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Modern India by William Eleroy Curtis

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peril; to teach them the blessings of peace and industry; to
avoid unnecessary interference with their tribal affairs; to
promote the construction of railways, highways and all facilities
of communication; to extend trade, introduce schools and mechanical
industries, and to control the traffic in arms and ammunition.
The commercial and the military policies are closely involved
and in a measure one is entirely dependent upon the other.

South of Afghanistan, and the westernmost territory under British
control, is Baluchistan, whose western boundary is Persia and the
Arabian Sea. It was formerly a confederation of semi-independent
nomadic tribes under the Khan of Kalat, with a population of about
a million souls, but twenty-six years ago, after the Afghan war of
1878, those tribes were taken under the protection of the Indian
government and Sir Robert Sanderman, a wise, tactful and energetic
man, assisted the native rulers to reorganize and administer
their affairs. During that period the condition of the country
has radically changed. British authority is now supreme, the
primitive conditions of the people have been greatly improved,
they have settled down almost universally in permanent towns
and villages, many of them are cultivating the soil, producing
valuable staples and improving their condition in every respect.
The country consists largely of barren mountains, deserts and
stony plains. Its climate is very severe. The summers are intensely
hot and the winters intensely cold. The wealth of the people is
chiefly in flocks and cattle, and they are now raising camels,
which is a profitable business. The chief exports are wool and
hides, which are all clear gain now that the cultivation of the
fields provides sufficient wheat, barley, millet, potatoes and
other vegetables to supply the wants of the people. Fruits grown
in the valleys are superior to anything produced in other parts
of Asia. The apples and peaches of Baluchistan are famous and
are considered great delicacies in the Indian market. There is
supposed to be considerable mineral in the mountains, although
they have never been explored. Iron, lead, coal, asbestos, oil
and salt have been found in abundance, and some silver.

The efforts of the government have been to direct the attention
of the people to mechanical industries rather than to mining,
because it is important to break them of their nomadic tendencies
and accustom them to permanent homes and regular employment.
They resemble the Bedouins of Arabia in many respects and prefer
to follow their flocks and herds over the mountains rather than
settle down in the towns. The men are hardy, brave, honest and
intelligent, but are desperate fighters and of cruel disposition;
the women resemble the Chinese more than the Arabs, and are bright,
active and ingenuous. The sense of humor is highly developed and
the laws of hospitality are similar to those of the Arabs.

Although the British agent in Baluchistan has autocratic powers
whenever he finds it necessary to exercise them, the Khan of
Kalat is allowed to govern the country in his own way, and to all
appearances is the independent authority. He is given a subsidy
of about $75,000 a year on his private account from the Indian
government, and his official income averages about 500,000 rupees
a year, which is equivalent to about $175,000. With this he pays
the expenses of his government and maintains a bodyguard of about
250 native cavalry. Only once has the British government found it
necessary to interfere in an arbitrary manner. On that occasion
Khudadad, the late ruling khan, murdered his prime minister in a
fit of passion, and upon investigation it was found that he had
put to death also without trial a number of innocent subjects. The
Viceroy of India permitted him to abdicate and gave him a generous
allowance, which was much better treatment than the villain was
entitled to. His son, Mir Mahmud, who succeeded him, turns out
to be an excellent ruler. He is intelligent, conscientious, and
has the welfare of his people at heart.

There is little of interest except the political question and
the peculiar appearance of the people up in that particular part
of India. It has been debatable ground as far back as the earliest
days of Aryan colonization. Although Peshawur is regarded as a
modern city, it is mentioned by the historians who wrote up the
campaigns of Alexander the Great, and if you will go up there
the guides will show you where he crossed the river. The city has
a population of about 80,000, of which three-fourths are Moslems.
They come from every part of Asia, and the streets and bazaars
swarm with quaint costumes and strange faces unlike any you have
ever seen before. And what strikes a traveler most forcibly is
their proud demeanor, their haughty bearing and the independent
spirit expressed by every glance and every gesture. They walk
like kings, these fierce, intolerant sons of the desert, and
their costumes, no matter how dirty and trail-worn they may be,
add to the dignity and manliness of their deportment.

They are so different, these haughty Mohammedans, from the
bare-legged, barefooted, cringing, crouching creatures you see
farther south. It would seem impossible for these men to stoop
for any purpose, but the Bengalese, the Hindustani and the rest
of the population of the southern provinces, do everything on
the ground. They never use chairs or benches, but always squat
upon the floor, and all their work is done upon the ground.
Carpenters have no benches, and if they plane a board they place
it upon the earth before them and hold it fast with their feet.
The blacksmith has his anvil on the floor; the goldsmith, the
tailor and even the printer use the floor for benches, and it
is the desk of the letter writer and the bookkeeper.

It looks queer to see a printer squatting before a case of type,
and even queerer to see a person writing a letter with a block
of paper spread out before him on the ground. But that is the
Hindu custom. You find it everywhere throughout India, just as
you will find everybody, men, women and children, carrying their
loads, no matter how light or how heavy, upon their heads. If an
errand boy is sent from a shop with a parcel he never touches it
with his hands, but invariably carries it on top of his turban.
One morning I counted seven young chaps with "shining morning
faces" on their way to school, everyone of them with his books
and slate upon his head. The masons' helpers, who are mostly
women, carry bricks and mortar upon their heads instead of in
hods on their shoulders, and it is remarkable what heavy loads
their spines will support. At the railway stations the luggage
and freight is carried the same way. The necks and backs of the
natives are developed at a very early age. If a porter can get
assistance to hoist it to the top of his head he will stagger
along under any burden all right. I have seen eight men under
a grand piano and two men under a big American roller top desk,
and in Calcutta, where one of the street railway companies was
extending its tracks, I saw the workmen carry the rails upon
their heads.



The regular army in India is maintained at an average strength
of 200,000 men. The actual number of names upon the pay rolls on
the 31st of December, 1904, was 203,114. This includes several
thousand non-fighting men, a signal corps, a number of officers
engaged in semi-civil or semi-military duties, those on staff
detail and those on leave of absence. The following is an exact


Cavalry, three regiments 2,101
Artillery, eighty-seven batteries 14,424
Infantry, forty-five battalions 42,151
Engineers, one battalion 204
------- 58,880


Cavalry, forty regiments 24,608
Artillery, fourteen batteries 6,235
Infantry, 126 battalions 108,849
Engineers, twenty-three battalions 3,925
------- 143,617
Officers on staff duty 617
Grand total 203,114

This regular and permanent military force is supplemented by
native armies in the various independent states, which are only
indirectly under the command of the commander-in-chief and are
not well organized, except in one or two of the provinces. There
is a reserve corps consisting of 22,233 men who have served in
the regular army and are now upon what we call the retired list.
They may be called out at any time their services are needed.
There is also a volunteer force numbering 29,500 men, including
cavalry, artillery, infantry and marines, many of them under the
command of retired officers of the regular army; and the employes
of several of the great railroad companies are organized into
military corps and drill frequently. There is also a military
police under the control of the executive authorities of the
several provinces, making altogether about 300,000 men capable of
being mobilized on short notice in any emergency, about one-third
of them being Englishmen and two-thirds natives.

In 1856, before the great mutiny, the British forces in India
consisted of less than 40,000 Europeans and more than 220,000
natives, besides about 30,000 contingents, as they were called,
maintained by the rulers of the native states and at their expense.
The greater part of the artillery was manned by native soldiers
under European officers. Three-fourths of the native soldiers
participated in the mutiny. The Madras forces in southern India
and the Sikhs in the Punjab were not only loyal but rendered
valuable services in suppressing the revolt. On the reorganization
of the army, after the mutiny was suppressed, it was decided that
there should never be more than two natives to one European in
the service; that the artillery should be manned by Europeans
exclusively, and that all the arsenals and supply stations should
be in their charge. Since the reorganization there has been an
average of 60,000 British and 120,000 native troops in India. All
the artillery has been manned by Europeans, the British troops
have been garrisoned at stations where they can render the most
prompt and efficient service, and all of the cantonments, as the
European camps are called, all the fortresses and arsenals, are
connected with each other and with Bombay and Calcutta by railway.
When the mutiny broke out in 1857 there were only about 400 miles
of railway in India, and it was a matter of great difficulty,
delay and expense to move troops any distance. To-day India has
nearly 28,000 miles of railway, which has all been planned and
constructed as a part of the national defense system. In 1857
it took between three and four months for a relief party to reach
Delhi from the seaboard. To-day ten times the force could be
sent there from any part of India within as many days.

Another vital error demonstrated by the mutiny was the former
plan of drawing soldiers from a single caste. They were all under
the same influence; all had the same interests and were governed
by the same prejudices, and could be easily united for the same
purpose. Now caste is not recognized in the army. Recruits are
drawn from every tribe and every caste, and men of different
races, religions and provinces are thrown together in the same
company and are not allowed to serve in the locality where they
were enlisted. Enlistments are entirely voluntary. The natives
are armed, equipped and clothed by the state, but provide their
own food, for which they receive a proper allowance. This is
necessary in order that they may regulate their own diet and
obey the laws of their caste. There are also what are called
"class company regiments," composed chiefly of men who are serving
second enlistments. That is, men of the same race and caste are
organized into separate companies, so that a regiment may have
two companies of Sikhs, two companies of Brahmins, two companies
of Rajputs, two companies of Mohammedans, two companies of Gurkhas
and companies of other tribes or religious sects which neutralize
each other and are inspired by active rivalry.

Race outbreaks and religious collisions very seldom occur in
India these days, but the hostility between the several sects
and races is very deep. The Mohammedan still dreams of the day
when his race shall recover control of the Indian Empire and turn
the Hindu temples into mosques. The Sikhs hate the Mohammedans as
well as the Hindus. None of the sects is without its prejudices.

The most efficient section of the native army is composed of the
Sikhs, the Gurkhas, who are enlisted in Nepaul, and the Pathans,
who come from the hill tribes in the far northwest. These are all
vigorous, hardy races, fearless, enduring and fond of military
service. It would be difficult to find in any country better
soldiers than they make, and their numerical strength in the Indian
army could be doubled without difficulty in case more soldiers
were needed.

All cities, towns and villages have regularly organized police
forces, consisting entirely of natives and numbering about 700,000.
In the larger cities and towns the chief officers are European,
and throughout the entire country the preference in making
appointments to this force is given to men who have served in
the regular army. About 170,000 officers and men have this
distinction and make very efficient police.

The supreme authority over the army in India is vested by law in
the viceroy and is exercised through a member of the council of
state, known as the secretary of military affairs, who corresponds
to our Secretary of War. The active command is in the person of
the commander-in-chief, who is also a member of the council of
state by virtue of his office. The present commander-in-chief
is Lord Kitchener, the hero of Khartoum and of the recent Boer
war. Lord Roberts was formerly in command of the Indian army.
He served in that country for thirty-eight years in various
capacities. He went as a youngster during the mutiny, was with
the party that relieved Delhi, and saw his first fighting and
got his "baptism of blood" upon the "ridge," which was the scene
of the fiercest struggle between the English rescuers and the
native mutineers. He has recently published a readable book giving
an account of his experience during thirty-eight years of military
service in India.

Lord Kitchener is assisted by four lieutenant generals, each
having command of one of the four military divisions into which
the empire is divided. The Calcutta division is under the command
of General Sir Alfred Gaseley, who led the combined international
forces to the relief of the besieged legations in Peking. There
is a general staff similar to that recently organized in the
United States army, which looks after the equipment, the feeding,
the clothing and the transportation of the army with an enormous
corps of clerks and subordinate officers.

The officers of the staff corps number 2,700, and are appointed
from the line of the native army upon the merit system. Many of
them were educated at the military colleges in England; many
others have seen service in the regular army of great Britain,
and have sought transfer because the pay is better and promotion
is more rapid in the Indian than in the British army. However,
before an officer is eligible for staff employment in India he
must serve at least one year with a British regiment and one year
with a native regiment, and must pass examinations in the native
languages and on professional subjects. This is an incentive to
study, of which many young officers take advantage, and in the
Indian army list are several pages of names of officers who have
submitted to examinations and have demonstrated their ability
to talk, read and write one or more of the native tongues. The
gossips say that during his voyage from London to Bombay two
years ago Lord Kitchener shut himself up in his stateroom and
spent his entire time refreshing his knowledge of Hindustani.

No officer is allowed a responsible command unless he can speak
the native language of the district in which he is serving, and,
as there are 118 different dialects spoken in india, some of
the older officers have to be familiar with several of them.
Such linguistic accomplishments are to the advantage of military
officers in various ways. They are not only necessary for their
transfer to staff duty, but insure more rapid promotion, greater
responsibilities and render them liable at any time to be called
upon for important service under the civil departments. Several
thousand officers are now occupying civil and diplomatic posts, and
are even performing judicial functions in the frontier provinces.

The armies of the native states look formidable on paper, but
most of them are simply for show, and are intended to gratify
the vanity of the Hindu princes who love to be surrounded by
guards and escorted by soldiers with banners. Some of the uniforms
of the native armies are as picturesque and artistic as those of
the papal guards at the Vatican, and on occasions of ceremony
they make a brave show, but with the exception of two or three of
the provinces, the native forces would be of very little value
in a war.

The military authorities of India are exceedingly proud of the
morale and the hygienic condition of their troops, and the records
of the judge advocates and medical departments show a remarkable
improvement in these respects, which is largely due to the scientific
construction of barracks, to the enforcement of discipline and
regulations framed to suit climatic conditions, a better knowledge
of the effect of food and drink and the close observance of the
laws of hygiene. The climate is very severe, particularly upon
Europeans, who must take care of themselves or suffer the
consequences. The death rate in all armies in time of peace should
be much lower than in the ordinary community, because recruits
are required to submit to physical examinations, and none but
able-bodied men are enlisted. The death rate in the army of the
United States before our soldiers were sent to the Philippines
was remarkably low, only three or four per 1,000 per year.

Some years ago in the army of India the mortality from disease
was as high as sixty-nine per 1,000, but by the introduction
of the reforms mentioned the rate had been reduced to nineteen
per 1,000 in 1880, and for the last ten years has been less than
sixteen per 1,000. According to the opinion of those best qualified
to know, this is largely due to the introduction of what are known
as Regimental Institutes, or Soldiers' Clubs, corresponding closely
to the canteens which were abolished in our army a few years ago,
but which are considered as important a part of the military
organization in India as a hospital or arsenal. After fifty years
of experience in India the British military authorities gave up
the attempt to prohibit drinking in the army. Lord Kitchener says:
"You might as well try to hasten the millennium." And for twenty
years they have been using various measures, some of which have
proved practicable and others impracticable, to promote temperance.
The result is an almost unanimous conclusion upon the part of
those who have given the subject study that the most effective
means of preventing intemperance and promoting discipline and
morals are the soldiers' institutes and clubs, in which liquor
is sold in small quantities under strict regulations enforced by
the enlisted men themselves. In other words, they have stopped
trying to prohibit drinking because they found it was impossible,
and are now trying to reduce it to the minimum. The placing of
the regulation of the liquor traffic very largely with the men
themselves, and removing the semblance of official interference of
authority, is said to be one of the most effective arrangements,
and the very fact that drinking is not forbidden and that liquor
can be obtained at any moment within a few steps of the barracks
is of itself a most wholesome influence, because it takes away
the desire, and all the spirit of adventure and risk. As long
as human nature is stubborn and contrary, men will do out of
pure mischief what they are told must not be done. These matters
have a deep interest for the viceroy, Lord Kitchener, the
commander-in-chief, and other prominent officials of the army
in India. Lord Kitchener takes an active part in the temperance
work and in the administration of the soldiers' institutes, and
has had an officer detailed to look after their arrangement and
management. Not long ago the viceroy traveled seven hundred miles
to deliver an address at an anniversary of the Army Temperance

Colonel De Barthe, secretary of military affairs in the cabinet
of the viceroy, to whom I was sent for information on this subject,
said: "The lives of the British soldiers in India are very tedious
and trying, especially during the hot summers, which, in the
greater part of the empire, last for several months. The climate
is enervating and is apt to reduce moral as well as physical
vitality. There are few diversions. The native quarters of the
large cities are dreadful places, especially for young foreigners.
I cannot conceive of worse, from both a sanitary and a moral point
of view. But they have a certain novelty; they are picturesque
and oftentimes attractive and entertaining to homesick soldiers,
who, as is natural, yield easily to temptations to dissipation.

"And the best remedy is to furnish counter attractions and give
the men resorts that are comfortable and attractive, where they
will not be subject to the restraint of authority or come in
contact with their officers too often. The government, as well
as philanthropic societies, is doing everything that it can to
provide such places, to protect the enlisted man as far as possible
from the temptations to which he is subjected, and to furnish
him a loafing place where he will feel at home, where he may do
as he likes to all reasonable limits, and where he can obtain a
moderate amount of pure liquor without feeling that he is violating
regulations and subjecting himself to punishment.

"We formerly had bars at which soldiers could buy pure liquor,
instead of the poisonous stuff that is sold them in the native
quartets of Indian cities, but we soon concluded that they defeated
their own purposes. Being situated at convenient locations, soldiers
would patronize them for the love of liquor, and induce others
to do the same for the sake of companionship. This promoted
intemperance, because the soldiers went to the bar only to drink,
and for no other reason. There were no reading-rooms or loafing
places or attractive surroundings, and they were not permitted
to remain at the bar after they had been served with one drink.

"Those bars have been abolished, and, under the present system, an
effort is being made to furnish homelike, attractive club-houses,
where the enlisted men may pass their leisure time in comfortable
chairs, with pleasant surroundings, games, newspapers, magazines,
books, writing materials and a well-filled library. We give them
a lunch-room and a bar which are much more attractive than any of
the native bazaars can offer. They are allowed to drink liquor on
the premises in moderation, and the regulations of the institute
are enforced by a committee of the men themselves, which appeals
to their honor, their pride and their love for their profession.
A drunken enlisted man is quite as much of a humiliation to his
comrades as a drunken officer would be to his associates, and
the men feel quite as much responsibility in restraining each
other and in preventing their comrades from getting into trouble
as their officers--perhaps more. To this spirit, this esprit de
corps, we appeal, and find after several years of experience
that the institutes promote temperance, health, discipline and
contentment among the men.

"The surgeons of the service will tell you, and their reports
contain the details, that the largest amount of disease and the
worst cases are due to contact with natives in the bazaars of the
cities near which our barracks are located. It is impossible to
keep the men out of them, and their visits can only be lessened
by furnishing counter attractions. The soldiers' institutes have
proved to be the strongest ever devised. Anyone who knows India
can tell instantly where soldiers' institutes have not been
established by examining the sick reports of the officers of the
medical corps.

"You cannot prevent men from drinking any more than you can prevent
them from swearing or indulging in any other vice," continued
Colonel De Barthe, "but you can diminish the amount of vice by
judicious measures, and that we believe is being done by our
institutes, with their libraries, reading-rooms, lunch-rooms,
cafes, amusement-rooms, bars, theaters for concerts, lectures
and amateur dramatic performances. The government does not put in
billiard tables or any other kind of games. We allow the men to
do that for themselves, and they pay for them out of the profits
of the bar. Nor do we furnish newspapers. We require the soldiers
to subscribe for themselves. There is a good reason for this
which should be obvious to everyone who has ever had experience
in such matters. We furnish the building, provide the furniture,
fuel, lights, fill the shelves of the library with excellent
standard books of history, travels, biography, fiction and
miscellaneous works, and have a way of shifting the books between
stations occasionally, so that the men will not always have the
same titles before their eyes. We furnish a piano for the amusement
hall, and all of the permanent fixtures of the place, but the
men are required to do their share, which gives them personal
interest in the institute, increases their responsibility and
takes away much of the official atmosphere. If we should provide
magazines and newspapers they would not be so well satisfied
with them. There would always be more or less grumbling and
criticism. Hence it is better for them to make their own choice. If
we should provide crockery and glassware for the refreshment-rooms
it would be more frequently broken. The same rule prevails in other
matters, and, what is still more important, we want to remove as
much of the official relation as possible. The management of
the institute is in the hands of soldiers, under the supervision
of officers, who simply act as checks or as inspectors to see
that things go straight.

"We encourage the men to organize singing clubs, amateur theatricals
and other entertainments in which they take a great interest
and considerable talent is sometimes developed. They have their
own committees looking after these things, which is a healthful
diversion; and the institute is the headquarters of all their
sporting organizations and committees. The officers of the barracks
never go there unless they are invited, but when the men give an
entertainment every officer and his family attend and furnish
as much assistance as possible."

Colonel De Barthe showed me the rules for the government of these
institutes, which may be found in paragraph 658 of the Army
Regulations for India, and begin with the words: "In order to
promote the comfort and provide for the rational amusement of
noncommissioned officers and men, to supply them with good articles
at reasonable prices and to organize and maintain the means for
indoor recreation, a regimental institute shall be provided," etc.
It is then provided that there shall be a library, reading-rooms,
games and recreation-rooms, a theater or entertainment hall, a
refreshment-room and a separate room for the use of and under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the Army Temperance Association.
The reading-room is to be furnished with a library and the
amusement-room with a piano; card playing is permitted in the
recreation-room, but not for money or other stakes of value;
the discussion of religious and political subjects within the
institute is forbidden, and religious exercises are not allowed
to be conducted in the building except in the room of the Army
Temperance Association.

Every noncommissioned officer and private is entitled to the
use of the institute except when excluded for profane or other
improper language, for intoxication or other misconduct, for
such time as the committee in charge shall deem advisable. The
management of the institute is entrusted to several committees of
non-commissioned officers and soldiers and an advisory committee
of three or more officers. These committees have control of all
supplies, receipts and expenditures, the preservation of order, the
enforcement of the rules, and are enjoined to make the institute
as attractive as possible. A committee of three, of whom the
chairman must be a sergeant, is authorized to purchase supplies;
an inventory of the stock must be taken once a month; there may
be a co-operative store if deemed advisable by the commanding
officer, at which groceries, provisions and general merchandise
may be sold to the men at cost price; liquor may be sold in a
separate room of limited dimensions, under the supervision of a
committee of which a sergeant is chairman, and that committee,
by assigning good reasons, has the power to forbid its sale to
any person for any length of time. No spirituous liquor except
rum can be kept or sold; that must be of the best quality and
no more than one dram may be sold to any person within the hour,
and only one quart of malt liquor. Beside these, aerated waters
and other "soft drinks" must be provided, with coffee, tea,
sandwiches and other refreshments as required. The profits of
the institute may be devoted to the library, reading-room and
recreation department, the purchase of gymnastic apparatus, etc.,
and articles for the soldiers' mess, and may be contributed to
the widows and orphans' fund, if so determined by the patrons
of the institution.

Those, in short, are the means used by the Indian government to
promote temperance and morality in its army, and everyone who has
experience and knowledge of the practical operation of such affairs
approves them. In addition to the institutes described, the Army
Temperance Association, which is entirely unofficial and composed
of benevolent people in private life, has established in several
of the large cities of India, where garrisons are stationed,
soldiers' clubs, which also prove very efficacious. They are
located in the bazaars and other parts of the cities frequented
by soldiers and where the most mischief is usually done. They are
clubs pure and simple, with reading and writing-rooms, games,
music, restaurants, billiard-rooms and bars at which rum, beer,
ale and other liquors are sold. There is also a devotional-room,
in which religious meetings are held at stated times. These clubs
are managed by private individuals in connection with committees
of noncommissioned officers and enlisted men, and several of them
represent investments of $15,000 and $20,000. In some cases a
small membership fee is charged. They have proved very effective
in catching human driftwood, and provide a place where men who
are tempted may have another chance to escape the consequences.
They are conducted upon a very liberal plan, and after pay day
soldiers who start out for a debauch, as so many regularly do,
are accustomed to leave their money and valuables with the person
in charge before plunging into the sinks of vice, where so many
men find pleasure and diversion.



On the way back from the frontier are plenty of delightful places
at which the journey may be broken. You can have another glimpse
of the most beautiful building in the world at Agra, and can take
a day's excursion to Muttra, one of the seven sacred cities of
India, the birthplace of Krishna, second in rank and popularity
of the Hindu gods. The trains are conveniently arranged; they
take you over from Agra in the morning and bring you back at
night, which is well, because there is no hotel at Muttra, only
what they call a dak bungalow, or lodging-house, provided by
the municipal authorities for the shelter of travelers who have
no friends to put them up. These dak bungalows are quite common
in India, for comparatively few of the towns have hotels that
a European or American would care to patronize. In Japan the
native hotels are miracles of neatness and sweetness. In India,
and the rest of Asia, they are, as far as possible, the reverse.
I suppose it would be possible for a white man to survive a day or
two in a native hotel, but the experience would not be classified
as pleasure. Several of the native princes have provided dak
bungalows for public convenience and comfort, and one or two are
so hospitable as to furnish strangers food as well as lodging
free of cost. The maharajas of Baroda, Jeypore, Bhartpur, Gwalior
and several other provinces obey the scriptural injunction and
have many times entertained angels unawares.

It is an ancient custom for the head of the state or the municipal
authorities or the commercial organizations or the priests to
provide free lodgings for pilgrims and strangers; indeed, there
are comparatively few hotels at which natives are required to pay
bills. When a Hindu arrives in a strange town he goes directly to
the temple of his religion and the priest directs him to a place
where he can stop. It is the development of ancient patriarchal
hospitality, and the dak bungalow, which is provided for European
travelers in all hotelless towns and cities, is simply a refinement
of the custom. There are usually charges, but they are comparatively
small. You are expected to furnish your own bedding, towels,
etc., and there are no wire spring mattresses. Sometimes iron
cots are provided and often bunks are built in the wall. If there
are none all you have to do is to wrap the drapery of your couch
around you and select a soft place on the floor. A floor does
not fit my bones as well as formerly, but it is an improvement
upon standing or sitting up. Usually the dak bungalows are clean.
Occasionally they are not. This depends upon the character and
industry of the person employed to attend them. The charges are
intended to cover the expense of care and maintenance, and are
therefore very moderate, and everybody is treated alike.

After a long, dusty drive in the suburbs of Delhi one day I crept
into the grateful shade of a dak bungalow, found a comfortable
chair and called for some soda to wash down the dust and biscuits
to hold my appetite down until dinner time. I was sipping the
cool drink, nibbling the biscuits and enjoying the breeze that
was blowing through the room, when the attendant handed me a
board about as big as a shingle with a hole drilled through the
upper end so that it could be hung on a wall. Upon the board
was pasted a notice printed in four languages, English, German,
French and Hindustani, giving the regulations of the place, and
the white-robed khitmatgar pointed his long brown finger to a
paragraph that applied to my case. I paid him 10 cents for an
hour's rest under the roof. It was a satisfaction to do so. The
place was clean and neat and in every way inviting.

At many of the railway stations beds are provided by the firm of
caterers who have a contract for running the refreshment-rooms.
Most of the stations are neat and comfortable, and you can always
find a place to spread your bedding and lie down. There is a
big room for women and a big room for men. Sometimes cots are
provided, but usually only hard benches around the walls. There
are always washrooms and bathrooms adjoining, which, of course,
are a great satisfaction in that hot and perspiring land. The
restaurants at the railway stations are usually good, and are
managed by a famous caterer in Calcutta, but the men who run
the trains don't always give you time enough to eat.

On the passenger trains, ice, soda water, ginger ale, beer and
other soft drinks are carried by an agent of the eating-house
contractor, who furnishes them for 8 cents a bottle, and it pays
him to do so, for an enormous quantity is consumed during the
hot weather. The dust is almost intolerable and you cannot drink
the local water without boiling and filtering it. The germs of
all kinds of diseases are floating around in it at the rate of
7,000,000 to a spoonful. A young lady who went over on the ship
with us didn't believe in any such nonsense and wasn't afraid
of germs. She drank the local water in the tanks on the railway
cars and wherever else she found it, and the last we heard of
her she was in a hospital at Benares with a serious case of


Mark Twain says that there is no danger from germs in the sacred
water of the Ganges, because it is so filthy that no decent microbe
will live in it; and that just about describes the situation.
It is a miracle that the deaths are so few. Millions of people
fill their stomachs from that filthy stream day after day because
the water washes away their sins, and I do not suppose there
is a dirtier river in all the universe, nor one that contains
more contagion and filth. It receives the sewage of several of
the largest cities of India. Dead bodies of human beings as well
as animals can be seen floating daily. From one end of it to
the other are burning ghats where the bodies of the dead are
soaked in it before they are placed upon the funeral pyres, and
when the bones and flesh are consumed the ashes are cast upon
the sacred stream. But the natives observe no sanitary laws,
and the filth in which they live and move and have their being
is simply appalling.

But I started out to tell you about Muttra, which is a very ancient
place. It is mentioned by Pliny, the Latin historian, Ptolemy, the
Egyptian geographer, and other writers previous to the Christian
era, and is associated with the earliest Aryan migrations. Here
Krishna, the divine herdsman, was born. He spent his childhood
tending cattle in the village of Gokul, where are the ruins of
several ancient temples erected in his honor, but, although he
seems to have retained his hold upon the people, they have allowed
them to crumble, and the profuse adornments of the walls and
columns have been shamefully defaced. At one time it is said
there were twenty great monasteries at that place, with several
hundred monks, yet nothing is left of them but piles of stone and
rubbish. All have been destroyed in successive wars, for Muttra
has been the scene of horrible atrocities by the Mohammedans who
have overrun the country during several invasions. Therefore most
of the temples are modern, and they are too many to count. There is
a succession of them on the banks of the river the whole length
of the city, interspersed with hospices for the entertainment of
pilgrims, and palaces of rich Hindus, who go there occasionally
to wash away their sins, just as the high livers of London go
to Homburg and Carlsbad to restore their digestions. One of the
palaces connected with the temple, built of fine white stone in
modern style, belongs to Lakshman Das, a Hindu who the guide
told us is the richest man in India. The many merchants of Muttra
all seem prosperous. The city is visited by hundreds of thousands
of pilgrims every year, all of whom bring in more or less money,
and the houses and shops are of a more permanent and imposing
order of architecture than those of Delhi, Agra and other places.
It has the appearance of being a rich community.

The shade trees along the streets swarm with monkeys and parrots,
which are sacred, and when you go there you mustn't jump if a
grinning monkey drops down upon your shoulders in a most casual
manner and chatters in your ear. The animals are very tame. They
are fed by the pilgrims, who gain great merit with the gods thereby,
and the river is filled with sacred turtles, which are also objects
of great interest and devotion.

Only two towns in India are more sacred than Muttra. One is Benares
and the other is Jagernath, or Juggernaut, which is about 150
miles south of Calcutta on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. There
is the great idol which we have all heard about from the
missionaries, and, I regret to say, some have been guilty of a
good deal of misrepresentation and exaggeration. When I was a
boy I read in Sunday-school books the most heart-tearing tales
about the poor heathen, who cast themselves down before the car of
Juggernaut and were crushed to lifeless pulp under its monstrous
wheels. This story has been told thousands of times to millions
of horrified listeners, but an inquiry into the facts does not
confirm it. It is true that on certain holy days the great image
of Juggernaut, or Jagernath, whichever way you choose to spell
it, and it weighs many tons, is placed upon a car and the car is
drawn through the crowded streets by thousands of pilgrims, who
cast flowers, rice, wheat, palm leaves, bamboo wisps, sweetmeats
and other offerings in its way. Occasionally in the throng that
presses around the image some one is thrown down and has the
life trampled out of him; on several occasions people have been
caught by the wheels or the frame of the car and crushed, and
at rare intervals some hysterical worshiper has fallen in a fit
of epilepsy or exhaustion and been run over, but the official
records, which began in 1818, show only nine such occurrences
during the last eighty-six years.

I have great respect for missionaries, but I wish some of them
would be more charitable in disposition, a little more accurate
in statement, and not print so much trash. In Muttra you have a
good illustration of their usefulness. The American Methodists
commenced work there in 1887. No educational or evangelical work
had ever been attempted previous to that time, but the men and
women who came were wise, tactful and industrious, and the result
may be seen in a dozen or more schools, with several thousand
pupils, a flourishing, self-supporting church, a medical mission,
a deaconesses' home and training school, a printing establishment
and bookshop which is self-supporting and a large number of earnest,
intelligent converts. Wherever you go in heathen lands you will
find that wisdom, judgment, tact and ability, when applied in
any direction, always show good results, but all missionaries,
I regret to say, are not endowed with those qualities or with
what Rev. Dr. Hepburn of Japan calls "sanctified common sense,"
and the consequences are sometimes deplorable.

"By their works ye shall know them."

At Aligarh, a town of 50,000 inhabitants on the railway between
Agra and Delhi, is a very rare and indeed a unique institution--a
Moslem university and printing press--the only ones in India, and
the only ones in the world established and conducted on modern
lines. The university is modeled upon the English plan. It has an
English president and dean and several English professors, all
of them graduates of the University of Cambridge. The preparatory
school has an English head master and assistant, and in the faculty
is a professor of physical culture, who has brought manly sports
among the students to a standard unequaled elsewhere in India.
The Aligarh University has the best football team and the best
cricket team in the empire.

This remarkable institution was founded in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmed
Khan, a Mohammedan lawyer and judge on the civil bench, for the
education of his co-religionists in order that they may take
places in the world beside the graduates of English and European
universities and exercise a similar influence. He recognized
that the Moslem population of India must degenerate unless it
was educated; that it could not keep pace with the rest of the
world. He was shocked at the ignorance and the bigotry of his
fellow Mohammedans and at their stubborn conservatism. He was
a sincere believer in his own religion, and insisted that the
faith of Islam, properly understood, was as much in the interest
of truth and progress in every branch of human knowledge and
activity as the Christian religion, and he devoted his entire
fortune and collected contributions from rich Mohammedans for
the establishment of a school that should be entirely up-to-date
and yet teach the Koran and the ancient traditions of Islam. There
are now about 500 students, who come from the most important
families in India. They live together in dormitories built about
the college, dine in the same refectory and enjoy a healthy,
active college life. Foreign and Christian professors fill the
chairs of science, mathematics and languages, while able mullahs
give instruction in the Koran and direct the students in the
daily exercise of the Mohammedan rites.

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan met with bitter opposition and animosity
from the conservative element of his faith, and while some of
his opponents admitted the purity and nobility of his motive,
he was often accused of apostasy, but his noble life was spared
until March, 1898, and he was permitted to see his institution
enjoying great popularity and usefulness. There is at present a
movement among the Mohammedans of India for the higher education
of the members of that sect. It is the fruit of his labors and
the men who are leading it are graduates of the Aligarh College.

Lucknow and Cawnpore are usually neglected by American travelers,
but are sacred objects of pilgrimage to all Englishmen because
of their terrible memories of the awful struggles of the mutiny
of the sepoys, or native soldiers, in 1857, and their heroic
defense and heroic relief by a handful of British troops under
Sir Henry Havelock, General James Outram and Sir Colin Campbell.
Although more has been written about Lucknow, yet the tragedy
of Cawnpore is to me the more thrilling in several particulars,
and that city was the scene of the greater agony.

Upon the shores of the Ganges River is a pretty park of sixty
acres, in the center of which rises a mound. That mound covers
the site of a well in which the bodies of 250 of the victims of
the massacre were cast. It is inclosed by a Gothic wall, and in
the center stands a beautiful figure of an angel in white marble
by an Italian artist. Her arms are crossed upon her breast and in
each hand she holds a palm branch. The archway is inscribed:

"These are They which Came
Out of Great Tribulation."

Chiseled in the wall that marks the circle of the well are these

"Sacred to the Perpetual Memory of a great Company of Christian
people, chiefly Women and Children, who near this Spot were cruelly
Murdered by the Followers of the Rebel Nana Dhundu Panth of Bithur,
and cast, the Dying with the Dead, into the Well below on the
XVth day of July, MDCCCLVII."

The story of Cawnpore has no parallel in history. It might have
been repeated at Peking two or three years ago, for the conditions
existed there. In the summer of 1857 sixty-one English artillerymen
and about 3,000 sepoys were attached to the garrison at that place,
where about 800 foreigners resided. Upon the 6th of June the native
troops rose in mutiny, sacked the paymaster's office and burned
several of the public buildings. The frightened foreigners fled
into one of the larger buildings of the government, where they
hastily threw up fortifications and resisted a siege for three
weeks. Their position having become untenable, they arranged
terms of capitulation with Nana Sahib, the leader of the mutiny,
who had been refused the throne and the allowance paid by the
British government to the late maharaja, although the latter
had adopted him in legal form and had proclaimed him his heir.
This was one of the principal reasons for the mutiny, and without
considering the question of justice or injustice, Nana Sahib
satiated his desire for vengeance under the most atrocious
circumstances. Having accepted the surrender of the little garrison
upon his personal assurances of their security and safe conduct
to Allahabad, he placed the survivors, about 700 in number, in
boats upon the Ganges River and bade them good-by. As soon as
the last man was on board and the word was given to start down
the stream, the blast of a bugle was heard. At that signal the
crews of the boats leaped into the water, leaving the passengers
without oars, and immediately the straw roofs of the boats burst
into flames and showers of bullets were fired from lines of infantry
drawn up on the banks. Most of those who jumped into the water
to escape the flames were shot down by the bullets. And many
who escaped both and endeavored to reach the shore were sabered
by cavalrymen who awaited them. One boat load escaped.

The survivors of this incident, about 200 in number, were led
back into the city, past their old homes, now in smoldering ruins,
and were locked up in two rooms twenty feet long and ten feet
wide. They had no beds, no furniture, no blankets, not even straw
to lie upon. They were given one meal a day of coarse bread and
water, and after suffering untold agonies for fifteen days were
called out in squads and hacked to pieces by the ruffians of
Nana's guard. Their bodies were cast into the well, which was
afterward filled with earth and has since been the center of
a memorial park.

The siege of Lucknow was somewhat different. When the mutiny
broke out Sir Henry Lawrence, the governor, concentrated his
small force of British soldiers, with eleven women and seven
children, in his residency, which stood in the center of a park
of sixty acres. It was a pretentious stone building, with a superb
portico and massive walls, and protected by deep verandas of
stone. Anticipating trouble, he had collected provisions and
ammunition and was quite well prepared for a siege, although
the little force around him was attacked by more than 30,000
merciless, bloodthirsty fanatics. The situation was very much
as it was at Peking, only worse, and the terrific fire that was
kept up by the sepoys may be judged by the battered stump of an
old tree which still stands before the ruins of the residency.
Although about three feet in diameter, it was actually cut down
by bullets.

On the second day of the siege, while Sir Henry Lawrence was
instructing Captain Wilson, one of his aids, as to the distribution
of rations, a shell entered his apartment, exploded at his side and
gave him a mortal wound. With perfect coolness and calm fortitude
he appointed Major Banks his successor, instructed him in details
as to the conduct of the defense, exhorted the soldiers of the
garrison to their duty, pledged them never to treat with the
rebels, and under no circumstances to surrender. He gave orders
that he should be buried "without any fuss, like a British soldier,"
and that the only epitaph upon his tombstone should be:

"Here lies Henry Lawrence, Who Tried to do his Duty; May God have
Mercy upon his soul."

He died upon the Fourth of July. Upon the 16th Major Banks, his
successor in command, was killed and the authority devolved upon
Captain Inglis, whose widow, the last survivor of the siege,
died in London Feb. 4, 1904. The deaths averaged from fifteen to
twenty daily, and most of the people were killed by an African
sharpshooter who occupied a commanding post upon the roof of a
neighboring house and fired through the windows of the residency
without ever missing his victim. The soldiers called him "Bob the
Nailer." The latter part of August he was finally killed, but
not until after he had shot dozens of men, women and children
among the besieged. In order to protect themselves from his shots
and those from other directions the windows of the residency
were barricaded, which shut out all the air and ventilation,
and the heat became almost intolerable. A plague of flies set
in which was so terrible that the nervous women and children
frequently became frantic and hysterical.

On the 5th of September a faithful native brought the first news
that a relieving force under Sir Henry Havelock and General James
Outram was nearing Lucknow. On the 25th Havelock fought his way
through the streets of the city, which were packed with armed
rebels, and on the 26th succeeded in reaching the residency. But,
although the relief was welcome, and the sufferings of the besieged
were for the moment forgotten, it was considered impracticable
to attempt an evacuation because the whole party would have been
massacred if they had left the walls. A young Irish clerk in
the civil service, named James Kavanagh, undertook to carry a
message to Sir Colin Campbell and succeeded in passing through
the lines of the enemy. On the 16th of November Campbell fought
his way through the streets with 3,500 men, and the relief of
Lucknow was finally effected.

A few days later Sir Henry Havelock, the hero of the first relief,
died from an attack of dysentery from which he had long been
suffering, and his body was buried under a wide-spreading tree in
the park. The tomb of Havelock is a sacred spot to all soldiers.
A lofty obelisk marks the resting place of one of the noblest
of men and one of the bravest and ablest of soldiers.

The residency is naturally a great object of interest, but the
cemetery, gay with flowers and feathery bamboos, is equally so,
because there lies the dust of 2,000 men and women who perished
within the residency, in the attempts at relief and in other
battles and massacres in that neighborhood during the mutiny.

Nana Sahib, who was guilty of these awful atrocities, was never
punished. In the confusion and the excitement of the fighting
he managed to make his escape, and mysteriously disappeared. It
is now known that he took refuge in the province of Nepal, where
he was given an asylum by the maharaja, and remained secretly
under his protection, living in luxury for several years until
his death. It is generally believed that the British authorities
knew, or at least suspected, his whereabouts, but considered it
wiser to ignore the fact rather than excite a controversy and
perhaps a war with a powerful native province.

There is little of general interest in Cawnpore. Lucknow, however,
is one of the most prosperous and busy towns in India. The people
are wealthy and enterprising. It has probably more rich natives
than any other city of India except Bombay, and their houses are
costly and extravagant, but in very bad architectural taste.
Millions of dollars have been spent in tawdry decorations and
ugly walls, but they are partially redeemed by beautiful parks
and gardens. Lucknow has the reputation of being the home of
the Mohammedan aristocracy in India, and a large number of its
wealthiest and most influential citizens belong to that faith.
Their cathedral mosque is one of the finest in the country. The
imambra connected with it is a unique structure and contains
the largest room in the world without columns, being 162 feet
long by 54 feet wide, and 53 feet high. It was built in 1784,
the year of the great famine, in order to give labor and wages
to a hungry people, and is one solid mass of concrete of simple
form and still simpler construction.

The architect first made a mold or centering of timber, bricks
and earth, which was covered with several layers of rubble and
coarse concrete several feet in thickness. After it had been
allowed a year or two to set and dry, the mold or centering was
removed, and this immense structure, whose exterior dimensions
are 263 by 145 feet, stood as solid as a rock, a single piece
of cement literally cast in a mold, and, although it has been
standing 125 years, it shows no signs of decay or deterioration.
The word imambra signifies "the patriarch's palace." The big room
is used for the celebration of the Moslem feast of Mohurram,
which commemorates the martyrdom of the sons of Ali, the immediate
descendants of Mahomet.

The royal palaces of Lucknow, formerly occupied by the native
kings, are considered the worst architecture of India, although
they represent the expenditure of millions of dollars. But the
hotels are the best in all the empire, except the new one of
which I have spoken in Bombay. For this reason and because it is
a beautiful city, travelers find it to their comfort and advantage
to stop there for several days longer than they would stay elsewhere,
and enjoy driving about the country visiting the different parks
and gardens.

One of the most novel excursions in India may be made to the
headquarters of the commissariat department of the army, about
three miles out of town, where a herd of elephants is used for
heavy lifting and transportation purposes. The intelligence,
patience and skill of the great beasts are extraordinary. They
are fed on "chow patties," a mixture of hay, grains and other
forage, and are allowed a certain number for each meal. Each
elephant always counts his as soon as they are delivered to him,
and if spectators are present the guardkeepers frequently give
them a short allowance, whereupon they make a terrible fuss until
they get what they are entitled to.

There are some quaint customs among the farmers in that part
of the country. The evil eye is as common and as much dreaded
as in Italy, and people who are suspected of that misfortune
are frequently murdered by unknown hands to rid the community
of a common peril and nuisance.

Good and bad omens occur hourly; superstitions are as prevalent
as in Spain. If a boy be born, for example, a net is hung over
the doorway and a fire is lighted upon the threshold to prevent
evil spirits from entering the house.


The commencement of the farming season is celebrated with ceremonies.
The first furrow in the village is plowed by a committee of farmers
from the neighborhood. The plow is first worshiped and decorated.
The bullock or camel which draws it is covered with garlands of
flowers, bright-colored pieces of cloth and rosettes of ribbon
are braided into its tail and hung upon its horns. Behind the
plow follows "the sower," who is also decorated with flowers
and ornaments, has a red mark upon his forehead and his eyelids
colored with lampblack. He drops seed into the furrow. Behind
him comes a second man, who carefully picks up every grain that
has fallen outside of the furrow. When the furrow is finished
the farmers assemble at some house in the neighborhood and have
a dinner of simple food. There are similar ceremonies connected
with the harvest. Some of them are said to be inherited from
their ancient Aryan ancestors; others are borrowed from the Arabs,
Persians and Chinese.



Everybody who keeps in touch with the slowly changing social
conditions in India is convinced that the caste, the most important
fetich of the Hindus, is gradually losing its hold, particularly
upon the upper classes, because they cannot adjust it to the
requirements of modern civilization and to the foreign customs
they imitate and value so highly. Very high authorities have
predicted in my hearing that caste will be practically obsolete
within the next fifty years, and entirely disappear before the end
of the century, provided the missionaries and other reformers will
let it alone and not keep it alive by controversy. It is a sacred
fetich, and when it is attacked the loyal Hindu is compelled to
defend and justify it, no matter what his private opinion of
its practicability and advantages may be, but, if foreigners will
ignore it, the progressive, cultured Hindus will themselves discard
it. The influences of travel, official and commercial relations,
and social intercourse with foreigners, personal ambition for
preferment in the military and the civil service, the adoption
of modern customs and other agencies are at work undermining the
institution, and when a Hindu finds that its laws interfere with
his comfort or convenience, he is very certain to ignore them.
The experience of the Maharaja of Jeypore, told in a previous
chapter, is not unusual. His case is only one of thousands, for
nearly every native prince and wealthy Hindu has broken caste
again and again without suffering the slightest disadvantage,
which has naturally made them indifferent.

Travelers see very little of this peculiar institution, and it
is so complicated that they cannot comprehend it without months
of study. They notice that half the men they meet on the streets
have odd looking signs upon their foreheads. Ryas, our bearer,
calls them "god marks," but they are entirely artificial, and
indicate the particular deity which the wearer is in the habit
of worshiping, as well as the caste to which he belongs. A white
triangle means Krishna, and a red circle means Siva--the two
greatest gods--or vice versa, I have forgotten which, and Hindus
who are inclined to let their light shine before men spread on
these symbols with great care and regularity. At every temple,
every market place, at the places where Hindus go to bathe, at the
railway stations, public buildings, in the bazaars, and wherever
else multitudes are accustomed to gather, you will find Brahmins
squatting on a piece of matting behind trays covered with little
bowls filled with different colored ochers and other paints.
These men know the distinctive marks of all the castes, and for
small fees paint the proper signs upon the foreheads of their
patrons, who wear them with great pride. You frequently see them
upon children also; and on holidays and religious anniversaries,
when the people come out for pleasure, or during special ceremonials
at their temples, nearly everybody wears a "god mark," just as he
would wear a badge denoting his regiment and corps at a Grand
Army reunion.

The more you study the question of caste the more confusing it
becomes, but it is interesting and important because it is the
peculiar institution of India and is not found in any other country
in the world. The number of castes is almost infinite. The
200,000,000 or more Hindus in this empire are divided into a vast
number of independent, well-organized and unchangeable groups,
which are separated by wide differences, who cannot eat together or
drink from the same vessel or sit at the same table or intermarry.
There have been, and still are, eminent and learned philosophers
and social scientists who admire caste as one of the highest
agencies of social perfection, and they argue that it alone has
prevented the people of India from relapsing into barbarism, but
foreigners in general and Christian missionaries in particular
take a very different view, and many thoughtful and patriotic
Hindus publicly declare that it is the real and only cause of
the wretched condition of their people and the greatest obstacle
to their progress. Mr. Shoshee Chunder Dutt, a very learned Hindu
and author of a standard book entitled "India, Past and Present,"
declares that "civilization has been brought to a standstill by
its mischievous restrictions, and there is no hope of its being
remedied until those restrictions are removed."

It is curious to learn that the word "caste" is not Hindu at
all, but Portuguese, and that instead of being an ancient feature
of the Hindu religion, it is comparatively a modern idea.

The first form of religion in India was the worship of nature,
and the chief gods of the people were the sun, fire, water and
other natural phenomena, which were interpreted to the ignorant
masses by priests, who gradually developed what is now called
Brahminism, and, in the course of time, for social reasons, divided
the people into four classes: First, the Brahmins, which include the
priestly, the literary and the ruling portions of the population;
second, the Kshatryas, or warriors, who were like the knighthoods
of Europe in the middle ages; then the Vaisyas, or landowners,
the farming population, and those engaged in mercantile and
manufacturing industries; and finally the Sudras, or servants
who attended the other castes, toiled in the fields and did the
heavy labor of the community.

Gradually these grand divisions became divided into sections
or social groups. Trades, professions, tribes and clans, and
particularly those who worshiped the same god, naturally drifted
together and were watchful of their mutual interests. As there
are as many gods in the Hindu pantheon as there are inhabitants of
India, these religious associations are very numerous. Occupation
is not a sign of caste. Every caste, and particularly the Brahmins,
have members in every possible occupation. Nearly every cook
in India is a Brahmin, which is a matter of almost imperative
necessity, because no man can partake of food cooked or even
touched by persons of lower caste. The Brahmins are also more
numerous than any other caste. According to the recent census
they number 14,888,000, adult men only being counted. The soldier
caste numbers more than 10,000,000, the farmer caste and the
leather workers have nearly as many. Nearly 20 per cent of the
population of India is included in those four castes, and there
are forty or fifty sub-castes, each having more than 1,000,000

There are more than 1,800 groups of Brahmins, who have become so
numerous and so influential that they are found everywhere. The
number in the public service is very large, representing about
35 per cent of the entire mass of employes of the government in
every capacity and station, and they have the largest proportion
of educated men. It is a popular delusion that every Brahmin is a
priest, when the fact is that they are so numerous that not more
than a small percentage is employed in religious functions. But
for more than 2,000 years they have maintained their superiority
unchallenged. This is not only due to their pretensions, but
to their intellectual force. They have been the priests, the
writers, the rulers, the legislators of all India, because of
their force of character and mental attainments, and will always
preserve their supremacy through the same forces that enabled
them to acquire it.

The laws of caste, as explained by Mr. Shoshee Chunder Dutt, the
Hindu writer referred to above, provide:

1. That individuals cannot be married who do not belong to the
same caste.

2. That a man may not sit down to eat with another who is not
of his own caste.

3. That his meals must be cooked either by persons of his own
caste or a Brahmin.

4. That no man of an inferior caste is to touch his cooked rations,
or the dishes in which they are served, or even to enter his
cook room.

5. That no water or other liquid contaminated by the touch of
a man of inferior caste can be made use of--rivers, tanks and
other large sheets of water being, however, held to be incapable
of defilement.

6. That articles of dry food, excepting rice, wheat, etc., do not
become impure by passing through the hands of a man of inferior
caste so long as they remain dry, but cannot be taken if they
get wet or greased.

7. That certain prohibited articles, such as cows' flesh, pork,
fowls, etc., are not to be taken.

8. That the ocean or any other of the boundaries of India cannot
be crossed over.

The only acts which now lead to exclusion from castes are the

1. Embracing Christianity or Mohammedanism.

2. Going to Europe, America or any other foreign country.

3. Marrying a widow.

4. Throwing away the sacred thread.

5. Eating beef, pork or fowl.

6. Eating food cooked by a Mohammedan, Christian or low caste

7. Officiating as priest in the house of a low caste Sudra.

8. By a female going away from home for an immoral purpose.

9. By a widow becoming pregnant.

When a Hindu is excluded from caste his friends, relatives and
fellow townsmen refuse to partake of his hospitality; he is not
invited to entertainments in their houses; he cannot obtain wives
or husbands for his children; even his own married daughters
cannot visit him without running the risk of being excluded from
caste; his priest and even his barber and washerman refuse to
serve him; his fellow caste men ostracize him so completely that
they refuse to assist him even in sickness or at the funeral of
a member of his household. In some cases the man excluded from
caste is debarred from the public temples.

To deprive a man of the services of his barber and his washerman
is becoming more difficult these days, but the other penalties
are enforced with more or less rigor.

They tell us that foreigners cannot appreciate the importance
of caste. Murray's guide book warns the traveler to remember
that fact, and says that the religion of the Hindu amounts to
little more than the fear of demons, of the loss of caste and
of the priests. Demons have to be propitiated, the caste rules
are strictly kept and the priests presented with gifts. Great
care has to be taken not to eat food cooked by a man of inferior
caste; food cooked in water must not be eaten together by people
of different castes, and castes are entirely separated with regard
to marriage and trade. A sacred thread of cotton is worn by the
higher castes. Washing in the sacred rivers, particularly the
Ganges, and especially at Allahabad, Benares, Hardwar and other
exceptionally holy spots, is of efficacy in preserving caste
and cleansing the soul of impurities.

"The traveler should remember," says the guide book, "that all
who are not Hindus are outcasts, contact with whom may cause
the loss of caste to a Hindu. He should not touch any cooking or
water holding utensil belonging to a Hindu, nor disturb Hindus
when at their meals; he should not molest cows, nor shoot any
sacred animal, and should not pollute holy places by his presence
if any objection is made. The most sacred of all animals is the
cow, then the serpent, and then the monkey. The eagle is the
attendant of Vishnu, the bull of Siva, the goose of Brahma, the
elephant of Indra, the tiger of Durga, the buffalo of Rama, the
rat of Ganesh, the ram of Agni, the peacock of Kartikkeya, the
parrot of Kama (the god of love), the fish, the tortoise and
boar are incarnations of Vishnu, and the crocodile, cat, dog,
crow, many trees, plants, stones, rivers and tanks are sacred."

Nevertheless, Brahmins are very clever in dodging an issue when
it is necessary for their convenience. For example, when a modern
water supply was introduced for the first time into a city of
India the problem arose, How could the Hindus use water that
came from hydrants, in face of the law which prohibited them
drinking it from vessels which may have been touched by people of
another caste? After much reflection and discussion the pundits
decided that the payment of water rates should be considered an
atonement for violating the ordinances of their religion.

There has been some improvement in the condition of women in
India, and it is due almost entirely to the Christian missionaries
who have brought about reforms which could not have occurred
otherwise, although, at the same time, the spirit of modern progress
has not been without its influence upon the native families.
Remarkable instances have occurred in which native women have
attained distinction in literature, scholarship and science.
Several have passed university entrance examinations; a few have
obtained degrees. In 1903 there were 264 women in collegiate
institutions throughout the empire, more than has ever been known
before. There has been a gradual increase in their number. In
1893-4 there were only 108; two years later there were 110. In
1898-9 the number jumped to 174, and in 1900-1 it reached 205,
hence you will see that the advance has been normal and regular
and there have been no steps backward. The greatest progress
has been in the southern part of the empire, where women are
less secluded and the prejudice against their education is not
so strong. Nevertheless 99 per cent of the women of India are
absolutely illiterate, and among the total of 144,409,000 only
1,433,000 can read and write; 75 per cent of them can do no more.
If a census were taken of those who can read and understand an
ordinary novel or a book of travel the total would be less than
250,000, and counted among the literates are all the girls now
in school who have advanced as far as the first reader.

In the United Provinces, the richest and proudest of India, where
the arts and sciences have advanced quite rapidly among men, only
56,000 women out of a total of 23,078,000 can read and write,
and that, as I said before, includes the girl children in the
schools. In the Punjab Province, which lies in the north, out
of a total of 12,369,000 women and girls only 42,000 can read
and write and at least 50 per cent of them are under 12 years
of age. The total number of girls now attending school in India
is only 446,282 out of a total population of 144,409,000 women,
but even this small number shows most encouraging improvement
during the last ten years. In 1893-4 the girls in school were
only 375,868, but since then there has been a gradual increase
every year--400,709 in 1897-8, 425,914 in 1899-1900 and 429,645
in 1900-01. In the Central Province, which ought to be one of
the most progressive in India, out of a total female population
of 23,078,000 only 20,821 girls altogether are in school.

But this does not fairly indicate the influence of women in India,
where they take a larger and more active share in the
responsibilities of the family and in the practical affairs of
life than one would suppose. The mother of a family, if she is
a woman of ability and character, is always the head of the
household, and the most influential person in it, and as long
as she lives she occupies the place of honor. Women often manage
estates and commercial affairs, and several have shown remarkable
executive ability and judgment. Several of the native states have
been ruled by women again and again, and the Rannee of Sikkim
is to-day one of the most influential persons in India, although
she has never been outside of the town in which she lives.

An American lady told me of a remarkable interview she recently
had with the granddaughter of Tipu, the native chief who, in
the latter part of the eighteenth century, gave the English the
hardest struggle they ever had in India. He was finally overcome
and slain, and his territory is now under English rule, but his
family were allowed a generous pension and have since lived in
state with high-sounding titles. His granddaughter lives in a
splendid palace in southern India, which she inherited from her
father, and is now 86 years old. She cannot read or write, but
is a women of extraordinary intelligence and wide knowledge of
affairs, yet she has never been outside of the walls that surround
her residence; she has never crossed the threshold of the palace
or entered the garden that surrounds it since she was a child,
and 90 per cent of her time, day and night, has been spent in
the room in which she was born. Yet this woman, with a title
and great wealth, is perfectly contented with her situation.
She considers it entirely appropriate, and thinks that all the
women in the world ought to live in the same way.

The influence she and other women of old-fashioned ideas and
the conservative classes have is the chief obstacle to progress,
for they are much more conservative than the men, and much more
bigoted in their ideas. She does not believe that respectable
women ought to go to school; she does not consider it necessary
for them to read or write, and thinks that all women should devote
themselves to the affairs of their households and bear children,
duties which do not require any education. The missionaries who
work in the zenanas, or harems, of India tell me that the prejudice
and resistance they are compelled to overcome is much stronger
and more intolerant among women than among men, for the former
have never had an opportunity to see the outside of their homes;
have never come in contact with foreigners and modern ideas,
and are perfectly satisfied with their condition. They testify
that Hindu wives as a rule are mere household drudges, and, with
very rare exceptions, are patterns of chastity, industry and
conjugal fidelity, and they are the very best of mothers.

Here and there a husband or a father is found who is conscious
of the disadvantages under which the women of his family are
laboring and would be glad to take upon himself the duty of
instructing his wife and daughters, yet is prevented from doing
so because the latter prefer to follow the example of their
foremothers and remain ignorant.

While such conditions prevail it is impossible for the government
to take any steps for the promotion of education among women, but
a notable reform has been conducted by English women of India
under the leadership of the Marchioness of Dufferin, Lady Curzon,
and the wives of other viceroys, by supplying women doctors and
hospitals, because, as you understand, men physicians are not
permitted to enter zenanas except upon very rare occasions and
then only in the most liberal of families. Nor are women allowed
to be taken to hospitals. There are excellent hospitals and
dispensaries in every part of India, but women are not permitted to
participate in their benefits, and an untold amount of unnecessary
suffering is the result. Some years ago, inspired by Lady Dufferin,
an association was formed to provide women doctors, hospital
nurses, and establish, under the direction of women exclusively,
hospitals for the treatment of women and girls. This association
is non-sectarian and no religious services or conversations are
allowed. The movement has received active encouragement from both
the imperial government and the local authorities, and by the
latest returns is responsible for 235 hospitals and dispensaries,
33 women doctors with degrees from the highest institutions of
Europe, 73 assistants, and 354 native students and trained nurses,
who, during the year 1903, took care of nearly a million and a
half of women and girls who needed treatment and relief. This
does not include many similar institutions that are maintained
by the various missionary boards for the same purpose. Taking
both the civil and religious institutions together, the women
of India are now well supplied with hospitals and asylums.

Scattered over the country under the care of zealous and devoted
Christian women are a large number of homes for widows, and no
one who has not lived in India can appreciate the importance of
such institutions and the blessing they offer, for the situation
of widows is pitiable. Formerly they were burned upon the funeral
pyres of their husbands. It was an ancient custom, adopted from
the Scythian tribes, who sacrificed not only the wives, but the
concubines and slaves and horses upon the tombs of their dead

The British government forbade "suttee," as widow burning was
called, and although we hear that it is still practiced occasionally
in remote parts of the empire, such an act would be punished
as murder if the police were to learn of it. But the fate of
some thousands of widows is worse than death, because among the
superstitious Hindus they are held responsible for the death
of their husbands, and the sin must be expiated by a life of
suffering and penance. As long as a widow lives she must serve as
a slave to the remainder of the family, she must wear mourning,
be tabooed from society, be deprived of all pleasures and comforts,
and practice never-ending austerities, so that after death she
may escape transmigration into the body of a reptile, an insect
or a toad. She cannot marry again, but is compelled to remain in
the house of her husband's family, who make her lot as unhappy
and miserable as possible.

The Brahmins prohibit the remarriage of widows, but in 1856 Lord
Canning legalized it, and that was one of the causes of the mutiny.
The priests and conspirators told the native soldiers that it was
only a step toward the abolition of all their rites and customs.
The law, however, is a dead letter, and while there have been
several notable marriages of widows, the husband and wife and
the entire family have usually been boycotted by their relatives,
neighbors and friends; husbands have been ruined in business
and subjected to every humiliation imaginable.

If you will examine the census statistics you will be astonished
at the enormous number of widows in India. Out of a total of
144,000,000 women in 1901, 25,891,936 were widows, of whom 19,738,468
were Hindus. This is accounted for by child marriage, for it is
customary for children five years of age and upwards to become
husbands and wives. At least 50 per cent of the adherents of
Brahminism are married before they are ten years old and 90 per
cent before they are fifteen. This also is an ancient custom and
is due to several reasons. Fathers and mothers desire to have
their children settled in life, as we say, as early as possible,
and among the families of friends they are paired off almost as
soon as they are born. The early marriage, however, is not much
more than a betrothal, for after it takes place, usually with
great ceremony, the children are sent back to their homes and
remain under the care of their parents until they reach a proper
age, when the wife is conducted with great rejoicing to the home
of her husband, and what is equivalent to another marriage takes
place. This occurs among the highly educated and progressive Hindus.
They defend the custom as wise and beneficial on the theory that
it is an advantage for husband and wife to be brought up together
and have their characters molded by the same influences and
surroundings. In that way, they argue, much unhappiness and trouble
is prevented. But in India, as everywhere else, the mortality
is greatest among children, and more than 70 per cent of the
deaths reported are of persons under ten years of age. Those
who are married are no more exempt than those who are not, which
explains the number of widows reported, and no matter how young
a girl may be when her husband dies she can never have a second.

Widowers are allowed to marry again and most of them do. There are
only 8,110,084 widowers in all India as against nearly 26,000,000

Of course there are many native homes in which widows are treated
kindly and receive the same attention and are allowed the same
pleasures as the other women of the family, but those who understand
India assert that they are exceptional, and hence asylums for those
who are treated badly are very much needed. This is a matter with
which the government cannot deal and the work is left entirely
to the Christian missionaries, who establish homes and teach
friendless widows to become self-supporting.



Allahabad is the center of learning, the Athens in India, the
seat of a native university, the residence of many prominent men,
the headquarters of Protestant missionary work, the residence
of the governor of the United Provinces, Sir James La Touche,
one of the ablest and most progressive of the British officials
in India. Allahabad was once a city of great importance. In the
time of the Moguls it was the most strongly fortified place in
India, but the ancient citadel has been torn down by the British
and the palaces and temples it contained have been converted into
barracks, arsenals and storehouses. Nowhere in India have so
many beautiful structures been destroyed by official authority,
and great regret is frequently expressed. Allahabad was also a
religious center in ancient times and the headquarters of the
Buddhist faith. The most interesting monument in the city is the
Lat of Osoka, one of a series of stone columns erected by King
Asoka throughout his domains about the year B. C. 260, which were
inscribed with texts expressing the doctrines of Buddhism as
taught by him. He did for that faith what the Emperor Constantine
the Great did for Christianity; made it the religion of the state,
appointed a council of priests to formulate a creed and prepare
a ritual, and by his orders that creed was carved on rocks, in
caves and on pillars of stone and gateways of cities for the
education of the people. The texts or maxims embodied in the
creed represent the purest form of Buddhism, and if they could
be faithfully practiced by the human family this world would
be a much better and happier place than it is.

Several handsome modern buildings are occupied by the government,
the courts and the municipal officials, and the university is
the chief educational institution of northern India. There are
five universities in the empire--at Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore,
Allahabad and Madras--and they are managed and conducted on a plan
very different from ours, having no fixed terms or lectures, but
having regular examinations open to all comers who seek degrees.
The standard is not quite so high as that of our colleges and the
curriculum is not so advanced. The students may come at 15 or
16 years of age and be examined in English, Latin, Greek history,
geography, mathematics and the elements of science, the course
being just a grade higher than that of our high schools, and
get a degree or certificate showing their proficiency. They are
very largely attended by natives who seek diplomas required for
the professions and government employment. After two years' study
in any regular course a student may present himself for an
examination for a degree and is then eligible for a diploma in
law, medicine, engineering and other sciences.

The slipshod systems pursued at these institutions have been
severely criticised by scientific educators, but they seem to
answer the purpose for which they are intended. It is often asserted
that the colleges and universities in India do not cultivate a
genuine desire for learning; that the education they furnish is
entirely superficial, and that it is obtained not for its own
sake, but because it is a necessary qualification for a government
appointment or a professional career. It is asserted that no
graduate of any of these institutions has ever distinguished
himself for scholarship or in science, that no native of India
educated in them has ever produced any original work of merit,
and that no problem of political or material importance has ever
been solved by a citizen of this empire. In 1902 Lord Curzon, who
has taken a deep interest in this subject and is an enthusiastic
advocate of public schools, appointed a commission to investigate
the conduct and efficiency of the universities of India. The
report was not enthusiastic or encouraging. It was entirely
noncommittal. At the same time it must be said that the universities
and colleges of India are a great deal better than nothing at
all, and as there is no other provision for higher education
they serve a very important purpose.

The deplorable illiteracy of the people of India is disclosed
by the recent census. Ninety-five per cent of the men and more
than 99 per cent of the women have never learned the first letter
of the alphabet, and would not recognize their own name it written
or printed. I have been told by ladies engaged in missionary and
educational work that grown people of the lower classes cannot
even distinguish one picture from another; that their mental
perceptions are entirely blank, and that signs and other objects
which usually excite the attention of children have no meaning
whatever for them. The total number of illiterates recorded is
246,546,176, leaving 47,814,180 of both sexes unaccounted for,
but of these only 12,097,530 are returned as able to read and
write. The latest statistics show that 3,195,220 of both sexes
are under instruction.

And even the percentages I have mentioned do not adequately represent
the ignorance of the masses of the people, because more than
half of those returned by the census enumerators as literates
cannot read understandingly a connected sentence in a book or
newspaper and can only write their own names. The other half are
largely composed of foreigners or belong to the Brahmin castes.
The latter are largely responsible for present conditions, because
their long-continued enjoyment of a hereditary supremacy over
the rest of the population has been due to their learning and
to the ignorance of the masses belonging to other castes. They
realize that they could never control any but an illiterate
population. Hence the priests, who should be leaders in education,
are, generally speaking, the most formidable opponents of every
form of school.

The census shows that only 386,000 natives in the whole of India
possess a knowledge of English, and this number includes all
the girls, boys and young men under instruction.


The Parsees and Jains are more eager for learning than the Hindus,
and are taking an active part in educational affairs. The Mohammedans
are also realizing the importance of modern schools, and there
is now quite an energetic movement among that sect. There is
a school connected with almost every Jain temple. We visited
one at Delhi. There were no benches or desks. The children, who
were of all ages, from 4 years old upward, were squatting upon
the floor around their masters, and were learning the ordinary
branches taught in common schools, with the exception of one
class over in a far corner of the room, which was engaged in the
study of Sanskrit. It was explained to us that they were being
trained for priests. Everybody was bare-footed and bare-legged,
teachers and all, and every boy was studying out loud, repeating
his lesson over and over as he committed it to memory. Some of
the youngsters made their presence known by reading in very loud
voices. A few of them had ordinary slates. Others used blocks
of wood for the same purpose, but the most of them wrote their
exercises upon pieces of tin taken from cans sent over by the
Standard Oil Company. We went into a school one day where, for
lack of slates and stationery, the children were copying their
writing lessons in the sand on the floor. It was a new idea,
but it answered the purpose. With little brushes they smoothed
off a surface and formed letters as clearly as they could have
been made upon a blackboard.

Bright colors are characteristic of the Hindus. Their garments
are of the gayest tints; both the outer and inner walls of their
houses are covered with rude drawings in colors; their carts are
painted in fantastic designs; and their trunks are ornamented in a
similar way. They are not always done in the highest form of art,
but you may be sure that the colors are bright and permanent. Some
people paint the hides of their horses and bullocks, especially on
holidays, and their taste for art, both in design and execution,
is much more highly developed than their knowledge of letters.

The present Indian educational system is about fifty years old,
but popular education, as we use that term, was not introduced
in a practical way until during the 80's. Up to that time nearly
all the schools were conducted by missionaries and as private
institutions. In 1858, when the government was transferred from
the East India Company to the crown, there were only 2,000 public
schools in all India, with less than 200,000 pupils, and even
now with a population of 300,000,000 there are only 148,541
institutions of learning of all kinds, including kindergartens
and universities, with a grand total of 4,530,412 pupils. Of
these 43,100 are private institutions, with 638,999 pupils.

Education is not compulsory in India. The natives are not compelled
to send their children to school and the officials tell me that if
it were attempted there would be great trouble, chiefly because
of the Brahmin priests, who, as I have already intimated, are
decidedly opposed to the education of the masses. Normal schools
have been established in every province for the training of teachers,
with 31,114 young men and 2,833 young women as students. There
has been a slight increase in the attendance at school during
the last few years. In 1892 only 11.1 per cent of the children
of school age were enrolled and the average attendance was a
little over 7 per cent. In 1902 the enrollment had increased
to 12.5 per cent of the school population, and the attendance
to a little more than 8 per cent. Of the pupils in the public
schools 509,525 were Brahmins and 2,269,930 non-Brahmins. In
the private institutions 43,032 were Brahmins and the balance

There are several important art schools in India which have been
established and are encouraged by the government for the purpose
of encouraging the natives to pursue the industrial arts. Lord
Curzon has taken a decided interest in this subject, and is doing
everything in his power to revive the ancient art industries,
such as brocade weaving, embroidery, carving, brass working,
mosaic, lacquering, and others of a decorative character. The
tendency of late years has been to increase the volume of the
product at the sacrifice of the quality, and the foreign demand
for Indian goods and the indifference of the buying public as
to their excellence is said to have been very demoralizing upon
the artisans.

From an artistic point of view, the manufactures of metal are the
most important products of India; the wood carvers of ancient times
surpassed all rivals and still have a well-deserved reputation.
In every village may be found artists of great merit both in
brass, copper, wood, silk and other industrial arts, but the
quality of their work is continually deteriorating, and Lord
Curzon and other sincere friends of India are endeavoring to
restore it to the former high standard. For that purpose art
schools have been established in Calcutta, Lahore, Bombay, Madras
and other places, first to train the eyes and the hands of the
young artisans, and, second, to elevate their taste and stimulate
their ambition to excel in whatever line of work they undertake.
There are several thousand young men in these schools who have
shown remarkable talent and are beginning to make their influence
felt throughout the country.

As you may imagine, it is very difficult to induce people to
produce objects of high art when those which cost less labor and
money can be sold for the same prices. As long as the foreign
demand for Indian goods continues this tendency to cheapen the
product will be noticed.

By the late census it appears that there were 2,590 publications
in the native Indian languages during the year 1900, as against
2,178 during the previous year; 1,895 were books and 695 pamphlets;
1,616 of the books were original works and the remainder were
translations; 832 were in the Bengali language and the remainder
were divided among eighty-eight other languages, ninety-nine being
in Sanskrit and 103 in Persian. Included in this list were poetry,
fiction, works of travel, religious books, history, biography,
philosophy and several on political economy. Among the Persian
publications I noticed "A History of Russian Rule in Asia";
among the translations are Lord Lytton's "Last Days of Pompeii,"
several popular novels, and several of Shapespeare's plays. There
was a history of England and a series of biographies entitled
"Lives of Great Women," including those of Queen Victoria, Queen
Elizabeth, Maria Theresa, Marie Antoinette, and the mother of
Napoleon I.

Since 1902 there have been several movements among the Hindus
and Mohammedan citizens of India looking to the advancement of
their races and coreligionists. At Bombay, in December, 1903,
was held a Mohammedan educational conference, and a committee
was appointed to draw up a plan of permanent organization for the
purpose of awakening among the members of that sect an interest
in the advancement of women and the education of the masses.
Representatives were present from nearly all of the provinces
in which there is a Mohammedan population, and resolutions were
passed declaring that, in the opinion of the conference, schools
should be established throughout India to educate young women
and children of both sexes in strict conformity with the customs
and doctrines of Islam. It was asserted that such educational
facilities are absolutely necessary to keep the children out
of the public and Christian schools. The most notable feature
of the conference, which marks an entirely new departure in the
history of Islam, was the presence, unveiled and in modern dress,
of Miss Sorabjee, a highly educated and accomplished member of
that sect, who appeared daily upon the platform, participated in
the debates and made a lengthy address upon the emancipation of
women. She declared that in a population of 60,000,000 Mohammedans
only 4,000 girls are now attending school, which, she said, is
a menace to civilization, a detriment to Islam and a disgrace
to the members of that church. I was informed that this is the
first time a Mohammedan woman ever made an address before a public
assembly of Mohammedans, because the Koran does not permit women
to appear in public and custom requires them to conceal their
faces. Miss Sorabjee was, nevertheless, received with respect,
and made a decidedly favorable impression upon the assembly, which
was composed of men of culture and influence and true believers
in the teachings of the Prophet.

Another notable feature of the conference was the unanimous
recognition of the growing influence of Christianity in the Indian
Empire, and the opinion that in order to preserve their faith
the followers of Islam must imitate its example. Progressive
Mohammedans have become convinced that not only their men but
their women will insist upon having an education, and will seek
it in the Christian schools if facilities are not furnished by
members of their own religion. Aga Khan, a Mohammedan prince
who presided over the gathering, explained that the conference
was called in obedience to the spirit of progress, and as an
indication that the Mohammedan section of the community was alive
to the disadvantages under which the members of the faith were
laboring, and to the need of educated men as leaders in society
and commerce.

Mr. Tyabji, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the Bombay
presidency, took even more advanced ground and declared that
the schools proposed by the conference must be far in advance
of those heretofore provided by Mohammedans, and teach English,
French, German and the modern sciences as well as the maxims of the
Koran. By that remark he uncovered the great defect of Mohammedan
education, which is purely religious, with the exception of a single
institution in northern India to which I refer in a previous
chapter. The conservative element of the Moslem population holds
that a knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic is sufficient
for members of that sect; hence in most of their schools they teach
nothing except the Koran, which is the book of books, the law of
laws, and contains knowledge sufficient for all mankind under
all circumstances. Some progressive Mohammedans go a little too
far in the other direction and would ignore all Arabic literature
and leave all ecclesiastical affairs to the priests. The Arabic
and Persian languages are rich in learning, poetry and general
literature. But they are not cultivated, and are almost unknown
to the Moslem priests, who are the school teachers of that faith
to-day. They have left the revival of Arabic belles-lettres entirely
to foreigners, and confine themselves to the Koran and the
commentaries that have been prepared upon it. It is asserted
that one can learn more of Arabian and Persian literature to-day
in London, Oxford, Paris, Berlin or Zurich than is known in
Constantinople or Cairo or any other Mohammedan city, and that
Professor Max Muller of Oxford has done more to encourage its
study than all the Mohammedan priests and professors in existence.

At almost the same time, although in another place, several of
the leading thinkers and scholars of the Brahmin caste were
discussing the same subject with the same purpose and from the
same point of view. They have been endeavoring to inaugurate
what they are pleased to call "the Renaissance of the Hindus."
And there is also an active movement for a revival of Buddhism,
although thus far it is confined to Japan and Ceylon. Buddhism
is practically extinct in India. At the Hindu conference several
thoughtful people expressed the view that something must be done
to revive the vitality of that religion, because it is the faith of
nearly 200,000,000 souls in India alone, over whom it is gradually
losing its influence, because of the vigorous propaganda of the
Christians. It was not admitted that the Hindus are adopting the
Christian religion, but merely that they are losing confidence
in their own and drifting toward materialism.

It is universally recognized among educated Brahmins that India is
approaching a great religious crisis which demands the attention of
all who are interested in the welfare of the people. The movement
is slow, but quite obvious to all who are watching the development
of reforms that have been proposed for the last fifteen or twenty
years. It is based upon the fact that Brahminism, as taught at
the temples of India to-day, does not satisfy or even appeal to
educated men. At the same time it is insisted that true Hinduism
has the same ideals and the same spiritual advantages that are
offered by Christianity.

Experienced missionaries tell me there is a distinct tendency
among educated Hindus to give up the old line of defense against
the Christian religion, and, admitting the ethical purity and truth
of the teachings of Christ, to attack some particular doctrine, some
dogma over which Christians themselves have been in controversy,
to elaborate the criticisms of Ingersoll and Bradlaugh, and to
call attention to the failure of the Christians to realize their
own ideals. This is very significant, but at the same time there
is little encouragement or satisfaction in studying and tracing
the various reforms that have been started from time to time
among the Hindus. They have been many and frequent. New teachers
are constantly arising, new organizations are being formed, and
revivals of ancient precepts are occurring every year, but they
do not endure. They are confined to limited circles, and none has
yet penetrated to any extent into the dense mass of superstition,
idolatry and ignorance which lays its offerings at the altars of
cruel and obscene gods.

At one of Lady Curzon's receptions, among other notable men and
women, I met Sir Nepundra Narayan Bhuf Bahadur, Maharaja of
Cutch-Behar, and his wife, one of the few native women who dress
in modern attire and appear in public like their European sisters.
She is the daughter of one of the most famous of Indian reformers.

Early in the last century a scholar and patriot named Ramohun
Roy, becoming dissatisfied with the teachings and habits of the
Brahmins, renounced his ancestral religion and organized what was
called "The Truth Seeking Society" for the purpose of reviving pure
Hinduism. He proclaimed a theistic creed, taught the existence of
one God, and the sin of idolatry. He declared for the emancipation
of women, for charity to the poor and helpless, for the purity of
life, and, altogether, his sermons and lectures are very similar
to the teachings of the Unitarians in the United States. He was
called the Theodore Parker of India, and attracted many followers.
But before he had accomplished much he died, and his mantle fell
upon Keshab Chunder Sen, a man of great learning, talent and
worth, the son of one of the most conservative families of the
Brahmin caste, born and brought up in a fetid atmosphere of
superstition and idolatry. While attending school at Calcutta he
was thrown in with European teachers and associates and, being
of an inquisitive mind, undertook the study of religions other
than his own. It naturally came about that he heard of the "Truth
Seeking Society" and ultimately joined it, and by his force of
character and ability became one of its leaders. Early in his
career he concluded that the greatest weakness among the people
of India is their treatment of their women, and he organized what
was known as "The Indian Reform Association" for the purpose
of promoting the education of women, preventing child marriage,
relieving widows from their forlorn ostracism and securing for
the daughters of Indian families the same legal and property
rights that are enjoyed by the sons. The movement became quite
popular and he gained considerable reputation. He went to England
and Germany and delivered lectures and published several books.
His agitation accomplished some practical results, and he secured
the passage of several laws of importance establishing the civil
rights of wives, widows and daughters.

In 1884 his daughter, a very brilliant and beautiful woman, married
the Maharaja of Cutch-Behar, who was converted, joined the movement
and became an active member of the society. Like many others of
the princely families of India, he lays claim to divine origin,
the founder of his dynasty having been a god. In 1772, the ruling
rajah, having been attacked by more powerful neighbors, applied
for protection to Warren Hastings, then governor of Bengal, and
acknowledged subjection to the East Indian Company. The province
of Cutch-Behar was thus one of the first to be absorbed by the
British Empire, but it has ever since been governed by the native
prince, who nominally owns all of the land in his territory and
receives taxes in lieu of rent from his tenants, who are his
subjects. His territory has a population of 650,000, of whom
427,000 are Hindus and 174,539 are Mohammedans. He is assisted
in his government by a resident English adviser, appointed by
the viceroy, and really has very little to do. He has a personal
allowance of $150,000 for the support of himself and family, and
inherited from his ancestors one of the most rare and valuable
collections of jewels in India.

The present maharaja was born in 1863, educated in England, attained
his majority in 1883, and has two sons, one of whom is a member
of the Viceroy's Corps of Imperial Cadets, and the other acts as
his father's secretary. The maharaja is considered one of the
handsomest men in India, as he is one of the most accomplished
and progressive, and his wife is as famous for her intellectual
as for her physical attractions.

The late Jamsetjee Nusserwanji Tata of Bombay, a typical Parsee,
amassed an enormous fortune as a merchant and manufacturer, won an
enviable reputation for integrity, enterprise and public spirit,
and for several years before his lamented death in 1904, was
permitted to enjoy the gratification that men of his kind deserve
after a long career of activity and usefulness. Having provided
in a most ample manner for his own future wants, and intrusting
his enormous business responsibilities to his sons, he devoted
the rest of his life to travel and other pleasures, and a large
portion of his fortune to benevolence. I have been frequently
told that Mr. Tata in his time was the most enterprising man in
India. He spent enormous sums in experiments for the development
of the resources and industries of his country; some of which
failed, but others have been eminently successful. He developed
the cotton industry, perhaps more than any other man, and improved
the staple by importing plants and seeds from Egypt. He was largely
engaged in growing, preserving and exporting the fruits of India
in order to furnish another occupation for the country people,
and in a thorough exploration of its iron deposits, building
furnaces, smelters, and mills with the hope of being able to
supply the local markets with home made steel and iron. There
is plenty of ore, plenty of coal and labor, and Mr. Tata was
willing to pay the expense and do the work of a pioneer in order
that his fellow countrymen may enjoy the wealth that lies dormant
in their mountains.

He had cotton mills and other manufactories in various parts
of India, but the greater part of his fortune was invested in
the industries and real estate of his own province of Bombay.
His residence was one of the largest and most beautiful palaces
in that city, filled with works of art and trophies of travel. He
was the owner of several of the finest business blocks, introduced
modern apartment houses into Bombay, and built the modern hotel to
which I have several times alluded. He supported several young
Parsees in the technical schools and colleges of England, Germany
and the United States. For years no less than six such students
were selected annually to be educated at his expense, not only
because he took a personal interest in the welfare of his
co-religionists, but because he believed that young engineers,
chemists, electricians and other practical scientists were needed
to develop the resources of India.

Mr. Tata's latest act of benevolence, shortly before his death,
was to place in the hands of a board of trustees, of whom the
chancellor of the University of Bombay is chairman, real estate
and securities valued at more than 3,500,000 of rupees, which is
equivalent to about $1,250,000, the income from which, amounting
to 120,000 rupees, or about $40,000 in our money, a year, is
to be used for the establishment and perpetual maintenance of
the Indian Research University, a name selected by a conference
called together by the viceroy. This conference was composed of
four directors of public instruction for the different provinces
of India, the home secretary of the imperial government, the
surgeon general of the army and several other gentlemen eminent
in educational and public affairs. After a careful examination
of all conditions they decided to locate the institution at the
city of Bangalore, in the province of Mysore, in southern India,
where the local government, as an inducement, donated 300 acres of
land upon an eminence in a very favorable situation, and offered
a contribution of 18,000 rupees a year toward the payment of the
expenses, provided the money is used in such a way as to benefit
the people of that province. It has also offered to defray a
considerable part of the cost of erecting the necessary buildings.



Darjeeling is one of the most favored spots on earth, the loveliest
place in India, and the favorite resort and sanitarium of the citizen
element as distinguished from military and official circles. It
is a hard journey, both going and coming, and a traveler gets
impatient when he finds that it takes him from four o'clock in
the afternoon of one day until nearly two o'clock of the next to
make a journey of 246 miles. He leaves Calcutta with the thinnest
clothing he can buy, but when he arrives there he is glad that
he brought his overcoat and gloves, and pulls a second blanket
over himself at night. At the same time it is not so cold in
Darjeeling as one would expect from the altitude of 7,400 feet
above the sea, and the latitude, which is about 27 degrees 50
minutes. You travel from four o'clock till seven upon a railway
of ordinary gauge, cross the Ganges on a steamboat for an hour,
taking your dinner while afloat; change into a three-foot gauge
train until half-past four in the morning, when you are routed
out, given a cup of coffee and a roll, and transferred to a baby
carriage on wheels which crawls up the foothills of the Himalayas
at the rate of six miles an hour.

The track is only two feet gauge, with forty-pound rails, which
have been laid upon the ancient highway over which the caravans
between China and India have passed for thirty centuries. It
winds in and out of gorges and defiles and at several points
the engineers have had to cut a foothold for it on the edges of
tremendous precipices. It doubles on itself repeatedly, describes
the letter S and the letter Z and the figure 8, and zigzags about
so recklessly that the engineer puts his locomotive first at one
end of the train and then at the other. Englishmen who write
books on India assert that it is the grandest railway journey in

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