A NEW LIFE FOR THE ENGLISHMAN IN INDIA

BEFORE steam and the overland route, Englishmen sent to India usually remained there till their retirement, and were semi-Orientalised. In later times they kept in close touch with England, and imported English ways. Wealthy Indians took to copying them or were educated in England. In 1834, Bentinck, the Governor-General, had made Indians eligible for Government employment, and Macaulay, then a member of Council, secured that Indians should be educated in the language and literature of England, not of Hindustan or. Persia. The study of Burke and Milton was perhaps destined to affect India politically, but this education has remained alien to Indian life: only one Indian-Tagore-has ever written anything of merit in English. A department of public instruction was first established by Dalhousie about 1850. The class of educated Indians was never large -even to-day barely 20, 000, 000 Indians out of 353, 000, 000 can read or write, and fewer than 2, 000, 000 know any English. However, the educated class soon became too numerous for the employment that a poor agricultural community could offer. Low wages, unemployment, and a tendency to live by journalism were therefore common.

Since the 1880's India has been disturbed by the same National and Liberal aspirations that we saw at work in Europe fifty years before. But while the ruling despotism was far more humane and generous than, for instance, the Austrian Government, India itself is a jungle of races, compared with which the Habsburg empire was homogeneous. Racially it contains all types, from black Dravidians to fair hill-men, and its languages number nearly a hundred and fifty. Two-thirds of the population are Hindus, so divided by castes as to have little cohesion, while the Moslems, though less than one-third as numerous, are more than able to hold their own, thanks to their physique and courage. They supply a very large proportion of the native troops, while the Hindus supply most of the clerks. The small sect of Parsees also have disproportionate importance, thanks to their great wealth and ability. Indian princes whose views may be national but are seldom Liberal, rule one-fifth of the population. These facts have made it easy to " divide and rule," but they make it difficult to hand over control as has been done in colonies of Europeans.

English sympathisers inspired educated Indians to hold the first Indian National Congress in 1885. During the next twenty years unrest of the European " anarchist" type increased. In 1909, when Morley was Secretary of State and Minto Viceroy, the first big reforms were made. They were followed in 1919, as the reward for great Indian services during the World War, by Montague-Chelmsford reforms, which introduced self-government into the Provinces and increased the representation of Indians in the Viceroy's Council and Legislative Council.

There had been unrest during the War, and measures against sedition (the Rowlatt Act) provoked resistance organised by Gandhi, in the course of which a serious riot took place at Amritsar (1919) with much loss of life.