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{7}  I come now to the main subject on which I wish to address you. That is The National Congress and the demands which that body makes of Government.  At this time the affair that presents itself is a Congress, which has made many requests of the Government.
I cannot allude to its proposals in detail because, as far as I am aware, there are forty-nine of them, and the time at my disposal is short. I must therefore select the most important.  If these requests would be mentioned in detail, then  a lot of time would be required, because as far as I'm aware, they are 49 in number. 
That about which the greatest agitation has taken place is the following. When the Government of India passed out of the hands of the East India Company into those of the Queen, a law was passed saying that all subjects of Her Majesty, whether white or black, European or Indian, should be equally eligible for appointments. This was confirmed by the Queen's Proclamation. But the one that is paramount among them is this: first of all there is great agitation [[11]] that when the Company rule ended and the country came into the hands of the great Queen, at that time a law was passed by Parliament [parlemanT] in which it was written that all subjects, whether they be white or black, whether they be European [yurapin] or anybody, all are equal and have the right to obtain employment. After this, a proclamation of this pledge by the great Queen was issued, and the pledge was made twice as firm, and a binding commitment was made.
We have to see whether, in the rules made for admission to civil appointments, any exception has been made to this or not; whether we have been excluded from any appointments for which we are fitted.  We ought to see whether in the law and pledge for civil [sivil] positions that was made, they have made in the rules any exception about us. Have we been excluded from any post, if we were worthy of it?
Nobody can point out a case in which for any appointment a distinction of race has been made. No one can point to any case of discrimination, with regard to any candidate for a position.
It is true that for the Covenanted Civil Service a special set of rules has been made; namely, that candidates have to pass a competitive examination in England. Although indeed, for those posts that are called "covenanted" [kavanenTaD] or "pledged," a special arrangement has been established, and that is that people will be appointed to these posts who have taken an examination in England [vilayat]; and people who have not taken an examination in England will not be appointed.
Perhaps it will occur to everyone that this examination ought not to be held in England, and the proposal about which the greatest agitation has taken place is that it should be.held in India. With regard to this matter, perhaps everyone will be thinking that to apply the condition that the examination would be in England is not proper; and the greatest complaint of the present agitation is just this: that the examination that is held in England be stopped, and in its place would be an examination in Hindustan.
And to this is added another proposal that all posts in the subordinate service, from that of Tahsildar to Subordinate Judge, should also be given by competitive examination. In addition to this, with regard to the "uncovenanted," that is the non-"pledged" posts, the request is made that all those posts would be given by "competition" [kampiTishan], that is, "contest." The result of this request is that those posts that are above that of Tahsildar and are called "subordinate" [sabarDineT]-- that is, all judge-ships [jaji] and clerk-ships [munsifi], Deputy Collector-ships [kalakTari] and Extra Assistant-ships [iksTra asisTanTi], etc., they too should be given by competitive examination, and should be given to the one who would prevail in the examination. Those posts in Hindustan [[12]] that now have examinations, and to which the applicant is appointed after passing the examination, with regard to them too the request is the same: that there would be a universal competitive examination, and to the successful person-- that is to him who would come out ahead of everyone-- the post would be given.

{8}  I do not think it necessary for me on this occasion to discuss the question why the competitive examination is held in England, and what would be the evils arising from its transference to India. At this time I don't consider it necessary to discuss why the rule of holding the examination in London has been established, and of what harm there will be for the country in moving it here.
But I am going to speak of the evils likely to follow the introduction into India of the competitive principle. But the vision that I have of the great harm to the country from those schemes-- about this I will speak.
I do not wish to speak in the interest of my own co-religionists, but to express faithfully whether I think the country is prepared for competitive examination or not.  In this account I don't wish to engage in partisanship on behalf of my own community [qaum]; rather, with regard to competitive examination, whether it be for the civil service or for subordinate posts-- I will judiciously speak of whether our country is suitable and fit for these examinations. I have the greatest respect and admiration for our Hindustani post-holders, and I know with certainty that however many post-holders there are at this moment, they carry out their work with extreme honesty, worthiness, and excellence. But I don't consider any post-holder to be such that he is unworthy of the posts of Hindustan.
What is the result of competitive examination in England? You know that men of all social positions, sons of Dukes or Earls, of darzies/5/ and people of low rank, are equally allowed to pass this examination. But please consider-- what is the result of the system of competitive examination in England? The fact will be manifest to you that in England every person, great and humble, duke or earl or the son of some noble family, and tailor or the son of some other low-ranking family, can equally take the examination.
Men of both high and low family come to India in the Civil Service. And it is the universal belief that it is not expedient for Government to bring the men of low rank;  Those Europeans who take the competitive exam in England and come, some are of low family and some are of high family. All you gentlemen must be confident, and I say that you must be confident, that the people of low family are of [[13]] no benefit to the country or the Government. 
and that the men of good social position treat Indian gentlemen with becoming politeness, maintain the prestige of the British race, and impress on the hearts of the people a sense of British justice, and are useful both to Government and to the country. And those of high family honor the Ra'ises and treat them well, and impress upon people's hearts an image of the honor of the English people [inglish qaum] and the justice of the British Government, and are of benefit to the country and the Government.
But those who come from England, come from a country so far removed from our eyes that we do not know whether they are the sons of Lords or Dukes or of darzies; and therefore if those who govern us are of  humble rank, we cannot perceive the fact. But those who come from England [inglistan] are so far from our eyes that we don't know whether they're sons of lords [larD] or of dukes or of a tailor. (Cheers.) And for this reason the fact that a low man rules over us remains hidden from our eyes.
 But as regards Indians, the case is different. Men of good family would never like to trust their lives and property to people of low rank with whose humble origin they are well acquainted. (Cheers.) But in Hindustan we don't think this. The noble communities [sharif qaum] of Hindustan will not like it for a Hindustani of low rank, with whose roots and background they are acquainted, to be the master of their lives and property. (Cheers.)

{9}  Leave this a moment, and consider what are the conditions which make the introduction into a country of competitive examinations expedient, and then see whether our own country is ready for it or not. This is no difficult question of political economy.  Pass over this matter, and look at this idea: what are the conditions for holding competitive examinations in a country? And then we ought to reflect on this: is our country ready for this, or not? This is not some very subtle problem of political economy.
Everyone can understand that the first condition for the introduction of competitive examination into a country is that all people in that country, from the highest to the lowest, should belong to one nation. In such a country no particular difficulties are likely to arise. Everyone can understand the principle that first of all the country is suitable for competitive examinations in which one community [qaum] lives, and all the people from shoemakers to dukes are of one community [qaum]. In it the establishment of competitive examinations creates no difficulties. Because someone who has become a [mustaghis?] cannot be displeased with someone who has become a ruler.
The second case is that of a country in which there are two nationalities which have become so united as to be practically one nation. England and Scotland are a case in point. In the past many wars were waged between those countries, and many acts of bravery were done on both sides; but those times have gone, and they are now like one nation.  The second situation is if in that country various communities [qaum] would live, but those communities would have come together and become almost one community, like England and Scotland [iskaTlenD]. These are both separate communities. Great wars have taken place between them and both [[14]] sides have shown much bravery. But that time is gone, and now no one can say that the residents of England and Scotland are not almost one community.
But this is not the case with our country, which is peopled with different nations. Consider the Hindus alone. The Hindus of our Province, the Bengalis of the East, and the Mahrattas of the Deccan, do not form one nation.  But this is not the state of our country, in which different communities [qaum] dwell. On one side there are the Hindus, on another side Musalmans, and on a third side the Parsis. Even among the Hindus, the Hindus of our region [mulk] and the Bengalis of the eastern region and the Marathas of the Dakani region are not one. 
If in your opinion the peoples of India do form one nation, then no doubt competitive examination may be introduced; but if this be not so, then competitive examination is not suited to the country.  If in your opinion it's true that these communities [qaum] have come together such that all would be considered one community, then without a doubt I will say that in Hindustan there ought to be competitive examinations. And if this is not so, then our country [mulk] is not fit [qabil] for competitive examinations.
The third case is that of a country in which there are different nationalities which are on an equal footing as regards the competition, whether they take advantage of it or not.  The third situation for competitive examinations is this: that although in one country different communities [qaum] may live, still with regard to worthiness, education, and wealth they would all be equal, and to every community the opportunity can be available that through this examination it can obtain equal advantage-- even if it might never do so, but the opportunity would be there.
Now, I ask you, have Mahomedans attained to such a position as regards higher English education, which is necessary for higher appointments, as to put them on a level with Hindus or not? Most certainly not.  Now this is the question: has the Musalmans' education and training, and their knowledge of literature [liTarachar], which for the Government's high posts is necessary, reached such a level that it would be equal to that of the Hindus? No, absolutely not.
Now I take Mahomedans and the Hindus of our Province together, and ask whether they are able to compete with the Bengalis or not? Most certainly not.  Now, taking the Musalmans and Hindus of our region [mulk] together, I ask whether they both can equal the Bengalis. Absolutely not.
When this is the case, how can competitive examination be introduced into our country? (Cheers.) When this is the situation, then in this country how can competitive examinations be instituted? (Cheers.)

{10}  Think for a moment what would be the result if all appointments were given by competitive examination.  If these competitive examinations would be instituted, we ought to consider what the result would be for the country.
Over all races, not only over Mahomedans but over Rajas of high position and the brave Rajputs who have not forgotten the swords of their ancestors, would be placed as ruler a Bengali who at sight of a table knife would crawl under his chair. (Uproarious cheers and laughter. All the communities [qaum], not just Musalmans but all the Hindus of this region [mulk], the honored Rajahs and brave Rajputs too who remember their ancestors' swords, will see as their ruler one Bengali, who upon seeing a [[15]] knife would drop down beneath a chair. (Cheers.)
There would remain no part of the country in which we should see at the tables of justice and authority any face except those of Bengalis. I am delighted to see the Bengalis making progress, but the question is What would be the result on the administration of the country?  No fragment of the country would remain where at the table of authority and justice anyone's face except a Bengali's would be seen. We say that we are happy that our brothers the Bengalis would make progress. But the question is, what will be the state of the country's administration?
Do you think that the Rajput and the fiery Pathan, who are not afraid of being hanged or of encountering the swords of the police or the bayonets of the army, could remain in peace under the Bengalis? (Cheers. In your opinion, the Rajputs and the spirited Pathans, who do not fear hanging, or the swords of the police, or the bayonets of the army-- can they remain in peace under a Bengali? (Cheers.
This would be the outcome of the proposal if accepted.  Thus competitive examinations are not only harmful to one particular community [qaum] of the nation, but rather are harmful to the peace of the nation. This that I have mentioned, is one of their requests.
Therefore if any of you men of good position, Raïses, men of the middle classes, men of noble family to whom God has given sentiments of honour if you accept that the country should groan under the yoke of Bengali rule and its people lick the Bengali shoes, then, in the name of God! jump into the train, sit down, and be [[12]] off to Madras,/6/ be off to Madras! (Loud cheers and laughter. Thus if any noble person, any Ra'is, any man of middle-class rank, anyone of good family, to whom the Lord has given honor-- if he consents to endure the rule of Bengalis, to suffer shoe-beatings, then so be it. Let him take the train and "go to Madras, go to Madras!" (Cheers.)
But if you think that the prosperity and honour of the country would be ruined, then, brothers, sit in your houses, inform Government of your circumstances, and bring your wants to its notice in a calm and courteous manner. And if you consider that from this the country's condition and honor will be ruined, then, brothers! Sit in your houses and tell the Government your circumstances; and what your wish would be, present it with calmness and courtesy. (Cheers.)

{11}  The second demand of the National Congress is that the people should elect a section of the Viceroy's Council.  The second request that has been made by them is that in the Viceroy's Council, members would be decided on the part of the subjects, and through election by the subjects.
They want to copy the English House of Lords and the House of Commons. The elected members are to be like members of the House of Commons; the appointed members like the House of Lords. They want that the way the House of Commons [ha'us af kamanz] and the House of Lords [ha'us af larDz] are in London, in the same way a copy of them would be in Hindustan. And those who would be chosen through election [alekshan] would be like the House of Commons, and those members who are Government servants, together with the Viceroy, [[16]] would be like the House of Lords. In England the principle of Parliament is that no law can be promulgated until both the House of Commons and the House of Lords agree to accept it.
Now, let us suppose the Viceroy's Council [to be] made in this manner. And let us suppose first of all that we have universal sufferage, as in America, and that everybody, chamars/7/ and all, have votes.  Now first of all, please suppose that the Viceroy's Council would be according to this rule which they request. That is, members of it would be chosen by the subjects' election [intikhab].
And first suppose that all the Mahomedan electors vote for a Mahomedan member, and all Hindu electors for a Hindu member; and now count how many votes the Mahomedan members have and how many the Hindu. And please assume that the aspect of this election would be that all the Musalmans would give their vote [voT] for one Musalman member, and all the Hindus would give their vote for one Hindu; and please count how many votes the Musalman has, and how many the Hindu member has.
It is certain the Hindu members will have four times as many, because their population is four times as numerous. Therefore we can prove by mathematics that there will be four votes for the Hindu to every one vote for the Mahomedan. Assuredly the Hindu member will have four times the votes, because in population they are four times the Musalmans. Thus by the proof of mathematics [maithemeTiks], there will be one vote for the Musalman member and four votes for the Hindu member.
And now how can the Mahomedan guard his interests? It would be like a game of dice in which one man had four dice, and the other only one. Thus in comparison to the Hindus, how will there remain any recourse [Thikana] for the Musalmans? And it will be like a game of dice in which the Hindus have four dice and we have one.

{12}  In the second place, suppose that the electorate be limited. Some method of qualification must be made; for example, that people with a certain income shall be electors.  Assume this other aspect of an election, that they would choose electors [alekTar]. For their selection it will be necessary that some limit be fixed, that people of this level [darjah] would be electors. And when the fix the limit, then they will look at how much property they have and what is their annual income.
Now, I ask you, O Mahomedans! Weep at your condition! Have you such wealth that you can compete with the Hindus? Most certainly not.  We ask, oh Musalmans-- weep at your fate!-- do you have such property and wealth as the Hindus of the land have? Absolutely not.
Suppose, for example, that an income of Rs. 5,000 a year be fixed on, how many Mahomedans will there be? Which party will have the larger number of votes? If, for example, the level would be fixed that those who have an income of Rs. 5,000 would be chosen as electors, then tell me how many Musalmans will be included? Those whose income is of this extent, and who would have the right to cast a vote, which will be more-- voters for the Hindu member, or for the [[17]] Musalman member? And whose votes will be more?
I put aside the case that by a rare stroke of luck a blessing comes through the roof, and some Mahomedan is elected. In the normal case no single Mahomedan will secure a seat in the Viceroy's Council.  If somebody suddenly receives a stroke of good fortune, then his is a different case; but according to intelligent logic, no single Musalman whomsoever will be given occasion to become a member of the Viceroy's Council.
The whole Council will consist of Babu So-and-so Mitter, Babu So-and-So Ghose, and Babu So-and-so Chuckerbutty./8/ (Laughter. Thus in the whole Viceroy's Council, there will be no one except Babu So-and-so Mitter, Babu So-and-so Ghosh, and Babu So-and-so Chakravarti. (Cheers.)
Again, what will be the result for the Hindus of our Province, though their condition be better than that of the Mahomedans? What will be the result for those Rajputs, the swords of whose ancestors are still wet with blood?  Thus what will be the state of the Hindus of our region [mulk], whose situation-- although it is better than the Musalmans' situation, and although the situation of some is even better-- on the whole is also the same? What will be the state of those Rajputs, from the swords of whose ancestors the blood has not yet been washed away?
And what will be the result for the peace of the country? Is there any hope that we and our brave brothers the Rajputs can endure it in silence? And in such a state, what will be the state of the peace of the country? Is it to be hoped that we, and our brave brothers the Rajputs, will remain sitting silently?

*ON TO SECTIONS {13} to {18}*


/5/ Tailors.
/6/ The National Congress was then sitting at Madras.
/7/ A very low caste.
/8/ Common Bengali names.

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