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stant inspection and enumeration of children ; special police officers were entertained at the cost of the guilty communities, and no efforts were spared to convince them that the Government had firmly resolved that it would put down these practices, and would treat the who followed them as murderers. Although the time is, I fear, distant when preventive measures will cease to be necessary, much progress has been made, and there are now thousands of girls where formerly there were
In the Mainpuri district, where, as I have said, there was, not many years ago, hardly a single Chauhan girl, nearly half of the Chauhán children at the present time are girls ; and it is hoped that three-fourths of the villages have abandoned the practice.
In an official statement made by the Government of the North-Western Provinces in 1887 it is said that in those districts in which the Rajput clans are scattered and greatly mixed with other classes of the population, and where the support of clan feeling and clan custom is comparatively weak, there is reason to think that infanticide has almost ceased. In other districts where the Rájputs are found in large and homogeneous communities, the suppression of the crime is much more difficult. In 1887 there were still, in the North-Western Provinces, more than 200,000 people, in twenty-eight districts, subject to the special provisions of the law. There can be no doubt that if vigilance were relaxed the custom would before long become as prevalent as ever.
It would be a mistake to suppose that the British Government receives, in the performance of duties of this kind, any help or sympathy from other classes of Hindus who have never practised such crimes. Interference with ancient custom is an abomination to a Hindu, whether it be his own custom or not.
I will give another illustration of the strange conditions that still exist in India, and of the difficulties with which we have to contend. Much of the crime that is committed is carried on by tribes of criminals as their regular and legitimate occupation, not only with no thought of criminality, but in the belief that in following the custom of their forefathers they are acting in the only way that is right. I will not repeat the well-known story of the Thugs, the professional murderers who practised their trade over a great part of India. They have been extirpated by the British Government. The professional Dacoits, associated for the purposes of violent gangrobbery, have also, at least in our own provinces, nearly ceased to exist. Other criminal organisations, with which it is more difficult to deal, abound to this day.
The following quotation from an official report will show what these professional criminals are. You will see that they have no resemblance to the habitual criminals of Europe.
We all know that trades go by castes in India; a family of carpenters will be a family of carpenters a century or five centuries hence, if they last so long; so with grain-dealers, blacksmiths, leather-makers, and every known trade. A carpenter cannot drop his tools and become a dealer in grain or anything else. If we keep this in mind when we speak of “professional criminals,” we shall realise what the term really means. It means that the members of a tribe whose ancestors were criminals from time immemorial are themselves destined by the usages of caste to commit crime, and their descendants will be offenders against the law until the whole tribe is exterminated or accounted for in the manner of the Thugs. Therefore, when a man tells you he is a Badhak, or a Kanjar, or a Sonoria, he tells you, what few Europeans ever thoroughly realise, that he is an offender against the law, has been so from the beginning, and will be so to the end ; that reform is impossible, for it is his trade, his caste-I may almost say his religion-to commit crime.'
Here is the account of one of these, tribes called Barwars. Their head-quarters are in the district of Gonda, in Oudh, where they inhabit forty-eight villages, and number a thousand families. They have little to do with agriculture ; they live quietly and honestly at their homes for some months of every year, and the rest of their time is spent in wandering, in small gangs, over distant parts of the country, plundering everything they can find. But they may not steal cattle; they may despoil the temples of the gods ; they may rob even the goddess Debi, one of the special objects of their worship. The only sacred places that they may not touch are the temple of Jaganath in Orissa, and the shrine of a certain Mohammedan martyr. They have a regular organisation, under duly chosen chiefs ; every child goes through a form of religious initiation on the twelfth day of his life ; if a man of the tribe gives up his thieving profession he is excommunicated and disgraced. The time for starting on their predatory expeditions is settled by the astrologers, and the plunder brought home is divided according to fixed rules, after 3 per cent. has been set aside, to be distributed in certain proportions among their gods. Each family has in its house an altar, dedicated to the special tutelary god of the tribe, Panch Puria, a god not recognised by other classes ; on a certain day in August a fowl must be sacrificed on the altar, and thin cakes of bread must be baked, and these offerings have then to be given to a Mohammedan fakeer, who goes from house to house beating a kettledrum.
These Barwars are by no means one of the most important of the criminal tribes. Some are devoted to cattle-stealing, others are dangerous robbers. In Gurgaon, one of the frontier districts of the Punjab, the official reports tell us of a large isolated British village, surrounded by Native territory, inhabited almost exclusively by some 2,000 people of the Mina tribe. Their sole occupation is, and always has been, plunder in the Native States, and in distant parts of British India ; they give no trouble at home, and, judging from criminal statistics, it would be supposed that they were an honest community. They live amid abundance, in substantial houses, with numerous cattle, fine clothes and jewels, and fleet camels to carry off their plunder; and, it is added, “there is no end to their charity.”
In the North-Western Provinces alone there are said to be twenty-nine different tribes who, without any notion of criminality, have from time immemorial made crime their sole serious occupation; and they are probably not less numerous in other parts of India where less is known about them.
There is a special law for dealing with these classes. Registers are kept showing all the members of the tribes; they can be compelled to live within certain local limits, and prevented from leaving those limits without permission, and they may be arrested if they are found beyond them. In some cases, the measures taken have been more or less successful, but the difficulties are great, and a long time must elapse before we see the end of the criminal tribes of India.
AREA, REVENUES, AND POPULATION OF NATIVE STATES -- MEANING OF THE
TERM NATIVE STATE'--PREVALENT MISTAKEN IDEAS-NATIVE STATES NOT NATIONALITIES–NATIVE PRINCES OFTEN FOREIGNERS-THE ENGLISH
HAVE DESTROYED NO ANCIENT DYNASTIES — DIFFERENT CLASSES OF NATIVE
STATES- THE MOHAMMEDAN AND MARATHA STATES-THEIR FOREIGN CHA
RACTER-ANCIENT DYNASTIES PRESERVED BY THE BRITISI-MYSORETRAVANCORE—THE STATES OF RÁJPUTÁNA AND THE PUNJAB—THE GOVERNMENTS OF NATIVE STATES—THE PERSONAL DESPOTS-THE TRIBAL CHIEFS -ANTIQUITY OF INDIAN FAMILIES-THE SUPREMACY OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT-OUR RELATIONS WITH NATIVE STATES-ASSUMPTION BY THE QUEEN OF TITLE OF 'EMPRESS OF INDIA'-SIR HENRY LAWRENCE ON
NATIVE STATES AND BRITISH RESIDENTS THE CHARACTER OF NATIVE
RULERS —FREQUENT NECESSITY FOR BRITISH INTERVENTION-THE ANNEX
ATION OF OUDI-CONDITION OF OUDH BEFORE ANNEXATION-BARODADEPOSITION OF THE GAIKWÁR-GWALIOR AND INDORE—THE STATES OF CENTRAL INDIA-SIR LEPEL GRIFFIN ON MISRULE IN NATIVE STATES
DESIRE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO MAINTAIN THE NATIVE STATES
THEIR MISRULE THEIR SOLE DANGER-THE CONDITIONS ESSENTIAL TO THEIR PRESERVATION—THE RESTORATION OF MYSORE TO NATIVE RULE -TERMS ON WHICH THE TRANSFER WAS MADE-THE RESULTS-THE NECESSITY OF MORE GENERAL APPLICATION OF SIMILAR PRINCIPLESTHE ARMIES OF THE NATIVE STATES,
THE Native States of India cover an area of more than 500,000 square miles, and contain a population of about 55,000,000. Their total revenues are estimated at about 17,000,0001. Counting them all, there are several hundreds of them, but the great majority are so insignificant in extent, and their rulers have so little authority, that they do not deserve the name of States. The largest, that of the Nizam of Hyderabad, has an