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January 15, 1853.] ' THE LEADER. 61
HINDU POLITICS. The natives of Bombay ha...
MORE OF THE KIRWAN CASE. If anything cou...
Why Do Wk Want Ambassadors Abroad? Franc...
Are we not to hope , therefore , that a new spirit will be shown in the administration of our foreign affairs P May we not expect that England will really appear to sympathize with Peoples struggling for their freedom ; that England will really seem to cast her solicitude on the side of Protestantism rather than Popery ; and that England , in short , if not participating in any movement , will be at least smcere .
January 15, 1853.] ' The Leader. 61
January 15 , 1853 . ] ' THE LEADER . 61
Hindu Politics. The Natives Of Bombay Ha...
HINDU POLITICS . The natives of Bombay have made the first step from barbaric to political life , according to the European sense of the word , in making a direct appeal to the British Parliament for a recognition of their political existence . The petition which has been transmitted to this country , and the movement in which it has originated , prove that the people of Bombay , notwithstanding their diversities of race , are actually fitting themselves to receive , if not to extort , a due share of Self-Government , under British institutions . They have * by their own act , totally altered the relation in which they have hitherto stood to the British Government . It cannot any longer be considered that they are in tutelage ; for although their claims are preferred in the form of a petition , strikingly moderate in its tone , the very method of their proceeding shows that they have already acquired a " power which must enforce respect . The document will be amongst the most respectable submitted to Parliament . It is written , on several skins of parchment , in English ; and it is conceived in a thoroughly English
spirit , — plain , straightforward , and practical . Nevertheless , we have reason to believe that it is no work of English agitators , but entirely the result of a genuine native movement . Indeed , the origin of the movement may be traced to proceedings far anterior . The Parsees of Bombay have long held a position differing in its social traits frOm the Commercial classes in our own country , but still having- great similarity to the circumstances of the leading classes in Liverpool , or Glasgow . The great balance of wealth lies amongst that body , which has been most active in trade . The relations between the
members of that body and the corresponding class in the commercial capitals of the world has , since the improvement of transit , been frequent , intimate , and extensive . The town of Bombay itself , situated on a small island , has advanced to such importance as to have collected a population of 400 , 000 persons . It is now the great port of departure between India and Europe ^ and there are many towns of our own country less intimately connected with eacli other , than Bombay is with Southampton , London , or Liverpool . The acquisition of a freo press , which was so much dreaded by Conservatives in India , has
helped to communicate to the natives most fitted to receive information , a general knowledge , not only of facts , but of tho habitual conduct of public and municipal affairs in this country . TKb Bombay papers , with all their faults , have been remarkable for activity and for talent ; and the natives have had papers in their own language , which have copied these models . The fact that Quoen Victoria has conferred English titles , like that of Sir Jamsotjco Jeejeeboy , on native merchants , establishes the next recognition
of their social progress ; and the movement in which this petition has originated , shows that they understand our methods of self-assertion in politics . In August last , some of tho gentlemen ot Bombay , acting independently of European help , convened a public meeting , formed tho " Bombay Association , " which has had its members throughout tho Presidency , and at ojieo collected a subscription to tho extent of nearly ' . iOOOL , for tho
X _ - - mi 1 a i * ...... 11-purposes of tho meeting . Tlio substantive result of that movement is this Petition . It asks lor several improvements in tho administration of tho country—an enlarged educational grant ; a grant of live per cent , out of tho land revenue , returned for local improvements , in the way of roada , tanks , and bridges ; a larger share for tho natives in tho administration of their ovyn <* o-, „ ..,. * . nrirl n . hotter arrangement in tho
supremo admin istration . Tho Petition shows that tho present method of governing India is not only inefficient for its purposes , but moro costly than it needs to lie . It is tho constant complaint of our own critics , that tho finances of India exhibit un annuul deficiency , Bay about
2 , 000 , 000 ? . sterling , and the Petition points to the fit remedy . The principal posts in India are filled b y ^ Europeans , whose curriculum of education is performed at Haileybury , and not in India , but who draw their salaries of thousands sterling , while the work is done b y subordinates , who are paid by hundreds sterling ; and it is found that in these subordinate offices the natives show considerable capacity , and at least as much fidelity as they ever showed to their native Governments . The petitioners , indeed , do not claim the substitution of native for European
officers ; on the contrary , they expressly ask for the appointment of more efficient officers from Europe , drilled in the management of their departments . The Post Office is given as an instance . If a permanent officer were sent over from St . Martin ' s-le-grand , there is no doubt but the post office at Bombay would do its work better , would get more work to do , and would cost less ; and , under efficient management , the natives would be employed in a larger proportion . There is a true business sense in" this view , as well as the claim of justice .
At present , the supreme Government is conducted by various bodies placed apart , and exercising co-ordinate jurisdiction , not in the mostconvenient manner . Ostensibly , the supreme power lies with the Directory of the East India Company , but that supreme ruler wields power under the correction of the Board of Control . Virtually , the Queen ' s Ministers appoint the Governqr-General of India , who resides at Calcutta , or travels about the more northern districts ; and the local Governments of Madras and Bombay , each ruling over a large State , are obliged to refer continually to that Government at Calcutta , which is subject to the Directory in Leadenhall-street . which is under the correction
of the Board of Control . The Petition suggests a much simpler machinery—a Board of Council , sitting in London , composed of twenty-four persons who shall have lived in India ; the Board to be in part elective , and directly responsible to Parliament ; a President of the Board to be appointed by the Crown , and to be , in fact , one of the Ministers of the day . Were the sittings of such a body public , there is great probability that subjects of vital interest to the natives of India would receive an attention now unknown . For ,
at present , Indian affairs are only an obtrusive episode in our own party conflicts ; and a real development of their nature or merits becomes impossible . If , however , there were the means of explaining Indian subjects to the English public , and of showing the true direction of affairs in India , public opinion in this country would bo better informed , and would be really inclined to maintain the joint interests of the two countries . It is remarkable that this claim from tho natives of Bombay , conies to us at a time when the subject of a somewhat similar representation for tho colonies has been discussed with active
interest . It has long been felt that a ropresontation of our distant dependencies , even though it possessed , at first , no moro than consultative powers , would bo a very useful instrument for tho practical discussion of legislative affairs ; and tho natives of Bombay havo contributed a valuable suggestion . There arc nearly as many signatures to this Petition as there wero pounds sterling contributed towards the funds , but they nro collected from wider sources than that prompt
subscription .. All classes of tho natives in Bombay are represented at tho foot of tho petition : the signatures being in the English character , tho Persian , Guzerati , and tho Mahratti . Tho last class of signatures aro furnished principally by tho nobles whom we deposed on tho acquisition of their territory in 1817 , and who aro now substituting tho pen for tho sabro , iix an endeavour to regain political existence through Britishinstitutions , and not in spite of them . Jtiimmohun Hoy , the Hindi ! Unitarian , who cumo over to this country
some twenty yours ago , was a living witness of tho progress which a certain class of European ideus havo made amongst tho natives-. Maoullooh ' s Commercial J ) lctionari / has long since penetrated beyond India , oven to tho land where the fantastic ; " ChinoHo drive their cany waggons light ; " and now wo find tho natives of Bombay , not begging , like spaniols , at tho foot of their master , but conducting a political agitation , with money and moderation , like tho middle classes of Liverpool or Manchester . Ilorotoforo it has boon , proaumod that tho
Indian Government is to be arranged by Parliament once for all in a generation—once in twenty years . But it would be a very mischievous plan again to lock up the subject thus . Probably neither Parliament nor public opinion in this country is prepared to grant full political j ) riviieges to the natives in India ; and we are not yet warranted in saying that the whole body of natives is prepared to receive and use our institutions so as firmly to grasp them and appropriate them . A final measure , therefore , we do . not hesitate to say , would be impossible at the present moment . On the other hand , the progress of the last twenty years is likely to advance in a
geometric ratio , and the next measure will probably prepare for a larger measure within a comparatively short term . For this reason , we perfectly concur with the closing request of the petition , that Parliament " will not rest content , but adjourn the final settlement of the plan of the Indian Government until all available information from trustworthy , competent , and disinterested sources , " has been laid before it ; and the petitioners—very reasonably , we think—venture to hope that Parliament " will limit the period of existence for any future Government of India to ten years , in order that the interests of so many millions of British subjects may be more frequently brought under its consideration . "
More Of The Kirwan Case. If Anything Cou...
MORE OF THE KIRWAN CASE . If anything could have added to our conviction of the correctness of the views which we entertained , and of the propriety of the course which we adopted , in reference to the Kirwan case , it would have been to witness the avidity with which the reports now current concerning the convict have been swallowed , and to note , in the savage delight with whicli supposed confirmations of the verdict are received , the best proof we could have asked that those who most loudly disagreed with , us in regard to this question were
still , in their consciences , aware that they had let feeling get the better of logic , and in their anxiety to do poetical justice , had been helping to introduce into a civilized country that rather barbarous institution called Lyncli Law . Of course , we do not expect that those who have differed with us so far will now or ever submit to odious epithets , " or confess in distinct terms that they have been mistaken ; we know that it will be a triumph to them to find Kirw an proved , what they havo pronounced him , a murderer ; but , at the same time , we are equally certain that such sentiments will not outlive the occasion which has called them forth , and that ,
whatever becomes of tho individual in whoso person the principles for which w e have contended have been accidentally involved , those principles themselves Avill not have been asserted in vain , and will not , even inlreland , and by Mr . Justice Crampton , ever again in our time bo either impugned or forgotten . But now , having done , for the present , at least , with Mr , Kirwan , wo have a word or two to say for ourselves , and some few observations to make with regard to the character oi' the controversy into which , in the interests of justice , and as one of tho many organs of public opinion , wehavo boon led . It will be in tho recollection of our readers that
the first article which we dedicated to an explanation of our views upon tho course which had boon adopted in this trial , was written a month since , immediately upon the receipt in London of tho intelligence that Kirwan had been . found guilty , and that the judge who fried him had held out no hopes of mercy . At that time thoro was no very decided opinion one way or the other as to the correctness of tho verdict ; and no particular demand , as far as we could see , for any editorial remarks upon tho question . We were perfectly freo , therefore , cither not to meddle with tho matter at all , or , had it seemed fit , to adopt , unhesitatingly tho decision agreed on by
tho jury , write an epitaph on Mrs . Kirwan , point a moral with the convict's tale , remind criminals in general that " murder will out , " and then sit down quietly with tho knowledge" that another man was shortly to be publicly strangled with tho view of showing our legislators' consciousness of tho sanctity of human life . But , it , so happened thatwo , who profess to bo iu > less fallible Uum other people , liad ourselves road tho report of this trial with a prejudice , resulting from tho enormity of tho charge against tho accused , and that we had yet , after the exorcise of a littlo rolleotion , boon that to oxoouto kiin—udulteror , aoducer
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 15, 1853, page 13, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_15011853/page/13/