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Colonial History of India



Then in May 1857 the uprising and mutiny of the Indian Army swept through Northern India. The 32nd and their families were at that time stationed at Lucknow, and a detachment with most of the families fifty miles away at Cawnpore. At Cawnpore, after three weeks of excruciating agonies from heat, privation and harassment in an open entrenchment their supplies were exhausted, and on the morning of 27th June the garrison were forced to accept the rebel's offer of a free passage to safety. However most were massacred by the riverside as they embarked in the boats provided for their withdrawal. Later Havelock had hoped to rescue the two hundred European women and children held by the rebels at Cawnpore, but when he entered the abandoned city on 17th July, he found that he was too late; they had been murdered, and their bodies thrown down a well. In all the Regiment here lost 3 Officers, 82 other ranks, 47 women, and 55 children.

A few days later, on Jun 30th, there was a disastrous battle of, and retreat from, Chinhut when 117 of the 300 officers and men of the 32nd who took part failed to return. Capt R.P.Anderson, 25th Regiment, Native Infantry, accompanied the Chinhut force, and it is from his " Personal Journal of the Siege of Lucknow " that much of the following information was obtained.

A first consequence of this defeat was the occupation of Lucknow by the rebels, and one of their many acts was to bring a six-pounder to bear on the outer verandah of the post subsequently known as Anderson's post. Captain Anderson had been Asst Commissioner at Lucknow, but reverted to military service for the Siege. The post consisted of ten men of the 32nd, and ten civilians, trained by Sergeants of the 32nd. " The post, however, was so important that orders were sent to its garrison to hold it to the last extremity. . . . The house which was thus being defended was the residence of Mr Capper of the Bengal Civil Service. Mr Capper had volunteered to aid in its defence, and was standing for that purpose under the verandah, behind one of the pillars, when the enemy's fire brought down the verandah, and buried him under six feet of wood and masonry. Capt Anderson, 25th Native Infantry, though not the senior officer present, at once called upon the garrison to assist in rescuing the buried gentleman. The work was one of no ordinary danger, for there was no protection against the concentrated fire of the enemy, and one at least of those present expressed the opinion that the act would be useless, as Mr Capper would probably be dead. Anderson was not discouraged by these doubts. Announcing his intention to rescue Capper at all risks, he called on those around to aid him, and set to work with a will. He was speedily joined by Corporal Oxenham, 32nd Foot, Monsieur Geoffroi, a Frenchman, Signor Barsatelli, an Italian, and two Englishmen, Lincoln and Chick, from the Post Office Garrison. The enemy's round shot continued to pour over the place where Capper lay, and to be able to work the six men I have mentioned were forced to lie on their stomachs and grub away in that position. At length they succeeded in extricating Capper's body, but his legs still remained buried. The situation for him was now replete with danger, for to stand up was almost certain death. In this dilemma, Oxenham, obeying a signal from Anderson, who was supporting the head, dashed round to the other side, and extricated, by a supreme effort, the buried legs. This done, Capper was hauled in by the other five men, and was saved. For this act, Oxenham received the Victoria Cross; but Mr Capper ever considered that he owed his life mainly to Anderson, who alike suggested the attempt and by his example carried it to a successful issue. Anderson was recommended for the Cross in 1868, but it was not bestowed upon him. " The rescue work took no less than three-quarters of an hour, and Capper suffered from only a few bruises and faintness.

The facts say that the heroic Defence of Lucknow lasted 140 days from 30th June 1857 until 17th November, and for the first 87 days the 32nd fought alone until a relief column got through on 25th September. The Regiment fought off constant attacks by Indian mutineers whilst their womenfolk nursed the sick and wounded. During the siege they lost 15 Officers and 364 other ranks killed, and 11 officers and 198 other ranks wounded as well as scores who died of sickness. Many of the women and children also died.

Four Victoria Crosses were won by the 32nd at Lucknow, by Cpl Oxenham, Pte Dowling, Lieut Lawrence, and by Lieut Gore-Browne. In consideration of the enduring gallantry displayed in the defence of Lucknow, the regiment too received official recognition and the award of the coveted Light Infantry distinction.

But the facts alone do not tell of all the other acts of gallantry in the dreadful conditions that must have existed during the long siege and the intense heat in the plains of Northern India. But Capt Anderson's Journal describes them in graphic and often poignant detail, and he emphasises that the men who performed these deeds were for the most part weak and feeble from malnutrition, exposure, and sickness or wounds. He himself lost his wife and one of his two children at Lucknow.

From the earliest days of the siege the Union Jack which flew from the tower of the Residency was constantly under heavy enemy fire and had to be secured to the flagpole instead of being lowered at nightfall. <b>In consequence of this and in recognition of the gallantry of the defenders, after the mutiny it became the only flag in the British Empire that was not lowered at sunset. It flew day and night until the end of British rule in 1947.</b>
Victorian Values: Death and Dying in Victorian India
David Arnold

Attitudes to Death and Dying in India

In the 50 or so years before Victoria's accession, Europeans in India seemed to be haunted by visions of their own mortality. In a sense this reflected the high levels of sickness and mortality among Europeans of all ages and classes, but it also expressed a sense of the collective vulnerability of the white population and its feeling of exile in an alien land. Maria Graham, one of the most discerning observers of India in the opening years of the nineteenth century, captured this mood in her comments on the English burying ground in Calcutta, the extensive Park Street cemetery, in 1809, barely 40 years after it had first opened:
India: Author of its own Misery

As Europeans in Victorian India felt themselves relatively more secure from an early and miserable death, their lives snuffed out prematurely by cholera or the plethora of fevers to which Emily Eden alluded, the more pathetic or perverse Indian mortality appeared to Western observers. Death and the manner of dying seemed to epitomise India's intrinsic weaknesses, its social and cultural peculiarities, its dismal distance from the resplendent heights of European health and sanitation.



<img src='http://www.fathom.com/course/10701057/139_famine.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Villagers in Rajputana in 1899. Nearly a million villagers died in the locally and British administered sections of Rajputana. Mike Davis, in his book Late Victorian Holocausts cites Pierre Loti, who arrived at Rajputana in 1899 by train to a haunting scene of wailing emaciated children: "Oh! look at the poor little things jostling there against the barrier, stretching out their withered hands towards us from the end of the bones which represent their arms. Every part of their meagre skeleton protrudes with shocking visibility through the brown skin that hangs in folds about them; their stomachs are so sunken that one might think that their bowels had been altogether removed. Flies swarm on their lips and eyes, drinking what moisture may still exude..."
During the course of the nineteenth century, particularly from about the 1840s and 1850s onwards, British attitudes towards death in India changed in two or three significant ways. Firstly, the wealthier strata of Europeans--the civil servants, the army officers and their families--found that their lives became more secure, and the chances of their dying from a fatal disease were much less than they had been in the period before 1840 or 1830. So in many ways they appeared to live a more secure lifestyle.

By contrast, the levels of sicknes--and to some extent mortality--remained very high amongst the poorer Europeans, particularly the British soldiers in India of whom there were many tens of thousands in the second half of the nineteenth century. And they suffered severely from sexually transmitted diseases, from dysentery, to some extent from typhoid and cholera. This was seen in many respects in the eyes of the superior officers and elsewhere as indicative of the laxer morals and the lower status of these poor Europeans.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>THE GREAT HOLOCAUST OF BENGAL</b>

History is written by those who win a war and not by the losers. No wonder, the history of Second World War is written by British and American authors. We are told that the war was necessary to eliminate the evil of Nazism and Hitler from the earth. Nazism and Hitler are painted as devils because they killed six million Jews (a figure put out by British and Jew historians and disputed by many).

The last chapter in the history of Second World War was written in early October 1945 at the famous Nuremberg trial, when the four prosecuting nations -- the United States, Great Britain, France and Russia -- issued an indictment against 24 men and six organizations. The individual defendants were charged with the systematic murder of millions of people.

Sixty years after the end of the war, time has come to reopen the case and institute a fresh Nuremberg trial - this time against one of the prosecuting nations -- Great Britain -- for systematic and intentional murder of millions of people. This genocide was not confined to the Second World War. In fact, only its last episode was played out during the war. The ghastly genocide, which used hunger and starvation as tools, lasted for about eighteen decades and was carried out in Bengal, India (at present Bengal is partly in India and partly in Bangladesh) by the British colonial masters claiming about thirty million victims.

It started in 1770 with a big bang, when approximately one third of the total population of Bengal died because of a drought. About 10 million people died! East India Company, which had occupied the country five years earlier, did not even once attempt to introduce any measures of aid worth mentioning. British officers in India were happily reporting to their bosses in London about having maximized their profit through trading and export of food. (Incidentally, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the prophet of Indian nationalism, wrote his celebrated novel "Anandamath" with the battle cry 'Bandemataram' in the context of the agony evoked by the ravages of the famine of 1770.)

It must be mentioned here that Bengal is a land of rivers and most fertile land of Ganges delta. Bengal was a granary of India till British came in. Every village had, and still has, a pond, which has fishes that can feed the village even when there is no rice. It needed British intervention to convert the lush green land of Bengal into famine-starved land.

Bengal had 30 or 40 famines (depending on how one defines famine) during 182 years of British rule in Bengal. There are no reliable accounts of the number of people who dies in these famines. We have only the figures put out by British colonialists. But even given the limited data availability, once can see the barbaric face of British colonialism in India.

The last big famine in Bengal occurred between 1942 and 1945. At least four million people died during these three years. Some scholars believe that the number of dead was much higher (remember that the figure of four million is based on British sources). Notwithstanding the controversy about the number of dead, it is widely accepted that the famine was man-made. Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen, has demonstrated quite convincingly that the famine deaths were caused by British policies and not by drastic slump in food production.

The following facts deserve attention:

a)   In May 1942, Burma fell to Japanese. British were afraid that Japanese aided by Indian National Army (led by Subhash Chandra Bose) would invade India from the east. Bose's slogan - Dilli Chalo (Let us go to Delhi) - had struck fear in the hearts of British. The British followed a policy of 'scorched earth'. On one hand, this was to ensure denial of food to invading armies, in case the Japanese decided to march across Bengal. On the other hand, the British wanted to break the will and ability of people of Bengal to rise in rebellion in support of the invaders. It could not be a coincidence that British executed a military police action in October 1942, during which 193 camps and buildings of the Congress Party were destroyed and countless people arrested. Between August 1942 and February 1943, 43 persons were shot by the British occupation police. Additionally, British troops were involved in an unknown number of rapes and lootings of food supplies, among other things.

b)  Bengal was overcrowded with refugees as well as with retreating soldiers from various British colonies which were temporarily occupied by the Japanese. In March 1942 alone, around 2,000 to 3,000 British soldiers and civilians arrived every day in Calcutta and Chittagong, and in the month of May, a total of 300,000 were counted. As a result of the massive food purchases by the government, food prices in the countryside skyrocketed.

c)  Expecting a Japanese landing in the Gulf of Bengal, the British authorities enacted the so-called "Boat-Denial Scheme" leading to confiscation of all boats and ships in the Gulf of Bengal which could carry more than 10 persons. This resulted in not less than 66,500 confiscated boats. Consequently, the inland navigation system collapsed completely. Fishing became practically impossible, and many rice and jute farmers could not ship their goods anymore. Subsequently the economy collapsed completely, especially in the lower Ganges-Delta.

d)  The confiscations of land in connection with military fortifications and constructions (airplane landing places, military and refugee camps) led to the expulsion of about 150,000 to 180,000 people from their land, turning them practically into homeless persons.

e)  Food deliveries from other parts of the country to Bengal were refused by the government in order to make food artificially scarce. This was an especially cruel policy introduced in 1942 under the title "Rice Denial Scheme." The purpose of it was, as mentioned earlier, to deny an efficient food supply to the Japanese after a possible invasion. Simultaneously, the government authorized free merchants to purchase rice at any price and to sell it to the government for delivery into governmental food storage. So, on one hand government was buying every grain of rice that was around and on the other hand, it was blocking grain from coming into Bengal from other regions of the country.

f)  The blank check of the government (for food purchases) triggered price inflation. As a result, some merchants did not deliver food to the government but hoarded it, hoping for higher profit margins when selling it later. This led to further food shortages on the market and to further price increases.

g)  In addition to this inflationary thrust, massive military activities in Bengal were basically financed by overtime of money printing presses. Oversupply of paper money by Government led to a general inflation, which hit the impoverished population in the countryside especially hard.

h)  Even though British law in India provided that emergency laws were to be applied in case of famines, the famine in Bengal was never officially recognized as such; an emergency was not declared, and therefore no drastic counter measures were taken for its amelioration. It was not until October of 1943 that the British government took notice of the emergency situation, but it still refused to introduce any supportive measures that would have been necessary.

i)  Even though India imported about 1.8 million tons of cereals before the war, Britain made sure that India had an export surplus of rice at record levels in the tax year 1942/43.

j)  The bad situation in Bengal was discussed in the British Parliament during a meeting at which only 10% of all members participated. Repeated requests for food imports to India (400 Million people) led to the delivery of approximately half a million tons of cereal in the years 1943 and 1944. In contrast to this was the net import to Great Britain (50 Million people) of 10 million tons in the second half of the year 1943 alone. Churchill repeatedly denied all food exports to India, in spite of the fact that about 2.4 million Indians served in British units during the Second World War.

Given a choice, I would rather die in a gas chamber than die of starvation begging on the streets. Viewed from this perspective, Hitler appears humane and even angelic, while Churchill puts even the devil to shame. The thirty million men, women and children who died slow, painful deaths in the villages of Bengal were not enemies of the British Empire. They had done nothing to deserve the cruel fate. Howsoever much one might disagree with Hitler, at least in his own warped logic, he had a reason to hate Jews. British Government and Churchill did not even have such a fig leaf of distorted logic to justify their cruel barbaric act.

Amartya Sen has used the Bengal famine to justify democracy and run down dictatorships. The fact is that Churchill was democratically elected by British people. After independence, from 1947 till date, East Bengal (presently known as Bangladesh) has been ruled by dictators for many years. Yet, during the past five and a half decades, the number of starvation deaths in East Bengal (or West Bengal) is not even one per cent of the number of people that died of starvation during the half-century before independence. The issue, obviously, is not dictatorship versus democracy.

We are also told that the rulers of Bengal, before the British arrived, were self-centered despots, who did not care about their people's well being and were spoilt by luxury. British take pride in the fact that they brought 'good governance' and 'rule of law' to India, starting from Bengal and spreading to the rest of the country. In spite of all the alleged misrule that the Indian rulers of pre-British era indulged in, there is absolutely no historical account of any major famine in Bengal prior to the arrival of British in Bengal.

Academicians have a tendency to miss the holistic reality when they go hammer and tongs over fine details. Most academic debates about Bengal Famine have missed the most essential aspect - criminal act of the British Government. There is a tendency to study the Bengal famine in terms of parameters, which were internal to Bengal, like food supply, disease history of rice, inflation economics, democracy as a system of governance, weather analysis and many such wonderful terms. All such studies treat the famine as if it was a product of some systemic internal parameters peculiar to Bengal; and all that is needed is to study the parameters with a view to ensure that the same do not recur. This is a wrong premise.

Bengal was a victim of a criminal act perpetrated for more than one and three quarters of a century. British establishment indulged in brutal genocide in Bengal, at times to further their own interests and at other times out of sheer negligence of their duties. In either case, the British Government stands guilty of the worst crime in recent human history.

The Holocaust in Germany was a minor event compared to what the British did to a people, who trusted them and were loyal to them. Nazis have been accused and convicted of the Holocaust in Germany. Even today, there are attempts to hunt down ex-Nazis and bring them to justice. A few weeks ago, a court awarded compensation to a Holocaust victim.

Is it not time that the descendants of the victims of The Great Holocaust of Bengal sought compensation from the present Government of the United Kingdom? Is it possible to initiate a criminal case against Winston Churchill and all those who were in power during 1942-45 (or during 1765-1947) in British Government? Is that too much to ask for?
Do you believe that the systematic murder of six million white-skinned Jews was a crime worthy of punishment, while the killing of thirty million black-skinned people of Bengal does not even deserve a footnote in history?

The least that people of India and Bangladesh can do is to construct a memorial in the memory of millions who died at the hand of a cruel barbaric monster. Let us at least shed a tear for them! Let us at least rewrite the history! <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay by Sir George Otto Trevelyan
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Not sure if it has been posted before. Useful for archiving.
<b>Goan Inquisition</b>

The Inquisition was simply the most diabolical institution ever created by humanity, and shows the depravity of the christian church and the Pope. The Inquisition might arguably be considered an even worse evil than the Holocaust.


Pope Gregory IX was the first international terrorist who organized torture and inhuman killings of fellow beings. It is not the muslim Osama Bin Laden who is the first international terrorist as is being made out to be by the present day media. In 1233 Pope Gregory IX pronounced the official beginning of "The Inquisition" and send a cadre of hard-ass Dominican monks to carry out the torture. We also had an international christian terrorist by name missionary Francis Xavier operating in Goa after that.

Francis Xavier was born on April 7, 1506 in Spain and had come to Goa in 1542, for christian conversion activities. Frustrated by his failures in Goa, Francis Xavier wrote to King D. Jo?III of Portugal, for an Inquisition to be installed in Goa. Vatican authorized and established inquisition in 1560 in Goa. . The inhuman torture of local population by the christian fanatics resulted in significant sections of the Hindu population to migrate from Goa to Mangalore. Only after eight years after the death of this christian terrorist Francisco Xavier did the Hindus come back to Goa.. Conversion by torture and terrorism initiated by Xavier, earned him sainthood from the Pope in 1622. Its torture methods will shame the present day police forces of Karunakaran, Jayalalitha etc in imagination and execution.

1. The Judas Chair: This was a large pyramid-shaped "seat." Accused heretics were placed on top of it, with the point inserted into their anuses or genitalia, then very, very slowly lowered onto the point with ropes. The effect was to gradually stretch out the opening of choice in an extremely painful manner.

2. The Head Vice: Pretty straightforward concept. They put your head into a specially fitted vice, and tighten it until your teeth are crushed, your bones crack and eventually your eyes pop out of their sockets.

3. The Pear: A large bulbous gadget is inserted in the orifice of choice, whether mouth, anus or vagina. A lever on the device then causes it to slowly expand whilst inserted. Eventually points emerge from the tips. (Apparently, internal bleeding doesn't count as "breaking the skin.")

4. The Wheel: Heretics are strapped to a big wheel, and their bones are clubbed into shards. Not very creative, but quite effective. Methods of execution weren't much better. Since death was the eventual outcome, the skin-breaking point was rendered largely moot. While burning at the stake was the most widely used method, being cost-effective and providing a fun spectacle for the whole family, there were other approaches used in special cases:

1. Sawing: Heretics were hung upside-down and sawed apart down the middle, starting at the crotch.

2. Disembowelment: Not the nice kind of disembowelment, where a samurai slits you wide open like a fish and you die in moments. No, that's not good enough for the Inquisition. A small hole is cut in the gut, then the intestines are drawn out slowly and carefully, keeping the victim alive for as much of the process as possible.

3. The Stake: Depending on how unrepentant a heretic might be, the process of burning at the stake could vary wildly. For instance, a fairly repentant heretic might be strangled, then burned. An entirely unrepentant heretic could be burned over the course of hours, using green wood or simply by placing them on top of hot coals and leaving them there until well done.

The English language is full of subtleties. For instance, it's good to be inquisitive. But it's bad to hold an Inquisition. Since the death of Jesus Christ, the one sure way to rile up the church has been to engage in heresy. Heresy is pretty much defined as "deliberately disagreeing with the church."

Historically, there have been between two billion and five billion non-christians living in the world at any given time since the Church was founded. That's a lot of heresy.

For three hundred years or so, the early Christians were few and far between, with the result that they mostly found themselves staring at the business end of the persecution gun. This inspired a high-minded libertarian commitment to religious freedom that lasted all of 30 seconds after they took over the Roman Empire.

From then on, it was "my way or the highway." Nevertheless, for the next 900 years, the battle against heresy was a loosely organized and largely non-violent affair. The wimpy Church fathers contented themselves with just writing against and occasionally excommunicating such heretics as the Gnostics. The decision to pursue this philosophical approach stemmed largely from unfavorable odds. Even after assimilating Rome, there weren't enough good, solid Christians in the power base to make the use of force an attractive option. By the 12th century, this had changed, and the Church suddenly realized the sword is actually a lot mightier than the pen.

The first implementations of this policy were the Crusades, which involved sending armies out to forcibly convert those who didn't agree with the Pope (specifically the Muslims inhabiting the Holy Lands). The first Crusade went really well, but subsequent efforts to recapture the magic were miserable failures.

After a series of embarrassing setbacks, the Church turned its attention inward, busying itself with the task of rooting out the disloyal and misguided within its own domains, primarily Europe. That's when the Inquisition was born.

Technically, the Inquisition is an ongoing function of the church (more on this below), but when people talk about "the Inquisition," they're usually referring to one of two historically notable incidents: the Albigensian Inquisition, or the Spanish Inquisition. The Abigensian Inquisition was the first major operation of the sort put on by the Catholic Church. In southern France, a Christian sect known as the Cathars arose around the 12th century.

The Cathars become popular in the Languedoc region of France by living a chaste and ascetic lifestyle which was considerably more in the teachings of Jesus than the local clergy, who were at the time a motley crew of fornicating, corrupt money-grubbers.

The pope, motivated in large part by a lust for the wealth and lands of Languedoc, ordered a Crusade and subsequently an Inquisition in the region to stamp out the heretics and assume ownership of their property. The Crusade was very transparently about wealth and political power, so it failed to actually root out the alleged enemy, namely the Cathars. Once the mainstream Catholics had taken control of the region, they moved belatedly to squash the actual believers. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX pronounced the official beginning of "The Inquisition," and send a cadre of hard-ass Dominican monks to carry it out. When they arrived in town, the Inquisitors laid out a deadline: Everyone had one month to confess all your warped, evil beliefs and come back into the fold, with only a minimal punishment.

When the month expired, all hell broke loose. The monks began staging trials, with the support of the local government. Any accusation of heresy was enough to start a trial going, and the names of the accusers were kept secret. The trials themselves were held in secret. After a brief flirtation with the concept of a "right to an attorney," all due process was dispensed with. The only appeal of a guilty verdict was to the pope.

The monks decided that the only way you could really be sure if someone was a heretic was to torture them extensively and creatively, just like Jesus would have wanted. Although the later Inquisitors would become far more creative in the use of machinery to support their efforts, the Dominicans were only subject to the papally decreed limit of citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum, which meant "don't kill 'em" and "no amputations."

The medieval inquisition went on for a couple of centuries, during which time a lot of scores were settled in the South of France. Everyone and anyone with a grudge could hand over their friends, families, enemies and business rivals to the Inquisitors, who were anxious to meet their quotas. The punishment for a guilty verdict in an Inquisitorial trial could range from loss of property to prison to burning at the stake. And the verdict was almost always guilty.

In addition to uncounted numbers of completely innocent people, the Inquisition did succeed where the Albigensian Crusade had failed. By the time it was over, there were no more Cathars. There were also no more Knights Templar. The Knights had been a particularly wealthy and powerful secret society based in the region. The Catholics may have had other motives for killing them. Which is a whole other article. Or two or three.

You probably didn't expect that we would now discuss the Spanish Inquisition. But then, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! In the late 15th century, a new branch of the Inquisition was formed in Spain. The Spanish Inquisition was founded on the somewhat ludicrous notion that Jews and Muslims were pretending to covert to Catholicism in order to undermine the church in Spain.

Since the determination of what someone secretly believes in their heart is complicated by the lack of external and incontrovertible evidence, the Spanish Inquisition quickly became notorious for a) extremely creative use of torture and b) its tendency to be unleashed on just about anyone at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all (thus the "nobody expects" element).

Although you might have a picture of a quaint medieval hysteria, the Spanish Inquisition went on for THREE HUNDRED YEARS, lasting well into the 1800s. The first five years of the Spanish Inquisition were basically rampant mayhem with no appreciable diminishment of the "threat" from the fake Catholics. As a result, Tomas de Torquemada was appointed to, uh, whip the Inquisition into shape.

He succeeded beyond the Church's wildest nightmares. Thousands and thousands of "heretics" were burned at the stakes throughout the duration of the Spanish Inquisition (the exact numbers are unknown). There was no such thing as an "alleged" heretic under the Inquisitions reign of terror; there were only "repentant" and "unrepentant" heretics. "Repentant" heretics were those who confessed their heresy and agreed to shell over big bucks to the Church. Poor people accused of heresy (who were relatively fewer) could only save themselves with full confessions and by naming the names of other heretics.

To assist people in repenting, the Inquisitors used any torture method they could think of, with the theoretical restriction that they couldn't break the skin. The Inquisitors came up with numerous gadgets to work within this restriction and it was described in the beginning of this article.:

The last burning organized by the Inquisition was in 1834, when the Spanish Inquisition was officially abolished. But though Torquemada's legacy has been laid to rest, the Inquisition lives on.

Based in Vatican City, the Holy Office of the Inquisition is still one of the most powerful branches of the Church hierarchy. In 1965, the P.R.-sensitive Pope Paul VI rebranded the Inquisition as the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, but it was still basically the Inquisition.

The modern church lacked the political power to institute wide-ranging reigns of terror and torture around the world, so the Congregation has to settle for sternly admonishing its targets these days. What a comedown!

Instead of being the most feared institution in the entire civilized world, the Congregation had to settle for making obscure theological pronouncements ó in Latin, no less. So just in case you actually wanted to care about what they had to say, you wouldn't be able to read it anyway. In 1966, Paul VI even revoked its ability to ban books, leaving the Inquisition toothless and largely irrelevant going into the 21st century.

`Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith' is headed by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger of Munich, who was the recently dead John Paul II `s favorite Cardinal. He is a living example of the medieval mindset of John Paul II and his followers.

The Congregation recently pronounced that Yoga is a tool of the devil. It is better if the Inquisition dealt with the whole priestly pedophilia problem. Think of the condition of the Christian priests when they are slowly put on the Judas Chair....<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Sir—This refers to the report, “Left beats Gandhi with communal stick” (April 17). Zahoor Siddiqui, Reader in the Department of History, in his book prescribed for BA Pass students has reportedly held Mahatma Gandhi responsible for failing to enthuse Muslims and selling the idea that Ram Rajya alone was ideal swaraj. He has also blamed the Congress for not devising appropriate social, political and economic measures to bring the minority community into the Congress. This is complete distortion of historical facts. In <b>this context, it will be pertinent to recall what Pattabhi Sitaramaiyya said in 1947 on being asked as to what concessions had the Congress made till then to Muslims. He replied, “In 1906 separate electorates were carved out for Muslims and in 1916 weightage was given so that a State like Madras with seven per cent Muslims got 15 elected seats; in 1931, residual powers were given to provinces; and in 1945, parity in interim government was agreed to under Liaquat-Bhulabhai pact. As demanded by the Muslim League, in 1946 double majority in legislatures on Muslim questions was accepted by the Congress. In 1947, Congress agreed to the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan along religious lines (Current History by Dr Sitaramaiyya, Calcutta, 1947, p 26). Ultimately, Mahatma Gandhi went on fast to pressure Government to release Rs 55 crore to Pakistan despite the fact that the country had invaded Kashmir. This shows that it was not Gandhi who was responsible for Partition but Muslims of UP who were in the forefront, raising the demand for Dar-ul Islam. In the elections held in 1945-46, Muslims overwhelmingly voted for a separate nation. In spite of all this Muslims did not migrate to their new homeland. Was it the fault of Hindus?</b>
KR Phanda
Have reflected on the impact of the use of Indian soldiers in Europe during WWI on the independence movement? As we can see that the movement started crystallizing in the 1920s to ->Quit India 40s.

Here is a synopsis of how the Indina freedom struggle in the 20th Century began in 1905 with the agitation against Bengal Partition thru the revolutionary phase that establised awareness and social consiousness/awakening in which the mass movement led by Mahatma Gandhi thrived. As one can see there was a continuous stream of ideas from 1857 that fed the movement till the Brits had to leave.
Unfortunately in school we were taught disjointed stories about the freedom struggle and the revolutionaries were painted in bad light.

link: http://www.mmlondon.co.uk/godbolebook.html
Unfortunately in school we were taught disjointed stories about the freedom struggle and the revolutionaries were painted in bad light.

THis is to create intellectual dhimmitude
the Indian Freedom Struggle went through four phases.The Four Phases of Indian Freedom Struggle

(1) The Moderates
First came the Moderates, men like Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade ( 1842-1901 ), Surendra Nath Banerjee (1848-1925), Gopal Krushna Gokhale ( 1866-1915 ) . They were great visionaries, men of utmost sincerity and devotion. They sought reforms and better government.

the Militants.
They propagated that, without a direct action, the British would never accede to the Indian demands. They proposed the boycott of British goods. They said, "if you cannot avoid buying foreign goods, buy non British goods." They emphasised self reliance, support to indigenous industries, mass agitation and even going to jail if necessary.
Their undisputed leader was Bal Gangadhar Lokamanya Tilak ( 1856 - 1920 ).

.(3) The Revolutionaries
The Revolutionaries went one step further. Their leader was Vinayak Damodar popularly called Veer Savarkar ( 1883-1966 ). Since 1900, he had been preaching Absolute Political Independence for India as their aim. This was to be achieved by incessant armed struggle whenever possible.
He said, " Tilak and his followers are carrying out their activities ( movements ) within the law and look what happened. The British rulers did not hesitate to send him to jail in 1897. If a movement is within the law today, the British can change that law tomorrow and make the movement illegal. Today or tomorrow, we will have to seek the authority to make the law itself. At some stage, an armed struggle is inevitable. Why not start such a struggle today. Why waste time ? "
Â¥ Savarkar studied for Law at Grays Inn, London. Despite having completed his studies and passed examinations in 1909, he was not called to the Bar because of his political activities. The decision of the benchers of Grays Inn not to call Savarkar to the bar was so outrageous that hereafter Indians deliberately called him Barrister Savarkar.
Â¥ Savarkar came to London in 1906 with a passport issued by the Government of India. However, in July 1910 he was arrested under the Fugitive Offenders Act and sent to India to stand trial for trying to overthrow the British Raj..

Â¥ Due to Savarkar's efforts, there arose a succession of revolutionaries. For example, Khudiram Bose ( 1908 ), Madanlal Dhingra ( 1909 ), Anant Kanhere, Karve and Deshpande others ( 1910 ), Bal Mukund Avadhabihari, Amirchand and Vasant Vishwas ( 1915 ), Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev ( 1931 ), Udham Singh ( 1941 ) and many more.

Â¥ Finally came Mahatma Gandhi ( 1873 - 1948 ).
Tilak died in August 1920. Savarkar was on the Andaman Islands till 1921, transferred to mainland India but kept in jails till 1924 and was kept in internment till 1937.
Gandhi, who returned to India from South Africa in 1916, had a free hand.
Gandhi proposed a 4 Anna ( quarter of a Rupee ) annual membership of the Congress Party, thus spreading the freedom movement to the masses. He initiated the idea of Indians wearing clothes made from Khadi ( home spun
cotton ). It gave a uniform to the Congress workers throughout India. Gandhi also gave Congress a organisational structure.
By 1920, the Congress Party had been in existence for 35 years. Among the Moderates, we regarded persons like Gokhale as fatherly figures."
Savarkar also met Ramesh Chandra Dutta, a retired high ranking civil service officer, in London in 1908. He persuaded Dutta that the 1857 war was a War of Independence from the British. Datta was President of the Indian National Congress in 1899.
<b>India in Bondage by Jabez T. Sunderland; Lewis Copeland Company, 1932 </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Her Right to Freedom and a Place Among the Great Nations </b>


The impression is widespread in America that British rule in India has been, and is, a great and almost unqualified good. <b>The British themselves never tire of "pointing with pride" to what they claim to have done and to be doing for the benefit of the Indian people. </b>What knowledge we have in America regarding the matter comes almost wholly from British sources, and hence the majority of us do not suspect that there is another side to the story. <b>But the Indian people claim, very earnestly claim, that there is another side, which cannot fail to prove a disillusionment to all who learn the truth about it. </b>

During the days of chattel-slavery in the Southern States of the American Union, so long as the world knew of slavery only through the representations of it given by the slave-holders, <b>the impression was common that slavery was a beneficent institution. It was not until the slaves themselves began to find a voice and the "sacred institution" came to be described from the standpoint of the bondman, that its real character began to be understood.</b>

What, in reality, does British rule in India mean--not from the standpoint of the <b>British Government which gets such great political prestige from the holding of this vast Asiatic dependency;</b> not as it is seen by the army of British officials in India who derive their living and their wealth from British economic domination there; <b>but what does it mean as experienced by the 320 millions of Indian people who as a nation have had a long and proud past, but who more than a century and a half ago as we have seen were conquered and disarmed and have been held in subjection ever since by a foreign power? </b>

Ever since Edmund Burke's famous impeachment of Warren Hastings for his misdeeds in India, there have not been wanting Englishmen, both in India and at home, who have seen and deplored, and to some extent pointed out, <b>what they have believed very serious wrongs connected with the British rule of the Indian people. </b>Naturally such utterances have been unpopular in England, and have been <b>"hushed up"</b> as much as possible. It has not been uncommon to denounce such plain speaking as unpatriotic and traitorous. However, free speech has not been wholly suppressed. A great body of testimony has been accumulated both in England and India, showing that the results of foreign conquest and foreign rule in this instance have not been essentially different from results of such conquest and rule everywhere else. This or that foreign domination may be a little more or a little less intelligent here or cruel there, but in every case and in every country and age its essential nature is the same. <b>It is founded on force and not on justice.</b> Its result is certain to be deep and widespread injury to those robbed of their freedom and their rights, and in the end to those who do the robbing, as well. The rule of any people by the sword of a foreign conqueror is always a bitter thing to those who feel the sword's pitiless edge, whatever it may be to those who hold the hilt of the sword. <b>But it is worse than bitter; it is demoralizing, degenerating, destructive to the character of those held in subjection. It tends to destroy their self-respect, their power of initiative, their power of self-direction, to create a slave-psychology and rob them of all hope and incentive in life. Injury of this kind is the deepest that can be inflicted upon humanity. </b>


To understand fully the great problem confronting the people of India to-day, we must have clearly in mind the exact relation between India and England. <b>India is a dependency, not a colony.</b> Great Britain has both colonies and dependencies, and many persons suppose them to be identical. But they are not necessarily so. Colonies may be self-ruling--six of those connected with the British Empire are, namely, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, and the Irish Free State. <b>But other British colonies are not self-ruling. These are dependencies. </b>As already said, India is a dependency.

As the result of a pretty wide acquaintance in England and a residence of some years in Canada, I am disposed to believe that nowhere in the world can be found governments that are more free, that more fully embody the intelligent will of their people, or that better serve their people's many-sided interests and wants, than those of the self-ruling colonies or "dominions" of Great Britain. I do not see but that these are in every essential way as free as if they were full republics. Probably they are not any more free than the people of the United States, but it is no exaggeration to say that they are essentially as free. The connection of most of them with England, their mother-country, is not one of coercion but of choice; it is one of reverence and affection. That the British Government assures such liberty in even a part of its colonies is a matter for congratulation and honorable pride. To this extent it stands on a moral elevation equal, if not superior, to that of any government in the world.

But turn now from Britain's free colonies to her dependencies. Here we find something for which there does not seem to be any natural place among British political institutions. Britons call their flag the flag of freedom. They speak of the British Constitution, largely unwritten though it is, as a constitution that guarantees freedom to every British subject in the world. Magna Charta meant self-government for the English people. Cromwell wrote on the statute books of the English Parliament: "All just powers under God are derived from the consent of the people." Since Cromwell's day, this principle has been fundamental, central, undisputed, in British home politics. It took a little longer to get it recognized in colonial matters. The American colonies in 1776 took their stand upon it. "Just government must be based upon the consent of the governed." "There should be no taxation without representation." These were their affirmations. Burke and Pitt and Fox and the broader-minded leaders of public opinion in England were in sympathy with their American brethren. If Britain had been true to her principle of freedom and self-rule she would have kept all her American colonies in 1776. But she was not true to it and so she lost them. Later she came very near losing Canada in the same way. But her eyes were opened in time and she gave Canada freedom and selfgovernment. This prevented revolt and fastened Canada to her with hooks of steel. Since this experiment with Canada, it has been a settled principle in connection with Britain's free colonies, or dominions, as well as with her home politics, that there is no just power except that which is based upon the consent of the governed.

But what are we to do with this principle when we come to the dependencies? Is another and different principle to be adopted here? Are there indeed peoples whom it is just to rule without their consent? Is justice one thing in England and Canada and another thing in India? It was the belief and conviction that what is justice in England and Canada is justice everywhere, that made Froude declare, "Free nations cannot govern subject provinces."


Why is England in India at all? Why did she go there at first and why does she remain? If India had been a comparatively empty land as America was when it was discovered, so that Englishmen had wanted to settle there and make homes, the reason would have been plain. But it was a land already full, and as a matter of fact practically no Englishmen have ever gone to India to settle or make homes. If the Indian people had been savages or barbarians, there might have seemed on the surface of the question, some reason for England's conquering and ruling them. But they were a people with highly organized governments far older than that of Great Britain, and with a civilization that had risen to a splendid development before England's was born.

Lord Curzon, while Viceroy of India, said in his address at the Great Delhi Durbar in 1901, <b>"Powerful Empires existed and flourished here (in India) while Englishmen were still wandering, painted, in the woods, and while the British Colonies were still a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe." </b>It is such a land that England has conquered and is ruling as a dependency. It is such a people that she is holding without giving them any voice whatever in their own destiny. The honored Canadian Premier, Sir Wilfred Laurier, at the Colonial Conference held in London in connection with the coronation of King Edward, declared: "The Empire of Rome was composed of slave states; the British Empire is a Galaxy of Free Nations." But is great India a free nation? In a speech made at the League of Nations in Geneva, in September, 1927, Sir Austen Chamberlain described the British Empire as "a Great Commonwealth of Free and Equal Peoples." <b>Why do these statesmen use such language when they know how contrary to the facts it is? </b>India, which constitutes <b>more than four-fifths of the Empire, is not free; it is in bondage. Its people are not allowed "equality" with the free minority, the free one-fifth, but are ruled by compulsion. Thus we see that in truth the British Empire is to a four or five times larger extent a "Slave Empire," than it is a "Galaxy of Free Nations" or a "Great Commonwealth of Free and Equal Peoples." </b>

Perhaps there is nothing so dangerous or so evil in its effects, as irresponsible power. <b>That is what Great Britain exercises in connection with India--absolute power, with no one to call her to account. </b>I do not think any nation is able to endure such an ordeal any better than is Britain, but it is an ordeal to which neither rulers of nations nor individuals in private life should ever be subjected. The risks are too great. The wrongs and tyrannies inseparable from it are too serious. England avoids it in connection with her own rulers, by making them strictly responsible to the English people. The rulers of Canada are strictly responsible to the Canadian people. Every free nation safeguards alike its people and its rulers by making its rulers answerable in everything to those whom they govern. But here is the anomaly of British rule in India--<b>Britain rules India but does not acknowledge any degree whatever of political responsibility to the people of India. </b>

Whatever freedom or political privileges they enjoy are purely "favors" which she in her kindness "graciously grants" to them; she does not for a moment admit that any political freedom or political power belongs to them of right--is their just possession, which they may rightly demand of Great Britain and which she has no right to withhold. Her will is the supreme law; and India must submit in everything.

What is the result? Are the interests and rights of India protected? Is it possible for the rights of any people to be protected without self-rule--without a government responsible to those who are governed? I invite Americans to come with me to India and see. What we find. there will go far towards furnishing a key to the meaning of India's struggle for freedom and self-government.


Crossing over from America to London, we sail from there to India on a magnificent steamer. On board is a most interesting company of people, made up of merchants, travellers, and especially Englishmen who are either officials connected with the Indian Government or officers in the Indian army, who have been home on furlough with their families and are now returning. We land in Bombay, a city that reminds us of Paris or London, or New York or Washington. Our hotel is conducted in English style. We go to the railway station, one of the most magnificent buildings of the kind in the world, to take the train for Calcutta, formerly the capital, some fifteen hundred miles away. Arrived in Calcutta, we hear it called the City of Palaces, nor do we wonder at the name.

Who owns the steamship line by which we, came to India? The British. Who built that splendid railway station in Bombay? The British. Who built the railway on which we travelled to Calcutta? The British.

To whom do these palatial buildings in Calcutta belong? Mainly to the British. We find that both Calcutta and Bombay have a large commerce. To whom does the overwhelming bulk of this commerce belong? To the British. We find that the Indian Government, that is, the British Government in India, has directly or indirectly built some 40,000 miles of railway in India; has created good postal and telegraph systems reaching practically throughout the country; has founded lawcourts after the English pattern, and has done much else to bring India in line with the civilization of Europe. <b>It is not strange that visitors begin to exclaim, "How much the British are doing for India!""How great a benefit to the people of India British rule is!" </b>

But have we seen all? Is there no other side? Have we probed to the underlying facts, the foundations upon which all this material acquisition is based? <b>Are these signs of prosperity which we have noticed, signs of the prosperity of the Indian people, or only of their English masters? </b><b>If the English are living in ease and luxury, how are the people of the land living? Who pays for these fine buildings that the British rulers of the land occupy and take the credit for? And the railways, the telegraphs and the rest? Do the British? Or are they paid for wholly out of the taxes of a nation which is perhaps the most poverty-stricken in the entire world? Have we been away at all from the beaten track of tourist travel? Have we been out among the Indian people themselves, in the country as well as in the cities? Nearly eight-tenths of the people of India are "ryots" -small farmers who derive their sustenance directly from the land. Have we taken the trouble to find out how they live, whether they are growing better off or poorer year by year? </b>

Especially, have we looked into the causes of those famines, the most terrible known to the modern world, which have long swept like a besom of death over India, with their black shadows, plague and pestilence, following in their wake? <b>Here is a side of India with which we must become acquainted, before we can understand the true situation. The great disturbing, portentous, all-overshadowing fact connected with the history of India in recent years has been the succession of these famines, and the consequent plague epidemics. </b>


What do these famines mean? Here is a picture from a book written by a distinguished British civilian who has had long service in India and knows the Indian situation from the inside. Since he is an Englishman, we may safely count upon his prejudices, if he has any, being upon the side of his own countrymen. Mr. W. S. Lilly , in his "India and Its Problems," writes as follows:

"During the first eighty years of the nineteenth century, 18,000,000 of the Indian people perished of famine. In one year alone--the year when Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, assumed the title of Empress,--5,000,000 of the people of Southern India were starved to death. In the District of Bellary, with which I am personally acquainted,--a region twice the size of Wales-one-fourth of the whole population perished in the famine of 1876-77. I shall never forget my own famine experience; how, as I rode out on horseback, morning after morning, I passed crowds of wandering skeletons, and saw human corpses by the roadside, unburied, uncared for, half devoured by dogs and vultures; and how --still sadder sight--children, 'the joy of the world' as the old Greeks deemed them, had become its ineffable sorrow there, forsaken even by their mothers, their feverish eyes shining from hollow sockets, their flesh utterly wasted away, only gristle and sinew and cold shivering skin remaining, their heads mere skulls, their puny frames full of loathsome diseases engendered by the starvation in which they had been conceived and born and nurtured--the sight, the thought of them haunts me still." Every one who has been in India in famine times, and has left the beaten track of westernmade prosperity, knows how true a picture this is.

Mr. Lilly estimates the number of famine-deaths in the first eight decades of the last century at 18,000,000. Think what this means--within a little more than two generations as many people died from lack of food as the whole population of Canada, the New England States, Delaware and Florida; nearly half as many as the whole population of France! But the most startling aspect of the case appears in the fact that the famines increased in number and severity as the century went on. Suppose we divide the last century into quarters, periods of twenty-five years each. In the first quarter there were five famines, with an estimated loss of 1,000,000 lives. During the second quarter of the century there were two famines with an estimated mortality of 400,000. During the third quarter there were six famines, with a recorded loss of life of 5,000,000. And during the last quarter of the century--what do we find? Eighteen famines, with an estimated mortality reaching the awful total of from 15,000,000 to 26,000,000. And this does not include the many more millions (over 6,000,000 in a single year) kept alive by Government doles.

As a matter of fact, virtual famines are really perpetual in India. They exist when they are not reported by the Government at all, and when the world knows nothing of their existence. Even when the rains are plentiful and crops are good, there is always famine, that is, starvation on a wide scale, somewhere in the land, taking its toll of thousands and even millions of human lives, of which we read nothing in any Government statement, and of which we know only when we see it with our own eyes. Millions of the people of India who are reported by the British Government as dying of fever, dysentery and other similar diseases, really perish as the result of emaciation from this long and terrible lack of food, this endless starvation. When epidemics appear, such as plague and influenza, depletion from life-long starvation is the main cause of the terrible mortality.


What is the explanation of all this terrible and persistent famine, seen and unseen,--this famine, part of it reported under its true name, part under some other name, but most of it not reported at all?

The common answer is, the failure of the rains. But there seems to be no evidence that the rains fail now any oftener or in greater extent than they did a hundred years ago. Moreover, why should failure of rains bring famine? It is a matter of indisputable fact that the rains have never failed in India over areas so extensive as to prevent the production of ample food for the entire population. Why then, have the people starved? Never because there was any real lack of food. Never because there was any lack of food even in the famine areas, brought by railways or otherwise within easy reach of all. There has always been plenty of food raised in India, even in the worst famine years, for those who had money to buy it with. And until during the World War, the price of food in India has been quite moderate. This is the report of two different British Commissions that have carefully investigated the matter. Why then, have all these millions of people died for want of food?

Because they were so indescribably poor. All candid and thorough investigation into the causes of the famines of India has shown that the chief and fundamental cause has been, and is, the poverty of the people-a poverty so severe and terrible that it keeps a large proportion of the population on the very verge of starvation even in the years of greatest plenty, prevents them from laying up anything against times of extremity, and hence leaves them, when their crops fail, absolutely undone-with nothing between them and death unless some form of charity comes to their aid. Said Sir Charles Elliott, long the Chief Commissioner of Assam, "Half the agricultural population do not know from one half-year's end to another what it is to have a full meal." Said the Honorable G. K. Gokhale, one of the Viceroy's Council, "From 60,000,000 to 70,000,000 of the people in India do not know what it is to have their hunger satisfied even once in a year."

Nor does there seem to be any improvement. Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. C. F. Andrews, witnesses of the most competent and trustworthy character, have both recently given it as their judgment that to-day the people of India are growing steadily poorer. 1


Here we get a glimpse of the real India. It is not the India which the usual traveller sees, following the common routes of travel, stopping at the leading hotels conducted after the manner of London or Paris, and mingling with the English lords of the country. It is not the India to which the British "point with pride" and tell us about in their books of description and their commercial reports. But this is India from the inside, it is the India of the Indian people, of the men, women, and children to whom the country of right belongs, who pay the taxes and bear the burdens, and support the costly government carried on by foreigners. It is the India of the men, women, and children who do the starving when the famine comes. It is the India of the men and

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1  Says Mr. Bernard Houghton, M. P., "It is certain that the condition of the peasantry, the backbone of India, is year by year worsening. Not only are the Government land revenue demands exacting and oppressive, but the proportion of land owned by landlords and moneylenders tends steadily to increase. The figures in this matter are conclusive."-Swarajya, Congress Number, December, 1927.  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

women who are now struggling for their independence, as their only hope of ever getting rid of the exploitation of their country, and therefore of their poverty and misery.

What causes this awful and growing poverty of the Indian people? Said John Bright: "If a country be found possessing a most fertile soil and capable of bearing every variety of production, yet notwithstanding, the people are in a state of extreme destitution and suffering, the chances are there is some fundamental error in the government of that country."


<b>One cause of India's impoverishment is heavy taxation. Taxation in England and Scotland is high, so high that Englishmen and Scotchmen complain bitterly even in normal times, times of peace. But the people of India are taxed more than twice as heavily as the people of England and more than three times as heavily as Scotland. </b>Mr. Cathcart Watson, M. P., said in the British House of Commons, "We know that the percentage of the taxes in India, as related to the gross product, is more than double that of any other country." But high taxation in such countries as Scotland and England and America does not cause a tithe of the suffering that it does in India, because the incomes of the people in these countries are so very much greater than are the incomes of the Indian people. Herbert Spencer in his day protested indignantly against "the pitiless taxation which wrings from the poor Indian ryots nearly half the product of their soil". Yet the taxation now is higher than in Spencer's day. No matter how great the distress, taxes go up and up.

Notice a single item, the tax on salt. All civilized nations recognize that salt is one of the last things in the world that should be taxed in any country, for two reasons: first, because it is everywhere a "necessity of life" and therefore nothing should be done to deprive the people of a proper quantity of it; and second, because in the very nature of the case a tax on it falls most heavily on the very poor. But it is a tax which is easily collected, and which, if fixed high, is sure to produce a large revenue, because everybody must have salt or die. And so it has been the fixed policy of Government to impose a heavy salt tax upon the Indian people. During much of the past, this tax has been so high as actually to compel the reduction of the quantity of salt consumed by the impoverished millions of the country to less than one-half the amount declared by the medical authorities to be absolutely necessary for health, if not for life itself.


<b>Another cause of India's impoverishment is the destruction of her manufactures as a result of British rule.</b> When the British first appeared on the scene, India was one of the richest countries of the world; indeed, it was her great riches that attracted the British to her shores. The source of her wealth was largely her splendid manufactures. Her cotton goods, silk goods, shawls, muslins of Dacca, brocades of Ahmedabad, rugs, pottery of Scind, jewelry, metal work, and lapidary work, were famed not only all over Asia, but in all the leading markets of North Africa and Europe. What has become of those manufactures? For the most part, they are utterly gone, destroyed. Hundreds of villages and towns of India in which these industries were carried on are now wholly depopulated, and millions of the people who were supported by this work have been scattered and driven back on the land, to share the already too scanty living of the poor ryot. What is the explanation? Great Britain wanted India's markets. She could not find much entrance for British manufactures so long as India was supplied with manufactures of her own. So those of India must be sacrificed. England had all power in her hands, and so she proceeded to pass tariff and excise laws that ruined the manufactures of India and secured this market for the manufactures of Manchester and Birmingham. India could not retaliate with counter tariff laws, because she was at the mercy of the conqueror. If is true that India is getting back manufactures in some degree. Cotton mills, jute mills, woolen mills and others, in considerable numbers, are being built and operated in several of her large cities. But their value to India is questionable. The wealth they produce does not reach and benefit the Indian people at all to the extent which that produced by India's former manufactures did; it enriches practically nobody except the mill-owners and a few capitalists, a majority of whom are British. <b>Of course, these mills give employment to quite large numbers of Indian workers; but for the most part it is under conditions of low wages, long hours, insanitation, and wretched housing which are hardly less than inhuman. </b>


<b>A third cause of India's impoverishment is the enormous and wholly unnecessary cost of her Government.</b> Writers in discussing the financial situation in India have often pointed out the fact that her Government is the most expensive in the world. Of course, the reason is plain: it is because it is a Government carried on by men from a distant country, not by the people of the soil. These foreigners, having all power in their own hands, including power to create such offices as they choose and to attach to them such salaries as they please, naturally do not err on the side of making the offices too few; or the salaries and pensions too small. Nearly all the higher officials throughout India are British. To be sure, the Civil Service is nominally open to Indians. But it is hedged about with so many restrictions that Indians are able for the most part to secure only the lowest and poorest places. The amount of money which the Indian people are required to pay as salaries to this great army of foreign civil servants and appointed higher officials, and then, later, as pensions for the same after they have served a given number of years in India, is very large. That in three-fourths, if not in nine-tenths of the positions, quite as good service, and often much better, could be obtained for the Government at a fraction of the present cost, by employing educated and competent Indians, who much better understand the wants of the country, is demonstrably and incontrovertibly true. But that would not serve the purpose of England, who wants these lucrative offices for her sons. <b>Hence poor Indian ryots must sweat and starve by the million, that an evergrowing army of foreign officials may have large salaries and fat pensions. And, of course, much of the money paid for these salaries and practically all paid for the pensions, goes permanently out of India. </b>


Another burden on the people of India which they ought not to be compelled to bear, and which does much to increase their poverty, is the enormously heavy military expense of the government. I am not complaining of the maintenance of such an army as may be necessary for the defense of the country. But the Indian army is kept at a strength much beyond what any possible defense of the country requires. India is made a sort of general rendezvous and training camp for the Empire, from which soldiers may at any time be drawn for service in distant lands--in many parts of Asia, in Africa, in the islands of the sea, and even in Europe. Numerous wars and campaigns are carried on outside of India, expense for the conduct of which, wholly or in large part, India is compelled to bear. For such foreign wars and campaigns--in which India and the Indian people of India had no concern, from which they derived no benefit, the aim of which was solely conquest and extension of British power--<b>India was required to pay during the last century the enormous total of more than $450,000,000. </b>This does not include her expenditures in connection with the war in Europe in 1914-18. <b>Toward the maintenance of that war India contributed 1,401,350 men--combatants and non-combatants. (These are official figures.) She also paid--was compelled to pay despite her awful poverty-the terrible sum of £100,000,000 ($500,000,000). This was announced to the world as a "gift," but it was a gift only in name. As a matter of fact, it was forced, coerced, wrung from the Indian people, as all India knows to its sorrow. Nor was this sum all, as the world generally supposes. Other sums were contributed from India (under pressure, virtual compulsion) in different forms, under different names, all taken together, totalling--it is claimed--almost another $500,000,000. How many such burdens as these can the people of India bear, without being destroyed? </b>

<b>England claims that India pays her no "tribute." Technically this is true; but in reality it is very far from true. In the form of salaries spent largely in England, and pensions spent wholly there, interest drawn in England from Indian investments, "profits" made in India and sent "Home," and various forms of "exploitation" carried on in India for the benefit of Englishmen and England, a vast stream of wealth (whether it is called tribute or not) has been pouring into England from India ever since the East India Company landed there some three hundred years ago, and is going on still with steadily increasing volume. </b>1

Says Mr. R. C. Dutt, author of the "Economic History of India" (than whom there is no higher authority) : "A sum reckoned at twenty millions of English money or a hundred millions of American money--some authorities put it much higher--is remitted annually from India to England without any direct equivalent. It should be borne in mind that this sum is equal to half the net revenues of India. Note this carefully--onehalf of what India pays every year in taxes goes out of the country and is of no further service to those who have paid the taxes. No other country on earth suffers like this. No country on earth could bear such an annual drain without increasing impoverishment and repeated famines." We denounce ancient Rome for impoverishing Gaul and Egypt, Sicily and Palestine, to enrich herself. We denounce Spain for robbing the New World and the Netherlands to amass wealth. England is following exactly the same practice in India. Is it

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->1  Major Wingate, in his book "A Few Words on Financial Relations with India" (pp. 2 and 3) says: "The British Indian empire has been acquired, extended and consolidated, by means of its own resources, and up to this present hour the British treasury has never contributed a shilling in aid of any Indian object whatever. . . . Not only is it a fact that India has been acquired without the expenditure of a single shilling on the part of this country (Britain), but it is actually a fact that India has regularly paid to Great Britain a heavy tribute. . . . Tribute is a transference of a portion of the annual revenue of a subject country to the ruling country, without any material equivalent being given in exchange. . . . Its effect is, of course, to impoverish the one country and to enrich the other. . . . The exaction of a tribute from India, as a conquered country, would sound harsh and tyrannical in English ears; so the real nature of the Indian contribution (tribute) has been carefully concealed from the British public, under the less offensive appellation of 'Home Charges on the Indian Government.'"
( Major Wingate was Revenue Survey Commissioner for the Bombay Presidency. His book was published in 1859 by William Blackwood and Sons, London, and republished in 1926 by Major B. D. Basu, I. M. S. in Allahabad.) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

strange that under her rule she has made India a land of widespread and continuous starvation?


But India's poverty, terrible as it is, is only a part of the wrong done to her by England. The greatest injustice of all is the loss of her liberty--the fact that she is allowed little or no part in shaping her own destiny. As we have seen, Canada, Australia, and other British colonies are free and self-governing. India is kept in absolute subjection. Yet her people are largely of Aryan blood, the finest race in Asia. <b>There are not wanting men among them, men in great numbers, who are the equals of their British masters in knowledge, ability, trustworthiness, in every high quality. Not only is such treatment of such a people tyranny in its worst form (as many Englishmen themselves realize) but it is a direct and complete violation of all those ideals of freedom and justice of which England boasts and in which Englishmen profess to believe.</b> It is also really a most shortsighted policy as regards England's own interests. It is the kind of policy which cost her the American colonies, and later came near to costing her Canada, as well. If persisted in, it must cost her India also.


What is the remedy for the evils and burdens underwhich India suffers? How may the Indian people be relieved from their abject and growing poverty? How can they be given prosperity, happiness and content?

Many answers are suggested. One is--lighter taxes. This, of course, is important; it is, indeed, vital. But how can it be brought about so long as the people have no power to change in the slightest degree the cruel tax laws from which they suffer? The Government wants these heavy taxes for its own uses, and is constantly in. creasing the rates. The protests of the people fall on deaf ears. Taxes were never so high as they are now. Under the Government's boasted "New Reform Scheme" of 1919, they were not lowered, but actually increased.

Another remedy suggested for India's suffering is that of enacting such legislation and inaugurating such measures as may be found necessary to restore as far as possible the native industries which have been destroyed. This is exactly what India would like, and would bring about if she had power--if she had selfrule; but will an alien government, one which has itself destroyed these industries for its own advantage, ever do this?

Another remedy proposed is to reduce the unnecessary and illegitimate military expenses. This is easy to say, and, of course, is most reasonable. But how can it be brought about so long as the Government insists on such expenditures, and the people have no power to order the contrary?

<b>Another thing urged is to stop the drain of wealth to England. </b>But how can a single step be taken in this direction of stopping it, so long as absolutely all power is in the hands of the very men who created the drain, who are enriched by it, and who are determined to continue it?

<b>It all comes back to this: The fundamental difficulty, the fundamental evil, the fundamental wrong, lies in the fact that India is a subject land, politically a slave land, ruled by foreigners. It is for this reason that she is unable to guard her own interests, unable to protect herself against unjust laws, unable to inaugurate those measures for her own advancement which must always come from those immediately concerned. </b>


In other words, the only remedy for India's wrongs, her economic ills and her political degradation, is that which in all ages of the world and in all lands has been found to be the only possible remedy for the evils of foreign rule, and that is, the self-rule which India is demanding. <b>England knows this, and would perish before she would permit any foreign nation to rule her. </b>Every nation in Europe knows it and hence every one would fight to the death before it would surrender its freedom and independence. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa know it; therefore, although they are all children of Great Britain, not one of them would consent to remain in the British Empire for a day unless permitted absolute freedom to make and administer its own laws, and therefore to protect itself and shape its own destiny.

Here lies India's only hope. <b>She must become an absolutely independent nation with no connection with Great Britain,</b> or else remaining in the Empire, she must be given the place of a real partner (not that of a subordinate under a partner's name),--a place of as true freedom and of as perfect equality with the other partners in the Empire, as that of Australia, or New Zealand, or South Africa, or Canada.

We have now before us the data for understanding, in a measure at least, the meaning of India's struggle for freedom. <b>That struggle means the normal, necessary and just awakening and protest of a great people too long held in subjection.</b> <b>It is the effort of a nation once illustrious and still conscious of its inherent superiority, to rise from the dust, to stand once more upon its feet, to shake off fetters that have become unendurable. It is the endeavor of the Indian people to get for themselves again a country that in a true sense will be their own, instead of remaining--as for more than a century and a half it has been, a mere preserve of a foreign power--in John Stuart Mill's words, England's "human cattle farm." </b><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Orientalism And Race: Aryanism in the British Empire (Hardcover)
by Tony Ballantyne "Eric Wolf's insistence that historical writing should unravel the 'bundles of relationships' that constituted the past underpins this study of the complex networks that constituted..." (more)

In the 1760s, as the British Empire expanded into Asia and the Pacific, its rulers proposed that certain peoples could be understood, and privileged, as a separate ?Aryan? race. Aryanism suggested that this whole region had originally been peopled by successive waves of vigorous Aryans, culminating in British colonisation. Ballantyne traces how this idea ?was used to naturalise, justify and celebrate British colonisation of South Asia.?

Chapters 1 and 6 look at imperial notions of India, which were used as a template for understanding other colonised societies. Chapters 2 to 5 examine how the Empire used these to try to control New Zealand?s Maori society. As ever, the empire exploited existing social divisions, to divide and rule, while claiming that it freed the most exploited from bonds of caste and priestly power. It called its domination ?liberation?, its exploitation ?development? and its wars ?pacifications?.

Unfortunately, Ballantyne commits what we may call the scholarly fallacy, asserting that the empire was woven together by webs of relationships, modes of discourse, rather than hammered into place by the capitalist mode of production. Only in passing does he note that the East India Company, the revenue manager for Bengal, collected increased revenues while famine killed a third of the people. Under Empire, rule, regular famines, in 1770, 1783 and throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, killed tens of millions.

Ballantyne does not challenge the imperial myth that settlers, both military and missionary, benefit the host country, not their own individual gain. This is now transmuted into the liberal myth that immigrants benefit the host country.

He claims that there was a ?progressive? side of Aryanism, inclusive, globalising and non-racist. He praises the imperial policies of free flows of labour and products and ideas, and he opposes all forms of nationalism as exclusive and racist. This fits neatly into the Empire?s hostility to ?backward-looking? nationalism, and it also suits US imperial policy today.

But empire is always undemocratic, because it is based on rule by one class over other nations. Empire benefits its rulers, never the peoples, whatever the forms in which people think.
<b>India in Bondage by Jabez T. Sunderland; Lewis Copeland Company, 1932 </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>CHAPTER VI

Are the British in India primarily for India's benefit, or for their own? This question is one which occupies so prominent a place in nearly all books and discussions about British rule in India that it deserves a careful and somewhat full answer.

<b>Wrote John Morley: "The usual excuse of those who do evil to others is, that their object is to 'do them good.'" </b>

This has been especially true of military conquerors and rulers of subject peoples. It is interesting to see from the newly discovered records of ancient Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria how unselfish were the founders of those early empires and kingdoms--how careful they all were to send proclamations ahead of their invading armies to inform the nations which they were proposing to conquer and reduce to slavery, that they were coming as their "friends" to rule them "for their good." Alexander the Great carried on his conquests always for the "good" of the nations that he subdued. Rome did the same. The Spaniards made loud professions that their conquests of Mexico, Peru and other parts of the New World, were for the benefit of the peoples of those lands; the particular benefit they wished to confer on them being the highest possible, namely, that of bringing to them the Christian religion, so that their souls might be saved even if their cities and homes were devastated and they themselves were killed. Napoleon's conquests were always preceded by eloquent announcements to the nations about to be invaded, that he was coming to liberate them and give them better governments. Thus for a score of years half the countries of Europe ran red with blood "for their good."

I regret to say that the United States has engaged to a degree in the same kind of "beneficence." We have invaded (really invaded, though there has been no declaration of war) the island of Haiti, overturned its government, forced upon its people an alien constitution, taken possession of its customs and shot without warrant some hundreds of its citizens; but we have claimed that it has all been done for Haiti's good. We have also trampled upon the rights of Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama in various ways, but always with the profession of benevolence.

The most conspicuous illustration of our unselfish imperialism in recent time has been our conquest of the Philippines. Many of us remember in connection with that conquest how widespread was the talk of our military men, our imperialists, many of our politicians and even some of our religious leaders, about the "white man's burden" which we were so nobly taking up, about our "sacred responsibility" to "inferior peoples," and what a high and important place "benevolent despotism" fills in the world. Thus we eased our conscience by persuading, or half persuading, ourselves that we were doing it all "for their good" when we waged a war of conquest against a people who had never harmed us, killed thousands of them, burned hundreds of their villages, overturned the Republic which they had had set up and compelled them to submit to our rule.

Great Britain has extended her conquests more widely over the earth than any other nation, her soldiers fighting and dying everywhere, until all lands and shores, as Kipling puts it, are "blue with their bones." Why? Always professedly for the "good" of the peoples thus conquered and compelled to submit to British rule,-India being the most conspicuous of the lands thus brought under the yoke.

About the year 1900, when our own American Government was waging its unselfish war in the Philippines; when the Powers of the West were carrying on their Christian punitive movements in China for China's good, and doing it with armies most of which (I believe the Japanese and American armies were exceptions) widely pillaged and looted the Chinese people; when Great Britain was fighting the Boers in South Africa, for their good, and shutting them up, men, women and children, in pens and stockades where they died by the hundred; and when Great Britain was also holding down by military force the uneasy people of India for their good,-at that time Mr. Bertrand Shadwell wrote a very striking poem (widely read and famous for several years) which made perfectly clear how justifiable and even how noble are all wars of conquest waged against weaker peoples, and all cases of ruling them without their consent, and all exploiting them and all robbing them, if only done as part of the "white man's burden," with "benevolent intentions" "for the good" of the peoples conquered and despoiled. When Mark Twain read Mr. Shadwell's lines, he wrote him, saying: "I thank you for your poem. It is what I would have written myself, but for lack of poetical faculty." Many will remember the poem.

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"If you see an island shore
Which has not been grabbed before,
Lying in the track of trade, as islands should,
With the simple native quite
Unprepared to make a fight,
Oh, you just drop in and take it for his good.
Not for love of money, be it understood,
But you row yourself to land,
With a Bible in your hand,
And you pray for him and rob him, for his good:
If he hollers, then you shoot him--for his good.

Or this lesson I can shape
To campaigning at the Cape,
Where the Boer is being hunted for his good;

He would welcome British rule
If he weren't a blooming fool;

Thus you see it's only for his good.
So they're burning houses for his good,
Making helpless women homeless for their good,
Leaving little children orphans for their good.
In India there are bloody sights
Blotting out the Hindu's rights
Where we've slaughtered many millions for their good,
And, with bullet and with brand,
Desolated all the land,
But you know we did it only for their good.
Yes, and still more far away,
Down in China, let us say,
Where the "Christian" robs the "heathen" for his good,
You may burn and you may shoot,
You may fill your sack with loot,
But be sure you do it only for his good. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>MORAL </b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If you dare commit a wrong
On the weak because you're strong,
You may do it if you do it for his good!
You may rob him if you do it for his good;
You may kill him if you do it for his good." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There is nothing that we hear oftener, or that is more constantly declared to the whole world, than the claim of Great Britain that she is in India for purely unselfish reasons, for "India's good"; that she regards herself as a "trustee" of the Indian people, "responsible" for them (but not to them!); that "providence" has placed them "in her care" and "under her protection," and therefore it is her "duty" to hold them and rule them, even without their consent and against their protest; that she is trying conscientiously to bear the "white man's burden"; that she sincerely approves their aspiration to be free and rule themselves; but they are inferior people, ignorant, only partly civilized, children as it were, who do not know what is good for them, as their superior British masters do, and therefore who have to be dealt with as children; in fact, because of her sympathy with them and unselfish desire for their freedom she is actually educating them for self-government, but, of course, she has to do it very slowly and with great caution; for if she allowed them to rule themselves too soon, the results would be terrible.

I say such things as these we are hearing and the world is hearing all the while.

But are they anything else under heaven except either self-delusion or pretense? Is there anywhere, from any source or in any form, any real evidence that Great Britain is ruling India primarily for India's good, or that any person with intelligence on the subject really believes she is?

Of course, there are many individual Englishmen in India who personally are large-minded, unselfish men, who feel sympathetic toward the Indian people, and are trying, so long as they remain in the country, to be kind to them and to benefit them in any way they can. But this is not the question. Do these very men themselves believe that Britain conquered India, and is holding her in subjection by means of a large army, and is ruling her against her constant protest, wholly or primarily from benevolent motives, and not from political motives such as desire for imperial prestige and power, and commercial and financial motives such as markets, trade, cheap raw material, fine positions with fat salaries for young Englishmen, and so on?

A no less impartial student of world affairs than the American scholar and historian, Dr. Herbert Adams Gibbons, gives his judgment of the motive of British rule in India as follows: "The reading of books like Captain Trotter "History of India' and Lovat Fraser 'India Under Curzon and After' causes one to realize the perverted or rather unawakened moral sense of intelligent and high-minded Englishmen, when it is a question of India. Some of the finest men I have known have served Great Britain in India in a civil or military capacity. <b>It never occurred to them to question their right to draw large salaries from a starving people against their will, to raid and shoot frontier tribes, to flog and condemn to death Indians for acting precisely as they themselves would have acted under similar circumstances. </b>Inability to see any wrong in Great Britain's actions toward India is an inherited quirk of the Britisher. The Britisher is sincere in his patriotism. He believes he is serving his country, if not humanity. But if he will analyze the motives behind British rule in India, and his presence there, <b>he could not escape the conclusion that 'bearing the white men's burden' means (1) selling goods in a market where others do not enjoy an equal opportunity; (2) preference in investment and concession privileges; and (3) getting on the payroll.</b> If it be objected that orderly government is sufficient compensation to India for commercial exploitation, the ready reply is forthcoming that the administration is paid for inordinately in hard Indian cash; and far from being a philanthropic service, it provides congenial and remunerative employment for a large number of Englishmen who could not have found the same opportunity elsewhere." 1

But we do not need to rely upon the judgments of Americans; we have sufficient testimonies from Englishmen themselves to make it entirely clear whether or not
the British are in India for unselfish reasons--for "India's good."

As long ago as 1864 Sir G. O. Trevelyan, in his at the time famous book, "Letters from a Competition Wallah", said: "There is not a single person in India who would not consider the sentiment that we hold India for the benefit of the inhabitants of India a loathsome unEnglish piece of cant."

In 1899, Mr. J. A. Hobson published an article in "The Ethical World" ( February 18), in which, while praising the British Civil Service officials in India, he declares that to affirm that these men are impelled to spend twenty years in governing India from the philanthropic desire to take up the "white man's burden," or that any such desire is any substantial part of their inducement to service, "would be too gross a piece of bunkum for the platform of a Primrose League."

In an article in the Empire Review of February, 1919, Mr. Justice Beaman of the Bombay High Court declares: "We did not take India, nor do we keep India, for the Indians. Only those claims can be allowed to be legitimate which can be granted compatibly with maintaining in its full efficiency the supremacy of England in India. . . . If, as I think, we took India solely in the interests of England and hold India in the interests of England, it follows that the interests of England not only in fact are, but ought to be, avowed to be the guiding principle of our Indian policy. Every reform, every large measure, all important administrative changes should be referred to one standard and one standard only, the interests of England."

Sir William Joynson-Hicks, Home Secretary in Mr. Baldwin's Cabinet, has declared exactly the same, and in quite as strong words. <b>He says: "We did not conquer India for the benefit of the Indians. I know it is said at missionary meetings that we conquered India to raise the level of the Indians. </b>That is cant. <b>We conquered India as an outlet for the goods of Great Britain. We conquered India by the sword, and by the sword we should hold it. . . . We hold it as the finest outlet for British goods in general, and for Lancashire cotton goods in particular." </b>

During the spring and early summer of 1920, an extensive discussion was carried on in the English periodical press on the questions, Why is Britain in India? What is the value of India to the British Empire? Why should India continue to be held? In the many articles brought out by the discussion, there was here and there a reference to England's "responsibility," to her "beneficent purpose," to the claim that she is there and must stay for "India's good." But all these considerations were quickly passed by for others of more importance, the writers giving plain evidence that they had put them forward merely because they were expected to do so, or to ease the British conscience, knowing all the while how hollow they were. The real and all over-shadowing reasons given why England is in India and why she intends to stay there, were that India is of great value to the British Empire; that she is a great asset financially, industrially, commercially, politically and militarily. Some of the writers laid stress upon her great area and vast population, which would render her, if she should be lost to Britain and become hostile, "almost as formidable as China," or "as Russia and Germany combined." Others emphasized her very great and as yet undeveloped material resources, which England could not afford to lose.

The Lord Chancellor of England took a hand, and urged that India is indispensable and must be kept because she contributes so greatly on the one hand to Britain's trade and wealth and on the other to her prestige and power. He declared: " India is an incalculable asset to the Mother Country. [As if England were India's "mother" country in any possible sense.] Great Britain has always drawn from India large quantities of foodstuffs and raw materials essential to her industries. <b>Out of the total exports of India, which before the Great War were roughly worth £150,000,000 ($700,000,000), more than 25 per cent were sent to the United Kingdom, and over 40 per cent to the whole Empire. But it is on the other side of the trade account that the value of India to Great Britain is most evident; for India is the greatest outside market for British manufacturers. Before the War no less than 63 per cent of the total imports of India came from Great Britain, and 70 per cent from the British Empire." </b>

Continues the Lord Chancellor: "In the fabric of the British Empire India is a vital part. Unless, indeed, we are content to abandon the great heritage of the past, and sink into political and commercial insignificance, the surrender of India would be an act not only of folly but of degenerate poltroonery. To make such a surrender would be to remove the keystone of the arch. <b>The loss of India would be the first step in the disintegration of the Empire." </b>

The discussion spread into Parliament, where the prevailing sentiment expressed was in substantial harmony with that of the Lord Chancellor.

Here we have the whole story,--from the London press and from leading officials of the British Government. The Indian people--one-sixth of the population of the earth--must be held in subjection, (1) because India is the keystone of Britain's power and greatness as a world-wide Empire based on conquest and force; and (2), because from India is drawn a large part of Britain's material wealth.

It all seemed like an echo (only somewhat softened) of what Sir Edward Dicey wrote many years ago in the Nineteenth Century ( September, 1899): "In every part of the world, where British interests are at stake, I am in favor of advancing and upholding these interests, even at the cost of annexation and at the risk of war. The only qualification I admit is that the country we desire to annex, or take under our protection, the claims we choose to assert, and the cause we desire to espouse, should be calculated to confer a tangible advantage upon the British Empire."

<b>In contrast with all these sordid views, it is heartening to cite the brave and honorable words of a writer in the New Statesman ( November 7, 1919): "We went to India to exploit her wealth. We succeeded to the extent of impoverishing her--making her starved, unhappy, uneducated. We have sucked the blood from her veins and scored the flesh from her bones, and having done this, in our comfortable jargon we allude to our ' Indian problem.' The state of India is a crime, and the only problem worth considering is how long we are going to allow this crime to remain on the conscience of Great Britain." </b>

One test, and an entirely fair one, of whether England is ruling the Indian people for their "good," is seen in connection with opium and liquor. As shown in other chapters of this book, untold wretchedness is being brought upon millions of men, women and children, and millions of lives are being destroyed in India, both by intoxicating drink and by opium. The best intellectual, moral and religious forces of the country are opposed to them; but the Government favors and promotes the sales of both for the sake of revenue; and imprisons persons who work to stop or even to reduce these sales. Would a government whose aim was the people's benefit do this?

Practically nobody of any intelligence in India, I mean of the Indian people, believes that Britain is ruling India for benevolent ends. In answer to the claim of benefit from British rule, I found many persons in <b>India saying: "If our rulers have wiped away our tears, as they claim, they have torn out our eyes in doing it." </b>

Says the Modern Review of Calcutta (February, 1924): "The assumption that the British ever were or now are in India on a philanthropic mission is pure selfdeception or hypocrisy. They came to India for money, and at present are here to make money and to gratify their lust of power. That is the general proposition. Individual Englishmen there were and are who are exceptions, but they are few. Such words from British lips or pens as 'Our responsibility for India cannot be abandoned,' stink in our nostrils. They are nothing but hypocrisy."

Says The Democrat of Allahabad: "No British official in India will ever for a moment consent to anything which will injure the interests of the mercantile community in England. Not one will yield an inch where the trade of England is in the least affected." This is universally understood in India.

Mr. Alfred Webb, M. P., who spent many years in India and had a chance to learn all about the "white man's burden" wrote in July, 1908: "The white man's burden is sanctimonious twaddle, to justify the white man in exploiting the colored man for his own advantage."

Probably no living Englishman knows India or the British Government of India or England better, or loves England, the true England, more sincerely than Rev. C. F. Andrews, the eminent Church of England missionary, professor and publicist. Says Mr. Andrews: "Our whole British talk about being 'trustees of India' and coming out to 'serve' her, about bearing the 'white man's burden,' about ruling India 'for her good,' and all the rest, is the biggest hypocrisy on God's earth."

When George I was brought over from Hanover in Germany to be made King of England, he could speak English only very imperfectly. There is a story told that, as the royal procession passed through the streets of London, the King, overjoyed at the shouts of welcome he received and desiring to assure the people of his beneficent intentions, called out to the enthusiastic crowd: "We have come for your goods." Some one in the crowd called back in reply: "Yes, and for our chattels too." England loudly claims that she has come to India for her good. India's bitter answer is: "Alas! Long, long ago we found out that you have come not for our good, but for our goods, and chattels too."

Even if we were to admit that England is in India not for her own advantage, not to gain for herself financial benefit, or increase of political power or prestige in the world, but for purely unselfish ends,--how would that justify England? Are persons or nations justified in committing the greatest of known crimes if only they have a benevolent end in view? What right has England to conquer and rule India "for her good" any more than for any other reason? Does Indiawant to be held and ruled by England for her good? Has she invited England to rule her for her good? Where did England get the right? Does England have a right to rule Japan for her good? Has America a right to rule China for her good? Has France or Germany, or Russia a right to rule England for her good? Is there any more justification for a nation to rob another nation of its freedom and its nationhood and rule it for its good, than for a man to rob another man of his liberty and his manhood and rule him for his good?

Nothing that has been said in the foregoing pages is meant to deny that benefits have come to the Indian people during British rule. But in order to understand what those benefits are and what they are not, whether they have come on account of British rule or in spite of it, and what they are worth, two things need to be borne in mind, namely: (1) Whatever benefits India has received during British rule, or from it, have been paid for wholly by India; Britain has not paid one penny. India paid all the expense even of the wars by which she was conquered; and ever since her conquest she has paid all the expense of maintaining the armies which have held her in subjection, and all the expense of the foreign Government that has ruled her,--a Government far more costly than one of her own equally efficient and far more beneficial to her would have been. So that whatever good India may have received from her British rulers, she has paid fully and dearly for it. (2) Whatever benefits may have come to the Indian people from British rule, if any such there really have been or are, have been far more than counter-balanced by injuries, serious and terrible injuries. The destruction of India's extensive manufactures and commerce, the draining away of its wealth to England, and thus the reduction of its people to their present awful poverty,--this alone is a wrong and an injury which is not compensated for by anything that Britain has done for India.

But these injuries are not the worst. India has been robbed of something more precious than money, or even bread for her children. She has been robbed of freedom and nationhood. This injury outweighs ten-fold all Britain's benefits. For what is there on earth that can compensate any nation for the degradation of subjection to a foreign power? <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The spirit of 1857

Subramanian Swamy

In a way, 1857 is even more significant for Indian nationhood and history than 1947. The spirit of the "First Indian War of Independence" stood the country in good stead during the freedom struggle. The framework and spirit of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood exemplified by 1857 must be revived.

ON MAY 10, 1857, Indian soldiers of the regiments stationed in Meerut killed their British officers, marched to Delhi, and liberated the city from British control. They proclaimed 82-year-old Bahadur Shah Zafar as the "Emperor of Hindustan." The Emperor then appointed a Hindu, Mukund Ram, as his "Prime Minister" just as Nana Saheb Baji Rao, the adopted son of the Peshawas and partner in the revolt, appointed a Muslim, Azimullah as his "Prime Minister." At the Red Fort, the Bhagwa Dhwaj (saffron flag) was unfurled.

The uprising did not last long. In Delhi it was over by September 1857. The domino effect in the country as a whole was contained by end 1858. But the popular uprising fired the imagination of the nation. From the ashes of the burnt-out revolution, sparks continued to ignite revolt in the country until Mahatma Gandhi led the nation finally to freedom in 1947.

Exactly 148 years later, the whole of India has become oblivious of this historic date and of the event that was the forerunner of India's freedom. No meetings, no discussions over television, no resolutions for this revolutionary day in a country that is ready to celebrate or mourn anything or anybody. We forgot May 10, 1857 because we were programmed for nearly a century to delete it from our collective memory.

In a way, 1857 is more significant for Indian nationhood and history than even the 1947 "tryst with destiny." The British imperialists who understood the significance and import of that uprising ensured that it was ridiculed and downgraded as a "Sepoy mutiny," as a sporadic and limited uprising of soldiers ignited by obscurantist factors such as an aversion to `pig fat' in the cartridges. Marxist thinkers also tended to play it down as a "reaction." In a series of articles published in 1857, Karl Marx termed it as an army revolt, "a military mutiny"but of national proportion only because "the natives' apprehension" that the government might otherwise interfere with their religion. It was only in 1957 that the Marxist writer P.C. Joshi corrected the perspective.

Savarkar's stand

In 1909, Veer Savarkar challenged the diminution and degradation of the 1857 uprising. He wrote his account of 1857 under the title The Indian War of Independence: 1857. It was printed in Holland, nevertheless the British authorities proscribed it. Savarkar re-interpreted 1857 as a war of independence, and his magnum opus served to fire the imagination of youth for years to come. His involvement with those who conspired to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi dimmed the shine of his work. However, in the end, Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister commemorated his memory by issuing a special postal stamp in his honour.

Savarkar saw 1857 as an uprising of the national spirit that aroused "sepoy and civilian, king and pauper, Hindu and Mahomedan" to revolution. In his book he asks: "What, then were the real causes and motives of this revolution? What were they that for them men by the thousand willingly poured their blood year after year? What were they that Maulvis preached them, learned Brahmins blessed them, that for their success prayers went up to Heaven from the mosques of Delhi and the temples of Benares?" His answer: "These great principles were Swadharma [one's duty] and Swaraj [self-government]."

He approvingly quotes the newly installed Emperor of Hindustan's Proclamation: "Hindus and Mohamadans of India! Arise! Brethren arise! Of all the gifts of God, the most gracious is that of Swaraj. God does not wish that you should remain idle. He has inspired in the hearts of Hindus and Mohamedans the desire to turn the English out of our country." He credits Nana Sahib, Bahadur Shah Zafar, the Rani of Jhansi, and Khan Bahadur Khan of Rohilkhand along with the priests, Brahmins and Maulvis, with forcefully attempting a national consciousness of Hindustan to liberate the nation from foreigners.

This Hindustan would be "Swadesh" for both Hindus and Muslims. Savarkar explains this adherence to the concept of Hindustan as follows: "As long as the Mohamedans lived in India in the capacity of rulers, so long, to be willing to live with like brothers was to acknowledge national weakness. Hence, it was, up to then, necessary to consider the Mahomedans as foreigners." He then holds that after the heroism of Guru Gobind, Rana Pratap, and the Mahrattas, that grievance was no more valid, and that the original distinction between the Hindus and Muslims "must be laid to eternal rest." Both communities, he adds in his opus, are children of the soil of Hindustan, children of the same Mother India, and of the same blood. He exhorted all to "create a passionate desire in the Hindustan for this ideal, and make all the country to rise simultaneously for the purpose of achieving it."

The 1857 spirit stood us in good stead through the freedom struggle. The framework for Hindu-Muslim brotherhood brilliantly set out in The War of Independence: 1857 needs to be revived. For that we must celebrate May 10, 1857 equally with August 15, 1947.

(The writer is President of the Janata Party.)


Nearly 20 years before the first national park, Yellowstone, was established in the United States in 1872, British colonial authorities in India already had begun a program to acquire and set aside vast tracts of forest lands for environmental preservation. On 3 August 1855, Lord Dalhousie, the governor general of India, reversed previous laissez-faire policy to establish the India Forest Department and annex large areas of sparsely populated lands in India. These lands were declared protected areas and staffed by foresters, fireguards, rangers, and administrators. Over the next decades, forestry in India became an international profession with global specialists ruling an empire of trees and grasslands.(1)

The development of environmental practice in India depended upon a general Victorian decline of the entrepreneurial ideal that allowed private parties to exploit resources for immediate gain without regard for the future, and a concurrent shift toward state intervention. Spurred by the "utilitarian" philosophy of English political theorist Jeremy Bentham, who privileged the common social good over indiscriminate individualism, appeals were made to reform the new industrial cities and impose new sanitation, police, education, and work standards. These reforms marked a new degree of state intervention hitherto unknown in liberal Victorian society. Against this shift from Adam Smith individualism to Benthamite collectivism emerged new environmental interventions--paternalistic, radical, and previously untried, first in British India, then the other British colonies and the United States.(2)

The new environmental policies served in turn to support British imperialism in India. Unlike the conservative French and English royal forests reserved for hunting by the privileged elite, or the later American concept of total protection in national parks, the new colonial environmentalism was intended to generate income for the imperial British state through strict control of India's natural resources. Lord Dalhousie's new forest policies greatly expanded British authority over the land and people of India, a colonial empire that the British had procured piecemeal over the course of several centuries of mercantile and military exploitation. Thus, environmentalism and imperialism have a shared past, and the newly protected forests marked a symbiotic alliance of environmental concern with expansion of state power in India.

As Thomas Richards points out in The Imperial Archive, the drive for knowledge and the penchant to divide and catalogue the world--central to the environmental project--grew from taking stock of the "inventory" of imperialism.(3) Part of that inventory was the discovery, subjection, demarcation, and effective management of nature. British officers in India had been surveying and mapping the subcontinent since the late eighteenth century, a difficult and often dangerous task. Prominent among nineteenth-century surveyors were such recognizable names as that of George Everest.(4)

India held a particular allure for civil and government specialists throughout the nineteenth century. The subcontinent, with its vast forests, savannas, and grasslands studded with exotic animals and fauna, beckoned to young British graduates who saw not a wild waste of jungle and savanna but a frontier of new knowledge, adventure, and discovery. British investment in India's economy and infrastructure increased steadily throughout the nineteenth century. Administrators hired specialists in botany or forestry from a number of European countries, particularly Germans such as Berthold Ribbentrop, who was inspector-general of forests in India from 1888 to 1900.(5)

Paradoxically, not only India's bounty but its critical lack of resources attracted European interest. For example, while India at first easily supplied "sleepers," the railroad ties for British-built tracks that crisscrossed the subcontinent, and firewood to power the steam-driven locomotives, a critical shortage had developed by the 1840s. As the British garnered more territory, demand on the forests for wood increased. Larger populations led to more intensive local burning and grazing, and the demand for firewood skyrocketed in burgeoning villages that competed with tracks and steam engines for local resources. Dwindling supplies of English oak at home, combined with newly available rail access between the interior where wood was harvested and the ports where it was shipped abroad, expanded the export market for Malabar teak, used by the British navy. A rising market for exotic woods like aromatic sandalwood placed an added strain on the supplies of timber in accessible areas. All of these demands on the timber supply added up to a critical shortage by the time Lord Dalhousie took office.(6)

In addition, India's forest administrators feared the potential long-term environmental effects of deforestation caused by indiscriminate logging. Contemporary climate theorists warned that the destruction of forests by man's artificial interference eventually would affect cycles of rain and evaporation, resulting in vast desert areas and the potential ruin of civilization if deforestation continued.(7) J. D. Hooker, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, alerted Dalhousie to the potential economic and climatic effects of deforestation and, along with the extensive writings of surgeon Edward Green Balfour on Indian forest issues, convinced Dalhousie to support modern scientific forestry methods and conservation.(8)

Previous attempts at conservation in India had failed for lack of political support. As early as 1805, the British government requested the British East India Company, which already controlled large parts of the coastal regions, to investigate the feasibility of harvesting Malabar teak in Madras to meet the needs of British shipbuilding during the Napoleonic war. Although the East India Company was a private trading company commissioned in 1600, in India it functioned as a state entity, enjoying a monopoly of trade in the areas it ruled. Acting at the direction of the British parliament, it shared authority in India with government officials. The company appointed a former police officer, Captain Watson, as India's first conservator of forests in 1806. Watson's two-pronged plan involved placing a tax on teak in order to simultaneously slow its harvest by private interests and raise money for the government, and then purchasing the teak from the private dealers. Together, these measures would guard against over-exploitation and ensure a steady supply of teak.(9)

After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815, however, the navy had less need of teak, and a new governor of Madras, Thomas Munro, felt that the timber royalty unnecessarily raised the opposition of Indian princes who objected to the tax placed on forests under their authority. Munro also felt pressure from Indian merchants who objected strenuously to a tax that cut severely into their profits and from peasants who saw traditional access to the forest sharply curtailed. The new governor rescinded the teak regulations, abolished Captain Watson's position, and allowed the free market to operate as it had before.(10)
Lord Dalhousie's tenure as governor-general from 1848 to 1856 saw the acquisition of territory and implementation of administrative reforms for which posterity dubbed Dalhousie "the great Proconsul." As G. M. Young has noted, he was a curious combination of the "Tory gentleman and the scientific Benthamite administrator"(11)

Like many government officials, Dalhousie held several posts concurrently. As a member of the Board of Trade, he helped regulate the British railways in India. Intervention in local affairs held no ideological complications for Dalhousie, and he saw anything upon which "the whole machinery of society will be stimulated" as fair game.(12) Thus he encouraged state ownership and regulation of railways and established a publicly guaranteed stock company to construct railroads. Subsequent administrations carried on his vision for complete nationalization of the rails.(13)

Dalhousie's support for conservation was unapologetically imperialist. Upon reaching the capital at Calcutta for his inauguration in 1848, he proclaimed that "we are Lords Paramount of India, and our policy is to acquire as direct a dominion over the territories in possession of the native princes, as we already hold over the other half of India."(14) Under his administration, Crown and Company annexed eight states: the Punjab, Pegu, Satara, Samalpur, Jhansi, Nagpur, Berar, and Oudh, making their rulers vassals to the British Empire.

Dalhousie's annexation of the Punjab region of northwestern India, then ruled by a young Sikh maharaja, was typical of the way he extended British control. In a letter to a parliamentary committee in 1849, Dalhousie argued that the Sikh government there had violated the 1846 treaties of Lahore and Bhyrowal by defaulting on a debt owed the British government. He also charged that the Sikhs instigated unending hostilities toward Britain--a situation exacerbated by the minority of the young maharaja who could not control his subjects.(15) The Punjab was rich in unexploited timber resources, and its hilly forested terrain had been eyed by the British well before Dalhousie. Lord Ellenborough, governor general from 1842-44, predicted in his correspondence with the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria in 1843 that the "time cannot be very distant when the Punjab will fall into our management and the question will be what we shall do as respects the hills."(16) Dalhousie saw the Punjab forests as a means of financing the expansion of imperial rule. If the Punjab were annexed, Dalhousie said, it would pay for itself, and the British Empire would gain "the historical jewel of the Mughal Emperors in the Crown of his own Sovereign."(17) The East India Company board of directors agreed, and the East India Company annexed the Punjab.

Dalhousie toured the region and issued a proclamation on 30 March 1849 declaring all property of the former majaraja, including forest lands, to be state property. The new regime included for the first time in India a centrally organized and policed forest system for a province. Dalhousie's action anticipated his proclamation of 1855 establishing an India -wide Forest Department and indicates how early the new governor general considered the question of forest conservation.(18)

The province of Pegu in southern Burma was annexed in a similar manner. In 1852, hostilities arose between British traders and officers of the King of Ava, who ruled the ancient Burman empire. In response Dalhousie annexed Pegu, which contained a large reserve of teak. Added to the extensive forests in Oudh and the Punjab, the British government and East India Company acquired control over vast forest lands.

Not all annexed territories had abundant forest wealth, and this made the difficulty of expanding the empire in India more pressing. Pegu was of particular concern to Dalhousie, since it constituted the furthest eastern reach of the British Empire in India and defined the boundary to the Far East. The province of Pegu comprised the Kingdom of Pegu and territories 50 miles beyond Prome, a city in what today would be central-south Burma. The heavily forested area around the Sittang and Irrawaddy rivers comprised 32,250 square miles with a population of almost 600,000 people, divided into six districts (Rangoon, Henzada, Tharrawasddy, Bassien, Toungoo, and Prome).(19) Annexation was costly, and Dalhousie therefore needed to obtain reparations and funds for the additional cost of administration and security.

In light of the pressing need to finance expansion, a forestry department was vital. Pegu boasted not only rich veins of coal but also oilfields and teak. Ownership of Pegu meant revenue, including revenue-producing forests that simultaneously would deprive the court of Ava, capital of Burma, of the resources to continue hostilities.(20) These considerations, Dalhousie wrote, overruled a "regard to the natural formation of the country." The boundaries would be fixed to include the rich southern forests extending six miles north of the Myede River.(21)

Control of this teak-rich portion of Burma gave command of the Irrawaddy and Sittang rivers, Dalhousie wrote the king of Ava, and therefore "full control over the trade and the supplies upon which your kingdom so largely depends." He urged the king to sign a treaty confirming the annexation without further hostility.(22) Accordingly, after the conclusion of the treaty Dalhousie appointed a forest officer to collect revenue. He also sent a delegation to the court of Ava to cement the new relationship and take inventory of the territory as they went through the region. Oil fields, coal reserves, forests, all were to be observed and placed into the imperial topography. Cashing in on the booty, in 1855 the government imposed a duty upon teak.(23)

But the governor-general wanted more than Pegu. When Colonel James Outram arrived as Resident in Oudh in 1855, he reported to Dalhousie that the government of Oudh abused its powers, oppressed its subjects, and engaged in no modernizing reforms such as examinations for government servants, efficient tax collections, clear financial accounting, road repair, or policing of bandits. The territory, Outram wrote, was in a "most deplorable" state.(24) With the agreement of the East India Company court of directors, Dalhousie annulled earlier treaties concluded in 1801 and 1837 and demanded the king of Oudh hand civil and military control over to the British for the full annexation of the country into the empire.(25)

The court of directors authorized Dalhousie to assume "authoritatively the powers necessary for the permanent establishment of good government throughout the country" including efficient forestry management.(26) Dalhousie wrote to a friend in England that he had delivered to the Queen not only five million more subjects but 1,300,000 pounds more revenue and 25,000 square miles of territory "without a drop of blood and almost without a murmur."(27) The new territory would be administered on the Punjab model.(28)

As the annexations occurred, Dalhousie appointed superintendents to manage the forests. The British government in India made it clear that "all the forests are the property of Government, and no general permission to cut timber therein will be granted to anyone."(29) The new superintendent in Pegu, John McClelland, received instructions to "mark the trees which may be bought and felled"(30) Accompanied by Captain Phayre, commissioner of Pegu, McClelland set out to implement a more efficient management system. In a report dated 5 April 1854, he described the new forests in such detail and with such an eye for potential use that it lent substantial credibility to his proposals.

McClelland observed first that only a sparse population had settled in the forests, particularly in the hilly areas where the trees had not yet been cut. He described the size of the teak trees, noting that in the easily accessible from lower elevations, most large trees had been removed, though smaller trees were abundant. The teak in the hill forests appeared perfect, "growing on a grey stiff sandy clay in company with several species of large timber trees, which far outnumbered it in quantity." Teak was not diffuse, but "confined to certain localities of small extent where it constitutes the prevailing tree for a few hundred yards, seldom for a mile continuously."(31)

The best teak grew high up in the forests where the timber could be floated down streams in the rainy season, thus avoiding the need to construct a large network of roads. McClelland recommended modern forestry methods, observing that young trees of only two to four feet in girth were harvested in the lowlands, destroying the process of natural seedings that an older tree provided. This waste cut the future yield significantly to satisfy the urge for an immediate profit with no concern for either the forest or for future revenue.(32)

The marketing structure was also wasteful, he reported, as Indian merchants with monopolies over particular forests paid the government little and charged customers dearly. Local inhabitants in the south Pegu forests received advances from merchants in Rangoon, who paid them a set fee to float timber down stream to market even if the trees were hardly more than saplings. McClelland observed that such practices led to a state of lawless exploitation and the depletion of the forests for posterity.(33)

McClelland proposed two simple remedies: 1) a single duty per log rather than a percentage of their worth, thus rendering the harvesting of small trees profitless after the payment of the sizable fee; and 2) reservation of forests by the government so that merchants could only extract timber specifically marked by foresters. To enforce these rules he proposed revenue stations along all the rivers below the teak forests to inspect logs and calculate duty.(34) With a sentiment that would become universal in the establishment of forestry reserves for the rest of the colonies, he concluded:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> [A] forest may be regarded as a growing capital, the resources of which are  the young trees, and unless these are preserved and guarded to maturity, it  is obvious the forest must necessarily degenerate from the nature of an  improving capital to that of a sinking fund, which, within a given time,  must become expended. The loss occasioned by the removal of an undersized  tree is not merely the difference of value as compared with a full-grown  tree as a piece of timber, but must be estimated by the number of years the  forest may be deprived, by its removal, of the annual distribution of its  seeds, and the time it would otherwise have taken to arrive at maturity....
[I]f we fail in the comparatively simple duty of preserving the old
forests, we can scarcely hope to succeed in the more difficult task of
creating new ones.(35) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Further, he noted,

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> [A] forest ought not to be considered only for a single species because "an  exclusive search and use of teak alone ... [has] caused other descriptions  of timber to be entirely overlooked. Time and necessity will in due course  render these and other resources of the forest better known, [such] as  oils, gums and textile material.(36) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Dalhousie agreed to ban merchants from choosing their own trees for felling and approved of constructing revenue stations on the rivers for efficient duty collection. He also agreed with McClelland that simply planting new trees without conserving the great tracts of natural woodland made little sense. On 3 August 1855 Dalhousie issued the comprehensive Memorandum of the Government of India, which Stebbing dubbed the "Charter of Indian Forestry" The charter confirmed annexation as a ruling principle and declared that forests must be considered by definition state property if not waste lands or privately owned. The state from this point on considered territory under its control but not privately owned or managed not as "waste land" but as land requiring management and regulation. With this ringing bill of colonial rights, private timber interests could no longer pay a set royalty to extract unlimited timber and also were prohibited from felling dead, felled, or green trees--all belonged to the state along with profits from the sale. With the establishment of forest areas as absolute state property, new methods of scientific forestry could be utilized. From this new legal definition grew the policies and practices of the conservation movement, the first phase of environmentalism.(37)

Dalhousie left India in 1856 with fair prospects for the colony, declaring that India had been "in peace without and within" with "no quarter from which a formidable war could reasonably be expected at present."(38) But only two years later, India was convulsed by the Indian Mutiny, which burst over colonial India and proved the catalyst for both greater deforestation and a more militant environmental response. In May 1857, Indian soldiers unexpectedly rebelled when rumors with religious overtones for both Hindus and Muslims ignited a simmering resentment of British authority and touched off massive revolt. Hindu troops believed that the bullet cartridges they ripped open with their teeth were greased with beef fat, a violation of dietary laws, while among Muslims, the rumors implied that the cartridges were greased with pig fat, a violation of Islamic law. In a desperate mobilization to put down the mutiny, the British government ended the inefficient double government of Crown and Company and established direct control under the Crown. This new centralized colonial regime had profound implications for environmental policy.(39)

During the mutiny, the British had found themselves lacking sufficient means of rapid communication by roads, railways, and canals. Accordingly, Lord Canning, who succeeded Dalhousie as governor-general in 1856, made railway construction a priority of his administration. Canning and his successors Lord Elgin and then Lord Lawrence initiated broad reforms in response to the Queen's proclamation "to stimulate the peaceful industry of India, to promote works of public utility and improvement, and to administer the government for the benefit of Her Majesty's subjects"(40) Inefficient forest management came to be seen by a series of governors as suicidal and inhumane; government security rested upon a well maintained infrastructure dependent on a steady supply of wood, and the general population required wood for the local economy and for fuel. The Forest Department received a powerful ideological boost and found its push for further state intervention in forest areas better received by British administrators.(41)

Before the mutiny, only the presidencies of Bombay and Madras and the territory of Burma had a scientific forest administration under the authority of the August 1855 charter. The Punjab, Oudh, Bengal, and Assam had formed new forestry departments to move toward scientific management but the crisis created by the mutiny suspended forest development.(42) After the mutiny was successfully subdued, forest administration proceeded under the newly established principles of state ownership.

Lord Canning appointed Dietrich Brandis as the first inspector general of the India -wide Indian Forest Department, a post he held from 1864 to 1883. Forest conservators had already been appointed in Bombay (1847), Madras (1856), and the United Burma Provinces (1857); Brandis in turn appointed forest conservators to the Northwestern Provinces and Central Provinces in 1860, Oudh in 1861, Punjab in 1864, Coorg and Bengal in 1864, Assam in 1868, and Berar in 1868.(43) By the end of 1868, the Forest Department had administrators in every province of the subcontinent. In 1871, the Forest Department was placed under the newly established Department of Revenue and Agriculture, itself under the umbrella of the Home Department. Brandis was followed by Wilhelm Schlich (1883-88), Berthold Ribbentrop (1888-1900), and E. P. Stebbings (1900-17).(44)
The entire forest administration was systematically reorganized and centralized at the national level under the new Indian Forest Act VII of 1865, authored by Hugh Cleghorn, the conservator who originally had provided a model for forest conservancy in Mysore and Madras, and Dietrich Brandis. The act was the first India -wide forest legislation and the first broad-based environmental law applied in the nineteenth century. All the annexed lands, which had been declared government property, fell under the authority of the new act, which determined the fate of an entire "household of nature" that included forests, soft, water quality, and pollution.(45)

The need to settle private claims against forest areas led to the rise of the "multiple use" doctrine of forests for conservation and harvest that served as the model for empire forestry as a whole. In some cases the rights of the user were acquired by sanad (grant), while for communal use the state settled for the trees only and gave the right of the soil (primarily grazing) to the villagers. Islands of private land in the midst of state forests required access through state lands. In some cases the state had rights over certain kinds of trees growing on private or communal property, like the teak trees of Burma.(45)

The growing India -wide Forest Department did not have a ready supply of specially trained forest officers, so appointments were filled by men from other branches of government service who showed themselves fit for "forest life," sometimes naturalists, military men, or sportsmen, sometimes "young gentlemen" from Britain, who until 1891 were awarded jobs through patronage. Some personnel were gained by merging previous agencies as in Madras, where the Jungle Conservancy Department was amalgamated with the Forest Department.(46) Recruitment also depended on specialists recruited from other countries, especially Germany, men like Dietrich Brandis, Wilhelm Schlich, and Berthold Ribbentrop.

By 1885, the inspector-general oversaw 10 conservators of forests, who in turn oversaw 55 deputy conservators, 38 assistant conservators, and thousands of forest guards.(47) In 1900, when newly appointed Inspector General E. P. Stebbing looked back over almost 50 years of the progress in forestry, he was amazed at the accomplishments. Despite formidable obstacles, including a powerful Indian merchant class, resistance by peasants, and adherence to laissez faire policies by many bureaucrats and administrators, eight percent of the entire land area of greater India had been placed under the protected control of the Forest Department.(48) The innovative methods behind this monumental achievement captured the imagination not just of other foresters or would-be foresters but also of a general public throughout the colonies and much of the world.

How broadly did the foresters of colonial India imagine the regeneration of the sub-continent? Such technical concerns as fire protection, grazing policy, demarcation, and working plans were essential for the protection not only of timber but also the entire "household of nature." One writer in The Indian Forester humorously concluded from his observation of "forests" on Mars (the darker spots) that the planet would become an entire desert (the light spots) if the inhabitants did not learn from the mistakes of humans and imitate the protection of forest as in India.(49) This romantic environmental consciousness informed the imagination of many foresters concerned with a wide range of habitat and wildlife protection and is exemplified in the works of Rudyard Kipling.

Kipling wrote as a colonial insider, part of the ruling European class born in India and working either in the civil service or in private business. Writing for Indian newspapers, Kipling gained initial fame both in England and India as a cultural travel writer, representing the Anglo-Indians (Europeans born in India) to themselves and to the British in Britain. Kipling's first story about the forests of India, "In the Rukh" (forest), introduced the boy-hero Mowgh, better known through a reworked version in The Jungle Books. In this first Mowgli story, Mowgli is a full grown adult raised by nature herself. Kipling was inspired after meeting Inspector General Berthold Ribbentrop, who spoke glowingly of the heroes who had the "reboisement of all India in [their] hands."(50) Publication of the story in McClure's Magazine in the United States illustrates the circulation of the accomplishments of the new forestry outside the British empire and how empire forestry captured the imagination of the public through such a best-selling author as Kipling. Kipling described the Forest Service in idealized terms:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Of the wheels of public service that turn under the Indian Government,
there is none more important than the Department of Woods and Forests....  Its servants wrestle with wandering sand torrents and shifting dunes....  They are responsible for all the timber in the State forests of the  Hamalayas, as well as the denuded hillsides that the monsoons wash into dry  gullies and aching ravines.... They experiment with battalions of foreign  trees, and coax the blue gum to take root and perhaps, dry up the Canal  fever. In the plains, the chief part of their duty is to see that the belt fire-lines in the forest reserves are kept clean, so when drought comes and  the cattle starve, they may throw the reserves open to the villagers' herds  and allow the man himself to gather sticks. [T]hey're the doctors and  midwives of the huge teak forests of Upper Burma, the rubber of the Eastern  Jungles, and the gall-mass of the South: and they are always hampered by  lack of funds. But since a Forest Officer's business takes him far from the  beaten roads and the regular stations, he learns to grow wise in more than  wood-lore alone; to know the people and the polity of the jungle; meeting  tiger, bear, leopard, wild-dog, and all the deer, not once or twice after  days of beating, but again and again in the execution of his duty. He  spends much time in the saddle or under canvas--the friend of newly planted  trees, the associate of uncouth rangers and hairy trackers--till the woods,  that show his care, in turn set their mark upon him, and he ... grows  silent with the silent things of the underbrush.(51)
Kipling's romanticization of Indian forestry illustrates the complicated late nineteenth-century views of nature, sometimes secular, sometimes pagan, and sometimes teleological, of environmentalists in India. As Muller, the fictionalized Ribbentrop, "the gigantic German who was the head of the woods and forests.... head ranger from Burma to Bombay," surveys the jungle around him in the light of the fire, he explains, "When I am making reports I am a Free Thinker und Atheist, but here in the Rukh I am more than Christian. I am Bagan [pagan] also." But despite his "bagan" sentiments, nature remains ultimately unknowable, and so Muller in desperation admits, "I know dot, Began or Christian, I shall nefer know der inwardness of der Rukh."(52) If the essence of nature is unknowable for civilized man, it was an open book to the ideal forester, Mowgli, nursed on the milk of nature herself. He was, wrote Kipling, "an angel strayed among the wood" who could disappear from sight like a ghost without a sound and then appear like morning mist, cognizant of every trick of the jungle, every inclination of bird, snake and buffalo. Gibson, a forest ranger, knows when he first meets Mowgli that he "must get him into the government service somehow ... he is a miracle." Muller observes that "he is at der beginnings of der history of man--Adam in der garden ... he is older than ... der gods."(53)

Muller tells Mowgli that his new job as a forest guard is "to drive the villager's goats away" when they have no permit, to watch the game, and "to give sure warning of all fires in the Rukh." Mowgli readily accepts, for he loves the forest above all things, and the rule of British forest law protects his home and playground. In youth, a jungle boy, now in maturity, an empire forester.(54)

Mowgli, the future forester and environmentalist, was a refreshing counterbalance to the civilized consumer citizen. He exuded more than boyish charm, he approached the ideal of eighteenth-century French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau's state of nature, a natural man tutored by brother animals in a natural virtue. The moral of the story thus lies in the contrast between civilized society and the state of nature and grace embodied by Mowgli.(55) The new environmental project required men with natural leadership skills, free of what Kipling saw as democratic decadence, willing to work for the good of the whole society.

The premise of the environmental innovations initiated under British imperialism was their emphasis on the good of the state over the good of the individual through the preservation of resources for future use. Local populations had to be reeducated and the principles of laissez-faire that allowed individual enterprise and profit sacrificed for societal benefit. The selfless service of the imperial forester ensured long-term benefits for the Indian people in a graphic illustration of the "white man's burden."(55)

Environmental innovation occurred under the patronage of imperialism precisely because the environmental project and the imperial project were both "right royal" in nature and required the kind of top-down social organization that Kipling advocated in the Jungle Books. Authority came from the forestry official to the native, from the educated Christian to the pagan, from the European to the Indian.

Britain's new environmental policies attracted the attention of officials in Australia, Canada, the Cape, and most of the other British colonies as well as the United States. Though the environmental innovation that occurred under imperialism made a jump to democratic societies, particularly the United States, this jump occurred precisely at that moment when individual rights were also giving way to the powers and prerogatives of the state, often motivated by the same "noblesse oblige" that can be seen in Kipling and British imperial officials. American "manifest destiny" found a ready counterpart in the imperial project to terraform the surface of India and other British colonies for the good of the native population. Whether the paternalistic strategies for resource management are now criticized, or whether they are seen as progenitors of strategies that have saved much of the land surface of the globe, the multiple-use forest innovations in India and the other colonies that developed in the second half of the nineteenth century produced simultaneously the conservation movement and a further projection of imperial power in the British Empire.

(1) E. P. Stebbing, The Forests of India, vol. 1 (Edinburgh, 1922), 68, 249; Bertold Ribbentrop, Forestry in British India (Calcutta, 1899), 62, 206-7.
(2) Harold Perkin, The Rise of Professional Society (London, 1989), 363-65.
(3) Thomas Richards, The Imperial Archive: Knowledge and the Fantasy of Empire (London, 1993); see also Richard Garnett, "The British Museum Catalogue as the Basis of a Universal Catalogue" in Essays in Librarianship and Bibliography (London, 1899); Barbara McCrimmon, Power, Politics, and Print: The Publication of the British Museum Catalogue, 1881-1900 (Hamden, Conn., 1981).
(4) R. H. Phillimore, Historical Records of the Survey of India (Dehra Dun, 1945); Clements R. Markham, A Memoir on the Indian Surveys (London, 1871); F. V. Raper, "Narrative of a Survey for the Purpose of Discovering the Source of the Ganges" Asiatic Researches 11 (New Delhi, 1979), first published c. 1818; James Rennell, The Journals of Major James Rennell, first Surveyor-General of India, written for the information of the Governor of Bengal during his surveys of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, 1764-1767, ed. T. H. D. LaTouche (Calcutta, 1910); George Everest, A series of Letters addressed to His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex (London, 1839); Paul Careter, The Road to Botany Bay: An Exploration of Landscape and History (Chicago, 1987).
(5) E. P. Evans, "Ethical Relations between Man and Beast," Popular Science Monthly, September 1894, 634-46; see also G. F. Pearson, "The Teaching of Forestry" Journal of the Society of Arts 30 (1882): 422-28; F. J. Bramwell and H. Trueman Wood, "Education in Forestry" Journal of the Society of Arts 30 (1882): 879; J. Gamble, "The Advantage of Preliminary Practical Work in the Training of Forest Officers" Indian Forester 18 (1892): 96.
(6) K. Sivaramakrishnan, "Colonialism and Forestry in India: Imagining the Past in Present Politics" Comparative Studies in Society and History 37 (1995): 14-17.
(7) Lord Mayor of London and Lord Lovat, The British Empire Forestry Conference (London, 1920), 1, 2; Ribbentrop, Forestry in British India, 37, 38, 43; John Nisbet, "Soil and Situation in Relation to Forest Growth," Indian Forester 20 (1894): 3.
(8) W. B. Turrill, Joseph Dalton Hooker: Botanist, Explorer and Administrator (London, 1963), 50-51; Richard Groves, Green Imperialism, Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 (Cambridge, 1995), 454.
(9) Mary McDonald Ledzion, Forest Families (London, 1991), 2-3.
(10) Thomas Munro, "Timber Monopoly in Malabar and Canara," in Major-General Sir Thomas Munro: Selections from his official minutes and other writings, ed. A. J. Arbuthnot, vol. 1 (London, 1881), 178-87; Mary McDonald Ledzion, Forest Families (London, 1991), 2-3.
(11) G. M. Young, quoted in Eric Stokes, The English Utilitarians and India (Cambridge, 1959), 248, 257.
(12) E. Stokes, The English Utilitarians and India (Cambridge, 1959), 253.
(13) Daniel Thorner, "Great Britain and the Development of India's Railways" Journal of Economic History 11 (1951): 389, 393, 397; Daniel Thorner, Investment in Empire: British Railway and Steam-Shipping Enterprise in India, 1825-1849 (Philadelphia, 1950), 46, 91-93, 119, 176; Gustav Cohn, Zur Geschichte und Politik des Verkehrswesens (Stuttgart, 1900), 91; "Administrative Report on the Railways in India" Indian Forester 18 0892): 229.
(14) Cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, 3d ed., s.v. "Dalhousie."
(15) House of Commons, Parliamentary Papers, 1801-1900, The Punjab: 1847-1849, no. 53, 655-65.
(16) Edward Law Ellenborough to the Duke of Wellington, in History of the Indian Administration of Lord Ellenborough: in his Correspondence with the Duke of Wellington: to which is prefixed, by permission of Her Majesty, Lord Ellenborough's Letters to the Queen during that Period, ed. Reginald Colchester (London, 1874), 399.
(17) J. G. A. Baird, Private Letters of the Marquees of Dalhousie (London, 1911), 62.
(18) National Archives, New Delhi [hereafter NAND], Secret Consultations, 28 April 1849, nos. 41 and 21; ibid., Secret Consultations, 28 April 1849, no. 21; National Archives, Governor General's Camp Letters to the Court of Directors, 20 April 1849, no. 21; Stebbing, History, 205-6.
(19) A. P. Phayre, Report on the Administration of the Province of Pegu for 1854-1855 and 1855-1856, par. 2-12; NAND, Secret Consultations:. 29 December 1852, no. 15; NAND, Letters to the Secret Committee, 5 January 1853, no. 3, pars. 2-4.
(20) NAND, Letters from the Secret Committee, 6 September, 1852, no. 1524, par. 21; NAND, Secret Consultations. 26 November 1852, no. 1.
(21) NAND, Secret Consultations, 16 February 1853, nos. 11 and 12; 29 April, 1853, nos. 71 and 73; D. G. E. Hall, The Dalhousie--Phayre Correspondence: 1852-1856 (London, 1932), Letters, no. 8, 16-18; no. 15, 31-33; 19, 37-38.
(22) NAND, Secret Consultations, 29 December 1852, no. 4.
(23) NAND, Secret Consultations, 29 December 1852, no. 15; E. P. Stebbing, "Pioneers of Indian Forestry; Captain Forsyth and the Highlands of Central India," Indian Forester 30 (1904): 339; NAND, Secret Consultations: 29 June 1855, no. 2; NAND, Letter to the Secret Committee 8 August 1855, no. 45; Political Letters to the Court of Directors: 22 August 1856, no. 83, pars. 10-18.
(24) NAND, Political Consultations, 28 December 1855, no. 319, par. 2, see also 4, 10-27, 28-44.
(25) Baird, Private Letters of the Marquees of Dalhousie, 33, 169, 262.
(26) NAND, Political Letters from the Court of Directors and the Secretary of State, 21 November 1855, no. 33, par. 2; 10 December 1856, no. 47, par. 4.
(27) Baird, Private Letters of the Marquees of Dalhousie, 369; see also National Archives, Political Letters from the Court of Directors and the Secretary of State, 10 December 1856, no. 47, pars. 2-3.
(28) NAND, Miscellaneous Branch, Consultations, 27 May 1859, nos. 381-82, pars. 145-59; NAND, Political Consultations, 6 June 1856, no. 193, pars. 47-56; 6 June 1856, no. 193, pars. 19-22.
(29) Stebbing, History, 244.
(30) Ibid.
(31) McClelland, quoted in Stebbing, History, 244, 247.
(32) Ibid., 248.
(33) Ibid., 249.
(34) John McClelland, "On Forest Settlement and Administration" Indian Forester 19 (1893): 24.
(35) McClelland, quoted in Stebbing, History, 251 (emphasis in original).
(36) Ibid., 252, 255.
(37) "Scientific Forestry" Indian Forester 33 (1907): 89; Stebbing, History, 206.
(38) Col. Pearson, "Recollection of the Early Days of the Indian Forest Department, 1858-1864" Indian Forester 29 (1903): 313-19.
(39) Ibid.
(40) Ibid.
(41) "Forest Administration and Revenue Making" Indian Forester 31 (1905): 246.
(42) Tuscan, "Forest Administration in the Central Provinces," Indian Forester 19 (1893): 45, 332.
(43) Ibid.
(44) Sudhir Chandra, "Profiles of the Founders of Indian Forestry Commemorated in Plant Names (1786-1934)," in History of Forestry in India, ed. Ajay S. Rawat (Delhi, 1991), 337-38.
(45) "Grazing and Commutation in the C.P.," Indian Forester 18 (1892): 415; "Grazing in Forest Lands" Indian Forester 26 (1900): 235; "The Effects of Grazing on Forests," Indian Forester 26 (1900): 283; Gem, "A Plea for Protected Forests, Indian Forester 19 (1893): 123-36.
(46) Ribbentrop, Forestry in British India, 81, 82.
(47) Ibid., 78, 80.
(48) Roy Robinson, "Forestry in the British Empire," Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 84 (1936): 795-96.
(49) R. D., "The Forests of Planet Mars," Indian Forester 33 (1907): 725-26.
(50) Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle book (Oxford, 1987), 327.
(51) Ibid.
(52) Ibid., 344.
(53) Ibid.
(54) Ibid., 343.
(55) Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden" London Times, 4 February 1899, 26, 221; New York Tribune, 5 February 1899.
Gregory Barton is an assistant professor of history at the University of Redlands.
Gregory Barton traces the development of environmental policies in nineteenth-century British India, showing that these paternalist, and oft-criticized, strategies for resource management became the model for conservation efforts worldwide.
K. Ram
You are posting lot of great information but without the URL or the book name.

Is it possible to get some reading list or url for these.
THey are fantastic material to understand how the British looked at the sub-continent and shaped their world view of the continent, asiatic people and global domination.

These articles are Public Library courtesy. Everytime my "areas of interest" gets updated in the library, I get an email attachements from the library, after I select which ones I want to read. I duly copy them onto my harddrive and some of 'em on IF <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->.
<b>Did India stay neutral in the two World Wars?</b>
by Professor Anirudha Gupta

In neither of the two great Wars: The first between 1914-1919 and second between 1939-1945, did India stay neutral?

Quite the contrary, India became actively involved in all major theatres of the two wars. During 1914-19, the Indian Army was expanded to 2.1 million. Recruited soldiers were sent overseas, particularly in West Asia and the Balkans, to fight on the side of the British.

In World War II, Indian participation reached unprecedented heights. A mighty force of 700,100 were sent to Burma, while other contingents fought the Germans in North Africa, in Ethiopia against Italians and in Italy and the Middle East. Around 30,000 Indians joined the Royal Navy and many thousands served as merchant seamen. The Royal air force attracted 55,000 Indians to work as pilots or ground staff.

A large number of women too joined the Army as nurses, munitions workers and other services. In addition, around 14 million Indians took part in different forms in the war.

The Role of Nationalists and INA

The courage, bravery and endurance of Indian soldiers became legendary. Several soldiers received Victoria Cross. But, the Indian nationalists did not like to over publicize it because Indian soldiers, especially those recruited during the war, were generally considered 'mercenaries'.

There was indeed a strange dichotomy in Congress approach to the WAR. On one side, it condemned the 'war' as imperialist and therefore opposed it. On the other hand individual Congress leaders (like Nehru and Rajagopalachari) pledged full support to British War efforts to fight and defeat the Fascist and Nazi aggressors.

A further complication arose when, in 1943, Netaji Subhas Bose reached Burma to organize a rag-tag force of Indian prisoners of war (INA) and lead into operation against British installations in Burma and Malaya. By this time, however, Allied forces in Europe were advancing everywhere. In Far East as well, British troops began recovering as America, with its mighty military machine, directly sided with Allied forces.

Reviewing the events of the time, one naturally feels that Indian National Army's (INA) war effort was foredoomed. This did not take away any part of INA's posthumous glory, but it did raise a few uneasy questions. One was that in their retreat from Burma, the Japanese could afford no time to worry less about the fate of INA. Knowing this, Bose surely had new or revised plans for the future.

What were they anyway? The INA prisoners on trial at Red Fort were brave soldiers, (including Dhillon, Saigal and Shah Nawaz and others) would surely have divulged such plans, but they never did so. It is possible that Bose had yet to mature his plans after reaching Japan. Or, was it another country? Nobody could be sure.

The amusing part of the INA story is that Congressmen, who had earlier ignored or condemned Netaji's effort, now became his loudest votaries. Popular emotion in support of INA prisoners was so high that even Nehru, who disliked INA'S misadventure, now donned lawyers black clock to defend the prisoners.

Back at home; The Bengal Famine

The most tragic episode during war years was, however, the Great Famine in Bengal. Roughly, 3 million poor people perished and died of starvation on the streets of Calcutta. The deaths reminded old people of the famine that had ravaged Bengal in about 1874 - an episode that provoked sanyasin rebellion.

Popular reaction to the tragedy was great but mostly confined to Bengal. The region's small peasant economy suffered a shattering blow, while agricultural labourers were reported to have been 'wiped out'.

Yet famine also meant super profits for many, including politically important families of the Indian bourgeoisie.

Commenting on Bengal famine of 1943, historian D D Kosambi wrote, 'The Indian bourgeoisie was a specific kind of bourgeoisie, characterized by ravening greed and a mania for speculation rather than initiative or efficiency in developing production.' So, like flies, starving men, women and children perished in the streets of Calcutta, while the bourgeoisie and their spokesmen negotiated transfer of power with the British rulers. But this description is too harsh and over simple.

<b>What we really need is an interconnected account of the events that saw the end of the war and pushed us towards independence. The account - alas - continues to rot in History's cold storage.</b>
Has this man lost it? He's certainly loosing the little respect I've had for him about a year go - pretty fast.

The Raj was beneficial: Manmohan
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LONDON: Fifty-seven years after Independence, Manmohan Singh has become the first prime minister in Indian history to salute the British Raj, its "beneficial effects (for colonised India) and its record of good governance".

Singh, who was speaking at Oxford as he received an honorary degree in civil law from the University's chancellor Chris Patten, broke with India's tradition of entrenched, inflexible resistance to bending the knee to its former imperial master.

But observers said Singh's extraordinary remarks, which saluted the British contribution to India's current, admirable system of "constitutional government, a free press, a professional service, modern universities and research laboratories", were also a clarion call for the former colonies to embrace self-confidence as the mantra of the 21st century.

Others said Singh's comments could be read as a statement of self-interest, with emerging economic power India seeking to cement its bond of blood and brotherhood with its former colonial master.

Singh said, "Today, with all the balance and perspective offered by the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight, it is possible for an Indian prime minister to assert that India's experience of Britain had its beneficial consequences."

The Prime Minister said, in what commentators said was a rallying cry for the new India, an emerging economy set on United Nations Security Council membership, that the Raj created institutions "fashioned in the crucible where an age-old civilisation met the dominant empire of the day."

Quoting Mahatama Gandhi, Singh said that even the naked ascetic, who put together the campaign for India's independence from Britain, had espoused "independence from the empire but from the British nation not at all." Singh's comments provoked surprise within the settled, large and diverse community of South Asia observers here.


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