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of India are quite justified in saying that they ought to be able to maintain their own in the counsels of the State, in view of the fact that the Hindus of the three sub-provinces which are to form the new Lieutenant-Governorship will no longer be in the scale against them, and in view of the special provisions for representation of Mohammedans in the Councils. On the whole, the Mohammedans will be on a fair equality with the Hindus; and there is no reason why they should not work together after the present disappointment has had time to pass away. It is an unsatisfactory feature of the two despatches that they have, with more or less of necessity, to emphasise the difference between Hindus and Mohammedans in this connexion. I think that this is sometimes unnecessarily done ; but, on the whole, the difference does exist, and it was certainly the clear duty of any statesman dealing with this question to face that difference. It has been faced, and carefully thought out. Bengal will in point of health not be quite so easy a province to serve in, either for Europeans or for Indians, as in the past; but it will, on the whole, be easier to administer when the people are thus homogeneous, and speak practically the same language.
It is also provided, in the interests of the community (the majority of which are Mohammedans) of the Eastern Bengal divisions, that the Governor is to regard Dacca ás his second capital, and will reside there from time to time.' This is a more important matter than might at first sight appear. When I was Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, I found that there was a great jealousy of Bengal on the part of the Beharis, and a great desire that they should have the Lieutenant-Governor residing amongst them for a portion of the year. I therefore acquired the historic Chajju Bagh as an official residence for the Lieutenant-Governor, and spent a considerable portion of my time there, beside the old city of Patna. This gave great satisfaction to the Beharis, and brought me into much closer touch with them, in regard to their interests and views, than had formerly been possible.
As to the formation of the new province of Bebar, Chota Nagpur, and Orissa, there can be no doubt that some people in all of these sub-provinces will regret their separation from the city and port of Calcutta. But I think that the Government of India are right in believing that Behar and Chota Nagpur, and even Orissa, will be well content to be separated from Bengal and to be constituted a new province, the area of which will be approximately 113,000 square miles, and the population about 35,000,000. The people of these three sub-provinces are such as will be brought together without difficulty under one Administration; and their advancement will probably be much more rapid under the altered conditions.
On the whole, then, I think that there is really no serious objection to be taken to any part of the scheme as at present formulated. Details have still to be worked out. One of these will be the question of the headquarters for the LieutenantGovernor of the new province of Behar, Chota Nagpur and Orissa. It will be difficult to find him, apart from Darjeeling, a place where he can spend the hot weather; but there is on record an old proposal-I think, of Sir George Campbell's time-to abandon Darjeeling altogether, on the ground that residence there took the Lieutenant-Governor and his officers out of touch with the people of the province, and to establish summer headquarters at Ranchi, which is the capital of the Chota Nagpur division. Ranchi is a singularly healthy district for both Europeans and Indians. It is on a high and well-drained plateau ; and it might be possible, I think, for any European acclimatised to India to live the whole year in that district. As Chota Nagpur is also the central one of the three sub-provinces which are to form the new province, it is worth considering whether Ranchi might not be the capital. Many other considerations, however, will affect the decision of this question; and this is one of the details which has been deliberately left by the Government of India for settlement hereafter.
Whatever may be our views in regard to the local and personal interests affected, and in regard to details of the scheme, it seems to me that on the whole it has been the result of a statesmanlike effort to grapple with big questions; and it exhibits a recognition of sound principles for which the Government of India and the Secretary of State ought to receive full credit. Lord Hardinge has been only a year in the country; and I observe that one of the Calcutta papers mentions this as a reason why he should have hesitated to make his recommendation. But, on the other hand, he has shown in all his work throughout the year a distinct recognition of the true constitution of the Government of India. Meetings of his Council have been of quite unusual frequency; and he has recognised that the Government of India does not consist of the Viceroy alone, but of the Governor-General-in-Council. It is with the consent of his Council that he has made these important proposals; and he distinctly said, in his speech on the 15th of last month at Delhi, at the laying of the foundation-stones of the new city by their Majesties, “As Governor-General, on behalf of myself and my colleagues in the Council, I desire to say that we are confident that there have been few changes so important, which have been of so much advantage to the many and so little injurious to the interests of a few. That injury, too, is merely temporary, and will be greatly outweighed by the benefits which will ensue.' A statement such as this by the Viceroy, in the name of the Government of India, is not only entitled to great respect, but will also be welcomed by all who are interested in sound administration in India, as indicating the important recognition of the true constitution of that Government, which is too easily forgotten. Similarly, the Marquis of Crewe states, in regard to the Government of India's despatch : 'I have considered it in Council with the attention due to the importance of its subject.' That the Secretary of State's Council should have been fully consulted, and that his Lordship’s position is not autocratic but distinctly constitutional in this respect, is decidedly satisfactory. The distinct recognition of the great principle of decentralisation is also matter of congratulation. Finally, this matter has been approached, not suddenly by men ignorant of the circumstances, but by Indian statesmen fully representative of India generally and of Bengal in particular, fortified by voluminous records of the views and opinions of the most distinguished of Indian administrators and statesmen in the past.
As Lord Lansdowne said in the House of Lords, 'the word of the King-Emperor has been passed; and that word is irrevocable.' That the announcement should have been made by his Majesty the King will tend to commend it to loyal acceptance by the peoples of India generally. We are already informed by telegram that though many in India were startled at first, they are beginning to see that there is little objection to the changes thus announced. I earnestly trust that nothing will be said, in the whole discussion which must inevitably arise regarding these changes, from purely party motives, but only from broad views of the great interests of the peoples committed to the charge of the British Empire.
A. H. L. FRASER
HOW KING GEORGE COULD WIN THE
HEARTS OF THE HINDOOS
The most prominent event of the year occurred on the 12th of December, when the English Emperor of India was for the first time crowned in the ancient capital of that most ancient land under the sun. These are times of surprises, when the historymaking happenings of the world are following almost upon the heels of one another. Who could have dreamed the day before Togo bombarded the Russian fleet at Port Arthur that the Russians would not win a single battle in the whole series of eighteen months' war, and that, compared with Japanese valour, patriotism, and feats of up-to-date arms, modern martial glories would shrivel into insignificance? Who could have thought two months ago that a suddenly evolved Chinese revolution would accomplish as much as it has done so far-brought the proud ' Son of Heaven' down on his knees before his subjects? Who could have guessed a year ago that the new King of England would decide to go all the way to India to wear its Imperial crown on the spot?
And that personal Coronation Durbar at Delhi, whose distant lures captivated the world's imagination with a novelty of interest akin to romance, has now come and gone. That the brilliancy of the mammoth spectacle should more than fulfil modern expectations was a foregone conclusion. In a land where a group of galadressed people, presenting all the colours of the rainbow in harmonious blending, is a fascinating spectacle at all times to the artistic or cultured Western eye, the Durbar scene enacted at Delhi could not fail to put all the grandeur of the greatest Western assemblages into the shade. India, the only great country still existent in the modern world in all her old-world individuality, is the source and natural centre of real Imperialism. Throughout the ages empires of the highest type of civilisation, empires that held sway over the whole earth, had their thrones set on her bosom, and Indraprastha of the later Hindoo emperors, or Delhi of the Moghul, was a Himalaya of glory compared with the smallhill reputations of ancient Rome or modern Constantinople.
Hence the magnetism of the boary dust of Delhi made his Imperial Majesty's Coronation scene instinct with the vibrations of her past Imperial functions. The only difference was that the old Hindoo and even Mahomedan coronations were naturally dramatic because of their unconventionalism, born of the exuberance of spontaneous feeling, while the one of December the 12th was artificially dramatic for the reason that the modern people of the West who organised it are filled with intellectual homage at best.
This great Coronation, joyous to the ruling race, and to some extent to the ruled, is big with the fate of the British Raj in India. For the English King to be crowned Emperor of India in India is different from assuming the title from England in the business-like way of a commercial race, as did Queen Victoria and King Edward the Seventh. I say 'commercial 'advisedly, for in the eyes and to the mind of the Indian people a formal declaration of such assumption, even in a Royal Durbar presided over by the Viceroy, was the sorriest farce ever enacted in a land where, while the magnificence of Imperial coronations throughout the ages dazzled the whole world with incomparable splendour, their munificence in the shape of bounty, concessions, and entertainment to the subjects have bought over their undying loyalty and evoked fervent and spontaneous homage. The Hindoo, or even Moghul emperors, never allowed their subjects to outstrip them in bounty or generosity, and a coronation was always lavish, as is evidenced to-day, in the comparative scale, in the native States of India in large-hearted charities, extraordinary concessions, new privileges, and righting of wrongs. Thus it is almost a compliment to call the two former functions of the 'absent' assumption of the Imperial Crown of India mere farces. Beyond the declaration in Durbar, and the review of troops to show the armed might of the Emperor to an entirely disarmed people, or even an elephant procession with native princes in display, as in Lord Curzon's Durbar, there was nothing substantial to impress the three hundred and twenty millions. The masses who form the majority of those 320,000,000 did not know of the event, or, if it was made known to them by the beating of tom-toms, it wholly failed to interest them. Some bounty or material concession, or some substantial privilege, or a keenly felt national grievance remedied would bave excited some interest. Even a hearty meal of good food-a rare opportunity to their poverty-would have created some sort of temporary impression, and the Coronation dinner would at least have been talked about for some time; though not so long as the village zemindar, or rich man, who is remembered with a tender gratitude for the annual sumptuous feast at Doorga Pooja or on marriage occasions. Not even a 'bellyful' of good things was given to serve as a small memento; so these Hindoo