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with the short-sighted. He must gulp down each rising suggestion of immediate pity or of remote policy, lest the ruling spirits, inflamed by such remonstrance, should exclaim, "What have we to do with thee? art thou come to torment us with misgivings before the time?" with presages of calamity that may prove but rhodomontade, and which soundlike mere romance? Many a worthy English official has had to gnaw his heart out with vexation at finding himself placed in a position of this kind; a position which he knows not how to justify thoroughly to himself, and yet which it may seem cowardice and selfishness to abandon. The consequences of the hand to mouth impolicy of fiscal exaction and territorial encroachment, weigh upon his pen and tongue by day, and trouble his sleep by night. The field committed to his care, which he would have sown with the seeds of contentment, confidence, and gratitude, he sees doomed to bring forth suspicion, anger, hatred, and the mute looking for a day of restitution. And his grief, if he be a true man, true to the honour of his race, his creed and his country, is that his hand should, in spite of himself, be used to withhold the good, and to scatter broadcast the pestiferous seed.
This may in some degree account for the silence, too seldom broken throughout the Annexation controversy, regarding its aspect in the eyes of the millions whose interests are compromised thereby. Even jurists and critics, writing independently on the subject in England, seem prone to fall into the same train of thought as their countrymen on the banks of the Ganges and the Indus. We have had able arguments in maintenance of the right of Adoption, and subtle pleadings in favour of its disallowance; both have mainly turned upon the conflict between supreme and subordinate authority; nearly every argument on the one side has been
Mysore. With prescient care the Duke of Wellington had, upon the fall of Seringapatam, warned his brother that although the treaty with the restored Rajah professed to be one of "perpetual friendship and alliance," which was to last so "long as the sun and moon endured," its terms were sufficiently ambiguous to "give ground for the belief that we gave the Rajah the country with the intention of taking it away again, when it should suit our convenience;" and he expressed his strong opinion that "the conduct of the British Government in India had not at all times been such as to induce the natives to believe, that at some time or other improper advantage would not be taken of the article in question." 99 1 But when the Duke was dead it was thought the time had come when advantage might be taken of the omission, in the treaty, of the words, heirs and successors. Lord Dalhousie left on record his advice, that should the reigning prince die childless, the last remnant of the ancient realm of Mysore should be forthwith absorbed; and in 1865 the Anglo-Indian Government prepared to secure the expected escheat by lapse. that year the Rajah adopted a distant relative as his son, according to Hindu rites; the representative of the British Government being present, and the chief persons of rank and property in the State. The fact was formally notified by him in a letter to the Governor-General. Sir John Lawrence declined to recognise the validity of the adoption, and was sustained in his efforts to defeat it by the Secretary of State. But his arguments were controverted by five distinguished members of the Supreme Council, who each and all stigmatised the attempt to pervert the treaty of 1799, in a manner, as the Duke of Wellington had foretold, that would "not be creditable to us." Fortunately for
1 Letter of Colonel Arthur Wellesley to Lord Mornington, 1799.
the honour of England and the tranquillity of India, another pen was dipped in indignation at the contemplated injustice. In a work of rare ability both as regards the matter and the manner, Major Evans Bell called the attention of the public to the history of the case, and beneath the cloud of witnesses against this miserable scheme of usurpation, appealed from the Council Board of Calcutta to the judgment of the people of England. Citing the damnatory protest of Sir H. Montgomery, who characterised the project as a "breach of good faith;" of Sir F. Currie, who declared it to be "unjust and illegal;" of Sir J. Willoughby, who termed it a "flagrant injustice;" of. Sir George Clerk, who called it "the result of wild counsel, neither honest nor dignified;" of Captain Eastwick, who said "that it could not be justified by our treaty obligations, nor by the law and practice of India," he challenged the Government to defend their purpose. Party convenience rendered the season unsuitable, and thus another Native State was saved from extinction. But what sort of tenancy-at-will is this for Native Governments, on whose stability the order, prosperity, and peace of an Empire depend? Other Princes naturally and inevitably brood over these things, and feel, though they may not say aloud-Nusquam tuta fides! Parliament, in almost every session, is asked to enquire into some case of actual injury or threatened deprivation; and individual members, unconnected with office, are often found willing to master the details of grievance, and to declaim eloquently against evil done, if not against evil doers. But it usually comes to nothing. A political tribunal so constituted is, if possible, even more helpless than the House of Lords proved to be in 1795, to do justice between the Begums of Oude and Warren Hastings. Until suitable means are found for the trial of such causes, there will and can be no sense of security felt by the
Princes of India. But, after what has happened aforetime, and in our own time, Parliament will be inexcusable if, conscious of the reproach, yet unmindful of the shame, it neglects. to make due provision for the purpose. It will, of course, be said by all the indolent and apathetic, and all who prefer the unbridled power of bureaucracy to the vindication of the national influence and honour, that the erection of a Parliamentary Tribunal fit to try issues of right, revenue, dignity, and rule, between Suzerain and vassals, is a thing impossible; if not impossible, unprecedented; and if not unprecedented, revolutionary. It is not worth while arguing about the impossibility. Most things worth doing, in our day, have been declared by official politicians to be obviously impossible, because to them the possibility was not obvious. Catholic Emancipation, the Repeal of the Corn Laws, Household Suffrage, and much beside, were each and all pronounced, on the best authority, to be things that could not be done. But they were done, notwithstanding, and the earth still goes round, and nobody feels materially the worse a good many think they feel considerably better. As for the lack of precedents, it might be enough to say, that the case of India is one so utterly unparalleled, that the remedy sought must needs be unparalleled also. In truth, however, it is only necessary to put together maxims grounded on established precedents, in order to spell out warily and wisely all the conditions that are required and for the nickname of revolutionary, one can hardly be expected to care, when the only object that is sought is the conservation and contentment of an empire. Sobriquets are easily given, but they need applicability to make them stick; and if any man can devise a method to vindicate the solemn pledge of Parliament to India, to realise the plighted faith of the Queen, and to build up
by that gigantic blunder. The perpetual settlement placed the whole of India under unequal and unjust contribution."
But throughout India grievances of more recent date furnish the fanatical Wahabees with never-failing themes of taunt and adjuration to aid their plots and preparations for a Holy War.
They object that the Inam Commission unjustly deprived many of them of the lands granted to them by the Mohammedan Sovereigns of India.
That the appointment of Cazi and Government Mohammedan Law Officers, has been abolished, whereby they have been deprived of the benefit of properly constituted authorities to perform and register many of their civil rights.
That funds left by charitable and pious Moslems, for educational purposes, have been taken from them; and religious bequests (watef), or funds left to be devoted to the "Service of God," have been misapplied by Government, which is the self-appointed trustee for their proper ad
That they have been elbowed out of almost all Government appointments by Hindus, and no efforts are made by Government to rectify this injustice, or to better their prospects.
That no offices under Government are open to Mussulmans learned in their own sciences, laws, literature, and languages; that, consequently, learning and learned men have disappeared, and their community is left in darkness; while the Government system of education is such that they cannot accept it, and retain the respect of their coreligionists, if even they may remain good Moslems.
But it is time to bring this narrative to a close. The words of Mr Bright, uttered twelve years ago, are still apt and true. "The question assumes every year a