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Forty-four Months 

IN ^ 

Germany and Turkey 

FEBRUARY 1915 to OCTOBER 1918 







The author of the following pages has been well 
known for the last ten years as one of the most active 
leaders of the Indian revolutionary party.* Born of 
a Kayasth family in Delhi in 1884, he was educated 
in St. Stephen's College, until he took the B.A. degree 
of the Punjab University and was awarded a scholar- 
ship tenable in the Government College, Lahore. In 
1904 he stood first in the list of the successful candi- 
dates for the M.A. degree in English literature, and 
on the recommendation of the Punjab University 
was given a State scholarship of £200 a year by the 
Government of India. He entered St. John's College, 
Oxford, in 1905, and began to read for the Honours 
School of Modern History, but in 1907 resigned his 
Government scholarship and removed his name from 
the college books. He associated himself with 
Shyamji Krishnavarma, who was at that time the 
recognised leader of the Indian revolutionary move- 
ment, and in his journal. The Indian Sociologist 
(October, 1907), stated that HarDayalhad re ignedhis 
scholarship, "as he holds that no Indian who really 
loves his country ought to compromise his principles 
and barter his rectitude of conduct for any favour 
whatever at the hands of the alien oppressive rulers 
of India." 

* Further details of the history of this movement may be 
found in the Report of the East India Sedition Committee. 
1918, especially paras. 130 and 132 : price gd. 


After a visit to India, where he spread the doctrine 
of active hostility to the British Government, Har 
Dayal in 1908 rejoined Shyamji Krishnavarma in 
Paris, but finding him unwilling to adopt violent 
methods in the furtherance of political ends, he deter- 
mined to transfer the centre of his activities to 
America, and in 191 1 settled in San Francisco. Here 
he published in several Indian languages a newspaper 
called Ghadr (" Mutiny "), in which he advocated 
murder and revolution, the formation of secret societies, 
and the adoption of every possible means of violence 
for the expulsion of the British from India. He also 
addressed meetings in various towns in America in 
support of the Indian revolutionary movement, until 
in March, 1914, he was arrested by the authorities of 
the United States Government, with a view to his 
deportation as an undesirable alien. Released on 
bail, he escaped to Switzerland, and after the war 
broke out, joined the Indian National Party, which 
worked in Berlin under the directions of the German 
Foreign Ofiice. In the following pages he has 
described his experiences and the reasons that have 
led him to change his attitude towards British rule 
in India. 





I. General Impressions . . . i 

11. In Constantinople . . . .29 

III. " Asia Minor '* in Berlin . . 55 

IV. The Germans in Asia ... 78 
Conclusion 97 




"A mad world, my masters." 


It is not easy to discuss within the limits 
of a short essay the sahent characteristics 
of German society as it presented itself to 
an Oriental traveller during the war. I 
have spent about three and a half years in 
Germany and Turkey during the war ; and 
I now jot down my personal impressions 
for the benefit of the people of India and 
Egypt. I speak from direct personal ex- 
perience. I shall not quote from books and 
newspapers. I relate what I have seen with 
my own eyes and heard with my own ears. 
The history of Germany during the last 
forty-eight years has been a record of folly 


ending in failure ; and this war has been a 
German crime ending in a German catas- 
trophe. My personal views and reflections 
may be useful to the educated classes of 
India, Egypt, and other Oriental countries. 

Oriental readers may ask how it was 
possible that such an active and well- 
instructed nation should have made the 
mistakes and committed the sins which 
have brought a just Nemesis on it. I shall 
try to answer this question, extenuating 
nothing and setting down naught in malice. 
I am a cosmopolitan in spirit, and can judge 
and criticise with an unbiassed mind. 

The Germans are intellectually not behind 
the other European nations, but they are 
morally, socially, and politically in a lower 
stage of development. They are a well- 
instructed, semi-barbarous nation, and re- 
semble a Berber or a Kurd, who should 
somehow acquire a knowledge of advanced 
science and literature without thereby 
divesting himself of his primitive habits and 
ideas. In Germany one finds a strange and 
startling mixture of rampant mediaeval 
barbarism and up-to-date modern civilisa- 


tion. Intellectually the Germans belong 
to the twentieth century. Morally, socially 
and politically they are still in the Middle 
Ages. That is the reason why they are 
despised and hated by all foreigners, and 
why they must suffer for their numerous sins 
of omission and commission. Purged and 
purified, they can rise to the level of con- 
temporary civilisation, for progress is the 
law of social evolution everywhere. The 
Germans to-day have nothing to give to the 
world except their books and their inven- 
tions ; but they must learn a great deal 
from England, France, Italy, and America 
before they can call themselves a civilised 

The most noticeable feature of German 
society as a whole is the spirit of excessive 
megalomania that pervades it. This atmo- 
sphere poisons the whole life of the nation. 
The Germans believe that they are the 
greatest, wisest, bravest, ablest, noblest and 
best people on earth. They not only be- 
lieve it but also say so, and proclaim it in 
their writings and discourses . As a corollary 
they despise all other peoples as incapable 


and worthless. Even a noted scientist like 
Professor Oswald speaks of the Germans as 
the " chosen people " (" das aus6rwahlte 
Volk "). Of course, he cannot tell by whom 
and for what this people has been " chosen "; 
but such is the childish vanity of this well- 
instructed nation. I remember reading this 
sentence in a book about the future of 
Germany : " We are the best-educated and 
the bravest nation in the world." I need 
not quote from the rabid effusions of the 
Pan-Germans, with which we are now suffi- 
ciently familiar. 

I was at first at a loss how to explain that 
strange declaration of the King of Bavaria 
at the beginning of the war : " We shall win, 
whatever may be the number of enemies " ! 
But I found that every German, high and 
low, rich and poor, suffers from this curious 
mental derangement. It is not easy to 
understand how this psychological con- 
dition has arisen. The Germans have no 
reason to have such a high opinion of them- 
selves. They have not achieved more than 
the other civilised nations of the world. 
Their position does not warrant such absurd 


pride and self-esteem. They have not been 
the pioneers of human civiHsation, Uke the 
Egyptians or the Chinese. They have not 
promulgated great religions, like the Jews, 
the Arabs, and the Hindus. They have not 
created the noblest art, philosophy and 
literature, like the Greeks. They have not 
discovered and colonised vast continents, 
like the Spaniards. They have not led the 
way in founding democratic institutions, 
Jike the English and the French. They have 
not organised wonderful empires, like the 
English and the Romans. They are not the 
creators of modern art and literature, like 
the Italians. The Germans have also con- 
tributed their quota to human culture, but 
they have not done more than other nations. 
They cannot even claim to be the first 
among equals. In fact, they have accom- 
plished less than other ancient and modern 
nations, though it is of course impossible to 
compare such different culture-values as 
Buddhism, Greek sculpture, Beethoven, 
Shakespeare, and the American Declaration 
of Independence. The world to-day bears 
the impress of Rome, Greece, India, Spain, 


France, and England; but the German 
language practically is not known beyond 
the frontiers of Germany and Austria. 
England has organised a vast system of 
government in Asia and Africa for the 
ultimate benefit of backward tribes and 
races. French is the second language of the 
educated classes in all countries. Italy has 
given us Dante and the great artists of the 
Renaissance. But Germany's achievements 
have been more modest, and cannot be said 
to have conquered the world. Why are the 
Germans, then, so vain and silly ? Why do 
they lack " self-knowledge," which is the 
foundation of true virtue in man ? I have 
been able to discover only one cause of this 
distemper ; it is the delirium of the parvenu, 
the arrogance of the upstart, the self- 
importance of the nouveau riche, the intoxi- 
cation of an. American " potato-king." The 
Germans have been spoiled and ruined by 
their success in the war of 1 870-1. They 
had been accustomed only to defeat and 
disaster for a long time. They had been 
beaten on many battlefields in their own 
country. Their history had been a miserable 


record of disunion, inefficiency and humilia- 
tion. But the war of 1 870-1 suddenly 
wrought a change in their fortunes. They 
defeated the leading nation of Europe and 
had their fill of vengeance against the 
ancestral ioe. They established a powerful 
national State, which they had never been 
able to do since the days of Charlemagne. 
They thus emerged from age-long obscurity 
and feebleness and became a force in world- 
politics. Their success has " turned their 
heads," for who can bear prosperity well ? 
It has blinded them to the facts and realities 
of the life of the world. It has filled their 
shallow minds with the fumes and vapours 
of puerile pride and reckless ambition. It 
has warped their moral sense and hardened 
their hearts in sin. It has been their curse 
during the last forty-eight years. This 
poison has permeated every nerve and fibre 
of the social system, and can be eliminated 
only through suffering and expiation. 

As a consequence of this megalomania, 
the Germans have been further demoralised 
by their new cult of Force. They have 
now unlimited faith in brute Force. They 


believe only in Might, and idolise the soldier 
and the military officer. The nation which 
was noted for its idealism a hundred years 
ago has fallen so low that it can understand 
only the law of the mailed fist. It is one of 
the saddest tragedies in the social history 
of the world. The war of 1870-1 has re- 
sulted in the moral suicide of a whole people. 
At present the Germans are hopelessly 
materialistic in this respect. They know 
that they won the victories of 1870-1 and 
proclaimed the new German Empire at 
Versailles because they were superior to the 
French in force. They believe that they 
owe their present security and prosperity to 
Moltke, and not to Goethe and Kant. They 
have learned that Force alone can protect 
a nation against its enemies. This ex- 
perience has led them to exaggerate the 
virtue of Force as a necessary factor in 
evolution in the present imperfect condition 
of human society. They have learned a 
great truth, but they have so distorted and 
misinterpreted it that it has become a 
venomous lie in their hands. They have 
glorified Force and offered incense to this 


new god, which has rescued them from their 
Egyptian bondage of past centuries. They 
have jumped from one extreme to another, 
as they have forgotten that virtue lies in the 
mean. They have at last come to know the 
use of Force, but they are also eager to pro- 
ceed to its abuse. I was talking at an 

evening party to Graf X , and explaining 

to him the importance of securing the good- 
will of the Oriental nations for the German 
cause, when he suddenly said (in English) : 
" We must hack our way through." A 
Persian gentleman assured a German diplo- 
mat that the Persian people sympathised 
with Germany ! but the latter replied : 
" Two machine-guns would be more useful 
than sympathy " ! A German journalist 
said to me : " Everything in this country 
turns round war and ' soldiering.' " The 
most favourite toy for German children dur- 
ing the war was the " dicke Bertha" (" fat 
Bertha"), as the 42-centimetre gun employed 
by the Germans at the seige of Antwerp was 
christened. Models of this gun were bought 
and kept by German families with great 
piety, like the figure of a tutelary goddess. 


All Germany seemed to accept it as the 
greatest emblem of virtue and glory. In 
Germany the universal faith in Force 
obtrudes itself on the attention of a foreigner 
at every step. This war must now teach the 
Germans that those who take up the sword 
shall perish by the sword. 

The cult of Force has naturally led to 
dreams of world-conquest. The Germans 
had developed such excessive political 
ambition before this war that they aimed 
at nothing more or less than a'' Weltreich." 
Megalomania and the faith in Force must 
breed such monstrous progeny. The Ger- 
mans believed that they could easily defeat 
England, France, Russia, and the whole 
world put together. A German official said 
to me : " What can America do to us ? " 
The remark convinced me that this nation 
was doomed, as blindness and vanity could 
not go further. As the German regards all 
other nations with utter contempt, he draws 
the necessary conclusion that he must rule 
over them. A German gentleman, whom I 
met in a boarding-house in Wiesbaden, said : 
" We must either win a world-empire, or 


perish." I said to myself: "The latter 
alternative is certainly preferable." A Ger- 
man lady, who was more modest than the 
majority of her countrymen, said : " We 
must not think that we can defeat England. 
If we make peace with England, Germany 
and England can dominate the whole world 
between them." A Spanish student, who 
was present, said : " That would be very sad 
for the whole world, I think." The Germans 
actually believed that they would crush all 
their enemies within three months, and 
celebrate the Christmas of 1914 at home as 
undisputed masters of Europe ! This is not 
a joke, but a real fact of German life, how- 
ever incredible it may seem to all of us. As 
the war dragged on, and the pinch of hunger 
began to be felt, I heard this plaint very 
often : " We thought that the war would 
last only three months, or, at the most, 
half a year. But it has turned out other- 
wise." In contrast to such fatal folly, 
which was due to sheer megalomania, we 
may remember Lord Kitchener's forecast 
that the war would last three years, though 
the Germans laughed at this prophecy at the 


time. The English knew that they would 
win the war in the end, but they did not 
underrate their adversaries, as they had a 
closer grasp of realities and a better know- 
ledge of the world-situation. The Germans 
really " ran amok," for they went forth to 
fight in a fit of madness. During my 
sojourn in Germany I saw that the whole 
country was a political Bedlam, and nothing 
more. I found no trace of wisdom, insight 
or sound judgment anywhere. 

It is a wrong idea that only a certain class 
or a few statesmen entertained such wild 
schemes. The Prussian Junker was the first 
to covet his neighbour's goods, but now the 
whole nation is infected with such fatuous 
ambition. I listened to a discussion on the 
Belgian question in a village public-house 
near Wiesbaden in January, 1917. The 
general opinion seemed to be summed up at 
the end by a middle-aged farmer in these 
words (spoken in dialect) : " Well, if. we 
give up Belgium, all this blood has been 
shed in vain." A learned professor, who is 
loved and respected by all his friends for his 
noble character, said in the spring of 1918 : 


'' If this great offensive succeeds, there must 
be no more talk of evacuating Belgium. All 
that must be kept. It was part of the old 
German Empire." A German general, 
whom I met in a sanatorium in the autumn 
of 1917, delivered a speech on Hindenburg's 
birthday, and said: "Belgium is a holy 
land to us now, as it has been watered by 
the blood of thousands of our heroic sons. It 
is foolish to talk of giving it up." These 
opinions, uttered at wide intervals by repre- 
sentatives of different classes of society^ 
proved to me that German imperialism 
really menaced Europe with servitude, and 
converted me to President Wilson's view of 
the aims and designs of the German Govern- 
ment. But I saw that the whole nation was 
to blame, and not merely the Government, 
which executed the will of the people. The 
German press was unanimous in its ap- 
proval of the policy of the Government; 
and even the Socialists voted all the war 
credits up to the last moment. The 
Germans clung to their delusions with 
desperate tenacity till the final catastrophe 
came. In the summer of 1918 a Berlin 


professor wrote to a colleague that the 
people were following with keen anxiety 
the course of the offensive on the Western 
front, from which they all hoped for " final 
victory and a German peace " {" endgiiltigen 
Sieg und den deutschen Frieden "). The 
peculiar phrase, " a German peace," meant 
that Germany should keep all that she had 
conquered since August, 1914. This was the 
cherished aim of all Germans, without dis- 
tinction of class or party, throughout the 
war. I know that it was so, whatever the 
hypocritical politicians may have said in 
their public speeches. 

The Germans think that they are really 
so superior to other nations that they may 
regard themselves as beings of a different 
order altogether. They are the real Men ; 
all others are specimens for zoological 
museums. They deny the existence of a 
common bond of humanity between them- 
selves and other peoples, as the gulf between 
them and the rest of mankind cannot be 
bridged by such superficial characteristics as 
an erect posture and other peculiarities of 
human anatomy. A morbid sense of racial 


superiority can deaden our finer feelings and 
blunt our sympathy with our fellow-men. 

Some Americans defended slavery on the 
ground that the negroes really belonged to 
a different species, and could therefore be 
treated like animals. The Germans look 
upon all other nations, European and 
Oriental, in much the same way. They 
fancy that they are as superior to the other 
European nations as these latter are above 
the semi-civilised Asiatics in the scale of 
civilisation. As a consequence of this strange 
aberration the Germans hold themselves 
bound by no law of humanity in their deal- 
ings with other nations. They do not 
observe the rules and practices enjoined by 
" international law," for this law has been 
made by creatures who are no better than 
animals. The lords of creation are not to be 
controlled by such irrelevant enactments ! 
The Germans have committed the atrocities 
which have exposed them to the wrath of the 
entire world because they have learned to 
despise all men as brutes. This explanation 
at least deserves careful consideration. 
They are cruel and brutal towards the con- 


quered, as we are cruel to animals, which we 
slaughter without remorse or compunction 
for our advantage. They violate the honour 
of respectable ladies in occupied territory 
because they look upon all non-German 
women only as females. They burn and 
devastate like the Huns and the Mongols 
because they have no pity for the sufferings 
of others. A German lady bewailed the hard 
lot of her countrymen in the regions now 
occupied by the armies of the Entente. A 
friend remarked : " But the German officers 
have .been quartered on the people of 
Belgium and France during four years." 
The lady replied : " Well, a German officer, 
that is a different thing altogether." 

A Persian gentleman said to a German 
lady in Berlin : "I am deeply touched at 
the sight of the wounded soldiers. Can I do 
something for them ? " She said : " Why 
do you feel for them ? You are not a Ger- 
man." This remark reveals the depths of 
moral insensibility to which the Germans 
have sunk during the last fifty years. Even 
a woman could not understand why a 
foreigner pitied wounded German soldiers ! 


I am sure that this typical German woman 
was incapable of feeling or showing any 
sympathy for sick and wounded English, 
French or Italian soldiers. She could judge 
the Persian gentleman only by the moral 
standards in which she herself was trained. 
I am not inditing a libel on the German 
people when I assert that they regard all 
non-Germans as sub-human creatures. I 
myself was loth to believe it at first, but I 
was compelled to bow to the logic of facts. 
We think that the Germans are men ; but 
they don't think that we are men. It is 
desirable and necessary that all Europeans, 
Americans, Asiatics and Africans should 
know this fact. 

It would not be out of place to mention at 
this point that I am opposed to German 
colonisation in Africa and Asia even on a 
small scale. The Germans are morally unfit 
to administer colonies, because they do not 
recognise our common human nature at all. 
In the colonies the Europeans are absolute 
masters of the native population. They 
have weapons, organisation and scientific 
knowledge, and their will is law. The abuse 


of their giant strength is fraught with the 
most terrible consequences to the poor 
aborigines, who are Uke children or sheep 
in the . hands of men wielding irresistible 
power. There is no champion of the natives 
but the moral law in the soul of the European 
rulers and settlers. The weak and helpless 
Africans can only say : " We, too, are men, 
brothers, and Christians." This appeal is 
their only refuge. The European settler can 
do good to the natives only in so far as he 
obeys his own moral code. The moral 
standards of the colonising nation deter- 
mine the fate of the inferior race. For this 
reason the Germans must not be allowed to 
rule over the primitive tribes of Africa or 
Asia, for they can manage a colony only as 
a meat-packing company manages its cattle 
farms. When they treat European peoples 
like the Belgians and the French in this 
spirit, how would they behave towards the 
Herreros and other African tribes, with 
which they have nothing in common ? 
Colonisation is a sad affair, even under the 
best circumstances. There is much cruelty, 
exploitation, suffering and injustice in all 


colonies. But a German colony would cer- 
tainly be a dreadful inferno. There is no 
more diabolical ogre than a German in 
power. The German is utterly unfit to be 
entrusted with power over weaker fellow- 
men. The English, French, American and 
Italian colonists also make mistakes, and are 
often guilty of injustice ; but they recognise 
the law of humanity and can never trans- 
gress certain well-defined limits. A Swedish 
gentleman, who has spent twenty years in 
Algeria, said to me : " Les Fran9ais sont tres 
humains " (" The French are very humane 
people "). The English are known all the 
world over to be " gentlemen." The Ameri- 
cans bear with their negro fellow-citizens, 
and even work for their advancement. In 
all English, French, American and Italian 
colonies the civil rights of the population 
and the elementary laws of morality are 
scrupulously respected by the white rulers. 
But such would not be the case in a German 
colony, as the German does not believe that 
non-Germans or animals have any " rights " 
or " moral laws." So long as the German 
nation has this psychology it must not 


receive a mandate to administer a colony. 
If the Germans think we are animals, we 
think they are fiends. So we are quits, at 
least for the present. 

Imperialism has begotten many vices in 
the German character, but avarice is the 
ruling passion of the German's soul. Gold 
is his god in public and private life. In this 
respect the aims of the State coincide with 
the tendencies of the individual citizen. All 
Germans are mad in the pursuit of wealth. 
They are all in a hurry to amass a fortune. 
I think that this trait explains why the 
Germans are unpopular in other countries. 
All men, everywhere, wish to earn money, 
and it is a duty to work honestly for economic 
gain. But the Germans are very mean, 
avaricious, stingy, unscrupulous and selfish. 
Every foreigner is struck with this character- 
istic of all Germans without distinction of 
class. Stones may yield oil, but no generous 
action can be expected from a German. If 
he can save a shilling by sponging on others 
or abusing their confidence, he will surely 
do so. He has the very disgusting habit of 
enjoying hospitality without thinking of 


returning it. He is very willing to eat your 
cakes, but he cannot waste his own cakes on 
you. I made the acquaintance of a dis- 
tinguished German scholar, whom I also 
agreed to help in his literary work. I pre- 
sented him with two boxes of good cigars, 
and tried to win his friendly sympathy in 
other ways. I used to visit him almost 
every afternoon. He never offered me a cup 
of tea, though he had received my gifts and 
was always very affable and talkative. I 
noticed that he had his afternoon tea just 
before I called. It never occurred to him 
that he should at least once or twice ask me 
to drink a cup of tea with him. He did not 
consider it safe even to mention it, as the 
experiment was too risky. Supposing I had 
actually accepted the invitation ! It would 
have meant an economic catastrophe for 
him. Some German politicians visited Con- 
stantinople and invited a few Turkish poli- 
ticians to see them. It is reported that they 
did not offer even a cup of coffee to the 
Turkish colleagues because, of course, a cup 
of coffee costs a penny, and the German 
cannot make such a sacrifice. Such melan- 


choly meanness throws some light on the 
real character of the average German. A 
Swedish journalist related how the German 
guests at a party took away all the cigars. 
I have forgotten the details of the story, but 
he ended with these words : " An English- 
man never does this sort of thing." The 
Germans have really a genius for petty 
selfishness of this kind. It is impossible for 
a German to make friends. He is an anti- 
social, egotistic and unlovable creature. At 
present he is interested chiefly in money. A 
German gentleman said to me : " This 
time France must pay us an indemnity of 
45 milliards. We took too little in 1871." I 
mentioned to a professor of philosophy the 
news that the Bolshevik Government had 
delivered to the German officials the first 
instalments of the indemnity in gold bars. 
He asked me to read the newspaper to him, 
and said : " What does it say ? Have the 
gold bars been actually delivered ? " I 
replied : " Yes. They have been deposited 
in the -Reichsbank." The exponent of 
philosophy gave a grunt of satisfaction at 
this news, and I could see that he was trying 


to visualise the glittering bars of gold which 
Germany had gained as booty. Avarice 
has corroded the soul of this nation and 
made it unfit for the common offices of 
courtesy and friendship. I don't know how 
it can be cured of this vice. 

While the Germans threaten the whole 
world with conquest and " Kultur," their 
social and political institutions at home are 
of the mediaeval and reactionary type. 
Slaves are proper instruments for enslaving 
others. Despotism, bureaucracy and caste 
are the foundations of German society. 
When I was there the air reeked with ser- 
vility and snobbery. Those who had lived 
in England, France, America or Switzerland 
found life in Germany altogether insup- 
portable. The worship of the Kaisex was 
the creed of half Germany. Fulsome flattery 
of the monarch was considered a mark of 
patriotism, and reminded me of the age of 
the Tudors. The bust of the Kaiser was a 
pestilential nuisance in Berlin. It was 
crowned with wreaths and flowers in the big 
concert house in Mauerstrasse, like the statue 
of a heathen god. I entered a chemist's 


shop, and there it was on the shelf, with its 
repellent expression of insolent braggadocio. 
Go where you would you could not escape 
this ubiquitous bust. The royal family was 
also on sale in pictures and cards of all sorts. 
The Empress, the Crown Prince, his children, 
their cousins, their nurses and the relatives 
of the nurses were all very much in evidence 
in the bookshops and at the street corners. 
The whole show was very disgusting and 
ludicrous. But it was an important social 
institution of Germany. Let us hope that 
the Germans have now got rid of the 
Hohenzollerns for ever. The monarchy may 
be abolished, but German society cannot be 
freed so easily from bureaucracy and the 
spirit of caste. In Germany everything is 
done for the people, and nothing by the 
people. As there are no democratic institu- 
tions, the functionaries fear no control or 
criticism. They meddle with everything, 
and plague the people in a thousand different 
ways. All Germans who have lived for 
some time in England or America refuse to 
return to their native land. They have 
breathed the free atmosphere of English and 


American society, and detest the bureau- 
cratic system of Germany. I met a German 
merchant who had Hved for more than ten 
years in England. We were at the dinner 
table in a sanatorium at Partenkirchen, in 
Bavaria. The talk turned on the merits and 
demerits of the English people. A patriotic 
German lady said : " The French are our 
old enemies. But why have the English 
joined them ? They are a gang of robbers." 
I remained silent. The merchant replied : 
" But England has much better political 
institutions. There, in London, I am I " 
(" Ich bin ich "), " but here. . . ." At this 
point he put both his hands on his ears as 
the most effective method of expressing what 
he meant. That phrase, " Ich bin ich," sums 
up centuries of English history. It is curious 
that the uneducated merchant could find no 
other words to pay his tribute of praise for 
English freedom. In the summer of 1917 a 
lady wrote to me from Berlin : " All our 
rights are being taken away. It is a miser- 
able time here." The Junker class had 
established a reign of terror in order to 
stifle adverse criticism. Many Liberals and 


Socialists were in " Schutzhaft " during the 
war. The Germans seemed to be quite 
unconscious of their slavery. They had 
known only this system in their lives. A 
German journalist said to me : " What do 
you mean by talking of free America ? We 
have as much freedom here as the Ameri- 
cans." I tried to explain to him the dif- 
ference between German and American 
institutions ; but he did not see the point. 
Another German friend said : " You must 
be born a German in order to understand 
our system." I thanked my stars that I was 
not born a German. Germany is several 
centuries behind the other European coun- 
tries in social evolution. This war is per- 
haps the beginning of the end of the old 

The spirit of caste is more prevalent in 
German society than in other countries. 
Every man must have his * • Tit el," which is 
always prefixed to his name. It would be 
very impolite to omit the " Titel " in writing 
or speaking to a person. Thus it often 
happens that a man's name is never heard 
in conversation. He is always " Herr Pro- 


fessor," or " Herr Postdirektor," or " Herr 
Geheimrat," or even " Herr Baumeister." 
The mania for a " Titel " goes so far that 
some people coin curious titles indicating 
their social position, like " Herr Brauerei- 
Besitzer " ("Mr. Brewery-Owner "). The 
enormous number of " Rats " of different 
species in German society spread the plague 
of snobbery and servility. Thus there are 
Geheimrats, Kommerzienrats, Hofrats, etc., 
etc. A woman will put the husband's 
title before her name, and call herself 
" Hofratsgattin " (a Hofrat's wife). One 
comes across such names as " Lawyer 's- 
widow Mrs. Meyer." A lady chose to call 
herself " Baron's-mother-in-law Mrs. So- 
and-So." The spirit of caste leads to strange 
freaks, which sometimes show bad taste. A 
learned professor dedicated his book to his 
wife, but added " Baron's-widow " to her 
name, as she had married a baron before our 
lucky professor won her heart and her 
money. Society must know that the pro- 
fessor's wife was no ordinary person but a 
Baron's widow ! Germany needs a breath 
of Democracy in order to disperse these 


miasmic vapours of mediaeval feudalism 
which choke her spirit and smother her 
moral life. It is to be hoped that caste will 
also relax its hold on German society after 
the expulsion of the HohenzoUerns and the 
establishment of democratic institutions. 

The history of Germany during the last 
fifty years may be described as the tragedy 
of a whole society. This nation is utterly 
sick in head and heart. It has lost its wits, 
and it has killed its conscience. " Whom 
the gods destroy, they first make mad." It 
will take a very long time to restore this 
demented and demoralised people to health 
and sanity. 



" Where every prospect pleases, 
, And only man is vile." 

Bishop Heber. 

It is a great day in a young man's life 
when he first sees one of the ancient historic 
cities of the world, such as Rome, Athens, 
Benares or Constantinople. As I walked 
up the street leading from the railway 
station to the hotel in Stamboul my mind 
was in an ecstasy of delight and wonder. 
It was not what I saw, but what I thought 
of, that worked like magic in the brain. To 
a student of history Constantinople (which, 
fortunately, preserves its Greek name, in 
spite of the unspeakable Turk,) is a place of 
pilgrimage. Of course, the joy at the fulfil- 
ment of a long-cherished dream was mixed 
with deep sadness at the fate of the city, 
from which the scholars had gone forth to 
Italy with the balm of Greek learning for 
the sick and weary mediaeval world. But it 


was well that I could see it, even in its 
misery and degradation. The Turk will 
pass away, so said I, but the glory of this 
city will remain. Sooner or later it will be 
restored to its only rightful claimants, the 
Hellenes, whose name it bears. In the 
meantime I might learn what life here has 
to teach me. 

It was in the spring and summer of 1915, 
when the loveliness of Nature stood in 
strange contrast to the carnage on the battle- 
fields of Gallipoli. The Bosphorus, perhaps 
the most beautiful spot on earth, was a 
haven of calm and peace in the midst of this 
warring world of brute force and more 
brutish intrigue. But it was my business to 
watch the operation of political forces and 
to meet all types of characters in the course 
of the daily routine, for I was supposed to 
carry on political propaganda. I should 
have liked to live on the Bosphorus as a 
poet or a painter ; but, as I was neither the 
one nor the other; I had to make the best of 
the situation and figure as " a politician." 
I shall write about the chief lessons that I 
learned during my six months' sojourn in 


that Dar-i-Saadat, the seat of the CaUphate. 
I trust that all Orientals, and especially the 
Muslims of India and Egypt, will ponder 
well the meaning of my words. 

I shall begin with the Turks. And the 
first thing I have to say is tfeat the Turks, as 
a nation, are utterly unfit to assume the 
leadership of the Muslim world. They have 
been, and are, only a predatory tribe, without 
culture and political capacity. It was an 
evil day for the Muhammadan world when 
the Turk was entrusted with the Caliphate. 
The Turks have no brains ; that is the plain 
truth. They can fight well, but they cannot 
administer or organise. They have been in 
possession of a vast empire for several cen- 
turies ; but they have no great or noble 
national literature. All nations have pro- 
duced great literature as the spiritual sign 
and symbol of their political ascendancy. 
Athens, Rome, Spain, Portugal, Eliza- 
bethan England and Vikram's India are 
now more familiar to us through the names 
of iEschylus, Sophocles, Virgil, Calderon, 
Camoens, Shakespeare and Kalidasa than 
those of the statesmen and warriors who 


flourished during the periods of their poHtical 
expansion. Political success has always led 
to the complete self-expression of a gifted 
nation in literature, art and philosophy. 
But we look in vain for these fruits of empire 
in Turkey. The Turks could not sing or 
speculate, as they are really very low in the 
scale of mental evolution. Nature has not 
endowed them with brains. They have also 
been the rulers of Greece ; but they have 
learned nothing from their subjects, whose 
language is the key to the highest wisdom 
and culture. The Romans were also rude 
barbarians when they conquered Greece. 
But they yielded to the spell of Greek 
genius, and " conquered Greece conquered 
her conquerors," as the Roman poet truly 
declared. Rome produced great poets and 
thinkers under the tutelage of Greece, but 
the Turkish mind has been a barren soil 
which has brought forth nothing but the 
thorns and thistles of superstition and 
ribaldry. History has clearly demonstrated 
that the Turk has no intellectual potentiali- 
ties. He is therefore really unfit for leader- 
ship of any kind, as a leader is distinguished 


by his intellectual pre-eminence over his 
colleagues. How can such gifted peoples as 
the Egyptians and the Indians follow the 
guidance of the uncivilised and uncivilisable 
Turk ? The Turk cannot guide ; he is abso- 
lutely incompetent and helpless on account 
of his mental inferiority. An Egyptian 
gentleman, speaking of the Turks, said; 
" They know only two things, war and 
mosques." This is the opinion of a culti- 
vated Muslim, who has lived about six 
years in Turkey. Another Muslim journa- 
list said to me : " The Turks are the little 
brothers of the Prussians ; they are stupid 
and arrogant." 

Further, the Turks cannot administer or 
organise. Turkey has become the by-word 
of the modern age, because Turkish rule has 
been characterised by the grossest corrup- 
tion, oppression and disorder. I speak of 
Turkish rule in countries inhabited chiefly 
by Muslims. Self-indulgence and indolence 
are the principal aims of the Turkish 
magnate. The Turks cannot govern little 
Syria well : how can they help other 
Muhammadans to acquire the capacity of 


self-government ? I once asked a Muslim 
physician in Berlin : " Why is there such 
misrule in Syria ? Can't the Turkish Govern- 
ment organise an efficient police force ? " 
He replied: " Yes ; but the chief of police 
will himself join the robbers and highway- 
men of the country ! '* I then understood 
that it was really a hopeless case of de- 
generacy. Another Muslim politician, in 
the course of a discussion, said : " Yes, 
Syria is a very rich country ; but the organi- 
sation of government " and here he 

stopped short, as he did not wish to criticise 
the Ottoman Government adversely. But 
his sudden silence was more eloquent than 
any words could be. There was a painful 
pause, till I turned the conversaltion to other 

As the Turks are a barbarous tribe, the 
Muslims of India and Egypt make a great 
mistake in identifying their cause with the 
fortunes of the Ottomans. The Turks have 
repeatedly given proof of their brutality and 
depravity by organising massacres of peace- 
ful Armenian and Greek populations and 
violating hundreds of Greek women, even 


with the sanction of the poHce authorities. 
If this be Islam, I should blush for the faith 
of 70,000,000 of my Indian fellow-citizens. 
The civilised Muslims of India and Egypt 
lose immensely in the estimation of the 
Western world by associating with this 
semi-savage horde. Europe is free from 
religious fanaticism at present ; but Europe 
and America will " always be at war with 
Ottomanism," as President Taft has well 
said. If the Muslims of India wish to appear 
in company with their Hindu brethren on the 
public platforms of the civilised world, 
they must first wash their hands clean of 
Ottomanism in all its shapes and disguises. 
The Turkish system of ruling by massacre 
and rape is neither Islamic nor rational ; it 
is pure, unadulterated Ottoman savagery, 
worthy of Chengiz Khan and Halaku. We 
cannot make common cause with such 
marauders simply because they live east of 
Suez and profess Islam. The Muslims of 
India and Egypt must realise their own 
privileged position, and disclaim all connec- 
tion with Central Asian freebooters.' 
During my stay in Constantinople I 


learned that the Turks have no real sym- 
pathy with other MusHm nations. They 
are not Pan-Islamists ; they are Ottoman 
nationalists. But they wish to exploit and 
use other Muslim peoples for their own pur- 
poses with the cry of Pan-Islamism. Pan- 
Islamism is one of the most curious farces 
of the last decade. It simply means that 
other Muslim nations should sing the praises 
of the Turk and acknowledge his overlord- 
ship, and a few adventurers and charlatans 
from every Muslim land should swagger 
about in Stamboul on an allowance of £io 
to £50 a month from the Turkish Govern- 
ment. This was all I could discover of the 
famous Pan-Islamic movement, which was 
supposed to be paving the way for the 
unification and revival of Islam under the 
leadership of the pious hero, Enver Pasha. 
The Turks care only for their own tribe ; they 
have no interest in the affairs or destinies 
of the millions of Muslims scattered in all 
parts of the world, from Java to Senegal. 
They must set their own house in order, and 
their policy is quite sound. They know that 
it is impossible to embody the spiritual unity 


of Islam in an external political institution 
embracing all the Muslims of the world. 
This fantastic idea finds no favour among 
Turkish patriotic circles. But they do not 
frankly say so. They think that they can 
gain some sympathy (and sometimes money, 
too) by posing as the leaders of Islam, the 
custodians of the holy places, and the heirs 
of the traditions of the Caliphate. They 
pay a few pounds a month to several Indian, 
Eg3^tian, Algerian, Tunisian, Sudanese, 
and other Muslim enthusiasts to carry on 
Pan-Islamic propaganda for the glory of 
Turkey and the ministers of the Young 
Turk party. But they are not prepared to 
make any sacrifices for the common cause. 
If they get something as high priests of 
Pan-Islamism, well and good ; but they 
will not risk anything for the sake of the 
other Muslim peoples. The Muslims of 
India and Egypt must realise that they 
worship a false idol when they waste their 
sympathies on Turkey as the head of Islam. 
Of course, the Turks were very glad to pocket 
a few lakhs of Indian money during the 
Balkan wars ; and they sent a holy (or 


ordinary) carpet with a message of thanks, 
which did not cost much. But there are 
milhons of starving MusUm labourers in 
India who could have been helped with this 
money. We should know that charity 
begins at home. But it is the fashion of 
some Muslims to be enthusiastic about 
everything out of India, and to remain in- 
different to the claims and needs of their 
co-religionists at home. Such an atti- 
tude is fostered by the hollow cant of Pan- 
Islamism. I have been at the heart and 
centre of Islam, in the innermost court of 
the shrine of Pan-Islamism ; and I declare 
that it is all a fraud and a hoax, designed 
to impose upon credulous Muslims in 
distant lands. 

The Turks are very unpopular among all 
free Muslims. The only Muslims who swear 
by them seem to be those waifs and strays 
who have no country of their own. The 
Turks have shown themselves to be cruel, 
selfish, and arrogant. It is impossible to 
work with them. The most significant 
commentary on the Jihad proclaimed by 
the Turks has been furnished by the revolt 


of the Arabian tribes against Ottoman rule. 
If the Turks were really faithful !Pan- 
Islamists and worthy successors of the 
Caliphs, why should the pious Arabs try to 
overthrow Turkish rule in Arabia and Syria 
with the aid of the English, who are non- 
Muslims ? This fact must open the eyes of 
all Muslims to the true situation. The 
Turks have even attempted to suppress the 
Arabic tongue in their dominions, as they 
have pursued the " patriotic " policy of 
" Ottomanising " all their subjects in lan- 
guage and thus securing uniformity in their 
much-divided empire. But the folly of 
such experiments is obvious, as the small, 
unlettered Turkish tribe cannot assimilate 
the numerous and cultured Arab nation. 
The Turks have thus no special claim on the 
sympathy of other Muslim patriots on the 
ground of " Pan-Islamic " interests. There 
is no such thing as Pan-Islamism. 
Nationalism is a living force in Persia, 
Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Afghanistan. 
The Turks wish to stifle the national senti- 
ment of the Egyptians and the Arabs, while 
they try every means of keeping Ottoman 


patriotism alive ! Such is their boasted love 
of Islam. A Persian gentleman said to me : 
" These Turks are great humbugs. They 
wish that we should bow to them and serve 
their interests in the name of the Caliphate." 
For some time there was a big tempest in 
the teapot of Egyptian nationalism in 
Turkey. Some leaders proposed that the 
Egyptians should take up a Pan-Islamic 
position and lose their national identity as 
subjects of the Caliphate. Other more 
enlightened leaders opposed this mediaeval 
policy and stood up for the traditions of the 
Egyptian National Party, which had 
adopted the motto : " Egypt for the 
Egyptians." These people wore buttons 
bearing the device of the Egyptian National 
Party (in addition to the Ottoman symbols) ; 
and this practice exposed them to the wrath 
of some Turkish ministers, as I heard from 
a reliable source. The pure " Nationalists " 
branded the other group as mercenaries, who 
had sold themselves to Turkey. This taunt 
seemed to derive further justification from 
the fact that most " Pan-Islamists " have 
been in the pay of the Turkish Government. 


The " Pan-Islamists " retorted by stigma- 
tising the Nationalists as infidels and 
thoughtless visionaries, who played into the 
hands of the English. The Turkish Govern- 
ment was even reported to have withdrawn 
its financial assistance from some Egyptian 
Nationalist leaders in Berlin, who found 
themselves in difficult circumstances on 
account of the exigencies of the war. The 
Turks did not like the national propaganda 
of the sincere Egyptian patriots, who in- 
sisted that Egypt was not a part of Turkey 
but an independent nation. The " Pan- 
Islamist " party had, of course, more money 
at its disposal and started a monthly 
journal in Berlin. But the majority of the 
contributors were always Germans, literary 
hacks, as far as I could see. This proved 
that the pro-Turkish group kept up an 
artificial existence bolstered with Turkish 
gold, but that the ablest Muslims held aloof 
from this mischievous movement. 

An Egyptian physician once said to me : 
" You must not confound us with the Turks. 
We have nothing in common with them 
except religion. We are an entirely different 


people." There was much anxiety and 
trepidation among Egyptian patriots when 
it was known that the Turks were preparing 
an expedition against Egypt. Ottoman 
ambition ran high in the first year of the 
war. Every Turkish general compared 
himself to Saladin and Tarik, I heard that 
Djemal Pasha, who was in charge of the 
projected Egyptian expedition, had uttered 
this heroic sentiment : "I will conquer 
Egypt, or die." I remarked : " Well, we 
shall be very sorry to mourn his loss." The 
Egyptians were full of fears and misgivings. 
Egypt had had enough experience of Turkish 
inroads in the past. An Egyptian leader 
said to his colleague : " Les Turcs mangeront 
I'Egypte " (" The Turks will eat up Egypt "). 
The other replied, in a fit of Pan-Islamic fer- 
vour: " Qu'ils mangent " ("Let them do so"). 
But, on second thoughts, he admitted that 
a Turkish invasion would be a great mis- 
fortune for his fertile country. Such is the 
real opinion of enlightened Muslims about 
the Turks. It is also the opinion of the 
entire civilised world. 

It is an open secret that there is no love 


lost between the Turks and the Persians. 
During the war it was reported that Ger- 
many was frequently asked to act as arbi- 
trator in, disputes. The Turkish troops 
levied heavy contributions on the Persian 
towns which they occupied for some time 
in the early period of the war. The Turkish 
official reports spoke of the occupied Persian 
territory as " conquered regions " (" mama- 
lik-i-maftuha "). This circumstance em- 
bittered the Persian Nationalists and re- 
vealed the real psychology of these self- 
styled friends of Islam. I heard that the 
Turks were hated by the population of the 
Persian provinces, which temporarily fell 
into their hands. It was the same old story 
of rapine, violence, and cruelty everywhere. 
The Persians came to the conclusion that the 
Turk was unteachable, and so he is. 

I have come across several pathetic in- 
stances of waste of energy and enthusiasm 
due to the illusions of Pan-Islamism. A 
young man from Bombay, who had been an 
engineer in India, came to Turkey in order 
to take part in the " Holy War," as the law 
enjoined. He is a sincere and honest 


Muslim. He distributed all his money 
among the poor, and went forth with the 
Turkish soldiers into the Sinai desert to 
strike a blow for the faith. His consistent 
idealism elicited the admiration of all his 
friends (who, however, did not follow his 
example). Our knight-errant fell ill and 
had to return to Damascus. He then dis- 
covered that the realities of Ottoman ad- 
ministration did not agree exactly with the 
dreams of ardent Pan-Islamists. . No one 
cared for him as he lay sick in a small hotel 
in Damascus. He had given away all his 
hard-earned savings before donning his 
armour, but now the Caliphate did not help 
him in his distress. The sick hero was 
rescued from his woeful plight by some 
Hindu patriots, who heard about him from 
his friends in Constantinople. They im- 
mediately wired him money and asked him 
to join them after recovery — surely " a 
sadder and a wiser man." I wonder what 
this intelligent Muslim now thinks of the 
" Caliphate." I know several hot " Pan- 
Islamists " who refused to be naturalised as 
Ottoman subjects, as they were afraid of 


being called upon to fight for the holy cause ! 
They are willing to spend their breath, but 
cannot do the first duty of a zealous " Pan- 
Islamist." Of such calibre are some noisy 
fanatics made ! The Indians resident in 
Turkey are generally wanderers or adven- 
turers, who are not held in high esteem. A 
few old men live in the " takiya " (the poor- 
house). Some of them have married Turkish 
wives and speak Hindi mixed up with 
Turkish. They have lost touch with the 
Mother Country. They are almost always 
quarrelling among themselves from jealousy 
and selfishness. The Turkish Government 
has set apart a few pounds a month for 
Indian propagandists ; and there is a 
general scramble for this prize of indolent 
charlatanism. Invitations to dinner at the 
houses of some influential Turks also furnish 
an occasion for explosions of personal 
j ealousy and uncharitableness . Nothing can 
be hoped for from this set. They will stew 
in their own juice for some time, till they are 
replaced by other Indian fugitives and 
sturdy vagabonds, who roam about in all 
Islamic lands. 


I learned one lesson in Constantinople 
which I shall not easily forget. I have 
learned that good administration is a very 
rare thing in Asia. I could judge of the 
merits and demerits of Turkish rule by 
examining the state of affairs in Stamboul 
and its neighbourhood. Poverty broods 
over the whole place. Several quarters of 
the city present a shapeless mass of charred 
ruins, as they have not been rebuilt after a 
conflagration. I thought of San Francisco 
as I saw these tokens of Turkish lethargy 
and incompetence. No official is ever in a 
hurry to finish his work. Every little thing 
takes an interminably long time. It is the 
reign of " Yavash ! Yavash!" (gently! 
gently!) I had the melancholy satisfaction 
of witnessing one of the big fires which are a 
regular feature of Constantinople life. The 
fire blazed away for ten hours. The small 
wooden houses of the poor were consumed 
and reduced to cinders in one street after 
another. The unlucky denizens fled into the 
big bazaar with bundles under their arms or 
small boxes on their shoulders — ^perhaps 
their entire earthly belongings. But what 


was the Government doing ? I saw a few 
ragged policemen and firemen running along 
the street several hours after the reddening 
sky had announced the danger to the whole 
town. This rabble of official rescuers was 
manipulating some antiquated apparatus 
and pouring a thin stream of water on the 
roaring sea of flames. It was a spectacle 
which was tragic and ludicrous at the same 
time. At last the fire abated ; but I believe 
that it was due more to Nature than to the 
exertions of the Imperial Ottoman Govern- 
ment. I heard that conditions were still 
worse in the interior of the country. A 
patriotic Indian gentleman expressed this 
opinion as the outcome of his experiences of 
travel in Turkey : " After two years, I have 
come to the conclusion that the country 
should be annexed by some European 
Power ! " And this gentleman is a sincere 
opponent of European imperialism in 
general. But he apparently thought that 
even European Conquest was preferable in 
the interests of the people to Turkish " self- 
government." I was touched with deep 
pity as I saw the ranks of Turkish soldiers 


marching past in the streets of Stamboul and 
Pera day after day in that eventful summer. 
These ignorant peasants and working men 
were torn from their homes and turned into 
food for cannon to gratify the ambition of a 
small class of Pashas and Beys, who had 
lived for generations on the plunder of sub- 
jugated countries, I noticed that Enver 
Pasha was reported in the papers to be 
always present at the weekly Selamlik, 
whether from piety or policy I could not 
judge. These demoralised bourgeois classes 
were trading on the religious idealism of a 
brave peasantry ! 1 learned that more than 
half a million Turkish soldiers were slain on 
the peninsula of Gallipoli ; but I believe that 
the ministers who drove them to the sham- 
bles are still living. They have fled from their 
country after having ruined it in their folly. 
The ambition of Turkish imperialists has laid 
Turkey in the dust. It was not necessary 
for Turkey to join the war as an enemy of 
England. The Entente was always ready even 
to grant important concessions to Turkey at 
the outbreak of the war. But the criminal 
stupidity of a few swashbucklers, who had 


been educated in Germany, has brought this 
disaster on the Turkish people. This is the 
last sad consequence of inefficient adminis- 
tration. A land governed by fools cannot 

The Muslims of India, Egypt, Java and 
Persia should learn that they must look 
after the affairs of their own countries in a 
practical spirit instead of dreaming of the 
Caliphate. There is nothing but dirt, and 
dead dogs, and scheming rascals in Stam- 
boul. It is only distance that lends en- 
chantment to the view in this case. Each 
Muslim nation should organise itself, and 
also, of course, sympathise with other Mus- 
lim countries. But every Muslim's duty 
lies at home, in the corner of the world 
where he is born. 

" The old order changeth, yielding place to 
new." The Caliphate has had its day. The 
stream of history does not flow backward. 
Islam, as a religion, cannot be bound up 
with any particular theory of political 
organisation. We live in the twentieth 
century of the Christian era, not in the 
eighth. The MusUms should get rid of 


these mediaeval rags — ^the Caliphate and the 
Jihad. Islam, too, will pass away, for the 
world moves forward and will not wait for 
Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism. The 
Muslims should modernise themselves and 
learn the new ideas and ideals of the Western 
world. The vanguard of humanity to-day is 
in Europe and America, not in Arabia, 
Mesopotamia or Tibet. A new heaven and a 
new earth will be fashioned in the future, but 
not out of the debris of outworn creeds and 
formulae. The educated Muslims should 
take the lead in assimilating modern modes 
of thought. This is not the time to live and 
die by dispensations which were great and 
new forces centuries ago. Prophets may 
come and prophets may go, but Humanity 
goes on for ever in its pursuit of truth and 
virtue. The Muslims should also advance 
with the times, and must not " attempt the 
future's portals with the past's blood-rusted 

The sad fate of the Turkish people proves 
that there is no magic in national " self- 
government " as such. It all depends on 
the character and capacity of the governing 


class, for the peasants and the working men 
cannot take part in the administration. 
They pay taxes, and expect to receive the 
benefits of a sound administration in return. 
The upper and middle classes of Egypt, 
India and Persia cannot administer suc- 
cessfully without European control and 
guidance. They are wanting in energy, 
public spirit and technical knowledge. They 
can neither organise the defence of the 
country nor establish a good system of 
internal government. A mixed European 
and Oriental administration is the best for 
these countries, as the European officials 
are honest, energetic and capable, while the 
Orientals know the customs and traditions 
of the people. There is no harm in admitting 
that the upper and middle classes of Asia 
are not fit for all the tasks of progressive 
administration in this age. The Turkish 
Government had to employ European engi- 
neers for the Hedjaz railway. The Persians 
invited an American to put their finances in 
order, and paid Swedish officers to organise 
a police force for them. Such a mixed 
administration already exists in countries 


which form part of the British and the 
French colonial empires, though the Euro- 
pean element is perhaps unnecessarily large 
and the Oriental colleagues are not given 
their due. These are minor faults, but the 
principle of the mixed personnel is sound. 
Among European nations, England has been 
already in the field for a century, and 
France has also acquired vast dependencies 
in Asia and Africa. It is, therefore, wise 
to co-operate with these nations for the 
establishment and continuance of good 
government in Asiatic countries, whatever 
colour the flag may have. The interests of 
the peasants and working men of Asia 
require peace, order, justice, education, 
organisation, and permanent contact with 
Europe and America. A purely national 
administration in an Oriental country, com- 
posed of the effeminate sons of the land- 
owners, lawyers, bankers, manufacturers, 
priests and other parasitic classes, cannot 
secure these blessings for the people. They 
must be trained, controlled and inspired by 
European officials, or worse than Turkish 
disorder would ensue. The people of Asiatic 


countries cannot pay the high price of per- 
petual misrule and stagnation for the satis- 
faction of seeing a national flag float over 
the public buildings of the capital. For 
purposes of external defence, co-operation 
between Englishmen and the Indians or the 
Egyptians is also imperatively necessary. 
Egypt, Persia and India would be again 
overrun by barbarians if England were to 
withdraw from Asia, as the Britons were 
enslaved by the Teutons as soon as the 
Roman garrisons left the country. It is, 
therefore, necessary to readjust our views 
to the actual circumstances of the situation 
as this war has revealed them to us. We 
should think of the British (and the French) 
Empires as single political units, which 
must be preserved in their integrity for a 
long time to come. We must fight for the 
defence of these States against external 
invasion, for the dissolution of these Empires 
can result only in a change of masters for us. 
At the same time, we should try to educate 
and elevate the people by teaching them to 
appreciate English and French ideals and 
setting on foot popular movements for the 


extension of democratic institutions in Asia 
and Africa. " Self-government " under a 
purely Oriental governing class would be no 
blessing for the peasants and the working 
men, and would finally lead to conquest by 
some European power. The system of 
mixed administration seems to be the only 
natural and necessary solution of the pro- 
blem. Then the fires in Constantinople 
would be extinguished promptly and effec- 
tively by trained firemen working under 
European leadership. And that is what the 
people of Asia ask for. 



"The best-laid plans of mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley." 

R. Burns. 

Oriental life in Berlin during the war 
was quite picturesque and many-sided. But 
it was something of a tragedy, as I shall 
have occasion to show in the sequel. There 
were all nations of the East in the streets of 
Berlin : conceited Young Turks, fussy Egyp- 
tians, acute but pessimistic Persians, nonde- 
script Arabs, handsome Georgians and 
others, who fancied that the triumph of 
German arms would redress the wrongs of 
their countries. Berlin was the Mecca of 
Oriental patriots of all shades of opinion. 
Their common bond was hatred of England 
and France. Every one formed plans for 
the regeneration of bis Fatherland after the 
war. Their optimism was rather premature, 
as the ruthless logic of events has demon- 
strated. But during the first two years of 


the war these Oriental nationalists were 
elated with high hopes and went about in a 
state of political intoxication produced by. 
a too ample dose of the Pan-Germanic 
"hasheesh." Thus a noted middle-aged 
Egyptian politician said on one occasion : 
" The liberation of Egypt is certain. I am 
100 per cent, sure of it." A party of young 
Egyptian students met in solemn conclave 
one day to discuss the measures to be taken 
immediately after the end of the war ! It 
is worth remembering as a joke of the war- 
time that some Egyptian politicians had 
even nominated themselves in imagination 
to the highest offices of state in free Egypt ! 
The Turks were all chauvinistic, and it was 
their habit to decry other Islamic nations. 
Thus a young Turkish official said to me : 
*' You know it is pure Turkish blood, 
Anatolian blood, that has been shed at 
Gallipoli. We Turks have thus saved the 
cause of Islam. Others have done nothing. 
We pity poor India and the Indian people." 
The supercilious tone of these remarks well 
illustrates the spirit of the new Turkish 
imperialists. Some Algerians also carried 


on their " propaganda " in bad French. 
One of them deUvered a public lecture, which 
was insufferably dull, and which really 
proved that the people of Algeria were not 
discontented with French rule. But the 
obtuse patriot could not see the point. 
Unbounded optimisna and sincere faith in 
the power and professions of Germany were 
common to all these Oriental " National- 
ists." As I contemplated their somewhat 
sad countenances and heard their plaintive 
accents, I was touched with pity, as I knew 
that they sighed for an irrevocable past. 
They talked of the " Caliphate," of the age 
of the Crusades, of the Jihad-i-Akbar ! I 
could not tell them all I thought. They 
were the rearguard of a vanishing host, not 
the pioneers of a new generation. They fed 
themselves on words, words, words. And 
they rejoiced at the German victories, as if 
they could sustain themselves by vicarious 
strength. And at last that bubble, too, 
burst ! 

There were influences at work which 
began to mar the joy and weaken the self- 
confidence of this carnival of hope. As 


usual, these Muslim patriots and Pan- 
Islamists could not get on with the Prus- 
sians. No one can get on with the Prussians. 
It is, of course, dangerous to deal in general 
maxims ; but I give a safe rule for all 
Orientals to follow : " Never have anything 
to do with a Prussian." The chances are 
that you will rue your folly if you disregard 
this precept. These Orientals, thus gathered 
together in Berlin, soon found out that they 
lived in a society of snobs, bullies, boors, 
churls and cads. An Arab gentleman was 
once heard to say, " The English are at 
least gentlemen," and this utterance was 
reported against him. A Turkish journalist 
arrived one day in high glee, visited some 
Prussians, and left for Constantinople the 
same evening ! He had had enough of Ger- 
many and the Germans in the course of 
twelve hours. Some rude affront or arro- 
gant phrase had revealed the true Prussian 
to him, and he was disgusted and dis- 
heartened beyond measure. An Egyptian 
patriot, who was an enthusiastic admirer of 
the Germans before he came to Berlin, at 
last uttered this remarkable sentiment : 


" When peace comes, I shall leave this 
country the same evening without waiting 
to take my luggage with me ! " On other 
occasions he would grumble and say, " They 
treat us like dogs." He also related to me 
that a high Egyptian official, who was 
invited to Berlin, left with this commentary 
on the situation : " They play with us like 
children. Do they think I am a boy ? " A 
Persian gentleman was once talking to me 
of his future plans of work. I said, in a 
tone of banter, " Well, you will surely marry 
a pretty German girl, and settle in this 
country." To my surprise, he said : " Je 
n'aime pas les AUemands " (" I do not like 
the Germans"). We spoke French on this 
occasion. I did not pursue the conversation 
further. If I had asked him, he would un- 
doubtedly have told me his story. There is 
a world of meaning in that short and pithy 
remark : " Je n'aime pas les AUemands." 
The reason is not far to seek. The Prussians 
are a selfish, rude, and arrogant people. 
They look upon themselves as demi-gods, as 
veritable super-men. They suffer from in- 
curable megalomania. Their success in the 


war of 1870-1 has turned their heads. They 
beheve that they are the greatest nation on 
earth, and that all others are miserable 
worms and mannikins. They are not bound 
to show courtesy to inferior creatures. They 
must teach these Orientals that they are not 
the equals of the divine German race. The 
German is born to rule, and all others to 
serve. This inordinate pride must estrange 
all friends and alienate the sympathies of 
colleagues and fellow- workers. The course 
of events has in this case proved the wisdom 
of the old saying : " Pride goeth before 
destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." 
The Germans could not win over the 
Orientals in Berlin because their frog-in- 
the-well pride robbed them of manners . The 
Orientals are noted for their politeness, 
which they even carry to excess. But the 
Germans are extremely deficient in this 
common virtue. Courtesy is the lubricant 
of social life, and the absence of it in German 
society naturally led to continual friction. I 
know of no Oriental who left Berlin with 
feelings of esteem and friendship for the 
Germans. I used to laugh and say : " If 


you want to make a man anti-German, send 
him to Berlin." It was a most curious and 
instructive phenomenon. All persons who 
have lived in Paris or London love France 
and England ever afterwards. They have 
pleasant memories of their sojourn among 
cultivated and sociable gentlemen. But 
every foreigner who spends some time in 
Prussia feels as if he were living in a 
menagerie. He meets only with insults and 
rebuffs on all sides ; he is robbed, over- 
reached, and exploited by every one whom he 
encounters. These Oriental patriots were 
not by any means peculiarly unfortunate 
in their experiences. A Spanish gentleman 
expressed this opinion in the presence of 
several Germans : "I admire Germany as a 
powerful State ; but I don't like the indi- 
vidual Germans " (" aber die einzelnen 
Deutschen Hebe ich nicht "). He related to 
me how he had to suffer at the hands of 
these unscrupulous, greedy, and intolerable 
Berlin people during his stay in Germany. I 
am sure that that young Spaniard will never 
say a good word for Germany in his life. 
The same result was produced by similar 


circumstances in the case of the Orientals 
who flocked to BerHn in such a devout spirit 
in the first year of the war. That was surely 
a sad disappointment. But worse was to 

Want of manners is not the only fault 
through which the Germans have lost the 
sympathy of the Oriental representatives in 
Berlin. There are other vices in the German 
character which have made personal confi- 
dence and co-operation impossible. I 
generalise from numerous single incidents, 
as I have been an amused spectator of many 
a tragi-comic affair in this little Oriental 
world, this " Asia Minor " of Berlin. The 
root of the whole trouble is that the Ger- 
mans have no character. They are a mean 
and dishonourable people ; in fact, they are 
singularly devoid of the sense of honour. 
They work hard, and are patriotic, but that 
is perhaps their only virtue. Their best and 
best-educated men tell lies and break their 
promises in the most important affairs of 
life. They seem to think that they are 
really " above good and evil," if one may 
judge from the nonchalant spirit in which 


they deal with questions involving the 
gravest consequences to others. They 
never think of the other persons, always of 
themselves. Self is their god, and they 
have no regard for anybody where their 
interests or even their whims are concerned. 
Now this trait in the German character 
must make all co-operation impossible. 
Society is based on truth and mutual regard. 
If a man in authority is known to be unre- 
liable, the State, which he represents, must 
fail in its plans and enterprises, as no one 
will work for or with him for a long time. 
The Germans can never inspire confidence 
in others, for they are a dishonourable 
people. They will injure others without 
remorse or compunction in order to serve 
their interests even in small matters. Thus 
a distinguished scholar was prevented from 
leaving Berlin for Constantinople, pre- 
sumably because some petty subaltern 
wished to exploit him in Berlin. Of course, 
that man has a grievance against Germany. 
A gentleman was asked to come all the way 
from the United States at considerable per- 
sonal sacrifice to himself ; but he was left 


in the lurch after his arrival in Europe 
because the little Prussian despot of the 
office had changed his mind. An energetic 
Oriental gentleman was requested to under- 
take some very important work in a neutral 
country ; but he found that the German 
had not fulfilled his part of the bargain, and 
he was in a difficult and even dangerous 
situation for some time. A noted Egyptian 
leader was at first asked to write an article 
for a semi-official paper ; but the German 
editor refused to publish it or to return it to 
him after he had spent much time and 
money on it ! He was told that his article 
had been disposed of in a proper manner ! 
When he asked me how I explained such 
absurd tomfoolery, I said: " How can I tell 
you ? I am not a German." These are 
small matters, but a multitude of small 
matters constitute the business of life every- 
where. And character is often revealed in 
small affairs. But the Germans have dis- 
played the same disregard for truth and 
fair-play in very serious matters, in which 
the lives and fortunes of their friends were 
at stake. Such consistent and invariable 


meanness is suicidal, and to-day one may 
say that Germany has not a single friend in 
Asia. On this occasion I confine my remarks 
to the daily happenings in the piebald, 
polyglot circle in Berlin, which I actually 
frequented for a long time. In fact, the 
unaccountably mean ways of the Germans 
formed a staple subject of conversation 
among the Orientals. There was always 
some scandal going on. It was not a ques- 
tion of personalities. It was always the 
same, whoever the parties concerned hap- 
pened to be. Every one complained, sooner 
or later, that he had been exploited, or 
deceived, or insulted, or otherwise ill-treated 
by some German with whom he had to deal. 
I at first thought that these accusations 
could not be taken seriously, as misunder- 
standings often arise in the course of affairs, 
and these Orientals might possibly be vain 
and sensitive young men. But I was led to 
inquire further, when the cases multiplied 
with lapse of time. I noticed that Oriental 
gentlemen of the most diverse types of 
character had the same thing to say. I 
finally came to the conclusion that the evil 



lay in the character of the nation, and not 
in the incapacity or idiosyncrasy of particu- 
lar Germans here and there. I could not 
find any other explanation of this remarkable 
phenomenon. I shall have occasion to 
revert to this question in discussing the 
failure of the German agents in Turkey and 
Persia, for it may be affirmed that the Ger- 
mans have lost the war because they de- 
served to lose it. The Germans themselves 
are the worst enemies of Germany. It is not 
primarily the blockade or the American 
Army that has ruined Germany ; it is the 
German character, or rather the character- 
lessness of the German people, that has led 
to this national catastrophe. 

The iniquitous treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 
which marked the culmination of Germany's 
military successes during the war, also 
caused a reaction in the attitude of most 
Orientals towards Germany. A few far- 
sighted politicians among them had begun 
to dread German supremacy in Asia ever 
since the conquest of Servia in the winter of 
1915-16. The " Balkanzug " (train) made 
the first journey to Constantinople in 


January, 1916, I believe. There was great 
jubilation in the German press. Huge 
placards with the words " Hamburg-Bag- 
dad " could be seen in the windows of the 
newspaper offices. I read an article in a 
review on " The Way to India." The land 
route to Asia had been secured. German 
legions could now really march from " Ham- 
burg to Bagdad " without let or hindrance. 
This cry sounded ominous in our ears. It 
was more than we had bargained for. The 
Germans had succeeded too well. The 
Oriental patriots wished that Germany 
should help them, but no one desired such 
dangerous proximity. A German Empire in 
Asia was the last thing they would tolerate. 
I also began to doubt if I had been following 
the right policy in working with the Ger- 
mans. Germany went on from victory to 
victory, till the collapse of Russia in the 
winter of 1917-18 seemed to crown her 
wildest hopes with success. Many super- 
ficial observers thought that Germany had 
won the war. At this time an Egyptian 
gentleman said to me : " From this day, 
this country is a menace to the whole 


world." I said (for I could not speak 
frankly) : " Oh, no. I don't think so." He 
rejoined : " They can even conquer Egypt 
now. For who will prevent them ? " I 
said : " Well, let us hope for the best." 

With regard to the Indian Nationalists in 
Berlin, I observed that the greater part of 
their time and energy was spent in quarrel- 
ling among themselves and telling lies 
against one another. They had not much 
work ; and idle hands always find mischief 
to do. Some of the leading members came 
from words to blows on one occasion, and 
each party averred that the other had com- 
menced the attack. Such a combination of 
pugilistic and " patriotic " activity caused 
quite a scandal in Berlin. One of them 
went about slandering his colleagues every- 
where, and told his German and Oriental 
acquaintances that the other Indians were 
thieves, swindlers and impostors. These 
gentlemen were supposed to be members of 
an association, or " Gesellschaft " ; but they 
could never work together harmoniously. 
I had no direct knowledge of the cor- 
porate activities of this association after 


the winter of 1915-16 ; but I learned some- 
thing now and then from the conversation 
and correspondence of a few friends. There 
were all kinds of people in that association : 
sincere' but misguided patriots/unprincipled 
adventurers, self-indulgent parasites, schem- 
ing notoriety hunters, simple-minded stu- 
dents, and some victims of circumstance. 
The number was never very large. Some 
pamphlets were written, and some foolish 
intrigues were set on foot . On the whole, the 
group made a very unfavourable impression 
on Berlin society on account of its perpetual 
quarrels and splits. The Germans also paid 
money for their own selfish purposes, but 
they had no respect for such needy 
" patriots." Some of the members tried to 
ingratiate themselves with the German 
officials by acting as mercenary German 
agents and meddling with matters which 
were not related in any way to the Indian 
movement. There was much hobnobbing 
with Irishmen, Egyptians and other anti- 
English agitators. But nothing came out of 
it. A deputation visited Constantinople, 
but could not get on with the Turks. It 


returned to Berlin without achieving any 
results. Some young men went to Bagdad 
and Persia, but, as usual, there was more 
quarrelling than work even there. Some 
of them complained bitterly of the bigotry 
of the Turks. At the end a few young men 
remained in Berlin without any definite aims 
or plans. 

The story of the Indians in Berlin only 
proves that the upper and middle classes of 
Indian society cannot be expected to lead 
the country forward. These men have a 
smattering of European knowledge, and the 
contact with European civilisation rouses 
their pride and ambition to a certain degree. 
But they have no faith or capacity. They 
belong to no organised Church, in India or 
abroad. They do not know much about 
their national literature and history. They 
are denationalised and demoralised through 
the influence of their unnatural environ- 
ment . Their whole life is a hothouse growth. 
Nothing great or noble can come from this 
effete class, wherever its representatives 
may try to work. They will always be 
indolent, vain, egotistic and incompetent. 


Their character has no deep roots in reUgious 
principles or national institutions. Religion 
and nationality are the two great forces 
that mould human character. A healthy 
and normal society is organised as a Church 
and a State. The upper and middle classes 
of India do not belong to any Church or 
State. They have lost faith in the old 
Indian creeds, and have found no new 
evangel. They have lost their national 
independence, but they have not yet learned 
to love and cherish the institution known as 
the British Empire. Their souls must 
therefore languish and wither in a spiritual 
vacuum. I cannot suggest any infallible 
remedies for this distemper ; but I have 
here supplied a sound diagnosis. Time will 
show if the malady is curable. Of course, 
these remarks do not apply to the people 
living in the semi-independent Indian States. 
The experience of the Indian Nationalists 
in Berlin confirms my opinion that the Ger- 
mans are an anti-social and unreliable 
people, especially the Prussians, who occupy 
the position of leadership. After four years 
of unremitting activity for the German 


cause, one of them wrote : " The Germans 
treat even their best friends as mere agents." 
Another prominent member of the associa- 
tion said : " You may give your Ufe for 
them, but they never trust you." On 
another occasion he remarked : " I am 
sorry I came to Berlin " (from the United 
States). " I have lost my last chance of re- 
turning to India." A young Indian gentle- 
man served the German Government so 
faithfully in the Near East that he was 
awarded the Iron Cross. But our hero had 
the unpleasant experience of being put in 
prison some time after his return to Berlin, 
probably because he had criticised some 
German officials or quarrelled with one of 
the " bosses " of the association. I do not 
know all the facts of the case, but such 
amenities of the Indo-Germanic life in 
Berlin gave the Indians a bad name in 
Oriental society. It may be affirmed that 
all the Indians are thoroughly disgusted 
with the Germans, but they cannot say so. 
India should know that the few Indians 
who have worked with the Germans during 
the war have not the slightest desire to 


repeat the experiment. We have learned 
much, and we do not wish to have anything 
to do with the Germans again. 

I may be excused for adding an auto- 
biographical note at this point. I spent 
about forty-four months in Germany and 
Turkey, from February, 1915, to October, 
1918. I went from Switzerland to Berlin 
in the last week of January, 1915, and 
worked earnestly till February, 191 6, with 
the Germans and the Turks for what I then 
believed to be the common cause of India 
and Germany. During that one year I 
learned that the triumph of Germany would 
be a great calamity for Asia and the whole 
world. On account of differences of opinion 
I made up my mind to return to Switzer- 
land. During the winter of 191 5-16 I twice 
asked the responsible German official for a 
passport for the journey to Switzerland, 
politely adding that I wished to return to 
Switzerland for the benefit of my health. 
Of course, he knew why I had decided to 
leave Germany. At first he said that he 
advised me as a friend to stay in Germany. 
But he threw off the mask the second time. 


and replied in these words : " You will on 
no account be allowed to leave Germany." 
I then knew how matters stood. I found 
myself in a very dangerous position, as I 
was evidently regarded as an " anti-Ger- 
man " Oriental. In the summer of 1916 
even my local correspondence was inter- 
cepted by the Berlin police. I was, of course, 
very anxious about the future, as these 
German bureaucrats might treat me as an 
enemy, and I was completely in their power. 
During three years, from February, 1916, to 
February, 1919, I was compelled to resort 
to falsehood and dissimulation in self- 
defence, and I look back upon that time as a 
period of utter degradation. But I was not a 
free agent. At last I persuaded the German 
officials that my persecution was really due 
to a misunderstanding, and obtained per- 
mission in November, 1917, to go to Stock- 
holm for propaganda. For a long time I 
could not get the Swedish " visa " for the 
journey. Circumstances beyond my control 
also prevented me from writing, speaking, 
or working openly according to my real con- 
victions during four months after my arrival 


in Stockholm on October loth, 1918. At 
last I was happy to be able to sever all con- 
nection with the German Government on 
February 20th, 1919, when I voluntarily 
returned my German passport to the Ger- 
man Legation in Stockholm. As I was 
detained in Germany during nearly one and 
a half years, and could not go to a neutral 
country, my health suffered very much on 
account of the scarcity of food in Germany. 
All the other Orientals and Indians went to 
neutral countries from time to time for a 
short holiday ; and the German official him- 
self ran to Switzerland to eat and drink. 
But I was not allowed to go, as I was under 
the of&cial ban from February, 1916, to 
November, 1917. The German Government 
inflicted all this loss of time and health on 
me by keeping me against my will in Ger- 
many after the winter of 1915-16. This 
incident also illustrates German autocratic 
and bureaucratic methods. I insert these per- 
sonal details only because I believe that my 
Indian friends may be interested in them. 

I think I may here mention my visit to Sir 
Roger Casement in Berlin. He was staying 


at the Hotel Continental. I was introduced, 
with other friends, by a common acquaint- 
ance. Sir Roger was very affable and made 
a favourable impression on all who saw him. 
This was in 1915, in the early period of the 
war. I had no discussion with him, as the 
disparity of age was a bar to familiarity. 
But I'can assert without fear of contradic- 
tion that Sir Roger Casement was deeply 
disappointed at the close of his stay in 
Germany. At first his friends commented 
on his habit of spending much time in 
Munich instead of Berlin, where political 
questions were supposed to be settled. He 
had come on a political mission, and was 
expected to be in close touch with the highest 
authorities of the realm. But it was gene- 
rally known that Sir Roger " did not like " 
Berlin. This strange " dislike " of the 
capital of the Empire, whos.e support he 
solicited for his Fatherland, appeared to me 
to betoken want of tact. But how could an 
experienced man like him be wanting in 
tact ? I was rather puzzled till I heard 
some one say : " They did not treat him 
well here in Berlin." Thus I learned that 


it was the same old story of arrogance and 
rudeness. Truly, the Prussians are no 
respecters of persons in these matters ! 
Finally, a German friend of Sir Roger's said 
to me : "He had no high opinion of the 
Germans. He used to say * They don't know 
their own mind. They make promises which 
they do not keep. They are dishonourable.' 
He was very much disappointed." When I 
listened to these words I was confirmed in 
my own views on the question. Sir Roger 
Casement, the elderly gentleman and much- 
travelled diplomat, who had seen the world 
and known much more about it than a» 
studious youth like myself, has expressed 
this opinion as his verdict against Germany. 
The Orientals may distrust my judgment, 
but they cannot surely dismiss Sir Roger's 
severe indictment with contempt. Sir Roger 
Casement must be heard, and his testimony 
is given against these Germans. 



" As when a prowling wolf, 
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey. 
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve, 
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure. 
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold." 

Milton: " Paradise Lost." 

The German adventure in Asia has ended 
in complete disaster. Friends of freedom 
can now survey the world with less dismay 
than in the winter of 1917-18. The Ger- 
mans got their chance through the un- 
accountable folly of the Turks. Germany 
conquered Turkey without a blow, for the 
Turks themselves opened the doors for these 
greedy birds of prey. Personal influence 
played an important part in Turkey, and 
two or three men were really responsible for 
this rash step. The Turks were also too 
much in a hurry. They declared war on 
the Entente only three months after the 


outbreak of hostilities in Europe. They 
could not judge who would win the war. 
It was the puerile short-sightedness and 
impetuosity of hot-headed youths. The 
older men advised a policy of waiting and 
watching. Turkey knew that she had some 
moral influence in the Islamic world ; and 
that England and France had millions of 
Muhammadan subjects. But she deliber- 
ately allied herself with the German Imperial- 
ists, and deserves no sympathy now. 
History cannot undo what has been done. 
As Lowell says : — 

" Once to every man and nation comes the moment 
to decide, 

In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, 'twixt the 
good and evil side : 

Some great Cause, God's new Messiah, offering each 
the bloom or blight, 

Parts the goats upon the left hand and the sheep 
upon the right. 

And the choice goes by for ever 'twixt that Dark- 
ness and that Light." 

The Turks allowed the Germans to enter 
Asia in their thousands. But the result has 
been just the reverse of what was expected. 
The Germans have failed miserably, not 


only from the military standpoint, but also 
in a naoral sense. They are now hated and 
despised wherever they have shown them- 
selves during the war, from Stamboul to 
Kabul, and from Medina to Teheran. This 
is the outcome of four years of German 
intrigue and diplomacy in Asia. Whatever 
may happen in future, no German is likely 
to inspire confidence in the East, and Ger- 
many will never be able to carry out any 
programme of Oriental politics. Germany 
is to-day morally bankrupt in Asia. 

The causes of this interesting phenomenon 
are various and manifold. The Germans 
soon showed that they were no friends of 
Turkey and Persia. They were discovered 
to be wolves in sheep's clothing. They 
professed to come as allies and champions of 
the Orient, but they could not even conceal 
their selfish designs in the Near East. They 
convinced all Orientals that their real ob- 
jects were plunder and conquest. They did 
not sincerely wish that Turkey and Persia 
should be helped to free themselves from 
the incubus of European imperialism for 
ever. They only wanted that the Germans 


should rule and exploit the Asiatics instead 
of the Russians. It was the old story of the 
horse, the stag, and the man over again. 
Falsehood and hypocrisy in this essential 
matter alienated all who were at first dis- 
posed to welcome them in spite of their 
faults. German ambition was so impatient 
that it could not even adopt the language 
of courtesy and amity. The Germans, by 
their words and deeds, repelled every Orien- 
tal patriot, and caused a revulsion of feeling 
in favour of England. During the war the 
Germans have been the worst enemies of 
Germany everywhere. A German officer, 
who was travelling with an Egyptian 
Nationalist leader, said in course of conver- 
sation : " Would you prefer a German 
occupation of Egypt ? " This characteristic 
remark was, of course, repeated and passed 
from mouth to mouth. I took a trip on the 
Bosphorus with a young Gemran official, 
and we talked of the future of Turkey. I 
said: " When Turkey has a better Govern- 
ment and more money the Bosphorus will 
grow into a much-frequented summer resort. 
It is more beautiful than the Riviera in 


winter." To my surprise, the German 
replied : " Yes, but the Turks can't do any- 
thing. We should rule here." I didn't 
know what to say to this indiscreet im- 
perialist after such a cynical confession. I 
can cite only such incidents as came under 
my personal observation. I guess that the 
official courier of the German Embassy must 
have transmitted interesting correspondence 
with regard to the aggressive plans of Ger- 
man statesmen in Asia. Those documents 
must be in the German archives, and may be 
given to the world some day. I can speak 
only as a private person, whose sources of 
information were limited to occasional con- 
versation with friends and acquaintances. 
A Turkish official said to me : " The Ger- 
mans have refused to build a modern arsenal 
for us here, as they do not wish to make us 
strong. Their idea is that they may rule 
over us in future if we remain weak." Such 
was the much-trumpeted friendship of the 
Germans for the Turks ! I am sure that the 
Germans must have divulged their real 
intentions in a thousand different ways, 
as they worked with the Turks and the 


Persians at that time. The German press 
did not take care to be reticent or hypo- 
critical. The newspapers wrote in tones 
of exultation about German expansion in 
Mesopotamia and the bright prospects in 
Persia. All this incriminating testimony 
convinced the Turks and the Persians 
that they had to deal with very dangerous 

The Germans could not get on with the 
Turks, the Arabs and the Persians, especially 
as the majority of them were Prussians. 
The incurable boorishness and tactlessness 
of the Prussians made co-operation impos- 
sible. A Hungarian officer related to me 
how some German officers threw Turkish 
gentlemen out of a railway carriage in order 
to get seats for themselves. Such incidents 
must have occurred very frequently, as it 
was the general opinion that the Germans 
had no manners. This fault is enough to 
ruin a man in Asia, for we Orientals believe 
that courtesy is the beginning of morality, 
and I think we are right. A man who can- 
not even be polite must certainly be an 
unsociable creature. The Prussians failed 


at Bagdad on account of their inability to 
work with the Turks there. There was 
nothing but continual friction and personal 
bickering all the time. 

" The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil 
His want in forms for fashion's sake, 
Will let his coltish nature break 
At seasons through the gilded pale." 

With the Germans, however, the " coltish 
nature " was very much on the surface. 
Such people may be in their element at 
Potsdam, but they are utterly unfit for 
political enterprises in Asia. The German 
cannot divest himself of his character simply 
by crossing the Hellespont ; for who can 
escape from himself ? A Muslim scholar, 
who travelled with a German mission to a 
distant country, at last wrote that the " ill- 
tempered " Prussian officer, who was his 
colleague, had marred all chances of success 
at the court of the Asiatic ruler. Another 
Oriental gentleman, who also took part in 
this mission, was so deeply offended with 
the Prussian officer that he ceased to be on 
speaking terms with him after a short time, 
and subsequently drew up an indictment 


consisting of more than sixty articles against 
him ! He also wrote from Bagdad, which 
was only the first stage on the journey: " I 
cannot bear slights all the time." This 
Prussian hero did not know how to behave 
towards others ; he was so full of self- 
importance and German conceit that he lost 
all sense of proportion. The Prussians are 
experts in the art of losing friends. They 
have great projects of world dominion, but 
they don't know that diplomacy without 
manners cannot succeed. 

The Germans have not only behaved like 
uncultivated barbarians in personal inter- 
course in Asia, but they have also acted like 
false and unprincipled scoundrels. This is 
a much more serious matter, which touches 
the very kernel of the question. The Ger- 
mans do not keep faith with their colleagues ; 
they are untruthful and untrustworthy. 
Their word cannot be trusted. In spite of 
their much-advertised " Kultur," they have 
not learned the simple virtue of truthfulness. 
They also do not know that " honesty is the 
best policy " in the long run. They set out 
on a campaign of world-empire and pitted 


their strength against the English. But 
they did not provide themselves with the 
armour that the Englishman wears in the 
East. The English are on the whole a truth- 
ful people ; that is perhaps their character- 
istic virtue. Whatever policy the State may 
adopt, the individual Englishman is a 
reliable person. He keeps his word. And 
the English Government also keeps faith 
with its friends, partly from policy, and 
partly from the national habit of truthful- 
ness. The Englishman has acquired a 
reputation for truthfulness in Asia. Several 
years ago a hotel proprietor in a small 
island in the West Indies said to me : " The 
English are different from other people. If 
an Englishman says he will do a thing, you 
may be sure that he will do it." The 
Englishman also trusts others, as he wishes 
that he should be trusted. An Egyptian 
Nationalist, who is a violent anti-British 
agitator, said to me : " If a man works 
with the English they will never believe 
anything against him." This virtue of 
truthfulness gains friends and makes co- 
operation possible. But with the Germans 


it is all the other way. They wish only to 
exploit their Oriental colleagues and then 
to desert or ill-treat them. They make 
promises and never keep tjiem, as Sir Roger 
Casement also found out too late. A 
Government must never cheat its friends, 
or it will soon have no friends at all. And 
a diplomat's word must be as good as his 
bond. The Germans have acted like a dis- 
honest, short-sighted business man. But 
they could not help it ; they could not 
change their national character in a day. A 
German promised a reward of £60 to a poor 
Indian who had saved his life in Arabia ; he 
gave the promise in writing. But the Ger- 
mans in Constantinople thought that they 
need not pay so much, seeing that the officer 
was now in safety. After much haggling they 
paid a small amount (perhaps £20). These 
are the methods of the mighty German 
Imperial Government in Asia ! A German 
induced some Persian chiefs to come to 
Constantinople, but when they arrived 
there no one cared for them. They regretted 
very keenly that they had accepted the 
invitation. At last the Turks heard that 


they were in a difficult situation, and helped 
them with money and other necessaries. A 
German officer promised to take a young 
Indian with him to Persia, and told him that 
he should make preparations for the journey. 
After a few days I learned that the German 
had already left ! The young Indian 
enthusiast was very angry and lost much 
of his ardour for the German cause. The 
Englishman never plays such tricks in his 
dealings with individuals. I had no oppor- 
tunity of travelling in Turkey and Persia 
during the war ; but I am sure that the 
Germans have left behind them a damning 
record of broken promises, unfulfilled en- 
gagements, and unredeemed pledges all over 
the Near East. They will live in Oriental 
tradition as liars and swindlers for a long 
time to come, for the East does not easily 
forget. A Persian politician said to me : 
" They gave us all sorts of promises, and 
now we are in a worse position than before. 
We counted upon them, but they have 
done nothing." The German's unscrupulous 
methods have set off the Englishman's 
habitual truthfulness to greater advantage 


than ever before. The people have had the 
opportunity of comparing the two nations 
with each other. It may be affirmed that 
the Germans would have a much better 
reputation in Asia to-day if they had never 
gone there. In their case that fallacious 
proverb is certainly true : " Familiarity 
breeds contempt." And the reason is that 
they are really contemptible. 

The Germans have forfeited the sympathy 
of the Orientals not only through their arro- 
gance and their unreliable character, but 
also because they have shown themselves 
to be inconceivably greedy locusts. They 
have taken to plunder and extortion, while 
they pretended to come as friends and 
deliverers ! A Turkish official said to me : 
" They are too greedy, and they have the 
wrong psychology." An Indian colleague 
told me that the Germans had looted banks 
in Persia on the pretext that they were 
English banks. The Persians thought that 
the Germans would help them to organise 
their country ; but they found that the 
newcomers were bent only on carrying 
booty home. It is almost incredible that 


" honourable " German officers should even 
be accused of such rapacious conduct in 
countries where they wished to acquire 
prestige and influence. But the German is 
capable of committing every crime in dealing 
with other peoples, especially as he thinks 
that he himself is a being of another species. 
He does not admit that any moral law is 
binding on him in his relations with 
foreigners, Europeans or Orientals. He 
pursues what he calls his " nigger-politik " 
towards them and treats them like primitive 
savages or irrational brutes. A German 
official actually expressed these sentiments 
in a letter, which was intercepted by the 
Persians by a lucky chance. The worthy 
Teuton was obliged to explain away his 
contemptuous remarks about the Orientals ; 
but it may be imagined that he could never 
again be popular among the Persians. An 
Indian gentleman, who knows Persia well, 
told me that the Germans had behaved like 
unprincipled freebooters and blackmailers 
in Persia. He related several stories of 
their brutality and avarice in dealing with 
the helpless people of that unfortunate 


country. Well may the Orientals exclaim : 
*' Save us from our friends." 

The Germans cannot trust others, as they 
themselves are untrustworthy. They are 
always suspicious of their friends. They 
have very peculiar methods of work. One 
German is sent out to spy upon another 
German. I think that half the German 
officials or agents working in neutral coun- 
tries were spying on the other half. A 
German journalist once said to me : "A 
German never trusts another German." I 
asked : " Is it because you know one 
another so well ? " He also said of the offi- 
cials of a certain department : " They are 
all working very hard ; but they are work- 
ing against one another." When the Ger- 
mans treat one another in this way it is 
easy to understand why they cannot trust 
foreigners. Being themselves devoid of the 
sense of honour, they think that others are 
also like them, as every man judges his 
neighbours by his own standard. The entire 
German system of government is based on 
the principle of mutual spying and back- 
biting. When such methods are adopted in 


intercourse with the Orientals the conse- 
quences are ruinous. In such co-operation 
the slightest rift in the lute will make the 
music altogether mute. I shall relate an 
amusing story to illustrate German methods 
of work. A German official received certain 
letters from some Persian Nationalists to 
forward them to other members of the 
party. He first opened them, thus proving 
that he was not a gentleman. He then gave 
them to another Persian journalist to trans- 
late them for him . Now it so happened that 
the Nationalists had warned their comrade 
in those letters against the wiles of this very 
journalist, who was regarded by them as an 
unscrupulous and unpatriotic charlatan. It 
may be imagined that the journalist was 
not quite pleased to read what was written 
about him and to see himself as the others 
saw him. He read the letters to the German 
official, perhaps omitting the passages that 
referred to himself. I believe he subse- 
questly protested to the Nationalists against 
the aspersions on his character. The mean, 
underhand ways of the German official were 
thus made known to all the Orientals. We 


all enjoyed the joke, but also learned a 
lesson. Who would entrust this German 
again with confidential letters ? And these 
Germans are all alike ; they all act in the 
same manner. We have found it out in the 
course of prolonged experience of their 
habits. They can never gain the esteem or 
good- will of Oriental gentlemen. An Oriental 
gentleman, who joined a German mission to 
an Asiatic Court, was placed in a very 
undignified position on his arrival in that 
distant land, as the German officer did not 
supply him with money, and he was finally 
treated as a guest by his new friends. He 
had come as one of the diplomatic repre- 
sentatives of the German Empire, but had 
to stay as a beggar. He had sacrificed much 
for the Germans, but he did not receive a 
single farthing for his work from the Ger- 
man officer. I am sure he would never 
have come to Berlin if he had known the 
Germans before. But we were all ignorant 
of German aims, methods and moral stan- 
dards, as the Germans had never come into 
close contact with the Orientals before the 
war. German ingratitude and baseness can 


go so far that the Prussian officer even tried 
to get him locked up as a lunatic on his 
return to Berlin in the spring of 191 8, after 
a journey full of great hardships and perils ! 
And a responsible German official conveyed 
to him the comforting message that he would 
not be allowed to leave the countries of 
Germany's allies. Thus he was practically 
interned by the Germans, after he had made 
such enormous sacrifices for what we in 1915 
erroneously believed to be the common cause 
of India and Germany ! Such is the guerdon 
of all who work for or with the Germans. It 
is necessary that all India should know this 
sequel of the story. The German autocrats 
must not fancy that they can exploit and 
persecute honest Orientals with impunity. 
There is nothing hidden that shall not be 
made public, so long as I have the power to 
speak and write. I have heard from an 
Indian Nationalist that the Germans are 
also responsible for the prosecution of the 
Indian Nationalists in the United States, as 
the German officials gave over to the 
American police the cypher with which 
documentary evidence against our mis- 


guided and impulsive young patriots could 
be obtained. In plain words, the Germans 
betrayed their Indian colleagues ! The 
American Government must be praised for 
the leniency with which our countrymen 
have been treated by the liberal-minded 
judges of that great Republic, for they had 
put themselves in a very dangerous pre- 
dicament by intriguing with the Germans. 
The Americans knew that the Germans were 
characterless adventurers, but the Indians 
did not. If my information is correct no 
words can measure the depths of infamy 
to which the Germans can sink. They 
must be shunned as utterly unsociable and 
immoral bipeds. It is to be hoped that these 
young Indian enthusiasts will also give up 
the fruitless revolutionary methods which 
have made them the dupes of cunning Ger- 
man imperialists during this war. 

The Orient has learned that it made a bad 
bargain when it accepted the German 
alliance. A leading Turkish newspaper 
recently wrote : " We do not like the Ger- 
mans. And the Germans themselves are to 
blame for this." These words sum up the 


judgment of the Turks on their allies. The 
Germans have had a great chance, but they 
have lost it, because they are morally unfit 
for such great tasks. This is the lesson of 
the four years' work in common. The Ger- 
man inroad into Asia will remain in the 
memory of Oriental nations as a troubled 
dream. Now they must be awaked to the 
sober reality, which teaches them that their 
destiny is linked with that of the English 
people for a very long time to come. 


Every tale must have a moral. And my 
garrulous war notes are also intended to 
emphasise certain truths which have been 
brought home to us during the war. No 
thinking man can remain the same after 
this war as he was before it. As Lowell says, 
" New occasions teach new duties." 

We must now learn that England has a 
moral and historical mission in Asia. The 
English people have built up an empire in 
Asia and Africa during the last two hundred 
years. They had previously prepared them- 
selves for this task by establishing free 
institutions at home and developing a great 
and noble literature. This empire has its 
roots deep in the historical forces and move- 
ments of the past. It is not a mushroom 
growth. It is not based on the quicksands 
of mere ambition and exploitation. It has 
shown itself to be a solid structure founded 
on the rock of historical necessity and 



British wisdom. The Germans counted 
upon a revolt in Ireland and South Africa, a 
general insurrection of all the Muslims, and 
a rebellion in India. They also hoped that 
some Allies would desert the Entente. None 
of these hopes have been fulfilled. Irish 
" Nationalism," the great Jihad, and Indian 
and Egyptian " extremism " have been found 
to be puny forces compared with British 
imperialism. England has also managed to 
keep her Allies together in spite of the re- 
verses and vicissitudes of the military 
struggle during four years. A nation's 
character and wisdom are put to the test 
in such crises. Germany has been weighed 
in the balance and found wanting. Great 
Britain has vindicated her title to her vast 
empire. The English colonies have loyally 
responded to the call of the Mother Country ; 
the Asiatic colonies have rendered assist- 
ance, or created no difficulties at such a 
perilous time. The Boers have stood faith- 
fully by England. A nation that can save 
such an empire in the face of various and 
enormous difficulties must be recognised as 
the trustee of the future of Asia and Africa. 


British character and British statesmanship 
will preserve this heritage for a long time, 
and the storms of jealousy and intrigue will 
beat against it in vain. The British Empire 
is an institution that has come to stay. 
In this respect it resembles the ancient 
Roman Empire and the Spanish Empire 
in America. We can have our different 
plans and programmes for the development 
of this empire ; but the institution will 
remain a single political unit during several 
centuries. It will of course undergo a pro- 
cess of evolution in the right direction, for 
progress is the law of life for all organisa- 
tions. The stability of the British Empire 
is a salient fact that emerges from the dust 
and smoke of the war. 

We have also learned that the dissolution 
of the British and the French Empires in Asia 
and Africa would result only in a change of 
masters for the people of those regions. The 
Germans wished to acquire the French 
colonies and the territory of the Ottoman 
Empire. The world is a battlefield for the 
powerful imperialists of all nations ; and 
the weak and disorganised Oriental nations 


are only the pawns in the game. They 
cannot establish or maintain free national 
States in this era of armed imperialism. 
They must live and die as friends and 
proteges of the great Powers. Under these 
circumstances, English and French im- 
perialism is a thousand times preferable to 
German or Japanese imperialism. The 
English and the French have free institu- 
tions at home ; and they are morally the 
most advanced of all the great nations of 
the world. The peoples of Asia and Africa 
must make common cause with these two 
nations, and try to assimilate their culture 
and ideals. In course of time they will be 
admitted as equal citizens of these States. 
Intrigue with the enemies of England and 
France will lead only to disaster. If the 
other nations, which may set up as rivals of 
England and France, succeed in their aims, 
they will rule over us, and our last state 
will be worse than the first. If they fail 
they will betray us, and we shall suffer. In 
either case, the will-o'-the-wisp of intransi- 
gent " nationalism " and race-hatred would 
land us in the bogs of misery and misfortune. 


The Ukrainians intrigued with the Germans 
in order to " free " themselves from Russian 
" tyranny " ; but they found that the Ger- 
mans were worse masters than the Russians. 
They repented bitterly of their folly when 
they began to perceive the ruinous effects 
of their policy. The Turks refused to come 
to terms with England and France, and 
to-day they curse the Germans. Experi- 
ence teaches us that the feeble peoples 
should work with the great nations which 
have already organised the vast empires in 
Asia and Africa. Disruption can only 
expose them to much greater evils than 
those from which they suffer under the 
present system. Co-operation and evolu- 
tion should be our watchwords. The policy 
of separation and intrigue is futile and 

The Muslims of India and Egypt should 
lay aside their religious bigotry and work 
with the English and the French for the 
acquisition of modern citizenship. Religion 
is a private affair in the modern world. The 
Jihad has been found to be a vain cry. The 
mountain of Islamic fanaticism has brought 


forth the Uttle mouse of local riots and 
tumults. The Caliphate is in liquidation. 
The Muslims should learn that London and 
Paris are the centres of world-politics to-day. 
They should give up the dreams of Pan- 
Islamism, and set to work as loyal British 
and French citizens to raise themselves to 
the level of European civilisation. They 
should let the dead past bury its dead, and 
prepare themselves for the glorious tasks 
that await them in the States to which they 
now belong. 

East and West must unite for the realisa- 
tion of these new ideals. The English and 
the French must get rid of race-prejudice 
and pride. The Orientals must lay aside 
distrust and rancour. The two languages 
in which the message of freedom was first 
delivered to the modern world should be 
studied and loved in Asia and Africa. 
English and French will serve to unite the 
Orient and the Occident in indissoluble 
bonds of comradeship. For us, Indians and 
Egyptians, English literature should be a 
treasure of untold worth. English history 
should be a mine of the noblest wisdom for 


US and our children. England has much to 
give us besides protection and organisation. 
We are now heirs to all that the Englishman 
holds in fee as his birthright. England is 
free and great, and we can share in this free- 
dom and greatness as worthy citizens of the 
greatest State that the world has yet seen. 
England will achieve what Alexander 
dreamed of and what Rome partially accom- 
plished. We, too, are called to this work. If 
we help to realise this ideal, generations yet 
unborn will bless our names. The future 
keeps its secret, but we must do our duty in 
this spirit, looking forward to the advent of 
the time — 

" When the war-drum throbs no longer, and the 
battle-flag is furled 
In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the 





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