Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

SELECTIONS FROM THE PORTFOLIO OF A JUDICIAL OFFICER.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

No. 3. On the Police.

Observations on the Judicial Letter of the Hon.

the Court of Directors, written in the begin.
" It sonetimes happens that he who would not hurt a fly, will
hurt a native." - Taylor's Statesman.

ning of 1836.
It is my present intention to communicate

Il1.-CHOKEEDARS, PASBANS, Dosads.
some information respecting the past state of 1. I come lastly to consider the condition
the village police in the province of Behar. of this class of men, together with the means

It is observed by Colonel Briggs, with whom by which they may be rendered more exten-
Colonel Wilks and other eminent writers on sively useful as subordinate agents of police.
the state of society in the Dukhan for the It is useless to attempt to retrace the origin
most part concur, that each village (mouza) of remote and decayed institutions, further
in India contains within itself the seeds of an than may be necessary to obtain information
entire republic or state; wars, deluges, pesti- sufficient to render them as useful as may be
lence or famine may break it up for a time, compatible with the existing order of things.
but it has a tendency to reunite which no. The village watchmen, neither much counte-
thing can prevent. It consists of an agri- nanced nor altogether proscribed, seem to
cultural corporation possessing all the land, have been left to shift for themselves for some
at the head of which is a chief elected by the time after the conclusion of the perpetual
corporation. It has, also, at least one indivi- settlement. In many districts they changed
dual of all the crasts necessary to agriculture their character and had recourse to husbandry,
and essential to the comforts of rural life. Taboar or dukoitee for a livelihood; while in

2. The elements of this primeval Hindoo others they were retained as a useful class of association, which has, in all probability, servants by the zumeendars. tended very materially to preserve the na- 2. Their situation and employments in this tional character and institutions, and to pre- district are at present, as follows:- The vent the extinction of the Hindoos as a nation, zumeendars of every village of any note mainas bas happened to the Egyptians and to tain one or more pasbans, who are sometimes many other ancient nations, has continued to paid by a jaegeer in land of from one to three the present time in a considerable degree of beegas; or by a money stipend averaging pority in the dukhan; but has, of course, from one to five rupees per annum. Some rebeen more or less broken up and defaced in ceive both land and money. It is also usual those parts of the country where the Mussul for them to receive certain small gratuities maus or other foreigners have, for any length from the ryots and principal inhabitants at tho of time, exercised an uncontrolled ascen- harvest or other stated periods. dency.

All the abovementioned particulars are 3. But few vestiges of the ancient Hindoo registered at the thannah, and an annual remouza remain in the province of Bengal; port, noticing charges and other matters, is while in Behar and some of the other pro- transmitted to the magistrate. vinces under this presidency many of the 3. Their daties are to watch at night, to rudiments of the village association continue apprehend robbers and other offenders, to to exist.

procure provisions for troops or Europeans 4. The chokeedar, goryt or pasban appears travelling, to carry thannah reports, to escort to be one of the most useful and active mem- offenders, and to give intelligence on those bers in all the Hindoo village associations, and a variety of other subjects connected with and his office is, consequently, one of those the police to the thannah and through the which has remained the least aftected by the thannadar to the magistrate. I have forbidden successive revolutions and changes, which their being employed in conveying the treahave passed over the country during the pe- sure of the zumeendars, or performing other riod of twenty centuries. In this office we duties connected with the collection of the possess the original and fundamental element revenue. The zumeendars keep private serof an efficient police, rooted in the ancient vants of the same caste (Dosad) to perform usages of the Hindoos, yet still susceptible of these services. I do not conceive that any any judicious modifications which more recent lands formerly allowed for their subsistence experience may suggest. In fact, the whole were resumed by the Government in this dis. superstructure of the police would be ineffi- trict, and, at all events, as the zameendars cient and nugatory, but for the ready infor- can well afford to maintain them and consider mation and assistance afforded by the village it their duty to do so, I do not see anything to chokeedars.

be gained by instituting further inquiry into 5. It therefore appears to be a matter of the matter. the highest importance, that inquiry should Further particulars respecting the mode in be instituted without delay into the numbers which I have employed them, towards melioand condition of this very useful, but much rating the police of this district, will be found misased and neglected class of men, and I stated in appendix No. 1. trust that my present communication may, in I bave, also, to add, that I should consider some degree, tend to facilitate and encourage the giving the zumcendars any greater powers

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

as being the persons who appoint and pay 2. The village watch in zillah Ramgarh them, would be attended with prejudicial appears to be very imperfect, only 328! vil. consequences to the police.

lages, out of the 10,000 which the district is 4. But the measure which strikes me as stated to comprise, maintaining 3196 chukeethe best calculated to produce beneficial dars. The observations, however, of the effects to the general police of the country, is magistrate respecting the zumeendaree systein the extention of the provisions of regulation of police, the smallness of the villages, and XIII. of 1813, to all the principal towns, hauts the poverty of the inhabitants, are entitled to and gunges. For my opinion more at large great weight. on the advantages of this system, which, I ain

3. It would appear from the accompany. convinced may be carried into execution with ing statement received from the magistrate of the greatest facility and effect, I beg to refer Behar, that 7823 watchmen are maintained in to appendixes Nos. 2 and 3: The institution that jurisdiction by 5708 villages, and that 97 of village watchmen (Pasbans) does not, I villages are without this protection. Howbelieve, exist in such perfection in some dis- ever, these villages are stated to be, for the tricts, as I have described it to do in this. In most part, uninhabited, so that the village such districts the establishment of the chokee- police may be considered as very complete in daree system seems to be peremptorily call this jurisdiction. ed for.

4. It appears from the reply of the magisIn the event of the chokeedaree system trate of Tirhoot, that the preferred adopting being introduced into districts where the ins- the information contained in a statement titution of village watchmen (pasbans) exists, drawn up by Mr. Fleming in the year 1817, to it will be expedient, in my opinion, still to what he was able to obtain from his own inmaintain the latter establishment with some quiries. From this be states, that it would slight modification of its daties; as for in- appear that 7656 villages maintained 5712 stance, the pasbans, instead of watching by chokeedars, and that about 1939 were without night in the village, may be usefully employed any. He afterwards supposes that 3000 vilin patrolling the out-skirts and more remote lages were without chokeedars. However, he tolahs (hamlets) in escorting travellers, and seems to consider this as only an approxiother duties of a more miscellancous nature. mation towards the truth, and it is evident

5. To conclade, I beg to express my decid- that great changes must bave taken place in ed opinion, that the continuance of the present the interval. Again, it is mentioned at the thanadaree system of police, modified and foot of the statement, that the goryts amount rendered more eflicient, by giving to the magis, to upwars of 4000, and are considered distinct trates full powers of appointing, fining, and trom the chokeedars, who are now supposed removing those officers, together with a judi- to exceed 6500. In short, I am sorry to say, cioas extension of the chokeedaree system to that our data as to the namber of villages, and all the principal villages, hauts and gunges, lof chokeedars in this zillalı, are very imperwill, with such moderate alterations as expe. fect. rience may from time to time suggest, tend more effectually to promote the peace and

5. It appears that in zillal Sarun 6651 happiness of our dative subjects, and with less villages maintained 7294 chokeedars; but the hazard of inconvenience than is to be expect: villages which do not support any. The state

magistrate has omitted to state the number of ed from any general dislocation of the present system, and transferenee of the police to the

ment received differs in many respects from collectors and zumeendars.

one drawn out by my direction, some years ago, when magistrate of that zillah.

6. From the letter of the magistrate of Report on the Village Police in the Province of zillah Shahabad, it would appear that 4747 Behar, wrilten in 1822.

watchmen are supported by 3326 villages ; 1. Having been for some time past of opi- that 1896 villages do not maintain any, and nion, that a general investigation into the that, of these latter, 1001 are waste, 716 are state of that very valuable class of police small or imperfectly cultivated, and that the officers, commonly known by the name of zumeendars of 179 villages have noglected to dosad and pasban in this province, with re- appoint them, in opposition to the orders of lation to their number, maintenance and mode his court. of employment, comprising a review of the 7. It would appear, from the statement whole village or internal police, was strongly received from the magistrate of Patna, that called for and would lead to very beneficial 893 villages entertain 2219 watchmen, includresults, I addressed a circular letter, at the ing goryts under that denomination. The commencement of the late circuit, to the magistrate is not aware that there are any several magistrates requesting information on villages unprovided with chokeedars in his the subject; copies of which letter and the jurisdiction. replies received are subjoined in appendix G. 8. I shall now proceed to consider the

In reviewing this subject, I shall, in the quantity of land allowed to this class of public first place, consider the state of the village servants, the means of obtaining it when not police in each zillah separately, and the pro- already passed, with other points connected ceed to the discussion of such points as with their support. The quantity of land are common to the institution throughout the allotted for this purpose in the several zillahs, in money and grain (as far as has been ascer-21, regulation XII. 1807, all zumeendars and tained) will be best understood by consulting others employing chokeedars are required to the statements in the appendix. It appears to transmit a list of them to the magistrate withme that a jaegeer in land is the most unex- in three months ; yet I nowhere find any legisceptionable mode of providing for them, on lative enactment authorizing the magistrates many accounts. In forming an opinion on to require the landholders to appoint chokeethis point, it is to be taken into consideration, dars to villages where they have not hitherto that not only the personal services of the in- been established. This omission, which was dividuals holding the office of chokecdars, but probably accidental, appears to require to be those of all the males, and frequently of the supplied by a legislative provision. It is nofemales, of the family, are put in requisition, torious that the zumeendars very generally when occasion demands, by the zumeendars, make collections under the denomination of police officers, and troops, or travellers requir: chokeedaree or police cess, frequently within guides or supplies. Therefore, not only out keeping up any such establishment, and I ought the whole family to be decently provid- make no doubt that they would continue to do ed for, but it is to be supposed that some so, in spite of all orders to the contrary, were members of it may always find leisure to cul- the whole establishment to be abolished. tivate the family jaegeer, without injury to I am further informed, that in a late settlethe public as supposed by some of the magis ment of waste and other lands, which took trates. In the first place a jaegeer tends to place under Mr. Dunsmure in pergunnah render them more respectable, attaches them Chounsah, zillah, Shahabad, jageer of five to the village, and tends to keep the oflice in beegas has been allowed for the chokeedar the same family ; secondly, it attaches them, of each village. I am also of opinion, that also, to the Government, their provision ap- where lands waste at the time of the perpopearing to them at least to emanate from the tual settlement, and included in the settlement state ; thirdly, it is a more permanent and of any estate, have been since brought into unvarying mode of providing for them, and, cultivation, the zumeendar may be reasonably by affording occupation for the other members expected, out of his surplus profit, to proof the family, tends to preserve them from vide for the maintenance of the chokeebad courses. I conceive that five or six beegas dar. If more than one chokeedar be required of rent-free land would, on an average, yield for the protection of an extensive and poputhem a net profit of three rapees per mensem, lous village, it is reasonable that the merand should if possible be secured to the chants, shopkeepers and the more wealthy chokeedar of every village of any magnitude. ryots (without exception of rank, or caste) There is reason to believe that such jaegeers should provided for the additional protection very generally prevailed at the time of the by subscription among themselves, of money, perpetual settlement, in which case it does or grajn, according to circumstances. The not appear that the zumeendars had any right legal provision for a chokeedar ought not to to resume them. I am also informed that of be less than three rupees per mensem, or the late years many such jaegeers have been value in land or grain, and where the collecallotied, at the suggestion of the magistrates, tions are made from the inhabitants in money in some of the zillahs in this division. and grain, the plan recommended by the magis,

9. It appears proper to notice, in this place, traie of Shababad, of authorizing the putwaree that although by section 13, regulation XXII. to superintend the collections and to keep an of 1793, the “ police darogha is directed 10 account of them, appears very judicious and keep a register of the village watchmen likely te be attended with good effect. declared subject to his orders," and by section Cal. Courier, August 23.] QUIVIS.

STATISTICAL RETURNS.

Among the selections in our last will be area of districts, comparative productiveness found a circular from the secretary to the Go- of lands, habits lof people, proportion of vernment of Bengal, addressed to the Com- Hindoos to Mussulmans, &c.” The Commissioners, informing them that his Lordship, missioners are required to direct all the jubeing desirous of obtaining statisical informa- dicial and fiscal officers under their control to tion regarding the provinces under his go afford every aid and facility to the gentlemen vernment, bad appointed the civil and mili- entrusted with thereports. tary medical officers to prepare reports em- As to the benefits likely to result from such bracing information on the following points ; inquiries, there can scarcely be a difference of viz.—"1, Census of population ; 2, Cause and opinion. It has indeed been a matter of cfl'ect of plenty and scarcity ;3, Condition of wonderment that this desideratum had not the poor, their subsistence, &c.; 4, Wages of been supplied long before now. No other labor ; 5, Physical causes of crime ; 6, Ratio enlightened country would have so long of inortality ; 7, Ordinary proportion of births possessed India without obtaining as full a to marriages, in addition to the more obvious statistical knowledge of it, as it was possible may, we think, be properly attributed to the must request their amlahs to send purwannas peculiar character of the British Indian Go-to the different thanpadars to obtain the vernment, arising chielly from its being a required information, and these again will company of merchants, with whose immediate refer to the village chokeydars-poor ignorant objects of pursuit scientific inquiries are quite creatures, employed at about two rupees per unconnected. We are glad to find that these mensem, and at the nod of every influential inquiries are now to be earnestly prosecuted: man in the village ! These then are to be the but we upprehend several difficulties in the real sources from which the information is way of completing the reports in a satisfactory ultimately to be derived on such grave and manner. His Lordship appears to be aware important questions. Now how can materials of some of them, and has directed that the collected from such a source,-especially if influential zemindars be consulted. So much the zemindars, instead of aiding set their face the accuracy, or even an approach to accu- against it,-supply the required information racy, in several of the items of information in a satisfactory manner ? required, will necessarily depend on the The duties of medical gentlemen require co-operation of the zemindars, that we think, them to be constantly at their respective unless they can be made to understand the stations. It cannot therefore be expected benevolent objects of the inquiry and to enter that they will personally visit the villages. into the spirit of it, little hope can be enter- It is therefore evident, that if the channel of tained as to a satisfactory termination of the Government oficials is alone to be emplyed, undertaking. The greatest difficulty in the the materials for the returns in question will way of obtaining the hearty co-operation of be derived from no better source than what these people will be the apprehension that we have just described. It is true that when information thus obtained, will at a future the information comes before His Lordship, period, be employed to some purpose injurious embodied in the form of a report, prepared to their interests. The Quinquennial returns with all that attention to style and with those and Canangoe papers were prepared pro- graces witb which the pen of a well educated fessedly with the object of facilitating the man can adorn the subject of his theme, it will partition of property and the settlement of possess in every respect the appearance that disputes among the ryots, and the confirma- can be desired: but the trapping can never tion of the Bazezemeen duftur, and the re. alter the nature of the beast, and glass, howgister of rent-free lands led the people to ever well polished, will never acquire the believe that it would free their claims from value of real diamond. It may deceive the further inquiries. But in these hopes they inexperienced observer : but will never be have been disappointed. Information ob- valuable. We have therefore considered it a tained by these means has been made to duty we owe to the state and to the public to subserve the objects of the state, in carrying lay open the difficulties which are likely to on the detestable and unpopular work of attend the undertaking set on foot, and which resumption. How is it possible then to ex- if not removed, would render its results unsapect that the people will not be alarmed, now tisfactory that the country is infested in every direction We shall now offer a few remarks as to the with resumption ollicers, at the prospect of best method by which we think the difliculties inquiries such as those which the reports in pointed out above may be removed, if not question are to embrace? How are the people entirely, at least to a considerable degree. to be satisfied that nothing detrimental to We would recommend the formation of a their interests will ever arise out of the in- central committee of the most influencial and formation now sought from them? The intelligent zemindars residing in and near promotion of self interest is naturally the ob- Calcutta, to be presided by one or more Goject of every individual. How then, under vernment functionaries, and of similar branch existing circumstances, are these people to commitees in each district to be presided by be persuaded to enter into the spirit of the the medical or other officers, as it may be inquiry obout to be instituted, and, instead of thought proper. The central committee would thwarting it, to aid it earnestly?

direct the labours of the branch committees, In the circular to the Commissioners, very receive their reports, and arrange the whole little stress indeed is laid on the aid to be information in the most judicious from. The derived from the zemindars; and it would zemindars forming the central committee, appear that Government officers are considered being the most enlightened among the class, the principle source from which information would readily appreciate the objects of the is to be obtained. With due deference to enquiry, and would, no doubt, be the means the functionaries of the state, we cannot help of inspiring confidence in others of the same stating that, owing to the manner in which class who might form the branch committees. information on points such as those embraced Besides the very formation of such committees by the inquiry in question is generally ob- in the Mofussil would enable the European tained by them, little dependence can be functionaries, their presidents, to remove in placed upon it. The Government, it is true, some measure the prejudices and apprehenhas addressed a circular to the Commissioners, sions of the members, and induce them to and they will send copies of it to the local afford very material service in the preparation officers unde their control : but these local of the documents required. These committees officers have not the materials to supply the when formed would afford to the Government ing any information which might be required 1828, adverting to the petitions against reconcerning the state of the county, the con- gulation III, of 1828, speak as follows: dition of the people, and their sentiments 126. Among the petititions against Reguregarding the various measures of Govern- lations III, 1828, which have been noticed in ment. Information on all these points is of a preceding part of this despatch, there is one the last importance, and therefore, the ex. which we have stated to be anonymous ; we istence of an efficient channel through which have now to notice that an exact duplicate of it can be readily obtained is a very great that petition has since been presented to us, desideratum.

with the signatures of above 200 individuals Whilst these are the reasons which ought annexed to it, accompanied by a letter adto induce the Government to form such dressed to our Secretary in this department committees, there are others which ought to by four natives, named Dwarkanauth Tagore, induce the zemindars readily to come for- Kalinath Roy Pursunnoo Komar Tagore, and ward and form themselves into such bodies. Rammohun Roy. There are two causes which very materially

827. The intelligence of the above-named check the improvement of the people in this individuals is acknowledged to be much sucountry. The first that measures which regard the public weal are disregarded by general : however much, therefore, we may

perior to that of the native aristocracy in individuals, and the other that there is no doubt whether any considerable number of means at present by which individuals can the petititioners are capable of understanding join in any public measure. To notice but the arguments which it contains, we are not one fact as an illustration ; how many are the less disposed to give due consideration to there who have suffered or are likely to snffer the expression of the sentiments of such indiby the operations of the resumption regula-viduals on a question which so generally tions. These sufferers have been deeply groan. affects the interests of the native community ing under the weight of the calamity which as well as those of the state. has befallen them, and none comes forward to make representation on the subject to the It is evident from the strain of these paraGovernment. Had one hundredth part of the graphs that all those who signed the petition mischief done by these regulations been done are not allowed the credit of participating in in England, petitions upon petitions would the sentiments which it conveys. The getting have poured down on the legislature. And up of the petition is thus referred to four why this great difference ? Not only because individuals, and its weight of course consithe people of England are more enlightened derably lessened. Had similar petitions been than those of India, the difference in this presented from every part of the country, regard is far from being sufficient to account numerously signed, conclusion like that to of the fact we have noticed. The reason is, the which the local Government would lead the former are alive to measures of public interest, Court of Directors, could never have been and possess the means of communicating with borne out. This simple fact, if others were each other regarding matters which concern wanting, amply preves the necessity of such individuals generally. Hence so many asso-associations as we have recommended. ciations, so many representations on ques- Our remarks have been made with the view tions of public interest, and such opposition on the one hand to promote the object of the to all measures detrimental to the people. A iuguiry instituted by Government, and on the knowledge of these facts ought to induce our other to suggest to the people the means of land proprietors to form themselves into asso-submitting their grievances before their rulers ciations, and when necessary, to submit such in the only way in which their representations representations as may place their grievances are likely to be attended to ; and we hope both before their rulers in a proper light.

the Government and the people will see the The Government of India, in their

letter to advantages likely to be secured by attending the Court of Directors, dated 230 February) to our recommendations. -Reformer, May 21.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Our readers are aware that about five years logue of moral and religious duties, and to ago the present king of Cochin China, Minh-cammand the strictest obedience to it. The Menhi, commenced a bitter persecution a- Bishop of Castorie, the Coadjutor of the V. gainst the Catholic Mission which had been Apostlic of Cochin China, transmitted a copy established in the country for nearly two of these new commandments to his own sucenturies, and had been fostered by his pre-periors at Paris, together with a running comdecessors; that one of the Missionaries was mentary on them; and they were published put to death, and that the Bishop was obliged in the " Annales de la Propagation de la foi," to seek safety in fight. It appears that, in No. 51, for March, 1837. Having been faorder, if possible, to supersede Christianity, voured with a copy of this number, we have he determined, after the adoption of these now the pleasure of laying the Bishop's letter

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »