Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

At an early hour in thio evening the mein- is to protect our tottering religion, by punishbers of the Dhurmo Shubha bad collected in ing with severity every infidel who dares to great numbers, and soon after Baboo Bhoba- profane the rules of caste, by eating the for. nycburn Banergee, the secretary to the bidden things, and then associating with those Shubha moved that Rajah K-Babadoor be who are holy and unpoiluted. called to the chair, which being unanimous- But why do I complain of the conduct of ly carried, the Rajah Babadoor took bis seat silly boys, whose precocious attempts to teach amidst loud cheering and deafening peals of wisdom to heads grown grey with the wisdom hurry bole, from the assembly.

of our ancestors, we shall now be able easily The chairman read the following requisito frustrate by legal measures? The acts of tion of the secretary, by which the oieeting had the Government itself are arrayed against us. been convened.

Need we quote ad instance? The sattee reDharmika yentlemen, lam desired by se- gulation, past by that would be liberal Gov. veral members of the Dhurmo Shubhu to requesternor General Lord William Bentinck, at the favour of your attendance at a special the suggestion of that infidel party at whose meeting of the society, which will be held at head the late Rammohun Roy (jastly punishthe Chundrika Press, on the 7th instant, at ed by the gods with death in the mlecho land) 4 P. M. to consider the propriety of presenting a stares us in the face. What right had he to Jaudatory address to the Honourable T. B. interfere with the performance of our religiMacaulay, the fourth ordinary member of the ous rites—with our sepulchral ceremonies ? Supreme Council, and author of the Penal in the preamble of that most profane act of Code, on the subject of the just and humane legislation, he had the effrontery to tell as enactments contained in its liiteenth chapter that “the burning or burying alive of the which regards offences relaiing to religion widows of Hindoos, was revolting to the feeland caste, and of electing that gentleman as ings of humane nature, and no where enjoined ani lionorary member of the Dhurmo Shubha. by the religion of the Hindoos as an impera

live duty." Who, I ask, made his lordship The secretary then addressed the chair. It the judge of our foelings? who gave him a is well known to you, Dermika gentlemen, diploma of Hindoo theology, and thus enabled that according to the shastras, our holy reli- him to determine what is enjoined by our gion bas now for ages continued to suffer the religion? In clear jaxtaposition to presumpbaneful effects of the Kuliyony. That after the tions like these let us place the just and wise persecutions by the Mahomniedan conquerors opinions of our present Law Commissioners. of India, the English another race of mleches, In their commentary on the law in question, wrested the sre tre froin their hands, and they say, "the question whether insults offerthough not so sanguina!y as their predeces. Sed to a religion ought to be visited with punsors, lrave nevertheless done all they could to ishment does not appear to us at all to deoverthrow our most sacred institutions, not pend on the question whether that religion be only by sending among ur poor ignorant true or false.' The religion may be false; but conntryment wilý missionaries, whose prosess the pain which such insults give to the proed object is to pervert their faith ; but also by fessors of that religion is real." Here the means of eniablishing numerous English

personal feeling of the sufferer is recognized, schools in every part of the country, especi- and the spacious but andefined principle of ally the Hindow College in the very midst of humanily so pompously paraded in Lord Benux, the direct tendency of which, as you all tinck's preamble is disregarded. On this just know too well, is to sap the very foundation principle then, onr Law Commissioners, with of our religion. These institutions, and es-line honourable Mr. Macaulay at their head, pecially the Hindou College, have already proceed to enact, that “whoever commits any done incalculabile nsischieiThousands of irespass on any place of sepulture, or offers the children of respectable parents, who ought

any indignity to any human corpse, or causes to have been an lionour to their fathers, by disturbance to any assembly assembled for tho being the foreniost in support of our ancient sacred institutions, bave imbibed, in those performance of funeral ceremonies, shall be

punished.” Now, gentlemen, after the passhot beds of intidelity and profaneness, notions ing of the above provision into law, should of the most strange kind. They, it is too true, any mayistrato or other person interrupt the make it a merit to deride tlie rulis of caste, funeral ceremonies in which a sattee is about mock at our gods and the bralımins, and to be immolated, we can tell him, by virtue of ' baring polluted their own lips with things this law, to desist from such profanation of forbidden and anholy, do all they can to polo our holy rites, under pain of the punishment lute otliers, whom they deceive into acts of therein denounced. For let it be rememimpropriety, which are attended with the loss bered, that the question is not whether the of caste. Indeed, this evil has of late become suttee rite is considered right or wrong by our 80 extensive, that we scarcely know with rulers; but whether we who practise the rite, whom we can associate without prejudice to will feel pained if it be disallowed, and the our caste, and the very foundations of our ho-widow who was just about to be immolated on ly religion seein to be attacked by those who, the funeral pile of her deceased busband, bot for the pernicious sșstem of Englislı edu spatched away from the flames. Who is cation, would have been its chief pillars.

here that will not feel shocked to see such In the midst of these beart-rending scenes, works of infamy practised ? and, therefore,

trary to law. Now as the latest law, if opposed pristine glory. Such, gentlemen, are the im. to any tbat existed before, is believed ipso portant results, we expect from the new code facto to supercede the latter ; we conclude prepared by the honourable Mr. Macaulay. ibat the enactment of the law in question Who then will not join our worthy secretary would be a virtual rescindment of the suttee in all that he has proposed ? regulation,-yea! it is the granting of that great boon which we have been in vain soli.

Rajah R— Bahadoor next rose. The two citing for so many years! and to obtain which last speakers have already said more than we sent an agent to England at so much ex would suffice to induce us to pay to the honourpense !! It is indeed the dawning of a new able Mr. Macaulay the tribuie of gratitude day, of which the bonourable Mr. Macaulay and respect they have proposed, yet I feel it is the morning star !! It is therefore our my duty to bring to your notice another very paramount duty to hail this luminary or legis- important provision of the code. The secrelation with the most enthusiastic applause, tary, in his seech, alluded to the attempts to present to him an address expressive of our which the missionaries bave been ipaking 10 gratitude for the blessing he has conferred on pervert those who follow the religion of their us, and to admit bim as an honorary member forefathers; but he has only alluded to that of this holy society. It is true he was born pernicious system of proselytism. I intend to and brought up in the land of mleches : buishew you, gentlemen, that Mr. Macaulay's his principles and professions which are quite provisions in this regard, if passed into law, Hindoo, are sufficient to support my proposal. I will enable us easily to bring most of these

The secretary sat down in the midst of deaf-clerical mischief-makers under the corrective ening cheers and hurry boles, from all present. cod of law. Clause 282 of the code provides

that " whoever with the deliberate intention Baboo B. C. Gangoly next addressed the of wounding the religious feeling of any perchair ; adverting to the remarks of the last son, utters any word or makes any sound in the speaker on the subject of the injury which the hearing of that person, or makes any gestare in young men brought up at the Hlodoo College the siglt of that person, or places any object and other public English Seminaries, inflict in the sight of that person, shall be punished.” on society, by robbing its best members of Few can mistake the obvious meaning and inthat most invaluable quality caste, I beg to tention of this provision ; its words are clear draw the particular attention of the meeting and distinct ;-*no words should be ullered to the 284ih clause of the code, in wbich it is to wound the religious feeling of any person.” provided, that “whoever, with the intention. There is no misinterpreting this clear law, of causing any person to lose caste, does any Now the professed object of the missionaries act which causes that person to lose caste, or is to denounce our religion as idolatrous, induces any person to do ignorantly any thing superstitious, and false; nay, they go further, whereby that person incurs the loss of caste, and in public places tell us, that our gods shall be punished." In illustration of this bave been guilty of actions which man ought enactment, it is stated, that if “A with the to be ashamed to commit. Will any one preintention of causing Z, a brahmin, to lose sent say that expressions like these do not caste, mixes beef-broth with Z's food, z wound our religious feeling ? Place your hand swallows it in ignorance, and thereby loses on your breasi, and say, whether any of you caste, A las committed the offence defined in could hear such blasphemy without being hurt the clause." Instances of this kind occur in the most sensative part? This being the daily among us, and the miscreants who com case, the whole of the missionary work comes mit such crimes always escape with impunity under the operation of the provision I have under the existing laws, and laugh at os. brought to your notice, and can be easily puaMost of the Hindoo college boys, and even ished by legal proceedings. I have carefully many wealthy and respectable Baboos, have looked over the commentary on this clause, privately apostized from their religion, and and find that though at first sight it may seem eat the forbidden food with tho mleches and to modify the force of the provision, yet a little Mussulmans. To eat any thing touched by reflection will show that there is nothing in it such apostates is attended with the loss of that can binder an action being maintained caste; and yet these apostales, regardless of against a person who would blaspheme against our caste, often eat with the best of our religion in the manner that the missionawithout informing of their apostacy. The ries do. Indeed, if these interlopers wish to eating of things touched by these people is as avoid the just punishment of the law, they injurious to caste as the eating of the forbid. must forego speaking in the strain they have den meat mentioned in the illustration; and hitherto adopied, when in weighing against therefore the deception in the one case is as our religion : indeed they must cease to tell us complete as in the other, and the loss of caste that our religion is false and superstitious, being the consequence in both, both species and our gods perpetrators of shamful actions ; of crime will be punishable by the proposed for these denunciations do wound our religious law. After that law is past we shall be able feeling. Now if they dare not tell us these to indict these infidels who call themselves things, they might as well shut up shop and go the enlightened natives, by scores every day, back to their native land, leaving us in the and if a few months put a stop to their sacrile-uninterrupled enjoyment of the religion of our gious practices, restore our religion to its ancestors. Thus you see gentlemen, that Mr.

[ocr errors]

religion against the attacks of the missiona-chinations of missionaries and vther infidels of ries.-Hurry bole, Hurry bole, from all sides various denoininations, who, for a series of

Baboo B — Mittre was the next that ad. years, have most strenuously endeavouring dressed the assembly. The language in which in annihilate Hinduisio from this land. Your he spoke was flowery in the extreme, and con- predecessors in Government, we regret to state, tained so many Sanscrit phrases, &c. that we being swayed by a spirit of sectarian bigotry who are no scholars in that language could in favour of the Christian religion, lad endeapot follow him up. We, however, understood voured, by establishing various institutions him to support the views of the foregoing ostensibly for the enlightment of the people of speakers with many quotations of learned India, but in reality for the perversion of their length and thundering sound.

religion, to overthorw.our most sacred institu. One of the pundits, Heroonauth Turkob!100- tions. Nay, one of them, Lord William Bensun said, from what had fallen froin the Gan-tinck, went even so far as to interfere, in the goly Baboo, he apprehended, that many who most arbitrary manner, with our sacred funeral had married into koolyn families not being rites, and caused a law to be passed for pre. themselves equal in rank to those families ;/ venting the immolation of Hindoo widows on but pretending to be so ; and had thus deceived the funeral piles of their deceased husbands. them into an alliance which was derogatory to By these means the children of the mos ortho. their kool or purity of caste and to that of dox members of our community were pervert. their posterity, had certainly inflicted a deep ed, and became so tainted with infidelity as to injury on the family, for which there was no treat our temples and images with disdain, and punishment. But he was rejoiced to find that the holy institutions of caste with contempt, the new code would not only protect the insti.despising the wholesome advice of their pa. tution of caste in all its purity, but even the renis, and having polluted themselves by eat. koolyn system, which was the glory of the ing the forbidden things, became the instru. Bengal brahminical order.

ments of pollution and loss of caste to their Sadhoo-Sadhoo! burst forth from the assem-parents and relations. Such are the evils to bly, and the learned speaker resumed his seat which we have hitherto been subjected ; but in the midst of much applause.

from which, under your glorious auspices, we Joygopal Turko!unkor, another learned are likely to be eina cipated. The wise enact. pundit, next addressed the meeting, - From mnenis which your Penal Code contains, under what I have heard froin the foregoing speakers, the head of offences relating to religion and I am no less overjoyed than confounded. Our caste, amply provide for the eradication of the sacred Poorans, jou all know, mention the evils we have enumerated, and afford us the kully yoog, in which we have the misfortune clieering prospect, that when your code be. to be born, as the iron age, and foretell that as cames a part and parcel of the laws of this it advances, sin and wickedness of all sorts land, our religion will flourish afresh and be will multiply, religion will be degraded, and based on so solid a foundation that no attack all its most sacred institutions contemned. of the missionaries or its other enemies will But here, instead of finding these prophetic ever be able to shake the sacred edifice. For announciations verified, we see in ihe kully blessings so great as these, the least we can do yoog a golden age about to return. Under the fis to express our gratitude to you, and to offer auspices of even a native of the mlecho land, up our most ardent and sincere orisons for our religion and its rites are likely to be re- your welfare and uninterrupted bappiness slored to their former vigour. This is no less wherever you maġ go. joyful than unexpected and surprising.. Sure- But whilst we rejoice at the great blessings ly we have misunderstood our shastras in you have conferred on us, our joy is clouded those parts which treat of the effects of the with sorrow at the prospect of losing you from kully yoog.

amongst us. Would the gods of this land so Another pundit, Ram Manika Biddialı Lun. order things that you may remain here to carry kar, endeavoured with the belp of several into execution the salutary laws you have Sanscrit quotations to explain the point mooto framed for their protection, and for the support ed by his learned brother who preceded bim. and promotion of our roligion! But this bless. But being at a great distance from the speaker ing is in all likelihood denied to us ; we must we could not take down all he said.

submit to be separated from one who has con. The secretary to the Shubha informed the ferred on us such signal favours! We must meeting, that in anticipation of the turn which submit to the decrees of fate !—but whilst we the business of the evening had taken, an ad. do so, we beg to assure you that to whatever dress had been prepared, wbich he begged to land you may go, our good wishes will follow be allowed to read. The following was then you there, and you will for ever live in our read:

grateful remembrances, and in the remem. To the honourable T. B. Macaulay, fourth brance of generations yet unborn. With these ordinary member of the Supreme Council and sentiments we beg to subscribe ourselves, author of a new Penal Code.

Honourable Sir, Honourable SIR,–We the undersigned Hin- Your most oledt, and grateful servts. doo inhabitants of Bengal, having heard of your intended departare, feel it our daiy to At this stage of the proceedings a good deal approach you with this address expressive of of desultry conversation took place, and the our gratitude, for the protectioa you have address underwent a few verbal modifications trary to law. Now as the latest law, if opposed pristine glory. Such, gentlemen, are the im. to any ibat existed before, is believed ipso portant results, we expect from the new code facto to supercede the latter; we conclude prepared by the honourable Mr. Macaulay, ibat the enactment of the law in question Who then will not join our worthy secretary would be a virtual rescindment of the suttee in all that he has proposed ? regulation,-yea! it is the granting of that great boon which we have been in vain soli.

Rajah R- Baladoor next rose. The two citing for so many years! and to obtain which last speakers have already said more than we sent an agent to England at so much ex would suffice to induce us to pay to the lionourpense!! It is indeed the dawning of a new able Mr. Macaulay the tribute of gratitude day, of which the bonourable Mr. Macaulay and respect they have proposed, yet I feel it is the morning star !! It is therefore our my duty to bring to your notice another very paramount duty to hail this luminary or legis- i inportant provision of the code. The secrelation with the most enthusiastic applause, tary, in bis' s;eech, alluded to the attempts to present to him an address expressive of our which the missionaries bave been making to gratitude for the blessing he has conferred on pervert those who follow the religion of their us, and to admit him as an honorary meinber forefathers; but he has only alluded to that of this holy society. It is true he was born pernicious system of proselytism. I intend to and brought up in the land of mleches : but shew you, gentlemen, that Mr. Macaulay's his principles and professions which are quite provisions in this regard, if passed into law, Hindoo, are sufficient to support my proposal. will enable us easily to bring most of these

The secretary sat down in the midst of deaf-clerical mischief-makers under the corrective ening cheers and hurry boles, from all present. that whoever with the deliberate intention

rod of law, Clause 282 of the code provides Baboo B. C. Gangoly next addressed the of wounding the religious feeling of any perchair ; adverting to the remarks of the last son, utters any word or makes any sound in the speaker on the subject of the injury which the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in young men brought up at the Hlodoo College the sight of that person, or places any object and other public English Seminaries, infict in the sight of that person, sball be punished." on society, by robbing its best members of Few can mistake the obvious meaning and inthat most invaluable quality caste, I beg to tention of this provision ; its words are clear draw the particular attention of the meeting and distinct ;" vo words should be uttered to the 284th clause of the code, in which it is to wound the religious feeling of any person." provided, that “whoever, with the intention. There is no misinterpreting this clear law. of causing any person to lose caste, does any Now the professed object of the missionaries act which causes that person to lose caste, or is to denounce our religion as idolatrous, induces any person to do ignorantly any thing superstitious, and false; nay, they go further, whereby that person incurs the loss of caste, and in public places tell us, that our gods shall be punished." In illustration of this bave been guilty of actions which man ought. enactment, it is stated, that if “A with the to be ashamed to commit. Will any ove preintention of causing Z, a brahmin, to lose sent say that expressions like these do not caste, mixes beef-broth with Z's food, Zwound our religious feeling? Place your hand swallows it in ignorance, and thereby loses on your breast, and say, whether any of you caste, A has committed the offence defined in could hear such blasphemy without being hurt the clause." Instances of this kind occur in the most sensative part? This being the daily among us, and the miscreants who com case, the whole of the missionary work comes mit such crimes always escape with impunity under the operation of the provision I have under the existing laws, and laugh at us. brought to your notice, and can be easily puoMost of the Hindoo college boys, and even ished by legal proceedings. I have carefully many wealthy and respectable Baboos, have looked over the commentary on this clause, privately apostized from their religion, and and find that though at first sight it may seem eat the forbidden food with tho mleches and to modify the force of the provision, yet a little Mussulmans. To eat any thing touched by reflection will sbow that there is nothing in it sucb apostates is atteuded with the loss of that can hinder an action being maintained caste; and yet these apostates, regardless of against a person who would blaspheme against our caste, often eat with the best of us our religion in the manner that the missionawithout informing of their apostacy. The ries do. Indeed, if these interlopers wish to eating of things touched by these people is as avoid the just punishment of the law, they injurious to caste as the eating of the forbid. must forego speaking in the strain they have den meat mentioned in the illustration; and hitherto adopied, when in weighing against therefore the deception in the one case is as our religion : indeed they must cease to tell us completo as in the other, and the loss of caste that our religion is false and superstitious, being the consequence in both, both species and our gods perpetrators of shamful actions ; of crime will be punishable by the proposed for these denunciations do wound our religious law. After that law is past we shall be able feeling. Now if they dare not tell us these to indict these infidels who call themselves things, they might as well shut up shop and go the enlightened natives, by scores every day, back to their native land, leaving us in the and if a few months put a stop to their sacrile-uninterrupted enjoyment of the religion of our gious practices, restore our religion to its ancestors. Thus you see gentlemen, that Mr.

Teligion against the attacks of the missional chinations of missionaries and other infidels of ries.- Hurry bole, Hurry bole, from all sides various denominations, who, for a series of

Baboo B — Mittre was the next that ad. years, have most strenuously endeavouring dressed the assembly. The language in which to annihilate Hinduisio from this land. Your he spoke was flowery in the extreme, and con- predecessors in Government, we regret to state, tained so many Sanscrit phrases, &c. that we being swayed by a spirit of sectarian bigotry who are no scholars in that language could in favour of the Christian religion, bad endea. pot follow him up. We, however, understood voured, by establishing various institutions him to support the views of the foregoing ostensibly for the enlightment of the people of speakers with many quotations of learned India, but in reality for the perversion of their length and thundering sound.

religion, to overthorw our most sacred institu. One of the pundits, Heroonauth Turkobhoo- tions. Nay, one of thein, Lord William Bensun said, from what had fallen froin the Gan-tinck, went even so far as 10 interfere, in the goly Baboo, he apprehended, that many who most arbitrary manner, with our sacred funeral had married into koolyn families not being rites, and caused a law to be passed for pre. themselves equal in rank to those families ; venting the immolation of Hindoo widows on but pretending to be so ; and had thus deceived the funeral piles of their deceased husbands. them into an alliance which was derogatory to By these means the children of the mos ortho. their kool or purity of caste and to that of dox members of our community were pervert. their posterity, had certainly inflicted a deep ed, and became so tainted with infideliiy as to injury on the family, for which there was no treat our temples and images witli disdain, and punishment. But he was rejoiced to find that the holy institutions of caste with contempt, the new code would not only protect the insti- despising the wholesome advice of their pa. tution of caste in all its purity, but even the renis, and having polluted themselves by eat. koolyn system, which was the glory of the ing the forbidden things, became the instru. Bengal brahminical order.

ments of pollution and loss of caste to their Sadhoo-Sadhoo! burst forth from the assem - parents and relations. Such are the evils to bly, and the learned speaker resumed his seat which we have hitherto been subjected ; but in the midst of much applause.

from which, under your glorious auspices, we Joygopal Turko!unkor, another learned are likely to be einarcipated. The wise enact. pundit, next addressed the meeting.- Fromments which your Penal Code contains, under what I have heard from the foregoiny speakers, the head of offences relating to religion and I am no less overjoyed than confounded. Our caste, amply provide for the eradication of the sacred Poorans, you all know, mention the evils we have enumerated, and afford us the kully yoog, in which we have the misfortune checring prospect, that when your code be. to be born, as the iron age, and foretell that as cames a part and parcel of the laws of this it advances, sin and wickedness of all sorts land, our religion will flourish afresh and be will multiply, religion will be degraded, and based on so solid a foundation that no attack all its most sacred institutions contemned. of the missionaries or its other enemies will But here, instead of finding these prophetic ever be able to shake the sacred edifice. For annoanciations verified, we see in the kully blessings so great as these, the least we can do yoog a golden age about to return. Under the fis to express our gratitude to you, and to offer auspices of even a native of the mlecho land, up our most ardent and sincere orisons for our religion and its rites are likely to be re- your welfare and uninterrupted bappiness stored to their foriner vigour, This is no less wherever you maġ go. joyful than unexpected and surprising. Sure. But whilst we rejoice at the great blessings ly we have inisunderstood our shasiras in you have conferred on us, our joy is clouded those parts which treat of the effects of the with sorrow at the prospect of losing you from kully yoog.

amongst us. Would the gods of this land so Another pundit, Ram Manika Biddialı Lun order things that you may remain here to carry kar, endeavoured with the belp of several into execution the salutary laws you have Sanscrit quotations to explain the point moot-framed for their protection, and for the support ed by his learned brother who preceded him. and promotion of our roligion! But this bless. But being at a great distance from the speaker ing is in all likelihood denied to us ; we must we could not take down all he said.

submit to be separated from one who has con. The secretary to the Shubha informed the ferred on us such signal favours! We must meeting, that in anticipation of the turn which submit to the decrees of fate!- but whilst we the business of the evening had taken, an ad do so, we beg to assure you that to whatever dress had been prepared, which he begged to land you may go, our good wishes will follow be allowed to read. The following was then you there, and you will for ever live in our read:

grateful remembrances, and in the remem, To the honourable T. B. Macaulay, fourth brance of generations yet unboin. With theso ordinary member of the Supreme Council and sentiments we beg to subscribe ourselves, author of a new Penal Code.

Honourable Sir, HONOURABLE Sir,- We the undersigned Hin- Your most oliedt, and grateful servts. doo inhabitants of Bengal, having heard of your intended departure, feel it our duty to At this stage of the proceedings a good deal approach you with this address expressive of of desultry conversation took place, and the our gratitude, for the protectioa you bave address anderwent a few verbal modifications

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »