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Christian England In India
by [?]

Lord Clive, having acquired an immense fortune, concluded to round out his political career by inaugurating a reform that would in some manner atone for his past excesses, and did succeed in giving India more than a Roman peace and abating some of the worst abuses; but the reform was ephemeral. In his essay on Warren Hastings, Lord Macaulay–who wonders that the conquest of India is “distasteful” reading to Englishmen–gives us the following pen-picture of conditions under the administration of his ideal:

“The delay and the expense, grievous as they are, form the smallest part of the evil which English law, imported without modifications into India, could not fail to produce. The strongest feelings of our nation, honor, religion, female modesty, rose up against the innovation. Arrest on mesne process was the first step in most civil proceedings; and to a native of rank arrest was not merely a restraint, but a foul personal indignity. That the apartments of a woman of quality should be entered by strange men, or that her face should be seen by them, are in the East intolerable outrages–outrages which are more dreaded than death, and which can be expiated only by the shedding of blood. To these outrages the most distinguished families of Bengal, Bahar and Orissa were now exposed. A reign of terror began–a reign of terror heightened by mystery. No man knew what was next to be expected from this strange tribunal. It had collected round itself an army of the worst part of the native population–informers, and false witnesses, and common barrators, and agents of chicane; and above all, a banditti of bailiffs’ followers compared with whom the retainers of the worst English spunging- houses, in the worst times, might be considered as upright and tender-hearted. There were instances in which men of the most venerable dignity, persecuted without cause by extortioners, died of rage and shame in the grip of the vile alguazils of Impey. The harems of noble Mohammedans– sanctuaries respected in the East by governments that respected nothing else–were burst open by gangs of bailiffs. The Mussulmans, braver and less accustomed to submission than the Hindoos, sometimes stood on their defense and shed their blood in the doorway, while defending, sword in hand, the sacred apartments of their women. No Mahratta invasion had ever spread through the province such dismay as this inroad of English lawyers. All the injustice of former oppressions, Asiatic and European, appeared as a blessing when compared with the justice of the Supreme Court.”

No wonder that “Christian England” is horrified by the atrocities of the Moslems in Armenia! She cannot understand persecution for the sake of religious opinion– having done her dirty work for the sake of the almighty dollar. It is true, that a Hastings, with his forged treaties and despoilment of ancient “bee-gums,” is no longer governor-general of India; it is true that an Impey no longer deals out “Justice” in that unhappy land; but the industrial condition of the toiling millions is worse to-day than when they were being despoiled to erect the Peacock throne at Delhi, adorned with its “Mountain of Light.” Sir David Wedderbun–who will be accepted as authority even by our Anglomaniacs–says: “Our civil courts are regarded as institutions for enabling the rich to grind the faces of the poor, and many are fain to seek a refuge from their jurisdiction in native territory.” “We do not care for the people of India,” writes Florence Nightingale; “the saddest sight to be seen in India–nay, probably in the world–is the peasant of our Eastern Empire.” Miss Nightingale declares that the Indian famines, which every few years cost millions of lives, are due to British taxation, which deprives the ryots of the means of cultivation and reduces them to a condition far worse than the worst phases of American slavery. Mr. H. M. Hyndman, an English writer of repute, declares that in India men and women cannot get food, because they cannot save money to buy it, so terrible are the burdens laid by Christian England on that unhappy people. Just as Ireland exported food to England during her most devastating “famines,” so does India send food to the “Mother Country” in the discharge of governmental burdens, while her own people are starving by millions. Henry George, who has never been suspected of anti-English tendencies, says: “The millions of India have bowed their necks beneath the yokes of many conquerors, but worst of all is the steady grinding weight of English domination–a weight which is literally crushing millions out of existence, and, as shown by English writers, is inevitably tending to a most frightful and widespread catastrophe.”

“Christian England” wouldn’t murder a Moslem because of his religion–she’s too good for that; but she starves millions to death to fill her purse, then tries to square herself with God and man by singing psalms and pointing the finger of scorn at the barbarities of Islam.