
rare to find a buffalo that is really offensive : the churlish old 
bull that we killed at the Babupali nullah deserved his fate 
for his selfish appropriation of the only water supply within 
reasonable distance of the village; but it is not often 
that the people suffer in this way from the presence of 
buffaloes. The damage they do is mainly damage to crops ; 
and they are so like the tame buffalo, from which we get 
so much milk for our domestic use, that there is little satis- 
faction in compassing their death. Indeed, they are much 
finer animals, and I always felt compunction in shootinj^ 
them. 

We got no bison at Ehariar. We did not attempt to go to the 
place among the hills where the Rajah told us they were to be 
foimd ; but later on, in the Chanda District, when I was 
Commissioner of Nagpur, some friendly Gonds showed me 
bison in the jungle. Once during the rains I ran out from 
Chanda to a forest bungalow, some fifteen or twenty miles 
away, and slept the night there. My Gond friends, who had 
often been with me on other expeditions, woke me at three 
in the morning, and took me to a place quite close by where 
there was a salt-lick. We arrived there just after the herd had 
left, so we had a long stem chase. The fallen leaves were 
sodden with the rain, and it was easy to walk through the jungle 
without making a noise ; and we walked at a great pace fol- 
lowing clear tracks. As we were pushing on after having 
walked about ten miles, we heard a roaring such as one hears 
in the Zoo when the animals are to be fed. I inquired in a 
whisper from the Gond, who was beside me, what it meant. 
He said, " It is a bison." The word he used was " Gaur " ; for 
there are few sibilant sounds in the jungle language of the 
Gonds. They use sounds that do not travel. The noise was 
directly on our right, so I put two Muhammadan Chaprasis* who 
were with me into trees to mark the tracks we were about to 
* Menial servants or orderlies. 




A Group OF Baigas in Balaghai 



Col. Bloo*nfittd 




^**''*->' Sir D. Hamilton 

Fishing-boats in the Sundkrbans at thk Mouth of the Ganges 



WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 177 

leave, and, taking the two Gonds with me, we pushed directly 
towards the noise. 

After walking a very short distance, we came to a glade in 
which I saw a sight which I shall never forget. Two great bison 
bulls had their horns interlocked and were wrestling with one 
another. The cows of the herd were dancing round in frantic 
excitement with their tails in the air, and bellowing for all they 
were worth. The confUct had lasted for some little time : 
suddenly without any reason apparent to me, one of the 
bulls turned tail and fled, leaving his antagonist in posses- 
sion of the herd. In the middle of the glade there was a large 
tree ; nearer the other side from where I was there stood a 
smaller one : the victorious bidl went up to this and stood 
rubbing his horns against it. He was facing me, and the tree 
was more or less between us. I felt that I could not get a shot 
at him from where I was. I therefore made a sign to the Gond 
that I was going to creep through the long grass to the big tree 
in the middle of the glade and take aim from there. He shook 
his head, as indicating that the movement could not be carried 
out. I went down as flat as I could, however, and on hands 
and knees, holding my rifle close to me, I slipped through the 
grass till I got to the tree. Then I raised myself behind it, and 
cautiously putting my rifle round the comer of it, I fired at the 
bull. He presented a fine target, probably not more than fifty 
yards off. I felt that I had hit him, but he dashed off without 
a sound, the whole herd galloping away with him. 

The Gond was so excited that, contrary to custom, he 
shouted, ** Nahin lagla (You have not hit).'' I held up my hand 
to silence him, and pushed on after the herd. As I turned a 
comer of a bamboo clump, not much more than a hundred 
yards off, I almost tripped on the dead body of the bull. We 
carried him to the tents, where the Gonds had a great feast. 
I sent the head and neck in a cart into Chanda, taking care that 
the carter was not a Hindu. My wife sent it straight on to the 
station at Warora in charge of a Muhammadan Chaprasi, and 
by eight o'clock in the morning it was with Johnson, the Kamp- 



178 WITH TIGERS AND BIG GAME 

tee taxidermist, who preserved it with perfect success, although 
it was the rainy season. Meanwhile, I suppose the defeated 
bull resumed the mastership of the herd. 

The bison is much more attractive in appearance than the 
buffalo. He is even less offensive. The pleasure of pursuit 
in the long tracking through the jungle, with the feeling that 
at any moment you may come on the herd, is great ; but the 
satisfaction of killing a bison is small except to our Gk>nd 
compfmions, who like exceedingly to have a great feast of 
bison flesh. 

The Gonds are wonderfully attractive people. They are 
absolutely without fear, and are intensely loyal to any one 
who associates with them in a friendly way. They expect to be 
regularly paid, and to receive a full allowance of their ordinary 
food while they are working with you. These conditions being 
granted, there is nothing that they will not do, so long as they 
do not suspect their European leader either of fear or serious 
incapacity. I sent two of my Chanda Gk>nds over to Burmah 
at the request of Captain Fryer, then private secretary to the 
Lieutenant-Governor. They did splendid work even in those, 
to them, unknown jungles ; and young Fryer sent them home 
full of delight at his treatment of them, and with a handsome 
reward, which enabled them to buy a little land for themselves. 
It was touching to see the reluctance with which they crossed 
the water to Burmah. I was then Home Secretary to the 
Government of India in Calcutta. I received them there and 
put them on board ship. It was nothing but their perfect 
confidence in their old friend that induced them to go, and it 
was delightful indeed to see them return safe and sound, full of 
gratitude for the kindness shown them by Captain Fryer and 
his friends, and full of pride in his appreciation of their services. 
He had quite won their hearts. A man must be a little more 
than a good ofiice man if he is to have real and permanent 
influence over the jungle peoples. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 
AND DEBT 

TO know something about the agricultural community is 
to know something about India, for the vast majority 
of the people are agricultural. In the Central Provinces 
we used to go about among them, and it was recognised as a 
duty to become acquainted with them. The Collector had 
to keep himself in touch with them, or he became, and was 
well known to be, an inefficient officer. He had to know the 
character of cultivation and the state of the crops in all parts 
of his District. The land revenue was paid to him at his own, 
or at one of the subordinate Treasuries. He was responsible for 
its prompt realisation, for understanding the reasons for any 
default, and for treating default leniently when the reasons for 
it were valid. The payments made by the Malguzar or 
Zamindar * are fixed not only on his home farm, but on the 
rents of the tenants. The condition of the tenants is therefore 
a matter of importance to the Collector, as well as the condition 
of the proprietor ; and there is no part of a Collector's duty 
more important than going about among the people and, by 
frank talk with them and personal inspection of the village 
lands, ascertaining their actual condition. 

This is also a duty which the people expect him to perform. 
They do not resent the fullest and frankest discussion of their 
affairs, but they very deeply feel any show of indifference. 

* The Zamindar is literally the holder of the land ; and the Malgozar is liter- 
ally the man through whom the revenue is paid to Government Both of 
these tenns are used for the proprietor of a village or group of villages. 

179 



180 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

The Gk>vemment is expected to understand them, and to be 
ready to help them when necessary. There are not a few who 
prefer the ryotwari system, wider which the Government 
settlement of land revenue is made directly with the cultivator 
himself. There is no middle man to consume some of the 
revenue which ought to come to Gk>vemment. But I myself 
prefer the old Central Provinces system, in which the settle- 
ment is made with the Malguzar, or village proprietor, in full 
cognisance of the rents he realises. To have a local man of 
some standing to help the people over periods of temporary 
difficulty, and to take a lead in village life is often a great 
advantage. But it does not relieve the Revenue officer 
of the duty of knowing the condition of the cultivators. 
He must get beyond the Malguzar, and know the ryots as 
well. 

The ryots like to be allowed to tell all their story. Any 
trouble they have, or anything that interests them, and still 
more any matter in regard to which they think that the Revenue 
officer can help them, will be poured into his ears, if he will 
listen. And he will be a very foolish person if, in the vast 
majority of cases, he does not let them say all they have to say. 
It sometimes may seem waste of time, but it is better and 
more valuable work than much for which the time might other- 
wise have been saved. To an earnest and sympathetic officer 
it is always a pleasure to hear what the people have to say ; 
and to them it is such a privilege to speak freely, that they 
will take any order in good part provided that it is passed 
after they have had a kindly hearing, and full consideration 
has been given to what they have said. Kindly and patient 
conduct towards the people enables an officer to carry them 
with him in a truly marvellous way. 

A missionary once said to me, ^^ We may be of great use to 
you : the Gk)vemment officer does his work righteously and 
conscientiously, but he has not time to explain things to the 
people. We go about among them and can explain." Mis- 
sionaries do help in this way, but the Gk>vemment officer who 



AND DEBT 181 

fails to try to find time to ^' explain things " makes a great 
mistake. 

I recollect a case in which it became necessary to substitute 
Government servants for the hereditary Village Accountants 
who had become practically useless to the people. The measure 
was tmdoubtedly a sound one, and the Government determined 
to carry it out. Some of the old hereditary men fought for the 
maintenance of the old system, though the orders gave as full 
consideration to their personal claims as possible. One flbae 
old man fought hard for his family office and dignity. The 
Deputy Commissioner, who was a man well known for a some- 
what hasty manner of doing business, had called the case in 
which this man had petitioned urging his claim. Finding that 
there was to be opposition he adjourned it, and then, taking 
it up one day when the petitioner was absent, he struck it off 
in default. The man was furious, and declared that he would 
fight the case to the end, appealing ^^ London tak."* I had 
succeeded in charge of the District, and sent for him and tried 
to show him that he would gain nothing by all this expensive 
litigation. He said that he would not submit to injustice, and 
that he had a good case. I promised to come to his village and 
hear it. 

I went soon after, and kept nearly a whole day free for it. My 
friend came 4irith a mass of books and papers. I made him sit 
down on the floor of my tent surrounded with them, and listened 
to him and took notes. After some hours with him, I summed 
up the case to him, expoimding the whole policy, and explaining 
that policy as applying to his claim. He listened quietly and 
respectfully. At the end he simply said to me in Marathi, '^ Do 
you really think that I shall gain nothing by fighting ? ** 
I replied, " I am sure of it, my friend." He mihesitatingly 
answered, ^^ Then I shall sign " ; and there and then he signed 
the agreement accepting the Government Scheme. He re- 
mained my friend till he died, and his son was one of the Indian 

* *' Byen to London,** ie. to the Privy Council or to the Secretary of State, as 
the cue might be. 



182 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

gentlemen who pluekily stood by me years afterwards when I 
was engaged in suppressing the Nagpur grain riots. This is 
not a very exceptional case. 

I cannot even now think without astonishment of a case 
which moved me not a little at the time. When I was Sessions 
Judge in Chhattisgarh, I had to sentence a poor man to death 
for a savage murder. He was taken outside the court, and I 
heard great weeping and wailing. I ascertained that his women- 
folk were giving expression to their grief. When I went out to 
walk home they rushed at me, threw themselves suddenly at 
my feet, and cried for mercy. The constables who were near — 
like so many of the low class of police when untrained and 
officious — attempted to drive them away by force. I forbade 
this. And I asked the poor women what they wanted. They 
told me. I explained to them that I was as powerless as they» 
that I believed that it was proved that the man had committed 
the murder, and that the law required me to pass the sentence. 
I went on to explain that the law gave them an appeal, that 
there was a higher court than mine, the judge of which might 
alter my order if he did not agree with my finding. I got 
a kindly Indian barrister to draw up their appeal for them 
there and then. I heard that the appeal was dismissed and 
the sentence carried out. 

Some months later my wife and I were riding through a 
village far from head-quarters. Several women came, some to 
me and some to my wife, and touched our feet and said, ^^ Peace 
be to you." I said, " Who are you ? " Their answer was, " We 
are the women to whom you were kind when the man of our 
house was sentenced to death for murder." They had no ill- 
feeling to me for having passed the sentence ; but they remem- 
bered with gratitude that I had listened to the story of their 
grief, and had done what I could for them. It is not difficult 
to win the hearts of these kindly, simple people ; and they have 
a wonderful way of winning ours. It is worth while to get 
among them and help to mitigate their sorrows or increase 
their happiness. 



AND DEBT 188 

Indeed, it is wonderful how happy their lives are. India is 
not a country in which the climate is favourable to hard work. 
I heard a fairly energetic man once say, ^^ There are times in 
India when I feel very much disinclined for physical exertion. 
I like to sit and think ; and sometimes I only sit." The village 
folk do not, as a rule, work harder than they are compelled to do. 
Their standard of comfort is not high ; and so long as their urgent 
wants are satisfied they do not care to exert themselves. 
They work hard enough when work must be done. At seed time 
and harvest they give weary days to toil, ploughing and sowing 
and transplanting and reaping, often in circumstances of much 
discomfort from rain or irrigation ; but they do no more than 
they must. Yet in all they are cheery, and one may often hear 
the song of them that labour, as well as see the joy of harvest. 

To me it was always a touching spectacle to see a band of 
pilgrims on their way to Jaganath's temple at Puri.* They used 
to pass through Raipur before the railway to Puri made pil- 
grimage more easy. They were going to fulfil some vow, to give 
thanks for some special blessing. They would come sometimes, 
nearly a whole village together, for hundreds of miles with their 
bullocks and carts and their families, and go singing down the 
road the praises of their God. They had looked forward to 
this pious journey for years, and expected much blessing from it. 
Often they would return weary and wellnigh stripped of all 
they had by the rapacious priests and temple servants. Often 
some of them fell victims to cholera and other ills incident to pil- 
grim life in India. Sometimes they had not even obtained a 
satisfactory view of the strangely unlovely idol they had gone 
to see. But they were going back to their old life, loyal and 
patient as ever, not understanding why things had not been made 
brighter for them, but not complaining. In much of their life 
we cannot help these people ; but we can at least sympathise 
with them, and we can hardly help loving them when we know 
them well. 

* The temple of Joganath ("the Lord of the World,** a form of Krishna) at 
Puri is one of the principal places of pilgrimage in India. 



184 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

St. Paul said * to the Athenians, '^ Ye men of Athens, in all 
things I perceive that ye are somewhat superstitious (or 
religious)." This is emphatically a characteristic of the Indian 
peoples. At the time of the great eclipse of the sun, in the last 
decade of last century, I happened to be at home on leave. 
The late Professor Copeland, the Astronomer Royal in Scotland, 
asked me to help him in respect of an expedition he was organis- 
ing to see it in India. I gave him letters of introduction to some 
of the Central Provinces officers, and amongst others to the Tah- 
sildar of Katol, a town on the line of total eclipse. When 
he came back he was full of the kindness he had received, and 
especially of the unstinted help the country people had given 
him. When I met the Tahsildar (a Brahman from the Konkan 
of Bombay) I congratulated him on his having made Professor 
Copeland's visit a success. He said, with a smile, "' The credit 
is not mine. The Professor has a most venerable appear- 
ance, and I translated his title of * Astronomer Royal ' into 
Marathi as *' Astrologer to the Queen ' ; so the people received 
him with reverence, and gave him all the help they could.'* 

I was greatly moved by the following incident. I had 
assembled many landlords and bankers to receive my thanks 
for the help they had given to the people during the trials of 
the famine which I had to fight as Chief Commissioner of the 
Central Provinces. The famine seemed over, for the Meteoro- 
logical Department had given us good hope of rain ; and 
I fixed my meeting for the beginning of July, feeling confident 
that the monsoon would have burst by then. But the rain 
had not come ; and the sky was clear when we went to the 
meeting. Our hearts were full of anxiety. In speaking of it 
at the end of a long meeting in which the work of all had 
been detailed and many had received special marks of ap- 
proval, I said that perhaps we had another year of trial 
before us, but that we prayed to the Merciful Father to deliver 
us from so terrible a visitation. 

* Acts xviL 92 (Revised Version) : the mugin reads *< religious *^ for ** super* 
sUtiotts.'* 



AND DEBT 185 

As I drove away from the meeting, the sky was overclouded, 
and I barely got mider cover before the rain came down. As 
my wife and I sat at lunch there was shouting outside. Thou- 
sands were gathered with relieved and thankful hearts. They 
shouted, ^* Victory to our Chief Commissioner 1 He prayed for 
rain ; and it has come." I spoke to them a few words of good 
cheer, and bade them go home and give Grod the glory. The 
scene greatly impressed us. It was full of gladness and of 
solemnity. They have the faith of little children, and " of 
such is the kingdom of God." 

One of the greatest evils connected with agricultural Ufe in 
India is the indebtedness of the people, and the difficulty that 
they have in obtaining command of capital for carrying on 
agricultural work and effecting improvements. The indebted- 
ness of the people has long attracted the attention of the 
Government and of those who are in any way interested in their 
welfare. It is not easy to understand why there should be so 
large a proportion of the agricultural community involved in 
debt ; for there are so many careful and prudent persons among 
the agricultural classes that many who know them would be 
inclined to say that habits of prudence and thrift characterise 
the people generally. That the Hindu is not necessarily im- 
provident and unthrifty is manifested by the many cases that 
one sees of lives conducted on sound business principles ; and 
yet it cannot be denied that indebtedness is, to an extraordinary 
degree, characteristic of the agricultural classes. 

There is one reason for this which is manifest on the 
face of it to any one who has practical experience of the life 
of the people, namely, that it is practically impossible for 
any man or any family that has once fallen into debt to recover. 
Therefore, generation by generation there is a tendency for 
indebtedness to increase. It is not the policy of the money- 
lender to sell up the debtor except under special circum- 
stances. He will sell him up if he desires for himself, or for 
any one in whom he is interested, the property which the debtor 
owns ; or he will sell him up when the debtor has become so 



186 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

involved as to be unable to pay what he regards as adequate 
interest for the money he has lent ; but he will not ordinarily 
sell him up so long as he can extract from him a good profit in 
the shape of interest. Then, again, there is something in the 
climate of India that is against any great or special effort. 
The routine of life is as much as most men desire : special 
effort is irksome. Thus it is that, from generation to generation, 
the debt descends, sometimes without increasing in volume to 
any very appreciable extent, but without diminishing. There is 
one thing the creditor does not like in a debtor who has pro- 
perty such as to form anything like reasonable security : that 
is repayment of the loan, and the conditions of the debt are 
generally such as make the repayment of the principal very 
difficult. 

Certain exceptional demands of the debtor for more money 
tend also to increase or, at all events, to maintain the amount of 
the debt. A man may be repaying his debt steadily year by year ; 
but suddenly a marriage is to take place which must be on a 
scale of expenditure such as will reflect credit on the family, 
and be a subject of pride to the married couple in after years. 
This expenditure may swallow up all that has been repaid, or 
even more ; and the debt is left at least as heavy a burden as 
before. Or there may be a temporary or local failure in crops, 
from the direct consequence of which the agriculturist only 
escapes by incurring fresh debt. With a people who find it 
exceedingly difficult to get rid of debt when once incurred, 
and who have many occasions in the course of their ordinary 
life on which a sudden demand is made for money which they 
have not at hand, it is only natural that indebtedness should 
tend to increase. 

It is an extraordinary thing how difficult many natives find 
it to keep money. They are very sensitive to such public opinion 
as exists in their viUages. And that public opinion is frequently 
unfavourable to the prudent use of money, especially if that 
money is of the nature of a ^^ windfall." I had once a native 
coachman who talked French. I forget how I discovered this 



AND DEBT 187 

very unusual accomplishment, for he never boasted of it. I 
discovered it one day by accident ; and then I ascertained on 
inquiry that he had emigrated to the West Indies, where he 
had spent some years. I asked him whether he had saved 
nothing there. He told me that he had been very comfortable. 
His employer had been kind to him, and had paid him well ; 
but he had longed to get back to his home ; and, having saved 
over five hundred rupees, he had returned. 

Such a sum would in those days have kept him and his 
family in comfort for five years; or invested it would have 
made him a comparatively rich man. I asked him how he had 
invested his savings. He replied that he had not possessed 
them over two or three weeks. There was a feast to be given 
to his caste-fellows on his return, so that his position in the 
caste might be assured after his joumeyings beyond '^ the black 
water"; and there were presents and entertainments to be 
given to his friends : how could he, after a long absence, refuse 
such calls ? So all the savings of his exile were gone ; and he 
had settled down to a life for which he had acquired both the 
taste and the quahflcations during his absence. He was an 
excellent coachman, hard-working and conscientious, and simply 
devoted to his horses. 

Another case occurs to my mind. A good Gond cultivator 
of great vigour and of no little intelligence had placed me under 
considerable obligation by services rendered to me in the jungle. 
As I was leaving that part of the country, I made him the present 
of what seemed to him a very large sum of money. He at once 
asked me to buy a little bit of land with it, and present that 
instead. I advised him to look out for a piece of land and buy 
it himself. He said that he feared that was impossible : his 
friends would think it so selfish of him to keep all that money 
to himself I So I got him to look out quietly for such a plot as 
would suit him, and report privately to me. I then got a 
trustworthy Indian friend to buy it for me, and handed it over 
to the Gond, who was allowed to enjoy it in peace. 

Such incidents as these are qtute typical. They indicate 



188 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

what is well known to all who know the people well, namely, 
that it is hard for the ordinary native of India to keep money. 
He lives up to his income : he is expected to do that. He is 
thrifty in that he can live on little ; but as a rule he cannot 
save, unless he does it secretly : there are too many effective 
demands on his piwse from his relatives and friends. It is a 
defect in social economy ; but it has this redeeming feature, 
that it saves the country from a poor law : the people sup- 
port their own poor : liberality is characteristic of the people. 

The Settlement Officer soon learns this, and it greatly affects 
the assessment made by wise and considerate officers. There 
is nothing more disastrous to a district than a harsh, incon- 
siderate, and heavy assessment. An assessment may be ac- 
tually just, and yet harsh and unwise. I remember having a 
talk, when I was a Commissioner of Division, with a Malguzar of 
many villages, a man of position and influence in that part of 
the country. He complained of the great increase in his assess- 
ment. I went over all the papers with him very carefully. It 
was easy to show that owing to the construction of the railway 
and the general rise of prices, the assessments were perfectly 
just. My friend, an upright and honest man, admitted frankly 
that this] was true. But he pointed out that he had saved 
but little, and that it was very difficult for him to reduce 
his expenditure at once within the limits of his reduced income. 
I represented the matter to the Settlement Officer, and to the 
Government, and his assessment was slightly reduced, and 
(what was much more important) the increase was made 
progressive over a term of years. This is a wise and reasonable 
procediu'e sometimes adopted in such cases. 

To return to the matter of indebtedness, what strikes one 
as particularly noteworthy is the high rate of interest which 
money-lenders all over the country are able to exact. Cases 
are constantly brought to notice which actually appal one : 
the interest seems so extortionate. One is apt, from the ex- 
perience which he has of a large number of such cases to de- 
noimce the money-lender and to regard him as one of the enemies 



AND DEBT 189 

of his race. It would be unfair to take up this position, and to 
pass a sweeping condemnation on the whole class. It is 
necessary to consider the circumstances more carefully, and 
also to bear in mind that there are many kinds of men with 
many characters engaged in this profession. At the same time, 
it is undoubtedly true that a Government officer engaged in 
Revenue work, or in the administration of civil justice meets 
with a large number of cruel and rapacious men following the 
occupation of money-lender. 

In some villages I have known the good old hereditary 
money-lender, whose family had followed this caUing for genera- 
tions among people who looked up to him very much as to a 
father. I remember one kindly old money-lender, with no 
very great capital, but just enough to meet the wants of the 
village commimity. He had very few customers outside his 
own village, and the villagers never dreamed of going to any 
one else. Their relations with him were very kindly. I do 
not think that I ever heard of his being in court as a 
plaintiff. Any disputes were settled by the village " Pan- 
chayat," * whose authority is frequently exercised with great 
advantage. He gave the people his money when they needed 
it ; they paid interest for it ; and he was nothing but their 
kindly friend. This, however, is a state of things that one 
does not find often nowadays, and then only in the remoter 
villages in the course of a tour in the interior. One finds 
somewhat more frequently a Malguzar who lives on such 
terms with his own ryots.t He lends them seed grain, and 
sometimes gives them also subsistence during the time of 
ploughing and sowing and waiting for the harvest ; and then 
he is repaid for what he has advanced, receiving in addition 
to that the interest on his advance and his rent. In many 
cases, I have found the relations between such a Malguzar and 
his ryots to be of the most kindly character, though this also 

* The Panchayat is the Council of Village Elders : its literal meaning is 
«• Council of Five.*' The influence of these Elders, based on their age, character, 
and local experience, was very great : it is in many places now waning. 

t The lyot or rofot is the tenant. 



190 AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY 

is a phase of Indian life which is too much passing away with 
advancing civilisation. 

It is not only as an illustration of the more simple and kindly 
past that one takes pleasure in such cases as I have indicated. 
They also serve as an explanation of the state of things in 
regard to indebtedness which has grown up largely under our 
own civilisation. There was no doubt a considerable amoimt of 
debt and of usury before our time ; and traditions come down to 
us which show that the character and practice of the usurer were 
often even worse then than we find them now. The high rate 
of interest then charged and the severity of the usurer's attitude 
may in some cases have been due to the fact that the remedy 
against a recalcitrant or negligent debtor was not so simple 
nor so prompt in those days as it is now, and that therefore the 
risk of loss was greater. It must also be remembered that in 
those days there was much less capital. A loan was not so 
easily obtained. When the usurer came in with his advance of 
money he found a man with an urgent demand, who at the same 
time was not a very satisfactory debtor, and the transaction 
was one in which his position of advantage enabled him to get 
almost any return for the risk that he was running, and what he 
demanded was often exorbitant. 

The ordinary transactions between creditor and debtor were 
then mainly connected with the advance of grain for sub- 
sistence, and for seed to the agriculturist. These were repayable 
in kind at the harvest. A very conmion rate of interest was 
siwai (literally ^^ one and a quarter ") : that is to say, the 
grain was to be returned with 25 per cent of interest. This 
seems at first sight very high interest, especially as the debt 
had to be repaid within about six months ; but when it 
is remembered that the price of grain is high at the time of 
sowing and low at the time of harvest, this rate of interest does 
not appear to be so exorbitant. 

Now, in India, custom, rather than either competition or 
reason, regulates to a very large extent economic conditions, 
and the rate of interest has a very unfortunate connection 



AND DEBT 191 

with this customary law. When, on the one hand> improved 
commimications made markets accessible, and, on the other 
hand, the natural tendency of advancing civilisation substituted 
payments in cash for payments in kind, there was introduced 
that modification of the relation between creditor and debtor 
which changed these old grain debts into money debts. But then 
customary law prevailed to enable the money-lenders to extract 
from their debtors the old rate of interest. We find, therefore, 
that, even when the debts are contracted in cash, the rate of 
interest at which the agriculturist is being financed varies 
throughout India, in the great majority of cases, from 25 to 
50 per cent. A man borrows money for seed grain for the rati 
or spring harvest, and for subsistence during the period of 
preparation for that harvest. He may borrow the money 
about June or July, and he repays it seven or eight months 
later. He promises to repay it with siwaiy that is, with interest 
at 25 per cent. Twenty-five per cent for eight months is equal 
to 87 J per cent a year. 

Even this is not the worst. Usury laws were introduced by 
well-meaning but misguided authorities, with a view to bene- 
fit debtors, but really to their injury. I need not discuss 
the many ways in which usury laws are avoided ; but there 
is one habit which is largely due to usury laws, and which 
has greatly increased the burden of the agriculturist in regard 
to the interest he pays : that is the habit of over-stating the 
debt and paying interest in advance. When a debtor was hard 
pressed for money and came to his creditor, the creditor found 
that the rate of interest which the law allowed was just about 
one-half of what he wanted. All that he had to do, however, 
was to double the sum the debtor required, and compel the 
debtor to acknowledge the receipt of that larger sum, while 
he only reaUy received the smaller. This secured for the 
creditor all that he wanted in the way of interest, and for the 
debtor all that he wanted in the way of cash. 

The necessity for this has passed away with the usury laws ; 
but a habit once learned is not easily forgotten in India. It is 



192 AGRICULTURAL COM5niNITY 

not necessary now to resort to the practioe (though^ unfortun- 
ately, examples still occur) of entering an over-statement of the 
amount of the debt in the bond ; but the habit has been 
acquired of making a deduction from the amount actually 
paid to the debtor. This deduction is now made on the plea of 
having the first instalment of interest paid in advance. If a 
man is borrowing Rs.lOO at 25 per cent and pays the in- 
terest in advance, he is actually receiving Rs.75 at 88^ per 
cent. If the debt is payable in six months it is not less than 
661 P^ cent. 

Thus the high rate of interest prevailing so widely in agricul- 
tural communities throughout India is due in part to customary 
rates for cash which took their origin in old days when security 
was less sound than now, and when recovery was much more 
difficult. It is also due to the maintenance, in respect of cash, 
of rates of interest which were reasonable for grain in view of 
the lower prices at harvest than at seed time, but which are 
exorbitant in respect of cash. It is also in part due to the 
payment of interest in advance, a practice which appears to 
have its origin in the unfortunate lessons taught by the usury 
laws. The result is that the agricultural communities are 
deeply involved in debt, and are unable to obtain capital 
for the carrying on of their business and for effecting improve- 
ments on anything like reasonable terms. 



CHAPTER XV 
THE FINANCING OF AGRICULTURISTS 

THE Government and its officers have had many a battle 
with the usurer. But there id nothing more difficult 
than to defend an ignorant peasantry against the con- 
sequences of their own thoughtlessness. It is necessary that 
the law should, as far as possible, be certain in its operation ; 
and it is impossible to leave the laying down of the law entirely 
to the courts, especially when the Judges live apart from the 
people, and do not understand their circumstances. In older 
days the Judges lived more among the people, and had much less 
judicial work. It was wonderful how much of substantial 
justice was done in these days by men who did not discriminate 
much between law and fact, but were inclined to regard law 
as nothing more than the correct interpretation and treatment 
of fact. All the same, the idiosyncrasies of individual officers 
intensified the proverbial uncertainty of the law, and ex- 
perience tended to show that attempts to interfere with con- 
tracts as made often resulted in injury to the people generally, 
and that the astute usurer could often, by some means or 
other, get round such provisions of the Acts of the legislature 
or of the case-law of the judges as were framed for the protec- 
tion of their debtors. 

Early in my service I was employed as a Subordinate Judge 
in succession to a man who was well known to be very per- 
functory in his work. I toxmd that this man had not noticed 
a change in the Law of Limitation regarding the date in pro- 
ceedings in Execution of Decrees from which the period of 
limitation was to coimt. Formerly it had been the date of final 
o 183 



194 THE FINANCING 

order in the last Execution proceedings ; now it was the 
date of institution of these proceedings. I found a case of 
Execution pending against a Kunbi* Malguzar. I read the 
proceedings carefully. It was plain that the court had given 
a decree with great reluctance owing to the exorbitant nature 
of the demand. The old debt, which had been contracted by 
the present Judgment Debtor's father, had been paid oflf over 
and over again by the excessive interest demanded, despite 
the good security of the land ; yet the debt had increased in 
amount. And now the Malguzar's village was to be sold. 

I discovered that the usurer (who was well known as a 
relentless Shylock) had brought his Execution proceedings 
after the period prescribed by the new law had expired. 
I told him so, and intimated that I would strike off the case 
and set the debtor free. I knew that it was necessary to 
see for myself that the debtor understood this. So I directed 
the Tahsildar f to order him to appear before me on the day 
fixed for hearing the case. He came, and I explained to him 
that as the debt had not been contracted by him, and had been 
more than adequately repaid already, I had determined to 
take advantage of a mistake in law made by his creditor and 
dismiss the case : his village was now restored to him ; and he 
had better keep out of debt in future. He could hardly believe 
that the burden of years had rolled away. I record with 
satisfaction that I knew him afterwards for years, and that he 
kept free of debt. As for the usurer, he had many similar cases ; 
and his mistake in law really broke his heart. His son» 
though not altogether estimable, did not inherit his father's 
ruthless disposition. By some such means as these, or otherwise, 
one was able sometimes to save a worthy agriculturist ; but 
such efforts were sporadic and only affected individuals. 

A far more extensive and systematic effort directly to 
relieve indebted agriculturists was made possible in the Cen- 
tral Provinces by the famine of the last years of the nine- 

* The Kunbis are a good cultiyating caste, 
t Indian local Revenue officer. 



OF AGRICULTURISTS 195 

teenth century. The Government is the great landowner. 
The " proprietors " of land realise the profits of their home 
farms and also receive the rents from the tenants of the other 
village lands ; and out of these profits and rents they pay 
to Government as revenue a sum fixed from time to time 
on well-understood principles, retaining the balance as their 
own. Many of the tenants again have certain rights of transfer, 
which give their lands a marketable value. It is clear that this 
system has two great advantages. It gives the landlord an 
interest in the prosperity of his tenants ; for he cannot pay his 
revenue unless they can pay their rents. It also gives the 
Government a direct interest in the prosperity of both land- 
lords and tenants, on which the realisation of the assessed 
revenue depends. When agricultural trouble comes, the tenants 
look to the landlord, and both look to the Government, for 
sympathy and necessary assistance. This is the natural working 
of the system. I have seen it in the Central Provinces ; and I 
have seen the other system of a permanent settlement, in which 
the payments to Government have no real relation to present 
conditions : there can be no doubt that under the latter system 
there is no such bond of intimacy and sympathy between the 
Government and the people as under the former. 

Now when the famine came in the Central Provinces, the 
severest famine in all our history, apart from the relief works 
and other measures for the feeding of the people, it was necessary 
to take steps to help the agricultural community through the 
unparalleled crisis. Among these measures were the grant of 
*^ takavi " loans and the remission of revenue. The loans were 
given to Malguzars and ryots who needed them to enable them 
to purchase seed and carry through their agricultural work. 
The remission of revenue meant that the Government not 
only suspended, but actually wrote off revenue which the failure 
of the crops rendered it impossible for the Malguzars to pay. 
It was at once seen that the interests of the people and of 
the Grovemment alike demanded that this liberality on the 
part of Government necessitated similar liberality on the part 



196 THE FINANCING 

of other creditors. Government could not agree to give ad- 
vances or remit dues from the public funds merely to make 
it easier for other creditors to realise their dues. The law 
rendered it possible for Government to avoid this blunder, 
while helping the people. 

The revenue is the first charge on the land : every other 
debt gives place to this ; and *^ takavi " is collected so far 
like land revenue that it has a certain precedence. If the 
Government chose to do so, it could realise its revenue by 
selling up a defaulting Malguzar, no matter what the cir- 
cumstances were that led to the default. Of course. Govern- 
ment would never sell up a man whose default was due 
to scarcity or famine, if he could be saved. But it would 
not abstain from selling him up if by that act of clemency 
it could not save him, but merely leave the creditor to sell 
him up, and realise for himself the money which ought 
legally and rightfully to find its way into the public purse. 
Therefore, the Government went to the creditors and said, 
"We will not help your debtors unless you also show them 
clemency, and place them in a position, after paying you what 
they reasonably can, to live in a fairly suitable way and 
carry on their agricultural work." The sensible or sympa- 
thetic creditor would have no desire to see his debtor sold up 
for the Government revenue : that would be to kill the goose 
that laid for him the golden egg. He would therefore naturally 
be willing to help the Government to set the debtor, rendered 
bai^krupt by the scarcity, on his feet again. This was the basis 
of the great scheme of " debt conciliation *' in the Central 
Provinces. 

It was wonderful how it succeeded. At first a good deal of 
persuasion was required. But as the operations spread and 
became well understood, " suspicion gave way to acquiescence, 
and acquiescence to an apprehension lest one should be left 
out of the scheme." Creditors petitioned for " conciliation " 
as well as debtors. It was fine to see an officer at work. We 
gave our best Indian officers to the scheme. Such an officer 



OF AGRICULTURISTS 197 

would be seen sitting down quietly among the people, with the 
creditors on one side and the debtors on the other. Beside him 
were sometimes seated influential landlords and others, who 
helped him in his work. Aroimd this group, or in its vicinity^ 
were other creditors and debtors awaiting their turn. In quiet 
and confidential conference the *^ Conciliation Board " ascer- 
tained all the assets and liabilities of each debtor. Its aim 
was to bring the amount of each man's debts within his paying 
capacity. It did not press wasteful remissions. If a debtor 
were in a position to pay all, no remission was adjudged ; but 
solvent persons rarely applied. 

Where its action was required, the Board not only arranged 
for remission, but also settled the whole method of such pay- 
ments as it found right to order. Sometimes the whole estate 
was left with the debtor, suitable instalments being fixed for 
payment of such a portion of the debt as was not remitted. 
Sometimes part of the estate was given, and sometimes merely 
nominal payments, in full satisfaction of all claims, enough 
being left to the debtor to live on. The effect on the commumiity 
was wonderful. Enormous debts were wiped out. A million 
of rupees of debt were remitted in the Sangor District, and 
about six hundred thousand each in the Balaghat and Bhandara 
Districts. The wofk was carried on in some other parts at the 
same time. Creditors felt that they were better off than they 
would have been by the mere ruin of their debtors. Debtors 
were set free from an absolutely unbearable incubus which 
had taken all heart out of them. I know of hardly anything 
that made a greater impression on the people ; and the effect 
on their condition and spirits was very noticeable. It is es- 
pecially delightful, too, to think that the work was done mainly 
by Indian officers, who threw themselves heart and soul into it, 
and did it with sympathy, tact, and uprightness. Men like 
Anant Lai, Ram Bhau and Ganga Singh showed what devotion 
to duty animates some of our Indian officers. 

Such a measure as this, however, is temporary, and meets a 
special crisis. The evil of indebtedness among the agricidtural 



198 THE FINANCING 

community demands more permanent measures. These have 
occupied the attention of the Government from time to time. 
But the root of the matter was never touched until the idea of 
co-operative credit was taken up and worked out by the 
Agricultural Department. The history of this measure is 
interesting as illustrating the manner in which schemes are 
framed in India. 

The Agricultural Department owed its origin to the famines 
and to the desire to make the people less dependent on the 
amount and distribution of the rainfall. This Department 
concerns itself with matters affecting the interests of the 
agricultural community. It aims at assisting them in the 
selection of seed, in finding the best markets, in ascertaining 
the most marketable products, and in adopting new machinery 
and methods suited to India, and in other ways improving 
their cultivation and their staples. It also concerns itself 
with carrying out, or assisting the people in carrying out, 
permanent land improvements, designed both to improve agri- 
culture in ordinary years, and also to make the people more 
independent in years when the ordinary conditions do not 
prevail. 

In 1882 I was appointed the first Director of Agriculture 
in the Central Provinces, and entrusted with the task of in- 
augurating the new Department there. I was sent to other 
Provinces to see what had been done. The greatest progress 
had been made in the North-west Provinces and Oudh (now 
known as the United Provinces) ; and I remember the sense 
of hopefulness with which I returned to the Central Provinces 
to take the work in hand under my old Chief, Sir John Morris. 
But I was withdrawn from the work by one of those accidents 
which so often interfere with our plans in India, the sudden 
illness of the Chief Secretary, to whose oflSice Sir John Morris 
transferred me. On my advice. Sir John sent for Mr. (now 
Sir Bamfylde) Fuller, then Assistant Director in the North- 
western Provinces, who had shown me over the work that 
was being done there. 



OF AGRICULTURISTS 199 

Mr. Fuller came with that unbounded energy that has always 
characterised him, and full of zeal for the new work with which 
his association with Sir Edward Buck had inspired him, and 
the Department, in which Settlement work and Agricultural 
work were then united, was soon in first-rate working order. It 
was reserved, however, for the famine to tiun more earnest 
attention to the agricultural part of the work, especially in 
regard to schemes for irrigation. But I must not allow myself 
to be drawn into reminiscences of the tours over the Province 
which I took with my old friend Mr. Craddock, now its Chief 
Commissioner, and Mr. Harriott of the Public Works Depart- 
ment, now one of his secretaries, and of the great schemes 
which we planned and which they hav^ carried out. 

One matter which has long attracted the attention of Revenue 
officers and is now the special care of the Agricultural Depart- 
ment is the question of financing agricultural improvements. 
The lesson learned by the Government of India is well and 
briefly expressed in the following sentence from the Report of 
the Famine Commission, presided over by Sir Anthony (now 
Lord) Macdonnell : " We attach the highest importance to the 
establishment of some organisation or method whereby cul- 
tivators may obtain, without paying usurious rates of interest, 
and without being given undue facilities for incurring debts, 
the advances necessary for carrying on their business." 

The Agriculturists' Loans Act had been passed years before, 
the object of which was to enable the Government to give cheap 
loans in times of need. But it was too restricted in scope and 
too rigid in method to be very successful. At the same time it 
was distinctly contrary to the interests of the money-lender ; 
and he made himself so objectionable to the cultivator in 
regard to other debts, that he was able, yery often, to induce 
him to refrain from availing himself of the help of the Govern- 
ment. It is to the Madras Government that we owe the initia- 
tion of a system which seems more likely to meet the difficulty 
than anything that has hitherto been attempted. 

The very question stated in the extract from the Famine 



200 THE FINANCmG 

Commission Report just quoted had engaged the attention of 
many philanthropists in Europe half a centuiy before. And 
when Sir Frederick Nicholson was, under the orders of the 
Madras Government, making a special inquiry into the possi- 
bility of establishing '' Land Banks " and '' Agricultural Banks " 
in that Presidency, the scheme which had succeeded in Europe 
attracted his attention. The Raiffeisen system is well suited 
for country districts, and is therefore prima fode well suited 
for an agricultural country like India ; while the Schulze system 
is adapted to town life. The Government of India passed in 
1904 *' The Co-operative Credit Societies Act," which recognises 
both of these systems. 

The Limited Liability Societies are confined to those estab- 
lished among traders in towns, where want of intimate 
acquaintance with one another renders the members unwilling 
to accept unlimited liability. On the other hand, in rural 
villages where all the people are acquainted with one another, 
where each can watch and know the doings of his neighbours, 
unlimited liability is perfectly reasonable. Experience shows 
also that it is the only possible foundation for successful work ; 
and it is entirely consistent with the history and traditions 
of village life in India. The Village Community has always 
been regarded as a homogeneous body, and it is entirely in 
accordance with Indian sentiment that the Legislature has 
in this Act laid down the principle of imlimited liability for 
work in rural tracts. 

The Raiffeisen system is wonderfully adapted to the demo- 
cratic character of the Indian Village System. Even now there 
is a clear recognition of the common interest, and it is an 
essential feature of the old system that this common interest 
should be safeguarded by the Panchayat. Co-operation in 
the advancement of this common interest is still a recognised 
duty, although the recognition is not so strong as formerly. 
It is not wealth only that gives influence and position in the 
Indian village : it is rather sound common sense and wisdom, 
and a character for probity and uprightness. In their own 



OF AGRICULTURISTS 201 

villages the majority of the people have a character for honesty, 
which would much surprise those who know them only in the 
law courts. This character for honesty, this mutual confidence 
in a commimity, is the best basis of any sound system of 
co-operative credit. 

There is not much capital among the villagers generally; 
but there is that which is more necessary than capital to 
the imlimited liability of the Raiffeisan system. It demands 
a restricted area of operation, a thorough acquaintance of 
the members with each other, a consequent readiness to 
incur unlimited liability in respect of the operations of the 
Society, no shares and no dividends, and consequently no 
private as opposed to common interest, readiness to render 
grattiitous service, strong public opinion in favour of rectitude 
in dealings with one another, repayment of loans from the 
profits or savings affected through the loan, and an indivisible 
reserve fund. These requirements are precisely what can be 
secured under the Indian Village System. 

One of the ultimate tests of the success of the movement 
will be the ability of the banks to attract local capital. The 
capitalists are to a large extent the money-lenders, who did 
not at first look with friendly eyes on an institution which they 
suspected as having a tendency, if not actually designed, to 
drive them from the field ; but the capital even from this 
source is steadily increasing ; and in many places local capital- 
ists now readily deposit money in these banks. The money- 
lender is not necessarily the enemy of the public interest. The 
bad system which had grown up, as already described, had 
largely thrown him into an unfriendly position towards 
the community ; but this is not consistent with the true 
spirit of Indian villi^e life. Joint Stock Banks are also 
being gradually brought into the movement as a financing 
agency. 

When I last examined the matter in Bengal, about 50 
per cent of the capital of the Village Societies was already 
supplied by outside investors and Joint Stock Banks lending 



202 THE FINANCING 

them money on business terms. The establishment of several 
central institutions has also greatly assisted individual societies 
in maintaining their own position. Such institutions are 
ordinarily formed by a combination of individual societies 
on the joint stock basis. They have more easy access to the 
money market, and are able to raise money on more favourable 
terms than individual societies. They have also another very 
important function, that of inspection and control. It is not to 
the advantage of the co-operative system that the inspection 
and control of societies should be exclusively, or even mainly, 
in the hands of Government : self-reliance and self-help, which 
are surely among the main objects of the system, must be 
encouraged. 

The system appeals strongly to any one who has studied 
with interest the traditions and practice of Indian life, and who 
not only sympathises with, but also admires, the general prin- 
ciples that underlie those traditions. It inspires such men 
with enthusiasm and hope. In its initial stages, at least, the 
history of its progress must largely depend on the personal 
character and influence of the officer in charge of the scheme, 
and of his subordinates. He must be a man of deep sympathy 
with the people, well acquainted with their manners and 
customs, able to go about among them in a kindly, frank, 
cordial way, and to talk with them in their own vernacular ; 
and if, in addition to this, he has very considerable business 
capacity, he is an ideal man for the post. 

In Bengal, I was able to secure the services of just such a 
man in Mr. William Gourlay, of the Civil Service, and he has 
inspired his subordinates with his own enthusiasm. His work 
has been very successful. The work has been going on in that 
province for only five years ; yet when I last inquired there 
were over five hundred societies scattered throughout its 
Districts, including six central institutions, and the combined 
capital was about six hundred thousand rupees. The move- 
ment has hardly passed beyond the experimental stage ; but 
the experiment has been most encouraging, and I trust that 



OF AGRICULTURISTS 208 

the zeal and energy with which it has been so far conducted 
will be maintained. 

Serious and excellent work has been done in the districts 
where societies have been formed. Their effect is noticeable 
already in the lowering of the rate of interest of the village 
money-lenders, and also in the moral and material improve- 
ment of the community. Co-operation has, however, merely 
touched the fringe of agricultural indebtedness ; and it cannot 
claim to have made any appreciable impression on this vast 
Province as a whole. It has been necessary to proceed cau- 
tiously and to confine work to certain selected areas. The aim 
is to produce an organisation in which isolated societies, in 
compact areas in different parts of a District, will be grouped 
into local unions for the purpose of financial control, and then 
to link these unions to a Central Bank at District head-quarters. 
Ultimately it may be possible to establish a provincial bank 
to which the District banks will be a£Biliated. Some such system 
is necessary to enable the movement to stand alone, without 
Government support. 

Such an ideal can only be achieved by an organisation of 
voluntary workers all over the Province. Mr. Gk>urlay has 
been most successful in securing the co-operation of such 
workers. There is perhaps no work in India that will conduce 
more to the elevation of the people generally and to the im- 
provement of their economic condition. As Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor of Bengal it was my privilege to acknowledge most devoted 
and effective service rendered in this matter by one or two of 
the most influential European merchants, by some of the most 
devoted and successful missionaries, and by many Indian 
gentlemen of position and capacity. There is no work that I 
can commend more cordially and more confidently to those who 
seek the good of the most important sections of the Indian 
peoples. 

A good friend of mine, who has studied the subject as much 
as any man in India, estimates the indebtedness of the agricul- 
tural community in India at five hundred millions sterling. 



204 FINANCING OF AGRICULTURISTS 

I understand that Mr. Gokhale accepts that figure, and I know 
European business men of much experience who do. Now I 
have ahready said enough to show that the people are probably 
pajdng twenty per cent as interest more than they would 
pay if they were solvent. If so, they are overburdened every 
year to the extent of a hundred million sterling, or the cost 
of a South African war every two years. 

When we get to figures like that we are beyond our depth; and 
of course it is only an estimate. But it is worth while trying to 
conceive what an intolerable burden usurious interest on such 
debt is on agricultural enterprise, and what the relief would be if 
the burden were reduced by the demand of reasonable interest. 
To realise at the same time that this relief would be accom- 
plished through the development of self-help and co-operation 
fills one with enthusiasm. Men, whether European or Indian, 
who are interested in the future of the people, may well give 
themselves to this endeavour; and if the assistance of a 
sufficient number of such men can be enlisted, success wiU un- 
questionably be attained. 



CHAPTER XVI 
LOCAL INQUIRIES 

GOING about among the people, one has so many con- 
troversies and quarrels to settle, so many cases to 
hear either formally or informally (the more informally 
the better) that he might be led to believe that the native of 
India is especially litigious. One very often hears this charge 
made against him ; but it is at least doubtful whether it is 
not due to a superficial view of the case. There is no doubt 
that there is a great deal of litigation, and that, in view of 
the numbers of the population and of the wealth and commerce 
of the country, there is more litigation than one would naturally 
expect. This may, however, be due, partly to the alteration 
in the habits of the people resulting from the system which we 
have ourselves introduced, and to the passing away of the local 
influences for peace and justice which used to prevail before our 
system; partly to the ignorance of our system on the part 
of the great mass of the conununity, and to the power which 
their knowledge of the system gives to the more powerful 
minority ; partly to the centralisation of our law courts and 
the ignorance of native habits, opinions, and feelings, which 
far too frequently characterise the Judges ; and partly to the 
improvidence of the people. 

In the old days there was no elaborate system of Judicial 
administration. There was no attempt on the part of the 
Government to provide for the settlement of all disputes by 
highly paid courts. The great majority of the disputes, which 
now arise among the people of the interior, either did not arise 
at all on accoimt of the force of public opinion, or were settled 

206 



206 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

locally by men of influence in the village. Our system has 
undoubtedly tended to deprive public opinion of a great deal 
of its authority, and has practically set aside entirely the 
authority of the elders of the village. The result is that disputes 
arise which would formerly have been impossible inasmuch as 
public opinion would have condemned the raising of such dis- 
putes ; and at the same time the settlement of such disputes 
as arise is carried of necessity to the courts. 

The wrong-doer does not now go to the elders of the village 
to press his claim : he is not compelled, and he does not choose 
to do so ; for he knows that they would be able to take a 
just view of the case, and that he would in all probability fail 
to secure his claim, and, at the same time, damage his 
reputation and influence among his own people. Or, if the 
wrong-doer is the man who is resisting a just claim, he de- 
clines to submit the case to the judgment of public opinion or 
to the elders of the villi^e, and compels the claimant to go 
to court. I think it is largely on this amount that the courts 
have so many cases brought before them which, under the 
ordinary circumstances of Indian life, would certainly have 
been settled locally and privately, and which it is most un- 
desirable to have contested before the courts of law. 

There is nothing more lamentable perhaps in the administra- 
tion of India than the fact that the officers who preside in the law 
courts are animated for the most part by a desire to do right, 
and believe themselves to form the great refuge of the people 
against injustice, while at the same time the work they do is 
regarded by simple people in the interior as very much a matter 
either of chance, or of the success of somewhat questionable 
methods. It is a great help to those appointed to administer 
justice, to conduct investigations into questions of fact, as far 
as possible, on the spot, or to take advantage of local inquiries 
conducted by competent and responsible persons. 

This is exemplified in one of the most important branches 
of the administration, namely, in the Settlement inquiry as to 
the rights of the different sections of the agricultural community. 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 207 

There is no officer of Revenue experience who does not know the 
impossibility of anything approaching to moral certainty in 
regard to Revenue cases, unless he has not only the parties be- 
fore him, but also the parties before him on the spot. When he 
is on the spot, sees the matter in dispute with his own eyes, and 
hears the evidence in regard to that matter in the presence of the 
villagers themselves, he has some ground to hope that the evi- 
dence given before him is both truthful in itself, and also pre- 
sented in a manner calculated to mislead. Otherwise he may be 
misled by evidence which is deliberately false or which, though in 
its language apparently truthful, is yet distinctly misleading. 
This is, no doubt, true in any part of the world ; but in our own 
country there is a strong force of public opinion which con*- 
demns, in the strongest and most emphatic manner, the giving 
of false evidence, and does not approve of the deliberate mis- 
leading of the court by the manner in which evidence is pre- 
sented. In India public opinion is either indifferent or per- 
haps even inclines the other way. Litigation is a form of 
warfare ; and all is held to be fair in war. 

The very simplest illustrations may be given of this. A Civil 
Surgeon in a certain station in the Central Provinces told me 
that a pariah (mongrel) dog used to give great trouble to his 
servants by stealing their food, and often succeeded even in 
carrying off the meat supply of his own kitchen. He gave 
orders to his bearer * to let him know at any time when that 
dog came for purposes of theft ; and he promised for the sake 
of his servants and for his own sake to shoot it. One day he 
heard the sound of a gun shot near his verandah. He was lying 
down resting after a very long morning in the jail and local 
hospital. Hearing the sound he sprang up and ran out. He 
saw the dog lying dead, and his bearer holding a gun which had 
just been discharged. The dog had lying beside him a small 
joint of good '' dub mutton." All the other servants had gone 
into the bazaar to buy their supply of food, and this servant was 

* The bearer is the valet : he is sometimes called ** Sirdar.** In the old days of 
the paknqfiiiD, the Sirdar (headman) and bearers did household work. 



208 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

alone in the compound. He told his master that, seeing the 
dog carrying off the mutton, he had rushed into his study ; but 
not finding him there he believed that he had not returned from 
his morning's work. He had accordingly himself seiased the gun 
and run out with it and shot the dog. 

A day or two afterwards, his servant told the Civil Surgeon 
that he was being prosecuted before the magistrate under 
one of the sections of the Penal Code. I forget whether the 
charge was one of mischief or of house trespass; but the 
allegation was, that this dog belonged to a resident of the town 
and that the servant had come to the house of the owner of 
the dog, which was about three-quarters of a mile from the 
Civil Surgeon's house, and had, out of pure malice, entered the 
premises of the owner of the dog and shot the animal. The 
Civil Surgeon sent his servant to an Indian barrister, who was 
one of the leading practitioners in the small local court, and 
requested him to undertake the defence. At the same time 
he told his servant that he himself would be prepared to come 
and give evidence as to the exact facts of the case. He heard 
nothing more of the case for some time ; and then he asked his 
servant when it was coming on for hearing. His servant replied 
that the case had been already decided in his favour. The Civil 
Surgeon inquired whether the owner of the dog had failed 
altogether to bring forward any evidence, and he was told that, 
far from this, the owner had brought several witnesses to prove 
his story ; but the servant added, '^ I brought four witnesses 
who told the truth." 

The master inquired how it was possible that he could have 
got this evidence, inasmuch as there was no one in the compound 
at the time ; and the servant said that he had ascertained that 
four men were willing to come and give clear statements as to 
the facts for eight annas, that is to say, two annas (or at the then 
rate of exchange, threepence) for each witness, and that the 
court had heard their statement and had acquitted him of the 
offence charged. The servant explained his conduct by saying 
that, when he found that he could get the matter settled in this 



LOCAL INQUmiES 209 

way for eight annas, he thought it far better to do so than to 
trouble his master to go to court. Soon after, the Civil Surgeon 
met his friend the Indian barrister, and asked him about the 
case. He expressed his fear that, though the true view had been 
taken by the court, it was taken on the evidence of false wit- 
nesses. The barrister replied that that was none of his concern ; 
that he had received a statement of the facts from the Civil 
Surgeon, and that, though he had some doubt in his own mind 
as to the truthfulness of the witnesses, he had no doubt as to 
the facts to which they gave testimony. He, therefore, allowed 
the court to follow its own judgment. 

Here we have an illustration of the fact that false witnesses 
can be secured to give evidence at an absolutely nominal price . 
that no one seemed to be deeply interested in ascertaining the 
truthfulness of the witnesses on the one side or on the other ; 
and that the court was content to deal with the statements of 
the witnesses by merely counting their heads and declaring that, 
as there was evidence as strong on the one side as on the other, 
the claim could not be held to be established. This may be 
perhaps an exceptionally clear case of the fabrication of false 
evidence ; but it is indicative, if not of the general practice of 
the courts, at least of the danger to which the courts are exposed. 
When a man has made up his mind as to what are his rights, he 
often does not hesitate as to the means by which these rights 
are to be secured, and is quite prepared to secure them by 
foul means, if he cannot secure them by fair. 

There is another feature of Indian life illustrated by this inci- 
dent ; namely, that false evidence is often used to establish a true 
story or a just claim. This is a very common thing. Many a 
good case has been destroyed by it. The statement of one 
witness is found to be false : it may be proved, for example, 
that he was not present to see what he says he saw. This dis- 
credits the whole case, and no doubt rightly so. But the case 
may be true all the same, and the other witnesses may be 
honourable men. The ignorant or prejudiced critic of police 
work is often among those who should be reminded of this. 



210 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

Formerly the Executive officers, in the earlier stages of our 
administration, were in the habit of deciding cases as civil 
judges between parties with whom in their Executive capacity 
they had become more or less acquainted, and of hearing the 
evidence of witnesses of which their local knowledge and 
experience enabled them fairly accurately to gauge the value. 
They may, no doubt, have made mistakes in law which had to 
be put right by higher tribunals, and they may sometimes have 
given way to personal bias in favour of persons of good reputa- 
tion ; but they were, at all events, less susceptible to the mis- 
takes into which courts are led by false evidence at the present 
time. 

The old system was unsound in principle, and it was right 
to set it aside. But the new system has very serious disad- 
vantages. The men who preside in the local courts now are 
too often men who have little or no knowledge of the people 
among whom they are dispensing justice ; and they are led, 
by the accepted principles of the system which they are ad- 
ministering, to exclude from consideration any little knowledge 
they may have, and to decide cases entirely on the evidence 
presented before them, and on the pleadings of counsel on 
both sides. 

Counsel also are in the same way far too often men who 
have been trained in the distant cities, and now reside at the 
head-quarters of the courts, without having any such knowledge 
of the people of the interior as would enable them to judge of 
their integrity as parties or as witnesses. The ordinary idea of 
an Indian practitioner is to win his case ; he is, as a rule, by no 
means inclined to investigate the character of his own client 
or witnesses ; and he has not, for the reasons above given, 
the capacity for treating effectively the case for the other side 
in cross-examination. The court is, therefore, in far too many 
cases, left to decide what is truth amidst conflicting evidence 
among which it is unable to discriminate. 

A great remedy for this defect is local inquiry. Once, on 
my return from leave, I was posted to a certain District in the 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 211 

Central Provinces where there was a cantonment. There had 
been some friction between the regimental authorities and 
some influential and ill-conditioned persons in the town. A 
case had a short time before been brought against a certain 
officer of the regiment, and he had been convicted and fined. 
The opinion strongly held by all those who knew him, W€ts 
that the conviction was erroneous ; but the evidence was un- 
doubtedly such as could not be got over. 

Just as I arrived, a case was brought against two young 
officers for having gone to a village to shoot snipe, having 
assaulted certain villagers, and having been prevented from 
using their weapons only by having them taken from them. 
As I was the senior European magistrate, the case had been 
sent to my court. It was fixed for a date about a week later. 
On the day following my arrival, which happened to be a Hindu 
holiday, I went out to the village to shoot snipe myself. I had 
two or three people from that village and from the next to help 
me to beat. They did not know me, as I was new to the District. 
I talked away to them in a friendly way ; and we had a very 
pleasant and successful morning together. At breakfast time 
I paid the men who were with me, and told them I should 
resume shooting after an interval of an hour or two, and that 
I should be very glad if they themselves, or any others whom 
they chose to send, would help me in the afternoon. They 
said that they would themselves remain. I had a talk with 
them in a free-and-easy way, and ascertained clearly the facts 
of the case which I was about to try. 

The two young officers had come to the village to shoot. 
They had known nothing of the language and had not been 
able to explain their wishes to the people. The agent of the 
non-resident Malguzar had happened to be in the village on 
business, and had told the people that these young men 
had no right to shoot there, that they would do mischief, 
that their guns should be taken from them, and that they 
should be sent about their business. The guns were handed 
over to certain men to carry. They retained them and by 



212 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

signs explained to the young men that they must leave. 
There was no assault or violence. I took down the names 
of several of those who told me the story, not at the time they 
told it, but immediately afterwards, and on the plea that I 
was willing when I came back to have the same men again ; 
and we parted on most friendly terms. 

On the day fixed for the hearing of the case, I found that 
the witnesses for the prosecution, who were not of my beaters, 
were accompanied by the village servant, who was one of the 
men who had been talking with me. So when they came into the 
court and found that I was the magistrate, they did not tell the 
story that they had come to tell. The result was that the two 
young officers were honourably acquitted. The men remained 
my friends, and helped me in spbrt on more than one occasion 
afterwards. I did not make public my method of ascertaining 
the facts. It was quite sufficient for everybody concerned that 
the case had broken down, owing to the witnesses having 
an altogether different story to tell from that which was ex- 
pected ; and at my suggestion the Malguzar's agent gave a 
handsome donation to the local dispensary. A story like this, 
which is very far from exceptional, indicates the difficulties 
with which the courts have to contend, difficulties which, if 
fully known to the judicial authorities, are in my experience not 
fully realised by many of the Judges. 

I shall discuss later on the work of the police, and shall 
refer to the criticisms often hurled at them by irresponsible 
persons, who are wholly ignorant of the constitution of the 
force and of its methods of working. Sometimes such criticism 
is made without due consideration by Judges who ought to 
know better than to condemn men unheard. I do not propose, 
therefore, to touch here on this subject at any length. But 
I should like to say that there is one point in which the police 
have a great advantage over the courts, viz. that they conduct 
their inquiries on the spot. The whole question turns on the 
character and capacity of the officer making the inquiry. This 
is never to be forgotten. If a low class, unintelligent, and 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 218 

possibly corrapt person is entrusted with an inquiry, it is not 
likely to be satisfactory ; and the authority which would en- 
trust an inquiry of any importance to such a person is much to 
blame: the Police Commission insisted on this most emphatic- 
ally. But if an intelligent, upright, and well-trained officer is 
conducting the inquiry on the spot, the chances are that the 
inquiry is satisfactory and the conclusions probably correct. 
There may be mistakes made ; but the chances are in favour 
of correct conclusions. 

It is well that any police officer, however upright and capable, 
should have to establish to the satisfaction of independent 
Judicial authority any charge which he holds to be proved. 
But, on the other hand, if the Judicial authority is not satisfied, 
he should at least abstain from denunciation of the police officer^ 
and recognise the work he has done though not accepting his 
conclusions. I believe that one reason why Judicial officers 
often fail to do this is, that they are ignorant alike of the whole 
conditions of village life, and of the constitution and practice 
of the police force. If they knew how much easier it is to 
arrive at the truth on the spot, and how earnest are the efforts 
now made to make police investigations satisfactory, they 
would not indeed convict men of whose guilt they were not 
themselves convinced — ^they could not do that ; but they 
would hesitate to denoimce the police on one-sided statements 
made in court. 

There is another branch of inquiry in respect of which the 
ignorance of local circumstances and of general administration 
very materially detracts from the efficiency of the courts in 
administering justice. There is nothing more pitiable than to 
see an officer with no Revenue experience deciding a case of 
tenant right or of fixation of rent in a court at head-quarters. 
He has never looked carefully at a field or examined a crop ; 
and yet he is called on to decide as to the tenant's status and 
the rent he should pay on the evidence of contradictory wit- 
nesses of whose evidence he cannot hope accurately to estimate 
the value. The results are often most injurious to the district. 



214 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

This can be best illustrated perhaps by reference to experience 
of a definite kind. In the Chota Nagpur Division of Bengal, 
when I first visited it, I found that the action of the civil courts 
was operating to dispossess of their rights that section of the 
agricultural conununity which was the most deeply interested 
in the land, and at the same time the weakest and most ignorant. 
It is for the defence of the rights of the weak as against the strong 
that our courts exist ; and yet the action of the courts in that 
Division was favouring the strong as against the weak, and 
depriving the true cultivators of the soil of their rights and 
interests in it, in favour of those who were many of them aliens, 
and all of them powerful. 

The cause of this was simply that these powerful persons 
were able to secure good legal advice ; they understood the 
procedure of the courts, and they knew both how to present 
their claims in a plausible way, and what kind of evidence was 
required to support these claims. Their unfortunate oppo- 
nents were ignorant of the procedure of the courts, lax in their 
attendance at court, and unable to secure proper legal advice. 
There was one member of the Bar, so far as I remember, who 
with great self-denial devoted himself, out of a desire to see 
justice done, to protecting the rights of these ignorant culti- 
vators. He enooiu*aged them to come to him, and took their 
cases either for nothing or at nominal fees, although he was 
a man quite able to command a lucrative practice. But, gener- 
ally speaking, the members of the Bar were naturally inclined 
to take up only the cases of those who were able to pay high 
fees and to explain their cases intelligently. 

Meanwhile, the courts were passing decisions upon the 
evidence submitted to them, without any reg£trd to the real 
facts of the case, although in many instances these facts might 
have been easily ascertained. At the very time that such in- 
justice was being done in the courts as tended to excite dis- 
content and unrest among the agricultural community, a 
Record of Rights was being prepared by the Executive officers 
of the Government at enormous expense. Experienced Revenue 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 215 

officers were engaged in local inquiries, conducted on the spot, 
in the presence of the people, with all parties represented. 
These inquiries were designed to ascertain and record the rights 
of the different sections \ of the agricultural community. Al- 
though the Judges of the courts were meeting these Revenue 
officers in society every day, and were perfectly well aware 
of the inquiries that were being carried on, they closed their 
eyes to these inquiries and decided their cases entirely on 
the evidence produced before them in court — evidence which 
they ought to have known to be a most unsatisfactory basis for 
their decisions. 

The action I took was simply to appoint a careful officer, who 
was admittedly one of the ablest lawyers of the Judicial Depart- 
ment, but who cared at least as much for the substance of justice 
as for its forms, to be Judicial Commissioner of that Division. 
After he had taken over charge, he met the Revenue Com- 
missioner, and the principal Settlement Officer at a conference 
at which I presided ; and the whole matter of the rights of these 
agriculturists and of the current Settlement operations was 
thoroughly discussed. 

Mr. Camduff, the Judicial Commissioner to whom I refer 
(now a Judge of the Calcutta High Court), had had a dis- 
tinguished career as a Judicial officer in Bengal, and as 
Under Secretary and Secretary of the Legislative Department 
of the Government of India, and had the confidence of the 
Judicial as well as of the Executive officers of Government, 
owing to his soundness of judgment and his high legal attain- 
ments. He made an arrangement whereby all the Judges 
dispensing justice in the civil courts of that Division were in- 
vited to attend a series of lectures by the Settlement Officer 
on the principles and practice of Settlement work, so that they 
might understand what was the nature of the inquiries that 
were being made, and of the Record of Rights based on these 
inquiries. The result was a vital change for the better in the 
practice of the courts. 

The same principle was, with the consent of the High Court, 



216 LOCAL INQUmiES 

applied to a considerable extent throughout the whole Provinoe. 
It was arranged that Judicial officers of original jurisdiction 
should be placed on special duty with Settlement officers to 
study settlement, when their services could be spared from their 
own special work. I have no doubt that this will tend greatly to 
the practical improvement of the administration of justice in 
cases between landlord and tenant, and other cases affecting the 
agricultural community. Surely the necessity for such action in 
this particular class of cases is only an indication of the im- 
portance of practical knowledge of the people, their customs 
and their interests, on the part of the officers engaged in the 
administration of justice. It is impossible without grave 
injury to the interests of the people to leave the administration 
of justice in the hands of men whose training consists only 
in the study of law books, and who are without that knowledge 
of men and of customs which intercourse with the people is 
necessary to supply. 

There could be no more fatal error in Judicial administration 
in India than to suppose that the lawyer trained in English 
law is ipso facto able to dispense justice in the Indian courts. 
Yet it is an error that prevails far too widely, and is difficult 
to eradicate. It is of great interest in this connection briefly 
to recaU the history of the formation of the High Court. For- 
merly there had been two Appellate Courts existing side by 
side, an arrangement which led to difficulties which are fully 
described in Ilbert's " Government of India," as well as in the 
Parliamentary Debates. 

In introducing in June, 1861, the Bill ^^for the purpose 
of forming one instead of two Superior Courts in India," 
Sir Charles Wood thus explained the position.* " There 
is the Supreme Court, consisting of lawyers and Queen's 
Judges sent out from this country, which has complete 
jurisdiction over the three Presidency Towns of Bengal [i.e. 
Calcutta], Bombay, and Madras, and exclusive criminal juris- 
diction in important matters over Europeans, in whatever part 
* Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, Vol CLXIII, p. 647. 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 217 

of India they may be. There is also the Sadar (or Chief) Court. 
That is a court of appeal for all the courts in the country, 
whether they are presided over by natives or by Europeans 
(i.e. members of the Civil Service) ; and it also exercises over 
these courts a sort of superintendence, or what may be called 
the functions of a Minister of Justice. In the evidence which 
was given before the Committee that sat on East Indian affairs 
in 1852-8, a strong opinion was expressed by those most 
competent to give an opinion, that it was desirable, with a 
view to the better administration of justice in India, that those 
two courts should be consolidated into one, which would unite 
the legal knowledge of the English lawyers with the intimate 
knowledge of the customs, habits and laws of the natives 
possessed by the Judges in the country." 

This last clause is of immense importance. It was a wise and 
accurate statement of the circimistances and necessities of the 
case. It was reiterated in the following clear declaration of the 
intention of the proposed change: "'The present Supreme 
Court consists entirely of Queen's Judges sent from this coimtry, 
while the Sadar Court consists entirely of members of the Civil 
Service, who have risen through the successive stages of the 
Service, but who have not necessarily had the slightest legal 
training. With their great knowledge of local habits and 
customs will be united the legal training and knowledge of 
the EiUglish, Scottish and Irish Bars. Their knowledge of 
native habits and customs will be of the greatest assistance 
in guiding the opinions of the legal members of the court ; and 
the union of these two classes of Judges will constitute a far 
better court than would be formed by either separately." 

Fifteen was fixed as the maximum number of Judges under 
the Charter, and the Bill provided that one-third of the Judges 
should be barristers and one-third civil servants, leaving it to 
the Government to choose the remaining third from either of 
these two classes, or from natives or other qualified persons. 
Sir Charles Wood opposed an amendment by Mr. Vincent 
Scully to provide that one-half of the Judges (instead of one- 



218 LOCAL INQUIRIES 

third) should be barristers. He said, ^' To insist on one-half 
of the Judges being barristers would give the lawyers an undue 
proportion " ; and the amendment was negatived. 

These principles are as important now as they were then. 
A man trained in England is just as ignorant of local habits 
and customs now as then ; and knowledge of these is as necessary 
as ever. If modem conditions demand more of legal training 
than formerly on the Bench, the necessity should be met not by 
reducing the number of civilian Judges, but by improving their 
legal training. Men with Indian and local knowledge are as 
necessary as ever. 

The Bill was also clearly explained by Earl de Grey and 
Ripon,* and there are two sentences in his speech which are 
relevant to the matter I am now discussing, and well worth 
quoting. ^^ A very necessary and salutary provision was made 
for sending Commissioners to try cases in parts of the country 
distant from the ordinary courts ; and also for the exercise by 
the High Court of a general supervisicm over the other courts 
in the cQ^try, which would place the Chief Justice somewhat 
in the position of a Minister of Justice. He believed that 
this measure would improve the administration of justice 
in India, strengthen the highest Court of Judicature in that 
country, and elevate the character of the other courts by placing 
them under its supervision.** 

In this connection, it is to be added that, in introducing 
the Bill, Sir Charles Wood had stated as one of its objects,t 
" that in important cases occurring in the various districts, 
justice as in this country should be administered on the spot 
by a trained Judge." He added, " At present, if an Englishman 
commits a crime which may subject him to serious punishment, 
he and all the witnesses must be brought to Calcutta, and the 
case must be tried there. In futiu*e an Enghsh Judge going 
into the country will be able to try these cases. At present 
when a crime is committed up-country by a European, the 

• Hansard*8 Parliamentaiy Debates, VoL CLXIV, p. 1050. 
t IM., Vol. CLXIII, p. 658. 



LOCAL INQUIRIES 219 

necessity of bringing him to Calcutta amounts in many cases 
to an absolute denial of justice. It may be impossible in a 
country like India to bring justice to every man's door ; but 
at all events the system now proposed will bring it far nearer 
than at present, and where criminal offences are committed by 
a European — ^happily such offences are rare — ^the impartial 
administration of justice on the spot will produce a most 
desirable influence on the minds of the natives," 

All this is to my mind of vital importance. It has, however, 
been in regard to certain points almost, and in regard to others 
entirely, lost sight of. The personal supervision of the lower 
courts had entirely fallen into desuetude, and it was only 
revived of recent years with great di£Giculty. Even now any 
personal inspections are sporadic in character. Control and 
supervision exercised only by means of tabular statements 
and returns cannot but be imperfect and ineffective : the 
systematic personal visitation of competent Judges is abso- 
lutely necessary. Then, again, there is no such thing as going 
on circuit, or trying cases on the spot. 

This is to be deplored on the ground stated by Sir Charles 
Wood, that the impartial administration of justice on the spot 
greatly impresses the native mind. It is also deplorable because 
it necessitates the transfer of some important cases to Calcutta, 
and leads to the transfer of many other cases on the flimsiest 
excuses ; and such transfers are too frequently nothing else 
than ^^ a denial of justice." A Judge ignorant of local con- 
ditions tries such a case with a Jury equally ignorant ; and 
the spectacle cannot fail to be, in not a few cases, far from 
edifying. Besides this, the present system involves another loss, 
referred to in paragraph 29 of the despatch accompanying the 
first Letters Patent (1862), which points out that the trial of 
cases by competent Judges on the spot wiU be an object lesson 
to the local courts and ^^ will materially tend to their greater 
efiftciency." 

The despatch left the responsibility for carrying out this 
important measure to the Governor-General in Council ; but 



2?o LOCAL INQUIRIES 

the Chief Justice was to be ^^ habitually consulted in the matter." 
Few men who are acquainted with the administration of justice 
in the interior of Bengal will fail to regret that no action has 
been taken to carry out this policy. The majority of the Judges 
of the High Court are ignorant of the interior^ and the people 
of the interior have no personal knowledge of the High Court. 
In India such a state of things has only to be understood to be 
condemned. 



CHAPTER XVII 
THE POLICE 

IN the last chapter I have made a brief reference to the 
police. I shall devote the whole of this chapter to that 
subject, of which I have had special experience. Perhaps 
the most interesting portion of my service in India was the 
year (1902-8) in which I travelled all over India, as President 
of the Indian Police Commission. This Commission was de- 
scribed by Lord Cnrzon's Government as a strong and repre- 
sentative Commi^ion, and was appointed to inquire into the 
state of the police throughout India. At the time I was 
appointed President, I was Chief Commissioner of the Central 
Provinces. My colleagues on the Conmiission were — Sir 
Edward T. Candy, a distinguished judge of the Bombay High 
Court, the Maharajah of Darbhanga, the wealthiest and one 
of the most powerful of the nobles of Bengal ; Mr. S. Srinivasa 
Raghavaiyangar, a Madras Indian of great distinction ; CoL 
J. A. L. Montgomery, a Commissioner in the Punjab ; Sir 
Walter M. Colvin, the leading criminal barrister in Allahabad ; 
and Mr. A. C. Hankin, Inspector-General of Police under the 
Nizam's Government, and formerly a successful police officer 
in the British service. The Judicial service was represented 
by Sir Edward Candy, and the Bar by Sir Walter Colvin; 
the Executive service by Col. Montgomery, and the police by 
Mr. Hankin ; while the Indian views and experience of police 
work was well represented by two Indian gentlemen from 
Bengal and Madras. The Secretary to the Commission was 
Mr. (now Sir) Harold Stuart. We had a delightful time to- 
gether. We had differences of opinion, of course; but we 

221 



222 THE POLICE 

never had any discord. We were all anxious to find out the 
truth and to state it plainly. 

The plan of our operations was as follows. Under orders 
from the Government of India, every Local Government had 
been called upon to appoint a local committee to investigate 
the state of the police and submit a report. That committee 
consisted of a Sessions Judge, a District Magistrate, and a 
District Superintendent of Police for all the larger Provinces, 
and of a District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police 
alone for the smaller. The committee submitted their report 
to the Government of India, through their own Local Govern- 
ment, which stated its views on the contents of the report and 
on police administration generally. These reports, with the 
letters of Local Governments, were forwarded to the Police 
Commission as soon as that body was constituted. 

As soon as these reports were read by the members, the 
Commission met and settled general lines of inquiry, and drew 
up a series of questions to be issued to witnesses. These 
questions were forwarded to witnesses who had been designated 
by Local Governments, and also to a few who were known to 
members of the Commission themselves. Witnesses were 
also invited to add anything they thought worthy of the 
attention of the Commission. At the same time a notice 
was published in the English and vernacular newspapers 
of every Province calling on any one who was desirous of 
giving evidence to apply for a copy of the questions and to 
submit answers to the Commission. Many availed themselves 
of this opportunity, especially in the Province of Bengal. 

All the replies received from these different classes of wit- 
nesses were carefully examined by the Conmiission, who selected 
for oral examination those witnesses whom it was desirable to 
examine with a view either to the elucidation or to the com- 
pletion of the evidence contained in their written replies. 
These witnesses were examined, during the Commission's tour, 
at convenient centres fixed in the different Provinces. Six 
hundred and eighty-three witnesses sent in written replies. 



THE POLICE 228 

Two hundred and forty-four of these, and thirty-five others, 
were exammed orally. In the course of its tour, the Commission 
visited every Province in India except Beluchistan. It also 
visited all the four police training colleges in India, and many 
police stations and offices. 

As soon as the work in each Province was finished, there was 
a conference with the Local Government. Certain local officers, 
selected by the Government, were sometimes present at that 
conference ; but ordinarily it was confined to the Head of the 
Government and his Council, if any, on the one side, and the 
members of the Commission on the other. At that conference 
the evidence which had been received in the Province, and the 
impressions formed by the Conmiission on that evidence and 
on its inspections, were fully discussed. And, finally, there 
was a conference at Simla of all the Inspectors-Crcneral in India 
to discuss certain questions of procedure, discipline, and 
statistics. 

The report was submitted on the 80th May, 1908, and pub- 
lished as a Parliamentary paper after the orders of the Govern- 
ment of India on it, contained in Home Department Resolution 
No. 248-259, dated 21st March 1905, had been issued. The 
Commission had inquired into the adequacy of the organisation, 
training, strength, and pay of the police force in every Pro- 
vince ; the arrangements for reporting crime, and the work of 
village officers and rural police; the system of investigating 
offences ; the suitability of the statistical returns ; the general 
supervision of the magistracy over the police, and the control 
of superior police officers; the railway police and the inter- 
provincial police arrangements ; and the attractiveness of the 
service to the proper class of natives. The report was unani- 
mous, except that the Maharajah of Darbhanga differed, to 
some extent, in regard to two questions, viz. the relations 
between the District magistracy and the police department, and 
the system of recruiting for the higher grades. As to the former, 
his recommendation was that there should be no connection 
whatever between the magistracy and the police. His view 



224 THE POLICE 

was based mainly on misreading of the Indian law on the 
subject, and a misconception of the state of things in Elngland ; 
and it was unanimously rejected after full consideration by 
his European and Indian colleagues. The other point on which 
he differed was that he proposed that the higher ranks of the 
service in India should be recruited by open competition, a 
view which did not commend itself either to his coUeagues in 
the Conmiission or to any of the Governments concerned. 

It was very striking to find in the course of our work in 
every Province of India how thoroughly alive all the best 
officers of Government were to the abuses which prevailed in 
the police, and how eager they were to see them remedied. 
No one among the non-official community who had suffered 
from police oppression or police blundering spoke more stroiigly 
about the necessity of reform than many of the police officers 
and magistrates who were examined. The Conmiission sub- 
mitted a report which certainly showed that the state of the 
police was in many respects unsatisfactory, and proved the 
clear necessity for far-reaching reform. But this report was 
the outcome, not so much of ill-judged or ill-informed state- 
ments made by prejudiced persons outside the force, as of the 
statements of earnest police officers as to the difficulties against 
which they had to contend, and the evils against which they 
had constantly to be on their guard. 

There still remained about the lower grades of the force, 
to some extent, the traditions of the old native system, 
where extortion and oppression had flourished unchecked. 
In these older days before our rule, village watchmen, and 
heads of viUages, and even higher officials had connived at 
crime, and had harboured offenders in return for a share 
of the booty. Immunity from robbery and theft had been 
purchased either by a kind of tax paid to the criminal 
classes or by shelter afforded to them on the condition that 
they confined their operations to strangers. These things are 
not mythical stories of a forgotten past. In the course of my 
own service I have known places in which watchmen were em- 



THE POLICE 225 

ployed who belonged to the criminal classes ; so long as their 
employer paid them he was safe from molestation. I have also 
known a case in which the ruler of a Native State gave shelter 
to dacoits on condition that they committed no robbery in his 
territory, but confined their operations to the neighbouring 
British Districts and gave him a share of the spoil. Under 
British rule great improvement had taken place; but it is 
not easy to get rid of such traditions. 

A Commission in 1860 had done much to improve the police, 
and Local Governments and local officers had struggled more 
or less persistently to effect further reform. But reform is 
not easy to bring about in India, and the old traditions affected 
the work of the police in the most serious manner. The people 
are patient and not very ready to complain ; and the low-paid 
official is often a great scourge to a coimtry-side. None but the 
officers well accustomed to go about amongst the people fully 
understood the state of things. There were certain special 
reasons also why the system introduced by the Act of 1861, 
based on the report of the Commission of 1860, had not 
succeeded. It was on the whole a wise and efficient system ; 
but it had failed to accomplish what was expected. The 
reasons are set forth in the Report of the Police Commission 
of 1902-8. 

The question had been too big a one to be dealt with by 
Local Governments. No Local Government could propose 
the far-reaching reforms and the great expenditure necessary 
to bring their police administration up to the standard of 
efficiency which modem conditions demand. It was a states- 
manlike act on the part of Lord Curzon's Government, in view 
of the strong representations made by Local Governments 
from time to time, and specially by Sir John Woodbum, my 
predecessor as Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, to appoint a 
Commission, and determinedly set themselves to face and 
deal with the question. 

There was no doubt left on the minds of the Commission as 
to the principal abuses which prevailed, nor was there much 



226 THE POLICE 

doubt or hesitancy as to the principal remedies which should 
be recommended. The abuses were frankly and clearly indi- 
cated, and the remedies were strongly insisted on. The sub- 
ject was far too serious to be lightly treated. The recom- 
mendations of the Commission mainly affected the class 
of officers who should be allowed to investigate offences ; 
the recruiting of such officers, their training, and the 
supervision to be exercised over them ; the constitution and 
treatment of the village poUce, that is to say, of the 
village officers entrusted with certain poUce functions ; the 
pay and position of the regular police ; the investigation of 
offences, involving the establishment of a Central Criminal 
Investigation Department for each Province and for all India, 
to cope with the great developments of crime in modern times ; 
the pay and prospects, and general attractiveness of the higher 
grades of the service, so as to secure thoroughly competent 
Europeans and a much higher class of Indians than there had 
been before. 

Throughout the whole of their investigations the Police 
Commission found that the lower grades of the police were 
looked upon with suspicion by the people generaUy, ai^d that 
the officers of the lower grades, who had for the most part been 
promoted from the ranks, were, to a large extent, men of low 
position, inferior education, unworthy traditions, and inade- 
quate training. The higher grades of the police were generally 
regarded with much more confidence. It was particularly 
pleasant to find that even the witnesses who spoke most frankly, 
not to say bitterly, were always bound to admit that the 
European superintendents ♦ at least were, as a class, entirely 
beyond the influence of corruption, though they might some- 
times be, according to these witnesses, not careful and efficient 
enough in their work, and too much in the hands of their sub- 
ordinates. 

The reforms which the Commission suggested involved 

* The superintendent corresponds to the chief constable of the county at 
home. 



THE POLICE 227 

a very large increase of expenditure on establishments, due 
to the necessity for giving much higher pay to the whole force, 
from the lowest to the highest grades. It also involved the 
recruiting of men of a much superior class for all appointments, 
from inspectors upwards. The effect of such improvement in 
the system of recruiting in other departments, notably in the 
Judicial Department, had been foimd most excellent, and the 
proposals were made by the Commission in the spirit of hope. 
They entirely commended themselves to the Government of 
India and to the Secretary of State. The financial burden, 
though enormous, was cheerfully accepted; and the results 
have been far more quickly realised than the most hopeful 
of the supporters of these reforms ever expected. The diffi- 
culties with which the police have had of late years to contend, 
both in respect of sedition and of the extraordinary development 
of crime adjusting itself to the development of civilisation, 
have been enormous and unprecedented. These difficulties 
would never have been successfully grappled with but for the 
wise statesmanship which led to the thorough inquiry of 1902-B, 
and to the acceptance of the necessary reforms notwithstanding 
the great financial burden involved. 

When the conduct of the police force is considered, and when 
very unfavourable criticisms are made, it has to be borne in 
mind that the men of the lowest ranks of the force, who have 
been scattered all over the country, were of the poorest and most 
ignorant of the people and had not a full living wage. This was 
one of the evils to which the Police Conmiission drew particular 
attention. This state of things has been abeady improved to 
a considerable extent in every Province of India. It is not easy 
to estimate the evil done by these ill-paid and inconsiderate, 
if not often ill-conditioned, underlings in rural districts. The 
experienced officer knows what mischief such men, clothed with 
the authority of chaprasis * or constables, do in creating an 
unfavourable impression of Government among the people. 

On one occasion I was on tour in the Balaghat District, when 
* Orderlies, literally ** men with a badge.** 



228 THE POLICE 

I was Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces, I found 
in the remoter parts many complaints of the exactions and 
tyrannies of the constables and forest or Revenue chaprasis. 
One ryot (cultivator) told me that at the beginning of the rains 
he was ploughing his field by the road through the jungle. 
A policeman came by, who wanted to have a companion and 
guide on his way. He insisted on the ryot going with him, 
and would not even allow him to take his bullocks to the village. 
When the ryot returned he found that one bullock had been 
killed by a tiger, and the other had broken its rope and fled. 
Some time afterwards he found that it had been auctioned at 
a distant cattle pound, and that most of the proceeds of the 
sale had been utilised to pay pound fees and feeding charges. 
He had made no complaint until now, when a European officer 
came by. There were complaints all along the road of the exac- 
tion of gratuitous services of an irksome and oppressive kind 
by these officials. This is an illustration of what one finds too 
often in the interior. Such acts of oppression create a most 
unfavourable impression, and sometimes lead to the desertion 
of villages near the high road. Officers have to be constantly 
on guard against them, and to put them down with a strong 
hand. 

It has, however, to be remarked that, despite these acts of 
oppression, which are not so rare as they might be, and despite 
many petty exactions and occasional instances of gross mis- 
conduct, it is not true that the people hate the police. It is a 
singular fact, of which the Police Commission had evidence 
in every Province, that when the transfer of a Thana ♦ from one 
place to another is proposed in the interests of the general 
police administration of the District, the people of the neigh- 
bourhood almost invariably petition against its removal. 
It is recognised that with all their defects, which must not be 
underestimated, but vigorously remedied, the police are effective 
in preserving the peace and securing the safety of the com- 
munity. With the material hitherto composing the force, 

* Police station. 



THE POLICE 229 

it would have been impossible to secure this feeling to- 
wards the police but for the constant vigilance of the great 
majority of District Magistrates and superior officers of police. 
These men often get little credit from official and unofficial 
critics for work of which they have much cause to be proud, 
and for which the people and the Government have much cause 
to be grateful. 

In doing their duty there is a very serious difficidty with 
which police officers and magistrates have had to contend 
besides the readiness to give false evidence in regard to any 
story before the courts to which I have elsewhere drawn atten- 
tion : that is, the ignorance of the common people of the interior, 
and the manner in which the subordinate police very often 
impose on that ignorance. This induces persons who are charged 
with offences to make confessions, even when they are quite 
innocent. The subordinate officer formerly entrusted with in- 
quiries, woidd form his own theory, and then proceed to extract 
a confession. He did not set himself to prove an innocent man 
guilty, or to force him to make a false confession ; but he 
thought he had got hold of the right man, and he tried to induce 
or compel him " to tell the truth." 

Very early in my service, I was in quite temporary charge 
of a District, in which Sirdar Bahadur Rattan Singh was the 
District Superintendent of Police. Rattan Singh was prac- 
tically as much a foreigner in the Central Provinces as I, for 
he was a native of the Punjab ; but he had been, diuing almost 
all his service, employed in the Central Provinces Police. 
He was well acquainted with the customs and manners of 
the people, and had a great deal of natural intelligence ; and 
though not a highly educated man, he was a very efficient 
police officer, and had a general reputation for trustworthi- 
ness and conscientious discharge of duty. While I was in 
temporary charge of the District, a murder was reported 
from a jungle village about twenty-lGive miles off. The body 
of the murdered man had been found, and was identified 
as that of a man who had been going about giving advances 



280 THE POLICE 

to cultivators on behalf of a firm of grain merchants in 
a neighbouring district. He was known to have money 
with him for the purpose of these advances, and when his 
body was found it was manifest that he had been robbed. 
The body had been sent by the police to the Civil Surgeon for 
post mortem examination. That officer found that, though it 
was greatly decomposed and badly devoured by jackals, 
he was able to certify that the skull had been smashed by some 
powerful weapon, and that one of the shoulder-blades had also 
been broken by some instrument, which, from the marks on the 
bone seemed to have had a sharp point. 

No clue to the discovery of the murderers was discovered 
for some days. Day by day, as the law required, the reports of 
the local police were submitted to the District Superintendent 
and to me. In a day or two a report came, stating that two men 
had been arrested ; that the evidence recorded against them 
was that they were suddenly found to be possessed of a con- 
siderable amount of money, and that they had confessed to the 
crime. The District Superintendent and I talked the matter 
over. We thought it was a case that, despite the existence of 
urgent business at head-quarters, necessitated a visit to the 
spot. 

The Sirdar Bahadur and I accordingly started off very early 
the next morning and rode together to this jungle village. 
There we found the local police with the two men in custody. 
They had added to their evidence the discovery in the jungle 
of a lathi (or club) stained with blood, which lathi was identilGied 
by some of the villagers as belonging to one of the two men. 
There was, however, one very remarkable fact about the club, 
namely, that the bloodstains were on the thin end, not on the 
thick end. This aroused our suspicions, for it did not seem 
natural that a man designing to beat another to death woidd use 
the thin end of his club. We asked the men about the cir- 
cmnstances, and they told us that they had met the man in the 
jungle, and that the lust of gain had led them to take his life 
with the club and remove his purse. 



THE POLICE 281 

Rattan Singh asked my permission to do something which 
was not quite regular, namely, to examine the men on oath, 
proposing to administer such an oath as the men would im- 
doubtedly respect. After some hesitation I agreed, subject 
to the condition that nothing that they said would be recorded 
or used against them. They were then called and asked what 
the circumstances were. No one was present with us at this 
inquiry except the eldest son of each of the accused: the 
local police had been sent to a distance. Rattan Singh 
asked the men to place their hands on the head of these little 
boys, and to swear by the boys' lives that they would tell the 
truth. They immediately proceeded to repeat the confession 
which they had already made ; but they were observed to 
remove their hands from their sons' heads, and were told 
immediately to replace them. 

They then said that they coidd not tell that story with their 
hands on their sons' heads. We informed them that it woidd 
be in their interest to tell the truth ; and they proceeded with 
their statement. They said that they had come upon the dead 
body of the injured man ; that it was covered with blood ; and 
that they had observed a string purse so bound up in his 
loin-cloth that only part of it was visible. They nad been averse 
to touching the bloody corpse, and they had pushed the thin 
end of the club belonging to one of them under the loin cloth 
so as to raise it and secure the purse without touching the 
body. This, of course, explained fully the blood-stains at the 
thin end of the club. They did not know anything about the 
cause of death ; but they were told by the subordinate police 
officers investigating the case that the evidence against them 
was conclusive, and that they woidd be hanged on that evidence ; 
whereas, if they confessed, that the Government woidd prob- 
ably take a lenient view of the offence and would pass a sentence 
of a short period of imprisonment. They had accordingly con- 
fessed. 

They took us to the place where they found the body. 
A careful examination of the ground for some distance round 



282 THE POLICE 

the spot where the body had been f ound, led to the discovery 
of the clothes of the deceased l3ang near a pool in a nei^- 
bouring stream, and of the footprints of a tiger. The case 
was ultimately established as one of death by a tiger, which, 
after killing the man where he was about to bathe, had dragged 
the body for some little distance, and no doubt intended to 
make a meal of it later. The fact that these men had found 
the body and interfered with it had probably roused the 
suspicion of the tiger, which, with the natural shyness of 
its kind, abstained from further concern with it. The end 
of the case was the punishment of the police officers con- 
cerned for having induced a false confession. In a way, one 
was sorry for them. They were zealous officers, and there 
was little doubt in our minds that they really did believe in 
the guilt of these two unfortunate countrymen ; but they had 
deliberately, by false statements as to the probable action of 
Government, led these men to make a confession whereby 
their lives were imperilled. 

This was by no means an exceptional case. I have in mind 
the recollection of several cases which occurred later, in which 
the innocence of a person who had made a confession imder 
similar inducements was clearly established. I remember the 
case of one poor woman, convicted, on her own confession, of 
killing her new-bom child, being released by order of the Chief 
Commissioner on accoimt of the fact that a child was bom 
to her in the jail while she was awaiting the confirmation, or 
(not improbably) the commutation, of the death sentence 
by the Judicial Commissioner. 

The personal experience which I had with Rattan Singh was 
very early in my service, and made a deep impression on my 
mind which has never passed away. It has often led me 
to insist on careful local inquiry by thoroughly trustworthy 
officers in such cases ; and it was many such cases, which 
were brought to our notice on the Police Commission, 
which led us to insist on investigations being conducted 
by officers on whose judgment and integrity some reliance 



THE POLICE 288 

might be placed. This is the only effective remedy for such 
abuses. 

There is undoubtedly a great tendency on the part of Indians 
to confess with a view of escaping the punishment which, 
through circumstances over which they do not see that they 
have any control, seems likely to fall upon them. The wife of 
a very distinguished officer of the Madras Civil Service told 
me, when I was on the Police Commission, a story which 
she thought was quite relevant to this part of our inquiry. It 
was to the following effect. Very soon after she had come 
from home, as a young lady, to reside with her parents in 
Madras, she reached their house from the tennis ground barely 
in time to dress for dinner. She went into the drawing-room 
and found that her mother had not yet come downstairs, but 
was in her own room preparing for dinner. She left the drawing- 
room in a hurry to run and change her clothes. 

As she was leaving the room she knocked down a little table 
with a valuable vase on it. The vase was broken to pieces. 
She lifted the table and then went upstairs, determining to tell 
her mother when she was dressed. When she came down she 
found her mother in the act of dealing with the servants about 
the broken vase : one of the servants had already acknow- 
ledged that he had accidentally thrown it down. Before she 
had heard what was going on, the young lady said to her mother, 
" I am very sorry about that vase. It was very careless of 
me. I knocked it down as I was hurrying off to dress for 
dinner." *^ But," her mother said, *^ Ramaswamy, the bearer, 
has just acknowledged that he broke it." 

It turned out that the mother had told the servants that, 
if they would speak the truth, she woidd take into considera- 
tion any circumstances that might be favourable to the person 
who had broken it, but that otherwise she must insist on the 
price of the vase being paid by the servants as a body. The 
result was that, after some consultation amongst themselves, 
they had decided that Ramaswamy, who was a very good and 
favourite servant, should make the confession. He accordingly 



284 THE POLICE 

did so. It may be mentioned by the way that this plan 
of making a conmimiity responsible for the faults of a single 
individual, who cannot be discovered, is one which is not 
uncommon in India. It is one which is in accordance with 
Oriental ideas ; but it is certainly one which ought to be 
adopted with great care. My friend told me the story with 
a view to showing how, from what might appear altogether 
inadequate considerations, an innocent person may be induced 
to confess to a faidt. 

The police in the past have greatly erred in attaching imdue 
importance to confessions. The result has been in two respects 
injiuious to their work. On the one hand, a confession made 
to them, even if true, may be withdrawn before the court; 
or if it is made before a competent magistrate it may be with- 
drawn before a higher court. The accused may have regretted 
his over-frankness, or he may have learned, from persons whom 
he has met while in custody, that he was mistaken in thinking 
that a favourable impression would be created by confession. 
In either case, he withdraws his confession ; and, the police 
having relied too much upon it, the case breaks down. 

On the other hand, it has sometimes been very injurious to 
police work to attach undue weight to confessions in that, 
satisfied with having obtained the confession and accepting it 
without careful inquiry, the inquiring officers have turned 
their attention entirely in the wrong direction. These lessons 
of experience have now been fully learned by the police ; and 
in every part of India clear instructions have been issued 
forbidding the police to rely upon confessions except so far 
as they afford a clue to the obtaining of indisputably sound 
evidence. In this respect, as in many others, the police pro- 
cedure is immeasurably improved, and their work has become 
immeasurably more effective. 

All this indicates the difficulties with which those who are 
responsible for the administration of justice in India have to 
deal. These difficulties affect the police and the courts alike. 
There are many confessions made by prisoners in the hope 



THE POLICE 286 

of escaping from the meshes of the net in which they find 
themselves entangled, which are not prompted by the police, 
but by ignorant and mistaken views in regard to conse- 
quences. There is also much false evidence which is due to 
the desire of an ignorant person to strengthen for himself a 
sound case or to fill up the details of a true story. The police 
officer, however capable and however upright, may be misled 
by such confessions or such evidence, unless he exercises very 
special care. If he does not exercise the necessary care, he 
may greatly injure the cause of justice : if he does, he has very 
special opportunity of benefiting that cause, as his inquiry is 
conducted on the spot. 

The Police Conmiission shared the sentiment of all responsible 
officers throughout India that the inquiry entrusted to them 
was one of vital importance, that their work must be done 
thoroughly and the truth told unreservedly, and that the oppor- 
tunity for establishing the necessity for the required reforms 
must be fully utilised. It was reserved for critics at home to 
say that the Report was injudiciously outspoken. These men 
at home did not realise the evils that had to be obviated, nor 
could they understand how far mistaken economy might per- 
petuate these evils. We had to show clearly what the people 
concerned — ^whether officers or private citizens — ^found the 
police to be, and how far it was possible to make the police 
what they should be. Due allowance was made for exaggera- 
tion and over-colouring in the picture presented by some wit- 
nesses ; but there was no mincing of matters, or under- 
statement of the facts, in regard to any abuse that was brought 
to light. There was corruption and oppression freely charged 
against the lowest ranks of the police. They were less freely 
attributed to the inspectors and sub-inspectors; while they 
were practically never alleged in connection with the higher 
grades. The force, as a whole, wa,s prized or feared mainly as 
the officers of the higher grades maintained effective super- 
vision and control. 

To put the force on a thoroughly satisfactory footing and 



286 THE POLICE 

to remove the principal causes of abuse (which were, under- 
paying the lowest ranks, an unsound system of recruiting for 
the upper grades, and employment of men on duty for which 
they were not trained nor qualified) was found to require an 
expenditure which had to be very clearly justified. The neces- 
sity for it was established ; it has been incurred, and the results 
even already are excellent. The Commission were encouraged 
to urge this expenditure not only from Indian experience in 
other departments, but also from English experience in the 
police. Both in India in other departments of the Government 
service, and in England in the police, courage in facing necessary 
expenditure had led to the very best residts. 

English experience is well worth a few words. We obtained 
and read the ^* Report of the English Constabulary Force 
Commissioners," presented to Parliament in. 1889. It will 
repay perusal by those who set no limits to their abuse of the 
Indian Police. It will supply them with some choice phrases. 
Men woidd not in those days prosecute a thief or even report 
a theft ; for that involved " throwing away good money after 
bad.'* ' They woidd not incur " the trouble and expense which 
are sustained in piirsuing and apprehending felons.'' *^The 
expense, trouble, and loss of time, in case of misdemeanours, 
are frequently more mischievous than some felonies." These 
are mentioned as " the motives to withhold information or 
abstain from prosecution," and the causes of the failure to 
secure " the general support of the conmiunity in Police work." 

We thought that if the police reform initiated by Sir Robert 
Peel had in England converted the state of things, described 
in that report as existing sixty or seventy years ago, into the 
state of things now existing, earnest efforts to reform the Police 
of India might in due time produce incalculable benefit. We 
have not been disappointed. Already reform has begun to 
tell, although some of the reforms are still in their infancy. 
The practical necessity for corruption in the lowest ranks has 
been removed by giving them a reasonable wage. An improved 
system of recruiting is securing better men for the higher 



THE POLICE 287 

grades. Men are not allowed to make inquiries and do other 
work for which they are not qualified. They are being better 
trained in all grades of the force ; and the supervision and 
control are more effective. 

It is true that the police are still sometimes harsh and even 
oppressive towards ther people. So they always will be unless 
they are kept under control. The low-class Oriental official 
is a miserable tyrant : there are other places besides the East 
where this is the case. The Report which led to Peel's reforms 
is somewhat appalling reading ; and there are places in Europe 
still where the police are worse than they are in many parts 
of India. Wherever authority, in the hands of low-class un- 
educated men, is unrestrained, it is abused. The only safety 
lies in supervision and control. But it is only those acquainted 
with the working of the police in the interior who understand 
what efforts are made to prevent abuse, how severely harsh- 
ness and oppression are generally dealt with, and how im- 
mensely the police have improved of late years. Torture is a 
thing practically unknown, and is dealt with in the severest 
manner when it is discovered ; and in respect to their treat- 
ment of the people generally the Indian Police are being trained 
on the lines laid down for the police force at home. The training 
schools and the constant instruction of their superior officers 
have effected a great change in the character of Indian con- 
stables. 

Most of the denunciation of the work of the police that one now 
hears is based on the traditions of the days of their most de- 
fective work, on the too ready acceptance of tides invented by 
the criminal classes to cast discredit on police witnesses, and on 
coniplete ignorance of the present conditions of the force and 
of the rules under which inquiries are now conducted and 
supervised by officers of high character and sound training. 
The force is not immaculate : it is Indian and therefore 
human ; but there are no well-wishers of India and its peoples 
who are more anxious to correct error and prevent abuse than 
the Magistrates of Districts and the responsible police officers 



288 THE POLICE 

of the higher grades. It is as unfair to talk of the Indian Police 
as some men talk of that force even in the House of Commons 
as it would be to apply phrases from the Report of 1889 to the 
London Police of to-day. The Government of India would not 
have been able to deal with the troubles of the last two or three 
years but for the splendid work done by the reformed police. 
Supervision and control will always be necessary. But with 
these, the Indian Police are capable of most valuable work. 

It seems to me very deplorable to see how often the officers 
who preside in our courts are altogether unacquainted with, 
and make far too little allowance for, the difficulties against 
which the superior police have to contend. It is far too 
common for a Judicial officer, when a case breaks down, to 
give utterance to adverse criticism and even ungenerous abuse 
of the police, without reflecting on the possibiUty of mistakes 
being made innocently by men contending with the difficulties 
which the circumstances of inquiries in India too often present, 
and without any knowledge of or consideration for the efforts 
which senior police officers have made to secure efficiency and 
thoroughness in their investigations. 

This is imjust to the police, who are not on their trial be- 
fore the courts, and who are thus, often even when innocent, 
exposed to public obloquy and to such injury in their pro- 
fession as constitutes not infrequently a serious punishment. 
It also tends to friction between the Executive and Judicial 
departments, which is inconsistent with the sound and efficient 
administration of the country. These two departments have 
one object, the maintenance of peace and justice in India ; and 
they ought to pull together. 

I should certainly be very far from discouraging Judicial 
officers from criticising the conduct of the police in their judg- 
ments, if these criticisms are made on good grounds, and with 
a due sense of responsibility on the part of the officer making 
them. Such criticisms are of great value, when their object 
is to bring mistakes and misconduct to the notice of the re- 
sponsible officers with a view of improving the administration 



THE POLICE 289 

of the police ; and they ought to receive most careful and cour- 
teous consideration. On the other hand, the hasty condemnation 
or denunciation of the police by Judicial officers is much to be 
deprecated. When unfavourable comments are made on a one- 
sided representation of the facts, without the police officer 
concerned having any chance of defending himself, they are 
imjust, and their most likely effect is to rouse a feeling of 
resentment and defeat the only object that a Judicial officer 
should have in his criticism. 

When in the course of a trial the conduct of a police officer 
seems open to suspicion or to call for explanation or inquiry, 
it is necessary that the circumstances shoidd be definitely 
set forth by the Judicial officer in his judgment or in a 
separate note, to be referred to the Executive Government 
or to the superiors of the officer concerned for such inquiry 
and subsequent action as may be necessary. The appearance 
of unfairness and prejudice in the utterances of Judicial officers 
is greatly to be deprecated. And the constant, and often 
unnecessary pillorying of the police by some of the courts is as 
mischievous in its effect on the administration as it is unjust 
in principle. The heads of the Executive and Judicial depart- 
ments ought to be able to concert measures to prevent friction 
between the officers of these departments. It is an old Oriental 
proverb that, if you want good work and a straight furrow, you 
shoidd *^ not plough with an ox and an ass together."* Men 
who are working for the same object ought to be able to co- 
operate and help one another ; and friction in public duty ought 
not to be tolerated. 

* Deuteronomy zzn. 10. 



CHAPTER XVm 
EDUCATION 

THE subject of education is one to which I have been led 
to give considerable attention during the whole of my 
service. The District Magistrate in the Central Provinces 
was in the old days directly responsible to the Inspector-G^eral 
of Education for the primary education of his District, and he 
was also expected to take a very active interest in the higher 
forms of education. He was assisted in this by any of his 
subordinates whom he chose to place specially in charge of that 
department of work, and also by an Indian officer called a 
District Inspector, who was in charge of the primary schools. 
The system worked well. 

No doubt in regard to higher education the department 
ought to be held primarily responsible, though here also the 
Executive officers of Government ought to render all assistance 
possible; but in regard to primary education nothing can 
compensate for a lack of interest or a want of sense of re- 
sponsibility on the part of the District Officer. In the higher 
schools there are pupils, the majority of whose parents have 
begun to attach considerable importance to the education of 
their sons, and will take an interest in pushing them forward ; 
but if the primary schools are to be well attended the great 
majority of the pupils will be children whose parents require 
to be persuaded to send them. My opinion is that in view of 
the circumstances of the Central Provinces and the condition 
of its peoples, education is far more efficient there than in 
perhaps any other Province in India, and I think that this is 

240 



EDUCATION 241 

due to the effective assistance rendered to the Education 
Department by Revenue and Magisterial officers. 

I was placed in charge of education by one of my earliest 
Deputy Commissioners when I was a young assistant, and I 
have always taken a considerable interest in this branch of 
work. I do not intend, however, to write on the matter with 
any assumption of superior knowledge, because I consider 
that the question is an extremely difficult one, and that the 
conditions of the question have altered very considerably 
during recent years. Not only has attention been drawn 
particularly to the student class by certain very unfortunate 
events which have occurred, but the particular aspects of 
education which demand most attention now are not those 
which occupied us most in former years. 

I must say that that which occupied us most in the Central 
Provinces was primary education. We felt a deep interest 
in the village school, because we regarded it as of importance 
to have at least some of the agricultural community as far 
as possible in each village throughout the country educated 
enough to be able to read their Village Papers and Accoimts, 
and imderstand their transactions with their landlords and 
money-lenders. We felt that this was so desirable that we 
considered it expedient to use all our influence to make the 
schools efficient and attractive, and to get the people to 
take advantage of them for their children. There is one 
point to which too little attention is generally given, namely, 
the necessity for making the primary schools more popular by 
closing them when the parents need the help of their children 
during agricultural operations. This is done in the glens of 
Scotland : it is more necessary in the villages of India. 

For a long time higher education was practically left entirely 
to the Education Department. Although District Officers 
visited the higher schools and colleges they did not, as a rule, 
consider it their duty to form any particular opinion as to their 
efficiency or suitability, but simply to encourage them. As, 
however, the demand for secondary education increased and a 



242 EDUCATION 

large number of boys and young men began to be gathered 
together in central places, the necessity for taking some steps 
to secure their physical and moral well-being was pressed upon 
the attention. It was not enough that the Educational officers 
began to see this necessity. It was realised to be a matter 
deeply concerning the welfare of the people generally and 
the executive administration of the Province. 

It is sometimes said that education has been carried too far 
in Indi€^ that we are educating too many of our Indian fellow- 
subjects. In dealing with the limitations of unrest, I shall 
quote figures which show that there is no foundation for such 
a statement. We are not educating too many ; we are still 
educating far too few. This is true in regard to higher education 
as well as in regard to primary education. There is no part of 
education that is being carried to excess. On the contrary, it 
seems to me that the demand for education, which has most 
naturally grown by leaps and bounds during recent years, has 
not been at all adequately met. The result has been that the 
education provided has become much less efficient than it used 
to be ; the teachers have, as a rule, had to deal each with far 
more pupils than he could give attention to. The inspectors 
and deputy-inspectors have had more schools under them than 
they were able properly to inspect and control ; and boys and 
young men have been allowed to collect at educational centres 
without any adequate provision being made for their physical 
and moral welfare. In all respects the touch between teachers 
and pupils has become weakened, and the personal influence of 
the teacher has been less and less effectual for good. 

In many cases, too, owing to the underpaying and over- 
working of the Educational Staff, a spirit of discontent has been 
excited among them which is very serious in its consequences 
on their work and on their influence over the pupils. Another 
great defect of our educational system in India of which parents 
of all classes are beginning now to complain bitterly, is the 
absolute want of religious instruction in the Gk>vemment 
schools which the majority of the people at least stiU regard 




TiiK Sacrkd Okd Town of Nawadwip on the Bhagarathi Branch 
OF THE Ganges 

The pandits and students of the Sanskrit Tol (College) and a great mass of the inhabitants of the town 
are gathered on and about the landiog-stage to receive my visit. 




Waiting at the Ferry, Chota Nagpur 



EDUCATION 248 

as the most suitable for their sons' education. It does not 
appear to me that these defects aie essential to the educational 
system as laid down by the Government, but rather that they 
have arisen through a failure on the one hand to see the serious 
nature of the evils involved imtil they pressed urgently on the 
attention, and on the other hand to carry out consistently and 
determinedly the principles on which the educational system 
was based. 

The Brahmans have always made a show of learning, and 
have, indeed, claimed a practical monopoly of it. Of course, 
very many Brahmans are absolutely without education, many 
of them are mere menial servants ; but it is the Brahmans as a 
class who have in India regcurded themselves as the aeposi- 
taries of learning. I have often thought that in this respect 
they were not unlike the ecclesiastics of the Middle Ages. 
The essential difference, of course, is that no one can be a 
Brahman except by birth. It is not difficult to make out a 
strong case against the Church of the Middle Ages in respect 
of the arrogance of the ecclesiastics and their contempt for the 
laity, as well as in respect of the vices of individuals or of 
groups among them ; but, on the other hand, it is easy to see 
that in many respects they were a powerful influence for good, 
and that their education and training raised them in many 
respects fcur above the great bulk of the people. But in the 
Middle Ages the ecclesiastical monopoly of learning involved 
its neglect by the great body of the people, and meant also 
the absence of real progress. Even kings ruled who could not 
read or write ; distinguished soldiers travelled all over the 
world without learning ; the great body of the people trusted 
to professional help in an3rthing connected with reading or 
writing ; and the general life of the world was wanting in in- 
tellectual vigour. That is something like the state of India 
now. 

A writer on Indian affairs has told us that ^^ the Brahmans 
of modem times are not in any degree more learned than 
their ancestors of the time of Lycurgus and Pjrthagoras.'' If 



244 EDUCATION 

this be true of the Brahmans themselves, it is more emphatically 
true of the peoples of India generally. While other once bar- 
bcurous races have emerged from darkness, pressed forward into 
civilisation, and extended their researches into the arts and 
sciences in a manner of which the old-world teachers and thinkers 
of the ancient civilisation of India could not have dreamed, 
her own peoples have stood still. They have made no moral 
or intellectual advancement ; they have been asleep through- 
out these ages. As one travels about India one sees a stnmge 
mixture of civilisation and barbarism. There sie the remains 
of the old civilisation, not only in wonderful buildings and works 
of art, but also in the elaborate philosophies and laws which 
have come down through many ages. But these remains are 
more like the empty walls or crumbling ruins of castles and 
palaces long deserted and falling into decay, while aU around 
there is gross ignorance and darkness. A beautiful simple life 
is described as led by many of the people in the Indian Arcadia 
of olden times ; and this is to be found in the villages of to-day. 
That life is, however, generally characterised by want of 
education ; and the corrupt religion which has long held sway, 
has been characterised by practices which our civilisation re- 
gards as inhuman and compels the Government to put down 
with a strong hand. 

It is very interesting even now to go to some of the tots 
or semincuries of Sanskrit learning and find the teachers and 
the students living together precisely the kind of life that is 
described in the old Sanskrit classics. I once spent a delight- 
ful day with the teachers and pupils of the great School 
of Sanskrit Learning at Navadwip. I was most kindly received 
in the good old way as " the illustrious Model of all the Virtues," 
and they gave me their degree of " Ocean of Logic and Truth," 
and sent me on my way, after several hours of kindly fellow- 
ship, with words of encouragement regarding my work. It 
is interesting also to go to the indigenous village schools, 
where a Guru or religious preceptor gathers his pupils round 
him and teaches them sometimes a smattering of reading. 



EDUCATION 245 

writing, and arithmetic all in the old way of learning by rote, 
and committing to memory that which in the days when there 
were no books would otherwise have been lost to the learner. 
But interesting as such experiences are, they leave the clear 
impression that there is little or nothing here of true education. 
The education as given to any other than Brahmans under the 
old system is exceedingly rudimentary, and while conveying 
to a few traders and petty landowners a little useful instruc- 
tion, it really does practically nothing to educate and develop 
their intelligence. 

It was very much the same with the Muhammadans. The 
Hindus form the great bulk of the population of India ; and 
the Muhammadan system is in some respects foreign to that 
country. The Muhammadans, however, must be carefully con- 
sidered in respect of education, partly because of their numerical 
importance, especially in the northern Provinces, and also be- 
cause of the memories and traditions which are boimd up with 
their^history. Higher education among the Muhammadans, like 
higher education among the Hindus, was available for a very 
small section of the community. Men of learning devoted 
themselves to the instruction of youth mainly in the Arabic 
language and the sacred Koran, and as the Hindu dealt 
mainly with philosophy and law, so they dealt mainly with 
religion and jurisprudence. Here and there, connected with 
mosques and shrines, there were little religious schools in 
which the Muhammadan teachers gave altogether dispropor- 
tionate attention to the training of the memory and failed 
really to educate their pupils. 

It was with these systems among Hindus and Muhammadans 
that the Court of Directors of the old East India Company 
found themselves face to face, when they determined to deal 
with the matter of education. At first the Company which had 
become the rulers of India did not accept responsibility for 
providing popular education. In those days the Home Grovem- 
ment did not even accept that responsibility in regard to 
the inhabitants of Great Britain, but left education to be 



246 EDUCATION 

managed or mismanaged by the people themselves. It was 
largely due to the great pioneer missionaries, and to a few dis- 
tinguished statesmen, that education was at last taken up 
by the Company. In India it is of the utmost importance 
that the Government should take the lead in such a matter. 
It is so stilly it was even more so over half a century 
ago. The people of India had not then acquired — they 
have not yet fully acquired — the capacity for action on their 
own account. In great matters they look to the Government 
at least to lead them ; their tendency is to expect the Grovem- 
ment to do for them all that is to be done. 

This is not always adequately realised ; but though much 
has been done in educating the people in self-government, it 
wiU be a long time before the races of India can be left to 
manage their own affairs, even in regard to the matters which 
most concern them, and with which they aie best acquainted. 
There are a great many Indians now, especially of the mc»^ 
intelligent and educated classes, who have a very clear idea 
of certain things that they want in regard to education. I am 
of opinion that their views ought to be fully considered, and 
as tax as possible carried into effect. They expect this of the 
Government. They do not expect to have the whole work left 
to themselves. They want encouragement ; they want a lead : 
to neglect to give it is interpreted as indifference. 

In the latter part of the first half of last century the atten- 
tion of the authorities both in India and at home was seriously 
directed to the moral and material condition of India ; and 
there remains on record the Despatch of 1854 from the Court of 
Directors of the East India Company, which laid down in 
clear, though general, terms ^' the principles which should 
govern the educational policy of the Government of India." 
It set forth, in the words of Lord Dalhousie, ^^ a scheme of 
education for all India, far wider Bxid more comprehensive 
than the Supreme or any Local Government could ever have 
ventured to suggest." Before that there had been neither 
constancy of direction nor breadth of aim. The annual ex* 



EDUCATION 247 

penditure upon public instruction had been insignificant and 
uncertain, and its control had not been deemed worthy of the 
attention of any department of the State. 

The Despatch of 1854 was a new departure. This remark- 
able document starts with this noble declaration: "Among 
many subjects of importance none can have a stronger claim 
on our attention than that of education. It is one of our most 
sacred duties to be the means» as far as in us lies, of conferring 
upon natives of Lldia those vast moral and material blessings 
which flow from the general diffusion of useful knowledge, and 
which India may, under Providence, derive from her connection 
with England." 

The object was not only to produce a higher degree of in- 
tellectual fitness, but to raise the moral character of those 
who should partake of education, to supply Government with 
servants to whose probity offices of trust might be committed 
with increased confidence, and to advance the well-being of 
the people generally. The material condition of the great 
Empire was to be advanced by the diffusion of the improved 
arts, science, philosophy, and literature of Europe. The ver- 
naculars of the country were not to be neglected. They were 
to be utilised as the media of communication of European 
knowledge to the people generally, leaving the mastery of the 
English language, as a key to the literature of Europe, to those 
who aspired to a high order of education. 

The responsibility for popular education was accepted both 
on the general groimd of the duty of Government to secure the 
best interests of the people, and also on the particular ground 
that in India Government effort was especially required. 
At the same time, it was laid down that Government could not 
attempt to supply popular education by its own unaided efforts. 
The task was too great. It was indeed recognised that the 
people by themselves could not obtain an education worthy of 
the name. Government must, therefore, come to their assist- 
ance ; but the work was not to depend entirely on its unaided 
efforts. History had shown that throughout all ages both 



248 EDUCATION 

Hindus and Muhammadans had given themselves to the work 
of teaching according to their lights, and that munificent 
bequests had not infrequently been made for the permanent 
endowment of educational institutions. It was hoped, there- 
fore, that Government would be £issisted by the people, and a 
system of Grants-in-Aid was set forth. 

The details of the administration of the Educational De- 
partment, and aU the detailed instructions of the Despatch 
regarding scholarships, textbooks, technical institutions, and 
female education need not be mentioned. Elnough has 
been said to show how comprehensive a survey was taken 
of the necessities of the case, with what ability and fore- 
thought these were provided for, and the earnest and lofty 
purpose which animated the authors of this Despatch, the 
principles of which have again and again been accepted by the 
Government of India. The Despatch concludes by quoting 
with hearty concurrence the words used long before by Sir 
Thomas Mimro of Madras, to the effect that any expenses 
which may be incurred in education " will be amply repaid by 
the improvement of the country ; for the general diffusion of 
knowledge is invariably foUowed by more orderly habits, by 
increasing industry, by a taste for the comforts of life, by 
exertion to acquire them, and by the growing prosperity of the 
people." 

This is a Despatch that fills me with admiration. It was 
written by great men at a great crisis in the history of India. 
I wish that it were better known to those who are making that 
history now. I cannot deal with it here at length. There are 
a few points to which I should like to draw attention ; but 
I must pass unnoticed many that are important. Tempting as 
the subject undoubtedly is, I do not think it necessary to enter 
into any discussion concerning technical and scientific educa- 
tion. That is being taken up fully by the Grovemment of 
India. There is only one thing which I feel it worth while to 
say in this connection ; that is the strong impression that has 
grown up in my mind that technical and scientific education. 



EDUCATION 249 

such as will fit men for ordinary technical and scientific work, 
ought to be supplied in India itself. 

It will no doubt be necessary to send men from India to 
Europe foi^the acquisition of high expert knowledge in certain 
specialised departments, as it is necessary to send men away 
from England itself for that purpose. But it is not right that 
for ordinary education of a technical and scientific nature 
lads should have to leave their own country. This may be 
accepted as a general principle. It is especially applicable to 
the conditions of India. Effort should, therefore, be made as 
speedily as possible to secure a sound technical and scientific 
system of education in India itself. The people wish it ; they 
would assist the Government in securing it; and it is em- 
phatically in the interests of Government that it should be 
secured. 

Although I cannot take up time with a full discussion of the 
Despatch, there are among its most important features, three 
that demand brief attention. These are the high place given 
to vernacular education, the Grant-in- Aid system and religious 
instruction. 

Firstly, then, the importance attached to vemaculcur educa- 
tion. It has been humorously said that Englishmen have, to a 
large extent, modified the great commission of the Founder of 
Christianity, and have made it run thus : ^^ Gro ye into all the 
world and teach the English language to every creature." 
The EngUsh language is well worth knowing ; but the framers 
of the Despatch were right in relegating it to higher educa- 
tion, and in insisting on the teaching of the vernaculars. 
They understood how absolutely necessary it was for sound 
government to maintain touch with the people through their 
vernaculars, and also how imperfect EngUsh education itself 
must be when the pupil in all his home life, and in all his 
surroundings, is separated from its spirit and true environ- 
ment. Unfortunately there has been a tendency, based largely 
on the views enunciated by Lord Macaulay in 1886, but 
contrary to the later and soimder views of the Despatch, to 



250 EDUCATION 

starve vernacular education, especially in the higher schools 
and colleges. The result has been a want of touch between 
education and the life of the country^ which is very much to be 
deplored. At present there is a revival, to a certain extent, 
of interest in vernacular education, and I earnestly trust that 
it may receive more attention in future. To sacrifice the 
vernaculars to English is to sacrifice the true interests of the 
vast majority of the people to the doubtful advantage of the few. 

Secondly, there is the Grant-in- Aid system. This is of the 
very essence of sound educational policy in India; because 
it means that Government will aid local effort, and develop 
self-help, while at the same time it secures the necessary 
pecmuary assistance of the people in work, the cost of wluch 
must be altogether beyond the unassisted efforts of Govern- 
ment in a country where the taxation must of necessity be kept 
as low as possible. It also enables the people to carry on 
education on their own lines, so f cur as these are worthy and 
efiicient, their worth and efficiency being tested by a careful 
system of Government inspection. I do not for a moment mean 
to say that the manner in which Grants-in-Aid have been 
distributed by the Educational Department in the past has 
always been wise and effective ; but the system itself is one 
which is capable of excellent administration, and is entirely 
suited to the circumstances of India. 

The third point is the question of religion. The Despatch 
declared clearly in favour of neutrality in regard to religion ; 
but this neutrality was accompanied by a sanguine confidence 
in the power of instruction in secular subjects alone to kindle 
a moral ideal, and to touch the springs of conduct. There is 
no doubt that there is some foundation for this belief, especially 
as stated by the authors of the Despatch. But their sanguine 
hopes have imdoubtedly proved to be largely unwarranted. 
There is no one acquainted with the facts who does not admit 
that Government education in India has somewhat con- 
spicuously failed to influence conduct and character. As has 
been well said, it has too much resulted in ^^ the mere acquisition 



EDUCATION 251 

by the memory^ or superficial understanding, of a body of 
information^ much of it of a character alien to the real human 
life of the country." A good deal of this result, however, is 
due not to the principles contained in the Despatch, but to 
some neglect of them. 

In speaMng of Christian missions, I shall have to point out 
how erroneously the doctrine of neutrality has been interpreted 
by some officers of Government. Nothing could be more 
ridiculous than some of the action taken by such officers with 
regcurd to education. There was one Province in which at one 
time some of our best English classics were expurgated of all 
reference to the Divine Being and to Christianity. And, while 
that was an extreme and exceptional case, something of the 
same misconception has too often characterised the action of 
the department regarding religion. The Despatch, on the 
contrary, while distinctly laying down that no one is to be 
interfered with in respect of his religious belief, and that reUgious 
instruction is in no way to be taken into accoimt in the in- 
spection of educationiil institutions, also lays down, not only 
that grants may be given in respect of their educational work 
to efficient institutions which also teach religion, but that 
religious books may be placed in the libraries of Grovemment 
institutions, and that private and voluntary inquiries regarding 
the Christian faith may be dealt with by the teachers in these 
institutions. I reserve for my chapter on Christian missions, 
some of the important sentences of the Despatch in this 
connection. 

The really great provision in the Despatch for religious 
instruction was, however, the provision of an efficient system of 
Grants-in-Aid for secular education even to institutions teach- 
ing religion. This enabled good Hindu and Muhammadan 
institutions to receive support, and has led to the establish- 
ment of a large number of missionary institutions which 
receive Grants-in-Aid from Government. These are distinctly 
missionary in their character. Dr. Duff wrote in 1884: "I 
for one would not lend myself as an instrument in wasting 



252 EDUCATION 

the funds of the benevolent in Sootiand, in teaching young 
men a mere smattering of knowledge to enable them to 
become more mischievous pests to society than they would 
have been in a state of absolute heathenism. On the other 
handy if out of every ten who enter the school, even one 
were to advance to the higher branches of secular and 
Christian education, were to become in head and in heart a 
disciple of the Lord Jesus, and were a number with minds 
thus disciplined, enlarged and sanctified to go forth from the 
institution, what a leaven would be infused into the dense 
mass of the votaries of Hinduism." 

These words by the great leader of missionary education, 
who was also one of the most influential agents of educational 
activity in India, are a true dedcuration of missionary policy 
in regard to education. Missionary institutions have turned 
out as Christian men some of the finest Indian characters that 
I have known, men who were esteemed not only in the Christian 
Church, but by the entire comutnunity. And the influence of 
such institutions has been seen, not only directly in their 
converts, and in the influence that these converts have exercised, 
but also in those who, without formally accepting the religion of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, have been animated by its moral prin- 
ciples. 

There are many now who attribute what is imsatisfactory in 
the results of our educational system largely, if not entirely, to 
the neglect of religious teaching. Dr. Duff and some of the early 
friends of education prophesied precisely such results three- 
quarters of a century ago ; and the fore-knowledge of such results 
undoubtedly influenced the high-minded statesman who framed 
the Despatch of 1854. But men in India did not then generally 
realise the possibility of such results, and they were somewhat 
careless on the matter. Now among those who are thought- 
fully considering the present condition of affairs, there adhere 
to these views hundreds and thousands among the best men 
of India, Hindus, Muhammadans, and Christians, Zai^indars, 
and professional men, Grovemment oflficials and business men. 



EDUCATION 258 

We have recently seen clear and vigorous exposition of the 
necessity for religious instruction in addresses presented to 
the Viceroy of India by the Indian chiefs of Native States^ and 
in letters addressed to him by all the important princes whom 
he consulted in regcurd to the present state of affairs. It is 
pathetic to read how they describe ^^ the absence of religious 
instruction in the schools as a potent cause of wrong ideas." 

In British India also, there is the same feeling. A very 
striking deputation was received by the Viceroy in the end of 
1908. It was a large and influential deputation of orthodox 
Hindu noblemen and gentlemen representing the Sri Bharat 
Dharma Mahamandal, the great Society of orthodox Hindus 
for all India. The sole object of their approach to the Viceroy 
was to secure his Excellency's sympathy with their views re- 
garding religious education, so that '' nothing will be wanting 
within your power to help us in our efforts to guide the awaken- 
ing life of the Hindus throughout India by means of a spiritual 
religious education until they form a truly compact and noble 
religious nation, a loyal and peaceful and prosperous people." 
Similarly strong declarations have been made by Muhammadan 
associations as to the importance of religion in education. Dis- 
tinguished individuals also have stepped forward, and strongly 
stated their views in favour of religious education, discipline, 
and moral training in schools. The Muhammadan representa- 
tive of the old dynasty of Murshiabad, himself educated at 
Rugby and Oxford, the Maharajadhiraj Bahadar of Bardwan, 
the Maharajah of Dcurbhanga, and others in Bengal have 
spoken strongly on the subject. 

During my first two or three years of touring in Bengal as 
Lieutenant-Governor, I was besieged by Indian parents occupy- 
ing high positions of influence in the interior, such as land- 
holders, lawyers, judges, district officers, and men of business, 
pointing out to me that they could not obtain a sound education 
for their^ sons at theit own doors, and that they must, there- 
fore, either train them at home under tutors, or send them to Cal- 
cutta or some other educational centre, to colleges where their 



254 EDUCATION 

moral and religious character ran the greatest risk of complete 
perversion. They implored me to devise some means whereby 
it might be possible to provide a less dangerous system of 
education for young men. They strongly approved of the 
principle of religious neutrality on the part of Government ; 
but they urged that this was surely not inconsistent with de- 
vising a system whereby religious and moral training would 
not be altogether neglected. 

This led me to propose the scheme known as ^^ The Ranchi 
College Scheme." The object of this scheme was to have at 
Ranchi, which is the most healthy place in the whole of Bengal 
for Indians belonging to all parts of the Province^ a college 
far away from the temptations insepcurable from life in a 
great city, to provide in that college a thoroughly sound secular 
education in arts and sciences, and to surround that college by 
hostels, all of which would be built by private subscription, 
and supported by fees and scholcurships founded by the benevo- 
lent. 

In these hostels the home life of the student would, as far as 
possible, be perpetuated under authorities, who would be sub- 
ject to the supervision of the college authorities, bound to supply 
not only physical comfort, but also moral education and dis- 
cipline, and such religious instruction as the parents might 
desire. Hindus, Muhammadans, Brahmans, and Christians 
would each have their separate hostel or hostels. In this way 
Government would not be responsible for providing religious 
instruction, but would not interfere with it, except in so far as 
the maintenance of discipline within the college might require. 

This scheme was cordially supported by private subscriptions 
raised with great enthusiasm. It was accepted by the Govern- 
ment of India and the Secretary of State ; but it has not been 
carried out. The reason alleged for not carrying it out is the want 
of funds. If, however, more funds were necessary, it would have 
been easy to raise them, for the people felt very strongly the 
necessity for such an institution. There are men who fed so 
strongly on the subject of higher education for their sons, being 



EDUCATION 255 

accompanied by discipline and moral and religious training, 
that they do not hesitate to send them to this country not for 
any specialised course of study but in the hope of finding that 
training here. 

I had a talk in 1910 with an Indian friend who was on a 
visit to this country. He was an old supporter of the 
Ranchi College Scheme, and had determined to send his 
children to the District school there, and then to the college. 
As the scheme had, to his great disappointment, been given 
up, he had brought his children, three sons and two nephews, 
to place them at school in England. He told me that the actual 
cost for schooling, apart from anjrthing else, was £200 a year 
for each child. Besides that, he had clothes and other bills to 
pay ; and he had also to make arrangements, at great expense, 
for the return of the children to India at least once every two 
or three years, so that they might not be utterly out of touch 
with their home. Somewhere between £1000 and £2000 a year 
is being spent by this gentleman on the education of his children 
in England, while he would far rather have had them educated 
in a thoroughly sound public school and college, such as were 
proposed for Ranchi. He told me that he would be willing to 
pay as much as that, if it could be done in accordance with any- 
thing like principles of justice in the adjustment of burdens, 
for the education of his children in Ranchi. This gentleman is 
a Muhammadan. 

The most important Hindu perhaps at the present time in 
India was also to have sent his children to the District school 
at Ranchi, with the intention of letting them go forwcurd in due 
time to the college. He looked about in vain for a place to 
which he could appropriately send them in India ; and he also 
has now been compelled to incur the expense and the risk of 
sending them to England for their education, as well as the 
certain disadvantage of having them grow up out of touch with 
India, and with the people among whom their life work must 
be done. 

There was another object which I had in view in proposing 



256 EDUCATION 

this Ranchi College Scheme, which included, as my remarks 
have already indicated, the idea of a good school at the same 
place. That object was to secure for the noblemen and great 
landowners of Bengal a place where they could have their sons 
educated, and also housed in a manner becoming their station, 
without sending them to a Chiefs* College, and thus separating 
them entirely from the traditions and influences by which they 
will be surrounded in after life, and from the people with whom 
they will have to do the business of life. 

I know one particular case in which the son of one of the 
most distinguished families in Bengal was to have been sent 
to the Ranchi College. Instead of that it has been considered 
necessary now to send him to a Chiefs' College, which is in- 
tended for the Feudatory Princes of India. I do not propose 
to enter into the discussion of the kind of education that is 
necessary for the Feudatory Princes. The political depart- 
ment must be responsible for the decision in such a case. 
But I have no hesitation whatever in saying that to send 
a British Zamindar to be educated along with the future 
Feudatory Princes of India is an entire mistake. It puts 
him into a position where he cannot fail to have great diffi- 
culty in maintaining his self-respect. However great the posi- 
tion of a nobleman m British India may be, it is different 
from the position of the member of a ruling house in a Native 
State. 

In respect of Bengal especially, I have not the slightest 
doubt that to take a yoimg nobleman away from all con- 
nection with his own Province, and with those who are 
to do the work of the Province in future years, is a blunder. 
In his home life, that is to say in the hostel that he lives 
in, he may be apart from others. But in the battle of life 
he has to meet with them on equal terms and hold his own 
with them ; and he should be prepared for this by attending 
the same college. The noblemen of Bengal themselves desire 
nothing less than to have their sons educated in a manner which 
separates them entirely from other classes, and trains them in 



EDUCATION 257 

associations with which they will have no' connection here- 
after. 

The Ranchi College Scheme was intended largely to provide 
for the separate home life of persons who, by their position, 
race, or religion, require a separate home life while attending 
school or college. It was also designed especially to meet the 
difficulty of religious education in institutions under the control 
of Gk>vemment. Gk>vemment cannot yet at least separate itself 
entirely from education, and it is necessary, therefore, to devise 
means whereby the education which it provides shall not be 
divorced entirely from religion. But it must be borne in mind 
that another and even more important means of providing 
religious instruction is to do it through aided institutions. 
Both these methods demand attention and should be fostered. 
I am very strongly convinced that unless we provide for 
religious training as well as for secular instruction, we expose 
the peoples of India to an unspeakable danger. We do more 
than this. We educate the youth of India in a manner that is 
strongly distasteful to their parents. 

The people of India are naturally a religious people, and they 
have a strong belief in the influences of religion and of home 
life. If we fail to give religious instruction, we shall either find 
the people of India becoming by our influence, and against their 
will, agnostic and atheistic in their views, and wanting in 
religious and moral character ; or we shall have them full of 
an altogether justifiable discontent with our system of educa- 
tion. It may be that they will take education into their own 
hands. That, I am afraid, is not very likely, for, as I have said, 
the people need the assistance and the leading of Grovemment 
in a matter of this kind. And, if they do not, the strong feelmg 
which at present urges them to appeal to GrOvemment for help 
to supply them with religious education will, when that demand 
is refused, lead them infallibly into a position of discontent and 
opposition. I regard the matter, therefore, as of the very highest 
importance in respect of the future of the people of India. 

There has been great advance made in respect of higher 



258 EDUCATION 

education by the Universities Act passed by Lord Curzon*s 
Grovemment. This was one of the special services rendered 
to India by Lord Curzon. University Education was carefully 
inquired into by a strong Commission presided over by Sir 
Thomas Raleigh. On the Report of that Commission the 
Universities Bill was framed. It became law after the fullest 
discussion. It has not produced a perfect University system 
in India ; no legislation can do anjrthing of the kind. But it 
has made it possible to make any improvement for which the 
authorities have the pluck and the money. 

The new Regulations framed under the Act have already 
accomplished much : far more than many of us thought possible 
in the time. I was the first Rector of the University. I was 
consulted at every step by the Vice-Chancellor, the Hon. Mr. 
Justice Asutosh Mukerji, of the Calcutta High Court. I saw 
all his work, and faced the difficulties with him. I have never 
seen more earnest, devoted, and effective work. No one who 
was not engaged in the work can understand the difficulty of 
getting the new Regulations through the Senate. Dr. Mukerji 
was on special duty, and sacrificed his health to his zeal in his 
unremitting labour. 

At that time there was sore trouble with the students. 
They were not to blame ; they had unprincipled and selfish 
advisers, who took advantage of their youth and inexperience 
to spoil their best impulses by the most ignoble uses. It has 
been publicly said in the Press tihat the University neglected 
this matter. A prominent home writer deplored the fact that 
the interests of the University were at that time '^ in the hands 
of a Bengali Vice-Chancellor." This was an unjust judgment 
pronounced in ignorance. Dr. Mukerji tackled this matter 
with courage and wisdom. He and I worked together ; and 
I approved all that he did. We put things right in scores of 
colleges without making any fuss or martyrising anybody ; and 
we tolerated abuse in no college whatever which was subject 
to the University. 

It is hopeless, however, to try to put things right merely by 



EDUCATION 259 

Regulation and Rule. We must have a proper system of 
Hostels, and a soimd religious and moral training for Indian 
youth. It will cost money ; but I believe that the money will 
be forthcoming. Men are now alive to the danger. They will 
help to provide the remedy. Government should be left mainly 
to deal with Primary Education, receiving there also assistance 
from the wealthy and benevolent. It is the latter who 
ought, with the assistance of Government, to provide higher 
education. The "Dispatch" of 1854 says, "The higher 
classes will now be gradually called upon to depend more upon 
themselves." If the call had been made, it would have been 
answered. Government has greatly erred in not calling on the 
wealthy and public-spirited for their co-operation. It is tra- 
ditional with the great families to help education ; and much 
might have been done had they believed that Government 
would appreciate their help. I have never failed to secure a 
generous response to any appeal. All they want is to be 
treated as honoured and trusted fellow-workers. 



CHAPTER XIX 
CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

I WAS fortunate in falling in at the very beginning of my 
service with excellent missionaries, and in being thus led 
from the very first to take much interest in their work. 
In Nagpur there is a Scottish Presbyterian Mission which was 
founded under somewhat striking circumstances. In the 
Bhonsla days, in the earher half of last century, there were 
troops stationed at Kamptee for the defence of the Resident, 
and among these there were several Christian officers who fdt 
deeply concerned at the ignorance and superstition which 
prevailed around them, among a people for whom they had 
begun to conceive much affection. Some of these men set them- 
selves to collect funds and to use their influence to establish a 
Christian mission at Nagpur. They applied to the Free Church 
of Scotland, which was then wrestling with the difficulties caused 
by its recent secession from the Church of Scotland as by law 
established. Their request was sympathetically considered, 
and the Church pluckily set itself to establish this new mission. 
Mr. Hislop, who went out as the first missionary to Nagpur, 
was a man of much culture and capacity. Sir Richard Temple, 
when the task was conmiitted to him of organising the ad- 
ministration of the newly formed Province (called " the Central 
Provinces '*), found Mr. Hislop a valuable coadjutor. Mr. 
Hislop's intimate knowledge of local geology, and also of the 
peoples and tribes of the Nagpur country, as well as his intense 
interest in education, and in whatever tended to the public good, 
was recognised by Sir Richard Temple, who treated him as a 
friend and helper in his work. 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 261 

In many respects Sir Richard acknowledged the obligation 
under which he lay to Mr. Hislop. There is one interesting 
fact which may be recorded. Sir Richard was organising 
the educational department of the Provinces, on the lines 
laid down in the Halifax Despatch of 1854} and the orders of the 
Government of India thereon. In his scheme was included at 
least one high-class institution in each District, to serve as a 
model. In the Nagpur District Sir Richard placed this in- 
stitution at Kamptee, ten miles away from the capital. His 
reason for this was that there was already an excellent mis- 
sionary institution in Nagpur, and that Government ought not 
to enter into opposition with such an institution, but to use 
its limited resources only where they were really required. 
When, much later, a (Jovemment college was established for the 
Provinces, it was, in accordance with the same policy, located 
at Jubbulpore; and the Missionary College was left without 
a rival at Nagpur, until the increasing demand for higher 
education led to the establishment there of another aided 
college. The Missionary College bears the name of Mr. Hislop, 
who had died before a college department was founded. 

When I went to Nagpur, the head of the Mission was the 
Rev. John G. Cooper. He and his wife had no family, and they 
lived entirely for their work and for the people of the town 
and surrounding country. I never knew kinder people;- or people 
more generally beloved. Mr. Cooper's capacity for organisation 
and his soimd common sense and perfect tact enabled him to 
bring the Mission, in all departments of its work, up to a high 
state of efficiency; and he and his colleagues were a great 
power for good in the Central Provinces. One of these, Mr. 
Whitton, was a great teacher, and imder him the College 
achieved very exceptional success. As Professor and Principal 
he had great influence over the youth of the Province. It was 
my duty for many years of my service to keep myself informed 
of the state of education in the Province, and to watch the 
career of the students of its educational institutions. I do not 
think that any man was appointed to the Government service 



262 CHKISTIAN MISSIONS 

merely because of his having been a pupil either of the Govern- 
ment College at Jubbulpore, or of the Missionary College at 
Nagpur ; but I have no hesitation in saying that some of the 
best servants of Grovemment that we had» were men trained 
in the Missionary College. Even when they had not been led to 
embrace Christianity, they had undoubtedly imbibed principles 
of the greatest value to GrOvemment and to the people. 

It was also very remarkable to see the great affection that 
the pupils and students of the missionary institution and college 
had for their missionary teachers. On one occasion, when 
Commissioner of Nagpur, I had to go out to see some famine 
relief measures which were being carried on imder the super- 
intendence of the Rev. John Douglas. He had been set aside 
by the Missionary Council to village evangelistic work, and had 
his head-quarters at Dhapewara. I arranged to start in the 
afternoon, as soon as my work in office was over, to drive Mr. 
Douglas as far as I could along the high road, and then to go 
with him in his bullock tonga by the village roads to Dhapewara, 
where I had sent my tent. When we got into the tonga it was 
very late ; for I had been detained in office. We became so en- 
grossed in talk, that in the dark Mr. Douglas allowed his driver 
to miss the road, and we found ourselves in a village about 
five or six miles from Dhapewara. 

A Commissioner is a somewhat important personage, and 
I was entitled, under the rules framed imder the Land 
Revenue Act, to obtain a guide from one village to another 
in my route when travelling in the District. I went accord- 
ingly to the house of the Patel,* explained my position and 
the circumstances, and asked for a guide. The Patel at 
once called aloud for the Kotwarf to guide me to the 
village, which lay half-way between his own and Dhapewara. 
Just then Mr. Douglas happened to speak to me. The 
Patel, hearing the voice, peered at him in the darkness and 
said (in Marathi, of course), " You are my old teacher.*' Mr. 

* Patel is the Nagpur name for the head man of the village, 
t The Kotwar is the village servant. 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 268 

Douglas asked his name, and remembered him ; and they had a 
friendly talk, to which I listened with great interest. As the 
Kotwar came up the Patel said, " I will go with you myself to 
Dhapewara,'' and he walked with us the whole way in the dark, 
talking cheerily and familiarly with us both. He had been 
prepared to send the village servant half-way with the Com- 
missioner of Division as the law required ; but he walked himself 
the whole way with us from love of his old missionary teacher. 
I foimd also that my relations with the people were much im- 
proved through my acquaintance with their friend the mission- 
ary, and through his presence with me dtuing my inspection. 

It is not easy to overestimate the importance of the beneficent 
influence which missionaries have exercised in India. There are, 
of course, missionaries and missionaries. There are some men 
who mistake their vocation ; they are by nature unloving and 
unlovable ; and the mere fact that they are missionaries does 
not alter their nature. They are imsympathetic towards the 
natives ; they are jealous, suspicious, and even hostile towards 
their fellow-countrymen. Narrow, ill-educated, and wanting 
in tact and judgment, they probably do more harm than good. 
Such missionaries are exceedingly exceptional. The pity is 
that one such man may prejudice an officer against missionaries 
and their work throughout his whole service ; and, apart from 
the direct mischief that such a man does amongst the people, he 
is indirectly the cause of great evil by exciting such a prejudice. 

There are certain missionaries who, although no doubt well- 
meaning, forget that not all the information that reaches them 
is accurate, and that not all the accurate information should be 
passed on. This leads to much misconception, to friction, and, 
I venture to think, to injury to the cause they have at heart. 
It is easy, of course, for an officer to show that he disapproves 
of such action on the part of the individual without losing his 
interest in, and much more without opposing, the cause ; but 
it is unf orttmately natural with some men to extend to a whole 
body the judgment passed on the individual. 

Sometimes, even when one is most firm in declining the 



264 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

intimacy of a mischief -maker, one does not escape the influence 
of that man's want of judgment. I recall an occasion on which 
I was attacked bitterly in the press for having acted on in- 
formation said to have been brought to me by a missionary. 
I suppose that he had given out that he was going to me. As 
a matter of fact I had refused to receive any information from 
him, or even to know the subject on which he was said to have 
come to see me. I did not contradict the newspapers : it is not 
our habit to defend ourselves from personal attacks. But the 
incident is illustrative of the mischief which a tactless and 
thoughtless man may easily do. 

My experience, however, has been that the missionary who 
too readily Ustens to an ill-report of people round about him — 
whether European or Indian — or who could see no other view 
of any set of circumstances than that which is based on the 
information he receives, is comparatively rare, and that there 
is much advantage to be derived from friendly intercourse 
with the missionaries. To them, as a body, we owe the awaken- 
ing of the conscience of the Grovemment to some of the old abuses 
of Indian administration. We owe to them a representation 
before the people, of the Christian religion and of the British 
character, which is higher and better than perhaps any other 
class whatever has been able to make. We owe also to them 
some of the best educational institutions in India, and some 
of the finest Indian characters. 

I should like to see all missionaries willing to enter fully 
and with kindly confidence into friendly relations with the 
officers of (Jovemment. They ought not readily to take up an 
unfavourable impression of the character and conduct of officers 
of Government, and least of all when these are their own 
fellow-countrymen. Officers of (Jovernment, whether European 
or Indian, are for the most part animated by a strong sense 
of duty. And, if the missionary is to exercise any worthy 
influence on them — ^whom he is as much bound by his duty 
to his Master to influence, as to influence any one else — ^he must 
acknowledge this. 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 265 

On the other hand, that officer is altogether unwise who 
ignores the missionary. An officer who disregards any source 
of information in respect to the custgms and feelings of the 
people is tmwise ; and inasmuch as the missionary has special 
opportunities of contact with the people, there is special un- 
wisdom in keeping him aloof. The missionary, however, when 
he is found to be a good and trustworthy man, ought to be 
far more than a source of information to the Government 
officer. He can be a most useful coadjutor. Not only his 
educational work, but also the beneficent aims which animate 
all his intercourse with the people, are such as to bring him 
thoroughly into line with a devoted servant of Government. 

To me it has always appeared intensely unsatisfactory to find 
a Grovemment officer and a missionary standing aloof from one 
another and regarding one another with suspicion and dislike. 
Such a state of things has seemed to me to indicate that one 
or other of these two was in that respect at least imfitted for 
the position which he occupied. Of late years, when the country 
has been visited with plague and famine, the Government has 
been under special obligation to the missionaries for the won- 
derful and devoted work which they have done ; and in not a 
few cases the value of that work has been publicly recognised 
by the Gk>vemment of India and by the reigning sovereign. 

In Nagpur, where I was stationed for many years, I joined 
the native Church and became an office-bearer in the congrega- 
tion. I had regularly to visit a certain part of the congregation, 
along with another member of the. Kirk Session, who was an 
Indian. This enabled me to know intimately the Christian 
families of the place and their concerns ; and I acquired an 
admiration for the earnestness, simplicity, and high character 
of many of the native Christians. Our first pastor was the 
Rev. Mr. Timothy, who began life as a soldier in the 7th 
Madras Infantry, and looked forward to promotion in the army, 
as young native soldiers do. At the age of sixteen or seventeen, 
when a bright, intelligent lad, he was stationed at Raipur, 
about a hundred and sixty miles from Nagpur. There he met 



266 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

some native converts to Christianity. They told him about the 
Saviom*, and roused his interest in the new religion. 

They could not make things quite clear to him, so he decided 
to travel to Nagpur to see the missionaries. There was no raU- 
way, and he travelled by road. He had taken three months 
leave of absence ; and by the end of that time he embraced 
Christianity and was baptised with the name of Timothy. 
He returned to his regimeitt, but became strongly possessed 
by the desire to do religious work among his fellow-coimtrymen. 
He took his discharge and returned to Nagpur, where he became 
a teacher. Meanwhile the mission established their own train- 
ing classes for the ministry ; and he was trained and duly 
" licensed " after the Presbyterian manner to preach the Gospel. 
Then the Nagpur Christians, who had just been formed into a 
congregation, called him to be their minister, and he was 
ordained. He was, for many years, a beloved and faithful pastor 
of the native Christians. He lived a blameless and consistent 
life, and was much respected by the whole commimity. 

The elders of the congregation were all natives except one 
missionary and myself. Some of them had very interesting 
life histories. These rise before my memory as I write ; but I 
cannot give space to record more than one. It is illustrative 
not only of missionary work, but also of the most kindly rela- 
tions that existed between Europeans and Indians about the 
time that I went to the Central Provinces. When I first knew 
him, Anant Singh was a contractor of good business capacity, 
and considerable means and position in Nagpur. His father, 
who was a Rajput, had been an officer in an Indian regiment. 

There was in the same regiment a European officer, Major 
Arrow, who was on the best of terms with the native officers, 
and was loved and trusted by them all. When Anant Singh's 
father was dying, he sent for Major Arrow, and conmiitted 
his three children and their property to his charge, for their 
mother was dead, and he had no friends to whom he cared 
to send them. Major Arrow sent them to Mr. Hislop to be 
educated, making separate arrangements for their board as 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 267 

their caste required. Anant Singh met with an accident which 
imperilled his life. When in hospital and surrounded by 
Christian kindness and care, he thought out the great question 
of his relations with God, and decided to take his stand as a 
Christian. After he left hospital he applied for baptism and 
was received into the Church. 

About this time I knew a young native who went to read 
the Scriptures every Sunday with a young Government officer. 
They talked over what they read ; and the observations made 
and difficulties raised by the Indian, were often so frivolous and 
puerile as to lead his British friend to doubt his sincerity as an 
inquirer after truth. The young European officer fell ill and 
was sent home with the sentence of death passed on him by 
his medical advisers. He recovered, however, and went back 
to a very different part of the Province. Some years after he was 
present in the missionary church when his young Indian friend 
was publicly baptised. 

It appeared that the latter had continued privately to 
study the Scriptures in a remote district, to which he had 
been transferred, far away from any missionary influence. 
Absolutely discontented with Hinduism, he joined the Brahmo 
Soma] and became a Deist. This involved no separation, 
from his people or his caste, for so long as a Hindu keeps 
himself from ceremonial impurity, he may believe what 
he Ukes. Here, however, he found that he could not rest. 
The Christ became more to him than merely one of many 
teachers, and he accepted Him as Saviour and Master. Still, 
for about two years he saw no necessity for making any public 
confession of his faith, which would involve separation from his 
caste and all the beloved and sacred associations of his youth. 

But the conviction grew stronger within him that this course 
involved disloyalty; and with the quiet courage which has 
distinguished so many Indian Christians, he determined to 
sacrifice all that was dearest to him rather than to be disloyal 
to what he believed to be the truth. He applied to the nearest 
missionary for baptism, and was received into the Church. 



268 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

For years after he lived a trusted servant of Government, un- 
obtrusive in his character and without reproach in his life. 
He served under me some years after his baptism, and I had 
many a conversation with him. It was interesting to hear him 
tell, in a very simple way, of his loss of faith in his old religion ; 
of his struggle with the temptation to think that all forms of re- 
ligion were equally mythical and perhaps equally useful, in rais- 
ing one above the purely material and leading up to God, and 
that a man's belief mattered little if he just tried to do his duty 
as far as he could in the place given him in the world ; of the 
great attraction which the character and teaching of the Christ 
had for him ; and of the intellectual and other difficulties that 
he had with the Bible, and how he often would have turned 
from it altogether but for the divine Son of God who spoke to 
him in its pages. 

He told me how the bitterness of separation trom what 
he had loved and reverenced made him hesitate; how gladly 
he had foimd the apparent solution of his difficulties in 
the acceptance of Brahamoism, receiving the Lord Jesus as 
one of his many teachers ; how even here he had not found 
rest ; how more and more loyalty to the Christ filled his heart, 
and how after years of conflict he had reached that important 
point where he determined to enter the Church, a step which 
cost him less than he had anticipated, and which he never re- 
gretted. This case has special interest to me, because it is 
the story of a man who for years studied our Holy Scriptures 
for himself, and was led step by step into the Church of 
Christ. 

I have known many Indian Christians very intimately, and I 
have seen the Indian Church grow from infancy, when it seemed 
impossible to let it take a step alone and without guidance, into 
a comparatively strong Church, more or less self-supporting, 
self-governing, and self -propagating. It is a high estimate that 
I have formed of the character of many native Christians. I 
recognise the power of the Christian religion to elevate in the 
East as it has done in the West, and I see a future for the native 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 269 

Church the unportance of which it seems to me impossible to 
exaggerate. There are midoubtedly some natives who are only 
nominally Christian^ and who give an evil report to Christianity ; 
but these are they who have been carelessly received, without 
instruction and without proof, into the Christian Church. 
The missionary bodies as a rule are careful in this matter ; and 
we have no reason to be ashamed of our Indian brethren in 
Christ. For myself, I have Indian Christian friends for whom 
I have as high a regard as for my friends in the West, and 
whose characters I have recognised as becoming more and more 
Christlike as they submit themselves to His teaching and to 
the influence of His Spirit. 

Apart from their converts, the influence of missionaries 
has been of the highest value. There are men who make no 
profession of Christianity, and who are animated all the same 
by the great principles of Christian morality ; there are also 
some whose profession of Christianity is clear and decided, 
but not public. I remember a specially striking case. We 
had an applicant for baptism in Nagpur, who had received 
all his religious instruction while he was tutor in the family 
of an Indian gentleman whom we did not know to be a 
professing Christian. This gentleman had family worship 
in his house which this yoimg man attended ; and the latter 
was led to inquire into the truth of Christianity and joined the 
Church. His employer died some years afterwards still un- 
baptised ; but several members of his family were received 
into the Church not long after his death. I have known 
intimately many such secret disciples. 

To me the results of Christian missions are not small or dis- 
couraging, they are important and of the highest promise. The 
efforts that have been put forth by the Christian Churches 
for the evangelisation of non-Christian countries are indeed 
exceedingly inadequate. The command of the Christ in regard 
to this matter was lost sight of for centuries. Modem times 
have seen a revival of the missionary spirit, but by no means 
a worthy response to the Lord's commission. Such efforts sa 



270 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

have been put forth by the Churches have, however, been 
crowned with wonderful success. No one who has taken any 
trouble to study the question, to see the work itself, to judge 
the character of those who have been really won to the Christian 
religion, can fail to recognise how wonderful the results have 
been, both in regard to the numbers of true converts, and also 
in regard to the elevation of their character. 

Nor must it be forgotten that, in estimating the results of 
missionary work, account must also be taken of the spread of 
Christian principles, even where there has been no formal 
adoption of Christianity. This forms a very important element 
in missionary results. The sacrifices which the adoption of 
Christianity still involve, and other obstacles to the ready pro- 
fession of that religon by the people, have prevented many who 
are intellectually persuaded of its excellence from embracing it 
as their creed. I believe that in this respect what we must 
look for is, that the Indian Church itself should awake fuUy 
to its responsibility for the religious condition of the peoples 
among whom it is set, and that there should arise great leaders 
among these peoples themselves to secure a really popular 
religious movement. In the elevating and civilising power of 
Christianity the hope of India seems to lie; but it must be 
Christianity not as a foreign but as an Indian faith. 

I am not here writing a plea for missions or a defence of them, 
I do not understand any argument on behalf of Christian 
missions to Christian men stronger than the command and 
commission of the Christ Himself, requiring that His Evangel 
should be carried by the Church to every creature, even to the 
uttermost parts of the earth. The commission given by Him to 
the Church seems to me finally to settle the matter. To us 
who have received the Gospel of Christ in this land centuries 
ago, there is that other argument which rests on a fine principle 
of human nature: "Freely ye have received, freely give." 
Human nattu*e when ungrateful and self-centred is degraded, 
and certainly is not the humanity of the rehgion of the Son of 
Man. It seems to me an almost impossible position to realise 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS an 

at all adequately what we ourselves have received in Christi- 
anity^ and yet have no desire to impart that blessing. 

In the third place, there is in the case of India a special call 
to missionary effort, in the wonderful relations which have been 
established between that great country and ours. These surely 
involve great responsibilities, not only for its intellectual and 
economic progress, but also for its moral and religious condition. 
In the beautiful parable of the Good Samaritan, our Lord set 
forth the simple principle that the neighbour whom we are to 
love as ourselves is the man who is in need, and who is placed 
in such near relation to us that we can help him. India stands 
in this relation to Great Britain, and she ought to receive of 
our best. The obligation is all the stronger as respects the 
Church and the individual Christian, because the righteous 
principle of Government neutrality precludes the use of ofiGicial 
influence on behalf of the Christian or any other faith. 

These are among the arguments for missionary work in 
India that most appeal to me from the point of view of the 
Christian Church. There is a great lesson of Indian experience 
which also makes me feel strongly on the subject. That is the 
universal need for the life that is in the knowledge of God, 
and the suitability of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ to 
meet that need. I have f oimd in every page of the book of my 
experience clearest evidence of the fact that human nature 
is the same in the East as in the West, that when we get below 
the surface we find that the desires and affections, the needs and 
capacities of men are practically the same. And my experience 
tells me that the power of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus 
to cheer and purify the lives of men, and to elevate and trans- 
form their characters, is the same in India as in England. 
There may be flashes of light here and there in exceptional cases, 
but it is darkness that prevails among the non-Christian peoples 
whom I have known ; and there is nothing more beautiful than 
to see the light of the Gospel breaking in on this darkness, not 
among the educated and more influential dcusses alone, but 
among the poor and depressed. I could tell of bright and 



272 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

worthy Christians in the humble homes of India, just as I 
could tell of them among the humble homes of the villages and 
glens of my own land. 

I have referred to the righteous principle of Government 
neutraUty in regard to religion. It is a principle which has ruled 
my conduct, I most earnestly believe, throughout all my service 
in India. I have never consciously favoured Christian or 
Hindu or Muhammadan for his creed, and I have never used 
my official influence in any way to undermine or change the 
faith of any man. But I have never regarded the principle 
of neutrality as involving indifference or opposition to religion. 
Early in my service I had definitely to face this question. 

I was stationed in a District where there was one solitary Euro- 
pean missionary. He had a service every Sunday morning in 
the Mission Church, which was attended by Europeans, Eura- 
sians, and a few Indian Christians. Some non-Christian Indians 
also attended, because they liked to hear the missionary teUing 
the story of Divine Love. I attended the service regularly. 
The missionary had to go out on tour to preach in the villages. 
This necessitated his absence for a Sunday or two, and he 
cusked me to conduct the service. I complied with his request. 

My superior, the Collector (or, as we called him in that Pro- 
vince, the Deputy Commissioner, an upright EngUsh gentleman) 
informed me that, as Indians attended the service, it was in- 
compatible with my duty to Gtovernment to conduct it, especially 
as some of these were Hindus, and he requested me to cease 
from taking any part in the service. I told him that I could 
not accept his view of my duty, and that if he wished to press it, 
I should like the matter referred to the Local Gk>vemment. He 
very courteously and kindly agreed to refer it " demi-officially." 
The reply was that so long as I merely took part in a Christian 
service in a place to which no one was compelled to come, 
and did not force my views on the attention of the people, 
there could be no objection on the part of Government. I 
never had any trouble again in this connection. 

There are some who seem to forget that the people of India 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 278 

are themselves distinctly religious, and they are far from having 
any aversion to a religious man unless he interferes with them 
in their own religion and its observances. It is also forgotten 
that the declaration of neutraUty in regard to religion has 
been made by a Gtovernment distinctly professing to be a 
Christian Government. The simple and beautiful profession 
of her own faith made by Queen Victoria in the proclamation 
in which, when taking over the government of her Indian 
possessions, she declared the strict neutrality of her Government 
in regard to religion, made a profound impression on the 
Oriental mind and heart. There is also a very striking passage 
in the great Educational Despatch of 1854, one of the wisest 
and loftiest documents ever penned by British statesmen, 
which is well worth quoting. 

'^ Considerable misapprehension appears to exist as to our 
views with respect to religious instruction in the Government 
institutions. These institutions are founded for the benefit 
of the whole population of India ; and in order to effect their 
object, it was and is indispensable that the education conveyed 
in them should be exclusively secular. The Bible is, we under- 
stand, placed in the libraries of the colleges and schools, and 
the pupils are able freely to consult it. This is as it should be ; 
and, moreover, we have no desire to prevent or discourage any 
explanations which the pupils may of their own free wiU ask 
from the masters upon the subject of the Christian religion, pro- 
vided that such information be given out of school hours. Such 
instruction being entirely voluntary on both sides, it is necessary 
in order to prevent the slightest suspicion of an intention on 
our part to make use of the influence of Gk>vemment for the 
purpose of proselytism, that no notice shall be taken of it by 
the inspectors in their periodical visits." It is in this way that 
I have always interpreted the principle of neutrality. 

There is another argument in favour of missionary work by 
the Church in India which demands a moment's notice. Like 
other non-Christian lands there is at the present time in India 
an awakening from the slumber of centuries^ the beguming of a 



274 CHBISTIAJSr MISSIONS 

new life. All parts of India, so far as education and association 
with the West have directly affected life, feel the unrest which 
comes from intellectual awakening and the revival of national 
spirit. There is an effective demand, which cannot be refused, 
for the education, the industrial methods and the civilisation 
of the West, to be applied in India on Indian lines. The peoples 
of non-Christian lands, and the peoples of India among them, 
are pressing forward to a place among the civilised nations 
of the world ; and they will take that place. We have no right 
to complain of this. It is the result of our own policy. We have 
worked and striven for it. The best statesmanship of Britain 
has realised that India is not under our control to be exploited 
for our own advantage, but to be educated and advanced in 
the interests of its multitudinous peoples. There are elements 
in the present unrest which we deplore, elements of anarchy 
and crime. But these are not to be accepted as characteristic 
of the whole. The intellectual unrest, the newly awakened 
ambitions and aspirations, are what we ought to have anti- 
cipated and ought to welcome. 

What, however, is the result ? These non-Christian races 
are no more negligible. They were asleep and remote from our 
civilisation. Improved communications have made them our 
neighbotu's ; and contact with our civilisation has awakened 
them from the sleep of centuries. They already have their 
influence on ourselves : that influence will grow. As they 
become more civilised and more conscious of their power, they 
will, with their teeming millions and incalculable resources, exer- 
cise an influence on the future of oiu* race which it is impossible 
to estimate. To me it seems that to give them civilisation 
without Christianity is to withhold that to which our civilisation 
owes all that is best in it, and by which alone it can be kept 
pure and healthful. They cannot adhere to their own religions ; 
they are breaking away from them ; and yet many of the best 
of them realise the necessity of religion for worthy and beneficent 
life. To leave them without religion may make them a probable 
source of danger in the future history of the race. 



CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 275 

One of the greatest educationists of his day, one to whose 
efforts India generally, but especially Bengal, owes more 
educationally than to any one else, made use three-quarters of 
a century ago of these striking words : ^* If in India you do give 
the people knowledge without religion, rest assured that it is 
the greatest blunder, politically speaking, that ever was com- 
mitted. Having free, unrestricted access to the whole range 
of our English literature and science, they will despise and 
reject their own systems of learning. Once driven out of their 
systems, they wiU inevitably become infidels in religion ; and, 
shaken out of the mechanical round of their religious observ- 
ances, without moral principles to balance their thoughts or 
guide their movements, they will as certainly become discon- 
tented, restless agitators.'' These words, uttered nearly a 
quarter of a century before the transfer of the Government of 
India to the Crown, have been strangely fulfilled in our day. 

It is felt, not by Christians only, but also by Hindus and 
Muhammadans throughout India, that religion is necessary 
to the healthy life of the people. This partly explains the 
Hindu revival which has recently attracted considerable 
attention. There are those who regard this revival as the answer 
of the non-Christian faith to Christianity. So far as it is 
genuine, it seems to me to be just as much the protest of 
naturally religious races against the secular education and 
materialism now prevailing in schools and colleges. It is to 
some extent the genuine expression of the reluctance with 
which the orthodox Hindus see the religious beliefs of their 
fathers dissipated by Western education and enlightenment, 
while nothing is supplied in their stead to meet the moral and 
religious wants of our common himianity. 

Of course, it is also in some measure, especially perhaps in 
the West of India, due to the more selfish objection of the 
Brahmans to the subversion of their old influence and position. 
It is also very largely due to an attempt on the part of men 
who have no sympathy with any religion, and least of all with 
Hinduism, to divert the religious sentiments of the Hindus into 



276 CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 

a political channel. There are such men in all parts of India, 
but especially, perhaps, in Bengal. One effect of the influence 
of these sham supporters of the Hindu religion has been to 
induce thoughtless, fanatical, and half -trained youths to associ- 
ate their religion with particular forms of violence and sedition, 
which are really altogether inconsistent with its true teaching. 

I do not think that this Hindu revival constitutes any 
menace to the success of missionary work. I believe that the 
influence of Christianity is growing in a most remarkable 
manner. There is opportunity now such as never existed before. 
There is a toleration, nay, rather a welcoming of Christian 
teaching which is without precedent. For there is a desire for 
religion growing up amongst all classes which makes them 
ready to listen to any religious teacher whose life and character 
commend his teaching. With this unexampled opportunity 
there is the imprecedented urgency to which I have referred. 
I think that this opportunity exists as much among the higher 
and more educated as among the depressed and ignorant classes. 

There has been some talk of dropping the educated and turning 
exclusively to the lower orders, because the former have refused 
the call. I have no sympathy with this view. Some of the best 
Indian Christians whom I have known have been educated in 
our colleges, and have belonged to the learned professions ; 
and, whether as laymen or as mission agents, they have ex- 
ercised a far more powerful influence in supporting and spreading 
the Church of Christ among their fellow-countrymen than other 
Indian Christians have been able to do. Let us by all means 
have the gospel preached to the poor; but let us also aim at 
securing for the Church the learning and influence of the best 
class of Indians. In our enthusiasm for the salvation of blind 
beggars, let us not overlook the possibility of enlisting a St. Paul. 

I believe that the outlook of Christianity in India was never 
so favourable as it is at present, and I feel that the evangelisation 
of its peoples is assured if the Church in the West and the Church 
in India are found alive to their responsibility and faithful to 
their duty. 



CHAPTER XX 
INDIAN UNREST: ITS CAUSES 

A GREAT deal of attention has been of late directed to 
India in respect of the unrest which has forced itself 
so much on our notice during recent years. My own 
impression is that this unrest is not widespread, but confined 
to a very small section of the Indian commimity. The mass of 
the people are unaffected by it. The unrest itself is not by 
any means wholly evil. I do not for a moment desire to under- 
estimate the serious incidents which have recently occurred, 
or the state of imrest of which they are the outcome. I do 
desire, however, that they should be correctly interpreted and 
that an exaggerated impression of the state of things in India 
should not be created or fostered. There is real unrest. Some 
of it is natural and inevitable ; some of it is only wicked and 
deplorable. That which is evil has also, no doubt, been strength- 
ened by that which is natural in the situation. 

Among the natural causes of imrest may be taken the pressure 
on life arising from the high prices which prevail. Trouble 
more or less serious may at any time arise in India in scarcity 
or famine, just as similar causes may produce trouble in any 
other country. An illustration of this is contained in the account 
I have given of the grain riots in Nagpur, which were due to 
the holdmg up of grain supplies in anticipation of a rise in 
prices expected from the demand from districts and localities 
where scarcity prevailed. Under economic conditions which 
suddenly make even the necessities of life almost unobtainable 
by those who have fixed incomes, we may expect much dis- 
tress and dissatisfaction which may give trouble to the Govem- 

377 



278 INDIAN UNREST: 

ment in a country where it is believed to be able to do practically 
what it wills. 

The economic changes which have taken place in India of 
late years have most seriously affected what in Bengal are 
called the bhadralog or respectable classes, people of com- 
paratively small means and fixed incomes. Among them are 
middlemen amongst the land-owning classes, who receive a 
fixed proportion of the revenue of the land, which they hold 
under the larger Zamindars, who have managed to keep for 
themselves any increased emoluments which result from the 
rise in rents. Among them are also to be foimd many of the 
ofiGicial and professional classes, whose incomes have been 
fixed years ago when prices were much lower, and are not 
easily raised to meet the sudden rise in prices. 

I know at least one district where, when I first went to Lidia» 
one could get as much as one bundled and fifty seers (three 
hundred poimds) of grain for the rupee (two shillings), where 
a man would now consider himself very lucky if he got fifteen. 
When it is realised how simple is the life of the Indian, and how 
large a proportion of his expenditure is on the necessaries of 
life, it will be seen how very serious may be the effect of such 
a rise of prices upon many classes of the community. The 
change has been produced by the enormous improvements in 
communication which have now brought Districts at that 
time practically inaccessible into close touch with the markets 
of the world. There can be no doubt of the great advantage of 
this change to India generally; and I am able to testify 
strongly, from my knowledge of the people, that the standard 
of comfort has been greatly raised throughout the country, 
and that the condition of the people generally has vastly im- 
proved. There are, however, classes which have been very 
severely hit ; and they are classes of some consideration and 
influence. 

A very intelligent Bengali friend of mine was talking to me 
about the discontent which prevailed among many classes, 
and which produced a distinct tendency to criticise the Govern- 



ITS CAUSES 279 

ment adversely. In the course of conversation he told me that 
families in his position had frequently found it necessary to 
cut down their domestic establishments; that the ladies of 
the family had to perform duties which formerly had been left 
to servants; and that many comforts of the home life to 
which the members of the family had been accustomed had 
ceased to be obtainable. He said, " This sends people out with 
loud complaints against the Government. Dissatisfaction with 
our circumstances produces political unrest. In fact," he 
added in his Oriental way, *^ it is with us even as it is with the 
dogs. When we are uncomfortable at home we come out into 
the streets to bark." 

It is no easy matter to say what, if anything, can be done 
to assist the people under these circumstances. Economic 
changes, which in Europe were carried out in the course of 
generations, have been effected in India within a few years 
owing to its contact with the West. I have long been of opinion 
that the matter deserves the sympathetic consideration of the 
Government ; and I am glad to see that the Government of 
India have their attention seriously directed to this matter, 
and are making the inquiry r^arding it which many of the 
people demand. 

It must not be understood that I attribute the worst 
forms of unrest and political agitation to high prices and 
to the consequent pressure on certain classes. I merely 
mention this as one cause of dissatisfaction ; and in a country 
like India, with so many incomes and salaries fixed by custom, 
it is by no means a negligible cause. It in some measure explains 
the toleration, or even approval, with which the foolish and 
mischievous babblings of professional agitators were long 
received by many by whom they would otherwise have been 
strongly condemned. It was hoped, perhaps, that these wild 
utterances would draw the attention of the Government to 
trouble and dissatisfaction which were real, and in respect of 
which the sufferers, in accordance with Oriental usage, looked 
to the Government for help. 



280 INDIAN UNREST: 

Closely allied to this is the great depression among some of 
the industrial classes. This also is due mainly to economic 
causes. Manufactures have enormously developed in India 
of late years. Not only has there been a great increase in the 
import of manufactured articles, but there have also been in- 
numerable mills and factories established throughout the 
country. Many of these are now worked with native capital, 
and the laboiu* employed is, of course, mainly native. There 
is no doubt of the enormous advantage of all this to the Indian 
community in general ; but the history of the introduction of 
machinery in our own country should enable us to understand 
how injuriously such changes must, for a time at least, affect 
some of the labouring and industrial classes, how discontent 
may easily spread among them, and how susceptible they may 
become to the mischievous influences of thoughtless or un- 
principled agitators. This, to a very large extent, explains 
the success of what has been known as the '^ boycott move- 
ment '* in Bengal. With the desire to foster native industry 
the Gk)vemment and its officers have the greatest sympathy. 
But true " Swadeshi "♦ has been perverted by unscrupulous 
agitators to ignoble use, and has been degraded by selfishness, 
political disaffection, and race hatred. 

The industrial depression is a matter to which the Imperial 
and Local Ck)vemments in India have now for some time been 
giving anxious attention. All that is now being done to develop 
local industries, and to introduce and stimulate technical 
education, indicates the interest that Grovemment takes in this 
matter and the recognition of its great importance. In India 
such a matter must be dealt with by the Grovemment. The 
people still look to the Government to help them in all kinds 
of difficulties, and the lesson of self-help has to be learned, 

* ** Swadeshi '* means '<of the countiy,'* '* indigenous." Some of the leaden 
profess that their object is merely to encourage indigenous industry. But the 
impression that they have given to their followers is sadly illustrated in the 
evidence of Ganesh Balvant Vaidya in the Nassik Conspiracy Case. He mentioned 
" Swadeshi,** and being asked what he meant by it, he said, " I mean a movement 
for the collection of arms, the preparation of material for making bombs, etc." 



ITS CAUSES 281 

not only by the common people, but even by those also who 
claim to be the educated and enlightened classes. It is not 
easy for the Government, especially where financial pressure 
exists, to meet its responsibility in this matter ; but it is 
necessary for the happiness of the people, and for the stability 
of Government, that it should find the means. 

It is in my opinion also of vital importance that the measures 
taken to this end should be taken in India itself. Not only 
must local industries be encouraged in India, but technical 
and industrial education must be available there. It is practic- 
ably impossible, and also politically dangerous, to compel the 
natives of the country, to any large extent, to go abroad for 
instruction and education. The present compulsion is destroy- 
ing many of the best of the rising generation. It may be 
necessary, no doubt, at least for a time, to send some young 
men abroad for education, if only for the purpose of obtaining 
duly qualified teachers ; and it will probably always be 
necessary, in India as elsewhere, for speciaUsts in any depart- 
ment of intellectual or industrial work to come into contact 
with the best workers abroad; but our aim should be, as 
soon as possible, to supply the necessary education in India, 
and to supply it in great measure by Indians themselves. Only 
thus can the work be done which the circumstances demand. 

In connection with this subject of technical education I can- 
not help referring to a philanthropic scheme recently inaugur- 
ated in Bengal by one of the leading merchants of Calcutta. 
He proposes that, in the interests of the young, an experiment 
should be made with land reclaimed in the sundarbans, at the 
mouth of the Ganges, in the way of holding out inducements 
to young men of energy and of some education to devote 
themselves to agricultural pursuits. He offers generous sup- 
port to the scheme, which seems to commend itself to many 
right-thinking people in Calcutta. It appeals to the Indian 
love of agriculture and to the earnest desire of many yoimg 
men to find an honourable and worthy outlet for their energies. 
His object is to give them a useful career, and to save them 



282 INDIAN UNREST: 

from the injurioiis inflneiioes of selfish and unprincipled agita- 
ti<m. 

If the experiment succeeds it may have very in^x>rtant 
results. I do not see why it should not succeed if the Govern- 
ment sees its way to encourage it. The rules tm settling culti- 
vators wiU have to be modified if this scheme is to go on. They 
are framed to keep out land-speculation. But they might be 
modified to meet the necessity of any well-considered scheme 
framed by men who can be trusted. I mention it now as show- 
ing how the situation impresses a laige-hearted f ellow-coimtry- 
man engaged in commercial work in India. His view, he 
explains, is that such measures as this, as well as the en- 
lightened measures of political reform recently carried out by 
the (vovemment, are as essential as measures of repression in 
respect of the present unrest. 

I pass now to a phase in the unrest whidi is, perhaps, more 
familiar to people at home than any other, the unrest of the 
educated classes, the unrest which is due to the education 
which we have ourselves given to the people of India. I shall 
have to refer immediately to the small proportion of the people 
of India who may justly be included among the educated 
classes. I have, however, no desire to minimise the importance 
of these classes or to refuse to pay earnest attention to thdr 
reasonable demands and aspirations. We have created these 
classes ; and we have given them their hopes and aims. We 
are boimd, on that account, as a matter of justice as well as of 
policy, not to ignore their reasonable claims. 

We are boimd by the generous promise of the late Queen 
Victoria, in Her Majesty's great proclamation transferring the 
government of India from the East India Company to the Crown, 
a promise which was solemnly renewed fifty years later by King 
Edward VII We are bound by this promise, as well as by the 
principles of justice and sound policy, to see that, as far as may be 
possible. His Majesty's "'subjects of whatever race or creed 
shall be freely and impartially admitted to offices in his service, 
the duties of which they may be qualified by their education. 



ITS CAUSES 288 

ability, and integrity duly to discharge." As I look back on 
my thirty-seven years' service in India, I see little cause to 
be ashamed of the manner in which this obligation has been 
met. 

I do not propose to deal with the appointment of Indians to 
the purely Judicial Service of the Crown, They have long held 
some of the highest appointments in that Service. It was 
easy to find men in India intellectually qualified for purely 
legal work, and for judicial work, so far as that is purely legal, 
while the publicity of the work in the courts and a system 
of revision and appeal, sometimes perhaps too elaborate, made 
it, at a comparatively early period, a safe and wise measure to 
place judicial work largely in the hands of Indians. I propose 
rather to look at the part taken by Indians in the executive 
administration of the country, that is, at the number of execu- 
tive appointments held by Indians. Here I do not intend to 
mention the lower classes of appointments, which are prac- 
tically all in the hands of Indians : there is no question about 
these appointments ; there is no desire on the part of the 
educated classes to hold them. 

What really demands consideration is the progress made 
in filling the higher executive appointments by Indian gentle- 
men. Although I have seen the great progress made in 
this respect in the Central Provinces, where most of my ser- 
vice was rendered, and also in other Provinces of India 
which I have visited during my service on two important 
Commissions which took me to every Province in India, I 
prefer to deal with the facts as they exist in Bengal. I do 
so for two reasons, both becaujse there has been more agita- 
tion of recent years in Bengal than elsewhere, and also 
because I know the figures well, as they had especially to be 
dealt with by my Government in connection with agitation. 

Before I came to India, in 1871, there were no members of 
the Indian Civil Service in Bengal at all. Three Indians joined 
the Service at the end of that year. All of them were drawing 
Rs.400 a month. At the end of 1008, when I gave over chaige 



284 INDIAN UNREST: 

of the Province of Bengal, there were thurteen Indian civilians 
in the graded list drawing monthly salaries of from Rs.776 
to Rs.2250. Besides these there were ten Indians, not members 
of the Indian Civil Service, holding posts which had ordinarily 
been reserved for that Service. So that, as against three such 
appointments in 1871, there were twenty-three in 1908. Be- 
sides this, the Provincial Service in 1871 consisted of one 
hundred and seventy-seven officers employed as Assistant 
Collectors and Assistant Magistrates, of whom forty-five, or 
just over one-fourth, were Europeans. At the end of 1908, 
there were three hundred and sixty-one members of that 
Service, and only forty-five, or one-eighth, of them were Euro- 
peans. The total addition to the Provincial Service, the officers 
of which do the same work as the junior officers of the Civil 
Service, by which addition the strength of the former Service 
had been more than doubled, was composed of Indians. These 
figures indicate the great progress that has been made in the 
employment of Indians in the Executive Service of the Crown 
in Bengal. 

Perhaps, however, the earnestness of the (Jovemment in 
seeking to carry out the royal promise is more clearly seen 
when the importance of the offices now held by Indians is 
considered. In 1871 the highest position held by an Indian 
in the Executive Service was the comparatively subordinate 
one of Assistant Magistrate or Assistant Collector. There were 
no Indians as District or Sessions Judges, or as Magistrates, or 
Joint Magistrates. Recently we have had Indians employed 
not only in these capacities, but also in the higher office of 
Commissioner of Division ; and during my term of office as 
Lieutenant-Gk>vemor, I had an Indian officer holding the 
Executive appointment of next highest rank in the Province 
to my own, as Senior Member of the Board of Revenue. The 
principle of appointing Indians to Executive offices, for which 
they possess the necessary qualifications, has thus been steadily 
kept in view. At the same time, they have been more and more 
appointed to high office in other departments of the Govern- 



ITS CAUSES 285 

ment Service, such as medicine, education, law, and engineer- 
ing, and more recently in the police department. 

His Majesty's recent proclamation to the chiefs and peoples of 
India will doubtless secure the constant prosecution of this policy 
in the future. It ought, however, to be distinctly laid down and 
kept in view that it is just as imsound to appoint a man 
to Executive office on account of his race or creed as to debar 
him from office on that account. For District Boards or 
Legislative Assemblies, it is not only justifiable, but necessary 
to appoint a man because he represents a certain interest. It 
is desired that he should speak and fight for that interest. For 
an Executive Council, or for any Executive office, the very 
opposite is the case. The man who comes to represent and 
fight for a particular interest is ipso fadOy and to that extent, 
unfit. What is wanted is a man who can hold the scales justly 
between conflicting interests and favour none. Subject to this 
necessary condition the policy above referred to should be 
consistently pursued. 

While all this has been going on steadily in regard to offices 
under the Crown, efforts have, at the same time, been made to 
secure, in ever-increasing measure, the co-operation of non-offi- 
cial Indians in local self-government and in imperial and provin- 
cial administration through the municipalities. District Boards, 
and Legislative Councils. The Local Self -Government scheme, in- 
troduced during Lord Ripon's viceroyalty, has not been so suc- 
cessful as was hoped in securing the co-operation of the classes 
whose co-operation is essential. This is due partly to the inertia 
of the people, but mainly to the nature of the electoral franchise 
which was created imder the scheme. The constituencies result- 
ing from that franchise were not such as to secure the best repre- 
sentation of important interests, or to induce some of the 
natural and most desirable leaders of the people to offer them- 
selves for election. This was not the fault of the scheme, but 
rather of the thoughtless and injudicious manner in which some 
Local Governments applied it. 

Bengal has, in my opinion, suffered most in this respect. 



286 INDIAN UNREST: 

Remedies are now under consideration. They were placed 
before the Grovemment of India during my tenure of office; 
but the consideration of them was, perhaps unfortunately, 
postponed owing to the measures which were under considera- 
tion for the alteration of the Constitution of the Imperial and 
Provincial Legislative Councils. The ridiculously low qualifica- 
tion for the exercise of the franchise is one of the sad illustra- 
tions of the evils of thoughtlessly introducing Western methods 
into India, without full consideration of the circumstances, and 
without the long period of gradual and steady progress in 
political history which has characterised our own country. The 
principle of Lord Ripon's policy was sound, the details of its 
application in certain Provinces were not. 

An effort was, indeed, made to safeguard the interests of the 
people generally, by giving perhaps too great a representation 
to official classes in the District and Municipal local bodies 
and also by nominating a number of members selected as fit 
representatives of the interests which it was felt must be repre- 
sented. These could not be secured by election by the vast 
numbers of really inferior and indifferent men who, without 
any real stake in the country or intelligent appreciation of 
public affairs, formed the electoral constituency. These nomi- 
nated members were, for the most part, very suitable repre- 
sentatives of the interests and classes which they were nomi- 
nated to represent ; but they had this grave disqualification, 
that they were nominated. They were open to reproach, in 
the great majority of cases entirely imdeserved, of having sold 
themselves to the Grovemment which nominated them. 

It is clearly necessary to secure the presence on the local 
bodies of such men, men with an intelligent appreciation of the 
needs of their neighbourhood and of the interests of the people 
generally, by election instead of by nomination. That is to 
say, where an interest or a class clearly requires to be repre- 
sented on the local body, a constitu^ency of persons sharing that 
interest, or belonging to that class, ought to be formed to elect 
the representative. In this way the co-operation of all dass^. 



ITS CAUSES 287 

and especially of those who have an important stake in the 
country, may be effectively secured. It can be secured in no 
other way. Of course, we cannot disfranchise the people upon 
whom the franchise has been conferred; but we may break 
up the electoral constituencies into sections, which wiU secure 
the representation of the interests and classes which justice 
and sound policy alike demand to have represented. If we can 
secure this, we shall not only feel more confidence in the advice 
which the local bodies give us, but we shall also be able to put 
much larger powers into their hands, and to get rid, by de- 
centralisation, of much of the burden of administration, which 
in these days of progress is becoming intolerable. 

The principle which I have set forth above in regard to local 
bodies has been applied to the Legislative Councils in the 
scheme submitted by the Grovemment of India, and adopted 
with modifications by Lord Morley as Secretary of State. In 
the main that scheme has my entire approval ; and I look 
forward with interest and hope to its working. But this is 
not enough. The principles which I have indicated must be 
applied to local self-government throughout the country. I 
am inclined to think, indeed, that to apply them to Legislative 
Councils before they had been applied to local bodies was to 
begin at the wrong end of the matter. The explanation is 
that though the feed was great there was no loud demand for 
reform of the local bodies. The demand for political power 
was louder and more effective. 

Tradition and ancient usage in India have given the people 
no small share in local affairs, and that was a fact of which much 
use had long been made. In some Provinces Lord Ripon's scheme 
was so applied that the old system was utilised and developed. 
But in Bengal and elsewhere it suffered a reverse because a fran- 
chise system was introduced which disgusted many of the best 
men and most natural leaders, and deprived the local bodies of 
their services. These natural leaders have been to a large extent 
replaced partly by nominated members, and partly by unsuitable 
men who represent little beyond their own interests. It is of 



288 INDIAN UNREST: 

urgent necessity that this error should be corrected, not by 
disfranchising men who have enjoyed the franchise, but by 
subdividing the electorate so as to secure the representation of 
different classes and interests by suitable representatives, some- 
what on the lines of the scheme which has been adopted for 
the Legislative Councils. 

As to these recent reforms in the Imperial and Provincial 
Legislative Councils, I believe that their general effect will be 
to bring the central governments of India generally, and of the 
Provinces in particular, into more perfect touch with the 
natives of the country ; and they will tend to further develop- 
ments which the progress of civilisation and of political enlighten- 
ment entitle us to expect and desire. I believe also that they 
have given great satisfaction to moderate men of all classes. I 
have received from many of my Indian correspondents strong 
expressions of approval both of the spirit which has animated 
these reforms, and of the manner in which they have been 
carried out. On the other hand, I certainly do not believe 
that the adoption of this scheme will be the end of our diffi- 
culties in Indian administration. We have great difficulties 
to face. 

This in itself is a great difficulty, that principles of Govern- 
ment are being taught to the educated classes for which the 
vast body of the people are yet altogether unfi|:. We must 
make up our minds to associate the people of the country 
more and more in its government in accordance with the royal 
promise to which I have referred ; but we must never forget 
that we are in India for the sake of the just and righteous 
government, not of small classes, but of the whole body of the 
people ; and when I say this I am speaking of the many nations 
and peoples and tongues, in all stages of political and social 
development, which have been committed to our charge in that 
great Empire. 

The task of governing India has never been easy. I believe 
that it will probably grow increasingly more difficult. Certainly 
the problems with which those who are concerned with the 



ITS CAUSES 289 

government of India in the future^ and especially the members 
of the Indian Civil Service, will have to deal will differ in many 
respects from those which have occupied attention in the 
past. It will be at least necessary in the future to take pains 
not only to do the best thing we can for the people, which has 
generally been our sole aim in the past, but also to vindicate 
our action before, and secure the concurrence of, an increasingly 
powerful public opinion. This will call for the exercise of gifts 
and qualifications which we have not much required in the past. 
We may reasonably hope, however, that it will be found that 
the best and most moderate of the Indians will be thrown more 
closely than ever into sympathetic co-operation with those of 
more liberal mind and sounder judgment among ourselves, 
to work together for the public good. If we continue to be 
animated by the spirit of the great past, the difficulties may be 
bravely and cheerfully faced ; for there is privilege as well as 
responsibility in the burden of Empire. 



CHAPTER XXI 
INDIAN UNREST: ITS LIMITATIONS 

TO return to the unrest, we must not allow ourselves to 
take too pessimistic a view of the situation. We must 
endeavour to realise the limitations of unrest. In this 
connection it is necessary to bear in mind that the peoples of 
India are not a homogeneous mass, so that what one says of 
one part of India must necessarily be said of another. Nothing 
could be further from the truth. A man in one part of India 
may have no conception of what is going on in another, or 
of the precise difficulties which have there to be faced. 

There has been an amount of mischief working for a long time 
in Bengal, which led to a highly respected Indian official saying 
to me before I went there, *' We have lost Bengal " — ^an alto- 
gether exaggerated statement. In Bombay there has been 
mischief brewing for a quarter of a century at least, and the 
earliest repression of any importance had to be effected there. 

In Madras, on the other hand, where there is more of en- 
lightenment than in any part of India, there is apparently less 
cause to think of sedition. In the Central Provinces there was 
nothing but loyalty until some Beraris, tainted with the dis- 
content of Poona, began to work in Nagpur, and the colleges 
were infected with the poisonous stuff which a section of the 
Bengal and Bombay Press had been too long allowed to circulate. 
There was fortunately there a strong man to deal with it, a mim 
who knew the people of the Province well. 

In the north of India, despite occasional trouble given by 
people on whose religious feelings mischievous statements had 
been working, there was practically nothing of what we ordinarily 

290 



INDIAN UNREST 291 

know as sedition. The people there are not likely to be led by 
Press writers in Bombay and Calcutta. They require to be care- 
fully guarded rather against irritation and discontent arising 
from misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the action of 
the Government in particular measures, than against any foolish 
aim to supplant British rule in favour of some vague dream with 
which they have no sympathy. They imderstand the officers who 
go in and out among them, and are amenable to kindly advice. 

A fine Indian gentleman once told me how one of his boys 
went all wrong at a local college, and began to air senti- 
ments which he could not bear to hear, and to take in the 
''Amrita Bazar Patrika" and other papers even more un- 
wholesome. He determined to send him to Allahabad. The 
lad came back within a short time quite cured. The strong air 
of Allahabad had restored his mind and dispelled the poison. 
*^ He found,'' said his father, ^^ that the people laughed at what 
he had begun to believe to be manly and patriotic." 

In estimating the limitations of unrest, I must speak mainly 
of the part of India that I know best, that is, of Bengal. 
The first limitation lies in the fact that India is an agricul- 
tural country. It is clear therefore that while the economic 
changes to which I have referred have undoubtedly pressed 
hard on certain sections of the community, they have been 
fraught with benefit to the great bulk of the population. The 
high prices of grain have been greatly to the advantage of the 
cultivating classes, which form the vast majority of the people ; 
and they have brought with them a higher standard of Uving, 
greater comfort and much prosperity, as any one who has moved 
about among the people will be able to testify. Similarly, the 
trouble that has fallen on some of the industrial classes is due 
to a reduction in price on wearing apparel and certain other 
necessaries of life, which has benefited the people generally. 
This consideration leads naturally to the conclusion that, 
while there is unrest among certain sections of the commimity, 
the great mass are unaffected by it, and are as loyal as ever. 

The mass of the people are naturally loyal to the de facto 



292 INDIAN UNREST : 

government. They are averse to change ; and if we do justly 
and do not seek to tax them too heavily, they cheerfully accept 
our rule. It often seems as though they were especially 
loyal to the British Grovemment. They appear generally to 
regard it as more in accordance with the fitness of things that 
the supreme Government should be in the hands of a power 
easily distinguished from themselves, less known to them than 
their own people, and not subject to the same impulses and 
moods. However that may be, there is no doubt about this, 
that the people have a great belief in the impartiality and justice 
of the British Government and a very loyal personal devotion 
to the officers who come among them, except where there 
is some serious defect of character in any individual officer 
which tends to make him unpopular. 

While the loyalty of the great mass of the community in 
every Province may be, as I think, still accepted as a fact, 
there is always this at the same time to be borne in mind, 
that the people are generally ignorant, superstitious, and 
excitable. A baseless rumour, a mischievous misrepresenta- 
tion, or a suggestion of interference with what they hold 
dearest, may create a panic which may develop into very 
serious mischief. This does not, however, alter the fact referred 
to above, that the economic causes of unrest affect only a very 
small portion of the community. 

As to the unrest amongst the educated classes, it is necessary 
to look at the facts and not to be misled by vague impressions 
or disproportionate clamour. I have already indicated that I 
consider it necessary to pay full attention to the reasonable 
claims of the educated classes ; but it is at least equally 
necessary to bear in mind how small a proportion of the com- 
munity are educated at all, and that the educated classes are not 
all affected with unrest. Bengal is often spoken of as a Province 
in which a fairly high standard of education has been reached 
by a large proportion of the population. Education is com- 
paratively widespread in Bengal, though in my opinion the 
teaching in most of its educational institutions is undoubtedly 



ITS LIMITATIONS 298 

less efficient than in some other Provinces. This is a matter 
which is engaging the earnest attention of Government, of the 
educational authorities^ and of the best leaders of thought 
among the people themselves ; and its importance cannot 
be overrated. It is not necessary, however, to dwell on it here. 
What is to be pointed out here is, that, even in Bengal where 
education is comparatively widespread, it is only a very small 
proportion of the people that can be regarded as educated. 

Statistics are not all important and do not always convey an 
accurate impression ; but a few figures on this point may tend 
to correct an erroneous impression. When we hear of the 
educated classes as being animated with such and such a feeling, 
or as desiring such and such a measure, those who think of the 
matter in the light of conditions prevailing in this country are 
very apt to believe that practically the whole population of 
India share this feeling or demand this measure. This is very 
far from being the case. The census figures of 1901 for the 
most advanced division of Bengal show as *' literate '' a total 
in the Presidency Division of 15*64 per cent of males, and 
1*52 of females, or 8-0 of both classes, while for the Bardwan 
Division the percentages are 18*82, -82 and 0*8 respectively. 
For the whole of Bengal the percentages of ''literates" are 
11*06 for males, *57 for females, and 5*77 for both classes. Let 
it be borne in mind that to be included under the term 
" literate " in the census figures requires no more than to be 
able to read and write. The term includes any one who is able 
to sign his name in any particular language. Education is not 
very widespread, when under this definition the highest pro- 
portion of '' literate " males in any District is 20 per cent. 

The last Quinquennial Report on education in Bengal throws 
further light on these figures. It shows that the percentage 
of school-going children among those of a school-going age is 
somewhat higher than the percentage of '' literates " among 
the whole population. This is partly due to the steady though 
slow progress of education, but also to the fact that some who 
have acquired in early youth a small amount of education 



294 INDIAN UNREST: 

lose it from disuse in later years. At the same time the Repeat 
shows how small a proportion of the children in the primary 
schools go on to higher education. In the primary schools of 
Bengid the figures show 27*8 boys and 8*1 girls, per cent 
of population of school-going age, as under public instruction. 
But while there were 1,027,877 pupils in primary schools there 
were only 156,058 in secondary schools, and 7258 in the arts 
and professional colleges combined. These figures indicate 
how far we are from being able to say that education is really 
widespread in Bengal. 

Something has been done during the last fifty years ; but 
the task before the Grovemment is still enormous and demands 
its utmost efforts, supported by the earnest co-operation of 
all who have the welfare of the country at heart. For the 
present purpose I quote these figures to show how necessary it is 
carefully to guard against the mistake of regarding the in- 
terests of the educated classes as necessarily identical with 
those of the vast communities committed to our charge, or the 
demands of the former as necessarily expressing the require- 
ments of the latter. As a fact, the educated classes are, to a large 
extent, to be found gathered together in the cities ; and they 
are, generally speaking, altogether out of touch with the great 
mass of the community. They can make themselves heard ; 
but they cannot safely be accepted as giving voice to the 
feelings of the people generally. 

Again it must be borne in mind that it is not all the educated 
classes that are affected by unrest. Small as the educated classes 
are, we have still to make a very considerable reduction from 
their number for those who are in no way affected by the unrest 
which, perhaps, characterises the majority. There are many 
well-educated chiefs, noblemen, bankers, merchants, and 
officials, and not a few highly educated professional gentlemen, 
who have no sympathy whatever with the unrest of which we 
have recently heard so much. Indeed, they think and speak 
of it with a greater intolerance than will be found among Euro- 
peans or among what are called the ruling classes. The stake that 



ITS LIMITATIONS 295 

they have in the country^ and their intelligent grasp of the real 
facts of the situation, combined with their lack of personal ambi- 
tion in regard to offices imder the Crown, separate them in interest 
altogether from agitation. They have not, mitil quite recently, 
considered it necessary to make themselves heard on this 
matter ; for their Oriental sentiment has led them to leave 
it entirely to be dealt with by the Government. But now that 
unrest has begun to be associated too much with sedition, 
anarchy, and crime, their attitude has very greatly changed ; 
and it may be hoped that the worst features of the unrest will 
pass away under the influence of repression by the Government 
and the loyal co-operation of the more moderate men amongst 
our Indian fellow-subjects. 

Intellectual unrest in India is undoubtedly to be expected. 
We have ourselves sought to bring before the people our 
Western civilisation, our industrial methods, our education, 
and even our political ideas. We have sought to awaken the 
intellectual powers of the people ; and at the same time we 
have aimed at securing their assistance in bearing the burden 
of public administration which becomes ever heavier and 
heavier. We are bound to expect that there will be an awaken- 
ing from the sleep of centuries, that political thought and am- 
bition, desire after progress and reform, a sense of national life 
and energy, will be awakened in the minds of the peoples of 
India. This change is taking place among all the non-Christian 
nations with which the West has been brought into contact ; 
and it would be a strange thing, and scarcely creditable, if it did 
not take place among the nations of India, with which we have 
been brought into very intimate and close connection. These 
nations are demanding, and they are acquiring, our education, 
our industrial methods, and our civilisation. These we could 
not withhold if we would, and we certainly would not if we 
could. If we can at the same time imbue them with the ethical 
principles of our religion, we need not fear the consequences. 

I have said enough to show that the unrest to which attention 
has been so much drawn of late is distinctly limited in its area 



296 INDIAN UNREST: 

and scope ; and it is necessary for us to bear this well in mind, 
not only that we may not be unduly despondent regarding the 
future, but also that we may realise that the measures to be 
taken in view of this unrest ought not to be such as will meet 
the demands which are clamorously made, without due regard 
to the very often conflicting interests of the vast, though more 
silent, multitudes under our care. The demand for employ- 
ment in the administration of the State made by the educated 
classes is one which is distinctly reasonable and entirely in 
accordance with principles with which we have ourselves im- 
bued these classes and which cannot righteously be neglected. 
At the same time we have to bear in mind that, in giving to 
the Indians, that is to the educated classes of Indians, a share 
in the Government of the country, we must consider not the 
interests of the educated classes alone, but the interests of the 
whole community. In other words, we must see to it that in 
accordance with the language of Queen Victoria's proclamation 
those only are appointed to office who " may be qualified by 
their education, ability, and integrity duly to discharge " the 
duties of that office. 

Here I desire to emphasise the distinction to be drawn 
between appointment to Executive office and appointment to a 
local body, or a Legislative Council. In the latter case, what is 
ordinarily wanted is a man to represent a particular class or 
interest, and to press, within reasonable limits, the interests of the 
section of the community which he represents. Therefore, a man 
may reasonably and very properly be appointed to a local body 
or a Legislative Council because he is a Hindu, or a Muham- 
madan, or a landowner, or a banker. He will represent the 
interest of that section of the community ; and that is what 
is desired. It is the very opposite with a man who is to be 
appointed to responsible Executive office. He is not qualified 
merely because he represents a particular interest. That fact 
may, indeed, be a serious disqualification. What is required 
of him is capacity to rule justly, the power of considering all 
interests and balancing one against another, a training in im- 



ITS LIMITATIONS 297 

partiality and in administration. He ought not to be appointed 
because he is a Hindu or a Muhanimadan or a member of a 
particular class» but only because he has, as far as can be 
ascertained, proved himself fit for the office in question. 

No man ought to be excluded from Executive office on 
account of any racial or religious consideration ; but on the 
other handy he ought not to be appointed to it on account of 
any such consideration. For example, it is a right thing to 
put a man into a Legislative Council because he is a Hindu ; 
it is not a right thing to put him into an Executive Council for 
that reason. In the former he is to represent an interest, in 
the latter he is to hold a portfolio and administer a department 
in the interests of all. The recent appointment of the Hon. 
Mr. Sinha to the Viceroy's Executive Council as Legal Member 
has my hearty approval, not because Mr. Sinha is a Hindu, but 
because he had proved himself in his past history to be fitted 
for that high office. I heard with great regret of his having 
made up his mind to retire. His successor is an old Behari 
friend of mine. He also is a barrister. I believe him fit ; and 
therefore I am able to rejoice in the appointment of my friend. 
It is no disqualification that he is a Muhammadan, though I 
hope that that is not the ground of his appointment. The first 
and almost the only considerations are education (or training), 
ability, and integrity. 

I do not intend to dwell upon the sad features of the unrest, 
which have tended to lead people to identify it with anarchy 
and crime. I believe that the anarchical conspiracies, the exist- 
ence of which has been discovered, are very limited in their 
extent. Mischievous wire-pullers, some of whom are well known 
to the police, though they cannot be brought before the courts, 
have been able to exercise an influence over a limited number of 
the young, which has led some of the latter to give their lives, 
without reserve, to the practice of assassination. Some of these 
wire-pullers themselves are known to have the strain of in- 
sanity in their blood ; they are also sometimes stirred by 
personal grievance and desire for revenge, as much as by any- 



298 INDIAN UNREST: 

thing approaching a patriotic motive, and the wretched lads 
whom they have influenced are frequently found to be of un- 
stable character^ unsuccessful in their prosecution of education, 
and liable to that form of moral weakness which makes in 
India'the half-brained and fanatical fakir or sanyasi. 

Undoubtedly the soil has been prepared by an irresponsible 
and ill-conditioned section of the Press ; but the direct cause of 
anarchy is education in political crime received abroad and 
applied in India. Nothing will save the country from this, except 
severe repression by the Government and cordial co-operation in 
that repression on the part of the Indian community. Anarchy 
is fraught with danger to the landlord, to the money-lender, even 
to the teacher, against whom the spirit of lawlessness may in- 
stigate a discontented tenant, client, or pupil to turn the hand 
of crime; and the interests of the people and the safety of 
society are involved as much as the interests of Grovemment. 
The evil is not yet widespread. There may be many more 
deeds of violence. A score or two of even weedy youths, guided 
by one or two able and unscrupulous men and determined to 
devote their own lives to violence, may succeed in committing 
a few deplorable crimes. Yet the evil may not be widespread 
or deep-seated. I believe that it is not. I do not by any 
means believe that we have seen the end of it ; but I do think 
that the Government and the people combining together may 
well prevail to eradicate the evil. 

I think that I may well illustrate this point by briefly de- 
scribing one of the last incidents of my life in India, to which 
reference has already been made in a former chapter. On the 
7th November, 1908, less than a month before I gave over 
charge of the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal and left 
India for good, I was invited to preside at the Overtoun Hall 
in Calcutta at a lecture to be delivered by Professor Burton, of 
Chicago, on " University education in the United States." 
The Overtoun Hall is a fine building, in charge of the Young 
Men's Christian Association (College Branch) in Calcutta. The 
lecture was to be delivered to students and graduates of the 



ITS LIMITATIONS 299 

Calcutta University. My young friend the Maharajadhiraja 
Bahadur of Bardwan, who is deeply interested in education 
and in all good work, drove with me to the lecture. We arrived 
punctually at the appointed hour, to find that the lecturer, 
whose carriage had broken down on the way, had not yet 
arrived. On the landing at the top of the stairs outside the 
platform door of the hall, I was met by Mr. Barber, an American 
gentleman, who is secretary of the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation. We stopped just inside the door, while Mr. Barber in- 
formed me that the lecturer had not arrived, and asked me 
whether I would await him on the platform or in the waiting- 
room. Before I could reply, a student, who was seated in the 
chair next the door on my right, clad in the white chaddar (or 
shawl) often worn by Bengalis, stepped quietly past Mr. Barber 
and standing in front of me presented his revolver at my breast. 

It happened that, at that time, I was engaged in filling up 
vacancies in the Provincial Service of Bengal, and the thought 
occurred to my mind that this might be a student who was 
taking advantage of this opportunity to press his claims to an 
appointment. I did not notice the revolver. Looking him in 
the face, I asked him what he wanted. At the same moment, 
I heard the click of the falling trigger, which had been pulled 
without effect, owing to causes afterwards ascertained. All 
the other chambers of the revolver were loaded and exploded 
readily when tried subsequently by the authorities. Mr. Barber, 
who was standing on my right, with great presence of mind 
seized the hand of the assassin which contained the revolver. 
The web of Mr. Barber's hand, between the thumb and index 
finger, came under the trigger, and so prevented the next barrel 
from exploding. 

Simultaneously the Maharajadhiraja, who is a very stalwart 
man and was standing behind me, suddenly threw one arm 
round my neck and another round my arms and thus 
pinioning me turned me round so that his own body came 
between' me and the would-be assassin. At my request the 
Maharajadhiraja released me ; but meanwhile the student 



800 INDIAN UNREST; 

had been knocked down by his own fellow-students and others, 
and Mr. Barber was in possession of the revolver, of which he 
had not let go his hold. The young man was handed over to 
the police and was subsequently tried and sentenced by the 
High Court. The lecturer arrived very soon after the lad had 
been handed over to the police. There were some who urged 
that the lecture should be postponed or abandoned, but I knew 
the audience better than that, and we ascended the platform. 
The large audience of students and graduates accorded me a 
most enthusiastic reception, and the lecture was delivered. 
An hour later I passed with the Maharajadhiraja through the 
streets on our way home. AU the way home I was engaged in 
acknowledging the cheers of the crowd who gathered under 
every lamp-post to see us pass. 

These are the facts. I think that they are very instructive. 
The following points demand special attention. The miserable 
young man, at the direct or indirect instigation of some one 
who had obtained influence over him, but who remained con- 
cealed, had undoubtedly determined to take my life, from no 
personal enmity against me, but, as he pompously said, ^^ to 
encourage Bengal by showing that even the Lieutenant-Governor 
was vulnerable and mortal.'' He had clearly also made up his 
mind to sacrifice his own life in the attempt, for he had no 
chance of escape. The police were powerless to prevent the 
crime. There was no safety against such an attack, apart 
from the protection of Divine Providence, which was uni- 
versally recognised, unless the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 
had been ready to abdicate his functions and abstain from 
meeting with the people, which is unthinkable. The accusation 
of remissness made in some quarters against the police is un- 
just and unwarrantable ; and, on the contrary, it should be 
remembered that the existence of these anarchical conspiracies 
would not have been discovered but for the great improvement 
in police administration effected during recent years. 

The audience and the outside public were wholly out of sym- 
pathy with the assassin and hailed my escape from peril with 



ITS LXMITATIONS 80l 

great enthusiasm. Finally, an Indian nobleman, the senior 
Hindu nobleman of Bengal, animated by loyalty to our Sovereign 
and devotion to his own friend, was willing to give his life to 
save mine. It has been a great pleasure to me that the devotion 
of the Maharajah and the promptness, and courage of Mr. 
Barber were recognised by His Majesty King Edward VII, who 
was graciously pleased to bestow on them distinguished marks of 
favour, appointing the Maharajah to be a Knight Commander 
of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, and bestowing 
on Mr. Barber the Kaisir-i-Hind medal of the first-class. 

The main facts which I have just enumerated — ^namely, 
that a yoimg man of unbalanced mind, with no personal grudge 
against me, was willing to give his life in attempting to take 
mine ; that a brave Indian gentleman was at the same moment 
offering his life to save mine ; that the would-be assassin was 
knocked down and arrested with the active assistance of some 
of his own fellow-students ; that the whole meeting was against 
him; and that the people everywhere rejoiced in my escape 
without injury — ^these facts are well worthy of special attention. 
They seem to me to illustrate the true state of things in regard 
to recent unrest in Bengal, and, I believe, in India generally. 
Anarchists and men inclined to such deeds of violence are very 
few, but they are implacable, and ready to make any sacrifices 
to achieve their objects. The mass of the people are loyal, and 
the loyalty of some of them is devoted and ready for any 
sacrifice. The people generally must not be condemned for 
the crimes of the few ; and officers of Government must take 
care that these crimes are not allowed to prevent them from 
free intercourse with the people, or to make their sympathy 
and touch with them less real and effective. The incitement to, 
or commission of, such crimes ought to be dealt with in the 
sternest manner, and all measures of repression that are neces- 
sary ought unhesitatingly to be adopted. But at the same 
time, a strong Government will not allow itself to be turned 
aside from a righteous and large-hearted policy by such in- 
cidents as these. 



CHAPTER XXII 
MEASURES OF REPRESSION AND REFORM 

THERE is one cause of unrest in its worst forms that 
demands notice, that is the writings of a section of the 
Indian Press. Several of those who have recently com- 
mitted crimes of violence with a political object have mentioned 
these writings as having incited them to these offences. There 
was an excellent article published by the late editor of the 
" Indian Nation " not long before his death. He was a Bengali 
gentleman, highly esteemed among his own fellow-countrymen, 
of sound education, robust character, and self-sacrificing pat- 
riotism. Though duly qualified as a barrister-at-law, he had 
given up what would have been a most lucrative career to 
devote himself to the instruction of youth. 

In this article he pointed out that the Press is not in India 
an indigenous institution, and that it has there developed 
peculiarities of its own. A portion of the Press is conducted 
by men of ability and character, who aim at maintaining the 
best traditions of the English Press. But there is another 
portion of the Press, he said, written in English or vernacular, 
which seems " only to keep itself going by things sensational." 
The most sensational thing in writing is piquant abuse. There- 
fore the stock-in-trade of some journalists comes to be abuse 
either of the Government or of individuals. He characterised 
these journalists as '' worthless, characterless men, unable to 
turn an honest penny,'* who think that a newspaper offers them 
a livelihood and a certain status, and who do not hesitate to 
indulge freely in falsehoods and to devote themselves to abuse. 

*' It is these wretched pests of society," he added, " that are 

302 



REPRESSION AND REFORM 808 

responsible for the present state of publie feelings. They pose 
as authorities with the ill-educated." It is useless, in his view, 
to hope that the law can wholly eradicate a curse of this kind : 
there must be improvement in the tone of society itself. This 
writer, however, was clearly of opinion that all that the law 
can do to suppress such writings should be done, in the interests 
of the public and especially of youth. 

We found in Bengal that the criminal law as reasonably inter- 
preted was adequate for dealing with the offender when he could 
be distinctly indicated. Section 124a of the Penal Code provides 
for the punishment of any person who by words, either spoken 
or written, or by signs* or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring 
into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite dis- 
affection towards the Sovereign or the Government established 
by law in British India. Section 158a of the same Code similarly 
provides for the punishment of any person who by such means 
promotes or attempts to promote feelings of enmity or hatred 
between different classes of His Majesty's subjects. Besides 
these, there is Section 505, dealing with persons who make or 
circulate statements, rumoiu*s or reports conducing to mutiny 
in the Army or Navy, or to the commission of offences by any 
person. These provisions seemed to deal adequately with 
seditious and mischievous writing, provided that responsibility 
for the offence could be fixed, and that these provisions were 
reasonably interpreted by the courts. 

The fixing of responsibility was the principal difficulty. This 
is a matter of great moment. We had a number of prosecutions, 
and they may at first sight be regarded as successful. They 
invariably ended in convictions ; no sensational speeches were 
delivered in the courts; and the cases attracted little or no 
interest. Further consideration, however, shows that it would 
be a very great mistake for these reasons only to regard the 
prosecutions as successful. They did not reach the persons really 
responsible. This was due to a manifest defect in the law : 
proprietors and editors of newspapers are not registered under 
the law as it at present stands, and they are therefore able 



804 MEASURES OF 

to evade responsibility. It is only the printer or publisher 
that is r^stered. 

Any person may appear and declare himself printer or 
publisher of a newspaper. He may be merely a compositor, 
and have no interest in the paper at all. He gets a hi^ salary 
for the kind of man he is, to compensate him for any risks he 
runs. In 1907, in the case of the notorious '*Tugantar" 
newspaper, the seriously mischievous consequences of this 
were exemplified. Convictions were obtained ; but they were 
against uneducated compositors. Surely it might be enacted 
that the person registered as printer shall be the actual printer, 
and actually in possession of the press, the magistrate having 
power to inquire into the truth of the allegations made. This 
would prevent the law from being manifestly and ludicrously 
ineffective in this respect. 

Then again, as I have said, editors and proprietors of news- 
papers are not registered at all. The first prosecution of an 
editor that we undertook in Calcutta was successful ; but the 
second was frustrated by the accused taking advantage of this 
defect of the law. In that case, which the Government took 
up against the ^' Bande Mataram " paper, Arabinda Ghose, 
whose name had been mentioned as editor in the paper itself, 
and who was generally accepted as the editor, denied that he 
occupied that position, and left a so-called printer, who was 
nothing but an imeducated coolie, to bear the brunt of the 
prosecution. Witnesses from among the Press establishment 
came forward to give evidence that there was no editor, and 
that contributors merely laid down their articles on the table 
and left them to be taken up and printed. 

The magistrate felt compelled to regard the evidence against 
Arabinda Ghose as inconclusive. His judgment showed that he 
had little doubt that Arabinda Ghose was the editor, but that the 
prosecution, ^^ contending against a policy of silence and suppres- 
sion," had failed to establish this legally to his satisfaction. In 
disposing of the so-called printer's appeal, two Judges of the 
High Court said, ^^ It is unfortunate that the person or persons 



REPRESSION AND REFORM 805 

reaUy responsible for these seditious utterances remain un- 
detected. ... It is evident that, if the law cannot reach the 
more guilty persons, it should be, and we have little doubt it 
will be, amended.'* This defect of the law was at once brought 
to the notice of the Government of India. But it is not yet 
amended. 

The difficulty has been met, for the present at least, by the 
law giving power of confiscation of presses and suppression of 
papers. But no Act should be allowed to remain in itself so 
ineffective as this law of registration of 1867 has been proved 
to be. The Government is responsible for tcJdng the necessary 
measures to prevent ignorant people from being incited to 
crimes which must tend to convert wise and gracious govern- 
ment into a series of acts of repression which may involve, and 
have involved bloodshed, loss of property, and serious injury 
to innocent and irresponsible persons, not to speak of the 
possibility of the temporary subversion of government alto- 
gether in certain tracts. It is not severer measures against the 
Press that are necessary : the existing law is adequate in that 
respect. What is required is to fix responsibility on the right 
persons. 

It is most imdesirable to make the law more strict than is 
necessary, for it is very important to India to have the means 
of ventilating grievances, exposing abuses, and giving expres- 
sion to the opinions even of small sections of the community. 
But it is, on the other hand, as experience has now fully 
shown, absolutely essential to restrain the licentious section of 
the Press from the dissemination of such literature as has 
poisoned the minds of not a few, and brought about a state 
of things which tends to separate the officers of Government 
from the people, and make effective administration hardly 
possible. The best way to do this is not by devising exceptional 
procedure, but by making men realise their responsibihty 
under the ordinary law. The men really responsible should 
have their responsibility fixed ; and the lesson of responsibility 
shotdd be taught in a way that will make it clear to everybody. 



806 MEASURES OF 

I am clearly of opinion that wise statesmanship demands in 
India at the present time, and indeed always, a ISrm and con- 
sistent policy. The experience of the last few years seems 
specially to demand finnness in the suppression of incite- 
ments to race-feeling and sedition. It is true that undue 
severity and repression are never necessary or desirable. 
Measures of undue severity are not the mark of calm and 
plucky statesmanship, they are rather the sign of panic and 
unwisdom. What the true statesman will aim at is the least 
amount of severity and repression which will adequately meet 
the case. There can be no doubt whatever of the full importance 
of putting an end to the anarchy and crime of violence which are 
an incalculable evil in the administration of the country, and 
tend to a deplorable state of feeling, not only between the people 
and the Government, but between different races and classes. 
For the preservation of society and the efficiency of Gk>vemment. 
it is incumbent to take whatever steps may be necessary 
for their repression; and in doing this the Government 
will undoubtedly have the support of all well-disposed 
and reasonable persons, even though some of these may, from 
causes not difficult to surmise, not give their support in a 
very active or public manner. But on the other hand, the 
Government must approach this task with a sense of grave 
responsibility, and must make up its mind to limit its repressive 
measures to what the case clearly and undoubtedly requires. 

While holding that more severe measures than are required 
should not be adopted, I am at the same time most strongly 
of opinion that anything like want of firmness in carrying out 
the measures decided on, or anything like want of continuity 
of policy in respect of repression, is most unwise and deplorable. 
I do not profess to be now behind the scenes in regard to the 
administration of India ; but there are two things which have 
struck me recently as seeming to indicate a tendency to dan- 
gerous weakness in this respect. One of these was the sudden 
release of all the men who were deported in the cold weather 
of 1908 and 1909. 



REPRESSION AND REFORM 807 

There was in my mind no doubt of the wisdom of 
deporting certain persons, in regard to whom there was 
good reason to believe that they were a source of great 
mischief in the community, and that they were largely re- 
sponsible for the miserable outrages which have cast a stain 
on the Indian people, without in any way advancing their 
interests. I have no intention of discussing the propriety of 
the order of the deportation in each individual case. I accept 
all the responsibility that a Local Government can have 
regarding the measure of deportation itself, though I cannot 
now say whether in every case the order was an accurate one. 
That is a matter for which my successor must share the re- 
sponsibility with the Government of India and the Secretary 
of State. I say this, not because I desire to indicate any doubt 
in any of the cases, but because no one has a right to assume 
responsibility in such a matter who is not at the time that it 
occurs the responsible adviser or officer of the Government. 

The power of deportation is a special one which is entrusted 
to the Government for the preservation of peace and order by 
the country, which relies on the Government using the power 
with discretion when necessary. The very use of the power 
indicates that the grounds on which it is used in any particular 
case are of a strictly confidential nature. It is essential not only 
that the Local Government should be thoroughly satisfied in 
each particular case, but also that it should be able to place 
the case before the Government of India in a way that will 
thoroughly satisfy that Government also, and will enable the 
Secretary of State to inform the House of Commons that he, 
as a responsible officer of the Crown, has been fully persuaded 
of the necessity for the order. When a case is thus complete, 
and not otherwise, the order of deportation may be passed under 
circumstances which demand it ; and an order of deportation 
so passed should not be rescinded imtil the state of things in 
the coimtry clearly indicates that the necessity has passed away. 

When certain proposals for deportation were submitted to 
the Government of India, before I left the country, I was 



808 MEASURES OF 

strongly of opinion that, while these proposals were rendered 
necessary by the circumstances of the case, they should not be 
accepted unless it was distinctly determined that the deportation 
should last for some considerable time. The object of deportation 
is to remove a man from the scene of his mischievous activities, 
and to obviate his influence for evil. At first there is some 
feeling of sympathy for him on the part especially of foolish, 
misguided, or irresponsible persons ; but that passes away ; 
and if he is kept out of mischief for some time it may be hoped 
that he will return, shorn of his influence for evil, to a state of 
things where he may be safely trusted to do no harm. But 
if he is away only for a short time, and if he returns under 
circumstances which give clearly the impression that a con- 
cession in his favour has been wrung from the Government, 
either by him or by others on his behalf, the result is only 
unfortunate. He comes back to pose as a martyr and as a 
successful worker in the evil cause which he has adopted as his 
own. He comes back with greater bitterness on his own part 
and with enhanced influence among those whom he desires to 
lead. Deportation is a good weapon only if it is used under 
circumstances of clear necessity and with a firm and xmf altering 
decision. 

Another instance which seemed to me to indicate a re- 
grettable want of sense of the necessity for continuity in policy, 
is the temporary character given to the legislation against 
seditious meetings. The necessity for that legislation was 
clearly established. The measures adopted were certainly 
reasonable and not more than the circumstances required. 
These circumstances had not changed. What could show more 
clearly that the legislation was still required than the discussion 
which took place in August, 1910 ? Yet it was proposed 
to continue the Act only up to March, 1911, a matter of about 
eight months. It was indeed hoped that this extremely mild 
proposal to continue this legislation for so short a period, so as 
to allow the measure to come up before the Government of the 
new Viceroy would be accepted without discussion. It was not 



REPRESSION AND REFORM 809 

SO accepted ; speeches were made by certain members of the 
Council which represented the state of things in India as so 
altered in character as to show that such a measure was no 
longer required. These speeches led to statements by the 
responsible members of the Government of India which clearly 
indicated the absolute necessity for continuing repression. 

There are those who believe that the state of things in 
India is as bad as ever it was, if not worse. I am not myself of 
that opinion. With my knowledge of what occurred while I 
was still in India I am of opinion that the crimes which are 
now being brought to light, and the arrests which are now being 
made, are merely the result of the continued activity of the 
police in respect of matters of which they had more or less 
information and evidence at the time when the Seditious 
Meetings Act of 1907 was passed into law. But of this there 
can be no doubt, after what has been said by the responsible 
members of the Government of India, that the state of things at 
present is not such as to justify the removal of the restrictions on 
seditious meetings which were then considered necessary. It 
is therefore, in my opinion, distinctly tmfortunate that dis- 
cussion of this question shotdd again and again be renewed, 
and that there should appear to be any want of determination 
to keep this measure in force as long as there is any necessity for 
it whatsoever. 

The condition of things in India has undoubtedly changed 
for the better. There is the fullest evidence of it in the Press 
and in private letters from men of all classes in India. It may 
be attributed, as one of my Hindu correspondents says, to the 
" gracious measures of reform,'* or as another Hindu says, to 
the ** vigorous prosecution of seditious persons." It is also 
attributable to a revulsion of feeling caused by the outburst 
of outrage and crime which has recently characterised the 
operations of the extremist section of Indian politicians. Murder 
and dacoity, even when political, are not yet popular in India, 
And many who were indifferent, or sitting on the fence, have 
in view of recent events stepped down with vigorous intention 



810 MEASURES OF 

on the right side. For myself , I think that the principal caase 
of the diminution of political crime is the repressive legislation. 

Local Governments were greatly handicapped in their 
action against sedition and anarchy by the utterly ineffec- 
tive weapons of repression which they possessed. It took 
a great deal of pressure from below, and a great deal of sad 
experience and anxious consideration to induce the Govern- 
ment of India to pass adequate measures. The necessity foi 
the Indian Explosive Substances Act and Summary Justice 
Act of 1908, and the Press Acts of 1908 and 1910, was clearly 
established. There is no doubt that the credit for the subsidence 
of crime and lawlessness is due mainly, if not exclusively, to 
the operation of these Acts. These Acts gave both predaon 
and promptness to the courts in dealing with the offences to 
which they refer. Both the uncertainty and the delay which 
had characterised the action of the courts had been deplorable. 
And I am bound to say that the administration of justice in 
India demands that measures should be taken to enable the 
courts to deal more promptly with criminal work. The delays 
that are at present allowed to occur are often scandalous. 

To return to the Acts, I do not mean that the improved 
feeling in India is due mainly to them, but merely the diminu- 
tion in crime and lawlessness. The reforms do not touch or 
influence those who are given to murder and political dacoity. 
Murders are still attempted and dacoities committed. But those 
who are connected with these crimes run now a far greater risk 
of being brought to justice ; and the incitement to these crimes 
is, to a large extent, prevented by this repressive l^slation. 

It must not be supposed that the minds and sentiments (^ 
anarchists and political criminals have in any way altered. 
They never directed their violence against particularly un- 
popular officers : the instructions were distinctly to aim rather 
at the more popular and influential officers ; for the object was 
to render government difficult by preventing friendly relatione 
between the officers of Government and the people. Therefore 
there should be no change of policy. India is ^^ as quiet as gun- 



REPRESSION AND REFORM 811 

powder " ; but mischievous and irresponsible persons should 
not be allowed again to scatter sparks. At the same time, there 
can be no doubt that, so far as the results are up to the present 
apparent, the measures of reform adopted by the Government 
of India, with the sanction of the Secretary of State, have been 
of great benefit. 

I am proud of the Government of India, in that it has 
been able to persevere with its wise and liberal measures 
of reform, in spite of the existence of anarchy and of the 
anxiety and work involved in dealing with it. I always 
urged that Government should persevere; and the reforms 
have given satisfaction to thoughtful and moderate men 
throughout India, and have so far been fully justified by their 
successful working. 

In a sense it is a mistake to talk of this policy as having been 
initiated either by Lord Minto or Lord Morley. I do not pro- 
pose to touch the unfortimate controversy as to whether the 
Viceroy or the Secretary of State is primarily responsible for the 
precise character and shape of the reforms. But I think that 
it is not accurate to speak of the policy of these reforms as 
having been initiated by either. The policy is old. The reforms 
constitute a step forward — an important step — ^m a policy which 
has been in operation for many decades. They go further than 
the Government had ever gone before ; but that is of the nature 
of all progress. A new policy might have been dangerous : it 
might have been unwise. 

It was experience which justified men in believing that this 
advance was wise and safe. The step that has been taken is a 
great step ; it alters the position of things in India in some 
important respects ; it will make it more difficult in some 
respects, but more simple in others, to deal with Indian ques- 
tions.' I believe that, under the altered conditions, the dignity 
and interest of the work of administration in India will remain ; 
it will be as worthy of the best men as ever ; and if the old 
principles of rectitude, firmness, and sympathy prevail, it will 
be as full of hope and of reward. 



CHAPTER XXm 
THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

SOME have attributed recent unrest in Bengal mainly, if 
not exclusively, to the partition. I am decidedly of 
opinion that this is a mistake. The records of the Govern- 
ment of India will show that the Local Governments of more 
Provinces than one had drawn the attention of several successive 
Viceroys to existing unrest. In Bengal there had been for years 
a conspiracy for the promotion of sedition and anarchy, of which 
documentary evidence came into the hands of the police. We 
f oimd that lads had been under training in the manufacture 
and employment of explosives for years, and that the worst 
crimes had been planned long before partition was heard of. 
The agitation against partition was mainly due to causes which 
can easily be pointed out, and the comparative success of that 
agitation was really an indication or symptom of the existing 
spirit of unrest of which the partition was certainly neither the 
origin nor the cause. I do not think that it is necessary <« 
desirable to revive this controversy ; but I do think that the 
whole story of the agitation against the partition is illustrative 
of certain features of Indian life and work which it is worth 
while to mark and to remember. 

In the first place, let us see what was the object of the " par- 
tition,'' as it is called. It may, perhaps, be better styled the 
'" modification of the boundaries of the Province of Bengal." 
It consisted of three different parts. Two of these have little 
or no connection with the agitation against partition. The first 
part was the constitution of a large Uriya Division by the addi- 
tion to the existing Orissa Division in Bengal of the District of 

312 



J 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 818 

Sambalpur and five Feudatory States from the Central Pro- 
vinces. 

This is a measure of great importance, though it attracted 
but Uttle attention. Sambalpur and these five Feudatory 
States had been connected with the Central Provinces from 
the formation of that Province half a century ago. The 
Feudatory States were governed by their own chiefs under the 
general supervision, in more recent years, of the political agent 
for the Chhattisgarh Feudatories. The Sambalpur District 
was under a Deputy Commissioner, who was subordinate to 
the Commissioner of the Chhattisgarh Division, with his head- 
quarters at Raipur. The language of that District is Uriya, and 
and it was the only Uriya District in the Central Provinces. 
The difficulty of administering it properly was immense. Any 
officer transferred to that District from any other part of the 
Central Provinces had to acquire the Uriya language. The 
Police, Revenue, and other departments had to be manned 
either by men belonging to the District itself, or by Uriyas im- 
ported from the Bengal Orissa Division, or by men unaequainted 
with the language and traditions of the Uriya people. 

This in itself was manifestly an evil. The District did not 
produce its own staff of all grades ; the men brought from 
Bengal were generally very inferior in capacity or character, or 
they would not have moved from home for anything that 
Sambalpur cotdd offer; and the men of other races regarded 
Sambalpur as a penal settlement, being altogether out of touch 
and out of sympathy mth its people. Worse than that was 
the fact that it was almost impossible to transfer men from 
Sambalpur to any otTtker part of the Province. The separate 
services had therefore a tendency to become exceedingly lax in 
their work and in their morals. 

The evil was so great that one of the Chief Conmiissioners of 
the Central Provinces obtained the sanction of the Government 
of India to make Hindi the court language of Sambalpur, as it 
was the court language of the rest of Chhattisgarh. A beginning 
was made in teaching Hindi as the District vernacular in the 



814 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

village schools. The Revenue and Police records were kept in 
Hindi ; and the work of the courts was done in that language. 
Immediately after these orders were given effect to, showers of 
petitions came in protesting against the practical abolition 
of the true language of the people ; and soon after this I had, 
in the course of my first tour as Chief Conunissioner, to visit 
the Sambalpur District. I found the state of things exceedingly 
distressing; and it seems to me that this experience was a 
valuable lesson in the importance of working among the people 
in their own vernacular. 

I found cases of men who had been summoned to court forty 
or fifty miles. They could not themselves read the sununons, 
nor could they find any one in their village to read it. They 
were told by the officer that brought it that it necessitated 
their appearance at the court. Fearful of the consequences 
of absenting themselves, they went to the court and there 
inquired what it was that was wanted. Then they had to 
apply for an adjournment to enable them to bring up their 
papers or their evidence; and they had to take their weary 
journey back again — ^perhaps fifty miles on foot or in a country 
cart — ^to obtain these. 

Or again, a man went up to the police station and laid in- 
formation before the police regarding some offence which it 
was his duty to report. This, which he gave in Uriya, was taken 
down in Hindi and read over to him in that language. He was 
called on to sign it, without being able to read it for himself 
or understand it when it was read to him. Or again, in regard 
to that which interests the people most, the Fatwari (or ViUage 
Accountant) kept the village records in Hindi. The cultivator 
or tenant went to look at t^e entry, or received the Parcha (or 
paper containing details of his holding), and found it in Hindi, 
which neither he nor any of his friends could read ; and it was 
of little or no value to him. Again, his children were beginning 
to learn to read Hindi ; but they could not read anything to 
him of all that he had been accustomed to regard as of sacred 
or pleasant association. He could not afford to teach them 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 816 

two languages ; and his own beloved vernacular — and Uriya is 
a very pleasant language to hear or to see in writing — was lost 
to him. No wonder that the people were grievously stirred. 

An attempt was made by some oflScers to produce the im- 
pression that after all Hindi was fairly well understood by the 
people generally. Fortunately, however, we had very dear 
proof that this was not the case. At that very time prepara- 
tions were being made for a census, and the Census Commis- 
sioner found that he could not get men to do the work in Hindi, 
although there was a great rush for employment on census 
work at the liberal terms offered by the Government. He had 
of necessity to get almost the whole of the work done in the 
Uriya language and then translate it for abstracting into Hindi. 

Finding things in this condition, I obtained the sanction of 
the Government of India to restore the Uriya language to the 
District ; and at that time I urged that the true remedy for 
the difficulties of administering the District was to hand it 
over to the neighbouring Division of Orissa in the Bengal 
Province. Some time after this, I had again to visit the Sam- 
balpur District ; and it was a most touching thing to see how 
the people turned out, at every village through which I passed 
with my camp, and at every railway station where my train 
halted, to return thanks for the restoration of their language. 
One of the striking features of the case was that the priests of 
aU the temples everywhere, who rarely if ever come to take 
part in any public function, were f ouind in the forefront of these 
crowds, singing some of their sacred songs and pronouncing 
upon me their blessings. 

When I reached the head-quarters, I was met in the usual 
way by the Deputy Commissioner, who was an Indian, and 
the European and Indian officers and members of the local 
bodies, and had a formal reception from them. The Deputy 
Commissioner warned me that about half a mile farther on, on 
the outskirts of the town, I should meet a large crowd who 
desired specially to return thanks for the restoration of their 
vernacular. When I came to this crowd I stopped my carriage. 



816 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

I was received with enthusiasm, which arose to a degree which I 
could not approve. I had great difficulty in restraining the 
people, who came with sacred fire and offerings, from paying 
me something of the nature of divine worship. I explained to 
them why I could not receive this, but that I greatly appre<nated 
and sjonpathised with their sentiments of joy in that the 
Government of India had fully considered and rightly dealt 
with their case ; and so we parted. 

During the years that I was in the Central Provinces, the 
enthusiasm of these people lasted, and when the Sambalpur 
District was added to Bengal, at the time of the partition, 
and I visited it as lieutenant-Governor of the latter Province, 
I found that that enthusiasm had not abated. We cannot 
too highly estimate the regard that the people have for their 
own language and their own traditions, and the enormous 
advantage that is to be derived from going about among them 
and knowing them intimately. The correct solution of the 
language difficulty was found in adding Sambalpur to the 
Orissa Division of Bengal. This was not because the people 
objected to be a part of the Central Provinces : if anything, 
they much preferred the Central Provinces Government to that 
of Bengal. But they could not tolerate the loss of their mother 
tongue ; and as they could not retain it and remain part of the 
Central Provinces, they much preferred to go over to Bengal. 

The second part of the partition scheme which may be 
briefly noticed was the transfer to Bengal of ,the five Uriya 
Feudatory States above referred to, and the transfer from 
Bengal to the Central Provinces of five Hindi States, on the 
other side of the Province. This measure was dictated by 
something of the same feeling as led to the transfer of the 
Sambalpur District to the Orissa Division. By being trans- 
ferred to Bengal, the five Uriya Feudatory states were brought 
into association with the adjoining Uriya States of Bengal, a 
change which greatly improved the chances of their efficient 
administration. On the other hand, the five Hindi States were 
added to adjacent Hindi States in the Central Provinces, the 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 817 

result being that the political agent of Chhattisgarh had under 
his control a compact body of Feudatory States, the official 
language of all of which was Hindi. 

A very interesting incident occurred in regard to the transfer 
of the five Uriya States to Bengal. The chiefs of these States 
had known me as the Chief Commissioner of the Central Pro- 
vinces. They came to me as a friend and presented to me a 
petition in which they stated that they had three objections to 
the proposed transfer to Bengal. The first was that their 
powers and status as Feudatory chiefs were higher than those 
of the Feudatory States of Bengal, and that they feared that 
they might be reduced to the same level. The second was that 
Orissa had twice been under the charge of an Indian officer as 
Commissioner, and that it was the only Division in Bengal of 
which, up to that time, an Indian officer had been Commissioner. 
They strongly urged that they preferred very much to be under 
the supervision and control of a European officer. The third 
reason was that they had had for years in Chhattisgarh a 
Political Agent, who had been their kindly adviser, and had 
often assisted them in difficulty and saved them from trouble 
with their people or with the Government. They looked upon 
him as their friend. There was no such officer in Bengal, and 
they would prefer therefore to remain as they were. 

It was easy for me to assure them that, as to their first diffi- 
culty, their powers and privileges and status would be clearly 
and fully defined and recorded, and that no diminution in any 
of them would occur ; that there was a European Commissioner 
in Orissa now, and that there was neither more nor less chance of 
an Indian Commissioner being appointed there in future than 
in Chhattisgarh. I also assured them that I would ask the 
Government of India to give me a Political Agent for the Orissa 
Feudatories. This promise I kept, to the great satisfaction 
of all the chiefs of that large Agency, and to the great ad- 
vantage of the administration of the States in smoothness and 
efficiency. It is interesting and important to observe the desire 
of these chiefs to be under European supervision and control, 



818 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

and the personal regard and attachment that they had for their 
European Political Agent. 

As I have said, neither of these items of the partition scheme 
was in any way connected with the unrest. I pass now to the 
partition as it affected the Bengali portion of the Bengal 
Province. I regard the adjustment of the bouindaries between 
the old Provinces of Bengal and Assam as a wise and states- 
manlike measure. It was passed after the fullest consideration, 
after public and private discussion with representatives of all 
the interests concerned, and from no other motive than the 
real and permanent benefit of the people of the two Provinces. 
I have never known any administrative step taken after fuller 
discussion and more careful consideration. It is not accurate to 
describe the change as " the partition of Bengal," inasmuch as 
there had already, many years before, been handed over to the 
Assam Province one or two of the Districts of Eastern Bengal. 
Eastern Bengal is a tract well known in the history of the 
Province, and of that tract part already belonged to the Assam 
Province. The transfer of the rest of it to that Province 
was, in my opinion, exceedingly desirable, if not absolutely 
necessary. 

In Bengal, as it was constituted before the partition, there 
was an area of nearly two hundred thousand square miles, with 
seventy-eight and a half millions of people. It had been 
growing increasingly difficult, until it had become practically 
impossible, to conduct efficiently the administration of this 
great Province. It was not a matter only of the burden of 
work laid on the Lieutenant-Governor, but rather the im- 
possibility of efficient working of the various departments 
of the Government. No head of a department was able effi- 
ciently to deal with the great charge committed to him. The 
result of this was that many of the Districts of Eastern 
Bengal had been practically neglected. There were many 
reasons which led the ordinary head of a department, when he 
foimd that he could not overtake efficiently his whole charge, 
to give to Orissa and Western Bengal such time as he had at 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL^ 819 

his disposal; and the Districts of Eastern Bengal suffered 
most from the imdue pressure of work. 

On the other hand, the neighbouring Province of Assam was 
too small for efficient administration. It was impossible to have 
an adequate body of officers permanently settled in the Province, 
and the consequence was] that discipline was weak, and the 
officers did not take that interest in their work which an officer 
ordinarily does in the work of his own Province. I fully concur 
in the statement made by the Government of India that '^ the 
evils which these proposals seek to cure, the congestion of work 
in Bengal and the arrested development of Assam, are of the 
gravest kind ; and every branch of the administration in these 
important Provinces suffers from them in an increasing degree.'' 
It is gratifying to find that over a year ago the local officers and 
the Government of India were able to point to vastly improved 
administration of the transferred Districts, and that many of 
the people of these Districts who formerly opposed the par- 
tition now give it their hearty approval. 

The opposition to the transfer was mainly engineered from 
Calcutta, and a consideration of the character and methods of 
that opposition cannot fail to be in some measure both interest- 
ing and instructive. There were undoubtedly many Bengalis 
who were at first honestly opposed to the partition of Bengal, 
and with whose views one could not but feel full sympathy. 
Their objections were patiently heard and fully considered. 
In most cases they were entirely removed. Among these 
objections were such as the following. 

Some thought that when the Districts of Eastern Bengal were 
transferred to the Province of Assam, they would cease to be 
under the jurisdiction of the High Court of Calcutta, and would 
come under that of a Judicial Commissioner such as had existed 
in the Central Provinces when that Province was small and some- 
what remote. They had been taught to regard the High Court, 
a certain proportion of whose Judges come from home, as a 
security of their liberty, and of their civil rights. The strength 
of this feeling was great. It influenced men of the highest intelli- 



820 THE "PAKTmON OF BENGAL" 

gence in all walks of life. It was a great relief when the Govern- 
ment of India gave the fullest assurance which a Government can 
give, that the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court would 
remain as long as possible, and that if in the future it should 
ever become necessary to give the new Province a separate 
Supreme Court of its own, that court would be a High Court 
and not a Chief Court. 

A similar objection was the fear that the Board of Revenue 
in Bengal would be abolished so far as the transferred Districts 
were concerned, and that they would be left in revenue matters 
to a final appeal either to the Head of the Province or to a 
Financial Conmiissioner. The Government of India met them 
on this ground also and gave a Board of Revenue to the new 
Province. 

A third objection was that they would have to go with 
their appeals to the remote and comparatively inaccessible 
hill station of Shillong, which was the sole head-quarters of the 
Assam Chief Commissioner. They were reassured on this 
point also ; for they were to have a lieutenant-Govemor in 
the new Province, and his head-quarters were to be at Dacca, 
the historic capital of Elastem Bengal. 

I well remember how, when I summoned a conference of all 
who felt that they were in any way interested in this matta*, 
many attended who raised these objections. On finding that 
these difficulties were removed, they generally expressed their 
satisfaction. The result, however, was that some of the native 
papers urged the people not to attend these conferences at 
Belvedere, on the ground that in doing so they simply 
^^ showed their hand," and enabled us to meet their objections 
without giving up the project of partition. 

The fact was that the opposition of these particular papers to 
the partition was due to^moti ves and reasons altogether different 
from such as I have indicated. It is worth while looking at the 
character of their opposition. The character of the permanent 
opposition to the partition may be judged from the fact that 
those who pubUcly expressed their approval of the partition 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 821 

were often pilloried in the Press and boycotted so that they 
were practically ruined. 

I recall the case of a member of my own Council, who 
was a native of one of the Districts of Eastern Bengal 
which had long belonged to the Assam Province, and who 
represented, as a High Court practitioner, one of the Bengal 
constituencies sending up a member for nomination to the 
Bengal Council. He prepared a confidential memorandum for 
me, setting forth the advantages of the partition as they 
appeared to him, and to those who thought with him. Un- 
fortunately, when the papers were published by the Government 
of India, that memorandum was pubUshed with them. He 
was inunediately boycotted by the majority of the Bengali Bar ; 
and his practice before the High Court fell to about one-third 
of what it had originally been, that one-third being mainly sup- 
plied by others than Bengalees. He had been a respected and 
successful practitioner ; but, so far as these members of the 
Bengali Bar could, they deliberately ruined him, because he 
had differed from them in opinion on this question of the 
partition. It is easy to understand how difficult it was, in 
such circumstances, to induce men to speak out their views on 
this question. 

There is no doubt that there were some, among the pro- 
fessional classes especially, but also among the non-resident 
Zamindars bdonging to the transferred Districts, who did not 
like the separation from Calcutta ; but even their feeling on the 
subject, which waajcertainly not wholly umselfish, was not very 
strong, until they were stirred from Calcutta into vehement 
opposition. Among the conunon people generally there was 
absolute, complete and universal indifference, until agitators 
coming from Calcutta circulated misleading statements and 
roused certain sections of them. It is instructive to note this 
fact. The strength of the opposition lay in the excitability of 
the people, the imputation of bad motives to the Government, 
and the raising of scares among the ignorant. The history of 
this agitation indicates a general danger to India which ought 



822 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

not to be overlooked or forgotten. We have in the masses 
ignorant and excitable peoples to deal with ; and mischievous 
men have only to go among them with false stories to produce 
dangerous disquiet and to rouse them to violence. 

The opposition was mainly confined to two great parties 
whose interests were, not unreasonably, regarded as to some 
extent threatened by this scheme, and whose voice is a very 
powerful voice in India. One of these is the Calcutta Bar. 
I do not intend to bring any railing accusation against the 
Bar. I am myself a barrister, and am free, I thinks of the 
prejudice which not a few Executive officers sometimes show 
to that profession. But there is no doubt that it is only natural 
that members of the Bar, and especially those of second-rate 
character and practice, should be very jealous of anything that 
seems to interfere with their professional prospects. Now it 
is clear that the transfer of a certain number of Districts to 
a new Province whose head-quarters would no longer be -Cal- 
cutta, would tend to injure the prospects of certain members of 
the Calcutta Bar. They felt this, and their voice was raised 
with no uncertain sound against the measure. They adopted 
exaggerated language in regard to it, ignored the advantages 
which it was intended to produce, and did all they could to 
prejudice the people against it. They engineered with great 
skill, through the agency of the local Bars which had been 
long connected with the central Bar in Calcutta, a violent 
opposition to the scheme throughout the transferred Districts 
and throughout the Bengali Districts which were not transferred. 

The other strong agency in engineering the opposition was 
a section of the native Press. There are some native qcws- 
papers which have a high aim and a good tone; but the 
native Press as a whole is not characterised by either good 
tone or high purpose. It has become to a large extent 
truculent and offensive. It is well known that a certain section 
of it exercises its influence and maintains itself partly by 
what it regards as spicy writing, and partly by a deliberate 
or perhaps occasionally unconscious terrorism. An officer 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 828 

on whose conduct the Government is bound to keep its eye, 
or a Zamindar who cannot but live a public life» is compelled 
to support the Press lest it should attack him. I have myself 
seen the following letter, which was addressed by the editor 
of a newspaper to a prominent public man, *^ As you are much 
before the public, it is our intention to write an article about 
you on such and such a date. Perhaps you would like to become 
a subscriber to our paper so that you may see that article when 
it appears ? " 

The recipient of this letter, rightly or wrongly, believed that 
the character and tone of the article would be greatly in- 
fluenced by his decision in regard to becoming a subscriber. 
Whatever the intention of such letters may be, there is 
no doubt that among Indian officers and gentlemen in the 
interior there is an impression that any attack made on them 
in a public newspaper tends to injure them with the Govern- 
ment. Now in the transferred Districts the Government 
would no longer be the Government of Bengal, with its head- 
quarters at Calcutta, where the newspaper was to be published. 
It would be a Government at Dacca, in another Province, where 
these newspapers were not read. The loss of influence and 
prestige, and the loss of clientele was one of the causes which 
led some at least of the native Press to oppose the partition 
scheme. Others were led into it by their normal inclination to 
oppose anything which the Government advocated. In the 
usual way they misrepresented the motives and intentions of 
Government, and poured forth vituperation upon the measure 
it was carrying out. Only one or two were honest in their 
opposition. 

The opposition was largely characterised by absolute want 
of principle. False stories were circulated to rouse the fears and 
indignation of the people. The Government, which only 
desired effective administration of the two Provinces concerned, 
was abused as being animated by a determination to break up 
and so destroy the influence of ^^ the Bengali nation." All 
sorts of false statements were made in speeches delivered and 



824 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 

in leaflets scattered throughout the country. There was, for 
example, maliciously and falsely attributed to the (rovemment, 
in leaflets scattered among the common people throughout the 
villages of the transferred Districts, the outrageous motive of 
wishing to place the cultivating and labouring classes of these 
Districts at the disposal of the Government of Eastern Bengal 
and Assam, so that that Government might be able to remove 
them against their will from their own homesteads to a position 
of practical slavery in the tea gardens of Assam I 

The mercantile classes were told in public speeches that the 
object was to injure the Fort of Calcutta, a statement the 
ridiculous character of which may be seen from the fact that the 
Bengal Chamber of Commerce supported the petition scheme. 

Furthermore, inasmuch as the Districts transferred to the 
new Province had all of them a majority of Muhanunadans in 
the population, a wicked attempt was made, by insinuations of 
an intention to place the Hindus under the heel of the Muham- 
madans, to set the professors of these two religions against each 
other, and to produce those religious animosities which are so 
real and constant a danger in India. 

By such means, a violent opposition was raised against a 
measure the administrative value of which has been so abun- 
dantly established that the agitation against it has been 
rapidly dying out in Bengal. Unfortunately, that agitation 
has been again and again stirred into new vigour by incitements 
from the floor of the British Parliament. It is satisfactory to 
find that these evil influences are weakening as the people 
really concerned begin to see the advantages which they 
have derived from the measure and are convinced of the good 
intention of the Government in carrying it out. 

I cannot but recall a conversation which I had with a highly 
esteemed Indian friend, who was one of my colleagues on the 
Bengal Coimcil. He was an Indian merchant of considerable 
distinction and had had an honourable connection with public 
affairs. He made a public attack on the partition scheme, based 
mainly on the impression as to the intentions of the Govenunent 



THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL" 825 

in regard to the High Court to which I have referred. I asked 
him to come and see me, and explained to him his mistake. 
He expressed himself fully satisfied on the point, and I suggested 
to him that perhaps he might withdraw his remarks. He 
replied that he could not do so, as he was in full sjrmpathy with 
the opposition to the partition. I asked him what were his 
grounds for his opposition. He said that he was perfectly 
sure that one result of the partition would be very much to 
develop the Fort of Chittagong, and that this could not be done 
without injuring the Port of Calcutta. 

I asked him whether he really believed that the drawing of an 
imaginary line between the two Provinces, and the declaration 
that the Districts on the one side of that line were under the 
government of one Province and those on the other side under 
that of another, would really divert the course of trade ? ^^ No," 
he said, ^^ but Chittagong will be under the government of the 
new Province ; efforts will be made to improve it ; the natural 
communications between the transferred Districts and Chitta- 
gong will be developed, and trade wiU therefore take its course 
to Chittagong which is the natural port for that part of the 
country." I pointed out that this surely meant that trade 
would be benefited by the change ; and I asked him whether 
he would not state that view in public. He said he would not ; 
because he was a Calcutta man and he himself would be injured. 
I pointed out to him that (xovemment must take a higher view 
than that, and must consider the general interests of the 
country. His reply was characteristically honest, but at the 
same time very discouraging. He said, '' I do not blame you 
for supporting a measure which undoubtedly appears to be 
to the advantage of the Districts concerned ; but I am bound 
to fight for my own interest." 

The whole history of this agitation indicates some of the 
difficulties of Indian administration. A measure may be sound ; 
but it may be influentially opposed by those who believe that 
their own private interests are at stake. That opposition may 
be easily exposed as regards its character ; but it is not on that 



826 THE "PARTITION OF BENGAL'' 

account overcome. Sometimes again the opposition adopts 
measures most dangerous to the interests of sound administra- 
tion. These consist of the circulation of misrepresentations 
in regard to motive and intention, and of stories which an 
ignorant people too readily receive. In time, the motives 
of Government, if they are pure, will undoubtedly be vindicated ; 
but that time may be delayed and the injury to sound ad- 
ministration may be great. It may also be intensified by 
thoughtless or malignant encouragement given to the opposition 
by those who are animated too often by a desire to embarrass the 
Government. Such encouragement is sometimes given, more 
or less innocently, and more or less effectively, by Members of 
Parliament. 

I remember the late Sir Curzon Wyllie telling me that he 
was on one occasion walking, at the Indian Civil Service garden 
party in London, with a nobleman of considerable standing and 
distinction in India. One of the so-called ^* Indian members '* 
of the House of Commons came up to this nobleman and 
claimed acquaintance with him. He said to him, ^^ I hope that 
you have come to throw your weight into the scale on behalf 
of the cause of India to which we are devoted ? " The nobleman 
replied that he did not quite understand what he meant. 
The Member of Parliament entered into a brief explanation. 
The nobleman replied, " I do not quite understand your position 
and your objects ; but there is one thing that I do understand, 
namely, that you are drawing a pension of £1000 a year from 
the Government of India, and you are doing all that you can 
to make the government of India impossible. That does not 
commend itself to my Oriental ideas." The Member of Parlia- 
ment did not seem to have ready on his tongue an adequate 
rejoinder to this remark ; and they parted. The view expressed 
is a thoroughly Indian one : the high-toned Oriental does not 
understand that disloyalty to the salt which seems to be indi- 
cated by persistent and unfailing opposition and cavilling 
criticism ; and there are not a few men of Western birth and 
education who share this feeling, 



^ 



CHAPTER XXIV 
THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

I CANNOT close these reminiscences of jny Indian life 
without reference to the visit of the Ameer of Aighanstan 
to India in the beginning of 1907, which was an event of 
great interest. It was not a political visit, and the subject of 
politics was, I believe, avoided throughout the whole visit. 
We were all enjoined, indeed, to remember that the Ameer 
is a sovereign ruler of a friendly State, that he was to be ad- 
dressed as ^^His Majesty,'' and that he was everywhere to 
receive royal honour. But his visit was that of a friendly neigh- 
bour coming to see India, to make the acquaintance of some 
of the principal officers of the British Grovemment, and to 
study the manners and customs of the coimtry. The Ameer 
was a most intelligent observer, and was evidently inclined to 
enter on those frank and friendly relations with the people 
whom he met which would facilitate his obtaining some insight 
into the things which he wished to know. 

I did not see His Majesty until he came to Calcutta. My first 
opportunity of talking to him was on Wednesday, dOth January 
(1907), when I met him at a dinner given in his honour by 
Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief. It was not a very 
large or very formal dinner, being given to him on the day of his 
arrival in Calcutta. He was evidently on the best of terms with 
Lord Kitchener, whom he had met in the north of India. 
He spoke to me of him after dinner in terms of the deepest 
admiration, having been fascinated evidently, not only by the 
strength, but also by the courtesy and friendliness, of the 
Commander-in-Chief. 

m 



828 THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

At this dinner, to which the mess dress uniform of all 
the officers present gave a very bright appearance, the Ameer 
sat on Lord Kitchener*s right and I on his left. On my 
left was one of the sirdars who accompanied the Ameer, 
Brigadier Muhanmiad Nasir Khan. The latter conducted his 
conversation with me mainly in Hindustani, though he was far 
from ignorant of English. He also showed himself deeply 
interested in all that the party were seeing of India and its 
administration. My conversation with the Ameer himself 
was also partly conducted in Hindustani. He was, however, 
rapidly acquiring a colloquial knowledge of English, and quite 
liked to use that tongue. 

His determination to acquire English, and the manner in 
which he used what he knew of it very much impressed me. 
He had got hold of some very colloquial phrases as the following 
incident shows. I overheard him talking to Lord Kitchener 
about the British Nation. The Commander-in-Chief was 
explaining to him that there are three great divisions of the 
British Isles, and that the inhabitants differed in many 
respects from each other, but were yet equally devoted to and 
eligible for the service of His Majesty the King. By way of 
illustration he pointed to Sir Henry M'Mahon, a fine Persian 
scholar, who was the Political Officer in attendance on the 
Ameer, and was seated on the Ameer's right so as to render 
him any assistance that might be required in conversation. 
Lord Kitchener remarked that Sir Henry was an Irishman. 
^^ I, myself," he said, ^' am an Englishman, and the Lieutenant- 
Governor, who is on my left, is a Scotsman. The Scots have a 
dress of their own. Probably," he added, as he noticed that I 
was listening, ^' because it is economical, they only wear a 
cloth twisted round their loins which they call a kilt." 

The Ameer looked across at me with a smile, and I said, ^* I 
think that Your Majesty has seen some of our Scottish regiments 
in the north of India." He replied, " Yes, I have seen them. I 
like Scottish regiments, and" (turning to Lord Kitchener) "they 
do not wear kilts because they cannot afford trousers, but 




Phot«by 



Boumt &" SfUfhent 



The Amir of Afghanistan 

His sixnature is in the comer of the illustration. 



THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 829 

because the kilt leaves the legs freer and stronger for going up 
and down the hills." I renutrked, ^^ Your Majesty and I being 
hiU men understand one another." The Ameer laughed 
heartily and, with a very humorous glance at Lord 
Kitchener, added, " Wrong box, Your Excellency I " 

The next time we met was when the Ameer dined with us 
at Belvedere on Friday, the 1st of February. When his carriage 
drove up at the door, I received him at the bottom of the steps, 
and taking his hand in mine, according to Oriental custom, 
I conducted him into the drawing-room. The company were 
standing about the room. As we entered the Viennese band 
played the Afghan National Anthem, of which the music had 
been obtained through the military authorities of the Punjab. 
As the first chord was struck His Majesty stood fast ; and, with 
his hand to his hat, he took the salute. When the Anthem was 
over he turned round and courteously thanked me. He and I 
then led the way to dinner, hand in hand in Oriental manner. 
Lady Fraser being taken by a member of my staff to her 
place next to His Majesty, and the lady whom I ought to have 
brought to dinner being taken to her place by the Private 
Secretary. I placed Col. Sir Henry M'Mahon on the other 
side of the Ameer so that he might act as interpreter for His 
Majesty when required ; but there was also an Afghan inter- 
preter standing behind his chair. Three sirdars of his staff 
were at table, and two pages who had accompanied him were 
given their dinner elsewhere. 

The Ameer was most cheery throughout the dinner. He 
talked to Lady Fraser partly in English and partly through the 
interpreter in Persian, breaking out now and again into Hin- 
dustani, of which he has some little knowledge, so as to see how 
far she could speak the language, a matter in which he appeared 
to be considerably interested. His conversation was of the 
frankest character, and every now and again he broke into 
jest and laughter. His face is a very difficult one to photograph, 
because it is so very different when it is at rest from what it is 
when lighted up and animated in conversation. He expressed 



880 THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

very freely his views on the different dishes that were served 
to him, and was much interested in all our cooking. 

We had been careful, of course, and he knew that we were 
careful, to avoid having any forbidden food placed on the table, 
so that he was quite able to partake of everything without 
asking any questions for conscience' sake. He did not take 
any wine, nor was any wine passed round the table in front of 
any of the guests. He and his sirdars had decanters of water 
and non*alcoholic drinks placed for their use, and all wine to 
the other guests was served from behind. 

When at the end of the dinner I proposed His Majesty 
the King-Emperor's health, the Ameer stood and drank 
to it in soda-water. When we had resumed our seats he 
leaned forward, and said to me across the table, *^ Your 
King is very kind. He has issued the order that his health 
may be drunk in water. But for this I could not drink 
it ; for I cannot touch wine. But I drink it very gladly in 
water with your King's royal permission." I replied that His 
Majesty's order had been prompted also by a desire not to force 
on any of his own subjects, many of whom do not approve of 
the use of wine except medicinally, the alternative of using 
wine or forbearing from this particular form of expression of their 
loyalty. Immediately after this I proposed that we should drink 
the Ameer's health, and assure His Majesty of the warm welcome 
which we gave him to Bengal, and to Calcutta, a compliment 
which he courteously acknowledged. 

Immediately after this toast, the ladies left the room, and I 
went over and took my place where Lady Fraser had been seated 
between the Ameer and the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Louis 
Dane. I asked His Majesty whether he would like to smoke 
or join the ladies at once. He said he would prefer to smoke 
one or two cigarettes first. In the course of conversation he 
alluded to several matters which had struck him in the course 
of his present visit. One was the immense number of objects 
of interest which were to be seen in Calcutta ; and he gave 
expression to the wonder that filled his mind as he drove round 



THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 881 

the city and saw its teeming population, and its busy life, 
with its varied fonns both of activity and of pleasure. 

He declared that he had not seen half of what he wanted to 
see, and stated strongly his indination to postpone for a few days 
his departure from Calcutta, which had been fixed for the 
following Monday. This, he said, would involve giving up an 
arrangement which had been kindly made to show him some 
tiger shooting in the Sohagpur jungles of the Central Pro- 
vinces ; but, much as he would have liked to see such sport, 
he felt more deeply interested in the great shops and depots 
of Calcutta. He told me that the Army and Navy Stores and 
other large shops had greatly fascinated him, and that he was 
purchasing a number of things which would be most useful 
to him in Afghanistan, and of the very existence of which he 
had up to then been ignorant. 

He was much struck with the magnificence of the military 
displays which he had seen in the north of India ; but he said 
that he was at least as much struck with the fact that in 
ordinary life the troops are kept entirely in the background, 
and have no manifest connection with the preservation of the 
public peace or with the maintenance of His Majesty's authority 
in India. The police arrangements, the regulation of the city 
traffic, and the order that prevails, had made a great im- 
pression on him. ^ 

He mentfoned also several of our customs which he had 
observed. Amongst these was the custom of standing at 
attention and uncovering the head at the National Anthem, 
indicating our constant respect for, and loyalty to, the 
throne, though that was so far away on the other side of the 
world. Another custom which he incidentally mentioned was 
that of giving photographs to friends with autograph signatures ; 
and he told me that he had volunteered to give one to Lady 
Fraser, and that he would, as soon as possible, have a good one 
taken for the purpose. All his conversation was courteous. 
There was nothing in it inconsistent with his dignity ; yet it 
was bright and Uvely and often jocular. 



882 THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

When we went to the drawing-room he was greatly delighted 
to hear English music and songs from some of our guests. M. 
Bastin, the Belgian Consul, sang one or two French songs 
which greatly interested him ; then one or two English songs 
were sung ; and he asked Lady Fraser to let him hear one of 
the songs of her own country. To each singer he courteously 
returned thanks ; and after the Scottish song had been sung 
he himself sat down at the piano and played on that instrument 
with both hands, but in unison, some Persian and Afghan airs, 
one of which was a national dance. He explained to us how 
this dance was performed. It required seven dancers. The 
band was in the middle, and the dancers were outside and swayed 
their bodies to and fro, and moved backwards and forwards 
from and to the band, in a manner which he indicated. 

He then asked for some Scotch music, which my wife played, 
and four of our guests showed him a portion of a Scotch ReeL 
After another Scottish song, he again sat down at the piano, 
and, playing his own accompaniment in unison, he sang an 
Afghan song in the quaint tones of the hiU music. He entered 
into it with his whole soul, and sang with great vigour. Leaving 
the piano, he stepped up to my wife and me and spoke of his 
love for the hills of his own coimtry and how he missed them on 
the plains of India. I told him that I believed all hill men have 
the hills of their native land near their hearts ; and he stretched 
out his hand, with Oriental enthusiasm but an English gesture, 
and said, " Shake hands.'' He added, ^' I have much enjoyed 
myself. Lady Fraser, I have felt as though I were in my own 
country among my own friends." 

He laughingly told us that although Hastings House, which 
the Grovemment of India had placed at his disposal, was so 
close to Belvedere, the escort had in the dark misled his 
carriage on the way to dinner, and had taken him round 
to the Kachahri (or Magistrates' Court House), which he said 
was fortimately closed, or he did not know when he might 
have arrived at dinner. He hoped that he would get home 
without any such mishap. As a matter of fact, however, the 



THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 888 

escort, who were strangers, led him out of the Belvedere grounds 
by the wrong gate, and took him out to ToUygunge, so that he 
was about half an hour in reaching Hastings House, which was 
not more than five minutes' drive from Belvedere. I am told 
that he took this misadventm^ in the best of humour, having 
been engaged in pleasant conversation with Sir Henry M'Mahon, 
for whom he evidently has a great regard. 

I saw a good deal of the Ameer after this ; but I need not 
allow myself to recall many of the incidents of his visit. I may» 
however, say that he did postpone his departure from Calcutta, 
and on Tuesday, the 5th, he suddenly sent to inquire whether 
I would be able that afternoon to fulfil a promise I had made 
to show him the Industrial Exhibition which had been opened 
just a short time before in Calcutta. I at once agreed and 
started off. I observed that the Ameer did not fall in with the 
European habit very generally adopted by advanced Indians 
of shaking hands. With perfect courtesy, but with equally per- 
fect determination, he declined, as though not observing them, 
the hands held out to him by the Exhibition officials. He told 
me that he thought it was better rigidly to observe that rule 
with strangers. He noticed also that I was not returning the 
salutes of the people, and suggested that I should do so. I said, 
** They are meant for your Majesty." He replied, " No. 
Tou are the Governor. I am here only as your guest. You 
must take them." And he insisted on this. 

He spent well over an hour looking at jewels and goldsmiths' 
work, educational exhibits, machinery, and cloths of cotton 
and silk. His conversation was addressed at least as much to 
the exhibitors as to me ; and his remarks indicated the great 
interest which he took in everything which he saw. It was 
amusing to see the emphasis with which he declined to purchase 
any of the gold and jewelled ornaments for men. He was 
shown some of these, and said they were more suitable for 
women. He was told, however, that they were much worn by 
rajahs ; and he suddenly broke out into a remark more plain 
and less courteous than usual. He said, ^' Are, then, your 



884 THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

rajahs women ? " He immediately recovered, however, and 
turned the matter into a jest. 

It was interesting to see the useful objects on which he fixed 
his attention and spent some of his money, and the business-like 
care with which he insisted upon price lists being sent over 
to him accompanied by samples, and indicated the way in which 
he desired these price lists and samples to be prepared. As he 
was leaving he was offered one or two presents. He very 
courteously thanked those who offered them; but touching 
the presents in Oriental manner with his hand he added, ^^ I 
do not accept. It is not my custom." He interrupted the pro- 
ceedings at one time to offer prayer at the prescribed hour. 
He asked one of the tnaulms on his staff to find out a suitable 
place, and declined to use a room in which there were some 
pictures himg. A suitable place having been found, he had a 
prayer-carpet spread, and proceeded with his devotion, without 
paying any regard to those who were looking at him from a 
respectful distance. 

The Ameer visited the Medical College Hospital in Calcutta. 
He was deeply interested in all he saw, and his questions to 
Col. Lukis, then Principal of the College and Superintendent of 
the Hospital, evinced great intelligence and much sympathy 
with the objects of the Hospital. As he was leaving, he stood 
for some time talking to Col. Lukis at the door of the Principal's 
house. A large number of crows were making a great chattering 
in the tree under which he was standing. He moved away to 
a little distance from the noise, saying, ^'The Calcutta crows 
are like many people whom I know. Their chattering prevents 
reasonable conversation." 

He spoke very happily to me about his visit to India. 
He said, ^^ While the door is shut you cannot tell whether 
the man within is a jeweller or only a worker in glass; 
even so I did not know my neighbours in India until the 
door was opened and I was able to pay this visit." He 
added that many of his people had very erroneous impressions 
about the English ; that he himself had feared when he came 



THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 885 

that he would always have to watch every word lest he should 
commit himself on any political questions ; but that he had 
foimd nothing but friendship, brotherliness, and hospitality. 
No one had desired to get anything out of him or to make him 
conunit himself to anything. He had been simply welcomed 
in the kindest and frankest manner as a friend, and he would 
be able to tell his people, when he went home, of the great 
kindness which he had received. 

On one occasion at Belvedere after dinner, he showed a little 
irritation with a servant who was attracting attention and 
disturbing conversation by carrying round cheroots. He 
turned to him and said in an imdertone, *^ Go." The man did 
not understand English and did not carry out the order. The 
Ameer, quite quietly and with no roughness of manner, 
took the box from him, placed it on the table, pointed 
to the door, and said ^^ Go." The man understood the 
gesture and went. The incident had only taken a moment, 
and there was no time to have interfered. The Ameer turned 
round to me and said half apologetically, ^^ You do not mind ? 
I did not like him dancing roimd us like a crow among the 
peacocks." 

On two other interesting occasions I met the Ameer. One 
was at the Viceroy's State Ball, a scene of great brilliancy, and 
the other was at the Calcutta races, where the crowd was, I 
suppose, greater than anything the Ameer had ever seen. 
His interest was untiring, and he spoke freely of all that he 
thought about both. I need not, however, dwell further on 
such subjects. A farewell dinner was given to him by Lord 
Kitchener on Friday, 8th February, and he left Calcutta by 
special train that night. After dinner he spoke again very 
strongly about the great advantage which he had derived 
from his visit to India, in having set right the vague and errone- 
ous impressions the reports brought to him had produced on his 
mind. 

He said, *' In a certain city there dwelt a people who had 
never seen an elephant. It was felt that their ignorance was 



88« THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

great) so arrangements were made that a deputation of them 
should go and see an elephant and report. They went, and in 
a somewhat dark place an elephant was pointed out to them. 
They could not see the elephant dearly, but they felt that they 
could not tell their people so. They went up to it and touched 
it with their hands that they might carry to their people some 
report of what it was like. One man felt its legs, another felt 
its trunk, and a third felt its ear. They went back and reported 
to their people : one that the elephant was like a great pillar 
on which a house might rest, another that it was like a great 
serpent or sea-monster, and the third that it was like a great 
sheet with which a man might cover himself and keep warm." 
Even so, he said, erroneous reports had been brought to him by 
persons of imperfect observation ; but now he had come to see 
for himself. He was very glad he had come, but sorry that he 
would have to part from the many friends he had found in 
India. He did, indeed, seem greatly to feel his departure. 

In the beginning of March, just before leaving India, the 
Ameer was received at the Islamia College at Lahore and laid 
the foundation stone of the new building. He received an 
address from his co-rdigionists, the authorities of the College. 
When he rose to reply, the whole audience, of course, also rose. 
He waved to them to resume their seats, and standing alone 
before them he delivered an impressive extempore oration in 
sonorous and musical Persian. His utterance is worth recording. 

He said, '^ First thanks to Grod, praise to His prophet. My 
brothers, I speak to you, the Muhammadans of the Punjab in 
India, who are present here to-day. Tou have read me your 
address. I have understood your thoughts. This is my reply. 
Mark it : it dosdy concerns your welfare. But before all dse 
I want, at the outset, to say how deeply I appreciate the toler- 
ance and the beneficence of the Government of India in allowing 
my innumerable Muhammadan brethren in this great country 
perfect liberty to perform their religious duties where and when 
and how they desire. That acknowledgment being paid, which 
lies foremost on my conscience, I come to the pith and marrow 



THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 887 

of my message to you and to the millions of Muhammadans 
whom you represent. 

^^ In a single sentence I give you my whole exhortation. 
Acquire knowledge. Do you hear me ? Acquire knowledge. 
I say it a third time ! Acquire knowledge. Oh, my brothers^ 
remain not ignorant, and, what is worse, remain not ignorant 
of your ignorance. There are those who utter solemn warnings 
in your ears, who urge that Muhammadans have nothing to do 
with modem philosophy, who declaim against western sciences 
as though they were evil. I am not among them. I am not 
among those who ask you to shut your ears and your eyes. 
On the contrary I say, pursue knowledge wherever it is to be 
f oimd ; but this also I declare with all the emphasis at my 
command, science is the superstructure. Do not mistake it 
for the foundation. The foundation is, and must always be, 
religion. Begin, then, at the beginning. Ground your children, 
before everything else, in the eternal principles of their glorious 
faith. Start with the heart. When that is secure go on to the 
head. 

'^ Some would like to finish with the heart, they are afraid 
of the head. They are wrong. I must speak plainly to you. 
You cannot earn your bread by religion alone. Religion will 
not give you raiment. It will not build a roof over your 
head. If you turn away from education, you turn away from 
the means of raising yourself to prosperity and power. I will 
be more plain still. Pinch your head and you will fed the pain 
in your belly. But do not lose sight of my other injunction 
It is your duty to infuse into the hearts of your children, when 
they are young and impressionable, such a love for their holy 
faith that nothing can ever eradicate it. You must so bind 
their hearts to it, that neither the influences of other religions, 
nor those new influences which are antagonistic to all religions, 
can weaken their loyal adherence to the tenets of Islam. Do 
not think that my two injunctions are incompatible. I tell 
you that if you place your feet firmly on the sublime teachings 
of your holy prophet, you may let your mind wander over the 



888 THE AMEER OF AFGHANISTAN 

other forms of knowledge in the world without losing your 
balanee. If the light of religion be truly entered into a man's 
inner being, it will never afterwards leave." 

After referring to the work of the College, to the interest of 
the Government of the Punjab in Muhammadans, and especially 
in Oriental education, he made a gift to the College, and con- 
cluded by saying, " Now I pray Gk)d that He may keep Islam 
in good countenance before the eyes of the whole world, and 
that we and our faith may retain the respect of the nations." 
The Muhammadans of India have shown a good example in 
their efforts to teach to the young the elements of their faith 
and to train them in the practice of religion ; but, in their too 
general suspicion and even rejection of modem science and 
education, they have greatly injured their position and influence. 
They have fallen behind the Hindus in the march of progress, 
and it will be well for them if they take to heart the earnest 
exhortation of the Ameer. 



CHAPTER XXV 
THE HUMOURS OF ADMINISTRATION 

1D0 not think that there has been any time in my service when 
I have found my work light except, perhaps, when, many 
years ago, I was Excise Commissioner of the Central Provin- 
ces, before that office was amalgamated with several other mis- 
cellaneous departments, and before Berar came under the Central 
Provinces administration ; but though our work has generally 
been quite sufficient for each day, it has been varied work ; and 
as a great deal of it had to be done outside the o^oey in the 
town or among the villages, it has been both interesting and 
healthy. There have also been incidents occurring every now 
and again which have been of a more or less humorous character 
and have relieved the monotony of our work« Many such 
incidents crowd on my memory now. But I shall only relate 
a few of them. The homely character of our life in the Central 
Provinces led to many private little jests which were pleasant 
at the time, but would seem almost silly if set down in print. 
I shaU therefore confine myself to a few incidents more or less 
connected with work. 

On one occasion, when I was a District Magistrate, I exposed 
myself to severe censure from the European ladies of the station 
on account of the version which got about of a decision in my 
court. I was reported to have judicially ruled that, according 
to the law prevailing in India, a husband had a right to beat 
his wife, and that she had no remedy in such a case. It will 
be understood that this was not a very popular decision with 
the ladies. The facts of the case were a little interesting. There 
had been a long-standing feud between two small Zamindars 



840 TBOE HUMOUKS 

(or landowners) in a oertain village ; and they had been in the 
habit for some time of taking all manner of means to annoy 
one another. At last one of them got an opportunity of \rliich 
he promptly availed himself. His rival Ramparshad was heard 
speaking in strong terms to his wife in the verandah of their 
house; and the sound of a slap was heard. Gangaparshad either 
heard the quarrel or was told of it; and he got hold of a friend 
to take a document to Ramparshad's wife on which she was 
asked to make a mark, and was informed that by doing so 
she would receive considerable benefit. Trusting to the friend- 
liness of Gangaparshad's messenger she made a mark. 

The document stated that Ramparshad very frequently 
assaulted her, entered in detail into an exaggerated recital of 
the events of the quarrel above referred to, and ended by 
asking the protection of the Magistrate. There is no doubt 
that Gangaparshad thought that Ramparshad would sufftf 
very much in dignity by this attack on his character, and by 
the necessity for having his wife called as a witness in court ; 
and Gangaparshad being a relative of the lady was able to appear 
as her friend and quasi guardian in the case. A very careful 
inquiry on the spot showed the triviality of the incident, and 
the enmity which lay at the bottom of the complaint. 

The case came up for hearing, and Ramparshad was advised 
by his counsel to allow his wife to appear, closely veiled, as a 
witness for the prosecution. She admitted that her husband 
had spoken roughly to her and had given her a slap in a fit of 
temper for which she proceeded to make an elaborate apology. 
In cross-examination by the accused she spoke of the excellent 
terms on which she lived with her husband, and I allowed 
villagers to appear to corroborate her evidence. I was entitled 
under the law to compel Gangaparshad to make compensation 
to Ramparshad for a frivolous and vexatious complaint ; and 
I did so. The effect was not unsatisfactory. It did not indeed 
make Gangaparshad more friendly to his rival ; but it made 
him a little more cautious in his conduct. It is very curious 
how much we see even in very serious cases of the use of the 



OF ADMINISTRATION 841 

courts for purpose of private enmity. Cases have been well 
known in which even a charge of murder has been trumped up 
by a man against his enemy. 

Another matter which, though very serious^ has its more 
or less humorous side, is the practice of trial by jury, as we 
not infrequently find it in India. Every country has experience 
of the difficulty of persuading men to find a verdict against the 
accused in certain cases where political or faction feeling is 
involved ; and this, of course, is found in India as elsewhere. 
There is, however, a case peculiar to India which is of very 
common occurrence, that is, the difficulty of persuading jurors 
or assessors to find a verdict against a Brahman, especially in 
cases involving capital punishment. Assessors differ from 
jurors in that their verdict has not the weight of that of the 
jury. Assessors are there to advise the Judge, not to decide 
with any finality even questions of fact, and in the more back- 
ward tracts we have much more of trial with assessors than trial 
by jury. 

As a young officer, I was once called on to inquire into a case 
of murder and to prosecute it before the Court of Session. 
It was as clear a case as ever had been. The murder was cruel, 
and the eye-witnesses were beyond suspicion. There were two 
assessors, and both of them returned a verdict of '^ not guilty." 
The Judge differing from the assessors sentenced the Brahman 
accused to death, and he paid the penalty. Some time after- 
wards, one of the assessors came to visit me. He was a fairly 
influential landowner, and himself a Brahman, well educated 
in the vernacular, but without knowledge of English. I asked 
him how he could find a verdict so contrary to the evidence, 
and he frankly said to me in the most friendly way, ^^ I could 
not possibly find a verdict which would lead to the death of a 
Brahman* You know that it is grievous sin for any Hindu 
to cause the death of a Brahman ; and it does not matter 
whether you do it with your own hand or indirectly by the 
hand of another.** ^* But," I said, *Mt is a serious thing for you 
to betray the trust which is reposed in you by the Government 



842 THE HUMOURS 

on behalf of the public ; aad you cannot help regarding this 
as most blameworthy failure of duty." 

He replied with some emotion, "It is you really who 
are to blame. You are not ignorant of our views in 
this matter. Why, then, should you put us in a position 
where we might be called upon, as I was on that occasion, 
to choose between the sin of saying what I believed to 
be untrue, and the infinitely awful sin of causing the 
death of a Brahman ? '' The strong feeling with which my 
old friend spoke to me on the subject made a great impression 
on my mind, and I have often thought that we do not know, 
or at all events do not fully consider, what grievous injury 
we inflict on the people of India by forcing on them customs 
and duties which are altogether inconsistent with their traditions 
and beliefs. 

I remember another case in which an Honorary Magistrate 
tried a Hindu belonging to a religious order for habitually 
receiving stolen property. As in this country so in India, the 
receiver of stolen property ought to be severely dealt with 
because of the demoralising effect of his occupation on the 
community. The evidence was clear and conclusive, and the 
Magistrate felt himself bound to convict ; but there is a pro- 
vision of the law whereby the period of police custody after 
conviction is included in the period of imprisonment. The 
worthy Magistrate therefore set himself to calculate how long 
it would take to march the prisoner, from one police station to 
another, to the head-quarters of the District where the jail 
was situated. He calculated that it would take a week ; and he 
sentenced the sacred receiver to a week's imprisonment. I 
well remember how he could not conceal from me afterwards 
his disappointment that he had forgotten that there was an 
indirect road to head-quarters which included a considerable 
stretch of newly made railway line ; and the prisoner arrived 
at the jail in time to undergo three days' imprisonment. The 
washing off of the sacred ashes and filth which he had, 
perhaps for years, allowed to accumulate, was a terrible 



OF ADMINISTRATION 848 

blow to the criminal; and be very vigorously cursed the 
magistrate. 

Another curious case may be recorded. When I was Com- 
missioner of Chhattisgarh I had appellate jurisdiction over 
certain civil courts. In one of these subordinate courts a certain 
plaintiff had brought a suit against a debtor. The debtor's plea 
was that he had certainly incurred the debt» but that he had 
also repaid it ; and he challenged the plaintiff to take an oath 
to the effect that he had not been paid. The law allows a case 
to be decided in this way with the consent of parties. The 
party agreeing must take an oath which he regards as most 
certainly binding upon him, and the sanctity of which, as 
respects him, the opposite party is also prepared to admit. The 
parties in this case agreed that the plaintiff should take his 
oath with his hand on the tail of the sacred cow at the great 
temple of the goddess Samlai in Sambalpur — an oath of great 
solenmity in these parts. The plaintiff took the oath and 
declared that he had not been paid ; and decree was passed 
accordingly in his favour. That night the plaintiff died ; and 
the ground of appeal to me was that the gods had manifested 
their displeasure at the false affirmation by taking the 
plaintiff's life, and that therefore the decree ought to be 
reversed. I have very little doubt that the plaintiff's 
oath was false; but I was, of course, unable to alter the 
decision ; for the law makes such an oath, when taken by 
consent of parties, final in the case. 

A more amusing decision in a civil case came to my notice. 
A certain officer was trying a case in which the facts were very 
similar to the above. The plaintiff was a usurer well versed in 
the law. The defendant was a Gond, a member of a jungle 
tribe, improvident in habits, but well versed in jungle work. 
The plaintiff sued for a debt of Rs.lOO. The defendant stated 
that he had only received Rs.lO. The usurer produced a book 
entry showing payment of Rs.lOO, and called two witnesses, 
who in cross-examination admitted that they were employed 
habitually by the usurer to witness payments to his clients who 



844 THE HUMOUBS 

could not read or write ; and that they had seen a payment 
made to the defendant, but oonld not precisely say how much 
had been paid* Hie Judge, who was trying the case in camp (as 
was not unoomnMm in those days), pointed to two trees in front 
of his tent and said that ^dioever should first readi the top 
of either of these trees would obtain a decree, and that the 
plaintiff should have his choice of trees. 

Of course, the plaintiff, poor man, after tcriling violently for 
a time, gave up the enterprise to find that the Gond had 
been to the top of his tree and down again, and was awaiting 
the decision. The judge gave the decree for the plaintiff 
for Rs.10 only. The plaintift, however, told him that he 
would appeal from that decision, as it was entirely contrary 
to law. When he came to ask for a copy of the judgment 
to append to his memorandum of appeal, he found that it 
was a reasonable and well-stated discussion of the evidence, 
showing that the plaintiff had failed to establish the pay- 
ment of more than the sum awarded. The Judge, who was, 
on the whole, a very sound and fairly popular officer, re- 
ceived in connection with this case an admonition with which 
he was more or less familiar, that such humorous treatment 
was to be deprecated as leading ignorant people to suppose that 
the courts of justice depended for their decisions on something 
else than legal evidence. 

I remember accompanying a distinguished officer in an in- 
spection of plague hospitals in a city which I was visiting. 
Some of these plague hospitals were supported entirely by 
private charity. The inspecting officer was walking round one 
of these private and temporary hospitals with the promoters. 
I was behind with an officer who was largely responsible for 
plague work. We passed through a ward in which we were 
shown a number of convalescents. One man attracted my 
attention from his clear eye and healthy appearance. I drew 
the attention of my companion to his condition, for I had 
not seen before a man who had so thoroughly recovered in 
apparently so short a time from the terrible effects usually 



OF ADMINISTRATION 845 

resulting from a case of plague. I happened to know the 
vernacular of this town, though it was in a different Province 
from my own. I asked the man how Ipng he had been ill ; and in 
the simplest way he told me that he had never been ill, but 
had been ordered to lie in bed quietly while the distinguished 
inspecting officer was going his round. He also said that all the 
malis* and other servants had been similarly put to bed for 
that morning. 

This is an illustration of two things against which one has 
very carefully to guard in Indian inspection. The one is 
what we know as ^^ eye wash," that is, a regular preparation 
for the inspection by arranging places and things as one 
would like the inspecting officer to find them. The other is 
the tendency that some Indians have to strengthen a really 
strong case by false evidence. There could be no doubt what- 
ever that this private and temporary hospital was meeting a 
real need and doing good work, and yet its promoters were not 
above putting healthy men into the beds of a selected con- 
valescent ward for the purpose of strengthening the impression 
of the usefulness of the institution. 

In this same institution there occurred that morning an 
incident which gave me reaUy a thrill of horror. The inspecting 
officer, who was deservedly beloved for his deep interest in 
the people, and for the courage and devotion with which 
he fought the terrible battle he had to fight against the plague, 
was passing through a ward in which some plague patients 
were lying in more or less serious condition. One of these was 
requested by the chief promoter of the institution to place a 
garland of flowers round the neck of the inspecting officer. 
The patient rose from his bed and, standing beside it, placed 
the garland as requested. The inspecting officer, with surely 
a reckless courage, bowed his head and received it. The pro- 
moters were fatalistic in their faith, and gave no consideration 
to the possible consequences of their act. 

The fatalism of Muhammadans and Hindus alike, to a very 
"* JtfW is a gardener. 



846 THE HUMOURS 

large extent militates against sound sanitary arrangemaits 
throughout the country. When I was Commissioner at Haipur, 
we had a series of lectures on Saturday evenings in the Town 
Hall on social, sanitary, educational, and moral subjects. 
The Civil Surgeon was lecturing on " sanitation/' and delivered 
a very clear and popular address which, some of us thought, 
must have made a great impression. What was our surprise 
when we found a member of the Bar, an orthodox Hindu, but 
very fairly versed in English, rising and delivering an Knglish 
speech in defence of the opposition or indifference of the people 
to sanitary measures. 

I remember that one point which he made was this, *^ The 
Civil Surgeon has spoken to us strongly of the insanitary coa- 
dition of the great tank in the middle of the city, and of 
the impurities which analysis has found in its waters. We 
could see that he even shuddered as he spoke of people 
drinking that water. Now I and my family have drunk that 
water for years and have never drunk anything else. On the 
other hand, I have no doubt that the Civil Surgeon some- 
times eats beef at his dinner. As for me, on account of the 
traditions of my people, and my hereditary views in regard 
to the cow, I cannot think of eating beef without shuddering 
in a similar way. It is all a matter of tradition and training. 
The Civil Surgeon has no more right to call upon me to give 
up the water which I have been in the habit of drinking than 
I have to call on him to give up the beef of which his religion 
allows him to partake.'' 

Somewhat different from this was the case, a very exceptional 
one indeed, of an ofiScer well up in the Service, under whom I had 
once to serve. He was a man by no means wanting in courage 
or in pluck, and he had often faced unmoved great danger in 
the jungle ; but there was one thing of which he was always 
in deadly fear, that was cholera. When there was any cholera 
visitation that required the personal attention of a Magistrate, 
he always sent out one of his subordinates. In sending me out 
on one occasion he said to me quite frankly, ^' I send you out 



OF ADMINISTRATION 847 

because I really feel absolutely unfit to go myself. I recognise 
that with reasonable precautions, which I know you will take, 
the risks of infection are minimised ; but I cannot reason 
about cholera. I can only feel." 

I had too much respect for his character to consider him a 
coward oh account of this idiosyncrasy, and I went willingly 
to my duty to save him. The fatalism of the Hindu or 
Muhammadan very often saves him from such fear ; but on 
the other hand, there is nothing more awful than the panic 
which a severe visitation of cholera sometimes brings to the 
country villages. I have seen villages completely deserted, and 
the people who were in good health living in the jungle, the 
patients being left to die, with a little water beside them, some* 
times even left within a cottage the door of which was locked. 
When a panic seizes the people, they cannot reason, they can 
only feel. 

Talking of sanitation reminds me of an amusing incident 
which I once met with in a certain town. The Sanitary Com- 
missioner had just been round inspecting, and had prepared 
a note on the sanitary conditions of the town. One copy of this 
note was in the usual way sent first of all to the Indian Deputy 
Magistrate in direct charge of local sanitation, that he might 
make any remarks or suggestions in regard to the criticisms of 
the Sanitary Conmiissioner. 

A brief paragraph in the Sanitary Commissioner's note con- 
tained the words, " I have specially noticed in this town the 
absence of any cesspool near any house in the parts of the 
town that I have been able to visit." The Deputy Magistrate 
apparently regarded it as the sole function of an inspecting 
officer to point out faults ; and as the Sanitary Commissioner 
had added no comment to this statement, the Deputy Magistrate 
wrote in the margin, " One can easily be supplied." As the 
cesspool is one of the most dangerous of insanitary conditions, 
this remark indicated a strange ignorance of the subject on 
the part of an officer more or less directly responsible for 
sanitary work. It also illustrates the fact that sanitary 



848 THE HUMOURS 

science is still a thing which we have to teach the natives of 
India. 

I remember an amusing but somewhat instructive incident 
illustrative of the simplicity and superstition of the jungle 
peoples. The Government had ordered certain selected fields 
of defined area to be sown with certain crops, so that the out- 
turn might be carefully ascertained. An officer responsible for 
these crop experiments was going round inspecting. He came 
to a field which had been selected. The crop was all on the 
ground, and a number of Grond reapers had been gathered to- 
gether to cut the crop as soon as he gave the order. 

A certain practical joker, who had much local influence, 
was present. Out of thoughtless mischief he said to the 
Gond women who had been collected to cut the crop 
when measured, "This man" (referring to the inspecting 
officer) " is a magician ; you will see that he will first of 
all take a chain in his hand, and he will himself stride 
all round the field dragging the chain after him, and when 
he has completed this he wiU turn round suddenly and 
cry, * Abhi kato I ** If he does so, do not cut ; for, if you 
do, there will be no children in your houses." The inspecting 
officer acted exactly as was anticipated ; and as soon as the two 
fatal words were uttered, the reapers fied into the jungle ; and 
the experiment was held in abeyance. This ill-timed jest 
indicates the danger that may be caused by foolish and mis- 
chievous statements made to ignorant and credulous villagers, 
a danger which can hardly be overestimated. 

In this connection there occurs to my mind a strange petition 
which was solemnly presented to me by a large number of the 
inhabitants of the Bhandara District during a great cholera 
epidemic. The cruel amusement of cock-fighting was illegal. 
This petition informed me that the great goddess, under whose 
orders cholera was sent, demanded blood. If but a little blood 
could fall to the earth, the cholera would abate : therefore they 
besought me to suspend temporarily the operation of the law. 

• ••Nowcutl- 



OF ADMINISTRATION 849 

I f ormaUy passed order that no action could be taken on this 
petition. At the same time I sent for one or two of the leading 
petitioners, and told them that if a cock-fight took place, to 
soothe the feelings of the people and put heart into them, the 
police would not interfere with it. There is no doubt that there 
are many among the ignorant and superstitious residents both of 
town and country who believe that the aboUtion of some of the 
horrid cruelties of olden days has evoked the wrath of the gods. 

I have noticed elsewhere how the Ehonds in Bastar revived 
all the formalities of human sacrifice in their attack on the 
Kultas, so as to appease the goddess of the soil. I remember 
also being present at the great observances of the Dassara fes- 
tival in the Raipur District and seeing self-immolation practised 
in a manner which greatly shocked me. Amongst other 
observances there were men who danced the whole length of 
the route of the procession with steel spits thrust through their 
protruded tongues. I was told that they did this in accordance 
with vows that they had made to the gods when asking for 
special favotu^. There can be no doubt that, though our 
legislation for the suppression of murder and of cruelty in the 
name of religion has commended itself to the intelligence of 
Indians and to the acceptance of the people generally, there are 
times of distress and panic when the people are very much 
inclined to revive them. 

On one occasion when Commissioner of Chhattisgarh I was 
travelling through certain very jungly districts, preparing the 
minds of the people for the coming of the new railway. The 
jungle people were a little disturbed at rumours of the unknown 
Power that was coming among them ; and, as I knew them 
well, I went out to soothe them and to win their confidence. 
RaUs had been lightly laid down along the track for the carriage 
of materials, and a light engine with a first-dass carriage was 
placed at my disposal. I ran down to the end of the line to 
meet the Chiefs, whom I had often met before in the course of 
my tours. I had a talk with them on the evening on which I 
arrived ; and we then retired to^rest. 



850 THE HUMOURS 

I was awakened in the night by the weird sound of jungle 
music I knew that the tribes were at worship. Next 
morning I asked the local Chief where the shrine was at 
which they had been worshipping. After some hesitation he 
told me that there was no shrine, but that his people 
had been offering a goat to my engine. He apologised for 
having disturbed me, and hoped that I would not mind 
this Uberty having been taken with the engine by these 
simple people. I foimd the engine sprinkled with blood, and 
beside it the signs of the sacrificial feast which had been 
held. These superstitious people had wished to conciliate the 
unknown Power ; and I was thankful that their ignorance 
prompted that desire, and not the smashing of the engine to 
pieces and vengeance on all connected with it, as it might have 
done. 

To return to lighter subjects, I remember an old Feudatory 
Chief who was very punctilious about all forms of ceremonial. 
When as Commissioner I entered his State, he always met me 
on the border. During the marches to his capital he asked me 
to sit with him in the howdah of his elephant and discuss the 
business of his State as we went along. I frequently accepted 
his invitation for a part at least of the march. He always placed 
me as a distinguished guest on his right hand. At the same 
time he was strongly of the opinion that neither he nor I should 
descend first from the elephant ; for whoever should first reach 
the ground and stand awaiting the other was in his view to be 
regarded as distinctly occupying the position of the inferior. 

He recognised the feudal superiority of the British Govern* 
ment, but he regarded the Commissioner rather as his guest and 
friend than as his superior. Accordingly he had always two 
ladders placed on the near side of the elephant. With some 
difficulty he scrambled to the farther away ladder leaving the 
nearer ladder to me. We descended our ladders pari passu ; 
and we paused for a moment on the last rung of the ladder, 
balancing ourselves each on the one foot, with the other ready 
to place on the ground. We stepped to the ground simul- 



OF ADMINISTRATION 861 

taneously, and thus succeeded in avoiding any question of 
precedence. 

A quaint correspondence came to my notice when I was in 
the Secretariate. An officer, able but of a somewhat peculiar 
style of humour, and holding the position of head of a de- 
partment, was once encamped within a cantonment. There 
is a rule that tents may not be pitched in certain parts of a 
cantonment without the consent of the officer commanding. 
The officer in command in this case was a brigadier-general, 
who was well known to be somewhat of a martinet. 

As he rode round with his brigade-major (as it was in 
those days) he noticed the tents, and asked the brigade- 
major whose they were, and whether his sanction had been 
received for pitching them. He replied in the negative and 
was ordered to find out whose the tents were. Galloping up 
to the tents the brigade-major foimd that the officer in 
question was absent. He reported that he was the head 
of a certain department. The general said, '^ Then tell him 
that he has no right to pitch his tents in cantonments 
without my permission, and that I cannot have this rule 
broken. He must either strike his tents or obtain my per- 
mission.'* The brigade-major carried out the order too Uterally, 
and wrote a letter in almost these very words. The head of the 
department replied as follows : — 

** My dear Sir, — ^I am in receipt of your letter of this date. 
You ought to have known that I could not be aware of the 
order requiring the General's consent to pitch my tents in the 
cantonment ; or I should have asked for it. 

** (2) As the matter now stands I shall neither ask for that 
consent nor strike my tents ; for they are abeady pitched at a 
place called Ganeshpur, seventeen miles off. 

*^ (8) I propose to bring out a new edition of a useful publica- 
tion known as the ^ Polite Letter- writer ' ; and I am indebted 
to your courtesy for a gem. 

" I am, yours faithfully, 

"A.B." 



852 THE HUMOUKS 

The general sent the correspondence to the head of the 
Government. The latter directed the civil officer to withdraw 
the third paragraph of his letter as needlessly offensive, and 
forwarded a copy of that order to the General Officer com- 
manding the cantonment, with the remark that he thought 
the brigade-major^s letter to the civil officer was scarcely 
^courteous to a man of his official position. We heard nothing 
of the matter for some time. 

After a few weeks the civil officer wrote to me, " I daresay 
you will like to know the end of the correspondence between 
the General and me, which was submitted to the Chief 
Commissioner for orders. Immediately on receipt of the 
Secretariate letter, I wrote to the brigade-major saying 
that I had received an order from the Chief Commissioner 
to withdraw the third paragraph of my letter to him ; that 
as the letter was of no importance I had kept no copy; 
that I was very anxious to carry out the orders promptly; 
and that I should therefore be much obliged to him if he would 
send me a copy of my letter that I might withdraw the third 
paragraph. I have received no reply." 

I conclude this chapter with ^i account of a very curious 
case which I had to decide early in my service. One of the 
officers of the station, who was exercising the powers of a 
civil court, had a sweeper in his employment. This sweeper 
had a quarrel with his fellow-craftsmen in Jubbulpore. It 
appeared that this class, which is generally regarded as out- 
caste altogether, has still, or had then at least, some caste 
feeling. The sweeper to whom I refer had been guilty of some 
breach of caste law, and his fellow-craftsmen turned him out of 
the caste. They managed, however, to patch up a peace, 
and they agreed to receive him back into fellowship. The 
manner in which this was to be done was, as usual, that he was 
to give a feast and they were to partake of it, so as to show 
practically that the caste barrier in his case had been removed. 

He prepared the feast, and the members of the caste came 
together. Unfortunately, however, they renewed their quarrel 



OF ADMINISTRATION 868 

before they had sat down to the feast provided ; and the guests 
refused to partake of it at all. He sued them for the cost of the 
provision he had made/ His master reported to superior 
authority his relation to the plaintiff, and recommended that 
some other judge should be appointed to hear the case. I was 
accordingly solemnly gazetted with special civil powers of a 
subordinate court, for the trial of this case of Jangi Mihtar vs. 
Bhangi Mihtar and others. It was an extraordinary experience 
to have a court full of sweepers. 

My Sharistadar (or Clerk of the Court) was a Brahman; 
so was my Court orderly. Their feelings at being brought into 
close contact for a whole day with a large number of members 
of this out-caste community were such as it is difficult for a 
European to realise. They seemed to shrivel with horror and 
try to sink through the wall or floor. Papers had to be handed 
to the Court containing statements of the parties. My Brahman 
Sharistadar would not touch them with his fingers. I doubt if 
he would have picked them up with a pair of tongs. I had to 
take them with my own hands, and then to peruse them with 
my own eyes. 

It was curious to hear these people telling, in their quaint 
way, of their controversy, of their would-be reconciliation, and 
of the manner in which that reconciliation came to nought ; 
and then it was curious to have to decide that such caste dis- 
putes were hardly for the intervention of the Government or 
the courts, and that while a man was fully justified in preparing 
a feast for his friends if he chose, he had hardly a claim at law 
for the expense of that feast if they failed to partake of it. It 
was also experience of some value to see, on the one hand, the 
terrible antipathy and aloofness of the high caste Brahman 
from these unfortimate out-castes, and, on the other hand, the 
fact that the European's want of any share in or sympathy 
with these feelings did not in any way injure his prestige with 
his Brahman fellow-workers. 



2 A 



CHAPTER XXVI 
THE LAST 

IN the course of these reminiscences I have only very occa- 
sionally referred to other Services than my own, or to any 
other matters concerning that Service than its relations 
with the people of the country. This is because my intention 
has been to deal chiefly with that which is peculiar to India 
and not with that which is easily imagined by residents in this 
country. For the same reason I have not had much to say 
of European society, or of the life of the European except where 
it comes into contact with his Indian fellow-subjects. It is not 
that I have not most pleasant memories of my relations with 
non-official Europeans or with European officers of all Services, 
but merely that these memories do not form part of those 
impressions of Indian life that I desire to convey. 

I have, of course, been much brought into contact with officers 
of the Army in India. I had some most interesting work 
with Lord Elitchener immediately after his arrival, when he 
was working out his scheme of more scientific disposal of the 
troops under his command. I was then President of the Police 
Commission ; and we had to discuss together personally how 
best to employ the police for the maintenance of the peace, 
which is surely their legitimate work, when troops were removed 
from some of the places where they had been scattered abroad 
over India. I found him, as might have been expected, a 
delightful man to work with. 

I have had to work with military officers of all ranks : rarely 
has there been anything but pleasure in so doing. But of 
all my experiences in this respect, the best was that of co- 

364 



THE LAST CHAPTER 856 

operation with them in famine work. I confess that I was sur- 
prised beyond measure to find dashing young fellows caring, 
with all a woman's tenderness and care, for the cholera- 
stricken man or the poor emaciated famine baby. I could have 
foretold with confidence the energy and courage which these 
officers displayed ; but I could not have imagined the depth 
of their tenderness and sympathy with distress. It was a fine 
experience of the peculiar gentleness which often characterises 
the brave and manly. 

With the Medical Service I was brought much into contact 
in the ordinary work of the Province. This service has much 
improved during the last forty years. When I went to India, it 
had in its ranks some splendid men, worthy in every way of the 
great traditions of the profession to which they belonged, 
men of zeal and capacity and kindUness which endeared them 
to Europeans and Indians aUke. But the Indian Medical Service, 
as a whole, is higher now than formerly in its appreciation 
of the opportunities of usefulness in India, and in the sense of 
responsibility for the discharge of its duties. I have often been 
struck with the devotion to professional study and medical 
work shown imder very trying circumstances. 

We have some civil stations in which the Civil Surgeon leads 
a lonely and weary life. In the early morning he spends hours 
in the work of the local jail, of which he is the Superintendent, 
enforcing discipline, working like a shopkeeper among the jail 
stores, dealing with the sick or the malingering, and often 
weary with the drudgery of his clerical work. He passes on to 
the Dispensary and Hospital, and gives to the poor of other 
races than his own the best of his skill and attention. And 
then, when the long round of morning work in small and some- 
times crowded rooms, or within the hot enclosures of the prison 
walls under the Indian sun, might reasonably have been pleaded 
as an excuse for rest, he has turned to reading intended to keep 
him abreast of modem science, or to research as to the causes 
and cure of tropical disease. 

I have been filled with admiration sometimes to see a man 



856 THE LAST CHAPTER 

in a remote station, with a laboratory and instruments of his 
own, working steadily, with no sympathetic colleague to en- 
courage him, doing his duty as best he could, not with eye- 
service, but from devotion to the cause of suffering humanity. 
The Civil Surgeon has his reward. Not only is there intense 
interest in his professional work ; but he wins, more fully than 
perhaps any other, the love of his fellow-men. His help comes 
when we need it most ; and we cannot forget it. 

The Forest Officer has a delightful sphere of activity. F<ff 
myself, I have enjoyed no part of life in India more than the 
life in the jungles. Nature is so rich and beautiful. The air is 
generally so cool and fresh. The people are so simple and 
primitive. I do not wonder at the love of his profession whidi 
I have seen in almost every Forest Officer I have known. I 
shall never forget the pleasure it was to have a short tour 
through his forests with Colonel Doveton, the first Conservator, 
with whom I was well acquainted. It was amusing to see his 
indignation when a tree, in the forest or out of it, was ruthlessly 
lopped, or prematurely cut down. It was the cruelty of the deed 
that galled him. The tree was to him a living thing, whose 
beauty had been marred or limbs injured by the pitiless act 
of a wicked or thoughtless person. He lived in the forests for 
months together ; he knew the trees individually, and watched 
them with kindly interest ; he knew the wild beasts, and could 
lead you to them without fail ; and, more than all, he understood 
the simple forest folk, and could get work out of them as no 
other could, for they trusted him and regarded him with re- 
spectful affection. 

The one thing that the Forest Officer generally has especially 
to guard against is the danger of not giving adequate con- 
sideration to the requirements of the neighbouring villages 
in regard to jungle produce. He seldom knows these villages 
as he knows the forests ; but the best Forest Officers do what 
they can to acquire the necessary knowledge, and the Revenue 
officer will help to keep them mindful of this part of their duty. 

It would be a strange thing if I were to forget my years of 



THE LAST CHAPTER 857 

co-operation with the Public Works Department. The Chief 
Engineer of a Province is also Secretary to the Local Govern- 
ment in that department. When I was Chief Secretary in the 
Central Plrovinces, my colleague was my old friend James 
Glass, whom I had known intimately during nearly all my 
service, a man who made his mark throughout the Province, 
and left behind him many monuments of his skill and energy, 
among which the water works in Jubbulpore hold, perhaps, 
the first place. 

I cannot even now recall without emotion the imselfish and 
unsparing devotion to duty which wrecked the health of one 
of the best officers I ever knew, Edmund Penny, whose health 
was shattered by his labours in the great Central Provinces 
famine, and who has not yet fully recovered what he freely 
sacrificed. Memories arise of many others who have left their 
permanent mark in the Provinces in which they served. 

The Public Works officers have this great advantage over 
us all, that their mark does remain. We may think we 
have done some service — ^they can point to material evidence 
of their work. If they have a defect, it is that they seem 
sometimes to forget that they are building for time and not 
for eternity ; they are sometimes too solid, too slow, and too 
expensive. It seems to me also that sometimes they are 
engaged on matters too small for them and on works which, 
though great enough, might be as well and more cheaply carried 
out by non-official agency. Where private contractors exist 
they should be utilised. 

There is one fact about the Public Works Department that 
may be mentioned as very encouraging, viz. the considerable 
number of exceptionally good men that have been produced 
by Indian Schools of Engineering. I regard it as of the utmost 
importance to utilise in such departments as Engineering, 
Medicine, and Law, as far as possible, the men who have been 
trained in Indian schools, and to make these schools so efficient 
that they will produce men with the necessary training, capacity, 
and integrity. 



858 THE LAST CHAPTER 

Non-offidal Europeans are apt to be forgotten idien talking 
of Indian work. Yet they do some of the most important 
work. They are bringing capital into the country, and 
they are engaged in developing its resources. Some ci them 
are selfish enough ; but many of them are animated by a high 
sense of duty. There is a good deal of ill spoken of the men 
**of the dispersion,*' the Europeans scattered abroad ov^ 
India, sometimes in londy places, as merchants, planters, or 
mechanics. This is, to a great extent, due to misunderstanding 
and to exaggeration. 

They certainly are not all what they ought to be ; nor do 
they all live as we should like to see Europeans live in the 
presence of the peoples of India. But even if they were not 
as good as their brethren of the same position and occupation 
at home, some allowance would have to be made f or]the differ- 
ent character of their surroundings, and for the great n^lec^ 
of them by the Churches at home, and by many of the 
servants of the Church in India. My experience is that most 
of them appreciate any kindly efforts to help them to maintain 
in India the traditions of the fatherland, by offering them 
religious ordinances and education for their children. 

Some of them also sometimes talk a good deal of ncm- 
sense about work in India in which they have taken little 
interest while there. This comes of a too natural inclination 
to talk without any knowledge about things with which one 
feels that he is expected to have some acquaintance. This 
should be discounted. It is not a very difficult thing to gauge 
the value of a witness and his capacity to speak with authority. 
As for the men themselves, I need only say, in a word, that 
some of my best friends in India were non-officials, and that 
I have always found such men willing to co-operate in any 
enterprise which they saw to be for the good of the people. 

The domiciled community, partly European, but mainly 
Eturasian, has been too much neglected in the past. One does 
not realise the importance of this community, nor the serious 
consequences of this neglect until he comes to live in a city 



THE LAST CHAPTER 869 

like Calcutta. We owe much to America for its co-operation 
in educational and missionary work in India. We owe much 
to that country also for its work among the domiciled com- 
munity. There are some earnest British clergymen and lay- 
men who have devoted themselves to such work; but the 
Methodist Episcopal Church of America has done very special 
service in this respect. Its servants have laboured hard and 
successfully. 

I am glad to find of recent years a great increase of 
the sense of responsibility for the intellectual and moral 
training of the children of this community. And I earnestly 
trust that the scheme which is now being inaugurated by 
zealous men in all the Churches, largely through the influence of 
Sir Robert Laidlaw, a wealthy and benevolent business man in 
Calcutta, will be successful throughout India. It is of the ut- 
most importance to save this community from a position 
which would make it a scandal in the country. 

What I have aimed at in these reminiscences has been to 
tx)nvey some idea to the ordinary British imagination of the 
life we live in India, and of the peoples among whom that life 
is spent. I have not aimed at giving either a scientific or 
statistical account of India and its affairs, but merely at com- 
municating in a simple way some impressions of life and 
work. 

I hope that I have made it clear that India is in not a mere 
** land of exile." It is the scene in which a man finds his life- 
work—work honourable and deli|^tful, the place where he has 
friends whom he loves and ties which it is hard to sever. Its 
peoples and its ways become very dear to him. 

At the same time, he never forgets that though his life is 
there he belongs all the time to that little Island in the far-off 
Northern Seas whose life in its great essentials he has to bring 
with him to his work. The ofllcer who goes to India must 
not forget the traditions and principles of his fatherland. He 
does not adopt the ways and customs of the peoples to whom 
he goes. In a sense he remains i^art : he is not of them. 



860 THE LAST CHAPTER 

He must maintain touch with the Home-land, He takes the 
best books, magazines, and papers that he can afford to get, so 
as not to fall out of sympathy with its life and thought. To this 
end he keeps up constant correspondence with his friends at 
home ; and the arrival of the English mail, though a weekly 
event, never loses interest. 

The man who sinks to the level of the East is not the man 
for India, where he is expected to help to benefit and elevate 
its peoples. He ought to aim at fellowship with the people of 
his own race, and to join with them in every effort to make 
life brighter and better. Though he may be months among the 
people of the country without seeing a fellow-coimtrymaa or 
talking a word of English, and though he enjoys such life among 
them, he is glad to get back among his own people, every now 
and again at least, to talk of the things, the scenes, and the 
friends that they have in common. He never can forget — he 
never ought to forget — ^his fatherland. 

Yet he must come among the people without haughtiness or 
aloofness. He will soon learn, if he cares to know them, that 
they are not to be despised, that they are worthy of his respect 
and of his most kindly feeling. He must remember that he is 
there in their interest, that he has been entrusted, by their 
Sovereign and his, with work to be done for them, that if he 
can win their trust and affection he has done the highest part 
of that work. He will, as far as possible, live among them, and 
he will find the deepest pleasure in that life. He may be 
fortunate enough in time to find true friends among them ; and 
he will then know their worth — ^not till then. 

There are men — ^fortunately very few — ^who never care for 
India. They are constantly looking out for leave and im- 
patiently counting the years that must elapse before their 
service is completed. We have no use for such men. It is well 
to keep in touch with the life and thought of the mother-country, 
and men wisely take leave for this purpose, as well as to pre- 
serve or restore health. But the man who despises his life- 
work, especially when it is work such as the officer of Govern- 



THE LAST CHAPTER 861 

ment has to do in India, is a fool and an unworthy servant 
of the Crown. 

He is a fool, for he loses the happiness of his life : he is 
unworthy, for he crushes out of his heart the true motive 
for earnest and efficient work. The Government wants officers 
of whom the people may say, as they said of the old Roman 
centurion, *'He loveth our nation:" men whose work is a 
delight to them. I can hardly believe that any man that 
gives himself with a broad mind and kindly heart to his work 
in India, will fail to merit that description, whatever men may 
say of him, and however they may misrepresent him. And I 
believe that we shall always have such men ; for the people win 
affection, and the work is fascinating. 

I once had the pleasure of receiving in India a friend from 
Scotland, who was a great authority on agriculture. I was on 
tour in the Nerbudda Division of the Central Provinces. He 
joined my camp for several days. He rode the march every 
morning either with me or with one of my staff, who was inter- 
preter for me. He talked to the people about their agricultural 
methods, and he watched with the greatest interest all our work 
among them. One day he said to me, *^ Is it true that you 
were thinking of retiring from the service ? " I replied that, a 
year or two before, my health had rather broken down, and I 
did think then of retiring. He said, with strong feeling, *' Man, 
if I were in your position, I would never retire ; you are a 
king t '' Tes, one*s power and influence are great, and the 
work is worth doing. 

I went to India in 1871 with a good deal of British enthusiasm 
for the work which lay before me; but I confess that my 
feelings of love to the country and its peoples, and my pride 
and pleasure in my work, have intensified year by year. I 
know more of the country probably than most men. I have 
not only served for many years in one Province, and for five 
years in another ; but I have also visited every Province in 
India twice, on Government Commissions, and seen almost 
every important Native State. 



862 THE LAST CHAPTER 

I cannot tell of the depth of interest with which I have 
studied the manners and customs of the people, the various 
forms of their faith and practice, and the characteristics 
of their life in town and country. I have had experiences 
which are practically impossible for any man outside of 
India: experiences sometimes of difficulty, sometimes of 
anxiety, and even distress, but almost always experiences sudi 
as ought to tend to elevate the mind, to strengthen the 
character, and to enlarge the belief in human nature. I have 
found among the people of India multitudes who have didted 
my kindliest feelings, and who have shown the kindliest feeling 
towards myself, and I have found not a few whom I value as 
among the worthiest of my friends. 

I am very proud of India. My imagination is enthralled by 
her lofty mountains, her mighty rivers, her historic dties, and 
her sacred groves. But I love still more the virgin forests and 
the primitive villages where my happiest days have been 
spent. I am proud of her possibilities and of the great opp(M^ 
tunities she gives of work and influence. I am proud of her 
people, whose patience in suffering and response to kindness 
have won my love : exdtable they sometimes are, and too 
easily misled ; but their instinct is the instinct of loyiUty, and 
their gratitude is far more than for favours to come. 

Not long after our arrival in Calcutta, my wife and I went to 
see the place where lies my old friend and chief. Sir John Wood- 
bum ; and my wife took with her some flowers to lay on his 
grave. We found the grave covered with beautiful flowers. I 
inquired who had placed them there. It was an Indian gentle- 
man who still came, week after week, though it was more than 
a year since that kind heart had ceased to beat and that willing 
hand was powerless to help, to show his gratitude to one who 
had been his friend. This incident read me a lesson worth the 
learning. Courtesy, justice, and freedom from caprice are 
among the qualities that win the love and gratitude of our 
Indian fellow-subjects. 

He is a poor man who comes to India without a deep feeling 



THE LAST CHAPTER 868 

of pride in the mother-country, and of loyalty to the King 
that reigns there ; and there is no more worthy object of ambi- 
tion for a man, who is animated by such sentiments than to 
maintain the high traditions of British rule in all his dealings 
with the people of India. If the life is worthy, it is also 
unspeakably pleasurable. To call it up before one's memory is 
itself a delight ; and I can hardly tear myself away from 
these reminiscences, so interesting to me, whatever they may 
be to others. 

'* Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes, 
And fondly broods with miser care ! 
Time but the impression deeper makes. 
As streams their channels deeper wear." 



THE END 



INDEX 



Addition«l Commiirionen, 50 

AdminUtrative or SxeontiTe fonotiona, 64 

Age of entnnce, 9 

Agricaltoxml Banks, 200 

jkgricaltaxml oommanitiM and debt, 179 

Agricalturml Department^ 198 

Agricnltnre, 180 

AgrioulturiBf ■ Loan Act, tho, 199 

Aiyaram Seth, 117 

^ahabad, 1 

Amarkantak Hill, 148 

Ameer of Afghanistan, 827 

•* Amrita Bazar Patrika," the, 291 

Anant UU 197 

Anant Singh, 266 

Anarchical conspiracies, 297 

Arrow, Major, 266 

Assam, the proTinoe of, 818 

Asssssination of an officer, 41 

Assessments, nnwise, 188 

'* Asia and Europe," M. Townsend's, 66 

Asntosh Mokeiji, the Hon. Mr. Justice, 

44, 268 
Attempt on my life, the, 66, 299 
Anlad Hossain, 4 



«'Babu,"160 

Badma^eB, 111 

Baigas, the, 166 n. 

Balaghat, 106 

Balwaspvu*, Khond meeting at, 181 

** Bands Mataram," the, 804 

Baniyas, 118 

Bapa Rao Dada, 126 

Bapa Rao Patwardhan, 87, 41 

Bar "Libraries,*' the, 67 

Barber, Mr., 299 

Bardwan, Mahanjadhinja of, 63, 66, 

299 
Bardwan, Maharani of, 107 
Basan, 168 

Bastar State, the, 167 
Bengal, education in, 292 
Bengal, Incident at a station in, 81 
Bengal, Partition of, 212 
Beraris, seditious, 290 
Bernard, Sir Charles, 18, 72 
Berry, Mr. F., 180, 189 
Bhadrdlog, the, 66, 278 
Bhaadara, 60 
Bhargo Bao*s mistake, 40 



Bhonala Dynasty, the, 60 

Bible, the, 278 

Biddulph, Oapt, 121 

Bipin Krishna Boss, Sir, 62 

Bison, 176 

Blenkinsop, Mr., 113 

Bombay, unrest in, 290 

Boundary dispute. A, 140 

Boycott moTsment in Bengal, 116, 380 

Brahamoism, 268 

Brahmans and Christianity, 276 

Brahmans as the depositaries of laamiu, 

248 
Brahmo Somij, the, 267 
Bribeiy and corruption, 40 
Brigamer-Qeneral and the civil officer, 

861 
Brooke, Col. flaurin, 4 
Buck, Sir K., 199 
Budhwari Bazar, the, 118 
Builalo, 172 
Burton, Professor, 298 

Calcutta, India not to be judged finom, 

66 
Camduff, Mr., 216 
Caste, offices filled by men of one, 42 
■* Central Provinces,'^ the, 126 
Central ProYinoee, early days of the, 87 
Cesspool, story of a, 847 
Chapman, Mr., 178 
Chaprasis, 227 n 

Chatteijee, Mr., generosity of, 22 
Chhattisgarh Diruion, the 126 
ChhattiBgarh, Feudatory States of; 139 
Chhatti^h, the Ri^ahs of the States of, 

186 
Chisholm, Mr. J. W., 8, 72, 126 
Chitnayis, Madho Rao, 60, 104, 114 
ChitnaTis, Shankar Madho, 62 
Chittagong, 826 
Cholera, 847 
Christianity, 274 
Chuni LaU, 117 
Civil cases, the burden of, 49 
Civil courts, distrust of, 68 
Civil surgeon, the, 866 
Civil surgeon, the, and the mongrel dog, 

207 
Cleveland, Mr., 128 
Climate, the effect of, 186 



864 



INDEX 



865 



Oommisnoni, the work of, 81 
CompetitiTe ex*miiiAtioD8, 9 
'* Conciliation Board,*' the, 197 
Oonferenoee, the Talne of monthly " week- 

end," 84 
OonfeMions, falae, 288 
Co-operative Credit Sooietiee Act, the, 

200 
Cooper, Bev. J., 78, 261 
Copeland, the late ProL, 184 
Coorege and devotion among the natives, 

41 
Oonrteey, the value of, 6, 81 
Corrapt officerfl* 40 
Corroption and oppression amongst the 

native police, 285 
Cow-kiUing riots, 116 
Cozon, Mr., 117 
Craddook, Mr., 91, 199 
Criminal oases, 49 
Criminal courts, 66 
Crosthwaite, Sir C, 72 
Curzon, Lord, 44 

Dalhousie, Lord, 60, 246 
Darbhann, the Mahangah of, 228 
Dsssara festival in the Raipur District, 

849 
De Orey, Earl, 218 
Debt 186 

"Debt CondlUtion,'* 196 
Debtor and creditor, 191 
Deportation of offenders, 807 
Deputy Commissioners, 82 
District Magistrate, The, 86, 58 
District OiBcer, the prestige of the, 59 
Diversity of peoples in India, 77 
Douglas, Bev. J., 262 
Duck, novel method of capturing, 164 
Dugari Mighi, the Gond tracker, 178 

Bducated classes, unrest of the, 182 
Bdncated proportion of the people of 

Education, 240; among the Brahmans, 
246; in Bengal, 44; in the Central 
Provinces, 48 ; of Indian women, the, 
104 

Elephant, narrow escape from a mad, 

Elephants, hunting wild, 150 
SU&tt, Sir Charles, 18 
English in the Law Courts, 6 
English Law in the Indian Courts, 216 
En^e, sacrifice to an, 860 
Epidemics, 28 

Erroneous ideas about India, 78 
Executive and iudicial fimctions, 11 ; 
separation of the, 55 

False evidence and false cases, 51 
False witnesses, 209 

Famine in the Central Provinces, 184 ; in 
the Jubbulpore division, 111 



Famines, 90 

Fanatics, 298 

Female eiducation, 108 

Feudatory States, 126 ; chiefs, 128 

" Field of the Cloth of Gold," the, 142 

Forest Officer, the, 866 

Forsyth's << Highlands of Central India," 

163 ^ 

Franchise, low qualifications for the, 

286 
Fryer, Capt, and the Gonds, 178 
Fuller, Sir B., 198 

Ganga Singh, 197 

Ginueston, Mr., 4 

Girls' schools, 108 

Glass, James, 867 

Gokhale, Mr., 204 

<*Go1a"atPatna, the, 90 

Gonds, the, an attractive people, 178 

Gopinath Guru, 186, 168 

Gourlajr, Mr. W., 202 

Grain riots. 111 

Graves, Migor, 121 

Halliday, Mr., 98 

Harriott, Mr., 199 

Health, the preservation of, 7 

Hislop, Mr., 260 

Hostels for students, 264 

Humours of administration, the, 889 

Ignorance of manners and customs, danger 

of, 86 
Ilbert's *' Government of India," 216 
Imperial Durbar at Delhi, 129 
India a land of agriculturists, 66 ; not a 

country of great cities, 84 
Indian children, 97; Christians, 268; 

ladies, 94, 108; loyal officers, 88; 

peoples, 76 ; Village System, 200 
Indian Explosive Substances Act, 810 
Indian nation, there is no, 84 
« Indian Nation," the, 802 
Indian Police Commission, the, 221 
Indians and religious observance, 88 
Intellectual unrest, 295 
Interest, high rate of, 190 
Ishwar Gaontiya, murder of, 181 
Islamia College at Lahore, the Ameer at, 

886 
Itwari Bazar, the, 112 

Jaganath, the temple of, 183 n. 
Jatoa, 158 
Jeffisoat, Lieut,, 118 
Joint Stock Banks, 201 
Jones, Mr. W. B., 19, 61 
Jubbulpore, my start at, 8 
Judges, Divisional and Sessions, 50 
Judicial and Executive functions, 47 
Judicial and Executive appointments of 

the Provincial Service, 48 
Juma Darwaxa, the, 118 



866 



INDEX 



JuDgle life, 164 

Jangle people, simplicity and superstition 

of the, 848 
Jostioes of the Peace, 54 

Kalahandi, Ri^a of, 129 

Kalamfl»on, murder of Kultas at, 181 

Ealtaki, satti in the village of, 100 

Kamptee, 122 

Katol, riots in, 124 

Khan Bahadur Aulad Hussain, 41, 78 

Ehapa, riots in, 124 

Khariar, 172 

Khonds, the, 130; rising in Ealahandi, 

126 
Kitchener, Lord, 827 
Kirk Session, at Nagpur, 265 
Knowledge and religion, 275 
Koshtis or weavers, 118 
Kotwali, the, 119 
Kotwar, 262 n, 
Kudri, 158 
Kultas, the, 180 
Kunbis, the, 194, n, 

LafTa Ghat, the, 161 

Laidlaw, SirB., 859 

Land Banks, 200 

Lathiyals, 116 

Law and fact, 193 

Law of Limitation, 198 

Law Courts, English in the, 6 ; training 

in the, 8 
Legal Profession, jealousy in the, 52 
Lawyers, 58 

Liberality a characteristic, 188 
" Literates," 107, 298 
Local inquiries, 205 
Local Seif-Govemment Scheme, 285 
" London tak,'' 181 
Loyalty of the people of the interior, 92 ; 

of the Native Ghiefis, 147; of the 

people, 291 
Lukis, Surgeon-Gen., 7 
Lyall, Sir Alfred, 18 
Lytton, Lord, 61 

Macdonnell, Lord, 199 

Mackay, Aberigh, and his conundrum, 

75 
Mackenzie, Sir A., 145 
Madho Rao ChitnaviB, 60 
Madras, enlightenment in, 290 
Maharsjadhirsja Bahadur Bijay Chand 

Mahtab, the, 63 ; and the Attempt on 

my Life, 65, 299 
Maharsjah of Darbhanga, the, 58 
Maharajah Sir Prodyot Tagore, the, 59 
Maharajah of Sirgiga, the, 151 
Maharani Adhirani of Bardwan, the, 

107 
Malguzar, 179 n. 
Man-eating tiger, killing a, 167 
Man-eaters, 171 



Manufactures, 380 

Matin Zamindari, the, 151 

Medical College Hospital at OalooUa, the 

Ameer at, 834 
Medical Service, the, 856 
Meiklejohn, Mr., 158 
Memorial, a misleading, 54 
Methodist Episcopal Church of America, 

859 
"Military Deputy Gommiasioner,'' the, 

15 
Military officers, oo-operation of, 854; 

the work of, in the Erovinoes, 18 
Minto, Lord, 107 
Miscarriage of justice, frequent form c^ 

52 
Missionary colleges, 262 
Missionaries, the help they ean give, 180, 

268 
Missionaries and the Zenana, 108 
Mitchell, Mr., 117 
Money-lenders, 185 
Morley, Lord, 287 
Morris, Sir John, 13, 17, 32, 72 
Mother in the Indisii household, the, 

104 
Mother-in-law in the Indian houiehold, 

the, 104 
"Mouse," 160 

Muhammad Nasir Khan, Brigadier, S28 
Muhammadans, education among the, 

245 
MulaiaU8,89 
Munsi/, the, 67 
Musamat Sari, story of, 188 
Murders and daooitiea, 810 

Nagpur, 2, 104, 111 ; panic in, 125 

Nsgpur Hislop College, the, 48 

Nagpur, the Riyah o^ 60 

Naib Tahsildars, 49 

" National Congress," the, 50 

" National opinion" and the Indian chief, 

the, 83 
Native Chiefs, loyalty of the, 147 
Natives, courage and devotion among the, 

41 
Navadwip, Sanskrit learning at, 244 
Nedham, Mr. W. A., 4, 118 
Neill, Mr. J. W., 72 
Neill, Mr. Lindsay, his consideration, 

19 
Nicholson, Sir F., 200 
Nominated members, 286 
Non-officials, 358 
" Non-regulation Province," a, 72 

Officers, the training of young, 25, 26 
Offices and caste, 42 
Oriental, reserve of the, 68 

Paldi, riots in, 122 
Palki, or palanquin, a, 98 
" Panchayat^" the, 189 n. 



INDEX 



867 



Panther, capture of a, 166 

PtHTda^ the, 94 

Parda nathin^ interTiewing a, 00 

** Partition of Bengal," The, 812 

Patel, 262 ik 

Patna, the SUte of, 186 

Penny, Xdmnnd, 857 

Personal influence of €k>Temment officers, 

86 
Petiapali, 172 
Pigeona^ Baiga method of capturing, 

165 
Pilgrima, 188 
Pioneer miasionarieey influence of the, 

246 
Plague hospitals, 844 
PoUoe, the, 124, 212, 220, 228 
Political crime, 800 
Poona, discontent in, 200 
Precedence, a question of, 850 
Presidency of Bombay, officers of the, 

87 
Presidency towns and the country, differ- 
ence between the people of, 78 
Press, seditious section of the, 200 ; defect 

in the Criminal Law with regard to 

the, 808 
PrimaiT education, 241 
Ph>bationer8, nsglect of, 8 ; the training 

of, 10 
ProprietoiB of land, 106 
Public Works Department, the, 857 

Raiffeiaen System, the, 200 

Rai Oopinath Guru Bahadur, 185, 168 

Railwavs. 127 

Rairahkolpeople, the, 140 

R^ah of Kalahandi, the, 120 

BiSah Bafthoji Bhonsla, 126 

Rajah, reforming an obstinate, 145 

B^ahs, powers of the, 188 

RsJeigh, Sir T., 268 

Ram Bhau, 107 

Rambhsji Rao, 87, 41 

Ramtek, riots in, 128 

Ranchi College Scheme, 254 

Rao Bahadur, 41, 126 

Rao Bahadur Bapurao Dada, 125 

RatUn Singh, 229 

Record of rights, 214 

Reform, 802 

Religious training, 267 

Relicious instruction in Qoyemment 

schools, 242 
Religicyus obsenrance, Indians' regard for, 

88 
Ripon, Lord, 286 
Ryots, 180 
Ryotwari System, the, 180 

Salaries of Indian officers, 48 
Sambalpur, 818 
Sandenon, Mr., 151 



Saniohari Bazar, fracas in the, 112 

Sanitation, yiews of, 846 

Sanitary science, advance of, 23 

Sanskrit learning at Navadwip, 244 

SaUi^ 100 

Schools, Primary and Secondary, 240, 204 

Scottish Missionaries, 44 

Scully, Mr. Vincent, 217 

Secondary education, 242 

Secretary of State, the, 86 

Seditious meetings, legislation against, 

808 
Sentence of death, a, 182 
Separation of the Executive and Judicial 

functions, 55 
Seth Agyaram, 117 
Settlement work, 69 
Shukrwari Bazar, disturbance in the, 

116 
Simla, conference at, 228 
Sinha, the Hon. Mr., 297 
Sirdar, 207 n. 

Sirdar Bahadur Rattan Singh, 220 
Sirgcga, Maharaja of, 151 
Sitabaldi Fort, the, 117 
Sonpur people, the, 140 
Staff Corps, the, 18 
Stockade for wild elephants, 157 
"Stops," 171 
Stuart, Mr., 116 
Summary Justice Act, 810 
Sunderbans, scheme to reclaim the, 281 
Superintendents, European, 225 
Suspicion, the dangers of, 17 
"Swadeshi," 280 n. 
Sweeper and the feast, 852 

Tahsildar, 48, 104 n. 

"Takavi" loans, 195 

Tagore, Sir Prodyot, 59 

Technical and industrial education, 281 

Temple, Sir Richard, 18, 127, 260 

Thrift and extravagance, 187 

Tigers, 164 ; a trap for, 167 

Tigrees, a man-eating, 168 

Timothy, Rev. Mr., 266 

Tobacco, the use of, in epidemics, 28 

JVm^, a, 104 

Touring the country, delights of, 80 

Town and country life, 84 

Townsend, Mr. Meredith, 65 

Training, early, 8 

Traps for wild animals, 166 

Travel in India, 8 

Tree-marking disturbances in Behar, 116 

Umrer, riots in, 124 

"Unconscious bias," blunders arising 

from, 52 
Universities' Act, the, 268 
University education, 
Unrest, its causes, 277 
Unrest and the influence of women, 110 



868 INDEX 



Urija oonntryp the, 818 
Uianr, the, 198 
UBoryUwe, 101 

raka Raj, the danger of the, 67 
VernecuUn, the, 8 
VeniMaler in the Lew Gonrte, 7 
Viceroy in Oonneil, the, 86 
Village AoooontantB, 181 
Village or rural life, 86 
Village folk, the, 188 
Villagee, honesty in the, 801 
Violence on the part of offioiah ihonld be 
reprteaed, 88 

Walea, the Prinoe and Prinoeaaof, 92 



Ward, Oolonel H., 72, 181 

" Week enda," as opportnnitiM ofmontUy 

conferenoe, 84 
Whitton, BoT. David, 281 
Wild animala, trapafor, 166 
Wilaon, Lady, 7 
Women, the ednoation of, 107 
Wood, Sir 0., 216 
Woodbum, Sir J., 226, 862 
WyUie, Sir 0., 826 

"Tngantar" Newapaper, the, 804 

Zamindar, 128, 160, 179 n. 
Zenana, the, 94 
"Zid," on showing, 26 



WILUAM UtElTDON AlTD SOW, LTB. 
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