Passage 1 from “Government of India”, a speech delivered in the house of commons on the 10th of July 1833 by Thomas Babington Macaulay. On Wednesday, the tenth of July 1833, Mr Charles Grant, President of the Board of Control, moved that the Bill for effecting an arrangement with the India Company, and for the better government of His Majesty's Indian territories, should be read a second time. The motion was carried without a division, but not without a long debate, in the course of which the following Speech was made.
It is true, then, that there was too much foundation for the representations of those satirists and dramatists who held up the character of the English Nabob to the derision and hatred of a former generation. It is true that some disgraceful intrigues, some unjust and cruel wars, some instances of odious perfidy and avarice, stain the annals of our Eastern Empire. It is true that the duties of government and legislation were long wholly neglected or carelessly performed. It is true that when the conquerors at length began to apply themselves in earnest to the discharge of their high functions, they committed the errors natural to rulers who were but imperfectly acquainted with the language and manners of their subjects. It is true that some plans, which were dictated by the purest and most benevolent feelings, have not been attended by the desired success. It is true that India suffers to this day from a heavy burden of taxation and from a defective system of law. It is true, I fear, that in those states which are connected with us by subsidiary alliance, all the evils of oriental despotism have too frequently shown themselves in their most loathsome and destructive form.
[But nowadays its affairs are much improved, and still improving]
All this is true. Yet in the history and in the present state of our Indian Empire I see ample reason for exultation and for a good hope.
I see that we have established order where we found confusion. I see that the petty dynasties which were generated by the corruption of the great Mahometan Empire, and which, a century ago, kept all India in constant agitation, have been quelled by one overwhelming power. I see that the predatory tribes, which, in the middle of the last century, passed annually over the harvests of India with the destructive rapidity of a hurricane, have quailed before the valour of a braver and sterner race, have been vanquished, scattered, hunted to their strongholds, and either extirpated by the English sword, or compelled to exchange the pursuits of rapine for those of industry.
I look back for many years; and I see scarcely a trace of the vices which blemished the splendid fame of the first conquerors of Bengal. I see peace studiously preserved. I see faith inviolably maintained towards feeble and dependent states. I see confidence gradually infused into the minds of suspicious neighbours. I see the horrors of war mitigated by the chivalrous and Christian spirit of Europe. I see examples of moderation and clemency, such as I should seek in vain in the annals of any other victorious and dominant nation. I see captive tyrants, whose treachery and cruelty might have excused a severe retribution, living in security, comfort, and dignity, under the protection of the government which they laboured to destroy.
I see a large body of civil and military functionaries resembling in nothing but capacity and valour those adventurers who, seventy years ago, came hither, laden with wealth and infamy, to parade before our fathers the plundered treasures of Bengal and Tanjore. I reflect with pride that to the doubtful splendour which surrounds the memory of Hastings and of Clive, we can oppose the spotless glory of Elphinstone and Munro. I contemplate with reverence and delight the honourable poverty which is the evidence of rectitude firmly maintained amidst strong temptations. I rejoice to see my countrymen, after ruling millions of subjects, after commanding victorious armies, after dictating terms of peace at the gates of hostile capitals, after administering the revenues of great provinces, after judging the causes of wealthy Zemindars, after residing at the courts of tributary Kings, return to their native land with no more than a decent competence.
I see a government anxiously bent on the public good. Even in its errors I recognise a paternal feeling towards the great people committed to its charge. I see toleration strictly maintained: yet I see bloody and degrading superstitions gradually losing their power. I see the morality, the philosophy, the taste of Europe, beginning to produce a salutary effect on the hearts and understandings of our subjects. I see the public mind of India, that public mind which we found debased and contracted by the worst forms of political and religious tyranny, expanding itself to just and noble views of the ends of government and of the social duties of man.
I see evils: but I see the government actively employed in the work of remedying those evils. The taxation is heavy; but the work of retrenchment is unsparingly pursued. The mischiefs arising from the system of subsidiary alliance are great: but the rulers of India are fully aware of those mischiefs, and are engaged in guarding against them. Wherever they now interfere for the purpose of supporting a native government, they interfere also for the purpose of reforming it.
[It's thus more appropriate to reform the Company than to abolish it]
Passage 2 from Tilak’s speech on “the tenets of the New Party” (1907) by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Indian political leader.
Introduction: Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1849-1920) was a major political leader of Maharashtra. He sided with the „Extremists“ and broke with the „Moderates“when the Indian National Congress split in December 1907. Shortly after the Calcutta Congress of December 1906 when the split was narrowly avoided he spoke in Calcutta on January 2,1907 outlining the tenets of the "Extremists" In 1908 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment for „sedition“. After his release in 1914 he became a leader of the „Home Rule League“. His famous slogan „Swaraj (Home Rule) is my birthright – and I will have it“was often quoted by Indian nationalists.
(see also AHOI, Ch. 7, section: The partition of Bengal and the rise of extremism)
Pax Britannica has been established in this country in order that a foreign government may exploit the country. That this is the effect of Pax Britannica is gradually realized in these days. It was an unhappy circumstance that it was not realized sooner. We believed in the benevolent intentions of the Government, but in politics there is no benevolence. Benevolence is used to sugar-coat the declarations of self-interest , and we were in those days deceived by the apparent benevolent intentions under which rampant self-interest was concealed. ...... It is said there is a revival of Liberalism, but how long will it last? Next year it might be they are out of power and are we to wait till there is another revival of Liberalism... and after all what can a Liberal Government do?..... I laughed when I read the proceedings of the meeting in Calcutta congratulating people on the appointment of Mr. Morley to the Secretaryship of State for India. Passages were read from Mr. Morley’s books.... They utterly misunderstood the position or ignored the distinction between a philosopher and a statesman.....
To convert the whole electorate of England to your opinion and then to get indirect pressure to bear upon the Members of Parliament, they in their turn to return a Cabinet favourable to India and the whole Parliament, the Liberal Party and the Cabinet to bring pressure on the bureaucracy to yield - we say this is hopeless, You can now understand the difference between the Old and the New Party.... The Old Party believes in appealing to the British nation and we do not. That being our opinion, it logically follows we must have some other method........ We have come forward with a scheme which if you accept, shall better enable you to remedy this state of things than the scheme of the Old school. Your industries are ruined utterly, ruined by foreign rule, your wealth is going out of the country and you are reduced to the lowest level which no human being can occupy. In this state of things is there any other remedy by which you can help yourself? The remedy is not petitioning but boycott. We say prepare your forces, organise your power, and then go to work so that they cannot refuse you what you demand.
We have perceived one fact, that the whole of the administration, which is carried on by a handful of Englishmen, is carried on with your assistance. We are all in subordinate service. The whole government is carried on with our assistance and they try to keep us in ignorance of our power of co-operation between ourselves by which that which is in our own hands can be claimed by us and administered by us. The point is to have the entire control in our hands,
We shall not give them assistance to collect revenue and keep peace. We shall not assist them in fighting beyond the frontiers or outside India with Indian blood and money. We shall not assist them in carrying on the administration of justice. We shall have our own courts and when time comes we shall not pay taxes. Can you do that by your united efforts? If you can, you are free from tomorrow.
We have not raised this cry from a mere impulse... I do not ask you to blindly follow us. Think over the whole problem for yourselves. If you acc pet our advice , we feel sure, we can achieve our salvation thereby. This is the advice of the New Party.