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people, the classes and masses alike, merely laughed at the 'dry' Coronation, as they put it, of mere sound and show and bravado.
I am glad to read that this first essential feature was present at the last Coronation-that the masses were not only fed, but pieces of wearing cloth were distributed to them, in conformity with the custom of India. Then concessions and bounties, the other concomitant features of a coronation, were bestowed upon the people-gracious acts of the Sovereign which will compel the gratitude of those who have been clamouring for them. The ingeniously conceived reversal of Lord Curzon's partition of Bengal is a bold yet conciliatory coup, which will not only satisfy public opinion, but afford the first instance of the Indian Government, sensitive of its prestige of infallibility, yielding to unanimous popular protest against arbitrary Governmental actions. In this latter phase it is of great value-of more value perhaps than the remedy itself.
But this concession, and the educational bounty of fifty lacs of rupees, are of far less importance than the real grievances, which are of the most vital concern to the majority of the people. This bounty and this concession have been made to the agitation of a mere handful, most of whom are not in live touch with the people and, therefore, do not represent their real interests and grievances. This means that the bluffers and clamourers only have the chance of being heard and their own particular grievances redressed. The only gracious acts of the Sovereign at the Durbar wbich will appeal to the greatest mass of the people are the half month's pay to be given as a Coronation gift to Government employés drawing salaries below fifty rupees per month, and the discharging from civil gaol, with their debts paid up from the Exchequer, of honest debtors who are there because of their inability to pay.
Transferring the capital from Calcutta to Delhi is a move possibly in the right direction, judging from the illuminating reasons submitted by his Excellency the Viceroy ; although the Bengalis, who consider themselves grandfather and foster-mother of British rule in India, will not like it at all, and will find in this transfer a greater loss to them than was the loss before of the partitioned other half. Thus Imperial Delhi has robbed Calcutta of its best value and advantage, although a Governorship, with a statesman from England at its helm, is not a doubtful consolation for the Bengalis to fall back upon; and, in spite of the province being shorn of Behar, Chota Nagpur, Orissa, and Assam, the new partition and its arrangements are on the whole both wise and clever, and ought to satisfy all concerned. No human wisdom can be perfect, but it is certain that Lord Hardinge and Lord Crewe have not merely acted with the best of intentions in advising
their Royal master, but indisputably inaugurated a new era of awakening confidence in British rule in India.
The English Emperor of India is a shadowy figure in the misty background of the Government of India-an abstraction to the average Indian mind, like the speculative concept of the Vedic Brahma, the Essence of God. The masses know the tax collector and the police, for both of whom they have a horror, and keep appeasing them from year's end to year's end-unless Indra sends no rain and crops fail, and bullocks and plough and implements and all are sold to keep the wolf from the door as long as possible. They meet the magistrate now and then, passing through the village on inspection, and salaam to him. To them he is the Emperor de facto, for he is all-powerful—for punishment; as their saviour in their troubles they can never imagine him. He inspires in them a species of awe very much mixed with fear. The Lieutenant-Governor they have heard of living in the big city of the province, a kind of White Nabob who is there more for show, they think; the magistrate is the man to fear. Fear is the only sentiment which the Indian Government inspires in the masses. The Government is for taxes, and for punishments for failure to pay them. To them the British Government is a taxing and police Raj; it has no compassion for its subjects in any trouble, not even in famine troubles. True, kitchens are opened and food distributed, but food of a quality and quantity which keep them alive for a while until disease steps in and relieves them by banding them into the jaws of death. Some fight the disease manfully, and manage to live until rain falls, and they return to their desolate homes to till the soil once more with hope. So also do the famished employed on relief work at impossible wages.
The King's advent in India for the crowning has surprised the people, no doubt, and filled them not merely with their natural gladness born of their inborn loyalty to the name of king, but also with hope. If some of the masses viewed him they must have salaamed him profusely, and distinguished him from the magistrate Sahib when the King drove dressed in Royal robes and crown. But now the show has passed, and they will talk for a day over the event and then forget it and him entirely. To their mind the King will reassume his quality of an abstract entity. If the Emperor can while in India infuse into the Indian Government that 'wider element of sympathy' for the people of India which he pleaded for when Prince of Wales, and bring it about by continually insisting upon it afterwards, his Majesty will make bis rule in India a real government, and not shopkeeping on the largest scale, as it is now known to the great majority of his subjects. If all officials concerned, from the Viceroy downwards, try hard whenever famine breaks out, with the same sympathy
within them as they would feel for the masses of their own countrymen in distress, not only to save every famished one from death, but to give him ample nourishment, so that he may have enough strength to resume his labour when the time comes; if by the Emperor's express commands all money needed to feed the famished should be expended under economical management from the Exchequer without stint, not only by retrenching other expenses, but even by sacrificing the needs of other departments, and if his Majesty's commands are obeyed; then his name will be classed among those of the Hindoo kings of the past and the Mahomedan emperors of India, many of whom sold their personal jewels to save themselves from the sin of allowing their subjects to die of famine. Then King George, the English Emperor of India, will rightly entitle himself to the Imperial crown of India -in the opinion both of the Hindoo masses and classes-a King who in distress is the father-mother of bis subjects, the ideal of a king in Hindustan.
Great and many are the blessings of British rule in India, but great and many also are the grievances of Indians against it. The British themselves trumpet these blessings out to the world, in and out of season, and the trumpeting draws echoes from many loyal Indian hearts, hearts naturally loyal, or loyal for convenience, or loyal under pressure. The grievances have also been voiced by patriotic Indians and by some British friends of India in and out of Parliament. But these are not all the grievances from which India has long been suffering, nor are they the greatest. The grievances which are ventilated belong mostly to the material plane, and they are true and terrible grievances. But truer and more terrible still are India's moral and spiritual grievances against some phases of English policy and habits of life, which have as yet scarcely been voiced.
Upon these moral and spiritual grievances of the Hindoos it is the intention of the present writer to speak in this article. On the Mahomedan grievances, and those of other religious sections of the Indian community, if there be any, I cannot speak with authority, as I do not know them and have scarcely studied them. But of the Hindoo grievances which I am about to put forward I am absolutely certain. In the principles of my religious creed I belong to the strictest Hindoo orthodoxy all over India, and live that orthodox ascetic life when in India. As a Brahman and a Sanyasin, I have tramped throughout India and mixed intimately with all sections of the Hindoos in all the provinces, and I represent them all, in all that I am about to say. I can even claim that I shall receive their fervent blessings for this work of representation, whether it bears the desired fruit or not. I am personally known to the leading members of that community, or known by
name through my spiritual mission in India and America. I must also say that I have never been a political person, either when I belonged to the world or since I have renounced it. I am neither å Moderate,' nor an 'Extremist,' nor an 'Anarchist.' I belong strictly to the spiritual plane, as everybody knows, and as my life shows. During these twenty-one years of my ascetic life I have talked only of my Krishna and of our transcendental philosophy, and tried to live our Hindoo orthodox life of a devotee of our Lord with whatever'spiritual devotion I have been blessed with. Two years ago I lectured throughout India for months together, trying to allay the storm of unrest then in full swing, pouring oil on the troubled waters by awakening in the hearts of the youths their old Hindoo feelings of harmony born of spiritual prudence, youths crazed by a spurious cult of politics. I think I succeeded in my efforts to some extent.
I represent in this my appeal to the King-Emperor the 'dumb millions of Hindoo India. These dumb millions are not merely tbe illiterate low-caste masses, but the great majority of 99 per cent. of the 220 million Hindoos--Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vasyas, and Sudras--highly educated or half-educated in English or in their own language-men, women, and children, literate or illiterate, but all blessed with religious education, the medium of which is not necessarily the three R's.' I include the higher castes and the English-educated section of this vast community in the 'dumb millions' because, like the illiterate remainder, they do not care to express even their greatest moral and religious grievances in public, because they consider ventilation of them to be futile, thinking that there can be no hope of redress so long as the rulers have no sympathy either with their religion or their customs. These dumb millions go on in their life, as their countless generations before have gone on, with God as the goal of their existence, trying to develop God-consciousness as best they can, and depending on that Almighty to right their wrongs in His own time. These do not shout ‘Bande Mataram,' but shout 'Ram, Ram,' which they think to be more profitable for their well-being, spiritual or other. The mere cry of Bande Mataram,' in and out of season, and declaring oneself as an extreme Swadesist does not make a Hindoo. Most of these 'Extremists, as they are called, are Hindoos only in name. Many of them patronise the denomination of Hindoo for political purposes. They have no Hindoo instincts, do not believe in Hindoo scriptures, and jeer at Hindoo spiritual practices. If they were Hindoo in spirit and habits they would not have their common-sense blown out of their brains. These thoughtless patriots, who are neither Hindoo nor Christian, neither Eastern nor Western in their consciousness, but whose mentality is a hotch-potch of unassimilated ideas and
misadapted ideals, want to throw off the British yoke in a minute, never thinking that the British guns which support the Government are more powerful than political resolutions' or newspaper invective, or even the bombs; never inquiring whether they themselves possess that executive ability which can make the administrative machinery work as, with all its defects, it is working now. These patriots do not care to ask any aid from the Government in constructing their propaganda of Home Rule; theirs is no 'mendicant' policy, as they put it. And yet these Home Rulers want the British to go away, bag and baggage, this very moment, leaving it to them to organise their own Government, their own Home Rule. What a shameless 'mendicant' policy this is, no one need point out to the world. These people demand that the British should go out of the country of their own accord, simply because they want to rule themselves! The humour of the attitude is even greater than the audacity of it. And the humour is all the more ludicrous because of the empty bluff with which the demand is backed. They want to undertake to run the Viceroyalty when they daily fail to run even a joint-stock company, hundreds of which, recently started with the loudest flourish of trumpets and good capital, are going into liquidation for want of right management. The real Hindoo would say, “Sahib, you are ruler here, and I am your subject. I salaam to you and abide by your laws because I have not the means to drive you out. What people in the world would stand or care for alien rule? Had I the means I would certainly drive you out by sheer force, and establish our own Government along our old lines. As I have not, I salaam to you for the peace and security of life and property you have given us, to live unmolested our religious life, with which you are kind enough not to interfere, and which we value more than even political freedom.'
The real Hindoos, who form, fortunately, the majority of the Hindoo race, positively know that the blustering patriots do not possess the power to organise a Government, and that if they had their way chaotic anarchy would rule the land. Hence they are no party to the senseless agitation and demonstration of the Extremists. They are silent and unmoved by this superficial wave of what has been termed political unrest. They form the mileand-mile depth of the calm water of the ocean of Hindoo humanity which the surface waves can never stir into action. The real Hindoo, being pervaded by acute intelligence born of his daily acquired spiritual light, admits in his consciousness that he cannot do without the British in the present political situation; that if the British are the best guardians he can have now to safeguard his political, social, and spiritual interests, he ought to be pervaded by a deep sense of loyalty-interested loyalty if you will —