Saturday, April 27, 2013

"The end of our rule in India"

John Chapman, author and an expert on cotton and commercial practices, makes these prophetic and pertinent observations in the year 1853. ( source)

l. That a handful of men from a distant land should rule, forever, 150,000,000 people, is not to be expected. What we shall be in India when our actual power ends, depends on the use we make of our term of empire, and that again on the view we take of our position.

2. We are not lords of India in any other than a present practical sense. We do not and cannot rule it by force. We cannot colonize it, nor ought we. Our chief vocation is that of teachers; to this we join for the present the functions of judges and leaders.

3. Hitherto while we have imparted to India much that is good, we have really taught the natives to be soldiers more rapidly and thorougly than we have taught them anything else; and if we do not change the proportion of the different parts of our teaching, we may justly expect to be expelled by the superior forces we ourselves have trained, before we have had time to infuse into the people so much of higher principles, and such a taste for other pursuits, as shall serve to mitigate the fanaticism of the military spirit.

4. As time elapses, India advances more or less from association with us, whether we will or no. That which lies to a great extent in our own power is the rate of advancement and the objects to which it shall be directed. If we are content with keeping India down, we shall be exp elled in the end as intruders, whatever advantage India may have derived incidentally from connection with us. But if we join heartily our interests with theirs, then the longer we are united the more nearly will they approach to our own views and participate in our progress, the more will they find themselves capable of appropriating and working with our own institutions, the more will they be drawn to see from us the further enlightenment which advancing intelligence can best appreciate, the surer and the more durable will be our sway, and the more confidently may we expect that a dominion begun in discord, violence, and too often in fraud, will end in a friendship of peoples to which policy can give no additional advantages, and treaties afford no additional strength.

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