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Copyright Ewing Galloway 




Author of Marks of a World Christian, 
Devolution in Mission Administration, 
Schools with a Message in India, etc. 


Published jointly by a^^^C^-Zi:,,.-.^ 

Missionary Education Movement of the 

United States and Canada , _^ 

New York .^^^^ ^t^j^^.^-^-.u-i^-^Sii*^ *7T^ 

and ^i^:2iZ, Z'— ^^^•^-''^ 

The Central Committee on the UnitSi^5toy op 
Foreign Missions CL^^,,X<Xi.^etAy 
West Medford, Mass. 

The publishers of this book are indebted to 


valuable material on the location of mission 
stations as indicated on the map in the front 
of the book. Records were made available by 
the Committee on Social and Religious 
Surveys, which is custodian of all survey- 
records formerly assembled by the Inter- 
CHURCH World Movement. 

Copyright, 1922, by 

The Central Committee on the United Study of 

Foreign Missions 


Missionary Education Movement of the 

United States and Canada 


To Elizabeth Cole Fleming 



Preface vii 

Chapter One: India's Heritage 


I. Nature, architecture, and art 1 

II. Music and story 3 

III. Literature 6 

IV. Power of contemplation and philosophic 

temperament 6 

V. Capacity for renunciation and detachment 7 

VI. India's religious consciousness 10 

VII. The national spirit 15 

VIII. The appreciative attitude 19 

IX. The significance of India's heritage 24 

Prayer 29 

Chapter Two: Handicaps to Progress 

I. India's struggle with disease 31 

II. Health problems and obstacles 37 

III. Progress in sanitation 40 

IV. India's burden of poverty 41 

V. Causes of poverty 43 

VI. Possibilities of economic improvement 45 

VII. The conditions of capital and labor 49 

VIII. The seriousness of India's economic need .... 51 

IX. Handicaps in education 53 

X. An outgrown social system 56 

XL Inadequate recognition of women's rights ... 61 

XII. The fundamental handicap — Hinduism 66 

Prayer 73 

Chapter Three: Striving and Aspiration 

I. Ram Mohan Roy and theistic reforming 

societies 74 

II. The Arya Samaj 78 

III. Conferences and publications urging reform 81 

IV. The Servants of India Society 84 

V. The modern woman's movement in India 86 

VI. The romance of the Indo-British relationship 92 

VII. A RESUME OP Indian politics 97 

VIII. The World War and the new British policy 103 

IX. The Gandhi movement 105 

X. Resulting problems of mission attitude and 

policy 108 

Prayer 115 

Chapter Four: Cooperation of the Christian West 


II. Helping through the mind 120 

III. Enabling India to live 130 

IV. Medical missions 136 

V. Social results and opportunities 142 

VI. Aim and method in missions 144 

VII. The kind of missionary needed 150 

Prayer 157 

Chapter Five: The Distinctive Opportunity in India 
I. An exploited sixth 158 


III. Evidence of fruitage 167 

IV. Times of testing 172 

V. Stubborn difficulties 174 

VI. Do we merit the name — co-worker? 179 

Prayer 183 

Chapter Six: The Indian Church 

I. The center of gravity in our thought 184 

II. The trend toward an indigenous Church: 

N. V. TiLAK 185 

III. Sadhu Sundar Singh 190 

IV. Christians and patriotism 192 

V. The burden of Western denominationalism . . 195 

VI. Some other problems of the Indlan Church . . 198 

VII. Indian leadership 205 

VIII. Signs of expansive life 214 

IX. Potential India 217 

Prayer 221 

Bibliography 222 

Index 226 



One of India's Tree-lined Roads Frontispiece 

The Jessamine Tower 20 

A Science Class 21 

Waiting 60 

A Shrine of the Snake God 61 

India's Industrialization 76 

A Motor Car Clinic 77 

An Elementary Mission School 124 

Training Christian Workers 125 

Laying Foundations 140 

"Forward" 141 

Church in Peshawar 180 

Veteran Indian Pastors 181 

Miss Cornelia Sorabji 212 

The Bishop of Dornakal 213 


We are happy to announce that this study book is 
published jointly by the Central Committee on the 
United Study of Foreign Missions and the Mis- 
sionary Education Movement. 

Many have known the author, Rev. Daniel 
Johnson Fleming, Ph.D., through his book Marks of 
a World Christian, and will recognize in Building 
with India the same spiritual power that breathed 
through former series of studies so widely used 
by students of missions. 

Dr. Fleming's twelve years of missionary ser- 
vice in India as professor in Forman Christian Col- 
lege, Lahore, and his recent visit to the country as 
Secretary of The Commission on Village Education 
in India, sent out by the missionary boards of Brit- 
ain and America, qualify him to write with au- 
thority on India — ^that wonderful land which is 
moving forward so rapidly into larger and more 
intimate relations with the world of our day. 

Central Committee on the United Study 
of Foreign Missions 

Missionary Education Movement of the 
United States and Canada 


It would be possible for us to approach the study 
of India as a strange, elusive, romantic land, and 
to deepen the feeling of distance by calling Indi- 
ans the most Oriental of all Eastern peoples. Or we 
might think of them as our worthy relatives, recall- 
ing the way in which the ancestry of many there and 
here go back to a common Aryan stock. It is inter- 
esting to be reminded that it was in a great adven- 
ture of finding another route to the fabled riches of 
India that Columbus discovered America. It might 
make India seem closer to note the number of words 
that she has given to us^ and to learn that our so- 
called Arabic notation, the production of which was 
a most important achievement for the race, may 
more properly be called the Babylonic-Hindu nota- 

It will be more profitable, however, to stimulate 
our imagination until we habitually see all other 
peoples as part of our common humanity, inevitably 
linked with us in the task placed before the human 
race on this planet. The very title of this book is 
intended to suggest God's constructive cooperative 
enterprise — "for we are laborers together with God 

ye are God's building." We shall be studying 

India ; but in the background of our thought, let us 
try to keep the conception of a better world wrought 
out by the cooperation of men of different races as 
empowered by God. 

^Bungalow, coolie, punch, cashmere, calico, madras, khaki, 
almirah, catechu, deva, ghee, gambier, lac, nabob, gharry, etc. 


What more stimulating conception can we have 
than that of the Kingdom — a society of ever-devel- 
oping, creative, cooperating personalities. Our 
vision is of individuals, changed and unified through 
thoroughgoing commitment to Jesus Christ and 
manifesting through Him, both singly and together, 
health, joy, power, wisdom, and love. Our vision is 
of peoples who have entered into their birthright as 
children of God, some working in the world of physi- 
cal things and some in the realm of ideas and ideals ; 
some by means of science and others with spiritual 
gifts; but all in conscious fellowship under a 
cooperating, purposing, and eternally loving Father. 

In this volume, therefore, let us think of India as 
a potential, and in part as an actual, co-partner in 
the world-task. There are six simple questions we 
would wish to ask about any other people with 
whom eventually we are to enter into Christian co- 
operation. (1) What capacities, what attainments, 
what helpful heritage do they bring to the partner- 
ship? (2) What are the things which are tempo- 
rarily keeping them from their best — ^their handi- 
caps, their needs? (3) What are they striving for, 
what are their aspirations, in what constructive and 
helpful ways are they working for themselves and 
for others? (4) What has the Church's great enter- 
prise known as missions done and what can it still 
do in cooperation with this other people to build up 
a better land? (5) What movements or conditions 
among them are of outstanding significance to the 
Kingdom? (6) What is the extent to which the 
Christian spirit and force have become organized 
and naturalized in the land? For, revolutionary as 


it has been for missionary thinking both at home 
and abroad, forward-looking Christian thought is 
now for the most part whole-heartedly accepting the 
central importance of the native Church. These, 
then, are the questions which the six chapters of 
this book attempt to answer in regard to India. 

D. J. F. 

New York City 
1922 . 


India's Heritage 

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things 
are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatso- 
ever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be 
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on 
these things. 


Those who know India and have spent years in 
close friendship with her people delight to witness 
to certain characteristics of land and folk which de- 
serve high appreciation. 

The land itself has elements of great charm. 
There are the magnificent Himalayas — abode of 
eternal snows. Live for a day in Darjeeling with 
the glory of the peaks of Kinchenjanga before you, 
and your conception of sublimity will have forever 
found its concrete expression. Spend a summer in 
the Vale of Kashmir, and in memory it will tower 
above every Western resort. Walk forty miles into 
the Himalayas beyond Simla to the forest road of 
Baghi and let the charm of its mountain ferns and 
trees and torrents sink in upon you. Take the 
back-water route along the coast of Malabar where, 
as you are poled along through over-shadowing 
palms, you can hear the surf of the ocean less than a 
mile away. Motor along the British roadways 
densely overarched with India's brilliantly flowering 
trees. Look across the green fields of North India 


2 Building with India 

on a cool December morning. The oxen are busy at 
the creaking Persian wheels, causing streams of 
water to flow along countless channels on their life- 
giving way. The song of men at labor can be heard, 
and the graceful poise of the women bearing aloft 
their water-pots catches the eye at a distance. Live 
in the open on far-stretching plains, beneath 
clear skies, in an environment of simple people who 
give you their warm affection, with work that you 
know is worth while and for lasting good, then you 
will forget the monotony and wearisomeness and 
languor of the hot weather and the irritations and 
long separations that are inevitable for a Westerner 
in India. 
^^ Drop into a well-stocked library and give yourself 
the pleasure of looking into books on Indian archi- 
tecture. You will find that Hindu India has its three 
distinct styles of temple structure. There will be 
illustrations, also, of the great Muhammadan build- 
ings. You will see pictures of the lace-like marble 
screen-work in the fort at Delhi, and of the ex- 
quisite marble buildings inlaid with precious stones 
that make the eleven mile drive from Delhi to the 
Kutb Minar one of the notable roadways of the 
world. At Bijapur is a Moghul tomb which dates 
back to the seventh century, with a dome as large as 
that of the Pantheon at Rome. Experts say that 
it is artistically one of the most beautiful forms of 
roof yet invented, and it is constructed entirely 
on Indian principles unknown at that time in 
Europe. From the standpoint of one interested in 
architectural creativeness, India has a wealth of 
tombs and temples and mosques. If she had no 

India's Heritage 3 

other basis of distinction, travelers would refuse to 
pass her by. 

A study of India's handicrafts opens up a fairy 
world of beauty. In the seventeenth century India 
was the world's chief center for the finer textiles, 
and contemporaneous writers described her cottons 
and linens as diaphanous mist dyed with the rain- 
bow. Chiseled ivory, miniature painting, wood carv- 
ing, beautiful forms in metals with inlaid designs 
reveal a skill that has been cultivated throughout 
the years. In the best shops one can see carpets and 
embroideries of exquisite pattern and gorgeous 
coloring, curtains, shawls, and muslins worthy of 
a land that for centuries led the world in weaving. 
Each large area has a standardization in dress that 
is worthy of commendation, and the women have 
worked out ways of draping themselves that are very 
becoming and often truly beautiful, combining sim- 
plicity and economy to a remarkable degree. Many 
of the high-caste women do exquisite embroidery 
and applique work and take a pride in showing bril- 
liant and dexterous handiwork in gold and silver 
thread. An appreciation of India's art, like the 
knowledge of her language, is one means of gaining 
insight into her way of seeing and thinking. Many 
of our homes contain treasured brass or wood or 
rug — silent witnesses to India's contribution to the 
beauty of the world. 


In the West we usually regard literacy as an es- 
sential of culture. It is a surprise, therefore, to one 
who has heard about the ninety-four per cent in In- 


4 Building with India 

dia who cannot read and write, to find that often an 
illiterate villager can repeat some of the finest de- 
votional poems and songs of India's religious teach- 
ers. Knowledge of India's classic heroes and hero- 
ines is common. How do the people acquire this 

One way by which Indians come into possession of 
their classical heritage is through music, of which 
they are passionately fond. All over India music 
has a great part in the joy of life and in the ex- 
pression of religious devotion. From dark to dawn 
they will listen with rapture to good singing. In 
this way the sweet and beautiful songs of the Gita 
Govinda have become an inseparable part of the 
heritage of Bengal, and the Tamil singer-preachers 
have made their tender lyrics of the soul's devotion 
an integral part of the religious life of the south. 
In medieval days it was lyrical evangelists who 
taught the new ideals of the bhakti^ revival to the 
common people through songs. 

Indian music presents one of the most highly de- 
veloped systems of music in the world. It is very 
: different from Western systems in its exclusion of 
harmony and in its development of the variations 
and grace of melody, in the intricate and elaborate 
time measures and the importance given to the 
drum-beat, and in the way each raga (melody-form) 
iis associated with a particular period of the day or 
night and often with a particular season of the year. 
i Some Christian missions have depended on transla- 
tions of Western hymns set to Western music. But 
Western music can never win the heart of India. 

*The devotional branch of Hinduism. 

India's Heritage 5 

Far wiser have been those who have entered the 
open door into the hearts of India through lyrical 
evangelism designed after indigenous models. 
Where this has been done, people sit listening for 
hours to the Christian message thus presented. The 
singer-preacher, aided by hand cymbals, drums, 
drone, and possibly a stringed instrument, unfolds 
some Bible story, chanting the prose exposition 
and every now and then breaking forth into one of 
the chain of songs that develops the various inci- 
dents of the theme. Already there is the distinct 
promise that India with its passion for song will 
some day give rise to a new development in hym- 
nology for the Christian Church. 

A second way in which the people of India ac- 
quire classical culture without literacy is through 
the greatly developed art of story-telling and dra- 
matic expression. The professional story-teller in 
India continues to this day to occupy a place of the 
highest importance in popular life. His visit to a 
village or a town becomes a matter of absorbing in- 
terest. For several nights in succession he holds his 
audiences spellbound long after midnight, while he 
relates the tales of their two national epics — ^the 
Mahabharata and Ramayana. The power of mem- 
ory quite surpassing anything we develop in a liter- 
ate land, the faculty of dramatic expression, and 
the elegant diction contribute to the fascination of 
these times of joy in the simple village life. More- 
over, the folk-lore known by some of the women is 
often quite astonishing. The inimitable stories of 
the Bible, when once learned, are told and retold 
through the villages for many a day. 

6 Building with India 


Stored up in Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit texts is 
another great element in India's heritage. Her litera- 
ture, extending back to 1500 B. C, is of very un- 
equal quality, but contains occasional material of 
high value and of extreme interest. Every Indian 
is proud of this classic literature. Apart from the 
four Vedas, the Brahmanas, Sutras, Upanishads, 
and the two great epics — ^the Ramayana and the 
Mahabharata — and other classic books, there is a 
wealth of vernacular poetry. This has been sung 
into the heart of the people for many generations 
like some of our own great hymns. 

A knowledge of this religious poetry of the ver- 
naculars, even more than that of the classic books, 
will give the Indian Church a hold on the people. 
This vernacular poetry is not always noble and 
fine; much of it is saturated with uncleanness; it 
is all steeped in the popular beliefs and superstitious 
practices of Hinduism. Yet here and there it rises 
to great excellence from the point of view of lan- 
guage and literature, and some portions are good 
both morally and religiously. To every note of it, 
the popular heart responds. Since in a peculiar way 
poetry is the avenue for truth in India, we are to be 
thankful for the growing hymnology of the Church. 


Another gift possessed by India is her power of 
contemplation. Her spiritual instinct makes it natu- 
ral for many of her most earnest souls to meditate 
hour after hour. Who knows but that India's devo- 
tional emphasis may be a corrective to our overstress 

India's Heritage 7 

on activity? When, eager for India's good, we at- 
tempt to stimulate her to Western standards of 
expedition through inculcating business and effi- 
ciency methods, should we not be solicitous lest 
the talent already there be lost? The two ideals of / | j 
meditation and of vigorous action should supplement \ I i 
one another. 

Akin to this genius for meditation is India's 
philosophic temperament. Throughout the centuries 
the Hindu mind has turned its attention, not to 
science or to history, but pre-eminently to a long 
continued wrestling with the most serious problems 
of the intellect and spirit. Hinduism itself has six 
orthodox systems of philosophy, and Jainism, one. 
Hinduism's greatest philosophic achievement is the 
realization of the unit y underlying diversity. For 
many centuries India was the university of Asia, as 
Greece once was that of Europe. Many are looking 
forward to the time when the Indian Church shall 
have developed a theological literature of its own, 
with the hope that the natural set or bias of the 
Eastern mind will enable it to make invaluable con- 
tributions toward the philosophical interpretation 
of our Christian faith. In thinking of world 
growth, let us be not oblivious to the present and po- 
tential reservoirs of intellectual power in the Aryan 
mind of India. India's heritage of thinking — not 
merely of thought, but of thought power — may be 
one of India's greatest gifts to the world. 


India's capacity for renunciation stands out 
among her attributes. She instinctively gives the 

8 Building with India 

tribute of her admiration to one who manifestly 
places things «f the spirit above things of the flesh, 
J and one may doubt whether a religious type that 
does not markedly show renunciation of the world 
will ever appeal to her. Queen Gandhari, feeling 
that no wife should enjoy a privilege which is denied 
her husband, goes happily blindfolded throughout 
her married life, in order to share the misfortune of 
her blind husband. Sita voluntarily sets out with 
her husband to encounter the dangers and priva- 
tions of the jungle when he is exiled for fourteen 
years from his royal home. There is scarcely a 
Hindu woman throughout the length and breadth of 
India to whom the story of the suffering Sita is 
not known and to whom her character is not a model. 
All over India you will meet wandering sadhus 
(monks or friars). Clad in simple, saffron cloths, 
and with little more than beggar's bowls, tongs, 
and skins on which to sit and meditate, they go from 
sacred place to sacred place. According to their sys- 
tem, every Brahman should leave work and family 
at fifty years of age and should spend the rest of his 
life in meditation. Take twenty minutes to read 
Kipling's story of "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat" ; 
in the Second Jungle Book, and you will never for- 
get this ingrained aspect of India's ideal. 

It should be noted that while a sadhu at his best 
embodies a very prevalent Hindu belief that the life 
of the spirit is beyond all comparison more impor- 
tant and real than that of the flesh, it is an entirely 
self-centered life. India's holy men do not seek to 
serve others. By very theory they can have no re- 
sponsibility for other men and women. Moreover, a 

India's Heritage 9 

large proportion of India's sadhus are sturdy beg- 
gars devoid of spirituality or devotion who cover up 
a life of laziness or fraud with the insignia of pre- 
sumptive saintliness. Many stupify themselves by 
the use of hemp, thus giving the appearance of in- 
difference to things of sense. It is only a small 
minority of the mendicants who have high stand- . 
ards of spiritual life, but these so take the imagina- 1 
tion of India that in her eyes the sadhu's begging ] 
bowl is more the mark of a saint than of a beggar. 

Sadhus often seen by tourists, a limited type, 
manifest their renunciation in spectacular ways — 
burying themselves up to their noses in the ground, 
lying on spikes, measuring their length prostrate on 
the ground for miles to some temple, letting water 
drip on their heads while they are parched with 
thirst, sitting between four fires with India's sun 
burning down upon them, or running spiked wires 
through their flesh. On the merely physical plane 
Indian asceticism cannot be surpassed. It is a sad 
story and we may not approve the form, but what a 
capacity for self-abnegation India presents! Down -'' 
under these ofttimes revolting sights there is not 
infrequently something noble — ^the readiness to \ 
mortify the flesh for the sake of the spirit. 

The ideal of "detachment" is an integral part of 
the spirit of India. One of her most popular scrip- 
tures says : "Thy business is with action only, never 
with its fruits ; so let not the fruit of action be thy 
motive, nor be thou to inaction attached. Perform 
action, Dhananjaya, in union with the Divine, re- 
nouncing attachments, and evenly balanced in sue- I 
cess and failure Pitiable are they who work for 

10 Building with India 

fruit. "^ This ideal of detachment from mere things 
has sunk into their subconscious selves. Surely 
there is something here to build upon by Him who 
said that His Kingdom was not of this world. En- 
riched and rightly related to the Christian ideal and 
dynamic, this deeply founded capacity for renun- 
ciation and detachment may yet furnish the West a 
corrective for our far too great commitment to ma- 
terialistic aims and for our tendency to appraise 
success by monetary standards and by the ability to 
command luxury and the facilities for self-indul- 
gence which money brings. 


India's most distinctive heritage is her religious 
consciousness. Here one comes very near the heart 
of India. It is exceedingly difficult to express the 
precise sense in which it can be said that Hindus 
have a special aptitude for spiritual things. Cer- 
tainly it does not mean what Jesus meant when He 
spoke of worshiping God "in spirit and in truth." 
But taking religion as a conscious relation between 
man and the supernatural and the acknowledgment 
of that relation in human conduct, India is unques- 
tionably religious. From before birth until after 
death, the Hindu's life is full of sacramental obser- 

Numerous shrines draw crowds of pilgrims. As 
many as two million gather at the Kumbh Mela, 
near Allahabad — almost one out of every hundred 
and sixty of the total population. In any orthodox 
Hindu home there is the daily worship of the fa- 

*The Bhagavad Gita, II : 47-49. 

India's Heritage ii 

vorite deity in the temple-room of the house or be- 
fore the niche kept for images. ^ ^ 

It is because India beyond any other nation has ^ t 
this quest for inner peace that she makes a unique • ""^^ 
appeal to us to share with her the highest that we ' 'i.^- 
know. Her whole life is the expression of an un- 
satisfied desire. Suppose you were sending a sower 
forth to sow; just what would you consider good 
soil? Would you choose to plant, if possible, some 
seed in a certain advanced Hindu school where a 
whole morning is set aside for the teaching of re- 
ligion ; to which each little girl brings her idol-bas- 
ket, with some clay, flowers, and sandal paste; 
where lights are lit, incense burned, the right atti- 
tude of meditation taught, and where the children 
are shown how to make and then how to worship 
the image? Or would you prefer hard and material- 
istic soil? I shall never forget the pathetically ear- 
nest faces of the women as they come one by one to 
the temples with their offerings of rice and water, 
bedeck their idol with flowers, and circle round it 
saying, "Ram, Ram, Sita Ram! Ram, Ram, Sita 
Ram !" Why should not their manifest capacity for 
religious devotion be related to the great Satisfier? 
To us should come the overpowering impulse to 
say to such, "Whom ye ignorantly worship, him de- 
clare I unto you." Although much of the worship of\ 
popular Hinduism is propitiation of deities by ma-: 
terial means for material ends, it is very clear toi 
those working among the people that their hearts; 
are unsatisfied by these things. The long pil-' 
grimages, the self-imposecj fastings and penances 
are signs of a restlessness of soul which, like some- 

12 Building with India 

Chandra Lela or Pandita Ramabai/ spends weary- 
years in following every known way to obtain inner 

With such an unquenched desire continuing 
I through the centuries, it is not surprising that In- 
\ dia has become the motherland of a greater number 
\ of living, organized, influential religions than any 
other country in the world. She has produced re- 
ligions rather than accepted them. Accordingly, any 
/ adequate understanding of India requires a philo- 
sophic and religious interpretation. India's search 
has been embodied mainly in three great religions — 
Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism — whose follow- 
ers comprise over one fifth of the human race. 

We believe that "there was the true light, even 
the light which lighteth every man, coming into the 
world," and that God has "suffered all the nations 
to walk in their own ways, and yet he left not him- 
self without witness." We are, therefore, not sur- 
prised to find a certain reality and rich variety of 
experience in India's religious leaders, and positive 
values in certain elements of Hindu thought, litera- 
ture, and practice which challenge respect and most 
careful constructive appraisal. We remember how 
Jesus, even in the face of Jewish pride and conceit, 
was able to see God's dealings with the widow of Za- 
rephath, Naaman the Syrian, the Roman centurion, 
and illustrated the principle in the parable of the 
good Samaritan. In like manner we should not hesi- 
tate to acknowledge good wherever it is found. The 
greater the effort to understand, the more purpose- 

*The biographies of these t^Vo Christian women give a fine 
insight into what Hinduism is. See Bibliography. 

India's Heritage 13 

ful the determination to discover what values have 
emerged in India's age-long quest for the Divine, 
the more positive becomes the assurance that the 
coming of the Christ to India, while supplanting 
many things, will, on the other hand, enrich and ful- 
fil many others. 

Gautama Buddha and Asoka embody kindliness 
and tolerance; Ramanuja and Ramanand worked 
out a distinct theism ; Kabir, Nanak, and Chaitanya 
stand out for devotion; and Tulsi Das and Tuka 
Ram for simple piety. Poems like the two follow- 
ing'^ which have come down for three hundred years 
from Tuka Ram are frequent in the bhakti (devo- 
tional) school. 

The Only Refuge 

I am a mass of sin; 

Thou art all purity; 
Yet thou must take me as I am 

And bear my load for me. 

Me Death has all consumed; 

In thee all power abides. 
All else forsaking, at thy feet 

Thy servant Tuka hides. 

He Knows Our Need 

Unwearied he bears up the universe; 

How light a burden I! 
Does not his care the frog within the stone 

With food supply? 

The bird, the creeping thing lays up no store; 

This great One knows their need. 
And if I, Tuka, cast on him my load. 

Will not his mercy heed? 

^Psalms of Maratha Saints, Nicol Macnicol, pp. 65, 74. 

14 Building with India 

That the last two elements in India's heritage are 
really operative in these days is strikingly evidenced 
in the remarkable and widespread influence which 
has been wielded by Mahatma Gandhi. It has been 
his life of renunciation and sacrifice and his deep 
religious nature that have fired India's imagination. 
In what other land has a political leader found such 
characteristics his deepest source of power? 

In granting him leadership, India was un- 
doubtedly moved by the fact that Gandhi cared 
nothing for sensual pleasures, nothing for riches, 
nothing for comfort or praise or promotion. Coming 
from a well-to-do family, he has lived on a most 
meager allowance. To the West he would seem 
ascetic, weighing less than one hundred pounds, 
living on fruits, vegetables, and rice, eating no 
sweets or spices, dressing like a poor man in home- 
spun, and traveling third class. Before taking up 
the leadership of India's demand for home rule, he 
had already endeared himself to the people by the 
heroism and prolonged self-sacrifice with which in 
South Africa he used passive resistance to win a 
battle for the rights of Indian indentured labor. In 
the course of the struggle, he and his wife and chil- 
dren were imprisoned, and he was forcibly fed. To 
the Indian, this gaunt, wan figure is a saint. He 
gave up his law practice in Bombay because of his 
religion. In Calcutta he told an audience that the 
Indian people feared guns, religious legalists, and 
government oflficials more than they feared God, and 
that unless they gave up that fear and made religion 
the foundation of life, individual and national, they 
would never be fit for self-government. 

India's Heritage 15 

He has been greatly influenced by Christianity in 
his methods and message. He has been an earnest 
student of the Bible and at one time contemplated 
becoming a Christian. But there is a background in 
conformity with Indian ideals to such an extent that 
the people spontaneously call Gandhi, "Mahatma" 
or "Great-Souled One." Mistaken as he has been in 
many things, there is suggestion for Christian 
workers in this life which embodies so much of In- 
dia's characteristic heritage and yet adds other ele- 
ments deemed helpful for India's welfare. It isl 
noteworthy that all India reveres Gandhi the} 
patriot-saint, even when all India does not follow! 
Gandhi the politician. Reference is made later to 
Gandhi's political methods. These are thoroughly 
repudiated by many who would be willing to admit 
certain elements of strength in his popularity. 


To India's heritage of other days must be added 
her present-day throbbing spirit of nationalism. 
The average Indian has a far longer time perspec- 
tive than we have. An American feels that he is 
getting pretty close to the beginning of his country's 
history as he visits certain revolutionary sites about 
Boston. But the Indian has a literature and culture 
that go back over thirty times as far. He can sweep 
back over the whole of English history and point to 
Indian monarchs and sages two thousand years be- 
fore our ancestors ceased to be cavemen and lake- 
dwellers, the source of those who Cicero says were 
the stupidest and ugliest slaves brought to Rome. 

He knows that India's culture grew up from its 

1 6 Building with India 

own roots with a character of its own, since vast 
mountain barriers and an untraveled sea almost 
wholly shut India off from the West. He knows that 
this culture had a distinct effect on China, and that 
Buddhism indirectly from India gave a great im- 
petus to Japanese civilization. Even yet a traveler 
constantly finds reminders of Indian architecture, 
sculpture, painting, and worship in Ceylon, Burma, 
Tibet, and Siam, as well as in China and Japan. In 
these days we Westerners behold our civilization 
taken up by one people after another ; but the Indian 
i cherishes the memory of a golden age when Indian 
I culture went forth as a fertilizing influence, giving 
form and color to the thought of Asia. 

The modern Indian looks at other nations, but he 
is not envious. He is thankful that he was born in 
India and has a share in her peculiar genius. He 
talks about an ancient culture that has maintained 
its progress unbroken for thirty centuries. He feels 
that his land possesses a common tradition to be 
found in song and legend, great personalities that 
embody the character and ideals of the nation, and 
sacred places where the national memory is en- 
shrined. He claims that Japan and China accepted 
light from India because she was engrossed, not in 
obtaining physical power, but in following essen- 
tial spiritual purpose. Sometimes this spirit has 
gone too far in glorifying every element in the past. 
Some political extremists, after detailing what they 
consider the humiliating mortifications of the pres- 
ent, have pictured the exaggerated glories of the 
f past and thus have evolved an unhistorical India. 
But Indian nationalism does hot look wholly to 

India's Heritage 17 

the past. India realizes that in the World War 
she sent out one hundred thousand more soldiers 
than Australia, New Zealand, and Canada com- 
bined, and that the tracks, rolling-stock, engines, 
coal, and staff for the strategic railways in Mesopo- 
tamia came from her supply. India has twenty-five 
times as much arable land as Japan, though the yield 
per acre is much lower. With improved methods of 
farming, India can supply in increasing quantities 
the products which the world needs. At some places 
in south India three crops of rice are harvested 
from the same land in a single year. India now 
leads the world in the production of rice, sugar-cane, 
tea, jute, and shellac, and comes second in cotton 
and tobacco. The world's lack of leather and paper 
can be partly supplied from India's potential re- 
sources. There is a distinct revival of Indian art in 
Bengal under the leadership of the Indian Society 
of Oriental Art. An annual exhibition is held, and 
a whole school of Indian artists finds encouragement 
in the reception given to their work. There is, 
moreover, considerable talk about an all-India lan- 
guage, and more than one vernacular has its cham- 
pion who would like to displace English with a fa- 
vorite Indian tongue. 

The Indian will admit our practical bent, our in-' 
ventiveness, our wealth and luxury and power; but 
he refuses to be dazzled by these things and realizes 
that India surpasses us in patience, tact, ingenuity, 
and grasp of minute detail. He believes that, al- 
though his culture may lack certain qualities which 
we rank high, there is still much in Indian civiliza- 
tion that is good, beautiful, and valuable, and which 

i8 Building with India 

can supplement other cultures of the world. To be 
sure, Indians are different from us. But differences 
do not necessarily imply inferiority. Certain it is 

< that the Indian is not conscious of any drawback 
from race, nor would he willingly get into the white 
man's skin. 

The modern Indian has a distinct conviction that 
India has her own individuality that must find ex- 
pression — her own mission and message to man- 
kind. He wants the nations to recognize India's 
right and capacity to exert her influence in the 
councils of the world, and feels assured that they 
will ever be exerted in the interests of peace and 
good-will toward all nations and peoples. At one of 
the early meetings of the League of Nations, on 
whose Assembly India is represented, the Mahara- 

'' jah of Nawanagar, speaking for the Indian princes, 
pledged their interest in the creation of a fund to 
fight typhus although this disease was not an out- 
standing danger in India. India, as a member of 
the British Empire, had her representative at the 
recent Limitation of Armament Conference in 
Washington. In India's name, this representative 
placed on the bier of America's Unknown Warrior 
a wreath bearing the beautiful inscription, "They 
never die who die to make life worth living." 

Not alone by non-Christians is the national as- 
piration felt, but by the educated section of the 

' Christian community. It too is insisting that India 
be better understood and respected. A Christian 

' nationalist will admit that there is a vast amount 
in India which is inconsistent with the spirit of 
Christ and which, therefore, must be rooted out; 

India's Heritage zg 

nevertheless he is firm in a conviction that India has 
not been without the tutelage of the great Teacher 
of Mankind, and moreover is being disciplined in 
peculiar ways for some great purpose in God's 


If India has such .a heritage, why is it, then, that 
while many tourists treasure for a lifetime the fas- 
cination of their glimpse into that interesting land, 
many others are repelled even at the thought of In- 
dia? Manifestly it is a question of emphasis in 
gtteotign. Data for either view in varying degrees 
exist in any country. One may stand breathless be- 
fore the marvelous beauty of the Taj Mahal while 
domes and minarets, pierced screens and inlaid mar- 
ble make their exquisite offering to the eye. Or one| 
may push aside the impression of beauty in the Taj 
and become absorbed in a socio-economic reflection 
— ^the ugly fact of enforced labor lasting twenty 
years under the whip of a despotic ruler. It is pos- 
sible to let yourself be either thrilled or puzzled by 
the fact that this most beautiful mausoleum ever 
erected to the memory of womanhood is to be found 
in India. 

Again, as one views the massive rock-cut temples 
near Bombay and Madras or the exquisite carving 
in the shrines at Mount Abu, one may yield to awe 
at the enormous labor involved and realize that in 
the broadest sense India's great temples stand as 
monuments of the religious consciousness. An old, 
lowcaste woman was once asked the cost of a temple 
in process of building. She turned to the mission- 

20 Building with India 

ary in surprise and said, "We don't know. It is for 
our god. We don't count the cost." It is said that 
sculpture has been cultivated more than painting in 
India since it offers opportunity for a more labori- 
ous expression of religious zeal. Or one may turn 
from these thoughts and be dominated by the re- 
flection that the builders were undoubtedly stimu- 
lated by the principle of merit, thinking that the 
more labor they expended on pious work, the more 
benefit they would receive from the gods. 

Similarly there are two attitudes which one may 
take toward every strange and backward custom 
and toward the expression of the religious life of 
the people. A real question arises in the minds of 
some as to whether the best way to win a great peo- 
ple from a bad custom is to be severely condemna- 
tory in our judgment or, while still working against 
it, to admit the angle of usefulness which has en- 
abled it to live through the centuries. Should we 
concentrate our attention on the falsehood in a non- 
Christian religion or must we also note whatever of 
truth it enshrines? Would we feel our enthusiasm 
for missions endangered if less emphasis is placed 
on the dark views of the social and moral conditions 
of other lands as compared with our own or have 
we such an unshakable conception of the unique, 
priceless, and indispensable value in Jesus Christ 
that we fearlessly look at the very best a non-Chris- 
tian system can present, confident that only through 
Him is the life more abundant to come to the throng- 
ing millions? 

Let us look at the highest, noblest possible inter- 
pretation of an ethnic faith. When we see Christ 


The Jessamine Tower in the Fort, Agra, built in the sev- 
enteenth century by the Emperor Shah Jehan who also built 
the Taj Mahal. Note the three types of decoration: the 
pierced marble railings and screens above the doors, the 
marble medallions with flowers in relief, and, on the flat 
surfaces, the inlay work consisting of semi-precious stones 
and black marble. 

India's Heritage 21 

towering infinitely above even this, what could pro- 
vide a surer basis for the cause of Christian mis- 
sions? Some day the grossest social and moral evils 
which we proverbially associate with mission lands 
may have disappeared, for against many of them, 
leaders who do not yet consciously acknowledge in- 
debtedness to Jesus Christ are even now manfully 
working. If that day comes, the missionary motive 
will still be keen and absorbing. Men and women will 
still need the Christ. Anyone with a spark of love 
must yearn to alleviate in some way the grievous 
needs which of necessity protrude Into every chap- 
ter of this book. But if India had no record of 
wasting sickness, grinding poverty, and dwarfing 
illiteracy, an inward sense of inevitable failure and 
worthlessness apart from Christ would move us by 
the most powerful missionary motive. The unmis- 
takable need may lead us on, but the necessary 
Christ is the motive that abides and sustains. 

We should be very careful that we do not sustain 
interest in missions at the cost of international re- 
spect and good-will. The growth of nationalism has 
made India sensitive. Educated, English-reading 
Indians, both Christian and non-Christian, are 
quick to resent any appeal that is judged unfair or 
unproportioned, and to give publicity to their re- 
sentment in their public press. The world is so small 
that we might well imagine an intelligent Hindu 
present at every missionary meeting. The whole- 
someness of the atmosphere in which we do our 
work abroad depends in part upon the way we pre- 
sent the cause of missions in the West. In stimu- 
lating the missionary purpose, we must lay stress 


22 -^-"'^^ ^uildflir^'th India 

not alone upon facts which will stir the emotion of 
pity, but upon those which will give a proportioned 
view and which are set forth in such a spirit as 
would enlist our approval if others used it in ap- 
praising our people and civilization. 

The careful presentation in its proper perspective 
of the good in non-Christian religions does much to 
cut the ground from under the parlor groups that 
grow enthusiastic over Oriental cults — an occasional 
fad for city women. It is easy to see how these 
cults gained their influence. The nineteenth cen- 
tury, among other things, resulted in two great ad- 
vances. One was a vision of the vast moral and so- 
cial needs in non-Christian lands. The Christian 
Church was filled with compassion for what were 
— and are — unquestioned and grievous evils. It often 
became so absorbed and preoccupied in its minis- 
try to these needs that a country like India became 
associated only with idols, pestilence, famine, dis- 
ease, and illiterate crowds sunk in animal worship 
and quite devoid of culture and civilization. 

The other insight, coming from a great company 
of scholarly Orientalists — missionaries, traders, 
travelers, and anthropologists — resulted in an un- 
precedented increase in the accurate knowledge of 
the religions of the world. The Theosophical Society 
assumed a generous attitude to the ethnic faiths 
and invited people to join in the study of these re- 
ligions in a friendly, appreciative way. It is this at- 
titude of sympathy which has drawn most of the in- 
tellectual men and women who have been attracted 
to this society. 

Now scholars tell us that the bulk of the work that 

India's Heritage 23 

the Theosophists have done in the exposition of re- 
ligion is unscientific and misleading.^ Yet we have 
to acknowledge that they have attempted to do in 
a wrong way what the Church ought to have done 
in a right way. It is the unexpected discovery that, 
there are precious gems in non-Christian faiths that]' 
causes the uninformed to suspect that there are un- 
worked mines of spiritual wealth in these religions. 
They are thus lured away to some popular cult. Pos- 
sibly fewer would have been captivated if we had 
been less preoccupied with needs, and if, while stat- 
ing that ninety-nine Vedic hymns quite fail to 
arouse our interest and appreciation, we had also 
taught that the hundredth is well worth re-reading. 
India has inadequately understood the Reality she 
has been seeking and has, therefore, lacked ethical f 
dynamic; nevertheless, we should not fail to ac- 
knowledge that facts and literature prove that In-; 
dia's consciousness of the Unseen is very strong in- ' 
deed. We cannot too clearly see that India's ulti- 
mate Reality has no purposeful activity and em- 
bodies all the defects of pantheism; but we should! 
be ready to admit the attainment of her forest 
sages who approached the great realization of the 
immanence of the Divine in the world, in statements 
like the following: "I, indeed, am below. I am 
above. I am to the west. I am to the east. I am 
to the south. I am to the north. I, indeed, am this 
whole world."^ In short, it is essential that our ap- 
proach be sympathetic and appreciative. And then, 

'Cf. Farquhar, J. N., Modern Religious Movements in Iv/- 
dia, pp. 208-90. 

'Chandogya Upanishad, 7. 25. (Hume's translation). 

24 Building with India 

as long as we keep a true perspective, no fair minded 
Indian will object to a picture that has its shadows 
as well as its sunshine. 


The Indian Christian Church will benefit by a 
fresh study of the best in India. It is significant 
that the Young Men's Christian Association is so 
sure that a study of the best in India is advisable that 
it is bringing out a series of volumes on the heritage 
of India which are cheap enough to be popularly 
available. In such work Indian Christians and 
missionaries must use constant discrimination to 
separate the good from the indiflferent and the un- 
wholesome. It would be the height of folly to give 
unmeasured praise to everjrthing Indian simply be- 
cause it is Indian. The most ardent Christian na- 
tionalist, however keen may be his consciousness 
of India's great common heritage, should demand 
a rigid exclusion of all elements which are out of 
harmony with the spirit of Christ. As we shall see, 
India has a darker heritage. Let us remember the 
lesson of the Fourth Century and the period fol- 
lowing, when mass movements to Christianity were 
found in Europe. Converts tended to bring over 
into Christian worship and thought pagan forms 
and spirit. There is a danger that this experience 
may be repeated today in India. 

It is well to remember with what loathing Pandita 
Ramabai turned away from the inheritance of 
Hinduism. Herself a Sanskrit scholar, she would 
not let her daughter learn Sanskrit. To this re- 
markable Christian, whose heart's desire and prayer 

India's Heritage 25 

to God for India is that India may be saved, Hindu- 
ism is the power of darkness, and from it she would 
say the Christian can obtain nothing good. Such 
strong testimony should warn any who have not had ; 
her intimate and tragic experience with the domi- 
nant religion in India that only the ablest and most 
spiritual souls should assume the task of separating 
the gold from the dross. Christianity's purity and 
transforming power in India depend upon the active 
existence of a Spirit-guided discrimination within 
the Indian Church. <■ 

For us of the West, appreciation of this heritage ^ '*^ ' 
ought to make it easier to displace the spirit of ^ . * 
patronage with the spirit of brotherhood. Perhaps *' 
if we valued India's heritage more, the judgment ex- h- *-^ 
pressed by an Indian Christian saint of great spiri- /.; iZf^ 
tual penetration would never have been formed.^ « . 
Speaking to a Britisher of his relations with West- ,^ ^^^ 
ern Christians, he said, "You know, you make us'^,;/^ 
feel that you want to do good to us, but you don't ' 
make us feel that you need us." The seriousness .*-^ 
of the situation arises from the danger that, if 
Western peoples offer Christianity to India in the 
spirit of condescension, she may refuse it. 

Furthermore, an appreciation of the extent to / 
which the best spirit of India is to be found in her j 
folk-lore, art, and literature, is somewhat changing I 
our method. Writers of an older day often incul- 
cated a disgust with everything Indian. It used to 
be that to become a Christian meant almost com- 
plete isolation from all that was best in India's tra- 
ditions of custom and religious belief. Many a per- 
son in a long established Christian community in 

26 Building with India 

India is almost as ignorant of her folk-lore as if he 
had been born in the West. Now, however, in ac- 
cord with the demand of the times, our missionaries 
are taking the dominant national spirit into consid- 
eration in the selection of materials to be used in 
their elementary and secondary education. They are 
drawing more upon Indian folk-lore, literature, and 
art, since the result of their work must be something 
that is not only Christian, but also Indian. We must 
be ready to encourage the kind of selection from 
non-Christian sources that enabled our own Chris- 
tianity to become naturalized in the Greek and 
Roman and European world. 

Westerners have sometimes gone to the East in the 
aggressive spirit of Occidental civilization, assum- 
ing that there was no need of considering any cul- 
ture but their own. However, most missionaries 
have long since come to see that if they are to teach 
anything to a given people, they must enter into its 
spirit and culture and learn to appreciate what these 
already contain. When the teaching of Christ links 
itself up with the cultural heritage of a country, the 
more readily can it make its appeal with power to 
the heart of that people. Hence, we do not try to 
eradicate a people's habits of thought and ways of 
doing things simply because they are not like our 
own. In so far as they are not un-Christian, we re- 
spect them and endeavor to enlist these indigenous 
ways and powers for worthful ends. Even further, 
we must realize without reserve that we go to learn 
as well as to teach. Every nation is our master in 
certain respects. 

India's Heritage 27 

If we are ever to work with India for a better/ 
world, there must be a development of mutual ap-l 
preciation and respect. Pity and compassion may- 
go forth to those whom we do not respect, but if we 
are to enter into Christian cooperation with another 
people, there must be admiration for what is 
worthy in them. We must think of them not only as 
recipients of help, but as contributors of a rich store 
of customs and habits all their own. This inter- 
racial respect does not seem to come naturally. 
Every primitive people manifests a high disdain of 
other races and other cultures. Even for us, it is 
easier to point out the weaknesses of other nations 
than to recall their virtues. Their defects seem to 
stand out upon the surface for anyone with half an 
eye to see. It requires an effort to discover the 
goodness. Similarly, when we come to deal with an- 
other people, patronage seems to be easier than 
partnership, to work for them seems to be a great 
deal more fitting than to work with them. How 
characteristic was this remark referring to the 
people of India: "I'm interested in them and want 
to help them all I can, and I am sure our church 
wants to help them. Just what can we do for them?" 
But when asked, "Do you wish them to help you?" 
the person hesitated — "Well, — I had not thought 
about that. No, I hardly think so." The two fac- 
tors here overlooked — cooperation and mutual ap- 
preciation — are those which God is leading modern 
missions to emphasize. 

We rejoice that India has capacities and attain- 
ments which may be brought to the service of the 

28 Building with India 

Kingdom. Her contributions are essential because 
the accomplishment of the world task cannot be an 
individual matter. It is not a possibility even for a 
nation, for it is becoming more and more plain that 
the making of a better world is not the work of any- 
one country. It requires that God's purpose shall 
be widely shared by men. It depends on the efforts 
of all peoples combined. It might be possible for 
one people that had caught the vision to goad on 
another for an inch or so of progress, but the riches 
of the glory of God in the corporate life of man will 
not be fully manifested until all peoples are working 
together with Him. Herein we find ourselves inex- 
tricably interlinked with our fellows around the 
world. This is the true basis of interest in other 
lands — ^the interest back of this study of India — 
not curiosity, not romance, not pity, not largesse, 
but an eagerness to enlist the peoples in a great co- 
operative enterprise with others and with God. 

What a challenge confronts the Church of the 
West as it contemplates the heritage of India ! There 
is the opportunity of leading a gifted people to adopt 
the thrilling program of the Kingdom of God and of 
sharing with them the high privilege of world-wide 
service empowered by God. There is the possibility 
that in them too may be born the stupendous mis- 
sionary purpose of co-working with God and all 
mankind for a better world. Thus would one more 
step be taken toward building up a society of per- 
sonalities developed to their best, realizing their es- 
sential oneness with one another and with God, and 
consciously cooperating with His gracious purpose 
for the world. 

. Prayer 

FATHER of all mankind, who hast planted 
good in every race, we praise Thee for the 
gifts Thou hast sent to the world through 
India. For all that she can place at Thy disposal, 
for eJI that can be purged of dross for the service 
of the world, and for all upon which the Christ can 
build, we thank Thee, O our Father. 

€[Grant that, in her effort to develop materially, 
India may not lose her spiritueJ capacities, that she 
may ever stand for spiritual growth, and that through 
Christ she may yet be the means of weaning men 
from empty pleasures to fellowship with Thee. 
Teach us to see beyond the engrossing activities of 
our Western life into the values in other lands, and 
grant to us that humility and liberal spirit which 
will appreciate and learn. Remove from us all 
pride, arrogance, censoriousness, and false assump- 
tion of superiority. 

€IThrough no merit of our own Thou hast entrusted 
us with the revelation of Thyself in Christ — that 
which will satisfy the long search of India. Forbid 
that we should be dull of discernment or weak of 
will when with open mind we find the witness Thou 
hast left of Thyself in India and the Light that has 
lighted them. May we be true to them and true 
to Thee by sharing Him who alone shall bring In- 
dia's heritage to its greatest glory. Amen. 


Handicaps to Progress 

We have been looking at India's attainments ; but 
unfortunately she has a darker, sadder heritage — 
her handicaps. Some of these are seen most clearly 
in the story of India's efforts to help herself.^ Still 
others are vividly brought out in the biographies of 
Christian converts.^ We want to focus attention for 
a time on some of these handicaps, not out of a feel- 
ing of superiority to India, or that any response 
which is self-congratulatory may be drawn forth. 
We need constantly to remember that we too have 
handicaps. But if India is our potential partner in 
a great world task, it is essential to know the lia- 
bilities as well as the assets she would bring to that 
partnership. Moreover, an appraisal of those lia- 
bilities is essential if our love, prayer, and friendly 
help are to be worthily and effectively directed 
toward amelioration and cooperative endeavor. We 
may admire intensely, but sympathy must be tem- 
pered by discrimination. 

In thinking of India's needs we must remember 
that our condition is by no means the standard. 
Our responsibility is not so much to bring India to 
our present condition as though that were the norm ; 
it is rather to impart the secret of all we deem high- 
est in our growth. Our responsibility is to share 
our great heritage in Christ, to exhibit the Spirit 

*See Chapter III. 
'See Bibliography. 

Handicaps to Progress 31 

He instils, and to urge His Way, not merely as one 
among many possible policies for India's fullest de- 
velopment, but as her one great, incomparable op- 
portunity. We both have a long way to go — v^^e are 
brothers in need. The best we have to share comes 
from no merit of our own; it has been a free gift. 
The important thing is that we both should be de- 
veloping in the presence of the Highest. 

From what follows it will be manifest that there 
is not only abundant opportunity, but urgent need 
for the straightforward sharing of things which are 
essential to India if she is to make her richest con- 
tribution to the world. While in some things India 
surpasses us, she sorely needs the Spring of living 
progress. We must share Western technique, mod- 
ern education, many of our methods of social help- 
fulness, but above all a knowledge of the Christ. It 
may be that India's recognition of her many and 
varied needs will predispose her to the gospel and 
provide the stimuli to which its appeal can be made. 


One cannot contemplate without concern the fact 
that the average life in India is only 24.7 years. In 
the United States the average term of life has risen 
to 44, and medical men are confidently expecting it 
to be 60 before many decades have passed. As we 
shall see, the figures for India need not be so low. 

India's general death-rate is high (31.8 per 1000) 
compared with that of Japan (21.9) , Canada (15.2) , 
England, Scotland, and Wales (14.6), and the 
United States (14.1). The death-rate of infants^ is 

'The number per 1000 born who die in their first year. 

32 Building with India 

the most positive index of physical welfare which we 
possess. Official statistics show that there is scarcely 
a large town in India in which the rate is not 
above two hundred and in many of the largest towns 
it is more than four hundred.^ The rate is not much 
more than a third as great in most places in the 
West.^ An educational officer of the Government of 
India says that India loses two million babies each 
year, while many survive only to grow up weak and 
feeble. Inattention and bad hygienic surroundings 
during infancy are in part to blame. But one of the 
main causes is child marriage. A boy has children 
before he is supporting himself and before his wife 
is ready for the strain. Half the children born are 
doomed to an early death under present circum- 
stances, and the amount they eat makes less food 
available for those who live ; hence, those who sur- 
vive tend to grow up inefficient. England's popula- 
tion increases as fast as India's with a birth-rate 
only a little over half as great as India's. The 
abolition of child marriage with a lower birth-rate 
would do much to give India the relief she needs for 
raising her economic and educational standards. 
The appalling handicaps of Indian women on the 
battle-field of motherhood are described in Chapter 

The health problems of India are enormous. 
Plague in its most virulent form first reached Bom- 
bay in 1896, and in the next twenty years took away 
ten million lives. Plague is now endemic in some 

'Delhi (1917), 256.24; Madras (1919), 360.7; Bombay 
(1918), 436.37; Mandalay (1916), 443.3. 

'Canada, 99.1; United States, 77; England, Scotland, and 
Wales, 73.2; New York City, 81; Cleveland, 95. 

Handicaps to Progress 33 

provinces, so that India is the greatest reservoir of 
plague in the world. At times the death-rate goes 
up as high as one in one hundred. But in the most 
severely plague infected parts of India there is 
always a well defined plague-free season. In these 
months the foci of infection are sufficiently small 
to justify the hope that the disease can be conquered 
if only public opinion can be aroused, reporting 
agencies established, and rat destruction adopted. 
Do not these times of minimum infection challenge 
India — and us — to achieving effort? 

Parasitic infections are very common. An officer 
working on hookworm inquiry gives the following 
figures for this infection where investigations have 
been made: — limited areas of Bombay Presidency, 
40 per cent ; of the Punjab, 60 per cent ; of the United 
Provinces, 70-84 per cent; of Bengal, 80 per cent; 
and for thirteen districts of Madras Presidency 
97-100 per cent. Conditions are conducive since in 
the country folks go about barefooted, and thus a 
ready entrance to the germs is provided. Figures 
given for whipworm, round worm, and thread worm 
ranged from 37 to 96 per cent. And yet as simple 
a precaution as the use of permanganate in wells 
would do much to lessen these drags on efficiency, 
while for hookworm an effective specific has been 
discovered. Every one who knows how these dis- 
eases sap the vitality of the laboring classes will re- 
joice that the Rockefeller Foundation, which has set 
before itself the task of eradicating hookworm the 
world around and has begun work in forty different 
countries, initiated work in India in 1920. 

Tuberculosis is spreading in India as a result of 

34 Building with India 

increased communications, the growth of new in- 
stitutions which bring people together in buildings, 
and the substitution of factories for house indus- 
tries.^ The fringe of tuberculosis around any large 
city is demonstrably enlarging with more coming 
and going. 

The custom of child marriage shows one of its 
serious sides in predisposing mothers and children 
to tuberculosis. Where purdah^ conditions growing 
out of Muhammadan influence exist, vital statistics 
show that the death-rate among women is forty per 
cent higher than among men. The effect of the pur- 
dah system is well illustrated by statistics of a given 
town where the Muhammadans happen to belong to 
a far higher level than the Hindus, and therefore 
should be able to have better clothing and food, but 
among whom the purdah system is observed with 
special strictness. Here the average death-rate 
from tuberculosis among the Hindu men and women 
is 1.05 and 1.36 per thousand respectively; among 
the Muhammadan men and women 2.15 and 6.7 

Even where the purdah system does not prevail, 
as in south India, women sleep inside with doors and 
windows closed for fear of robbers who might tear 
from their arms and ears the large gold and silver 
ornaments which in India represent family savings. 
Others fear evil spirits and so sleep with their rooms 

^For a thorough treatment of this subject see Tuberculosis 
in India, Arthur Lankester, M. D. 

^Literally, a veil or curtain which screens women from 
the gaze of men. In common usage it is applied to anything 
exclusively for women. 

Handicaps to Progress 35 

shut as tight as possible. An almost universal habit 
is the custom of sleeping with the head entirely cov- 
ered with bedclothes. This naturally makes proper 
aeration of the blood impossible. Even when this 
ingrained habit can be broken, it leaves the new 
problem of protection from mosquitoes among peo- 
ple who cannot afford to buy a net, and of protection 
from cold in northern India on the part of those who 
can ill afford fuel or extra blankets. 

More communities should be encouraged to follow 
Delhi's lead in establishing a purdah garden, a gar- 
den exclusively for women, — out of a portion of 
waste land, sheltering it from prying eyes by a high 
wall. Here women may benefit from fresh air, ex- 
ercise, and mental change from close confinement in 
their homes. 

In the West we are inclined to say that the hous- 
ing condition of a community affects practically 
every aspect of its social well-being and is, there- 
fore, one of the most important factors in determin- 
ing the health and morals of a community. It would 
be interesting to discuss whether the statement also 
applies to conditions in India. Certainly there are 
those who hold that next to malaria, bad housing is 
responsible for the greatest number of deaths in 
India. The Indian Industrial Commission places 
better housing in the forefront of its recommenda- 
tions for improving the conditions of the Indian ar- 
tisan. In the Delhi Child Welfare Exhibit, in order 
to show to the people the effects of overcrowding, 
deficient air, and bad housing, there was a compara- 
tive demonstration where seedlings could grow un- 
der favorable and adverse conditions, e. g., in the 

36 Building with India 

light, in the dark; in good soil, in sandy soil; fed 
with water lacking nitrates ; grown sparsely, grown 

Imagination has no difficulty in picturing the far- 
reaching effects of bad sanitation. Not only actual 
deaths are to be reckoned, but there are the sick also. 
It has been calculated that one third of India's labor- 
time is lost through illness. There is the loss in time 
of those who care for the sick and the reduced effi- 
ciency of those who get well, for malaria which 
weakens is even worse than plague which kills. How 
can India forge ahead when plague alone has for the 
past twenty years taken an average of five hundred 
thousand per year, bringing wholesale disorganiza- 
tion of industry when it is at its height. Finally, 
there are those who are born with little strength or 
hardihood. India's ability to increase her contribu- 
tion to the great problem of feeding the world de- 
pends on the capacity of her laborers for hard and 
consecutive work. In general, her rate of economic, 
industrial, and social progress will be determined in 
no small measure by her success in dealing with pre- 
ventable disease. 

Indians may not wish to change long established 
customs and habits, but at least data and demon- 
strations should be provided so that they may 
be able to estimate the cost in life and suffering 
which the continuance of certain habits involves. 
It is not easy, however, to rise to new and unusual 
standards. It helps our sympathy with India to 
seek out examples of inertia in the West, to note our 
callous attitude in many states to such evils as child 
labor and railway accidents or the way in which we 

Handicaps to Progress 37 

keep on using white bread when science has shown 
the superior quality of a whole wheat type. 


There are plenty of problems and obstacles mak- 
ing the attainment of better conditions difficult. 
There is lethargy. The chief medical officer of the 
Punjab, speaking of a certain cheap substitute for 
quinine as a specific for malaria, has declared that 
"the general population are too lethargic and lazy 
to take the drug, even if it is at their hand, until the 
attack of fever comes along." Government officers 
in the Madras Presidency, having arranged new 
sites for the congested outcaste communities, have 
reported that in many cases such sites only a short 
distance away have remained unoccupied three years 
because of the inertia of the group. These unfor- 
tunate people were so far down in poverty and debt 
that they could not, or at least failed to, take ad- 
vantage of better conditions. 

There is religious superstition. Thousands of the 
uneducated still believe that disease is due to evil 
spirits and to the "evil-eye" that someone has cast 
upon the afflicted. Hosts are gripped by fatalism 
and hence resign themselves to conditions as being 
brought about by God's will, answering suggestions 
for improvement by, "What's the use?" 

There is ignorance. Village ponds are still the 
common sources for drinking water notwithstand- 
ing the facts that they catch all sorts of surface 
drainage, that in them buffaloes wallow to their 
hearts' content, and on their edge the washerman 
beats out the soil from the village clothes. The vil- 

38 Building with India 

lagers keep on drinking until the pools get so low 
that they can see the dirt. 

Even though superstition and ignorance could be 
overcome, there is lack of an adequate budget to 
carry out approved plans, since modern health 
I "measures are expensive. The sanitary commissioner 
of the Government of India says^ that there is no 
organized health staff for more than a mere frac- 
tion of India's population, and that only an insig- 
nificant percentage of the people w^ho die are cared 
for at any stage of their final illness by persons pos- 
sessing adequate medical qualifications. Vital sta- 
tistics are recorded in rural districts by those who 
have little other claim to qualification than literacy, 
and yet it is recognized that a more or less accurate 
knowledge of the prevalence of preventable disease 
is the first essential to any adequate measure of pre- 
vention. Furthermore, some Indians think that the 
\ substitution of modern Western methods or stand- 
i ards for those which have been sanctioned by imme- 
I morial usage betokens lack of patriotic feeling. 
Then there are real problems of judgment. Sup- 
pose you know that one of the most common kinds of 
ophthalmia comes from the custom of cooking inside 
the house in little fireplaces which fill the room with 
smoke. Would you advise chimneys in spite of the 
fact that the extra cost for fuel due to the increased 
draft would be impossible? Suppose you know that 
in winter women are injured from the common 
practice of sitting on the cold, damp ground. Would 
you advise the introduction of chairs and tables, 
with the changed economic standards these involve? 

'Report 1917, p. 39. 

Handicaps to Progress 39 

The introduction of Western schedules and con- 
centrated study periods in the schools is making an 
additional demand for nourishment and care. When 
an Indian village child enters one of our mission 
boarding-schools, the change in environment is far 
more complete than a similar step would be for on6 
in the West. The village child in his home enjoys 
extraordinary freedom; there is very little re- 
straint ; meals and hours of work are irregular ; the 
child rests and sleeps when it wishes ; and practically 
no discipline is attempted. The routine hours of a 
boarding-school are in absolute contrast to this. 
Hence, the diet regime of lax village life cannot be 
made a model for our boarding-schools. Bodies that 
might have stood the test of the casual life at homei 
often develop unsuspected weaknesses when mind 
and body come under strains that the village never 
produced. We are just beginning to appreciate the 
significance of these facts in the management of our 
mission schools. That children come to our schools 
from homes where adequate sanitary habits and 
standards are not inculcated, added to the fact that 
India above all countries regards the teacher as a 
sacred person embodying the functions of instruc- 
tor, parent, guardian, doctor, and, above all, reli- 
gious guide, places a tremendous responsibility upon 
those who take charge of these schools. 

In India, the prayer, "from plague, pestilence, and 
famine, Good Lord, deliver us," does not require a 
stimulated imagination, as with us. It is a very 
heavy burden of responsibility that is carried by our 
heads of mission schools with over-crowded dormi- 
tories, little possibility of segregation, and an under- 

40 Building with India 

staffed condition. Whenever cholera breaks out in a 
neighboring village, such precautionary measures 
as are possible must be taken at once. Suddenly, 
however, a morning may dawn when it is found that 
cholera has descended upon the school. Possibly 
there are three cases on the first day, and two little 
boys die before evening. After a very anxious three 
weeks' fight, the infection may be mastered, and the 
cause traced to some earthen cooking-pots that had 
been bought recently at a near-by village where the 
disease was active. Or it may be a woman had 
washed the clothes of a cholera patient at the com- 
mon well, and the germs went down with the bucket 
and rope. 


However, through the activities of Government, 
missions, and the beginnings of social service on the 
part of college students, a progress, even if slow, is 
being made. A popular conscience with respect to 
sanitation is being developed. In many places, at 
the approach of plague, the people already begin to 
clean up in their own houses, although one may not 
observe much change on the outside. Beds are 
sunned more regularly, and an effort is made to be 
sanitary. Willingness to vacate houses entirely on 
the approach of plague is increasing. Recent experi- 
ments indicate that the demand for quinine, the 
known specific for malaria, is likely to increase 
enormously during the next few years. More and 
more attention is being given to the appointment of 
sanitary committees in towns, to water-supply and 
drainage systems, to special plague and cholera 

Handicaps to Progress 41 

staffs, to traveling dispensaries, and to malaria and 
tuberculosis campaigns. 

Consistent efforts through vaccination have been 
made against smallpox. The marked success of 
these efforts, even when a poorly paid agency was 
used, ought to encourage every lover of India. Fur- 
thermore, forces emanating from Christianity are 
freeing the minds from inhibiting fears which in 
many cases are more harmful than the diseases 
themselves. Instead of attributing the ravages of 
disease to fate or buttressing passivity in the belief 
that it is all due to sins committed in a previous ex- 
istence, some people — that is, those who hear of Him 
— are coming to believe in a Father whose purposes 
are love. God does not want His children overcome 
by sin ; does He mean that they should be overcome 
by disease? Should we not work together with Him 
for the day when disease shall be conquered? 


In turning to consider India's material develop- 
ment, we need to remember that it is an exceedingly 
difficult matter to compare with fairness the eco- 
nomic conditions of two countries and to determine 
the relation of these conditions to general happiness. 
Certain facts, however, are available. If per capita 
wealth of India be taken as 1, that of Japan would 
be 3.7 ; Canada, 18.5 ; the United Kingdom, 22.8 ; and 
the United States, 27.9. The number of landlords in 
the United Provinces (one of the most densely pop- 
ulated areas) whose incomes exceed 20 pounds a year 
is about 126,000 out of a population of 48,000,000.^ 

'^Report on India Constitutional Reforms, p. 112. 

42 Building with India 

In the Deccan, inquiries as to expenditures con- 
sidered necessary by the people themselves per 
family of five gave Rs.^ 142 for food; Rs. 48 for 
clothing; other expenses, Rs. 10; making an annual 
total of Rs. 200.- In some areas people speak of 
poverty as their "mother." 

Owing to the introduction of railways, the price 
of Indian-grown wheat is fixed by the Chicago stock 
market so that the simple village people can no 
longer afford to eat a grain that their more pros- 
perous foreign brothers want; hence they eat the 
cheaper pulses. That there is a terrible amount of 
actual hunger in Indian villages during certain 
months before the harvest is a fact beyond dispute. 

Some lowcaste villagers near Benares said that 
they ate only once in two days for a month or two 
in the cold weather before the Rabi (winter) har- 
vest when they get the pulses and barley. But in 
the hot, dry months they gorged themselves at mar- 
riage feasts. When asked why they did not save up 
for the lean season before harvest, they replied that 
it would all be taken up for interest and rent. "We 
live in fear — ^fear of the money lender, fear of the 
landlord's agent, fear of the police." With false 
interest and extorted land assessments, they felt 
that they would never be able to get any benefit from 

An extended tour among the villages leaves one 
with the impression of poorness, of life reduced to 
the barest necessities of existence, of men, women, 
and children escaping starvation but living below a 

*At normal exchange rate a rupee is worth about 33 cents. 
"Report on India Constitutional Reforms, p. 136. 

Handicaps to Progress 43 

level of most meager comfort. Some missionaries 
who spend their lives among the villages are not^ 
most impressed with India's aspiration after tht 
Infinite. They would acknowledge that souls like] 
Tagore may be found among the leisure class and in 
sequestered corners, but they are almost tempted to 
doubt the existence of a soul among the masses of 
the village working class. Listen to the conversa- 
tion going on in a village. Every other word refers 
to pice (their smallest coin) or food. The supreme 
concern of the people during nine tenths of a vil- 
lager's waking hours is to meet the demand of his 
stomach and his children's stomachs. How to pay 
his rent; the price of grain and cloth; whether he 
can pay the interest on the loan he took last year for 
his seed ; or whether with heavy mortgages already 
on his property he can get an additional loan to re- 
place an ox that has died — ^these are the villager's 
pressing problems. 

What are the causes of this unsatisfactory situa- 
tion? One cause is agrarian indebtedness. Over 
200,000,000 of India's population are engaged in 
agriculture. These are scattered among 700,000 
small villages. Suppose we look into one of these 
villages near Poona. A systematic investigation 
will disclose 111 families, with a population of 556, 
and a total debt of Rs. 13,314 upon which there is an 
annual charge of Rs. 2,592 — a crushing load de- 
manding one fourth of the total profit from the land. 
The weight of social customs makes the desire for 
money on certain occasions overwhelming. Almost 

44 Building with India 

a year's income may be spent in entertaining guests 
at a wedding or some other domestic ceremony. 
Man is a social animal the world over, and India has 
fixed on marriage as the great occasion of relieving 
life's humdrum by an elaborate entertainment of 
friends and relatives. The dowry system, where it 
prevails, works like a perpetual nightmare.^ An ex- 
travagant desire for jewelry is general, for it is a 
sign of respectability. Jewelry is also India's form 
of life insurance for the benefit of women in case 
their husbands should die, because it is the only kind 
of property a woman can inherit. Unlike our form 
of insurance, it keeps the capital tied up and idle. It 
is as natural for the people to live in debt as for a 
fish to live in water. Once a debt is incurred, the ex- 
tortionate rate of interest tends to keep the unfor- 
tunate person bound. Year after year the money 
lender draws the string tighter, till ornaments are 
pawned, property mortgaged, and even future crops 
pledged. Cases are known where serfdom for debt 
has descended to the third generation. This not only 
leads to a hopeless economic condition, but paralyzes 
a man's will and energy until he sinks down into a 
state of resigned fatalism. 

Another cause of backward agricultural condi- 
tions is the minute fragmentation of land. If a 
father has three sons and three plots of land, each 
plot, in order to avoid partiality, will be divided into 
three parts when the time comes to partition the 
property. In this way an acre of land is worked in 
as many as nineteen different pieces. A man has to 
go forth in all directions to find his small and scat- 

*See page 91, 

Handicaps to Progress 45 

tered holdings, varying from a half to a hundredth 
of an acre. One man has been known to till fifty; 
such plots. This manifestly gives rise to many hin- 
drances; it renders supervision of labor difficult, \ 
implements have to be carried from one plot to an- ' 
other, thereby wasting time and making impossible 
the use of any but light and portable tools, an ex- 
cessive amount of land is lost in boundaries, and 
any effort to improve stock is thwarted. Before 
capital and modern methods can be widely applied 
to Indian agriculture, someone must study the Hindu 
laws of property or, from the experience of Eu- 
ropean countries and Japan in restripping land, sug- 
gest a remedy for this mammoth handicap. 

Other causes of agricultural regression are ig- 
norance, resulting in inefficiency ; lack of medical and 
sanitary science, resulting in sickness, physical in- 
capacity, dependence, and premature death; an in- 
creasing consumption of liquor ; laziness, leading / 
many to stop work when their boxes are filled with 
grain and to start working only when they are 
empty; and hopelessness, arising from various 
forms of oppression such as all surplus being 
taken away. Only the spirit of Christ can crowd out 
such oppression either in India or in America. 


Agricultural methods undoubtedly can be im- 
proved. In going about India it is interesting to 
notice the various century-old methods used in 
raising the priceless water for the fields from the 
three or four million wells. Experts confess that 
they cannot greatly improve these picturesque, old 

46 Building with India 

methods. But the modern oil engine — cheap, simple, 
efficient — has proved its suitability to Indian condi- 
tions. Already the engine has begun to familiarize 
the wealthier farmers with the advantages of em- 
ploying better tools and appliances. 

One great difficulty is the shortness of time the 
farmer has to prepare his land and to sow his seed. 
The land for wheat and other winter crops has to be 
plowed during a break in the rains. In normal 
years the breaks are few and short, so that with 
slow bullocks and wooden plows the necessary qual- 
ity and quantity of work cannot be done. A suitable 
motor plow would do the work eighteen times as 
fast, and in some places these are already operating. 
But when labor is so cheap and interest so high, the 
beginning must be made with the lightest, cheapest 
plows and work up gradually as wages rise and in- 
terest falls. 

On the old-fashioned, open threshing floors there 
is loss from insects, vermin, and weather. Thresh- 
ing and winnowing are tedious and wasteful. Valu- 
able suggestions certainly can be made in regard to 
seed selection, breeding, the use of manures, the ro- 
tation of crops, fodder raising and storing, and new 
staples for growing. The introduction of agricul- 
tural machinery will release the lower class of labor- 
ers and thus make more possible industrial advance. 

The Indian farmer seems wretchedly conserva- 
tive, but let us get his point of view. He will admit 
that the new sugar-cane introduced by the Agricul- 
tural Department is better, but it is softer, and the 
jackals eat it. Why not build fences then ? But this 
is too big and expensive a step to seem attractive. 

Handicaps to Progress 47 

It is against his religion to inoculate his cattle — he 
would rather see them die. The iron sugar mill 
works with far less noise, power, and loss than the 
old variety, but it blackens the juice. Why not clean 
it, then? But again this appears to be too much 
trouble. The native custom is to transplant five 
blades of rice together. The Agricultural Depart- 
ment has been urging single transplantation as a 
means of saving four fifths of the seed. But the 
farmer argues that the use of the single stock in- 
volves a risk of failure; if planting is postponed a 
month to make single transplantation safer, there 
is danger of bad weather at the harvest. Suppose 
you show a new staple crop which admittedly will be 
more profitable, but requires more work; there are 
farmers who will reject the plan because their lei-| 
sure is filled with talking and visiting and singingj 
and these things they value. You may be able to 
show that by the use of a certain fertilizer the pro- 
duction of paddy (rice) is increased thirty per cent 
the first year, twenty per cent the second, and ten 
per cent the third. But when man is on a bare sub- 
sistence basis, he may not be able to make the in- 

Even if the farmer overcomes all obstacles and 
inertia, and some cooperative society lends the capi- 
tal, the landlord will probably absorb the increase. 
A missionary near Benares persuaded a man to sow 
Pusa wheat. In three years his rent was doubled! 
The landlord did not see that a small increase from 
all his tenants would be better than one hundred per 
cent increase from one. Missionaries are needed for 
the landlords. 

48 Building with India 

After all, however, the main causes of poverty in 
India have at one time or another been operative in 
the West. If we have prospered economically, whj' 
should not India? Our own rural individualism and 
conservatism are proverbial. There are plenty 
among us who find it easier to cling to old habits 
than adopt measures of advance. We have our 
night-schools, correspondence courses, and other de- 
vices for popular advance. But not many even of 
our own people have the ambition and persistence to 
utilize these means of advance when they are pointed 
out. Although we know full well that a typewriter 
gives better results in time and legibility, there 
are not many of us independent enough to give up 
the sentiment of longhand in personal and social 
correspondence. The case for insurance of the right 
sort has been abundantly established ; but do all of 
our Western folk act accordingly? 

We must not imagine, however, that Indian work- 
men are irrevocably conservative. Singer sewing 
machines are to be found in almost every tailor's 
shop in the country. The fly shuttle has been widely 
adopted in many areas. Adaptations of Western 
plows are gaining in favor. Some Western tools are 
usually used by wood and metal workers. One finds 
them adopting screw-presses for the extraction of 
oil from seed, rotary methods for the preparation of 
warp, and the device of the subdivision of labor. 
They are conservative, but they know their own 
business fairly well. Many of the so-called improve- 
ments suggested to them are really unsuitable. The 
Indian workmen on the whole are as improvable as 
our forefathers were. 

Handicaps to Progress 49 


India has many handicaps to overcome in the 
realm of industry. There is plenty of capital, and 
year by year it is increasing, for the ruling passion 
is still to hoard wealth in the form of gold and silver 
jewelry. India is notorious as an absorber of bul- 
lion. It has been estimated that in a single year 
India absorbed an amount of silver and gold suffi- 
cient to replace the whole of the cotton mills of Bom- 
bay and the jute mills of Bengal. It is five times the 
whole amount spent annually in education. In a 
year and a half it would provide the 440,000,000 
rupees which the irrigation commission reported 
could be judicially expended in bringing six million 
more acres under irrigation.^ 

Unfortunately this capital is diffused and can be- 
come useful only when placed in the hands of com- 
petent and responsible administrators. But this 
would require an instinct for cooperative effort, an 
acquaintance with the principles of credit and 
finance, a feeling of security and trust, and the 
growth of a class of efficient managers. Such bases 
of commerce and industry are as yet only slightly 

The rapid advance of modern industrialism is 
bringing its vast problems to India — problems 
which England faced in the eighteenth and nine- 
teenth centuries. About the cities, factories and 
joint stock companies are being rapidly formed — 
906 new companies were floated in the year 1919- 
1920. There is as yet no factory population such as 
exists in Western lands, consisting of persons 

*Chatterton, Alfred, Industrial Evolution in India, p. 9. 

50 Building with India 

trained from youth in one particular class of work 
and dependent on that for a livelihood. The Indian 
factory hand is primarily an agriculturist whose 
home remains in his native village. In many cases 
Indian artisans leave wives and children behind and 
regularly return to them and to the care of their 
crops. This plan has the advantage of keeping the 
laborer independent of the employer during a transi- 
tion stage. But since housing conditions do not allow 
the laborer to take his family with him on his mi- 
grations, grave moral situations are developing in 
the cities. These laborers are content with a very 
low standard of comfort. Speaking generally, an 
increase in wages results in fewer days' work. As 
yet they are not stimulated to more regular work 
and greater efficiency by a yearning for an increased 
standard pf living. In spite of low wages many 
managers testify that production is cheaper by the 
high-priced, but more highly skilled Western labor. 
There is, however, no inherent reason why 
Indian labor should be inefficient. Signs of discon- 
tent are arising. Influenza and plague have reduced 
the labor supply and revealed the workman's indis- 
pensability. The first Trade Union Congress was 
held in 1920, although there is probably not a trade 
union in India over five years old. Strikes are get- 
ting common. At one time in Bombay the postal 
and telegraph men, the gas workers, and tramway 
employees were all out. Sixteen headlines in a single 
issue of a leading north India journal pertained to 
strikes. Even the coolie is learning the secret spell 
which has made European and American labor a 
power instead of a commodity. 

Handicaps to Progress 51 

India's factory law is sadly deficient. But in 
judging India we have to remember that at the In- 
ternational Labor Conference in Washington six- 
teen countries were listed as having eight-hour laws, 
and from that list the United States was missing — 
such laws not having been passed by certain states. 
Twenty-one nations make special regulations for 
the employment of mothers before and after child- 
birth, and from this list also the United States was 
missing. Nearly every industrial country forbids 
the employment in factories of children under four- 
teen. Here again the United States falls short — 
along with India. 


The seriousness of India's economic need must be 
evident for many things depend on its relief. Her 
death-rate is so large partly because she cannot 
afford doctors and nurses. In part she is illiterate 
because she cannot be taxed for sufficient schools 
and teachers. Adequate recreational facilities, de- 
veloped social life, good churches, communication 
with outside forces, and influences making for pro- 
gress, a host of by-products in culture, education, 
comfort, and efficiency await a better economic 
basis. We may well recognize the inadequacy of the 
totality of earthly conditions, though improved to 
the utmost, if the soul remains unsatisfied because 
God is not present in the life. But while men possess 
bodies, we must help them to create those outward 
conditions wherein an enlarged mind and soul — 
among the earliest results of Christian conversion — 
can best find expression. Would you expect a Chris- 

52 Building with India 

tian society of any proportion to grow up from an 
indigent outcaste class unless there is a decided im- 
provement in its economic environment induced by 
outside pressure and consummated by itself? 

A surge of questions comes to the Christian thinker 
in this realm. What are the relative chances of 
India's being exploited perpetually for the commer- 
cial well-being of other nations; of India's copying 
^ Western methods so thoroughly that she will become 
J just another in the feverish international group ; or 
/ of India's developing into an independent national 
) personality maintaining her own distinct character 
^ while contributing her share to the service of the 
world alongside of other nations? Should missions 
take a part in shaping labor legislation or in direct- 
ing labor agitation ? Should they conduct investiga- 
tions? Should mission boards assign to India indus- 
trial welfare workers? Would as many industrial 
experts offer their services as physicians do at pres- 
ent? Are we to take our social solutions to India or 
quietly leave them at home and let India blunder 
along without the benefit of our experience? As the 
old village communities break up more and more 
under the profound influence of labor conditions, 
, who is to help them anticipate the resulting moral 
strain? Who is to exhibit the ethical and Christian 
use of machinery and power as a model for this new 
industrial reign? Who more than Christians can 
instil the needed knowledge and incentive and hope 
into India's laboring classes? Can the economic 
problems of India be solved without a moral change 
in the hearts of men? 

Handicaps to Progress 53 


India's educational handicap is very marked. Out 
of 38,000,000 children of school age in India only 
about 8,000,000 all told are receiving any kind of an 
education. Imagine the sad significance of 30,000,000 
children growing up absolutely illiterate — one 
only out of every three boys and one out of every 
fifteen girls getting to school. In India as a whole 
only one in seventeen people can read and write.; 
That is, India's literacy percentage is only 5.8 perl 
cent as against 92 per cent in the United Kingdom 
and 95 per cent in Japan. Three out of four villages 
have no school. 

In India, however, ideas percolate and propagate 
themselves even below the levels of literacy. One 
may, therefore, well try to formulate reasons which 
will seem cogent to a villager as to why he should 
bother with schools at all. The case is by no means 
clear to him. You can tell him that if he can read 
newspapers, he will not be at the mercy of rumor 
and panic ; that if he can get the gist out of a gov- 
ernment bulletin, he may be able to save his crop ; or 
that ability to write a letter will free him from going 
to a professional letter writer when he wants to 
send a message to his friend who has left the village ; 
that schools would enable him to read the Bible or 
(what would strongly appeal to his music loving 
soul) the hymns, and that he could avoid the very 
common type of cheating indulged in by railway 
ticket agents who give the wrong ticket to the peas- 
ant who cannot read the name of the station on his 
ticket. Since he cannot do simple accounts, the vil- 
lager is also at the mercy of the indispensable 

54 Building with India 

money-lender. Furthermore, ignorance is the cause 
of fear, and modern psychology is revealing how 
fear drains vitality. Literacy is the key for unlock- 
ing the world's treasures of civilization and culture. 

However, many of these reasons so obvious to us 
will not appeal at all to the peasant farmer. With 
more insight than professional educators often have 
shown, he sees that the only kind of education of- 
fered does not fit a child for the life he must actually 
lead. Farmers have a prejudice against education 
— ^the kind of prejudice that is found in every rural 
society in the world. They think that the shade and 
confinement of the schoolroom rob the children of 
their hereditary vigor for working in the fields 
under the hot sun, and that school life is liable to 
wean them away from the village entirely. More- 
over, they are so poor that even if they did desire 
education for their children, they know that little 
children of six and seven must begin to earn a meal 
a day and a cloth per year by grazing animals, or 
they must look after still younger children while the 
mother is grinding grain or working in the fields. 
After a child is ten years old, it becomes a real sac- 
rifice to send him to school, for the rural economic 
system is adjusted to a family's receiving the income 
of the children. It is hard for us to realize what it 
would be like to grow up in an environment with no 
tradition of literacy. 

One way of estimating the educational task before 
India is to note how slow the progress has been. In 
successive decades the number of males per thou- 
sand who could read and write is as follows: 1881, 
66; 1891, 87; 1901, 98; 1911, 110. Acts permitting 

Handicaps to Progress 55 

the introduction of compulsory primary education 
in local areas have been passed in at least five prov- 
inces. But the idea of compulsion with its inevi- 
table concomitant of increased taxation evidently 
does not appeal to the imagination of local authori- 
ties. For although the acts have been on the statute 
books for several years, very few municipalities 
have taken advantage of them. 

At the other end of the scale are the college stu- 
dents. Year after year hundreds of them go forth 
in a state of moral and intellectual tension. From 
their Western education has come a continuous 
stream of ideas and impulses which are usually at 
utter variance with their previous ideals of life. 
Some of these ideals may be good, some bad, for In- 
dia, and these students are eager to be loyal to all 
that is best in their own civilization. More than ever 
before do these men need sympathetic guidance. In 
the depth of their being there is a still more funda- 
mental need not always acknowledged — ^the need of 
a religion that can command the full obedience of 
heart and mind, and that can fill one with inspira- 
tion for the reverence of personality, the brother- 
hood among all men, and unselfish service beyond 
one's group. They need what Christ alone can give. 

Closely connected with education is the state of 
communication in a country. We are told that de- 
velopments in the mechanism of intercourse — rail-i 
ways, telephones, telegraphs, printing presses, phoJ 
tographs, phonographs, etc., — determine nearly 
everything that is characteristic of the psychology of 
modern life. These things make for the expansion 
of human nature. They make it possible for society 

56 Building with India 

to be organized more and more on the higher facul- 
ties of man, on intelligence and sympathy, rather 
than on authority, caste, and routine.^ Looking at 
the state of India's means of communication from 
several points of view, we see a real handicap. In 
1917-18 India had 12 newspapers and periodicals 
per million inhabitants as opposed to 50 in Japan, 
190 in the United Kingdom, and 225 in the United 
States. Post-office articles (letters, newspapers, 
and parcels) to the extent of 3.6 per person were 
circulated in India. The corresponding figures for 
Japan are 34; for the United Kingdom, 123; for the 
United States, 136. The telegrams per hundred 
people per year in India are 6.3 as opposed to 73 in 
Japan, 154 in Canada, and 198 in the United King- 
dom. The numbers of telephones in use per 10,000 
inhabitants are as follows: Chicago, 1850; New 
York, 1170; Montreal, 800; London, 390; Tokyo, 
200; Bombay, 4; Calcutta, 3. 


It is unfortunate that the most outstanding char- 
acteristic of Hindu social structure must be placed 
/ among India's handicaps. Whenever we think of 
' India, we think of caste, and caste is a tremendous 
drag on progress. It is very hard to find any anal- 
ogy for caste in our Western life. We may recall the 
closely interwoven social texture of Europe in the 
Middle Ages — clergy and laity, feudal baron and 
feudal squire, yeoman and serf, burgher and ap- 
prentice, master and servant. Everything was or- 
dered and regulated whether by birth or custom. 

*Cf. Cooley, C. N., Social Organization, p. 81. 

Handicaps to Progress 57 

Villeinage bound down the medieval serf to the soil 
by birth. Men and women were born to a certain 
position, and the system exercised very large con- 
trol over man, woman, and child. Or we may notice 
how many an Englishman thinks a tradesman can- 
not be a gentleman and will absolutely refuse to dine 
with one. Many of our trade unions are limited to 
sons of members, and each is kept strictly to his part 
of the job — ^the shoemaker must not repair, and the 
cobbler must not make. 

None of our Western class or religious distinc-fj 
tions, however, are buttressed with that philosophi-/l 
cal justification for separateness and unbrotherli- 
ness that makes a Hindu glory or acquiesce in his 
status. To the orthodox, the different castes are not 
simply different classes, but separate creations from 
essentially different parts of Brahma — his mouth, 
arms, thighs, and feet. The universally accepted 
doctrines of Karma and transmigration provide the 
philosophy of the system. According to the former, 
life here is measured out to us, both in quality and 
quantity, to expiate exactly the deeds of a previous 
existence. Thus a Brahman is a Brahman because 
of the noble deeds of his previous existence. A Sudra 
has merited his low position because of past short- 
coming. The classes in society are not fluid as with 
us, for an actual soul-difference divides them. In 
order to be re-incarnated into a better status after 
death, it is essential to conform to the duties and ob- 
ligations of the status in which one now is. Hence 
the roots of aspirations for this life are cut. Not 
only may the different groups not interdine or inter- 
marry, but the basis for real friendship and inter- 


58 Building with India 

course is not there. It is not surprising that the 
most ardent nationalists are declaring that caste 
must go. Rabindranath Tagore says, "The re- 
generation of the Indian people, to my mind, directly 
and perhaps solely depends upon the removal of this 

If it were not so tragic, it would be amusing to 
see manifestations of the caste spirit on every side 
in India. A little five year old Brahman boy in one 
of our mission kindergartens was given clay with 
which to model. He refused to touch it. "The pot- 
ter is of low caste." He could not resist watching the 
others, however. The next day he poked the clay 
with his finger. The fourth day he took the clay 
with the rest, and nothing was said about the potter. 
A pious Vaishnavite matron will not eat with her 
own children for fear of becoming unacceptable to 
the Almighty. A stable servant will sweep up the 
stall, but will be fined by his caste if he also sweeps 
your driveway. There are hosts of taboos. One 
must not marry or interdine outside one's sub-caste. 
Since there are over two thousand of these exclusive 
compartments some are of necessity small. Cases 
have been known where men have had to wait for 
their wives to be born. A progressive father in a 
limited and backward caste has to face the practical 
certainty that if he educates his daughter, she will 
have to marry an uneducated man. 

Religion tends to be reduced to the observance of 
countless caste rules. If a man will only observe 
these, he may believe anything he wishes and still 
remain a Hindu. If he should be excommunicated 
by his caste, his relatives would shun him, the mar- 

Handicaps to Progress 59 

riage of his children would become almost impos- 
sible, and he very likely would be boycotted in busi- 
ness and socially. Knowing the certainty with 
which breach of caste law is punished, a person 
tends to dread more the taking of water from the 
hand of a lower caste man than he does some ethical 
wrong. Furthermore, the caste spirit takes posses- 
sion of the mind and tends to encourage closed 
groups. This makes cooperation very difficult and 
permits a powerful separative force within the 

Yet even in regard to a custom like caste, so uni- 
versally condemned by Westerners and increasingly 
frowned upon by most modern Indian leaders, there 
are aspects of relief to the Indian heart. Caste has 
enabled people within narrow limits to unite and co- 
operate; it has formed one agency of social control 
providing certain moral restraints. To some extent 
it has acted as a system of trade-guilds providing 
for division of labor. Caste backing is a real sup- 
port in times of famine or misfortune, and in this 
whole conception of group loyalty we see a finer side 
of the caste system. The Hindu gets with the caste 
system a sense of cosmic order. Disasters and in- 
equalities in this life do not perplex him because 
they are the merited results of deeds in a previous 
existence. People are born into the various walks 
of life according to their desert, and by faithfulness 
to the ceremonial and caste observances of that 
sphere, they qualify for a higher life. Social posi- 
tion is not determined, they say, by wealth or power, 
but automatically by the stage of one's inner 
development. What Western nation unquestionably 

6o Building with India 

gives the highest rank, not to trader or soldier or 
ruler, but to spiritual leaders such as the Brahmans 
have been regarded? If you grant their presup- 
positions, caste life takes on dignity and ethical sig- 
nificance. One of the causes of the failure of efforts 
against caste has been the refusal to admit the ele- 
ments of utility in it. 

The caste system like a great glacier moves 
through India, melting temporarily before some 
obstacle only to harden again as it slowly rounds 
some corner of its progress. People will travel in 
the same coach or take water from the same hydrant 
because it is manifestly impossible to have two thou- 
sand railway lines or water systems. Similarly, 
aerated water, tinned biscuit, and patent medicines 
have been accepted. Intelligent, educated men more 
and more refuse to be bound by the taboo against 
interdining and crossing the ocean. A government 
report described a sensational pollution case in Cali- 
cut where a Western-trained Indian doctor, who 
happened to be of a low caste, was prosecuted for 
polluting the village tank by walking too near it and 
was in the end acquitted. But one can hardly herald 
these adjustments as signs that caste is disappear- 
ing. In spite of many concessions to convenience in 
non-essentials, caste remains almost untouched in 
essentials. The glacier must come into a different 
climate to be melted away. Realizing how India can 
never come to her own highest self-realization or to 
her greatest contribution as a partner in world 
service until caste is abolished, how would you at- 
tempt to help her overcome it? Would you attack the 
philosophical presuppositions at the basis of caste? 




Many old Hindu women spend their last years in a cease- 
less round of religious observances and wait beside their 
shrines for death to come to them so that their bodies may be 
cremated at a holy place. There is religious devotion here 
that should find truer and more satisfying expression. 


lA 0) 

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Handicaps to Progress 6z 

Or would you dwell on the unsocial results of its 
working? More important still is this question: 
Would you be able to outline the constructive Chris- 
tian principles which could be applied to transform 
Indian society? 


India is undeniably handicapped by the position 
she gives to women. In the pressure of the modern 
world, India must make a change here or else lag 
far behind. Let us, however, approach this question 
with a humble sense of our own deficiencies. Twen- 
ty-one different nations gave votes to women before 
they could be granted in the American democracy. 
Women workers in America have many a grievance 
in being refused admission to unions or in being re- 
fused a charter if they organize separately. All 
around the world woman is the depressed sex. Very 
few even among ourselves have begun clearly to 
vision, not a man-made world or even a woman- 
made world — but a world made just human. 

Belief in woman's inferiority is a prepossession of 
the man-mind in India. Hindu lawgivers unani- \ 
mously declare that women can never have any in- 
dependence, but must always be in subjection to 
father, husband, or son. The essential inferiority 
of women is brought out in many a passage of Hindu 
doctrine, such as: "Day and night must women 
be kept in dependence by the male members of the 
family. They are never fit for independence. They 
are as impure as falsehood itself. That is a fixed 
rule."^ This immemorial teaching has been accepted 

"Manu IX, 2, 3, 18. 

62 Building with India 

by the women. The lower caste women have more 
freedom than those of the higher castes. They may 
go about from village to village with far less re- 
straint. They are free to remarry. They work for 
pay, as higher caste women do not, and so are eco- 
nomically valuable to their husbands, and therefore 
less liable to divorce. The prosperous caste wife 
who bears sons is immensely better off than those 
lower down, but the unsuccessful high-caste wife 
who has no son is immensely more unhappy than the 
lowcaste woman. 

The desolation of Indian widowhood awakens our 
pity. The widow's lot is a hard one. Especially do 
our hearts go out to the pathetic little child widows, 
so numerous and so helpless. To see the bright jewels 
and garments suddenly removed and the head 
shaven, to realize the inevitable future of isolation 
and drudgery or shameless life, is a terrible shock. 
However, one may inquire into the subject far 
enough to discover that, strangely enough, all 
widows do not have a rebellious spirit. For many 
widows the whole ideal of self-respecting woman- 
hood is such that they would not want to be jeweled 
or dressed in fine linen after their lords had passed 
away. A law legalizing the remarriage of widows 
has been in force since 1856, but relatively few have 
taken advantage of it. Hindu women who have not 
come under Western influence have an intense dis- 
like of the idea of a second union. Even when re- 
formers arrange for second husbands, nine out of 
every ten widows refuse to remarry as being con- 
trary to the age-long ideal that marriage is for 
eternity and that for one woman there is one man 

Handicaps to Progress 63 

only. Hindus at their best revere these widows. 
Widows at their best renounce the world and devote 
themselves wholly to meditation on God and service 
to man. If wealthy, they will provide for digging 
a village tank for water or for building a temple or 
for feeding the poor. This is the ideal — by no means 
always the practice — ^that lessens the harshness of 
this custom to an Indian. Indians themselves ac- 
knowledge evils and abuses in widowhood. Reform- 
ers make this one of their central causes. But we 
only weaken the effectiveness of our remonstrance 
if we fail to see the gleam upon this custom as seen 
from the other side. 

In order to appraise aright the position of women 
in India, it is necessary to understand the joint f am- j 
ily system which has prevailed for almost twenty- I 
five hundred years and constitutes one of the most 
marked and characteristic institutions in the world. 
It is patriarchal in form. The sons and grandsons 
bring their wives to the family home, so that cousins 
are as intimate almost as brothers. As many as 
fifty individuals and three generations may thus be 
living together. All salaries and incomes, no matter 
how varied in amount, are brought to the common 
purse. Such families will combine to send one boy 
to the university, hoping that his future income will 
swell the common funds. Those who are entitled 
to share in the family property may claim all their 
necessary expenses from its income. Such expenses 
would include maintenance for the individual mem- 
ber, his wife and children, for all usual and proper 
religious observances, and for the marriage ex- 
penses of his daughters. But the right of mainte- 

64 Building with India 

nance goes further than this. It extends to those 
members of the joint family who, on account of any 
bodily or mental defect, have been disqualified from 
inheriting, to illegitimate sons, concubines, and 
widows of members of the family. 

This duty of a householder to maintain the de- 
pendent members of his family has always been 
recognized as a paramount obligation, even religious 
sacrifices being supposed to lose their effect if there- 
by a man deprives himself of the means of main- 
taining his dependents. This is one place where an 
Indian regards his system as distinctly superior to 
that of the West, for he is inclined to shudder at the 
way we wash our hands of responsibility except for 
the nearest of blood kin. He prides himself that no 
"united charities" are necessary. On the other 
hand, the system may induce some members to be 
lazy, it may sap the roots of industry and enterprise, 
and may lead a successful man to be proud of the 
number of dependents attached to his household. 
The oldest male is naturally head of the family. A 
full college professor, for example, may still be a 
minor in the family with no property of his own, 
pooling his entire income. The head mother holds 
sway over all the home economy. 

Such a system is marked by the solidarity of the 
group, as compared with the far greater individual- 
ism of the West. Individual initiative, indepen- 
dence, and responsibility are not so much developed 
as with us ; and lack of privacy, jealousy, backbiting, 
and intrigue are often a result of the system. On 
the other hand, loyalty, service, and a sense of re- 
sponsibility for fellow-members of the family are 

Handicaps to Progress 65 

often encouraged by the joint family. In these 
homes you will frequently find women marked by 
poise and dignity, sympathetic and hospitable to a 
degree. The vast majority are not restless with 
their lot, knowing no other as possible or right. But 
what peace they have is secured by the negation of 
abundant life. 

A little reflection will show how the individual 
thus becomes submerged in the family ; life decisions 
become family affairs; and the individual woman 
has a deep sense of solidarity and ever-present sup- ^ 
port. Hence, where the joint family is breaking up 
under the influence of Western standards, girls are 
becoming heads of families without being able to 
rely as in former days on the advice of older rela- 
tives, and widows have no longer the same care and 

In a marked way this family interest dominates 
each marriage in the household. For there is also 
a longitudinal solidarity in the family — the fore- 
fathers and the present living members are bound 
together so that the good of the one is related to the 
good of the other. The welfare of the family is de- 
pendent upon the condition of ancestors, and their 
welfare in turn is entirely dependent upon a certain 
simple annual ceremony (the offering of water and | 
rice) which can be performed only by a male heir. * 

Once adopt this belief, and the pressure on mak- 
ing sure of a male heir becomes tremendous. The 
entire welfare of your whole family connection 
would depend upon it. The marriage of your son 
would not be a matter of his individual choice. It 
would be the concern of all. Its object would be to 

66 Building with India 

get a male heir who could continue the essential 
ceremonies. It would be not a matter of falling in 
love and courtship, but a serious family duty ar- 
ranged by the parents. Hence in order to make more 
certain of marriage and of offspring, marriage is 
pushed down to a younger age so as to take advan- 
tage of the first approach of puberty. To marry and 
have a son is a debt which a man owes to his ances- 
try. To be barren is an exceedingly serious thing. 
The unhappy woman who has no child is sometimes 
driven away, or runs away because of bad treat- 
ment, and then the village will not have her back 
again. If she has gone wrong, they will not let her 
own mother take her back. Believing that an heir 
is essential to the welfare of the whole group, a bar- 
ren wife not infrequently suggests that a second 
wife be brought into the household so that a son 
may be assured. It is against this elemental reli- 
gious background that we must think of child mar- 
riage and polygamy.^ 


India's greatest handicap is Hinduism itself. The 
masses hold on to social customs which sorely need 
reform, but it is not enough simply to say that they 
are conservative. The root of the trouble is their 
religion. Reforms go hard because they cut across 
the spirit and letter of the traditional faith. For 
over twenty centuries certain beliefs have been in- 
grained — ^that it is sinful not to marry a daughter 

^Vivid pictures are given of family life in North India by 
"An Elderly Spinster" in The Atlantic, Vol. 121: 43-49, 601- 
614; 122: 467-79; 127: 180-8. See also Asia, July, 1921, pp. 

Handicaps to Progress 67 

before puberty; that marriage is for eternity; that 
a widow who remarries wrongs her husband; that 
the ancestors will fall from heaven and the whole 
family be destroyed unless the proper ceremonies 
are regularly performed; and that woman is essen- 
tially inferior to man. Great Hindu thinkers of the 
past did not question these positions. It is not that 
the father of a virgin widow is callous to his little 
daughter's plight. But he together with all his caste 
friends, relatives, and womenfolk firmly believe 
that their present-day social customs are based on 
the Shastras, and that the Shastras are supernatu- 
ral, God-revealed, unchangeable, and that their vio- 
lation is sinful. Many are suppressing their innate 
sense of right and wrong on the authority of sacred 
scriptures. The Indian's conscience is as real a 
thing as ours, but the Hindu speculative system 
makes the appeal to conscience far less powerful 
than when through Christ we are brought to see 
the holiness of God. While in modern times many 
educated Hindus have given up some of these beliefs, 
child marriage continues in order to keep the girls 

Thus the masses are impervious to reform. Their f 
practice is determined by religion, not by individual / 
conscience and reason. Suppose you get them to ac-' 
knowledge that their uneducated women can talk 
of little but jewels, needlework, clothes, and chil- 
dren, and cannot contribute what otherwise they 
might to the welfare of their country. Suppose you 
do lay bare the fact that perpetual widowhood com- 
bined with child marriage makes marriages of wid- 
owers of forty or fifty or even of seventy years with 

68 Building with India 

girls of twelve by no means uncommon; suppose 
doctors do point out the results on the child wife 
of the pitiless incontinence of the remarried man; 
suppose you do show that child marriage in general 
takes away five years of happy girlhood, prevents 
all but the most elementary education, leads to physi- 
cal degeneration, and constitutes one of the sad- 
dest things in Indian life. These arguments are 
beside the point, for the position taken by reformers 
of necessity implies the displacement of the essen- 
tially Hindu foundation of the family, although few 
acknowledge this even to themselves. Even many 
reformers need to be convinced that the reform of 
social customs really involves the repudiation of 
principles which gave rise to these customs. Until 
the roots in Hinduism are cut, social reform will be 
faltering, half-hearted, and inconsistent. Conserva- 
tives are quite right in persisting in the feeling 
that the adoption of reforms is essentially disloyal 
to Hinduism. To ask them to postpone the marriage 
of a daughter or to have a widow remarried is to 
ask them to do something against their religion — 
or, if they do not know the relevant texts, against 
the popular ideal of woman's positions and purpose, 
which their religion has fostered. 

We must leave to more extended treatises^ any de- 
tailed evaluation of India's faiths in comparison 
with Christianity. Here only a few observations 
can be made. In spite of the saying common in In- 
dia, that all religions are the same, the fact is that 
religions differ fundamentally. Buddhism and Jain- 

*J. N. Farquhar's Crown of Hinduism and J. B. Pratt's 
India and its Faiths are especially recommended. 

Handicaps to Progress 69 

ism deny the existence of God, while Hinduism, Is- 
lam, and Christianity affirm God's existence as the 
center of their systems. Hinduism, Jainism, and 
Buddhism teach transmigration of souls and Karma, 
while Islam and Christianity repudiate these doc- 
trines. Christianity considers sin an act of the will. 
Philosophic Hinduism considers sin as ignorance of 
the Divine immanence, while popular Hinduism re- 
gards sin as an infraction of rites and ceremonies. 
Christianity considers the individual as a respons- 
ible person capable of choosing the good or the evil, 
capable of working with God or against Him. In- 
dia's highest thought — ^the Vedanta — ^pictures the 
soul as so dependent on God or so lost in Him that 
there is practically no place left for individuality 
and genuine responsibility and freedom. India's re- 
ligions have tended to focus thought on self and on 
the acquisition of merit; while Christianity centers 
the thought on Christ and leads men to forget them- 
selves in devoted service to their fellow-men. Hindu- 
ism and Christianity come to grips on the nature and 
character of God. He is likened in Hinduism to a 
lamp set in a house which neither commands any- 
thing nor forbids and knows not what each one is 
busy with. This is worlds apart from the Christian 
view of God. If religion is taken as man's search for 
God, then India stands out as preeminently reli- 
gious; but, if religion be also taken as God's out- 
reach toward men, then India has not yet glimpsed 
the most precious aspect of religion. 

Hinduism cannot meet India's pressing modern; 
needs. In so far as her people yield to India's age-' 
long thought that this world is unreal, and that wel 

7© Building with India 

are to be released from it through meditation and 
mystical ecstasy, they are unfitted to grapple seri- 
ously with the problems of economic, social, and po- 
litical development. Overemphasis on other-world- 
liness leaves one indifferent to conditions of life in 
this world. Hinduism of necessity assigns the work 
of town and factory to what it considers an un- 
spiritual type, since it plainly counts that aspiration 
to be highest which plans escape from life's contacts 
and life's desires. Hinduism may dictate the de- 
tailed ordering of one's life, but since it neither sets 
before its followers a great social goal, nor inspires 
them with hope and power for its attainment, Hin- 
duism cannot touch India's present problems. 

It is, however, when one sees the religion of the 
great mass of common people that the pathos of 
Hinduism sinks in upon one. Fear permeates their 
religion. A mother deceives the gods by calling 
her child "rubbish heap" or "crazyman," or she dis- 
guises her baby by blacking its eyes. Women weave 
ugly blotches into silk scarfs to avoid the evil eye. 
Propitiation of the gods lies back of an immense 
amount of popular religion. This fear, which is 
often the child of ignorance, will inevitably hinder a 
nation's progress. 

Moreover, one is filled with indignation at those 
who designed and who permit to continue through 
the centuries those obscene panels on some of Hin- 
duism's greatest temples and idol cars. As one sees 
groups of small boys smirking before these regret- 
table carvings, the severe words of Jesus about 
offending little ones surge to one's thought. 

Another blot on popular Hinduism, especially in 

Handicaps to Progress 71 

the south, is its toleration of the system of temple 
girls. Villages can be found made up wholly of 
those who have been dedicated to the gods, and for 
whom there exist well recognized customs and regu- 
lations. Very commonly Western women travel- 
ing in India have to shrink from the gaze of the 
priests who frequent the more popular temples. 
These are ugly facts — ^facts which show that the 
most ardent devotee of neo-Hinduism has but to go 
to India to see how inadequate has been the dynamic 
behind fine ideas. In facing them we must remem- 
ber that Hinduism is a protean religion. It is ex- 
ceedingly difficult to define it. Even thoughtful Hin- 
dus have had to fall back on the statement, "A Hindu 
is one who calls himself a Hindu." Good and bad 
come under the same name, and, as we have already 
seen, there is a brighter, higher side to Hinduism. 
But Hinduism at its highest tends to be complacent 
over child-widows, nautch girls, and outcastes. We 
believe in meditation; but flatly repudiate a kind 
that is never disturbed by evils which destroy a 
people. Facts such as these sadly reveal Hinduism's 
lack of ethical dynamic. Against the same evils in 
the West, Christianity is intolerant and militant. 
The greatest tragedy of India has been Hinduism's 
failure to bring peace and joy and power to the mil- 
lions who have confidently trusted and followed it. 

There is a world conscience developing at whose 
bar India's social customs are increasingly judged. 
Furthermore, modern education will undermine re- 
ligious beliefs such as we have been considering in 
this section. But something greater is needed. The 
Indian people need a new God — the God Jesus re- 

72 Building with India 

vealed to men. They need the Way, and the recon- 
ciliation wrought through Him. They need con- 
structive principles as a basis for the newer, freer 
life. They need a religion whose clear teaching, far 
from being diametrically opposed to reform as is 
Hinduism, will lead them ever forward. Friends in 
the West may as well realize that mere humanita- 
rian service and uplift do not strike at the root of the 
problem. A person with the Hindu's readiness to 
subordinate the temporal for the eternal is not going 
to break what he conceives to be a Divine command 
out of consideration of mere expediency or as a re- 
sult of calculation of gain or loss. But if their loy- 
alty can be won to Jesus' way of living and think- 
ing, reforms will naturally follow. The passionate 
impulse of human sympathy with the wronged and 
afflicted springs up with certainty from a living 
touch with Him. 

Just here lies the essential difference between In- 
dia's religions and our own. For Hinduism has no 
parallel to the historical reality of Jesus of Naza- 
reth. One who had himself once been a Hindu and 
was lecturing on the good in Hinduism nevertheless 
spoke of it in comparison with Christ as "a sixteen 
candle power incandescent light as against the sun." 
It is Jesus Christ, God's greatest gift to our world, 
who must come to India in all His winsomeness and 
saving power. Not till then will the root of India's 
handicaps be removed. 


WE praise Thee, O Father, for the confidence 
Thou hast given us through Jesus Christ 
that it is Thy will that not even the least 
in India should perish; that none should be strug- 
gling on with bare existence or possessed by fear or 
left to their own resources orphaned from their Father. 
We rejoice that there is no inherent racial or physi- 
cal reason why India must permanently remain handi- 
capped in life. 

C^We pray for the real wealth of India — not for 
gems and silks and spices — but for her men and 
women and little children. May they have strong 
bodies, having learned to be obedient to Thy laws; 
clear minds free from all superstition and degrading 
fear; adequate means for every necessity, drawing 
intelligently upon Thy rich provision in soil and 
river, mountain and sea. Above all, increase the 
number of glad, free, creative Christian spirits in 
that land, who shall take up the great and compel- 
ling task for India in an ever deepening friendship 
with Christ and the conscious indwelling of His 

€LBe, we pray Thee, with all of whatever faith who 
are working for the removal of abuses and the puri- 
fication of public and private life. Enlighten es- 
pecially the Indian Church to see that in Christ it 
has a gospel for the whole of man's nature. Em- 
power this Church as it seeks to build up high 
standards of life, and stir its members with the 
vision of a normal, wholesome, and Christian life 
for all of India. Amen. 



Striving and Aspiration 

A NUMBER of questions now present themselves. 
What attitude does India take toward her own re- 
generation ? If the forces of richer life are brought 
to bear upon her, does the initiative in reform pass 
to her? In other words, is India a hopeless and in- 
ert drag on progress ; or may we take hope and cour- 
age from the kind of response given to friendly ser- 
vice from without? If these questions can be satis- 
factorily answered, it ought to increase our estimate 
of India. In this chapter we will limit ourselves to 
these forms of response which have not yet ex- 
pressed themselves in formal Christian ways. Many 
of them illustrate the wide and more or less un- 
conscious penetration of Christian ideas and the 
permeation of Christian principles in the customs 
and institutions of the land. We will take up later 
the mass movements to Christianity and the Indian 
Church which are most significant evidences of In- 
dia's awakening and response under external in- 


First we will look at India's aspirations within the 
realm of social reform. We generally think of mod- 
ern missions in India as starting in 1792 when 
William Carey began his stimulating work, and 1800 
is roughly taken as the time when the West began 

'Chapters V and VI. 


Striving and Aspiration 75 

its effective interpenetration of India. Soon the in- 
fluence of the West and especially of Christianity 
produced the father of modern reform in India — 
Ram Mohan Roy. This reformer sprang from very 
high-caste and orthodox Brahman parentage. As 
a lad of twelve in Bengal he was married by his par- 
ents, but his girl-wife soon died. Later he was mar- 
ried to two girls. 

His awakening began with a revolt against idola- 
try. Even for the sake of his mother he would not 
do homage to the idols, and as a result, while still 
young, he was asked not to darken his father's door 
again. He became conscious of the abuses and cor- 
rupt practices that had gathered about Hinduism 
and, in spite of the opposition of the rigidly con- 
servative Hindu orthodoxy, held that India's reju- 
venation would come through Western culture and 
modernized education. Hence he was a great help to 
Alexander Duff, the great Scotch missionary edu- 
cator, in starting his school in Calcutta. 

Besides fellowship with Duff, Ram Mohan Roy be- 
came acquainted in middle life with William Carey 
and the Serampore group. The friendship deep- 
ened, and in this way he began a serious study of 
Christianity. Though he never became a Christian, 
he was a devout seeker after truth. After searching 
the literature of Sanskrit, Arabic, Greek, and He- 
brew, he wrote: "The consequence of my long and 
uninterrupted researches into religious truth has 
been that I have found the doctrines of Christ more 
conducive to moral principles and better adapted | 
for the use of rational beings than any other which 
have come to my knowledge." 

76 Building with India 

It will be remembered that William Carey after 
witnessing a case of sati — ^the burning of a widow 
on the funeral pyre of her husband — went home 
with such a ghastly paleness on his face that his 
servant at once inquired, "Art thou bitten by a ser- 
pent, Sahib?" He bore through life an indelible pic- 
ture of that long, yearning look which the widow 
cast about before lying down beside the dead body 
of her husband, to be covered with dry leaves and 
rushes upon which melted butter had been poured. 
The shouts of the people drowned out any cry from 
the blazing pile, but he could not help seeing how the 
bamboos held across the pyre by the men suddenly 
moved as though some strong power had thrust at 
them from beneath. And then all was quiet. It is" 
not strange that Carey should have made unwearied 
efforts to persuade Government to abolish the ter- 
rible custom, or that Ram Mohan Roy should have 
been the outstanding Indian leader in the agitation 
which at last led Government in 1829 to make it il- 
legal. Against other wrongs of womanhood as he 
saw them, Ram Mohan Roy boldly spoke out. 

His influence was felt even more in the realm of 
religion, his outstanding work here being the found- 
ing of the Brahmo Samaj. This was the beginning 
of religious liberalism, for in the trust deed of its 
first building, it was stipulated that therein there 
should be no idolatry or animal sacrifice, but other- 
wise it should be open to all. 

The Brahmo Samaj has not been marked by wide- 
spread growth, inasmuch as in 1911 it had only 183 
branches and a little over 5,000 members. But it 
has proved to be one of the most influential of the 


(1) Workers' huts which have sprung up around a factory 
where there is no provision for proper housing. 

(2) A section of a model settlement for factory laborers in 
Cawnpore. An American social service worker has been as- 
signed to this settlement by one of the missions. 

Striving and Aspiration 77 

many modern religious movements which have been 
stimulated in India in the past century. Its wor- 
ship throughout has been theistic, and it has taken 
a firm stand against idolatry. Breaking of caste is 
made a condition of membership in most of its 
branches. It was the first Indian body to take up 
the fight against child marriage. As the climax 
of its policy of reform, a special marriage act was 
secured for Brahmans, abolishing early marriage by 
fixing the legal minimum age for girls at fourteen, 
and sanctioning widow and intercaste marriages. 

Just as the Brahmo Samaj is immensely indebted 
to Christianity, so the Christian Church in India has 
been not a little helped by the Brahmo Samaj. It 
has done much to bring people to an unprejudiced 
study of Christ and to consider seriously the truth 
of a belief in a single God. It would be to many a 
source of surprising uplift to attend one of the ser- 
vices of dignified and reverent worship at the 
Brahmo Samaj. The writer well remembers the un- 
hurried prayer consisting mainly of praise and 
adoration. Also must he bear witness to valued 
friendships with many of its members. One admires . 
their high regard for education and the position j 
given to their women. 

The Prarthana Samaj (Prayer Society) was 
started in Bombay in 1867 in close relationship to 
the Brahmo Samaj by one who had been deeply in- 
fluenced by John Wilson, a missionary of the Church 
of Scotland. This society has been less radical than 
the Brahmo Samaj, clinging closer to Hinduism. 
And yet, in general, its members are theists, oppos- 
ing idolatry and urging the abandonment of caste. 

78 Building with India 

the introduction of widow remarriage, encourage- 
ment of education for girls, and the abolition of 
child marriage. One would be proud to have the 
privilege of introducing a visitor from the West to 
any of its leaders, six or seven of whose well-known 
names come readily to mind. 


Very different in its temper and objective is the 
Arya Samaj, largest and most powerfully organized 
of modern reform movements in India. It was 
founded by Swami Dayanand, a man of unusual 
gifts and great learning, and now has 25,000 mem- 
bers. When a boy of fourteen, Dayanand became 
disgusted with idolatry. After a three days' fast, 
he had been taken by his father to the temple of 
Siva. The powerful god was supposed to give great 
blessings to those who out of devotion abstained 
from food and sleep at that time. However, dur- 
ing the night's long vigil, the temple servants and 
even some of the lay devotees were discovered to 
be asleep, while Dayanand, expecting great things 
of the god and in obedience to his father's command, 
kept awake. Near morning he saw a mouse crawl 
up to the offerings and nibble at them, even running 
across the god's body. This proved to be a turning 
point in the boy's life. It became increasingly im- 
possible for him to reconcile the idea of the living, 
omnipotent God with an image which was allowed to 
be polluted without the slightest protest. 

When he was twenty-one, Dayanand left his home 
and lived under an assumed name in order to escape 
the marriage planned by his parents. Two years 

Striving and Aspiration 79 

later he became a Hindu monk (Sanyasi), thus re- 
nouncing home, marriage, property, caste, and a 
settled life. From this time on he gave himself to 
the study of Hindu ways of salvation, placing him- 
self under the greatest teachers, and at last be- 
coming an influential master himself. 

He founded the Arya Samaj in 1875, with the 
watchword "Back to the Vedas," and with the pur- 
pose of defending and reviving the ancient faith of 
India, after having purged it from acknowledged 
superstition. A parallel has been drawn^ between 
Martin Luther and Swami Dayanand. The analogy 
seems not unfitting as one reads of the epoch-mak- 
ing address fearlessly given to a learned audience in 
Benares four years before his death. He tried to 
prove from the Vedas that polytheism was a mon- 
strous fraud devised by blind priests ; that caste was 
designed to be only a scientific division of labor 
on the basis of inherited and developed skill; that 
Hindu women were free and the equals of men, en- 
titled to respect and honor and the fullest use of 
their opportunities ; that only those could be called 
priests who were pure, learned, and industrious; 
and that social elevation to the highest caste was 
open to the meanest pariahs.^ 

In many ways the movement was reactionary and 
crude. The founder knew very little of Christianity 
or of Western tradition. India's culture and India's 
religion wholly absorbed him. Yet, notwithstanding 
the advocacy of some very objectionable marriage 

*See "Arya Samaj" by H. D. Griswold in Hasting's Dic- 
tionary of Religion. 
*Cf. Bannerjea. D. N.. India's Nation Builders, p. 80. 

8o Building with India 

customs, he led the Samaj in prohibiting child mar- 
riage and in permitting virgin widows to remarry, 
enduring in his various efforts years of scorn and 
persecution from his orthodox countrymen. In- 
stead of the usual procedure by which the parties to 
a marriage do not see each other's face until the ac- 
tual ceremony, Dayanand suggested at least an ex- 
change of photographs. 

The Samaj 's ideal for the minimum age of mar- 
riage has been definitely set at twenty-five years for 
boys and sixteen for girls. But this advanced stand- 
ard is rarely attained. The Aryas carry on exten- 
sive educational work including primary and high 
schools and the largest college in northern India. 
They provide considerable opportunity for the edu- 
cation of girls, and the seclusion of women is dis- 
couraged. A widows' home has been founded, ex- 
tensive famine relief work has been organized, and 
orphanages have been established. The Aryas exert 
a valuable influence in behalf of a belief in one 
God who is spiritual and personal, strenuously ridi- 
cule the conception of polytheism and idolatry, and 
oppose priestcraft, pilgrimages, and self-torture in 
the name of religion. Food offerings for the souls 
of departed relatives are definitely discouraged as 
animistic survivals. Unlike the individualism of 
ordinary Hindu worship, they encourage the social 
worship of God. Theoretically they hold caste as a 
matter of man's nature and not of his birth. Actually, 
however, few members have broken with it, and 
in practice their efforts do not go beyond interdin- 
ing and intermarriage between near sub-castes. The 
Arya Samaj ists are bitter and persistent enemies 

Striving and Aspiration 8i 

of Christianity. The significant thing just here is 
that this virile society is advocating many a good ' 
and constructive policy which used to be urged by j 
missions only. It represents a response which puri-/ 
fies the old, rather than accepts the new. 


A National Social Conference has been meeting 
annually at Christmas time since 1888, to which rep- 
resentatives go from every part of India. It has 
exerted a very powerful influence in the formation 
of public opinion through the reported discussions 
of its sessions and the formal resolutions passed. 
An idea of the stand that the members take and 
the terms in which they voice their position may be 
gained from the resolutions passed at their thirty- 
third Conference (1920). If any Western critic 
should be inclined to charge them with much talk 
and few deeds, let him remember how much talk 
precedes action with reference to our problems of 
labor and capital. 

The Conference is of opinion that the condition of un- 
touchability imposed upon the depressed classes in India 
ought to be forthwith abolished and that free and unrestricted 
access should be given these classes to public institutions 
such as schools, dispensaries, courts of justice conducted for 
the public benefit and at public expense, and also to public 
places such as wells, springs, reservoirs, municipal stand- 
pipes, burning and bathing-ghats, places of amusements and 
worship, and, further, gives its wholehearted support to 
all peaceful and just efforts on the part of the depressed 
classes, to remove their grievances. 

The Conference, while expressing its satisfaction at the 
progress of education of women in this country, strongly 
urges upon the attention of the public the great and urgent 
need for greater effort in this direction. 

The Conference is of the opinion that the age of consent 
in the case of girls should be not less than sixteen years. 

In the opinion of the Conference, the institution of caste 

82 Building with India 

is detrimental to social and political solidarity and national 
progress and therefore urges all to make every endeavor 
towards its abolition. 

The Conference welcomes the growing support to the 
widow remarriage movement in the country and urges upon 
the public the necessity of starting widow remarriage asso- 
ciations or homes to support the cause. 

That in the opinion of this Conference the present meth- 
ods of charity should be improved and the money at present 
wasted in feeding and supporting the idle and undeserving 
beggars should be utilized to start in every district charita- 
ble institutions like orphanages, homes for homeless, and in- 
firmaries, to provide for the needs of the really helpless and 
needy section of the population. 

Besides such items of social reform hitherto advo- 
cated, the Conference intends henceforth to deal 
with industrial, economic, and sanitary needs as 
well. At the close of the Conference the members 
usually dine together, irrespective of caste, race, or 
religion. At least three provinces have their own 
social reform associations, and local conferences 
representing smaller areas are not infrequent. Mis- 
sion schools and colleges send forth many graduates 
who, though still non-Christian, nevertheless have 
been stimulated to work for bettering India's cus- 
toms through these associations. 

Another powerful and uplifting agency is the 
Indian Social Reformer, For over thirty years this 
eighteen page weekly has gone forth to coordinate, 
encourage, and inspire social workers all over India. 
Often these brave spirits carry on their fight in 
small towns, fiercely resisted and isolated from kin- 
dred spirits. In the Reformer they have found an 
organ that has maintained a remarkably courageous, 
independent, and high standard for religion, mor- 
ality, and progress along social and political lines. 
In general, the position taken by its able editor 

Striving and Aspiration 83 

would gladden the heart of any Christian.^ At the 
top of each issue is the following quotation from 
William Lloyd Garrison: "I will be as harsh as 
truth, and as uncompromising as justice. I am in 
earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I 
will not retreat a single inch — and I will be heard." 
This is only one illustration of the way in which 
West and East should ever be cross-fertilizing each 
other, sharing the inspiration of noble example and 

The immediate occasion for starting the Reformer 
arose in 1890 when Hindu society throughout India 
was being rent asunder by discussions of the Age of 
Consent Act prohibiting a husband from being with 
his wife before she reaches the age of twelve, and 
finally passed by the government in 1891. One of 
its first tasks was to put social reform on a rational 
basis. Since for the Hindu all customs are religious 
and receive sanction from their sacred books, discus- 
sion had naturally centered too much about the in- 
terpretation of Sanskrit texts. For example, the 
Indian supporters of abolishing sati had attempted 
to prove that this custom, if not contrary to the 
Shastras, was at least not prescribed by their 
sacred books. Also the advocates of the remarriage 
of Hindu widows felt that they must show on Shas- 
tric grounds that such remarriage was permissible. 
Such arguments inevitably led to endless debates as 

^jt *It would be very helpful if individuals or societies would 
'subscribe for the Indian Social Reformer while studying this 
book. The cost for three months would be five shillings. 
Address, the Indian Social Reformer, Bombay, India. In few 
ways would an American get a deeper insight into all sides 
of modern India with so little expenditure of time and money. 

84 Building with India 

[to the meaning of ancient texts, instead of making 
/ reform a matter of reason based on justice and hu- 
I manity. 

The Reformer has also taken a clear-cut position 
for total abstinence, the abolition of the nautch (em- 
ployment of dancing girls), the advocacy of a pure 
private life for public men, and the removal of the 
l^ prohibitory restrictions by caste on all foreign 
I ' travel. 


A remarkable organization in India embodying 
the new spirit of service is the Servants of India So- 
ciety, begun in 1905. Its founder, Mr. G. K. Gokhale, 
had become at his death in 1915 India's foremost 
statesman, in vi^hom the people were placing im- 
plicit confidence. In part this was due to Mr. 
Gokhale's ability as an Indian publicist, in part to 
the abounding enthusiasm with which he gave his 
talents, his time, his very all in self-dedication to 
India. With a life thus characterized by sacrifice, 
study, and service, it is not surprising that he could 
inspire others to join his brotherhood. 

The objects of the Society have been to train 
young men for the service of India, every member 
being pledged to devote all his time to public work 
and taking the following vows at the time of ad- 
mission: That the country will always be the first 
in his thoughts and that he will give to her service 
the best that is in him ; that in serving the countr^^ 
he will seek no personal advantage ; that he will re- 
gard all Indians as brothers and will work for the 
advancement of all, without distinction of caste or 

Striving and Aspiration 85 

creed; that he will be content with such provision 
for himself and his family, if he has any, as the So- 
ciety may be able to make; that he will devote no 
part of his energies to earning money for himself; 
and that he will lead a pure personal life. 

A five years' apprenticeship for study and practi- 
cal work under guidance is required of each member. 
Those under training receive only Rs. 720 a year. 
Regular members receive Rs. 900 per year to begin 
with and never more than Rs. 1,200. In 1919 there 
were thirteen regular members and five men under 
training. Practically every member is a university 
graduate, and after his completion of five years of 
extra study and preparation, each has become a spe- 
cialist. Though the Society is but sixteen years old, 
its small but well-qualified membership has won for 
itself a remarkably high prestige. 

Its work consists in enlightening public opinion 
through speeches, pamphlets, and newspapers, 
owned or controlled by the Society; in stimulating 
young men to make a study of public questions ; and 
in a great variety of practical service — political, so- 
cial, and educational. The very existence of such 
a society promises hope for the future of India, and 
in its thoroughness and spirit of sacrifice should be 
a stimulus to the Indian Church. 

The organizations for reform that have been men- 
tioned are only a fraction of the varied agencies for 
education, philanthropy, and reform that modern 
India is producing.^ Even to list their names would 

*The unique school work of Rabindranath Tagore, the ad- ' 
vanced measures introduced by the Gaekwar of Baroda, and' 
various other indigenous efforts are described in Schools with 
a Message in India, Chapters X-XII. 

86 Building with India 

take several pages. The land teems with religious 
and social conferences and organizations. A study 
of them shows us what India feels to be her needs 
and reveals at once the most evident points of con- 
tact for any sympathetic help. There have sprung 
up a hundred orphanages — Hindu and Muhamma- 
dan, local temperance societies in great number, 
famine-relief and plague-relief organizations, and 
many organizations for the spread of education. 
Bombay's Infant Welfare Association has passed its 
first anniversary, successful baby shows have been 
held in Poona, Delhi, and Lahore, several societies 
for the protection of children have been organized, 
and various social service leagues are in operation. 


Response on the part of India's women to modern- 
izing influences has been veritably surprising within 
the past fifteen years. Thus far the movement has 
touched a mere fraction of her 155,000,000 women, 
but there are literally thousands of them through- 
out India who have begun to long for a larger 
life than they have hitherto experienced, and 
their activities are full of promise. The intense na- 
tional feeling has made men see that the prosperity 
of their country demands that their womenfolk be 
educated, and that widows at least should be trained 
as teachers, nurses, or doctors, and thus bear their 
share in the uplift of the land. 

During the last decade a wave of the organiza- 
tion of women has passed over the country. Bom- 
bay, for example, now has seven different women's 
societies or clubs, and Bangalore has four. A wom- 

Striving and Aspiration 87 

en's deputation to the Secretary of State for India 
and to the Viceroy in 1917 pleaded with Government 
to take constructive steps to provide training for 
destitute and enforced widows ; to make special pro- 
vision by legislation for insuring to Hindu wives 
and daughters their rightful property inheritance 
from husband or father; to safeguard the interests 
of Indian wives by making it criminal and unlawful 
for an Indian married man to marry an English 
woman; to allow Indian women to enter any pro- 
fession they may choose ; and to allow Indian women 
to have the right to vote in municipal and other elec- 
tions. In northern India there is an All-India Mus- 
lim Women's Association which, at a recent con- 
ference passed a resolution denouncing the evils of 
polygamous marriages and pledged themselves not 
to give their daughters as plural wives. Since 1904 
a Women's Conference has been held annually in 
connection with the National Social Congress and 
has drawn to itself hundreds of women from all over 
the country to discuss subjects relating to woman's 
life. Their findings year by year take a strong po- 
sition with reference to various situations that need 

Bombay and Calcutta have associations o£ Indian 
women graduates, and a notice signed by ten Indian 
women recently appeared outlining a plan for form- 
ing a national unit for participation in the Interna- 
tional Federation of University Women. For three 
years the Indian Woman's Suffrage Association has 
been working for the spread of its ideas and as- 
pirations, and forty-three branches have been or- 
ganized in all parts of India. Representatives of 

88 Building with India 

this Association presented an appeal to the Govern- 
ment asking it to extend the franchise to Indian 
women. Delegates were sent in 1920 to the Inter- 
national Women's Suffrage Alliance in Geneva. 
There is something almost pathetic about such a 
movement, for only one woman out of a hundred can 
read and write. But in it we can see India's eager 
part in the great, surging desire for a larger life 
that has come to the womanhood of the world. The 
Councils of two provinces (Bombay and Madras) 
have recently decided to extend the franchise to 

Women are beginning to make public demonstra- 
tions in behalf of their objects. Several hundred 
women went through the streets of Madras carrying 
the Home Rule banner. In many places they are 
the backbone of this movement. In 1920 a good deal 
of attention was excited by a procession of women 
of all castes and creeds in Poona, who went to the 
municipal office to ask that elementary education 
be compulsory for girls as well as boys. 

Many a beautiful and interesting personality is 
back of these various movements. And back of 
each woman leader is usually some noble-minded 
and unselfish husband or brother or father who has 
devoted time and thought to the uplift of wife or 
sister or daughter. When the history of the awak- 
ening of Indian womanhood is written, the names of 
these men will have to be mentioned along with 
those of the women pioneers. The memory of Jus- 
tice Ranade will long be treasured, not only because 
he stood out as one of India's greatest modern re- 
formers and nation builders, but because of all that 

Striving and Aspiration 89 

he enabled his wife to accomplish. Perhaps this is 
what you would expect from one who out of rever- 
ence touched his mother's feet each morning 
throughout her life. The story of Mrs. Ramabai 
Ranade^ may be taken as typical of what has hap- 
pened among high-caste Hindu women in Calcutta, 
Madras, Poona, Bombay, and in every town in In- 
dia where women's societies have come into ex- 

For that story we are taken back to a summer 
night in 1873. A young man of thirty-two had 
buried his face in his hands, his soul bent with re- 
morse and grief, as he sat in the little, dark room of 
his Poona home. He had been one of a small group 
of young, enthusiastic social reformers who had 
pledged themselves to remain unmarried rather 
than marry a child. A month before he had lost his 
wife, and now, in spite of protest, he had been mar- 
ried again to a little girl of ten. How could he face 
his friends? How could he again be happy when, 
contrary to his own conscience, he had done a thing 
which could never be undone. In the zenana (wom- 
en's quarter) with a mother-in-law and sister-in-law 
seen for the first time that evening, slept the little 
Brahman bride, Ramabai Ranade. 

With great care and patience the husband taught 
his little girl wife. It was arranged for a mission- 
ary to come to teach her English. Her taste for 
reading grew. At nineteen she came under the 
powerful influence of Pandita Ramabai who later 

^Abbreviated from a paper by Mrs. L. P. Larsen, read be- 
fore the Bangalore Missionary Conference (Harvest Field, 
41:127-139) from which many of the facts given in this 
section have been obtained. 

go Building with India 

became a Christian and one of India's foremost 
women leaders. Throughout these years, the op- 
position from the other women of her household was 
great. They enforced a rule that she was not to 
make herself unpleasant by reading downstairs, 
but must confine her studies to her husband's room. 
Because she attended Pandita Ramabai's meetings, 
she was not even allowed to touch the other women 
of the family or the cooking vessels of the house. 
Many a time as a girl, when ridiculed by the con- 
servative women of the household, she would hide 
somewhere and weep, not mentioning to her husband 
what had taken place. Thus Ramabai Ranade's 
mind developed and matured under the guidance of 
her husband and through fellowship with Pandita 

In the year 1909, Mrs. Ranade organized the 
Poona Seva Sadan, a Society which has now grown 
to be the first organization of its kind in India, with 
a fine record of services rendered to the general 
community. It would interest any forward-looking 
Westerner to glance over an annual report of this 
organization.' There are on the rolls of the dif- 
ferent departments of the society's educational and 
industrial classes 741 women, and 141 women are 
cared for in their hostels. The objects of the society 
are to educate women through regular classes and to 
widen the range of their knowledge by means of 
libraries, lectures, tours, and excursions; to enable 
women to participate intelligently in all domestic, 

*A copy would doubtless be sent to any American society 
addressing its request to the Poona Seva Sadan, Poona, 

Striving and Aspiration 91 

social, and national responsibilities; to inculcate 
principles of self-reliance and mutual helpfulness; 
and actually to train women for educational, medi- 
cal, and philanthropic service to the motherland. 
Their mottoes are: "One at core, if not in creed" 
and "Life is a trust for living and self-sacrificing 

English-educated women often take the leading 
part in societies such as have been mentioned, but 
in many places the leaders have had no university 
education and some of them do not speak English 
at all. In fact, a remarkable impetus to reform is 
sometimes given by a quite uneducated girl. Re- 
cently a Brahman student in America was recalling 
the tragic sacrifice made five years ago by a young 
girl of his birthplace, Calcutta. He spoke with rev- 
erence of her startling act which had aroused a 
Province. The father of the girl was poor, but had 
made every effort to obtain a dowry large enough to 
secure a husband for her, but in vain. At last she 
had reached the exceptional age of fourteen with- 
out being married, and the father determined to 
mortgage his farm. Snehalata put on her best 
clothes, went up to the housetop, soaked herself in 
kerosene, and before the whole neighborhood burned 
to death. The following translation gives the call 
she made for reformation : 

"Day before yesterday, Father, late in the after- 
noon, when you returned home, footsore and weary, 
after having been out the whole day since the break 
of dawn, I saw your face, saw the world of anguish 
and despair which was depicted in it, and heard with 
my own ears those fatal words, 'All is lost.' That 

92 Building with India 

face has never ceased to haunt me since. Those 
words are still ringing in my ears. Father, I can't 
bear that idea. What is marriage to me, except as 
a means of lifting the burden of anxiety on my ac- 
count, which lies so heavy on your breast? What 
social obloquy have you not already endured, be- 
cause I am still unmarried? What heroic efforts 
have you not already made to find a suitable match 
for me, and with what ill success? Not you, adored 
Father, but I am to be the sacrifice; and may the 
conflagration which I shall kindle set the whole 
country on fire !" Many a public meeting followed 
this event, to urge reformation in the abusive cus- 
tom of large dowries at marriage. 

The woman's movement is not confined to any 
one caste or creed. The names of Hindus, Parsis, 
Jews, Muhammadans, and Christians are found in 
the membership lists of the various societies, often 
in the roll of the same society. In some cases Chris- 
tianity has been directly responsible for the impe- 
tus ; more often its influence has been quite indirect, 
but none the less causative. One great spring has 
been the patriotic enthusiasm accompanying the 
strong natio nal awa kenin g of rece nt years. 


A second major question must interest us with 
reference to the aspirations of our potential world 
partner, India. Does she respond to the democratic 
temper when she has the chance? What about her 
political sense and aspirations? 

In God's providence, Britain and India have been 
brought together — one, a proud Oriental people 

Striving and Aspiration 93 

with an admittedly great past; the other, the bat- 
thng, independent pioneer for the whole world in 
the development of free political institutions. The 
romance of the intermingling and interaction of 
these two great civilizations fascinates the student. 
Can we catch God's purpose both for Britain and for 
India in bringing them together? Did this purpose 
go no further than securing for India better roads, 
scientifically constructed canals, a peaceful and ef- 
ficient administration, and a general amelioration of 
life? Can we say that the Divine intention for this 
strange, unexpected partnership has been fulfilled? 
Certain it is that Britain has played a great part 
in the renaissance of self-respect and sense of na- 
tional dignity that has come over India, until at last 
we see the uprising of a people, passionately seeking 
liberty — poHtical, social, and economic. The urgent 
and hazardous crisis through which India is passing 
bears on the very existence of the British Empire, 
and hence upon the welfare of the world. Standing 
as we are, face to face with the greatest experiment 
in the creation of responsible government which the 
world has ever seen — ^the introduction of practical 
self-government into a land containing a fifth part 
of the human race — an imperative call is found for 
all apostles of good-will and all disciples of Christ. 
The British admit that they have made blunders in 
India and that their policy has often been selfish. 
But, after many years experience in India, I desire 
to witness to the high estimation which the great 
majority of American missionaries in that land have 
for the degree of unity, justice, and progress which 
Britain has given to India. Despite a bureaucratic 

94 Building with India 

attitude which tends to arise in any government 
scheme, an increasing number of Britishers regard 
their suzerainty in India as a sacred trust with all 
that this responsibility involves. I believe that 
I British rule in India has been better than that of 
any other alien government would likely have been, 
and that on the whole it has been for the good of 

In directing our prayers and thoughts toward 
India, every intelligent Christian of the West should 
keep in mind a struggle in ideals that even yet goes 
on. It is a contest in which magnanimity and self- 
ishness, the highest Christian statesmanship and 
reactionism are all contending for the mastery. 
There is something dramatic in the play of forces. 

Unfortunately, there have been always those 
ready to exploit India, from the days of the East 
India Company to the present when certain mer- 
chants draw wealth from India without returning 
intelligent sympathy or setting the example of inter- 
racial duty and social good-will. In fact, not until 
1858 when political control was transferred from 
the East India Company to the Crown was there a 
worthy and sustained effort to make Britain's con- 
nection with India preeminently for the economic, 
intellectual, and moral good of the people. It is 
selfishness in Britain, for instance, that has been 
responsible for such a measure as the abolition of 
Indian import duties in the interest of Lancashire's 
cotton trade, by which Indian industry received a 
great setback. 

But the great body of British officials belongs to 

Striving and Aspiration 95 

another class — ^the school of efficiency. Interested ^ 
in the moral and material progress of the land and 
actuated by a high sense of duty, they have built up 
a masterful administrative machine. Trained in the 
high traditions of their order, the British civil ser- 
vants in India have continued to be second to none 
in integrity of purpose and efficiency. In the course 
of a few generations they rescued India from an- 
archy ; unified her peoples ; secured peace for her at 
' home and abroad ; maintained equal justice amid 1 
jealous and often hostile communities and creeds; ; 
established new standards of tolerance and integ- ' 
rity; made substantial strides in spreading educa- 
tion, conquering famine, combating plague and ma- 
laria often in the face of obstruction and prejudice; ; 
and raised the whole of India to a higher plane of , 
national prosperity and of moral and intellectual de- 
velopment. The British officer in India spends the 
best part of his life far from home, often in some re- 
mote rural area which has involved the prolonged 
sacrifice of the happiest family ties. He has con- 
ceived his task to be faithful administration and do- 
ing the best in his power for the welfare of the 
people.^ But this type of Britisher did not consider 
it his task to train up a nation on democratic lines, or 
did he regard it as compatible with the suzerain re- 
lation of his nation to comport himself democrati- 
cally in his contacts with the Indian people. Some 
effort was made to consult Indian opinion, but the 
dominant attitude was that of autocratic pa- 

^Read Kipling's vivid picture of "William the Conqueror," 
in The Day's Work. 

g6 Building with India 

ternalism, with a strong sense of their responsibili- 
ties as guardians and protectors of the simple and 
ignorant masses committed to their care. 

There is a third British attitude. There have al- 
ways been Anglo-Indian statesmen who, with El- 
phinstone and Munro, Macaulay and Edwardes, 
have regarded the relationship of Britain with India 
as temporary and have looked with equanimity and 
even pride to the future in which Britain would be 
able to resign into the hands of the Indians them- 
selves a trusteeship faithfully discharged. Such 
men have acknowledged that Britain holds India as 
a trust for the Indian people, that the public ser- 
vices should be Indianized, and that a policy should 
be pursued as generous as is compatible with even 
tolerable efficiency and with the safety of the Em- 
pire. Many there are who acknowledge a duty not 
only to afford India the widest opportunity for self- 
development, but also to endeavor positively and 
constructively to quicken in India those spiritual 
forces which Britain has found to be the soul of 
liberty and progress. Some even vision a time when 
both India and Britain will see that their destinies 
are dependent upon their remaining united in one 
great equal and mutually strengthening federation 
— an Indo-British Empire. They hope that Britain 
and India, mutually educating one another through 
their diversity of character, traditions, and gifts, 
together may be able to accomplish in the world task 
more than they could achieve separately. 

India, also, has her struggle. There are the in- 
articulate masses who until very recently have cared 

Striving and Aspiration 97 

little what rulers they had so long as they were left 
undisturbed. In contrast with them, there has grad- 
ually arisen a body of Western-educated men. It is 
very important to remember that these constitute an 
i nfinitesimal minority. They are often separated by 
a wide social gulf from the vast village population 
overwhelmingly agricultural. Some of them (as we 
have seen in the first part of this chapter) have con- 
fined their efforts to social reform. They have held 
that the social groundwork must be reshaped be- 
fore political reconstruction could profitably begin. 
Others, finding themselves hopelessly at variance in 
regard to questions of social reform, have largely 
confined their efforts to political reform and have 
ceaselessly agitated for an ever increasing measure 
of self-government. They have held that political 
changes must take place before any real progress 
could be made. A few have been actuated by caste 
rivalry and racial hatred, and, with little interest in 
or knowledge of the masses, have selfishly schemed 
to secure power in the hands of their own hereditary 
groups. It is most interesting and significant that 
of late these two great streams of self-help in India 
— the social and the political — have begun to merge 
into a great national movement embracing in its 
scope the social, economic, and political uplift of the 
country as a whole. 


We need not go back into India's ancient history 
—the Hindu period from 650 B. C. to 1193 A. D. and 
the Muhammadan period 1193 to 1761. But a resume 

g8 Building with India 

of the next period^ — ^the British — will help to give 
the background we need. It is noteworthy that it 
began merely in the desire for trade. Only gradually, 
partly to protect commercial gains already se- 
cured, partly because of a feeling that it would be 
morally unjustifiable to permit widespread disorder, 
did the East India Company extend its territorial 
sway. In this way India, which in her long history 
had never before been united under one government 
either native or foreign, was unified politically un- 
der Britain.2 A series of great administrators 
brought order out of chaotic conditions. Finding 
themselves arbiters of vast conflicting interests, and 
invested with semi-autocratic powers, — executive, 
financial, and judicial, — ^they fell into a way of de- 
veloping a paternal despotism with order imposed 
from without. Foreigners were at its head through- 
out and pushed on their work of efficiency and devel- 
opment without trying to train Indian public opin- 
ion to an intelligent participation in the principles 
and aims of British policy. 

In the meantime, English education, officially in- 
troduced in 1833, was raising up a Western-edu- 
cated class. These people began to develop a strong 
sense of grievance because they had no adequate 
place in the foreign-made administrative structure. 
Furthermore, the very literature to which they had 
been introduced through the English education they 
had received — ^the works of such men as Burke and 

Tor this, the files of the Round Table and the Indian So- 
cial Reformer, among others, have been consulted. 

^Although under this paramount power, to this day 675 
Indian princes rule in one third the area and over one fifth 
of the total population. 

Striving and Aspiration gg 

Mill — made them restive for a more liberal form of 

Moreover, the means of acquiring a common spirit 
were developing. Railways and better roads were 
removing the isolation of one section from another. 
The universal use of English i n the universities was 
enabling leaders to get together who otherwise 
would have had to speak in seventeen principal and 
over one hundred subordinate tongues. A common 
currency and a unified post and telegraph system 
were aiding communication. Over all was the 
foreign Raj (Government) against which common 
interest could be stirred; and a press both in 
English and the vernacular was rapidly developing. 

By 1885, a progressive group of educated Indians 
was able to organize the Indian National Congress 
which ever since has been a powerful force not only 
in focusing India's political thought, but also in 
strenuously demanding from the British a remodel- 
ing of the machinery of government. But Asia had 
not had "responsible" government, or a representa 
tive system — ^two methods of deciding public ques- 
tions which have been developed in the West. Brit- 
ain saw no great gain in turning over government to 
a limited class when an electorate to which they 
could be responsible had still to be created, largely 
from illiterate masses. 

The Indian Councils Act of 1892 introduced the 
elective idea, but made no efforts to enlarge the 
boundaries of the educated classes or to provide 
them with any training in responsible government. 
The Minto-Morley reforms of 1909 still further in- 1 
creased the number of Indians elected to imperial ; 

100 Building with India 

and provincial councils, greatly enlarged their pow- 
ers of criticising the government, but unfortunately 
gave them no real responsibility to test and sober 
them. Meanwhile, the prolonged difficulties for the 
British raised by the South African War, the sensa- 
tional victory of an Asiatic over a European Power 
in the Russo-Japanese War, and the revolutionary 
movement in Russia which compelled the autocracy 
to surrender some of its authority to a popular as- 
sembly had created a ferment throughout educated 

A party of "Extremists" developed who were 
more or less openly against British rule. Irritated 
by instances of foreign exploitation, they had no at- 
tention left for social reform. The one thing neces- 
sary was to get the objectionable cinder out of In- 
dia's eye. They were aggressively impatient at the 
inability of the Indian National Congress to force 
the hands of Government by any constitutional form 
of agitation, and they very deeply resented the 
indifference of Government to the pleas of the "mod- 
erates," who disliked revolutionary methods and 
who were grateful for the work of past generations 
of Englishmen. 

Most educated Indians today have their keenly 
felt grievances against the British government. 
They lament the great proportion of their budget 
that goes to an army for which they do not acknowl- 
edge a need and that is used for ends in which they 
have no voice. The resulting small percentage of 
total revenue available for education pains them. 
They charge Englishmen with designedly keeping 
India a producer of raw materials and a consumer 

Striving and Aspiration xoi 

of manufactures. They claim that Indians have 
conspicuously shown their ability at the bar, on the 
bench, in literature, and of late in science, and that 
therefore they should receive a greater place in gov- 
erning. They contend that the British, v^rrapped 
up in the superiority of race and traditions, are too 
aloof and conservative; that only Indians — not 
aliens — can interpret the needs and interests of 
their people. They admit a certain inexperience, 
but strenuously object to being kept out of the water 
until they have learned to swim. 

They say that the Government has been slow to 
see that times have been changing ; and that, while 
in no way relaxing their efforts for the moral and 
material progress of the country, the British could 
have definitely adopted a policy of giving Indians 
the experience and sense of responsibility and mass 
education essential to the development of democratic 
institutions. British rulers, they hold, have failed 
to see that their mission was to educate the people 
entrusted to their charge up to their own level of 
political development. Their desire to see things 
efficiently done excluded the desire to see Indians 
try to do them. 

Nevertheless, Britain has been true to her highest 
self in the unconscious way in which she has been 
educating India to the highest that she herself knew. 
Since 1833, the educational system has placed in the 
hands of Indian youth the philosophies and histories 
and poems which told of England's struggle for pop- 
ular rights; how one king after another was be- 
headed or driven away until through a series of re- 
form bills the franchise was extended to practically 

102 Building with India 

all her people. Britain has not tried to hide from 
India the truth that at heart she abhors autocracy. 

Many British are ready to acknowledge with re- 
gret the wrongs inflicted upon the people of India in 
the days of the old East India Company, but are 
proud to recall that it was they themselves who 
exposed the wrongs and tried some of the chief per- 
petrators. They acknowledge that India's beautiful 
household industries have been driven to the wall, 
but hold that if British industry had not done this, 
the industry of other European countries or 
America would have effected the same result. They 
admit that free trade and the introduction of ma- 
chinery have brought bitter hardships upon Indian 
workmen, but show how these have borne down 
heavily upon labor the world over. They hold, fur- 
thermore, that it is not so much Britain as Western 
industrial and competitive civilization that is to 
blame; that India has been the victim not of a 
personal and racial greed and malice peculiar to 
Britain, but of an international system which has 
brought all Western peoples to the brink of destruc- 

The British would say that they have sincerely 
believed in free trade on the ground that if a given 
industry could not survive competition, the country 
was better off without it. Through them and 
through other Western peoples, the Christian con- 
science has been permeating Indian life, rectifying 
many a social evil, and establishing new standards. 
Common humanitarian impulses of the West have 
inspired the struggle against famine and pestilence. 
If a critic charges them with having accomplished 

Striving and Aspiration 103 

little, they admit that relative to the need this is 
true, but that if India had not been so poor and if 
their staff had not consequently been so limited, 
more would have been done. It should be remem- 
bered that until a comparatively recent date even in 
England compulsory mass education was not ap- 


The World War brought things to a climax. With- 
out conscription, a million and a quarter Indians 
went to the front, and Indian princes vied with one 
another in contributions of money, troops, and sup- 
plies. Grateful for India's loyal assistance, British 
ministers solemnly pledged a reward to India. The 
War brought to the forefront of public discussion 
the problem of imperial reconstruction to follow, 
and of India's place within the Empire. Specula- 
tions and even concrete proposals engrossed the ar- 
ticulate minds of India. India, the people said, was 
willing to remain steadfast to the British connection 
in the same way as the Dominions, but, like the Do- 
minions, she must be given home rule. It has some- 
times seemed doubtful whether the Indians could be 
restrained until the now illiterate millions had been 
trained into electorates capable of giving an intelli- 
gent mandate to their representatives or until ad- 
ministrators could be found among such representa- 
tives qualified to discharge the functions of respon- 
sible government. Increasing numbers demanded 
that home rule should be given at once and in full. 
Even if one were to sympathize with every legiti- 
mate longing of nationalism in India, it constitutes 

104 Building with India 

a tantalizing problem as to what should be done. 
Adolescent India may easily hurt herself with unac- 
customed instruments. Many a parent has had to 
face the same problem with an ambitious and head- 
strong son. 

At last, stirred by the insistent demands of In- 
dia's leaders, the attention of Britain was secured. 
In 1917 came a momentous pronouncement, the most 
important ever made in the history of British India. 
It declared that the future policy of His Majesty's 
Government would be: "The increasing association 
of Indians in every branch of administration and 
the gradual development of self-governing institu- 
tions with a view to the progressive realization of 
responsible government in India as an integral part 
of the British Empire." By it, the principle of 
autocracy was for the first time deliberately and ex- 
plicitly abandoned. 

The Act, which was finally passed in 1919, trans- 
ferred certain branches of administration in each, 
provincial government wholly to the responsible 
control of an actual, though limited, Indian electo- 
rate. Under "transferred" subjects Indians have ef- 
fective control of education, public works, forests, 
agriculture, sanitation, excise, the control and en- 
couragement of industries, etc. Legislative and ad- 
ministrative responsibility for other branches of 
government, such as the army and navy, police, tele- 
graph, railway, and other revenue departments re- 
main in British control. There is now a majority 
of elected Indian representatives in each of India's 
eight provincial councils and also in her national 
legislature. The members of these bodies have be- 

Striving and Aspiration 105 

gun to realize their increased powers to such an 
extent that the new constitution may be regarded as 
a forcing-house which, even more than the War, is 
bringing political self -consciousness to maturity. 


Unfortunately, the very years which brought the 
Act of 1919 brought other events which embittered 
the soul of India to an unprecedented degree. At 
the close of the War a thick blue book was published 
in India, detailing the plots and conspiracies against 
the government which had partially developed and 
had been suppressed. As a result of this investiga- 
tion, the Government passed the Rowlatt Act, ena- 
bling them to deal autocratically with possible 
anarchy and sedition. Since the Act was passed in 
the face of the unil;ed opposition of all Indian public 
opinion, it was a severe blow to Indian pride. In 
their view, it not only endangered their freedom, 
but stigmatized them before the world as a country 
of anarchists. They called it the "black cobra act." 

Moreover, the Muhammadans had their grievance. 
They had interpreted certain statements by British 
statesmen as guaranteeing that at the end of the 
War nothing would be done to dim the prestige of 
the Sultan as spiritual head of Islam. This seemed 1 
to them a perfectly fitting return for the loyalty of 
seventy million Muhammadans in India.^ When the 
peace terms for Turkey came out, Muhammadans 
claimed that the pledges as interpreted by them had 
been flagrantly broken. Tremendous opposition 

^Limits of space have necessitated the merest mention in 
this book of this important element in modern India. 

io6 Building with India 

was aroused, and agitators succeeded in uniting 
Hindus and Muhammadans in denouncing Britain 
for her part in this decision with reference to the 
Caliphate, so central in Moslem thought. 

As a third disturbing element, India's long-stand- 
ing grievance concerning the discrimination made 
by their fellow British subjects against Indians who 
had emigrated to the colonies of East Africa again 
created bitterness. Finally, largely as the result of 
the Rowlatt Act, came a most unfortunate series of 
events in the Punjab. The authorities, fearing a 
repetition of the mutiny of 1857, used what all In- 
dians and many British believed to be quite unwar- 
ranted and humiliating severity in dealing with the 
situation. These terrorizing measures centered in 
the city of Amritsar, so that this name was on the 
lips of everyone in India in 1919. Hearts in India's 
farthest village were embittered by the stories which 
reached them from the Punjab. 

It was in these days that Gandhi rose to leader- 
ship in India and launched one of the most dramatic 
movements in recent history — ^the non-cooperation 
movement. This was an attempted boycott of every- 
thing connected with British rule. Indians were to 
set up their own courjta. and to provide their own 
national jchoola. They were not to vote for or serve 
in the new legislatures or work in government of- 
fices or use any foreign goods» A great prohibition 
campaign partly crippled the revenue from excise. 
Students lay on the steps of colleges so that anyone 
insisting on entering must do so over their bodies. 
Titles and honors bestowed by Government were to 

Striving and Aspiration 107 

be returned. In the end, taxes were to be refused. 
By such methods, Gandhi predicted that the Gov- 
ernment would be reduced to impotence within a 
few months. There were some noble sides to this 
movement, but on the whole it was unwise and un-^ 
practical, and has aroused increasing opposition on 
the part of influential and sober-minded Indiana^ 
Its results, however, have served to reveal the deep 
and serious nature of India's unrest, and that the 
old-time glamour which surrounded the very name, 
"British Raj," has been dissipated. If Gandhi and 
his followers persist in carrying out the more ex- 
treme features of his program, it will certainly 
have most serious consequences for the peace of 

It would be quite wrong to associate India as yet 
with the so-called "yellow" or "black perils." But it 
is terribly significant that some Indians are begin- 
ning to trace the root of all India's troubles to one 
single principle — ^the menace which they believe 
white predominance is to the honor, liberty, and life_. 
of non-white races and nations. In Amritsar and 
the martial law excesses of the Punjab, they see an 
effort to establish white predominance by terrorism ; 
in the Caliphate decision, the arrogant assertion of 
the whites to rule non-white peoples ; in the humilia- 
ting position forced on Indians in the self-governing 
colonies and in East Africa, a claim of the whites to 
keep down non-whites. Put this way, the Indo- 
British problem becomes the concern of every West- 
ern person. 

io8 Building with India 


A perusal of this chapter makes it plain that In- 
dia has at last become self-conscious. She has awak- 
ened to a sense of her own need. Thousands of her 
sons are at work to bring in a better day. 

As we consider India's many social and political 
movements, what should be our attitude and policy? 
Indian nationalism raises acutely the difficult prob- 
lem as to a missionary's relation to political matters. 
It is natural for Indians who believe that their coun- 
try is being wronged to feel that those who pretend 
to love them should also denounce the wrongs. In 
India some of the missionaries are citizens of the 
governing nation; others are there by the permis- 
sion and courtesy of that nation. Obviously the re- 
sponsibility for criticism in these two cases will be 
different. Some balance must be found between an 
exclusive emphasis on underlying principles without 
reference to the time and place of their application, 
and action on the conviction that the gospel is for 
society as well as the individual, and that one's mis- 
sion is to make Christ's spirit dominant in every 
aspect of man's associated life. 

We can see plainly that what India wants is that 
the West should not do all the work, but by example, 
encouragement, and cooperation should enable her 
to get under way, India does not wish to be super- 
intended, managed, or ruled, but longs for the ex- 
perience that will enable her to develop and rule 
herself. She has come to the place where she will 
refuse patronage, but she will welcome respect and 
sympathy. These political aspirations all have their 
analogues in mission work and the Indian Church. 

Striving and Aspiration log 

We are, therefore, thankful for missionary states- 
men who have the imagination and initiative to re- 
shape our methods where necessary, so that the re- 
sult will be — not work done or culture transferred — 
but a nation assisted to help itself and in touch with 
the Highest. 

Let us recall the great woman's movement that is 
going on in India and inquire what our attitude 
should be toward it. Here we must be careful not 
to interpret the movement as a conscious trend 
toward Christianity. That Hindu v/omen are willing 
to meet with European women for a social hour on 
more or less Western lines or for philanthropic 
work of a range hitherto unprecedented in India 
does not mean that they are any the less zealous 
about their own religion. Hindu women are very 
devout. As they face the enormous problems of the 
social regeneration of their land and seek to develop 
a larger, freer life for India's womanhood, it is quite 
natural for them to turn for solution and support to 
their own religion. In fact, some of the societies 
conduct a weekly religious meeting, and we need not 
be surprised that even educated Indian women at- 
tempt to ex:haust all sources of help in Hinduism be- 
fore they are ready to acknowledge any debt to the 
principles and spirit of Christianity. 

Suppose you happened to pass a powerful tour- 
ing car stalled at the foot of the Rockies. The owners 
of the car are eager to proceed. They are thrilled 
with reports of the view from the top, but are 
neither experienced in the management of their ma- 
chine, nor do they know the road. You would of 
course stop to help them. Instead of pushing on the 

no Building with India 

wheels, — a hopeless, impossible task, — ^you would 
examine the gas-tank. Is there any propelling power 
there? Perhaps there is an inferior quality of 
gasoline. It might run on the level, but cannot 
climb rough, steep roads. You would change this 
first, then you would give them advice about the 
road and how to avoid the worst places ahead such 
as you had passed through. If you were thoroughly 
eager that they should reach the top in safety, you 
would see that someone went along to show the way. 
Just so with India's powerful womanhood. Today it 
seeks the freedom of higher levels. The machinery 
is all right — ^the women have the capacity. They do 
not, however, have modern experience and educa- 
tion, and Hinduism is an entirely inadequate mix- 
ture. It cannot generate enough power. The secret 
of climbing successfully is Christ in the heart. Will 
India discover this in time? Let someone tell her! 
Our women of the West do not claim to have reached 
the summit, but they have been making the climb 
recently and still remember the hard places. Volun- 
teers are needed to help India to pick out the way. 

Could any greater appeal be made to the sister- 
hood of women than this struggle against great odds 
on the part of India's daughters? Reverence for 
personality and the respect for women inspired by 
our Lord have, after long centuries, given rise even- 
tually to our Western woman's movement. In the 
great, world-wide process of the emancipation of 
womanhood, problems that have long since been 
solved by us are opening out before India's women 
as at last they are becoming conscious of their need. 
We are sadly aware that even in our own country 

Striving and Aspiration xxz 

there has been all too little direct and conscious 
seeking of His guidance and control. Shall we then 
let India's women work out their problems alone? 
Or shall they be enabled to evolve in the light that 
Christ can throw upon their problems, in the pres- 
ence of the greatest personality this world has 
known, God's revelation of what a human life may 

The years of greatest opportunity for befriending 
the cause of India's womanhood are passing even j 
now. Aspiration for nationalism, which has so ; 
stirred the men, has fired the hearts of the women i 
also. They may not long welcome an "outside in- , 
fluence." Now, however, things are plastic as never 

In some instances Indian Christians and mission- 
aries have been members, sometimes the originators 
and officers, of these women's societies. As such, 
they have given abundantly of the fruits of friend- 
ship. To some, this may not be what they have con- 
sidered missionary service, but in these days work- 
ers must ever be alive and flexible in their methods 
— as eagerly alert as love itself. Ways of meeting 
the human needs of India which were begun sixty 
years ago may not all be suited entirely to this day, 
and only lack of imagination will keep on working 
in the same old way. However, it is not always easy 
for missionary women to be sufficiently in touch 
with the class of women who are shaping these mod- 
ern movements, for there is a problem here. Where 
will one's energies count most for the Kingdom? 
How much time should one spend in getting into 
touch with women who do not want one's aid? 

112 Building with India 

Where the women in these clubs wish only to be 
amused and almost resent instruction, missionaries 
often decide to help the poor to work, rather than 
the rich to play. 

With reference to social reform in general, so co- 
lossal are the needs and so entrenched the backward 
customs that the struggle is going to be a long one. 
Precious as are the effects on mind and conscience 
produced by the Indian reform movements, the ac- 
tual results on social customs come very slowly. 
Seeing India fighting, and fighting against such odds, 
in her struggle to change custom and institution and 
belief, are we not going to extend the straightfor- 
ward help of a friend? All acknowledge the sym- 
pathy and support of Christian missionaries in the 
past. In fact it may be said that the Indian social 
movement is a direct result of Christianity and 
Western influence, for the wider conception of the 
worth of personality does not come from Hinduism. 
Not infrequently, Hindu social reformers have had 
to meet the charge that they were playing into the 
hands of Christian missionaries. 

It will readily be seen, however, that these modern 
religious and social movements make actual accept- 
ance of membership in our Western Church system 
much more difficult. While many who have been at- 
tracted by the teaching and work of the missionaries 
identify themselves with Christian organizations, 
the great majority are content to accept only the 
practical lessons and adopt merely the ethics of 
Jesus. Hence, the churches receive relatively few 
additions from the higher castes. Yet, neverthe- 
less. Christian ideas and standards are rapidly 

Striving and Aspiration 113 

spreading. High moral and social standards which 
a few decades ago were associated solely with Chris- 
tianity have now become the accepted standard of 
public opinion. Hence, Hindu social and religious 
reformers have been diffusing the idea that eyil cus- 
toms and superstitions are not of the essence of the . 
Hindu religion. This is a great tribute to the in- 
fluence of Christianity, but at the same time it de- 
prives it of one of its major assets in its evangelistic 

In Alexander Duff's time there were no half-way 
places between unpurged Hinduism and Christian- 
ity. Educated men were not defending and inter- 1 
preting their old religions, and Hinduism had no^ 
modern leaders. The decision before a serious and 
awakened Hindu was whether Christianity or ag- 
nosticism was to be his path. This is undoubtedly 
one reason for the contrast between Duff's brilliant 
galaxy of high-caste converts and the dearth of 
modern baptisms in mission colleges. It was about 
the year 1870 that intelligent Indians began to 
search for a spiritual basis for a new India in their 
own scriptures. As a consequence, there are now 
some forty different societies representing various 
stages of break with orthodox Hinduism and from 
which a discontented Hindu may now choose. No 
one need any longer become a Christian merely in / 
order to dine or marry outside his caste. 

Is this trend toward the Christianization of public 
opinion and effort in India really a drawback to mis- 
sionary work? Or is this a result for which we 
should be devoutly thankful ; one, indeed, which we 
may well have expected as a natural outcome of 

1X4 Building with India 

Christianity's approach to India? May it be pos- 
sible that Hinduism, under the impact of a develop- 
ing Christian Church, can slough off many of its evil 
superstitious accretions and still remain essential 
Hinduism? Should we be glad for any ethical and 
social progress in India apart from a frank and full 
acceptance of Christ's Saviorship? Granted that 
India's efforts to help herself have led to reform 
movements within her own religions which have 
made conversion to Christianity more difficult to- 
day, can you still be enthusiastic over India's efforts 
to help herself? Can it be that the creation of public 
sentiment sympathetic with Christian ideals for in- 
dividual and social life is simply one stage, from 
which the next step may be taken — a Christian wit- 
ness to the way in which the basal spiritual hunger 
and urge may be met and satisfied? Surely India's 
social reformers and political leaders, awakened and 
inspired by the West, have a right to our continued 
help and encouragement. Above all, have they a 
right to that Life to whom we directly trace our 
most precious blessings and truest progress, a Life 
that perhaps in new and unexpected ways we may 
now commend with poignancy and power to aspir- 
ing, yearning, and prophetic spirits among India's 
needy folk. 


At the end of this chapter, where we have been look- 
ing at India's endeavor to help herself, it is fitting that 
we should follow two of her own great prayers. 

dFrom the unreal lead me to the Real, from the 
darkness lead me to Light, from death lead me to 

Brihad-Aranyaka Unpanishad, 
1-3-28 {600 B. C.) 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held 

Where knowledge is free; 

Where the world has not been broken into fragments 
by narrow domestic walls; 

Where words come out from the depth of truth; 

Where tireless striving stretches its arm toward per- 

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way 
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; 

Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever- 
widening thought and action; 

Into that heaven of Freedom, my Father, let my 
country awake. 

— Rabindranath Tagore 



Cooperation of the Christian West 


In a day when the nations of the earth are awak- 
ening to the claims of^brotherhood, and when inter- 
national trust and goodwill are being stressed as 
the'great way to peace and prosperity, people are be- 
ginning to recognize foreign missions as one of the 
most effective movements in human history. Inter- 
nationalism has been implicit in Christianity from 
the beginning. Its service, its message, its salvation 
could not be confined to individual, to family, or to 
community, but must grasp nothing less than the 
whole world. In it has been an impulsive power 
that has sent forth a noble succession of devoted 
men and women who left Western shores to spend 
their lives in behalf of the peoples of other lands. 

India is rich in missionary heroes, and in these 
lives the Church has a great storehouse of inspiring 
example and accomplishment. There is Francis 
Xavier, who, when he started to India in 1542 to be- 
come the founder of Roman Catholic missions there, 
abstained from interviewing his widowed mother 
and much loved sister lest he should be tempted to 
draw back. We see him later living for over a year 
among the lowcaste Paravas, on rice and water, 
spending sometimes twenty-one hours a day in 
prayer and work, and habitually calling the children 
together in each new village, by means of his bell, 
in order to teach them. Although Xavier, as a 

Jesuit, used many methods of which we would not 


Cooperation of the Christian West 117 

approve, it is not surprising that to this day Chris- 
tians gather under the banyan tree which he planted 
at Rameswaram to mingle the name of this de- 
voted, courageous, indefatigable worker with their 

In contrast with the welcome accorded to modern 
recruits is the way the delicate Ziegenbalg was ter- 
ribly opposed by the Danish authorities when he 
landed in Tranquebar in 1706. The Governor, after 
pouring contempt upon the new arrival, withdrew 
with his council and chaplain into the fort, leaving 
Ziegenbalg and his companion alone in the market- 
square. The sun had set, the streets were dark, the 
strangers knew not which way to turn, but watched 
and waited under the silent stars — ^the first Protes- 
tant missionaries to stand on Indian soil. 

Another early missionary, whose name still per- 
vades the Tamil country like a perfume, was 
Christian Friedrich Schwartz (1726-1797). For over 
fifty years without return to Europe, he went in and 
out among the people, visiting palace and hut alike, 
comforting dying soldiers, acting as envoy to 
Haider Ali or as the trusted advisor of the Raja of 
Tan j ore. He found time to teach in a day-school 
and prepare people for baptism even when occupy- 
ing the most influential public post. There was a 
simple goodness, an unmistakable purity, a capacity 
for friendship about his life that won thousands to 
Jesus Christ. 

Modern Protestant missions in India date from 
1793 when William Carey landed in Calcutta. It 
would surprise some present-day enthusiasts for 
social and economic betterment to survey the pro- 

ii8 Building with India 

gram of this leader of Serampore's great trio — 
Carey, Marshman, aiid Ward. He believed that 
every Indian needed individual salvation from sin 
and a deep and personal Christian experience. This 
conviction took him to India and gave dynamic force 
to all his service there. His great work in Bible 
translation, publication, preaching, and teaching 
demonstrate this. But few personalities in history 
can surpass this one-time cobbler as a powerful cen- 
ter from which issued streams of social influence, 
also. Over a hundred years ago Carey was studying 
the natural history of India, laying out experimental 
gardens, importing all sorts of vegetable, flower, and 
fruit seeds, introducing scythes, sickles, plow-wheels, 
and other conveniences, advocating good cattle, and 
founding "The Agricultural and Horticultural So- 
ciety in India." He manufactured indigo, made 
printing type, devised new methods of paper manu- 
facture, started the first newspaper, and erected 
the first steam-engine in India. Such was the breadth 
of conception of the Christian task of one who could 
write to his son who had just entered missionary 
service in India: "Should you, after many years* 
labor, be instrumental in the conversion of only one 
soul, it would be worth the work of a whole life." 

Henry Martyn, the brilliant Cambridge student 
who gave up ambitions of the bar for love of India, 
so burned with compassion in prayer and effort "for 
men that, when he died at the early age of thirty- 
two, on his tombstone was placed the inscription in 
four languages, "One who was known in the East as 
a man of God." 

Those great hymns of the Church, "Holy, Holy, 

Cooperation of the Christian West iig 

Holy, Lord God Almighty," "The Son of God Goes 
Forth to War," and "From Greenland's Icy Moun- 
tains," were given us by a missionary of the Church 
of England in India — Bishop Reginald Heber. There 
was John C. Lowrie who landed in Calcutta in 1833. 
Within a month of his arrival he buried his young 
wife, but alone and undiscouraged he pushed up the 
Ganges to Cawnpore, and then by palanquin four 
hundred miles overland to found the first mission of 
the American Presbyterian Church in India and the 
first Christian mission of the Punjab. In 1856 
William Butler laid the foundation of the great 
American Methodist missions in India, through 
which, before his death, one hundred thousand peo- 
ple accepted Christ as Lord. Bishop J. M. Thoburn 
gave more than five decades to India and left a 
record of masterful Christian statesmanship. 

The Lone Star Mission has its story of courageous 
faith. In 1862, after twenty-eight years of almost 
fruitless labor, an attempt was being made for the 
third time to abandon it. It was Jewett, on fur- 
lough from the Baptist Telugu Mission, who was im- 
movable, declined to be sent to another field, and de- 
clared his intention to go back and live — if need be, 
die — among the Telugus. Not many years passed 
until this mission was in the midst of one of the 
greatest movements toward Christianity that India 
has seen. Prayer Meeting Hill in this mission em- 
bodies one secret of its power. On this hill-crest, 
hallowed by many times of prayer, Canadian and 
American Baptists were gathered together on one 
occasion, and the caste people looking up from be- 
low exclaimed, "Their God is hovering over them. 

120 Building with India 

Our opposition is useless. They are bound to con- 

Often the cost has been great. Graves of brave 
wives and little children tell a story of the climate's 
toll. The heartache of separation between parent 
and child, and the heroism of homeless student days 
are keenly felt, but there is an urge that sends them 
on. Mary Reed has stimulated thousands to prayer 
and to greater consecration. It was in 1891 that 
this young American missionary suddenly awak- 
ened to the appalling fact that she had contracted 
leprosy while in India. Taking this as a sign of 
God's will for her life, she has, even to the present 
time, devoted her life to work among the lepers. 

At the heart of the missionary enterprise is' the 
conviction that the greatest need of mankind is to 
know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Its 
passionate yearning is that others should have the 
experience of the priceless treasure that is in Him. 
It is the impulsion to share Jesus Christ that above 
all other things leads to the determination, heroism, 
and sacrifice that characterize the Christian enter- 
prise of world friendship. Two marked results of 
mission work in India; viz., the mass movements 
and the Indian Church, are treated in the next two 
chapters. Here let us look at what missions have 
accomplished in other lines and see where mission- 
ary cooperation is still needed. 


An imposing amount of educational work is car- 
ried on by missions in India. There are 34 colleges 
in which one sixth of all the college youth of India 

Cooperation of the Christian West i2i 

study; 780 secondary schools with 94,099 pupils; 91 
industrial training institutions with 5,597 pupils; 
12,173 elementary and village schools with 462,818 
pupils ; and 58 kindergartens with 2,008 pupils.^ 

For this educational work, the Christian West has 
sent to India throughout the years a galaxy of bril- 
liant leaders. Imagination takes us back to a quiet 
room in St. Andrews University, where one who 
later became one of India's greatest educationists 
sat one evening peering into the flickering embers of 
his hearth-fire, surrounded by his beloved books. A 
brilliant career lay before this young Scotch scholar 
who had taken honors in Greek, Latin, logic, and 
natural philosophy. His thoughts, however, were 
not on himself. Presently he rose and knelt in 
prayer. Alexander Duff was making his decision 
for India. Next morning, with new purpose in 
his heart, he smiled at the many rows of books, for 
these were friends which had become part of his 
life and from which India need not separate him. 
But alas, on a wild night, some months later, his ves- 
sel, India bound, was wrecked among the rocks off 
the South African coast. All of his thousand books 
were lost except two wrapped in chamois leather 
which were washed up on the shore — a quarto copy 
of the Bible and a Scottish Psalm Book. With un- 
hesitating faith and indomitable energy. Duff 
pressed on to his great work of inaugurating a new 
type of religious appeal to the intellectual Brahman 
through English education. 

Following Duff came Miller of Madras, Wilson of 
Bombay, Ewing of Lahore, and many others. One 

^World Statistics of Christian Missions, 1916. 

122 Building with India 

after the other, Christian colleges were placed in 
great centers such as Madras, Bombay, Madura, 
Calcutta, Indore, Allahabad, Lucknow, Agra, and 
Lahore, until now they number thirty-four. Sys- 
tematic religious instruction is given daily in these 
institutions to the future leaders. Many strict Hin- 
dus send their boys to these colleges because of their 
high moral and religious atmosphere. From these 
student groups and from those in the high schools, 
most of the converts from the high castes have come. 
Another far-reaching result is the way in which the 
colleges permeate the educated classes, otherwise 
difficult to reach, with a knowledge of Christianity. 
The first schools for women in all India were 
started by missionaries in direct opposition to pub- 
lic sentiment and the teachings of India's religions. 
Their example and attainments have been so illumi- 
nating and significant that they have become a 
source of inspiration to India to attempt her im- 
mense task of securing a literate womanhood. Al- 
though the majority of the Christian community has 
in general been drawn from the depressed classes, 
the proportion of its female population under in- 
struction is five times that for Hindus and eight 
times that for Muhammadans. An immense amount 
of patient, steady, faithful service has gone into 
this work, especially in the boarding-schools with 
their unceasing demands. Eliza Agnew of the 
American Board, who resolved to become a mission- 
ary while studying geography in school, was the 
first unmarried woman sent to Ceylon. She pio- 
neered and managed a school for forty-three years 
without once returning to America for furlough. 

Cooperation of the Christian West 123 

She has been called "the mother of a thousand chil- 
dren," and it is said that every girl who took a full 
course under her became a Christian. 

The first Christian college for women in Asia 
came as the result of the quiet, steady conviction of 
Isabella Thoburn that the women of India should be 
educated under direct Christian influence. The 
work begun in Lucknow in 1870 in a one-roomed 
day-school, grew into a boarding and high school 
with large enrolment and widespread influence. 
College classes were opened in 1886, and in 1919 it 
was made a union institution, two mission societies 
cooperating. In 1915 twelve mission boards in Brit- 
ain, United States, and Canada united in creating 
the Woman's Christian College, Madras. Miss 
Eleanor McDougall, a gifted member of the faculty 
of London University, after having refused a post 
with generous salary under the government of In- 
dia, accepted the presidency of this institution so 
full of hope for the womanhood of south India. Two 
professions especially; namely, teaching and medi- 
cine, are urgently in need of Indian women recruits. 
These two colleges are helping to meet this need, as 
well as sending out workers for the Young Women's 
Christian Association and the home. Wherever the 
graduates go, they manifest spiritual and intellec- 
tual leadership. 

Even vaster than the tasks assumed by missions 
in higher education is their effort to stimulate pri- 
mary education. The average village school is held 
in a mud-walled building or on the veranda of the 
teacher's house or out under the shade of a tree. The 
equipment often consists of nothing more than a 

124 Building with India 

table and chair for the teacher, matting for the 
pupils, a black-board, registers, and clock. Some- 
times in order to keep up the attendance it is nec- 
essary to threaten the parents with the removal of 
even this meager equipment. Not half of the twenty 
pupils may possess a book, for the parents are not 
able to purchase one. A few fortunate urchins have 
a slate, but the slate-pencil may be not more than 
one inch long. It is on the mud floors of such village 
schools that the educational battle is to be lost or 
won in India. There are over 12,000 of these ele- 
mentary and village mission schools to which almost 
half a million pupils come. It may be truly said, 
therefore, that Christian education has left its mark 
on the whole development of education in India. 
Throughout modern times it has been an important 
factor, and its contribution has been recognized by 

Missions must not relax their educational efforts 
in this hour of India's greatest need. She is the 
largest country thus far to be launched on a serious 
definite, progressive plan for responsible self-gov- 
ernment. She is in the midst of the experiment — 
and experiment it is, for her divisions of race, caste, 
religion, and language are wider and deeper than 
those of any other land. Only eighteen millions out 
of her three hundred and seventeen millions can 
read, and the present electorate includes only six 
millions. From the standpoint of nationalism, edu- 
cation manifestly is one of India's greatest needs. 

But from the standpoint of the Kingdom, Chris- 
tian education is of central importance. If India 
is to become a life-center through which God can 




2 .0 





c ^ 

*» c 

•- o 

Cooperation of the Christian West 125 

express Himself in creative ways, Christian leader- 
ship and a Christian society are primary essentials. 
Both of these necessitate the Christian school. 
Through it Christians are trained to take their 
places as leaders with the Christian ideal in the 
political, social, and moral betterment of India. 
Upon it largely rests the development of an educated 
Christian Church able to support the Christian 
cause by its money and efforts. It is not surprising, 
therefore, that from one third to one half of all 
money spent on missions goes to education of one 
kind or another. 

One of the most difficult and pressing questions 
which Indian missions are now facing is raised by 
the agitation for a "conscience clause" in our mis- 
sion schools. According to a policy begun in 1854, 
a large proportion of our schools receive a consider- 
able part of their expenses from government grants- 
in-aid. Hindus are beginning to claim that since 
these grants come out of public taxes, their children 
should not be compelled to listen to Christian teach- 
ing. The demand is clearly associated with the 
growth of the national movement, and it is a seri- 
ous thing for missions to be thought to be antagonis- 
tic to this national spirit. In general, missionaries 
admit that this claim is just in single-school areas 
where the parents have no option except to send 
their children to a school where Christianity is reg- 
ularly taught. In such cases, mission managers as a 
rule agree that if objection to religious instruction 
is conscientiously made by parents, they should 
either allow such exception or give up their grants- 
in-aid. But the general consensus of missionary 

126 Building with India 

opinion thus far does not favor the "conscience 
clause" when the parent has a choice of school or 

The question is entirely too complicated to discuss 
in full here. Only an indication of the variety of 
factors in the problem can be given. On the one 
side it is claimed that Government does not depart 
from its policy of religious neutrality in giving 
grants to mission schools, for grants are also given 
to schools where Hinduism and Muhammadanism 
are taught, and that therefore there ic no moral diffi- 
culty involved ; that the demand does not come from 
the parents, but from the anti-Christian agitators 
who would bring pressure to bear upon those who 
really have no desire to withdraw their children 
from Christian instruction ; and that mission educa- 
tion aims at bringing all pupils into contact with 
varied sources of quickening power and that it 
would stultify us to treat the witness to Jesus Christ 
as optional when we regard it as the very essence of 
the service these schools seek to render to the youth 
of India. 

Other missionaries urge that Americans would 
not agree that taxes should go to schools in which a 
particular religion is inculcated; that since educa- 
tion has been turned over to Indian control, Indians 
will very likely compel the acceptance of a con- 
science clause anyway as a condition of receiving 
grants, and that it would therefore be better to yield 
before an embittered struggle develops ; that the ac- 
tual Bible teaching would reach a higher level if the 
hearing were not demanded through compulsory 
attendance; and that the whole conception of com- 

Cooperation of the Christian West 127 

pulsory teaching of the faith of Jesus Christ is un- 
wise since religion is something to be caught, not 
taught — a friendship and way of life rather than 
primarily a set of dogmas. 

A second great problem for our missionary edu- 
cators in India is to determine the place of Chris- 
tian education in a rapidly growing state system. 
Conditions are changing, and missions retain no 
longer the unique position of pioneering. The 
spread of public education must inevitably diminish 
the relative share of the educational burden borne 
by missionary effort, even though the actual num- 
ber of missionary schools and the enrolment in 
these should markedly increase. Does this mean 
that Christian education is not to retain a vital and 
even an increasing influence in the development of 

The answer is given in the life of Pastor Santiagu. 
Fifty years ago he was a small boy in one of 
India's illiterate, poverty-stricken, outcaste vil- 
lages. His home was a thatched mud-hovel amid 
people despised as carrion eaters — ^the off-scouring 
of India's caste system. From such a background, 
Santiagu went to a village school. He was selected 
for further training in a boarding-school where he 
lived under the earnest care of the missionary. Then 
came a partial college course, followed by theologi- 
cal seminary — each step upward in a mission insti- 

Years later there came a time when the mission- 
ary in charge had to leave Battalagundu near Ma- 
dura. There were five churches and over twenty 

i2» Building with India 

congregations besides nineteen schools served by 
thirty-five Indian workers. Santiagu was chosen to 
superintend this work. When the evangelistic cam- 
paign was on a few years ago, Santiagu was set 
apart from his important pastorate to pass from one 
town to another, organizing the evangelistic bands, 
training the leaders, outlining the policy, and every- 
where inspiring the workers to a new earnestness. 

Furthermore, he was recognized by non-Chris- 
tians as the greatest force for righteousness in his 
town. The people, though largely Brahman, elected 
him mayor of the town because they considered him 
the leader of the practical affairs of the district. 
Even India's exclusive high-caste groups see that 
Christian education has just this faith and power — 
to take men from the mire and in one lifetime fit 
them for spiritual and community service. A de- 
christianized national education can never make 
this peculiar and highly desirable contribution to 
the life of India. 

Such a life is an illustration of the vital contribu- 
tion Christian education can make to India and an 
evidence that it can produce a more dynamic person- 
ality, a finer, higher type of character than any 
other kind. What else could be true since in Christ 
we find our way to God and realize God's way to us, 
and in Him, moreover, we find the highest manifes- 
tation of the character and nature and power of our 
Father. The Christian Church can no longer com- 
pete in quantity of education provided, but it should 
bend every energy and use every resource to insure 
that the Christian quality of education is set on a 
hill in India. The opportunity to leave an inefface- 

Cooperation of the Christian West 129 

able mark on the education of India now lies, not in 
numbers, but in a type. 

Frankly, this will not be adequately accomplished 
unless we give much more support to our schools. 
Missionary educators are asking for recruits who 
will bring to bear upon their task all that is best in 
modern educational theory and practice. They are 
asking for more adequate staffs so that our schools 
may be more pervasively Christian. They are call- 
ing for teachers with spiritual aims broad enough to 
recognize and serve the needs of family, community, 
vocational, church, and national life. 

In the training of teachers to impart this Chris- 
tian type of education with its emphasis on the for- 
mation of character, faith in the accessible and 
available resources of God, initiative for community 
welfare, and a true and wholesome outlook on life is 
found our greatest opportunity to help India educa- 
tionally. In training women teachers, especially, a 
surpassing service can be rendered. India will have 
to starve educationally, and continue to struggle on 
with its overwhelming problem of illiteracy, with 
only men teachers in the village schools, until chiv- 
alry is developed toward women who do not live 
under the protection of zenanas. But it is easier 
for Christian women to break over binding conven- 
tions than for Hindu and Muhammadan women. Al- 
ready some girls are being trained as teachers in 
the normal classes added to high schools or even to 
grammar schools. It is clear, however, that the 
relatively small efforts being made at present should 
be greatly increased. Non-Christian schools and 
government schools, as well as our own mission 

130 Building with India 

schools, are eager to secure trained teachers. The 
Christian teacher — and especially the Christian 
woman teacher in India — has a place of great in- 
fluence. Why should not the Christian friends of 
the West have the initiative to place one or more 
well-equipped women's training schools in every 
province? Such schools afford a great opportunity 
for union effort. 

We may well ask ourselves whether we have the 
faith and vision to be India's helper at this point of 
sore need. Are we raising up in our homes children 
who have a vital, living, expectant experience of 
God? Do they know the springs of character and 
of personality? Are they themselves on fire for the 
triumph of Christ's spirit in every personal and 
social relationship? Are some of them mastering 
the profession of education ? From such young peo- 
ple must come those through whom we are to make 
our educational contribution to the Orient. 


Face to face with India's poverty, missionaries 
have inevitably addressed themselves to the task of 
making possible a fuller, more abundant life 
through economic betterment. Modern missionaries 
do not feel that they can escape the battle with 
the human needs of India any more than could 
William Carey. In justification of his efforts to bet- 
ter the welfare of India's peasantry, he said, "Few 
who are extensively acquainted with human life, will 
esteem these cares either unworthy of religion or 
incongruous with its highest enjoyment." 

The experiments being made are manifold. In 

Cooperation of the Christian West 131 

the Telugu area one missionary has started a dairy 
farm, imported a cream separator, demonstrated 
the value of scientific feeding, and turned the farm 
over to an Indian Christian. Another, in western 
India, has improved the Indian loom so that, while 
still reparable by the village carpenter, the people 
can turn out fifty per cent more cloth. Another, in 
the United Provinces, has procured for his garden 
high quality mango trees from which grafts are 
sold to Christians — one of his attempts to provide 
subsidiary industries. Much has been accomplished 
through the advocacy of the use of silos, the prac- 
tice of trenching, and seed selection. 

Lace-making, introduced into Ireland during the 
potato famine and now indigenous, has been started 
by missionary women in various parts of India, 
bringing with it the necessity for cleaner hands, 
cleaner dresses, and cleaner houses. In Ceylon one 
mission has arranged for marriage clothes and 
jewels that can be rented. In Tinnevelly a higher 
rate of marriage fee is charged by the officiating pas- 
tor if the parents have indulged in the luxury of a 
band. At Ahmednagar a church coffin may be bor- 
rowed by the poor. The attempt is thus made to 
help the people to help themselves and so increase 
their ability to support their families, their schools, 
and their churches. 

In many centers the Christians are so poor that 
missions formally recognize that no lasting spiritual 
progress can be made without taking the economic 
conditions into account. At the Baptist Telugu 
Conference (1919), it was resolved that there 
should be established a Bureau for inquiring into 

132 Building with India 

the economic welfare of their people, and reporting 
constructive measures of relief to Government. 
The American Board's mission at Madura has a 
permanent standing Committee on Economic Wel- 
fare, whose chairman is the professor of economics 
in the mission college at Madura. The body coor- 
dinating all missions in India has a Committee on 
Industrial and Agricultural Work. The program of 
this committee includes the preparation of memo- 
randa on such questions as the relation of the educa- 
tional, moral, and religious aim to economic necessi- 
ties; the place of cooperative credit societies for 
missions dealing with rural problems; how to in- 
augurate and develop such societies ; how to conduct 
an economic survey; reports on economic surveys 
already made; information concerning govern- 
ment literature on industry and agriculture; re- 
ports of successful experiments made in connection 
with special problems; and the problem of urban 
employment and the need of hostels in this connec- 

When one stops theorizing and tries to help a peo- 
ple under actual conditions of life, an indomitable 
faith has to be added to creative ability. It would 
seem easy to introduce chicken raising. But it will 
be found that chickens are easily stolen, that petty 
officials on tour unlawfully demand them without 
pay, or if they are to be profitable, an old woman 
must be found too weak to "do coolie," but strong 
enough to look after chickens. Women are kept 
busy grinding grain and pounding rice — work that 
could be done cooperatively for the whole village by 
a machine; but the men would then complain that 

Cooperation of the Christian West 133 

their women had nothing to do. It would seem very- 
practical to add the fly shuttle to the village looms. 
But just the twenty-eight inches required to catch 
the shuttle would necessitate rebuilding all the 
weavers* huts of the district. 

One can easily secure a plow that will turn a deeper 
furrow than the century-old Indian variety, but 
how would you answer the farmer who complains 
that the new model is too heavy to bring home on his 
shoulder at night, and that it cannot be repaired by 
the village blacksmith? He will very likely com- 
plain that it requires the use of both hands to guide 
it, that an extra pair of oxen must be yoked up to 
pull it, or that the initial cost is prohibitive. By no 
means least important is the fact that an imported 
model is too long for him to reach forward and 
guide the oxen by means of twisting their tails. All 
these difficulties were taken into consideration by 
D. W. Griffen, an American missionary, who had 
specialized in agricultural tools and machinery in 
the United States, and who in his work at the Alla- 
habad Agricultural Institute set himself to the task 
of adapting Indian implements to the needs of better 
farming. After persistent experimentation extend- 
ing into thirty different models, he evolved one 
which is light, cheap, easily repaired and which, 
while going only about four inches deep, has a cut- 
ting edge, digs a square furrow, turns the sod over, 
and stays in the ground without effort — ^none of 
which the Indian plow does. This new model is 
known all over India as the Scindia plow. A gen- 
eral principle is well illustrated here. The first step 
upward is not in the introduction of our advanced 

134 Building with India 

types of machinery, but the invention of pumps, 
barrows, and other machinery just a step beyond 
India's present stage. 

It is possible to coach some of the Christian ten- 
ant farmers in gardening so that the monetary value 
of the yield is greatly increased. But it upsets all 
calculations to have the rent go up, as actually did 
occur in a given case, from Rs. 8 to Rs. 12 the second 
year, and to Rs. 16 the third year. Something more 
has to be done so that the landlord will not absorb 
all the gain of better methods. It may be possible 
to get a little land upon which Christians can be set- 
tled, but even if it is not soon alienated to non-Chris- 
tians, what of the insatiable land hunger created in 
hundreds of homes by the few who have been 
placed? So disastrous in certain places has been 
the effect on the spiritual work of placing a limited 
number of Christians on land, that some mission- 
aries say they will never again attempt it. An indus- 
trial school may be started, but it was found in one 
center that twenty-five out of thirty pupils after 
leaving school did not pursue the handicrafts 
learned. A missionary endeavoring to establish a co- 
operative credit society in some village has had all 
but the last form filled up and signed when the sus- 
picion of the people reasserted itself, and the project 
was blocked until they could be put in the right 
humor again. 

I shall never forget the series of persistent efforts 
which the head of a Converts' Home made before 
practical and profitable industries could be discov- 
lered. It seemed natural to suppose that a widow 
\who had been accustomed in her Hindu home to 

Cooperation of the Christian West 135 

earn money by hammering metal links together into 
a neck chain, should continue such work. But, to 
the disappointment of the superintendent, it was 
found that, as she had become a Christian, none of 
her former employers would give her work. A 
sewing-machine was bought for making jackets and 
other clothing. But the Muhammadan tailors could 
work better and more cheaply, and so this industry 
did not last long. Friends in Calcutta, six miles 
away, urged them to make good, plain cakes. Regu- 
lar orders came in, and there seemed hope for a 
profit. But the women were not clever, they did 
not understand whether the cakes were "heavy" or 
"light," as they never eat such things, so that some- 
times a whole batch was spoiled in the making, and 
thus the profit was nothing. 

Lace-making was introduced, as there was known 
to be a great demand for good lace ; but the women's 
fingers were clumsy, they could only make a few 
inches a day, and hence could not compete with those 
who had nimble fingers. Fine drawn-thread work 
and handkerchief -making were tried; but these 
once-Hindu women had never used their eyes for 
any close work, not even reading ; consequently their 
eyes gave them much trouble, and they frequently 
had to be taken to the eye hospital for spectacles 
and treatment. An added difficulty lay in the char- 
acter of the women. For they were not naturally 
industrious and sometimes feigned or exaggerated 
sickness in order to avoid work. 

Successful industries, however, were at last found. 
By a happy thought they began to make mango chut- 
ney for. export to England, and ever since it was 

136 Building with India 

first tried, this has continued to be a paying indus- 
try. To this was added the making of jams and of 
curry powder. For guava jelly, orange marma- 
lade, and Cape gooseberry jam, a good sale was 
found in the neighborhood of Calcutta. 

At the suggestion of their gatekeeper, they began 
to make Mirzapur carpets. The work was easy and 
mechanical, so that the women and children learned 
it quickly and were able to produce handsome rugs. 
In order to save on the price of wool, they set about 
learning how to dye wool, so that now they can buy 
wool off the backs of sheep and make it up into 
beautiful rugs. Needlework and the making of 
necklaces from seeds were successfully introduced 
for those who could do this work. 

In such ways missions are patiently and steadily 
working at the problems of India's uplift, which, to 
one without Christian faith, might at first seem 
baffling and overwhelming. Missionaries are show- 
ing that the Oriental mind is not inscrutable, that it 
is capable of adopting change, and that intelligence 
with administrative ability can secure progress. 
Above air, they are" demonstrating anew that the 
spirit of Christ makes people free and impels them 
to work their way out of degrading conditions. 


India's great need for medical and sanitary as- 
sistance has, from the first, enlisted mission effort. 
Today in over five hundred centers, mission doctors 
and nurses in hospital or dispensary show forth the 
love of Christ. Pain is relieved, the sick are healed, 
the lepers cared for. Every cure is an object les- 

Cooperation of the Christian West 137 

son. When a Christian village is inoculated for 
plague so that death passes by on either side leav- 
ing this village immune, a blow is given to ingrained 
fatalism. When death-rates are manifestly lowered, 
a more optimistic faith begins to take the place of 
pessimism. It will be long before go vernment effort s 
will overtake the widespread needs in this field; 
hence the help of missions is still urgentlyjieiiUJuced--- 

In Chapter Two we saw some of the physical 
handicaps of India. To illustrate still further the 
urgent need of medical missions, let us look with 
some detail at conditions surrounding Indian moth- j 
erhood.^ One out of every seventy women die in i 
childbirth in India. The appalling mortality of 
mothers and infants is mentioned in almost every 
health officer's report. Back of the high mortality 
at this time are various preventable causes. There 
is the widespread belief that a woman at the time 
of childbirth is ceremonially unclean, more defiling 
than the lowest outcastes. This belief determines 
many of the conditions. It becomes manifestly ab- 
surd to use anything clean, and so the oldest, filthi- 
est rags are often hoarded for this occasion. The 
dai, one of India's untrained hereditary midwives, 
when summoned, will put off the ordinary, none too 
clean dress and put on soiled clothes which likely 
have not been washed since the previous case. For 
the same reason, the room used must be one that 
other members of the household do not need to use, 
and in practice it is a hovel outside. In some parts 
of India the girl's mother may enter the room, pro- 
vided she undergoes certain ceremonial cleansing 

^Cf. Lankester, Arthur, M. D., Tuberculosis in India. 

138 Building with India 

afterwards, but in the majority of cases the mother's 
presence is forbidden. 

Another injurious belief is that fresh air is 
dangerous both for mother and child. It is firmly- 
held that puerperal fever comes from exposure or 
chill, and hence great care is taken to exclude fresh 
air. Even in hot weather the door and window — if 
there be one — will be tightly shut, every opening 
closed with old clothes, and a charcoal fire placed 
inside, still further vitiating the air. 

The need of reform in native midwifery is un- 
questioned by those who know the facts. Unclean 
in habits, careless in work, often callous to suffer- 
ing, bold in treatment with courage born of crass ig- 
norance, the midwife brings untold mischief to her 
patients. Under the present conditions, the profes- 
sion is limited to women of the lowest class. Fur- 
thermore, there is an hereditary system by which a 
given dai deems it to be her right to look after a 
limited group of families, and this rules out compe- 

The patient is usually left unbathed for from six 
to thirteen days. During this time her diet is re- 
stricted, milk in any form being forbidden. At 
such a time water is given most sparingly. There 
are thousands of children blind today in India whose 
eyesight would have been saved had there been pres- 
ent at birth someone who knew the importance of 
carefully cleansing the eyes of the new-born infant 
and thus preserving it from a common form of se- 
vere ophthalmia. 

Now it should be remembered that these things 
are done not to torture the young mother, but with 

Cooperation of the Christian West 139 

the sincere belief that they will minister to her best 
good and to that of the child. The people do try to 
take precautions, as when the leaves of the akh are 
thrown on the house at childbirth to keep away evil 
spirits. But their me asures are not scientific . This 
is all the greater reason why we should share the 
modern knowledge that we have. Especially is there 
a call today in India for the relief of the sufferings 
of women and of the terrible wastage of infant 
life. "Ah," said a Hindu woman, "your God must be 
a very good God to send a doctor to the women. 
None of our gods ever sent us a doctor." A change 
is bound to come eventually, but the opportunity of 
immensely accelerating the progress is ours today. 
Why not use India's conditions of health as a test 
case for ourselves? "If anyone has this world's 
wealth and sees that his fellow man is in need, and 
yet hardens his heart against him — how can such 
a one continue to love God?" 

John Scudder, while still a physician in New 
York, met this test when, as the result of reading a 
pamphlet lent him by a patient, he made the decision 
that led him to go to India in 1820 as the first Ameri- 
can medical missionary. Later he gave seven sons 
and ten grandchildren to missionary work. Clara 
Swain did not harden her heart when in 1869 she 
went out as the first woman medical missionary to 
India. The test was met by Margaret MacKellar 
who, in order to serve India's sick and plague 
stricken people, left her post in the millinery depart- 
ment of a store, and, though twenty-two years of 
age, took her seat in school with boys and girls in the 
eighth grade in order to begin again her education. 

140 Building with India 

Later came a medical course in Queens University, 
Canada, postgraduate work in London, and years 
later, in 1911, the honor of being the first woman to 
receive the Kaisar-i-Hind medal for distinguished 
service to India. 

Pennell of the Afghan frontier^ went out to In- 
dia in 1892, under the Church Missionary Society. 
I love to recall his tall, handsome figure clothed so 
like a frontiersman that many would not detect his 
foreign birth. One day amid the frowning preci- 
pices and towering ranges of the Himalayas, two Af- 
ghan mountaineers, hidden by tangled masses of un- 
dergrowth, awaited in ambush their enemy, Chikki 
(the Lifter) , a desperate freebooter chieftain whose 
mountain fortress was at the head of a great, wild, 
gorge near by. Each man fondled a beautiful mau- 
ser rifle fitted with modern sighting apparatus. Sud- 
denly a cavalcade of twenty horsemen emerged from 
a distant wood and cantered up the mountain road. 
Both rifles were raised and covered the figure riding 
at the head, a well-knit man in Afghan costume and 
with tanned and bearded face. Their fingers had 
almost pulled the triggers when one knocked up his 
companion's gun and whispered, "Hold, brother, it 
is the Doctor Sahib, Pennell of Bannu. He rides on 
the business of Allah." 

Illness had broken out in Chikki's household, and 
hence Pennell had been summoned to this wild out- 
law's mountain fortress. After ministering to the 
need, although he knew the cruel treachery of his 

*Dr. Pennell's life story Among the Wild Tribes of the 
Frontier is full of interest and incident. A Hero of the 
Afghan Frontier is written especially for boys. 




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Cooperation of the Christian West 141 

host, and although Chikki's fanatical Mullah 
(priest) was present, Pennell said, "I want to tell 
you of the message it is my glory to proclaim." And 
then he laid a Pashtu translation of the Gospels be- 
fore the Chief, and, turning to the fifth chapter of 
the Gospel of Matthew, read the Sermon on the 
Mount and spoke of the Lord Jesus Christ as the 
Friend and Savior of mankind. 

For over twenty years, on innumerable tours, 
with absolute fearlessness, this heroic servant of 
Jesus Christ lived out the spirit of his Master. We 
are told that in one year Dr. Pennell passed no 
fewer than 34,000 cases through his hospital, over 
8,000 patients were visited in their homes, and there 
were over 3,000 operations — all with a staff of four 
men and one woman. When Pennell lay dying from 
enteric, the entire Afghan borderland was stirred 
with the news, and people gathered from every 
quarter. One had been found by the doctor on the 
wayside, nearly killed by a vicious horse and help- 
less with a broken shoulder. Others had come 
through Pennell's school and had taken part 
in some famous cricket or football match into which 
he had tried to put the best ideals of British school- 
boy life. All loved him, for his life had been lived 
for them. 

In less spectacular, but no less heroic ways, four 
hundred trained men and women in mission service 
are ministering to India's medical need. Increas- 
ingly the work is not merely remedial, but preven- 
tive, removing the causes. In many a center busy 
doctors pressed with work are finding time to train 
nurses and assistants who go forth to meet the needs 

142 Building with India 

of their own people. At certain mission centers 
formal medical education is available. One such 
center is the Women's Union Medical Missionary 
School at Vellore in south India, to which six mis- 
sion boards contribute. The graduates of such 
schools have no easy path before them for they go 
forth to battle with superstition, ignorance, and dis- 
trust. However, when once they win a position of 
confidence, these Christian women doctors are able 
to serve India as no foreign women can do. From 
such will come the leaders of movements for better 
food, the better care of babies, and better sanita- 
tion. This training of leaders, whether among the 
men or women, affords a fascinating and far-reach- 
ing opportunity. By all such practical modern 
methods Christian missions are further demonstrat- 
ing Christ's valuation of the individual human life. 


Missionaries have unquestionably been the pio- 
Tippr s nf sft^ 'f },] rpfnrm. AH missionaries are in ef- 
f ec t social workers. Evidence of the broad social re- 
sults of Christian influence was given in Chapter 
Three. We may confidently assert that the teach- 
ing, efforts, and example coming forth from Christ 
started the streams of social activity flowing in In- 
dia, and we rejoice that these movements are be- 
coming indigenous and gaining in strength and 
volume daily. 

It is very striking that so many Indians con- 
sciously recognize that the adventure of social ser- 
vice as it crosses every barrier is distinctly Christian 
and comes specifically out of Christian principles. 

Cooperation of the Christian West 143 

A passing traveler was talking with one of 
India's leaders of thought and action — a Hindu — 
who was describing the way his friends were work- 
ing among outcaste people, taking them by the hand 
and breaking bread with them. "I suppose such 
conduct is enjoined upon you by the Hindu scrip- 
tures," the traveler remarked. "The whole of such 
influence, as a practical matter," replied the leader, 
"comes to us from the West; and moreover, if it 
could be conceived that we were to be separated 
from contact with these Western influences, that 
tendency among us would soon disappear." 

Our task requires diversity of operation. Our 
message is partly expressed when it is stated ; it is 
completed only when it is exemplified, lived, and ap- 
plied. Hence missionaries must continue the propa- 
ganda of deed as a means of instilling the mean- 
ing of the gospel into the minds and hearts of the 
world. Social problems bristle on every hand. Chris- 
tian missions already unhesitatingly use the evangel- 
ist, the teacher, the doctor. Missions of the future 
will undoubtedly use trained social workers to study 
the local territory, to map it out objectively, to 
make its human problems clear and interesting, and 
in general to be a source of encouragement to all the 
other members of the mission staif in the direction 
of such interests. It is significant, for example, that 
the British Board of Study for the Preparation of 
Missionaries has recently circulated a pamphlet urg- 
ing the need for further training in moral hygiene 
for all women missionaries, and that in a north 
India textile factory, a young man and his wife have 
been detailed by their mission (at factory expense) 

144 Building with India 

to go as welfare workers among the Indian opera- 
tives, living within the factory confines. 


The ultimate aim of missions is to develop a 
world-wide society of Christlike individuals. Their 
program is to teach men and women and little chil- 
dren the love of God and His purpose for their 
lives as revealed in Jesus Christ ; to bring them into 
a loving, saving touch with Him; to incarnate His 
life and spirit in all personal and social relation- 
ships ; and to develop a native leadership which shall 
be committed to the Kingdom. In giving help where 
the need is greatest, the Christian West finds its 
most effective opportunity for witnessing to the 
Christ. If we can comprehend India's deepest needs 
and most urgent problems and can make a substan- 
tial contribution to their solution, we shall be demon- 
strating most clearly Christ's power to inspire ser- 
vice and to transform life. 

In sending out missionaries to India or to any 
other land, however, we must by no means think 
that upon us lies primary responsibility for complet- 
ing the work. Our aim is not so much to get things 
done as to help people grow. This does not result 
from mere teaching, in the sense of telling others 
what is worth doing and how to do it. Along with 
this there must be emphasis on self -initiated activ- 
ity. To do everything for anyone is only to insure 
one thing — ^that you will have to continue thus do- 
ing. Since our object is to develop Christians who 
will act on their own initiative, it has been the task 
of the wise missionary to find ways of calling forth 

Cooperation of the Christian West 145 

this power and developing it. It is growth through 
action that counts. Even at the expense of tempo- 
rary failure must the rising churches initiate for 
themselves. People there, as well as here, are most 
interested in what they themselves have planned 
and for which they have worked and sacrificed. 

This procedure is all the more necessary because 
the new spirit of Indian nationalism has been devel- 
oping in Indian Christian leaders a marked restless- 
ness under foreign ecclesiastical and administrative 
authority. When in the political realm attention 
is concentrated on securing more self government, 
it has been almost inevitable that foreign author- 
ity in church and mission matters should lead to sen- 
sitive relationships. A Christian nationalist wants 
the Indian Church to be open to Indian currents of 
thought and life. At an informal conference of 
Indian Christians at Allahabad in 1919, it was de- 
clared that "the Church must be given an oppor- 
tunity to develop itself on its own lines, keeping in 
contact with the national currents. This can be ac- 
complished only by allowing the Indian Church it- 
self to lay down the policy and be responsible for its 
actual carrying out, European man-power, wherever 
needed, being subordinated to the Indian organi- 
zation that may be evolved for this purpose." 

It comes about, therefore, that one of the most 
difficult and pressing problems in Indian missions is 
the satisfactory transfer of powers and responsi- 
bilities from the strong foreign missions to the rela- 
tively poor and weak Indian churches. There is 
a widespread movement on the part of missions to 
turn over more and more responsibility to the In- 

146 Building with India 

dian Church, and some of the best minds on the mis- 
sion field are bending their energies toward this end. 
But there is often on the part of Indians impatience 
at the slow rate at which this devolution is taking 
place. Capable, educated Christian Indians believe 
that they could manage a great deal more than that 
with which they are at present intrusted. They 
point out that in the political realm, power and au- 
thority are devolving to the people. In like manner, 
in their opinion, more Indian participation in the 
work now carried on by missions should in some 
way be arranged. Few questions facing Christian 
statesmanship in Indian missions are more urgent 
than the adjustment of relations between the Indian 
Church and foreign missions, and between the In- 
dian worker and the European worker. 

Very significant of the times was the discussion of 
the relations of church and mission at the meeting 
of the International Missionary Council held in Oc- 
tober, 1921, at Lake Mohonk. It was agreed that a 
primary aim of missions is the establishment of an 
indigenous Church, and that this aim implies the de- 
velopment of responsibility and leadership in this 
Church. They recognized that only as this leader- 
ship and direction of the Christian movement passes 
into native hands can it avoid the disadvantage of 
having a foreign character in the eyes of the people. 
Hence, various questions were seriously proposed: 
whether missionaries should not begin to serve un- 
der the direction of the authorities of the native 
Church; whether the churches of a given country 
should be consulted with regard to the number and 
qualifications of the missionaries required by them; 

Cooperation of the Christian West 147 

whether the expenditure of funds from abroad and 
the program of work should be discussed more 
largely than at present by nationals and foreigners 
meeting together. Still more significant were the 
resolutions passed by the National Missionary 
Council at Poona in January, 1922. Heretofore the 
National Missionary Council as well as the various 
Provincial Councils of Missions have been in the 
main representative of the mission organizations in 
India. It became the unanimous view of the Council 
that these bodies should become more representative 
of the Indian Church. It was, therefore, recom- 
mended that constitutional changes be made insur- 
ing that at least half the delegates to each of these 
bodies be Indian representatives and that the name 
be changed to the National Christian Council of 
India, Burma, and Ceylon. The whole question of 
transferring responsibility to the indigenous Church 
is engaging the earnest attention of our missionaries 
abroad and of our boards at home, and a consider- 
able advance in this direction has been made in re- 
cent years. We must all be prepared to carry out 
into every sphere of planning and administration 
the logical results of the centric, revolutionary fact 
that the indigenous Church is the most efficient ele- 
ment in the expansion of Christianity. 

The awakened consciousness of nationality is the 
most powerful force fo b6 rfiCkuiiyd VVlLTl lUllhy. 
There is danger that, in the reaction against foreign 
domination. Western ideals, and Western methods, 
India may reject the faith that comes to her through 
the medium of the West. Already many Indian 
patriots are questioning whether the religion of 

148 Building with India 

Christ is their ally, or whether it is something for- 
eign to the genius and needs of India. The impor- 
tance of the answer to this question at this crisis in 
India's history needs no demonstration. For if the 
national spirit should array itself against missions, 
opposition would become almost invincible. As 
never before, therefore, missionaries are welcoming 
Indian initiative, are turning over blocks of work to 
their control, and are earnestly attempting to dis- 
tinguish between their essential message — ^the eter- 
nal truth and life as found in Christ — and the par- 
ticular forms and expressions which have grown up 
in the West. Indian Christianity must inevitably 
express itself in forms of thought and worship dif- 
ferent from our own. Our task will be not fully 
done until the transformation into the people's 
own thought-forms has been completed. There 
is a vast difference in attitude between an attempt 
to pass on the best we have, and an effort to develop 
in India the best of which she is capable. 

One may legitimately ask why it is that with so 
much of consecration, so many lives poured forth, 
so many years of effort, and such prayer, the results 
have not been vastly greater. Why is it that India, 
among all countries, has proved to be one of the 
most difficult mission fields? In a large measure 
this is true because of the religious nature of India's 
people. Old beliefs and customs have been rooted 
in the ancient faith of Hinduism. The warp and 
woof of society have been woven out of the religious 
teachings of their sacred scriptures, so that we are 
dealing with a people who are entrenched in a re- 
ligious system to which their hearts cling with fer- 

Cooperation of the Christian West 149 

vor. Christianity takes mortal issue with these 
Brahmanical practices and teachings. Like our- 
selves too the Indians are creatures of habit. It is 
hard to get them to give attention to an alien faith. 

But a deeper reason which grows more acute 
every day is that they are watching Western Chris- 
tian civilization. Such reports and reflections as 
come through cable, cinema, travelers, and students, 
do not always tally with the missionary message. 
Many Indians will acknowledge Christianity's high 
ideals, but see little use in adjusting themselves to a 
religion that has come so short in lands where it is 
professed. We may as well realize that it is not 
alone what missionaries declare Christianity to be, 
but what so-called Christians are in practice, that 
actually determines the Indian's attitude to Christ. 
Travelers see our cities; students come to our uni- 
versities; cables bear each day to hundreds of Ori- 
ental newspapers the facts of our partially Chris- 
tian civilization. If, then, any reader finds it 
difficult to discover a way to help India to her best, 
let him set about making a stronger Christian pro- 
test to the unchristian forces in our own social and 
political life. If the Christian Church of the West 
were unitedly reacting against the evils of our own 
civilization vigorously enough for its protest to be 
heard with certainty in India, then — perhaps only 
then — would it be a Church that could evangelize 

Part of the reason why India does not accept 
Christ is that Christianity has been associated with 
a foreign government, and has come to her in a 
foreign dress with foreign organizations, to such an 

150 Building with India 

I extent that hosts of non-Christians think that they 
' would be denationalized if they identified themselves 
with the Church. Our denominational rivalries, our 
emphasis on doctrinal differences, and a naive in- 
sistence upon our Western forms and rituals all tend 
to obscure the Christ. 


With so many ways in which we can assist our 
world partner, and with a missionary body of five 
and a half thousand to be maintained in India by 
Western Churches, we may well ask what kind of 
missionaries are needed and acceptable. 

It would be ideal if every mission could have in 
it men and women capable of making different types 
of contributions. Educationists are needed to 
wrestle with educational problems of the first mag- 
nitude. The education of rural India can be no mere 
copy of anything in the West, and for the solution 
of its problems the best educational background 
that our teachers* colleges can give is none too good. 
Men and women are needed who have specialized in 
religious education and are able to set up curricula 
of religious instruction for Sunday and day-schools. 
Scholars and theologians are needed with whom In- 
dian thinkers can work out intellectual formulations 
congenial to India in symbols and forms of expres- 
sion. Men with the administrative and executive 
gift are needed to help think out the adjustments 
that must be made between the missions and the 
rising churches, and to bring the experience of the 
West to bear upon the Indian Church as it shapes 
itself. Evangelists, doctors, social welfare workers, 

Cooperation of the Christian West 151 

agriculturists, business agents, secretaries, writers, 
heads of hostels, personal workers, specialists for 
the educated classes or for Muhammadans, are all 
needed. Almost any talent that can be used at 
home will be welcomed in India — provided it be real 
talent worthily trained and there is behind it the 
right spirit. 

An applicant incapable of sympathetic interest 
in India's present-day aspirations may as well with- 
draw his papers. A candidate who would prefer to 
retain a monopoly of all mistake-making had better 
yield to one who can stand by while the Indian 
learns by trying. In other words, Indians are be- 
ginning to ask us to give up the cult of efficiency for 
a willingness to see things less well done for a time 
while they learn. Just now, partial failure by anV 
Indian may help the Kingdom more than greater! 
success by an Englishman or American. While In- \ 
dian Christians are almost filial in the grateful love * 
manifested to the older missionaries who have fa- 
thered their church, they do not want the young re- 
cruit to assume a parental relationship. India 
wants men and women who will be as conscious of 
their relation to the Church in India as to the society 
that sent them out; who will take joy in identifying 
themselves with the Church of India and will in self- 
restraining ways help it to fulfil its mission to the 

Naturally it will not always be easy to conform to 
these demands of awakened nationalism. But In- 
dians are beginning to say that on these conditions 
alone shall we continue to be welcome. Opportunity 
for acceptable and fruitful service is not likely to 

152 Building with India 

open up to the one who assumes that he is inherently 
superior to the races of India. One must guard 
one's self, therefore, against a host of insidious sug- 
gestions of superiority which hitherto have sur- 
rounded a Westerner in India. Of necessity he has 
lived in a better house, he has traveled in a higher 
class on the railways, often policemen saluted as he 
drove by, and simple country people would show 
deference to any foreigner. It is possible to go out 
to India with a most democratic temperament, but 
slowly and all unconsciously take on the habit and 
demeanor of superiority. The mood and temper of 
a ruling class tend to be assumed by each member 
of the ruling race. But now as never before the ac- 
ceptable missionary must be characterized by the 
mind of Christ, who emptied Himself and took on 
the form of a servant. A combination of able Chris- 
tian statesmanship with great self-abnegation is 
what is needed. 

In these days especially, when interracial sensi- 
tiveness, suspicion, and even bitterness are common, 
men and women are needed who have a genius for 
friendship, for getting on with others, for drawing 
out their best qualities, and for creating a friendly 
atmosphere. The Master had a simple, natural atti- 
tude of brotherly equality. This was no mere 
theory with Him, but the attitude and feeling which 
spontaneously came forth from One who wanted to 
call each person — ^not servant, but friend. Let us 
learn of Him. 

Our ambassadors will be eager to study Indian 
ways of life as well as the Indian language. The 
feeling of strangeness toward things Indian should 

Cooperation of the Christian West 153 

be taken away by systematic training. With cer- 
tain groups, we shall wish to sit cross-legged on the 
floor and eat with our fingers as our hosts do. For- 
tunate beyond comparison is the young missionary 
who can stay for a while in some Indian Christian 
home which has not lost its Indian traditions. In 
some way Indian etiquette, Indian manners and 
forms should become natural. And when we set 
about sharing the life of India, we shall remember 
that the submerged sixth among whom much mis- 
sion work is done is not the best interpreter of In- 
dia's culture. 

After absorbing something of the best in India's 
heritage, the true ambassador will help to incorpo- 
rate into the Christian tradition all of this that is 
worthy. He will aim to help his Christian friends 
to appreciate justly the elements of moral and 
spiritual worth in their national heritage. For all 
things Eastern are not heathen any more than all 
things Western are Christian. Just as Western 
Christianity has taken over and rebaptized many a 
custom once called heathen, such as the Christmas 
tree, the use of candles, certain aspects of Easter, so 
must we sublimate many a custom found in India. 
Suppose yourself there for a moment and decide 
what you would do if you found that Indian women 
in your district were in the habit of taking their 
new clothes to the temple to have them blessed be- 
fore wearing. Would you be inclined to adopt the 
custom in your church? If you saw that the farm- 
ers about you called in a priest and offered up a fowl 
in order to secure a blessing upon the sowing, would 
you encourage the Indian Church to announce at 

154 Building with India 

certain seasons that any who would be planting the 
coming week might stay and have special prayer 
offered for them? Both these things have been done 
by the only Indian Bishop yet appointed. 

Knowing that the universal custom in India is to 
have a "go-between" to arrange for marriage, in- 
asmuch as the boy and girl do not see each other 
until the marriage day, would you encourage Chris- 
tians to use the old non-Christian agents or adopt 
our Western plan of courtship or have deaconesses 
formally appointed to take over this function, or 
would you just let things drift? Do you see any pos- 
sibilities in the fact that when a Muhammadan baby 
is born the mother will not feed it until some Mu- 
hammadan man has said the Kalima (Creed of Is- 
lam) in its ear? The first words it hears must be 
the most sacred ones of Islam. 

Suppose you observe that in non-Christian mar- 
riages the bride and groom walk around a bamboo 
pole at a certain stage of the ceremony. Will the 
substitution of a cross for the bamboo be a proper 
step in adaptation, or will this only stereotype the 
lower associations of the former system and tighten 
the chain of superstition? 

One of the most picturesque festivals in India is 
Devali, when tiny lights are used to outline public 
buildings and often the homes of people. The chil- 
dren love the attractive display of these little Orien- 
tal lamps with their wicks of cotton in coconut oil. 
Will you preach on Christ as the light of the world, 
ask them to "let their light so shine," interpret the 
festival as a triumph of light over darkness, and 
thus take it over into Christianity? Or will you shun 

Cooperation of the Christian West 155 

its very touch and keep the children from its charm, 
knowing that unbridled gambling is associated witW' 
this night, and that it really betokens Vishnu's tri^ 
umph over demons? Those whom we send out to 
India to advise the Indian Church will be pushed 
back upon all the wisdom they can command and 
all the church history they have read, in solving the 
various problematic situations that arise. 

Most important of all is it that the lives of those 
who are sent to India should in some way convey a 
deep spiritual impress. India, of course, is changing, 
and even now there are many Indians who are in- 
terested in efficiency, in lowering death-rates, in 
economic uplift, and in the whole round of things 
which have to do with this world's betterment. But 
fundamentally, India's yearning is for God. Activity 
and even social service will not satisfy India's hun- 
ger. A missionary could spend himself in organiza- 
tion or routine professional work, coming back 
weary to his resting place, and yet fail to touch the 
heart of India. So real must be our spiritual lives, 
so steeped in prayer, that the Indians will catch 
some glimpse of God through us. The graces which 
appeal to India are simplicity, gentleness, patience, 
God-centeredness, a thorough-going indifference to 
things which are not eternal. Unless to us the spiri- 
tual is extremely real, we may be regarded by them 
as competent organizers, but hardly as spiritual 
guides capable of meeting the deepest aspirations of 
India. Our representatives must maintain a spiri- 
tual margin, difficult though this be in their under- 
manned stations where the pressure of work tends 
to make a man feel like a mere center of operations. 

156 Building with India 

Are we willing to contemplate the possibility of 
India's missing the Christ? Can her leaders afford 
to bring in their New India without Him? India 
does have great gifts and possibilities, but she has 
immense downward tendencies and conditions in 
her heritage. The quality of her contribution to the 
world and indeed her very life as a people hang in 
the balance. Mere changes in external circumstances 
will never produce the New India that we long 
to see. Will her leaders see in time that Christ is 
the most powerful possible means of molding their 
motherland after the noblest pattern? India sadly 
needs the freedom in social and religious life that 
Christ has ever imparted to His disciples of all ages 
and all countries. But it will be Christianity at its 
highest that will win India, and this ought to spur 
the Western Church so to live that from it may go 
forth commissioned manifestors of God. 


ALMIGHTY God, whose love reacheth unto 
the ends of the earth, and who dost extend 
to us the matchless privilege of being co- 
workers with Thee for a better world, we praise 
Thee as the Source of the zeal and devotion of those 
who in the past have gone forth in their ministry 
to India, and for the fruitage of their labors. 

€[Grant that missionaries now at work in that land 
may be fitted by Thy grace for their delicate task. 
Keep them fearless through love, and teachable 
through true humility. When criticized and mis- 
judged, give them the grace of forgiveness. Guide 
and inspire them in their varied service, and through 
it all may there throb the one great passion of re- 
vealing Jesus Christ, the satisfier of India's need. 
May it be their glory to become least, to decrease, 
to become the servants of all, if only Christ may 
have His way in India. 

CLFill each one with the consciousness of Thy sus- 
taining power. Amid monotony, discouragement, 
or trial, handicapped by limitations of time and 
strength, in the face of puzzling issues and stagger- 
ing burdens draw them to the Source of confidence, 
of rest, of refreshment. May they be guided by 
Thee as they attempt to build up a living society 
of men and women, born anew through faith in 
Christ, inspired by His spirit,- united in a fellowship 
of love, and dedicated to the service of their fellow 
men. Amen. 



The Distinctive Opportunity in India 

We have now come to the most striking phenome- 
non in the expansion of the Kingdom in India — a 
movement that has increasingly dominated modern 
mission thought and policy. In it, the Christian 
Church of India finds her greatest opportunity, her 
most pressing problems, and her most glorious 
proof of power. 


The greatest charge against Hinduism is that for 
more than two thousand years it has consigned a 
sixth of India's people to unrelieved degradation. 
Lower than the lowest caste, fifty million human be- 
ings pass through this life as "outcastes," "untouch- 
ables," "the depressed classes." Religious philoso- 
phy has aided inborn selfishness by interpreting 
their miserable condition as the just and accurately 
measured recompense for the misdeeds of a previous 
existence. As a result, there is an astounding de- 
gree of abject servility on the part of the untouch- 
ables and of complacent superiority on the part of 
the higher castes. 

These lowcaste people — Pariahs and Panchamas, 
as they are called — are, for the most part, of Dravid- 
ian stock. In religion they have developed little be- 
yond their original animism. Belief in spirits satu- 
rates their thought — spirits in trees and plants, in 
animals and even in human beings. Most of these 
spirits are malignant, treacherous, and fickle, so 


The Distinctive Opportunity in India 159 

that religion is summed up in the attempt to pacify 
them. If the churel calls at night and you go out, 
you are sure to die. If the water from the cooking 
of the food falls on the fire so as to put it out, the 
household is in terror lest the children be beset by 
Masan. Mourners at a funeral wail to drive off the 
spirits of obstruction. Perhaps you remember, 
when a child, in the dusk of some summer evening 
ducking your head to dodge the bats which hovered 
near. But that had none of the terror which char- 
acterizes the mental state of those who constantly 
dread the shadowy presence of unknown forces. The 
fiercer the demon, the more she is worshipped, be- 
cause she is feared the more. Take from our wor- 
ship all adoration and thanksgiving, all gratitude 
and love ; instead of a single Father who has more in 
store for us than we can ask or think, put a myriad 
of spirits — one for cattle disease, one for crop fail- 
ure, one for small-pox, others for drought or child- 
lessness or deformity; seek from these no spiritual 
blessing, but only relief from personal and village 
ills by outwitting their capricious desires, and you 
will get some feeling of the religious life of these 
poor people. 

Their idols are on a par with the people's poverty 
— ^little six-inch blocks of wood or stone, with holes 
gouged out for eyes, black with grease, oil, and the 
smoke of many sacrifices. What sadder sight in all 
the world than sons of God living as orphans in 
their Father's home! 

Their disabilities are manifold. They are not 
allowed to take water from the village well, for the 
caste people hold that their unclean touch would 

i6o Building with India 

contaminate it. Even when a modern water-supply 
is provided from public funds, you may find an out- 
caste quarter with a thousand people without a 
hydrant, while near by are abundant taps for caste 
people. At a recent public meeting in Madras, one 
of them plaintively asked why they should be de- 
barred from public wells and tanks, whereas their 
cattle and dogs were allowed the benefit of them. 
Since water is so scarce, they remain in their dirty, 
unwashed clothes until they are scarcely approach- 

The disabilities of Panchamas vary in different 
areas. In some sections they are supposed to clear 
off the dead animals and part of their pay is the 
flesh to eat as carrion. They live in dilapidated 
huts, often with scarcely enough food to keep them 
alive. In many places they are excluded from pub- 
lic roads, public markets, employment in public of- 
fices, and public places of worship. The post-office 
may be in the Brahman quarter — ^they cannot ap- 
proach, but must wait for a Brahman to take pity. 
They may want to register a deed, but find it difficult 
to approach the registrar's veranda. 

In theory the system of man-mortgage is sup- 
posed to be extinct, but in custom it is not. Recent 
investigations reveal much of what amounts practi- 
cally to slavery. Thousands of Panchamas are still 
binding themselves or their children or both to work 
for the same master for a lifetime in consideration 
of a loan. A boy of eighteen wants Rs. 25 in cash 
and some grain in order to celebrate his wedding. 
He borrows it, undertaking to work for the lender 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India i6i 

until the debt is paid, receiving day by day a noon- 
day meal. Naturally the lender does not want the 
debt paid. Because of extortionate interest or be- 
cause he is enticed to take further loans, the debt 
descends from one generation to another. In south 
India these people are known as padiyals and are 
transferred with the land when the creditor sells it 
or dies. Even when this rural slavery does not ex- 
ist, the outcastes have to work hard in the fields all 
day on a small wage and have no prospect of rising 
to anjrthing better. 

In most provinces the Government recognizes 
their right to attend public schools, and they are 
now reading in hundreds of such schools. But this 
path is exceedingly difficult for them. Official per- 
mission is a very different thing from the social per- 
mission of the community. The caste people, not 
wanting these people to rise, come to the schools to 
order them out. The teachers fear social persecu- 
tion if they admit Panchama children. Even where 
they are admitted, they are usually asked to sit 
apart, are not allowed to recite, and are ridiculed so 
that it is very hard for them to persist. 

Conditions such as have been described tend to 
lower their standard of morality and keep them sad 
and depressed. They are so poor, weary, and heavy 
laden that they have no grievances ; for among any 
people it is only when the burden of living is some- 
what lightened that social unrest appears. Thus the 
faculties of a people equal in number to h£ f the 
population of the United States have been benumbed. 

i62 Building with India 


Imagine the surprise of these harassed, weary, 
fetish-ridden people when into their segregated and 
despised section of the village walks a man speak- 
ing of "good news," telling them of a Father who 
loves them, assuring them that they are brothers of 
all men everywhere, and making this seem believ- 
able by his own willingness to touch them, teach 
them, believe in them. They begin to awaken from 
the lethargy of ages and feel out toward freedom 
and the common rights of humanity. 

Other forces, economic and social, help to stir 
their stagnant minds. Some desire more food for 
their families and freedom from the bondage of 
caste; some want education for their children and 
an escape from oppression and exploitation. Some 
have observed that the children of Christians are 
better clothed and better taught; that Christians 
usually have a more independent and consequential 
air; that they are freed from a number of irksome 
restrictions and disabilities. 

Some are undoubtedly attracted by the thought of 
a single, pure, and holy God, and of Jesus Christ 
who can free them from the incessant and depress- 
ing fear of demons. In one form or another there 
is the desire for a more abundant life, for God's 
spirit has many ways of beckoning to these unfor- 
tunate products of a mistaken religious system. 
Those of us who know what motives hastened the 
nomi al conversion to Christianity of the peoples of 
northern Europe need not draw aside from these 
who, through whatever needs, hear the call of the 
Christ. Discrimination, however, must be used, for 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 163 

the "inquirer" may revert and cause a scandal, or 
his desire may be merely to get help in some lawsuit 
or an adjustment which will work to his advantage. 
There are two distinct stages of conversion in In- 
dia. From all the higher castes and communities 
converts come as isolated individuals and hence are 
cut off from the customs of their old communities 
to a very great extent. To declare allegiance to 
Jesus Christ is, for such, a very difficult step from 
a social standpoint, and only a few are strong 
enough to break away from the bonds of caste. But 
for the outcastes, the advantages of becoming Chris- 
tians are so manifest that it has been possible in 
many areas, not only to win the leaders, but also a 
large proportion of their following. The pressure 
of group solidarity, so characteristic of the caste 
spirit in India, may result in the remainder also 
coming over into the Christian community. In some 
cases this break toward Christianity comes within 
a few years; in others, missionaries work fifteen, 
twenty, or thirty years before a mass movement de- 
velops, and in many cases it has not come yet. In 
such mass movements, the converts stay in their 
own villages, do their own work, live in contact with 
their old communities, and follow many of their old 
customs. They do not feel cut off in the same way 
as isolated converts from the higher castes, but the 
very fact that they came en masse makes it more 
probable that unchristian customs or modes of 
thought will be carried over. Many missionaries 
confidently look forward to a time when converts 
from the higher castes, as well, will come in groups 
instead of as individuals. 

i64 Building with India 

The movement of masses toward Christianity in 
its present startling dimensions began about 1880. 
There had been a severe famine in 1877-78, bringing 
terrible suffering and an appalling loss of life in 
south India. Missionaries threw themselves into 
the work of relief, and the Panchamas began more 
or less vaguely to sense a difference between the cen- 
tury-old attitude of Hinduism and the new religion 
of Christ. The experiences of this famine led thou- 
sands to identify themselves with the new religion. 

Until very recent years their one hope was in 
Christianity. Sensing its sympathy, they have 
pressed forward by the thousand. Have you ever 
watched a vine kept within some darkened room? 
It has no developed eyes, and yet it blindly senses 
where the window is and sends out its feelers to- 
ward the light. In some such way these outcastes 
come to Christianity. They do not grasp its mean- 
ing or wholly understand the message, but in their 
groping, they discover that in this direction light 
and hope are found. When for the first time they 
kneel to say, "Our Father who art in Heaven," one is 
witnessing the birth of a new life. What limit of as- 
cent can be placed on those who begin to look on God 
as Father? 

These movements toward Christianity cannot be 
manufactured by might or force. The Spirit of God 
has moved as the wind among the masses. Now in 
this part of India, now in that, the stirring appears. 
In the Telugu area it was among the Madigas 
(leather workers) and the Malas (chiefly agricul- 
tural laborers). Among the Tamils the movement 
to Christianity was very largely limited to the Sha- 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 165 

nans, whose business is to draw toddy from the pal- 
myra trees. In Chota Nagpur it was the Kols and 
other aboriginal races; in Gujerat, a weaver caste; 
in the Punjab and United Provinces, the Chuhras 
(scavengers) and the Chamars (leather workers). 

Very often these movements toward Christianity 
have been unexpected, and usually they have been so 
overwhelming in their numbers that they have 
found the missions quite unprepared to deal ade- 
quately with them. In Tinnevelly in 1802, Schwartz 
baptized 5,000 in three months. After the famine of 
1877-78, 30,000 in this same region were baptized 
by two great English societies. In Travancore, the 
London Missionary Society reported 17,000 Chris- 
tians in 1857 and 32,000 in 1871. The Christians 
in the Lutheran Mission of Chota Nagpur increased 
in the ten years after 1861 from 2,000 to 20,000. In 
the Baptist Telugu area, Clough baptized 9,000 in 
one year, and before he died in 1910 there were 
60,000 church members and 200,000 adherents. The 
story of how Clough, once Deputy United States 
Surveyor, became the '"Hero of Ongole," saved 
thousands of lives during a famine by constructing 
three miles of an Indian canal, and built up the 
largest church in the world at the close of the nine- 
teenth century makes stimulating reading. The 
Methodist Episcopal Mass Movement Commission 
reported that in the sixteen years following 1896 
they took in 184,000 Christians, and the present rate 
of accession is 30,000 a year. It is because of these 
remarkable numbers that the phenomena have been 
called "mass movements." 

The most effective leaders in these mass move- 

i66 Building with India 

ments are not the missionaries; neither are they 
Christians of the higher castes. Usually the break 
has come when some God-filled man from among 
the masses themselves leads his brethren to the 
blessing he has found. Such was the way the great 
movement started in the Church Missionary Socie- 
ty's Telugu area. Pagolu Venkayya had been a 
seeker after God for three years before he had an op- 
portunity of hearing the gospel. He had renounced 
idolatry and had learned to pray without hearing 
a Christian address. On the other hand, there was 
a missionary who had been hunting for eleven years 
for a receptive hearer. He had almost come to be- 
lieve that it would never please God to let him see a 
single convert as a result of his preaching. At last 
he and Venkayya met. Venkayya heard, accepted, 
became a believer, and was baptized. The whole 
aspect of things changed, for the man had been 
found who could interpret Christianity's appeal to 
his own people. 

It was Bangarapu Thatiah who began the move- 
ment in the American Baptist Mission resulting in 
one of the largest churches in the Telugu country. 
As an outcaste he had consciously sought God ac- 
cording to his light. He had been taught the doc- 
trines of a reformed sect by an old woman, had 
learned that God is spirit, and had conceived in his 
heart a desire to know more of Him. When at last 
he heard of Jesus' way, he became a great leader in 
what proved to be the largest ingathering of de- 
pressed classes. 

Henry Drummond Williamson of the Church Mis- 
sionary Society traveled for three years among the 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 167 

Gonds seeking for someone to accept the message-, 
but he had no converts. At last he found a headman 
of a village who had been seeking truth for years 
and had spent a whole year meditating under a 
pipul-tree. He carried about with him, over his 
shoulder, a Hindi New Testament tied up in a cloth, 
though afterwards he sadly said he could not under- 
stand it all and wanted more light. Finally, this 
man braved baptism before all his village, became a 
zealous preacher, and the leader of the movement 
among the Gonds. 

Sometimes the leader is not of thousands, but of 
tens. A certain lowcaste boy seemed absolutely un- 
able to learn in school. It seemed that he could not 
remember. He was tried another year, but finally 
had to be sent back to his village. About a year later 
the missionary in charge was called to that village 
to baptize eighteen people. This boy had started a 
night school and had taught them all he knew about 
Christ and anything else he could remember. Again 
the next year a call came to baptize another group 
as the result of his work. 

When missions, many times wofully understaffed 
as regards teachers and preachers, work for such 
great numbers, the immediate transformation 
effected is often slight. But when an5i;hing like ade- 
quate instruction and Christian nurture are pro- 
vided, the results are inspiring and convincing. Cer- 
tain results are visible on the surface. A countenance 
through which shine Christian hope and freedom 
is very different from one from which fear has 

i68 Building with India 

never been exorcised. There is a distinct enlighten- 
ing of the face from education. Even by a careless 
observer, the house of a Christian of some year's 
standing can be distinguished by the greater clean- 
liness and order from the abode of his non-Christian 
neighbor of the same class. 

One of the most satisfying experiences life can 
bring to a master-builder is to be allowed to remain 
twenty years in one of these mass movement dis- 
tricts, founding churches, establishing schools, be- 
lieving implicitly in the possibilities of all men when 
touched by the Spirit of God, drawing out the trea- 
sures hidden in their repressed natures, and encour- 
aging the people in every way. The change in in- 
telligence, ambition, and character throughout the 
area is a wonderful reward. In making a tour 
through India one is struck with what time and up- 
lifting influences can do; for the Christians in the 
older mass movements of the south are more ad- 
vanced than those in the north in education, knowl- 
edge of Christian truth, and in the sense of responsi- 
bility for maintaining the work. When the decades 
have had their work under steady Christian influ- 
ence, as in Tinnevelly or in the London Missionary 
Society's area in Travancore, one can but be im- 
pressed with the substantial character of the prog- 
ress in every way. 

Everywhere there is a gain in self-respect. One 
day a district superintendent of police was asking a 
certain missionary why the people had become 
Christians. It was suggested that he let them an- 
swer his question, and so he went over to a group of 
Christians. "What did you gain by becoming Chris- 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 169 

tians?" "Ability to stand before you without being 
ashamed," was the self-respecting answer. With a 
changed estimate of himself, it is no wonder that all 
over India the outcaste who becomes a Christian is 
given a new standing by Hindus and Muhamma- 
dans. He ceases to be "untouchable." To raise 
these millions to a position of honor, self-respect, 
and service for the country is to attack Hinduism at 
its most vulnerable point. For Hinduism's last cita- 
del is its social structure with its caste usages and 

Away off in France a Christian sweeper from the 
Punjab was serving in a regiment. Every morning 
at five he rose to read his Bible and chant his psalms. 
He was faithful. A Muhammadan in the regiment 
acknowledged that, if there were anyone among 
them who knew God, it was this sweeper. Sometimes 
a single center sends forth a group of this stamp. 
There is, near Fatehghar, a village called Elephant's 
House, where there was once a Christian commu- 
nity of three hundred and fifty people. Now only six 
families are left, for by actual count, from this hum- 
ble outcaste quarter have come forth four preachers, 
fifteen teachers, thirty house-servants for Euro- 
peans, and two men who register the practice shots 
of soldiers. This does not pretend to be a typical 
case, but it shows what can be done under favorable 

In every area where these Panchamas have come 
en masse to Christianity, they have seen men and 
women of their own number growing in worth, ris- 
ing in the social scale, and gaining a better life. They 
have seen their children learning to read ; some have 

170 Building with India 

gone on to high school and even through college. A 
few have obtained good posts under Government 
and many have become clerks, telegraphers, teach- 
ers, catechists, or ordained preachers. 

In the early days of the mass movements, it was 
an exceedingly difficult thing for the isolated mis- 
sionary to know whether he should start the innova- 
tion of receiving outcastes. What would other mis- 
sionaries say? What would be the effect on the high 
castes? Would it at once and forever prejudice the 
whole work among higher castes to which hitherto 
missionaries had given their attention? Was there 
not danger of identifying Christianity with the most 
depressed classes of the community? It was with 
fear and trembling before God that the step was 
taken in the earlier movements. 

Even as late as 1912 there was uncertainty as to 
what the general judgment would be about the re- 
sultant effect on the high castes. It was known that 
many Hindus had come to regard Christianity as the 
pariah's religion. Had the mass movements, there- 
fore, become an actual hindrance to winning the 
major part of India? At the National Missionary 
Council of that year the testimony seemed conclu- 
sive that the transforming power of Christianity as 
shown in raising the outcastes of India was making 
a profound impression upon non-Christians. It is 
an object lesson that penetrates to their very homes. 
They cannot continue blind to the ethical results 
from an awakened spiritual life and to triumphant 
power over temptation when these things are mani- 
fested by their own agricultural laborers and menial 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 171 

house-servants. A villager, referring to some out- 
castes who had come under the influence of Chris- 
tianity but had not yet been baptized, was heard to 
remark, "Now that they have become the friends of 
Jesus, why should they not be better?" The struggle 
for an awakened conscience is reflected in their sim- 
ple prayers. Each morning as the pineapples were 
ripening, a boy of Travancore was heard to pray, 
"0 Lord, prevent me from taking any pineapple 
when passing by." A farm hand has prayed: "O 
God, let me live in peace with my master. Guard his 
property and let him always be pleased with me." 
Another offered the picturesque confession, "I have 
within me a useless thicket of wild shrubs." When 
unclean songs are given up and across the evening 
stillness comes the sound of hymn or psalm, a 
change in life is sure to follow. Undermining will 
yet bring down the whole hill. 

Moreover, there is the unconscious witness of the 
Christian mehtarani or sweeper-woman as she goes 
into a village home for her accustomed work. To 
the more confined non-Christian women she is the 
newspaper of the place. She tells about the service 
of the night before and sings the hjnnn that was 
sung. It would be an interesting study to investi- 
gate the extent to which the Roman Empire was won 
by just such illiterate slaves who had learned of 
Christ by word of mouth. Behind almost every 
group of Christians gathered under the shade of a 
tree to listen to the missionary's message stands a 
group of caste men. They are unwilling to be con- 
sidered as interested, for they turn away if the at- 

172 Building with India 

tention of the speaker is given to them. But they 
too are catching the drift of a message about a won- 
derful rebirth possible even to the lowest. 


One cannot doubt the working of God's Spirit in 
their hearts when one sees the way these mass-move- 
ment Christians bear persecution. There are hosts of 
amazing and cruel ways in which caste men may dis- 
courage the step toward release through Christian- 
ity. Wells from which the Chamars have for centu- 
ries taken water are often closed so that they have to 
carry water from tanks or rivers. Sometimes their 
right to the common village grazing ground is dis- 
puted, or the road to the field is closed both to cat- 
tle and people. Cattle are poisoned, and the blame 
placed upon Christians. Men are beaten, roofs are 
burned, wages are held back. Police arrest them 
on false charges supported by their persecutors. A 
young convert is threatened with eviction from a 
house in which his fathers have lived for genera- 
tions. Often when a mission school has been started 
in a village, a Christian woman is told that she must 
take her child out of school or lose her job. 

Witnessing such cases of rank injustice, one's 
first impulse is to go to the collector or district 
superintendent of police and use influence to set 
things right. The general feeling, however, among 
missionaries is that this natural impulse must be 
restrained since in the long run more harm than 
good is done. 

For one thing, many of the outcastes' customary 
rights, such as the privileges of residence, of gather- 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 173 

ing wood, of taking mud from the village tank for 
houses, of sharing the grain at harvest, are given in 
return for the performance of certain immemorial 
duties. Manifestly, one should not attempt to judge 
these matters without being thoroughly familiar 
with the rights and duties of depressed peoples. It 
is possible to relieve an individual Christian, but at 
the same time incur the ill-will of a whole village 
toward all Christians. A particular case of injus- 
tice may seem so clear that it is taken up ; but one 
has to face the certainty that it will be followed by 
a whole troup of requests for aid and influence in 
the courts, — and sad experience has shown that 
baptism has not turned all these people into honest 
saints over night. 

But even if a district missionary should hesitate 
to go to law in behalf of his persecuted flock, the 
needy situation is still there. It is one of his peren- 
nial problems. Should he work through his Indian 
agents and preachers-in-charge ? Should he confine 
himself to sympathy and comfort for the poor, 
bruised man, realizing that out of this persecution 
is coming a stronger Church? In these trying situa- 
tions should Christians be taught to stand up for 
their rights, or should they be encouraged to have 
a forgiving spirit and to pray for their persecutors? 
Perhaps it would be best to meet with the perse- 
cutor in a friendly way and endeavor to get him to 
see the matter from a different angle. 

While some of the opposition is to Christianity as 
a religion, much of it arises from economic and so- 
cial causes. For example, the outcastes are the 
back-bone of agricultural field labor. In the pres- 

174 Building with India 

sure of harvest-time, the cessation of all labor one 
day in seven naturally does not please the farmer. 
As long as an outcaste is not a Christian, the flesh 
of a dead carcass serves as part payment for mak- 
ing the hide into sandals; but since becoming a 
Christian leads one to give up carrion eating, the 
wage system is manifestly upset. Only certain low 
castes will touch leather. It has been their imme- 
morial duty, therefore, to repair and to beat the 
drums so essential in Hindu ceremonials and proces- 
sions. Missionary practice has been somewhat 
divided on the question as to whether Christians 
must give up this community service with its emolu- 
ments. But if they do, it is easily seen that perse- 
cution may arise not because the caste people hate 
Christianity, but because their religious services 
cannot go on without the drums. Then, too, it irri- 
tates them to have the child of some despised Pariah 
sit in a prominent corner and show off by reading at 
the top of his voice, or even to pass through the 
bazaar reading. You can hear the zemindars 
(farmers) say of the Christians, "Soon their chil- 
dren will be badshahs, (kings) and we, their ser- 
vants." Looking upon these people much as one 
would upon an ox or an ass, they naturally object 
when missionaries come in and take away their 


Movements such as these raise many kinds of 
problems. The very numbers involved create an ini- 
tial difficulty. Embarrassment comes from their 
very success. If illiterate people are admitted at the 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 175 

rate of 20,000 per year, and a mission can turn out 
only twelve teachers or preachers a year, what 
should be done? Let us take a concrete situation. 
In 1915 in a certain station (Nizamabad) there 
were 300 Christians; in 1919, 6,000. Estimating 
an average of fifty Christians to a village, this would 
make desirable the development of one hundred and 
fourteen new workers for this district alone if each 
village is to have a worker of some sort, teacher, or 
preacher to help them out of their poverty, il- 
literacy, and demon worship. In this mission as a 
whole, baptisms have been made at the rate of 7,000 
a year for the past three years. Whence shall come 
the teachers for these new thousands? 

Let us take another typical situation in a mass 
movement area. The missionary in charge has two 
hundred villages to visit during the cold season, and 
his itinerary is laid out for months ahead. One day 
several lowcaste visitors turn up from a distant 
village. The leader takes from his cloth a stone idol 
which has been the chief god of the community. He 
reports that the whole outcaste section of his village 
is willing to come and "take hold of the feet of 
Jesus." But every worker is already pressed. 
Every available rupee given by the Churches of the 
West has been appropriated for schools and 
preachers needed for those already Christian. These 
new seekers after Jesus are illiterate, and so it is 
not practicable simply to provide them with Bibles 
and Sunday-school literature and throw them on 
their own resources. They do not know the Ten 
Commandments. They do not know the Lord's 
Prayer. Of what use is a baptized heathendom 

176 Building with India 

unless there is the assurance of nurture and growth? 
Suppose a mother who has relapsed into idolatry- 
explains : "My little girl got small-pox. I tried every- 
way I could to learn what Christian mothers do 
when their little girls have small-pox, but I could 
not learn. I did not want my child to die. Not 
knowing what else to do, I took out the small-pox 
god, killed the hen, offered the blood, and burned 
the incense." We may not feel like reproaching the 
mother, but the awful risk of an unshepherded flock 
is manifest. Situations like these lie back of report 
after report from these mass movement areas of 
thousands, literally thousands, who could be taken 
into the Church if it were properly supported. 

To many of the problems, the greatest wisdom and 
historical judgment should be brought. For exam- 
ple, in many centers these people seem to be in a 
hopeless economic situation. Laws and conditions 
are such that it is practically certain that they can- 
not get a place on the land. It seems almost a trav- 
esty to ask them to live and think as Christians, yet 
continue their present work suffocated in a blanket 
of scorn. How can they ever gain self-respect in 
their old environment? On the other hand, in the 
cities the factories are calling for labor. Shall the 
missionary be responsible for initiating a big labor 
migration, thus reducing the supply of workers in 
the villages, increasing the demand, and hence bet- 
tering the condition of those that remain ? Or are the 
risks of bringing these former outcastes into an 
urban environment too great? Will it be better on 
the whole to leave things as they are and teach that 
he who "sweeps a room for Christ" does noble ser- 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 177 

vice? It may seem best to attempt to find some way 
of raising the level of the depressed classes where 
they are. If so, will it be better, with limited funds, 
to raise the whole mass a little or to train a few in- 

The Government in certain provinces makes an 
appropriation for the alleviation of the Panchamas. 
It is given because of their deplorable economic con- 
dition by a government quite neutral in religious 
matters. When they become Christians, technically 
they are not Panchamas. Both Government and 
missionaries are perplexed as to procedure, since the 
need of help is still there. In dealing with Govern- 
ment, shall they be called Panchamas ; i.e., outcastes 
of Hinduism? Or shall they be called Christians 
and forego this aid? 

If two or three people from a village come for 
baptism which, publicly given, will cut them off 
from their community and cause their influence 
largely to cease, would it be wise to receive them 
secretly? Another difficulty is the preservation of 
the rich and inner significance of baptism. Non- 
Christians in general have come to think of this 
ceremony as that which makes a Christian. Perse- 
cution usually begins after baptism. Hindus are 
not so concerned with what their friends believe, 
but they are tremendously concerned when this rite 
is administered. Where danger and non-Christian 
opinion so emphasize baptism, it is difficult even for 
Christians to realize that it is something in the life 
itself that should differentiate a Christian — some- 
thing more than an initial ceremony. 

A problem that has divided missionary practice 

zyS Building with India 

from the beginning is whether these men and women 
should be baptized as soon as they are willing to 
receive baptism, or whether there should be delay 
until they give proof of Christian faith and works. 
It is more difficult than deciding whether you would 
have baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. It sends one 
back to see what Paul and Peter did and to ask 
guidance as to what to do. 

Many frankly allow early baptism. In the prac- 
tice of certain missions, baptism has, therefore, al- 
most lost its original significance. It marks the 
beginning of an opportunity for Christian instruc- 
tion rather than its end. Many of these people in 
all their lives have never tried to learn anything, 
and hence find it exceedingly laborious to memorize 
the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, or the Ten Command- 
ments. "Suffered under Pontius Pilate, dead, and 
buried" does not mean much to them. Their vocabu- 
lary is poor — a paltry list of words representing 
material objects. They are not used to abstract and 
spiritual ideas. "Yes," said a village woman to 
whom the old, old story was being told, "when you 
are here speaking to us, we seem to see it, but when 
you are gone, and we are hungry, food is all that we 
can think about." Difficulties such as these seem to 
justify a low standard of admission, and it is argued 
that the children, at least, may come under instruc- 
tion. With reference to those baptized in middle 
life, a promise is remembered that where little is 
given, little will be required. 

On the other hand, many missionaries and an in- 
creasing number of educated Indian Christians are 
alarmed lest caste and other non-Christian customs 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India 179 

may get their hold on the Church of India through 
too early baptism. Many feel that there is danger 
of cutting them adrift from old customs and 
restraints which had weight with them, before the 
new Christian controls have taken their place. Some 
fear that the way is opened to the use of unspiritual 
pressure when, for example, a group who seek bap- 
tism are told that they will not be received until all 
the outcaste quarter of their village comes with 
them. Such missionaries are jealous of the signifi- 
cance of the rite of baptism and want the standard 
of purity, knowledge, and character kept high. 

Faced with the ignorance and servility of former 
demon-worshippers, it is no easy question to decide 
what should be the conditions upon which people 
will be admitted to the Church. It is a serious ques- 
tion, for we are told how certain missions took 
alarm at the enormous number of accessions and 
hence raised the standard of knowledge to be re- 
quired of converts. The result was not only that 
the movement was checked, but that the congrega- 
tions they already had began to die. To meet all 
such problems wisdom, forethought, and experience 
are needed, but above all, sensitiveness to the move- 
ment of God's Spirit. 


Today these masses are receptive. There is 
scarcely a limit to the numbers who would place 
themselves under instruction. But it is a time of 
passing opportunity. Various non-Christian organi- 
zations are determined to outflank the missionary 
movement by sweeping outcastes into Hinduism or 

i8o Building with India 

Muhammadanism. Still others are stimulated by 
political motives. Now that the principle of com- 
munity representation has been introduced, both 
Hindus and Muhammadans naturally want to at- 
tach these millions to their groups. Still other non- 
Christians are influenced by the dominant national 
consciousness to relieve the wretched conditions of 
the depressed classes, since their very patriotism 
leads them to see that India cannot go far forward 
with such a drag upon it. Most significant of all is 
the fact that at last the conscience of India has been 
touched by what Christians have dared to attempt 
and have actually accomplished. Increasingly, from 
the highest motives, non-Christians are taking up 
the task of helping the Panchamas. 

From the standpoint of urgency it is significant 
to note that, although the Indian National Congress 
did not recognize this problem in its platform until 
1917, now all the important political parties in India 
are pledged to the elevation of the depressed classes. 
The Liberals have placed the uplift of the Untouch- 
ables in the very forefront of their program and 
have promised to bring it about by giving them spe- 
cial educational facilities. The Nationalists have de- 
clared themselves against untouchability and have 
promised full rights of citizenship to the depressed 
classes. The non-Brahman party attaches great im- 
portance to the emancipation of these submerged 
sections of the community, while the Non-Coopera- 
tors through their leader, Mahatma Gandhi, say that 
India is not worthy of attaining full self-govern- 
ment unless the stigma of untouchability is removed. 

Public opinion is beginning to be aroused. A 




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Many more such loyal and faithful men would be 
available for Christian service if greater resources for 
training could be provided. 

The Distinctive Opportunity in India i8i 

"Depressed Classes Mission Society," organized by 
Prarthana Samajists, but largely supported by Hin- 
dus, has been at work since 1906. The Panchamas 
themselves in various quarters are finding a voice 
to claim their right of being treated as human 
beings, thus showing that — as the Indian proverb 
runs — "The toad beneath the harrow knows exactly 
where each tooth-point goes." If the Christian 
Church fails to enter the doors now so widely open 
and win these people for Christ, they will, therefore, 
be absorbed by other religions, and the task of 
awakening them to their birthright will be vastly 
more difficult and long delayed. In any case, the 
problem is so vast and the prejudices and vested 
interests against them are so entrenched, that no 
one with the love of Christ within him can leave 
them to struggle up themselves. "Inasmuch as ye 
did it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not 
unto me." 

In the light of this urgent situation, face the un- 
dermanning of most missions. It is a matter of 
record that certain mass movements have largely 
failed simply because the missions related to them 
were not sufficiently manned to conserve results.^ 
Listen to the intense words of one worker. "I have 
been in this district three years and have not yet 
been able to get once around to the villages. I have 
roughly eight thousand Christians. In July and 
August the average number of requests for mar- 
riage ceremonies works out at twenty per week. To 
perform these marriages off in distant and scat- 
tered villages, reached by dusty and imperfect 

^World Missionary Conference, 1910, Vol. I, p. 291. 

1 82 Building with India 

roads, there are only myself and one Indian deacon. 
Since the task is impossible of accomplishment, they 
go off and marry by heathen rites. It is not the 
work that kills us, it is this weight of unmet need." 

Boarding-schools have not sufficient accommoda- 
tions for the boys and girls who might become 
future leaders. Education in the fullest sense of 
that term is the greatest need — education of the 
young and education of adults, education of leaders 
and education that will fit for going on with village 
life, education for citizenship in the new India and 
in the city of God. 

Doors are so wide open that the whole of this 
depressed community might be led to start its long 
course upward in the school of Christ. Further- 
more, it comes from such a low general level that it 
is a unique opportunity for a great object lesson — 
the application of the whole gospel to the whole man. 
The Church of Christ has had no greater oppor- 
tunity presented to it. 

Does our response to this situation justify for us 
the name — co-workers with God ? If only we would 
set in motion available resources, human and divine, 
the ancient prophecy might be again fulfilled; "I 
will say to them which were not my people. Thou art 
my people; and they shall say. Thou art my God." 
The mass movements are an emergency and should 
be treated as an emergency in our praying and in 
our giving. As we look out upon these multitudes 
who will willingly come when we are ready to pro- 
vide preachers and teachers to care for them, we 
can hear the Master's voice as plainly as it ever 
sounded in Galilee, "Give ye them to eat." 


WE praise Thee, O Father, for the glorious 
testimony to Thy transforming power 
which is changing the slaves of India into 
sons of God. Strengthen them in persecution and 
in those dark crises of plague or famine when old 
habits pull them back to their idols and worship of 

€[May those who go to them be able to see through 
the dull and haunted faces the priceless worth of 
human life and love them. Give to us here the 
same spirit of insight that we may see beyond the 
squalor, the poverty, the ignorance, and supersti- 
tion of these outcaste people to a future of devel- 
oped dignity and worthfulness for them. Make us 
to care, O Lord, that through no selfishness or indif- 
ference we may refuse help to those outstretched 

€LFather, we catch glimpses of ourselves in the 
outcastes of India. Unexpectant of Thy riches, we 
also have been content with the lower levels of 
daily living. Awaken us, O Lord, blow upon us 
with Thy Spirit that our soul-life may be quickened 
until we also reach out for help. Forbid that we 
shall miss the miracle of transformation, for Thy 
power which looketh upon wasted lives in far-off 
India is available for us today. May our faces 
catch the Light; may our hearts flame with Thy 
love; may our lives reflect Thy Spirit, through 
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 



The Indian Church 


When we think of India, or of any non-Christian 
land, what should be the absorbing center of 
our thought? When we pray for the growth of the 
Kingdom, shall we remember only or primarily our 
boards, our missionaries, and their work? When 
we read pamphlets and magazines and reports on 
missions, should we be content to have them focus 
attention on missionary institutions and personnel 
abroad and survey the work from the standpoint of 
their problems, their needs, and their triumphs? 
Or should we educate ourselves to regard something 
else as the central factor in the situation? 

If the world-task is the development of a divine 
society of which God is the father-like ruler, and 
of which ministrant, cooperative love is the vitaliz- 
ing principle, we can see how the center of gravity 
of our thought should be the development of this 
spiritual society in the land we are considering. The 
goal toward which we move is Christian fellowship 
characterized by love and mutual service and con- 
tinuously enriched by the special gifts which each 
can contribute. The most effective Christian wit- 
ness is such a Christian society. On the purely prac- 
tical plane, also, a Christian society is necessary, 
since the stupendous task before us will never be 
accomplished by the isolated exertions of individual 

In India, therefore, the focus of our interest 


The Indian Church 185 

should be the Indian Church.^ The time is at hand 
when India is going to be influenced to accept Christ 
primarily by the witness of her own people — ^that is, 
by the Indian Church. Friends from the West will 
still be most urgently needed to help, to counsel, to 
train, to educate, to share experience and aspiration. 
But conditions in India and the growth of the Chris- 
tian Church are causing Christianity's frontal 
attack to pass out of the hands of the missionary. 
This enables the missionary appeal to become more 
unselfish even than in the past. Its present numbers 
are not a matter of primary concern — some five 
millions, or, roughly, one in seventy of the popula- 
tion, over half of whom are the outgrowth of Ameri- 
can mission work ; nor even is its rate of growth of 
first importance — varying from twenty-two per cent 
to thirty-four per cent during the four decades from 
1871 to 1911. These figures enable us to realize a 
most significant fact that an Indian Church does 
exist. But there is a more vital question than num- 
bers. Is it the kind of Church that in due time can 
win India to fellowship in the world-wide Christian 


Such a victorious Church must be of the soil, ex- 
pressing its faith in its own characteristic ways — 
that is, indigenous. Just as in Europe Christianity 
developed a Latin, a Greek, and a Teutonic type, so 
there will likely be a Japanese, a Chinese, and an In- 
dian type of Christianity when it has gripped the 

1 Toward this end I would strongly recommend the reading 
of Indian Christian biography. See Bibliography. 

i86 Building with India 

very soul of each people. Are there signs that Chris- 
tianity has become naturalized and that Indian Chris- 
tians have begun to clothe it in thought-forms and 
institutions which have been immemorial expres- 
sions of Indian religious life? More fundamental 
even than the assumption of Oriental forms is that 
birth of the conviction in the people themselves 
that Christ alone can save India. Let two lives — 
Narayan Vaman Tilak and Sadhu Sundar Singh — 
illustrate the modern trend toward an indigenous 
Y N. V. Tilak, at his death in 1919, was the most 

influential Christian leader and teacher in western 
India, in fact one of the most notable figures that 
Indian Christianity has yet produced. One of the 
sources of his power was his remarkable poetic 
gift. He sang his way with the Christian message 
into the hearts of the people. His simple, beautiful, 
vital, vernacular verse clung in the memory of In- 
dia's music-loving soul. His hymns and songs were 
caught up in the market-place as well as the church, 
lifting thousands of Christians to greater heights 
of devotion and bringing many non-Christians to 
the Master. Only those who know of India's pas- 
sionate love of poetry and of song, and have there- 
fore coveted the gift of music for the Christian 
Church, can appreciate the service he has rendered 
in putting into verse the Sermon on the Mount and 
the life of Christ. 

A second great endeavor of his life was to give a 
truly Indian expression to Christianity. He came 
into a weak church, which was neither Indian nor 
European, and which was tending to adopt Western 

The Indian Church 187 

dress and Western customs. With wonderful re- 
sourcefulness and zest, he devoted himself to stem 
the tide toward denationalism. By pen, by voice, 
by acts, he showed that in becoming a Christian one 
need not necessarily become a traitor to one's heri- 
tage. To him Christ was an Oriental, who came to 
fulfil the highest longings of Hinduism. He was 
proud of all that was best in India's history and tra- 
ditions, and gladly claimed himself a child of her 
great culture. Through him more festivals, so 
loved in India, were introduced into the Christian 
year; and forms of worship more in harmony with 
the Indian spirit were started in the villages. 

His love of country was intense and contagious. 
This was carried over from his youth as a Brah- 
man. In fact it was patriotism rather than personal 
need that first led him to be a Christian. Tilak 
became a follower of Jesus to save his country. He 
was a mediator not only between ruler and ruled, 
but between Christian and non-Christian, calling 
the growing Christian community to play its part 
in the great events of India's life. His last message, 
dictated just before his death, was an appeal to his 
countrymen to take the spirit of Christ into their 
politics. This unquestioned love of India created 
in non-Christians a new respect for followers of the 

But most precious of all was the way in which 
through song he sought to enter into fellowship with 
God. The Marathi hymn-book is colored beyond 
anything we possess by the hymns he wrote on the 
subject of union and communion with God. He 
gave passionate poetic utterance to the solace found 

1 88 Building with India 

in a divine Companion. Those who know India will 
recognize at once that in this seeking after God, that 
is neither ascetic nor yet intellectual, he was one of 
India's great Bhaktas (devotees) . He differed, how- 
ever, from those longing searchers in the rest and 
victory which he discovered in Christ. 

One of his poems, thought to contain the essence of 
his message, though missing in its English transla- 
tion the singing quality of the original, is as follows: 


The more I win Thee, Lord, the more for Thee I pine; 

Ah, such a heart is mine! 
My eyes behold Thee and are filled, and straightway then 

Their hunger wakes again! 
My arms have clasped Thee and should set Thee free, but 

I cannot let Thee go ! 
Thou dwell'st within my heart. Forthwith anew the fire 

Burns of my soul's desire. 
Lord Jesus Christ, Beloved, tell, O tell me true. 

What shall Thy servant do? 

Another beautifully reveals his strong love of 
country combined with a passionate loyalty to Jesus: 

My Motherland 

My mother is the land of Hind, and all her children are 

diamonds and rubies to me. 
My heart is absorbed in these precious jewels. 
Some are buried deep in rubbish heaps and some still lie 

hidden in earth's depths; 
Some decorate Hind's princely crowns. 
But all, all I long to love — I, the servant of my motherland. 

I have a message I must tell out. Listen, all ye children of 

the Hind! 
All, all is vain without Christ. 
Only if He fill our heart till it o'erflow. 
Only then can we understand what God means us to be 

and do! 
'Tis Jesus who makes the true patriot; 
So I — His servant — am the servant of my motherland. 

The Indian Church 189 

Who, then, was this Tilak? He was born in a 
Brahman home, and for thirty-three of his fifty- 
seven years he was a Hindu. His mother early im- 
pressed upon him the fear of God, and her life was 
such that Mr. Tilak often declared that he had never 
known any woman so perfect as his mother. Another 
powerful influence in his early years was a famous 
Hindu scholar under whom he studied and with 
whom he delved deep into Sanskrit learning. Be- 
lieving that idolatry, pantheism, and caste were 
holding back his country, he passionately repudiated 
them and began to search for a more satisfying 
religion. Several years were spent in pilgriming 
from one part of India to another, searching for a 
satisfying religion. 

When about twenty-two years of age, he met by 
chance, in a railway train, an unknown European 
who, in their brief conversation, opened up the sig- 
nificance of Christ, leaving with him a New Testa- 
ment. From that time he began to study the life 
of Christ. He has told us how he was affected when 
for the first time he came across the Sermon on the 
Mount. "I could not tear myself away from those 
sentences, so full of charm and beauty, which ex- 
press the love and tenderness and truth that the 
sermon conveys. In these three chapters I found 
answers to the most abstruse problems of Hindu 
philosophy. It swayed me to see how here the most 
profound problems were completely solved. I went 
on eagerly reading to the last page of the Bible that 
I might learn more of Christ." As a result of be- 
coming a Christian, Tilak lost his position and was 
reduced to poverty. Wife and child refused to live 

igo Building with India 

with him. Finally, in 1895, he publicly professed 
his faith in Christ. Thus began his leadership of 
the Christian Church and the revelation of what 
Indian Christianity might become. 


A figure that has even more caught the imagina- 
tion of India is that of Sadhu Sundar Singh. Bare- 
footed, robed in saffron, ever traveling, with no 
center acknowledged as home, living from the alms 
of those who see his need, the Sadhu at once sug- 
gests one of India's many ascetic mendicants. His 
countenance is singularly sweet and benign, and to 
many he recalls traditional pictures of Jesus. St. 
Francis of Assisi is the nearest Western type. The 
narrative of his life reads like a page from the 
Bible. In fastings, in peril of rivers, in peril of 
robbers, in journeyings often, in persecutions, in 
imprisonings, bound, beaten, stoned, fed as by 
miracle, released inexplicably, Sadhu Sundar Singh 
bears the marks of a friend of Christ. 

Sundar Singh deliberately attempts to Indianize 
Christianity. He prefers that Indian Christians 
should sit on the floor in church; that they should 
remove their shoes instead of their turbans; that 
Indian music should be sung; and that long, in- 
formal talks should take the place of sermons. It 
is, however, his adoption of the life of a sadhu or 
typical holy man of India, that is his most striking 
contribution. It releases him from the distractions 
of worldly cares, gives a sense of freedom, and to 
Sundar Singh it is the best way of commending the 
gospel to the multitudes of India. It might be called 

The Indian Church 191 

moneyless evangelism. The Indian Church has shown 
its readiness to welcome a Christian sadhuism, al- 
though as yet scarcely more than a dozen examples 
can be found within its circle. 

The Sadhu constantly uses word pictures in his 
teaching, and by this characteristically Eastern 
method, he gives his reason for Indianizing Chris- 
tianity. "Once when I was traveling in Rajputana 
there was a Brahman of high caste hurrying to the 
station. Overcome by the great heat, he fell down 
on the platform. The Anglo-Indian station-master, 
anxious to help him, offered him water in a Western 
cup. But the Brahman would not take the water, 
although he was very thirsty. *I cannot drink that 
water. I would prefer to die.' *I am not asking you 
to eat the cup,' the station master said to him. *I 
will not break my caste,' he said, 'I am willing to 
die.' When, however, the water was brought to 
him in his own brass vessel, he drank it eagerly. It 
is the same with the Water of Life. Indians do need 
the Water of Life, but not in the European cup." 

For seventeen years Sundar Singh has traveled 
over the length and breadth of India — with short 
visits to Japan, Britain, and America. Probably 
no Indian Christian has made so deep and so wide 
an impression on his native land. With abundance 
of picturesque illustration and parable, with a 
directness and simplicity of spiritual perception 
which impresses everyone who hears him, he has 
borne most effective testimony to the power of 

We may well inquire what was the early training 
that enabled him to bring a new emphasis into the 

xg2 Building with India 

Indian Church. The Sadhu was born in 1889, his 
parents being Sikhs of high birth and great wealth. 
His mother constantly held before him the ideal of 
India's "holy men," bidding him abandon the things 
of this world and strive to obtain inner peace. At 
seven years of age he had committed to memory all 
the Bhagavad Gita — ^the most popular and influen- 
tial scripture of Hinduism. At sixteen years of age, 
after a period of bitter opposition to Christianity, 
during which he tore up the Bible or burned it when 
he had a chance, he became a Christian. Then began 
his presentation of his newly found religion in a 
characteristic Hindu way — wandering from place to 
place, possessing nothing but his robe, his blanket, 
and a copy of the New Testament. Thus did his 
mother's ideal bear fruit in the Christian Church. 

The relation of the Christian Church to national- 
ism is naturally a matter of importance. We saw in 
the second chapter that there are certain serious 
handicaps on India's progress. The Christian com- 
munity is making more actual advance in removing 
these drags on national attainment than any other 
religious group. Let figures with reference to edu- 
cation illustrate this fact. Among Christians there 
are twice as many literate men and twelve times as 
many literate women per thousand as among the 
Hindus. In the advanced classes of mission high 
schools many hundreds of Christian girls are en- 
joying a little of that healthy, care-free girlhood 
which we value for our children, while their non- 
Christian sisters — Garland-of -Pearls, Playing-Moon- 


The Indian Church 193 

Beams, and Shanti (Peace) — are suffering the cruel 
injustice of early motherhood. "School goer" is the 
local name for a Christian in one area. The mail 
coming and going from the little Christian com- 
munity in many a village is greater than that of a 
dozen neighboring non-Christian villages. Having 
emerged in general from an illiterate class, these vil- 
lagers could not have attained this relatively high 
literacy without considerable parental sacrifice and 
vision. Moreover, they have given to the country 
schoolmasters and schoolmistresses out of all pro- 
portion to their numbers. In their accomplishments / 
toward abolishing illiteracy, therefore, Christians j 
may be considered true patriots. 

But in more direct ways the Christian leaders 
are identifying themselves with India's welfare. 
The father of cons titutional agitation in India was 
the late Krishna Mohan Banner jea, D. L., one of 
Alexander Duff's converts. In a recent volume on In- 
dia's Nation Builders one chapter out of the fifteen is 
given to Kali Charan Banurji (1847-1907), who ex- 
erted a powerful influence on the public life of Cal- 
cutta and manifested devotion and loyalty to the 
cause of India as long as he lived. Moreover, the 
very machinery of representative church govern- 
ment which has been introduced by many denomina- 
tions is playing a very important part in training 
for political self-government, just as it did in Colo- 
nial days in the United States. 

From the Christian community have come mem- 
bers of the legislative council, judges of the law 
courts, scores of government servants as magis- 
trates, sub-magistrates, doctors, and engineers, and 


194 Building with India 

members of city and town municipal councils. When 
the reforms went into operation in 1920, the Hindu 
governor of Behar and Orissa appointed a Christian 
as one of his ministers. Every year an increasing 
number of Indian Christians are being sent to the 
Indian National Congress. An "All-India Confer- 
ence of Indian Christians" has been held annually 
since 1914. Between fifty and sixty delegates come 
together to discuss such questions as the disabilities 
of Christians, the revision of the Christian marriage 
act, various representations to Government, means 
of fostering public opinion, and the development of 
the intellectual, moral, economic, and industrial re- 
sources of the country. Compared with twenty 
years ago, there is more attention given on the part 
of the Christian community to Indian dress and 
Indian names. 

The reforms have brought a very difficult problem 
to Indian Christians. With a greatly increased vot- 
ing constituency, the Government has introduced 
for certain communities the privilege of separate 
electorates. In other words, in order to safeguard 
the interest of a given community, the Government 
sets aside for it a certain number of seats in the leg- 
islative council and gives this community exclusive 
vote for such seats. A great problem for the mem- 
bers of the Christian community is, whether they 
shall seek this privilege or not. Many hold that the 
self-interests of the Christian community demand 
this separate representation. Others feel that the 
acceptance of Jesus Christ should not compel a man 
to cut himself off politically from his fellow country- 
men. They hold that a separate electorate is a 

The Indian Church 195 

selfish expedient, and tends to segregate them from 
their fellow countrymen. Christians, in their opin- 
ion, can exhibit something higher than a scramble 
for power and place — something nobler than a 
struggle for privileges and posts ear-marked for 
themselves. They would like to merge their political 
interests absolutely with the non-Christians, and 
seek every opportunity to serve their country with- 
out the assurance of reward. 

No one could claim that Indian Christians have 
yet attained an outstanding place in shaping India's 
national development. One can, however, say that 
their part is creditable and full of hope, considering 
the size of the community and the level from which 
it has mainly come. When we remember that the 
Church's capacity for influencing the nation de- 
pends upon the character of its leaders more than 
upon its size, the importance of missionary educa- 
tion can at once be appreciated. Never before has 
the public life of India needed the help of Christian 
character and leadership more than in these days of 
growth and change. To what quarter shall she look 
for honest citizens, for unselfish politicians, and for 
men with trustworthy motives, unless it be to the 
Christian body? 


One great difficulty with the Church in India 
today is that it is shot through with Western denomi- 
nationalism. One hundred and twenty-four dif- 
ferent societies have been engaged in evangelizing 
India, and the religion they have come to give is one 
which has found divided expression in the West. 

196 Building with India 

Missionaries, therefore, have been busy reproducing 
in India the several denominations which sent them 
out — Anglicans and Methodists, Baptists and 
Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Presbyterians. 
Each is doubtless contributing much to the Church 
that is to be in India, but the Western denomination- 
alism, in its unchanged, imported multiplicity, is 
unfortunate. In many cases a given denomination 
is limited to the area where a certain mission works, 
and hence for such there can be no easy sense of an 
All-India Church. To some Christian leaders the 
fact that their Church is not an All-India organiza- 
tion is its greatest defect. This condition should not 
lead us to give less support to the work of our par- 
ticular denomination in India, but it should make 
us eager to encourage any wise movement toward 
union on the field. 

Threatened by the great religions of India, the 
small Christian minority is driven together as 
Christians are not in the West. To many Indians 
their denomination is a mere matter of geography, 
betokening no more than that their birthplace was 
in the area taken over by a certain mission. A group 
of four thousand non-Christians in a certain area 
wanted to be baptized. The region in which they 
lived was occupied by two adjoining missions be- 
tween which there was no expression of spiritual 
hospitality. United in their previous caste feeling, 
these converts were divided in the Church. When 
intelligent Christians from different areas come 
together, it is inevitable that Western denomina- 
tional restrictions on fellowship and communion 

The Indian Church 197 

irritate. To many a high-caste convert, our divided, 
almost competitive sections of Christendom come as 
a distinct shock. Expecting to find peace in one 
brotherhood under one Leader, they find a set of 
negotiating factions. There is a growing recogni- 
tion that it is the fundamentals of the gospel, and 
not its Western interpretations, that must form the 
basis of the missionary message. 

The spirit of union, however, is abroad in India. 
Most of the thirteen different Presbyterian bodies 
have come together into a single, independent 
Church. A still more notable union is the young and 
vigorous South India United Church made up of 
Christians associated with British, Australian, 
German, and American missions and including Pres- 
byterian, Reformed, and Congregational groups. For 
several years this Church has been carrying on nego- 
tiations with the Church of England and the Mar 
Thoma Syrian Church for a still more comprehensive 
union in south India. For the Indians such steps 
are in the way of union, — ^not reunion, since histori- 
cally they are not dissenters. But it is noticeable 
that since the tide of nationalism has come in, the 
question of church union does not interest the 
younger Christian leaders. Doubtless our fathers 
would have found it difficult to throw themselves 
into such a problem during the days preceding 1776. 
It is hoped that progress toward a united national 
Church in India will not be at the price of loss of 
communion with the churches of Christ in other 

ig8 Building with India 


The Indian Church is faced with a variety of 
problems. One danger is that the Christian Church 
may not be distinguished from the Christian com- 
munity. It is a land where religion sharply divides 
the people. It is taken for granted that the son of 
a Hindu is a Hindu; the son of a Muhammadan is 
a Moslem. Similarly, individual decision with 
regard to religion is not expected in the son of a 
Christian. He is a Christian by birth and as a mat- 
ter of course. The danger is that the bond of union 
in the Church may not be a common loyalty to 
Christ, but membership in a social group with civil 
laws and social usages of its own. 

The Indian Church has its race question. In the 
presence of the prestige and moral influence of West- 
ern missionaries, how is the Church to be given free- 
dom of development? How, without fatally dividing 
the Church on racial lines, is it possible to see that 
Indian thought and Indian enterprise be not stifled 
by the weight and authority of their foreign breth- 
ren? These are burning questions in India. Many 
Indian Christian leaders feel that, while direction in 
many spheres has been passing to Indian hands 
during the past two years, this movement has lagged 
in mission and Church. 

The use of the word "community" may be mis- 
leading, for it tends to make us think that there is 
a single thing corresponding to a single word. As 
a matter of fact, the Christian community is made 
up of many "societies" more or less loosely connected, 
with different customs, traditions, and aspirations. 
This appears most plainly in the survival of caste 

The Indian Church 199 

within the Church — a problem Protestants inherit 
from the practice permitted by the early Roman 
missions of the sixteenth century. For example, 
there are two main castes in the Telugu area from 
which Christians come — the Malas and Madigas. 
These heartily despise one another. The worst abuse 
a Mala can give another is to call him a Madiga. 
Even after becoming a Christian it is hard to lay 
aside these deeply ingrained prejudices. A devout 
Christian Mala woman only after two years of 
spiritual struggle gained her victory and consented 
to eat in the same room with Madiga Christians. A 
crisis in administration arose in one area when a 
Mala congregation refused to have its marriages 
performed by its Madiga pastor. Converts of higher 
castes have been known to seat themselves at the 
communion services so that the cup will reach them 
before converts from certain lower castes. Adult 
Christians have beat their breasts at the thought of 
taking water from the same well as Christians of a 
lower origin. "What will our relatives think of us 
when they know it?" Boarding-school children 
have struck when children of a caste heretofore 
non-Christian have been introduced. Many Chris- 
tians feel a physical repulsion to certain occupations 
and cannot bear, for example, to sit beside the de- 
spised leather workers. The whole caste problem is 
more acute in south India than in the north. 

While practically all Protestant missions are abso- 
lutely clear that caste is inconsistent with the Chris- 
tian spirit and should not be tolerated, certain 
practical problems arise. Is it wise for us to exert 
pressure to secure interdining and intermarriage 

200 Building with India 

between Christians of different castes? Or should 
we let their old limitations and prejudices be 
sloughed off as the spirit of Christ gets increasing 
mastery of their lives? Is it best to erase from 
church records all trace of the caste from which a 
convert has come, and to discourage the retention 
of names indicative of caste? These measures would 
do away with some of the external data upon which 
caste distinctions within the church thrive; but 
is there danger that in obliterating family tradition 
and history, there would be a lessening of self-re- 
spect which frequently degenerates into pride, but 
which is in itself a virtue? 

To the educated and cultured section of the Chris- 
tian community, the mass movements present a 
severe test — a test which, on the whole, they are 
very nobly meeting. Let us catch their problem. 
Christian leaders naturally are eager for their com- 
munity's advancement and for the discovery and 
expression of a spirit worthy of Indian Christianity. 
It is easy to see how they might chafe at the dilution 
of their group by a flood of immobile and inarticu- 
late outcaste converts. Such additions inevitably 
lower the literacy percentage and general standards. 
In the present condition of rather tense feeling 
between Indians and Westerners, some Christian 
leaders are inclined to resent the fact that it is 
largely a foreign agency that has been guiding these 
mass movements. As one of them said, "It is like a 
foreigner deciding who shall come into my drawing- 
room and associate with my children, without giving 
me any choice in the selection or invitation." The 
analogy is not exact, but it serves to show the prob- 

The Indian Church 201 

lem. Many missions are now devising ways by 
which all or practically all their work can be carried 
out under the advice and even under the control of 
representatives of the Indian Church. What criti- 
cism there is of the mass movements usually disap- 
pears when these representatives face the problems 
and take part in the discussions from the inside. 

When we pray that the Indian Church may have 
light on the great problem of caste within the 
Church, let us not forget our own similar needs. 
America has its great racial problems. There are 
classes and races that are by no means sure that 
they would receive a cordial welcome into pews of 
our churches, and with whom many would not want 
to interdine. Suppose Indian Christians should 
gain a victory over their caste prejudices and from 
the vantage point of distance should be able dis- 
passionately to see what our Christian duty is in 
America, would we be willing to receive their 
prayers and messengers in the spirit in which we 
want them to welcome ours ? 

Again the question arises for Christians as to 
whether they shall live in more or less separated 
groups, or in the streets and bazaars with their non- 
Christian fellow countrymen. In the one case, 
they preserve their young people from the contami- 
nation of the bazaar and secure greater freedom 
of social life and intercourse, especially for the 
women. But if they live in close contact with non- 
Christians, they tend to avoid the selfish and self- 
satisfied attitude that is apt to develop in an isolated 
Christian group, they have a much more natural 
opportunity for influencing their Hindu and Muham- 

202 Building with India 

madan neighbors, and the unfortunate impression 
of denationalization is likely to be less. The same 
question arises in connection with college dormi- 
tories. The National Missionary Council in 1913 
advised mingling Christian and non-Christian stu- 
dents both in class-room and in boarding-halls at 
college grade. But in certain centers this is strenu- 
ously opposed by the Christian community. 

A very vital question- is whether the Indian 
Church is able to finance itself. The answer here 
is disappointing., One board that has conducted 
work in India for eighty-seven years and whose 
annual expenditure there amounts to $520,000 has 
only five churches in all India that are self-support- 
ing. After investigation, the Wesleyan Methodists 
of the Hyderabad District found that the contribu- 
tion of the Indian Church in their area to the sup- 
port of its ministry varied from one twelfth to one 
sixth of the total cost. Their considered judgment 
was that with effort and good management this pro- 
portion could be raised in three or four years only 
to a general average of one fifth. 

Manifestly, Western churches cannot indefinitely 
expand their work on this basis. Somewhere there 
will come a financial limit, so that a remedy must be 
found. The main cause of this dependent condition 
is the extreme poverty of the people. Most missions 
now see that a very definite part of their ministry 
must be planning a type of education that will result 
in raising the economic level of the people so that 
a self-supporting church may be possible. No ser- 
vice to the Indian Church can be complete without 
taking her economic conditions into account. Fur- 

The Indian Church 203 

thermore, dearly bought experience is bearing fruit 
so that the dangers of pauperization are now widely 
recognized. Many are wisely emphasizing from the 
first this matter of self-support, and ways of giving 
unfamiliar to the West have become common, such 
as, gifts in kind, rice set aside meal by meal in little 
bags, assessment of plows, dedication of coconut 
trees or fowls, first fruits, harvest festivals, or the 
refusal to proclaim the banns if a young man is in 
arrears in his church offering. In areas where a 
large number of Christians were recruited for the 
labor corps and for the army during the War, a con- 
siderable amount of money came into the hands of 
Christians. The fact that the income of the Church 
was favorably affected shows that, with improve- 
ment in the earning capacity of the villager, the in- 
digenous support of the Church becomes more 
practicable and possible. 

The rapid economic change and uplift of the 
Christian community have their own danger. Chris- 
tianity has brought a new spirit of freedom and of 
effort. With it for many have come a change of 
status and new opportunities. The considerable 
body of Christian clerks, traders, schoolmasters and 
small landowners is being continuously recruited 
from the bottom upwards. This process is bound 
to be present when you bring the stimulus of Chris- 
tianity and the needs of mass movements together. 
Under these circumstances Indian Christianity 
should receive special help to avoid the emergence of 
an ultra-practical or even a somewhat worldly and 
materialistic type of religion. 

Christians have to face many problems connected 

204 Building with India 

with the family. They generally give up the joint 
family system — ^where sons and grandsons bring 
their wives to the father's house — and adopt the 
Western plan instead. But this is far less economi- 
cal, and difficulties of adjustment are inevitable in 
the transition stage. Poverty leads some Christians 
to betroth their daughters for money, as do the non- 
Christians about them. Since a Muhammadan 
marriage is automatically dissolved when one or 
both parties change religion, should a Muhammadan 
couple be remarried after either has received bap- 
tism? Should the Church excommunicate a man 
who marries a non-Christian woman? What was 
Paul's practice in this regard ? Would the fact that 
we expect the Hindu and Muhammadan to have 
religious toleration affect this question? 

There is great need of revision of the laws relat- 
ing to Christian marriage. For example, Hindu 
law permits no divorce. If the marriage of certain 
Christians took place before conversion in accord- 
ance with Hindu rites, there can be no relief through 
divorce even when unfaithfulness is proved accord- 
ing to existing statute law. 

There is the perennial question as to what should 
be done when a man with more than one wife applies 
for baptism. Shall he be asked to set aside all but 
one wife and thus work hardship on upright women 
who married him in good faith? Shall he be 
received with all his wives and thus risk the purity 
of the Church? Or shall he be asked to attend the 
services, but wait outside the fellowship of the 
Lord's Supper? And if he is refused Church mem- 
bership because he has more than one wife, shall 

The Indian Church 205 

the wives be admitted because they have only one 
husband ? 


All over India one can find exceedingly interesting 
and valuable pieces of work being done by Indian 
Christians. One of the most stimulating places 
under Indian management that one can visit is 
Dornakal, in the Dominions of the Nizam of Hydera- 
bad. THis is the center of the diocese of the Rt. Rev. 
V. S. Azariah, consecrated in 1912 as the first Indian 
Bishop of the Church of England. His Manual 
Training Institute^ has been developed on lines 
that are attracting attention, and the spirit and 
methods of work of this wise executive are full of 
suggestion for all those who are working in India. 

In the Punjab is a missionary district which for 
forty-eight years was under the superintendence of 
Rev. Kali Charan Chatterjee, first Moderator (1904) 
of the Presbyterian Church in India, and the recipi- 
ent of the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Wash- 
ington and Jefferson College in 1901, and from the 
University of Edinburgh in 1910. Dr. Chatterjee 
came from the highest Brahman caste. As a boy he 
was deeply influenced by his aunt, who had been a 
widow from her childhood and gave much of her 
time to prayer, to memorizing the Shastras, and to 
alms-giving. As a result of Christian teaching in a 
mission high school, he was baptized on entering 
Alexander Duff's college in Calcutta. In consequence, 
this boy of fifteen was cast out by relatives and 
friends, who regarded him as dead and worse. In 

*See Schools with a Message in India, Chapter III, 

2o6 Building with India 

time he married a consecrated Christian girl and 
then began a life of wonderfully blessed service 
rendered by the devoted pair. He was placed by the 
Presbyterian Mission in charge of the Hoshyarpur 
district. This area included 900,000 inhabitants 
scattered in 2,117 villages. Much of the work was 
among the outcastes. For over fifty years this Chris- 
tian leader of Brahman birth, strove among them to 
build up the Church. He had good gifts of organiza- 
tion and left behind him at his death in 1916 
churches with over three thousand Christians, 
although he had started out with none. No one who 
had ever seen his tall, venerable figure with the long, 
flowing beard, clear, tranquil eyes, and kindly, dig- 
nified bearing could ever forget the noble Christian 
spirit manifested there. 

In Bombay is a dispensary of the American Board 
under the charge of Dr. Gurabai, who for over thirty 
years has been helping to minister to the needs of 
this great city. Her husband, the late Rev. Sumant 
Rao Karmarkar, was one of the first Indian Chris- 
tians to come to America for study. He became 
known as "the St. John of Western India," and as a 
distinguished evangelist was asked to go to Japan to 
an international conference. Dr. Gurabai received 
her medical training in Philadelphia. In 1914 she 
represented India in the World's Y. W. C. A. Confer- 
ence in Stockholm; and in 1917 came to America as 
a Christian representative from India to the jubilee 
meeting of the Congregational Woman's Board of 
Missions. An inspiring international touch is found 
in the fact that her brilliant adopted son. Dr. 
Vishwas Karmarker, gave his life in unselfish ser- 

The Indian Church 207 

vice to America, during the influenza epidemic of 
1918. Letters of recognition and appreciation came 
to her from the Mayor of Pittsburgh and the Gover- 
nor of Pennsylvania after his death. 

Off in one of the Punjab's quiet Httle villages — by 
name Asrapur, or the "Village of Hope" — a steady, 
pervasive piece of work has been going on for thirty- 
two years largely under the direction of Miss 
Kheroth Bose, of the Zenana Bible and Medical Mis- 
sion. A testimony to the value placed upon her sound 
judgment is the fact that she has been one of the 
Indian members of the Missionary Council for All- 
India from its beginning in 1913. Government has 
bestowed upon her the Kaisar-i-Hind silver medal. 

Her hospital in the Village of Hope is an object 
lesson in love for that whole region. The proudest 
and most bigoted find that money and position can 
bring them no more of the physician's attention and 
care than is given to the poorest. Each one of the 
staff, from the doctor down to the youngest nurse, 
takes a share in the spiritual work, — singing hymns, 
explaining pictures, or giving addresses. Since all 
the servants and helpers are Christian, the patients 
come into a Christian atmosphere and find a new 
interpretation of womanhood in the happy, useful 
lives of the Christian women. In the same way 
women in the early Church filled a place and per- 
formed a part at which the pagan world wondered. 
On Sunday, the patients who are able go to the 
near-by chapel, where the hymns are lined out verse 
by verse, as is the custom for those who cannot read. 
Many have learned so to love this Sunday service 
that long after completing their treatment, they have 

2o8 Building with India 

returned for the week-end to catch again the spirit 
of Asrapur. Sometimes as many as forty villages 
will be represented among those who come in a 
single morning to the hospital. Hence, as one itiner- 
ates about the area, in village after village one 
comes across former patients and old friends of 
Miss Bose, who treasure in their hearts memories of 
prayer or verses of hymns that they have heard at 
her hospital. 

In this Indian-managed center, with its wonder- 
ful spirit of simplicity, understanding, and sympa- 
thy is held each year the Prem Sangat Mela — a 
gathering of religious-minded people of whatever 
creed or race. Men and women come from far and 
near. The chairman is usually a non-Christian of 
good repute. It is agreed that all who come shall 
call one another brethren in the spirit of love; that 
speakers may say frankly what they believe or have 
experienced about their own faiths, and especially 
on sin and its remedy. Singing both of Christian and 
non-Christian hymns forms part of the program. 
The Indian pastor, Rev. Wadhawa Mai, who has 
been the moving spirit in the Mela, attributes much 
of the tolerance to the influence of the hospital to 
which women of all classes come. Prejudice and 
bigotry against Christ are breaking down since all 
who come to the Mela are guests. On their return 
home, the people welcome Christian workers, and 
many begin to read the Bible. One great feature of 
this Christianized Indian Mela is that women come 
with the men. to hear the same message — a step 
toward the realization of higher family life. Chris- 
tians go to this Mela, not only to teach, but because 

The Indian Church 209 

they feel that they have something to learn from 
others who are living devoutly according to their 
lights. They are thus discovering how to interpret 
that aspect of the gospel which especially meets the 
needs of their non-Christian friends. The decided 
Christian atmosphere of these gatherings along with 
the very explicit Christian witness is exciting a 
marked influence on that whole region. 

Noteworthy work by Indian Christians is by no 
means all connected with missions. A Christian 
visitor to India should not think of passing through 
Poona without seeking to see St. Helena's School 
under the charge of Miss Susie Sorabji, the distin- 
guished daughter of an early Parsee convert. You 
will be interested from the time when a shower of 
rose-leaves gives you welcome until you are taken 
out to see the geography lesson in the yard. A 
relief map of India has been formed in the sand with 
water surrounding it. One child will recite on the 
exports of India, and as she does so, taking a toy 
boat, she wades barefooted through the ocean to a 
port at Karachi, Bombay, or Calcutta. She loads 
her ship with such exports as tea, rice, cotton, etc., 
actually picking these up from the proper locations 
and taking them to the toy boat which lies in the 

One could ask no greater privilege for a visi- 
tor to the very picturesque city of Lahore, than to 
be guided through one of its thirteen gates into its 
narrow, winding lanes between tall buildings with 
their carved and artistic balconies to the old palace 
of Nau Nihal Singh. From its terraced roofs one 
can look out over that crowded city dotted with 

210 Building with India 

mosques and temples. This old relic of Sikh glory 
is now used as a school for eleven hundred non- 
Christian girls, and here lives Miss Mona Bose, its 
Christian head, who for over thirty years has been 
trusted by the non-Christian committee with the 
management of their school. Who can measure the 
Christian influence of this dignified, cultured 
woman who continues to live within the walled city 
in close contact with non-Christian homes and far 
removed from the freer, more open and congenial 
Christian centers outside the walls? 

At Benares, sacred city of the Hindus, where 
Brahmanism displays itself in the fulness of its 
power, and where temples and idols, symbols and 
sacred wells abound on every side, one finds a Chris- 
tian secretary of the municipality. Rai Bahadur 
A. C. Mukerjee has been repeatedly chosen for this 
important post by his non-Christian fellow-citizens 
because they value his sterling character and un- 
selfish service. He is also managing director of the 
district cooperative bank, whose other officials — 
except one Britisher — are Hindus, and he is an in- 
fluential member of the Provincial Committee on 
Cooperative Societies. 

In the last decade long steps have been taken in 
Indianizing the Christian Association work in India. 
Since 1916, Mr. K. T. Paul, constructive thinker and 
Christian statesman, has been General Secretary of 
the Y.M.C.A. The editor of the Young Men of India 
since 1919 has been Dr. S. K. Datta, author of The 
Desire of India, whose advice has been more than 
once sought by government commissions, and whose 
spiritual and prophetic addresses have been the in- 

The Indian Church 211 

spiration of many a conference in Britain and India. 

Fifty years ago a high-caste Hindu youth of twen- 
ty-four, after a sleepless night spent in prayer, 
started to an appointed place for baptism only to be 
assaulted, carried away by a mob, and made pris- 
oner in his own home. Later, when success and 
recognition made it possible, he built a beautiful 
home near the very tree where he had been beaten 
on becoming a Christian, and out from his large and 
happy family of fourteen have gone streams of 
Christian influence. One daughter. Miss Mohini 
Maya Das, after graduating from Mt. Holyoke and 
serving as principal of the Kinnaird College in 
Lahore, has become General Secretary of the 
Y.W.C.A. for all India. 

Some day a history of the Church in India will be 
written from the Indian standpoint. It will mean a 
great advance in the intelligence of missionary in- 
terest in the West when we have trained our imagi- 
nation to see the growth of the Kingdom from the 
standpoint of the people of the various mission 
lands. When this is done, Carey's great work will 
be mentioned ; but we will see in clearer outline than 
at present his first convert, Krishna Chandra Pal, 
one of whose hymns has been translated : 

O thou, my soul, forget no more 
The Friend who all thy sorrows bore. 
Let every idol be forgot; 
But, O my soul, forget Him not. 

Judson's pioneer work in Burma will be recog- 
nized, but his famous convert, Ko Thah-byu, will 
be emphasized. The United Presbyterian Mission 
has carried on most excellent work among the out- 

212 Building with India 

castes of the Punjab, but the Indian Church will 
want to know more about Ditt of the much despised 
Chuhra caste, a dark little man, lame of one leg, who 
with quiet and modest manner and with sincerity 
and earnestness of purpose went about his business 
of buying and selling hides; and along with this 
started the great mass movement in that area. A 
place will be given to Bhaktula Abraham, the first 
convert in the S. P. G. Telugu work, who led the 
whole outcaste community of his village to accept 
the gospel. Other centers followed this example; 
and thus began a mass movement which has con- 
tinued to advance through sixty years. 

In such a history of the Indian Church Pandita 
Ramabai will stand out as the greatest Indian Chris- 
tian of this generation. In her long, toilsome pil- 
grimages, in her arduous search through the entire 
range of Sanskrit literature for some satisfying 
truth, the Church will see the impotence of Hindu- 
ism taken at its highest. In her remarkable com- 
bination of executive, intellectual, and religious 
powers ; in her great work near Poona for thousands 
of India's widows; in her unhesitating loyalty to 
Jesus Christ and her humble, devoted service for 
Him ; in what she is even more than in what she has 
done, the world may see what an Indian soul may be 
when possessed by Christ. 

Here we can merely name a few out of many 
worthy of mention. But such a history will tell us 
much more of Ram Chandra Bose who became an 
evangelist under the American Methodists rather 
than pursue to high position his career as an educa- 


One of seven distinguished daughters of an early Parsee 
convert, the first lady barrister of India, and now serving 
under the Government of India in the Court of Wards, Cal- 
cutta, where she is the guardian and friend of widowed Ranis 
(Queens) and baby Rajahs (Kings). She is a powerful ad- 
vocate and a brilliant writer, as is testified by her illumi- 
nating books interpreting the women and children of India — 
Between the Twilights, Love and Life Behind the Purdah, 
and Sun Babies. 

Copyright Ewing Galloway 

The lives and distinguished service of devoted and states- 
manlike Christians such as the Rt. Rev. V. S. Azariah give 
hope that the powers and responsibilities of missions may 
increasingly be transferred to the Indian Church. 

The Indian Church 213 

tor ; of Ram Chandra, known in foreign universities 
for his work on problems of maxima and minima; 
of Rajah Sir Harnam Singh Ahluwalia, K.C.I.E., 
who gave up being ruling prince in order to be a 
Christian; of Lilivati Singh, chosen as successor of 
Isabella Thoburn as principal of the first Christian 
college for women in India ; of Mrs. Paul Appasamy 
of Madras, whose recent tour through India greatly- 
advanced the interest in the National Missionary 
Society; and of Deaconess Ellen Lakshmi Goreh, / 
who wrote our beautiful hymn : 

In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide! 
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus' side ! 
Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low; 
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go. 

Thus at one extreme in the Indian Church are the 
educated leaders whose capacity seems equal to that 
of the ablest foreign missionaries, and whose claim 
to have a voice in the evangelization of India is fully 
justified. At the other extreme and vastly prepon- 
derating in numbers are the simple and undeveloped 
congregations drawn from the depressed classes. 
Owing to their poverty and ignorance they cannot 
bear heavy responsibilities. Their place of Chris- 
tian worship may be a mud-walled building, larger 
and better built than their own village houses ; or it 
may be merely a raised, level, shaded place for 
prayer out in the open. Such congregations will 
naturally require a great deal of training, nurture, 
and discipline before they can be built up into useful 
citizens and can take an adequate place in the life of 
the Church and the nation. 

214 Building with India 


A matter more important than the actual num- 
bers in the Church is the evidence of inner expan- 
sive force. Are there signs that the Indian Church 
wants to pass on the Light? 

The Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly is 
one answer to this question. It is the missionary 
expression of a strong community with a Christian 
tradition of several generations; for Tinnevelly is 
the center of one of the oldest non-Roman missions 
in India, and one tenth of the population of the area 
is Christian. They are mainly Anglicans and their 
Church has attained a high degree of self-support, 
self-government, and self -propagation. Their society 
was founded in 1903, and raises over Rs. 18,000 
for their work in what for them is a foreign mission, 
since it is in another language area. 

In 1905, in the very pagoda where Henry Martjoi 
used to pray for India, there was organized the In- 
dian National Missionary Society. Its object is the 
evangelization of the unoccupied areas of India by 
means of Indian missionaries under Indian man- 
agement. A very definite appeal is made to the na- 
tional spirit in its constituency. It has fourteen 
missionaries, working in six different parts of India, 
with a budget of Rs. 37,000 (1920). 

Still another hopeful sign is found in the awaken- 
ing of the ancient Syrian Church. Few in the West 
realize that a Christian Church has existed for 
fifteen centuries in the feudatory states of Travan- 
core and Cochin along the south-western coast of 
India. In popular tradition this Syrian Christian 
Church goes back even further, being attributed to 

The Indian Church 215 

the work of the apostle Thomas. In the two states 
named, the Syrian Christians number one in four 
in the population, and in intellectual power and 
vigor they are equal to the Brahmans. Ancient 
rulers have accorded them important privileges re- 
corded on copper plates, and today some of them 
hold high and important posts. 

Joy and sorrow mingle as we think of the Syrian 
Church in India. We rejoice that a church has con- 
tinued all these centuries without being lost in the 
Indian religions. But we lament its lack of vision 
and aggressive evangelism. They have often had to 
suffer for their faith, and may have exercised a leav- 
ening influence on Hindu thought, but through the 
centuries they have shown almost no missionary in- 
terest. They simply settled down as a good caste. 
Moreover, they have been bitterly divided into five 
different groups. This Church after sleeping for 
a thousand years has shown distinct signs of quick- 
ening. There is a very definite rapprochement 
between some of its branches, and they have in 
recent years begun to send out foreign missionaries 
of their own to learn another language and work for 
the Christianization of India. Christian leaders of 
exceptional beauty and winsomeness of character 
have come from this ancient Church, and much is 
expected from the revival stirring among them. 

The recent Evangelistic Forward Movement has 
given a great and widespread impetus to personal 
evangelism. Beginning in the south the movement 
spread throughout a great part of India. The aim 
has been to lay upon individual members of the 
Church responsibility in regard to those immedi- 

2i6 Building with India 

ately about them. Tens of thousands have re- 
sponded. In some parts of the country the work has 
been directed by bodies composed exclusively of 
Indians. Women as well as men have taken part 
in the campaigns, and often Indian methods have 
been used. The villagers begin to take notice saying, 
"There must be something in this thing that makes 
successful, well regarded men take it so seriously." 
The movement has been distinctly encouraging, and 
it may be said in general that the churches show a 
growing sense of responsibility for the evangeliza- 
tion of India. The greatest annual Christian gath- 
ering in the world is a convention entirely managed 
by the Indian Christians of Travancore, when 30,000 
people spend a week in inspirational meetings and 
Bible study. 

Beyond and above all the Christians may do, 
however, is that which they are. It is impossible to 
tabulate the results of pure and aspiring lives. 
Christian students in the colleges. Christian teachers 
in the schools, Christian women demonstrating in 
manifold forms of service the unused resources in 
Indian womanhood. Christian homes — just to be 
Christians is a great witness. Very often even in 
crowded thoroughfares it is possible to distinguish 
Christians merely from outward appearances. 
Many a traveler witnesses to the immense relief 
it is to get away for a time from non-Christian India 
and sit in the midst of a Christian audience even 
when the vernacular is not understood. Hymns are 
sung by women at their work in the rice fields or as 
they pick the cotton or weave their cloth. Over 
many a Hindu village there steals, night after night, 

The Indian Church 217 

the sound of the native drum accompanying the 
praises not of Ram or of Krishna, or yet of some 
more questionable earthly love, but some Christian 
lyric in praise of their Lord Jesus. And the people, 
chattering as they smoke, whisper to one another, 
"The Christians are making prayers." Thus in 
organized and unorganized ways the message is 
passed on. 


Nineteen centuries ago three wise men from the 
East placed gold, frankincense, and myrrh at the 
feet of Jesus. More varied and far more precious 
than such material gifts are the capacities and en- 
dowments which today a great Eastern people can 
place at Christ's disposal. The beauty of life and 
character already revealed in the Christian Church 
of India is but a foretaste of the rich contribution 
and spiritual insight which India will give to the 
world when Christ has His way in that land. Do 
we find within ourselves a passionate longing that 
the religious devotion now lavished on rude stones 
and inadequate symbols of divinity should be turned 
as a flood to the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Only 
then will Christ be formed in India, through making 
over her individual and corporate life into the image 
of God. 

We have seen how her God-given capacities are 
handicapped, limited, and suppressed by many a 
grievous burden. Most of these drawbacks are en- 
tirely removable through forces which issue from a 
Life whose witnesses we are. Can we, then, be in- 
different when it is within our power greatly to 

2i8 Building with India 

accelerate the time when India will be freed from 
the drag of ignorance, poverty, and superstition ? 

We have seen that India is trying to help herself. 
She is not a dead, inert load. Even non-Christians 
are responsive to new light and to fresh influences. 
Many of her sons are, according to their lights, 
striving for her higher self-realization. All this 
gives promise that an awakening leadership will 
carry on and complete the work when once they 
catch the vision. In these days when the new India 
is shaping so rapidly before our eyes, are we going 
to hesitate to do all in our power to train leaders 
and to share ideals? 

Of those responding to new influences, growing 
numbers acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 
In Him individuals find themselves re-created in 
their innermost personalities and full of gratitude 
for new and unexpected light and life. One by one 
from the higher strata and in masses from the out- 
castes they are being stimulated to consciousness of 
personal accountability, worth, and mission. From 
such men and women the Indian Church is forming. 
We have seen this Church emerging from the lowest 
depths of Hindu society, confronted with problems 
of great difficulty, weighted down with the inheri- 
tances of prejudice and contempt, yet triumphing, 
witnessing, and producing Christian citizens and 
leaders. Could any greater call come to the Chris- 
tian friendship of the West than the opportunity to 
help this rising Church in its task of winning India 
to the inclusive Christian fellowship at work for a 
better world? 

The cooperation which we long to establish with 

The Indian Church 219 

India does not end with us as human beings. At 
the center of the Christian's universe is Love, eter- 
nally creative and purposing good. The wonder ever 
is that He welcomes us to fellowship in service. He 
has a place for us, and yearns for our cooperation. 
"I call you not servants, but friends." A very real 
part of our message is to share with India the trans- 
forming experience of being a "co-worker" with 
such a God. Together and with God we will attempt 
the task of missions — ^the Christian's conscious 
cooperation with the indwelling Spirit in promoting 
the development of life, the bringing of life at its 
highest as found in Jesus to bear upon other life, 
individual and social, that it may be raised to 
greater perfection and ever increasing potency. We 
are to work for India that we may the better work 
with her in behalf of a common goal — ^the Eangdom 
of God. 

Friends of India, what are the passion and con- 
viction which move upon men's hearts, forcing them 
either to go or send their best into such places of 
need as this book has described? Surely statistics 
alone cannot do it. Neither mainly is it the deline- 
ation of every hideous form which lifts its head in 
a non-Christian land. It is something far more 
fundamental than that. Any careful student will 
see that the great need of our times, underlying the 
need for all other reforms, is for a transformation 
of character. For this achievement there is no 
other force remotely comparable to the person of 
Jesus Christ. Balance on the one hand all the 
truths and beauties that the most careful search and 
the most generous interpretation can glean from all 

220 Building with India 

the non-Christian faiths taken together, and on 
the other the Gospels and the Person they make 
real to us. It is because of the infinite superiority 
and necessity of the latter for the world's need and 
hunger that Christian missionaries offer themselves 
in a glowing, beautiful service among the neediest 
on earth. 

In the last analysis the measure of our Christian 
outreach to the world is the measure of our valua- 
tion of Jesus Christ and of the forces and life ex- 
pressions to which He gives rise. Even non-Chris- 
tians can see this. Commenting on the shortage of 
medical missionaries, the Indian Social Reformer 
said, "If men and women are less interested in mis- 
sions than they formerly were, they must be less 
interested in Christ ; and a revival of vital religion is 
the only solution of the problem." Unless to our- 
selves He has become the gripping force in life, 
unless we are conscious of utter failure without His 
saving power in our own lives, unless we have caught 
some of the spirit and love that come from Him, we 
are not likely to pay the price of giving Him to 
others. God grant that we may live so deeply in 
Him that the impulsion of a great experience will be 
sufficient to overcome inertia and selfishness. Then 
we will spontaneously say with Paul, "The love of 
Christ constraineth us" — to yearn, to pray, to give, 
to go. 


FATHER of all nations, we bring to Thee our 
thanksgiving for the Church of India. For 
India's great, yearning heart and for the rest- 
lessness that draws her people for satisfaction to the 
Christ; for the first converts in every field; for suc- 
ceeding generations of Christians; for the growing 
strength and numbers of those who are called by 
Thy name; for the steadfastness of the ancient 
Syrian Church and for the riches of Christian char- 
acter it contains; for the signs of vitality and power, 
we praise Thee. 

C^Hear, O Father, otir prayer for this growing 
Church which is eis a light shining in a great dark- 
ness, where counter forces are strong, and the task 
is almost overwhelming. Strengthen its members 
for the long and arduous battle which must be fought 
against old and ingrained habits of thought and act 
which tend to cling. May they not stop with the 
mere language of Christian faith and experience, 
but grip the very mind and heart of the Christian 

€[As they begin to express Christianity in their own 
way, protect them from mistakes. May the vigor 
and quality of their spiritual life, freely expressed 
according to their distinctive powers and capacities, 
be a winsome witness to all India. Inwardly per- 
suaded that Christ is the secret and power of 
life for their own people both collectively and indi- 
vidually, may they be richly blessed and guided in 
interpreting Him to their fellows. Amen. 


^tf*'\-e-L.WW^ V ^t*A^*xo,>-«J!*» /\«-fc*--*-H--lt.4>».,^ 



Conditions in India have changed so rapidly in recent 
years that the following bibliography has been limited for 
the most part to books that have appeared within the last 
decade. The prices quoted are subject to change. If one 
were limited to six supplementary books on India, the six 
that are starred (*) might well be chosen, considering 
both cost and range. 

For other valuable bibliographies, and especially to those 
which contain full lists of missionary biography as well as 
general subjects, we would direct the reader to: 

A Selected Bibliography of Missionary Literature. Compiled 
by J. LovELL Murray. Student Volunteer Movement, 25 
Madison Avenue, New York City. 60 cents. 

Ten Years' Selected International Missionary Bibliography, 
1912-1922. Published in International Review of Mis- 
sions. January, 1922. 25 Madison Avenue, New York. 
75 cents. 

Home Base of Missions, The. Report of World Missionary 
Conference Commission VI. 1910. Fleming H. Revell 
Co., New York. Out of print. May be found in mis- 
sionary libraries. 

Readers should obtain from their mission boards all de- 
nominational literature on India available. 

Geography and Statistics 

World Atlas of Christian Missions. Edited by James S. 
Dennis, Harlan P. Beach and C. H. Fahs. 1911. Stu- 
dent Volunteer Movement, New York. $4.00. 

World Statistics of Christian Missions. Edited by Harlan 
P. Beach and Burton St. John. 1916. Committee of 
Reference and Counsel, 25 Madison Avenue, New York. 

The India Year Book. Edited by Sir Stanley Reed. Issued 
annually. Bennett, Coleman & Co., 187 Fleet Street, E. 
C, London. 

Oxford History of India from the Earliest Times to the End 
of 1911. Vincent A. Smith. 1919. Maps. Oxford 
University Press, New York. $6.25. 



Government of India, The. J. Ramsay MacDonald. 1919. 
Huebsch, New York. $3.50. 

History of the Indian Nationalist Movement, A. Sm Verney 
LovETT. 1920. F. A. Stokes Co., New York. $4.00. 

Indian Nationalism. An Independent Estimate. Edwyn R. 
Bevan. 1914. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.40. 

Indian Nationality. With an Introduction by Ramsay Mum. 
R. N. Gilchrist. 1920. Longmans, Green & Co., New 
York. $2.75. 

Nationalism. Sir Rabindranath Tagorb. 1917. Macmil- 
lan Co., New York. $1.25. 

Social and Economic 

India's Silent Revolution. F. B. Fisher and Gertrude M. 
Williams. 1919. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50. 

*Peoples and Problems of India. Sir Thomas W. Holder- 
NESS. 1912. Henry Holt & Co., New York. 50 cents. 

Social Ideals in India. William Paton. 1919. United 
Council for Missionary Education, London. Is. 3d. 

Statement Exhibiting the Moral and Material Progress and 
Condition of India. Published annually. Wyman. Lon- 
don. 4s. 6d. 


Education of the Women of India. Minna G. Cowan. 1913. 
Fleming H. Revell Co., New York. $1.25. 

Our Christian Debt to India: A Plea for a United Christian 
Effort to Meet the Educational Needs of Indian Villages. 
J. N. Oldham. 1918, Conference of Missionary Socie- 
ties of Great Britain and Ireland, London. 6d. 

Schools with a Message in India. Daniel Johnson Fleming. 
1921. Oxford University Press, New York. $2.40. 

Village Education in India. A Commission of Inquiry. 1920. 
Oxford University Press, New York. $2.50. 

Art and Music 
Arts and Crafts of India. A. K. CooMARASWAMY. 1914. 

Phillips, Leroy Co., Boston. $1.75. 
Handbook of Indian Art. E. B. Havell. 1921. E. P. Button 

& Co., New York. $10.00. 
Handbook of Musical Evangelism. L. I. Stephen and H. A. 

POPLEY. 1914. Madras Methodist Publishing House. 

12 annas. 
Indian Painting. Percy Brown. 1919. Oxford University 
Press, New York. 70 cents. 


Indian Religions and Christianity 

Chamars, The. George W. Briggs. 1921. Oxford Universi- 
ty Press, New York. $2.70. 

*Crovm of Hinduism, The. J. N. Farquhar 1917. Oxford 
University Press, New York. $2.70. 

Dravidian Gods in Modern Hinduism. W. T. Elmore. 1915. 
Printed by University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb. 

*India and Its Faiths: A Traveler's Record. James Bissett 
Pratt. 1915. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. $4.00. 

Modem Religious Movements in India. J. N. Farquhar. 
1915. Macmillan Co., New York. $2.50. 

Primer of Hinduism. J. N. Farquhar. 1912. Oxford Uni- 
versity Press, New York. 85 cents. 

Redemption, Hindu and Christian. Sydney Cave. 1919. 
Oxford University Press, New York. $5.25. 

ViUage Gods of South India, The. Henry Whitehead. 
1921. Milford, London; Oxford University Press, New 
York. 6s. 

Christianity in India 

Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier. T. L. Pen- 
NELL. 1909. J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia. $3.50. 

*Goal of India, The. W. E. S. Holland. 1918. United Coun- 
cil for Missionary Education, London. 5s. 

History of Missions in India. Julius Richter. 1908. Flem- 
ing H. Revell Co., New York. $2.50. 

India in Conflict. P. N. F. YouNG and Agnes Ferres. 1920. 
Macmillan Co., New York. $1.40. 

India on the March. Alden H. Clark. 1922. Missionary 
Education Movement, New York. 75 and 50 cents. 

Lighted to Lighten. Alice B. Van Doren. 1922. Central 
Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions, 
West Medford, Mass. 75 and 50 cents. 

Our Task in India; Shall we Proselytise Hindus or Evan- 
gelize India. Bernard Lucas. 1914. Macmillan Co., 
New York. $1.00. 

*Outcastes' Hope, The: or Work Among the Depressed 
Classes in India. G. E. Phillips. 1912. United Council 
for Missionary Education. London. 2s. 

Renaissance in India: Its Missionary Aspect. C. F. An- 
drews. 1912. United Council for Missionary Educa- 
tion, London. Is. lOd. 

Social Christianity in the Orient: The Story of a Man, a 
Mission, and a Movement. John E. Clough. 1914. 
Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50. 


Biographies of Christian Indians 

An Indian Priestess: the Life of Chandra Lela. Ada Lee. 
1902. Morgan and Scott, London. Out of print. 

Jaya. Beatrice M. Harband. Marshall Brothers, London. 

Kali Charan Banurji. B. R. Barber. 1912. Christian Lit- 
erature Society for India, London. 

Lai Bihari Day. G. Macpherson. 1900. F. & T. Clark. 

Life and Letters of Torn Dutt. Harihar Das. 1921. Ox- 
ford University Press, New York. $8.00. 

Life of Father Goreh. C. E. Gardner. 1900. Longmans, 
Green & Co., New York. $1.75. 

Lilavati Singh. Florence L. Nichols. 1909. Woman's 
Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, 581 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. 29 cents. 

Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh. B. H. Streeter and A. J. 
Appasamy. 1921. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.75. 

*Pandita Ramabai. Helen S. Dyer. 1911. Fleming H. Re- 
vell Co., New York. $1.25. 

Ponnamal: Her Story. Amy Wilson Carmichael. 1918. 
Morgan and Scott, London. 

Prince of the Church in India, A. J. C. R. EwiNG. 1918. 
Fleming H. Revell Co., New York. 75 cents. 

Stories of Indian Christian Life. Samuel S. Satthlanadhan. 
1898. Madras, India. 

Sunder Singh; the Apostle of the Bleeding Feet. Alfred 
Zahir. Included in a collection called A Lover of the 
Cross. Published in India, An American edition pub- 
lished by B. T. Badley is out of print but may be ob- 
tained through some missionary libraries. 

Stories about India 

Eyes of Asia, The. Rudyard Kipling. 1918. Doubleday, 
Page & Co., Garden City, N. Y. $1.00. 

India, Beloved of Heaven. Brenton Thoburn Badley in 
collaboration with Oscar MacMillan Buck and James 
Jay Kingham, with an introduction by Bishop W. F. 
Oldham. The Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth Avenue, New 
York. $1.00. 

Kim. Rudyard Kipling. 1918. Doubleday, Page & Co., 
Garden City, N. Y. $1.50. 

On the Face of the Waters. Flora Annie Steel. Mac- 
millan Co., New York. $1.50. 

Outcaste, The. F. E. Penny. Published in London. 

Potter's Thumb, The. Flora Annie Steel. Harper and 
Brothers, New York. $1.50. 

Sanyasi, The. F. E. Penny. Published in London. 

Tara. Meadows Taylor. Published in London. 





Abraham, Bhaktula, cited, 212. 

Age of Consent Act, 83. 

Agnew, Eliza, cited, 122. 

Agricultural and _ Horticultural 
Society in India, cited, 118. 

Agriculture, possibilities _ of, 17; 
causes of backwardness in, 43-47; 
improvement in possible, 45-46, 
48; control of, transferred to 
Indians, 104; experiments in, 
131, 132-134; committee on indus- 
trial and agricultural work, 132. 

All-India conference of Indian 
Christians, 194. 

All-India Muslim Women's Asso- 
ciation, 87. 

Appasamy, Mrs. Paul, cited, 213. 

Arya Samaj, the, 78-81. 

Asrapur, "Village of Hope," hospi- 
tal at, 207-209. 

Azariah. Rt. Rev. V. S., cited, 205. 

Bangalore, women's clubs in, 86. 
Bannerjea, Krishna Mohan, 193. 
Banurji, Kali Charan, cited, 193. 
Baptism, problems of, 177-179, 204. 
"Black Cobra Act," 105. 
Bombay, women's clubs in, 86, 87; 
American Board dispensary in, 206. 
Bombay Infant Welfare Ass'n, 86. 
Bose, Miss Kheroth, 207. 
Bose, Miss Mona, 210. 
Bose, Ram Chandra, 212-213. 
Brahmo Samaj, the, 76-77. 
Buddhism, 12, 68-69. _ 
Bureau of Economic Welfare in 

Telugu area, 131-132. 
Butler, William, cited, 119. 

Carey, William, 74-75, 76, 117-118, 
130, 211. 

Caste, problems arising from, 56, 
58-59. 77, 158, 170, 199-200. 

Chandra, Ram, cited, 213. 

Chatterjee, Rev. Kali Charan, 205- 

Childbirth conditions, 137-139. 

Child marriage, evil effects of, 32, 
34, 66, 67, 68, 77, 78, 80. 

Christianity, essential _ differences 
between India's religions and, 
68-72; effect of social reform _ on 
acceptance of, 113-113; nationalism 
and, 145-150; opposition to, 148- 
149, 173-179; results of, on a 
community, 168-170. 

Christians, Indian, national as- 
pirations of, 18; influence and 
work of, 127-129, 193-194, 205-213; 
evidences of change in, 168, 215- 
217; persecution of, 172-173, 177; 
problem of, in legislative^ council, 
194-195; problems of living con- 
ditions among, 201, 203-204. 

Datta, Dr. S. K., cited, 210. 
Dayanand, Swami, 78-80. 
Death-rate, 31, 33, 34, 51, 137. 
Delhi Child Welfare Exhibit, 3S. 
Denominationalism, effect of, on 

Indian Church, 195-197. 
Depressed classes, 158; disabilities 

of, 159-163; mass movements 

among, 164-170; rights of, claimed, 

Depressed Classes Mission Society, 

Duff, Alexander, 75, 113, 121, 193. 

Economic conditions, in relation 
to crops, 42, 43, 47; seriousness 
of, 51; Christianity's responsi- 
bility to relieve, 52; relation of 
the missionary to, 130-136; op- 
posed to Christianity, 173-174; 
the Indian Church and. 177. 

Education, mission schools, 39-40; 
handicaps and progress in, 53-56; 
work of Arya Samaj in, 80; wom- 
en's demonstration in behalf of, 
88; effect of Western, on political 
structure, 98; British system of, 
101; control of, transferred to In- 
dians, _ 104; work of, carried on 
by missions, 120-130; importance 
of, 124-125; "conscience clause" 
and, 125-127; some problems of, 
125-130; problem of Christian, and 
state, 127-129; unique contribution 
of Christian, 128-129; need of sup- 
port for, 129-130; among depressed 
classes, 161; insufficient means 
for supporting, 182; result of, on 
economic conditions, 202-203; St. 
Helena's School at Poona, 209. 

Evangelistic Forward Movement, 

Family system in India, 63-66; 
problem of, under Christian con- 
ditions, 204. 

Gandhi, 14, 106-107. 

Gokhale, G. K., 84. 

Goreh, Deaconess Ellen Lakshmi, 213. 

Great Britain, government of, in 
India, 92-93, 95; policy of, toward 
Indians, 95, 96; India united 
under, 98; attitude of, toward a 
"responsible" government, 99; 
Indian grievances against, 100-101; 
defense of policy of, 102-103; 
pledges of, during World War, 
103; control divided by, 104-105. 

Griffen, D. W., 133. 

Gurabai, Dr., cited, 206. 

Health problems, 32 ff.; 38, 40-41. 
Heber, Bishop Reginald, 118-119. 


Hinduism, systems of philosophy in, 
7; recognition of that which is 
worthy in, 12; effect of, on social 
customs, 66-68; compared with 
Christianity, 69-71; evils of, 70- 
71; development of an ethical 
religion in, 112-113; growth of 
societies in, 113; as opponent to 
Christianity, 148-149; result of 
philosophy of, 158. 

Home rule movement, 88, 103. 

Hymns, of India, 4-S, 6; 187. 

India, architecture of, 2, 16, 19 
handicraft of, 3; culture of, 3-6 
15-16, 17, 20, 25-26; illiteracy in 
3-4, 53, 124; music of, 4-5; story 
telling in, 5; classic literature of 
6, 15; attributes of, 6ff., 17-18 
sadhus of, 8-10; religious con 
sciousness of, lOff. ; quest for in 
ner peace in, 11; nationalism in 
ISfF., 21; pride of country in, 16 
resources of, 17; recognition de 
manded by, in world councils 
18; health problems of, 31-41 ;eco 
nomic problems of, 41-44, 51-52 
agricultural conditions of, 44-48 
industrial problems of, 49-51; ed 
ucational handicap of, 53-56; caste 
problems of, 56-61; position of 
women, 61-63; family system 
among, 63-66; handicap of Hindu- 
ism to, 66-72; aspiration of, to 
social reform, 76-86; modern 
women's movement among, 86-92; 
democratic aspirations, 92-94; 100- 
107; native political reform in, 
97ff.; effect of wars on, 100; de- 
mands of, after World War, 103; 
post-war grievances of, 105fT. ; 
the missionaries relation to polit- 
ical affairs in, 108-109, to wom- 
an's movement, '109, to social re- 
form, 112-114. 

Indian Christian Church, the, 7, 24; 
development of, 125, 145-150, 151; 
present opportunity of, 181-182, 
184; characteristics of, 185-186; re- 
lation of, to nationalism, 192; 
Western denominationalism and, 
195-197; spirit of union growing 
in, 197; problems of, 198-204; 
financial ability of, 202-203; 
famous converts in, 211-213; need 
of depressed classes in, 213; evi- 
dence of inner expansive force in 
214-217; contribution of, to Chris- 
tianity, 217-218. 

Indian Industrial Commission, 35. 

Indian Missionary Society of Tin- 
nevelly, 214. 

Indian National Congress, organi- 
zation of, 99; pledged to elevate 
depressed classes, 180; increasing 
number of Christians sent to, 194. 


Indian National Missionary So- 
ciety, 214. 

Indian Social Reformer, 82-84. 

Indian Society of Oriental Art, 17. 

Indian Woman's Suffrage Associa- 
tion, 87. 

Industrialism, 49, 51, 104, 131-136, 143. 

International Federation of Uni- 
versity Women, 87. 

International Missionary Council 
of 1921, 146. 

International Women's Suffrage 
Alliance in Geneva, 88. 

Jainism, 7, 12, 68-69. 
Jewett, cited, 119. 

Karmarkar, Dr. Vishwas, 206-207. 
Karmarkar, Rev. Sumant Rao, 206. 

Limitation of Armament Con- 
ference, India represented at, 18. 

London Missionary Society, mass 
movement report of, 165. 

Lone Star Mission, 119. 

Lowcaste peoples. See Depressed 

Lowrie, John C, cited, 119. 

McDougall, Miss Eleanor, 123. 

MacKellar, Margaret, cited, 139-140L 

Marriage, 131, 154; debts incurred 
at time of, 44, 160; dominated by 
family interest, 65-66; effects of 
Hinduism on, 66-67, 68; need for 
revision of laws relating to 
Christian, 204. 

Marshman, cited, 118. 

Martyn, Henry, cited, 118, 214. 

Mass Movement, beginning of, 119- 
120; development of, 163-167; 
changes observable after, 168- 
170; problem of, resulting from 
caste, 170; economic and social 
problems due to, 173;179. 

Maya Das, Miss Mohini, cited, 211. 

Medical Missions, 136-142, 207-208. 

Methodist Episcopal Mass Move- 
ment Commission, report of, 165. 

Missionaries, pioneer, 116-123; hard- 
ships of, 120; aim of, 144-145; 
types of, needed, 150-156; present- 
day problems of, in India, 153- 
155; training of native, 214. 

Missionary, the, relation of, to 
growth of nationalism, 21; to 
the best in Hinduism, 22-24; to 
the Indian Christian Church, 24- 
25; to India's folk-lore, art, litera- 
ture, 25; to her culture, 26-27; to 
political affairs, 108-109; to 
woman's movement, 109-112; to 
social reform, 112-114; to modern 
trend of Hinduism, 113-114; to 
educational work, 120-130; to eco- 
nomic betterment, 130-136; to 
medical work and sanitation, 136- 




142; to social reform, 142-144; to 
the Indian Church, 145-150; to 
native customs, 152-155; to the 
problem of caste, 170, 173, 200. 

Missions, basis of, 20-21; some 
problems of, 20-26, 14Sff. ; impor- 
tance of, in history, 116; aim of, 
144ff. ; the Indian Christian 
Church and, 145-150; inadequacy 
of, 181-182. 

Mukerjee, Rai Bahadur A. C, 210. 

Nationalism, development of, 15-19, 
21, 97fl.; effect of growth of, 21; 
health problems and, 38; effect of, 
on condition of women, 86; de- 
velopment of leadership in Indian 
Church due to, 145-148, 192. 

National Missionary Council, 147, 
170, 202. 

National Missionary Society, 213. 

National Social Conference, 81-82. 

National Social Congress, 87. 

Non-co-operation Movement, 106. 

Nurses, training of, 141-142. 

' Outcastes," 158-161. See Depressed 
/ classes. 

Pal, Krishna Chandra, 211. 
Paul, K. T., 210. 
Pennell, Dr., 140-141. 
^ Plague, 33-33, 40, 137, 
Poems, quoted, 13, 188. 
.. Poena Seva Sadan, 90-91. 
, Prarthana Samaj, the, 77, 181. 
Punjab, the, unfortunate events in, 

106, 107; mass movement in, 165; 

missionary district of, 205. 
Purdah, evil effects of, 34-35. 

Ramabai, Pandita, 12, 24-25, 89, 212. 

Ranade, Justice, 88-90. 

Ranade, Mrs. Ramabai, 89-91. 

Reed, Mary, 120. 

Rockefeller Foundation, work of, 33. 

Roy, Ram Mohan, 75. 

Sanitation, problems of, 37-39, 136- 
142; progress in, 40-41; control of, 
transferred to Indians, 104. 

Santiagu, Pastor, 127-128. 

Schwartz, Christian Friedrich, 117, 

Scudder, John, 139. 

Self-government, 193. 
> Servants of India Society, 84-85. 
' Singh, Rajah Sir Harnam, 213. 

Singh, Lilivati, cited, 213. 
= Singh, Sadhu Sundar, 186, 190-192. 

Social customs, debts incurred be- 
cause of, 43-44, 160; effect of world 
conscience on, 71; problems re- 
sulting from, 153-154. 

Social reform, 74, 107, 194; Hinduism 
a handicap to, 66-68; beginnings of, 
in India. 75; the Brahmo Samaj, 
76-77; the Prarthana Samaj, 77- 

78; the Arya Samaj, 78-81; Na- 
tional Social Conference, 81-82; 
the Indian Social Reformer, 82- 
84; Servants of India Society, 
84-85; women's activities in, 86- 
92; missions and, 142-144. 

Social service, 142-144. 

Sorabji, Miss Susie, 209. 

Swain, Clara, 139. 

Syrian Christian Church, 214-215. 

Tagore, Rabindranath, quoted, 58. 
Telugu area, 119; economic develop-. 

ment in, 131; mass movement in, 

164, 165, 166, 199, 212. 
Thah-byu, Ko, cited, 211. 
Thatiah, Baugarapu, cited, 166. 
Theosophical Society, The, 22-23. 
Thoburn, Isabella, cited, 123, 213. 
Thoburn, Bishop J. M., cited, 119. 
Tilak, Narayan Vaman, 186-190; 
Tinnevelly, mass movement in, 165, 

168, 214. 
Trade Union Congress, 50. 
Travancore, mass movement in, 165, 

168, 214, 216. 

United Presbyterian Mission, 211-212. 
United Provinces, mass movement 

in, 165. 
"Untouchables," 158. 

Venkayya, Pagolu, cited, 166, 

Ward, cited, 118. 

Widows, 62-63, 86-87. 

Williamson, Henry Drummond, 166- 

Wilson, John, 77, 121. 

Woman's Christian College, Ma- 
dras, 123. 

Women, India handicapped by po- 
sition given to, 61-62, 63; organi- 
zations of, 86-92; steps taken to 
better condition of, 87; schools 
for, 122-123; industrial work 
among, 134-136; need of medical 
missions for, 137-139; influence of 
lowcaste, on spread of Christi- 
anity, 171. 

Women's Conference, 87. 

Women's Movement, direct and in- 
direct causes of, 92; the mis- 
sionary's relation to the, 109-113. 

Women's Union Medical Mis- 
sionary School at Vellore, 142. 

World War, India and the, 17, 103. 

Young Men's Christian Association, 
books on India, 24. 

Young Men's Christian Association 
of India, 210. 

Young Men of India, 210. 

Young Women's Christian Associa- 
tion in India, 123. 

Ziegenbalg, cited, 117. 




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