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WHEN the grievous rebellion which has cost so many lives, and has been attended with such afflicting incidents, is put down by the strong arm of power, we shall have to face one of the most difficult tasks that have ever devolved upon a nation or a government. We shall have, it has been justly observed, to take a part which will call upon us for great self-sacrifices, and for the exercise of the highest talent. It will devolve upon us to consider what is to be the future government of India. Is India to be governed hereafter as she has been governed to this time? or is she to be governed hereafter in a manner tending to the credit and security of England and to the civilisation and happiness of the Indian people ? Questions will arise in reference to this of the deepest importance. The first question will be-Is the extraordinary idea that a vast country like India can be governed by a company of merchants to be carried out; or is it a case in which the direct authority of the Crown of England ought to be exercised ? Twice has this double government been tried, and twice it has been found wanting. The next question will be-What is to be the mode of raising the revenues of India ? Are we to continue to raise the revenues by an oppressive land and salt tax, or from some other unworthy and immoral source, such as the sale of opium? A third and not an easy question will relate to the native army. Are we to abandon the native army? Are we to have a native army organised and recruited in a manner violating every dictate of common prudence and common sense, or an army organised on a different principle, so that it may be efficient, and so that we may regard it in England as an effec. tive force? There is the question of police or the preservation of public order, as well as of peace; and there is also the question of the assimilation of the two armies under the same queen; and lastly, there is another question, which is already deep in the minds of thinking Englishmen, and which is perhaps the most difficult of all. Hereafter, in India, is the flag of England to be prostituted to the support of the barbarous rites of Indian superstition? or are we to govern our Eastern empire in a way which, without violating the prejudices of a people, shall do honour to and uphold that Christian religion which we believe and know to be founded on divine truth?

It is impossible to enter upon the consideration of these important topics in the space of an ordinary article ; we must content ourselves with one, and shall begin with that upon which all others must depend, be the tenure of India military or civil, and the rule that of a small knot

a of gentlemen, or of her of whom it has been truly said, “In the sacred city of dynasty after dynasty, and in a solemn concourse of tribes and


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many religions, she reigns alone of earthly potentates, and, whatever her title, is the true Empress of Ind.” We mean the revenue.

It has been said that we are not of ourselves sufficiently powerful as a military nation to hold India without the aid of Sepoys. Those who have said so were not, we believe, acquainted with the Indian village system. We do not advocate a rule without auxiliaries, be they Indian, Arab, Caffre, or Abyssinian ; but we hold that, constituted as India is, á small body of European troops ruling upon the same system to a certain extent as was practised by the Moguls, might in the same way hold the country. There were many aboriginal tribes in Central or NorthWestern India before the Rajpoots came; such were the Coles or Bheels, first driven from the plains to the hills and forests by the Cheroos, from whom sprang that famous tribe called Bhur, which most undoubtedly occupied the country before the Rajpoots spread themselves over it. The Brahmin'and Rajpoot tribes, by force or fraud, drove away these earlier tribes. Sturdy chiefs, like Lot or Abraham of old, divided the land; the jungle disappeared, the swamp was reclaimed by the toil of the military colonists, and the works of cultivation and irrigation began. Each patriarch became himself the centre of a system, the founder of a patriarchal village community. These little village communities, in the words of Lord Metcalfe, are little republics, having nearly everything they want within themselves, and almost independent of foreign relations They seem to last when nothing else lasts. Dynasty after dynasty tumbles down; revolution succeeds to revolation ; Hindoo, Patan, Mogul, Mahratta, Sikh, and English, are all masters in turn, but the village communities collect their cattle within their walls and let the enemy pass unprovoked.

The powerful bave, in Hindostan as elsewhere, learned to assert as a right what they could maintain by might. Hence the origin of the king's claim to a share of the produce, and they collected this share according to a system adhered to in all times, the employment of the Chowdree, or head men, of each particular craft. Indian people can only be moved by the lever of one of their own immediate class ; and hence, from time immemorial, the revenue screw has been applied by the agency of the revenue payers. No system presents so great a facility to a conquering power to rule with the smallest number of armed men over a country. Patans and Moguls alike have been glad enough to avail themselves of a system so economical and so well suited to the genius of the country. Št. Lubin, in his " Politique des Mogols," quoted by Rouse in his “Dissertation concerning the Landed Property of Bengal," says “ that the Mogul conquerors carried into the countries that were conquered by them a system of policy which was dictated by necessity. Instead of seizing upon the lands of the conquered, they left them the possession thereof, keeping only the sword in their own hands; for the number of the conquerors was so disproportionate to that of the conquered, that if they had attempted to disperse themselves as cultivators in the provinces

, the separation of the members would have no longer left a compact body, and have entailed the loss of power.”

The reforms which Sher Shah attempted and the great Akbar accomplished, tended to perfect the existing system, not to change it. (Elphinstone's History of India," vol. ii. p. 239.) Even Timour the Tartar

ordained, that if the subjects of conquered countries were satisfied with the old and established taxes, those taxes should be confirmed. The Mogul emperors were not slow to aeknowledge the expertness of the Hindoos in the varied accounts which were required in the management of the land revenue. They lost their ascendancy by neglect of the same system. Aurungzebe made the fatal error of thrusting out the Hindoo officers from all posts of importance in the revenue service. Whilst he was thus wantonly destroying a system which his predecessors had so carefully matured, his rival, Sevajee, was deeply cementing the foundations of the Mahratta dynasty by a minute attention to the agricultural prosperity of his conquests. And so, whilst the power of the Mogul declined, the Mahrattas got bolder and stronger, until at last the Emperor of Delhi was a mere captive puppet in their hands.

It is not for us to enter here into the details of the Indian land revenue system as pursued by the Company, when Mr. Raikes, the excellent magistrate and colleetor of Mynpoorie, to whose work, “ Notes on the North-Western Provinces of India," we are largely indebted, tells us that it requires a great mind to grapple with and master its difficulties. Suffice it, that it was not till 1822, in the time of Warren Hastings, that property in the soil, as distinguished from interest in the mal, or revenue, was, for the first time, clearly recognised. This was the Magna Charta of the village communities. From its date commences a new era in the revenue history of India. The system was not, however, brought into operation till the time of Lord William Bentinck. With the aid of some of the best talent which the service could supply, a scheme was then completed, which, to the scope and liberality of Akbar's policy, added the exactness of European science. The work was carried out ably and zealously, and eight years saw every village in the NorthWestern Provinces measured, every field mapped.

The system was then to preserve a minute register, from year to year, of every right or interest conneeted with the land throughout each village of the country. The collector's records showed the demands, coldections, and balances on account of the government revenue for the last thirty years, and were invaluable as guidances for the remissions of the revenue when such were necessary, or for the resettlement of certain districts after their term had expired. In these records were entered the interest of every person whether the immediate engager with government, or whether merely a co-sharer in the lands of his village.

It is grievous to understand that the greater part of these valuable records have perished in the rebellion. The work will, indeed, have to be done over again, and that in an extent of country equal to 120,000 miles, and containing about 100,000 villages, is no slight undertaking. The village system, however, lends itself admirably to the accomplishment of such a work, and as greater experience and further insight into the principles of tenure have been gained in latter years than existed previously, many important reforms can be introduced into the new survey that will be required, which will thus be at once much superior than the last, and all the more productive to government.

A system like that which has hitherto prevailed in Central India, or the so-called North-Western Provinces, should indeed be adopted with the improvements demanded by time and experience wherever it is pos


sible, and nowhere should the agricultural communities be given over as they were in Bengal, tied hand and foot, to the Zemindars, who had no real and paramount rights, and no bowels for the people. Equally should they be released from the thraldom in which they have been held by revenue farmers and contractors, whether known as Rajahs or Talookdars. Of late years, before the rebellion, the best energies of the government have been directed to the improvement and consolidation of the revenue system. Compendious treatises, embracing not only the rules of revenue process but also the principles of revenue science, have been drawn up. Translations of these have been distributed. All candidates for government employ find the necessity of mastering the existing revenue code. There are, it is true, physical causes for failure, which no system can control. Such are seasons of drought in the Doab, of which famine and pestilence are the invariable sequence. This can only be met by physical improvements, and the Ganges Canal, forced upon an administration identified with revenue reforms, will, when completed, save the millions of the Doab from future sufferings. It is to be hoped, therefore, that it will, with the introduction of railways, be, when the rebellion is put down, one of those magnificent proofs of British enterprise which will take their place by the side of our grand general and comprehensive system of survey and settlement operations, and which shall ultimately supplant the thraldom of Rajah just as much as that of petty Talookdar or Zemindar.

Pointing to these monuments (says Mr. Raikes) of the energy, the skill, and the liberality of the British government in India, we shall be able confidently to boast that the mantle of Akbar has fallen on no unworthy successors. In Akbar's imperial city shall the fame of Akbar be eclipsed. It may, haply, belong to Agra to roll away the reproach which has been too long attached to the British name—the reproach of narrow commercial views and selfish policy. As the friends of India, above all, of the patient cultivators of the soil, the best wish we can offer them is, that Englishmen may fulfil their high destinies. Conquerors of all around, a noble strife is yet before us. A glorious battle is to be fought, not in tented field, not in the arena of ambition or self-aggrandisement. England's remaining combat must be, not only with the cunning, the ignorance, the superstition of her Eastern children, but with the pride, the sloth, the selfishness of her own sons. In such a warfare, conquering ourselves, we shall conquer all. Justice, mercy, and Christian charity-these must be the weapons which, steeling our own hearts, and softening the hearts of our opponents, shall surely bring us to victory.

This, however, is not to be done without an utter and entire change of system. The inevitably selfish interests of a company must, before jus, tice can be meted out universally to all alike, be superseded by an imperial sway. How has government been carried on up to the time of revolt ? We will go to the same authority for a view of the absurdity of things as they were :

An intelligent traveller from London or New York, arriving in Calcutta, and taking up the papers of the day in the hope of gleaning some information about the country and people, would probably find himself fairly puzzled. In one column he would read a sprightly article, in which the settled superiority of British rule over Indian anarchy was touched with the passing pen, as a matter of fact, open to no dispute, and requiring no confirmation. In the next page, however, if he did not meet with the direct converse of this proposition, he would probably be told plainly enough that the sway of the English in India was a mere pretence or a palpable failure. The more he read, the more his wonder would grow. “How comes it,” he might ask, “that an empire confessedly so magnificent, the envy and wonder of the world, a whole evidently so stupendous, is yet made up of parts, which, if the public prints are to be believed, are ill assorted, worse put together, and separately contemptible? If the government be feeble and partial, the courts venal, the police corrupt, if all the machinery of the state be out of order, and all its functions deranged, how comes this general confession, whether avowed or implied, of the depth, the supremacy, of British influence in the East ?” We might attempt to solve this question by asking another. Is the English public able to judge fully and impartially of the condition of the Indian people? India owes much to a free, and, on the whole, an enlightened press, which, by boldly recording facts, has drawn attention to long-established grievances or to incipient abuses; but in the nature of things the British press is better able to protect and define the rights of Englishmen than to decide that great and momentous question, the condition of the people of India. Yet the test by which government must be tried is this : Are our laws and institutions suited to the genius, happiness, and improvement of our subject millions ? Before this question, which we must answer one day to God and to man, other matters sink into comparative insignificance. We believe that the efforts of the government to suit their proceedings to the people have of late years been great ; but owing to the nature of our empire in the East, these efforts are but little known, and much misrepresented. The powers that be are the constant objects of attack here, as, indeed, in all free countries, or in all countries in which the press is unshackled. But in Europe and America, where party spirit reigns supreme, if one party attacks the government another defends it; and the state gains as much by his friends as it loses by its foes. Here it is all attack and no defence. Our Indian governors, conscious of material power

and full integrity of purpose, guide calmly and steadily the vessel of the state, and scorn to shorten sail to the puffs of calumny; with a degree of stoicism which we believe may be carried too far, they resent no injury, repel no insinuation, and invite no aid.

We have here the positive anticipation of what has come to pass—the gagging of an inimical press before an imminent and overwhelming danger. But although it might be utterly impossible for a government to carry the vessel of state safely through such a crisis so long as a treasonable native press existed, it is impossible not to feel how much there must be that is wrong in the face of the system, and how much there is that it is not desirable should see the light, if it was deemed necessary to take away the privilege also of the English press. It leaves an opening for such men as Mr. John Bruce Norton* to assert that such an attack

upon the press "is, in reality, intended to screen the cowardice and incapacity of the real authors of the revolution.” “ That it is not that the crisis necessitated the measure, but that the crisis has been seized as the fittest moment for striking a long meditated blow at the press, and gratifying a grudge of ancient standing."

Be this as it may, and let us even suppose that the real causes of the rebellion have been kept out of sight, we do not believe that “our wretched administration of a theoretical good system of government will be perpetuated ; opportunity will have been thrown aside. Our giant warning neglected, India will be handed over without a remonstrance to those who have most signally, most fearfully, proved themselves drivellers

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* The Rebellion in India . How to Prevent Another. By John Bruce Norton, Richardson Brothers.

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