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Full text of "India old and new"

LIBRARY 

OP 

CALIFORNIA 

SAN DIEGO 



INDIA OLD AND NEW 



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO 
DALLAS SAN FRANCISCO 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. 

TORONTO 



INDIA 

OLD AND NEW 



BY 



SIR VALENTINE CHIROL 

AUTHOR OF "INDIAN UNREST," ''THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM," ETC. 



" We shall in time so far improve the character of our 
Indian subjects as to enable them to govern and protect 
themselves." Minute by Sir Thomas Munro, Governor 
of Madras, Dec. 31, 1824. 



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED 

ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 

192 i 



COPYRIGHT 



FOREWORD 

IT is little more than ten years since I wrote my Indian 
Unrest. But they have been years that may well count 
for decades in the history of the world, and not least in 
the history of India. Much has happened in India to 
confirm many of the views which I then expressed. Much 
has happened also to lead me to modify others, and 
to recognise more clearly to-day the shortcomings of a 
system of government, in many ways unrivalled, but 
subject to the inevitable limitations of alien rule. 

At a very early stage of the Great War the Prime 
Minister warned the British people that, after the splendid 
demonstration India was already giving of her loyalty 
to the cause for which the whole Empire was then in 
arms, our relations with her would have henceforth to 
be approached from " a new angle of vision." The 
phrase he used acquired a deeper meaning still as 
the war developed from year to year into a life-and- 
death struggle not merely between nations but between 
ideals, and India claimed for herself the benefit of the 
ideals for which she too fought and helped the British 
Commonwealth to victory. When victory was assured, 
could India's claim be denied after she had been called in, 
with all the members of the British Commonwealth, 
to the War Councils of the Empire in the hour of need, 
and again been associated with them in the making of 
peace ? The British people have answered that question 



vi INDIA OLD AND NEW 

as all the best traditions of British governance in India, and 
all the principles for which they had fought and endured 
through four and a hah* years of frightful war, bade them 
answer it. 

The answer finally took shape in the great constitu- 
tional experiment of which I witnessed the inauguration 
during my visit to India this winter. It promises to 
rally as seldom before in active support of the British 
connection those classes that British rule brought within 
the orbit of Western civilisation by the introduction of 
English education, just about a century ago. It has not 
disarmed all the reactionary elements which, even when 
disguised in a modern garb, draw their inspiration from 
an ancient civilisation, remote indeed from, though not 
in its better aspects irreconcilable with, our own. A 
century is but a short moment of time in the long span of 
Indian history, and the antagonism between two different 
types of civilisation cannot be easily or swiftly lived 
down. It would be folly to underrate forces of resistance 
which are by no means altogether ignoble, and in this 
volume I have studied their origin and their vitality 
because they underlie the strange " Non-co-operation " 
movement which has consciously or unconsciously arrayed 
every form of racial and religious and economic and 
political discontent, not merely against British rule, but 
against the progressive forces which contact with Western 
civilisation has slowly brought into existence under 
British rule in India itself. These forces have been 
stirred to new endeavour by the goal now definitely 
placed within their reach. That we were bound to set 
that goal and no other before them I have tried to show 
by reviewing the consistent evolution of British policy 
in India for the last 150 years, keeping, imperfectly some- 



FOREWORD vii 

times, but in the main surely, abreast of our own national 
and political evolution at home and throughout the 
Empire. Once placed in its proper perspective, this 
great experiment, though fraught with many dangers 
and difficulties, is one of which the ultimate issue can be 
looked forward to hopefully as the not unworthy sequel 
to the long series of bold and on the whole wonderfully 
successful experiments that make up the unique story 
of British rule in India. 

I have to express my thanks to the proprietors of The 
Times for allowing me to use some of the letters which I 
wrote for that paper whilst I was in India last winter, 
and also to the Royal Society of Arts for permission to 
reproduce the main portions of a lecture delivered by me 
last year on Hinduism as the first of the Memorial Lectures 
instituted in honour of the late Sir George Birdwood, to 
whom I owe as much for the deeper understanding which 
he gave me of old India as I do to the late Mr. G. K. 
Gokhale for the clearer insight I gained from him into 
the spirit of new India whilst we were colleagues from 
1912 to 1915 on the Royal Commission on Indian Public 
Services. 

VALENTINE CHIROL. 



34 CARLYLE SQUARE, CHELSEA, 
August 24, 1921. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 



PAGE 

THE CLASH OP Two CIVILISATIONS ... 1 



CHAPTER II 

THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 15 

CHAPTER III 

MAHOMED AN DOMINATION . . . . . . .46 

CHAPTER IV 

BRITISH RULE UNDER THE EAST INDIA COMPANY . . 66 

CHAPTER V 

THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER . . . .84 

CHAPTER VI 

THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST . . . . .111 

CHAPTER VII 

THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 125 



x INDIA OLD AND NEW 

CHAPTER VIII 

PAGE 

THROUGH THE GREAT WAR TO THE GREAT INDIAN REFORM 

BILL 139 

CHAPTER IX 

THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI . . . . .165 

CHAPTER X 

SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS . . . . .193 

CHAPTER XI 

CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 214 

CHAPTER XII 

THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT . . . .227 

CHAPTER XIII 
ECONOMIC FACTORS . 246 

CHAPTER XIV 

SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD . . . . . .268 

CHAPTER XV 

THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM . . . . .286 

CHAPTER XVI 

THE INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM . . , .299 

INDEX 311 



CHAPTER I 

* THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 

ON February 9, 1921, three hundred and twenty-one years 
after Queen Elizabeth granted to her trusty " Merchant- 
venturers " of London the charter out of which the East 
India Company and the British Empire of India were to 
grow up, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught 
inaugurated at Delhi, in the King-Emperor's name, the 
new representative institutions that are to lead India 
onward towards complete self-government as an equal 
partner in the British Commonwealth of Nations. To 
bring home to every Indian the full significance of the 
occasion, the King-Emperor did not shrink from using in 
his Royal Message an Indian word which not long ago was 
held to bear no other than a seditious construction. His 
Majesty gave it a new and finer meaning. " For years 
it may be for generations patriotic and loyal Indians 
have dreamed of Swaraj for their motherland. To-day 
you have the beginnings of Swaraj within my Empire, 
and the widest scope and ample opportunity for progress 
to the liberty which my other Dominions enjoy." 

It was a bold pronouncement inaugurating another, 
some say the boldest, of all the many bold adventures 
which make up the marvellous history of British rule in 
India. The simplicity, rare in the East, of the ceremony 
itself enhanced its significance. It was not held, like 
the opening of the Chamber of Princes, in the splendid 
Hall of Public Audience in the old Fort where the Moghul 
Emperors once sat on the Peacock Throne, nor were there 

l B 



2 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

the flash of jewels and blaze of colour that faced the Duke 
when he addressed the feudatory chiefs who still rule 
their states on ancient lines beyond the limits of direct 
British administration. The members of the new Indian 
Legislatures, most of them in sober European attire, 
though many of them retained their own distinctive head- 
dress, were assembled within the white and unadorned 
walls of the temporary building in which they will continue 
to sit until the statelier home to be built for them in new 
Delhi is ready to receive them. But Delhi itself with 
all its age-long memories was around one to provide the 
historic setting for an historic scene, and Delhi still 
stands under the sign of the Kutub Minar, the splendid 
minaret a landmark for miles and miles around 
which dominates the vast graveyard of fallen dynasties 
at its feet and the whole of the great plain beyond where 
the fate of India, and not of India alone, has so often been 
decided. 

On that plain were fought out, in prehistoric times, 
the fierce conflicts of ancient Aryan races, Pandavas 
and Kauravas, around which the poetic genius of India 
has woven the wonderful epos of the Mahabharata. Only 
a couple of miles south of the modern city, the walls of 
the Purana Kilat, the fortress built by Humayun, cover 
the site but have not obliterated the ancient name of 
Indraprasthra, or Indrapat, the city founded by the 
Pandavas themselves, when Yudhisthira celebrated their 
final victory by performing on the banks of the Jumna, 
in token of the Pandava claim to Empire, the Asvamedha, 
or great Horse Sacrifice, originated by Brahma himself. 
There too, on a mound beyond Indrapat, stands the 
granite shaft of one of Asoka's pillars, on which, with a 
fine faith that the world has never yet justified, the great 
Buddhist Apostle-Emperor of India inscribed over 2000 
years ago his edicts prohibiting the taking of life. At the 
very foot of the Kutub Minar the famous Iron Pillar 
commemorates the victories of the " Sun of Power," the 
Hindu Emperor of the Gupta dynasty with whose name, 



I THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 3 

under the more popular form of Raja Bikram, Indian 
legend associates the vague memories of a golden age of 
Hindu civilisation in the fifth and sixth centuries. The 
Pillar was brought there by one of the Rajput princes 
who founded in the middle of the eleventh century the 
first city really known to history as Delhi. There Prithvi 
Raja reigned, who still lives in Indian minstrelsy as 
the embodiment of Hindu chivalry, equally gallant and 
daring in love and in war the last to make a stand in 
northern India against the successive waves of Mahomedan 
conquest which Central Asia had begun to pour in upon 
India in 1001, with the first of Mahmud Ghazni's seven- 
teen raids. In the next century an Afghan wave swept 
down on the top of the original Turki wave, and Kutub-ed- 
Din, having proclaimed himself Emperor of Delhi in 1206, 
built the great Mosque of Kuwwet-el-Islam, " The Power 
of Islam," and the lofty minaret, still known by his name, 
from which for six centuries the Moslem call to prayer 
went forth to proclaim Mahomedan domination over 
India. 

With the monumental wreckage of those early 
Mahomedan dynasties, steeped in treachery and blood- 
shed, the plain of Delhi is still strewn. The annals of 
Indian history testify more scantily but not less eloquently 
to their infamy until the supremacy of Delhi, but not of 
Islam, was shaken for two centuries by Timur, who 
appeared out of the wild spaces of Tartary and within 
a year disappeared into them again like a devastating 
meteor. From his stock, nevertheless, was to proceed 
the long line of Moghul Emperors who first under Baber 
and then under Akbar won the Empire of Hindustan at 
the gates of Delhi, and for a time succeeded in bringing 
almost the whole of India under their sway. But their 
splendid marble halls in the great Fort of Delhi recall 
not only the magnificence of the Moghul Empire, but its 
slow and sure decay, until it became a suitor for the 
protection of the British power, which, at first a mere 
trading power that had once sued humbly enough for its 



4 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

protection, had risen to be the greatest military and 
political power in India. It was at Delhi at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century that Lord Lake rescued a 
Moghul Emperor from the hands of Mahratta jailers, and 
it was at Delhi again that in 1857 the last semblance 
of Moghul rulership disappeared out of history in the 
tempest of the Mutiny. It was on the plain of Delhi that 
the assumption by Queen Victoria of the imperial title 
was solemnly proclaimed in 1878, and, with still greater 
pomp, King Edward's accession in 1903. There again 
in 1911 King George, the first of his line to visit his Indian 
Empire as King-Emperor, received in person the fealty 
of princes and peoples and restored Delhi to her former 
pride of place as its imperial capital. 

Where else in the world can such a procession of the 
ages pass before one's eyes, from the great " Horse 
Sacrifice " of the Pandavas at the dawn of history to the 
inauguration by a British prince in the King-Emperor's 
name of modern political institutions conceived in the 
democratic spirit of British freedom ? 

Yet at the very time when an Indian-elected assembly, 
representing as far as possible all creeds and classes and 
communities, and above all the Western-educated classes 
who are the intellectual offspring of British rule, were 
gathered together to hear delivered to them in English 
the one language in which, as a result of British rule, and 
by no means the least valuable, Indians from all parts of 
a vast polyglot country are able to hold converse the 
Royal message throwing open to the people of India the 
road to Swaraj within the British Empire, the imperial 
city of Delhi went into mourning as a sign of angry 
protest, and the vast majority of its citizens, mostly, 
it must be remembered, Mahomedans, very strictly 
observed a complete boycott of the Royal visit in accord- 
ance with Mr. Gandhi's "Non-co-operation" campaign, 
and went out in immense crowds to greet the strange 
Hindu saint and leader who had come to preach to them 
his own very different message a message of revolt, 



i THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 5 

not indeed by violence but by " soul force," against the 
soulless civilisation of the West. 

In no other city in India would such an alliance between 
Hindus and Mahomedans have seemed only a few years 
ago more unthinkable. For nowhere else have we such 
a vision as in Delhi of the ruthlessness as well as of the 
splendour of Mahomedan domination in India. Nowhere 
can one measure as in Delhi the greatness of its fall, and 
its fall had begun before it ever came into conflict with 
the rising British power. It had been shaken to its 
foundations by the far more ancient power of Hinduism, 
which Islam had subdued but never destroyed. In the 
seventeenth century Shivaji, the hero still to-day of the 
Hindu revival of which Mr. Gandhi is the latest apostle, 
led out for the first time his Mahrattas in open rebellion 
against Delhi and started the continuous process of 
disintegration from which the Moghul Emperors were 
driven to purchase their only possible respite under 
British protection. Since India finally passed not under 
Mahratta, but under British rule, Hinduism has never 
again been subjected to the oppression which the fierce 
monotheism of Islam itself taught all her Mahomedan 
rulers, with the one noble exception of Akbar, to inflict 
upon an " idolatrous " race. British rule introduced into 
India not only a new reign of law and order but the 
principles of equal tolerance and justice for all which had 
struck root in our own civilisation. Nevertheless, at 
the very moment at which we were attempting to extend 
a wide and generous application of those principles to the 
domain of political rights and liberties, we were being 
confronted with unexpected forces of resistance which, 
even in Mahomedan Delhi, drew their chief inspiration 
from Hinduism. 

But, it might be argued, Delhi, though restored to 
the primacy it had lost under British rule as the capital 
city of India, has continued to live on the memories of 
the past and has been scarcely touched by the breath of 
modern civilisation. For the full effect of close contact 



6 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

with the West, ought one not to look to the great cities 
that have grown up under British rule to Calcutta, 
for instance, the seat until a few years ago of British 
Government in India, itself a creation of the British, and 
if not to-day a more prosperous centre of European enter- 
prise than Bombay, a larger and more populous city, 
in which the Hindus are in an overwhelming majority ? 
But in the life even of Calcutta features are not lacking 
to remind one how persistent are the forces of resistance 
to the whole spirit of the West which Mr. Gandhi mustered 
in Delhi to protest against the purpose of the Duke of 
Connaught's mission. Had not a great part of Calcutta 
itself also observed the Hartal proclaimed by Mr. Gandhi 
during the Prince's visit ? 

On the surface it seems difficult in Calcutta to get even 
an occasional glimpse of the old India upon which we have 
superimposed a new India with results that are still in 
the making. In Bombay, though it proudly calls itself 
" the Western Gate of India " the glow of Hindu funeral 
pyres, divided only by a long wall from the fashionable 
drive which sweeps along Back Bay from the city, still 
called the Fort, to Malabar Hill, serves to remind one 
any evening that he is in an oriental world still largely 
governed as ever by the doctrine of successive rebirths, 
the dead being merely reborn to fresh life, in some new 
form according to each one's merits or demerits, out of 
the flames that consume the body. On Malabar Hill 
itself, in the very heart of the favourite residential quarter 
whence the Europeans are being rapidly elbowed out by 
Indian merchant princes, the finest site of all still encloses 
the Towers of Silence on which, contrary to the Hindu 
usage of cremation, the Parsees, holding fire too sacred 
to be subjected to contact with mortal corruption, expose 
their dead to be devoured by vultures. Calcutta has no 
such conspicuous landmarks of the East to disturb the 
illusion produced by most of one's surroundings that 
this is a city which, if not actually European, differs only 
from the European type in the complexion and dress of 



i THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 7 

its oriental population and the architectural compromises 
imposed on European buildings by a tropical climate. 
The Marquess of Wellesley built Government House 
over a hundred years ago on the model of Kedleston, 
and it is still the stateliest official residence in British 
India. Fort William with Clive's ramparts and fosses 
is still almost untouched, and with an ever-expanding 
Walhalla of bronze or marble Governors and Viceroys 
and Commanders-in-Chief, and at the farther end the 
white marble walls and domes of the Queen Victoria 
Memorial Hall the one noble monument we have built 
in India at last nearing completion, the broad expanse 
of Calcutta's incomparable Maidan is, even more than 
our London parks, the green playfield and the vital lung 
of the whole city. Along and behind Chowringhee there 
are still a few of the old-time mansions of Thackeray's 
" nabobs," with their deep, pillared verandahs standing 
well off from the road, each within its discreet " com- 
pound," but they are all rapidly making room for 
" eligible residences," more opulent perhaps but more 
closely packed, or for huge blocks of residential flats, 
even less adapted to the climate. The great business 
quarter round Daihousie Square has been steadily rebuilt 
on a scale of massive magnificence scarcely surpassed in 
the city of London, and many of the shops compare with 
those of our West End. The river, too, all along the 
Garden Reach and far below is often almost as crowded 
as the Pool of London, with ocean-going steamers waiting 
to load or unload their cargoes as well as with lumbering 
native sailing ships and the ferries that ply ceaselessly 
between the different quarters of the city on both banks 
of the Hugli. The continuous roar of traffic in the busy 
streets, the crowded tramcars, the motors and taxis 
jostling the ancient bullock-carts, the surging crowds 
in the semi-Europeanised native quarters, even the pall 
of smoke that tells of many modern industrial activities 
are not quite so characteristic of new India as, when I 
was last there, the sandwich-men with boards inviting 



8 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

a vote for this or that candidate in the elections to the 
new Indian Councils. 

In all the strenuous life and immense wealth of this 
great city, to which European enterprise first gave and 
still gives the chief impulse, Indians are taking an 
increasing share. The Bengalees themselves still hold 
very much aloof from modern developments of trade and 
industry, but they were the first to appreciate the value 
of Western education, and the Calcutta University with 
all its shortcomings has maintained the high position 
which Lord Dalhousie foreshadowed for it nearly seventy 
years ago. In art and literature the modern Bengalee 
has often known how to borrow from the West without 
sacrificing either his own originality or the traditions of 
his race or the spirit of his creed. Some of the finest 
Bengalee brains have taken for choice to the legal pro- 
fession and have abundantly justified themselves both as 
judges in the highest court of the province and as barristers 
and pleaders. In every branch of the public services 
open to Indians and in all the liberal professions, as well 
as in the civic and political life of their country, the 
Bengalees have played a leading part, not restricted even 
to their own province, and in the very distinguished person 
of Lord Sinha, Bengal has just provided for the first 
time an Indian to represent the King-Emperor as governor 
of a province the neighbouring province of Behar and 
Orissa. Nor have the women of Bengal been left behind 
as in so many other parts of India. In Calcutta many 
highly educated ladies have won such complete release 
from the ancient restraints imposed upon their sex that 
they preside to-day over refined and cultured homes 
from which the subtle atmosphere of the East does not 
exclude the ease and freedom of Western habits of mind 
and body. 

Yet these are still exceptions, and even in such a pro- 
gressive city as Calcutta and even amongst the highest 
classes the social and domestic life of the majority of 
Hindus is still largely governed by the laws of Hinduism, 



i THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 9 

and not least with regard to marriage and the seclusion 
of women. I was once allowed to attend a sort of 
" scripture lesson " for little high - caste Hindu girls, 
organised by a benevolent old Brahman lady, who has 
devoted herself to the cause of infant education on 
orthodox lines. None of these 40 or 50 little girls had 
of course reached the age, usually ten, at which they would 
be cut off from all contact with the other sex except in 
marriage. They had bright and happy faces, and as it 
was a Hindu festival most of them were decked out in 
all their finery with gold and silver bangles on their 
dainty arms and ankles, sometimes with jewelled nose- 
rings as well as ear-rings. They went through an elaborate 
and picturesque ritual with great earnestness and reverence 
and carefully followed the injunctions of the Brahman, 
a cultured and Western-educated gentleman who presided 
over the ceremony. It was an attractive scene, and would 
have been entirely pleasant but for the painful contrast 
afforded by some eight or ten poor little mites with 
shaven heads and drab-coloured dresses, almost ragged 
and quite unadorned. They were infant widows, con- 
demned according to the laws of Hinduism by the pre- 
mature death of their husbands to whom they had 
been wedded, but whom they had never known, to life- 
long widowhood, and therefore in most cases to life- 
long contempt and drudgery. For they were debarred 
henceforth from fulfilling the supreme function of Hindu 
womanhood, i.e. securing the continuity of family rites 
from father to son by bearing children in legitimate 
wedlock, itself terribly circumscribed by the narrow limits 
within which inter-marriage is permissible even between 
different septs of the same caste. Happily those I saw 
were probably still too young to realise the full significance 
of the unkind fate that already differentiated them so 
markedly from their more fortunate caste-sisters. 

Nor has one to go so very far from the heart of Calcutta 
to be reminded that the " premier city " of modern 
India derives its name from Kali, the most sinister of 



10 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Indian goddesses. She was the tutelary deity of Kali- 
Kata, one of the three villages to which Job Charnock 
removed the first British settlement in Bengal when he 
abandoned Hugli in 1690, and her shrine has grown in 
wealth and fame with the growth of Calcutta. Kali- 
Kata is to-day only a suburb of the modern city, but in 
entering it one passes into another world the world 
of popular Hinduism. In its narrow streets every shop 
is stocked with the paraphernalia that Hindus require 
for their devotions, for everything centres in Kali-Kata 
round the popular shrine sacred to Kali, the black goddess 
of destruction, with a protruding blood-red tongue, who 
wears a necklace of human skulls and a belt of human 
hands and tongues, and, holding in one of her many hands 
a severed human head, tramples under foot the dead 
bodies of her victims. From the ghats, or long flights 
of steps, that descend to the muddy waters of a narrow 
creek which claims a more or less remote connection with 
the sacred Ganges, crowds of pious Hindus go through 
their ablutions in accordance with a long and complicated 
ritual, whilst high-caste ladies perform them in mid- 
stream out of covered boats and behind curtains deftly 
drawn to protect their purdah. Past an ancient banyan 
tree, from whose branches streamers of coloured stuffs 
depend with other votive offerings from grateful mothers 
who have not prayed for male offspring in vain, past 
the minor shrines of many favourite deities, a road lined 
with closely packed beggars and ascetics, thrusting forth 
their sores and their shrivelled limbs in the hope of a few 
coppers, leads up to the place of sacrifice in front of the 
temple. The pavement is still red with the blood of 
goats immolated to the Great Goddess, and her devotees 
who may have just missed the spectacle can at least 
embrace the posts to which the victims were tied. On 
an open pillared platform facing the holy of holies some 
of the high-caste worshippers await in prayer and medita- 
tion the moment when its ponderous bronze doors are 
from time to time thrown open. One old Brahman lady 



i THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 11 

of singularly refined appearance presses her fingers alter- 
nately on her right and her left nostril, whilst she expels 
through the other, keeping her lips all the time tightly 
closed, the unhallowed air which may have contaminated 
her lungs on her way to the temple. Another worshipper 
lies full length with his face pressed to the ground in 
motionless adoration. Between them flit about laughing, 
bright-eyed little girls, the " daughters " of the temple, 
still unconscious of the life of temple prostitution to which 
they have been dedicated from their birth. The court- 
yard all around is packed with a surging, howling mob 
of pilgrims, many of them from a great distance, fighting 
for a vantage point from which they may get a glimpse 
of the Great Goddess in her inner sanctuary, even if they 
cannot hope to penetrate into it. 

At last, after much clanging of bells and fierce alter- 
cations between the Brahman priests and the faithful 
as to payment of necessary fees, the bronze doors roll 
back, and in the dim religious twilight one catches a 
glint of gold and precious stones, the head-dress of Kali, 
whose terrific image barely emerges from the depth of the 
inner sanctuary in which it stands, accessible only to its 
serving Brahmans. They alone, though strangely enough 
temple Brahmans as a class enjoy little credit with their 
fellow - castemen, can approach the idol and wash and 
dress and feed it with offerings. Whilst the doors are 
open the frenzy and the noise increases, as the mob of 
worshippers struggle for a front place and bawl out their 
special supplications at the top of their voices. Then 
when they are closed again there is a general unravelling 
of the tangled knots of perspiring humanity, and those 
who have achieved the supreme purpose of their pilgrimage 
gradually disperse to make room for another crowd, one 
stream succeeding another the whole day long on special 
festivals, but on ordinary days mostly between sunrise 
and noon. At the back of the shrine, as I came away, 
some privileged worshippers were waiting to drink a few 
drops of the foul water which trickles out of a small 



12 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

conduit through the wall from the holy of holies. It is 
the water in which the feet of the idol and those of the 
serving Brahmans have been washed ! 

It was in this same temple of Kali that only some 
fifteen years ago, during the violent agitation provoked 
by the Partition of Bengal, vast crowds used to assemble 
and take by the name of the Great Goddess the vow of 
Swadeshi as the first step to Swaraj, and Bengalee youths, 
maddened by an inflammatory propaganda, learned to 
graft on to ancient forms of worship the very modern cult 
of the bomb. To this same temple resorted only the 
other day Mr. Gandhi's followers to seek the blessing 
of the Great Goddess for the more harmless forms of 
protest by which he exhorted the inhabitants of Calcutta 
to bring home to the Duke of Connaught during his stay 
in Calcutta their indignant rejection of the boon which 
he had been sent out by the King-Emperor to confer on 
the people of India. 

Must we then be driven to the conclusion that there 
is a gulf never to be bridged between India's ancient 
civilisation and the modern civilisation which we have 
brought to her out of the West ? In that case the great 
constitutional adventure on which we have just embarked 
would be, unlike all our other great adventures in India, 
foredoomed to failure, and those Englishmen would be 
right who shudder at its rashness and reiterate with 
added conviction, since the school of Indian thought for 
which Mr. Gandhi stands seems to bear them out, that 
"' East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall 
meet." The whole history of the British connection with 
India surely excludes such a conclusion of failure and 
despair. It teaches us, not, as such Englishmen contend, 
that India was won and has been held and must be retained 
by the sword alone, but that British rule was established 
and has been maintained with and by the co-operation 
of Indians and British, and that in seeking to-day to 
associate Indians more closely than ever before with the 
government and administration of the country, we are 



i THE CLASH OF TWO CIVILISATIONS 13 

merely persevering in the same path which, though at 
times hesitatingly and reluctantly, the British rulers of 
India have trodden for generations past, always keep- 
ing step with the successive stages of our own national 
and political evolution. The Indian extremists misread 
equally the whole history of British rule who see in it 
nothing but a long nightmare of hateful oppression to be 
finally overcome, according to Mr. Gandhi's preaching, 
by " Non-co-operation " and the immortal " soul force " 
of India, rescued at last from the paralysing snares of 
an alien civilisation. Not for the first time has the cry 
of " Back to the Vedas " been raised by Indians who, 
standing in the old ways, watch with hostility and alarm 
the impact on their ancient but static civilisation of the 
more dynamic civilisation of the West with which we for 
the first time brought India into contact. It would be 
folly to underrate the resistance which the reactionary 
elements in Hinduism are still capable of putting forth. 
I have shown how it can still be seen operating in extreme 
forms, and not upon Hindus alone, in the two pictures 
which I have drawn from Delhi and Calcutta. It meets 
one in a lesser degree at almost every turn all over India. 
But it would be just as foolish to underrate the pro- 
gressive forces which show now as ever in the history 
of Hinduism, that it is also capable of combining with 
a singular rigidity of structure and with many forms 
repugnant to all our own beliefs a breadth and elasticity 
of thought by no means inferior to that of the West. 

To those who hoped for a more rapid and widespread 
fusion of Indian and Western ideals, some of the pheno- 
mena which have marked the latter-day revival of Hindu- 
ism and the shape it has recently assumed in Mr. Gandhi's 
" Non-co-operation " campaign, may have brought grave 
disappointment. But the inrush of Western influences 
was assuredly bound to provoke a strong reaction. For 
let us not forget that to the abiding power of Hinduism 
India owes the one great element of stability that enabled 
her, long before we appeared in India, to weather so 



14 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP.I 

many tremendous storms without altogether losing the 
sense of a great underlying unity stronger and more 
enduring than all the manifold lines of cleavage which 
have tended from times immemorial to divide her. 
Hinduism has not only responded for some forty centuries 
to the social and religious aspirations of a large and highly 
endowed portion of the human race, almost wholly shut 
off until modern times from any intimate contact with 
our own Western world, but it has been the one great 
force that has preserved the continuity of Indian life. 
It withstood six centuries of Mahomedan domination. 
Could it be expected to yield without a struggle to the new 
forces, however superior we may consider them and 
however overwhelming they may ultimately prove, which 
British rule has imported into India during a period of 
transition more momentous than any other through which 
she has ever passed, but still very brief when compared 
with all those other periods of Indian history which 
modern research has only recently rescued from the 
legendary obscurity of still earlier ages ? 

We are witnessing to-day a new phase of this great 
struggle, the clash of conflicting elements in two great 
civilisations. A constitution has been inaugurated at 
Delhi to bring India into permanent and equal partner- 
ship with a commonwealth of free nations which is the 
greatest political achievement of Western civilisation, 
and the latest prophet of Hinduism, applying to it the 
language of the West, has banned it forthwith as a thing 
of Satan, the offspring of a Satanic government and of 
a Satanic civilisation. His appeal to India is intended 
to strike many and various chords, but it is essentially 
an appeal to the ancient forces of Hinduism which gave 
India a great civilisation long before Europe, and least 
of all Britain, had emerged from the savagery of primitive 
man. Englishmen find it difficult to understand the 
strength of that appeal, perhaps because they do not 
realise how deep and vital are the roots of the civilisation 
to which it appeals. 



CHAPTER II 

THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 

INDIA'S civilisation, intimately bound up from its birth 
with the great social and religious system which we call 
Hinduism, is as unique as it is ancient. Its growth and 
its tenacity are largely due to the geographical posi- 
tion of a great and populous sub-continent, on its land 
side exposed only to incursions from the north through 
mountainous and desolate regions, everywhere difficult 
of access and in some parts impenetrable, and shut in 
on the other two sides of a roughly isosceles triangle 
by broad expanses of sea which cut it off from all direct 
intercourse with the West until, towards the close of the 
Middle Ages, European navigators opened up new ocean 
highways to the East. India owes her own peculiar 
civilisation to the gradual fusion of Aryan races of a 
higher type that began to flow down from Central Asia 
before the dawn of history upon the more primitive 
indigenous populations already in possession. Its early 
history has only now begun to emerge from the twilight 
of myths and legends, and cannot even now be traced 
with any assurance of accuracy nearly as far back as that 
of other parts of the world which preceded or gave birth 
to our own much more recent civilisation. The pyramids 
of Ghizeh and Sakkara and the monumental temples of 
Thebes bore ample witness to the greatness of Egyptian 
civilisation long before the interpretation of her hiero- 
glyphics enabled us to determine its antiquity, and the 
discovery of its abundant art treasures revealed the high 

15 



16 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

degree of culture to which it reached. Excavations in 
the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates have yielded an 
almost equally valuable harvest in regard to Babylonian 
and Assyrian civilisation, and Cnossus has told us its 
scarcely less wonderful story. Yet the long line of 
Pharaohs was coming to an end and Egypt was losing the 
national independence which she has never once recovered ; 
Nineveh had fallen and Jerusalem was destroyed ; Greece 
and even Rome had already started on their great creative 
careers before any approximately correct date can be 
assigned to the stages through which Indian civilisation 
had passed. India only becomes historical with the 
establishment of the Sasunaga dynasty in the Gangetic 
kingdom of Magadha, which centred in what is now 
Behar, about the year 600 B.C. 

As to the state of India before that date, no sort of 
material evidence has survived, or at any rate has yet 
been brought to light no monuments, no inscriptions, 
very little pottery even, in fact very few traces of the 
handicraft of man ; nor any contemporary records of 
undoubted authenticity. Fortunately the darkness which 
would have been otherwise Cimmerian is illuminated, 
though with a partial and often uncertain light, by the 
wonderful body of sacred literature which has been handed 
down to our own times in the Vedas and Brahmanas and 
Upanishads. To none of these books, which have, for 
the most part, reached us in various recensions often 
showing considerable discrepancies and obviously later 
interpolations, is it possible to ascribe any definite date. 
But in them we undoubtedly possess a genuine key to 
the religious thought and social conceptions, and even 
inferentially to the political institutions of the Aryan 
Hindus through the many centuries that rolled by between 
their first southward migrations into the Indian peninsula 
and their actual emergence into history. The Vedic 
writings constitute the most ancient documents available 
to illustrate the growth of religious beliefs founded on 
pure Nature-worship, which translated themselves into a 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 17 

polytheistic and pantheistic idea of the universe and, 
in spite of many subsequent transformations, are found 
to contain all the germs of modern Hinduism as we know 
it to-day and, indeed, of all the religious thought of 
India. In the Vedic hymns Nature itself is divine, and 
their pantheon consists of the deified forces of Nature, 
worshipped now as Agni, the god of Fire ; Soma, the god 
and the elixir of life ; Indra, the god of heaven and the 
national god of the Aryans ; and again, under more 
abstract forms, such as Prajapati, the lord of creation, 
Asura, the great spirit, Brahmanaspati, the lord of prayer ; 
and sometimes, again, gathered together into the trans- 
cendent majesty of one all-absorbing divinity, such as 
Varuna, whose pre-eminence almost verges on monotheism. 
But the general impression left on the Western mind is 
of a fantastic kaleidoscope, in which hundreds and even 
thousands of deities, male and female, are constantly 
waxing and waning and changing places, and proceeding 
from, and merging their identity in, others through an 
infinite series of processes, partly material and partly 
metaphysical, but ever more and more subject to the 
inspiration and the purpose of the Brahman, alone versed 
in the knowledge of the gods, and alone competent to 
propitiate them by sacrificial rites of increasing intricacy, 
and by prayers of a rigid formalism that gradually assume 
the shape of mere incantations. 

This is the great change to which the Brahmanas 
bear witness. They show no marked departure from 
the theology of the Vedas, though many of the old gods 
continue to be dethroned either to disappear altogether, 
or to reappear in new shapes, like Varuna, who turns 
into a god of night to be worshipped no longer for his 
beneficence, but to be placated for his cruelty ; whilst, 
on the other hand, Prajapati is raised to the highest 
throne, with Sun, Air, and Fire in close attendance. What 
the Brahmanas do show is that the Brahman has acquired 
the overwhelming authority of a sacerdotal status, not 
vested merely in the learning of a theologian, but in some 

c 



18 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

special attribute of his blood, and therefore transmissible 
only from father to son. The Brahman was doubtless 
helped to this fateful pre-eminence by the modifications 
which the popular tongue had undergone in the course 
of time, and as the result more especially of migration 
from the Punjab to the Gangetic plains. The language of 
the Vedic hymns had ceased to be understood by the 
masses, and its interpretation became the monopoly 
of learned families ; and this monopoly, like all others, 
was used by those who enjoyed it for their own aggrandise- 
ment. The language that had passed out of common 
usage acquired an added sanctity. It became a sacred 
language, and sacred became the Brahman, who alone 
possessed the key to it, who alone could recite its sacred 
texts and perform the rites which they prescribed, and 
select the prayers which could best meet every distinct 
and separate emergency in the life of man. 

In the Brahmanas we can follow the growth of a luxuri- 
ant theology for the use of the masses which, in so far 
as it was polytheistic, tended to the infinite multiplication 
of gods and goddesses and godlings of all types, and in 
so far as it was pantheistic invested not only men, but 
beasts and insects and rivers and fountains and trees 
and stones with some living particle of the divine essence 
pervading all things ; and we can follow there also the 
erection on the basis of that theology, of a formidable 
ritual of which the exclusive exercise and the material 
benefits were the appanage of the Brahman. But we 
have to turn to a later collection of writings known as 
the Upanishads for our knowledge of the more abstract 
speculations out of which Hindu thinkers, not always of 
the Brahmanical caste, were concurrently evolving the 
esoteric systems of philosophy that have exercised an 
immense and abiding influence on the spiritual life of 
India. There is the same difficulty in assigning definite 
dates to the Upanishads, though many of the later ones 
bear the post-mark of the various periods of theological 
evolution with which they coincided. Only some of the 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 19 

earliest ones are held by many competent authorities to 
be, in the shape in which they have reached us, anterior 
to the time when India first becomes, in any real sense, 
historical ; but there is no reason to doubt that they 
represent the progressive evolution into different forms 
of very ancient germs already present in the Vedas 
themselves. They abound in the same extravagant 
eclecticism, leading often to the same confusions and 
contradictions that Hindu theology presents. The 
Sankhya Darshana, or system, recognising only a primary 
material cause from which none but finite beings can 
proceed, regards the universe and all that exists in it 
and life itself as a finite illusion of which the end is non- 
existence, and its philosophic conceptions are atheistic 
rather than pantheistic. In opposition to it the Vedantic 
system of mystic pantheism, whilst also seeing in this 
finite world a mere world of illusion, holds that rescue 
from it will come to each individual soul after a more or 
less prolonged series of rebirths, determined for better or 
for worse by its own spirituality according to the law of 
Karma, not in non-existence, but in its fusion with God, 
whose identity with the soul of man is merely temporarily 
obscured by the world illusion of Maya. Only the in- 
conceivable is real, for it is God, but God dwells in the 
heart of every man, who, if and when he can realise it 
and has detached himself from his unworthy because 
unreal surroundings, is himself God. Akin to Vedantic 
mysticism is the Yoga system, which teaches extreme 
asceticism, retirement into solitude, fastings, nudity, 
mortification of the flesh, profound meditation on un- 
fathomable mysteries, and the endless reiteration of magic 
words and phrases as the means of accelerating that 
ineffable fusion of God and man. The materialism of the 
Sankhya and the idealism of the Vedanta combine to 
provoke the reaction of yet another system, the Mimansa, 
which stands for the eternal and divine revelation of the 
Vedas, codifies, so to say, their theology into liturgical 
laws, admits of no speculation or esoteric interpretation, 



20 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

and seems to subordinate the gods themselves to the forms 
of worship that consecrate their existence. 

Of all the doctrines that these early speculations 
evolved, none has had a more enduring influence on 
Hinduism than that of the long and indeed infinite 
succession of rebirths through which man is doomed to 
pass before he reaches the ultimate goal either of non- 
existence or of absorption into the divine essence. For 
none has done more to fortify the patriarchal principle 
which from the earliest times governed the tribal family, 
and to establish the Hindu conception of the family as it 
prevails to the present day. With that curious inconse- 
quence which frequently characterises Hindu thought, 
even when it professes to be ruled by the sternest logic, 
the belief that every rebirth is irrevocably determined 
by the law of Karma, i.e. in accordance with the sum 
total of man's deeds, good and bad, in earlier existences, 
is held to be compatible with the belief that the felicity 
of the dead can only be assured by elaborate rites of 
worship and sacrifice, which a son alone, or a son's son, 
can take over from his father and properly perform. 
The ancient patria potestas of tribal institutions has been 
thus prolonged beyond the funeral pyre, and the ancient 
reverence for the dead which originally found expres- 
sion in an instinctive worship of the ancestors has been 
translated into a ceremonial cult of the ancestral manes, 
which constitutes the primary duty and function of every 
new head of the family. Hence the Hindu joint family 
system which keeps the whole property of the family 
as well as the governance of all its members under the 
sole control of the head of the family. Hence also the 
necessity of early marriage, lest death should overtake 
the Hindu before he has begotten the son upon whose 
survival the performance of the rites essential, not only 
to his own future felicity, but to that of all his ancestors 
depends, and, as an alternative, to mitigate the awful 
consequences of the default of heirs male of his own body, 
the introduction of adoption under conditions that secure 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 2i 

to the adopted son precisely the same position as a real 
son would have enjoyed. Hence again the inferiority 
of woman, whom early marriage tended to place in 
complete subjection to man. Her chief value was that 
of a potential breeder of sons. In any case, moreover, 
she passed on her marriage entirely out of her own family 
into that of her husband, and terribly hard was her lot 
if she were left a widow before having presented her 
husband with a son. Even if she were left an infant 
widow of an infant husband and their marriage could 
not possibly have been consummated, she was doomed 
to an austere and humiliating life of perpetual widowhood, 
whilst, on the other hand, if she died, her widowed husband 
was enjoined to marry again at once unless she had left 
him a son. To explain away this cruel injustice, her fate 
was supposed to be due to her own Karma, and to be 
merely the retribution that had overtaken her for sins 
committed in a former existence, which condemned her 
to be born a woman and to die a childless wife, or worse 
still, to survive as a childless widow. The misfortune of 
the widowed husband who was left without a son should 
logically have been imputed in the same way to his own 
Karma, but it was not. All through life, and in death 
itself, man was exalted and woman occupied a much 
lower plane, though in practice this hardship was mitigated 
for the women who bore sons by the reverence paid to 
them in their homes, where their force of character and 
their virtues often gave them a great and recognised 
ascendancy. However hard the laws that governed the 
Hindu family might press on individual members, the 
family itself remained a living organism, united by 
sacred ties indeed more than a mere living organism, 
for the actually living organism was one with that part 
of it which had already passed away and that which was 
still awaiting rebirth. It is undoubtedly in the often 
dignified and beautiful relations which bind the Hindu 
family together that Hinduism is seen at its best, and 
Hindu literature delights in describing and exalting them. 



22 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Traditional usages, or Smriti, were ultimately embodied 
in codes of law, of which the most famous is that of Manu ; 
and though disfigured by many social servitudes repugnant 
to the Western mind, they represent a lofty standard of 
morality based upon a conception of duty, or Dharma, 
narrowly circumscribed, but solid and practical. Though 
these codes of law, and notably that of Manu in the form 
in which we possess them, are of uncertain but probably 
much later date, they afford us, in conjunction with the 
vast body of earlier religious and philosophic literature, 
and with a certain amount of scientific literature deal- 
ing with astronomy and astrology, with mathematics and 
specially with geometry, and with grammar and prosody, 
sufficient materials for appraising, with a fair measure of 
accuracy, the stage of progress which the Aryan Hindus 
had reached in the sixth century B.C. When the world 
was young, and they revelled in their recent conquest 
of a fair portion in it, they delighted to worship the 
bright gods who had helped them to possess it, and worship 
and war were the ties that kept their loose tribal organisa- 
tion together. Out of the primitive conditions of nomadic 
and pastoral life, under the leadership of tribal elders who 
were both priests and warriors, they gradually passed, 
after many vicissitudes of peace and war, into more 
settled forms of agricultural life and developed into 
distinct and separate polities of varying vitality, but 
still united by the bond of common religious and social 
institutions in the face of the indigenous populations 
whom they drove before them, or reduced into subjection 
and slowly assimilated as they moved down towards 
and into the Gangetic plain. As the conditions of life 
grew more complex, with increasing prosperity and prob- 
ably longer intervals of peace, differentiation between 
classes and professions grew more marked. There was 
time and leisure for thinking as well as for fighting, for 
contemplation as well as for action. The " bright " gods 
that Nature had conceived for the early Aryans were 
fashioned and refashioned by speculations already laden 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 23 

with the gloom of melancholy and awesomeness that 
pervades India. Caste, it may be inferred from the 
Sanskrit word Varna, which means colour, originally 
discriminated only between the Aryan conquerors of 
relatively fair complexion and the darker aborigines they 
had subdued. It was extended to connote the various 
stratifications into which Hindu society was settling, and 
in the stringent rules which governed the constitution of 
each caste, and the relations between the different castes, 
the old exclusiveness of tribal customs was perpetuated 
and intensified. 

To the supremacy which the Brahman, as the expounder 
of the scriptures and of the laws deduced from them, and 
the ordained dispenser of divine favour, through prayer 
and sacrifice, was able to arrogate to his own caste, the 
code of Manu, above all others, bears emphatic witness : 

The very birth of Brahmans is a constant incarnation of 
Dharma. . . . When a Brahman springs to light he is born 
above the world, the chief of all creatures, assigned to guard the 
treasury of duties, religious and civil. Whatever exists in 
the world is all in effect, though not in form, the wealth of the 
Brahman, since the Brahman is entitled to it all by his 
primogeniture and eminence of birth. 

Every offence committed by a Brahman involves a rela- 
tively slight penalty ; every offence committed against 
him the direst punishment. Next to the Brahman, but 
far beneath him, is the Kshatria and beneath him 
again the Vaishya. The Shudras are the fourth caste that 
exists chiefly to serve the three twice-born castes, and 
above all the Brahman. As Sir William Jones observes in 
the preface to the translation which he was the first to 
make a little more than a century ago of these extra- 
ordinarily full and detailed ordinances, they represent a 
system of combined despotism and priestcraft, both in- 
deed limited by law, but artfully conspiring to give mutual 
support with mutual checks. But though they abound 
with minute and childish formalities, though they pre- 
scribe ceremonies often ridiculous, though the punishments 



24 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

they enact are partial and fanciful, for some crimes 
dreadfully cruel, for others reprehensibly slight, though 
the very morals they lay down, rigid enough on the 
whole, are in one or two instances, as in the case of light 
oaths and of pious perjury, dangerously relaxed, one must, 
nevertheless, admit that, subject to those grave limita- 
tions, a spirit of sublime devotion, of benevolence to 
mankind, and of amiable tenderness to all sentient 
creatures pervades the whole work, and the style of it 
has a certain austere majesty that sounds like the language 
of legislation and extorts a respectful awe. Above all it 
is well to remember that the ordinances of Manu still 
constitute to-day the framework of Hindu society, and 
Brahman judges of the Indian High Courts, who administer 
our own very different codes, still cling to them in private 
life and quote them in political controversies as the 
repositories of inspired wisdom. 

It is on this background of tangled religious beliefs and 
abstruse philosophic speculations and very precise and 
elaborate laws framed to safeguard the twofold auth- 
ority of priests and kings, but of the latter always in sub- 
ordination to the former, that we see men and cities 
and organised states assume for the first time historic 
substance towards the sixth century B.C. From that 
date onwards we are on firmer ground. For though 
even in much later times the Hindus never produced 
historians in the strict sense of the term, we are able 
to call in aid the valuable testimony not only of a few 
indigenous chroniclers but also of Greek and Chinese and 
Arab writers and travellers, as well as the authoritative 
evidence supplied by epigraphy and numismatics ; and 
though for many centuries still very infrequently, the 
precious remains of ancient monuments. But the original 
background is never effaced, for the whole religious and 
social system, the whole philosophic outlook upon the 
world of which I have sought to outline the long and 
laborious evolution through prehistoric ages, remained 
fundamentally immune against change until the advent of 



n THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 25 

the British to India subjected them to the solvent of 
Western civilisation. 

One of the most striking peculiarities of Hinduism is 
that its origin cannot be associated with any single great 
teacher or prophet, however legendary. Still less can it 
be identified with the personal inspiration of a Moses or 
a Christ, of a Confucius or a Mahomed. Only when we 
reach the firmer ground of historic times does any com- 
manding personality emerge to leave a definite and 
abiding impress upon successive ages. The first and 
the greatest is Buddha, and we can still trace to-day 
his footsteps in the places where he actually stood and 
delivered his message to the world. It was at Buddh Gaya 
that, after fleeing from the pomp and luxury of his father's 
royal palace, he sat and meditated under the Bo-tree on 
the vanity and misery of human life, but it was at 
Rajagriha, " the King's House," that he first began to 
preach. Rajagriha, about 40 miles S.S.E. of the modern 
Patna, was then the capital of one of the many small 
kingdoms that had grown up in the broad valley of the 
Ganges. It was already an ancient city of some fame, 
for the Mahabharata mentions all the five hills which, as 
the first Chinese pilgrim, Fa-Hien, puts it, " encompass 
it with a girdle like the walls of a town." It was itself a 
walled city, and some of the walls, as we can still see them 
to-day, represent most probably the earliest structure 
raised in India by human hands that has survived down 
to our own times. They were no jerry-builders then. 
Strengthened at sundry points by great square bastions, 
the walls of Rajagriha measure in places over seventeen 
feet in width and eleven or twelve feet in height, and 
they are faced with undressed stones three to five feet 
in length, without mortar or cement, but carefully fitted 
and banded together with a core of smaller blocks not 
less carefully laid and packed. They merely supplemented 
and completed the natural line of defences provided by 
the outer girdle of hills, rising to 1200 feet, which shut 
off Rajagriha from the plain of Bihar. On one of those 



26 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

peerless days of the cold season in Upper India when 
there is not a cloud to break the serenity of the deep 
blue sky, I looked up to the mountain Ghridrakuta, on 
whose slopes Buddha dwelt for some time after he had 
found enlightenment at Buddh Gaya, and saw it just as 
the second Chinese pilgrim to whom we owe most of our 
knowledge of Rajagriha described it " a solitary peak 
rising to a great height on which vultures make their 
abode." Many had been the revolutions of the wheel of 
time since Hiuen-Tsang had watched the circling of the 
vultures round the sacred peak some twelve and a half 
centuries before me, and as Buddha himself, another 
twelve and a half centuries earlier, must have watched 
them when he miraculously stretched forth his hand 
through a great rock to rescue his beloved disciple Ananda 
from the clutch of the demon Mara, who had taken on 
the shape of a vulture. The swoop of those great birds 
seemed to invest the whole scene with a new and living 
reality. Across the intervening centuries I could follow 
King Bimbisara, who reigned in those days at Rajagriha, 
proceeding along the causeway of rough, undressed stones, 
which can be traced to-day to the foot of the mountain 
and up its rocky flanks, after his men had " levelled the 
valley and spanned the precipices, and with the stones 
had made a staircase about ten paces wide," so that he 
should himself be carried up to wait in his own royal 
person on the Lord Buddha. There, marked to the present 
day by the remains of two large stupas, was the place 
where the king alighted from his litter to go forward on 
foot, and farther up again the spot where he dismissed 
his followers and went on alone to invite the Buddha to 
come down and dwell in his capital. 

That must have been about 500 B.C., and Buddha 
spent thereafter a considerable portion of his time in the 
bamboo garden which King Bimbisara presented to him 
on the outskirts of Rajagriha. There, and in his annual 
wanderings through the country, he delivered to the poor 
and to the rich, to the Brahman and to the sinner, to 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 27 

princes and peasants, to women as well as to men, his 
message of spiritual and social deliverance from the 
thraldom of the flesh and from the tyranny of caste. 

With the actual doctrines of Buddhism I do not 
propose to deal. There is nothing in them that could not 
be reconciled with those of the Vedanta, and they are 
especially closely akin to the Sankhya system. But the 
driving force of Buddhism, as also of Jainism, which grew 
up at the same time as Buddhism under the inspiration 
of another great reformer, Mahavira, who is said to have 
been a cousin of King Bimbisara, was a spirit of revolt 
against Brahmanical Hinduism, and a new sense of social 
solidarity which appealed to all classes and castes, and 
to women as well as to men. The Vedanta reserved the 
study of the scriptures to men of the three " twice-born " 
castes, and placed it under the supreme authority of the 
Brahmans. Both Buddha and Mahavira recognised no 
such restrictions, though they did not refuse reverence 
to the Brahman as a man of special learning. The 
religious orders which they founded were open to all, 
and these orders included nuns as well as monks. This 
was the rock on which they split with Hinduism. This 
was the social revolution that, in spite of the religious 
and philosophical elasticity of Hinduism, made Buddhists 
and Jains unpardonable heretics in the eyes of the 
Brahmans, and produced a conflict which was to last for 
centuries. 

Though King Bimbisara welcomed the Buddha to his 
capital, and Buddhism made rapid headway amongst the 
masses, he does not appear to have himself embraced the 
new religion, and it is not till after Alexander the Great's 
expedition had for the first time brought an European 
conqueror on to Indian soil, and a new dynasty had 
transferred the seat of government to Pataliputra, the 
modern Patna, on the Ganges, that perhaps the greatest 
of Indian rulers, the Emperor Asoka, who reigned from 
272 to circa 232 B.C., made Buddhism the state religion 
of his Empire. Tradition has it, that when Buddha on 



28 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

his last wanderings passed by the fort which King 
Ajatasatni was building at Pataliputra, he prophesied for 
it a great and glorious future. It had already fulfilled 
that prophecy when the Greek Ambassador, Megasthenes, 
visited it in 303 B.C. A few remains only are being labori- 
ously rescued from the waters of the Ganges, under which 
Pataliputra is for the most part buried. But at that time 
it spread for ten miles along the river front ; five hundred 
and seventy towers crowned its walls, which were pierced 
by sixty-four gates, and the total circumference of the 
city was twenty-four miles. The palace rivalled those of 
the Kings of Persia, and a striking topographical similarity 
has been lately traced between the artificial features of 
the lay-out of Pataliputra and the natural features of 
Persepolis, King Darius's capital in Southern Persia. 

Pataliputra became the capital of India under Chan- 
dragupta Maurya, who, soldier of fortune and usurper 
that he was, transformed the small kingdom of Magadha 
into a mighty empire. Known to Greek historians as 
Sandrokottos, young Chandragupta had been in Alex- 
ander's camp on the Indus, and had even, it is said, 
offered his services to the Macedonian king. In the 
confusion which followed Alexander's death, he had raised 
an army with which he fell on the Macedonian frontier 
garrisons, and then, flushed with victory, turned upon the 
King of Magadha, whom he dethroned. After eighteen 
years of constant fighting he had extended his frontiers 
to the Hindu Kush in the north, and nearly down to the 
latitude of Madras in the south. He had, at the same 
time, established a remarkable system of both civil and 
military administration by which he was able to consolidate 
his vast conquests. His war office was scientifically 
divided into six boards for maintaining and supplying 
his huge fighting force of 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, 
9000 elephants, and 8000 war chariots, besides fully 
equipped transport and commissariat services. No less 
scientific was the system of civil government as illustrated 
by the municipal institutions of Pataliputra. There, again, 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 29 

there were six boards dealing respectively with trade, 
industries, wages, local taxation, the control of foreign 
residents and visitors, and, perhaps most extraordinary 
of all, with vital statistics. Equally admirable was the 
solicitude displayed for agriculture, then, as now, the 
greatest of Indian industries, and for its handmaid, 
irrigation. The people themselves, if we may believe 
Megasthenes, were a model people well worthy of a model 
government, though if he does not exaggerate, one is 
driven to wonder at the necessity for such fearful penalties 
as were inflicted for the most trivial breaches of the law. 
But behind Chandragupta the power of the Brahman was 
still clearly entrenched, for his chief minister was a 
Brahman, Chanakya, who had followed his fortunes from 
their first adventurous beginnings. 

The stately fabric which Chandragupta built up during 
his own twenty-five years' reign, circa 322-297 B.C., en- 
dured during the reign of his son Bendusara, of whom 
scarcely anything is known, and at the end of another 
twenty-five years passed on, undiminished, to his great 
successor, Asoka, whose unique experiment would have 
been scarcely possible had he not succeeded to an empire 
already firmly consolidated at home and abroad. When 
he came to the throne, about 272 B.C., Asoka had served 
his apprenticeship in the art of government as viceroy, 
first in the north at Taxila, and then in the west at Ujjain. 
He had been brought up by Brahmans in the manner 
befitting his rank. Buddhist tradition would have us 
believe that until his conversion he was a monster of 
cruelty ; but there is scarcely enough to warrant that 
indictment in the fact that he began his reign with a 
war of aggression, for which he afterwards expressed the 
deepest remorse. It was, indeed, from that moment that 
he determined to be henceforth a prince of peace ; but 
it is quite as probable that his determination inclined 
him more and more to turn his ear to Buddhist teaching 
as that Buddhist teaching prompted his determination. 

No monarch has ever recorded the laws which he gave 



30 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

to his people in such imperishable shape. They are to 
be seen to the present day cut into granite pillars or 
chiselled into the face of the living rock in almost every 
part of what was then the Empire of the Mauryas, from 
the Peshawar district in the north to Mysore and the 
Madras Presidency in the south, from the Kathiawar 
Peninsula in the west to the Bay of Bengal in the east. 
The pillars are often at the same time monuments of 
artistic design and workmanship, as, above all, the 
Garnath pillar near Benares with its magnificent capital 
of the well-known Persepolitan type and its four lions 
supporting the stone Wheel of the Law, first promulgated 
on that spot. Many more of Asoka's monuments may 
yet be discovered, but the eleven pillar edicts and the 
fourteen rock edicts, not to speak of minor inscriptions 
already brought to light and deciphered, constitute a body 
of laws which well deserve to have been made thus 
imperishable. For no temporal sovereign has ever 
legislated so fully and exclusively and with such evident 
conviction for the spiritual advancement and moral 
elevation of his people. Scarcely less important is the 
autobiographical value of these inscriptions, which enable 
one to follow stage by stage the evolution of the Apostle- 
Emperor's soul. Within a year of the conquest of the 
Kalinjas, for which he afterwards publicly recorded his 
remorse, Asoka became a lay disciple of the Buddhist 
law, and two and a half years later studied as a Buddhist 
monk. In 257 B.C., the thirteenth year of his reign, he 
began to preach his series of sermons in stone sermons 
that were at the same time laws given to his Empire. His 
profession of faith was as lofty as it was simple : 

The gods who were regarded as true all over India have 
been shown to be untrue. For the fruit of exertion is not to 
be attained by a great man only, because even by the small 
man who chooses to exert himself immense heavenly bliss 
may be won. . . . Father and mother must be hearkened to. 
Similarly, respect for living creatures must be firmly estab- 
lished. Truth must be spoken. These are the virtues of the 
law of piety which must be practised. ... In it are included 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 31 

proper treatment of slaves and servants, honour to teachers, 
gentleness towards living creatures, and liberality towards 
ascetics and Brahmans. . . . All men are my children, and 
just as I desire for my children that they may enjoy every 
kind of prosperity and happiness in both this world and the 
next, so I desire the same for all men. 

These principles are applied in all the instructions to 
his officials. He commends to their special care the 
primitive jungle folk and the untamed people of the 
borderlands. He bestows much thought on the alleviation 
of human suffering, and his injunctions in restriction of 
the slaughter and maiming of animals and the preservation 
of life are minute and precise. It is in this connection that 
the influence of Buddhism on Hinduism has been most 
permanent, for whilst the primitive Aryan Hindus were 
beef -eaters, their descendants carried the vegetarian 
doctrines of Buddhism to the extreme length of condemn- 
ing cow-killing as the most awful of crimes, next to the 
killing of a Brahman. 

Determined to preserve the unity and discipline of his 
own church, Asoka's large tolerance sees some good in all 
creeds. He wishes every man to have the reading of his 
own scriptures, and whilst reserving his most lavish gifts 
for Buddhist shrines and monasteries, he does not deny 
his benefactions to Brahmans and ascetics of other sects. 
Nor is he content merely to preach and issue orders. His 
monastic vows, though they lead him to forswear the 
amusements and even the field sports which had been 
his youthful pastimes, do not involve the severance of all 
worldly ties. He is the indefatigable and supreme head 
of the Church ; he visits in solemn pilgrimage all the 
holy places hallowed by the memory of Buddha, and 
endows shrines and monasteries and convents with 
princely munificence ; he convenes at Pataliputra a great 
Buddhist council for combating heresy. But he remains 
the indefatigable and supreme head of the State. " I am 
never fully satisfied with my efforts and my despatch of 
business. Work I must for the welfare of all, and the 



32 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

root of the matter is in effort." He controls a highly 
trained bureaucracy not unlike that of British India 
to-day, and his system of government is wonderfully 
effective so long as it is informed by his untiring energy 
and singular loftiness of purpose. 

With Asoka Buddhism attained to a supremacy in India 
which may well be compared with that of Christianity in 
Europe under Constantine ; and it is only by measuring 
the height to which Buddhism had then risen that we 
can realise the enduring power of Hinduism, as we see 
it 'through successive centuries slowly but irresistibly 
recovering all the ground it had lost until Buddhism 
at last disappears almost entirely off the face of India, 
whereas it continued to spread, though often in very 
debased forms, over the greater part of Eastern Asia, and 
still maintains its hold there over more than a third of 
the total population of the globe. 

As with most of the great rulers and conquerors that 
India has from time to time thrown up, Asoka's life-work 
fell to pieces almost as soon as he had passed away. Not 
only did the temporal empire which he built up disin- 
tegrate rapidly in the hands of his feeble successors, but 
Buddhism itself was dethroned within fifty years with the 
last of his dynasty, slain by the usurper Pushyamitra 
Sunga, who, after consecrating himself to the Hindu gods 
with the rites of Rajasuya, celebrated his advent to 
paramount power by reviving the ancient ceremony of 
Asvamedha, the Sacrifice of the Horse one of the most 
characteristic of Brahmanical rites. 

It was not till after another great conquering inflow 
from Central Asia in the first century of our era that 
Kanishka, the greatest of a new dynasty which had set 
itself up at Purushpura, situated close to the modern 
Peshawar, shed a transient gleam of glory over the decline 
of Buddhism and even restored it to the position of a 
state religion. But it was a Buddhism already far removed 
from the purity of Asoka's reign. The most striking 
feature of this short-lived revival is the artistic inspiration 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 33 

which it derived from Hellenistic sources, of which the 
museums of Peshawar and Lahore contain so many 
remarkable illustrations. The theory, at one time very 
widely entertained, that Alexander's brief incursion into 
India left any permanent mark on Indian civilisation 
is now entirely discarded by the best authorities. No 
Indian author makes even the faintest allusion to him, 
nor is there any trace of Hellenic influence in the evolution 
of Indian society, or in the elaborate institutions with 
which India was endowed by the Mauryan dynasty that 
followed immediately on the disruption of Alexander's 
empire. But the Kushans, or Yueh Chis, during 
the various stages of their slow migration down into 
Northern India, came into long and close contact with 
the Indo - Bactrian and Indo - Parthian kingdoms that 
sprang up after Alexander. The populations were never 
Hellenised, but their rulers were to some extent the 
heirs, albeit hybrid heirs, to Greek civilisation. They 
spoke Greek and worshipped at Greek shrines, and as they 
were in turn subjugated by the forebears of the Kushan 
Empire, they imparted to the conquerors something of 
their own Greek veneer. In the second century of our 
era Kanishka carried his victorious arms down to the 
Gangetic plain, where Buddhism still held its own in 
the region which had been its cradle ; and, according to 
one tradition, he carried off from Pataliputra a famous 
Buddhist saint, who converted him to Buddhism. But 
as these Indo-Scythian kings had not been long enough 
in India to secure admission to the social aristocracy of 
Hinduism by that slow process of naturalisation to which so 
many ruling families have owed their Kshatrya pedigrees, 
Kanishka, having himself no claim to caste, may well 
have preferred for reasons of state to favour Buddhism 
as a creed fundamentally opposed to caste distinctions. 
Whatever the motives of his conversion, we have it on 
the authority of Hiuen-Tsang that he ultimately did great 
things for Buddhism, and the magnificent stupa, which 
he erected outside his capital, five-and-twenty stories high 



34 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

and crowned with a cupola of diamonds, was still 150 
feet high and measured a quarter of a mile in circum- 
ference when the Chinese pilgrim visited Purushpura five 
centuries later. To the present day there are traces 
outside the northern gate of Peshawar of a great Buddhist 
monastery, also built by Kanishka, which remained a seat 
of Buddhist learning until it was destroyed by Maho- 
medan invaders ; and it was only a mile from Peshawar 
that the American Sanskritist, Dr. Spooner, discovered 
ten years ago the casket containing some of Buddha's 
bones, which is one of the most perfect specimens of 
Graeco-Buddhist art. The Buddhist statues and bas- 
reliefs of that period are Greek rather than Indian in 
their treatment of sacred history, and even the head of 
Gautama himself might sometimes be taken for that of 
a young Greek god. 

These exotic influences may indeed have acted as a 
further solvent upon Buddhism. But in any case, its 
local and temporary revival as a dominant state religion 
under Kanishka, whose empire did not long outlive him, 
failed to arrest its steady resorption into Hinduism. On 
the one hand, Buddhism itself was losing much of its 
original purity. The miraculous legends with which the 
life of Buddha was gradually invested, the almost 
idolatrous worship paid to him, the belief that he him- 
self was but the last of many incarnations in which 
the Buddha had already revealed himself from the very 
beginning of creation all these later accretions represent, 
no doubt, the reaction upon Buddhism of its Hinduistic 
surroundings. But they doubtless helped also to stimulate 
the growth of the more definite forms of anthropomorph- 
ism which characterised the development of Hinduism 
when the ancient ritual and the more impersonal gods 
of the Vedas and of the Brahmanas gave way to the cult 
of such very personal gods as Shiva and Vishnu, with 
their feminine counterparts, Kali and Lakshmi, and 
ultimately to the evolution of still more popular deities, 
some, like Skanda and the elephant - headed Ganesh, 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 35 

closely connected with Shiva ; others like Krishna and 
Rama, avdtaras or incarnations and in many ways 
extremely human incarnations of Vishnu. At the same 
time, the Aryan Hindus, as they went on subduing the 
numerous aboriginal races of India, constantly facilitated 
their assimilation by the more or less direct adoption of 
their primitive deities and religious customs. The two 
great epics, the Mahabharata, with its wonderful episode, 
the Baghavad-Ghita, which is the apotheosis of Krishna, 
and the Ramayana, which tells the story of Rama, show 
the infusion into Hinduism of a distinctly national spirit 
in direct opposition to the almost cosmopolitan catholicity 
of Buddhism, sufficiently elastic to adapt itself even to 
the political aspirations of non-Hindu conquerors as well 
as of non-Hindu races beyond the borders of Hindustan, 
in Nepal and in Ceylon, in Burma and in Tibet, in 
China and in Japan. The conflict between Buddhist 
and Hindu theology might not have been irreconcilable, 
for Hinduism, as we know, was quite ready to admit 
Buddha himself into the privileged circle of its own 
gods as one of the incarnations of Vishnu. What was 
irreconcilable was the conflict between a social system 
based on Brahmanical supremacy and one that denied it 
especially after Hinduism had acquired a new sense of 
Indian patriotism which only reached fuller development 
in our own times when it was quickened by contact with 
European nationalism. 

Hindus themselves prefer, however, to-day to identify 
Indian nationalism with the period when from another 
long interval of darkness, which followed the downfall of 
the Kushan kingdom, Indian history emerges into the 
splendour of what has been called " the golden age of 
Hinduism " in the fourth and fifth centuries of our era 
under the great Gupta dynasty, who ruled at Ujjain. 
Few Indian cities are reputed to be more ancient or more 
sacred than the little town of Ujjain on the Sipra river, 
known as Ozem to the Greeks, and where Asoka had ruled 
in his youth as Viceroy of Western India. It owes its 



36 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

birth to the gods themselves. When Uma wedded Shiva 
her father slighted him, not knowing who he was, for the 
mighty god had wooed and won her under the disguise of 
a mere ascetic mendicant, and she made atonement by 
casting herself into the sacrificial fire, which consumed 
her the prototype of all pious Hindu widows who per- 
form Sati in the presence of gods and Brahmans. 
Shiva, maddened with grief, gathered up the bones of his 
unfortunate consort and danced about with them in a 
world-shaking frenzy. Her scattered bones fell to earth, 
and wherever they fell the spot became sacred and a 
temple sprang up in her honour. One of her elbows fell 
on the banks of the Sipra at Ujjain, and few shrines enjoy 
greater or more widespread fame than the great temple 
of Maha-Kal, consecrated to her worship and that of Shiva. 
Its wealth was fabulous when it was looted and destroyed 
by Altamsh and his Pathan Mahomedans in 1235. The 
present buildings are for the most part barely 200 years 
old, and remarkable chiefly for the insistency with which 
the lingam and the bull, the favourite symbols of Shiva, 
repeat themselves in shrine after shrine. But it attracts 
immense numbers of pilgrims, especially in every twelfth 
year, when they flock in hundreds of thousands to Ujjain 
and camp as near^as possible to the river. The peculiarity 
of the Ujjain festival is that, in memory of the form which 
Shiva took on when he wooed Uma, it attracts a veritable 
army of Sanyasis, or mendicants, sometimes as many as 
fifty thousand, from all parts of India. Seldom, except 
at the great Jaganath festivals at Puri, is a larger con- 
gregation seen of weird and almost inhuman figures ; some 
clothed solely with their long unkempt hair, some with 
their bodies smeared all over with white ashes, and the 
symbol of their favourite deity painted conspicuously on 
their foreheads ; some displaying ugly sores or withered 
limbs as evidence of lifelong mortification of the flesh ; 
some moving as if in a dream and entirely lost to the 
world's realities ; some with frenzied eyes shouting and 
brandishing their instruments of self-torture ; some with 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 37 

a repulsive leer and heavy sensuous jowls affecting a 
certain coquetry in the ritualistic adornment of their 
well-fed bodies. 

Chandragupta I., the founder of the great dynasty 
which Hindus extol above all others, was only a petty 
chieftain by birth, but he was fortunate enough to wed 
a lady of high lineage, who could trace a connection with 
the ancient Maurya house of Magadha, and, thanks to 
this alliance and to his own prowess, he was able at his 
death to bequeath real kingship to his son, Samadragupta, 
who, during a fifty years' reign, A.D. 326-375, again 
welded almost the whole of India north of the Nerbudda 
river into one empire, and once even spoiled Southern 
India right down to Cape Comorin. His victories are 
recorded with an irony perhaps not wholly accidental 
beneath the Asokan inscription on the Allahabad pillar. 
Of his zeal for Hinduism we have a convincing proof in 
gold coins of his reign that preserve on the obverse in the 
figure of the sacrificial horse a record of the Asvamedha, 
which he again revived. Strange to say, however, his 
fame has never been so popular as that of his son, 
Chandragupta II., Vikramadytia, the Sun of Power, who 
reigned in turn for nearly forty years, and has lived in 
Hindu legend as the Raja Bikram, to whom India owes 
her golden age. It was his court at Ujjain which is 
believed to have been adorned by the " Nine Gems " 
of Sanskrit literature, amongst whom the favourite is 
Kalidasa, the poet and dramatist. Amidst much that is 
speculative, one thing is certain. The age of Vikrama- 
dytia was an age of Brahmanical ascendancy. As has so 
often happened, and is still happening in India to-day in 
the struggle between Urdu and Hindi, the battle of 
religious and political supremacy was largely one of 
languages. During the centuries of Brahmanical depres- 
sion that preceded the Gupta dynasty, the more vulgar 
tongue spoken of the people prevailed. Under the 
Guptas, Sanskrit, which was the language of the Brahmans, 
resumed its pre-eminence and took possession of the whole 



38 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

field of literature and art and science as well as of theology. 
Oral traditions were reduced to writing and poetry was 
adapted to both sacred and profane uses in the Puranas, 
in the metrical code of Manu, in treatises on sacrificial 
ritual, in Kalidasa's plays, and in many other works of 
which only fragments have survived. Astronomy, logic, 
philosophy were all cultivated with equal fervour and 
to the greater glory of Brahmanism. Local tradition is 
doubtless quite wrong in assigning to Raja Bikram the 
noble gateway which is the only monument of Hindu 
architecture at its best that Ujjain has to show to-day. 
But to that period may, perhaps, be traced the graceful, 
if highly ornate, style of architecture, of which the 
Bhuvaneshwar temples, several centuries more recent, 
are the earliest examples that can be at all accurately 
dated. To the credit of Brahmanism be it said that in 
its hour of triumph it remained at least negatively 
tolerant, as all purely Indian creeds generally have been. 
Fa-Hien, who visited India during the reign of Vikra- 
madytia, though dismayed at the desolation which had 
already overtaken many of the sacred places of Buddhism, 
pays a generous tribute to the tolerance and statesman- 
ship of that great sovereign. The country seems, indeed, 
to have enjoyed real prosperity under a paternal and 
almost model administration. 

Yet the Gupta dynasty endured only a little longer 
than had that of the Mauryas. Its downfall was hastened 
by the long reign of terror which India went through 
during the invasion of the White Huns. Europe had 
undergone a like ordeal nearly a century earlier, for when 
the Huns began to move out of the steppes of Eastern 
Asia they poured forth in two separate streams, one of 
which swept into Eastern Europe, whilst the other flowed 
more slowly towards Persia and India. What Attila had 
been to Europe, Mihiragula was to India, and though the 
domination of the Huns did not long outlive him, the 
anarchy they left behind them continued for another 
century, until " the land of Kuru," the cradle and battle- 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 39 

field of so many legendary heroes, produced another 
heroic figure, who, as King Harsha, filled for more than 
forty years (606-648) the stage of Indian history with 
his exploits. He had inherited the blood of the Gupta 
emperors from his mother, though his father was only a 
small Raja of Thanesvar, to the north of Delhi. The 
tragic circumstances in which he succeeded him made a 
man of him at the early age of fourteen. By the time 
he was twenty he was " master of the five Indias " 
i.e. of nearly the whole of Northern India from Kathiawar 
to the delta of the Ganges, and henceforth he proved 
himself as great in peace as in war. In his case the 
knowledge we owe to Chinese sources is supplemented 
by the valuable record left by the Brahman Bana, who 
lived at his court and wrote the Harsha - Charita. 
Taxation, we are told, was lightened, and the assessment 
of land revenue was equitable and moderate. Security 
for life and property was enforced under severe but 
effective penalties. Education received impartial en- 
couragement whether conducted by Brahmans or by 
Buddhist monks, and both as a patron of literature, 
which he himself cultivated by composing dramas, and 
as a philanthropic ruler King Harsha bestowed his favours 
with a fairly equal hand on Hinduism and on Buddhism 
alike. For Buddhism still lingered in the land, and Harsha, 
who was a mystic and a dreamer as well as a man of 
action, certainly inclined during his later years towards 
Buddhism, or, at least, included it in his own eclectic 
creed. 

Hiuen-Tsang, who spent fifteen years in India during 
Harsha's reign, searching for the relics of early Buddhism 
in a land from which it was steadily disappearing, has 
given us a wonderful picture of a religious state-pageant 
which makes Prayaga, at the triple confluence of the 
Ganges and the Jumna with the sacred but invisible river, 
Saraswati, near to the modern city of Allahabad, stand 
out as another striking landmark in Indian history. 
Hindus attach great holiness to rivers and their confluence, 



40 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

and this Triveni, or triple confluence, had been specially 
consecrated by Brahma, who chose that spot for the first 
Asvamedha, " From ancient times," says the Chinese 
chronicler, " the kings used to go there to distribute alms, 
and hence it was known as the Place of Almsgiving. 
According to tradition more merit is gained by giving 
one piece of money there than one hundred thousand 
elsewhere." So King Harsha having invited all alike, 
whether " followers of the law or heretics, the ascetics 
and the poor, the orphans and the helpless," the kings 
of eighteen subordinate kingdoms assembled there with 
their people to the number of 500,000, and found immense 
refectories laid out for their refreshment, and long rows 
of warehouses to receive silk and cotton garments and 
gold and silver coins for distribution to them. " The 
first day a statue of Buddha was placed in the shrine 
erected on the Place of Almsgiving, and there was a 
distribution of the most precious things and of the 
garments of greatest value, whilst exquisite viands were 
served and flowers scattered to the sound of .harmonious 
music. Then all retired to their resting-places. On the 
second day a statue of the Sun-god was placed in the 
shrine, and on the third day the statue of Shiva," and 
the distribution of gifts continued on those days and day 
after day for a period of over two months, ten thousand 
Brahmans receiving the lion's share, until, having ex- 
hausted all his wealth, even to the jewels and garments 
he was wearing, King Harsha borrowed a coarse and much- 
worn garment, and having " adored the Buddhas of the 
ten countries," he gave vent to his pious delight, ex- 
claiming : " Whilst I was amassing all this wealth I was 
always afraid lest I should find no safe and secret place to 
stow it away. Now that I have deposited it by alms- 
giving in the Field of Happiness I know that it is for 
ever in safety. I pray that in my future lives I may 
amass in like manner great treasures and give them away 
in alms so as to obtain the ten divine faculties in all their 
plenitude." 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 41 

Here one sees India as it was before the Mahomedan 
invasions, in the days of the last of the great Indian rulers 
who succeeded for a time in bending the whole of 
Northern India to his will. As always in India, behind 
whatever form of temporal power might for the moment 
appear to be paramount, religion and the social order 
which it consecrates represented the real paramount 
power that alone endures. In this extraordinary festival 
which marked the close of Harsha's reign the picture left 
to us is singularly complete. The first day is a sort of 
farewell tribute to the waning glory of Buddha, and the 
second to the ancient majesty of the Vedic gods ; but 
they only prepare the way for the culminating worship, 
on the third day, of the terrific figure of Shiva, who had 
already been raised to one of the highest, if not the 
highest, throne in the Hindu pantheon, which he still 
retains Shiva, the master of life and death, whose 
favourite emblem is the phallus, and from whose third 
eye bursts forth the flame which is one day to consume 
the world. Around Harsha, and devouring his gifts until, 
at the end of two months, they are wholly exhausted, are 
the Brahmans, " born above the world, assigned to guard 
the treasury of duties, civil and religious," through whom 
alone the wrath of angry gods can be appeased and 
present and future life be made safe in the descending 
hierarchy of caste. 

Shortly after Harsha's death in A.D. 648, India, as is 
her wont as soon as the strong man's arm is paralysed, 
relapses once more into political chaos. Her history does 
not indeed ever again recede into the complete obscurity 
of earlier ages. We get glimpses of successive kingdoms 
and dynasties rising and again falling in Southern India, 
as the Hindu Aryans gradually permeate and subdue the 
older Dravidian races and absorb the greater part of them, 
not without being in turn influenced by them, into their 
own religious and social system. The most notable 
feature of the post-Harsha period of Hindu history is 
the emergence of the Rajput states, whose rulers, though 



42 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

probably descendants of relatively recent invaders, not 
only became rapidly Hinduised, but secured relatively 
prompt admission to the rank of Kshatryas in the Hindu 
caste system, with pedigrees dated back to the Sun and 
Moon, which to the popular mind were well justified by 
their warlike prowess and splendid chivalry. I need only 
recall the name of Prithvi-Baja, the lord of Sambhar, 
Delhi, and Ajmer, whose epic fame rests not less on 
his abduction of the Kanauj princess who loved him 
than on his gallant losing fight against the Mahomedan 
invaders of India. But fierce clan jealousies and intense 
dynastic pride made the Rajputs incapable of uniting 
into a single paramount state, or even into an enduring 
confederacy fit to withstand the storm of which Harsha 
himself might have heard the distant rumblings. For it 
was during his reign that militant Islam first set foot in 
India, in a remote part of the peninsula. Just at the 
same time as the Arabs, in the first flush of victory, 
poured into Egypt, a small force crossed the Arabian Sea 
and entered Baluchistan, and a century later the whole 
of Sind passed into Arab hands. Another two centuries 
and the Mahomedan flood was pouring irresistibly into 
India, no longer across the Arabian Sea, but from Central 
Asia through the great northern passes, until in successive 
waves it submerged for a time almost the whole of India. 
Now if we look back upon the fifteen centuries of 
Indian history, of which I have sought to reconstitute 
the chief landmarks before the Mahomedan invasions, 
the two salient features that emerge from the twilight 
are the failure of the Aryan Hindus to achieve any 
permanent form of political unity or stability, and their 
success, on the other hand, in building up on adamantine 
foundations a complex but vital social system. The supple 
and subtle forces of Hinduism had already in prehistoric 
times welded together the discordant beliefs and customs 
of a vast variety of races into a comprehensive fabric 
sufficiently elastic to shelter most of the indigenous popu- 
lations of India, and sufficiently rigid to secure the Aryan 



n THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 43 

Hindu ascendancy. Of its marvellous tenacity and powers 
of resorption there can be no greater proof than the elimi- 
nation of Buddhism from India, where, in spite of its 
tremendous uplift in the days of Asoka and the intermit- 
tent favours it enjoyed under later and lesser monarchs, it 
was already moribund before the Mahomedans gave it its 
final deathblow. Jainism, contemporary and closely akin 
to Buddhism, never rose to the same pre-eminence, and 
perhaps for that very reason secured a longer though more 
obscure lease of life, and still survives as a respectable but 
numerically quite unimportant sect. But indomitably 
powerful as a social amalgam, Hinduism failed to generate 
any politically constructive force that could endure much 
beyond the lifetime of some exceptionally gifted con- 
queror. The Mauryan and the Gupta dynasties succumbed 
as irretrievably to the centrifugal forces of petty states 
and clans perpetually striving for mastery as the more 
ephemeral kingdoms of Kanishka and Harsha. They all 
in turn crumbled away, and, in a land of many races and 
languages and climates, split up into many states and 
groups of states constantly at strife and constantly 
changing masters and frontiers. Hinduism alone always 
survived with its crowded and ever-expanding pantheon 
of gods and goddesses for the multitude, with its subtle 
and elastic philosophies for the elect, with the doctrine 
of infinite reincarnations for all, and, bound up with it, 
the iron law of caste. 

The caste system, though it may be slowly yielding 
in non-essentials to the exigencies of modern life, is still 
vigorous to-day in all its essential features, and cannot 
easily be extruded from their family life even by the 
Western-educated classes. It divides up Indian society 
into thousands of water-tight compartments within which 
the Hindu is born and lives and dies without any possi- 
bility of emerging from the one to which he has been 
predestined by his own deeds in his former lives. Each 
caste forms a group, of which the relations within its 
own circle, as well as with other groups, are governed 



44 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

by the most rigid laws in no connection more rigid 
than in regard to marriage. These groups are of many 
different types ; some are of the tribal type, some 
national, some sectarian, some have been formed by 
migration, some are based upon a common social function 
or occupation past or present, some on peculiarities of 
religious beliefs and superstitions. A distinguished French 
writer, M. Senart, has described a caste as a close corpora- 
tion, in theory at any rate rigorously hereditary, equipped 
with a certain traditional and independent organisation, 
observing certain common usages, more particularly as to 
marriage, food, and questions of ceremonial pollution, 
and ruling its members by the sanction of certain penalties 
of which the most signal is the sentence of irrevocable 
exclusion or out-casting. The Census of 1901 was the 
first to attempt a thorough classification of Indian 
castes, and the number of the main castes enumerated 
in it is well over two thousand, each one divided up 
again into almost endless sub-castes. The keystone of 
the whole caste system is the supremacy of the quasi- 
sacerdotal caste of Brahmans a caste which constitutes 
in some respects the proudest and closest aristocracy 
that the world has ever seen, since it is not merely an 
aristocracy of birth in the strictest sense of the term, 
but one of divine origin. An Indian is either born a 
Brahman or he is not. No power on earth can make 
him a Brahman. Not all Brahmans were learned even 
in the old days of Hinduism, though it was to their 
monopoly of such learning as there then was that they 
owed their ascendancy over the warrior kings. Nor do 
all Brahmans minister in the temples. Strangely enough 
the minority who do are looked down upon by their own 
castemen. The majority pursue such worldly avocations, 
often quite humble, as are permissible for them under 
their caste laws. The Brahmans were wise enough, too, 
to temper the fundamental rigidity of the system with 
sufficient elasticity to absorb the new elements with 
which it came into contact, and in most cases gradually 



ii THE ENDURING POWER OF HINDUISM 45 

to reabsorb such elements as from time to time rebelled 
against it. The process by which new castes may be 
admitted into the pale of Hinduism, or the status of 
existing castes be from time to time readjusted to new 
conditions, has been admirably explained by Sir Alfred 
Lyall. But the process can be worked only under 
Brahmanical authority, and the supreme sanction for 
all caste laws rests solely with the Brahmans, whilst of 
all caste laws the most inexorable is the supremacy of 
the Brahman. Therein lies the secret of the great 
influence which, for good as well as for evil, he has always 
wielded over the masses. For though in theory there 
could be no escape from the bondage of caste, individuals, 
and even a whole group, would sometimes find ways and 
means of propitiating the Brahmans who ministered to 
their spiritual needs, and the miraculous intervention of 
a favouring god or the discovery of a long-lost but 
entirely mythical ancestor would secure their social uplift 
on to a higher rung of the caste-ladder. 

Such a system, by creating and perpetuating arbitrary 
and yet almost impassable lines of social cleavage, must 
be fatal to the development of a robust body politic 
which can only be produced by the reasonable inter- 
mingling and healthy fusion of the different classes of 
the community. It was perhaps chief among the causes 
that left Hinduism with so little force of organised 
political cohesion that the Hindu states of ancient India, 
with their superior culture and civilisation, were sooner 
or later swept away by the devastating flood of 
Mahomedan conquest, whilst the social structure of 
Hinduism, just because it consisted of such an infinity 
of water-tight compartments each vital and self -sufficing, 
could be buffeted again and again and even almost sub- 
merged by the waves without ever breaking up. 



CHAPTER III 

MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 

OF all the great religions that have shaped and are still 
shaping the destinies of the human race, Islam alone 
was borne forth into the world on a great wave of forceful 
conquest. Out of the sun-scorched deserts of Arabia, 
with the Koran in the one hand and the sword in the 
other, the followers of Mahomed swept eastward to the 
confines of China, northward through Asia Minor into 
Eastern Europe, and westward through Africa into 
Spain, and even into the heart of medieval France. But 
it was not till the beginning of the eleventh century 
that the Mahomedan flood began to roll down into India 
from the north with the overwhelming momentum of 
fierce fanaticism and primitive cupidity behind it at 
first mere short but furious irruptions, like the seventeen 
raids of Mahmud of Ghazni between 1001 and 1026, then 
a more settled tide of conquest, now and again checked 
for a time by dissensions amongst the conquerors quite 
as much as by some brilliant rally of Hindu religious 
and patriotic fervour, but sweeping on again with a fresh 
impetus until the flood had spread itself over the whole 
of the vast peninsula, except the extreme south. For 
three centuries one wave of invasion followed another, 
one dynasty of conquerors displaced another, but whether 
under Turki or Afghan rulers, under Slave kings or under 
the house of Tughluk, there was seldom a pause in the 
consolidation of Mahomedan power, seldom a break in 
the long-drawn tale of plunder and carnage, cruelty and 

46 



CHAP, m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 47 

lust, unfolded in the annals of the earlier Mahomedan 
dynasties that ruled at Delhi. One notable victory 
Prithvi Raja, the forlorn hope of Hindu chivalry, won at. 
Thanesvar in 1192 over the Afghan hordes that had 
already driven the last of the Ghaznis from Lahore and 
were sweeping down upon Delhi, but in the following 
year the gallant young Rajput was crushingly defeated, 
captured, and done to death by a ruthless foe. Then 
Delhi fell, and Kutub-ed-Din, in turn the favourite slave, 
the trusted lieutenant and the deputed viceroy of the 
Afghan conqueror, growing tired of serving an absent 
master, within a few years threw off his allegiance. In 
1206 he proclaimed himself Emperor of Delhi. That the 
Slave Dynasty which he founded was in one respect at 
least not unworthy of empire, in spite of the stigma 
attaching to its worse than servile origin, the Kutub 
Minar and the splendid mosque of which it forms part 
are there to show. The great minaret, which was begun 
by Kutub - ed - Din himself, upon whose name it has 
conferred an enduring lustre not otherwise deserved, is 
beyond comparison the loftiest and the noblest from which 
the Musulman call to prayer has ever gone forth, nor is 
the mosque which it overlooks unworthy to have been 
called Kuwwet-d-Islam, the Might of Islam. To make 
room for it the Hindu temples, erected by the Rajput 
builders of the Red Fort, were torn down, and the half- 
effaced figures on the columns of the mosque, and many 
other conventional designs peculiar to Hindu architecture, 
betray clearly the origin of the materials used in its 
construction. But the general conception, and especially 
the grand lines of the screen of arches on the western 
side, are essentially and admirably Mahomedan. On 
a slighter scale, but profusely decorated and of ex- 
quisite workmanship, is the tomb of Altamsh, Kutub-ed- 
Din's successor, and like him originally a mere favourite 
slave. 

It had been well for these Slave kings had no other 
record survived of them than those which they have left 



48 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

in stone and marble. Great builders and mighty warriors 
they were in the cause of Allah and his Prophet, but their 
depravity was only exceeded by their cruelty. The story 
of the whole dynasty is a long-drawn tale of horrors until 
the wretched Kaikobad, having turned Delhi for a short 
three years into a house of ill-fame, was dragged out of 
his bed and flung into the Jumna, his infant child 
murdered, and the house of Khilji set up where the 
Slave kings had reigned. It was the second of these Khilji 
princes, Ala-ud-Din, who built, alongside of Kutub-ed- 
Din's mosque, the Alai Darwazah, the monumental gate- 
way which is not only an exceptionally beautiful specimen 
of external polychromatic decoration, but, to quote 
Fergusson, " displays the Pathan style at its period of 
greatest perfection, when the Hindu masons had learned 
to fit their exquisite style of ornamentation to the forms 
of their foreign masters." Yet the atrocities of his 
twenty years' reign, which was one of almost unbroken 
conquest and plunder, wellnigh surpass those of the Slave 
kings. He had seized the throne by murdering his old 
uncle in the act of clasping his hand, and his own death 
was, it is said, hastened by poison administered to him 
by his favourite eunuch and trusted lieutenant, Kafur, 
who had ministered to his most ignoble passions. To 
the Khiljis succeeded the Tughluks, and the white marble 
dome of Tughluk Shah's tomb still stands out conspicuous 
beyond the broken line of grim grey walls which were 
once Tughlukabad. The Khiljis had been overthrown, 
but the curse of a Mahomedan saint, Sidi Dervish, whose 
fame has endured to the present day, still rested upon 
the Delhi in which they had dwelt. So Mahomed 
Tughluk built unto himself a new and stronger city, but 
he did nothing else to avert the curse. Indeed, he 
invented a form of man-hunt which for sheer devilish 
cruelty has been only once matched in the West by the 
cani del duca when the crazy Gian Maria ruled in Milan. 
Well may his milder successor, Firuz Shah, have removed 
to yet another new capital. Well may he have sought to 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 49 

disarm the wrath to come by pious deeds and lavish 
charities. The record he kept of them is not without a 
certain naive pathos : 

Under the guidance of the Almighty, I arranged that the 
heirs of those persons who had been slain in the reign of 
my late Lord and Patron, Sultan Mahomed Shah, and those 
who had been deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand, or foot, 
should be reconciled to the late Sultan and appeased by gifts, 
so that they executed deeds declaring their satisfaction, duly 
attested by witnesses. These deeds were put into a chest, 
which was placed at the head of the late Sultan's grave in the 
hope that God in his great mercy would show his clemency 
to my late friend and patron and make those persons feel 
reconciled to him. 

The curse fell upon Delhi in the reign of the next 
Tughluk, Sultan Mahmud. Timur, with his Mongolian 
horsemen, swooped down through the northern passes 
upon Delhi, slaying Mahomedans and Hindus alike and 
plundering and burning on all sides as he came. Opposite 
to the famous ridge, where four and a half centuries 
later England was to nail her flag to the mast, he forded 
the Jumna, having previously slain all captives with his 
army to the number of 100,000. Mahmud's army, with 
its 125 elephants, could not withstand the shock. Timur 
entered Delhi, which for five whole days was given over 
to slaughter and pillage. Then, having celebrated his 
victory by a great carouse, he proceeded to the marble 
mosque which Firuz Tughluk's piety had erected in 
atonement of his grim predecessor's sins, and solemnly 
offered up a " sincere and humble tribute of praise " to 
God. Within a year he disappeared in the same whirl- 
wind of destruction through the northern passes into his 
native wilds of Central Asia, leaving desolation and chaos 
behind him. 

From so terrific a blow Delhi was slow to recover. A 
group of picturesque domes marks the resting-place of 
some of the Seyyid and Lodi kings who in turn ruled 
or misruled the shrunken dominions which still owned 
allegiance to Delhi. The achievement of a centralised 

E 



50 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Mahomedan empire was delayed for nearly two centuries. 
But the aggressive vitality of Islam had not been 
arrested, and out of the anarchy which followed Timur's 
meteoric raid Mahomedan soldiers of fortune built up 
for themselves independent kingdoms and principalities 
and founded dynasties which each had their own brief 
moment of power and magnificence. In all these states, 
which spread right across Middle India from the Arabian 
Sea to the Gulf of Bengal, Islam remained the dominant 
power ; but, even whilst trampling upon Hinduism, it did 
not escape altogether the inevitable results of increasing 
contact with an older and more refined civilisation. 
Amidst rapine and bloodshed and the constant clash of 
arms, it was a period of intense artistic activity which, 
as usual in the countries conquered by Islam, expressed 
itself chiefly in terms of stone and marble, and though 
Hinduism never triumphed as classical paganism, for 
instance, triumphed for a time in Papal Rome, the steady 
and all-pervading revival of its influence can be traced 
from capital to capital, wherever these Mahomedan 
podestas established their seat of government during 
that Indian Cinque Cento, which corresponds in time with, 
and recalls in many ways, though at best distantly, the 
Italian Cinque Cento, with its strange blend of refined 
luxury and cruelty, of high artistic achievement and 
moral depravity. 

To the present day almost all those cities some of 
them now mere cities of the dead, such as Golconda and 
Gaur and Mandu, some, such as Bijapur and Bidar and 
Ahmednagar and Ahmedabad, still living and even 
flourishing bear witness to the genius of their makers. 
From motives of political expediency, the Mahomedan 
rulers of those days, whether Bahmanis or Ahmed Shahis 
or Adil Shahis or whatever else they were called, were 
fain to reckon with their Hindu subjects. Wholesale 
conversions to the creed of the conquerors, whether 
spontaneous or compulsory, introduced new elements into 
the ruling race itself ; for converted Hindus, even when 



in MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 51 

they rose to high positions of trust, retained many of 
their own customs and traditions. Differences of religion 
ceased to be a complete bar to matrimonial and other 
alliances between Mahomedans and Hindus. Even in 
war Mahomedan mercenaries took service with Hindu 
chiefs, and Hindus under Mahomedan captains. There 
was thus, if not a fusion, a gradual mingling of the 
Mahomedan and Hindu populations which, in spite of 
many fierce conflicts, tended to promote a new modus 
vivendi between them. It was a period of transition 
from the era of mere ruthless conquest, which Timur's 
tempestuous irruption brought practically to a close, to 
the era of constructive statesmanship, which it was 
reserved to Akbar, the greatest of the Moghul Emperors, 
to inaugurate. 

Each of these early Mahomedan states has a story and 
a character of its own, and each goes to illustrate the subtle 
ascendancy which the Hindu mind achieved over the 
conquering Mahomedan. I can only select a few typical 
examples. None is in its way more striking than Mandu, 
over whose desolation the jungle now spreads its kindly 
mantle. Within two years of Timur's raid into India 
the Afghan governors of Malwa proclaimed themselves 
independent, and Hushang Ghuri, from whom the new 
dynasty took its name, proceeded to build himself a 
new capital. The grey grim walls of Mandu still crown 
a lofty outpost of the Vindhya hills, some seventy miles 
south-east of Indore, the natural scarp falling away as 
steeply on the one side to the fertile plateau of Malwa as 
on the other to the broad valley of the sacred Nerbudda. 
The place had no Hindu associations, and in the stately 
palaces and mosques erected by Hushang and his im- 
mediate successors early in the fifteenth century scarcely 
a trace of Hindu influence can be detected, though some 
of them still stand almost intact amidst the luxuriant 
vegetation which has now swallowed up the less substan- 
tial remains of what was once a populous and wealthy 
city. The Ghuris came from Afghanistan, and the 



52 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

great mosque of Hushang Ghuri in spite of inscriptions 
which say in one place that it has been modelled on 
the mosque of the Kaaba at Mecca, and in another place 
on the great mosque at Damascus is perhaps the finest 
example of pure Pathan architecture in India, and one 
of the half-dozen noblest shrines devoted to Mahomedan 
worship in the whole world ; a mighty structure of red 
sandstone and white marble, stern and simple, and as 
perfect in the proportions of its long avenues of pointed 
arches as in the breadth of its spacious design. Behind 
it, under a great dome of white marble, Hushang himself 
sleeps. Unique in its way, too, is the lofty hall of the 
Hindola Mahal, with its steeply sloping buttresses a hall 
which has not been inaptly compared to the great dining- 
hall of some Oxford or Cambridge College and alongside 
of it, the more delicate beauty, perhaps already suggestive 
of Hindu collaboration, of the Jahaz Mahal, another 
palace with hanging balconies and latticed windows of 
carved stone overlooking on either side an artificial lake 
covered with pink lotus blossoms. Mandu was at first 
an essentially Mahomedan city, and under Mahmud 
Khilji, who wrested the throne from Hushang's effete 
successor, its fame as a centre of Islamic learning attracted 
embassies even from Egypt and Bokhara. But its great- 
ness was short-lived. Mahmud's son, Ghijas-ud-Din, had 
been for many years his father's right hand, both in 
council and in the field. But no sooner did he come to 
the throne in 1469 than he discharged all the affairs of 
the state on to his own son and retired into the seraglio, 
where 15,000 women formed his court and provided him 
even with a bodyguard. Five hundred beautiful young 
Turki women, armed with bows and arrows, stood, we 
are told, on his right hand, and, on his left, five hundred 
Abyssinian girls. Profligate succeeded profligate, and 
the degeneracy of his Mahomedan rulers was the Hindu's 
opportunity. The power passed into the hands of Hindu 
officers, who were even suffered to take unto themselves 
mistresses from among the Mahomedan women of the 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 53 

court. The end came, after many vicissitudes, with 
Baz Bahadur, chiefly known for his passionate devotion 
to the fair Hindu, Rup Mati, for whom he built on the 
very crest of the hill, so that from her windows she might 
worship the waters of the sacred Nerbudda, the only 
palace now surviving in Mandu which bears a definite 
impress of Hinduism. Baz Bahadur surrendered to the 
Emperor Akbar in 1562. 

At Ahmedabad, on the other hand, the Ahmed Shahi 
Sultans of Gujerat found themselves in presence of an 
advanced form of Hindu civilisation as soon as they 
entered into possession of the kingdom which they 
snatched from the general conflagration. Whether 
Ahmedabad, which is still the modern capital of Gujerat 
and ranks only second to its neighbour, Bombay, as a 
centre of the Indian cotton industry, occupies or not the 
exact site of the ancient Karnavati, Gujerat was a strong- 
hold of Indian culture long before the Mahomedan 
invasions. Architecture especially had reached a very 
high standard of development in the hands of what is 
usually known as the Jaina school. This is a misnomer, 
for the school was in reality the product of a period rather 
than a sect, though Jainism probably never enjoyed 
anywhere, or at any time, such political ascendancy as in 
Gujerat under its Rashtrakuta and Solanki rulers from 
the ninth to the thirteenth century, and seldom has 
there been such an outburst of architectural activity as 
amongst the Jains of that period. To the present day 
the salats or builders, mostly Jains, have in their keep- 
ing, jealously locked away in iron-bound chests in their 
temples, many ancient treatises on civil and religious 
architecture, of which only a few abstracts have hitherto 
been published in Gujerati, but, as may be seen at 
Ahmedabad, in the great Jaina temple of Hathi Singh, 
built in the middle of the last century at a cost of one 
million sterling, they have preserved something of the 
ancient traditions of their craft. 

Firishta described Ahmedabad as, in his day, " the 



54 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

handsomest city in Hindustan and perhaps in the world," 
and very few Indian cities contain so many beautiful 
buildings as those with which Ahmedabad was endowed 
in the course of a few decades by its Ahmed Shahi rulers. 
No one can fail to admire the wealth of ornamentation 
and the exquisite workmanship lavished upon them, 
though they are not by any means the noblest monuments 
of Mahomedan architecture in India. In fact and 
herein lies their peculiar interest they are Hindu rather 
than Mahomedan in spirit. For they were built by 
architects of the Jaina school, who were just as ready to 
work for their Moslem rulers as they had been to work 
in earlier times for their Hindu rajas. By the mere 
force of a civilisation in many ways superior to that of 
their conquerors, these builders imposed upon them, even 
in the very mosques which they built for them, many of 
the most characteristic features of Hindu architecture. 
To obtain, for instance, in a mosque the greater elevation 
required by the Mahomedans, to whom the dim twilight 
of a Hindu shrine is repugnant, they began by merely 
superimposing the shafts of two pillars, joining them 
together with blocks to connect the base of the upper with 
the capital of the lower shaft ; and this feature in a less 
crude shape was permanently retained in the Indo- 
Mahomedan architecture of Gujerat. Nowhere better 
than at Ahmedabad can the various stages be followed 
through which this adaptation of a purely Hindu style 
to Mahomedan purposes has passed. It was at first 
somewhat violent and clumsy. The earliest mosque in 
Ahmedabad, that of Ahmed Shah, is practically a Hindu 
temple with a Mahomedan fapade, and the figures of 
animals and of idols can still be traced on the interior 
pillars. The octagonal tomb of Ganj Bakhsh, the spiritual 
guide of Ahmed Shah, just outside the city at Sarkhij, 
marks an immense stride, and the adjoining mosque, 
of which all the pillars have the Hindu bracket capitals 
and all the domes are built on traditional Hindu lines, 
retains nevertheless its Mahomedan character. Still 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 55 

more wonderful is the blend achieved in the mosque 
and tomb of Ranee Sepree, the consort of Mahmud 
Bigarah, who was perhaps the most magnificent of the 
Mahomedan kings of Gujerat. It was completed in 1514, 
just a hundred years after the foundation of the Ahmed 
Shahi dynasty, and it shows the distance travelled in the 
course of one century towards something like a fusion 
of Hindu and Mahomedan ideals in the domain at least 
of architecture. 

In Bijapur alone, of all the great Mahomedan cities 
of that period which I have seen, did the proud austerity 
of Mahomedan architecture shake itself free from the 
complex and flamboyant suggestions of Hindu art 
perhaps because the great days of Bijapur came after it 
had taken its full share of the spoils of Vijianagar, the 
last kingdom in Southern India to perish by the sword 
of Islam. Having laid low the Hindu " City of Victory," 
the conquerors determined to make the Mahomedan 
" City of Victory " eclipse the magnificence of all that 
they had destroyed. The Gol Kumbaz, the great round 
dome over the lofty quadrangular hall in which Sultan 
Mahomed Adil Shah lies under a plain slab of marble, is 
an almost perfect hemisphere, which encloses the largest 
domed space in the world, and it dominates the Deccan 
tableland just as the dome of St. Peter's dominates the 
Roman Campagna. To such heights Hindu architecture 
can never soar, for it eschews the arched dome ; and beauti- 
ful as the Hindu cupola may be with its concentric mould- 
ings and the superimposed circular courses horizontally 
raised on an octagonal architrave which rests on sym- 
metrical groups of pillars, it cannot attain anything like 
the same bold span or the same lofty elevation. Have 
we not there a symbol of the fundamental antagonism 
between Hindu and Mahomedan conceptions in many 
other domains than that of architecture ? Even if the 
Arabs did not originate the pointed arch, it has always 
been one of the most beautiful and characteristic features 
of Mahomedan architecture. The Hindu, on the other 



56 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

hand, has never built any such arch except under com- 
pulsion. 

To unite India under Mahomedan rule and attempt to 
bridge the gulf that divided the alien race of Mahomedan 
conquerors from the conquered Hindus required more 
stedf ast hands and a loftier genius than those Mahomedan 
condottieri possessed. A new power more equal to the 
task was already storming at the northern gates of 
India. On a mound thirty-five miles north of Delhi, near 
the old bed of the Jumna, there still stands a small town 
which has thrice given its name to one of those momentous 
battles that decide the fate of nations. It is Panipat. 
There, on April 21, 1526, Baber the Lion, fourth in descent 
from Timur, overthrew the last of the Lodis. Like his 
terrible ancestor, he had fought his way down from 
Central Asia at the head of a great army of Tartar horse- 
men ; but, unlike Timur, he fought not for mere plunder 
and slaughter, but for empire. He has left us in his own 
memoirs an incomparable picture of his remarkable and 
essentially human personality, and it was his statesman- 
ship as much as his prowess that laid the rough founda- 
tions upon which the genius of his grandson Akbar was 
to rear the great fabric of the Moghul Empire as it was 
to stand for two centuries. Though it was at Delhi 
that, three days after the battle of Panipat, Baber 
proclaimed himself Emperor, no visible monument of 
his reign is to be seen there to-day. But the white 
marble dome and lofty walls and terraces of his son 
Humayun's mausoleum, raised on a lofty platform out 
of a sea of dark green foliage, are, next to the Kutub 
Minar, the most conspicuous feature in the plain of Delhi. 
Endowed with many brilliant and amiable qualities, 
Humayun was not made of the same stuff as either his 
father or his son. Driven out of India by the Afghans, 
whom Baber had defeated but not subdued, he had, it 
is true, in a great measure reconquered it, when a fall from 
the top of the terraced roof of his palace at Delhi caused 
his death at the early age of forty-eight. But would he 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 57 

have been able to retain it ? He had by no means crushed 
the forces of rebellion which the usurper Sher Shah 
had united against Moghul rule, and which were still 
holding the field under the leadership of the brilliant 
Hindu adventurer Hemu. Delhi itself was lost within 
a few months of Humayun's death, and it was again at 
Panipat, just thirty years after his grandfather's brilliant 
victory, that the boy Akbar had in his turn to fight for the 
empire of Hindustan. He too fought and won, and when he 
entered Delhi on the very next day, the empire was his 
to mould and to fashion at the promptings of his genius. 

Akbar was not yet fourteen, but, precocious even for 
the East, he was already a student and a thinker as well 
as an intrepid fighter. He showed whither his meditations 
were leading him as soon as he took the reins of govern- 
ment into his own hands. There had been great con- 
querors before him in India, men of his own race and 
creed the blood of Timur flowed in his veins and men 
of other races and of other creeds. They too had founded 
dynasties and built up empires, but their dynasties had 
passed away, their empires had crumbled to pieces. 
What was the reason ? Was it not that they had estab- 
lished their dominion on force alone, and that when force 
ceased to be vitalised by their own great personalities 
their dominion, having struck no root in the soil, withered 
away and perished ? Akbar, far ahead of his times, 
determined to try another and a better way by seeking 
the welfare of the populations he subdued, by dispensing 
equal justice to all races and creeds, by courting loyal 
service from Hindus as well as Mahomedans, by giving 
them a share on terms of complete equality in the adminis- 
tration of the country, by breaking down the social 
barriers between them, even those which hedge in the 
family. He was a soldier, and he knew when and how to 
use force, but he never used force alone. He subdued 
the Rajput states, but he won the allegiance of their 
princes and himself took a consort from among their 
daughters. With their help he reduced the independent 



58 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Mahomedan kings of Middle India, from Gujerat in the 
West to Bengal in the East. He created a homogeneous 
system of civil administration which our own still in 
many respects resembles, the revenue system especially, 
which was based on ancient Hindu custom, having survived 
with relatively slight modifications to the present day. 

Political uniformity had been achieved, at least over 
a very large area of India. A great stride had been 
made towards real unity and social fusion. Nevertheless 
Akbar felt that, so long as the fierce religious exclusivism 
of Islam on the one hand, and the rigidity of the Hindu 
caste system on the other, were not fundamentally modified 
there could be no security for the future against the revival 
of the old and deep-seated antagonism between the two 
races and creeds. He was himself learned in Islamic 
doctrine ; he caused some of the Brahmanical sacred 
books to be translated into Persian the cultured language 
of his court so that he could study them for himself ; 
and he invited Christians and Zoroastrians, as well as 
Hindus and Mahomedans of different schools of thought, 
to confer with him and discuss in his presence the relative 
merits of their religious systems. The deserted palaces 
of Fatehpur Sikri, which he planned out and built with 
all his characteristic energy as a royal residence, only 
about twenty-two miles distant from the imperial city of 
Agra, still stand in a singularly perfect state of preservation 
that enables one to reconstruct with exceptional vividness 
the life of the splendid court over which the greatest of 
the Moghul Emperors the contemporary of our own 
great Queen Elizabeth presided during perhaps the 
most characteristic years of his long reign. Within the 
enceinte of his palace were grouped the chief offices of 
the State, the Treasury, the Record Office, the Council 
Chamber, the Audience Hall, some of them monuments 
of architectural skill and of decorative taste, more often 
bearing the impress of Hindu than of Mahomedan in- 
spiration. For his first wife, Sultana Rakhina, who was 
also his first cousin, Akbar built the Jodh Bai palace, 



in MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 59 

whilst over against it, in the beautiful " Golden House," 
dwelt his Rajput consort, Miriam-uz-Zemani, who bore 
him the future Emperor Jehanghir. Nor did he forget 
his favourite friends and counsellors. Upon no building 
in Fatehpur has such a wealth of exquisite ornamentation 
been lavished as upon the dainty palace of Raja Birbal, 
the most learned and illustrious Hindu, who gave his 
spiritual as well as his political allegiance to Akbar. The 
Mahomedan brothers Abul Fazl and Faizi, whose conver- 
sation, untrammelled by orthodoxy, so largely influenced 
his religious evolution, had their house close to the great 
mosque, sacred to the memory of a Mahomedan saint 
who, according to popular legend, sacrificed the life of 
his own infant son in order that Akbar's should live. 
In the great hall of the Ibadat Khaneh, built by him for 
the purpose, Akbar himself took part in the disputations of 
learned men of all denominations in search of religious 
truth. The spirit which inspired Akbar during that 
period of his life breathes nowhere more deeply than in 
one of the inscriptions which he chose for the " Gate 
of Victory," the lofty portal, perhaps the most splendid 
in India, leading up to the spacious mosque quadrangle : 
" Jesus, on whom be peace, said : * The world is a bridge. 
Pass over it, but build not upon it. The world endures 
but an hour ; spend that hour in devotion.' ' 

It was at Fatehpur that Akbar sought to set the seal 
upon his conquests in peace and in war by evolving 
from a comparative study of all the religions of his 
empire some permanent remedy for the profound 
denominational and racial discords by which, unless he 
could heal them, he foresaw that his life's work would 
assuredly some day be wrecked. Did he despair of any 
remedy unless he took the spiritual law, as he had already 
taken the civil law, into his own hands ? Or was even 
as noble a mind as his not proof against the overweening 
v/3pis to which a despotic genius has so often succumbed ? 
One momentous evening, in the Hall of Disputations, he 
caused, or allowed, his devoted friend and confidant, 



60 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Abul Fazl, to proclaim the Emperor's infallibility in the 
domain of faith. From claiming the right to explain 
away the Koran, which is the corner-stone of Islam, 
its alpha and omega, to repudiating it altogether, there 
was but a short step. Akbar very soon took it. He 
promulgated a new religion, which he called the Din-i-Ilahi, 
and a new profession of faith, which, instead of the old 
Islamic formula, " There is no God but God, and 
Mahomed is his prophet," proclaimed indeed in the same 
words the unity of God, but declared Akbar to be the one 
Vicegerent of God. The new religion, theistic in doctrine, 
not only borrowed its prayers chiefly from the Parsees 
and its ritual from the Hindus, but practically abolished 
all Mahomedan observances. The orthodox Mahomedans 
naturally held up their hands in horror, and many pre- 
ferred honourable exile to conformity. But the awe 
which Akbar inspired, and perhaps the acknowledged 
elevation of his motives, generally compelled at least 
outward acceptance during his lifetime. His Mahomedan 
subjects had, moreover, to admit that his desire to con- 
ciliate Hinduism did not blind him to its most perverse 
features. Whilst he abolished the capitation tax on 
Hindus and the tax upon Hindu pilgrims, he forbade 
infant marriages and, short of absolute prohibition, did 
all he could to discountenance the self-immolation of 
Hindu widows. To the Brahmans especially his con- 
demnation, both implied and explicit, of the caste system 
was a constant stone of offence. 

Great as was his genius and admirable as were many 
of his institutions, Akbar, to use a homely phrase, fell 
between two stools to the ground. He himself ceased to 
be a Mahomedan without becoming a Hindu, wnilst 
the great bulk at least of his subjects still remained at 
bottom Mahomedans and Hindus as before. Neither 
community was ripe for an eclectic creed based only 
upon sweet reasonableness and lofty ethical conceptions. 
His son and successor, Jehangir, at once reverted to 
Mahomedan orthodoxy, but the reaction only became 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 61 

militant when Aurungzeb succeeded Shah Jehan. The 
profound incompatibility between Islam and Hinduism 
reasserted itself in him with a bitterness which the grow- 
ing menace of the rising power of the Hindu Mahrattas 
probably helped to intensify. The reimposition of the 
poll-tax on the Hindus destroyed the last vestige of the 
great work of conciliation to which Akbar had vainly 
applied all his brilliant energies. Like Fatehpur Sikri 
itself, which for lack of water he had been compelled to 
abandon within fifteen years of its construction, it was 
a magnificent failure, and it was perhaps bound in his 
time to be a failure. 

Aurungzeb was the first of the Moghuls to reside 
in the Mahomedan atmosphere of Delhi throughout his 
long reign. But, begun in usurpation at the cost of 
his own father, it ended in misery and gloom. His sons 
had revolted against him, his sombre fanaticism had 
estranged from him the Rajput princes of whom Akbar 
had made the pillars of the Moghul throne, and though 
he had reduced to subjection the last of the independent 
Mahomedan kingdoms of India, he had exhausted his 
vast military resources in long and fruitless endeavours 
to arrest the growth of the new Mahratta power, to which 
Shivaji had not unsuccessfully attempted to rally the 
spiritual forces of disaffected Hinduism. In the in- 
capable hands of Aurungzeb's successors, whilst the 
Delhi palace became a hotbed of squalid and often 
sanguinary intrigue, disintegration proceeded with start- 
ling rapidity. Revolt followed revolt within, and the 
era of external invasions was reopened. Nadir Shah 
swept down from Persia and, after two months' carnage 
and plunder, carried off from Delhi booty to the value of 
thirty-two millions, including the famous Peacock Throne. 
Then the Afghans again broke through the northern 
passes. Six times in the course of fourteen years 
did Ahmed Shah Durani carry fire and sword through 
Northern India. One service, however, the Afghan 
rendered. From the Deccan, where a great Mahratta 



62 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

confederacy had grown up under the Poona Peishwa, 
the Mahrattas slowly but surely closed in upon Delhi. 
Another great battle was fought at Panipat between the 
Afghan invaders from the North and the flower of the 
Mahratta army. The Mahrattas endured a crushing defeat, 
which, together with treachery within their own ranks, 
broke up the confederacy and prepared the downfall of 
their military power, which British arms were to complete. 
For whilst the Moghul Empire was rapidly breaking up, 
.the oversea penetration of India by the ocean route, 
which the Portuguese had been the first to open up at 
the beginning of the sixteenth century, was progressing 
apace. Of all those who had followed in the wake of 
the Portuguese Dutch and Danes and Spaniards and 
French and British the British alone had come to stay. 
After Panipat the wretched emperor, Shah Alam II., 
actually took refuge at Allahabad under British protection, 
and stayed there for some years as a pensioner of the 
East India Company, already a power in the land. Well 
for him had he remained there, for he returned to Delhi 
only to be buffeted, first by one faction and then by 
another. Ghulam Kadir, the Rohilla, blinded him in 
the very Hall of Audience which bears the famous 
inscription, " If a paradise there be on earth, it is here, 
it is here, it is here " ; and when the Mahrattas rescued 
him he merely exchanged jailers. He was already an 
old man, decrepit and sightless, when in 1803, in the same 
Hall of Audience, he welcomed his deliverer in Lord Lake, 
who had routed the Mahratta forces, almost within sight 
of his palace, between Humayun's tomb and the river 
Jumna. Then, perhaps for the first time in her history, 
India knew peace ; for though two more descendants 
of the Moghul Emperors were still suffered to retain at 
Delhi the insignia of royalty, Mahomedan domination 
was over and her destinies had passed into the strong 
keeping of the British, who have sought to fulfil, on 
different and sounder lines, the purpose which had inspired 
the noblest of Akbar's dreams. 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 63 

But throughout all those centuries of Mahomedan 
domination the enduring power of Hinduism had bent 
without ever breaking to the storm, even in Northern 
India, where it was exposed to the full blast of successive 
tempests. Many of its branches withered or were ruth- 
lessly lopped off, but its roots were too firmly and too 
deeply embedded in the soil to be fatally injured. It 
continued indeed to throw off fresh shoots. The same 
process of adaptation, assimilation, and absorption, which 
had been going on for centuries before the Mahomedan 
conquest, without ever being permanently or even very 
deeply affected by the vicissitudes of Indian political 
history, went on throughout all the centuries of Ma- 
homedan domination. Whilst millions of Hindus were, 
it is true, being forcibly converted to Islam, Hinduism, 
making good its losses to a great extent by the complete 
elimination of Buddhism, and by permeating the Dravidian 
races of Southern India, continued its own social and 
religious evolution. It was, in fact, after the tide of 
Mahomedan conquest had set in that Hindu theology 
put on fresh forms of interpretation. The rivalry between 
the cults of Shiva and of Vishnu became more acute, 
and many of the Dharmashastras and Puranas were 
recast and elaborated by Shivaite and Vishnuite writers 
respectively in the form in which we now know them, 
thus affording contemporary and graphic pictures of the 
persistency of Hindu life and manners after India had 
lost all political independence. It was then, too, that 
Krishna rose to be perhaps the most popular of Hindu 
gods, and the divine love, of which he was at first the 
personification, was to a great extent lost sight of in 
favour of his human amours, whilst the works known as 
the Tantras, deriving in their origin from the ancient 
ideas of sexual dualism immanent in some of the Vedic 
deities, developed the customary homage paid to the 
consorts of the great gods into the Sakti worship of the 
female principle, often with ritual observances either 
obscene or sanguinary or both. Possibly as a result of 



64 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

closer contact with primitive Dravidian religions, or of 
such wild lawlessness as followed the barbarous devasta- 
tion wrought by Timur, the blood even of human victims 
flowed more freely before the altars of the Mahamatri, 
the great goddesses personified in Kali and Durga. The 
worship of the gods assumed a more terrific and orgiastic 
character. Sati was more frequently practised. Many of 
the most splendid and, at the present day, most famous 
temples amongst others that of Jaganath at Puri 
were founded during that period. The custom, in itself 
very ancient, of religious pilgrimages to celebrated shrines 
and to the banks and sources of specially sacred rivers, 
was consecrated in elaborate manuals which became 
text-books of ritual as well as of religious geography. 
Much of what might be regarded as the degeneration of 
Hinduism from its earlier and more spiritual forms into 
gross idolatry and licentiousness, may well have been in 
itself a reaction against the iconoclastic monotheism of 
the politically triumphant Mahomedans. Caste, which 
was as foreign to Islam as to Christianity, but nevertheless 
retained its hold upon Indian converts to Islam as it has 
also in later times upon Indian converts to the Christian 
creeds, tended to harden still further ; for caste has ever 
been the keystone of Hinduism, and, as Mahomedan 
power gradually waned, Hinduism reasserted itself in a 
spirit of both religious and national rebellion against 
Mahomedan domination. 

The most permanent, or at least the most signal, mark 
which Mahomedan ascendancy has left upon Hinduism 
has been to accentuate the inferiority of woman by her 
close confinement of which there are few traces in earlier 
times within the zenana, possibly in the first instance 
a precautionary measure for her protection against the 
lust of the Mahomedan conquerors. Her seclusion still 
constitutes one of the greatest obstacles to Indian social 
and religious reform. For, as custom requires an Indian 
girl to be shut up in the zenana at the very age when 
her education, except in quite elementary schools, should 



m MAHOMEDAN DOMINATION 65 

commence, the women of India, even in the classes in 
which the men of India have been drawn into the orbit 
by Western education, have until recently remained 
and still for the most part remain untouched by it, and 
their innate conservatism clings to social traditions and 
religious superstitions of which their male belongings 
have already been taught to recognise the evils. In this 
respect Mahomedan domination has helped to strengthen 
the forces of resistance inherent to Hinduism. 

On the other hand, Mahomedan domination has left 
behind it a deep line of religious cleavage, deepest in the 
north, which was the seat of Mahomedan power, but 
extending to almost every part of India. Sixty-six 
millions of Indians out of three hundred millions are 
still Mahomedans, and though time has in a large 
measure effaced the racial differences between the original 
Mahomedan conquerors and the indigenous populations 
converted to their creed, the religious antagonism between 
Islam and Hinduism, though occasionally and temporarily 
sunk in a sense of common hostility to alien rulers who 
are neither Mahomedans nor Hindus, is still one of the 
most potent factors not only in the social but in the 
political life of India, both indelibly moulded from times 
immemorial by the supreme force of religion. We have 
a pale reflection of that sort of antagonism at our own 
doors in the bitterness between Protestants and Roman 
Catholics in Ulster. All over India, Mahomedans and 
Hindus alike remember the centuries of Mahomedan 
domination, the latter with the bitterness bred of the 
long oppression that struck down their gods and mutilated 
their shrines, the former with the unquenched pride and 
unquenchable hope of a fierce faith which will yet, they 
believe, make the whole world subject to Allah, the one 
God, and Mahomed, his one Prophet. 



CHAPTER IV 

BRITISH RULE UNDER THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 

THE basic fact which has governed the whole evolution 
of British rule in India is that we went there in the first 
instance as traders, and not as conquerors. For trade 
meant co-operation. There could be no successful trading 
for British traders unless they found Indian traders ready 
to co-operate with them in trade. That we ever went 
to India at all was due to the national instincts of an 
insular people accustomed to go down to the sea in ships 
and to trade with distant lands. When the rise of great 
Mahomedan states on the southern and eastern shores 
of the Mediterranean, and finally the conquest of 
Constantinople by the Turks, blocked the overland trade 
routes from Christendom into the Orient, our forefathers 
determined to emulate the example of the Spaniards and 
Portuguese and open up new ocean highways to the 
remote markets credited with fabulous wealth which 
would have been otherwise lost to them indefinitely. 
The handful of English merchant-venturers who under 
Queen Elizabeth's charter first established three hundred 
years ago a few precarious settlements on the far-flung 
shores of a then almost unknown continent no more 
dreamt of ruling India than did the great East India 
Company of which they had laid the foundations when 
it first sought to extend its trading operations into the 
interior and sent an embassy to court the goodwill of 
the mighty Moghul emperors then at the height of their 
power. Throughout those early days co-operation between 

66 



CHAP, iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 67 

Indians and Englishmen, though then for the sole purpose 
of trade, was the principle that guided British enterprise 
in India, and the venturers would never have grown and 
thriven as they did had they not laid themselves out to 
secure the confidence and co-operation of the Indians who 
flocked to their " factories." At home too it was not 
dominion, but the profits derived from the Indian trade 
that occupied the mind of the nation. Not till the 
disintegration of the Moghul Empire in the eighteenth 
century plunged India into a welter of anarchy which 
endangered not only our trade but the safety of our 
settlements, which, like the foreign settlements in the 
Chinese Treaty Ports to-day, attracted in increasing 
numbers an indigenous population in search of security 
for life and property, did the Directors of the East India 
Company consent to depart from their policy of absolute 
non-intervention in the internal affairs of India. Nor was 
it till, in the course of the great duel between England 
and France for the mastery of the seas which only ended 
at Trafalgar, the genius of Dupleix threatened the very 
existence of the East India Company that the British 
nation began to face the responsibilities of British 
dominion in India as the only alternative to the greater 
danger of French dominion. It was the French challenge 
to Britain's position all over the world far more than any 
deliberate policy of conquest in India that drove successive 
agents of the East India Company to enlarge the area of 
British authority, and successive Governments at home to 
acquiesce and aid in its enlargement, until ultimately the 
whole peninsula was made subject to the paramount 
British power from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin. 

But even that long period of irresistible expansion 
was a period of almost constant co-operation between 
British and Indians. The East India Company extended 
its authority quite as much by a system of alliances with 
indigenous rulers, who turned to our growing power to 
save them from destruction at the hands of Haidar Ali 
or of the Mahratta confederacy, as by mere force of arms, 



68 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

and, when it had to use force, its most decisive victories 
in the field were won by armies in which Indian troops 
fought shoulder to shoulder with British troops. At 
Plassey in 1757 and at Buxar in 1764, when the destinies 
of India were still in the balance, the British, though the 
backbone of the Company's forces, formed only a tithe 
numerically of the victorious armies that fought under 
Clive and Munro. The traditions of loyal comradeship 
between the Indian and the British army, only once and 
for a short time seriously broken during the Mutiny of 
1857, can be traced back to the earliest days of British 
ascendancy, just as the map of India to-day, with hundreds 
of native States, covering one-third of the total area and 
nearly one -fourth of the total population under the 
autonomous rulership of their own ancient dynasties, 
testifies to the wisdom and moderation which inspired 
the policy of the East India Company in preferring, 
wherever circumstances made co-operation possible, co- 
operation based upon alliances to submission enforced 
by the sword. 

In the same spirit there grew up at home with the 
extension of British dominion in India a definite deter- 
mination on the part of the British Government and the 
British people to control the methods by which British 
dominion was to be exercised and maintained. So when 
the British in India ceased to be mere traders and became 
administrators and rulers, they had behind them not only 
the driving power, but the restraining force also, of a 
civilisation which was producing in England new con- 
ceptions of personal rights destined profoundly to affect 
the relations between those who govern and those who 
are governed. Those conceptions which underlay both 
the great Cromwellian upheaval and the more peaceful 
revolution of 1688 were at first limited in their application 
to the free people of Britain, but they began before long 
to influence also the attitude of the British people towards 
the alien races brought under their sway. The motives 
which prompted English colonial enterprise in its earliest 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 69 

stages did not differ materially from those which prompted 
the Spanish and the Portuguese, the Dutch and the 
French. All were impelled primarily by the desire to 
attain wealth. But whilst our competitors never got 
much beyond that stage, and for the most part imagined 
that the only way to attain wealth was by a crude 
exploitation of subject countries and peoples, the British 
were saved from similar short-sightedness by the very 
different spirit with which the development of their own 
national institutions had imbued their rulers at home. By 
the middle of the eighteenth century a British Govern- 
ment had a very different sense of its responsibilities to 
the British people for the welfare of the nation as a whole 
from that which any continental ruler had been taught to 
entertain in regard to his own people. That sense of 
responsibility the British Government and the British 
people applied in a modified form to the administration of 
their Indian possessions. 

So long as British settlements were confined to trading 

factories on the shores of the Indian Ocean, the problems 

of administration were simple . The three ' ' Presidents ' ' who 

with their large and rather unwieldy Councils carried on 

at the beginning of the eighteenth century the affairs of 

the East India Company on the west coast, at Madras 

and in Bengal were chiefly concerned with commercial 

operations, and they provided in their own way and out 

of their own resources for the maintenance of the public 

peace within the narrow areas subject to their jurisdiction. 

But matters assumed a very different complexion when 

instead of merely taking abundant tithe of the wealth 

acquired by the enterprise and ability of British traders 

in a far-away land, the British people had to lend financial 

and military assistance in order to rescue the East India 

Company from destruction at the hands of their French 

rivals as well as from the overwhelming ruin of internecine 

strife all over India. The grant of the Diwani to the 

Company by the titular Emperor of Delhi gave the 

Company not only the wealth of Bengal, the richest 



70 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

province in India, but full rights of government and 
administration, which were at first ruthlessly exercised 
with little or no regard for the interests of the unfortunate 
population, who alone gained nothing by the change. 
The magnitude of the financial transactions between the 
Company and the British Government, which was some- 
times heavily subsidised by the Company's coffers and 
then in turn compelled to make considerable advances in 
order to replenish them, and the splendour of the fortunes 
amassed by many of the Company's servants who returned 
from India to spend them in ostentatious luxury and in 
political intrigue at home, combined with the brilliant 
achievements of British arms on Indian soil to focus 
public attention on Indian affairs. They became one of 
the live issues of British party politics. 

There was much that was squalid and grossly unjust 
in the rancorous campaigns conducted first against Clive 
and then against Warren Hastings. But behind all the 
personal jealousies and the greed of factions there was a 
strong and healthy public instinct that the responsibilities 
assumed by the East India Company were greater than a 
trading association could safely be left to discharge un- 
controlled, and that the State could not divest itself of 
the duties imposed upon it by the acquisition of vast and 
populous possessions. It would be idle to pretend that 
the British people already entertained any definite con- 
ception of a tutelary relationship towards the peoples of 
India, or were animated by purely philanthropic solici- 
tude for the moral welfare of India. But the passionate 
oratory of Fox and Burke and their fervid denunciation 
of oppression and wrongdoing in India awoke responsive 
echoes far beyond the walls of Westminster. In 1762, 
when France had claimed, in the course of the peace nego- 
tiations which led to the Treaty of Paris, the restitution of 
the possessions she had lost to the East India Company, 
the British Government pleaded the absence of " any 
right of the Crown of England to interfere in the legal 
and exclusive property of a body corporate." Only 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 71 

eleven years later, the House of Commons passed resolu- 
tions to the effect that " all acquisitions made under the 
influence of military force or by treaty with foreign princes 
do of right belong to the State," and the Commons had 
the country behind them. From 1773 onward British 
public opinion never hesitated to support Parliament in 
claiming and exercising supreme control over Indian 
affairs. 

A very brief survey of the long series of enactments 
in which Parliament, asserting the right of " eminent 
dominion over every British subject in every country," 
gradually established its authority over Indian adminis- 
tration and moulded it to the shape which it virtually 
preserved until the Crown assumed direct sovereignty 
in 1858, shows how steadily the strengthening of Par- 
liamentary control kept pace with the extension of 
British dominion in India. The first of these legislative 
measures was Lord North's Regulating Act, which was 
passed in 1773, just eight years after the East India 
Company had acquired for the first time the right of 
revenue and civil administration over vast territories in 
Bengal and in the Madras " Northern Circars," and 
thereby taken over the duties of government in respect 
of a great native population, absolutely alien in race, 
in religion, and in customs. Lord North's Act did not 
attack directly the problem of Indian government, but 
it sought to facilitate its solution by the East India 
Company itself by reforming its constitution at home, 
where the jealousies and intrigues of rival factions in the 
Board of Directors had often reached the dimensions of 
a public scandal, and by centralising the Company's 
authority in India, where, as the result of recent develop- 
ments which had now established the centre of British 
gravity in Bengal, the post of Governor-General was 
created for the Bengal Presidency and invested with 
powers of control over the other Presidencies, Madras 
and Bombay, which had hitherto enjoyed a status of 
practical equality. At the same time an attempt was 



72 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

made to strengthen control from home by enjoining upon 
the Governor-General to keep the Board of Directors in 
London fully informed and to abide by its instructions, 
whilst a check was placed upon the executive authority 
in Bengal by the creation of a Supreme Court in Calcutta 
from which the present High Court is descended. 

The defect of this legislation a defect inherent to 
the situation in India itself was the dualism it created 
by endeavouring to enforce Parliamentary restraints 
upon a Company which derived its title to government 
over the greater part of its possessions from the irrespons- 
ible despotism of the Moghul emperors. The Company 
was thus made to serve two masters, and at the same time 
it remained essentially a great trading corporation whose 
commercial and fiscal interests were always liable to 
conflict, and sometimes did conflict, with its duties towards 
both masters. The total collapse of the Moghul Empire 
removed before long one of the ambiguities of this situa- 
tion, but the other endured in a greater or less degree 
until the East India Company itself disappeared, though 
every subsequent measure of Indian legislation at home 
tended to bring the Indian executive more and more 
fully under the control of the home Government. 

Eleven years later Pitt's famous Government of India 
Act of 1784 marked a very important step forward. 
Another great war had been brought to an end by the 
Peace of Versailles in 1783, and whilst at its close we 
had lost the greater part of our North American Colonies, 
the genius of Warren Hastings had saved and consolidated 
British power in India. It was easy to criticise, and if 
we are to judge in accordance with modern standards, 
it is doubtless right to condemn some of the devices to 
which he resorted in the course of the long struggle he 
was often left to wage with little or no help, and some- 
times in the face of active obstruction from those who, 
at home and in India, should have been the first to 
support him. Whatever his errors may have been, they 
were more than atoned for by the cruel persecution to 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 73 

which he was subjected whilst England was harvesting 
the fruits of his energy and courage. Pitt's Act was in 
fact the solemn consecration of all his greatest achieve- 
ments, whilst it brought India into closer and more 
direct relationship with the Crown. Not the least of 
the difficulties with which Hastings, the only Governor- 
General appointed by the East India Company, was 
confronted arose from frequent opposition in his own 
Council, where he was merely primus inter pares. Pitt 
took care to provide against the recurrence of similar 
trouble in the future. But having strengthened the 
Governor-General's position, he took away the right of 
appointing him from the Company and transferred it to 
the Crown. Nor was that all. The Company itself 
was placed under the effective control of the Crown by 
the establishment in London of a Board of Control, of 
which the President was ultimately to develop into 
the Secretary of State for India, over the Courts of 
Directors and Proprietors. In substance, if not in form, 
India was already becoming a Dependency of the British 
Crown. 

Nor was Pitt's Act concerned only with the relations 
of the Company to the Crown. Its numerous and very 
drastic provisions for the prevention and punishment 
of the corruption and oppression which had become 
rampant amongst the Company's servants after the grant 
of the Diwani testified to the determination of Parlia- 
ment, whilst acquiescing in the extension of the British 
dominion, to uphold and enforce at the same time in 
the governance of Indian peoples the principle of justice 
for all to which the British people had gradually fought 
their way. A strong impetus was thus given to the great 
reforms already initiated by Clive himself, and still more 
drastically by Warren Hastings, which, within the frame- 
work as far as possible of the old indigenous system 
of judicial and civil administration, built up on solid 
foundations of integrity and efficiency a capacious and 
elastic structure easily extended to the vast territories that 



74 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

were still to pass under British rule. But then no more than 
at any later period could the machinery of government have 
worked smoothly, or even at all, without the co-operation 
of the Indians themselves, who were recruited in large 
numbers into the Company's service. Respect for their 
traditional customs and beliefs, and encouragement, of 
which Warren Hastings was the first to recognise the 
importance, to Indian education, though still only on 
the old lines with which Indians were already familiar, 
secured the growing loyalty of their co-operation. Then, 
as now, it was nowhere more effective than in the judicial 
administration, and side by side with new tribunals, 
which conformed with Western jurisprudence, the old 
ones, purified and reorganised, continued to dispense 
justice in accordance mainly with Hindu and Mahomedan 
and Indian customary law. With the consolidation of 
the British paramount power Indians learnt to identify 
it with their ancient conception of the State, and the 
Company's service came to enjoy the popularity and 
prestige which had always attached to the service of the 
State under their indigenous rulers and even under 
Mahomedan domination. 

The renewal of the Company's Charter, which took 
place at intervals of twenty years, dating from Lord 
North's Act of 1773, afforded a convenient opportunity 
for the revision, when required, both of its relations to 
the Crown and of its methods of government in India. 
The abrogation of its trading monopoly in 1813 was mainly 
a concession to opposition at home, quickened by the loss 
of the European markets which had been closed against 
Great Britain by Napoleon's continental system, and for 
the renewal of its Charter the Company had to surrender 
its trading monopoly. It was the first step towards the 
abrogation of all its trading privileges twenty years later, 
when the Company, finally delivered from the tempta- 
tions which beset a commercial corporation, became for 
the first time a purely governing body, free to devote 
its entire energies to the discharge of the immense 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 75 

responsibilities that had devolved upon it. This was, 
however, only one, though not the least significant of 
the momentous changes that accompanied the renewal 
of the Charter in 1833. 

The trend of events in Europe after the peace in 1815 
had tended to accentuate the profound divergency of 
views between Great Britain and the leading continental 
Powers in regard to fundamental principles of govern- 
ment, which, dating back to the seventeenth century, 
had been arrested at the close of the eighteenth by the 
exigencies of common action against the excesses of 
the French Revolution and the inordinate ambition of 
Napoleon. Under the auspices of the Holy Alliance, 
the continent of Europe was drifting into blind reaction. 
The British people, on the contrary, were entering upon 
a further stage of democratic evolution at home, and, 
under the influence of new liberal and humanitarian 
doctrines, their sympathies were going out abroad to 
every down - trodden nationality that was struggling, 
whether in Greece or in South America, to throw off the 
yoke of oppressive despotisms. Their growing sense of 
responsibility towards alien races which they themselves 
held in subjection was manifested most conspicuously in 
the generous movement which resulted in the abolition 
of slavery in our West Indian Colonies. It could not 
fail to be extended also to India. Under Lord Hastings 
British dominion had again rapidly expanded between 
1813 and 1823, when he left it firmly established from the 
extreme south to the Sutlej in the north. Then ten years 
of internal and external peace had followed in which the 
educational labours, chiefly in Bengal, of a generation of 
great missionaries began not only to meet with un- 
expected reward in India itself, but also to stir the public 
mind at home to new aspects of a mission which came 
to be regarded as providential, and to the moral duties 
which it imposed upon us in return for the material 
advantages to be derived from political dominion. Some 
of our great administrators in India were themselves 



76 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

beginning to look forward to a time, however far distant, 
when we should have made the people of India capable 
of self-government not yet, of course, on the lines 
now contemplated, since even in Great Britain self- 
government was not established then on a broad popular 
basis. As early as 1824 Sir Thomas Munro, then 
Governor of Madras, raised in an official minute the " one 
great question to which we should look in all our arrange- 
ments : What is to be their final result on the character 
of the people ? " The following passage in that remark- 
able document may be commended to our faint-hearted 
doubters of to-day : 

Liberal treatment has always been found the most effectual 
way of elevating the character of any people, and we may be 
sure that it will produce a similar effect on that of the people 
of India. The change will no doubt be slow, but that is the 
very reason why no time should be lost in commencing the 
work. We should not be discouraged by difficulties, nor, 
because little progress may be made in our own time, abandon 
the enterprise as hopeless, and charge upon the obstinacy and 
bigotry of the nations the failure occasioned by our own 
fickleness in not pursuing steadily the only line of conduct 
on which any hope of success can be reasonably founded. We 
should make the same allowances for the Hindus as for other 
nations and consider how slow the progress of improvement 
has been among the nations of Europe and through what 
a long course of barbarous ages they had to pass before 
they attained their present state. When we compare other 
countries with England, we usually speak of England as she 
now is. We scarcely ever think of going back beyond the 
Reformation, and we are apt to regard every foreign nation 
as ignorant and uncivilised, whose state of government does 
not in some degree approximate to our own, even should it 
be higher than our own was at no distant date. 

We should look upon India not as a temporary possession 
but as one to be maintained permanently until the natives 
shall in some future age have abandoned most of their super- 
stitions and prejudices and become sufficiently enlightened to 
frame a regular government for themselves and to conduct 
and preserve it. Whenever such a time shall arrive it will 
probably be best for both countries that the British control 
over India should be gradually withdrawn. That the desirable 
change contemplated may in some after age be effected in 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 77 

India there is no cause to despair. Such a change was at one 
time in Britain itself at least as hopeless as it is here. When 
we reflect how much the character of nations has always been 
influenced by that of governments, and that some, once the 
most cultivated, have sunk into barbarism, while others, 
formerly the rudest, have attained the highest point of 
civilisation, we shall see no reason to doubt that if we pursue 
steadily the proper measures, we shall in time so far improve 
the character of our Indian subjects as to enable them to 
govern and protect themselves. 

It was a splendid vision for a great British adminis- 
trator to have entertained nearly one hundred years ago, 
though, with no self-governing Dominions in those days 
to point a better way, the only possibility that could 
occur to Munro's mind in the event of its fulfilment was 
an amicable but complete severance of our connection 
with India ; and it is well to be reminded of the faith 
that was already in him and not a few other experienced 
and broad-minded Englishmen in India as well as at 
home, now that many of us are inclined to contemplate 
only with scepticism and apprehension an approach to 
its fulfilment on the new lines which the evolution of the 
British Empire and of democratic government throughout 
all its component parts, neither of which could then be 
foreseen, have in the meantime suggested. 

Indians were at that time already employed in large 
numbers in the Company's services, but only in sub- 
ordinate posts, for which in most cases their educational 
backwardness alone fitted them, and only as an act of 
grace on the part of their British rulers. Parliament 
had recognised the right of the Indian people to expect 
from us the benefits of good and honest government 
perhaps as a duty which we owed to ourselves as much 
as to them but it had not yet risen to a recognition 
of their right to any active share in the government 
of their country. 

One of the first questions to come before the new 
Parliament elected after the great Reform Bill was that 
of the renewal of the Company's charter in 1833. The 



78 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Parliamentary Committee appointed to inquire and report 
on the subject struck a new note when it laid distinct 
stress on the Indian point of view. It admitted frankly 
that " Indians were alive to the grievance of being 
excluded from a larger share in the executive govern- 
ment," and proceeded to state that in its opinion ample 
evidence had been given to show " that such exclusion 
is not warranted on the score of their own incapacity for 
business or the want of application or trustworthiness." 
Accordingly, when the Charter was renewed, Parliament 
laid it down that " no native of the said Indian territories, 
nor any natural British -born subject of His Majesty 
resident therein, shall by reason only of his religion, 
place of birth, descent, colour, or any of them be disabled 
from holding any place, office, or employment under 
the Company." This was the first substantial promise 
given to India that British rule was not to spell merely 
the unqualified dominion, however beneficent, of alien 
rulers. It invited the co-operation of the subject race, 
instead of merely postulating unconditional submission. 
It heralded at the same time the introduction of Western 
education, without which the promise would have been 
empty. 

The problem of Indian education had occupied the 
minds of far-sighted Englishmen from the days of Warren 
Hastings, who had been the first to provide out of the 
Company's funds for the maintenance of indigenous 
educational institutions, and it had been definitely pro- 
vided in the renewal of the Charter in 1813 that the 
Company should set aside a certain portion of its revenues 
to be spent annually upon education. But long delays 
had been caused by an interminable and fierce controversy 
over the rival merits of the vernaculars and of English 
as the more suitable vehicle for the diffusion of education. 
The champions of English were much encouraged by 
the immediate success which attended the opening of 
an English school in Calcutta in 1830 by Dr. Alexander 
Duff, a great missionary who was convinced that English 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 79 

education could alone win over India to Christianity, 
and Macaulay's famous Minute of March 7, 1835, dis- 
figured as it is by the quite unmerited and ignorant 
scorn which he poured out on Oriental learning with his 
customary self-confidence, finally turned the scales in 
favour of the adoption of English as essential to the spread 
of Western education. One of the immediate objects in 
view and incidentally as a measure of economy was 
undoubtedly the training of Indians, and in much larger 
numbers, for the more efficient performance of the work 
allotted to them in the administrative and judicial 
services of the Company. But if Macaulay was quite 
wrong in imagining that Western education would as- 
similate Indians to Englishmen in everything but their 
complexions, he was by no means blind to the larger 
implications of the new departure he was advocating. 
Like other great Englishmen of his day, he believed that 
good government and, still less, mere dominion were not 
the only ends to which our efforts should be directed. 
" It may be," he declared, " that the public mind of 
India may expand under our system until it has outgrown 
that system ; that by good government we may educate 
our subjects into a capacity for better government ; 
that having become instructed in European knowledge 
they may, in some future age, demand European institu- 
tions. Whether such a day will ever come, I know not. 
But never will I attempt to avert or retard it. When- 
ever it comes, it will be the proudest day in English 
history." 

Peace and law and order British rule had restored to 
India, and its foremost purpose henceforth, as set forth 
by Lord William Bentinck, a great Governor - General, 
imbued with the progressive spirit of the best Englishmen 
in India, to which Parliament had given a fresh impetus, 
was to be the diffusion of Western education. " The 
great object of the British Government," he declared, 
" ought to be the promotion of English literature and 
science, and all the funds appropriated for the purpose 



80 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of education would be best employed in English education 
alone." 

India seemed for the next twenty years to respond 
enthusiastically to the new call. Not only were the new 
Government schools as well as the older missionary 
schools thronged with Indian students who displayed 
no less intelligence than industry in the acquisition of 
Western learning, but the rapid assimilation of Western 
ideas amongst the upper classes, especially in Bengal, 
was reflected in the social and religious reform movements 
initiated by Western-educated Indians touched with the 
spirit of the West. Already in 1829 Lord William Bentinck 
had been supported by a considerable body of Indian 
public opinion in prohibiting the barbarous custom of 
Sati, i.e. the self-immolation of Hindu widows on the 
funeral pyre of their husbands. Government, however, 
rightly felt that, except in regard to practices of which it 
could not tolerate the continuance without surrendering 
the principles of humanity for which it stood, it was for 
the Indians themselves and not for their alien rulers to 
take the lead in bringing their religious and social customs 
and beliefs into harmony with Western standards. Nor 
was there any lack of Indians to give their countrymen 
that lead amongst them several high-caste Brahmans, 
Bam Mohun Roy first and foremost. They were resolved 
to cleanse Hinduism of the superstitious and idolatrous 
impurities which, as they believed, were only morbid 
growths on the pure kernel of Hindu philosophy. The 
Brahmo Somaj, the most vital of all these reform 
movements, professed even to reconcile Hinduism with 
theism, though without importing into the new creed 
the belief in any personal God. British administrators 
watched and fostered the moral and intellectual progress 
of India with increasing confidence in the results of 
Western education, and none with more conviction than 
Lord Dalhousie, a high-minded and dour Scotsman, who 
was the last Governor-General to serve out his time 
under the East India Company. Other aspects of his 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 81 

policy may have been less wise. The extension of British 
rule to the Punjab became inevitable after a Sikh rising 
compelled him to complete what his predecessor, Lord 
Hardinge, had begun, and break once and for all the 
aggressive power of the Sikh Confederacy ; but the rigorous 
application to the native States of the doctrine of lapse or 
escheat whenever the ruler died without a recognised 
heir, and the forcible annexation of the kingdom of 
Oudh as a penalty incurred by the sins, however gross, 
of the reigning dynasty have been often condemned as 
grave errors of judgment. They were not, in any case, 
errors that can be ascribed to the lust of mere dominion. 
Dalhousie was convinced that Indian progress would 
always be hampered by the continuance of native 
administration under such rulers as the kings of Oudh. 
If he was bent on extending the area of British dominion, 
it was in order to extend the area within which Britain 
was to be free to discharge her civilising mission without 
let or hindrance, and not least by the furtherance of 
education. If he took a legitimate pride in the introduc- 
tion into India under his auspices of the two great 
discoveries of applied science which were just beginning 
to revolutionise the Western world, viz. railways and 
telegraphs, together with unified postage, it was because 
he regarded them as powerful instruments of education. 
The impulse given by him to public instruction even in 
the new provinces recently brought under British control 
prepared the way for the great educational measures of 
1854 which marked a tremendous stride forward on the 
road upon which Macaulay's Minute had started India 
just two decades before. It was to Dalhousie that Sir 
Charles Wood addressed his memorable despatch which 
contained, as the Governor-General frankly acknowledged, 
" a scheme of education for all India far wider and more 
comprehensive than the local or Supreme Governments 
could have ventured to suggest." Its main features 
were the establishment of a department of Public Instruc- 
tion in every province to emphasise the importance 

G 



82 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

attached by Government to the educational purpose of 
British rule ; the creation of Universities in each of the 
three Presidency cities, and of Government colleges of a 
higher grade, and training colleges for teachers, and the 
bestowal of grants - in - aid on private educational insti- 
tutions. The claims of vernacular education were not 
forgotten, nor the vital importance of promoting female 
education, by which "a far greater proportional impulse 
is imported to the educational and moral tone of the 
people than by the education of men." The despatch 
mapped out a really national system of education 
worthy of the faith which the British generation of that 
day had in the establishment of an intellectual and 
spiritual communion between India and the West. The 
initial steps immediately taken by Dalhousie to carry 
the provisions of that despatch into execution are 
enumerated in the masterly Report drawn up by him 
on his way home in 1856, reviewing every aspect of his 
administration during his eight years' tenure of office 
an administration which virtually closed, and not un- 
worthily, perhaps the noblest period of British rule in 
India, when men of the intellectual and moral elevation 
of Bentinck and Munro and Metcalfe and Elphinstone 
and Thomason, and Dalhousie himself, humbly but 
firmly believed that in trying to found " British great- 
ness on Indian happiness " they were carrying out the 
mission which it had pleased Providence to entrust 
to the British people. Dalhousie's parting hope and 
prayer, when he left India, broken in health but not in 
spirit, after eight years of intensely strenuous service, 
was that "in all time to come these reports from the 
Presidencies and provinces under our rule may form in 
each successive year a happy record of peace, prosperity, 
and progress." His immediate successor, Lord Canning, 
was moved to utter some strangely prophetic words before 
he left England : "I wish for a peaceful term of office. 
But I cannot forget that in the sky of India, serene as it 
is, a small cloud may arise, no larger than a man's hand, 



iv THE EAST INDIA COMPANY 83 

but which, growing larger and larger, may at last threaten 
to burst and overwhelm us with ruin." Within less than 
a year the cloud arose and burst, and he had to face the 
outbreak of the Mutiny and see all the foundations of 
co-operation between Indians and British rudely shaken, 
which a broad and liberal policy of "peace, prosperity, 
and progress " seemed to have so well and truly laid. 



CHAPTER V 

THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 

MANY different causes, much more clearly apprehended 
to-day than at the time, contributed to provoke the 
great storm which burst over India in 1857. On the 
surface it was a military and mainly Mahomedan in- 
surrection, but it was far more than that. It was a 
violent upheaval not so much against the political 
supremacy of Britain as against the whole new order of 
things which she was importing into India. The greased 
cartridges would not have sufficed to provoke such an 
explosion, nor would even Mahomedans, let alone Hindus, 
have rallied round a phantom King of Delhi in mere 
revenge for the annexation of Oudh or the enforcement 
of the doctrine of lapse. The cry of " Islam in danger " 
was quick to stir the Mahomedans, but the brains that 
engineered and directed the Mutiny were Hindu, and 
the Mutiny itself was the counter-revolution arraying 
in battle against the intellectual and moral as well as 
against the material and military forces of Western 
civilisation that was slowly but steadily revolutionising 
India, all the grievances and all the fears, all the racial 
and religious antagonism and bitterness aroused by the 
disintegration under its impact of ancient social and 
religious systems. Western education was to yield other 
fruits later on, but before the Mutiny it was rapidly 
familiarising the mind of India with Western ideals which 
imperilled not only the worship of the old gods but also 
the worship of the Brahman as their mouthpiece and 
" the guardian of the treasury of civil and religious duties." 

84 



CH.V THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 85 

Modern schools and colleges threatened to undermine his 
ascendancy just as Western competition had by more 
dubious methods undermined Indian domestic industries. 
No man's caste was said to be safe against the hidden 
defilement of all the strange inventions imported from 
beyond the seas. Prophecy, vague but persuasive, hinted 
that British rule, which dated in the Indian mind from the 
battle of Plassey in 1757, was doomed not to outlive its 
centenary. All the vested interests connected with the 
old order of things in the religious as well as in the political 
domain felt the ground swaying under their feet, and the 
peril with which they were confronted came not only 
from their alien rulers but from their own countrymen, 
often of their own caste and race, who had fallen into 
the snares and pitfalls of an alien civilisation. The 
spirit of fierce reaction that lay behind the Mutiny stands 
nowhere more frankly revealed than in the History of 
the War of Independence of 1857, written by Vinayak 
Savarkar, one of the most brilliant apostles of a later 
school of revolt, who, as a pious Hindu, concludes his 
version of the Cawnpore massacre with the prayer that 
" Mother Ganges, who drank that day of the blood of 
Europeans, may drink her fill of it again." 

The revolt failed except in one respect. It failed as 
a military movement. It had appealed to the sword and 
it perished by the sword. But it is well to remember 
that the struggle, which was severe, would have been, to 
say the least, far more severe and protracted had not a 
large part of the Indian army remained staunch to the 
Raj, and had not Indian troops stood, as they had stood 
throughout all our previous fighting in India, shoulder 
to shoulder with British troops on the ridge at Delhi 
and in the relief of Lucknow. It failed equally as a 
political movement, for it never spread beyond a rela- 
tively narrow area in Upper and Central India. The vast 
majority of the Indian people and princes never even 
wavered. British rule passed through a trial by fire and 
it emerged from the ordeal unscathed and fortified. For 



86 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

it was purged of all the ambiguities of a dual position 
and of divided responsibilities. The last of the Moghuls 
forfeited the shadowy remnants of an obsolete sovereignty. 
Just a hundred years earlier Olive had advised after Plassey 
that the Crown should assume direct sovereignty over 
the whole of the British possessions in India, as the 
responsibility was growing too heavy for the mere trading 
corporation that the East India Company then still was. 
The Company had long ceased to be a mere trading cor- 
poration. Transformed into a great agency of govern- 
ment and administration, it had risen not unworthily 
to its immense responsibilities. But the time had come 
for the final step. The Company disappeared and the 
Crown assumed full and sole responsibility for the govern- 
ment and administration of India. The change was in 
effect more formal than real. The Governor-General 
came to be known as the Viceroy, and the Secretary of 
State in Council took the place of the old President of the 
Board of Control. But the system remained as before 
one of paternal despotism in India, to be tempered still 
by the control of Parliament at home. 

Only in one respect had the reactionary forces at the 
back of the Mutiny scored some success. The Pro- 
clamation issued by Queen Victoria on her assumption 
of " the government of the territories in India heretofore 
administered in trust for us by the Honourable East 
India Company," was a solemn and earnest renewal 
of all the pledges already given to the princes and people 
of India. It emphasised the determination of the Crown 
to abstain from all interference with their religious belief 
or worship. It reiterated the assurance that " as far 
as may be," her subjects " of whatever race or creed " 
would be freely and impartially admitted to offices in the 
service of the Crown, " the duties of which they may be 
qualified by their education, ability, and integrity duly 
to discharge," and that, " generally in framing and 
administering the law, due regard be paid to the ancient 
rights, usages, and customs of India." It promised the 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 87 

wide exercise of her royal clemency to all offenders save 
those actually guilty of murder during the recent out- 
break. It closed with a fine expression of her confidence 
and affection towards her Indian subjects. " In their 
prosperity will be our strength, in their contentment our 
security, and in their gratitude our best reward." But 
no Proclamation, however generous and sincere, could 
undo the moral harm done by the Mutiny. The horrors 
which accompanied the rising and the sternness of the 
repression left terrible memories behind them on both 
sides, and this legacy of racial hatred acted as a blight 
on the growth of the spirit of mutual understanding and 
co-operation between Indians and Englishmen in India 
which two generations of broad-minded Englishmen 
and progressive Indians had sedulously and successfully 
cultivated. 

If we look back upon the half -century after the Mutiny 
and before the Partition of Bengal, which may be regarded 
as closing that long period of paternal but autocratic 
government, it was one of internal peace and of material 
progress which the large annual output of eloquent sta- 
tistics may be left to demonstrate. In 1857 there were 
not 200 miles of railways in India, in 1905 there was a 
network of railways amounting to over 28,000 miles, 
and the telegraph system expanded during the same 
period from 4500 to 60,000 miles. The development of 
a great system of irrigation canals added large new tracts 
of hitherto barren wastes to the cultivable area of the 
country, and an elaborate machinery of precautionary 
measures and relief works was created to mitigate the 
hardships of periodical famines unavoidable in regions 
where a predominantly agricultural population is largely 
dependent for existence on the varying abundance or 
shortage of the seasonal rainfalls. The incidence and 
methods of collection of the land-tax, the backbone of 
Indian revenue, were carefully corrected and perfected, 
and the burden of taxation readjusted and on the whole 
lightened. Those were the days of laisser-faire, laisser- 



88 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

oiler at home, and it was not deemed to be part of the 
duties of government to give any special protection to 
Indian commerce, whilst the operation of free trade 
principles in India checked the industrial development 
of the country. Nevertheless the internal and external 
trade of India expanded continually, and the cotton mills 
in Western India, and the jute mills in Calcutta, as well 
as the opening up of coal mines in Bengal and of gold 
mines in Southern India showed how great were the 
natural resources of the peninsula still awaiting develop- 
ment ; and under Lord Curzon's administration, which 
reached during the first years of the present century the 
high-water mark of efficiency, a department was created 
to deal specially with commerce and industry. In spite 
of several famines of unusual intensity and of the appear- 
ance in India in 1896 of a new scourge in the shape of 
the bubonic plague, which has carried off since then over 
eight million people, the population increased by leaps 
and bounds, and the census of 1901 showed it to have 
reached in our Indian Empire the huge figure of nearly 
300,000,000 which it has since then exceeded by another 
20,000,000 or about a fifth of the estimated population 
of the whole globe. It had risen since the first census 
officially recorded in 1871 by nearly 30 per cent no 
mean evidence that fifty years of peaceful and efficient 
administration had produced an increased sense of welfare 
and confidence. 

The great bulk of the population, mostly a simple 
and ignorant peasantry whose horizon does not extend 
beyond their own village and the fields that surround 
it, accepted with more or less conscious gratitude the 
material benefits conferred upon them by alien rulers with 
whom they were seldom brought into actual contact save 
through the occasional presence of a District officer on 
tour, almost invariably humane and kindly and anxious 
to do even - handed justice to all. Another class of 
Indians, chiefly dwellers in large cities, infinitesimally small 
numerically but constantly increasing in numbers and 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 89 

still more rapidly in activity and influence, saw, however, 
in an autocratic form of government, of which it even 
questioned the efficiency, an insurmountable barrier to 
the aspirations which Western education had taught it 
to entertain. The list of graduates from Indian Uni- 
versities lengthened every year, the number of schools 
and colleges in which young Indians acquired at least 
the rudiments of Western knowledge grew and multiplied 
in every province. Western-educated Indians flocked 
to the bar ; they showed themselves qualified for most 
of the liberal professions ; they filled every post that 
was open to them in the public services. But where, 
they asked with growing impatience, was the fulfilment 
of the hopes which they had founded on the Queen's 
Proclamation of 1858 ? There had been perhaps no 
departure from the letter of the Proclamation, but had 
its spirit been translated into effective practice ? Was 
it never to be interpreted in the same generous sense in 
which a still earlier generation of British administrators 
had interpreted their mission as a means to train the 
Indians to protect and govern themselves ? 

The Indian army, reorganised after the Mutiny, dis- 
played all its old qualities of loyalty and gallantry in 
the course of the numerous foreign expeditions in which 
it was employed in co-operation with the British army, in 
Egypt and the Sudan, in Afghanistan, China, and Tibet, 
in addition to the chronic frontier fighting on the turbulent 
North-West border. The menace of Russia's persistent 
expansion towards India through Central Asia and the 
ascendancy for which she was at the same time striving 
in the Near East and the Far East, and later on the far 
more real menace of German aspirations to world- 
dominion, lent added importance to the maintenance 
of an efficient Indian army as an essential factor in the 
defensive forces of the Empire. But there was no 
departure from the old system under which not only 
were army administration and all the higher commands 
reserved for British officers, but the whole army was kept 



90 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

as a fighting machine entirely dependent upon British 
leadership. The native officers of an Indian regiment, 
mostly promoted from the ranks, could in no circum- 
stances rise to a position in which they might give orders 
to a British officer, whilst, however senior in years and 
service, they were under the orders of the youngest 
British subaltern gazetted to the regiment. No other 
system was indeed possible so long as no attempt was 
made to give to Indians any higher military training, or to 
hold out to them any prospects of promotion beyond those 
within their reach by enlistment in the ranks. These 
Indian officers, drawn from races that had acquired a 
martial reputation and often from families with whom 
military service was an hereditary tradition, were as a 
rule not only very fine fighters but gallant native gentle- 
men, between whom and their British officers there 
existed very cordial relations, human and professional, 
based upon an instinctive recognition of differences of 
education and similarities of tastes on both sides. But 
such a system, however well it worked in practice for the 
production of a reliable fighting machine, was not calcu- 
lated to train the Indians to protect themselves. 

That nothing was done to open up a military career 
to the Western-educated classes was not at first more 
than a sentimental grievance. But when the years passed 
and they still waited for that larger share in the govern- 
ment and even in the administration of their country to 
which the British Parliament had recognised their claim 
as far back as the Act of 1833, their faith even in the 
professed purpose of British rule began to waver. At 
first the leaders of the Indian intelligentsia, some of whom 
had learned the value of British institutions and of the 
freedom of British public life, not merely through Eng- 
lish literature but through years of actual residence in 
England, preferred to hold the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy 
alone or chiefly responsible for the long delay in the 
fulfilment of hopes which they in fact regarded as rights. 
Their confidence in British statesmanship and in the 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 91 

British Parliament remained unshaken for nearly thirty 
years after the Mutiny, though they were perhaps not 
unnaturally inclined to put their trust chiefly in the 
Liberal party which had been most closely associated 
with the promotion of a progressive policy towards India 
in the past. Lord Lytton's Viceroyalty confirmed them 
in the belief that from the Conservative party they had 
little to hope for, and his drastic Press Act of 1879, 
though not unprovoked by the virulent abuse of Govern- 
ment in some of the vernacular papers and the reckless 
dissemination of alarmist rumours during the worst 
period of the Afghan troubles, was held to foreshadow a 
return all along the line to purely despotic methods of 
government. But his departure from India after Lord 
Beaconsfield's defeat at the general election of 1880 
and the return of the Liberal party to power quickened 
new hopes which Lord Ripon, when he became Viceroy 
in succession to Lord Lytton, showed every disposition 
to justify. 

All the greater was the disillusionment when a measure, 
introduced for the purpose of abolishing " judicial dis- 
qualifications based on race distinctions," not only 
provoked fierce opposition amongst the whole European 
community and even amongst the rank and file of the 
civil service, but was ultimately whittled down in defer- 
ence to that opposition until the very principle at issue 
was virtually surrendered. Indians resented this fresh 
assertion of racial superiority, and saw in the violence of 
the agitation, sometimes not far removed from threats 
of actual lawlessness, and in the personal abuse poured 
out by his own countrymen on the Queen's representative, 
the survival amongst a large section of Europeans of the 
same hatred that had invented for a Viceroy who was 
determined to temper justice with mercy after the Mutiny 
the scornful nickname of " Clemency Canning." 

The fate of the Ilbert Bill taught the Indians above 
all one practical lesson the potency of agitation. If 
by agitation a Viceroy enjoying the full confidence of 



92 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

the British Government, with a powerful Parliamentary 
majority behind it, could be compelled by the British 
community in India, largely consisting of public servants, 
to surrender a great principle of policy, then the only 
hope for Indians was to learn to agitate in their own 
interests, and to create a political organisation of their 
own in order both to educate public opinion in India 
and influence public opinion in England. The men who 
started the Indian National Congress were inspired by 
no revolutionary ambitions. Though they did not talk, 
as Mr. Gandhi does to-day, about producing a " change 
of hearts " in their British rulers, that was their purpose, 
and unlike Mr. Gandhi, they were firm believers not in 
any racial superiority, but in the superiority of Western 
civilisation and of British political institutions which they 
deemed not incapable of transplantation on to Indian 
soil. So on December 28, 1885, a small band of Indian 
gentlemen, who represented the &ite of the Western- 
educated classes, met in Bombay to hold the first session 
of the Indian National Congress which, with all its many 
shortcomings, even in its earlier and better days, was 
destined to play a far more important part than was for 
a long time realised by Englishmen in India or at home. 
Many of them such as Mr. Bonnerji, a distinguished 
Bengalee, Pherozeshah Mehta, a rising member of the 
great Parsee community in Bombay, Dadabhai Naoroji, 
who was later on to be the first Indian to put forward 
plainly India's claim to self - government within the 
British Empire had spent several years in England. 
Others, like Ranade and Telang, had been for a long time 
past vigorous advocates of Indian social reforms. With 
them were a few Englishmen chief among them a 
retired civilian Mr. Hume who were in complete sym- 
pathy with their aspirations. Only the Mahomedans 
were unrepresented, though not uninvited, partly because 
few of them had been caught up in the current of Western 
thought and education, and partly because the com- 
munity as a whole, reflecting the ancient and deep-seated 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 93 

antagonism between Islam and Hinduism, distrusted 
profoundly every movement in which Hindus were the 
leading spirits. Lord Reay, who was then Governor of 
Bombay, was invited to preside and declined only after 
asking for instructions from the Viceroy, Lord Dufferin, 
who, though not unfriendly, held that it was undesirable 
for the head of a Provincial Government to associate 
himself with what should essentially be a popular move- 
ment. Mr. Bonnerji, who was selected to take the chair, 
emphatically proclaimed the loyalty of the Congress to 
the British Crown. Amongst the most characteristic 
resolutions moved and carried was one demanding the 
appointment of a Royal Commission, on which the people 
of India should be represented, to inquire into the 
working of the Indian administration, and another 
pleading for a large expansion of the Indian Legislative 
Councils and the creation of a Standing Committee of 
the House of Commons to which the majority in those 
Councils should have the right to appeal if overruled 
by the Executive. 

The Congress claimed to represent the educated 
opinion of India, and, though Government withheld from 
it all official recognition, it flattered itself not without 
reason that its preaching had not fallen on to altogether 
barren soil when, still under Lord Dufferin's Viceroyalty, 
the Indian Local Government Act of 1888 marked a 
large advance upon the reforms in local and municipal 
institutions which, with the repeal of the Lytton Press Act, 
had been amongst the few tangible results of Lord Ripon's 
" Pro-Indian " Viceroyalty ; for it fulfilled many of the 
demands which Indian Liberals, and notably Pherozeshah 
Mehta, had urged for years past for a more effective share 
in municipal administration. Still greater was the satis- 
faction when, under Lord Lansdowne's Viceroyalty, the 
British Parliament passed in 1892 an Indian Councils 
Act, for which Lord Dufferin himself had paved the way 
by admitting that Government could and should rely more 
largely upon the experience and advice of responsible 



94 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Indians. The functions and the constitution of both 
the Viceroy's and the Provincial Legislative Councils, 
though their powers remained purely consultative, were 
substantially enlarged by the addition of a considerable 
number of unofficial members representing, at least in 
theory, all classes and interests, who were given the right 
to put questions to the Executive on matters of adminis- 
tration and, in the case of the Viceroy's Council, to discuss 
the financial policy of Government if and when the budget 
to be laid before it involved fresh taxation. The Act of 
1892 did not, however, admit " the living forces of the 
elective principle " on which the Congress leaders had 
laid their chief stress, and they went on pressing " not 
for Consultative Councils, but for representative institu- 
tions." Their hopes never perhaps rose so high as when 
one of their own veterans, Dadabhai Naoroji though 
Lord Salisbury could not resist a jibe at the expense of 
the "black man" entered the House of Commons as 
Liberal member for Central Finsbury. It must be 
conceded that, had Government at that time taken the 
Congress by the hand instead of treating it with disdain 
and suspicion, it might have played loyally and usefully 
a part analogous to that of " Her Majesty's Opposition " 
at home a part which Lord Dufferin had been shrewd 
enough in the beginning not to dismiss as altogether 
impossible or undesirable. Its claim to represent Indian 
opinion, as, within certain limits, it unquestionably did, 
was ignored, and it was left to drift without any attempt 
at official guidance into waters none the less dangerous 
because they seemed shallow. It quickly attracted a 
large following among the urban middle classes all over 
India. But as the number of those who attended its 
annual sessions, held in turn in every province, grew 
larger, it became less amenable to the guiding and 
restraining influence of those who had created it, and 
especially of those who had hoped to lead it in the path 
of social and religious reform as well as of political 
advancement. 



The social and religious reform movement which had 
been of great promise before the Mutiny and for some 
years afterwards, when Keshab Chundra Sen gave the 
Brahmo Somaj a fine uplift, slackened. Like the Brahmo 
Somaj in Bengal, the Prirthana Somaj in Bombay no 
longer made so many or such fervent recruits. New 
societies sprang up in defence of the old faiths, some even 
glorifying all their primitive customs and superstitions, 
and most of them, whilst professing to recognise the need 
for cleansing them of their grosser accretions, displaying 
a marked reaction against the West in their avowed 
determination to seek reform only in a return to the 
purer doctrines of early Hinduism. The most important 
of all these movements was the Arya Somaj in the 
Punjab, whose watchwords were " Back to the Vedas " 
and " Arya for the Aryans." The latter has sometimes 
barely disguised a more than merely platonic desire 
to see the British disappear out of the Aryan land 
of India. But the Vedas at any rate yielded to the 
searchers sufficient fruitful authority for promoting female 
education on sound moral lines and for discouraging 
idolatry and relaxing the cruel bondage of caste. That 
it has been and still is in many respects a powerful 
influence for good is now generally admitted by those 
even whom its political tendencies have alarmed. New 
sects arose within Hinduism. 1 An ardent apostle of the 
Hindu revival in Bengal, Swami Vivekananda, was the 
most impressive and picturesque figure at the Chicago 
Parliament of Religions in 1893 and made converts in 
America and in Europe, amongst them in England the 
gifted poetess best known under her Hindu name as 
Sister Nivedita. How strong was the hold regained by 
the purely reactionary forces in Hinduism was suddenly 
shown in the furious campaign against Lord Lansdowne's 
Age of Consent Bill in 1891 which brought Bal Gangadhar 

1 A detailed and learned study of these movements is found in Dr. 
J. N. Farquhar's Modern Religious Movements in India, published by 
the Macmillan Company, New York, in 1915. 



96 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Tilak, a Chitpawan Brahman of Poona, for the first time 
into public life as the champion of extreme Hindu ortho- 
doxy. That measure was intended to mitigate the evils 
of infant marriage by raising the age for the woman's 
consent to its consummation from ten to twelve, and the 
death quite recently of a young Hindu girl of eleven in 
Calcutta due to the violence inflicted upon her by a 
husband nearly twenty years older than she was, had 
enlisted very widespread support for Government amongst 
enlightened Hindus and especially amongst the Western- 
educated. Tilak did not defeat the Bill, but his unscrupu- 
lous attacks, not only upon the British rulers of India but 
upon his own more liberal co-religionists, including men 
of such ability and character as Telang and Ranade, dealt 
a sinister blow at the social reform movement, which 
practically died out of the Congress when he and his 
friends began to establish their ascendancy over it. 

It was so much easier for Indians to unite on a common 
political platform against British methods of government 
than on a platform of social and religious reforms which 
offended many different prejudices and threatened many 
vested interests. The Congress developed into a purely 
political body, and like all self-constituted bodies with 
no definite responsibilities it showed greater capacity 
for acrid criticism, often quite uninformed, than for any 
constructive policy. As the years passed on without any 
tangible results from its expanding flow of oratory and 
long " omnibus " resolutions, proposed and carried more or 
less automatically at every annual session, it turned away 
from the old exponents of constitutional agitation to the 
fiery champions of very different methods, and almost 
insensibly favoured the dangerous growth both inside it 
and outside it of the new forces, and of the old forces in 
new shapes, which were to explode into the open with such 
unforeseen violence after the Partition of Bengal in 1905. 

If, however, when that explosion came the Western- 
educated classes were against us rather than with us, the 
explanation cannot be sought only in their continued exclu- 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 97 

sion from all real participation in the counsels of Govern- 
ment, or in the refusal of the political rights for which they 
had vainly agitated, or even in a general reaction against 
the earlier acceptance of the essential superiority of the 
West. A much more acute and substantial grievance, 
which affected also their material interests, was the badge 
of inferiority imposed upon them in the public services. 
Not till 1886 had Government appointed a Commission 
to report upon a reorganisation of the public services, 
and its recommendations profoundly disappointed Indian 
expectations. For only a narrow door was opened for 
the admission of Indians into the higher Civil Service, 
and all public services were divided into two nearly 
water-tight compartments, the one labelled Imperial, 
recruited in England and reserved in practice, as to most 
of the superior posts, for Englishmen, and the other 
recruited in India mainly from Indians, but labelled 
Provincial and clearly intended to be inferior. Such a 
system bore the stamp, barely disguised, of racial dis- 
crimination, at variance with the spirit, if not the letter, 
of the Queen's Proclamation and this at a -time when 
Indian universities and colleges were bearing abundant 
fruit, and some of it at least of a good quality. 

The diffusion of Western education had, it is true, 
produced other and less healthy results, but the inquiry 
into Indian education instituted by Government in 1882 
had been unfortunately blind to them. Diffusion had 
been attained largely by a dangerous process of dilution, 
as side by side with the European schools and colleges, 
either under Government control or State-aided, which 
had grown and multiplied, many had been also started 
and supported by Indian private enterprise, often ill- 
equipped for their task. The training of Indian teachers 
could hardly keep pace with the demand, either as to 
quantity or quality, and with overcrowded classes even 
the best institutions suffered from the loss of individual 
contact between the European teacher and the Indian 
scholar. Western education had been started in India 

H 



98 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

at the top, whence it was expected to filter down by some 
strange and unexplained process of gravitation. Attention 
was concentrated on higher and secondary education, to 
which primary education was at first entirely sacrificed. 
Whereas Lord William Bentinck had declared the great 
object of Government to be the promotion of both 
Western science and literature, scarcely any effort was 
made perhaps because most Anglo-Indians had a lean- 
ing towards the humanities to correct by the encourage- 
ment of scientific studies the natural bent of the Indian 
mind towards a purely literary education. Yet the 
Indian mind being specially endowed with the gift of 
imagination and prone to speculative thought stands in 
particular need of the corrective discipline afforded by 
the study of exact science. Again, the reluctance of 
Government to appear even to interfere with Indian 
moral and religious conceptions, towards which it was 
pledged to observe absolute neutrality, tended to restrict 
the domain of education to the purely intellectual side. 
Yet, religion having always been in India the basic 
element of life, and morality apart from religion an almost 
impossible conception, that very aspect of education to 
which Englishmen profess to attach the highest value, 
and of which Mr. Gokhale in a memorable speech admitted 
Indians to stand in special need, viz. the training of 
character, was gravely neglected. 

Whilst from lack of any settled policy Indian education 
was drifting on to rocks and quicksands, and the per- 
sonal influence of Englishmen on the younger generation 
diminished in an officialised educational service, gradual 
changes in the material conditions of European life in 
India tended to keep British and Indians more rather 
than less apart. Greater facilities of travel between 
England and India, and the growth of "hill stations" in 
which Europeans congregated during the hot season, made 
it easier for Englishwomen to live in India, though, when 
the time came for children to be sent home for their 
education, the choice continued to lie between separation 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 99 

of husband and wife, or of mother and children. But if 
the presence of a larger feminine element was calculated 
to exercise a refining and restraining influence on Anglo- 
Indian society, it did not promote the growth of inti- 
mate social relations between Europeans and Indians, as 
Indian habits and domestic institutions, and especially 
the seclusion of women, created an even greater barrier, 
which only slowly and rarely yielded to the influences 
of Western education, between European and Indian 
ladies than between the men of the two races. English- 
women even more than Englishmen continued to be 
haunted by the memories of the Mutiny, which remained 
painfully present to a generation who, whether Indians 
or British, had lived through that tempest, and if to 
Indians the Mutiny recalled such scenes as " The Blowing 
of Indians from British Guns " which the great Russian 
painter Verestchagin depicted with the same realism as 
the splendid pageant of the entry of the Prince of Wales 
into Delhi in 1876, it was the horrors of Cawnpore that 
chiefly dwelt in the minds of Europeans. Many English- 
men and Englishwomen owed their lives during the 
Mutiny to the devotion and courage of Indians who 
helped them to escape, and sheltered them sometimes for 
months at no slight risk to themselves. But the spirit 
of treachery and cruelty revealed in the Mutiny and 
personified in a Nana Sahib, who had disappeared into 
space but, according to frequently recurrent rumour, was 
still alive somewhere, chilled the feelings of trustfulness 
and goodwill of an earlier generation. Again, whilst there 
was a large increase in the number of young Indians who 
went to England to complete their studies especially 
technical studies for which only tardy and inadequate 
facilities were provided in their own country and many 
of them, left to their own devices in our large cities, 
brought back to India a closer familiarity with the 
unedifying rather than the edifying aspects of Western 
civilisation, the development of European industries and 
the railway and telegraph services, which at first at least 



100 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

required the employment of Europeans in subordinate 
capacities, imported into India a new type of European, 
with many good qualities, but rather more prone than 
those of better breeding and education to glory in his 
racial superiority and to bring it home somewhat roughly 
to the Indians with whom he associated. The ignorance 
of European and American globe - trotters who were 
finding their way to India also often offended Indian 
susceptibilities. Add to many causes of friction, almost 
inevitable sometimes between people whose habits and 
ideas are widely different, the effect of a trying climate 
upon the European temper never, for instance, even at 
home at its best when travelling and one need hardly 
be surprised that unpleasant incidents occurred in which, 
sometimes under provocation and sometimes under none, 
Englishmen who ought to have known better were guilty 
of gross affronts upon Indians. Such incidents were never 
frequent, but, even if there had been no tendency on the 
part of Indians to magnify and on the part of Englishmen 
to minimise their gravity, they were frequent enough to 
cause widespread heartburning, and in not a few cases 
political hatred has had its origin in the rancour created 
by personal insults to which even educated Indians of 
good position have occasionally been subjected by 
Englishmen who fancied themselves, but were not, their 
betters. That Indians also could be, and were sometimes, 
offensive they were generally apt to forget, as they 
forgot in their denunciations of Lord Curzon at the time 
of the Partition of Bengal that he had not shrunk from 
incurring great unpopularity in some Anglo-Indian circles 
by insisting upon adequate punishment of all Europeans 
guilty of violence towards Indians. Apart from such col- 
lisions nothing rankled more with Indians of the better 
classes than their rigid exclusion from the European clubs 
in India. Even the few who were members of, or had 
been admitted at home as visitors to, the best London 
clubs were debarred, when they landed in Bombay, even 
from calling on their English friends at the Yacht Club. 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 101 

Europeans could see nothing in this but the right of every 
club to restrict its membership and frame its regula- 
tions as it chooses. Indians could see nothing in it but 
humiliating racial discrimination. The question has now 
been more or less solved by the creation in most of the 
large cities in India of new clubs to which Indians and 
Europeans are equally eligible, and in which those who 
choose can meet on terms of complete equality and good 
fellowship. But it constituted one of the grievances 
which contributed to the estrangement of the Western 
educated classes during the latter part of the last century. 
Though social friction assisted that estrangement its 
chief cause lay much deeper. After the Mutiny govern- 
ment under the direct authority of the Crown lost the 
flexibility which the vigilant control of the British Parlia- 
ment had imparted to the old system of government under 
the East India Company with every periodical renewal of 
its charter. The system remained what it had inevitably 
been from the beginning of British rule, a system devised 
by foreigners and worked by foreigners at its best a 
trusteeship committed to them for the benefit of the 
people of India, but to be discharged on the sole judgment 
and discretion of the British trustees. The Mutiny shook 
the finer faith which had contemplated the finality some 
day or other of the trusteeship and introduced Western 
education into India as the agency by which Indians 
were to be prepared to resume when that day came the 
task of governing and protecting themselves. There was 
a tacit assumption now, if never officially formulated, 
that the trusteeship was to last for ever, and with that 
assumption grew the belief that those who were actually 
employed in discharging it were alone competent to judge 
the methods by which it was discharged, whilst the 
increasing complexity of their task made it more and 
more difficult for them to form a right judgment on the 
larger issues, or to watch or appraise the results of the 
great educational experiment which was raising up a 
steadily increasing proportion of Indians who claimed 



102 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

both a share in the administration and a voice in the 
framing of policy. Executive and administrative functions 
were vested practically in the same hands, i.e. in the hands 
of a great and ubiquitous bureaucracy more and more 
jealous of its power and of its infallibility in proportion 
as the latter began to be questioned and the former to be 
attacked by the class of Indians who had learned to speak 
the same language and to profess the same ideals. 

The constant additions made to the huge machinery 
of administration in order to meet the growing needs of 
the country on the approved lines of a modern state 
resulted in increased centralisation. New departments 
were created and old ones expanded, but even when the 
highest posts in them were not specifically or in practice 
reserved for the Indian Civil Service, it retained the 
supreme control over them as the corps d'ttite from which 
most of the members of the Viceroy's Executive Council, 
i.e. the Government of India, were recruited. The Dis- 
trict Officer remained the pivot and pillar of British ad- 
ministration throughout rural India, and he kept as 
closely as he could in touch with the millions of humble 
folk committed to his care, though the multiplication of 
codes and regulations and official reports and statistics 
involving heavy desk work kept him increasingly tied to 
his office. But the secretariats, which from the head- 
quarters of provincial governments as well as from the 
seat of supreme government directed and controlled the 
whole machine, became more and more self-centred, more 
and more imbued with a sense of their own omniscience. 
Even the men with district experience, and those who 
had groaned in provincial secretariats under the heavy 
hand of the Government of India, were quick to adopt 
more orthodox views as soon as they were privileged to 
breathe the more rarefied atmosphere of the Olympian 
secretariats, that prided themselves on being the re- 
positories of all the arcana of " good government." Of 
what constituted good government efficiency came to be 
regarded as the one test that mattered, and it was a test 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 103 

which only Englishmen were competent to apply and 
which Indians were required to accept as final whatever 
their wishes or their experience might be. 

Herein perhaps more than anywhere else lay the 
secret of the antagonism between the British bureaucracy 
and the Western-educated Indians which gradually grew 
up between the repression of the Mutiny and the Par- 
tition of Bengal, a measure enforced on the sole plea 
of greater administrative efficiency by a Viceroy under 
whom a system of government by efficiency reached its 
apogee himself the incarnation of efficiency and unques- 
tionably the greatest and most indefatigable administrator 
that Britain sent out to India during that period. It 
would be unfair to suppose that that antagonism was due 
on either side to mere narrow prejudice or sordid jealousy. 
Indians who resented their exclusion from the share in 
the administration of their country for which they believed 
their education to have qualified them, and which they 
claimed as the fulfilment of repeated promises and of the 
declared purpose of British rule, may not have been free 
from a human appetite for loaves and fishes. British 
officials who were loath to recognise those claims, or to 
concede to Indians any substantial proportion of their 
privileged posts and emoluments, may have been not 
always unselfishly indifferent to the material interests 
and prospects of the services to which they belonged, if 
not to their own personal interests and prospects. But 
apart from any such considerations, the attitude of both 
parties was governed by the firm belief, not in itself 
discreditable to either, that it possessed the better know- 
ledge of the needs and interests and wishes of the vast 
populations of India, still too ignorant and inarticulate 
to give expression of their own to them. The lamentable 
effects of the estrangement between British administrators 
and the very class of Indians whose co-operation it had 
been one of the main objects of British policy ever since 
the Act of 1833 to promote, never stood clearly revealed 
till the sudden wave of unrest that followed the Partition 



104 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of Bengal, and it is upon future co-operation between 
them that the success of the great constitutional experi- 
ment now being made must ultimately depend. It 
is therefore well to try to understand the conflicting 
sentiments and opinions which drove asunder the 
moderate but progressive Western-educated Indian and 
the earnest but conservative British administrator, and 
ended by bringing them almost into open conflict. The 
Western - educated Indian claimed recognition at our 
hands first and foremost because he was the product 
of the educational system we ourselves imposed upon 
India. His limitations, intellectual and moral, were 
largely due to the defects of that system, just as his 
political immaturity was largely due to our failure to 
provide him with opportunities of acquiring experience 
in administrative work and public life. Where careers 
had been opened up to him in the liberal professions he 
had often achieved great distinction at the Bar, on the 
Bench, in literature and he had proved himself quite 
competent to fill all the posts accessible to him in the 
public services. Without his assistance in the many 
subordinate branches the everyday work of administra- 
tion could not have been carried on for a day. He 
contended that he must intuitively be a better judge 
than aliens, who were, after all, birds of passage, of the 
needs and interests and wishes of his own fellow-country- 
men, and a better interpreter to them of so much of 
Western thought and Western civilisation as they could 
safely absorb without becoming denationalised. His 
complaint was that his own best efforts and best inten- 
tions were constantly thwarted by the rigid conservatism 
and aloofness of the European, official and unofficial, 
wrapped up in his racial and bureaucratic superiority. 
He admitted that he might not yet be able to discharge 
with the European's efficiency the legislative or adminis- 
trative responsibilities for which he had hitherto been 
denied the necessary training, but he protested against 
being kept altogether out of the water until he had learnt 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 105 

to swim, especially when there was so little disposition 
ever to teach him to swim. What he lacked in the way 
of efficiency he alone, he argued, could supply in the way 
of sympathy with and understanding of his own people. 
When it was objected that he represented only a very 
small minority of Indians, and formed, indeed, a class 
widely divided from the vast majority of his fellow- 
countrymen, and that the democratic institutions for 
which he clamoured were unsuited to the traditions and 
customs of his country, he replied that in every country 
the impulse towards democratic institutions had come in 
the first instance from small minorities and had always 
been regarded at first as subversive and revolutionary. 
If, again, it was objected that the moderate and reasonable 
views he expressed were not the views of the more 
ambitious politicians who professed to be the accredited 
interpreters of Western-educated India, that there were 
many amongst them whose aims were more or less openly 
antagonistic to all the ideals for which British rule stands, 
and were directed in reality not to the establishment of 
democratic institutions but to the maintenance of caste 
monopoly and other evils inherent to the Hindu social 
system, and that in the political arena he seemed incap- 
able of asserting himself against these dangerous and 
reactionary elements, his reply was once more that he 
had never received the support and encouragement which 
he had a right to expect from his European mentors, 
and that it was often their indifference or worse that 
had chiefly helped to raise a spirit of revolt against every 
form of Western influence. 

The case for the British administrator can be still 
more easily stated. Britain has never sent out a finer 
body of public servants, take them all in all, than those 
who have in the course of a few generations rescued 
India from anarchy, secured peace for her at home and 
abroad, maintained equal justice amidst jealous and 
often warring communities and creeds, established new 
standards of tolerance and integrity, and raised the whole 



106 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of India to a higher plane of material prosperity and of 
moral and intellectual development. They spend the 
best part of their lives in an exile which cuts them off 
from most of the amenities of social existence at home, 
and often involves the more or less prolonged sacrifice of 
the happiest family ties. Those especially whose work lies 
chiefly in the remote rural districts, far away from the 
few cities in which European conditions of life to some 
extent prevail, are brought daily into the very closest 
contact with the people, and because of their absolute 
detachment from the prejudices and passions and material 
interests by which Indian society, like all other societies, 
is largely swayed, they enjoy the confidence of the 
people often in a higher degree than Indian officials 
whose detachment can never be so complete. Their 
task has been to administer well and to do the best in 
their power for the welfare of the population committed 
to their charge. The Englishman, as a rule, sticks to his 
own job. The British administrator's job had been to 
administer, and he had not yet been told that it was 
also his job to train up a nation on democratic lines and to 
instil into them the principles of civic duty as such duty 
is understood in Western countries. No doubt there were 
British administrators in India whose innate conservatism, 
coupled with the narrowness which years of routine work 
and official self-confidence are apt to breed, revolted against 
any transfer of power to, or any recognition of equality 
with, the people of the country they had spent their lives 
in ruling with unquestioned but, as they at least conceived 
it, paternal authority. The conditions of bureaucratic 
rule inevitably tended to produce an autocratic temper. 
But it was not merely in obedience to that temper that 
they shrank from any changes that would weaken the 
administration ; the best of them at least had a strong 
sense of their responsibilities as guardians and protectors 
of the simple and ignorant masses committed to their care. 
They might be inclined to judge the Western-educated 
class of Indians too harshly, and to identify them too 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 107 

closely with the type that was beginning to dominate 
the Indian National Congress, but the form in which 
the question of yielding to Indians any substantial part 
of their authority presented itself to their minds was by 
no means an entirely selfish one. " Are we justified," 
they asked, " in transferring our responsibilities for the 
welfare and good government of such a large section of 
the human race to a small minority which has hitherto 
shown so little disposition to approach any of the difficult 
problems with the solution of which the happiness and 
progress of the overwhelming majority of their own race 
are bound up, though, because themselves belonging to 
the same stock and the same social system, it would 
have been much easier for them to deal with those prob- 
lems than it is for alien rulers like ourselves ? Those 
problems arise out of the social system which is known 
as Hinduism for Hinduism is much more a social 
than a religious system. Western - educated Indians 
will not openly deny its evils the iron-bound principle 
of caste, which, in spite of many concessions in non- 
essentials to modern exigencies of convenience, remains 
almost untouched in all essentials and, above all, in the 
fundamental laws of intermarriage, the social outlawry of 
scores of millions of the lower castes, labelled and treated 
as ' untouchable,' infant-marriage, the prohibition of the 
re-marriage of widows, which, especially in the case of 
child-widows, condemns them to a lifetime of misery 
and semi - servitude, the appalling infantile mortality, 
largely due to the prevalence of barbarous superstitions, 
the economic waste resulting from lavish expenditure, 
often at the cost of life-long indebtedness, upon marriages 
and funerals, and so forth and so forth. How many of 
the Western-educated Indians who have thrown them- 
selves into political agitation against the tyranny ot the 
British bureaucracy have ever raised a finger to free their 
own fellow-countrymen from the tyranny of those social 
evils ? How many of them are entirely free from it 
themselves, or, if free, have the courage to act up to 



108 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

their opinions ? At one time before the Congress gave 
precedence to political reforms social reform did find 
many enthusiastic supporters amongst the best class of 
Western-educated Indians, but the gradual disappearance 
of men of that type may be said almost to coincide with 
the growth of political agitation. There have been, and 
there still are, some notable and admirable exceptions, 
but they are seldom to be found amongst the men who 
claim to be the tribunes of the Indian people. It is on 
these grounds moral rather than political that we 
claim to be still the best judges of our duties as trustees 
for the people of India." 

This was perhaps the most forcible of the British 
administrator's arguments, and it was an honest one. 
Another was that the Western-educated Indians were 
mainly drawn from the towns and from a narrow circle 
of professional classes in the towns, who could not there- 
fore speak on behalf of and still less control the destinies 
of a vast population, overwhelmingly agricultural, regard- 
ing whose interests they had hitherto shown themselves 
both ignorant and indifferent, and from whom the very 
education which constituted their main title to considera- 
tion had tended to separate and estrange them. The 
landowning gentry and the peasantry had so far scarcely 
been touched by this political agitation. The peasantry 
knew little or nothing of its existence. The land- 
owners feared it, for, having themselves for the most 
part kept aloof from modern education, and shrinking 
instinctively from the limelight of political controversies 
and such electioneering competitions as they had already 
been drawn into for municipal and local government 
purposes, they felt themselves hopelessly handicapped 
in a struggle that threatened their traditional prestige 
and authority as well as their material interests. What 
they dreaded most of all was the ascendancy of the lawyer 
class in this new political movement the Vakil-Raj, as 
they called it for they had in many instances already 
been made to feel how heavy the hand of the lawyer 



v THE MUTINY AND FIFTY YEARS AFTER 109 

could be upon them in a country so prone to litigation 
as India, and endowed with so costly and complicated a 
system of jurisprudence and procedure, if they ventured 
to place themselves in opposition to the political aspira- 
tions of ambitious lawyers. Above all, the British ad- 
ministrator, who rightly held the maintenance of a strict 
balance between the different creeds and communities 
of India to be an essential part of his mission, felt strong 
in the undivided support which his conception of his 
responsibilities and duties received from the Mahomedans 
of India. Then, and almost into the second decade of 
this century, a community forming a fifth of the whole 
population professed itself absolutely opposed to any 
surrender of British authority which, it was convinced, 
would enure solely to the benefit of its hated Hindu 
rivals, far more supple and far more advanced in all 
knowledge of the West, including political agitation. 
The Mahomedans had held aloof from the Congress. 
They still had no definite political organisation of their 
own ; they were content with the British raj and wanted 
nothing else. 

The British administrator was therefore not altogether 
unwarranted in his conviction that in standing in the 
ancient ways he had behind him not only the tacit assent 
of the inarticulate masses but the positive support of very 
important classes and communities. He knew also that 
he had with him, besides unofficial European opinion in 
India, almost solid on his side, the sympathy, however 
vague and uninformed, of the bulk of his own country- 
men at home, represented for a great part of the fifty 
years now under review by a succession of conservative 
parliaments and governments. There were no longer, 
as in the East India Company days, periodical inquests 
into the state of India to wind up Parliament to a 
concert pitch of sustained and vigilant interest in 
Indian affairs. The very few legislators who exhibited 
any persistent curiosity about Indian administration 
were regarded for the most part as cranks or bores, and 



110 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, v 

the annual statement on the Indian budget was usually 
made before almost empty benches. Only questions 
that raised large issues of foreign policy, such as Afghan 
expeditions and the Russian menace in Asia Minor, or 
that affected the considerable commercial interests at 
home, like the Indian cotton duties or currency and ex- 
change, would intermittently stir British public opinion 
inside and outside Parliament, and these often chiefly 
as occasions for party warfare. Ministers themselves 
appeared to be mainly concerned with the part which 
India had to play in their general scheme of Imperial and 
Asiatic policy rather than with the methods by which 
India was governed. These could be safely left to " the 
man on the spot." 

Very different had been the spirit in which British 
parliaments and governments had discharged their re- 
sponsibilities before the transfer of India to the Crown, 
and rude was the awakening for the British administrator 
in India and for British ministers at home when the 
explosion that followed the Partition of Bengal revealed 
a very different India that was in process of evolution 
with much and dangerous travail out of the reaction of 
new forces, hitherto almost unobserved, upon old forces 
so long quiescent that they had come to be regarded as 
negligible quantities. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 

AMONGST the Western-educated classes the new forces 
which had been turning the minds of young India towards 
Swaraj as the watchword of national unity and independ- 
ence had drawn much of their inspiration from text-books 
which taught them how large a share Nationalism had 
played in redeeming modern nations from alien oppression 
and in shaping the whole political evolution of Europe. 
It had emancipated the Balkan States from the alien 
thraldom of the Ottoman Sultans ; it had helped to unify 
Italy and Germany ; it had been a potent if less apparent 
factor in welding Great Britain and the distant colonies 
peopled by the British race into a great British Empire. 
Had not Indians also a common nationhood which, 
despite all racial and religious differences, could be traced 
back across centuries of internal strife and foreign 
domination to a period, remote indeed but none the less 
enviable, when they had been their own masters ? Had 
not the British themselves removed one of the greatest 
barriers to India's national unity the multiplicity of 
her vernaculars by giving English to the Western- 
educated classes as a common language, without which, 
indeed, Indian Nationalism could never have found ex- 
pression, and such an assembly of Indians from all parts 
of India to discuss their common aspirations as the Indian 
National Congress itself would have been an impossibility ? 
Great events, moreover, had been happening quite recently 
which tended to shake the Indians' belief in the irresistible 
superiority of Western civilisation even in its material 

in 



112 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

aspects. The disaster inflicted upon an Italian army 
at Adowa in 1894 by the Abyssinians a backward 
African people scarcely known except for the ease with 
which a British expedition had chastised them not thirty 
years before was perhaps the first of these events to 
awaken observant Indians to the fact that European 
arms were not necessarily invincible. The resistance put 
up for nearly three years by two small South African 
Republics, strong chiefly in their indomitable pride of 
nationhood, seemed to have strained the resources even 
of the British Empire, and Japan, an Asiatic power only 
recently emerged from obscurity, had just proved on land 
and sea that an Asiatic nation in possession of her 
national independence could equip herself to meet and 
overcome one of the greatest of European powers one 
whose vast ambitions constituted in the eyes of generations 
of British statesmen a grave menace to the safety of 
India itself. Was England really mightier than Russia ? 
Had she not also perhaps feet of clay ? Was British 
rule to endure for ever ? Was it not a weak point in 
England's armour that she had to rely not a little on 
Indian troops, whom she still treated as mercenaries, to 
fight her battles even in such distant countries as China 
and the Sudan, and upon still more numerous legions of 
Indians in every branch of the civil administration to 
carry out all the menial work of government ? If the 
Indians, untrained, and indeed forbidden, to bear arms, 
were unable at once to overthrow British rule, could they 
not at least paralyse its machinery, as Bepin Chandra 
Pal was preaching, by refusing to take any kind of 
service under it ? 

To such interpretations of contemporary events 
young Indians, who at school read Burke and Byron and 
Mill " On Liberty," and in secret the lives of Garibaldi 
and Mazzini, were bound to be receptive, and they soon 
reached from a different base along different lines the 
same ground on which the old orthodox foes not only 
of British rule but of Western civilisation stood who 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 113 

appealed to the Baghavat Ghita and exhorted India to 
seek escape from the foreign domination that had enslaved 
her, body and soul, by clinging to the social and religious 
ark of Hinduism which in her golden age had made her 
wise and wealthy and free beyond all the nations of the 
earth. 

The stronghold of orthodox reaction was in the 
Mahratta Deccan, and its stoutest fighters were drawn 
from the Chitawan Brahmans, who had never forgiven 
us for snatching the cup of power from their lips just 
when they saw the inheritance of the Moghul Empire 
within their grasp. First and foremost of them all was 
the late Mr. Tilak, a pillar of Hindu orthodoxy, who knew 
both in his speeches and in his Mahratta organ, the 
Kesari, i.e. " The Lion," how to play on religious as well 
as on racial sentiment. He first took the field against 
the Hindu Social Reformers who dared to support Lord 
Lansdowne's Age of Consent Bill, and his rabid campaign 
against them developed quickly into an equally rabid 
campaign against British rule. He appealed to the pride 
of his Mahratta people by reviving the cult of Shivaji, 
the great Mahratta chieftain who first raised the standard 
of Hindu revolt against Mahomedan domination, and 
he appealed to their religious passions by placing under 
the patronage of their favourite deities a national move- 
ment for boycotting British-imported goods and manu- 
factures which, under the name of Swadeshi, was to be the 
first step towards Swaraj. He it was too who for the 
first time imported into schools and colleges the ferment 
of political agitation, and presided at bonfires which 
schoolboys and students fed with their European text- 
books and European clothes. The movement died down 
for a time after the murder of two British officials in 
Poona on the night of Queen Victoria's second jubilee in 
1897 and the sentencing of Tilak himself shortly after- 
wards to a term of imprisonment on a charge of seditious 
and inflammatory writing. But the Partition of Bengal 
was to give him the opportunity of transplanting his 



114 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

doctrines and his methods from the Deccan to the most 
prosperous province in India. 

The Partition of Bengal was a measure harmless 
enough on the face of it for splitting up into two ad- 
ministrative units a huge province with some 70 million 
inhabitants which had outgrown the capacities of a single 
provincial government. But the Bengalees are a singularly 
sensitive race. They were intensely proud of their pro- 
vince as the senior of the three great " Presidencies " 
of India, of their capital as the capital city of India and 
the seat of Viceregal Government, and of their Calcutta 
University as the first and greatest of Indian Universities, 
though already menaced, they declared, by Lord Curzon's 
Universities Act. They resented the Partition, against 
which they had no remedy, as a wanton diminutio capitis 
inflicted upon them by a despotic Viceroy bent on chastis- 
ing them for the prominent part played by their leaders 
in pressing the claims of India to political emancipation 
from bureaucratic leading-strings. That in the new pro- 
vince of Eastern Bengal, which was to be created by 
the Partition, the Mahomedans would constitute a large 
majority and enjoy advantages hitherto denied to them 
as a minority in the undivided province was an added 
grievance for the Hindus. Lord Curzon had not at first 
been unpopular with the Western-educated classes. They 
recognised his great intellectual gifts and admired his 
majestic eloquence. But continuing to fasten their hopes 
on the Liberal party in England, they had quickly 
followed its lead in attacking him as a dangerous Im- 
perialist, whose Tibetan adventure was saddling the 
Indian tax-payer with the costs of his aggressive foreign 
policy, and they required no promptings to denounce 
as the sworn foe of India a Viceroy who had not only 
sought to restrict the statutory freedom of their University, 
but, as its Chancellor, used language into which they 
read a deliberate insult to the Bengalee character. By 
partitioning Bengal he had struck both at the dignity 
of the Bengalee " nation " and at the nationhood of the 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST r i5 

Indian Motherland, in whose honour the old invocation 
to the goddess Kali, " Bande Materam," or " Hail to the 
Mother," acquired a new significance and came to be 
used as the political war-cry of Indian Nationalism. To 
that war-cry public meetings were organised in Calcutta 
and all over the province. The native press teemed with 
denunciatory articles. The wildest rumours were set 
afloat as to the more concrete mischiefs which partition 
portended. Never had India seen such popular demon- 
strations. Government, however, remained inflexible, and 
the storm abated when it was announced that Lord 
Curzon had resigned and was about to leave India 
the last and perhaps the ablest and certainly the most 
forceful Viceroy of a period in which efficient administra- 
tion had come to be regarded as the be-all and end-all 
of government. His resignation, however, had nothing 
to do with the Partition. He had fought and been 
defeated by Lord Kitchener, then, and largely at his 
instance, Commander - in - Chief in India, over the re- 
organisation of the military administration. Lord Curzon 
stood for the supremacy of the civil over the military 
authority, but he made the mistake of resigning not on 
the question of principle, on which he finally agreed to 
a compromise, but on a subsidiary point which, fatal as 
he may have thought it to the spirit of the compromise, 
appeared to the outside public to be mainly a personal 
question. In any case, though on the merits of the 
quarrel he might have looked for support from educated 
Indian opinion, Bengal was content to rejoice over his 
disappearance and to wonder whether with its author 
the Partition might not also disappear. 

Another and worthier preoccupation was the impending 
visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to India. King 
Edward's son was to follow in the footsteps of his father, 
who had for the first time made a Royal progress through 
the Indian Empire nearly thirty years before. His 
progress had been a triumphal one at a period when the 
internal and external peace of India seemed equally 



116 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

profound. That of his son was no less triumphal, though 
India was just entering on a period of political unrest 
undreamt of in the preceding generation. Even in 
Calcutta, which had been seething with agitation a few 
weeks before, the Prince and Princess were received not 
only with loyal acclamations but almost with god-like 
worship ; and all these demonstrations were perfectly 
genuine. For with the curious inconsistency which 
pervades all Indian speculations religious and political, 
though countless dynasties have fallen and countless 
rulers have come to a violent end in the chequered annals 
of Indian history, nothing has ever destroyed the ancient 
conception of royalty as partaking of the divine essence. 
The remoteness of the Western rulers under whose sceptre 
India had passed lent if anything an added mystery and 
majesty to the royalty they wielded. Even the avowed 
enemies of British rule seldom levelled their shafts at the 
Throne. That the King can do no wrong is a saying 
that appealed to the Indian mind long before the Western- 
educated classes grasped its real meaning under a con- 
stitutional monarchy, and began to extend its application 
even to the King's Government for the purpose of con- 
veniently discriminating between the British Government, 
whose good intentions were generally assumed, and the 
autocratic Government of India, whence all mischief sprang. 
During the whole of the Royal tour, which extended to all 
the major provinces of British India and to several of 
the Native States, the enthusiasm was general, and even 
the Extremists did not venture a discordant note. The 
Prince and Princess, whose graciousness never wearied, 
moved freely amongst the crowds, and the presence of 
the future Queen appealed strongly to the women of 
India, whose influence we are apt to underrate because 
until recently it has been exercised almost exclusively 
in the seclusion of the zenana. Even high-caste ladies, 
Hindus as well as Mahomedans, were known on this 
occasion for the first time perhaps in their lives to pass 
beyond the outer gates of their houses in order to attend 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 117 

a Royal reception with all the precautions of course 
that have always to be taken to shelter a purdah party 
from any contact with the other sex. 

It became the fashion for all classes to draw their own 
happy auguries from the Royal visit, but to none did it 
seem so auspicious as to the politically-minded Indians. 
For it coincided with the sweeping defeat of the Unionist 
party at the general election of 1905 and the return to 
office of a Liberal Government with a crushing majority 
behind it, whom the hostility displayed by the Liberal 
party towards Lord Curzon's administration on almost 
every Indian question save that which had brought about 
his resignation seemed to pledge to a prompt reversal of 
his policy. Was not the appointment to the India 
Office of such a stalwart Radical as Mr. John Morley, 
who had been Gladstone's Home Rule Secretary for 
Ireland, enough to justify the expectation that the right 
of India, if not to Home Rule, to a large measure of 
enfranchisement would receive prompt recognition ? If 
Indians could hardly regard Lord Curzon's successor as 
another Ripon, their first impression of Lord Minto 
satisfied them that, though the Conservative nominee of 
Mr. Balfour's Government, the new Viceroy was neither 
disposed to tread in his predecessor's footsteps as an 
autocratic administrator nor likely to carry sufficient 
weight at home to stand in the way of a Secretary of 
State who, like many Radical doctrinaires, was essentially 
what the French call un homme d'autorite". The event 
proved that they were right in their estimate of Lord 
Minto, but wrong in their sanguine expectation that Mr. 
Morley would at once break with the old principles of 
Indian government or even with Lord Curzon's ad- 
ministrative methods. Bengal remained partitioned. It 
was a chose jug6e which Mr. Morley was not prepared 
to reopen. 

The disillusionment in India was much greater than 
after the fiasco of the Ilbert Bill in Lord Ripon's time, 
and there had been a vast if still unsuspected change 



118 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

since those days in the whole atmosphere of India. Dis- 
illusionment in the 'eighties was mainly confined to a small 
group of Western-educated Indians who had hoped for 
better things but did not despair of bringing constitutional 
methods of agitation to bear upon British public opinion. 
In 1906 the Indian National Congress, which they had 
founded twenty years before, was sliding rapidly down the 
inclined plane which was to lead first to open and violent 
discord and later on to disruption. Even before the 
Partition the Moderates could make but a poor reply to 
those who jeered at the paltry results which had attended 
their practice of constitutional forms of agitation. For 
if the Indian Councils Act of 1892 had opened the doors 
of the Viceroy's Legislative Assembly to some of the 
most distinguished among them, what had it profited 
them ? The official benches merely gave a courteous 
hearing to the incisive criticisms proceeding from men of 
such undisputed capacity as Mehta and Gokhale and bore 
less patiently with the Ciceronian periods of the great 
Bengalee tribune Surendranath Banerjea. Government 
paid little or no heed to them. Equally powerless had 
been their passionate protest against the Partition. Even 
had they not been in complete sympathy with popular 
feeling, they would have been compelled to voice it or 
surrender the leadership they still hoped to retain to the 
new Extremist party which, under Mr. Tilak's leadership, 
was carrying his doctrines and his methods far beyond 
the limits of the Deccan. Each annual sesssion of the 
Congress grew more turbulent and the Moderates gave 
ground each year, until at the famous Surat session of 
1907 they realised that they had to make a definite stand 
or go under. There the storm burst over the preliminary 
proceedings before the real issues were reached. Mr. 
Tilak's followers assailed the presidential platform of 
which the Moderates had still retained possession, and the 
Congress broke up in hopeless confusion and disorder. 

But what happened in the Congress was but a pale 
reflection of what was happening outside. The Partition 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 119 

was indeed little more than the signal for an explosion, 
not merely in Bengal, of which premonitory indications 
had been witnessed, but had passed almost unheeded, 
some ten years earlier in the Deccan. The cry of Swaraj 
was caught up and re-echoed in every province of British 
India. In Calcutta the vow of Swadeshi was administered 
at mass meetings in the famous temple of Kali. Hindu 
reactionaries, whose conception of a well-ordered society 
had not moved beyond the laws of Manu, fell into line 
for the moment with the intellectual products of the 
modern Indian University. Hindu ascetics appealed to 
the credulity of the masses and every Bar Association 
became the centre of an active political propaganda on 
a Western democratic model. Schoolboys and students 
were exhorted to abandon their studies and go out into 
the streets, where they qualified as patriots by marching 
in the van of national demonstrations for Swaraj or by 
furnishing picketing parties for the Swadeshi boycott. 
The native press, whether printed in the vernacular 
tongues or in the language of the British tyrant, reached 
the extreme limits of licence, and when it did not actually 
preach violence it succeeded in producing the atmosphere 
which engenders violence. When passions were wrought 
up to a white heat by fiery orators and still more fiery 
newspaper writers, who knew how to draw equally 
effectively on the ancient legends of Hindu mythology 
and on the contemporary records of Russian anarchism, 
the cult of the bomb was easily grafted on to the cult of 
Shiva, the Destroyer, and murders, of which the victims 
were almost as often Indians in Government service as 
British-born officials, were invested with a halo of reli- 
gious and patriotic heroism. Youths even of the better 
classes banded themselves together to collect patriotic 
funds by plunder and violence, and revived those old 
forms of lawlessness which had been rampant in pre- 
British days under the name of dacoity. Schools and 
colleges were found to be honeycombed with secret 
societies, and a flood of light was suddenly thrown on the 



120 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

disastrous workings of an educational system that had 
been slowly perverted to such ends under the very eyes 
of the Government that was supposed to direct and 
control it. 

Lord Curzon had held a special conference at Simla 
in 1900 " to consider the system of education in India," 
but not a single Indian and only one non-official European 
had been invited to take part in it. It was the intellectual 
shortcomings of the system with which he was concerned, 
and the chief outcome of that conference and of a Com- 
mission subsequently appointed to carry on the inquiry 
was the Universities Act of 1904, carried in the face of 
bitter Indian opposition. Even such broad-minded and 
experienced Indians as Gokhale and Mehta suspected 
the Viceroy of a desire to hamper the growth of higher 
Western education on political grounds. But throughout 
the four years' controversy Government never betrayed 
an inkling of the appalling extent to which inferior 
secondary education had been allowed to degenerate in 
second- and third-rate schools with second- and third-rate 
masters into a mere teaching machine, clumsy and 
imperfect at that, for the passing of examinations that 
tested memory rather than intelligence, and character 
least of all. The unfortunate youths who could not stand 
even that test were left hopelessly stranded on the road, 
equally disqualified for a humbler sphere of life which 
they had learnt to despise and for the higher walks to 
which they had vainly aspired. Soured by defeat, and 
easily persuaded to impute it solely to the alien rulers 
responsible for a system which had led them merely into 
a bund alley, they formed the rank and file of a proletariat 
that could only by courtesy be called intellectual, but was 
just the material out of which every form of discontent is 
apt to breed desperadoes. But many were no mere vulgar 
desperadoes. Amongst those who were engaged in making 
bombs and collecting revolvers and organising dacoities 
or who actually committed murder not a few sincerely 
believed that they were risking or giving their lives in a 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 121 

great patriotic and religious cause. The Yugantar, their 
chief Bengalee organ, which had an enormous circulation 
and sold often at fancy prices in the streets of Calcutta, 
was written, according to a statement made in the High 
Court by the Government translator whose business it 
was to study it, in language so lofty, so pathetic, so 
stirring that he found it impossible to convey it into 
English. The writers made no secret of their purpose. 
The young Indian's " mind must be excited and maddened 
by such an ideal as will present to him a picture of ever- 
lasting salvation." Murder had its creed to which Dr. 
Farquhar assigns a definite place in his Modern Religious 
Movements in India with the following as its chief 
dogmas : 

Indian civilisation in all its branches, religion, education, 
art, industry, home life and government, is healthy, spiritual, 
beautiful and good. It has become corrupted in the course 
of centuries, but that is largely the result of the cruelty and 
aggression of the Muhammadans in former times and now of 
the British. The Indian patriot must toil to restore Indian 
life and civilisation. 

Western civilisation in all its parts, religion, education, 
art, business and government, is gross, materialistic and 
therefore degrading to India. The patriotic Indian must 
recognise the grave danger lurking in every element of Western 
influence, must hate it, and must be on his guard against it. 

India ought to be made truly Indian. There is no place 
for Europeans in the country. Indians can manage every- 
thing far better than Europeans can. The British Govern- 
ment, Missions, European trade and Western influence of every 
kind, are altogether unhealthy in India. Everything should 
belong to the Indians themselves. 

Hence it is a religious duty to get rid of the European and 
all the evils that attend him. The better a man understands 
his religion, the more clear will be his perception that Euro- 
peans and European influence must be rooted out. All 
means for the attainment of this end are justifiable. As 
Krishna killed Kamsa, so the modern Indian must kill the 
European demons that are tyrannically holding India down. 
The bloodthirsty goddess Kali ought to be honoured by the 
Indian patriot. Even the Baghavad Ghita was used to teach 
murder. Lies, deceit, murder, everything, it was argued, may 
be rightly used. 



122 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Not till some years later did a Committee, presided 
over by a British High Court judge sent out from England 
for the purpose, fully explore the many ramifications of 
a revolutionary movement which had one of its head 
centres in London, until the murder of Sir W. Curzon- 
Wylie by an Indian student during a crowded reception 
at the Imperial Institute aroused the attention of the 
authorities to the activities of the " India House," and 
Mr. Krishnavarma, its familiar genius, had to transfer 
to Paris his notorious paper, the Indian Sociologist, 
in which he openly glorified murder. The " Sedition 
Committee's " Report was only made public in 1918, 
and if the action taken upon it by the Government of 
India was to furnish the occasion for another popular 
explosion different in character from, but no less formid- 
able than, the explosion which followed the Partition of 
Bengal, the facts which it marshalled and the conclusions 
which it drew from them with judicial soberness have 
never been seriously challenged. It found that the long 
series of crimes of which it recorded the genesis and 
growth had been " directed towards one and the same 
objective, the overthrow by force of British rule in 
India," and nothing revealed more clearly the main- 
spring of the movement than the statistics given as to 
age, caste, and occupation of persons who had been 
actually convicted of revolutionary crimes or killed whilst 
committing them. The large majority were between 16 
and 25 years of age ; most of them students and 
teachers ; all of them Hindus, and almost all high- 
caste Hindus, either Brahmans or Kayasthas the latter 
a writer-caste ranking just below the Brahman caste. 
These statistics did not cover the large number of crimes 
of which the authors escaped scot-free and were never 
brought to justice. 

Not the least alarming feature of the situation was 
the attitude of the Indian public generally towards this 
epidemic of political crime which assumed some forms 
hitherto quite unknown to India and abhorrent to most 



vi THE FIRST GREAT WAVE OF UNREST 123 

Indians. The movement could only be correctly described 
as an Anarchist movement in so far as the methods to which 
it resorted were largely modelled upon those of Russian 
anarchists and aimed, like theirs, at the subversion of 
the existing Government. It differed fundamentally from 
Russian anarchism in that it was directed against alien 
rulers of another faith and another civilisation. That it 
created a widespread feeling of apprehension and even 
of detestation amongst the great majority of peaceful 
and sober-minded Indians cannot be doubted, and 
especially amongst those who watched with alarm the 
ravages it was making amongst the younger generation. 
But few had the courage to carry reprobation to the length 
of assisting Government in the detection and repression 
of crimes which terrorism made it less dangerous to 
extenuate as lamentable exhibitions of a misguided 
patriotic frenzy. The Western - educated classes were 
completely estranged and smarted so bitterly over the 
contempt with which their representations and protests 
against the policy of Government had been treated that 
those even of the more moderate school of politics were 
content to throw up their hands in horror and declare 
that if they were unable to stem the torrent, the fault 
lay entirely with the bureaucracy which had killed by 
long years of neglect and hostility the influence they 
might have otherwise been able to exert over their fellow- 
countrymen in the hour of stress. The Extremists boldly 
threw the whole responsibility for the movement on 
British rule and combined with a perfunctory and dubious 
condemnation of the crimes themselves an ecstatic 
admiration for the heroism which had driven the youth 
of India to follow the example of the Russian intelligentsia 
in its revolt against an autocracy as brutal and as odious 
as that of Russia. Mere measures of repression under 
the ordinary law were clearly incapable of coping with 
a situation which was becoming no less dangerous in 
its negative than in its positive aspects. British rule 
in India had concentrated so largely on mechanical 



124 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, vi 

efficiency that it had gradually lost sight of the old and 
finer principles of Anglo-Indian as well as of British states- 
manship based on the paramount importance of genuine 
co-operation between British and Indians. During the 
Mutiny there were few of the Western-educated classes 
whose loyalty to the British Raj ever wavered. Fifty 
years later, when the Raj was confronted with a less 
violent but more insidious movement of revolt, a large 
part of the Western-educated classes, whose influence and 
numbers had increased immensely in the interval, were, if 
not in league, at least to some extent in sympathy with it, 
and many of those who deplored and reprobated it re- 
mained sulking in their tents. Government, they declared, 
had always despised their co-operation. As it had made 
its bed, so it must lie. It was a desperately short-sighted 
attitude, which has had its nemesis in the " Non-co-opera- 
tion " movement of the present day. But, in a situation 
so severely strained, relief could only come from England 
and from a return to the earlier British ideals, and to 
those Indians who still looked for it there with some con- 
fidence after the change of Government which had taken 
place at home in December 1905 it seemed to come very 
slowly. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 

A BRITISH Government of a more advanced type of 
liberalism than any of its Liberal predecessors found 
itself confronted as soon as it took office with a more 
difficult situation in India than had ever been dreamt of 
since the Mutiny, and the difficulties grew rapidly more 
grave. When Mr. Morley went to the India Office during 
the respite from agitation against the Partition of Bengal, 
procured by the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales 
to India even more than by Lord Curzon's departure from 
India, the new Secretary of State allowed himself to be 
persuaded that an agitation directed, so far, mainly 
against a harmless measure of mere administrative im- 
portance must be largely artificial, and he determined to 
maintain the Partition. He was entirely new to Indian 
affairs, and his Recollections show him to have been 
often sorely perplexed by the conflict between his own 
political instincts and the picture of Indian conditions 
placed before him by his official advisers at home and in 
India. He felt, however, on the whole fairly confident 
that he could deal with the situation by producing 
a moderate measure of reforms which would satisfy 
India's political aspirations and by keeping an extremely 
vigilant eye on Indian methods of administration of which 
" sympathy " was in future to be the key-note rather 
than mere efficiency. But when in the course of 1907 the 
agitation broke out afresh with increased fury and began 
to produce a crop of political outrages, Mr. Morley found 

125 



126 INDIA OLD AND NEW OHAP. 

himself in a particularly awkward position. He was 
known from his Irish days to be no believer in coercion. 
But the Government of India was not to be denied when 
it insisted that a campaign of murder could not be 
tolerated and that repression was as necessary as reform. 
The Secretary of State agreed reluctantly to sanction 
more stringent legislation for dealing with the excesses 
of the Extremist press in India, but he was only the 
more resolved that it must be accompanied by a liberal 
reforms scheme. The Viceroy himself shared this view 
and lent willing assistance. But the interchange of 
opinions between India and Whitehall was as usual 
terribly lengthy and laborious. A Royal Proclamation 
on November 28, 1908, the fiftieth anniversary of Queen 
Victoria's Proclamation after the Mutiny, foreshadowed 
reforms in " political satisfaction of the claims of important 
classes representing ideas that have been fostered and 
encouraged by British rule." But not till the following 
month, i.e. three years after Mr. Morley had taken over 
the India Office, did the reforms scheme see the light 
of day. 

It bore his impress. He had a ready ear for Indian 
grievances and much understanding for the Moderate 
Indian point of view. He was prepared to give Indians 
a larger consultative voice in the conduct of Indian 
affairs, and even to introduce individual Indians not 
only into his own Council at Whitehall but even into 
the Viceroy's Executive Council, the citadel of British 
authority in India. He was determined to enforce far 
more energetically than most of his predecessors the 
constitutional right of the Secretary of State to form 
and lay down the policy for which his responsibility was 
to the British Parliament alone, while the function of the 
Government of India was, after making to him whatever 
representations it might deem desirable, to carry his 
decisions faithfully and fully into execution. He was 
prepared to exercise also to the full his right to control 
the administrative as well as the executive acts of th ) 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 127 

Government of India and its officers. He was not prepared 
to devolve upon Indians collectively any part of the 
constitutional powers vested in the Indian Executive and 
ultimately through the Secretary of State in the British 
Parliament. He was not therefore prepared to give India 
any representative institutions that should circumscribe 
or share the power of the Indian Executive. The Indian 
Councils Act of 1909 was drawn up on those lines. It 
enlarged the membership and the functions of the Indian 
Legislative Councils, and placed them definitely on an 
elective basis without doing away altogether with nomina- 
tions by Government. The only point upon which Mr. 
Morley yielded to pressure was in conceding the principle 
of community representation in favour of the Mahomedans, 
to whom, at a time when they not only held rigidly aloof 
from all political agitation but professed great anxiety 
as to political concessions of which the benefit would, 
they submitted, accrue mainly to the Hindus, Lord Minto 
had given a promise that in any future reforms scheme 
full consideration should be given to the historical 
importance and actual influence of their community 
rather than to its mere numerical strength. 

The Indian Councils Act, 1909, fell considerably short 
of the demands put forward even by the founders of 
the Congress five-and-twenty years before, as the new 
Councils, greatly enlarged, were still to be merely con- 
sultative assemblies. But it did for the first time admit 
" the living forces of the elective principle," and to that 
extent it met the demand for representative institutions. 
Indian Moderates could point also to the presence of an 
Indian member, Sir Satyendra (now Lord) Sinha, in the 
Viceroy's Executive Council and of two Indian members 
in the Secretary of State's Council at Whitehall as a 
definite proof that India would have henceforth a hearing 
before, and not as in the past merely after, the adoption 
of vital lines of policy. The Act was accepted by the 
Moderate leaders as a genuine if not a generous instalment 
of reform, and it restored to some extent their influence as 



128 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

the advocates of constitutional progress by showing that 
the British Government had not been altogether deaf to 
their appeals. It did not of course satisfy the Extremists, 
but their influence had suffered a great set-back from the 
wrecking of the Surat Congress, their great Deccanee 
leader was working out a long term of imprisonment at 
Mandalay, and with the tide of anarchism still spreading 
and visibly demoralising the student class all over India, 
even to the undermining of parental authority, the first 
feeling of suppressed and largely inarticulate alarm and 
resentment developed into a definite reaction in favour 
of government as by law established. 

The great wave of unrest which had swept over India 
was already subsiding when Lord Minto left India in 
1910 amidst genuine demonstrations of returning good- 
will, and the appointment of Lord Hardinge of Penshurst 
as his successor was welcomed in the same spirit, not 
because Lord Kitchener, who had run him very hard for 
the Viceroyalty, was personally unpopular in India, but 
because he owed to reactionary supporters the quite un- 
merited reputation of being " the man with the big stick." 

The visit of the King and Queen to India at the end 
of 1911 was therefore well timed, and it provoked a still 
greater outburst of popular enthusiasm than their visit 
as Prince and Princess of Wales in 1905. For it was the 
first time that the Sovereign to whom it was given to 
rule over India from a remote Western island travelled 
out to receive on Indian soil the homage of his Indian 
subjects and appeared before them in the full majesty of 
crown, orb, and sceptre. Apart entirely from the merits 
of the measure, the dramatic transfer of the capital of 
his Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi appealed to 
the imagination of Indians as a demonstration of the 
Royal power no less impressive than the splendours of the 
great Durbar at which the Royal command went forth. 
Equally did their Majesties fulfil another of the time- 
honoured conceptions of royalty by knowing, so to say, 
when to step down from their throne and mix freely with 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 129 

the people. It has been from times immemorial one of the 
principles of Indian rulership that the ruler cannot deny 
to his subjects the privilege of access to his person, and 
many are those who have gained more popularity by 
giving ample opportunity to their subjects for stating 
to them their grievances in the royal presence than by 
ever actually redressing them. In Calcutta especially 
when the King and Queen moved cheerfully amongst 
the delirious crowds that had thronged to the Maidan to 
worship them, the scene surpassed all previous experiences. 
For had not one of the measures announced as the Royal 
will at the Delhi Durbar been the revision at last of Lord 
Curzon's detested Partition of Bengal ? The furious 
agitation of the first few years had broken in vain against 
the dead wall of the chose jug6e which Mr. Morley had 
upheld, and it had gradually died down. The wound, 
however, had been still there, and now the King's hand 
had touched and healed it. The old Province of Bengal 
was not indeed restored within its former limits, but 
Eastern Bengal, created as the Hindu Bengalees believed, 
in favour of Mahomedan ascendancy, disappeared, and 
in its stead Behar and Orissa, where a large part of the 
population was of a different stock and spoke a different 
tongue, were detached to the west and south of Bengal 
proper and formed into a separate province which served 
equally well to relieve administrative congestion without 
doing violence to Bengalee sentiment. 

On the very first anniversary, however, of the day of 
the great Delhi Durbar an audacious attempt to murder 
the Viceroy at the moment when he was making his 
solemn entry into the new capital came as a painful 
reminder that the fangs of Indian anarchism had not 
yet been drawn. From one of the balconies of the 
Chandni Chauk, the chief thoroughfare of the native city, 
a bomb was thrown at Lord Hardinge who was riding 
with Lady Hardinge on a State elephant, in accordance 
with Indian usage, on his way to the Fort where he was to 
have delivered a message of greeting to the people of 



130 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

India recalling the memorable results of the Royal visit. 
The Viceroy was severely wounded and Lady Hardinge, 
though she escaped without any apparent hurt, suffered 
a shock which at least hastened her premature death 
two and a half years later. Lord Hardinge had already 
earned the widespread confidence of Indians by his 
undisguised sympathy with all their legitimate aspira- 
tions, and the Lady Hardinge's School of Medicine for 
Indian women stands now at Delhi as an enduring monu- 
ment, not only of the keen interest which she took in 
the cause of Indian womanhood and in everything that 
could tend to its advancement, but of the affection she 
had won by a rare charm of manner that was, with her, 
merely the outward reflection of a gentle and finely 
tempered nature. There had been abortive plots against 
Lord Minto's life, but it had been deemed politic to mini- 
mise their importance. This, however, was an attempt 
too flagrant and too nearly fatal to be disguised or 
denied, and a thrill of horror which hushed even the 
Extremists went through the whole of India, for to the 
office of the Viceroy as the personal representative of the 
sovereign there had always hitherto attached something 
of the sanctity with which, according to Indian beliefs, 
all kingship is invested. All the more grateful was the 
response elicited by the assurance which Lord Hardinge 
hastened to convey from his sick-bed that what had 
happened could and would in no way diminish his affec- 
tion and devotion to the people of India or modify the 
policy of goodwill and progress for which he stood. 
Neither he nor India ever forgot that assurance. 

Unfortunately the artificial basis upon which the 
Morley-Minto reforms had been built revealed itself 
very soon under the searching test of practical experience. 
The Councils Act of 1909 had made no attempt to organise 
on an effective and genuine basis " the living forces of 
the elective principle." The indirect system of election 
established under the Act could only produce haphazard 
and misleading results. An indirect chain of elections 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 131 

afforded no means of appraising the true relationship 
between the elected members of the Councils and their 
original electors. The qualifications of candidates, as well 
as of electors, varied widely from province to province, 
but shared one common characteristic, that the election 
was more often a matter of form. Members of the 
Provincial Councils were returned partly by Municipal 
and Local Boards arranged in various groups, without 
any connection with, or mandate from, the constituencies 
by which these bodies had been chosen, partly by a 
land-holding community which did not consider itself 
bound by the acts of its constituted representatives. The 
so-called electorates were never known to give definite 
mandates to those who professed to represent them or to 
pronounce upon any course of action which their repre- 
sentatives might pursue. Nobody knew what was the 
numerical foundation on which an elected member took 
his seat. It was almost impossible to trace it back along 
the chain of indirect elections. Before the British Reform 
Bill of 1832 much play was made of pocket boroughs of 
twenty or thirty electors. In India, one constituency 
electing a member to the Imperial Legislative Council 
numbered exactly seven, and there were cases where 
the representation was pretty well known to have been 
divided by agreement between two individuals. Nor 
did the recommendations of a Royal Commission on 
Decentralisation avail to break down that spirit of over- 
centralisation which had of late years marked the policy 
of the Government of India. The Provincial Govern- 
ments still remained bound hand and foot by the necessity 
of constant reference to the Central Government, while 
the latter in its turn was forced to make an ever-increasing 
number of references to Whitehall, where Mr. Morley 
enforced, far beyond the practice of any previous Secretary 
of State, the principle that the Provincial Governments 
were responsible to the Central Government, and the 
Central Government to the India Office for every detail 
of administration. 



132 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

More galling to Indians was it to have to admit that 
the expansion of Indian representation in the Councils 
had not been followed by any visible increase of Indian 
control over the conduct of public affairs. Whilst dis- 
claiming warmly any intention of paving the way for the 
introduction of parliamentary institutions into India, 
Mr. Morley had allowed an illusory semblance of parlia- 
mentary institutions to be introduced into the enlarged 
Councils by requiring their sanction for legislative 
measures brought forward by the Executive. The latter 
had to go through the same forms of procedure as if its 
existence depended upon the support of a parliamentary 
majority to which it was responsible, whereas it con- 
tinued to be irremovable and responsible only to the 
Secretary of State. These were in fact mere empty 
forms, for however unpalatable any measure might be 
to the Indian members, or however powerful their argu- 
ments against it, Government could always vote the 
Indian opposition down in the Viceroy's Legislative 
Council, the most important of all, by mustering the 
official majority in full force to deliver their votes accord- 
ing to instructions. In the Provincial Councils on the 
other hand in which an unofficial majority had been 
conceded, the Indian members were in a position to 
create a deadlock by refusing to vote for measures 
indispensable to the proper conduct of Government; 
but whilst the power they could thus exercise might 
go far enough to paralyse the Executive, they had 
no power to turn it out. These new Councils had been 
invested with large but mostly negative powers, and with 
no positive responsibilities. 

For a time the sentiment of trust which underlay the 
granting of the reforms had its effect. Both sides seemed 
to display a more conciliatory spirit and the relations 
between the official and unofficial benches in the enlarged 
Councils assumed a more friendly character. In many 
cases the influence of the non- official members was 
successfully exerted to secure modifications in the 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 133 

legislative measures of Government, though from a 
mistaken desire to " save its face " Government too often 
preferred to make concessions at private conferences 
with the Indian leaders rather than as the outcome of 
public discussion, and lost thereby a good deal of the 
credit which it might have secured by a more open dis- 
play of its desire to meet Indian objections. On some 
occasions before the war the pressure of Indian opinion 
even deterred Provincial Governments from introducing 
legislative measures which they considered essential to 
public safety because they apprehended defeat at the 
hands of the unofficial majority in the legislative Councils. 
But the Indian public remained generally in ignorance 
of the extent to which the influence of the Indian 
representatives made itself felt, either for good or for 
evil, on Government. The bureaucracy, more secretive 
in India than elsewhere, had never realised the importance 
of guiding public opinion, or, a fortiori, the necessity of 
keeping it informed if you wish to guide it. The politi- 
cians, on the other hand, preferred to make capital out 
of those questions on which they failed to make any 
impression upon Government, though the real difficulty 
very often lay in the rigidity of the statutory control exer- 
cised by the Central Government over Provincial Govern- 
ments, and by Whitehall over the Central Government. 
The inevitable consequences soon became clear. The 
enlarged Indian representation appeared to have less 
power than it really enjoyed, and, having no responsibility 
whatever, it was free to make its own bids for popularity 
with constituencies equally irresponsible. Resolutions 
were introduced which, if they could have carried them, 
the unofficial members would often have been much 
puzzled to carry into effect, and grievances were voiced 
which, even when well founded, it was frequently beyond 
the power of any Government to remedy. On the other 
hand, the Executive was threatened with the possibility 
of a complete deadlock, and the concessions by which 
it could be averted often alarmed not merely the innate 



134 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

conservatism of the official world but many Indian in- 
terests scarcely less conservative. 

Not till after Mr. Morley had been raised to the 
peerage and Lord Crewe had succeeded him at the India 
Office was anything done to meet the demand of the 
Western-educated classes for a larger share in the ad- 
ministrative work of the country or to redress the very 
reasonable grievances of Indians employed in the Govern- 
ment services who were still for the most part penned 
up in the Provincial Services as established on the re- 
commendations of the Aitcheson Committee more than 
twenty-five years earlier. In 1912 a Royal Commission 
went out to India with Lord Islington as Chairman. It 
was a body on which the British element in the Indian 
Public Services was only represented by a small minority, 
and amongst the European members Lord Ronaldshay 
and Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, both then in the House of 
Commons, stood for widely different schools of politics. 
Of the three Indian members, Mr. Gokhale, who had 
become one of the most influential leaders of the Moderate 
party, carried by far the greatest weight, and his prema- 
ture death before the Commission completed its Report 
seriously impaired its usefulness. It spent two successive 
winters in taking a mass of evidence from Indians and 
Europeans all over India, but its sittings held, except 
in very rare cases, in public served chiefly at the time 
to stir up Indian opinion by bringing into sharp relief 
the profound divergencies between the Indian and the 
Anglo-Indian point of view, and in a form which on the 
one hand, unfortunately, was bound to offend Indian 
susceptibilities, and on the other hand was apt to pro- 
duce the impression that Indians were chiefly concerned 
to substitute an indigenous for an alien bureaucracy. 
Anyhow, while the Western-educated classes were rapidly 
coming to the conclusion that the Minto-Morley reforms 
had given them the shadow rather than the substance of 
political power, they saw in the proceedings of the Public 
Services Commission little indication of any radical 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 135 

change in the attitude of the British official classes towards 
the question of training up the people of India to a larger 
share in the administration. 

In such circumstances the Extremists saw their 
opportunity to pour ridicule on the new Councils and 
preach once more the futility of constitutional agitation. 
The Indian National Congress, overshadowed for a time 
by the new Councils, began to recover its popularity, 
and though the split which had taken place at Surat 
between Moderates and Extremists had not yet been 
mended, there was much talk of reunion. Some of the 
Moderates had grown once more faint-hearted. The Ex- 
tremists who knew their own minds still constituted a 
very formidable party, and they were finding new allies 
in an unexpected quarter. 

When the Indian National Congress was founded in 
1885 and for nearly thirty years afterwards, the Indian 
Mahomedans kept severely aloof from it, partly because 
they had kept equally aloof from Western education 
which had originally brought the leaders of the new 
political movement together, and partly because most 
of those leaders were Hindus, and the ancient antagonism 
between Mahomedans and Hindus led the former to dis- 
trust profoundly anything that seemed likely to enhance 
the influence of the latter. One intellectual giant among 
the Mahomedans had indeed arisen after the Mutiny, 
during which his loyalty had never wavered, who laboured 
hard to convert his co-religionists to Western education. 
In spite of bitter opposition from a powerful party, 
rooted in the old fanatical orthodoxy of Islam, who 
resented his broad-mindedness which went to the length 
of trying to explain, and even to explain away much of, 
the Koran, Sir Seyyid Ahmed Khan succeeded in founding 
at Aligurh in 1880 a Mahomedan College which soon 
attracted students from the best Mahomedan families 
all over India. His idea was to create there a centre 
which should do for young Mahomedans what he himself 
had watched Oxford and Cambridge doing for young 



136 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Englishmen. Education was not to be divorced as in 
most Indian colleges from religion, and he was convinced 
that a liberal interpretation of the Mahomedan doctrine 
was no more incompatible with the essence of Islam 
than with that of Western civilisation, with which British 
rule had come to bring India into providential contact. 
Loyalty to British rule was with him synonymous with 
loyalty to all the high ideals which he himself pursued 
and set before his students. For a whole generation 
success appeared to crown this work to which he brought 
all the fervour of missionary enterprise. He died full of 
years and honour in 1898, and one of his last efforts 
was an historical refutation of the Ottoman Sultan's 
claim to the Khalifate of Islam. He already realised 
the reactionary tendencies of the Pan-Islamic propaganda 
which Abdul Hamid was trying to spread into India. So 
great and enduring was the hold of Sir Seyyid Ahmed's 
teachings upon the progressive elements in Mahomedan 
India that the All-India Moslem League was founded 
in 1905, almost avowedly in opposition to the subversive 
activities which the Indian National Congress was 
beginning to develop. It was in this spirit, too, that 
the influential deputation headed by the Agha Khan, 
who, though himself the head of a dissenting and 
thoroughly unorthodox Mahomedan community claiming 
descent from the Old Man of the Mountain, was then the 
recognised political leader of the whole Indian Mahomedan 
community, waited on Lord Minto to press upon the 
Government of India the Mahomedan view of the poli- 
tical situation created by the Partition of Bengal, lest 
political concessions should be hastily made to the 
Hindus which would pave the way for the ascend- 
ancy of a Hindu majority equally dangerous to the 
stability of British rule and to the interests of the 
Mahomedan minority whose loyalty was beyond dispute. 
It was again in the same spirit, and fortified by the 
promise which Lord Minto had on that occasion given 
them, that they insisted, and insisted successfully, on the 



vn THE MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS 137 

principle of community representation being applied for 
their benefit in the Indian Councils Act of 1909. 

A new generation of young Mahomedans had never- 
theless been growing up who knew not Seyyid Ahmed 
and regarded his teachings as obsolete. The lessons 
which they had learnt from their Western education 
were not his. They were much more nearly those that 
the more ardent spirits amongst the Hindus had imbibed, 
and they were ready to share with them the new creed 
of Indian Nationalism in its most extreme form. Other 
circumstances were tending to weaken the faith of the 
Mahomedan community in the goodwill, not only of the 
Government of India, but of the British Government. 
Even the most conservative Mahomedans were dis- 
appointed and irritated by the revision of the Partition 
of Bengal in 1911 when the predominantly Mahomedan 
Province of Eastern Bengal, created under Lord Curzon, 
was merged once more into a largely Hindu Bengal. 
The more advanced Mahomedans had been stirred by the 
revolutionary upheaval in Constantinople to seek contact 
with the Turkish Nationalist leaders who now ruled the 
one great Mahomedan power in the world, and they 
learnt from them to read into British foreign policy a 
purpose of deliberate hostility to Islam itself inspired by 
dread of the renewed vitality it might derive from the 
returning consciousness in many Mahomedan countries 
of their own independent nationhood. In that light they 
saw in the British occupation of Egypt, in the Anglo- 
French agreement with regard to Morocco and the 
Anglo-Russian agreement with regard to Persia, and last 
but not least, in the Italian invasion of Tripoli, the 
gradual development of a scheme in which all the powers 
of Christendom were involved for the extinction of the 
temporal power of Islam and, with it inevitably, according 
to orthodox doctrine, of its spiritual authority. The 
Ottoman Empire had been saved for a time by the 
protection extended to it for her own purposes by 
Germany who had alone stood between it and the 



138 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, vn 

disintegrating machinations of the " European Concert " 
in Constantinople, bent on undermining the ascendancy 
of the ruling Mahomedan race by its menacing insistence 
on reforms for the benefit of the subject Christian races 
which could result only in the further aggrandisement 
of the independent Christian states already carved out 
of the Sultans' former dominions in Europe and in the 
introduction of similar processes even into their Asiatic 
dominions. The Balkan wars of 1912-1913 appeared to 
bear out the theory of a great European conspiracy 
directed against Turkey as " the sword of Islam," and 
whilst the sympathies of Indian Mahomedans of all 
classes and schools of thought were naturally enlisted 
in favour of their Turkish co-religionists, the leaders of the 
advanced Mahomedan party themselves went to Con- 
stantinople in charge of the Red Crescent funds collected 
in India and got into close personal touch with the 
Turkish Nationalists who ruled in the name of the Sultan 
but derived their authority from the " Committee of 
Union and Progress." The same party had in the 
meantime gone a long way towards capturing the All- 
India Moslem League and bringing it into line with the 
advanced wing of the Indian National Congress. The 
fusion between the League and the Congress, which was 
still very repugnant both to the politically conservative 
and to the religious orthodox majority of the Indian 
Mahomedan community, was not completed, nor was the 
reunion of the Moderate and Extremist parties within 
the Congress itself, when India was caught up with 
Great Britain and most of the nations of the world into 
the whirlpool of the Great War on August 4, 1914. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THEOTJGH THE GREAT WAR TO THE GREAT 
INDIAN REFORM BILL 

THE genuine outburst of enthusiasm with which India, 
whether under direct British administration or under 
the autonomous rule of indigenous dynasties, responded 
to the call of the Empire at the beginning of the war 
came almost as a revelation to the British public generally 
who knew little about India, and the impression deepened 
when during the critical winter of 1914-1915 Indian 
troops stood shoulder to shoulder with British troops 
in the trenches to fill the gap which could not then have 
been filled from any other quarter. The loyalty dis- 
played by the Indian princes and the great land-owning 
gentry and the old fighting races who had stood by the 
British for many generations was no surprise to English- 
men who knew India ; but less expected was the immedi- 
ate rally to the British cause of the new Western-educated 
classes who, baulked of the political liberties which they 
regarded as their due, had seemed to be drifting hopelessly 
into bitter antagonism to British rule a rally which at 
first included even those who, like Mr. Tilak, just released 
from his long detention at Mandalay, had taught hatred 
and contempt of the British rulers of India with a violence 
which implied, even when it was not definitely expressed, 
a fierce desire to sever the British connection altogether. 
In some cases the homage paid to the righteousness of the 
British cause may not have been altogether genuine, 
but with the great majority it sprang from one thought, 

139 



140 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

well expressed by Sir Satyendra Sinha, one of the most 
gifted and patriotic of India's sons, in his presidential 
address to the Indian National Congress in 1915, that, 
at that critical hour in the world's history, it was for 
India " to prove to the great British nation her gratitude 
for peace and the blessings of civilisation secured to her 
under its aegis for the last hundred and fifty years and 
more." The tales of German frightfulness and the guns 
of the Emden bombarding Madras, which were an ominous 
reminder that a far worse fate than British rule might 
conceivably overtake India, helped to confirm Indians 
in the conviction that the British Empire and India's 
connection with it were well worth fighting for. This 
was one of Germany's many miscalculations, and the 
loyalty of the Indian people quite as much as the watch- 
fulness of Government defeated the few serious efforts 
made by the disaffected emissaries and agents in whom 
she had put her trust to raise the standard of rebellion 
in India. All they could do was to feed the " Indian 
Section " of the Berlin Foreign Office with cock-and-bull 
stories of successful Indian mutinies and risings, which 
the German public, however gullible, ceased at last to 
swallow. Amongst the Indian Mahomedans there was 
a small pro-Turkish group, chiefly of an Extremist com- 
plexion, whose appeals to the religious solidarity of Islam 
might have proved troublesome when Turkey herself 
came into the war, had not Government deemed it 
advisable to put a stop to the mischievous activities of 
the two chief firebrands, the brothers Mahomed Ali and 
Shaukat Ali, by interning them under the discretionary 
powers conferred upon it by the Defence of India Act. 
Indian Mahomedan troops fought with the same gallantry 
and determination against their Turkish co-religionists 
in Mesopotamia and Palestine as against the German 
enemy in France and in Africa, and the Mahomedan 
Punjab answered even more abundantly than any other 
province of India every successive call for fresh recruits 
to replenish and strengthen the forces of the Empire. 



VHI THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 141 

The British Government and people responded gener- 
ously to these splendid demonstrations of India's funda- 
mental loyalty to the British cause and the British con- 
nection. The Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, declared 
with special emphasis that in future Indian questions 
must be approached from " a new angle of vision," and 
Indians, not least the Western - educated classes, con- 
strued his utterance into a pledge of the deepest signifi- 
cance. For two years India presented on everything 
that related to the war a front unbroken by any dis- 
sensions. The Imperial Legislative Council passed, 
almost without a murmur even at its most drastic 
provisions, repugnant as they were to the more advanced 
Indian members, a Defence of India Act on the lines 
of the Defence of the Realm Act at home, when Lord 
Hardinge gave an assurance that it was essential to the 
proper performance of her part in the war, and it voted 
spontaneously and unanimously a contribution of one 
hundred million pounds by the Indian Exchequer to the 
war expenditure of the Empire. India had thrilled with 
pride when, at Lord Hardinge's instance, her troops were 
first sent, not to act as merely subsidiary forces in sub- 
sidiary war-areas, but to share with British troops the 
very forefront of the battle in France, and she thrilled 
again when an Indian prince, the Maharajah of Bikanir, 
and Sir Satyendra Sinha, who was once more playing a 
conspicuous part in the political arena, and had been one 
of the oldest and ablest members of the moderate Con- 
gress party, were sent to represent India at the first Im- 
perial War Conference in London, and took their seats side 
by side with British Ministers and with the Ministers of 
the self-governing Dominions. 

There was, however, another side to the picture. If 
India had displayed in the best sense of the word an 
Imperial spirit and made sacrifices that entitled her to be 
treated as a partner in, rather than a mere dependency 
of, the British Empire, was she still to be denied a large 
instalment at least of the political liberties which had been 



142 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

long ago conferred on the self-governing Dominions ? 
Were her people to be refused in the self-governing 
Dominions themselves the equality of treatment which 
her representatives were allowed to enjoy in the council- 
chamber of the Empire ? Whilst the Morley - Minto 
reforms had disappointed the political expectations of 
the Western - educated classes, the measures adopted 
in several of the self-governing Dominions to exclude 
Indian immigration, and, especially in South Africa, 
to place severe social and municipal disabilities on 
Indians already settled in some of the provinces of the 
Union, had caused still more widespread resentment, 
and nothing did more to strengthen Lord Hardinge's 
hold upon Indian affection than his frank espousal of 
these Indian grievances, even at the risk of placing 
himself in apparent opposition to the Imperial Govern- 
ment, who had to reckon with the sentiment of the 
Dominions as well as with that of India. The war 
suddenly brought to the front in a new shape the ques- 
tion of the constitutional relationship not only between 
Great Britain and India but between India and the 
other component parts of the Empire. It was known 
in India that, before Lord Hardinge reached the end of 
his term of office, extended for six months till April 1916, 
he had been engaged in drafting a scheme of reform to 
meet Indian political aspirations more fully than Lord 
Morley had done, and it was known also in India that 
schemes of Imperial reconstruction after the war were 
already being discussed throughout the Empire. The 
Indian politician not unnaturally argued that if, as was 
generally conceded, the constitutional relations of the 
Government of India to the Imperial Government were 
to be substantially modified and India to be advanced to a 
position approximately similar to that of the self-governing 
Dominions whose governments were responsible to their 
own peoples, this could be done only by opening up to 
her too the road to self-government. The Extremist at 
once pressed the argument to its utmost consequences. 



vra THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 143 

The India for which he spoke was at that time, he declared, 
still willing to accept the British connection on the same 
terms as the Dominions, but she must be given Dominion 
Home Rule at once not merely as a goal to be slowly 
reached by carefully graduated stages, but as an immedi- 
ate concession to Indian sentiment, already more than 
due to her for her share in the defence of the Empire 
during the war. 

In the Legislative Councils there had been a political 
truce by common consent after the Government had 
undertaken to introduce no controversial measures whilst 
the war was going on. But the war dragged on much 
longer than had been generally anticipated. India, to 
whom it brought after the first few months an immense 
accession of material prosperity by creating a great de- 
mand for all her produce at rapidly enhanced prices, was 
so sheltered from its real horrors, and the number of 
Indians who had any personal ties with those actually 
fighting in far off-lands was after all so small in proportion 
to the vast population, that the keen edge of interest in 
its progress was gradually blunted, and political specula- 
tions as to the position of India after the war were 
unwittingly encouraged by the failure of Government 
to keep Indian opinion concentrated on the magnitude 
of the struggle which still threatened the very existence 
of the Empire. Circumstances, for which the British 
lack of imagination as well as the ponderous machinery 
of Indian administration was in some measure responsible, 
favoured, it must be admitted, the revival of political 
agitation. Some three years elapsed after India was 
promised a " new angle of vision " before there was 
evidence to the Indian eye that anything was being done 
to redeem that promise. Lord Hardinge had taken home 
with him one scheme of reforms, and his successor, Lord 
Chelmsford, had set to work with his Council on another 
one as soon as he reached Simla. But time passed and 
all this travail bore no visible fruits. Outside events 
also gave rise to suspicion. The rejection by the House 



144 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of Lords of the proposed creation of an Executive Council 
for the United Provinces caused widespread irritation 
amongst even moderate Indians, and the rumours of a 
scheme to hasten on Imperial federation and to give the 
self-governing Dominions some share in the control of 
Indian affairs aroused a very bitter feeling, as Indian 
opinion still smarted under the treatment of Indians 
in other parts of the Empire and remained distrustful 
of the temporary compromise only recently arrived at. 
The Viceroy was very reserved and reticent, and his 
reserve and reticence were made the pretext for assuming 
that, as he had been appointed under the first Coalition 
Government at home when Mr. Chamberlain succeeded 
Lord Crewe at the India Office, he was the reactionary 
nominee of a reactionary Secretary of State. No assump- 
tion could have been more unjust. Lord Chelmsford's 
scheme was completed and sent home towards the end of 
1916. But nothing transpired as to its contents, nor as 
to any action being taken upon it. Indians inferred 
that it was indefinitely pigeon-holed in Whitehall. The 
very reasonable plea that the Imperial Government, 
whose energies had to be devoted to the life-and-death 
struggle in which the whole Empire was involved, had 
little time to devote to a serious study of such problems 
as the introduction of grave constitutional changes in 
India, was countered by the argument that the same 
Imperial Government seemed to find no difficulty in 
sparing time for such measures as Irish Home Rule, 
votes for women, and a large extension of the franchise 
in the United Kingdom. 

The long delay, whatever its causes, perplexed and 
alarmed even moderate Indian opinion, which had lost 
the most popular of the leaders capable of guiding it, 
and waited in vain for any comforting assurances from 
responsible official quarters. Moreover, it allowed the 
Extreme wing to set up a standard of political demands 
which it became more and more difficult for any Indian 
to decline altogether to endorse without exposing himself 



vin THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 145 

to the reproach that he was unpatriotic and a creature of 
Government. As soon as it became known that Lord 
Chelmsford was engaged in elaborating a scheme of post- 
war reforms, nineteen Indian members of the Imperial 
Legislative Council hurriedly put forward a counter 
scheme of their own, professedly for the better guidance 
of British Ministers. Besides pressing for various more 
or less practical reforms, such as the granting of commis- 
sions to Indians, the Nineteen demanded full control for 
the Provincial Councils over the Executive subject to 
a limited veto of the Governor of the Province ; direct 
election to those Councils although nothing definite 
was said about the franchise ; and, in the Imperial Legis- 
lative Council, an unofficial majority and control over the 
Central Government except in certain reserved matters. 
The scheme was hazy, bore evident marks of haste, and 
aggravated immensely the dangers with which experience 
had already shown the Morley-Minto reforms to be fraught. 
It was an attempt to make the Central and Provincial 
Governments in India dependent upon the caprice of 
legislatures, with no mandate from any representative 
electorate and no training in responsible government, 
but completely immune to the consequences of their own 
mistakes. It must have led to a hopeless deadlock and 
the complete paralysis of Government, but even so it 
did not satisfy the more fiery members of the Indian 
National Congress, where, in complete unison with the All- 
India Moslem League, finally captured by some slight 
concessions to Mahomedan sentiment, resolutions were 
passed more crude and unworkable than the scheme of 
the Nineteen, and virtually amounting to Home Rule 
in its most impracticable shape. 

The Congress was at last passing under Extremist 
control. Its first session during the war was held in 
December 1914 in Bombay, and under the presidency of 
Mr. Bupendranath Basu, afterwards a member of the 
Secretary of State's Council, the proceedings reflected the 
general enthusiasm with which India had rallied to the 

L 



146 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

cause of the Empire. But before the Congress met again 
a disease common amongst Indians and aggravated by 
overwork and anxiety had carried away in April 1915, 
still in the prime of life, the founder of the " Servants 
of India Society," Mr. Gokhale, himself perhaps the 
greatest servant of India that has toiled in our time for 
her social as well as her political advancement. His 
friends believed that in his case the end was precipitated 
by an acute controversy with Mr. Tilak, to whom he 
had made one last appeal to abandon his old attitude 
of irreconcilable opposition. A few months later, in 
November, the veteran Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, who had 
fought stoutly ever since Surat against any Congress re- 
union, in which he clearly foresaw that the Moderates 
would be the dupes of the Extremists, passed away in his 
seventy-first year, but not before he had sent a message, 
worded in his old peremptory style, to Sir Satyendra 
Sinha, daring him to refuse the chairmanship of the 
coming session which was to be held in December in 
Bombay. Sir Satyendra came, and his great personal 
influence kept the Indian National Congress on the rails, 
and defeated the projects already on foot once more for 
delivering it into the hands of Mr. Tilak and his followers. 
But the death of those two pillars of the Moderate party 
at such a critical juncture proved to be an irreparable 
loss. When Mr. Gokhale's political testament was 
published, it was dismissed by the Extremists as a well- 
meant but quite obsolete document. The Congress 
found a new and strange Egeria in Mrs. Besant, who 
had thrown herself into Indian politics when, owing 
to circumstances l which had nothing to do with politics, 
the faith that many respectable Hindus had placed in 
her, on the strength of her theosophical teachings, as 
a vessel of spiritual election was rudely shaken. But 
nothing shook the mesmeric influence which she had 
acquired over young India by preaching with rare 

1 The Evolution of Mrs. Besant, by the Editor of Justice. Madras, 
Justice Printing Works, 1918. 



vni THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 147 

eloquence the moral and spiritual superiority of Indian 
over Western creeds, and condemning the British adminis- 
tration of India, root and branch, as one of the worst 
manifestations of Western materialism. With her remark- 
able power of seizing the psychological moment, she had 
fastened on to the catchword of " Home Rule for India," 
into which Indians could read whatever measure of 
reform they happened to favour, whilst it voiced the 
vague aspiration of India to be mistress in her own house, 
and to be freed from the reproach of " dependency " in 
any future scheme of reconstruction. She herself gave 
it the widest interpretation in New India, a newspaper 
whose extreme views expressed in the most extreme form 
drew down upon her not only the action of Government 
but the censure of the High Court of Madras. At the 
Congress session held at Lucknow at the end of 1916 
she shared the honours of a tremendous ovation with 
Tilak, whose sufferings and her own in the cause of 
India's freedom her newspaper compared with those of 
Christ on the Cross. Resolutions were carried not only 
requesting that the King Emperor might be pleased " to 
issue a proclamation announcing that it is the aim and 
intention of British policy to confer self-government on 
India at an early date," but setting forth in detail a series 
of preliminary reforms to be introduced forthwith in 
order to consummate the "bloodless revolution" which, 
according to the President's closing oration, was already 
in full blast. The All -India Moslem League sitting at the 
same time at Lucknow followed the Congress lead. 

To those feverish days at Lucknow the session of the 
Imperial Legislative Council held shortly afterwards at 
Delhi afforded a striking contrast. The Great War was 
in its third year, and the end seemed as far off as ever. 
The Government of India announced the issue of an 
Indian War Loan for 100,000,000 which was well 
received and speedily subscribed, and, as an earnest of 
the revision of the whole fiscal relations of the Empire 
after the war, an increase of the import duty on cotton 



148 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

fabrics, without the corresponding increase of the excise 
duty which had always been resented as an unjust 
protection of the Lancashire industry, abated an Indian 
grievance of twenty years' standing. A Defence Force 
Bill opening up opportunities for Indians to volunteer 
and be trained for active service responded in some 
measure to the agitation for a national militia which the 
Congress had encouraged. The Viceroy also announced 
that the system of indentured emigration to Fiji and the 
West Indies against which Indian sentiment had begun 
to rebel was at an end, and that the problem of Indian 
education would be submitted to a strong Commission 
appointed, with Sir Thomas Sadler at its head, to inquire 
in the first place into the position of the Calcutta Uni- 
versity, and he warmly invited the co-operation of Indians 
of all parties with the representative Committee under 
Sir Thomas Holland, then already engaged in quickening 
the development of Indian industries which, far too long 
neglected by successive governments, was at last receiving 
serious attention under the compelling pressure of a 
world-war. Government and Legislature met and parted 
on cordial terms. But Mrs. Besant never abated the 
vehemence of her Home Rule campaign, for only by 
Home Rule could India, she declared, " be saved from 
ruin, from becoming a nation of coolies for the enrich- 
ment of others." Access to some of the provinces was 
denied to her by Provincial Governments, and the Govern- 
ment of Madras decided to " intern " her. The " intern- 
ment " meant merely that she transferred her residence 
and most of her activities from Madras to Ootacamund, 
the summer quarters of the Madras Government, where 
she hoisted the Home Rule flag on her house and continued 
to direct the Home Rule movement as vigorously as ever. 
But in her own flamboyant language she described herself 
as having been " drafted into the modern equivalent for 
the Middle Ages oubliette," and even Indians who were 
not wholly in sympathy with her views were aflame with 
indignation at her cruel " martyrdom." The Government 



vm THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 149 

of India, whilst acquiescing in the action of the Pro- 
vincial Governments, maintained an attitude of masterly 
inactivity, and neither in India nor at home was an 
authoritative word forthcoming as to the birth of the 
reforms scheme known to be in laborious gestation. 

The political tension grew more and more acute. 
When would Simla or Whitehall break the prolonged 
silence ? The publication of the Mesopotamian Report 
only added fuel to the flames, as it was easy to read into 
it a condemnation of Indian administration only less 
sweeping, if expressed in a more restrained form, than 
that which Indians had for years past poured forth upon 
it. There was no restraint at all in the fierce attack 
delivered upon it during the subsequent debate in the 
House of Commons by Lord Morley's former Under 
Secretary of State for India, Mr. Montagu. He had 
himself visited India and was personally known there, 
and his speech, cabled out at once in full, produced a 
tremendous sensation, which was intensified when a few 
days later he was appointed Secretary of State for India 
in succession to Mr. Chamberlain. There could be no 
doubt whatever as to the reality of the " new angle of 
vision " when on August 20 Mr. Montagu made in the 
House of Commons and Lord Chelmsford in Simla a 
simultaneous announcement, as solemn in its form as it 
was far-reaching in its implications. 

The purpose of British policy, it declared, was not only 
" the increasing association of Indians in every branch 
of the administration, but also the greatest development 
of self-governing institutions with a view to the pro- 
gressive realisation of responsible government in India 
as an integral part of the British Empire." 

This momentous announcement was accompanied, it 
is true, by a reservation to the effect " that the British 
Government and the Government of India, on whom the 
responsibility lies for the welfare and advancement of 
the Indian people, must be judges of the time and measure 
of each advance ; and they must be guided by the co- 



150 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

operation received from those upon whom new oppor- 
tunities of service will thus be conferred, and by the 
extent to which it is found that confidence can be reposed 
in their sense of responsibility." But it was made clear 
that the declaration of policy was not meant to be a 
mere enunciation of principles, for it wound up with 
the statement that His Majesty's Government had 
" decided that substantial steps in this direction should 
be taken as soon as possible, and that it is of the highest 
importance that there should be a free and informal 
exchange of opinion between those in authority at home 
and in India." For that purpose Mr. Montagu himself 
was authorised to proceed to India and confer with the 
Viceroy, in response to an invitation addressed originally 
to Mr. Chamberlain and extended after his resignation to 
his successor at the India Office. 

Could this great pronouncement have been made a 
year earlier, and with the added authority of a Royal 
proclamation, it might have been received with such 
widespread acclamation in India as to drown any but 
the shrillest notes of dissent from the irreconcilables. 
The Moderates hardly dared to admit that it fulfilled 
nay, more than fulfilled their hopes, whilst the Extremists 
in the Indian National Congress, presided over on this 
occasion by Mrs. Besant herself, banged, bolted, and barred 
the door against any compromise by reaffirming and 
stiffening into something akin to an ultimatum the Home 
Rule resolutions of 1916 just at the moment when Mr. 
Montagu was landing in India. But the Secretary of 
State was not the man to be perturbed by such demonstra- 
tions. He had the British politician's faith in compromise, 
and he did not perhaps understand fully that Indian 
Extremism represents a very different quality of opposition 
from any that a British Minister has yet had to reckon 
with in Parliament. He saw Indians of all classes and 
creeds and political parties during his tour through India, 
but on none did he lavish more time and more patient 
hearing than upon the Extremists whom he hoped 



vm THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 151 

against hope to convert. He had an easier task when he 
tried to disarm the resentment which his vigorous onslaught 
on the methods and temper of British administration just 
before he took office had aroused amongst the European 
members of the public services. He conferred with 
governors and with heads of departments, and with 
representatives of the European community. He received 
endless deputations and masses of addresses, and he re- 
mained of course in close consultation with the Viceroy 
in accordance with the declared object of his mission. 
After four strenuous months Mr. Montagu and Lord 
Chelmsford signed at Simla on April 22, 1918, a joint 
report which was laid before Parliament in July. 

Great as had always been the responsibilities of the 
Secretary of State and the Viceroy for the government of 
India "as by law established," they were on this occasion 
vastly greater. For two men of widely different tempera- 
ments had to work out together a scheme for shifting 
the very axis of government. They rose to the occasion. 
The Montagu -Chelmsford Report will rank with the 
great State papers which are landmarks of constitutional 
progress in the history of the British Empire. It falls 
naturally and logically into two parts, the first setting 
forth the conditions of the problem, the second the 
recommendations for its solution ; and even if the second 
had not provided the foundations for the Act of 1919, 
the first would have deserved to live as a masterly survey 
of the state of India the first authoritative one since 
the transfer to the Crown just sixty years before. For 
the first time since the Mutiny it marked a reversion 
to the spirit in which the Bentincks and Munros and 
Elphinstones had almost a century earlier conceived the 
mission of England in India to lie in the training of the 
Indian people to govern themselves, and for the first 
time an attempt was made to appraise generously but 
fairly the position of the Western-educated classes and 
the part they have come to play in the Indian polity. 
The passage is worth quoting in full, as the constitutional 



152 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

changes effected on the lines recommended by the Report 
were to give them the opportunity to prove the stuff they 
were made of as the political leaders of their country. 

In estimating the politically-minded portion of the people 
of India we should not go either to census reports on the one 
hand, or to political literature on the other. It is one of the 
most difficult portions of our task to see them in their right 
relation to the rest of the country. Our obligations to them 
are plain, for they are intellectually our children. They have 
imbibed ideas which we ourselves have set before them, and 
we ought to reckon it to their credit. The present intellectual 
and moral stir in India is no reproach but rather a tribute to 
our work. The Raj would have been a mechanical and iron 
thing if the spirit of India had not responded to it. We must 
remember, too, that the educated Indian has come to the 
front by hard work ; he has seized the education which we 
offered him because he first saw its advantages ; and it is he 
who has advocated and worked for political progress. All 
this stands to his credit. For thirty years he has developed 
in his Congress, and latterly in the Moslem League, free 
popular convocations which express his ideals. We owe him 
sympathy because he has conceived and pursued the idea of 
managing his own affairs, an aim which no Englishman can 
fail to respect. He has made a skilful, and on the whole a 
moderate, use of the opportunities which we have given him 
in the legislative councils of influencing Government and 
affecting the course of public business, and of recent years he 
has by speeches and in the press done much to spread the idea 
of a united and self-respecting India among thousands who 
had no such conception in their minds. Helped by the in- 
ability of the other classes in India to play a prominent part 
he has assumed the place of leader ; but his authority is by 
no means universally acknowledged and may in an emergency 
prove weak. 

The prospects of advance very greatly depend upon how 
far the educated Indian is in sympathy with and capable of 
fairly representing the illiterate masses. The old assumption 
that the interests of the ryot must be confided to official hands 
is strenuously denied by modern educated Indians. They 
claim that the European official must by his lack of imagina- 
tion and comparative lack of skill in tongues be gravely 
handicapped in interpreting the thoughts and desires of an 
Asiatic people. On the other hand, it is argued that in the 
limited spread of education, the endurance of caste exclusive- 
ness and of usages sanctioned by caste, and in the records of 



vin THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 153 

some local bodies and councils, may be found reasons which 
suggest that the politically-minded classes stand somewhat 
apart from and in advance of the ordinary life of the country. 
Nor would it be surprising if this were the case. Our educa- 
tional policy in the past aimed at satisfying the few who sought 
after English education, without sufficient thought of the 
consequences which might ensue from not taking care to 
extend instruction to the many. We have in fact created a 
limited intelligentsia, who desire advance ; and we cannot 
stay their progress entirely until education has been extended 
to the masses. It has been made a reproach to the educated 
classes that they have followed too exclusively after one or 
two pursuits, the law, journalism, or school teaching ; and that 
these are all callings which make men inclined to overrate 
the importance of words and phrases. But even if there is 
substance in the count, we must take note also how far the 
past policy of Government is responsible. We have not 
succeeded in making education practical. It is only now, 
when the war has revealed the importance of industry, that 
we have deliberately set about encouraging Indians to under- 
take the creation of wealth by industrial enterprise, and have 
thereby offered the educated classes any tangible inducement 
to overcome their traditional inclination to look down on 
practical forms of energy. We must admit that the educated 
Indian is a creation peculiarly of our own ; and if we take the 
credit that is due to us for his strong points we must admit 
a similar liability for his weak ones. Let us note also in 
justice to him that the progressive Indian appears to realise 
the narrow basis of his position and is beginning to broaden it. 
In municipal and university work he has taken a useful and 
creditable share. We find him organising effort not for 
political ends alone, but for various forms of public and social 
service. He has come forward and done valuable work in 
relieving famine and distress by floods, in keeping order at 
fairs, in helping pilgrims, and in promoting co-operative credit. 
Although his ventures in the fields of commerce have not 
been always fortunate, he is beginning to turn his attention 
more to the improvement of agriculture and industry. Above 
all, he is active in promoting education and sanitation ; and 
every increase in the number of educated people adds to his 
influence and authority. 

The authors of the Report were at the same time by 
no means unmindful of England's responsibilities towards 
the vast masses still quite content to accept the system 
of government which she had given them, and who looked 



154 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

with undiminished faith to their British administrators 
for the continuance of the peace and security and even- 
handed justice which they had seldom if ever enjoyed in 
the same measure under their indigenous rulers. The 
problem to be solved was " one of political education 
which must be practical and also experimental." The 
politically-minded classes had to be given an opportunity 
of learning how to govern and administer ; and the other 
classes, which have hitherto accepted unquestioningly the 
government and administration given to them, had to be 
taught to exercise the critical rights of intelligent citizen- 
ship. A sphere had to be found in which Indians could 
be given work to do, and be held accountable to their 
own people for the way they did it. That sphere had to 
be circumscribed at first so as not to endanger the founda- 
tions of Government, and yet capable of steady expansion 
if and in proportion as the experiment succeeds, until 
the process of political education should be complete 
and Indians should have shown themselves qualified for 
the same measure of self-government as the Dominions 
already enjoy within the British Empire. 

From a careful examination of the existing structure 
of Government and an exhaustive review of present 
conditions in India, the Montagu-Chelmsford Report 
deduced two definite conclusions : 

(1) It is on the Central Government, i.e. the Govern- 
ment of India, that the whole structure rests ; and the 
foundations must not be disturbed pending experience 
of the changes to be introduced into less vital parts. 
The Government of India must therefore remain wholly 
responsible to Parliament, and, saving such responsibility, 
its authority in essential matters must during the initial 
stages of the experiment remain indisputable. 

(2) While popular control can be at once largely 
extended in the domain of local government, the 
Provinces provide the sphere in which the earlier steps 
towards the development of representative institutions 
and the progressive realisation of responsible govern- 



vin THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 155 

ment promised in the Declaration of August 20, 1917, 
can be most usefully and safely taken. 

The whole of the second part of the Report was 
devoted to working out in considerable detail a practical 
scheme for giving effect to those two conclusions. The 
powers and responsibilities of the Government of India 
as the Central Government were left intact, but an All- 
Indian legislature consisting of two assemblies, the one 
as popular and democratic as a large elective majority 
proceeding from the broadest practicable franchise could 
make it to be called the Indian Legislative Assembly 
and the other a relatively small upper chamber to be 
known as the Council of State which, composed partly 
of elected members and partly of members nominated by 
Government or entitled ex officio to membership, was 
expected to provide the desired counterpoise of approved 
experience and enlightened conservatism. The Report 
expressed the pious hope that " inasmuch as the Council 
of State will be the supreme legislative authority for 
India on all crucial questions and the revising authority 
for all Indian legislation," it would " attract the services 
of the best men available," and " develop something of 
the experience and dignity of a body of Elder Statesmen " 
an expression presumably borrowed, but not very aptly, 
from Japan, where the Elder Statesmen have no doubt 
had immense influence but never any constitutional 
status. The Report had, moreover, to contemplate the 
possibility of conflict between the Legislature and the 
Executive, and in accordance with the first of the two 
main conclusions at which it had arrived it proposed to 
arm the Governor-General in Council with power to 
override the Legislature if it failed to pass measures or 
grant supplies which he was prepared to " certify " as 
vital to the peace, safety, and interests of India. 

For the great experiment in the provincial sphere, 
the eight provinces of Bombay, Madras, Bengal, the 
United Provinces, Behar and Orissa, the Punjab, the 
Central Provinces, and Assam, were deemed to be already 



156 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

ripe. Burma (which is not really India at all, and whose 
people belong to another race and to another stage of 
political development), the North- West Frontier Province, 
and Baluchistan (which for strategical reasons must 
remain under the direct control of the Government of 
India), and a few smaller areas, whose populations are 
altogether too backward, were not to be touched at 
present. The essential feature of the scheme was the 
division of the functions of the Provincial Government 
into two categories : the one comprising what are now 
termed " the reserved subjects," i.e. those with which 
the maintenance of peace and order and good government 
is immediately bound up ; and the other, those which, 
though less vital, very closely affect the daily life and 
common interests of the people, and which were to be 
called " the transferred subjects," because it was proposed 
to transfer at once the largest possible measure of power 
and responsibility in regard to them to exclusively Indian 
shoulders. While all essential power and responsibility 
in regard to " the reserved subjects " were to remain 
vested in the Governor-in-Council, i.e. the executive body 
consisting of the Governor and (under the new scheme) 
one British and one Indian member of Council, real 
power and responsibility for dealing with " the transferred 
subjects " were to be conferred on Indian Ministers 
accountable to a Legislative Council in which there was 
to be a large Indian non-official majority, elected also 
on the broadest possible franchise. The Provincial 
Government would thus itself be divided into two 
compartments : in the one the Governor-in-Council, 
responsible as heretofore to the Government of India and 
to the Secretary of State, i.e. the British Parliament ; in 
the other the Governor but not "in Council" acting 
with Indian Ministers responsible to an Indian legislature. 
This was the system of partial but progressive 
devolution that had already come to be known as 
" Dyarchy," having been propounded in a somewhat 
different form by an independent inquirer, Mr. Lionel 



viii THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 157 

Curtis, whose " Letters to the People of India " on 
responsible Government, though they at first caused 
almost as much displeasure in official as in Extremist 
circles, did a great deal to educate the mind of the 
" politically-minded " classes, and to prepare the ground 
for the Montagu-Chelmsford Report. The authors of the 
Report were themselves fully alive to the demerits as 
well as to the merits of dyarchy, and they were careful 
to state it as their intention that " the Government thus 
composed and with this distribution of functions shall 
discharge them as one Government, and that as a general 
rule it shall deliberate as a whole." The Governor-in- 
Council was to have, on the other hand, within his 
narrower sphere, powers similar to those retained by the 
Viceroy for overriding the Provincial Legislature in 
extreme cases of conflict. 

General principles were alone laid down in the Report, 
and its authors confined themselves to a rough prelimi- 
nary indication of their views, as to the distribution of 
" reserved" and " transferred " subjects in the Provinces 
and as to the constitution of electorates. The latter 
problem they stated in brief terms : " We must measure 
the number of persons who can in the different parts of 
the country be reasonably entrusted with the duties of 
citizenship. We must ascertain what sort of franchise 
will be suited to local conditions, and how interests that 
may be unable to find adequate representation in such 
constituencies are to be represented." But it was 
perhaps Mr. Montagu's doctrinaire Radicalism that be- 
trayed itself in the treatment of the question of " com- 
munal " representation, i.e. the creation of separate 
constituencies for various communities, which, however 
important or however much entitled to make their 
voices heard, might be submerged in constituencies 
based solely on territorial representation. " Communal 
representation " had been conceded to so powerful a 
minority as the Mahomedans under the Indian Councils 
Act of 1909 ; and the Report admitted that it could not 



158 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

be withdrawn from them, and that it might have to be 
conceded to other communities, such as the Sikhs. At 
the same time it developed at great length all the theo- 
retical arguments against the principle, viz. that it is 
opposed to history, that it perpetuates class division, 
that it stereotypes existing relations based on traditions 
and prejudices which we should do everything to dis- 
courage. 

At the risk even of travelling somewhat beyond the 
expressed terms of their reference, the Secretary of 
State and the Viceroy could not but recognise that 
the effects of great constitutional reforms, of which 
the statutory application would be necessarily confined 
to that part of India that is under direct British ad- 
ministration, must nevertheless react upon that other 
smaller but still very considerable part of India which 
enjoys more or less complete internal autonomy under 
its own hereditary rulers. A growing number of questions, 
and especially economic questions, must arise in future, 
which will affect the interests of the Native States as 
directly as those of the rest of India ; and their rulers 
may legitimately claim, as the Report plainly admitted, 
to have constitutional opportunities of expressing their 
views and wishes and of conferring with one another and 
with the Government of India. For such purposes the 
Report included suggestions which were to take shape in 
the establishment of the Chamber of Princes. 

One other recommendation of the Report deserves 
special notice, as it shows the authors to have realised 
how seriously Parliament, though more directly respons- 
ible than ever for the exercise of due vigilance over 
Indian affairs after the transfer to the Crown, had lost 
touch with them, since, with the disappearance of the 
East India Company after the Mutiny, it ceased to hold 
the regular and exhaustive inquiries which the renewal 
of the Charter had until then periodically required. As 
their own scheme was designed merely to give Parliament 
a lead in the first of a progressive series of constitutional 



vin THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 159 

reforms, they recommended that a Parliamentary Com- 
mission of Inquiry into the working of the new Indian 
institutions and the general progress of the people of 
India should at stated intervals determine the further 
stages of advance towards the final goal of self-govern- 
ment. Such a Commission, armed with power to examine 
witnesses, would not only enlighten British public opinion, 
but also probe Indian opinion in a much more searching 
way than can be done by impassioned and irresponsible 
arguments and counter-arguments in the press and on 
platforms. It would, above all, assist Parliament to 
master from time to time the many-sided problem whose 
progressive solution it would have constantly to watch 
and periodically to determine. 

The Report was a document of such magnitude and 
complexity, and went so boldly to the roots of Indian 
government and administration, that even amongst the 
absorbing preoccupations of the war, which was only 
just emerging for the Allies from the terrible crisis of 
March-April 1918, its publication at once provoked a 
considerable stream of criticism. On the whole, British 
public opinion was favourable, though there was a small 
but not uninfluential group of British reactionaries who 
at once took up, and have ever since maintained, the 
position that the Report meant, not the mending, for 
which they saw, moreover, very little need, but the ending 
of British rule in India. Equal divergencies occurred 
in Indian public opinion. An Extremist gathering in 
Madras declared roundly that " the scheme is so radically 
wrong in principle and in detail that in our opinion it is 
impossible to modify or improve it." In vain had Mrs. 
Besant been released from her modern oubliette before 
Mr. Montagu started for India. " The scheme," she 
wrote in her haste, on the very day of its publication, 
" is unworthy to be offered by England or to be accepted 
by India." In vain had Mr. Montagu allowed himself to 
be garlanded by Mr. Tilak, who was not far behind 
Mrs. Besant in pronouncing the scheme to be " entirely 



160 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

unacceptable." The Calcutta Provincial Conference of 
the Congress party held a few days later abounded in the 
same sense, and a special session of the whole Congress 
convoked in August in Bombay was only in form some- 
what less bitterly uncompromising, and only because it 
began to realise that the secession of the more moderate 
elements was likely to reduce " the Parliament of India " 
to a mere rump. Moderate opinion had not committed 
itself to acceptance of the scheme as precipitately as the 
Extremists to its rejection, but against rejection pure and 
simple it set its face at once, and it rallied so steadily 
and surely to acceptance that few of the Moderates 
attended the Provincial Congress, where they were 
promptly howled down, and they determined to hold a 
Conference of their own in opposition to the special 
Congress session. At this Conference, as well as in the 
Committee of non-official members of the Indian Legisla- 
tive Council, there was a good deal of disjointed criticism 
of various recommendations in the Report, not infrequently 
due to misunderstanding of their import, but on the whole 
it was recognised as representing a great triumph for the 
cause of political progress on constitutional lines and 
therefore for the educated opinion of India. The breach 
between the Extremists and the Moderates was clearly 
defined by Mr. B. L. Mitter, a prominent Moderate of 
Calcutta and a member of the new Moderate organisation, 
the " National Liberal League " : 

The Extremists would have nothing to do with the English 
in the Government or outside ; the Moderates consider co- 
operation with the English necessary for national develop- 
ment, political, industrial, economic, and otherwise. The 
Extremists would straightway assume full responsibility of 
Government ; the Moderates think that would lead to chaos, 
and would proceed by stages. It is the difference between 
cataclysm and evolution. The Extremists' ideal is destruction 
of the existing order of things in the hope that something better 
will take its place, for nothing can be worse than what is ; 
the Moderates' ideal is formation of a new order of things on 
definite progressive lines. One is chance, the other is design. 
The primary difference (so far as methods are concerned) is 



vm THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 161 

that the Extremists' method is not necessarily constitutional ; 
the Moderates' method always constitutional. Some Extrem- 
ists use violence, others work secretly and spread discontent 
and disaffection. Others again, pretending to follow legiti- 
mate methods of agitation, take care not to discourage 
unconstitutional methods or even crimes, nay, they miss no 
opportunity to applaud criminals as martyrs. There are 
others, again, who merely idealise and are content with 
rousing the passions of the people. Intrigue and abuse 
are the general weapons in the Extremists' armoury. The 
Moderates always act openly and with dignity, and follow 
lawful methods of agitation. The Extremists always oppose 
the Government. The Moderates co-operate with authority, 
and oppose when necessary in the interests of the country. 
Lastly, the Extremists appeal only to the passions of the 
people ; the Moderates appeal to their reason. 

Later developments in India itself were unfortunately 
to play once more into the hands of the Extremists, and 
the leadership was to pass from Mr. Tilak, who was grow- 
ing old and died in the summer of 1920, and from Mrs. 
Besant too, who, after being bitterly reviled by her former 
ally, at last saw the error of her ways and finally went 
over to the Moderate camp with the diminishing remnants 
of her influence, into the hands of a new and strange 
figure in Indian politics, Mr. Gandhi, endowed with 
very different qualities and greater spiritual influence 
than either of them. 

But before bringing him on to the stage it may be well 
to follow the progress of Indian reforms at home after 
the publication of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report. It 
had been laid before Parliament without any imprimatur 
from the Cabinet, and some months passed before, with 
the conclusion of the war, His Majesty's Government 
found leisure to give it their collective consideration. Not 
till June 1919 was Mr. Montagu in a position to move 
in the House of Commons the second reading of the 
great Bill drafted with their authority to give effect in 
all essentials to the recommendations of the Report. His 
powerful and lucid exposition of its provisions and of the 
whole situation with which England was confronted in 

M 



162 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

India made a deep impression on the House, though it 
by no means disarmed opposition, and the Bill was 
remitted for consideration to a Joint Select Committee 
of both Houses which, chosen impartially from all 
parties, proceeded to take a large mass of evidence 
from British and Indian witnesses of every political 
complexion, and delivered a very weighty report in 
November. The views of the Government of India and 
of the Provincial Governments, by no means always in 
accord amongst themselves, had also been before the 
Committee, as well as those of the members of the 
(Secretary of State's Council. But the alternative pro- 
posals submitted were either impracticable or ineffective, 
and the Bill which, in so far as it was modified in 
accordance with its recommendations, assumed an even 
more liberal character. Mr. Montagu's hands were thus 
strengthened for the final debates in the House of 
Commons in which the opposition proved sterile in 
argument and weak in numbers, and the Bill was passed 
through both Houses of Parliament in time for the con- 
stitutional assent of the Crown to be given to it and 
for the King-Emperor to address a solemn proclamation 
to the Viceroy, Princes, and people of India on the 
eminently appropriate date of Christmas Eve 1920. 
This Royal message of peace and goodwill set forth in 
simple language both the purposes and the genesis of 
the Act : 

I have watched with understanding and sympathy the 
growing desire of my Indian people for representative institu- 
tions. Starting from small beginnings, this ambition has 
steadily strengthened its hold upon the intelligence of the 
country. It has pursued its ^course along constitutional 
channels with sincerity and courage. It has survived the 
discredit which at times and in places lawless men sought to 
cast upon it by acts of violence committed under the guise 
of patriotism. It has been stirred to more vigorous life by 
the ideals for which the British Commonwealth fought in 
the Great War, and it claims support in the part which India 
has taken in our common struggles, anxieties, and victories. 

In truth, the desire after political responsibility has its 



vni THE GREAT WAR AND THE REFORMS 163 

source at the root of the British connection with India. It 
has sprung inevitably from the deeper and wider studies of 
human thought and history which that connection has opened 
to the Indian people. Without it the work of the British in 
India would have been incomplete. It was, therefore, with a 
wise judgment that the beginnings of representative institu- 
tions were laid many years ago. Their scope has been extended 
stage by stage until there now lies before us a definite step 
on the road to responsible government. 

The Act, which implemented all the principal recom- 
mendations of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report, super- 
seded within little more than fifty years the Government 
of India Act of 1858, under which the Crown first 
assumed direct responsibility for the government and 
administration of India. The Royal message certainly 
did not exaggerate its significance. Its actual provisions 
are indeed of less moment than its larger implications and 
the spirit in which it will be interpreted and carried into 
effect. For the right spirit to crown the new Constitution 
with success we must look to Indians and British alike, not 
forgetting that the changes introduced into the structure 
of Indian government and administration are themselves 
only ancillary to the still more important changes which 
must result from the recognition of Indian public opinion 
as a powerful and ultimately paramount influence in 
the shaping of policy. Such recognition must follow 
not only from the creation of Indian representative 
Assemblies with a large majority of Indian elected 
members but from the appointment of Indians, three 
in number already in the Government of India, three 
in the Secretary of State's Council in Whitehall, and in 
varying numbers both as Ministers and members of the 
Executive Councils in Provincial Governments. Side by 
side with this progressive Indianisation of the Executive 
of which we are witnessing only the first stage, the 
Indianisation of the administrative departments and of 
the public services, and not least of the Indian Civil 
Service, is bound to proceed with increasing rapidity. 
Indians can hardly fail to realise that, perhaps for a 



164 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, vni 

long time to come, they will require the experience and 
driving power of Englishmen, but they will inevitably 
claim increasing control over policy, now formally 
conceded to them in a large Provincial sphere, until it 
shall have extended in successive stages to the whole 
sphere of Provincial Government and ultimately to the 
Central Government itself. Then, and then only, India 
will actually emerge into complete Dominion Self-Govern- 
ment. But we shall do well to remember, and Indians 
will certainly not allow us to forget, that the terms of 
equality, on which her representatives are now admitted 
to the innermost counsels of the Empire, have already in 
many respects outstripped the Act of 1919. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE EMERGENCE OP ME. GANDHI 

BEFORE this great statute could be brought into opera- 
tion, and even whilst Parliament was still laboriously 
evolving it, a strange and incalculable figure was coming 
to the forefront in India, who, favoured by an extra- 
ordinary combination of untoward circumstances, was 
to rally round him some of the most and many of the 
least reputable forces which, sometimes under new dis- 
guises, the old and passive civilisation of India is in- 
stinctively driven to oppose to the disintegrating impact 
upon it of the active and disturbing energies of Western 
civilisation. Saint and prophet in the eyes of the multi- 
tude of his followers saint in the eyes even of many 
who have not accepted him as a prophet Mr. Gandhi 
preaches to-day under the uninspiring name of " Non- 
co-operation," a gospel of revolt none the less formidable 
because it is so far mainly a gospel of negation and 
retrogression, of destruction not construction. Mr. Gandhi 
challenges not only the material but the moral founda- 
tions of British rule. He has passed judgment upon both 
British rule and Western civilisation, and, condemning 
both as " Satanic," his cry is away with the one and with 
the other, and " back to the Vedas," the fountain source 
of ancient Hinduism. That he is a power in the land 
none can deny, least of all since the new Viceroy, Lord 
Reading, almost immediately on his arrival in India, 
spent long hours in close conference with him at Simla. 
What manner of man is Mr. Gandhi, whom Indians revere 

165 



166 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

as a Mahatma, i.e. an inspired sage upon whom the 
wisdom of the ancient Rishis has descended ? What is 
the secret of his power ? 

Born in 1869 in a Gujarat district in the north of the 
Bombay Presidency, Mohandas Karamchamd Gandhi 
comes of very respectable Hindu parentage, but does 
not belong to one of the higher castes. His father, 
like others of his forebears, was Dewan, or chief adminis- 
trator, of one of the small native States of Kathiawar. 
He himself was brought up for the Bar and, after receiving 
the usual English education in India, completed his 
studies in England, first as an undergraduate of the 
London University and then at the Inner Temple. His 
friend and biographer, Mr. H. S. L. Polak, tells us that his 
mother, whose religious example and influence made a last- 
ing impression upon his character, held the most orthodox 
Hindu views, and only agreed to his crossing " the Black 
Water " to England after exacting from him a threefold 
vow, which he faithfully kept, of abstinence from flesh, 
alcohol, and women. He returned to India as soon as 
he had been called to the Bar and began to practise as an 
advocate before the Bombay High Court, but in 1893, 
as fate would have it, he was to be called to South 
Africa in connection with an Indian legal case in Natal. 
In South Africa he was brought at once into contact with 
a bitter conflict of rights between the European population 
and the Indian settlers who had originally been induced 
to go out and work there at the instance of the white 
communities who were in need of cheap labour for the 
development of the country. The Europeans, professing 
to fear the effects of a large admixture of Asiatic elements, 
had begun not only to restrict further Indian immigration, 
but to place the Indians already in South Africa under 
many disabilities all the more oppressive because imposed 
on racial grounds. Natal treated them harshly, but 
scarcely as harshly as the Transvaal, then still under 
Boer government. In the Transvaal the Imperial Govern- 
ment took up the cudgels for them, and the treatment 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 167 

of the Indian settlers there was one of the grievances 
pressed by Lord Milner during the negotiations which 
preceded the final rupture with the Boer Republics. 
When the South African war broke out Mr. Gandhi 
believed that it would lead to a generous recognition of 
the rights of Indians if they at once identified their cause 
with that of the British, and he induced Government to 
accept his offer of an Indian Ambulance Corps which 
did excellent service in the field. Mr. Gandhi himself 
served with it, was mentioned in despatches, and received 
the war medal. His health gave way, and he returned to 
India in 1901 where he resumed practice in Bombay 
with no intention of returning to South Africa, as he 
felt confident that when the war was over the Imperial 
Government would see to it that the Indians should 
have the benefit of the principles which it had itself 
proclaimed before going into the war. He was, however, 
induced to return in 1903 to help in preparing the Indian 
memorials to be laid before Mr. Chamberlain whose visit 
was imminent in connection with the work of reconstruction. 
On his arrival he found that conditions and European 
opinion were becoming more instead of less unfavourable 
for Indians, and though in 1906, when the native rebellion 
broke out in Natal, he again offered and secured the 
acceptance of an Indian Stretcher - Bearer Corps with 
which he again served and received the thanks of the 
Governor, he gradually found himself driven into an 
attitude of more and more open opposition and even 
conflict with Government by a series of measures imposing 
more and more intolerable restraints upon his country- 
men. It was in 1906 that he first took a vow of passive 
resistance to a law which he regarded as a deliberate 
attack upon their religion, their national honour, and 
their racial self-respect. In the following year he was 
consigned, not for the first time, to jail in Pretoria, 
but his indomitable attitude helped to bring about a 
compromise. It was, however, shortlived, as misunder- 
standings occurred as to its interpretation. The struggle 



168 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

broke out afresh until another provisional settlement 
promised to lead to a permanent solution, when Mr. 
Gokhale, after consultation with the India Office during 
a visit to England, was induced in 1912 to proceed to 
South Africa and use his good offices in a cause which 
he had long had at heart. Whether, as Mr. Gokhale 
himself always contended, as a deliberate breach of the 
promise made to him by the principal Union Ministers, 
or as the result of a lamentable misunderstanding, measures 
were again taken in 1913 which led Mr. Gandhi to renew 
the struggle, and it assumed at once a far more serious 
character than ever before. It was then that Mr. Gandhi 
organised his big strikes of Indian labour and headed the 
great strikers' march of protest into the Transvaal which 
led to the arrest and imprisonment of the principal 
leaders and of hundreds of the rank and file. The furious 
indignation aroused in India, the public meetings held 
in all the large centres, and the protest entered by the 
Viceroy himself, Lord Hardinge, in his speech at Madras, 
combined with earnest representations from Whitehall, 
compelled General Smuts to enter once more the path of 
conciliation and compromise. As the result of a Com- 
mission of Inquiry the Indians' Relief Act was passed, 
and in the correspondence between Mr. Gandhi and 
General Smuts the latter undertook on behalf of the 
South African Government to carry through other ad- 
ministrative reforms not actually specified in the new Act. 
Mr. Gandhi returned to India just after the outbreak of 
the Great War, and the Government of India marked 
its appreciation of the great services which he had 
rendered to his countrymen in South Africa by recom- 
mending him for the Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal, which 
was conferred upon him amongst the New Year honours 
of 1915. 

The South African stage of Mr. Gandhi's career is of 
great importance, as it goes far to explain both the views 
and the methods which he afterwards applied in India. 
He brought back with him from South Africa a profound 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 169 

distrust of Western civilisation, of which he had unquestion- 
ably witnessed there some of the worst aspects, and also 
a strong belief in the efficacy of passive resistance as the 
most peaceful means of securing the redress of all Indian 
grievances in India as well as in South Africa should 
they ever become in his opinion unendurable. Mr. 
Gokhale, before he died, obtained a promise from him 
that for at least a year he would not attempt to give 
practical expression to the extreme views which he had 
already set forth in the proscribed pamphlet Hind Swaraj. 
At an early age Mr. Gandhi had fallen under the spell of 
Tolstoian philosophy, and he has admitted only quite 
recently that for a time he was so much impressed with 
the doctrines of Christ that he was inclined to adopt 
Christianity ; but the further study of the spiritual side 
of Hinduism convinced him that in it alone the key of 
salvation could be found, and all his teachings since 
then have been based on his faith in the superiority of 
the Indian civilisation rooted in Hinduism to Western 
civilisation, which for him in fact represents in its present 
stage only a triumph of gross materialism and brute force. 
Nevertheless, when the Great War broke out, he was 
prepared to believe that the ordeal of war in the cause 
of freedom for which Britain had taken up arms might 
lead to the redemption of Western civilisation from its 
worst evils, and whilst in London on his way to South 
Africa he had already offered to form, and to enrol 
himself and his wife in, an Indian Volunteer Ambulance 
Corps. Yet he was not blind to the flaws of the civilisa- 
tion for which he stood. He conducted a temperance 
campaign amongst his countrymen in South Africa, and, 
brought there into close contact with many Indians 
of the " untouchable " castes, he revolted against a 
system which tried to erect such insurmountable barriers 
between man and man. Perhaps the best clue to the 
many contradictions in which his activities have con- 
tinually seemed to involve him was furnished by him- 
self when he said, "Most religious men I have met are 



170 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

politicians in disguise; I, however, who wear the guise 
of a politician am at heart a religious man," and the 
doctrine which he holds of all others to be the corner- 
stone of his religion is that of Ahimsa, which, as he has 
described it, "requires deliberate self - suffering, not the 
deliberate injuring of the wrongdoer," in the resistance 
of evil. 

Throughout the war Mr. Gandhi devoted his ceaseless 
energies chiefly to preaching social reforms and the moral 
regeneration of his countrymen. He was then an honoured 
guest at European gatherings, as for instance at the Madras 
Law dinner in 1915, at various conferences on educa- 
tion, at the Bombay Provincial Co-operative Conference 
in 1917 when in connection with the admirable Co- 
operative Credit movement in India he lectured on the 
moral basis of co-operation, at missionary meetings in 
which he showed his intimate familiarity with the gospels 
by reverently quoting Christ's words in support of his 
own plea for mutual forbearance and tolerance. As late 
as July 1918 he defined Swaraj as partnership in the 
Empire, and war service as the easiest and straightest 
way to win Swaraj, inviting the people of his own Gujarat 
country whom he was addressing to wipe it free of 
the reproach of effeminacy by contributing thousands 
of Sepoys in response to the Viceroy's recent appeal 
for fresh recruits for the Indian army at one of the 
most critical moments during the war. His comments 
about the same time on the Montagu-Chelmsford scheme 
were by no means unfavourable, and he specifically joined 
in the tribute of praise bestowed upon the Indian Civil 
Service for their steadfast devotion to duty and great 
organising ability. Government itself resorted to his 
services as the member of a Commission appointed to 
inquire into agrarian troubles at Camparan, and his 
collaboration was warmly welcomed by his European 
colleagues. Nor were there any signs of implacable 
hostility to British rule in his vigorous protests in the 
following year against the anti- Asiatic legislation of the 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 171 

South African Union which was again stirring up bad 
feeling in India. 

The circumstances which drove him to declare war 
against British rule and Western civilisation arose out 
of the action taken by Government on the report of the 
" Sedition Committee," which, under the presidency of 
Mr. Justice Rowlatt, a judge of the High Court of King's 
Bench, sent out especially to preside over it, had not only 
carefully explored the origins and growth of political 
crime during the great wave of unrest after the Partition 
of Bengal, but recommended that in some directions the 
hands of the executive and judicial authorities should be 
strengthened to cope with any fresh outbreaks of a 
similar character. The Committee pointed out that in 
spite of the preventive legislation of 1911 it had become 
apparent before the war broke out that the forces of law 
and order were still inadequately equipped to cope with 
the situation in Bengal. For the duration of the war the 
Defence of India Act had conferred upon Government 
emergency powers which had enabled the authorities 
summarily to intern a large number of those who were 
known to be closely connected with the criminal propa- 
ganda, but almost as soon as the war was over their 
release would follow automatically upon the expiry of 
the Defence Act, and a dangerous situation would arise 
again if Government had nothing but the old methods of 
procedure to fall back upon. 

In January 1919 the Government of India announced 
that legislation in conformity with the recommendations 
of the Sedition Committee would be required from the 
Imperial Legislative Council, and two draft bills were 
published, one of them embodying permanent altera- 
tions in the law and the other arming the Executive 
with emergency powers. The publication of these bills 
threw the country into a fresh ferment of agitation, and 
even an Indian judge of undeniably moderate views, Sir 
Narain Chandavarkar, declared that such measures were 
no longer required, as with the advent of constitutional 



172 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

reforms revolutionary agitation would, he believed, cease, 
and, as a warm supporter of the Montagu-Chelmsford 
Report, he felt bound to protest against legislation so 
entirely at variance with the spirit in which the Report 
had been conceived and with the expectations which it 
had aroused. The Extremists read into the bills another 
proof of the organised hypocrisy characteristic of British 
rule in general and of the Report in particular, and 
denounced them as a monstrous engine of tyranny and 
oppression, against which no Indian would be safe. 
Government, however, was not to be moved from its 
determination, and in explaining the necessity for pro- 
ceeding with the bills the Viceroy pointed out in his 
opening speech that " the reaction against all authority 
that had manifested itself in many parts of the civilised 
world was unlikely to leave India entirely untouched and 
the powers of evil were still abroad." The Indian non- 
official members, on the other hand, were solid in opposi- 
tion, and even those who did not challenge the report of 
the Sedition Committee intimated that now the war was 
over they could not acquiesce in such measures until the 
reforms had come into operation, and unless it was then 
found that revolutionary forces were still at work and 
constituted a real public danger. The two amendments, 
supported by all the Indian non-official members, were 
voted down by the official bloc. Government did some- 
thing to allay opposition by agreeing that the Act which 
was to have been permanent should operate for three 
years only, and the title of the bill was amended to 
show clearly that its application would be confined to 
clearly anarchical and revolutionary crimes. It was 
further modified in form in the committee stage, but the 
opposition within the Council remained unmoved, and 
outside the Council grew more and more fierce. The 
Extremists who had shrunk from no efforts to mis- 
represent the purpose of the bills received a great 
accession of strength when Mr. Gandhi instituted the 
vow of Satyagrdha, or passive resistance, under which, 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 173 

if the bills became law, he and his followers would 
" severally refuse to obey these laws and such other laws 
as a committee to be thereafter appointed might see fit," 
whilst they would " faithfully follow the truth and 
refrain from violence to life, person, or property." The 
Moderate leaders at Delhi at once issued a manifesto con- 
demning Satyagraha, but Government stuck to its guns, 
the bills being finally passed on March 18, after very hot 
discussion. Mr. Gandhi, having formed his committee, 
proclaimed a Hartal, i.e. a demonstrative closing of 
shops and suspension of business for March 30. This 
Hartal at Delhi started a terrible outbreak which spread 
with unexpected violence over parts of the Bombay 
Presidency and the greater part of the Punjab, with 
sporadic disturbances in the North-West Frontier Pro- 
vince, and even in Calcutta. 

The Delhi Hartal brought for the first time into full 
relief the close alliance into which the Mahomedan Ex- 
tremists had been brought with the Hindu Extremists, 
as well as the influence which both had acquired over a 
considerable section of the lower classes in the two com- 
munities. The political leaders had fallen into line in 
the Indian National Congress and the All-India Moslem 
League during the 1916 and 1917 sessions, when they 
united in demanding Home Rule for India, and they 
had united since then in rejecting as totally inadequate 
the scheme of reforms foreshadowed in the Montagu- 
Chelmsford Report. But not till towards the conclusion 
of the war did the Mahomedan Extremists discover a 
special grievance for their own community in the peace 
terms likely to be imposed upon a beaten Turkey. That 
was a grievance far more likely to appeal to their co- 
religionists than the political grievances which had 
formed the stock-in-trade of Hindu Extremism, if they 
could be worked upon to believe that Great Britain and 
her allies were plotting not merely against the temporal 
power of the Ottoman Empire, but against the Ma- 
homedan religion all over the world by depriving the 



174 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Sultan of Turkey of the authority essential to the 
discharge of his office as Khalif or spiritual head of 
Islam. 

The agitation was at first very artificial, for the 
bulk of Indian Mahomedans had until recent years 
known very little about and taken still less interest in 
Turkey, and their loyalty had never wavered during the 
war. Some of the leading Indian Mahomedans had 
indeed openly disputed Sultan Abdul Hamid's claim to 
the Khalifate of Islam when he first tried at the end of 
the last century to import his Pan-Islamic propaganda 
into India. But the long delay on the part of the Allies 
in formulating their Turkish peace terms allowed time 
for the movement to grow and to carry with it the more 
fanatical element amongst Indian Mahomedans. The 
Government of India tried in vain to allay Mahomedan 
feeling by receiving deputations from the KMlafat 
Association founded to prosecute an intensified campaign 
in favour of Turkey, and professing its own deep anxiety 
to procure what it called " a just peace with Turkey," 
for which the Indian delegates to the War and to the 
Peace Conferences in Europe had been constantly in- 
structed to plead. The greatest success which the 
Khilafat agitators achieved was when Mr. Gandhi 
allowed himself to be persuaded by them that the move- 
ment was a splendid manifestation of religious faith, 
as he himself described it to me. For, once satisfied 
that the cause which they had taken up was a religious 
cause, he was prepared to make it his own without 
inquiring too closely into its historical or political justi- 
fication. For him it became a revolt of the Mahomedan 
religious conscience against the tyranny of the West 
just as legitimate as the revolt of the Hindu conscience 
against the same tyranny embodied in the Rowlatt Acts. 
Whilst Mahomedans proved their emancipation from 
narrow sectarianism by joining in the Satyagraha move- 
ment of passive resistance in spite of the Hindu 
character impressed upon it by its. SajnsQrit na.mej it was, 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MB. GANDHI 175 

he declared, for Hindus to show that they, too, could 
rise above ancient prejudice and resentment by throwing 
themselves heart and soul into the Khilafat movement. 
Both movements were to be demonstrations of the " soul- 
force " of India, to be put forth in passive resistance 
according to his favourite doctrine of Ahimsa, the 
endurance and not the infliction of suffering. 

But Mr. Gandhi, with all his visionary idealism, was 
letting loose dangerous forces which recked naught of 
Ahimsa. Hindus and Mahomedans "fraternised" at the 
Delhi Hartal in attempts to compel its observance by 
violence which obliged the authorities to use forcible 
methods of repression, and of the five rioters who were 
killed two were Mahomedans. These deaths were skilfully 
exploited by the Extremists of both denominations, and 
a day of general mourning for the Delhi "martyrs" was 
appointed. The spark had been laid to the train, and 
Hindus and Mahomedans continued to " fraternise " in 
lawlessness, arson, and murder wherever the mob ran riot. 
Systematic attempts to destroy railways and telegraphs 
at the same moment in widely separated areas pointed to 
the existence of a carefully elaborated organisation. Public 
buildings as well as European houses were burnt down 
in half a dozen places, and Europeans were often savagely 
attacked and done to death, nowhere more savagely than 
at Amritsar, where five Europeans, two of them Bank 
managers, were killed with the most fiendish brutality, 
and a missionary lady, known for her good works, barely 
escaped with her life. The authorities were not slow to 
take stern measures. Troops were rapidly moved to the 
centres of disturbance, flying columns were sent through 
the country, and armoured cars and trains and aeroplanes 
were used to disperse the rioters. A Resolution issued 
by the Government of India on April 14 asserted its 
determination to use all the powers vested in it to put 
down " open rebellion " even by the most drastic 
means. By the end of the month the Viceroy was able 
to announce that order had been generally restored, 



176 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

though in some places there was still considerable 
effervescence. 

Had the measures taken, however stern, been confined 
to the repression of actual violence and to the punish- 
ment of the guilty, the reaction produced amongst the 
great majority of Indians by the atrocities which Indian 
mobs had committed, and the appalling spirit of law- 
lessness which inspired them, would probably have been 
at least as great as the impression which they at first 
made upon Mr. Gandhi himself, who suddenly recognised 
and admitted that he had underrated the " forces of 
evil " and advised his disciples to co-operate, as he him- 
self had done at Ahmedabad, with Government in the 
restoration of order. The Satyagrdha Committee, of which 
he was President, resolved to suspend temporarily " civil 
disobedience " to the laws, and the fraternisation between 
Mahomedans and Hindus cooled down, when important 
Mahomedan associations began to protest against the 
desecration of mosques by the admission of Hindu 
" idolaters " to deliver fiery orations to mixed congrega- 
tions within the sacred precincts. But before the reaction 
could take real effect, it was arrested by rumours of 
terrible happenings in the course of the repression in the 
Punjab which turned the tide of Indian feeling into an 
opposite direction, and for those rumours there ultimately 
proved to have been no slight foundation. 

The methods adopted in the Punjab had been very 
different from those adopted in the Bombay Presidency, 
where there had been scarcely less menacing outbursts 
in some of the northern districts, besides serious rioting 
in Bombay itself. In Ahmedabad, the second city of the 
Presidency, mob law reigned for two days. There were 
arson and pillage, and murder of Europeans and Govern- 
ment officers. Troops had to be hurried up to quell the 
disturbances, and for a short time the military authorities 
had to take charge. The repression was stern ; 28 
of the rioters were killed and 123 wounded in Ahmeda- 
bad alone. There were many arrests and prosecutions. 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 177 

But those stormy days left no bitterness behind them. 
The use of military force was not resented, because it 
was directed only against the crowds actually engaged 
in violent rioting. Martial law was never proclaimed, 
nor did the military authorities prolong the exercise of 
their punitive powers beyond the short period of active 
disorder, nor strain it beyond the measures essential to 
the suppression of disorder. They never interfered in 
administrative matters. The Bombay Government kept 
their heads, and there was nowhere any wholesale 
surrender of the civil authority into military hands. 
Mr. Gandhi, who had been turned back by the Punjab 
Government when he tried to enter the Punjab, was left 
free by the Bombay Government, and the value of his 
assistance in restoring order in Allahabad, whilst he was 
in his first fit of penitence, was acknowledged by the 
authorities. 

Very different was the intensive enforcement of martial 
law in the Punjab. Even when all allowance is made for 
the more dangerous situation created by a more martial 
population and the proximity of an always turbulent 
North-Western Frontier with the added menace at that 
time of an Afghan invasion, nothing can justify what 
was done at Amritsar where the deliberate bloodshed at 
Jallianwala has marked out April 13, 1919, as a black 
day in the annals of British India. One cannot possibly 
realise the frightfulness of it until one has actually 
looked down on the Jallianwala Bagh once a garden, 
but in modern times a waste space frequently used 
for fairs and public meetings, about the size perhaps 
of Trafalgar Square, and closed in almost entirely by 
walls above which rise the backs of native houses facing 
into the congested streets of the city. I entered by the 
same narrow lane by which General Dyer having heard 
that a large crowd had assembled there, many doubtless 
in defiance, but many also in ignorance of his proclama- 
tion forbidding all public gatherings entered with about 
fifty rifles. I stood on the same rising ground on which 

N 



178 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

he stood when, without a word of warning, he opened fire 
at about 100 yards' range upon a dense crowd, collected 
mainly in the lower and more distant part of the enclosure 
around a platform from which speeches were being 
delivered. The crowd was estimated by him at 6000, 
by others at 10,000 and more, but practically unarmed, 
and all quite defenceless. The panic-stricken multitude 
broke at once, but for ten consecutive minutes he kept 
up a merciless fusillade in all 1650 rounds on that 
seething mass of humanity, caught like rats in a trap, 
vainly rushing for the few narrow exits or lying flat on 
the ground to escape the rain of bullets, which he per- 
sonally directed to the points where the crowd was 
thickest. The " targets," to use his own word, were 
good, and when at the end of those ten minutes, having 
almost exhausted his ammunition, he marched his men 
off by the way they came, he had killed, according to 
the official figures only wrung out of Government months 
later, 379, and he left about 1200 wounded on the ground, 
for whom, again to use his own word, he did not consider 
it his "job " to take the slightest thought. 

In going to Jallianwala I Had passed through the 
streets where, on April 10, when the disorders suddenly 
broke out in Amritsar, the worst excesses were committed 
by the Indian rioters. But for General Dyer's own state- 
ments before the Hunter Commission, one might have 
pleaded that, left to his own unbalanced judgment by 
the precipitate abdication of the civil authority, he simply 
11 saw red," though the outbreak of the 10th had been 
quelled before he arrived in Amritsar, and the city had 
been free from actual violence for the best part of three 
days. But, on his own showing, he deliberately made 
up his mind whilst marching his men to Jallianwala, and 
would not have flinched from still greater slaughter if the 
narrowness of the approaches had not compelled him 
regretfully to leave his machine-guns behind. His purpose, 
he declared, was to " strike terror into the whole of the 
Punjab." He may have achieved it for the time, though 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 179 

the evidence on this point is conflicting, but what he 
achieved far more permanently and effectively was to 
create in the Jallianwala Bagh, purchased since then as 
a " Martyrs' Memorial " by the Indian National Congress, 
a place of perpetual pilgrimage for racial hatred. 

Then, two days after not before Jallianwala came 
the formal proclamation of martial law in the Punjab, 
and though there were no more Jallianwalas, what but 
racial hatred could result from a constant stream of petty 
and vindictive measures enforced even after the danger 
of rebellion, however real it may at first have seemed, 
had passed away ? Sir Michael O'Dwyer protested, it is 
true, against General Dyer's monstrous " crawling order," 
and it was promptly disallowed. But what of many 
other " orders " which were not disallowed ? What of 
the promiscuous floggings and whippings, the indis- 
criminate arrests and confiscations, the so-called " fancy 
punishments " designed not so much to punish individual 
" rebels " as to terrorise and humiliate ? What of the 
whole judicial or quasi- judicial administration of martial 
law ? The essential facts are on record now in the Report 
of the Hunter Committee and in the evidence taken before 
it, though its findings were not entirely unanimous and 
the majority report of the European members, five in 
number including the president Lord Hunter, formerly 
Solicitor-General for Scotland, was accompanied by a 
minority report signed by the three Indian members, 
two of them now Ministers in the Government of Bombay 
and of the United Provinces respectively, who on several 
points attached graver importance to the circumstances 
which they themselves had chiefly helped to elicit from 
witnesses under examination. Upon the Report the 
Government of India and His Majesty's Government 
expressed in turn their views in despatches which are 
also public property. The responsibility of the Govern- 
ment of India was so deeply involved, and in a lesser degree 
that of the Secretary of State, that in neither case was 
judgment likely to err on the side of severity. The 



180 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Government of India certainly did not so err, and one 
must turn to the despatch embodying the views of the 
British Government for a considered judgment which at 
least set forth in weighty terms the principles of British 
policy that had been violated in the Punjab, however 
short some may consider it to have fallen of the full 
requirements of justice in appraising the gravity of the 
departure from those principles in specific cases. 

The Punjab tragedy has had such far-reaching effects 
in shaking the confidence of the Indian people in the 
justice and even in the humanity of British rule that it 
is best to quote the language in which the British Govern- 
ment recorded their judgment in their despatch to the 
Government of India : 

The principle which has consistently governed the policy 
of His Majesty's Government in directing the methods to be 
employed, when military action in support of civil authority 
is required, may be broadly stated as using the minimum 
force necessary. His Majesty's Government are determined 
that this principle shall remain the primary factor of policy 
whenever circumstances unfortunately necessitate the sup- 
pression of civil disorder by military force within the British 
Empire. 

It must regretfully but without possibility of doubt be 
concluded that Brigadier- General Dyer's action at Jallianwala 
Bagh was in complete violation of this principle. 

The despatch proceeded to take into account the 
provocation offered and the great difficulties of the 
position in which General Dyer was placed. His omission 
to give warning before opening fire was nevertheless 
declared to have been " inexcusable," his failure to see 
that some attempt was made to give medical assistance 
to the dying and the wounded an " omission from his 
obvious duty," and the " crawling order " issued by him 
six days later " an offence against every canon of 
civilised government." 

Upon a military commander administering martial law 
in a hostile country there lies a grave responsibility ; when 
he is compelled to exercise this responsibility over a population 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 181 

which owes allegiance and looks for protection to the Govern- 
ment which he himself is serving, this burden is immeasurably 
enhanced. It would prejudice the public safety, with the 
preservation of which he is charged, to fetter his free judg- 
ment or action either by the prescription of rigid rules before 
the event or by over - censorious criticism when the crisis is 
past. A situation which is essentially military must be 
dealt with in the light of military considerations which postu- 
late breadth of view and due appreciation of all the pos- 
sible contingencies. There are certain standards of conduct 
which no civilised Government can with impunity neglect 
and which His Majesty's Government are determined to 
uphold. . . . That Brigadier- General Dyer displayed honesty 
of purpose and unflinching adherence to his conception of 
his duty cannot for a moment be questioned. But his con- 
ception of his duty in the circumstances in which he was 
placed was so fundamentally at variance with that which 
His Majesty's Government have a right to expect from and 
a duty to enforce upon officers who hold His Majesty's com- 
mission that it is impossible to regard him as fitted to remain 
entrusted with the responsibilities which his rank and position 
impose upon him. You have reported to me that the 
Commander-in-Chief has directed Brigadier- General Dyer to 
resign his appointment as Brigade Commander, and has 
informed him that he would receive no further employment 
in India and that you have concurred. I approve the 
decision and the circumstances of the case have been referred 
to the Army Council. 

With regard to the administration of martial law the 
despatch considers it 

impossible to avoid the conclusion that the majority of 
Lord Hunter's Committee have failed to express themselves 
in terms which, unfortunately, the facts not only justify, but 
necessitate. In paragraphs 16 to 25 of chapter xii. of their 
report the majority have dealt with the "intensive" form 
generally which martial law assumed and with certain specific 
instances of undue severity and of improper punishments or 
orders. It is unnecessary to recapitulate the instances which 
the Committee have enumerated in detail in both their reports, 
nor would any useful purpose be served by attempting to 
assess, with a view to penalties, the culpability of individual 
officers who were responsible for these orders, but^ whose 
conduct in other respects may have been free from blame 
or actually commendable. But His Majesty's Government 
must express strong disapproval of these orders and punish- 



182 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

ments and ask me to leave], to you the duty of seeing that this 
disapproval shall be unmistakably marked by censure or 
other action which] seems to you necessary upon those who 
were responsible f or \ them. The instances cited by,:, the 
Committee gavejjustifiable ground for the assertion that the 
administration of martial law in the Punjab^was marred by a 
spirit which prompted not generally, but unfortunately not 
uncommonly the enforcement of punishments and orders 
calculated, if not intended to humiliate Indians as a race, to 
cause unwarranted inconvenience amounting (on[occasions to 
injustice, and to flout the standards of propriety and humanity, 
which the inhabitants not only of India in particular but of 
the civilised world in general have a right to demand of those 
set in authority over them. It is a matter for regret that, 
notwithstanding the conduct of the majority, there should 
have been some officers in the Punjab who appear to have 
overlooked the fact that they were administering martial 
law, not in order to subdue the population of a hostile country 
temporarily occupied as an act of war, but in order to deal 
promptly with those who had disturbed the peace of a popula- 
tion owing allegiance to the King Emperor, and in the main 
profoundly loyal to that allegiance. 

This clear enunciation of bed-rock principles and 
emphatic condemnation of many of the methods of 
repression used in the Punjab would have done more to 
reassure the public mind in India had the actual punish- 
ment inflicted on General Dyer and a few others been 
more commensurate with the gravity of the censure 
passed on their actions, and in any case it came far too 
late. It came too late to stem the rising tide of Indian 
bitterness, intensified by many gross exaggerations and 
deliberate inventions, which lost all sense of proportion 
when the Extremists demanded Sir Michael O'Dwyer's 
impeachment, though many responsible Indians had 
expressed their unabated confidence in him before he 
left the Punjab on the expiry of his term of office, 
just after the troubles, in terms more unstinted even 
than those in which the Government of India and 
the British Government conveyed their appreciation of 
his long and distinguished services services which 
assuredly no errors of judgment committed under great 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 183 

stress could be allowed to overshadow. It came too late 
also to correct the effects of the panic that had taken 
possession of the European mind when it was still largely 
in ignorance of the actual facts. For most Europeans had 
at once rushed to the conclusion that the outbreak in 
the Punjab, in which no single Sepoy ever took part, was 
or threatened to be a reproduction of the Mutiny. In 
the first days, as a measure of precaution, European 
women and children had been hurriedly collected into 
places of refuge lest the horrible excesses perpetrated by 
the Indian mob at Amritsar might prove the prelude to 
a repetition of Cawnpore. The hardships and anxiety 
they underwent and the murderous outrages actually 
committed on not a few Europeans moved most of their 
fellow countrymen and countrywomen to unmeasured 
resentment, and not until they gained at last a fuller 
knowledge of all the facts so long allowed to remain 
obscure did a gradual reaction set in against the belief 
which was genuinely entertained by most Europeans, 
non-official and official in India, and which spread from 
them to England, that General Dyer's action and the 
rigours of martial law alone " saved India." 

What drove the iron into the soul of India more than 
the things actually done in the Punjab, for which many 
Indians admit the provocation, was the reluctance of her 
rulers to look them in the face, and the tardiness and half- 
heartedness of the atonement made for them. Not till 
nearly half a year after the troubles had occurred did the 
Government of India announce the appointment of the 
Hunter Committee of Inquiry, and this announcement 
was coupled with the introduction of a Bill of Indemnity 
for all officers of Government engaged in their repression, 
which wore, in the eyes of Indians, however unreason- 
ably, the appearance of an attempt to shelter them 
against the possible findings of the Committee. Again 
nearly half a year passed before the report of the 
Committee was made public, and the bloom had already 
been taken off it for most Indians by the report of a 



184 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Commission instituted on its own account by the Indian 
National Congress which, partisan and lurid as it was, 
never received full refutation, as the witnesses upon whose 
evidence it was based were, for technical reasons, not 
heard by the Hunter Committee. The complete surrender 
of civil authority into military hands first at Amritsar, 
and then, under orders from Simla, at Lahore and else- 
where, was, as His Majesty's Government afterwards 
acknowledged, a disastrous departure from the best 
traditions of the Indian Civil Service. But, whatever the 
mistakes committed by the civil authority in the Punjab 
or by those charged with the administration of martial 
law in that province, there is above the Punjab the 
Government of India, and its plea of prolonged ignorance 
as to the details of the occurrences in the Punjab can 
hardly hold water. The preoccupations of the Afghan 
war which followed closely on the Punjab troubles were 
no doubt absorbing, but had the Viceroy or the Home 
member or the Commander-in-Chief or one of his respons- 
ible advisers proceeded in person, the moment the dis- 
orders were over, to Lahore or Amritsar, barely more 
than a night's journey from Delhi or Simla, is it conceiv- 
able that a halt would not have been forthwith called to 
proceedings which these high officers of state were con- 
strained later on unanimously to deplore and reprobate ? 
And if the Government of India were too slow to move, 
was there not a Secretary of State who knew, from 
statements made to him personally by Sir Michael 
O'Dwyer on his return to England, at least enough to insist 
upon immediate inquiry on the spot ? Mr. Montagu has 
seldom, it is believed, hesitated to require in the most 
peremptory terms full information on far more trivial 
matters. Had prompt action been taken in India, there 
would never have been any need for the Hunter Com- 
mittee. As it was, Indian feeling had run tremendously 
high before its findings were made public. So when the 
Government of India and the Secretary of State published 
their belated judgment, the people of India weighed 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 185 

such a tardy measure of justice against the dissent of an 
important minority in the House of Commons and of the 
majority of the Lords, the stifling of discussion in the 
Indian Legislature, which was still more directly interested 
in the matter, and above all the unprecedented public 
subscriptions in England and in India for the glorification 
of General Dyer, whilst the Punjab Government was still 
haggling over doles to the widows and orphans of 
Jallianwala and, having weighed it, found it lamentably 
wanting, until at last the Duke of Connaught's moving 
speech at Delhi for the first time began to redress the 
balance. 

The story of Jallianwala and all that followed in the 
Punjab scattered to the winds Mr. Gandhi's threadbare 
penitence for the horrible violence of Indian mobs, and 
he poured out henceforth all the vials of his wrath on 
the violence of the repression, far more unpardonable, he 
declared, because they were not the outcome of ignorant 
fanaticism, but of a definite policy adopted by European 
officers high in rank and responsibility. There was no longer 
any doubt in his mind that a Government that tolerated 
or condoned or palliated such things was " Satanic," 
and that the whole civilisation for which such a Govern- 
ment stood was equally Satanic. For Indians to co- 
operate with it until it had shown " a complete change 
of heart " was a deadly sin. To accept any scheme of 
constitutional reforms as reparation for the wrongs of 
the Punjab with which the wrongs of Turkey were linked 
up with an increased fervour of righteous indignation 
when the terms of the treaty of Sevres became known, 
was treachery to the soul of India. Thence it was but a 
step to the organisation of a definite " Non-co-operation " 
movement to demonstrate the finality of the breach. 
Mr. Gandhi appealed in the first place to the educated 
classes to set the example to the people. He called upon 
those on whom the State had conferred honours and titles 
to renounce them, upon barristers and pleaders to cease 
to practise in the law-courts, and upon parents to withdraw 



186 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

their children from the schools and colleges tainted with 
State control and State doles. If parents would not 
hearken to him, schoolboys and students were exhorted 
to shake themselves free of their own accord. To the 
people he opened up simpler ways of " Non-co-operation " 
by abstaining from tea and sugar and all articles of 
consumption and of clothing contaminated by alien hands 
or alien industry. If all would join in a common effort 
he promised that India would speedily attain Swaraj 
the term mentioned was generally a year and, quit of 
the railways and telegraphs and all other instruments 
and symbols of Western economic bondage, return to the 
f eh" city and greatness of Vedic times. All this, however, 
was to be done by " soul force " alone and without 
violence. 

In the course of the only long conversation I had with 
Mr. Gandhi I tried to obtain from him some picture of 
what India would be like under Swaraj as he understood it. 
In a voice as gentle as his whole manner is persuasive, 
he explained, more in pity than in anger, that India had 
at last recovered her own soul through the fiery ordeal 
which Hindus and Mahomedans had undergone in the 
Punjab, and the perfect act of faith which the Khilqfat 
meant for all Mahomedans, and that, purged of the 
degrading influences of the West, she would find again 
that peace which was hers before alien domination divided 
and exploited her people. As to the form of government 
and administration which would then obtain in India, 
he would not go beyond a vague assurance that it would 
be based on the free will of the people expressed by man- 
hood suffrage for which Indians were already ripe, if 
called upon to exercise it upon truly Indian lines. When 
I objected that caste, which was the bed-rock of Hindu 
social and religious life, was surely a tremendous obstacle 
to any real democracy, he admitted that the system 
would have to be restored to its pristine purity and 
redeemed from some of the abuses that had crept into it. 
But he upheld the four original castes as laid down in 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 187 

the Vedas, and even their hereditary character, though 
in practice some born in a lower caste might well rise by 
their own merits and secure the deference and respect 
of the highest castes, " such as, for instance, if I may in 
all modesty quote my own unworthy case, the highest 
Brahmans spontaneously accord to me to-day, though 
by birth I am only of a lowly caste." I tried to get on 
to more solid ground by pointing out that, whatever 
views one might hold as to his ultimate goal, the methods 
he was employing in trying to break up the existing 
schools and colleges and law-courts and to paralyse the 
machinery of administration was destructive rather than 
constructive, and that, confident as he might feel of 
substituting better things ultimately for those that he 
had destroyed, construction must always be a much 
slower process than destruction, and in the meantime 
infinite and perhaps irreparable harm would be done. 
" No," he rejoined and I think I can convey his words 
pretty accurately, but not his curious smile as of boundless 
compassion for the incurable scepticism of one in outer 
darkness " no, I destroy nothing that I cannot at once 
replace. Let your law-courts with their cumbersome and 
ruinous procedure disappear, and India will set up her 
old Panchayats, in which justice will be dispensed in 
accordance with her own conscience. For your schools 
and colleges, upon which lakhs of rupees have been 
wasted in bricks and mortar for the erection of ponderous 
buildings that weigh as heavily upon our boys as the 
educational processes by which you reduce their souls to 
slavery, we will give them simpler structures, open to 
God's air and light, and the learning of our forefathers 
that will make them free men once more." Not that 
he would exclude all Western literature Ruskin, for 
instance, he would always welcome with both hands 
nor Western science so long as it was applied to spiritual 
and not to materialistic purposes, nor even English 
teachers, if they would become Indianised and were 
reborn of the spirit of India. Indeed, what he had 



188 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

looked for, and looked in vain for, in the rulers of India 
was " a change of hearts " by which they too might be 
reborn of the spirit of India. He hated no one, for that 
would be a negation of the great principle of Ahimsa, on 
which he expatiated with immense earnestness. 

As I watched the slight ascetic frame and mobile 
features of the Hindu dreamer in his plain garment of 
white home - spun, and, beside him, one of his chief 
Mahomedan allies, Shaukat Ali, with his great burly 
figure and heavy jowl and somewhat truculent manner 
and his opulent robes embroidered with the Turkish 
crescent, I wondered how far Mr. Gandhi had succeeded 
in converting his Mahomedan friend to the principle of 
Ahimsa. Perhaps Mr. Gandhi guessed what was passing 
in my mind when I asked him how the fundamental 
antagonism between the Hindu and the Mahomedan out- 
look upon life was to be permanently overcome even if 
the common cause held Hindus and Mahomedans together 
in the struggle for Swaraj. He pointed at once to his 
"brother" Shaukat as a living proof of the " change of 
hearts " that had already taken place in the two com- 
munities. " Has any cloud ever arisen between my 
brother Shaukat and myself during the months that we 
have now lived and worked together ? Yet he is a staunch 
Mahomedan and I a devout Hindu. He is a meat-eater 
and I a vegetarian. He believes in the sword, I con- 
demn all violence. But what do such differences matter 
between two men in both of whom the heart of India 
beats in unison ? " 

I turned thereupon to Mr. Shaukat Ali and asked 
him whether he would explain to me the application to 
India under Swaraj of the Mahomedan doctrine that the 
world is divided into two parts, one the " world of Islam " 
under Mahomedan rule, and the other " the world of war," 
in which infidels may rule for a time but will sooner or 
later be reduced to subjection by the sword of Islam. 
To which of these worlds would Mahomedans reckon 
India to belong when she obtained Swaraj ? Mr. Shaukat 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 189 

All evaded the question by assuring me with much unction 
that he could not conceive the possibility of the Hindus 
doing any wrong to Islam, but, if the unthinkable 
happened, Mahomedans, he quickly added, would know 
how to redress their wrongs, for they could never renounce 
their belief in the sword, and it was indeed because Turkey 
is the sword of Islam that they could not see her perish 
or the Khalifate depart from her. 

I wondered as I withdrew how long the fiery 
Mahomedan would keep his sword sheathed, did he not 
feel that his own personality and that of his brother 
Mahomed Ali would count for very little without the 
reflected halo with which they were at least temporarily 
invested by the saintliness of Mr. Gandhi's own simple 
and austere life of self-renunciation, so different in 
every way from their own. For it is to his personality 
rather than to his teachings that Mr. Gandhi owes his 
immense influence with the people. It is a very different 
influence from that of Mr. Tilak, to whom he is sometimes, 
but quite wrongly, compared. Mr. Tilak belonged by 
birth to a powerful Deccani Brahman caste with hereditary 
traditions of rulership. He was a man of considerable 
Sanscrit learning whose researches into the ancient lore 
of Hinduism commanded respectful attention amongst 
European as well as Indian scholars. Whatever one 
may think of his politics and of his political methods, 
he was an astute politician skilled in all the ways of 
political opportunism. Mr. Gandhi is none of these 
things. He is not a Brahman, but of the humbler Bania 
caste ; he does not come from the Deccan, but from 
Gujarat, a much less distinguished part of the Bombay 
Presidency. He does not claim to be anything but a man 
of the people. He looks small and fragile and his features 
are homely. He lives in the simplest native way, eating 
simple native food which he is said to prepare with his 
own hands, and dresses in the simplest native clothes 
from his own spinning-wheel. His private life is un- 
impeachable the only point indeed in which Mr. Tilak 



190 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

resembled him. Though he lays no claim to Sanscrit 
erudition, his speeches are replete with references to 
Hindu mythology and scripture, but they usually reflect 
the gentler, and not the more terrific, aspects of Hinduism. 
He blurts out the truth as he conceives it with as little 
regard for the feelings or prejudices of his supporters as 
for those of his opponents. He will tell the most orthodox 
Brahman audience at Poona that if they want to be the 
leaders of the nation they must give up their worldly 
notions of caste ascendancy and their harsh enforce- 
ment of " untouchability " ; or he will lecture a youthful 
Bengalee audience, intensely jealous of their own language, 
upon their shameful ignorance of Hindi, which he believes 
to be the future language of India and of Swaraj. No 
one could suspect him of having an axe of his own to 
grind. He is beyond argument, because his conscience 
tells him he is right and his conscience must be right, 
and the people believe that he is right, and that his 
conscience must be right because he is a Mahatma, and 
as such outside and above caste. His influence over 
the Indian Mahomedan cannot be so deep-rooted, and the 
ancient antagonism between them and the Hindus still 
endures amongst the masses on both sides ; but it is of 
some significance that his warm espousal of the grievances 
which large and perhaps growing numbers of them have 
been induced to read into the Turkish peace terms, has 
led some of his most enthusiastic Mahomedan supporters 
to bestow upon him the designation of Wali or Vice- 
gerent which is sometimes used to connote religious 
leadership. 

No leader has ever dominated any meeting of the old 
Indian National Congress as absolutely as Mr. Gandhi 
dominated last Christmas at Nagpur the 20,000 delegates 
from all parts of India who persisted in calling them- 
selves the Indian National Congress, though between them 
and the original Congress founders few links have survived, 
and the chief business of the session was to repudiate 
the old Congress profession of loyalty to the British 



ix THE EMERGENCE OF MR. GANDHI 191 

connection as the fundamental article of its creed, and 
to eliminate the reference hitherto retained, with the 
consent even of the Extremists, to India's participation 
on equal terms with the other members of the Empire 
in all its rights and responsibilities. The resolution 
moved and carried at Nagpur stated bluntly that " the 
object of the Indian National Congress is the attainment 
of Swaraj by the people of India by all legitimate and 
peaceful means." Many of the members would have left 
out the last words which were intended to ease the scruples 
of the more weak-kneed brethren. But Mr. Jinna, a 
Mahomedan Extremist from Bombay, whose legal mind 
in spite of all his bitterness does not blink the cold light 
of reason, warned his audience that India could not 
achieve complete independence by violent means without 
wading through rivers of blood. Mr. Gandhi himself 
intimated that India did not " want to end the British 
connection at all costs unconditionally," but he declared 
it to be " derogatory to national dignity to think of the 
permanence of the British connection at any cost, and it 
was impossible to accept its continuance in the presence 
of the grievous wrongs done by the British Government 
and its refusal to acknowledge or redress them." He 
explained that the resolution of which he was the mover 
could be accepted equally by " those who believe that 
by retaining the British connection we can purify 
ourselves and purify the British people, and those who 
have no such belief." He concluded on a more minatory 
note : " The British people will have to beware that if 
they do not want to do justice, it will be the bounden 
duty of every Indian to destroy the Empire " which 
Mr. Mahomed Ali, however, with less diplomacy, declared 
to be already dead and buried. 

That the "Non-co-operation" programme was re- 
affirmed at Nagpur except in regard to the propaganda 
amongst schoolboys as differentiated from students, and 
that threats were uttered of extending passive resistance 
to the non-payment of taxes and more especially of the 



192 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, ix 

land tax, were not matters to cause much surprise to 
those who had measured the sharply inclined plane down 
which "Non-co-operation" was moving. But one hardly 
sees how Mr. Gandhi can reconcile the racial hatred 
which was the keynote of all the proceedings with his 
favourite doctrine of ATiimsa. He has, however, himself, 
on one occasion, openly referred to a time when legions 
of Indians may be ready to leap to the sword for Swaraj, 
and though his appeal is to an inner moral force which 
he declares to be unconquerable, he does not always 
disguise from himself or from his followers the blood- 
shed which the exercise of that moral force may involve. 
In an article in support of the "Non-co-operation" 
movement in his organ Young India the following pregnant 
passage occurs : 

For me, I say with Cardinal Newman : "I do not ask to 
see the distant scene ; one step enough for me." The move- 
ment is essentially religious. The business of every God- 
fearing man is to dissociate himself from evil in total disregard 
of consequences. He must have faith in a good deed pro- 
ducing only a good result ; that, in my opinion, is the Ghita 
doctrine of work without attachment. God does not permit 
man to peep into the future. He follows truth, although the 
following of it may endanger life. He knows that it is better 
to die in the way of God than to live in the way of Satan. 
Therefore, whoever is satisfied that this Government represents 
the activity of Satan has no choice left to him but to dis- 
sociate himself from it. 

Are there any limits to the disastrous lengths to which 
a people may not be carried away by one who combines 
to such ends and in such fashion religious and political 
leadership ? 



CHAPTER X 

SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 

ON probably the last of seventeen visits to India spread 
over some forty years, I landed after three years' absence 
in Bombay early in November 1920, on the eve of the 
first elections for the new popular assemblies created by 
the Act of 1919. 

Municipal elections there had been in India for a long 
time past, and elections for the Councils since 1909, but 
on a very restricted franchise or by indirect processes. 
To provide a real measure of popular representation, and 
even to secure the usefulness of the reforms as a means 
of political education for the Indian people, the franchise 
was now placed on as broad a basis as possible, whilst 
in mapping out the constituencies the principle of separate 
representation for particular races and creeds and special 
interests had to be taken into account. The territorial 
basis prevailed largely, and rural and urban constituencies 
corresponded roughly to county and borough constitu- 
encies in this country, but besides the " general con- 
stituencies " for all qualified electors indiscriminately, 
" special constituencies " had to be created wherever 
required for " community " representation, whether of 
Mahomedans, or, in the Punjab, of Sikhs, or, in Madras, 
of non-Brahmans, or, in the large cities, of Europeans 
and of Eurasians, besides still more specialised constitu- 
encies for the representation of land-holders, universities, 
commerce, and industries. There was no female suffrage, 
and no plural vote. No elector could vote both in a 

193 O 



194 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

" general constituency " and in a " special " one. The 
qualifications laid down for the franchise were of a very 
modest character. Illiteracy was no bar, as to have made 
it so in a country where barely 10 per cent of the adult 
males attain to the slender standard of literacy adopted 
for census purposes would have reduced the electorate 
to very insignificant proportions, and many Indians who 
cannot read or write have often quite as shrewd a 
knowledge of affairs as those who can. The franchise 
varied in slight details from province to province, but 
generally speaking was based on a property qualification 
measured by payment of land revenue or of income- 
tax or of municipal rates. Military service counted as 
a special qualification. Under these regulations about 
6,200,000 electors were registered, or nearly 2f per cent 
of the total population throughout India under direct 
British administration, excluding the areas to which the 
Act of 1919 was not to apply. 

The regulations, however, merely supplied the rough 
framework ; the task of compiling the lists of qualified 
electors devolved upon the Government officers and 
special election commissions appointed ad hoc throughout 
the country, and to the much-abused Civil Service mainly 
belongs the credit of having made it possible to hold the 
elections within less than a year of the passing of the 
Act. In the Bombay Presidency, for instance, where I 
had my first opportunity of seeing the new electoral 
system at work, the electoral rolls finally included some 
550,000 electors out of a population of about 20,000,000 
of widely different races and creeds, speaking three ab- 
solutely different languages. Even more laborious than 
the compiling of voters' lists was the task of explaining 
to the vast majority of voters what the vote meant, why 
they ought to use it, and how they had to record it. At 
many polling stations ballot-boxes were provided of 
different colours or showing different symbols a horse, 
a flag, a cart, a lion, etc. adopted by candidates to 
enable the voter who could not read their names to 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 195 

drop his ballot ticket into the right box without asking 
questions apt to jeopardise the secrecy of the ballot. 

Many voters instinctively distrusted the privilege sud- 
denly thrust on them, and scented in it some trap laid 
by Government, perhaps for extracting fresh taxation, 
or worse. Many more remained wholly indifferent and 
saw no reason for putting themselves to the slightest 
trouble in a matter with which they could not see that 
they had any personal concern. Except in large centres, 
the candidates themselves often did very little to disarm 
distrust or to combat indifference. There was little or 
no electioneering of the kind with which we are familiar ; 
and when once " Non-co-operation " led to the with- 
drawal of Extremist candidates, there was generally no 
serious line of political cleavage between the others, who, 
especially in the rural districts, where their neighbours 
already knew all about them, were content to rely on their 
local influence and personal reputation to carry them 
through. 

The battle, in fact, was not fought out chiefly at the 
polls. It was waged very fiercely in the press and on the 
platform between those who were bent on paralysing the 
reforms as the malevolent conception of a " Satanic " 
Government and those who were determined to bring 
them to fruition, not indeed in blind support of Govern- 
ment, but as a means of exercising constitutional pressure 
on the Government. Mr. Gandhi certainly succeeded not 
only in dissuading his immediate followers but in frighten- 
ing a good many respectable citizens who have no heart 
for militant politics from coming forward as candidates. 
Could he have made " Non-co-operation " universally 
effective, there would have been no candidates and no 
nominations, no elections and no councils. But in this 
he failed, as some of the more worldly Extremists foresaw 
who obeyed him in this matter with reluctance. In the 
Bombay Presidency, Gokhale, though dead, had a large 
share in the victory of the old principles for which he 
had stood when there had been little will to co-operate 



196 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

on the part either of Government or of the majority of 
Western-educated Indians. For none fought the battle 
of the Moderates more steadfastly and faced the rowdiness 
of the " Non-co-operationists " more fearlessly than Mr. 
Srinivasa Sastri, who had succeeded him as the head of 
his " Servants of India " Society, and Professor Paranjpe, 
who had long been closely associated with him in educa- 
tional work at the Ferguson College in Poona. Enough 
Moderates were found to stick to their colours in practi- 
cally every constituency, and they secured their seats, 
in the absence of Extremist nominations, without contest, 
or after submitting their not very acute political differ- 
ences to the arbitrament of the polls. 

Nowhere had the Extremists developed their plan of 
campaign on more comprehensive lines than in those 
great United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, which with 
their huge and dense population of over forty -eight 
millions under one provincial government form the 
largest and in some respects the most important adminis- 
trative unit in British India. It was within the area 
which it now covers that the Mutiny broke out and, with 
the exception of Delhi itself, was mainly confined and 
fought out. The bitter memories of that period have not 
yet wholly vanished. It contains a larger proportion than 
any other province of historic cities Agra, Lucknow, 
Cawnpore, Muttra, Jhansi, Benares, Allahabad, some of 
them still the nerve centres of Hinduism and of Islam. 
The Mahomedans form only a minority of about one- 
sixth of the population, but their influence must not be 
measured merely by numbers, for one of the distinctive 
features of the United Provinces is the survival of a 
great landed aristocracy in which the Mahomedans are 
largely represented. Nowhere else, indeed, is the land 
still held in such an overwhelming proportion by great 
landlords, or the rights of the humble tillers of the soil 
more precarious. 

The Extremists were quick to exploit the various 
fields of agitation which those peculiar conditions provide. 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 197 

They even launched the forces of " Non-co-operation " 
against the two Indian universities only founded within 
the last few years, in deference to the demands of the 
Indians themselves, on frankly denominational lines, in 
derogation of the very principle of undenominational 
education that we had upheld in all other Indian uni- 
versities. It is one of the many strange anomalies of 
Gandhiism that it should have elected to concentrate 
its wrecking policy on the very universities in which Islam 
and Hinduism respectively have been conceded a closer 
preserve than anywhere else for the training of Indian 
youths in the spirit of the two great national religions 
of India. The joint efforts of the Hindu saint and of 
his chief Mahomedan henchmen, the brothers Ali, failed 
to take either the Hindu or the Mahomedan stronghold 
by storm. Mr. Gandhi, indeed, showed some reluctance 
to press his attack upon the Hindu university at Benares 
with anything like the same vigour with which he backed 
up Mahomed and Shaukat Ali's raid on the Mahomedan 
university at Aligurh, and from so marked a contrast 
many Mahomedans might have been expected to draw 
very obvious conclusions. 

More insidious, and perhaps more dangerous, was the 
organised attempt of the Extremists to get hold of the 
agricultural masses through the widespread discontent, 
by no means of recent date, due to the peculiar conditions 
of land tenure in these provinces. In an essentially 
agricultural country such as India still is, and must 
probably always remain, agrarian questions are amongst 
the most difficult and complicated with which British 
rule has had to deal. For they present themselves in 
the different provinces in forms as diverse as the past 
history and local conditions of each province, long before 
it was brought under British administration, had combined 
to make them. Whereas in the Bombay Presidency, for 
instance, land is chiefly held by small landlords and 
peasant proprietors, it was held in Agra and Oudh before 
they became British by a great landed aristocracy whose 



198 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

rights, like all established rights, it was a principle of 
British policy to respect, and the talukdars of Oudh and 
the zemindars of Agra stood for the most part very 
loyally by the British Raj during the Mutiny, and have 
continued to stand by Government in many difficult if 
not equally critical moments since then. 

The relationships, varying almost ad infinitum between 
landlords and tenants and sub -tenants, have created 
marked differences which still exist very widely in the two 
divisions of the United Provinces. In Agra, about half 
the tenants possess at least occupancy rights, but only 
a very small percentage in Oudh enjoy even that measure 
of protection. There have been successive endeavours 
to improve the position of the tillers of the soil by 
benevolent legislation. But worse even than the pre- 
carious nature of the tenures are the many forms of 
arbitrary exaction to which bad landlords can subject 
their peasants without any definite breach of the law. 
Often landlords who want to build a new house or send 
a son to England or buy a new motor simply levy an 
extra anna in the rupee on their rent-rolls which the 
wretched tenants dare not refuse to pay. As in many 
other matters, the ancient institution of caste, which is 
still the corner-stone of the whole Indian social structure, 
introduces yet another disturbing factor. For tenants 
and sub -tenants who belong to the depressed castes are 
exposed to much harsher treatment at the hands of 
their superior landlords than those who are privileged 
to belong to less down-trodden castes. Even the best 
landlords who show some real consideration for their 
people are actuated rather by a natural kindliness of 
disposition than by any conscious sense of duty or re- 
cognition of the special responsibilities that attach to 
their high position. Government has for some time past 
realised the necessity of dealing with these questions on 
broader lines, but when the reforms scheme first took 
substance, legislation was, not unreasonably, postponed 
until the new Councils met, though the subject is 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 199 

not one of those transferred under the Act to Indian 
ministers. 

Agrarian questions, moreover, are very intimately con- 
nected with the larger question of land revenue, in regard 
to which there are signs of a considerable change in the 
attitude of the politically - minded classes, or at least 
of the Moderate section. For a long time the lawyer 
element, always very strong in the Indian National 
Congress, was not particularly keen to see it take up 
agrarian questions which would have probably estranged 
a good many fat clients, and some, though perhaps fewer, 
political supporters, amongst the land -owning classes. 
The old Congress platform was, moreover, drawn up by 
and for the intelligentsia of the towns, who had little in 
common with the great rural population of India ; and 
in so far as it professed to champion also the agricultural 
interests of the country, it preferred to concentrate its 
attacks on the general system of Indian land revenue 
and to press for its revision on the lines of the " permanent 
settlement " in Bengal not so much perhaps on account 
of any intrinsic merits of that " settlement," as because 
it was identified with the province which was then 
regarded as in the van of Indian political progress and 
enlightenment. The " permanent settlement " in Bengal, 
effected more than a century and a quarter ago by Lord 
Cornwallis under a complete misapprehension, as was 
afterwards realised, of the position of the Bengalee 
zemindars, determined once and for all the proportion 
of land revenue which Government was entitled to collect 
in the province, instead of leaving it, as in other parts 
of India it is still left, to be varied from time to time 
after periodical inquiry into the constantly varying yield 
and value of the land. The result in Bengal has been 
highly satisfactory from the point of view of the large 
land-owners whose property has appreciated enormously 
with the general growth of prosperity during a long 
period, unprecedented in its earlier annals, of internal 
and external peace. It has been less satisfactory to the 



200 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

tenants with inferior and infinitely subdivided interests 
who have shared very little in the increased wealth of 
their superior landlords, and nowhere else has sub- 
infeudation been carried to such extravagant lengths. 
But for the State, above all, the results have been singu- 
larly unfortunate, as it has debarred itself from taking 
toll of the unearned increment that has been constantly 
accruing to the zemindars. 

So long as the National Congress saw little or no hope 
of securing the transfer of any substantial share in the 
governance of the country to Indian shoulders, it could 
afford to indulge in wholesale criticism of Government 
finance and to propose sweeping changes without stopping 
to consider ways and means or to weigh the ultimate 
effects upon the revenue of the State, and it was easy for 
it to court popularity by inveighing against the land tax 
and advocating the extension of the " permanent settle- 
ment " to the whole of India as a sovereign panacea. 
But sober Indian politicians have begun to look farther 
ahead and to reckon with the costs of the many popular 
reforms which Indian Ministers will be expected to 
carry through in the new Councils. Mr. Gandhi and his 
followers, who are determined if possible to wreck them, 
are deterred by no such considerations, and the non- 
payment of the land tax, which must remain the back- 
bone of Indian revenue, already figures in their programme 
of "Non-co-operation," of which the avowed object is to 
paralyse Government and render British rule impossible 
without any resort to the methods of violence they profess 
to deprecate. It can hardly fail to prove a fairly popular 
cry, for there is no more unpalatable form of co-operation 
with Government all the world over than the payment of 
taxes, and the Extremists combine this part of their 
propaganda with more specialised efforts to capture the 
confidence of the particular classes amongst the peasantry 
who have rent and tenure grievances by warmly espousing 
their cause against the landlords and inciting them to 
organised resistance. They not only stimulate thereby 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 201 

a general feeling of unrest and discontent, but they 
actually carry the war to the very doors of the great 
land-owning class which has hitherto been least accessible 
to revolutionary influences. 

This was one of the special features of the " Non- 
co-operation " campaign in the United Provinces, and 
Mr. Gandhi himself arrived on the scene to lend it the 
full weight of his personal influence on the very eve of 
the elections. How extraordinary is the influence of his 
mesmeric personality and style of oratory I realised when 
I drove out on the day of the elections into a district 
outside Allahabad where he had himself addressed on the 
previous afternoon a vast crowd of twenty thousand 
peasants. It was about noon, and only a few creaking 
bullock-carts and " the footfall mute of the slow camel " 
neither of them suggestive of a hotly contested election 
disturbed the drowsy peace which even in the coolest 
season of the year in Upper India falls on the open 
country when the sun pours down out of the cloudless 
sky. Here at a roadside shrine a group of brightly dressed 
village women were trying to attract the attention of a 
favourite god by ringing the little temple bell. There 
some brown-skinned youngsters were driving their flock of 
goats and sheep into the leafy shelter of the trees. But 
the fields, now bare of crops, were lifeless, and the scattered 
hamlets mostly fast asleep. About fifteen miles out we 
reached the big village of Soraon almost a small town- 
ship in which there seemed equally little to suggest that 
this was the red-letter day in the history of modern 
India that was to initiate her people into the great art 
of self - government. Still the small court - house, we 
found, had been swept and garnished for use as a polling 
station. Two small groups of people stood listlessly 
outside the building, the candidates' agents on the one 
side of the entrance, and on the other the patwaris 
the village scribes who keep the official land records 
brought in from the different villages to attest the signa- 
tures and thumbmarks of the voters. Inside, the presiding 



202 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

officer with his assistants sat at his table with the freshly 
printed electoral roll in front of him and the voting paper 
to be handed to each voter as he passed into the inner 
sanctuary in which the ballot-boxes awaited him. But 
voters there were none. From eight in the morning till 
past twelve not a single voter had presented himself 
out of over 1200 assigned to this polling station, nor did a 
single one present himself in the course of the whole day. 

Nowhere else, however, was the boycott so effective, 
and throughout the province a full third of the qualified 
electors recorded their votes not a bad percentage under 
such novel conditions and in the face of such a determined 
effort to wreck the elections. The land -owning class 
secured the representation to which its hereditary influence 
unquestionably entitles it, but it has held so much aloof 
from modern education that with some notable excep- 
tions it contributes numbers rather than capacity to the 
Council. With forty-four members belonging to the legal 
profession out of a total of one hundred members this 
Provincial Council, like most others, is doubtless somewhat 
overstocked with lawyers. But upon no other profession 
has Mr. Gandhi urged more strongly the duty of " Non- 
co-operation," and that, after having been for years 
conspicuous for political disaffection, it should have 
rallied so generally in support of the reforms shows 
how great is the change they have wrought amongst 
the Western - educated classes. Nowhere in the United 
Provinces was the electoral battle so fierce as in the town 
of Jhansi, where Mr. Chintamani, once the irreconcilable 
editor of the Allahabad Leader, came out at the head of 
a large poll, though in order to defeat him the " Non- 
co-operationists " sacrificed their principles and put up 
and supported with their own votes an obscure candidate 
by whose election they hoped to bring the new Council 
into contempt. 

The outstanding feature of the elections in Bengal was 
the striking evidence afforded of a return to political sanity 
in a province which, a dozen years ago, was the chief 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 203 

political storm-centre in India. Many of the same leaders 
who, formerly, at least dallied with lawlessness during the 
violent agitation that followed the Partition of Bengal 
now came forward openly as champions of constitutional 
progress on the lines of the new reforms and as candidates 
for the new Councils. They knew what all their own 
attempts to make a Swadeshi boycott really effective 
by developing " national " industries and substituting 
" national " products and " national " trade agencies 
for foreign ones had ended in. They remembered the 
failure of the " national " schools and colleges which 
were to have supplanted Government schools and 
colleges. They realised that a dangerous propaganda 
which had involved hundreds of immature youths in a 
network of criminal conspiracies had tended to the 
subversion of every principle of authority, at the expense 
of the parent at least as much as of good government 
and public peace. When the famous Pronouncement of 
August 20, 1917, opened up for India the prospect of 
ultimate self-government within the Empire, and the 
recommendations of the Montagu - Chelmsford Report 
finally took shape in a new Government of India Act, 
there was found a solid body of public opinion in Bengal 
which had been taught by actual and very costly 
experience not to throw away the substance for the 
shadow. The most influential perhaps amongst the 
Extremists during the Anti-Partition campaign was Mr. 
Arabindo Ghose, who, like Mr. Gandhi, had studied in 
England and with great distinction. Though, unlike 
Mr. Gandhi, he never indulged in wholesale denunciations 
of Western civilisation, his newspaper, the Yugantar, 
was a daily trumpet-call to revolt against British rule, 
and he himself narrowly escaped conviction on a charge 
of bomb-making. Yet as far back as 1910, from his 
place of retirement in Pondicherry, he issued after the 
Morley-Minto reforms had been promulgated a significant 
message to his fellow-countrymen advising them to 
accept partial Swaraj as a means to ensure complete 



204 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Swaraj, and amongst the literature that helped to defeat 
" Non-co-operation " in Bengal, one of the most striking 
pamphlets was one entitled " Gandhi or Arabindo ? " in 
which a very fervent disciple and collaborator of the 
latter in the most fiery days of the Yugantar argued 
with great force the case for co-operation with Govern- 
ment against " Non-co-operation " as now preached by 
Mr. Gandhi. Only less remarkable has been the conver- 
sion of many other old Bengalee leaders, including the 
veteran Sir Surendranath Banerjee, who never, however, 
went quite to the same lengths of extremism. 

During the electoral campaign Mr. Gandhi could still 
find large audiences, not all consisting of excitable 
students, to acclaim him or to listen open-mouthed to 
his ceaseless flow of eloquence. But the electors went 
to the polls and voted for the candidates against whom 
he and his followers had fulminated, and, in the rural 
districts especially, election meetings often refused to 
listen to any elaborate political dissertations, and wanted 
only to hear what the candidates were prepared to do 
for elementary education, sanitation, schools, roads, etc. 
So the Bengal elections too resulted in the return, often 
by relatively large bodies of voters, of members pledged 
and competent to co-operate with Government. The 
Khilafat agitation, accompanied in Bengal as everywhere 
else by aggressive religious intimidation, affected the 
polling in some of the Mahomedan constituencies. But 
during the Anti-Partition campaign Mahomedans and 
Hindus had been in opposite camps, whereas Mr. Gandhi 
was now making a strong and to some extent successful 
bid for Mahomedan support by endorsing the Mahomedan 
grievance. So the Mahomedan change of front merely 
emphasised " Non-co-operation's " defeat in Bengal. 

Equally hopeful were the signs of a better under- 
standing and of the revival of a spirit of friendly co- 
operation between Indians and Englishmen in Calcutta, 
hitherto regarded, not quite without reason, as a strong- 
hold of reactionary European conservatism, especially 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 205 

amongst the non-official community. It can hardly be 
denied that, except where official relations brought them 
into contact and not always there Europeans and 
Indians have lived too much in separate water-tight 
compartments until each has ceased to see anything but 
the beam in the other's eye. In Calcutta they have been 
far more rarely drawn together in commercial and indus- 
trial co-operation, and they have rubbed up less fre- 
quently against each other in healthy competition than, 
for instance, in Bombay. It is one of the most promising 
features of the new reforms that the Europeans, who 
have hitherto taken very little interest in anything that 
was not directly connected with their own business or 
their own amusements, have been at last roused to play 
the part which it is their duty as well as their right to 
play in the political life of the country, and the men 
who have been returned to sit in the new Councils as 
the representatives of the European community seem to 
realise fully the importance of the task that is before 
them in giving a practical example of what the helpful 
co-operation of Europeans with Indians can do to promote 
the healthy political life of the country. 

In social service there is an equally large field of 
co-operation of which Calcutta has also provided an 
interesting illustration. In no other city in India are 
University students, of whom there are nearly as many 
some 26,000 at the one university of Calcutta as in 
all the universities of Great Britain put together, thrown 
so much on their own resources without any guidance 
or control. The bulk of them may never come in contact 
even with European professors, let alone with the Euro- 
pean community in general. What opportunities have 
they of forming any opinion for themselves of what our 
civilisation stands for, except possibly through the medium 
of cheap cinemas in which its worst and most vulgar 
features are thrust before them ? Bengalee youths are 
extraordinarily quick to respond to the best European 
influence when it has once established contact with them. 



206 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Some teachers do secure a strong personal hold upon them, 
most of all in the missionary and other hostels where 
they live under the same roof with them, take part in 
their games as well as in their studies, and encourage 
them to express their own opinions freely and fearlessly. 
There relations of mutual friendship and confidence grow 
up and endure. In this respect the Y.M.C.A., in which 
Indian Christians act in close co-operation with broad- 
minded Englishmen, has done admirable work, and none 
better and with more definite and immediate results than 
when Government turned to them for assistance last year 
in the difficult situation created by the royal amnesty 
which required the immediate liberation of nearly a 
thousand young Bengalees who, having been more or 
less concerned in conspiracies and dacoities during the 
troublous years before the war, had been interned after 
its outbreak under administrative orders. In many cases 
they had broken with their families, who were not 
inclined to take them back. Many had no means of 
earning a livelihood. To let them loose upon the world 
without any provision for them would have been to drive 
them to desperation. The Y.M.C.A. stepped into the 
breach. They were given the use of an internment 
camp which German war detenus had vacated, and with 
the help of Mr. B. C. Chatterjee, who was well known 
to that particular class of Indians for having constantly 
appeared as counsel for the defendants in the innumerable 
political prosecutions of the preceding decade, and had 
himself formed an Indian Committee for a similar purpose, 
they induced a large number of these young fellows to 
come to them. They were at first rather distrustful, 
but Mr. Chatterjee's political past and the warm-hearted 
sympathy of Mr. Bahu, an Indian Y.M.C.A. worker who 
was placed in charge of the hostel, soon disarmed their 
suspicions. They learnt to appraise at their real value 
the malicious rumours set afoot to prejudice them against 
their new friends, and began to respond cordially to a 
generous treatment, physical and moral, which was so 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 207 

unlike all that they had heard about Western methods. 
They were given food and lodging, newspapers, magazines, 
and books, and, when necessary, medical advice and care. 
They had opportunities of learning a trade and securing 
employment as well as facilities for indoor and outdoor 
recreation, and carefully planned social gatherings helped 
to restore their self-respect and confidence. To their 
credit be it said, their conduct was unexceptionable, and 
not a single complaint was received with regard to any 
of those who thus found a new start in life. One could 
well credit the assurance that they were all as much 
opposed to any reversion to " Non-co-operation " as Sir 
Surendranath Banerjee himself. 

Much must always depend upon the example set by 
those in authority not only as administrators but as the 
natural leaders of both European and Indian society. 
Lord Ronaldshay, whose appointment as Governor of 
Bengal was not at first very well received by the politically 
minded Indians in Calcutta, has succeeded by patient 
effort in convincing them that they have a genuine as 
well as a candid friend in him, and even his social 
popularity is due not merely to the generosity of his 
hospitality but to the keen interest he takes, amongst 
other things, in the renascence of Indian art in which 
Bengal has taken the lead. There is amongst Europeans in 
India a good deal of Philistine contempt for all Indian 
forms of culture, and Indians are surprised and grateful 
when Governors like Lord Ronaldshay, and his pre- 
decessor, Lord Carmichael, frankly acknowledge that 
whilst Indian painting and Indian music are ruled by 
other canons than those of the West, they pursue none 
the less high ideals along different paths. What Indians 
look for too often in vain from Europeans is any hearty 
attempt either to understand them or to make them 
understand us. The influence which Lord Ronaldshay 
had acquired by such forms of co-operation with the 
Indian mind stood him and the Bengal Provincial Council 
in good stead when he had on one occasion to appeal to 



208 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

it to reconsider its hasty refusal of a grant in which it 
would have been impossible for Government to acquiesce, 
lest he should be driven to override it by the exercise of 
the statutory powers vested in him. He gave it to be 
understood that, if they became frequent, such conflicts 
of opinion between him and the Council would put an 
end to his usefulness either to the Government or to the 
Presidency, and he would feel justified in demanding 
his release from responsibilities he would no longer be 
able satisfactorily to discharge. The Council was wise 
enough to take the hint and not to risk losing a Governor 
who had done so much to earn the confidence of Bengal, 
and by correcting an error of judgment, due chiefly to 
inexperience, it confirmed the victory which had been 
won over " Non-co-operation " at the polls. 

Even in the storm-tossed Punjab the new Provincial 
Council made a better start than might have been 
expected from the temper of Lahore and the other large 
centres still brooding over the bitter memories of 1919. 
In the Punjab and in the neighbouring North - West 
Frontier Province, formerly itself part of the Punjab 
but excluded from the operation of the new Government 
of India Act and therefore lying outside this survey 
the Khilafat agitation has gone deeper than probably 
in any other part of India amongst large and very back- 
ward Mahomedan populations. Yet upon the Punjab 
itself so cruel a lesson has not been lost as that taught 
to thousands of unfortunate Mahomedan peasants in the 
Frontier Province who were persuaded to give up their 
lands and trek into Afghanistan to seek the blessings of 
Mahomedan rule, and came back starved and plundered 
from their ill-starred exodus undertaken for the sake of 
Islam. In Lahore and in the other chief urban con- 
stituencies "Non-co-operation," with its usual methods 
of combined persuasion and intimidation, was so far 
successful that not 5 per cent of the electors went to the 
poll. In some of the Mahomedan rural constituencies 
the attendances at the polls were, on the other hand, 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 209 

fairly large, especially in those where the influence of 
old conservative families was still paramount. Altogether 
the Punjab Provincial Council is perhaps less repre- 
sentative of the whole electorate than in any other 
province in India. Some official ingenuity had been 
displayed in grouping remote towns together without 
any regard for geography, in order to prevent townsmen 
undesirably addicted to advanced political views from 
standing as candidates for the rural constituencies in 
which many of the smaller towns would otherwise have 
been naturally merged. This was a last effort based on 
the old belief that the population of the Punjab could 
be divided into goats and sheep, the goats being the 
" disloyal " townsmen and the sheep being the " loyal " 
peasantry. There may have been substance in that 
belief before 1919, but how little there is in it now has 
been shown by the large majority who, in an assembly 
in which it is just the rural constituencies that are 
most effectively represented, passed a Resolution for the 
remission of the fine imposed on Amritsar to punish 
the disorders in that city, already amply punished, they 
considered, at Jallianwala. The presence in the new 
Government of Mr. Harkishen Lai, himself condemned 
two years ago under martial law to transportation for 
life and treated for months as a common criminal, has 
done more than anything else perhaps to restore public 
confidence. He was elected to the Council, not by 
political firebrands, but by a sober constituency specially 
constituted to represent the Punjab Industries, and in 
courageously choosing him to be one of his new Ministers, 
the Governor, Sir Edward MacLagan, gave a striking 
demonstration, of which the effect has not been confined 
to the Punjab, of the profound change that has been 
wrought in the attitude of the official world towards the 
politically minded classes. 

An appalling incident last spring showed how quick 
the fierce races of Northern India are to burst into violent 
feuds amongst themselves for which no responsibility 



210 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

can be imputed to their alien rulers. The Sikhs, though 
less numerous than the Hindus and the Mahomedans, 
form an extremely influential community in the Punjab, 
which was the cradle and always has been the stronghold 
of their religion, and was only a century ago the seat 
of their political and military power. Not many years 
ago, however, Sikhism, which began in Moghul times as 
a revolt against the social and religious trammels of 
Hinduism as well as against Mahomedan domination, 
seemed to be tending steadily towards resorption into 
the Hindu system. Its temples, most of them richly 
endowed, had passed out of the control of the community, 
to whom they in theory belonged, into the possession of 
lukewarm Mahunts, or incumbents, many of them half 
Hinduised and most of them more concerned with the 
temporal advantages than with the religious duties of 
their office. Even in the days of the militant Sikh 
Confederacy under Ranjit Singh, upon whom religion sat 
rather lightly, there was a growing trend towards laxity 
of belief and practice, which continued to spread after 
the British annexation of the Punjab had broken the 
political power of the Sikhs. Strange to say, the old 
customs of pure Sikhism survived nowhere so immune 
from decay as in the Sikh regiments of our Indian Army. 
But with the growth of Indian Nationalism, which often 
manifested itself at first in a revival of local and racial 
patriotism, there arose amongst the Sikhs a vigorous 
reform movement which aimed at rebuilding their 
nationhood on the solid foundations of the faith 
originally preached by their ten Gurus, or religious 
teachers, and the strict observance of the peculiar 
customs that were the badge of their faith. The first 
important step was the opening of the Khalsa College 
for Sikhs at Amritsar in 1892, which did not, how- 
ever, fulfil its real purpose until it was gradually 
emancipated from Government control. A religious 
Diwan, or assembly, was constituted at Lahore, to which 
local bodies were affiliated, with the object of preaching 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 211 

purity of religion and promoting the abolition of caste 
distinctions and other Hindu influences that had crept 
back into Sikhism. 

In its essence a puritan movement, there was unques- 
tionably a nationalist side to it which tended to render 
it suspect in the eyes of many Punjab officials, and 
these suspicions were heightened by the Oadr conspiracy 
fomented in the second year of the war by a number of 
Sikhs, who returned from Canada bitterly estranged from 
British rule by the anti-Asiatic policy of the Dominion 
and still more by the fiery eloquence of Indian revolution- 
aries in German pay. But against the disloyalty of a 
small section must be weighed the loyal war services of 
the vast majority of Sikhs, and the Punjab Government 
proudly boasted at the time that there were 80,000 Sikhs 
serving in the army, a proportion far higher than in the 
case of any other community. It was doubtless partly 
in recognition of such war services that in the reforms 
scheme they were given the benefit of " community " 
representation in the new Councils on the same lines as 
the Mahomedans. But with a tenacious memory of 
the language used years ago by Lord Minto in reply 
to Mahomedan representations, they still complain that 
the historical importance and actual influence of their 
community have not received nearly as full a measure 
of consideration. Unfortunately, bitterness was revived 
by the large number of Sikhs amongst General Dyer's 
victims at Jallianwala, most of them, according to the 
Sikh version, innocent country-folk, who had come into 
Amritsar on that day because it happened to be a Sikh 
religious holiday, and had merely strayed into the Bagh 
out of harmless and ignorant curiosity. 

The puritan movement struck a dangerous course when 
it addressed itself to the recovery of the Sikh shrines 
which it held to have passed into the possession of un- 
orthodox and corrupt Mahunts, faithless both to their 
religious and temporal trust. Considerable success was 
achieved by the exercise, it was affirmed, of mere moral 



212 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

pressure, though not perhaps always without a display 
or threat of material pressure behind it in the event of 
moral pressure proving inadequate. Amongst others, 
the incumbent of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the 
most sacred of all Sikh shrines, was constrained to make 
a public confession of his wrongdoings and resign his 
office into the hands of a Reformers' Committee. Next 
to Amritsar in wealth and sanctity came Nankhanda 
Saheb with a Mahunt to whom the Reformers imputed 
all kinds of enormities. A great popular demonstration 
against him had been organised for March 5. and some 
150 Sikhs had gone out to make arrangements for 
sheltering and feeding several thousands in the im- 
mediate vicinity of the shrine. The Mahunt had already 
scented danger and he clearly believed in taking the 
offensive. He collected some fifty Pathan cut-throats as 
a Praetorian guard for the temple, and also, for a purpose 
which was soon to transpire, a very large store of petrol. 
When the advance party of reformers entered the shrine 
to perform their morning devotions the gates were closed 
upon them and over 100 were butchered, and their 
corpses so effectively soaked in oil and burned that 
when the District Commissioner and a detachment of 
troops arrived post-haste on the scene, the victims could 
scarcely be counted except by the number of charred 
skulls. 

There was a universal thrill of horror and fury, and 
passions rose so high that Government found itself 
suddenly confronted with a situation which at once 
put to a severe test the capacity of the new regime to 
deal with emergencies endangering law and order. That 
Indian Ministers now shared in the responsibility of 
government, and that there was a popular assembly to 
undertake legislation for composing the differences 
between the conflicting sections of the Sikh community, 
helped at least as much to avert still graver troubles as 
the object-lesson which the Nankhanda Saheb tragedy 
afforded to thoughtful Punjabees of all creeds. The 



x SIDE-LIGHTS ON THE ELECTIONS 

massacre carried out by a mere handful of Pathans was 
a grim reminder of the dangers to which the Punjab 
would be the first to be exposed if the hasty severance of 
the British connection for which Mr. Gandhi is clamouring 
were to leave it defenceless against the flood of lawless 
savagery that would at once pour down, as so often 
before in Indian history, from the wild fastnesses of the 
North- West Frontier. 



CHAPTER XI 

CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 

THE elections in the Southern Provinces presented a 
somewhat different picture though the defeat of " Non- 
co-operation " was equally complete. The Nerbudda 
river has been from times immemorial a great dividing 
line, climatic, racial, and often political, between Northern 
and Southern India. It still is so. For, whilst with 
a few relatively unimportant exceptions the whole of 
British India save Burma, which, except from an 
administrative point of view, is not India at all has 
been brought with perhaps excessive uniformity within 
the scope of the new constitutional reforms, many 
conditions in the Central Provinces and in the great 
Presidency of Madras differ widely from those prevailing 
in the other major provinces north of the Nerbudda, 
and the actual failure of " Non-co-operation " to enforce 
its boycott of the elections was less noteworthy than 
some other features in the new situation. In the Central 
Provinces the elections themselves were fought out on 
much the same lines as in the north and with very 
similar results, if allowance is made for the intellectual 
backwardness of the province. Political activity and 
agitation had been confined in the past mainly to Nagpur, 
the capital, and to the western districts, in which a large 
Mahratta element predominates especially amongst the 
better - educated classes. Most of Mr. Tilak's former 
followers there had joined the "Non-co-operation" 
movement, and their rigid abstention from the elections 

214 



CH. xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 215 

left the doors of the Provincial Council wide open for 
the representation of more sober Indian opinion. The 
Extremists showed their contempt for the new assembly 
by putting up one or two " freak " candidates in breach 
of the boycott they were preaching, and actually got in a 
dhobi, or laundryman, at Jubbulpur. But the elections 
were overshadowed by the preparations for the Nagpur 
Congress, which was to be the great Gandhi counterblast 
to the Reforms, and the Extremists, who poured into 
the province from the neighbouring Bombay Presidency, 
concentrated their efforts on the creation of an atmo- 
sphere of general unrest favourable to the new line of 
campaign upon which the rump of the old Indian 
National Congress was about to enter with the open 
renunciation of the fundamental article of its original 
creed loyalty to the British connection. 

It seems one of the strangest of the many anomalies 
with which the Indian situation teems that the Central 
Provinces should have been chosen of all others as the 
scene for a great spectacular demonstration of revolt 
against the state of " slavery " to which Indians have 
been reduced by a " Satanic " alien rule. It is one of 
the precepts of Mr. Gandhi's gospel of " Non-co-operation," 
though doubtless only as a counsel of perfection, that 
Indian husbands and wives must cease to bring " slave " 
children into the world until India has attained Swaraj. 
Yet in the Central Provinces a larger proportion of Indian 
children than in any other province are born every year 
to a state of degradation much more closely akin to 
slavery, which is not imposed upon them by any alien 
rulers, but by the ancient traditions of those of their own 
race and creed whose interest it is to perpetuate at the 
expense of their less fortunate fellow-countrymen the 
most cruel form of caste tyranny. Of the total population 
of the Central Provinces, which numbered some sixteen 
millions at the last Census in 1911, one-fifth belong to 
that order of humanity which stands so low in the eyes 
of Hindus that it is unworthy to be reckoned as possessing 



216 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

any caste at all. These no-castes stand at the very foot 
of the social ladder of Hinduism, and in theory at least 
they can never hope to climb even on to its lowest rungs, 
though in practice the most stringent laws can be gradually 
circumvented with the help of needy Brahmans or will 
yield to the pressure of changing economic conditions. 
They are " untouchable," i.e. that any physical contact 
with them involves defilement of which the caste Hindu 
can only cleanse himself by ritual ablutions and other 
forms of ceremonial purification. Go into a village which 
is partially inhabited by these unfortunate people, mostly 
called Mahars in that part of India, and you will find 
that they are forbidden even to draw water from any 
but their own wells, as by drawing it from wells used 
by caste Hindus they would render them impure. In 
the larger urban schools under Government control 
British laws, which recognise no caste distinctions, enforce 
the admission of Mahar boys, some of whom do extremely 
well. But in a village school you will often see the 
poor little " untouchables," if admitted at all, relegated 
to mats on the outside verandah, where they may pick 
up such scraps of teaching as they can. The Government 
inspector of schools may remonstrate, but he knows that 
few teachers will make any serious attempt to mend 
matters, and that if they did the caste-boys would be 
withdrawn by their indignant parents. 

When I was touring a few years ago in the Central 
Provinces with a British commissioner, who was carrying 
on an inquiry into certain grievances of the peasantry 
in connection with irrigation, the villagers from the more 
remote villages were frequently collected along the road 
to tell their story, and they brought with them their 
land-records. These the " untouchables " had to lay on 
the ground at the feet of the Brahman subordinate, who 
would have been defiled had he taken them straight out 
of their hands, and only after they had withdrawn a few 
paces did he condescend to pick up the books and verify 
them before passing them on to his British superior. The 



xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 217 

latter, on the other hand, though the representative, 
according to Congress orators, of a " Satanic " Govern- 
ment that has reduced Indians to " slavery," never 
hesitated to question the poor " untouchables " closely 
and good-humouredly, not merely about the particular 
matter at issue, but about the condition of their crops 
or the health of their village, and sometimes gave a 
friendly pat on the back to the youngsters who accom- 
panied their elders, whilst the Brahman stood by in 
stony and disgusted silence. 

These caste discriminations doubtless originated in 
remote ages when the Aryan conquerors from the north 
gradually subdued the aboriginal Dravidian populations. 
The " untouchables " are mostly remnants of that popu- 
lation, some of them still very primitive jungle folk 
whom the Census classes as " animists," or nature- 
worshippers, i.e. they still worship trees and stones and 
the spirits that are supposed to dwell in them. But they 
tend gradually to include in their worship some of the 
gods and goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon, especially 
those who are credited with power to avert the worst 
scourges to which the people happen to be subject. Under 
a sacred roadside tree I have seen in one place a rude 
stone, roughly shaped to represent the Goddess of Small- 
pox, and alongside of it a clay image of a tiger that had 
killed a man on that very spot, set up in the hope of 
averting further manifestations of its wrath, and also of 
appeasing the dead man's soul so that he might remain 
quietly within the tiger and become a kindly protector 
to the village. The appropriation of Hindu deities is 
usually the first step towards their absorption into the 
Hindu social structure. Others, the more progressive, 
have settled down as cultivators, a few occasionally 
becoming quite considerable land-owners. Others, again, 
have taken to weaving and to petty trade. Under 
British rule they have progressed all along the line. A 
Mahar regiment has been raised, officered by Mahomedans 
from the north, as no Hindu would think of serving with 



218 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

" untouchables," and though Hindu sepoys must not be 
brought into proximity with it, it has always behaved 
very creditably. Some Mahars are now well educated, 
and in favour of two of them the Governor of the Central 
Provinces has exercised the right conferred upon him to 
nominate a certain number of members to the Provincial 
Legislative Council in order to give some representation 
to communities too backward to secure any for themselves 
under the existing franchise. 

One of the best results of British governance and of 
Western education has been to stimulate even amongst 
the " untouchables " a new sense of self-respect and self- 
reliance and a wholesome desire to emerge from the 
degradation to which the custom of centuries has con- 
demned them. It is amongst them that of late years 
Christian and even Mahomedan missionaries have found 
all over India their most fruitful field, and in some 
provinces mass-movements to Christianity have taken 
place, which are admittedly due in the first place to a 
desire for social emancipation, but will steadily lead, if 
properly handled, to moral and religious advancement. 
One of the great problems now before the missionary 
societies of all Christian denominations is how these 
tens of thousands of converts can be taught and trained, 
and it is of great promise for the future that a Commission 
of Inquiry composed of British and American and Indian 
Christian missionaries has recently issued a report on 
Village Education in India which has approached this 
problem, amongst others, with a broad-minded appreciation 
of its economic and social as well as purely religious 
aspects. 

Is it surprising that when the Indian National Congress, 
that has hitherto done nothing for them beyond embody- 
ing in its programme vague expressions of sympathy, is 
agitating for the severance of the British connection, and 
Extremist orators perambulate the country to preach a 
boycott of British officials, the Mahars should have sent 
in petitions imploring the Governor not to abandon them 



xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 219 

or surrender the power which has alone done something 
to raise them out of the slough of despond ? Mr. Gandhi, 
however, who would be a great social reformer had he not 
preferred to plunge into a dangerous political agitation, 
is not himself blind to such an awful blot as " untouch- 
ability " has made on Hindu civilisation, and some of 
his followers, prompted perhaps less than he is himself 
by a generous reforming spirit, have not been slow to 
see what abundant materials lie ready to their hand in 
these vast masses, profoundly ignorant and superstitious, 
if they can only be drawn into the turbid stream of 
" Non-co-operation " by some novel and ingenious appeal 
to their fears or to their appetites. 

In the Madras Presidency, never swept to the same 
degree as Bengal or Bombay by the waves of political 
unrest, the electoral struggle assumed a form, peculiar 
to Southern Indian conditions, in which " Non-co-opera- 
tion " entered very little. For Southern India has its 
own life-history which differentiates it in many respects 
from other parts of India, and in none more so than 
in the survival of the Brahman's ancient ascendancy, 
until recently almost unchallenged in this stronghold of 
Hinduism. 

Mostly of the primitive Dravidian stock that inhabited 
the peninsula before the great Aryan inflow from the 
north, and still speaking Dravidian languages, the people 
of Southern India have preserved in its most archaic 
form the social system of Hinduism which the Aryan 
conquerors, probably never more than a small minority, 
imposed upon them by the relative superiority of their 
civilisation quite as much as by force of arms. Of a 
much fairer complexion, the Aryans became the ruling 
" white " race of those days, and to preserve their racial 
prestige they enforced the most rigid laws for the 
differentiation of caste which originally meant colour. 
The Brahmans, being the law-givers, naturally framed 
laws to secure the pre-eminence of their own caste, and 
to the present day, for instance, in the more remote parts 



220 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of Southern India, men of the lower castes may be seen 
retiring hastily from the road at his approach, lest they 
should pollute the air he breathes by coming within a 
forbidden distance of him. 

In Southern India, where Buddhist influence never 
secured any firm footing, Hinduism had its golden age 
during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, whilst the 
tide of Mahomedan invasion was pouring in successive 
waves into Northern and Central India. The last and 
greatest of the Hindu kingdoms of Southern India did 
not succumb to the sword of Islam till 1565, and the 
splendid ruins of Vijianagar bear out, if we make allow- 
ance for oriental hyperbole, the contemporary testimony 
of a Persian Ambassador that " the pupil of the eye has 
never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has 
never been informed that there existed anything to equal 
it in the whole world." The Moslem conquerors laid 
Vijianagar low. But, by the curious irony of fortune, it 
was from a descendant of its royal house, some remnants 
of which escaped destruction, that the British, by whom 
Mahomedan domination was to be in turn overthrown, 
received their first grant of land on the Carnatic coast 
close to where Madras now stands. 

Mahomedan domination came so late to Southern 
India and lasted for such a brief period that it never 
disturbed, even to the small extent that it did in Northern 
India, the social stratifications of Hinduism, which have 
equally withstood there more than anywhere else the 
subtler pressure of Western civilisation under British 
rule. Take, for instance, a small town like Tirupati, only 
a few miles from Chatnagiri, where the Rajahs, whose 
forebears made that momentous grant to Francis Day a 
little less than three centuries ago, still live in modest 
state. Were Tirupati still ruled by the Vijianagar kings 
in all their splendour, it could hardly present a better- 
preserved picture of ancient Hindu life. At the foot of 
a steep range of hills crowned with venerable temples 
whose sanctity has from times immemorial attracted a 



xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 221 

constant stream of pilgrims, and possessing some famous 
temples of its own, it is essentially a Brahman town, and 
lives almost entirely by ministering, at more or less 
extortionate rates, to the material and spiritual needs of 
pilgrims, averaging about a thousand a day in ordinary 
times and scores of thousands at the special festival 
seasons, on their way to and from the sacred hill-top. 
There are whole streets of lodgings for their use, consisting 
chiefly of small bare cubicles, and rows of shops at which 
they can purchase their simple vegetarian food and 
innumerable religious trifles as mementoes of their pil- 
grimage. When I approached Tirupati, early in the 
morning, a few groups of pilgrims were already on their 
way to the hill-sanctuaries and peasants were starting 
work on the temple lands outside the town. Sacred 
monkeys gambolled about the trees and still more sacred 
cows had begun to exercise their daily privilege of browsing 
for food wherever their fancy leads them, even amongst 
the vegetables exposed for sale in the public market- 
places. The Brahmans themselves were still engaged 
in performing their elaborate morning devotions and 
ablutions, but the members of their household had 
already swept the approach to their low, one-storied, 
flat-roofed houses and stencilled on the threshold with 
white liquid chalk the geomantic patterns, finished off 
with scattered marigolds, which keep away the evil 
spirits. The Brahman quarters surround the temples, of 
which of course only the outer courtyards are accessible 
to other than high-caste Hindus. The low-caste " untouch- 
ables," who do the menial work of the town, live strictly 
segregated in their own quarter, which consists only of 
mud huts and even flimsier shelters of platted palm- 
leaves and bamboos. The whole town wore an air of 
leisured superiority as if conscious that there can be no 
need for special effort when the gods bring pilgrims to 
provide for the wants of its " twice-born " inhabitants. 

There are scores of other Tirupatis in which the 
Brahman still reigns supreme by virtue of his quasi- 



222 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

sacerdotal caste. But in the public life of Southern 
India, as British rule has moulded it, he has owed a 
pre-eminence only recently disputed to a monopoly of 
Western education in modern times almost as complete 
as the monopoly which he enjoyed of Hindu learning 
and culture before the advent of the British. As soon 
as he saw that the British Raj threatened no curtailment 
of his hereditary supremacy in the religious and social 
world of Hinduism, he was quick to profit by all the 
material advantages which the country as a whole derived 
from a new era of public security and peace. He realised 
at once that Western education might open up for him 
opportunities of making himself almost as indispensable, 
if on a somewhat humbler scale, to the alien rulers of 
India as he had formerly made himself to the indigenous 
rulers in the land. Thus the Brahmans acquired from 
the first a virtual monopoly of all the subordinate public 
services in the Madras Presidency and, as time went on, 
of all the higher posts gradually thrown open to Indians. 
They crowded also into all the new liberal professions 
fostered by Western education, and, above all, into the 
legal profession for which they showed, as most Indians 
do, a very special aptitude. But, like all monopolists, 
they were tempted to abuse their monopoly, the more 
so as they regarded it merely as a legitimate adaptation 
to the new conditions imported by British rule of the 
ancient privileges always vested in their caste. They 
resented any attempt on the part of Hindus belonging 
to inferior castes to follow in their footsteps along the 
new paths of Western learning and to qualify for a share 
of employment in the public services, for which under the 
British dispensation all Indians are entitled to compete 
on equal terms irrespective of all caste discriminations. 
The non-Brahmans were slow to start, and when they 
did start, they had to contend with the jealous opposition 
of the Brahmans, who combined, as Hindu castes know 
how to combine, against unwelcome intruders into a 
profitable field of which they had secured early possession. 



xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 223 

When the Public Services Commission was in Madras 
eight years ago, we heard many bitter complaints from 
non-Brahmans that, whenever one of them did succeed 
in getting an appointment under Government, the 
Brahmans with whom or under whom he had to work 
would at once unite to drive him out, either by making 
his life intolerable or by turning against him the European 
superior to whose ear they had easy access. For it is 
one of the weaknesses of an alien bureaucracy that, in 
regard to routine work at least, its weaker members are 
apt to be far too much in the hands of their native 
assistants. The Brahmans later on formed the bulk of 
the new Western - educated and " politically - minded " 
class, and the Madrasee Brahmans played a considerable 
part in the Indian National Congress before it broke 
away from its constitutional moorings. 

The non-Brahmans, nevertheless, under the leadership 
of such resolute men as the late Dr. Nair, fought their 
way steadily to the front, and, being of course in a large 
majority, they had only to organise in order to make 
full use of the opportunity which a relatively democratic 
franchise afforded them for the first time at the recent 
elections. They can hardly themselves have foreseen 
how great their opportunity was, for they regarded the 
reforms at first with deep suspicion as calculated merely 
to transfer substantive power from a British to a Brahman 
bureaucracy, and so deep was their dread of Brahman 
ascendancy even in the new Councils that they clamoured 
to the very end for a much larger number of seats than 
the sixteen that were ultimately reserved as " communal " 
seats for non-Brahman electorates. They never needed 
such a reservation, for they actually carried the day in so 
many of the " general " constituencies that out of ninety- 
eight elected members of the new Provincial Council 
only fourteen are Brahmans, and it is the Brahmans 
now who complain, not without reason, that their 
representation falls short of their legitimate influence in 
the State, and are already demanding a reservation of 



224 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

" communal " seats for their own caste in future. Lord 
Willingdon, as a constitutional Governor, chose from the 
non-Brahman majority in the Council all the three Indian 
Ministers who form part of the new Provincial Govern- 
ment and preside over the " transferred " departments. 
This is the most startling transformation scene which 
any of the Provincial elections has produced. The non- 
Brahmans have got the chance which they have long 
claimed. If they rise to the occasion, deal with the 
Brahmans more fairly than the latter dealt with them, 
and, remembering the struggle they have had for their 
own emancipation, help the " untouchables " to rise in 
their turn out of the state of degradation to which 
centuries of Brahman domination have condemned them, 
the reforms may prove to have been perhaps as important 
a landmark in the moral regeneration of Hindu society 
as in the development of the Indian body politic. For, 
though it would be unfair to forget that the rigidity 
of the great caste system probably alone saved Hindu 
society from complete disintegration during centuries 
of internal anarchy and foreign invasions, its survival 
would be fatal now to the advancement of India on new 
lines of democratic progress. In any case the triumph 
of the non-Brahmans is an unmistakable blow to " Non- 
co-operation." Their one grievance against British rule 
has hitherto been that it tolerated Brahman ascendancy 
and refused to co-operate with them in their passionate 
struggle against it. But now there is nothing to damp 
their zeal or deter them from co-operating with Govern- 
ment in securing the permanent success of the reforms to 
which, as they have to admit in spite of their former 
suspicions, they owe a measure of political advancement 
that far exceeds all their anticipations. 

In Southern as weU as in Northern India the failure 
of the Non-co-operationists' frontal attack on the reforms 
was beyond dispute. They were resolved to kill them 
in the womb by laying an interdict upon the elections 
to the new popular assemblies. No candidate, Mr. Gandhi 



xi CROSS CURRENTS IN SOUTHERN INDIA 225 

had pronounced, was to enter for election, no elector was 
to record his vote. At a moment when the elections were 
already in progress and should have at least tempered 
his optimism, he himself assured me that the results as 
a whole would yet afford a most splendid demonstration 
of the stern temper of the people that would never trust 
and would never accept the mockery of reforms proceed- 
ing from a " Satanic " Government. He was deaf to my 
suggestion that, even if the temper of the Indian people 
was such as he believed it to be, it would have been 
demonstrated in a manner far more intelligible to the 
political mind of the West had his followers taken part in 
the elections, and, after sweeping the board in accordance 
with his anticipations, had then placed their demands, 
whatever they might be, on record before the world, 
declaring at the same time that, unless they were fully 
granted, they would walk out of every Council Chamber 
in India and bring down the whole edifice of reforms, 
which would then indeed have been hopelessly shattered. 
Things, on the contrary, went quite differently. In defiance 
of Mr. Gandhi, candidates came forward in almost every 
constituency, elections were held everywhere, and except 
for a few insignificant disturbances created by his followers 
they were held in peaceful and orderly fashion. There 
were indeed numerous and in some places very large 
abstentions. That many of those who kept away from 
the polls were convinced " Non-co-operationists " cannot 
be denied, but no more can it be denied that many kept 
away from fear, not altogether unjustified by the event, 
of actual violence or of the more insidious forms of 
intimidation which social and religious pressure assumes 
with particularly deadly effect in India. Reputable 
members, including a large proportion of the leaders who 
had fought for years past the battle of India's political 
advancement, took their seats in the Provincial Councils 
and in the All-India Legislature at Delhi. They repre- 
sented, not unfairly on the whole, all classes and creeds 
and communities, and even all schools of political thought, 

Q 



226 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, xi 

except, of course, the Extremists, who by their own 
default remained unrepresented. That the Extremists, 
whose influence cannot be ignored, should have remained 
unrepresented is not a matter entirely for congratulation, 
for the complete exclusion, even when self-inflicted, of 
any important political party must tend to weaken the 
authority of a popular Assembly. At the same time, it 
may be doubted whether the abstention of " Non-co- 
operationists " has deprived the Indian Councils of more 
than a very few individuals whose ability and character, 
apart from their political opinions, would have given them 
any great weight. The splendid demonstration which 
Mr. Gandhi had contemplated fell completely flat because 
an overwhelming proportion of those to whom he directed 
his appeal refused to endorse his view that the great 
constitutional changes of which the creation of popular 
Assemblies was the corner-stone were merely a snare and 
a delusion, and to his cry of " Non-co-operation " they 
opposed an emphatic affirmation of their belief that the 
salvation of India lay in co-operation. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE BIBTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 

ONLY twelve years ago Lord Morley, with all his ad- 
vanced liberalism and his broad sympathy for Indian 
aspirations, could not conceive the possibility of intro- 
ducing Parliamentary institutions into India in his time 
or for generations to come. He would assuredly have 
had to revise his opinion could he have attended the 
first session of the Indian Legislative Assembly. In form 
its proceedings were not unworthy of a great Parliamentary 
Assembly. The speeches sometimes rose to a high level 
of eloquence all the more noteworthy in that English was 
not the mother tongue of those who delivered them. They 
were, as a rule, sober and dignified, and if all members 
did not at once abandon a habit much favoured in the 
old Councils of putting long strings of questions and 
moving impracticable resolutions in sonorous harangues, 
often prepared for them by outside hacks, their own 
colleagues soon taught them that such methods were no 
longer likely to pay even for purposes of advertisement. 
The majority quickly acquired a knack of suppressing 
wind-bags and bores quietly and effectively. The Act 
of 1919 reserved to Government the appointment of the 
President of the Assembly for the first four years, after 
which he will be chosen by the Assembly itself. Not 
even the House of Commons could treat the Chair with 
more unfailing deference than the Assembly showed to 
Mr. A. F. Whyte, who brought with him the prestige of 
Westminster traditions and experience to which he from 

227 



228 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

time to time appealed aptly and successfully, and the 
Assembly appreciated the tact as well as the firmness 
with which he discharged his novel duties. A gentle 
reminder of what was the usual practice in the House 
of Commons was never lost on Indian members whose 
inexperience occasionally failed to realise the Parlia- 
mentary implications of the procedure adopted by them, 
but was always ready to accept guidance that derived its 
authority from the wisdom of the Mother of Parliaments. 
But the qualities shown by the Assembly transcended 
mere matters of form. Mr. Whyte bore testimony at the 
close of the session to debates " well worthy to stand by 
the side of the best debates in the Imperial Parliament." 
It was no empty compliment, for they revealed the 
makings of real statesmanship, and the circumstances in 
which the Indian Legislature met for the first time to give 
collective expression to the feelings of the people of 
India, called for statesmanship. The King -Emperor's 
message impressed them with a sense of the great 
responsibilities and great opportunities arising for them 
out of the far-reaching rights conferred upon them. The 
personal appeal with which the Duke of Connaught 
accompanied the delivery of the Royal message went far 
to dispel "the shadow of Amritsar," which had, in his 
own apt phrase, " lengthened over the face of India " and 
threatened even to darken their own path. For on no 
subject had Indian feeling been more unanimous during 
the elections all over the country than in regard to the 
Punjab tragedy. None had been more persistently 
exploited by the " Non-co-operationists " to point their 
jibes at the " slave-mentality " of candidates and electors 
who were merely the willing dupes of a " Satanic " Govern- 
ment. On no subject did the Assembly feel itself under 
a greater obligation to give expression to the unanimous 
sentiments of the people it represented all the greater 
indeed in that opportunity of expression had been denied 
to the old Legislative Council. It was the acid test to 
which the sincerity and the whole value of the reforms 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 229 

were put. The atmosphere of the Assembly was never 
again so tense as when the crucial debate was opened 
by one of the ablest of the younger members of 
the Moderate party, Mr. Jamnadas Dwarkadas, from 
Bombay, on the administration of martial law in the 
Punjab in 1919. He asked the Government (1) to 
declare its adhesion to the principle of equal partnership 
for Indian and European in the British Empire ; (2) to 
express regret that martial law in the Punjab violated 
this fundamental principle ; (3) to administer deterrent 
punishment to officers guilty of an improper exercise of 
their powers including the withdrawal of their pensions ; 
(4) to assure itself that adequate compensation is awarded 
to those who lost their relatives at the Jallianwala Bagh 
and elsewhere. The speaker moved his Resolution with 
great firmness and power but also with great self-restraint. 
Most of the Indian speeches in support of it were con- 
ceived in much the same spirit, though now and again 
one got a glimpse of angrier passions just beneath the 
surface. Happily the Government of India responded 
for the first time with the frankness and generosity which, 
had it displayed them in a much earlier stage in its 
handling of the Punjab troubles, would have averted 
many of the worst consequences. By reprobating, either 
implicitly or explicitly, the worst abuses of martial law 
the Home member, Sir William Vincent, the Commander- 
in-chief, Lord Rawlinson, and Sir Godfrey Fell on behalf 
of the army administration, succeeded in persuading the 
Assembly that not only were methods of humiliation and 
terrorism absolutely repugnant to all traditions of British 
rule, but that the censure and punishment already in- 
flicted upon officers and officials were in reality far more 
serious and effective than the Indian mind had been 
wont to believe. Indian members were asked to realise 
that for a British officer a broken career is virtually the 
end of life, and Sir Godfrey Fell had no need to mention 
General Dyer's name when he said, "As it was put to 
me the other day by a very distinguished general officer, 



230 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

to leave the army in these circumstances would be to 
many officers a disgrace worse than death." Government 
finally accepted the Resolution as it had been moved with 
the exception of the third clause asking for further 
punishment a question which it was not prepared nor 
in a position to reopen. With the eager approval of a 
great many of his Indian colleagues the mover withdrew 
that clause and the rest of the Resolution was passed 
unanimously and, be it noted, with the support of every 
European member of the Assembly. 

The atmosphere was thus cleared before the Assembly 
approached another and only less delicate question. 
Some time before the Budget disclosed the heavy military 
expenditure to be defrayed out of Indian revenues, the 
recommendations of the Committee appointed under the 
presidency of Lord Esher to inquire into the administra- 
tion and organisation of the army in India had caused 
widespread alarm. There were peculiar circumstances 
connected with the Committee's Report which were 
calculated to excite Indian suspicion. The first part, 
which laid down the general principles in regard to 
organisation and administration, was drawn up in London 
and received the approval of the Secretary of State for 
India before the British members of the Committee 
proceeded to India, where their Indian colleagues for the 
first time joined them, whilst the President, Lord Esher, 
himself never went to India at all. To carry out these 
principles the Report stated that " the centre of gravity 
of probable military operations has shifted from West 
to East. In the future we must contemplate the possi- 
bility of our armies operating in the Middle East based 
partially in India and partially at home. . . . India has 
now been admitted into partnership with the Empire, 
and the Indian Army has fought alongside of troops 
from other parts of the Empire in every theatre of war. 
Its responsibilities have thus been greatly widened, and 
it can no longer be regarded as a local force whose sphere 
of activity is limited to India and the surrounding frontier 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 231 

territories. It must rather be treated as a part of the 
Imperial Army ready to serve in any part of the world." 
Indians interpreted the Report as an attempt on the 
part of the British War Office to throw upon the Indian 
Exchequer the cost of a larger army than would be 
required merely for Indian defence whilst keeping it 
under its own control for employment at the discretion 
of British Ministers far beyond the frontiers of India. 
Official assurances were given both in India and at home 
that an exaggerated construction had been placed on 
the meaning of the Report, to which, moreover, neither 
the British Government nor the Government of India was 
officially committed, and that in any case Indian troops 
would not be required to serve outside India except with 
the consent of the Government of India. These assurances 
did not prevent the Assembly from passing two Resolutions 
in which it embodied its strong protests. The second 
part of the Report, containing practical recommendations 
for the reorganisation of the Indian Army, and alone 
based on the results of the inquiry actually conducted 
in India, was far less criticised. 

The army estimates themselves would have been 
enough to cause dismay even if the estimates of other 
departments, upon which the Indian public looks with 
more favour, had not clearly been pruned down with 
more than usual parsimony to meet the large increase 
in military expenditure. But Lord Rawlinson, who had 
done his utmost to reduce them to the extreme limit of 
safety as he conceived it in existing circumstances, wisely 
decided to take the Assembly as far as possible into his 
confidence, and to explain the requirements of the military 
situation not only from his seat on the Government bench 
but in private conferences, at which members were freely 
invited to meet him and his advisers. If he did not 
altogether convince them, he gave them food for reflection 
at a time when not only our own North-West Frontier 
but the whole of Central Asia is still in a state of turmoil, 
Persia a very doubtful quantity, and the Ameer of 



232 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Afghanistan far more eager to sign a treaty of alliance 
with Soviet Russia than to bring to a friendly conclusion 
the long-drawn negotiations which the Government of 
India has sent the head of its foreign department to 
conduct at Kabul. The appointment of a Committee to 
visit the North-West Frontier and to study the situation 
on the spot was admirably calculated to carry the 
practical education of Indian legislators a long step 
farther. In regard to other matters, too, Government 
gave and gained time for reflection by referring them, 
before committing itself to any definite pronouncement 
of policy, to special committees in which points at issue 
could be thrashed out much more effectively and with 
less heat than if only discussed in full house. 

Nothing, however, could alter the awkward fact 
that Government had been compelled to confront the 
Legislative Assembly at its first session with a Budget 
showing a deficit and making calls upon the Indian tax- 
payer absolutely unprecedented in the annals of British- 
Indian State finance. The deficit amounted to nearly 
19 crores of rupees on a Budget of 130 crores, 1 and the 
Financial Member, Mr. Hailey, who had only recently 
succeeded to the financial department, had to admit 
that the deficit could only be met by increased taxation. 
That the estimates of the previous year had been so 
largely exceeded was due beyond dispute to the growth 
of military expenditure, which, for the current financial 
year, has been put down at 62 crores, or very nearly 
half the total expenditure for which provision has to 
be made. This Budget, moreover, not only came at a 
time of general economic depression, but coincided with 
the operation of the new financial arrangements between 
the Provinces and the Government of India, which have 
deprived the latter of the facilities it had formerly for 
mitigating its own financial necessities by adjusting to 
them the doles paid out of the Central Exchequer to the 

1 At the " stabilised " rate of exchange a crore, or ten million rupees 
= one million gold pounds sterling. One hundred lacs make a crore. 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 233 

several Provincial Exchequers. Under the new system 
various revenues have been definitely allocated to the 
Provincial Governments for their own free disposal, and 
in return they have to make fixed annual contributions 
to the Central Exchequer. These contributions are in no 
case to be subject to increase in the future, but on the 
contrary to be redijced gradually and to cease at the 
earliest possible moment compatible with the irreducible 
requirements of the Government of India. The Act of 
1919, it is true, transfers to the Indian Legislature no 
direct or complete statutory control over revenue and 
expenditure, and powers are still vested in the Govern- 
ment of India to override the Assembly in cases of 
emergency and to enact supplies which it refuses if the 
Governor-General in Council certifies them to be essential 
to the peace, tranquillity, and interests of India. But 
the fact that there was a deficit which could only be met 
by increased taxation offered exceptional opportunities 
which might easily have been used for embarrassing 
obstruction by a young and immature chamber naturally 
concerned for its own popularity. Even a direct conflict 
between the Government and the Assembly might not 
have been impossible, and the consequences would have 
been lamentable. For if the Government of India had 
been driven to use its statutory powers to impose taxation 
and secure supplies in opposition to the Legislature 
during its very first session, all the hopes of friendly 
co-operation based on the new constitution would have 
been wrecked far more disastrously and permanently 
than by any " Non -co - operation " movement. The 
Legislative Assembly was wise enough to exercise its 
rights with sufficient insistence to show that it was 
conscious of them, but never to strain them. It did 
not refrain from criticism of almost every department 
in turn or from motions to reduce the official estimates 
for them. Many of the criticisms were sound, and some 
of the reductions were accepted by Government. Mr. 
Hailey handled a delicate situation with unfailing patience 



234 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

and skill. Even in regard to new taxation he endeavoured 
to meet, as far as the exigencies of the Budget allowed, 
the objections of the Assembly to such increases as, for 
instance, higher postal rates, which press most heavily 
on the least well-to-do classes. Nothing, however, helped 
him so much to get his Budget through without a serious 
conflict as the decision of the Government to seek in 
an increase of the import duties over two -thirds of 
the new revenue to be raised to meet the deficit. For 
there Government took up common ground with Indian 
opinion on fiscal matters and carried into effect the 
principle laid down by the Select Joint Committee on 
the Reforms Bill, and endorsed by the Secretary of State, 
that the Government of India must be granted the same 
liberty to devise Indian tariff arrangements on a considera- 
tion of Indian interests as all other self-governing parts 
of the Empire enjoy. If the Assembly did not see 
altogether eye to eye with Government as to the necessity 
for all this increased expenditure and increased taxation, 
its objections were at least mitigated by a form of in- 
creased taxation in which it saw the first step towards 
fiscal autonomy. In this as in every other question with 
which the Legislature had to deal, the Government of 
India showed its willingness to accept as far as possible the 
guidance of Indian opinion and to act as a national Indian 
Government, and not merely as the supreme executive 
authority under the Government of the United Kingdom. 
On those terms the Assembly was prepared to take 
into account the difficulties and responsibilities inherited 
by Government from past policies from which no sudden 
departure was possible, or desired even, by responsible 
Indians who recognise the present limitations of their 
experience as well as of their rights. Government and 
Legislature therefore parted in mutual goodwill and with 
increased confidence in the value of the new policy of 
co-operation. But the Legislature has only just com- 
menced to realise the extent of its powers, expressed and 
implied. The latter stretch almost immeasurably farther 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 235 

than the former. Indian-elected members form a large 
majority in the Legislative Assembly, which has already 
so largely overshadowed the Council of State that it will 
probably be difficult for the upper house to exercise 
over the more popular chamber the corrective influence 
originally contemplated. The Government of India, of 
course, retains its great statutory powers, but these could 
hardly be exercised again in uncompromising opposition 
to the opinion of the majority of the Assembly now that 
out of eight members of the Viceroy's Executive Council, 
which, with him, forms the Government of India, no 
less than three are Indians, who would presumably be 
often more amenable than their British colleagues to 
the pressure of Indian opinion. Under the Act of 1919 
the Government of India is not responsible to the 
Assembly. That may come in a later stage, it has not 
come yet. But one may rest already assured that only 
in extreme cases, and if the majority shows itself far 
more irresponsible than it has yet given the slightest 
reason to fear, is Government likely to risk a cleavage 
between British and Indian members of the Viceroy's 
Executive Council, or to rely on the fact that no vote of 
the Assembly can remove it from office, to provoke or 
face a conflict of which the consequences would extend 
far beyond the walls of the Legislature. This is a power- 
ful lever of which Indians may quickly learn the use. 

In another important direction the first session of the 
Legislature bore out Sir Thomas Munro's view, expressed, 
as we have already seen, a hundred years ago, that in 
India as elsewhere liberal treatment will be found the 
most effectual way of elevating the character of the 
people. Nothing perhaps has tended more to alienate the 
sympathies of Englishmen from the political aspirations 
which the founders of the Indian National Congress were 
bent upon promoting than the subordination of social 
to political reforms. There remained always some 
distinguished Indians who ensued both notably Mr. 
Gokhale, who founded the society of " the Servants of 



236 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

India," dedicated chiefly to social reform, of which the 
beneficent activities have expanded steadily throughout 
a decade of political turmoil. His mantle fell on no 
unworthy shoulders, and it is a good omen that his chief 
disciple, Mr. Srinivasa Sastri, has become the leader of 
the Moderate party in the Council of State, as well as 
one of the Indian representatives at the recent Imperial 
Conference in London. A similar spirit informs the 
numerous associations that have addressed themselves, 
though with perhaps less success so far, to the more 
glaring evils of the Hindu religious social system, such as 
infant marriage, the prohibition of remarriage of widows, 
the rigidity of caste laws in regard to inter-caste marriage, 
and to intercourse between the different castes even at 
meals. Many interesting experiments have been made 
by Indians for infusing into education a new moral 
tone and discipline on Indian lines, and it is due to 
Indian effort no less than to the encouragement of 
Government that female education has begun to bridge 
over the intellectual gulf that tended to separate more 
and more the men and the women of the Western- 
educated classes. In Madras, to quote only one instance, 
there is to-day a high school for girls almost unthinkable 
two decades ago and only opened ten years ago in which 
high -caste Brahman girls live under the same roof and 
are taught in the same class-rooms as not only Hindu 
girls of the non-Brahman castes, but Mahomedan and 
native Christian and Eurasian girls from all parts of the 
Presidency, and the only real difficulty now experienced 
is in the traditional matter of food, and it is circumvented, 
if not overcome, by providing seven different kitchens and 
seven different messes. 

The last attempt on the part of the Government to 
promote social reforms by way of legislation was Lord 
Lansdowne's " Age of Consent " Bill thirty years ago, 
and though it was carried through in spite of the violent 
opposition of Hindu orthodoxy, which then brought Mr. 
Tilak into public life as its leader, an alien Government 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 237 

pledged to complete neutrality in social and religious 
matters shrank after that unpleasant experience from 
assuming the lead in such matters without having at 
least the preponderating bulk of Indian opinion behind 
it. Not the least noteworthy event of the first session 
of the Indian Legislature was the introduction by Dr. 
Gour, a Hindu member from the Central Provinces, of a 
private Bill legalising civil marriage which British Indian 
law so far recognises only between a Christian and a 
non-Christian, though the Indian States of Baroda and 
Indore have legalised them for all their subjects. Sir 
Henry Maine wished to move, as far back as 1868, in 
this direction when he was Law Member of the Govern- 
ment of India, but to meet even then a fierce orthodox 
opposition the provisions of the Bill finally enacted in 
1872 were so whittled down as to make it practically 
useless, and it was almost nullified when it came up 
for interpretation by the Privy Council. The question 
does in fact involve many material as well as social and 
religious considerations, as matters of personal law are 
largely governed by ancient custom in the different 
communities, and the point at issue was whether it is 
possible for a Hindu to cease to be subject to Hindu law. 
More recent attempts to make civil marriage lawful have 
failed hopelessly. Dr. Gour has had the courage to 
appeal to the more liberal spirit for which the new 
reforms stand, and he defended his Bill, which is only a 
permissive Bill, on the grounds that any measure calcu- 
lated to break down the ancient barriers between races 
and creeds and communities must tend to strengthen 
the sense of national solidarity of which the new Indian 
Legislature is the expression. It remains yet to be seen 
what will be the fate of his Bill, but its introduction is 
in itself not one of the least hopeful signs of the times. 

If one turns from the Government of India to the 
new Provincial Governments and Councils the outlook is, 
on the whole, not less encouraging. The statutory 
powers of the Provincial Councils are more definite and 



238 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

can be brought more directly to bear upon Government, 
but they are not likely to be exercised in any extravagant 
fashion until time has shown how Indian Ministers 
discharge their responsibilities to the Councils and how 
the two wings of the new Provincial Governments work 
together. In fact, the policy, wisely adopted by Provin- 
cial Governors, of treating the two wings of their Govern- 
ment as equally associated with them in a common task 
of governance, has robbed the distinction between 
" reserved " and " transferred " subjects, if not of all 
reality, at any rate of the invidious appearance of dis- 
crimination which might otherwise have attached to 
the word " dyarchy." As one Provincial Governor re- 
marked to me, " We are in reality skipping the dyarchy 
stage." Indian Ministers, kept fully informed and drawn 
into consultation on all subjects, are learning to under- 
stand the difficulties of government and administration 
of which, as outside critics, they had little notion, and to 
value the experience and knowledge which their European 
colleagues and subordinates freely place at their disposal, 
whilst the latter benefit both from hearing the Indian 
point of view and from having to explain and justify 
their own. Economic depression and financial stringency 
cannot, however, but react unfavourably upon the new 
system in the Provinces as well as at Delhi, for all the 
more practical reforms in which the ordinary Indian 
elector, whether politically minded or otherwise, is most 
closely interested, and for which he has been looking to 
the new Provincial Councils, require money, and a great 
deal of money. There is a universal demand for more 
elementary schools, more road-making, more sanitation, 
a more strenuous fight against malaria, a greater exten- 
sion of local government and village councils' activities, 
and the demand cannot be met except by more expendi- 
ture. The Indian Ministers and Indian members of the 
Provincial Councils have to face unpopularity whether 
by postponing much-needed reforms or by imposing new 
taxation in order to carry them, out, A grea.t many of 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 239 

the best men have naturally been attracted to Delhi, but 
though the proceedings in the Provincial Councils have 
more frequently betrayed impatience and inexperience, 
and sometimes required the monitory intervention of 
the Governor, they have played on the whole creditably 
the important part allotted to them in this great con- 
stitutional experiment. 

It is far less easy to appraise the value of the attempt 
which has been made at the same time to bring that 
large part of India which lies outside the sphere of direct 
British administration into closer touch with it by the 
creation of a Chamber of Princes, which will at least sit 
under the same roof with the Council of State and the 
Legislative Assembly in the great hall of Parliament 
to be erected in New Delhi. The moment when the 
Government of India is departing from its autocratic 
traditions and transferring a large part of its powers 
throughout British India into the hands of representative 
assemblies which are to pave the way towards the demo- 
cratic goal of responsible government, seems scarcely well 
chosen for the creation of a Chamber which must give 
greater cohesion, and potentially greater power to resist 
the spirit of the age, to a body of ruling Princes and 
Chiefs who all stand in varying degrees for archaic forms 
of despotic government and whose peoples have for the 
most part stood hitherto entirely outside the political 
life of British India. 

The Native States, as they are commonly called, 
scattered over nearly the whole length and breadth of 
the Indian Empire, cover altogether more than a third 
of its total area and include nearly a quarter of its 
total population. Some of them can compare in size and 
wealth with the smaller States of Europe. Some are but 
insignificant specks on the map. Great and small, there 
are several hundreds of them. Their relations with the 
Paramount Power, which have been not inaptly described 
as those of subordinate alliance, are governed by treaties 
and engagements of which the terms are not altogether 



240 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

uniform. The essence is in all cases the maintenance of 
their administrative autonomy under their own dynastic 
rulers whose hereditary rights and privileges are perma- 
nently guaranteed to them, subject to their loyalty to 
the British Crown and to reasonably good government. 
The Princes and Chiefs who rule over them some well, 
a few rather badly, most of them perhaps indifferently ; 
some Hindus, some Mahomedans ; some still very con- 
servative and almost mediaeval, some on genuinely pro- 
gressive lines ; some with a mere veneer of European 
modernity are all equally jealous of their rights and 
their dignity. The Native States cannot, however, live 
wholly in water-tight compartments. They must be more 
or less directly affected by what goes on in British India 
just across their own often very artificial boundaries. 
Their material interests are too closely bound up with 
those of their British - Indian neighbours. In many 
matters, e.g. railways, posts, telegraphs, irrigation, etc., 
they are in a great measure dependent upon, and must 
fall into line with, British India. Their peoples even 
those who do not go to British India for their education 
or for larger opportunities of livelihood are being slowly 
influenced by the currents of thought which flow in from 
British India. 

Political unrest cannot always or permanently be 
halted at their frontier, though His Exalted Highness 
the Nizam of Hyderabad, whose ways are still largely 
those of the Moghuls, has not hesitated, albeit himself a 
Mahomedan Prince, to proscribe all Khilafat agitation 
within his territory. The Extremist Press has already 
very frequently denounced ruling Princes and Chiefs as 
obstacles to the democratic evolution of a Swaraj India 
which will have to be removed, and if the Nagpur Congress 
pronounced against extending its propaganda to the 
Native States, it did so only " for the present " and on 
grounds of pure and avowed expediency. Apart from 
the menace of Indian Extremism, there must obviously 
be a fundamental conflict of ideals between ruling Chiefs 



xii THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 241 

bent on preserving their independent political entity and 
the aspirations towards national unity entertained by the 
moderate Indian Nationalists whose influence is sure to 
predominate over all the old traditions of Indian govern- 
ance if the new reforms are successful. Some Princes 
are wise enough to swim with the current and have intro- 
duced rudimentary councils and representative assemblies 
which at any rate provide a modern fa9ade for their own 
patriarchal systems of government. But all are more or 
less conscious that their own position is being profoundly 
modified by constitutional changes in British India, which 
must, and indeed are intended to, alter the very character 
of the Government representing the paramount Power to 
whose authority they owe their own survival since the 
beginning of British rule. Their survival has indeed 
always been an anomaly, though hitherto, on the whole, 
equally creditable to the British Raj that preserved them 
from extinction in the old days of stress and storm and 
to the rulers who have justified British statesmanship 
by their fine loyalty. But in a democratised and self- 
governing India it might easily become a much more 
palpable anomaly. 

How was this new situation to be dealt with ? Some 
of the ruling Princes and Chiefs whose views appear to 
have prevailed with the Secretary of State and the 
Government of India, came to the conclusion that they 
should combine together and try to secure as a body a 
recognised position from which their collective influence 
might be brought more effectively to bear upon the 
Government of India, whatever its new orientation may 
ultimately be under the influence of popular assemblies in 
British India. Some, doubtless, believed that once in such 
a position they would be able to oppose a more effective 
because more united front .to interference from whatever 
quarter in the internal affairs of their States. Circum- 
stances favoured their scheme for the loyalty displayed 
by all the Native States, and the distinguished services 
rendered in person by not a few Chiefs inclined Govern- 

B 



242 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

ment to meet their wishes without probing them too 
closely, and in the first place to relax the control hitherto 
exercised by its political officers on the spot often, it 
must be confessed, on rather petty and irritating lines. 
The leading Princes were encouraged to come to Delhi 
during the winter season, and those who favoured a policy 
of closer combination amongst themselves were those 
who responded most freely to these official promptings. 
Conversations soon assumed the shape of informal con- 
ferences, and, later on, of formal conferences convened 
and presided over by the Viceroy. The hidden value of 
these conferences must have been far greater than would 
appear from the somewhat trivial record of the subjects 
under discussion, for it is out of these conferences that 
the new Chamber of Princes has been evolved as a 
permanent consultative body for the consideration of 
questions affecting the Native States generally, or of 
common concern to them and to British India and to 
the Empire generally. 

The conception is in itself by no means novel and 
appeals to many upon whom the picturesqueness and 
conservative stability of the Native States exercise a 
strong attraction. It can be traced back at least as far 
as Lord Lytton's Viceroyalty over forty years ago, and 
the steadily growing recognition of the important part 
which the Native States play in the Indian Empire cul- 
minated during the war in the appointment of an Indian 
Prince to represent them specially at the Imperial War 
Conferences held in London during the war, and again, 
after the war was over, at the Paris Peace Conference. 

But the creation of a Chamber of Princes at this 
particular juncture raises very difficult issues. In the 
first place, though it has been engineered with great skill 
and energy by a small group of very distinguished 
Princes, mostly Rajput, it is viewed with deep suspicion 
by other chiefs who, not being Rajputs, scent in it a scheme 
for promoting Rajput ascendancy, and it has received no 
support at all from other and more powerful Princes such 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 243 

as the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Gaikwar of Baroda, the 
Maharajah of Mysore. Some have always held aloof from 
the Delhi Conferences and have intimated plainly that 
they have no desire to see any alteration introduced 
into their treaty relationships with the Paramount Power. 
Without their participation no Chamber of Princes can 
pull its full weight, and even if most of them considered 
themselves bound out of loyalty to the Sovereign to 
attend an inaugural ceremony performed by the Duke 
of Connaught in the name of the King-Emperor himself, 
it would be premature to infer that their opposition has 
been permanently overcome. The Supreme Government 
has of course reiterated the pledges already embodied in 
the treaties that there shall be no interference with the 
ancient rights and privileges of the Native States and 
their rulers, but its eminent right to interfere in cases of 
extreme urgency has not and cannot be surrendered. It 
has been exercised very rarely, and only when adminis- 
tration and government have fallen flagrantly short of 
certain standards, established by usage and generally 
understood and accepted, which it is perhaps easier to 
describe negatively than positively. Misrule cannot be 
tolerated when it amounts to a public scandal or takes 
the form of criminal acts. The whole question has always 
bristled with difficulties, and still does. The tendency, 
since Lord Curzon's time, has been to relax the control 
of the Supreme Government even in matters of slighter 
moment on which it had been accustomed to tender 
advice not always distinguishable from commands. That 
some of the Native States, and not the least powerful, 
are badly governed is of common notoriety. But if the 
Supreme Government has been sometimes inclined to turn 
a blind eye in such cases, and even to forget that it has 
moral obligations towards the subjects as well as towards 
the rulers of the Native States, it has been free hitherto 
to obey considerations of political expediency which may 
conceivably not weigh so much in the future. For the 
same forces that have obtained the surrender of the 



244 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

autocratic principle in British India, may demand with 
equal insistency its surrender throughout the Native 
States. Should the more irresponsible chiefs rely on the 
solidarity of a Chamber of Princes to secure for them 
greater immunity than ever from the just consequences 
of misgovernment, they would merely hasten a conflict 
which undoubtedly most of their caste have begun to 
dread between their own archaic methods and the demo- 
cratic spirit which the Government of India Act of 1919 
has quickened in British India. 

There are many other thorny points. Obviously there 
could be no room for all the seven or eight hundred ruling 
chiefs, great and small, in any assembly reasonably 
constituted to represent the Native States. Nor have 
they ever enjoyed any uniform status or received any 
uniform treatment. Some of them, the most important, 
have maintained direct relations with the Government 
of India ; the majority only indirect relations through 
the Provincial Governments within whose sphere their 
territories are situated. The creation of the Chamber of 
Princes has necessitated a new classification of major 
and minor States, the former entitled to direct, the 
latter only to indirect representation, which has naturally 
caused a vast amount of jealousy and heartburning. 
Another consequence still under discussion is the 
substitution in most cases of direct relations with the 
Government of India for those in which the smaller 
Native States now stand to provincial governments. 
Such transfer must involve innumerable difficulties and 
complications, especially in a Presidency like Bombay, 
within whose boundaries there are over 300 Native States 
inextricably bound up with it by common interests and 
even by common administrative needs. Many of them 
are at first sight inclined to welcome such a transfer as 
enhancing their prestige ; some of them, remembering 
the old saying that " Delhi is a long way off," hope that 
it will lessen the prospect of outside interference in their 
own administration, however bad it may be or become. 



xn THE BIRTH OF AN INDIAN PARLIAMENT 245 

But these are hardly arguments to justify a transfer 
which can only import a new element of confusion into 
an already sufficiently confused situation. 

The Chamber of Princes was opened with all the glitter 
of oriental pomp and magnificence, but it only held a 
few meetings and the proceedings were veiled in secrecy. 
Only enough transpired to show that personal jealousies 
and clan rivalries were rife even at that early stage. Its 
very constitution denies it the assistance for which the 
Indian Councils and the Indian Ministers have been wise 
enough to look from the co-operation with them of British 
elements, whose authority in government and administra- 
tion is still maintained by statute and so far undisputed. 
To the Chamber of Princes the Viceroy alone is in a 
position to give guidance, and to shape that illustrious 
assembly to useful purposes is one of the many difficult 
tasks in front of Lord Reading. 



CHAPTER XIII 

ECONOMIC FACTORS 

IF the war has wrought great changes in the political life 
of India, in its status within the Empire and in its 
constitutional relations with the United Kingdom, it has 
produced equally important changes in its economic 
situation and outlook. The Montagu-Chelmsford Report 
had not failed to note how largely economic factors 
entered into the political situation which the Secretary 
of State and the Viceroy were primarily concerned to 
study. India is, and probably must always remain, 
essentially an agricultural country, and its economics 
must always suffer from the exceptionally unstable 
conditions to which, except within the relatively small 
areas available for irrigation, dependence upon a pre- 
carious rainfall condemns even the most industrious 
agricultural population. Many circumstances had com- 
bined to retard the development of its vast natural 
resources and the growth of modern manufacturing 
industries. Few British administrators during the last 
half - century had realised their importance as Lord 
Dalhousie had done before the Mutiny, until Lord Curzon 
created a special department of commerce and industry 
in the Government of India. The politically minded 
classes, whose education had not trained them to deal 
with such questions, were apt to lose themselves in such 
blind alleys as the " doctrine of drain." But as they 
perceived how largely dependent India was on foreign 
countries for manufactured goods, whilst her own 

246 



CHAP, xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 247 

domestic industries had been to a great extent crushed 
in hopeless competition with the products of the much 
more highly organised and equipped industries of European 
countries, they rushed to the conclusion that an industrial 
revival might be promoted by a crude boycott of foreign 
imported goods which would at the same time serve as a 
manifestation of their political discontent. The Swadeshi 
movement failed, as it was bound to fail. But failure 
intensified the suspicion that, as India's foreign trade 
was chiefly with the United Kingdom, her industrial 
backwardness was deliberately encouraged in the inter- 
ests of British manufactures, and it was not altogether 
unjustified by the maintenance of the excise duty on 
locally manufactured cotton goods, which protected the 
interests of Lancashire in the one industrial field in which 
Indian enterprise had achieved greatest success. The 
introduction of an annual Industrial Conference in 
connection with the Indian National Congress was the 
first organised attempt of the politically minded classes 
to link up with politics a movement towards industrial 
independence. It assumed increased bitterness with the 
disastrous failures of Indian banks started on " national " 
lines in Bombay and the Punjab. The cry for fiscal 
freedom and protection grew widespread and insistent 
before the war broke out. Then, under the pressure of 
war necessities, the Government of India explored, as it 
had never done before, the whole field of India's natural 
resources and of the development of Indian industries. 
At the same time an opportunity arose for a group of 
Indian " merchant- venturers " to use the term in its 
fine old Elizabethan sense who had set themselves to 
give the lead to their countrymen, to show what Indian 
enterprise was capable of achieving. What it has already 
achieved deserves to be studied as the most pregnant 
illustration of what the future may hold in reserve. 

It is a somewhat chastening reflection that the creation 
of the one great metallurgical industry in India has been 
due not to British but to Indian capital and enterprise, 



248 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

assisted in the earliest and most critical stages not by 
British but by American skill, and that, had it not been 
created when it was, our Syrian and Mesopotamian cam- 
paigns could never have been fought to their victorious 
issue, as Jamsheedpur produced and could alone at that 
juncture supply the rails for the construction of the 
railways essential to the rapid success of those great 
military operations. Equally chastening is the reflection 
that from its very inception less than twenty years ago, 
the pioneers of this vast undertaking had constantly to 
reckon with the indifference and inertia of Anglo-Indian 
officialdom, and with the almost solitary exceptions of 
Sir Thomas Holland, then at the head of the Geological 
Survey, and Sir Benjamin Robertson, afterwards Chief 
Commissioner of the Central Provinces where the first 
but unavailing explorations were made, seldom received 
more than a minimum of countenance and assistance. 
Not till Messrs. Tata's American prospectors had explored 
this region did the Government of India realise that untold 
mineral wealth lay there within 150 miles of Calcutta, 
almost on the surface of the soil, and not until the pressure 
of the Great War and the inability of India to draw any 
longer upon British industry for the most vital supplies 
compelled them to turn to Jamsheedpur do they seem 
to have at all appreciated what an enterprise that owed 
little or nothing to them meant to India and the Empire. 
When the war was over, Lord Chelmsford paid a visit 
to Jamsheedpur and generously acknowledged that debt. 
" I can hardly imagine," said the Viceroy, " what we 
should have done if the Tata Company had not been 
able to give us steel rails which have provided not only 
for Mesopotamia, but for Egypt, Palestine, and East 
Africa." One may therefore hope that the lesson of the 
war will not be forgotten, and that Sir Thomas Holland, 
who has now exchanged the Munitions Board for the 
portfolio of Industry, will prevent a relapse into the 
old traditions of aloofness now that the war pressure 
is over. 



xni ECONOMIC FACTORS 249 

The cotton-mills of Bombay, the jute-mills of Calcutta, 
the goldfields of Mysore each contribute their own 
remarkable chapter to the story of British industrial 
enterprise in India, but none can compare in point of 
romance with the story of the iron and steel industry of 
Jamsheedpur. It need only be very briefly recalled. In 
1902 Mr. Jamsheedji Tata, a veteran of the great Parsee 
community of Bombay and one of the founders of the 
Bombay cotton industry, visited the United States. His 
active mind had already for some time been busy with 
the idea of starting a metallurgic industry in India, and 
he had received in the course of conversation with Lord 
George Hamilton, then Secretary of State for India, about 
the only encouragement he ever did receive in England. 
He fared better in America. In New York he called 
with a letter of introduction from Lord Avebury on Mr. 
C. Page Perin, an eminent mining engineer, who was at 
once impressed both with his visitor and with the schemes 
which he unfolded, though they were still quite visionary. 
Mr. Perin, who is still the consulting engineer of the Tata 
Company, agreed to send a party of American prospectors, 
and followed them in 1904 to India. Long was the search 
and many the hardships undergone, and Mr. Jamsheedji 
Tata himself passed away before he could see -the fulfil- 
ment of his dream. But Sir Dorab Tata proved himself 
not unworthy to follow in his footsteps, and when an 
area hitherto almost unknown and unexplored had been 
definitely located, combining in an extraordinary degree 
the primary requisites of adequate coalfields, vast ore 
deposits of great wealth, a sufficient water supply, a 
suitable site for a large industrial town with good railway 
communication though still badly needing development, 
he and a small group of his Bombay friends tried to find 
in London the financial support which they imagined 
would hardly be denied to an enterprise of such immense 
importance for our Indian Empire. But they failed. 
It was then that, largely on the advice of Sir George 
Clarke, now Lord Sydenham, who was then Governor 



250 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of Bombay whose great services to the economic ad- 
vancement of India and to Indian technical education 
latter-day politicians are too apt to forget they appealed 
to their own fellow-countrymen for the capital needed. 
Never had such an appeal been made, but the response 
was immediate and ample. The Tata Iron and Steel 
Works Company was launched as an Indian Company, 
and to the present day all the hard cash required has 
come out of Indian pockets. In 1908 the first clearance 
was effected in what had hitherto been a barren stretch 
of scrub-jungle sparsely inhabited by aboriginal Sonthals, 
one of the most primitive of Indian races, and in 1910 
the first works, erected by an American firm, were com- 
pleted and started. As far as the production of pig-iron 
was concerned success was immediate, but many diffi- 
culties had to be overcome in the manufacture of steel 
which had never before been attempted in a tropical 
climate. These too, however, had been surmounted by 
the end of 1913 in the nick of time to meet the heavy 
demands and immense strain of the Great War, towards 
the end of which Government took as much as 97 per 
cent of the steel output and obtained it from the Company 
at less than a quarter of the price that it would have 
commanded in the Indian open market. 

To-day, just twelve years after the first stake was 
driven into the ground, Jamsheedpur is already a town 
of close on 100,000 inhabitants, pleasantly situated on 
rising ground between a considerable river which flows 
down sometimes during the rainy season in a devastating 
torrent from the lofty plateau of Chota Nagpur into the 
Bay of Bengal and a minor affluent whose waters mingle 
with it close by. The climate is dry and therefore healthy, 
though the shade temperature rises in hot weather to 
116, and a finely scarped range of hills over 3500 feet 
high provides within easy distance the makings of a 
small hill station as a refuge, especially valuable for 
women and children, from the worst heat of the torrid 
season. During the " cold " weather, when the thermo- 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 251 

meter falls to between 40 and 50 at night, there can 
be no more delightful climate in the world. The war 
gave a tremendous impetus to the Company's operations 
and stimulated the rapid expansion of the works on a 
far larger scale than had ever been anticipated, until 
they now need not fear comparison with some of the 
largest and best -equipped works of the same kind in the 
West. No doubt is entertained as to the demand for 
the enormous output from such a plant. Nor is it 
contemplated that it will meet anything like the full 
needs of India, which are growing apace. Before the 
war India imported annually about 1,000,000 tons of 
steel products, of which Germany furnished a large and 
increasing percentage direct or through Belgium. Equally 
little room is there to question the continued supply of 
either coal or ore. The life of the coal mines which the 
Tata Company possess within one hundred miles of their 
works is estimated at two hundred years, and they form 
only a very small portion of the great carboniferous area 
known as the Gondwana measures. They produce the 
best coking coal in India, and though much inferior as 
such to most British coal mines, against this disadvantage 
can be set off the much greater richness of the iron ore 
deposits, carrying between 60 and 67 per cent of metallic 
iron. These non - titanif erous deposits are practically 
inexhaustible, and those at present used are within forty 
to fifty miles of Jamsheedpur. This favoured region 
supplies also most of the fluxes required for the manu- 
facture of steel, and even clays for firebricks. 

Of equal promise for the future prosperity of India is 
the force of attraction which Jamsheedpur is exercising 
on other kindred or subsidiary industries which are 
establishing themselves in large numbers, and with Indian 
as well as European capital behind them, throughout the 
same region. 

To keep pace with the growth of the population which 
such huge and rapid extensions involve is no easy task, 
and the Tatas aim at making Jamsheedpur a model 



252 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

industrial town not unworthy of the high standard which 
they have reached in their works. It is to an English- 
man, a son of the late Archbishop Temple, formerly in 
the Public Works Department, that the task has been 
entrusted. The Company own twenty-seven square miles 
of land, which is none too little for a town that already has 
nearly 100,000 and may in the near future have a quarter 
of a million inhabitants. Fortunately the lie of the land, 
which is undulating and rises gradually from the level of 
the river beds, adapts itself both to aesthetic and sanitary 
town-planning. There is plenty of scope for laying out 
round the existing nucleus a number of new and separate 
quarters in which suitable provision can be made for 
the needs of different classes of Europeans and Indians, 
and for applying new scientific principles which should 
secure for all, including especially the children, the light 
and air so much needed in a large industrial centre. 
Many, too, are the novel problems arising out of the 
governance of a great heterogeneous community in a town 
which, though within the British Indian province of 
Behar and Orissa, is in many respects autonomous ; and 
to another Englishman, Mr. Gordhays, who has for the 
purpose retired from the Indian Civil Service, Messrs. 
Tata have entrusted this equally responsible task. 

How soon such a vital undertaking can be Indian-run 
as well as Indian-owned is a question upon the answer 
to which the future of India in the economic sphere 
depends as much as upon the success or failure of the 
new Councils in the sphere of political advancement. 

The operations of a steel and iron foundry call for 
high scientific attainments, grit, and the power to control 
large bodies of labour. In addition to these qualities 
others are required at Jamsheedpur to deal with the many 
physical and social problems which the rapid growth of 
a very heterogeneous population and its harmonious and 
healthy governance present. What augury can be drawn 
for the future from the results already achieved ? The 
board of directors, with whom the ultimate responsibility 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 253 

rests, has always been exclusively Indian. But, being 
sane business men, they realised from the first that they 
must for some time rely on Western management, Western 
technical knowledge, and even to some extent on Western 
skilled labour. Having met with little encouragement in 
British official quarters in India, or in British unofficial 
quarters in England, they turned in the first place to 
America. Many Americans occupy responsible posts in 
the works. The erection of the first plant was committed 
to Americans. The Indian directors never attempted to 
exclude Englishmen from their employ, nor did they 
hesitate to have recourse to British industry when it 
could best supply their needs. To keep the balance even 
they turned before the war to Germany also. Much of 
the machinery was purchased from German firms, who, 
like the Americans and the British, sent out their own 
parties to set up and work the plant which they supplied. 
In August 1914 the Germans numbered 250. But they 
were soon eliminated, and their places for the most part 
filled by Englishmen, the smelters from Middlesbrough 
importing not only their fine Yorkshire physique and 
dialect, but their Trade Union ideas. 

During the war, Government, both in Delhi and in 
London, were constantly pressing for an increased output, 
which meant a large extension of the works ; and as 
nothing could be obtained from England or brought out 
except at extreme risk from submarines, large orders for 
new plant for the extensions now in progress had therefore 
to be placed in America. The total number of covenanted 
employees of the Company to-day is 137, of whom ninety- 
three are English and forty-four American, and there are 
in addition sixty locally employed Europeans. The 
number of Indians employed is about 44,500. Nearly 
half the population of Jamsheedpur is directly employed 
by the Company, and almost the whole owes its means of 
livelihood to it in less direct forms. It comprises Indians 
of many races and creeds and castes and tongues. There 
are Bengalees and Madrasees of the educated classes, some 



254 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

of them Brahmans, who are chiefly engaged in clerical, 
technical, and managerial work. There are rougher 
Pathans and Punjabee Mahomedans, as well as Sikhs, who 
take more readily to heavy skilled manual labour. There 
are artisans and small traders and shopkeepers from all 
parts of India, and even a few picked carpenters from 
China as pattern-makers. The bulk of the unskilled 
labour is drawn from the Sonthal aboriginal population, 
industrious, docile, and cheerful as a rule, but abysmally 
ignorant and credulous, and liable to sudden gusts of 
emotion and passion. 

The question of the employment of Indians on the 
actual processes of manufacture is largely a question of 
technical and physical training, and it has not been lost 
sight of in Jamsheedpur. Schools have been started for 
the education of the Indian children, and though in a 
community still largely composed of people who are 
themselves young, the number of children of a school- 
going age is necessarily small, a secondary school under 
a Bengalee graduate in science, who was himself originally 
trained in Rabindranath Tagore's remarkable school at 
Bolpur, already has over 140 boys, and a training insti- 
tute for higher technical studies is to follow in due 
course. Nor are the adult men and women neglected, 
for social welfare in all its aspects plays an important 
part in the life of Jamsheedpur. 

As to the actual employment of Indians, nowhere has 
the principle been more carefully applied that Europeans 
a term which in this connection must be taken to 
include Americans are only to be employed when and 
so long as no Indian can be found competent to perform 
the particular work required. The proportion of 
Europeans to Indians works out to-day approximately 
as 1 to 230, but this figure is in itself somewhat mis- 
leading. Out of the total of 197 Europeans, no fewer 
than seventy-five are the highly skilled mechanics who 
are still absolutely indispensable as supervisors at the 
steel-smelting furnaces and the rolling-mills. Work of 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 255 

this kind requires a powerful physique, long experience, 
and plenty of pluck. One has only to look at the 
muscular, hard-bitten Americans and Englishmen who 
stand round the furnaces to see that they represent a 
type of humanity which in India is still extremely rare. 
The Company have tried eighteen Indians, carefully 
selected, but only three have stayed. The up-country 
races, physically more promising, lack the training. It 
will take, it is believed, twenty-five years to bring on 
Indians who can be trusted to replace Europeans in these 
arduous jobs. 

Nevertheless, in the steel-smelting furnaces there are 
only forty European supervisors to 2000 Indian workmen, 
and in the rolling-mills only thirty-five to 2200. In other 
departments much more rapid progress has been achieved, 
and the results are already remarkable. Indians do ex- 
cellent work as machinists, cranemen, electricians, etc., 
and even in the rolling-mills they do all the manual work. 
The best of them make reliable gangers and foremen. In 
the blast furnaces there are only eight Europeans to 1600 
Indians, in the mechanical department only six to 3000, 
and in the traffic department only one to 1500. In two 
other important departments it has been already found 
possible to place an Indian in full charge. One of these 
is the electrical department, which requires unquestion- 
ably high scientific capacity. Another is the coke ovens, 
on which 2000 Indians are employed under the sole 
charge of an Indian who seemed to me to represent an 
almost new and very interesting type a young Bengalee 
of good family, nephew to Sir Krishna Gupta, who was 
recently a member of the Secretary of State's Council 
in Whitehall. He had studied at Harvard, had worked 
afterwards right through the mill, and had acquired the 
habit of organised command, which is still rare amongst 
Indians. If Jamsheedpur may be not inaptly regarded as 
a microcosm of India, in which the capacity of Indians 
for self-government in a wider sense than any merely 
political experiment connotes is being subjected to the 



256 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

closest and most severe test, it assuredly holds forth high 
promise for the future. 

Yet at the very time when the future of Indian 
industries seemed to be at last almost assured, and largely 
thanks to Indian enterprise, it was gravely compromised 
by the miserable breakdown of the most important of all 
the services on which the very life of industry depends. 
The Indian railways proved altogether incapable of meet- 
ing the new demands made upon them. Even in the 
essential matter of coal supplies, though the output of 
the Indian coal mines suffices for present requirements, 
huge dumps of coal accumulated round the mines and 
could not be moved owing to the lack of rolling-stock 
and to the general inadequacy of the existing railway 
system. The breakdown may have been due in the first 
place to the rapid deterioration of rolling - stock and 
permanent way that could not be made good during the 
war, and has not been made good yet, but the real causes 
must be traced much farther back to the parsimonious 
and short-sighted railway policy of the Government of 
India for years past. Apart from the economic conse- 
quences, it is particularly unfortunate, even from the 
political point of view, that such a revelation of inefficiency 
should have occurred in a field which has been hitherto 
most jealously preserved for British enterprise, and just in 
the very sphere of Western activity which has appealed 
most strongly to Indians of all classes. 

Of all the Western inventions which we have brought 
to India, the railway is certainly the most popular, 
perhaps because the modern love of travel has developed 
largely out of the ancient practice, still continued, of 
pilgrimages en masse to popular shrines, near and far. 
During the great days when the worship of Juganath 
reaches its climax and half a million pilgrims pour into 
Puri from all parts of India, the terminus of the branch- 
line from the Calcutta-Madras railway is busier than 
Epsom Downs station on Derby Day. A big Indian 
railway station the Howrah terminus in Calcutta, the 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 257 

Victoria Terminus in Bombay, the Central Station in 
Delhi is in itself at all times a microcosm of India. 
It is never empty, never silent by day or by night. It 
is always alive, always crowded, always full of Indian 
sounds and smells. It is a camping ground not only 
for those who are actually going to travel but also 
for those who merely come to give their friends a send- 
off or to greet them on arrival. No Indian of any 
position can be allowed to depart or to arrive without 
a party of friends to garland him with flowers, generally 
the crude yellow " temple " marigolds. The ordinary 
Indian to whom time is of little value cares nothing for 
time-tables. He goes to the station when he feels moved 
to do so, and waits there patiently for the next train that 
will take him to his destination or bring the friends he 
wants to meet. He does not in the least mind waiting 
for two, three, or four hours sometimes in more remote 
parts of the country for the best part of twelve or even 
of twenty-four hours. Only the Europeans and a few 
Western - educated Indians who have learnt business 
habits ever think of " catching " a train. So the Indian 
railway station has a constant and generally dense 
floating population that squat in the day-time in separate 
groups, men, women, and children together, according to 
their caste, hugging the slender bundles which constitute 
their luggage, chattering and arguing, shouting and 
quarrelling, as their mood may be, but on the whole 
wonderfully good-humoured and patient. At night they 
stretch themselves out full length on the ground, drawing 
their scanty garments well over their heads and leaving 
their legs and feet exposed, or, if the air is chilly and they 
possess a blanket, rolling themselves up in it tightly like 
so many shrouded corpses in long and serried rows, till 
the shriek of an incoming train arouses them. Then, 
whether it be their train or not, there is a din of yelling 
voices, a frenzied rush up and down the platform, and, 
even before those who want to get out have had time 
to alight, a headlong scramble for places as often as not 

s 



258 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

in the wrong carriages and always apparently in those 
that are already crammed full, as the Indian is essentially 
gregarious and out again with fearful shouts and shrill 
cries if a bundle has gone astray, or an agitated mother 
has mislaid her child, or a traveller discovers at the last 
moment that it is not after all the train he wants. In 
nine cases out of ten there is really no need for such 
frantic hurry. Even express trains take their time about 
it whenever they do stop, and ordinary trains have a 
reputation for slowness and unpunctuality to which they 
seldom fail to live up. But, as if to make up for the 
long hours of patient waiting, the struggling and the 
shouting go on crescendo till the train is at last under 
way again. For, besides the actual passengers coming 
and going, the platforms are alive with hawkers of all 
sorts who minister to their clamorous needs sellers of 
newspapers and of cigarettes and of the betel-nut which 
dyes the chewer's mouth red, of sweetmeats and refresh- 
ments suited to the different castes and creeds, Mahomedan 
water-carriers from whom alone their co-religionists will 
take water to fill their drinking-vessels, and Brahman 
water-carriers who can in like manner alone pour out 
water for Hindus of all castes. And all have their own 
peculiar cries, discordant but insistent. 

Who that has passed at night through one of the great 
junctions on the Upper Indian railways, say Saharampur 
or Umballa or Delhi, can ever forget such sounds and 
sights of pandemonium ? Or who would care to miss 
during the daylight hours the open window on to the 
kaleidoscopic scenes of Indian life at every halt ? Here 
a turbaned Rajput chief with his whiskers fiercely twirled 
back under his ears descends from the train to be greeted 
and garlanded by a throng of expectant retainers who 
look as if they had stepped straight out of an old Moghul 
picture. Or a fat and prosperous Mahomedan zemindar 
in a gold-embroidered velvet coat and patent-leather 
boots struts along the platform convoying his fluttering 
household of heavily veiled ladies, all a-twitter with 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 259 

excitement, to the purdah carriage specially reserved for 
them. Or a band of mendicant ascetics, their almost 
naked bodies smeared all over with fresh ashes and the 
trident of Shiva painted on their foreheads, return with 
well-filled begging-bowls from some favourite shrine. Or 
an excited crowd, all wearing the little white Gandhi 
cap, rend the air with shouts of Mdhatma Gandhi-ki jai ! in 
honour of some travelling apostle of " Non-co-operation." 
And all over India the swarm of humbler travellers, 
who lend their own note of varied colour even to the 
smallest way-side stations, seems to increase every year, 
whether one crosses the vast drab plains of Upper India 
or climbs the steep face of the Western Ghats on to the 
sun-scorched plateau of the Deccan, or is unmercifully 
jolted through the gentler and more verdant landscapes 
of Southern India. 

One change, however, since pre-war days none can fail 
to mark. Travelling is far less comfortable. Trains are 
fewer and far more crowded. The rolling-stock is war- 
worn and dilapidated, for it could not be renewed during 
the war, as, although a great deal of railway material 
can be produced in Indian workshops, some absolutely 
essential parts have always been imported from England 
as many Indians believe for the purpose of subordinat- 
ing Indian railways to the industrial interests of Great 
Britain. Even the permanent way has deteriorated. But 
the mere discomfort inflicted upon travellers is a small 
matter, and it is chiefly on grounds of racial feeling that 
Indians are beginning to cry out against the many out- 
ward and visible forms of discrimination in favour of 
European travellers. What the most moderate and 
thoughtful Indians are concerned about is the futility 
of talking of the development of Indian industries and 
the starting of new ones when railroads and rolling-stock 
can no longer handle even the existing traffic or move 
the essential raw materials. The problem brought to the 
front by the grave crisis through which the Indian railway 
system is now passing is neither new nor accidental. It is 



260 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

the outcome of antiquated methods of railway administra- 
tion and finance, of which it was possible to disguise the 
defects so long as they were not subjected to any searching 
strain. The war provided that strain, and the system 
showed, it must be admitted, wonderful endurance under 
it so long as the war lasted. But since the end of the 
war it has betrayed such grave symptoms of imminent 
collapse that Government have been compelled to ap- 
point an independent Committee of Inquiry, with a fair 
proportion of Indian members on it, which with a man 
like Sir William Acworth as Chairman will, it may be 
hoped, not be content merely to pass judgment upon it, 
but will be able also to point to a better way in the 
future. The evidence produced before the Committee 
furnishes ample material for a scathing indictment of the 
system. 

There are altogether only some 35,000 miles of railroad 
in India to-day, or about as much as before the war in 
European Russia, the most backward of all European 
countries, whose population was little more than a third 
of that of India. The Government of India may claim 
that this is a magnificent return for the 380,000,000 of 
capital expenditure that these railways represent to- 
day in its books, and that the profits which they have 
yielded for the last twenty years with steadily increasing 
abundance to the State show the money to have been 
well invested. But how if these results have been 
achieved only by a short - sighted and narrow - minded 
policy which sacrificed the future to the present ? 

Of the Indian railways some are owned and worked 
by the State, some are owned by the State and worked 
by companies, some are owned and worked by companies 
under contracts with the State. The companies that own 
and work their own lines are for the most part domiciled 
in England, and the evidence already taken before the 
Committee shows how little power is left by the London 
Boards to the local agents who manage them, and how 
often the interests of the public and of the country 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 261 

appear to be subordinated to the narrow view taken 
at home of the companies' own interests. But however 
flagrant the special shortcomings of the company-owned 
railways may be, the root of the evil common to all lies 
in the policy laid down by and for the Government of 
India, in whom the supreme control has always been 
vested as a professedly necessary consequence of the 
financial guarantees given by the State and the right of 
ultimate purchase reserved to it. That control, which 
has passed through many different incarnations in the 
course of the last half-century, has been exercised since 
1905 by a Railway Board of three members outside of, 
but subordinate to, the Government of India. It is 
represented in the Viceroy's Executive Council by the 
Member for Commerce and Industry, but its real master 
and the ultimate authority in all matters of railway 
policy is and always has been the Finance Member of the 
Government of India, who in turn has to adapt himself 
to the exigencies of Whitehall. The Finance Member, 
who lays down the annual amount that can be allocated 
to railway expenditure out of revenue, cuts the cloth of 
the Railway Board in accordance not so much with the 
needs of the railways themselves as with the requirements 
of his annual budget. For when the yield of the Indian 
railways began to constitute an important source of 
Government revenue, the Finance Member, instead of 
devoting it to the equipment and expansion of railways, 
however essential to the future prosperity of the country, 
was easily prevailed upon to regard it, in part at least, 
as a convenient lucky-bag to draw upon, especially in 
difficult times, for meeting the demands of other depart- 
ments, and especially of the Army Department, always 
the most insatiable of all. In the same way, however 
clear a case could be made out from the point of view 
of the railways for capital expenditure to be met by 
raising loans at home or in India, the decision was not 
based so much on the intrinsic merits of such an operation 
as on the immediate effect it was likely to have on the 



262 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

British or Indian money market in respect of other 
financial operations with which the Secretary of State 
was saddled. The result has been that before the war 
the Indian railways were kept on the shortest possible 
commons, and that having been inevitably starved during 
the war, without any reserves to fall back upon, they 
are clamouring to-day for financial assistance for the 
mere upkeep of open lines and the renewal of rolling-stock, 
without which they are threatened with complete paralysis, 
whilst the Government of India, confronted on the one 
hand with the categorical imperative of the Esher Com- 
mittee and the fantastic extravagance of the Army 
Department since the Afghan war, and on the other with 
the appalling losses already incurred in consequence of 
Whitehall's currency and exchange policy, has never 
been in a worse position to give such assistance. 

The keen searchlight of the war has been turned 
effectively on many weak points in the government and 
administration of India besides railway policy, and the 
Indian currency and exchange policy stands out now 
as one of the most disturbing factors in the economic 
situation. 

India played her part in the war, and played it well, 
but she was never called upon to bear any crushing 
share in its financial burdens. The Indian Legislature 
unanimously and spontaneously granted 100,000,000 in 
1917 towards Imperial war expenditure, and another 
140,000,000 of Indian money went into the two Indian 
war loans and issues of Treasury notes. But the increase 
in India's actual military expenditure during the war was 
small, as the Imperial Exchequer continued to bear all 
the extra cost of the Indian forces employed outside 
India, and the last Indian war budget, 1918-19, showed 
an excess of only about 23,000,000 over the last pre-war 
budget, 1913-14 an increase easily met by relatively 
small additional taxation. Moreover, the Indian export 
trade, after a temporary set-back on the first outbreak 
of hostilities, received a tremendous impetus from the 



XIH ECONOMIC FACTORS 263 

pressing demand for Indian produce at rapidly increasing 
prices, and the lucrative development of many new as 
well as old industries and of natural resources too long 
neglected. The balance of trade which before the war 
had generally been slightly against India then shifted 
rapidly, and the scale turned heavily in her favour till 
the end of the war. The total value of the supplies of all 
sorts, foodstuffs, raw materials, and manufactured pro- 
ducts, sent out from India to other parts of the British 
Empire and to Allied countries has been estimated at 
some 250,000,000. 

For India as a whole the war years were fat years, 
though the wealth poured into the country was, as usual, 
very unevenly distributed, and some sections of the 
population were very hard hit by the tremendous rise 
in the cost of living. Lean years were bound to come 
in India as elsewhere when the war was over. But the 
reaction would hardly have led to such a serious crisis 
had it not been for complications which have arisen out 
of the peculiarities of a unique exchange and currency 
system. This system presumes a gold standard, but it 
is in reality a gold exchange system by which, in the 
absence of an Indian gold currency, the exchange as 
between the Indian silver rupee and the British gold 
sovereign has to be kept at the gold point of the legally 
established rate of the rupee to the sovereign by delicately 
balanced operations directed from Whitehall. These 
consist in the sale of " Council bills " at gold point by 
the Secretary of State for India when the balance of 
trade is in favour of India, and in the sale of " Reverse 
Councils " at gold point by the Government of India 
when the balance of trade is against India. 

The system worked fairly well until the second year 
of the war, when the balance of trade turned in favour 
of India and soon assumed unprecedented proportions. 
The enormous Indian exports could not be paid for in 
goods, as the Allied countries had neither goods nor 
freight available for maintaining their own export trade. 



264 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Nor could they be paid for in bullion, as gold and silver 
were taken under rigid control. Nor could internal 
borrowings in India (though the success of the Indian 
war loans was a phenomenon hitherto undreamt of) 
suffice to finance the expenditure incurred in India on 
behalf of the Imperial Government. The Government of 
India made very large purchases of silver, which combined 
with the stimulated world-demand to drive the price of 
the white metal up to inordinate levels, and to keep 
pace with this rise and avoid an intolerable loss on the 
coming of rupees the rate of exchange i.e. the rate at 
which the Secretary of State sells " Council bills " in 
London was raised until it actually reached 2s. 5d. for 
the rupee. To meet the balance of Imperial expenditure 
in India the Government of India issued currency notes 
against London Treasury bills. 

The result of these operations was that at the end of 
the war the funds standing to the credit of the Govern- 
ment of India in London had been swollen to the 
unprecedented figure of 106,000,000, a large proportion 
of which had to be paid back to India when, with the 
cessation of the abnormal conditions induced by the war, 
the balance of trade turned against her, and the rate 
of exchange had been raised from the legal standard of 
sixteenpence to the rupee to 2s. 5d. The very important 
question then arose of the future legal ratio of the rupee 
to the sovereign or the 1 sterling. A Committee was 
appointed to advise the Secretary of State as to the best 
means of securing fixity of exchange under the new con- 
ditions ; it took evidence in London during the year 1919 
and reported towards the end of the year. A majority 
of the Committee recommended that the rupee should be 
linked with the gold sovereign and not with the 1 sterling, 
which had become divorced from gold under the pressure 
of war finance, and that the legally established ratio of 
Is. 4d. or fifteen rupees to the sovereign should be raised 
to 2s., i.e. ten rupees to the sovereign. The Secretary 
of State accepted the recommendations of the majority 



xm ECONOMIC FACTORS 265 

of the Committee, and in February 1920 steps were taken 
to establish the new ratio regardless of the fact that signs 
were indubitably discerned in the previous month showing 
that the economic current had turned against India. The 
rupee was to be " stabilised " at 2s. gold. The only 
dissentient voice in the Currency Committee had been 
that of the one Indian member, a Bombay bullion broker, 
Mr. D. Merwanji Dalai, who probably had more practical 
knowledge and experience of the problem than all the 
ten signatories of the Majority Report, and he had 
pleaded in vain for the retention of the old ratio of fifteen 
rupees to the sovereign. The event was soon to 
demonstrate his sagacity. The Secretary of State in 
order to establish the new ratio sold " Reverse Councils " 
at rates from 2s. lid. downwards. The attempt failed 
egregiously, for the rupee fell steadily, and has now 
fallen to and under Is. 4d. The money represented by 
the Indian balances with the Secretary of State had been 
put down in London at Is. 4d. upwards, and India had 
to pay at the rate of 2s. lid. downwards to get it back. 
The difference between the two rates represents, it is 
calculated, a loss to the Indian taxpayer of thirty-five 
crores of rupees, or 35,000,000 at the " stabilised " rate 
ordained by Government. 

But the actual loss to India on these exchange 
transactions is not the worst outcome of these conjuring 
tricks, as they have been contemptuously called by Indian 
critics of Whitehall. Faith both in the omnipotence and 
in the honesty of Government was by no means extinct 
in Indian business circles, and when Government under- 
took to " stabilise " the rupee at 2s. gold Indian merchants 
assumed that Government could and would do what it 
said it was going to do. Their stocks of imported goods 
had been completely depleted during the war, and pros- 
perity had bred, as usual, a spirit of excessive optimism. 
Enormous orders for cotton piece-goods and other British 
manufactures were placed in England on the basis of 
a 2s. rupee just when prices there had soared to their 



266 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

dizziest heights. By the time the British manufacturers 
had fulfilled their contracts and the goods were delivered 
in India, not only had the rupee fallen headlong but prices 
too had declined, and the Indian importer found that he 
had made both ways a terribly bad bargain, of which in 
many cases he could not possibly fulfil his share. There 
was 15,000,000 worth of Manchester piece-goods alone 
lying in India at one time last winter on board the ships 
that brought them out or in the docks. Of these the 
Indian importer simply refused to take delivery, because 
to do so would have meant ruin, as, what with the 
depreciation of the rupee and the fall in market prices, 
they seldom represented one-half, sometimes not a quarter, 
of the cost to him, if he took them up. It was useless to 
preach to him about the sanctity of contract, for had not 
Government itself, he declared, set the example of a 
gross breach of contract by undertaking and then failing 
to " stabilise " its own rupee currency ? Government 
pleaded that it had given no undertaking that could be 
construed as a contract, but the Indian retorted that the 
Government's word had been hitherto held as good as 
its bond, and Indian Extremists found only too ready 
hearers when they imputed the exchange policy of White- 
hall not so much to mere incompetence as to unholy 
influences behind Whitehall which robbed India in order 
to fill British pockets. 

A wiser spirit ultimately prevailed, and merchants and 
buyers came together and agreed to compromise, and 
large stocks were gradually cleared. If this year's 
monsoon is followed by good harvests, and the European 
markets recover something of their former activity, 
Indian trade will be gradually restored to more normal 
conditions. But the ordeal which it has passed through 
will have taught some enduring lessons. 

Remembering, too, the large profits which London 
firms used to make on silver purchases for the Govern- 
ment of India, and the enormous Indian balances kept in 
London in pre-war times which were supposed to be 



xiii ECONOMIC FACTORS 267 

essential to the maintenance of Indian credit but were 
still more clearly of great convenience for London bankers 
who had the use of them, Indians who are by no means 
Extremists ask themselves not unreasonably why, instead 
of leaving the ordinary laws of supply and demand to 
work through the ordinary channels of financial and 
commercial enterprise, the Secretary of State should 
persist in carrying on big financial operations connected 
with the adjustment of the balance of trade or any 
purpose other than his official requirements in regard 
to what are known as " home charges," i.e. payments to be 
made in England on account of the Government of India. 
That the effects of the present system as it has worked 
recently have been deplorable from a political as well as 
from an economic point of view is shown by the large 
number of recruits made by Mr. Gandhi from what 
one might have regarded as the most unlikely classes. 
Indian merchants whose interests would seem to be bound 
up with the maintenance of order and public tranquillity, 
Bombay Banias and Calcutta Marwaris, have thrown 
themselves into the " Non-co-operation " movement out of 
sheer bitterness and loss of confidence in British good faith, 
boycotting British imported goods and supplying a large 
part of the funds without which even a Mahatma cannot 
carry on a prolonged political agitation. 



CHAPTER XIV 

SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 

UNLESS the economic situation improves again with a 
rapidity beyond even sanguine expectations, Government 
will have to lay before the Indian Legislature next winter 
a budget scarcely less unpleasant than the last one. 
Even if expenditure does not outrun the estimates, revenue 
can hardly fail to fall short of them. Mr. Hailey, with 
perhaps forced optimism, seems to have reckoned upon 
taxation old and new continuing to yield at much the 
same rate during a year which began and is likely to 
end in great depression as during the preceding year, 
a great part of which had been a " boom " year. In 
the same way he budgeted on a Is. 8d. rupee, though the 
rate of exchange for the rupee was then under, and has 
only quite recently * risen above, Is. 4d. This means 
an inevitable and considerable loss to the Government of 
India on all the home charges which it has to remit to 
London. Another deficit to be met by another increase 
of taxation would be a strain upon the Assembly far more 
trying than that to which this year's Budget subjected 
it. Indian opinion will press for further steps towards 
complete fiscal autonomy. Scarcely a single Indian is a 
convinced free trader. In the old Indian National Con- 
gress the desire not to estrange the sympathies of the 
Liberal party in England, and the lack of interest then 
taken by Indian politicians in economic questions, kept 
the issue somewhat in the background until the Extremists 

1 August 1921. 
268 



CHAP, xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 269 

raised it in the form of Swadeshi and in an attempt to 
organise a boycott of British imported goods. The 
immense development of Indian industries during the 
war has made protection once more a very live issue, 
for if that development is arrested or languishes as the 
result of the general economic situation, the louder will 
be the demand for protection. Even the outcry at first 
raised last winter in Lancashire against the increase of 
the Indian import duties as an intolerable blow to British 
textile industries, though at once firmly checked by the 
Secretary of State, provoked enough irritation in India to 
show how deeply engrained is the suspicion that, from the 
days of the East India Company onward, the industrial and 
commercial interests of India have always been deliber- 
ately or instinctively sacrificed to those of Great Britain. 
Indians regard complete fiscal autonomy as one of the 
first steps towards the fulfilment of the pledge of self- 
government, and indeed as the logical consequence of 
the recommendation already made by the Joint Select 
Committee of both Houses of Parliament. To believe 
that in such matters the Government of India would 
now place itself in opposition to the views of the Indian 
Legislature is to ignore the whole spirit of the constitu- 
tional changes. 

To the economic factors that react unfavourably 
upon a difficult political situation must be added the 
growth of labour troubles, which Extremist agitators 
know how to exploit to the utmost even when they do 
not actually foment them. Strikes are as common to-day 
in India as they are in England, and the epidemic has 
sometimes spread from industrial workers to those 
employed by municipalities and by the State. There 
have been strikes not only in the big cotton mills and jute 
mills and other large manufacturing industries, but also 
amongst postmen, and amongst railwaymen on State as 
well as on private-owned lines, amongst tramcar drivers 
and conductors, and even amongst city scavengers. 
Lightning strikes without any notice are of growing 



270 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

frequency. Some are short-lived, others very obstinate, 
dragging on for weeks and months. Some are grotesquely 
frivolous, others by no means lack justification or excuse. 
Intimidation often not unaccompanied by violent assaults 
on non-strikers is an ugly feature common to most of 
them. They sometimes lead to very serious riots and 
bloodshed. They have played a prominent part in the 
worst disorders of the last few years. Nowhere have they 
assumed at times a more threatening shape than in the 
Bombay Presidency, for in the cotton mills of Bombay 
itself and of the Ahmedabad district, which employ over 
200,000 hands, are collected the largest agglomerations of 
factory workers in India. 

Labour troubles were bound to come with the introduc- 
tion of Western methods of industrial development and 
Western machinery. It has led, and very rapidly, to a 
demand for labour which the urban population could not 
supply. But the wages soon attracted immigrants from 
the more or less distant countryside, where at certain 
seasons of the year there is little work to be done on the 
land. It became the custom for an increasingly large 
number of rural districts to send their men into the 
towns, where they worked for a few months. Then they 
went away after they had put by a little money and came 
back again when they had exhausted their hoard. These 
migrations became more and more regular and on a 
larger scale as the demand for labour increased, and they 
constitute to-day the feature which radically differentiates 
the problem of Indian labour from that of British labour. 
There has not yet grown up in India an industrial popula- 
tion permanently rooted in the towns. It is still largely 
migratory, returning from time to time for more or less 
lengthy periods to field-work in the villages, which remain 
the real home. The Indian factory operative has not 
yet ceased to be a man of the country rather than of the 
town. Hence perhaps the conditions under which he is 
sometimes content to live whilst he is working in a town 
in Bombay, for instance, for the most part in huge 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 271 

overcrowded blocks, known as chawls, ill lighted, ill 
ventilated, in a foul atmosphere and unspeakable dirt 
may seem to him less intolerable as he can look forward 
to exchanging them again some day for the light and air 
which surround even the most squalid village hovels. 
If there were reason to believe that improved housing 
conditions such as are now assured to Bombay by the 
huge city improvement schemes which, under Sir George 
Lloyd's energetic impulse, are expanding the limits and 
transforming almost beyond recognition the appearance 
of the most congested quarters of the most congested 
of modern Indian cities, or even that increased wages 
would substantially affect the temper of Indian labour, 
one might look forward to the future in this respect 
with less apprehension. But in Bombay labour troubles 
have been scarcely less rife in the best- than in the worst- 
conducted mills. In Calcutta the British jute-mill owners 
have set a splendid example to Indian employers of labour, 
and the mill-hands, now largely imported from other pro- 
vinces, not only work under the best possible conditions of 
light and air, but are housed in spacious quarters specially 
built for them, well ventilated and scientifically drained, 
with playing-fields and elementary schools for the swarms 
of children who certainly look healthy and well-fed and 
happy. The Birmingham mills in Madras are recognised 
to be, from the same point of view, second to none in 
the world. But the most humane and generous employers 
whether European or Indian are as liable as the most 
grasping and callous to see then* workers suddenly carried 
away by a great wave of unreasoning discontent and passion. 
The greater the general unrest amongst these excitable 
and terribly ignorant masses, the more urgent is the need 
for the establishment of some effective means of determin- 
ing the social and economic justice of the claims of labour, 
as well as for the adjustment of actual conflicts by bring- 
ing employers and employed together in a friendly atmo- 
sphere. A real organisation of labour in its own sphere 
of interests and the constitution of responsible trades 



272 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

unions would probably go far to prevent labour from 
turning for encouragement and support to agitators who 
have never been workers themselves, who have no personal 
knowledge of its processes or of its needs, and who exploit 
its discontent, reasonable or unreasonable, for purposes 
as disastrous, if fulfilled, to its permanent interests as to 
those of the employers and of the whole community. A 
Congress which called itself the first " All-India Trades 
Union Congress " met this year in Bombay. The present 
organisation of labour in India can hardly be said to 
justify the title it assumed, and in answer to a deputation 
which waited on the Governor, Sir George Lloyd expressed 
a legitimate desire for more information than was con- 
tained in its high-flown address as to the status of these 
unions, their method of formation, their constitution, 
their system of ballot and election, and the actual 
experience in the several trades of those who claimed to 
represent them. That information was not and could 
not be furnished, because the ninety-two Trades Unions 
alleged to have been represented are at present little 
more than embryonic. Their spokesmen have not risen 
to the leadership of labour out of its own ranks by 
superior industry and knowledge. Their organisation has 
not been a spontaneous growth from within, but artificially 
promoted from without. The vast majority of unskilled 
workers are illiterate, and even amongst ordinary skilled 
labour the level of education is still extremely low. The 
actual workers are therefore quite unable to organise, 
or even to think out the simplest labour problems for 
themselves, and they easily become the dupes and tools of 
outsiders frequently lawyers or professional politicians 
who are not always disinterested sympathisers, but 
more often stimulate and exploit grievances which may 
in themselves be legitimate for purposes which have little 
to do with the real interests of labour. 

The economic causes of the growing frequency of 
strikes during recent years have not yet been all explored, 
and Sir George Lloyd responded to a crying need when, 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 273 

in his reply to the deputation, he announced that the 
Bombay Government was about to establish a Labour 
Bureau under a competent official from the British 
Board of Trade to advise it in the interests of labour. 
One of the greatest difficulties in dealing with industrial 
disputes in India is, the Governor rightly observed, the 
absence of all trustworthy materials for forming an 
accurate judgment on the actual cost of living for the 
working man, and the ever fluctuating relations between 
the wages he receives and the expenditure he has to incur 
even for the mere necessaries of life. 

With a two- and three-fold appreciation, during and 
especially since the war, in the cost both of the cotton 
stuffs which the working man needs even for his scanty 
apparel and of the foodstuffs which constitute his meagre 
fare, discontent grew steadily more acute, and wages, 
though more than once enhanced, did not always keep 
pace with that appreciation. If in circumstances, often 
of undoubted hardship, labour had been sufficiently 
equipped to state its own case, or had found disinterested 
friends to state it clearly and temperately, it would have 
been easier to admit that economic causes sufficed, in 
some cases at least, to explain, and perhaps even to justify, 
the increasing use of the strike weapon. But there is 
unhappily very abundant evidence to show that strikes 
would not have been so frequent, so precipitate, and so 
tumultuous, had not political agitation at least contributed 
to foment them as part of a scheme for promoting a general 
upheaval. The Extremists, who, with few exceptions, 
have no part or lot in labour, either as employers or as 
workers, began to carry on in Mr. Tilak's days amongst 
the mill-hands of Bombay an active propaganda which 
originally had little to do with labour. The mill-hands 
played an evil part in the worst excesses committed 
during the outbreak in and around Ahmedabad in April 
1919, and twice within the last two years they have 
seriously threatened the peace of Bombay itself and held 
up for weeks together the normal life of the great city, 



274 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

necessitating the employment of large military forces 
to overawe them, and to avert through the exercise of 
disciplined forbearance collisions with which the police 
alone would have been unable to cope, and which, when 
once started, could probably have been quelled only at 
the cost of considerable bloodshed. Mr. Gandhi has a 
great personal hold over the factory workers, especially 
in Western India. Sometimes he uses it to restrain them, 
sometimes, though one may hope less deliberately, he 
works dangerously on their emotions. His influence 
when he preaches temperance to them on temperate lines 
may be all to the good, and except that, when he 
denounces tea also, because it is tainted with Western 
capitalism, he is waging war against a popular substitute 
for spirits, one need not quarrel with the solemn proces- 
sions of mill-hands proceeding to a favourite shrine to 
break a symbolical teapot in the presence of the deity 
as a pledge of renunciation. But not all Mr. Gandhi's 
followers can be credited with his earnest sympathies for 
labour, largely inspired by his detestation of a " machine 
age," and he himself lapses into language that seems 
to preach more rigid abstention from drink than from 
violence. 

Factory legislation has never been neglected in India, 
though until recently the chief impulse has had to proceed 
from Government itself. A great increase of public 
interest has taken place in the last years, and in India 
perhaps even more than anywhere else the activity in 
this respect of the League of Nations and of the Inter- 
national Labour Office has elicited prompt and vigorous 
response. The Secretary of State has created at the India 
Office a new department for dealing with labour and 
industry. India has had her own representation at inter- 
national labour conferences, and the Government of 
India is now engaged on a new Factory Act in accordance 
with the draft covenants and recommendations of the 
Washington Conference. Indeed in some directions the 
Bill is in advance of Washington. The statutory definition 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 275 

of a child presents special difficulties in India, where 
physical development is more precocious than in Western 
countries, but, instead of making the general limit of age 
for juvenile work lower, the Bill proposes to raise it not 
to fourteen but to fifteen years, whilst still permitting the 
employment of younger children on special and very 
stringent conditions. Provisions are also made for securing 
longer daily intervals during the working hours as well 
as a weekly holiday. Further legislation will be introduced 
for the benefit of industrial workers, more particularly as 
regards Trade Union rights and compensation for accidents. 
But however excellent such measures may be, only the 
spread of education and the better organisation with it 
of labour itself can be expected to give any real stability 
to large struggling masses invested by the new economic 
forces that have sprung so rapidly into existence with 
tremendous powers for mischief, but with no individual 
or collective sense of responsibility. 

But the most dangerous rocks ahead are the questions 
which directly or indirectly raise the racial issue. Even 
during the first session of the Indian Legislature it could 
be seen underlying the attitude of Indian members 
towards military expenditure, and military expenditure, 
not likely to diminish, will be a sore subject again when 
the next budget is introduced at Delhi. If one looks 
merely at the growth of such expenditure, the enormously 
increased cost of the British Army which, in respect of 
the British forces serving in India, falls upon the Indian 
exchequer, furnishes Indians with a specious plea for 
reducing the number of British troops as a measure of 
mere economy. But even if one could concede the 
Indian argument that, in a contented India marching 
towards self-government under the new constitution, 
there can no longer be the same necessity for large British 
garrisons to guarantee the safety of British rule, any 
considerable reduction of the proportion of British to 
Indian forces in India would disturb the foundations of 
our own military organisation in peace time, based for 



276 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

the last fifty years on a certain fixed proportion of British 
regulars serving at home and abroad. That an Indian 
territorial army would, on paper at least, be less costly 
is beyond dispute, and if ultimately officered entirely or 
almost entirely by Indians, it would meet the Indian 
demand for a military career for those of the educated 
classes who regard themselves now as shut out in practice 
from the profession of arms. That demand cannot be 
met merely by the granting of British commissions to a 
few Indian officers, which is already raising many diffi- 
cult regimental problems not easily grasped by Indians 
familiar only with the civil administration. The diffi- 
culties do not arise so much out of objections taken by 
the British officers, however repugnant still is to most 
of them the idea of ever having to take orders from an 
Indian superior officer, as out of the feelings, even if 
they be mere prejudices, of the existing class of native 
officers and of the rank and file who belong to the old 
and have no liking for the new India. Most of the 
politically minded Indians are beginning, too, to measure 
the demands made upon India for her military contribu- 
tion to the needs of the Empire by those that are made 
upon the self-governing Dominions. " We are quite 
willing," they say, " to bear our share of the military 
burdens of the Empire as equal partners in it, and" 
as some at any rate add "we recognise that in view 
of our geographical position, which lays us almost alone 
amongst the Dominions open to the dangers of invasion 
on our land frontiers, we require a larger army for our 
own defence. But even taking that into account, as well 
as our inability at present to make any contribution in 
kind to the naval defence of the Empire, can we be 
expected to submit to military expenditure absorbing 
almost half our revenues ? Can you point to a single 
Dominion that is asked to make an annual sacrifice 
comparable to that ? Are we not at least entitled to 
claim that the Indian taxpayer's money should not be 
spent merely on the maintenance of British garrisons 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 277 

that are here to-day and gone to-morrow, and of an 
Indian army that is so constituted as to lack all the 
essentials of a national army, but should go to the 
building up of an army really worthy to take its place on 
equal terms when India attains to self-government with 
the other armies of a commonwealth of free nations ?" 

The racial issue dominates in a far graver form the 
whole question of the status and treatment of Indians in 
the Dominions and Crown Colonies. For there it enters 
a much larger field which extends far beyond India. In 
India so far, in speaking of the racial issue, Indians and 
Europeans alike have hitherto had in mind chiefly the 
relations between the ruling and the subject race. When 
the rulers all belong to one race and come from a far 
distant country not to settle permanently but chiefly to 
maintain, each one in his own sphere and during his 
appointed time, the continuity of rulership over millions 
of subjects of another and very different race with a 
different civilisation, an additional element of discord is 
introduced into their relations. But since Great Britain 
achieved dominion over India the main issue between 
rulers and ruled has been how far on the one hand British 
rulers should devolve on to their Indian subjects a share 
in the government and administration of the country, and 
how far on the other hand their Indian subjects could 
hasten such devolution by various forms of pressure. 
Whatever part any purely racial antagonism may have 
played in the controversy, the British rulers of India have 
at least since 1833, and still more since the Queen's 
Proclamation in 1858, debarred themselves from basing 
on racial differences their refusal or reluctance to meet 
the growing aspirations of their Indian subjects. They 
have been content to plead the political immaturity of 
the Indian people and the lack of individual qualifica- 
tions amongst all but a few Indians, and even these dis- 
abilities they had deliberately undertaken and expressed 
their anxiety to remove by the introduction of Western 
education. Neither colour nor descent, it was specifically 



278 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

declared, were to constitute any barrier. It is quite 
otherwise with the question of the right of Indians to 
immigrate into other parts of the Empire, and of the 
measure of rights they are to enjoy as settlers there. It 
brings us face to face with the racial issue pure and simple 
and in its widest aspects. There is an open and declared 
conflict between the claims of the Dominions to exclude 
or to restrict the rights of Indian settlers on grounds of 
colour and descent for the avowed purpose of maintaining 
the paramount ascendancy of one race over another, and 
the claims put forward by Indians as British subjects to 
have access to all parts of the Empire and to possess the 
same rights as other British subjects already enjoy there. 
Some of the arguments employed to justify the attitude 
of the Dominions allege inferior social standards of 
Indian life, but behind them and quite undisguised is the 
supreme argument that Indians belong to a coloured race 
and, in consequence, have no interests or rights that can 
possibly prevail against those of a superior white race. 

The magnitude of the issue and the resentment 
which it has caused in India are, it is true, out of all 
proportion to the actual number of Indians who have 
immigrated into other parts of the Empire. The Indians 
are not a migratory people. Mostly engaged in agriculture, 
they cling, as peasants are apt to do all over the world, to 
their own bit of land and familiar surroundings. It is 
difficult even to induce them to move from one part of 
India to another, and, intensely conservative in their 
habits and outlook, with no horizon wider than their own 
village, they generally prefer, even under the stress of 
economic pressure, the ills they know of. But that does 
not affect the issue raised in the most acute and naked 
form in some of the States now forming the South African 
Union. To Mr. Gandhi's experiences and struggles in 
Natal and the Transvaal can be traced back, as I have 
already shown, a great deal of the bitterness which has 
now led him to denounce British rule as " Satanic." It is 
only about fifty years ago that Indians began to go across 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 279 

to South Africa, when the Government of Natal with the 
consent and assistance of the Government of India sought 
to engage Indians to work as indentured labourers on 
sugar and tea plantations. In 1911, the year of the last 
census, the number of Indians in the Union was about 
150,000, and, immigration having been since then checked 
and finally stopped, they cannot have increased by more 
than 10 per cent during the last decade. Of the total in 
1911, 133,000 were in Natal, 11,000 in the Transvaal, 
and 7000 in the Cape, with barely 100 in the Orange 
Free State. The proportion of Indians to the total 
European population of the Union, which was then about 
1,400,000, was therefore only just over one to ten. But 
they had not remained merely indentured labourers as 
at the beginning. When their labour contracts expired 
many settled in the country, acquiring small plots of 
land as their own or becoming petty traders, artisans, 
etc., and, being frugal and hard-working and of a higher 
type than the Kaffir and other natives, they throve as a 
whole. The white population, who had found them at 
first very useful, began to see in them either dangerous 
competitors or an undesirable element calculated to 
complicate the social problems in a country in which the 
European formed anyhow but a small minority face to 
face with 6,000,000 natives. Both the old Boer Govern- 
ment in the Transvaal and the Colonial Government of 
Natal set to work to curtail by legislative enactments 
and local regulations the rights which Indians had been 
at first allowed to enjoy, and to assimilate their treatment 
to that of the lowest and most backward natives. The 
Indians were systematically subjected to the disabilities 
and indignities against which Mr. Gandhi for the first 
time led them to organise a violent agitation and finally 
to offer passive resistance. 

The agreement arrived at between General Smuts and 
Mr. Gandhi in 1914 was in the nature of a compromise 
which gave the Indians some relief without conceding 
the principle of equal rights, and it only brought the long 



280 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

struggle to a temporary close. The old sore was reopened 
with the Asiatics' Trading and Land Act of 1919, which, 
the Indians contend, wantonly violated both the terms 
and the spirit of the 1914 settlement and which Europeans 
have declared to be " necessary in the interests of a 
white population." The chief grievances of the Indians 
are the denial of representation and franchise (except in 
Cape Colony), their segregation within appointed areas, 
and the curtailment of their " inherent right to trade." 
Some Europeans would fain deny that colour prejudice 
affects their view of the problem, which they regard as 
essentially eugenic and economic. As far as the mixture 
of races is concerned the European's objections to it 
should be readily understood by the Indians, whose own 
caste laws are as rigidly directed as any in the world 
against the drawbacks of miscegenation. The European, 
however, has legislated not to prevent mixed marriages 
but to arrest the general depression of the standards of 
life low wages, a lower standard of skill in skilled trades, 
and low housing conditions which, he alleges, have 
resulted from the unrestricted influx of a large coloured 
population into the towns and he uses the term 
" coloured " to include the Indians. With regard to the 
restrictions of trade licences he deduces the necessity for 
them from the economic effects of unrestricted competition 
which has led, he declares, to the bankruptcy of European 
firms, to their displacement in the same premises by 
Indians, and to the depreciation of European property. 
But, the Indian replies, if Indians have thriven in South 
Afripa in the past it is because they work harder and live 
more frugally, and if they flourish more especially as 
traders it is because Europeans, finding it to their interest 
to trade with them, have been their best customers. 
Apart from the material ruin which South African legisla- 
tion has brought upon many Indians, what they most 
deeply resent is unquestionably its specifically racial 
character. They may suffer fewer personal disabilities 
as to travelling on railways and in tram-cars and walking 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 281 

on street pavements than they did a few years ago, when 
very special precautions had to be taken to prevent such 
a distinguished Indian as Mr. Gokhale being exposed to 
them during his visit to South Africa. But they still 
suffer, they complain, under the supreme indignity of 
racial discrimination with which South African legislation 
is openly stamped. Repatriation could only take place 
slowly even if the cost of compensation, which no fair- 
minded European could then reasonably deny, were 
not in itself an almost insurmountable obstacle. From 
the merely practical point of view the question therefore 
is now reduced to the discovery of a modus vivendi for 
the Indian community now in South Africa, and it would 
be very near a solution if legislation to secure the economic 
and eugenic standards on which the Afrikander lays so 
much stress were so framed as to apply to the whole 
population, even should it in practice bear more heavily 
on the Indian than on the European, if the former less 
frequently rose to the required standards. A similar 
solution would remove the sense of grievance arising out 
of the denial of the franchise in Natal and the Transvaal, 
of which the injustice seems to Indians to be merely 
heightened by the fact that it has been given to them 
in Cape Colony, where they form a much smaller minority. 
But there is no sign that the temper of the South African 
Union, in which British and Dutch are united on no 
issue more firmly than on this one, will abate its claim 
to treat the Indians within its borders as an inferior race 
that has no rights to be weighed against the interests, 
real or assumed, of the superior white race. 

The Government of India has never questioned the 
reality of Indian grievances in South Africa. In 1903, 
shortly after the Boer war, Lord Curzon strongly urged 
the British Government to enforce their redress in the 
Transvaal whilst it was still governed as a Crown Colony. 
At the end of 1913, when the struggle was most acute, 
Lord Hardinge expressed his sympathy with a frankness 
and warmth which fluttered Ministerial dovecots both 



282 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

at home and in the Union. Since then Indian troops 
have fought during the war side by side with South 
African troops, and the representatives of India have sat 
in the War and Peace Councils of the Empire side by side 
with Ministers of the South African Union. So long as 
South African legislation bears the impress of racial 
discrimination the Government of India is bound to 
maintain its opposition to it, and the more fully it voices 
Indian opinion under the new constitution, the more 
emphatic its opposition must be. 

In other Dominions the Indian question is much less 
acute, as there has never been anything like the same 
amount of Indian immigration, and it is now practically 
stopped. But it must be remembered that it was the 
return to India of a large number of Sikhs who were refused 
permission to land in British Columbia that was the signal 
for grave disorders in the Punjab in the second year of the 
war. And not so long ago the Aga Khan, as well known 
in London as in India, had to give up visiting Australia 
in view of the many humiliating formalities to which as 
an Asiatic he would have been subjected before being 
allowed to land there. It is surely not beyond the 
resources of statesmanship to devise at least a scheme by 
which Indians of good repute who wish to travel for 
purposes of business or study, or for the mere satisfaction 
of a legitimate curiosity to see other parts of the Empire, 
should be free to do so without any restraints on the 
score of race. The attitude of the other Dominions 
seems certainly to be at present far less uncompromising 
than that of the South African Union, and one may look 
forward with some confidence to an agreement by which 
the rights of Indians already settled in Australia, New 
Zealand, and Canada will obtain sufficient recognition to 
satisfy Indian self-respect. 

The Indian question is not, however, confined to the 
Dominions. It is unfortunately in some of the Crown 
Colonies that it has recently assumed an even more 
serious aspect than in South Africa, inasmuch as in 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 283 

the Crown Colonies the British Government is directly 
responsible for the treatment of Indians, whilst only 
indirectly in a Dominion, where the primary responsibility 
rests with the Dominion Government. The question of 
Indian indentured labour in Fiji, British Guiana, and some 
other smaller colonies is of lesser importance, though 
Indians have been deeply moved by stories of ill-treatment 
inflicted upon them by European planters, and indenture 
itself is held nowadays to connote a state almost of servi- 
tude incompatible with Indian national self-respect. There 
the Government of India has a remedy in its own hands. 
It can stop, and is stopping, the export of Indian labour to 
those colonies. Far graver is the situation that -has only 
recently been created for Indians in the Crown Colony of 
East Africa, known since the war as Kenia. Indians were 
settled in that part of Africa even before British authority 
was ever established there, and Mr. Churchill, now Secretary 
of State for the Colonies, himself admitted some years 
ago, after his travels in that part of the world, that 
without the Indians the country would never have reached 
its present stage of development and prosperity. Whilst 
if in the case of a self-governing Dominion the British 
Government can at least urge, as an excuse for its 
acquiescence in the disabilities imposed upon Indians, 
that it cannot override the constitutionally expressed 
will of the Dominion people, it can plead no such excuse 
where a Crown Colony is concerned over which its 
authority is absolute and final. This is indeed the point 
on which the Government of India laid stress last winter 
in a long and closely reasoned despatch elaborating the 
view already formally enunciated by the Viceroy that 
in a Crown Colony Indians have a constitutional right to 
equality of status with all other British subjects. That 
right has, it is contended, been violated in Kenia in 
regard more especially to the three major questions of 
franchise, segregation, and land ownership. At the very 
moment when, in India, elected assemblies have been 
created under a new constitution on the broadest possible 



284 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

franchise, the Legislative Council of Kenia, with a popula- 
tion of 35,000 Indians and only 11,000 Europeans, is so 
constituted that it has only two Indian members out 
of fourteen, whilst of the remaining twelve, eleven are 
European and one represents the very backward Arab 
community. Land ownership in the uplands has been 
reserved exclusively for Europeans on the plea that the 
climate of the lowlands to which the Indians are relegated 
is more suitable for them than for Europeans. Yet the 
climatic argument is itself disregarded when, even in 
the lowlands, racial segregation is enforced in areas 
reserved there too for Europeans alone. The representa- 
tions of the Government of India have commanded the 
attention they deserve, and the Colonial Office has sent 
out instructions to the Kenia authorities to suspend all 
segregation measures. The whole question will, one may 
hope, be reopened and settled on a new basis of justice 
for Indians. The British settlers will surely themselves 
recognise, on further consideration, that their interests 
cannot be allowed to override the far larger obligations 
of Great Britain to the people of India. 

The question of the treatment of Indians in the Crown 
Colonies is one that has to be settled between the British 
Government and the Government of India, and it could 
not therefore come before the Imperial Cabinet or Con- 
ference recently attended by the Prime Ministers of all 
the Dominions assembled in London. But in regard to that 
question in the Dominions, Mr. Srinivasa Sastri, one of 
India's representatives, laid down in their presence firmly 
and plainly the principle on which all Indians are at one : 

There is no conviction more strongly in our minds than this, 
that a full enjoyment of citizenship within the British Empire 
applies not only to the United Kingdom but to every self- 
governing Dominion within its compass. We have already 
agreed to a subtraction from the integrity of the rights by the 
compromise of 1918 to which my predecessor, Lord Sinha, 
was a party that each Dominion and each self-governing 
part of the Empire should be free to regulate the composition 
of its population by suitable immigration laws. On that 



xiv SHOALS AND ROCKS AHEAD 285 

compromise there is no intention whatever to go back, but 
we plead on behalf of those who are already fully domiciled in 
the various self-governing Dominions according to the laws 
under which those Dominions are governed to these peoples 
there is no reason whatever to deny the full rights of citizen- 
ship it is for them that we plead, where they are lawfully 
settled, that they must be admitted into the general body of 
citizenship, and no deduction must be made from the rights 
that other British subjects enjoy. 

In commending the matter to his audience for earnest 
consideration and satisfactory settlement, Mr. Srinivasa 
Sastri spoke with the added authority of his position as 
a member of the Indian Legislature and one of the ablest 
leaders of the Moderate party. " It is," he said, " of the 
most urgent and pressing importance that we should be 
able to carry back a message of hope and of good cheer." 
He will have to report to the Legislature on his mission 
when he returns to India, and no part of his report will be 
looked for with more anxiety or more closely scrutinised. 

Indians have already demonstrated their willingness 
to recognise accomplished facts and to accept in practice 
any reasonable settlement which does not strike fatally 
at the principle laid down by Mr. Srinivasa Sastri, not 
only on behalf of his fellow-countrymen, but in the name 
of the Government of India, which here again has acted 
as a national Indian Government. South Africa, it may 
be, will nevertheless persist in subordinating to a narrow 
conception of her own interests the higher interests of 
Imperial unity, which, if it ever ceased to include India, 
would assuredly be a much poorer thing. It is all the 
more essential that if India's faith in the Empire is not 
to be, perhaps irretrievably, shaken, South Africa should 
remain, in her refusal to honour the pledge of partnership 
given to India on behalf of the whole Empire, a solitary 
exception amongst the self-governing Dominions, and that 
the United Kingdom, whose responsibility to India is most 
directly involved, should insist that the pledge be redeemed 
to the full in the Crown Colonies which are under the im- 
mediate and direct control of the Imperial Government. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHHSM 

THOSE who have persistently derided the " Non-co- 
operation " movement and announced its imminent 
collapse have been scarcely less wide of the mark than 
Mr. Gandhi himself when he began to predict that it would 
bring Swaraj to India by a date, not always quite the 
same, but always less than a year distant. The original 
programme of " Non-co-operation " has hitherto failed 
egregiously. Only very few lawyers have abandoned 
their practice in " Satanic " law-courts at his behest, still 
fewer Indians have surrendered the distinctions conferred 
on them by Government. A mischievous ferment has 
been introduced once more into Indian schools and 
colleges. Some youths have foolishly wrecked their own 
future, or seen it wrecked for them, by attempts to 
boycott and obstruct the examinations on which their 
career so often depends. But neither have Mr. Gandhi 
and his followers destroyed the schools and colleges 
against which they have waged war, nor created in 
anything more than embryo, and in extremely few places, 
the " national " schools and colleges that were to take 
their place. Even Rabindranath Tagore, whose poetic 
imagination was at first fired by Mr. Gandhi's appeal to 
renounce the title of knighthood awarded to him in 
recognition of his literary genius, has had enough practical 
experience of education, as he himself has conceived and 
carried it into execution on his own quite original lines, 
to be driven at last to admit that Indian youths are asked 

286 



CH. xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM 287 

to bring their patriotic offering of sacrifice, " not to a 
fuller education, but to non-education." With his craving 
for metaphysical accuracy of expression, he has even 
denounced the " no " of " Non-co-operation " as "in its 
passive moral form asceticism, and in its active moral 
form violence." The conclusion wrung from his reluctant 
idealism is one at which the large majority of sober- 
minded Indians arrived long before the poet. They gave 
effect to it as voters at the elections in defiance of Mr. 
Gandhi's boycott, and their representatives gave effect 
to it in the legislatures which Mr. Gandhi no less vainly 
boycotted. 

Yet in spite of Mr. Gandhi's repeated failures " Non- 
co-operation " is not dead. It has a widespread organ- 
isation, with committees in every town and emissaries 
particularly active in the large villages and in many 
rural districts. It had the enthusiastic support at Nagpur 
of the large assemblage that still retains the name, but 
little else, of the old Indian National Congress. It 
does not lack funds, for Mr. Gandhi professes to have 
gathered in the crore of rupees which he asked for within 
the appointed twelvemonth. It controls a large part of 
the Indian Press, though mostly of the less reputable 
type, more vituperative and mendacious, in spite of all 
Indian Press laws, than anything conceived of in this 
country where there are no Press laws. Mr. Gandhi 
himself goes on preaching " Non-co-operation " with 
unabated conviction and unresting energy, the same 
picture always of physical frailty and unconquerable 
spirit, travelling all over the country in crowded third- 
class carriages, worshipped by huge crowds that hang on 
his sainted Hps and pausing only in his feverish campaign 
to spend a short week at Simla in daily conference with 
Lord Reading. That the new Viceroy should have 
thought it advisable almost immediately after his arrival 
in India to hold such prolonged intercourse with Mr. 
Gandhi is the best proof that the Mahatma is no mere 
dreamer whose influence is evanescent, but a power to 



288 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

be reckoned with. The Simla interviews did not seem 
to have been entirely fruitless when Mr. Gandhi extracted 
from his chief Mahomedan lieutenants, the brothers Ah", 
a disavowal, however half-hearted, of any intention to 
incite to violence in certain speeches delivered by them 
for which they would otherwise have had to be prosecuted. 
It looked as if he had made a more effective stand than 
on other occasions against the importation of violence 
into " Non-co-operation," and proved the reality of the 
influence which he is believed to have all along exercised 
to curb his Mahomedan followers who do not share his 
disbelief in violence. But Simla only deflected him for 
a short time from his dangerous course. 

In the whole of this strange movement nothing is 
more mysterious than the hold which Mr. Gandhi has over 
Mahomedans as well as Hindus, though the wrongs of 
Turkey, which are ever in his mouth, touch only very 
remotely the great mass of Indian Mahomedans, whilst 
the old antagonism of the two communities is still 
simmering and bubbling and apt to boil over on the 
slightest provocation. Collisions are most frequent during 
religious festivals, especially if they happen to be held by 
both communities at the same time. The chief stone of 
offence for Hindus is the sacrifice of cows, the most sacred 
to them of all animals, without which the Mahomedans 
consider their great annual festival of Bakar-Id cannot 
be complete. Mahomedans, on the other hand, to whom 
musical instruments as an accompaniment to religious 
worship are abhorrent, are often driven wild when Hindu 
processions pass with their bands playing in front of a 
mosque. Only four years ago, when the compact between 
the National Congress and the Moslem League was still 
quite fresh, riots broke out simultaneously during the 
Bakar-Id over a great part of the Patna district, which 
were only suppressed after a large tract of some forty 
miles square had passed into the hands of the Hindu 
mobs, when a considerable military force reached the 
scenes of turmoil and disorder, for the like of which, 



xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM 289 

according to the Government Resolution, it was necessary 
to go back over a period of sixty years to the days of the 
great Mutiny. It would be of little purpose to enumerate 
many other instances of disorders on a lesser scale that 
have occurred since then in connection with cow-killing. 
When staying for a few days last winter in Nellore, a 
small town in the Madras Presidency, i.e. in a part of 
India noted for its quietude, I had a pertinent illustra- 
tion of the often trivial but none the less dangerous 
forms that the persistent animosity between Hindus and 
Mahomedans can assume. In Nellore, itself a very sleepy 
hollow, the Mahomedans are not quite in such a hopelessly 
small minority as they generally are in Southern India, 
for they number about 6000 out of 30,000 inhabitants. 
The few " Non-co-operationists " in the place, Hindu and 
Mahomedan, professed to have formed a " Reconciliation 
Committee " to prevent their co-religionists from flying 
at each other's throats. Their efforts were not, however, 
sufficient to relieve the local authorities from the necessity 
of putting some of the police on special service for the 
protection of respectable Hindu traders of the same 
caste as Mr. Gandhi himself in their daily comings and 
goings through certain quarters of the city against the 
more unruly of their Mahomedan fellow-citizens. The 
usual bad feeling had been exacerbated by an affray, 
already the best part of a year old, when one of the Hindu 
processions from the four great temples of the city 
perversely altered its accustomed route and passed down 
the streets leading to the chief mosque with bands defiantly 
playing, and a party of Mahomedans lying in wait for 
them rushed out and assaulted them with brick-bats, 
until they were dispersed by a few rifle-shots from the 
police. Apart from such major provocation, each side 
indulges in minor pin-pricks that keep up a constant 
irritation. It is an old custom at both Hindu and 
Mahomedan festivals for youths to dress up as tigers and 
lions, who add an element of terror to the pageant by 
roaring to order. Of late years each community has tried 

u 



290 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

to deny to the other the right to introduce this element 
of frightfulness into its processions, and these harmless 
wild beasts have frequently been made to repent of their 
disguise with bruised bodies and broken heads. In one 
large village in the Nellore district serious trouble arose 
over an attempt on the part of the Mahomedans to halt 
their procession for the purpose of distributing " jaggery " 
water in close proximity to an enclosure set apart by the 
Hindus for the nuptials of their god and goddess at an 
annual marriage festival, and the Taluk magistrate had 
to issue a formal order, enforced by policemen on special 
duty, forbidding the Mahomedans to place the objection- 
able pot of water within twenty feet of the wedding 
enclosure. In all such cases both sides appeal promptly 
for help to the authorities, and one of the chief and not 
least wearisome of the British administrator's tasks is to 
be for ever on the watch in order if possible to avert, 
by timely suasion and measures of precaution, the serious 
trouble that may at any moment arise out of trifles 
which to the European mind must seem grotesquely in- 
significant. Indians themselves admit that it is an even 
more difficult task for them, as Indian-born officials must 
almost always belong to one or other of the two com- 
munities, and their impartiality be therefore congenitally 
suspect to one side or the other. 

There can be no worthier purpose for either govern- 
ment or public men or private individuals to pursue than 
a real reconciliation between two great communities 
estranged, not only by fundamentally different religious 
beliefs and traditions, but by enduring memories of 
century-long conflicts and of the very often oppress- 
ive domination of Mahomedan rulers over conquered 
Hindu peoples held down in spite of their numerical 
superiority by the sheer weight of superior force. There 
may have been Englishmen who, believing in the shallow 
maxim Divide ut imperes, have relied on that estrange- 
ment to fortify British rule; but such has never been 
the principle of British policy. It has constantly sought, 



xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM 291 

on the contrary, to prevent and suppress as far as possible 
disorders which, whenever they break out afresh, in- 
evitably revive and quicken the ancient antagonism, and 
to attenuate it, slowly but steadily, by the exercise 
of even-handed justice and the pacifying influences of 
education and the rule of law. 

Has the alliance between Mr. Gandhi and the Ali 
brothers or the fusion between the Congress and League 
Extremists, Hindu and Mahomedan, proved more effect- 
ive ? How far down has this Hindu and Mahomedan 
fraternisation really reached that is based above all on 
common hatred of a " Satanic " Government ? How 
far has it even temporarily checked the instinctive 
tendency of the masses in both communities to break 
away from their allies and go for each other rather than 
for that common enemy against whom " Non-co-opera- 
tion " bids them combine ? Frequent outbreaks con- 
tinue to reveal from time to time the ignes cineri suppositos 
doloso. They mostly follow the same course. Khilafat 
agitators terrorise the law-abiding population, extorting 
subscriptions for Khilafat funds, compelling shopkeepers 
to close their shops for Khilafat demonstrations, and so 
forth, until they are driven to appeal to the authorities 
for protection. Then an attempt is made to arrest some 
of the ringleaders or to disarm the Khilafat " volunteers," 
who, when they have no more modern weapons, know 
how to use their lathis or heavy iron-tipped staves with 
often deadly effect. Rioting starts on a large scale to 
the cry of " Religion ! Religion ! " the small local police 
force is helpless, and very soon the whole fury of the 
Mahomedan mob turns against the Hindus, as at Malegaon, 
in the Bombay Presidency, where they set a Hindu temple 
on fire and threw into the flames the body of an un- 
fortunate Hindu sub-inspector of police who had been 
vainly attempting to save a Hindu quarter from arson. 
Troops are hurried up from the nearest military station, 
and usually as soon as they appear order is restored 
with the employment of a minimum amount of force. 



292 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

Numerous arrests are made, and a few of the local fire- 
brands are ultimately prosecuted and convicted. But at 
" Non-co-operation " headquarters the Khilafat propa- 
ganda goes on undisturbed, and all the appearances of 
Hindu-Mahomedan unity are ostentatiously kept up. 
Mr. Mahomed Ali preaches to Hindus as well as to 
Mahomedans that it will be their duty to give the Ameer 
of Afghanistan every assistance in their power when he 
descends with his armies to rescue India from her foreign 
oppressors. An All-India Khilafat Conference announces 
that, if the British Government fights openly or secretly 
against the Turkish Nationalists at Angora, the Indian 
National Congress will proclaim the Republic of India at 
its next session, and meanwhile declares it unlawful for 
any Mahomedan to serve in the Indian army, since a 
" Satanic " Government may at any moment use it to 
fight against Mustafa Kemal's forces at Angora. It is 
impossible to believe that on such lines " Non-co-opera- 
tion " can bring Mahomedans and Hindus permanently 
together, or can drag the bulk of the sober and con- 
servative Mahomedan community away from its solid 
moorings, but the effect of such appeals to the turbulent 
and fanatical elements, more numerous and more easily 
roused amongst Mahomedans than amongst Hindus, 
spreads and grows with the impunity conceded to them. 

If, on the other hand, the Hindus may be on the 
whole less prone to violence than the Mahomedans, 
with whom the sword is still the symbol of their faith, 
the grave agrarian disturbances which have twice this 
year resulted from the " Non-co-operation " campaign in 
the United Provinces, and other disorders of a similar 
kind on a less serious scale in other provinces, show that 
Hindus too are not proof against temptations to violence. 
Mr. Gandhi may go on preaching non-violence, and he 
may himself still disapprove of violence and refuse to 
believe that his teachings, as interpreted at least by many 
of his followers, are as certain to produce violence as 
the night is to produce darkness ; but that " Non-co- 



xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHHSM 293 

operation " more and more frequently spells violence is 
beyond dispute, and more and more faint-hearted to 
put it very mildly are his reprobations of violence. 

The most threatening feature of the " Non-co-opera- 
tion " movement, now that it has failed so completely in 
its appeal to the better and more educated classes, is 
that it is concentrating all its energies on the ignorant 
and excitable masses. If one takes a long view of 
India's progress under the new dispensation, it may well 
be a source of satisfaction and encouragement that the 
insane lengths to which " Non-co-operation " has gone 
have served at least to drive in a deep wedge between 
the Moderates and the Extremists. But in the immediate 
future " Non-co-operation " may prove not less but more 
formidable because, except with a few eccentrics, it has 
lost whatever hold it may have had for a time on the 
politically minded intelligentsia, and feels, therefore, no 
longer under any restraint in addressing itself to hungry 
appetites and primitive passions amongst the backward 
Hindu masses as well as amongst Mahomedans. That 
it has not appealed to them in vain there are increas- 
ingly ominous indications in such wanton destruction 
as the firing of immense areas of forest in the Kumoon 
district of the United Provinces. For the gods to be 
worshipped in fear and trembling are the gods that 
revel in, and can only be placated by, destruction. 
Wherever there are local discontents and such there 
must always be in a vast country and amongst vast 
populations that too often have a hard struggle for bare 
existence "Non-co-operation " is at once on the spot to 
envenom the sores. Economic conditions aggravated by 
the great rise in prices for all the necessaries of life since 
the Great War press heavily on the most helpless classes. 
The vitality of the whole population has been depressed 
for years past by the ravages of the plague, now fortu- 
nately much abated, which have carried off about eight 
million lives within the last two decades, and by the still 
more appalling ravages of two epidemics of influenza 



294 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

which in 1918 within one twelvemonth carried off some 
six or seven millions of lives, mostly in their very best 
years, and left many more millions of lives either older 
or younger wretchedly enfeebled. Add to all this the 
many direct and indirect reactions of the general unrest 
which in so many different forms has spread over the 
whole face of the globe, and of the particular forms of 
political unrest which have kept India in periodical ferment 
since 1905, constantly fed by violent speeches and by a 
still more violent vernacular press. All these discontents 
" Non-co-operation " has set itself to link up to a common 
purpose by inflaming racial hatred, stirred as never since 
the Mutiny by the story, bad enough in itself and 
unscrupulously distorted and exaggerated, of the events 
in the Punjab which has been for two years the trump 
card of the Extremists, with an additional appeal to the 
religious fanaticism of the Mahomedans in the alleged 
wrong done to their faith by the Turkish peace terms. 
Consciously and unconsciously Mr. Gandhi has lent his 
saintly countenance to all these menacing features of the 
"Non-co-operation " movement, and given them a religious 
sanction which captures many who would not have 
succumbed but for their faith in a Mahatma who can do 
and say no wrong. 

One of the weapons of " Non-co-operation " which 
Mr. Gandhi has lately sharpened up is the boycott of 
British imported goods, now reiterated and clearly de- 
fined in relation first of all to British textiles. Not only 
must the Indian wear nothing but home-spun cotton 
cloth, but the Indian importer must cease to do any 
business with British firms, and Indian mills must forgo 
their profits in order to help the boycott. Mr. Gandhi 
has inaugurated the boycott by presiding over huge 
sacrificial bonfires of imported cloth on the seashore at 
Bombay, amidst the acclamations of vast crowds all 
wearing the little " Gandhi " white cap which is the badge 
of " Non-co-operation." This is the same mad form of 
Swadeshi that Mr. Tilak preached over twenty years 



xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM 295 

ago in the Deccan, and the Anti-Partition agitators 
over fifteen years ago in Bengal. It failed in both 
cases. Is it less likely to fail to-day when post-war 
economic conditions both in England and in India 
militate still more strongly against its success, however 
much it may for a time appeal to Indian sentiment and 
to the disgust of Indian traders with Government's 
currency and exchange policy ? Mr. Gandhi admitted 
it was impracticable unless carried out in the spirit of 
religious self-sacrifice for the Motherland, which impelled 
him even to veto the suggestion made by some of his 
own followers that the existing stocks of imported cloth, 
instead of being burnt, should be given away in charity 
to the poor. He may himself really dream of an India 
from whose face the busy cities built up by European 
enterprise, and the railways, the telegraphs, and every 
other symbol of a Satanic civilisation shall have dis- 
appeared, and Indians shall all be content to lead in 
their own primitive villages the simplest of simple lives 
clad only in the produce of their handlooms, fed only 
on the fruits of their own fields, and governed only by 
their own punchayats in accordance with Vedic precepts 
and under the protection of their favourite gods. But 
how many Extremists who shelter behind his name are not 
already speculating on the failure of the Swadeshi move- 
ment to which their dupes are committed, in order that 
when disillusionment comes it shall add to the area of 
popular discontent in which racial hatred is most easily 
sown ? Non-payment of taxes is another of the weapons 
which " Non-co-operation " has threatened to use, and it 
includes non-payment of the land-tax which would 
directly incite the whole agricultural population to law- 
lessness, and an attack upon excise revenue which in 
the shape of a temperance movement, in itself perfectly 
commendable, has already led to many cases of inde- 
fensible violence, chiefly in the urban industrial centres. 
He has not yet committed himself openly to " civil 
disobedience " on the scale for which many Extremists 



296 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

are already clamouring, but he has started on an inclined 
plane along which he may not have the power, or even 
the will, to arrest his descent. Much will depend on this 
year's monsoon. If the rains are good and the harvests 
abundant, the peasants, relieved for the time from the 
pressure of the economic struggle, will be less inclined to 
take even at his behest the risk of refusing payment 
of taxes. Should there unfortunately be another bad 
season following on last year's partial failure, 1 the tempta- 
tion may prove irresistible if reinforced by the religious 
exaltation which Mr. Gandhi knows so well how to call 
forth. Deep down, too, there is always the latent antagon- 
ism of all the irreconcilable elements in an ancient civil- 
isation of which British rule no more than Mahomedan 
domination, and in still earlier times the spiritual revolt 
of Buddhism, has shaken the hold upon the Hindu masses. 
By a strange fatality the confidence of the inarticulate 
millions upon which we have hitherto prided ourselves 
has been turned into bitterness and hatred hitherto 
unknown amongst large sections of them at the very 
moment when we have for the first time regained in a 
large measure the confidence of the intelligentsia, and we 
have to reckon with the possibility of popular disturbances 
which may call for strong action just when on broad 
grounds of policy any resort to force must be specially 
undesirable. One of the retributions which always over- 
take such mistakes in the manner of employing force as 
were made two years ago in the Punjab is that the actual 
employment of force, however legitimate, becomes dis- 
credited. The Government of India realises and no one 
probably more fully than Lord Reading after his visit to 
Amritsar that with the Punjab fresh in their memories, 
even Indian Moderates must require very strong evidence 
before they give any willing support to the employment 
of force, even if circumstances arise to make it inevit- 
able for the mere maintenance of public order which no 

1 Later reports promise a far better monsoon than was at first 
indicated. 



xv THE INCLINED PLANE OF GANDHIISM 297 

government can allow to be wantonly imperilled. Such 
evidence is accumulating only too fast. When the time 
comes for action, the existence of a responsible body of 
Indian opinion, constitutionally organised, and constitu- 
tionally represented in the new Legislatures, will give 
Government the moral backing and the moral courage 
which failed it with disastrous results in 1919. 

It is sad to see a man of Mr. Gandhi's immense power 
for good drifting into such deep waters. Mr. Gokhale, 
who had given him his enthusiastic support in South 
Africa, warned him on his return to India that methods 
of agitation and passive resistance which were permissible 
there under great provocation, and had been used by him 
with considerable success, would be quite unwarranted 
in India where they would only lead to disaster. Mr. 
Gokhale died soon afterwards and Mr. Gandhi has dis- 
regarded his advice. At times he has given signs of 
profound discouragement and talked of retiring to the 
Himalayas to spend the rest of his days in meditation, as 
pious Hindus not infrequently do. At times in a more 
worldly mood he seems to be playing for a crown of 
martyrdom, and he was perhaps bidding for it when soon 
after a series of interviews with the Viceroy, conducted 
on both sides with perfect courtesy, he replied to the 
official announcement of the impending visit of the Prince 
of Wales to India by proclaiming it to be the duty of 
Indians to boycott the heir to the Throne in the same 
way in which he had exhorted them last winter to boycott 
the Duke of Connaught. He must certainly have been 
bidding for it when in the course of a raging and tearing 
temperance campaign in Bombay he declared, it seems, 
that liquor shops must be closed even if it cost rivers of 
blood. Government has so far wisely shrunk from adding 
to his halo as a saint that of a "confessor and martyr." 
But he may yet force Government's hands. 1 For there 

1 Whilst these pages are going through the press, reports are coming 
in of a Moplah rising on the Malabar coast, far more ominous than any 
of the disturbances already referred to in this chapter. The Moplahs 



298 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, xv 

must be limits to the impunity granted even to a Mahatma 
who professes and preaches the doctrine of Ahimsa, but 
whose footsteps are dogged by violence which is the 
negation of Ahimsa. 

are an extremely backward and unruly race, with an infusion of Arab 
blood, always notorious for their fierce Mahomedan fanaticism, wrought 
up to a white heat by a recent visit from the two Mahomedan fire- 
brands of " Non-co-operation." The murder of Europeans, the burning 
and looting of Government buildings, the tearing up of railways and 
telegraphs, recall the worst excesses committed by Indian mobs two 
years ago in the Punjab. But on this occasion there has been no 
Mahomedan-Hindu fraternisation. The Moplahs have vented their 
Khilafat fury equally upon the helpless Hindu populations of the 
whole district, who have been slaughtered and plundered or forcibly 
converted to Islam as in the earliest days of Mahomedan domination. 
Hindu members of the Legislative Assembly, realising that their co- 
religionists owe their safety only to the military forces which are being 
rushed up by a Satanic Government to arrest a campaign of sheer 
murder and rapine, may well ask, as Mr. Jamnadas Dwarkadas has 
just done, how long such men as Mahomed and Shaukat Ali are to be 
allowed to go on preaching the doctrines which the Moplahs have so 
effectively carried into practice. However local this outbreak may 
remain, it is only another and a more sinister symptom of the wide- 
spread upheaval against all constituted authority into which " Non-co- 
operation " has degenerated under the leadership of Mr. Gandhi and 
his Mahomedan allies. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 

A GREAT constitutional experiment, of which the expressed 
purpose is to bring a self-governing India into full and 
equal partnership with all other parts of the British 
Empire, has been courageously launched in deep waters 
still only partially explored, and it has resisted the first 
onslaught of a singular combination of malignant forces. 
It is too early yet to speak with absolute assurance of its 
enduring success. For success must depend upon many 
factors outside India as well as within. All that can be 
said with confidence is that it has made a far more 
promising start than might have been looked for even 
in less unfavourable circumstances, and many English- 
men, and Indians also, who disliked and distrusted the 
reforms and would have preferred to stand in the old 
ways, are coming round to the belief that in their success 
lies the best and possibly the one real hope for the future. 
Faith is naturally strongest in those who see in the 
experiment the natural and logical corollary of that even 
bolder experiment initiated nearly a hundred years ago 
when we introduced Western education in India. That 
was the great turning-point in the history of British rule. 
We had gone to India with no purpose of seeking dominion, 
but circumstances had forced dominion upon us. With 
dominion had come the recognition of the great responsi- 
bilities which it involved, and having imposed upon India 
our own rule of law we imposed it also upon the agencies 
through which we then exercised dominion a self- 

299 



300 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

denying ordinance for ourselves, for Indians a pledge 
of justice. Dominion pure and simple made room for 
dominion regarded as a great trust. But when we 
introduced Western education, we placed upon our 
trusteeship a new and wider construction. We invited 
Indians to enter into intellectual partnership with our 
own civilisation, and for the purpose, admitted at the 
time but afterwards sometimes forgotten, of training 
them to a share in the responsibilities of Indian govern- 
ment and administration. Many Englishmen from that 
moment contemplated intellectual partnership as the 
means to political partnership as the end. That was 
indeed nearly a century before Mr. Asquith coined the 
phrase " the new angle of vision." The Mutiny dis- 
torted it, and it remained obscured when the great 
experiment was found to result, like all human experi- 
ments, in the production of some evil as well as of much 
good. If the tares may have been sometimes more 
conspicuous than the wheat, we should ask ourselves 
whether our own lack of vigilance and forethought did 
not contribute to the luxuriant growth of tares in a soil 
naturally congenial to them. After many hesitations, 
and some tentative and half-hearted steps, we at length 
recognised that intellectual partnership however imper- 
fect must lead towards a closer political partnership. It 
became, indeed, impossible for us to refuse to do so without 
being untrue to the principles that had governed not only 
our own national evolution long before the war, but all 
our declared war aims and all our appeals, which never 
went unheeded, to Indian loyalty and co-operation during 
the war. 

The experiment can only succeed if it secures the 
steadfast and hearty extension to new purposes of the 
co-operation between British and Indians to which the 
British connection with India has owed from the very 
beginning, as I have tried to show, its chief strength and 
its best results. One may feel confident that amongst 
the British in India there will be few to deny their co- 



xvi INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 301 

operation, though scepticism and prejudice may die hard 
and social relations may prove even harder to harmonise 
than political relations. The new Constitution was 
inaugurated under Lord Chelmsford's Viceroyalty. If 
he perhaps failed, especially at certain gravely critical 
moments, to rise above a somewhat narrow and un- 
imaginative conception of his functions as the supreme 
depositary of British authority in India, and was too apt 
to regard himself always as merely primus inter pares in 
a governing body, peculiarly liable from its constitution 
to hesitate and procrastinate even in emergencies requir- 
ing prompt decision, Lord Chelmsford was as upright, 
honourable, and courageous an English gentleman as this 
country has ever sent out as Viceroy, and India will 
always gratefully associate his name with the reforms 
which have opened up a new era in her history. His 
place has now been taken by another Viceroy, Lord 
Reading, whose appointment at a time when so many 
Indians were smarting under a deep sense of injustice 
has been all the more heartily welcomed as, apart from 
many other qualifications, he went out to India with the 
special prestige of a great justiciary who had exchanged 
for the Viceroyalty the exalted post of Lord Chief Justice 
of England. Lord Reading's own liberalism is a sufficient 
guarantee that he will apply himself with all his approved 
ability to the carrying out of the new reforms. But, if 
anything more had been needed, the revised Instrument 
of Instructions under Royal Sign Manual which he took 
out with him for his guidance prescribed both for the 
Government of India and for the Provincial Governments 
the utmost restraint, " unless grave reason to the contrary 
appears," in any exercise of the emergency powers still 
vested in them in opposition to the policy and wishes of 
the Indian representative assemblies. " For, above all 
things," His Majesty concluded, "it is Our will and 
pleasure that the plans laid by Our Parliament for the 
progressive realisation of responsible government in 
British India may come to fruition, to the end that 



302 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

British India may attain its due place among Our 
Dominions." 

That in carrying out those instructions Lord Reading 
will be able to rely on the full support of the British 
members of his own Executive Council and of the Pro- 
vincial Governments the most practical proof has been 
already given in the wise and conciliatory attitude 
displayed by them during the first session of the new 
Legislatures in Delhi and in the Provinces, in marked 
contrast to the sense of impregnable authority too often 
made manifest when autocratic power was still entrenched 
behind official majorities voting to order. To the credit 
of the public services, and not least of the Indian Civil 
Service, I should add that, if I may venture to judge by 
the great majority of those I know best, there is now a 
genuine desire to make the reforms a success, however 
apprehensive some of them may have formerly been. 
The change unquestionably often involves considerable 
sacrifices of power, and even sometimes power for good, 
as well as of old traditions and prejudices, and such 
sacrifices come hardest to those whose habits of life and 
mind are already set, but they are worth making. It is 
far easier for the younger men who have more recently 
joined to realise that their opportunities of service to 
India and to the Empire will, if anything, be greater than 
before, though they will call for somewhat different 
qualities, as their influence will now depend more upon 
capacity to persuade than to give orders. To the non- 
official British communities the European-elected members 
of the new Assemblies have already given an admirable 
lead by the cordiality of their personal relations with 
their Indian colleagues, as well as by such public 
manifestations of good -will and sound judgment as 
their unanimous vote in support of the Indian resolu- 
tion on Amritsar in the Legislative Assembly. One 
of the greatest obstacles to fruitful co-operation is 
racial aloofness, even amongst the best-disposed Indians 
and Europeans, and every Englishman can on his own 



xvi INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 303 

account and within his own sphere do something to 
overcome it. 

The visit of the Duke of Connaught last winter to 
India for the express purpose of representing the King- 
Emperor at the opening of the new Councils in the three 
great Presidencies, and of delivering a Royal Message of 
unprecedented import to the new Indian Legislature in 
the Imperial capital, bore perhaps its happiest fruits in 
the personal appeal, prompted by his old love and know- 
ledge of the Indian people, in which he sought to dispel 
" the shadow of Amritsar " that had " lengthened over 
the face of India," and did in fact do much to dispel it. 
The Prince of Wales is to follow this winter not only in 
the Duke's recent footsteps, but, as heir to the Throne, 
in the footsteps of his royal father and grandfather. 
Even if opinions are divided as to the political expediency 
of his visit before the clouds that still overhang the Indian 
horizon have been dispelled, we may rest assured that 
his personal qualities will win for him too the affection 
and reverence which the Indian people are traditionally 
and instinctively inclined to give to those whom the gods 
have invested with the heaven-born attributes of kingship, 

That Indian co-operation will not fail us if we persevere 
in ensuing it, not only in the letter of the great Statute 
of 1919 but in the spirit of the King-Emperor's messages 
to his Indian people, is an assumption which there is 
much to justify us in making. But, for the present, it 
cannot be much more than an assumption. In support 
of it we can rely not only, one may hope, on the continued 
support of large if inarticulate masses, and of the old 
conservative interests that have been content to stand 
aloof from all political agitation, but also on the fine 
rally of the great majority of the politically minded 
classes in India whom intellectual partnership has to 
some extent prepared for political partnership. They 
still form, unfortunately, but a very small numerical 
minority. But their influence cannot be measured by 
mere numbers. If it grew in the past even when we 



304 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

were showing more impatience than sympathy with its 
aspirations, it may be expected to grow still more rapidly 
in future under new conditions that give it more recog- 
nition and more encouragement. In all countries the 
impulse to progress has always proceeded from small 
minorities, and in India the small but active minority 
from which it has proceeded has been essentially of our 
own making, since it owes to us all its conceptions of 
political freedom and national unity and the very language 
in which it has learnt to express them. Out of the ancient 
world of India we have raised a new Indian middle class, 
with one foot perhaps still lingering in Indian civilisation 
but with the other certainly planted in Western civilisa- 
tion. It has long claimed that its leaders were fit to be 
the leaders of a nation. We have now conceded that 
claim. It rests with those leaders to make it good. They 
have already given proofs of both political wisdom and 
courage ; for it is they who bore the brunt of the battle 
against the wreckers of the new Constitution during the 
elections and won it, and it is they who, forming the 
majority in the new assemblies, have shown sagacity and 
moderation in the exercise of their new rights and the 
discharge of their new responsibilities as the means to 
closer co-operation between Indians and British. But 
the opposing forces arrayed against co-operation, as I 
have shown in the previous chapter, are still formidable. 
They assume many different shapes. They exploit many 
different forms of popular discontent. If they have 
failed to lay hold of the better and more educated classes, 
they have captured in some parts at least the masses 
that were never before anti-British. They have inflamed 
the racial hatred which untoward incidents helped to 
stir up. In Mr. Gandhi they have found a strangely 
potent leader who appeals to the religious emotions of 
both Hindus and Mahomedans to shake themselves free 
from the degrading yoke of an alien civilisation, and 
implores them to return to the ancient and better ways of 
India's own civilisation. 



xvr INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 305 

It is just there that Mr. Gandhi strikes a responsive 
chord in many thoughtful Indians who repudiate him 
as a political leader. For their faith in either the material 
or moral superiority of Western civilisation is, one must 
admit, far less general and deep-seated than it still was 
only a generation ago. The emergence of Japan and her 
sweeping victories on land and water over the great 
European power that tried to humble her dealt the first 
heavy blow at their belief in the material superiority of 
the West. Just as severely shaken is their belief in its 
moral superiority, even with many whose loyalty to the 
British cause never wavered during the Great War and 
who still pride themselves on India's share in its final 
victory, when they see how the world of Western civilisa- 
tion has been reft asunder by four years of frightful 
conflict which drenched all Europe with blood and left 
half of it at least plunged in black ruin. We have preached 
to Indians, not untruly, but with an insistence that seems 
to them now more than ever to savour of self-righteous- 
ness, that our superior civilisation redeemed them out of 
the anarchy and strife which devastated India before 
British rule brought her peace and order and justice. 
Now they ask themselves how it comes, then, that the 
Western civilisation which they are told to thank for 
their own salvation has not saved Europe itself from the 
chaos which has overtaken it to-day. Still more searching 
are the questions that they ask when they see the great 
powers that have been fortunate enough to emerge vic- 
torious from the struggle still postulating the superiority 
of Western civilisation as sufficient grounds for denying 
to other races who do not share it or have only recently 
come under its influence the right to equal treatment. 
Their gorge rises most of all when Western civilisation 
actually bases its claim to superiority not on ethical but 
on racial grounds, and nations that profess to be followers 
of Christ, Himself of Asiatic birth and descent, carve 
out the world which He died to save not for the benefit 
of one race alone into water-tight compartments, from 

X 



306 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

some of which the Asiatic is to be excluded by a colour- 
bar, but to all of which the white man is to have access 
for such purposes and by such means as he himself deems 
right. If the British Empire stands for a merely racial 
civilisation of which the benefit is reserved for the white 
man only, what, they ask, is the value of a promise of 
partnership in it when Indians are ipso facto racially 
disqualified from partnership ? 

There lies the rub. The argument may have been 
stated in an extreme form, but it has to be faced, for it 
goes home to many Indians who would not be moved by 
Mr. Gandhi's cruder abuse of a " Satanic " civilisation. 
The overshadowing danger, and not in India alone, may 
be to-morrow, if not already to-day, that of a racial 
conflict. Is there any other way to avert it than by a 
frank recognition of racial equality in the sense of equality 
of rightful opportunity for both races, Asiatic and 
European ? It is only in that sense that racial equality, 
like the equality already recognised of all men born to 
our common British nationhood, can have any meaning. 
For in the strict sense of the word no two men are born 
equal, either physically or intellectually, any more than 
there is complete equality in the family and social 
surroundings in which they are brought up. All that the 
citizens of the freest countries are entitled to claim is 
that there shall be no denial of right to them on the score 
of birth to equal opportunities for bringing their own 
individual qualities by their own effort to the largest 
possible fruition within the lawful limits prescribed to 
prevent injury being done to others or to the community 
at large. Does not the same hold good for nations and 
for races ? The principle of equality thus understood 
must clearly prevail between Asiatics and Europeans in 
India, for all racial discrimination between them has 
long been ruled out by our own statutes, and now more 
than ever by a Constitution which calls India to partner- 
ship in the British Empire. It is, however, one thing to 
lay down a principle, and another to put it consistently 



xvi INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 307 

into practice. There are questions in front of us in India 
which it will be difficult to solve if Indians and English- 
men approach them in a spirit of racial antagonism. 
They should not be insoluble if approached on the lines 
of equal opportunity for both races. Other and still more 
difficult questions are likely to produce divergencies of 
views and interests between India and other parts of 
the Empire, including the United Kingdom itself. The 
questions that affect the status and rights of Indians in 
the Dominions and Colonies go to the root of racial 
discrimination. When such questions arise their solution, 
in a sense that will give even the barest and most 
undeniably legitimate satisfaction to Indian views and 
Indian interests, will not be achieved merely through the 
co-operation of the Government of India, or of every 
Englishman, official or non-official, in India, however 
heartily these may identify themselves with Indian views 
and Indian interest. Their solution will rest with the 
British people all over the Empire. Will the British 
Government and the Dominion Governments and the 
free peoples behind them approach all questions in which 
India is concerned in the same spirit which they have 
already learnt to bring to bear upon questions in which 
not India but other partners of the Empire are concerned ? 
Will they be prepared to approach them in the same spirit 
in which India was welcomed in times of stress and storm 
to the War Councils and Peace Councils of the Empire ? 
That spirit was the spirit of equal partnership in a 
common danger, of co-operation on equal terms in a 
common struggle, of equal opportunities of sacrifice in 
common. It was nobly conceived in the womb of war. 
Will it have died with the war ? Or will it survive and 
be extended to the discussion of Imperial questions 
already preoccupying the Indian mind in which com- 
petitive rather than common interests will have to be 
reckoned with fiscal questions, questions relating to 
India's share in the defence of the Empire and of India's 
right to develop and control her own military and perhaps 



308 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP. 

some day her own naval forces, questions affecting the 
common rights of British citizenship and the organic 
constitution of the Empire ? Obviously in none of these 
questions can India expect her views and interests 
always to prevail. What she claims is that her voice 
be heard and listened to, not as that of an inferior 
supplicating for boons but with the deference and the 
desire for an agreed settlement by mutual consent to 
which the promise of equal partnership already, she holds, 
entitles her. That claim she will press, too, in questions 
affecting the status and rights of her people in the 
Dominions and in the Colonies with the insistence born 
of a new sense of nationhood which has intensified a 
much older race - consciousness. Heavy will be the 
responsibility of those within the Empire who meet her 
with an uncompromising assertion of the white man's 
superior rights and interests as the suprema lex et 
supremo, salus Imperil. 

It is not, indeed, the future of India alone that is at 
stake. If we look beyond India to the rest of the great 
continent of Asia, and beyond our own Empire to the 
great American Republic with which we have so much 
in common, recognition or denial of racial equality lies 
close beneath the surface where burning questions still 
threaten the world with war. The British people have 
made in India the first bold attempt to rob the issue of 
its worst sting. If we persevere and can succeed we 
shall not only strengthen immeasurably the foundations 
of our far-flung Empire, but we shall enable it to play 
an immeasurably useful part in averting a world danger. 
For the British Empire with its Western and Eastern 
aspects, with its great Western democracies and its 
oriental peoples, more advanced than and as gifted as 
any Asiatic people, seems to-day to be providentially so 
constituted that it may act more effectively than any 
other power as a link between the great Asiatic and the 
great Western powers of Europe and America, between 
the races and the civilisations which they represent. 



xvi INDIAN PROBLEM A WORLD PROBLEM 309 

We may restore in India, and through India all over 
Asia, a new and reinvigorated faith in the British Empire's 
mission, if we do not shrink from putting into practice 
in our dealings with her the principle of partnership in 
rights and duties on which our Imperial Commonwealth 
of Nations has been built up. We have enshrined that 
principle in the new constitutional charter we have of 
our own free will bestowed upon India. But if we pay 
only half-hearted homage to it, and our own people, 
whether at home, or in other parts of the Empire, or in 
India itself, whether statesmen or soldiers, or adminis- 
trators or merchants, succumb to the temptation of 
trying still to combine with it in practice a disingenuous 
survival of the old idea of domination of one race over 
another, after we have so solemnly repudiated it, we 
shall drift the more rapidly and disastrously on to the 
quicksands of racial strife and chronic disorder which, 
though they may fail to overthrow British rule, would 
steadily weaken, and perhaps paralyse, its power for 
good that is after all its one enduring justification. If, 
on the other hand, we fulfil that which we have always 
recognised, and to-day with renewed clearness of vision, 
to be our mission in India, by reconciling the best elements 
in Indian civilisation and our own, and if we can convert 
our commonwealth of free British nations into a common- 
wealth of free Western and Eastern nations on a basis 
of real equality, we shall set an example of no less value 
to others than will be to ourselves our own achievement. 
The failure in its latest and most crucial stage of the 
great adventure upon which we entered three centuries 
ago, not, let us for the moment assume, through lack of 
Indian co-operation or of the desire on the part of the 
British in India to co-operate with Indians, but through 
the inability of the British people as a whole and through- 
out the Empire to rise to so great an opportunity, would 
react far beyond the confines of India. The tide of racial 
hatred which may yet be stemmed would rise and perhaps 
not only undermine the present fabric of our Empire, but 



310 INDIA OLD AND NEW CHAP, xv 

strew East and West with the wreckage of disappointed 
hopes and embittered animosities. 

There are some who hold that the British Empire has 
made its last if most glorious effort in the Great War, 
and that in it Western civilisation proclaimed itself 
bankrupt and committed suicide. That cannot be. The 
cause for which the British people fought and made such 
appalling sacrifices was not unworthy of them or of our 
civilisation. Heavy clouds hang over the future and 
obscure the paths of the nations. But in India, where 
East and West meet as nowhere else, Britain has lighted 
a beacon which, if she keep it burning, will show to 
both the way of escape from a more disastrous conflict 
than that from which the West has just emerged battered 
and bleeding a conflict not between nations but between 
races. 



INDEX 



Abyssinian victory over Italians, 
112 

Acworth, Sir William, 260 

Adawa, battle of, 112 

Afghan invasions, 3, 61-2 

Aga Khan, the, 136, 282 

Age of Consent Bill, 1891, 95-6, 
113, 236 

Agra and Oudh, see United 
Provinces 

Agrarian questions, Indian, 197- 
201 

Ahimsa, doctrine of, 170, 175, 188, 
192, 298 

Ahmed Shah Durani, 61 

Ahmed Shahi dynasty, 53, 54 

Ahmedabad, 50, 53-5 ; outbreak 
in, 176-7, 273 

Ahmednagar, 50 

Ajatasatni, King, 28 

Akbar, Emperor, 3, 5, 51, 53, 56, 
57-61 

Ala-ud-Din Khilji, 48 

Alai Darwazah, the, 48 

Alexander the Great's invasion, 
27, 28, 33 

Ali brothers, the, Mahomed and 
Shaukat, 140, 188-9, 191, 197, 
288, 291, 297 n. 

Aligurh, Mahomedan College at, 
135-6, 197 

Allahabad outbreak, 177 

All-India Moslem League, 136, 138, 
145, 147, 173 

All -India Trades Congress, 272 

Altamsh, 36, 47 

Americans in Tata Company, 248, 
253 

Amritsar : outbreak, 175-6, 183; 
Jallianwala Bagh, 177-9, 211 ; 
British Government's des- 
patch, 180-82 ; Duke of Con- 
naught on, 228, 303 ; Resolu- 
tions on, 209, 228-30, 302 



Annexation policy of Dalhousie, 81 

Arya Somaj, 95 

Aryan races, 15, 22, 31, 35 ; social 

system, 22-3, 42-3, 217, 219 
Asiatics' Trading and Land Act 

(South Africa), 281 
Asoka, King, 2, 27, 29-32, 35 
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. H., on a 

" new angle of vision," 141, 

300 

Asvamedha, the, 2, 4, 32, 37, 40 
Aurungzeb, Emperor, 61 
Australia and Asiatics, 282 

Baber, Emperor, 3, 56 

Baghavat-Ghita, the, 35, 113 

Bakar-Id festival, 288 

Bana, the Brahman, 39 

" Bande Materam," 115 

Banerjee, Sir Surendranath, 118, 
204, 207 

Basu, Mr. Bupendranath, 145 

Baz Bahadur, 53 

Behar and Orissa, 8, 129 

Benares University, Gandhi and, 
197 

Bendusara, King, 29 

Bengal Presidency, 69, 71, 72, 114 
elections in, 202-4 
" Non-co-operation " fails in, 

203-4, 208 

Partition of, see Partition 
permanent settlement in, 199-200 

Bengalees : 

unrest among, 12, 114-115, 203 
Western education and, 8, 205-7 

Bentinck, Lord William, 79, 80, 
98 

Besant, Mrs., 146, 148, 150, 159, 
161 

Bhuvaneshwar temples, 38 

Bidar, 50 

Bijapur, 50, 55 

Bikanir, Maharajah of, 141 



311 



312 



INDIA OLD AND NEW 



Bimbisara, King, 26, 27 
Bolpur, school at, 254 
Bombay, 6 

city improvement, 271 
cotton mills, 270, 271 
labour troubles, 270, 273-4 
Bombay Presidency, 69, 71 

elections in, 194-6 
Bonnerji, Mr., 92, 93 
Boycott movements, 4, 113, 294. 

See Swadeshi 

Brahmanas, the, 16, 17-18 
Brahmans : 
Akbar and, 60 

supremacy of, 17-18, 23, 27, 
37-8, 41, 44, 45, 84, 190, 219- 
220, 221-4; Buddhism and, 
27 ; Gandhi and, 190 
temple, 11 

Brahmo-Somaj movement, 80, 95 
British, arrival of, in India, 3-4, 

5, 62, 66-7, 220 

British administration, share of 
Indians in, 12-13, 97, 101-10, 
132-5, 163-4 

British Army in India, 275-7 
British Empire, India's partner- 
ship in, its implications, 164, 
306-10 
British rulet 

co-operation the principle of, 12- 

13, 66-8, 74, 204-8, 300-301 
education and, 79-82, 299-300 
evolution of, 66-83. See Crown 
sovereignty, East India Com- 
pany, Parliamentary control 
Gandhi and, 191 
goal of, 12-13, 76-7, 79, 149, 

162-4, 301-2 

Bubonic plague appears, 88 
Buddha, 25, 26, 27-8 ; bones of, 

discovered, 34 
Buddhism, rise and fall of, 27, 

29-34, 39-40 
Hinduism and, 31, 34-5 
Budget deficit, 268-9 

Calcutta, 6-12 

capital removed from, 128, 129 
co-operation revived in, 204-5 
labour conditions in, 271 
Supreme Court created, 72 
Western-educated women in, 8 

Calcutta University, 8, 114, 205-6 

Canada and Indian immigrants, 
211, 282 

Canning, Lord, 82-3, 91 

Cape Colony, Indians in, 280, 281 



Carmichael, Lord, 207 

Caste system, the, 23, 43-5, 64, 107, 

215-19, 224 

Akbar hostile to, 58, 60 
Gandhi and, 169, 186-7, 219 
reform attempted, 236 
Central Provinces : 

caste system in, 215-19 

" Non-co-operation " campaign 

in, 214-15, 218-19 
Chamber of Princes, the, 1, 2, 158, 

239, 241-5 
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Austen, 

144, 150 
Chanakya, 29 

Chandavarkar, Sir Narain, 171 
Chandni Chauk bomb outrage, 

129-30 

Chandragupta I., 37 
Chandragupta II., 37, 38 
Chandragupta Maurya, 28-9 
Charnock, Job, 10 
Chatterjee, Mr. B. C., 206 
Chawls, 271 
Chelmsford, Lord, 143, 144, 145, 

172, 301. See Montagu- 

Chelmsford reforms 
Chinese travellers in India, 24, 25, 

26, 33, 38, 39, 40 
Chintamani, Mr., 202 
Chitawan Brahmans, 113 
Christian converts, training of, 218 
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston, 283 
Civil Service, see Indian Civil 

Service 

Clive, Lord, 68, 70, 86 
Coal mines of Tata Company, 251 
Community representation, 127, 

157-8, 193, 211, 223-4 
Connaught, H.R.H. the Duke of, 

inauguration ceremonies and 

speeches by, 1, 2, 4, 185, 228, 

243, 303 

boycott of, 4, 6, 12 
Co-operation, the principle of 

British rule, 12-13, 66-8, 74, 

204-8, 300-301 
Cornwallis, Lord, 199 
Cotton imports duty, 147-8, 247, 

269 

Council of State proposed, 155 
Crewe, Lord, 134 
Crown colonies and Indians, 277, 

282-5, 306-8 
Crown sovereignty over India, 73, 

86 
Currency and exchange policy, 

262, 263-7 



INDEX 



313 



Currency Committee, 264-5 
Curtis, Mr. Lionel, 157 
Curzon, Lord, 103, 114-15, 120, 246 
and Indians in Transvaal, 281 
Partition of Bengal by, 103, 

114-15 

Universities Act of, 120 
Curzon -Wylie, Sir W., murdered, 
122 

Dalai, Mr. D. Merwanji, 265 
Dalhousie, Lord, 8, 80-82, 246 
Defence Force Bill, 148 
Defence of India Act, 140, 141, 171 
Delhi, 1, 2, 3, 4, 47, 49, 56, 57, 61 

capital restored to, 4, 5, 128 

Durbar, 4, 128, 129 

Fort, 1, 3 

George V. at, 4, 128, 129 

Hartal in, 4, 6, 173, 175 
Dharma, 22 
District Officers, 102 
Dominion Home Rule for India, 

143, 149, 163-4, 301-2 
Dominions, see Self - governing 

Dominions 

Dravidian races, 63, 64, 217, 219 
Duff, Dr. Alexander, 78 
Dufferin, Lord, 93, 94 
Dwarkadas, Mr. Jamnadas, 229, 

297 n. 

" Dyarchy," 156-7, 238 
Dyer, General, 177-9, 180-81, 182, 
185, 229 

Eastern Bengal, 114, 129, 137 
East India Company, 62, 66, 67-8, 

69-70, 86 

Crown control of, 73 
Indian co-operation with, 74, 77 
monopoly surrendered by, 74 
Parliamentary control of, 68-73 
Economic factors in life of India, 
246-7, 268-9 ; industry, 247- 
256 ; railways, 256-62 ; cur- 
rency and exchange, 262-7 
Edward VII., 4 ; visits India as 

Prince of Wales, 115 
Elections : 

Non-Brahman success in, 223-4 

" Non-co-operation " campaign 

and, 193-6, 201-4, 208-9, 214- 

215, 219, 224-6, 287 

underCouncils Act (1909), 130-31 

English language, benefit of, 4, 1 1 1 

Esher, Lord, 230 

Esher Committee's Report, 230- 

231, 262 



Europeans and Indians, relations 

between, 98-101, 204-8 
Extremist party, 118, 123, 135, 

142-3, 144-5, 266, 267 
campaigns during elections, 195, 

196-7, 201-4, 208-9, 214-15, 

219, 224-6, 287 

Congress captured by, 145-7, 150 
labour troubles and, 269, 273- 

274 
Moderate party and, 118, 135, 

160-61 
Montagu - Chelmsford reforms 

and, 150, 159-60 
Native states and, 240-41 
Rowlatt Acts and, 172-3 

Fa-Hien, 25, 38 

Factory legislation in India, 274- 

276 

Faizi, Abul, 59 
Family system, Hindu, 20-21 
Farquhar, Dr. J. N., 95 n., 121 
Fatehpur Sikri, 58-9, 61 
Fazl, Abul, 59, 60 
Fell, Sir Godfrey, 229 
Firishta, 53 
Firuz Shah, 48-9 
Fiscal policy, 147-8, 268-9 
Fort William, Calcutta, 7 
France, war with, and British rule, 

67, 69, 70 
Franchise qualifications, 193-4 

Gadr conspiracy, 211 
Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchamd, 
4, 6, 12, 161, 165-75, 177, 185- 
192, 203, 304 

caste system and, 169, 186-7, 219 
Hinduism of, 5, 13-14, 169, 190 
Indians in South Africa and, 

166-8, 169, 170, 171, 278-9 
labour and, 274 

" Non-co-operation " movement 
of, 4, 13, 165, 185-6, 191-2, 
197, 215, 286-7 ; election 
campaigns, 195, 200, 201, 202, 
204, 224-5, 226 

Reading, Lord, and, 165, 287-8 
Swadeshi organised by, 294-5 
Swaraj as conceived by, 170, 

189-90, 295 
violence opposed by, 170, 175, 

188, 192, 292-3, 294, 297-8 
Ganj Bakhsh, tomb of, 54 
Garnath pillar, 30 
" Gate of Victory " inscription, 59 
Gaur, 50 



314 



INDIA OLD AND NEW 



George V., King-Emperor: 

in India (as Prince of Wales), 

115-17, 125; (as King), 4, 128-9 
message of (1920), 1, 162-3, 

228, 303 

Ghijas-ud-Din, 52 
Ghose, Mr. Arabinda, 203 
Ghridrakuta mountain, 26 
Ghulam Kadir, 62 
Ghuri dynasty, 51-3 
Gokhale, Mr., 98, 118, 120, 134, 

146, 168, 235 ; Gandhi and, 

169, 297 

Gol Kumbaz, the, 55 
Golconda, 50 
Gordhays, Mr., 252 
GOUT, Dr., 237 

Government House, Calcutta, 7 
Government of India Act, 1919, 

162-3, 164, 203, 233, 235 
Governor- General, post of, 71, 72, 

73, 86 
Great War, the : 

Gandhi and, 169, 170 

India's part in, 138, 139-41, 147, 

262, 264, 282 
Western civilisation discredited 

by, 305, 310 

Gujerat, Indian culture in, 53 
Gupta dynasty, 37-8, 43 

Hailey, Mr., 232, 233-4, 268 
Hamilton, Lord George, 249 
Hardinge, Lady, 129, 130 
Hardinge of Penshurst, Lord, 
128, 129-30, 141, 142, 143; 
and Indians in South Africa, 
142, 168, 281 
Harsha, King, 39-41 
Hartal proclaimed, 4, 6, 12, 173 
Hastings, Lord, 75 
Hastings, Warren, 71, 72-3, 74, 78 
Hathi Singh, temple of, 53 
Hellenic influence in India, 33-4 
Hemu, 57 

Hindola Mahal, the, 52 
Hindu architecture, 54, 55-6 
Hindu family system, 20-21 
Hinduism, 5, 13-14, 16-25, 35, 60, 

95-6, 220 

Buddhism and, 31, 34-5 
enduring power of, 5, 13-14, 32, 

42-3, 45, 63-5 

Gandhi and, 5, 13-14, 169, 190 
Mahomedan domination and, 5, 

14, 45, 63-5, 220 
reform movements in, 80 
scriptures and doctrines of , 16-25 



Hinduism (contd.) 

social system of, 8-9, 23, 42-5, 
64, 107, 215-20 

Western education and, 84-5 
Hindus : 

Akbar and, 58, 59, 60, 61 

Mahomedans and, see Mahome- 
dans 

as revolutionaries, 119, 122 
History of the War of Independence 

of 1857 (Savarkar), 85 
Hiuen-Tsang, 26, 33, 39, 40 
Holland, Sir Thomas, 148, 248 
Home Rule for India, 145, 147, 148, 

150 

Horse sacrifice, see Asvamedha 
Humayun, Emperor, 56 
Hume, Mr., 93 
Huns, invasion of, 38 
Hunter, Lord, 179 
Hunter Committee, 179, 181-2, 183 
Hushang Ghuri, 51-2 

Hbert Bill, the, 91 
Imperial Conference.Indian citizen- 
ship question in, 284-5 
Imperial Legislative Council, 145, 

147 
Imperial War Conference, Indian 

representatives at, 141, 282 
Indentured emigration stopped, 

148, 283 
India: 

Dominion self-government for, 
76-7, 79, 143, 149, 163-4, 
301-2 
economics of, see Economic 

factors 
and Great War, 138, 139-41, 

147, 262-3, 264, 282 
partnership of, in Empire, 142, 

143, 164, 306-10 
population of, 88 
trade of, 88, 246-7, 262-4 
Indian administration, Indian 
share in, 12-13, 86, 89, 97, 
101-10, 132-5, 163-4 
Indian Army, 68, 85, 89, 139 ; in 

Flanders, 139, 141 
expenditure on, 230-32, 262, 

275-7 

Indians in, 89-90 
territorial, 276, 277 
Indian Civil Service, position of 
Indians in, 97, 102, 134, 163, 
302 

Indian co-operation, see Co- 
operation 



INDEX 



315 



Indian Councils Act (1892), 93-4, 
118; (1909), 127-8, 130-31, 

137, 157 

Indian education, 75, 78-82, 89 
Commission on, 148 
Curzon conference on, 120 
defects of, 97-8, 119-20 
Montagu-Chelmsford Report on, 

152-3 
Indian finance, 230-34, 268 

currency and exchange, 262, 

263-7 
Indian fiscal policy, 88, 234, 246-7, 

268-9 
Indian industries, 88, 246-56, 

269 

Indian Legislative Assembly, 2, 
155, 225-6 ; first session, 227- 
237, 302 

Royal Message to, 228, 303 
Indian Local Government Act 

(1888), 93 

Indian National Congress, 92, 95- 
96, 108; Surat, 118, 135; 
Bombay, 140, 145, 146, 160; 
Lucknow, 147 ; Nagpur, 190- 
191, 215, 240, 287 
All-India Moslem League and, 

138, 173 

Amritsar Commission of, 183-4 
Extremists capture, 145-7, 150 
Mahomedans and, 92-3, 109, 

135, 173 
Montagu - Chelmsf ord reforms 

and, 150, 160 
Sinha at, 140, 146 
Indian Nationalism, 35, 111-13 
Indian representation not actual 

control, 132-4 
Indian Sociologist, the, 122 
Indian taxation, 87, 232-4, 295-6 
Indian War Loan, 141, 147, 262, 

264 
Indians : 

in administration, see Indian 

administration 
Crown Colonies and, 277, 282-5, 

306-8 

Europeans and, relations be- 
tween, 98-101, 204-8 
in industry, 8, 253-6 
self-governing Dominions and, 
142, 144, 166-9, 170-71, 211, 
277-85, 306-10 
travelling, 256-9 
Indo - Mahomedan architecture, 

54-5 
Indraprasthra (Indrapat), 2 



Industrial development of India, 

88, 247-56, 269 
Infant widowhood, 9, 21, 107 
Iron and steel industry, 247-56 
Iron Pillar, 2, 3 
Irrigation, 87 
Islington, Lord, 134 
Islington Commission, 134 

Jaganath, temple of, 64, 256 

Jahaz Mahal, the, 52 

Jaina school of architecture, 53, 

54 

Jainism, 27, 43, 53 
Jallianwala Bagh massacre, 177-9, 

211. See Amritsar 
Jamsheedpur, 248, 249-56 
Japanese victories and Indian 

opinion, 112, 305 
Jehanghir, Emperor, 59, 60 
Jhansi elections, 202 
Jinna, Mr., 191 
Jodh Bai palace, 58 
Jones, Sir William, 23 

Kaikobad, 48 

Kali, 9-12 ; temple at Calcutta, 

119 

Kali-Kata, 10 
Kalidasa, 37, 38 
Kanishka, 32, 33 
Karma doctrine, 19, 20-21 
Kauravas, 2 
Kayastha caste, 122 
Kenia, position of Indians in, 283-4 
Khalifate of Islam, the, 136, 173-4 
Khalsa College, 210 
Khilafat movement, 174, 175, 204, 

208, 240, 291 ; rising, 297 n. 
Khilji dynasty, 48 
Kitchener, Lord, 115, 128 
Krishna cult, 63 
Krishnavarma, Mr., 122 
Kshatria caste, 23 
Kushan kingdom, 33-4 
Kutub-ed-Din, 3, 47 
Kutub Minar, the, 2, 47 
Kuwwet-el-Islam Mosque, 3, 47 

Labour and Industry department, 
274 

Labour Bureau, 273 

Labour problems and unrest, 269- 
275 

Lady Hardinge's School of Medi- 
cine, 130 

Lahore, 208, 210-11 

Lake, Lord, 4, 62 



316 



INDIA OLD AND NEW 



Lai, Mr. Harkishen, 209 
Land revenue questions, 199-201 
Land-tax, 87, 199-200, 295-6 
Languages, rivalry of, 37-8 
Lansdowne, Lord, 93, 95, 113, 

236 

Lawyers, Indian, 8, 108-9, 202 
Letters to the People of India 

(Curtis), 157 

Lloyd, Sir George, 271, 272-3 
Lodi dynasty, 49, 56 
Lord North's Act, 71 
Lucknow Congress, 147 
Lyall, Sir Alfred, 45 
Lytton, Lord, 91 

Macaulay's Minute, 79, 81 
Macdonald, Mr. Ramsay, 134 
MacLagan, Sir Edward, 209 
Madras, mills in, 271 
Madras Presidency, 69, 71 ; elec- 
tions in, 219, 222-4 
Magadha, kingdom of, 16 
Mahabharata, the, 2, 25, 35 
Maha-Kal temple, 36-7 
Mahars, 216-19 
Mahavira, 27 
Mahmud Bigarah, 55 
Mahmud of Ghazni, 3, 46 
Mahmud Khilji, 52 
Mahomed Tughluk, 48, 49 
Mahomedan art and architecture, 

50, 54, 55 
Mahomedan College, Aligurh, 135- 

136 

Mahomedan conquest and domina- 
tion, 3, 5, 42, 46-9, 62, 220 
Mahomedan kingdoms, 49-50 * 
Mahomedanism, 64, 65 
Mahomedans, 109, 197 

community representation of, 

127, 137, 157, 193, 211 
Congress and attitude of, 92-3, 

109, 135, 173 

Hindus and: antagonism be- 
tween, 64, 65, 135, 188-9, 288- 
293; mingling of, 5, 50-51, 
173, 174-5, 176 
Partition and, 114, 136, 137 
Turkey, position of, and, 137-8, 

140, 173-4, 189, 190, 292 
Mahrattas, 4, 5, 61, 62, 113, 214 
Maidan, the, Calcutta, 7 
Maine, Sir Henry, 237 
Malabar Hill, Bombay, 6 
Malegaon riots, 291 
Mandu, 50, 51-3 
Manu, code of, 22, 23-4, 38 



Marriage, Hindu laws and, 9, 237 

Mary, Queen, visits India : (as 
Princess of Wales), 115, 116, 
125 : (as Queen), 128-9 

Maurya dynasty, 28-32, 43 

Maya, 19 

Megasthenes, 28, 29 

Mehta, Sir Pherozeshah, 92, 93, 
118, 120, 146 

Mesopotamia^! Report, 149 

Mihiragula, 38 

Mimansa system, 19-20 

Mining development in India, 88, 
249-56 

Minto, Lord, 117, 126, 128, 130, 
136-7. See Morley-Minto re- 
forms 

Miriam-uz-Zemani, 59 

Mitter, Mr. B. L., 160-61 

Moderate party, 118, 135, 150, 160 
election successes of, 196 
Extremist breach with, 118, 135, 
160-61 

Modern Religious Movements in 
India (Farquhar), 95 n., 121 

Moghul Empire, 3, 4, 5, 56, 57 ; 
fall of, 61-2, 67, 72 

Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S., 149, 
150-51, 159, 161, 184; ex- 
change operations of, 264-7 

Montagu-Chelmsford reforms and 
Report, 149-50, 151-9, 161, 
203, 246 

Act passed, 162-3, 203 
reception of, 159-62 

Moplah rising, 297 n. 

Morley, Lord, 117, 125-7, 131, 132, 
227 

Morley-Minto reforms, 126, 127, 
130-34, 142, 145 

Munro, Sir Thomas, minute by, 
76-7 235 

Murders,' political, 119, 120, 121, 
122 

Mutiny of 1857, the, 83, 84-7, 99, 
101, 124 

Nadir Shah, 61 

Nagpur Congress, 190-91, 215, 240, 

287 

Nair, Dr., 223 
Nankhanda Saheb massacre, 212- 

213 

Naoroji, Dadabhai, 92, 94 
Natal and Indian settlers, 166, 

167, 278, 279 
Nationalism : 

European, 111; Indian, 35, 111-13 



INDEX 



317 



Native States, 68 

administration of, 239-41, 243 
constitutional reforms and, 158, 

241 

Nellore incidents, 289-90 
New India, 147 
Nivedita, Sister, 95 
Nizam of Hyderabad, 240, 243 
Non-Brahmans, increasing influ- 
ence of, 223-4 

" Non-co-operation " movement, 
4, 13, 165, 185-6, 191-2, 197, 
267, 286 

election campaign, see Elections 
present dangers from, 287-8, 

293-8 

Non-payment of taxes, 295-6 
North-West Frontier Province, 
Khilafat movement in, 208 

O'Dwyer, Sir Michael, 179, 182, 184 
Oudh, annexation of, 81 

Pal, Bepin Chandra, 112 

Pandavas, 2, 4 

Panipat, battles of, 56, 57, 62 

Paranjpe, Professor, 196 

Parliamentary apathy on Indian 
questions, 109-10, 158 

Parliamentary Commission of In- 
quiry suggested, 159 

Partition of Bengal, 103, 114, 117, 

125, 129 ; agitation against, 

110, 114-15, 118-20; revised, 

129, 137 

Mahomedans and, 114, 136, 137 

Pataliputra, 27, 28-9, 31 

Pathan massacre of Sikhs, 212-13 

Patna riots, 288-9 

Perin, Mr. C. Page, 249 

Permanent settlement, the, 199- 
200 

Pitt's Act, 72, 73 

Plassey, battle of, 68, 85 

Polak, Mr. H. S. L., 166 

Population of India, 88 

Portuguese in India, 62 

Prayaga, 39 

Presidents, East India Company, 
69, 71 

Press, " Non-co-operation," 287 

Press restrictions, 91, 93, 126 

Prirthana Somaj, 95 

Prithvi Raja, 3, 42, 47 

Provincial Governments, 131, 133, 
155-6, 237-8 

Provincial Legislative Councils, 94, 
131, 132, 237-9 



Provincial representative govern- 
ment, 154, 155-8 

Public services, position of Indians 
in, 12-13, 86, 89, 97, 101-10, 
132-5, 163-4 

Public Services Commission, 134-5 

Punjab, the: 

elections in, 208-9 
outbreak in, and repressive 
measures, 173, 175, 176, 177- 
185, 228-30, 282, 294, 296 

Purana Kilat, 2 

Puri, pilgrimages to, 256 

Purushpura, 32 ; stupa, 33-4 

Pushyamitra Sunga, 32 

Queen Victoria Memorial Hall, 
Calcutta, 7 

Racial equality, necessity of, 306- 

310 

Rahu, Mr., 206 
Railway Board, 261 
Railways, Indian : 1857-1905, 

87 ; present condition, 256- 

262 

Raja Bikram, 3, 37, 38 
Raja Birbal, 59 
Rajagriha, 25-6 
Rajasuya rite, 32 
Rajput princes, 242 
Rajput states, 41-2, 57, 61 
Rakhina, Sultana, 58 
Ramayana, the, 35 
Ranade, Mr., 92, 96 
Ranee Sepree mosque, 55 
Rawlinson, Lord, 229, 231 
Reading, Lord, 301, 302; Gandhi's 

interview with, 165, 287-8 
Reay, Lord, 93 
Recollections (Morley), 125 
Representative institutions in- 
augurated, 1-2, 4, 228, 243 
" Reserved subjects," 156, 157, 

238 

Ripon, Lord, 91, 93 
River-confluences, worship of, 39- 

40 

Robertson, Sir Benjamin, 248 
Ronaldshay, Lord, 134, 207-8 
Rowlatt, Mr. Justice, 171 
Rowlatt Acts, 171-3 
Roy, Ram Mohun, 80 
Royalty, Indian attitude to, 128, 

129, 303 
Rup Mati, 53 
Rupee, stabilisation of the, 264-6 



318 



INDIA OLD AND NEW 



Russian anarchism and Indian, 

123 
Russian menace to India, 89 

Sadler, Sir Thomas, 148 

Sakti worship, 63 

Samadragupta, 37 

Sankhya Darshana, the, 19, 27 

Sanskrit, 18, 37-8 

Sastri, Mr. Srinivasa, 196, 236, 

284-5 

Sasunaga dynasty, 16 
Sati, practice of, 36, 60, 64, 80 
Satyagraha, 172-3, 174, 176 
Sawarkar, Vinayak, 85 
Secretary of State for India, 73, 86, 

126-7, 131 
Council of, Indians on, 126, 127, 

163 
exchange operations of, 263, 

264-7 

Sedition Committee, 122, 171 
Self-governing Dominions, treat- 
ment of Indians by, 142, 144, 

166-9, 170-71, 211, 277-85, 

306-10 
Self-government, Indian, 76-7, 79, 

145, 147, 148, 150, 163-4, 

301-2 

Sen, Keshab Chundra, 95 
Senart, M., 44 
" Servants of India " Society, 146, 

196, 235-6 

Seyyid Ahmed Khan, Sir, 135-6 
Seyyid dynasty, 49 
Shah Alam II., 62 
Sher Shah, 56, 57 
Shiva, cult of, 34, 40, 41, 63 ; and 

Uma, 36 

Shivaji, 5, 61, 113 
Shudra caste, 23 
Sidi Dervish, 48 
Sikh confederacy defeated, 81 
Sikhism, reforms in, 210-12 
Sikhs, 210-12; massacred by Path- 

ans, 212 

Canada and, 282 
Sinha, Lord (formerly Sir Sat- 

yendra), 8, 127, 140, 141, 146 
Slave dynasty, 47-8 
Smriti, 22 

Smuts, General, 168, 279 
Sonthals, the, 250, 254 
South Africa, Union of, and Indian 

grievances, 142, 166-8, 169, 

170-71, 278-82, 285 
South African War, Indians and, 

112, 167 



Southern India, elections in, 214, 

219, 222-6 
Spooner, Dr., 34 
Steel and iron industry, 247-56 
Strikes, 269-71, 272, 273 
Students, unrest among, 119-20, 

122, 128, 286 
Sultan of Turkey and Khalifate of 

Islam, 136, 173-4 
Surat Congress, 118, 135 
Swadeshi movement, 12, 113, 119, 

203, 247, 269, 294-5 
Swaraj, 110, 119, 188-9, 191 

Gandhi's conception of, 170, 

186-8, 192 

Royal Message and, 1, 4 
Sydenham, Lord, 249-50 

Tagore, Rabindranath, 254, 286 

Tantras, the, 63 

Tata, Jamsheedji, 249 

Tata, Sir Dorab, 249 

Tata Company, the, 248, 249- 

256 
Taxation problems, 87, 232-4 ; 

non-payment movement, 295- 

296 

Telang, Mr., 92, 96 
Telegraph system, Indian, 1857- 

1905, 87 

Temple, Mr., 252 
Thanesvar, battle of, 47 
Tilak, Bal Gangadhar, 95-6, 118, 

139, 146, 147, 159, 161, 237, 

295 

Gandhi and, 189 
imprisonment of, 113, 128 
Timur, invasion of, 3, 49, 56 
Tirupati, 220-21 
Trade, Indian, 88, 246-7, 262-4 
Trades Unions in India, 272, 275 
" Transferred subjects," 156, 157, 

238 
Transvaal and Indian settlers, 

166-7, 168, 279, 281 
Tughluk dynasty, 48-9 
Turkey, war with, and Indian 

Mahomedans, 137-8, 140, 173- 

174, 189, 190, 292 
Turkish Nationalism, 137, 138 

Ujjain, 29, 35-7 
United Provinces: 

agrarian questions in, 196, 197 

201 
" Non-co-operation " campaign 

in, 196, 202, 292, 293 
Universities, Indian, 82, 197 



INDEX 



319 



Universities Act of 1904, 120 
" Untouchables," 216-19, 221 
Upanishads, the, 16 

Vaishya caste, 23 
Vedantic system, 19, 27 
Vedas, the, 16-17, 18 
Viceroy, 86 

Executive Council of, Indians 
on, 94, 102, 126, 127, 235 

Legislative Council of, 132 
Victoria, Queen-Empress, 4 ; pro- 
clamation by, 86-7, 89 
Vijianagar, 55, 220 
Vikramaditya, King, 2, 3, 37, 38 
Vincent, Sir William, 229 
Vishnu cult, 63 
Vivekananda, Swami, 95 

Wales, Prince of, Indian visit of : 
(Edward VII.), 115; (George 
V.), 115-17, 125; (present), 
303 

Wellesley, Marquess, 7 
Western civilisation : 

Gandhi and, 14, 169, 304, 306 
Great War discredits, 305-6, 
310 



Western education, 8, 79-80, 97-8, 

135-6 

Brahman monopoly of, 222-3 
Hinduism and, 84-5 
implications of, 152-3, 299-300 
Western-educated classes, 4, 124 
co-operation by, 139, 202, 303-4 
Curzon and, 100, 114 
grievances of, 89-91, 97, 98-110, 

134-5 
Montagu-Chelmsford Report on, 

152-3 
social reform not attempted by, 

107-8 

unrest among, 111-15, 123-4 
White Huns, the, 38 
Whyte, Mr. A. F., 227-8 
Widows, see Infant widowhood 
Willingdon, Lord, 224 
Women, Indian, position of, 8, 21, 

64-5, 82, 236 
Wood, Sir Charles, 81 

Yoga system, 19 

Young India, 192 

Y.M.C.A., valuable work of, 206-7 

Yudhisthira, 2 

Yueh Chis, the, 33 

Yugantar, the, 121, 203 



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