The Project Gutenberg EBook of India, Old and New, by Sir Valentine Chirol

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Title: India, Old and New

Author: Sir Valentine Chirol

Release Date: April 8, 2005 [EBook #15586]

Language: English

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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.





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 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 half years of frightful war, bade them answer it.

The answer finally took shape in the great constitutional 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 sometimes, 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.


34 Carlyle Square, Chelsea,
August 24, 1921.


The Clash Of Two Civilisations 1
The Enduring Power Of Hinduism 15
Mahomedan Domination 46
British Rule Under The East India Company 66
The Mutiny And Fifty Years After 84
The First Great Wave Of Unrest 111
The Morley-minto Reforms 125
Through The Great War To The Great Indian Reform Bill 139
The Emergence Of Mr. Gandhi 165
Side-lights On The Elections 193
Cross Currents In Southern India 214
The Birth Of An Indian Parliament 227
Economic Factors 246
Shoals And Rocks Ahead 268
The Inclined Plane Of Gandhiism 286
The Indian Problem A World Problem 299




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 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, 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 seventeen 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 bloodshed, 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 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 accordance 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, 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 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 enterprise 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 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 Olive'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 "compound," 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 Dalhousie 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 tram-cars, 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 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 profession 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 progressive 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, 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, condemned according to the laws of Hinduism by the premature death of their husbands to whom they had been wedded, but whom they had never known, to lifelong widowhood, and therefore in most cases to lifelong 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 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 meditation the moment when its ponderous bronze doors are from time to time thrown open. One old Brahman lady of singularly refined appearance presses her fingers alternately 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 altercations 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 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 merely persevering in the same path which, though at times hesitatingly and reluctantly, the British rulers of India have trodden for generations past, always keeping 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 progressive 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 phenomena which have marked the latter-day revival of Hinduism 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 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 partnership 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.



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 position 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 hieroglyphics enabled us to determine its antiquity, and the discovery of its abundant art treasures revealed the high 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 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 transcendent 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 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 aggrandisement. 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 luxuriant 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 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 inconceivable 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 unfathomable 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, 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 inconsequence 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 expression 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 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.

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 dealing 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 organisation 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 probably 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 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 relatively slight penalty; every offence committed against him the direst punishment. Next to the Brahman, but far beneath him, is the Kshatrya 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 extraordinarily full and detailed ordinances, they represent a system of combined despotism and priestcraft, both indeed limited by law, but artfully conspiring to give mutual support with mutual checks. But though they abound with minute and childish formalities, though they prescribe ceremonies often ridiculous, though the punishments 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 limitations, 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 authority of priests and kings, but of the latter always in subordination 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 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 commanding 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 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 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 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 laboriously 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 Chandragupta 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 Alexander'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, 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., endured 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 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 established. Truth must be spoken. These are the virtues of the law of piety which must be practised.... In it are included 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 condemning 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 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 disintegrate 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 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 and crowned with a cupola of diamonds, was still 150 feet high and measured a quarter of a mile in circumference 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 Mahomedan 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 himself 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 anthropomorphism 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, closely connected with Shiva; others like Krishna and Rama, avātaras 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 Baghavat-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 Ozenī to the Greeks, and where Asoka had ruled in his youth as Viceroy of Western India. It owes its 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 perform 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 congregation 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 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 Vikramadytia 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 depression 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 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 Vikramadytia, though dismayed at the desolation which had already overtaken many of the sacred places of Buddhism, pays a generous tribute to the tolerance and statesmanship 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-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 encouragement 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, 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 exhausted 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, exclaiming: "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."

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 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-Raja, 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 populations of India, and sufficiently rigid to secure the Aryan Hindu ascendancy. Of its marvellous tenacity and powers of resorption there can be no greater proof than the elimination of Buddhism from India, where, in spite of its tremendous uplift in the days of Asoka and the intermittent 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 conqueror. 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 possibility 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 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 corporation, 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 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 intermingling 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 submerged by the waves without ever breaking up.



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 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-el-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 exquisite 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 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 gateway 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, Kāfur, 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 disarm the wrath to come by pious deeds and lavish charities. The record he kept of them is not without a certain naïve 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 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 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 immediate 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 substantial remains of what was once a populous and wealthy city. The Ghuris came from Afghanistan, and the 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 greatness 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 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 Karnāvati, Gujerat was a stronghold 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 keeping, 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 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 façade, 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 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 beautiful as the Hindu cupola may be with its concentric mouldings and the superimposed circular courses horizontally raised on an octagonal architrave which rests on symmetrical 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 hand, has never built any such arch except under compulsion.

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 stedfast 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 horsemen; 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 statesmanship as much as his prowess that laid the rough foundations 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 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 government into his own hands. There had been great conquerors 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 established 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 administration 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 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 inspiration. For his first wife, Sultana Rakhina, who was also his first cousin, Akbar built the Jodh Bai palace, 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 conversation, 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 hubris 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, 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 Viceregent 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 preferred 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 conciliate 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 condemnation, 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, whilst 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, Jehanghir, at once reverted to Mahomedan orthodoxy, but the reaction only became militant when Aurungzeb succeeded Shah Jehan. The profound incompatibility between Islam and Hinduism reasserted itself in him with a bitterness which the growing 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 incapable hands of Aurungzeb's successors, whilst the Delhi palace became a hotbed of squalid and often sanguinary intrigue, disintegration proceeded with startling 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 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.

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 ruthlessly 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 Mahomedan 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 closer contact with primitive Dravidian religions, or of such wild lawlessness as followed the barbarous devastation 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 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.



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 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, 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 determination 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 conceptions 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 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 Government 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 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 sometimes 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 uncontrolled, 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 conception of a tutelary relationship towards the peoples of India, or were animated by purely philanthropic solicitude 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 negotiations 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 eleven years later, the House of Commons passed resolutions 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 administration and moulded it to the shape which it virtually preserved until the Crown assumed direct sovereignty in 1858, shows how steadily the strengthening of Parliamentary 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 developments 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 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 irresponsible 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 situation, 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 sometimes 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 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 achievements, 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 Parliament, 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 framework 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 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 temptations 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 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 government, 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 unexpected 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 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 arrangements: What is to be their final result on the character of the people?" The following passage in that remarkable 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 superstitions 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 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 administrator 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 subordinate 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 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 government," 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 provided 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 education could alone win over India to Christianity, and Macaulay's famous Minute of March 7, 1835, disfigured 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 assimilate 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 institutions. Whether such a day will ever come, I know not. But never will I attempt to avert or retard it. Whenever 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 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, Ram 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 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 introduction 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 Instruction in every province to emphasise the importance 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 institutions. 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 unworthily, 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 greatness 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, 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.



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 insurrection, 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." 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 relatively 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 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 Clive 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 corporation. Transformed into a great agency of government 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 government 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 Proclamation 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 wide exercise of her royal clemency to all offenders save those actually guilty of murder during the recent outbreak. 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 statistics 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-aller 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 development; 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 appearance 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 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 Universities 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, displayed 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 as a fighting machine entirely dependent upon British leadership. The native officers of an Indian regiment, mostly promoted from the ranks, could in no circumstances 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 gentlemen, 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 calculated 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 government 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 English 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 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 Government 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 disqualifications 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 deference 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 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 élite 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 Ranadé 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 sympathy 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 community as a whole, reflecting the ancient and deep-seated 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 movement. 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 satisfaction 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 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 administration 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 institutions." 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 Tilak, a Chitawan Brahman of Poona, for the first time into public life as the champion of extreme Hindu orthodoxy. 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 unscrupulous 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 Ranadé, 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 exclusion from all real participation in the counsels of Government, 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 discrimination, 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 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 leaning towards the humanities—to correct by the encouragement 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 personal 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 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 intimate 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. Englishwomen 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 Englishmen 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 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 collisions 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. Europeans could see nothing in this but the right of every club to restrict its membership and frame its regulations 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 government under the direct authority of the Crown lost the flexibility which the vigilant control of the British Parliament 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 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'élite from which most of the members of the Viceroy's Executive Council, i.e. the Government of India, were recruited. The District Officer remained the pivot and pillar of British administration 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 headquarters 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 repositories 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 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 Partition 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 unquestionably 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 knowledge 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 of Bengal, and it is upon future co-operation between them that the success of the great constitutional experiment 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 administration 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-countrymen, 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 intentions 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 administrative 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 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 incapable 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 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 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 problems 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 inter-marriage, 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 lifelong indebtedness, upon marriages and funerals, and so forth and so forth. How many of the Western-educated Indians who have thrown themselves into political agitation against the tyranny of 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 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 therefore speak on behalf of and still less control the destinies of a vast population, overwhelmingly agricultural, regarding whose interests they had hitherto shown themselves both ignorant and indifferent, and from whom the very education which constituted their main title to consideration had tended to separate and estrange them. The land-owning 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 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 aspirations of ambitious lawyers. Above all, the British administrator, 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 countrymen 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 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 exchange, 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 responsibilities 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.


[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.



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 independence 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 expression, 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 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 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 movement for boycotting British-imported goods and manufactures 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 afterwards 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 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 administrative 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 province 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 chastising 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 province 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 Imperialist, 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 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 demonstrations. 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 administration 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 reorganisation 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 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 constitutional monarchy, and began to extend its application even to the King's Government for the purpose of conveniently 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 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'autorité. 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 administrative methods. Bengal remained partitioned. It was a chose jugée 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 since those days in the whole atmosphere of India. Disillusionment 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 Banerjee. 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 session 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 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 religious 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 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 Commission 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 blind 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 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 everlasting 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 everything far better than Europeans can. The British Government, 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 Europeans 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.

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 formidable 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 mainspring 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 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 efficiency that it had gradually lost sight of the old and finer principles of Anglo-Indian as well as of British statesmanship 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 remained 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-operation" 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 confidence after the change of Government which had taken place at home in December 1905 it seemed to come very slowly.



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 importance 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 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 the 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 nominations 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 consultative 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 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 goodwill, 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 unmerited 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 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 jugée 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 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 aspirations, and the Lady Hardinge's School of Medicine for Indian women stands now at Delhi as an enduring monument, 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 minimise 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 affection 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 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 representatives 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 Governments 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.

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 disclaiming warmly any intention of paving the way for the introduction of parliamentary institutions into India, Mr. Morley had allowed an illusory semblance of parliamentary 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 continued 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 arguments 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 according 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 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 display 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 politicians, 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 exercised by the Central Government over Provincial Governments, 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 conservatism of the official world but many Indian interests 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 administrative work of the country or to redress the very reasonable grievances of Indians employed in the Government services who were still for the most part penned up in the Provincial Services as established on the recommendations 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 premature 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 produce 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 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 Extremists 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 distrust 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 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 political situation created by the Partition of Bengal, lest political concessions should be hastily made to the Hindus which would pave the way for the ascendancy 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 principle of community representation being applied for their benefit in the Indian Councils Act of 1909.

A new generation of young Mahomedans had nevertheless 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 disappointed 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 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 Constantinople 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.



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 displayed 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 Englishmen who knew India; but less expected was the immediate 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, 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 watchfulness 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 complexion, 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.

The British Government and people responded generously to these splendid demonstrations of India's fundamental loyalty to the British cause and the British connection. 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, construed his utterance into a pledge of the deepest significance. For two years India presented on everything that related to the war a front unbroken by any dissensions. 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 subsidiary 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 Congress party, were sent to represent India at the first Imperial 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 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 Government, 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 question 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. 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 immediate 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 demand 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 speculations 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 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 assumption 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 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 commissions 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 Legislative 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 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 reunion, 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[2] 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 eloquence the moral and spiritual superiority of Indian over Western creeds, and condemning the British administration of India, root and branch, as one of the worst manifestations of Western materialism. With her remarkable 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 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 University, 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 enrichment of others." Access to some of the provinces was denied to her by Provincial Governments, and the Government of Madras decided to "intern" her. The "internment" 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 of India, whilst acquiescing in the action of the Provincial 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 progressive 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-operation received from those upon whom new opportunities 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 demonstrations. 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 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 remained 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 temperaments 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 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 inability 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 imagination 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 exclusiveness and of usages sanctioned by caste, and in the records of 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 educational 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 undertake 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 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 citizenship. 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 foundations 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 Government 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 government 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 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 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 preliminary 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 betrayed itself in the treatment of the question of "communal" 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 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 theoretical 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 discourage.

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 administration, 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 responsible 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 reforms, they recommended that a Parliamentary Commission 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-government. 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 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 somewhat 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 Legislative 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 development, 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 that the Extremists' method is not necessarily constitutional; the Moderates' method always constitutional. Some Extremists use violence, others work secretly and spread discontent and disaffection. Others again, pretending to follow legitimate 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 growing 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 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 proposals 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 constitutional 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 institutions. 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 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 institutions 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 recommendations of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report, superseded 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 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-Government. 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.


[2] The Evolution of Mrs. Besant, by the Editor of Justice, Madras, Justice Printing Works, 1918.



Before this great statute could be brought into operation, 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 extraordinary combination of untoward circumstances, was to rally round him some of the most and many of the least reputable forces which, sometimes under new disguises, the old and passive civilisation of India is instinctively 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 multitude 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 foundations 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 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 administrator, 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 lasting 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 three-fold 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 Government took up the cudgels for them, and the treatment 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 countrymen. 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, short-lived, as misunderstandings occurred as to its interpretation. The struggle 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 Commission 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 administrative 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 recommending 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 distrust of Western civilisation, of which he had unquestionably 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 civilisation 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 continually seemed to involve him was furnished by himself when he said, "Most religious men I have met are 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 education, 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 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 propaganda, 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 alterations 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 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 proceeding 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 opposition, 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 something 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 misrepresent the purpose of the bills received a great accession of strength when Mr. Gandhi instituted the vow of Satyagraha, or passive resistance, under which, 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 condemning 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 Province, and even in Calcutta.

The Delhi Hartal brought for the first time into full relief the close alliance into which the Mahomedan Extremists 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 communities. 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 Mahomedan religion all over the world by depriving the 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 Khilafat 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 instructed to plead. The greatest success which the Khilafat agitators achieved was when Mr. Gandhi allowed himself to be persuaded by them that the movement 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 justification. 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 movement of passive resistance in spite of the Hindu character impressed upon it by its Sanscrit name, it was, 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, 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 punishment 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 lawlessness 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 himself had done at Ahmedabad, with Government in the restoration of order. The Satyagraha 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 congregations 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 Government 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 Ahmedabad alone. There were many arrests and prosecutions. 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 proclamation forbidding all public gatherings—entered with about fifty rifles. I stood on the same rising ground on which 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 personally 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 statements 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 "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 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 indiscriminate 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 Government 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 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 Government 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 suppression 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 which owes allegiance and looks for protection to the Government 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 judgment 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 postulate breadth of view and due appreciation of all the possible 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 conception 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 commission 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 punishments 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 for them. The instances cited by the Committee gave justifiable 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 population 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 punishment 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 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 unreasonably, 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 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 elsewhere, 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 responsible advisers proceeded in person, the moment the disorders were over, to Lahore or Amritsar, barely more than a night's journey from Delhi or Simla, is it conceivable that a halt would not have been forthwith called to proceedings which these high officers of state were constrained 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 Committee. 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 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 Government 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 Sèvres 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 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 felicity 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 Khilafat 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 manhood 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 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 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 outlook 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 communities. "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 condemn 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 Ali 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 unimpeachable—the only point indeed in which Mr. Tilak 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 enforcement 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 Vicegerent 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 themselves 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 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 reaffirmed 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 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 key-note of all the proceedings with his favourite doctrine of Ahimsa. 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 bloodshed 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 movement 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 producing 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 dissociate 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?



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 constituencies in this country, but besides the "general constituencies" 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 constituencies 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 "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 2-3/4 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 absolutely 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 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 suddenly 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 withdrawal 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 Government, but as a means of exercising constitutional pressure on the Government. Mr. Gandhi certainly succeeded not only in dissuading his immediate followers but in frightening 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 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 educational work at the Ferguson College in Poona. Enough Moderates were found to stick to their colours in practically every constituency, and they secured their seats, in the absence of Extremist nominations, without contest, or after submitting their not very acute political differences 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 administrative 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. 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 universities. 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 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 precarious 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 recognition 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 not one of those transferred under the Act to Indian ministers.

Agrarian questions, moreover, are very intimately connected 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 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 singularly 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 settlement" 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 backbone 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 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 township—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 signatures and thumbmarks of the voters. Inside, the presiding 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 exceptions 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 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 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 Government against "Non-co-operation" as now preached by Mr. Gandhi. Only less remarkable has been the conversion 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 understanding 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 stronghold of reactionary European conservatism, especially 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 industrial co-operation, and they have rubbed up less frequently 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 European 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. 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 détenus 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. Rahu, 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 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 predecessor, 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 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 backward 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 constituencies "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, fairly large, especially in those where the influence of old conservative families was still paramount. Altogether the Punjab Provincial Council is perhaps less representative 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 Lal, 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 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, however, 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 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 unquestionably 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 Gadr 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 revolutionaries 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 unorthodox and corrupt Mahunts, faithless both to their religious and temporal trust. Considerable success was achieved by the exercise, it was affirmed, of mere moral 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 immediate 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 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.



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 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 atmosphere 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 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 latter, on the other hand, though the representative, according to Congress orators, of a "Satanic" Government 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 accompanied 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 population, 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 "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 condemned 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 embodying 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 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 "untouchability" 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-operation" 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 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 allowance 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 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 pilgrimage. 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 "untouchables," 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-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. 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 "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 Government 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 Government 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 well 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 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 proceeding 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 represented, not unfairly on the whole, all classes and creeds and communities, and even all schools of political thought, 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.



Only twelve years ago Lord Morley, with all his advanced liberalism and his broad sympathy for Indian aspirations, could not conceive the possibility of introducing 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 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 Parliamentary 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" Government. 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 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 conceived 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 inflicted 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, 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 administration 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 possibility 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 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 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,[3] 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 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 reduced 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 Government 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 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 consideration 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 increased 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 commenced to realise the extent of its powers, expressed and implied. The latter stretch almost immeasurably farther 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 powerful 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 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 re-marriage 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 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 Government 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 calculated 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 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 Provincial Governors, of treating the two wings of their Government 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 discrimination which might otherwise have attached to the word "dyarchy." As one Provincial Governor remarked 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 understand 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 extension of local government and village councils' activities, and the demand cannot be met except by more expenditure. 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 great many of 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 constitutional 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 democratic 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 uniform. The essence is in all cases the maintenance of their administrative autonomy under their own dynastic rulers whose hereditary rights and privileges are permanently 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 conservative and almost mediaeval, some on genuinely progressive 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 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 governance if the new reforms are successful. Some Princes are wise enough to swim with the current and have introduced rudimentary councils and representative assemblies which at any rate provide a modern façade 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. Circumstances 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 Government 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 conferences, 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 culminated 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 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 administration 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 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 democratic 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. 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 administration 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.


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



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 precarious rainfall condemns even the most industrious agricultural population. Many circumstances had combined 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 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 interests 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, 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 campaigns 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.

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 fulfilment 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 of Bombay—whose great services to the economic advancement 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 completed and started. As far as the production of pig-iron was concerned success was immediate, but many difficulties 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 thermometer 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-titaniferous 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 manufacture 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 industrial town not unworthy of the high standard which they have reached in their works. It is to an Englishman, 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 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 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 institute 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 misleading. 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 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 excellent 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 unquestionably 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 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 meeting 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 consequences, 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 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 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 refreshments 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 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 Mahatma 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 subordinating 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 outward 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 the outcome of antiquated methods of railway administration 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 appoint 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 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 departments, 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 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 Committee 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 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 products, 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. 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 coining 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 Government 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 conditions; 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 1s. 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 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 Dalal, 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. 11d. downwards. The attempt failed egregiously, for the rupee fell steadily, and has now fallen to and under 1s. 4d. The money represented by the Indian balances with the Secretary of State had been put down in London at 1s. 4d. upwards, and India had to pay at the rate of 2s. 11d. downwards to get it back. The difference between the two rates represents, it is calculated, a loss to the Indian tax-payer 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 undertook 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 prosperity 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 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 Whitehall 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 Government of India, and the enormous Indian balances kept in London in pre-war times which were supposed to be 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.



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 1s. 8d. rupee, though the rate of exchange for the rupee was then under, and has only quite recently[4] risen above, 1s. 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 Congress 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 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 deliberately 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 constitutional 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 tram-car drivers and conductors, and even amongst city scavengers. Lightning strikes without any notice are of growing 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 introduction 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 population 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 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 provinces, 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 their 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 determining the social and economic justice of the claims of labour, as well as for the adjustment of actual conflicts by bringing employers and employed together in a friendly atmosphere. A real organisation of labour in its own sphere of interests and the constitution of responsible trades 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 contained 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, 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, 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 processions 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 International 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 international 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 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 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 difficult regimental problems not easily grasped by Indians familiar only with the civil administration. The difficulties 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 contribution 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 tax-payer's money should not be spent merely on the maintenance of British garrisons 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 qualifications amongst all but a few Indians, and even these disabilities they had deliberately undertaken and expressed their anxiety to remove by the introduction of Western education. Neither colour nor descent, it was specifically 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 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 Government 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 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 Africa 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 legislation 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 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 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 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 servitude 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 franchise, the Legislative Council of Kenia, with a population 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 representations 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 Conference—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 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 citizenship—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 immediate and direct control of the Imperial Government.


[4] August 1921.



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 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 organisation, 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 lips—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 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 Ali, 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, 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 illustration 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 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 objectionable 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 insignificant. 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 communities, and their impartiality be therefore congenitally suspect to one side or the other.

There can be no worthier purpose for either government 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 oppressive 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 estrangement to fortify British rule; but such has never been the principle of British policy. It has constantly sought, on the contrary, to prevent and suppress as far as possible disorders which, whenever they break out afresh, inevitably 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 effective? 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-operation" bids them combine? Frequent outbreaks continue 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 unfortunate 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. Numerous arrests are made, and a few of the local firebrands are ultimately prosecuted and convicted. But at "Non-co-operation" headquarters the Khilafat propaganda 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-operation" can bring Mahomedans and Hindus permanently together, or can drag the bulk of the sober and conservative 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-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-operation" 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 increasingly 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 fortunately 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 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 defined 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 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 disappeared, 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 panchayats 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 movement 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 lawlessness, 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 indefensible violence, chiefly in the urban industrial centres. He has not yet committed himself openly to "civil disobedience" on the scale for which many Extremists 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,[5] the temptation 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 antagonism of all the irreconcilable elements in an ancient civilisation 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 overtake 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 discredited. 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 inevitable for the mere maintenance of public order which no 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 constitutionally 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 disregarded 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.[6] For there 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.


[5] Later reports promise a far better monsoon than was at first indicated.

[6] 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 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 firebrands 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 widespread upheaval against all constituted authority into which "Non-co-operation" has degenerated under the leadership of Mr. Gandhi and his Mahomedan allies.



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 Englishmen, 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 responsibilities 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-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 government 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 distorted it, and it remained obscured when the great experiment was found to result, like all human experiments, 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 imperfect 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-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 unimaginative 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 requiring 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 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 Provincial 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 goodwill and sound judgment as their unanimous vote in support of the Indian resolution 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 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 knowledge 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 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 recognition 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 civilisation. 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.

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 civilisation 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-righteousness, 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 victorious 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 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 partnership in the British Empire. It is, however, one thing to lay down a principle, and another to put it consistently into practice. There are questions in front of us in India which it will be difficult to solve if Indians and Englishmen 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 competitive 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 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 suprema salus Imperii.

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.

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 administrators 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 commonwealth 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 throughout 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 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.


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 despatch, 180-82;
Duke of Connaught on, 228, 303;
Resolutions 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

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

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

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 partnership in, its implications, 164, 306-10

British rule:
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 Company, 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

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

Dalal, 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;
currency and exchange, 262-7

Edward VII., 4;
visits India as Prince of Wales, 115

Non-Brahman success in, 223-4
"Non-co-operation" campaign and, 193-6, 201-4, 208-9, 214-215, 219, 224-6, 287
under Councils Act (1909), 130-31

English language, benefit of, 4, 111

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, 274-275

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

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. Arabindo, 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

Gour, 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
social system of, 8-9, 23, 42-5, 64, 107, 215-20
Western education and, 84-5

Akbar and, 58, 59, 60, 61
Mahomedans and, see Mahomedans
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

Ilbert Bill, the, 91

Imperial Conference, Indian citizenship question in, 284-5

Imperial Legislative Council, 145, 147

Imperial War Conference, Indian representatives at, 141, 282

Indentured emigration stopped, 148, 283

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

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-Chelmsford 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

in administration, see Indian administration
Crown Colonies and, 277, 282-5, 306-8
Europeans and, relations between, 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

Kshatrya 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 Medicine, 130

Lahore, 208, 210-11

Lake, Lord, 4, 62

Lal, 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;
elections 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 domination, 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 between, 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

Mesopotamian 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 reforms

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;
exchange 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

European, 111;
Indian, 35, 111-13

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 influence 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 Inquiry 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 government, 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

Ranadé, 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 inaugurated, 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

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, treatment 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 Pathans, 212
Canada and, 282

Sinha, Lord (formerly Sir Satyendra), 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

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;
proclamation by, 86-7, 89

Vijianagar, 55, 220

Vikramadytia, 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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